14 years before the events of KH I, a musically-inclined boy, Sebastian Noble, finds himself under the tutelage of Yen Sid, as Sebastian learns to take the Mage's path. Along the way, he makes friends for the first time in his life, and solidifies himself as Keyblade Warrior set for an even bigger adventure in the future... KHSOS. Pardon the Dust! This story is currently undergoing a much needed edit. Table of ContentsChapter 1: The Last Theate ChoirChapter 2: A New WorldChapter 3: Know the EnemyChapter 4: Three Good Fairies, Three GiftsChapter 5: Not the One, for Something ElseFootnotesAlso by SebaxGuest Book Chapter 1: The Last Theate Choir B ase awoke with a start. Darkness… impermeable and suffocating. He struggled to keep the playback of the most recent memory of his out of his recollection. He shut his eyes tight. The memory came to him anyway, of course, with full disregard of his attempt. His own mind denied his trying with ardent intensity to suppress it. It infuriated him as the images reeled together into one straight, inescapable vision. A nightmarish vision, and one the likes of which he had never before dared to know. Unavoidable, like the tears streaming down his face, the nightmare began again. ♫♪♪♫It had been a murky day in Theate City on the day all its ways of life came crashing down. Rain fell like a dense curtain of cold and calamity. The rain had a sorrow to it. It was like the rain was a collection of tears of the thousands of people crying out enmasse. They cried out in painful, constant agony across the entirety of the expansive city. The day had started normal and continued per usual, until dusk fell. Chaos seeped in like a river through a burst dam. The smell of lit gasoline from a nearby car choked the young man. His name was Sebastian Noble, but he more often knew the name Base. He was the sole soul on the barren street, for all he knew. A broken fire hydrant the car had hit, produced a geyser of water from the concrete. He was cold, tired, lost, coughing, and he was completely soaked from head to toe. His tousled black hair stuck to his forehead as he looked one way, then the other way on the street. No one. No sign of life anywhere except for the screams that came from all corners at once. To say the screams were faint would be a blatant lie; the screams, in fact, stuck out a great deal. It was like a chorus conducted by a demon. The impromptu choir cried out in a tormented, as well as tormenting, unorganized staccato. The perversity rocked the core of Base's mind. Ultimately, the choir produced an odd soloist in its antiphonal production. Four Whole notes, tied by the tangible terror all around, built to a crescendo. The singular crier descended from her ill-gotten perch from high above the same street. From high up in one of the many interminable skyscrapers, a young person fell. She popped into Base's weather-limited sight. The concrete was, in this case, a double bar line. The cry ended with a crack and a sickening, abrupt half beat of grotesque ambiance. The screaming soloist was there on the sidewalk in front of Base. She was just as able to reanimate as he had been to intervene. He moved onto the gray, darkened concrete, a three yard distance away. It was the hero in Base that caused him to approach the ceased screamer. This heroic predisposition would prove useless, as it seemed, in this particular case. He glanced over the sunken soloist with dismay. He saw clearly that she could be no older than a year ahead of his seventeen. Eyes that was drained of life, but they possessed a lingering character. Petite and dressed in a satin night gown, she had landed unscathed. There were no scratches or bruises on her skin. Not even life's wire puddled from where her head had cracked the concrete. If it were possible to see any evidence of life within her, it would be possible to think she was fine. She'd be okay, and would awake any moment, as if waking from a bad dream. Since she landed unscathed, Base held out some faint and foolish hope. He hoped that he had not just watched someone leaving a crumbling world. This hope was not a realistic one, nor was it the reality at all. Instead, there was only the horrific stare she had still trapped in her eyes. There was no rise and fall of the chest. There was not any traceable movement of the body whatsoever. Not even a sliver of a possibility of life inert existed. In a moment of contemplation, Base studied the face. He thought, for a moment, that he could have known this girl in life. Her facial features even struck a strange familiarity. Maybe he might have seen her before, but would never have known her on any personal level. Base was not so much social, as he was, what he said, a social repellent. No one wanted anything to do with him at any point in his life. He was... different. He was good-looking and mild-mannered, but impossible for many to decipher. Most he had known didn't even bother to try. Theate was never in short supply of idle judgments before it came crashing down. There was, still, no judgement held in this young woman's face. There was only pained sorrow. Something terrible had happened just before she fell, and it had locked her face. The pain of sorrow invaded Base's tattered soul as the perplexity ripened to fruition. He didn't even let go of a whimper, but instead he clenched his fists. All the injustices caused by the ensuing chaos of darkness were overtaking him. The darkness that had descended on his world and was succeeding in conquering it. Then, an answer to his feeling of emotional-overload, a flash of light blinded him. The biggest secret he had ever kept appeared in his right hand without his prompting it to. He looked down at the device and sneered at it with disgust. He had no clue what this object really was, just as he did not know why it was a giant silver and gold key. It did not bring the feeling of vigor and strength it had when it first appeared to him a year back. It only brought a sense of a burden he did not wish to carry. It represented a lie. A lie which he had told by never telling neither his parents nor Uncle Dean of i- (!) His heart sank as he thought of it. 'In this... where could they be in it?' This was the forbearing thought. 'What if, in all those screams still going on ... what if theirs is one of them.' This thought haunted him and froze him more than the chilling precipitation ever could. He threw a glare at the weapon at his side, but this look faded when he changed his focus down to the girl. Her blank stare pointed at nothing. It inspired in Base all the fears brought on by the sight of Death. Crouching down close beside the departed, Base closed the lifeless eyes. The least he could do for her. He extended the courtesy of making Death resemble its benign counterfeit, Sleep. The same moment her eyes shut, another blinding light struck him. The light erupted from the girl as if she were a flood lamp. He watched the light condense and thicken onto core of her motionless chest. The light softened to a dull flame. It was a beam that condensed and became a single object hovering over her torso. A crystalline heart that turned as it began a slow rise. It spun wisps of red smoke that whirled inside it and tiny beams of light shot out from within. It swirled with the grace of a ballerina, majestic and bright in the air. It radiated a soft glow around it and emanated a soft tinkerbell sound as it rose. Once it reached eye level with Base, it hovered and rotated. Base listened. There came a weak and disembodied voice from within that spoke with tenderness. 'Please... run...’ was all Base heard... or rather, thought he heard. It didn't matter if he believed it or not. The Heartless had taken notice anyway. Base did not know what he faced when he whirled around on his heel. He only had heard suspicious chattering noises beginning to swarm behind him. Creatures of darkness had manifested in the streets, and in healthy numbers. They were the Heartless. There were sixteen of the tiny beasts in all. A dozen Shadows congregated, with yellow orbs their eyes; a living shadow. Four small bell-shaped imps wearing two different color-schemes hovered over the lower Purebloods. One pair wore green armor and a brown cap, a duo of Green Requiems. The other, red armor with a yellow cap; Red Nocturnes. Small, yellow eyes stared from a shadowy orb between the caps and their armor. Eyes that danced in the fog like lanterns danced on a wire in the wind. They were strange to Base, but they each had names. Then there was what Base knew: nothing, save that these monsters did not look weak. Their idling there in the street made him precarious. One of the imps took a step forward, as Base swallowed a heavy dry lump in his throat while he watched it. So far, it had been the only one to have made a move. But, with every clumsy-looking, sweeping step, it drew closer to him and the girl. 