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Chapter Seven: Crash and Burn

"Khryistal, WATCH OUT FOR THAT ROCK!" Syra gripped the arm rests of the chair that she was sitting in tightly. The ship spun in a neat loop and Khryistal laughed lightly at the look on Syra's face.

"What? Don't you think this is fun?" Khryistal sighed when Syra shook her head, gripped the seat tighter and closed her eyes. "Okay, I'll slow down. Spoil sport..."

"Well, it's not my fault I have a slight fear of flying. You have my dad to thank for that. He took me parasailing and it didn't go as well as he hoped. To make a long story short, he ran me into a palm tree." Syra eased her grip as the ship slowed down.

Khryistal giggled slightly and turned the wheel sharply to the left to dodge a large rock. She turned in her seat when she heard a loud thump and some mild cussing in the back room. "What was that?"

Syra stood up, walked slowly back to the room and opened the door. Khryistal saw her shake her head then say, "Misty, why are you here? We thought you'd be with Dewey and Max." She stood aside and let Misty stagger past her.

"They know I'm here, but my parents don't." Misty staggered to a stop next to one of the chairs. "You drive worse than Max does, even when he's paying attention."

Khryistal looked at Misty with an evil look on her face as she tilted the wheel to left and the ship performed a corkscrew. Syra saw the glint in Khryistal's eyes and grabbed a hold of something as the ship spun. After the ship righted itself Misty was laying on her back after falling from the ceiling. Syra was laughing.

"Ow... That hurt a lot." Misty rolled over onto her stomach and pushed herself up, slowly trying to regain her balance. "Please don't do that again, Khryistal. I have a headache as it is..." She shakily got to her feet and stumbled over to one of the chairs that were behind Khryistal's and sat down.

Syra was giggling slightly at Misty's movements but she stopped abruptly as she looked out the window. "Khryistal... You might want to put out the landing gear... LIKE NOW!" Syra dove for her seat as the ship went into a vertical dive and Khryistal tried to pull up.

"I can't, the pull is to strong! You two might want to brace yourselves and get ready for a crash landing!" Khryistal was struggling to get the ship to ease out of the dive. "HANG ON TO SOMETHING!"

Syra was lifted off of her feet, she started floating to the back as the ship went into its dive. She struggled against the zero gravity, trying to reach the seat but she hit the wall and floated away from it slightly. Syra realized something as they cleared the clouds around the world and went speeding towards a tropical island. I can use the gravity to get to my chair! As quickly as she dared she put her feet against the wall and thrust herself towards the other chair.

To the three of them everything moved slowly. Syra reached the back of her chair and grabbed it, looking out the window with wide eyes. Khryistal released the controls and threw her arms up to cover her face and Misty covered her eyes with her hands as they went through the topmost branches of the forest around them. Gravity took effect and Syra was thrust to the back of the chair. She hit her head on the side of the arm rest and blacked out. Misty and Khryistal were thrust forward into their harnesses and it knocked the wind out of their lungs as they crashed into the floor of the rainforest. The two of them followed Syra into unconsciousness.

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Sora was shivering violently because of the cold, hoping for Riku to regain consciousness soon. A cough startled Sora as he looked around then back at Riku. Riku shuddered and coughed again as he tried to push himself into a sitting position.

"Riku! Are you okay?" Sora stood up and fell flat onto his face as he tried to take a walk over to him, forgetting about his chained feet. "Ow..."

Riku chuckled and winced as the sound made his head throb with pain. He reached up to his forehead and winced again as he slid his hand over the tender spot. "What happened, Sora? I remember being thrown away from Syra and thatís it."

Sora winced. "You hit the wall face first and blacked out. That girl, her name's Parin, opened the darkness and the two of us fell through. We wound up here. I don't think that she got a hold of Syra, I hope."

"No wonder my head hurts." Riku looked at his feet and examined the chains around his ankles. "Wait... Sora, couldn't you have freed us from these chains with your Keyblade?"

"No. Every time I try to call Oblivion or Oathkeeper I get burned by this band. Believe me, if I could, we wouldn't be in this cell." Sora waved his wrist to show the thin band of darkness. "Roxas and I wanted to see if you could call your Keyblade, since you don't have a band on your wrist. If you can, you're our only hope of getting out of this predicament."

"You both have a point. Hang on." Riku raised his hand and the Road to the Dawn appeared in his hand. He smiled. "Looks like I can. Here, Sora." Riku pointed the Keyblade's tip towards the chains around Sora's ankles and the locks fell open. He did the same to himself and stood up warily, expecting something to happen.

Sora let his pent up breath out and turned towards the gate to their cell. "I really hope we don't run into the person who tried to turn us into stone earlier." Sora shivered slightly, remembering how close the wand tip had been to his face.

Riku looked at Sora quizzically then stood before the gate and pointed his Keyblade into the lock. A thin beam of light shot into the keyhole on the lock and a satisfying click sounded lightly through the forlorn cell. "Come on, Sora. Let's see if we can find Kairi while we're here."

"Yeah. We might not get another chance like this for a while." Sora followed Riku as he walked out of the cell. Sora felt the band on his wrist contract, pulse with heat, and spread along his arm. He stopped walking and clutched his arm, biting his lip to keep himself from screaming out in pain.

Riku turned around and saw the darkness spreading at an alarming rate along Sora's bare arm. Sora's face was twisted in pain as the darkness pulsed again with heat. Surprise flitted across Riku's face as he realized what that band was. "Sora, I think it's because you're outside the cell..."

Sora was clutching his arm tightly, he nodded stiffly. "I'm starting to believe that too, ungh!" He took a shaky step back towards the cell and the darkness slowly receded closer to the band. Sora continued walking backwards and he stepped through the doorway. The darkness stopped pulsing, slid the rest of the way back into the band and released slightly.

Sora looked at the band and then at Riku. "I think you'd better go find her, Riku. I can't leave, not yet anyways. When you find her, tell her I will find a way out of here. Okay?"

Riku looked at him crestfallen then nodded. "I will. But I swear that if you aren't out of here in three days I will come back, no matter what, and find a way to get that thing off of you."

"I know. Just find her and get her out of this place. Find the kids, too, if you can." Sora stood at the gate and held out his hand. "You swear?"

Riku nodded and clasped his hand. "I swear, Sora." He let go of his best friendís hand and turned. "Remember. Three days, Sora." Sora nodded and watched him run up the stairs and out of sight.

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