A/N: Thank you to everyone who reviewed and favorites the story its very much appreciated.
I should've probably mentioned it in the last chapter, but this happens two years before events of Kingdom Hearts one. Part of the reason I am doing it this way is to allow for more time to fresh out Lelouch, Ava, and other characters/worlds before I bring in Sora, Riku and Kairi to give the main character of Kingdom Hearts the proper screen time and role he deserves.
But he'll be in a good position to get help from Lelouch and others in mastering that Keyblade a lot faster while adding in some other complications into the mix too.
Anyway, without further delay let's get on with it because this chapter introduces the first anime character besides Lelouch who will wield a Keyblade.
Chain of Memories
There was darkness all around her, but even as she fell deeper, the young woman didn't panic.
Why do I feel ok about this?
A likely explanation was that her body instinctively knew it wasn't in danger, a fact that was confirmed when she saw a glowing platform come into view. As she drew closer, her descent slowed until finally, she came to a soft landing by calmly playing both feet on the platform.
Confused about where she was the young woman began looking around.
How did I get here?
"Welcome," a voice spoke, "do not be afraid this place is your inner world within your heart."
"Yes," the voice answered, but the young woman couldn't deduce its origin.
Even more confusing was the voice was identical to her own.
"We have little time, but you are here because you know something is wrong."
"Something is wrong," the young woman said certain, but somehow for reasons, she couldn't understand she knew they were correct.
"Your heart must grow stronger to not only break free but for the road ahead."
Suddenly the dream ended and the young woman opened her pale pink eyes to a familiar ceiling. She stared blankly at the cream-colored ceiling to turn her head to gaze at her at her alarm clock, it was Shovel Knight striking a heroic pose while his signature weapon was hitting a bell.
With a groan, Chiaki Nanami reached out to shut it off.
"Still sleepy," Chiaki muttered before sitting up and wiping bangs of her light pink hair away from her eyes.
Even so, Chiaki couldn't stay in bed.
After getting dressed followed after breakfast, her standard attire consisted of a tan school uniform with a red ribbon bow, a matching skirt, black thigh socks, and a cream hoodie. With her pink cat-themed backpack she hurried out the door.
Chiaki opened her Holo, a watch that effectively acted as a highly advanced smartphone with a holographic display and interface, to see what was coming up for class today.
She was mindful of her surroundings thankfully, but it was easy to be distracted by her Holo.
Mainly since it carried two hundred portable games upon it which was befitting for a student of Hope's Peak Academy dubbed the Ultimate Gamer.
Hope's Peak Academy, a government-sanctioned co-ed private city-center high school with boarding facilities which accepted the very best students who were scouted by the academy itself. Those selected were given the title "Ultimate" along with whatever field they specialized in with classes focused on developing said talent.
Those who graduated were guaranteed success in life by obtaining not only high positions in professional fields some even became famed pioneers who furthered their own fields. That being said, it was no exaggeration Hope's Peak Academy was the most exceptional school in the country if not the world.
Everyone tried to get noticed by the academy in the hopes of being invited, but those who couldn't make the cut enrolled in the Reserve Course instead. If you could afford the considerable tuition fees then supposedly you would have a chance of being recognized for the main course.
It was a virtually non-existence chance.
"Chiaki," a young man around her age called out as she neared the main gate.
He wore the male version of the Hope's Peak Academy uniform consisting of a brown suit with a red tie and black shoes. The teenager possessed a pale complexion with gray eyes and short, almost shoulder-length, light blue hair.
"Good morning Tatsumi," Chiaki greeted.
Tatsumi Ashada, the Ultimate Polymath, approached the Ultimate Gamer with a friendly smile and presently tinkering with something in his hands.
"What are you tinkering with this time?" Chiaki asked while tilting her head to one side.
"Oh this," Tatsumi replied before holding it up, "this is my Favor Tester 5000. When using it you this device can simulate your mind in a way to make you experience five thousand different pasty favors without eating anything."
The young woman was both impressed and worried at the same time, which made her question.
Is that even safe let alone legal?
Still, Chiaki shouldn't be surprised since Tatsumi had a reputation for being a brilliant inventor, but sometimes he tended to go overboard in his projects. In fact, although she wasn't present at the time, Tatsumi became infamous for a particular event while inventing something on the first day when their new homeroom teacher began working at Hope's Peak Academy.
What she knew was told to Chiaki by her classmates who had been present.
It was some time after the students of Class 77 began attending Hope's Peak Academy, but due to specific problems, his alcoholism being the prime reason, with their regular teacher Koichi Kizakura unable to function properly to teach the class a new teacher was assigned to take his place.
