Chapter 6 - Trio No More?
World - Twilight Town
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.
"I want you for a lifetime, but if you're gonna think twice, baby,
I don't wanna know, I don't wanna know.
Everything is just right, but if you're gonna think twice, baby,
I don't wanna know, I don't wanna know." - Don't Think Twice, Utada
Thinking of you, wherever you are...
At Halloweentown, Lucky and Whisk participated in a memory experiment while Tails went on the hunt for a powerful source of darkness. Caught by Zeke and Zim, they took his darkness detector and left him tied up, but he escaped and caught up with Lucky and Whisk.
The experiment showed Whisk a memory that she'd lost, but not much context to go with it. Before leaving, the team met up with Gator, who told them Master Yen Sid wanted to see Lucky at Twilight Town.
As the group set out, Zeke and Zim used the darkness detector to discover the first piece of Garland's scheme; an experimental heart oozing with darkness...
Now, let us journey to a new world...
A town that seemed perpetually at the sunset hour, Twilight Town was a very lazy and peaceful looking place. A streetcar tram slowly rolled along a track in the area Gator led Lucky, Whisk and Tails through after they'd left the Galestrom. Winston was with them for the moment, too. "I think my cousin Winslow has a shop set up around here. I should pop in for a visit while we're here..." the moogle murmured. The group halted at the tracks and waited for the tram to pass by, and once it did, they saw Travis waiting there for them, smiling. "I've been expecting you, guys." he said. "Hey! Don't sneak up on a Gator!" Gator shouted while the others crossed the tracks to greet him. "Uh, why was Gator sent to get us?" Lucky asked. Travis chuckled. "Honestly he was supposed to bring you right here from the wedding. It must've slipped his mind. Obviously I wasn't invited because I don't know anyone there." he said. "They took Tails as their plus one. I felt so sleighted, kupo..." Winston grumbled. "Ahh... Honestly, you should be glad you missed it. Like everywhere we go, there were heartless..." Tails sighed. Travis nodded. "We should hurry to Yen Sid so he can evaluate your progress, Lucky. Also, Whisk, I'm here to inform you that the wizard Merlin has managed to clear a teeny bit of time in his schedule to school you a bit in magic. Any little improvements can help, yes?" he said. Whisk gave a nod. "Yeah... I haven't used any big spells like Stop since we left because I'm worried about using up too much magic power and losing my memories...my memory is tied to my magic, you know." she stated. "Man, that's why? That Stop spell could've solved, like, every problem ever..." Lucky sighed. "Sillies! Alright, let's get on the train!" Gator chuckled. Winston waved goodbye to them as they went on their way, soon boarding a train that would take them to Yen Sid's Mysterious Tower. Lucky had a nervous look throughout the ride. "He's gonna evaluate my progress? No one said there'd be a test or anything!" he groaned. "No, no test. I told you, there's no time to give you the Mark of Mastery exam." Travis chuckled. Lucky groaned. "Why don't I feel better?"
