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Legends-Kuja
13th August 2005, 08:39 PM
This fic got deleted here some time ago, which is why I stopped coming here for some time... However, I'm reposting this with some improvements. Perhaps this time it won't fare so badly.

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Prologue

(Disclaimer: No I don't own Kingdom Hearts, or any chap you've heard of… Don't sue me—you'll only get dirt.)

Normal? Certainly not me! I don't fit into your classic "hero" mold.

After all, I was raised in a church by foster parents while contending with five other siblings (including a psycho twin sister). Normalcy never stuck its ugly face into my life. In fact, it never even peeked.

Then again, was leading a unique life only a precedent to what was to come? I mean, I'm a keyblade master now. That is definitely not normal. Especially since Sora has nothing on me, except maybe superior skills and a girlfriend.

My name is Cygnus, the Keyblade “child” of darkness. This is the story of how I came to be. You’ll notice I use darkness a lot… I got that from Ansem, who by the way, is no longer the evil man that screwed up Sora’s life. But why am I important? Am I even important?

I might as well start my story from the beginning, back during the days before the Heartless came, when that accursed Charlotte was still my only problem...

This is my story.

(And here's episode 1.)

Episode 1: Rise For the Occasion

Rob crashed down on his bed. The tired youth's brown skin glistened despite it being night. He basically wore non-descript clothes—nobody (including himself) really cared what he had on. His glowering, neon orange eyes and his Bart Simpson styled hair usually distracted everyone from that. His angry mind thought, as it always did, back through the day’s events. Today totally wiped him. It began with their usual morning service. Although church itself went without a hitch, Rob had caught something evil within Charlotte's eye.

Charlotte was his local rival at the church, one of the many adopted kids cared for by the Mira family, who ran the church. Though nowhere near Barbie perfection, the girl was the prime example of possible supermodel in the making. Blond hair, beautiful blue eyes, rather tall. Those who knew her, however (like Rob for instance) would swear up and down that she was related to Kefka or someone equally insane.

The thieving blonde had come up with another idea to get Rob in deep trouble, and the boy could practically smell it. Right after service, Charlotte fled outside into the never-ending rain, where the famous Crying Citadel derived its name. This side of Chicago was ALWAYS rainy, regardless of the weather elsewhere in the city.

"See ya, dad, gotta stop Bob and Charlotte before they mess something up AGAIN!" Ken Mira, the lone biological son of the family, saw the chase and knew he had to play peacekeeper once again. Although of nerdy appearance and wiry frame, he was fast and strong enough to ward fights. And this fight he'd have to stop before it even began. Ken Mira was in fact, always about the peace. He HAD to be, considering that he was the eldest, and keeping his younger siblings out of trouble was a lifelong responsibility he had bestowed himself (well, actually his mother did, but he was too prideful to admit that). He tailed the angry Rob right outside.

Turned out the precise trick Charlotte concocted turned out to be nothing... on the outset. Rob forgot to don decent rain protection, so he'd be screwed when he got back in... HOLY CRAP! When he realized Charlotte had only tricked him into running outside, he whirled back to go in, only to run into Ken. "KEN!" Rob had shouted. He comically grabbed Ken’s collar. "Charlotte's gonna frame me! We've got to get back inside!"

"It looks like she framed you already," Ken had used his "dumb" voice with a grin.

Rob just snarled. "She'd just better not have attempted to kidnap Clara again, LAST TIME I had one heck of a time trying to explain that one to your mom..."

The Clara he referred to was the youngest denizen of the Mira clan. Her cheery, 14-year-old countenance brightened the Mira household and the Citadel itself… making her a perfect victim for Charlotte’s games. And because of her high, almost obsessive fashion sense, she was rarely seen out of heels, making it all too easy for Charlotte to catch her at any time the wicked blonde saw fit. Rob always saw to it Clara stayed safe from Charlotte’s evil… sometimes obsessively so.

"Well, better get moving then," Ken and Rob had dashed back inside, dealt with Charles (known to them as "Taz" due to his amazing mimicry of the Tasmanian Devil while eating.) and his usual greeting ("Have fun with Charlotte, she’s really done it this time!"), and headed up to the living quarters, where of course, Charlotte had succeeded in making poor Clara a victim of her "evil" plots again.

"This is too easy. You're not fun anymore, Bob," Charlotte had taunted.

"You will NOT call me BOB!" Rob bellowed.

“When I rule the universe, I’ll call you whatever I want,” She drew a pillow from Clara’s bed, making the bound girl mew in protest. “Enjoy endless pain!”

“You and this pain seem to date often,” Rob snidely remarked, grabbing another pillow. “Care to commit?”

Ken could only roll over in laughter at their comic lines as they dueled each other like cosmic rivals. Both skilled in the ways of pillow fights, they attempted to beat each other’s heads in for at least 5 minutes.

That’s when Reverend Mira stepped in.

The tall, white-haired patriarch had stopped the barbaric fight at once. Similar in personality to his only son, the reverend commanded that the rest of the day the two had to work together on "group projects", one that included untying the very thoroughly bound and gagged Clara. Rob had taken to cursing Charlotte's name all through the rest of the evening. Now Rob lay in bed, staring at the ceiling, musing in introspection.

Charlotte wasn't his only concern though. In recent times large landmasses were disappearing off the map. Pokémon all over the world were acting crazy, and no one had a single clue on what was truly happening. This disturbed him, and he felt that Ken and Reverend Mira's explanations of this possibly being the End Times were not enough.

Rob had been staring for so long, he hadn't registered a set of neon-orange eyes staring right back at him until he heard, "Whatcha doin'?"

"MAYA!" Rob roared in surprise. "Don't DO that! Can't you let me introspect in peace?"

His fraternal twin sister simply giggled insanely. "I wouldn't be me if I didn't do the things I do, now would I?"

Indeed she wouldn’t. In looks Maya was a highly feminine version of her brother, with longer hair, softer eyes, a noticeable chest, and smaller hands. In personality, however, she was a polar opposite. While Rob was a silent observer, Maya was a loud and sanguine young lady, unafraid of strangers and strange situations.

"Of COURSE you wouldn't!" Ken Mira had stepped in. His large pajamas didn't hide his lanky frame, inherited by his father. "But you'd be less annoying!"

"HEY!" Maya objected.

"Sorry, sis, but Ken speaks the truth," Rob smirked. "Being yourself is good and all, but ya gotta know when to stop. Lord knows we share the insanity gene."

"Nah, you don't," Ken smirked. "You just have rage issues."

"I DO NOT HAVE RAGE ISSUES!" Rob raged, entirely proving Ken's point.

"Rob has rage issues! Rob has rage issues! HOORAY!" Maya sang and danced as she waltzed out the door.

"Grrr..." Rob snarled as Ken patted him on the back.

"Relax, we all have our faults," Ken explained. "Taz is lazy, Charlotte is Satan incarnate, and Clara is an instant damsel-in-distress!"

"I RESENT THAT!" They heard Clara from another room. Rob and Ken chuckled together.

"Yeah, okay, I get it," Rob said. "So what would YOUR faults be?"

"I think it might be that I'm too good for my own good," Ken explained with an embarrassed grin. "But in a world like this, as we are becoming today... that might be a good thing."

"Yeah... maybe," Rob trailed off, not sure of his own opinion. "If the end of the world comes... will we be ready?"

"I hope so..." Ken trailed off. "For all we know, this could be the beginning of something greater..."

He once again had no concept of how right he was.

"Oh well, good night!" Ken left the room, leaving Rob to himself. The black kid punched a pillow. He wouldn't have a time sleeping tonight...

-----

There were dreams.

These odd, freaky dreams of a woman picking a fight with a giant creature in black, losing, dying, and then saying, "Cygnus... your destiny awaits... You shall face your father..."

Then a dark and vicious being would awaken. Its cold yellow eyes pierced into him, its dark body surged with evil power. It rose to its towering height, and then it slashed him. He would awake in a furious sweat, looking around like a paranoid monkey.

But tonight changed all that.

Rob woke up to find himself within a vast space of darkness. It felt strange… normally, such a place would signify desolation. But here was… comfortable. Rob looked down to see he was standing on top of a symbol: a black heart, crossed by red thorns. Three spikes jutted out from the bottom of it.

And then he heard that name again.

Cygnus.

“Huh?” He looked about in confusion. He could’ve sworn that…

Cygnus… it has begun… the darkness has begun…

Rob whirled around to see a woman. That woman… but she’s fine now. “Who… who are you?”

(Someone watching out for you.) She answered, a faint smile on her face. (Your journey has begun.)

“What journey?” Rob gave her an evil eye. “You’re going to tell me about this, right? Is this like a self-discovery journey or a save-the-world thing?”

(The latter, of course,) She chuckled lightly. (The world must understand a new darkness, one that doesn’t cause fear.)

"Question: WHAT?!"

(See this...) She opened what looked like a portal. Creatures with weird, heart-like crests were stealing people's hearts, and then there was a boy with spiky hair, wielding what looked like a giant key. He was slashing all the dark creatures. (The creatures... they are called Heartless. It was said that they were once simple creatures that were carriers of the dead. They escorted the Soul and the Heart to the afterlife. But one day someone corrupted them. They began to mutate to the awful forms you see here. They then began to revert to stealing the Hearts they once carried, seeking to unite under the superior darkness, the final darkness that is Kingdom Hearts. The boy you see... he fights to end them. He hopes to return the connected worlds and restore than which is peace. But there is one problem... an endless flood of light may defeat the Heartless, but it will destroy the balance forever. Something that cannot be done.)

"What balance, that between Darkness and Light?"

(Exactly...)

"So what am I supposed to do?"

(You fight for the darkness. Your mission is to restore the balance.)

"And how can I do THAT?"

(Feel it. Dive into the Heart, as you are doing now. Here...) Three stones rose. One held a sword. One held a shield, and one held vast magic. A giant... KEY slammed in front of him. He picked it up, not quite grasping what it was.

"What IS this?" Rob asked. The key had a navy blue hilt and its ridges had a similar look to the symbol for darkness.

(The Keyblade... of Darkness. It may look funny, but doubt not its powers. Now you, as your sister is doing now must choose your fate. Your way of battle...) Rob looked at the three stones.

"My SISTER is doing this?" Rob looked incredulous. "Does she have enough sanity?"

(Yes, you think you could leave your own twin sister out of the loop?) His mom raised an eyebrow.

"No... I'd forgotten she had these same dreams..."

Rob walked over to the sword. The woman began. "The sword... a weapon of incredible justice... and darkness; evil. Is this what you seek?"

"Yes, ma’am..." Rob said.

The power of the sword forged itself into the Keyblade. "Now... you must sacrifice something in return." Rob looked about. Between the shield and the magic, Rob preferred to be able to defend himself, rather than depend on the power of a mage.

Rob said, "I sacrifice the way of the mage."

(Very well.) The magic shattered, and the shield came inside of the Keyblade. (Your sister has chosen the opposite. Keep together through your differences. Don't let the Darkness tear you away."

Something clicked inside Rob’s mind. “You’re connected to my sister, too.” He turned to the woman. “And you look so… Are you… are you my mom?”

She chuckled lightly. (That revelation should've been saved for another day, but yes, I am your mom...) The darkness began to distort. Two yellow eyes stared at them from the darkness.

The woman now gaied a desperate tone. (He’s coming…! End these nightmares… Darkside...)

The creature began to form out of the darkness.

(I pray for you… prepare… prepare for anything…)

Rob prepared the Keyblade, leering at the creature. This time, he was ready.

Then, he woke up.

Right out of his dreams, he saw the dark being outside! It was none other than Darkside. His dreams had melded with reality. "Holy crap..."

Beside him was now the Keyblade.

"Keyblade..." Rob breathed. He picked it up.

"ROB!" Maya dashed in. She had thrown on some clothes, an outfit of black, wearing a dark cape for some odd reason. She wielded twin daggers. Obviously, she was going for the vampirish mage look. "Come on, we're in serious danger! Lets go!"

"Yeah, tell me something I DON'T know!" Rob shot back. As he threw on clothes himself, matching white shirt and shorts, he asked Maya. "Where'd you get those daggers?"

"Ummm... I stole two knives from the family kitchen?" She gave a sheepish smile. Rob gave her a look. "HEY, I HAD TO DEFEND MYSELF FROM UGLY BLACK CREATURES CALLED HEARTLESS!"

"THE HEARTLESS ARE HERE!"

"YES, AND UNLESS WE GET OUT OF HERE, WE'RE ALL GONNA DIE!" Maya grabbed Rob, and the two of them headed across the hall to alert their friends. Two creatures, looking like ant/human hybrids, with beady yellow eyes and a human stance, emerged from the ground and started attacking. Rob wasted no time in running away like a spineless coward. Maya also ran, throwing one of the kitchen knives, which struck a Shadow and caused it to disappear in a poof of black smoke. "Cool!" Maya cheered.

Rob's bravery returned for just a moment; he roared before he slashed the other Shadow, wiping it from existence with one smooth stroke.

Unfortunately for him, about five more Shadows appeared. The twins turned tail and ran, with the Shadows in pursuit.

They burst into Clara's room. She had cowered in a corner, being surrounded by more Shadow creatures. She spotted Rob. "Rob! Help!"

"I'll save you... as long as it takes," Rob echoed the words, as if he wasn't the first to speak them. His anger flared; these creatures will NOT take Clara. Letting his anger fuel his power, Rob leapt at the first Shadow, striking it down with a single attack. The other two leapt up and slashed, opening wounds on Rob's arms. Too furious to reel back in pain for very long, Rob shook off the damage and plunged his Keyblade into one of the Shadows, killing it. Rob twirled around to deal with the last one, twirling his keyblade and smashing it into the Shadow, destroying it.

"Th-th-th-thank you..." Clara clung onto Rob, giving him a tight embrace.

"Uhhh..." Rob just nervously smiled, trying to ignore the stinging sensation of his arms, unsure of exactly why Clara was groveling. He may have just saved her, but she never gave him THAT much attention, not after all the times...

"GGGAAAAAHHH!" The three of them turned and ran into the main hallway. There was Ken, running like a maniac away from a group of Shadows downstairs.

"Ken! Up here!" Rob shouted. Ken nodded and ran up the stairs, with the Shadows in pursuit. Rob swallowed nervously before getting to work on the advancing Heartless. He slashed at one, killing it with a few weak strokes. The others kept coming, but Rob kept them at bay.

That is, until one scratched him.

Rob's anger issues returned in full force as the Shadows immediately regretted their actions. All in five seconds, they were no more. Rob sighed in relief as Ken spoke in panic.

"I can't find my parents! What's going on here!" Ken bellowed.

"We're under invasion. We must escape now..." Rob answered, and the four of them headed towards Taz and Charlotte's room.

When they found Taz, however, he was alone. He used a metal pole he found to ward off the Shadow attacks, but he had no luck in offensively attacking them. "Rob!" Taz called.

Rob knew what to do. He swung the Keyblade in a wide arc and swept the floor with the rest of them. A struggling Shadow then got the privilege of suffering head force trauma by Maya repeatedly stabbing it with her knife ("STABBINATE!").

"Where's Charlotte!" Rob asked Taz expectantly.

"I don't know... I don't freaking know..." Taz clenched his teeth, trying to keep his emotions in check. Ken hung his head. His parents, Charlotte... what happened? How had these creatures appeared? Is this connected to the Revelation? (A/N: Forgive any offense I bring, Revelation is the last book of the Bible.) "It's all going to hell..." Taz sighed.

"Taz, hold yourself together!" Rob gripped his friend's shoulders. "We'll find a way out of this... I hope."

"I love your optimism," Taz added dryly, but he gave a weak grin anyway.

"In any case, we've got to split!" Maya yelled. "Let's go!"

The five teenagers ran for their lives, going for a quick and swift exit out the door. The rain greeted them, although somewhat mute. The atmosphere nearly choked them all with fear. Heartless could come up at any second, and the calm rain didn't make things much better. However, Rob suddenly came to the stop.

"What's wrong?" Clara asked Rob wearily.

In the distance, Rob could see... Charlotte.

She stood, looking wearily at the moon, which had somehow peeked through the thick rain clouds. Her blue jean-dress blew in some barely-existent wind.

"Charlotte?" Rob asked.

Charlotte looked at the group. Her eyes had a crazy, yet sad look, and her smile was very faint. "I see it now... our world is doomed. Very doomed." She glared at Rob. "That means YOUR end too, Bob."

"What! Charlotte! Snap out of it!" Rob commanded.

"Don't deny it, fool," Charlotte snapped in a voice that wasn't her own. "We are now free... free of this planet... which isn't our true home."

"What are you talking about?" Ken asked, wearily backing away. Darkness began to surround the group.

"You will find out..." The darkness washed over all of them, and Rob blacked out.

When Rob came to, only he, his sister, and Charlotte were still there. Charlotte leered at him. "This is it... the end of the beginning. Many questions will be answered, many sacrifices will be made and..." She calmly gazed at Rob again. "And I'll have your blood," Charlotte laughed, and Rob nervously backed away. This COULDN'T be Charlotte. This person before him had the looks and attitude... but surely not the voice... or the motives. Who was this before him? "Alas we cannot fight, for someone else is first in line," Charlotte extended a finger, and behind them... Darkside rose to his full height. Rob's mouth hung open. Darkside was that much more imposing in real life. What was it doing here? Rob whirled back to snarl at Charlotte, but she was gone. Only Maya was with him now. Rob stood up and began to approach it.

"ARE YOU INSANE!" Maya roared. "Who knows what it can do?"

"Sis, I lost it YEARS ago. Don't worry about me..." He stepped closer.

At this, a shadow formed from nearby him. It was another Shadow. It skittered about and turned to Rob. After examining him it spoke in what seemed like psychic power. (It is you.)

"Don't make me kill you," Rob threatened.

(I assure you, I'm THE GOOD GUY!)

"And how can I tell!" Rob eyed him like he did his mother earlier.

(I've got this symbol...) The Shadow extended its hand to show an emblazoned white symbol looking like an ornate cross with an anchor. (True, this is stolen from the opposite species, but that is a procedure I will explain later...)

Rob eyed him again. "Did my mom send you!"

(Yes, she did,) the Shadow sweat-dropped.

"Fine... so aside from the Keyblade, what's so special about me?"

(You, along with Sora, will take the reigns of the Darkness and the Light, and free it from their evil puppeteers.)

"What's that supposed to mean?"

The Shadow sweat-dropped again. (I'll explain later. Just know that you've got to save the world, no, the UNIVERSE with your Keyblade.)

"But of course." Rob said. "Although this Keyblade feels like I owned it for ages, I have ZERO sword fighting skills... What IS Darkside, anyway?"

(Giant leader of the Heartless...)

"That thing is huge... Can I fight it?"

(Fear not, for I shall help.) The Shadow perched itself on top of Rob's shoulder, and the two stepped forward, ready for battle.

Maya just looked in shock. "What! He gets to own the giant thing and I DON'T? No fair!" She hung her head.

(You chill out. Your turn to fight shall come soon.) Another shadow akin to the one before appeared out of nowhere. Maya just noted the creature, nodded, and looked back.

Rob stood now close to the nightmare creature, its claws preparing to tear into the church. As it raised its fist, Rob shouted, "Hey, YOU!" The creature stopped in mid-attack and leered at Rob in an impassive curiosity. He raised his fist, but being slow, Rob saw the attack and dodged the swipe made by the creature.

(Strike his arms!) Exclaimed the little creature.

Rob did so with swift movements, damaging the beast. Darkside roared and reared back, and a mighty slash smacked Rob backwards. Rob crashed into the ground.

"Rob!" Maya exclaimed.

Rob didn't give up his assault, though. He rose again and using his newfound focus, smashed into the giant creature with more Keyblade combos, and the Darkside howled again. This time, it reared back and sunk its arm into a pool of darkness.

Smaller Shadows appeared. Rob faltered. "You DO realize I could still confuse you with them, right!" he clenched his teeth, talking to the friendly Shadow.

(Riiiiight...) It said, forming another sweat-drop.

Rob went back to attacking. Two dark shadows slashed him, but he killed them easily with one swipe of his Keyblade. Nursing his wounds, Rob rubbed his arms before jumping back and slicing a couple more Shadows with a Keyblade combo. The Shadow hopped off of his shoulder and dive-bombed another Shadow, killing it before he landed back on Rob's shoulder.

The Darkside re-emerged. This time it swept its right arm, flew up and smashed the ground with incredible force. Rob jumped up, but Maya and the other Shadow were blown off their feet.

"Maya!"

"ROB! Don't worry about us! Show him who's boss!" Maya yelled.

Rob turned back to see that Darkside had somehow improved its speed. It flew towards him and attempted to slash him. Rob blocked the move, but the creature changed its method of attack at the last minute, and smashed him with a right hook. Rob crashed into the ground.

Darkside reared back and prepared to smash Rob into oblivion.

The dreams struck again.

His mother... now he saw, is mother "died" to that... that thing! Rob's eyes flared with rage. "You... you murdered my MOTHER! I'll SEND YOU BACK TO THE HELL IN WHICH YOU CAME FROM!" He jumped incredibly high, twirling his body like a screw, and landed a slash right on Darkside's face.

Rob rose from falling to the ground, grinned, and gave Maya a thumbs-up.

It stopped.

Darkside reared back suddenly, as if in surprise. (It's you... But why do you strike me?)

"What do you mean!" Rob was still poised for battle.

(The wielder of that Keyblade... is none other than my son.)

"What... YOU LIE!" Rob shouted. "And it's not even feasible!"

(I was once human. But my Heart had a Darkness so great; it changed me into what you see here. In any case you are my son, and you Maya, are my daughter, and I intend to proclaim you both.)

"NO! YOU CAN'T BE!" Rob twitched, his blood boiling.

(But I am... You mother's insolence was a minor setback, but I guess this day had to come.) Despite his changing words Darkside only showed apathy. (You were destined to wield the Dark Keyblade, or so my own father told me.)

"You... you disgust me..." Rob walked closer to Darkside.

(That's too bad. MY father disgusted ME with HIS evil ways, and look where I am now...)

"That means NOTHING!" Rob bellowed.

"You... you can't be my—OUR father, can you?" Maya walked beside her brother, her eyes threatening to cry.

(But I am. The wielder of the Dark Keyblade, you can open doors to worlds to provide infinite feasts to the Heartless,) he pointed to Rob. (And you... his sister. As twins, you share the same power. The Darkness of your hearts are synonymous with mine. Together... the Heartless shall forever render you two gods.)

"No..." Rob shook his head. "WE CAN'T!"

"We WON'T!" Maya said.

(You can deny your fates no longer... Your mother's babble about doing good is falsehood, unless you turn against your Heartless brethren. And if you destroy the darkness, Light will also cease to exist.)

"WE HAVE TO TRY!" The twins echoed. "There IS justice in this world, and your evil ways won't change us, FATHER!" The twins spat out father like an unpleasant taste from their mouths. They roared and charged their father.

(I... see... In that case, you can fight your family or die trying...) Darkness came from under Rob and Maya, and the two shadows. Rob felt himself... sinking into it. (Farewell...) Darkside turned around as Rob fought to get free of the darkness, but he only fell in, and he faintly saw the Darkside wipe out the church with one mighty blow.

Before Rob could cry out, he sank in utter darkness.

-----

Rob stood up.. Maya was next to him wandering in confusion. "We’re here again?" she asked.

"Perhaps. The question is what is here." Rob said. He sighed. "The end of the Citadel. Never saw it coming… Our home’s gone. Vanished into the darkness.” He saw that same Shadow emerge into the room. He spun around to face it. “I don’t see how it’s possible! Was that thing... our father!"

(As hard it may be to believe... yes, he is,) The two shadows showed up.

(You two are in the Heart of Darkness. The mental gathering place of the Heartless.) One said. (Other beings, especially people like you, can come here.)

"You promised me you would answer some questions... Who is Sora?" Rob asked. "And why must I join him to stop the 'puppeteers'?"

(Sora was a first, a long-time enemy of ours,) the Shadow answered. (He was sent to destroy the Heartless and restore the worlds we destroyed.)

(But we realized he's simply the Light's answer to our onslaught.) The other said. (But if he goes at this rate, the Darkness will be destroyed, and the balance will fall from the universe. So to remedy this, we convinced Ansem to do more research on the matter. Many Heartless are still under the influence of evil 'puppeteers' or controllers of the Heartless. Get rid of them, and the Heartless will lose their will to be evil.)

"I get the puppeteer part, but who's Ansem?" Rob leered at the Shadow with his one eye again.

(One of these days I'm going to poke your eye out...) the Shadow stared back without flinching. (You will meet him soon enough. He was a great researcher of our species. He was also a puppeteer, until Sora killed him... but we hear he's back, and ready to atone for his sins.)

There was a silence. Maya sighed. "So our mother died?"

(I'm afraid so...)

"So the dreams I had—" Rob began, but Maya smacked him.

"WE HAD," Maya interjected.

"—was of 'dad' killing our mom?"

(Yes. Weird way of communication, I know...)

"We were never normal... were we?" Maya sighed.

(And that's a BAD thing!) The Shadows mimicked Rob's Suspicious Eye.

"I guess not, but our friends weren't normal either, were they?" Rob answered.

(No...) One began.

(Your friends... are all over the universe. Perhaps just lost, or maybe even transcended through time. No doubt one of them would have actually seen this coming... and not just the one called Charlotte.)

"If not her, then who—" Rob began, but the Shadow interrupted.

(You'll find that out soon. Now as you have the Keyblade, you know what you must do, right?)

"Ummm... find our friends and stop our mad, psycho father?" Maya asked.

(And that's just the beginning. There are many things you must do... one which means finding the other Keyblade masters, and finding what you truly are, and most of all... uniting your family... There's only so much we can tell you...) the other Shadow said.

"Where do we start first?" Rob asked.

(Ansem began reports on us and the Heartless... find that information... it shall be useful to you. It shall guide your way.)

"Yeah..." Maya appeared. "I suppose we'll meet other good guys in the fight against the Heartless?"

(Of course. They're everywhere. They shall help... in more ways than one. Good luck, Rob and Maya.) A portal appeared. It showed Rob and Maya's limp bodies being carried by a blue hedgehog into a hotel.

"So... this begins everything..." Rob stood up. "Our grand destiny... the fight to balance light and darkness..."

"DON'T WORRY, MY FRIENDS, I'M COMING!" Maya cheered and leapt into the portal.

"Oy..." He turned to the Shadows. "When will I see mother again?"

(Soon enough.)

Satisfied, Rob followed his sister to his new fate.

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( Sora will show his face in Ep 3, so be patient.)

Legends-Kuja
14th August 2005, 01:20 PM
Episode 2: Reawakening

"Dude, are you all right?" Rob heard a voice as he came to. Struggling to get awake, yet having a desire to sleep, Rob just mumbled. "Chill out, you're okay."

Rob finally sat up. He adjusted his groggy eyes to see a cobalt hedgehog staring at him. "Ken? ...No, you're not Ken. You-you're..." Rob began in wide-eyed shock as he recognized the figure.

"Name's Sonic. Sonic the Hedgehog! I found you guys emerging from some large-assed pool of darkness, unconscious."

"I've seen you! You saved the world twice, haven't you?"

"I guess my reputation precedes me, huh? Thank goodness you're not evil..."

"How can YOU tell?"

"I have a way of knowing," Sonic grinned and tapped his noggin. "So, what's your name?"

"Name's Rob." He shook hands with Sonic.

"Tell me, who's Ken?" Sonic asked.

"Ken Mira... one of my friends... my older brother, I should say. He disappeared, along with three other of my buddies. Only my sister and I made it out alive, as far as I know..." He sighed sadly, then turned and noted his sister was now snoring. "Has my sister awakened at all?"

Sonic's face changed to a grimace. "The girl woke up, took one look at me and said, 'Sonic the Hedgehog? I must be dreaming,' and went right back to sleep. Fat lot of appreciation I get. So what brings you here?"

"What else! The Heartless jacked my hometown of Chicago!" Rob responded, throwing up his arms. He then picked up his Keyblade and showed it to Sonic. "Apparently I've inherited this to help me beat the crap out of the Heartless menace, but... I've no idea where to begin. Where ARE we anyway?"

"This is Twilight Town, an in-between world of sorts," Sonic opened up a curtain, and the setting sun peeked from behind the buildings. "Sun never sets, never rises... Felt weird when I first got here."

"How DID you get here?" Rob asked, but knowing the obvious, he tried to restate the question. "Wait, what I meant was what did the Heartless do to Station Square?"

"Knew you'd ask," Sonic gave a weak smile. "If you paid attention to the news, Station Square wasn't the first to fall. When reports of a section in Great Britain near the Johto area were said to have 'blown up,' I suspected Eggman and rushed over to see what was going on. There was practically nothing left, except for some notes of someone's diary telling of 'the evil creatures in black'. Said they were called Heartless.

"I had no clue what a 'Heartless' was or what it looked like, so I headed back to Station Square... only to find it under attack. I then saw my first Heartless..." Sonic trailed off. The mere thought was painful. The shrieks of horror, the black wave of Heartless descending on Knuckles... "Those... those damn things were everywhere. Everyone disappeared. Only Tails and I survived." Sonic looked at Rob, and the latter slightly flinched at the look of pain from Sonic's eyes. Sonic however, shook it off and resumed his carefree attitude. "But I'm not gonna give up. I'll find a way to end all this!" Rob hung his head.

"I think I might know the feeling... like I just suffered the worst hangover. I lose my friends, I get in a fight with my dad, who's this big Heartless freak, and now I've got no idea who's right or wrong. WHAT IS MY DESTINY ANYWAY?"

Maya woke up with a start. "Huh what where! Oh, still same place. Rob, are we dreaming?"

Rob smacked her with his Keyblade. "That help?"

"OWWWWWWWW!" Maya whined, and smacked Rob in revenge. "So I guess I'm not dreaming. Maybe I'm going insane. Do you see a blue Hedgehog?"

"No, you're not insane. That's Sonic. Be nice." Rob said.

"I'm sorry. From where I grew up, I never expected to encounter Sonic the Hedgehog..." Maya shook hands with Sonic. ("MY, aren't we humble," Rob remarked.) Just then, a two-tailed fox burst in, holding some bags. Maya took one look at the new creature and said, "HE'S SO CUTE!"

"Sonic! I'm back! Hey, GRAAAK!" Maya wasted no time in squishing the two-tailed fox in a bear hug.

"MAYA!" Rob shouted. "Have some manners!

"I'm sorry, but I'd never thought I'd see Miles 'Tails' Prowler in person!" Maya gushed. Rob took to smacking his head on a nearby wall in frustration and embarrassment.

"That's okay, I get that all the time," Tails said pleasantly. "So I guess you two were from the Crying Citadel, I unfortunately heard it was destroyed some hours ago..."

"Yes... My dad trashed the place..."

"WHAT?.!" Sonic and Tails gasped.

"That huge thing is Darkside... my... father..."

"I still can't believe it IS our... father..." Maya sadly added.

"Personally, I'm going to kick his ass when I get back to Earth..." Sonic hissed. "No offense, Rob, but your... father is evil! He's worse than Egghead!"

"None taken, Sonic, I want to kick his ass too." Rob said. "But we can't just go back to earth... we have no means of getting there."

"I suppose we can devise a spacecraft," Tails said. "I can get the necessary tools, but it could be a while..." He pulled out a large toolbox, and then looked at the twins. "I suggest you guys take a look around Twilight Town. It might help, and there might be a way back to Earth that we don't know about yet!"

Maya agreed, nodding her head. "It'll be cool!"

"I need to head out and take care of some personal business, but I'll catch up to you guys later!" Sonic dashed off and ran into the city.

"Right... let's go!" The twins left the hotel ready to set in for adventure...

-----

"I suppose this is gonna take a while..." The mysterious Lord of the Dead eyed the large form hovering before him. "Let me get this straight. YOU, the great, original, and strongest Darkside, despite your success on the destruction of the Crying Citadel, could not get your son to the Darkness?"

(That's just it... he IS Darkness... but he has a heart-and too strong of one,) answered Darkside.

"Uh-huh, I get it, but you still have time. Come with me, I want you to meet some friends of mine..." Hades' hair flared, and he glided back into his main foyer. Darkside followed, gliding like Hades.

Inside his skull room, several rough types were gathered around a crystal orb, monitoring Rob's actions. One, a huge purple Dragon, flew over to Hades and Darkside. "Yo Hades, what's happening! Gio got this to work!"

"Nice, Ridley, nice." Hades responded.

"I don't like this," Hissed Sirius, a renegade robot decked in white. "I mean, what if the Heartless suck us of our rational thought? Then we'll be easily beaten by those brats."

"Don't worry," Giovanni, stroking an Umbreon (to show his new affiliation with the Darkness), rather than a Persian, answered. "If anything, the Heartless will try to keep our rational thought. With concise war like this, the Heartless are gonna need our help."

"Do I get to eat roast plumber?" Bowser, a large turtle-like dragon, asked.

"Patience, my dim but powerful friend," A very tall man adorned in black answered him. This man wore a large black cape, a helmet/mask with a ghoul-like face, as well as contrasting white gloves and boots. "You will get your chance."

"I suppose at last Peter Pan won't beat me so easily!" Captain Hook pulled out his new sword, adorned with Heartless symbols.

"May I HAVE your attention!" Hades raised his hands, and everyone looked at him.

Hades walked to the center of the circle and began to speak. "Okay, so we have another Keyblade moron on our hands. It's even possible he might try and strip us of Heartless control. Our best bet is to keep the clowns apart so they don't team up and otherwise screw us up. Rob can be easily kept at bay with pops," Hades pointed to Darkside, who just nodded. "And Sora?"

"That spiky-haired moron won't know what hit 'im!" Bowser roared. "I'll see to it personally!"

There were general voices of agreement.

“Allllllllrighty then! Let’s get this party started,” Hades stretched his hands before using his flames to set the cauldron to life.

------

"Wow, this place is HUGE!" Maya noted.

"Yeah," Rob said. They had been everywhere. The orange sky had lit the way for our heroes to look through every nook and cranny, every store and every bridge. Twilight Town felt very akin to an industrial suburb, but the chimneys were small and the smokestacks even smaller. Rob saw a bank and a grocery store that sold the strangest items ("What are ethers?" He had asked.) Maya saw a strange place called a synthesis shop, ran by a strange white creature with a red ball dangling over its head.

Maya looked to the sky. "It's nice here. I think I like it a little more than Earth, but at the same time, things won't ever be normal again, will they?"

"I suppose so." Rob said. "Then again, things were NEVER normal..."

"OOOO! ICE CREAM!" Maya jacked Rob for about five munny (yes, they use that currency on Earth now) and ran in the Ice Cream Parlor. Rob just blinked and sauntered off further, figuring at his slow pace his sister could easily catch up.

Rob pulled out and looked at his Keyblade. The navy blue/black Keyblade seemed to glow slightly, as if detecting an important presence. Rob stared at it, wondering just what it unlocked. However, he twitched as a familiar shadow began to rise from the ground-several in fact.

The Shadow Heartless were back.

Rob cursed and tensed. This wasn't looking good. "I summoned those freaking Heartless!" He growled his realization. One Shadow lunged at him. Feeling more confident with his feelings, Rob jumped forward and smashed into it with a four-hit combo, killing it. He jumped back, avoiding the smashing blows of two more Shadows. A third had melted back into the ground and circled right behind him, rising up to deliver a surprise attack.

It didn't even get the chance.

"THUNDER!" A stray lightning bolt zapped the Shadow and fried it into oblivion. Rob looked around in confusion... he sure didn't use that Thunder! He then saw Maya, calmly licking vanilla ice cream while she stared down the Heartless. "Hi Rob! Thought you could use some help. We gotta clean this mess before the townspeople notice."

Rob just groaned. "When'd you learn that trick?" He backed up close to her sister.

"You don't remember I also Dived Into the Heart? I inherited magic!" She continued licking her ice cream. She snatched Rob's Keyblade. "I can even use this," She took a running start and swung it around into a Shadow, knocking it back into a wall. She then calmly stabbed it to finish it off.

"Nice to know, but WE STILL HAVE A FRIGGIN HEARTLESS PROBLEM!" Rob snatched the blade back and pointed nervously at an advancing group of Shadows. Maya just kept licking her ice cream. Rob lunged at a Shadow, but it surprisingly moved out of the way, allowing one of its brethren to be destroyed instead. Rob realized his mistake as the Shadow tried to leap on him and sink him into darkness. Swinging his Keyblade madly, he desperately scrambled to move out the way of the growing crowd of Shadows swarming around him.

The twins backed away from the large crowd of Heartless, unsure of their next move.

Enter the dramatic hero attack.

A flying form smashed into the group of Shadows. Rob saw a girl... no, a woman land. Her black shirt and skirt matched her hair. As the Shadows began to grow bold again, they leapt to attack, only to meet her rapid kicks. Her boots only accented the swift and powerful blows she dealt to the Heartless.

"I'm just in time!" They heard Sonic, who screamed into battle using his trademark Sonic Spin to slice the Heartless into nothing. He then turned to Rob with a smirk. "Hey, don't just stand there! Kick some ass! You HAVE a Keyblade..."

"Wh-what?" Rob blinked, flummoxed, but shook it off. "FINE!" He twirled the Keyblade and began to slice and dice like mad, more confident now that he had more help. Maya, not seeing much use for her magic, just sat back and greedily finished her ice cream.

When all was said and done, the Heartless were completely gone. Rob quickly made his Keyblade disappear to avoid any more showing up. He turned to Sonic. "Thanks, Sonic. But who's this with you?"

Sonic jerked his thumb towards the new girl, who was stretching herself. "This is my friend Tifa. Tifa, this is Rob and Maya. Don't be put off by the dark-looking Keyblade; they're not evil." Tifa took notice of Rob and shook hands.

"Uhh... Hi Miss Tifa," Rob blinked, staring at Tifa's supermodel form.

"Hey Rob... Don't stare at those," Tifa glared at the boy before she softened into a grin.

"Hiya!" Maya waved from further back. The four of them began to walk further down to hill to the southern section of Twilight Town.

"Where do you come from?" Rob asked once they had been moving for a while.

"I hail from Hollow Bastion..." Tifa began. "But I've lived here for a while now. Many of my friends come from there. A long time ago, when I was just a kid, Ansem had royally messed things up with his Heartless experiments. I managed to come here by sheer luck... My friend Barret practically raised me. He decided to set up his weapon shop here, and he and I make a living helping out heroes against the Heartless."

"Yeah, our life was cool and un-normal until some clown summoned the evil Heartless on us!" Maya added. "Now were here!"

"I just got back from there," Sonic explained. "I had him synth up my shoes to be more effective! Hey, Barret just might help you out!" They came to a stop. Right now they stood in front of a large clock tower, its tan walls painted orange by the permanent sunset. They stood on the pavilion right in front of it, its large expanse extending to the calm docks and the sea.

"Why not go there?" Rob asked. "If Barret can help me out, I'll take it! I'll need all the help I can get."

"Not a bad idea, but... we're nowhere close. Gotta walk all the way back to where we came." Sonic noted.

The other three groaned.

"Oy," Rob hung his head in defeat. "I guess it's gonna get boring until we get to Barret's place?"

A metallic clang answered him.

"Or NOT..." Sonic hopped up and his spikes tensed. Standing in front of them stood Sonic's great adversary, Dr. Robotnik, a.k.a "Eggman."

"Oh HELLO, Sonic," Dr. Eggman greeted our heroes with a malicious grin. "I knew you would've survived that Heartless attack on Station Square! Now that I've seen NUMEROUS worlds out there, I can easily overpower them with technology and take over the worlds! And with the Heartless, it'll be a cinch! It's PURE GENIUS, I tell you!"

"So you're Eggman?" Tifa asked, cracking her knuckles.

"Don't even THINK IT, Eggface!" Sonic shouted pointing a finger at him. "You won't survive for ten seconds!"

"Oh yeah?" Dr. Eggman hopped on his mech and powered it up. "You won't survive this. You don't have a chance!"

Sonic leapt up and used a homing attack on Eggman, making the machine flinch. Rob wasted no time in conjuring his Keyblade and bringing it to Eggman's machine in the form of a three-hit combo. "Arrgghh! You'll pay!" he launched several small homing missiles, hitting all four of them.

"Ungah!" Rob screeched in pain, as he was knocked back, but he quickly recovered.

"Ouch!" Maya whined. Unsheathing twin daggers, she growled, "It's time to play!" She dashed by his rocket fire and sliced the machine. With an added touch, she shouted, "THUNDER!" And a thunderbolt struck Eggman's machine.

"OWWW!" Eggman howled. "You little...!"

"Toasty!" Maya crowed.

"Taste this!" Tifa launched a combo of punches, with a final hit smacking Eggman in the face. In a furious rage, Eggman countered by grabbing Tifa and throwing her off to the side. Eggman marched and shot more rockets at Sonic and Rob, who both back-flipped away from the blasts. Rob roared and lunged for an attack, but only succeeded in poking Eggman in the stomach with his Keyblade, having no effect.

"Since you want to party, let's have a fiesta! Olé!" Dr. Eggman cheered as he smashed into Sonic with his boxing arm. The charging Tifa also met the boxing arm and had to take the resulting force with her all the way back about 20 feet and to the floor.

Rob jumped up and used another Keyblade combo on Eggman, knocking him back. Sonic recovered and used another homing attack. "Too bad, Egghead, we could've been friends!" Sonic joked as he dodged the resulting blasts of mini-rockets. Maya used a new Fire spell ("ROAST BACON!") to negate the charging rockets. Rob cleverly flipped Tifa over a wave of rockets and ducked to avoid getting hit himself. Tifa stomped on Eggman after landing on his mech. Tifa made a face and spanked her rear after avoiding Robotnik's attempt to grab her again.

"You brats won't defeat ME. Final Beam!" Dr. Eggman began to slowly power the HUGE cannon to fire it at our heroes. Surely, it would have annihilated them all, but Sonic bravely hopped in and smashed the cannon before it could fully fire.

"No! I've... failed," Dr. Robotnik cried as the mech short-circuited and blew up in his face. "You're going to pay for this, Sonic... I call upon the POWER of the Heartless! Finish... them..." Dr. Eggman fell unconscious.

For a few brief moments, our heroes stood in silence, considering celebration, but at this, they noticed a black mist sinking from Dr. Eggman. It fell to the floor, and swooped backwards into a statue of a giant knight with an axe. Without warning, the axe rose up and slammed about two centimeters from where Rob stood, and a huge, muscle-bound creature emerged from the very thin knight statue. Rob twitched in fear as the huge creature came to form. It had a rather small head resembling a metal chimney, bulbous yellow eyes poking from its dark face. Its large, blue body resembled that of a muscle-bound troll's.

"What the-What... are you?" Rob stared at it.

(So I am born... I am... Curmudgeon,) It rose to its full height-around twice the size of that of Eggman' s mech. It poised to fight.

Rob leaped and began to strike.

Curmudgeon took one mighty swing at Rob, who dodged by mere inches. Sonic hopped on its right arm and ran up the creature, landing a homing attack on its head. Annoyed by this, Curmudgeon turned around and attempted to render Sonic road kill, slamming the giant axe into the ground and causing the earth to shake.

Tifa used the force to project herself up and right into the face of the creature, where she used a triple kick. The doubly annoyed Curmudgeon flicked Tifa away with its large hands almost comically, a vein appearing to have popped on its head. The knocked-out Tifa crashed into the ground, and the hulking creature turned around to finish her off. Just as he was about to render her Kibbles and Bits, Sonic dashed and picked her up, narrowly dodging the falling axe. Maya used the force this time and leapt on the creature. "Rob!" She called. "Keyblade! Just let go!"

"What!" Rob exclaimed as he let go of the Keyblade while dodging the axe again. The Keyblade disappeared with a poof and reappeared in Maya's hands, where she proceeded to stab Curmudgeon in the face with it. Curmudgeon roared and tried to flick Maya off, but it only succeeded in damaging its own small head. Maya held on to his head as it went crazy.

"HELP!" She cried.

"We could sure use that!" Sonic mused as he dodged the mad axe.

Rob panted. This sucked. And he hadn't even begun.

Just as he tried to think of a way to save Maya, a marvelous, yet strange thing happened, although some people would call it a plot device.

A suit of bluish-white armor crashed in front of them in six pieces. The armor rattled, and then formed what looked like a Heartless knight.

The new creature leered at Curmudgeon through its metal helmet. (You chose the wrong Keyblade master to mess with. Rob, I'm about to launch you into it. Get your Keyblade back!)

"Maya! Drop the Keyblade!" Rob shouted.

"I... CAN'T!" She squealed. However, she managed to do so anyway, squealing some more in the process.

It appeared in Rob's hands again.

(Prepare for high speeds,) the armor "Heartless" said as it picked up Rob with its floating hands. They rocketed towards Curmudgeon's head, and with a wide sweep, Rob sliced the monster's head in two, although it didn't fall apart.

Curmudgeon stopped flailing. Rob picked up Maya just as it was about to fall. The monster toppled and crashed into the ground, and disappeared in a flash of darkness.

It was all over.

Tifa and Sonic came back, and the hands dropped Maya and Rob. However, it was the strange Heartless that first spoke. (Are you all right?)

"Aren't you a... Heartless?" Rob asked.

(I am and yet... I have conscious thought,) It answered. (You mean you don't notice my new crest and my sexy new armor? I'm known as Guard Armor. I used to lead attacks Traverse Town until I was defeated. Thanks to your own mother, though, I'm making my own decisions.)

"My mother's more influential than I thought," Rob nodded. "Thanks."

"Ugh..." Sonic noticed Eggman started to recover.

"Eggman!" Sonic dashed to him.

"What... was that?" Dr. Eggman asked. "Sonic... I can't believe I'm asking this... but did I hurt you?"

"Eh, not much," Sonic shrugged.

"That's IT!" He bellowed. "From now on, there will be NO evil forces I will manipulate for world domination except for my own robots! And until this Heartless menace is over, I'm joining sides with YOU!" He pointed a quivering finger at Sonic for dramatic emphasis.

"Glad to see that you can think," Sonic grinned. "That's a relief. Could you possibly help out Tails? He's trying to build a space craft to get back home."

"FINE. But first, what's that thing!" Dr. Eggman asked, pointing to Guard Armor.

"He is Guard Armor." Rob answered, and he explained about his mother and Guard Armor's past.

"Okay, so where's fox boy?"

"In the tool shed further up town. You won't miss it," Sonic answered.

"Very well. Our trip will be ready in a matter of 2 days or less." Dr. Robotnik hopped on his mech, doing quick repairs, and marched away to the tool shed.

"Wow. What a change of events," Rob noted.

"Yeah," Maya added. "What brought YOU down here?" she asked Guard Armor.

(As I said, your mother has some strong influences. But I've got this crest of the Soulless because that's what happens when a Heartless can think for its own: it takes the crest of its rival. Same goes for the Soulless critters themselves.)

"Waitwaitwait... what's a Soulless?" Rob asked.

(Ah, good question. Soulless are our opposites. They are born from souls and are made of light. Only what I know so far. But I've got other places to be. Remember, you're the one whose gotta put the races under control, along with Sora... Farewell...) It started to shake, then disappeared into thin air.

"So I've got a lot to learn, I guess. I suppose the trip's gonna be long. If what Guard Armor said is true, I'm going to be fighting all over the place." Rob turned to Sonic, Tifa, and Maya. " But most of all, I want to find my friends, my family. I'm only asking this once. I won't bother you if you decline, but I ask of you... will you help me?"

"YEAH!" Maya and Tifa cheered.

"HELL YES, I AM!" Sonic added. "We're guys and girls who love adventure and I'm sure not quittin' now!"

"All right then. How about we go fid Barret and see where we can train?" Rob offered.

"Yeah. Let's GO!"

As everyone dashed off back into town (read: Sonic leaving the girls in the dust), Rob calmly regarded the sunset. This was only a beginning. A VERY beginning. Before he made a futile attempt to catch up to Sonic, he whispered a little promise to the sky. "My friends... I won't give up. I WILL FIND YOU..." He shook his fist and sprinted away.
-
-
-

(You KNOW Sonic, and Tifa hails from FF7 (Yes, she’s wearing her Advent Children outfit). And if you haven’t figured it out, the scary villains with the ghost/skull mask is none other than Black Ghost, who hails from Cyborg 009. Ridley is from the Metroid series, Bowser is from Mario, Giovanni is from Pokémon, and Not my creations. BUT my original characters are:
Rob (Cygnus)
Maya
Ken Mira
Charlotte
Clara
Charles "Taz"
Reverend Mira
That's it, folks, stay tuned for Sora's entry into this madness!)

Legends-Kuja
15th August 2005, 12:13 PM
Episode 3: DUDE, Where's Sora?

(New point in disclaimer! I don't own Sora, the Enigmatic Man or anyone you've heard of! But I DO own Sara. Leave her alone. And just so you know, this is NOT based on Final Mix (because it occurs here)!)

It's time we answered that question.

Where the hell IS Sora, anyway?

It so happens that the original Keyblade master is back in Traverse Town. Taking a short break with his friends Donald and Goofy, Sora ordered their third round of root beer. Having taken a two-year vacation/training session in the Magic Kingdom, Sora aged only one year. That's when he caught the message Pluto held. It told him, with great relief, that the King and Riku had safely made it out to Little Planet, and they would meet soon. Unfortunately, King Mickey had also given the heads up that the Heartless had returned sooner than expected. That meant one thing.

Ansem was back.

The once kind king was now a cold, cruel, villain. This note proved Sora's attempt to defeat him was in vain. And worse yet King Mickey also noted there was a Keyblade of Darkness, and its wielder had just been awakened to its cause.

"This is gonna take us a while," Sora sighed. "I mean, although my friends are safe for now, evil hasn't even been fazed, and now there's some evil dude with a Keyblade like mine."

"Perhapsh we'll find someone shoon!" Donald said.

"Just how many evil folks are there?" Goofy asked.

"I honestly don't know..." Sora answered as he looked at them. "I've got a feeling though that we might be in over our heads this time around..." He turned to his right (Donald and Goofy were both to his left) to note a girl with short silver hair. She wore a simple black shirt, what LOOKED like a kilt (Sora couldn't tell what it was) and some boots. This girl was reminiscent of Riku, although her nose was bigger. This didn't strip her of any beauty, however. Sora, out of his friendly nature began to ask her a question. "What brings YOU here?"

She simply "hmphed" although a very small smirk appeared on her face. "Not your business," She stated calmly.

"Hey, hey! Just being friendly! " Sora whined.

"Well you can stop then," She retorted with a snide grin. "I have no need for over-friendliness. I've got business to take care of," She took a once-over of Sora, looking at his classic red and white jumpsuit with baggy shorts. "Speaking of which, what are you doing here?"

" Have you heard of Ansem?" Sora asked.

"What's that got to do with anything?" she asked.

"Everything. Ansem is the reason I'm out here. I beat him, and I was sent to find King Mickey. But he was safe, and now he tells us Ansem's out. That demon is the source of all Heartless."

"Ansem... that name's familiar to me... I think I remember him..." The girl pondered. "Father said something about Ansem falling to the darkness, but I wonder what drove him mad? The Heartless, yes, but I think there's more to it... But to answer your earlier question, I'm searching for a woman."

"A girl? Yeah... I'm trying to find one myself. She a friend of yours?"

"You could say that."

"A... romance?" Sora winked.

Big mistake.

She began to laugh darkly. With lightning speed, she pulled out a sword, shaped very thin and long, and pressed it to Sora's neck. "Your sense of intolerance/perversion does NOT amuse me. She is twice my age... more than that, actually. You will not ask such questions again," She stated.

"Sheesh, I was only asking..."

"HEY!" Donald shouted.

"Calm down!" Goofy shot at the girl.

"Hey! Chill out!" Shouted the bartender.

The girl pulled her sword back. "Very well. Name's Sara."

"Sora." They shook hands. He turned to his buddies. "They're Goofy and Donald."

They waved.

She nodded. "Ah, the other King's lackeys. Father told me about them. Well I suppose I could come with you..." she leaned in close and whispered. "Although, I suggest you leave them, they look rather weak..."

"Huh? Okay, lemme tell you a secret," Sora whispered back. As soon as Sara got close, Sora yelled, "THEY'RE MY FRIENDS! I'M NOT LEAVING THEM!"

Sara gritted her teeth from Sora's response. She then started laughing.

Sora got the sudden epiphany that he was very screwed.

In an instant, her blade was pointed at his neck. She stopped laughing, and snarled, "I don't enjoy when that happens. I think you need a lesson in manners... come with ME."

She grabbed Sora's ear and dragged him away, much to the horror of Goofy and Donald.

"She's getting away!" Goofy panicked.

"She won't! Letsh get her!" Donald roared.

The two left the bar in a mad hurry. It was then that the other five people at the bar began to talk.

"'Keyblade of Darkness,' eh? Sounds like a swell find." The first, a man in a brown leather jacket said.

"Hmmm... Something with a name like that could be dangerous in the wrong hands. We should probably procure it and find some way to dispose of it." A second voice spoke, a voice that belonged to a large Blastoise with a cybernetic left arm and a scar over his right eye. He seemed to be the human's companion. "We'd have to find out more about it first."

"Hey, slow down!" said the third, who seemed to be some sort of hellish-looking biker, "Why waste somethin' dat could be really powerful? Somethin' like dat could really help in this business."

"Yeah, besides, the damn thing could be worth a steal!" said the fourth, who appeared to be a red squirrel. The other four people stared at him blankly, to which the squirrel replied with a confused "What?"

"Hrmph...Who cares about a stupid key?" noted the fifth man, a bizarre looking pink creature with an antennae, "If I can't eat it, I don't want it!"

"Heh...even after a full dinner the only damn thing on your mind is food," commented the human, "Keep your appetite to yourself for a moment. Right now, we got ourselves a nice little opportunity. Let's go see who else is interested in this 'Keyblade.'"

All five of them rose up and left the bar.

-----

This sucked. Poor Sora was being dragged by the ear by some silver-haired freak not unlike an evil Riku. "LET ME GO!" Sora complained for the fifth time. "IF YOU DON’T, I'LL KICK YOUR ASS!"

"Really?" Sara let go of his ear and pointed her sword at his neck again in a matter of seconds. "Try me."

"How can I kick your ass if you're pointing that thing at my neck?"

"My point exactly." She went back to dragging Sora away.

"Where are we going, anyway?"

"If you must know, I'm taking you to the World Terminus on this planet so we can get to Hollow Bastion."

"Hollow Bastion?" Sora asked. This girl had picked up his interest already, even if she WAS kidnapping him.

"The Heartless are flooding the place. Somehow they are unable to consume the world's keyhole, and yet..."

"Why didn't you say so! You could've ASKED!" Sora shouted.

"You'll have to excuse my behavior then. This is a extremely dangerous undertaking; your friends are better off hunting for your king."

Sora just sighed. "Have it your way. But could you PLEASE stop dragging me?"

She reluctantly let him go, and he crashed into the earth. Sora got up, dusted himself off, and hesitantly followed Sara, not wanting to leave his friends.

Sara came to a sudden halt. Sora stopped as well. "What's wrong?"

"Something... dangerous is coming this way." She murmured, and she drew her sword.

"What?" Sora pulled out his Keyblade, but he saw nothing.

"BEHIND YOU," Sara warned. Sora whirled around to see a fading figure walk right... through him. Sora fell over in shock and his right eye began twitching as the figure came to a halt. Sora recovered and came to stare at this odd figure. He was now an apparently solid figure, a man completely shrouded by a dark gray hooded coat with a long zip, and two drawstrings hanging from the collar.

"What? Who are you?" Sora regarded his new foe with weary apprehension, having a loose grip on his Keyblade.

The being spoke, more or less like it had psychic power. However, it spoke very cryptically. (It seems you are special too.)

"King Ansem?" Sara asked.

(That is a familiar name to me...)

"You aren't, I guess," Sara kept her sword ready.

The Enigmatic Man's black gloved hand opened and a strange, blue light filled with a lattice of hexagonal shapes begins to fizzle in it. He turned in Sora's direction. (You look like him.)

"What's THAT supposed to mean!" Sora asked angrily. He then saw the energy and gasped. Bringing the Keyblade in front of him, Sora tried his best to block the insane amount of energy aimed directly at him. At first, he struggles, but eventually he holds steady and even pushes it away. It rockets off into the night sky.

The Enigmatic man appeared to be staring Sora down and thinking. After a slight pause he concluded. (Which means, you are not complete...)

Sora could only raise his eyebrow at this statement as he prepared his Keyblade. Sara prepared her sword as well.

The Enigmatic man "spoke", (Incomplete one... that power...) he stood. (Allow me to test that power.)

The hooded one struck first. A red energy sword formed and Sora had to pull a Matrix rip-off to narrowly avoid being sliced in half. Sara leapt over the Keyblade Master and struck with her sword, sending the Enigmatic man back a bit. A huge wall of blue energy formed, and Sara painfully crashed into it. She quickly recovered and backed away.

"He's tough..." Sara snarled and cursed.

"Right..." Sora lunged, and the hooded one dodged, but Sora whirled around quickly and caught him in a brutal Ars Arcanum combo. Sora reacted quickly enough to dodge several blasts of blue energy, but a red sword swipe knocks him off his feet, and he was forced to roll out of the way before a second one could crush him. Now shaking with not-quite-fear, Sora began to run towards the Enigmatic Man, but the hooded one sprinted towards him as well. Sora stopped and bounced back in alarm, but the Enigmatic Man did nothing...yet.

Sara leapt in and launched a five-hit parry against the Enigmatic man's onslaught. She backed away from the large energy shield he put up and lunged to strike once it fell, but she met not one but TWO red energy swords, which she could barely block. She crashed into the ground.

Sora stepped in this time and used a Sonic Blade to rocket to the other side of the man, then swept with another combo. The Enigmatic Man, however, grabbed him, and began to shock him with a steady stream of lightning. Sora screamed in pain, and although Sara tried to rescue him with a swift attack, the Enigmatic Man simply countered with a steady beam blast, knocking her away.

That's when Donald and Goofy struck.

A bolt of lightning crashed through the Enigmatic Man, making him release his grip on Sora. Goofy plunged like a wrathful angel from above and smashed into the hooded one. The lone man countered by expanding an energy field he used earlier, smacking duck, dog, and boy with key away.

However, by this time, Sara stood up. A single black wing extended from the right side of her upper back, flaring to its full size. "Flame Pillar," She echoed, as the walls of fire knocked the Enigmatic Man back into another combo pulled off by Sora. The hooded one dodged a swift attack made by Donald and used a red light sword to repel Goofy.

Sora gritted his teeth in rage. He had enough of this freak. Focusing his anger into an attack, he swung his Keyblade in a mighty arc and knocked the Enigmatic man away. The hooded one surrounded himself in a sphere of his blue energy as Sora and Sara stood back and kept their weapons ready. The Enigmatic man suddenly pushes away the energy and it dissipates.

(... Truly fascinating. This is going to be enjoyable.)

"What are you talking about?" Sora asked, wasting no time in hopping up to smash down the man one last time, but at the zenith of his jump, time appeared to suddenly stop. The man faded slightly. At this, Sora simply crashed right through him, and Sara raised an eyebrow in amusement.

Sora got up and shook himself off. He snarled at the Enigmatic man as the hooded one turned to Sora and began to speak. (In your present state you probably cannot understand... In any case, the time when we can meet again will doubtless come.)

"W-wait! Who are you--!" Sora asked as the man faded away.

(I am...) the man had completely faded away by this point. (... A mere shell...)

"A mere shell?" Sora whispered to himself. Sora turned to Sara, who was now laughing. Getting that distinct feeling that he was screwed again, his confusion turned to fear and he started to run away again. Donald and Goofy prepared to fight once more, but Sara simply said, "Wait...!"

Sora turned around. Normally, she only laughs as a warning that you pissed her off. What was this? "Hey Sara, what's with the One Winged Angel thing?"

"My father taught me those moves."

"What?" Sora, Donald, and Goofy paled. If this was the daughter of who he THOUGHT it was, he would be SOOOO dead... Sora asked, "Umm... have you seen your father lately?"

"No... Ever since King Ansem went mad, I've never seen him..." she sighed. "I hope that when we go to Hollow Bastion, we will meet again..."

"Okay..." Inwardly Sora panicked. He had nearly beaten the One Winged Angel himself in a tournament last year. And if he found his daughter with him... Sora paled at the very thought. Sora hoped for his sake that Sephiroth was calm, or sedated with lots of drugs. "But Sara... who WAS that guy? what did he mean 'You are not complete'?"

"I honestly don't know..." Sara answered. "For all I know... he could mean you have yet to reach the apex of your power..." She turned to Donald and Goofy, and gave a slight bow with a smirk. "I underestimated you. You impressed me back there. Forgive me for my actions."

"That's okay," Goofy admitted.

"Don't pull any more stunts like that!" Donald exclaimed. "You scared us!"

Sara sheathed her sword. "You'll have to be weary of things like that." She began to walk towards the World Terminus now found at the exit of the 1st District. "We've got little time. Our best bet is to move to Hollow Bastion as quickly as possible."

"Fine, let's go," Sora made his Keyblade disappear, and the four of them headed off towards a whole new challenge, unaware of a stranger in a hooded coat watching them leave...

-------

Rob gazed at the never-ending sunset. "So far away from home..." he sighed. Maybe there was hope that he could get home, but now... He had a long, long journey ahead. Although he aspired to "do anything" like Kim Possible, or kick major butt as a Teen Titan, he never imagined that the whole damn UNIVERSE would soon be clutching onto him and a select few heroes to save it from a terrible darkness. As he thought of his overdramatic summary of The Mess He Just Landed Himself In, he was faintly aware of a "Here!" shouted by Sonic. Rob snapped back into reality just in time to catch an odd pair of shoes. They were black and white high-tops, streaked with red, with what appeared to be some sort of jet boosters underneath.

"I want you to have these. The guys at G.U.N gave me this as a token of apology. But I don't need the speed boost. I thought you might like it better." Sonic explained. Rob threw off his old shoes and put them on. "These allow you to skate on energy to rocket at maximum speeds. You'll be ALMOST as fast as I am! Go on, knock yourself out!"

"Thanks." Rob said. He stood up and pressed in his right toe. The shoe surged to life, and Rob was flying uncontrollably into various walls, screaming "Ow!" every five seconds. Sonic smacked himself before running over to Rob, who had conveniently crashed himself into a garbage can.

"Hey, I didn't mean for you to take me seriously!" Sonic groaned as he pulled the weary Rob out of the garbage. "The G.U.N guy who told me about these shoes said to press it lightly and they should work like skates. Pressing it any harder makes it work more like a jetpack."

"NOW you tell me!" Rob muttered. He lightly pressed the shoe this time, and the shoes began to hover. Now that the shoes weren't trying to send a message to him by dumping him in local trashcans, Rob could now put his skating experience to work. He first started slow to get a feel for it; it felt like he was skating on air. He then poured on the speed, and the buildings began to become a blur. He now knew what it felt like to be Sonic.

And frankly, it felt good.

"I'm glad you enjoy it," Sonic grinned as he easily caught up to Rob.

"I owe you one, Sonic!" Rob beamed. They skidded to a halt. "You know, I'm feeling better about this. Maybe I won't screw up, and I can save the world just as good as any hero."

"Don't give up! It doesn't matter who's wrong or right, as long as the voice inside still drives you," Sonic gave a heartfelt poke to Rob's chest. "That's my motto."

"Well isn’t that sweet," A calm, somewhat sarcastic feminine voice answered right behind them.

"AIYAH!" Rob and Sonic jumped up in surprise, crashing down about 20 feet away from their original spot. They whirled around to leer at the person who had caught them by surprise. This person also wore a dark gray hood with drawstrings, not unlike the person Sora had met earlier this episode. Her face was not visible, but the two could tell that the girl was reasonably young.

"Who are you?!" Sonic shouted, assuming a fighting stance.

Rob conjured his Keyblade, ready to deal with this person.

"Ah, the other Keyblade master," the woman noted. She took off her hood, revealing a blond with strange blue eyes and shoulder length hair. Two strands of that hair stuck out, but curled back with the rest of it. The woman folded her arms. "You can call me Larxene. I just came to warn you."

"Warning?" Rob raised his eyebrow. The woman deeply reminded him of someone, but whom he couldn't place just yet. "What kind of warning?"

"I see you’re more interested in what presents a danger to you," Larxene's face contorted into a knowing grin. "Very well. Heed this well: the Light will resist you at all costs. For you, it is stronger than the Darkness. Don't fight it alone."

Rob carefully edged closer to Sonic. "Don't fight WHAT alone?"

"The other Keyblade master will not take kindly to you. He believes you to bring a harbinger of terrible destruction," Larxene answered. "He is stronger than you. It is best you not take him on alone."

"You sure about that!" Sonic challenged. "Last time I checked, he's a good guy! Why would we fight him!"

