Chapter 40—The Superior, Xemnas

The platform that Sora and the others found themselves on was slathered in darkness and caught between what appeared to be the castle and the skyscrapers of the city. It made no sense really. But the platform had taken off the minute that they had stepped on it. From its mid-air floating Sora got the feeling that maybe they would be there forever and he wondered how it would feel as it passed.

"You… killed them… you know that don't you Sora?" Xemnas, the superior asked as he watched him from his throne as they approached him. He was silver-haired and sardonic. Overdramatic and yet, so distinctly emotionless. Sora got chills looking at him. "You who are the chosen one. The keyblade master."

"I didn't kill them. You did! You are responsible for unleashing the darkness. It was your research and your obsession!" Sora growled back as he holstered his keyblade up.

"And also me who was looking for a way to right my wrongs. What good did you do Sora? By merely adding to Kingdom Hearts? By killing off nobodies? They were all once people. Are their lives not on your hands? Did you not commit evil?"

"SHUT UP! I did what I had to. To save those who are left! If you had your way you would have destroyed whole worlds! And I can't let you do that anymore."

"Do you really think you can stop me? Where others have failed before?"

"I don't think… I know." He growled as his thoughts lingered briefly on the two men behind him. Leon and of course Riku. Then his thoughts trailed briefly on others that had helped him reach this point and the undeniable thought that he couldn't let them down. He wouldn't let them down.

A light, bright as fire shot from a nearby clock tower straight into the center of Kingdom Hearts. It's bright, eerie light begin to dim as a heart shaped scar appeared in its middle. Xemnas screamed in rage as the monstrous artifact slowly turned into nothing more then black ash and fell from the sky. He turned on them, on those that had destroyed his dream, his only chance of gaining back what he had lost.

"It took so long… so many hearts. Maybe you restored some but not many, not enough. YOU FOOLS!" He attacked with reckless anger, swinging his blades wildly. "I had but one wish, one divine wish and you RUIN it! Destroyed it with your foolish ideals! You'll pay!"

It seemed to all happen in the blink of an eye and yet in slow motion as well. They flung their blades around furiously trying to block the lasers that shot at them. Sora saw Leon fall down as a sharp laser of light went through his thigh and then another through his shoulder. He and Riku tried to battle the tide, the heartless having lost its interest in the gunblade wielder as he focused solely on them and the best way to try and kill them with only his swords.

"You should give up and die. After all, what is the light without the darkness? What is this temporary victory that you seek?"

"We seek the change of light to dark and back like day to night. Not the perpetual twilight that you would give us!" Riku yelled. "After all, you are not of the darkness or the light! You're nothing! Nothing at all!"

"And what about Roxas and Axel! Or Demyx? You think I haven't found out about them?!"

"Well they certainly didn't gain their hearts through Kingdom Hearts did they?!" Sora asked as he stood up slowly from where he'd rolled out of the way of a blade, eyes carefully trained.

"No… they gained it from your strong heart. Maybe I don't need something as great as Kingdom Hearts. Maybe all I need is the heart of a keyblade master." A wicked look came into the nobody's eyes and he dove at Sora, blade extended moving so fast.

Sora became aware of the fact that he was probably going to die there two seconds before a sharp pain filled his side as he was shoved out of the way of the blade. He turned feeling as if he was stuck in slow motion and watched as the sword's wicked blade slid it's way into Riku's side. He growled low in his throat and brought his keyblade down over Xemnas throat, but missed by too much, managing only to cut off one of the nobody's arms.

"You'll pay for that." The heartless hissed as he lifted his hands, calling the lasers once again.

"Fuck." Sora whispered as he watched them gather in strength and power. They were going to die here.

"Sora…" Riku spoke, struggling to his feet. "We've still got a chance."


"It only takes a beam of light." The other whispered, Sora nodded and the lasers began to fire.

The three blocked as best they could, Sora reached out and grabbed Rikuj's hand tightly in his own. He felt a laser hit him in his leg and Riku flinched as he was caught in his shoulder, but he didn't let go of Sora's hand. It wouldn't be as powerful as it could be since Kairi wasn't present but Sora had a feeling that if he aimed it right it would be enough. He heard Leon let out a soft cry and hoped the hit wasn't fatal. He turned and focused on Xemnas as the lasers began to die down. Riku let out a pained cry and slumped against him.

"Now… I don't—" Sora nodded and aimed his blade and let loose a wild shot of power.

Xemnas laughed, as he took in their various states of pain. Just a little more and they would be dead. And he'd have a good artifact of maybe the beginning of a new Kingdom Hearts. Starting with the keyblade bearer's heart. He moved forward when a flash of light shot straight into his abdomen. He was flung backwards into a wall.

"What is this?" He asked as he struggled to stand but it was as if light was engulfing him.

"Hearts have more power then you think." Sora's voice was soft, deadly. "They have the power to love and to hate. They give us the power to comfort and hurt. And the determination to be heroes or to gain revenge."

"All my research…"

"Useless. Hearts… are unpredictable." Sora replied as Xemnas tried to walk forward. He just needed Sora's heart. He just needed. Light completely engulfed him before he collapsed into a pile of gray ash.

Sora sunk down beside his love and slowly dug in his pockets until he found a mega-elixir. He was saving it, because mega-elixirs could heal almost fatal wounds, they hurt worst then anything else. He figured this warranted it. Riku had suffered tremendous wounds from the lasers. Not that Sora wasn't hurt himself, but he didn't have a gaping wound in his abdomen like Riku did. The mega-elixir would cure that though. As Riku cowered in pain against him, he dug out an elixir and tossed it to Leon to heal his wounds as well.

He wanted to do more but a blinding light suddenly filled the World that Never Was swallowing them all.

After the bright lights faded and the spots in Sora's eyes slowly disappeared, he begin to take in his surroundings to find that he was lying on sand, he'd recognized that gritty feeling underneath him anywhere. He opened his eyes and felt like he was lost inside the bright blue cloudless sky for a few moments before he moved his sluggish body and sat up. Looking around, he found himself in a place not unlike the dead savannah where he had encountered Simba the King of the Pride Lands. Except instead of bringing aid to the king of a dried of paradise he was trapped inside a desert with seemingly no exit.

He looked around him and found at first that his companions from the World that Never Was were with him. Beside him was Riku still unconscious and next to him Kairi. They extended out in a spiral with him in the center until it reached Tifa. Beside each of them, their weapons were either stuck in the ground or lying harmlessly beside them. Except for Tifa whose weapon was her deadly fists.

Standing up slowly the keyblade master slowly took in his surroundings that went beyond his unconscious friends. Around them, extending from the crossroads that they lay in were keyblades. Hundreds of thousands of them. They extended in their four squares as for as far as his eyes could see. They were haphazardly spaced like graves made during a war. He quivered at the thought as they did vaguely seem like tombstones in the way they stood, stuck in the ground so lifelessly. He shivered at the thought that maybe they were graves and knelt down to grab Riku's hand.

He subconsciously rubbed circles into the silver haired boy's hand and wished that the others would wake soon. He suddenly felt very alone and very scared. He just wished he knew what was beyond the seemingly endless horizon. But he knew one thing unequivocally. The battle wasn't over.