TRACES OF AFTERMATH [a kingdom hearts roleplay]



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Takushi Rena

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TRACES OF AFTERMATH
[a kingdom hearts roleplay]

If you're interested in joining, check out the sign-ups and ooc thread! The RP is always open to new members! :D

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

"Okay," a sigh escaped from the young child, bright blue eyes looking up at the night sky, "this shouldn't be hard... right?"

The eagerness and excitement from before were already gone. Not even moments ago had she found herself in some dark alleyway in a (what seemed to be, at least) new town. She was certain that this wasn't the same place as her "home," for lack of a better word; after all, the stars never seemed to shine this bright back in Cucio Bay. Realizing that this was a new place, she couldn't help but get excited. Maybe this place would be different than that stupid world! The only problem was, as far as she could tell, it was empty.

Peeking her head out into the town square, her sneakers scuffed on the cobblestone ground as she made her way towards the centre, arms behind her back. Her gaze shifted left then right then back again, hair flopping side to side like puppy dog ears as she looked. Eventually, she stopped in the middle, looking up.

"Helloooooooooooooo?" she said, her squeaky voice fighting to go as loud as it could; it didn't work very well, making the girl sound more like a mouse than she already did.

But of course, there was no answer back. She looked side to side, frowning as she looked.

"T-That's okay!" she said, forcing a smile and feigning optimism. "Somebody's gotta be here somewhere, I know it!"

She glanced to the side.

"Ah-ha! A door!"

The girl raced over, gawking at the big, neon sign hanging over the door. She turned her head to the side curiously.

"T-h-i-r-d... umm..." she squinted her eyes, fighting to read the second word. After a moment, she shrugged, stepping up to the massive door, "Meh, it's probably not that important. Why do people put big words on stuff, anyways?"

She placed her hand on the door.

"I bet there's gonna be lots and lots of people over here! Yeah, no empty, creepy place or nothi--" the girl narrowed her eyes. The door wouldn't budge.

"...umm..."

She pushed on it again. It barely budged that time.

She spent a few moments fighting to open the door, the massive gates -- something that would've easily been opened by someone else -- proving to be a bigger challenge to the scrawny child. She pressed her back against the door, her heels slipping and scuffing until...

"Bwah!"

She crashed onto her back!

"Owww..." she grumbled, pushing up to her feet; as she did, with a grumble, she said "Yeahyeah, I meant to do that...". Rubbing her head, she looked up as she wobbled to a stand.

The door -- it opened! Well, a little. After she gave another little shove, it squeaked open just enough for her to slip through, and that's exactly what she did. Sliding through the gap, she hopped out into the next district, stumbling to a stand once both feet landed on the ground.

"Ha!" she grinned, throwing her fists into the air, "I did it! Yay me!"

Now in the next part of the world, and feeling pretty confident about herself (after that long grueling battle with that dumb door), she looked out into the district.

Nothing. No one, no person, no thing. Just absolutely nothing.

Her heart sank.

"But... there's gotta be somebody here..." she gulped, "right?"

There was no way a whole world could be empty. That was impossible! But, at that moment, it seemed more and more plausible.

Rena sank down to the floor, crossing her legs and putting her head in her hands.

"I get outta that stupid world and I end up somewhere empty..." she grumbles, "'course that's gonna happen to me..."

She sighed, leaning her chin on her palms.

"What'm I supp'sed to do now...?"

-------------------​

With a shish, the cold air burst into the alleyway, letting a chill slither into the empty pathway. The dark gate swirled into existence and from it stepped a cloaked figure, hood donned and hiding the features of the newcomer. Emerald orbs shifted to the sky, the young man feeling cold droplets tap against his leather cloak.

He snarled, pulling his hood tighter over his features, as the portal swirled out of existence. He stepped away from the wispy tendrils that swirled into nothingness, tugging on the edge of his gloves as he stepped down the alleyway.

"'course I've gotta go on some bullshit mission now... That's always the way it works," he hissed, shoving his hands into his coat pockets.

"Hmm?"

He blinks, looking down at his hand.

Something's lit up in his coat pocket.

"The heck...?"

The young man pulled something from his pocket, and his face lit up as he looked down at the rectangular screen. He narrowed his eyes, watching what seemed to be some sort of video feed.

The video quality made it hard to make out what was going on (plus it didn't help that the video itself was created by energy signatures), but as he narrowed his eyes, he caught something familiar.

"Key... blade..."

He said the word as if it were unfamiliar on his tongue, something that he had to sound out to catch the meaning of. Pressing his knuckle to his lips, he continued to watch the video, watching as the weapon (if it's true what it was) disappeared from sight, just as the person sitting next to it started to sit up.

He gave a small laugh.

"How the heck is that possible?" he said, watching the rest of the feed, "I mean... I-- someone destroyed the Keyblades three years ago. There's no way that they could just come back or anything."

When the screen went black, he pocketed the device.

"But what's going on in the worlds that's so bad that a Keyblade needs to come back?"

He knits his brow.

"I wonder..."

His emerald orbs seem to light up, glowing even.

"Screw the damn mission," he said with a grin, "I've got a Keyblade to find."

With a snap of his fingers, the darkness reappeared, swirling together, and the man stepped through the gateway.
 
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Aphex

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There's something about the everlasting moonlight that seemed so... peaceful. Just something about it made it easy to just drift off and get lost in a train of deep thoughts. Ironically enough, that's exactly what a boy named Derrick was doing at that very moment. His legs dangled over the edge of the Gizmo Shop in which he sat on top of, soaking in the vibe. This was merely a normal habit of his whenever he found a break from the usual task of fighting off the Heartless and honestly, it was something he needed to do in order to recuperate.

A break wasn't too much to ask for, was it? After all, the Heartless had been showing up a lot more as of late which grew extremely tedious at this point.

"I guess I should check on the lil' guy," Derrick muttered to himself before rising up from the edge, patting himself down before walking over to the ladder that led back down to the lower level of the shop. Rather than simply climbing down, he figured he take a much 'faster' approach, aka, slide down before hopping down to the alley below.

Traverse Town happened to be a peaceful town and oddly enough, turned out to be the safe-haven for those who ended up separated from their worlds. But that didn't seem to be the case anymore considering the fact that Derrick has yet to run into anyone new. He's been alone ever since the people he considered family ended up leaving for a world called Radiant Garden. This made the place more of a ghost-town now and well, it started to feel lonely too especially for Derrick. The only thing he now watched over was this egg that Leon had left him to take care of, being kept in a small house that resided in the Third District.

Hands pressed up against the back of his head, the goggle-headed teen headed down another narrow alleyway but this one led to a pair of large wooden doors. Upon reaching it he gave one of the doors a good push, opening just enough for him to squeeze through to the other side of it. The good thing about this was the fact that his home was actually right there to his left, peeking through the window as he spotted the red striped egg sitting on his bed. But way before he could set foot into the house, Derrick's attention was caught by the sound of another voice. It was pretty faint but still! There was another person here or at least that's what the boy assumed.

The egg could wait for now, right?

