Chapter 3: Winds of Fate
At the Mysterious Tower the old sorcerer Yen Sid was deep in thought. He had sensed that the darkness seemed to be growing stronger lately, but what could be the cause seemed to be eluding him. The shift seemed familiar, yet Yen Sid could not put his finger on it.
Opening his eyes, Yen Sid said, “Mickey, keep an eye on Sora and his friends.”
Meanwhile it was a nice sunny day on the Destiny Islands. The smallest island in the archipelago was rich with joy as the many friends played on the beaches. Silphie was playing a game of Blitzball with Tidus and Wakka. The three of them had been surprised when Sora, Riku, and Kairi, who had been missing for some time, had finally returned to the islands. Their families had been overjoyed to see their children safe and sound. Naturally the three of them had a lot to catch up on, but after all the adventures they had been on school didn’t seem that much trouble.
In between some bushes a dark portal opened up and the eight teens from Netokan arrived on the island. Nettie, Ashley, Clair, and Stella all looked around the place as if surprised. Clearly none of them had expected to see such a beautiful little island.
“When Xemnas said we were going to an archipelago I kind of pictured something more like a resort.” Ashley said.
“You have to admit this would be a nice place to spend the day at.” Netti said. “I didn’t think islands like this still existed on Harthyn. I thought they had all been developed.” Harthyn was the name of the world that Netokan was part of.
“It is strange. If this place existed all this time why hasn’t anyone found it?” AJ asked.
“I’ve seen pictures in my books of islands before they were made into resorts, but to see one with so little construction is beautiful.” Clair said.
“If we’re done sightseeing can we get back to what we came here to do?” Jason asked right as a ball hit him in the face. “Hey! Who threw that?”
“Sorry, man.” Said a boy about their age with sandy hair. A girl with brown hair and a muscular guy with a long orange-reddish quish accompanied him. If you’re not familiar with the games you should know that those were teenage versions of Wakka and Selphie from the Final Fantasy game series, and the speaker was Tidus who also originally came from those games. “Would you mind handing back the ball?”
Jason answered by chucking the ball as hard as he could. Tidus caught it with no problem.
“Nice throw, man.” Tidus said as he began to walk off with his friends.
“Wait, where are we?” Stella asked them.
“Destiny Islands.” Wakka answered.
Everyone from Netokan stared at each other. It was a location none of them were familiar with.
“I’ve got a feeling we’re not in Bunom anymore.” Clair said. Bunom was the name of the province Netokan was the capital of.
“I don’t think we’re on Harthyn anymore.” AJ said.
“What are you saying? That we’re on another planet?” Phil asked.
“That’s impossible!” Jason said.
“I don’t think so.” Netti said. “Look, didn’t you see the way they were dressed? No one on Harthyn dresses like that, not even on any of the islands. Also look at the plants. None of them match the island flora we know of.”
“The places have been developed.” Stella pointed out.
“It doesn’t matter. You know that every single plant and animal species has to be documented before a place can be developed. None of the plants here match what has been recorded for any of the islands. And look at those birds. I’ve never seen them before, and seabirds live near the ocean no matter what. Someone would’ve spotted them years ago.”
“Look, we can stand here arguing all day about what planet we’re on or we can do what we came here to do.” Aurora said.
“Did anyone remember to get the guy’s name from Xemnas?” Netti asked.
Everyone looked at each other as they realized they didn’t.
“Well that’s just great.” Jason said with a lot of sarcasm. “Now how are we going to find this guy? Walk around going, ‘Hey Mr. Keyblade guy! We need to talk to you!’”
“That never works.” Stella rolled her eyes at them.
“Shhh! Listen.” Ashley said. Everyone did as she said. Sure enough they heard the sound of clanging metal.
“Sounds like swords of some sort.” Phil observed.
“We should check it out. Xemnas did say the guy used a keyblade, and right now I’d bet my bottom quart that he’s in that direction.” AJ said, using the Netokan equivalent of ‘I’d bet my bottom dollar.’
On the other side of the island Sora and Riku were practicing with their keyblades. Ever since they had gotten back to the islands they trained with each other to improve their skills. Right now they were evenly matched.
“Had enough Riku?” Sora asked his best friend. Sora had brown spikey hair and a black jacket with shorts. Why anyone would wear such an outfit at the beat is beyond me. All I know is that Sora did not seem to mind.
“Giving up already? Come on, Sora. I thought you were stronger than that.” Riku said. Riku was a year older than Sora, and had long white hair. He wore jeans and a white and yellow jacket. Unlike Sora, Riku’s hair was white and smooth. Not one strand stood up.
