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Fanfiction ► Kingdom Hearts: A Beautiful Nightmare

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New member
Jan 29, 2004
Chapter 1: Expect the Unexpected

Sometimes there's a clear cut path to choose in life. Good or evil, light or darkness, hero or villian. Those who have these options are the lucky ones, the ones who are respected by all, loved by most and hated by few. Heroes that simply do the right thing, no matter what the consequences are, no matter if something bad may happen because of it. Heroes that would spare their worst enemy's life, instead of destroying them.

They are fools.

Then there are the confused heroes, the ones who do anything to achieve their goal. What's that old saying? The ends justify the means? They lived by that and would probably die by it too.

They don't have it right either.

I am not one of those heroes. I'm not even sure if I'm a hero, or just some nameless mercenary. It doesn't even matter. I do my job, get paid, and go on to the next one. Stay busy. Its the only way I can keep my mind off the past, off of memories that could taint my heart if I let them. So instead of lying around thinking, I throw myself into each assignment I'm given. I do it with such care, such passion, that I am hailed as Seven. Sevens are the elites in the group of mercenaries that I work with. We don't have a name for our organization, just as we don't tell each other our names. We create new code names each time we take a mission.


No one wants to get too close. The life of a mercenary doesn't have an insurance policy or health care benefits. We die as easily as flies, sometimes beginning a mission and perishing before we actually start it. No one really cares for mercenaries. We are seen as the hyenas, viciously attacing and stealing without care for anything.

We are diseased, avoided by everyone who lives in this city of perpetual darkness.

We are hated, by the family of those who have been assasinated.

We are spit upon, by the victims of our theft.

We are feared, by witnesses to our destruction of what they hold dear.

And yet.

They come to us, pay us to perform some task they they are too afraid, or too ashamed, or too proud to do themselves.


Damn right it is.

They think they are better than us, and yet we are the ones controlling them. They pay us to be gods, to take life, to create chaos, to protect them.

And through the carnage, we laugh.

They think they have us in the palm of their hand, right beside their money, but they're oblivous. They don't see that we are the ones with the keys. The keys to their life, their fate.

We are angels.

We protect and serve them. Care for them when commanded, save them when asked, love them when paid. We make them laugh, shout, and cry with joy.

We are demons.

We kill them, assasinate them, we completely eradicate them. We bathe in their blood, we mutilate them, we are their worst nightmare come true. We make them scream, bleed, and cry with fear.

We are nonexistent.

We are put away in our box when they don't need us, ignored when nothing needs to be done. We are invisible, not seen until someone's husband has cheated, or someone's kid needs saving, or someone's enemy beat them up.

...we don't care.

We don't do this for the respect, because if we did, we'd all have jobs selling cars or something. We don't do it for the love, because if we did, we'd have probably gone mad and committed mass suicide for lack of emotional attention. We don't do it for the intense hatred, for if we did, we'd be the happiest bunch of mercenaries on earth.

We do it to escape. Some people have drugs, but when you're on drugs, you're not in control. Some people have sex, but one can become easily addicted and have a one track mind. Some daydream, but daydreaming is just a personal wish, something that most likely won't occur in their life. And some people go crazy, so disappointed about their pathetic life that they spend their time inside the chambers of their mind, not wanting to leave.

We're different.

What we do is far more dangerous, far more addicting, far more idiotic than all of those combined. But we have payoff, literally. There is always something waiting at the end, some treasure, some money. It doesn't matter though, most dont do it for the pay. They do it to get away from boring wives, boring kids, boring friends, boring lives. They do it to feel a sense of purpose, a sense that they're making a change, no matter if that change is good or bad.

"Hey, that girl's checkin' me out."

Now back to our regularly scheduled program.

My friend...no...associate, was looking at a young brunette sitting about five stools away from us. Every now and then, she'd look up from her drink and glance in our direction. She'd flash a little smile and look down, waiting for the object of her affection to come and sweep her off her feet.

"Sorry, but I believe she's looking at me," I replied, brushing a lock of ebony hair from my eyes. She looked up again and stared directly into my eyes, mine the tint of fine wine, her's the color of a stormy sky.

"Damn," my associate cursed, knowing he was defeated. I got up, patting him on the back as I did, and walked over to the girl. I stood there until she looked up and smiled.

I returned the latter.

"Mind if I sit down?" I asked politely. She nodded shyly. I've heard that nice guys finish last, but I have yet to experience it.

"Would you like a drink?" I asked, in that same soft voice. As soft as a cloud.

"No thank you," she replied, her voice melodius. I could almost sway to it. "My name's Airya, what's yours?"

Airya. Beautiful. Fits like a glove.

The bartender awaited my order, and I asked for a water. He smirked and filled up a glass from the tap. I guess to be a real man, I had to order the strongest drink in the bar.

I looked to the girl, to Airya, and saw that she was looking at me expectantly.

Oh yes, of course. My name. I guess there was no harm in telling her. A fake name that is.

"My name's Janus," I lied. "Pleased to meet you." I reached out my hand.

She smiled and shook it, replying, "You should work on that."

"Work on what?" I asked, smiling back.


I stopped shaking her hand and my smile froze.

Damn. Smart as well as beautiful.

I gave a short laugh, looking into her eyes.

"How would you know if I were lying or not?" I questioned, curious. It was not everyday that someone pointed out my attempts at deceit. They usually had valid reason though.

The girl turned her head and looked at the bartender. "Two Twilight Hours, please."

I raised an eyebrow, not at the fact that she had ordered the strongest drinks in the bar. She didn't answer me right away, using my same tactic against me.

I could appreciate the irony.

We were given our drinks and I downed mine quickly, wanting to get back to the conversation. I expected her to sip on it, ladylike and all, but of course she throws it back like its nothing. There was more to her than looks, that much was sure.

"You don't remember," she said as she set the glass on the table. "Do you?"

"I remember a lot of things," I replied emotionlessly. "Anything in particular?"

The girl looked hurt.

We are demons.

As I said before, my past is something I don't like to think about.

"You don't remember me...?" she asked, her voice berely above a whisper.

Do I remember a brunette with gray eyes?

Do I?

Do I care?

Should I?

"I'm afraid I don't," I replied. "I've forgotten a lot of things...some of them purposely."

"How can you not remember?" she asked. "You've done so many great things."

Haha. Me? Do great things? I don't remember doing things for others.

We are angels.

"Would you like to refresh my memory then?" I asked, a little irritated, "or do you want to beat around the bush some more."

"I know your name," she said softly. "Even though you don't use it anymore, I've still treasured it."

"Don't say it," I warned, glancing around.

Who knew how many people in this would love to know my real name? Once someone knows your identity, you're all theirs.

"Why not?" she asked, a little loudly. "You're a hero-"

"Shutup," I whispered frantically.

Too late.

"Tell us about this hero, kind woman."

A man stood up, as bald as he was ugly. But he did have one thing going for him. An insanely muscular body and what I thought was a kick-ass scar under his eye.

The girl stood, eager that she had a little crowd going.

"This," she paused dramatically, gesturing toward me.

I wanted to throw up.

"This is Develyn Bishop," she continued. "The greatest hero of Twilight Town!!"

So she did know my name...damn. I glanced at my associate to find him shaking his head in astonishment.


Grunts and whispers of disagreement followed at her last statement.

I smiled.

"That's funny! I heard he was an assassin and a thief!!"

Baldie had the floor.

"The blood of hundreds are on his hands!!"

Hundreds? Who's counting?

"We'd better get out of here," my associate whispered, sliding up behind me. "Before things get uglier than him." He gestured toward Baldie.

Nice one.

"Alright, let's go," I whispered back, standing up. I was kind of bored anyway. The girl was giving some bullcrap speech about how I had saved two kids from a burning building.


"Where do you think you're going?" A man with a mop of blonde messy hair stood in my path.

I wasn't angry, just exasperated.

"I'm leaving," I replied. "Do you want to move, or die?"

We are demons.

At least I am. My parents saw the demon inside. They named me Develyn. They saw me for what I was.

A devil.

Parents can be such a drag. Or so I'm told.

I was wearing a long black overcoat that day. Not for style, although it did highlight the red in my eyes. It was big enough to hide a sword in, and I decided it was time to unveil my friend.

That sound, that excruciating sound of metal aginst metal. Like a symphony to me, a nightmare to enemies.

I grinned as I unsheathed the sword slowly, for full effect. The blonde guy's eyes widened, and he took a step back.

Yes. Please. Rethink life.

