Last time found Team Hayner arriving at Deep Jungle where they met Tarzan. They learned of the horrific deforestation that was afflicting the world. It turned out that Lucas Lee, second of The League of Evil Exes, was clear cutting the world in order to build a massive skateboard park. Naturally Hayner, Pence, Olette, Will, Kirjava, Nessie and Tarzan, did everything they could to stop the vile skateboarder turned actor, but he kept throwing one foul move after another at them. Tarzan then challenged Lucas to a Jungle Sliding contest. The evil skateboarder managed to cheat his way into beating everyone who faced him, but then Nessie goaded Lucas into sliding too fast and he slammed into a tree. But then Lucas had even more dirty tricks up his sleeves, but in the end our heroes damaged him enough to attract several hungry leopards whom devoured him. Nessie then found another gold key and they set off for the next world.
Elsewhere, the Hakonians instigated their plan to rescue Pete from Radiant Garden, while at the same time Maleficent got fed up with failure from the demons. The Negotiator, upon hearing of the deaths of Matthew and Lucas, immolated himself in an act of penance to his dark master. But then a clone of The Negotiator arrived to take his place. 'Nuff said, on with the show!
Epilog: The Dream Technique
Once again Sora, Riku, Kairi, Aiden and Tess were running through the gloomy but green forest, chasing after The Girl who Runs with Wolves, whom they now know to be Renesmee 'Nessie' Cullen.
"Wait!" shouted Sora, "we need to talk to you!"
"Why are you running from us, Nessie?" Kairi shouted.
"Don't you have anything better to do than torment us like this!" shouted Aiden.
Just then the rain-soaked landscape shattered, and our heroes found themselves in an endless expanse of white.
"What the…?" Tess said, "where the hell are we?"
"If this is some sick joke," said Riku, "then someone's going to regret messing with us."
Just then Sora realized that they weren't alone. Donald, Goofy, Jacob, Lyra and Pan were also in the whiteness as well.
"What are you guys doing here?" Sora asked, "Donald, Goofy, you never show up in those weird dreams."
"Gwarsh," said Goofy, "is this a dream?"
"It sure isn't what I call real," said Donald.
"Are we all dreaming the same thing?" Lyra asked.
"This has got to be the weirdest thing ever," said Jacob, "and I know weird."
Just then Roxas and Naminé appeared next to Sora and Kairi, "what's going on?" Naminé asked, "and what's with all this…nothing?"
"It's like we're in an empty universe," said Roxas.
"No," said Naminé, "it's more like…a blank canvas, a universe waiting to be filled by imagination."
"Well I'd like to imagine myself back into the real world if it's alright with everyone," said Aiden.
"Look!" shouted Pan, "there's someone coming towards us!" Far in the distance a speck of black was approaching them. The speck grew into two, human shapes. One of them turned out to be a man in his mid twenties wearing a black suit and tie with a gray overcoat. He had black hair and a black handlebar moustache.
The other person turned out to be someone Sora, Riku, Kairi, Roxas, Naminé, Donald and Goofy knew all too well.
"Ansem!" shouted Sora, "you're alive!"
"By a miracle, yes," said Ansem the Wise as he and the man with the moustache walked up to our heroes, "I did survive."
"Why didn't you let us know you were alive?" Kairi asked.
"I'd like to know that myself," said Roxas in a suspicious manner, "what kind of self-righteous scheme are you getting us involved with now?"
"Wait," said Sora, "Ansem, did you…do you have something to do with these weird dreams we've been having?"
"I'm afraid so, Sora," said Ansem, "I have much to answer for today," he looked at Roxas, "but first I have to apologize to you for ruining your summer vacation. It was necessary that you be reunited with Sora, but I wish I had gone about it differently without causing you so much hurt. I realize now that you, Roxas," he looked at Naminé, "and you, Naminé, are no longer Nobodies. Even though you still lack hearts, you're just as much people as Sora and Kairi."
"Well, thanks," said Naminé.
"It still doesn't make up for what you did to me," said Roxas, "but for now I'm willing to let things slide. But more importantly, what about my friends in that other Twilight Town?" Roxas asked, "Hayner, Pence and Olette?"
"The simulations are still there," said the mustached man, "the computer with the digital Twilight Town has been restored and is secure against the darkness, and at your earliest convince, you can go inside the simulation again and see your friends."
"But first I think you would enjoy meeting the real people your friends were based on," said Ansem, "they should be here soon."
"Hayner, Pence and Olette?" Sora asked, "they're coming here?"
"Just what is this place anyway?" Riku asked.
"I can answer that," said the mustached man, "but first, allow me to introduce myself. I am Quillsh Wammy II, but everyone calls me Young Watari. I have been working with Ansem the Wise these past few months, in order to bring down Maleficent."
"Okay," said Sora, "you're working against Maleficent."
"That makes up for a lot," said Roxas.
"Indeed," said Young Watari, "I was the one who instructed Ansem the Wise in planting certain messages designed to unhinge Maleficent's already unstable sanity."
"'L. Lawlett Lives,'" said Aiden, "King Mickey told us about that."
"But who is L. Lawlett?" Kairi asked, "and why is Maleficent so afraid of him?"
"And just what the heck is this place?" Jacob demanded.
"All will be revealed soon," said Young Watari, "but first, as to this place, this is an artificial dream world, the dreamscape, where those with the right technology and ability can manipulate dreams through a method called Inception. I created that dream where you five Keyblade Wielders chased after Renesmee Cullen, while at the same time, sent dreams of you five to Renesmee."
