Light vs. Dark
Kingdom Hearts is Light
Chernabog vanished from his mountain top. There was now a portal for Sora, Alirah, Donald, and Goofy to pass through. The idea it was too easy bothered them in the back of their minds. After Behemoth's attack, being caught off guard was far from appealing. Goofy began to obsessively polish his shield with his gloved hand. Huffing and rubbing in a beat. Before every major fight, he polishes his shield. He feels its hard tough exterior, psychically hardening his skin. He readies his mind to tell his body to be prepared for any obstacle, enemy, or attack that may come. He then placed his forehead onto the shield and whispered, "For the King. We will meet again."
Donald sat in a meditative stance. Legs crossed, arms extended over each leg, index and thumbed curled into a circle, her other three fingers fully extended, his eyes closed, and his wand floating across from him. He muttered spells, incantations, curses, enchantments, all magic verses that will bring him victory. He repeated them over and over again, determining not to forget any of them. Donald then began to clear his mind. He ran his hands up and down his body, breathing in when the hands came up, and out when they went down. His body was loose, his mind clear. When he opened his eyes, he took hold of his Wand. With his arms still extended and wand in hand, he placed his other hand over the top of his wand, and put his forehead atop the hand and said, "For Daisy and the King. I will come back to you, Daisy."
Sora looked from Kairi's charm to his keyblade. The energy from both was flowing into him. Memories of him, Riku, and Kairi's childhood flowed through his mind. How close they were, how surprised and happy they were to meet Kairi on the day of the meteor shower, how Sora and Riku would compete to share a paopu fruit with her. He wanted to experience more of those days. He wanted to see them smile again. More importantly, he wanted to return home with them. He placed the keyblade and charm over his heart and bowed his head. He whispered, "For Riku and Kairi. We will go back to the island…together."
Alirah, now accepting her role as a Necromancer, was more than ready to face her demon – Ansem, AKA Xehanort. Since the day she met him, he has been the bane of her existence. He's taken almost everything from her. He took Aqua, Eraqus, Ven, Terra, and now he had Riku. Alirah was going to make sure she took everything from him. She was going to be the one to take his life from him. She wanted to torture and humiliate him, just like he did her, and make him pay for almost causing the death of Hiano. No one was going to take her baby from her. She summoned both of her keyblades. One was Riku's. The other was Hiano's. She had both of her boys in her hands. She took out her charm and squeezed it in her hand. Terra was with her as well. She hugged all three to her heart. Aqua and Ven's hearts were with her as well. "For Hiano, Riku, Terra, Aqua, and Ven. I will have my vengeance upon this man for what he's done to us. I swear."
They all joined in the middle, hovering above the mountain portal. They joined hands, saying one last prayer, and dove into the hole.
The four landed in an area known as the Giant Crevasse. If it were possible, that area sent a greater chill down their spines than Chernabog's place. Beads of teal lights stretched across the ceiling like streamers. There were sand sloped pathways zigzagging down, leading to the bottom of the cavern.
Goofy caught a glimmer of light shooting from the ground. His guess was as good as theirs. It was a way out. Alirah brought forth Hiano. The cobra grew three sizes. The four boarded and he slithered down. Alirah sat in front. When she would ride Hiano, the two would come up with signals to alert one another of danger. Donald and Goofy took the middle so they could cover the side flanks. Sora took the rear to watch their backs. His whole body was shaking with adrenaline. His hand was itching to draw his keyblade.
As they descended, Sora could feel the darkness creeping onto his skin. Alirah could feel it as well. Ansem - Xehanort's - presence soaked permanently into the bedrock. She felt his eyes everywhere. His smile lapping her apprehension up like water. Hiano could feel her grip tighten. Never in my life have I ever sensed you so terrified. He thought, passing the midpoint. That fear will come to an end today. I promise.
As they made it to the bottom, Hiano slithered right through the beam of light. The light way took them to a platform with razor sharp teeth rock lining the circular perimeter. In the center was a vortex of purple mist. Goofy and Sora took a quick look around. Meanwhile, Alirah and Donald held out their hands to the vortex. Keeping a safe distance away so not to touch it, but also enough to feel the energy emanating from it.
"Well we can rule out jumping," Sora shrugged. "Unless we want to take our chances with the bottomless abyss."
"And we can also rule out taking another door outta here." Goofy informed. The way in closed behind them. "Because there isn't one."
Hiano let out a long sigh. "Alirah, Donald, what do you two have?"
The two lowered their hands. "Okay, we have good news and we have bad news." Donald said.
"What's the good news?" Sora groaned. "I need to hear some."
"The good news is there is a 90% chance that this is a way out." Alirah informed.
"What's the bad news?" Goofy asked, biting on his nails.
"Well…the bad news is two parts." Donald said slowly. Sora and Goofy gestured their hands, telling him to go on.
"The first part isn't as bad." Alirah started off. "There's a 10% chance that it's a dead end."
"The second part," Donald picked up, "We'll have to fight leader heartless to open the exits."
"Then let's get going," Sora declared, "Heartless or no, we have to make it to Ansem." He jumped in. Donald and Goofy followed.
Alirah scooped up Hiano. "He seems eager." She commented.
"Too eager." Hiano grumbled. "That's what worries me."
The End of the World. A world where the hearts of worlds fallen to the darkness come to rot. The Destiny Islands were no different. Their white sandy beachfront, and evergreen tropical flora tainted by the suffocating area. Even the vast blue sky lacked it's blissful luster. The breeze more of a despondent moan.
Ansem was strutting across the sand. He smiled at the inferior speck of rock. How small it was compared to most worlds he had seen. How technologically, and magically inferior it was. It was nothing but dirt surround by high salinity liquid. If was pitiful. So simple. Ansem stretched out sarcastically, taking in the fake sun. He laughed at himself for even considering the act. Doing it made him laugh hysterically.
"No wonder you turned yourself to the darkness, My Boy." Ansem turned to the small boat dock. Tied to one of the support legs was Riku. His mouth was gagged by pulsing, black splotch. A black liquid tentacle tied his hand behind the support. Another wrapped his chest. The third restrained his feet. Ansem approached the boy. Riku struggled relentlessly. The bonds didn't budge. "This tiny island. This speck of land. This…prison! I'm going mad just looking at it." He spat. He crouched down and grabbed Riku's chin, making him look up at him.