I heard another sword unsheathing, the sound coming from behind me. I glanced backwards to see that my associate also had his sword out. He smirked and shrugged. I returned both.

I turned back and saw that a lot of the men also had weapons on them. Of course they did. The city wasn't a safe place. It would be interesting.

"Are you going to let us leave?" I asked quietly.

The bald man looked around, knowing that if he backed down now, he would be deemed a coward.

Pride is man's downfall.

So am I. At least for these guys.

"We're gonna get rid of you murderers once and for all!!"

Murderers? That's valid. But they're not calling us saviors, bodyguards. We've worked a lot of different jobs, but we're condemned for the bad ones. I thought they would balance out.

Oh well.

"Then come on," I gestured boredly. "Or do you need a couple more steroids to get you started?"

He raged, then charged.

The girl was behind the counter, hiding after causing all of this.

Ten on two. Easy.

The bald guy swung an axe, and I blocked it with my sword, one-handed. Doing that looks way cooler than blocking with two hands.

I swung a fist, connecting with his cheek. I heard a sharp crack, as if someone had snapped the leg of a chair in half. He flew back onto a wooden table. Of course it collapsed under his weight. A metal table would collapse under his weight.

I glanced back to see my associate fighting off two people at a time, his long white hair flying around wildly. Looks like he didn't need my help.

Another man swung a sword at me and I dodged quickly to my left. Before he knew what happened, I drove the hilt of my sword into the back of his head and he crumpled to the floor.

I didn't even get a chance to celebrate my victory, because I was attacked simultaneously by three men. So was my associate, so there would be no help there.

I was debating whether I should kill them all, or just knock them out. Killing them would be way easier. I would just wait for an opening and give them the old sword-in-the-gut. To knock them out, I would have to get closer than I wanted to.


I had an idea.

I ran back toward the bar, the men hot on my heels, and jumped behind the bar. Grabbing the girl, I slid my sword across her neck, the dull side of course.

"Stand back," I commanded. "You guys wouldn't want this pretty lady to have a second mouth, would you?"


The guys backed away, slowly. So did the men who were fighting with my associate.

"Drop your weapons please."

They complied, of course. They were good, hard-working men, and they wouldn't cause the death of a girl, even accidently.

I walked from behind the bar, the girl struggling in my grip. She couldn't break it though, she wasn't strong enough. We walked all the way to the door, my associate right behind me with his sword. We were going to escape.

Breathing wasn't this easy.

"Well gentlemen," I smiled. "I have to say that you are the weakest people I have ever fought." It wasn't really necessary, but I just had to.

Anger in their eyes. Laughter in mine. Like fire and ice.

"Good day," I said, throwing the girl into the group. My associate and I ran out, already knowing what to do.

It was raining, big droplets that splattered everywhere. I hate the rain. For some reason, it plays hell with my hair.

"See you there!" my associate called, running down an alley.

I took a different one, knowing that we would have better luck splitting up. We'd meet at the hideout later.

As I ran down the darkened alley, I thought back to the girl who started all of this. I've never seen her before in my life, nor have I done all of these good deeds. So who was she?

I was so deep in thought, that I almost didn't see the pairs of yellow eyes that had emerged from the shadows of the alley.


I stopped. Sliding the sword from its sheathe once again. And that's when I heard it.

You hold one of the keys...

Strange voices in my head? So on top of everything else, I'm crazy?

You will help open the door...

"What door?" I asked aloud. "Who are you?"

The door to the Light. You will help open it with the weapon of your heart.

The Heartless were still standing there at attention, as if waiting for the voice to stop its speech.

"What's the door to the Light? And the weapon of my heart?"

The door to the light. Kingdom Hearts. The place of eternal light, and darkness.

"And the weapon of my heart?" I asked as the rain hammered down even harder.

See for yourself. Put your hands out, in front of your chest.

Sure, I'll play along. I have nothing better to do besides wait for another mission to fall into my lap.

I held my hands out in front.

Now close your eyes, and concentrate. Concentrate on your heart, and the strength within it.

I did. I thought about how nothing has been able to break me, no matter what I've seen. No matter what has happened to me, I'm still here. I'm still standing, ready to face whatever comes my way. I thought of all the abuse I had suffered throughout my life, physical and mental. And I thought about how it had only strenghened me.

And it happened.

I felt something in my heart. Something that was both warm and cold. Something that hurt, and yet felt good at the same time.

I opened my eyes and saw it. A keyblade exiting my body slowly, glowing softly. It was black, blacker than the shadows that surrounded me. The blade was straight for about four feet before curving wickedly at the end. It finally exited and I grabbed the hilt, taking a few test swings. It was light and easy to use.

Use it well, Keyblade Master. There will be times when the darkness will try to take your heart. Where you will feel as if the weight of the world is crushing you down, but don't give in. You have one of the strongest hearts of all. You will bring peace. You will bring hope. You will bring light. Farewell.

"Wait! What am I supposd to do now?!" I yelled, looking into the sky. At that moment, I saw a star disappear. If I had blinked, I would have missed it. A planet had just been snuffed out.

The voice had left, leaving behind questions and the keyblade. I held the latter up, letting the rain splash off of it. A Keyblade Master.

They say expect the unexpected, but not even they could have predicted this. Me, murder, savior, thief, lover, arsonist, bodyguard, terrorist. The list goes on. I stood there for a moment, lost in it all. Then I shook my head.

Whatever. I'm thinking too much. I'll figure it out in the morning.

I started to continue my walk when the Heartless attacked. I jumped back lightly and took my fighting stance, the keyblade in hand. The first time. Let's see how it handles. The Heartless rushed me, and I let them.


New member
Jan 29, 2004
Chapter Two: Illusionist

It's almost like a drug, fighting. That adrenaline rush that seems to make you invincible, heightening the senses and numbing the pain.

I jumped back lightly as a Shadow Heartless dove at me, its small claws swiping the air. Before it landed, I slashed at it with the keyblade. It disappeared, leaving behind a cloud of black dust. Another one came from above so I sidestepped, swiping upward and slashing the keyblade back down toward another attacking Heartless.

I turned to face the other Heartless, but they were no longer there. In their place stood the girl from the bar.

Except she was dressed in a black, leather body suit.

And her hair was white and short.

And she looked a tad dangerous.

"So you're a Keyblade Master?" she asked, sounding disgusted. "But...why would it choose someone like you?"

"I guess it was attracted by my charming personality and excellent hygiene," I answered, cocking my head in confusion. "But on another note, what the hell are you doing here?" She didn't answer and I noticed her eyes looking past me, so I chanced a glance backwards.

Another girl.

She was wearing the same thing, black bodysuit. This girl, though, looked a lot deadlier, the way she was just standing there glaring at me. Her shoulder-length, hair had a light bluish tint and matched the color of her eyes.

"Hello," I supplied, giving a little wave. She didn't return the gesture.

I shrugged to myself. Oh well.

And yet, there was another. I don't know how I knew, but I did.

I looked up and there, sitting in the sill of a window, was another girl with long, jet-black hair. Her eyes were green, and they seemed to glow in the moonlight.

She smiled.

"Don't mind Angel," the girl said as she gestured toward the blue-haired girl. "She's not really sociable."

I shrugged again.

"So you guys are assassins, huh?" I guessed aloud, looking at Airya, though I doubted if that was her real name. "If you ladies came to complete a job, then please," I crouched slightly and tensed, "by all means proceed."

The girl, Angel, stepped forward, unhesitant, but was stopped by Airya.

"Wait a minute, Angel," she said, raising a hand to stop her. "I want to take him down myself." She unsheathed the katana and pointed it at me.

Confident are we?

"Do you know why I'm going to kill you?" she asked as she walked toward me, her lips curled slightly.

"Not really," I answered, returning the smile. "But before you do, could you at least tell me your real name?"

Not that it mattered, but I wanted to forestall the fight and get as much info as possible. Clever, huh?

The girl on the window sill giggled, covering it behind a hand. "I think you may have a new admirer," she joked to my new friend.

What could I say? I wouldn't mind taking her out on a date. Or all three of them for that matter.

"He has to wait in a long line," she responded, not taking her eyes from me for a second. She said to me, "You're going to pay, right here and now. For everything..."

"Wait, I thought you said I was a good guy?" I reminded her, already knowing it was complete bull. I may not have had the best memory, but I know I'm no hero.

She smirked and lowered her sword. "You believed that? I just said it to rile up everyone in the bar. I wanted to see how strong you really were." She put a hand on her hip. "It seems as if the stories were true."

