Saw POTC3. Twice! It's even better the second time! For any who haven't seen it, I suggest you hurry! Our favourite pirate captain at his finest! Now then, enjoy this very buggy chapter.
Disclaimer: I do not own the Rolling Stones
When the Keybladers stepped into the Dimensional Door, the first thing they were met with was a bright light consuming their vision. Nothing but a huge white light. The only thing they were distinctly aware of was each other, and the blinking Chronospheres in their hands. These devices guided them through hundreds of different dimensions, which they passed through until reaching the one they sought. The light subsided, and their vision was cleared.
Sora opened his eyes after the whole ordeal was over. Traveling through dimensions was a lot more invigorating than simply traveling through worlds. He found he was on solid ground, that was a start. His first steps in another dimension.
Looking around, Sora found that Jack's 'land in a lot of forests' statement was true; he was in a forest. A strange forest. The strangest he'd ever seen. The trees around him were tall and frail looking, their trunks no thicker then his arm. No branches grew on them either. And their tops, they had no leaves. Just bunches of what looked like white fluff... Sora gasped in realization. Those weren't trees he was looking at. They were dandelions. Huge dandelions. And that wasn't all as he looked around. Massive flowers touched to the sky, four-leaf clovers provided him shade, even blades of grass towered above him.
"Did everything grow bigger?" he stammered. He only now came to notice that he felt... different. Like his skin was out of place. His hands traveled too his head, feeling his familiar brown hair but also something else. Two long...antennae? As he felt them, they reacted in his head. He looked at his feet, and found he had four of them, each sporting a yellow shoe. Not only that, but he had an abdomen pushing through a hole in his black suit. And his skin...it was hard.
Sora was a bug.
"Uh, g-guys?" Sora stammered, looking for his friends.
"Check me out!" Beautiful elegant pink butterfly wings opened wide with the sun shining through the material. "I'm a butterfly!" Kairi laughed, spreading her new attachments. She had indeed become a red haired butterfly, two antennae sprouting from her head and her pink dress melding into her new body. "This is so cool! I've got wings! Traveling through dimensions has its perks!"
"Does it now?" Jack Sparrow now sported four skinny legs, two antennae, and two dirty folded wings on his back. "I wouldn't call becoming a stinkbug a 'perk'," he remarked sourly, looking his new form over. "Especially now that I have this constant stink about my person." He took his rum bottle, which had changed into a small dirty gourd, and chugged his troubles away.
Beast had transformed into a Hercules beetle, and was standing on his hind legs. His purple cloak had become a purple shell, and his buggy face now included two huge, powerful, pincer-like horns on his nose. "These could take some getting used too," he said as he felt the horns, then clamping them together on his own, grinning in satisfaction. "And I just got used to them." He looked to Jack then clamped them together again, sending an early warning to the now sweating stinkbug.
"Buzzzzzz!! Buzzzz!! I can fly! I can fly!" Orange and black zipped through the air. Naruto the ninja had become Naruto the bee, flying through the wind on transparent wings, black, with an orange striped bottom. He still had his Konoha headband. "I've never been a bee before! My life long dream has come true! This is awesome!! Buzzz! Buuuuzzzz!!!"
"That's well and good for you," Mulan muttered, looking over her new form. She now had antennae, and folded up wings on her back and a long thorax. "But what kind of bug am I?" Her question was answered throughly, when her bottom suddenly lit up.
"Im gonna take a wild guess and say firefly," Kairi giggled. Mulan blushed and attempted to hide her light. "But wait.." Kairi looked around. Someone was missing from their little gang. "Where's Inuyasha?"
"Ahem!" The Keyblader bugs heard the grunt but from where it came from they didn't know. "Down here!" They looked down this time. At their feet was a tiny little red flea, not even reaching up to most of their knees. And he was scowling fiercely with familiar feral eyes. "Barely a minute in this dimension and I already hate it!"
"Inuyasha?" Kairi asked, rubbing her eyes in disbelief. "You're a flea? No offence but I think you got the raw end of the deal on this one." Inuyasha growled, remembering a certain flea he knew back on his world, and all the things he used to do to him.
"This is karma. I swear," the flea muttered.
"Is this gonna happen every time we go somewhere else?" Jack said, learning how to spread his wings, only for an intense odor to emerge from the flaps, immediately closing them after. "Because I have certain morals to uphold. Ah, who am I kidding? I don't have any!"
"I think," Mulan said absent mindedly, still trying to hide or put out the light on her bottom. "This is a dimension for bugs. We must have been transformed to fit this dimension's standards. Is there a switch to this thing?"
"So every time we go somewhere we'll be transformed?" Naruto asked as he zipped by.
"Wait a minute," Beast the beetle interrupted. He looked around the forest of flowers and weeds before coming to a realization. "Where's Sora?" The Keybladers looked around and found that Sora was not among them.
"Sora!" Kairi called. They scoured about, looking for any signs of the spiky-haired Keyblader. Behind every flower petal and stem they searched. Partly, they wanted to see what form he had taken.
"Hey! I found him!" Naruto called, hovering just over a boulder sized pebble. The rest rushed, or, in Inuyasha's case, hopped over to him, peeking over the rock to see. Scrunched down as if trying not to be seen was Sora, transformed into a spiky haired ant, shivering from something or another.
"Sora?" Kairi said softly. The boy turned his head, only to find himself surrounded by insects of every shape and size. Their hairy limbs, their skeletal makeup, their...their...
"AAAAAAAAAAA!!!!!!!" Sora screamed like a girl, startling everyone else. He jumped from his spot and ran on all four of his legs to hide again behind a mushroom. The Keybladers, now throughly confused, tried to approach again. When they looked again, they found Sora curled up in a fetal position, crying and whimpering to himself, his antennae furled together.
"What's with the finer minor?" Jack drawled, stroking the tuning-fork beard he still possessed. "Looks like he's seen a world without rum in it." Sora didn't respond, still shaking and clenching his teeth.
"Oh no!" Kairi gasped, slapping her forehead. "I completely forgot!"
"What?" Inuyasha asked from her feet.
Sora was the chosen wielder of the Keyblade, and with that title came trouble. Without fear, he had faced down hordes of monstrous Heartless, terrifying cursed pirates, ghastly Nobodies, heavily-armed Stormtroopers, and other sights that would make a normal man wet his pants ten times over. But there was one thing that Sora had always been afraid of. His Achilles heel, it could be called. One thing that could reduce him to a sniveling puddle of tears on the spot. Bugs. When it came to bugs...
Sora was terrified.
"Are you serious!?" Beast snapped, gesturing to the broken down Sora. "He's afraid of bugs!?" Kairi nodded.
"Fraid' so,' she sighed. "Insectophobia. He's had it since we were kids. Ever since that day Riku stuck a spider in his shirt."
"Hehe! Classic," Naruto snickered.
"But he can't be afraid of bugs," Inuyasha scoffed. "He is one!"
"Don't remind me...," Sora whimpered.
And so they walked through the strange terrain, getting used to their new bodies. Naruto didn't walk at all, still hovering and zipping by them occasionally. Sora insisted on walking several feet ahead of everybody. He claimed it was to scout ahead, but they knew it was just so he wouldn't have to look at them and start bawling.
Kairi spread her elegant pink wings, flapping them as fast as she could manage. "Come on. Come on!" She lifted a few feet off the off the ground, her wings blowing dust around, but she could not hold herself up for more than a few seconds, eventually falling back to the earth. "Dang it! What kind of butterfly can I be if I can't even fly?"