"But why?" Jacob asked, "why mess with everyone's dreams?"
"So that you will all be somewhat familiar with each other when the time came," said Young Watari, "that you all, when you finally met in this artificial dream, would be prepared to hear what has to be said."
"I don't understand," said Lyra, "I volunteered to come to this realm to fight the darkness. But my dreams haven't been manipulated."
"Mine neither," said Jacob. He then sniffed the air and jerked his head to one direction, as if smelling something very familiar, "no…can it be?"
"This has got to be the weirdest situation we've even been in," said Pence as he, Hayner, Olette, Nessie, Will and Kirjava looked around the endless whiteness.
"I wish I could think of a weirder situation I've been in," said Nessie, "but I've got nothing."
"It's like a dream," said Will, "a dream in which we're all sharing."
"I've never had a shared dream before," said Olette.
"Me neither," said Hayner, "but why are all of us in the same dream now?"
"I don't know," said Nessie. She then smelled something very familiar, "can it be?" she turned around and looked off into the seemingly endless whiteness.
"What do your immortal eyes see?" Will asked.
"Someone more precious than all the treasure in existence!" said a widely smiling Nessie. She then took off running towards what she smelled, shouting, "JACOB!"
"NESSIE!" shouted Jacob as he ran towards what he smelled. Sora and the others ran after him and saw him being tackled by the girl they've been dreaming about for months. The girl then kissed Jacob square on the mouth, while Jacob, completely taken by surprise, soon got over his shock and placed his arms lovingly around her back.
"What the…?" Hayner asked as he, Olette and Pence ran up and saw Nessie and Jacob kissing.
The kiss lasted a full two minutes. Nessie and Jacob broke contact and looked at each other, "Jacob, my Jacob," said Nessie as she leaned against his chest, "I've missed you so much."
"I missed you too, kiddo," said Jacob, "where have you been?"
"All over the place," she said as she and Jacob sat up, "I went to a pirate world, then a world where everyday is Halloween, and just now I was on a jungle world. What have you been up to?"
"Oh, nothing as special you've been doing," said Jacob, "I've been to ancient China, ancient Greece and just now a world full of mermaids."
"That's awesome," said Nessie, "I'd love to meet a mermaid."
"Remind me to introduce you to Ariel someday," said Sora.
Nessie then looked up and saw Sora and the others, "holy crow!" she exclaimed with a shocked expression on her face, "it's you guys! I've been having crazy dreams about you for months!"
"Same with us," said Kairi, "nice to finally meet you for real, Nessie."
"You know my name?" Nessie asked, "what am I talking about? Of course you know who I am, you've been traveling with Jacob. I know you guys as well. You're Sora, Riku, Kairi, Aiden and Tess."
"How do you know about me?" Tess asked, "I'm still the new girl?"
"I altered your dreams when Tess became a Keyblade Wielder," said Young Watari.
"Who are you?" Nessie asked.
"He's the guy who's been sending you those dreams," said Jacob, "but it's for a real good reason, I hope."
Just then Hayner, Pence and Olette finally caught up with Nessie and saw Sora and Kairi, "Sora! Kairi!" shouted Olette, "you're okay!"
"Hayner, Pence, Olette," said Sora, "it's been a while."
"Way too long in my book," said Hayner.
"How'd you guys get involved in this?" Kairi asked.
"We came looking for you," said Hayner, "so we could help."
"We've been training so we can fight the darkness on our own terms," said Pence.
"You look like you've been training," said Sora.
Tess, Aiden and Riku were then introduced to the three from Twilight Town, "We've heard about you guys," said Aiden, "tell me, is Struggle as much a challenge as I've heard it is?"
"It's the best thing ever!" said Hayner, "next to Sea Salt Ice Cream."
"Great," said Aiden, "I'd like to try both."
"I haven't had Sea Salt Ice Cream in a long time," said Roxas. He had wanted to say something deep and meaningful to Hayner, Pence and Olette, but what he just said was the first thing to come to mind.
Hayner, Pence and Olette then looked at Roxas, "wait," said Olette, "do we know you?"
"I…I…that is," said a nervous Roxas, once again words failing him.
"Wait, we do know you," said Pence, "you used to hang around our world for a while."
"That's right," said Hayner, "you played Grandstand with us that one time."
"And other times we'd see you with some others atop the clock tower," said Olette.
"Yeah," said Roxas, "I used to have Sea Salt Ice Cream with my friends after every mission on the clock tower."
"I used to visit your world sometimes," said Naminé, "do you remember me?"
"Oh yeah," said Pence, "you're that girl who lived in The Old Mansion for a while. Everyone thought you were a ghost."
"I used to wear white a lot back then," said Naminé.
Just then Sora and the others realized that two specific people were looking at each other; Will and Lyra, while Kirjava and Pan were also looking at each other, as if the two humans and two daemons were seeing each other for the first time in a long time.
"Lyra?" Will asked in a slightly distant tone that barely hid his longing, "is…is it you?"
"Will Parry," said Lyra in an equally longing tone, "I…"
"Oh don't be so dramatic!" said Kirjava as she and Pan circled each other in a frolicking manner.
"It's…it's good to see you again, Will," said Lyra in a slightly uncertain tone, "I…I missed you."
"I missed you too," said Will, "but I kept my promise and moved on. I've got a really nice girlfriend back home."