"And what stories are those?" I asked. "Excuse me for not knowing them but I'm not big on tall tales."

"They say you're rising in the ranks of the Oranization," she replied. "That attaining the title "Seven" is only the beginning for you."

She knew more than I thought.

"How the hell do you know about the Organization?" I asked, more than a little suspcious. Such knowledge could only mean one thing. That these assassins were hired by someone had knowledge of us. Maybe, someone who was in the Organization.

"Enough talk," she snapped, changing the subject. As your executor I'll grant you your last wish. My name is Sonia. Speak it now, because it will be the last sweet thing you ever taste on your tongue."

"Beautiful and self-absorbed," I observed aloud, a grin on my face. "I like it. You remind me of myself."

"I'm not like you," Sonia said, walking toward me. "You're a murdering bastard."

She had me there.

"Okay, so I don't have a father and I may have killed a couple of people, but-"

I wasn't allowed to finish.

She darted toward me quickly and slashed with her sword. I jumped back and responded with a swing to her head with my sword. She ducked and I concluded my attack with a thrust from the keyblade. She blocked it and began slashing furiously at me, her hands and the sword a blur.

She was fast. I had to give it to her.

But I was faster.

She swung again and I leaned back before dropping to the ground. I kicked her leg out from under her, and she fell forward. Before she could do anything, I stepped on her back and held her down with my foot. Her friends tried to come to her aid, but pressing the tip of my sword on the back of her neck remedied that situation.

"Take another step, even another breath, and she'll have a spicy new haircut."

The ebony-haired assasin stood there in the alley, having jumped down from the sill, and laughed. Needless to say I was a little confused.

"May I ask what the joke is?" I asked as I struggled to keep Sonia down. "Surely it isn't funny at a time like this?"

"It's just...I wish I could play poker with you," she said, smiling.

I raised an eyebrow, perplexed. "And why is that?"

"Because you put forth a terrible bluff," she answered, her laughter subsiding. "You wouldn't kill her."

So she knew that I wouldn't, but...she didn't know for sure. The only problem with calling someone's bluff is that sometimes you're also bluffing.

"Would you like to bet her life on that?" I asked, my smile fading.

Her smile faded as well. And I knew why.

I turned around to see the girl with the blue hair rushing toward me. She jumped into the air, her sword raised and her eyes blazing. I raised the keyblade in defense, and sparks flew as the two weapons clashed.

I was forced to release the girl as I jumped back to avoid a swing from Angel. I ducked, somehow knowing that the ebony-haired assassin would attack from behind. Her sword wooshed as it but above my head and I jumped backwards, driving an elbow into her gut. She collapsed to the ground, coughing.

Two down, at least for now. The last assassin raced toward me, unafraid. Even though both of her allies were down. I ran toward her as well, but never got to her.

There was this piercing sound. It screamed through my mind and I tried to move my hands to my head, but my body was frozen. I collapsed to the ground, my vision swimming before me.

What...the hell...?

I saw Sonia on the ground too, except she was out cold. I looked ahead, with difficulty, to see Angel staggering.

Then I saw something.

A shadow approaching, the outline of a person walking toward me. I squinted, trying to block out the pain and concentrate on seeing who the person was. But the darkness overwhelmed me.

Just darkness.

I looked around, trying to find anything, anything that looked like an exit or escape.


Whatever. I might as well just start walking. Maybe I'll find a way out of here.

At this moment, another person in this situation would probably think they were dreaming. I knew I wasn't. Any fool should be able to seperate reality from reverie.

Why do you deny me?

The voice came from the shadows, as cold and as hollow as the gloom that surrounded me.

I don't even know who you are, pal, I responded to the voice.

You don't?

This is why I was brought to this world of darkness? To be played mind games with?

Games are for fools, Develyn. This is reality.

Then why don't you tell me who you are?

Because you already know.

If I knew, then-, you know what? Forget it. Just tell me how to get outta here.

Out of where?

Out of this dream! This darkness!

Unfortunately, you will always be in darkness. Soon, you will wish it was a dream.

"Hey, wake up!"

At the sound of the voice, my eyes slowly opened. Someone was standing over me, but I couldn't discern their identity. Everything looked soft and blurry, like a bad photograph.

"C'mon, get up. I know you didn't get beat up by a thief, or anything."

"Look buddy," I croaked, getting shakily to my feet. "Thanks for your help so far, but you're no longer needed."

"Geez, do you even know who I am?" the figure asked. As he said this, his image began to clear. White, shoulder-length hair, dark-blue eyes, and a brown trench-coat was all I needed to see to know with whom I was talking to.

"I thought you went to the hideout," I said as I rubbed my temples. I had a killer headache and the steady patter of rain, while beautiful, did nothing to dull it.

"I did, but you didn't come back for a while so..." he trailed off.

"You came back because you were worried about me?" I asked incredulously.

"Well, yeah," he answered, shifting uncomfortably.

I was more than shocked. This type of behavior among mercenaries was unheard of. Even partners who had been working together for years wouldn't go back into the proximity of a hot spot to help their comrade.

But then again, he is relatively young, I thought to myself. He only looked to be about eighteen or nineteen at the most. A baby really, when average age of mercenaries is around thirty. I thought I was the youngest at twenty-three, but my spotlight was taken, so to speak.

"You're an idiot," I growled. A jolt of pain raced through my body, but I gritted my teeth. I began limping slowly down the alley, sheathing my sword. The keyblade had already disappeared, and I was grateful. For some reason, I didn't want the kid knowing I wielded the it. At least not yet.

"And why is that?" he demanded, keeping up with me easily. "While you were unconscious, someone could have killed you!"

"One's life is his own," I explained, looking directly into his eyes. "No one else is responsible for it."

"But Sora always relied-"

"On his friends," I finished for him. "And look where it got him."

The kid looked confused. "What do you mean? Know one even knows where he is."

Oh yes, I forgot. I only know where he is because of the keyblade. "Exactly. He's lost, probably on some dark world where only Heartless live. He probably fights everyday for his life without a moment's rest."

"Or he could be on an island somewhere, sipping a drink and getting a tan."

I shook my head. "Nothing's ever that easy."

"Why not?" he asked. "What's so wrong with having a little hope?"

"Hope is like a bubble," I responded. "It looks tangible, like you can grasp it and hold on to it. It even looks beautiful. But as soon as you get close to it, touch it, it explodes, leaving behind only what you started with. Reality."

The kid was silent for a minute, before shaking his head. "Sorry, but I just can't accept that. I think you're just too cynical for your own good."

"Maybe," I admitted, "but I'm alive, and I've been a mercenary for quite a while. Does that tell you anything?"

"Not really," the kid said.

"Well, as long as you understand," I sighed. We emerged from the long alley onto the sidewalk and I cursed.

"What?" the kid asked, an eybrow raised.

"Where the hell's my motorcycle?" I growled. I looked around frantically, already making plans to find the b****** who stole it.

"Did you forget? You left the cloaking device on."

Oh yeah.

"Of course I didn't forget," I snapped, hoping he couldn't see through my lie. "I was just seeing if you were on your toes. mercenaries have to be ready for anything."

The kid scratched the back of his head. "Um, okay. Did I pass?"

I sighed heavily. "Let's just go." I went to the space where I left my motorcycle and felt around. My hand touched cold metal and I smiled faintly. I pressed the button that disables the cloak and stood back. The motorcycle flashed quickly then disappeared, then reappeared.

If there's one thing I love, in this entire world, it's this. This piece of machinery that has never failed me throughout the years I've owned it. I removed my trenchcoat, only wearing it for the mission, and tossed it behind my shoulder.

"Nice shirt," the kid said, already on his motorcycle.

I smiled and tugged the sleeves. "What this old thing?"

He laughed and reved up his engine. "Yeah, red's not really my color, but it's still pretty cool. Where'd you get it?"

I hopped on my bike, patting the black metal for good luck, as always, and stroking the words written in red on the side. "It's more of a dark-red really, and I got it at that..." I trailed off slowly, having heard something. A whisper.

"From whe-," began the kid, but I interrupted him.

"Sshhh," I cut in, getting off my motorcycle. The kid did the same, looking confused.

"Listen..." We stood there for a minute, maybe two. Stood there in the dark street, the rain hammering down on us relentlessly as we listened to the night.

"I don't hear anything," the kid finally said. "Maybe you just...just..." His eyes trailed up toward the sky, behind me.

What now?

I turned around to find nothing there, and I returned to the kid.