"You grew tired of this life and got another. And with that new life, came a new love." Riku grunted through the cloth, telling the older man to go screw himself. Ansem tossed Riku's head to the side. Riku glared at the man. "I have no doubt in my mind that Alirah will come for you." He rose to his feet. "After all, she has to keep the one person who reminds her of Terra alive." Ansem smiled wolfishly, waiting for a reaction. He got one. Riku diverted his gaze, his struggling stopped. Ansem slapped a hand atop Riku's head, grabbed a fistful of his hair. Riku cringed. "Not to worry," Ansem began absorbing Riku's body, "By the time I'm through with you and your friends, you'll all be nothing but my pawns in my war." Riku was completely absorbed back in. Once again the two were one. "And I will finally be rid of young Alirah once and for all."
One platform after another, Sora, Alirah and the others fought heartless after heartless, tearing through each one like it was an obstacle on a highway. Each area had a small section of the world's Alirah and Sora visited. From the Entrance hall of the Castle of Dreams to the Hundred Acre Woods of Winnie the Pooh. Guard armor, Behemoth, Invisibles, Dark balls – every last heartless and heartless leader was appearing and slowing the group's travel speed. Hiano had to get involved a couple times to even the odds of strength and size. Ansem wasn't making their trip easy. But they weren't going to hand him victory so easily either.
The next platform they approached had a fiery vortex this time. Different from the misleadingly tranquil portals. Alirah and Donald weren't sure what to make of it. They sensed the same energy, only it seemed to be derived from another source.
"This must be the end." Donald assumed.
"But is it a dead end or another door?" Alirah questioned.
"One way to find out." Goofy said. He plugged his nose, held his breath, and cannonballed in. Alirah picked up Donald and jumped in. Then Sora grabbed Hiano and jumped in next.
The vortex took them to a cavern. It had pools protruding from the walls filled with green water. It was like an above water grotto. On the wall in front of them was a large door. Sora and Alirah approached it. It was a familiar door. Enticing. The two placed a hand to the handle.
"Huh?" They paused.
"What's wrong?" Goofy asked.
"Didn't you guys hear that?" Alirah asked.
"Hear what?" Donald asked.
"That voice…" Sora trailed off.
Careful. It said. This is the last safe haven you'll find here. Beyond there is no light to protect you. Alirah and Sora shied away. But don't be afraid. Your heart is the mightiest weapon of all. Alirah and Sora put a hand to their heart. Remember, you are the one who will open the door and heart to the light. The voice vanished. "Alirah?"
"Yeah." She nodded.
They both reached for a door handle and pulled. A bright lit beamed out. After the flash vanished, the four found themselves on a luxurious island. The breeze was blowing, palm trees were dancing, the ocean waves were lapping against the shore.
"Where are we?" Alirah asked. Sora emotionlessly sauntered to the water. The water washed up and down his shoes. "Sora?" Sora fell to his knees. He picked up a handful of sand and watched it seep from his hand. He did it five times in a row. He looked like a zombie. Alirah, Donald, and Goofy exchanged worried glances. Alirah walked up and put a hand on his shoulder. "Sora, what is it?"
"This is it..." He droned, burying his hands within the sand. "This is my island!"
"This place?!" She exclaimed.
"I can't believe it." Sora wheezed. "I can't believe I finally found it!" Sora scooped up the sand and rubbed it against his face. The coarse grains against his skin were a like ecstasy. Oh how he missed his island paradise home.
Goofy, Hiano, and Alirah were happy to see him like this, but something felt off. The Island wasn't at all as it should be. It felt dead. Donald shifted his webbed toes through the sand. "What the?" Something didn't feel right. Donald took a pinch of sand and ground it between his index finger and thumb. "It's not real." He mumbled. "GUYS, THIS ISLAND IS FAKE!"
Sora looked back at him and then up at Alirah. She had Hiano slither through it. He dug down and back up. "He's right!" He croaked, spitting out sand. "This Island is a farce."
Just then the island began to shift. The ground rupturing, trees disappearing, the water vanishing. Alirah grabbed Hiano. Goofy and Donald snatched up Sora, dragging him back to the pathway that led to the final rest stop.
This world has been connected. Goofy looked back. "What was that?" The mini island connected by a wooden bridge disappeared.
Tied to the darkness. Donald and Goofy's noses smacked into a rock wall covered in vines. The door was gone. Soon to be completely eclipsed. Alirah gaped as the ground cracked apart. The ocean turned into a bottomless blue abyss.
There is so very much to learn. Another piece of the island vanished. You understand so little. Sora watched in absolute horror. Once again his home was being stripped away.
A meaningless effort. One who knows nothing can understand nothing. Their final resting place was beyond their reach. They were trapped in the darkness, ensnared by Ansem's malevolent web.
The entire island had changed. The ground was cracked and dried. Cracks resembles plummeting gorges. The sand flat and hard. The trees were transformed and looked as though they were cracked chips in the sky. It was no longer an island. It was a nightmare. A distorted shadow of its former glory.
"By the gods." Alirah gasped.
"You said it." Goofy whimpered.
"LOOK!" Donald screamed. He pointed over to the edge where the ocean once was. A figure with silver hair stared out at the nothingness.
Alirah and Sora nearly lost their breath. In his armor stood Riku, gazing out at the horizon. Alirah became entranced. She felt as if it was ages since she had seen her cerulean eyed friend. Alirah's feet began to move on their own. She reached out a hand for him, hoping to put a hand on him one more time. "Riku…" she cried. Sora grabbed her hand. Alirah looked back at him with pleading eyes. Sora shook his head dismally at her. Alirah knew what it meant. She just didn't want to believe it. Alirah took in a deep breath. Her eyes went to gold, gazing hard at the boy, then she shot away. A pasty blue aura. Riku's purple was nowhere to be seen.
"NO!" She snarled. "I WON'T LET HIM GO!" Alirah jetted for Riku.
"ALIRAH, WAIT!" Sora cried, running after her.
As Riku - who they all knew was really Ansem - stared out at the horizon, he could hear the footsteps of his adversaries. However, he could sense Alirah. He sense feel her anger, her hatred. It brought pure joy to his heart – if he had one. Now we may settle things, my young Necromancer.
