Chapter 2 - Keyblade Training
World - Traverse Town; Neverland
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.
"Trust in me, just in me...
Shut your eyes, and trust in me." - The Jungle Book
Thinking of you, wherever you are...
Last time, while Lucky the Cat was undergoing training in case Dr. Eggman puts the world in jeopardy again, Whisk the divine arrived home to Shadow Arcangel, where she explained what had happened to her the past several months. She'd been taken in by the Zodiac Council, who intended to train her as their new Virgo. They gave up on her, though, when it was found she could only use wand magic. Meanwhile, a ship crash-landed in the Mystic Ruins, carrying a Moogle named Winston and an alternate version of Tails. As this alternate Tails roamed around, Zim the Zeti spotted him and decided to tail him, thinking Zavok would want intel on what Sonic's sidekick was up to.
During all this, Bucky found a strange door in the containment cell of Shadow Arcangel. Opening it, he somehow caused a swarm of Shadows to invade the ship! While Lucky and Whisk were trying to fend them off, a Keyblade appeared in Lucky's hands, just in time for Tails to arrive on the scene. Using the Keyblade, Lucky sealed his world's keyhole, but then the door pulled in Lucky, Whisk, Tails, Zeke and Zim, dropping them in Traverse Town! While Lucky, Whisk and Tails get their bearings, Zeke and Zim encounter a man named Garland...
Now, let us journey to a new world...
Lucky, Whisk and Tails looked around the First District of Traverse Town for a bit, and soon came across a pair of humans. Lucky recognized one of them as Gator, the goofy guy in the alligator costume that occasionally butted in on people's adventures back in his own world. With him was a young man with messy dark blue hair, brown eyes and a tan coat with black pants and a light green cape. "What are...you doing here?" Lucky asked Gator curiously. "Did you get sucked into a weird door, too?" Whisk asked. Gator tilted his head. "Uhh... Not in the last eight minutes..." he babbled. The other man cleared his throat. "Don't mind him. My name his Travis. I was sent here by Master Yen Sid to meet you. He was responsible for your arrival here. He apologizes that he couldn't draw you all the way to him, but the distance to your world was far." he stated. Tails scratched his head. "Yen Sid... Why do I know that name?" he murmured. Travis pointed to Lucky. "It should hold meaning for him, as he has been chosen by a Keyblade. You see, Master Yen Sid was also a Keyblade master long ago, and now he acts as a bit of a mentor for new Keyblade masters." he stated. Lucky materialized his Keyblade and looked at it. "This thing...chose me?" he murmured. Travis nodded. "Lucky... There's a war coming. A Keyblade war..." he stated. Lucky jumped. "Seriously!? But I just finished fighting in a war back home!" he whined. Gator shared his sentiment. "Me too... Except that's not really my home, and YOU locked me in a bunker!" he said, pointing at Tails. "What? No I didn't!" the fox babbled. "Different Tails, I think." Whisk stated. Travis loudly cleared his throat to regain their attention. "No one expects you to fight the Keyblade war. You're too new to the Keyblade, and there's no time to give you a Mark of Mastery exam." he stated. "A what?" Lucky murmured. "Never mind. Despite that...the other Keyblade wielders are going to be busy. Thus, cat... You may be the only one who can defend countless woulds from darkness as it attempts to take advantage of the diversion of the Keyblade war. We need your help." he said gravely. Lucky stared at his Keyblade in disbelief. What was he getting himself into now?
