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Chapter 11 - Unexpected Chaos

After the Battle of Long Valley, the KH team reached the waning stage of their adventure.

Chapter 11 - Unexpected Chaos

Chapter 11 - Unexpected Chaos
Unexpected Chaos

The night swiftly gave way to morning and again the key bearers were awoken from their slumbers by the sound of the beeping clock. Riku was the first to rise out of bed. He rubbed his eyes groggily as he looked at the clock.
Another day, he grumbled, giving a couple of yawns before shuffling his legs to the side of the bed. His feet touched the cold floor and he slightly shivered, wrapping his arms before him. He looked at Sora who was still in a deep slumber. Get up, Sora. Its time to wake up. Sora only moaned, detesting the thought of leaving his warm bed.
No, no, he grumbled, Five more minutes.
Cmon, sleep head. Riku shuffled his feet over to Soras bed and sat down next to his sleeping comrade. He shook Sora a bit. You gotta wake up, not unless you want Thundro to burst in here and put another pillow on your face.
No, Sora lifted himself up and rubbed his bloodshot eyes. We wouldnt want that now would we?
Then lets get up. Riku tossed back the sheets and pulled his friend out of bed. We have about an hour before we to assemble at the main hall again.
Alright, alright,-
The two young men cleaned up and dressed themselves in their Imperial training uniforms and marched out to the main hall. As was routine, Thundro was already out there and waiting. The key bearers approached him, trying to snap out of their lingering morning fatigue a little.
Another day of training, boys, Thundro implied, Are you ready for the third chamber?
Lets get going and get this over with. Riku said.
I wouldnt be in so much of a hurry, young Riku. This next training day will prove to be one of the most strenuous and the longest.-
Aw man, Sora grumbled.
First things first though, do you still have the glass and gold orbs I gave you?-
Yes we do. Riku pulled out the gold orb and it jangled about in his hand. Sora pulled out the glass orb from his pocket.
Youll need those for the next exercise. He turned about towards the door leading to the Northern corridor. Follow me to the northern hall then.
The key bearers followed Thundro back into the North Wing and approached the third door on the first level, the golden door.
This is it, boys. Thundro explained, The Hyperbolic Time Chamber.
Alright, Sora said, Lets go in.
Sorry boys. Thundro put his arms behind him, But you two will have to go in alone.
But why&?-
The reason is because this chamber will only allow two people at a time to enter. No more than that, which is the reason why I will explain to you your tasks from outside the chamber. You will spend your time to train and spar for the duration of the period that you are in there. When you come out, I would have expected you to gain at least a quarter, at the most a half, of the skill in balancing those orbs on your keyblades. I dont care if they jangle, so long as they dont touch the ground.
Are you kidding?-
I may not be one who gives up so easily, Riku said, But I have to admit that achieving such skill would be impossible to accomplish in one day.
But you will be able to accomplish it within a single day. Thundro assured them.
But how&? Sora asked.
The Hyperbolic Time Chamber will help you with that. You see, when entering the chamber, you will enter a prolonged time expansion three-hundred and sixty five times greater than the time expansion here. In other words training in that chamber will be equivalent to training for a full year. The key bearers were surprised.
A full year&? Sora scratched his head. He was clueless, not grasping what Thundro explained.
I dont get it. Riku said, just as confused. Are you saying that we have a year to train? I thought we were only training for a day.
Once again, you and Sora are missing the point, Riku. Thundro continued. Ill put it in small words. The minute you enter that room, the course of a full year will commence. It would have seemed that you spent a full twelve months training, but once you are finished with that full year and exit the chamber, only a day would have passed in this world.
I still dont get it. Sora implied.
I get it now. Riku figured out Thundros explanation. What is a year in there is only a day passing here.
Thats correct. Thundro complied.
But if we stay in there for a year, will we age a full year too?-
Your age will remain the same, though your bodily functions will continue. For example, your hair will continue to grow and perhaps youll grow a little taller. But your age rate will remain stationary until you return to the outside world.-
So we wont have to worry about aging then? Sora asked.
Not at all, Thundro put his hands behind him. I can guarantee you that you will get stronger, provided that you use your time diligently. However, I must caution you on a few details. The effects that you will feel in the Hyperbolic Time Chamber will seem both natural and unnatural, from scorching hot one moment to freezing cold the next. Your emotions and feelings will also affect your surroundings. You will encounter illusions and mirages that can and will hinder you. Logistics will change, being turned upside down.
Oh man,-
At the same time, you will endure areas of heavy gravity. The gravity can reach from three to ten times the natural level. The further out you go, the heavier the gravity will become and the denser the atmosphere will get. You will at times feel yourself suffocate because of the condensed air. So the chamber will challenge you both mentally and physically. You might say that the Hyperbolic Time Chamber is a combination between the Gravity Chamber and the Pendulum Room combined into one element and concentrated a hundred fold. Mostly, it tests your endurance and your will power.-
Well, if thats the case, why dont we just spend the entire three weeks in that chamber?-
What are you talking about, Sora? Riku asked.
Think about it, Riku. If we cant age and we train in that room for the entire three weeks that were here, well become stronger than ever.-
That is out of the question. Thundro said.
But why&?-
For one thing the Hyperbolic Time Chamber will only allow the same person to stay for the extent of a full year, then that person has to withdraw from the room for at least a day or so before reentering. As well, that same person can only train for a maximum of two days altogether. After that, they cannot enter, or the chamber will reject them.-
So in other words, Riku said, two days in the maximum limit that anyone can enter in a lifetime. Is that what youre saying more of less?-
Thats right. Believe me, if we had an unlimited time expansion, then I would let you train in there all the time. But unfortunately, that doesnt work with the Hyperbolic Time Chamber.-
Man& Sora grumbled.
Also because of the vastness of the space, I warn you to remain close to the outpost. This is not a room you are entering, but rather another dimension that spreads on for eternity in each direction. If you stray too far, you will lose yourself in that vast world and be trapped in that white dimension for all eternity. So remain within eye shot of the outpost. That is your only link between eternal nothingness and the outside world. There will be a beacon of light, stretching at least three miles up. But still, thats not tall enough to attract you from deepest regions of nothingness. Thundro placed his hand on the doors latch. So are you two ready, or do you have any questions you would like to ask before entering?
Just one question, Riku said. Besides learning to gracefully and effectively move with these orbs, what else do you want us to do?
Just these, use your time diligently, get stronger and above all, stay alive. Thundro twisted the handle. The doors lock made a loud clink and the gold entry opened up. The key bearers beheld a bright light that emerged from room. They squinted as they entered. Once crossing over, Thundro closed the door behind him. Its just the two of you now. With that, he turned away to do his other duties.

Sora was awe struck as he beheld the features of the Hyperbolic Time Chamber. The outpost was simple, consisting of two large beds, a bathroom with all necessities, and a storage facility with enough food to last for a full year. Above, on the ceiling, a large clock ticked away, silently and slowly. There was also two large hour glass, giving the precise time of the year. Only a small mound had formed, indicating that the new occupants had only been present in the dimensional outpost for only a few minutes.
It doesnt look like much does it, Riku. Sora said.
I dont know. Riku replied. We still havent seen the outside yet.
The air does feel a little denser and I do feel a little heavier.-
I know, that must be the effect that Thundro was talking about. He did say that the air would be really dense and the gravity would be heavier. Sora then ran to the steps leading to the outside of the chamber. His eyes suddenly grew large with mixed interest and fear.
Before him was a vast nothing. There was only a white world that stretched far into the distance. There was no feature, no object out in the dimensional plain. There was also an unbroken silence that lingered indicating that no living thing existed in that world.
Look at this place, Riku. Sora uttered. Riku was just a stunned as he laid eyes upon the expansion of pure white.
This is nothing like the realm of light. Riku replied. Theres nothing. No darkness, no shadow, no nothing. Its just a vast empty space.
Now that I look at it, this place kind of scares me. Theres nothing our there.-
Well, we better get used to it. Riku stretched out his arm. This is gonna be home for us for the next year.
I dont think I can do this. I dont think I can stay here for a full year. Ill go crazy. Its just vast nothingness out there.-
Im scared of it too. But we mustnt be afraid, Sora. If you cave in, I dont know how Ill favor in this place. Sora took a deep breath and trying to overcome the apprehensiveness.
Youre right, Riku. We have to overcome this world and its elements. Our friends are depending on us to return stronger than ever.-
We have to train hard, Sora. This isnt a holiday for us. We have to improve enough if we want to defeat Saber.-
Then lets do this.-
The key bearers stood side by side and stepped off the haven steps of the lone outpost. Thus, entering into a vast world where time and space did not exist.

