4000+ WORDS!!! 3 HOURS!!!
Oh, and review the boss fight. I want to know if you like how I did it, because that part took the most effort.
Sora, Danny, Donald, Sam, Goofy, and Tucker were all running down through the fissure and to the crater Hollow Bastion sat in. Sora had them stop at the 'Safe Disk,' some kind of magic ring on the ground that replenished health and energy, before the entered the crater itself.
"Okay, I don't know how we'll get up this time because the last time I was here this world was more broken and I landed on some floating islands that were up there, closer to the right level." Sora pointed up at the sky. "If we want to figure it out, we need to get rid of all those Heartless first. It's not as many with the siege from last time, but there are still a lot."
Sora stepped on the Safe Ring after Donald stepped off it, then stepped off himself for Tucker, Sam, Goofy, and Danny to each have their turns.
"How do these things get here, anyway?" Sam asked.
"They just seem to appear in places. Back during the first Heartless outbreak, anyway. I asked Merlin about it once, and he said it had something to do with the unstable magic popping up in places. WIth a stable world like this one, though, he fixed the rings into place; some of them, anyway. This one is natural, I guess, and part of the fissure."
"They sure are handy."
"Yeah." Sora looked to the exit. "Ready to go?"
"Let's do this," Danny said, and he summoned his keyblade, black, white, and glowing green.
They were running again, but were forced to stop upon reaching the wall of Heartless in the open area. Even with six of them, it took a while to clear them out to proceed, but they were off running again once the Heartless in that location were gone. The fissure narrowed and continued ahead, but Danny almost tripped over when Sora came to a sudden stop. Tucker did fall over, and Sam helped him back up.
"Why'd we stop?"
"There's a deep drop off right around this corner. It leads to the crater, but we can't just jump down. Do any of you know how to glide yet?"
"Gliding?" Sam thought it was some kind of magic. She'd been trying to learn from Donald, but he wasn't the best teacher for anything past basic skills. His temper was hazardous.
"Yeah, It's like flying, but not."
"I can do that, but . . . ." Danny didn't finish speaking. It was true that he could still fly in human form, but he wasn't nearly as capable as when he was Phantom.
"We can't," Tucker said, eyeing the drop off nervously.
"We'll carry you two, then," Sora said.
"I can only carry one of you," Danny told his friends. In emergencies, it was true he could carry them both, and more, but that was as Phantom and only on the short term. Flying so far as a human, and carrying someone . . .
"I'll do it!" Goofy spoke up.
"Great! Can you carry Tucker, then? And Danny, you carry Sam. We need to get all the way to the rooftops of those buildings that surround the tower. Hopefully we'll just make it."
Sora and Donald leapt off the edge first, taking a high flying leap and then leveling out to a gradual glide. Goofy picked up Tucker and went next, frightening the dark skinned teen who was only used to the abnormality of his friend and was even frightened when Danny carried him. Sam hugged Danny tightly as he copied Sora's leap almost exactly, activating his ghost flight as his feet left the ground. It took him higher than Sora's jump had, but he was soon flying in the back of the line, slightly higher than the rest of them. He focused on moving forward and not up, so he also slowly fell as Sora and his friends did.
With Phantom turned into a Nobody, Danny's powers seemed even more restricted than before, though they were still usable. It wasn't as bad as when his powers were still new, at least.
Danny and Sam reached the base of the tower itself and had to wait for the other four, who'd approached lower and were a few buildings out. It didn't take them long to catch up, but Sam and Danny had already been looking around for a way up.
"What about those?" Sam pointed out some hanging bars that disappeared out of sight from up above.
"Those are for the lifts that used to be here. They aren't active, but if the bars are still there we might be able to use them." Sora eyed the dark blue rods. If he remembered correctly, they led to a lower side entrance of the interior of Hollow Bastion.
"We'll have to climb up the side of the tower a bit if we want to jump and reach them," Danny commented, thinking about distance. "I'll go up first, and check it out."
Danny climbed up easily, finding plenty of handholds in the rough surface of the tower's base. The five heads watching him slowly tilted back as he climbed higher.
When Danny stopped for a few minutes and looked around, then progressed no further, Sora yelled up to him, "What is it?"
Danny looked down. "I think I'm high enough, so I'll try it now. I can't find any good handholds close by anyway, to get any higher." Danny appeared to fidget, then adjusted his feet against the solid wall of the tower, bracing himself to jump. He let go with one hand to hang away from the wall and adjusted his balance so that when he leapt, he would hit the bar. A moment's pause while everyone held their breath, and then he leapt, grabbing the bar and swinging around it to the other side before stopping himself. He had only a few feet to spare.