Chisa Yukizome, the former Ultimate Housekeeper, a graduate of Hope's Peak Academy applied to become a teacher. She was a young woman with long orange hair and green eyes dressed in a light blue suit with a skirt, minus a tie with a pink apron on.
"Ok, so the Science Lab should be right down the hall? I don't think this one will play hard to get would he?" Chisa replied with a very cheerful smile.
Upset and troubled by most of her students not even bothering to attend class Chisa took it upon herself to round up her students while dragging along those few students who did arrive for class. Only one of them was very interested in doing so while others just went along with it or were "coerced" into coming along.
"Nah the guy spends all of his time in the science lab tinkering with something," Fuyuhiko Kuzuryu answered with both hands in his pockets.
Fuyuhiko Kuzuryu, the Ultimate Yakuza, wore black pants, a white dress shirt with a tan vest possessing short blonde hair and yellow eyes with permanent blush marks on his cheeks mixed with freckles.
"Seriously who cares what the guy does?"
That remark came from probably one of the more mean-spirited members of Class 77. Her name was Hiyoko Saionji, the Ultimate Traditional Dancer, wearing an orange floral-pattern kimono with long blonde hair tied into a single ponytail with yellow eyes and a fair skin complexion. She was also the shortest among her classmates during her first year as well.
"Well, he is a very productive person," Mahiru Koizumi, the Ultimate Photographer, commented acting as the more mature member of their class.
Mahiru was a young woman with short red hair and gray eyes, like Chiaki, wore the same uniform as she did minus the hoodie.
Also accompanying them was Mikan Tsumiki the Ultimate Nurse, a young woman with choppy and uneven purple hair and grayish purple eyes while she wore bandages on her right leg, and her arm. Walking next to her was the most energetic of her class, Sonia Nevermind the Ultimate Princess. A foreign exchange student with long blonde hair, and green eyes who looked just like a princess you would expect from a Fairy Tale.
Lastly following them was the tallest member of their class with a heavy muscular frame to match his imposing size. He is Nekomaru Nidai, the Ultimate Team Manager, with black hair wearing blue sweatpants and a matching jacket with a white shirt under it since the school uniforms Hope's Peak had didn't fit him.
"Oh I am sure then Tatsumi will tag along with us just fine. Besides he probably isn't working on anything dangerous," Chisa said as they approached the door to the Science Lab.
Yet as soon as Chisa finished that sentence, an explosion shook the entire floor followed by a giant fireball erupting from the Science Lab, which blew the steel door off its hinges.
After the fireball died down everyone was in a state of shock while Chisa her face had turned white.
"I CAN'T HAVE CASUALTIES ON MY FIRST DAY," Chisa shouted in a panic before running into the science lab, but she had to wave the away the smoke. "Please somebody be alive!"
Once the smoke was shooed away, Chisa found Tatsumi on the ground, who was remarkably unharmed despite the fireball. Chisa knelt down before she picked up the young man before using a free hand to check his pulse.
"Oh, thank goodness he is still alive."
Mikan joined her a few moments later, but unlike Chisa, while she was worried for Tatsumi's well being, she was baffled he had survived such an explosion unharmed.
"How come he hasn't suffered any physical injuries like third-degree burns from such an explosion?"
"I am just glad he's unharmed because I don't think a student harmed in an explosion wouldn't be good for my first day," Chisa answered with a sigh of relief.
"But," Mikan tried to say, but Tatsumi began coughing.
"Well, that didn't work out…maybe I should change the recipe," Tatsumi muttered as he slowly opened his eyes.
"Are you alright?" Chisa asked, which caused Tatsumi to realize he was being held by someone.
"Uh," the young man asked understandably confused, "I am fine but why are you holding me?"
"You idiot, you were caught in a fucking explosion so how are you still ALIVE?!" Hiyoko snapped, annoyed and clearly angry with Tatsumi.
"I guess I am just lucky," Tatsumi answered, but before Hiyoko could offer a retort, Tatsumi offered a tray of fluffy muffins with fruit on top.
Hiyoko was about to snap, but the alluring aroma of the muffins caused her pause but was clearly attempted by muffins despite her efforts to resist them.
"I made them myself, I replicated the fruit too."
Soon enough Hiyoko gave into temptation and devoured a muffin, and she was joined by Chisa and the others after that.
I am a tad curious how he survived that fireball, Chiaki thought while her mind returned to the present.
"So do you know if Chisa is planning something special?" Tatsumi asked her.
"I am not sure, and if she was, she didn't say anything to me," Chiaki Nanami answered before she and Tatsumi entered Hope's Peak Academy together.
Meanwhile passing through a warp portal the Marianne was on a direct course to Yen Sid's tower, but while the Moogles were piloting the ship, Lelouch was with Ava as the two have been having a long discussion together.