'They're after either me or her', he summarized from the ambiguity. 'I can't let either happen.' Base gritted his teeth and readied his stance. He stared into the little yellow orbs, and it shook him. He stayed. Closer, closer, and closer, yet Base stood his ground against the confronting beasts. If he could save no one else, why not save the heart of the person he could protect to some degree? There was at least one thought that grew when the scout sprang from the ground. This instant could be his last. He let a light burn down deep inside him. He was ready to face the darkness. Chapter 2: A New World O n instinct, Base raised the Keyblade up so that the shaft of the blade covered his face. The tiny monstrosity barreled its claws at him, and made contact! TINK! The attacker launched backward, headlong and defenseless, as it fell to the ground. But, it was back on its feet again in no time. It's blank face, identical to its compatriots, never gave even a glimmer of spite. Or anything else. They were all stoic. It startled Base down to the core to see the violent spirits so apathetic. The Shadows made their way for him first. One clamored at his legs, requiring Base to leap to one side. He struck at the second attacker with a low sweeping Keyblade swing. A sharp and shrill commotion came from the creature as the Key knocked it aside with THUNK! They could not reach one, so they aimed for the other. They changed course. A duo of Shadows charged on their disproportionate feet towards the girl. They went around Base completely, to his shock! He closed off the short distance in a dash. He cut the path the two were taking with another, clumsy swing. One lunged up at Base with its sharp, black claws, but he blocked it again. He pushed the leaper off with another TINK! It all seemed, to him, so rushed, sporadic, and impossible to keep track of at once. It was a struggle to fight, and especially since he was not the fighting type. While it was lying on the cement, Base took to offense. He lifted the Keyblade high over his head and brought it down on the senseless imp. With a satisfying squish, the Shadow dissipated into a sputter of ethereal black mist. He dashed over to the girl and made a stand. He held onto his Keyblade with a tight grasp. The darkness was growing. He stared at the small army and defended the girl like a wild animal protecting its cub. If he had barked or howled, it would not have been out of place. By degrees of chilling despair, his heart sank in his chest. The myriads of Shadows doubled and tripled in numbers. Their numbers conquered the street. They painted the ground darker than tar with their odious forms. They amassed a frightening congregation. Soon, Base could see he was surrounded. The presence of the Key had become a beacon to invoke hunger in the monsters. The ravenous and insatiable appetites that had taken Theate wanted him for dessert. Defiant against the dark, Base did not move. He would not move, and he refused to do so with every fiber of his being. Even while the sky began to roll with the most ominous cloud he had ever seen. Even as the Lightening began to clash and the thunder boomed with unworldly consistency. As the ground began to quake and the Heartless became the ground. The edifices of the buildings lit up with yellow eyes. He still held his ground as the last flickering flames of Theate died. Somewhere deep inside him, something told him it was the right thing to do. Something else in him told him it was foolish, and he was going to die. That made it harder to listen to the first. He was sweating. The corruption that had taken Theate began to wrap itself around his legs. Where the street had been, Base began to sank into the pool of darkness taking him. He felt the darkness sap the life out of him. He didn't feel claws or teeth. He felt cold. "Get off!" Base hollered and spat while he slashed blind. His nerves were shutting down. Darkness started to constrict his calves. It fought his feet under a tremendous weight of pooling darkness. His face was going numb. The Keyblade did no good, and Base watched as the Darkness scaled his jeans. It coated him like a thick, rubbery cocoon of miserable invocations. He could taste the cold on his lips and on his tongue, and it was putrid in every way perceptible. Helpless to stop it, Base stopped squirming. He felt... accomplished. As though he had done everything that was meaningful in his life right then and there. He felt like he had acted as a hero. The hero he'd always wanted to be. The ones like in the movies he worshiped. He also felt like he was being flash frozen. He couldn't move or breathe. He gasped for air, but the anxiety was overtaking him. His breath was short and pointless. The darkness wrapped its slimy, opaque tentacles around his throat. It coated his jaw bone, forcing his head toward the sky. The last thing he saw was the storm clouds that rolled above. They were the last acts of nature of Theate. Albeit, they were violent acts. Theate was imploding. He was getting dizzy. The ground swallowed him up, and everything was gone. ♫♪♪♫ Base's eyes reopened. He was back where he had been before the memory came flooding back. The surrounding area was not the darkened street of Theate he had just revisited. He was not engulfed live and whole by vicious creatures of the greatest turpitude. Instead, it was a small room. There was no explanation for how this had happened, but only a comfy room. He could breathe again, and he was as warm and content as he could be. The bed was a solid oaken frame of a silvery coloration. A bed that had a fluffy blue comforter sheet. One decorated with white and golden silken stars, and one, bulky Gibson moon. Base looked from floor to ceiling with wonder as he noticed the intricacies around. A puce carpet covered the floor. Furnishings of all basic dormitory necessities adorned the space. The walls were a bumpy cement texture and light green. The angled walls molded together into a single, domed roof. A periwinkle wardrobe sat in a corner. A gray, slanted writing desk with an attached side sat beside the wardrobe. A chair with a particularly Gothic-looking frame sat in front of the desk. A few wall lamps that looked electric hung on the walls. Each had a strange fiery cast to their light. They had bowled coverings that cast a mystical ambiance with a soft glow. The more Base looked at them, the more he realized electricity had nothing to do with them. And then there was the window. There was no pane of glass within it, but there was no draft. It drew his curiosity more than anything. With steady caution, Base stumbled to his feet. He was unsteady on his own, so he caroused to the open window. What he saw outside amazed him. The sky was a mix of light hues that looked like they had blended like a water-color painting. Shades of blue, purple, green and spare wisps of red and gray; all in a sunless expanse. Base looked down and jumped back into the safety of his new habitat. He saw just how high above the ground he was. It was not so terrible, even though it was stories and stories into the air. It was the fact the ground below had its limits that scared him. Tall topiaries bordered the small island in most corners of the amorphous terrain. Where they did not ended in sharp cliffs, so that the sky stretched from abyss to heavens. The building itself was as one that he had only read about in books and seen on film. The same color that covered his wall was the edifice of the tall, castle structure. Spire upon spires burst out of one another like the budding of a wonky plant. Some Spires sprouted out of the wide tower that started at the ground and worked itself up. Others were smaller, erupting at odd angles like leaves on a stalk from the main tower. The main tower itself, from where Base looked, went up and up. It shot into the sky, beyond sight from his window. Taking in all the wonder and fear the sights and thoughts provoked, Base sank back. Stumbling backwards, he walked