"I'm good!" he shouted back down with a thumbs up that they could barely make out. "Come on, the bar is close enough!"
At that, Sora started his climb, followed by Sam, then Donald, then Goofy and Tucker. Goofy had to carry Tucker again, and he also stayed below Donald to give the feathered friend a helpful push now and then as they progressed up the side of the tower. Donald couldn't reach very far after all. Danny locked his legs around the bar so he wouldn't move and waited for them to reach him.
He slid down to the very end when Sora was ready. He'd be able to catch anyone if they didn't quite make it.
Sora hit the bar exactly where Danny had, head on, so he didn't swing around. The bar jerked, though, with the force of his impact, but he quickly recovered and proceeded to shimmy up the bar after securing his grip. Several feet up he paused for a rest, which was when Sam made her leap. Danny had to hang down further when she nearly kicked him in the face, and he very carefully avoided looking up her skirt as she climbed up after Sora, who started moving again after the bar shook.
Danny had to catch Donald and then hold him when he couldn't grip the bar very well. Goofy, even though he was carrying Tucker, hit the bar fine, though he had Tucker climb up on his own once he was there. Donald clung tightly to Danny's back as they finally climbed up to the top, which took definitely longer than the climb up the tower itself had. They got to see an awesome view, anyway, and gazed out at it every time they stopped to rest.
Everyone wished the lifts still worked, except for Danny, who wished he could use his ghost powers normally and just fly up.
Eventually they reached the top, where a short jump away landed them on an outer platform with a dark, old-looking entrance to the interior.
They all sat and rested for a few minutes, tired from climbing. Their break lasted until a flying Heartless came around and spotted them. Donald fried it with lightning magic, but they all went inside at that point.
Next to meet their eyes was the lift station, a circular room with several platforms at different levels and numerous dead lifts still hanging on their bars.
"We need to get up there now," Sora pointed at the highest ledge. They were, of course, on the very lowest one.
It was easier going, even with the dead lifts in the way, because the bars were short. On the closest ledges, Danny and Sora were even able to jump directly up to the next level, skipping the bars entirely. They were also able to take frequent, short breaks, and they reached the top level with more energy than they'd entered the room with.
"Please tell me we don't have to do that any more," Tucker pleaded as they went through the doorway again and into what looked like an entrance hall.
"I don't think so," Sora told him, but there are still stairs.
Tucker groaned comically and Sam snickered at him.
Sora continued leading them through the tower, up levels, through strange rooms, back around outside sometimes, and even up one more dead lift bar, proving Sora's earlier statement wrong. All along the way they had to fight Heartless, though they saw no Nobodies and no Heartless Plasmius.
Eventually they reached another main entrance, one much grander than the first, lower entrance had seemed.
"This is it," Sora said as he looked up at the closed doors. "It's through here." He remembered the last time he was here, where he'd fought Riku again, and lost his heart, but got it back.
Danny, Goofy, and Donald set against the door and slowly pushed it open. The hallway immediately beyond the doors was lined with empty pedestals, but no one commented on them. The hallway opened to a round room with two curved staircases leading up to a higher platform. A control station of some kind followed the outer edge, and against the back wall was a strangely shaped doorway swirling with malevolent energy. The energy looked cracked and slightly broken, though it continued to shift dizzyingly regardless.
In front of the Dark Door, which Danny realized was shaped like the Heartless symbol, was one Heartless; Plasmius himself. He had been shooting energy at the door, trying to break it open further, but he turned around when the group came in.
"I was wondering when you'd show up," he said by way of greeting. "What took you so long? Climbing too tough?"
Danny glared, and his eyes flashed colors. Vlad laughed. "Of course! You want to fight me. Ha!" He waved his hand, and several very strong Heartless surrounded the group. Danny had never seen their like before, but Sora had and they were some of the strongest he knew. The number they had been summoned with would prove a challenge. A few Nobodies, lower level, appeared belatedly, drawn by the energy instead of summoned by Vlad, who couldn't call up Nobodies anyway. He'd have to be a Nobody himself to do that.
Danny seemed to hunker down slightly, tensing, and the grip on his keyblade tightened convulsively. Then the white rings appeared. Sam and Tucker realized that they were no longer smoothly glowing as they quickly moved up and down. The flickering, spiky white trails of Nobody essence were woven through.
Vlad didn't notice the little detail, and Sora, Goofy, and Donald wouldn't know any different, but they couldn't help but look at Phantom's new Nobody form, draped as it was in Organization XIII clothes. Vlad really noticed that.