The footsteps stopped a few feet from him. "Take a look at this tiny place." Ansem began. His voice sent shivers down Goofy's spine. "To the heart seeking freedom, this island is a prison surrounded by water. And so this boy sought out to escape from his prison." He chuckled. "He sought a way to cross over into other worlds. And by doing so," He turned to them, making Riku's face a gently loving expression towards Alirah, "He found love." Alirah clenched a shaking fist. "That love encouraged him to grow stronger, made him take any dark powers he could muster." Alirah remained unmoved. Ansem was beginning to doubt she was even listening. Hell, Alirah wasn't even sure if she was listening. All she could do was stare at Riku. "By gripping desperately to these powers," Ansem continued, the blue aura circling around him, "Riku gained abilities he only dreamt of. Saw worlds spoken of in fairy tales. And thus opened his heart to darkness." The body of Riku evaporated. Now there stood the dark skinned man, Ansem.
"RIKU!" Alirah and Sora screeched.
"Don't bother." Ansem chuckled. "Your voice can no longer reach him where he is."
"AND WHERE'S THAT?" Alirah cried. "WHAT HAVE YOU DONE WITH RIKU?"
"No need to shout, Alirah." He taunted. Alirah's energy began to flow from her like a faucet pouring out water. "It's as I told you: his heart belongs once again to darkness." Alirah took a step forward. Goofy and Sora grabbed an arm, while Donald stood in front of her with his arms stretched out. He was facing towards Ansem. Donald was going to make sure Ansem couldn't get within two inches of Alirah. As for Sora and Goofy, they wanted to make sure she just couldn't get close. Ansem continued his self-righteous speech of darkness, increasing the hate within the group with every word that spilled from his lips. "All worlds begin in darkness, and all so end. The heart is no different. Darkness sprouts within it. It grows, consumes it." He vanished from sight. "Such is its nature." The four looked around. "In the end," The voice came from behind them, "Every heart returns to the darkness from whence it came." They all jumped away, keeping a safe distance between them and him. "You see, darkness is the heart's true essence."
"THAT'S NOT TRUE!" Sora declared. "The heart may be weak, and sometimes it may even give in." He put a hand to his heart. "But I've learned, that deep down there's a light that never goes out."
"And what light is that?" Ansem chortled.
"Why should we tell you?" Alirah spat. "It's one of those concepts that, even in your old age, your mind could never even hope to grasp."
"Once again I ask," Ansem retorted in annoyance, "What light do you speak of?"
"The light of every last friend, ally, and love we've ever made throughout our adventures." Alirah drew her Soul Blade. "As long as they remain with us, the light in our hearts will never be extinguished."
Ansem stared daggers at the four. Finally aggravated by their proclamations, he pushed off the ground and hovered. The attack was coming, and everyone was ready. No more surprises, no more faltering. It all ends right then and there.
"So you have come this far, and still you both understand nothing! Every light must fade! Every heart return to darkness!"A dark, deformed creature appeared behind him. The creature prepared to pounce. It draped its arms around Ansem. A heartless unlike one they've ever seen. "GUARDIAN! ATTACK!"
The creature sprang and snared Donald and Goofy. He tossed flung them at what used to be the island shed. Rubbing his head, Goofy saw the guardian hovering a few feet from them. He looked to the side and saw Donald out cold. "Bad time for a nap, Donald!" He quipped. Bad time for a joke Goofy. He told himself. Jokes were Goofy's way of keeping himself calm. The Guardian held out his hands. Black and blue razor sharp disks formed. "AAAHHH!" Goofy cried. The Guardian launched the disks. They were heading straight for Donald. Goofy jumped to his feet and brought up his shield. Last second, Goofy deflected the disks. It was like blocking against the one of Hercules' punches. The Guardian sent three more. Two horizontal and one vertical. First horizontal Goofy blocked and sent it into the cliffside. The vertical was sent into the air and into a patch of sand. The last one grazed Goofy's side and was an inch above Donald's head. Goofy fell to one knee, holding the wound. The Guardian smiled animally, drool dripping from his razor sharp teeth.
Sora went for Ansem. He stabbed for the stomach. Keeping his arms crossed, Ansem dodged effortlessly out of the way. Alirah appeared on his side and swung. Ansem evaded the attack once again. "ICE!" Alirah cried.
"THUNDER!" Sora cried next.
The ice merged with the thunder creating a liquid lightning. Ansem rose into the air. Sora and Alirah moved their blades like wands and direct the spell to the airborne man. Ansem, not able to dodge, curled and took the hit. An explosion of smoke erupted. For a few seconds Alirah and Sora watched, looking for Ansem to come shooting out in a fit of rage. Alirah and Sora high fived one another. They nailed him. Or so they thought.
A extended lance end shot into the ground, missing Sora's foot. Alirah's eyes widened. The lance head was the Soul eater blade that Riku uses. The two watched as the pole retracted in. Out of the smoke, a double edged lance clenched firmly in his hand, floated Ansem. A victorious smirk plastered on his face.
"Too easy." Alirah cursed their premature victory.
"Way too easy." Sora drooped.
"I must admit. That was a clever trick." He said, dusting himself off. "But I'm afraid you'll have to do better." He pointed the lance and went for Alirah. Sora brought his keyblade down, staking the lance get in the sand. Alirah ran up the lance and swung her blade. Ansem moved back, the tip narrowly missing his nose. Sora and Alirah charged. Ansem summoned the lance back to his hand. Sora jumped, bringing his blade down. Alirah stuck to the ground and stabbed at Ansem legs. Effortlessly Ansem caught Sora and Alirah. He slammed a foot on Alirah's wrist, pinning her to the ground. He grabbed Sora by the neck, keeping him suspended above ground. The Guardian had Donald and Goofy by the backs of their collars. Ansem smiled triumphantly. "Did you really think it would be so easy for you to defeat me?" He mocked. The oxygen in Sora's lungs was depleting, his face turning blue. Ansem twisted his foot, smashing Alirah's wrist. Donald shook his head, waking up to the scene before him. "You fools have sealed your own fates."
"No! Just yours!" Donald squawked. He nodded to Alirah.