"Trust me, you’re probably too STUPID to understand right now... for now, it is best you stay clear..." Larxene winked at them and giggled a bit before she put back on the hood. "When you return to earth, your first order of business is to find out as much as you can about this war... it will do you good," she disappeared in a swirl of darkness, leaving our heroes to scratch their heads.

"Who WAS she?!" Rob made his Keyblade disappear. "She reminded me of Charlotte," he added with a grimace.

"Charlotte? If this Charlotte's anything like the girl we just met, I wouldn't put too much faith in her advice... unless she's quoting me!"

"Don't be a ham, Sonic," Rob admonished. "But you're right. Don't know what that Larxene's up to. But one thing she's right about: Earth has more answers."

"HEY YOU!" They whirled around to see Barret, Tifa's employer. The tall black man walked towards them. "Tifa says that Tails and the fat man ain't ready yet, but they got a 'unique' way to your home planet."

"What?! How?" Rob exclaimed.

"The Twilight Town Train can't just travel around town, it also travels between universes. I suggest you haul ass RIGHT NOW before you miss the next train to earth! Tifa and what's-that-girl's name ("MAYA!" Rob corrected.) are waitin' for y'all!"

"WHAT?!" Sonic panicked. "What are we wasting time for! Let's GO!" He grabbed Rob and began to speed away.

Rob and Sonic headed to the train, ready for their first true adventure.

-
-

(Those five people in the bar are based on a perfect team made by my friend, consisting of several borrowed characters what would NEVER share a universe together-maybe the Blastoise and the demon biker, but almost no similarities. You're not supposed to know who they are... yet.)

Zcade0
15th August 2005, 08:08 PM
I am looking forward to reading this. I was reading it when I wasn't a member so I am caught up already. Can't wait till you get more up.

Legends-Kuja
16th August 2005, 11:54 AM
Episode 4: Compromise

(Note: Pokémon haters and fans alike beware these next chapters. Standard disclaimer applies.)

"So where's our destination?" Asked Rob to the attendant of the train.

"We'll be arriving at Viridian City in Kanto shortly." The attendant responded.

"Good enough. We can make plans from there," Rob crossed his arms.

"Dr. Eggman says the ship's not ready yet, and he and Tails'll meet us down there," Sonic said. He turned and looked out of the window, seeing that they appeared to be traveling through some sort of warp. "I don't know where Earth is compared to Twilight Town, so I'm clueless as to how long Egghead will take."

The train slowly rolled to a stop. The door opened, and the attendant said, "Welcome to Viridian City. As it is nighttime, please seek out a Pokémon Center."

The door opened, and our heroes stepped out of the train into a subway. Sonic nodded towards the attendant with a "Thanks," before leaving with the rest of the group. The cool, brisk air assaulted them before they even stepped outside.

Rob took a precursory glance around the streets of the suburban community. "This place looks barren..."

"No worries!" Sonic boasted. "We're the good guys; we can beat any Heartless that come our way!"

"I hope you're right..." Tifa added as they began to move.
Rob landed on the ground and started skating. The feel of speed was great, although Sonic still bested him. Maya simply hung onto him, as she was slower than either one. Tifa hung on to Sonic.

With a sudden flash of darkness, some Heartless appeared.

"Heartless!" Shouted Sonic.

But these weren't your ordinary heartless. Rather, they were Pokémon. A pack of Sneasels, to be exact. The blue creatures leapt up and tried to slash down Rob. Sonic, however countered their appearance and smashed into two of them with a homing attack, killing them instantly. Tifa bounced backwards and let a Sneasel have it with a well-placed kick.

"Fire!" Maya shouted, a radical burst of flame killed another Sneasel. Rob simply countered the attacks with combos.

"Hmph... we better keep an eye out." Rob said. Rob and Sonic continued to skate through the dark of night in Kanto. The moon was out in full, however, lighting the way from our heroes.

More Sneasels appeared. However crows escorted them. Murkrows, to be exact.

"These guys are persistent..." Sonic muttered. Rob slashed them down, and Sonic kept using his homing attack on them. Despite Rob's powerful Keyblade, Sonic usually killed them faster.

Maya and Tifa were also putting up quite a fight. Knowing the creatures feared fire and thunder, they teamed up and used either element to get rid of them easily. Tifa launched a fire kick combo, frying another Sneasel. As Maya downed the last Murkrow, she asked, "In what direction exactly are we going?"

"...Good question." Rob muttered.

"YOU MEAN WE'RE WANDERING ABOUT AIMLESSLY?!" Roared Sonic. Rob just nodded.

"Well, crap... At least we're fighting Heartless, so we CAN'T be far off from the right trail, right?" Maya asked.

"I suppose..." Sonic muttered, disappointed that they weren't really going anywhere. However they spotted something in the distance. "What's that place?" Sonic asked.

"It's the Pokémon Center!" Maya exclaimed. "And look, it's still open! Maybe we could get a place to stay!"

"Wow, this place is pretty big..." Tifa marveled at the sheer size of the center, easily dwarfing the many houses nearby it. A sudden flash of darkness erupted right behind them, and Rob turned to see a giant horde of Sneasels and Murkrows. The other three turned to witness this awful sight, and all four paled. Rob snarled, and began to back away.

"Wish we could join the party," Sonic cracked before turning tail. "But we gotta split!"

"AUUUUGGGGHHH!" Rob and Maya squealed as all four tore towards the Center. The horde made pursuit, but luckily our heroes were far too fast.

The door slid open, and a young lady with pink hair looked out. Spotting our heroes, she instructed, "Quickly! Come inside!"

"Not fast enough for ya?!" Sonic, Rob, Tifa, and Maya showed up right behind her, and the pink-haired lady flipped a switch, and a steel reinforcement slid down in front of the door, letting the Pokémon horde crash right into it. She breathed a sigh of relief and turned to our heroes.

"Are you okay? What are you people doing out on this time of night?" She asked.

"We came here tracking down Heartless activity..." Rob read her nametag and tried to address her properly. "... Nurse Joy... Unfortunately, we encountered those Pokémon instead... What kind were THEY?"

"Those two were Sneasel and Murkrow..." They turned to see a man, looking to be in his late fifties. He sported a lab coat, red shirt and brown pants. He had just shut a book he held in his left hand. He showed pictures of the two Pokémon they saw outside. "Those two Pokémon normally don't live in this area, but their presence multiplied right after the Heartless began attacking Earth."

"I see..." Rob said.

"HEY WAITASECOND," Sonic held up a hand. "I think I know you... Professor Oak, I resume?" (A/N: This is a multi-verse Earth, and Sonic is well connected...)

"That's correct!" Professor Oak answered, happily taken aback (if that's even possible) by this question. He studied Sonic. "I think by your appearance, you must be Sonic the Hedgehog, aren't you?"

"You've heard of me?" Sonic asked.

"Who hasn't? You saved the world twice!"

"I wish I could again, I've got no idea how to repulse the Heartless invasion..."

"I believe that must take a team effort," Professor Oak said thoughtfully. "It will take some time before we keep the Heartless from tearing the Earth apart. Excuse my manners, who are your friends, Sonic?"

"My name Rob," Rob said, shaking hands with Professor Oak.

"I'm his twin sis Maya," Maya chirped.

"I'm Tifa," Tifa introduced herself.

"I'm glad to meet you all." Professor Oak said with a quick nod. "As you all know, the Heartless have been attacking planet Earth for around two weeks now. As it's understood, they appear to be connected with the metaphysical Hearts of not just people and Pokémon, but of this planet as well. They seek to corrupt these Hearts and plunge them into darkness..."

Rob nodded in understanding, even though most of this wasn't new to him. Sonic simply continued to stare at Professor Oak, ready for any information he could gather. Professor Oak continued. "Speaking of that," he opened his book and pulled out some notes. "A man named Ansem stopped by here..."

"Ansem?" Maya asked remembering what the Heartless said to her.

"Yeah, we got a mention of him," Rob added. "What did he do?"

"I talked with him for quite a while, asking him all he knew of the Heartless," Professor Oak responded. "He explained all of his research, how the Heartless had corrupted him for some time, and what he knew of the answers... but the most intriguing thing would be the Soulless. They have emerged, but what side are they on? What he knows so far of the Soulless specifically are in these notes..." He handed them to Rob, and the four heroes crowded around Rob to read it.

-
The Soulless is an interesting race. Some Soulless I've seen keep a human appearance, only lacking a soul, or perhaps having it filled with light. Others I've seen mirror a drive like the Heartless... they flood the Soul with light and create more Soulless. These forms of Soulless either have no mind or are under the control of something greater. To this day I have yet to find what happens to the discarded bodies and minds of those who lose Heart or Soul...

Another thing about this world is the "Pokémon" phenomenon. They are connected to the Heartless and Soulless somehow... I noticed the "dark" type of Pokémon follows the Heartless closely, while the "Dragon" type follows the Soulless...
-

"That makes sense... But I've yet to see an evil Soulless..." Rob said. Out of the corner of his eye he saw a man walk by. This man was in a brown and black striped suit, and his face seemed to have a look as cold and evil as a deranged wizard. Rob got the feeling he wouldn't like that guy, so he shivered and muttered, "Or maybe I just did..."

"What? WHERE?!" Maya and Sonic looked around.

The man Rob saw was gone, so Rob simply shook his head and said, "Never mind, I'm going delusional from lack of sleep."

"There's another room upstairs where you can sleep," Nurse Joy offered.

"Thanks... maybe Tails and Eggman don't know where we are?" Maya asked Sonic.

"Their fault they had to stay back an make a ship, but I think I'll give them a call," Sonic dashed away. Rob snickered and turned to Nurse Joy and Professor Oak.

"Nice talking with you two... I'm horribly tired, so I need a rest. See you in the morning," Rob yawned and left upstairs. Tifa and Maya followed suit.

Professor Oak sat down, thinking about his conversation with Ansem. About two minutes later, however, a Chansey came in. It had the appearance of a big, pink egg with pink dreadlocks and a pouch where another egg sat. This Chansey wore a nurse hat, so when it approached Professor Oak, shouting "Chansey! Chansey!" He rose immediately.

"Did the girl you found awaken yet?" He asked.

"Chansey!" It nodded.

Nurse Joy and Prof. Oak wasted no time in following it over to a caring unit, where the girl rested. Now, however, she was wide awake and horribly confused. "Where am I?"

"You're in the Viridian City Pokémon Center," Nurse Joy answered calmly. "It was too dangerous to take you to a real hospital, so we took you here... are you all right?"

"Yeah..." She said.

"What is your name?" Professor Oak asked.

"...Clara," The girl answered.

-------------

"Bye Sonic!" Tails said before he hung up the phone. "We've got coordinates, so we can land now!"

"How I hate that hedgehog," Eggman muttered, bringing the ship closer to the Pokémon Center. Tails gave him a look. "I mean, at TIMES... Tails, didn't we whip up a security system at some point? How do we activate it?"

"Oh, man, where IS it?" Tails dug through a compartment, closed it in frustration and opened another one. "AHA! Here it is!" He pulled out a remote. "This button here," he pointed to a red one. "Thing is, we have to be out of the ship..."

They came into view of the Pokémon Center. Tails stared in awe, but Eggman only looked on listlessly. "Tails... what was that?" Eggman whispered.

"Huh?" Tails took a further look. He saw several people hop in from the roof. Tails sweat-dropped and his eyes shrank. "That can't be good..."

"They were expected..." Eggman stated plainly.

"How do you know that?"

"Why else would this happen RIGHT AFTER Sonic declared everyone went to sleep? There are better times to rob this place, like BEFORE THEY SHOWED UP."

Tails blinked. Then he shouted "CALL SONIC IMMEDIATELY!"

"I'm on it!" Eggman pulled out a receiver.

--------------

"Is it here?" A red-haired youth asked, searching a computer.

"Is it there?" A blue-haired youth asked, searching through an office.

"IS IT ANYWHERE?" A talking cat with a gold charm on its head and an overly large mouth bellowed as he threw some papers up in frustration.

"SHUT UP, MEOWTH!" The two youths shouted.

"Calm yourselves," Giovanni came in with Professor Oak and Nurse Joy, who were both bound and... nervous. Team Rocket nevertheless strained to avoid panicking at the sight of their boss. Giovanni put the two in a corner and went to Jesse and James.

"You're doing good so far... I KNEW that kid could reduce any Rocket to bumbling fools like you... I have Ansem's notes, so you can stop messing this place up, I paid for this you know. If I'm correct, Rob and his cronies should be here any minute. Then we can put this 'Soulless' thing to the test. And of course, if things go wrong, there's always Darkside, and our trump card," Giovanni's Umbreon came in, with Clara on top of him. Her hands and feet were bound behind her back. Thick gray tape was over her mouth, and one close enough could hear soft mewing sounds. She barely moved, however.

(Rob could be desperate enough... sources say he knows this girl.) Umbreon stated.

"So what do we do?" James, the blue-haired youth asked.

"You will distract the fools while I prepare a mano a mano with Rob," Giovanni instructed.

(Team Rocket is ready. Should you induce a quick failure or the heroes pull a surprise attack, we'll have enough time.) Umbreon winked, and picked up Clara by running under her and scampering off to the back.

"I trust you'll keep everyone else out of the way... there's no worries with the Ash boy, he's halfway across the globe." Giovanni grinned and stepped off into the shadows.

Jesse, the red-haired youth, looked back as Giovanni left. She sighed. "Too bad. I wanted something more to do than to just be a diversionary tactic, but I guess the boss knows best," Jesse pulled up her sleeves. "Besides, my dark powers could use a warm-up!"

"Why, there goes Rob now..." Giovanni whispered, almost to himself, as he left the room. "Stall the others as well as possible... Rob is mine..."

"It's all over for you fools now..." James grinned evilly.

----------------

RING RING RING

Rob woke up to the sound of a ringing communicator. It wasn't his, though, it was Sonic's, and despite the ringing, Sonic still snored away. Rob grumbled and answered it.

"Hello?" He ventured.

"SOMEONE EVIL IS IN THE BUILDING!" Tails's voice rang in his ears.

"Oh, CRAP..."

---------------

Rob, Sonic, Tifa, and Maya hurtled down the stairs. The urgent message from Tails showed that something wicked was brewing right under their noses.

Rob came to the main large foyer, and saw that the lights were off and silence took residence. He wearily looked around. "The lights here are usually on no matter what... something's deathly wrong..."

"Death will probably be the LEAST of YOUR worries!" A snide, New York-accented voice echoed.

"Prepare for trouble!" One voice boomed.

"And make it double!" Another echoed.

"To protect the world from devastation!"

"To unite all peoples within our nation!"

"To denounce the evils of truth and love!"

"To extend our reach to the stars above!"

"Jesse." A spotlight turned on, and Jesse appeared.

"James." Another spotlight came on, and James appeared.

"TEAM ROCKET, blasting off at the speed of light!"

"Surrender now or prepare to fight!"

"MEOWTH! That's right!" Meowth appeared, and all the lights came on.

"Wobbuffet!" The blue Pokémon appeared from out of nowhere.

Jesse groaned.

The good guys just blinked, utterly disturbed by the introduction. "Hey, uhh... doesn't your motto sound a LOT like a good guy's motto?" Sonic asked.

"QUIET, YOU," Jesse roared. "You fools are in the way of our grandiose plan to flood the world in darkness! So we're going to terminate you!"

Rob, however, had not paid attention to the entire thing. His Keyblade was spazzing out and an awfully familiar voice was begging for help. (Please... someone help me! I'm lost... I didn't ask to be terrorized by these forces of evil! Please... help!)

Some words came to his mind. I'll save you... as long it takes...

"It... it IS! CLARA!" Rob bellowed. To add to his high emotion, he also saw the man he'd seen earlier, looking as evil as ever... RIGHT AT HIM.

"Huh?" Rob took everyone aback with his random outburst.

"OUTTA THE WAY, FREAKS! I'M GOING TO RESCUE CLARA!" Rob bellowed, skating at maximum speed and passing a very confused Team Rocket. The man simply left, having expected this.

"How did he...?" Jesse blinked.

"CRAP!" Meowth exclaimed. "It's the trump card! He went straight after it!"

"Umm hello?" James interjected. "That's a GOOD thing."

"Trump card?" Tifa raised her eyebrow. She dropped to a whisper. "It's a setup! Maya! Sonic! Can you distract Team Loser? I've got to help Rob!"

"We'll handle these freaks," Sonic grinned, getting into a fighting stance.

"I think they're not even worth the dirt on my feet!" Maya taunted, as Tifa sneaked away to find Rob.

"Feh, without your Keyblade master, you simply guarantee your defeat, brats!" Jesse sneered. "It's all over for you! Taste the power of darkness! Arbok! GO!"

"Weezing! GO!" James added. They both summoned two Pokémon. One had the appearance of a large, purple cobra, its chest holding a giant Heartless symbol. Weezing was simply a really ugly floating... thing with holes all over its floating body, and three heads. Each of its holes emitted poisonous gases of all types. "Weezing! Sludge Bomb!"

"Arbok! Poison sting!" Jesse bellowed.

"I DON'T THINK SO!" Sonic dashed right by the Pokémon, being too fast for them to hit. Maya unleashed a Thunder attack, striking both. Sonic dodged Arbok's tail, punching it in the gut and sending it flying. Weezing tried to hit Sonic with another Sludge Bomb, but it failed. Sonic punched it, but unlike Arbok it was far more resilient.

"Weezing, Smokescreen!" James commanded.

"WEEZING!" The Pokémon cried, spreading its noxious gas all over the place. Sonic and Maya could barely see, as Jesse and James prepared a surprise attack.

"I think WE wanna have fun NOW!" Jesse sneered. She cupped her right hand, and Dark energy formed. She chucked it at Sonic, and its jagged path made it hard to counter.

"Sonic watch out!" Maya said, but it was too late. The dark energy smashed Sonic, and the blue hedgehog was sent fifty feet.

Sonic cursed and recovered. "ARGH! That was the last time!"

"We'll see about that," Jesse taunted as she threw another Shadow Ball, but Sonic already had an idea.

Ducking to avoid the energy Sonic then hopped up and raced around in a tight circle. Eventually the smoke was absorbed in Sonic's newly formed tornado. Weezing was sucked in, as well as Wobbuffet, and James could only stare in horror. "My Weezing!" he cried.

"Curse you!" Jesse roared as she charged Sonic. The blue hedgehog coolly clotheslined Jesse and flipped her on the floor. She instantly recovered.

"I HAVE FURY!" Jesse bellowed. Sonic easily dodged the giant Shadow Ball and swept Jesse again. Maya sneered as she took on Meowth.

"I'll own you!" Meowth said as he used Crunch.

Maya back-flipped and kicked Meowth away. Sonic chucked James into the tornado, which was still going strong, and it eventually picked up Jesse and Arbok as well. Sonic stood back and admired his handiwork.

"Sweet, no?" he grinned.

"I'll make it sweeter. THUNDER!" Maya shouted, shocking all inside the tornado. Team Rocket's squeals could be heard as the lightning pierced their hides, and the tornado stopped, blowing up Team Rocket for no apparent reason.

"You may have won this round, but we'll be back!" Jesse cried weakly.

"It's too late to assist your Keyblade master, in truth, we WON!" Meowth cackled.

"It looks like Team Rocket is blasting off once again!" They all cried as they disappeared with a ding ("Wobbuffet!" Wobbuffet added.).

Sonic saw Nurse Joy, who had calmly watched the battle tied to a chair. "Thank you for rescuing me, but I'm afraid this whole center is in danger!" she said as Sonic easily sliced off the blades.

Sonic also rescued Professor Oak. "A girl named Clara had been taken to the back room, and the Pokémon here have all been looted by Team Rocket! Please save them!" He cried.

"I think Rob's on it, ma'am," Maya said. "But we'll clean up what he leaves behind!"

"You're okay, right?" Sonic asked both Nurse Joy and Professor Oak, who nodded. "Okay, I bet Rob, Tifa, and whatever Pokémon that are left need our help, and FAST!" Sonic grabbed Maya and zipped away.

-------------------
Rob tore through the back halls of the large Pokémon center. Here he could see strange men in suits with a red letter "R" stealing Pokéballs and hacking data off of computers. Rob desired to stop their evildoing ways, but the most important thing on his mind was Clara. Unfortunately, he wasn't exactly silent.

"It's the kid, GET HIM!" the Rockets bellowed.

Rob had no time to fool around with these losers. He snarled and smacked two away with his Keyblade and flipped another.

"Rob, watch out!" He heard Tifa. He whirled around just in time to dodge a real rocket from one of the grunts. The explosion shattered a bit of the wall and produced thick smoke.

Big mistake.

Tifa hopped right in with a flying kick and broke the grunt's jaw, sending him some good fifteen feet away. Rob sliced through a wave of grunts. "Let's go, Tifa..." he picked up her hand and sped away into a back room, where he saw the man he had chased finally come to a complete stop.

And there, sitting bound and gagged behind him, was Clara.

"You... who are you?" Rob sneered. Tifa punched her other hand and cracked her fists menacingly.

"I am an important man around these parts," Giovanni grinned, still not revealing his name. "But of course, what you REALLY want to know is why I have your precious friend, and most yet, how do I KNOW that she is one of your precious friends..." Giovanni stepped forward. "But if you truly want to rescue your friend... you will open your Heart to the Darkness, and tell me how to control these new... Soulless..."

"What?!" Rob shot back. "I DON'T EVEN KNOW WHAT THEY LOOK LIKE! You've got the wrong man to control the Soulless!" He held up the Keyblade as he said this, and it glimmered. "You WILL let Clara go, whoever the hell you are!"

In the distance, Giovanni saw something... spinning out of the window, like a pinwheel, and heading straight towards them. It shattered the glass and opened up right in front of Rob. The towering creature had six arms, two large, hooked swords, a cobra's head, and a large, mechanical body. Near the bottom of its torso, a cloth showed an unusual crest... the SAME crest as the Guard Armor Rob saw. The biomechanical creature roared and came to face Rob and Tifa.

(Another Keyblade Master... you finally show yourself,) it said. (Allow me to test your powers...)

"I'm sort of in the middle of a conversation here?" Rob gestured.

"No... go on! This is most interesting... I'll just sit back and watch the show..." Giovanni grinned.

The creature raised its two swords and roared again.

A name came to Rob...

"You must be... Kurt Zisa..." Rob whipped out his Keyblade, and leapt up to attack.

Kurt Zisa twirled one sword and sliced the air, and Rob could barely block the blow. In fact the attack knocked him back a few feet and caused him to stumble onto the floor. Tifa rolled under the second swipe it made and punched it square in the gut. It bounced backwards, but used its swords to smash her away. When Rob swept in to attack, Kurt Zisa twirled its swords around itself in rapid fashion like a fan, and Rob was also knocked away.

As Rob struggled to stand up, Kurt Zisa raised its swords. Rob back-flipped just in time to avoid being smashed by the weapons. It hopped into the air and crashed next to Tifa, who took advantage of its recovery time and smashed it with a Dolphin Punch.

(AUGH! URRGGHGH... That's cheap!) It snarled, as it twitched like a malfunctioning robot. Tifa leapt up to hit it again, but Kurt Zisa grabbed her by the arm at the last minute. It slung her away and she crashed head first into a wall. Tifa fell unconscious.

"Tifa!" Rob shouted.

(Do not worry... she's alive... This was supposed to be a fight between you and me anyway...) Kurt Zisa lunged at Rob, who jetted backwards to avoid being hit. Rob then reversed direction and smacked it in the face. Kurt Zisa launched a direct combo with its swords and Rob strained to parry them all. The last strike blew Rob away, and he forced a quick recovery to avoid the lunging sword that crashed below him. Rob hacked at the creature's stomach again, but Kurt Zisa simply picked him up and threw him in the sky.

(Surprise,) The monster fired a white beam from its mouth at the airborne Rob.

"Ay, CRAP!" Rob jerked his body and the attack missed by only millimeters. As Rob began his descent to the ground, he whipped out his Keyblade again and held it tight. "Here goes..." He began to pour on the speed, and landed a strike right on the back of the creature. He landed, and looked back to observe Kurt Zisa.

The creature staggered and turned around. (Amazing... just one full day on the job and you're already that strong... you truly are worthy of the Keyblade you hold.)

"What IS it with people trying to see if I'm worthy of the Keyblade?!" Rob roared, throwing up his hands.

(I can see I wasn't the first, but I won't be the last. This man still has questions to answer, but I can't do much to help you here. But mark my words,) It turned away. (I'll be back...) Kurt Zisa turned into a pinwheel and flew away. Rob blinked, and went to Tifa.

"Interesting... so that Keyblade can attract a Soulless, hmm?" Giovanni stood and walked back to Clara. "But what if... someone was MADE Soulless? how does that Keyblade react THEN?" Tifa began to stir. Rob did NOT like how Giovanni kept glancing between him and Clara. Giovanni continued. "I believe a test is in order."

A pool of darkness formed. And from that pool of Darkness, one being emerged.

Darkside.

"Father..." Rob gripped his Keyblade.

(We meet again. Tell me now, do you know the full powers of your Keyblade?) Darkside rose to his full height-quite difficult but still possible in the building. (We will see. What is... a mindless Soulless?) Darkside suddenly whipped around and poked a finger right through... Tifa. Rob could only watch in horror and shock as Darkside ripped out... her soul.

"WHAT?! NOO!" Rob turned from shock to anger and he tore straight to his dad like a bat out of hell. "GIVE THAT BACK!" But Darkside predicted this, and smashed Rob away with his other hand.

Darkside held the Soul. He only watched as Tifa's body became completely white and elastic, and her body and Heart began to fade away. Her Heart still fading, a white creature emerged, its head covered in a white cloth and the Soulless symbol right on top. The "evil" Soulless had emerged.

Giovanni only laughed cruelly. "Ah, what a sight THIS is... you've already given up?" He looked at Tifa, or what was left of Tifa. "Look at this, I think she's becoming an INVISIBLE!" He continued to laugh cruelly.

Rob fell. But a voice sounded.

(You're not fun anymore, Bob.)

"Huh?" Rob said as a reaction.

(It's not too late... Destroy that thing, and reunite Tifa's Heart with her body. I can't have you an emotional wreck before I take your blood...)

"CHARLOTTE?" Rob roared.

(Time is not on your side, Bob... The Dusk awaits you.)

"YOU WILL NOT CALL ME BOB!" Rob roared as he turned to attack Tifa's former soul. The Dusk, as Charlotte referred to it, had an elastic body which made it hard to hit. The Dusk twisted around and proceeded to deliver a powerful scratch to Rob's back. Rob flinched with pain, but he stopped and focused, pretending it was Charlotte, still messing with him. He swung his Keyblade out. "YOU..." He struck again with each syllable. "WILL... NOT... CALL... ME... BOB!" The last blow destroyed the creature, and the soul flew away, until a dark purple swipe seemed to make it disappear. Rob's father had made no motion, so he deducted another force was at work. Rob touched Tifa's Heart with the Keyblade, darkness flowing from it, and gently melded it inside of her body.

Giovanni blinked. Did he really pass that test?

Darkness formed under Clara, and STILL bound and gagged, she sank into it.

"AIEEE!" Rob dashed to save her, but that same voice echoed in his head. (I think she is a much safer damsel-in-distress with me. Until I have your blood, I'm keeping your girlfriends out of the battlefield. Farewell, Sir Bob...) Rob stopped stomped his foot, comically cried, and bit his shirt in frustration.

Giovanni looked on at Rob's now pathetic state; Tifa's solid form now had a small Soulless crest emblazoned on her forehead. "A most... interesting change in events," he looked to see that Clara was now gone. "Now I see what the Soulless are... ROB!" Rob stopped crying and leered at Giovanni with a straight face, Keyblade in hand. "I think we can call this one a draw... I got what I want, you received what YOU wanted... a little compromise. I have a feeling we shall meet again..." Giovanni sank into darkness, and only Darkside remained.

(You hold a power in your hands,) Darkside spoke, but Rob dared not attack. (Pure control over darkness. You have yet to develop these powers, but as they grow, your side will become clearer. You cannot deny destiny...)

"But whose side will I be on?" Rob asked coolly.

(That would be your choice, but I suggest you follow me. Your mother has little grasp over the extent of you and Sora, and your importance. She knows not all the answers...) Darkside sank into the ground in another pool of Darkness, and he was gone.

Rob thought... is there something my mom isn't telling me?

"ROB!" Sonic burst in, looking around. "What happened? Who's CLARA?! She one of your friends?" Sonic looked at Tifa. "What happened to Tifa?" Maya walked in, dizzy from Sonic's super speed.

"Team Rocket's gone now!" She slurred before fainting.

Rob looked at his sister emotionlessly as he answered Sonic's last question. "Tifa?" Rob asked, as if the name meant nothing. "Tifa... she's... her soul is gone now..."

-
-
-
Wanna know why Wobbuffet always interjects TR's motto? Wobbuffet's Japanese name loosely translates to "That's right."

Legends-Kuja
20th August 2005, 11:42 PM
Business as usual...

Episode 5: Voice of the Forest
(A/N: Don't own Pokémon 4ever or anything from it! I just rearranged the plot to fit the story!)

"Is she gonna be okay?" Maya asked Rob anxiously.

"Not a clue," Rob sighed. The team of six (Rob had to carry Tifa, and considering she’s twice his size AND has some muscle, that was a pain.) had finally boarded the ship after assisting repairs to the Pokémon Center. They waved bye to Professor Oak and Nurse Joy as Rob continued. "Something swiped her soul before it disappeared. I want some answers."

"Maybe mom has some answers?” Maya suggested.
Rob’s eyes widened with the suggestion of an idea. “YES! Maya! You’re a genius! Tails, don’t go anywhere yet?”

"What?" Tails asked.

"I need to speak with someone..." Rob quickly hopped on top of the ship. He focused and raised his Keyblade into the air. Perhaps if he called out to that one anti-Soulless that helped him… Rob was pleased when Guard Armor crashed down in front of him.

(You called?) It asked.

"How do I get to the Heart of Darkness? I need to speak to my mom, I’ve got... a lot of questions," Rob groped for the right words.

(EASY!) In one fell swoop, Guard Armor knocked Rob and Maya unconscious. Ignoring the shocked faces, Guard Armor put Rob back in the ship and said to Tails, (I love doing that. You can take off now, I SWEAR they're okay.)
------------
Rob came to in the Heart of Darkness... the Dream World. "Ow..." he complained. He looked around. He remembered this place... when Darkside sank him, he came here although he body wound up in Traverse Town. He saw Maya in a corner, punching the wall and marveling at its bouncy resilience. Rob saw Tifa’s soul hovering, and it seemed to be combined with her Heart.

Tifa blinked. She then turned to Rob. "This is the Dream World?"

"Guess so... Your soul wound up here?”
“Yeah... Your mom pulled my Heart and Soul together here.”
“That explains a lot. HEY YOU," He switched his attention to Guard Armor, who was staring down Kurt Zisa, while a man with spiky blonde hair, a red cape and a demonic appearance simply shook his head. He got the attention of all three. "Nice way to send us here!" He snapped at Guard Armor.

(Hey, I was NICE,) Guard Armor said. (Kurt Zisa probably would've killed you.)

Kurt Zisa simply stared at Guard Armor and his preposterous claim.

(Now boys, play nice...) Ms. Benton's spectral form appeared. Having the vague outline of a human bathed in darkness, she looked at her son with adoring yellow eyes. (I know all of you came for answers, or as best answers I can give you.)

"Hi mom!" Rob returned happily.

"Hi mom!" Maya added.

"Isn't this heartwarming..." The blond man remarked in earnest. He however, stepped up to Ms. Benton. "However, what I came to ask, is what does it mean to be Soulless? Or better yet, what ARE the Soulless?"

Tifa looked back at the blond man. "Could it be...?"

(Soulless. those without Souls... just as Heartless are without hearts. I must explain the spiritual body first. The human existence is split into four sections: the mind, the body, the soul, and of course the Heart. Normal humans, when they die, their body ceases to exist, the soul imbibes the knowledge within the mind and both the soul and the heart is carried away by the Heartless. This was back before they were corrupted.)

"So that's what I heard," the man said.

(Yes. The Heartless are pure darkness, created to carry out task without emotion, like robots. However, somehow, evil seeped within them and now they crave hearts to give them power. As they flood and destroy planets, the Soulless are trying to stop them.)

"But all I’ve seen are the evil Soulless," Rob stepped up. "Mom, what ARE they? It's the reason why Tifa... nearly lost her soul in the first place."

"Tifa..." The man chanted her name, as if trying to remember what it meant.

(I should've told you this a long time ago. It was something your father knew before I did. The Soulless are an opposite force of the Heartless, pretty much to counterbalance their existence. As a result, their nature is the exact opposite of the Heartless: they crave light, and seek to flood worlds with it much like the Heartless do with Darkness. Too much light is just as dangerous as too much darkness. To tell you the truth, I’m much closer to a Soulless than I am a Heartless.)

"WHAT?!" Rob and Maya blinked, utterly shocked.

(Yes. He does have his heart, but it is lost in darkness. I have suffered a similar fate. It is why I too have the appearance of a Heartless, even though I am only Soulless. This also explains the extent of my powers. You wondered how your father managed to transform Tifa's soul into that thing, did you not?)

"YOU SAW THAT?!" Rob's jaw hit the floor, and she nodded sadly.

(We are still connected. The Dusk are a form of the Soulless, and I have seen, I’ve underestimated his powers.)

"If that's so, then why aren't you evil? ARE you evil?" Maya asked.
“The Dusk,” Rob thought aloud. “Charlotte said something about them. Maybe that’s why she was so damn crazy that night...”

(I'm not evil only because we have trusted each other with our Hearts... I can't say anymore now, but it will come to you soon.)

"I see, so far..." Rob said.

Ms. Benton suddenly turned her attention to the blond man and Tifa, even though they were apart. (Sir Cloud... Tifa... you two are new, aren't you? I can repair your souls, but they will not be as fully attached as they once were, so be careful. You will also bear the Soulless emblem. However, there will be benefits... benefits you’ll have to discover on your own.) She twirled her hands, and a white flash overtook both Cloud and Tifa, and their transparency faded. They looked about as solid as anyone else in the room. When Cloud recovered, he turned to see Tifa, and Tifa back to Cloud.

"It's you, isn't it?" Tifa said.

"Tifa?" Cloud asked. They hugged fiercely, and Ms. Benton had to smack Guard Armor for making excessive gagging sounds. "How long has it been?"

"Too long... did you ever find Aeris?"

"I did, but we were separated again..." Cloud stepped out of the embrace. "I lost my soul trying to save her from the Soulless..."

Tifa simply hung her head. Cloud simply said, "But I'll find her, and we will meet again... the three of us," A portal opened, showing Cloud's body resting on a couch. He stepped in and disappeared.

"We gotta split," Maya said, noting the portal. She saw Sonic and Tails pointing excitedly and Dr. Eggman was trying to awaken the sleeping group. "Bye, mom! See ya next time!" She hopped in.

Rob shook his head at his carefree twin. "Hard to believe she's my twin, at times..."

As Rob began to leave, his mother echoed, (Don’t forget, Cygnus, you share a destiny with your sister.)
“Cygnus?” Rob asked.
(Yes, that’s your real name.)
“Cygnus? As in the swan constellation?”
(Yes.)
“I’M A FREAKING SWAN?!”
(No. You’ll see why you have such a name soon. Farewell...)

"Farewell, mom..." Rob sighed before he left in the portal.
---------------
"Wake up, Rob! We've spotted a source of Dark activity!" Rob came to as he heard Dr. Eggman talk excitedly.

"Good..." Rob said.

"Where is it?" Asked Tifa, who had recovered to everyone else’s shock.

"The location is the Ilex Forest!" Tails chirped. "We're all the way in Johto now. Supposedly the forest protector visits here most often. Unfortunately I detect Heartless activity down here. And I think Team Rocket might be out here, too."

"We can take care of those idiots." Muttered Rob.

"This might be a piece of cake... too easy!" Sonic grinned and did leg stretches.

The group landed on the outskirts of the forest. Tails said, "We're stayin' here. Heartless are a bit stronger here, and we need to defend the ship."

"At least you got a legit excuse," Sonic muttered.

"Sonic... shut up."

Rob hopped out of the ship with Maya, Sonic, and Tifa. "Let's go then." He commanded.
-------------------
"So... THESE are your Pokémon, are they not?" A tall man with slightly tanned skin and armor leered at the old hunter as he pointed to the three Pokémon trapped in cages. Giovanni was with him. "I hear you used them to pursue a legendary Pokémon 40 years ago."

"I know nothing of the sort! Although those are my Pokémon," the hunter hissed in response. The three Pokémon trapped in their cages all shared worried looks.

"Hmph... you won't talk then?" Giovanni smiled evilly. He handed a Dark Ball to the man in armor. "Here..." the man grinned and whistled.

"Sneasel!" The armor man commanded. He looked about between the three Pokémon-a Scyther, a Houndoom and a Tyranitar. "Break the Tyranitar's cage."

The Sneasel did so. The iron man wound up as Giovanni explained. "This is my new invention... the Dark Ball. Want to see how it works? Watch..." The Dark Ball captured the Tyranitar in a volley of Darkness and purple sparks flew from it as the ball settled. Sneasel handed the ball to Giovanni. The Team Rocket leader slammed the ball on the ground, releasing the Tyranitar. This Tyranitar lacked the worried look on its face, and instead showed one of pure evil. "If you will not tell me the location of the legendary Pokémon Celebi, then you shall watch the destruction of your home... and your life. Tyranitar... destroy everything." Giovanni and the man in armor laughed evilly as Tyranitar fired Hyper Beam after Hyper Beam, destroying the man's house and the surrounding area. One blast destroyed the Houndoom's cage, and the dog Pokémon escaped in a mist of darkness. The anguished hunter's screams of agony synchronized with that of his Scyther's like a nightmarish opera. Tyranitar roared in victory.
--------------
"Wait! Please don't go in there!" An old woman warned.

"Huh? Why not?" A boy with a Pokémon league hat and a Pikachu turned around at the voice of the old woman. He was Ash Ketchum, a legendary Trainer from Kanto. His friends Misty and Brock were with him.

A teenage girl stepped up. "Hi... My name is Diana, and she is my mother Maki." She pointed to the woman. "Forty years ago my mom was with a boy named Sammy, who disappeared when he went beyond that log you're going into."

"Hmm... really?" Ash said. "Well, maybe I can find him!" He turned around and left into the forest anyway.

Misty and Brock reluctantly followed behind him.

"But wait...!" Maki began, but Ash had already gone.
-----------------
"Dammit, these Heartless are persistent!" Sonic yelled as he used Super Peel Out through a whole row of them. "What's with them and this place, anyway?"

"Looking for a Heart to take over, maybe?" Tifa suggested, as she launched a powerful kick against a Large Body. She blinked in utter amazement with herself when said Large body flew fifty feet into the air and crashed, dying instantly. "Wow... was THAT what Rob's mom meant?"

"This should end it!" Maya yelled. "THUNDER!" Lightning fell from the heavens and wiped out the last of the Heartless.

"Piece of cake, too easy!" Tifa boasted with her best impersonation of Sonic.

"Speak for yourself! I'm pooped," Maya sighed and rested her hands on her knees.

After some further silent trekking they head to find a shrine in the middle of the forest. "What is this?" Asked Rob.

"I believe it's the shrine dedicated to the protector of the forest Tails talked about," Sonic said as he wandered behind it. He spotted two boys and a girl tailing a yellow mouse. At this the forest began to glow blue and the group stopped in their tracks.

The mouse began to chatter in what sounded like "Pika pi!" and pointed to the shrine behind Sonic.

"Huh?" the shortest boy in the lead said. Sonic thought the mouse pointed to him, and obviously, so did the group. "What's that?"

"Who're they?" Sonic asked, and Rob and the rest of the group circled back behind Sonic. However, between them, two figures appeared out of the blue. A small, green Pokémon and a boy fell to the ground, unconscious. The green Pokémon awakened and hovered away. Rob came to the small boy, as the group ran to him.

"Who is this?" Rob asked.

"I don't know..." Ash pondered as he tried to shake the unconscious boy awake. "Hey, wake up!"

"He's too tired..." Rob noted.

"Let's take him back to the village."

"What village? We didn't see one here..." Rob asked, slightly confused,

"You must've come from the other way, then." Ash concluded. "Come on, let's help him."

Ash gave the limp boy a piggyback ride and Rob and the rest followed. "So... who are you guys?"

"My name is Rob... Rob Benton."

"I'm his younger sister, Maya," Maya said.

"Sonic, Sonic the Hedgehog!" Sonic showed off, as usual.

"Are you a Pokémon?" Ash asked.

"NO DAMN WAY!"

"Sonic!" Tifa reprimanded. "Well... my name is Tifa."

"I'm Ash Ketchum!" Ash introduced himself.

"I'm Misty."

Brock wasted no time in grabbing Tifa's hands with his own and looking as if he wanted to propose. "I've seen beautiful women, but you take the cake and eat it too! My name's Brock!"

Tifa blinked as Misty smacked him with a mallet and dragged him away. She forced a smile as she asked, "Are you from around here?"

Rob and his group looked at each other. "Nope! We're all from Kanto!"

"So are we!" Ash smiled.

"Pika pi!" Pikachu added.

At last they arrived at the small village. Upon arriving at the bottom, however, the boy known as Sammy woke up. "Huh... where am I?" he looked around. Not seeing Celebi, he wondered if this small group did anything rash. "Where's Celebi? What have you done to him?!" In a blind rage, he attacked Ash.

"HEY!" Ash cried as he dodged several blows.

Rob pulled out his Keyblade, wondering if the Heartless--or the Soulless-- somehow corrupted him.

"Sammy! Calm down!" Maki came back, obviously glad to see he's still alive. "Whatever happened, it's not their fault."

"Huh?" He stopped attacking Ash. "Who are you?"

"You don't remember me?" Maki asked. "I'm Maki."

"I'm sorry... but I don't recognize you." Sammy held a puzzled look on his face. Obviously, so did Rob.

"Hmm... Come to my hut, I have something for you," She turned around and left, and the large group followed her. Upon arriving at her hut, she immediately started digging around, looking for something. At last, she pulled out a sketchbook. "Here... I believe this is yours."

Sammy took it. "This... this is my sketchbook! I can't believe it!" he gasped. He looked through the pages. "Unreal. I've gone into the future, and I still have this..."

"So THAT explains where he came from," Maya said.

"Sent from forty years in the past!" Brock concluded.

A large metallic crash came from outside.

"I need to find Celebi!" Sammy quickly hopped up.

"Okay! We'll help!" Ash said.

The group stepped outside. However, before they were out of earshot, Maki yelled, "You be careful, all right?"

"Don't worry! We will!" Sammy yelled back.
-------------
Not far on the trail, however, several Heartless emerged.

"AAAIIIEEE!!" Misty cried.

"What're those things?" Brock panicked.

"Are they even Pokémon?" Ash looked at these strange creatures with more curiosity than fear.

"No... they are Heartless." Rob hissed.

"And they're all over the place!" Tifa shouted.

One Heartless lunged, but it met Rob's Keyblade and died instantly. Sonic buzzsawed through a couple of the smaller Soldiers.

Several Blue Rhapsodies emerged and began to fire Blizzard spells at the group. Maya countered with a Fire spell, however. "ROAST BACON!!" Yelled Maya, as the fire spell scorched the Heartless mages.

Sammy got the message. He pulled out his old-fashioned Pokéball, made out of wood. "Charmeleon! GO!" he threw it, and out emerged the fire Pokémon. "Roast them with Flamethrower!"

"CCHHHAAA!" Charmeleon finished off the rest of the Blue Rhapsody.

"They can be defeated by Pokémon means." Sammy explained to the puzzled Ash.

"Yeah, but what ARE Heartless?!" Ash asked.

"You'll hear the WHOLE story, but later!" Rob said, noting the metallic footsteps coming their way and pulling out his Keyblade.

The metallic clanging belonged to a huge spider mech, piloted by the man in armor. "Who are YOU twerps?"

"You're talking to-" Ash snarled, but Rob clapped a hand over his mouth.

"Why should we tell who we are to someone who's about to have his butt handed to him?!" Rob sneered.

"Ah... Such pompous words coming from the Keyblade master and the supposed legendary Pokémon master! Jesse, James, and the Boss have told me MUCH about you two monkeys. Why, you're ruining his plans for world domination!"

"Who are you, and where is the rest of Team Rocket?" challenged Ash.

"They'll be planning your funeral shortly," the man sneered. "But I am the Iron-Masked Marauder, but you can call me Vicious. You twerps know anything about Celebi?"

"Even if we KNEW where he is, we won't tell you jack!" Sonic spat.

"Ah, a new rare species of Pokémon, I see. Boss would be pleased."

"WHAT was that?! I... am NOT... a friggin... POKÉMON!" Sonic lunged at Vicious' machine.

"Sonic! Don't do anything rash!" Maya shouted.

Sonic took heed to these words silently. At the last second, Sonic came to a stop in front of the spider mech.

Vicious pulled out a Dark Ball. "You're MINE!" he threw it at Sonic with amazing speed.

Sonic, however, sawed right through the contraption, causing dark energy to explode from where Sonic destroyed the Dark Ball. Sonic then delivered a Smash Kick to Vicious' head.

"OUCH!" Vicious turned around. "You'll PAY for that!" Cannons came from the mech and fired at Sonic, who easily dodged. Sonic smashed Vicious again. "Argh! That's IT!" He released the largest cannon. "Cannon, FIRE!" Sonic for once wasn't fast enough to move out of the way. Instead, he smashed into the beam as best he could and took the blow.

Sonic flew backwards into a tree.

"Sonic!" Rob shouted.

"THIS TIME I won't miss..." Vicious pulled out another one. However, just as he threw it, a Houndoom came out of nowhere and destroyed the ball with a single Crunch.

(Remember me?! I want REVENGE, asshole!) Houndoom used another Crunch on Vicious' machine.

"Yach!" Vicious cried as the machine began to short-circuit. He pulled out two Pokéballs. "Sneasel! Scizor! GET THEM!" he threw them out, and the Pokémon emerged.

"Heh, these chumps aren't any problem." Sonic smirked.

Too bad an entire Heartless legion emerged with them.

"On second thought, maybe we should RUN!!" Rob panicked and began to jet on his shoes. Sonic recovered and helped the slower guys move faster.

However, upon appearing in the forest, Misty falls from Sonic's grip and hurts her knee. "Ah!" she cries.

"Misty!" Cries Ash.

The group stopped to help up Misty, but the Heartless appeared, led by Scizor and Sneasel.

"Crap..." Rob gripped his Keyblade.

"We're cornered..." Maya whimpered.

But out of nowhere, Celebi emerged. From everywhere vines ensnared the Heartless and squeezed them to death, causing them to evaporate in mists of Darkness. Scizor and Sneasel cowered, but the vines ensnared them too and tied them to a rock.

Celebi fell, enervated form the huge effort put to defeat the Heartless.

"Celebi!" Ash and Sammy cried.

Even in its weak state, Celebi was far too afraid of Ash to let him get near, so a blast of psychic power sent him back, along with Sammy. (Stay back...) Rob heard.

The Houndoom that followed them stepped wearily towards Celebi. Dodging vines summoned by the Pokémon, Houndoom carefully picked it up. (You chill out... I'm not hunting you anymore.)

(You... why?) Rob heard Celebi ask.

(Kindness... be kind to Celebi, it won't fight back.) Houndoom announced. Everyone blinked at the dog barking at them, but Maya translated.

"He said if you're nice, Celebi won't fight." Maya beamed.
“You can understand Pokémon?” Brock asked.
“Yes!”
“How!?” Rob got into her face.
“Plot device!”
Rob smacked himself. Obviously, Maya would not reveal the truth. Minus one point for anything logical...

Ash came to it. "Don't worry, I won't hurt you..." Celebi drifted into Ash's arms. "He's a bit weak. What should we do?"

(Pure water should help.) Houndoom suggested, and Maya translated his words.

"Where would pure water be?" Tifa asked.

As if on cue, a Teddiursa and an Ursaring appear. Houndoom and the two Pokémon talk for a bit, and then Houndoom turns to the gang and instructs, (Follow them.)

The two Pokémon lead to a Stantler. The Stantler resumed the path, and ran into a Furret, who concluded the journey to the pure lake. Sammy took Celebi from Ash and laid him down in the lake. After a short while, Celebi glows and recovers. (I feel better!) It cried.

"It's recovered!" Sammy said happily.

"Yeah!" Ash cheered. The two pursued Celebi underwater, where a lot of Pokémon had gathered to see his recovery. Ash and Sammy don't last long underwater, so Celebi helped them out with psychic powers. They flew with Celebi over the heads of the rest of the gang. It touched Misty's knee and healed it instantly. Rob tried to use his shoes to fly, too, but crashed into a tree branch, which promptly summoned a pack of Mankeys to come out and beat the crap out of Rob.

When they landed, Celebi came to a berry tree. It took a bunch and ate them in one fell gulp. The group also began to eat these berries. At this, Maya asked Houndoom, "Why did you say you wouldn't chase Celebi anymore?"

Houndoom explained its story of how he chased Celebi forty years ago in his youth, along with a hunter and a Scyther. Not too long ago Vicious came by and turned his friend Tyranitar evil, causing the large Pokémon to destroy Houndoom's home... and his friends.

"I don't like that guy," Ash said. "I think he has something to do with those Heartless things that attacked us earlier, too."

(Heartless... beings without heart.) Celebi began, with Maya translating. (From the shadows. Take hearts. No emotion. Extreme power. Planet has heart. This planet... many hearts. Heartless take hearts... planet explodes... dies. Attracted to those with darkness in their heart. Everyone has darkness. Those of evil nature more so. Lack knowledge of good and evil. Do it only to survive and prosper.)

"So they do this just to survive?" Misty asked.

"Yeah, as far as we know," Sonic answered.

"What do you mean?" Sammy asked.

(Some darkness isn't evil... note Dark Pokémon,) Houndoom explained, Maya still translating. (There is a balance. Between light and dark, that balance maintains the universe. The side of light is represented by the Soulless...)

"...Soulless?" Brock asked.

"Yep, the polar opposite of the Heartless." Rob answered. "They’re a counterbalance to the Heartless. From what I’ve gathered from my mom, they seek to flood this universe in light just as the Heartless want to flood it in darkness. Oddly enough, we haven't seen them around here.”
“Is there any way to stop them?” Ash asked.
“But of course! You know some ancient old guys saw this coming and found a way to stop it!” Maya suddenly hopped on her brother and conjured the Keyblade while pretending to pull it out of a back pocket. “It’s a KEYBLADE! You saw this baby in action when we were kickin the Heartless around! It’s the key to undoing all this madness!”
"If you have the Keyblade, then..." Ash answered. Suddenly, he grabbed Rob and started shaking him. "IS THERE ANY WAY TO GET THE HEARTLESS TO STOP?!"

"Chill out! We're gonna find out how!" Rob said, a huge sweat drop forming on his head.

"I'm tired..." Tifa said, setting up a sleeping bag and falling out in a matter of seconds.

"Yeah... me too," Misty said, yawning.

(Rest well, friends,) Celebi chirped.

(Nighty night... sleep is for wimps. I'm staying up to be on guard for Heartless.) Houndoom snorted and stalked off.

"Good night, everyone!" Maya chirped.

"Good night!" Sonic yawned as he noticed the night Pokémon awakening. He had a feeling that the Heartless won't be disturbing their sleep anytime soon.
------------
Early that morning, before the sun rose, Sammy had his sketchbook. Observing the sleeping forms of Celebi and Pikachu cuddled with each other, he began to draw the two of them. Not soon after he had finished the drawing, he heard the eerie, yet lonely howl of Houndoom.

"The poor guy lost all of his friends... his trainer, too," Ash came in front of Sammy.

"Ash? Did Houndoom wake you up?" Sammy asked.

"Nope... been awake," he answered.

"I haven't been able to sleep... I mean... I'm FORTY years in the future, and I have no idea how... can I ever get home?"

"Don't worry..." Rob showed up. He looked like he had been in a brief scuffle, with his victory, of course. "We'll find a way."

"Houndoom wake YOU up?" Asked Sammy.

"Yup... good thing, though, a couple of Heartless were trying to kill some of those monkey Pokémon back there. Same ones that kicked my butt yesterday. I finished the Heartless with ease."

At this, Pikachu woke up. Gently setting Celebi's head down on the ground, Pikachu scurried behind Ash. Celebi woke up anyway and tailed Pikachu.

The sun began to rise. Ash, Rob, and Sammy saw several Metapod beginning to hatch into Butterfree. The sheer beauty of the Butterfree amazed the trio, as well as the entering Celebi and Pikachu.

"Wow..." Rob marveled, amazed at the sheep beauty.

"Simply beautiful..." Ash added.

(Beauty... hope. Hope beyond darkness. Hope IN darkness.) Celebi said.

"Man, I wish the others could see this..." Sammy said. "No wait... they can!" he pulled out his sketchbook and drew the scene of the hatching Butterfree.

After the scene was over and Sammy finished, Rob concluded, "Let's go get the others."

"Right..." Ash agreed.
---------------
"Our job's not done here yet..." Rob announced.

"That Iron-Mask freak is still on the loose!" Sonic added.

"Well... where IS he, anyway?" Asked Ash.

"RIGHT HERE..." Vicious returned in a new Spider mech. "Celebi shall be mine... and the hedgehog will be my blue plate special!"

"Come again, Iron-Man?" Sonic challenged. "You can't even make good jokes, let alone good machines? What have you THIS time?"

"I think I'll let THE BOSS tell you that," Vicious smirked. At that, a pool of darkness formed, and out emerged... Giovanni. With him were Jesse, James, Meowth, and Umbreon.

"I think we rather LIKE our new style of transportation!" Jesse beamed.

"Team Rocket!" All of our heroes exclaimed.

"You twerps 'll never learn!" Meowth crowed. "For today's the day we sink yous into darkness!"

"Rob... So we DO meet again," Giovanni smirked. "In the end we decided that flooding the worlds with light wasn't our style. But we'll figure out a way to get rid of them... But you WON'T survive. The evil within shall have you all." He pulled out a Dark Ball. "There are other Team Rocket plans that we must attend to, but I'm pretty sure the Heartless that assist Vicious will be more than enough to kill you all." Giovanni kept his smirk, and to add insult to injury, Meowth gave the group the finger (if that was even possible). "Farewell." Giovanni handed Vicious the Dark Ball and all the villains sank into the darkness, leaving only Vicious.

"Meet your death... go, TYRANITAR!" Vicious threw out the Dark Ball containing Tyranitar. The mighty Rock/Dark Pokémon roared, and everyone got ready to fight.

"Tyranitar! DESTROY THEM ALL! " Vicious commanded.

Vicious also chucked a Dark Ball to the side. However, nothing happened, at least, nothing obvious happened.

Tyranitar launched his first Hyper Beam.

"WHOA!" Ash barely dodged the blast. "I think he needs a bit of rearrangement! Bayleef! GO!" He threw out the Pokéball with Bayleef. "Bayleef! Razor leaf!"

Bayleef used the leaves to tear through Tyranitar. It roared in pain.

Winged Soldier Heartless formed from the ground.

Dodging the attacks, Rob and Sonic sliced through the group of Heartless. Pikachu hopped off of Ash and sent one sailing over the horizon with a well-placed kick.

Tyranitar stomped the ground and caused a massive earthquake. Rob and friends took damage.

Tifa snarled and reared back her fist. "I hate this thing... Dolphin Punch!" She aimed and let loose with the watery punch right on Tyranitar's face. It reeled back in pain but whipped around to smack Tifa with its tail. Bayleef came back and used Vine Whip, holding it down with thick vines.

Tyranitar however, grew wiser of this and picked up the vines. It began to sling the vines around, and Bayleef could do nothing as it became Tyranitar's next discus.

"No!" Ash cried.

Tifa slung a Winged Heartless out of the way to assist Bayleef. She launched another Dolphin Punch and smashed Tyranitar with it. Bayleef withdrew its vines and used Razor Leaf again. It struck Tyranitar, crippling it.

However, Tyranitar wasn't done yet. Another Earthquake stunned Bayleef and Tifa. It prepared yet another Hyper Beam when it was silenced by a sudden Crunch attack.

(SNAP OUT OF IT!) Houndoom roared. He used a tail lash and smashed Tyranitar across the forest and near the pure lake they had been earlier. He ended the onslaught with a steady Flamethrower that caused Tyranitar to sink into the water. Houndoom sank into the ground, not only tired but upset. (Forgive me...)

"Bayleef, return!" Ash said, returning Bayleef to her Pokéball.

"CELEBI!" Sammy cried. During the fight with Tyranitar, Celebi was being swallowed by darkness!

Sammy tried in vain to rescue it, but his efforts failed. Celebi fell deep into the darkness. "NOO!"

"My plan was a success!" Vicious cheered. "Now, Celebi! Show them your new moves! DESTROY THEM!"

"What?! That previous fight was only a distraction!" Rob snarled. "AND Celebi's gone evil!"

Celebi emerged out of the darkness, a look of pure evil on its face. The Heartless insignia was engraved on its chest.

"Its heart has been taken!" gasped Misty.

"THAT'S RIGHT, and now watch as he takes YOURS..." Vicious sneered. Celebi used a huge psychic blast that sent everyone flying back. "Celebi... augment your darkness." Vicious commanded.

Suddenly, several trees were uprooted and drawn to Celebi. Masses of dead and living trees swirled towards Celebi, forming something.

A sudden tree branch ensnares Misty.

"AAAIIIIEEEEE!" Misty cried.

"MISTY!" Yelled Ash.

"BASTARD!" Rob bellowed.

"She's being drawn in!" Brock yelled.

The tree branches formed a horrible monster. This monster, however, was reminiscent of Celebi itself. It had the appearance of a giant, demonic version of Celebi.

"Curse our bad luck..." Rob readied his Keyblade.

Suicine dashed through the mountains nearby. A particularly odd group of humans caught his attention today, and he was heading in their direction to check them out. However, he felt a high surge of darkness in that direction. Sensing something totally wrong, Suicine picked up the speed and dashed in the direction of the evil.

Seeing the flying tree branches from the village, Dr. Eggman became worried. "This does NOT look good."

"Heartless activity is off the charts!" Tails exclaimed.

"Sammy and the others went that way!" Maki panicked.

"We need to investigate!" Diana added.

"Let's go, then," Dr. Eggman said.

The four of them hopped on the ship and blasted off in the direction of the tree branches.

"Its power is amazing!" Sonic gasped.

"It has Celebi's heart... not to mention it also has Misty's fear." Maya answered. "We'll have to give Celebi its heart back to destroy the monster!"

"Expose the Heart... return it to Celebi," Rob instructed to everyone.

"We can do that," Ash and Sammy said.

"We'll fight it, then." Rob stepped up to the rampaging monster.

"Why, you're making yourself fish in a barrel!" Vicious gloated. "Fry 'em!"

"NOT so..." Rob jumped up to attack.

The Celebi-demon smashed Rob backwards, but Rob landed on his feet. Rob snarled.

"Here, try this!" Maya shouted. "Fire!" She shot Rob's Keyblade with the flame. Rob got the idea and slashed them monster for heavy damage.

"Watch out for Misty!" warned Brock.

The Celebi-demon fired a dark beam, barely missing the group.

"I don't like this freak!" Sonic snarled. "Sonic Wind!" The blue whirlwind smacked the monster, but it only appeared to be annoying it. "Aw, man!" He dodged another dark beam from the monster.

Dodging several beams of darkness, Rob came up and used another fire sword against it.

The monster flinched, and Celebi's heart was exposed.

"AAIIIEE!" Vicious panicked. "Celebi, hover over water!"

The Celebi-demon hovered backwards and over the lake. "HAAA! Can't get me now! But I can get YOU!" Another dark beam fired, but it also missed.

"We can't reach it now!" Ash complained.

(Now you can...) Suicine showed up in a flash.

"Suicine!" Ash recognized the creature. "I KNEW I saw you earlier."

(No time... Hop on.)

"You know what to do, right?" Rob said.

"Yeah," Sammy said. Both Ash and Sammy hopped on Suicine and the Pokémon dashed off on the lake.

Crawling in the depths of the monster, they found Celebi's heart. Ash picked it up, surprised such a spiritual thing could be held physically. They also saw Misty.

"Misty!" cried Ash.

Sammy tried his best to untangle the vines that ensnared Misty; after a while, however, he freed her.

"Thanks..." she gasped.

"Come on!" Ash hurried up to where Celebi sat in the monster's head. Ash willed the heart to Celebi. The Heartless insignia faded. However it was still attacking.

"Celebi! STOP!" Ash cried.

Celebi stopped for a moment. Its memories drifted back to the time they revived him.

"What're you DOING?!" Vicious cried. "ATTAAAAACK!"

Celebi struck again.

"Celebi! Please stop!" Misty pleaded.

Celebi stopped and clutched its head, remembering the time Rob got his kicked by a group of Mankeys. Oops, wrong memory.

"HEY!" Rob shouted outside.

Celebi went back to attacking the rest of the group.

"Celebi! Stop! You can't be consumed by this evil!" Sammy cried.

Celebi cried and clutched its head. The memory of watching the Butterfree hatch consumed his mind. At last, he made the connection between his heart, and the darkness abandoned him.

Celebi was no longer evil.

"HHEEEYY!" Vicious cried. "That's it!" He swooped down from atop the now docile monster and kicked Ash away.

(I had enough...) Suicine smashed Vicious with a bubble beam. Crumpled to the ground, Vicious could do nothing as Suicine took the other four out of the Celebi demon. Once safe on the ground, Suicine instructed Rob, (Finish it!)

"All right!" Rob prepared his Keyblade.

(Roast him for me... for US...) Houndoom powered up Rob's Keyblade with a Fire Blast.

"Fire!" Maya added more power.

"And now," Rob rushed up to the beast while Vicious was still inside. "Cease the evil... in darkness," Rob took a mighty slash, destroying the beast with one fell slash, overheating it and causing it to fry to death.

Vicious ceased to exist.
----------

A group of Mankeys was watching the entire fight. When Rob slashed the monster down in half, the ensuing blast nearly hit them. This pissed them off. They went to declare war when a passing ship came by. They hitched a ride on the flying ship...
------------------

Silence fell in the forest as Celebi crumpled again tired from the fight.

Rob felt the water. "It isn't pure. The debris from the monster soiled it."

(I can fix that...) Suicine answered, and he began to glow. Jumping from place to place on the lake, Suicine recovered the water to its original state. Sammy put Celebi in the water again. It took much longer than last time and our heroes worried.

But Celebi began to recover. Its eyes blinked.

At this, the ship containing everyone else arrived.

"Eggman!" cried Sonic.

The ship stopped. A crowd of Mankeys hopped off and beat the crap out of Rob. Before Rob could even counter, they ran away. Dr. Eggman and Tails emerged, but so did Maki and Diana. "Sammy!" she cried.

"Maki..." he hugged her.

"Well, our job is done here!" Maya said.

(Sammy... phone home!) Celebi giggled.

"I'll miss you all," Sammy said. He gave Ash a hug. "For friendship." He also gave Rob a hug, and he said, "For showing the light in darkness..." He turned to everyone as Celebi touched his shoulders. "I have to go home... Farewell..." Sammy said, as he and Celebi disappeared. Suicine bode Rob farewell and dashed off. Everyone waved to the disappearing guests.

"Is this the last time we'll see you guys?" Ash asked Rob.

"Maybe... maybe not." Rob answered. "But remember this... keep true to your heart, no matter how much darkness rests in it... it’s your greatest weapon against evil."

"Farewell," Sonic waved.

"Bye!" Everyone from the planet waved as the six heroes climbed on the spaceship and blasted off.
----------

Near the lake that very night, Houndoom howled again. It would forever remember his new friends, it would forever remember Rob and most of all, it would remember Tyranitar... his old friend who tragically fell to the darkness. Houndoom howled in tribute once more, and then set off to find Rob.

Back in Viridian City, Professor Oak hung up the phone. He consoled Ash, who had been made slightly miserable by the farewell of his friends Sammy. "You must always keep your friends in your heart, no matter where they are," he had said. When Ash said bye, enlightened by this information, Professor Oak hung up and headed off into a separate room. All of his most important stuff had been moved here, after he and Delilah had escaped Pallet Town to avoid Heartless invasion. From these things he saw his old sketchbook. He picked it up and looked inside. The very same pictures Sammy drew were in this book.

"It feels just like yesterday..." Professor Oak said, a tear of happiness in his eye.

(A/N: You like? I know it's not directly the movie, but I saw a summary of such, and made it a tribute, since I wouldn't be caught dead visiting it in theatres. You’ll love my take on the KH2 events in Hollow Bastion next chapter!)

Legends-Kuja
1st September 2005, 10:03 AM
Because DUDE, it's like an update.

Episode 6: All Hollow’s Eve

All of his brainpower, and Sora STILL couldn’t get it.

This was supposed to be Hollow Bastion, the dark and dreary castle that Ansem once called home, up until he corrupted it with the Heartless. And yet...

