Greetings fellow readers and writers! This is my ninth Kingdom Hearts story and I hope you like it! Okay, this time around we'll be crossing with one of my favorite scifi anime's, Space Battleship Yamato, takes place immediately after Volume 8 of my Beyond the Door to Light series ended, where Sora and the gang are finally going to get their new Gummy Ship. Yet they're about to find out that, as usual, nothing ever goes according to plan. This story also takes place between episodes 14 and 15 of Space Battleship Yamato, as if it were a 'lost episode.' This fic also contains elements of Doctor Who that will appear in the middle of the story. The Doctor won't be making an appearance, sorry, but as a special guest, I'll have The Daleks come in as 3rd party villains. Trust me, you'll love it!
Now I don't own either Kingdom Hearts, Space Battleship Yamato or Doctor Who. I do own the original characters I've created for this series and the original Heartless that I've also creature. Please don't sue me over the stuff I don't own, I'm just trying to tell a good story.
And now, without further delay, please enjoy…
Kingdom Hearts: Beyond the Door to Light
Volume 9: The Yamato Encounter
Chapter 1: To Name a Gummy Ship
Sora ran down the stairs to the Gummy Hanger in Disney Castle and was amazed by the new edition to the room. "Wow!" he said.
Just then Kairi, Aiden, Donald and Goofy caught up with Sora and were also amazed by what they saw, "Wow!" they all said.
Then Riku and the newest edition to the team, Tess Thatcher, were also amazed by what they saw. Even Tess, who grew up on a world that was reduced to a pre-renaissance civilization by dark magic, knew that the technological wonder before her was just that.
"Wow!" said both Riku and Tess.
What they saw was the new Gummy Ship that Cid promised to bring over. She was the same shape as the Highwind series but bigger in length, width and height by several meters. Her hull and wings were colored orange and blue, while the tail section with the engines were green and gold.
"Glad you younguns like her," said Cid as he walked from the hatch on the new ship to the platform where Sora and the others were.
"Cid, she's amazing!" said an eager Sora.
"You must have worked around the clock, Cid" said Riku.
"She's awesome!" said Kairi.
"What a remarkable work of technology," said Aiden.
"If this is the standard for ships in this universe," said Tess, "then I'm already impressed."
"It's a Gummy Ship," said Donald, "not a boat for water."
"We use Gummy Ships to go to other worlds," Goofy.
"Oh," said Tess, "a starship. My father told me that years ago our world had visitors from other planets. Metamore was once an advanced civilization, before that maniac Phobos ruined everything."
"Well we helped stet things back on the right track," said Kairi, "if anyone can rebuild Metamore to the way it was, it's Elyon and her friends, The Guardians."
"I believe it," said Tess.
"Ya' kids gonna chatter all day?" Cid asked, "or are ya' gonna to see all of my hard work?"
"Oh, right," said Sora, "I think we're all ready for the tour."
"'Bout time," said Cid. Everyone then followed him aboard the new ship and. Sora and the others were immediately amazed again.
"Now this is what I call a bridge," said Riku as they saw the command module. It was a large oval room with multiple chairs with computer Consoles. In the middle was the Captains' chair with the rest of the bridge stations spaced around it. Directly behind was a seat that displayed the status of the engines and the overall ship status. To the right of the command seat was an area for sensor analysis and to the left was a seat for weapons control. The helm and navigation seats were to the front of the room and at the front was a large display screen.
"This is just like on Star Trek," said a grinning Kairi.
"Thought you'd like it," said Cid.
"That's all?" said a female voice that seemed to come from all around our heroes, "they only 'like' me? You'd think they'd be overjoyed, ecstatic or delighted. But it's only 'like.'"
"Who said that?" said a slightly nervous Tess, "what magic is this?"
"Magic has nothing to do with me," said the female voice, "a good part of the ship runs of magic, but not me. I'm pure science through and through."
Just then a hologram of a girl in her late teens with shoulder-length tawny hair and hazel eyes appeared. The image of the girl wore a green and white shirt and skirt with orange shoes.
"You're an AI program," said Riku, "cool!"
"Is that all I am?" the holographic girl asked, "just 'cool?' How about amazing, fantastic, super-califragilistic-expialidocious even."
"Wait," said Sora, "are you the ship's computer?"
"In the flesh," said the holographic girl as she smiled, "so to speak."
"Now this is super-califragilistic-expialidocious ," said Kairi, "to the max."
"Oh, I like this one," said the holographic girl, "you must be Kairi. And this is Sora, Riku, Donald, Goofy, and the one who looks like he has no idea what he's seeing must be Aiden," she then looked at Tess, "you must be new to the group. My name is Sidney. I am an artificial intelligence program; in other words, I'm the brain of this starship."
"My father told me that our world was experimenting in artificial intelligence," said Tess, "before the tyranny of Phobos, but I thought they were just stories," she smiled, "I'm glad that he was right."
"That's great that your dad wasn't making things up," said Aiden to Tess,he looked at Sidney, "but what do you do?"
"Didn't you hear her?" Riku asked, "she's the brain of the ship, which means she runs the ship."
"In a manner of speaking, yes," said Sidney, "my duties include monitoring the environmental systems to ensure the relative comfort of the crew, as well as making sure that the engines are running as smoothly and efficiently as possible, and a whole lot of other boring stuff that are needed for travel among the worlds.
"Also," Sidney then placed her holographic hand on Sora's shoulder, startling him as he realized he was feeling, it seemed, flesh and blood. "my holographic matrix is advanced enough so that I feel as real as the real thing, all so that the crew feels more comfortable with my presence."
"So you're just like a real person?" Tess asked, "that's amazing!"
"Fantastic," said Riku
"Super awesome!" said Aiden.
"Definitely super-califragilistic-expialidocious," said Kairi
"Definitely," said Sora, "I wish my old ship had a computer as cool as you are."
"I wish I existed back then," said Sidney, "to work with as great a crew as you guys. Back at Radiant Garden, you're all heroes, real heroes, especially Sora and Kairi."
"Did you hear that," said Donald to Goofy, "we're real heroes now."
"We still gotta convince Phil," said Goofy.
"Oh, right," said Donald in a deflated tone.
"We'll visit Olympus Coliseum after Neverland," said Sora.
"Wait a second," said Riku, "what about me? Why aren't I a real hero on Radiant Garden?"
