Chapter 2: Everything changes
The doors all opened in unison as if people were coming through them yet no one did. The wind picked up as well, blowing into the cafeteria and scattering homework assignments, pieces of trash, and other odds and ends of students. Clair and Netti shivered not because of the cold, but because there was an ominous feeling that they were not going to like what happened next.
To everyone’s surprise a bolt of lightning hit the middle of the cafeteria and ringing shrieks from several girls. As they watched a green flame rose up and began to take form. When the flames died there stood the last thing anyone expected to see: a person.
They were looking at a woman who was dressed very strangely. She had on a long black robe with jagged sleeves. A pair of horns came from her head like she was supposed to be some devil woman. The strangest thing about her was her green skin. Clair had a feeling this might actually be some magical person like she read about.
“What a pathetic sight.” The woman said in a voice that gave you goose bumps. “An entire generation left unattended. So many accidents could happen while you are gathered.”
“Just who are you?” Jason asked. Clair groaned as she saw he was on defensive mode. Jason never liked people with arrogant attitudes, and if he felt she gave him a reason to he would fight this woman.
“Silence, silly boy.” The woman replied. “I shall enlighten you of my identity when I choose to.” As she looked at everyone in the cafeteria to make sure their attention was undivided she continued, “You obviously have no idea who I am, but fear not, for after this day you shall always fear me. I am Maleficent.”
Jason blew a raspberry. “Maleficent? What kind of a name is that?” He asked while laughing.
“One you shall learn proper respect for!” In rage Maleficent thrust her hand out toward him in a pushing motion. Students screamed as Jason flew backwards into the wall. As he hung there the posters around him came to life and wrapped around him, binding his arms and legs. Despite his strugglings to get free it was obvious he was trapped as if vine snakes had seized him for dinner.
“Hey! No one can do that to him but me!” Aurora stated as she picked up her empty bottle and threw it at the witch. It landed at her feet and melted into a puddle. Maleficent gazed coldly at her as if trying to say even making attempts like that merited death. She then flicked one of her green wrists and sent Aurora sprawling to the floor.
That was it. The other students decided they had had enough and began to flee to the doors. Without warning all the exits slammed shut in front of them. All terrified eyes looked around them for any possible means of escape.
“Don’t bother searching for a way out. There are none. Not one soul here shall leave this room until I’ve obtained what I’ve come for.” Maleficent explained.
“Do you promise to go away and never bother us again if you get it?” Stella asked.
“It is not a question of if I find them. It’s a matter of when.” Maleficent gave her answer. “And I do not make pacts with peasants.”
“Peasants? Hey lady, maybe you don’t know this but Netokan is a city where no one is regarded as better than the other. We’re basically all on the same level of the pecking order.” Phil yelled as he struggled to free Jason.
“Hold your tongue.” Maleficent ordered. As if controlled by some other person Phil’s hand reached up and grabbed his tongue.
“Now then,” The witch continued, “My magic tells me that among all of you are those who possess a certain…gift. I need their assistance for a time to help with a rather complicated problem. Rest assured I will leave no misfortune upon you. Once the issue has been taken care of I shall return them to you alive and unharmed. Should they choose to not help me every single one of you will be given a fate worse than death.”
“Is that a threat?” AJ asked. “You know that making threats in public areas is considered an act of terrorism.”
“An act of terror?” Maleficent asked, a smile creeping upon her face. “I’ll show you an act of terror.” With those words she raised her arms above her head, the orb on the tip of her staff glowing. Several students gasped as they saw the floor become dark as if all the shadows in the school were gathering there.
“Hey, what’s going on?” Came the voice of Coach Under. The doors had somehow opened for him. As Stella looked back towards Maleficent she noticed the witch had a look on her face like a predator who had just found some prey. The Coach started to make his way towards Maleficent. No sooner had he taken a few steps toward her than the horror began.
A creature literally leapt out of the shadows on the floor and tackled Coach Under. The man’s screams were cut short as a glowing heart floated up from his chest and disappeared into the darkness. The real panic began when in Coach Under’s place came a huge dark creature with a big round body, long arms, and a small head with a helmet. That was it. All the students began to flee.
As students ran out of the cafeteria more creatures like the ones that had attacked Coach Under pursued from the shadows. They had antenna like ants with bright glowing yellow eyes and bodies resembling crouching children. Clair and Netti tried to follow a group of girls but other creatures resembling knights with armored helms and gauntlets blocked their way. Netti noticed these creatures had a strange insignia shaped like a heart with an x over it.
The creature that had been Coach Under also had the same mark. Running with surprising speed it cut off AJ and Phil from the other boys, the force of the motion sending them back into the cafeteria. Both felt like a brick wall had run into them. Soon all the students had run out of the place except for eight. Aurora, AJ, Ashley, Clair, Netti, Stella, Phil, and a still tied-up Jason were all that remained of the student body.
“Now that we’ve sorted you out it’s time we got down to business.” Maleficent grinned with anticipation like she had some torture planned for them. However she never got close to them because things got even stranger.
Several white creatures seemingly flew out from the ground. These resembled humans without hair, faces, hands, or feet. They bended around with such flexibility any acrobat or gymnast would’ve been jealous. They bore an insignia on their heads that can best be described as a fountain of sorts. There were also those among them that had long arms covered with sharp spikes. Clair shivered at the sight of them.
Behind the white creatures opened several portals leading into what looked like darkness itself. From within came several hooded figures who walked as if they had authority over everything.
