Stay In Shadow (Era, open by invitation) | World Destiny
Welcome to Kingdom Hearts: World Destiny! We are an AU Kingdom Hearts RP with no word count. World Destiny's story takes place post Dream Drop Distance, at which point we make considerable steps in our own story direction. Feel free to check out the Plot link to find out more!
All guests are welcome to drop in and say hi!
Nightfall: Chapter 2
Two years after the events of Dream Drop Distance, the Darkness became so great that it swallowed the worlds, locking them away within its merciless abyss.
Twilight Town, now covered in eternal night, stands as one of last Sanctuaries of Light. It is where players begin their journey.
Ever resourceful, the Moogles have created a safe place for refugees. They have charged the Denizens of Light with finding Castle Oblivion: it holds a key to the puzzle of the lost worlds.
But within the dark shadows of the sanctuary world a powerful dark force still looms, waiting to strike. Each survivor must choose whether to go to Castle Oblivion or stay behind to protect the world from the dragon that lurks in the shadows.
High in the Castle of Abyss, in the tallest tower overlooking The World That Never Was and the Dark City that enveloped it, the audience chamber that wherein the Dark XII held their meetings. This night, if you could call it "night" in a World that never shed daylight, it housed a new body, against the grain of its normal occupance, this new body still contained it's heart.
Ansem had designed it not unlike a courtroom. A large chair in the back middle of the thin room, and two longer tables with ornate chairs along the lengths of the wall, all looking inward towards the center. All in view of one another, all able to see the open center of the room. Where Ansem was staring from his 'throne' towards the aquisition, a small girl whom he had brought here from Traverse Town.
Curious this one, existing fully with a Heartless of her own on the loose. Curious indeed... a latent strength she did not understand might be at work and it was something he could use and exploit, along with her Heartless. He tapped his fingers together in front of his face as he stared at her, elbows propped on the arms of his seat. He stared at her for a long time before finally speaking.
"Era... You have been chosen to fulfill a great task. Something we, my people, are unable to do." He twitched his eyebrows, as if trying to entice her, "You've shown you have the ability to turn your back on those you ally yourself with... I'm wondering: What might I have to hold over you in order to ascertain your help in doing more?"
It had been eons. At least, it felt like eons. Those scrutinous golden eyes had pinned her since they'd arrived. Watching, appraising, analyzing. That cold, piercing glare was making her stomach churn with unease.
The tapping of those fingers only added to his sinister disposition. She didn't even want to guess what he was thinking about! What in all the worlds had she agreed to?
"You've shown you have the ability to turn your back on those you ally yourself with..."
Oh no he di-int!
In no time flat, Era had jumped out of the chair and was on her feet, one clenched fist in that same (attemptingly) threatening position as it was back in Traverse town. Her heart was thumping loudly, but not out of fear. . . out of anger. "Now you listen here, Bub," In a few easy paces, the female was feet away from the man, sticking her finger as close to the dark-skin's face as her short stature could manage. "I didn't turn my back back on Rook! You manipulated us, and I did what I had to to protect my friend!"
Then, the recorder in her mind played the rest of his statement: "What might I have to hold over you in order to ascertain your help in doing more?"
Wait wait wait, now he was going to barter with her? Era. . . Really didn't have much. Her memory only traced back to a handful of weeks ago, and in that time, she had only met a few people, and made one friend: Rook. How much could she really barter for, save her precious memory?
Her eyes traced the floor as she considered the possibilities, but regardless of its improbability, she had to ask. "I want Rook to be untoucheable by any of the Heartless scum you command. And --" that frost blue gaze shot back to the scary man, still sharp, guarded. "-- I want my memories back."
Ansem laughed. He couldn't help but do so as the girl stepped forward to approach him as if she could pose a challenge to him. Such demands, quite imposing, even for himself. There were things a "man" of his power could grant; power, a place in what he had planned for the Worlds, salvation in Darkness everlasting. But salvation in nothingness for a boy whom she had only known an hour or so?