Alirah nodded back and shouted, "ATTACK MY GUARDIAN!" Hiano sprouted from the ground, snapping his massive jaws. Ansem staggered away, dropping Sora, and removing his foot off Alirah. Hiano constricted Ansem, squeezing as he scaled the tall man. The Guardian cried out in pain. It's arms contorted, and dropped Donald and Goofy. "Well, well! So you're bound by that rule as well." Alirah chimed
Ansem tried to push Hiano's body away. But Hiano was too strong. Ansem's arms were bound to his chest as Hiano began to crush him. Now that Ansem was busy, Donald and Goofy went back to the pain ridden Guardian. "Goofy!" Donald called. "Pin him by the chest with your shield." Goofy acknowledged and rammed the heartless. The Guardian was slammed hard against the coarse surface. Donald swished his wand, the sand shackled around the arms tail, pinning him to the ground. Goofy kept the shield on the chest of the heartless. The symbol was facing up. Donald jumped on Guardian and placed the wand hilt on the shield and chanted, "GRAVAGA!" A ball of intense pressure anchored Guardian firmly in place. "NOW! FAITH!" A beam of light hit the shield and dispersed. The Guardian roared in greater pain. Goofy looked back at the still constricted Ansem.
Ansem cried out in pain. Sora and Alirah smiled maliciously. "It's a pain in the ass isn't it?" Alirah mocked. "Being restrained by a child's guardian. Let me assure you, he only hugs tighter when you wiggle." Ansem's cries stopped. He seemed to calm down, but Alirah saw he could feel the pain. He looked up at Hiano and cocked an eye. The snake hissed at him. "What? You don't remember him? That's Hiano, my friend and mentor. The same Hiano you tried to kill at Hollow Bastion." Ansem struggled against the coils. Hiano tightened his grip. Ansem smiled. "So you do remember."
"Of course." Ansem grunted. He got one of his hands free, "And I also remember, you both share each other's pain." He placed a hand on the snake body. His fingers pierced through the skin. Hiano cringed and roared. Alirah gripped both her sides and fell to her knees, crying out in pain. Hiano began to shrink. When the snake body was able to fit in the palm of Ansem's hand, he took both hands and rang Hiano like a rag. Alirah's scream turned into a blood curdling wail, her body twisting in opposite directions. "It's a pain in the ass, isn't it?" He said, mocking Alirah's tone.
Sora stuck his key into the ground. "FIRAGA!" The sand ruptured into small bubbles on the ground, turning into a heat trail leading to Ansem's feet.
The older man snorted. "What futile trick is this?" He rang harder. Alirah and Hiano cried out again.
"A little spell I learned along the way!" Sora smiled. Ansem watched with interest. "Heat the ground with the fire of your anger, and make it rise to exact your vengeance." He chanted. Small bubbles form on the sand. 'What on earth?' Ansem thought. "FIRAGA BURST!" Balls of fire sprouted, hitting Ansem in the face, arms, and legs. He dropped Hiano.
Alirah let out a loud, exalted breath. Hiano was on the ground in a wretched state. She aimed the key blade and summoned him back. 'Rest, my friend. You've earned it.'
Ansem was roaring in agony, holding his face. He waved a hand around. The sand swirled around him and he vanished. His guardian along with him. Sora, taking advantage of this situation, ran over and helped up Alirah. "You and Hiano alright?"
"We'll live." She coughed. "Not bad for a novice." She quipped. Sora flipped out his collar smugly, feeling good about himself. Alirah giggled. Goofy and Donald ran up. Alirah finally noticed the wound in Goofy's side. She placed a hand and said, "Curaga!" The wound healed nicely.
"Thanks, Ali." Goofy smiled warmly.
"My pleasure." She bent down to Donald. "So Dee, you need me to heal that knot on your head?" Donald cocked an eye and felt around. There was a large lump on his head. "Want me to kiss it and make it all better?" She said in baby tone.
"W-WHAT?" Donald blushed. Alirah moved her head to his and he moved. "Q-quit playing around." he pouted and waved a hand over his head. The lump flattened, the pain going away. "I can take care of myself." The three began to laugh at the flustered duck. Donald eventually joined in.
Alirah found herself feeling, well, euphoric. A better word was happy. She couldn't remember the last time she had laughed with them and felt good about it. She would have gone so far as to admit…she missed having laughs with them. She missed the castle. 'Maybe…maybe I will go back…' She thought. 'Maybe…'
"I'm thrilled you all are having a good laugh." Someone remarked with disgust. Alirah and Sora felt their stomach do a complete 360. Donald and Goofy looked back at where they pinned the Guardian. It was gone! "Now it's my turn." Ansem's voice echoed. The sky, the sand, the island itself were being engulfed in darkness. "I shall watch as you're consumed by the darkness I command." The shadow traveled quickly. With nowhere to run, the four stood rooted to their places. "And once the darkness has taken hold of you, I shall rend your hearts from your bodies and make you MINE!" As the shadows consumed everything, Alirah and Donald subconsciously hugged each other, not wanting to separate. Goofy and Sora did the same. In a matter of seconds the four were consumed by the darkness.
Goofy awoke in a strange area. Wherever he was, it was pitch black. The only thing he could see was a scepter with a blue gem. "What is that?" He asked himself. The echo made him shiver. He took a step towards it, and then heard a moan. He looked around wildly. He saw Sora laying down unconscious. "Sora…" He called, shaking him. He began to stir. "Sora? How do you feel?"
"I'm fine." He groaned, rubbing his forehead. He had a pounding headache. "What happened?"
"That shadow thing swallowed us, and we ended up here."
"What about Donald and Alirah?"
"We got separated." Goofy said, his shoulders drooping. "Ansem must have done it."
"Very astute of you." Ansem's voice mocked. Sora and Goofy's attention went to the Scepter. A glow shone down from it and Ansem appeared. "How do you like the subtle parts of my domain?" He taunted, holding his hand up showing off the area. "Quite dismal, yes?"
"Where are we, Ansem?" Sora spat.
"You are in an area that's part of the endless abyss." He walked closer to the two. "Within it lies the heart of all worlds: KINGDOM HEARTS!" Sora's eyes went wide. "Within here, even if you manage to escape this prison, you'll not find even the smallest glimmer of light." Goofy found himself looking around. "Look as hard as you are able. Not one speck of light will reveal itself." Goofy looked ahead and saw Ansem right in front of him. He nearly jumped out of his skin. "From those depths are all hearts born." Ansem placed a hand on Goofy's chest, "Even yours." Goofy was scared stiff. Sora struck out with his blade. Ansem disappeared then reappeared. Sora put a hand in front of Goofy protectively. "You may wish to hurry," he commented. "They may be strong, but I doubt Alirah and Donald will last without you two." The Scepters glow shone upon Ansem and removed him. In his place came the heartless known as Invisibles.