"You've changed too, apparently. No matter! Fight me, Daniel, and I will show you I still have more strength than you ever will!"
Much to Vlad's surprise, Phantom did not verbally respond to the taunt. He attacked silently, without further warning, and leapt straight up to the platform, ignoring the stairs completely. The Heartless and Nobodies all exploded into motion as Plasmius created a barrier around the platform, cutting himself and Phantom off.
Plasmius, initially his normal cocky self, became unnerved a few minutes into the fight. Phantom still hadn't said a word, and his fighting had an emotionless, deadly precision. It was a different level from the Daniel he knew, and Vlad wondered just what had happened. He knew the boy wasn't a Heartless like him--he could sense that, in the same way he sensed ghosts--but something was different, almost wrong.
It was almost like feeling not, if the word 'not' had a feeling of its own. He'd think about it more later; right now he had a much bigger challenge than he'd anticipated. None of the thoughts reached his face, and he maintained his confident exterior, not that it had any effect on Phantom. He just continued fighting.
The five fighters below steadily defeated the powerful Heartless one by one with Sora and Sam focusing on attacking a specific enemy and Tucker, Goofy, and Donald defending them against the others.
NX Phantom--which is how the Nobody thought of himself--had paused to glance briefly around as Plasmius created the barrier to prevent his escape and the others' interference right after he'd leapt up to the platform.
Plasmius attacked him first, firing an ecto-shot, which missed widely as NX Phantom dodged it. With that detached feeling of a Nobody, he realized he didn't remember ever having this focus or combat attention. He remembered always having a distraction of some kind, usually the worry of his friends' safety. That no longer bothered him, so he would be unhindered fighting Plasmius. Besides, a barrier was in the way.
Instead of firing a return shot, or doing anything else ghostly, he lunged in close and took a swipe at the Heartless with his keyblade, which had reversed in color again. The attack missed, but by a narrower margin than Vlad's attack, and Vlad, unable to block in time, had been forced to dodge instead. NX Phantom followed a step and swung again, with a horizontal strike, which Plasmius leapt into the air to avoid. He stayed in the air and tried flying over his opponent, who immediately followed the first attack with three rapid ecto-shots to the back, all of which scored but failed to make Plasmius falter in the air since they didn't do much damage.
Plasmius created a blade weapon in his hands, made partially of ecto-energy and partially of darkness, giving it a strange black color with a green edge and a Heartless-shaped hilt and guard. It was like a long, double-edged sword with the stereotypical diamond shape.
The new weapon was swung at NX Phantom's head, but he blocked the strike with his keyblade, causing a sharp noise. Vlad chained into another strike, and then a third one, which set Danny off-balance. He couldn't take advantage of the opportunity, however, because he had to avoid the green scythe of energy that would have cut him in half if he'd tried. As it was, the edge of it caught him on the leg, which abruptly twitched away in pain.
Danny recovered his balance with a spin that gave his keyblade extra momentum when he swung it again. Vlad guarded against it, but the strike hit him with force that threw him into his barrier. He managed to fire off a large ecto-shot upon hitting the wall, which hit the temporarily exposed Nobody as the swing of the keyblade carried through.
Danny stumbled back a step and Vlad touched back on the ground, only to immediately lunge forward while Danny was recovering, going for a direct stab. NX Phantom was forced to block, and the tip of the sword hit the ground between his feet.
With their positions locked at that instant, Plasmius created three clones of himself and jumped back so the clones could attack simultaneously. Seeing this, NX Phantom twisted to the side and created a single clone to stand at his back--one clone is all Danny Phantom had been able to do as of yet--and the two counterattacked before the clones could react. With his keyblade still aimed down, Danny pulled it up sharply and hit one clone directly between the legs, carrying the strike further up. The doppleganger flung his keyblade out wide and then pulled it back in high and sideways to hit another clone on the side of the head, forcing him around and into the barrier, where the keyblade impacted with an additional, belated force.
The two clones made a popping sound as the broke and vanished. Unable to strike again in time, the doppleganger and original leapt apart and the clone's missed attack flew between them. As the clone turned around to try again, it was hit in the chest and abdomen by two keyblades simultaneously and thrust against the barrier as his second brethren had been. The third clone disappeared with a third pop, and the doppleganger disintegrated into black and white Nobody strands that melded back into NX Phantom.