They climbed up the winding stairways of the tall tower. There was a mystical feel to the building, and an ominous feel to it as well. Lucky was tense as he stepped into the sorcerer's room. There was a desk before the door, with some books and a candle melted onto a skull upon it. Several more books were upon shelves throughout the room. Seated in front of the desk was an elderly man wearing long, blue robes and a pointed blue hat with stars and a crescent moon upon it. He had a long, gray beard and wide, piercing eyes that seemed to stare right through Lucky. "Master Yen Sid! I present the new keyblade wielder, Lucky!" Travis said with a bow. Gator, Whisk and Tails also bowed, and as Lucky noticed, he yelped and hastily bowed as well. Yen Sid nodded as they rose. "Lucky... I have been tracking your progress from afar. That a keyblade has come to you at all is quite remarkable, as there are no records of keyblades or keyblade masters being seen on your world before..." he began. "Except me, right? Eh? Eh?" Gator grinned. Yen Sid ignored him. It didn't appear he acknowledged Gator as a master. Silence followed, and Yen Sid continued. "You have managed to survive dark threats in several worlds, but not without a heavy dose of aid from heroes from those worlds. You have made progress with your keyblade, but regrettably it leaves much to be desired. At the moment, I'd have to say that allowing you to continue exploring the worlds would be most dangerous. The Organization orchestrating the Keyblade War could exploit your weakness and turn your keyblade to their dark purposes..." he warned. Lucky hung his head a little, and Gator frowned. "Why not have Merlin train him?" he asked. Yen Sid shook his head. "Merlin has his hands full at the present. Merely asking him to aid your magical friend is a lot to put upon him. We can offer you sanctuary here, Lucky, but to send you back out seems folly at the moment." he stated. Lucky looked around worriedly. "But, what about Zeke and Zim? They're going around messing up worlds and we're the only ones fighting them off!" he babbled. Yen Sid folded his hands. "There are always threats amongst the worlds. A keyblade master must weigh which are more pressing to deal with at times. Trust me when I say, if the enemies you have been facing get out of hand, they will be dealt with. There are other keyblade masters with more skill than your own." he assured Lucky. The cat nodded dejectedly. "Yeah, that much is clear..." he said. Travis patted him on the back. "Hey, you didn't want to wade into battle anyway. Now you get to take it easy, right?" he stated. "I guess..." Lucky murmured unconvincingly.
Lucky, Whisk and Tails headed back outside the tower, and sat on the front steps. "I don't want to stay here until this keyblade war is over... I mean geez, what if we lose?" Lucky sighed. "Well, that's negative..." Whisk muttered. Tails nodded. "I can't stay with you either, Lucky. I have to find Sonic..." he pointed out. Lucky looked at the ground. "I know..." he groaned. Whisk stood up as Travis and Gator were coming out of the tower. "I'll come back and keep you company, Lucky... but I gotta go see this Merlin guy, first." she stated with a small smile. Tails stood up as well. "I should start getting ready to look for Sonic on my own..." he sighed, "I'll need to resupply in town, try to find parts to build a new darkness tracker..." he muttered. Whisk glanced at Tails. "We can meet up when my training is done. I'll help you." she offered. Tails glanced at her a little shyly. "Uhh... Well, I can't really wait too long. My world needs Sonic..." he said. Lucky stood up next, a sad look on his face. "I'm sorry that it seems like I'm not gonna be able to help either of you out anymore..." he frowned. "You can help me carry water for Master Yen Sid!" Gator said, "Dunno why he can't just magic some indoor plumbing but whatever..." Travis groaned. "Let them have their moment, Gator!" he muttered. Lucky shook hands with Tails. "Good luck, buddy..." he said. Then, Whisk gave Lucky a hug. "We won't forget about you here, Lucky... Stay safe!" she said. Travis and Gator then headed down the steps past the trio. "When you're ready, Whisk, we'll leave on my ship." Travis said. "You mean MY ship!" Gator commented. "Every ship isn't yours, Gator." Travis grumbled. Exchanging some final glances, the trio began to part ways, Tails heading for the train while Whisk headed off with Travis and Gator... "Wait, where are we going? The train is the only way to leave this tower!" Travis stammered, making Whisk fall over in an anime-style pratfall.
