Thanks to the valiant efforts of heroes, both old and new, the Chaos Hide’s destructive march had been ultimately thwarted. A fragile peace settled under the broken moon over the following days; the so-called “calm after the storm”. It was something worth celebrating: Twilight Town was once again safe from oblivion, and the survivors were finally able to stop and take a breather. For the first time in months, hope ceased to be a stranger in people’s hearts. A welcome change… for most, that is.
But who knew how long it would all last? The dark beast’s assault echoed still in their minds, feeding off temporary deafened insecurities. As the reconstruction and repurposing efforts carried on, a few (mainly those directly involved in the fight) were unable to shake off the thoughts. One monstrosity had been slain, yes, but at what cost? Twilight Town’s place within the Realm In-Between had initially pushed it into the line of fire, but the latest attack just proved the darkness was too close to comfort. More Heartless would invade sooner or later; it was just a matter of time. Some spoke of finding and sealing the keyhole as a precaution, but doing so could further isolate the world from outside assistance.
Then there was the lead only a handful knew of: Castle Oblivion. The promise of finding the next clue in the greater scheme of things was a tad too tempting, especially to those harboring a special connection to the place. But who knew if the place had survived the onslaught brought by the Nightfall? The palace might very well lay in shambles, its data lost forever to the darkness. Perhaps it was a risk worth taking.
In any case, much had to be discussed. The Moogles, as always, would provide as much insight as possible, but this was not their choice to make.
And so, their envoy was sent.
Curled up in a ball next to the dimly lit lantern, the creature napped. He’d arrived so early to Marmadue’s home, surely there wasn’t anything else for him to do. And besides, Whimsy needed his beauty sleep to function. The others were finally starting to respect him! He had to bring his A-game, nothing less. Oh, how he remembered that warm feeling spreading across his chest. The pride he’d felt when Bayde had entrusted him with overseeing the meeting. It was an honor, and Whimsy would not disappoint.
For starters, he’d gone ahead and delivered personal invites to everyone in town. There were so many Whimsy had yet to get acquainted with, and as always “the more the merrier”. He’d expected the meeting place to be a tad bigger to accommodate so many though, but alas they’d be too busy having fun with this whole “decision-making” business to even think about that.
Just as he started to fall into a deeper state of sleep, a sudden knock jolted the Moogle awake. Whimsy jumped off the counter, sleepily hovering toward the main entrance. A loud yawn escaped him as he slowly opened the door.
"Oh… you’re already here, kuu? Whimsy must’ve lost track of time! Come in, come in! Whimsy fears you’ll catch a cold if you stay outside any longer, kupo!"
The Moogle gently rubbed his eyes, a smile breaking across his face as he allowed the newcomer to join him inside the shop-turned-home-turned-medical-wing. "Whimsy is happy to make your acquaintance, kuu. The others should be along shortly… that is, if you didn’t arrive too early like Whimsy did."
"Uh, thanks I guess? Still wondering why we're doing it here, it isn't the, well, biggest of places," Oswald said while walking into the home, "So guessing your name is Whimsy then? Mine's Oswald. Looking around there didn't seem like much just the same as last time he was here to drop off Jin. Thinking back on it he hasn't really seen anybody else since the incident at the Sandlot, hope everyone is okay. " So who'd you invite to the meeting then?"
While Marmadue was happy to provide his current little home as a meeting place, he couldn't help but feel quite intimidated when he heard exactly how many people the Moogle in charge had invited. If everyone really did show up – or if even a third of all the refugees showed up, there was no way they all could fit in! The fact that no one seemed to bring that up almost seemed like very few were actually expected to show up. It was… Strange, to say the least.
Still, all he really could do was to prepare to the best of his ability. New chairs had been brought in, none quite matching any other. Lanterns and candles had been sprinkled around to make sure they didn't accidentally run out of light in the middle of something important. The numerous bedrolls that often decorated the floor had been gathered in one neat pile in a corner, quite close to reaching the ceiling. A broom rested against the stone wall nearby, having gotten quite a lot of use in order to make the room as spotless as it could be. The shelves lining the walls, a hint of the building's previous life as a store, were still empty. And dust-free.
