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Fanfiction ► Kingdom Hearts: Hearts in Unison (Chapter 68 posted)



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Sephiroth0812

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Alright, I've finally found some time to release the next chapter which brings this arc to a definitive end.

#####

LIX. A final decision - Part II

Meanwhile Tron continued to evade Tartarus' frenzy of attacks.
"Looks like I really have no choice." He sighed heavily as he tapped into the additional powers he had as the system control of the Hollow Bastion system.
"No choice but to vanish, yes!" Tartarus mocked as he brought his broadsword down in another fierce attack.
"You really have a way too big mouth." Tron retorted and jumped over the slash, landed on the blade of the sword with enough force to slam it into the ground and then threw his disc loaded with some system energy directly into the red-haired boy's face.
The disc exploded as Tartarus screeched in pain and tried to go backwards, but he noticed in shock that he couldn't move.
"What did you DO?" His red eyes fixated Tron with a hateful stare.
"I cut off your process' access to the CPU and freezed your procedures." Tron stated matter-of-factly. "It may be doomed, but this system is still under my care and I won't allow any damage to the user-world."
Abyss floated down before CLU.
"I do not intend to waste much time. Perish!" His voice had turned so deep that it sounded as if coming directly from the grave.
"Void Shear!"
The scythe grew tremendously in size and was cloaked in black energy as Abyss swung it down directly on CLU.
Throwing both discs at her for a distraction Rinzler disengaged from Scylla and jumped between Abyss and CLU, pushing the latter out of the way.
The attack first scraped Rinzler, cutting off his entire left arm and shoulder in the process before the scythe's blade ran through the floor of the hall producing a huge gash making everything tremble.
Just one millisecond later everything the attack had hit erupted in massive geysirs of Darkness, throwing all combattants away in different directions.
Braig could barely hold on the terminal besides the gate to the black box.
Rinzler was obviously deeply wounded and it looked like he would derezz at any moment.
Tron rushed over and immediately used one of his Administrator privileges to start a quarantine procedure that kept Rinzler in his current state before CLU could do anything else.
CLU threw his disc at Abyss in fury. "Damn you damaging a useful tool like Rinzler like that!"
The skeletal demon took one step aside to dodge, but was surprised by the disc projecting an energy net restricting his movement.
"You really think this can hold me for long?" He snarled.

Despite the black helmet blocking it, Tron could somehow feel that Rinzler was staring at him and did so in return.
Something about him feels so incredibly familiar...what's that?
"Ugh." He suddenly felt a painful twitch in his chest.
"What did you do?" CLU inquired as he reached them.
"Saved him from deresolution by protecting his remaining code." Tron answered calmly and looked sternly at CLU.
"The corruption is spreading rapidly throughout this system, many programs and functions have already been derezzed and I fear that soon the central system core as well as my administrator functions will be afflicted as well. These hybrids, whatever they are, are so powerful they might even be a threat to the user-world and the system you originally came from."
CLU's angry expression changed to a more neutral one as he realized the extent of the danger Tron was describing.
"So in short, this system is doomed already. Then what do you propose we do? Considering that the others may also be able to "evolve" like that, we simply cannot win through battle to escape."
Tron had waited for that, waited for the moment he could broker a truce with CLU and, if everything would play out as he hoped, enable the later rebirth of the system without any threat from CLU and whoever he worked for ever again.
"I will take them on all four, with every function and system privilege I have at my disposal as long as they still function. You use that time to flee with Sark Z and Rinzler back to your own system, then cut all connections between it and the Hollow Bastion system for good so that nothing can seep through."
CLU grunted. "Hmph, I should have expected a self-sacrifice from someone like you. After all, you are a copy of the original Tron and he had the same, illogical tendency."
"One day, we will meet again CLU, and then I'll unveil the truth between all your cryptic remarks." Tron declared with conviction.
On this, CLU roared with laughter.
"Oh, I doubt that considering what you're about to do. But well, I accept your "plan"."
"Doubt all you want...in the end we'll see who is right."
With these words, Tron loaded up another system procedure and teleported Sark Z out of the way of a joint attack by Scylla and Charybdis, switching places with him.
He re-created his identity disc enlarging it to a shield and activated an own light sword with a shining white blade.
Blocking Scylla's scythe with the shield and Charybdis' fan with the sword, he activated the same procedure he used to stop Tartarus.
"Ghh...this can't be!" Scylla screeched.
"A clever course of action, I admit." Abyss' grave voice cut in as the skeletal demon slowly walked towards Tron, the scythe held diagonally before his chest as the last remnants of CLU's energy net were dissipating around him.
"But it won't help you for long. The corruption our arrival spread in this system will destroy that weapon of yours in time as well."
"It will be enough to achieve what I want to achieve." Tron explained with confidence.
"That's what you think." Abyss stated and immediatelly rushed forward slashing at Tron.
He dodged, countering with a swing of his own light sword that rebounded off Abyss' bony structure.
"Your puny weapon can't hurt me in this form!" He declared boldly and punched Tron away with a sudden backhand slap of his skeletal fist.
Watching the fight with interest as well as the frozen other three hybrids, CLU allowed himself a grin before he turned to Sark Z.
"Do you get our escape route online already, you useless junk program?"
"That user has cut the complete connection to our system, reopening it takes some time."
"We do not have time!" CLU barked impatiently.
"How lucky then that I managed to open an alternate route. What's the matter over there?"
The stern face of Madame Destine appeared in a new floating screen.
"This whole system here is going down the gutter, we could grab some of the data but not much while Rinzler got heavily damaged." CLU answered coldly.
"If we do not react quickly, the corruption of these weird hybrid programs may also cross over into our system." Sark Z added grimly.
"Then get your digital buttocks over here pronto!!!" Destine snarled in a sour tone. "Dillinger! Once they are back on our side, immediately cut all connections to the system at Hollow Bastion." She continued without even turning to look at him.

Forcing Sark Z to carry Rinzler, CLU ignored the woman's outbursts and took the datacard with the few data they could acquire before vanishing in a swirl of data, catching a last look at Tron who was battling Abyss in his "evolved" form.

"You're only delaying the inevitable." Abyss snarled as he advanced on Tron with several slashes of his scythe.
He however simply disengaged, dodging every single attack and all the while moving closer to the portal of the black box.
Braig realized this and aimed his arrowguns.
Tron jumped over Braig with a big somersault, dodging his shot.
"What? Ugh."
With a very fast roundhouse kick directly in the lower back Tron send Braig flying forwards, directly into one of the coming attacks from Abyss.
"Master!" Despite frozen in place, Scylla, Charybdis and Tartarus could still see and speak.
"Tsk, as if." Braig snorted and used his powers over space to teleport out of the way, appearing right beside Tron before the Terminal beside the portal.
"Already back? Well, I guess I have some incentive for you to get moving again." Tron stated bluntly as to Braig's horror he ripped the mini-computer out of the terminal.
"Give that back!"
"Catch it if you can!" Tron retorted and threw the computer away into the center of the hall like a frisbee.
"You digital son of a!" Braig cursed as he teleported again.