This wasn’t the castle, or anything near it. Rather this was a very large village. Although built in the same rustic design as the castle itself, this village took the appearance of a Japanese city in the Meiji era. Magic appeared to power the buildings in a similar method that electricity powered homes on earth. And considering that the town was rather lively for a Heartless-infested world, things simply did not compute with Sora.
Neither did it compute with Donald or Goofy. “Where’s the Heartless? I thought there would be all over the place! But I don’t see a single one!” Donald looked around in obvious confusion.

“That’s because they’re all at the CASTLE, you fools,” Sara glared at the other three through her white-irised eyes. “And we’ve got a long way to go.”

“Just how long?” Sora asked.

“Very long.”

“Wow, you’re such a big help!” Donald retorted sarcastically. “I suppose you’ll also tell us where we are? No YOU CAN’T! WE’RE LOST!”

“For your information, we’re actually ten miles away from the rising falls, and if we don’t hurry up, it’ll be nightfall, and we’ll be Heartless bait,” She leered at Donald’s face. “Now shut up before you’re roast duck.”

“Not before YOU’RE roast chicken!” Sora got between the two. “Let’s not fight, as Sara said, we’ve got a long way to go,” Sora stepped apart from the group and began walking away...

...Only to bump straight into a running man. They crashed into a messy heap.

“Ow...” Sora groaned.

“You all right, Sora, mister?” Goofy looked between the two of them.

“Oro?” The man rubbed his messy red hair. He wore a lavender gi and baggy, rugged pants. A very thin sword stood sheathed at his side. He then saw Goofy. “Umm... I am alright, that I am,” the man nodded.
Sora stood up with a bit of difficulty, and turned to the red-haired man. “Umm... Sorry about that. My name’s Sora.” He shook hands with the man. “These are my friends Donald (Donald waved.), Goofy (“How do ya do?”), and Sara (“Pleasure,” she said calmly.).”

“I’m Kenshin Himura,” Kenshin answered. “I was uhhh... taking a light jog through here when I ran into you, that I did. I am new to this area.”

“New?” Sara asked. “Do you mean you’re from another world?”

“Indeed I am. Our world was destroyed some time ago, and my friends and I found our way here. This village is called Termina, and it’s the closest village to the castle,” Sara secretly made a face at Donald.

“We’ve got business at the castle,” Sora explained. “And we’ve got to get there before the Heartless become too big in number to fight!”

“You shouldn’t go there,” Kenshin warned. “The Heartless in the valley are like a flood... In fact,” Kenshin noticed something behind Sora and his eyes bugged out. Jumping over the Keyblade master, Kenshin performed a powerful downward slice against a Heartless that stood right behind him. “Heartless from the valley! Get back!”

Sora turned around to see a small pack of Heartless. However, they had the appearance of knights, wielding armor, a broadsword and pegs for feet, and they rivaled Sora in height. Rather than take Kenshin’s advice, Sora instead leapt into attack and parried an offensive strike from the first in line. He threw off the sword from his Keyblade and sliced through the monster with a well placed combo.

“What, you think we can’t take care of ourshelves?!” Donald smirked as Sara knocked another Iron Guard into the air. He leapt off of Sara and finished it with a swift Thundaga attack. Goofy yelped as he dodged the sword strikes of two of them. He then spun like a tornado, knocking out one and knocking away the other.

“Goofy! Watch out!” Sora warned.

Goofy turned around too late, as the last Iron Guard was already descending for an attack. Goofy’s pupils shrank as the blade came mere inches from his brain. The unfortunate Heartless had no chance of actually attacking Goofy, as Kenshin and Sara had already sliced it to ribbons before it could make contact. The Heartless stopped a mere centimeter from Goofy’s nose before falling apart and disappearing. Goofy sighed in relief. “Thanks guys!” He waved at Kenshin and Sara.

“Be more weary next time,” Sara chastised Goofy.

“So you are warriors?” Kenshin asked. “All of you have quite some skill, that you do.”

“You’ve got some too,” Sora complimented. “Thanks for the help, but we’ve got no time to waste.”

“ONWARD!” Donald pointed to the valley, and he, Sara, Sora, and Goofy sprinted away.

Kenshin sighed in defeat. “I trust that they can take care of themselves, that they can...”

“Oh Kenshin!” He heard a female voice.

“Oh no...” Kenshin paled. “Kaoru made dinner...”

------

“This is the valley? Looks barren to me!” Donald commented, looking at the expanse of blue before them. Right before the rising falls was a large, blue expanse highly resembling dark, frozen water. Not sound outside of the merry little group was heard, and this only heightened the creepiness.

“This silence is downright spooky!” Goofy commented.

“This journey is not for the faint of heart,” Sara answered.

Sora jogged forward a bit only to stop. “Ah!” He gasped before clenching his teeth.

“Um Sora, what’s wrong?” Donald asked, worry creeping into his voice.

“We’re surrounded,” Sara noted, looking behind the group and seeing the flood of Heartless marching in to greet them. Several Iron Guards; strange, pot-like Heartless; large, monster-like Behemoths; and even several Wyverns flying in the sky began to gather in front of our heroes.

“From both sides!” Sora added.

Sara smacked herself. “Isn’t that what ‘surrounded’ is?”

“Can we make it?” Goofy asked meekly.

“We’ll try.” Sora conjured his Keyblade and gave his friends a thumbs-up. They smiled and returned the favor.

“Cut a swath through the Heartless and reach the castle!” Sara shouted.

Sora charged towards the first Iron Guard. From there, it was pure hell.

For the next two hours of their lives, Sora, Sara, Donald and Goofy hacked and slashed through an insane brigade of bloodthirsty Heartless. Sara sometimes used her Flame Pillar technique to knock the Behemoths off guard, and Donald sometimes showered Thundaga on the sneakier Wyverns and pot Heartless. Each of the warriors poured their anger and their concentration on ending the lives of the Heartless demons and surviving the slow trek to the castle.

As was said earlier, pure hell.

------

Tired, bruised, but overall happy and alive, the four heroes stumbled at the base of the castle, right at the Rising Falls. Crashing to a stop right next to the falls, they all let out a collective sigh.

“Wow,” Sora sighed. “That was... intense.”

“Let’sh not do that again anytime shoon,” Donald sighed. He then noticed Sara drinking from the Rising Falls.
When she detected Donald looking at her, Sara simply said. “Take a drink, it’ll restore your strength.” The other three scrambled to the falls and greedily imbibed the fresh liquid. Sara continued, “We don’t have much time to rest, so we need to get moving pretty soon.”

“I know it’s important to be here, but why exactly?” Sora asked between gulps of water.

“As I said earlier, the Keyhole has reopened, and the Heartless are swarming this castle. I heard my father was making his way back here, and I also hope to meet him while we’re here,” she explained.

“I got that much,” Sora said, standing up. “Anything else?”

“We might find the Enigmatic Man here.”

“Enigmatic Man...” Sora remembered their fight in Traverse Town. His words “you are incomplete” still haunted Sora’s mind. “Yeah, maybe.”

“All righty!” Goofy said as he and Donald stood up. “We’re ready! Let’s get ta movin’!” The four of them trekked inside the caves and stepped onto the lift, which teleported them to the front gates of the castle.
There it was, Hollow Bastion as Sora remembered it. The twisted, tan castle, surrounded by beautiful mountains, stood as firmly in Sora’s memories as it did on the Rising Falls. “Yeah, this is Hollow Bastion all right,” Sora affirmed. “Wonder if Beast is still around here...”

“Beast?”

“Yeah, he was there for me when...” Sora turned to Donald and Goofy, who flinched at his slightly angry leer. Sora then softened his face to a sad look. “Riku tricked my friends. But luckily, my real friends came through in the end.” He smiled at Donald and Goofy. “Even Riku saw through Maleficent’s trickery.”

“Ah,” Sara nodded. “We’ll see.”

The four of them stepped through the gates, keeping an eye out for rogue Heartless. They stepped into the main foyer room. “Helloooooooo!” Goofy rang out. “Anyone HOOOOOMMMMEEE?”

A sudden rush of movement answered Goofy. The four tensed up in a panic, but nothing happened...
...for about ten seconds.

“Feh, just our imaginations...” Sora said, walking up the stairs to the library. Unfortunately, something popped out.

A Bee.

No, strange helicopter-like things with their yellow eyes peering though shells, and giant HORNETS with stingers for arms were in there.

About 50 of them.

“Ungah, Bee Heartless, and possessed Beedrills.” Sara snarled.

“Beedrills?” Sora asked.

“Variety of Pocket Monster. I thought they were only on earth... but I guess those creatures teamed up with the Heartless and spread to other planets...”

“What do we do?” Donald ask.

“Spread them out to kill them. But first... RUN.” Sara turned tail and ran into another room, with a few of the bees in hot pursuit.

“You heard her! RUN FOR IT!” Sora screamed. All the good guys took separate directions, with the frenzied bees taking hot pursuit. Sora continued to sprint into the library, where several Beedrills kept hot on his tail. Sora’s eyes bugged out as the Beedrills began to zoom in and try to stab Sora, painfully crashing their three stingers into bookcases. Sora leapt over two trying to sting him and rolled under a third. He rounded a corner and nervously watched the other Beedrills fly on by. He sighed in relief and rounded another corner...

...before running straight into another pack of Beedrills. The Beedrills tried to stab Sora in their usual fashion; Sora squealed and ran like a cartoon character. He scrambled up some stairs and through more book cases before he ran right into a wall of Bee Heartless. Sora snarled and turned tail, only to see the Beedrills start to change him. Thinking quickly, he whipped out his free hand and shouted “Firaga!”

The flames appeared, but rather than shoot out at the Beedrills, it swirled around Sora, setting all the bees alight. All disappeared under a mist of Darkness.

“COOL!” Sora grinned before heading upstairs.

------

Donald ran like a madman from the flurry of bees on his tail.

Well, more like a mad hedgehog.

Donald wall-jumped up a narrow chasm, avoiding the crashes of the bees, and whipped around to smash one that had caught him by surprise. It disappeared, and Donald continued to run away from the angry bees that pursued him.

-----

Goofy matched blows with a couple of Iron Guards while deflecting the attacks of the Beedrills. One Guard sliced down, only to cut open a Beedrill instead. Goofy then used an Angel Descent (the crashing move he first used on the Enigmatic Man) to smash the Guard to smithereens. Goofy quickly dodged another Beedrill, letting it kill the other Iron Guard. Goofy yelped at the sight of the Beedrill summoning backup from its brethren and turned tail to run.

------

Sara snarled and cut through a wave of Bee Heartless, running though the lift hallways. She flipped and ran along the wall, slicing through two more bees. She then swung on a pole and sprinted outside to a pedestal. There she could look at the front of the castle from where she was. Calming down, Sara took in the twisted look of the castle and its tiny smokestacks, and saw exactly why Sora wasn’t very fond of this place. “Hmph...” she huffed, but looked up again when she saw a black spark show up at the top of where Ansem’s crest was. A hooded person showed up at the top.

“Enigmatic Man,” Sara breathed, as she heard Sora run up behind her.

“Stupid bees!” Sora cursed. He turned to Sara. “What’s the matter?” She simply pointed, and Sora looked up to see the Enigmatic Man appearing to summon something. “Enigmatic Man!”

“WAAAAHHHH!” Donald crashed next to Sora.

“YAAAAHOHOHOHOHOOOOOEEEY!” Goofy crashed next to Sara.

“We’re all here...” Sara said in monotone.

“And so are the bees!” Sora shouted as the last of them flooded out and began to fly towards Sora and the gang. “Donald! Get ready to cast Firaga!” Sora commanded as he ran towards the bees. Donald reluctantly ran after Sora headlong into the swarm of insectoid Pokémon/Heartless mix. Sora leapt up and shouted, “NOW!” Donald let loose his spell and Sora did the same, unleashing a swirling tornado of flames that consumed the last of the bees.

When all was said and done, Goofy pointed up at the top of the castle, where there were now FIVE hooded people. “What’s going on up there?”

“FIVE Enigmatic Men?!” Sora gaped. “That’s IT! We’re getting up there NOW.” Sora grabbed Donald and Goofy and swung back inside. Sara smacked herself again and headed off behind Sora.

-----

The empty silence of the dark hall welcomed our heroes as they sprinted through it. Fearing that Heartless would attack if they slowed down, they took no time to sightsee and continued to sprint, rounding a corner into the Lift Station and bursting outside. Sora could see the five hooded ones discuss something at the top of the platform. One apparently saw him and signaled to the others.
“HEY!” Sora shouted as they all began to leave.

Unluckily for Sora, about this time a group of Shadows began to appear. However, these Shadows looked much taller and muscle-bound, and had longer claws. They actually weren’t anything too new to Sora; in his travels he had come across this type a couple of times. “Neo Shadows!”

“Get to the Enigmatic Man! We’ll handle these things!” Sara unsheathed her sword. She then proceeded to slice down a Neo Shadow with a combo. Donald and Goofy took to attacking the other Neo Shadows that surrounded them.

Sora nodded and gave her a thumbs-up, before running straight into the mess of Neo Shadows. Determined to get to the Enigmatic Men, Sora ignored the attacks of the Neo Shadows and merely smacked them away. One leapt up to attack, but Sora crashed his Keyblade into it, knocked it into the air, leapt up, and spiked into the ground, killing it. When Sora looked up again, only one hooded one stood there. Sora growled in rage before leaping up to the platform, Keyblade in hand.

The hooded one began to take off his hood...

...and sidestepped Sora’s enraged attack. “Ow...” Sora whined before turning over to now face a silver-haired man. Sora was heavily reminded of Cloud. “You... are you the Enigmatic Man?”

(So we meet again...) Sora heard, noticing that all the silver-haired man did was smile. (It seems you remember me quite well, incomplete one.)

“What do you mean by that?!” Sora asked, exasperated.

“Patience,” Sora practically jumped out of his skin upon hearing the man speak. The man chuckled slightly. “You will learn soon enough. We all serve a purpose in reviving of the Chaos Angel.”

“The... Chaos Angel?” Sora asked. He heard Sara, Donald, and Goofy gather behind him.

“A weapon so complex even we cannot grasp its capabilities. But if this chess game is to go smoothly, we are to revive it.”

“Chess game?!” Sara interjected. “Don’t make me laugh. Too many lives are wasted for this... chess game. Only the strong should fight.”

“You too will learn the extent of the chaos we are in,” He leered at Sara. He then stood back, and put on his hood. (You must remember to have an open mind. Embrace the Chaos Theory. Remember the words of the Chaos Saints.)

A burst of darkness consumed the man before he faded away. Sora blinked for a while before turning to Sara. “Chaos Theory?”

“Chaos Theory...” Sara thought for a moment. “Mary once told me about it... the belief that order comes from disorder; that all life is meant to end.”

Donald’s eyes bugged out. “We’re dealing with real nutjobs then!”

“So we gotta stop them before they... end all life!” Sora exclaimed.

“Worse...” Sara snarled as she began to walk off the platform and down the rest of the deck to head back inside. “If they’re loyal to both equations of the system, their real goal is to reduce all life to chaos.”

“That even SOUNDS worse that losin’ all life!” Goofy shuddered. “Isn’t there somthin’ we can do?”

“We gotta find those guys first, Goofy,” Sora answered as they made their way into the throne room. “If we can find them, we can almost certainly find a way—”

Sora stopped suddenly; his pupils shrank.

Sara raised an eyebrow to disguise her shock. “W-what the hell is that?”

The thing in question sat on the throne. Its scaly orange skin fit well with its green, spiked shell, giving it the appearance of a fierce turtle-dragon hybrid. Its flaming red hair and sharp claws completed its look. Red-irised eyes regarded our heroes. “You call me AN ‘IT’?!” it roared. “I AM ALL MALE!”

“Well excuse me, sir,” Sara snidely countered. “But I wasn’t aware that throne-stealing dragons gave a damn about gender.”

“You’re about to see a change,” The beast stomped off the throne and gave a deep roar, making Sora and Sara flinch slightly. “I’ve actually been expecting you, spiky-haired shrimp!” The monster lumbered over to the four of them. “I am Bowser, king of the Koopas, and YOUR WORST NIGHTMARE!” The heroes scattered as Bowser slammed a claw into the ground where they stood just a second before.

Sora turned around. “How’d you know I was coming here? You’re not even from this world!”

“How would YOU know that?” Bowser wagged a finger tauntingly. “Even so... I have...” He pulled out a tiny sheet of paper and read it, then stuffed it away. “Friends in low places! Now sit still you pasta-eating moron!” Bowser unleashed a power burst of flames form his mouth, forcing Sora and the gang to scatter once again.
Bowser snarled and attempted to slash Sora with his claws. The Keyblade master dodged the move with a “Ha HA!” and smacked Bowser in the face with four strokes of the Keyblade. “I don’t even eat pasta, you freak of nature!”

“Suit yourself,” Bowser grabbed Sora. Smiling evilly, he flung Sora right into Sara, and they both crashed into the ground. Donald fired a Blizzaga in Bowser’s face, but Bowser countered with another round of flames. Bowser leapt up and attempted to crash on top of Donald, but he failed, earning a smack from the mage staff instead.

Bowser spun and knocked Donald away. Goofy used his Angel Descent, but Bowser blocked it. He swiped Goofy with his tail and knocked him away.

Sora rose and charged Bowser. Surprisingly, Bowser simply put his guard up, blocking Sora’s attacks. Bowser slammed the ground, forcing Sora to backflip out of harm’s way. “Power!” Sora chanted, and his Keyblade began to glow and speed up. Sora leapt up and smashed Bowser with a Ragnarok combo, and then he finished it with a Judgment attack, knocking Bowser back a few feet. Bowser roared again and charged Sora.
Sara came through, driving her sword along and through Bowser as he charged by. Her single wing emerged again, as she kept her back to Bowser. Sora turned around to see Bowser swing back around in shock...

... and bleed darkness.

“You’re not...!” Sora’s features widened in surprise.

Bowser’s wounds sealed themselves, but darkness was still flowing from out of his body. “I am merely a shadow of the true Koopa King. There is no need for me to use my full power on you.” A demonic smirk played on his lips. “But if you give up now, I promise I won’t hurt you... much.” Bowser roared and charged at Sora and Sara again, but Donald beat him to the punch.

“I got REAL darkness for ya!” Donald whipped his wand out. “Graviga!” The dark orb flattened the shadow Bowser and forced more darkness to exude from the Koopa King.

Bowser, however, returned to normal and shook it off. He smacked Donald away and blew Sora backwards with a very quick fireball. Sara gritted her teeth as she dodged consecutive fireballs from the dark Koopa. Goofy put up his shield just as Bowser aimed a fireball, and reflected it. The return fireball surprised Bowser and knocked him off of his feet, allowing Sara to unleash a combo. Sora delivered a final Ars Arcanum to his face.

By now, Darkness flowed off of the Shadow Bowser like a misty river. The hulking being rose...

...and easily smashed all four of them away.

“What you clowns GET for underestimating me!” Bowser roared. “Now feel the bowels of HELL.” Bowser heaved a breath...

...but a wicked flash stopped through him, cutting him like a sword. A silver-haired man decked in black with red trimmings appeared. His single black wing retracted, and he sheathed his sword.

If that weren’t enough, a rapid fire of energy blasts began to blast the Shadow Bowser into smithereens. “EYYAAAHHHH! The REAL King Bowser will rip you fools apart later!” The blasts stopped, and when the smoke cleared, there was no trace of the shadow left.

The silver-haired man spoke first. “Samus, that was entirely unnecessary.”

“What can I say,” a female voice responded. What looked like a person in an orange and red spacesuit landed. The streamlined design and overly large shoulder pads suggested that she wielded a technology far beyond the average human. “I had an itchy trigger finger.” She turned to the four. “You guys all right?”
Sephiroth looked over to see Sora amongst the fallen. “Well look at this,” He dashed past everyone else, unsheathing his sword and pointed it at Sora’s neck. “It’s the Key boy, the fool who nearly beat me by bludgeoning me to death by A GIANT METAL STICK!”

“P-p-please don’t kill me! You’ll stain your new carpet! I don’t taste good!” Sora shot out random reasons of why he shouldn’t be dismembered by the angry One Winged Angel.

“Sephiroth, you can’t kill him. He has to save the universe.” Samus stated calmly.

Sephiroth grabbed Sora by the neck instead. “What made you think I was going to kill you? Beating you to a pulp in a fair rematch would be far more satisfying... The Coliseum awaits us, Sora.”

“Father?” Sara inquired.

Sephiroth turned slowly to Sara, taking in her form before a small grin appeared on his face. “My daughter... you’re alive after all!” He flung Sora aside, who comically crashed somewhere in the room, and walked over to give his daughter a hug. “You know, we could kill Sora together, after he’s saved the universe, of course.”
“I bet, father,” Sara imitated her father’s slight grin.

“Hey, mister One Winged Angel guy, you don’t justh beat up our friend!” Donald snarled.

“That’s KING Sephiroth to you now, Donald Duck,” Sephiroth put Sara down to stare down the duck. “I’m the new ruler of Hollow Bastion.”

“Nice job of ruling the place, kingy,” Sora mocked as he limped back into view. “Fine job you have of controlling all those Heartless running around here.”

“It’s because of me the Heartless haven’t been running around anyplace else,” Sephiroth smirked, unfazed by Sora’s pot shot. “I put a very strong barrier around the castle and the valley, so only a few weak Heartless ever manage to make it to the village... and that samurai there is more than happy to clean up the remaining mess.”

“Kenshin...” Sora remembered Kenshin.

“That’s right. Ms. Aran and I saved him and his friends when the Heartless wrecked his world. In turn he decided to act as our last line of defense from the Heartless chaos. As long as that barrier is still up, he won’t have too much trouble.”

Sora sighed in defeat. Kenshin seemed alright, but being the only thing between the Heartless and absolute destruction tended to induce some horrible pressure.

“But where are the Heartless coming from?” Sora asked.

“I scoured the area earlier...” Samus noted. “But I haven’t found the exact source yet. All we know is that it’s somewhere within the confines of this castle. Sora, as a Keyblade Master, you’ve got urgent business on planet Earth.”

“I do?” Sora asked stupidly.

“That planet is one of the largest worlds. Failure to seal the keyholes there could spell disaster,” Samus answered.

“Ah!” Sora nodded. “So how are we gonna get there?”

“Hitch a ride on my ship; I’ve got it parked right outside.”

“Okey dokey, let’s go then, ahyuck” Goofy said as he and Donald got ready to go.

“Oh no you don’t,” Sephiroth smiled, almost evilly. “You two are staying here with me.”

“WHAT?!” Donald and Sora exclaimed.

“Don’t get your toga in a twist. Your King’s coming back, and he’d requested Donald and Goofy stay here before he came to meet with Sora.”

Donald sighed. Stuck here for who-knows-how-long with a psychopathic king and a random army of Heartless.
Joy.

“Well Sora... it was nice knowing you...” Donald and Sora gave each other a sad hug.

“We’ll miss ya,” Goofy sniffed and joined the hug.

“Oh, lay off of it, you three clowns will be back together before you know it,” Sephiroth pulled out Sora and threw him in Samus’s direction. Sara began to move slowly towards the exit as well. “We meet for the first time in years, and already you leave me?”

“I must find mother, too,” Sara responded, emotion creeping into her voice. She then dropped back to her deadpan demeanor. “Take care of the two stooges for us.”

“Oh, lay off of it!” Sora imitated Sephiroth and dragged Sara away, oblivious to the vein popping in her head in rage.

“Your funeral, Keyblade Master,” Sephiroth made a face at Sora.

------

“Ouch...” Hades commented as he saw what was left of the Shadow Bowser. “That pest is getting stronger than we thought.”

“That’s only because the Hunter and that Sephiroth guy interfered!” Ridley pointed out.

“I could’ve taken them on,” Bowser huffed.

“You would’ve stood no chance,” Black Ghost glowered at Bowser. “Even if you DID manage to take down the brat, Sephiroth would have torn you to pieces.”

“Gah, that Sephiroth burns me up,” Hades threw up his hands. “To think that being king and having a kid is enough to make you into a goody-two-shoes. Back in the day he had such villain potential!” Hades flared into ‘heat mode.’ The other villains stood back a bit, but otherwise seemed relatively unfazed. Hades attempted to calm himself and breathe slowly.

“How’s THIS for villain potential?” The group twirled to see a tall, mummy-wrapped man walk in the doorway. “Naturally, when I heard there were methods of controlling the Darkness that consumed worlds, I decided I HAD to have that power. I came down here because this is where ‘the darkest hearts gather’, if I’m correct.”

“I’m surprised you managed to actually think of that plan all by yourself, let alone get down here,” Black Ghost leered at the newcomer.

“Yeah? And? The REAL question is... is he a good villain?” Ridley craned his long neck at the arrival.

“Let’s see if he’s good enough,” Hades gained an evil, toothy grin, and folded his fingers together. “New guy! If you’re such an evil bastard, you will kill one of the villains standing in this room!”

Everyone gasped except the newcomer, who stood silent. The mummy-wrapped man however, answered, “Gladly.” He unsheathed a sword and looked around the room. Each of the villains had taken a defensive stance, and none looked off guard. The man finally charged straight forward and unleashed an impressive upward swipe with his sword, and then plunged it down for a final blow.

When all was finished, Hades comically noticed the top half of his body sliding off the bottom half.

“Whooooa!” Hades’ two halves crashed into the floor. He flared up and emerged in front of the mummified man, fully healed. “I gotta admit, for the new guy you’ve got considerable power actually hurting me. Guess we don’t need Sephiroth after all.”

“That was fun. Any other tests?” The newcomer asked.

“You... are absolutely amazing...” Bowser blinked.

“You shouldn’t have expected less from the legendary samurai Makoto Shishio...” yet another man stepped from the shadows. He wore silver armor plates on a black stealth suit, and he wore a mask that was half orange, half black. A single, devilish eye leered from the orange half. His dangerously calm voice continued. “But it was I who showed him here. Please forgive me for being late; I had to finish training my newest apprentice.”

“Should’ve known you’d show up eventually, Slade,” Hades glowered at the masked man. “Are you even aware of our latest schemes?”

“What were those schemes? Failing to take down a Keyblade master with a shadow of a Koopa King?” Slade simply stared back. “I’d say those schemes are quite the successful failure.”
Hades snarled and flared, but quickly tried to calm himself.

“Don’t worry yourself, Hades, we have plenty of expendable resources to get rid of the Keyblade masters with. But a newer threat is at hand,” Slade placed his hand on the crystal ball. The inside swirled to show a replay of the scene in which the hooded ones appeared at the castle. “They call themselves the Chaos Saints. They’re motives are entirely unclear, and we must change that. From what I gather, an inside member should be able to gather what they are planning. I’ve already got my apprentice on the job and we will hear from her soon.”

“In that case,” Giovanni, having been silent the whole time, finally rose and spoke. “I’m betting the Keyblade masters will eventually head into the Eastern Hemisphere. Black Ghost and I will have operatives ready and waiting for them. We’ll keep an eye out for these ‘Chaos Saints’ as you call them.” Giovanni and Black Ghost left, and the white robot Sirius quickly followed them.
Hades glared at Slade again. “You’d better be right.”

“Aren’t I always?” Slade countered, smiling under his mask.

--------

Ken Mira strained to wake up. That darkness had somehow enervated his entire body. How long he had been asleep was the least of his worries as he tried to make his senses come back.

“Chill out, crudmuffin! You look like you’re taking a crap!” He heard. Ken Mira stopped straining and opened his bleary eyes to a trio of teenagers standing at the foot of a small bed. Ken took a quick scan of his surroundings (“Looks like a giant beehive,” he would say later.) before turning to the three teens to his front.
“Umm... where am I, and who are you?” He blinked.

“You’re at the H.A.E.Y.P, and I am Jinx,” The lone, pink-haired girl introduced herself.

“I’m Mammoth. Don’t piss me off,” The large, muscle-bound teen with shaggy hair leered at Ken.

“I’m Gizmo!” The green-suited child gave Ken a malicious grin. “Question is, who are you, newbie?”

“Children, PLEASE,” the three teens face-faulted and moved to their left as a tall man walked into the room. His white hair matched what looked like a priest’s robe, and his long face only accented his large grin. The robe had a black cloth that formed a V around his neck; on it was a white crest looking similar to an anchored cross. “Do not crowd our newest arrival, unless of course you’re interested in your own DOOM...” his eyes glowered red. But they flickered back to normal when he turned to Ken. “We found you in the streets unconscious. It appears you may be the latest survivor of a string of Heartless attacks.”

“Heartless?” Ken asked. He though back to when those Shadows were chasing him around the church that night. “You mean those Shadow creatures?”

“Precisely,” The elder man answered as Ken hopped out of the bed. “Here at the HIVE Academy of Extraordinary Young People, we normally take extremely talented superhero teens and children, but as of late the Heartless have been destroying the homes of superhero and normal teens alike, so I’ve expanded our humble abode to welcome all refugees of the destroyed worlds and cities.”

“Wow...” Ken Mira rubbed his neck. “Thanks, mister...”

“Blood. Brother Blood.” Brother Blood took a slight bow. “Come with me, mister...”

“Ken Mira,” Ken answered.

“Yes,” Brother Blood left, and Ken followed, with the other three teens tailing him. Ken checked his surroundings once more, affirming his beehive stance from earlier. Turning through several maze-like hallways, Ken saw various teenagers milling about, nervously moving out of the way of their headmaster. “Ken? You know of a way to stop the Heartless?”

“Uhh...” Ken thought again. What was that thing Rob used to smash the Heartless again? “I remember one of my friends used some sort of giant, black key...”

“The Keyblade, just as I thought,” Brother Blood continued on, as the four teenagers continued to follow him down a few stairs. They at last arrived at the VERY large training room at the basement. A vast empty space of honeycomb-shaped tiles stood before Ken, only occupied by a blond-haired kid and another red-haired girl. The blond guy was mopping the floor with the red-haired girl, who despite her excellent judo stood no chance against his... two Keyblades?!

“Get ‘im, KP!” Another blond boy shouted from the bleachers, but when the blond in the arena easily smashed her out of the ring with a powerful combo, he cringed before he stood up and ran down the bleachers. “Don’t worry, KP, I’m comin’!”

“As you can see, we have our very own Keyblade Master,” Brother Blood smiled. “You said your friend had a Keyblade as well? The Key was black?”

“Yeah...” Ken looked at the blond kid, who also had both a black and a white Keyblade. “It seemed to have some sort of dark mist coming from it...”

“Alas, that is the Keyblade of Darkness,” Brother Blood shook his head. “If you say he fought the Heartless, he won’t be doing that for long.”

“What do you mean?” Ken titled his head in confusion.

“That Keyblade’s said to control the Heartless,” Jinx elaborated. “When he learns to control them instead, he’ll use them to destroy worlds.”

“But Rob’s not like that!” Ken sharply defended his friend.

“Doesn’t matter, snotbrain!’ Gizmo retorted. “In the end, the Darkness will control his brain. Your friend better not have any rage issues with humanity or something!” Gizmo illustrated his point by pretending to claw like a monster.

Ken sighed in defeat. Rob had rage issues, all right, and the general morality drop in humankind lately will only exacerbate it... “But Rob...”

“Don’t give up hope,” Brother Blood patted Ken on the shoulder. “There is something you can do to change that.” His eyes glowed red.

“There is?” Ken’s eyes also glowed red, producing a calming effect on his mind. “What is it?”

“You have a power, young one,” Brother Blood looked at Ken. “You can take it from him. We’ll teach you how.”

-
-

(Yep, that’s Episode 6 for ya! Sora’s ready to party, and my story’s gonna gain momentum, just you watch! The BHK has already shown his presence, and Namine, for those watching Chain of Memories, will show up in a very close future episode. Bonus points go to whoever picks up where KP comes from.)
Sephiroth hails from FF7, like you didn’t know that. Samus Aran is from the Metroid universe. Kenshin Himura, Makoto Shishio and Kaoru hail from Ruroni Kenshin. Brother Blood is a villain from the Teen Titans, as are the H.I.V.E kids. Slade is the coolest Teen Titans villain, you WILL see more of him; he’s the new Maleficent of the Heartless bad guys. “Pasta eating morons,” is an insult from Bowser that he used on an old Mario T.V show.

Legends-Kuja
14th September 2005, 11:02 AM
I'd like to know if anyone still gives a damn about this fic...

Episode 7: Keen Titans

(Disclaimer: No ownage of the Teen Titans (Cartoon version)! No ownage of the Four either--they're a group of four chaps in dedication to my online friend. Chill out and enjoy the show)

"Why Earth again?" Asked Sora as he watched Samus put the ship on auto-pilot.

"That's where all the action is. You mean you haven't heard?" Samus stared at Sora incredulously.

"No... I haven't paid any attention to the Universe News lately, Sara and I have been too busy searching for lost friends," Sora sighed. He missed Kairi. He could only imagine how much Sara missed Mary. Yeah, that's the name of that girl Sara talked about. Hopefully we'll find them soon, Sora thought.

"I think it's time you learned, then. The Heartless are all over the place down there. It's a wonder the planet hasn't been destroyed already, but people have managed to put up a resistance, thanks to the mysterious notes being left by a man named Ansem."

"ANSEM?!" Sora gasped. "THAT GUY IS THE SOURCE OF THE HEARTLESS! IS HE ALIVE DOWN THERE?!"

"Keep your voice down!" Sara snapped. "Some people need sleep between planets."

"Some people report than Ansem is alive, but Sara's right! Keep quiet!" Samus added tersely.

Sora began to babble in panic, " I CAN'T PIPE DOWN WHEN THE SOURCE OF THE HEARTLESS IS STILL ALIVE TO BRING DEATH AND DESTRUCTION TO ONE OF THE BIGGEST PLANETS IN THE UNIVERSE!"

"Wait a minute, why do you say he's so evil?" Samus asked.

"If you answer her question, will you stop yelling?" Sara grumbled.

"YES!" Sora cheered, simply doing so to get on Sara's nerves. He cleared his throat and spoke seriously. "Ansem wasn't evil before I met him. Back on his home planet, he was a kind king who craved knowledge. However, when he did research on the Heartless, they corrupted him. To this day he is still evil, although I thought the Door to the Light killed him."

(That was a plot device!) Yelled a Heartless who somehow wound up on the ship.

"SHUT UPPPPP!" Sora yelled, killing it with a Keyblade stab.

Suddenly, Samus heard an intercom beep. "Samus, incoming transmission!" An automated voice alerted.

Samus rushed to the cockpit to see a screen of a man in a leather jacket, undershirt and jeans. "Well, well. Ms. Aran. What brings you to these parts, darlin'?"

"Marshall James Raynor...," Samus said slyly, "You bastard. Where the hell have you been?" She laughed a bit.

"In Traverse Town," Raynor replied. "And that's Commander Raynor now, sweetheart."

"Don't even start with that, James," said Samus, quickly losing her jovialness.

"Aww, c'mon now, lighten up," replied Raynor, "Anyways, we were shootin' a couple of those things you call Heartless. Damn, those little bastards are more annoying than the Zerg! Siege is collecting data so when we find 'em anywhere else, we know what kills them. Say, darlin', have you heard anything about a so-called 'Keyblade of Darkness'?"

"You're risking it with the 'darlin'' thing," Samus replied. "And no, I haven't."

"Hey!" Sora dashed in. "I have! I think it's this weapon of evil that's used by the Heartless! The one who wields it is probably possessed by it, and could be tearing apart planets right now."

"Hey, you look familiar, kid!" Raynor said. "I think we saw you in Traverse Town!"

"Name's Sora," Sora pouted, having been referred to as a kid again.

"Well, Sora, I think we can help you track this thing down. Siege just found a hell of a lot of dark energy", Raynor said, "Strange thing is that its all in one place. Accordin' to him, its heading towards Earth. Jump City, to be exact."

"Hey, how about we meet in Jump City and talk about it when we get there?" Sora said.

"Good idea. Meet us there at 1900 hours." Raynor signed off.

"Umm...what time is that?" Sora asked, confused.

"7:00 P.M, moron," Sara snarled before she went back to sleep. It was 3:00 where they were, so they had plenty of time, as they just arrived near Traverse Square.

------------

"Okay, so what's next?" Rob asked as he sat down in one of the seats.

"Whoa... get this," Tails answered, pointing to a map of the U.S/Kanto. (Kanto is in essence, the U.S) "A serious source of... light. Ever heard of Jump City?"

"Wow, isn't that that umm... part of a really big connection of cities up in New York and Maryland and all that Kanto region?" Maya racked her brain for the knowledge of that area.

"Yeah, think so," Rob looked up, as if he were thinking. "But that source of light... could it be the Soulless?"

"Beats me." Sonic checked his palm and then hopped in a chair. "We've got ourselves a situation, then!"

"I bet..." Rob rolled his eyes.

"In that case, we might have another challenge on our hands then, eh?" Sonic slapped Rob's back. "Chill out. If it comes to that, we need the experience, there's probably a lot more stronger bad guys elsewhere!"

"You're right," Rob gripped his Keyblade. "But I hope that whatever's here isn't too much to handle."

"I guess we're going in then?" Tifa said.

"Of course we are!" Eggman boomed in response as he put the ship at a slower rate to prepare for arrival.

----------
"Some answers..." Ansem smiled, staring into the night sky with his neon orange eyes. "I can meet this Keyblade master at last."

"That's good," The red echidna next to him had his arms crossed and his eyes closed, as if he were trying to focus. He was not even half Ansem's height, although his large namesake knuckles gave him a tougher appearance. "And knowing Sonic, he's probably right with him."

"Don't you want to meet your old friend, Knuckles?" Ansem asked. "He's probably unaware you're even alive..."

"I wish, but I've got business to attend to. FINDING the Master Emerald at this rate could be near impossible," Knuckles opened his eyes and punched his fists together. "I'm going to keep searching. Let him find me," Knuckles shrugged. "He always does anyway. Good luck with that other Keyblade person." Knuckles took a leap and glided off into the red night sky, leaving Ansem alone on the building. The former king sighed and shook his head.

"At least he's easier to deal with than my degenerate son..."

------------

"Here we are. Jump City!" Tails announced as the ship came to a stop on a flat building.

Rob hopped out the ship first. "Reminds me of home," he said, looking at the cityscape before him. "Except bigger."

"You came from a city? Didn't say," Sonic hopped out next, looking at Rob first before he also looked around the mess of buildings.

"COOOOOOL, this DOES look like Chicago, doesn't it?" Maya chirped, taking a sharp look to her left and seeing an ocean. "But in the Windy City, you don't see the ocean, now do ya?"

"Never seen a city like this before, aside from Traverse Square..." Tifa leapt out the ship.

"We've been promised some UPGRADES," Dr. Robotnik said with a trademark evil grin. "We'll be back when they're finished."

"All right," Rob wearily nodded as Dr. Robotnik closed the hatch and the ship rocketed away. Rob stared at where the ship left for a moment before turning to see his friends, but they were oddly in fighting stances.

"What?!" Rob looked from Maya to Sonic and Tifa, noting that they kept leering at something. Rob turned around to see a familiar face.

"Charlotte?" Rob asked.

The girl in question wore a Heartless uniform (A/N: What Riku wore when Ansem possessed him.), but the white Soulless crest was on her chest as well. A pair of angelic white wings and another pair of black wings extended and flapped slowly behind her. Her blond, almost white hair blew in the wind.

Charlotte spoke, or rather thought. It appeared like she had two voices. (I'm more than Charlotte now, Bob. You can call me Oni. I am combined form of Charlotte and a soul long forgotten in the realms of existence. You could say our merger didn't take any persuasion.) She grinned deviously.

"What?!" Rob blinked, this thing not making sense. "Let Charlotte go!"

(You're SAD, Bob,) Charlotte mocked, pretending to weep.

"YOU WILL NOT CALL ME BOB!" Rob beat his chest in fury like an ape.

(Are you thick? She cooperates with me,) her wings spread out, making her look even more threatening and elegant. (She willingly gave me this body... the two of us are fated to battle you. You want to know why?)

"Is it the same reason you want my blood?!" Rob shot back.

Charlotte pretended to think. (Maybe... maybe not...) She tilted her head and wagged her finger. (But alas, I'd crush you with ease without the other Keyblade master, so I'll call up one of my friends instead,) Her white wings quivered and a flash of white appeared below her.

Like a white nightmare, a large white being had emerged. It looked like a giant version of the Dusk, but it lacked its thin visage. It looked more akin to a large, armored knight with a broad chest. The Soulless crest stood boldly where its face should've been. Its sharp claws had increased in size.

(This is a giant version of the Dusk known as 'Lightside.' Quite like your father, no?) Charlotte giggled.

"What do YOU know of my father?!" Rob shot back.

But Oni didn't answer. Lightside spoke for her by landing a large claw right in the middle of the group, forcing our heroes to scatter.
"Oh CRAP, she's lost it!" Maya shouted, using a Thunder attack. Lightside flinched before retaliating with a direct blast of Light to Maya's stomach. She flew back and crashed into the rooftop.

"Maya!" Rob shouted, dodging a claw swipe.

"Eat this! Sonic Wind!" Sonic shouted, as the whirling blue tornado in the face of the creature. Rob flipped Sonic in the air and the blue hedgehog slammed into Lightside with perfect form. Sonic made a face as he taunted, "You've been royally owned, ugly!"

"Allow me to try something new I learned..." Tifa pumped her fist and aimed. "Meteor Punch!" Tifa's move hit Lightside dead on, causing it to jump back at bit and shake the earth. The creature countered with a swipe that stretched to smash Tifa to the rooftop, kicking up bits of the concrete into a fine dust. Sonic snarled and used another homing attack, but the creature just shrugged off the attack. Sonic backflipped several times to avoid the steady blasts of light."AUGH!" Rob's jaw hit the floor as Tifa struggled to recover. He clenched a free fist as he held the Keyblade; his blood was boiling..."Wait for me!" Maya finally recovered and unleashed a Blizzard spell. Lightside barely felt the attack, but it was enough to distract it. Maya kept grinning. That's when Rob made his move.

Rob began to pick up speed, skating towards the monster with increasing speed. He hopped up and sliced upward twice in quick succession, his body flipping with the Keyblade. The Slicer technique, as he dubbed it from then on, smacked Lightside in the face, wounding it and obviously pissing it off. It recovered and smashed Rob away with a hand slap. "Arrrgghhh..." Rob growled, growing angrier.

Sonic shook himself and used a homing attack to counter a blast of a holy ray. He whipped around and used another Sonic Wind, but the creature took the attack and smashed Sonic away. Sonic recovered and spat blood to the side. "Ugh... it's pretty strong..."

Lightside reared back and fired a holy ray at the group.

"Not that again!" Sonic sneered and grabbing Tifa's hand, he swung her to deliver a smash kick to its face. Rob leapt in to attack, but Lightside simply slashed him, causing him to spiral into the ground.

"Let's try that again!" Rob bellowed, whipping around to fight again. He used another Slicer to Lightside's face. Sonic used another homing attack and missed again, being rewarded with a slash to the stomach.

"Again and again!" Maya cheered, using a Thunder spell over and over. Tifa grumbled something under her breath about again being used AGAIN and dodged a holy judgment onslaught.

By now Rob had reached a boiling point. The white-hot anger gnawed inside, and a new kind of darkness began to make itself known. He roared, "It's OVER! Understand DARKNESS!" Rob's neon orange eyes glowed and he shoved his hand forward. A sudden blast of Darkness rocked Lightside, and it curled in deep pain.

Rob reeled back in shock. "How... how did I do that?"
(...Truly fascinating... This is going to be enjoyable.) Oni/Charlotte suddenly flew back in, and our heroes stopped. Lightside began shake uncontrollably. (The Darkness awakens within you, Bob.)

"What? Have enough fun?" Rob's anger abated; he taunted the seraph-like Charlotte.

(No. Someone else has come to crash the party...) Oni/Charlotte flapped her wings steadily as they heard "Titans, let's move!" The mystic angel flew up at the last second as they heard a small chant of "Azarath... Metrion... ZINTHOS!" and a wicked blast of Darkness far superior to Rob's smashed into Darkside with ruthless abandon, killing it instantly."It's you again..." Rob turned to see Cloud, walking slowly unlike the rest of the people charging in. His cape blew in the wind.

Tifa, recognizing the voice whirled to Cloud. "Cloud?"

"Nice to see you, Tifa, but I wasn't talking to you," He acknowledged her as he walked past, until he was beside Rob. "I've seen this girl before."

"Oni/Charlotte?" Rob looked at Cloud, recognizing him from his meeting in the Heart of Darkness.

"Yes, if that's her name. I believe she might be a member of the H.I.V.E, the source of the Soulless attacks on the city," Cloud said.

"Just as Tails suspected..." Rob said, but Oni, after barely blocking a HUGE blue beam sent to her by a cyborg-looking teenager, flew up out of range.

(I am not of the H.I.V.E... they are a waste of my time...) Oni/Charlette boomed. Rob then heard Charlotte's voice alone. "Did you ever wonder why we just fought you?" She laughed as she began to levitate into the sky and disappear.

"Wait! Why...?" Rob asked.

He then heard the other voice, the voice of the mysterious 'other half' alone. (You... you and Sora... are the main keys to unlock... the Chaos Angel...)

"YOU WHAT?!" Rob shouted to the sky, but nothing came back.

"Is she a schizo or something?" A green bird landed and formed into a green-haired kid with green skin, elf-like ears and a thin body decked in black and purple. "That girl is weirder than any villain we've ever faced!"

"I think Mad Mod takes the cake on that one, Beast Boy," the group's apparent leader spoke. He was the one who shouted the first lines they heard. He had slick black hair, a thick black cape, a black eye mask, and green tights with a red shirt with a yellow utility belt and small matching "R" on his shirt.

"Mad Mod is stealing pastries? But I thought he was in jail!" A red-haired girl piped in, floating in the air. Her innocent face made her green eyes and pale-yellow skin shine even brighter.

"It's a figure of speech, Star," Beast Boy said. "Where he is, cake sure ain't on the menu!"

"I couldn't catch that angel-like girl, whoever she was," the tall android said. "I get a feeling she's unrelated to the H.I.V.E. But how did she summon that giant thing?"

"That's something we can figure out later," A monotone voice answered. It belonged to a gothic girl, draped in a blue cape and hood. She turned to Rob. "Right now, my question is who are you guys?"

Rob blinked at this odd team. Personally, he was also confused. Who were they? What was going on with the Soulless? How'd Cloud wind up here? He was about to ask these questions when Maya hopped up and roared, "I'M HUNGRY!"

The leader snickered. "All right then, why don't we head to the pizza place and get to know each other there while we get some food, huh?"

"Yes!" Maya bellowed.

"Fine with me," Rob said, glaring at his twin sister.

----------

It was 7:00, and Sora and friends sat in the pizza place. Samus had arrived without her suit, dressed casually yet nicely. After getting over the initial shock that Samus was in fact a girl (funny, everyone seems to do that. Although Sora even heard her true voice.), Sora calmly asked who were the five guys that Samus knew.

"Heh, these are friends of mine. ," Samus began. "They're a mercenary-bounty hunter group called 'The Four.'"

"Four? But there are five of them." observed Sora.

"Oh, this guy?" Jim said, looking over to the tall, pink, alien-like creature, "This is Majin Buu. He's with us. I'm Commander James Raynor, captain of the battlecruiser Hyperion and leader of this little group."

The Blastoise with the cybernetic arm introduced himself. "Master Sergeant Siege Mortar. It's a pleasure." He and Sora shook hands.

"The name's Beelzemon," said the tall, pale, demonic person dressed in black with a small black leather jacket with a fur collar, resembling a biker. "I'm a Mega level Demon Lord-type Digimon."

"Not sure if they understand that, buddy," said Raynor.

"Eh, let 'em figure it out," retorted Beelzemon, shrugging.

"Ehhh...Hi," said the innocent-looking red squirrel, shifting his eyes left and right. "I'm Conker. Any of you kids over 21? 'Cause I wanna head to a tavern if this place don't sell any pints."

Raynor smacked Conker upside the head. "Your not goin' no where, shorty. Beer or no beer."

"Argh! Stop introducing! We're in a pizza place and I'm hungry!," Majin Buu said. (This is SUPER Buu, by the way)

"What the hell? You just ate a moment ago!" said Raynor.

"It was a small lunch. I ate it too quick!"

"You were eating it fairly slow, Buu," said Siege.

"Not slow enough!" replied Buu angrily.

Siege cocked a non-existant eyebrow, "You're still eating it." Siege pointed out the half-eaten sandwich in Buu's hand.

Buu quickly shoved it in his mouth and swallowed, "Graaaah! I don't care! I'm hungry! Let's get some food already!" Buu began to pound his foot on the ground, causing an earthquake from the force of the pounding, "Come...on!"

Everybody started screaming at the quake until Jim calmed Buu down.

"Buu! Cool it!" he exclaimed, "You'll get your food." He went aside to Sora.

"Sorry about that. Buu...err...likes food too much, and he's also strong as hell, so he gets a little out of control sometimes. You're ok, though, right?"

Sora gave a big nervous smile and nodded. Sara simply raised an eyebrow.

"So... what have you heard about the Keyblade of Darkness?" Sora asked.

"It's puzzling, actually," Siege said. "They say the Keyblade of Darkness is in truth the key to unlocking the balance between light and darkness. If the wielder is evil, they can mess up this balance at will... if they're good, however... they are the key to restoring it."

"We wanna find this guy and turn him in. Wonder if there's a large bounty on him..." Conker contemplated.

"I bet we'll probably get some action along the way, too!" Beelzemon said.

"All I want out of it is food..." Buu muttered. With some luck, their pizzas arrived just as he said this... all ten of them.

"We ordered ten pizzas?" Sora asked, blinking.

Buu then picked up about eight of them and ate them whole. Siege muttered, "Knew he was gonna do that."

Sora could only stare in shock as Buu rubbed his belly contently. He looked, however, as the door burst open and a strange cast of characters zoomed right upstairs. However, what caught Sora's attention is that one of them held a Keyblade. And he could've sworn he also saw Cloud among them.

As everyone bickered amongst themselves Sora meekly said, "Guys... hey guys... I just saw another Keyblade."

"What, where?!" The whole table asked collectively.

"They just went upstairs... I wasn't sure but I think that was the Keyblade of Darkness!"

"We'll go check it out... Let's move, boys!" Raynor instructed as the eight of them moved their stuff out.

-------

"We're the Teen Titans," the leader introduced. "My name is Robin."

"I'm Beast Boy," Beast Boy crowed. "I can change into any animal. I'm also very popular with the ladies," he grinned, raising his eyebrows. Maya giggled maniacally.

"I'm Cyborg," The biggest of the group stood up and shook hands with Rob. He had a huge body, with half of it being robotic and clear blue. His left eye was completely red.

"Raven..." a dark-haired girl spoke in soft monotone. In stark contrast to Cyborg she was very small and frail looking. A blue cape covered most of her body and a red jewel shone on her forehead.

"My name is Starfire, I am very pleased to meet you," Starfire gushed loudly as she shook hands with Rob. "I like to fly and recite poetry. Perhaps I shall sing a Tamaranian song of new friendship!" All the rest of the Titans shook their heads furiously at this suggestion, so she backed off. However, her eyes became fully green and her smile wide and innocent as she got into Rob's face. "Will all of you be our new friends?"

Rob nodded furiously, not sure whether to be afraid of this strange girl or be infatuated. She was very attractive looking. "Of course!" A HUGE sweat-drop formed on his head.

"Glorious!" Starfire happily backed away and sat down again as about eight people appeared on the rooftop and sat down not too far away from them.

"My name is Maya!" Maya chirped. "I like to sing THE DOOM SONG!"

"You will NOT torture me with that infernal 'Invader Zim' song!" Rob shook before she could start singing.

"Dude! Invader Zim rules!" Beast Boy added.

"I'm Sonic the Hedgehog," Sonic said, "You probably know about me, due to the fact that I saved the world...twice." Sonic gave a proud grin. Robin smirked.

"Yeah, I saw you on T.V once!" Robin added.

Sonic just kept grinning. "My name is Tifa. Some of you already know me..." she looked at Cloud.

Rob recovered, "My name is Rob. My sister and I hail from Chicago..." He bowed, then took another look at the city. "Not even a week ago I was just an ordinary church kid," he turned to face the rest of them. "But then destiny came a-knockin' and here I am... I wield the Keyblade of Darkness," He materialized the weapon and held it up high for all to see. Realizing he was killing the good mood around him, Rob quickly changed subjects. "So, uhhhh... how did y'all meet Cloud?"

"It was weird!" Beast Boy said. "We were fighting off a round of those Soulless things and he just pops out of the sky, swinging his sword. We at first thought he was with them because of that mark on his forehead," Cloud cleared his bangs, and sure enough, there was the Soulless crest. "But we saw he was fighting the Soulless and not sending them to kill us!"

"I emerged from Hollow Bastion on that portal... That girl Charlotte severed my soul, and took one of my friends," he looked at Tifa, as if to silently say you know who she is. "But I couldn't find her. I exhausted myself defeating a wave of those monsters, so that's how I fell asleep and met you at the Heart of Darkness..." he looked at Rob. "Your mother was kind enough to give me my soul, or at least my self-awareness back."

"Whoa, wait a second, "Cyborg interjected. "Did you say, 'Keyblade of Darkness?' 'Heart of Darkness?'"

"Yes... As far as I know, it's the key to stopping both the Heartless and the Soulless," Rob said. "I'm pretty sure Keyblade of Darkness sounds really evil, but I assure you, I'm not!"

"No man, that's good! You might have better luck beating those elastic creatures than we do!" Cyborg said. Their pizza arrived. He began to eat. "So far, only Raven's managed to beat 'em with ease!" Raven slightly blushed at this comment.

"Yeah," Robin agreed, as he stuffed his face full of pizza. "Those guys at the H.I.V.E have been using these white monsters to lead attacks on the city lately. We've been busy trying to counter them..."

"The H.I.V.E?" Rob asked, raising his eyebrow. "Sounds like a school of evil hornets."

"They're just as annoying," Cyborg snarled. "They're a school of superpowered teenagers like us, except they're evil. Apparently they've gotten a new headmaster, and he's been the one who taught them how to use those Soulless monsters in the first place."

"Surely you guys have heard of the Heartless, right?" Sonic asked as he scarfed down a piece of pizza. He looked around to see general agreement.

"We've heard about 'em but we've never seen any in the city..." Beast Boy answered.

"If it's one thing the H.I.V.E is good for, is that they hate the Heartless with a passion," Raven had taken her nose out of a book she was reading to add in. "We've responded to calls against Heartless, but the H.I.V.E always beats us to it."

"Lately, we've seen that girl you call Charlotte hanging around," Robin added. "How do you know her?"
"She was... a friend of mine..." Rob answered. "Apparently, she's possessed by something, or someone, hence the double-voice and the apparent schizophrenia..."

"I wish to speak about that later," Starfire kindly interjected. "All I want now is to have this delicious pizza!" She poured mustard on her slice and began to eat.

"M-mustard?" Rob's eye began to twitch.

"Don't ask," Robin answered.

"COOOOOOL!" Maya dumped mustard on her pizza and began to eat ravenously, much to the delight of Starfire. Everyone else grew silent as they began to eat as well.

"I eat this with them every day and I still can't get it right..." Cloud muttered as he tried to clean the cheese that fell on his shirt.

------------

"So that IS the Keyblade of Darkness..." Sora said. "But he says he's not evil." He destroyed the last of his crust and stood up. "I'll wait for him outside... if we wind up fighting anyway, I'd rather not have it on this rooftop." He went back downstairs.

"Suit yourself," Sara said she got up. "He's surrounded by friends, and someone I recognize... I think you might need help." She left after him.

"We'll all wait outside, then, huh?" Samus stood up. The rest of the crew left the table, and Siege left the check.

--------------

Beast Boy rubbed his stomach. "That was sweet!" he sighed happily as the three left the building.

"Yeah... Loved it," Rob added. "But when's the last time you guys saw a Soulless?"

"We fought some just this morning..." Raven answered in her smooth, monotone voice. "They're getting stronger."

"Not good!" Sonic's eyes bugged out.

"But that's only just the beginning," a voice added, and everyone whirled to see a silver-haired man with tri-spiked hair and dressed in black, with gray gloves. "They say the sky is darkest just before dawn."

"Who are you?" Rob asked, feeling a sense of newfound benevolence from this man.

"I am Ansem..." the man bowed. "So you are the one who wields the Keyblade of Darkness."

"So YOU'RE Ansem?" Rob and Ansem shook hands. "You're the one who does all the research on the Heartless and Soulless?"

"That's Ansem, all right," Sora whispered in malice.

"He looks kind to me," Samus rolled her eyes.

Sora sighed and shook his head. "Yeah, but I just can't believe he'd change sides so quickly. I mean... what is he really up to? And what's Cloud doing there?!"

"Yeah, that's him, all right," Raynor said. "We don't know if he's good or evil. He's either being honest or he's deceiving them. Want to go find out?"

"Yeah," Sora answered, pulling out his Keyblade. "Why don't we go see..."

"I'm ready," Beelzemon said, holding his arm out as a large arm gun materialized on it.

"Let's go, then," Sara pulled out her sword. She whispered, "En guarde, fools..."

"So I see... You seek to redeem yourself from the crimes you committed, right?" Robin asked Ansem.

"That is true," Ansem said. "There is still more to be done, and in fact I feel I can't do enough to repay for my sins. If what you say is true, this Oni person can only complicate things. Still, there's a lot to learn and figure out. I never knew that my greatest motto would come back to haunt me. Remember, those who know nothing understand nothing."

"I understand. I know this won't be the last time we meet. I look forward to your next research entry," Rob shook hands with Ansem again. "Farewell."

"So long!" Sonic happily waved as Ansem left. "Did he seem like a former villain to you?" he asked to the group.

"Nah, I think that feeling comes from the silver hair," Beast Boy chuckled.

Everyone seemed to pick up his or her pace except for Rob. He slowed down and suddenly stopped, pulling out his Keyblade.

"What is wrong, friend Robert?" Starfire asked.

Rob whipped around to see an intimidating group of eight leering at him. The kid in the front, however, held a Keyblade.

"Where's Ansem?" the lead kid with spiky hair (Sora) asked. "Tell me... is he truly not evil anymore?"

"What do you want?" Rob stalked bravely towards the eight. An unexplainable... hatred began to rise within him at this Keyblade wielder "I feel that way... why don't you?

"Because not too long ago," answered Sora. "Ansem nearly destroyed us all. And I feel that same aura from him now."

"That's too bad," Rob smirked. "I don't feel any sort of aura like that... in fact, NONE of us do... Right?" He looked at his team.

They shook their heads. Cloud said, "People change, Sora."

"Yeah, I thought it was you, Cloud..." Sora answered. "And yes, they do... but with a heart so evil, how could that have happened?"

"I honestly don't know... the fact is, it did," Rob said.

A crash was heard somewhere in the distance. Something beeped on Robin.

"The H.I.V.E!" Robin cried. "Let's move!"

"How about this... Many people have tested me to see if I was worthy of my Keyblade; allow me to test if you are still worthy of yours," Rob got into a fighting stance.
"Really?" Sora began to get slightly angry, but kept his cool. He pulled out his Keyblade. "How about we find out? Everyone else, go help Cloud and his friends. I need to settle this by myself."

"Rob, this isn't the time to pick a fight!" Maya almost pleaded with her brother.
"Maya, stand back," Rob calmly but firmly reprimanded. "Go on, everyone, I have this."

"All right then, Titans! Go!" Robin dashed away, followed by everyone except Rob and Sora. The two stared at each other as the wind blew. Those who witnessed this battle could've SWORN they saw tumbleweeds go by and the music "Dance of Death" (A/N: Think that's the title of the music that plays when you fight Magus in Chrono Trigger) played.

They each took fighting stances.

"You're MINE," Rob growled.

"I hope you like the taste of justice, because you're getting A FULL COURSE MEAL!" (Lame-o-meter: 5.0) Sora roared and the two Keyblades clashed. Rob and Sora struck with everything they had, with Sora having a slight advantage due to experience.

"I just ATE, you friggin' monkey!" (Lame-o-meter: Perfect 10) Rob countered as he dealt another blow blocked by the Keyblade. "And I can take my OWN medicine, thank you!" (Lame-o-meter: 8.0)

"I don't see YOU in the doctor's office of justice!" (Lame-o-meter: 8.5) Sora quipped as he swung the Keyblade in a might arc, nearly knocking Rob's out of his hands.

"Yeah, and you make the prescriptions," (Lame-o-meter: 6.5) Rob snarled in sarcasm as he dodged another Keyblade from Sora. Sora lunged, striking with a 3-hit combo. However, Rob blocked each attack, countering with a slash of his own

"BINGO!" (Lame-o-meter: Perfect 10) Sora lifted up his Keyblade, and Rob barely dodged the thunder that issued from it. Rob saw opportunity and dashed forward with incredible speed, smashing Sora in the stomach with a mighty strike from his Keyblade.

"I thought only old fogies played that game," (Lame-o-meter: 9.7) Rob quipped as he smashed into Sora again. Sora parried the attack and smashed Rob away with a long slash.

"Sure, but justice is a game for all ages!" (Lame-o-meter: Perfect 10) Sora shot a Firaga blast, but Rob dodged it. Rob whipped around and shot his own blast of Fire, but Sora easily deflected it with his Keyblade. Sora concentrated, and his Keyblade started to glow. With a new rush of speed, Sora performed a wicked Ars Arcanum combo. Rob crashed into the ground.

"Ungah..." Rob snarled, trying his best to recover. He gripped his Keyblade and stood.

"Had enough?" Sora taunted.

"Not on your life!" (Lame-o-meter: ELEVEN) Rob charged, Darkness exuding from his Keyblade. "RRRAAAUUUUGGHH!" A perfect Slicer attack smashed Sora airborne before he plummeted into the asphalt, crashing painfully.

The two continued to fight, shouting lame quips and comebacks in their enraged fight for justice, completely oblivious to the redhead spectator, draped in a Chaos Saint outfit. "The fate of all existence depends on these two clowns?" He laughed. "They're fun to watch, to say the least. Roxanne must've actually had an impact on the dark boy." He stepped back a bit and continued to watch them fight.

-----------

"We've got word that the Soulless are now launching an offensive at an art museum," Robin broadcasted over the Titan communicators as he sprinted and leaped form building to building. "They're a pretty big force, but with as many as us as there is, we can spilt up and take them down!"

"The largest number's just right of the museum place, Robin," Cyborg radioed. "The bounty hunters, Cloud, and I will take them down!"

"Holy CRAP!" Robin heard Beast Boy exclaim. "Robin! There's two really huge Dusk monsters right in front of the museum! We need Raven!"

Robin was about to respond back when he then heard Sonic's enraged voice. "It's YOU! You betrayed Station Square to the Heartless!"

"Um.. Robin? Nevermind..." Robin practically HEARD Beast Boy sweatdrop. "Sonic's got it."

Robin finally arrived at the front of the museum. Apparently, Beast Boy was right--Sonic was enraged enough to account for TWO Ravens. The hedgehog was currently in a shouting match with a red-haired girl and her blond partner. Robin blinked. "No way... It can't be--"

"Robin!" Starfire flew up, with Tifa in her grasp. "We need to evacuate the innocent people that may be trapped inside."

Raven emerged from a dark portal, with Maya clinging on to her back. "The strongest source of Soulless is inside. We need to get in there."

Robin nodded.

"Tifa and I will assist Beast Boy and provide a distraction," Starfire added, before flying towards the giant Soulless.

Robin tensed, getting ready for a sprint. "Now or never, Raven!" He burst off into a sprint, and Raven sank into another dark portal. Maya simply chased Robin. The Boy Wonder ducked the two stomping Soulless and dodged stray attacks from Beast Boy and Starfire. In one fell motion, he pulled out his bo staff, leapt, and rolled right into the doorway. He whipped his bo staff into a fighting stance...

... and saw only Siege Mortar, attempting to analyze something.

Robin blinked in confusion. "Umm... aren't you one of those bounty hunters?"

"As a matter of fact, yes I am," Siege answered. "My sensors indicated that the strongest wave of Soulless was in here... But I see absolutely nothing."

Raven and Maya appeared inside. "Tell me about it," she answered in monotone.

-
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(Episode 8 will be a far more dramatic edit. Enjoy the increasing tension, madness, and confusion! The red-haired guy is a Squaresoft character, and the red-haired girl is part of Disney, and you won't hear the identity of either until next episode... Oh well, what did YOU think was the lamest quote by Sora or Rob?)

Legends-Kuja
23rd September 2005, 09:24 AM
Yeah, children! I'm still UPDATING! As a matter of fact, I'm uploading 4 eisodes a day until its conclusion, as Season 2's being beta'd right now!

Episode 8: Paint My Picture

Rob's body whipped around and crashed into the street painfully. Sora stood back, Keyblade ready. Rob struggled to recover. From what one could tell, Sora owned Rob's sorry butt.