"What the hell were you looking at?" I asked, more than confused. I just hoped that the kid wasn't seeing things now. But I knew he wasn't. Whatever he saw, I knew he wasn't.

"There was this Heartless," he replied, a frown on his face. "It was the biggest thing I had ever seen..."

I looked back to where the Heartless had been. "Well, it's gone now, so-"

"Don't you just hate those dramatic events where you think something's gonna happen, but it doesn't?"

I whirled around, my sword already unsheathed. From the dark alley emerged a man both the kid and I knew. The kid sighed and sheathed his sword, but I didn't. I had never really liked the guy, personally. I felt an aura around him that just didn't put me at ease.

"Geez, you scared the hell out of us," the kid complained, brushing hair from his eyes. "What're you doin out here, anyway? This was supposed to be a two man mission."

The man smirked as his gold-colored eyes looked up toward the heavens. "I just wanted to enjoy the fine weather we're having here tonight," he explained softly. He ran a finger through his ebony hair. "By the way, did you two succeed in your mission?"

"Of course we did," the kid snapped. "What do you think we are? A couple of amateurs?"

"I would never even dream of such a thing," the man said, his face still turned toward the sky. The rain pattered on his face relentlessly, but he seemed not to care. "However, I would like a summary of your mission..."

"Fine," I said, waving a hand at the kid to calm him down. He looked like he was about to burst a blood vessel, and we didn't need that. "I'll tell you exactly how it went."

The man smiled. "Good." He finally stopped looking at the sky and faced us. "Please, begin. You have my undivided attention."

"This should be easy," the kid said as he got up from his motorcycle. He pressed a button and it disappeared, leaving behind no signs that a vehicle rested there. I did the same, giving my motorcycle a final pat before I pressed the button. The invisibility cloak was something that I was grateful for, something that was standard issue for the mercenaries that I worked with.

"One thing I've learned, kid," I said as we began walking toward our destination. "Don't go into a mission thinking you've already won."

"But all we have to do is kill this guy and we're done," he argued, walking next to me. "Just one man. And you know that he's dead, even if one of us was sent."

"You must have forgotten that he's one of the largest crimelords in this city," I replied, my hand on the hilt of my sword. The sword was hanging from my waist but was hidden behind a black overcoat. I didn't want this guy to see the sword until it was kissing his neck.

The kid laughed, his bravado combating his ego for superiority. It seemed to be a tie to me. "So he'll have a couple of bodyguards with him. Who cares?" He unsheathed his sword and swiped at the air a few times before putting it away. "They'll be cut to ribbons before they even know what happens."

I sighed, but couldn't help but crack a smile. The kid's enthusiasm was a little contagious.

"Well, here we are," I said, looking up at the building. "Are you ready?"

The kid smirked. "I'm ready for anything." I rolled my eyes exasperatedly and walked in with the kid close at hand. There was a security guard at the front desk, but he was too busy watching some cheesy soap opera to even pay attention to us. I shrugged and walked toward the elevator while my associate stifled a giggle. I glanced back with a frown.

The elevator arrived only a few seconds after I pushed the button and we walked in. As soon as the doors shut, I turned to the kid.

"Do you mind telling me what's so funny?" I asked softly, my voice belying the irritation I felt.

He grinned in response and said, "I was just thinking how everyone's going to blame him after we kill this guy. While he's watching a soap opera, we'll be performing our own little show."

The elevator stopped at the top floor, number fifteen, and the doors opened. We stepped out, myself in the lead, and headed toward the door with two guards in front of it. They couldnt' be more obvious if they had put a giant neon sigh over the door that said, "Kill this guy, he's here."

"Hey you," one of the guards began, holding out a hand. "What the hell are you doing-"

He never finished his sentence, because I finished his life. My sword was out before he even knew what had happened and with one quick motion, I slashed his neck. He crumpled to the ground and I smiled, satisfied. There was no way he could walk that one off. I turned to the other guard to find he had already been taken care of by the kid, his sword justting from the guard's back. He pulled it out and wiped the blood on the guard's suit.

"You ready?" he teased, grasping the door handle.

"Just open the door," I replied, my sword quivering in anticipation. The kid opened the door and there, behind a desk, sat one of the largest kingpins in Twilight Town. No one knew his real name, or even where he came from. Everyone just called him Styx.

"Hello, gentlemen," he greeted us, standing up. He stood up an unimpressive five feet, and his muscles didn't tell the tale of hard work and training. They whispered of laziness and ineptitude.

And yet.

I felt as if he felt he had our numbers.

"What can I do for you today?" he asked cheerfully.

"Besides your life, there's pretty much nothing on my wish list," the kid said smoothly, walking slowly toward Styx. "I was hoping that since I was a good boy this year, Santa would grant me this one gift."

The kingpin laughed heartily, stopping my associate in his tracks. "I'm sorry, it doesn't seem like you'll be having a very good Christmas this year then," he responded with a grin. "But I'm sure if you work extra hard, you can still get a pony and some chest hair."

With that said, guards began pouring out of every nook and cranny, surrounding us before we even knew what happened. Each of them wielded a firearm and confident grin.

A trap. They thought they had us.

I shook my head. Fools.

Poor, lost fools.

Before any of them could react, I charged the one nearest me. He was surpirsed when I slashed with my sword. He then screamed when he realized he was lacking a hand. I cut his throat, ending his horrible racket. It was a little harsh on my ears.

One of the men tried to point his gun at me, but I threw my sword at him, the blade embedding itself in his chest. He collapsed to the ground, lifeless.

Without even turning around, I kicked backwards, knocking one of them off their feet and into a bookcase. I didn't care. The bookcase looked like it was unused. Before he could get up, I drove my palm into his nose, causing the bones to pierce his brain. He died clinging to my leg. I retrieved my sword and looked to see how the kid was doing. All I saw was bodies strown everywhere and him standing on top, triumphant.

"You thought six men could take us down?" the kid asked, grinning incredulously. "I could've taken them all down myself!" Our query, having lost his "edge" was now cowering in a corner, trying not to piss his pants, I would imagine.

"P-please, don't k-k-kill me," he moaned, his eyes wide with fear. "I'll give you anything you want..."

The kid smiled. "Well thats great. Maybe we can work out an agreement after all." He held out his hand to the Styx, and he took it, a look of relief on his face. However, the kid pulled his arm quickly, jerking the kingpin's body into the sword that lay waiting.

"It's too bad we want your life..." he said as the crimelord sank to the ground. I croushed to the ground and removed a particularly nice ring from his finger.

"Well, now that that's out of the way," I said, standing up. "Why don't we hit the bar?"

"And that's why we're here," I finished, rubbing the hilt of my sword softly. "Any other questions?"

The man smiled, shaking his head. "Not at the moment. I'll meet you two back at the hideout. Be safe." With that, he disappeared, leaving behind only the rain that was there to begin with.

"What's his problem?" the kid muttered, sitting back on his motorcycle.

"I don't know," I replied, hopping on my motorcycle as well. "But you'd be best not to cross him."

"Yeah, he gives me the creeps for some reason," the kid said, revving his engine. Suddenly, a look of mischief shone in his eyes. "Last one there as to pay for the drinks next time?"

"I can't say no to that," I answered, pushing the petal to the metal. The kid laughed and followed quickly, going as fast as he could.

I smiled, but I was cold.

Not from the weather. As the wind raced through my hair and the rain pelted my skin, I could only think of one thing.

Those eyes.

Those yellow eyes.


New member
Jan 29, 2004
Chapter Three: Who We Are

"Hey, look at this…"

We were at the base, a two story building that didn't look like much but was the center of the Organization. I was just about to knock on the door, but the kid said something.

"What is it?" I asked, walking next to him. On the side walk, in red words, it read: Anxa is coming! Repent!

"Have you accepted Anjus as your lord and savior?" the kid asked me, smiling ruefully.

I rolled my eyes, already heading back to the door. I didn't have time to read the messages that pretty much covered Twilight Town. They weren't unusual, so the writing wasn't a surprise.

Here, everyone who believed in a god or religion believed in Anxa and Anjism. The belief in it was at such a fervor, one could believe it was a cult instead of a religion. I couldn‘t help but laugh, shaking my head.

I’ve always considered people of religion to be so weak. Except for the High Ministers of course. Every church was headed by a High Minister who duped as many people as possible into their religion. It amuses me that no one has realized that, while most of the people in the city are poor, the High Ministers steadily get fatter. But yet they preach of giving up all our worldly possessions in order to be closer to Anxa and eternal happiness. It was all a tad too hypocritical to me.