"Annoying. Perish at last! The skeletal demon snarled with contempt, creating a ball of dark energy within his free hand and blasting it into Tron's direction.
The system control program blocked the projectile with his light shield.
So far, so good. The corruption is right now destroying the surveillance system of the town and the sensor procedures. That means it'll soon reach the Claymore defense system and will also infect Cid's terminal in Merlin's house. However it means that the kernel and the most basic system procedures as well as the boot sectors are still safe.
That user's mini-computer has already downloaded much of the additional data of the blackbox, so there should now be quite some room inside that blackbox.
Time to start it!
He tossed his light sword towards Abyss and raised his hand above his head.
"Start data transfer."

Braig had just catched the mini-computer and landed on the floor again as the floor itself suddenly began to glow and disappear in hundreds of fibrous light threads.
"What the hell???" Braig started to fall.
Abyss lost his foothold too as the part he stood on vanished, but the demon jumped forwards and landed on the platform directly before the portal.
"He derezzes the whole sector!" Charybdis cried as her frozen form started to fall down an endless abyss of data streams.

"Brother, do something!" Scylla screeched at Abyss.
Abyss, nightmarish face had a mixed expression of anger and shock.
"You delete the system yourself before our corruption can do it?"
"Precisely. If I am doomed either way I can at least take some of you with me and prevent further damage to the user world or other systems." Tron answered in a calm tone.
Just continue thinking that and all will work out in the end!

"Bro! Will you get some help going here already?" Tartarus yelled in total fury from below.
"Just you wait, I'm not yet done with you!" The demon pointed a bony finger at Tron.
Abyss was surrounded by a purple aura as he turned and dived into the endless chasm that was the hall before, going after his three siblings and Braig.

"This is certainly NOT how I imagined this mission ending. Damn it!" The one-eyed man flounced around involuntary as he fell further and further, tightly gripping the mini-computer in one and an arrowgun in the other hand.
As Abyss appeared right beside him, he dismissed the arrowgun and gripped the extended hand which was a very unpleasant feeling since it was only skeletal.
"You have downloaded nearly all data to that mini device?" Abyss asked.
"About 90%, yeah, only 10% of the data is missing plus the system backup, but we don't need that one. What's the big idea?"
"Ending the whole charade." The demon answered in a dull tone as he shortly tapped a finger of his other hand on the mini-computer, the scythe meanwhile floating behind his back.
There were three flashes below Braig and Abyss as their fall came to a sudden halt, both standing on a purple floating platform made by the demon's energy.

A savage roar made Braig nearly trip as Scylla, Charybdis and Tartarus appeared floating around him with auras of their respective circuit-colors illuminating them, all sporting their advanced forms which only barely still resembled something human.
Eek, gross. Braig gulped as he took in their appearances.

"Scylla, Charybdis! Ensure that the Master gets out of here! Most data is in that mini-computer, so we'll have to return there!" Abyss snarled.
"Roger, and what about you and Tarti?"
"Well, what do you think? We'll smash that annoying Tron guy!!!" Tartarus roared and he flew upwards, spreading two enourmous, fiery wings that emitted little wisps of flame in all directions.
Abyss followed immediately, warping in something that looked like a black hole.
At the portal Tron had by now all crucial system procedures transferred into the black box.
It's time, now, the last thing remaining to insert are, my own memories.
A crashing sound behind alerted him as Tartarus landed, a hideous demonic creature that Tron couldn't even try to describe. They are certainly NOT programs.
"It's over now! Whatever you try to do it won't prevent your end!" Abyss snarled.
"That may be so, but I have done everything that I could hope to achieve in this situation." Tron declared as he dismissed all his weapons and functions, also transferring them into the black box. "For the last transfer, the terminal won't be needed anymore." He continued as he smashed it with his fist.
"Enough chatter. Perish!" Tartarus and Abyss said in unison as they charged and stabbed their weapons right through Tron, destroying him.
As he started to fade, Tron had a slight, content smile, much to Tartarus and Abyss surprise.
So that's what deresolution feels like. Not as bad as I'd thought it would be. I've played all my cards, but if they were played well will be decided by others. Right? Yori...Sora, it's up to you!

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Zero Dozer

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The hell?

Well, we won't be seeing Tron again, that's fo'sho'. But I didn't expect that he would sacrifice the entire system in order to save whatever didn't get corrupted. Then again, that's Tron for you.

And I wonder now what is inside that 90% Braig got from the Black Box into that cut-paste (as it was removed from the BB-Drive to be put into his computer).
 

Roxie1563

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... Crap. D:

I honestly didn't expect this. But knowing Tron, he always has some back up plan and that's Sora. Sora, the Key that Connects to everything, has the power to bring back those who was lost. That black box holds everything about Tron, so looking forward to Sora reviving him back. ;3

You're still in perfect synch with the story, despite being away for a bit! :D Wanting the next chapter now! haha!
 

KingdomKey

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I doubt this is the end of Tron. If what he said was true, then he will reappear eventually through the black box Braig has salvaged and needed throughout this whole thing. What he said at the end, was what interests me the most, before he mentioned Sora. I don't think that was a typo, and I think there's more to it. This is pure speculation that the ten percent may of been replaced with what Tron could put of himself inside of the box, or it may be something more valuable that's been scattered into other servers before Braig could download whatever it was. As for the evolved forms, I wouldn't be surprised if we do see them again too. I'm not fully sure if they are data anymore, but they're not normal users either. This was a good chapter. It was quite interesting to see Tron converse with CLU for a short time. I look forward to reading more of this, Sephy. :)
 

Sephiroth0812

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The hell?

Well, we won't be seeing Tron again, that's fo'sho'. But I didn't expect that he would sacrifice the entire system in order to save whatever didn't get corrupted. Then again, that's Tron for you.

And I wonder now what is inside that 90% Braig got from the Black Box into that cut-paste (as it was removed from the BB-Drive to be put into his computer).

Surprised about the end of this arc? *ggg*

At least not in the foreseeable future, that much I can already reveal. Well, he didn't really have much of a choice in that regard as even if he would have allied with CLU and Sark Z they wouldn't have stood a chance against all four hybrids in their advanced forms. he couldn't even barely scratch Abyss alone, not to mention that one single attack of him nearly wiped out Rinzler.

Part of that 90% of data is the data about the four hybrids, that's why Abyss explains they have to return into Braig's mini-computer now and no more into the black box.

... Crap. D:

I honestly didn't expect this. But knowing Tron, he always has some back up plan and that's Sora. Sora, the Key that Connects to everything, has the power to bring back those who was lost. That black box holds everything about Tron, so looking forward to Sora reviving him back. ;3

You're still in perfect synch with the story, despite being away for a bit! :D Wanting the next chapter now! haha!

Tron basically plays a gambit that involves taking himself out of the equation, but the observations he made while all this happened led to him to believe that by saving (and putting away) what's possible and let the enemy win for now might result in a better situation later.