“Beat it, witch. You’ll have nothing to do with these children.” One of the taller figures said.
“It is you that has no business here!” Maleficent pointed a finger at them and shouted, “Be gone or feel my wrath!”
“Nobodies, stop the Heartless.” One of the other cloaked figures, a man by the sound of his voice, commanded. Instantly the white creatures started attacking the dark monsters. A couple of the sharp armed ones climbed up to Jason and with a few swings of their arms sliced Jason free. Before he could crash against the ground a portal similar to the ones the cloaked figures came through opened beneath him and Jason fell through.
“What happened to him?” Clair asked out loud.
“He’s fine, but we need to go!” The cloaked figure who had ordered the white things to attack stated.
“No, we’re not going anywhere with you!” Netti snapped at the figures. Several portals opened up behind them much to their surprise. When they looked back they saw one of the figures who had spoken now had several lances around him.
“We’re not asking.” The figure replied. With a swing of the lances came a strong wind. The students tried to resist, but it was too strong and they were all blown into the dark portals.
When everyone regained consciousness they found themselves in the middle of a great white room. Circling them as if barring them in were thirteen tall white thrones. Eleven of these thrones had people sitting in them, looking upon the group as if trying to decide what to do with them. All around the room were the symbols on the white creatures that had taken on the dark things.
“Welcome to our domain.” Said one who was seated higher than the rest, with brown skin, white messy hair, and golden eyes. “We so glad you could come.”
“Not like we had much of a choice.” Netti replied.
“You totally kidnapped us!” Clair shouted up at them.
“Only to keep you safe. You see, you were all in grave danger.” The man replied.
“Thank you so much for stating the obvious.” Stella said. “We were under attack by a witch and a bunch of demons!”
“Maleficent was there? Things are far worse than I thought.” The man said with concern. Jason’s eyes narrowed as if he sensed something was not right. Before anyone could say anything the man continued, “You’re probably wondering who we are. I am Xemnas, leader of Organization XIII.”
“Either you need to work on your math or you got some people absent. There are only eleven of you.” Phil noted.
“Thank you so much for stating the obvious.” Said a blonde-haired woman.
“I’m afraid we were betrayed by two of our number.” Xemnas explained. “They were turned by a boy who wields a mighty weapon called the Keyblade.”
Jason blew a raspberry. “Keyblade? What kind of a name is that for a weapon?” He asked while laughing.
“An appropriate name, as the Keyblade’s powers are greater than you can conceive. Not even we know the full extent of its powers.” Xemnas explained. “The keyblade can be used to bring light to the universe or plunge it into eternal darkness. This boy has used the Keyblade to fight us and bring chaos and disorder wherever he goes.”
“Why doesn’t anyone stop him?” Ashley asked.
“He’s made some very powerful allies. Their alliance has allowed them to tap into much of the hidden powers of the Keyblade. However there is a solution.
“As we looked into ways to stop this threat we noticed energy similar to the boy’s coming from your world. We searched it out and found all of you. We realized you too have the potential to wield keyblades.”
“Whoa dude, back it up. You’re saying there’s more than one of these doomsday weapons out there?” AJ asked.
“And we can somehow use them as well?” Stella asked.
“Yes. That is why Maleficent came after you. She knew what you were capable of and tried to eliminate you. That’s why we had to get you out of there.” Xemnas continued. “I sense some of you doubt what I say.”
“This is all just insane!” Jason snapped. “How can we be sure that this is all real?”
“Well you could try pinching yourself and see if you wake up.” A man with a ponytail and a scarred face with an eyepatch over one eye suggested.
“Here, this may help you to choose.” Xemnas said as he waved his hand. In front of the students appeared several sword-like items that were shaped like keys appeared in front of them. There was one for each of the teenagers and the more they looked the more they felt as if the keys were calling to them.
“Well, go on. They don’t bite.” The ponytailed man egged them on.
“What if we don’t want anything to do with them?” Aurora asked.
“Then you risk the future itself.” A man with long blonde hair stated.
“You must know that this is for the safety of your home as well as yourselves. If you were to leave here now the boy of whom was mentioned will seek you out and destroy you, your families, and your city. Take these keyblades and with them you’ll be able to protect yourselves and all you care about.” Xemnas added.
“Should we?” Clair asked everyone.
“I don’t trust these people one bit.” Jason said.
“Well we don’t know where we are, and this boy sounds like he’s going to bring us trouble sooner or later. I say we’d better take our best shot at stopping him!” With that Aurora reached out and grabbed the Keyblade in front of her. Instantly it changed its design so the blade looked like some sort of dragon emerging from a mist of magic. Everyone gasped at that.
“Your keyblade has chosen you.” Xemnas said. “Now it will help you bring out the power you hold within, the power that can stop the menace once and for all!”
“Will taking these help us get home?” Netti asked.
“You have my word.” Xemnas promised.
“Then let’s do this!” Phil said as he reached out and grabbed his. Instantly it changed to resemble some sort of game controller with wires. Everyone took the keyblade in front of him or her and one by one they changed in accordance with each person’s personality.
“It is done.” Xemnas said. “Now you must go and stop the threat before he can strike again.”
“Where will we find him?” AJ asked.
Xemnas stood and extended his hand. Instantly the dark portal which took them all from their homes opened in front of them.
“This will take you to the archipelago where he resides. He thinks he has no one to fear and rests before he makes his next move. If you can strike at him now you will do a great deed for all. Now go.”