"We can stick a pin in you and put you on display," Jack replied. "I wouldn't mind taking a gander at that. Pinned up ladies and a pint of rum; a pirate's dream come true."
"Hey, Naruto," Kairi shouted to the boy flying above. "How did you learn how to fly like that?"
"Never mind that! I want to learn how to stop!" Naruto shouted back. It would explain why he hadn't landed since they arrived here. "I can't get these stupid wings to calm down! They keep flapping and flapping and - ooff!!" Naruto flew headlong into a flower stem, solving his "can't stop flying" problem. "Never mind..."
"Hey, wait," Beast grumbled, cupping a hand over his ear. "You hear that?" The others perked up their ears. Distinctly, they could hear voices coming from deeper in the forest. Shouts and the pitter patter of little feet. "There's something out there."
"It's coming from that tree," Inuyasha pointed out. A large tree loomed over everything else in the garden, the size of a skyscraper to the bug Keybladers. It was not to far off from their position.
"Hey, Sora! You see anything up there?" Kairi called to Sora, who was still up ahead of them and peeking through a brush of grass. It looked like he was sweating a lot.
"Uh, n-no! Nothing over here! No reason to come this way, uh, at all! Hehe?" Sora smiled hopefully, but it didn't look like they were buying it. They waltzed over to the brush and peered beyond. At the foot of the tree they saw a clearing, and filling that clearing were hundreds of ants. An entire colony of them. Hundreds of four legged, two handed bugs, working tirelessly in the name of their colony. A procession of them walked in a line, carrying food ten times their own weight, all heading to one spot: a pile of food on which their dumped their cargo.
"Alright everybody! We have to hurry! Drop off your food at the Offering Stone!" Their anthill, which was near the trees' roots, was the commanding point for a female ant wearing a flower crown. From the way she was giving orders and coordinating the activity, she must be the leader. "Please! They'll be here any second! Bring your food then hurry into the Anthill!"
"What's going on?" Naruto asked no one in particular, he and the others watching everything from their grassy vantage point. "Why are they doing that? Are they that hungry?"
"Who cares? They're bugs," Sora hissed, his knuckles turning white from clenching them so much. "Let's just leave well enough alone and get out of here!"
"But they may know where the Beagle Boys are," Mulan said reasonably. "It wouldn't hurt to look around."
"It'd hurt my frail psyche!!" Sora exclaimed. Before he could protest any further, Jack and Beast hoisted him up by the shoulders, carrying him with them down to the anthill. "No! Let me go! You can't make me!!"
"On the contrary," Jack corrected. "We seem to be very good at making you do things."
"Come on 'fearless' leader," Kairi giggled. With the pleading Sora in tow the Keybladers walked into the clearing toward the anthill. The reaction of the ants upon seeing them was not a happy one. In fact if anything, they looked scared. The line to the food pile stopped and broke away as they came down to meet them, staying back as they came closer. That suited the bugaphobic Sora just fine. Whispers traveled between the ants, and their group parted as the Keybladers came close to the anthill.
"People! Everyone? Why have you stopped? We need - Oh! Oh my...," the ant leader stammered watching the strangers approach. Where did they come from? Out of the hole in the ground at her feet popped a small ant-girl, who also looked at the other bugs, but with curiosity, not fear.
"Who are they?" she asked the queen. "They look like they're lost. What do you think, Atta?"
"I don't know but we don't have time for this," Princess Atta sighed in exasperation. "Stay here Dot. And don't come out. Everyone! Keep piling the food! They'll be here soon!" From her back extended two transparent wings, flapping hard to lift her off her feet, carrying her off to meet the Keybladers. "Hello there! Hi! Welcome! I'm Princess Atta, ruler of this colony. Um, who are all of you?"
"We're just, uh, passing through. Quickly!" Sora added, hiding behind Kairi, terrified in the presence of this bug princess.
"Actually, we want to ask you some questions," Kairi said smiling kindly.
"Oh, really? Can't it wait till later?" Atta stammered, eyes switching nervously to the sky every so often.
"Oh, my dearest princess!" Jack knelt down on one knee, taking Atta's hand in his. "A moment of your time is more than enough for a beauty of your calibre!" He kissed her hand passionately.
"She's a bug!" Mulan whispered in disgust.
"She's a she!" Jack hissed back.
Atta retracted her hand in haste. "Well, that's great and all. But I'm afraid we-" She was interrupted by blaring horns suddenly sounding in the giant tree. Ants in the branches blew into large conch shells, echoing down to the ants below. The very sound of those horns sent the food carrying workers into a frantic panic. Shouts of alarm went up everywhere in the clearing, order completely gone.
"Is that the dinner bell?" Naruto asked while buzzing.
"Oh no! They're here! They're here!" Princess Atta gasped, nearly hyperventilating. "Everyone! Calm down! Please! Drop off your food at the Offering Stone then quickly head to the Anthill! Let's go! Hurry!" The ants did as their princess commanded. Any still carrying food hastily dropped it off in the pile then ran as fast as they could to the Anthill and running down the hole. "You! All of you! You have to get out of here!" The Keybladers stared at her questioningly.
"Why? What's going on?" Kairi asked, wondering what could cause such a panic.
'Ugggh! No time to explain! Quickly! Into the Anthill! Hide with us!" Without another word she spread her wings and flew off to the top of the hill. The Keybladers looked to each other for agreement.
"D-down there?" Sora whimpered pathetically. "With all those other b-b-bugs!? We can't! I won't!" Jack and Beast lifted him up again, waltzing up the side of the hill to the hole. "Don't you guys have any respect for your leader!?"
"Nope," they answered together. They walked in the hole via the walkway to the lower levels, following the ants to miss whatever was coming their way. But one stayed behind. No, it wasn't Jack this time. This time it was Inuyasha the flea, who had his eye trained on the big pile of newly prepared food. His little flea legs bounced him over there quickly, and when he reached the pile, his mouth watered.
"Food as big as my entire body," he whispered with glee. Berries, rice grains, and other morsels that would keep him set for life. They never specified what this food was for. They never specified what it wasn't for either. Inuyasha had been hanging out with Jack too much. Grinning, he opened his mouth...
"Wait! Wait for me!" Inuyasha paused and looked behind him. Running frantically towards him was a single ant, carrying an armful of grains. "Hold on! I got food! In the pile, then the anthill!" Unfortunately, he didn't notice Inuyasha standing in the way and ran full on in to him. The half-demon/flea stumbled into the pile, shifting its standing, and knocking it over the side of the cliff behind it. "Oh no! No! No! Nononononono!!!"
"Noooooo!!!!" Inuyasha whined, trying and failing to grasp the food as it fell over, tumbling down into the lake-sized river below and sinking beyond anyone's grasp. Inuyasha and the ant watched it fall, both utterly crestfallen, but for different reasons. "Nice going, bug boy! That was my dream lunch!"
"Oh, this is bad! This is bad! Very bad!" the ant stammered, clutching his head. "You don't understand! They're coming! They'll be here! Princess Atta! Princess Atta!" He took off for the anthill, repeatedly calling for the ant princess.
"What's his problem?" Inuyasha muttered. "What's comin-" Inuyasha stopped when a new sound reached his ears. It was faint, but quickly growing louder. Finally he could distinguish what it was. Buzzing. Buzzing and rapidly flapping wings. Many together to form one sound. And it was coming closer. "Maybe I should get inside..," Inuyasha said, choosing this as the best time to leave. Hopping and bouncing to the hill he jumped in the hole, just as shadows began to descend to the ground...