RL is giving me quite the run for my money this year, delaying chapter releases, but that doesn't mean that I go completely without looking at the story once in a while. ;)

I doubt this is the end of Tron. If what he said was true, then he will reappear eventually through the black box Braig has salvaged and needed throughout this whole thing. What he said at the end, was what interests me the most, before he mentioned Sora. I don't think that was a typo, and I think there's more to it. This is pure speculation that the ten percent may of been replaced with what Tron could put of himself inside of the box, or it may be something more valuable that's been scattered into other servers before Braig could download whatever it was. As for the evolved forms, I wouldn't be surprised if we do see them again too. I'm not fully sure if they are data anymore, but they're not normal users either. This was a good chapter. It was quite interesting to see Tron converse with CLU for a short time. I look forward to reading more of this, Sephy. :)

There is a possibility that Tron may not be lost for good, yes. Braig took an enourmous amount of data out of the Black box (90% of Xehanort's) and transferred it to his mini-computer. The now free space was then filled by Tron with all still uncorrupted data and procedures of the Hollow Bastion system he could get a hold on, including a large part of his own functions and memories.
That's definitely not a typo but another character Tron suspects to be within the black box, specifically within the system backup that is stored there. Braig dismissed the backup as unimportant and didn't download it, as it "only" consists of a security backup of the Hollow Bastion system that was made when Ansem the Wise first bought it from Dillinger.
If you remember though from where that system originally came from, it's easy to deduce what's within that backup.
The ten percent of data Braig mentioned that he couldn't download because of Tron's interference is part of Xehanort's data, while the system backup (that Braig didn't even want to download) is there additionally.

Oh, later on we may surely see them again, possibly even in the user world.
What exactly they are will be explained eventually by Xehanort, Ansem and Xemnas, but it's still a long way until then. ;)

The fact that Space Paranoids and Tron from KH himself are a copy of the original ENCOM system is just too much of an interesting concept to pass up. The small scene between Tron and Rinzler was made in the same vein and it will become another factor when the time comes to explain/explore about how hearts are born.

Next up is however the meeting/confrontation/reunion between Lea and Isa down in the secret laboratory and a small look at the FF gang fighting in Radiant Garden proper, then it's back to Kairi. ^__^
 

Daxwren

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Wow, just wow. It seems like I have been away too long, a lot has happened in the 4 months since I last logged on, RL was been keeping me busy. Good job btw. I am a tad curious at what data was lost in the 10% Braig failed to get. I can't wait til the next chapter.
 

Sephiroth0812

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Wow, just wow. It seems like I have been away too long, a lot has happened in the 4 months since I last logged on, RL was been keeping me busy. Good job btw. I am a tad curious at what data was lost in the 10% Braig failed to get. I can't wait til the next chapter.

No issue, lol, as I have also not as much time left as I would wish to in the last few months.
This 10% of data are very important in a certain way, but any information on them will be addressed only in the second part of the trilogy.

Real life really put me in a very tough situation the last few months, as especially in terms of work I had so much to do that there simply wasn't any time left to truly prepare the next chapter for release or write on for that matter.

Now however, finally, I can present to all reader of this story the continuation.
As a small gift and compensation for the long wait though, I've decided to just for once release two chapters at once.

So happy reading now with chapter 60 and 61! ;D

-----
#####

LX. A fateful encounter

Lea let his glance switch between left and right, the whole, pretty long corridor was lined with more cells having metal-grilled windows barred with electronic lock mechanisms and chains on both sides, only at the ends being normal doors.
The floor was tiled with black, polished marble that also decorated the walls between the doors.

What a lovely place. A dungeon-laboratory…tsk.
Wait…ugh, my memories are still a swirling mess, but I do remember this place from somewhere, one of the doors on the ends was the exit, but which one?
Jeez, it’s no use, apparently I have to just try out.

He shrugged and just decided for the door more near to him.
It opened by itself as he approached, startling Lea.
It’s abandoned, but still functions completely fine as if it’s maintained. How the frick did I end up here? Why did I pass out anyways?
I still can’t get a clear chain of thoughts because of these damn swirling memories that interrupt any attempt at doing so…

As Lea entered the room, he realized that it wasn’t the exit but a big, round chamber with a spiked throne in the middle. Glowing lights in chain-form were flowing across the floor, ending in big Nobody symbols on the walls.
Across at the other side of the room lay an abandoned suit of armor and a weird, key-shaped sword was stuck into the floor.

Whut? Pretty weird location, but whatever, this is not the exit so I have to try the other door.
Not wasting another glance Lea turned around and left back into the corridor, steadily marching to the other end.
He was just two metres away from it as it opened by itself as well, a large man with blue hair stepping through.

Isa had not expected to run into the lifeform directly at the entrance, but the identity of “it” was an even bigger surprise.
Lea??? What the…damn, that complicates things.
“You!?” Isa immediately raised his Claymore.

“Eh? You know me?” Lea raised a chakram as well, wary, but then grasped his head with the other hand.
“Wait, wait, I know that face from somewhere, that hair…Ugh, damn memories, stop intercepting my attempts to make sense of things!” He yelled frustrated.

Isa hesitated for a moment.
Heh? Something’s wrong with him. He doesn’t remember me, or what our relationship was at the end of things? His memories INTERFERE with his attempts to make sense rather than help?
“You do not remember?” He asked in a stoic tone.

Lea grunted.
“I’m not entirely sure. It’s almost as if I remember too much, but everything is mixed and messed up. Whenever I try to comprehend a string of memories, suddenly another, unrelated memory I’m not even 100% sure is actually mine flashes in and disrupts everything…”

Hmph, looks like something went awry with his recompletion process, causing his memories and those of “Axel” not to unite but to interfere with each other.
This means he’s right now pretty unstable and confused, almost like a lost sheep and all the events that happened while he was a Nobody cannot be truly comprehended by him despite that he can remember them as disjointed flashes.
Isa had to force down some urges of his still brooding anger at Axel for betraying the Organisation, and more importantly, him, back then for some fleeting emotions and this stupid fleeting remnant of Sora.
He realized that the current situation could help in gaining the “old” Lea back, or at least bring him back on his side.
This is actually a swell opportunity I would say, maybe, maybe things can get back to how they were again, if only I can somehow take care that the different sets of memory never unite and thus he never truly recalls or comprehends what happened back then.

“It looks like your revival was somehow botched, Lea, but I’m sure we can find a way to fix that!” He spoke out loud, dismissing his Claymore.
The red-haired man’s face lit up in surprise.
“You DO know me, how else could you know my name?”

“Of course I do, bozo. I’m Isa, your best friend. You said my face and hair is familiar, can you connect it with this name?”
“Isa…Isa…of course, yes, we used to explore our home city together, went to school together and were also…here together? What? Revival? You seem to know quite a bit more than you let on…” Lea began to recount, walking back and forth, then suddenly stopped and fixed his gaze on Isa.
The blue-haired man allowed himself a small grin.
“One thing after the other, my friend, you also know quite a bit more, but due to the interfering memory flashes you cannot truly access it now without getting a headache.”
While I can fathom what exactly is wrong with his memories, I’m quite unsure about the “why”. I know that Even or Xehanort probably know the answer or at least would have a theory, but depending on which things Lea can recall from his old, human memories, he might be quite unwilling to see any of them again…well, how to arrange all this will require my utmost attention in order to guide him to where I want him to be without stirring up unwanted stuff.
The absolute worst case would be if he truly starts to remember and comprehend Roxas and his relationship to him as well as all the events surrounding Organisation XIII and Sora.

