It was dark. Why was it always dark? Kione realized she'd woken up with her eyes close, which was not an uncommon thing for her. Stupid, she thought. Slowly, she opened her eyes, she wasn't surprised to find that it was actually dark. Kione sat up, she discovered she was laying on a cot, covered with some kind of woolen blanket. Her jacket (for all that she could see) was folded neatly at the foot of the cot.
She shivered. Damn it's cold. She pulled the blanket around her shoulders and busied herself trying to find her lighter. Where am I? What the hell happened? Wherever she was she could see a little thanks to the light around the edges of the door. Kione celebrated a brief moment of victory upon finding her lighter in her jacket pocket. She flicked it once, twice…bingo. The tiny flame illuminated what appeared to be a storage room. There were crates of various sized lined up all around the room, but they all bore the same seal. There were other obits of interest in the room; jars, pots, small boxes, and a few chests. The room itself wasn't all that big, the cot took up all but a foot of the far wall. Kione felt stiff, and cramped, but most of all she felt confused.
Suddenly there came the sound of footsteps from outside, and whistling. It was an up beat tune, Kione couldn't imagine a villain whistling something so jolly. But nonetheless she hide behind one of the larger crates and flicked her lighter off so that the room was once more in darkness.
The door opened with an audible 'swoosh', and a small figure was silhouetted in the light. Kione recognized him immediately.
"Mickey," she called thankfully, coming out of hiding, "for a second I thought I was in trouble."
The mouse chuckled and flicked on the lights. Kione saw that he had a tray with a bowl of steaming soup, bread, and a glass of some kind of juice. Her stomach rumbled at the sight, and he laughed again.
"Looks like I came just in time, huh?" He settled the tray on the cot and sat down beside her. "I'm afraid I'm not much of a cook."
Kione took the tray with a laugh, "I've been living in an abandoned clock tower above a train station for the last few years, I'm not picky."
The soup turned out to be vegetable. Mickey was right, his cooking skills left much to be desired--but Kione didn't notice. The soup was hot., fresh and delicious (to her at least). While Kione ate Mickey started at the floor, there seemed to be something on his mind, but she didn't notice. She tore into the bread, which was still warm from the oven.
"Really, I can't thank you enough, Mickey," Kione began, but he raised a gloved hand and shook his head.
"Don't worry about it, that's what the good guys do."
Kione set the now empty tray on a crate next to the cot, she leaned back against the cool metal wall and sighed. "So this is all real?"
"Yep," he said almost sadly.
"You're from this Kingdom I've heard about?"
"Uh-huh, well…herm…actually," he looked around as though expecting someone to jump out at him. Then he said in a whisper, "I'm the king."
Kione smiled, "Figures."
Mickey, or rather King Mickey took on a serious look, "Do you have any idea why the Organization wants you?"
Kione shook her head, "I don't have the slightest clue. After my," she stopped and though better of it. "After my life took an unexpected turn a few years ago, I haven't had much human contact. I hardly ever go into the town, except for food and a few other things. I've never heard of this 'Organization' or the 'Kingdom' or this fellow 'Axel' before today. Or was it yesterday?"
The King took this into consideration , and sat quietly thinking for a moment. "You wouldn't have heard of any of these things. But the worlds have been connected again."
"Worlds?" Kione asked.
The King launched into a quick explanation about the worlds, and the many reasons why they weren't supposed to be connected--yet they were. Kione sat in wrapped attention, listening to him explain the inner working of the worlds.
"Wait, so let me get this straight," Kione said after he was finished. "The forces of darkness are trying to destroy the worlds?"
"And this isn't the first time this has happened?"
"No, it's been happening over the course of a few years. We thought we'd put a stop to it a year ago. But now a new threat has come up."
The King sighed and launched into another explanation about the forces of light. Or more specifically Sora, Riku, Kari, Donald, and Goofy. He ran down the list of their various feats of heroism. He was practically sweating pride, Kione couldn't help but smile while he talked. The King's voice was commanded her utmost attention, she was lost in the story. She'd never dreamed that something like his tale could be real. Then to her horror she realized it was all real. A mere boy had been fighting the forces of darkness almost single handedly. Sweet heaven, her life…no everyone's life now rested on the small shoulders of a fifteen year-old boy and his friends. There was no way. NO WAY!