Inside the Anthill was rather crowded. Ants were crammed into several tunnels and catacombs, huddled together in fear. Fear of whatever was coming to their home. The Keybladers were also strewn about the crowd, Sora convulsing since he was smack dab in the middle of his worse nightmare.
"Nice place you got here," Jack complimented, breaking the silence while crammed between many ants. They all shushed him. The buzzing Inuyasha had heard could be heard down below now. Something touched down on the surface above them and the ants all stiffened. It sounded like it was walking now. Each footstep increased their level of fear.
"Hey!" came a voice from up above. "Where's the food!?" The ants all gasped in horror, particularly Princess Atta. No food? That's impossible. They practically gift-wrapped for them outside. What...? She turned around to the nervous ant named Flik beside her.
"What did you do?" she hissed with malice. Every bug in the cave turned their eyes to Flik. He smiled sheepishly.
"It was an accident," he offered. He couldn't plead his case any further. Holes were suddenly punched in the ceiling above them by green spiky feet. More and more skylights were created, shedding light into the dark tunnel, but that offered no comfort to the terrified ants.
"What is this!?" Beast growled, grains of sand falling on his head. In the excitement, Naruto's wings started fluttering again, picking him up and slamming him into the ceiling. From the holes came the assailants. Green in skin with long spiky legs, four arms and abdomens long to support their wings. Grasshoppers. Mean looking grasshoppers. They jumped into the tunnels, laughing and making a terrible ruckus, sending the ants into a greater panic then before. The Keybladers coped as best they could in the madness but were knocked around anyway. Princess Atta couldn't contain such a situation, grasshoppers in their midst being too much to handle. But someone was there to calm everything down. Just not for the better.
A lone grasshopper jumped down into the tunnels right before Sora, and when he did, all chaos stopped. He stood taller than anyone else there, and was by far the scariest. His right eye was scarred and dull. He looked down at Sora, who was trembling now.
"Boo." Sora screamed and ran away, hiding somewhere else. Satisfied, the grasshopper walked over to the now calmer group, placing his hands behind his back and walking among the shaking ants.
"Who's that?" Kairi whispered to Flik.
"Hopper," Flik answered, not taking his eyes off of him. "The grasshopper's leader." Hopper walked around a bit more before stopping right before Princess Atta.
"Where..," he said calmly in a dark voice "...is my food!?" Atta cringed. "Huh? Where is it? Did you lose it!?"
"I-isn't it up there?" Atta stuttered, but held up.
Hopper scowled. "Do you think I'm stupid?"
"If there was food up there, why would I be wasting my time down here with in the dirt with you ants!?" His grasshopper gang snickered in agreement. "Have you all forgotten how we do things here? Sun grows the food, Ants collect the food, Grasshoppers eat the food! It's how the world works. That's how it's been every season! So tell me, what is different about this one?"
"B-but I-" A glare from Hopper silenced her. His hand shot out and grabbed Atta's little sister Dot by the head, lifting her up to meet her frighted eyes. Atta gasped but didn't have the courage to speak up, neither did any of the other ants.
"Are you afraid of grasshoppers, little ant?" Hopper sneered and Dot whimpered.
"Sora, we should do something," Kairi whispered anxiously to Sora. But when she turned to Sora she found him curled up and sucking his thumb, completely petrified by these giant grasshoppers. Kairi groaned. Sora was out of commission, and it didn't look like any of the other ants were going to speak up.
"Leave her alone!" Hopper turned and was confused to see a pink winged butterfly stepping from the crowd of ants, a scowl on her pretty face.
"And who is this?" Hopper growled, strolling his way over.
"Someone who doesn't like bullies!" Kairi shot back. "Now let her go!"
"A butterfly in an anthill. Not exactly something you see everyday." He bent to use his antennae to feel Kairi's face and she recoiled. "She certainly smells nice."
"Back off pal," Beast snarled, stepping in to shove the grasshopper away from Kairi. The ants gasped at this act and the other grasshoppers closed in, coming to their leader's aid. Beast's Keyblade swished to his hand, momentarily lighting the dark cavern. "You guys feeling lucky?"
"You want a piece of him, you got to go through me!" Naruto declared, flying in to land beside Beast with Nindo in hand.
"Me too!" Mulan backed up, rushing to join them. In the excitement, her bottom lit up again, which she futilely tried to hide again.
"Me three!" Inuyasha shouted, summoning his Keyblade. But with his dwarfed size the Tetsusaiga's Fang was too heavy and fell right on top of him with a yelp. Five Keyblades stood in the way of Hopper; the ant/girl Dot stared at them with wide, admiring eyes. But two were missing. Jack was doing his usual cowardly thing, hiding behind a rock, but this time he had company. Next to him was Sora, curled up into a ball, useless in the face of his fear.
Hopper glared at all these bugs before turning to Princess Atta. "Have you hired bodyguards, your highness? Are you not happy with our services? I mean, it's a fair exchange. We keep the bigger, more threatening bugs away, and all we ask for in return is a little food."
"Sounds like extortion to me," Kairi retorted.
"Yeah! Extortion!" Naruto repeated stupidly.
"But, Hopper," Atta pleaded. "They're not - I mean- they aren't-"
"Enough!" Hopper tossed Dot into Kairi's protective arms, then stomped off to the ants. "You ants are obviously forgetting your place! As a result of this little incursion, we will be back by the end of today to collect our food!" The ants gasped yet again.
"B-but Hopper," Atta pleaded desperately. "We can't collect that much food by the end of the day! We have to save food for ourselves!"
"That is not my problem. You screwed up, you fix it. This is your last chance, I suggest you use it." He stopped before them all, a cruel smile on his face. "You ants have a nice day. Let's ride!" All the grasshoppers laughed and opened their wings, flapping them rapidly to take to the air. Hopper and his goons flew back through the holes they had created one by one, leaving the Anthill and the ants to wallow in their situation.
It was completely silent in the anthill when they were gone. The only sound was the Keybladers weapons disappearing from their hands. Then, all at once, the eyes of the ant colony turned to the one bug responsible for all this. When they fell upon him, Flik could do nothing. Because he knew it was true. Singlehandedly, he had doomed his colony.
"What do you mean we're leaving?!" Kairi exclaimed to Sora as he marched away from the Anthill as fast as he could. The holes created by the dastardly grasshoppers were already being repaired by the worker ants. While this was an important task, the real work to be done was to collect more food for an offering to those villains. Ants ran like mad to collect more morsels, the entire colony abuzz with activity to meet the deadline. When the grasshoppers came they hoped they would be ready. But Sora, apparently, didn't want to stick around for the outcome. "We can't leave! You heard Hopper! Those grasshoppers will be back by the end of the day!"
"That's great! Too bad we won't be around to see it!" Sora called over his shoulder, not stopping. "Besides, we can't stay anyway! We got the Beagle Boys to stop and what not! So let's go! Hurry up now!"
"You're just going to leave these people to their fate?" Mulan asked shocked.
"People!?" Sora yelled, rounding on them. "I wouldn't turn my back on people!! These aren't people!! These are bugs!! Icky, yucky, disgusting, creepy, crawling bugs!!!! I don't want to stick around to fight those grasshoppers!! They freak me out, alright!!!" The Keyblader were completely shocked. They had no idea Sora's phobia was this bad. For him to just turn his back on these ants in need of help, they didn't think it was possible.
"Finally you're speaking my language!" Jack drawled. "Don't do what you don't have too. That's my motto!"