A castle long ago, a little red-haired girl runs about in the corridors free and without a care. She is curious to know of her surroundings. There is a smell of pastries and the warmth of the morning sun. Just then, she opens the door to find a little boy standing no more than a few feet away from her. He is the same as she is with that deep toned red hair. The little boy turns and smiled.

Good morning, little sister. He replied.

Just then, that little girl wakes up. It was all a dream and she is left in wonder of who that face was that she saw.

Destiny Island once again met with another peaceful morning. The sound of tranquility, the birds chirping, bees buzzing, and all nature went unmolested. It was on this morning that Kairi again arose from her bed. Dressed in a silk top and shorts, she ruffled her hair and gave a big yawn. She shuffled her feet to the sides of her bed and stretched. She looked at her calendar, crossing off the days that Riku and Sora had gone. The entire month had been crossed and now the first week of the next month was already practically filled.
Kairi then glanced at her dresser, eyeing a picture of her with Riku and Sora when they were still small.
Riku, Sora, she thought to herself, How much longer do you intend to stay away? Is the world outside in that much chaos?
Kairi lifted herself up and walked to her dresser. She took out a white tank top, a pair of panties, and a pair of blue Capri pants with inscribed heart and star designs on the back pockets. At the same time, she took out from her jewelry box, a piece that she hadnt seen for ages, a gold necklace with a locket in the shape of a hearts half. The locket couldnt be opened, which is why she seldom wore it, if not at all, and she didnt want to risk damaging it because of its simple eloquence as well as the secret behind it. So it stayed in her jewelry box practically forever. But for some reason, she found it to be a rather unique little piece and one she had not shown to anyone in years. Thus, Kairi took it to wear around her neck. She then made her way to the bathroom for a warm shower. But as an after thought, Kairi looked out her window, the blinds still down.
I wonder, she recalled the event of the night before. I wonder what that rumbling was that I heard? Heeding no mind, she continued with her morning preparations.
After her period of supposed freshening up, Kairi went about to take care of a little business. She had agreed to help Selphie and Tidus with a little task of repairing and cleaning their boats. She made her way down the main road, gazing upon the magnificence of natures splendor as she walked. Eventually, she reached the beach where Tidus and Selphie had assembled themselves.
The beach was quiet with its beautiful white sandy beaches, flat and clean as paper, indicating that no one had been about yet to imprint upon them. The gentle roar and flow of the waves was soothing and the wave of the palms gave a calming feel to the atmosphere.
Ive never seen such a beautiful morning. Kairi thought to herself. I dont know why, but today seems to stick out more than usual. She put her hand over the half-heart pendant. I should take this as a sign of things to come.
Hey, Kairi, a voice shouted. Kairi turned around to see Tidus and Selphie no more than a hundred feet away from her. Their boats hulls turned over and being scrubbed and washed of sea salt build up and barnacles. It was Selphie trying to get her attention.
Were over here! she cried.
Hey you guys. Kairi smiled and rushed over.
Its about time you got here. Tidus said with sarcastic humor.
Hey, I got up a little late. Give me some slack.-
Well, you two can give me a hand moving this boat. Tidus wiped the dirt of his hands, cleaning them at the sides of his baggy shorts. The three took hold of the boat, heaved up and lifted the hull. They then set it down on the sand and picked up the other boat and put it on the platform.
Hey, Selphie said.
What is it? Kairi asked as they took their rest after setting the boat down.
Ive never seen that necklace before.-
Oh this old thing, Kairi showed it to Selphie. This is just an old jewelry piece I was given when I was still a little girl.
It looks like a locket. Whose picture is inside? Selphie gave that sneaky look of pleasure, making fun of Kairis secret Is it Sora, or maybe Riku?
I know, Tidus chuckled, adding to the fun, Its gotta be a picture of me! He flexed his muscles like a corny first-timer.
In your dreams, Selphie said. Youre more likely to attract flies than girls, Tidus. The two young women snickered.
Oh yeah, for your information, the girls flock to me from out of the woodwork. Im a regular lady killer!-
Yeah, thats right, the girls take one look at you and drop dead. Again there was a snicker.
To tell you the truth, Kairi said, I dont know whose picture is in this locket.
You dont know, really?-
Well, why dont you just break it open? Tidus said, It wouldnt be that hard.
No, I could never do that.-
But why doesnt it open? Selphie asked.
Look at its shape. Kairi pointed to the lockets design. Its half of a heart, which only indicates that another half goes with it. And when those two pieces are combined, thats what unlocks the mechanism.
Really, Selphie shook with anticipation, Oh who could it be?
Well, Ive had it way back when I was a child, so I dont really have a clue. But Kairi knew deep down of the lockets past and who was affiliated with it. She didnt have enough nerve to tell them though. So she remained silent. Then, her eyes suddenly shifted. In the distance, her eyes caught the form of a cloaked figure standing near the beach residential homes. The face was hooded, so the features of the face were impossible to distinguish. Like a phantom, he suddenly appeared in her view. The figure did not stir. It only stood there, watching the three. Though Kairi could not see the persons face, she had this feeling as if the eyes were peering directly at her, cutting straight into her very soul. The sight of him, however, was not threatening in away, but more curious.
Its him, Kairi uttered. Tidus and Selphie turned to see the figure.
Great, Tidus grumbled, Its that weirdo.
What does he want? Selphie said.
I dont know. Kairi asked.
I gotta tell you, that guy kind of gives me the creeps, how hes always sneaking around. I think he might be a burglar or mugger or something.-
Hey, pal, what you want? Tidus declared.
The man said nothing. He only turned and walked away.
Who is he I wonder. Kairi asked.
I think he might be a drifter. Selphie said. Ive never seen him before. He just appeared suddenly about a couple of weeks ago. No one has ever seen his face. We dont even know why he came here in the first place.
Well, whoever he is, Tidus grumbled, He gives me the willies. Tidus went back to scrubbing the boat hull.
Have you encountered him before, Kairi?-
Not face to face, Kairi said, But I have seen him about. Sometimes in the daytime, other times at night. He frequently follows me around too. I always see him peeking behind corners, or standing just under the lamp near my bedroom window, or at times follow me from a distance.
You think he might be a stalker, or something? Hes probably a pervert.-
I dont think so.-
Why do you say that? Kairi walked towards the spot where the stranger stood, but halted just a few feet away from the boats.
For some reason, despite his dark figure and faceless expressions, I dont feel threatened. It feels more like hes watching over me than stalking me. Besides, if he really was a pervert, or a rapist, he would have attacked me already.-
Maybe, hes just abiding his time, Tidus said, waiting to spring when you least expect it.
I dont know.-
Well, Im just saying stay away from that guy. Hes nothing, but trouble. You can see it on his face.-
Oh thats quite an insight, Selphie said, since youve never seen his face.
Oh shut up,-
Alright, thats enough you two. Kairi said. Lets get back to what we were doing.
The day passed without further incident. The cloaked figure did not appear again and the three were able to fulfill their task and finish with cleaning and repairing their boats. The three then brought their boats to the dock and tied them off.
Nothing like a job well done, Tidus said, wiping his brow. Thanks you two.
Nothing to it, Kairi implied.
Hey, hey, you guys, a voice suddenly beckoned. He three friends turned to see Wakka running towards them.
Hey, Wakka, Tidus greeted him. Whats up?
Didnt you hear? Wakka said. Theres some kind of military force heading this way.
What, a military force?-
Ya, Wakka pointed, Cant you hear that? The friends lifted their ears to the quiet of the late morning. In the distance, the sound of drums could be heard. They then saw people flocking to the area where the drums were sounding. You think it had to do with that rumble we heard last night?
Wait a minute, Kairi said, You heard that rumble too?
Practically everyone heard that rumble last night. Selphie said. I heard it too.
Cmon, lets go take a look! Tidus said, leading the way. Kairi, however, stayed behind, still pondering on the events of the morning and the feeling she felt.
Could this be why I was feeling the way I was? she thought to herself. Is this why today seems to stick out more than other days?
Cmon Kairi, Selphie shouted.
Im coming, Kairi quickly ran after her friends.
They assembled at the main road, leading into town. The townspeople were assembled to meet with the approaching force. Tidus and the others squirmed through the crowd to get a better view of who approached. Massed columns of soldiers in black frocks with white trimming and exterior entourage approached them. At the side of each soldier was a gold-hilt sword sheathed in white scabbards. Their appearance was both threatening and magnificent. The banner that flew over the heads of the troops bore the familiar symbol of the Imperial crest of conquest. Three swords, two curved and one straight, crossed each other at a center axis. Behind those three swords was an angled lightning volt and below the entire design were the words Vancar Unisk Concorte Irakisin. But it was the Imperial crest behind the sword and lightning design that concerned Kairi the most.
That symbol, she uttered to herself, Could it be the Dark Empire?
I wonder who these guys are. Tidus said. They better not be looking for trouble.
Along with the thundering of drums and twittering of fifes, there also came the sound of a thousand men in deep vocalization singing out a victory him. There was a sense of pride in the men as they sang, marching with great enthusiasm as they approached the coastal city of the Destiny Islands.