into a "something". The particular kind of something that sent his heart into his throat. He had hit something much larger than himself. Base was lean; this point was well established by his peers in school. As far as height went, he was a non-shrimpy 5'8". He was, instead, a featherweight 120 lbs. The presence behind him was much taller. He could feel a great power looming over him, without turning to see it. Base gulped a dry lump of air as his mouth became arid with agitation. He looked up into a pair of omniscient eyes. They looked back down at him with abject disapproval. After a moment of a studied reading of Base's face, the disapproval lightened. The elder man, his grey beard long and flowing onto his aqua robe, smiled as he crossed his arms. His hands hid themselves within wide, sweeping sleeves. He stood straight as a soldier, and only nodded his head. Base afforded a haphazard smile as he stepped forward. "Salutations, Young Keyblade Wielder," he boomed with a voice as powerful as the tides. Yet, it was also as light and airy as the clouds that sailed them. "My name is Yen Sid." He nodded his head. In a puff of grey smoke, a chair appeared out of thin air. Right in the middle of the floor! It astounded Base into a stammering stupor. Yen Sid passed him, ignoring the incoherent stuttering Base was producing. "I am certain your mind must be buzzing with questions. Which is why, without delay, I will provide you with what I know and what I can tell you." The fierce look in his eyes returned as he clapped his hands together. The produced sound was like a clap of thunder. At first, it seemed, this caused no spectacular effect. Another chair popping in didn't reach Base's radar just then. "I will ask that you sit down wherever you feel most comfortable. Rest assured, your questions will be answered." He sat with one, long fluid motion of his tall limber body and aqua-colored coat. He fixed his elongated, pointy hat, setting it straight on his head. A hat that looked like the bed sheets, blue, with yellow stars and a Gibson moon. Everything around seemed to fit a theme of stars, moons, and sharp colors. Base obliged, taking a seat at the foot of the bed, and faced Yen Sid. He was about to speak, but was silenced when a broomstick walked into his room. It was a broomstick! Two legs that formed out of divided hay bristles. Arms that sprouted out of its oaken wooden frame. In its hands, the enchanted object was carrying a silver tray in a raised position. Two matching teacups with saucers and a kettle atop it all. Everything still matched the Starry theme. Yen Sid, without much deliberation, took the navy blue kettle and one of the teal tea cups. All while making sure to take the saucer along with it as well. He held the teacup out in one hand as the tea kettle and saucer gravitated in the air nearby. Touching nothing but the handle of the square-rimmed cup, he poured some steaming tea. Yen Sid kept his eyes closed the entire time. "I understand you are trying to rid yourself of the wont of carbonated beverages," he spoke with weighted understanding. The truth was: he was right. Base had been quite partial to Woyer Cola for years. He'd avoided them on many occasions, but kept failing to ultimately kick the habit. The longest span of time he'd gone on the self-prescribed detox was seven months. It was still going strong when Woyer Co. was taken over by darkness with the rest of Theate. Base was a devoted singer. He loved the rich taste of soda, but he didn't like how it affected his voice after he drank it. He tended to drink too much of it if he did at all. That was the way it was with him: he either did something too much, or not at all. He was conscious of that. "Yes." He finally replied after he realized he had been ruminating. "That's right." He had more to say, but Yen Sid cut him off by raising a hand. "Will Hot Chocolate do then?" Yen Sid interrupted without malice. "Truth be told, I'd love one. But, there's no need for you to brew a new pot just for me." Base's voice was quavering, even though his voice was typically strong and well-established. "I'd be happy with a soda, if you have it." Yen Sid changed expressions again. Going from ponderous to humorous, there was less hubris in this grin. "You are a terrible liar, Sebastian Noble." Yen Sid opened his eyes as he stared at Base with a thoughtful inspection. "That... is good." Chapter 3: Know the Enemy M omentarily, the room was silent. “I am quite certain you are aware of the present threat of Darkness that looms, as it is the very same Dark power that has brought you here which is, I fear, devouring your world as we speak.” Yen Sid shook his head in dismay. “My world?! Then how are we here? Is this some sort of Island outside the city? Maybe we can go back and we can look-.” Base rambled on in a state of panic, until a glance from Yen Sid quieted him. “Ah yes. What you are not quite as aware about is the standing fact that there are many other worlds throughout the known Universe. Some of these worlds have been already devoured by Darkness, and several more have been invaded by powerful Darkness that threatens the stability of all worlds. There lies the utmost catastrophe: the worlds are currently out of order and time has been displaced. All those able to wield a Keyblade, regardless of age or background have been recruited to join the cause of rebalancing Light and Darkness.” Yen Sid nodded his head and stared directly at Base with that penetrating glare. “I had sent a letter of recruitment to your homeworld of Theate, but it would appear the Heartless and whoever was guiding them beat me in this endeavor. They attacked and took your world with little warning; this is most surprising.” “What are the Heartless? What world am I on? Why is it surprising?” The questions came out of Base like water through a constant stream. Base was not usually this inquisitive, but the recent string of events had hurled him into an utter fit of agitation. All it took to ease the stress he felt was for Yen Sid to raise one hand, thus signaling him to stop with the questionnaire. “You are in my world, the Mysterious Tower.” His voice had an ominous weight to it here. “It is surprising, because usually the Heartless or other creatures do not simply appear and take a world in one fell swoop; it is something that takes time. There is a theory I have, and it is that whoever was guiding them knew where to look for the Heart of your World, but that point will have to wait. What worries me most at the present time is the supremely dense population of Theate. There is no doubt this will allow the Darkness a great amount of “new recruits”, for you see, the Heartless themselves were once people, whose hearts fell to the Darkness. Should the Darkness taking Theate go unchecked, many will fall to Darkness unwillingly, regardless of the light in their hearts. This will spawn innumerable new threats that will spread like a virus throughout the worlds. The best way to put is this:” He waved his hand and a silhouette of light appeared on the floor. This glowing silhouette was shaped much like a person, and seemed to be based off the average build of a typical male adult. “So he begins: the denizen of a given world lives their normal, day-to-day existence, each with his or her own balance or imbalance of light and darkness; good and evil.” A small blot of dark matter appeared in the core of the miniature figure standing on the floor. “Light begets Darkness, and in so being, there can be no great light without great darkness, and vice versa. It is possible for a being to go through their whole lives living in this constant equilibrium. However…” The light borders of the figure shifted from an ethereal light blue to a dark purple wisp of smoky air. “It is possible for Darkness to consume the person, and in so doing, plunge him or her into absolute Darkness. The Darkness swallows whatever light may exist in the heart and separates from the body, thus becoming an embodiment of the Darkness that existed.” The figure split into two as the dark purple border grouped together and pulled away from the human shape, leaving behind a solid grey border and a similar tone to the rest of the body left behind to crash to the ground. The dark purple image resembled one of those yellow-eyed imps Base had encountered on Theate. “This is called a Heartless. It is a manifestation of the Darkness that existed in the Heart, and is an utterly