"What do we do now?" Goofy asked.
"We get rid of these heartless and break that scepter." Sora declared.
Donald and Alirah were floating in the abyss. Staying close together, they scanned around. They couldn't see anything. It was as if they went blind, except to each other.
"Where are we?" Alirah asked.
"I don't know." Donald hugged her waist.
"WHERE THE HEART OF ALL WORLDS RESIDES!" Ansem's booming voice announced. The two spun around. They came face to face with a large fortress. At the top of the fortress was Ansem. "THIS IS WHERE KINGDOM HEARTS RESIDES!" Alirah's eyes widened. She's heard that name before. The mirror..The mirror said she would have to help seal it. Heart and Soul. But in order for that to happen, they needed to get past Ansem. "And this is where you shall forever remain!" He summoned his lance. "This abyss shall be your final, ETERNAL resting place!" He declared.
"Not if we make it yours first!" Alirah declared. She drew both the Heart and Soul blade and charged.
"Both Heart and Soul." Ansem said thoughtfully. "Impressive, young Mancer." He waved the lance. Wyverns appeared.
Donald aimed his wand and shouted, "FIRAGA BURST PROFERO!" The opposite of Sora's spell. Donald sent balls of fire into the air and they exploded into smaller sparks raining down upon the heartless. The Wyvern's howled in agony, dispersing in the darkness.
Alirah tore through the rain, striking heartless the spell missed. She brought the blades up. Ansem only an arm's length away. She swung both blades, coming inches from his crown. Ansem smirked and moved to the side. Alirah stumbled on her landing, regaining her footing. Ansem dug his own foot and jabbed the lance. Alirah flipped Soul over her shoulder, aligning along her back, stopping the lance halting the lance tip. She spun around, unleashing Heart for his neck. Ansem grabbed the blade and sent his energy traveling up it. Alirah received a devastating shock.
Donald flew in, thunder spell charging at the wand tip. Ansem pulled Alirah in, lifted her by the collar, and chucked her into Donald. The two crashed on the lower deck, stopped painfully by a spire.
"Oww..." The two groaned. "Alirah?"
"I'm fine. You?"
"I've been better."
"You are both very clever." Ansem commented. He admired them from on high the ledge, mocking them with that smirk. He folded his hands behind his back. "Might and Magic coinciding to achieve victory. For those on sour terms, you two are in remarkable sync." Alirah and Donald held onto a spire, sneering at the man. "But I'm afraid even that won't be enough. For you see," He summoned the stormy spheres, and an elite team of heartless, "So long as darkness fills my veins, your measly powers will never stop me!" He flourished his lance, cutting cleanly sideways and crisscross. Crescent waves shrieked across the darkness. Alirah and Donald panicked and barreled out. "Decades of planning - scheming and clawing throughout the years - all for this...one...glorious...day!"
Goofy's shield looped and ricocheted around the space, cutting heartless down to size. More apparated in place of the fallen. Their lanky, long fingers wrapping to their jaded weapons. Goofy pushed off at ramming speed, piling Invisibles to the wall. He swung and plowed his feet, crushing the Invisibles between a shield and a hard place. His brow knit. Invisible neared Sora. Goofy wound himself tight, then let himself loose like a spinning top. The edges of his shield ripped the heartless' backs open, dismissing them to the darkness from which they spawn.
Meanwhile Sora tried to break the scepter. Building a raft by hand with only himself and elbow grease would be easier. He kept swinging at it like a piñata. The fluorescent blue gem still glowing. He stopped every ten swings, his arms feeling heavy. He wiped the sweat from his face. A heartless snuck up below him. Sora stabbed its face. It roared as it disappeared and Sora went back to the gem. "UGH, this isn't going anywhere." He moaned. "But I have to keep trying." He went back to swinging.
Goofy was fighting to keep the heartless back. An Invisible scratched his cheek. Goofy poured on the pressure and pushed them into the wall. He threw his shield like a disk. It sliced through the heartless, only to have more appear in their place. Goofy moaned in annoyance, border catching his shield. "Soorra, how's it comin?"
"It's-com-ing!" Sora answered with each swing. The scepter was cracking, but not enough. The more Sora hit it, the more heartless it spat out.
"Sora, more heartless have arrived!" The heartless pounced on Goofy, pinning him to the ground. "And they're heavier this time!" They continued to pile on.
"GOOFY!" He cried. The heartless turned to Sora and stalked up to him. Sora began to panic. More heartless were coming and he was running out of time. "What haven't I tried yet?" The heartless were dangerously closed. The swarm was only inches away from overcoming him. Sora backed away and into the Scepter. It's glow was taunting him. He saw his reflection. The reflection of a boy whom everyone was depending on. "Let's try this!" He aimed the key. Without thinking he cried, "BLIZZAGA!" He shot relentlessly. 'Crack!' "Huh?" The scepter changed to red and was cracking further. The heartless cringed. "I GOT SOMETHING!" He cheered. The heartless shook away the pain and proceeded. "FIRAGA!" Three shots and the gem turned yellow. "THUN-" The heartless jumped on him. "AH!" Sora kicked and punched. The heartless tried to keep him down. Sora moved the keyblade along the ground. He bent it up slightly. "THUNDER!"
Ansem laughed loudly, throwing his arms. Volleys of missiles hurled. Donald raised his wands. Alirah crossed her blades. The missiles pelted aura shields, pushing Alirah and Donald against an invisible wall. The missiles had them pinned. Their shield gradually cracking under the intensifying fire. Donald and Alirah poured their strength into maintaining the fields. They would need a better plan soon.
It's clear those two were in over their heads. No matter how hard they tried, they couldn't get a scratch on Ansem. Well, they would be able scratch him if they could get close enough. To continue his onslaught, Ansem relieved the two of his missile attack. Alirah and Donald ignored the convenience, gained a breath, and charged. Ansem twirled his lance around and pointed it to the two. Four spheres teeming with harsh currents shot out, connected by radiating beams crossed in the middle.
Alirah dove as Donald rose. the linked spheres missed, granting a small opening. Ansem sent out more. Alirah blocked and guarded. She dove and barreled out. Donald managed to squeeze between blasts. He cast protection and shield spells left and right. Healing charms, deflecting charms, everything except attack spells. He couldn't get any out. His magic was being exhausted. Alirah's stamina was being spent as well. She was getting cut and grazed. Her arms felt like lead. The two landed on a pathway, panting heavily.