Those Arakis fighting boys

Will never reach the coast

So Sirius Viicous said

It was a handsome boast

Had they not forgot, Alas,

To reckon with the host

While we are marching to conquest

Vancar! Vancar

Our cause forevermore

Vancar! Vancar

You hear our soldiers roar

Forward into battle

And to victry of the war

While we are marching to conquest

Just then the order was given to cease the marching and cadence.
All units halt! one of the leading officers shouted. The soldiers halted no more than fifty feet away from the town itself. There was great tension as the townspeople beheld the forces of armed soldiers standing in perfect order before them. Questions entered the minds of many of the civilians there. What did the soldiers want? Were they hostile? And what were their intensions?
Suddenly, two individuals came forth. One of them was a young boy, no older than ten or twelve. He was dressed in a black military uniform as the rest of the soldiers were. But the extra display in braids at the shoulders indicated that he was a boy of great importance. Next to him was a young man, dressed in similar garments. But unlike the boy, he had a stern look, like that of a guardian. Both wore plumed cavaliers, a sight unique amongst the thousands of tinted helmets. The boy was the first to speak.
I am Mulian Nidarach Arakis, the boy declared to the civilians, raising his hand in friendship, the son of His late Excellency Lord Drako Arakis, and present leader of the Arakis Foundation. I would like to speak with leader of this settlement.
From the crowd, the mayor appeared and approached the duo.
I am the mayor of this town. He said. How may I be of service? The two approached til they were face to face with one another.
We beseech you, sir, if it would be possible for you to provide us with shelter and provisions.-
And how long do you intend to stay?-
We plan to depart by tomorrow.-
And what brings you here, young man?-
My men and I are tired and are trying to evade pursuers who have been on our trail for a little over three weeks. We mean no harm. All we ask is for shelter and some food.-
Well, the mayor pondered for a while before giving a courteous smile, I dont see why not. You may enter our town provided that you and your men conduct yourselves civil.
Acknowledged, Mulian turned to his subordinate. Prime Minister Crassus, pass the word along. Tell every man in the column that they are to abide by the rules of this town and that any troublesome outbursts amongst our ranks will be severely dealt with.
I understand, Your Excellency. Crassus replied. He turned to the columns of men who were still standing at attention. With a loud, booming voice, he gave instructions to the men. Now listen up, you men! We will be allowed to take shelter in this town for the next twenty-four hours! But while you are here, you will not stir up any trouble! You will not make a spectacle of yourself or take action in any manner that would disgrace the name of His Excellency! You will follow a strict curfew and you will be forbidden to harass any of the civilians or violate their property! Every man here will be responsible for his actions! And it is up to you as comrades to assure that the other behaves himself in a proper manner! And if there is any breech of conduct here, punishment will come swiftly and without mercy! And to assure that this regulation is enforced, for any one man who steps out of line and makes a mockery of our military, then he and twenty randomly chosen men from his outfit will be punished according to the rules of the Arakis Foundation, no exceptions! Is that clear?!
Sir, yes sir! the columns replied.
I cant here you!-
Sir, yes sir!-
Very good, Crassus turned to Muli, They will abide as promised, sir.
Thank you, Crassus. Muli replied. He faced the mayor. Sir, I thank you for your hospitality.
Think nothing of it, The mayor replied. I am glad to see that you are such a well mannered young man who knows how to keep his soldiers under control. The man extended his hand in friendship. Crassus senses perked up and reached for his sword.
Stand down, Muli said, There is nothing to fear here.
Yes Your Excellency. Crassus replied, and withdrew his hand from the hilt.
Have the men fall out, but tell them to set up camp on the outskirts of town. I do not want to make a bother with these people. And issue liberty for two hours per company.-
Understood, Crassus turned to his men. Alright, fall out and set up camp here on the outskirts, by order of His Excellency!
Yes, sir, the soldiers replied. They immediately dispersed to the open fields just outside of town and began to set up their individual sleeping quarters.
Perhaps, if you were to join me at my residence for a little luncheon, young man, the mayor said. I find it always beneficial to entertain higher ups.
I would be delighted to, sir. Muli replied.
Shall I call for an armed guard to accompany you, sir? Crassus asked.
There is no need, Imetriarch. I would like to keep these people at ease.-
At least allow me to accompany you, sir.-
Of course, if that is alright with the mayor.-
I do not mind. The mayor replied.
Let us go then.-
Young Master Mulian has certainly changed a great deal since his ventures into other worlds. Crassus thought to himself. I guess when your eyes are open to the outside worlds, the politics and reasoning of home, which you once thought as absolute, seem twisted in theory. Perhaps the Universal Alliance had the right idea after all. He watched as Muli gave a sheepish grin, like that of any young boy. In his gesture, there reflected the personality of Sora. Was it Riku and Sora that completed this transformation? If it is, I must say that I have to give those boys credit.
Listen, citizens, the mayor said, See to it that every inn and every tavern is open to these weary soldiers. They have agreed to be civil, we shall do the same. Give them the hospitality of the Destiny Islands.
After speaking those words, the mayor retired back to his estate, accompanied by Muli and Crassus. The crowd dispersed and the soldiers of the Arakis Foundation took in some time to finally relax after eluding the faction pursuers. Only Tidus and his group did not disperse as quickly.
I dont like this. He said. That kid, Muli said they were running away from their pursuers.
So what&? Selphie asked. I dont think these guys mean to start anything. If they did, they would have done it already.
Are you really willing to trust them? As far as we know, that kid could be plotting something.-
Why would he do that? As far as I can see, the town wouldnt stand a chance against such a well armed force.-
Well, Tidus rethought his theory, maybe your right, but what about their pursuers? What if they come here and start making trouble with these guys? Our town will be stuck in the middle.
Tidus has a point there. Wakka complied. It would really suck if that kid brought his problems here too.
Well, the least we could do is provide these men with a little food and shelter. Selphie said. Its not easy finding luxury when youre a soldier. We all should know through our experiences.
I guess youre right.-
What do you think, Kairi? But Kairi seemed somewhat in a daze. Kairi&?
Hey, Kairi, Tidus said. Kairi looked up.
Whats the matter? Is there something bothering you?-
No, Kairi smiled sheepishly, rubbing the back of her head. I was just thinking to myself. What did you ask me?
Never mind, its irrelevant now.-
Cmon, Selphie said, Lets at least try to be good hosts.
I guess so. Tidus and the others dispersed to carry on with what it was they were doing. Kairi, however, stayed behind, still pondering at who the boy was. Are you coming, Kairi?
Oh, no, she replied. You guys go on without me.
Suit yourself. The three withdrew leaving Kairi on her own, engulfed in her deep thought.
Mulian Arakis, she thought to herself, Could it be that& Curious, she hastened over to the mayors estate. I gotta know who that kid is. Could that kid be related to him in any way?