"You are," said Sidney, "and so is Aiden. Everyone on Radiant Garden knows of the exploits of The Keyblade Wielders. It's just that Sora and Kairi are the bigger heroes in the eyes of the people. Sora because he basically saved the universe twice, and Kairi because she's the princess of Radiant Garden, as well as a Princess of Heart."
"So you're a real princess?" Aiden asked Kairi, "I didn't know that."
"Neither did I," said Tess, "then again, I'm still new at all of this."
"It's not something I like to talk about," said Kairi in a tone that said that she was feeling somewhat uncomfortable.
Sora sympathized with her. He knew that Kairi's birth parents were killed along with a lot of other people when Xehanort experiments with the darkness on Radiant Garden lead to the world being covered in darkness, followed by Maleficent's takeover of that world and renaming it Hollow Bastion.
"We'll worry about that when we get to Radiant Garden," said Sora. He then spoke telepathically to Kairi, :we'll make that our last stop.:
:Thanks,: said Kairi back via ESP, :but I'll have to face my past sooner or later, so we might as well get it over with sooner.:
:Our thoughts exactly,: said Roxas as he and Naminé finally caught up with our heroes and boarded the ship.
"Oh, more crewmembers," said Sidney, "that's alright. The ship has room for up to twenty permanent members."
"You must be the ships' computer," said Naminé, "please to meet you."
"Likewise," said Roxas as he and Naminé shook hands with Sidney. "Anyway, Sora, Kairi, if it's okay with you and the others, Naminé and I are gonna call it a day, so to speak."
"You're going to go back inside of us," said Kairi, "that's okay. We've all had a long adventure and need a rest."
"Glad you understand," said Naminé. With that she and Roxas merged back with Kairi and Riku.
"How remarkable," said Sidney, "two people who are actually four. Quite remarkable."
"You may be intrigued," said Aiden in a disturbed tone, "but it's still freaky to me."
"Not me," said Tess, "I can turn invisible after all, so I'm used to the weird and bizarre."
"Right," said Aiden, "I should have realized."
"Okay, so we've got the bridge covered," said Cid, "let's get this show rollin' again."
"Is it me or does this ship kinda look bigger on the inside?" Sora asked as our heroes followed Cid out of the bridge and down to the next deck.
"It is bigger on the inside," said Sidney as she walked with them, "and in case you're wondering, the whole ship is equipped with holographic projectors. I can appear anyplace on the ship that I'm needed."
"There's another thing," said Kairi.
"Right you are," said Sidney, "anyway, I believe Merlin had something to do with the construction of this vessel. Said wizard has infused a spell that would squeeze the most out of the inside, or rather, squeeze in."
"Righteous," said an impressed Riku.
"That it is," said Sidney.
"If Merlin and Cid built the ship," said Sora, "who made you? No offense."
"None taken," said Sidney, "I was created in the formerly known Hollow Bastion Restoration defense computer, by the controlling program, Tron."
"Tron made you?" Sora asked, "for real?"
"That's an affirmative," said Sidney, "he designed and beta tested me, so here I am."
"So he's kinda like your daddy," said Goofy.
"Tron's a dad?" Donald asked.
"In a manner of speaking, yes," said Sidney, "Tron is my father. As to my name, that as Yuffie's contribution. She thought it would be funny that I had a girl's version of the name Cid, hence Sidney."
At that everyone laughed heartily.
"And Yuffie is proven right," said a grinning Sidney.
"Yeah, real funny," said a slightly disgruntled Cid.
Our heroes then reached the area that served as the galley. "Here we have a fully stocked, state of the art kitchen," said Sidney, "complete with multi-functioned food processors, an electric stove and oven, as well as a convection oven, a microwave oven and a computer program with just about every recipe in the realms; if you can cook it, it can be made here."
"I don't suppose you're also a chef, Sidney?" Aiden asked as he cautiously eyed a food processor, "I'm a really great Alchemist, but not that great a cook."
"You're not that bad," said Sora, "you helped make dinner a few times."
"I nearly burned your house down that time I tried to cook a roast!" said Aiden in an exasperated tone, "if I hadn't transmuted the air around the oven into non-flammable gas, then we'd all be out of a home. And don't get me started about the time we used that pressure cooker."
"Oh, right," said a slightly sheepish Sora, "the pressure cooker. That wasn't one of our brighter ideas."
"What happened?" Riku asked, "this is the first time I've heard of anything you did with a pressure cooker."
"You must have been out of town that day," said Kairi, "okay, short version; the pressure cooker at Sora's house blew up, end of story."
"I managed to repair everything that got wrecked," said Aiden, "but let's just say that Sora's mom wasn't happy that it happened in the first place. And don't get me started on how mad she was that Sora and I tried to deep-fry a turkey for fun."
"I wish you wouldn't bring up the deep-fryer incident," said Sora.
"Oh, please bring that up," said Kairi, "that story is hilarious."
"What are you talking about?" Riku asked.
"You were out of town that day," said Aiden, "when we used a deep-fryer and I fried my hand, seriously," he held up his left hand, "and Kairi healed it in no time."
"My mom made me throw out the deep fryer," said Sora, "after I cleaned the whole house from top to bottom."
"I'm glad I missed that," said Riku.
"I'm sorry to say it," said Sidney, "but I was never programmed to cook. I have over a million recipes stored in my permanent memory, but you people are going to have to do the actual cooking."
"Fair enough," said Tess, "I'm an adequate cook myself. I had to be one since I was on my own for so long."
"I'm pretty handy in the kitchen," said Riku.
"Thanks' for volunteering," said an eager Aiden.
"Gee, thanks," muttered Riku.
Our heroes were then lead to the area marked for crew quarters. "Each room has it's own bed, a desk and a large closet," said Sidney, "as well as your own full bathroom."
"Finally!" said Sora, "the old Gummy Ships had only one bathroom each."
"How'd you survive having to share?" Kairi asked Sora, Donald and Goofy.
"Well, it wasn't easy," said Goofy, while Donald nodded in agreement.
"The ship has it's own Laundromat," said Sidney, "but, like the kitchen, you'll have to do the washing yourselves."
"That's okay," said Kairi, "we'll take turns," she eyed Sora, Riku and Aiden, "right, boys?"
"Right," muttered Sora, Riku and Aiden.