“Not when I’m about to win!” Sora said as he pushed Riku back and swung his keyblade around. The Kingdom Key resembled a long white pole with the teeth shaping a crown. The handle was black with a golden guard around it. The keychain token attached at the end was a Mickey Mouse shaped head.
Riku’s keyblade was of a different make. The Way to Dawn mainly resembled a red and black dragon wing with an angel wing for the teeth. The handle was also red and black while the guard was a combination of the wings of an angel and a dragon. A blue eye was at the connection between the wings. The keychain was a heart shape token similar to the symbol some of the Heartless had without the X.
The keyblades clashed with each other again. “Since when did I ever let you win?” Riku asked. The two continued while their friend Kairi watched. Kairi was close to Sora’s age with dark auburn hair and a pink dress. She had blue eyes similar to Sora. She too could use a keyblade. However for right now she was content to watch her friends practice with each other.
None of them had any idea that further down the beach they were being watched by a group of interested observers.
“Great. There are two of them.” Jason said.
“We can count just fine.” Aurora said. Jason glared at her.
“Well, let’s get this over with.” Phil said as he summoned his keyblade.
“Wait, I don’t feel good about this.” Clair said.
“What?” Several people asked.
“Don’t any of you understand what we’re being asked to do? We’re being sent on an assassination mission. We’re being told to murder someone!” Clair pointed out.
“Yeah, and they don’t seem like dangerous psychopaths to me. They just seem like guys having a good time.” Netti observed. “If they were really a threat wouldn’t they be trying to kill each other?”
“Good point.” Ashley said.
“That’s it. I’m going to take care of this!” Jason said as he summoned his keyblade. His was called the Born Fighter and the blade was a long black pole with a fist forming the teeth. The handle was white with grey guards. The keychain token was a basic boxing glove. Without waiting for anyone Jason charged down at the three surprised friends.
“Well there goes the element of surprise.” Aurora said as she summoned her keyblade. The Fantasy Warrior had a strong resemblance to a sword with the head of an open-mouthed dragon forming the teeth. The handle was gold with silver dragon wings forming the handle. A star was the keychain token here. Everyone else summoned their keyblades and followed after Jason.
“What the…” Sora asked as Jason swung his keyblade down between him and Riku.
“What do you want?” Riku asked. Jason just swung his keyblade in response. Seeing he was not going to be able to reason with this kid Riku began blocking his attacks. Riku was obviously more skilled than Jason was because Jason was just swinging his keyblade around like a madman. Riku kept calmly blocking and sending some Dark Firaga blasts at him. AJ, Aurora, and Stella soon joined Jason in attacking Riku while everyone else converged on Sora.
Both Sora and Riku worked to keep their distance from these crazy kids. The students from Netokan kept rushing in while Sora and Riku kept blocking and knocking them back. Kairi didn’t just stand idly by. She summoned her keyblade, Destiny’s Embrace, and rushed in to help her friends. Clair and Netti both silently agreed that they liked the design of her keyblade. The blade was multi-colored with flowers forming the teeth. The guards seemed to hold the theme of waves against the beach. The handle was blue and the keychain token was some star-shaped thing they had never seen before. Kairi’s initial attack was to knock some of the combatants away from Sora and Riku. Soon Kairi was facing off against Clair, Netti, and AJ.
“Hey there, good-looking.” AJ smiled at her. Kairi shook it off and blocked an attack from Clair. Like the people from Netokan Kairi mainly relied on her melee moves. She was more calm and coordinated than her foes though. Still there were more of the Netokan students than there were of her and her friends.
Then, seemingly out of nowhere a pair of chakrams flew threw the air and knocked the keyblades of the Netokan students to the ground. Everyone looked to see a person in a cloak similar to Organization XIII grab the flying weapons. Someone else in a similar black cloak accompanied him.
“Axel?” Sora asked. The figure with the chakrams removed his hood to show a man with red hair and green eyes underneath.
“Still got it memorized, I see.” Axel said.
“But how?” I thought you were…” Sora couldn’t finish his sentence.
“So did I. Unfortunately I can’t answer how I’m not pushing up daisies right now.”
“We’re here to help your new friends.” The second figure said. The voice identified this person as a woman.
“We’re not their friends!” Jason snapped at them.
“You’re the traitors Xemnas mentioned, aren’t you?” Ashley asked. Her comment earned gasps from Sora, Riku and Kairi.
“Xemnas?” They asked in unison.
“So Xemnas is also back huh?” The woman said. “I guess this makes things more complicated.”
“Listen, I don’t know who you think you are, and frankly I don’t care. All I know is that you are in the way of us getting back home!” Aurora said.
“Hey relax. We come in peace.” Axel said.
“Just hear us out. Whatever Xemnas promised you he won’t give it.” The woman said.
