Chapter 1 - Beyond the Door
World - GeneX Prime
Note: Sonic the Hedgehog and related characters are (c) SEGA and
Sonic Team. You knew that, right?
GeneX and related fanchars are (c) 2BIT (TheGreatGator), the author.
Kingdom Hearts is (c) Disney & Square Enix. Related elements belong to their respective companies.
A dream. Endless falling. Some sort of stained glass structure below. "Don't be afraid!" a voice says. Lucky the cat is terrified. He braces for impact. "HEY! Wake up!!" "MEEE-yow!!" Lucky jumped as Zeke the dragon stood over his bed, looking frustrated with him. "You've been dozing since the war with Eggman ended." he said in his raspy voice. Lucky sat up. "Well, gee, I'm a cat. Isn't napping what cats do?" he said sleepily. Zeke pointed defiantly at him. "I hereby challenge you to a duel! You don't get to keep being useless, kid! If Eggman or GUN comes bangin' at our door, you'd best be ready to fight!" he warned. Lucky laid back down. "Maybe later... I'm drowsy right now..." he sighed. Zeke crossed his arms and rolled his eyes. "Did you have time to be drowsy when Robians were banging down our doors!? Get up!" he snapped. "You'll take care of it. You love that fighting and stuff." Lucky murmured. Zeke yanked his tail and started to drag him. "Yow!! Oww!! Lemme go!! Alright, I'm coming!!" Lucky yelped, jumping out of bed while holding his poor hurt tail. "C'mon. I'll try not to burn you to cinders." Zeke grunted. "You're enjoying this. Admit it!" Lucky whined. "Yes I am. I spent that stint in the Hopebringer Center 'cuz of you and Tails, remember?" he growled. "That was more Zipp's fault, wasn't it?" Lucky wondered. Zeke smacked him in the back of the head. "They only stepped in because you were fool enough to be in my way! I was after the bounty on Sonic, and Tails woulda led me to it... Not that it matters, I heard it was bogus anyway..." Zeke groaned. Lucky rubbed his head. "I think I'd rather Tails was training me..." he muttered.
Outside, somewhere above the Mystic Ruins, a small, blocky-looking ship shakily flew across the sky. "Mayday, mayday! We're goin' down! Ughhh!! Heeelp!!" a voice cried from within the cockpit. The ship was smoking. It swerved, heading for the jungle, and then it dropped, crashing amidst the trees and startling the main resident of the area; Big the cat. "...What's that thing? A ship? ...Think there are people hurt inside, Froggy?" Big mumbled, cautiously approaching. Inside the ship, a tiny creature with wings and a big pom-pom over its head was stumbling about, holding its nose. "Some air bags... Looks like I'll have to make some repairs, kupo." the creature groaned, glancing over at a person wearing a black coat and hood. He glanced at the small creature. "You do that, Winston. I'll take a look around this world we've landed in." he stated. Winston looked up at him. "You sure that's wise? That coat isn't exactly inconspicuous. What about the world order?" he questioned. "If it's the wrong kind of world, this face might be more troublesome." he said, taking off his hood to reveal the face of Miles "Tails" Prower. "Don't you think?" he asked. Winston shrugged. "Dunno, kupo. Just be careful. My world's riding on your success, too." he said. Tails walked out of the ship before putting his hood on, which gave Big cause for confusion. "...Tails? ...Why's he wearin' a disguise? Well...at least he seems to be okay..." he murmured, figuring he'd probably best leave the situation alone.