Rushing over to the railing and leaning over it, Derrick spotted what appeared to be a girl sitting on the ground with their face buried in their hands.

"Heyyyy!" Arms waving above his head and a rather wide grin coming across his face, the boy called out to the girl. "Are ya lost?" Of course he loved to take the easier route, hopping over the railing rather than just walking down the ramp to the lower part of the district the goggle-head managed to land safely before standing up straight. Taking a few steps towards her, he knelt down just a bit with his hand extended out.

"Welcome to Traverse Town! I'm Derrick!"
 

Takushi Rena

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Grumbling, still hiding her face in her hands, the girl mused over what to do now. She peeked through her fingers, furrowing her brow upon seeing the still-empty district before her.

She threw her head backwards, throwing her arms in her lap. She slumped forward.

"Stupid... storm... thing!" she grumbled, clenching her hand into a fist, "If that stupid thing hadn't showed up, I wouldn't be in this place! Not that being stuck in Cucio Bay was any good, but at least there were people the--!"

Heyyyy!

The girl blinked, raising a brow.

Was that... a voice...?

Are ya lost?

She looked around frantically, fighting to figure out where that voice was coming from. Maybe she was just imagining it... She probably was just imagining it. This town probably was completely empty, a ghost town, where nothing was going to happen--

Welcome to Traverse Town!

Her eyes bugged, looking up.

I'm Derrick!

She was speechless. At that moment, the boy must've thought she was crazy -- after all, she was staring at him, her eyes wide and looking terrified. All of the color drained from her features, only adding to the terrified look.

"Y..." she stuttered, slowly raising her hand, "Y-Y-You..."

A small laugh came from her, her eyes still wide.

"Y-You're a... a person!"

Suddenly, the girl hopped to her feet (complete with a stumble as she fought to keep her balance).

"Ha! I knew it!! Somebody had to be here!"

She suddenly started grinning a big, confident (almost cocky even) grin, putting her fists on her hips, "I thought that no one was here, but I was like noooooo that can't be right! A whole big place like this can't be empty and I was right! I knew there had to be somebody here and--!"

She paused, blinking. It took her a moment to register her current situation and, when she finally did, her face flushed. She turned her sneakers inward and hid her hands behind her back, scuffing the toe of her shoe on the concrete. (If she could, she would hid her face in her hands and run away immediately, but that not only would've been rude but also would've made things infinitely more embarrassing...)

"Umm... I-I'm talking too much... heh... I-I'm not really good at this stuff..."

Bowing her head, she hastily shoved her hand forward for the boy, Derrick, to shake. She couldn't bring herself to even look at him after that little outburst.

"M-My name's... Rena... Nice to meetcha, heh..."

Recalling what he said, she knit her brow.

"Wait... what's this place called?" Rena said, looking up towards the sky, "Tra... verrrrrr...?"
 

Eventua

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Tonight was a night for science.

Ahem, sorry, I meant to say SCIENCE!

That's better.

...

The tiny clawed creature desperately squirmed, its lower half having been frozen to the ground mid 'merging', its whole body seeming to inaccurately 'melt' into the stone tiles at its feet. Judging by the way its shining golden eyes awkwardly shifted from place to place, the man who stood before it was either its prey or its predator - it was obviously rather confused as to which way the roles were placed.

The man leant forward, his face centimeters from its desperate, violent swipes. He scrunched up his lips to one side, stroking his chin before carefully adjusting the lenses on his goggles, extending out like binoculars.

"Hmm..."

He lent backwards, crossing his arms before stroking his chin again.

"Nothing in this place but Shadows, it's... well," he sighed, "it indicates some very gloomy things about the prospects of this World for new variants."

He chuckled at his own stupid joke, and then sighed again before shrugging.

"I just don't understand, though. How can a World that literally exists as an extradimensional refugee camp only produce such a mundane breed?"

He tapped his chin three times before a thought suddenly occured to him. With child-like glee, he whipped out a notebook and what seemed to be a fairly ordinary pen from... somewhere, in the dark and seemingly endless layers of robes and clothing that he wore.

"Hypothesis - the culmination of so many varieties and origins for the Heart is effectively merging them into one, eliminating the presence of a nearly infinite variety of strains and instead resulting in the manifestation of only a few basic types of Heartless."

He tapped his chin with the pen a few times, before slowly dragging it up the side of his cheek to tap it on the side of his head instead.

"Now, to find a way to test it."

He looked around, the high walls of abandoned apartment blocks and houses and shops surrounding him. This place had long ago fallen to Darkness, he knew.

I was sure that a place like this would've produced so many interesting new strains, but there's nothing more than Shadows here...

He sat down on the floor of the alleyway next to the still squirming monster, its antennae twitching with some combination of fear, hunger and rage. He gave it a sad smile, either oblivious or uncaring to its obvious desire to destroy and/or run away from him.

"It's a shame there's no one around to better test things on, and certainly no one elderly, sick or injured enough to make such tests justifiable... gah, if only you all weren't so good at your jobs, it'd make my job far easier!"

The creature angrily swiped a few more times, the third swipe just trimming the tips of his rough dark hair. He chuckled again.

"Oh yes, yes, I know, I know. If you weren't so good at what you do, you'd all be far less fasci-."

"Ha! I knew it! Somebody had to be here!"

The robed man immediately got to his feet, pulling off the purple, binocular-esque goggles he was wearing. He tilted his head, cupping his left hand around his ear as he listened.

A few more words that he couldn't make out, but yes, there it was. Human voices! Children's voices? Yes, definitely the voices of children, coming down from the center of the district, echoing through those dark and foreboding alleyways to find his ears.

"Hmm..."

He turned back to the slowly thawing Shadow and smiled before performing a short, mocking bow.

"Well, what perfect luck! Good night, friend - I will leave you to your wanderings, and may you have a pleasant hunt."

He spat into the cracked, dry palm of his right hand and slicked back his hair before slowly flicking the crud out of his tired, dull eyes. Had to look presentable for strangers, after all.

And with that, he dashed down the alleyways towards the third district.
 
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Aphex

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"Y..."

The girl stammered and couldn't muster up the proper response. She looked shaken up, an uneasy feeling now looming over Derrick as this encounter turned awkward very quickly.

"Y-you're a person!"

And just like that she had a change of emotion! That cocky grin curling across her face as the boy could only watch the newcomer grow more and more ecstatic. He couldn't help but chuckle at her next comment about finding other people in this town.

Yet again, there was another change in her behavior as the girl ended up becoming shy out of nowhere. A brow cocked and head tilted a bit, his index finger scratched the side of his temple upon seeing this. But he saw the girl had extended her hand out towards him and from there, actually introduced herself... well, kind of.

"M-My name's... Rena... Nice to meetcha, heh..."

With a tiny grin, Derrick returned the gesture and shook her hand. "Nice to meet ya," he replied. "It's great to finally see some new faces around here. It's not often that people visit."

"Wait... what's this place called? Tra... verrrrrr...?"