"I also have a beau back at my Oxford," said Lyra, "but I've visited the Botanical Garden every Midsummer Day."
"Same with me," said Will, "I could almost feel you sitting right next to me."
"Same with me," said Lyra.
"At last," said Young Watari, "Everyone is here."
"Who are you?" Will asked.
"He's the one who's been manipulating our dreams for months," said Riku in an annoyed tone, "and we all want to know why? Just to get our attention? That's not good enough!"
"I can explain everything," said a very strange man who appeared next to Young Watari. He appeared to be in his early twenties, tall, thin and stood with a slouch and slightly bended knees. He had long, shaggy black hair, black eyes and pale skin. He wore a simple cotton white long-sleeve shirt and blue pants and his feet were bare.
"Ryuzaki," said Young Watari.
"I definitely owe these guys an explanation," said the strange man. He spoke to Sora and the others, "I am L. Lawlett, or just L, but you can call me Ryuzaki."
"You're that guy Maleficent's so scared of?" Kairi asked.
"This guy can't be for real," said Aiden.
"I'm more than I seem to be," said Ryuzaki, "you all have questions and I have the answers. I'll start with why Maleficent's so afraid of me. It began nine years before you, Sora, first took up your Keyblade, which makes it roughly after your beloved Kairi arrived on your world. I was asked, by people who wish to remain anonymous, to put together a team to infiltrate the fallen world of Radiant Garden and bring down Maleficent."
"I take it that didn't work," said Hayner.
"It nearly did," said Ryuzaki, "Maleficent had an army of monsters and lesser minions at her command, nearly all of which the team I selected managed destroyed, but we seriously underestimated Maleficent's power. My team was wiped out.
"But there's one thing Maleficent underestimated, it's my obsessive compulsive personality," he then crouched down and there next to him appeared a tray of cookies and a cup of hot coco.
"That can't be a comfortable position," said Jacob.
"It is for me," said Ryuzaki as he ate a cookie, then sipped his coco, "anyway, if there's one certain thing about me, once I start an assignment, I finish it. I assembled a bigger, stronger team and we overwhelmed the new army Maleficent had begun to gather. We then forced Maleficent off of the world, but then she returned with a large host of Heartless. Once again my team was destroyed."
Just then a tray full of various sugary snacks appeared next to Ryuzaki, "by then it had gotten really hard to find fighters willing to go up against Maleficent. I then changed tactics and begun researching into the background of Maleficent in search of a weakness to exploit. What I found was startling.
"She wasn't always the mistress of all evil. In fact, Maleficent was once a very good person. Brilliant in the ways of magic, but not entirely wise in it's usage. This was long ago, centuries ago, back when there were a lot more Keyblade Wielders, long before the Keyblade Wars, but that's a story for later.
"One day Maleficent, whom always had the power to travel to other worlds, a power shared by others, which is another story in itself, came to the Library of Athena on Olympus Coliseum. By sheer chance she found a copy of Hecate's spell book, a copy made by Athena. Why Athena would make copies of said spell book, only the goddess herself knows."
"So the book we 'liberated' from Hades truly is a copy," said Kairi.
"We still need to give that to Merlin," said Sora.
"We'll get to it when we see him," said Riku. He looked at Ryuzaki, "do go on."
"Thank you," said Ryuzaki, "anyway, being the young, impressionable magic user she was, Maleficent became obsessed with Hecate's spell book. Who wouldn't be if they found a book that had all the magic in the universe available to study? But the book had both good and dark magic in it, and as everyone knows, the dark side is all too seductive.
"The darkness of the book corrupted Maleficent, setting her on the path to becoming what she is now. Aside from being twisted and evil, Maleficent had wanted to keep the book for herself. But this was the library of Athena, and if anyone stole a book from the library, if a single volume was even returned late, the goddess would know, and the last thing anyone wants is to incur the wrath of the gods
"Maleficent then came with a plan to copy the dark half of the book without Athena or any other god or goddess ever knowing. Exactly how she did it, I don't know, but she got away with it."
"So all this time she has all the dark magic in the universe at her disposal," said a shocked Kairi, "no wonder she's the mistress of all evil."
"No wonder she could boss Hades and all those other villains around," said an equally shocked Sora.
"We're done for," said Tess in a depressed tone, "if she's got all that bad mojo to use."
"If she was invincible, if she was that all powerful," said Riku, "she would have killed us all long ago."
"And even with all that power and knowledge," said Aiden, "I doubt she could use it all. I've still got alchemic knowledge in my head that I got from my vision that I still don't know what to make of."
"Exactly," said L, "she had the knowledge, but after all this time, she still hasn't understood everything she stole. That was one weakness I could have exploited in the long term, but I wanted her dead sooner than later.
"Instead of a team of warriors, I hired one assassin after another, each one more cleaver and ingenious than the last. I must have sent seventeen professional killers against Maleficent. She killed all of them of course, but it had begun to unhinge her sanity, but only a bit, and all the effort only made things worse. The attempts on her life made her feel that much more self centered and self important. I ended up increasing her megalomania, making her that much more dangerous.
"Then after five years of having to defend herself against random assassination attempts she had had enough and sent assassins of her own after me. I managed to outwit them all, but those assassins were all part of an elaborate plan to lead me into a trap, where I wound up face to face with Maleficent herself. I tried to outwit her and escape, but she blasted me. Fortunately, I'm tougher than I look, otherwise I would have been completely blown away. Instead, I faked my own death and completely convinced Maleficent that I was finished. I'll admit that it was fun convincing the enemy that I was dead. It allowed me time to recover and gather the resources needed to try and destroy Maleficent again.