"You must be joking... test ME for MY Keyblade?" Sora asked. "You're nowhere near bad, but I've had three years on you!" He pointed the Keyblade at Rob. "Do you give up?"

"No... not by a long shot!" Rob snarled before putting his hand out by instinct. "EAT DARKNESS!" He bellowed in rage. A powerful blast of Darkness caught Sora off guard, knocking him skyward. Sora landed on his feet clumsily, shaking from the sudden pain. "Rage... My darkness is connected to my rage!" Rob realized.
"You... you make me sick. I feel... Ansem from you," Sora snarled. Almost by a similar instinct to Rob, Sora pointed his Keyblade. Quivering with light, Sora bellowed. "You WON'T destroy this world in Darkness! HAAAAAAAAA!" A burst of light flew forward, and Rob took the full brunt of it. Rob fell slowly to the ground, twitching from pain. He strained to glare at Sora through neon-orange eyes.

"Ansem... had those same eyes..." Sora leered at Rob. "How... can he not be evil?!"

"The same reason we both have Keyblades... it was meant to be," Rob answered, not letting his eyes off Sora.

"Bravo... bravo indeed," Slow clapping was heard, and Sora turned to see a red-haired man grinning at them. He was dressed in the same way the Enigmatic Man was... "So your real powers are awakening?"

"Who are you?!" Sora shot back.
"You can call me Axel," Axel flexed an arm before turning back to them with another grin. "I've studied the two of you for quite some time. Larxene and Zexion told me the rest. According to Oni, you two Keyblade masters being at odds are the key to the Chaos Angel."
"Chaos Angel?! What do you hooded freaks want with the Chaos Angel?!"
"Chaos Angel?" Rob asked. He reared his feet back and whipped them to stand up. "Charlotte said something about that... what IS it?"
"It's a glorious thing indeed... He who operates the Chaos Angel operates all of existence!" Axel laughed. "There's no stopping its culmination! It's a race of who gets to the controls first!"

Rob snarled. "We won't let you get it first!" He readied his Keyblade.

"Who said I was going to use it for evil?" Axel thrusts his arms out to his sides. A whirling flash of light appeared at each of his hands, spinning rapidly until they solidified into circular, spiked weapons (called Fire Wheels.). "All I'm doing is letting it live. I've seen you two fight each other... Now let's see how you two cooperate!" Axel lunged. "RRAAUUGHH!"
Rob dashed forward first, sweeping his Keyblade to block Axel's strike. Sora saw opportunity and bounded into the air, bringing down his blade right into Axel's face...
If only he didn't use his other hand... Axel blocked Sora's attack, then whipped out his foot, smashing Rob in the chest, then striking Sora away. Rob growled and bounded back up. He swung his Keyblade repeatedly, trying to parry Axel's attacks to leave him open.
Sora, who had crashed further away than Rob, rose and cast a round of Curaga on himself. Axel was tougher than the Enigmatic Man, so he'd have to keep his guard up. Running towards the battle, Sora gritted his teeth. This could get ugly...
----------

Robin, Raven, Maya, and Siege stared at the area around them. Surprisingly, there was nothing to be seen. Where there was supposed to be life, or at least demented Soulless, there was only emptiness. Where there was supposed to be chaos, there was only peace. Where there were supposed to be panicking masses, there was only a young girl, drawing in a sketchbook. Her blond hair curled around one side of her face, and her one-piece summer dress just reached her legs. She noticed the group after a moment, and answered with a "Hmmm?"
"We got a call that said the Soulless were running around... where are all the Soulless in here?" Robin asked, looking around.
"They all went home..." She stopped in front of Robin. “All things have a home...”
“Shouldn’t you get to yours?” Robin asked, half-shrugging.
The girl hung her head in sadness. “I do not have a home... Not anymore. But at least this art... MY art has a home. This place, this museum... it feels like I belong here,” she smiled slightly.
“This place IS pretty cool,” Maya added, looking around at all the paintings. “But you should leave! There’s a dangerous Soulless running around here, and—”
“I will not leave...” The girl stated firmly. “This is... MY place! My friends will prove it!” She slung her arm out, showing her sketchbook and her picture. The other four flinched, but then stared mutely at the sketchbook. The picture sketched on there was of a short boy in a green jumpsuit, with a pink-haired girl, dressed in a gothic dress with a hint of pink, right next to him.
“That’s a drawing of Gizmo and Jinx...” Raven blinked mutely.
“More than a drawing, I’m afraid,” a familiar voice echoed. Without warning, a pink hex flew out of the drawing, smashing Raven and Robin away. Siege looked back in shock before turning back to face the strange girl. Maya snarled before unsheathing the twin daggers; her brother was still using the Keyblade.
But she was no longer alone. Gizmo and Jinx now stood beside her, malicious grins plastered on their faces. Worse yet, they seemed to be fully real, rather than simply animated drawings. Gizmo chuckled before floating forward to taunt the group. “You weren’t expecting that, now were you, crudsniffers!”
“Awesome, Namine,” Jinx gave a small grin to the girl before turning back to face the angry Titans. “As you can see, our new friend Namine has quite some powers. She can bring anything she draws to life, and if they already exist...”
“They’re summoned to her so she can end your sorry, monkey-lickin’ lives!” Gizmo finished, using his index finger to make a face at them. He then conjured a laser from his high tech backpack (don’t know what it is...) and proceeded to aim it. “Let’s make that happen, then!”
Robin clenched his teeth before whipping out his bo staff and shouting “Titans! GO!”
--------

”RRAAUUGGHH!” Cyborg bellowed, letting a full blast of his Sonic Cannon rip through a pack of the Dusk. He landed down, only for another Dusk to smack him with an extended limb. Cyborg growled before whipping around and letting another shot of the cannon knock it backwards...
...Right into Cloud, who then slashed it down with his giant sword. It disappeared with a flash of light. Cloud ran over to Cyborg, offering a hand to help him up. “You all right?” Cloud asked.

"Peachy," Cyborg answered as he recovered. "How many of these damn things are there?!"

"These guys are annoying, I'm havin' to use all of my abilities just to kill 'em! CORONA BLASTER!" Beelzemon shouted as the "mouth" on his arm gun opened up, firing a powerful positron beam, wiping the floor with the Soulless Cyborg couldn't kill.

”Is it just me, or does this look like a distraction?” Cloud asked as he blocked another attack from a Soul Spider.
“In all likelihood, it IS,” Jim Raynor added as he fired another round of bullets from his sub-machine gun. “Only question is... what’s it distracting us FROM?”
“Wouldn’t YOU like to know?” The crowd turned to see a large, hulking teen with red hair. Cyborg and Cloud snarled as Mammoth raised his fists to send a wicked shockwave though the street.
-------------

Axel stood facing Rob and Sora, still grinning. Neither side had moved after Axel had used a devastating blast of fire. To tell the truth, Sora wasn’t even sure how Rob was still standing, as he had taken most of the damage.
“It was fun!” Axel said. “Nice to see that you can kick ass together as much as you hate each other. My mission’s done for now. Don’t you two have a case of Soulless to stop?”
“Umm...” Sora blinked. ‘What’s WITH this guy?’ He thought. ‘One moment he’s trying to flay us alive and the next moment he’s chatting away without any sort of rage!’ “Yes,” Sora pronounced firmly but cautiously. Axel then turned and began to walk off. “Hey, wait! Where are you going?”
“I’ve got other business to take care of.” Axel shrugged. “Rest assured, we will meet again,” Axel grinned once more before walking off.

Sora blinked once again before turning to Rob, who had been silently standing there the whole time, holding his Keyblade rather weakly. His clothes were torn, and even some of his skin was slightly singed. Rob strained to stand up, but at last fell, too tired to go on. Rob whispered, "Maya... remember... the Keyblade..." he dropped it out of his grasp and it disappeared, and Rob promptly fainted.

Sora looked in confusion and sadness. "What... did he just do?" Sora remembered that he DID beat Rob pretty badly, and perhaps he had been straining the whole time just to stay out of Axel’s wrath. What... was he then? Why did he still feel loathing for this strange kid?
“That would be his connection with the Keyblade of Darkness,” Sora came face-to-face with Sara. She was walking towards him.
“Sara?” Sora asked. “I wondered where you went...”
“Heh,” She grinned. “The Keyblade of Darkness is not merely his own power. It’s a family heirloom.”
“Huh? How can that be? Mine isn’t!” Sora responded.
“My father told me someone within the kingdom also had a Keyblade. This someone was hired to keep down Ansem’s experiments... It was an exceptional weapon, and that’s how Ansem knew that there were Keyblades amongst the universe before King Mickey visited him. However... something went wrong. Apparently as Ansem lost his sanity, he turned on this person and nearly destroyed his/her heart. Apparently they escaped to another universe and sought to continue the Keyblade lineage before it could be lost to the darkness.”
“Wow...” Sora blinked in amazement as he looked at the fainted Rob. “So apparently this Keyblade being darker was... a side-effect?”
“Not a clue. My father only knew so much. I believe Mary may know the rest of this puzzle,” Sara answered. “That’s why I’m looking for her. You should be more considerate to your... ‘rival.’ He might not like the street for a bed.”
Although he still didn't like him, Sora agreed with Sara and decided to at least lay him down SOMEWHERE where he wouldn't be road-kill. He scooped up the fallen boy and walked with Sara down the street.
---------------
Robin struck first.
“HAA!” He struck his bo staff towards Jinx, but she twirled and dodged the strike. She flung a pink hex with grace, forcing Robin to retreat. She then shot a wave at the ground, creating an earthquake that knocked Robin off of his feet.
Raven floated forward. Her eyes glowing white, she flung two streaks of dark energy. Jinx ducked under the first and hopped over the second, before countering with her own wave of bad luck. Raven took to the air and flew past the counterattack, now heading forward into a straight offense.
Meanwhile. Maya took the liberty of striking Gizmo. She let out a shrill cry of “ROAST BACON!” before letting loose a fast volley of fire. Gizmo flew forward on his jetpack, pulled out another sort of gun and fired it at the onrushing attack. It grabbed the rush of fire in its clutches before Gizmo aimed it and fired it back at Maya.
“YEEEK!” Maya flipped out of harm’s way, letting the fire explode under her feet. She stumbled back, readying another attack.
However, Siege Mortar beat her to the punch. He aimed his shoulder cannons, and a burst of water issued forth. Gizmo couldn’t fly out of the way in time, so the water struck him in full force. “WAAAAHHH!” Gizmo cried as the water burst into him, sending him crashing into the floor. “Aww... man! I’m all washed up!” He whined.
“What you deserve for your terrible puns,” Siege grinned. He then took a second look—-and his jaw dropped.
Gizmo was FLAT! Worse yet, he had the appearance of shredded, wet paper. “I’m useless now! Jinx! Smash the ugly Blastoise before he soaks ya!”
Unbeknownst to the warring groups, Namine was hard at work sketching another picture.
Jinx tensed as she dodged another strike from Raven. Seeing Siege aim his cannons, she quickly moved away from Namine and the pursuing Raven.
Siege fired.
Jinx fired a powerful blast of hex right before the water reached her. The hex wave shot her out of reach of the attack, at the same time knocking Siege out with yet another bad luck earthquake.
That was all Robin needed.
Robin pulled out two birdarangs and hooked them together. The combined weapons stiffened into a sword. Robin ran forward with a desperate sort of speed, as to not miss his opportunity. “HAAAAA!” Robin slashed upwards into the air before landing gracefully into the ground.
Jinx twitched for a moment before she split into two paper halves, which fluttered neatly onto the floor. “That was a bust...” She, or one of her halves grumbled.
Raven and Robin blinked before staring forth at Namine, who drew back in fear. “What’s the H.I.V.E planning?!” Robin shot. However, Raven raised a hand to motion Robin to stop before calmly gliding towards Namine.
“Namine... why are you with those guys? Are they really your friends?” Raven asked.
Namine hung her head. “The Heartless destroyed my home. They offered me a place to stay, a place to draw...” Her eyes began to glow a calm red. Somehow, her voice grew louder without sounding threatening... for the moment. “A place to fight back.” She showed her second drawing. Now the four members saw what looked like a strange, almost angel-like creature wearing a cloak. It held a strange lantern that seemed to glower with an increased light. Without warning, the creature emerged, its light glowing stronger.
“AAUUUGGGHHH!” Raven screamed as the painful light forced her back. The creature continued to stomp forward, growing to its full height, which barely doubled that of Namine’s.
“I call it the Lightbringer...” Namine said softly. “Do not resist its light, and it won’t hurt you...”
“Yeah...” Raven said dryly, straining to recover. “More light-bringing than Lucifer himself...”
Maya shouted, “This Lightbringer is no goody! It’s MEAN!” With that, she rushed in, summoning a shock of thunder as the light grew brighter...
----------
Cyborg grit his teeth as Mammoth forced him back for the fifth time. He aimed his Sonic Cannon, and Cloud readied a combo sword attack. Cyborg released the shot, and Cloud caught it in an upward sweep, smashing Mammoth with a Sonic Cannon powered swipe.
Mammoth groaned as Cyborg aimed his cannon at him. “Gonna give up, big guy?”
Mammoth looked up, and was about to retort when he noticed the growing light inside the museum. With that he grinned, making Cyborg nervous. “It has begun.” He answered cryptically.
-----
A flash of thunder struck the Lightbringer as Maya ran forward into the burning light. The ghostly, angel-like Soulless flinched and answered with swing of its lantern, smashing Maya across the room. She recovered, shaking her head to get the kinks out.
The Lightbringer stalked towards Raven, walking slowly but surely. Raven let her eyes glow and focused her power. “Azarath, Metrion, ZINTHOS!” Two waves of energy cut through the Soulless, but using its light, it recovered, and began to advance on Raven. “Ugh...” She backed away as that glowing light burned.
“NNAAAUUUGGH!” Robin came forward with his bird-sword again, executing a swift three-hit combo on the Lightbringer. Robin strained against the light as he continued to slash down against the Soulless. The creature suddenly whipped back and struck Robin with its lantern. Robin crashed onto the floor, but rolled backwards and stood up once again. The creature continued to amble over to Raven.
Raven prepared another attack. “Azarath, Metrion—-URRRGGH!” The Lgithbringer had once again started to intensify its light, forcing Raven to guard herself.
“Eat Photon Cannon!” Siege’s right arm transformed into something similar to Cyborg’s Sonic Cannon. However, instead of deadly sound waves, it was a powerful burst of electricity. The Lightbringer flinched as Siege unloaded blast after blast, somewhat dimming its light. Siege then grinned as he aimed his hydrocannons and fired a gush of water.
The Lightbringer brought out its lantern and blocked the oncoming stream, although it was pushed back considerably. Its light then grew brighter, as Siege flinched from the sudden gain of light and stepped back. His hydrocannons stopped firing.
The Lightbringer, seeing as Siege was no longer a threat, continued to increase its light and walk towards Raven.
Robin took note of this. “It’s after Raven! Don’t let it get to her!” He pulled out his sword again and took a sprint, running towards the creature. “HAAA!” He leapt into the air.
Maya saw a teamwork opportunity, so she lifted a dagger and cried, “THUNDER!” A bolt of lightning struck Robin’s sword, and Robin brought down the weapon right into the face of the creature, greatly wounding it. The light dimmed down...
...Then rapidly increased. The sheer force knocked Robin back straight into Maya, and the both of them crashed next to Raven, who had put up an obsidian barrier to guard against the Lightbringer’s advances.
“It’s... too bright!” Raven strained.
“This... this won’t happen!” Maya cried, nearly to tears.
’Maya... remember the Keyblade...’
“Huh?” Maya blinked. Her brother’s voice. Was it...?
Maya felt a different sort of light from her Heart. She concentrated.
It was here that she conjured the Keyblade. She grabbed it... and felt her brother's power. This was only the second time she wielded it, but she felt enough rage to more than make up for it. "C-c-curse you!" Maya stood tall, the Keyblade’s darkness growing stronger. She shut her eyes and sprinted towards the Lightbringer. "Curse you and YOUR LIGHT OF EVIL!" She delivered a powerful stab. The Darkness consumed the creature, destroying it and the shining light in a sparking blast of obsidian.

When all was said and done, there was now only Namine, shaking form fear and weakness. Namine fell to the ground on her knees. Maya cautiously began to walk towards her.
“You... you don’t like hurting people, do you?” Maya asked. “But why do you do it?”
Namine quivered. “But... you’re evil. They, they said so! The darkness is evil!”
“No...” Maya walked closer.
“GET AWAY!” Namine screamed.
Maya hopped back in shock.
“LEAVE HER ALONE,” a voice commanded. From out of nowhere, something crashed on top of Maya, forcing her to eat the floor. Maya strained to look up, seeing a strange blond kid in white. She noticed something before the sheer pain could make her faint.
“Two... Keyblades?”
Robin tensed. Raven prepared to cast more Darkness spells, and Siege aimed his Proton Cannon. But the boy simply ignored this and walked over to Namine, helping her up. He turned back to the other three. “This is not your concern!”
“We’re only trying to help!” Robin shot back. “She’s been manipulated by the H.I.V.E to kill Raven!”
“That doesn’t matter,” Blondie, as he will be referred to from now on, answered. “What matters is that she’s the only thing I’ve got left, and I won’t let you take her from me.” Robin’s mouth hung open. Blondie continued. “True, this entire thing was just a ruse to end the dark sorceress... but we have bigger problems now,” He looked at the fallen Maya. “I actually don’t care what you do to the rest of the H.I.V.E, you just leave Namine alone.”
Raven and Robin looked on mutely, picking up something from the kid’s tone. Siege simply kept his Photon Cannon trained on the kid.

”Hey! You miss us?” Cyborg was back, and so were the rest of the heroes. “We’ve come to put an end to...” He stared at the mute scene, and looked about in confusion. “What’s going on?”
“I was just about to leave...” Blondie answered before he quickly sank into a pool of light with Namine , disappearing.
Cyborg stared blankly for a moment before Beast Boy and Sonic burst in. “DUDE!” Beast Boy shouted. “Where’d everybody go?! Just a few minutes ago we were beatin’ on the Soulless and then...”
Sonic looked at the silent scene. “Everything’s gone. It’s over.”
“This is deeper than I thought.” Robin added. “Much deeper.”
-------------------
“AUGH!” Jinx and Gizmo landed painfully, back in the H.I.V.E headquarters. Apparently, their drawing/soul selves had been destroyed.
“What... what’s going on?!” Ken looked in concern.
“KEYBLADE!” They screamed as they recovered.
“You saw Rob? What’d he do?!” Ken asked.
“Hmph, SHE pulled out the Keyblade right when Namine had them cornered...” Jinx dusted herself off.
“She?!” Ken blinked and thought for a moment. “Wait... uhhh... that wasn’t Rob.”
“What do you mean, paste eater?” Gizmo asked.
“What did she look like?”
“Insane, had a cape, feminine, female-Dracula-reject, that enough for ya?” Jinx described the attacker.
“Uhh... that’s not Rob. That’s his twin sister, Maya...” Ken answered. A beat. “Wait, she can wield it too?!”
“DUH!” Gizmo snapped.
“Oh man. I GOTTA get the Keyblade from them... I can’t imagine what would happen,” He worried. “I need to see Brother Blood right away!” He sprinted away.
Jinx and Gizmo blinked. “Ken Mira for ya...” Jinx muttered.
“Wonder if the other snotfaces got back yet,” Gizmo ran off.
----------------
The world was no longer black. Maya blinked, and awakened. She saw Cyborg look her over and cheer, "Yep! She's awake now!"
Maya blinked softly before she looked back at Cyborg. “Where are we?”
“You’re in Titans Tower, our home!” Beast Boy grinned. “Your brother took a beating while we were gone, but he’ll be all right!”
“Okay...” Maya sat up and saw the other seventeen faces that sat around the living room. Samus was having a talk with Jim, Beast Boy was questioning Sora and Sara on how they got in the Titan's base ("I told you, YOU HAVE NO SECURITY SYSTEM!" was Sora's only response.), and Sonic and Buu were having an eating contest, with Buu easily winning, of course. Most everyone else was discussing today's events.

”You mean this entire attack from the H.I.V.E was an attempt to harm Raven?” Starfire asked Robin worriedly.
“Yeah, up until Rob showed up, they considered Raven to be the biggest threat, and distracted everyone just so they could finish her,” Robin answered, looking around the gathered crowd. “But I get the feeling that not all of their members are really willing to harm us.” He thought back to Namine and Blondie.
“Maybe, but some of them ARE,” Sonic had joined in on the conversation, now stuffing his face angrily in a futile attempt to match Buu’s eating. “Take KIM POSSIBLE for instance. Worst. Traitor. Ever.” Sonic stopped eating and smashed a fist into the table, startling a few people. “She led some idiot to attack MY hometown, and NOW she thinks she can friggin’ HIDE behind those stupid SOULLESS!”
Robin opened his mouth in shock. That WAS the red-haired girl he saw after all. They had worked with her a few times when her missions sent her to their city. She seemed very nice, even Teen Titans material then. But why would she do this?! Robin snarled. “I know the definition of betrayal,” he hung his head. “Not too long ago, there was a sixth Titan. She was... a good friend. But in the end, it turned out she was working for SLADE.”
“Slade?” Sora asked. “Who’s Slade?”
“Our worst enemy,” Robin answered. “Strange, since he has not attacked Jump City since. But now that she works for Slade, she is our worst enemy, too.”
“Her name is Terra,” everyone turned to see Beast Boy talking now. “She... she betrayed us because... Slade manipulates her. She isn’t evil.” He clenched his fist.

”Like hell she isn’t,” Raven droned. “She stabbed us in the back, and nearly left us for DEAD.”
“No, she ISN’T!” Beast Boy roared and got into Raven’s face. “We can’t give up! You think we gave up on ROBIN when he got conned into working for Slade?!”
There were many gasps from the room, none of them coming from the Titans.
“We’ve got a lot on our plate now! Those stupid Soulless made us forget that Slade’s still out there, and Terra with him...” Beast Boy sighed, and clenched both of his fists. “We can’t give up.”

"That’s true, not now," Rob added. “We’re here to help, whether against the Soulless or this ‘Slade.’ Maybe Ansem, too.”

"That's the last person I'd ask," Sora muttered.

"HEY, no one cares that you hate Ansem anymore, okay?!" Rob shot back at Sora.

"Who asked you?!"

"By your attitude, I'd say YOU!"

"I think I should adjust yours!"

"I'd love to see you try..."

"Please! Stop arguing, it is not very nice," Starfire interjected. "This atmosphere is... far too tense.” She looked around the angry, the dismal faces. Sora and Rob had nearly flared with Light and Darkness respectively. Sonic still looked livid and somewhat sad from the mention of Kim. Everyone else was simply in stunned or morose silence. “You two should be friends, and not let your opinions on Ansem get in the way," she hugged them both together. "Doesn't that feel better? We should be happy! We have achieved a great and temporary victory against the Soulless monsters, and we can surely beat Slade when the time comes!"
Robin has a weak smile. “That’s Starfire for ya.” Sonic noticed Robin’s subtle fond look at the alien girl and blinked.

Sora and Rob just grumbled.
Without warning, however, Sara started laughing openly at the two of them. "Ha, you two are complete morons!"

"OH REALLY?!" Both of them got in her face.

She only laughed harder. "You prove my point. You go for each other's throats, yet when someone insults you, you both gang up on them..." She rolled over uncontrollably. Sora and Rob just stared at each other and gagged, which sent the entire house laughing at them. Rob grumbled and hid his head under a pillow. Sora snarled and stomped out of the room, noticing that Raven was suddenly nowhere to be found. Intrigued by this, Maya tailed Sora.
-----------

Raven sat alone on the rooftop, meditating. She figured this was the only spot that the ten million guests the team suddenly had wouldn't intrude, and she needed to relieve the tense atmosphere of the gathered guests. But it turns out she was wrong even in this assumption.

Sora walked on the rooftop, puzzling over his next move. So far, his visit to Earth hadn't been a pleasant one, with the constant battle against that annoying Rob kid, and his turmoil ridden mind, wondering just what happened between him and Ansem. He was absolutely sure Ansem was pure evil with no intention of going back to good, what could've possibly happened?

Just then, Rob's twin sister hopped up on the balcony. She paced a bit before approaching Sora. "I want to know... What happened between you an Ansem? Why do you hate him so?"

Sora was taken aback by the innocence in Maya’s face, a stark contrast to Rob’s almost Ansem-like face that held knowledge and secrets. He snarled at this subject. "Would you like me to tell about how he possessed my best friend, or should I tell about how he doomed his own kingdom just to pursue knowledge?" Sora sighed. "I just don't know anymore..."

"In that case, I don't know what I'm fighting for then," Maya shrugged and stated as if she reached a conclusion. "I can’t imagine what it’s be like to hate things so much... My brother isn’t very fond of humanity at all."

"He... isn’t?" Sora looked at Maya incredulously.

"Yeah... both of you share something in common, you know," she idly twirled as she noticed Raven staring at the both of them with one eye open. “You both have a passionate hatred for evil. You see it in Ansem, and those that wield the Heartless. My brother sees it in the human race.”

"But why?" Sora asked, wondering just how Rob felt so... Ansem.

"You see, we come from a city. We live very close to the slums there, and Rob often hears and sees many atrocious acts on the news... he doesn’t like the fact that humans are in tuned with dark natures," Maya answered. “As he is human himself, his hatred is focused on himself as well. Now that we share that Keyblade, Rob can now stop hating the human race and go smite the evil he so desires with little consequence... Like you,”

Sora raised an eyebrow. "Huh? You say my Keyblade’s an excuse for me to vent my grievances against evil?”
“Not an excuse, a means," Sora noticed Raven joined in on the conversation now. “Your Keyblade comes from your Heart, just as my dark powers come from my mind and soul. Your Heart may not be the purest, but it is noble. I noticed before I left that you and Rob almost share the same kind of Heart.”
“Oh...” Sora nodded in understanding. He turned to Maya. “But if you two are twins... then how come you’re so... so...”
"Happy?" Maya responded, thinking. "Hmmm... I’m the opposite of my brother. I like humans. They’re so complex, yet so simple. Reverend Mira always said to love people and focus your hate on the sin. He’s not fond of these preachers that aim hatred against people with ‘different lifestyles.’ That’s not Christian at all..."

"Okay..." Sora blinked.

"But Ansem... he seems like he's REALLY TRYING to fix the mess he made... I can sense it from him," Maya smiled lightly.

"I'm not even aware of what evil Ansem has done in the past, but like Maya, I too can sense he's trying," Raven added. "I'm guessing he really messed you up for you to still hate him."

"Yeah, he did," Sora said flatly, feeling guilty over the talk of redemption.

"'It takes time to heal wounds,' Reverend Mira would always say," Maya chirped. "I guess maybe one day it'll all make sense."

"Yeah..." Sora saw the moon in the sky. He yawned. "I'm tired... I think I'll take a snooze when Samus leaves..." he left.

Maya and Raven looked at the moon together. Maya began, still staring at the moon, "I often wonder... what makes humans tick, anyway? What makes them do good, or evil? What constitutes light and dark, and whether or not either’s good or evil?"

"Who knows," Raven spoke. "I bet it all has to do with their life experiences, and what they are taught, and the darkness or light in their Heart and Soul. What I do know is that Terra betrayed the Titans of her own will.”
“Terra...” Maya heard the forbidden name and whispered it.
“I felt it from her. Beast Boy was probably raised, almost like you, to see the good in people before you see the evil. I know Slade merely made the offer, it was Terra that took it.”
“Aww,” Maya simpered. “It’s too bad. Maybe Beast Boy feels that way because... he fell in love? Or something? I don’t know...”
Raven thought about this. It WAS Beast Boy who was hardest hit.

"Maybe I can cheer him up!" Maya gave Raven a cheeky smile. "You know, offer some hope!"

"You can try," Raven looked at Maya, and then began staring at the moon again.
Maya began chanting something random. “I saw an alien, and I was like, ‘WEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!’ And then there was this cool thing, and I was like, ‘WEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!’” She began to stum on an invisible guitar, weirding Raven out. Raven blinked, disturbed by Maya’s almost Starfire-like approach, before noting a ship coming in the distance.
“I think your ride is here,” Raven muttered, stopping Maya’s insanely random tirade. The ship came closer and landed on the rooftop. Maya saw the ship was now much bigger, with a sleeker design as well. Eggman and Tails opened the ship and hopped out.

"There you are!" Tails declared. "We went to go get the ship modified, but when we came back we saw that the Soulless problem is already taken care of!" He looked around. "Where's Rob?"

"They're all downstairs," Maya answered. "Is it really time to go?"

"Yeah! We can't burden these people with a place to stay, can we? They're probably packed!" Tails said, looking at Raven.

Raven, however, smiled. "I think we can make room."
---------------

"WHAT ARE YOU DOING IN MY BED?!" Beast Boy yelled at a cozy Sara, who was cuddling her sword in a Sephiroth-like fashion.

"What does it look like?" She said in an innocent voice. However, her voice dropped. "Disturb my sleep and I shall make you die slowly and painfully." She went back to sleep.
“Check,” Siege knocked Raven’s Knight with his Queen, leaving her king vulnerable. Raven focused for a moment while carefully regarding her chess pieces, while Sora watched on in interest.

"AHA! PICHU CAN OWN YOU!" Rob bellowed as he whipped Cyborg, Eggman, and Beelzemon in another round of Super Smash Brothers Melee. “OH YEEEEEES! I WIN! YOU PHAIL!”

"Fool, you got lucky that time," Eggman muttered.

"Naw, man! How could Samus lose?!" Cyborg complained, as Samus stared at the four of them, highly amused. Apparently in this world, her entry into the Smash Brothers Tournament was documented into a video game.
“Robin!” Starfire zoomed in mid-air and gave Robin a tight hug. “I have lent friend Maya and Tifa my room. I hope you do not mind if I sleep in your room tonight?”
Robin raised an eyebrow at this suggestion, and saw Sonic zoom in. Sonic grinned at Robin. “She has all those plushies in her room, and the one she prefers to hug has a cape and is alive and breathing! How cute...” Sonic grinned.
Robin stared at Starfire for a moment. “Star, are you sure about this?”
“It would be most joyful! We can even sleep in the same bed, since Sonic has so conveniently found a bigger mattress!” The jolly Tamaran answered.
Robin shot at Sonic, “This was YOUR idea, wasn’t it?”
“Nope! All Tails!” Sonic flatly lied, even though both he and Robin knew better.

Robin groaned. "This is gonna be a looonnnggg night..." Robin muttered, shaking his head.
-------------------

That morning, everyone barely moved. Nineteen people staying in one house tended to lead to excessive partying, yelling, and general chaos. In other words, everyone stayed up too late. Only Sara, Sora, Raven, and Maya had enough energy to move, since they all went to bed early.

"Where are y'all going?" Maya asked Sora as he helped Conker into the Hyperion.

"I don't know yet, but it won't take long to find out..." Sora answered. He noticed Maya was dragging her twin brother into their ship. "You take care... You're kind and sweet, unlike your annoying brother..."

"What?!" Rob yelled sleepily, as he heard the insult. "You take that back!"

"Hey, it's not my fault your sister is ten times less annoying than you are!" Sora taunted.

"Shut up!" Rob yelled as he stumbled.

"What's the matter, had too much to drink last night?!" Sora cracked.

"I DON'T TOUCH ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES!"

Sara wasted no time in silencing the argument by knocking out Sora cold and taking him in the ship. Maya dumped Rob inside. "You take care of yourself, all right?" Sara asked.

"I will!" Maya chirped.

Cloud came out from below. He walked out and headed towards Maya. "I think I want to join you, too," Cloud said. "I'm thinking I could find Aeris if I travel with you... I think I can find more answers to the Soulless question," Cloud looked at Maya.

Maya, feeling awfully agreeable, simply said, "OKAY! We've just made this ship a whole lot roomier, too!"

"Whut?" Sonic slurred somewhere, too tired to object to Maya's decision.
"I'm pretty sure Tifa would enjoy your presence!" Maya chirped. "Go on! Get in, before Sonic gets angry and kicks you out!" She punted Cloud in the ship. She was about to step in herself when she heard Robin.

"I’m almost positive this won’t be the last time we meet..." Robin emerged from inside, with a calm Cyborg by his side. They both came next to Raven and Maya. He handed Maya a yellow walkie-talkie with a Titans insignia. “This is a Titans Communicator. Cyborg fine tuned it so I can reach across the earth.”
“Hey, maybe we can get it to reach across worlds if we work on it.” Cyborg added. “We’ll give you a call if we come across something.”

"Thanks!" Maya said. "Bye!"
“Bye!” Robin said.
“Bye,” Raven said.
“See ya!” Cyborg waved.
She shut the door to the ship and the heroes launched away.

(WEEELLL this came out longer than I imagined. Alas, I also had to edit out Kuja, because I felt like I diminished his role. You’ll see him in the story, I promise!
Now to give a heads up on people. Kim Possible comes from her self-titled show (sorry, she’s back, I need someone for Sonic to vent his grievances on until someone better comes along) Jim Raynor is from Starcraft. This particular brand of Buu is from Dragon Ball Z. Beelzemon is from Digimon Season 3, considering I don’t even watch or play Digimon. Siege Mortar is a character created by my online friend TheFour from Conker is from Bad Fur Day/Live and Uncut, and not his cuter iterations. Axel, Larxene (had to change Roxanne’s name, grumble grumble), Zexion, the blond kid (who I call Blondie) and Namine all come from the Kingdom Hearts continuum (Chain of Memories.))

Legends-Kuja
23rd September 2005, 09:27 AM
Episode 9: Not Another Pokémon Adventure

(A/N: YES, this will be the last Pokémon movie I integrate... Note that I watched this movie RAW, so I may not have the words right, but translated names I received before I began this piece.)

"A long time ago, on an island called Alto Mare, there lived an old couple. One day, the couple found two injured kids on the beach. Thanks to the medical expertise of the couple, the kids recovered. Suddenly, a fierce darkness covered the land, swarming all over the island. However, just as this darkness was about to completely destroy the island, the kids transformed right in front of the old couple's eyes. They were the Eon Pokémon, Latios and Latias. They called their friends. Using a mysterious power, they erased the darkness from the island. That darkness never came into the island ever again. That power was said to come from the 'Soul Dew'. The Pokémon and this Soul Dew were said to be hidden in this land."

The two thieves closed the book. Both dressed alike in black shirt, black leather pants and silk white gloves. As they heard a policeman sweep the area, they snuck off with the book upstairs to a window. All the policeman saw was a single rose, and a card with two lipstick marks-one pink, the other purple. He could only stare in shock as the thieves made their escape.

There stood a metal cord connecting the walls of the library to a tree nearby. Both thieves grabbed a hook and slid down the cord with speed and grace, landing in a conveniently parked car. Both ladies strapped themselves in, and the purple-haired thief started the car.

The other thief, with her hair styled in two blond buns, said, "But isn't it just a legend?"

The driving thief simply answered, "That book contained the legend of Latios and Latias, as well as the mysterious Soul Dew." She drove the car with incredible speed, and eventually they drove straight off a cliff, only for their car to turn into a flying jet (yep, you can smell the spy movie action). The jet streaked the night sky towards their destination.

The blond hugged the book. "I don't care. All I want is that shiny jewel."

"That jewel contains unimaginable power. It should be ours!" The two spotted an island city in the distance.

Both smirked. "Alto Mare."
----------------

"Oooh, THIS is interesting," Tails noted as he read a computer map.

"Hmmm? What'd you catch?" Dr. Eggman asked, as he fiddled with a book called Lord of the Flies.

"This place I'm tracing seems to be HEARTLESS FREE! HECK, they can't even touch a ten mile radius of this place!"

"What is that place?" Tifa walked next to Eggman, tilting her head to read the map. This forced a very irritated Eggman to tilt his head to avoid Tifa's. "Alto Mare? Never heard of it!"

"That's too bad, I heard that place is perfect for seeking the love of your dreams," Maya recalled dreamily. "Ahhhhh," She then swooned over. A confused Rob looked at Maya's love-struck state before glancing in Tails' direction.

"Heartless free, huh?" Rob asked with a slight grin. "You got my attention."

"An odd sort of power resides there," Tails said. "I don't know what it is, but it seems to be that power that keep out the heartless. No dark readings ANYWHERE.."

"That's interesting," Cloud said. "We should look into this."

"Sound idea!" Dr. Eggman agreed, trying his best to sound like a Britain.

"Shouldn't we split? Maybe we can cover more ground!" Sonic asked Tails.

"Good idea, but just don't run into any moron trainers..." Tails trailed off.

"WELL THEN, I'm free fallin' to the town! Rob! Betcha can't catch me!" Sonic made a face at Rob and then dived off the ship, shooting like a bullet once he landed on the water.

"Cheap bastard," Rob snarled as he made chase. He too leapt out of the ship, the sheer speed of his fall whipping his shirt like a fierce wind. Rob activated his jet shoes and sped off towards Alto Mare. "Wow..." Rob marveled, noting the town's similarity to Venice, Italy. "Cool," Rob grinned as he streaked through a canal, marveling at the town's Italy-like appearance. Jetting through another canal, he flew past several shocked faces and Pokémon. "Pokémon?"

Aw, MAN! Not another Pokémon movie!

Rob continued to scan his surroundings. Cursing the not unexpected fact that he lost Sonic and lost TO Sonic yet again, Rob took to landing on a bridge and began to walk across it, looking for the accursed hedgehog.

With words that would've made Dr. Robotnik proud, he bellowed "HOW I HATE THAT HEDGEHOG!" However, something caught his peripheral vision. "Hmm?" He dashed over, to see a familiar face.

Ash Ketchum.

The kid was in a life vest and swim trunks, cuddling a sullen Totodile, which was likely his. Pikachu comforted it, Ash said some encouraging words, and Totodile gained its happy spirits. Ash turned around. "Rob! Short time, no see!"

"Fun. What happened here?" Rob asked.

"Totodile and I were in a race with a bunch of water Pokémon trainers. Thanks to a mysterious force, we took the lead but we were lead right off track. At least Totodile tried. So what're you here for?"

"A complete lack of Heartless activity here, and that's a GOOD thing," Rob grinned. "I'm trying to find out what's responsible."

"Speaking of that, never seen any Heartless around," Ash said. "Come on, let's find the others!"
------------

"And your name is...." Misty began with a sweat drop, staring at the odd, demonic-looking spiky haired man in front of her.

"My name's Cloud," Cloud said. "I'm an old friend of Tifa's."

However, Maya shoved him out of the way, seeing Misty's apparent weariness.

"He's a weirdo, don't mind him," Maya chattered, ignoring Tifa's angry look. "So how have you guys been?"

"Great! I won the race!" Misty puffed up proudly.

"That's awesome!" Tifa said.

"Let's not let that get to your head, Misty..." Brock muttered under his breath.

"WHAT WAS THAT?!" Misty roared.

"Nothing, I swear!" Brock chuckled nervously. He then noticed Tifa. He grabbed her hands, "Oh, how I knew the love of my life would return!" he crowed happily.

Clod, noting Tifa's embarrassed smile, simply pointed his huge sword at Brock's neck. "I don't think she likes you," he deadpanned.

Brock turned around slowly and saw Cloud. He sank in rejection. "You must be her boyfriend..."

"Not exactly, but I've known her for ages, and I can tell when she doesn't like company, men, me, or otherwise," Cloud simply said, not putting his sword down.

"Cloud..." Tifa began. Cloud lowered his sword, and Brock simply slid behind Misty.

"Hey guys," Sonic zoomed to the group, followed by Ash and Rob. "How's it going? Wondered what took you so long."

Cloud simply stared at the cocky hedgehog. "You tell me," he answered. "Since the Heartless are not here to cause havoc, we're going to take a break and tour this city."

"So are we!" Ash added. "Wanna join us?"

"SURE!" The dark heroes interjected.

"Let's go!" They all rushed into the heart of the maze like city. However, Pikachu stopped, noticing something. He ran back to another corridor, where a fountain was. A woman had just finished letting her Vaporeon a drink of water. The electric rat felt horribly thirsty, and Pikachu rushed to the fountain, but by that time the water stopped. Pikachu sighed sadly, its thirst still eating at its tiny throat. But what the heck was THIS? The water turned back on! Pikachu rejoiced by happily drinking the gushing water from the fountain, nodding his head in thanks to a mysterious redhead girl with odd spikes coming form her hair. The kind girl smiled at Pikachu, not minding his rabid thirst. Pikachu replied with a happy "Chaa!" and drank more.

"Pikachu!" Ash came back towards Pikachu, with Rob behind him. "Oh," he said, seeing what Pikachu was doing. However, the girl noticed him, and started staring at him intently, as if he were an alien object. She noticed Rob and also stared at him, circling around the two like a curious... child. She then ran off, leaving Ash and Rob to blink at each other in utter confusion. Pikachu didn't give a crap-it was too busy enjoying its water.
----------------

"What a lovely place..." Annie commented as they took their speedboat through Alto Mare, her blond hair blowing in the wind. "The Soul Dew is bound to be here, and the mysterious Pokémon as well."

"Yeah, but can't they disguise themselves as humans?" Oakley asked, fiddling with her purple hair.

"That's why we have THESE..." Annie grinned, showing off some strange sunglasses. "These detect body heat within people. Pokémon disguised as humans lack this body heat, so we'll know when we've got the right one..." Annie handed Oakley hers, and she put on her own.

The speedboat carried them through the canals of the city, and Annie and Oakley continued to monitor for one of the mysterious Pokémon, unaware of their being watched by Jesse and James.

"Those two are rather impressive!" Jesse commented.

"Boss would be pleased. I smell an encounter with the good guys soon, we'll see what they're REALLY worth," James added, smiling evilly.

Some time later, their boat slowed down, eying a young girl with odd spikes. Annie put on her glasses. The glasses revealed her true form-a Pokémon!

"As I thought," Annie muttered with a snide grin. "Oakley, we've hit jackpot!"

"Hmm? Oh!" Both girls turned to the young girl walking along the path. "Oh little girl, are you lost..."

"Latias," Annie grinned, holding a Pokéball.

The girl began to panic, and she ran off.

"Espeon!" Annie threw her Pokéball out, and the psychic Eeveelution emerged.

"Ariados!" Oakley threw hers, and a giant orange spider with a spike on its head emerged as well, shaking itself. "Get her," stood Oakley's command.

Both Pokémon made pursuit.
-----------------------

Ash and Rob waited patiently for Pikachu to finish his water. However, the electric rat sensed something, and let out a "Pikapi!" before motioning Ash and Rob to follow it.

"Something's wrong!" Ash said.

"Thank you, Captain Obvious...." Rob grinned as they tailed Pikachu.

"Shut up!"
-------------

"Where's Rob!" Sonic cursed to himself. Suddenly, he felt something, and his instincts told him to head towards another river. Using quick speed, he dashed off.
-------------

The girl, known now as Latias, continued running. Ariados and Espeon continued to make chase, and Ariados snuck by. Crawling on a bridge, Ariados hopped off and landed in front of Latias, blocking her exit. She whirled around to see Espeon had also sealed her exit. She shivered in fear, but Espeon wasted no time in using a Disable attack to cripple Latias, and Ariados used String Shot to wrap her in a sticky web.

Annie and Oakley arrived on their speedboat. It slowed to a stop and both hopped off to inspect their new capture. "We're good," Oakley bragged.

"Yes, and now we're gonna be rich too." Added Annie, leering at the stunned Latias.

"Hey YOU TWERPS! Stop RIGHT THERE!" The girls turned to see two boys and a Pikachu glaring angrily at them. One boy held what looked like a giant key.

"You let her go!" Ash shouted. The Pikachu agreed.

Annie and Oakley looked at each other. Who were THESE jokers?

"Didn't yo mamma tell you that kidnappin' little girls is wrong?" Rob snarled.

Sonic, at this time, dashed in just as Rob said his comment. "Yeah, what he said," Sonic pointed to Rob, agreeing.

"Hi Sonic," Ash and Rob sweat-dropped.

"Oh, and we're supposed to feel guilty?" Annie raised an eyebrow and grinned at Ash.

Oakley mock pouted. "And I thought I was doing the right thing..." She then sneered. "Maybe it's time I taught you not to meddle in our business? Espeon?"

Espeon fired a Psybeam on all of them. Ash and Pikachu flinched, Rob and Sonic laughed.

"Widdle psychic powers are supposed to hurt us?" Sonic laughed.

"Yeah, try that on someone who actually-" Rob also laughed but then he made a huge mistake.

He looked at Oakley's chest.

At once, his nose started bleeding. "AUGH! My nose! It's BLEEDING!"

Ash was dumbfounded, but Sonic smacked his own head. Poor Rob.

"Oh?" Annie raised her eyebrow. Then, spotting why, she then grinned. "I think we have a pervert!"

"How about we kick his ass?" Oakley grinned. "Espeon?"

"Ugh... You SUCK..." Rob wiped his nose and pulled out his Keyblade.

"Pikachu!" Ash shouted, getting into a battle stance.

"Wanna dance?" Sonic growled.

"Sure," Annie lunged for a kick, but Sonic was too fast and circled behind, doling his own kick.

Pikachu fought Espeon. Both Pokémon danced with agility, and Pikachu kept using Thundershocks to Espeon's psychic blasts.

Although Sonic owned Annie, Rob was having too much difficulty focusing. He dodged another kick from Oakley and another String Shot from Ariados. But he couldn't bring himself to attack Oakley. "Oy, what's the matter?" Oakley taunted. "Too busy fantasizing to fight?"

"Shut up!" Rob roared. "Man, I wish I could use magic..." he muttered. A beat. "Hey waitadamnminute... didn't I use magic earlier?"

He remembered when Sora had cast Thunder magic, and he had to stop the attack by putting his own Keyblade to the air the same way. He also remember how he surprised Sora with a blast of darkness.

"Rob! WATCH OUT!" Ash shouted. Rob snapped back into reality just in time to dodge a vicious kick to the groin by Oakley. Oakley back-flipped and tried to smash him from the air.

"It's time I try something new... THUNDER!" Rob shouted, pointing his Keyblade just like he did before, and a small bolt of lightning struck Oakley in mid-air, negating her air attack and causing her to crash painfully into the ground.

"Yeah!" Ash said. "Rob, use that magic!"

"Bingo," Rob heeded Ash's words and danced around Oakley, using Thunder every time she went airborne. Ariados used a Shadow Ball, but Rob simply swatted it back on the creature and knocked it away. Rob leapt up to cast another Thunder...

...And it didn't work.

Rob cursed. "Curses! Out of MP..." before falling flat on his face. Oakley laughed and stomped on Rob's back painfully.

"You're outta luck kid," she sneered.

Seeing the fair lass they were supposed to free was now... free thanks to Ash, Rob motioned for Ash with his left hand to get ready to run. "Nah... I still got some LEFT!" he smacked Oakley's leg off of him and pounced away.

"Sonic! Ash! RUN FOR IT!" He commanded.

Sonic, who had just finished smashing Annie, kicked her into the canal and ran off. Ash guided Latias away, and Pikachu stopped fighting Espeon and ran off as well.

Annie growled as she crawled out of the canal. "Espeon! GET THEM!"

Espeon heeded her command, and Annie told Ariados to follow.

Rob skated in a frenetic madness, leading Ash, Latias, and surprisingly Sonic to safety. Alto Mare's mazelike pathways only became even more confusing.

" I get the nagging feeling we're lost," Ash began.

"Heh, but we lost the loser Pokémon," Rob answered. They all slowed to a stop, trying to get their bearings straight.

"This place is HUGE," Ash gasped. "Where can we get to everyone else?"

Latias suddenly smiled. She grabbed Sonic's hand and started running in another direction. And for such a girl, she was quite fast. "Whoa!" Sonic shouted as she darted around from path to path, leading everyone else. Up a flight of stairs, she suddenly let go, and Sonic, Ash, and Rob were now over looking a balcony. "I remember this place! Thanks-" Sonic whirled around, but the little girl was no longer there.

"She's gone..." Rob sighed.

"Pika pi..." Pikachu sighed.

"Why is everyone sighing?" Ash sighed.

"HEY, LOSER BOYS! WHERE WERE YOU?!" They looked down to see Maya, Cloud, and a smirking Brock. Maya was speaking. "You missed the lifetime opportunity of the world's best ice cream!"

"Ice Cream?" Sonic and Rob looked at each other. Some time ago, Rob had told Sonic about the time his sister laid hands on some ice cream. His life was forever scarred. Sonic and Rob paled. "Oh, no..."

"I WANT SOME!" The now ecstatic Ash dragged Sonic and Rob by surprise and sprinted downstairs, Pikachu tailing along.
-----------------

"What is that?" asked Ash as he pointed to two grand pillars, with two crude carvings of what looked like a strange hybrid of cute dragon and an airplane styled bird. He, Cloud, Rob, Misty, Brock, and Maya had taken a boat and promised to meet everyone else at the museum.

"THAT, is a carving of the eon Pokémon, Latios and Latias..." Their tour guide began. "There stood a legend about them..."

"What kind of legend?" asked Rob.

"It was said that they once saved this town from a nightmarish darkness many, many years ago. Using the power of the Soul Dew, they kept this town in great harmony to this very day."

"Interesting..." Cloud noted, not bothering to look at it again.

"Be nice to meet a Pokémon like that..." Brock added.
---------------

"Wondered what would take the great Sonic the Hedgehog so long to find two meddling kids,"Tifa raised one eyebrow and grinned.

"Shut up, it's not MY fault two ladies decided to attack us! Not to mention Rob is a pervert!" Sonic shot back.

"I AM NOT A PERVERT! For the LAST TIME, I've been raised in a church for my whole life, and I had NO IDEA that happens!" Rob complained.

Maya could only giggle. That was NOT the first time she heard reports of Rob's nose "donating" blood every time he had met a lady in a compromising situation.

"I saw you earnestly trying to fight them, but that nose bleeding never helped matters much," Ash snickered.

Rob sighed, groaned, and buried his hands in his face. He'd NEVER be able to live this down...

"Let's get on with it," Cloud opened the door, and the ladies entered first. Rob gaped in marvel at the huge museum. It housed an odd machine in the large center, and several windows of painted glass lined around the building. Near the other side on the second story sat various works of art.

"Welcome to the museum," greeted an old man. He had a blue shirt and red overalls, and was somewhat chubby. His nametag read: "Hi, my name is Lorenzo." Lorenzo began, "This museum houses not just works of art, but also this ancient machine. No one knows what it does."

Ash's alert eyes spotted a young girl finishing a painting. She wore a small white hat, but she was dressed and even looked like the same girl they rescued earlier... "Huh?"

Noting Ash's distracted look, Rob also looked up and saw this girl. "Isn't she the same girl we rescued earlier today?" He leaned on the machine for a closer look.

"Don't touch the machine!" Lorenzo sharply scolded.

"ROB!" Maya snapped.

"You didn't see anything! I mean, I'm sorry!" Rob rubbed his neck, embarrassed.

"Listen, Rob and I have to go check something out! We'll meet you guys later!" Ash said, noting the girl was leaving. "Pikachu!"

"Pi PI pika!" the mouse responded.

"What, and leave me with these losers? No way!" Sonic tailed Pikachu and Rob, with Ash in the lead, out of the museum, ignoring the perplexed faces of their friends.

Ash flew down some stairs, but Rob simply jumped and boosted over them, and Sonic grinded down the rail. Pikachu had to use agility just to keep even with Rob and Ash. Chasing the girl down an alley, Sonic dodged passerby and avoided angry Pokémon. They moved on, unaware of being spied on by Annie and Oakley's small camera device.

When they reached a bridge, Ash saw the girl crossing the other end. "Hey!" he shouted. "Aren't you the girl we rescued earlier today?"

"I don't know what you're talking about..." the girl responded, a slightly snobbish look on her face, and she continued on her merry way.

This only baffled Ash. "Huh?! HEY!" he started running again.

"She spoke for the first time," Rob noted.

"Yeah, ain't that weird?" Sonic questioned as they tailed Ash. However, upon running some more, they found that Ash had run into a four-way alley.

"Which way?" He pondered.

"Pi PIKA!" Pikachu went straight, and Ash had no choice but to follow. Rob and Sonic tailed as well.

Another bridge, but this time they saw the girl. This girl lacked the hat Rob saw, and he felt this time they chased the right one.

Latias grinned, but Ash picked up a slight temper, "Hey, what's with the games?!"

She simply wagged her finger in a Sonic-like style, motioned them to follow her and ran off.

"She's toying with us," Sonic muttered.

"Never mind that! Let's GO!" Ash followed Latias's trail.

After several turns and bridges, Latias led them into a small area with an unusually smooth wall. Smiling, she went in, the wall rippling as if she entered water.

Pikachu followed.

"Guess we should go in..." Ash said. The three of them walked in, walking what first seemed like darkness, then a small, temple like room. At last, they reached outside to hear Pikachu babbling excitedly.

"WHOA!" Rob marveled. Their eyes viewed one of the biggest gardens they've ever seen. Beautiful trees dotted the landscape, and several Yanma gathered water. "Yeah, I feel it now... the power that puts the Heartless to rest: the balanced power. It's somewhere in here!"

"Let's look a bit, first!" Sonic smacked Rob and marched by, looking about the garden.

Ash looked further and saw Latias swinging on a swing set. However, some wind chimes twirled, almost as if they were an alarm system.

At this, an invisible being emerged from the water and dashed towards our heroes, ready to decimate them.

"Pika!" Pikachu panicked.

"What the..." Ash looked to see a shape swirl around the trees and begin to dive. "Pikachu!" he pointed to the invisible being. "Thunderbolt!"

Pikachu fired one, but the being swiftly dodged, and then proceeded to smash Pikachu in the gut. "PIIKAAAAA!" Pikachu fell over.

"Pikachu!" Ash comforted his fallen Pokémon, who recovered and began to growl.

"This thing...!" Sonic jumped into the air and used a homing attack, smacking the being away. But the collision of both forces felt too strong, and Sonic hit the dirt.

Rob pulled out his Keyblade. However, before he could unleash an attack Latias appeared in front of him and blocked the way from the creature.

The creature turned visible, turning into a bird/plane/dragon thing that Ash had remembered...

"Latios!" Ash gasped.

Latios snarled and motioned for Latias to get out of the way, but she just shook her head. Latios kept motioning, but Latias still held fast. Sonic, Ash, and Rob could only stare until someone they recognized walked in.

"Hey!" said the girl who looked just like Latias. "How'd you find this place?!"

"Oh... YOU," Rob snarled. "I knew there was a faker."

"FAKER?"

Ash did a double take. WHY did two girls look alike? Are they twins?

"What are you doing in this garden anyway?" asked the girl.

Ash panicked slightly. "Uhhh... SHE lead us here!" he pointed to Latias, the girl without the hat. "And I'm Ash, and this is my Pikachu, this is Rob, and the blue hedgehog is Sonic!" Ash introduced his team.

"Regardless of whether Latias lead you here or not... intruders aren't allowed in this garden..." the girl took a straight standing pose. "Latios!"

Latios rose to attack. Rob snarled and pulled out his Keyblade, Ash nearly wet his pants, and Sonic looked up from his book on How to Save the World and took a lazy fighting stance.

"That will be enough," Latios stopped and turned to see his other guardian...

Lorenzo.

"But Lorenzo..." the girl began.

"Bianca, Latias led them here, apparently they're good enough not to have disturbed this garden," Lorenzo responded, looking at our heroes with a slight smirk.

"Weren't there two?" Asked Sonic.

Lorenzo's grin grew bigger. "Latias, why don't you show them your true form?"

"True... form?" Rob clenched his teeth and a sweat-drop formed. Too late. Latias grabbed his hand and led him to the swing she was on earlier. Ash and Sonic followed. Rob was pushed on the swing, and Latias hopped on, standing on it and using her feet to push. Rob pondered nervously, "What is this, true form?" Latias swung harder, and at this, she changed into a mythical Pokémon, a red version of Latios. Ash's eyes grew wide; Pikachu and Sonic marveled.

Rob surprisingly kept his cool, despite the surprise on his face. He then grinned. "Makes sense. So YOU'RE Latias." Latias smiled and whirled around him, cooing.

"These guys are the guardians of this town, and this is their home," Lorenzo explained.

"Gee, they've guarded this place for AGES?" Ash asked.

"Yep."

Rob hopped off the swing and walked to our heroes. Latios landed near Pikachu. At first the mouse panicked, remembering his fight with the legend. However, Latios licked him, and Pikachu realized he was now friendly. Pikachu hopped a ride, playing with Latios and Latias, while our heroes walked.

"I felt a power in this garden..." Rob began. "Is this what keeps the Heartless out of this town?"

"We believe so," Lorenzo said. "Despite all the Heartless attacks on earth, we haven't seen a single one within a ten mile radius of this town."

Rob smirked, remembering Tails's words earlier. However, one stare at Bianca, and he snarled again. "Hmph. Faker."

"Hmph, LOSER." Bianca snarled right back.

"Faker."

"Loser."

"Faker."

"Loser."

"Faker."

"Loser."

"Faker."

"Loser."

"Oh shut up," Sonic pretended to slap their argument away. "We all know you're both fake losers."

"WHAT?!" The offended roared in unison.

"Heeheeheeeheeeheeheeheeheehee..." Sonic gloated, ironically much like Eggman. Too bad Bianca and Rob double-teamed him and he got two punches in the face. Sonic promptly crashed.

At last they arrived at the top of a staircase. The deck spanned about 30 square feet, and several tiles depicting the legend of Latios and Latias were organized in front of a medium sized fountain, with a glistening jewel that seemed to fuel the very waters of the town.

"These tiles depict the legend of Latios and Latias as they appeared in this town," Bianca said pointing to them. Explaining the story (A/N: Look at the beginning of this chapter to read it.), Bianca pointed to the tile the corresponded with what she said. Eventually, she pointed to the Soul Dew tile. "This gem is what gives the Latios family power. It also keeps this town's water flowing."

Rob pointed to the gem in the fountain. "That must be the Soul Dew," he walked up to it, and he touched it with his Keyblade. "This is it... the balanced power! But I can't take it for many reasons, but I can copy its powers into my Keyblade, and help this earth..."

Latios flew by him, and it nodded, agreeing.

"So if you 'copy' enough of this power, you can chase out the Heartless from this planet?" Ash asked.

"Yes, the evil Soulless too. It's not accomplishing my true goal, but it makes that one step closer," Rob grinned, but he lost that grin and clenched his fists. "I honestly don't know who's controlling them, but whoever they are, they're going to stop this Heartless control madness..."

"HUH?!" The Pokémon, Lorenzo, and Bianca gaped.

"YESSSS... the Heartless aren't even evil... they're lost, thanks to some freak, and now they're attacking everything."

"But yet we still have to fight them--" Ash trailed off.

"They're mad. Until we can stop whoever's behind this, we'll be forced to exterminate them, and if all the Heartless cease to exist... or the Soulless... the balance will be toast!"

"It's all over my head!" Bianca swooned as if she were about to faint.

"No worries, faker. Stay here where it's safe, and eventually it'll all be over..." Rob walked over to the Soul Dew. "Apparently, this power protects from the terror of darkness and the harshness of light... The power of good that will shelter all who stay here from all evil," Rob felt these words and spoke them, as if they were not his own. Gripping the Keyblade with both of his hands, Rob touched the Soul Dew. A strange power began to flow through him, forcing out a sudden dark aura from the boy, making everyone else jump back. The aura calmed down into a soft Darkness that emanated from Rob like a flame. It was here that his mother's voice was heard.

(Congratulations. You have found the balanced power. The Keyblade of Darkness was tainted long ago, and had lost the ability to protect the worlds from the very darkness it wielded. Now its power as a true Keyblade has been restored. Remember, it is you who protects the Darkness from its evil.)

The aura stopped, and Rob set down the Keyblade. "Mom..."

"Mom?!" Sonic asked, knowing Rob's whole story about his father and mother.

"That chump Sora isn't the only one saving the universe anymore!" Rob cheered.

"So I take it she said a good thing."

"Exactly."

Latias swooped and picked up Ash, who began to panic. She carried him over the fountain and into the "lake" where Latios rose from earlier, and dropped him, giggling all the way.

Latios just shook his head and caught Ash; Pikachu shouted in Pika-nese, worrying about its trainer.

"I forgot to mention, Latias is a practical joker..." Bianca giggled.

"Nice you tell me that NOW," Ash grumbled.

The sun began to set. "Let's get to the Pokémon center. The others must be waiting for us," Ash said.

"I can take you there much faster," Lorenzo offered.

"Thanks!" our heroes said in unison.

They walked off, and Latios and Latias began to wave goodbye before chasing each other.

All were unaware of the small spy camera watching them.

"When the losers go away, it's OUR turn to play," Annie sneered.

"Correction, when the losers go away..." Annie and Oakley turned to see Jesse and James, menacing smiles over their faces. "The Heartless shall come to play," James spoke. "You two are impressive. Now, if you get powers and riches, we get darkness all over the world... what do you say?"

Annie found herself a bit reluctant. "Why would you want to help US?"

"We have our own reasons," Jesse grinned. "Our bosses like you. We can get rid of the brats for you if you help us."

"Hmm..." Oakley said.

"You let us catch our gold ALONE, but it's a deal otherwise," Annie shook hands with James.

"Trust us... it was the way we wanted it," James agreed. "The power is all ours."

Maniacal laughter echoed through the rising night.

Legends-Kuja
23rd September 2005, 09:29 AM
Episode 10: Darkness Heroes

In a large tree, Latios and Latias slept. Their peaceful slumber noted the only noise in the entire garden. However, their rest was soon to be disturbed. The wind chime whirred, noting the presence of an intruder. Latios rose. Who would come here this time of night? He lifted gently, trying not to disturb his little sister Latias's slumber. Too bad... Latias woke up anyway. She looked at him.

(What's wrong?) She asked, in her own language, of course.

(People here... I don't think they're friendly.) Latios responded.

The two flew over to see the two thieves Annie and Oakley had arrived! Snarling, Latios led in for an attack.

"Aren't we the uninvited guests?" Oakley snickered as both she and Annie cartwheeled away from Latios's attack. Latios simply swirled around and attacked a second time, but they easily dodged.

(They're too swift!) Latias panicked.

(Time to play Faint Attack...) they both turned invisible.

"They've gone invisible!" Annie shouted.

"Thanks for the warning," Oakley's smirk only grew bigger. Latios dived at Annie, who flipped out of the way using keen skill.

(Faint attack MISSED?) Latias though hard, waiting for the moment to strike.

Oakley scrambled back to Annie, and they stood back to back, putting on their special glasses. Now they could easily see the Eon Pokémon. Oakley saw Latios swoop again and commanded Espeon, who stood by her side. "Espeon SWIFT ATTACK!"

Espeon shot stars from its mouth, dealing a painful blow to Latios's stomach.

Latias roared and smashed Espeon away. Annie saw this and pointed for Ariados. "Ariados, Shadow Ball, NOW!"

Ariados launched the jagged ball and smashed Latias... hard enough to lose her invisibility. He launched another without Annie's command and smacked Latios, making him temporarily out-of-sync and unable to fly fast.

"This should work!" Annie threw an electric net, which expanded and captured Latios in a shocking wrap.

Hitting the ground hard, Latios struggled to get free. Latias, seeing her brother, only grew enraged as she dove towards Espeon.

Big mistake.

"Espeon! Psybeam!" Oakley commanded.

Espeon let loose a beam of mighty power, and although it didn't do much to Latias, it was enough for her to crash into the ground.

Latios wasn't liking this, but for both to be captured... (GO!) he called to Latias.

(Latios! I can't leave you!) Latias cried, recovering.

(NO... GO! Don't let them catch YOU! GO!)

Oakley made pursuit of Latias and threw another net, but Latias dodged. Latias sighed sadly and ran away through the waterfall, as Annie and Oakley watched her escape.

"How odd... I thought they'd never leave each other..." Annie said.

"No matter... we got one, and the Soul Dew is OURS!" Oakley ran up to the fountain and grabbed the magical sphere. After a few tries, she finally wrenched it free from the holding place.

"Look at it... it's so magnificent!" Oakley cooed. They paid no attention to the fact that their deed dried up all the water in the park...

"Come on... According to the legend, there's a machine at the museum powered by this thing! Let's GO!" Annie dragged Oakley away, unknowing of the unspeakable horror they were about to unleash...

Heartless.

--------------

Cloud looked on in the night sky. He, Tifa, and Maya had chilled out on top of the roof that night, not feeling sleepy in the slightest. Rob simply decided to be anti-social and opted to stay in the room. Everyone else was fast asleep. "It's peaceful out here," he said. "Reminds me of the days back at home."

"Yeah," Tifa sighed. "I'm so glad you came with us, Cloud. I feel much more peaceful now that you're around."

"Am I gonna hafta leave you two alone for a romantic moment?" Maya asked.

"Don't think so," They said in unison having heard questions like this before. Cloud continued. "We're too good of friends to consider romance, and all we want now is for Aeris to be with us," he gazed at Maya before looking at the moon again.