bestial and unthinking entity. It contains within it only the Heart, and so cannot think, but can be guided by anyone well versed in Darkness. They are all joined together with a shared desire to destroy light where they find it, so they are often found in groups.” Yen Sid continued as the Dark Purple transparent Shadow twitched and scratched at empty air on the ground. “The stronger the Darkness, the more powerful the Heartless, and more ghastly in appearance it will be.” “If they have a Heart inside of them, why are they called the “Heartless”?” Base understood everything else directed toward him, but the paradox still boggled his brain. Yen Sid had not thrown many disapproving glares Base’s way since the two met, but the one the Sorcerer shot him now was enough to stop Base dead in his tracks, and even chilled his blood a little. Yen Sid cleared his throat and then continued. “This is only a part of the body that is affected when a person succumbs to the Darkness inside him. The body left behind is a hollow shell, which is devoid of any Light, Darkness, or even emotion; it is the definition of a “Nothing” incarnate. It is the remainder of the being that becomes a Nobody.” It was here the greyed figure shape-shifted and rose back up to a standing position, transfiguring wildly into a needle-limbed creature with a flat head and a wide zipper along the top of its head, which made the opening on its oddly shaped head look like a wide maw of darkness. “The Nobody is nothing but will, mind, and body; it cannot feel but it can think, which makes it more dangerous than even the most powerful Heartless. The more powerful a Nobody is, the more human-like in appearance they become, and the more capable they are of imitating real emotions. Do not be tricked into thinking they are even close to possessing any actually humanity. As of yet, this does not appear to be an issue, as there have been a total lack of sightings of Nobodies that are discernibly similar to living people.” ‘The Heartless have Hearts they can’t use, and Nobodies have bodies but no Heart… seems about right…’ Base said sarcastically to himself, but he still took in all the information given to him as the two separated figures started to dissipate as Yen Sid clasped his hand into a fist, his eyes closed. “There is at least one more known threat:” Yen Sid’s fearsome eyes opened as another small creature appeared out of nothing, but this one looked so much more real than the others, Base was sent reeling back. Base soon realized however the beast was only another figure; another imitation. He sighed in relief. “These are the Unversed. These are strange beings, as they are manifestations of violent emotions alone. It is unknown by which emotions, or if every violent emotion spurned causes them, however, they are just as much a threat to the Light within a Heart as the others, though they do not seek out the Heart of the World.” He raised his hand and the final creature disappeared. “I presume you wish to know about the Heart of Worlds, and it is this information you are owed, as you are a wielder of the Keyblade. However, at the present time, knowledge of the Keyblade and the Heart of each World is far too sensitive for you to be fully aware of the facts in this matter. What I can tell you currently is since you possess a greater amount of Light in your Heart than Darkness, you possess the ability to use the Keyblade, which is source of great Power, and which you can use to combat the darkness. However, I know you are, at the moment, apprehensive of the concept.” “You know I don’t feel up to this?” From this, Base received the impression Yen Sid could read minds. Yen Sid smiled heartily. “I do, in truth, know you are ready to at the very least face the Darkness that stands presently. On the other hand, however, I understand that this is a terrible world to be suddenly plunged into, and if it were not for the last minute rescue I executed for you as the Darkness began to surround you, you would have likely have lost your life to the Heartless. While I give you a choice as to which path you will choose, since it was not your choice that brought you here but my own, I must stress to you the point that few Keyblade wielders I have known would have had the gall to stand between the Darkness and the Keyblade as well as an open Heart. For you see, they seek out both sources of great light, like moths to a flame. They fear as well as search to destroy the Keyblade wherever they can find a wielder.” His expression here became solemn again, as though he’d witnessed many of such a fall himself. “I’m not a hero… because now that I look back, that was incredibly stupid a thing to do. A hero would do something, and not regret it later.” Yen Sid nodded approvingly. “In essence you are right,” Then he shook his head, “Still, does this mean that you have reason to doubt your actions. Our Hearts lead us on the right paths, and in listening to our Hearts, the Light will protect us from any dangers our situations present.” He stated profoundly, and Base had to admit, the Sorcerer was very right, and visibly so; Base was safe and sound after listening to his Heart. All the same, Base knew he wasn’t up to such a task. It was a simple truth he knew… or at least, one he felt was right. What business had he in such affairs? All this confliction of emotion unrested him and caused him slightly to swoon as the truth could not be found easily. Base searched and searched for the truth, but only found fear, and one fear in particular struck him the most. “What happened to that girl? My parents? Dean Waiter?” Base gave the fear a voice and it shouted the phrase “Truth! Don’t let that seep in!” inside his head. Yen Sid merely bowed his grey hair head somberly, and this nonverbal method was all Base really needed to know in order to realize his fears had come true! He did not know the girl personally, but he felt sorry for her, surely. His parents though? He ached to remember the last time he saw them that day before leaving for school. He found the memory after much straining, and was disappointed somewhat to find how mundane and normal it was; no prophesizing utterances and no foreshadowing of a Goodbye for good. Still, in its normalcy, it was a beautiful memory, and for that instance, it kept Base’s heart from shattering into countless pieces. Dean Waiter had even been there in that specific memory, right there with Aiden and Sabrina Noble at the Noble apartment in Theate City. All the more reason to cling tight to the image, as Dean was practically family ever since the elder musician and owner of the “Dean’s List” music shop near Base’s former school had taken Base underneath his tutelage. At that very moment between words exchanged, Base did not know if Yen Sid was as good at reading hearts as he was at reading faces and/or minds, but he knew if the wizard could, he’d see Mr. & Mrs. Base close together, standing beside a nodding Dean Waiter, and what Base imagined that girl looked like when she was alive, and, likely, happy. They made an odd group together, but the sight of them, surrounded by the lively backdrop of Theate’s huge foundations, contented him beyond belief. “I do realize, of course, the weight of all these events and revelations must be incredulously straining.” Yen Sid spoke out sullenly and teeming with deeper meaning. “I also understand why your tears for your fallen world have not quite yet been brewed.” Here, Yen Sid paused and seemed to enter a state of near meditation and deep thought, one of which even gave a glimmer of what looked like actual concern. “If you so wish to let out your frustration at this moment, I will perform the task of magically soundproofing this room from worldly ears, and, if need be, repair any objects that may be broken in any manner of emotional tirade. This is not to assume this of you; merely that there is good cause for such actions to be prompted.” His speech was without haste or retraction. On the other side of the conversation, Base appreciated the gesture, but his reply came with a shake of his black-haired head, his hazel eyes glowing with wisdom beyond his years. It was the first time he regained his senses since losing them on Theate. “If what you say is true, and everything points that way, then I have to work to keep Darkness out of my Heart. If I act out of anger, then it will be like the Darkness is winning me over just a little bit. So, if I