"I was finally ready to initiate my plan right about the time when you, Sora, were battling Organization XIII. I had heard that Sora had defeated Maleficent, but my research into her dark history had revealed that she had learned of a certain dark magic that would allow her to resurrect herself a total of six times. The first of which occurred about 200 years ago, then she came back to life again about 100 years ago; the full details of both incidences are pretty much lost. The third was when you defeated her the first time, Sora."
"So now we have to kill her four more times before she's gone for good?" an exasperated Sora asked.
"Seven lives, seven deaths," said Hayner.
"Not exactly," said Ryuzaki, "I'll get to that in a bit. So there I was, ready to make my move against Maleficent, when word had reached me that a new evil was about to enter the game."
"Gideon Graves," said an irate Nessie.
"He had heard about a second set of Princesses of Heart," said Ryuzaki, "but he lacked at the time the resources to find them. He had just resurrected himself after suffering an epic defeat at the hands of one Scott Pilgrim, a warrior who will arrive to help you, Sora, assuming he can ever get his ass in gear. He may be a great hero, but he can be highly unmotivated sometimes, especially when it comes to saving the world."
"And I thought you were a lazy bum sometimes," said Kairi to Sora.
"I'm not so lazy now," said Sora.
"If I may continue," said Ryuzaki, "As for Gideon, he had perfected the means to resurrect himself, and his cabal; the League of Evil Exes, as many times as they want, so long as they have the resources to do so."
"So you mean he can bring back that creep Matthew Patel?" Aiden asked.
"And that jerk Lucas?" Pence asked.
"Pretty much," said Ryuzaki, "but it takes time for the enemy to resurrect themselves, roughly twenty days, perhaps less if Gideon is willing to risk genetic defects in the resurrected body. So anyway, it took me a while to figure out Gideon's real plan. He's got Maleficent convinced that all he wants is Kairi and a non-aggression pact. But he didn't tell Maleficent why he want's Kairi. But in truth, Maleficent is only playing along with Gideon's plan until she knows exactly what Gideon wants."
"That sounds like Maleficent," said Riku, "if it'll further her own gains, then she'll pretend to submit to someone else. She probably enjoys playing the fool, only to humiliate Gideon later."
"I'd say that's a reasonable outlook on the situation," said L.
"But why does Gideon want me?" Kairi asked, "what did I ever do to him?"
"It's not what you did," said Ryuzaki, "but what you're going to do, or rather, what he wants you to do. Gideon has access to mind-control technology that can completely put you in thrall to him. One computer chip on the back of your neck and you'll be his obedient slave."
"Now I know we have to kill this Gideon," said an irate Tess as she pulled out her razor, "nobody tries to control my friends and gets away with it!"
"Isn't that your father's razor?" Aiden asked.
Tess looked at the razor and realized it was the one that belonged to her dead father, "how'd that get here?" she asked in a shocked and appalled tone.
"Didn't you throw that way?" Riku asked.
"That's part of what makes this dream world so special," said Young Watari, "if you can imagine it, and imagine it in the right way, it'll appear."
"So, if I wanted a 3 course meal with all the trimmings," said Aiden, "all I need to do is imagine it?" just then a fully laden dinning table appeared next to him. "Sweet!" he then began chowing down.
"Save some for us!" said Donald and he and Goofy helped themselves to Aiden's feast, their own imaginations increasing the amount of food on the table."
"Don't forget desert!" said Pence as he and Hayner also helped themselves to lunch.
"You can play here all you want," said Ryuzaki, "after you hear what I have to say. Anyway, Gideon sought out a pure heart that he could corrupt to his will so he could gather the second set of Princesses of Heart. He thought it was Renesmee, but while she has a pure heart, she isn't the one Gideon wanted, for Renesmee doesn't have a Keyblade."
"What does having a Keyblade have to do with it?" Kairi asked.
"I'm getting to that," said Ryuzaki as he ate one of his snacks, "he needs not only a Princess of Heart, but one who's a Keyblade Wielder as well, so he can use her in a ritual that will open a door."
"A door to Kingdom Hearts," said Sora.
"Not Kingdom Hearts," said Ryuzaki, "but so somewhere else; Mu."
"Mu?" Lyra asked, "what is that? A world full of cows?"
"Not moo, Mu," said Ryuzaki, "or rather, limbo, for it is in limbo that resides the soul of the most dangerous man who ever lived, a man who did great evil for what he thought was the greater good. This man, who's name ironically is Light Yagami, acquired the power to kill anyone he wanted, so long as he knew the name and face of his victiums. Light used that power to rid his world of criminals and other people who he thought were evil.
"The people of his world, realizing that some supernatural force was ridding their world of evil, started calling the person responsible for this supposed good Kira, and they eventually acknowledged Kira as a living god, and Light Yagami relished his new godhood.
"There were forces out to stop Kira from having his way, for murder is never the answer, even when the victims are themselves evil. But Light Yagami happened to be the most brilliant man of his times, in so that he manipulated the search for Kira, always leading the authorities in the wrong direction while he killed one criminal or dissonant after another.
"To make a long story short, Light wound up caught in his own trap and himself died. But because he used an otherworldly means to commit murder, a means called a Death Note, Light would up not going to the afterlife, but to limbo, forever.
