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Chapter XL: Sinister Sundown

Governor Weatherby Swann, Elizabeth’s father, managed to sneak his way into the underground prison where Elizabeth was held captive. It was a deed that would surely strip him of his rank if he were discovered. After several protests and gripes, Elizabeth was finally forced to escape from the prison. Outside, in the darkness of the night, a horse and carriage waited for the runaways. Silently, the carriage halted at the dock, where a ship’s captain was supposed to take Elizabeth far away from Port Royal.

“Captain?” the governor called.

From the bushes and trees bordering the roads, soldiers and horses leapt out and cut off all escape routes. Refusing to be captured, Elizabeth snuck out of the carriage before her father and she were completely surrounded. Through the undergrowth she went, unnoticed by the soldiers. The governor eyed her cautiously for pursuers. There were none, as the soldiers had their attention on him. Mercer, Lord Beckett’s personal assistant, spy, and assassin, approached the carriage up to Governor Swann’s terrified face.

Mercer smirked and ordered a few soldiers to rip open the back of the carriage.

“There’s no one else in here!” one of the soldiers reported.

Mercer smirk disappeared, the expression transforming into a scowl and a sinister glare.

“Where is she?” Mercer asked the governor.

The governor feebly shook his head and refused to open his mouth. Out of annoyance, Mercer grabbed the governor by the lapels and shoved him against the side of the carriage.

“I asked… where is she?” Mercer spat.

“Well, how should I know? The girl never stays when I ask her to nowadays,” Governor Swann stammered.

“That is not the answer I was looking for,” Mercer snarled, pulling out a long knife.

The governor raised his arms in fright as Mercer raised his arm in position to stab the older man. However, horses started to panic before Mercer could strike. The interruption drew away Mercer’s attention for a moment. Before long, thinking it was only a spooky howl of the wind, Mercer returned to the cowering governor, ready to plunge the serrated knife into the old man. Before he could do so, he was interrupted yet again, this time by the soldiers.

You there,” Mercer yelled to one of the soldiers. “What is the meaning of this? What is troubling the men?”

“T-t-t-t-that… there…!” gasped the soldier.

Mercer looked up to see a giant black creature with glowing yellow eyes slowly hovering towards his small squad of soldiers. Its wings were stretched out, and so were its four long arms. A heart-shaped emblem marked its chest. Mercer stared in terrible awe as the creature approached his men. The Heartless Syx advanced ever so closer.

“It’s the devil! It’s finally come to get us all!” one of the soldiers cried out.

“Run, for the love of God, run!” another screamed.

The soldiers scrambled, many turning away from Mercer and the governor and ran for their lives. Many others crawled up to the panicking horses and rode away.

“Come back, you cowards!” Mercer roared. His roar was matched with the screech from the giant Heartless. Unable to resist any longer, Mercer dropped his knife and ran towards the dock. He leapt onto a small rowboat and quickly paddled away.

Now it was Governor Swann in a broken, horseless carriage facing the Heartless commander. Petrified, horrified, and utterly baffled, the governor climbed into the back of the carriage in attempt to hide from the creature he had never seen before in his long years. Syx snorted and with one clean swipe, completely tore off the roof of the carriage, revealing the cringing governor. Cornered with nowhere to turn, the governor covered his head and waited for whatever terribleness that will be inflicted upon him.

But before Syx could do anything with her new toy, a second figure appeared behind her. Before the Heartless could react, a sharp object sank into her back, causing black and purple vapors to steam and ooze out. Screeching in pain, Syx knocked away her attacker with her giant wings. Then limping for a few seconds, Syx turned around and squinted at her adversary.

You,” she growled, sending her message by telepathy. “How dare you…

The figure removed his hood, revealing his face. Riku. Keyblade in hand, he charged again at Syx, who dodged the attack by soaring into the air.

I thought Sarlix had you removed,” said Syx.

“Well, then you thought wrong,” Riku countered. He jumped into the air to attack Syx, who again dodged the attack by flying further away. Riku saw the dodge coming and fired a dark Firaga spell at the Heartless. The black ball of flaming energy made a direct contact with Syx, exploding on her face. Screaming in agony, the Heartless commander came crashing onto Governor Swann’s carriage. Luckily, the poor governor crawled out of the way before he was flattened.