"Moving on," said Sidney as she and Cid lead our heroes to a large room that was filled with various forms of entertainment, "we have the Recreation Room. We've got two High Definition Plasma Screens, each with built-in DVD and Blu-Ray players, as well as each a Playstation 3, an X-Box 360 and a Nintendo Wii. For each game console there are multiple game titles, depending on what you like."
"Super awesome!" said Sora. He looked at Riku, "I'm gonna totally kick your butt in Halo!"
"And I'm gonna wipe the floor with you in Medal of Honor," said Riku.
"What's this?" Tess asked as she pointed at another big-screen.
"That's the music area," said Sidney, "there you can access over a billion albums in MP3 format," a panel in a cabinet next to the wall opened, revealing several advanced MP3 players with headphones, "and these are for all of you."
"Super awesome!" said Riku.
"The system also has a multi-band digital radio," said Sidney, "and a downloading feature for new music. And there's a Karaoke program as well."
"Super sweet!" said Kairi.
"I thought you'd like that," said Sidney, "also on this deck is an exorcise room, complete with weight machines and cardio machines."
"That's good," said Sora, "being able to work out will help keep us in shape while traveling.
"Glad you approve," said Sidney, "now, moving on to the next deck."
One floor down found our heroes in a large sickbay. "this has some of the most advanced medical equipment available," said Cid, "in case your healing magic don't work and you're nowhere near a Moogle to stock up on recovery items."
"This is great," said Kairi.
"It should be," said Sidney, "the sickbay has built-in medical scanners that can diagnose any injury or illness and prepare the correct treatment."
"And of course we have to do the hard work," said Aiden.
"That's how it goes," said Sidney, "but wait until you see the next room."
Next to the sickbay was an advanced science lab, "the computers here have a direct link to the ships' scanners," said Sidney, "here you can analyze data from space, as well as samples taken from the worlds."
"Prodigious!" said an impressed Aiden.
"Glad you like it," said Sidney.
"Okay, now we get to the serious part," said Cid. He directed everyone to the next deck down to the engine room, which took up the entire deck, "this is the heart of the ship. Now pay attention, 'cause I'm only gonna say this once. This ship has a newly designed power plant that'll practically last forever, if you take care of it," he picked up a large 3-ring binder and tossed it to Sora, "make sure you kids read that all the way through at least twice. If 'ya don't, it's your funeral."
"We get it," said Riku, "take care of the engine and I'll take care of us. If we don't take care of the engine, kaboom!"
"Right," said Cid, "one more thing," he then opened a panel in the wall that revealed a large red button that was under a glass box, which was secured by a padlock.
"There's another button like this on the bridge," said Cid, "and one in the weapons control room, which we'll get to soon enough," he tossed three identical keys to Riku.
"What do the buttons do?" Riku asked.
"They override the safety levels on the engine," said Cid, "and transfer all of the ships' power to the weapons for one massive blast. This is only an emergency move, and you should use it unless there's nothing else to do, 'cause if you use it, you'll be dead in space and it'll take the engine a while to power back up, like twenty minutes or so."
"Okay," said Riku, "we'll remember that," he handed one key to Kairi and one to Sora and they all pocketed them, "we won't use it unless there's nothing else to do."
"Great," said Cid, "now let's get this wrapped up.
Just before they left the engine room, Sora saw something rather strange, "uh, Cid? Why is there a watermelon attached to one of the engine parts?"
True enough, a large watermelon was hardwired to one of the components of the engine.
"I'll tell ya' later," said Cid, "come on, there' still a lot to go through."
The next deck had an auxiliary bridge for emergencies, as well as the ship's transporter room.
"Here you can beam down to the worlds," said Sidney, "the ship can also land on the surface of a world, if you want."
Next was the computer core room, where a 20ft tall PC towered over our heroes, "This is me actually," said Sidney as she pointed to the gargantuan computer, "all the ship's functions pass through here."
"I gotta say," said Aiden as he admired the large computer core, "for a machine that can think, you're awesome!"
At that Sidney blushed, "flattery will get you nowhere. I may be able to think for myself and have emotions, but remember, I have no physical flesh."
"We're just friends," said Aiden.
"Next is the weapons' control room," said Cid as they left the computer core.
"Now we're talking my language," said an eager Tess. "I've had a lot of experience with weapons."
"Not these I don't think," said Cid as they entered the next room. The walls were covered with computer displays showing different weapons.
"You've got ya' lasers," said Cid, "ten cannons; six fore, four aft. Then you've got four missile pods, two on each side above and below the wings. And then there's three torpedo launchers, two fore, one aft. All of the weapon arrays retract into the ship.
"You've also can use up to four Teeny Ships, all equipped with lasers, missiles and torpedoes. And all weapons can be modified to inflict Fire, Blizzard and Thunder damage to whatever ya' shootin' at."
"You sound as if this ship was going into a war," said Tess as she looked at the computer displays that showed torpedo status. She smiled, "excellent."
"We did face a lot of space-borne Heartless," said Sora, "who knows how many more are out there."
Tess admired all of the weapon computers, "I think I can get used to this. Yes, I can definitely get a grip on this."
"Guess that makes you the tactical officer," said Riku, he then looked at Aiden, "and you're the science officer."
"Sounds like fun," said Aiden, "what does that mean?"
"It means you'll be in charge of the ships scanners and analyzing all the data that comes in," said Sidney, "from a human's perspective." She looked at Kairi, "you'll be the medical officer," she looked at Riku, "and you'll be the helmsman."
"And I'm the captain," said Sora, "right?"
"Actually," said Sidney, "that will be Riku's job as well."
"What?" a shocked Sora asked.
At that Sidney started laughing, "just kidding! Sorry, I couldn't resist."
"A hologram with a sense of humor," said Kairi, "nice."
"What about navigation?" Riku asked, "and engendering?"
"That'll be us," said both Chip and Dale as they scampered up to our heroes.
"We'll take care of the engines," said Chip.
"Just leave it to us!" said Dale.
"And I'll be the navigator," said Jiminy as he hopped up to our heroes. He then tipped his hat to Tess, "Cricket's the name, Jiminy Cricket."
"Uh…nice to meet you all," said Tess.
"Hey, what about us?" Donald asked.
"What are we supposed to do?" Goofy asked.
"You each have a specific role to play in this crew," said Sidney, "if we all could go back to the engine room."