"Wait, wait, wait. So a three kids, a duck, a dog, a mouse (no offense), and a few rag-tag rebels are all that stand between us and certain oblivion?"
"That's the long short of it."
"There's no way," she breathed, mostly to herself.
The King heard her, "As much as I wish it were different…but it just isn't."
He looked into his palms as though the answer would be there, and to Kione's surprise something appeared. It was a giant key, but it looked like a sword.
"This is the Keyblade," he began, holding it up. "I have one, and so does Sora. When the time is right Kari will be given one."
"But they're just kids!"
Mickey once more looked to his palms, the Keyblade vanished. "I know."
Kione saw the sadness in his eyes, his voice, his very form. What a heavy burden for anyone to bare, she realized.
"I can't imagine having to worry about them," she said. Kione reached out and tentatively put a hand on his back. "I'm so sorry."
He looked at her and gave a sad chuckle, "Heh he, it's my job."
Kione actually smiled, she'd been doing that a lot lately. "So," she said braking the silence, "where are we going?"
"Well, Riku and I were gonna go and try to gather more information about the Organization. Now that Sora is awake and back to fighting the heartless and the nobodies--"
"Nobodies?" she asked sharply. Nobodies were the enemies here too?
"Yea, they're the other half of a person. When a heart is stolen the being is broken up into two parts: heartless and a nobody."
"Are nobodies monsters too?" Kione feared the answer.
"Essentially," he mulled over how to explain it for a second. "Most nobodies take on the form of monsters, but a few people with especially strong hearts retain the human form."
"Strong where others were weak," Kione murmured, thinking about what the first cloaked man had said to her. "I'm afraid I can't come with you."
"Well why not?" he looked surprised.
"Because she's a nobody, Mick," came a surprisingly deep voice from the opened doorway. "Look she's even got the mark--under her left eye no less."
Kione turned to see one of the biggest men she'd ever seen. He was tall, broad shouldered and thickly muscled. He was also very tan, just as she was. His eyes were sharp and accusatory--and unfortunately narrowed directly at her.
Kione had never felt more out of place, she nervously scratched the mark. "Yeah, I had realized that, thanks."
Mickey got up, "That's something I'd realized too, Riku."
"Riku?" Kione asked. "I though you said he was sixteen?"
He sneered, "What can I say? I had a growth spurt."
Mickey held up his hand to silence them, "Like I was saying. I know she's a Nobody, Ricku. But she not one of them."
"Oh come on, the Organization wants her. How much more will it take? Here," he pulled a photo out of his pocket, walked over and gave it to her. "Who are these people?"
Kione looked at the picture. MY FAMILY. Kione searched the faces, but couldn't come up with and answer. "I--I don't…"
"See? She doesn't remember her own family. She's not a real person. She's just pretending to feel."
"Riku," the King said once in warning.
They began to discuss her fate aoungst themselves. Normally Kione would've gotten mad that they were talking about her as though she wasn't there, but she was in her own world. It was just her and the photo, there might as well have not been anyone in the room. She was absorbed in it, in the faces. She looked at the elder man, the elder woman. The younger man and woman. At last she looked at the baby.
A drop of water fell on the photo.
Riku stopped arguing and looked at her.
"Kione?" The King asked, his voice full of concern.
She looked up. For a moment she thought the roof must be leaking, but then she realized that she…was crying.
"I'd forgotten," she said so softly that she was sure the only person who heard was herself and the King.
"Forgotten what, Kione?" the King said placing one had atop hers.
"Forgotten everything, but I remembered it yesterday," she hiccupped pathetically. "I wrote a letter about forgetting yesterday. Mickey, it's so scarey. I forget a little more everyday. I forget who I am. I forget my family--my daughter. She'll be three now."
Riku couldn't bring himself to look at her.
"I haven't cried since it happened," she continued. She wanted to wipe the tears away, but she relished the way they felt. "I thought I couldn't anymore. I didn't even cry when my parents didn't recognize me, and my child cried at the sight of me."
Mickey didn't say anything, he just let her talk. Maybe he didn't know what to say, or maybe he knew it was better to leave the moment as it was.
"I'm sorry," came Riku's voice unexpectedly. "Sorry about what I said before."
Kione looked up at him and for the first time looked him in the eyes. "Don't be, you're right. I'm not a real person, not anymore. That's what's so terrifying."