"I knew you would be here...for I have come back from the future, and seen events unfold." Garland said to Zeke the dragon and Zim the zeti. Zeke groaned. "Ugh, time travel? I've been through that. Can I go home?" he grumbled. Garland stabbed his sword into the ground hard, his eyes glaring from under his helmet. "I took great pains to be here, and see that you begin on your destined path ahead of schedule. For my plans to succeed, I need you both to embrace the darkness, and find me in the present day..." he said insistantly. Zim looked up at him with a smirk. "Embrace the darkness? I think I've done that!" he sniggered. Zeke scoffed. "Destined path? What's this rubbish?" he grumbled. Garland's body was starting to fade before their eyes. "I cannot linger in this time much longer. You may not believe me now, but I promise you that your destiny is set. Before I leave you... I grant you power...to summon the heartless." he said, extending his hand and covering Zeke and Zim in a dark energy. As the pair of them gasped and basked in the darkness, Garland's eyes were beaming. "One last thing... Our enemies are here... The feline with the key and his friends. I suggest you try to deal with them..." he said before fading away. Zim jumped and waved as Garland vanished. "Hey, thanks, knight dude! Zim feels mightier already!" he cackled. Zeke stared at him. "You're not gonna refer to yourself in the third person the whole way, are you? Ehh... Well, let's see about these heartless that guy mentioned..." he smirked.
Lucky pushed open the gate leading out of the first district and into an area outside of town. "I don't want to fight a war, or whatever it is you're actually asking of me. C'mon, Tails, I'll still help you find your world's Sonic. He'd probably love to take this Keyblade off my hands and do all the fighting for me!" he stated, glancing back at the group. "You can't simply give the Keyblade away. It chose you, and you alone. It's going to stay with you no matter what." Travis told him. Tails sighed. "Lucky... If we go looking for Sonic, we may get caught up in more heartless trouble anyway. It's best if you're prepared to use that key. Our lives may depend on it." he said seriously. Lucky turned around, letting the gate close behind him. "What...are the heartless going to chase us?" he asked. Travis shrugged. "They seek the heart of Keyblade wielders above all others. They are the only ones that can destroy heartless, truly... Others who destroy heartless simply cause the hearts within to respawn as heartless elsewhere." he said. "So...it was useless for me to destroy some with my magic back home?" Whisk sighed. "Not really... they tend to respawn in another location entirely. It at least gets them off your back." Travis stated, "When you destroy a heartless with a Keyblade, though, the heart inside is freed." Lucky still seemed overwhelmed with all of this. "Quit being mopey! We're gonna train you, kid!" Gator said with a goofy grin. "What do you know about Keyblades, Gator?" Lucky asked. Gator held out his hand, and a green Keyblade appeared in his grip! "I had some training from an old guy... Merlin! He had to use some weird time trick to get my training done this millennium, though..." he stated. Travis chuckled softly. "I'll try to help as well. Why don't we get started straight away?" he asked. Tails nodded. "We might as well... We can't go anywhere until my friend finds us and brings his ship here..." he said. "Friend? Ship? ...I thought we were traveling through warp doors." Lucky babbled. "Focus, kitty! Get out that key and let's practice the basics!" Gator ordered.
Zeke and Zim were now in the second district, across from the fountain that once concealed the world's keyhole. They had been experimenting with summoning heartless now that Garland had given them the ability to do so, but hadn't called forth much beyond some shadows and soldiers. "These little guys aren't that impressive." Zim murmured. "One might say that about you..." Zeke scoffed, "But, yeah, we need more darkness... Maybe we can call something with more oomph!" he smirked. In the meantime, Lucky was practicing his Keyblade swings, while Tails held up a beeping device, a look of alarm on his face. "What's that? Are you late for an important date?" Whisk asked. Tails shook his head. "This is a darkometer. I can detect the presence of the heartless with it... and it's going crazy! There's heartless here in Traverse Town!" he stammered. Travis glanced in his direction. "Where? This could be a chance for some practical training!" he said. "Ulp... Do I have to?" Lucky gulped. The group were led by Lucky into second district, where they found Zeke and Zim surrounded by shadows, soldiers and tornado steps! "Oh no! They were pulled into the door with us, and now they're in trouble!" Whisk cried. Zeke glanced in their direction and flew up above the action. "Oh... The cat with the key is here to mess up my new friends, huh? We'll see who gets messed up, luckless! Get 'em, heartless!" he ordered. "...Hey, half of these heartless are MINE!" Zim protested. Travis produced a spear while Gator clutched his Keyblade. "They're bad guys! Don't worry, kitty cats! I'll tackle 'em!" Gator cried, running in to attack the heartless with Travis behind him. "Was Zeke always able to call the heartless?" Lucky wondered. Whisk pulled out her wand. "Who cares! We should try convincing him it's a bad idea! Fire!!" she shouted, flinging a fireball from her wand to destroy a soldier as it came at them! "...I hope it doesn't pop back up nearby..." she babbled. "Travis said it doesn't work like that! Don't worry, just fight!" Tails said, getting his shield ready.