They followed Sidney back to the deck above, "Donald, if you'll direct your attention to the power plant."
Donald looked at the generator in the middle of the engine, "that's the source of the ship's energy," said Sidney, "Merlin created the magical reactor, and it'll be your job to make sure that the magic doesn't go out or worse, go out of control."
"That is an important job," said Kairi, "a lot of things could go wrong on a ship, especially a star ship. If there's a problem in the engine we could all blow up."
"Or die of dark magic contamination," said Riku, "or radiation poisoning."
"Gee, now I really want to go into space," said Aiden.
"I don't think things could go that wrong," said Sidney, "Tron constructed a lot of simulations about this ship and we determined that there are some scenarios where there could be a problem with the power The most obvious worse-case event would be the core going out of balance."
Sidney looked at Donald, "that will be your main responsibility, Donald. Once you've been fully briefed on the maintenance of the core, you'll be in charge of making sure that the magic doesn't go out of balance."
"What do you mean, 'going out of balance?'" Kairi asked, "like with the Ph of water?"
"More like a seesaw," said Sidney, "look," a smaller hologram appeared next to her. The image was a seesaw that was marked 'Power Core'. "The core tends to accumulate waste magic as time goes by. If too much waste magic builds up," the image of the seesaw changed to show one side of the seesaw covered in a black mass marked 'waste magic,' "then the core will go out of balance and, in the best case situation, break," the weight of the waste magic caused the seesaw to tilt over on its side.
"Donald's duty will involve checking the levels of waste magic and, in layman's terms, dump it into the vacuum of space where it will be rendered harmless," the image of the seesaw was then freed of the waste magic and was restored to normal balance.
"Okay, I can do that," said Donald.
"What about the other things that could go wrong?" Riku asked.
"Ah, I knew you'd ask about that," said Sidney, "the core could explode due to damage from external and internal influences. One internal force could be an overload in one of the systems. An overload could cause a backlash in the core and cause it to explode.
"But in the event of an overload, the core is programmed to shut down automatically and can be restarted manually.
"Another source of a backlash would be an energy discharge caused by an enemy attack. Again, the core would shut down if the computer detects an impending backlash."
"How do we turn the core back on?" Aiden asked
"Everything will be explained in the manual," said Sidney as a side panel opened in the wall, revealing another 3-ring binder, "I'll say it now that there's a lot of manuals involved with this ship. They're all easy to understand, but just to be safe I'd like all of you to read all of them."
"Just in case," said Riku, "right, we'll study up, all of us."
"Oh great," said Sora, "more schoolwork. Are there going to be pop quizzes?"
"Well," said Sidney, "I am programmed to run emergency simulations to help you know what to expect in a worse-case scenario. I can simulate Heartless attacks, as well as confrontations with hostile aliens, and I can simulate any malfunctioning system. That can teach you how to repair said systems.
"And then there is the final worse-case scenario involved with the engine. A slightly different out of control chain reaction could cause the core to implode and the ship will crush itself. Again, the core would shut down.
"But there is one last worse case scenario, one where, by whatever unexpected reason, the core cannot be shut down, then the core can manually ejected into space. The momentum of the ejection would carry the core far enough away from the ship so that the ship won't be harmed when the core either explodes or implodes."
"Won't that leave us dead in space?" Kairi asked.
"The ships' emergency power has enough reserves to keep life support systems running," said Sidney, "and there is a secondary battery that can be charged with the normal running of the ship. This battery, once charged, can supply the ship with enough power for one hyperspace jump to the nearest world. The ship also has an automatic distress beacon that has a separate power source.
"I can assure all of you that every safety precaution has been taken into consideration and every worse-case scenario has been examined from every angle. This ship is as safe as humanly and technologically possible."
"Well, if Cid, Merlin, Yuffie and you, Sidney, think it's safe," said Sora, "then so do I."
"Me to," said Kairi, while Riku, Kairi, Aiden, Tess and Donald nodded in agreement.
"Oh, I almost forgot," said Sidney, "Goofy, you role in this crew is the ships' gunner. While Tess is in charge of the weapon systems, you'll be the one to do the actual fighting. Whenever this ship goes into battle, you'll be the one to pull the trigger."
"Lock and load!" said Goofy as he saluted.
"And that pretty much ends the tour," said Sidney, "the ship's storage holds and cargo holds are all magical and be accessed from any point in the ship."
"So we can get spare parts wherever they're needed," said Sora, "and we can just store our stuff as we get it. Cool, no, super cool."
"Oh dear," said Sidney, "it looks like I have to improve your vocabulary as well. At least there's plenty of time for all of us to learn from each other."
"We do have a lot of reading to do," said Kairi, "before we take the ship out. Sidney, is there like one big manual that covers everything about the ship? You know, instead of several smaller ones?"
"I already have that covered," said Sidney. Several overhead panels opened and a large 3-ring binder dropped into the hands of each of our heroes, "I suggest you all read this."
"This is going to be one of those days that just won't end," said Aiden as he opened his binder to the first page.
"I've had plenty of those," said Tess.
…New Hollow Bastion…
"Forgive me, oh great and terrible Maleficent," said one of the lesser Hakonians, "we've searched every inch of this world. There is no sign of either Happosai or Ansem."
"Incompetent fool!" spat Maleficent as she blasted the lesser Hakonian with dark lightning. "Of course they're gone! Those two miserable old men would have to be completely brainless to stay on this world.
"By now they have reached the realms of light and think themselves safe. But their safety is an illusion. It is only a matter of time before we are ready to strike out at the worlds. Soon this universe will fall to the darkness."
Just then Pete came in carrying a huge metal club, "I'm ready to go after them, boss lady," he said as he gave the club a swing, "just say so and I'll bring back the old geezers!"
"Never mind Happosai and Ansem," said Maleficent, "at this moment they're not worthy of my consideration. Instead I have a different task for you, Pete."
"You want me to go after Rakel and Reddik?" Pete asked, "the others who ran away?" He dry swallowed nervously, for only a few minutes ago he met with said fugitive Hakonians. Rakel and Reddik had betrayed their Hakonian comrades on Metamore and went rogue, only returning to New Hollow Bastion to collect their belongings, the demon familiar Kichot, and to say goodbye to Pete. They told Pete that their conversation would go unnoticed by the rest of the castle, but Pete knew that if ever Maleficent found out, then he'd suffer worse than all the punishments inflicted on the Hakonians combined.