Lea shook his head.
“These interfering flashes are really annoying. I see images, situations and scenes in them that are oddly familiar, but without any context and they make no sense on their own. I’m almost fearing that I’m going crazy. If you’re my friend, Isa, can you help me?”

“Understandable, being unable to form a single coherent line of thought and constant flashes of unrelated events would confuse anyone. Of course I’ll try to help you, and although I may not be able to do it on my own, I might know the people who can because they are responsible for it. Then many things can also be properly explained.”

“Thanks Isa, I sure hope that I can be back into shape soon. It’s so uncomfortable to remember so much but everything without true context and mixed up like a shattered puzzle. Even just remembering and connecting your name, face and appearance with some school memories already was a huge effort.”

“Do not try too hard to remember things in context, as the flashes of disjointed memories will only get more frequent and possibly really drive you crazy besides all physical and mental pain they cause.
What you need is some rest and then something to alleviate the situation, and this dreaded place here is certainly not the right location for that.”
Isa was fully immersed in his role playing a concerned friend and offered Lea a hand.

“Follow me out of here, Lea, and find a more suitable place to rest and get help.”
“I can heartily agree with that, in fact, some of the memories I can connect with this place aren’t really that pleasant.”

Isa nodded.
“I can understand why, and soon you will do so as well again. That’s also one reason why I am here to trash this place. You can go ahead and wait at the top of the long spiral stairway for me.”

“Alright, got it memorized. Just don’t take too long, ‘kay?”
Lea tried a smile that was obviously a tad insecure before turning and leaving through the open door.
“No worries, this will be settled in a blink.”
Isa answered after him as he re-summoned his Claymore and smashed it into the ground, cracking the marble.
This is taking some interesting turns, and I wonder how it will affect certain people’s plans…

“Time for all this to sink into Oblivion: Azure Rage!”
Isa unleashed a special attack that consisted of several pillars of blue flames rushing outwards in all directions from the Claymore, blasting apart doors and walls left and right.

Great amounts of rubble fell from the ceiling, making the whole corridor impassable.
“That was the first payload, the second will finish the job…”
The Claymore began to glow in a bright blue hue and as Isa pulled it out from the ground, a copy of pure energy remained where the weapon was before.
He turned and walked out of the corridor, starting to climb the spiral stairway in the adjacent room.
Having it crossed halfway, Isa dismissed the Claymore and the energy-copy back in the already heavily damaged corridor exploded, resulting in a massive blast of blue fire that caused the foundation of the castle to shake for a moment, several tongues of flame bursting through the door, burning the lowest part of the stairway as well.
That should do it. Anyone who would want to reach that part of the secret floor again would take years to even work through all the rubble, not to mention the obviously high risk of total collapse.

“Hey, you put on quite a show down there judging by the noises and earthquake.”
Lea greeted him as he reached the top of the stairway.
“I merely did a job I had to do.” Isa answered dead serious as he loaded one hand with blue energy, to Lea’s surprise.
One smirk later the blue-haired man turned towards the stairway one last time and blasted several sections of it apart with three well-aimed blue energy blasts.
“And now for the finishing touches. Move ahead, that ramp up over there.” Isa nodded towards the ramp that led back up to the Heartless manufactory.

Lea simply nodded and trudged up the ramp.
Isa followed him, but stopped at the top of the ramp.
He gathered energy again, this time in both hands, and fired a huge blue fireball at the ramp itself that demolished it, the whole thing crashing down the shaft with the spiral stairway, completely blocking any access.
“That does it, now we only need to close the hole that leads down there and erase the access procedures from the computer and then we can leave and finally seek some aid for you.”
He addressed Lea, who was with some unrest taking in the sight of the vast Heartless manufactory, by tapping him on the shoulder.

“Oh, alright. Lead the way then.”
Isa responded with another nod as he stepped forward. If his plans would play out the way he wanted to, things would get much more interesting in the long run.

---

At Castle Oblivion, CLU and his crew appeared in a swirl of data amidst the room, startling Dillinger.
“I will never get used to how programs can manifest in the physical world despite knowing how it works.”
CLU just chuckled. “If one way works, as in Users getting into digital realms, it’s only logical that the other way around works too.”
“Quit babbling Dillinger and get to check on that Rinzler-program if anything can be saved. Then set up our next target.” Madame Destine cut in harshly.
“Aren’t we quite the pleasant fellow today, Miss? What’s up with all this rude behavior?” Dillinger snarled back, obviously quite annoyed for quite a while.
She simply ignored him as she walked up to CLU.
“Let’s see what we got from this quite botched mission, shall we?”
“Not much I’m afraid, although I am certain that we did acquire a copy of the Ansem reports.”

“At least something of worth. Well, since we have more than enough funds and soon will also have a sizeable army, I would still say we’re pretty much in a good situation. Although that weird guy with the twin guns who could for whatever reason control those hybrids seems to be quite a danger we need to watch out for.”
Destine continued while swiping away a strand of her hair.

“That guy is one of Xehanort’s lackeys, and that one could be considered one if not THE greatest rival to our own plans!” A new, thundering voice echoed through the hall as a pillar of green fire erupted from the ground, causing Dillinger to jump.

“Maleficent! So you already know. What will we do about that “Xehanort”-guy then?” Destine asked, not fazed even slightly by the dark fairy’s flashy entrance.
“Right now nothing. With the plans I have made together with my two co-leaders, he can’t really interfere with our main objectives.” The dark fairy answered, shortly petting the raven on her shoulder.

#####
 
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Sephiroth0812

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#####

LXI. Victory of teamwork

As Beatrix reached the end of the restoration site she realized that she had caught up with Cid who hadn't yet reached the town itself but was embroiled in a struggle against several Stealth Soldier Heartless.
He was unleashing wild swirling attacks with his spear, more often missing than hitting due to the Heartless continuously turning invisible and running around when his Stop-magic ran out.
"Stupid clanking critters, this is getting tiresome!"
"Stopga!" Beatrix jumped over to him and froze all Stealth Soldiers with an area of effect-spell.
"Oh, there you are, alrighty, let's vanquish them!" Cid greeted and proceeded to jump into the air and bring his spear down.
"Hyper Jump!"
The impact created a large explosion that destroyed nearly two thirds of the stopped Stealth Soldiers instantly.
Beatrix turned and unleashed Stock Break, another of her sword techniques, which destroyed six more Heartless in one swoop.
Mere three were left, but those did turn invisible right again and dashed away as the spell's effect wore off.

"Jeez, there are still some left. There also seem to be some new specimen among them as I didn't knew those damn things can now even turn invisible." Cid sighed.
"It's really lucky that they are only instinct based as one planned sneak attack of such an invisible foe could directly cost you your heart." Beatrix added as she got into a battle stance back-to-back with Cid.