Zeke growled as his heartless minions were getting destroyed. "You punk! You think you're so big now that you got that key? Well... How's THIS for big!!" he snarled, a dark aura surrounding him before suddenly, a heartless comprised of several parts crashed down from the sky! Its hands, feet and head separated from its body and approached each member of the group separately. It was a guard armor! Travis struck the body with his spear. "Lucky! Gator! Deal with his limbs!" he shouted. Gator blocked with his Keyblade as the heartless' feet kicked at him. "Stupid shoes! I'll give you the boot!" he shouted. Lucky ran in terror as the hands formed a crazy propeller to try and attack him. "Meee-yow!! This is too much, too soon! L-little help, guys!?" he shouted. Tails was busy with the remaining smaller heartless, while Whisk was trying to zap the guard armor's head as it stalked around her. "You creep! What are you staring at!?" she growled. Those hands were closing in on Lucky, looking ready to grab him, so he had no choice. He slashed his Keyblade at them, and they vanished with ease. "Huh...? Hmm... That was easy!" he babbled. Gator was just finishing up with the feet at that moment, too. "Don't get too excited, the hands are the weakest part!" he stated. Lucky frowned, but then joined Gator and Travis in taking on the body as the head joined it, and it started firing large bolts of energy at them! Meanwhile overhead, the Gummi Ship was arriving, piloted by Winston the Moogle. He could see the battle below through his window. "Well, I'm not landing there... Dear me, that's a big heartless..." he babbled. Tails noticed the ship overhead, too. "Great, our ride's here. Let's wrap this up, then. Whisk! Do you know Stop magic?" he asked, glancing at Zeke and Zim. "Hey, what are they up to?" Zim murmured. "Stop!!" Whisk cried, freezing the dragon and Zeti in place! Meanwhile, Lucky and Gator slashed at the guard armor together, causing it to collapse and release its captive heart. "Well done!" Travis sighed, "We'll make a master of you yet... Or at least a hero." he said.
Zeke and Zim were soon tied up aboard Winston's ship, the Galestrom. Travis scratched his head awkwardly. "You sure you wouldn't rather I take them? I'm going to see Master Yen Sid to update him on your progress. He'll know what to do with those two." he said. "No prison can hold ZIM!!" the Zeti howled. Lucky shrugged. "They belong in my world. I should take them home next time I'm there." he said. "Whenever that'll be..." Whisk sighed. Tails nodded. "Apparently we're quite far from your home now. We might as well look for Sonic on the way." he stated. Winston stood at the entrance to his ship. "It's going to be awfully crowded in here if you're all coming. I wonder if this town still has a gummi business so I can expand the ship a bit..." he murmured. "It'll be fine, Winston. Besides, we need Lucky. His key will come in handy." Tails stated. Travis nodded and started to leave, but Gator stuck around. "You kids still need more training! I can't send you out like you are now!" he babbled. Travis glanced back at Gator to see where he was going with this. "No offense, but I think I can practice random swinging all on my own." Lucky said. Gator didn't seem like a really good teacher in all seriousness. "Now, now! It'll be fun! I'll train you like a proper pirate! And I know just the world to do it!" he grinned. Whisk looked intrigued. "You'll take us to another world? Sounds interesting...maybe we should give it a shot!" she said to Lucky. Travis nodded. "Alright, I know where HE wants to go. I'll pick him up with my ship after I've been to see Yen Sid so...do me a favor and leave him there." he said, heading off. "Wait! Where are we going?? You can't just hijack my ship!" Winston babbled as Gator stormed into his ship anyway. "I'm captain now! Hey, you don't have a warp gummi? Well, I was gonna eat mine, but I guess you can have it..." Gator babbled. Tails, Whisk and Lucky squeezed onto the ship, too, Lucky looking somewhat bewildered by everything that was happening. "Don't lose your head, kid... Because then the heartless get your heart!" Zeke grinned. Lucky inched away from him in his seat. "Don't make us regret not sending you to get punished by a wizard." he muttered, "Hey, what's a warp gummi, anyway?" he asked...