"Wait! You guys! Wait up!" Running towards him was Flik, with all the speed he could muster. When he reached them, he panted, "That was incredible! What you did back there! Standing up to those grasshoppers! Oh, man! I wish I could be as brave as you!"
"Well, we try," Inuyasha remarked.
"Except me!" Jack put in.
"You guys have to stay! You have too help us fight them! Hopper has taken everything from us. And after this, we won't have enough food left to survive. But you guys, you warriors, you can get rid of them for good!"
"You don't have too beg, Flik," Kairi reprimanded, placing a hand on his shoulder. "We'll stay. And I swear, we'll get rid of those bullies from your colony!"
"They'll go running once they see my ninja bee skills!" Naruto laughed, brandishing his stinger.
"Yes!" Flik exclaimed jumping for joy. He shook each of their hands in turn, but Sora quickly retracted from his. "Thank you! Thankyouthankyouthankyou!!!! You have no idea what this means to us! You'll be rewarded! Oh yes! Fantastic! Watch out Hopper! Look! Here comes Princess Atta! Princess Atta! Over here!" The leader of the ants flew towards the leaping Flik after emerging from the anthill. For some reason, she looked very upset. "Princess Atta! Guess what! These warrior bugs said they'd help us! Isn't that great?" Atta didn't answer, and Flik knew something was wrong.
"Flik," she said softly. "I'm afraid you can't stay here anymore." Flik was confused so she answered further. "The council just decided your punishment for the incident. They decided...you must be banished from the anthill." Flik's eyes widened. Banished?
"But, but I...," Flik stammered.
"I'm sorry, Flik," Atta continued, not meeting his eyes. "There's nothing I can do. Everyone! Let's pick up the pace! We have till sunset!" She took off to oversee operations but couldn't help but look back at Flik one more time.
Flik, however, stood there like a statue; a statue that was about to cry. Told to leave the home and family that he loved so much. It was in his right to shed a tear. But he didn't. He knew he caused this mess and it was time to pay the price.
"Flik...," Kairi whispered.
"No," he said, raising his hand in a gesture. "No, it's...okay. I deserve this. Just stop the grasshoppers." With a strong resolution and a heavy heart, the ant started walking, heading off into the wilderness and away from his one and only home. The Keybladers watched him go silently, until they realized a member of their party was missing.
"Where's Sora?" Beast asked. Their noble leader was absent.
"That coward! He ran away!" Inuyasha shouted angrily.
"Remind me why he's the leader again?" Naruto scoffed.
"Cut it out guys," Kairi said to them all. Sora was gone, there was no doubt about it. He had given in to his fear. "We all have to remember that fear is a powerful enemy. We'll have to fight without Sora this time."
"Maybe I should go look for the lad," Jack offered helpfully. "It's not because I'm avoiding the danger or anything like that, I simply worry about the boy. Good luck beating up bugs!" And he ran off with that to search for Sora...or too simply run away, the Keybladers weren't sure. The only thing they had too worry about right now was helping an Anthill.
Meanwhile, Sora trudged through the backyard forest silently. Deep down he knew this was the wrong thing to do. Those people, no matter how icky they were really did need help. And wasn't it his duty as the Keyblader to protect others? He knew the answer to that one too. But...he just couldn't face those grasshoppers. To him, they were downright terrifying! In the face of Hopper, he felt as small as the ant he had become. He would be no use to anyone even if he did stay. The others would do just fine without him. He would take it upon himself to find the Beagle Boys, that much he could do. Sighing he continued on, until his foot hit something in his walk. Looking down he saw it was a feather. A big feather. "Where did this come from?" he asked aloud.
That was his answer. Looming above him was a massive bird, taller then two elephants to him. A sparrow by the looks of it. It stared at him with hungry black beady eyes, twitching its head back and forth and Sora realized just how far he fallen down the food-chain. Sora whipped out the Keyblade in defense. Compared to those grasshoppers, this bird was a pushover. With a screeching chirp, the bird lunged with its beak and Sora sidestepped for it to plow into the ground, then hit it over the head with his weapon. It recoiled and stepped back, not expecting such resistance, but not about to give up a meal. It lunged again for Sora to fight on.
"So let me get this straight," Flik said carefully, he and Jack Sparrow walking through the forest together. "Sora's a bug that is afraid of bugs. How is that possible?"
"Who knows? He's a messed up little bugger," Jack replied. "Hey, I made a funny!" They didn't have to walk much farther before Sora came into view, staring up at the sky with his Keyblade in hand, looking very stressed out. "There's the space case now. Ahoy Sora! What brings you to this neck of the grass?"
"Guys! Get back!" Sora shouted once he caught sight of them, waving his free hand frantically.
"What's wrong with him?" Flik asked Jack.
"Probably self-esteem issues." Something large and heavy landed behind the two bugs. When they turned around and looked up, they met the eyes of the hungry bird.
"Bird!" Flik screamed, running frantically away to meet Sora. Jack simply couldn't move, petrified with fear.
"Eaten by a sparrow," Jack whimpered fearfully. "That's what you call ironic." He shut his eyes when the bird leaned down, ready to eat him up whole. But, as some kind of reflex, Jack's wings suddenly sprung open, emitting a terrible smell when they did. It only took one sniff for the bird to stumble back in disgust, learning that stinkbugs were not all that tasty. It spread its wings and took off quickly to get as far away from Jack as possible, flying off into the sky to look for food elsewhere.
Jack reopened his eyes and found the sparrow gone. He cleared his throat and brushed himself off. "All in a days work."
It was nearly sundown at the anthill. But no sun could be seen because of the thick fog that fell upon their home, almost foretelling the fate of the colony. For hours now the ants had worked endlessly in preparation for the grasshoppers imminent arrival. Hours of running back and forth to gather as much food as they possibly could before the sun went down. But it just wasn't possible. The ants were beginning to collapse from exhaustion. Even after all their hard work they had only managed to gather a small amount. A pile gathered on a leaf not even a foot high.
"Look at all of them," Inuyasha muttered disgusted, watching the ants trudge to get more provisions. "Why are they doing this? They're working themselves to death. It's pathetic."
"Said the flea who can't even lift his weapon," Beast countered, earning him a small flea glare.
"I don't understand why they won't just fight back!" Naruto said, voicing his thoughts. "They outnumber them a hundred to one!"
"The grasshoppers broke their spirits a long time ago," Mulan explained solemnly, watching the ants work themselves to the brink. "They're too afraid of them."
Kairi wouldn't put up with this abuse any longer. "It's up to us to help them now. We can trust Sora to stop the Beagle Boys. We're needed here." The Keybladers nodded resolutely.
With Princess Atta, things were going terribly. Many ants had already fallen and there was no food left gather. "This can't be all the food left," she whispered, knowing she couldn't ask her people to do anymore. The pile on the leaf was almost laughable. "Hopper won't accept this! What are we going to do?" They needed more time, but time, apparently, was up. Because what reached her ears nearly stopped her heart. Buzzing. Buzzing through the mist. Every ant and Keyblader froze in place when they heard it too. The buzzing grew louder but nothing could be seen through the fog. Atta's little sister Dot stuck close to her sister. "Dot. Go and hide. Now!" Atta instructed. Dot, teary eyed, nodded, spreading her tiny wings to fly somewhere else.