The armor of those Heartless could also be heard clanking, so the two fighter's could at least vaguely deduce where they were at the moment.
Two Lance Soldiers and a Morningstar appeared right before the exit and joined the fray.
"Great, more problems!"
Cid growled with barely restrained anger.
"Focus, Cid." Beatrix chimed in as she pointed her sword at the newcomers.
"Leave those new ones to us and get those invisible ones."
One of the Lance Soldiers was thrown back against a wall by a thrown dagger from above.
"Huh? Reinforcements? Could it be Leon and Yuffie?"
"Not exactly, but after all this time I'm not surprised you don't recognize us via voice."

As Cid and Beatrix looked on in mild surprise, a young woman and man came jumping down from one of the scaffolds directly before the newly arrived Heartless.
The woman raised her hand and the thrown dagger flew magically back into her hand.
With a powerful lunge the other Lance Soldier dashed forwards against the newcomers, but the attack got parried by the young man blocking it with the shield on his left arm.
Cid took out his toothpick and grinned.
"Vaan and Penelo, nice to see that you two survived too."
"Balthier and Fran are already helping at the town square. So let's finish this here and go join them." Vaan answered in a jovial tone as he swirled his one-handed sword around.
"Thundaga!"
Penelo released a powerful thunder spell that annihilated the Lance Soldiers and stunned the Morningstar.
"Stopga! Stock Break!"
Beatrix pinpointed the remaining Stealth Soldiers lightning fast as they tried to creep up on Vaan, stopping and then destroying them.
He didn't even realize that the danger was there as Vaan advanced on the stunned Morningstar, slicing it to pieces with a seven hit sword combo.

"Looks like we're clear here. Let's get moving." Penelo stated as she sheathed her dagger.
"Agreed. Judging from the noise, there's quite the big Heartless at the town square." Cid answered.

Vaan and Beatrix had already started to move without a word, so Penelo and Cid swiftly caught up to them as they left the restoration site behind.

---

At the town square, Aerith unleashed a Holy spell against the stunned Behemoth which however did only moderate damage.
"As I said, elemental magic seems to be quite ineffective." Balthier grunted, jumping up and firing several shots with his gun aimed at the towering beast's horn.
"It would be more effective if you could hit the horn, it seems to be its only weak spot." Fran answered from the roof, loading another energy arrow with her bow.

"That's all nice and dandy, but apparently we cannot jump high enough to properly target it." Balthier retorted with a dry tone as he noticed his shots missing.

"Then we'll need magic that comes from above. Meteor!" Aerith stated and swung her staff upwards.
With a roaring sound a flaming meteor dropped out of the sky and crashed on top of the Behemoths head, causing heavy damage but also waking the beast up.

The Behemoth countered with a very powerful Thunder-based attack, lightning bolts crashing down around it.
"Damn, watch out!" Balthier performed three quick backdashes to avoid the attack while Aerith used Reflect several times to defend against the onslaught. Several parts of the floor cracked and some of the flowers were uprooted and burned.

Tifa meanwhile had dealt with a serious amount of smaller Heartless, defeating over thirty of them.
"Their numbers seem to finally dwindle a bit." She sighed in relief as she dodged another Hammer Frame performing a charge attack, blasting it with a Blizzara-spell.
Out of the corner of one eye she saw the massive Thunder attack of the Behemoth spreading out.
"Watch out!"
Penelo came jumping out from one of the streets, tackling Tifa and dragging her with the momentum out of the way as one of the lightning bolts crashed down on the position.

"Sorry, we're a bit late." Cid exclaimed as he came running in together with Beatrix and Vaan as well.
"Well, at least you're here now. We need to somehow get rid of this big nuisance here." Balthier answered, pointing his gun at the Behemoth.
"Of course, if Vaan and Penelo are around, Balthier and Fran can't be far away either. Nice to see that you all found your way back here at last!" Cid grinned as he recognized his old comrade and fellow ship constructor.

"Save the chit-chat for later, first we need to clear the town of the Heartless!" Beatrix interrupted and tossed an Ether towards Aerith so she could replenish her magical energy.

"Together we should be able to bring down that big one, Aerith's Meteor spell already damaged him too." Fran declared from the roof, loading yet another arrow with her bow.
"I'll assist Tifa with the rest of those smaller critters." Penelo declared as she drew her dagger again.

"Ok, and we will end that oversized bull." Cid swirled his spear around and formed into a battle line together with Aerith, Balthier, Beatrix and Vaan.

With another roar the Behemoth stomped again, causing another earthquake.

Cid jumped and trashed an earthspike shooting up by bisecting it, creating a small plateau on which he settled.
Fran used the chimney again to hold her position on the roof while Balthier, Beatrix, Aerith and Vaan reacted by jumping on other roofs around the town square.

"Alright, we got it surrounded. Now let's attack its weak spot from all directions." Aerith stated, raising her staff again to cast another powerful spell.

"Fine with me." Balthier answered, tightening a sniper scope on his gun that he had drawn from his pocket.

Beatrix swirled her Save the Queen into attack position. "Ready."
"No problem." Fran had readied another energy arrow.

"Ok, one, two, three, start!" Vaan cloaked his sword in energy and jumped forward from the roof towards the Behemoth's horn.

Beatrix and Cid did the same from their positions while Fran, Balthier and Aerith send out their attacks as ranged projectiles.
All six attacks hit the horn of the Behemoth simultaneously, shattering it.
Landing on the ground below, Cid, Vaan and Beatrix got immediately back into battle stance.

The Heartless howled in obvious pain as it started to slowly disintegrate.
"We did it. We finally destroyed it!" Aerith's voice emanated clear relief.

"Indeed, and what do we learn from that?" Balthier chimed in with a dry tone, adjusting and dusting his jacket.
"Huh? What do you mean?" Having arrived later, Vaan didn't really get what Balthier was referring to.
"If there's a little Heartless that looks like a car's horn that just jumps around and honks, you kill that one first because else it will summon more trouble."
Turning aside, he watched as Tifa and Penelo destroyed the last smaller Heartless with a tandem attack.
"Looks like the square is finally cleared. So, where else are still groups of Heartless?" Tifa asked as she joined the others.

"Well, huh? Eeeh? I can't say. It looks like the whole security-and surveillance-system crashed." Cid shouted alarmed.
"What? The whole system?" Aerith had a worried expression.
"Yea, the whole friggin system.' Cid grunted angrily, suppressing the urge to use a bunch of bad curse words.

Beatrix stepped forward. "Well, tough luck. That means we'll have to check the town by ourselves. It may be best to split up in several teams of two and go around. Starting with the main ring road might be the best solution."

Balthier shook his head.
"Looking around, I see that we are merely eight people. The town is a bit big to search for such a small number, isn't it?"

Aerith nodded. 'Indeed, Leon and Yuffie are already checking the castle, so we can't call on them for further aid here and Merlin is off taking the children to a safe location."

"We could however at least try to rendezvous with Ashe and Basch, they should be somewhere here too." Vaan added.
"But they are tasked to ensure security for Luneth and the others, of whose you know can't really fight a horde of Heartless effectively for obvious reasons." Penelo interjected.

"Why not, we could lift them from that duty if we send Luneth, Arc, Refia and Ingus to the same place where Merlin went with the other civilians."