"Oh, is THAT so..." Maya rolled her eyes. However, she twitched when she noticed something. Several Soldier Heartless emerged. Her eyes widened as she avoided the first swipe of one of their claws. "Heartless?!"

"What?!" Cloud pulled out his sword, and Tifa back-flipped out of the way from a rush from another Soldier. Cloud took a wide sweep with his sword and easily killed three of them. Tifa used a roundhouse on one, countering its attack and killing it. Maya kicked one and stabbed it with one of her daggers, causing it to crash before disappearing into a black mist. Cloud slashed another one that was about to jump on Tifa, and they stopped. "They aren't supposed to be here."

"Something's wrong... dead wrong," Maya shook her head. "It can't be this way! I'm going to find the source of this problem!" She hopped off the roof and sprinted away before Cloud or Tifa could do anything about it. Tifa nearly went after her, but Cloud laid a hand on her shoulder.

"I think she'll hold her own," he said calmly. "And besides," he noticed a shape land right on their balcony and enter inside. "We have company."

---------

"Lorenzo! What happened?!" Bianca rushed to Lorenzo, who was gaining consciousness.

"Urgh..." Lorenzo stood up. "Bianca... I was in the boat shop, when this Espeon came through, and the next thing I know, I'm unconscious."

"Lorenzo! These guys must've been looking for Latios and Latias! We've got to go quick!"

The two ran into the garden, and to their dismay, Latios and Latias weren't there...

And neither was the Soul Dew.

"They took the Soul Dew!" Lorenzo gasped. "Without the Soul Dew these waters won't flow! They must've seen that machine in the museum..."

"Oh no! We've got to get there, and FAST!" Bianca and Lorenzo rushed to the museum, unaware of the shadows that formed behind them...

----------------

Rob snarled. This was not the best night to have insomnia. He considered going out to talk with Cloud, Tifa, and Maya, but he didn't feel like talking. He was too busy musing over his mom's words. Doubtless his father would have a few words about this, but he'd be ready. However, the boredom threatened to devour him. He envied Ash, who seemed to sleep like a rock. That kid was something else.

His Heart seemed awful strong for an ordinary human.

NO matter. Without warning, Latias appeared in the window in human form. This caused practically EVERYONE in the room to stir and awaken. Ash spoke first. "Latias... what's wrong?"

The girl ran to him and cried silently on his shoulder. Everyone but Rob, Ash, and Sonic seemed horribly confused in the matter, so Ash told her to sit down.

Eventually, Ash began to introduce everyone to Latias. Nervous waves and laughter showed everyone's only response. "Latias. Show them your true form," Ash trailed.

Latias focused, and to everyone's (everyone being the people who didn't go to the garden) surprise, she formed into a Pokémon!

-------------------------

At the grand museum, in the darkest of night, Annie, Oakley, and their Pokémon walked in, carrying Latios. They laid Latios on a small circle. At this, it glowed white, and the ancient machine's guardrails shrank into the depths. Several twisting spheres emerged, capturing Latios inside.

What looked like an odd crane emerged. The center "ball opened to reveal a seat and a wide, blue "screen." However, Bianca and Lorenzo dashed into the main area.

"STOP!" Lorenzo shouted. "What're you doing?"

"What does t LOOK like we're doing?" Oakley snarled. "We're going to OWN this world."

"Espeon! Put them away," Annie smiled.

Espeon fired a Disable attack at Bianca and Lorenzo, shocking their bodies and knocking them unconscious. "Good night!" Annie sang.

-----------

Maya dashed through the alleys, smelling trouble closer and closer. With the Soul Dew in this town, not even those Soldiers should've shown up. But this must've signaled that the Soul Dew must've fallen into malignant hands! "I've got to find it!"

"Find what, little girl?" she heard. Whirling around, Maya came face to face with none other than Jesse and James. "You won't find ANYTHING."

"Team Rocket!" Maya hissed. She drew he daggers. "Always ones to stir trouble..."

"Make that double," James sneered and launched a kick to Maya's stomach. Maya curled in pain, but James wasn't finished yet. James smashed Maya with yet another vicious kick, forcing her on the ground. "Heartless shall overcome all this land. When those two thieves corrupt the Soul Dew enough, the Heartless will flood this former safe-haven, then no-one will stop us!" James and Jesse let out a pretentious laugh.

"Define no-one," from out of nowhere, a figure landed on top of the gloating members of Team Rocket, forcing them to eat the ground. "You two are sorry excuses for Darkness wielders; let the true carriers of the darkness do their work." Maya recognized the figure as Ansem.

"Ansem!" Maya cheered. "Hooray for plot devices!"

Ansem face-faulted before correcting himself. "Err... you're welcome. I understand you're on a quest?"

"Yeah," Maya rubbed her neck nervously as she tried to recover. "Something called the Soul Dew got snatched by some people. If we don't get it back, the Heartless will take over!"

"I understand. But from here on in, this won't get any easier," Ansem dug in his pocket and pulled out a black jewel, resembling a skull. "It takes more than proper wielding of darkness to overcome the flowing evil. Sometimes we need more friends." He dropped the jewel in the girl's hands. "An old friend of yours wants to help out. See if you can summon him."

Maya blinked as the jewel seemed to radiate some invisible power though her. Without warning, foreign memories flooded her mind... a Tyranitar smashing a building, an attack on that Vicious guy, howling at the moonlight...

With this Maya shouted, "Darkness, give me bravery! Houndoom!"

The eerie howl she once remembered pierced through the night, and she looked up. Visible against the strangely now-full moon, was Houndoom. It landed down off a building and trotted over to Maya.

"Amazing," Ansem smiled softly. "You already understand the power by instinct. Remember your friends, Maya. They'll help you no matter what." With that, Ansem stepped off of the groaning Team Rocket and walked away, disappearing into the night.

"ARGH!" Jesse twitched, recovering. "You're going to pay for that, BRAT!" she charged.

"Houndoom! Sic'em!" Maya commanded.

NOW seeing the dangerous dog, Jesse and James paled, turned around, and ran for their lives. Houndoom quickly made pursuit, breathing flames and roasting their asses.

"You may have won this round, but we'll be back!" Jesse cackled before she dropped a rose, and they both ran away. Maya, with renewed confidence, decided it might be better if she gathered her brother and his friends. She sprinted back towards the Pokémon center.

---------------------

"She's... she's that legendary Pokémon?" Misty gasped.

"Bingo," Sonic answered.

"What's wrong?" Ash queried.

Latias sighed and closed her eyes. Then, she opened them, and everyone was no longer in the room. Rather they stood in a vision of the museum, where Latios's eyes glowed as well.

"Cool. They keep a psychic connection together," Rob observed.

"This is... the museum!" Ash said.

"And look!" Brock pointed to a giant spider web, holding two people wrapped inside. "There's Lorenzo!"

"Those two thieves we encountered at the canal... they've activated that machine!" Sonic gasped. "We don't know what the hell that thing does..."

The group heard Lorenzo shout to the duo, "You'll destroy the whole city!"

Oakley stepped in the "ball" of the crane. "Never mind THAT, old man. We'll be able to control THE WHOLE WORLD from here!" Annie cackled madly.

"I'M TELLING YOU, FOR THE LAST TIME! THAT MACHINE IS THIS TOWN'S DEFENSE MECHANISM!"

Oakley sweat-dropped. The Pokémon sweat-dropped. The group sweat-dropped. Everyone sweat-dropped.

Everyone promptly crashed into the floor.

Oakley rose and corrected herself. "No matter! I'll CONTROL THE WHOLE WORLD ANYWAY! MWAHAHAHAHAHAHA!" She rose up on the crane, and at once the waters began to rumble. "I have control of this city's very waters. Soon the world will BE MINE!" she began to "type" in the air. "Reanimation... Aerodactyl, Kabutops... find Latias!" Oakley cackled.

"They have the Soul Dew!" Rob pointed out. Latios felt a shock, and the vision ended. Latias dropped, but recovered "And if THEY have the Soul Dew, that means-"

"The Heartless are here," Cloud and Tifa dropped in, slightly tired.

Rob missed nothing. "Where's my sister?"

"She ran off, looking for the Soul Dew..."

"Figures," Rob snarled, before his face changed to worry. "Maya, please don't get yourself killed..."

"We've got to stop them!" Ash said. "But... why are the Heartless here?"

"Those two are filled with horrible greed," Rob answered. "Their evil corrupts the Soul Dew, making it a Heartless magnet instead of a Heartless repellent. We must move out now before their power destroys this city."

Rob and Ash wasted no time in hopping out the window. Cloud moved as well. However, when Sonic began to race, Cloud said, "Sonic, stay here with the others!"

"What?!" Sonic's jaw hung open in rage. However, he noted Tifa, Misty and Brock, and he understood Cloud's request. "Okay... don't take forever!"

Latias flew out, and Ash noted rising gates sealing the alleyways. "They're trapping us!" Ash, Pikachu and Rob jumped out just in time, however Cloud couldn't make it out without getting a severe cut due to the sharp edges forming on the gate that would've sealed them inside.

"Cloud!" Ash exclaimed.

"I've suffered worse," Cloud moved out. Rob attempted to seal the wound with a Cure anyway before letting the warrior move further.

"The canal ways should lead us to the museum!" Ash instructed as Latias nodded and led the way. Rob skated, Ash and Pikachu grabbed Rob's hand, and Cloud, proving them to be quite speedy in the air.

"We've got Heartless Ahead!" Rob stopped as several Shadows and two Sneasel hopped up to strike. Pikachu hopped off Ash and struck with a quick Thunderbolt, smashing them away. Cloud flipped away from a sneak attack and slashed two Shadows easily. Rob whipped out his Keyblade and went for the Sneasels, dodging a weak Blizzard attack and smacking them with his weapon. Ash punched a Shadow, and they stopped.

"As bad as I imagined," Ash sighed.

The group moved forward again, not noticing the flying shape heading towards them. Only when it was too late did Rob note a swooping Aerodactyl landing to attack. It grabbed Latias, and tried to carry her away.

"Shit!" Rob exclaimed, stumbling back.

"PIKACHU!" Ash shouted as he made a futile leap on the creature to try and apprehend it. "THUNDERBOLT!"

Pikachu answered his trainer by sening huge blasts of lighting on Aerodactyl. The bird cried and flew away, but Latias panicked.

"Latias!" Ash cried as she put on her invisibility and flew away. Aerodactyl swooped back to smash the other guys with a Hyper Beam. "LATIAS!"

------------

"I can't wait around here any longer!" Sonic paced. "I'm feeling something awful, and I just can't sit on my ass all day!"

"I feel the same way," Misty added, "But we can't get past those gates!"

"Leave that to me," Tifa grinned and cracked her knuckles and Sonic smiled at her. He easily ricocheted off some walls and landed on the ground on the other side. She went to Misty and Brock. "Hope you aren't afraid of sudden heights," She picked up Brock first and chucked him over the gate. Sonic caught him and set him down. Tifa did the same to Misty, and then Sonic jumped back, threw Tifa over, and zipped back to catch her. The four of them bolted down the steps and headed over to the museum.

-------------

Ash came to. Somehow, he wound up in the canal. As his sight returned though, he saw Latias shaking him awake, and Rob, Cloud and Pikachu walking alongside. "Latias..."

Latias cooed happily in response.

"Those Pokémon, they're controlled by the Heartless, aren't they?" Ash pondered.

"YES!" the group heard. Ash turned his head a bit to see Maya running towards them. "There's something dead wrong with the city! Some thing called the Soul Dew is missing!"

"MAYA!" Rob embraced his sister in a bear hug. "I was worried about you!" He smacked her with his Keyblade. "NEVER DO THAT AGAIN!"

"Awww..." Maya massaged her aching head.

"Where'd you go, anyway?"

"I went looking for the problem, but then I saw Team Rocket," Maya responded. "They said they were counting on the thieves to steal that Soul Dew so they could destroy the world with the Heartless! Luckily Ansem saved me!"

"Shoulda known Team Rocket had something to do with this," Ash snarled.

"ANSEM?! WHERE?!" Rob looked around in excitement.

"Hate to interrupt your little chat, but we've got company," Cloud alerted. The reanimated Aerodactyl had reappeared with a vengeance, and now a wicked Kabutops was with it!

"Run for it!" Ash shouted.

Aerodactyl made chase, but most everyone was faster with Ash now riding Latias. Aerodactyl promptly crashed into a wall, fainting. Ash made a face at it and Rob gave it the finger, making fun of its less-than-dramatic exit. Kabutops was still on their heels, so Cloud advised the group to make more turns to confuse it. However, the vicious Pokémon was not one to be duped, and it kept up easily with them. Cloud turned to the others.

"MY turn," Cloud whirled around and charged, pulling an upward sweep with his sword, driving right through Kabutops's thick armor and knocking it down. Cloud added insult to injury by plunging the Buster Sword through its stomach, causing it to convulse and then sit still. The Heartless crest faded from its head before the fossil crumbled into nothing. Ash and Latias came back. Rob and Maya gave a thumbs-up. They raced on.

------------

Latios strained in pain. Oakley's mad drive for power harmed his very soul and sapped him of energy. Oakley's growing frustration at failing to stop Latias and Ash only angered her. Bianca and Lorenzo only stared, pure horror etched on their faces. Oakley's face then twisted to a grin, calling the screen to monitor the charging group. "I'll just summon the very water they tread on them!" Oakley's mad cackling rang through the museum, unaware of the twisted evil that besieged her heart. She then began to control the water...

"The museum's right there!" Ash pointed. Latias swerved and headed for it.

"It's too quiet..." murmured Maya.

"What the..." Rob turned to see a huge tower of water flowing towards them. "RUN!"

The team turned tail and tried to evade the chasing tower of water, but it proved faster. Water streaked across the wide floor, trapping our heroes and allowing the water tower to consume them. Our heroes struggled for air, the rushing water denying them oxygen. Latias panicked, but then clamed down and saw only one way out.

There was no other choice.

Her eyes flared, noting the psychic burst of power.

The Soul Dew shattered.

The water dropped away at once. Cloud smacked himself to get rid of the water in his throat, and Pikachu jumped on Ash's stomach to squirt out the water in his stomach.

The group wasted no more time and rushed in the museum.

By now, Oakley saw the error. The Soul Dew was destroyed! The complete lack of power suddenly drew the crane into a state of madness and it went haywire, trapping Oakley inside and driving her mad.

As Rob and the crew entered, they surveyed the chaos before them. The ancient machine had gone haywire, and everyone else, Pokémon included, could only watch in utter confusion. Annie noted the arriving heroes and summoned Ariados and Espeon.

"Get them!" Annie commanded.

"My turn!" Maya rushed forward. "I'll show you a new trick Ansem taught me!" She danced around and bellowed "HOUNDOOM!" With a flourish of magic, the dark dog appeared before her once again. Ariados reacted with a Shadow Ball, but Houndoom shot a powerful flamethrower, smashing it away and knocking it out. Espeon also leapt in to attack, but the swift Houndoom used a powerful Crunch attack, KO'ing it with just one hit. Annie could only stare in shock, until Maya dashed over and kicked her in the stomach. Then she could only keel over in shock.

"How did you do that?!" Rob shot at his sister.

"Ansem taught me! Isn't he cool?" Maya beamed at her twin brother. Rob grumbled something before turning back to the matter at hand.

"Are you two all right?" Ash said, trying to peel away the webbing trapping Lorenzo. However, he couldn't peel it fast enough, so Cloud came over and easily tore through it with his sword, freeing the two.

"We're fine... rescue Latios!" Lorenzo exclaimed.

Rob had already set foot towards Latios with Maya. Rob tried to smash the barrier with his Keyblade, but his efforts proved futile.

"Hmmm..." Maya thought for a moment. "What was that spell I picked up yesterday... AHA! Dispel!" She shot a hand up, and the barrier began to crack. Then, almost like glass, it shattered. Latios fell to the ground, exhausted.

Latias, seeing that Latios was free happily circled around him.

"As much as I like happy reunions, we're not finished yet!" Rob pointed to the machine. "The machine's haywire!"

True to Rob's word, the machine was still going awry, Ash narrowly dodged getting smashed to death by the crane's "ball." Latios looked over to the holder where the Soul Dew once sat, a white orb of electricity in its place. Latios nodded towards it, and Rob knew what to do.

Bringing his mighty Keyblade, Rob slammed it into the orb, ignoring the great shocking pain coursing through him. Reaching his limits, Rob finally forced the Keyblade completely down, destroying the orb and silencing the machine.

The crane slowed to a stop, opening on the ground and revealing Oakley, lifeless and unmoving.

Annie rushed over to her fallen friend, cradling the purple-haired woman like a baby. "Oakley? Oakley!" She shook her gently, and the body stirred. Oakley awakened.

"Annie?" She whispered.

"I... I'm glad you're okay," Annie smiled weakly. "I think it's all over for us."

"I hope you learned your lesson!" Ash suddenly said, catching them off guard. He boldly walked over to them. "This is what happens when greed becomes you!"

"Evil overtakes your Heart, and you attract the Heartless, and you nearly put this town in grave danger!" Lorenzo added.

Annie stared at the angry crowd of heroes and Pokémon in sadness. All they wanted was the high life, to have the thrill of thievery and own the world... and this is what they get? She bowed her head in shame. Oakley turned her head and weakly said, "Please spare us the moral reminder, we just had... everything... you just said... and are about to say... shoved into our heads in about five seconds by... these events."

"I guess people change, huh?" Ash said.

"Not a bad idea," A slight smirk appeared on Cloud's face. Latias studied Annie and Oakley and flew around them, wondering why they had such a sudden change in morals.

As Latias finished her investigation, Ash continued, "In any case, you'll still have to go to jail, but I see that you have at least had a change in heart... the town's back to normal, I guess."

"Pika!" Pikachu agreed.

(The Darkness never dies,) Rob jumped at the "voice" that echoed throughout the room. A pool of darkness formed from right under him, and he swiftly skated out of the way before something could happen. From the pool one giant, black form emerged, leering down at them.

"Not DAD again!" Rob groaned.

"That's your dad?!" Bianca gasped.

"Believe it, faker!"

Bianca promptly fainted.

(So, you absorbed the balanced power, didn't you?) Darkside continued staring impassively. (In any case it won't save you. The Darkness always grows and consumes. There's no controlling it without the loss of your soul.)

"There's no controlling it without the loss of your soul," Rob mocked. He then got into a fighting stance. "You think I'm gonna join YOU? Not a chance, ugly! What have you this time?!"

Darkside continued to stare, but Giovanni's Umbreon emerged right behind it. (Since Team Rocket and the thieves have failed, I will take matters into my own hands. As long as the Soul Dew is destroyed, I WILL destroy this land in Darkness!) Darkside slammed the ground, and a wave of Darkness consumed Umbreon...

And made it bigger.

In fact, it was roughly four times its original size. The fiendish Pokémon roared, and the team heard, (A new form has taken place. I am Fenrir, and as the Darkness consumes me... I will consume YOU.) The new Umbreon, now known as 'Fenrir', lunged for an attack.

Rob and Cloud back-flipped out of the way as Fenrir attempted to Crunch them to death. Ash whipped out one of his Pokéballs and flung it. "Heracross!" Ash shouted as the giant beetle Pokémon emerged. The blue beetle acknowledged is trainer before he charged into battle. "Megahorn attack!" Heracross jutted his horn and smashed into Fenrir. The blow sent the giant Pokémon crashing into the ground.

Fenrir rose again, and with a powerful lunge, smashed Heracross away with a headbutt. With this, Rob dodged the flying bug and skated towards the ferocious dark Pokémon. Whipping out his Keyblade, he leapt up and performed a Slicer attack to Fenrir's face. Cloud readied his Buster Sword and sliced at the creature as well. Both fighters sliced at the offensive creature as it struck back with gnashing teeth.

Fenrir reared back and smashed Rob away with a front paw, and slapped Cloud away with another. It then changed its attention and stalked towards Maya and Ash, ready to chomp down with mighty jaws.

As it lowered its jaws to strike, a figure suddenly smacked its face and crashed it painfully into the ground. Ash sighed with relief as he saw Tifa land and take a fighting stance.

Unfortunately, the angry Fenrir recovered and started to stalk towards Tifa. The woman nervously backed away as the nightmarish creature, up until Rob lunged forward and struck with a four-hit combo. Fenrir lunged and attempted to crush Rob in its jaws. Tifa stole the opportunity by running forward and smashing it with a meteor punch.

Fenrir stopped for a moment. It howled, and a rush of Darkness began to explode form under our heroes' feet. "Augh!" Everyone shouted as they were forced back.

Without warning, Pikachu rushed forward.

"Pikachu!" Ash cried.

The electric mouse dashed forward, avoiding the plumes of Darkness as it charged towards Fenrir. Pikachu leapt up...

...and fell right into Fenrir's jaws.

"PIKACHU!" Ash almost passed out from the sheer panic of losing his prized Pokémon.

To think it was over for the yellow rat was terribly erroneous. Fenrir shook from pain as powerful plumes of lightning shot from it, at last ending in a terrific explosion.

When the dust cleared, Fenrir was no more. Only a fallen Umbreon and a victorious Pikachu remained. Having worn out its power, Pikachu keeled over as Ash scooped it up into his arms. "Pikachu!" Ash sighed in relief.

Just then, Misty and Brock rushed in. "Is everything okay?!" Misty asked.

"Uhhh... we're still alive if anyone cares," Annie chuckled nervously.

"It's all settled now," Ash said, with a soft smile towards his Pikachu.

(I see I failed,) Darkside emerged once again. (However, I leave you one last gift. If this place cannot be submerged in Darkness, it will simply be submerged. CYGNUS.)

Rob stared down his father, having been called by his true name.

(Your time of judgment will come. You will not escape the Darkness. Farewell.) Darkside flew up and plunged down, disappearing into a portal of Darkness that made the earth shake.

"Who said I was trying to escape?" Rob blinked. He then turned back to the rest of the crowd. "I guess it's over... wait... where's Sonic?!"

"Umm... guys?" Sonic walked in, his pupils having shrunk to the size of a small speck of dust. "We have a problem. Go look outside..."

The entire group sprinted outside, Annie and Oakley included, and the team came face-to-face with an absolute lack of water in the canals...

...and looking towards the edge, the biggest tsunami the world has ever seen.

"Holy crap!" Rob breathed. "God spare us..."

"We can't die this way..." Misty gasped sadly as the tsunami picked up momentum and drew closer to smash them into oblivion.

It was here that the Eon Pokémon rose. They nodded towards each other, then flew towards the oncoming wave.

"What're you DOING?!" Maya shouted.

"Saving us all," Bianca stated grimly. "This is their... Memento attack. A sacrifice to save someone..."

Latias and Latios glowed white, and they formed a white orb together. It grew in power and began to flicker as it charged towards the tsunami. However, inside that ball...

(You cannot perish,) Latias suddenly heard from her partner.

(What?! But...) Latias tried to reason with Latios.

(I can do this alone... there is no need for you to suffer with me. Please! Live on, continue our legacy. You've done what you could... give the humans, the Keyblade child some hope.)

(But...)

(GO...) Latios forced Latias out of the white orb, forcing him alone to encounter the wave. The orb flickered as it collided with the wave, and the water died down before it could drown the city. Latias looked up in dismay as the orb was gone, and Latios with it. She lowered herself down slowly, as Ash, Sonic, and Rob came dashing towards her.

"Latias!" Ash shouted as the three of them came to the Eon Pokémon. Ash took one look at the sad face of Latias and knew something bad had happened. "Latios... he didn't make it, did he?" Latias shook her head forlornly. "I'm... I'm sorry for... your loss."

Latias nodded. Rob saw her rise up and fly past him. Rob took a look at his Keyblade and remembered, "Keyhole!"

Arriving back in front of the museum, Rob and the others came to a stop. Rob alone stepped forward a bit, seeing something shine in front of the building. Rob looked closer.

The Keyhole.

Pointing the Keyblade with both hands, Rob aimed at the hole, and a thin light shot out into the Keyhole. He heard something click like a lock being shut, and another being opened.

"I guess... this place is now protected again. It's finally OVER," Rob sighed in relief, but then stood up. "For now."

"Latias, will you be okay?" Ash asked the Pokémon.

It seemed to nod slightly.

"Legend has it every once in a while, such as every thousand years, one dies to recreate the Soul Dew," Lorenzo walked out, along with the rest of the large group. "It is then that the legacy of the Eon Pokémon continues, to forever guard this place from any form of evil."

"I understand," Rob nodded. "The evil the permeates throughout the world continues to attack what it cannot have in many ways. I can only imagine what... could possibly go wrong. My father, despite his apparent evil, is still an enigma to me."

"I don't know," Ash sighed sadly.

"Maybe I'll find the answers..."

"Rob..." Ash began, looking at Misty and Brock. "I wanna ask you something."

"Yeah?" Rob answered.

"This is gonna be difficult..." he continued to steal glances at Misty and Brock. "But can I come with you? I wanna understand all this, the Heartless, the Soulless, the Pokémon... Everything, and I can't do it on a normal journey."

Rob's smirk returned. "Heh, why not? The problem is, will your friends let you?"

"Ash..." Misty's eyes watered, and she glomped Ash again. "I'll miss you!"

"I'll miss you too, Misty..." Ash hugged back.

"Ash," Brock said in a serious voice. "On your new journey, there's one thing I request of you..." he gave Ash a pen and a notepad. "Could you get girls to write down their phone numbers here and bring it back?!"

Everyone crashed. Misty smacked Brock over the head with a mallet.

"Well, for safety reasons, I'll stay here," Brock came back to his senses. "Good luck Ash."

"I'm gonna miss you, Brock," Ash nearly cried as he hugged his friend. As he let go, he turned back to Latias. "And who knows, maybe starting a new journey isn't so hard..."

"Or maybe it's already begun," Sonic added. "Chill out everyone! We won't be leaving until tomorrow afternoon! And besides, we need to take Latias home," Sonic grinned as he started racing back into the city.

"WAITADAMNSECOND!" Rob bellowed, making everyone stop.

"What?" They all responded.

"Where's Annie and Oakley?"

They spotted the two of them attempting to sneak off. Rob was the first to bellow "STOP RIGHT THERE!"

They panicked and attempted to run, but Sonic had beaten them to the punch. Knocking them down and tying them up with rope in one smooth motion, Sonic then stood on top of them, gloating. "Hey guess what? I WIN!"

The ladies grumbled and complained, but Rob stepped up and started rubbing his nose cockily. "I guess it pays to have fast friends. You ladies fail. I thought you had changed morals. Guess I was wrong."

"You have a nosebleed, boy," Oakley taunted in a sensual voice. Rob stopped his rubbing to note blood on his finger. At this, Oakley winked at him, and Rob buried his hands in his face again.

"Urrrrrrgggh! DAMN YOU!" Rob bellowed, as everyone else laughed at his expense.

---------------------

"Huh?" Sonic looked in the distance. "Isn't that Latias?" he noted the girl running by them as the group headed towards the shore to the recently landed spacecraft that afternoon. After several tearful goodbyes from his friends, Ash had finally managed to tear away and head off with the "Keyblade gang" as he referred to them.

"Or is it faker?" Rob grinned.

Latias came to Ash. She held a painting in her hand. Ash received it, and opened it.

Inside was a detailed picture of Ash, Rob, Pikachu, and Sonic, chilling out in front of a large tree.

"Wow..." Ash said, not expecting an even bigger shock.

Latias pecked him in the cheek.

"Lucky bastard..." Sonic muttered under his breath.

Latias ran back. Lorenzo showed up in the distance. "Goodbye! Thank you for everything!"

"No problem!" Ash saluted, and the group all boarded the spacecraft.

"Wait, does this thing have a name?" Ash asked as he came inside.

"I prefer the name 'Nevershadow'," Tails came into view. "Hello, Ash Ketchum. My name's Miles Prowler, but you can call me Tails!"

"Hi Tails!" Ash shook his hand. "So... where we off to?"

-------------------------------

"WE'RE GOING TO HOENN/JAPAN! WHEEE HAW!"

Legends-Kuja
23rd September 2005, 09:30 AM
Episode 11: Mansion of Souls

(A/N: No ownage of KH, Poké/Digimon, whatever... My character, Daniel, or "Taz" is mine, although his name is not.)

"This all makes sense now!" Siege typed furiously on his computer.

"Too bad I still can't make sense of this..." Sora added, falling on a bed in the Hyperion. "So now there's two sides, light and dark. Each has two evil minions on each side, Heartless and Soulless. But NOW PEOPLE SAY THE HEARTLESS AREN'T AT FAULT FOR THEIR OWN EVIL!'" He roared. "Oh... now I'm confused! Are we supposed to destroy the Heartless or convert them? And what about the Soulless? Dang it, Sara, come BACK already!"

"It's been two damn hours..." Conker hissed in annoyance.

"Yeah... so WHAT'S taking her so long?"

"I don't know..." Siege answered. "She said she needed to take care of some business. And Sora...your letting your anger drive your actions. But then again, I can't blame you. Teenagers have their hormones and such." Siege gave a quiet smirk.

"AND WHAT THE HECK DO YOU KNOW ABOUT ANGSTY TEENAGERS?!" Sora roared.

"EVERYTHING," Siege gave a cheeky grin, making Sora roll his eyes. "Including the fact that you are one."

"Sorry for being a jerk, but I'm so frustrated..." Sora sighed. "Everything I fought for could've been in the wrong direction." Sora blew a strand of hair from his face, and got up. "I'm going in after Sara, I'll talk with Jim and see what he says."

"Go right ahead," Siege's grin fell, but didn't disappear. "I'm still looking into the situation. I don't know what Sara knows..."

Sora nodded and walked off.

Jim Raynor sat in the control room with Beelzemon and Buu, playing some sort of card game. Buu snarled. "Got any sixes?"

"Feh... Go fish!" Beelzemon grinned.

Jim was more perceptive than his teammates, "Sora! What's wrong, kid?" Jim's outfit was more comfortable; from first glance, he almost looked like Jimmy Dean in a brown leather jacket. Beelzemon and Buu still looked the same. However, they did glance at Sora.

"I've decided," Sora said. "I'm going after Sara."

"Knew you were gonna say that...," Beelzemon stated. "She been gone that long already??"

"Two hours?" Sora tried, raising his eyebrows.

"Feh... got me..."

"Where'd she go, anyway?" Buu asked.

"It's called the Mansion of Souls," Jim said. "The name sounds like a bunch of bullshit to me, but in a world like this, anything can happen. Sara knew about it...said it was connected to this 'Mary' she talked about, and I'm sure as hell she's not talkin' bout the Virgin Mother, either. She also said it's connected to those Soulless critters we've been hearing about."

"If she found Mary, she probably wanted a private moment," Sora said, bowing his head in reverence. Everyone else did, as well. Then Sora grinned. "BUT WHO CARES?! Most likely she didn't and it's safe, so we should make sure 'tough girl' didn't get into any trouble. So who's with me?!"

"Not me!" Samus walked in, wearing her full suit. "I've got a small recon mission to accomplish. I'll see you later, Sora," She dashed off, and Jim smirked. Pushing a button, Jim opened a hatch on the Hyperion, allowing Samus to leave.

"Hmm... I don't think I can join you this time around, kid," Jim said. "We've just got updated on a Heartless attack nearby here, and we've got to get down there and assist. But I bet ol' Beelzemon will help you! Won't you, Beelzemon?" Jim flashed him a cheeky grin.

Beelzemon raised an eyebrow and looked at Jim. "Hey! What about everyone else?"

"Conker and Buu have to go with me to stop that mass of Heartless nearby, and Siege is still doing research on the damn things. Sora can't exactly rough this alone, and if anyone here can do anything about darkness better, it's you. Am I right?"

"Yeah, but..."

"Good! I knew you'd agree with me..."

"Hey, don't you pull that sh-"

"Come ON! I don't have all day!" Sora picked up Beelzemon and dragged him off the ship. "And besides, if you wanna help everyone else, we need to find Sara quick!"

-------------

"Things are going quite well today!" Captain Hook grinned, swinging his new sword around. "Peter Pan and his annoying friends are nowhere to be found, the Heartless siege is sure to distract any would-be heroes, and on top of that this HUGE, BEAUTIFUL mansion will be MINE for the taking!"

"Patience, my overeager friend," The glaring eye of Slade followed the jolly captain. The man himself walked slowly alongside Hook. "Remember, our primary goal is to unearth the movements of the Chaos Saints. You are to head off any offense that may change that."

"Yes, of course, me laddie," Hook agreed, although he was far too distracted.

"Terra," Slade called out, and the earth shook, and from the ground a blond, fairly thin girl rose to the surface. Her blue eyes faded from yellow, and the bandages that covered her exposed midriff and legs had begun to slightly unravel and hang loosely. She glared softly at her master, while the man continued. "It's time. Find the girl and bring her to me. You know who I speak of."

"Yes, master," she complied. Her eyes glowing, she severed a part of the earth beneath, allowing her to form a small platform for her to ride on. She rose and drifted into the mansion through a window.

"She's not the cheery type, is she?" Hook asked Slade.

"You'll be thankful for it," Slade responded before disappearing in a swirling form of darkness. Hook snarled before stalking off into the mansion.

-----------------

"Whoa..." Sora gaped at the grandness of the mansion.

"It's big," Beelzemon stated the obvious.

"Yes... but HOW big?"

I'll answer that question. The Mansion of Souls stood about the size of a small island, dwarfing poor Sora and Beelzemon to look like ants approaching a school building. The entryway stood about 14 feet tall, adorned in red with the Heartless and Soulless crests upon it (The Soulless cross stood inside where the X on the Heartless would normally be.)

"Damn, that's huge," Beelzemon gaped. "But no time to waste," he punted the giant door open with ease, and annoyingly yelled, "Come out, come out, wherever you are!"

But only silence answered them. Inside had the appearance of a twisted mansion built by Ansem himself. If it weren't for such an influence, Sora might have admired the church-like designs on the walls, or the paintings of a family Sora never knew, or that shy little Heartless with a blue jacket and a pointy hat...

... HEARTLESS WITH A POINTY HAT?!

Sora jumped in shock and whipped out a Keyblade in a fighting stance as the mysterious, child-like Heartless cautiously made himself more visible. "Excuse me, s-s-sir, but this p-place is off l-limits. Please go back to where you c-c-c-came from..."

"Huh?" Sora blinked. "Who are you? You're not like the Heartless I've normally seen..."

The Heartless child scratched its head, but then apparently saw some offense from Sora's words as it then got angry, "HEY! I'm w-warning you!"

"Chill out!" Beelzemon shot back. "We're just lookin' for someone!"

"Don't worry, Vivi. I got this," They heard as they saw the child look behind him before stepping back. The one known as Vivi disappeared over the balcony, with a copper-haired teenager replacing him. There was only one problem.

This guy had a shotgun.

And apparently a powerful one, too, as the teen whipped it out and shot at Sora with lightning speed. Although Sora blocked the attack, the sheer force knocked him over and caused him to crash. Sora recovered and snarled.

The teen continued, "You're not invited to the mansion, my duckies, so you'd best clear out now!"

Sora shot back, "WHAT'S THE BIG IDEA?! You nearly shot me!"

"I can do it again," the cheeky shotgun-wielder replied. He looked down to see Sora and his Keyblade. "Waitaminute... Keyblade, spiky hair, black outfit, oversized shoes... you must be Sora!"

"Ummm, yeah, that's me," Sora raised an eyebrow.

"Ah... I've been expecting you lot for some time, What took you so damn long?!" The shotgun-wielder jumped in front of Sora. He stood slightly taller and wider than the weary Keyblade Master, with copper hair and small eyes. He wore a high-school varsity jacket that bore both the Heartless and Soulless crests. "You're pretty slow for a Keyblade Master, I know someone who'd be here in a flash if it weren't for his sorry ass sense of direction."

"Well that means I got a better sense of direction than he does," Sora grinned.

"Damn straight!" Beelzemon added.

"You can call me 'Taz', after the Tasmanian Devil himself," Taz said. The Heartless-like child walked behind him. "This is a buddy of mine, Vivi. I'm the guardian of the mansion you see here, so you'll have to forgive my less than friendly approach to everything. Oh, and Vivi helps out from time to time."

"Umm... nice to meet you," Sora said to the yellow-eyed mage.

"N-nice to meet you too," Vivi responded. "C-c-curse my stuttering..."

"So why were you expecting this spiky-haired dumbass here anyway?" Beelzemon jerked his thumb at Sora.

"HEY!" Sora shot back and pointed the Keyblade threateningly.

"Because someone else passed by here, and she mentioned 'you're the one they need', or some other cryptic crap before she sodded off and disappeared," Taz answered.

"Sara," Beelzemon filled in the blank.

"Right, mate," Taz continued as he quickly dug in his ear. "And now the bugger's still lost in the mansion. Need you to go find her with me."

"Ummm... okay," Sora said.

Taz turned tail and walked further into his manor. Vivi walked alongside Sora and Beelzemon.

"Taz patrols th-this huge mansion. It has connections to all worlds," Vivi stated as the other two walked alongside him.

"All worlds?" Sora asked in surprise.

"Yeah, hard to b-believe, but it's true." Vivi said. "Taz found me after I had accidentally led a c-c-c-couple of black mages here from my world. Since we as H-heartless have conscious thought, we needed a p-place to stay."

"How'd he find this place? And what made this mansion his in the first place?" Beelzemon asked.

"Taz said he was sent here by 'f-freak events'. And that's all he'll tell me." Vivi shrugged.

"'Freak events', huh?" Beelzemon smirked as they walked down some stairs into another room.

They suddenly heard Taz shout, "NOT YOU BASTARDS AGAIN!"

"Huh?" Sora blinked.

"Sounds like he f-found more of those... those D-something thingys!" Vivi said in alarm.

"Dusk?" Sora asked.

"Yes!"

"We fought those things a week ago! Let us help!" Sora summoned his Keyblade yet again, and Beelzemon whipped out his two Berenjena.

"Fine!" Vivi ran forward into the next room, with Sora and Beelzemon right behind him. There he saw Taz glaring at the twisted Soulless creatures, the Dusk.

"Argh!" Taz shot at one, but it stretched and bended out of the way. He whipped about and jumped to his left to dodge a Dusk surprise attack, and shot at it again. This time it was struck, and died in a flash of white light.

"It's our turn!" Sora bellowed. He ran towards another Dusk, Keyblade outstretched. Beelzemon gave a shout of "Double Impact!" and shot dark energy into Sora's Keyblade. Sora ripped through the Dusk like a butcher knife through warm butter-it was that fierce.

"Nice, mates! Gives me an idea," Taz dodged another Dusk and hopped backwards next to Vivi. "Vivi! Give me a Doomsday!"

"D-doomsday?! That'll b-blow us all into smithereens!" Vivi protested.

"Don't worry! My shotgun can control it! Remember Flare?"

"Oh..." Vivi recalled the time he and Taz had teamed up to defeat the Dusk. Taz's shotgun can also control magic from his allies. He focused the insane Dark energy as it began to flood the room into one point. Taz, however, drew it into his gun.

The Dusk drew back, weary of something big.

Suddenly, Taz fired. A powerful orange burst of Dark energy killed all the Dusk in the room in one instant. Taz smirked and blew the smoke off of his shotgun. "I love my job."

"That's nice and all, but there's still another Dusk," Sora pointed as precisely another Dusk emerged from the ground. Taz grit his teeth in almost Rob-like anger and aimed at the offending creature, but it backflipped out of the way. It ran into another room. "AFTER IT!" Taz bellowed, and the four heroes gave chase.

------

"This is a quaint mansion, I'd say. Better than Hollow Bastion," Larxene smirked as she walked inside. "Why were we there in the first place. All we got to do is let Zexion taunt that Sora kid before 'King Sephiroth' kicked us out," She rolled her eyes at the mention of his name, although it was to hide her fear of the man. The ire of the one-winged angel was nothing that could be matched; the sight of an angry Donald and Goofy beside him didn't even deter it.

"Keep in mind 'King Sephiroth' could've slit out throats in an instant if he wanted to," Axel grinned. "Not even I could've taken him down."

"Being so humble, Axel?" A high-pitched, yet male voice shot to Axel. The red-haired man flinched at the sound. "It's a nice change."

"VEXEN," Axel snarled.

"Why Axel," The man appeared in the usual Chaos Saint outfit, his blond hair betraying his more Asian face. "There's no reason for you to hate me. You're nowhere as annoying as that dog Marluxia."

"I'm a DOG, you say?" another face of the Chaos Saints appeared. He was a bit taller and younger looking than the rest (well, Larxene was the youngest, but no one cared.). His orange-blond hair only reached his shoulders. Where he walked, flower petals fell to the ground. "That's the nicest insult I've heard from you in a long time, old man."

"Keep your tongue, Mr. Flower Man," Vexen shot back. "Or you will not last long."

"Not as long as Axel, anyway," Larxene winked. Axel simply sort of grinded his teeth at those words.

"Rumor has it Sora's here," Zexion appeared. He walked past the group and towards the mansion. "He will be most persistent if he sees us."

"That is inevitable," A sixth man appeared. If Marluxia was tall, this man was taller, and had tons of muscle to back it up. He carried a large, black tomahawk with him. "If that one-winged girl said that he is needed to unveil our meeting place, he will meet us all no doubt."

"I'm pretty sure if worse comes to worse, Lexaeus here can knock out Sora in one hit. Right Lexy?" Larxene said.

"Don't act cute," Lexaeus deadpanned. Larxene simply stuck her lower lip out.

"In any case, we must keep moving," Zexion advised. "Miss Oni does not like to be kept waiting."

(Who said I was impatient?) The flapping of four angelic wings and the arrival of Charlotte's body answered them. The other six, aside from Axel, deeply considered groveling, but Oni stopped these thoughts. (What did I tell you? Don't. Grovel. Before me. You don't need to!) Charlotte walked in and opened the door to Mansion of Souls. (We should get in. The Keyblade clown might even need our help.)

"Works for me!" Axel flexed his arms before following Charlotte and the others inside.

-----------

Grinding down a stair rail, Sora balanced himself before leaping off to counter and smash down a Dusk that leapt to attack him. Beelzemon sliced through another row of Dusk with his Darkness Claw. Vivi fired a shot of Firaga at the oncoming Dusk, smashing it into oblivion. All three struggled to match the speed and fury of Taz, who was still chasing the same Dusk that got away.

"DIE, DAMN YOU!" Taz shot furiously at the Dusk. He and the doomed creature disappeared into another room.

"He reminds me of Rob," Sora muttered under his breath. The Dusk had stopped appearing, so he cooled down. "Wait a minute..." He remembered at the beginning of the mansion, there was a portrait that had Taz in it. "Taz has a family portrait at the beginning at the mansion."

"You didn't see Rob in it? Man, you're blind! I saw those neon orange eyes a mile away!" Beelzemon added.

"Why didn't you say anything?!" Sora shot.

"I dunno, thought ya saw it already. Besides, what's so important about Taz living with Rob, anyway?"

"I dunno," Sora thought about it. "I'm guessing Rob is where Taz picked up his current rage from. It's so... Rob-like."

"Rob?" Vivi asked. "Taz m-mentioned someone b-bearing that name."

"Yeah?" Sora said, encouraging Vivi to go on.

"He was pretty n-nostalgic about him. S-said while everyone else at the church was v-visibly happy, his was... s-silent. Almost twinged with s-sadness..."

"Sadness?" Sora asked.

"Oh yeah..." Taz came back, blowing smoke off of his shotgun. "Rob's an angsty fellow. Even though he's fortunate, he's almost like a bleedin' heart, the poor lad. Guess that's why that Keyblade came to him one night... Sorta miss him."

"Yeah... we saw him last week," Beelzemon remarked casually.

"What?! WHERE?!" He zipped towards Beelzemon and gripped him by the collar.

"Hey! Chill OUT!" Beelzemon pushed Taz off of him. "We saw him last week at Jump City. Sora kicked his ass plenty of times; sorta surprised he hasn't bragged about it."

"That's a no brainer, chump. You have experience," Taz said. "I bet with enough training, Rob could hand your ass to you."

"Doubtful, but I'd like to see," Sora answered. He looked around. "I don't see any Dusk. So where's Sara?"

"Oh yeah, Sara? I... locked her in a closet."

"WHADDYA MEAN YOU LOCKED HER IN A CLOSET?!"

"SHE BEAT ME, ALL RIGHT?!"

"Figures..." Sora rolled his eyes. "Let's go."

"Right this way, you lot," Taz took a left into a foyer, and the other three followed.

"So... Sara's in THIS closet?" Sora asked.

"Yep!" Taz said.

Beelzemon kicked down the door, and found...

Nothing.

"She WAS in there!" Taz complained as Sora and Beelzemon gave him demonic looks.

"Did you try... looking somewhere ELSE?" They heard a snide voice, and they whirled around.

"Captain Hook!" Sora recognized the villain instantly. Captain Hook stood on a statue, holding a long sword in one hand and dangling a rope on the other. On the end of this rope dangled...

"SARA!" Sora gasped. Sara, tied and gagged, didn't look fearful at all. On the contrary, her cheeks flushed from embarrassment, and once Sora saw this, she gave him and Taz a death glare that would've melted lesser men.

"Why, HELLO, Sora!" Captain Hook evilly greeted. "Been ages since I've fought the likes of a scurvy dog like you. But I have a new sword," Sora noted his new sword; it looked much like a defined version of his old one, with flowing darkness and a Heartless symbol upon it. "And YOU don't stand much of a chance! With all these Heartless here, I'll make this giant mansion a new home! I'm surprised you didn't go to the Heartless siege I planted!"

"That was YOUR idea?!" Sora shot.

"OF COURSE, Sora boy! But that's just fine and dandy, because now I can test my NEW SWORD ON YOU! OH TERRA! Distract his buddies!"

"You rang?" A smirking Terra emerged from the earth. An evil grin was plastered over her face has her blond hair whipped from the powerful kinesis she was using. "I have a mission to do, Hook, but if it's smashed good guys you want..." Her eyes glowed yellow, and chunks of earth began to rise from the ground. "I'm more than happy to comply."

"YOU'RE Terra?!" Sora gasped, remembering Robin's words.

Terra ignored her recognition as she tried to pelt the other three with the large chunks of rock.

"You DID NOT just mess up my floor, damn you!" Taz bellowed as he shot at Terra. Vivi simply added a Blizzaga as his answer.

Captain Hook raised his sword and attempted to slice Sora. The nimble boy dodged, and attempted his own slash. Captain Hook dodged easily and leapt to the side, using a four-hit combo Sora could barely parry. "You've gotten stronger, me laddie, but so have I!"

"All right, let's REALLY PLAY! Thundaga!" Sora raised his Keyblade and strong thunder poured from the heavens. However, Captain Hook absorbed the blast by twirling his sword. "Ah, on of the fine features of me sword, I can absorb magic!" Captain Hook raised his sword and used a powerful swipe, now loaded with lightning. Sora leapt out of the way, but took quite a shock from the lightning.

"AUGH!" Sora cried.

"Hang on, Sora!" Beelzemon shouted as he dodged another attack from Terra.

"Can't you stop trying to kill us for a moment, woman?!" Taz barely dodged a vicious earth attack from Terra.

"Nah, it's not fun!" Terra answered, ignoring a direct Thundaga strike from Vivi and ignoring the semi-curses from the mage when he realized his mistake.

Taz simply sweat-dropped. He shot two rounds, knocking Terra off her feet. He then took another shot and Hook flinched, allowing Sora to rake in a Ragnarok combo.

"Nice one, Sora!" Beelzemon cheered, using his Berenjena to ward off a counter attack from Terra.

"Hey, no cheating!" Captain Hook sliced the air with his sword, and a dark wave sliced Taz, drawing a bit of blood. Taz crumpled, but stayed conscious.

"TAZ!" Sora cried.

"Oh, stop whining, I'm alive!" Taz clutched his wound, and a Green Requiem dropped some green powder. Taz's wounds faded away. Taz bounded back up, and grinded down the banister, shooting at Terra all the way. Vivi finally managed to get in a shot on Terra by smashing her with a Flare.

"But soon YOU won't be!" Captain Hook cackled, and sent another wave at Sora. Sora jumped it, and super glided towards Hook, finally hitting him with another combo and a prod to the stomach.

"What was that?" Sora taunted.

"Sora, watch OUT!" Taz warned, but it was too late. Captain Hook used his hook and stabbed Sora in his left shoulder. The blood gushed out, and Sora screamed in pain. Captain Hook, being a sadistic bastard, pulled it out, causing more pain and Sora to fall.

"Sora!" Beelzemon cried.

"Keep crying, you'll join him!" Terra roared. She summoned a round of kinesis, causing the earth to shake from a tremendous earthquake.

Sora fell. He could barely glance up, as Captain Hook prepared the finishing blow.

"Ay AY, Captain Hook!" A piercing arrow made of light knocked Captain Hook off of the second floor, making him fall to the first floor. Captain Hook rose in anger, ready to take on this figure when he realized who it was.

"PETER PAN!" Captain Hook gasped.

"Nice powers, huh?" Peter Pan flew down to where Captain Hook stood, arrows in hand. "I've been training with some new powers against the Heartless! That means I can use the powers of light, and YOUUUU can't!" Captain Hook was surprised to see that Peter Pan had grown older by about three years.

"Your maturity hasn't aged at all, I see," Captain Hook sneered.

"Or course not!" Peter Pan laughed and took the insult in stride. They began to cross swords and bows.

Sora struggled to get up, but a firm, healing hand told him otherwise. "Friends are always there for you... no matter what," His hook wound was gone, but his shoulder was still smarting. Sora looked up to see a person he didn't expect.

"Riku?" Sora gasped. Riku had changed. His hair had grown thinner, he had grown much taller (and even got some muscles), and he now oddly wore a blindfold. What was most unsual, however, is that he now wore a Chaos Saint outfit. "Thanks, Riku. What's the blindfold for?"

"Being in darkness for a year tends to do nightmares for your eyesight. My eyes are actually fine, but I have developed senses better than sight," Riku turned to Sora, and grinned. "Now stay here until that shoulder of yours recovers. I got this. And the Chaos Saint thing... I'll answer that later."

Riku leapt off of the second floor, and joined Peter Pan against Hook. He pulled out the Soul Eater and struck, knocking Hook by surprise. Both easily dodged the returning swipe Hook sent, and smashed him again.

Peter Pan got an idea. "Oh Captain HOOOOK! Catch!" he threw something at Captain Hook, and he caught it in confusion.

"A ketchup bottle?" the good guys raised their eyebrows in confusion.

Terra, however, snarled. She'd seen this trick before in her travels with Slade...

"Observe," Peter Pan held a confident look on his face. "HEY, PIKACHU! HE'S GOT YOUR KETCHUP!"

An odd, Heartless version of the yellow rat appeared and looked at Captain Hook for the moment. Then he started trying to tug the ketchup bottle.

"That's MY bottle!" Captain Hook said, angry and confused.

"Pika PIKA!" The Heartless Pikachu shouted.

"You're a goner, Hook!" Peter Pan said with a confident smirk.

By now the Pikachu got angry. "PIIIII KAAAAAAAA CHHUUUUUU!" Captain Hook got the shock of his life. Pikachu then used a Seismic Toss and threw Captain Hook well out of the house.

"SMMEEEEE!" Captain Hook cried as he disappeared in the night sky with a ding.

Terra stood back, aware that she was outnumbered and outclassed. "Funny. Never got called Smee before. Guess that chump needs his old lackey anyway. But my fight's over. I'll be seeing you losers later." Terra conjured swirling dust like a smokescreen and disappeared.

Everyone looked at Peter Pan. He just smirked. "Never stand in the way between a Pikachu and his ketchup!" The Heartless Pikachu agreed and started licking the blood-red goodness.

"That's Anti-Pikachu..." Taz looked at it. "Every unique living animal or human has one. This Anti must be the strongest of its kind. I could tell because it likes ketchup, just like the strongest Pikachu in the world does..."

"Excuse me, what's an Anti?" Beelzemon raised his hand slightly, as if trying to stop someone.

"An Anti represents your maximum powers. It's your Heartless equivalent. Apparently, you get a HUGE power increase if you defeat yours," Sora didn't remember this happening when he beat HIS Anti. "But here's the trick: you have to defeat it by yourself. And in a fistfight, it's impossible to defeat your Anti alone."

"Oh! Is MY Anti here?" Beelzemon grinned.

"Probably. All the Antis came to this mansion after Ansem was beaten..."

"COOL! LET'S FIND IT! Forget the Heartless war! Jim probably beat it already!" Beelzemon gibbered as he raced off into the deeper parts of the mansion.

"I wonder if there's a SOULLESS Anti running around here..." Sora thought out loud, but when he saw Beelzemon run away, he shouted, "Beelzemon! WAAAIT!" and raced after his friend.

"Heh, I MUST see this!" Peter Pan raced off. Taz shook his head and followed.

"Fighting an Anti is n-n-n-not advisable!" Vivi ran after the group.

Riku stood alone. It was there he saw the angry Sara, apparently mad that Sora forgot to untie her, or maybe angry because she missed the opportunity to kill him. Riku took a quick motion and sliced the bonds off of Sara, and she removed her own gag.

"I am going to KILL Sora, and I'm going to KILL Taz... TWICE," she turned around to see the smirking Riku. "Who're you, faker?"

"I see that insult is quite popular now," Riku's smirk grew wider. "You do look quite like me..."

"How the hell can YOU tell, with that blindfold and all?"

"I have senses better than sight, and beauty only grows stronger than that."

Sara caught onto his cryptic compliment. "You think I'm hot, do you?"

"Why not? You look like me..."

"So frickin' vain, I see," Sara now shared Riku's smirk. "How'd you get here?"

"To tell you the truth, this mansion is in fact, Kingdom Hearts. It has doors to many worlds. Since Ansem's defeat, we sat in Kingdom Hearts for quite some time, until Taz showed up, wondering 'what the blue hell we were doing in his closet,'" Sara snickered at this. "Turns out his 'closet' is the Heart of this mansion, and this Mansion is the Heart of all the connected worlds. The End of the World strangely ceased to exist, replaced by this Mansion after Ansem's defeat. Taz must've been at the right place at the right time. He can apparently meld this mansion to his liking. It's his, after all. Little Planet is one of the worlds. I ought to tell Sora he can look for Kairi and King Mickey from this mansion."

"Not yet..." Sara walked to Riku. "He should look for Kairi first. The king will return in good time... Say, wanna help me kill Sora?"

"Why not?" Riku darkly grinned, clenching his teeth. "Monkey didn't even remember what he came here for in the first place!" They ran off together.

-------------------

As Sora all but gave up on chasing Beelzemon, he waited for Vivi and Peter Pan to catch up to him. The teen Neverland resident and the black mage came to a stop next to Sora. The spiky haired boy then launched a surprise question. "Vivi? What makes you... different from the Heartless? How are you... able to have conscious thought or... be un-evil, or something like that? In fact, I'd seen a few Heartless in here, and they're all docile... even intelligent!"

"Umm... th-that's hard to answer..." Vivi began.

"That's okay, you don't have to answer if-" Sora began as well, but Vivi quickly interrupted.

"N-no! Not a problem! Just a b-bit of a long story," Vivi cleared his throat.

"I wanna hear this," Peter Pan crossed his legs and floated down to the floor.

"O-okay. Taz understood the barbaric processes of the Heartless... th-their insatiable hunger for w-w-what they lack. But it-it's not so disturbing to you if you have a free mind."

"Free mind?" Peter Pan asked.

"Y-yes, they don't go after people when they have a free mind. Often t-times a Heartless is being controlled by someone, if not their own crazy appetite. With n-no mind to reason with them, there's nothing to hold b-b-back that chaotic desire for d-darkness, the heart, and d-d-destruction."

"I'm guessing who's controlling them is what this whole mess is all about," Riku walked in. He had his blindfold off, but it was still clutched in his hand. "King Mickey told me that the Heartless are merely puppets for whomever's evil or dark enough in the vicinity. Get rid of them and the Heartless will have no direction. Same goes for these new Soulless creatures," He turned to Sora. "I'd watch out if I were you."

"What?" Sora blinked.

Sora felt the very tip of a familiar sword pressed to his neck. "You know, I COULD kill you for ignoring me back there," Sara said in a cool voice.

"Or I could say 'sorry' for forgetting about you. Besides, wasn't Riku with you?" Sora calmly answered, knowing Sara wasn't angry enough to follow through on her threat.

"OR you could NOT kill him and say you did," Peter Pan offered. Everyone stared at him. "What?!"

Sara withdrew her sword. Sora turned around to face her. "So what were you doing here, anyway?"

"Looking for Mary, of course," she answered. "But on the way I ran into the Chaos Saints."

"Chaos Saints?!" Sora exclaimed.

"That lot of cult monkeys?" Taz came in. "I promised them a meeting place..." Taz thought about something he said earlier and added, "Hey, maybe you're the one they were asking for?"

"What do you mean by that?"

"What he means is that they've got business here, and you have to help them out." Sara answered.

"And why would I want to help them?!" Sora's temper began to rise.

"Because as they told me: 'The rise of the Chaos Angel is inevitable.' So if you're going to save the universe properly, you simply have to help them activate it and get to the controls first." Sara responded. "There's no two ways around it. It might be upsetting to help the enemy, but we've got little choice."

Sora grit his teeth in frustration. However, he then took a deep breath and relaxed a bit. "So what do I do?"

---------------

"A mirror?" Sora blinked in confusion. He Sara, and Riku stood at the mirror. Taz, Peter Pan and Vivi had flanked off to go find Beelzemon.

"Apparently, this mirror has something... wrong with it," Sara answered, sounding not quite sure with herself. "Their leader said if you look closely, you could figure it out."

"Okay..." Sora inched closer to the enigmatic mirror, merely staring at his own reflection. He reached out...

... and pulled back suddenly. His reflection had an evil grin!

The demonic doppelganger inside the mirror struck first. It pulled out its own Keyblade and struck at Sora. The real Sora could barely dodge the attack, and had even more difficulty launching his own. Sora dodged an attack and looked up at the top of the mirror. It had a Heartless symbol etched on top of it! No wonder it was launching evil clones!

Riku dashed forward with the Soul Eater, slicing through the fake Sora on the other side and forcing the fake backwards. Unfortunately, the wicked mirror registered Riku, and this time a doppelganger of Dark Riku appeared, brandishing its own Soul Eater. The fake and real Rikus clashed swords, while Sora frantically dodged the attacks of his fake.

Sara stood back. Although nowhere near afraid, she didn't want to complicate the battle with her own clone. "Break the mirror!" She advised.

"How am I supposed to do that?" Sora shot back as he dodged his own Sonic Blade.

"Switch dance partners!" Riku bounced off of his fake. "Or better yet, team up!" Riku and Sora grabbed hands. With that, Sora's Keyblade began to glow with a touch of Holy power, and Riku's Soul eater began to glow with dark power. They whirled together in a frenzy, smashing their clones back and even causing the mirror to crack in a small area.

The fake Sora snarled, then looked at Riku. It nodded.

Fake Riku nodded back.

"Uh-oh..." The real Sora and Riku chorused.

The fake Sora began to glow with light as Dark Riku began to levitate and prepare a familiar attack...

"It's using Dark Aura!" Riku exclaimed as Dark Riku launched said attack, now fueled with an unholy light.

Sora dodged a streak from Dark Riku as he exclaimed, "What are we gonna do?!"

"SHOTGUN!" Taz was back, and a piercing volley of shotgun spray stopped the Dark Aura in its tracks. Beelzemon and Peter Pan ran in from behind. "Somebody miss us?!"

"Looks like a missed a party!" Beelzemon quipped. He pulled out his Positron gun this time. "Time to throw my own fiesta! Corona Blaster!" The mouth of the gun opened up, firing dark energy upon the mirror. To Beelzemon's dismay, only a small part in the middle of the mirror shattered. "What?!"

"Look closer, Beelzemon! You did just great!" Peter Pan pointed at the offending "crack" in the mirror.

Sora and Riku saw this too.

A keyhole.

"A keyhole?!" Sora blinked. "That's how I stop this thing?!"

"Here's the catch," Sara landed by Sora. "You have to open it, not lock it."

"Alright then..." Sora pointed his Keyblade at the Keyhole. By now, the fakes in the mirror were enraged. They began to become more demon-like, they emerged out of the mirror to finish Sora...

The familiar light beam shot out. Something was unlocked.

And the mirror shattered into a thousand fragments.

The clones disappeared along with it, leaving only a thousand tiny shards in which Sora saw his reflection. Sora sighed as the fallen mirror gave way to a mysterious door opening on the other side. He was about to dismiss his Keyblade when he heard someone clapping very slowly.

"Marvelous, Sora," Sora scanned amongst his friends to see who made the comment. Instead, he found Axel standing right by Peter Pan, speaking of which who raised his eyebrows when he realized the flame-haired Chaos Saint was standing next to him. "You prove yourself yet again. I guess we owe you one."

"Axel..." Sora blinked. "What do you want?"

"Nothing now... you opened the doorway for us!" Axel teleported and appeared next to Sora. "We can finally get this Chaos Party started." He walked inside, but turned around and faced Sora again. "Oh, I hope you don't mind if I bring a few friends."

Sora looked around to see six other people, all except one in Chaos Saint outfits, walk towards Sora and the entryway. The first approached Sora.

"You're an interesting specimen indeed. How you have survived many encounters that have killed lesser men still baffles us," Vexen spoke to Sora. He then grinned. "We will meet again in the near future." He walked in.

The second Chaos Saint walked by. He dwarfed Sora in height and muscle. "Puny child of the light... you will understand Darkness..." With that, Lexaeus entered the room. Sora decided immediately he did not like Lexaeus.

The third walked by Sora. Zexion muttered not a word, but Sora still heard his thoughts. (You understand the task before you. We as the Chaos Saints will not help nor hinder you, but for you to progress... you must help us. As I said before, you must have an open mind, and embrace the Chaos Theory.) With that, Zexion entered the room.

The fourth walked by Sora. "Ignore the words of Lexaeus," Marluxia smirked. "Light is a powerful thing. You'll learn to use it." Marluxia entered the room.

The fifth walked by Sora. "I take it you and the Dark Boy get along just fine?" Larxene taunted. "Or are you as spineless as ever in your hatred for him?" Sora decided he disliked Larxene even more than he did Lexaeus, as the blond Chaos Saint walked in, laughing all the way.

The last landed in front of Sora, closing the four wings on her back. Before she could say anything, however, Taz bellowed. "CHARLOTTE?!"

(Ah, Tazzy boy,) Charlotte/Oni grinned. (Long time, no see?)

"What's wrong with you?!" Taz didn't care Charlotte was merely a willing host to a stronger being, so he dashed down the stairs and tackled her in a fierce hug. "Gone off to head some crazy cult group without me? Being mansion guard for three damn years does a number on loneliness!" Taz sighed and let go.

(Don't worry,) the unknown spirit within Charlotte spoke alone. (Charlotte is in good hands. The other members of your family...) She began to walk in. (You'll need help to even FIND them.) Charlotte walked in. However, before the door shut, Charlotte raised an eyebrow. (Not coming, Riku?)

Riku answered smartly, "I know when I'm not invited. I'll wait for the full 13 meeting."

(Very well.) The door shut, leaving only the good guys outside.

"Riku..." Sora began. "You never explained why you're with them."

Riku bowed his head down in shame. "You want an explanation. I owe you that much."

Riku brought his head back up in a bit of shock when Sora laid a hand on his shoulder. "I know," Sora gave a small smile. "But I just thought of something, and that can wait.

"We need to go home."

-----------------

(I take it everyone is here?) Charlotte/Oni looked around as the other present members shuffled around into position. The room had the appearance of a circular altar, with a single, large crystal ball sitting in the middle of the room. Thirteen pillars stood evenly spaced within the edge of the room.

"Everyone who'd show up, anyway," Axel shrugged.

"We haven't established the Thirteenth Order yet," Lexaeus added.

(That's what this is all about,) Charlotte/Oni said. (This is the beginning of that Thirteenth Order, the members that will influence the events needed to make the Keyblade Masters give rise to the Chaos Angel.) The seraph walked to the center of the room and activated the crystal ball. A vague-looking projection of both Sora and Rob was shown, showing the two unlocking a power. She then began to "read" some sort of inscription hidden to the other's eyes. (The Chaos Angel. Two Keyblades, one keyhole. The Thirteen Orders to motivate them. The war between darkness and light, good and evil wages on. But the Chaos Angel has the power to end the war of wars.)

"Sounds good," Larxene smirked. "When do we get to have our fun?"

