Chapter 3: The Nexus of Worlds
Sora hit the concrete hard. He could feel various parts of his body pounding as he lay on the ground in pain. After what seemed like hours on the ground, but couldn't have been more than a handful of seconds, Sora finally picked himself up and held his aching head.
Feeling the cold stare of a dozen sets of eyes on him, Sora struggled to look through the blur that came with his pounding headache. He heard a gasp. Then a scream. Then more. Finally able to tune in to what was going on, he heard them shouting something.
"Twenty-three nineteen! We have a twenty-three nineteen on the scare floor!". Sora's vision cleared up enough for him to make out some of his surroundings. Dozens of doors to his left, an equal number of desks to his right. The people who were working at them were running away, but from what?
"Wait!", Sora called, "Hey, what's going on? What's everyone running from?". No use. The people were gone, their screaming with them. Only in the silence could Sora hear the intercom from down the hall. "Alert! Alert! There is a twenty-three nineteen on the scare floor! Do not panic! CDA officials will arrive momentarily to...", the rest was cut out as the windows far above him were thrown open and dozens of men in yellow jumpsuits repelled down to Sora's level.
"Boy, am I glad you guys are here!", Sora said, "What's going on?".
"You there! Halt!", one of the jumpsuits said. Another tackled Sora as a third helped to hold him down. "You are under arrest! Surrender peacefully and you will not be harmed!".
Sora struggled under the weight of the men in the jumpsuits. He looked up at the one who was talking and was shocked. The man had two heads!
"You will be taken into CDA custody until Number One arrives for interrogation. Do you understand?", the same man said.
Sora could only manage a grunt in reply. The weight of two of these monsters on top of him was almost too much to bear.
The monster in charge saw that Sora had given up his struggle. "'Cuff him, boys. We're taking him in.". The monsters got off Sora and lifted him to his feet. As they brought his hands behind him to place him in handcuffs, Sora saw his opening. Summoning the Keyblade, he knocked back the monsters and made a run for it.
"Hey!" The monster in charge yelled as he reached for his radio, "Number 27 to all units, 27 to all units: Twenty-three nineteen is on the loose at Monsters Inc.! Numbers 27, 32, 53, and 76 are in pursuit, requesting back up!". With that, the monsters charged after Sora and the chase was on.
Dashing out of the main floor, Sora found himself across from what appeared to be the lobby. News crews were everywhere talking to more of the monsters in jumpsuits. Avoiding them, Sora ducked into a hallway and kept running. He could hear the monsters not far behind him as he took every turn he came across in an attempt to lose them. He ran past several offices, some vacant. From the others, he could hear frightened gasps and screams from the occupants as they caught Sora in their gaze.
Unfortunately, his efforts to lose his pursuers only seemed to get himself lost. Rounding another corner, Sora found himself at a dead end. His only option being a lone cart sitting to the side, Sora climbed in and shut the door.
He heard the monsters come into the dead end. "Where did he go?", one said.
"32, head back and see if we missed him. 53 and 76 on me."
"Roger, 27.", came several replies. Then, all was silent. Peeking out of his hiding spot and seeing no one that could catch him, Sora climbed out of the cart and took a moment to catch his breath.
"Beautiful, isn't it.", the voice startled Sora, though he knew who it was even before he saw her. "It's beautiful that a single thing out of the ordinary could scare these monsters into mass panic. Why, it almost brings a tear to my eye.", Maleficent said to Sora.
"What's going on? Did you do this?", Sora accused, waving back in the direction he came. "Oh, no dear boy, you did!", she replied, causing Sora to tilt his head in confusion. "Me? But I didn't do anything!"
Maleficent chuckled. "You didn't have to. These monsters shelter themselves from humans out of fear. They are afraid that a single touch would be deadly to them. It's only natural that they would run at the sight of a child's plaything, let alone a live human."
"But there's gotta be a way to...", Sora said. "To help them?", Maleficent interrupted. "Don't be silly boy, these monsters are doing just fine on their own. Besides, we are only here to steal passage in one of their doors."
Sora's eyes lit up in realization. "I saw a bunch of those doors in that room you dropped me into! But...". Sora remembered, "There must have been dozens of them, and who knows how many more there are somewhere else. Which one do we use?" Maleficent only looked over Sora's shoulder and as he did the same, he saw two of the monsters had returned. "There he is! Get him!".
Sora turned back to Maleficent and saw another two guards in her place. Before he had time to react, he was pinned and handcuffed and his Keyblade was confiscated. "Take him to Number 1!" one of the monsters said dutifully. Sora began the long trek back to "Number 1", sandwiched between two sets of monsters who appear extra careful he doesn't escape again. They turned a corner and Sora could see the large lobby again; this time full of monsters in the yellow suits giving press conferences. He could hear one say "We can neither confirm nor deny the presence of a human child here at Monsters, Incorporated today.".
They arrived in the same room that Sora woke up in, though now it was lined with monsters like the ones escorting him. The windows high above were covered by heavy metal plates. The doors that lined the wall earlier were now gone and there was a giant slug in one of the yellow suits in the middle of the room.
"Well, well, well…" The slug said in a raspy, dragged out voice. "You sure cause a lot of trouble.". She slithered toward Sora. "And what is this?" She noticed Sora's keyblade that was being held by one of the monsters. "A Keyblade… I've heard rumors of your kind and I don't like them." Sora was only slightly surprised that the slug, Roz according to her nametag, knew about the Keyblade. There were stories all over the universe of the Keyblade wielders and others like her had often had negative opinions about them.
Roz turned to another monster. "Get a door in here on the double. I want this kid out of my sight." She began to slither out of the room and muttered a final "I'm watching you" to Sora before she turned the corner and vanished from his sight.
Soon after, a plain white door appeared; gliding on a track near the ceiling. It came to a stop, then a mechanical arm rose from the ground and took hold. The door released from the track and the arm brought it to the ground and twisted into place. A red light turned on above the door with a soft "ding".
"What's that?" Sora asked. The monsters offered no reply before they threw him in and shut the door.