"I already have my best goblin trackers and canine-type Heartless after those traitors," said Maleficent, "but I know that they will not find the fugitives. Rather, I believe that in time, Rakel and Reddik will return to this world, if only to…settle the score with me."
"Oh," said Pete as he blinked with relief, "then what do you want me to do?"
Maleficent then called up several images that showed Rakel, Reddik, Erika, Konrad, Ulrik, Katarina and Nikolai. "With three of the Hakonian elite dead," a large red X appeared on the images of Ulrik, Konrad and Erika, "with two of them on the run," on the images of Reddik and Rakel a large black R for rogue appeared, "and with the last two…indisposed," on the images of Katarina and Nikolai appeared in bright pink letters 'engaged,' "we are in need of some new subordinates. Don't you think so, Pete?"
"Uh…yeah, I guess so," said Pete, "so, wait, don't tell me. You want me to pick out from them other Hakonians some new thugs, right?"
"In those terms, yes," said Maleficent, "specifically I wish you to interview among the more…mature and experienced Hakonians some new enforcers and officers. I also wish you to select from the newly controlled Nobodies as well.
Just then a Moogle wearing a black Organization XIII coat walked in, "the new controlling ring you asked for is done, Kuppo!" said the Moogle as he carried a white ring towards Maleficent.
"Deliver it to my fury friend here," said Maleficent. The Moogle gave the white ring to Pete, "now you can control Nobodies as well, my friend."
"Sweet," said Pete as he put the ring on his large club, "so, I gotta choose among them Nobodies the biggest, toughest an' meanest to fight them Keyblade brats?"
"I want you to choose Nobodies that can think for themselves," said a slightly annoyed Maleficent, "Nobodies that remember what it was to be human. Nobodies, like the ones that formed Organization XIII. But this time, with the control rings, we will be the masters. This time the Nobodies will obey us, just like Xorat."
Maleficent then summoned an image that showed a Nobody with white hair and wearing a martial artist outfit. He was in one of the newly built training rooms in the castle, and was proceeding to destroy multiple practice dummies.
"This outstanding specimen used to be Pantyhose Taro," said Maleficent, "as you know, Pete, I cultivated the darkness in his heart, until he became both a Heartless and a Nobody," she called forth another image, this one showing the chimera-creature that Pantyhose Taro would turn into when he touched cold water. This creature is his Heartless, renamed Chimericon Mark 2.
"Do you understand now, Pete?" Maleficent asked, "I wish for dark warriors and dark magic users from the Hakonians and Nobodies, and I want competent ones. Is that understood."
"You betcha!" said Pete as he saluted. He then walked out of the room.
"Now things are finally coming together, my pet," said Maleficent to her raven, "now that we know that it was that miserable Ansem who was sending those disgusting messages about that wretched L. Lawlette. I can assure you, my pet, that that wretched old man will suffer dearly for the mental suffering he put me through these past months."
Just then another of the lesser Hakonians entered the room. "Great one," said the lesser Hakonian, "the latest Heartless operation is ready to depart. The two Warriors and the Warlock Hakonians have been briefed and are awaiting your approval to commence the operation."
"Outstanding," said Maleficent, "This operation will allow us access to valuable resources, resources that will allow the darkness to spread that much faster. The order to commence the operation is approved."
"It shall be done, great one," said the lesser Hakonian. He bowed and left the room.
After several hours of studying the ship manuals, our heroes were ready to take the new ship out into space.
"My brain feels like it's about to overflow," said Sora, "if I have to memorize one more schematic or another repair procedure, I think I'll explode."
"If you explode then I'm gonna have to fix you," said Riku, "otherwise I'll have to clean you up."
"I'll clean you both up if you don't shut up," said a slightly annoyed Tess, "I'm trying not to forget anything."
"I don't get why you had such a hard time with this," said Kairi, "the manuals were easy enough to understand."
"Understand yes," said Aiden, "remember, not so easy, even I'm having trouble keeping everything straight."
"Well you'll all have plenty of time to re-read everything," said The King as he, The Queen, Cid and Pluto escorted our heroes back to the Gummy Hanger, "if you're heading to Neverland first, you can use the flight time to study."
"I was hoping to use the time to get settled in," said Kairi, "unpack our stuff." Our heroes had taken an hour's break to go back to their homes on the islands and pack for their next adventure. Riku had also introduced Tess to his family, as a friend of course, and the meeting went rather well.
"We should use the flight time as a shakedown," said Riku, "make sure all the bugs have been worked out of the system."
They reached the ship and Sidney appeared in the hatchway, "Cid and Tron did all the debugging needed. They wouldn't have brought the ship here if there was a problem. But…" she sighed, "if you fleshlings feel the need to get used to your new home away from home, you'll have eleven hours to make yourselves at home before we get to Neverland.
"That's right," said Kairi, "if we're going to be touring the worlds, then this ship is our home."
"Eleven hours to Neverland," said an impressed Sora, "It took nearly twice that long just to get there from Traverse Town, and that's through the warp zone."
"Improved hyper drive," said Cid, "been working on it for a while. She'll get you where you need to go in no time flat."
"It'll definitely make things less tedious if we're not crammed together for too long," said Riku, "less chance of cabin fever."
"We definitely don't want that," said Tess, "I knew people on Metamore who went completely out of their minds with cabin fever from hiding in enclosed spaces from Phobos' dogs."
"Hopefully we won't have that kind of problem," said Kairi.
"Wait a second!" said a slightly dumbfounded Sora, "a name, our new ship doesn't have a name!"
"He's right," said Riku, "we need to name the ship. It's bad luck to have a ship without a name."
"Didn't you name the ship?" Aiden asked Cid.
"I only build 'em," said Cid, "an' leave the namin' to the customers."
"How about Sidney?" Tess asked, "if the brain of the ship has a name, why not cal the ship that?"
"I'm just the A.I.," said Sidney, "a ship should have a separate name. and don't ask me to do it. I'm a little short on creativity right now. I'll learn that later on, but my programming is seriously lacking inspiration."
"So it's up to us then," said Goofy.
"Figures," said Donald.
"How about 'Heartless Buster?'" Sora asked.
"No," said Kairi, "that sounds like the name of a full-scale warship. It's got to be a name that identifies with the ship and her crew."