Still, Anjusm has a large fan base so to speak. So expressing your opinions about the belief could get a rock thrown at your head depending on what your views are. Many people don’t have anything to hold on to anymore besides they’re faith. Even if it is horribly askew.

“I can’t believe people follow that bunk kid’s story about Anxa and Anjus,” the kid muttered, shaking his head. “The Tome of Anjus is more of a kid’s nursery book than a source of faith.”

True, I had to agree. But then again, I could also sympathize. A little. Most people in the town were grim and desolate and lonely and angry.

I never said it was a happy town.

So what better thing to have, what better thing to believe, than the promise that you will be granted eternal rest after death? What better thing to wait for than the promise that Anjus will return to the world to strike down the non-believers and whisk you away to Heaven? What better thing to hold on to and cherish, than the assurance that you are loved? That no matter what you endure in life, there is someone watching you. Protecting you. Loving you.

We are angels.

Or, we want to be as close to them as possible. To bathe in their warm light for just a brief time, hoping that it will wash away our sins and doubts and worries and fears.

No one wants to believe what I believe, though.


We are demons.

Angels don’t conspire. They don’t kill the weak. They don’t cheat the stupid. They don’t lie to the gullible. They don’t steal from the blind. People don’t want to believe that this picture they’ve painted of life and faith has a backside. It may be beautiful on the front, but if you look behind the picture, it’s empty.

Truth be told though, I used to be a little envious that I wasn’t stupid enough to follow Anjusm so blindly. Then, maybe I wouldn’t have had such a rough time on the streets. Then, maybe. Just maybe. I could forgive myself for losing her.

Oh well. We learn to cope with the hand we’re dealt. Even if your hand is made up of the worst cards in the deck. We either make something out of it, or fold. And folding is never an option.

I turned back toward the building and knocked on the door. A slit opened in the door revealing what would have been a pair of eyes if the person had two eyes. Instead, an icy blue eye peered out and a black patch. The slit closed and the door opened, revealing a double-barreled shotgun. Behind the gun was the grizzled old man that stood watch behind the door. Behind the grizzled old man was the dark narrow hallway that led to the main room.

"Do we always have to go through this?" I asked, carelessly moving the gun aside. "You should know my face by now."

"Yeah," the kid agreed. "Are all these precautions really necessary?"

"You're damn straight they are," the old man growled, lowering the shotgun. "Everybody wants a piece of the Organization, one way or the other."

I grinned. You can’t help but like the Doorman, despite the fact that he seems to hate everyone he sees.

"Well, as long as you do your job then that won‘t be happening anytime soon," I said, still grinning. "Now if you'll excuse us..."

"You punk kids are all the same," the old man muttered, shaking his head and moving aside. "Always rush, rush..."

I walked toward the door to the main room, the kid behind me.

"How long has that guy been here anyway?" he asked me, as I opened the door.

"Dunno," I answered, scanning the room. The thick, black carpet and rich, mahogany tables and chairs told a different tale than the building's faded paint and chipped bricks. Three, elegant crystal chandeliers hung from the ceiling, bathing the room in warm light. The mercenaries were hanging around comfortably, trading information and talking. Some wore the uniform of the Organization: a black, hooded raincoat.

I walked toward the back door, where the Boss's office was. The kid was beside me, already excited about getting paid.

"Hey, how was the mission?" a figure clad in a black ninja outfit asked. Even his face was covered with the black cloth.

"Successful, as usual," the kid replied, giving a thumbs-up. "You should know that by now."

The man laughed, shaking his head. "He's as cocky as ever, huh?" he said to me, jabbing a thumb at the kid.

"Yeah," I agreed, walking past. "Sometimes I don't think he can turn it off."

"Hey, I resent that," the kid replied, folding his arms. "I'm not cocky, I'm confident."

I opened the door to the Boss's office to find her sitting behind her gigantic mahogany desk. A single chandelier lit the room and a book-case stood against the wall.

"Don’t you ever knock?" the Boss asked, standing up. I smirked and found myself wondering, as I did every time I saw her, what she looked like under her hood. She wore the Organization raincoat, except that hers was adorned with a silver necklace shaped like wings. With a musical voice and flawless brown skin, I'd expect her to be pretty beautiful. Her hood covered half her face, though, only revealing her one eye that glowed a bright yellow.

"I guess not," I shrugged, grabbing a seat and putting my feet on her desk. The Boss shook her head and sat down. The kid walked in and she motioned for him to sit as well.

"We succeeded in our mission," the kid informed her, taking his seat. "Where's our money?"

The Boss laughed, reaching behind her desk. "Straight to the point, huh?"

She pulled out a suitcase, placed it on the desk, turned it toward us and flipped it open.

"Whoa," was the whispered response from the kid as he stared at the suitcase filled with dols, the currency of Twilight Town. Even I sat up in my chair.

"Five-hundred thousand dols," the Boss said crisply, closing the briefcase. "Two-hundred and fifty for each of you."

I admired the money a little longer before grabbing the suitcase. I started to stand, but apparently, the Boss wasn’t ready for us to leave.

"Before you leave, I also have other matters to discuss with you," the Boss said.

"And what matters are those?" the kid asked, looking anxiously at the briefcase. He probably couldn't wait to spend some of it on a new car or something. I could dig that. I was just itching to get some new tires on my motorcycle.

"As both of you apparently know, each of you are of the rank "Seven."

"Yeah," I nodded, leaning back into my chair. "Go on."

"The rank of Seven is a great achievement," she continued. "But…both of you have earned the right to join…us."

The kid and I glanced at each other, confusion written on both of our faces. For as long as we’ve worked as mercenaries for the Organization, Seven is the only title we heard was worth attaining. Seven meant that you were the strongest, that you were in control. Everything else was…ordinary. So what was she talking about?

"Who‘s ‘us’?" the kid repeated, frowning perplexedly.

"We are…the ones who control the Organization,” the Boss explained, resting her elbows on the desk. “Every aspect of the Organization, every nook, every cranny. We are behind it, the backbone and the brain. We are the Order.”

“The Order?” I echoed, still trying to soak in everything. “You guys are the ones that find us our missions?”

She smiled secretly. “That’s one of our objectives, yes.” She stood up, walking from behind her desk. “But the Order is so much more. The Organization, the mercenaries, the town itself. We operate under the cover of darkness.”

"And you found us," I said, skeptical. "What makes us so worthy?"

"You two are the strongest mercenaries we have here," the Boss replied. "None of the others even come close to your mission success rate, strength, and abilities."

Both the kid and I knew this to be true, so we didn‘t try to argue it with false modesty. Instead, the gears were spinning in my head. And, as usual, they were working hard to scheme me up some money.

"So we join your little group," I started slowly. "What's in it for us?"

"Besides power and control?" the Boss responded, her tone joking. She glanced at our newly acquired briefcase. "Your first week's salary alone will make that look like the collected change of a beggar."

She didn’t realize it, but her saying that sealed the deal instantly. I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but I'm a sucker for money.

"Fine," I said, standing up and offering my hand to her. “I will accept your offer.”

"Then I congratulate you, Develyn,” the Boss said smoothly, surprising me. “Welcome, to the Order.”

"How'd you know my name?" I asked, curious but not threatened. I guess I was desensitized to it since that girl said it in the bar.

"We‘ve known your name ever since you‘ve joined the Organization," the Boss answered. She smiled, shaking her head. “We don’t just pick people off the street without knowing a little something about them.“ She looked at the kid. "What do you say, Andrew? Will you join?"

The kid thought for a moment before standing up and extending his hand. "Yeah, what the hell? More money, less problems. Right?"

"Then I welcome you also to the Order," the Boss said, smiling with pleasure. "My name is Fayexia."

A knock on the door came before anyone could respond, and the door opened revealing one of the hooded guys from the other room.

"Ma'am," the figure said, voice undeniably male. "Three female figures have been spotted standing on the roof. Your orders?"

Three females? That sounded a little familiar, but it couldn’t be them... Could it? They couldn’t be smart and stupid enough to follow me to the hideout. Could they?

Fayexia looked toward us, a hand on her hip. "Well? Any suggestions?"

"We'll handle it," I told her, turning toward the door. If it was who I thought it was, I didn't want anyone killing them until I had asked them some questions. It was time to tie up loose ends.

"Wait," Fayexia said, reaching behind her desk once again.

"If it's more money, then by all means..." Andrew trailed off when she threw two of the Organization raincoats at us. They each had the silver wings around the neck, like hers.