The mayor, Muli, and Imetriarch Crassus were seated at a white patio table with yellow umbrella blocking the suns rays and keeping them cool. Lemonade and appetizers were the first to be served by the staff. Gentle music was being played on a small radio.
So, the mayor inquired, how is it that you came across our little settlement?
We came here by means of our aerial craft. Muli replied. Our energy generators, which fuel the ship, were running low and needed to be recharged. And it will take at least twenty four hours for us to restore full power. So we had to touch down somewhere. We figured that no one would hope to find us here. The Destiny Islands are secluded enough from the other worlds that we thought it might be a nice haven to spend at least one day. Muli took another sip of the cool lemonade. Besides, my soldiers have been in desperate need for a reprieve. I think some time amongst paradise is a good remedy.
And who exactly is pursuing you?-
Excuse me, a voice said. The trio looked up to find Kairi standing no more than ten feet away, Sorry to disturb you mayor.
Oh, Kairi, the mayor said, What brings you here?
Who is this young woman? Muli asked.
This young lady is named Kairi. The mayor replied. Shes the foster daughter of my predecessor.
Kairi&? The name somehow struck a chord with the boy. You wouldnt happen to be the young woman whos in love with Sora are you? Kairi was stunned.
Yes, I am, she said with a surprised tone. But how do you know that?
My father had always mentioned the great trial that he put Riku and Sora under in order to save you. He always said that Sora loved you deeply. And he proved that love through his actions.-
Wait, youre father?-
Yes, my father, the late Lord Drako Arakis. He was a former member of the Three Excellencies.-
Youre his son then.-
It is an honor to meet you, Kairi. Please be seated and join us for a luncheon. For a young boy, he was well mannered, standing up before her. Crassus stood, followed by the mayor.
Oh no, its quite alright. I just&-
His Excellency insists, Crassus said. You may take my seat, Miss Kairi.
Well, thank you. Crassus escorted her to her seat. Kairi sat down.
Bring out another chair! the mayor shouted. We have another guest present!
The four seated themselves and began to chat away with one another. The food was brought out and almost non-stop for two hours, they fraternized as if there wasnt a care in the world. Kairis interaction with Lord Arakis son was completely the opposite of what she had earlier envisioned of him. Instead of a stuck up, arrogant heir to a vast power structure, she found Muli to be very happy-go-lucky and cheerful. His attitude reminded her of Sora. Within the course of a single luncheon, Kairis perception that all Imperials were the same was changed forever. As the food began to dwindle from their plates, down to the last morsels, Kairi decided to pop the question.
So, how is it that you are acquainted with Riku and Sora? she asked.
You might say, Miss, Crassus explained, that it was because of your friends actions that young Master Mulian is still alive.
Riku and Sora saved my life and opened my eyes to the outside world. Mulian said. I am eternally in their debt.
They saved your life?-
It was because of them that my men and I are making this trek.-
Trek, Kairi pondered, curious to know where their destination lay. And where is it that youre going?
We are going to the only place where we can seek safe refuge. Were going to meet with President Sneer of the Universal Alliance.-
What&? Kairi was again surprised. Youre on your way to meet with Sneer of the Alliance? But why, arent you Imperials? There was a slight silence, but no tension arose. Muli was more than happy to explain.
If you were to have asked me that same question three months ago, I would have gladly said yes.-
You see, Miss Kairi, Crassus explained, We are the remaining members of the former Arakis Foundation. Young Master Mulian is the legitimate heir to that organization. The former empire had been dissolved and rivaling factions arose to battle against one another. Each major faction hoped to regain the territory of the former Imperial regime.
I too wanted to see conquest only because the elders would always talk about those days. Determined to fulfill that dream, I would use all the resources the Arakis Foundation could muster and retake all the territory lost by the former empire. I was so involved with the thoughts of pure Oceanarian domination over all worlds; I did not realize the cruel truth behind war. I always had this grandiose vision. But that was merely the delusion of a sheltered and pampered little boy, who did not truly understand the meaning of what it meant to fight and suffer. I thought, one day, that it would be fun to go out and join in the fray of battle. Thus, I took on the garments of a drummer boy and joined the front lines. But I couldnt have been more wrong. I realized soon enough that my ideals would have to come at a heavy price. The soldiers I sent into action were not as invincible as I thought. They in fact died just as easily as any other. I soon came to understand that if I were to fulfill this dream, I would be causing great suffering to both the enemy and my allies. I would also have to worry about the crumbling of such a large empire if I ever achieved that goal. And also, by integrating others into my dream, I would be depriving them of their own. Their cultures, their unique lifestyles would be gone with the integration into Oceanarian ways. Muli lowered his head. I realize now what my father had said. He didnt want me to follow his path. He always said that it was better to have happy differences then unhappy similarities.
I see, Kairi said. But why are you seeking haven with the Alliance?
I have taken into consideration a truce with the Alliance and merge the foundation with them. However, this decision on my part caused severe unrest within the Arakis Foundations top brass.-
A few of our leading commanders decided to stage a coup de tat against Master Mulian and combined their forces to form the new Aryan Faction. Crassus explained. However, Master Mulian is still the legitimate heir to the Arakis Foundation and his very life is a threat to the stability of the Aryan Faction. There are already rumors that a second coup de tat will take place in the near future as the unrest between loyalists and separatists continues to grow.-
If we side with the Alliance, then we can end this period of bloodshed and bring a close to this era of chaos.-
Thats why the Aryan Faction has been pursuing us since the coup. They want Master Mulian dead. Only then can they gain absolute power.-
Well, well make sure to keep you safe, young man. The mayor said. You seem like a descent enough fellow. It would be a shame for you to lose your life so early.
I thank you, sir. Muli replied. And what about you, Kairi, Ive been meaning to ask you, what was you impression of my dad?
Well, Kairi could only pause, not knowing what to say. In her mind, all she remembered was a man who somehow found a sense of entertainment in seeing her tormented. But could have been wrong in her interpretations? Giving a slight shake, Kairi only gave a vague response. I never really knew your father long enough to really get to know him. Muli only shrugged his shoulders.
Not surprising, my father always had that tendency to be secretive. He always said that though some methods of the Empire were extreme, and some of the tactics were cruel, he could not turn against his superiors.-
But why not&?-
I think he foresaw what would happen, a sudden collapse of the entire Imperial regime would have occurred. I guess he knew that splitting the Empire up would only give rise to greater chaos, much like what were experiencing now.-
From here on out, Your Excellency, Crassus remarked, its an open road all the way to Oceansburg.
But no sooner had Destiny Island reach a stage of tranquil harmony, that noontime lull was suddenly broken with the appearance of an unidentified object that appeared in the sky twenty miles off shore.