All at once the buzzing stopped, and everyone stiffened. Complete silence fell on the Anthill, . Then, they came. Through the fog as silent as spirits came the grasshoppers. More then there had been before. Green, smiling, cruel faces looking for trouble. More and more emerged from the mist and the ants backed away, soon finding themselves surrounded. The Keybladers stood before the ant crowd, forming a protective wall. Atta and the ants huddled together as they approached.
"You little ingrates!" Hopper flew above the other grasshoppers, furious at the small amount of food that had been offered, his scarred eye burning. "I give you another chance and you botch it up!!"
"Hopper, please!" Atta pleaded, rushing up to him before he could lash out at the others. "We ran out of time! I'm sorry!"
"I don't want hear it, Princess!" Hopper hissed, raising two of his hands to strike her.
"Pardon the pun," Kairi shouted, stepping between her and Hopper, pointing her Keyblade in Hopper's face. "But you are really starting to bug me!" The other Keybladers joined her, Keyblades appearing in their hands, Inuyasha's once again falling under the weight, and stood between the grasshoppers and the ants. The grasshoppers faltered when they saw these bugs not cowering in fear like the ants. They didn't know what to do. Hopper however, started to laugh.
"That's right! I forgot about your friends the warrior bugs! What are we to do? Well, I guess we should just pack up and go home now!"
"Wow! Really?" Naruto asked.
"NO!" Hopper snapped, all ants cringing. "Because guess what, bee boy? These ants? They aren't the only one's with friends." Out of the mist shot strange projectiles, thicker then normal sized gnats and came flying fast straight for the Keybladers. Five in total, each one went for their own target and clamped down on the wrists of the heroes, binding their hands together, forcing their Keyblades out of their grasp.
"Hey!" Kairi gasped in surprise.
"What are these things!?" Beast roared, his brute strength not even enough to break them. Naruto couldn't even make a handsign with them on.
"Surprise!!" Two bugs emerged from the fog from whence the cuffs came. One was a burly looking house fly, the other a fat bumble bee. Both wore green caps on their heads and masks on their faces, with placard numbers hanging around their necks. They only knew of one family who followed that pattern. "Miss us, chumps?"
"The Beagle Boys!" the Keybladers exclaimed in unison.
"Bingo!" laughed the house fly. From his one missing tooth and tough build, it was judged to be Bouncer Beagle. "Ma thought you guys might follow us in here! Being the smart Ma that she is!"
"So she took precautions and gave us some nifty toys!" exclaimed the bumble bee, which could only be Burger Beagle, for obvious reasons. He pointed at the fancy looking handcuffs on their wrists. "These thing will keep you guys out of trouble!"
"Yeah? How!?" Naruto spat. Bouncer grinned sadistically. Out of nowhere he pulled a small remote device with a single red button. He pressed it and the handcuffs activated, sending about fifty volts of electricity coursing through the bodies of the Keybladers. They screamed in pain when the intensity increased, Princess Atta and the ants watching, horror stricken. In a show of mercy, Bouncer shut the cuffs off, and the Keybladers all collapsed, unconscious.
"Fish in a barrel," Bouncer chuckled.
"Boy, I can go for some fish right now!" Burger said, licking his lips. Hopper smirked. With no more interruptions, he turned back to the waiting crowd.
"You see that!" Hopper hollered to them all. "Unless you want to end up like that, you get us more food NOW!!!" Ants immediately ran off, screaming and rushing past the other grasshoppers to do their bidding. "Not you, your highness!" Hopper hissed, grabbing Atta's arm before she ran off, glaring into her startled face. "You'll be my guest of honor."
"Go! Go!" Burger shouted to the ants as they ran past. "You wouldn't like him when he's angry! I mean angrier!" The anthill was in chaos. Grasshoppers herded the ants to collect their food and the knocked out Keybladers were carried off. Hopper had truly taken over. There was no one left brave enough to fight. But there was a hope. Dot watched in shock at all that happened from the top of a flower. There was only one thing to do now. Spreading her tiny wings she took flight, flying off to get the only help she could think of.
Back with Sora, Jack and Flik, their walk through th wilderness continued, Sora feeling worse the farther they got. "I respect your decision to leave, Sora!" Jack declared with a grin. "Remember, those who fight and run away, live to run away again, savvy?" Sora didn't answer or look at him. Jack frowned. "Besides, I think this could be a great bonding experience for us! We're just a couple of a couple of break-aways!"
"A couple of what?" Flik asked.
"You know, cowards." Flik sighed and shook his head. "But anyways, me and Sora got more important things to do then fighting and protecting, such as not fighting and not protecting!" Sora still didn't answer and just silently walked, looking completely crestfallen. Jack sighed. It wasn't everyday that he felt bad for someone.
"Alright, Sora, open your ears because I'm about to impart wisdom." Sora stopped and faced Jack when he said it. "I know you're afraid. We're all afraid of something. For me, it's squirrels. I just don't trust them... Anyways, fears are just another obstacle in the path of life. If we don't learn to overcome them, they'll always get the better of ya. After all, it's all part of being a hero, right?"
"But...it's so hard," Sora muttered.
Jack shrugged. "No one said saving the universe was going to be easy." Could Jack actually be right for a change?, Sora thought.
"You know, Jack," he said. "You can pretty wise when you need too."
"I have my moments," Jack grinned.
"Flik! Flik!" Streaking through the sky was Dot, flying her fastest. She barreled into Flik, crying and wailing. "Flik! Thank goodness I found you! It's terrible!"
"Whoa! Slow down, Dot!" Flik stammered. "What's happened? What's wrong?"
"It's the grasshoppers! They've taken over the colony!" Flik gasped in shock and horror.
"But...how?" Sora asked in disbelief. "What about my friends? What happened to them?"
"They stood up to Hopper when no one else would. And that's when he got really mad! He called in these two bugs, and they wiped the floor with them! They never even got a chance to fight back! I think I heard their names too. The Beagle Boys?" Sora's eyes widened in surprise.
"Our search is over!" Jack grinned.
"Flik! You have to come back!" Dot cried, clutching Flik desperately. "You're the only one who can save my sister now! Please! Who knows what those grasshoppers will do!"
"But...I've been banished," Flik whispered.
"Well, then I un-banish you! I'm a princess too, you know!" Flik was uncertain, but the look Dot was giving him couldn't be ignored. He nodded determinedly. Sora knew that Flik was afraid of the grasshoppers; all the ants were. But he was about to take them on himself. Would he let him go alone?
"Time to face your fears, mate," Jack said with a pirates smirk. Sora grinned and nodded.
"Let's go save some bugs!" he shouted to the air.
"Hey! More food over here!" Hopper yelled to the serving ants. He sat in a makeshift throne of leaves with Burger and Bouncer on both sides, along with other grasshoppers relishing in the food that was given, especially Burger. Princess Atta was also with him, looking utterly defeated. Night had taken the anthill that was now occupied by the grasshoppers, the moon and stars shining the only light. After working for a long time the ants were all herded into a group, cutting them off from their princess.
Sora saw it all from his outpost not far away. Flik, Jack and Dot flanked him, also watching in silence. "I saw them take your friends up to the Hollow Tree," Dot whispered, pointing up to the giant tree. Sora focused on the spot, a plan already formulating in his mind.
"Alright, here's what we'll do," he whispered back at the others. "Flik, Dot and I will head up there to free the others. Jack, you distract Hopper and the Grasshoppers while we do."
"Why am I the distraction?" Jack scoffed.
"Because you're the most distracting of the three of us." Jack thought for a moment then shrugged. He couldn't argue with that. "Alright. Let's do this!" He, Flik and Dot set off for the tree, leaving Jack to his assignment.