"For two new members of the Order," she said. The Boss smirked and shrugged. "And besides, it's cold out there."

I threw mine on and the kid followed suit. We walked out of the door toward the stairs. I quickened my pace, wanting to get there as soon as possible. Hopefully, they wouldn’t realize how idiotic it was to challenge me at my won headquarters and reatreat. As we climbed up the stairs, the kid asked me a question. Actually, it was more of a whine when I think about it.

"How come we're handling this?" he complained. "We could just send some of the lower guys."

Because I have questions to ask them that won‘t be answered if they‘re dead, I thought to myself. Aloud, I asked, "Five minutes on the job and you already want to shirk your responsiblities?" We passed the second floor, which was the living quarters for the mercenaries that slept here. I was glad I had a little apartment in the town. Sleeping in the headquarters didn’t seem like a particularly fun thing to do.

"Hey, it‘s our job to shirk our abilities isn‘t it?" the kid laughed, reaching the door to the rooftop first. As soon as he opened it, hard rain hammered upon us and we both put on our hoods.

We walked outside and I wasn't surprised to see the three assassins standing there, waiting. And looking pretty damn beautiful what with the rain and wind blowing all around them. I shook my head.

Women and money would be the death of me one day.

The one with the white hair that was now soaked with rain and plastered about her face, Sonia, drew her sword and held it ready. "Send out Develyn Bishop and you won't be hurt," she said, tensing. The ebony-haired assassin’s eyes narrowed and she crouched into a fighting position, her sword held ready. The one called Angel simply stood there, waiting for her cue.

I guess she didn’t talk much after all.

I threw back my hood to reveal my face, and their eyes narrowed. Sonia barely glanced at the ebony-haired assassin as she issued her orders, "Jackie, take down the other one. Angel and I will deal with Develyn."

I grinned in spite of the situation. Apparently, she had learned a lot from her previous battle with me. The first and foremost being, she couldn’t take me down alone.

"They're pretty hot," Andrew whispered to me, drawing his sword. "Why do they wanna kill you so badly?"

"I guess I just have that effect on women," I replied, eyeing them. Waiting for them to make their move.

I didn’t have to wait long.

Suddenly, quicker than quick, all three of the assassins darted towards us with swords raised. I guess they practiced that move a lot. The kid jumped forward too, toward the one called Jackie.

I waited until the last second until throwing back the coat and drawing my sword, the Black Requiem, and simultaneously summoning the keyblade to my other hand. It wasn’t necessary to wait that long but, as I’ve said before, there’s nothing wrong with adding a little style and flair to your fighting technique. It makes for a better show.

I deflected the overhead swing of Sonia with my sword, and Angel's side swing with the keyblade. I jumped back and swung my sword quickly, but Sonia ducked, quite gracefully I might add, and thrusted her sword at me, forcing me to jump up. As I jumped, Angel swung her sword savagely, and I blocked it with the keyblade again, the clash causing sparks to fly. As I landed back down on the ground, Sonia slashed quickly and repeatedly with her sword, but of course none of them got through. As Sonia attacked, I blocked each one successfully with the keyblade and drove the hilt of my sword into the approaching Angel's head without warning. She crumpled to the ground and I pressed my attack on Sonia relentlessly, finally knocking her sword from her hands. Finally, breathing a little harder than I expected, I glanced at the kid to see him holding the other assassin at bay with his sword. He hadn't noticed the keyblade yet and I dismissed it without even thinking.

"Just kill me and get it over with," Sonia spat, turning her head to the side.

Sorry, can’t do that. Killing a woman, especially a beautiful one, is something I can’t do. At least not without bottle of spirits in me anyway.

I raised an eyebrow in curiosity. "Are you in that much of a rush to die?" I asked, sheathing my sword.

Her eyes narrowed and she stood up slowly. "What are you planning?"

I laughed inwardly. I could practically smell the suspicion and mistrust she was exuding.

"I‘m not planning anything," I replied innocently. "I just want to know who sent you to kill me."

Sonia searched my face for a moment, before finally saying, "We don't know. It's an anonymous source."

A lie. You can tell when a person’s lying, usually. Watching they’re body language is all it takes to detect deceit. In Sonia, it was her eyes. She looked away, thinking that I’d be able to tell she was lying by looking into them.

I didn’t want to press the issue though, not too much, so I asked, "Well, is there anyway I could meet him? Get in contact?"

The assassin narrowed her eyes, but then saw Angel on the ground unconscious and Jackie still about to be skewered. Yes. Think of your situation and your options before making a rash decision. Her face softened.

“We’re…supposed to meet him at the abandoned church on the other side of town,” she revealed. “To give him a report of our mission so far. I can take you.”

I shook my head. "I know where it is. I'll go myself. If this guy wants to kill me, then he's at least going to see me in person first."

I knew exactly where she was talking about, seeing as there was only one abandoned church in the whole town. I don’t really remember the reason why it was abandoned, but I do know that no one had the heart to tear it down. And now it’s been standing there for years.

"You need us to be there," Sonia said. "We'll be the bait so he doesn't know that you're there. Then you can come out."

How kind. There must be a catch.

"Why so helpful now?" I asked, cocking my head questioningly. "You could've just let us go there and rid yourself of any more trouble."

"It's because Sonia wants to kill him," the ebony-haired assassin spoke up, standing. Andrew had sheathed his sword when he saw that there was no danger apparent. "Because-"

"That's enough," Sonia said, interrupting and throwing a harsh glance toward her. She turned back toward me. "Is it a deal? We lead you to the guy, you see him. I kill him."

I glanced from her to the assassin called Jackie, wondering what she had been about to say. I guess it doesn’t really matter though, I thought with a shrug. As long as I get to the main guy.

"Deal," I said, nodding and extending my hand. She looked at it for a moment before turning away and picking up Angel. She didn't look back, only said, "Meet us at the old train station at midnight sharp. Don't be late."

With that, they left, disappearing into the night from whence they came. I folded my arms and looked down at the ground in thought. I had the gut feeling. The one that everyone has. The one that is telling you something is wrong, something is not right.

Suddenly the kid tapped me on the shoulder and I looked up, jerked from my thoughts.

“What?” I asked.

“Well, forgive me for asking,” the kid said, his tone thick with sarcasm. "But, what the hell is going on?"

I stared into the night where the assassins had disappeared before answering, "That's what I'd like to know.” I put my hood on and walked back inside.


New member
Jan 29, 2004
Chapter Four: Memories of Nothing


Yeah...a little...

Yeah, me too... I haven't been this tired in a while...

Yeah...I guess...

Something wrong?

Who...are you...?

Who are you?

Do you know?

I'll show you...

It was one of those clear nights, the kind where you could see all the stars shining brightly, and the moon hung in the air, pale and bright. But there was an air of unreality to it. To everything.

I stood in the middle of an empty street, still wearing the Organization's raincoat. A cold wind whispered through the street, carrying dust and trash in its grasp.

This is where it all changed for me...

I turned around to find a boy of about five standing there, his head down. He looked like an orphan, wearing ragged clothes and no shoes. Since his head was down, I couldn't see his face. I could only see that he had black, messy hair.

This street... This is where I...

The boy choked up, his shoulders shaking. He still held his head down, as if deeply ashamed and saddened of something.

Where you what? I prompted, scratching the back of my head. I didn't really care, per se, but I wasn't doing anything else.

As soon as I asked, the street, the buildings, everything except us faded away leaving behind an endless white void.

I only lived for one thing back then. One precious, beautiful thing.

The boy pointed toward the figure of another child, most likely a girl. I couldn't see her features, however, because her face was shadowed. The girl turned around and skipped, fading away in the light.

I...I used to protect her...

Suddenly, with a flash of light, the child and I were watching the memory of him putting a bandage on the girl's scratched knee in the street.


Another of the girl shivering in the cold, asleep, and him taking off his shirt and putting it on her. Bare-chested, the boy shivered and rolled over in the dark alley they slept in, wrapping his arms around himself.


This was of the boy standing in front of the girl, defending her from a group of other kids. The girl was crying and held on to the boy's hand tightly as he yelled angrily at the group.


The boy crying softly, his head down between his knees and his arms wrapped around them.


The girl, kneeling before the boy and smiling. And that's when I saw her face. That smile. The birthmark on her chin. Those eyes. The same as mine. And that's when my heart stopped. It was her...

Yeah, it's her...

But, then that means you're...

Yeah, you and I. We're the same.