The excited Moogle – Whimsy – had made his way into his home very early, while the Yuke was still busy getting everything ready – but that didn't seem to be an issue to the critter. Didn't take long for him to fall fast asleep, either, as Marmadue continued his chores around the house. He was busy filling a few jugs with water in the backroom for his potential guests as he heard the knock on the door, his back straightening. Seemed like Whimsy had managed to wake up quite quickly to welcome the first visitor, so the Yuke didn't have to rush out as he carried the tray with water into the main room. A familiar face was waiting there.
"…I believe that would be everyone, Mister Oswald," Marmadue answered the rabbit's question for him as he approached, setting down the tray on the counter and walking around to place various mugs and cups on it as well. He hadn't quite believed his ears when he first heard it either, but… Well, it probably was true… "It is ah, good to see you. Please do take a seat, if you'd like – anything I can provide you with?"
It still seemed a bit early for this big meeting Lorena had heard about, but nonetheless she stood outside the makeshift infirmary, arms crossed as she hesitated. Had she not encountered Max recently who mentioned to her there were warriors wielding key-like weapons that could destroy heartless, she probably wouldn't have paid any mind to this meeting. It seemed premature to get her hopes up, but if these keyblade wielders could do something about the heartless, she had to learn more.
So she stepped into the infirmary, quietly closing the door behind her as she took note of those who were already here. She tensed slightly, but gave the three of them a respectful nod before finding a chair towards the back of the room, nearest the door. She had to rest her bow against the wall so she could sit comfortably.
Old habits were hard to break it seemed as she tried to avoid conversation entirely with these three strangers. Back in Grendam, walking into a room like this would have granted her nothing but untrusting glares or outright complaints of her presence, simply because she was an acolyte. She quietly reminded herself that this was not Grendam, and she relaxed slightly, though she was obviously still not accustomed to being around others. She gave them a small glance before focusing her attention to her hands that were folded neatly on her lap as she waited for more people to arrive.
Post by Alice Kingsleigh on Sept 19, 2018 5:15:44 GMT -4
If her beloved comrade Nivens McTwisp had taught her anything, it was the perks of always being on time. Well, maybe not always always, but it was something worth aspiring to. She’d left the shelter quite early that night, heading for Station Heights in hopes of trading some of the salvage she’d found after the latest crisis. As the weeks went by, basic supplies such as edibles and drinking water became scarcer and scarcer, and thus the prices grew higher and higher. The captain heard people had attempted to grow food in what little green lands remained within the town’s outskirts yet given how “hush-hush” it all seemed to be, she wondered if they’d found much success on that endeavor. Fortunately, the captain was still able to find items valuable enough to sell at a decent price (sweeping that abandoned mansion in the woods had been a sound choice). Nonetheless, she knew most of the others were struggling to make do.
So… Alice figured bringing some supplies along would be a nice gesture, especially considering she didn’t know most of her fellow refugees on a personal level. She was honestly surprised to have received an invite to this “gathering” in the first place. Though she usually didn’t have to think twice before helping others in need, the woman had mostly kept to herself since her arrival. Sure, she’d helped with evacuating people during the crisis, and some of them were happy to greet her when passing each other on the streets, but she was far from being part of the “main hero group” that appeared to be taking form. Honestly, part of her liked it better that way.
Then again, that talk she’d had on top of the Clock Tower was still stuck in her mind. If there was even the slightest chance of seeing her crew and family again… she had no choice but to take it. The urge to be more proactive was there, and she knew she had the skillset to help. She just had to take a chance and put herself out there. She wasn’t twelve anymore; lock the nightmares away and open herself to new possibilities. ‘A tiny leap of faith’, Father used to say. Perhaps this was her chance to do so.
Luckily for Alice, this open town meeting of sorts appeared to be taking place at her dear friend Marmadue’s house. That itself provided some comfort, and she most certainly wouldn’t get lost on the way there. She proceeded to frolic down Market Street, humming a familiar sea shanty to herself while keeping her makeshift cloth bag close to her chest. Something something about a drunken sailor, something something about a drunken sailor. It wasn’t long before she reached the infirmary’s rather familiar front door.
The door opened a few moments later, revealing a rather drowsy looking creature. Ah, she knew this one! He was the Moogle who’d invited her to the gathering. Alice had a strong urge to let out a chuckle at the sight, but her willpower was strong enough to offer Whimsy a curt smile instead, "Good evening, Mister… Whimsy, is it? I’m here for the meeting?"