But futile. He waved off the request with his hand. "Impossible. 'Rook'? He would be safe under my watchful eye, directly. But while I direct the Heartless, they are instinctual creatures to which a direct order cannot stand. Past my sight they will set their hungry eyes on his heart and, if he is lucky, he will serve at my side as another denizen of the Darkness once they are done with him. The only reason they do not swarm you is because they fear to enter this room while I preside here... and the fact that you, yourself, are prone to the Darkness. Not unlike your friend, himself."
Unfortunate. It would otherwise be an easy request to fulfill, had the Heartless been, say, as intelligent a creature as a Nobody, a Dusk for instance. The Heartless were corrupted Hearts; emotion unbridled. And in their search for hearts on which to feast there was no greater want.
"Your memories, however... perhaps I, or my subordinates, may be able to find a proper remedy for... Memories are something few dabble in, but the Nothings of the Organization do have experience... especially the one they call 'Namine'... But if a Nobody can do it, my Heartless can do it just as well. I will discuss it amongst my most loyal, and if it can be done, it will. But, you have to fulfill a task for me, first..."
An eye for an eye, as it were. That was justice in its most basic sense. And the accord being formed here? If one looked through twisted eyes, perhaps it could still be seen as justice. A contorted, displeasing sense of justice, but justice nonetheless.
So he claimed himself unable to tend to the most important of her demands -- to make sure her friend was safe from the Heartless. Guess she'd have to attend to such a matter herself, though the means of why and how had yet to be accounted for. But he could make her remember.
She was still slightly wary about the whole idea. After all, she had been mouthed such empty promises for, and look where it got her: a personal demon, and not a second of recollection. And yet his sense of assurance compelled her. "I might be able to do as you require. Heed the might... What is it you would ask of me?" It wasn't like she had much to barter with. After all, they both knew she was the weak link here, amidst a plethora of creatures born of the Darkness, most (if not all) of which, her opposition commanded. But, she might as well have played it off as though she did have more to barter with.
"A simple task, depending on your actions... and with the links to your chain of memories to be rejoined, I doubt it will be anything less than a stellar preformance..."
Ansem told her his plan... details were not to be overheard at this point in the game. The Organization was close. Too close, at times. And this plan could benefit them much, should they overhear and send in their own agent... and apparently they had one, the dark grapevine told him...
Ansem let his thick shroud of silent darkness retreat from the room, giving her a curious scan. "You and your Heartless are quite valuable to me... you are prone to the dark, your coexisting with your own Heartless attests to that... perhaps, whe you've done your part, I can help you with it as well..."
Ansem was never the type to barter with anyone. At this point in his existence, he had long since found it much more beneficial to take for oneself, rather than outsource... but... Era... a human, with her own Heartless, searching for the keys to her locked memories. A golden opportunity for him, if he did say so himself. His army would soon be complete as well, his agents would make certain of that.
He held up his hand. From the ceiling descended small monitors, a set of three atop a set of four, all flashing periodically with surveillance cameras which panned over the greater halls and access points. "This castle is yours to roam as you please, until you are deployed. The Dark XII shall not hurt you, nor shall the Heartless that call this place home. You will have your own quarters as we--"
A loud noise rocked the castle. Ansem stood, a disparaging frown on his face which melted into a sneer. "What in the nam--"
Another. His eyes darted back and forth for a moment. It sounded as if something had hit the lower levels. But it was no barrage, nor bombardment. Through the echoes of his keep, it did not even resound of the Nobodies... though, to Ansem, it was familiar...
Apparently he was reluctant to tell her exactly what he was planning. Atypical, but a wise move. Era would find a way to weasel the details out of him though. She tended to be pretty good at finding out information -- too good, perhaps.
She noted the cameras with a curious, but passive glance. So she was to be watched, that wasn't so great. But she did have free roam of the castle. which just about made up for it. Perhaps a little pranking, in due time, would bridge the rest of that gap. If not, at least it would prove a good way to vent her dissatisfaction, in addition to giving her mind a place to roam away from Rook. After all, it wasn't like he could actually get here.
Even Era wasn't sure where here was, exactly.