"Uhhh... Traverse Town," Derrick finished Rena's sentence for her. "I take it you're from another world, huh?" Not really the best question to ask right off the back especially when this was the first time meeting! In an attempt to try and change subjects Derrick glanced over his shoulders and had an idea.

"Hey... how about we head into somewhere safer?" asked Derrick while extending out his hand again and pointed over at the small house that sat on top of the ramp. "My house right up this way; figured it's best that we steer clear of the Heartless if they happened to show up."
 

Takushi Rena

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Great, now she had made a complete idiot of herself... She meets someone and it turns into a disaster! The girl becomes very quiet at that point and never again made eye contact with the boy, trying really hard to hide the fact that her face was bright red.

Uhhh... Traverse Town.

"Traverse... Town..." she muses over the word, knitting her brow as she repeats it.

I take it you're from another world, huh?

"Oh... umm..." Rena gives a little nod, putting her arms behind her back, "Y-yeah... But this place seems a lot cooler than the world I was in before..."

She frowns, looking up at the sky again.

"Hey, umm... where'd all the peoples go 'n stuff?" she scratches her temple, "I tried to find other peoples, but I couldn't find anybody..."

Hey... how about we head into somewhere safer?

"Hmm?" she turned her head to the side, looking curious. This place was dangerous?

My house right up this way; figured it's best that we steer clear of the Heartless if they happened to show up.

"Heartless...?"

Rena narrowed her eyes for a moment. For some reason, that word sound familiar... She scratched the back of her head as she fought to figure out why it seemed that way... But, when she thought of them, a memory popped in her head, but it was fuzzy:

There was a weird stained glass floor, a sword or something in her hand, and little pools of darkness rising up from the floor, growing beady, golden eyes as they twisted into strange little monsters.

The girl, who seemed shy yet energetic, suddenly seemed kind of weary, looking up towards the house the boy spoke about.

"Those monster things, right?"

She didn't really wait for any sort of answer, already taking a step past him.

"Yeahyeah, let's go..." she said, heading towards the ramp.

-------------------​

"Traverse Town, huh?"

The dark portal twisted out of existence, the hooded figure standing before an enormous door with a neon sign above it. Tugging his hood tighter over his head, he cast a quick glance behind him to the alleyway he was within.

"Haven't been here in... damn, it's been ages," he mused, pulling something from his pocket, "There's not a lot of energy signatures here, though... When'd this place turn into such a damn ghost town?"

He peered down at the phone in his hand, scrolling through what appeared to be some sort of list. He clicked one of the items, pulling up a map of the town. But, as he did, something started to rise up from the concrete...

A dark pool condensed, twisting into a tiny, dark creature. Antenna twitching as it looked at the door, it placed its long claws on the concrete and proceeded to step towards the gates.

"Oy."

Antenna giving another twitch, the little Shadow slowly turned around, its golden eyes narrowing. When it caught sight of the figure, its eyes bugged. It squeaked, scrambling to get to the door before it was too late. But why was it so scared of him?

Tsk!

It stumbled, crashing to the ground and, for a moment, it remained motionless. The wound on its back, as if from a little shard of black glass, was smoking, but suddenly it disappeared, as the black shard funneled its way into the little creature's skin and became absorbed by it.

The man smirked, lowering his hand – which had been pointing at the monster like a gun – and quickly pocketed it as if he was hiding something.

The Shadow turned, looking up at the young man with glowing green eyes. It watched as he knelt down before it.

"There's someone with a Keyblade here," he said, his voice lowered, "I want you to find them and get a read on them, but I don't want you to kill them -- not yet, anyways. Got it?"

Its antenna gave a twitch. The man grinned.

"Go on then. And stay out of anyone's sight, alright?"

The Shadow sunk into the dark pool and crawled underneath the door. As it did, the man turned back to his phone as another video appeared on the screen. He leaned back against the wall, watching what was about to unfold.
 

HyperShadic

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Theo had barely dodged the giant scared creature as it called down lightning. It had taken him a while to even do enough damage that the creature decided him a threat, but he still had the advantage being smaller and faste. . . suddenly the creature sprinted, dove and picked him up, the creature squeezed and Theo was forced to grit his teeth in pain. The creature began making circular motions with his arm and eventually let go, Theo flying through the air and about to crash into.

Theo awoke with a start. Looking around he saw he was on some kind of ledge overlooking an open space that ended with a small fountain. Looking behind only gave a string. Curious he pulled the string and a bell began ringing. Smiling he began looking for a way down finding a ladder, he began sliding down it. At the foot of the ladder he felt for his weapon. He glanced down at his side when he didn’t feel it, and began to silently cursed to himself. He needed to find it. Hopping down onto the street below he began looking.
 

Aphex

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"Hey, umm... where'd all the peoples go 'n stuff? I tried to find other peoples, but I couldn't find anybody..."

"Uhh.... about that," Of course she would ask this question. To be fair, there was no way to even avoid that question anyway considering the fact that Derrick happened to be the only person living in Traverse Town. It wasn't an awkward thing either; more so it would have been hard to explain the matter.

"It might sound crazy but I'm the only person that lives here." he added with a nervous laugh. "It's been that way for a couple of years now but... I don't mind it really." That last bit may have been a slight fib. In reality Derrick was slowly beginning to despise the feeling of being alone and kind of regretted not taking Leon's offer when he had the chance. Maybe that's why he was so excited to finally see someone new for once after all this time.

"I'll explain it a bit more later if you want," But before he could go any further with the conversation, the girl started to act a tad odd again and instantly took a step past him. He cocked a brow once more and only shrugged before following behind.

Now taking the lead by picking up the pace a bit, Derrick rushed up the ramp and motioned for Rena to follow as he opened the door to his house once reaching it.

It was a decent sized living space for one person and the goggle-headed teen made the most of it. The floor consisted of blue carpeting while the walls were a light shade of gray, an oak round table being the centerpiece of the room. Right at the corner of the room was a twin-sized bed and just next to it was pile of books that were scattered about. They didn't belong to him anyway so Derrick never paid any attention or felt the need to even keep them tidy. But something was missing...

"Wait a second... where's the egg?" It was gone! But he just saw it not too long ago! It couldn't have just gotten up and walked off... can it? Maybe the thing finally hatched but if that was the case then there should have been fragments of the egg itself scattered around. Derrick didn't see a single sign of it as he started to panic a bit, rummaging through the pile of books in an attempt to find it.

shish

A sound caught his attention; an egg rolling out from underneath his bed and under the oak table the egg came to a stop once it bumped the framing of the doorway. It rolled back and in a few circles before setting itself in an upright position.

"What the..." Derrick muttered as he crept towards the egg but quickly refrained from doing so once the egg started to crack. It trailed around the entire shell before the top half popped off and fell to the side, revealing what was hidden inside of it.

A red snout peeked upwards, its red ears zigzagging back from the sides of its round body while its red black tipped tail began to swish back and forth behind it. Its wide yellow eyes set themselves onto the goggle-head, widening even more as a large smile grew on its face.