It was a bit of a trip, but soon they were almost to Travis' ship. It had broad wings and a sleek design. "My ship, the Starglider. We'll just get it ready for takeoff, hold on..." Travis stated. "It's MY ship!!" Gator insisted as he followed Travis aboard. Whisk stood back to take it in, breathing a sigh. Suddenly, a burst of smoke nearby caught her off guard! "Yikes! Heartless!!" she stammered, grasping her wand. "What? Heartless?! I am NOT a heartless, young lady! Why do people think I'm a heartless??" As the smoke cleared, an old man stepped out of it. He looked rather similar to Yen Sid; Long blue robes, big blue pointed hat, long beard. His hat was a bit floppier and his beard was whiter, though. He also carried a magic wand of his own. "It is I, Merlin! I know you're on your way to me but since I had a spare moment I thought I'd pop in and check you out... see if your trip will be worth it." he said, adjusting his glasses briefly as he looked Whisk over. She looked at him nervously. "Oh, great... Now I get to be evaluated like Lucky..." she sighed. Merlin tapped her nose with his wand, little sparkles emanating from it, and then he licked his finger and held it up as though testing the wind. "Hmmm... Yes, I'm done. I have sampled your powers." he stated. "ALREADY?!" Whisk babbled, her feathers ruffling. Merlin nodded. "I see your issue. Using too much magic at once could put your very mind at risk... Not to worry, I can unlock your power a bit, enabling you to use...slightly stronger magic. Come see me, posthaste! It may take some weeks of training, real time, but we'll get you prepared to face the dangers out there!" he told her before vanishing in another burst of smoke! "Uhhh... Th-thanks...I think..." Whisk babbled, bewildered.
Another burst of smoke made Whisk practically jump out of her skin as Gator appeared where Merlin had just stood. "Cut it out!! I'm the designated teleporter around here!!" she snapped. Gator tilted his head. "Uhhh, okay! I just wanted to know if you're coming aboard or what? See ya!" he said, vanishing again. As Gator and Travis sat inside the ship waiting for her, Whisk suddenly teleported between them! "Gah! Whisk, it's reckless to teleport without seeing where you're going!!" Travis scolded her. Whisk sighed and plopped down in a seat, glancing out the window. "...couldn't we bring Lucky along? I feel funny leaving him alone like this..." she sighed. Travis took the controls of the Starglider, starting the ship up. "Yen Sid will watch over him, don't worry. And I'm sure your fox friend will check in, too." he pointed out. Gator sat back in a relaxed pose. "Besides, what could happen in a sleepy town like that? Guys in white coats coming to steal your very words? ...hmm, maybe I should check back every so often, too..." he murmured. Whisk smiled lightly, his silly babbling actually putting her at ease a little. Twilight Town did seem like an unlikely place for anything dangerous to happen. "I guess... I'll see him in a couple weeks!" she nodded. The Starglider started to lift off the ground, and Travis set the travel coordinates for the world Merlin was waiting on. "I hope that wizard doesn't pop onto the ship while we're flying... he's known to show up unexpectedly like that..." Travis said. Whisk giggled softly. He had that right...
Tails was having a look through the shops that the tram was lazily traveling between near where they'd started in Twilight Town. He wore his black coat, preferring to be thought of as a child than as a creature from another world. He'd stocked up on food, and picked up some paints as well. "My new shield is kinda drab... it could use some fancying up..." he'd thought. Aside from being a tad outraged at the price of food in this town, the fox was also disheartened by the lack of parts he could use for building things. "I won't be building a new detector of any sort with anything I find in these stores..." he groaned as he carried his bags. He passed by Winston as he walked, and handed the bags to the moogle, who was busy talking to another moogle with glasses. "Kupo? Can't you see I'm busy?!" Winston scoffed. "I've got some things to do, too. C'mon, some of the food will spoil without the ship's little fridge." Tails insisted. Winston groaned, flapping his wings frantically as he lifted the bags. "C'mon, Winslow, kupo... You should see my ship, anyway!" he grunted, flying off. Tails sighed as he casually walked away, eyes glancing around as though looking for something. His tails poked out from under his black coat...it was very uncomfortable trying to keep them hidden. No one was looking anyway. "If Lucky can't use the keyblade... he's basically been a distraction. I hate to say that... But I can't waste any more time. My world's counting on me." he murmured, lifting his shield and brushing his hand over its polished front. "Maybe Sonic found a keyblade. By now he might even have come back home... And I've been unwittingly chasing a dragon around. Well, I'll show Sonic... I'll prove myself..." he said, standing tall as he walked, "I'll do it all myself if I have to..."