She desperately wanted to get away from these wretched Heartless, but timing would be everything. If she left now, she'd either be brought right back, or killed. So, she'd just have to wait for the opportunity to - - - -
A worried glance shot to Ansem as the first hit took place, and Era coiled up, arms pulling in toward her chest. Her fists were curled tight to her torso, but not out of anger. This time, it was out of anxiety.
Another quavvering strike shot through the floor. An attack? Did somebody say opportunity? Looks like that might've been closer than the girl had expected. Ironic, was it not?
Curiousity had gotten the best of her, and Era darted for the door. Instinct told her to use this chance to escape -- get away from the Heartless and that freaky guy as quickly as she could. But her curiousity shouted all the louder, pushing her toward the origin of the strike.
It was time to investigate. The mystery of its cause was about to be put to rest. Era intended to find out what was going on here. And, as was her style, she would rush smack dab into the heart of trouble.
Ansem stood, watching as Era took flight. He shook his head, knowing full well her attempt was useless. He was not alone in this castle, nor would she ever find the front door in such an amount of time as it would take to isolate the source of attack.
He looked back towards the set of monitors. Two of them caught images of smoking debris and rubble from the apparent impact of what it was that hit it, and it didn't take much longer than a moment for Ansem to realize only one thing could damage to a castle build of darkness. Light.
Cameras flickered, scanning areas, until one caught a figure running past, a shock of red hair catching Ansem's eye, and a cry that resounded off the walls of the castle.
Ansem smirked. Tenacious, this boy... but still foolish. He sent out a message through the shadows of his castle, audible to its recipient alone. "Eleaus, handle this problem..."
Elsewhere, in the castle, Rook clenched his fist. Remnants of the Guard Light still waving from his hand. It's energies were visible even when disappaiting this close to the darkness, like steam on a cold day. As an elemental opposite, it had done an excellant job of tearing down walls in this place. BlackJack drawn, he rushed down the hallway, striking at any Heartless that dared to get in his way of finding her.
Room by room, Rook searched, with no sign of her. This place was huge, he could likely search it for days without a proper clue as to where she's been hidden away. And he sincerely doubted that, what with his enterance and all, he could go another five minutes without a major conflict that didn't involve Neo-Shadows.
"Era!?" Marluxia could have been wrong about the Dark XII taking a human, but the coincidences of circumstance didn't seem likely. She had to be here.
Post by Ellie who has 0% warning damn on Jul 21, 2009 19:24:40 GMT -4
Sharp crystalline eyes opened at the voice that entered his head. Calmly Elaeus shook his hair loose, while dusting off the wrinkles in his sleevless fitted grey top. With a wave of his hand, he opened a dark portal to go handle this unwanted intrusion.
"I find it quite rude to stumble into one's house with an invitation or without simply waiting at the door for it to be opened."
His voice echoed from the castle's walls as the sound of walking echoed in the silent hall. The Castle of Abyss was naturally dark and hardly well lit for there were hardly a need for them. The windows did allowed the lights from the outdoors to pool inside as a tall figure stepped into view. His hair was bronze much lighter than his skin that was darkened by the constant expolsure to the Realm of Darkness. His nose slightly wrinkled.
"You reek of nobodies. Surely they didn't foolishly told you to come here." Fingers ran through his hair as haid swayed in pity, "I guess they want their pawn to not live so soon. The least they could do is teach you mannerism. No matter, this should teach them not to blindly walk into the house of the Dark XII."
"Now if you want to leave, you know where the door is. I would highly recommend it." Flexing his fingers long trio blades started to lengthen above each hand as the tiger claws were summoned. He knew his orders well. He was to be a barrier and resist from spilling too much blood.
Era jumped in surprise as the crumbling castle dropped a large fragment of debris a mere foot from her head. She was careful to dodge the pieces to follow as she weaved toward the center of the assault, fighting the rolling clouds of gray dust that had unfolded with the explosion.
She held her hand close to her mouth, coughing the soot away as she tried to cut deeper inside. Then a sound caught her ear, freezing her in place as it struck like a pin to the Heart.