Riku entered free-fall in the air, diving headfirst with his Keyblade pointed downwards towards the stunned Syx, ready to finish off the Heartless for good. Still, nothing could be that easy as Syx shook off the shock and parried Riku’s Keyblade with her claws then countered by knocking Riku away with her other arms. As Riku slid across the dirt road, Sarlix rose up again, this time her eyes glowing bright with an eerie orange instead of yellow. Before Riku could respond, he found himself with Shadows and Soldier Heartless closing in on him.

“Huh,” Riku scoffed as he stood up, Keyblade in hand. “Can’t defeat me without getting some help?”

All’s fair in love and war. War, especially,” Syx grunted.

That’s weird, Riku thought. “I thought you Heartless were supposed to be mindless walking bags of darkness,” Riku spat.

Well… then you thought wrong,” Syx messaged Riku, mocking him by using his own words against him. “You’re finished, Keyblade-wielder.

“Not quite,” said Riku, closing his eyes. He made one clean sweep with his Keyblade, using the dark Firaga spell in conjunction with his signature Dark Aura spell to blast away the dozens of Heartless minions around him. With his Keyblade still glowing, Riku opened his eyes to face Syx.

“Not even close.”

Using the powers of darkness. Impressive,” noted Syx.

The Heartless commander folded her wings around her and sank into the ground through a black puddle. Riku pursued, slashing down but a second too late as the Keyblade struck the dirt.

“Damn it,” Riku muttered silently, staring at the fading black puddle through where Syx escaped.

Riku turned away and opened a dark portal. Before he could step in, however, Governor Swann grabbed hold of Riku’s shoulder. Alerted, Riku yanked out his Keyblade and had the weapon placed slightly under the governor’s chin.

“Oh,” Riku mumbled. “Sorry.”

Riku recalled his Keyblade from the again terrified governor. But still, before Riku could leave the scene, Governor Swann grabbed hold of Riku’s shoulder again.

“Thank you, umm… you’re not from here, are you?” the governor asked.

“No,” Riku shook his head, about to leave again, but was held back.

“You saved me, and perhaps my daughter just as much,” the governor said quickly. “How can I ever repay you?”

“You don’t need to,” said Riku. He was about to step into the portal, but thought of something. “Actually, have you seen a spiky-haired boy? Brown hair? And a girl with long, red hair with him by any chance? It’s fine if you haven’t, but if you ever do again, tell them?hmm… tell them Riku said hello.”

Without giving the governor a chance to reply, Riku stepped into the closing portal, disappearing from Port Royal.

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“Jack,” Will called. The pirate captain wasn’t paying too much attention to the young man. Instead, Jack Sparrow was trying to shoot… a monkey.

“Jack,” Will called again.

“Ah,” said Jack, putting away his pistol.

“Elizabeth is in danger.”

“Have you considered keepin’ a more watchful eye on ‘er?” suggested Jack, as he wandered around the Black Pearl’s deck. “Maybe just lock ‘er up somewhere?”

“Sheis locked up! In a prison! Bound to hang for helping you!” Will exclaimed.

Jack still did not seem to care much. “There comes a time when one must take responsibility for one’s mistakes…”

Will yanks a sword from the waistband of a nearby pirate and points it at Jack. Sora came forward and pushed Will’s arm down, lowering it away from a dangerous level.

“Come on, Will, you don’t need to do that,” said Sora.

“I need that compass of yours, Jack. I must trade it for Elizabeth’s freedom,” said Will, ignoring Sora.

Jack looks away and smacks his lips. “Well, thank you, Zola, I figured you’d be much help comin’ along right here. Gibbs!”

“Ugh, it’s Sora!” Sora muttered. That was the second time Jack called him by the wrong name.

Gibbs came over to Jack and they discussed something.

“We have a need to travel upriver,” said Jack.

“What we need to do is make sail for Port Royal with all haste,” Will interrupted.

Jack turned around and sighed. “William,” he said. “I shall trade you the compass, if you will help me… to find this.

Jack unfolded a cloth-like sheet with an imprint of a key-shaped object stamped in the center. Sora looked over Will’s shoulder. A Keyblade? No, it looked more like a normal key.

“You want me to find this?” asked Will.

“No,” Jack corrected. “You want you to find this. Because the finding this finds you theincapacitorially finding and or locating and your discovering the detecting of a way to save your dolly-dolly belle ol’… what’s-‘er-face… Savvy?”

Sora wanted to laugh. Kairi stared with a completely puzzled look. Will scratched his head.

“So…” Will said slowly. “This… is going to save Elizabeth?”

Jack put on a serious look to his face. “How much do you know about Davy Jones?”

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