Tails found a crack in a wall surrounding the town, actually a bit of a hole, leading out into a wooded area. Curious, he took a walk through those woods, and soon came upon an isolated mansion, a large gate barring entry. There was an ominous feel to this place, and very somber. He spun his tails and took a peek over the gate. White curtains hid any view inside the windows. Broken pillars dotted the path leading to the front door. "What's a place like this doing hidden out here like this?" he murmured, landing back down in front of the gate. "Hmm... Well, there doesn't appear to be anyone home. It's very quiet, and feels rather deserted. This spot could work as a meeting place..." he murmured, glancing around thoughtfully. He then crossed his arms and frowned. "I suppose I'll go check on Lucky... He's probably feeling pretty low. I should at least say goodbye properly before I leave him..." he murmured, heaving a sigh. He reached into his pocket and grabbed a small, beeping device, which he adhered to the wall by the gate. "This'll make this spot easy to find again later..." he murmured, heading back into the woods. There was a lot on the fox's mind as he made his way back to town. "Maybe we shouldn't have come here. Lucky might have been helpful in the end if that wizard didn't tell him it isn't safe..." he murmured, "...guess there's no sense worrying about it now. Gotta work on plan B... What the heck even is plan B?" he asked himself. He couldn't deny, a keyblade was pretty useful in the grand scheme of things...
Lucky was standing outside the train station, looking out over the nearby balcony at the town below. He let out a sigh, lost in thought. Was his journey really to end here? As he wondered about it, he heard a voice... a very friendly, optimistic sounding voice. "Wow, that's a long face! What's wrong?" Lucky turned to see a boy in mostly-black clothing. He had bright blue eyes, spiky brown hair, and a very infectious smile that almost lifted Lucky's spirits instantly. "Uhm... I probably shouldn't talk about it..." the cat murmured. The boy scratched his head. "Why not? ...Oh, I get it. You're not from this world either, are you!" he chuckled softly, gving a wink and a nod, "It's fine, I've been to dozens of worlds!" he whispered. Lucky gasped softly. He could practically feel it...the light coming from this boy. He held up his hand. "So, wait... Are you...?" he asked, materializing his keyblade to illustrate his point. The boy gasped softly, and held up his own hand like Lucky, calling his own keyblade as well! His key looked pretty basic, but Lucky could feel something was special about it. "Hehe, cool! I'm Sora!" the boy smiled, introducing himself. "Lucky... although I don't feel all that lucky... Master Yen Sid says I'm not strong enough. That I should stay here for my own safety..." he sighed. Sora lowered his keyblade and rested his free hand on his hip. "He said that? Hm... Well, I've certainly been there..." he murmured, "People have told me before... that I'm not good enough to be a hero. But you can't give up!" he declared. Lucky looked at him, hands at his side. Sora stepped back and held a hand over his chest. "Even now, the journey I'm embarking on... It'll be really dangerous. I know times will be tough. But my heart has grown strong, connected to all the friends I've made. Together, we'll beat Xehenort and save everyone threatened by his schemes! ...My friends are my power..." he said, lifting his hand up in a fist as he smirked confidently. Lucky looked at him admiringly. "Sora... I wish I were strong like you..." he said. Sora chuckled. "Well, first rule... No more frowning. No sad faces!" he said with a wink.