Over a game of chess between the two.
It was by accident when Ava came to his cabin to thank him for rescuing him, which Lelouch accepted since he had wanted to talk to her. Lelouch didn't attempt to press her for information after their escape, reasoning she would be tried from the ordeal because Lelouch feared if he pushed too hard she would be less willing to cooperate with him.
I need her to trust me especially if I want her to fight with me, Lelouch noted internally.
Upon seeing the chess board, Ava was curious, and Lelouch indulged her, although he was playing seriously Lelouch was surprised when Ava proved naturally adept at the game. So much so that Lelouch found him both enjoying the game from the sudden difficulty spike and the fact this revealed something interesting about Ava.
Despite her amnesia, it was clear her ability to problem solve, and her overall intellect seemed to be intact, which was impressive all things considered.
Yet if she is capable of matching me at chess like this then what kind of Keyblade Wielder was she?
Throughout their game, Lelouch explained to Ava events that led to her discovering where her body had been hidden upon finding her heart, which its discovery by Lelouch in a very unexpected location had sparked the search for her in the first place.
"You play like someone who has played this game before?"
"Huh?" Ava seemed confused, but seeing that she had the advantage, she couldn't help but acknowledge that it was true. "I guess so, but I am as surprised as you are."
"I understand, which probably means doing things like this might help you recover your memories. You remembered your name when you summoned your Keyblade?"
Ava pondered it for a moment before answering with a nod.
"Perhaps traveling around and learning to use your Keyblade could help you recall more." Lelouch suggested before inquiring, "if I may ask what do you remember?"
The young girl's expression saddened at the mention, although she hesitated Ava answered.
"Not much, beyond waking in a dark cell one day. The only visitors I had were two boys who would visit me from time to time."
Lelouch was curious asking, "two boys?"
"I know they weren't captives like me because they told me so themselves."
"I see, but I assume they couldn't free you through."
Ava nodded, "they wanted to, but they couldn't. I knew their names, Lea and Isa."
"Lea and Isa huh," Lelouch said making a mental note of those names.
"Sometime later I remember someone entering my cell. Whoever it was didn't have the same hair as this Xehanort you mentioned, but after that, I remember nothing until I woke up and saw you."
"Interesting, so someone else hid you," Lelouch said as he was left processing this information which still left one question. "But why go so far and remove your heart? Then hide it in an ancient ruin?"
"I am as confused as you are," Ava admitted.
Lelouch took a deep breath, "I understand, but maybe Yen Sid could help us shed some light on this mystery, which you can decide to what do from there?"
"If you want you could travel with me. Who knows we might come across someone who knows you, but of course we could run into the only member of Xehanort's cohorts to be around. Otherwise, I could take you back to Traverse Town where you can stay with the refuges." Lelouch offered while warning her of the potential dangers of staying with him could bring.
Ava was quiet as she was debating internally, but it didn't last long until…
"I'll visit this Yen Sid with you then I'll decide from there if that is fine."
"It's fine, and by the way?"
Lelouch moved a black piece close to her king.
Ava was surprised she had been carelessly playing because she had been focused on her discussion with Lelouch.
"Did…did you just pull a fast one on me?"
"You weren't paying attention," Lelouch replied with a shrug, "but can you recover?"
Ava was amused and annoyed at the same time because she was by far having the best day that she could remember that didn't involve being experimented upon.
"I'll surprise you I am sure."
"I hope so," Lelouch with a smile.
Meanwhile, as the day drew to a close Chiaki Nanami was heading home for the day after she had spent the rest of her afternoon by the water fountain in a park near the school. She had been coming to this spot for over a year waiting for a friend dear to her to come, but for more than a year, there had been no sign of him.
Hajime where are you?
Hajime Hinata, unlike the other students of Hope's Peak Academy, was a member of the Reserve Course. The Reserve Course was made up of ordinary students who wanted to enroll at Hope's Peak Academy but lacked talent that could help them qualify so they enrolled at the school preparatory school for average students yet they must pay very high tuition. Of course, it was claimed if a student did show talent then they would be allowed to be enrolled as an Ultimate Student if they qualify.
They had met during Chiaki's first year at Hope's Peak Academy by literally bumping into him while occupied with a game.
She might've kept walking that day upon realizing her mistake, but when Hajime recognized her game by its music things drastically changed allowing Chiaki to make her first friend, which was right before she met her homeroom teacher Chisa. They met together every day after school typically playing games together on their portables or even going to the arcade together, but suddenly without warning one day Hajime vanished.
Miss Yukizome says your fine, but are you?
Chiaki had asked around and knowing that her homeroom teacher was sent away to teach at the Reserve Course for a time because of an incident involving one of her students that saw the gym destroyed during a public event. Chiaki was hopeful she would've had more information on what happened, but she seemingly didn't…or was she hiding something?