The foundation mother ship, nestled within a lush green field, picked up a sudden bleep on the radar. The attendant in charge quickly took notice of the incoming unidentified object descending into the atmosphere.
What the hell, he said. He quickly got a visual. What he saw caused him to shout of an alert. Sir, captain sir&?!
Whats the problem? the captain asked, coming to observe what the fuss was about.
We have an incoming ship appearing out of the atmosphere twenty miles off the coast.-
What kind of ship?-
Its an Aryan transport vessel!-
Damn it, get a visual up!-
Aye-aye sir, The attendant quickly brought the ships visual on the overhead screen. There was a sudden murmur amongst the men and women as they witnessed their pursuers coming towards them. How did they catch up to us so quickly?
They mustve tracked us down somehow! The captain growled. We have to inform His Excellency! Link us to the Prime Ministers Scouter immediately!
Aye sir, Contact was immediately sent to Prime Minister Crassus, whose scouter sat at the tables edge.

The distress signal was heard and Crassus quickly responded.
This is Crassus, he said, Whats the distress?!
Theres an Aryan transport cruiser heading in this direction! The captain replied on the other line. Immediately, Crassus threw himself up from his chain, his brow suddenly sweating. The mayor, Muli, and Kairi were curious.
Whats the matter? Muli asked.
We have to go, Your Excellency, right now! Crassus replied.
Why, whats going on?-
An Aryan cruiser has just appeared off shore.-
We have to go now!-
But how&? The ship wont be ready for take-off for another fifteen hours.
Well have to manage!-
Your pursuers caught up with you? Kairi asked.
I dont know how they did it, but their presence only means that we have to depart from this world and make it to Oceansburg as fast as we can! Crassus grabbed Muli by the wrist and pulled him away.
As the two leaders exited the mayors estate, they found the rest of the town in an uproar. Towards the sea they pointed. There, hovering off not too far from shore was the Aryan mother cruiser. It was a large disk-like structure spreading over the water with a one mile diameter, a massive ship that could eclipse the sun from sight of the whole town.
Damn it, Crassus growled, Theyre that close already. He contacted the mother ship, at the same time pulling Muli behind him. I want all engines running! Weve got to make it to Oceansburg!
No can do, Prime Minister. The captain replied. Our ship generators have only just reached their halfway point to completion.
Itll have to do! We have to make it to Oceansburg! The Alliance is our only hope right now!-
A hasty lift off wont work, sir. That cruiser will try and shoot us if we take off. And even if we did evade destruction, wed only have enough power to make it half way to Oceansburg. And if we get stranded out in the middle of our space travel, there will be nothing to protect us.-
Damn it. Well just have to withdraw from this town! The last thing we want is for these civilians to get involved. Ill assemble the men and tell them to get back to the ship.-
Yes sir,-

Tidus and the others looked on, not too far away. Clutching his fists, Tidus prediction came true.
I knew it, he said, That kid has brought the chaos with him.

But trouble was not only going to spur the Arakis Foundation, but the whole of the Destiny Islands as well. The leader in charge of the Aryan forces was none other than the venerable General Hector Fortinbras who had helped in the failed assault in Long Valley. He observed as the visual sighted the established camp of the Arakis Foundation.
There they are. He said. Mulian Arakis and his band of rebels are within out sight.
Shall we declare their option to surrender to us? the captain of the ship asked.
Our mission is to eliminate Mulian Arakis before he reaches the Alliance capital. Besides, there is no more suitable death for a traitor like that little upstart.-
But wouldnt it be best if we forewarn that settlement? I dont find it necessary for them to be involved in our little dispute.-
By order of his Excellency, Lord Marcus Montague, we are to execute Mulian Arakis without question. And all those who dare to aid him are just as guilty. This town and this world are just as treasonous for harboring him and his men. Therefore, they will suffer the same punishment. Fortinbras stood up and put one fist to his side. Prepare to fire the barge cannons at that town and have our men board their cruisers and ready to storm.
But sir, thats going a little overboard dont you think?-
Those are my orders. Now do as I say. The captain was hesitant, but carried out with the order.
Bring the barge cannons up. He ordered the men. Set target to the town. And assemble our men. Well be going ashore.
Aye-aye, sir, one of the head operatives replied.
Dont you think this is going a little overboard for a boy? one of the lieutenants whispered to the captain. I mean this entire rise to power by the Aryan Faction was a little hasty.
What a way to repay the deeds of His late Excellency, Lord Drako Arakis, by executing his only child. We have a term for such actions&ungrateful&-

Without attempts at negotiating, the barge cannons immediately opened fire on the coastal town. Houses were suddenly demolished in flame, dust, and splintering debris. The citizens were panicked as they beheld this hostile act against them. They fled the streets, seeking cover from the ships barrage.
What are they firing at us for? Kairi wondered.
Its that young boy, Muli. The mayor replied. Theyre after him.
But we were never given a chance to negotiate.-
Those people arent interested in negotiating. They want that young man dead.-
But do they want it so badly that theyre willing to attack our town?-
They might be planning to destroy any town or city that harbors him.-
Damn it. Kairi quickly fled to find Muli, despite the explosions roaring around her.
Where are you going, Kairi?! Youll get killed!-
We have to keep that kid safe! As far as I know, hes the only sane Imperial Ive ever met! She vanished into the billowing clouds of smoke.

We have to get you to safety. Crassus said, sheltering Muli as the bombardment bellowed around them.
I want all civilians evacuated from here first. Muli replied.
Whats the point? Its not our problem right now!-
Yes it is! The Aryan Faction is attacking this town because its citizens harbored us! Were responsible for this hostility! And I am not about to turn my back on these people! I will not take the actions as I had when I was still an ignorant, pampered whelp. I will help these civilians to the best of my ability.-
Muli, a voice shouted. The two saw Kairi running towards them.
Im sorry, Kairi, I brought this trouble upon you and your town.-
We are departing from this world. Crassus added. Weve caused enough trouble.
And let you guys lose your one chance to set things right? Youd never be able to take off from this world all the way to Oceansburg with those guys on your tail, right? So Ill help you!-
But why, youre friends and family are dying because of us. Why assist us?-
Ive come to realize that if I were in your shoes, Id be expecting some kind of aid. The then glanced at Muli. Besides, after how you said that you made friends with Riku and Sora and how they changed your aspect on life and death, Id never be able to look at either of them in the face if I turned you down. It wouldnt feel right to say that I met you and turned my back on you when you needed help the most. Muli was overcome with this sense of sadness, having to burden the people with such weight. He could only do the sensible thing and avert his eyes downward.
Thank you very much.-
Your Excellency, Prime Minister, a voice shouted. From the distance, one of the foundation officers was approaching. He came before his superiors out of breath. The Aryan Faction is deploying their landing crafts! Theyre sending in their ground troops to execute you!
Theyre landing&? Crassus uttered.
Damn it! Have all our men assemble at the beach! If its a fight they want, then its a fight theyll get!-
Yes sir!-
Kairi, take Master Mulian and withdraw to the rear! Tell all civilians to evacuate!-
What about you? Kairi asked.
I must stay here and conduct our military in this campaign! He took Muli by the shoulders and put him under Kairis care. You behave yourself, Master Mulian.
No, Imetriarch, Muli cried, trying to get out of Kairis grasp, Dont do this!
The fate of the Foundation depends on your survival, sir.-
No, no, dont leave me! Dont leave me again!-
I will return, sir! Its your safety that Im worried about!-
But Imetriarch,-
Do as I say! And dont try any last minute heroics! Ill fight a lot easier knowing that youre safe! He looked at Kairi. Take care of him, Kairi! Hes the future!
I will, Kairi replied. Imetriarch saluted and withdrew to the beaches where the upcoming battle would take place.
Imetriarch, Muli uttered
Cmon, Kairi pulled him along to the rear. We gotta get you to safety.