"Let's see, distraction, distraction," Jack muttered, tapping his chin. "Wow, this is a lot more difficult when you're actually trying to annoy someone." As he thought harder, nearly straining himself in the process, a noise in the forest drew him away. It sounded like conversation. Intrigued, Jack followed it. Pushing through some grass for awhile, he came to the source. A wagon that looked like it was made from boxtops sat parked around a campfire. And around that campfire sat a group of conversing bugs.
"Well, another failed performance," sighed the tall skinny stickbug that went by the appropriate name of Slim, sitting upon a rock. "Another night without eating."
"Though those fruits they threw were very tasty!" exclaimed the plump green Swedish caterpillar called Heimlich, licking his lips. "I'm glad they were mostly aimed at my face! Mmmmm...berries."
"I believe our reputations are beginning to proceed us,"a praying mantis named Manny spat, shaking his head bitterly. "Not even my superb magical abilities were able to wow them!"
"There, there, honey," Manny's wife, the sparkled winged moth Gypsy chided, patting his hands. "Things could only pick up from here."
"That's a load of hooey and you know it!" shouted the ladybug, who was a male named Francis, despite being a ladybug. "We haven't caught a break in over a month! Every time we perform, they boo us! How are we supposed to run a successful circus if we can't get a single gig!?" He stomped around the camp, spluttering angrily.
"Maybe we can pay kids to ride Dim," offered Rosie, the black widow spider, patting the side of the rhino-sized rhinoceros beetle Dim. "You know, once he's house trained." Dim laughed heartily at the statement, stomping on the ground so the earth shook. "Whoa! Down boy!"
"Maybe we need a new angle," Slim said thoughtfully. "Something that will really wow and amaze the crowd!"
"Like what?" Francis growled. "Pillbugs who can't speak a word of English!?" On cue, two balls bounced into the scene, unfurling two twin bugs aptly named Tuck and Roll. When they spoke, it was in Spanish, which no one there could understand. Somehow, their conversion erupted into fist fight and the two went at it. "Oh, they're at it again!"
"We need a break!" Manny shouted.
"Someone to hire us," Rosie added.
"No matter how much we stink!" Heimlich cried.
"Who's gonna be stupid enough to do that?" Francis grumbled. They all sighed together. Where was their salvation going to turn up?
"Ladies, gentlemen and weird stick thing!" The circus performers widened their eyes in surprise when a stinkbug wearing a pirate hat walked in on their camp from the shadows. Jack Sparrow grinned knowingly, sizing them all up. "Have I got a proposition for you!"
"It's all so tasty!" Burger Beagle gushed, burying his face in a berry bigger then his fist with his brother Bouncer and the Grasshoppers, sitting in their thrones of leaves. "I love being small! Because everything is big!" He gasped in wonder. "I wonder how much bigger a chocolate cake is!!"
"I love this dimension!" Bouncer shouted to the air, shoving more food in his mouth. "Guys to boss around, service at its finest, maybe Ma will let us stay here! After we're done messing things up, of course!"
"Get used to it boys!" Hopper laughed, leaning and kicking back his feet. "It's only the best for my posse'. Especially since you took out those bugs waving around those fancy sticks. Maybe now you won't get any ideas, Princess." Princess Atta sat unmoving beside Hopper, a prisoner to his takeover of the colony, backing away when he leaned in. "We wouldn't want any unpleasantness now, would we?"
The grass on the outskirts of the clearing was thrown aside and the grasshoppers jumped when a box wagon pulled by a rhinoceros beetle burst through, riding atop of which was one Jack Sparrow. The wagon came to a halt and Jack jumped off, but not before taking a rum shot.
"What is this!?" Hopper snarled, jumping to his feet.
"Friends! Grasshoppers! Lend me your ears!" Jack called to the bugs assembled. "Put your hands together for the greatest bug circus ever! Hooraaaaayyy!" At his signal, the members of the circus brigade jumped onto their wagon, putting on a showy entrance filled with somersaults, hand signs and bug pyramids. Unfortunately for them, they didn't find much of an audience in a gang of grumpy grasshoppers.
"What's going on?" Hopper hissed to Atta, who was also flabbergasted by the whole scene.
"Looks like a couple of dorks to me," Bouncer growled.
"This...is the audience you requested?" Manny asked Jack desperately.
"Yeah, about that. See, I was supposed to provide a distraction for Sora but rather than go through the trouble of thinking one up myself, I just hired you guys to do it for me!" They stared at him, wondering if he was honestly joking. "By the way, I'm not paying you. Break a leg!" He ran out of sight for them to handle the gangster bugs alone.
"I think I'm going to wet myself," Heimlich whimpered.
"Steady. We can get out of this," Francis whispered. "So! Who likes juggling?" He took out some berries and started tossing them in the air, keeping them up for awhile, only to have them splatter on his head. "Uh...ta da?" They struck another pose.
Hopper scowled. "Squish em'." Bouncer and the other grasshoppers grinned and stood up, the circus bugs all shaking as they came closer. Jack slapped his forehead. He didn't realize they were that bad!
"You want a distraction done right you got to do it yourself," he admitted sourly. "Excuse me!" he called, jumping back into the scene quickly in front of the advancing grasshoppers. "Gentlebugs! Please! I just need a moment to converse with my group here! Be right back!" He pushed the performers around to the back of the wagon, Hopper growing angrier and more annoyed the longer they took.
But when the wagon suddenly exploded and transformed into a working stage did he become interested. Fireworks and sparks that made Hopper's minions 'ooohhh' and 'aaaahhh' shot from it, casting smoke on the platform. The smoke cleared away and there stood the circus bugs, now dressed in fancy new outfits and wielding rock and roll instruments. And at the wooden microphone stood Jack, grinning like a madman.
"Let me ask you this now," he drawled, taking another swig of his rum. "Are you ready to rock!" Hopper raised his eyebrow, now throughly interested.
"This could be good," he said, sitting back down. His grasshoppers also sat back down when he did, also ready for a show. Jack started tapping his foot, getting to the rhythm before signaling to the others to start playing. Leaf guitars strings were plucked, sitars were strung, the bottlecap drumset was beat down, and Jack grabbed the mic.
I see a red door and I want it painted black
No colours anymore I want them to turn black
I see the girls walk by dressed in their summer clothes
I have too turn my head until my darkness goes
I see a line of cars and they're all painted black
With flowers and my love both never to come back
I see people turn their heads and quickly look away
Like a newborn baby it just happens everyday
I look inside myself and see my heart is black
I see my red door and it has been painted black
Maybe then I'll fade away and not have to face the facts
It's not easy facin' up when your whole world is black
Hopper and his bugs cheered and clapped as Jack and the performers played on, getting more and more into it the more they rocked. Atta was also impressed but thought their timing was a little off. When she looked away towards the large tree, something drew her attention. Crawling up the side were Flik, Sora and her sister Dot, going completely unnoticed by the grasshoppers; too into Jack's act to care to look. Suddenly it all became clear to her and she tried her best not to give them away to Hopper.
Meanwhile, the rescue party had reached the hole in the tree, sneaking stealthily all the way up. Hiding behind a wall, Sora saw the other Keybladers locked behind a cage made of sticks and, to his dread, one grasshopper guard. The guard was holding some kind of remote which must have had something to do with the steel cuffs around their wrists.
Sora gulped. "Well, now what?" he asked.
"Isn't it obvious?" Flik exasperated. "You gotta beat that guy up!" Sora gulped again.