"I… I brought some treats and drinks!" She continued, pulling the bag from her chest to further accentuate her point. "It may not be much, but I hope they are to everyone’s liking."
And to think canned foods were a rare delicacy back home.
Alice closed the door behind her before turning to the rest of the group. Not many seemed to have arrived yet, but she wasn’t exactly certain of how many people were expected to join either. She offered Marmadue one of her trademark “curtsies”, and chose to sport a smile for t- was that a rabbit?
Post by Mikhail Rutherford on Sept 22, 2018 18:28:05 GMT -4
"Man, I know playing hero gets you off, but you really need to start reeling it in."
Their conversation had been going in circles for about an hour, but Mikhail wasn’t ready to drop the subject just yet. He rolled his eyes at the limping Drydenian. That one had always been brash and impulsive; a ‘forget the plan, we’ll just wing it as we go’ sort of lad. Years prior, around the time they’d first met, Rutherford’s own fire often clashed Maxwell’s reckless demeanor. The first was younger, broody and occasionally cocky, but he chose to take an analytical approach to virtually every problem he faced. The other was more experienced, sporting a lighter demeanor to cope with a past best left forgotten, yet he opted to wear his hand on his sleeve when it came to action. Eventually, the two learned how to co-exist to the point where a strong camaraderie and friendship was forged. They’d stuck together through thick and thin (whenever Max didn’t seem to be dead, of course).
But the differences remained.
"You do understand where I’m coming from, don’t you? You need to set yourself straight before you start pulling stunts like that again." He’d run into a collapsing building. A collapsing building. No wonder he’d gotten so roughened up from the experience. Mikhail was beyond annoyed by the guy’s audacity. There were other people perfectly capable of taking over his self-imposed savior responsibilities for the time being. Max had been lucky he hadn’t been alone that day; that girl jumping in to assist had probably saved his umpteenth life.
Then again, those were the sorts of things Max did. It was the reason why people had looked up to him back when the duo co-led the Guardians of the Worlds. He didn’t hesitate to act and do what he felt was right, no matter the odds. That itself, whether Mikhail wanted to admit it then or not, inspired other people to follow and be proactive in turn. Whether that proactiveness generated sound action versus more chaos was a whole other questionable matter… but in its essence, it was an admirable quality.
Plus, this meant the old Max was still there despite his memory problems. Now that Mikhail thought of it, having the hydromancer actually listen to him would’ve triggered some major red flags on that regard.
More words were exchanged as they made their way down Market Street, but none offering any variety whatsoever outside the ‘don’t be reckless’ line of thought. In any case, it was a good thing they were heading to Marmadue’s. Rutherford hardly knew this anthropomorphic healing bird, but he’d heard stories about the creature’s deeds. He seemed to be the go-to-man for those needing injuries patched and lacking the necessary knowledge to treat them themselves. Shaizen the Tirealian came to mind; he’d mentioned Marmadue had given him clothing and shelter when he first arrived at Twilight Town. The bird seemed to be an overall fine guy, and a potential ally.
That been said, it was no wonder his home had been selected to host the meeting. Mikhail remained rather undecided on the matter. He’d initially pushed toward sealing the keyhole and sparing Twilight Town of another Chaos Hide scenario, but Xion, one of the arriving keybearers, had brought up a valid point: they wouldn’t find any answers by staying and seeking refuge in an isolated town. It was a tough choice. Sacrifice a possible lead to save the town, or risk its well-being to look for unknown information? Luckily there were some middle point options that came to mind, but the Elonian figured he’d elaborate on those later.
Sensing a handful of people were already inside the building, Mikhail opened the door. There were a couple of familiar faces among the lot: Oswald, who he’d met during the crisis; Whimsy, the Moogle who’d cheerfully knocked on his door to inform him of the meeting; and, of course their host Marmadue. The two women he did not know, but their auras certainly gave off… interesting energies. He allowed Maxwell to walk inside before closing the door again behind him.
"Good evening everyone," he nodded at the group in acknowledgment before taking a seat near the right-most corner.
Stepping into Market Street, Riku's gaze scanned its streets, seeing nothing but a crumbling memory of what the place once was. Twilight Town had survived a deadly onslaught thanks to a few of its strongest fighters, but it didn't mean they could let their guard down. The war was far from over, and they needed to choose their next course of action.