Rook? Rook was here?!
Well yes, she had asked him to come for her, and had hoped beyond a shadow of a doubt that he would, but her hope often was in vast contrast to her expectations. When she last saw this boy, he was exhausted, and had been knocked unconscious due to that overwhelming feeling.
Now, somehow, he was here. He had faught his way not only into this castle, but into the world of Darkness. Disregarding any sense of self-preservation. . . this boy was crazy. Crazy, and yet strangely compelling.
"Rook!" It felt like a game of marco-polo. She pawed through the smog, now ten times more interested in the assault on the castle --- or rather, who caused it. She raced toward his voice, rounding corners with as much speed as her tired body could muster.
Nothing, nothing, nothing. Then, a glance of red hair. Her voice was filled with both excitement and worry. "Rook!" A second later, and she had pinned his torso with a tight, anxious embrace.
Rook clenched his fists at the Heartless stepped into view... he didn't want to believe Marluxia, one Heartless in human form was enough to render many Worlds lost and hopeless. But now a dozen stood strong, and Rook wasn't glad to be certain.
"Tell me to come here?" Rook laughed, " Don't be an idiot, I was escorted here... Apparently, I'm as valuable to one of them as my friend you took is as valuable to you. And I might not trust the Organization, but I trust Heartless even less so..."
She was here!
"Rook!" From another hallway, Era did emerge. And she nearly toppled him over with her hug. But Rook was not without reciprocating. His arms jumped out and grabbed her as well, holding her close for a long moment.
"You wanted me to come for you, right?" He have her a smile before looking back at Eleaus, the smile quickly fading, "I'll leave now. I got what I came here for..."
Post by Ellie who has 0% warning damn on Jul 21, 2009 20:34:26 GMT -4
Elaeus chuckled, "We could care less for your trust, because we really don't have any business with you." He watched with mild interest as Era ran into the scene quite dramatically for a mortal and cling onto the Nobody's pet. "As for your friend, that matter is different."
A brow cocked at the child's statement before snorting. He proclaimed that the Earth Titan shouldn't be an idiot, but only a fool would come here and take something that didn't belong to them. The Heartless merely sighed; this one would make this more difficult then needed to be. "Sorry to say, but that isn't an option.”
Her left hand rose quickly with spread fingers, and syncopated to his movement, four stalagmites surrounded Rook solely. Indeed one had to form between the little embrace. The cold hard rock disturbed the castle floor as it pushed the pair apart. Once the four were up approximately a foot taller than the intruder, they would enclose around him wishing to pin his body between them eliminating space for movement. It wasn’t a slow action, but completely random moment like an earthquake.
“You see Era had already made a compact with us here; I'm sure she hasn’t forgotten already. So it would be quite impossible for her to leave now like you can’t leave the Organization XIII. Hopefully the master can get his pet before his pet is no more.”
Elaeus forced quartet of stalagmites out of the ground to fill in the gaps created by the rocky square cage, but they were only high enough to block view of his hip giving an open shot for his upper body.
She'd figured the Heartless would interfere, but didn't expect something as abrupt as this. In the blink of an eye, Rook had been caged, his torso targeted for another attack. This pose was familiar... It would've taken a miracle for him to have been healed from the previous, far too familiar instance.
But Rook wouldn't go down. Not while Era had a say in the situation!
The crackle of forming ice could be heard, and shadows wrapped around her palm. They extended outward, forming a sharp Dark edge. "I wouldn't hurt him if I were you, Heartless," Her statement wasn't a plead. It was a demand.
The blade of her Soul Reaper was immediately turned toward her Heart, a dangerous expression flashing across her face. She had no qualms about disrupting the Heartless' plans. She didn't even like these bozos. So a fumble on her part, in the name of her friend Rook? She'd take that injustice in a flash.
As soon as his body felt the cool touch of stone around him, Rook knew who he was dealing with. Eleaus, Heartless of Lexaeus, whom the redhead was more than familiar with already. There was no telling what more he was capable of, or what he was willing to do to keep Era in Dark XII possession, and that was more worrisome than any trek home Rook could have anticipated had they been fortunate enough to leave.