(Patience, Larxene,) Charlotte/Oni answered with a slight grin. (The time will come.) She continued to read. (The Thirteen Orders. The First Order: a god of knowledge.) For a fleeting moment, a silhouette above Charlotte flickered orangish-red. (The Second Order: the vessel of that knowledge.) Charlotte herself glowed this time. (The Third Order: a king of a distant land. The Fourth Order: one who seeks the impossible answers.) Vexen almost jumped when he began to flicker blue. (The Fifth Order: an unstoppable might.) Lexaeus glowed. (The sixth order: the power and the enigma.) Zexion glowed gray. (The seventh order: the heart born of darkness.) ("That was probably Riku," Larxene whispered to Axel.) (The eighth order: The enigmatic flame.) Axel began to glow. (The Ninth order: one turned against her own knowledge.) From a pit of darkness rose a girl, still bound and gagged from a previous encounter. Only now, another strange girl held her, much to the dismay of the others in the room. (The Tenth Order: The Third Keyblade Child. The Eleventh Order: The man of Nature Itself.) Marluxia began to glow. (The Twelfth Order: The goddess of lightning.) Larxene laughed as she began to glow.

(The Thirteenth Order...) Oni began, but she was interrupted.

"Is not there... YET." Terra, who had held the captive Clara since she arrived, finally spoke. With a smirk, she added, "I understand that I'm not invited to be in this cult. So I just came to borrow this one."

"I don't understand how you got in here, but I DO know how you're getting OUT," Vexen began to summon a round of ice, but Charlotte/Oni held up a hand.

(You understand Slade plays a risky game trying to insert a pawn into my business,) Charlotte returned Terra's smirk. Terra's fell, but didn't disappear. (But I won't be stopping you. Just make sure she's back before the Thirteenth Order is found. Or there will be hell to pay.)

"Of COURSE," Terra responded with a falsely sweet voice. "You have Slade's word." And with that, she disappeared into the darkness with Clara.

"Why... why didn't you stop her?" Vexen asked Oni incredulously.

(Try as he might, Slade won't be able to fully control that girl. In the end she'll stay loyal to us,) Oni answered. Charlotte spoke on her own this time. "Besides, she's a hell of a fighter, despite the many times I used to kidnap her."

"I understand. Forgive me."

(Forgiven.) Oni answered nonchalantly. (Now it's our turn to play. FIND THE OTHERS!)

-

-

-

(This concludes episode 11. Terra hails from Teen Titans (this is the show Terra.). The six members all hail from Kingdom hearts, Chain of Memories, which is an awesome game, by the way. Charlotte/Oni and "Taz" are mine (No, for the last time, Taz is not the Taz from Looney Toons!). Captain Hook and Peter Pan are from Disney's masterpiece Peter Pan.

Be prepared as I launch into the next saga! Rob heads off to Japan, and Sora won't be seen until Episode 13. Rob finds old friends and new enemies, but will old friends also become new enemies?! Stick around!)

Legends-Kuja
24th September 2005, 01:12 PM
Another round of updates, this time straight to episode 15.

Episode 12: When Kagato Attacks

"Yes, we're in Hoenn!" Ash cheered. "I heard there's all sorts of new Pokémon here!" The group of five (Ash, Rob, Maya, Sonic, and Tails) arrived at the foot of a rather large hill. From the looks of it, the stone steps leading further up and the signs pointed to the fact there was a shrine nearby. Everyone else had decided to take the Nevershadow around Japan to see if there were any Heartless or Soulless running around.

"Oh, great," Sonic rolled his eyes in sarcasm.

"WHY are we here in the first place?" asked Maya.

"First off, I think Ash is too obsessed with Pokémon," Tails walked along with them. "We have to stick to our mission. Secondly, we're here because Dr. Eggman and I have picked up word on some serious Team Rocket activity!"

"Team Rocket?! They're up to no good again?!" Ash exclaimed.

"Of course," Tails then stopped and started rubbing an index finger under his nose cockily. "And lastly, I'm here because I want to fight this time."

"Tails, are you sure about that?" Sonic suspiciously eyed his friend. "It's been a while since you actually fought by hand!"

"You think Eggman and I did nothing the entire time you've been away on those missions?" Tails countered. "Even HE knows how to defend himself."

"With Egghead as a training partner, I doubt you could've improved much," Sonic rolled his eyes. But with a sudden flash of darkness, a group of Heartless emerged. These Heartless looked like taller, more evolved Shadows. "What are those?" Sonic leered at them.

Rob gripped his Keyblade. From it he could decipher the names of most Heartless for some reason, as well as people connected to his Heart (as seen by his effort to rescue Clara). "They call themselves Neo Shadows..." Rob said. "Get ready!"

"All right Tails... show us what you got!" Sonic took a fighting stance.

"You're on!" Tails leapt up towards the first Neo Shadow, dodging a mid-air slash, and sliced right through with his tails. He followed up with another slash and destroyed the Neo Shadow.

"Not bad," Sonic gave Tails a thumbs-up as he smashed into another Neo Shadow. The Heartless got right back up and kicked Sonic away, but the hedgehog recovered and flipped away before he could be smashed.

"Take THIS! Cyndaquil!" Ash threw out the Pokéball with the creature inside. A small, black and tan creature, with a small fire on its back, rose. "Flamethrower attack!"

Cyndaquil blew a steady stream of powerful flames, and five Neo Shadows met their end.

"Cool!" Maya chirped. She joined in with a shout of "ROAST BACON!" and fried more Neo Shadows with Cyndaquil.

"There's more..." Rob panted as he twirled to block a surprise attack from a new group of Neo Shadows. Rob swung his Keyblade through the attacker and killed it instantly. However, three others jumped at him and Rob was forced to retreat.

Ash and Cyndaquil's luck ran out. A Neo Shadow smashed Cyndaquil with a fierce kick, knocking him out and into Ash. Tails and Sonic still had to furiously dodge the attacking group.

"Crap..." Rob deadpanned, as the group of five huddled together, weary of Neo-Shadow attack. But a piercing voice changed all that.

"LIGHT RAY!" At this, piercing rays of light fried the entire group of Neo-Shadows instantly. Rob blinked, not believing his eyes. He turned slowly around to see two faces. One looked like a Japanese teenager, but the other was a friend he hadn't seen since his hometown fell. Rob's jaw smashed the floor with Sonic-like velocities.

"What am I, the Abominable Snowman?" Ken Mira cracked.

"KEN!" Rob and Maya wasted no time in crushing their old friend in a bear hug.

Rob asked Ken, "So, you've been here the whole time?"

"Yup!" He answered. "I've been with Tenchi over there ever since I emerged from that dark stuff. I wanted to go find my parents, but there's been so many Heartless around here I've just hung with them and fought 'em off! Yeah, I like my new holy powers!"

"Powers?" Maya asked. "Where'd you get 'em from?"

"Not a clue: I've had 'em since I woke up..." He answered, shrugging.

"Who are you?" Sonic asked Ken's friend.

"My name's Tenchi Masaki," Tenchi bowed. The taller of the two boys wore a simple white shirt and brown pants, and he clutched what looked like a light saber, its blue light retracting and disappearing as he put the hilt away. "So you guys must be good at fighting the Heartless..." He saw Rob's Keyblade. "You're a Key bearer?"

"Yes I am," Rob nodded.

"Maybe now... we can find Ryoko," Tenchi stated darkly.

"And find my parents!" Ken added.

"Yes," Rob answered, "But from what I recall, Ken saved US, not the other way around. We need more training before we can go on a hunt mission..."

"Not really," Tails started rubbing under his nose again. "They're just good strategists. That Light Ray attack is more effective than any Keyblade trick-or anything we currently had. Some new moves should do well."

"Good idea, Tails, but I'm tired! You guys mind if we stopped by your place?" Sonic asked.

"All of you are welcome to stay at my place for a while!" Tenchi beamed. But then he sweat-dropped. "But I'm not sure how my other houseguests will adapt..."

-----

"Ken Mira seems to have planted himself firmly into the trust of his friends already," Brother Blood mused as he looked on in a glass globe. On the other side of him sat Marluxia, Blondie, and Naminé. "I guess they miss him dearly."

"I fear that Ken may not go through with this," Marluxia added. "He is rather close to the Cygnus child. He IS his older adoptive brother after all."

"Just be patient. I'm pretty sure Ken will do this," Brother Blood. "If not... I can bring in the team."

"The whole team would be overkill, wouldn't it?"

"On the contrary, Marluxia," Blood grinned. "Even if there's a slim chance Ken Mira refuses to move in the presence of our full forces, that Cygnus fool will know who he's messing with. It'll be only a matter of time."

On the other side of the scheming duo, Blondie sat in silence. Sure, he didn't like working for the most misguided villains he's ever seen, but at the same time, it's the only way to protect Naminé... At this point he HOPED Ken Mira would fail on his own. There was something about Cygnus he needed to discover...

----

"Hi Mr. Sonic! Hi Mr. Tails!" A cute girl said. Her long, aqua hair was done neatly in pigtails and I nearly touched the floor. She wore a long, flowing kimono.

"What's your name?" Sonic asked.

"My name is Sasami," she beamed.

"Who else lives here?" Sonic asked, looking around.

"Oh... there's my big sister Ayeka," Sasami began listing people off the top of her head. "There's also Mihoshi, and Ryoko and Ryo-ohki used to be here... But they left... Then Mr. Ken came by! Ken helps us fight off the Heartless, and he's fun to play with, too! I miss Ryoko and Ryo-ohki though..." She sighed.

"Don't worry, we'll find them," Sonic rubbed Sasami's head affectionately.

"Nice to meet you," Tails said happily.

Rob did not like this "princess". She seemed suspiciously nice... TOO nice. He knew something was hiding under that kimono-coated, beautiful, purple-haired exterior. As he ignored the endless babbling of his sister with the blond one named Mihoshi, he continued to glare at the woman known to him as Ayeka.

"I don't see why Tenchi wants to find Ryoko... I understand he has concern, but HONESTLY, it's been much better here without her!" She said. "I'm pretty sure she's all right."

"Says YOU. WE don't know that," Rob coolly challenged.

"You must be good," Ash commented as Lord Katsuhito trained Tenchi in the art of sword fighting. "Is it possible to train me in your ways, Lord Katsuhito?"

"You are not ready yet... I admire your dedication, but you still have much to learn," Lord Katsuhito returned calmly as Tenchi missed and nearly got smashed with the wooden sword his grandfather had.

"Aww man!" Ash sighed.

"There's always next time," Ken suggested.

Tenchi and Lord Katsuhito stopped. "You have done well for the day." The elder said.

However, a light snow began to fall.

"Snow?" Tenchi asked.

"Been ages since I've seen any..." Ash trailed off. "Come on, let's get back inside."

Everyone in that group walked back towards the house, unknowing of looming danger...

-----

"Ah... so the Keybearer of Darkness is at the Masaki shrine, hmm?" A mysterious man viewed from a spaceship above. "It's such a shame that Ryoko isn't around to view it. If she won't come out of hiding, that will change once I annihilate all of her new friends!" The silver-haired being teleported out of his ship.

----

Rob sighed. Guessing that is only misgiving about Ayeka the whole time was her dislike towards the missing Ryoko, he was actually wrong about this princess.

She was just as kind as they come.

Sasami and Maya continued playing, as Rob kept answering Ayeka's questions, "I haven't seen anyone affiliated with them. My only experience with the Soulless come from the good guys, and two attacks on Kanto."

"All I've seen are Heartless down here... the Soulless were the ones who consumed Jurai... left it as a ball of light..." Ayeka sighed sadly. "I was told Yosho had come to this planet... perhaps he could find some way to defeat these warring creatures... But he's dead... Tenchi is his descendent. He wields the ancient sword that once belonged to Yosho."

"I see," Rob said. Mihoshi and Maya were now rabidly devouring ice cream with Sasami and Rob shook his head.

"They're all so innocent," Ayeka observed. "Even Mihoshi."

"Yeah..." Rob agreed. Without warning, however, his Keyblade began twitching, and he sensed a presence of great evil. A green orb appeared in the house, and Rob snarled. The green ball swelled and cracked with blackness, and a figure floated out. He was wrapped in a green cloak, his gloves, hair and face pure white. Yellow eyes with red pupils glared at the small group of people before him. "So this is where you've been hiding, Keyblade master?" The one known as Kagato answered.

All the girls in the room screamed. Their only answer was to throw various objects at him, which he dodged, highly annoyed, by simply tilting his head to the left.

Rob wasted no time in lunging at this new enemy and tried to slice him. Kagato dodged and whipped out several blasts of green energy, which missed Rob and scored direct hits on the furniture, reducing it to dust. The sinister man, however, used a sort of psychic attack right as Rob connected with his Keyblade... and the boy received an awful shock. Rob roared in pain but continued to try and force down the attack. Realizing he'd kill someone he wanted to capture, Kagato disappeared in a green flash, along with Rob, and a green orb flew away.

"Who was that?!" Maya cried.

Mihoshi suddenly became serious. "That was Kagato!" She shouted. She, Maya, Ayeka, and Sasami sprinted outside.

Sonic and Tails dashed in just in time to miss the action.

"What just happened here?!" Tails gasped.

"I don't know!" Sonic answered. "But we've got to find out FAST!"

"Notorious Space Criminal Kagato! Come out!" Mihoshi bellowed, aiming a gun and leering cautiously at the snow. They had come across to an ancient tree, one that seemed to grow right in the middle of a small lake. The snow continued to fall slowly, as the all female group huddled together.

A green orb slammed into the ground, and Rob bounced out of it and smashed into the ground. The green orb then floated upwards about three feet and expanded, cracking like glass and ripping open a black hole. Kagato emerged, and leered down at the now large group.

"Now doesn't this feel better? I must say, snow's beautiful!" Kagato commented lightly. Rob just groaned and tried to stand up.

"Kagato! You are under arrest," Mihoshi began bravely, aiming the laser gun at him. However, she continued on shakily. "Anything you say can and will be used against you in the court of law..."

"Oh please, Mihoshi, don't make me waste my time. All I've come for is a little talk with the princesses, and maybe a word or two with the Keyblade master." Kagato simply grinned. "Besides, you're too incompetent to hurt even a fly."

Mihoshi growled and fired several blasts, but they simply bounced off of Kagato and sailed harmlessly into the distance. Kagato laughed at Mihoshi as she fired, and laughed even more evilly as she ran out of shots and cowered behind Rob. Kagato simply smiled and said, "You know, I could just kill all of you and be done with it, but what's the fun in that? If you're not a pain, I can just take you to my ship, the Soulja..." he drawled smoothly. However, several people caught his eye. "Why, who's this?"

Ash, Ken, and Pikachu stood in fighting stances. "I don't know what you're doing here, but you'd better leave!" Ken threatened.

"Ah, so now we have degenerate 3rd grade youths in this house, hmmm? That's too bad, I thought the Key bearer would be enough childishness to deal with, but that's no matter. Go home to your parents and I won't have to shed your blood," Kagato sneered.

"I've fought WORSE THAN YOU!" Ken bellowed. "Who are you?!"

Pikachu snarled, his cheeks gathering electricity.

Noting Pikachu, Kagato's grin grew wider and he said, "My, I think I've ran away and joined the circus! The Keybearer has rather pathetic friends."

"WE'LL SHOW YOU PATHETHIC! Pikachu! Thunder Attack!" Ash commanded.

Pikachu charged and unleashed a volley of lightning, but Kagato's barrier easily reflected the attack, and Pikachu narrowly dodged tasting his own lightning. Ash let out a sound of shock.

Ken aimed his finger like a gun. "LIGHT RAY!" He shouted and fired a blast of light. The barrier simply nullified the attack, and Kagato laughed. "It's going to take more than a holy blast of light to defeat me!" He fired three green blasts, each knocking Ash, Pikachu and Ken away. They crashed into the ground, too pained to recover. "You kids should just stay out of the way... Now Keyblade master!" He turned to Rob, who had risen to face him. "If you want all of your friends to live, I suggest handing over that Keyblade of yours!" Kagato said to Rob.

Kagato noted yet again three people ready to fight him. Tenchi stood ready, holding his beam sword Tenchi-ken. Sonic and Tails stood at either side of him.

"I'd be more careful with the king's property if I were you!" Kagato admonished Tenchi.

"What do you mean... what king?" Tenchi asked, strained.

"You do not know the powers of the sword you hold? Give it to me, you are not worthy of it..." Kagato sneered and formed an energy sword.

"Over our dead bodies!" Sonic shot.

"That can be arranged," Kagato grinned and he dove in for an attack. Sonic flipped back and ripped a Sonic Wind. Kagato guarded against the attack, and swooped down to slice Tenchi, who could barely block the attack. Kagato ignored the offenses of Sonic and Tails and continued to try and hammer Tenchi. Tails whipped his tails and slapped Kagato in the face.

"You got lucky, fox boy," Kagato remarked coldly as he blasted Tails away with a single green-energy-shot to the chest.

Tails was down, but not out, "That's my name, don't wear it out," He slinked back to nurse his wounds.

Sonic dodged another shot from Kagato and pushed Tenchi out of the way of a third. Kagato showed his right hand and a fierce wind began to blow from it. Tenchi struggled to keep even with the ground, as did Sonic. However, Tenchi stiffened himself and stopped blowing backwards.

Kagato sneered and talked softly, "Don't waste your life, boy, now hand over that sword..." His glove began to move towards the sword, but not if Sonic had anything to say.

"SONIC WIND!" Sonic bellowed. The attack whipped Kagato in the face, forcing him to stop his wind/blizzard attack. Tenchi then took advantage of Kagato's lapse and landed a direct slash to his face.

"What?!" Kagato gritted his teeth, noticing he now had a small cut. In furious rage, Kagato whispered, "Test you NOW," and landed several powerful slashes on Tenchi, all which Tenchi could barely block. He twirled his sword and landed a final, powerful smash that knocked Tenchi right into Sonic, knocking both into the water. "Pathetic..." Kagato muttered, his anger abating as he reached for Tenchi's sword...

And received a direct Keyblade attack to the face.

"AUGH!" Kagato flew back to see Rob, Keyblade in hand, with a devilish grin. "You disgusting-"

"Guess who's back, gramps?" Rob's grin didn't waver. He picked up Tenchi's sword and tossed it back...

...to Lord Katsuhito, who coolly grabbed it in his right hand.

Kagato raised his eyebrow at this maneuver, but then grinned. "SO! If it isn't Yosho, the first crown prince of Jurai!" Ayeka gasped at this. "Nice showing yourself after all these years!"

"I could say the same about you..." Lord Katsuhito, now also known as Yosho, "Why do you try to take things that aren't yours?"

"The sword and the Keyblade unlock secrets... Secrets I could use to own this universe. I can spar e your life if you divulge this information..." Kagato's grin grew malicious.

"That sort of power I will not nor cannot hand over... even if it existed, its powers cannot be grasped by humans." Yosho raised an eyebrow at Kagato.

"Then what would it take to unlock these powers? Perhaps blood? Jurai royal blood?" Kagato fired a green blast, but Rob tilted his head down and Yosho tilted his head to the left, and the small ray harmlessly blew up in the background.

"You'll have to spill yours first, you old speck of dust," Rob snarled. His grin returned, and he continued in thick sarcasm. "Now let's fight like 'civilized' men, as we are all 'civilized' men here," Rob tightened the grip on his Keyblade and Yosho made the light appear on his saber.

Yosho lunged first. Rob simply ducked and skated right behind him. The elder man brought down his saber on Kagato's green blade, making sword-like clashes as they attacked. Rob jumped over Yosho and brought his Keyblade down with the force of fury, Kagato blocking with a psychic shield.

Yosho whooped and grunted as he brought his sword to counter the various attacks Kagato sent his way. Rob decided to try another approach and swept behind Kagato; aiming his Keyblade in the air, he shouted "Thunder!" The attack gave the off-guard Kagato a shock, and he twitched as Yosho swept him with a powerful sword swipe.

"You got lucky... but direct sword attacks will not kill me so quickly," Kagato fired several rays, forcing Yosho and Rob to dodge and back away. Kagato dashed forward to attack Rob, his energy-forged blade in position to slice. Rob swung his Keyblade swiftly to counter the attack, and strained to hold his ground. "You can't win boy..."

"Says who?" Rob retorted as Yosho leapt over him and took a slash at Kagato. Kagato could barely block the attack as Yosho completed the sweep maneuver and landed. Rob then leapt over Yosho and took to attacking Kagato with a single strike as well. Yosho and Rob leapfrogged each other in this manner, taking a single swipe over each other and then landing to let the other strike Kagato again.

Kagato suddenly backed away, and Rob and Yosho ceased their offensive. Kagato flew back and calmly halted, leering at our heroes. "I believe I've had enough... If the power you hold will not be given to me, I guess I shall take it instead..." With a lightning quickness, he swept over Ayeka and Sasami, and grabbed the latter, the young girl screaming in horror.

"Sasami!" Ayeka cried.

"If you fools so wish to either divulge the secrets or waste your lives rescuing this little girl, you shall find me on my ship, the Soulja... you can even skip the space travel and head directly to my lair. Farewell..." Kagato laughed evilly and disappeared into a green orb, along with Sasami. It disappeared, and a smaller one floated down, coming to rest about a foot off the ground in front of the great tree. It continued to glower, as if it were waiting to take someone someplace.

Ayeka, although worried about her younger sister, wanted some questions answered first. She dashed to the old Lord Katsuhito and began to shake him. "Yosho... you're my brother Yosho! But why... why did you leave our planet so long ago?"

"There was a great... racial intolerance on our planet... I could not bear it an longer." Yosho answered surely.

Ayeka began to cry. "But I thought... the Jurai Royal decrees... made it legal to mix with the blood of other planets..."

"That was true, but that did not stop the great prejudice that consumed our planet..."

Rob, at these words, nearly shook with rage. Racism, the awful, disgusting, putrid stench of evil was not limited to his home planet. The fight against the stupidity of the idea of racial superiority had expanded to new levels. All of his education under the Mira family, may be put to the test throughout the whole universe now... But Tenchi interrupted his thoughts.

"So the stories and legends you told me... they're all true!" Tenchi softly exclaimed. "But... What does that mean for me now... Why... why did I fail to... protect her?" Tenchi staggered, and Sonic caught him. Tenchi nodded his thanks to Sonic and stood up on his own. "I stood no chance against Kagato... can I really rescue her?"

A terrible silence ushered its wrath on the remaining group, each of them seemingly marred with the failure to protect Sasami... But Yosho sent a fierce reprimand Tenchi's way. "Silly boy! Now is the time to face your future!" He threw the sword into the tree, and the hilt crackled with electricity. "If anything, only your mind has kept you from reaching your full potential. Do you feel ready?"

"I..." Tenchi began, but fell at a loss for words. He didn't quite manage to strike Kagato down, but... Rob, Keyblade in hand nodded. "Trust in your Heart." Rob advised.

"I'm ready," Tenchi boldly stated.

"Head forth and accept your birthright... accept the Tenchi-ken!" Yosho said, and Tenchi walked over and approached the tree, stepping away from the portal and grabbing the hilt. Electricity surged through his body, but Tenchi gripped the sword, ignoring the searing pain soaring through his body. Eventually, the shocking stopped, and Tenchi easily pulled out the sword from the tree. The beam retracted, much to Tenchi's chagrin, and he was unable to make it appear.

"The sword is accepting him as its true master," Yosho explained to an amazed crowd. "So... still think you can take Kagato's challenge, Boy-Who-Has-Not-Quite-Mastered-His-Sword-Yet?"

Tenchi nodded with an affirmative grunt.

"I'm going to help him!" Rob said.

"Me too!" Maya chirped.

"As Galaxy Police Officer, I will be glad to assist Tenchi," Mihoshi said.

"We'll stay here... Protect Ayeka, and check up on Eggman!" Sonic said, nodding to Rob. Ken smiled.

"Please return Sasami!" Ayeka cried.

"We will..." Tenchi affirmed. The power of his sword suddenly seemed to flow through him, and his old clothes disappeared, replaced with an ornate brown Juraian battle outfit.

"Ready?" Maya asked.

"Yeah," Rob pumped his fist. Mihoshi, Rob, Maya, and Tenchi touched the green orb, and all four were engulfed in the might of the green light. They disappeared.

-----

"Ken Mira lost his oppurtinity," Brother Blood sighed, disappointed. This quickly changed, however, "But that makes plan B all the more effective. Blondie!" He shouted.

The dual-wielder rose, along with Naminé. Brother Blood continued. "Gather Yusuke and the team. You'll be making a little trip to Japan..."

----

A lone figure walked the streets of Stardust City (A/N: Stardust Speedway, for the Sonic CD Literate!). He didn't look like much, as he was bi-pedal mouse wearing a mysterious coat that shaded his bodies. His eyes seemed to radiate themselves from under his hood, and his pupils darted about, constantly on the lookout. However, it wouldn't be wise to engage this mouse for a fight. You see, he was not only a king, but a Keyblade master as well. And for a mouse, he sure knew how to kick butt and take names if he had to.

King Mickey gripped his Inverted Keyblade. As far as he knew, this was one of the strongest Keyblades on the planet, and it alone held the key to unraveling the mystery of the balanced power. He, with the help of Riku and Sora, had sealed Kingdom Hearts, but it turned into that HUGE mansion, and now the Heartless were back. Seemed like they never died in the first place. They'll exist as long as humankind has darkness in their hearts.

"Been a while, King Mickey," the mouse turned around to see Knuckles. The red echidna stared back, then shrugged. "You looked pretty lost, so I decided to swing by while I got this Master Emerald piece." He held out this shining, green shard.

"Thanks, but I wasn't really lost..." The king responded. "Ya see, there's something about this planet..."

"This is Little Planet, I know," Knuckles answered. "Sonic told me about it."

"With its power to transcend time, could it be used to restore the lost worlds, especially since Ansem's no longer going the evil route?"

"Got no idea, but the time will come," Knuckles shrugged. "If your theory's correct, we can reverse the worlds fallen to darkness, provided this one doesn't fall."

However, an orange ship flew in, and with tough maneuvering, it landed right in front of the two of them. From the ship, Samus Aran emerged, helmet off, and extended a hand to King Mickey.

"King Mickey... I've come to escort you to the Mansion of Souls."

----

"All's silent on the home front..." Dr. Robotnik twiddled his thumbs idly as Cloud looked out a window. Tifa tilted her head and walked to Eggman.

"You haven't found anything?" She asked.

"Nope! Not a thing!" Eggman sighed. "Team Rocket is probably biding their time, waiting for a chance to strike. We'll have to touch base on Tokyo before anything happens."

A beeping noise nearly made Tifa and Cloud raised their eyebrows. Dr. Eggman pressed a button, and Sonic came on screen. "Sonic! What's going on down there?"

"Rob's having to escort a friend of ours to take care of a villain in space. We're staying here to keep an eye out! Found anything?"

"No! We're going Tokyo to see if we can pick anything up there," Dr. Eggman looked around. "When all's said and done, I'll sweep back here to pick you guys up."

"WHAT?! What are you DOING?!" Sonic glanced off-screen in shock and slight rage. "What the- WHOA!" Sonic dodged a blast of some sort. "Eggman!" He shouted. "I got this, if Rob calls, tell him to be wary! Oh sh-" The com link suddenly snapped off, and Eggman stared in shock.

"Sonic? SONIC! Dammit..." The doctor swore silently, pounding his fist.

"What just happened?" Cloud asked.

"Sonic's in over his head. I'm going to drop you three off at Mossdeep, and I'll circle back to pick up Sonic's body parts..." Dr. Eggman put the ship into full drive and sped off towards the city.

-----

The ship's walls intimidated the four of them. Tenchi, Rob, Maya, and Mihoshi looked around, observing the grandness of Kagato's ship. They paced wearily, unaware of Kagato watching them through a screen.

"Here they come, the fools," Kagato murmured. "They've come to throw away their lives, just to rescue a little brat like you," He looked at Sasami, who simply shivered in fear. A sort of power radiated from her; Kagato had taken much of that power for himself, in hopes that he wouldn't have to waste it all on the Keyblade Master. "Hmm... But wait until they realize that I've seen the light... literally." Sasami shivered; Kagato stole the powers of Tsunami...

"I guess we head forward..." Mihoshi said, the four of them walking steadily. An alarm sounded.

"Aw man, defense systems!" Rob complained. Several metallic faces, each seemingly resembling Kagato's own mug, formed in front of the group. Their mouths opened, and several energy blasts were launched at our heroes.

"Let's GO!" Tenchi yelled. "HAAA!" He sliced through two faces easily, and they fell apart in bright red explosions. He then began running through the white halls as other faces materialized and began firing as well.

"No time to play!" Rob swung his Keyblade in front of him and aimed it like a gun on the faces. "FIRE!" He shot the burst of flame, and it collided with a face, making it explode.

"Wrong, my brother! There's LOTS OF FUN TIME! THUNDER!" Maya screeched as several lightning bolts seared the brown, metallic faces and caused them to explode.

"Excuse me... but please keep out of my way!" Mihoshi fumbled as she nervously shot down the faces and made them explode.

More running brought the four of them to a large wall. The faces had stopped attacking them, so they simply stared at the strange, liquid wall. Rob gripped his Keyblade tightly, and began to approach the dark wall. It felt watery to the touch, and braving his instincts, Rob stepped through. Tenchi followed suit, also cautiously stepping through the liquid wall.

Mihoshi and Maya began to step forward, but Mihoshi's cube popped out and fell on the ground. In a matter of seconds , it tapped the ground, and the two of them were now... upside down. However, they still stood in front of the great liquid wall. "Wait for us!' Maya shouted as they sprinted towards where they thought they would be lead to Tenchi and Rob...

----

Rob and Tenchi stood in a grand room. It was a single, long path leading to a large, throne-like seat, accented by a marble floor and evenly spaced pillars. There, they saw Kagato playing a strange tune on a grand organ. Sasami was encased in a glass tube above the organ.

"Sasami!" Tenchi called out. Kagato stopped playing on the organ, and rose slowly, turning around to greet them.

"You have come this far... I admit, even though I made it rather easy, I'm mildly impressed. But this ends here... Keyblade Master!" Kagato leered at Rob. "You have dealt with darkness... but can you stand the light?" Kagato began to rise. "I've found the power I need through this little girl, who holds the power of the Light Hawk Wings! COME FORTH TO ME NOW, SO I CAN CRUSH YOU FOR THE MONKEYS YOU ARE!" Kagato summoned great orbs of light around him, rising steadily.

Rob rose using his jet-boosted shoes. "Takes one to know one, you ugly-ass baboon!"

-----

Maya and Mihoshi rushed to find that they weren't anywhere near Rob or Tenchi. The room they entered was a blue room, coated in marble. In the back stood a capsule of some sort, having encased a girl with messy pink hair.

The eerie silence walked with them, as Maya and Mihoshi wearily approached the encased prisoner, looking around to avoid any trap that might leap out and attack.

Maya, reached out a quivering hand, and touched the glass/ice. At once, time seemed to freeze, and a voice echoed through her head. (Do you know the power of chaos?)

"The power... of chaos?" Maya asked, as she and Mihoshi whirled around to see a hooded figure, calmly approaching them. "Where'd you come from?"

(That doesn't matter...) Maya heard in her head, and the figure swept past her. (I have found her. She could be the Thirteenth Order.)

"Excuse me, but what is the power of chaos?" Mihoshi inquired.

"And what's with this... Thirteenth Order? Is it a special menu option in MacDonalds?" Maya added.

The hooded one sweat-dropped, but continued anyway. (One of 2 beliefs... There is order in disorder, or all life is meant to end...) This Enigmatic Man pressed something, and the ice/glass cracked. Slowly, but surely, the ice began to crack and fall apart. (To end darkness and light, there must be a greater power...)

The last of the glass fell away, and this messy-haired girl/woman awoke. "Not the most pleasurable nap, but I guess it'll do!" Looking around like Christmas came early, she spotted Maya. "OOO! Would you like to be my guinea pig?"

"Uh... Am I doomed?" Maya asked, completely flummoxed.

(Alas... You are not of the Thirteenth Order. However, you may be of some use later.) The Enigmatic Man motioned to the pink-haired scientist. (We will meet again.) He faded away.

"Wait a second!" Mihoshi exclaimed. "You must be that scientist student who was abducted by Kagato!"

"Student, eh? I'm actually the TEACHER!" She hopped down, and went to examine her two rescuers. "I'm Washu, the greatest scientific mind in the universe! I made this ship, I made Ryoko, I made Ryo-ohki, I made so many things!"

"You... made Ryoko?" Mihoshi blinked. "Where... is she?"

"Hmmm... she's probably rushing to Tenchi's aid right about now..." Washu scratched her head.

Maya looked around. "Is there any way out of here?"

"Nope, afraid not. You see, this is the mirror side of the ship. Unless Kagato's defeated, there's no escape from this dimension! Genius work, eh?"

"Aww, man!" Maya sighed dejectedly. "Then it's gonna be boring!"

Washu answered this silently by conjuring some sort of spherical screen. It flickered on, showing Rob and Tenchi battling the wicked Kagato.

Maya threw away her misery at once and murmured, "Cooooool..."

-----

Tenchi lunged, tearing through the mad bursts of light as he tried to swing his blade on Kagato. But the wicked being brought a barrier of light, and Tenchi's blade was negated. Rob tore through, trying to get in a hit as well. Kagato formed his green blade, now pale and strong with the power of Tsunami, and whipped it to counter Rob's blade. Kagato summoned more orbs of light, and Rob swerved to avoid them. Snarling, Rob used his free hand to summon a spell.

"Dark bomb!" Rob shouted, and Kagato slowed to a halt, the dark energy harming him. Tenchi leapt up with a yell and brought down his blade with all of his might. However, Kagato still caught it with his bare hands.

The blade retracted. Kagato simply smirked. "What you do not know is that your sword has the same power source as mine! YOU CAN'T HARM ME!" Kagato laughed as he used a burst of psychic power to blow Tenchi away.

"But I can," Rob swung his Keyblade right through Kagato, and Kagato twitched as Rob continued to hammer him with the legendary weapon. Kagato yelled and knocked Rob back with a burst of light. Rob strained as the energy grew stronger, and he pushed his body to oppose this growing force of possessed light. Rob roared and summoned another blast of Dark bomb, but Kagato had effectively reduced the damage.

Tenchi stood up. This was it. He was finished. He wasn't sure how long Rob could hold out, but Kagato's strength grew by the minute, and Rob wasn't exactly prepared to wage war against a growing force of light. He bowed his head in shame. "I'm sorry... I could not protect you..."

"Have faith in yourself... Trust your Heart," He heard a familiar voice, and a familiar face appeared beside him. Her cyan hair and her black-and-red clothing accented her demonic grin, but Tenchi knew her all too well to be afraid. "The power of darkness is not an evil thing when used correctly..."

"Ryoko?" Tenchi asked, completely confused.

"Shh... I'll explain later..." Ryoko placed her hand on Tenchi's chest, and a dark power radiated through him. His light saber now had a black tint to it, and the blade had grown much bigger. Tenchi took his newly powered sword and rushed towards Kagato.

"You can't win, Keyblade Master!" Kagato's voice grew malicious and evil. "You're finished!" He shot another huge blast. Rob braced himself for pain and possible death, when an orange energy shot collided with it and smashed it away. "What?!" Kagato leered to see Ryoko. "You! It's YOU!"

"Long time no see, Kagato," Ryoko chirped cheerfully. "Now let Tenchi show you how it's done!" Tenchi stepped forward, new weapon in hand.

"You can't stand a chance!" Kagato bellowed, sending various blasts of light Tenchi's way. However, Tenchi easily swatted them away. Through the explosions, Kagato charged through, ready to attack. "You're mine!"

"Not a chance..." Tenchi took his blade. Both warriors charging, they sliced across each other so quickly, it was as if both had missed.

That, of course, was only the case for Kagato.

Tenchi had sliced right through Kagato. Turning back towards his enemy, Tenchi said, "Whether it be darkness or light, the power through friends can never be defeated..."

"You've won, boy..." Kagato gave a soft smile, as pieces of him began to tear and fade away. "Tsunami's powers have fallen back to the girl..." He had faded away completely, and Kagato was gone.

----

"You mean to tell me that there's no way out of here?" A worried Mihoshi wrung her hands.

"Where were you when they handed out the brains?" Washu groaned at Mihoshi's stupidity. Not even after explaining their situation in First Grader terms SEVERAL TIMES did Mihoshi grasp their situation.

"Hey, look! Tenchi won! He fried Kagato with the power of darkness!" Maya pointed excitedly at the screen. The other two looked to see a fallen Kagato drift to pieces like shredded paper. "We can go home now! Hooray!"

"Looks like Ryoko's there, too! I knew she'd be back!" Washu grinned. "I can finally meet my new guinea pigs!"

The dimension they were trapped in began to disappear, and ever so slowly, they faded back to the normal world

----

"Tenchi!" Sasami hugged the boy and nuzzled him. "You rescued me!"

"It was nothing..." Tenchi said humbly.

Ryo-ohki hopped out of nowhere and perched on Sasami's shoulder. "Ryo-ohki!" She cheered.

The cabbit meowed happily.

Sasami turned to Rob and Ryoko. "Thank you too..." she nodded to Rob. "And Ryoko... where did you go?"

"I had to take care of some business... But I'm back!" Ryoko responded. Maya and Mihoshi appeared, along with some pink-haired girl/woman. This woman immediately threw Ryoko out of the way and zipped towards Tenchi.

"I'd like to thank you for rescuing me. Would you like to be my guinea pig?" Washu smiled sweetly. Tenchi only blinked and responded with an "Uhhh..."

"Slow down, MOM," Ryoko snarled, recovering from Washu's unexpected "attack."

"Wow, I am such an idiot!" Rob smacked himself amusedly. "I didn't realize you two were gone!"

"Well, that's not a surprise, but..." Maya began, when out of the blue, Ken Mira ran in.

Barely catching his breath he panted, "Attack... Masaki shrine... the, the H.I.V.E..."

"WHAT?!" Rob gasped.

The ship cracked.

"Oops, I forgot," Washu said. "Kagato was connected to the ship. When you sliced Kagato in half, the same thing happened to the ship as well. So unless we get out of here now, we're all doomed."

"HOORAY, WE'RE ALL DOOMED!" Maya cheered.

"FORGET THAT, LET'S GET OUT OF HERE!" All the boys bellowed in panic. They ran for their lives, unfortunately hopping out of the frying pan and into the fire...

Legends-Kuja
24th September 2005, 01:14 PM
Episode 13: The Judas Contract

“Uhhh…” Tenchi blinked, looking on the quiet standstill of his house. Although the house itself was fine, Rob noticed many craters on the earth.

“Looks like there was a struggle out here,” Rob said.

“I don’t like the looks of this,” Tenchi added. “Ken said that the chaos went inside, right?”

“Yeah… speaking of that, where IS Ken?” Rob looked around. “I don’t see his face anywhere.”

Washu made a mysterious laptop appear, and she typed on it quickly. “Hmm... he’s inside already. And so are a whole lot of other people!”

“I don’t remember having that many people in my house! That sounds like trouble!” Tenchi exclaimed.

“Better believe it!” Washu said. “I’d advise keeping Sasami out here, it’s safer.”

“In that case, please guard Sasami, Ryoko. I’m going inside,” Tenchi readied his light sword.

“You forget about me? That’s my FAMILY in there!” Rob also conjured his Keyblade, and Maya hopped out as well.

“That’s fine,” Tenchi nodded, and he led the way into his own house, with Rob and Maya flanking his rear. Once inside, they slowed down and looked about the halls cautiously. “I don’t see anyone yet. They must be gathered all in one place.”

“Most likely the living room,” Rob muttered. “Speaking of which…” Rob snarled, held his Keyblade up, and muttered, “We have company.”

Eight strange people had gathered in the living room. Apparently, they had been the ones to wreak havoc outside, and they had tied up, Ash, Sonic, Ayeka, and even Tenchi’s dad. They collectively stared at the dark boy with his even darker Keyblade. Maya came in next. “Oh my gosh! That’s the H.I.V.E!”

“These guys are the H.I.V.E?” Rob blinked before returning to his angry stance. Tenchi walked in and blinked in confusion before following Rob’s suit.

“Yep!” Maya pointed at each one of them. “The short green one’s Gizmo, the pink-haired one’s Jinx, the big guy is Mammoth…” The first three she named immediately tried to rush the two, but Rob reacted faster. Flooding his Keyblade with feelings of his rage, Rob created a Dark Wave that knocked the three of them down. Jinx quickly recovered and was about to launch some words of rage, but Maya screamed, “DON’T INTERRUPT ME!” The meek members of the H.I.V.E went back to staring, except for one. This teen ran towards Maya as she continued, “That one’s Kim Possible, that one’s Ron Stoppable…”

POW The teenager sent Maya crashing to the wall.

“Never seen him before.” Maya slurred before falling over.

Tenchi, however, did. “YUSUKE URAMESHI!”

“Miss me?” Yusuke answered. “I’d thought you’d join the club, what with these damn Heartless running around your house. Besides, we have the better Keyblade master,” Yusuke jerked his thumb towards Blondie, who calmly regarded Tenchi and Rob with a friendly nod. “My offer still stands, you know.”

“What!” Tenchi answered, flabbergasted. “You’re sided with those Light creatures!”

“Exactly. What better way to kill the stupid Heartless than with our own Light Army.”

“You tied up my dad!”

“He’s a hostage. Duh.”

“You knocked out my SISTER, damn you!” Rob bellowed.

“SHE WAS ANNOYING!” Yusuke shot back. He then regained his composure. “Anyway, as ringleader of this damn operation, I came here for one reason! You have to give up your Keyblade.”

“No.”

“Should’ve known you wouldn’t see it my way,” Yusuke charged once again. Unlike his sister, however, Rob was ready. He dodged the resulting punch and skated away, holding out his Keyblade defensively as Yusuke blurred and attempted to punch him again. Rob skated back and swung his Keyblade in a wide arc to strike down the teenager.

Yusuke caught it.

A malicious grin crossed Yusuke’s face as he began, “They don’t wet their pants at the sound of my name for nothing.” Yusuke reared back his fist and socked Rob hard in the stomach. The dark child promptly released the Keyblade from shock.

But it wasn’t in Yusuke’s hands for more than a second before it disappeared and reappeared back in Rob’s hands. Rob returned a dark and toothy grin. “It ain’t yours to take.”

“Maybe, but it won’t hurt to try,” Yusuke lunged again, and Rob backed away as the older teen launched a flurry of punches. Rob continued to dance backwards, unable to launch an attack. Snarling, Rob shoved his hand forward.

“Understand DARKNESS!” Rob bellowed as a radical burst of darkness sent Yusuke sprawling. However, the teen surprisingly recovered with a hand spring. Twirling expertly, Yusuke pointed his finger, drawing out spirit energy.

“How about you understand my SPIRIT GUN!” Yusuke shouted as he fired the searing energy like a gun. Rob put forth his Keyblade to block, but the Spirit Gun easily blew him away. Rob crashed painfully into the ground. Barely able to move, the dark boy convulsed as he tried to recover. “Looks like I win,” Yusuke grinned.

Tenchi snarled and readied his blade. He wasn’t in the mood to take down Yusuke, but rational reasoning seemed beyond the kid. He was about to retort when a voice rang out, “No, you don’t!”

Ken Mira’s signature Light Ray shot down Yusuke with relative ease. The preacher’s boy himself landed. He gave a reassuring nod towards Rob and Tenchi before turning back to Yusuke. “You’re finished!”

“Says you,” Yusuke brought back a spirit-charged fist and aimed at Ken. He shot out the punch, but Ken easily dodged and smashed him with one of his own. As Yusuke bit the dust a second time, Rob finally managed to stand up.

“Ken… you’re a real lifesaver, you know that?” Rob smiled.

“Yeah,” Ken smiled back, before dropping the smile to take down the other members of the H.I.V.E. “But we’ve still got these clowns to deal with.”

“Crap!” Rob swore. “How are we gonna deal with this many people? We’re outnumbered and likely outclassed!”

Ken, however, seemed irrationally calm. “I can finish this… just hand me the Keyblade.”

-

Riku could only laugh at the hospital wing.

So many people were recovering there, and all of them he knew.

After Riku and Sara beat Taz and Sora to a pulp, the latter two were sent here. Beelzemon, once he had found his Heartless doppelganger, challenged him to a match.

He had failed spectacularly.

Peter Pan simply checked himself in to make sure Hook didn’t leave any lasting wounds on him. And then Beelzemon’s buddies showed up, and Buu’s Anti single-handedly beat all of them to chewing gum, no pun intended against Buu.

"WHY? Why the hell did I have to get beaten? I'd think a copy of me would be my equal, but a three-on-one ain't fair! Nobody told me Antis could do that" Beelzemon complained.

“I was TRYING to warn you of that,” Taz snarled. “But NOOOO… RIKU had to show up and BEAT ME TO A PULP!”

"Grrr…He beat me…He makes me mad! Just like Vegito! No one beats Buu! RAAAAAAGGHH" Buu growled in fury, remembering back to when he was beaten by Vegito, the Potara earring fusion of Goku and Vegeta.

"Wow! The data intake I'm getting from the previous fight is going faster than I can read" Siege said as he typed furiously on his arm computer"It's astonishing!

“So… how’s the hospital wing, guys?” Riku smiled.

“Shut up, Riku,” Everyone responded. Sara giggled.

-

Some time later, Riku stood in front of the large door that led to his home paradise, Destiny Islands. He removed his blindfold and looked at the door. It looked just like the door he saw in the secret place. “Oh man…” he sighed. “I never knew how much I’d miss this place…”

“Riku!” The silver-haired teen whirled back to see Sora calling him. The Keyblade Master himself grew a smirk once Riku saw him. “You’re gonna leave me and go back home all by yourself?”

Riku just raised an eyebrow.

“Guess not,” Sora replied, voice layered with guilt, as he walked beside Riku.

"Calm down, boys" Jim Raynor walked outside. "I could use a nice place to stay. But it’s hard to relax with you kids going at it."

Both sighed and turned to Jim. "Oh, come on..." added Riku"Don't ruin the reunion!”

“Whatever you say, kid,” Jim said, smirking.

Sora walked outside. This place hadn’t changed. Not in three years. There was still the giant tree house, in all of its vibrant wood colors, and there was still the dusty shed. There were still the vibrant waterfalls. And at the edge of the island, there were still the only Paopu Trees on the island.

And there was still Kairi…

She stood alone, gazing into the orange sunset. Her hair was longer now. Much longer, Sora noted. Her attire had changed; she now wore what looked like a school uniform. Her skirt blew in the wind, and Sora blushed when he noticed this. She sat on a low-lying Paopu tree.

“I… I don’t know what to say!” Sora whispered to Riku in a panic.

“Go on! All she needs to know about me is that I’m alive, well, and got a new girlfriend. So take it anyway you wish. She’ll be too happy to care you’re a gibbering mess!” Riku whispered back.

Sora sighed. This was going to be hard... This would be the first time he’s reunited with Kairi, and already he was going to make an absolute fool of himself.

Sora walked softly to the ridge where Kairi relaxed. Hoping God Himself answered his prayers and this was no illusion, Sora called out, “Kairi… Kairi!”

She turned around. “Sora? SORA!” In about the span of one second, Sora was having his lungs squeezed out, and Kairi’s tears of happiness fell onto him. Sora’s face went several shades of red. “Oh thank GOODNESS, Sora! It’s REAL! You’re BACK!” She kissed him on the mouth.

Hard.

Sora blushed even harder.

"Augh! Get a room, you two" Riku shouted jokingly.

“Riku!” Kairi gasped.

“Oh boy…” in less than one second, Riku also lost his air supply. Luckily, she didn’t kiss him.

“Sora… Riku… you’re finally back…” Kairi wiped her tears. She looked at both of them, noting the changes in each. “Riku! You know it’s too hot to be wearing that thing,” she pointed to his Chaos Saint overcoat. “He we joined a cult?”

“As a matter of fact… yeeesss,” Riku grinned a bit nervously, although Kairi couldn’t tell. “It’s a long story, so I’ll have to explain to you later.”

Kairi then went back to Sora. “Wow, Sora… you haven’t grown much in three years…” She was in fact, taller than Sora, although only by one inch.

“Me? I was in King Mickey’s Kingdom for two years, so I didn’t age…” Sora sighed.

Kairi giggled a bit. “Figured as much, you lazy bum. You’re so lazy, you don’t even age right!”

“HEY!” An indignant Sora flared as Kairi giggled and Riku laughed his head off. “I TRAINED during those years!”

“Don’t worry, Sora. I heard that from Snow White,” Kairi stopped giggling. “She said that you said something along the lines of ‘To keep my promise, I won’t stop getting stronger until this is over!’”

“Umm… yeah,” Sora rubbed his neck. He did remember a visit from Snow White that one year… “How are the princesses doing anyway?”

“They’ve been doing alright, mostly…” She let Sora go from yet another hug and stood back. “Recently, it hasn’t been so well…”

“What do you mean?” Riku asked.

“Princess Aurora… she’s… gone.”

“Gone!” Riku and Sora gasped.

“Yes… more specifically murdered…”

“WHAT!” Sora’s jaw smashed the ground. “Even the villains had SOME sort of respect for the princesses… Who would… do such a thing!”

“I don’t know… the princesses are worried, not for their own lives but they fear something wicked may become of this…” She took out a small charm, one that looked like a heart. She gave one to Sora and another to Riku. She was already wearing hers. “It was so I could always know where you are. Sora,” she kissed him again. “If you’ve been in King Mickey’s Castle for two years, where were you for the last?”

“As you probably know, there’s still war on the Heartless,” Sora answered. “We’ve been fighting.”

“There’s more to this story than Ansem,” Riku said.

“The princesses told me that the war wasn’t over…” Kairi sighed. Before she could say anything else, however, she spotted Jim. “Who’s he?”

“Jim Raynor’s… a buddy of mine,” Sora said. “He found this place to be a vacation spot…”

“Not for long…” Kairi noted, as Tidus and Wakka appeared. Spotting Jim, they attacked… with pillows.

“HEY! That was OUR spot!” Tidus shouted. Sora noticed the boy had grown much older, and his normal attire expanded to fit him, as Wakka. Their voices were deeper as well.

“Whoa! For God’s sake, calm down!” Jim shouted, dodging the pillows.

“Where’s Selphie?” Riku asked.

“She went to some place called ‘Balamb Garden’… or something like that…” Kairi said. “It’s been just me, Tidus, and Wakka, and they’ve grown homicidal in their days,” the three watched as Tidus challenged Jim to a sword fight with red poles. Jim accepted, and they now started fighting, with Wakka yelling on the sidelines. “How’d you get here?”

“We… uhhh…” Sora and Riku looked at each other. If she found out there was a door to a huge mansion that led to millions of worlds, there’s no TELLING where’d she go…

“I hope you realize that there's a large door in that cave over there that leads to Kingdom Hearts" The three turned to the voice of another stranger that appeared on the island. Sora jumped back when he saw that it was one of the Chaos Saints. "Hello Sora. I told you we would meet again very soon.”

“Vexen?” Riku blinked. He then clenched his teeth in anger. “Just because I joined your little club doesn’t mean that you get to go waltzing in my home! OUR home!”

Vexen laughed his high-pitched laugh. “MY club! Miss Oni would be offended! No, this is an experiment. The Keyblade Master. At home, reunited with one he loves after three years. You can imagine how happy, how much healing, the heart has just received. It is my goal as a Chaos Saint to understand the true power of the Keyblade master, but most of all, the Heart.”

“Understand THIS… you Chaos freaks can fight me, you can confuse me, you can even try to make me do your bidding,” Sora snarled. “Bt one thing you DON’T do is MESS WITH MY FRIENDS!” Sora charged, whipping out his Keyblade to strike down Vexen.

“You want to fight me?” Vexen blinked in mock surprise. “This might work even better for my experiment.” Vexen conjured a large blue shield layered with spikes on its edges. Vexen blocked the attack, then swung his shield, smashing Sora back into the sand. Sora recovered quickly and leapt to the side to smash down Vexen, but he blocked this attack as well. Vexen began to draw from the air, and suddenly Sora was faced with fierce rush of a Blizzaga. Sora fired his own to avoid being struck with the attack.

“I warned you about this, Vexen!” Riku bellowed before he pulled out the Soul Eater and donned his blindfold. “This is OUR house, and you’re not invited!” Riku swung and smashed Vexen’s side. The teen then leapt into the air, but Vexen summoned a blast of ice, forcing Riku out of the air. Riku simply snarled, Soul Eater still ready.

“Don’t worry, Riku!” Sora shouted back. “I’ll play Vexen’s game and raise him!” Sora shot his free hand and shouted, “Force!” bringing Vexen down with a burst of Graviga. Sora leapt up and slashed Vexen from above, then landed…

…only to have Vexen cruelly blast his back with Blizzaga.

“Sorry, kid, you can’t just leave me out of this fight!” Jim Raynor pulled out his Gauss rifle and took aim at Vexen. He shot a round, but Vexen blocked the bullets with his shield.

“Amusing, but you are not part of this experiment. Don’t interfere,” Vexen conjured a giant ice wall, splitting him, Tidus, and Wakka from the others. Vexen turned back to Sora…

…only to receive a Keyblade to the face! Sora grinned as Vexen stumbled and was forced to block the rest of a furious Ars Arcanum. Vexen attempted to swat Sora away with his shield, but Sora ducked the attack and continued to press a frontal assault despite Vexen’s sturdy shield. “How do you like THEM apples!” Sora taunted.

Vexen suddenly jumped back and grinned. “Not bad in the least. But can you withstand this?” With a rush of power, Vexen conjured a blast of ice right below Sora, freezing him solid.

“SORA!” Riku shouted. Growling, the teen decided to take matters into his own hands, but Kairi suddenly stopped him.

“Riku… I got this,” She said softly.

“Kairi! But… you can’t fight!”

Kairi answered him by putting her hands above and summoning… a Keyblade. A stunned Riku could only blink in shock. However, that wasn’t all. She took its hilt and easily split them apart, becoming TWO Keyblades. The Divine Roses Kairi had glistened in the evening light. Riku dropped his jaw in shock and fainted instantly.

“I WILL protect Sora… as he has protected me…” Kairi got in a battle stance. She flipped over her frozen friend and faced a very shocked Vexen.

“Yeah, Kairi! Show ‘im how it’s done!” Tidus cheered.

“A princess of Heart… a Keyblade master! Not possible!” Vexen blinked.

“It IS, and YOU’RE DEAD,” Kairi performed a scissors slice which Vexen could barely block. She followed with a fierce combo, continuing to smash Vexen away with a raw fury never unearthed from the young princess. Vexen finally stumbled before teleporting back a good distance.

“So… Sora’s strength lies within his friends. Doubtless this and the discovery of a new Keyblade with definitely aid the Chaos Saints.” Vexen smiled.

“Kairi…” Sora had finally gotten free of the ice that had imprisoned him. Riku stood as well. Their eyes had tears flowing like a river, and they smiled. They both hugged Kairi. “How’d you DO that!”

“Sora…” Kairi whispered. “As I said earlier, Tidus and Wakka grew sorta homicidal in three years. Guess it rubbed off on me. After Aurora’s death the princesses decided not to take our weakness lying down. So Belle forged us a collective Keyblade.” Kairi joined the Keyblade and dismissed it. “From there Tidus was more than happy to teach me how to fight with it.”

The group suddenly turned to see Vexen chuckle. “Not going down without a fight, are you? Wouldn’t have expected less. The group of villains you know of is heading towards Japan on Earth. They have detected the world’s true keyhole. You will need to move fast if you’re going to stop them.”

“Japan…” Sora said.

“Doubtless we will meet again. Riku,” Vexen turned to a now scowling Riku. “As my witness and fellow Chaos Saint, you’ll be sure to testify today’s events with me in our next meeting, won’t you?”

Riku dropped his scowl and replaced it with a snide grin. “Sure, why not? Kairi kicked your ass, anyway!”

Vexen growled before disappearing.

“Japan, eh?” Sora turned to Jim. “Well, if that Vexen guy is right, we’ll need to get there fast.”

“Right,” Sora agreed.

“Hey, lazy bum! You’re gonna leave me?” Kairi sucker-punched Sora.

“Well, I… uhhh…”

“Don’t worry about it, I’m not ready to leave my home just yet,” Kairi dug in Sora’s baggy shorts and grabbed the charm she gave him. She clasped it, pressing it to Sora’s chest. She whispered into his ear, “Besides, when I’m ready, I know where to find you.”

“Okay!” Sora happily took his charm back and put it in his pocket. He turned to the other islanders. “Tidus? Wakka?” Sora asked.

“Someone’s gotta stay here and protect this island, might as well be us!” Tidus said. “And besides… there’s more to this world than our home,” Tidus winked.

“That reminds me… Riku! You still haven’t explained why you’re with the Chaos Saints.” Sora looked at Riku.

“Long story short: King Mickey’s in it, and he said he and I are some sort of prophecy. I’ll give you the whole story when we get back,” Riku quickly answered.

“PROPHECY!”

“Yeah, the Chaos Angel has to be awakened, the same stuff Axel and Vexen just shot at you, that sorta thing.”

“Oh. I thought it was important.”

“Well, it’s about time we headed back.” Jim walked in the cave. “It’s too bad, though. This place was pretty nice.”

“You’ve only been here for 20 minutes!” Riku yelled.

“Yeah…must mean it’s good, now, I’n’t it?”

-

“What?” Rob blinked.

“Hand over the Keyblade… I can save you!” Ken paced towards Rob.

“Why do… YOU want the Keyblade?” Rob asked, backing away from Ken, detecting something wrong. His Keyblade shook slightly. Rob also noticed that the rest of the H.I.V.E backed down and kept all their eyes on the two of them.

“Rob… listen to me,” Ken began. “Don’t take this personally, but I’ve got something you don’t. I’ve got light on my side.”

“What’s that supposed to mean!” Rob gripped his Keyblade and grimaced like a cornered animal.

“What do you think?” Yusuke hopped back up, his grin wider than ever. “You think he just magically learned those light powers? That Light Ray is a variation of my Spirit Gun. I taught him everything he knows, including how to pretend to beat me.”

“Ughh…” Sonic began to stir. He opened his eyes and immediately saw what he had feared happening. “Rob! ROB!” Sonic started shouting. “Don’t give him anything! KEN MIRA IS A TRAITOR!” However, just as he completed his sentence, He got Kim Possible’s foot to his face. “You’re gonna pay for that…” He hissed under his breath.

Rob hung his jaw in shock, and nearly dropped the Keyblade. Rob knew Ken had holy powers, but would those powers somehow influence him to think Rob was evil?

“I think this is Ken’s show, now,” Yusuke backed away.

Ken’s face expression changed to that of a mixture of sadness and anger, but to Rob, he looked more menacing. “I didn’t want to do this… but you leave me no choice…” Pointing a single finger, Ken shot a thin, direct blast of light… right at Rob’s Heart.

Rob fell over, not from the pain, but from the utter shock of Ken’s actions. Ken was one of Rob’s best friends… why… why would he do this? He struggled to get up, but the foreign light in his heart was eating away at him.

“ROB!” Sonic screamed. In a furious rage, the hedgehog immediately sprung free from his ropes. Grabbing Kim’s leg, he slung her against the rest of the H.I.V.E, then bolted for Ken and smashed him with a flying kick.

Sonic was immediately at Rob’s side. “You okay?”

The teen strained as the poisonous light faded away. He rose. “Yeah…” As Rob didn’t hold his Keyblade anymore, he searched for it in his heart…

And couldn’t find it.

“Looking for this?” Ken twirled Rob’s Keyblade. “I managed it to plant it in my heart while you were distracted…” Rob noticed, much to his horror that his Keyblade now had turned completely white; so white that the rest of the room seemed to fade into darkness. “Now hold still… this will only take a minute…”

“NO!” Rob bellowed, dodging the lunge Ken made at him. “The light you wield is of great evil!” Ken nevertheless kept trying to slash him. Sonic growled and prepared another flying kick, but Ken blocked the attack.

“I don’t think that’s gonna stop me…” Ken threw off Sonic and lunged to attack him, but suddenly Tenchi moved in and blocked the attack.

“You don’t have to do this! Tenchi yelled, straining against Ken’s attack.

“Yes… I do,” Ken shoved Tenchi away, and rushed towards his original target.

This time, Rob was ready. “CURSE YOU!” Rob shook Ken with an explosion of Darkness. Ken staggered back, but the Keyblade grew brighter, and his vitality returned. “No…!”

“Nice one, but you won’t win this time…” Ken slashed at Rob again, and Rob dodged out of the way. Sonic and Tenchi appeared at his side.

“He’s got way too much juice!” Sonic pointed out. “You’ve got to get your Keyblade back!”

“But how am I supposed to do that!” Rob shot desperately.

“Think of something! We’ll hold him off!” Tenchi answered. He and Sonic rushed Ken, but the light-driven teen easily blew them away with a Keyblade attack. Sonic recovered first and blurred towards Ken, trying to land any sort of attack in. Unfortunately, with the Keyblade, Ken could easily fend off the hedgehog’s attacks and smash him away.

Yusuke walked a bit closer to the fight. “We’ve got this far, we’re not about to lose now!” He aimed his finger once again. “SPIRIT GUN!”

The shot rang out… and collided with its target with a violent explosion of spirit energy.

Tenchi and Sonic fell, unconscious.

Ken, seeing as his opponents were gone, let the Keyblade hang loosely from his grip. He looked at Yusuke. “Was that necessary!”

“You think I was heartless and stupid enough to kill them?” Yusuke raised an eyebrow.

Ken walked towards Sonic. Touching his neck, he felt for a pulse. Finding one in satisfaction, he answered, “Guess not…”

Seeing his friends in a defeated heap, Rob silently quailed in desperate fear. They all had failed, and he was the only one who could set things right. Suddenly he had a grim idea that just might work… “We can end this now…” Rob said softly, and everyone stopped. Ken walked over to Rob slowly, wondering just why he stopped.

“Have you truly come to your senses?” Ken asked with concern.

“Stab me and find out…” Rob simply answered.

Ken reared back with the Keyblade…

… Maya came to, and seeing this new chaos unfold, shouted, “ROB, NOO!”

… Rob braced himself…

… and Ken stabbed him in his heart.

Rob could feel the foreign light destroying him, but he remembered the Darkness still in his Heart. He grabbed the Keyblade, trying to flood it with all of the power he had…

“What… what’re you DOING!” Ken cried.

The painful light stopped, and Rob held his familiar Keyblade once more. “This… is MY Keyblade. MY FAMILY’S Keyblade. You can’t have it. I cannot allow for… your light of evil to terrorize this planet anymore…” He turned to the rest of the H.I.V.E. “For the corruption of my friend, my older brother, I’LL ANNIHILATE EVERY LAST ONE OF YOU!” Rob’s newly returned Keyblade began to exude a powerful dark aura.

Yusuke and the others grimaced and got into fighting stances. “Then we’ll take you down with everything we are!”

“Hold it.” The room fell into silence, so the only thing that was heard was the growing power of Rob’s aura. Blondie had spoken, and he walked slowly towards the angry Dark Keyblade Master. “Cygnus, right?”

“Cygnus?” Rob blinked at the use of his real name. “WHO TOLD YOU THAT NAME!” Rob’s Keyblade drew in all the power that it collected as he attempted to slay Blondie on the spot. However, the more experienced Keyblade Master merely whipped out the white Keyblade Oathkeeper and smashed Rob in his chest.

As a result, Rob lost the aura, and not only that, but the power dispersed, causing the house to crack and quake form the sheer power. Even Maya and Blondie could barely shield from the released darkness. Rob crumpled to the ground in painful shock.

When the aura no longer threatened to blow them into oblivion, the H.I.V.E recovered. Naminé slowly walked towards the fallen boy until she was even with Blondie. “Please understand. If you keep going, you’re going to destroy the world with the very darkness you wield.”

“You can’t control your powers,” Blondie added. “That’s why we came for your Keyblade. Please don’t take this personally.”

“I’ve no CHOICE but to take this personally!” Rob struggled to recover.

“You made our big bro all mean!” Maya took out her daggers and tried her best to look menacing.

“I don’t appreciate forced understandings. You’re gonna pay for that,” Having recovered, Sonic rushed back down and leered at the H.I.V.E.

“You’re all uninvited guests here,” Tenchi walked down until he was even with the group, and readied his sword. “Leave, or I’ll have to use real force.”

The H.I.V.E backed away wearily. Ken, seeing that his plan failed, sighed. “I’ve… failed. Not just my mission… but my friendship too…”

“No worries,” Jinx spoke. “These fools know who they’re messing with now.”

“Brother Blood will destroy all of you crudsniffers!” Gizmo bellowed, earning him the stares of the rest of his group. “What!”

“I wish we could’ve met under different circumstances,” Naminé added sadly. “We want the same thing you do.”

Sonic blinked, but shook it off and shot, “Sure you do!”

With that, the H.I.V.E disappeared in a flash of light.

“Ken…” Rob breathed sadly. With the madness over, Ryoko, Sasami, and Washu came in.

“Are you all right?” Washu asked. “You don’t look so good.” Her black computer appeared before her. She typed a couple of commands and the computer scanned Rob. “Your vital signs say you’re under some considerable pain and angst right now.”

“I just lost my best friend to the light… Of course I’m not okay,” Rob answered monotonously.