"But apparently Kira had many disciples across time and space, the most dangerous being Gideon Graves."
"What does this have to do with Kairi!" Sora demanded.
"Aren't you impatient," said Ryuzaki, "alright, I'll tell you. Gideon needs Kairi to capture the new Princesses of Heart and use them to release Kira from limbo."
"That doesn't make sense," said Aiden, "why would an evil man like Gideon want to release a clearly insane but good-intentioned demigod?"
"If there's one thing Light Yagami is good at," said Ryuzaki, "it's manipulating people. Light manipulated Gideon into thinking that Kira was the evil deity he had been waiting for; Gideon is convinced that Kira will cover all of existence in darkness when released from limbo.
"But instead, all Light wants is to work his own evil in another universe, and be accepted as a god again. If allowed to be free again, he'll change the worlds for the worse, killing everyone who does not conform to his ideal of good, while also killing those who won't worship him as a god."
"Okay, so we've got one Villain who wants to free an even worse Villain," said Pence, "this sucks."
"That's putting it mildly," said Ryuzaki as he ate a brownie.
"What's with all the sugar snacks?" Olette asked.
"I like sweets," said Ryuzaki, "and the brain actually uses more calories than the rest of the body. Anyway, things aren't as bad as you think. There is hope. I assume that you all have found some gold keys on your recent travels?"
"We did find some gold keys," said a surprised Sora, "we've found three."
"And we found three gold keys," said Hayner.
"But what do they mean?" Will asked.
"And what is interfering with The Alethiometer?" Lyra asked.
"You can use The Alethiometer again?" Will asked.
"I've been using it for a while," said Lyra, "but something is stopping it from answering certain questions."
"That would be a side effect of the Nobody controlling items the enemy are using," said Ryuzaki, "Gideon has brought in hundreds of Uridium items, and is bringing in more all the time. Maleficent has made a handful of Uridium items from the Uridium her subordinates found in the realms of light, but the ones that Gideon has been manufacturing are derived from a more potent form of Uridium, and have inadvertent side effects. The bracelets and rings are sending out low-level magical radiation; harmless to life forms but it can mess with magical items."
"The Alethiometer doesn't use magic," said Lyra, "it uses human thought and will, and Dust."
"Don't get me started on Dust," said Ryuzaki, "anyway, destroy all the Nobody-controlling items and stop Gideon from bringing in more, and the The Alethiometer will work perfectly again."
"Okay, we'll do that," said Sora.
"And now for the real reason you're all here," said Ryuzaki, "those keys you've found throughout the worlds are part of a set of thirteen. These thirteen gold keys were scattered across the realms of light a long time ago, scattered with the promise that when the time was right, heroes from across time and space would find and gather them again."
"But what are the keys for?" Jacob.
"They unlock stuff," said Nessie, "obviously."
"But what do the thirteen keys unlock that's so important?" Sora asked.
"That Talisman that the demons were looking for?" Olette asked, "I'm just taking a shot in the dark here
"The Sacred Talisman of Zumakalis," said Ryuzaki, "it has the power to bring either light or darkness to the worlds, depending on who uses it. The talisman was so powerful that the ancient Keyblade Wielders sealed it away long ago to prevent it from falling into the wrong hands.
"But now the time has come to unseal The Talisman, for only The Sacred Talisman of Zumakalis can destroy not only Gideon and his cohorts, but also Maleficent, forever, and Light Yagami as well."
"Aren't we trying to stop this insane murderer from being released onto the worlds?" Will asked.
"We are," said Ryuzaki, "but just in case the worst can happen, The Talisman can take care of him as well."
"This sounds better all the time," said Riku, "where is The Talisman?"
"It's on the world that's the crossroads of the universe," said Ryuzaki, "it's in a vault buried under the streets of Traverse Town."
"You mean there's this thing that can drive the darkness away," said an astonished Sora, "and it's been right there in Traverse Town all this time?"
"That's about it," said Ryuzaki, "there's still seven more keys to find, including one that's on Traverse Town as well, and hopefully, you'll find them before Gideon realized that to get to The Talisman, he needs the keys first."
"Well, hopefully we'll get the remaining keys," said Aiden, "but what about me? Maleficent needs me to find the last two of the new Princesses of Heart."
"That I'm afraid you're going to have to worry about yourself," said Ryuzaki, "there's very little I can actually do to help."
"Why?" Kairi asked, "what's wrong?"
"It'd take way too long to explain," said Ryuzaki, "and I'm almost out of time right now. There's one more thing I need to tell you, and this is specifically for Renesmee and Jacob."
"What is it?" Nessie asked.
"You gonna mess with our dreams again?" Jacob demanded.
"I may drop into your sleeping minds from time to time," said Ryuzaki, "to give you more information as I get it. But this is something else. It concerns those most close to you, mainly, your family, Renesmee, and your pack, Jacob."
"What?" Jacob asked franticly, "what do you mean?"
"What about my parents?" Nessie asked in an equally frantic tone, "and my aunts and uncles and grandparents?"
"Just your mother, father, aunts and uncles," said Ryuzaki, "and the members of Jacob's pack."
"You mean, Quill, Embry, Seth and Leah?" Jacob asked, "what about them? And what about Bella, Edward, Alice, Jasper, Emmet and Rosalie?"
"They were also hit by the curse that Gideon used to send you to the realms," said Ryuzaki.
"My momma and daddy are here!" exclaimed Nessie, "where are they! Tell me! Now!"
"You'd better tell her," Jacob demanded, "Or else!"
