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Chapter XIII: Motives

“Kairi!”

Sora was in the abyss, with Grymox nearly strangling him. He wanted to see Kairi, feeling a need to see and to make sure she was safe. From one moment, his surroundings were pitch black. Then in another passing moment, a sudden flash of light blinded him. But it turned dark once again. Sora’s head throbbed due to the rapid changes in light and his deep frustration with his situation. He groaned a little while attempting to break free of Grymox’s tight hold on him, though to no avail.

I swear I’ll break you in half if you don’t stop moving,” Grymox channeled his words.

“Shut up!” Sora yelled in aggravation.

You have a lot of anger. I can feel your darkness half.

“I said shut up!”

The Heartless grunted in hilarity. Sora continued to try and break free, but his arms were caught between one of Grymox’s large hands. Instead, Sora tried kicking; but he had no idea what he was kicking at though, in shifting through sudden darkness and sudden bright lights.

I told you to stop moving…

“And I told you to shut up! Let go of me!”

In a moment,” Grymox sneered.

At last the darkness permanently faded and Sora and Grymox entered a stone ornamented room. The portal closed behind them, and Sora realized escape would surely be a challenge. Not that he wanted to, his first goals are to find Kairi and Riku. Grymox released and tossed Sora onto the ground and headed for a metal door at the opposite side of the room. Big mistake, Sora muttered to himself and called forth his Keyblade. He charged at the departing Grymox with all his might.

With unnatural reflexes, Grymox pulled out his deadly lance-like weapon and parried Sora’s heavy blow. With excellent reflexes himself, Sora dodged Grymox’s immediate riposte, and swooped under the Heartless’ weapon to cut him down.

Once again, Grymox demonstrated his unnatural reflexes and moved out of the way. However, a gash with black and purple vapors leaking from it appeared across the side of his waist. Grymox squinted his piercing, yellow eyes in malevolence and spite at Sora. He retreated a few feet, keeping his watch on the Keyblade master, and disappeared through the metal door. A trail of dark vapors could be seen dissipating across the stone floor. Sora had left his mark on the Heartless commander.

Sora gripped the doorknob and… it couldn’t turn. There was no lock to be seen either. It must be locked from the other side, Sora thought. He examined his apparent prison cell. Yet it resembled more of a council chamber than a prison cell. The room itself was noticeably wide and spacious, though there was a giant, rectangular table across the middle of the room. What made the room seem more like a council room than a prison cell was the fact that there were bookshelves and filing cabinets by the walls and windows on all four sides of the room. Grabbing a wooden chair, Sora sat and waited for whatever it was that he was captured for.

Before too long, Sora saw a black puddle appearing on the floor with green flames not even a foot away from his chair. He stood up and backed up slightly and summoned his Keyblade in defense. His eyes grew larger and larger as Maleficent’s figure appeared before him.

“Comfy?” Maleficent asked in an ironically welcoming tone.

“Not really,” Sora answered angrily. “What are you up to, Maleficent?”

“Nothing, dear boy, nothing,” she turned and paced around the room, with Sora watching her every step. “Besides controlling a growing Heartless and Nobody army…”

“What? You control the Nobodies, too?” Sora couldn’t believe it. “I know you have two Nobodies under your control, but a whole army? What?”

Maleficent cackled. “Kingdom Hearts will be mine.”

“Not again. No one should control Kingdom Hearts, you should know that by now.”

Maleficent smiled sinisterly. “Allow me to tell you a story, Sora.

“Organization XIII’s stronghold was mine for the taking. You and your friends and the king?well, I must say did a fine job clearing a path for us, Pete and I, to enter. It was perfect; dominated purely with the powers of darkness, feeding my Heartless. Or so I thought. The Heartless only obey the ones who wield more power. And the wretched Organization XIII and their Nobodies held the power there.

“Yet it was still my goal to take over, though I could not destroy the organization alone. Ah, yes, that’s where you and your friends come in, Sora. As you all defeated one organization member at a time, it was one step closer for me to victory!

“Did you think I was lost in battle? That Pete and I were overrun by the rogue Heartless? Oh no, dear boy, you must not be so naďve! We were in control. The Heartless were mine again as the organization’s powers diminished with each member is slain by your might. Slowly, we faded into the darkness, waiting for our opportunity to take over. And we would have… until that idiot Pete decided to back away from glory.

“If he decided to leave, then I had no further use for his idiocy. Hah, into the darkness I tossed him. Who knows where he is now. I returned to the stronghold to fulfill my goal, only to see the door to Kingdom Hearts close in front of me. How quaint. You and your friends have defeated Xemnas, the last member of Organization XIII, before I could be there to witness it! The doors were locked…”

Maleficent stopped speaking for a minute, still pacing around the room. She turned to face Sora. “But things are different now, are they not, Sora? Both the Heartless and the Nobodies are mine now. And here you are, my prisoner. Who will stop me? All I need to do is find and capture your friend Riku and the king, and there will be no Keyblades to get in the way.”

Sora was about to object when dark puddle appeared next to Maleficent and Syx rose through it. The Heartless commander tossed an immobilized Kairi at Sora, knocking him over.

“Good work, Syx,” Maleficent complimented. “Now let us leave. We have much work to do.”

Syx snarled at Sora and Kairi, who were both collapsed on the floor, and the Heartless and Maleficent dissolved into the cold stone floor.

“Kairi…” Sora whispered. “Kairi, are you awake?”

Tattered, but not out cold, Kairi trembled a bit and turned around her face to see Sora. She was in his arms, for the moment safe and composed. She looked up and smiled.

“Hey, Sora,” she murmured.

“Hey, Kairi. You okay?”

“Yeah. Fighting’s hard…”

Sora nodded. Why did he expect that Kairi was capable of such endurance? Her outlook was fragile, her face, arms, legs, all delicate, and her eyes?they did not have the fire in them that fuel fighters. Sora didn’t know why he even let Kairi fight. Because she wanted to?

“Sora, what are thinking about?” Kairi asked quietly.

“Huh?” he broke from his self-conflict. “Nothing much really. I just regret making you come, that’s all. You wouldn’t have been beaten up like this…”

Kairi chuckled. “Don’t be like that, Sora! Come on, cheer up, please?”

Normally, Sora was the optimistic one of the group. Normally, he was the one cheering everyone up; keeping his friends in a positive mood and their spirits raised. But now, he was the one feeling disheartened and helpless, and Kairi is the one who was left cheering him on.

Sora smiled and Kairi smiled back.

“Much better,” she said.

“Hey, let me heal you,” Sora suggested. “But your clothes might still be a bit messed up.”

“That’s no problem, thank you.”

Sora summoned his magic and conjured the Cure spell, causing the green curative light to wrap around Kairi’s injured body and instantly heal her wounds.

“What did Syx do to you…” Sora wondered, frowning.

Kairi put a finger to her chin. “She was kind of rough,” she answered. Pouting, she continued, “We’ll beat her up, right, Sora?”

“We will. I promise. But first, we have to get out of here.”

“Did you try the door?” Kairi asked, laughing.

Sora mocked her laugh. “Ha, ha. Of course I did.”

“Windows?”

Sora thought for a moment. Maybe…

He grabbed a few chairs and walked to one side of the room. “Let’s try the windows, Kairi!”

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