One thing Aqua and him had agreed on was that they couldn't seal the keyhole for Twilight Town if they planned on finding out what had happened to the other worlds and to restore them. And beyond tat, they still needed to gather the other keyblade wielders to fight against Xehanort. No one had any idea where Sora was at, but Aqua did know where to find him, and there was a chance Riku could wake him as e had warned him that Xehanort may have a trap ready for them should they mount a rescue, but it was well worth the risk. Riku would do everything he could to protect Aqua's slumbering friend.
But Ventus wasn't the only one who shared a connection with Sora. Xion had returned during the battle against the Chaos Hide with the Kingdom Key in hand. Tiiu Tiiu had met with her near the old mansion when one of the moogles, Whinsy, invited them to this town meeting about what should be their next move.
And while he, Xion, and Aqua were in agreement, it wasn't fair to out everyone else at risk without at least asking. If they didn't agree, however, Riku wasn't sure what would come next.
As they walked up to the makeshift infirmary, Riku paused, coming to a dead stop at the door. "Do you sense that? A heart of light." He glanced to Xion before opening the door.
On the other side were a few figures; a bird like creature, the rabbit who had helped fight the Chaos Hide, a woman with curly blonde hair, and a silver-haired woman to the side. Riku's gaze fixated on the blonde-woman for a moment, before giving Xion room to enter and he could quietly close the door. He hadn't expected to find one of the princesses of heart here, and while she did look vaguely familiar, he couldn't quite place why. So instead he simply gave a curt nod of acknowledgement to everyone in the room.
Seeing Twilight Town so desolate and destroyed evoked some sort of an emotion in Xion, and she had to wonder if this is what it felt like when somebody said their heart hurt. The place was almost like a second home for her, and now it was a battlefield and bastion for refugees. But they had done the impossible, and saved it.
But now they had to decide what the next course of action was, and there seemed to be a variety of opinions. With the aftermath of battle putting a pressure on her, as well as the anxiety about wanting to find answers in Castle Oblivion, Xion was a mess of emotion. Riku had proposed they go when Whimsy came to them, informing them of the meeting, and she knew he was right, but she still felt out of place, like she didn't belong. She was useful as a wielder to them, not as a person. At times, she doubted she was even a person entirely. The eprks of being groomed as a weapon.
But she was stil there to support the warriors of the light, following next to Riku as they approached the house where they were supposed to meet. Her fellow Keyblade wielder paused before their entrance, commenting on a pure heart, which coaxed a cock of the head out of her. "I don't feel it... What could that mean? Is it another Keyblade wielder?" Confused, she walked in after him, looking around. There were some familiar faces from the battle, and some new ones, which didn't help ease her stomach flipping. Instead of nodding to the others like Riku did, she just found her place next to him, and kept her eyes trained on the ground.
She'd speak when it was her turn, but until then she would be quiet.
Post by Maxwell Tendas on Sept 23, 2018 0:35:44 GMT -4
“Man, I know playing hero gets you off, but you really need to start reeling it in,” Mikhail said, attempting to make the same point for what must have been the fifth time in as many minutes. While he understood his friend’s concern, he couldn’t help but get annoyed, and perhaps a little angry, with this latest statement.
“Oh, come off it,” he replied sharply, limping down the street beside the pyromancer. Despite Marmadue’s healing magic, it seemed he still wasn’t fully recovered from his injuries, “I didn’t do it because I get off on risking my life. What was I supposed to do, iust let the building fall on the kid and not try anything? Just abandon him to his fate?”
He shook his head as they continued bickering back and forth as they passed into Market Street. Max knew Mikhail’s lecturing came from a place of concern for his well-being. He didn’t know how he knew that, some remnants of his lost memories rolling around in his head somewhere he assumed, but it was something he was certain of it all the same. He knew Mikhail was his closest friend before he’d lost his memories, he could tell in the kinship he felt with the man, something akin to brotherly love. All the same, though, he didn’t understand how he could think Max might abandon someone in need.
Afterall, it was the responsibility of those who are able to help those in need.
“You do understand where I’m coming from, don’t you?” His friend continued as the began nearing Marmadue’s makeshift home, now mere moments away from their destinstion, “You need to set yourself straight before you start pulling stunts like that again.”