"Hewwo!"
 

sephiroth2

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

Silence filled the entire area, just like throughout the rest of the town. Though there was the odd sound, whether of something scurrying around out of sight, or one of the old hanging shop signs swinging slightly from a faint breeze, other than that everything seemed just as empty and alone as any other district. Behind one of the largest buildings in the second district, the hotel, the silence that had filled the alley/waterway was immediately broken with the sudden appearance of a strange gate-like portal.

While the mechanically designed frame was in constant motion, the archway made of separate chunks and gears which worked perfectly in movement, it was the clear light blue energy that the frame held which was more mesmerizing. It was definitely nothing normally seen, even those that were used by Heartless and the exceptionally rare Nobodies were more a chaotic burst of energy. This however seemed much more stable, clearly something that had been perfected somehow.

Stepping out from the pool-like portal was a trench coat wearing man, who though clearly looking no more than in his early twenties, still had the unfamiliar look of a few white streaks in his otherwise pitch black hair. With a tiring stretch of his arms, the young man hung his hands behind his neck, just brushing against the handle which belonged to the massive weapon that was currently clinging to his back, which appeared to have no known explanation to stay connected to the man, it merely sticking to him as if it was his own shadow.

Finally taking the chance to look around where he had arrived, the young man gave a small smile at the look of the surroundings, as if it seemed more comforting and familiar to him.

Reminds me just like Paradin…*beep! beep! beep!*...hmm?” Immediately relaxing his arms back to his side, the tall man soon began to search through the inside of his trench coat, the beeping noise continuing as he seemed to keep searching, switching from the left to the right and usually soon back to the left in a couple of quick movements.

It was a relieved whistle that escaped from his lips as he found what he wanted, the strange round device soon coming out from the confines of his coat, and promptly bringing the beeping noise loudly out to the open than it was before. Pressing the pale blue screen of the machine soon caused it to slightly spread open, taking up an appearance that was similar in design to the archway, the same moving gears and mechanical parts, though in miniature form.

This is Sle...sorry...Captain Destati reporting. Pathway is clear, about to begin survey of world. Initial reports indicating that world had been abandoned, now more likely than thought. Place seems pretty empty to me…
 

Eventua

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Okay, he thought, for future reference, don't sprint everywhere, that's a terrible idea.

...

No one here. Had they just disappeared? Had they existed at all, or was he hearing voices again?

He stopped and scratched his head.

"Well," he said to no one, "At least I appear to have found a central area of the town."

He slowly walked in a circle, breathing deeply through his nose as he took in as much of the world around him as possible. Tall, abandoned buildings in various states of disrepair. A million shining stars far, far above. Some sort of massive bell tower, and a-

...

Oh look, more Shadows manifesting out of the ground.

"Euuuggghhh, look, I love you all as much as the next fellow-"

He ducked to the side as one leapt at him, reaching around to turn the tiny, cramped dial on the side of his seemingly ordinary pen.

"-but you really must stop interrupting my efforts to study you all!"

With a brief flash of light, the pen had completely changed shape into some sort of knife, slicing through the air with the momentum of his roll and cleaving the hungry beast in half, leaving its body of Darkness to fade away into useless smoke.

The others twitched some more before three of them leapt at once.

Just rolling his eyes at them, Jotin dashed off as quickly as possible, choking for breath as he did.

Now, I know I wasn't imagining things. I can smell... eugh, I can smell beings of Light here, somewhere.


He twisted the dial again, the knife transitioning into some sort of stick... that was flooding the area with a gloom that choked out everything around it.

"... That's not good. Uh, anybody out there?? Somebody?! Heeelllooo! Requesting immediate assistance!"

To anyone outside of such a penetrating fog, however, it would appear as if a terrible, vast cloud of black smoke was awkwardly bopping up and down as it moved through the central area of the Third District. While screaming for help, of course.

It was also, unfortunately, causing quite substantial numbers of Shadows and Soldiers to manifest at its edges.
 

Takushi Rena

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It might sound crazy but I'm the only person that lives here.

"Hmm?" she blinked upon hearing Derrick speak up, admitting that fact. She couldn't help but feel bad for him; she thought things were bad back in Cucio Bay, but living in a town like this by yourself? That had to have been lonely...

It's been that way for a couple of years now but... I don't mind it really.

Though, he said he didn't mind it... Things must've not been that bad, then! But something was kind of telling her that wasn't really the truth, though she said nothing in return.

I'll explain it a bit more later if you want.

"Oh," the girl nodded, beaming, "Yeah, sure!"

Rena followed behind the boy, heading up into a house that was sitting up at the top of the stairway. Eyes bright, she grinned as they walked in, taking in the sight.

"Whoa... this is cool..." she muttered. She hadn't really seen a house before, at least not for a really long time. This world just kept getting cooler and cooler!

Wait a second... where's the egg?

Rena blinked.

"Egg...?"

shish!

The girl's eyes bugged upon hearing something rattling and rolling out from underneath the bed. It was an actual egg! Although very curious about it, she took a step back, watching what was about to unfold.

Hewwo!

She blinked, staring at the little round creature that popped out of the egg. Cautiously, she stepped over, her eyes seeming to light up as she made her way over.

"What's dat...?"

The girl kneeled down next to Derrick and the strange creature, watching it curiously. Although it was probably a bad idea, she poked its side.

"Looks like a... talking ball or somethin'..."

... Somebody?!

"Huh?"

Without warning, the girl leapt to her feet, focusing on the door. Was someone... talking?

Heeelllooo! Requesting immediate assistance!

Yeah, there was somebody there! She didn't waste a moment, nor really give any of this a thought. Rena rushed to the door, opened it, and raced out, back into the Third District.

The voice was coming from the other side of the ledge, in the centre of the district... She leaned over and looked down.

Every fiber of her being seeming to be begging for one thing that moment. Begging, pleading -- run, hide, get out of there, do something, just get away from there! The color drained from her face as she stared down at the horde of creatures slowly building up, cornering one figure.

"I-It's... those monsters again..."

Images started flashing in her head: dark creatures with golden, beady eyes, a huge, twisted monster that she couldn't defeat, falling into darkness...

The girl backed away from the ledge.

Someone was in trouble... yet, she couldn't do anything to help them. No weapon, no power, no anything. There was literally no way she could help.

"What'd I do...?" her voice crackled. There had to be something, though...

-------------------​


Slithering beneath the door, the dark pool came out on the other side. The Shadow, its antenna peeking out of the pool first, poked its head up from the ground, emerald eyes shifting as they glanced left to right.

There was nothing here...

click, click, click!

Wait, were those... footsteps?

Suddenly, two figures burst up the stairs and the Shadow panicked, crawling back into the darkness to hide away. Hopefully, they hadn't noticed it...

Just as it was commanded to do, though, it watched the pair, its green eyes bright.

-------------------​


On the other side of the door, someone was watching. Well, sort of. Focusing on his phone screen, the man watched the video feed, which was what the Shadow saw in black and white.

Narrowing his eyes, he scoffed as he watched two kids run onto the screen, heading into what looked like some sort of little dumb house.