"And how should they get to that location with Heartless roaming around and no more escort?" Fran asked in a low, serious tone.
Vaan tapped his foot a little irritated.
"It's lucky that Luneth and Ingus can't hear you talk right now, as they would clearly be upset. You make it sound like they can't even defend themselves! They may be handicapped, but they're not helpless!"

"Enough! I don't know what exactly you are arguing about now, but it doesn't help us at all at the moment, so cut it." Beatrix interrupted sharply.

"I agree. If I may be so bold I have a proposal to make. In order to more effectively find and defeat the remaining Heartless, I will use our Gummi ship, the Strahl, to conduct aerial reconnaissance and direct our available forces to the locations. Meanwhile, Cid shall go and investigate the crash of the security-system." Balthier explained calmly.

Beatrix gave an approving nod to this.
"That sounds like an effective plan. That's how we shall do it."
"Alright. Although the idea to rendezvous with Ashe, Basch, Luneth and the others is also not wrong, as we should direct them to Merlins house either way to get them out of harms way." Aerith added.
"Ok then, let's start. The rest should be only mopping up remains now anyways." Cid said as he dismissed his spear.
The defenders of Radiant Garden split up to accomplish their new tasks.

#####

After these chapters, the arcs of Lea and the Radiant Garden-crew can be considered resolved for the time being, all those characters won't appear again until the second part of the whole trilogy.

Next we will return to Disney Castle and take a look at what Kairi is up to.
 
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Roxie1563

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Yay!! :D I really missed reading this story!

Isa sure seem to have some plan of his own for using Lea.. I can't wait to see what will happen next. :O

So, coming up next is Kairi, huh..? I sure hope Kairi can do something to help out since she probably is tired of being helpless.

Keep it coming, my friend! ^_^
 

Sephiroth0812

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Yay!! :D I really missed reading this story!

Isa sure seem to have some plan of his own for using Lea.. I can't wait to see what will happen next. :O

So, coming up next is Kairi, huh..? I sure hope Kairi can do something to help out since she probably is tired of being helpless.

Keep it coming, my friend! ^_^

Couldn't be helped since so much was going on in RL, sadly.
That's why there are two chapters at once though this time.

Isa definitely is up to something. What that is however will be addressed in the second part of the trilogy as well.

Yea, the rest of the first part of the story deals mainly with Kairi, Sora, Riku and the problems inside Sora's heart.
There won't be many location jumps anymore as most other arcs are either resolved for now or on hold.

Just wait and see, lol, there is something big in store for the following chapters. ;)
 

KingdomKey

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I'm astonished. I didn't expect Isa to go out of his way in helping Lea. I get this weird feeling that Isa's plan won't fully work. Lea's memory as Axel might resurface if, he meets Sora directly. Or anyone that he's had close contact with. My main thought was why Isa destroyed the secret room. What was so important to hide from the restoration committee? Speaking of which, I wouldn't of guessed Maleficent is working with CLU. Anyhow, it was good seeing Cid and Aerith fighting together with their old friends. I thought the fight was a fascinating read. I like how they worked together. I liked both chapters and I look forward to more as always, Sephy.
 

Daxwren

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Wow, this battle scene was good. What was amazing was the Lea and Isa chapters. Can't wait for more. Always watching out for more.
 

Sephiroth0812

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I'm astonished. I didn't expect Isa to go out of his way in helping Lea. I get this weird feeling that Isa's plan won't fully work. Lea's memory as Axel might resurface if, he meets Sora directly. Or anyone that he's had close contact with. My main thought was why Isa destroyed the secret room. What was so important to hide from the restoration committee? Speaking of which, I wouldn't of guessed Maleficent is working with CLU. Anyhow, it was good seeing Cid and Aerith fighting together with their old friends. I thought the fight was a fascinating read. I like how they worked together. I liked both chapters and I look forward to more as always, Sephy.

Isa sees an opportunity to "get back the past" so to say. Him helping is almost fully rooted in him chasing what is technically already lost for his own sake, not really for Lea.
Of course it is a risk, but Isa knows that too and in order to get these memories buried as deep as possible, he may already have some ideas.

He destroyed the entire facility on orders of Xemnas and Xehanort, who both operate in a "rather safe than sorry"-mindset. As the members of Maleficent's faction (mainly CLU and Madame Destine) show with the Organisation's computers in Castle Oblivion, just shutting facilities down and erase their harddrives might not be enough to gain something valuable from it.
Xemnas and Xehanort simply want not even a possible hint left as to what they may be planning or where they currently are.

Maleficent working with CLU has to do with her plans from Re: Coded about Data worlds, while Madame Destine provides great amounts of finanical and similar assets to her faction.
Both of them agree to work with her because Maleficent promised them something they crave.

With this I really wanted to go all out because it's the last appearance of the Restoration Committee and their allies in the first part of the trilogy. Clearing out the remaining Heartless is something that will happen behind the scenes.

I certainly hope that I will finally able to provide the continuation of the story around the next weekend. The chapters are there, I just haven't had enough time preparing them for posting yet.

Wow, this battle scene was good. What was amazing was the Lea and Isa chapters. Can't wait for more. Always watching out for more.

Heh, thanks.

I'll try to. I'm pretty annoyed that I couldn't update for so long myself.
---
 

Sephiroth0812

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I know it has been far too long, but now I can finally provide the continuation of the story with the focus turning back to Kairi as well as a first glimpse to what exactly Yen Sid is up to:

#####

LXII. The Princess's determination

Kairi turned another corner in haste, finally finding a flickering paraffin lamp hanging on a hook on the wall.
Finally a source of light. I have to find out where the King's quarters are. Calm down, calm down!
Only running around in distress won't help them. I need to focus and find the King.

She inhaled sharply three times to calm down her raging emotions, cautiously taking the lamp from its hook.
That's better. Now I need to find someone. I doubt that everyone in this castle is sleeping. There needs to be at least a nightwatch.
Sora's and Riku's hearts are very strong, they will hold out for a while for sure!

Holding up the lamp as high as possible, Kairi walked the corridor before her with restored confidence in firm steps.
After calming down a little I actually remember the layout of this part of the castle and the way we came here. If I retrace that way, I should be able to reach the big courtyard.

Kairi's sense of direction didn't fail her and it took only about two minutes until she had reached the big colonnade overlooking the main courtyard.
In this part of the castle there were way more lamps around, immersing the whole area in a warm and soothing orange light.

Several of the magical brooms were patrolling in the courtyard itself wielding spears while on the walls there were some wielding crossbows.

She contemplated asking one of them for direction towards the King's quarters, but before she could make a move she was already spotted and addressed by an anthropomorphic dog dressed suspiciously like a butler who was carrying an expensive looking five-armed candelabra.

"Excuse me young lady, is there a special reason to be up this late at night? You clearly look upset."
"Of course there is. My two best friends are in horrible pain. I need his Majesty's help for them! So can you direct me to his quarters?"
Kairi wasted no time to explain the situation as short and precise as possible.