"'Keyblade Roamer?'" Riku asked.
"Not bad," said Kairi, "but still not right. What about 'Light Seeker?'"
"I don't know," said Sora, "it just doesn't feel right."
"You're right about that," said Kairi, "now that I think about it, that name just doesn't fit."
After several minutes thought, Aiden finally had an idea, "how about 'The Intrepid Heart?'"
"'The Intrepid Heart,'" said Riku, tasting the feel of the name on his tongue, "intrepid means courageous and bold."
"And the heart is the most important thing of all," said Sora, "without a heart, you're nothing."
"And a heart has to be bold and full of courage if you're going to face the darkness," said Kairi, "I like it, it's identifiable."
"It sings," said Donald.
"It tells who we are," said Goofy.
"Like a slogan," said Riku, "a trademark."
"A what?" Tess asked.
"I'll explain later," said Riku. He then looked at King Mickey, "we've decided on the name 'The Intrepid Heart.'"
"That's a great name," said King Mickey, "a hotdog name!" at that Pluto nodded in agreement.
"Then let us make it official," said Queen Minnie. She signaled for a pair of Handy Helpers, giant robotic hands wearing white gloves, to descend from the ceiling of the Gummy Hanger. One Handy Helper carried a large paintbrush, while the other carried a giant can of black paint. The robot hand then wrote on the side of the ship the words The Intrepid Heart.
A third Handy Helper brought down a champagne bottle and handed it to The Queen. "In the name of everything in the light," said Queen Minnie as she stood at the bow of the ship, "all things true, pure and righteous, I christen thee, The Intrepid Heart!" She raised the champagne bottle. Sora then noticed Donald and Goofy cringing, as if in anticipation of something terrible.
But then The King stopped her from breaking the bottle on the ship, "uh, maybe you'd better let me do that. Remember the last time you christened a ship?"
"Oh, right," said a slightly embarrassed Queen Minnie, "I nearly forgot. You're right."
The King smiled at The Queen, then broke the bottle on the bow of the ship, officially naming her The Intrepid Heart. Sora then saw Goofy and Donald relax.
Everyone then clapped with enthusiasm at the completion of the naming ceremony.
"What was that about?" Sora asked Donald and Goofy.
"It's kinda funny story," said Goofy.
"A long time ago," said Donald, "The King and us, we bought our own 'do-it-yourself' yacht kit."
"'All you do is put it together,'" said King Mickey in a slightly distant tone, as if remembering times long lost.
"'Even a child could do it,'" muttered Donald, "I said it before and I'll say it again; ah phooey!"
"To make a long story short," said The King "we built the boat, but to took a while."
At that Queen Minnie blushed, "and then when it came time to christen the boat, it fell apart when I broke the bottle on her."
"Which just goes to show you that you get what you paid for," said King Mickey.
"I can assure you all," said Sidney, "it'll take a lot more than a champagne bottle to break me."
"Well, I guess there's nothing else to do," said Sora, "but weight anchor and set sail!"
"Aye aye, captain!" said Riku, Kairi, Aiden, Tess, Donald and Goofy.
Chip and Dale ran up to our heroes, "everybody's bags are loaded!" said Dale.
"We're ready to go!" said Chip.
Jiminy then hopped onto Sora's shoulder, "all my journals have been updated from everything that's happened up until now," he then held up a fresh journal, "a new adventure should have a new record after all."
"Then all that's left to say is good luck," said King Mickey, "and be careful. There's a lot more than Heartless and Nobodies running amuck on the worlds now."
"Demons," said Riku, "we know. You already told us that they were looking around."
"But if they give us or anyone else trouble," said Aiden, "we'll show them that they can't mess around in the realms of light without getting what they deserve!"
"Darn right!" said Sora, while Kairi and the others nodded. With that our heroes boarded the ship.
"Hey, Sora!" shouted Cid, "if you scratch the paint, don't expect me to patch 'er up! That's your responsibility! I'll fix any problems with the engines and such, but you're taking care of the paint!"
"We'll be extra careful!" said Sora. The hatch then closed and the ship's systems powered up.
"Will they really be alright?" Queen Minnie asked.
"They're as ready as they can be," said King Mickey as he bent down to scratch Pluto behind the ears. "We can only hope."
The ship then rose up and left the hanger.
"Okay," said Sora as he sat in the captain's seat, while Riku sat at the helm, Tess and Goofy at the tactical seats, Aiden and Donald at engineering, Jiminy at navigation and Kairi at the science seat, "everybody ready?"
"Willing and able, captain!" said Aiden. He then rubbed his wrists in his own manner, "Alright! Let's do this!"
"Taking her up now, captain!" said Riku as he piloted the Intrepid Heart out of the gummy Hanger, out of the castle and up into the atmosphere. Within minutes they had achieved orbit.
"Wow," said an amazed Tess as the view screen showed the world below, "I've seen a lot of weird and wonderful stuff on Metamore, but this…"
"Seeing a world from space for the first time is always awe inspiring," said Riku, "and if you're this awestruck by one world, you ain't seen nothing yet!"
"First stop, Neverland," said Sora, "Jiminy, second star to the right, and straight on 'till morning!"
"Course laid in, captain," said Jiminy, "ready when you are."
"All systems are status green," said Sidney.
"And the crew is in excellent shape," said Kairi.
"Then let's go!" said Sora, "hit it!" with that Riku pressed the button on his consol and the engines powered up.
"Thirty seconds till hyperspace jump," said Riku.
"Well I'm kinda about to freak out," said a nervous Tess, "this is all new to me."
"There's nothing to be afraid of," said Riku, "we're as safe as can be."
"There won't be any ill effects of hyperspace travel," said Sidney, "unless it's your first time on such a journey. One's first hyperspace can be rather unpleasant, like being drunk."
"What's so unpleasant about being drunk?" Aiden asked.
"Ask a glass of water," said Sidney.
Just then the engines finished powering up and the ship jumped into hyperspace.
Sora then noticed that Aiden and Tess were looking very uncomfortable, like they were on the verge of throwing up.
"I never tried anything with alcohol before," said a green-looking Aiden, "and I never will!"
"Where's the bathroom on this boat!" exclaimed Tess.
"In the event of space sickness," said Sidney, "your seats are equipped with space sickness bags. They're located underneath your seats"
Aiden and Tess grabbed the bags, but they didn't throw up.