No, she wouldn't hide anything like that, Chiaki thought while quickly dismissing that idea.
Yet…in that moment a memory flashed into her mind of a young man around her age wearing a black suit with a tie and long black hair that stretched to the floor with intimating red eyes.
Huh? Was that Hajime…no…it…wait, but…
Chiaki felt suddenly confused as if something buried in her mind was trying to unbury itself, but before her confusion could continue Tatsumi appeared.
"Hey, Chiaki are you alright?"
"Oh Tatsumi," Chiaki said surprised by his appearance which shook her from her thoughts.
"Still waiting for Hajime aren't you?"
Tatsumi was saddened by this, but he was the only member of her class who knew about her friendship with Hajime having bumped into them once while walking past the arcade.
"Well don't stay out too late," Tatsumi said knowing he couldn't persuade her from continuing to wait for him because he had tried in the past.
"See you tomorrow then."
"See ya," Tatsumi replied before walking away.
As he neared the entrance to the park well out of sight and earshot of Chiaki a puff of white smoke appeared beside him. A small cat-like, anthropomorphic creature materialized who looked more akin to a stuffed animal especially with its tiny blue eyes, grey fur with black stripes; for attire, it had a white cape wearing a pink coin purse around its neck with a white star imprinted upon it.
"You know as your strength with the Keyblade grows so does her memories, heart and the memories within are more intertwined than something," the small creature warned.
"I know," Tatsumi replied sadly, "but sealing away her memories would've robbed her of her ability to wield the Keyblade. Even if I did, there is still a high risk she would've been used by my father and Xehanort for their plans."
"Isn't that why you have manipulated this world to have her friend Peko teach her how to fight with the Keyblade while you assigned Gundham and Sonia as black magic and white magic teachers?"
Tatsumi nodded, "Yes and she has made incredible progress, but one thing I still don't understand is…how did she gain the ability to wield the Keyblade?"
The small creature shrugged its shoulders, "your guess is as good as mines."
Tatsumi Ashada was more than he appeared, although it was true he did attend Class 77 of Hope's Peak Academy due to his father's connections and the fact he was a very gifted genius with a wide range of scientific fields which was thanks to his mother.
Yet the reality of the situation was…he didn't originate from their world.
His father believed his enrollment in a school like Hope's Peak would be beneficial, and it would teach him humility and not to be so dependent on the various advances of his homeworld. Even his father taught him magic and how to wield his own Keyblade, which Tatsumi summoned as he reflected on everything that led to this point.
"I know how I got mines," Tatsumi said as his Keyblade materialized in his hand.
Seemingly contrary to his actual nature, but maybe a reflection of his family tree on his mother's side the Keyblade Tatsumi wielded possessed two feathered black wings forming the handle guards while a blue eye, with a black slit pupil, was in the center of the hilt above the handle. Surrounding the eye was a black gear while dangling from the end of the pommel was a black chain with a black stopwatch-like token within a gear. The red and black melded shaft of the weapon was shaped akin to a long hourglass while providing a reddish-neon like glow. The top of the blade was similar to a clock, which its short and long hand helped form the teeth of the weapon, built upon a gear while spikes in a web-like pattern form the teeth of the Keyblade.
Tatsumi's Keyblade was called Ascendant of Time.
"Anyway I have to meet with him right now, so I'll Chiaki in your hands Chirithy. If she regains her memories, she must be ready to prove to me Chiaki can stand on her own if she wants to leave."
"Do you have to?"
"I," Tatsumi said as a tear began to run down his face, "I don't want to given how she might react once she remembers everything. But knowing what my father and Xehanort are planning she'll have to be strong for what lies ahead and the goal she'll likely aim for."
"Don't punish yourself too much Tatsumi, you did everything you could given the situation," Chirithy offered.
"I hope she'll feel the same."
Tatsumi walked away heading towards Hope's Peak Academy while Chirithy silently observed his departure.
Meanwhile, Chiaki sat alone waiting for Hajime, but after beating the game, she was playing she put it down before reaching out with one hand. Her own Keyblade, Key of Sunrise, materialized in a burst of white light. It was simple in appearance as a sign of the still needed growth for Chiaki as a wielder.
Her Keyblade possess a black handle guard with a gold handle and chain, which a token bearing the crest of Hope's Peak Academy dangled. The shaft was gold as well, but the teeth of the weapon was shaped upon the kanji for hope.
I remember that I always had this when I came to Hope's Peak Academy, but then why can I not remember how I received it?
Chiaki's mind continued to struggle with the memories she now with those that been buried, which was struggling to resurface.