The warp gummi sped them to their destination, those unprepared for the speed of the trip letting out screams as they were thrown from their seats! The ship arrived at a beautiful collection of islands surrounded by clear waters. "Neverland ahoy! Drop anchor, poof-head!" Gator said to Winston. "...Anchor?" Winston mumbled. Lucky groaned as he struggled to get out from under Tails and Whisk, who'd fallen on him. "Why doesn't this thing have seat belts?" he groaned, "And, uh... if we can go that fast, what's to stop us from taking Zeke straight home?" he asked. Gator shrugged. "Not a thing! But since we're here, we might as well get some training in!" he grinned. As the ship landed, Tails turned to Winston. "Guard the prisoners, I guess..." he said. Winston had an awkward look. "Seriously? You need to start paying me munny, kupo..." he muttered.
Gator led the group to a grand looking pirate ship. He was quick to bring them aboard, where they found the captain looking rather indignant to find intruders aboard his vessel. "James Hook, old pal! Are you taking good care of my ship??" Gator giggled, shaking the red coated pirate's hook hand. Lucky stared at him awkwardly. Captain hook had both a comical and imposing image all at once, with frilly, fancy clothes, a pointy mustache, and a hook hand along with a sword at his hip. The captain looked pretty miffed at Gator, too. "YOUR ship?! How dare you! Smee!! Help me with these-" Before he could finish speaking, Gator continued. "I've brought these kids here, they're wet behind the ears but I figured some good 'ol pirate training would get them in fighting shape!" he stated, elbowing the captain much to his annoyance. The paunchy Mr. Smee rushed out. He was an even more comical-looking fellow with his striped shirt and bulbous nose. "Capp'n? Should I get the boys an' have this riff-raff walk the plank?" he asked. Hook rubbed his head under his hat with his good hand. "Hold, Smee... Fighting shape, you say?" he asked, the wheels in his head turning. Lucky turned to Whisk. "Does he look like a guy who'd be a good trainer to you?" he asked. Whisk shrugged. "Better than Gator, maybe." she reasoned. Hook got a wide grin as an idea formed. "Right, mates! What say we go ashore and you show me what you can do? Maybe by joining forces we can take care of a little problem I've been having for quite some time..." he said, glancing at Smee with a knowing wink, "Some extra help could be the end of that blasted Peter Pan!" he whispered to his first mate, who nodded in agreement.
However, once they went ashore, it quickly became apparent that Captain Hook wasn't too interested in having anything to do with Lucky and company's training. He instead put that task to Mr. Smee, while he went off to "secure the perimeter," which could be code for any number of other pirate shenanigans. Smee set up some dummy targets for Lucky to train against, all oddly dolled up in green outfits with feathered caps. "Let's practice some swashbuckling basics. Your friends can borrow some of our swords, too. Let's start off with some simple thrusts! Aim for the heart and...begin!" Smee instructed. Tails held a pirate sword awkwardly. "I don't wanna be a pirate..." he muttered. "What kinda attitude is that!? Go on, matey, get stabby!" Gator said, pushing him forward. Lucky bashed the target clumsily with his Keyblade. "No, no, no! That's not right! Like this!" Smee shouted, comically flailing his arms without a sword to properly show anything. During all of this, a red-headed boy was looking down on the action, held up only by happy thoughts. He wore green clothes very similar to the targets Lucky was badly attacking. "Hmm... 'Ol Hook's found some new stooges. Not doing so well against fake Peter Pan, so I guess it'd be a yawn for me to go against them in person!" he muttered. A small fairy girl in a green dress flew up to Peter, glowing with the light of pixie dust. Her speech sounded like a light ringing, but Peter could understand her. "What's that, Tinker Bell? Prisoners? Tied up...? Hmm... Sounds like more of Hook's kinda trouble. Lead the way!"