The others who had been knocked out finally recovered. As our standing heroes helped them all up, Ash spoke. “What happened? What’d I miss?”

“Extreme. Betrayal.” Sonic and Rob hissed in harmony.

An awkward silence filled the room. Everyone stared at each other for a short while, until Sasami piped up. “Tea?” she asked.

-

Everyone decided to set his or her stories straight. Back when Jurai was still standing, Ryoko had attacked it many years ago (700 in fact, causing our non-Juraian heroes to fall out in shock. “I was under the influence of Kagato! I SWEAR!” Ryoko said.), prompting Yosho to chase her down. During Ryoko’s onslaught, Sasami, who was a mere 3 years old then, had fallen and NEARLY died, had it not been for Tsunami. Tsunami merged with her, and basically saved her life. Kagato had usurped her hidden power until Tenchi fried him and returned it. Ayeka spent nearly 700 years in cryogenic sleep while her ship looked for her brother (our non-Juraian heroes sighed in relief). Not too long ago, the Soulless had destroyed Jurai, which prompted the ship to wake her up… that, and she had detected Ryoko. The girls all met Tenchi, and Rob added, “We all know the story from there.”

“But Ryoko… where were you before you showed up on the ship?” Maya asked.

“Let’s just say I found the universe’s best fighting tournament EVER,” Ryoko said coyly. “I got a feeling you’ve got a long way to go, and could use all the help you can get.” Ryoko conjured a small charm and tossed it to Rob, who caught it in his hands. “With that, you can give me a call, anytime, anywhere!”

“COOOOOOOOOLLLL!” Maya snatched it out of his hands. “I got a new summon!”

“That’s MY summon, BRAT!” Rob attempted to snatch it back. “In case you didn’t notice, I have the Keyblade!”

“But Ansem taught me how to summon, monkey brains! And I can wield the Keyblade just as easy as you can!” To prove her point, she conjured the blade as if she snatched it from Rob’s pants.

“What!” Rob hopped over the table and began to stretch Maya’s face. “GIVE ME MY KEYBLADE NOW!”

“Never, shrimp!” Maya cackled, and they began to mock-fight, much to the amusement of everyone else. The twins continued to fight, rolling right outside into the yard. As they fought, however, the keyhole to the Masaki shrine made its appearance.

They stopped fighting for about three seconds before trying to wrench the Keyblade from each other, making random shouts about who would seal the Keyhole.

An irritated Sonic dashed outside and looked at the warring twins with a twitching eye. Seeing the keyhole, Sonic put 2 and 2 together and got an idea. He wasn’t sure it would work, but anything to get those two clowns to stop fighting! He snatched the Keyblade, and before it could teleport away, Sonic aimed it at the Keyhole and focused his heart. The familiar white beam shot out and sealed the area’s heart and released its soul, much to the shock of the black twins fighting it out. The Keyblade disappeared out of Sonic’s hands and back into Rob’s.

“Cool!” Sonic grinned before running back inside.

The twins blinked in shock for about 10 seconds before resuming their battle, this time blaming each other for letting Sonic hog all the glory.

As usual.

-

“Dr. Eggman!” Tails saw the familiar scientist in the Nevershadow. He didn’t see the other two, however. “Where’s everyone else? What took you so long? Don’t tell me you turned them into your robotic slaves and plan to backstab us like Ken did!”

“I didn’t do anything to them, foxboy!” Dr. Robotnik said in annoyance. “Everyone else, as you so delightfully refer to them, is at Tokyo. I’m glad to see that’s you’re all still alive.”

“Staying alive’s not the hard part,” Ash said, with a “Pika!” from Pikachu, showing his agreement.

“Yeah, our adventure was exciting!” Maya chirped. “First this old guy comes and then there was a sword fight, and it was really cool, and…” Maya talked at about 100 words a second, up until she summed up Ken’s betrayal. “AND WE WERE ALL DOOMED! HOORAY!”

“All it takes is ICE CREAM…” Rob shook his head and continued. “And my sister becomes a Grade A Psycho…” He turned back to say goodbye to the Masaki family. “Hey, where’s Ryoko?”

“She’s gone… again,” Tenchi sighed.

“But at least she left Ryo-ohki!” Sasami chirped. The cabbit happily meowed as it sat in Sasami’s hair.

“We enjoyed your visit…” Lord Katsuhito said. “Please come back some time.”

“Don’t worry, we’ll be back!” Ash said as everyone went inside the ship.

“Farewell…” Rob said, giving Tenchi a small salute, as the Nevershadow took off and headed for Tokyo.

Legends-Kuja
24th September 2005, 01:34 PM
Episode 14: Defeat the Nemesis

(A/N: The Pokémon movie adaptation that WAS here has been dropped. Some similar conversations, but this chapter is new. And I don’t own Cyborg 009, so please don’t sue me. I’ve also gotten legitimate complaints that my OC’s are too powerful—I’ll fix that ).)

"Are we there yet?"

"No."

Silence.

"Are we there yet?"

"No."

More silence.

"Are we there yet?"

"No."

Still more silence.

"Are we there yet?"

"No."

Yet more silence.

"Are we there yet?"

"No."

Still another round of silence.

"Are we there yet?"

"NO."

A round of silence. Then—

"Are we there yet?" Maya asked.

"FOR THE LOVE OF CHAOS, NO!" Dr. Eggman roared. Maya let out an evil-sounding laugh.

"Wow…” Tails plastered his face into a window like a curious child. “Look at that!”

“Whoa!” Sonic gaped at the massive sight before him. The flashing lights, kanji language, and tall skyscrapers meant one thing: they were now in Tokyo, Japan.

“Cool!” Ash added.

“That’s right…” Dr. Eggman said. “This is Tokyo, Japan, one of the most densely populated cities on Earth. I dreamed of terrorizing this place when I was evil…” Dr. Eggman reminisced as he stared off into space, imagining a Godzilla machine chasing away townspeople.

“Eggman, get a grip,” Sonic gave the scientist a mild slap. “You’re not evil for the time being, and Godzilla is WAY overplayed.”

The mad scientist grumbled as Rob continued to ponder. “I see…” He trailed off. “Where are the other two?”

“Cloud and Tifa promised to meet us at downtown,” Dr. Eggman pointed to a map as it formed on the main CPU. “They say they’ve got something, and it’s not just Team Rocket.”

“More than Team Rocket!” Ash exclaimed. “You can’t mean—”

“Yes, Ashy boy, Black Ghost,” Dr. Eggman began. “They’ve recently been providing funding to those clowns we’ve chased all over Kanto.”

“If they’re teaming up, this means big trouble,” Ash responded. “I’ve vaguely heard about Black Ghost, and they’re sorta like you—I mean, while you were a jerk,” he hastily added as Eggman raised an eyebrow at his words.

“You mean they invent meanie electric toys to terrorize people?” Maya asked. “Who needs more Dr. Robotnik rip-offs when you can have DOOM!” She exclaimed, laughing maniacally. She ran to the back of the ship, while everyone stared at Rob.

“Don’t ask me. She just had ice cream!” Rob snarled, not wanting to both with these imbeciles, he stalked off behind his energetic sister.

Dr. Robotnik blinked. “What’s with him?”

“I’m thinking he’s still souring over Ken… and Maya?” Sonic whispered in Eggman’s ear, as if to deliver a juicy secret. “She’s just in denial.”

Dr Eggman face-faulted.
------------

"ARRGH! I’m an IDIOT!" Sora yelled once again.

"Cool your jets, kid," Jim Raynor answered. “I know you’re still beatin’ yourself up about not sealing your hometown, but chances are your girlfriend already did it!”

"I know, but I could’ve at least CHECKED." Sora continued to grit his teeth. “Where’s Riku, anyway? Maybe somebody around here will chew me out for what I deserve…”

You won’t find him here. He said somethin’ about how the Chaos Saints told him to collect somethin’ here. You ain’t got a hope in hell of finding him in Tokyo.”

“Tokyo? Is that where we are?”

“Yeah,” Siege, who was in the room the entire time, “Tokyo’s one of the busiest cities on earth, and it’s the current target of the bad guys.”

“I’m guessing this is the place where the world’s true keyhole lies?”

“Should be right, according to what Vexen told us,” Siege answered.

“What’re we waiting for then?” Sora readied his Keyblade. “LET’S GO!”
----------

“Rob… what’s the matter?” Ash and Pikachu walked in on a somber Rob, who had sat down and gazed sadly at his knees. His eyes looked desolate, as if there wasn’t a glimmer of light.

“You know… back when I lived at the Crying Church… we used to travel…” Rob looked up at Ash. “All of us. Me, Maya, Clara, Taz, Ken, Charlotte, Christie, and Mr. and Ms. Mira… We’ve been all over the U.S/Kanto region. We used to spend so much time together… I hoped that when I found all of my friends, we could all stop the evil versions of the Heartless and the Soulless together… But too many times, that dream has been denied…” Rob rose. “I’ve been acting all hard and bold, mostly because it’s been two years since I went on my last travel with my family, and I let my drive for justice shadow out my fears… but all of this is just too much… we’re all going apart, and I may never see my friends again…” Tears began to fall from Rob’s face. “DAMMIT!” He punched a wall in fury, but he only hurt his fist, making him cry even harder—and more comically.

Ash unfortunately had to stifle a laugh from Rob’s tragic rage. “I’m sorry Rob. But you can’t give up hope now,” Ash put his hands on Rob’s shoulders, therefore cutting out his need to laugh at Rob’s situation. “And besides, even though those seasoned heroes like Cloud and Sonic don’t seem to show any fear doesn’t mean every big monster that comes our way doesn’t scare them out of their wits. To tell you the truth, I’m scared too. I don’t know what losing your heart or soul is like, but I’m afraid I might find out. But we gotta hold strong, no matter what!” At this moment, Ash felt… something tugging at his heart. Instinctively reaching into his pocket, he found some sort of chain that was never there before. “Here!” Ash gave Rob a key chain that had a pokéball design dangling from one end. “I believe this belongs to you. No idea how it got there but I think it came… from my heart, as weird as that sounds.”

Rob smiled at these words and accepted Ash’s gift. “Thank you Ash… But just one question…”

“What’s that?” Ash let go of Rob.

“Could you check the back of your pants? I think Maya just put melting ice cream down there…” Rob pointed meekly. Ash looked at his butt to see an upturned ice cream cone and melting vanilla all over his pants.

Ash panicked and tried to get it off, amidst the howling laughter of Maya. Rob shook his head, laughing, and escorted Ash to go request Eggman’s help before they leave the ship.
----------------

“I take it you survived that surprise attack,” Cloud looked at the group.

“I’ve been through worse,” Sonic shrugged.

“I haven’t,” Rob sighed.

“What’s the matter?” Tifa asked.

“Real nasty family issues. Don’t ask,” Sonic answered. “So, what did you guys pick up?”

“Dr. Eggman picked up some highly advanced technology within the city,” Cloud explained. “Usually he’d be responsible, but Eggman had deactivated his robots. Further investigation showed Team Rocket activity scattered about the city. Apparently they’re searching for something, and planning to wreak as much havoc as they can while finding it.”

“Any clue on what they’re looking for?” Ash asked.

“No...” Cloud answered. However, he tensed and pulled out his sword. “But I got a feeling we might find out.”

The other heroes turned around to see various robots and cyborgs standing behind them. There were 3 large robots that had horns, clunky but shiny armor, and the Heartless crest emblazoned on their chest. Rob felt with his Keyblade, using the scan ability to read them. They were called Enforcers. The smaller variety was almost fully black; only their white gloves and their Heartless crest contrasted in color, and their outline suggested that they were once human members of Team Rocket. The scan ability referred to them as Grunts.

“Who ordered these clowns?” Sonic took a fighting stance.

“Team Rocket plunged their Hearts into darkness… and turned into these things?” Maya blinked.

“Yes,” Rob whipped out his Keyblade and held it up. “THUNDER!” The first bolt rained down on a Grunt, stunning it so Sonic could finish it off with a buzzsaw attack. Cloud and Tifa used various attacks on the other Grunts, clearing the way for the rest of the team to focus on the enforcers.

Ash sent out Pikachu. “Pikachu! THUNDERBOLT!”

The electric rat focused his charge and shot a blast of electricity at the lumbering robot, but it only forced it back. Pikachu gasped as the Enforcer sent a fist down, forcing Pikachu to evade being made into yellow paste.

“Maybe we just need a stronger dosage!” Maya twirled, leapt, and shouted “Thundara!”, summoning a stronger blast of lightning from the sky and frying the circuitry of the robot. It twitched a bit before falling over to the ground.

Meanwhile, Rob was having more trouble with the second Enforcer. Try as he might, he couldn’t damage the robot enough to expose its circuitry. Growing frustrated, he summoned a blast of darkness. The enforcer shook, having been damaged. “Guess that works,” Rob shrugged as he tore into the machine once more.

Tifa swung forward with a powerful kick that sent the last of the Grunts into oblivion. Unfortunately, this set her up perfectly for the last Enforcer to smash her away into Cloud.

Rob’s luck with the other Enforcer had run out. The big robot timed a perfect hit that flattened the dark boy into the ground. An angry Sonic’s counterattack missed it, and the hedgehog had to evade another attack. Pikachu and Ash backed up next to Sonic, and they stood together, ready to attack—

Without warning, the robot crashed and shut down, almost as if an invisible force had crashed it. The third Enforcer looked about in confusion before a ray gun blast shot its head clear off. The robot exploded as a result.

“Looks like we got here just in time,” From the sky, a man flew down, landing on what looked like jet boots. He had an incredibly long nose and equally long hair. He wore a red suit with large yellow buttons, a long, winding scarf and black boots. “You held your own pretty good, though.”

Eight others arrived. They dressed identically to the man who flew in, but they contrasted in size and shape. The lone woman in the group stepped forward, carrying a baby. “It’s not over yet. There are still robots here.”

“How many?”

“Twenty.” With that revelation, the twenty robots emerged out of a nearby subway, causing the local populace to flee in terror. One Enforcer aimed a fist at a fearful child.

“Oh, no you don’t!” The silver-haired man of the group kneeled down, and his knee popped open, much to the shock of our heroes. A full rocket emerged and shot at the large robot, while the long—haired man swooped down and carried the child out of harm’s way. The rocket blew the Enforcer to smithereens and gathered the attention of the other robots.

Once the crowd of robotic menaces made their way to the group, the largest of the yellow-scarfed group stepped forward. His Indian face hardly broke a sweat as he used his strength to pick up an Enforcer and toss him into a group of grunts, blowing them all into smithereens.

A row of grunts aimed their guns at the group. Rob got his Keyblade ready, but another member of the group beat him to the punch. The fat Chinese man blew a steady stream of concentrated flame on the grunts, effectively disabling them, except for one.

Before Maya could even point this out, the lone Grunt turned on the other Grunts, shooting them into oblivion instead. The Grunt let out a mischievous chuckle before shape shifting back into a bald man, who leapt back into the group.

6 Enforcers remained. The one in front lumbered forward, only to be shot dead perfectly in the eyes. The robot soon lost its head and other body parts in a massive explosion. The shooter turned out to be an African with white hair. He grinned as he stepped down and said, “It’s your turn, 009.”

009 was the most unusual of them all. Mahogany hair blocked one reddish-brown eye. He stepped forward and shouted “Acceleration mode!” It was almost as if he flickered out of sight. In the time it took for Sonic to blink, all five Enforcers lost their heads and subsequently blew up. He seemingly phased back into existence.

“Whoa!” Sonic blinked in amazement. “It’s like Chaos Control without the Emerald!”

“Chaos Control?” 009 blinked.

“Ummm… I don’t know what that is either!” Maya suddenly chirped. “So who are you guys? And what are those powers you guys use?”

“I’m 002,” the long-nosed man said. “I can fly, and I’m an excellent marksman.” The curious and hyper Maya started looking at his hair and nose.

“WOOOOWWW It’s so LOOOOOOOOOONNNNNGGGG!” Maya chirped like a child.

“I’m 003,” The young lady holding the baby said. “I have a psychic radar built into me.” Maya examined her pretty face: Blond hair, blue eyes, and soft features. She then looked the baby. “That’s 001.”

“AWWWW! Isn’t he cute?” Maya tried to tickle the blue-haired baby, but suddenly she heard, (Hey, cut it OUT!) Maya jumped back in surprise. “Whoa! It talks!”

(Yes, indeed. I have psychic powers, you know.)

“COOOOOOOOLLLL!” Maya chirped. She dashed over to the tall Indian man, and looked him over. “Who are you?”

“I am 005,” the large man shook Maya’s hand with a rather gentle touch. “I wield super strength.”

“Okay!” She zipped on over to the fat man, who had a rather large nose. She noticed this and wasted no time in squeezing it.

“Hey! That’s rather rude!” The man spoke.

“Awww! It doesn’t make the funny clown noise!” Maya pouted. Rob grit his teeth at that comment.

“Hmph!” The fat man continued. “I’m 006! I breathe fire, I can tunnel underground, and I’m a good cook, to boot!”

Maya walked over to the next one. She gasped in recognition…

“You know me?” The man blinked.

…or so everyone thought. “Sorry, don’t know you.” 007 crashed.

“I’m 007! I can shape-shift!” He proceeded to prove his point by turning into a kangaroo, a mouse, and then into Maya’s double.

“James Bond! Wow! I thought you had more hair than that…” Maya blinked. EVERYONE crashed from those words.

“Sorry to break it to you, sis, but HE’S NOT JAMES BOND.” Rob bellowed into his sister’s ear. Maya blinked in realization.

“Ohhhhhh…” She said. She walked to the African and ruffled his white hair. “WOW… cool hair.”

008 sweat-dropped. “Oookay…” He backed away. “I’m 008, and I’m an even better marksman than 002, and I’m very swift underwater.”

“And I’m 009. You saw my powers,” 009 said.

“Excuse me for asking, but what’s with all the numbers?” Tifa asked. “You don’t have names, do you?”

003 hung her head down. “Those were the numbers Black Ghost gave us.”

“We aren’t fully human anymore,” 008 added. “We’re cyborgs, products of Black Ghost’s experimentations. He took us from our homes and made us into this.”

“So not every robot’s a willing design in Black Ghost’s schemes…” Rob said. “The *******,” Rob came out of his thoughts and turned to 009. “Let’s compare notes. What brings you here?”

“We came here when we heard Black Ghost was launching an offense on this city.”

“So did we,” Rob said. “Don’t know us, do you? Well, I’m Rob, the crazy thing that attacked you is my sister Maya, and there’s Ash, Cloud, Tifa, and Sonic,” Each respective person waved as Rob introduced him or her.

“We’d love to help you guys out,” Sonic said. “We’ve got a grudge against Black Ghost and their new partner Team Rocket, too.”

“That’s a great idea!” 007 said.

“You sure about that?” 002 looked at his friends. “With the exception of two of them they’re a bunch of kids!”

“TEENAGERS! Get it right!” Ash retorted.

“But you’re the youngest out of all of us…” Maya pointed out.

Ash’s face fell. “Don’t ruin my moment.”

“You said it yourself, we hold out on our own pretty well,” Sonic said to 002. “So what’s the problem? Afraid we’ll kick more *** than you?”

002 got in Sonic’s face. “NO.” He backed off. “Fine! You can join us, but don’t come crying to me if you get hurt!”

“That’s IF we get hurt,” Sonic kept his grin.

“I won’t be joining you guys,” Rob said, his voice low.

“What! Why not?” Ash said in shock.

“I need to… find myself,” Rob answered. “I won’t be of any use to you guys in this state.” He looked back with a sad smile. “Besides, Black Ghost is gone for now; we should relax.” He skated away deep into the city.

“Wait!” Maya cried out. But her twin brother was gone. “Awww…” she sighed. In a matter of moments, however, her visage changed dramatically. “I WANNA EXPLORE!”

“All right,” 003 said. “That sounds nice. However, we should stay in groups just in case Black Ghost’s forces come back.”

“Groups? Pshaw,” Sonic slapped the thought away. “Y’all stay as one! I’ll keep in touch,” Sonic revved up, but stopped. “Unless someone can keep up.”

“I’d like a friendly race as much as the next guy, but—” 009 began, but Sonic interrupted.

“Cool! Race ya!” At that, Sonic dashed off.

“Jerk,” 009 clicked his teeth and disappeared in an Accelerated flash. Everyone else just blinked.

“Who else thinks Sonic’s gonna lose?” 002 offered, only for the rest of the large group to return blank stares. “What?”
-----------------

Sonic’s running took him to the housing within the city. To tell the truth, Rob didn’t have a bad idea of taking a solo walk, and Sonic wanted to see something on his own.

However, he skidded to a surprised stop when 009 phased right in front of him. “AUGH! Aww man…” Sonic hung his head.

“You should know better than to pull stunts like that,” 009 admonished Sonic. “If you wanted to be alone, why didn’t you say so?”

“Come on! You didn’t hear 003 say ‘we should stay in groups?’ Rob already got lucky bolting off on his own.” Sonic pointed out. “Besides, there was something I wanna see while I’m here.” Sonic ran off, and 009 followed.

Sonic zoomed over into the suburb area just outside of Tokyo. All he really wanted to do was sightsee a bit and clear his head. As he wondered when will this war against the Heartless end, he came to a stop at a small park. The resulting wind blasted a swing-set to life, and it began to teeter as if a phantom child were swinging on it. 009 appeared to Sonic’s left. Once he acknowledged the cyborg’s appearance, Sonic then gazed at the setting sun.

“Yeah… this is it. Not a better view of the setting sun anywhere else in the city,” Sonic said. “It’s awesome.”

“You know… the last time I saw a setting sun… I was back at home, the night before everything changed,” 009 said. “Back before I was a cyborg, I lived in a church.”

“You know, you sound just like Rob,” Sonic grinned at 009. “Rob was raised in a church just like you.” Unbeknownst to them, a fat person casually strolled by, carrying groceries. His eyes were shaded by his mop of orange hair, and he had a body physique similar to that of Eggman. He looked at the two and saw them gazing at the setting sun. Mesmerized by the sun, he calmly set his groceries in an inconspicuous space and went to join them. Sonic continued, “The last time I saw the setting sun, I was stuck in Twilight Town. Heh, the sun ALWAYS looks like this over there.”

“Twilight Town?” 009 asked. “Where’s that?”

“It’s not here… That’s all I can say,” Sonic answered. Feeling that 009 already had enough on his mind, Sonic didn’t want to flood the young man’s mind with the possibility of Black Ghost reaching out to other planets… In fact, Sonic shuddered at this thought.

“Are you all right?” 009 asked.

“Yeah, just thinking…”

009 went back to gazing at the sun. After a few moments, he began talking again. “The sun was so beautiful… Back then I didn’t have a care in the world. But then… everything changed.”

Flashback-

Joe Shimomura was taking a casual walk back home at night. A calm breeze messed with his hair as he strolled back home towards the church. However, as he got closer to his home, his sense of smell caught something.

“Something… something’s burning!” Joe realized as he quickened his paste into a sprint back home. He skidded to a horrified stop when he saw what was burning… the church! “Oh no!” terrified at the thought of losing his friends and family inside, he kicked the door down and burst inside. “Hello! Anyone here!” Nothing. Only the steady rage of the flames answered his calls. He ran into the main room. Through the flames he could only see the altar…

…And a figure on the floor.

Joe recognized him immediately. “Father!” He ran towards the figure. The priest who served as Joe’s adoptive father lay in a bloody heap. “No! Father…” Joe cradled the murdered figure, ignoring the blood on his hands.

Big mistake.

At this moment the police burst in. “Freeze! You’re under arrest!”

Joe, unable to think straight, answered in a panicked voice,” I know what it looks like, but I didn’t do it!” He then sprinted away out of the backdoor. This riled the police, who ran after him in hot pursuit.
------------

Joe found himself cornered. The police had surrounded him from all sides except directly behind him, where a rocky cliff led to the ocean. The police tried to calm him down.

“Surrender peacefully and you won’t get hurt!” One yelled on a loudspeaker.

Joe, now fearing for his life, backed away slowly until he nearly slipped on the cliff. He looked down and saw rocks splashing against the ocean waves. He looked down, then gazed at the police.

He stepped forward…

… and suddenly whirled around and took a running start before jumping off the cliff. Like a fallen bird, Joe sailed into the rocky ocean below.

End Flashback-

“When I woke up, I found that I was a cyborg prototype for Black Ghost…”

“Ouch…” Sonic grimaced. He looked to his left and saw the fat man standing there. “Hey, how long have YOU been there?”

“A while, I guess,” He answered, his voice deep.

“I take it you enjoy sunsets, too?” 009 asked.

“To tell the truth, I never got to look at one… But yeah, I enjoy it now.”

Sonic grinned. “Heh, you’re not half-bad!”

The three chatted, unaware of the dodgy old man that walked by. He was short, having tufts of white hari divided by a gaping bald spot. He carried a black umbrella. He looked at the three, saw the fat man, snarled, and started stomping towards him.

Sonic, 009, and the fat man continued to chat until the old man showed up out of nowhere and grabbed the fat one by the ear. “Hey, let’s GO!” His scratchy voice boomed.

“Ouch!” The fat man compained.

“Hey, what’s your problem!” Sonic and 009 echoed.

“WE have business to attend to, and we can’t be late!” The old man shot back.

“Is that it, Igor?” Sonic taunted. Several ideas went off in Sonic’s head, and he grinned malevolently. Mimicking the hunchback old man and the famous assistant Frankenstein the best he could, Sonic mocked, “Are we late for Dr. Frankenstein’s lab! Huh? Hehheh, HEEHEE…”

“Shut up!” The old man shouted, prompting Sonic to stop. However, the hedgehog continued to mock the old man as he continued, “We’re going. Don’t try to stop us.” With that, he left in a huff, dragging the fat man with him. As soon as they were gone, 009 turned to Sonic.

“What was YOUR deal? Why’d you compare that old man to Igor?” He raised his voice at Sonic. He suddenly changed. “Igor was far less ugly.”

Sonic rolled over, laughing hysterically. “That’s a good one,” Sonic said between laughs. 009 slightly chuckled.

“I think we should find the others now,” 009 proffered.

“Good idea,” Sonic concurred, and both of them dashed away.
---------------

Meanwhile, the fat man and the old man hopped into a red car, driven by a shady man, complete with black suit and sunglasses. As the car started down the highway, the sunglasses man said, “The boss is waitin’ to talk to you,” He flipped a switch, and a video screen opened up. It flipped on, showing Black Ghost’s face.

“Have you prepared 0013 yet?” Black Ghost boomed through the connection.

“He’s ready. We’re supposed to meet him at the pier nearby the city warehouses,” the old man answered. “We’re late because I found this oaf at the playground with the 9th prototype and a blue hedgehog!”

“A blue hedgehog! He didn’t engage them, did he?”

“No.”

“Good. If they get suspicious before it’s time, this plan will fail. That hedgehog may not be able to match the speed of 0013, be he’s still a force to be reckoned with. We’ll annihilate him with the prototypes, and the Keyblade brats will soon follow.” Black Ghost shut off the link.

The old man chuckled gleefully at the thought of revenge, while the fat man stirred deeply in thought. He was in no mood to summon his other half against the man and the hedgehog who had treated him so kindly…

----

Rob solemnly skated through the crowded city streets. He felt out of place in a world where the darkness was so feared… and to add insult to injury, he had very little grasp of his dark powers. He glanced at his hand for a moment. Was it still human? Would he still be human after it was all over? The darkness had a way of distorting things…

Rob looked up and to his left to see a flashing sign. Although mostly Japanese, he did see one thing in English, and it was enough to motivate him inside: Arcade.

Nothing like a good round of video games to ease his mind.

As he skated in, three other people followed.

“Coop, are you sure you can leave M.E.G.A.S right there?” A red-haired woman asked. She wore a blue and white futuristic suit, and had a highly toned body not unlike that of Samus Aran. She stared awkwardly at the giant robot parked at the edge of the street. Despite this, it still created mass havoc and traffic jams without even moving.

“Aww, Kiva, relax! It’ll be fine!” Coop answered. The man in question was fat, wearing a large white shirt, red vest, and big boots, and not worried about a thing.

“That’s what you said LAST time, Coop,” Jamie pointed out. Jamie was a stark contrast to Coop. While Coop was fat, he was bone thin. His blue jeans were a tight fit, rather than Coop’s large jeans. He wore a black jacket and had black hair, complete with a blue skull cap.

Coop merely stared at his disbelieving friends before walking into the arcade. They sighed before following.
---------------

Sora glanced cautiously around him. Night had fallen on the flashy city, and even though the city’s bright lights and several friends accompanied him, the feeling that something wrong was about to happen kept knocking on his mind.

“You’re tense, Sora, you should relax,” Beelzemon gave him a hardy pat on the back. He, as well as Jim, Buu, and Conker, had accompanied Sora, and were also on the lookout for possible attacks. However, all they saw were the dazzling lights, the technological wonders, the psychotic robot Heartless attacking people, the endless amounts of cake (which Jim had to use all of his strength to keep Buu from eating.)…

Psychotic robot Heartless!

Sora conjured his Lionheart Keyblade and turned to face the same types of Heartless Rob fought earlier. The grunts and enforcers regarded their opponents before rearing to attack.

“I knew something was wrong!” Sora exclaimed. “But what are these things…? Oh yeah, I’ve got my Scan ability!” Sora simply gripped the Keyblade and “read” what came to his mind. “The small guys are grunts, and the large ones are called Enforcers… They’re driven by destruction; they attack whatever is easiest to destroy.”

“ACTION!” Buu raced forward and smashed an Enforcer with a mighty punch. It reeled back, heavily damaged, but it still recovered for more. “Excellent,” Buu grinned. “Buu needs a challenge,” he lunged forward with another punch.

Jim pulled out a rifle and let the bullets fly. The grunts went down easily with each shot. Beelzemon raced forward and struck down a couple of Grunts with his Darkness Claw technique.

The Grunts finally pulled off a decent attack, firing their laser pistols and forcing our heroes back. That is, until Conker donned his Matrix suit. He went into “bullet-time,” and gracefully dodged the return fire. He shot down the last of them with his pistols. Cockily blowing out the smoke form his gun, he asked, “That was it?”

“Looks like it,” Sora glanced around to see the various people coming out of hiding. “But with this many people, if we suffer another attack, people are going to get hurt.”

“That’s not going to happen,” Beelzemon cracked his knuckles. “We’ll find who’s controlling these things before they get worse.”

Sora walked a bit before stiffening, something… familiar catching his senses. “He’s here.”

“Who’s here?” Conker.

“Rob. He’s close by,” Sora snarled, his natural hatred of the darkness-wielding boy growing.

“I’ve never seen you get this worked up over Rob before,” Beelzemon blinked.

“That was before I learned he’s leaving family behind in his little quest. I’m going to set him straight,” Sora tightened his grip on his Keyblade before sprinting headlong into the place he sensed the boy… in the Arcade.

The other four puzzled over this move, but Buu recognized the Arcade and immediately shouted, “I GO FIRST!”, leaving the others in the dust. The other three immediately pursued Buu inside the arcade.
--------------

“… And then we traveled here!” Maya exclaimed, finishing her story on the group’s adventures so far.

“Uh-huh,” 008 answered. “So this goes beyond Black Ghost…”

“We’re following the Heartless and sealing the Keyholes before they can use them to destroy the planet,” Cloud added. “Black Ghost likely has connections with the Heartless.”

“So that might explain why we’ve been seeing these shadow creations crawling around,” 002 said, “We’ve had a hard time getting rid of them until you guys showed up.”

“That’s the same story we get on every place we visit… that’s why we’re glad to help!” Maya cheered.

“Yeah! The Heartless don’t stand a chance as long as we’re around!” Ash added.

“Easy for YOU to say,” 006 glared at Ash.

003 suddenly froze and tensed.

“What’s going on!” 004 asked, knowing that it was urgent.

003 took a moment, her radar powers going on overdrive. “A large offensive… over 200 of them. They’re coming this way!”

Morbid curiosity took over as Maya and the others rushed to the corner of the street. As 003 said, there was a slow but steady army of Black Ghost cyborgs and Heartless marching towards the city. This apparently caught the attention of the people around them, as they talked and pointed at the advancing wall of shadows.

“This… doesn’t look good…” Tifa blinked.

“Tell me about it!” Ash added. “Call Tails and Eggman! We need to get Sonic and 009 back, and most of all Rob!” Ash dashed backwards towards the ship, only to comically crash into the asphalt.

“Clown!” Maya chided before peeling Ash off the ground. They ran to catch up with the rest of the group.
---------------

Sonic came to a sudden stop at the pier. The sky was slowly becoming red, and Sonic despised the feeling that was coming from that fact.

009 came out of Acceleration. “What’s the matter?”

“Ever have one of those predictable-but-still-awful feelings of something about to go wrong?” Sonic asked.

“Yep. Plenty of them.”

“I’m feeling it right now.” Sonic snarled. “And I don’t have time for it!”

“Heeheeheeheeheee… Oh, but you have plenty of time!” Sonic and 009 turned to see the same old man they saw from earlier. “Well if it isn’t those two clowns I saw at the park today. 009 and Sonic the Hedgehog!”

“It’s Igor again!” Sonic blinked. “And apparently he’s worse news than I thought!” Sonic quickly went into mocking mode. “So Igor… hehheh, are you going to tell us your mad plan to take over the world?”

“Shut up!” The old man snapped. “You can call me the Umbrella Man,” His grin returned as he twirled his namesake umbrella. “And Black Ghost has specifically engineered something to get rid of you! However, I don’t think you’re even worthy of being exterminated by 0013! I can kill you myself!”

“HA!” Sonic taunted. “Whatcha gonna do, Igor, smack us to death with your umbrella, man?”

“No, THIS!” He AIMED his umbrella, and a flurry of bullets shot at Sonic. The hedgehog quickly dodged, taking a sudden sprint and running up to the top of one of the warehouses. So he was surprised when the Umbrella Man appeared right in front of him and smashed him across the rooftop.

Sonic recovered and stared in shock. “Whoa! Not bad, Igor!” Sonic decided to lay on the mockery once again. “Did Black Ghost give you cyborg enhancements, too? Heeheeeheeheeheee…”

“As a matter of fact he DID!” Umbrella man aimed his umbrella and fired more shots, but Sonic dodged and hopped across a rooftop. 009 appeared behind Sonic as the Umbrella Man appeared about eight feet away.

“Tell Black Ghost to stop this madness, or he’ll pay the price!” 009 barked.

“Oh, but the Father at your church paid a BIG price for not listening to Black Ghost!” The Umbrella Man returned. “He refused to lend his adoptive children into Black Ghost’s experiments! That’s why I came one night…”

Flashback

“You understand me, Umbrella Man? I refuse to let my children be a part of Black Ghost’s experiments anymore! I know what goes on now!” The Father stood his ground against the old man.

“That’s too bad. Black Ghost gave an ultimatum, and he sent me to make sure I would see through to it. If you refused to send your children, then…” He quickly pulled out a knife, and without hesitation, stabbed the taller Father in the chest. The man quickly fell into a growing pool of his own blood. The Umbrella Man knocked over several candles, setting the church alight, before calmly leaving the scene.

End Flashback

“I killed the Father!” The Umbrella Man dramatically announced.

Very. Big. Mistake.

009, after a stunned silence, answered with a very dramatic “**** YOU!” and whipped out his laser pistol. A fierce laser blast pierced the Umbrella Man directly in the heart.

Sonic apparently felt 009’s fury, as he dashed over to the wicked man and punched him square in the face before unleashing a high kick that sent the man sprawling to the ground below. The hedgehog looked at the ground below where the old man crashed, and taunted, “Good night, Igor! Hehheh, have fun in your eternal rest!” Sonic tried (and failed miserably) to perfect Igor’s maniacal laughter.

He unfortunately gathered the attention of a white robot that was now staring him in the face. An uppercut sent Sonic several feet in the air before comically crashing into the roof in front of 009. Sonic shook off his pain before yelling, “What was THAT FOR!”

“HA HA HAAA! That was a foolish mistake!” Thus the white robot Sirius gave his answer, and 009 and Sonic stared down their next opponent.
-------------

Rob calmly walked through the crowds, gazing at all of the arcade games. There were games he recognized back home, such as Galaga, but there were some strange ones he’d never seen before.

“Sonic has a FIGHTING GAME modeled after him?” Rob blinked in shock as he recognized the blue hedgehog’s visage beating the crap—err rings out of some strange purple weasel. He continued on until…

“Amazing…” The thing that had caught Rob’s attention turned out to be Super Smash Bros Melee… the arcade game. Finally, a game he was GOOD AT to vent his frustrations! The people crowded around the machine had just dispersed as a previous champion, a girl, shouted in celebration as the loser, a guy, sulked away. Rob was about to co claim his winning streak when a familiar voice rang out.

“Rob! I’m calling you out!” Rob turned slowly to see an angry Sora.

“Aw hell nah… You again!” Rob snarled.

"YOU..." Sora growled, pacing around equidistant from Rob. "While you're on you so-called 'righteous' quest to control the Heartless, you do know some guy by the name of ‘Taz’ is worried sick about you! Do you ever think about the family you left behind!"

"WHAT!" Rob snarled back. With rabid fury he grabbed Sora by the shirt. “WHERE IS HE! IS TAZ ALL RIGHT! HAS HE SEEN THE OTHERS! DID YOU SEE REVEREND MIRA TOO!”

“Okay… I was wrong…” Sora blinked. “I’ll show you the way LATER. And another thing? The Heartless don’t like you.”

“What!”

"Yeah, that's right. The Heartless DON'T LIKE YOU," Sora got in Rob's face. "Right now they're all deranged because they want FREEDOM, and your quest ain't helpin' in that matter!"

"Oh like YOUR noble quest to destroy them is any better?"

"I'M NOT PLANNING TO DESTROY THEM!"

"OH YES YOU ARE!"

"NO, I'M NOT!"

"ARE TOO!"

"ARE NOT!"

"ARE TOO!"

"ARE NOT!"

"ARE TOO!"

"ARE NOT!"

"ARE TOO!"

"ARE NOT!"

"ARE TOO!"

"ARE NOT!"

"ARE TOO!"

"ARE NOT!"

Sora and Rob were about to lunge at each other, but then they noticed the crowd gathered around them. They chanted, “SMASH! FIGHT! SMASH! FIGHT!” in bad “Engrish.” Sora and Rob blinked in confusion before one person calmly pointed to the Smash Bros. Arcade console.

Rob gripped the console, a devilish grin crossing his face. “You’re DEAD.” He taunted Sora. He selected Roy.

“Don’t think so. I may not know this game, but I’ll still beat you!” Sora answered. Sora picked Link.

Two controls stayed empty. However, that stayed true only until Coop noticed…
------------

Sora and Rob faced each other. To them Smash Bros was no longer a game. They weren’t playing Link vs. Roy in an arcade in Tokyo, Japan. It was Rob vs. Sora in Final Destination. The two of them pulled out their Keyblades. Sora still hand his Lionheart, but Rob’s Keyblade had changed greatly. The navy blue/black was now gone, replaced by shining gold. The key hilt didn’t have the normal jagged edges at the end—a sharp Pokémon League insignia replaced it. The hilt had the shape of a Pokéball, as did the dangling end of the chain.

Rob and Sora bared their teeth, ready to destroy each other.

“3…2…1… GO!” The announcer shouted.

Sora and Rob leapt at each other with amazing speed, clashing loudly with the Keyblades. There were no incredibly lame jokes traded this time, they focused instinctively on ripping each other to shreds. Rob brought down his Keyblade in a furious slam, but Sora parried the blow. Sora chanted, “Power!” and unleashed an Ars Arcanum. Rob dodged every swing except for the last, which hit him square on his side, and he tumbled backwards and crashed into the floor. He saw a Pokéball and picked it up.

“Put down the ball, pansy! Nothing will save you!” Sora shouted.

“Wanna bet?” Rob grinned evilly. He had seen enough Pokémon battles to grasp how to throw them. “Pokéball, GO!” Rob threw it at Sora, who stepped back and let the thing fall at his feet.

Big mistake.

A red dragon-looking thing emerged. Its height, flaming tail, and threatening wingspan intimidated Sora, but nothing like its powerful roar. However, this’ creature’s bite was far worse than its bark.

“Charizard,” Rob grinned. Charizard roared and snapped at Sora with his jaws. Sora dodge-rolled out of the way and continued his assault on Rob, figuring he couldn’t harm Charizard. Rob flipped back and struck Sora’s Keyblade, causing the brunette boy to stumble back…

… Right onto Charizard’s flamethrower. The flames burnt Sora’s butt to a crisp, causing the poor boy to run around in panic, and Rob to issue howling laughter. Charizard snorted triumphantly before disappearing.

“ARGH!” Sora roared in pain. He clenched his Keyblade and began to stalk towards Rob. “You… are SO dead.”

“Likely threat, loser,” Rob snarled as he swept his Keyblade to counter Sora’s attack. Sora jumped over Rob and tried to attack him from behind, but Rob had yet again parried the attack down. They clashed blades several times before Sora suddenly jumped back. Rob gripped his Keyblade in anticipation—this couldn’t be good.

“I wanna show you something cool…” Sora smirked evilly. He held his Keyblade in the air. “FORCE!” Before Rob knew it, a dark energy had expanded all over him. He suddenly felt 2000 pounds heavier, up to the point of incredible pain. By the time the spell was over, Rob had been flattened into a pancake. Evil grin still plastered on his face, Sora picked up Rob the Pancake and tossed him out of the ring. “I WIN!” He yelled, celebrating.

Rob-the-Not-a-Pancake-anymore grimaced as he crawled back into the ring. “I… want a rematch.”

“I’ll beat you anytime,” Sora responded cockily.

Round 2
-------

Round 2 went largely the same as Round 1, but Rob suddenly had an idea. “How about I introduce you to a friend of mine?”

“Why not?” Sora sneered.

“All right…” Rob twirled his Keyblade. “If my sister can summon, so can I! Darkness… give me bravery…”

Oh no, Sora thought. He’s got summons! I should’ve figured his powers were similar to mine!

“HOUNDOOM!” Rob bellowed. However, only silence followed Rob’s ritual. Rob stood frozen in his final pose for about 25 seconds before Sora burst out laughing. “What! Dammit Ansem, how come only my sister can do that!”

“You call THAT a summon!” Sora continued laughing. However, he suddenly stopped and grinned evilly. “Meet MY summon… Courage!” Sora felt the energy in his heart, and twirled his Keyblade. “SIMBA!”

The sun pierced the dark arena, and a full male lion, complete with a red, shaggy mane and powerful claws, walked slowly onto the arena. It roared triumphantly, and Rob nearly wet himself. “Give me strength…” Sora said as Simba wasted no time in mauling a squealing Rob to shreds. Simba then spit out Rob’s carcass out of the ring. “I WIN!” Sora cheered again.

Rob crawled from out of the darkness… again. “I hate you.”

“The feeling’s mutual,” Sora flashed Rob a cheeky grin. Simba disappeared.

Round 7
-----

“AHA!” Rob shouted, as he suddenly stopped fighting Sora. “You won’t beat me with THIS!” He grabbed a HUGE black mallet. “This is none other than the Super Smash Bros. Mallet of death! Just two hits and you’re HISTORY!” Rob laughed maniacally as he uncontrollably swung the hammer and ran towards Sora.

Sora, however, kept his calm, and just as Rob was about to rush him, he simply sidestepped and tripped Rob, causing the kid to crash into the ground.

However, he was still holding the hammer, only now he was bashing his own brains in uncontrollably. “I WIN!” Sora cheered for the 7th time. “You know, I don’t think that’s ORIGINALLY from that game… I saw it was from Donkey Kong. You should stop hitting yourself,” Sora grinned. “Stop hitting yourself! Stop hitting yourself!” He mocked.

“I… OW hate… OW you…”

Round 13
-----

Sora’s last words before collision with a Bob-omb, allowing Rob to spike him out the arena and earn his first victory: “I hate my life.”

Round 27
-------

BAM! Rob sprawled on to the floor. Sora had got his mitts on a light-saber, and he had wasted no time in smashing Rob all over the place, reducing the lead Rob had over Sora in health. As Rob bounced back to avoid Sora hitting him out the arena, he shouted, “I hope Darth Vader sues your ***!”

“Who?” Sora blinked. He grinned. “Forget darkness! Come into the light! You know you want to…”

“No way! What next, Bigfoot, you gonna say you’re my father! Already had that cliché since the FIRST EPISODE!” Rob back-flipped again, and landed right next to a motion-sensor mine and a Screw Attack. He grinned and tossed the mine over Sora’s head. He then picked up the screw attack. “Come and get me, Darth Sora!” He leapt, spinning with the screw attack, over Sora, then leapt again to dodge the placed mine. Sora charged towards him. However, he saw the mine and skidded to a stop.

Thank Chaos for backup plans.

Rob immediately smashed Sora with the screw attack, forcing him to spasm and automatically use it. Rob then flipped over the mine, careful not to activate it, and placed a light kick to Sora’s back after he was in range.

“Curse you, Rob!” Sora shouted as he collided with the mine, sending him sailing into the stratosphere. “CCUUURRRSSEEE YYOOOOOUUU!” He disappeared with a ding.

“I love my job.” Rob grinned, twirling his Keyblade. He had earned his 10th victory.

Round 33
-----

“God… dammit.” Rob cursed as the final blast from the Super Scope prepared to blow him across the galaxy.

Round 48
-----

“BURN IN THE FLAMES OF HELL!” Rob bellowed to Sora as Ho-oh circled around to attack.

“Aww, crud…” Sora’s pupils shrank as Rob laughed a maniacal laugh that would’ve scared even Maleficent.

Round 54
-----

Just his luck.

After receiving nothing but a Goldeen and several small foodstuffs, Rob felt sincerely doomed. Sora would win again. For the 28th time. Rob couldn’t let this happen. He was fed up of losing. Just because he was based on a ruthless self-insertion didn’t mean he had to get his butt owned every time he faced the main canon character to balance out weakness! ARRRGGHHH!

“Come back, Rob, all I want to do is BE YOUR FRIEND!” Sora taunted, laughing. Having grabbed a Starman, Sora now flashed with invincibility. He ran towards Rob with the intent of destruction. Rob tensed and got into a fighting stance. He was tired of fighting, losing, and getting to angry to give it up, but…

“HIIIII!” A cheery Larxene stood between the combatants.

“NOT YOU AGAIN!” Sora and Rob bellowed. Realizing they mimicked each other, they said, “You met her before!”

“Indeed,” She laughed. “Here is the world: poor, miserable, and about to decimated by the grandest Heartless Army known to Man… And here are the Keyblade masters, fighting in some silly game. Axel is right; the universe really IS doomed.”

“Shut up,” Sora growled, flipping over her and landing next to Rob. He prepared his Keyblade.

“Just because you clowns have an agenda with us doesn’t mean we’re going to make it easy for you!” Rob bellowed. “Stay out of our way, or be devoured by our Keyblades!”

“Devoured?” Sora gave Rob a look.

“Come on, theatrics scare everybody!”

“Not her.”

“Oh. Dammit.”

“Poor little fools,” Larxene taunted. “You have a job to do. And for once, at least for a little while, it has nothing to do with us. I brought a friend over to make you stop fighting and get back to reality.”

And thus, Sora and Rob screamed liked teenage girls in a horror flick as Coop happily belly flopped on top of them.
--------------

The Keyblade masters snapped back into reality as they saw Link and Roy sail into the distance, defeated by a taunting Bowser. Rob panicked and jumped when he saw Larxene , as Sheik, right next to him, playing furiously and cursing Coop—err Bowser’s near immunity to her attacks. They sighed and turned around—

right into Jim. “Hey you two!” he said. “We’ve got serious business outside, and we need your help!”

“Right!” They both said as they followed Jim outside.
-------------

The reddening sky proved to only add to the foreboding atmosphere, as Sonic and 009 came face to face with the glaring Sirius. The fallen Umbrella Man lay in a forgotten heap somewhere below the factory rooftops.

“What’s your deal! We we’re kicking Igor’s *** just fine until you showed up!” Sonic shot at the white robot.

“I’m afraid that won’t happen. You see, we work for Black Ghost, and I am in no mood to pick up my subordinate’s carcass before I complete the 0013 assimilation!” Sirius answered. “0013 will be the end of all of you!”

“Not if we end YOU first!” 009 flickered into Acceleration mode. He dashed towards Sirius and sent a roundhouse towards the robot. However, Sirius blocked the attack.

“You telegraphed that move, fool!” Sirius bellowed before kneeing the cyborg in the chest and throwing him down into the rooftop. Sonic raced towards the robot, tearing at it with a fierce buzzsaw. However, Sirius merely flew back and launched a rocket, the blast knocking Sonic out of form. “HA HA HAAAAA! You cannot defeat me!”

“We CAN, and we WILL,” Sonic dashed forward. Sirius expected the hedgehog to bounce up in front or behind him, but Sonic jumped UNDER him instead, delivering a screwdriver kick that knocked the robot off balance. Sirius countered with another rocket. Sonic caught the rocket and allowed it to push him back until he landed safely on the rooftop. He then threw it away just as it exploded.

009 recovered. He blurred and aimed his blaster, trying to take down the robot with a flurry of laser fire. Sirius twirled to negate the attack, but 009 then leapt up and smashed him in the face…

…only to have his foot caught. Sirius, using 009’s foot, swung him around and threw him to the ground below. 009 recovered, though, and landed on his feet. Sirius’s visor rose as the robot prepared a super-laser.

“Take this!” Sirius flew after 009, trying to fry him with his red laser. He set the ground on fire in the process, leaving a fiery trail. “Perish under the might of Sirius!”

“You’re full of yourself!” 009 shouted as he ran down the factory grounds. Sonic dashed next 009, keeping even with him.

“I can’t stay close to Mr. Ha ha haaaaa long enough to shut him down! Any ideas?” Sonic asked.

“As a matter of fact I do,” the cyborg answered. “Follow me.” 009 blurred away.

“Aww, man!” Sonic groaned as he increased his speed to try and match 009’s Acceleration.

“Fools! You cannot escape the wrath of Sirius! HA HA HAAAAA!” Sirius increased his own speed as well.

009 came to a power line. “Hope this works…” He aimed his blaster, waiting for Sonic and Sirius to arrive. Sure enough, the two of them dashed on to the scene, Sonic trying to evade the mad robot’s attacks. Sonic saw 009 and rushed towards him.

“Whatever you’re planning, it’d better work,” Sonic muttered under his breath as he raced towards 009 and the power line.

009 saw Sonic coming, and he fired the laser at the middle line. The cable snapped, and the cable fell, swinging towards Sonic and Sirius. “Sonic! Watch out!”

“Whoa!” Sonic saw the cable swing towards him and he dived to the left. Unfortunately, Sirius got the warning as well, and he dodged to the right. The cable missed, and it swung harmlessly away.

“HA! You failed!” Sirius laughed as he launched a volley of rockets at Sonic and 009. They back-flipped out of harm’s way.

Sonic, however, didn’t stop grinning. “You sure about that?”

Sirius looked back to see the loose cable, with all its flowing electricity, coming towards him. His eyes shrank. “This doesn’t bode well.”

And so the power line proceeded to light up Sirius with enough wattage to power a large subdivision of Tokyo.

When it ran out, Sirius twitched violently as the power began to fade. Sonic gloated. “Maybe next time you should pay attention to your power source, eh?”

“Maybe you fools… should have paid… attention… instead,” Sirius faded from the power. “I served as… a mere stalling device… by now our forces are in position… and your precious teammates… are in deep trouble.”

“What!” 009 said. At this, Sonic’s communicator beeped.

“Hello?” Sonic answered.

“Sonic! We’ve got serious problems!” Tails said in urgency. “We need you back, pronto!”

“What? What’s going on?” Sonic asked.

“Black Ghost has launched a direct attack all over Tokyo, and Rob’s NOWHERE IN SIGHT! We need your help!”

Sonic looked back up to give Sirius a death glare, but the white robot was gone. “Dammit!” He turned back to Tails. “We’ll be right there! Maybe I can find Rob!”

“Hurry up! This looks bad…” Tails paled before shutting off the link.’’

“Black Ghost,” 009 grit his teeth. “We’ve got to save this city.”

“I’ve faced worse odds,” Sonic said darkly. “I’m not afraid.”

“I never said I was. Let’s do this."

Legends-Kuja
24th September 2005, 01:36 PM
Episode 15: Friend


"Dude, what's going on?!" Sonic shouted as he and 009 burst inside the Dolphin, the cyborgs' choice of transportation.

"It's bad," 006, the fat man, nodded nervously.

"Just look outside," 005 pointed to a large window. Sonic and 009 looked outside. Sure enough there was a mad flood of Heartless heading towards the city. "Well, crap," Sonic muttered in shock.

"Our odds don't look too good," Ash added. He pulled out a Pokéball as Pikachu climbed on top of his head. "We're going to need everything we got, and we can't find the Keyblade Masters anywhere."

"Why are they swarming in on this city?" 009 asked.

"I can't believe I wasn't smart enough to see this earlier," Cloud muttered. "It's obvious they're after the Keyhole. They're going to swarm the city in hopes of finding it."

"Keyhole?" 006 blinked.

"The Keyhole is the pathway to a world's heart," Cloud explained. "When the Heartless find it, the world is flooded in darkness, and ceases to exist."

"Oh no!" 003 gasped.

"If we don't find it before the Heartless do, we'll be plunged into the darkness as well."

"Dammit!" Sonic cursed, stomping his foot. "This crap's all a front so that Sirius ******* can find the keyhole!"

"What?" 008 asked.

"Yeah, that makes sense," 009 tapped his head in thought. "He mentioned something about 0013."


-

"I'm afraid that won't happen. You see, we work for Black Ghost, and I am in no mood to pick up my subordinate's carcass before I complete the 0013 assimilation!" Sirius answered. "0013 will be the end of all of you!"

-


"This 0013 project... what was it supposed to do?" 008 asked.

"As Sirius said: the end of us," 009 answered.

"I can only guess he's after the keyhole. Either that or stalling until he gets enough power to kill us all," Cloud thought.

"Then we put an end to him first!" Sonic pounded his fist into his open palm. "You guys should look for Rob and that Sora kid! We can stop 0013 before it gets too strong!" Sonic revved up to race away.

However, he heard the voice of 001 shout, (Wait!)

"Uhhh..." Sonic stopped and nearly crashed on top of himself. "Is there something wrong?"

----







009 and Sonic dashed from rooftop to rooftop.



(Black Ghost's minions are all over the place. Neither Keyblade Master is here. If we don't stop this madness, then the entire world will fall to darkness!)



Sonic leapt up and sped down the wall of the building, his feet carrying him in speeds of over 200 miles per hour. He hit the pavement and sped north. 009 continued to follow the hedgehog with the use of his acceleration.



(Sonic, 009, we hope you guys' idea works. I'm not sure why they might pull back if this Sirius you speak of is fully defeated, but seeing as there was hesitation in the Heartless during that power surge, the two of you might be right.)



Sonic took a sudden right, only to come across a flurry of bat-like Heartless with giant red hooks. These Hookwings, however, stood no chance as Sonic shredded them with his buzzsaw attack. The hedgehog didn't slow down at all as he continued his trek towards the suburbs.



(While you guys hunt down the leader, we're going to hunt down the Keyblade masters, and destroy any heartless that get in our way. Word has it a giant robot is in the city somewhere. If we get to it before Black Ghost does, we might have an easier time.)



009 dodged a swipe from a Shadow Heartless as he continued his accelerated drive in an effort to keep up with Sonic. Two NeoShadows leaped out of the ground and began swirling towards the cyborg, but he countered with two perfect shots, killing them both. 009 then dropped down and continued his sprint towards the outside of the city.



(We're counting on you two. Best of luck.)



Sonic and 009 met on an abandoned alleyway. "I actually have no idea of where we're going." Sonic admitted when 009 came to a stop.

"We're on the right track. Tails said Sirius's signal went this way." 009 answered. They were about to sprint off again when they heard something.

(009. Sonic.) A telepathic voice rang out.

"Huh? What's going on?" Sonic blinked.

(Follow my word. You'll find 0013.)

"What if this is a trap?!" 009 shot out.

(You'll have to take the bait and avoid the trap itself. Head down this street and to your left.)

"Nothing to lose if we follow the voice. Let's go," Sonic nodded towards 009, and he flew off in the direction that the voice instructed.

As Sonic hung a left, he heard, (Take a right, and look for the shrine.)

009 grit his teeth as he and Sonic took another right and boosted forward, keeping an eye out for a Shinto shrine. Sonic looked ahead to see a long cement staircase leading up to a Shinto shrine. "There!" Sonic pointed, and he and 009 raced forward, coming to a final stop in front of the cement staircase.

"What's 0013 want here?" 009 asked.

Sonic shrugged. "Beats me."

(Watch out.)

"Huh?!" Sonic blinked, but then saw a Shadow Ball race towards the two of them. He quickly tackled 009 out of harm's way before the powerful darkness could crush them. Quickly bouncing off 009, Sonic shouted, "Hey, what's the big idea?!"

"Prepare for trouble!" One voice shouted.

"And make it double!" Another voice added.

"Aw, crud, not these two clowns again," Sonic muttered.

"To protect the world from devastation!"

"To unite the darkness for our nation!"

"To denounce the evils of truth and love!"

"To extend the darkness to the stars above."

"Jesse."

"James."

"Team Rocket, blasting off at the speed of light!"

"Surrender now or prepare to fight."

"Meowth! That's right!" Meowth concluded, showing his sharp claws. Behind them stood the fat man they had met earlier, a calm smile on his face.

"Feh, at least you guys improved your motto," Sonic grinned. He then dropped his smile and looked at the fat man. "But what I DON'T get is you. What's YOUR deal? You were nice earlier!"

(Don't mind me for now,) The fat man was obviously the person speaking to them telepathically. (Team Rocket wants a show with you.)

"We want a show with you!" Jesse bellowed. "We have new Pokémon we'd like to show you!"

"We've got no time for games! We're looking for 0013!" 009 declared.

"Aw, but you have PLENTY of time. In which we will spend SUBMERGING YOU INTO DARKNESS." Jesse threw her Pokéball first. Out emerged a much darker and more vicious-looking snake than Arbok. "Meet Seviper. He'll be escorting you to your eternal rest."

"See VII PAAAAAAAAA!" The snake lunged at Sonic, who countered by ducking and whipping his foot out to smack the snake out of mid-air. Seviper crashed into the ground, but also whipped its poisonous tail out. Sonic reacted just in time to avoid the tail smashing into him. Seviper reared back and hissed at Sonic before lunging again.

Meanwhile, James laughed as he said to 009, "You can face MY new beauty. Go Cacturne!" James threw out his Pokéball, and it opened up to reveal a demented green creature. It resembled a cross between a scarecrow and a cactus, complete with an empty smile. The creature aimed a limb at 009 before firing a round of needles like a machine gun. 009 blurred past the attack and launched a direct kick to the Cacturne's chest. It flinched, but didn't fall. It reared back its right arm and smashed 009 off the steps. James grinned devilishly.

"Faint Attack." He commanded.

Cacturne disappeared from sight. "Huh?" 009 blinked. However, an invisible force smashed 009 in the face twice before knocking him into the ground. James giggled with glee as 009 continued to suffer severe pummeling from his beloved Cacturne.

As 009 crashed into the ground, Sonic struggled to keep Seviper's fangs off of him. "Ain't goin' so hot. Wanna team up?" Sonic grunted to 009.

"Sure." 009 grabbed Sonic's hand. Using his augmented strength, 009 whipped the hedgehog around, allowing him to deliver a super-powered blow to Seviper, who in turn crashed into Cacturne, and then crashed into James and Jesse. They all crashed into a messy, defeated heap at the top of the stairs.

Meowth blinked, then shuddered. "This don't look too good..." He then sprinted away like a coward, screaming all the way.

"Too easy," Sonic dusted his hands. He then turned to the fat man. "I guess we owe you one... but where's that 0013?"

"Right here," The fat man answered. "I'm 0013."



----

"Umm... Coop?" Jamie ventured. "I'm bored. We played every machine here fifty times, the babes aren't even talking to me anymore," He then showed his empty pockets. "And I don't have anymore quarters! So let's go someplace else."

After victoriously smashing yet another fool into oblivion in Smash Bros. Melee, Coop turned his attention to his thin friend. "Aww, all right! I'm hungry anyway," Coop left his devastated opponent and left with Jamie.

----



"YAH!" Rob sliced down a Neoshadow with his Keyblade.

Sora noticed this as he deflected the laser fire of a nearby grunt. "I've never thought of using my Keyblade like an axe before..." Sora smashed in the head of the grunt with the blunt side of the blade, his usual style of attacking.

"That's because your prongs ain't sharp!" Rob responded as he whipped over Sora's head to bring down one last Shadow. He then turned to Sora, "Your Keyblade isn't so much a blade as it a magical baseball bat. I, on the other hand, don't have the strength you do, so I make up for it by actually using it like a blade." He noted the sudden silence and looked around the empty streets. "Ummm... Sora. Where's your bounty hunter friends?"

Sora took a look around as well, seeing nothing and no one else outside of Rob. "Uhhh..." He turned to Rob, his face betraying his confusion. "Don't know! They were here just seconds ago!"

Rob snarled before letting his shoes rev up. He skated past Sora. "Then let's find them," Sora scrambled behind the relentless teenager as he skated past another round of buildings, the arcade where they had "fought"... Each building was well lit and lively, but the outside streets remained desolate and empty. It almost felt like Hollow Bastion again...

Sora finally stopped when he saw Rob skid to a stop next to the pink Majin Buu. Sora walked a bit further to hear Rob shout at them, "Hey! Where WERE you guys?! You left us alone to kill all those friggin' Heartless..."

Rob's yammering dropped out of Sora's recognition when he saw what the crew was staring at.

A sea of BLACK was heading right towards them. Sora's jaw dropped when he saw the unwavering mass of Heartless stalking towards them. When Rob finally finished his rant, Conker merely pointed, and Rob looked to see.

"Aww ****." Rob's eye began twitching in fear. "Black Ghost was preparing THIS?! We're dead!"

Sora swallowed hard, but formed a bold fighting stance. "Not if *I* have anything to say about it."

"What am *I* afraid of?" Buu blinked. He then assumed his own fighting stance, inspired by Sora. "THESE PUNY THINGS ARE NOTHING TO ME! NOTHING BUT FOOD!"

"These things ain't settin' foot inside the city," Jim Raynor cocked a rifle. "Not while I'm still alive."

"I'd say they're screwed," Beelzemon readied his Berenjena.

"I'm not dyin'! Not while I can still get rich!" Conker took a stance as well.

Rob, assured by the other fighters, regained his confidence. "Hmph. I think we'll be living today." He took a fighting stance, leering at the army slowly moving towards the city.

The Heartless suddenly swarmed forward. This planet's true Heart would be theirs. Nothing would stop them.

Our heroes ran forward, weapons ready, minds confident, ready to sacrifice themselves if need be. The Darkness would not succeed.

Sora whipped his Keyblade back, ready for a first strike.

Rob let out a battle cry as two Heartless bounced up to meet him. He whipped up his Keyblade, ready to bring them down...

And then a giant metallic foot stepped down, crushing the entire front wave before anyone could reach it.



Rob comically crashed into the back of the foot. Sora later said he looked rather funny, although Rob never let him complete that thought before several whacks to the head. Rob slid off and floated to the ground like a piece of forgotten paper, as the rest of the warriors stared blankly at the giant robot's anti-climatic entrance. It walked on, not even noticing as it devastated Heartless armies and tall buildings alike.



----



"Hey guys, did I just feel something?" Coop asked as he piloted Megas out of Tokyo.

"It must've been big for you to feel it, Coop," Jamie quipped.

"There was supposedly a Heartless invasion of this city earlier today," Kiva answered. "But I don't see a thing. Megas appears to be fine. No external damage."

"Oh well," Coop shrugged it off. He then thought of something. "Wonder where those two kids with the giant keys went. Maybe they kicked the Heartless out?"

"Sounds like the Keyblade Masters, Coop," Kiva added. "And most likely they did succeed. But Coop, we still need to do more training. Who knows when the Heartless will strike next?"

"Awww Kiva! Relax! The Heartless aren't any threat... But if you say so, I'm bored now..." Coop continued to pilot Megas out of city limits before flying off into space.



----


Our heroes continued to stare blankly as the giant robot left. Even as the 00 cyborgs, Maya, Ash, Cloud, and Tifa came on the scene, they didn't move. The newcomers stared at the hulking behemoth of a robot.

"COOOOOOOOOOOOOOL!" Maya marveled.

"It's terrible! It's knocking down just as many buildings as it is Heartless!" 003 pointed out.

"****, I want that robot," 002 muttered. When he saw that 003 heard this regardless, he hastily "corrected" himself. "Uh... I mean that robot is bad news."