"Wait, I think I'm okay now," said Aiden as he and Tess breathed slowly and clamed down.
"That was intense," said Tess. She and Aiden then saw the view screen, "wow!"
"So this is what it's like to travel faster than light," said Aiden as he looked out at the swirling blue and white tunnel of hyperspace.
"It'll get boring pretty quick," said Sora as everyone stood up from their seats, "we've got about eleven hours of this until we get to Neverland." He then yawned.
"You said it," said Kairi after she also yawned, "after all that's happened today, I'm good and bushed."
"Same with me," said Aiden.
"I'm not as tired," said Riku, "I'll stay and keep watch, you guys get some sleep."
"I'll stay up to," said Tess, while Donald and Goofy nodded in agreement.
"Okay," said Sora, "wake us in five hours or so you guys can get some rest."
"And when we're all rested," said Kairi, "we'll get something to eat before we arrive in Neverland."
"I'm kinda looking forward to trying the kitchen out," said Aiden as he, Sora and Kairi headed for the crew quarters, "I mean, how hard can it be to cook for five humans, two chipmunks, a cricket, a duck and Goofy?"
"Just don't do anything until we're all ready for breakfast," said Kairi, "I'm pretty sure Sidney would be upset if one of us accidentally set the ship on fire."
"That's what the fire suppression systems are for," said Sidney as she followed our heroes, "that and fire extinguishers."
"I don't suppose there's such a thing as privacy on this ship, right?" Sora asked in a slightly embarrassed tone.
"If you wish for some alone time," said Sidney, "simply ask. I'll stay out of your quarters unless there is an emergency. And if you need to ask me something, just say my name."
"That's good to know," said Kairi as they reached their quarters.
"I'll leave you two to your thing," said Aiden as he opened the door to his room, "just don't make too much noise."
"We're not…we don't…" said a flabbergasted Sora.
"I know," said Aiden as he grinned, "I just like messing with you about it." He went into his room and closed the door after him.
"We're gonna get teased about us sleeping in the same bed for the rest of our lives," said Sora in a slightly depressed tone, "right?"
"Probably," said Kairi as she and Sora went into his room, while Kairi used a spell to summon some of her luggage from her room, "at least until we're married."
"Um…" said a blushing Sora, "are you…"
"No," said Kairi as she unpacked her pajamas, "I'm not asking you to marry me, Sora," she looked at him, "unless that's what you want."
"I do want to be with you," said Sora, "forever, but…we're too young to be married. I mean…"
"I understand completely," said Kairi as she went into the bathroom to change, "I want to wait as well."
"We'll have all the time in the universe when we're older," said Sora as he also got ready for bed.
A few minutes later they both climbed into bed, "you know," said Kairi as they got comfortable, "if this ship is going to be our home for the foreseeable future, then we're going to have to do something to make it a bit more livable. This room and the rest of the ship, it's so…Spartan."
"It is a little sparse," said Sora, "we'll do some shopping the next time we meet up with a Moogle."
He and Kairi then said goodnight, kissed and turned out the light. Within moments they were asleep.
Once again Sora found himself in the rain-drenched forest, chasing after the strange yet beautiful girl who runs with wolves. As always, the girl was moving faster than any human should and was just out of sight of Sora, taunting with her bell-like laughter.
Sora looked to his left as he ran and saw that Kairi and Aiden were running with him. "Wait!" Aiden shouted to the girl, "why won't you talk to us?"
"Who are you!" Kairi shouted.
"You'll find out soon," the girl said as she sprinted out of sight.
Just then Sora saw that Riku and Tess were running with them as well.
END DREAM SEQUENCE
Sora and Kairi woke up with a start, "that girl is starting to get on my nerves," said Kairi as she looked at the nearby wall clock and saw that they had been asleep for only four hours.
"But I feel like we're getting close," said Sora, "close to finding out who she is, and when we do, it'll mean something big."
He and Kairi then looked at each other with surprised eyes, "why was Riku and Tess there?" they both asked.
They ran out of the room, just as Aiden ran out of his room, "why was Riku and Tess in the dream with us if they were awake?" he asked. The three of them then ran onto the bridge, where a confused Riku and Tess stood.
"How did we get into your dreams?" Riku asked, "Tess and I were awake."
"They were," said Donald, while Goofy and Jiminy nodded in agreement.
"Was that a dream?" Tess asked, "I didn't fall a sleep. And who was that weird girl and why did I feel the need to chase after her."
"That's a long story," said Kairi, "but more importantly, how did you two get into the dream if you were awake the whole time?"
"I believe I can answer that," said Sidney, "if you'll look at the sensor logs, you'll notice a low-frequency energy reading. It's a carrier signal based on delta-waves, which are brain-wave patterns experienced during REM sleep. It's my theory that this signal induced a dream-like state, and that this signal was directed at you five humans."
"So that's how we've been dreaming the same dream," said a shocked Sora, "someone is making us dream it!"
"But how could Tess and I have the dream while we were still awake?" Riku asked, "one second we were rereading the manuals, the next thing, we're in the forest with the rest of you."
"The carrier signal must have caused a waking dream," said Aiden, "back in The State, there were rumors of hypnosis experiments where someone could be put into a dream-like trance yet still be awake."
"But what does it all have to do with chasing after that girl and those big wolves?" a slightly frantic Tess asked, "someone explain it to me, please!"
"We really don't know what it means," said Sora, "it could be that this girl is someone we're supposed to meet, that it's destiny giving us a heads-up. But now…"
"Now we know that someone is manipulating our dreams," said Riku in a serious tone, "and that means that someone is either messing with us, or is trying to deliver a message."
"Either you're messing with those younglings," said Happosai, "or you're trying to tell them something."
"It's the later, I can assure you," said Young Watari, "it's all part of L's plan."
"And what plan would that be?" Ansem asked. Having just rescued Happosai from the dungeons of New Hollow Bastion, Ansem the Wise had finally been introduced to his mysterious benefactor, more or less. Through Young Watari, a man in his mid-twenties with short black hair and a handlebar moustache, Ansem had finally spoken via computer with L. Lawlette, or just L.
"For several months now I have been tormenting Maleficent with your name, L," said Ansem, "I figured it was to destroy what sanity she has, and I also rescued Happosai on your orders. I correctly assumed it because you wished for him to fight back against the darkness."