"Oh great, a bunch of stupid, little--"

He blinked, suddenly focusing on one of the teens. Their energy signature was exactly like the one he saw before with the Keyblade... Hastily scrolling through his phone, he found the previous feed and compared them.

"...the f**k?!"

He suddenly started looking around, realizing that his outburst may've been a bit too loud. The man cursed under his breath, reducing his voice to a mutter.

"A kid? Are you f**king serious?! You gotta be kidding me! Some stupid kid has a Keyblade!" he groaned, pinching the bridge of his nose, "Oh, this is bullshit..."

He paused, knitting his brow.

"Wait... kids are stupid..."

He frowned.

"Kids are... gullible and stupid... If you make it sound like you have good intentions... hmm..."

Underneath the shadow of his hood, a grin had cracked onto his features.

"Maybe this isn't a bad thing..."
 

Aphex

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The petite creature writhed in place, trying to pry itself free from the bottom half of the egg shell but to no avail.

"Uhhh... h-help!" It fell right onto its side, rolling along the floor once more thinking that it would make it a lot easier to free itself. "Heeeeeeeeeeeeeeeelp!" it whined, its small oval paws flailing around while struggling.

Derrick on the other hand could only watch with a rather confused expression etched on his face. What the heck was this thing anyway? It didn't appear to be a threat(judging by its size), nonetheless it was asking for help rather than trying to rip their faces off or something.

"Heyheyhey! Take it easy and stay still1" The boy knelt down and tried to stop the creature from rolling any further, reaching out for it and managed to catch it before it collided with the wall again. He propped it right onto the center of the table before taking a step back, examining the being as he rubbed the back of his neck. "So... what are you? You wouldn't happen to have a name, would ya?"

Heeelllooo! Requesting immediate assistance!

Another voice filled the district, Rena being a step ahead of him as Derrick soon followed after her towards the ledge.

"Shit..." With a grumble and eyes narrowing onto the sight down below, wisps of blacks and purples started to swirl within the palm of the boy's hand.

shish!

A quick burst and hand now tightening around an object, Derrick snapped onto Rena's hand and dragged her back into the house. She didn't seem like the 'fighter' type anyway nor did it look like she even had a weapon to begin with so for her sake, Derrick wanted her to be safe and sound.

"Lay low for a bit, okay?" he said once he let go of her hand. Lifting up the other hand, a rather unique looking weapon was now resting on his shoulder; a red trimmed key-like blade to be exact. "I promise I'll make this quick." he added with a grin, flicking the tip of his nose with the side of his thumb before closing the door shut and left the girl alone with the red 'ball'.

Rushing towards the ledge, the goggle-headed teen latched onto the railing and vaulted right over it to the center below. Several Shadows and Soldiers were pouring out from this black cloud that stood before him but it seemed never-ending based on what he was looking at. Their numbers were slowly growing and whatever the hell this cloud was, it had to be dealt with and fast!

His foot sliding out in front of him and Keyblade being held behind his back, Derrick took a more defensive stance and simply waited for one of the Heartless' to make their move first.

And that's exactly what happened.

A Soldier lunged forwards with its claws out to its sides, spinning wildly towards Derrick who also shot forward towards it in return. The Keyblade was brought forward and rammed right into the side of the Soldier, knocking it off to the side as the blade spun in the boy's hand before being brought down onto a Shadow. Pivoting in place and with the blade held out to his side, the weapon cutting through several Shadows and Soldiers that were within its range.

Being occupied with the current dilemma, the boy was completely unaware of another new foe making it's entrance...

A robust figure dropped out from the cloud, its round burly self stomping towards the boy who was far too focused on his current opponents. Pounding its stomach, the being ended up reeling back and rushed towards him stomach first.

"Huh?" Hearing the stomps Derrick tried to see what was making that noise but it was far too late. "Gah!" The stomach rammed right into him and knocked him off of his feet, back slamming against the wall as he slid down to a sitting position. Back now throbbing and his vision somewhat blurred after having the wind knocked out of him, he looked up at the creature as saw a new variant; the Fat Body.

"Ah geez..."
 

Takushi Rena

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As Rena watched the scene below, almost pacing back and forth as she was torn on what to do, she looked down, realizing someone was grabbing her hand.

"Huh-- ahh!"

It was Derrick! He grabbed her hand and pulled her back into the house. Despite her horrible fear of those monsters, she couldn't help but try to fight back against Derrick, tugging on her hand.

"Wait, no!! Somebody's gotta help that guy!"

Lay low for a bit, okay? I promise I'll make this quick.

Even though he looked confident about taking care of those monsters, Rena frowned, balling her hands into fists at her sides.

"But, wait a sec--!"

Too late. The door was shut and Derrick was already taking off.

Unfortunately, she didn't do a very good job at listening...

Racing to the door, she grabbed the knob, only to have a quick realization. Turning back, she saw the little creature, who had been in a panic moments ago, and pointed at it.

"Umum... stay here, okay?" she said, as she twisted the knob and rushed out the door, slamming it behind her. Rena raced down into the centre of the district, rushing down the stairway and back towards where they had been before.

She grumbled, rubbing her eyes. The fog here was making it kind of hard to see, but she could make out figures -- those monsters, the guy that was in trouble, and Derrick, who was attacking all of the monsters with that weird sword thing.

She considered staying off to the side. Yeah, that probably would've been a good idea, considering she didn't have a weapon, plus she was scared of these things and was going to get hurt if she went rushing head-first into the battlefield.

Gah!

Unfortunately, she was a little too stubborn for that...

Hearing that painful cry, Rena raced into the battlefield, finding a large, round Heartless stomping around amongst the other Heartless with Derrick crashed against a wall.

No weapon, no way to fight, she literally had nothing... But she had to do something! Rummaging through her pockets, she found something odd, but something that could be useful... A pebble? She tossed it lightly in her hand, as if about to throw it. It probably fell in her pocket on accident when she was in Cucio Bay, but it had a use here!

"Hey!" she said, trying to get the monster's attention. Reeling her arm back, she threw the little rock, which bounced off its tiny head. Then, she rushed over, sliding to a halt in front of Derrick, and stabbed a finger at the Heartless, "Leave my friend alone!"

Of course, that wasn't going to stop the Heartless, but what else was she supposed to do?!
 

HyperShadic

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Theo glanced around the ground at the small alleyway he found himself in. Seeing a glint, he focused and almost shouted in joy, picking up his sword and giving it a few experimental swings. Once he was comfortable with it again he placed it back on his hip and leaned against the wall in thought.

That's not good. Uh, anybody out there?? Somebody?! Heeelllooo! Requesting immediate assistance!

He turned in the direction of the call of help. So, someone else here. I must hurry, he thought turning and sprinting towards the voice. Sprinting through an alley he passed a man standing there looking at something. He passed without glancing back or saying anything to him, he wasn’t in any kind of trouble, so he wasn’t the one who called for help.