At that moment, Zeke landed in front of the train station with a thud, Zim hopping off his back. "There you are, kid... You've been a real pain in the tail. Now Garland wants me to get you out of the picture!" Zeke snorted. Sora looked at them in confusion. "Uhhh, have we met?" he stammered. "Not you! The kitty kid!" Zim grunted. Lucky gripped his keyblade, ready for a fight. "Garland, huh? That's the guy from the video game world?" he asked. Sora held his keyblade at the ready, too. "I'll even the odds here! Think you can take two keyblade masters? Uh... Masters...in the making!" he said sheepishly. Zim scoffed. "A human shrimp? Zim will swarm you with heartless!!" he cackled, summoning forth several shadows and soldiers to surround Sora! "That's all?" Sora chuckled softly. Zim growled in annoyance and charged towards him. "Zim will fight you, too!!" he shouted, only to be swatted over Zeke's head by Sora's keyblade! "Zim will be right back!!" he yelled. Zeke rolled his eyes. "Well, point is, it's you and me, Luckless! RAWR!!" Zeke lept into the air and flapped his wings, flying right into Lucky and grabbing him, lifting him up into the sky with him! "Meeeee-YOW!! Put me down, you psycho!!" he yelled, flailing his keyblade uselessly. "Whatever ya say!" Zeke said, hurling Lucky forcefully at the ground, only to see him land upright shakily! "H-ha!! Cats always land on their feet! ...oww..." he grunted. He then ducked as Zim was knocked over his head this time. "This isn't funny!" Zim yelled. When Lucky looked up, he saw Zeke blowing fire at him, so he quickly started to run out of the way! "Deep freeze!" called Sora, shooting blizzard magic from his keyblade and managing to briefly freeze Zeke's mouth shut! "Ragck!! RAWWWR!!" Zeke burned through the ice and glared at him. "You're a real wise guy, aren't ya?!" he snarled. "And you're pretty shrimpy for a dragon... Though, I can't lie, I've seen even shrimpier, hehe!" Sora smirked. Zim tried to sneak up behind Sora, but he spun around and knocked him aside without missing a beat. "Wow... He's good..." Lucky murmured. Zeke turned back to the cat and lunged at him, hoping to catch him by surprise! Lucky swiped his keyblade at him, but Zeke caught it! "Just not good enough! Now all I have to do is burn your face!!" Zeke smirked, heat rising on his breath! However, Sora leapt up from behind Zeke, spinning in midair and swinging his keyblade as he passed, striking the dragon across the face and causing his fire breath to shoot out in the wrong direction! Then, landing beside Lucky, Sora gave him a nod, and the pair of them gave Zeke a good smack with their keyblades, sending him flying away and on top of the already dazed Zim! "...You took care of the heartless already??" Lucky stammered. "It's kinda routine by now..." Sora said with a grin.
A corridor of darkness appeared, and Garland emerged, stepping on top of Zeke and Zim together as he passed them and approached Lucky and Sora. "It appears those two fools have picked entirely the wrong time to tangle with you... We've run afoul of the boy who battles the Organization..." he said, arms crossed as he glared at both of them. "Garland... What do you want? Why are you messing with so many worlds?" Lucky asked. The black knight backed up a step and kicked Zeke to roll him off of Zim. "Thanks, boss..." Zim groaned. Garland scoffed softly. "I only want what is best... The true nature of the worlds, the true nature of the heart... is glorious chaos. You try to deceive yourself. Say that you follow paths of light. Or paths of darkness. But all of us are a tangle of contradictions. Chaos. You yourselves weild blades of terrible power, all while claiming to serve the light. This is chaos in itself. My goal is to give the worlds back to their essence... When Chaos Hearts reigns over all worlds... True balance will be acheived." he stated. Sora scratched his head. "Chaos Hearts?? Is your helmet on too tight?" he asked. Garland chuckled softly. "Sora... you are key to my plans, as well. I need you to stop Xehenort. Prevent him from getting in my way. Do this for me. Not that you have a choice..." he stated before fixing his gaze on Lucky. "But you... You are in my way, child. I warn you... remain here. If you continue to place yourself in the path of my destiny...destiny will not favor you. And I am destined to succeed... I have willed it so, taken every precaution. My goals cannot be halted. If you make me your foe...you are on the wrong side of history. And you will be buried in the graveyard of keyblades..." he warned. By now, Zeke and Zim had risen to their feet, and as Garland turned to the corridor of darkness, they followed him, looking rather dejected at their defeat. Once Garland was gone, Sora turned to Lucky. "Well, he seems like a jerk..." he said in a lighthearted tone, "If he comes after you, I don't care, give me a call. I'm always happy to help...my friends." he added with a warm smile. Lucky glanced at him and smiled back. "Thank you, Sora... I think I'm going to ask Yen Sid for another shot... Someone's gotta stand in Garland's way, right?" he said. Sora nodded. "Good luck! ...Heh, any help I can get with this whole Xehenort thing going on is more than welcome!" he said, taking Lucky's hand in his and giving a shake. They were allies now...even if this might be the only time they ever meet...