Lucky was busy dodging Zeke's flame breath in the room used as Shadow Arcangel's entry hall when it was buried in the earth. "You said you wouldn't use fire!!" he cried. During this, Whisk the Divine was walking in. She glanced at them. "Need help, Lucky?" she called. "This is a training exercise!" Zeke insisted. Bucky the rat and Vortex the chameleon were quick to meet Whisk. "I-it'sss great to ssssee you! I feared you lossst during the war..." Vortex stammered awkwardly. Bucky nodded. "Are you alright, Whisk? Can you remember anything?" he asked. Whisk nodded. "Yes... I do remember. I'm here for a place to stay... During the war... I was taken in by these...other divines. They went by Zodiac names, and they wanted to train me to join their ranks; become their 'Virgo.' They figured since I was a divine, their type of power would come easy to me..." she stated. Bucky nodded. "It didn't, because I made you..." he realized. Whisk nodded back. "But they helped me a lot. Their magic fixed my memory... or at least, I don't forget anymore. They also taught me wand magic!" she said, taking a Chaos-Stone Wand from her pocket. It was like Gemini's, but with a yellow gem on the tip. "But since I couldn't learn magic without the wand, they cast me out..." she sighed. Vortex pat her shoulder. "We're happy to have you back, Whisssk..." he smiled. "This is temporary, Vortex. I haven't forgotten why I left!" she said, swatting his hand away. "Blassst..." Vortex sighed. "Do you remember whippin' Zeke's butt!? Care to help me?" Lucky shouted, yelping as his tail was singed by fire. "Umm... I don't remember that, really. But maybe I could tag in to train you instead?" she asked. "Don't go easy on the wimp!" Zeke grunted. "No, please go easy on the wimp!" Lucky chuckled awkwardly.
Bucky had left while they were talking. He was actually in the middle of something when Whisk had arrived. By now he'd combed every inch of Shadow Arcangel, and knew it pretty well. However, something had appeared in the containment cell that everyone would know full well wasn't there before. Bucky walked past the remnants of the makeshift war room that was still left in there and crept into the cell, finding a door placed at the back of the cell, with a large keyhole in the center of it. This door wasn't there before, and more curious, Bucky knew there was no sign of this door on the other side of the containment cell wall. What was the door's purpose? Was it a sort of interdimensional gateway? Such a thing seemed preposterous a few years ago, but the rat had seen much ever since he created his experiments. "No doorknob... No key... Where did you come from, and why are you here?" he whispered, grasping at the edge of the door. He had to see if there was anything beyond it. Something compelled him to find out. Pulling the door open, he immediately felt a sense of dread, like it was a mistake. It seemed to become darker around him. Out of the shadows, small faces with yellow lights for eyes emerged! "Well, that triggered something..." he grunted, spinning around and zapping the creatures with his lightning! "...I have a bad feeling about this..." he murmured.
Zavok had had enough of his self-appointed understudy, Zim the Zeti. The little blue nuisance had gotten it in his head that he could actually join the Deadly Six somehow. It was laughable, as far as Zavok was concerned, but the humor had passed. He lifted Zim up and glared at him. "Hehe, hey boss!" Zim grinned. "While you've followed us, we've been bested time and again. We've been enslaved by Eggman twice. These things didn't happen before you came along." he growled. "Kinda makes you glad I'm here helpin', huh?" Zim chuckled. Zavok wound him up like a ball and threw him into the distance. "Get out of my sight, and don't come back!!" he shouted. Zim tumbled a distance away, finding himself just outside the Mystic Ruins jungle. Dizzily picking himself up, he spotted a cloaked figure sneaking out of the woods, a familiar pair of tails trailing under his coat. "Hm? ...Two tailed mutt... Where do I know a two-tailed... Oh!" Zim gasped, "Master Zavok must've tossed me here as part of a secret mission! The hood, the tails, the mystery... I'm to follow him and find out what he's up to! For the glory of the Zeti!" he shouted before noticing that the hooded fox was getting away from him. "Egad! He's on to me! I must follow in stealth and secret!" he whispered, scampering after the fox while darting from bush to bush, trying to stay out of sight. Tails scratched his head and kept moving. He was sure a little critter like Zim couldn't make too much trouble...