I closed my eyes, deep in thought for a moment. This was a dream. That's why I was seeing myself as a child, and why there were flashbacks of her...

Why am I having this dream?


We were standing back in the street where we first appeared. The boy stood next to me, his head down once again.



The voice echoed faintly all around us, but it sounded familiar.


The boy looked at me, his crimson eyes, my eyes, shining with tears.

I guess you're leaving?

I nodded. Yeah, but I'm sure I'll be back.


The boy shook his head sadly. You don't remember, but you will.

You will.


I opened my eyes to find Sonia staring at me, her face right in front of mine. I found myself staring right in her gray eyes.

"You sounded like you were having a bad dream," she said softly, not moving, her eyes dancing with mine.

Not knowing what else to say, I replied, "How the hell did you get in my house?"

She instantly turned serious, stepping back. "Rayne and Angel have been taken prisoner."

I gave her a blank look.

"By the same person who wants to kill you," she finished.

"And? Who is this guy?" I asked, still uncaring. "You gonna tell me finally?"

Sonia's eyes shifted for a moment before she sighed. "His name is Kuja. He is also an assassin, but he decided to test you out with us first. He's very powerful, and he threatened to destroy us all if we didn't kill you."

"Why the hell would he wanna kill me?" I wondered aloud.

"There's one more thing," she said softly.

"What?" I asked, curious.

"He's my brother..."

I stared at her for a moment before replying, "So?"

She shook her head. "It's nothing," she said. "Just put some clothes on and meet me outside." With that, she walked out, closing the door behind her.

Geez, with all that bossing me around, you'd think we were married. I grabbed a pair of black jeans, my red cuttoff shirt, and my black jacket. I didn't feel like wearing the raincoat, and it wasn't even raining. I grabbed my sword and walked out.

She was waiting outside my little one-story house, staring distantly at the night sky. It was a clear night, and it reminded me of my dream. The sky still wore the moon as its pendant, and the stars still twinkled brightly like polished diamonds.

"Hey," I said, walking toward her. She jumped a little, revealing that she was daydreaming or something. "So what's the situation again?"

"Kuja is a powerful assassin, that uses strong dark magic to dispatch of his foes. He's also a narcissistic, maniacal bastard." She hung her head a little, her voice dropping. "He's also my brother."

"Okay, so this is what's going on so far," I recounted aloud, beginning to count on my fingers. "One, this Kuja guy, your brother, forced you all to work for him in exchange for your lives. Two, he's kidnapped your two friends. Three, he wants to kill me." I shook my head. "Sorry, but I don't care if he's your brother or not. I'm going to take him out."

"Yeah," she nodded somberly. "He's made his choice."

"Alright," I nodded back. "Now, what's your plan?"

I was beginning to wonder why I had agreed to the plan. Sonia was being pretty rough, pushing me and everything. And plus, the rope that bound my wrists together was really digging into my skin.

She threw me through the thick, mahogany doors, yelling, "I have him, Kuja! I have the Keyblade Master!"

So demeaning.

I found myself thrown in front of a big, fancy staircase, which led to a gigantic upper hall, which, in turn, led down to the dark hall that I was currently on my knees in.

Without warning, candles erupted into flame, giving flickering light instead of unwavering darkness. I looked up at the top of the staircase to see a man standing there. He had white, wild hair, and dark violet eyes. He wore black pants with silver boots and a long-sleeve purple shirt. And a confident smirk.

"So Mr. Bishop," he said, walking down the stairs. "What brings you here?"

"Just stopping by for a visit," I replied, standing up slowly. It's kind of hard when both of your hands are bound behind you. "You know, just to touch bases."

Kuja stared at me for a while before his eyes shifted to Sonia. "Good job, Sonia. As promised, here are your friends." He snapped his fingers, and the two missing ladies appeared in front of him.

"Did you really have to snap your fingers?" I asked.

Kuja shrugged, smiling. "Nah..."

"Rayne, Angel, come over here," Sonia commanded, still holding my hands.

"Now, it's time for you to fulfill your part of the deal," Kuja said, stepping forward. "Hand him over."

Now, instead of handing me over, the plan was to cut me loose so I could smack the guy up. Imagine my surprise when I was thrown right toward him by Sonia.

"What the hell?" I demanded, turning back toward the assassins. Sonia was already turning around, leading her friends out.

"I'm sorry."

That was all I heard as the big mahogany doors slammed shut, echoing throughout the hall and signifying the finality of their exit.

I laughed, out loud. I couldn't help it.

I had just been played.

"I hope that isn't a laugh of insanity," Kuja smiled, standing in front of me. "We wouldn't want our little Keyblade Master faulty."

"How about cut the side chatter and tell me why you want me dead?" I glanced at my hip, noticing that Sonia had forgotten to take my sword. Maybe purposely?

Kuja smiled. "Very well. At first, I wanted to kill you. I didn't need any more strength added to the already powerful Unknowns." Kuja waved a hand and the ropes binding my wrists melted away like sand. "But when I found out you had become a keyblade master, I decided to propose to you a proposition."

I didn't waste anytime whipping out my sword and swinging it quickly toward the bastard's neck. But I found the sword just barely brushing Kuja's neck, my arms stopped by a mysterious force.

Kuja's smile widened, and I felt my arms bringing the sword slowly toward my neck. I tried to fight it, but it was too strong, and soon the razor-sharp edge was touching the side of my neck.

"The proposition is," Kuja continued, still wearing that cocky smile. "That, in exchange for your life right now and a large sum of money, you will help me bring down the Organization."

With a burst of energy, I broke free from Kuja's powerful mind grip on my arms and swung hard at him. He dodged to the side as my sword slashed right by him, leaving behind a trail of red energy.

"I didn't know your skills were developing this fast," Kuja said, folding his arms. But he looked happy. "At this rate, we'll crush the Organization with ease."

"And why am I helping you?" I asked through gritted teeth as I swiped at him with my sword once again. He jumped back and shook a finger at me mockingly.

"Because, you're a sane man," he said, ducking as I swung my sword at his head. "And no sane man would turn down ten million dols."

I nearly choked, and quickly diverted my next swing with the sword, choosing instead to keep it at my side. "What did you say!" I demaded, having to hear him say it again to make sure my ears weren't decieving me.

"Ten million dols," Kuja repeated, folding his arms satisfactorily. "Straight up, as soon as every member of the Organization is dead."

"As long as that doesn't include me or the kid, I say full steam ahead." The thought of ten million dols was making my mouth water, and I couldn't wait to get it. I was already spending the money mentally in my head.

"Yes," he nodded. "You two are new members, so your existence in the Unknowns hasn't impacted anything. It's only the old members we want."

"Good, then I'm definitely in," I said. "What first?"

Before he could respond, the big mahogany doors creaked open once again, revealing a shadowy figure.

"I'm afraid I can't allow this," the figure said, walking toward us. He stepped into the candle light and I cursed, shaking my head. It was the creepy guy, the one with the yellow eyes. The guy that was second to the Boss until the kid and I got promoted. He wore a black scarf, black long-sleeve shirt, black jacket, black pants, and black boots. On his waist were two black swords, gleaming coldly in the candle-light. The guy really, really loved black.

"And who are you?" Kuja asked casually, leaning against a pillar. He looked totally unfazed to the fact that a complete stranger had just strolled into his place, and I guess I wouldn't either if I were as strong as him.

"My name is Xanthe," he introduced himself, bowing. "I would like to join your little plan, lending my skills and power in exchange for money."

"Why do you want to betray the Organization so badly?" I asked, suspicous. If experience taught me anything, it was that this guy was loyal to the Organization.

"Because I'd do anything for three million dols," he replied, smiling. "Like you, I am also something of a fiend when it comes to money.

"Three million dols." I raised an eyebrow. "When did we come upon that price?" I asked, crossing my arms.

Xanthe shrugged.

"Well, my offer of ten million dols still stands, no more, no less," Kuja stated. "If you want extra help, you can hire them with your share."

I thought for a moment. Seven million dols was still a ridiculous amount of money, and I probably would need help with the members of the Organization. Fayexia did say they were all pretty powerful.

"Alright fine," I said to the man. "You're hired. But you have to do exactly what I say, alright?"

Xanthe shrugged again. "I can take a couple of orders for three mil."

"Alright," I nodded, turning toward Kuja. "So what's the plan?"

"First, go back to your little hideout and try to find more out about the members of the Unknowns. Then report back here."