The fairy soon led him to the Galestrom, and Peter landed near it with a curious look on his face. "This ship... Isn't it the same kinda ship Sora used? Hm, but not quite the same..." he said, checking inside. Winston was asleep at the controls, so Pan brought a finger to his lips, signalling Tinker Bell to be quiet. He whispered to Zeke and Zim upon finding them. "Are you two alright? Who did this to ya?" he asked. Zim was about to no doubt say something stupid when Zeke nudged him quiet. "Brave boy... We were captured by dark beings, seeking to bring evil to your world! But if you release us, we will help you stop them!" he said. "We will?" Zim babbled. Pan rubbed his chin. "Well, alright. Hook's bad enough without other bad guys. Help me out here, Tink!" So, Pan untied Zeke while Tink worked on Zim. Once freed, Zeke promptly tied up and gagged Winston! "Scout ahead, boy... We'll be along!" he told Pan. He nodded and left with Tinker Bell. "You stink, Zeke. I didn't know you were a HERO!" Zim snapped. Zeke rolled his eyes. "We're not heroes, I said that so he'd untie us! C'mon...it's time for some payback!" he grunted. Zim stared as though this were a revelation. "Ohhh... I have much to learn from you!" he said.
Hook had returned after a while, and was notably frustrated with the lack of progress Lucky's group was showing. "Come on, you bilge rats! Can't you do any better than that!? Why, if Peter Pan were here, he'd..." he babbled. "He'd probably do this!" came a voice before Hook leapt up with a yelp, his bottom poked by a small knife. "Yaaaah!! P-p-pan!! You meddling brat!! Boys, get him!!" the pirate shouted. Smee scrambled to the ship, aiming to rally Hook's actual pirate crew, but until then it was up to Lucky. "Wait a minute... This guy's just a kid." Lucky muttered. Just then, pirate heartless came charging into the area from behind Pan, making Hook jump in fright! "H-heartless, too!? I thought I was rid of those disgusting things!" he shivered, rushing toward his ship as well. Tails and Whisk parried the swords of the pirate heartless with their own training swords. "Yikes!! D-do you think that Pan kid summoned them?" Whisk stammered. Peter Pan ignored the heartless for the moment and flew over towards Lucky. "So...training to take me on, huh?" he asked in a taunting voice. Thinking he was going to attack, Lucky struck with his Keyblade, only to be blocked by Pan's knife! "Hah! You gotta do better than that!" he smirked. "Call off the heartless!" Lucky shouted, pushing back against the knife and sending Pan tumbling backward! Tinker Bell flew up behind him and gave him a kick in the head. "Ow!! What the...fairy?" he babbled. More pirate heartless started bearing down on them, and Lucky and Pan stared at each other a moment with tense expressions before both turned and slashed their blades at the heartless, destroying a couple! "...You didn't call the heartless! Then who did?" Lucky wondered. "That's what I'd like to know!" shouted Hook, returning from his ship with Smee in tow. It seemed his crew was too afraid of the heartless to come ashore. "I'll deal with ye later, Pan... Expelling those beasts from Neverland takes precedence!" he declared. Pan crossed his arms. "Huh... Never thought I'd agree with you, Hook!" he chuckled. Tails scratched his head. "You don't think Zeke and Zim could've gotten loose?" he asked. Tinker Bell hid behind Peter with a look of sheepishness on her face. "Uhh... Were they tied up in a... funny-looking ship?" Pan asked. Hook scoffed before walking off. "Blast that Pan. I knew he'd be somehow responsible for this!" he grumbled.