Rook shook his head furiously at her actions, "Era, stop! Put that away, I'll handle this!" But Rook could already see that, with such a tense situation, an action as serious as this was nothing she was less than committed to. Diffuse the Heartless' plans by killing herself? Clever, but the readhead couldn't let that happen.
He wriggled against the stone encasement, C-C'mon, Era! Just cut me out of here, we'll leave together, you and me! I'll keep you safe...!" Just don't get yourself killed for me...
Post by Ellie who has 0% warning damn on Jul 22, 2009 3:09:53 GMT -4
His right arm swept over causing the cage to tightened a move over near his side. Elaeus' arms crossed over his chest not affected by Era's choice. It was almost making him laugh; instead of a sound of a rumble or a chuckle, a smile cracked on her lips.
"Era you think that would be a proper bargain. I set him free, and you won't kill yourself, but if I don't you will kill yourself right in front of someone who really cares about you. It would be a waste for him to come all the way here just to watch you die."
"Era, stop! Put that away, I'll handle this!"
"See even he agrees, and don't think death will stop us. Death can merely be a beginning. Don't be foolish enough to think suicide would end all of this. If so the agreement to keep Rook safe would be void."
C-C'mon, Era! Just cut me out of here, we'll leave together, you and me! I'll keep you safe...!"
"Sorry Rook, but that is also not an option either; you've already made a mess of yourself." His fingers lifted before flexing downward causing the ground to soften. The ground was started to devour the cage with Rook in it as well. For now he would be a part of the castle, while Era attempted to be stubborn. Let's see how easy it would be to mend the boy when he's partially underground.
"So Era are you going to be a big girl. Are you going to kill yourself leaving this boy," the tiger claws lifted Rook's chin,"to the hands of the heartless? That's quite selfish of you to find the easy way out leaving him behind. You know if you do die; I'm sure he would make a pleasant heartless. I even doubt your own shadow would admire your decision without its consult."
A blade from his tiger claw touched his lips as he pondered before shrugging.
"No matter the choice is yours: kill yourself knowing that he will live a life as a damned heartless, and don't think I can do it. Artificial heartless are easily created ; surely with what we have, his heart can surely be lost to the darkness with a few torturous experiments."
Crossing his legs slightly, Elaeus hummed,"being human, he would grieve your death very deeply possibly making the process much easier; he can't resist what's important to his heart, especially if the image of your death haunts him, which I can also torture him with."
"Now dear that was option A. Option B is finishing the compact we have already started. I would advise B. Won't you?"
Elaeus watched the girl proposing a threat back at her. The Earth Titan always took his work with pride, and he hardly takes it lightly when one wishes to fuck up tarnish their plans. Being who he is, the Heartless doesn't wastes time lying; he tends to mean what he says and says what he means. Everything he said is completely possible; plus there are ways to get Era back if she did decide to kill herself. Also Rook can propose a higher value if she decides to. Personally, her death isn't one of Elaeus' concerns; there's a lesson to be learned.
Lesson of today: don't toy with the Dark XII ever. As heartless, morality is too far from them to feel guilt, so they can take things as far as they wish. If Era was to live to see tomorrow, surely she would learn to tread wisely now that she was involved with the Dark XII. Not cooperating isn't an option for her unless she wanted to make the remainder of her life a living hell. In short, Elaeus can be one cold aloof hearted bastard when agitated.
Rook struggled against the stone. There was hardly enough room to breath now that Eleaus had tightened the rock around him, but fortunately, there was precedence for this occassion, and, ironically, Rook thanked Lexaeus for it...
"Or...option C... Guard Light!" From the trapped male's hands exploded pulse's of bright energy, shattering the rock from his body, the other hand crumbling enough wriggle-room below him to crawl out, but not without effort. As he lumbered from the hole in the floor that nearly swallowed him, he held out his hand and held aloft his BlackJack keyblade.
"You took Era once. I'm not giving up that easily...And if you think I came alone, well, you're wrong..."