"I wish I could tell you," said Ryuzaki, "but the curse that afflicted you all, it not only separated your friends and family in space, but also time. Some of them arrived on the worlds a few minutes before you two arrived at your destinations, while the others arrived hours, even days, afterwards. The physics behind the situation would take far too long, so I'll try to keep it short.
"Jacob and Nessie arrived in the worlds at roughly the same instant because they were right next to each other when Gideon blasted them. But the others, the shape shifters and full vampires who make up your friends and family, they were all at varying distances from you when Gideon unleashed his mojo, so you were all separated in varying ways."
"I think that makes sense," said Sora, "so where is Jacob's pack?"
"And Nessie's family?" Olette asked.
"Again, I can't tell you," said Ryuzaki, "what I can say is that they are not on the worlds you've been to already, otherwise you would have found them. And don't try to find them with your Alethiometer, Lyra Silvertongue, the interfering energy of the Uridium items will make that impossible."
"I'm still going to try," said Lyra stubbornly as she looked at her Alethiometer. But then her expression grew to frustration and then to anger, "blast it all to the end of time!"
"I told you it wouldn't work," said Ryuzaki, "destroy the Uridium items and the Alethiometer will work again. Now, I suggest that both groups say their goodbyes. Hosting all of you in an artificial dream isn't as easy as it seems. In a few minutes, you're all going to wake up."
"What?" Nessie shouted, "we can't wake up yet! I just got Jacob back!"
"You forget that this isn't exactly real," said Young Watari, "in truth you're all still aboard your respective starships."
"Then we have to say goodbye again," said Lyra in a distant tone.
"After only just now finding each other," said Will.
"Oh don't be so dramatic," said Kairi, "look, your ship has a navigation computer, right?"
"Yeah," said Olette, "It has a map of the worlds."
"Then we'll meet up in Traverse Town," said Sora, "we still have to find the other gold keys, and Nessie's family and Jacob's pack. Once we've found everyone and everything, we'll all head to Traverse Town, get everyone together and find this hidden vault and unseal the talisman."
"And we'll use it to destroy Maleficent and Gideon once and for all," said Riku.
"What he said," said Aiden, while Tess nodded in agreement.
"Sounds like a solid plan to me," said Hayner, "we'll do it. We'll keep searching the worlds for the keys and Nessie's family and Jacob's pack."
"And then we'll meet up to unlock the vault," said Pence, "and then we can all go out for Sea Salt Ice Cream."
"What's Sea Salt Ice Cream?" Jacob asked, "I've heard Sora and the others mention it, but what is it?"
"It's salty and sweet at the same time," said Nessie, "I really don't like it that much, but I'm sure you would."
"If you say it's worth trying, I'll do it," said Jacob, "but I'd be really grateful if you didn't tell your parents that you kissed me."
"Why?" Nessie asked, "we're going to get married as soon as I'm old enough, so why shouldn't we be kissing?" she then kissed him again, "unless there's something wrong with me."
"I don't know," said Jacob in a slightly mischievous manner, "I think I need more to make sure that everything's okay." They then kissed again, much longer and with more passion.
"Oh get a room," said Tess.
"Later," said Nessie, "once I'm of age, I mean, once I stop aging."
"You'll have all the time in the world once the worlds are saved," said Ryuzaki, "but business comes first."
"Right," said Jacob. He and Nessie then kissed again, "I'll see you later, kiddo."
"See you soon," said a smiling Nessie, "my gale wolf."
"What's that mean?" Hayner asked.
"Well it's a term of endearment that I just made up," said Nessie, "when he's a world, Jacob's faster than a vampire, like the wind, so he's my gale wolf."
"That's so romantic," said Olette.
"It is," said Kairi. She then looked at Sora, "don't even think about giving me a pet name. It's okay for other people, but I don't want one."
"I don't want one, either," said Sora.
"Either way," said Riku as he walked up to Nessie, "it's great to finally meet you, Girl Who Runs With Wolves."
"Nice to finally meet you guys," said Nessie, "you crazy Keyblade kooks."
"Is that what you called us?" Aiden asked.
"I had a lot of weird names for you," said Nessie.
"I'm sure we'd love to hear them all," said Will, "but we're about to wake up." He then looked at Lyra, "before we part again for an unknown amount of time, I have to know, are you happy with your life back on your world?"
"I guess so," said Lyra, "I have a lot of friends at St. Sophia's College for girls, and there's everyone back at Jordon, and everyone else on my world who helped me. What about you? Are you happy, Will?"
"I guess I could say that," said Will, "I also have a lot of friends. I'm also helping with Dr. Malone's research."
"Oh, how is she?" Lyra asked, "it weren't for her, we probably wouldn't have realized our feelings for each other."
"She has the research job of her dreams," said Will.
"That's good," said Lyra. They then touched hands, while Pan and Kirjava touched paws.
Just then the endless expanse of white became brighter, nearly blinding all of our heroes, "I think we're about to leave this place," said Pence.
"Is it that obvious?" Tess asked.
"Oh, Sora!" exclaimed Hayner, "I just remembered; you forgot the 4-Crystal Trophy that Seifer gave you!"
"I knew I'd forgotten something!" said Sora, "where is it?"
"Oh our ship," said Olette, "we'll bring it to you when we meet up on Traverse Town."
"We'll see you then!" said Kairi as she waved goodbye to the other set of heroes as the endless expanse of white of the dreamscape completely blinded all of our heroes.