“Liars!” Jason said as he grabbed the Born Fighter keyblade and charged towards them. The woman moved so fast she vanished, only appearing right behind Jason. She then wacked him on the head with an unseen weapon that caused Jason to fall to the ground unconscious. Everyone except Axel gasped as they saw she too had a keyblade.
The woman’s keyblade was a heavy white with an octagon for the teeth. Angel wings formed the guard with a pearl in the middle. The handle was a greenish color and the keychain token was the sun.
“I don’t think that’s the best way to calm someone Mika,” Axel said to Mika.
“Well it worked.” She replied as she took off her hood. Mika too had blonde hair, but her face was friendly and inviting. Her brown eyes were just as warm as the expression on her face.
“That doesn’t score you points on the trust board.” Clair said as she held her keyblade out in front of her. Clair’s keyblade was a design that hinted at magic. The blade was an array of colors intertwining with each other. A combination of a crescent moon and the sun made up the teeth. The hilt was pure white with a dark guard around it. The keychain token was a simple white orb.
“Wait. There’s a lot that doesn’t make sense.” Kairi said.
“Like how did all of you come into contact with Organization XIII?” Riku asked.
“And how are they even back?” Sora asked.
“Here’s the thing. We don’t go around telling our stories to strangers. However we will make a deal. If you promise to be honest with us about everything we’ll spill the beans as to how we crossed paths with the Organization.” AJ said.
“Sounds good to me.” Axel said.
“Yeah, that sounds fair.” Sora agreed.
Everyone from Netokan took turns explaining how they had been attacked at their school by Maleficent, with Riku commenting that her doing such a thing didn’t surprise him, how the Organization got them out of their, and what Xemnas promised to do for them if they helped them out. Axel and Mika made corrections about the Heartless and Nobodies from time to time, and gave them the names of the Organization members. During this time Jason regained consciousness and was brought up to speed. He sat glaring at Mika the whole time. Jason did not like getting bested by anyone, especially if that someone was a girl. The fact that Mika was older than he was didn’t help.
“So you agreed to help the Organization and it never occurred to you to ask them to just send you home?” Mika asked after the explanations were done.
“They made a reasonable agreement. Besides we didn’t know if Maleficent would try again to attack us.
“Something just doesn’t seem right about all this. The Organization invades your school while Maleficent is on the attack, and it sounds like she might’ve been holding back on you. If she really wanted to destroy you nothing would’ve been left. No one would’ve survived.” Riku said.
“Are you suggesting the whole thing was a setup?” Stella asked.
“It could be. Xemnas is clever that way. Better memorize that.” Mika said.
“Why do you two insist that we memorize everything?” Clair asked.
“It might come up on your final.” Axel joked.
“Sora! Riku! Kairi!” A familiar voice called out to them. Everyone looked to see a familiar face waving down the beach.
“King Mickey!” Sora, Riku and Kairi said in unison. They all stood up and began to race down the beach to greet their old friend. However as fate would have it everyone was going to receive an unexpected surprise. As soon as Sora and Kairi entered the shade of the thick foliage cast by the setting sun they cried out in pain. Everyone watched as they fell down while two shadowy rises appeared. What made it more surprising was when the rises had grown enough that everyone could see underneath them. They seemed to be roots of some sort, yet that didn’t seem to fit. While rushing down to the aid of Sora nad Kairi everyone realized what it was.
Those were fingers. Giant fingers of some unknown being. Ashley was sure that the hand these fingers were connected to could grasp all fourteen of them with no problem.
Sora and Kairi continued to cry out in pain as the fingers dug in at their feet. From the way the fingers were slowly dragging Netti thought that it looked as if they were pulling on something. But what?
As soon as they caught up to Sora and Kairi they began to assist Riku and King Mickey. The two of them had summoned their keyblades and were attacking the fingers. Everyone else joined in too. It wasn’t too long before the fingers receded back into the shadows that they came from.
Of course that was only after Sora and Kairi had stopped crying out in pain.
It didn’t take long for Riku to check on his friends. “You two okay?” He asked them.
“Yeah, we’re fine.” Kairi said as she stood up.
“But what was that all about?” Sora asked.
“If you ever find out please let me know.” Phil said.
“Uh guys? Where did they come from?” Aurora asked as she pointed to something on the ground. Everyone looked down to see two blond-haired kids lying not too far from where the fingers had stopped pulling. One was a girl in a white slip, the other was a boy with a white jacket with black blocks and beige pants. He almost looked like a walking checkerboard.
Axel, Mika, Sora, Riku, Kairi, and King Mickey all looked at each other knowingly.
“Could this day get any weirder?” Phil asked.