In the meantime, the soldiers of the Arakis Foundation took positions along the beach. They watched as the bombardment suddenly ceased. Then, from out of the hovering mother ship, several small cruisers appeared.
Keep you ranks, men! Crassus shouted. Keep down and prepare to open fire the minute those transport hatches open! They soldiers watched as the cruisers glided through the water like great iron boxes. Like an ominous presence suddenly in their view, over twenty transport units made their way towards the coast. Once ashore, and the main hatch was opened, hundreds of Aryan Faction soldiers, in their black and green-trimmed uniforms, poured out.
Here they come! one foundation soldiers cried.
Then let them have it! Crassus shouted.
Using energy and weapons alike, the Arakis Foundation fired an endless volley of projectiles into the attacking ranks of Aryan Faction soldiers. Dozens were killed in the first volley and the numbers of the invaders were dwindled, but still they would not give up. Instead the Aryan Faction charged forward. They unleashed their own bombardment and leveled the Arakis Foundation troops in some areas of the line.
Both sides collided as gun, sword, and spear clashed. Already, hundreds were left dead and dying upon the beach and the once blue water and white sands were tainted crimson with the blood of the fallen. Despite having smaller numbers, the Arakis Foundation managed to fend off their former brethren.
Death to traitors! the Aryan soldiers shouted.
Death to the treasonous! the foundation soldiers countered. Skulls were smashed, bodies were impaled, and Oceanarian fought Oceanarian in a bloody civil brawl upon the once quiet hometown of the key bearers.

Send in more men. Fortinbras ordered. And have our guns concentrated on the town itself. Blast that settlement to its foundations if necessary.
But wouldnt we be firing on our own troops? the captain asked.
Of course, but so what, their deaths are insignificant compared to the elimination of the traitor Mulian Arakis. I want him killed at all costs.-
Y&yes sir&-
Well flush that whelp out like a rat.-
Immediately, the cannons began to fire, pummeling the city and blowing structures up one at a time. Crassus looked up, watching the bombardment shift from them to the town.
Damn it, he growled, Theyre firing on the town itself. As the fighting continued on the beach, the town was slowly demolished little by little. If they keep this up, there will be no town left to defend. Using his scouter, he contacted the foundation mother ship. Captain, can you here me, over?
Aye, Prime Minster, I can here you loud and clear. The captain replied.
I need you to get the ship up and moving now!-
But sir, well never make it to Oceansburg. Are you sure you want us to depart with our generators only half full?-
Were not going to leave, were going to fight!-
To fight&?-
Thats right. I want you to get the mother ship up and confront that Aryan super carrier.-
Fight against the carrier? Are you out of your mind, sir?-
Just do it!-
With all due respect, Prime Minster, that tactic is out of the question! Were flying a C class battle cruiser! The Aryan Faction is armed with a class B super carrier! They outrank us in firepower, defense, and speed! Theyre at least twice as big as our own ship.-
Im not asking you to fight the cruiser directly! Crassus said. I want you to knock out their barge guns! Thats all that matters! We have to keep them silent and protect the town as best we can!-
I understand, sir. Well get right on it!-
Very good, ending transmission, Crassus deactivated the scouters transmission system and continued to battle. Its up to you boys now!-

Activate all generators! the captain ordered. Were going into battle!
Into battle?! one of the staff officers asked. Against who&?-
Against that, The captain pointed to the Aryan Factions super cruiser. When mentioning their mission, there was not a single man present who feared this action.
Going into battle against a B class super carrier? Theres no way we can win fighting something like that head on!-
Fortunately for us, were not gonna fight it head on. The captain looked to the crew. Now do as I have ordered and get this thing into the air!
Aye-aye sir, the lieutenant addressed the crew. Activate all generators to their maximum!-
Aye-aye sir, the crew would reply as the orders were passed about the bridge.
Have all barge cannons up and ready to fire! the captain said.
If I may be permitted to speak freely, sir, but how do you intend to fight a B class super carrier?-
Were not going to battle it. We simply have to deprive it of its outer defense weaponry, nothing more. That way, there will be no way for them to provide covering fire for the ground troops.-
I understand, The generators were activated, the rockets rumbled, and the great ship lifted into the air and slowly made its approach towards the Aryan mother ship.

In the meantime, General Fortinbras watched as his barge cannons destroyed homes and building within the coastal town.
This would be a lot easier if I had Gatler tanks and Mobile dolls in store, he grumbled, but those bloody higher ups said that they were needed elsewhere! All I have for support are these blasted barge cannons! he sighed. Oh well, at least thats better equipment than our enemies. They have nothing to aid them, which are all more favorable to us.
General Fortinbras, captain, one operative said.
What is it? the captain asked.
There is a large object heading towards us from starboard.-
On screen, an image was activated and there coming towards them was the foundation ship. Thats a C class cruiser.
Is it of any threat to us? Fortinbras asked.
No, a C class cruiser wouldnt be able to contend with us. We have a B class super carrier, which is far more superior. I dont know what theyre trying to accomplish. Going against us is out of the question, it only guarantees their deaths. Our barge cannons will be able to break holes in their armor with very little effort.-
They must be desperate then. Shoot it down!-
But sir, wed be attacking our fellow Oceanarians.-
We are the ones who are carrying on with the true cause of the former Dark Empire! Those people are traitors to the Imperial cause and the millions of comrades who sacrificed their lives for the good of a united universe! Now shoot it down!-
A&aye, sir, The captain turned to his crewmen. Set our starboard barge cannons towards that cruiser. Shoot it down.
But sir& one of the operatives said.
We have no choice. The commanding officer has told us so to do. Again there was silence amongst the crew. They would be going into battle against soldiers who up to a few weeks before were their most trusted allies.
Aye-aye, sir, the operative complied.

From the perspective of the foundation, the cannons began to appear from out of their holds.
Theyre ready to fire. The captain said. Alright, take aim and fire at the cannons. Wait until their barrels start glowing.
But sir, one of the attendants said, If we wait for their barrels to start resonating, that means that theyre ready to fire.
But it also means that if we destroy the cannons while theyre increasing their energy, there will be a larger maximum of damage. We have to aim well and time this perfectly. I want all shields to their maximum and all guns accurately aimed and ready!
The foundation cannons were deployed and ready, waiting for the first broadside from the Aryan Faction. Sure enough, they watched as they hatches were opened and the defense cannons emerged, their long barrels protruding like the quills of a wild porcupine.
Hold steady on my order. The captain said.

This aught to finish those fools off for good. Fortinbras chuckled as he watched the ship battle unfold before him.
All artillery pieces have been aimed at the carrier. One operative confirmed.
So be it, the captain replied. He bowed his head in repentance. God forgive us for turning against our brethren. Throwing out his hand, he gave the order. All starboard batteries commence firing!
Aye-aye, sir,-
The cannons barrel ends began to glow, indicating that an inevitable blast would emerge. But that was what the foundation was waiting for.

The barrels are glowing! a foundation operative shouted.
Fire away! the captain ordered.
All at once, the carriers cannons deployed a devastating fire. The beams struck the open portholes and destroyed all the barge cannons. The great carrier swayed and shook violently as the blasts crippled the starboard side of the ship.

What is going on? Fortinbras demanded.
They unleashed a barrage into the open hatches of our artillery! an operative shouted. All cannons starboard of the ship have been damaged beyond repair.-
Damn it!-
Sir, that attack has caused severe internal damage on our starboard side.-
They attacked our barge cannons when they were on the verge of being fired. The captain said. Thats what they were aiming for. They hoped to inflict the maximum amount of damage on us.
Well, it looks like theyve succeeded. Fortinbras growled. Turn this ship around and give them a reply.
But sir, the commander said, We have to support our ground troops.
If that stupid foundation cruiser is still airborne, then we wont be around long enough to offer support! As long as the foundation is in the air, we are vulnerable to attack. We shoot that foundation cruiser down for good!-
Yes sir! he turned to the bridge attendants. Shift this ships gun turret around ninety degrees! Use the fore guns to shoot and destroy that vessel!
Aye sir. A response came from the bridge.
With a low mingled roar, the massive ship turned itself around, aiming its fore guns at the foundation cruiser. Little did they realize that the foundation was already prepared.