Entering the Third District he saw the black swirling cloud. He also saw a girl standing between one of the monsters that had attacked his home and a young boy. Thinking quickly he leapt of the top of the wall and landing behind the monster stabbing it. It disappeared and he turned back and happened to glance at a door that led to what he hoped lead away from here. Using his sword he pointed towards the door saying, “Take him and go through that door, hurry.” He then charged towards the swirling cloud and destroyed a few heartless between the center of the cloud, “This way quickly,” he told the guy in the cloud before turning and blocking a charge by the same monster he had slain just earlier.
 

Aphex

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The Fat Body took another step towards the boy, who sat there with one hand scavenging for his Keyblade while the other was pressed down against the ground. A purple aura peeked out from beneath his palm, growing brighter with each passing second.

"C'mon... just a lil' closer,"

"Hey!"

Oh geez, no.

A pebble bounced off the Heartless' head, causing its head to sink in a little before tilting to the side a bit.

"Leave my friend alone!"

There in front of him was Rena! She didn't have a weapon still and was still willing to fight off the Heartless just for his sake. He had to admit, as grateful as he felt, this was still a serious matter to deal with! She was going to get hurt all because of his lack of defense!

The Fat Body grew angry, a strange aura now outlining it as it started to hopping in place, arms flailing as it started to ready itself for another attack. But there was an interruption, the Heartless wincing as it fell flat on its stomach before fading in black wisps that faded into the night sky. There in front of the two teens was another figure who stood behind where the Fat Body originally was, pointing their sword towards the double doors that led to the First District.

That purple aura dimmed, the boy shaking his hand a bit to get rid of it entirely before rising to his feet.

"Hey pal," Derrick snapped, finger pointing right at the man. "Who the Hell are you?!" Of course he wouldn't have gotten an answer considering the man ran straight towards that strange cloud, the boy grumbling.

If it's one thing that Derrick hated it was definitely being told what to do...

Turning to face Rena, the goggle-head patted the girl right on the shoulder.

"Thanks for looking out for me but we really have to get you out of here!" He glanced over at the cloud once more, watching as the Shadows and Soldiers continue to spew out from it. "It isn't safe for you to be here, I know you were just trying to help but these things can't be taken lightly."

Eyes shifting over to the double doors, the boy figured maybe the man's idea wasn't so bad after all. The First District never had any problems before and for some odd reason the Heartless never seemed to show up there either.

"C'mon, this way!" Without hesitation, Derrick rushed towards the doors but came to a halt when hearing something yell out.

"Hey! Wait for meeeeeeeeee!" The sounds of something scurrying down the ramp could be heard, barely, as that red creature from before reared its head and sprung towards the boy, clinging onto his shoulder. "Don't leave me behind with those things!"

Taken by complete surprise, Derrick really didn't have much of a choice. But what he didn't realize was a Soldier creeping up slowly behind them....
 

Takushi Rena

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Despite that little heroic act, Rena was anything but brave at that moment. Her knees were shaking, her feet fighting every single urge she had to bolt and get away from this thing. But she didn't give up -- maybe, if she hadn't stepped in, Derrick would be in a lot of trouble, so she couldn't just run away now!

Casting a quick glance over her shoulder, making sure to keep an eye on the Heartless, she turned to Derrick.

"You okay?"

But when she looked back, something was amiss. The monster's silhouette started to glow with a strange energy and, by the scowl across the Heartless' face, she was pretty positive that wasn't a good thing...

"Oh no..." she whimpered, taking a step back. "N-Nice monster thing..." She grumbled to herself, cursing under her breath (in the toughest curses she knew; which included "crap" and "darn it") Shrinking down as much as she could, she hid her face behind her hands and started to mutter, "Please don't hurt me, please don't hurt me, please don't hurt meeeeee-"

shish!

She peeked through her fingers, watching the monster crash to the floor. Suddenly, she threw her fists on her hips and wore a big triumphant grin.

"Ha! I knew I'd beat 'em--" she blinked, staring at the man brandishing a sword. Her voice reduced to a mutter, "oh wait, no, he did that... Darn it."

The man suddenly started to call them over towards the big doors that Rena had gone through before, and, by the tone in Derrick's voice, he didn't really like that plan. The girl watched the fog and the monsters crawling from it cautiously, unsure what to do now that the big scary Heartless was gone. Were they supposed to try and fight them? (Well, everyone but her...) Or were they just supposed to run for it?

"H-Hey, what 'bout...?"

A hand placed itself on her shoulder and Rena whirled around, realizing that it was Derrick's doing.

Thanks for looking out for me but we really have to get you out of here! It isn't safe for you to be here, I know you were just trying to help but these things can't be taken lightly.

"But--!" she protested, pointing over towards the fog. There was one little problem they forgot about: the guy who was calling for help! She couldn't even tell if he was still stuck in the fog or if he got away; she hoped it was the later.

C'mon, this way!

"Ahh, wait!" the girl took a quick second glance at the cloud, back to Derrick, then back to the cloud. It was no use! It wasn't like she could do anything... and, although she could pretend, she wasn't brave enough or strong enough to even fight one of those things. With a whimper and a small apology under her breath, she scampered behind after Derrick.

"Huh?"

Blinking, the child stumbled to a halt, raising her brow.

"Umm... Derrick?"

He was still heading for the door, talking to the little creature that hatched out of the egg. Frowning and looking down frantically, she tried to catch the boy's attention again.

"Derrick?"

It was coming closer. She started to panic. Was he even going to see the thing in time in order to fight it?

It was at that moment the Heartless raised its claw, swinging it out to the side and readying an attack.

But, as it did...

"NO!"

Rena jumped in between the Heartless and Derrick, throwing her hands up in a futile attempt to stop the attack.

CLANG!

She was certain that she didn't have enough strength to cause that much of a rebound. As the Heartless slashed down, suddenly the monster and Rena were thrown in separate directions, the girl falling backwards to the ground while the Heartless was thrown back towards the fog. Wincing, she looked up.

"H-huh...?"

Dark tendrils twisted around a burst of light, which hovered in the girl's hand. She could barely look up at the light, but all she wanted to do was stare at it, like a moth to the flame. She lowered her hand down, now looking at a silver and blue key-shaped sword that appeared in her grip.

Eyes bugged, blinking away at the disappearing sparks of light, the girl turned the enormous but surprisingly light sword in her hand. As she did, a keychain with a crown on the edge hit the back of her hand.

"What's... this...?"
 
Last edited:

Eventua

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Oh goodness, it actually worked, I'm not mad at all!

He tried not to think about the consequences of such a stupid course of action had he in fact been alone, and instead listened carefully as the various voices mingled together. He lifted his hand and pulled the goggles back over his eyes, the Darkness seeming to fade into a clear and glistening purple to his mind.

A girl who will probably get eaten soon, a boy with a Keybl-

"A Keyblade?!" he cried, the Heartless mostly ignoring him in favour of their new targets.

Eugh, brilliant, a Keyblade? After all this time, and I had to be the one to lure them right to it! Sorry about that...

He suddenly felt something push against him and turned, a third arrival striking down the Fat Body that had just appeared.

Soldiers and Fat Bodies, really? That's the best this World can offer in the face of a Keyblade and a Darkness this deep?

He turned to the sword wielding man and gave a slightly crazed grin through the gloom, following him, the fog following them all as well.