The following morning the Marianne had arrived at the tower of Yen Sid. As they disembarked, Ava was left looking up at awe at the tower before her, which itself was standing upon an island of rock floating in the middle of a star-filled space which was likely linked to the realms in-between realms.
"And just what kind of person is this Yen Sid," Ava asked.
"He used to be a Keyblade Master until he retired years ago, but now he is just a powerful sorcerer who lives in a mystical power," Lelouch answered with an amused smile.
Ava looked at him with a perplexed expression uncertain if he was joking or poking fun at her.
"I am not making fun of you," Lelouch said suddenly surprising Ava. "What your expression told me what you were thinking."
She was stunned he had read her so easily, but then again Ava had made no effort to hide her feelings about his comment.
Once inside the two ascended the stairs until they reached the loft where Yen Sid resides. Upon the door opening as they approached, which Lelouch knew was due to Yen Sid being fully aware of their presence, so he used his magic to open the door for the two instead of having them knock and wait.
"Come in Lelouch," Yen Sid greeted, "I take it you were successful?"
The sorcerer was standing at a window with his back turned to them, but moments later Yen Sid turned around to face them.
"I was," Lelouch said before gesturing to Ava before introducing her. "This is Ava, and Ava this is Master Yen Sid."
"It's a pleasure to meet you, young lady," Yen Sid greeted with a polite bow.
"I found her in the least likely place imaginable," Lelouch began, "Radiant Garden."
Yen Sid was surprised by this revelation, "I am glad to see you are well. That world has become dangerous since the Heartless overran it years ago, but where did you find her?"
"Well," Lelouch said as he began retelling events surrounding Ava's discovery.
Throughout his retelling, Lelouch and Ava moved to a pair of chairs in front of his desk while Yen Sid sat in his chair behind it, but once Lelouch was done the former Keyblade Master contemplated the information Lelouch had given him.
"I see, I'll contact Mickey later and see if he might've heard something during his talks with Ansem the Wise," Yen Sid said before turning to Ava. "Now young lady do you have any plans at present?"
"I am honestly not sure," Ava said sadly before extending one hand to summon her Keyblade, "beyond this and my name I know nothing about myself. I can't remember if I even have a home or a family to return to. All I knew was the darkness of that cell and the experiments they would perform on me until he saved me."
Lelouch exchanged glances with Ava as she looked at him before the latter dismissed her Keyblade.
"Yet you didn't remember your name until you had summoned your Keyblade, which I wonder if the brief connection it shared with Lelouch's heart while searching for you might've been a factor," Yen Sid before putting one hand on his chin as a sign of contemplation.
Ava seemed uncertain before asking, "if I may could I just remain with Lelouch?"
"Me?" Lelouch asked although he knew what the likely reason was.
"I never remembered my own name until after I woke, and I owe him for saving me. If staying with a Keyblade Wielder helps me regain my lost memories than all the more reason I wish to stay with him."
"Perhaps we could run into someone who might recognize you. Didn't you tell me the only thing you remembered was four friends and a key, which we can assume is a Keyblade, who could be out there somewhere?" Lelouch suggested, mainly since his goal was to find other Keyblade Wielders.
"I suppose that's true, but I wouldn't know where to start looking."
Yen Sid sat quietly observing the scene before asking, "Lelouch why don't you take Ava with you on your search for Aqua? Perhaps you two could find some leads along the way to aid in the search for Ava's friends."
"I don't see any reason to say no to that, but ok."
"However," Yen Sid quickly added, "along the way why don't you teach her or rather help her learn to wield her Keyblade again. Perhaps it could help in restoring more of her memory, which you can consider your Mark of Mastery Exam."
Lelouch was surprised by this turn of events, "Mark of Mastery…are you sure?"
"Yes, …it believe it's time for you to accept the title of Keyblade Master, so as your Mark of Mastery is to train Ava and help her regain the full use of her Keyblade."
"Then I accept," Lelouch replied with a determined expression.
"Very well, but before you go, I would suggest that Ava visit the Three Good Fairies for a change of wardrobe for more suitable traveling attire."
Ava looked down remembering she was still dressed in the old clothing she was given as a test subject.
"I guess that is true," Ava said feeling slightly embarrassed holding her hands together in front of her while trying to hide her embarrassment.
"While don't you take Ava to meet them, Lelouch?"
"Sure," Lelouch offered before offering to Ava to follow him with a hand gesture.
"Anything I should know about before I meet these fairies?" Ava asked sounding nervous at meeting real fairies.
"Don't worry they are the kindest trio you'll meet, but if there is one problem I have with them is that they tend to fight over whenever it comes to making something trying to include their personal preference over the other's," Lelouch answered. "Just be firm and gentle with them otherwise you might be caught in the center of an argument for hours."