In the meantime, the strange shadow creatures had spread through Shadow Arcangel, forcing those aboard to fight back against them. Vortex teamed up with Zipp the hornet, and were soon making their way to the control room, blasting any shadows in their path with Chaos-based attacks and guns, respectively. "Where'd these critters come from? Are they some new breed of Lost One??" Zipp shouted. "Who caresss, they're not taking thisss ssship!" Vortex hissed. Whisk was back with Lucky and Zeke. Their training session would have to wait, as she turned her new wand on the shadows. "Leave us alone, creatures! Fire!!" she cried, casting a bolt of flame to eliminate a shadow. Zeke watched the twitching masses of darkness curiously. "What's that little guy? You wanna be my minion?" the dragon mumbled. "Hey, Zeke! Help, before they eat me! They look like they wanna eat me!!" Lucky stammered, looking around for anything he could fight back with. Zeke sighed and took to the air, dropping flames on the nearby shadows. However, they slipped into the ground itself and hurried towards Lucky! He stumbled backwards, but crawled back a bit. "Wh-what do these things want??" he yelped. "Maybe a hug?" Zeke chortled, "Well, nice knowin' ya, Luckless!" the dragon snickered while Whisk was too distracted to notice his plight.
Tails had boarded Shadow Arc during the ruckus. "I'm detecting darkness here... Heartless??" he gasped, stepping into the room with Whisk, Zeke and Lucky. His gaze fixed on Lucky, who was nearly surrounded. "I... I'd better help!" he gasped, running after the Heartless. However, as Lucky raised his hands to protect himself, there was a flash of light, and a large key-shaped weapon appeared in his hand! "H-huh?? What's this??" he stammered. The light seemed to startle the Heartless for a moment, and Lucky could swear he heard voices repeating "Keyblade... Keyblade..." However, he didn't seem to understand what to do with a Keyblade, and the Heartless started coming for him again. So, Tails jumped between them, holding a small metal handle that, with a click of a switch, extended pieces of a shield from each side, emitting a bit of energy to power it up. "Stay back, cat! I got this!" Tails said, tossing the shield like a frisbee, which cut down the Heartless before arcing back to be caught by him! As Zeke watched in surprise, Zim stepped next to him. "Well, that's a cool gizmo." the Zeti remarked. "Yeah, I didn't know Tails had a thing like that... Hey, where'd you come from??" Zeke stammered. "Uh oh! Gotta regain my cover!" Zim gasped, dashing into the ship's corridors. "Get back here, runt!" Zeke shouted. Tails pulled the hood over his face and headed for the same corridor. "Come with me, kid! Bring that key! We'll need it!" he said. Lucky nodded. "Uhhh, sure, Tails!" he stammered, following him. Whisk turned to see everyone leaving. "Huh? Hey! Come back!" she cried, teleporting over to them and joining in the rush.
They arrived at the containment room, where Bucky was struggling to pull the door closed again between stopping to zap Heartless. "I don't have to be a genius to realize we don't want those things getting in this door!" he said. Tails had a sort of smart-watch on his wrist, which he examined now. "According to my readings, the Heartless haven't touched the heart of your world yet. Cat! You have to seal the door with that Keyblade!" he said. Lucky looked at Tails funny. "I'm Lucky...You know me, Tails..." he murmured, holding up the Keyblade. "There's no time to explain, but I don't know you. I'm not the Tails you know." the fox stated. Whisk scratched her head. "Are you the Tails I know?" she questioned. Lucky gasped as the Keyblade tugged him towards the door. The tip of the Keyblade glowed, and emitted a beam that struck the door, causing it to shut suddenly as the large keyhole on it sparkled and disappeared! "Gah! ...What in...? Lucky, I'd like to examine that key..." Bucky stammered. "Can I borrow it?" Zeke asked as he and Zim arrived, "I bet it could open as good as it could close, hehe..." the dragon snickered. "No way, it poofed into MY hand!" Lucky stammered, "I'm not gonna let you rob a bank with it!" Tails sighed. "That wouldn't work anyway. Only you can use it." he stated. With the door sealed, the Heartless had apparently fled. Everything seemed okay now. Until the door burst back open!