"Oh thank you, thank you all! I really do appreciate it, but this terrible Darkness has been following me around, and I'll need just a few more moments to-"

Another flash of Light, and his gaze was drawn to the girl.

Another...

Two of them? Two Keyblades?! By the Fate of the Moon, what are the chances?! These Heartless wont last much longer at this rate...

He gazed over at one of the Soldiers as it charged towards the children, no doubt soon to face a grizzly demise. Deep within his Heart, Jotin couldn't help but feel a swell of pride.

Such tenacity... alas, I think this little experiment has run its course for now.

"Thank you all for your help, thank you! I've figured out a solution, however, so I recommend you all close your eyes immediately if you still want to be able to see!"

Carefully hopping out of the way as one of the Shadows lunged for him, he grasped the dial on the hilt and twisted it. Immediately, the gloom collapsed into itself before returning as a piercing, brilliant light that seemed to turn the surrounding area into midday. The closest Shadows disintegrated from its energy, and the remaining Heartless were quickly stunned - a few Shadows melted into the ground and fled into the alleyways, while the Soldiers seemed to be torn between attacking the children or Jotin.
 

Knightcalibur

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Break of dawn. As the far-reaching rays of the sun slowly crawl unto stone and earth, illuminating the darkness of the night left behind, swift footsteps raced through the empty streets of Twilight Town.

A fast-moving object was seen zooming through the environment. Her bandana tail flailing through the wind behind her back like a red streak of lightning.

"Ha!"

The kid vaulted up the 10 foot pole with a single jump, then landing upon her feet on a line of thin railings. She slid and jumped from one rail to another and then launched herself on set of narrow window ledges.

"Yahoo!"

It was early in the morning, yet she has energy of a well-prepped race horse. And she seemed to be racing against the rising sun's rays, making her way to the Market District at a surprisingly incredible pace. Traversing the urban environment like Twilight Town is her one big play set.

"Here we go!"

The kid vaulted and hopped to the fountain's steep ledges like it was a simple staircase.

"Yeah!!!"

She cheered as she faced the dawn. The rising sun's ray finally illuminated her bandana, her big eyes and finally her wide smile. Her arms both held up high, feeling like a proud winner of a 1st placer of a race. The kid eased her stance and looked around her, giving that upbeat excitement evident on her expression. She bowed down a bit then heavily gasped air, puffing her chest.

"Good Morning Twilight Town..............!!!"

At the top of her lungs, she yelled at the face of dawn, in the middle of the market district. Few seconds later, the townsfolk seemed to wake up from that lively uproar, and began their own way of start their morning.

"Ah... up so early as always, Riel."

A modest, elderly woman remarked as she opened the doors from her item shop, noticing Riel from the top of the fountain.

"Hee Hee... Just greeting the sun like it greets the earth!"

Riel replied as she got down the fountain. She landed on her feet and cracked her knuckles.

"Time to start, yet another day! Wee!"

The kid ran towards the shop owners and began doing some chores for them. With her very cheerful and positive aura and eagerness, every minute spent for her is always bliss.
 

Story Keeper

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4. ~- Amends -~

Radiant Garden

James saw the way the moogle's face fell at his questions, and he did have to admit he felt guilty over the idea of being the cause. Forcing a smile, James chattered, "That's cool. I-I mean about what you guys can do, not about...you know." Looking away, a frown briefly flitted across the boy's face before he shook his head and replaced it with a smile. Looking back at Mogoni, he laughed, "You know, if we had a gummi ship it'd make it so much easier. We wouldn't have to hitch a ride from people and run the risk of people turning into jerks. One piece of advice, don't take Cyrus's pens, especially his green ones. He gets a little grumpy when that happens."

James shrugged in nonchalance and kept walking, his steps steady as he watched his sister he continued, "Cyrus, is a little...oh, how would you describe it?" He paused in his explanation, tapping his lip as he tried to figure out how to word whatever he was thinking. "He's a nice guy, but he's definitely not someone you want to get on the bad side of. Juliet? She's a little hot tempered but she's actually really nice, maybe a tad over dramatic at times." He dropped his voice on that last bit, glancing at his sister in the hopes that she hadn't heard him.

He grinned a little bit and he continued in the same muffled voice, "As for me? To quote Cyrus from one of his favorite games, I'm as 'restless as a little puppy', and also apparently I tend to get into way 'more trouble than I can manage.' Or at least that's according to Cyrus; I think Juliet agrees about the puppy thing though. I'm not entirely sure though, you'd have to ask them." James grinned impishly at the last bit, his eyes sparkling with mischief as he kept moving.

"Is there anything you want to know about me? I'd be happy to answer any of your questions," he chattered, quite obviously trying to keep the mood light in wake of the questions he asked that he really shouldn't have asked about involving the moogle.

~- Time Crawls On -~

Twilight Town

Arno hates Heartless. He hates it even more when the Heartless smack him upside the head. Colliding hard with the ground, Arno pushed himself up and twisted around to glare at the offending Neo Shadow. He rolled out of the way as it struck again, his head was hurting him. Rubbing the back of it, he flinched when his fingers glided over the bump on the back of it. He glanced over to see that Nico was holding his own against the Heartless, ducking, weaving and attacking the Heartless in accordance to what was needed. Twisting out of the way of the Neo Shadow that was closest to him, Arno swung the rope dart out toward the creature, entangling it and allowing him to shoot it with the crossbow that was around his wrist.

He spun away from the Neo Shadow, catching a glimpse of one of the girls saying something and he felt his panic rise. He didn't know what they said and it bothered him, he had a sinking feeling it wasn't a good thing and judging by Nico's face it wasn't. Hopping away from the Neo Shadow, he landed a little closer to Nico and caught it as the older boy mouthed, "Duck."

Hitting the ground, Arno glanced toward the Heartless to see that one of the black bands that Nico wore get thrown toward the horde that was heading toward the boys. Closing his eyes, he felt Nico drop down next to him and move him so that way Arno was on the other side. Opening his eyes after the explosion died down, he opened them to see that the area had been cleared somewhat only for more to appear. Opening his mouth to give a shout of frustration, Arno felt a strange darkness roll over his skin like water.

Rising to his feet, Arno ignored the Heartless and started moving toward the forest, and away from the mansion. Setting foot inside of the forest, Arno moved to the center of it and turned in a slow circle, searching for whatever it was that was calling him. He couldn't explain it, but he knew that there was something here and it was hungry. He didn't pay attention to if anyone had followed him, instead he was busy scanning the trees for any sign of movement. "Who's here?" He called, his obsidian dagger clutched in his right hand. Sensing something coming up behind him, Arno spun and leapt backwards; flinging his dagger toward it he watched as it bounced off of the creature.

Rolling to the right, Arno opened his mouth and started shouting, "Forget the small fry! Get over here so we can eliminate the Big One!"