shout, it must be for the right reasons. It will be purposed that so whoever hears me will know the dying light of Theate is never going to truly die, and that all the suffering we cannot stop will not go without being avenged. I’ve always thought there’s a big difference between “revenge” and “avenge”, but I never thought I’d be faced with it. The bleakest spot of Theate, though, will turn into its brightest beacon, even though the city crumbles away.” Yen Sid bowed his head reverently at the younger mage, for it was then the old Sorcerer realized the extent of the powerful magic of Light that existed in this particular boy. It was obvious Base was not exactly the Chosen One, but he was certainly notable in his devotion and understanding. Yen Sid stood up, his robes flowing like water as he did so. “You truly do possess an indomitably strong Heart, young Noble. As you wish.” He turned to leave, bowing his head once more, a little lower than when he had first entered. The chair he once sat in vanished in a similar fashion to how it appeared, as Yen Sid headed towards the door without rush. He placed his bony hand on the door handle and opened the door a crack; just enough for his foot to fit through. “You should be made aware, that few understand such grave matters at first grasp with such fluidity and maturity.” He gave a glance back as he opened the door wider to allow his entire tall and slender frame through the portal. It was evident he spoke genuinely, and it was in fact well felt by the speaker. “Perhaps though, you should acquire more rest. I will send for you when it is time to instruct you further.” In so concluding his statements, Yen Sid left the room, shutting the door slowly and calmly behind him as he crossed through. “It’s my blessing and my curse.” Base uttered to no one but himself in reply to Yen Sid’s notion on maturity. Base then realized how completely alone he was, and why so. He’d lost everything that meant everything, and what’s more, anything to him. It was being in this new found kind of solemnity, even though he’d known derision and relative solitude all his young life that caused him to fulfill the promise of his cry for Theate. For the sake of the People’s pains, he let out an earth-shattering shout of personal misery mixed with the empathy for innumerable masses. It was not the obligation of saying he would that spurned the pain, but the pain itself that beget the fresher pain and shook the very core of his soul. He shouted out because it was a time when he felt he would either implode or explode from the excess of his sorrow and emotions, if he did not release it that one, very prolonged cry of anguish. Chapter 4: Three Good Fairies, Three Gifts U pon Yen Sid’s apt advice, Base returned to sleep in the same bed he had awoken in, Sleep receiving him with a surprising lack of a rebuttal. Base had figured before dosing off that his relationship with Rest had been rendered irreversibly irreparable recently, requisite with his tumult. All the same, his dreams were not of the haunting variety, in fact, the exact opposite could be said to have taken into a halcyon wave rolling on a blanket of soaked sand that rushed toward his toes and all at once fled once it glanced them like a timid, but no less wonting, lover. He dreamed of dark alleys in a city much like Theate but with a much different feel and atmosphere; it was much darker there, but in the grimy bleakness, there was a strange Gothic majesty that outweighed fear. He dreamed of small, bright village that was certainly colorful to say the least which was presided over by a humongous white castle with navy blue pointed rooftops on its rooks and spires. He dreamed of places that varied so greatly, he wondered without cognizance how he stored such a vast array of imaginative places without previously visiting any in previous dreams. This was all the more shocking because his imagination was and always had been of such the over-active sort that he was often and at that time launched into a near catatonic state that his ties to reality had been severed in slumber. He had found momentary refuge. The final vision he had was of a vast valley filled to the brim with music. It had expansive, rolling hills of white grass that whistled with the wind that gave off a constant and reverberating slow, slight high-pitched audible whine like that of a section of violins in polyphonic symphony, but was so low it became supplementary to the scenery rather than intrusive. From the top of some undeterminable mound of earth, Base could see a great deal spanned over the wide valley below, which was an extremely new vantage point to someone used to the all-encompassing man-made monoliths of Theate. A silky blue pond to the far right housed stalky pink birds that Base had never seen the likes of before, with thin, elongated sticks for legs protruding out of the water. To the far left, the white grass that seemed endless was being “painted” a vibrant, lively green by what either looked or moved like a vivacious breeze of the same viridian hue. In the dead center of the valley, in the flattest portion, sat a monster of a wooden vessel that seemed eerie in the fact in looked abandoned and unattended, but at the same time majestic in its scale and simplicity. The hills and the valleys continued to play with a hauntingly serene melody that echoed with ethereal texture. He wondered where the source of the music could be and in wondering he self-discovered he was in a dream; it’s true that when someone realizes they are in a dream that they will wake up soon after; this is true, at least, on a typical basis. It was no less true in this circumstance as his thoughts of the source were the last blurs of a beautiful dream as his eyelids fluttered in unison into a renewed familiarity. ♫♪♪♫With a struggling stretch and accompanying groan, Base tried to push the sheets off of him, but found he was drawing them over his person all the more as if he were magnetically attracted to the material. With a slow succession, his eyes began to return to purpose as curtains of his sight, the muscles in his eyelids seeming to contract involuntarily and beyond his power to stop. It was only when the sheets were suddenly and violently ripped from his grip and body that Base really woke up; and with a start! “Really now, Merryweather,” Chimed a woman who talked like a bird tweets, with the same pitch, meter and pattern of speech or chirp, “We don’t want to frighten him!” She sounded like she very much wanted to defend the point, but also sounded afraid to utter it. “Fauna is right, Merryweather.” This line was given by a brisker, more affirmative female voice that sounded weighted with authority, but proper and kind all the same. “Keep in mind: Magic is all very strange to the people of worlds like Theate.” She sounded bothered by what she said, because in the next instant, she added, “Oh, it was Theate that Yen Sid, wasn’t it?” “Yes, Flora.” There erupted the twitter-like voice, more excitedly this time. “Theate. Right between Land of Dragons and Olympus Coliseum somewhere.” Her voice turned to sadder tone. “Or at least… it was.” ‘Was’. Knife allegories wouldn’t cut it to describe his sobriety upon hearing that one word. He was sullenly forced back into the reality he had fallen into when his world started to fall apart; literally. Sleep had eased his memory, but now that was gone, and he was back in that odd tower. As he looked about the room, things became odder, as he noticed a lack of speakers, but continued to hear the voices emanating from various sources of thin air in the room. “I didn’t think we really could wake him without using magic!” This voice was new. It was discontented and female, but husky and flustered. Her voice was light and airy, but had such a grumpy undertone, it seemed safe to say that its user was not whining or causing some sort of stir. “Well Dear,” The brisk voice replied, dignified, “You’re certainly right about ‘not thinking’.” Base didn’t know if she had a tongue and hard palate to ‘tsk’ with, but she did produce the same all the same because it was with vocal register that the sound weighted towards. She repeated the sound several times over as though surveying something, if she had eyes to survey with. Meanwhile, Base was happy with the fact he’d checked the wonky, tilted wardrobe in the room for some night wear and found a pair of pajamas that fit the décor of the room; yellow