Bucky was quick to grab the edge of the containment cell as the door started to suck everyone into it like a vaccuum! Lucky was the first to lose his footing. "Meee-yoooow!! Now the DOOR wants to eat meeee!!" he wailed. "Hang on, Lucky!!" Whisk cried, flying in after him only to have Tails smack into her head as he was drawn in, too! Knocked out, Whisk couldn't teleport away! Zim dove into the door after them. "You won't get away from me, foxy! I'll find out your secrets for Zavok!!" he proclaimed. Zeke was desperately trying to fly away, but he heard a voice call to him. "Meet me on the other side... Power and fortune awaits you..." Hearing this, Zeke calmly ceased resisting and let the door pull him in. "Bye bye, Bucky! See ya!" he chuckled before the door shut on his nose! "Ow!!" he could be heard groaning. The door then vanished as Bucky watched in astonishment. "M-my experiments..." he babbled. Winston came scampering into the room the next moment, pursued by Vortex and Zipp. "Hold still ya little stuffed animal!" Zipp warned. "I'm a Moogle, kupo!" Winston protested, "Oh, dear! Where's Tails?" he gasped. Bucky glanced back. "Sucked into a door... Who are you?" he questioned. "Where'sss Whisssk?? I thought I heard her voice on the way here..." Vortex murmured. Winston cleared his throat. "Don't worry... Your companions are okay, as is mine. But I'd best get back to my ship, or they'll be stranded..." he babbled. "Stranded WHERE?" Bucky asked, "What exactly was that door?" Winston looked up at the intense eyes of the rat and shivered. "W-well, that's a long story. But once it was sealed, I surmise it became a portal of sorts..." he muttered. "I'll ask again...to WHERE??" Bucky grunted.
Lucky and Whisk awakened in a strange place. Certainly different from anywhere they'd been. They were in a quaint little town, which seemed maybe a tad old-fashioned at face value. A bell could be heard ringing in the distance. "Well, guys... Welcome to Traverse Town." they heard Tails say. Sitting up, they found him standing near a crooked looking street light. "Traverse Town? What happened to the Mystic Ruins...?" Lucky murmured. "And who hit my head?" Whisk sighed, rubbing it. Tails looked a bit bashful about that. He wasn't wearing a cloak anymore, and it was a bit more clear that he wasn't exactly their Tails. A belt held his shield handle, his shoes and gloves were a tad more colorful, and there was that smart watch on his wrist. "Yeah... That door pulled us into another world. I hope my ride can find us. And I'm sorry you got dragged into this..." he muttered. "Dragged into what exactly?" Whisk asked. "ANOTHER WORLD?!" Lucky yelped. Tails nodded. "There's lots of other worlds. I'm from a different world from yours...and I've been searching the worlds for our Sonic. He's...missing." he explained, looking a bit sad. Lucky and Whisk glanced at each other, and then at Tails. "Well, since we're here, guess we'll help find him for you!" Lucky offered. "Aw, gee...thanks guys." Tails smiled. "No problemo... Except if we're stranded here." Whisk chuckled. Tails offered his hand out. "So, I'm Tails..." he said. "I know...and I'm Lucky!" Lucky added, putting his hand on top. "And I'm Whisk!" Whisk added, putting her hand on top of Lucky's. "Guess we're a team now! ...Anybody hungry?" Whisk chuckled.
Zeke and Zim landed together in a nearby district. Zim was peering through the door at them. "A conspiracy!" he declared. "Aw, shut up! Now, where was that guy? ...I hope I didn't imagine that voice..." Zeke groaned. "Oh, you didn't..." Zim and Zeke both turned and gulped to see a large man in full medieval armor, with a flowing cape trailing behind him. He was an imposing figure. "My name... is Garland. I require some...minions... to help command my forces across various worlds." he stated, raising his hand to summon dozens of soldier Heartless behind him. "You will gain command over dark power beyond your wildest dreams... So, what do you say?" he offered. Zim stepped over beside Zeke, both of them smirking. It appeared a second team had been created at Traverse Town as well...
To be continued...