Chapter 1: The Lost Worlds
Written by: Lynx and Rebmakash and hosted through the generosity of Organization VI
Rating: G (K)
Summary: After the battle against the thousand Heartless at Hollow Bastion, a whole new ring of worlds appears for Sora, Donald and Goofy to explore.
Full Disclaimer (This is the long version): This fanfic closely follows events that take place both in the English version of Kingdom Hearts II and several Disney movies and T.V. shows. Events and characters from the game, movies and shows are portrayed that are not ours, and often direct quotations are taken from any of these sources. We, the authors, in no way lay claim to any places, characters, objects or direct quotes used in this fanfic, and no money is being made from this. Any such references from Kingdom Hearts II are copyright Disney and Square Enix. Any such references from any other Disney movie/T.V. series are copyright Disney. Links to any transcripts used can also be given if requested.
(Okay! Just making sure we have our bases covered.)
Author's Notes: Wow, this if finally getting posted! Woohoo! This will probably be the longest the author's notes are, so sorry for boring you early:
This is a collaboration fic between Lynx and Rebmakash, with some help from others, so any reviews can be sent there!
This story is still a WIP, and may last awhile. Updates for at least the first two major parts will be regular, though.
This fic is written as if it were taking place during and throughout the latter half of Kingdom Hearts II, so there will be lots of specific spoilers. Please be forewarned!
We may even have illustrations on a different site in the future, so look out for those! XD
Okay, and we begin!
The path was open.
Out of the inky blackness above his head, the familiar Keyhole outlined itself in white light. Beyond it he could see a vortex made of light, stars and bits of universe. It was all there, waiting for him to unlock it, and explore what lay beyond.
Waiting for him to save it.
Before, Sora wouldn't have given it a second thought. Another gateway just meant another world full of new faces, new people to meet and fight with and help.
But now, all of those peoples' worlds, their livelihoods, were endangered by a gang of men in black coats.
All because of me.
The Keyblade jittered in his hand, straining to connect to the Keyhole. He raised it on instinct, letting it drag his hand upwards like two magnets pulled together. Then light circled up from the tip of the Keyblade and struck home in the center of the Keyhole. Sora held in his breath and steeled his nerves as the vortex reversed itself, spilling light out of the hole and into his mind.
"Not yet! I gotta look for Kairi!"
The pitch-black that Sora, Donald and Goofy were steeped in began to dissolve. Donald ran forward and caught the sea-salt ice cream bar as it floated back to the ground. Sora backed up to his two friends as the darkness continued to recede, revealing a new landscape.
"What's happening?" Goofy wondered aloud.
"I don't kn—"
The black disappeared in a flash of light and matter, leaving the trio suspended in midair. Gravity snagged them by the shoes, and they tumbled back to earth with a chorus of startled yells.
Donald was the first one back on his feet, still clutching as the ice cream bar. "Where are we now?" he grumbled.
Sora shook his head and looked up at their surroundings. They stood at what seemed the focal point of a mountain, forest and valley. The forest itself felt very old and worn...as if it had nearly been destroyed once, but didn't have the strength to grow back. In the distance, the charcoal-black mountain jutted out with an air of menace. Below them stretched a dry river bed, its angular rocks colored a familiar blue and purple.
"Did we get dropped in a new world?" Donald repeated his question.
The old forest and dead river felt too familiar to Sora for it to be a new world. Something trying to grow back, but not able to yet...
He suddenly remembered the photo still between his fingers. He held it up, studying it once more.
The name just popped into my head...this is Roxas.
But wasn't that what Demyx had called him, back in the Underworld? Sora had just chalked it up to Demyx's kookiness...after all, he didn't seem to be the brightest one of the bunch. But now, with a face to go with the name, Sora began to wonder if Demyx had been messing with him after all. Something in the boy's eyes caught him and held him there, like looking into an old and warped mirror. If this was indeed Roxas, why did the Organization keep calling him so?
Goofy's hand gently shaking his shoulder pulled his gaze away from the photo. "Sora, you okay?"
Sora stumbled over his thoughts before sticking the photo back in his pocket. "Yeah, I just..." He turned away from Goofy and clenched his fists. "I was so close to finding Kairi, and then he had to go and!..." Sora trailed off, unable to think of anything suitably nasty enough to say about Saïx.
"Y'know, let's just concentrate on findin' out where we are," Goofy suggested.
The rest of the fight came rushing back to Sora in an instant. "Maleficent helped us get away! But..." He threw another long look at the granite landscape. "...Where did we get sent?"