"This...is...insane..." Alirah coughed.
"We can't...give up!" Donald fell on his butt. "We have to...have to...woof." He fell back.
"Feeling tired, my friends?" Ansem taunted. Alirah and Donald glared. "That's a shame. Because I've only begun to show you my power. No matter." He snapped his fingers. Invisibles appeared and restrained the two. "You have become dull to me."
Alirah and Donald fought against the heartless. They strong armed them, nullifying their struggling. It was useless. In that abyss, the heartless' strength was increased tenfold. So it felt like cement iron clad hands were gripping their arms. And Donald and Alirah were too tired to fight anymore.
"Riku...Terra..." Alirah whimpered.
The heartless flew up and brought the two to eye level with Ansem. He smiled wickedly at them. Alirah and Donald glared defiantly. "Now how shall I proceed?" Ansem took a step off his fortress. He walked along the air as if there was an invisible path below him. "Shall I make incisions along every inch of your body and watch you bleed out?" Donald stuck his tongue saying ew. That was too morbid for him. "Or maybe I'll allow my heartless to rip you apart piece by people piece." He was two feet from them. He tapped his chin thoughtfully. How Alirah would love to kick him in the nose. "WAIT!" He shouted, slapping a fist in his hand. "I know what I can do!" He held up his lance and placing the tip to Donald's chest. "I can drain you of your life energy slowly, so that you feel every limb grow numb as your life leaves your body." Donald shook feverishly. "Then as you're nearing the brink of death," Ansem scratched Donald's feathered head, "I'll let my heartless have their way with you, and turn you into a Heartless, yourself." He moved from Donald and went to Alirah. He grabbed Alirah's chin and caressed it. "And I will force you to listen and watch as they rend each of you friends dying limbs right out of their sockets."
Alirah had sweat beading down her brow. 'No...'Please no...' Was it the heartless hold on her? Or was she really shaking like a leaf?
"Then instead of killing you, I will break you." Alirah struggled again against the heartless. Donald did the same. "I will take great pleasure in watching your spirit break." Ansem purred. "And once you're broken," he trailed a finger down her cheek, "I will rebuild you into another one of my magnificent puppets." He cupped her face, "You shall serve me, just as Riku and Terra did." Alirah drew the line there. She snapped her teeth, trying to bite Ansem's hand. He snatched his hand away in time, and sneered with irritation. Alirah jeered like an animal. She was trying to divert Ansem over to her so he wouldn't hurt Donald. It almost worked. But then Ansem smirked devilishly. The blue aura swirled around the lance. He stabbed it into Donald's chest. Donald's orange aura, his life, began to drain into the lance. Donald screamed hysterically.
"NO! YOU CAN'T DO THIS!" Alirah cried. She fought wildly against the heartless holding her. They kept their grasps. Donald's white feathers slowly began to turn grey. "YOU ALREADY TOOK RIKU AND TERRA! DON'T TAKE DONALD FROM ME!" She begged.
"And none of that would have happened if you would have just stayed away." He criticized. "If you would have remained with Yensid you never would have lost them. You wouldn't be losing the duck either." He increased the power. Donald cried out even louder.
"A...li...rah..." Donald wheezed through the pain. The light was leaving his eyes. A long tear trickled. "I'm...sorry."
"AND SHE'S NOT GOING TO!" Ansem peered out the corner of his eye. His temple was hit with an edge of a metal disk. Ansem staggered away. The heartless gawked and were struck down. Donald was dropped and Alirah flew after him. She caught him and looked up. Sora and Goofy waved down to them. "Sorry we took so long." Goofy quipped.
"Any longer and we would have had to put Donald on strings." She joked back.
"Better late than never." Sora shrugged.
Alirah floated up to him. "Actually, ten minutes ago would have been nice."
"What are ya gonna do?" Goofy giggled. The three laughed. Sora used cure and healed Donald. Alirah ruffled his feather affectionately. "Now what?"
"ARRRGGGHH!" Ansem roared. He rose into the air, Guardian below him, and heartless swarming above in a circle. Directing with his Lance, Ansem sent Guardian into the center of the circle of heartless. "I HAVE HAD ENOUGH!" He roared. Guardian raised his hands. The heartless darted into his body. Guardian turned into a dark liquid and streamed around Ansem's body. "I WILL NOT BE BESTED BY TWO CHILDREN AND MANGY ANIMALS!" The liquid pierced through his chest. "TO HELL WITH CLAIMING YOUR HEARTS!" His veins were pulsating. "TO HELL WITH MAKING YOU MY PUPPETS!" His muscles began to grow. "TO HELL WITH SPARING YOUR LIVES!" Ansem himself was growing in size. His shirt was gone, but his still had the black pants and boots. He had four tentacles sprouting out of his back. Alirah drew Heart and Soul, Donald brought out his wand, Goofy brought up his shield, Sora drew his Blade. "I'LL KILL YOU ALL RIGHT HERE, RIGHT NOW!" He darted the tentacles forward. Alirah, Sora, and Goofy managed to fly out of the way.
Donald stood his ground. Floating, but that's not the issue. As the tentacle neared him, he yelled, "PROTEGO!" A ball formed around him. The tentacle pierced through effortlessly, constricting around his torso. "WAK!" Donald knew that was a bad idea. he was still exhausted. The tentacle crushed his ribs. Donald coughed up blood.
"DIE, YOU MISERABLE MALLARD!"
"LET HIM GO YOU DANG, DIRTY HEARTLESS!" Goofy roared. He slammed his shield into all sides of Ansem's body and face. Ansem swatted at him like he was a fly. Goofy flipped and sprang over the hand, slicing Ansem's face with the shield edge. Ansem's tentacle finally caught him and began to crush him as well.
"BLIZZAGA!" Alirah roared. Ice sprayed along the tentacle, going all the way to Ansem's back. Ansem swung the lance. Alirah dove out of the way.
Sora came next. He drove his blade into the tentacle. Ansem grunted at the numbing pain sensation. "THUNDAGA!" The electricity traveled up the tentacle and to Ansem's back. It was only a sharp jolt, but Ansem let go of Goofy and Donald. Goofy took Donald and landed somewhere safe so that Donald could rest properly. Sora and Alirah remained airborne. "We have to end this somehow!" Sora stated "If this keeps up we'll all be like Donald."