"Isn't there a way where I don't have to do that?"
"Come on! You fought a bird but you won't fight a grasshopper? Remember what Jack said, face your fears!" While Sora wasn't keen on taking the advice of the pirate captain, he knew it was good advice. Taking a deep breath, he stepped into view.
"Hey!" he shouted to the grasshopper, gaining his attention, and that of the Keybladers.
"Sora!" Kairi shouted upon seeing him.
"About time!" Beast hollered, releasing his pent up frustrations.
"Were you on a bathroom break or something!?" Inuyasha stressed. The grasshopper growled, cracked the knuckles on all four of its hands, then advanced on Sora. Sora could feel his knees shaking. The big, bad, icky bug was coming. His worst fear manifesting itself. What do you do when a giant bug comes for you? Sora's eyes suddenly blazed with righteous determination, making the grasshopper stumble back. You squish it of course! The Keyblade appeared and was swung fast, knocking the grasshopper in-between the eyes. A goofy grin and he was out like a light, dropping the remote in his hands when he did.
"Yes!" Flik and Dot cried.
"Alright!" Kairi cheered. "You did it Sora! You conquered your fear! I knew you could do it!" Sora stomped down on the control, smashing it into pieces. The handcuffs binding the others' wrists lost their power and fell off, freeing them from their bonds. With the shock threat gone there was nothing holding them back but the wooden bars, which Beast made short work of.
"I don't know about you guys," Sora said smiling, flexing his sword arm. "But I feel like kicking some grasshopper butt!"
"Took the words right out of my mouth!" Naruto exclaimed, summoning his Keyblade.
"It's payback time!" Dot pumped.
No more will my green sea go turn a deeper blue
I could not foresee this thing happening to you
If I look hard enough into the settin' sun
My love will laugh with me before the mornin' comes
I wanna see it painted, painted black
Black as night, black as coal
I wanna see the sun blotted out from the sky
I wanna see it painted, painted, painted, painted black
"I think we've found our calling!" Francis called to the rest of the band, fingers running up and down his leaf guitar.
"I know I'm feeling it!" Rosie called back, all eight hands pounding on the drums.
"I love dinner and a show!" Burger said through a full mouth. "The dinner part mostly. The show is what I call a side dish." The grasshoppers, so engrossed in the concert, didn't see the salvation of the ants coming.
"LOOK OUT BELOW!!!!" The show had to stop and Hopper had to look away from the concert to turn his eyes to the sky because the Keybladers were coming down. Kairi, now a learned flier, carried Sora by his arms, gliding on her pink wings. Beast was carried by both Mulan and Naruto while Inuyasha rode on his back, bringing their full force with them.
"Show's over!" Jack shouted upon seeing them. "Drive safely and remember to tip your waitresses! Goodnight everybody!" With that he jumped off the stage. The flying Keybladers dropped their flight and landed, facing Hopper and his goons. A very angry Hopper and his goons; literally shaking with rage.
"Get them!!!!" he hollered loudly, forcing every grasshopper into action. Soon the Keybladers were surrounded, bugs in the sky and on the ground, Burger and Beagle among them. Princess Atta took this time to run off to join her people off to the sides, watching anxiously for the next move.
"Hope you're not afraid of taking on a few scary bugs, Sora," Beast half-joked, clicking his pincer eagerly.
"Don't you worry," Sora responded, now fearless against the grasshopper gang. "I've faced my demons. And they're just a couple of pansies!"
"So let's take em' down a notch!" Kairi yelled. She spread her wings and flew in the air with her Keyblade, heading straight for the airborne grasshoppers. A new flier she may be, but she knocked them out of the sky one by one, Keyblade whipping on their heads.
Beast's Keyblade crashed and pounded down on the bugs, none of them to get back up anytime soon. Most ran away in witness of his raw power. Who could blame them? Knocking away some more grasshoppers, Beast saw the fly-turned-Bouncer Beagle rushing towards him, yelling for a fight. Beast wasn't looking for a confrontation though. His head pincer clamped around Bouncer's waist when he came close, then tossed him high over his back with a roar. Bouncer screamed as he flew, crashing into a rock, losing the tooth right next to his already missing one.
"Take that! Take this! Take that!" Sora's fear of bugs was officially over. Nothing was holding him back from liberating the ants now. Playing whack-a-grasshopper with his Kingdom Key was clear evidence of that. Every hopping insect that tried to subdue him was met with a painful head-ache soon after.
Mulan was a force to be reckoned with too, keeping the grasshoppers at bay with her own weapon. She didn't notice when one came up behind her for a sneak attack because she didn't have too. The light in her thorax suddenly switched on, blinding the bug in the dark, giving her enough time to round and knock him down. "What do you know?" Mulan shrugged, looking at her bottom. "It is good for something!"
"Shadow Clone Jutsu!" Naruto shouted after his handsign, one ninja bee becoming a swarm of white poofs. The grasshoppers he faced were dumbfounded when this happened. Naruto grinned broadly. "Fly my pretties. FLY!!!" Many laughing Keyblade-wielding bees took to the sky, descending upon the much taller grasshoppers, sending them all running for cover as they were bombarded by Keyblade strikes, punches and kicks.
Inuyasha barely held his heavy Keyblade above his head, balancing it ever so slightly, naturally a big laugh for the grasshoppers around him. They laughed and jeered and pointed at the flea and his efforts to try and fight them. All it took was the weapon coming down and a shout of 'Wind Scar!' to silence their guffaws. They managed to fly away from the blast before it tore them apart, watching it rip up the ground from above. When it was over, Inuyasha was left smirking. "Who's laughing now?" The grasshoppers glanced at each other, then flew out of there like a flock of flaming geese.
"Alright! I'm ready for anything! Put up your dukes!" Burger shouted confidently, looking for someone to beat on in the chaos of grasshoppers flying everywhere. "No one wants to fight me? Come on! I'll take you all on! I'm a lean, mean, fighting machine!" He swivelled round to look right into the eyes of Captain Jack Stinkbug, who's Keyblade was inches from his nose. Burger grinned weakly. "You know, fighting isn't really my thing. I prefer munching. Not in the face!"
"Suit yourself, mate," Jack shrugged, before kicking the bumblebee where no one should be kicked. Burger's face scrunched up in horrible pain.
"Thank you," he squeaked, collapsing to the ground soon after. The grasshoppers were simply no match against the combined might of the Keyblade team. These weren't ants they were against, these were warriors in their own right. Princess Atta and the ant colony cheered them on from the sidelines, knowing their oppression by the bad guys would soon be at an end. The thing about bad guys though, is that they always find ways to cheat.
"Enough!!!" Hopper stood in front of the anthill, furious in rage, and clutching the small terrified Dot in his hands. Atta gasped and the Keybladers all stopped fighting, now that a life was on the line. Their Keyblades disappeared, and the grasshoppers immediately restrained them. "Who's bright idea was this!?!" Hopper's eyes scanned the crowd, Dot whimpering in his grasp. "Was it you, Princess!?"
"Leave her alone, Hopper!" Hopper rounded so fast Dot's eyes spun. Flik stood at the other side of the anthill, determined and glaring at Hopper. "It was my idea! I let them out of prison! Atta had nothing to do with it!"
"What's he doing?" Sora whispered to himself. Freeing the others was his idea.
"He's facing his fears," Jack whispered back, eyeing the ant. "Not just his, but everyone else's."