“Yeah, I get where you’re coming from,” he said, stopping for a moment to address his friend with a seriously defiant look in his eye, “But you need to get where I’m coming from. That kid was in there, alone, when that building started coming down. There was no time to think, only act. So I did. If I get a new scar or two for it, so be it.”
They continued on, both with their conversation and their walk, with the conversation slowly dying off more the closer they got. By the time they reached they door, they were walking in silence, both ruminating on their own private thoughts about what to do next. Max, for his part, was working with partial knowledge that Mikhail had given him about what was going on and what might be done about it. While he had been informed that finding and sealing this so-called “keyhole” might save Twilight Town and its inhabitants from the darkness, it would also isolate them and prevent them from solving the bigger problem. After having heard everthing, he could agree that leaving this “keyhole” thing unsealed was probably their best course of action, even taking the risks into account, which was apparently a departure from his earlier opinions from before his memory loss.
When they reached the door, Mikhail opened the door and held it for Max, following the hydromancer in and closing it behind them. Max looked around, taking in those already present: the Moogle Whimsy, the leader of this meeting and the one who had personally invited everyone in as cheerful a method as possible; there was Marmadue, their host; there was a small, rabbit like creature whose odd appearance caused Max to raise an eyebrow and look at Mikhail with a sort of “Is This Real?” kind of look; a woman with long blonde hair sat in one corner of the room with what Max could only think of as an air of oddity about her, something he just felt but couldn’t really explain; a young girl with a long black coat with lots of silver-colored zippers and jet black hair who sat there staring at the floor, just seeming generally unsettled.
Finally, his eyes came across the last occupant, Lorena the silver-haired Grendamite that had attacked him in the Sandlot just several days prior. He eyed her in surprise as he muttered a “Sweet Relana” as she was the absolute last person he expected to be here. While she hadn’t seemed like a bad person during their encounter, she hadn’t seemed like she much liked dealing with groups of people and was definitely the last person he would have guessed would show up to any kind of meeting. He supposed that spoke to the gravity of the topic they were all there to discuss.
“By the way,” he said, leaning towards Mikhail and gesturing towards Lorena, “Apparently I’m not the only one that survived my homeworld.”
He straightened and, greeting everyone with a polite smile and a subtle nod of the head, he moved to take a seat near the other Grendamite, sitting with crossed arms.
“Well, you’re the last person I would have expected to see here,” he told her quietly, a small smile on his face as he leaned back in his chair and crossed his arms, “It’s good to see you here. I think we’re gonna need all the help we can get.”
Although Aqua hadn't been invited to this meeting in person, it had been hard to miss the scores of fliers that decorated the walls of the ruins seemingly overnight. It seemed there were other people that were thinking the same thing she and Riku were. This town needed to come together; a sense of unity was needed to proceed with a new course of action. So much of her time had been spent thinking she would be a beacon to those wandering through the Darkness (or maybe it had been no time at all.) Now she had the chance to do just that.
Riku, Xion, and this Lea fellow didn't seem to know much about the Lanes Between, but that would be the only way they could return to the Land of Departure - to Castle Oblivion - in order to wake up Ven. In fact, with no alternative means of travelling between worlds, it would be their only way out of Twilight Town at all. Whether people liked it or not, the Lanes needed to stay open. There were a fair share of people here that deserved the chance to go home.
Even if many worlds had fallen to Darkness, Aqua knew in her heart that there was still a glimmer of hope out there. No matter what it looked like - even if they couldn't be seen - there were still stars out in that sky, and it was her responsibility to help light the ones that had gone out and protect the ones that still held strong.
There was a chill in the air the clung to her garments and dug hungrily into her skin. The colder seasons were coming, and that meant she may have to invest time in finding or even crafting some heavier clothing. In the Realm of Darkness, there had been no such thing as temperature to worry about. But here, now, the weather was proving to be quite the opponent to face. She idly wondered how Marmadue's patients were holding up in the face of Autumn's morning air, her mind going back to all the injured that had been piling up over the past few weeks as well as those still healing from he Chaos Hide attack.
The orange haired man - Jin, was it? - had seemed to be the worst off out of all the fighters. Perhaps he would still be inside. She'd been meaning to check up on him, though the time had just kept slipping away.
She walked into the room, pleased to find that the small shack had already started to warm up from the presence of firelight and many other bodies.