"I'm all out of ideas, Keyboy!" Ansem conjured up long bright needles and shot them.
Alirah and Sora crossed their blades together, "DEFEND/DEFLECT!" A large wall blocked against the needles, deflecting them in random directions. Ansem sent wave after waves of needles, trying to exhaust their defense. "Hiano's still recuperating, so I can't call him yet." The needle wave was getting heavier.
The two could feel the pressure of Ansem's attack increasing. Eventually, the two had their backs against the wall. The whole fight - Ansem - it was all nuts. No matter how hard they tried, no matter how many steps ahead they thought they were, Ansem managed to counter them and put himself back in the lead. Sora was convinced that Alirah wasn't exaggerating. Ansem was insane. He was a heartless hulk with power. And the abyss was increasing that power.
They couldn't keep up the shield much longer. It was about to give. Are you guys giving up already? Riku's voice mocked. Come on, Alirah! Sora! I thought you guys were stronger than that. The two exchanged glances. They were both hearing him. Sora, you could beat this guy in your sleep. As for you Ali, you're a Necromancer with friends. Call 'em. They're waiting...The voice vanished.
"They?" A light filled her with hope.
"Is there some Necromancer thing you can do?" Sora asked hopefully.
"Maybe." They dropped the shield and hid behind a spire. Chernabog elucidated a necromancer's abilities. Alirah's wet her toes in the power before. Time to soak her feet. "But I'll need something in order to summon them." She pulled out her charm. "And here's hoping Aqua and the guys put enough into here."
"Will whatever you're planning work?"
Alirah closed the Wayfinder in her hand. "Aqua, Ven, and Terra never let me down when I needed them most. It will work." She reassured him. The two bobbed their heads, wishing each other good luck.
Sora flew over to Donald and Goofy. He used cure persistently, trying to expedite his healing process. He quickly filled them in on Alirah's plan. They were going to need to buy her a little extra time.
Alirah peered around a spire, Ansem had his arms folded and eyes closed. She took note of the tentacles. They were pointed diagonally in four directions. Static streams were flowing from out of thin air, down the tentacles, and to Ansem's back. He was drawing power from the darkness.
"I need to hurry." Alirah flew down to a path hidden just far enough below that Ansem wouldn't notice her. She was surprised something like this was even here. As her feet touched down, something shimmered below the light purple sand. The energy felt familiar. Alirah dug it up. It was a Keyblade! "This is…" She dusted it off. She hugged it tenderly. "Master Eraqus."
Up above, Sora had the cure spell bell still hanging over Donald as he laid flat. "Where's Alirah?" He asked.
"Calling for help." Sora answered.
"How can she do that?" Goofy asked.
"We're in an abyss." Donald stated. "Necromancers draw power from darkness. And with the level of darkness here, Alirah should be able to bring back a few old faces."
"Can she really do that?"
"Let's hope she can." Sora dreaded how close Ansem was to recovering. "Because we're all out of plans."
Alirah stuck Eraqus's blade into the sand. She tied the charm around the hilt. "I still don't understand why you're ashamed." She whispered to the keyblade. Nine years ago, Master Eraqus's keyblade resonated shame for its wielder. "Perhaps one day you will tell me. For now, I need you." Ansem's thrashing distracted her from a very important fact. "I may be young, Xehanort," She took two steps back, "But even I can draw power from this place." She sat down and crossed her legs. She closed her eyes, taking in a few deep breaths. The darkness drew to her like moths to a bonfire. It surrounded her in a circle on the ground. An aura, feeding off the darkness, projected an alluring glow outlining her body. I know all of you are here. She called out in her mind. Please help me put an end to this monster we all once trusted. Eyes still closed, she summoned both of her blades. 'Heart and Soul must come together with trust.' The Mirrors voice echoed in her mind. She crossed them, laying them flat. She folded her fingers together. Both of her middle and index fingers were extended. "Soul." Serpents Cry had an illuminating mist shoot out and into the key and charm. "Heart." The same mist shot from the heart blade and into the other objects.
Tow intangible forces capable of forging the strongest of bonds, and fastening the unbreakable of ties. By these connections, the past will come to bear arms.
"Warriors of the Key who once stood proud and tall," Red mist swirled around her, "Appear now, as it's your name I call!" The red mist joined the other mists. It lifted the Key from the ground and hovered it above her head, pointing like a compass dial. "Master Eraqus!" A pink orb shot in back. "Aqua!" Shot to the left. "Terra!" Shot to the right, "Ventus!" Shot to the front. The pink orbs formed into the figures she called, all had their eyes closed. Alirah opened her eyes. They were completely red. The four figures opened there's as well. Their eyes were white. Alirah rose to her feet, lifting Serpent's Cry. "The man above us tore us apart. Let's come together one last time."
Ansem unfolded his arms and stretched out. After cracking his neck, he opened his eyes. He saw Alirah, Sora, Donald, and Goofy floating before him. "Well, well, what a delightful turn of events this is." He chimed. "Have you all finally resigned yourselves to death?"
"In a matter of speakin'." Goofy said.
Alirah waved her Soul blade through the air. "Allow me to reintroduce you to some old friends, old man." She gestured to behind Ansem.
Ansem turned. His eye went so wide they almost popped out of their sockets. "No…" He mumbled, "It's not possible!" Shadows of his victims hovered behind him. With their keyblades drawn, and their brows furrowed, Ansem sensed the end afoot.
"Oh but it is!" Alirah chimed. "And now this fight is done." She declared. "Now my friends, ATTACK!"
Eraqus attacked first. Ansem brought up the lance and caught his blade. "I may in a younger body, Eraqus," he pushed up, "But I am still more than capable of handling you, you weak minded fool of a master!" Aqua and Ven stabbed him in the sides. "And…you both as well…you're even more of a nuisance than before!" Eraqus flipped over and stabbed him in the back. Ansem struggled against the blades embedded in his body. Then an annoying face appeared before his. "Ah Terra…" He choked, "How…unpleasant to…see you." The Terra phantom jabbed his blade into Ansem's chest. "YOU ALL WILL PAY FOR THIS…I SWEAR IT!"
"Check's in the mail!" Sora shouted.