"Which I will," said Happosai as he lit his pipe, "and we agreed to do it my way. But what's it all for?"
A nearby laptop displayed a white screen with a large stylized L. From the computer spoke a digitally altered voice, "it's a complicated story," said L, "in short, all that has been done is all part of a larger plan to take down Maleficent and the other Villains once and for all. There are other factors in play that will be revealed later, but it's all under control."
"But why the dreams?" Ansem asked, "why torment Sora and his friends with an impossible chase?"
"That's another aspect of the plan," said L, "the dreams are designed to introduce The Keyblade Wielders with someone who will help them later on. But they're not the only ones dreaming. I've been sending dreams throughout time and space to young heroes who will eventually come together to battle Maleficent and the Hakonians.
"As for the girl, let me ask you, Happosai, what do you know about vampires?"
"A bit," said Happosai, "what, is the girl a vampire?"
"A half vampire actually," said L, "her name is Renesme Cullen. Eventually she will be a great help and a great friend to Sora and his companions. But what they don't know is that while they have been dreaming of Renesme, she, in her world, has been dreaming of them."
"Is that so?" Ansem asked, "well that's an unexpected twist."
Just then one of the sensors on the ship began beeping. "There's something up ahead," said Kairi as she read the sensor readings, "something big, and it's right in our flight path."
"What is it?" Sora asked.
"There's not enough data at this time," said Sidney, "all that is known at this time is that the anomaly is several hundred kilometers in diameter and is composed of an as of yet unidentified form of energy. Time to contact with anomaly…three minutes."
"What do you think?" Riku asked, "should we investigate."
"It's not like we absolutely have to be at Neverland when we said we would," said Aiden, "it couldn't hurt to take a look at whatever this…thing in space, is."
"I agree," said Tess as she grinned in anticipation, "we should look at this thing."
"It'd be a great edition to my journal," said Jiminy.
"Alright, you've talked me into it," said Sora. He and Kairi then used a clothes-changing spell to switch back to their normal attire, "take us out of hyperspace and we'll take a look."
The ship exited hyperspace and our heroes were immediately awestruck by the sight of a multi-colored…thing in space. It looked to be a giant blob of color, hundreds of miles tall.
"It's definitely made of energy," said Aiden as he looked over the sensor readings, "definitely magic of some kind."
"But what is it?" Tess asked.
"Wait," said Sidney, "now analyzing new data. Yes…yes…it's a portal."
"A portal?" Riku asked, "to another world?"
"Not to another world exactly," said Sidney, "but rather to another universe. This portal, hypothetically, opens up in the emptiness of space in another universe. I won't know for sure unless we gather more data."
"If it's a portal," said Sora, "who opened it? I don't think even Merlin and Yen Sid combined could make a portal that big."
"I don't think it's made by a magic user," said Aiden, "the portals we've seen are uniform, symmetrical, and definitely smaller. This portal is way too big and is uneven and slightly lopsided. I could be wrong, but I think this is a natural phenomenon."
"A naturally occurring portal?" Kair asked, "has this ever happened before?"
"There have been records of portals that have appeared on their own," said Sidney, "sometimes the fabric of nature folds onto itself and creates an opening. But there has never been any record of a natural portal this big."
"This is definitely one for the records," said Sora.
Just then another sensor monitor began beeping, only this one was flashing red. "I take it that red means something bad," said Tess.
"That's the Heartless Warning System!" said Kairi as she recognized that sensor from the manuals, "it tells us when there are spaceborn Heartless nearby."
"I'm reading a massive formation of space Heartless," said Aiden as he looked at the tactical screen, "the computer identifies hundreds of the following types: Gatling Ships, Bomb Bells, Knight Heads, Speeders, as well as dozens of Shields, and Phoenixes. I'm also reading various starships that the computer doesn't recognize."
"Let's see it!" said Sora as everyone got back to their seats. The visual screen then showed the massive formation of space Heartless, as well as well over a dozen gray-colored warships, each one was about 100 meters long and well armed with laser cannons and missile launchers. Also there was a very large ships that appeared to have mining equipment.
"What are the odds that those ships are Hakonian?" Riku asked, "who else would be flying with Heartless."
"This stinks of Maleficent," said Kairi.
"But where are they going?" Tess asked.
"I think that answers that question," said Aiden as he pointed at the forward screen. The Heartless and Hakonian armada was heading straight for the gargantuan portal.
"They're going to another universe," said Kairi.
"We've got to stop them!" said Sora, "wherever that portal opens up to, they're about to face a whole lot of baddies. We've got to help! Riku! Full speed ahead!"
"They'll reach the portal before we do," said Riku as he powered the ship's impulse engines to full. The ship lurched forward.
"Then we'll chase after them in that other universe," said Sora, "whatever's on the other side of that portal that Maleficent wants, we can't let her have it. And we can't let all those Heartless and Hakonians hurt anyone! We've got to stop them somehow!"
"So we're going to an unknown universe to stop the enemy from getting some unknown thing," said Aiden, "are we even sure that's their plan?"
"Well I'm not going to let the enemy have their way," said Kairi, "whatever their plan is. Let's go!"
"Just get me close enough," said Tess, "I'll stop them!"
"Same with us!" said Donald, while Goofy nodded in agreement.
"You should know that we're about forty seconds from the portal," said Sidney, "if we're going to turn back, now's the time, I'm just saying."
"We're not turning back," said Sora, "Riku, if you haven't floored it, do it now!"
"Remind me to thank Cid for putting Turbo Boosters on this ship," said Riku. He pressed the desired button and the ship lurched forward with even more speed. By then the armada of Heartless and Hakonians had entered the portal, but our heroes weren't far behind.
"Sorry, Tink," said Sora as the Intrepid Heart was just seconds from entering the portal, "looks like we'll have to take a rain check." With that the ship entered the portal.
The end of chapter 1.
(Note: The watermelon really has no purpose in the function of the ship. I just put it in there because of one funny scene from Buckaroo Banzai. See it, you won't be disappointed. Also, I had to spell super-califragilistic-expialidocious the way I did, because the website wouldn't let it be posted the normal way, so bare with me.)
Next chapter, our heroes arrive in the depths of space of another universe and give chase after the enemy armada. But while pursuing the enemy, they stumble into a conflict of epic proportions. Reviews will be rewarded with cake and pie. See you next time!