Hopper scowled and snapped two of his four hands. Bouncer Beagle, having recovered, smiled cruelly and pounced for Flik, punching him repeatedly. Atta and the ants winced and looked away as more blows fell upon the brave ant. Bouncer was merciless in beating Flik black and blue and would have continued if Hopper hadn't signaled him to stop. Flik lay there, bruises all over his body and one black eye on his face. Even the other grasshoppers had to give him some sympathy.
"Where do you get the gall to do this to me?" Hopper growled, tossing Dot aside. She immediately ran to her big sister and jumped in her arms, watching what occurred in stunned silence. "You're a piece of dirt. No, I'm wrong. You're lower then dirt: you're an ant!" He faced the other ants. "Let this be a lesson to all you ants! Ideas are very dangerous things! You are mindless, soil shoving losers! Put on this earth to serve us!" The ants all shook in fear. He was right. What could they do against bugs like the grasshoppers?
Hopper turned back around when Flik started to raise himself wearily, very weak after his pummeling. But even through his black eye he was strong, and fearless. "Ants are not meant to serve grasshoppers." Hopper's dull eye twitched. Slowly, he advanced on Flik. who wouldn't back down. "I've seen these ants do great things! And year after year they somehow manage to pick food for themselves and you!" The ants listened to his words, his powerful truth-filled words, and realized, he was right. Hopper growled as he got closer. "So who's the weaker species!? Ants don't serve grasshoppers! It's you who need us!" The ants all muttered agreements and that made Hopper stop in his tracks. "We're a lot stronger then you say we are!" Seeing the alarmed expression on Hopper's face, Flik came to stunning discovery. "And you know it, don't you?" Hopper snarled and punched Flik one last time, sending him to the ground. He then placed his foot on his head, and raised it to crush him.
"Leave him alone!" Princess Atta flew between them, and Hopper noted she shared the same expression Flik had had before.
"Well, Princess," Hopper chuckled. "What are ya gonna do?"
'Uh, Hopper?" Burger called worriedly.
"Are you gonna throw your crown at me?"
"Hopper?" Bouncer also called.
"Spray me with perfume?"
"What!?" Hopper finally snapped, rounding to see what the fuss was about. It didn't take him long to see. The ants, all the ants, now had Princess Atta's expression. No longer was there fear or cowardice in their eyes; only anger, confidence and hope. And Hopper then realized just how many ants there really were. At least a hundred to one.
"You ants stay back!" he shouted in warning, but they wouldn't listen, and the grasshoppers surrounding the Keybladers decided now would be the best time to leave.
"Here's another lesson," Mulan said, hefting her Keyblade. "When you're outnumbered, outmatched and outsmarted by the enemy..."
"You better hope that enemy is in a forgiving mood," Sora finished.
"Savvy?" Jack put in.
"GET EM'!!!" Naruto shouted loudly as always. As one, the ants charged, hundreds of them at once with a raging cry for the now shaking grasshoppers. The fear was switched, the grasshoppers for the ants, and they ran out of there, taking to the sky as fast as they could.
"I knew this was a bad idea!" Burger whimpered. "Ma's not gonna be happy!"
"I take back wanting to stay here!" Burger said, exasperated. "Let's beat it!" Before they could get two feet, the ants were upon them, trampling them to get to the one that caused them all their pain.
"Get back here, you idiots!" Hopper cried out to his fleeing grasshoppers flying into the night. "They're just ants! Get- Ack!" The ants swarmed him, hundreds of hands lifting him up and carrying him off. "Let me go! Where are you taking me!"
"I've got a place," Jack drawled, standing with the circus bus once again and leaning against Tuck and Roll's eye drop cannon. "Think he'll fit?"
"Only one way to find out," Slim answered. The cheering ants carried Hopper to the cannon and stuffed him uncomfortably inside.
"What do you know, he does!" Francis exclaimed. He pointed behind and above Hopper where Dim was stationed on top of a rock, ready to fire away. Flik approached the struggling Hopper, smiling just to rub it in.
"Happy flying." And Dim jumped off the rock and onto the end of the dropper, shooting Hopper out of it at a great speed. His screams slowly faded away as he flew farther into the distance until he was just another star in the sky. Ant, circus bug and Keyblader let out a mighty cheer in victory. There were hugs, kisses, dancing from Naruto, and rum swigs from Jack. The grasshoppers were finished!
After a long trip upward Hopper was beginning to plummet back down to the earth far from the ant colony, plowing into the forest flowers painfully. Battered and broken, he picked himself back up, and spat on the ground. His fists clenched incredibly tight. "They think it's over!? All they did was buy time! I'll be back with more grasshoppers and I'll crush them all!"
Hopper froze at the terror bending sound that could only be one thing. He looked up and looked into the eyes of a giant sparrow. And Hopper found just where he landed. A nest. The bird chirped loudly, which translated as a roar to his small ears. "No! No, no! NOOOOO!!!!!" He tried to run but was already scooped up in the bird's beak and carried back to the nest, where a nice trio of hungry baby birds was waiting for them. Hopper was held above them kicking and screaming wildly, the babies jumping up and biting to try to get to him. Their mother lowered him down and Hopper could only scream as they tore him limb from limb.
Daybreak on the Anthill. The dawn of a new day. The first day the Anthill actually belonged to the ants. The conch shells in the tree that once blared warning now blared celebration through the land. The ants below bathed in the feeling of freedom. The grasshoppers were gone and something told them Hopper wouldn't be coming back anytime soon. It was a great day all around.
"You ready to go back, guys?" Sora asked their captives. Bouncer and Burger Beagle lay in a crumpled heap, many footprints all over their bodies from being trampled repeatedly. Sora held his Chronosphere and aimed it at the criminals.
"Can't I have one last giant strawberry?" Burger asked hopefully.
"Oh, shut up!" Bouncer scolded in annoyance. Sora chuckled and pressed the only button on the Chronosphere. A bright beam of light shot from it and hit the Beagle Boys. They slowly started to vanish from sight, leaving this dimension to hopefully go back to their own.
"Two down, six to go," Kairi stated firmly. "I guess it's time to get going." She sighed and flapped her wings slowly. "I'm gonna miss these things..."
"I'm not," Naruto hissed, trying to get his wings to stop flapping, without success.
"So can we get going then?" Jack muttered. "I'm tired of smelling worse then I did already."
"You know, Jack, I can't believe I'm saying this," Beast grumbled regretfully. "But you were very helpful today."
"You were even able to help Sora out," Mulan said, very impressed. "And where did you learn to sing like that?"
"That? Oh, that's nothing. Just an old song passed down through me family. Maybe they'll put it to better use." He looked over at the circus bug group preparing to pack up for their next gig, while also taking the time to sign autographs for their ant friends. After Jack's show, they decided that the circus life wasn't for them and thought they'd try their hands at the music business.
"Everyone." Princess Atta, a healed Flik, a perky Dot and a large portion of the ant colony came to see them off, all smiling brightly. "We just wanted to thank you. You helped give us back our freedom. Our lives. How can we ever repay you?"
"Just keep doing what you're doing," Sora replied with a grin.
"Can do!" Flik laughed. "And glad you're over your fear." Sora grinned again.
"Can we go now! I'm tired of being a flea!" Inuyasha snapped. Sora sighed. He pushed the Chronosphere again and this time the Keybladers began to fade away, looking like ghosts to the startled ants.
"Cool!" Dot gasped delightedly. With one more friendly wave goodbye which the ants returned in kind, the Keyblade wielding heroes vanished from this dimension, knowing the ants were going to be just fine.
Kudos to any who can guess who taught Jack that song. Later everybody!