stars and moons against a solid blue background. The pajamas themselves were rich in design as well as comfort, which spoke for the strange ancient luxury of the atmosphere. “Master Sid used magic in front of him, so I don’t see why I can’t.” Merryweather rebutted indignantly. “He used magic near him, yes, but not on him. Also, … er… well… you aren’t Yen Sid.” Base had figured this voice to be “Fauna”, as she put everything delicately. “There’s a stark difference, I think.” “Oh!” Merryweather returned, with her feathers more than ruffled. “Flora is just too full of herself to realize I did well!” At that same moment, a stout, short and plump woman, with a rotund face under a pointed blue bonnet, wearing a blue belled dress that completely hid her feet as she hovered down to the floor appeared in the room out of thin air suddenly. “Well, he’s up, isn’t he?” She produced the same voice as the last one spoken; Merryweather. In her boisterous fit she managed to knock her tethered hat askew, casting the wide brim over her eyes and exposing the black hair on the back of her head. “I’m not in the mood to argue, Merryweather.” In popped a similar apparition, but with the same outfit colored red, and her face was slight longer, although, similarly as plump. She had grey hair under her red pointed bonnet and at that moment of arrival, bore a distempered expression. Following her entered another supernatural guest adorned in green, with a much thinner and cheerful face. Her hair was also grey and as cheerful as she looked, she appeared just as much concerned over the current situation. “Oh my… here we go again…” With a motherly care, the green-adorned apparition corrected Merryweather’s witchy bonnet tentatively, as though the one in blue would snap at her like a yippy dog. “Oh, do stop fussing over her, Fauna; she may fix what she upsets.” The red one stated matter-of-factly. “Yes, Flora.” The green one, Fauna, said to the red, Flora. “Sorry, Merryweather.” She apologized kindly to the blue one. “Thanks anyway.” Merryweather replied, shooting Flora a nasty look at the same time as she spoke. Meanwhile, Base was beside himself with the sudden realization of how odd this really all was, and this was even covering his nervousness in the face of three strangers all at once. How strange these strangers were as well! At least Yen Sid had approached him alone, and had quickly and easily eased the tension by rapidly, but calmly, going into explanations. “Who are you?” Base leaped to his bare feet, the carpet oddly warm to the pads of his feet. “Why, we’re the three good fairies, dear.” Flora smiled brightly. Base managed to return a haphazard, lopsided grin. Fauna saw both smiles and couldn’t resist putting all their elated expressions to shame in comparison to her own. “Yes, that’s right! And Oh! We have some gifts for you! Isn’t that wonderful?” She cooed. Elsewhere in the room, Merryweather crossed her arms and pouted. “I might just take mine back.” She said to no one, but then turned to Base. “It’s not you; it’d be because of them.” Flora and Fauna stuttered nervously in response, unsure of what to do until Base acted the Gentleman and approached Merryweather personally. All three of the good fairies were incredibly short, perhaps barely above five feet tall each. Base bowed courteously and spoke to Merryweather directly. “I’d like to thank you for waking me when you did. I can be so difficult when it comes to waking up and getting out of bed you see. If it hadn’t been for your…er…method, I probably would have been irascible.” Merryweather wasn’t entirely fooled, as she crossed her arms and cocked an eyebrow, sizing Base up. “I know you made that up… but thank you for at least having the nerve.” “Quite a vocabulary too.” Fauna noted. It was true, when Base took notice to the fact. On Theate, his intellect around most his own age had typically spawned a thought that he was pretentious, but that was simply the only way he knew how to conduct himself. “Anyhow!” Interjected Flora. “Now then, let’s see to those gifts!” Her words made Fauna fly into a gleeful jitter as Merryweather drew closer to the other two in the middle of the floor. Flora waved a small stick she drew from her sleeve, and waved it about to loosen her arm while the tip of the wand sparkled with multi-colored brilliancy. Base was surprised by the display, but only temporarily, as he was already adapting to the quantities of oddities now trickling into his life. “Who’s first? Fauna? Merryweather? Oh, I suppose I might as well.” Fauna could not contain her joy very well at all. “Oh!” Tweeted Fauna, “I do so love gifts!” She clasped her frail hands together in front of her gleeful face. “And it’s so much more delightful to give than to receive, you know.” A dreamy haze fell over her expression while she stared off into space. “We know; you’ve said it a thousand times before,… you fuddy-duddy.” Merryweather sat in a corner of the room and plopped down. “Now simmer down before you float off!” “Oh… Thank you, dear.” Fauna realized very suddenly that she was, indeed, starting to involuntarily float into a hover without direction. The fact that Merryweather had used a sarcastic tone on her was lost on her completely. “Flora, do you mind if I go first?” “I don’t mind at all, Fauna, not at all.” Flora bowed to the side as Fauna readied her wand. In a burst of light that followed a flick of the wrist, Fauna conjured up a small box, which was wrapped in forest green paper; with a dark green bow fashioned on top. Giggling away, she bestowed the gift to Base. Base was still unsure of what to make of the three, but they had obviously been sent with some purpose, and they seemed to come with good intent as well. He continued to play the Gentleman for the moment, smiling as he said, “How nicely wrapped.” Fauna was pleased to hear it; she reeled with delight. “Well, yes, I did wrap it myself. Thank you.” “Humph!” Merryweather’s bemusement burst from her corner. “Wrapped it with magic is what you really mean.” “All the same, I do appreciate it.” Base replied, meanwhile, he tore away the trimmings to reveal a small tome; a teal, leather-bound notebook with shiny green stationary. Base flipped through its vacant pages until he noticed Fauna was fidgeting with what appeared to be worry. “We were told so little about you, so I’m quite sorry if it’s not decorated to your liking.” Fauna apologized emphatically. “It’s a journal, for whatever you’d like to put in there. I like to keep a personal diary myself.” To be honest, Base did not care nor notice that the notebook lacked any particular decorations. “Could you decorate it with musical symbols? I would like to keep my ‘composer’.” Base guessed accurately that the request would prompt Fauna back into a state of contentment, as she leaped at the opportunity hastily. Shortly after, Flora glided over to Base with yet another gift-wrapped box; this one was a pale red with a dark burgundy bow. “My book next!” “Flora! You’re not supposed to tell him!” Fauna blurted out, horrified. “You’re absolutely right, dear.” Flora replied, and Base could only help but notice they said “Dear” far more than anyone else he ever knew. “Here you are, Base.” Base took the gift and unwrapped it, noticing it was a good deal bigger than the previous book; the last one has been hardly the size of a normally-sized book, whereas this one was about the size of an atlas or dictionary. The surprisingly synthetically-fabricated hardcover was the same burgundy as the bow that had covered it; a leather strap tightly hugged the width of the heavy tome, and a golden latch with a keyhole sat neatly on what appeared to be the front cover. Base could guess it was the front cover, because it read “P.I.” in ornate gold letterings. When he attempted to pry open the latch, Flora quickly stopped him. “Oh no, no yet; that book may need a bit more of a… oh… what’s that word…?” Flora racked her mind for “that” word, which she produced moments later, “Tutorial! Perhaps you should leave it here for safekeeping.” “Well, won’t I be here anyway?” “I’m afraid not, dear. Yen Sid has requested you come to his study.” Flora instructed. Based erred. “Umm, I don’t know where that quite is.” “Well, then there’s only one way to fix this problem.” Flora took a deep breath and whipped out her wand once more. “He’s going to be here for quite some time, girls. I believe a map is in order.” “I don’t see why not.” Merryweather