The butler made a concerned expression.
"I'm afraid you won't find his Majesty in his quarters as he's right now in an urgent night-time conference in the central tower. In fact, I am on my way there because I have an important message for my Master who's attending. So if you want to accompany me young lady."

"I do, thank you Sir. Oh, and the name's Kairi."

"Pleased to make your acquaintance Kairi, I'm Duckworth, Butler of Mr. McDuck. This way please."
Duckworth raised the candelabra higher and turned towards another corridor, walking in a fast pace without actually running.
Kairi had no problem in keeping up with him at all.
"An urgent night-time conference? Did more bad things happen?"

"Sad to say that I have absolutely no information on this as I'm coming from a town other than the capital where Mr. McDuck normally resides."
Duckworth answered in a well modulated tone as they reached the base of the central tower where a wide slowly ascending spiral staircase made of fine marble led upwards.

"Speaking of it, you don't look like a citizen of Disney Town either, Miss Kairi, nor like some of the castle staff of his Majesty." He continued with slight interest.

The Princess bit her lower lip unnoticed.
Think about a good excuse, I can't tell him that I'm from another world.

'Oh my, how inconsiderate, I shouldn't have just bluntly make such observations known to a lady. Seems the current hectic events made me forget my manners for a moment. "Duckworth chastised himself before Kairi could think any further, nervously rubbing one finger below his nose for a moment.

She breathed a sigh of relief before Duckworth turned around to face her as they reached the first floor of the tower.
"It's ok, anyone can get somewhat irritated under stress. So let's get on and report both our predicaments as fast as possible."

"Thank you, Miss Kairi. The conference room is at the seventh floor though so might I suggest not too much haste so that we run out of steam and cannot properly word our plight?"

Her eyes widened in disbelief.
"The seventh floor? Why did they build a conference room this high up in the tower?"

"I'm not entirely sure, but I think it was done because of some magical equipment that won't work if too many walls and ceilings are between it and the sky."

"I see."
Great. That means more heaps of stairs. In situations like this, I'm glad to have participated at least in races among our peers at the Islands more often so my stamina shouldn't be too bad.

"Hmph, can't help it. For my friends sake, I have to get up there fast."
She continued towards Duckworth with a grim determined expression as she placed the paraffin lamp on a small table to have fewer ballast.
Since the walls of the tower were littered with lamps, an own source of light also wasn't necessary anymore.

"I'm sorry Duckworth if you can't keep up with a more fast approach, but I cannot waste much more time. I'll inform the others that you are on the way as well though when I reach the conference room."
With these words, Kairi shot Duckworth an apologetic but determined smile and shortly waved at him before dashing up the following stairs, taking two steps at once.

---

It was an extraordinary situation.
The King could ascertain it by simply looking at the composition of this night's conference.
Normally he would confer alone with Master Yen Sid, yet this time there where nine other allies present.

Queen Minnie was participating directly by his side, furthermore present were the inventor Gyro Gearloose, tycoon Scrooge McDuck, weapon master Firion, Dragoon Freya Crescent and Paladius, the Warrior of Light.
On Yen Sid's side, the three fairies Flora, Fauna and Merryweather were participating in the talks, all four present as a sort of hologram created by magical smoke that came out of a big basin at the floor of the conference room in front of the table.

"With all due respect Master Yen Sid, I do not believe that we can take any proper countermeasures to a crisis if the only information we have is- The forces of Darkness are in turmoil and growing. What kind of information is that? For practical purposes, I'm afraid I have to say it's useless." Scrooge McDuck spoke in a stern tone, looking slightly annoyed.

'Dear Scrooge, I think we were just about going into detail about that."Queen Minnie retorted in a calming voice.

"Pinpointing the source of a crisis isn't as easy as you might think, Scrooge, that's also the reason why I normally kept you out of the strategy conferences which certainly do not play out like a business meeting where all facts already lie on the table."
Mickey answered with a sigh.

The image of Yen Sid stroke his beard as he fixated Scrooge with his eyes.
"Well, the information I have given you so far merely states the main reason why I asked Mickey to include the Queen, Mr. Gearloose, Firion, Ms. Crescent, Paladius and you in our conference this night.
In order to get more detailed information and prepare 'proper countermeasures' as you say, we need more eyes and ears that can perform reconnaissance for our cause, as well as some general defense measures we can implement regardless of any detailed information.
For this though we need technical understanding which Gyro can provide as well as financial resources which you have plenty at your disposal.
I already have activated some sources of my own to gather intelligence around different worlds, and while there is not a single sign of Xehanort or any of his followers yet, I can confirm that Maleficent is up to something bigger again."

"Maleficent? Gosh, it seems now really everything comes up at once." Mickey said uneasily.
"That wicked sorceress again? What's up with her this time?" Scrooge asked, tapping his fingers on the table."
"By reading the stars I found that Maleficent just recently had a substantial power surge that nearly doubled her personal magical powers while my sources ascertained that she made contact with several suspicious individuals in other worlds, among them Hades, Flintheart Glomgold and Madame Dominique Destine, a wealthy business woman who owns the company Nightstone Unlimited. This together with Glomgold's resources provides Maleficent's forces with a vast amount of technological advances as well as wealth."

'Glomgold? That greedy, immoral scoundrel! I knew that he's ruthless when it comes to business, but actually joining forces with someone like Maleficent?" Scrooge slammed his fist on the table in anger.

"It's because he's ruthless that he sees no problem in that, Mr. McDuck. Remember when he joined forces with Magica de Spell in the past?" Gyro Gearloose cut in.
"Sure, sure, I remember that Gyro, but Maleficent still plays two or three leagues above Magica I'd say."

"She doubled her personal powers? How?" The Warrior of Light asked astounded.
"I'm afraid we do not know the reason." Yen Sid answered.
"She must have found some artefact that amplifies her innate powers." Flora stated with concern.
"At least that is what we theorize." Fauna added.

"Maleficent getting stronger could also have its source in the general growing of the powers of Darkness which can stem from several sources though." Firion added with a grim expression.
"Indeed, and while one may be tempted to give Xehanort as the main source, I fear that this isn't the case. I have in fact not found a single trace of anything that could be remotely similar to Xehanort's aura-scent." Yen Sid stroked his beard again deep in thought.

"What? Could it be that, Xehanort is not yet truly recompleted?" Mickey was irritated.
"But what causes the strengthening of the forces of Darkness then?"

"I doubt that the recompletion process of Xehanort isn't yet finished, I rather suspect that he's purposely lying low in an area where his scent can't be easily detected." Paladius threw in.
Yen Sid nodded.
"That is of course also a possibility, the most appropriate area for such an intention would probably be the Dark Borderland."

"Dark Borderland? Where is this located?" Freya heard of the name for the first time.
"It's a small area in the Realm of in-between, located closely to the actual border to the Realm of Darkness itself. There exist very few worlds in this sector and those are even closer to the Darkness than The World That Never Was, the former headquarters of Organisation XIII."
Yen Sid explained calmly.