He couldn't see it clearly; all he caught was flashes of magenta and glowing red eyes. Rolling away again, Arno scrambled to his feet and bolted behind a tree. He felt it collide with the tree, the force of the vibrations knocking Arno to the ground. He had to admit it was strong, and it was fast. Climbing to his feet again, Arno sprinted over to the next tree and did something that was probably stupid, climbing up into the higher branches, Arno turned to look down at it and started shooting at it with his crossbow, his eyes constantly darting back to the mansion to keep an eye out for the others.

~- Exchange -~

Traverse Town

Tora listened as Alexandra talked, she didn't mind the other Nobody, sure sometimes Alexandra could be extremely literal, but Tora liked the other girl. Actually, Tora would like to say that they were friends. Noticing that Sakura wasn't there, and not sensing the wolf's presence at all within the area, she frowned. Only for her attention to get drawn back to Alexandra as she asked, “Do you happen to know what is going on over there? It sounds as though there is a battle going on.”

Before she had a chance to answer though, Gnostos chimed in with, “Sounds pretty fun!! But too loud, means, too many people, and you heard what the boss said, got to keep watch for now…”

Tora thought about it for a moment, her fingers dancing across Hawthorne's shoulders as she considered what her two superiors thought. Looking over to Gnostos, she nodded at the other Nobody before she focused back on Alexandra and answered, "I don't know what's going on over there, but if it's connected to the Guard Armor that was heading over in this direction then my best guess is that the Heartless went over there and there is a group of people fighting it. So yeah, it would be crowded and loud." She addressed that last bit to Gnostos.

She heard what sounded like a barrage of gunfire coming from the other direction, glancing over her shoulder to see if she could see anything she returned her attention to her fellow Nobodies. Dropping her gaze, she kicked the ground and asked, "Do either one of you two know someone by the name of Captain Destati? I was following him when the Guard Armor appeared, and then he started following it so I was following them both in this direction only to split off from them when I saw you two."

She glanced at her fellow Nobodies, only to return her attention back to Hawthorne who was leaning against her leg; trying to provide some comfort even as Tora tangled her fingers in the wolf's fur. Sensing when a strong source of energy faded and only for a couple spikes of darkness, she glanced in the direction of the Third District and clicked her tongue against the roof of her mouth. "It seems as if there's a few strong hearts in that direction though, but we should still keep a low profile."

~- Pack -~

Ronin watched the events with the Guard Armor from his hiding spot; everyone was handling their own against it; so Ronin felt no need to intervene. Becoming disinterested in the fight, he turned to leave only to pause as a spike of darkness slammed into him. Whipping around to look to see what the cause was, Ronin couldn't help but stare at the boy named Derrick as he tore the Guard Armor apart. It also didn't take much to figure out that he was the source of the increase of darkness, watching the boy as he turned around, Ronin hissed under his breath as he caught the red eyes that stared back at the group. Taking a step forward, Ronin shook his head and back up a step again, there wasn't any point in intervening right now; everything was still under control for the moment.

He watched as a child went running past, and he almost turned to follow the child when a yip drew his attention backwards. Seeing the wolf after a few minutes, Ronin felt his desire to check on the wolf war against his desire to check on the child. Ronin saw the look on the wolf's face, and even though he wanted to go check on the child, he found his feet taking him straight to the wolf, skittering the edges of the group. Crouching down next to the wolf, he extended his hand to the wolf to sniff and asked softly, "Do I have permission to touch you?"

Ronin heard the commotion behind him, and he glanced over his shoulder to see what was going on. Returning his attention to the wash, he glanced back at the wolf and said in the same tone, "You should probably go after the boy and make sure he's okay, I'll see about helping them out." He waited to see what the wolf would say, but even then he already had one of his handguns out and directed behind him, his face half turned so he could see what was going on behind him.
 
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Eventua

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Radiant Garden ~ Man and Moogle

"Mogoni," grumbled the tall, dark man as he finished chewing on another slice of delicious pizza, "How can you be so sure that someone here will need our help?"

His companion - a young girl with peculiarly fluffy ears and what looked like tiny bad wings sprouting from her shoulders, herself busily finishing off a square of pizza almost as big as his - quickly looked around the market stalls to find something, anything, to help change the subject.
"Well, uh, ya know, I've got that sixth sense thing for adventure and trouble that all Moogles have, and Radiant Garden is one of the most enlightened and interconnected Worlds there are, so, uh, yeah! I betchya one of these stall keepers has some good leads, just you wait and see!"

She sniffed the air a few times before licking her lips greedily and giving him a distinctly cat-like grin.

"Like that one, I bet he has some good ideas. Annnddd since he's selling delicious cake, we can get some more to eat at the same time!"

The man finished the last chunk of pizza crust with a heavy crunch, eyes narrowing slightly before giving a gentle grin.

"Hmm... okay then. One more stall, then we buy some more supplies-"

"-and go to the waterways? I overheard someone talking about how beautiful it gets!"

Gadele sighed a little bit before shrugging at that last suggestion.

"... Very well. But then straight afterward it's back to the ship, okay?"

She looked up at him and smiled again.

"Okay dad, whatever you say."

----

As they walked to the waterways with cake in hand, Mogoni couldn't help but smile at it all. It was strange to be back in a bustling, happy city full of people... to be in a place where people weren't scared and scattered by monsters.

Nanna said that everywhere was like that, once... it must've been nice.

She turned to look at Gadele, who was busily admiring the architecture of the nearest archway. On his back was strapped the mighty warclub that he took with him everywhere, an ornate - if somewhat unwieldy - weapon.

So many battles fought since then, I... will the Light come back like it was before? Nanna always used to say it would, but... but...

She bit her lip, shaking her head as if hoping it might make those negative thoughts fall out of her ears and wash away in the waters around them.

As she finished her cake and they entered the 'central square' of the waterways, her ears picked something up.

"This is the last time we let James lead, Jewel. We're totally lost."

A trio of youngsters, two of them almost certainly older than her and one about her age, were busily arguing about getting lost and-


"At least I wasn't the idiot that almost got us eaten by a three-headed demon mutt!"

Her eyes widened as she paused, catching herself on the railing. As far as she was aware, three-headed demon mutts were not the sort of thing that spent its time in Radiant Garden.

She turned to Gadele and tugged on his sleeve, hopping up and down as she did. He grumbled a little at having been taken away from his musings on the construction techniques of different Worlds.

"Hey, hey, Gadele! I found us a lead!"

He sighed and crossed his arms.

"... And what food are they selling?"

Her shoulders sagged as she gave a heavy pout, hands on hips.

"I'm serious! Those kids," she gestured, "have met Cerberus!"

He turned to look at the trio. They certainly didn't look like travelling adventurers, though one look at Mogoni would give the wrong impression. Perhaps I'm not in a position to judge.

He strode over, each massive foot step landing with a notable thud, and waved at the youngsters.

"Hello!" he grinned, "Sorry about this, but my friend here-" he gestured to Mogoni, who all-to-eagerly waved as well, "says she overheard you talking about Cerberus? Would you, uh..."

He coughed into his fist and lent forwards slightly, apparently not aware that his 'whispering voice' still sounded like someone shouting from across a large room, "Be travelers to other Worlds by any chance?"
 
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