The crew of the C class carrier watched as the guns came to bear on their hull.
Alright, the captain shouted. Theyre bearing their fore guns at us! Prepare to open fire on the hatches if they open! The crew watched as one by one the cannons popped out of their cubbies and accumulated the necessary energy to fire.
Theyre turning about. An operative said.
Cannons on stand by and ready to fire, another added.
Good, fire away then.
Again, the foundation, pummeled the cannons from their stations, rendering them completely useless. With each cannon ready to fire, each was destroyed as they aimed at the hull. However, some of the faction artillery managed to hit the smaller cruisers hull and cause crippling damage.
Were taking on damage! one operative cried.
What is the status? the captain asked.
Its about a ten percent status of damage.-
Then were still in the game! Maintain fire until each of those fore guns has been demolished!-
Yes sir, Like a clash of old mast galleons, both ships took on an incredible amount of damage. But already the Aryan Faction had already lost all starboard guns. Now, all Fore-guns had either been destroyed or were beyond proper repair.
Keep it up, you men! the captain cried.

The hull has taken on too much damage, one Aryan faction crew man cried. Weve already lost fifty percent of our heavy artillery!
Damn it! the commander growled. Now all of our fore-guns have been destroyed.
Turn this ship around again. Fortinbras ordered. Use the portside guns.
Its too risky, general. Theyll most likely target those too.-
Then find a way to fire at those bastards without having them target our cannons! I dont care if you have to blow through the hatches! You shoot that eyesore down!-
Y&yes sir.-
The ship turned again, using the portside. One of two battery rows remaining, the portside guns were powered up. But unlike before, this time, the hatches were not opened. Instead, it was decided by the captain to fire the cannons while they were still being charged up. The hatches were flimsy enough to break up when shot at.

As the portside guns were aimed and ready, some of the crewmen were surprised.
Do they intend to shoot their guns off when the hatches havent been opened yet? a subordinate asked.
I dont know. The captain replied. Just be ready to open fire.
Suddenly, the hatches exploded, blown from off their hinges. Then from out of the portholes, powerful energy beams went flying at the foundation cruiser.
Evade, the ship was suddenly pulled up and half of the blasts passed by harmlessly. Others however, hit their mark, causing great damage at the hull. At the same time, the cannons returned fire and pummeled Fortinbras carrier, eliminating over half of the barge guns. The captain wiped his brow and sighed. This ship may not be as strong or as fast as that monster, but theres one advantage we have, a C class carrier has better maneuverability at close range.

What just happened? Fortinbras growled.
They lifted up an entire side and evaded over half of our attacks. The commander said.
Damn it, how did they do that?-
We overpower the C class carrier in every field except for maneuverability at close range. Because theyre smaller and have less mass, they can move about easier than we ever could.-
Blast, Fortinbras stood up from his seat, his teeth and hands clutched tightly. I want you to destroy that thing no matter what!
Sir, over fifty percent of our artillery and outer defenses has been obliterated! Of that fifty percent and over, the majority of the damage has been on our fore and starboard batteries. A hundred percent has been permanently placed out of commission. That means that the foundation will be able to fire at us from the starboard and fore sides and not have to worry about any type of retaliation from us. Overcome with rage, Fortinbras stomped his foot on the ground in his frustration, causing the floor to crack.
Those bastards, we have no choice now. Well have to withdraw for the time being. Fortinbras scoured the coast. To the north there was a small peninsula, large enough for the ship to be docked until proper repairs were made. Land the ship at that peninsula. Well be able to work on the damage.
Yes sir.-
Until then, well just have to depend on the infantry to execute Mulian Arakis. I want the second wave deployed.-
Yes sir.-
More troops were deployed as the carrier withdrew.

Theyre withdrawing, sir. The operative said. The foundation is withdrawing to that skinny peninsula up the coast.
Shall we follow them? another operative asked.
We have then on the run and weve eliminated over half of their outer defenses. I dont see why not. The captain folded his arms in front of him. Why not, give the order to pursue.
Thats not a wise decision, sir. The lieutenant implied.
And whys that? the captain asked curiously.
In that skirmish, we too lost twenty-five percent of our outer defenses. To add, that last assault by the Aryan Faction managed to deliver crippling blows on us. There is a large gaping hole on the starboard bow of the ship and its a severe exposure. If the Aryans wanted to, they could exploit that weakness and hit the very core of the ship.-
Also, our own energy supply has been depleted by over a quarter, which means we have less than a quarter of what we started with when we fist landed. If we lose anymore power, this vessel will not be able to sustain itself airborne for long and will plummet. And itll be no more of use for anything except as a giant paperweight.-
What do you suggest we do then, Lieutenant?-
Well have to withdraw for the time being and regain our strength. We also need to make repairs on those gaping holes and cracks on our side.-
Very well then, our confrontation with the Aryans carrier will have to be postponed for a later date.-