Vlad glared, effectively thwarted with an attack that was almost always successful in the past. Two scythe attacks were fired at him and he blocked them with the flicker of a shield that didn't stay a moment longer. He shot forward for another close attack and chained it to a second, just like he had the first time. Blocked both times, he held at the second attack this time and used it as a feint to fire a charged ecto-beam into Danny's stomach, which made him hit the barrier only a step behind him as the pinkish energy was sustained for a few seconds.
The breath of NX Phantom whooshed out in a cold gust, visible as a faint mist, and he looked up at Plasmius with a concentrating expression on his face and pale blue eyes. A moment upon recovering from that attack, he swung his free arm, glowing with a sudden blue haze, up with his hand open flat, and the thin column of ice exploded up from beneath Vlad, smashing him against the domes barrier ceiling which made the ice shatter. He would have hit the ground a second later if there hadn't been a chained attack with the keyblade that hit him squarely broadside and flung him across the platform to crash into the base of his barrier.
So much good that barrier was doing him. Also, NX Phantom was beating him soundly with his unrestrained potential. Why was Danny like that!? Why did he seem so emotionless, like he had no heart at all!? His expression hadn't changed, and there had been no banter of any kind. Why was this Danny so different? He'd seemed normal before changing forms.
As much of a conundrum as that provided for Vlad, he really should be focusing on the fight, which he was still in the middle of.
He dodged the ecto-shots and following keyblade swing as Danny jumped forward again and fired a scythe attack like Danny's at the back of his head. It hit, making his head jerk forward and causing him to stumble a step, which he tried to cover with a spin.
Plasmius, while he was in the air and still had the advantage, fired several ecto-shots in rapid succession and with some small variety, not all of which his target could defend himself against. Several hits scored and Danny hit the barrier behind him that he'd thrown Vlad into just before.
NX Phantom shook himself and refocused on Vlad, who was charging another single powerful strike. He took too long, though, because before he could fire it, NX Phantom had jumped up with energy and in a ghostly fashion, holding his position in the air as he struck from below and to the side, lifting Vlad up and making the ecto-shot misfire to the side. Pulling the keyblade back, he spun and struck again, this time from high and on the other side, throwing Vlad to the ground.
Plasmius landed on his feet, but the force of the attack made him stagger almost to his knees, and he barely blocked the next attack, which pressed down heavily on his guard.
It lasted just slightly too long, and Plasmius realized that his feint attack was being used against him. An instant later the bright ecto-beam hit him in the chest and propelled him into his barrier again. The beam wasn't sustained as long as his had been when he'd used the trick, but NX Phantom had managed to somehow summon up a bigger punch in the brief moment before hand. Vlad realized belatedly that he'd prepared it in the beginning and held it ready for the right moment.
Plasmius grudgingly admitted that Danny wasn't as much of an idiot as he'd always taunted him to be.
He wasn't going to win, he realized. NX Phantom had the advantage, and Plasmius just wasn't going to win. He hated it, but he needed to retreat and recover. When he checked his sense of the Heartless beyond the barrier, he discovered them all defeated. Danny's five companions had been able to witness the end of the fight.
Plasmius immediately dragged the barrier down and fired a few cover shots at the Nobody, which he was forced to defend himself against. The distraction served for his escape, and he vanished into a black portal that winked out right behind him.
The silence echoed loudly in the sudden stillness of ended battle.
"He won't be back right away," Sam said to break the silence first, "not after that."
Danny seemed to relax to a more normal stance, but he didn't change back just yet. He was still on guard against potential sneak attacks.
"Here's the Door we need," Sora said, walking up to it past NX Phantom and aiming his Keyblade at it. A beam of energy was fired from it, and the Door was repaired and just as locked as it had been before. Danny walked up to it and touched a hand to the seemingly solid surface. The Nobody darkness he commanded seeped into the Door and expanded, opening it safely. It was still just as closed to the Heartless-type darkness that would only be able to go through from the side the six were on and in a tangible form. Not that any of the six would allow that to happen of course.
Sora tried not to frown at the Door. "Beyond that, we'll be able to access your world, Amity Park, and any others that have fallen to the Darkness." He looked at them all. They all looked back at him, even the Nobody Danny.
Sam stepped forward.
I have the Kingdom Hearts II OST and I was listening to it while writing this. The song selection is on random, but can you guess what song started playing when I started writing the boss fight?
One Winged Angel!
I was amazing, with that timing. It played again as I was finishing the fight, too.
I think it's amazing, anyway.
REVIEW THE BOSS FIGHT!!!
And anything else in the chapter that catches your fancy, of course.
It's 0115 in the morning, and I wrote this in approximately four hours straight.