Lelouch led Ava through another door in the corner of Master Yen Sid's loft to a smaller room with drawers and armoire and a large mirror. The former prince opened and the door for Ava allowing her to walk in so she and the fairies could be alone.
"Hello dear," a voice said before Ava saw three lights, one red, blue and green descend from above before they transformed into three identically dressed older women with the differences between them being the color of their attire, faces, and hair. Over their attire was that of a matching dress, a conical hat, and a cape matching their respective color.
"I am Flora," the fairy dressed in red with graying hair and blue eyes said.
"My name is Fauna," the fairy dressed in green said who looked similar to Flora save for being slightly taller, "and this is Merryweather."
Merryweather was the shortest and youngest of the trio with black hair and blue eyes but dressed in blue.
"If you're looking for clothes, you've come to the right place!" Merryweather greeted while reading her magic wand.
"I'll do the designing," Fauna said clearly eager to get to work.
"Now now dears let's be considerate of the young lady here," Flora said trying to calm her overeager sisters. "We overheard everything young dear, and we'll take of you."
"Thank you very much," Ava replied as she felt her uneasy beginning to vanish.
"You know how about blue?"
Merryweather turned Ava's outfit blue, but Fauna had another idea.
"No, no, how about green?"
Ava's outfit turned green, but before she could protest Flora intervened.
"That isn't right, so how about pink?"
The outfit turned pink with a wave of Flora's wand.
"Actually I," Ava said trying to interject, but she was drowned out by the squabbling of the three fairies who began changing Ava's outfit from green, to blue and then to pink over and over again.
Ava was in for a long day.
Around the same time, in another corner of the cosmos, Tatsumi was walking down a flight of metallic stairs while lights built into the walls above illuminated the way for him. He made his way to an observation deck where reinforced windows provided a breathtaking view of the outside. Beyond the windows was a red planet, but a large portion of the planet's surface was gone. There was a considerable wound upon the planet itself that left its molten core exposed to the vacuum of space while fragments of the world's crust circled the planet.
The planet Diode was once home to a colony consisting of the most brilliant of scientists across the galaxy, but at the same time these men whose willingness to conduct very questionable experiments without restraint made even the most power-hungry of kingdoms and militaristic governments want nothing to do with them deeming them far too dangerous even for them.
These scientists were pleased with their exiled to the farthest corner of the galaxy because it allowed them to do as they pleased without any supervision or restraint.
Their hubris would be their downfall and the massive scar upon Diode would serve as a dangerous reminder of the dangers of what happens if science and progress were pursued without morality and caution to restrain them.
Sitting on a chair in the observation room, having been fascinated by the aftermath of events that had forever scared the surface of Diode was a young man, roughly twenty years in age, with long black hair that hung close to the floor yet it was mostly held within the black cloak he wore with silver drawstrings. His pale skin and red eyes made him easily recognizable coupled with his abnormally long hair which was because the man didn't care much for his own appearance.
Aware of Tatsumi's approach the young man didn't turn to face him, but he did speak while still reading the old tome he held in his hands.
"Chiaki Nanami's memories are returning aren't they?"
"I am afraid so, nothing short of sealing away her memories completely will stop it now. It's only a matter of time before she recognizes the virtual world she has been transported into," Tatsumi reported sadly.
"I'll test her as we have planned, but what do you intend to do Izuru Kamukura?"
In a familiar telling of the story of Diode the story of Izuru Kamakura could be as similar, but seemingly with less destructive results…not directly at least.
Very few people knew about this, but Hope's Peak Academy was researching the talents of Ultimate Students as well as cultivating their talents. This was part of the intended purpose to create someone worthy of the title Ultimate Hope, who much like the original founder of Hope's Peak Academy was a genius talented in many fields. Unable to find someone worthy of such a title the Steering Committee, the real power behind the academy and their financial supporters, spearheaded the project and when as far as establishing the Reserve Course to provide the much-needed funding and to find a potential test subject.
To take an ordinary talentless student and turn him or her into Ultimate Talent personified.
Tatsumi had some knowledge of the project's existence due to his father having heard about it, and it was part of the reason he had been sent to Hope's Peak Academy to silently observe it from afar for him, but along the way he genuinely befriended and became close to his fellow students of the 77th Class.
I had no idea Chiaki knew Hajime Hinata, the one they chose for the project.
Tatsumi was unaware of Hajime and Chiaki's relationship as friends as did her classmates although he did know the boy they chose was Hajime. Tragically they didn't warn him that the transformation would completely destroy his personality as they infused him with every talent they had researched extensively while Hajime Hinata was no more and their Ultimate Hope was born in his place as an emotionless engine of logic.
