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Chapter Nineteen: Cid

Sora, Donald and Goofy wandered up to the building that would normally be Merlin’s house. In Sora’s previous adventure it was the center base for the ‘Hollow Bastion Restoration Committee’. Now, after seeing the whole ‘town’ empty, he was almost afraid to see what he would find inside. He steeled himself and slowly opened the wooden door.

As it slowly creaked open, Sora inched his way inside. “Hellooooooo?” He called out into the household. He almost screamed when he saw a figure lurch from the other end of the room and shuffle towards him. He saw it raise up its arms and moan as he prepared to fight.

It took only a few seconds to realize this figure was yawning. Sora thanked himself for not screaming like a little girl. The figure stepped into a small beam of light from the window to reveal the exhausted face of Cid! “Cid! Oh, thank goodness we found someone we know! Cid, what’s happened to Radiant Garden? Where is everybody? Why is it?-"

Cid interrupted him with a yawn. “To answer your first question, genius, it’s about one in the mornin’, so I don’t think anybody’s gonna exactly be doing aerobics in the streets.” He sat down and flipped on a coffee machine before he continued.

“You know, you don’t exactly seem surprised to see me, Cid.” Sora mused.

Cid waited intently for the machine to finish his coffee. “Well, usually when events like returning armies of Heartless and morons messin’ with darkness come up, I reckon’ you’ll come to put a damper on it sooner or later.” He gave Sora a warm smile. “Still, that doesn’t mean it ain’t good to see ya.”

The machine dinged and Cid offered Sora and the others a seat. He grabbed his mug from the table and took a deep sip. “You want any?”

“No thanks; But if you have some green tea...”

“In the fridge.”

After Sora received his beverage, Cid took another sip and leaned forward in his chair. “Okay, you know before when you and the King sealed the door to Kingdom Hearts? Well, that did stop the Heartless ‘fer a while. But the bad thing is, it started somethin’ much, much worse. See, there were Seven Princesses of Heart before that opened the door, right? Well, what nobody knew was that there’s a whole ‘nother set of princesses that do somethin’ a little bit worse: these girl’s hearts can recreate the door again.”

“WHAT?!” Sora spewed out his tea, and Goofy and Donald cried out in shock.

“I know, I know. That’s pretty bad, I can tell you that. If they can revive the door, they can reopen it an’ flood this whole universe with infinite darkness!”

“Wait a minute, Cid. Doesn’t it require a Keyblade to open the door, too? I mean, when a Keyblade made contact with Kairi’s heart that gave it the final push it needed to open the door. If they don’t have my, or for that matter Riku’s, the King’s, or Kairi’s Keyblades, how can they succeed?”

Cid put his coffee down and stood up. He walked over to the window and sighed. “That’s the worst bit of it all. The Heartless’ new commander wields a Keyblade.”

Sora gasped. “You mean to tell me that the guy who showed up right before my island was destroyed is behind it all? You’ve gotta be joking!”

“I wish I was, Sora. You’re not the only one who made contact with this guy. See, he came with an army of Heartless that made the one from the Great Crevasse look like a Sunday picnic. We didn’t stand a chance, not even for a second. Just before our final moments, Leon, Yuffie, and Aerith led them away using a Gummi Ship. I still have no idea what’s become of them.”

“Afterwards we reconstructed the planet into a giant Gummi Ship, the first of its kind: The Typhoon’s Eye-G. Ever since we’ve been piloting this thing throughout space tryin’ to find Leon and the others. So far, we got nothin’."

"What’s strange, though, is that there’s an alarming amount of worlds missing. I mean, I know the Heartless can devour worlds, but the ones disappearing are at an incredibly fast rate. It’s like something’s just plucking them straight outta the sky. But what?”

Sora’s hand shook a little as he proposed a theory. “Cid, I think I know what the Heartless have on their side now. When my world was destroyed, there was a brief moment where I was in the hand of this massive, well, thing. I could tell it was a Heartless, though. Luckily, Goofy and Donald rescued me before it was too late.”

Throughout the conversation so far, Cid had been pretty nonchalant. But at the mention of that Heartless, his eyes nearly exploded out of his head. “WHAT!? A Heartless that gigantic?! Well, it’s no wonder they’re going so fast! A Heartless that big could snuff worlds out like candles! Sora, are you sure?” Sora nodded, the memory of the madness brought about by the monstrosity’s gaze burned into his psyche.

Cid stood up and finished off his coffee. “Well, the only thing I can say is to keep on sealin’ Keyholes. As far as I can tell, the worlds you’ve sealed already haven’t been consumed. Maybe sealin’ ‘em protects ‘em from that huge Heartless somehow. For now, we can’t know. Just keep on sealin’.”

He yawned and opened the door as Sora, Goofy and Donald headed outside. They exchanged their goodbyes as they headed for the ship. Before the door shut though, Cid stopped it and spoke to Sora. “Hey, kid. One last thing; Don’t lose hope, okay? You’re gonna go through some tough stuff, but whatever happens, don’t give up.”

Sora nodded as they left and, glancing back, he saw the first ray of the sunlight, the same beam that was inside his heart; a single thing called hope.

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