The next thing Sora and the others knew, they were back on the bridge of The Intrepid Heart.
"What the…?" Sora asked, "did we all just go to sleep?"
"I don't feel like I've been asleep," said Kairi.
"What happened to you guys?" Sidney asked, "you all just froze up there for a while, like someone had hit the reset buttons on your brains."
"What do you mean?" Tess asked.
"Well, in basic terms," said Sidney, "for approximately thirty seconds, you were all catatonic."
"That can't be right," said Sora, "what we just went through, it was way more than thirty seconds."
"Look at the time," said Riku as he pointed at his watch, "We entered hyperspace for Neverland about only a few minutes ago."
"He's right," said Kairi as she checked her watch, "that shared dream we just had, in the real world it only lasted for thirty seconds."
"I guess dreams last longer when you're experiencing them," said Jacob.
"Am I the only one who things that this Ryuzaki can't be completely trusted?" Lyra asked, "I think he knows more than he said he did."
"I agree," said Tess, "That guy can send us into a dream world any time he wants."
"But there's not really anything we can do about it right now," said Riku, "so we might as well carry on as before."
"But now we know what we're doing," said Kairi, "we have to find those keys so we can unlock that talisman so we can save the worlds."
"And we also have to find Bella, Edward and the other Cullen's," said Jacob, "and my pack."
"All the while making sure that the baddies don't get Kairi," said Sora, "so let's all get going."
"We're already underway," said Lyra as she looked at her Alethiometer, "Blast! It still won't work!"
"Oh, right," said Sora, "we have to destroy the Nobody controlling items."
"As if we didn't have enough to worry about," said Aiden.
"How long were we out?" Hayner asked as he, Pence, Olette, Nessie, Will and Kirjava returned to consciousness.
"You guys were all like zombies for about thirty seconds," said Vivi.
"Why weren't you there with us in the dream world, Vivi?" Olette asked.
"How should I know?" Vivi asked, "I'm just the pilot."
"And you do such a great job," said Pence, "we really appreciate it. So, what do we do now?"
"We keep visiting the worlds, of course," said Nessie, "my friends and family are lost out there, and we've got to find them."
"And there's more of these gold keys that we need to find," said Hayner, "and those Nobody controlling items."
"We definitely have to destroy those items," said Will, "otherwise, Lyra can't fully use her Alethiometer. Are we still on course for the next world?"
"Still on course for Wonderland," said Vivi, "unless you want to go somewhere else."
"We're still going to Wonderland," said Will, "and god help us if we run into any magic mushrooms."
At that Nessie started laughing, then Will and Kirjava laughed as well.
"What's so funny?" Pence asked.
"You'll find out when we get there," said Will.
"I admit that I am impressed," said Ansem the Wise as he and Young Watari walked out of the underground laboratory and into the mansion proper, "so much accomplished in so little time."
"That's how dreams work," said Young Watari, "the human mind is capable of processing information much faster than we realize. A few minutes in a dream can take place in less than one minute in the real world."
"Yet there was still so much I wanted to tell Sora and the others," said Ansem, "if we had just remained in the dream for just a bit longer. I wanted to tell Sora about the ones who came before; about Terra, Aqua and Ventas."
"And I had confessions of my own to make," said Young Watari, "but this time the one controlling the dream, L, he couldn't keep us all under for any longer."
"Just where is L?" Ansem asked, "and was that really him?"
"L has that affect on those he meets," said Young Watari, "that was what he really looks like. As to where he is, I'm afraid that the fewer who know, the better. Maleficent would tear the worlds apart in order to destroy L, now that she's convinced that he's alive."
"Still," said Ansem, "I wish I had told Sora more, him and the others."
"There's only so much we can tell them," said Young Watari, "Sora and his friends must be free to make their own mistakes. We've manipulated them enough, it's time they walked on their own. But…"
"But what?" Ansem asked.
"But if things get too rough," said Young Watari, "then we can step in and offer advice. But we must be careful not to let the enemy know what we're doing. The fact that we know Gideon's plan gives us the advantage."
"And advantage we can lose if the enemy learns of our own plans," said Ansem, "I understand. All we can do now is wait, and hope that the young heroes make the right choices."
"Yes, all we can do is wait," said Young Watari.
…Somewhere in Time and Space…
L, otherwise known as Ryuzaki, sat, or rather squatted, in front of a laptop in a lavishly expensive hotel room that was littered with candy wrappers and dirty desert plates.
"It's a shame I can't do any more right now," said L, "but if Maleficent, Gideon or Light ever figures out where I am, then I'm as good as dead, again." He sighed and leaned back, "but I can't take any unnecessary risks this time. I've used up almost all my lives; any further risks and I'll be wiped out from existence forever."
He sighed again, "I knew I should have just stayed at solving crimes back home on Earth. But that's no longer an option. I've gone too far to go back. It's been all or nothing for a long time, so if this is it, the endgame, then I might as well give it my all and go out with a blast, a blast big enough to take out the dark ones once and for all."
L then began typing at his laptop, "if I'm going to do that, I'll have to bring in everyone who'll be needed, and get them in place as soon as possible."
…New Hollow Bastion…
"As soon as we locate the other Evil Exes," said the second Negotiator, "we'll be able to move onto the next phase of the plan."
"And what next phase would that be?" Maleficent asked.
"Why, bringing Mr. Graves to this universe of course," said the second Negotiator, "upon the destruction of my predecessor and my activation, Mr. Graves informed me that he will be coming here to personally assess the situation and render whatever aid he can give."