Her eye caught the silver hair of the young man from Destiny Islands almost immediately, and a small smile graced her features. It seemed she wasn't the first wielder to arrive.
"Riku," she spoke in a slightly raised voice as she approached. "It's good to see you again."
As she approached, the smaller girl with black hair and blue eyes at Riku's side came into view. Aqua had seen this girl before.
"I see you've brought Xion as well," she commented warmly. "I don't think I've seen you since the Chaos Hide. It's good to know you're okay."
The two of them were almost nostalgic together - Riku, who reminded her so much of Terra, and Xion, the girl she'd almost mistaken for Ven at one point. It was enough to make her heart ache, though she did her best to hide the feeling. Having two other wielders here would be helpful in convincing those reluctant towards keeping the keyhole open that it was the best course of action. She just hoped the Keyblade didn't drive a rift between them and their audience.
Whimsy hovered around the room, quite happy with the turnout so far. People seemed to be rushing in by the minute! Nine. Nine hearts of light. That was almost as many as he could count with his tiny little fingers. It just had to be a lot of them. This was so exciting! So many fresh, new faces. So many new friends to meet. The Moogle smiled to himself; Artemicion would certainly be pleased with him after this.
Letting out a single, high-pitched "Kupo!", Whimsy headed to the middle of the room. He lowered himself to a point where all of the guests would still be able to comfortably spot him from their seats.
"Welcome everyone, kupo! Whimsy is so glad you were all able to come. Whimsy and his new friends will have lots of fun together today!" The Moogle began his impromptu welcoming speech, gleefully twirling in the air. He gave his pom-pom a soft pat as he suddenly remembered the real (and boring) reason behind the gathering. "And of course, kuu…" he quickly added, his tone lower and seemingly gloomier. "Talk about very, very important things."
"Would someone like to begin, kupo?"
For this thread in particular, we'll be implementing one-week posting rounds. There won't be a static posting order to follow. Jump in with your character's reply whenever you see fit before the round ends.
The door opened again, causing Marmadue's attention to drift in its direction. A new face had arrived, a woman he couldn't remember ever having seen. Nor did she really introduce herself, or really, well, say anything, but the Yuke gave her a greeting as she made her presence known and walked to a chair. Knocking from the door once again caught his attention, his attention taken by a much more familiar face this time. Alice. Their paths had crossed often enough with Marmadue, so he walked over to greet her as well – and, of course, to receive the gift the girl was offering them all, what with him being some sort of a host in this event. He thanked Alice, taking the offered goods and bringing them to the counter where he could place them on a tray, perhaps some plates and bowls – oh, and the cups…
It didn't take long for the trickle of guests to turn into a steady stream of old and new faces – Maxwell in particular was a sight for sore eyes, knowing that the man was still in one piece and less skittish these days. The two young women wielding those keys – keyblades – were there as well. That was… Good. Considering that they were the two who brought up other options beside the whole keyhole idea Maxwell had originally put into motion, it was quite important to hear what they knew. The Yuke gave greetings to those who showed up, but he was busy with the edibles, at the moment.
With his tray filled with… Well, rather pitiful provisions to anyone coming from a life of luxury, but luxury was a thing they didn't really have in Twilight Town, Marmadue was ready to offer them to those who had gathered around. Mismatched cups and mugs of water, some almost-fresh bread, some hardtack, some nuts and dried who-knows-whats – mostly things that were going to last a long time, things that had managed to last through everything Twilight Town had suffered. The Yuke carried the tray to his guests, making sure that anyone who wanted something could help themselves – and if they didn't prove to be very popular, that might change as more words were exchanged and throats were parched.
Eventually, the moogle had decided enough time had passed, starting the meeting in perhaps a tad too excited manner, considering that it was a grave matter they had gathered to discuss. Marmadue set aside his tray of treats and took a seat himself. "Ah… I am afraid I am quite ah, uninformed when it comes to the matters which are to be discussed today so ah… I shall focus more on providing you any refreshments, if you require any," the Yuke was first to open his mouth, wanting everyone to know that he was hardly able to actually give any information regarding the plan, "All you need to do it ask. Ah, though it is apparent that there are many new faces amongst ourselves, and some introduction are in order. You may call me Marmadue, it is ah, a pleasure to meet you all here today."