Donald took a few irritated licks of the ice cream bar. "I don't know...but if you opened the gate, shouldn't we have returned to the gummi ship?"
As if the ship heard and honored his request, the three were suddenly struck frozen by three beams of light from the sky. With a flash and popping sensation, they suddenly found themselves back in the gummi ship cockpit.
"Ahyuck, I guess it worked!" Goofy chuckled.
"That was weird..." Donald said, and then returned to his ice cream.
Sora took a quick scan of the ship's instruments. Everything seemed to be in order. He felt a little more relaxed at being in a familiar place. Maleficent really did get us out of there.
"I guess sometimes help comes from unexpected places," Sora mused aloud.
Goofy nodded at the box still in Sora's lap. "A photo and some ice cream? Hmm. Wonder if they're some sorta clue? And who woulda left 'em for us, anyway?"
"Riku?" Sora said slowly, turning back to look at the knight.
While his look at the cloaked figure had been brief, Sora couldn't shake the distinct suspicion he received. "Just this feeling I got."
Donald pointed out to the ship's map, where the worlds they had visited remained brightly lit. Twilight Town seemed to especially glow. "Look! We're almost there!"
Sora's heart leapt at the idea of revisiting his friends...until he remembered that those lights were usually a sign of more Heartless. "Hey, what if the Heartless are back again?" he said, frowning. "I can't use the Keyblade—that would only help the Organization."
"But Sora, I think ya have to use it. If we don't fight 'em, the Heartless'll keep on hurtin' folks," Goofy reasoned.
Sora considered this for a while, and knew that Goofy was right.
"Although I do wonder what was that foresty-place we ended up in," Goofy added.
"Well, it looks like we're still right by Hollow Bastion," Sora said, squinting at some of the instrument's readouts. "Maybe it was...I dunno, on the other side of Hollow Bastion's world?"
"And even Leon and the others didn't know about it?" Donald sounded skeptical.
"Sora! We're so glad you guys're okay!" Dale's squeaky chipmunk voice piped up over the intercom, made even squeakier by the static.
Sora smiled at the engineer's enthusiasm. "Could you send a message to Leon and everyone in the Borough and let them know we're okay?"
"Will do!" Dale responded cheerfully.
"Hold on, Dale," I'm picking up something here," Chip's voice popped up. "Is that what I think it is?"
"What?" Sora questioned, trying to decipher the graphs and charts on the dashboard. Even after flying this thing from one end of the universe to another, he still couldn't grasp what all the little buttons and graphics on the ship meant.
"Some of the walls have come down, and I can see a whole cluster of new worlds back there!" Chip explained.
"You're right, Chip!" Dale said. "Gosh, looks like there's four or five new worlds out there...maybe more!"
"New worlds?" Donald hopped out of his seat to look at the graphs, nearly dripping ice cream over the dashboard. "Where, lemme see!"
"Hey, watch it with that," Sora warned, pushing the magician's ice-cream-laden hand away from the sensitive instruments. After a few moments of studying the readouts, he determined the two chipmunks were right after all: a whole ring of previously-blocked worlds now lay exposed.
"I guess openin' that gate opened up more than we thought," Goofy spoke for all of them.
Sora put his hand on his chin, thinking over what this meant. Lost worlds...just waiting for him.
But waiting for me to do what?
Sora stood suddenly, startling the other two. "Let's go see these new worlds."
"But what'll we do about the Heartless there?" Donald asked him.
Newfound knowledge gripped Sora by the throat and held back his normal answer. His right hand curled reflexively around where the Keyblade's handle normally fit. "If there's Heartless, we'll just try to defend ourselves and not kill them," he reasoned. "I won't be made responsible for what the Organization does. But there might be a way to Kairi and Riku in one of those new worlds. And if there is, we've got to go find it."
"So we're changing our course?" Donald cocked an eyebrow at him, wanting to make sure his certainty was genuine.
"Yeah," Sora replied, sitting back down and strapping himself into his seat.
"All right, we knew you'd do it!" Dale cheered from over the intercom.
Sora allowed the tension to seep out of his muscles as the ship's engines began to rattle the cockpit. Yes, he had lost his chance to find Kairi and Riku. Yes, the Keyblade was now causing just as many problems as it was solving. But perhaps this cluster of new worlds was a sign...a sign of something new, some way in that would help him find his friends for good.
The gummi ship revved up its engines and then shot off, streaking towards the bright section of space where the lost worlds waited.