"I do not need any assistance!" said Maleficent, "and I especially do not need it from your master."
"Mr. Graves assumed you say that," said the second Negotiator, "but he is coming here regardless. Soon he will be here in this fantastic world."
"Well you tell your master that his assistance is not wanted," said an irate Maleficent, "I have everything under control."
"I'll pass it along," said the second Negotiator. His PDA then chimed, "oh, he's already on his way. He should be arriving via Dark Corridor any second now."
Just then a Dark Corridor opened up. Emerging from it was a man, roughly in his late 20's to early 30's with slightly long dark hair and dark eyes behind glasses. He wore a red vest with a white jacket and pants and carried a black cane with an elaborately carved head.
"Welcome, Mr. Graves," said the second Negotiator as he bowed, "did you have a pleasant journey?"
"As pleasant as can be when traveling through one of these Dark Corridors," said Gideon Graves as said Dark Corridor closed up. He then saw Maleficent, "ah, here's the mistress of all evil herself," he then bowed with a flourish of his hand, "Gideon Graves, at your service."
"I am pleased to meet you," said Maleficent, "but if you believe that you can just waltz into my domain and assume command, you had better start running."
"I have no intention of shoving you aside, Maleficent dear," said Gideon in a placating manner, "I merely wish to make sure that I get what was promised to me."
"Ah, yes," said Maleficent, "Kairi. Why do you need that slip of a girl so much? Do you wish to make her a pet of yours? A plaything?"
"She's not my type," said Gideon, "I may be bad, but I'm not that bad, not a pervert anyway. No, I need Kairi because she's the one, out of all the women in existence, who's not only a Princess of Heart, but also a Keyblade Wielder."
"And what does that have to do with anything?" Maleficent asked.
"Because she can be corrupted into bringing all the new Princesses of Heart here," said Gideon, "and use them to open the door to Kingdom Hearts."
"Oh, I see," said Maleficent in an appreciative and contemplative manner, "turn a Keyblade Wielder who's also a Princess of Heart to the darkness, while also breaking the heart of that wretched Sora. The fallen Keyblade Wielder would then bring the new ones here, then everything would come together. Yes, yes I like this plan."
She faced Gideon, "you have my blessing to do whatever you deem necessary to b ring Kairi here. Also, make sure that the Keyblade Alchemist, Aiden Mackenzie, is brought here, for he has the identities of the remaining Princesses in his mind."
"They'll be here before you know it," said Gideon, he then faced the second Negotiator, "now, where's Todd, Roxie and the twins?"
"I'm afraid my predecessor destroyed himself before he could locate the living Evil Exes," said the second Negotiator, "while Matthew and Lucas will need several days before they can be successfully resurrected."
"I know that," said Gideon, "come on, we've got work to do," he then bowed to Maleficent, "it's a pleasure to finally be face to face with you, great Maleficent, but I have to take my leave for the time being. But I can assure you that it's only a matter of time before everything we want is attained."
"That it will be," said Maleficent.
Gideon bowed again and he and the second Negotiator left the room.
"And interesting man, my pet," said Maleficent to her raven, "he seems genuine, yet I sense that he has alterative motives. What those are, I will soon discover, then turn them to my advantage. Gideon and his demons are convinced that I can be manipulated to suit his needs. I intend to prove them all wrong, that I am, was, and shall forever more be, the mistress of all evil."
"Has there been any sign that she senses what we're really up to?" Gideon asked as he and the second Negotiator walked through the castle corridors.
"None that neither I or my predecessor could discern," said the second Negotiator, "the mistress of all evil is falling into our hands."
"'Our hands?'" Gideon asked.
"I mean your hands, Mr. Graves," said the second Negotiator hastily, "your hands."
"Yes, my hands," said Gideon, "and then, when everything is ready, just when Maleficent things she's won, we make her crash and burn."
"I admit it's been fun deceiving her," said the second Negotiator, "my predecessor thought the same way. She things we're doing all of this just to open the door to Kingdom Hearts."
"Oh, a door will be opened alright," said Gideon, "but to somewhere else. And from that door will come the true master of the darkness. Soon, so soon, Lord Kira, the true god, will be released to plunge all of existence into darkness, and I shall be the hand of god."
"This is so, Mr. Graves," said The Negotiator.
"Now if we can just get the idiots together so they can do what they're supposed to do," said Gideon, "We can actually get somewhere."
"I'll get our best locators on it," said the second Negotiator.
"You do that," said Gideon, "Lord Kira's patience is wearing a bit thin."
…The Endless Expanse of Mu…
Hovering in limbo, Light Yagami, a man in his early twenties with brown hair, dark brown eyes and wearing a brown jacket and pants, also known as Kira, sat waiting. "Soon," he said, "soon I'll be free of this horrible emptiness. A new universe waits for me, a universe in dire need of justice, my kind of justice. Soon I'll be released and this new universe will be destroyed and reborn, and then I will become the god of this new universe."
The end of Volume 10.
Just when you thought things were crazy enough, they get even more wild. What will happen to all of our heroes as the search for the missing vampires and shape shifters? And will they find the remaining keys to unlock the Sacred Talisman of Zumakalis in time to stop Maleficent, Gideon and Kira? All of this and more will be revealed in the next segment of the Beyond the Door to Light saga.
Stay tuned for Volume 11: Worlds in Crisis. See you then!