"Fine, I'll go right now," I said, turning toward the door. What can I say? I live by the old saying: There's no time like the present.

"You comin?" I asked, as I walked past Xanthe.

"Well, there really is no point," he replied. "I'm not an Unknown, you and the kid are."

Damn. The kid.

"Do you think I should grab him and take him with me?" I asked.

The man shrugged. "It wouldn't hurt."

I reached into my jacket pocket and fished out a small silver cell phone. I immediately dialed the number, and waited as it rang. Finally, the kid picked up.

"Hello?" he spoke into the phone.

"Hey, its me," I greeted, knowing he would know my voice. We had worked together on several missions before, so we were quite familiar with one another.

"What's up?" the kid asked.

"Meet me in front of the hideout in about fifteen minutes," I said, walking out the doors of the mansion and into the yard. I opened the gates that closed the property off from the public and hopped onto my motorcycle. I hadn't put the invisiblity cloak on, so there was no unneeded feeling around.

"What for?" the kid asked, his voice curious.

"I'll explain when you get there," I answered, closing the cell phone shut. I started up the engine and began to ride.

I got there in record time, spotting the kid as I raced down the street. He must have already been near. I slowed down and stopped in front of the hideout, hopping off the bike.

"So what's going on?" the kid asked, walking up to me, his brown trenchcoat flowing in the wind. Underneath it, he only wore some black pants and a black shirt. "What's so important?"

"How would you like to make three million dols?" I replied, answering his question with a question of my own.

"Well, I'd like that just fine," he answered, shaking his head. "But what does that have to do with-"

"I just scored ten million dols," I interrupted him, enjoying the astonished look on his face. "Three million goes to you, three million to another person, and four million to me. And all we have to do is kill every member of the Unknowns."

"But we don't even know who the Unknowns are," the kid pointed out.

"Yeah, that's why we're about to ask the Boss who they are," I said, knocking on the door. It creaked open, and I instantly knew something was amiss. I drew my sword.

"Wait, who-" began the kid, but I turned around, putting a finger to my mouth and pointing down at the body of the grizzled old doorman. His face was contorted into a look of horror, and his face was pale white.

I crept quickly but quietly down the dark hall, the kid tiptoeing behind me. With my sword in one hand, I pushed open the door to the hall with the other, slowly.

The kid cursed softly to himself when he saw the bodies of the mercenaries strewn carelessly about throughout the hall. Everyone one of them were pale white, and every one of them had looks of absolute fright on their faces.

I walked slowly toward the door to the Boss's office, my senses on full alert. I finally reached the door, and I opened it slowly, my sword quivering, ready to strike.

There, in her chair, was the Boss, except she lacked the necessary life to sit up in her chair. Instead, she was slumped over her desk, her eyes calm and distant, and here skin ashen gray.

I looked around the room and, seeing nothing, closed the door behind us.

"Alright, I don't know what's going on right now," I said to the kid, "but I do know one thing. We're going to have to find out another way to get info on the Unknowns."

The kid's jaw dropped. "What about all that?" he asked, waving his arm toward the hall, presumably at the dead bodies. "What about her?" He looked at the former Fayexia.

"They're dead," I pointed out. "What, do you wanna do, bury em?"

"Well we can't just leave them-" He stopped, interrupted by the sound of a chair turning over in the hall. I grabbed the doorknob, glancing back at the kid. His sword was ready and waiting. He nodded, and I nodded back, opening the door a crack.

Outside, one of the mercenaries was trying to stand. I opened the door and walked quickly to him, catching him as he was about to fall.

"What happened here?" I demanded.

"...He took...he took them..." the man struggled to say, his voice weak. "...took them..."

"Took who, where?" I asked. "Make some sense."

"He took they're...hearts..." the man said, his breathing shallow. "...the man...with silver hair and brown skin...and those yellow eyes..."

I glanced at the kid, hoping he would recoginize the description, but he shook his head.

"What else did you see?" I asked the man. "Anything else?"

"...yes..." The man's brown eyes suddenly blazed yellow. "I'm coming, Keyblade Master..." I dropped the guy like he was burning hot and backed off. Those eyes, they were like nothing I had ever seen before. Even Xanthe's creepy eyes weren't filled with that much hate and darkness.

"So, what's the plan?" the kid finally asked after a few moments of silence.

I sighed and stood up. "Now, we have to go talk to Kuja."

"Hmmm, brown skin, golden eyes, and silver hair." Kuja was stroking his chin softly, thinking. "The only person that fits that description is Ansem, but he was destroyed by the other Keyblade Master."

"Sora," the kid said, leaning against the wall.

"Right, Sora," Kuja nodded, his brow furrowed. "So I don't see how it could be Ansem."

"Maybe it's his son or something?" Xanthe suggested as he leaned back into his chair. "Or his brother? Someone that's linked to him."

"It could be a lot of things," I responded, folding my arms. "Right now, we just have to focus on how I'm going to get in touch with the Unknowns."

"Actually, I'm sure they'll try to get in touch with you," Kuja said. "You two are now officially Unknowns, so they're going to want to know what happened from two reliable sources."

"So, in other words, sit tight until something happens," the kid translated, smiling. "I'm cool with that."

"Good," Kuja nodded, walking toward the staircase. "If you get any new information, don't hesitate to come. If you'll excuse me..." He walked up the stairs and disappeared from sight.

"Well, I guess we can just all head back home?" I said, shrugging. "When can we all meet up again?"

"I say at seven, on the dot, at the abandoned church," the kid said. "We can make that our new hideout for now."

Xanthe shrugged and disappeared into the shadows.

"Man, that guy's wierd," the kid said, shaking his head. "Why is he getting a cut again?"

"Because we're gonna need all the help we can get," I said, opening the doors to the outside. There we found a convenient surprise.

Waiting for us out there were three shadowy figures, clad in the Organization raincoat. But, gleaming in the moonlight were the silver necklaces that adorned the the Boss' raincoat. Which meant...

"You all are the Unknowns."

From out of the shadows stepped one of them, a young man with wild red hair and gleaming, emerald-green eyes. He grinned at me and waved a hand over the figures behind him.

"Way to point out the obvious," he said. "I'm Axel." He walked forward, sticking out a hand. I grabbed it and shook it.

"I already know your names so you don't have to tell me," Axel said, turning toward his comapnions. "The blonde chick's Larxene." He waved toward a cute blonde with cold blue eyes. She smiled sweetly and gave a little wave.

"And Riku," he said, as a silver-haired teen with aqua-green eyes emerged from the dark. The boy gave a half wave of disinterest, but I was in shock. Here was one of the Keyblade Masters, joined up with the Organization?

"What happened to Fayexia?" The "blonde chick", Larxene asked.

"We don't know," I shrugged. "We went to the hideout and everyone was finished. One guy was alive for a minute, and he said that some guy with silver hair and yellow eyes did it."

At that, Riku's eyes widened, and he looked away quickly. I rose an eyebrow, but said nothing. Not yet.

"Ansem," Axel sighed, tapping his foot on the ground. "It's like that guy won't die."

"Tell me about it," Riku muttered.

"Well, I'm sure you both have a lot of information to tell us, though I wouldn't count on it. You both look kinda dumb." Larxene stretched. "Plus I'm tired. Can we go already?"

Kinda dumb...?

"Yeah," Axel nodded, turning toward us. "As your first gift for joining the Unknowns, I'll bestow you both with this gift." He rose his arms above us and I felt a strange power radiate within me.

"You can now tear a hole in space and travel wherever you like," Axel said, grinning. "Pretty cool huh?"

Before we could answer, he whipped out a gigantic, spiked wheel and sliced at the air. Suddenly, a black, gaping hole appeared in the air and Axel stepped through it.

"Follow me, newbies," he called back as he disappeared.

Andrew looked at me before shrugging and walking in. I gestured toward the portal and bowed, smiling at Larxene. "Ladies first."

"You got that right," she replied as she walked through, disappearing instantly.

Riku was about to walk in, but I grabbed his coat, pulling him back.

"What are you doing here?" I demanded. "I thought you were...well, not here..."

"How would you know where I was?" The boy looked at me suspicously, so I summoned the keyblade to my hands. His eyes widened in surprise.

"You're a Keyblade Master too!" he exclaimed, summoning his keyblade. "But how?"

"I don't really know, or care for that matter," I replied. "All I want to know is why you're with the Organization."

"I'm going to bring them down, from the inside," Riku said. "It's the only way."

I couldn't believe my luck.

"Then we have a lot to talk about," I told him, a smile on my face.
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