"Sounds like a fitting environment for someone like Xehanort." Firion grunted.
"Yes, this area is however so closed off and littered with cosmic interferences that it is impossible to properly navigate or being scanned." Mickey explained further.
"Just because we cannot detect anything regarding Xehanort doesn't mean that he isn't involved in the growing of Darkness all around, does it?' Gyro Gearloose stated while scribbling something on his notepad.

"This is correct. What concerns me most though is that there seems to be another source very similar but still different to Xehanort at work here." Yen Sid continued, his voice having a slight worrying undertone.
"Gosh, do you think this could have to do with the weird Darkness I told you about that's located within Riku's heart?"

"That I can't say for sure, but it is undeniable there's something hiding in the shadows of Riku's heart. If connected to either Xehanort or Maleficent or neither of them is not relevant at first glance, as I fear that in this situation we cannot afford to hold a Mark of Mastery-exam at all but need to sort this out." Yen Sid answered sternly.

#####

Xehanort and Maleficent are not the only ones planning strategies to move on the chessboard. ;)
 
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KingdomKey

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King Mickey is aware of the darkness residing in Riku's heart. Well, that's certainly surprising to some extent. I'm curious what the amplified power source could be that Maleficent tapped into. Kairi being questioned by the butler felt off to me. I don't know why, but it's smart of her to not answer him either.

Furthermore it's so strange to see nine people conversing about the whereabouts of Xehanort too. Must be some dire circumstances for Yen Sid to gather someone like Scrooge McDuck as a resource. I imagine they might need him to help with the gummi ship to pay for the parts they need in order to navigate Dark Borderland. Another fantastic chapter overall, Sephy.
 

Sephiroth0812

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Geez...October...October!!!???
Speak about an unplanned high break.

I'm so sorry for not having given at least an explanation for that long.

My job really requires much more attention from my side for at least the past half year and that combined with a serious illness of a close family member simply left me with no more time to attend the story or post any new chapters.
The little free time I did have eventually went into some stress relief like reading a book or play some games like KH HD 2.5.

I'll try to restart publishing around easter when I have some vacation again.

King Mickey is aware of the darkness residing in Riku's heart. Well, that's certainly surprising to some extent. I'm curious what the amplified power source could be that Maleficent tapped into. Kairi being questioned by the butler felt off to me. I don't know why, but it's smart of her to not answer him either.

Furthermore it's so strange to see nine people conversing about the whereabouts of Xehanort too. Must be some dire circumstances for Yen Sid to gather someone like Scrooge McDuck as a resource. I imagine they might need him to help with the gummi ship to pay for the parts they need in order to navigate Dark Borderland. Another fantastic chapter overall, Sephy.

Mickey saw the Darkness live in chapters 24 and 25 and assured Riku that he would ask Yen Sid about it. ;)
As for Maleficent's new power amplifier, that will be revealed in some of the following chapters (when I finally get around to post them...<__<), what I can say about it however is that we already have seen it throughout the story so far.

If you know the show "Ducktales", you also know the butler as "Duckworth" is Scrooge McDucks butler:
449762-vlcsnap_00263.jpg

On this picture, Duckworth is on the far right, opposite Scrooge, the nephews, Launchpad McQuack and Gyro Gearloose, the inventor which also takes part in the conference and helped building the new Gummi ship.

Duckworth questioning Kairi was done out of a mixture of curiosity and bafflement, as he is not used to see/meet "normal" humans.
The "town other than the capital" Duckworth is referrring to is actually Duckburg, the setting of "Ducktales" which in the KH/HiU-Universe is a town on the same world as Disney Town/Castle, but located on a different landmass.

It's strange because you don't see something like that at all in the games, isn't it?
Mickey and Yen Sid are indeed afraid that their opponents already have an edge over the good guys (which is true for both Maleficent's faction and Xehanort's) and therefore seek to expand their capabilities and allies. With Flintheart Glomgold, who is a rich tycoon himself, supporting Maleficent and Dominique Destine being also pretty wealthy and owning a high-tech company, they seek to counteract their benefits to Maleficent by having Scrooge on their side.
Furthermore, Scrooge is already involved in financing stuff as both the new Gummi ship which can carry Riku and Kairi too as well as the device needed to enter the datascape (as stated in chapters 6 and 7) were largely funded by him.
Gyro Gearloose is there to be a technical assistant to help Chip and Dale with repairs and maintenance, but also to provide new devices and equipment to help the good guys in their cause. Sora, Riku and Kairi may eventually also benefit from Gyro's inventions later on.
Paladius (the Warrior of Light from FF I), Firion from FF II and Freya from FF IX are there mainly to give more emphasis to the Disney/FF-crossover, serve as scouts for Yen Sid and Mickey as well as being "front-line" fighters to keep the enemy at bay while Sora and co. are unable to be on the front themselves.
 

BlackOsprey

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Hm... Well, it took me two days to read everything, and I like it a lot. The FF cameos, your way of writing (you succeeded in the "mental cutscene" idea), Kairi getting involved, and even the Roxas/Ventus fluff. The fact that the story could very well fit into the canon if a few things were tweaked goes to show how perceptive you are on this franchise.

I'm sincerely hoping that you're not done with this yet, 'cause I was enjoying this too much for it to just end as an unfinished story.
 

Sephiroth0812

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Hm... Well, it took me two days to read everything, and I like it a lot. The FF cameos, your way of writing (you succeeded in the "mental cutscene" idea), Kairi getting involved, and even the Roxas/Ventus fluff. The fact that the story could very well fit into the canon if a few things were tweaked goes to show how perceptive you are on this franchise.

I'm sincerely hoping that you're not done with this yet, 'cause I was enjoying this too much for it to just end as an unfinished story.

My sincerest gratitude that you actually took the time and read the whole thing as it is truly already very long. So long actually I had to split the whole story into a trilogy of connected stories in order to not let the chapter numbers get too high.

I'm also glad to hear your enjoy the story as I really put much thought and planning into it.

I can assure you as well that I am certainly not done with it at all and very displeased about the fact about just how long I haven't updated it. A project so big won't be that easily discarded though, especially since I also know there are quite some people who enjoy to read it.
Therr are four or five chapters already written that aren't yet put online, yet the thing is that since about November last year, workload in Real Life has sharply increased both at my actual job as well as in private matters too, which leaves me with very few actual free time for myself at hand. During the week itself, I even often come only online here for short bursts while there's a break at work or when I wait for some procedure to finish.

Being an avid book reader as well a video gamer, it is not only the story that suffers, as I already have a pile of still unread books and unplayed or only started games at hand too and distributing the scarce free time equally between them is not easy, especially when you're often also exhausted enough to do nothing of all three and decide just to rest while watching something.

I can't make any promises, but I hope that I can finally continue with the story starting in September.
 

KingdomKey

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Whoa! I never thought I'd see the day when you'd post in here again, Sephy!

Sephiroth0812 said:
I can't make any promises, but I hope that I can finally continue with the story starting in September.

If that's the case, then I hope I do see some of it in September! C:
 

Sephiroth0812

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Whoa! I never thought I'd see the day when you'd post in here again, Sephy!

If that's the case, then I hope I do see some of it in September! C:

Yea, it has been really aggravating to not being able to continue at all for so long...<__<

I sure hope to get it running again as well.
 
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