Perhaps he could get the others to introduce themselves as well.
At Whimsy's cry for attention, Aqua's gaze fell away from the two other keyblade wielders standing in front of her and towards the Moogle at the head of the room. It was strange - usually these small creatues acted as shopkeepers, but here one was leading a town hall. Perhaps it was her sheltered upbringing back on the Land of Departure, but something about this little fellow being in charge of much more than a backpack full of wares - however useful they may be - seemed odd.
Talk of important things. Of course, Whimsy was probably referring to the situation regarding the keyhole and the Lanes Between. That was why she'd been invited here after all.
A slow, steady breath filled Aqua's body with the relaxtion necessary for what was to come. She was the most seasoned of the wielders, so that should make her the de facto leader of this ragtag group - especially in regards to matters of the Darkness. Still, leadership had never exactly been one of her strong suits. Her performance in guiding Ven and Terra back home left much to be desired, after all.
It was the sound of Marmadue's voice that snapped her out of the reverie that train of thought had led her to. Something about not knowing what was going on and wanting to pass out the food that another of the attendees had brought - where the blonde haired girl had found food in this wasteland was anyone's guess.
She cleared her throat, giving a curt nod in farewell to Riku and Xion as she waded through the crowd towards the center of the room. There was no time like the present.
"I...I know that not many of you have met me before," she started, her eyes pouring over the faces in the room. It was true - the only two she'd had the chance to talk with at any length were Riku and Marmadue. Others had been present during the Chaos Hide, but she hadn't had the chance to say more than a handful of words to them. "But I need you to trust me. My name is Master Aqua, and I'm one of the keyblade's chosen."
With a flash of light, the Master's Defender sprung to life in her hand. The grip was still foreign to her despite her time spent in the Darkness with it. Harsh metal edges dug into her palm and fingers. It was longer; heavier than Stormfall had been, but that was a key whose location only Terra knew now.
"It's come to my attention that many of the people in town have been searching for the keyhole in an attempt to seal it. I understand. The Heartless are a substantial threat to this and every world, but it's for precisely that reason we can't afford to shut ourselves away."
"The Darkness is a cunning and deceptive foe. No matter how we angle our defenses, it will eventually find a way to tear them down and destroy us. This world is falling apart at the seams, and our only hope for saving it lies beyond."
Her thoughts drifted once again to Ven and Terra, quietly fearing what Xehanort might be doing with her friend's body and heart held captive while Ven lay sleeping inside a maze of dreams and memories of her own design. Had Xehanort found Ven in the time she'd been away?
And what of Sora? Could the grinning, carefree little boy from the island where trees grew star-shaped fruit really be strong enough to be safe on his own out there? If Xehanort had hurt Riku the way he did, what plans could the man possibly have for Sora?
"I cannot promise you our path is safe, but regardless of your feelings I cannot in good conscience close the keyhole and cut off access to the other worlds. I'm sure the other wielders feel the same."
Well, Aqua thought. That was one bombshell dropped. Hopefully the backlash wouldn't be too horrible. Quietly, the fingers of her free hand fidgeted with the Wayfinder strapped to her side. She thought of Terra, who had always stuck firmly to his decisions even if they weren't the right ones, and prayed silently for that strength of heart in this moment.
It didn't take long before more and more unfamiliar faces began filtering through the door as they all showed up for the meeting. The only person among them that Lorena could say she recognized was Max, though considering she had attacked him she didn't expect to be on good terms with him just yet, even if he had suggested she help fight against the heartless. To Lorena's surprise, however, Max did approach once he had noticed her, exchanging a few words with the man he entered with before pulling up a chair next to her.
She watched the rest of the people shuffling around the room exchanging words as she listened to Max, who was pleasantly surprised to find her here. It was true, the idea of showing up to such a grand meeting did not appeal to Lorena; back in Grendam, an acolyte like her would have been seen as unwelcome, and as the heartless swarmed their world, the rest of Grendam's mistrust towards the Order of Acolytes quickly turned to violence. Considering the army of heartless had originated from Tarsin Cape, where she and the rest of the order resided with Azeran, many people among the rest of the nations suspected it was the order's fault, or Azeran's, perhaps a sign of his wrath for having lost his beloved Relana. Lorena still didn't know what happened to Azeran back then, only that he had closed himself off as he grieved for Relana, or if he had survived.