Lucky was quickly joined by Tails as he entered the train station, and together they returned to the Mysterious Tower to see Master Yen Sid again. "You think he'll train you just because you go back and ask?" Tails murmured. "Well, I've got nothing better to do but keep asking until he says yes!" Lucky snickered as they climbed the stairs to the sorcerer's chamber. They found Yen Sid inside, seated as though he'd never moved since the last time they were there. Tails and Lucky politely bowed as they entered. "Master Yen Sid! Sorry to intrude again! I wanted to ask a really big favor!" Lucky announced. Yen Sid leaned forward, staring at Lucky as his head was bowed down. "Look at me..." the sorcerer asked. Lucky stood up straight, looking anxiously back into those big round eyes. Yen Sid had a very serious expression. "Hmmm... Yes, I see it. There's resolve in your gaze. Resolve that was not there when I saw you last." he sat back in his chair, a light smile crossing his lips, "I do believe you've met Sora." he said knowingly. "Who?" Tails asked, while Lucky chuckled softly. "I want to help, Master. Someone has to stand in Garland's way, or the worlds are in danger." he stated. Yen Sid nodded, and then let out a light sigh. "I have not trained a new keyblade wielder for some time. That impetuous king..." he murmured, an uncertain look on his face. "I must be vigilant with Xehenort on the loose. I cannot commit to training you as a master should. However, I see it in your eyes. I cannot stop you from following your heart... So, I will grant you what wisdom I can, along with a safe space, to hone your abilities with the keyblade, so that when you next venture forth, you can be better armed to defend yourself and others from danger!" he declared. Lucky jumped for joy at this. "Aw, yeah! Sweet!" he cheered, while Tails glanced at him awkwardly. Lucky then chuckled softly and bowed again. "I m-mean, thank you, Master Yen Sid, sir!" he said sheepishly. The team would set out into the worlds again, and when they did, they'd be ready for whatever Garland threw at them next!
To be continued..... BZZZZT!! ZZZT!! RRRRRZZZ! Wait! There's more!
With Lucky starting on his training straight away, Tails set out on his own so as to stay out of the way, a light smirk on his face. He wandered back to the mansion he'd found earlier, only to notice that the tracker he placed on the wall by the gate was gone. "....Sonic? Are you here?" he murmured. Sonic's voice came from the shadows, behind the trees. "Been waitin' on ya. About time you reached out. Actually, I've seen you on a couple worlds. Don't tell me you've gotten all buddy-buddy with these kitty cats, Tails!" he sniggered. Tails turned towards the voice, a scowl forming across his face. "I found a keyblade. Everything's going according to plan. And my name is NOT Tails, Sonic!" he snapped. Sonic chuckled lightly from the shadows. "Coulda fooled me. That's what everybody's callin' you now. Well, you keep that plan goin'. It wasn't a bad plan. I got a new plan, though. Yours can be a backup, you're always the backup anyway. Just ask Fiona..." he snickered. Tails' face went livid. "You leave her out of this, Sonic! Now what's this new plan you're going on about! Step out here and face me, you blue worm!!" he growled, only to gasp as Sonic stepped into the light. "What happened to you??" This Sonic had turned green, his eyes blue. He had red shades upon his head and an open black leather jacket, letting two scars across his chest show. He grabbed Tails by the neck and lifted him up, smirking widely. "Call me a worm again, I dare you... And my name is Scourge now, Miles... Scourge the Hedgehog!" he said before tossing Tails back on the ground, followed by his tracker. "Your little toys are pathetic, just like you, foxy. I'm batting for team darkness now, and I suggest you get with the program... Keep that keyblade close, 'little buddy'... I'll be watching..." he said darkly before speeding off, flame trails left behind him! Tails stared after him, fidgeting with his bangs as he tried to process this. "But... what about Moebius?" he stammered.
To be continued...