Ash heard his stomach rumble. "If I knew that thing was gonna save us the bother on the Heartless, I would've stopped for lunch. Awwwwwwwwwwww man..." He looked around the stunned group. "Hey, anyone seen Sonic?"



-----







Both of our heroes' eyes' shrank in shock. "Wait...YOUR 0013?!" Sonic pointed disbelievingly.

He nodded. "If you want to stop the Heartless invasion, you'll have to sever the link between me and my robotic half."

"I don't like this..." 009 said. "You were nice when you were with us. Why change on us now?"

"It wasn't my idea, but seeing this world's inevitable doom isn't making things better," 0013 walked somberly up the stairs. 009 and Sonic followed as 0013 continued. "I thought there might still be hope for this planet to survive. I wish that you would give me that hope." He came to a stop. Sonic and 009 went forward until they were on the opposite side, equidistant from each other.

"I don't want to do this," 009 nearly pleaded.

"I understand... but we must do this anyway," 0013 answered.

Sonic merely grit his teeth in frustration. He held on to 009's hand in hopes of being able to keep up with them in Acceleration mode.

Both cyborgs clicked their teeth.

Both rocketed in Acceleration Mode. Sonic bounced off 009 and circled behind 0013; should he stop moving, he would slow down and be unable to assist 009 without a chaos emerald.

0013 struck first. With blinding speed he smashed 009 in the gut, forcing him to crash down on the rooftop. Sonic moved in for a punch, but the fatter cyborg merely swept his foot in a roundhouse and sent Sonic careening over to the other side.

Sonic recovered quickly, trying his best to keep moving. 0013 circled around 009, leaving after images effortlessly. 009 tried to smash him with an overhead kick, but 0013 blocked his move. The faster cyborg grabbed 009 and threw him across the rooftop. Sonic dodged his friend and sailed in for a kick.

He struck 0013 perfectly in the stomach.

Unfortunately, he hardly appeared affected.

"Aw, sh-" Sonic cursed before a slightly smiling 0013 punched Sonic and sent him crashing into the ground below. The hedgehog felt his head rushing fiercely before he started to slip out of acceleration mode. "No!" He cried as he tried to speed up to avoid falling out of sync with the cyborgs. He succeeded and zoomed up the rooftop to where he saw 0013 and his after images thrashing 009. Sonic ran forward and started punching wildly, trying to avert the attention of the 0013s running around.

Meanwhile, Jesse tried to recover from her beating. "Meowth! You spineless coward! Get BACK HERE!"

"And fight those speedy lunatics?! NO WAY!" Meowth shouted from a corner. "Not to mention my ears hoit like th' dickens! Their runnin's making this high pitched frequency I can't stand!"

"Meowth, if we don't find a way to stop them their high-pitched squealing will make ME go mad!" James complained.

"FINE!" Meowth howled before pulling a powerful yet random slash.

About 2 seconds later, 009 and Sonic crashed into a stop, and 0013 stopped mere centimeters away from Meowth's attack.

His left side was bleeding.

0013 turned slowly and glared at the cat. "This... is not... your fight." He grabbed a squealing Meowth and threw him into the defeated heap of Team Rocket, causing all five of them to careen into the sky.

"We're blasting off AGGAAAIIINNNN!" Team Rocket whined before disappearing with a *ding*.

The three remaining fighters stared mutely at each other, tired from their fighting. However, 0013 perked up and saw something on the horizon.

Flying towards them with breakneck speed was the white robot Sirius.

"YOU!" He tackled 009, trying to crush the cyborg with his bare hands. "CURSE YOU. 0013... help me FINISH HIM!"

Sonic was about to strike down the robot, but 0013 held up his hand. The cyborg walked resolutely towards the struggling duo...

...and grabbed Sirius intead.

Electricity surged between the two of them as Sirius strained against 0013's grip. 009 had long sprinted away. "What... are you doing?!" Sirius's robotic blue eyes shrank.

"What I should've done... A long time ago," 0013 increased his grip.

"0013! Please!" 009 shouted. "You don't have to sacrifice yourself! You could help us! We can still be friends!"

0013 looked at 009 and smiled softly. "I would love to... but I cannot betray Black Ghost... not without dying." And with that, his features turned into pure rage as he focused back on Sirius.

The electricity began to tear apart the robot. "NOOOOOOOOO!" Sirius shouted in pain, anger, and desperation.

009 had to click into acceleration mode and sweep Sonic away as the white robot was terminated from existence with a furious explosion.

The sudden silence afterwards fell upon our heroes as they wearily trekked back to where the remains of 0013 were. Surprisingly, he was still breathing. 009 walked somberly towards the fallen hero, Sonic close behind him. "0013?"

"009... Sonic... thanks for... giving my life... meaning..." He strained to talk, his breathing was shallow, he was shutting down. His body was charred from the explosion.

Sonic smiled sadly. "Dude, that's crazy talk. Your life always had meaning."

"I wish... I could... agree..."

"0013... we never even knew your true name," 009 said.

"Joe..." 0013 responded. "My name is... not important... in fact... it's long... forgotten. Don't worry... about... me..." He took his last breath and fell into eternal slumber.

Sonic and 009 stared in silence for what seemed an eternity, their eyes beginning to water. A sudden voice snapped them out of their sad reverie. "Sonic! 009!"

Sonic and 009 turned to see a much happier Rob running towards him. Alongside him was Sora, smiling slightly. "Looks like you guys won." Rob got closer. However, he saw Sonic and 009's somber faces. "What's wrong?"

"The purveyor of all this turned out to be a new friend of ours..." 009 sighed.

Sora stepped forward. He gasped when he saw the charred remains of 0013, "I guess this is him."

"I'm afraid we can't stick around for the funeral," Rob said. "We still haven't located the keyhole, and I have to visit someplace."

"Don't worry," 009 answered. "I'll give him the proper burial." He turned to Sonic. "Thanks... for helping out."

"No problem," Sonic gave 009 a thumbs-up. "You were awesome."

"Maybe one day we'll cross paths again," Rob said solemnly. "Until then, farewell."

"Goodbye," 009 said to the three of them as they walked down the stairs towards the rising moon. Turning back to 0013, he said, talking mostly to himself, "It's not fair to leave you here. I wish I knew where to bury you..." However, he suddenly got an idea. He picked up the fallen cyborg and disappeared into an accelerated flash.


-----

"Black Ghost!" Riku called out, fading into solid form from his teleport. The silver-haired teen walked through the darkened palace that once served as Sirius's home base. "I came for someone who belongs to US." Riku bellowed. He then added sardonically, "Are we quite finished yet?"

"What makes you think you can just barge in the sanctimony of the mind of Black Ghost?" The villainous Black Ghost faded into existence not 20 feet from Riku. The darkness inside the room shielded all from sight except the wicked leader, the Chaos Saint, and a few green lights. "Nevertheless, you come seeking the girl called Clara. She is not here."

"My new boss told me she'd be here," Riku met the glare of the man in black. "Where is she?"

"You need not worry, Riku. She is being delivered as we speak," Black Ghost walked towards Riku. "I have to hand it to Slade. Although brainwashing her was my idea, I was surprised that Slade held such a strong effect on the girl. The Cygnus fool doesn't stand a chance." He stopped about three feet in front of Riku.

"What did you do to her?" Riku asked in wonder and disgust.

"My technology allowed me to create her into a cyborg. What would be a better weapon against a man than a woman he cares about, defiled and loathing his existence? He'd be utterly defenseless."

Riku contemplated alerting Sora and his friends of Black Ghost's trick, but alas, the Chaos Saints would not approve, not to mention that the plan had enough holes in it already. "Something tells me that your little plan won't work," Riku smirked, betraying his troubled conscience. "but hey, whatever floats your boat."

"You must be a Chaos Saint..." Riku turned around to see Giovanni. The neatly groomed man walked in, and alongside him was the girl Riku was looking for. The meek Clara was wrapped in chains, unresisting against Giovanni's pull. "Not just any Chaos Saint, but the purveyor of Darkness. Captain Hook and Hades told me about you. You would be excellent among our ranks."

"Been there, done that, no thanks," Riku declined Giovanni's offer. "Besides, Captain Hook wouldn't take too kindly to me, I kicked his *** earlier."

"You make a good point," Giovanni shrugged. He gently pushed Clara forward. "Here, I believe this is yours?"

Clara shuffled her feet as she came closer to Riku. Unfortunately, having the upper half of her body wrapped in chains didn't do well for her balance, so she tripped and fell. Riku reacted quickly and caught her. At this, Giovanni continued. "You don't need to set her free. She's strong enough. Her employer requested her added strength."

Riku blinked, then stared at the young girl in his arms. He sort of knew Oni wanted her to have the Black Ghost modifications to secure her place in the Chaos Saint circle as the mistress of metal, but why the villains had done something was still beyond him. She stared back. No hate, no paranoid fear, just submissive and shaken, as if she were cold. "I don't think murderers have those eyes..."

"Doesn't she? But see what happens when you mention the name 'Cygnus.'" Giovanni grinned. Riku look at her again. At once, she sprung free of Riku's grasp and exploded out of her chains. Her eyes had a hateful glow, and once Giovanni produced a picture of the boy in question, blades emerged from her arms as she mercilessly tore the picture to shreds. "She understands her directive. As long as she follows it, she's free."

"Hmph." Riku scowled, marching over to the meek-once-more Clara, grabber her, and disappeared into the darkness.

"It's going as planned," Black Ghost said to Giovanni, "Darkside said his son's a ticking time bomb of darkness. Whether Clara fails her objective or not, the dark child will be driven mad at the prospect of losing his family to evil. The Keyhole will be complete, and this world will fall."

"Excellent," Giovanni smiled. "I give this planet 24 hours to live."

Legends-Kuja
26th September 2005, 11:12 AM
The last two episodes. FOR TEH WIN.

Episode 16: Even Deeper

“Here it is…” Sora came to a stop against the large double-doors of the mansion.

“Whoa… TAZ owns this place?!” Rob blinked, looking upon the mansion in slack-jawed awe.

“Yeah,” Sora looked over the looming building, not forgetting his own fascination with it. “At least, that’s what he said. A time warp sent him straight into Kingdom Hearts.”

“Kingdom Hearts? Uhhh…what’s that?” Maya asked as she suddenly appeared behind them.

“The Heart of all worlds,” Sora answered calmly, ignoring Rob’s sudden flinch of surprise. “Where the darkness lives and the light escapes into the worlds. Taz said some technology allowed him to shape Kingdom Hearts and the End of the World into this mansion. Maybe that’s why the Chaos Saints were so adamant about meeting here…”

“Chaos Saints?” Rob whirled around, glaring at Sora. “What the hell do they want? That Axel guy, that blond ***** that keeps mocking us…”

“Chaos Saints? Who are they?” Maya asked.

Both Rob and Sora turned to stare at Maya. She stared back, perplexed. “What? I’ve never seen these ‘Chaos Saints’ you keep talking about. Although there was that one guy…”

“What guy?!” Sora and Rob shot at the same time.

Maya jumped back a bit at the desperate tone in their voice. “Hey! All I know is that some hooded guy swept in while I was trapped on that Kagato guy’s ship and he started blabbing about the power of chaos, the end of darkness and light…”

“I get it,” Rob interrupted. “Sounds like them. Sora,” He turned to the chocolate-haired boy. “You think Taz might know some more about these guys?”

“Maybe… he didn’t seem to want to tell me much about them, though,” Sora shrugged. He grinned. “It’s worth a shot.”

“All right, then! Let’s just go,” Rob shoved his hand forward, giving him a head start in pushing the giant doors open. The three of them walked inside.

-------

“Hello?!” Rob called out, scanning the empty halls of the mansion. “Taz? WHERE ARE YOU?”

“Shut it, Rob,” Sora chided, walking at slower pace than the dark boy. “This mansion’s huge. So in all likelihood, Taz will find you first.” Sora paused suddenly; an idea had begun to form in his head. He suddenly plowed ahead and raced up the stairs.

“Whoa,” Rob flinched as Sora passed him, before revving up his shoes and skating to catch up to him as well. “What’s the rush?”

“Taz might know where the keyhole is,” Sora answered, trying to pick up speed as he dashed through another set of doors. Rob and Maya both followed in hot pursuit.

“I thought you just told me that Taz was more likely to find US first,” Rob skated alongside Sora, a grin playing on his lips.

“Well, I changed my mind!” Sora resolved as he rushed ahead; however, Rob simply skated, allowing him to keep up with Sora easily.

Maya, on the other hand…“HEY! Wait for MEEEEEEE!” She wailed, struggling to keep up.

------

“Th-that is not advisable, Miss Oni!” a panicked Vexen gibbered. “The girl is still very much unstable!” The scientific Chaos Saint and the seraph were elsewhere in the mansion inside a living room with a giant table. As Riku had returned with the 9th Chaos Saint, she immediately released her to do as she pleased.

(Better for her to vent her instability now than when it could actually cost us,) Oni’s double-voice answered coolly. (Besides, there is little need to worry. It is highly doubtful that both she and her target won’t emerge alive. Black Ghost’s silly plan was only to serve as a catalyst to the dark boy’s descent into darkness.)

“Didn’t you say BOTH Keyblade masters had to be alive in order for the Chaos Angel to show up?” a very irritated Riku snapped from the corner of the room, where he sat in sulky silence.

(Your angry façade is amusing, but I can tell you’re only worrying about Sora), Oni’s malicious grin widened. (Don’t. He’s one of our most critical pieces. Sora’s power over the light has already been awakened. The dark boy, however, needs a bit more coercing.)

“What do you mean by that?” Riku raised an eyebrow, not sure he liked the sound of that.

(You’ll see, my dear boy, you’ll see.) And with that Charlotte/Oni left the room.

--------

Sora burst through yet another door, coming across a large, empty foyer. He skidded to a stop, looking around.

“It’s… too quiet around here,” Sora commented quietly, as Rob burst through the doors and skidded to a stop alongside him. The elder Keyblade master noticed a complete lack of… life around this mansion. No Heartless, no Vivi, no Taz… not even a single encounter with the Soulless. He felt a faint touch of darkness…

…and turned to see Rob, his face etched in a deep caricature of consternation. Sora would’ve laughed at the comic expression on his face had Rob not spoken the following words: “It reminds me of home.”

“Of course it does, Taz influenced this place…” Sora answered. He then remembered back to the family portrait he’d seen upon entering the mansion. “Do you two live together?”

“Yeah,” Rob answered. “Me, my sister, Taz, Ken, Charlotte, Clara, and our adoptive parents. We did a lot together… we managed the church, we went traveling, we did so much… but lately, we’ve been drifting apart.” Rob’s mind drifted back to distant memories.

“I don’t know what happened, but once the Heartless appeared on Earth, things became tense around the house… the church as well.” Sora listened as Rob continued, “We all feared that one day our house would be gone, too. Devoured by the Heartless, just as so many other places had been. There were fights between siblings, Charlotte was becoming more sadistic than normal… but there was never anything strong enough to push everyone away.” Rob smiled slightly at this fact. Unfortunately, the expression faded almost as swiftly as it appeared. He turned to Sora with a snarl as he continued. “Maybe I’ve been oblivious to it like my sister, but since then we have grown… hateful of each other. My older “brother” Ken betrayed us, thinking we would be too dangerous with the Keyblade. Charlotte is now possessed by some form of a psychotic angel… and Team Rocket kidnapped Clara…” he clenched his teeth. “No TELLING of what evils they’ve done to her. All I want is for us to be together again! All I want is to GO HOME!” With those words, a dark aura resonated from his heart so strongly that even Sora felt it.

“Calm down!” Sora shouted. “You’ll find a way to reunite your family… I promise! I’ll even help!” He added resolutely.

“Thanks, Sora,” Rob smiled sadly.

“There you are!” The door swung open, almost in indignant pain as Maya stomped towards the two of them. “I can’t believe you two were such meanies and lost me!”

“Meanies?” Sora suppressed a giggle.

“I guess you don’t care about me at all, do you?” Maya pouted. It didn’t last long --almost instantly shifting to prideful boasting. “That’s too bad, because I found Taz!”

“You did? Where?” Sora and Rob asked in unison.

“Right here,” Taz stepped out from behind the girl, a congenial smirk on his face. “I take it you’ve missed me?”

“Taz!” Rob shouted with glee as he raced towards his old friend/family member, squashing him in a tight bear hug.

“Easy on the lungs, mate,” Taz strained; Rob was (unwitting, Taz hoped) crushing his lungs.

Rob let go and backed away slightly. “Since when have you gone with the British accent, man?”

“Since I’ve been here. I always wanted one,” Taz shrugged, the smirk still plastered on his face. Rob rolled his eyes. “Now, mate, you could do well and tell me what the hell took you so long. This bloke here has even less sense of direction than you do and he STILL beat you,” He jerked his thumb in Sora’s direction.

“Hey!” Sora cried indignantly. Maya giggled.

Sora straightened himself haughtily. “Where is everybody? Vivi? Peter Pan? And didn’t Sara sneak back here?”

“Lesee here,” Taz thought aloud as if checking off a grocery list. “Vivi went back to his home world, said something about ‘a new friend’, Peter Pan went to go chat with Wendy again, and I ain’t seen Sara for more than five seconds before she threatened to rip my lungs out if I told you where she’d gone.”

“Okay,” Sora nodded, somewhat satisfied. He’d have to heckle Sara on a later date the Keyhole was top priority. “Speaking of sense of direction, you wouldn’t happen to know in which general direction the Keyhole was, would you?”

A mischievous sparkle shone in Taz’s eye. “I believe I might have some idea. Follow me, my duckies.” He marched over to a door on the left, seizing the handle and rushing inside.

Sora and Rob exchanged glances before following him. Maya shrugged resignedly, before also tailing the other three.

----

As she watched them go, she felt a pang of sadness clench her heart. There they were, hopeful in their ability to save the world, and probably oblivious to the fact that she existed anymore. The man known as Slade had promised her her life back, free of these defilements installed by Black Ghost, if only she would destroy her adoptive brother. It was no easy task, and at first she refused, but only after Slade made it clear that Rob would doom the world did she agree. If only to make the job easier, she focused her hatred on her target. Perhaps despising him would make it easier.

Steeling herself for the task ahead, Clara silently followed the four of them.

----

“You know, I’ve noticed the distinct lack of other people around you, mate,” Taz commented to Rob as he led the small group down a flight of stairs into a deeper part of the mansion. “You can’t be that anti-social, seriously?”

“What’s THAT supposed to mean?” Rob retorted.

“We’re not anti-social! We have lots of friends!” Maya chirped. “There’s Sonic the Hedgehog, Cloud, Tifa…”

“Sonic?! As in THE Sonic the Hedgehog?” Taz gaped, amazed that Rob would have befriended such an unusual celebrity.

“How many other Sonics are there?” Rob countered, a rare grin lighting his face.

Sora simply listened as the other three chatted on, catching up with each other like old friends. The elder Keyblade Master looked around, trying to find—or even sense the presence of—the Keyhole. They seemed no closer to finding it than they had when they’d arrived. Did Taz really know where the Keyhole was?

“Umm Taz?” Sora gestured, looking around and spotting an all too familiar Heartless crest. “I don’t think we’re in Earth’s section of the Mansion anymore…”

Sora suddenly stopped.

A feeling of malevolence washed over him.

“Sora, what’s wrong?” Maya asked, blinking.

“I feel like we’re being watched…” Sora trailed off.

Rob must have felt it too, his body tensing in response. “We’re… being followed?”

At this revelation, their stalker found it useless to hide any longer. She walked out into the open…

And everyone except Sora dropped their jaws in shock as Clara walked somberly into view. The girl in question looked no different on the outside than she did several weeks ago when all this began. The same pleasantly cute face and shoulder-length brown hair still greeted them. The same casual style of dress she always wore (Khaki pants plus blouse) still adorned her small frame, surprisingly neat and tidy.

“…Clara?” Rob ventured.

For a moment, Rob saw what was distinctly different, distinctly evil about her… her eyes were different. Modified like a robot’s, looking positively murderous…

In the span of a single second, Clara swept forward with a concealed blade and attempted to slice Rob in half.

She missed only by a mere inch.

“Wh-what are you doing?” Rob gasped in shock as Clara whipped around and tried to slice him again. This time his Keyblade was ready, as he blocked Clara’s second attack. No doubt his heart would’ve been pierced had he been just half a second too late. “Wh-why are you trying to kill me?”

“You ruined my life!” Clara stabbed down again, and Rob deflected the attack once more.

“Clara, this isn’t like you!” Maya shouted. “Why are you doing such mean things?”

“Yeah! Umm.. what she said!” Taz added.

“I… I want my life back…” Clara replied with perfect calm as she used her attached blades to slash at Rob again. The boy tried furiously to block her assault, barely succeeding. Clara pivoted on one foot and leapt into the air with unnatural grace. Twirling her body, she slashed powerfully with the gleaming blades, very nearly leaving a deep gasp across Rob’s shoulder.

“Urgh!” Rob crumpled under the blocked attack. Clara landed and swept a foot into his chest, knocking him backwards with unnatural strength. Rob strained to get up. “What’s wrong with you?! What did Team Rocket do to you?”

“Look at me!” Clara cried, showing her arm and revealing her veins, now very obvious and metallic. The blades were still jutting from her skin. “I’m not even human anymore! I’ve been turned into a cyborg!”

“What?!” Rob gasped. Just like those cyborgs he met that had been melded from Black Ghost…

“They told me you were going to destroy the world! Leave me and all of our friends ugly and defiled by the darkness forever!” Clara declared, hunched in a fighting stance.

“That’s a lie ‘they’ told you and you know it!” Sora suddenly challenged the girl, his Keyblade ready. “That doesn’t give you any reason to kill your family!”

“I can’t even FACE my family anymore!” Clara raged, nearly sobbing. “He’s the only thing standing in the way… then I can see them again… and not be cursed by this… ugliness!”

“How can you be so shallow?” Sora asked, growing more disgusted with this girl.

“Just get out of my way…” Clara hopped into the air, curling herself into a ball. In this form she charged towards Sora.

Ignoring the strange sound effects of this equally weird attack, Sora jumped up and swung his blade and knocked Clara out of the sky. Unfortunately, he learned too late of what those sounds were.

A flurry of tiny rockets zoomed towards Sora, and before the boy could react, the rockets pummeled him against the ground with rapid explosions.

Clara turned on her heel and headed towards the cringing Rob again with a Stomp Stomp STOMP STOMP.

Taz and Maya, however, had enough. Maya went first, twirling a dagger before she screamed “Thunder!” A bolt of lightning struck Clara, harming her and causing some of her implanted circuits to sizzle slightly. Taz then whipped out his magic-based shotgun, firing at her with a powerful blast. He cringed visibly at the loud TWANG the projectile made when it struck Clara’s chest.

“Whoo, she really IS a cyborg,” Taz commented under his breath.

Clara snarled as she stood up again. “See? SEE?! Look at what’s happened to me! How ugly I’ve become! And this is only the beginning!” She leapt towards Taz and smashed him with a powerful roundhouse. Taz was sent careening into a pile of boxes that scattered everywhere upon impact.

“Ow.” Taz stated. Another box promptly hit him on the head, adding insult to injury.

“Soon this whole WORLD will be ugly! Twisted by darkness…!” She unsheathed her blades from her arms again and charged towards Maya. The older girl attempted to block the young Clara’s attacks, failing miserably. Clara swung the blade in wide arc, leaving a large gash along Maya’s side.

“Augh!” Maya crumpled to the ground, tears welling up in her eyes.

Rob stood up. His teeth clenched. His feelings were an incoherent jumble, although the one thing he was certain of was burning rage . His darkness growing ever stronger…

And then he spoke, his hatred apparent in both his neon orange eyes and his speech. “If you so desired to purify the world, you should have joined Brother Blood,” His voice was low, almost guttural.

Stomp Stomp STOMP STOMP STOMP. Rob’s Keyblade was out, and before Clara had even the chance to react, a powerful slice severed quite a bit of her chest. “You have the gall to kill your own family!” SLICE! “To believe all that CRAP Black Ghost told you!” SCHHHINK! “You… you aren’t Clara anymore! Just some HOLLOW SHELL to torment me and all those I CARE ABOUT!” SLICE!

The darkness was racing through his veins, driving every move he made; Rob aimed his Keyblade. “DIE, **** YOU!” The finishing blow came in the form of an almighty blast of darkness that hit the girl squarely in the chest, sending her back a good twenty feet. Clara fell to her knees, her head hung over, almost as if she were dead.

Without warning, she began to rise again. She floated in the air, a great amount of heat gathering around her body. She screamed in fury as the heat seemed to incinerate her, exploding with power.

“Clara!” Maya cried. “No!”

The resulting attack knocked our heroes askew, but Rob only clenched his teeth as he slid back from a near-unsuccessful block.

The explosion faded.

All was quiet.

Clara was gone. No body, not even any ashes.

“Clara…” Maya whispered.

“She was gone before we even saw her again…” Rob muttered. “That… THING couldn’t have been Clara.” The darkness flowing through him continued to gain power, in spite of the battle having ended.

In turn, so did Sora’s light… and that light was loathing the darkness in that moment. “What’s wrong with you?” Sora challenged. “To go and… and do that to her like that! Ever think there could be a better solution?!”

“There was no better solution…” Rob’s face contorted into a lopsided, dark grin. “It was either her or us. I would’ve preferred to go with her, anyway. She was a whiny, selfish brat.”

“What’s gotten into you?” Maya pleaded with her twin brother. “You’re… being twisted!”

“Is that it, huh?” Rob’s grin fell, nearly feral rage taking it’s place. “Was SHE right?! Was she right to kill ME?! Was she right to try and kill us ALL over FALSE LIES?!”

“You’re totally twisted, mate,” Taz added, still weak from his trip to Boxing Land.

“Look at you! You sound just like Ansem!” Sora bellowed. “You’re going into the
darkness with no respect for those around you! Just like he did!”

“Shut up,” Rob snarled, his tone laced with acid.

“You’re going out of control. Let me help you!” Sora aimed his Keyblade.

“Oh NO you won’t,” Rob bellowed. “You and your stupid light! Thinking you’re better than me… or the rest of the world! All of the ignorant shall taste DARKNESS!” With that, Rob lunged, hatred gleaming in his eyes.

Sora, however, was faster. Recalling his light spells, Sora let loose a concentrated beam of holy energy squarely into Rob’s heart.

“AUGH!” Rob doubled over in immense pain. The darkness was now swirling about him, giving him a far more wicked aura. He looked up at Sora with hateful eyes. “C-c-curse… you…” And with that, Rob disappeared in a muddled flash of darkness.

Sora and Maya stared blankly, both refusing to acknowledge Rob’s fate. That is, until they spoke.

“Things are going so wrong…” Maya sniffled. “M-maybe they’re right. Maybe Rob IS going to doom the world.”

“No… it can’t be…” Sora sighed, before gritting his teeth in determination. “I’m going to see to that.” He turned to Maya. “I promise… we’ll get him back.” He turned to follow Rob’s trail. “Maya… tell the others to get off this planet. Get all of them off. I’ll seal this world on my own. Should I fail…” He swallowed hard and tried not to think about the alternative. “Find Kairi. She lives on Destiny Islands. She’s a princess of Heart. Maybe she can help in all this...”

“B-but,” Maya stuttered.

“Don’t worry about me. I’ll get your brother back. I’ll help you guys piece together what’s left of your family. It’s my promise to you… and your brother,” Sora steeled himself. “The Mansion of Souls may be safe, but Earth isn’t! Get as many people off as you can! Call the Titans! I’ve got this! GO!” With that, Sora sprinted off deeper into the mansion. Maya reluctantly turned and sprinted in the direction from which she’d come. She resolved not to think about her brother. Couldn’t allow herself to think about him, because then her own heart would shatter.

“Ummm, guys? Guys? Maybe you can help me?” Taz called weakly, still sprawled in the mess of boxes littering the floor. Another box smacked against his forehead. Somehow, he had the feeling he’d never feel the same way about artificial packaging ever again. “On second thought, I’ll just take a nap…” Taz muttered to himself as he slowly drifted into unconsciousness.

Only moments later, a being faded back into existence. Clara slumped to the ground, entirely exhausted of all strength. Such an attack had only caused her to fade out of existence for a mere few seconds, but she was foolish enough to try and hold it for five minutes. Lying on the ground, she was helpless as a red-haired guy calmly walked in.

Seeing the fragile girl lying helplessly on the floor, Axel chuckled inwardly. He scooped her up in his arms.

“I… I failed…” Clara whispered, tears streaming through her eyes. “I was so… weak. Ugly.”

“On the contrary,” Axel responded. “You were perfect. You don’t have to worry about those guys. It’s all part of the plan. Black Ghost gave you something without even realizing it.”

“What’s that?”

“Unbreakable will,” Axel’s grin softened, but didn’t disappear. “Come with me. Not that you have a choice. I’m sorta late for a meeting with King Mickey and the Knucklehead.”

Still cradling Clara, he walked out of the room

-----


“King Sephiroth…?” Goofy asked. “Where ya goin’?”

“I have urgent matters at the Mansion of Souls. I must meet with your king,” Sephiroth strode past Goofy.

Donald, upon hearing this, rushed past Goofy and slid to a stop in front of the king. “Take us with you!”

“Out of my way,” Sephiroth simply swept his sword at Donald and kept on walking, ignoring the fact that Donald dodged his attack unscathed. “This business is not for the two of you.”

“Hey, you said King Mickey was going to meet us here!” Donald shot back.

“A change of plans,” Sephiroth calmly answered. “Something has come up. Your friend Sora could be in danger.”

“What?!” Donald exclaimed.

“We need to go help!” Goofy added, walking to stand beside Donald.

”Not very wise,” Sephiroth answered. He pulled what looked like a Gummi from his pocket and tossed it over to Donald. “Take this Navi Gummi and head to the planet it indicates. Wait there.”

“Why?!” Donald asked.

“You’ll see when you get there. Your time to act will soon come,” Sephiroth continued on his way and disappeared beyond the castle.

-----

“N-no… darkness…” Rob stumbled through random rooms of the mansion. The darkness was taking over quite easily, thanks to his terrible mess of emotions. All his friends turning on him, having to kill Clara… it was all in a shambles, the shards of his life scattered, and he couldn’t decipher it. So he kept calling for the only thing that made sense to him. “D-d-darkness…” Everything was a blur. The tears, the hatred, all of that produced nothing save one big haze as he blindly wandered the halls.

And suddenly, he heard it.

Or rather, her.

Darkness.

“Huh… who… what are you?”

Shame Bob, you’ve already forgotten me.

Plunging your heart into that silly darkness of yours.

Rob slowly turned around to see Charlotte, as calm and sadistic as ever. Her four wings were folded behind her, “Charlotte… hate… you. All… your suffering and… I… hate… you…”

(Suffering?) Her double-voice was now more focused. (Foolish boy, you do not understand suffering. You’re angsting like a fanbrat. Those WERE your decisions you made back there.)

“SHUT… UP,” Rob strained. “I was… talkin’ bout… YOU…”

(I do not suffer. Only endure. You… on the other hand, just rage like a toddler.)

“CURSE YOU,” Rob bellowed. “This is… the DARKNESS… doing this… to me!”

(No, you fool. YOU are doing this. You can’t understand why everyone hates your whiny, pompous, immature self. They hate you for what you will become. You will become what they feared. So they alllll tried to stop you.) Charlotte’s tone was mocking, only serving to further Rob’s anger.

“Shut up!”

(No, I won’t shut up. They tried to kill you, your darkness was too strong, you smelt conspiracy against your life. So you only did what was fair… strike first.)

“SHUT UP!”

(Soon all of humanity will hate you, too. You’ll have to kill them to survive… annihilate their evil wishes! Isn’t that right?)

“SHUT UP!” Rob fired a blast of darkness at her. She deftly dodged the attack.

(Oh look at that. I’m next on your hit list! Isn’t that cute?)

“Shut up…” Rob drew his Keyblade. It appeared to have faded from its gold luster of the PokéBlade and reverted back to its original, dark form. “Die…” He took a slash at Charlotte, who dodged the attack. He swung again… missed. And yet again… still missed. Charlotte was simply too fast for him.

(Darkness means nothing to me,) Charlotte grinned as she landed nimbly atop Rob’s Keyblade. Her foot caught him in the chest, smashing into him with a nasty kick. The boy crashed into the floor and tumbled to a stop against a nearby wall. Rob strained to recover before finally standing. He snarled before slamming the ground, letting a wave of darkness tear towards the maniacal teenager.

Charlotte dodged yet again, twirling daintily in the air before planting yet another kick against Rob’s chest. Unlike last time, however, Rob only stumbled before recovering and charging again. “DIE, **** YOU!” He swept his Keyblade in a wide arc, bringing a vicious wave of darkness. However, Charlotte teleported out of the way, reappearing in front of Rob and smashing him down with yet another kick.

(And if darkness is nothing… then you… are less than nothing,) Charlotte’s sneer dripped with malevolence. She charged him, energy billowing from her body. Rob barely managed to block the attack. Charlotte suddenly grabbed his arm and slung him down so hard he made a small crater.

Rob strained in fury and pain. She must be buried in darkness… must…

(As you are less than nothing…) Charlotte reared back for a powerful attack.

“PERISH IN DARKNESS!” Rob bellowed, summoning all of his strength.

The resulting blast left a gaping hole in the girl’s chest.

Charlotte’s grin disappeared in a flash, shifting into a contorted mask of shock and agony. She fell back, limply.

“I…” Charlotte began.

Rob straightened his Keyblade.

“I finally lost… to Bob…” Charlotte breathed. “I failed you, Miss Oni…”

Rob raised his weapon, ready to bring it down and end her life.

No you haven’t.

Without warning, a powerful blast of pseudo-electricity burst from the artificial crater, shocking the dark boy. The blast sent him flying across the room, crashing into (and through) a few walls. He bounced twice before coming into a painful stop in the center of a room, rubble surrounding his aching body.

Everything hurt, every limb, every muscle was laced with agonizing pain that made the world seem somewhat dimmer. Rob groaned; it hurt entirely too much for him to even consider moving. He stared blankly into the sky…

The sky?!

This realization made Rob flinch in shock… and then instantly regret it, as his body was racked by another wave of pain. He cried out.

Hullo, child, a calm but commanding feminine voice rang out. You are too weak right now to fight. Sleep, and let the darkness rule your planet.

“No…” Rob tried to summon the strength to move, finding he had not even the slightest ounce of strength left.

It is alright… the soothing voice answered. Look, deep into your heart. The wound there will flood the world in darkness. Rest my child. You will rise again. Rise again to end the darkness as you knew it.

Rob looked down at his chest. True to the voice’s word, a vast river of darkness was ebbing right out of his heart, slowly transforming the ground below him. Speaking of that, he saw a shape forming right below him. A rounded edge… it looked like…

A Keyhole.

Rob was right on top of the Keyhole!

The source of that voice walked over to him, finally visible. From where he lay, she looked to be incredibly tall. Four powerful wings, a beautiful face, and a Chaos Saint Outfit that was oddly enough RED instead of black. In her arms lay a broken Charlotte. You, my child, have fought long enough. Rest in the darkness…

“No…” Rob cried again, tears forming in his eyes. The darkness was growing ever stronger. “No!” Excruciating pain.

And with that, Rob let out a shriek of anguish, one that could’ve shattered the heavens had they been close enough.

------

Slade’s one eye widened, then narrowed.

Had anyone removed his mask right then, they would have been greeted by a devilish grin.

“Slade?” Hades glanced over at him.

Slade whispered, “It… has… begun…”

Legends-Kuja
26th September 2005, 11:16 AM
Seems like there's problems displaying all the text. I have refresh the page everytime I move onto a new chapter.

Anyway, this marks the last episode of the current story. Season 2's on its way. Doubt anyone's reading this, so...

Episode 17: The End of the World As We Know It

“Brother Blood, I have urgent news,” The elder headmaster looked up to see Blondie walk in quickly. Blondie’s serious face hadn’t changed from his normal stoic demeanor, but nevertheless he looked like he had just survived an earthquake.

“What is it?” Brother Blood asked in annoyance, although not at Blondie in particular. His students had been responding to more Heartless attacks than usual, and having to constantly shout commands as to who was to report where was becoming taxing. Despite the ample opportunity of raiding the city with the Teen Titans away on a space mission, he had made his team focus solely on repelling the mass Heartless invasions on the city (that, and stealing that Red X suit Robin had). He looked at Blondie directly, wondering if he was going to affirm his suspicions.

“It happened. Planet Earth’s Keyhole has been awakened. The world is… going to perish,” Blondie finished.

Brother Blood growled. How he hated it when things didn’t go smoothly. “The boy’s mother failed. I knew that darkling would doom the planet!” He pounded a fist into his desk in anger. However, he quickly gained his composure. “Perhaps it’s time for us to take leave of this planet.”

“Brother Blood, I mean no disrespect, but I don’t think leaving the planet will be necessary.” Blondie quickly but firmly added.

“Oh?”

“Yeah. I made sure to seal this city’s Keyhole, so we should still be safe here. Mr. Marluxia says things are actually going smoothly for us and we should stay put in Jump City until further notice. He says he has a plan.”

“Not that I don’t believe you,” Brother Blood began with a sly smile, “But it’s not Mr. Marluxia’s style to send his reports through you. I’d need his confirmation.”

“No offense to Mr. Marluxia, but why would you?” Blondie countered with a soft grin of his own. “I rank higher than he does.”

Brother Blood dropped his mouth in shock. He’d never suspected that this angry, near-brainwashed youth was actually calling the shots over his business partner Marluxia. With that Blondie continued as if he read his mind. “I’m not any smarter than Mr. Marluxia, neither do I really need any authority over him. I merely rank higher because I wield the power of the Keyblade. Mr. Marluxia is busy preparing for our next move and can’t be here right now, so you’ll have to take my word for it. I’ve got no reason to lie to you.”

The smile returned to Brother Blood’s face, relieved that the blonde youth wasn’t plotting to turn the tables on his deal. “Fine. We’ll stay here. Tell Yusuke and Ken to call our students back. We’ll start a new class curriculum as soon as everyone gets back.” Blondie nodded in agreement, taking his leave as quietly as he’d arrived. Brother Blood immediately swung over to a phone and pressed a button on the intercom. His voice broadcasted all over the H.A.Y.E.P hideout: “Students of the H.A.Y.E.P academy! Listen closely. It appears that we are inevitably losing planet Earth to the darkness. Do not worry, however, as this school is still safe. As soon as out outside agents return, we will start a new curriculum on universal conquest courtesy of our guest Mr. Marluxia. Report to the instructional arena WITHIN THE HOUR!” And with that Brother Blood ended the broadcast with the press of a button. If Blondie was right, the fall of earth was merely a wake up call of what would happen if he didn’t set his plan in motion… all the more reason to introduce his students to the new toys he and Marluxia had been playing with…

-------

“Is it true? Was it really part of the plan for the world to end?.!” Knuckles shot at King Mickey as they walked into the Mansion of Souls. Samus waved goodbye, and per Mickey’s instructions, set off to Little Planet.

“Indeed it was,” King Mickey answered sagely. “You could easily imagine the outrage I felt when Miss Oni decided upon letting the villains destroy Earth. So many people falling into the darkness…”

“Damn right I’m angry!” Knuckles clenched his fists. “It’s not enough that you people demanded that I give up my island for your Chaos Angel shrine, not even after EGGMAN managed to make it, but now I have to watch everything I’ve ever known come to an end!” Knuckles pounded the ground with his namesake fists in frustration. Realizing that it wasn’t getting him anywhere, he took a breath and cooled down. “But with that, I’m grateful for your backup plan.”

“Yes, that’s why Little Planet’s crucial now,” the king responded as they came to a stop inside a rather cozy living room area. “I’ll need to get in contact with Sora’s friends as well as King Sephiroth about Donald and Goofy.”

“I think they already know,” King Mickey and Knuckles turned around to see Axel appear, cradling the young Chaos Saint Clara in his arms. Knuckles jumped in surprise, but King Mickey was unnerved by Axel’s barging in and merely raised an eyebrow.

“Never one for manners, were you Axel?” King Mickey asked coolly.

“Hey, I would’ve knocked if the door was closed, but it was wide open,” Axel shrugged. “Besides, I have news for you. Oni’s awake now. She’s got her own body and everything. We felt it and doubtless King Sephiroth would’ve felt it as well. He’s probably started marching down here about now.” He paused for a moment before adding with a grin, “Now don’t tell me I don’t respect my elders.”

King Mickey scoffed, but having been forced to interact with types like the agitating redhead before in his travels, he jovially added, “Don’t worry, I won’t bother.” He then changed the subject, “Have we found the Thirteenth Chaos Saint yet?”

“No such luck,” Axel shrugged. “But then again Oni alone is more than capable of bringing the Chaos Angel to life. She just needs you,” he pointed to Knuckles. “To maintain the power off your Master Emerald, which has been patched up for ya.”

Knuckles grunted. “Fine.” He got up and started for the door.

Suddenly, a flurry of black feathers appeared right in front of the echidna, and it was all he could do short of leaping ten feet in the air (which he was certainly capable of) as the mighty King Sephiroth appeared right in front of him. “Whoa!” Knuckles gaped in surprise.

“King Mickey,” Sephiroth said in monotone.

King Mickey didn’t miss a beat. “Sephiroth. You felt it right? Or rather her…”

“Yes. That woman is back. Where is she?”

“I could ask the same about Donald and Goofy. The answer to both is that I don’t know. She could be anywhere within the mansion.”

In turn for Mickey’s honest answer, Sephiroth reported, “I sent your subjects to Little Planet. There’s little they can do from my castle.”

“Good,” King Mickey responded. “The rest of you disperse to whatever you’re doing. I still need to talk with the king.”

Knuckles left all too willingly in a dash, but the calmer Axel, still cradling a near-comatose Clara, lingered for several seconds before finally disappearing. King Mickey continued once the room was cleared. “Sephiroth, I know it’s not easy with her return, and doubtless now your daughter will want more answers than ever. However, please don’t go trying to kill the woman. At least, not until the Chaos Angel is complete.”

“Every ounce of my being wants to put an end to that wretched woman, but I know how horribly wrong things could go if I did that,” the taller king replied with a weary sigh. “It’s about the Chaos Angel, isn’t it? What IS the Chaos Angel?”

“An ancient temple, one that could be used to manipulate reality and existence itself at will. In the hands of just about anyone it could be bad news. Alas, as long as it stands incomplete, someone will find the methods of powering it up, and with disastrous effects.”

“And that would be why you Chaos Saints are here… to power it up correctly?”

“Indeed. But once it’s complete, who controls it is anyone’s guess. I’m putting all my power to make sure that nothing falls into the wrong hands. And Sephiroth?”

“Hmm?”

“After this, we won’t be the Chaos Saints anymore. Once the Thirteenth Order has been found, we’ll be complete.”

“And how would you define complete?” Sephiroth asked with a small, knowing grin.

King Mickey paused for a moment, thinking. He then looked up at Sephiroth, his expression unreadable.

“Sin Angel.”

-------

“Argh! What’s going ON?.!” Sonic snarled as he punched down a Neo Shadow.

“It’s getting worse,” Cloud commented as he swept his sword through a crowd of Shadows. Despite Cloud’s quick handiwork, the Shadows kept proliferating.

“These Heartless are getting persistent; I don’t think my Pokémon can take much more,” Ash added as his Cyndaquil finished off a Neo Shadow. The Pokémon’s flames were getting less effective with each attack, and the Neo Shadows, sensing this, were beginning to attack relentlessly.

“Even Buu’s having problems with these Heartless!” Beelzemon pointed out as he shot down a string of teardrop/bat-like Heartless known as Bit Snipers. The other bounty hunters were struggling in an increasing wave of confusion; Beelzemon had lost count of how many times he’d heard faint fragments of the same question through the horrid din: “What’s going on?”

“Looks like Sora and Rob failed their part of the bargain,” Sonic grimaced, noticing the darkness starting to spread and cover the ground completely. The world itself was darkening, the Heartless’ movements were growing more frenetic, more excited, more powerful. “But where ARE they?”

“Sonic! SONIC!” The blue hedgehog’s ears twitched as they recognized Maya’s voice. He turned around and saw the panicked girl running towards him at full sprint.

“Maya? What’s going on? Has Rob sealed the Keyhole?” Sonic asked. However, his fears were getting closer to being affirmed as a teary Maya tackled him in a hug and began sobbing, babbling almost incoherently.

“N-no! He’s gonna… he’s gonna doom the world! Sora told me to get you guys off the planet so he could finish it… b-b-but he’s gonna be doomed too!”

“No way!” Sonic gasped. “It can’t be the end of the world…!”

“But it is.”

A giant, dragon-shaped shadow flew over our heroes’ heads. Sonic looked to see the forbidding form of Ridley swoop around and perch himself atop a crumbling building in the city. The purple dragon leered at our heroes through his bulbous, yellow eyes.

“Welcome, fools, to the end of the world as you know it! Population: EVERYONE!” Ridley’s rough voice boomed.

“Maya…” Sonic whispered to the girl. “Get out of here. Tell those bounty hunters to clear out, too. This is our world to fight for…” Maya backed away slightly before turning to flee. Cloud and Ash stayed. Sonic then shot at Ridley. “Who are you?!”

“Heee hee heee! Know and fear the name Ridley, leader of the almighty Space Pirates and SEALER OF YOUR DOOM!” Ridley screeched, expanding his wings into an intimidating pose.

“We’ll take you on, Ridley!” Ash bellowed bravely.

“Pika!” Pikachu snarled, electricity gathering in its rosy cheeks.

“You’ll regret destroying this planet,” Cloud readied his buster sword.

“We’ll see about that!” Ridley leapt off his perch and swooped down for an attack. His powerful wings flapped, gathering speed with every beat.

Sonic struck first. He rushed forward, picking up speed until he managed a running jump high into the air, striking Ridley with a Homing Attack.

The space pirate leader simply deflected the attack, swatting the blue hedgehog away with his powerful tail. Sonic tumbled painfully before crashing into a building.

“It’s over for this freak, Pikachu!” Ash shouted. “Thunderbolt!”

Pikachu gathered electricity in his cheeks before releasing it with a shout of “Piiikaaaaa…CHUUUUU!” A nightmarish bolt of thunder struck Ridley squarely in his chest, forcing the creature to halt in his flight to minimize the pain.

With this development Cloud leapt forward, a single black-feathered wing sprouting from his back. He flew forward with great speed and smashed Ridley with a fierce combo from his sword. Ridley screamed in fury and agony before slashing back at Cloud, sending the man sprawling across the ground.

“Sonic Wind!” Sonic leapt back into action, calling forth his familiar attack as he sprint back towards the dragon. The attack, although innocuous to Ridley, did knock him off kilter, allowing Sonic to smash his face in with another Homing Attack. Ridley countered with another sweep of his tail, but Sonic was ready this time. The blue hedgehog back-flipped away from the attack, also managing to dodge two harsh swipes from Ridley’s dreadful claws. Unfortunately, Ridley finally got lucky and smashed Sonic into a nearby building.

The hedgehog landed, stunned, amongst the scattered glass fragments and rubble of a demolished wall. Shaking his head to clear it, Sonic forced himself to recover quickly as Ridley crashed among the debris and began swiping his claws at him furiously. Sonic ran backwards before bouncing off a wall and aiming a kick at Ridley’s head. Ridley blocked the attack, but Sonic continued to press an assault with rapid kicks, dodging Ridley’s tail and claw swipes when he could.

Ridley prepared a final fatal swipe that would slash right through the rapidly tiring hedgehog. However, a voice rang out, startling him, “Hey Ridley!”

The annoyed dragon turned around to see a smirking Ash. The boy tilted his hat dramatically before shouting, “Pikachu! NOW!”

Ridley never even realized the small rat had climbed on top of him while he was fighting Sonic, not until the electric rat decided to unload about 10,000 volts of electricity on him in a constant stream. Ridley screeched in agony as Pikachu continued to shock him. So busy Ridley was trying to get the rat off of him that he also failed to notice Cloud storm in. That is, until Cloud straight up smashed him again with a powerful Cross Slash Combo.

By now Ridley was infuriated, as well as feeling rather foolish over his increasing lack of observance.

It was a bad combination.

The dragon first belted a steady flamethrower attack that knocked Cloud outside of the building. He then finally seized Pikachu from his back and threw him out as well.

“Pikachu!” Ash exclaimed as he rushed outside to protect his beloved pet.

Sonic snarled and lunged for an attack, but Ridley easily blasted him outside with a single fireball. Sonic tumbled outside and crashed painfully into the ground. It was there he saw a distinctly weak Cloud and Ash rushing towards Pikachu…

…but Ridley was rushing towards Pikachu too, ready to finish it off.

“PIKACHU!” Ash screamed.

Ridley slashed.

Ash clutched Pikachu in a tight hug.

Pikachu was unscathed.

Ash was bleeding severely.

Despite missing his intended target, Ridley guffawed gleefully. “Hee hee heee! Lookit that! Some spineless inferior is ready to die for more spineless inferiors!”

“Shut… up…” Sonic strained to rise.

“I’d love to stay and chat as you drown in the darkness, but I have business to attend! Have fun on your last hours alive!” Ridley rose up into the sky before taking a nosedive into the growing darkness, disappearing within its obsidian depths.

Sonic looked on in horror as he saw Ash crumple to the ground. “No… not again!”

“Pika!” A distraught Pikachu tried to shake his trainer into recovery, but to no avail.

“Ash! Hang in there!” Sonic shouted.

The young boy coughed, flecks of blood scattering the ground beneath his crumpled body. “It’s… too late for that. It’s… too late for all of us. I think I let… Misty and Brock… down.”

“Pika…” Pikachu’s eyes were streaming with tears now.

“S-Sonic…” Sonic turned to see a straining Cloud. The spiky blond was struggling to support himself with his mighty sword. “Listen… It’s too late for us… but you still have a chance…”

The darkness was spreading ever so quickly. The Heartless were now gone, replaced by this sea of black now expanding into the world. The fallen Ash and Cloud began to sink into it.

“Cloud’s right…” Ash whispered. “Save… yourself…”

“No…!” Sonic nearly screamed. “I can’t leave you guys! Not like I left my other friends…”

“Just GO!” Cloud shouted. The darkness further enveloping him, he dropped his voice lower, a faded smile on his lips. “Hey… I won’t be gone forever. I know the legend of the summon gems. Tell Sora… to find Aeris for me.”

“Yeah… tell Rob and his friends to find Misty and Brock… tell them… it’ll be all…” Ash trailed off, unable to speak any longer. The darkness was becoming overpowering. A desperate Pikachu shot out a Thundershock, trying its best to protect his owner (as well as Cloud) from the darkness that would soon envelop them all. Finally realizing his actions were futile, the electric simply laid across his trainer’s chest, closing his eyes and waiting for the end.

Ash’s arms slowly rose to weakly embrace his beloved Pokemon, and Sonic could’ve sworn he saw the boy smile even as he took his last breath.

And then his friends were gone.

Sonic watched numbly as they disappeared into the darkness. He failed… again. And worse yet, there was nothing I could do about it, he thought as he clenched his fists.

Perhaps almost nothing.

A new thought having occurred to him, Sonic turned around and raced off towards the Mansion of Souls, a newfound determination driving him.

-------

“That went well,” Raven remarked.

The Titans had spent the last half-hour fighting off a strange space monster that was damaging the satellite station that they had been on. The monster had used sonic screams that wrecked nearly everything and negated most of their attacks. However, after combining Starfire’s starbolts with one of Robin’s patented explosive discs, the monster was blown to smithereens. Space monster guts had showered all over our heroes, much to their disgust.

“At least we’ve never had Samus Aran’s luck with space stations,” Cyborg added in an attempt to lighten the mood. “She told me while she was hanging at the tower that every time she went to a satellite, it always went boom!”

As our heroes walked slowly but victoriously towards their T-Ship, Beast Boy complained, “How can this day get any worse? First I lost my Gamestation controller, then we had to go out in SPACE and get our collective butts kicked by some fugly monster… what next?”

“Titans! We’re receiving something!” Robin hissed as he motioned for silence. He picked up his receiver and spoke into it. “Titans reporting, what is it?”

“skknntt --t’s Maya! Please listen to me! The world is doomed--snnkktt!”

“What do you mean?” Robin shouted back into the receiver.

“You just HAD to say something, didn’t you?” Cyborg glared at Beast Boy, who let his elfin ears droop.

At this, Raven turned to a nearby window. Looking outside onto Earth, her eyes widened. “Guys… look…”

Cyborg was the first to look after Raven. “What the…!”

“Holy CRAP.” Beast Boy zoomed into the window to get a closer look. Surely enough, the world was being slowly consumed by darkness.

“snnkktt---get out of there! I don’t know how long we have… I’m afraid… so many people are going to die…snnnnkkkCRAKTT We already lost Ash and Cloud…”

Robin clenched his fists.

“This is not happening, dude,” Beast Boy whispered. “It can’t be…”

“I have only known this planet for a little while, and we are already going to lose it to the darkness?” Starfire sniffled.

“Argh!” Robin pounded a wall in frustration. “There HAD to have been something we could’ve done! Our game’s over just like THAT!”

“Don’t think our game’s over,” the other Titans whirled around to Raven. She continued to speak, tonelessly as usual. “In fact, I’d say it’s just begun. Regardless of the fate of this planet, we can keep the same from happening to others.”

“Would that not be ‘meddling’?” Starfire asked. “I believe that an unwritten law between universes is that one cannot meddle in the affairs of other planets, lest there be a terrible unbalance between the universes…”

“Starfire,” Robin countered gently but firmly, catching on to Raven’s idea. “The Heartless don’t play by those rules, and neither will Slade. Or the H.I.V.E and their Soulless for that matter. Why should we?”

“Robin makes a good point,” Cyborg added. “We’re gonna have to up our ante. We’re useless right now, and we need some way to change that.”

“All right, Titans!” Robin took the lead once again. “Listen up. Our best means of combating this should be to split apart and search for anything that will help with this war. We’ll keep in constant touch through our modified com links. Once we have an idea of what we’re up against, we’ll form together again and take it head on.”

The others nodded in affirmation.

“All right. Let’s go.”

-------

Sora continued to sprint through the empty hallways, trying desperately to reach his destination. The halls seemed to blur together as Sora raced across desolate foyers, grinded down stair rails and knocked down doors. At last he reached a curious room closer to the outside of the mansion. He saw a large hole in the wall, almost as if a huge object had burst out of it. Sora looked beyond the hole, seeing outside…

Seeing that horrible darkness once again…

…that same darkness that claimed his island three years ago.

It can’t happen, not again! Sora screamed in his mind as he leapt through the holes and outside into the dark new world. His heart wrenched as he looked up to see that same orb of dark energy that sent people to other worlds. The same nightmare from three years ago was happening… again.

However, a sudden voice rang out, holding a different opinion on the matter. Sora, this feminine voice called out.

“Huh?” Sora looked around in frantic confusion. Back inside the mansion, he saw a woman. Wraith-like in appearance. Four wings. Beautiful face. Red Chaos Saint outfit.

Sora… the fated journey of your younger self ends here. Your life as you know it shall come to an end. The woman seemed to use some sort of telepathy.

“What?” Sora’s face contorted into a snarl, readying his Keyblade. “I’m not going to END.”

This is not a threat, my child, but a promise of rebirth.

“What’s that supposed to mean!” Sora shouted, lowering his guard only the slightest bit.

You musn’t forget. The light is still important. Keep that light within this darkness, and you will be reborn.

“I still have no idea what you’re talking about, but I’ll keep that in mind!” Sora turned around and prepared to leave, however, the woman wasn’t finished.

Go find the dark boy… your destiny awaits.

Sora turned his head for one last look at his strange acquaintance, but she had vanished. Sora shook her cryptic messages out of his mind and shot towards the growing darkness. Untouched and unafraid.

The light within Sora was burning now, growing stronger as he marched into the endless black sea. The Keyhole had to be here somewhere…

It was here, at the shadow of the valley of darkness, that he saw Rob. That despicable dark boy seemed to be the source of all this! Just like Ansem…

“Rob!” Sora called out. “What are you doing?!”

Sora’s angry tone seemed to wound Rob, as the dark boy strained against the pain ravishing his body to answer, “You… fool! Get out of here! Leave me alone…! Let me die within the darkness… alone!”

“You idiot!” Sora bellowed. “You ever think about all the people you’re going to hurt! All of your so-called family you’ve been trying to find?”

“Curse it, Sora.” Rob’s eyes filled with tears. “It was never my… idea to harm them. I wanted to save the world… using the darkness! R-Raven could… where d-did I fail?” Sora remembered the blue-robed girl of the Teen Titans. He hoped they would be one of the many people who escaped the fall of their world…

Rob continued his pained rant. “This being… opened a hole in my heart… and it reacted with the Keyhole! So I became the boy who would end the world… instead of saving it!” Rob moved, though only slightly, in a small effort to raise his fist. Unbelievable pain met him, and he screeched in anguish.

Sora’s anger evaporated at the sight of his friend rendered so helpless, leaving only pity behind. However, he maintained his stern tone. “Rob! Get a hold of yourself! We can get out of this somehow!”

“No, Sora,” Rob returned with a sort of defeated calm. “It’s over. Save yourself. My sister… she’s probably better at this than I am… Please keep watch over her…”

(The hollowed journey of your fated vessel ends here.) Sora fell back in near shock as a familiar dark being emerged in front of him. (What you seek cannot be reclaimed.)

Sora came face to face with Darkside.

“Maybe,” Somewhat aware that he wasn’t facing the average Darkside, Sora immediately called his Keyblade and assumed a fighting stance. The cryptic words of the woman in red invaded his mind. What was worse was the fact that they were starting to make sense. “But it’s not like I have anything left to lose!”

(To think that my son’s only hope lay within the despicable Keyblade wielder of the light…) Darkside reared back a fist, attempting to smash Sora into the ground. (Both he AND my father were fools amongst fools. Nothing good comes of the darkness.)

“You…” Sora leapt up and swung his Keyblade at Darkside, tearing into his arm with a flurry of strikes. The dark being howled in pain. Darkside countered by flying away and turning back with a sudden, swift fist. Sora sailed through the sky before crash landing into the growing pool of darkness. Darkside balled his fists together and tried to slam Sora into the ground. Sora dodged to the left before hopping back into the fray and smashing Darkside’s other arm with his Keyblade.

Sora leered at the impassive Darkside. “You can’t be… Rob’s father, can you?”

(But I am…) Darkside dug his hand into the darkness and pulled out a Shadow Ball. (I am THE ORIGINAL Darkside… and I can assure you… I was human once. That makes me all the more stronger…) Darkside surprised Sora by throwing the Shadow Ball at him. Sora backflipped to dodge the attack, but the ball’s collision with the darkness pooled along the ground resulted in an explosion that knocked Sora off his feet.

Several smaller Shadows emerged from the ground. They leapt onto Sora, trying to scratch, claw and bite him. Sora threw off one that had clung to his face and swiftly used his Keyblade to dispatch of the others. Unfortunately, by the time Sora had freed himself from the Shadow assault, Darkside swept a giant hand and sent Sora tumbling over the ground again.

The Keyblade Master came to a stop alongside Rob, who still lay on the ground, immobilized by the excruciating pain lacing every fiber of his being. Sora shakily rose to his feet before turning back to the dark boy. “Don’t worry, Rob. I’m going to put an end to this… I’ll put an end to your nightmares…” Sora clenched his teeth and readied his Keyblade. This Darkside was going DOWN, even if it was the last thing he did. Perhaps this thing was to blame for the sudden drastic shift in Rob’s behavior.

“Sora…” Rob whispered as the boy charged back towards Darkside. The dark colossus reared a fist back and tried to punch Sora, but the Keyblade master dodged, leapt up, and gave a furious air combo to Darkside’s arm, followed by a Ragnarok attack to the creature’s face. Darkside roared before slamming a fist down on Sora.

Sora blocked the attack. However, Darkside continued to press Sora down. Down into the ever-expanding darkness…

Sora felt his heart begin to race in the slow onset of panic. Trying his best to push away the creature, Sora added desperate strength to his shove, but it was of little use. Darkside was pressing him down. Down…

And suddenly, a loud SMACK and Darkside’s hand was knocked aside, twisted into a grotesque shape.

Darkside howled in pain. Sora crawled out of the darkness and looked around to see what had happened.

Right in front of Darkside was Sonic the Hedgehog.

The blue hedgehog landed gracefully from his fierce homing attack.

Sonic looked back and gave Sora and Rob a reassuring smile, his eyes softening temporarily before turning back to face Darkside. Sonic’s smile dropped, immediately replaced by feral rage. “You would DARE plunge this world into darkness, dare to destroy my friends!” Sonic shot towards Darkside and smashed into him with a Light Speed Attack, leaving the colossus shuddering in a world of pain. “I’ve already lost so many people! My old friends, Ash, Amy…” Sonic’s manic rage continued into fever pitch. “I’M NOT LOSING ANYONE ANYMORE!” With that, Sonic let out an earsplitting scream as a powerful aura began to expand from his heart.

Sora cradled a broken Rob.

Sonic’s small but formidable aura was enough to erode Darkside out of existence.

The darkness began to swallow all of planet Earth, eclipsing everything outside of Sonic’s powerful aura. Only Alto Mare, the Masaki Shrine, and Jump City would still exist after the darkness had finished.

----

Maya looked on from the Hyperion as Planet Earth perished into a spectacular shimmering flash of darkness. The destruction of the planet, that sudden, empty feeling she had as her brother disappeared under that darkness, it was all too much. She crumpled to the ground, sobbing profusely.

“My God in Heaven…” she sobbed.

The others watched in a mixture of horror and sadness as the Planet Earth faded into an endless pool of nothingness. Tails hung his head in sadness, Eggman his in shame. Tifa stared numbly. The bounty hunters, Jim Raynor, Conker, Siege, and Beelzemon bowed their heads. Even Buu remained silent.

At least for them, another day awaited.

----

Blondie felt something stir inside his heart as the outside world came to an end. A sad, desolate feeling that he’d never find this ‘other half’ of his…

But he remembered. As Marluxia had said earlier, the end of the world was only the beginning. All was going to plan. If his suspicions were right, perhaps there was still hope for his other side after all.

----

“Goofy… I have ask,” Donald began as they piloted their gummi ship through the vast reaches of space.

“What’s that, Donald?” Goofy responded.

“… is Sora okay?”

“I sure hope so. Why’d ya ask?”

“I just have this feeling… Sora’s sinking into the darkness again.”

“Gawrsh… me too…”

“Really?”

“Yeah. But I think he’ll be back. You remember he came back from the darkness before, right?”

“Yeah… with Kairi’s help. Hey… maybe that’s why King Sephiroth is sending us to some odd planet? To look for Kairi?”

“Maybe he did. Ahyuck!”

“That’s right!” Donald pumped his fist in renewed vigor. “We’re gonna save Sora… AGAIN!”

“I don’t think we saved him the first time…”

“Don’t ruin it you big palooka!”

-------

“Titans… this may be the last time I speak to you as leader,” Robin spoke through the communication link between the fragmented T-ship. Each Titan listened in on Robin’s speech as they split ways from each pod on the ship.

“The Earth has met its end. There’s no reason for us to stay here any longer.”

Beast Boy stared blankly into the depths of outer space, still in denial over the day’s events.

“We MUST find the Keyblade Masters, wherever they show up, and help them in any way possible! We can’t afford to have any more dark days like this!”

Starfire mused sorrowfully over the controls. As she steered off into space, a single tear rolled down her check.

“Slade is still out there. He and his minions will try to destroy other planets, try to destroy more lives. We owe it to Rob, Sora, and Sonic to put an end to these nightmares in any way we can.”

Cyborg swiftly dodged an asteroid as he continued to pilot his miniature ship into the recesses of space. He listened onto Robin’s words, giving him a respect he’d probably never given in their time together, and would never give at any other time. However, the grimness of the situation made him somewhat grateful, albeit grudgingly so, for any kind of direction.

Even if her hood wasn’t over her face, Raven’s feelings were entirely unreadable. Being the only Titan with a plan, she immediately set her autopilot to her destination and began to meditate. She would arrive at Little Planet within the hour.

“Good luck Titans. Remember the strength of your heart.”

----

And it was the End of the World.

Oni, however, only considered this the beginning.

Darkness and Light, be my angels… For you will lead the way to a new age…

… A new age of Chaos.

Let the Sin Angel be born. Let their power lead the Keyblade children unto their ultimate destination. The Thirteen Orders, servers of ultimate Chaos.

-

-

-

(Lookit that. Season 1 is complete. Season 2 promises even more fun and random chaos, just because I said so. Expect more influences from Kingdom Hearts 2 (seeing I will be using a few worlds and obviously ideas and characters), but once again I seek to deviate from your average KH crossovers. I’ll be hunting for any world capable of a KH crossover (and I’m open for suggestions.). Enjoy this complete and final episode, and may our heroes rest in peace.

A request to move this to the archives. I'm actually sorta pissed that I missed the Golden Pen awards.