Energy built up at the tip of his blade. Alirah held up both of her blades, energy gathering on their tips. Donald charged up his wand. The phantoms moved back. Goofy threw his shield up. The three aimed their weapons at Goofy's shield and fired. The shield took in the magical energy. The three moved it over Ansem. "Now for the shock of your life." With a hard yank of their weapons, the magic in the shield dispersed into the four keyblades, electrocuting Ansem inside and out. Holes appeared in Ansem body as the light energy exploded out of his body. Alirah, Sora, and the other hid behind a spire. The flash of light tore through the darkness. Ansem's fortress pieced apart like pixels.
The phantoms Alirah conjured up stood before her with warm smiles. "Thanks, guys. See you soon." She waved goodbye. The phantoms waved as the light made them vanish.
In minutes the flash was gone, as was the spire the four hid behind. They turned around. Ansem was still alive! He was alive, but barely. Struggling, Ansem was floating to a white door. "QUICK!" Goofy shouted, "After him!" The four sped for him.
Ansem was panting heavily. His life force was fading, and fading fast. "ANSEM!" He twisted and saw the four. "Game's over, Ansem!" Alirah declared. "Once Sora locks this door, this whole thing is over!"
"Ne…ver," He strained, holding his shoulder. "The keyblade...alone cannot seal...the door to darkness." He declared. "And I am still...strong enough...to harness its energy." He raised a hand to the door. "KINGDOM HEARTS!" He roared. "Fill me...with the power of darkness!"
The door began to open. A sickening black mist came seeping out. Alirah could feel the energy. Only…something was wrong. "Sora," she whispered, "It doesn't feel right."
"What doesn't?" He asked.
"If it's the door to darkness, why don't I sense any?"
"Because it's not darkness." He stated confidently.
"It is darkness, boy!" Ansem spat. "Kingdom Hearts...is the ultimate...source...OF DARKNESS!"
"YOU'RE WRONG!" Sora boomed. Alirah confirmed it for him. "I know now, without a doubt...Kingdom Hearts...is LIGHT!"
The door opened more and light shot out. Sora dodged out of the way. Ansem was caught in the lights beam. It was consuming his body. The vanishing started from his feet and worked its way up. "NO!" He roared. He twisted around and glared at Alirah. "Know this, ALIRAH!" He spat. "So long as I remain in yours and Riku's memories, I will NEVER be eliminated!" It went up to his waist. "I swear on Kingdom Hearts, I shall return!" It was at his neck. "And I will DESTROY YOU!" And just like that he was gone.
"And I'll be waiting." She challenged.
Now for the final bout. They had to close the door before it fully opened. The four flew down to the door. "COME ON," Sora shouted, "PUSH!" Alirah, Donald, and Goofy pushed with him. It was like pushing a brick wall. The thing wasn't moving.
"AH!" Goofy screamed, looking inside the door.
"Stop staring and keep pushing!" Donald ordered. He looked inside and screamed too. The heartless were coming. "HURRY!"
"I can't!" Sora groaned. He and Alirah were losing their footing. "It's too much!"
"DON'T GIVE UP!" Hands grasped the doors from inside. They all saw Riku. He was inside. "Come on you guys, together we can do it!"
"RIKU!" Alirah beamed. She had never been so happy to see him. Alirah saw the Heartless known as Darkside appear. It reached a huge hand for Riku. No way! Not again! "Keep pushing, Sora!" She ordered. She jumped inside and swatted the hand away.
"ALIRAH!" The three screamed.
"KEEP PUSHING!" She repeated. She attacked the heartless again, making it disappear. Another appeared.
"But…" Sora trailed off solemnly, "But, Alirah-"
"No matter what, Sora," She struck at the head, "You have to close this door!"
"But we can't!" He said. "It won't budge!"
"Then allow me to help!" Called a squeaky voice. Everyone looked to the back. Their stood Mickey with a golden key.
"Mickey…" Alirah sighed.
"Hey, Ali." He smiled. "Glad I found ya."
Alirah smiled back. "So am I."
"Now Sora, let's close this door for good." He declared. Alirah walked up to help pull the door closed.
"But what about you guys?" He asked. "What if we can't find you?"
"Don't worry." Alirah said. "As long as you guys don't forget us, we'll meet again someday." She looked to Donald and Goofy, who were getting teary eyed. "I promise we'll meet again, guys."
"How do you know?" Donald asked.
Alirah took off her charm and threw it to him. Donald gawked at it. "How else will I get that back from you?" Donald clenched it in his hand. Alirah's promise was sealed. "Goofy, take care of Sora and Donald for me."
"You bet'cha." He croaked.
Alirah nodded. She and Riku stepped away from the door. Riku looked back at Sora. As the door was about to shut, he said, "Take care of her." The door closed.
Inside Mickey raised his key. Alirah raised both of blades, crossing them.
Outside Sora raised his blade. "Alirah, Riku, Mickey," he whispered, "We will meet again!"
All four blades mustered all of their strength. In bright particles of light the door vanished. A keyhole took form, and locked on both sides. Kingdom Hearts was sealed.
Alirah fell to her knees exhausted. "Alirah…" Riku said. He knelt down to her. Alirah smiled up at him. "You…you came in?"
"Of course I did."
Alirah staggered to her feet. She hugged Riku. "Because I had to see you. I-I needed you back. I really missed you."
"Missed me?" He questioned skeptically. He pushed her away. "Or did you miss Terra?"
"What are you talking about?" She asked. Riku tightened his grip on her arms. "OW – Riku!"
"ADMIT IT!" He demanded, shaking Alirah wildly. "Admit you only like me because I'm like Terra!"
"Why would you-"
"ALIRAH, RIKU LOOK OUT!" Mickey shrieked. The two looked up. Five Darkside's had them surrounded. The two tried to move, but their feet were stuck to the ground. "ALIRAH! RIKU!" Mickey jumped for them. One of the Darkside's swatted him like a bug into a wall.
"YOUR MAJESTY!" The two called. They pulled at their feet. They were glued to the ground. They went to summon their blades. Nothing appeared. They tried again and again, but their swords weren't coming. "This sucks!" Alirah shrieked.
"And it's about to get worse!" Riku and Alirah looked up. The Darkside's raised their fists. Alirah and Riku gazed up in horror.
Alirah quickly brought her hands together, "PHASMATIS TUTELA!" She kept a hand on her and pointed the other to Riku. The Darkside's brought their fists down, crushing Riku and Alirah.