huffed exasperatedly and took out her own wand. “Circle up girls. You know the formation. And there we are.” The three fairies tapped their wands together in the center of their circle, and with a flash a glowing orb broke in through thin air. A glittery bubble, which contained the image of what looked like a treasure map floating inside it, hovered in midair between the three. It was the most phantasmagorical spectacle Base had yet seen, and it sent him stumbling back a bit as soon as he saw it. “What is that?” “Just touch the orb, Sebastian Noble, and you will automatically learn to find most rooms within the enchanted realm that is the Mysterious Tower. It’s a manifestation of the world we’ve summoned to help guide you. There’s usually one locked away somewhere on each world, but they tend to be only responsive to those who are equal in regards to leading and being led by light.” Flora instructed. Despite the instructions, Base still had reservations as far as the orb was concerned. He noticed a spiky red “N” above a red arrow at the top of the map, and the depth effect made the object all the more vast-looking and ominous. Apparently, his fears were apparent, as Fauna smiled pleasantly at him. “Don’t worry. It won’t hurt.” She reassured. “Okay…” Base motioned closer towards the newer gift. “But I want to point out: that usually is the biggest lie ever told.” Against his better judgment, he touched the orb and, as soon as he did, the entire thing burst at his touch; like a glass crystal ball smashed to the floor, but in midair. Its ethereal contents threaded together and flew directly into his outstretched fingertips, disappearing into his skin. “So… just head up now?” “Not without my gift you don’t!” Merryweather protested. “Merryweather is right. You’ll need it where you’re going.” “Where am I going?” “Somewhere too soon for me to explain this to you.” Merryweather answered with a moan and a groan. In Merrweather’s possession was a neatly made blue messenger’s bag with the letters “S.N.” in a spiky golden font with a metallic luster stitched on the top part of the satchel. “But you must. He’ll have far too much to carry where he’s going.” “Yen Sid’s-?” Base started to ask, but was cut off by Flora. “Not quite, dear. You’re here for a very special purpose to be sure, and sooner or later, you’ll likely have to prove yourself in one way or another.” Before Base had a chance for a rebuttal of the remark, a new presence entered the room. “Begging your pardon bu- WHAT?!” A squawky, almost unintelligible voice came from the other side of the door. The tone was meek at first, but quickly exploded into confusion as a white, feathery head popped into the room; an orange bill hung agape from the face beneath a pair of two big blue eyes the size of saucers. “Yes, Donald?” Fauna replied. “Oh!” Realization dawned on the anthropomorphic duck, and he chuckled lightly with a wheezy lilt. “Sorry, but I was sent to get uhh…” Donald read from a card in one of his feathered hands. “Sebastian Noble.” “Ohhhh!” Merryweather was positively flustered. “Now what?” “Write a note, dear.” Flora replied nonchalantly. “I’ll what??” Merryweather was bewildered by the casual statement. “How am I supposed to explain it better on a single piece of paper? Flora!” “You’ll manage.” Flora said curtly. “Now scoot! We must let Base prepare.” “Prepare for what?” Base’s question went unanswered as the Three Good Fairies made a hasty departure. “Good luck, dear.” Each said in unison before they were gone, and Donald waddled fully into the room. “Are you ready yet, Sebastian?” Donald asked. Chapter 5: Not the One, for Something Else O range, webbed-toed feet tapped the floor impatiently where Donald stood. He grumbled to himself as he transitioned back and forth between watching the door for signs of an exit being made and crossing his winged arms begrudgingly. Donald Duck shook his head. "What's the problem in there?" Donald shouted with angst. "I'm reading the note Merryweather left. I'm slowly figuring it out, but every time I think I find something right, I wind up having to read everything all over." Donald sighed heavily. "Come out here, and I can show you a trick." At the offer, the door slipped open and Base walked out dressed in a gray t-shirt with a sigil of a lion's head, jeans, and his sneakers. He likewise had his new teal messenger bag strapped over his shoulder and he loosened it as he stepped out to get it to the most comfortable length. He had a small parchment in his hand that was inscribed with boxes and wonky rectangles all diagramming something that seemed to be dauntingly technical. "Handed it to me already! Come on, come on!" Donald prompted, agitated with his white palm open. It took only a second of an mumbling incantation for the parchment to become a smallish orb of light like the one that had opened Base's mind to the floor plans of the tower. "That should do it." Base followed the direction and everything about the gift became instantly clear. The pouch he carried would magically hold a set number of things in different categories. Depending on what category an object was in, he'd only be able to carry so much of that, but he'd still be able to carry more of other things as long as there was room for them. This would grow with him. On the other hand, why would he need so much space for things he probably didn't need? Still, it was a nice gift that he could use. The other two books fell under the category of "Tomes" and all Base had to do was put the books away in the bag, and they'd be ready to pull out if he reached in for them. That was apparently the way the bag worked; it just knew what he'd want, apparently. He wasn't going to question that after everything that had already happened. "Fauna said I was going somewhere?" "Not yet you're not!" Donald answered abruptly and to the point. If you got this far, let me tell you this: I done did screwed up. I was working on transferring "Based Forward" from the hand-written form to typed text, and crossed this post-in-progress with editing a post in a role play. Know that I will repair this soon. "This is all really one big mess. Sure, I know how to fight, but everyone who brought me here is making me out to be a champion. I don't even know how to fight that well! I weigh 114 pounds!" "So you bulk up. And if not to be a hero, at least eat a sandwich for your health." Donald chided. "Hey, it doesn't work like that. I just have a fast metabolism." Base wasn't liking this duck's short temper. "All I want to figure out by now is even what day it is. Is it the same day that I woke up and my whole world came literally crashing down?" "You're asking me? Want my advice?" Donald was leading the way up through the hallways. He didn't wait for a reply. "Trust Yen Sid, and be sure to bow to him when you enter the room." They were quickly approaching a glowing door with a crescent moon on it. "He's important!" "How important?" Base asked as the Donald's hand reached for the door handle. "Important enough!" Donald's reply was curt and somewhat angry. The door opened up to a small chamber containing numerous book shelves hanging on the wall, a long desk sitting in front of a green, decorative chair with a tall back, and windows cut out in the shapes of stars and crescent moons behind them. Standing at one of the windows, looking out, was Yen Sid watching something that caught Base's attention immediately. He watched intently as a smallish plane fly into view and hover just outside above the trees and it wobbled in the multi-colored sky as something inside of it seemed to be moving. Donald was bowing to someone who wasn't even paying attention, but neither was Base paying any mind to anything besides the grayish craft idling outside. He was watching so intently, that when a hand placed itself on his shoulder, he nearly jumped ten feet out of his skin. "This is the boy, Yen?" He had a dry, airy, almost permanently disinterested voice that was soft around the edges. Base whirled around to see a man in a heavy, black, double-lapel open trench coat with a black dress shirt underneath. His hair was curly, disorganized, and hung around his face like someone had stuck a bowl of noodles under the black, tall fedora he wore. He was watching Base with a serious gaze that the boy found unnerving, but Yen Sid intervened. "Indeed, Balthazar. This is Sebastian Noble. Sebastian, allow me to introduce Balthazar Blake, a most respected wizard