They made a clockwork god, but he was raw talent, and his Ultimate-level analytical abilities left him disinterested and bored with the world, although with Hajime's personality gone they had hoped he would be someone the committee could control.
Tragically they were wrong because his disinterested and bored personality left him open to be manipulated by someone who could offer him unpredictability to find something interesting. Unpredictably through despair and chaos, provided by another student of Hope's Peak Academy who used the existence of Izuru Kamukura that would plunge the world into self-destructive anarchy while Izuru was blamed for the incident and what came after.
And Chiaki nearly died at her hands, but at that moment I think something of Hajime did survive.
His fellow classmates became victims of the resulting Tragedy, but Chiaki was nearly killed at the mastermind's hands, and she would've died if not for his intervention and that of Izuru who assisted him in saving Chiaki's life.
Yet as she lay dying she summoned the Keyblade, which Tatsumi thought it was out of the desperate struggle to survive and save her friends.
Tatsumi alone escaped the fate that befell the rest of their classmates, and because of his father, he was prevented from helping them. Thankfully he didn't know about Tatsumi saving Chiaki's life, and fearing she would become a pawn in his father and Xehanort's plans hid her away within an artificial world existing within a Datascape. Tatsumi created using a prototype of a particular program, but instead of a virtual world Tatsumi went further and created a complete nigh-perfect recreation of Hope's Peak Academy.
However, the city itself Tatsumi shaped after a world he had spent his middle school days on and used it as a means to teach and introduce Chiaki to the advanced technology she would likely have to make use of if she ever got out.
Unlike the program in question where a user would rest within a pod and their minds projected into the program, Tatsumi digitized Chiaki's mind and body completely inserting her into the simulated world while she and Tatsumi could freely enter the simulated world and the free world. Chiaki could leave if she could find the exit.
It worked, and Chiaki's memories of her near death and the tragic events surrounding it were suppressed to the darkest recesses of her mind, although the program was designed to rewrite memories and replace traumatic ones with new ones Tatsumi knew it would deprive her of the Keyblade.
But there was another reason for it, and another reason why he designed the world the way he did even if he could've easily fashioned it into a perfect world for Chiaki.
In the time Hajime or rather Izuru had spent some time with Tatsumi while he would on occasion return to his world to observe the chaos caused by the Tragedy that was unleashed. To aid him Tatsumi provided a black cloak that could protect him whenever he used a Corridor of Darkness for quicker travel between Tatsumi's personal space station and his planet.
Tatsumi was concerned for Izuru whenever he used a Corridor of Darkness, but ever since that "time" the two had to make do with the cards fate had dealt them.
"I'll continue with my part of our plan."
"Then you mean to go through with it?" Tatsumi asked obviously concerned.
"Yes," Izuru replied coldly, "if all goes well then it will be a preferable outcome would it not?"
"If it goes well yes," Tatsumi cautioned. "But I do not understand why my father barred me from helping my friends unless he has a vested interested in Ultimate Despair."
"You suspect there might be something he isn't telling you?"
"It's possible given how adamant he was that I leave Junko Enoshima be."
"And thus the reason who work against him," Izuru pointed out.
Tatsumi didn't bother answering that question, because Izuru knew the answer. It was too secret to his father that he disagreed with the path he had chosen, although he understood and sympathized with him the reasons behind it.
Yet he couldn't agree with his father's current methods.
"I should be going," Izuru said raising from his chair, "but I'll leave this with you for safe keeping."
Tatsumi accepted the tome.
"You have been more interesting than Enoshima."
The comment surprised Tatsumi who wondered if it was a genuine comment or perhaps Izuru was unconsciously insulting Junko instead because she had promised despair was unpredictable. The fact that he had never heard Izuru compliment anyone only added to his surprise and confusion.
"Until we meet again," Izuru said before he disappeared through a Corridor of Darkness.
Alone Tatsumi looked upon the book he held before running one hand across the blue cover.
"I hate fate," Tatsumi said quietly dreading the times ahead.
Day was becoming night at Yen Sid's tower, which was due to the Three Good Fairies unable to agree on a color for Ava until Lelouch finally intervened.
"I am so sorry about that," Ava said feeling disappointed in herself.
The two were leaving the tower, and Ava was wearing her new traveling attire.
Taking some inspiration from Lelouch's attire, Ava was wearing a sleeveless pink uniform trimmed with gold splitting into four tails below the waist reaching close to the floor. Under it was a white turtleneck sleeveless shirt, and she wore a pair of black pants and matching heeled boots. Ava wore a pair of pink fingerless long gloves on her arms with white bands at the ends above the elbow, and lastly, Ava wore a light purple sash around her waist.
Lelouch merely sighed, but he had should've known this would happen.