Regardless, the lack of trust Grendam had for her didn't apply here, and if she had the ability to help in any capacity, it was her duty to do so, like her mentor taught her. She quietly replied to Max, "I think Relana would have wanted me to help in any way I can." Though it didn't mean Lorena felt any better around such crowds. She glanced down at her folded hands again for a moment before looking up to see a blue haired woman had started speaking to the room as a whole.
The woman, announcing herself as Master Aqua and a wielder of a keyblade, addressed how the rest of them had been seeking out a 'keyhole' in order to seal it. Lorena hadn't been fully brought up to speed on what these keyblades really were other than a weapon that could slay the heartless, so she leaned forward, listening intently to everything the woman said. As Aqua spoke of the forces of darkness, Lorena couldn't help but remember their fight against them in Grendam. A world focused entirely on war and defending their own borders, none of the nations had stood a chance against the heartless. No matter what defenses had been used, eventually the heartless's numbers just swelled and overwhelmed them. She gave Max a sideglance, wondering if he was picturing the same events she was before turning her attention back to the keyblade wielder.
Lorena's eyebrows furrowed as the woman announced that she could not seal the keyhole, or rather, refused to. Though this was not Grendam, it didn't seem like much had changed with the people. This woman held a weapon the rest of them didn't, so whether it was in good conscience or not, she was holding this power over them. It was her choice whether to seal this keyhole they spoke of or try to save the other worlds at their own risk; whether it was Aqua's intention to strong arm them, it was a feeling Lorena couldn't ignore after her time dealing with the powerhungry leaders of her own world. And as long as these other keyblade wielders agreed with her, then this meeting to discuss their options was pointless it seemed. Though Lorena did not speak up against the woman, still not entirely brought up to speed on all the details of the situation, she still gave Max a questioning glance.
Post by Maxwell Tendas on Sept 27, 2018 0:13:55 GMT -4
“I think Relana would have wanted me to help in any way I can,” Lorena responded quietly, invoking the Fallen Goddess of Grendam. As a former Acolyte, he knew she likely would have spent a good deal of time around Relana and Azeran both. But those were thoughts for another time. Now was to focus on the options left to them for their next course of action.
“I...I know that not many of you have met me before,” a blue haired woman stated, stepping forward and addressing those gathered, “But I need you to trust me. My name is Master Aqua, and I’m one of the keyblade’s chosen.”
She held out her hand and, with a flash of light, what could only be a keyblade materialized in her hand. The act seemed melodramatic and flashy, likely meant to impress everyone in her audience. While it was indeed Max’s first time seeing a keyblade, at least according to his memories regained thus far, the mere act of wielding one wasn’t exactly impressive to him, partially due to the fact that from all he had heard of things prior to his death from Mikhail, key-wielders had saved them only at the last moment, after allowing the Heartless to run rampant in Twilight Town for who-knew-how-long.
She continued speaking about prior plans to find and seal the keyhole, saying that they were not the correct course. She finished by saying she could not in good conscience seal the keyhole, as if it was out of the question and not up for discussion. If that were the case, though, then what was even the point of this meeting? No, in his mind, key-wielder or not, no single person here had the clout to decide their entire course of action on their own individual whims. It was a decision that would affect everyone in Twilight Town, and it should be weighed in on by all its citizens.
Especially those who couldn’t fight for themselves.
“It’s not your decision to make,” he said with disdain, standing up from his seat, “You get a say, like everyone else. But don’t mistake that overgrown lockpick for a damned crown.”
He moved to stand in the middle of the room, near “Master” Aqua before continuing.
“My name is Maxwell Tendas,” he said, scanning his eyes across the room, “And while I don’t agree with Miss Aqua’s...demanding delivery, I still agree with her overall point. Shutting Twilight Town away from the other worlds will not necessarily do anything to save her people. Sure, the Heartless can’t take the world itself, but they can still come here and steal peoples’ hearts.
“Whereas, if we do go off of Twilight Town, we have a chance of figuring out how to actually stop the Heartless, which doesn’t just help us, but everyone else affected by the Nightfall.”
He paused and looked at Aqua with an accusatory look before finishing.
“We all have a duty to do what we can to resolve this crisis for good.”
He let silence hang in the air for a moment or two before calmly returning to his seat and waiting for the next person to speak their mind...