Searching along with Peter Pan, Lucky's group eventually tracked Zeke and Zim to a skull shaped islet, where they were calling forth more pirate and air pirate heartless. "Ugh. You got away from the first wave. Well, we'll get you yet!" Zeke grunted. "Yeah, nobody ties us up!" Zim added. Pan crossed his arms as he floated above them. "Hey, boys, whatever happened to helping me stop the 'dark beings?' Looks to me like you're the ones bringing them here!" he noted. Zeke chuckled. "Bit slow, kiddo. Now we'll take you out, too!" he shouted. "Oh, no you won't!" came the voice of Hook, stepping out between Zeke and Pan. He drew is sword. "Peter Pan is MINE!!" he declared. Shrugging, Zeke began to flap his wings to fly off, Zim jumping on his back. "Catch us if you can, kids!" he chuckled, escaping through the eye of the giant skull. Lucky turned to chase them, but found heartless in his path. Tails brought out his shield and Whisk took out her wand. "Enough of this pirate stuff! Let's stop the heartless AND Hook!" the fox said. Hook was already locked in a sword battle with Pan. "Today's the day!! I feel it! Prepare to face revenge for feeding my hand to that crocodile, Peter Pan!!" he declared. Lucky blocked an air pirate's kick with his Keyblade, and ran over to help Peter Pan with Captain Hook. His rage seemed to be drawing the heartless to their battle specifically, and Pan would need the backup. "No...ganging...up!!" Lucky yelled, swatting the swashbuckling heartless with his key while Pan maneuvered Hook off-balance with his airborne swordplay. "You think you have me cornered! Ha!!" The captain tried to keep Pan's knife blocked with his sword and strike with his hook, but Tinker Bell flew in and knocked off his hat, startling him! "Blighted pixie!! Stay out of this!!" he growled, scrambling for his hat. Pan took the opportunity to poke his bottom again. "Yooooww!! You scurvy cheating codfish!!" he shouted. Lucky's group were taking out the last of the heartless at this point, and as the tide turned against him, Hook's mustache twitched as he swore he heard a ticking. "Tick...tock... Is that...the clock? Aaaaaahhh!! Th-the crocodile!!" he shouted, leaping into a run for the exit to the cavern, where Gator was walking in. "Hey! I'm no croc!! Geez, what a jerk..." he grumbled, holding up a timer once Hook was gone. "Training time is up, guys! You'd better get a move on!" he said. Lucky panted and nodded. "Well, we've survived some fights with heartless... Maybe we'll be okay." he smiled. Pan lowered near him and patted him on the back. "You all did pretty good! For pirate-trained, that is!" he smirked. Lucky chuckled softly. "I think I'm done with pirates!" he grinned. Gator pouted. "Hmph! I see when I'm not wanted!" he snapped, prompting everyone to chuckle.
Zeke and Zim weren't sure how to leave Neverland. They couldn't fly the Galestrom even if they entertained the notion of stealing it. As they roamed the world, it seemed for a bit that they were stuck. However, they soon found Garland, looking over a breathtaking waterfall. "A place where children don't grow. Where men don't wither and die. This is a world where time has stopped. In the grand scheme, what use is there for such a world? Where nothing can ever be changed..." Garland mused. Zim bowed before him. "Dark master! We've found you!" he said. Garland turned to them and stared. "...Who are you?" he asked. Zeke pulled Zim to his feet. "We're a couple of guys that can call the heartless, lookin' for a job." he smirked. Garland stood silent for a moment. "Pledge your service to me. There is much to do. Bow down, like your friend... Now!" he ordered, his piercing glare frightening Zeke enough to obey. Garland looked back out at the waterfall. "I require suitable sources of three powers. One of light... one of darkness... and one of chaos." he said, glancing at them. Zim tilted his head. "Uhhh... I think we only got darkness covered." he stated. Garland clasped his hands behind his back. "Not for what I'm planning. If we find suitable examples of each power... I shall use them to create a new power... one that can reshape all worlds to my will... I will call it... Chaos Hearts!"
To be continued...