whom has traveled very far to make your acquaintance." "I don't want to take up much of your time. I just have to see if the potential Yen talks about you having has anything to do with me and what I'm supposed to do." He pulled a small, metal dragon from his coat pocket. "See, this is a ring that once belonged to my mentor. Whoever this ring takes to will inherit the powers of Merlin. This is very, very important that I find whoever that's supposed to be. Now, I'll level with you: if it likes you, you get to keep it." He flashed a scruffy smile and padded the tiny dragon into Base's palm that Balthazar lifted up himself. Base thought he was completely crazy, if not just eccentric, but he was going to take Donald's advice and trust Yen Sid. Base nodded and looked at the tiny dragon himself more closely. There, he realized the token was actually a ring. It glittered and and glowed under the candlelight that lit up the room, and anticipation hung in the air... as absolutely nothing happened. Balthazar hung his head and took the dragon back. "Not your fault. That had a really, really low chance of working from the beginning. Always does." He pocketed the token and bowed his head towards Base. "You may not be the next Merlin, but I can already tell there's something else in your future that has just has potential. Don't worry about it." He flashed a goofy smile. "Actually the thing that's worrying me is being told that I have any part in any of-" Base started off, but was cut off as Balthazar shook hands with Yen Sid and walked towards a small glowing green circle on the floor that Base hadn't noticed before. Balthazar stepped into the green circle and vanished in the blink of an eye and into sparks of green light. Base worried momentarily, until the ship outside had its engine roar back to life. He watched it turn about face effortlessly, and zoom out of sight at the speed of light into the night sky. "That was odd... but educational." Base stood transfixed by the calamity of the minute's past events. Not only had so much been condensed into a small space of time, but it had also ended rather stunning anticlimax. "Alas, this was as I predicted. I figured you were not the one Balthazar Blake sought, but he is quite difficult to say no to, and so I naturally humored him." Yen Sid beckoned to Base from his desk, and waved his arm to make an empty chair appear as he took his own seat; his was the tall wooden throne behind the desk. "Please, sit. There is no doubt that Donald told you what would occur and what we would be discussing?" Yen Sid shot Donald a discriminating glare. "Wack?" Donald quacked in shock. "Huh? Oh..." He checked his notes and chagrin took over. "Would you look at that...well, I'll be gosh darned..." He chuckled nervously and pocketed the notes in his brown robes. "Regardless,..." While not amused by the duck's mistake, he lost little momentum as Base took his seat opposite the wizard. "You are inclined towards the musical arts, are you not, Sebastian Noble?" "Er, yes, I am." Base answered back almost on impulse. He knew no finer joy in life than music. He could play virtually any music, and it had always brought him peace in his fast-paced, stressful life of poverty that constantly kept him on his toes. "Why do you ask?" Yen Sid waited a moment before answering. Preceeding his statement, he threw out his arms with command and summoned forth a podium with sheets of paper resting at the top. Base could tell at once that they were musical compositions, since he could see the ledger lines and notes from his seat. "What you see before you is a gateway to another world outside of this one. The Symphony of Sorcery is where I need someone well-versed in the musical arts to go and procure for me what is called a "Sound Idea"." Yen Sid smiled toward Base. "I feel confident that there is no one better suited for the task but you, Sebastian." The smile faded, and he frowned toward the duck. "Should you elect not to go, I'm afraid I'll have to rely on Donald's efforts." "I..." Base jumped from his seat, and was ready to say 'yes', but he caught sight of Donald on his knees in the back of the room with his hands clasped together and mumbling as he looked up to the ceiling. Donald was praying, and the look on his face did nothing to soothe Base's already tired nerves. "Umm, I'll take a look at the composition..." "As you wish." Yen Sid nodded his approval with humility. Base stepped over to the podium and scanned its contents greedily. Base could tell from sight-reading that it was a poweful, bombastic piece, and it impressed him at first glance, but he needed to see more than what the allignment of the paper hid from view. He reached out his hand, but before his fingertips even glanced a single paper fiber, he was forced back as the ink faded and began to flood from the pages in rivers of blue light that streamed on measures and had notes for glowing notes for lily pads. The river twisted around itself and encircled the podium mystically, and it bounced gleefully while the soft hum of a string section began to pump the room with a song that punched. It was the song Base had sight-read, and it was even more beautiful to hear out loud than he'd imagined. He stepped back and stood in sheer wonder of the thrill it provided. He didn't even notice Yen Sid observing him with a smile. "Is the composition to your liking, young Sebastian?" He sounded like he always did; like he already knew the answer to his own questions. Awes-struck, Base replied as soon as he realized he was even being spoken to. "You knew this would happen?" He didn't answer the question directly, but only due to the fact he was enjoying the experience so much that he became entirely distracted. "It is the very nature of the portal." Yen Sid closed his eyes and listened, conducting the piece with his hands. "Pomp and Circumstance. A most excellent piece, wouldn't you agree?" There was a coaxing coat to those words. Base saw right through it, but still... as tempting as the proposition was, he was still too afraid to cross the threshold of the worlds. "I see you both wish to stay and go. I should point out, that should you go, there is a great deal more you could learn on your own. Who you are, and what you are truly capable of. However, there is no great consequence should you wish to stay here. I can find another world for you to inhabit and remain safe from present harm." Base thought. If he went, he could learn a great deal... if he stayed, he'd just go somewhere else that could work out for him, but what if the Darkness found him there like it did on Theate? He weighed his options heavily. Deep in his mind, in the center of his anxiety, he chose 'no', but as his feet moved forward and his hands gripped the paper, he vanished on his way to what his heart was guiding him to do. He disappeared from the room and sank into the world's path that would take him to the Symphony of Sorcery. Meanwhile, the Symphonic Sorcerer took no extra time to shoot a glance towards Donald Duck. "Watch over him." He commanded with verve, and pointed to the portal Base had taken. "Awww, nuts." Donald shook his feathered head to banish his own strong anxiety, and ran head long towards the portal. He went as the master of the tower instructed, leaving only the master to idle in his office. Again, a smile illuminated his face. "Very good." He whispered calmly. Footnotes Kingdom Hearts is developed by Square-Enix, formerly Squaresoft, partnered with Disney Interactive Studios. Characters owned by their original providers, respectfully Also by Sebax "Give My Regards to Bridleway"- Based on the "My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic" TV show, Rarity heads off to Bridleway to be part of a show. With the help of her friends, can she hold her own in the theatre? "Asparagus, the Theatre Cat"- Based on a character from the Poems of T. S. Eliot and from the Musical Production of "Cats", this story details the life of a most histrionic cat as he walks his life across the boards. "Burns"- Set 28 years before the events of Red/Blue, Caesar Cyprus, a young aide to Professor Oak, is sent to Cinnabar Island. The research he does there will lead him down a path to an even bigger adventure for him. Guest Book Not a KHV member? Sign the Guest Book, please! I write for the love of it, but I do need, from time to time, some sort of encouragement, or else I just lose interest in posting. Sign Here!