After an hour had passed I should've known, but I couldn't exactly just barge in, Lelouch thought.
Intervening was difficult because he was concerned about barraging into the room since Ava could've been in the middle of changing.
Still, thanks to Lelouch's intervention, when he had an opportunity that wouldn't embarrass Ava, he convinced the fairies to merely use their magic together instead of individually. The result of their combined effort was what Ava was wearing while Fiona was especially pleased with the overall pink color.
"It's hardly your fault," Lelouch said before inquiring, "but more importantly how are you feeling?"
"Better actually," Ava answered.
Ava was enjoying the new found freedom she now had. The memories she had were all of her being locked away in a dark cell, and the only time she wasn't locked away Ava was being experimented upon. The experiments she endured were horrific, and she vividly remembered what happened to the others.
Their screaming echoed through her mind sometimes whenever Ava's thoughts drifted.
She didn't know what happened to them, but Ava knew they had died or worse judging from what Lelouch had told her. However, Ava found she was glad upon learning how Lelouch vanquished Xehanort and his apprentices, except for one who remained at large, for he had not only avenged her but the other test subjects who became victims of their twisted curiosity.
Oddly, some part of Ava felt it was wrong to harbor such feelings but they were overshadowed by the sights of the night sky, and generally anything that wasn't a white wall lab and a dark cell.
"And you are fine accompanying me?"
Lelouch saw that nothing he said would deter her, which was good but at the same time, he knew Ava accompanying him would be a risk too. Even though Lelouch couldn't grasp the motives behind whoever was responsible for sealing her away one possibility was certain if word got out about her release then whoever sealed her might come for Ava or Braig might try to capture her. Lelouch didn't see much reason for the latter unless Braig was intending to continue Xehanort's plans by taking a Keyblade Wielder's body as a host, but he decided to act on that assumption Braig would and stay on alert.
He regretted not having more ample opportunity to check out the research outpost for more clues regarding Ava, but given how quickly the Heartless had advanced upon their location and taking into account the risk of running into Braig on his home turf would've put Lelouch at a dangerously tactical disadvantage.
A situation that would've been made worse by worrying about a young woman who couldn't do much to defend herself.
"We'll visit a few worlds Yen Sid has told me about where Aqua was known to have explored in the hopes of finding some clues to whereabouts," Lelouch said reminding Ava of their upcoming journey.
"Are you sure we can find her?"
Lelouch sighed because he knew to find her would be no simple task given how little they had to work with.
"Not easily, but the best we can hope for is that we can find some clues we can follow up on. In the meantime, I'll help you get more familiar with your Keyblade as we go so either you'll recover more of your memories, or you'll at least be capable of defending yourself."
"I would be grateful that, but I do want to repay you for recusing me."
Lelouch smiled, although this would be a long journey ahead of them, he welcomed whatever laid ahead.
A/N: that is it for the chapter, and we have Chiaki Nanami from Danganronpa as our first Keyblade Wielder to be introduced, and there is more to the story of how she was sealed away in a simulated town, similar yet more advanced than the one Roxas would find himself in.
More on that will be elaborated upon, although these days I am hesitant to use OCs (most of you can guess why) this one is designed to help further the story providing more background support. Not to mention the technology his mother had access to would be essential to not only saving Chiaki but providing a safe haven to hide her away at. I made an image of him on my deviant art profile (same user name), but mind you the profile background info is out of date.
But the reason behind his name being Tatsumi is the same, and his lab explosion "introduction" was reference to the game from which the mother's side of his family hails from (also influencing the city Chiaki has been living in).
I'll keep the OCs to a very low number so relax as they are just helping me move the story along. But I do plan them out with some of my fellow authors to ensure I avoid the common pitfalls involved with them.
Anyway, while Ava and Lelouch are working to retrace Aqua's steps in the hopes of finding her Chiaki's memories will begin to return which will cause her to start questioning the world she is in…yet will escape be so easy?
Lastly, on my profile page, I have a curiosity poll…I am a little worried about my candidates for the role of love interest for Lelouch (Ava, Xion, and Yuffie). I am trying to expand and broaden some of my choices a little, so I created a poll for curiosity purposes to gauge which pairing candidate you would be more interested in seeing while realizing how few potentially compatible female cast members I have to work with hence some of my choices to even it out.
Granted I could tap into female characters from the anime worlds I am planning on using for alternatives, but that might be cheating so I am going to keep it to Kingdom Hearts characters. And for the record I have no intention of doing a harem, it doesn't feel like it would fit well here.
Anyway, that's it for me, and I am looking forward to your reviews because they convince me to keep going with this story (and I would really like to not do another rewrite with this lol). I'll be updating my Danganronpa and Fate/Grand Order crossovers soon before I do another chapter for this story.