Without further attempts to battle one another, the two great ships withdrew and the battle in the air had ceased for the time being. However, the battle on the ground of the Destiny Island was far from over. By now, the coastal part of the town had been demolished by the endless barrage of the Aryan Faction. Now, because Fortinbras men had gained numbers as well as ground, the forces of the Arakis Foundation could not hold for very long and many of them began to flee into the town.
Imetriarch Crassus and his loyal soldiers continued to fight even beyond their own capabilities. Five times the Aryans charged the line and five times they had been repulsed. Despite depleting numbers from every attack received, the bravery of Crassus men was a sight, which would be praised by scholars and historians for centuries to come. But such valor and bravery was not enough to hold back the swelling ranks of the Aryan Faction. Crassus slew another soldier before ceasing his bloodshed to gaze at the carnage that erupted around him. He looked on as one by one his favored and elite troops were killed one after another.
We wont last here much longer on the beaches, sir! one soldier cried before a bullet struck him at the temple, killing him instantly.
Theyre overpowering us! an officer said. We have to withdraw from here!
His Excellency instructs that we must protect this town. Crassus replied.
Weve lost over fifty percent of our men in the front line, sir and the Aryan ranks are still swelling, especially with the arrival of that second wave of troops. It will only be a matter of time before the Aryans overrun us.-
Damn it.-
I advise that we fall back into the town. At least well be able to hold off a better defense in a house to house and street to street combat tactic.-
I hope these people and His Excellency forgive me for what Im about to do. Crassus thought to himself. He later openly declared with a deep sigh. Very well, tell the men to fall back into town. Tell them to engage in hand to hand combat and surprise attacks. Do whatever possible to psychologically prevent these scumbags from advancing any further. We keep them near the coastal area.
Yes sir.-
The order was given and the Arakis Foundation soldiers withdrew from their positions on the beach. Smoke bombs were thrown as they retreated, concealing their movements.
We have them on the run! one Aryan faction officer cried. Drive them back! Track down Mulian Arakis and have him killed! But some of the soldiers were a little hesitant when that order was given. But their commanders word was law and they had no choice, but to obey.
In thin columns, the Aryan Faction ranks advanced across the bloodstained beach and into the town, passing the bodies of hundreds of slain soldiers in the process. Eyes wide open, tongues hanging out of their mouths, and limbs mangled in their final struggle, the dead was almost nightmarish, especially amongst the linger clouds of smoke made from the smoke bombs. The faction soldiers scurried into town, taking their positions behind fences, in courtyards, at the sides of buildings still standing, hoping to find the foundation forces, engage them, and destroy them. But like phantoms, the forces of the Arakis Foundation had vanished into thin air. More smoke bombs had been unleashed into the town. And the still air made the white clouds linger like a fog, making the atmosphere all the more foreboding to Fortinbras troops.
Only the sound of crackling fires from demolished buildings could be heard. Not a soul was in sight, say for a few scared civilians who had shut themselves up in their homes and were peeking from out of windows and doors.
Theres no sign of the foundation anywhere. One soldier said.
Theyre here. An officer replied. Be on your guard. The soldiers went deeper into the town and the surrounding countryside, their eyes visual for the enemy. Little did they realize that Crassus elites were hanging about the vicinity. The Arakis Foundation was still present, while one half stationed themselves to seal off the forces from the beach, the rest of the force lay in wait to ambush the soldiers from within the town. And because the Aryan Faction stumbled blindly about the town through the thickened screen of the smoke bombs, it made the task all the easier for the foundation to make their move.
Take them! Crassus shouted. Almost immediately, the foundation soldiers emerged from their hiding places and slew the Aryan soldiers with very little effort. The Aryans were left bewildered and fired blindly in the smoke, shooting at anything that moved. The shouts and screams of hundreds of soldiers could be heard as they attacked and basked, struck and slew, maimed and killed.
However, not all the attacks were successful. Some of the Aryan Faction soldiers emerged from the smoke, reaching the supposedly sheltered and secured area of the town, where the majority of the civilians still took shelter. And it was unfortunate that Kairi and Muli were in the same vicinity. Kairi had taken up two sharpened twin swords that she had used for daily solo practice, which is the reason for its sharpened edge. She had never once used her swords to kill. But now, with both the life of a young boy and the fate of her home at steak, Kairi had no other choice, but to take up arms.
She sat diligently, with Muli at her side, listening to the carnage that was taking place at the shoreline.
I cant believe this is happening. She said.
This is all my fault. Muli uttered. If I hadnt decided to land here&
You shouldnt blame yourself like that, Muli. You couldnt have predicted this any better than I or anyone else for that matter.-
But your homes, your people,-
At least you rallied them to defend us. Thats good enough for me. But Kairi realized her words alone would not comfort the boy. Mulis eyes dripped tears and he slumped down into a ball against the house they were beside. He hid his face, concealing his supposed shame. But Kairi only put her arms around him and nestled him tightly.
None of this is your fault. Dont beat yourself up. Youre still young, you dont need this kind of grief on you mind.-
But Im scared&-
Its alright, Muli. As long as youre with me, you have nothing to fear. I have learned from the best you know.-
Riku and Sora&?-
Thats right,-
Hey Kairi, a voice shouted. Kairi looked up to see Wakka, Tidus, and Selphie coming towards them, armed with their prized weapons. It was Selphie that gave the greeting. Im so glad to see that youre alright.
Were fine, Kairi replied. Im glad to see that you guys are okay too.
It looks like your friends caught up with you, kid. Tidus addressed Muli in a rather scornful manner. I told you guys that trouble would be coming with him. Now look, our hometowns being attacked by an aggressive band of misfits. Thats never happened before. Tidus gripped his fists. I mean if it wasnt for that brat,
Lay off, Tidus! Kairi stood up stern, defending Muli, Youve said enough!
But Kairi,-
You think its easy for Muli?! He never intended for this to happen! We were no more aware of the danger than he was! If we all were, Muli would never have landed here in the first place and the mayor would never have accepted to give him and his men shelter. Tidus, unable to find a suitable argument to back up his own view, backed down, uttering no further comment of cynicism. I was entrusted to protect Muli and thats what I plan on doing. Your job is to protect the citizens, so go and do it!
Understood, The three withdrew to help fight off any Aryan Faction soldiers that might have penetrated into the heart of town.
Thank you, Kairi. Muli said.
Its nothing to it. Tidus can be a jerk sometimes. I think he lets his heart run away with his head. He hasnt really been the same since he had that incident with General Triiken.-
Triiken&? Muli was stunned. Are you saying that one of the feared Gatler Generals was here?
Yeah, he came here looking for Riku and Sora. And unfortunately for Tidus, he was the first one Triiken encountered.-
I didnt know.-
Ever since then, Tidus hasnt really taken to trusting outsiders.-
I see, Muli looked up at Kairi, hoping to smile and assure her of his regained comfort. But his smile was turned into a frightful whimper. Kairi noticed this strange expression on the boys face.
Whats wrong, Muli? she asked.
Kairi, above you, he pointed to one of the rooftops. Kairi turned to look and found fifteen Aryan Troops glaring down at her and upon the ground, another ten. They were soldiers who managed to somehow find their way into the inland part of town and happened to stumble upon Mulian and his bodyguard.
Well, well, well, the officer in charge chuckled. What have we here? If it isnt the traitor, Mulian Arakis, and look, he has a bodyguard with him as well.
A female bodyguard. One soldier chuckled.
Not a bad looking one too. Another added. Maybe we could spare her for later.
I dont see why not.-
Mind your business, men. The officer said. We have a mission to fulfill. The soldiers descended from the roof and landed gently upon the ground. Give us the boy, girl! We have no beef with you&for now at least.-
Muli, Kairi implied, Get behind me. Muli quickly took shelter behind the young woman as she drew out her twin swords.
Now, now, the officer wooed, dont be foolish young lady. We have no quarrel with you personally. It doesnt have to end with your death. Just let us have the boy and you can walk away without a scratch.
Sorry, Kairi rose up her blades, I cant do that.
You can save yourself a lot of grief. Hand over that boy now!-
If you want him, come and get him! But youll have to go through me first! The officer only lowered his head and sighed. Then raised his eyes with a sinister smirk.
I hate to have to do this to such a fine young wench, but if you insist on getting in our way, then so be it. But dont expect my men to go easy on you.-
Are you done blathering? Kairis sarcastic tone somehow got under the officers skin.
Insolent girl, he drew out his saber from his scabbard. Men, kill that upstart female and the boy now! Put them in their place!
Yes sir, five of the soldiers attacked one at a time, believing that Kairi was no more than an arrogant amateur. But their perceptions soon proved false. Kairi did not hesitate and slew two of them without pause, at the same time maiming the other three. The soldiers were stunned at her abilities.
You little strumpet, the officer growled. How dare you strike down the elites of Lord Marcus Montague.
Save your squawking. Kairi replied.
Kill her! The next five attacked all at once. This time, they were not giving Kairi a chance to breathe. Kairi launched her own attack and battled all five at once. She was stabbed and slashed at, but she evaded, blocked, and countered as gracefully as any. One of the soldiers tried to pass her and go for young Mulian Arakis, but Kairi quickly threw herself in front of the soldiers and knocked him back. You thought it would be that easy to get by me? The officer was infuriated.
Come on, you idiots! Its just a girl youre fighting!-
Just a girl, am I? It looks like you got more than what you bargained for.-
Get in there, the lot of you and kill her!-
More of the elite soldiers attacked, sweeping at Kairi from all sides. Kairi had to do her best to keep them from smiting Muli, at the same time keeping an eye on her own safety.
Again, another soldier lunged forth and tried to strike Muli, but again Kairi fended him off. But no sooner had she forced back another trooper, two others lunged at her and swiped powerful blows upon her. Kairi could only block at the last moment. The impact of the blades was so great that both her swords were knocked out of her hand.
No, she uttered. The soldiers snickered.
It looks like theres no way out of this for you now. The officer chuckled.
Muli, Kairi said, Get out of here while you still can. Go,
But what about you, Kairi? Mulian asked.
Dont worry about me. Youre the one theyre after. Get out of here now.-
But Kairi,-
Do as I say, Mulian drew back his falling tears and quickly ran away. The officer watched as the boy mad his escape.
Go after him and kill him. He ordered.
Yes sir, five of the soldiers ran after Muli, leaving the others to finish off Kairi. They neared her little by little, the edges of their blades aimed at her fair blazon.
Theyll take care of that little traitor soon enough. He then glared back at Kairi. As for you, girl, your time is up here and now. Theres no way out for you this time. He gave the signal to his men. Kill her.
Five of the soldiers attacked without mercy. Kairi saw her life flash before her eyes as her final moments came towards her in the form of a dozen glittering blades.
So this is it? she thought to herself. I never got to see Riku and Sora and tell them good-bye.
But as it seemed fate had decided to shift Kairis fate towards death, it again swung about, denying her demise. From out of nowhere, the cloaked man appeared before her, revealing two large blades. With one strike, he slew all five men. The elites fell dead before his feet. His presence stunned the officer and the other troopers.
Who are you?
Theres no use giving my name to those who are about to die. The man replied.


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