WARNING. This chapter is horribly written. Like, oh my god, this is quite possibly the second worst thing I have put on this site. I plan on editing it very soon, but for the meantime, please, bear with me and sit through this. It gets much, much better a couple of chapters from now, but for the time being, you've just got to sit through it. Sorry about this. I'll be putting out a blog post letting everyone know when it is done being edited, but until that time, I apologize for what you're about to read.
The PSICOM troops started shooting at Sora and his friends, but their bullets were stopped by Rarity's reflect spell, sending the speeding pieces of metal back at the soldiers and killing them.
"In my defense, oops," said Rarity. Everyone approached the soldiers and checked them over. They were definitely dead, though no one wanted to kill anyone.
"They mentioned something called the purge," said Twilight. "What could that mean?"
"I don't know, but if they're bringing in armed forces, then it must be important," said Riku.
"Why don't we check it out?" suggested Sora. "Who knows. Maybe we'll find the portal to the dark realm in this 'Pulse'."
"It's worth a shot," said Riku. "We'll start by finding out what it is. Everyone, check around the beach, but be careful. No one's outside and the lights to that building we saw are off. Everyone travel in pairs. We'll meet back here in 15 minutes. Okay?" Everyone nodded. "Good."
The people and ponies split into teams of two as decided; Sora and Riku, Twilight and Pinkie, Rainbow and Applejack, and Rarity and Fluttershy. They all split up while Sora and Riku deciding to check the bar-like structure.
When they entered, the chairs and tables were knocked over and bullet holes covered the walls. There were a couple of dead civilians which Sora and Riku avoided. As they made their way through, Sora called out, "Is anyone here? Hello?"
A couple of voices appeared from one of the back store rooms. "Do you think it's them?" asked a male voice.
"I'm not sure," said a female voice. "They don't sound like them, and I can't hear any armor."
"Let's take a look, but don't get spotted," said the male. Sora and Riku looked toward where the voices were coming from to find two people, a man and a woman, exiting a storeroom. They both carried large pistols and were looking around nervously. When they spotted Sora and Riku, they dropped their weapons and cowered in a corner.
"What's going on?" asked Riku.
"Please, don't take us. We're not corrupted!" said the man.
"What do you mean?" asked Sora.
"It's PSICOM," said the woman, realizing that Sora and Riku meant no harm. "They're moving everyone to Pulse because they found a Pulse fal'Cie here in Bodhum."
"Um sorry, but we're not from around here. Could you explain what a fal'Cie is?" asked Sora.
The man sighed in annoyance. "I can't believe this," he said. "The fal'Cie are godlike creatures that provide everything we need for us. They help with government, food supply, just about anything you can imagine. Well, that is, Cocoon fal'Cie. They say Pulse fal'Cie are terrible. They rule Pulse but usually turn humans into l'Cie to do their dirty work. Where have you two been?"
"Oh, away," said Sora nonchalantly. "So what can we do to help?"
"You really think that you stand a chance against the fal'Cie? You two must be crazy," said the women. "*sigh* But if you're bent on ending your lives, you could join the purge voluntarily. Just head to the train station and if PSICOM stops you, let them take you to the station themselves."
"What about you two?" asked Riku.
"We aren't going down to that monster infested rat hole," said the man. "We wanna live our lives without being afraid of monsters chasing us or becoming l'Cie."
"Then there's nothing more we can do," said Riku. "Come on, Sora. Let's regroup." They left the couple to crawl back into the storeroom to hide while they exited through the main entrance. They met up with the ponies who were waiting for them on the beach.
"Sorry guys," said Twilight, "but it looks like no one's here. Did you find anything?"
"Yeah," said Sora. He told them about the world so far and what was going on.
"So if we join this purge thingy, then we can go to Pulse and find this fal'Cie thing?" asked Applejack.
"Yeah. It looks like it's causing everyone trouble. I think we should stop it."
"Guess we'd better find the train station then," said Twilight. Together, the group began their search, checking signs and traveling down a couple of streets. Eventually, they were stopped by PSICOM troops who were cleaning out the area.
"You lot, come 'ere," said one of the troops. "We're takin' you to the train station for the purge."
"Looks like you got us," said Sora. The group moved towards the guards and were led through the paved streets, eventually stopping at a big dome shaped building.
"Go inside there and follow the yellow line on the floor. You'll find a train that you can board to Pulse," said another one of the guards.
"Thanks," said Twilight. "Come on everyone. Let's go." The group did as they were told and followed the yellow line to a train platform. It seemed less crowded, telling that the purge was almost over. The last of the civilians were boarding the train to Pulse.
One person stood out to Sora above the other civilians. She had light pink, straight hair and was wearing some sort of a uniform, though it didn't look at all formal. She had one shoulder plate on her left shoulder and had a sword in a pouch hanging off her lower back.
The woman approached one of the PSICOM guards and, after what looked like a minor argument, she gave her sword to him. Twilight gasped when she saw the sword. "That's a- a- a-"
"Spit it out, Twi," said Rainbow Dash.
"A gunblade," she finished. The woman then passed through a gate and came out of the other side wearing a white robe with blue lines running down its length. The robe also had a hood to hide the wearer's face, though based on her position, Sora knew it was the woman.
A black man with a green coat and afro followed behind her and boarded the same car.
"Why's that important?" asked Sora. "I knew a guy who carried a sword that was also a gun."
"From what I could gather from a book I read, it takes incredible skill to wield one. No one could be that dexterous without extensive training and focus, especially to transform it so quickly."
"So what you're saying is, it's pretty hard?" asked Rainbow Dash.
"Yeah," replied Twilight in awe. "Whoever she is, she must be an incredible warrior."
"Well, let's get this over with," said Sora. The group moved as a whole and got into one of the lines. They were inspected by PSICOM troops before being allowed to move onto the gates.
When Sora stepped through, he felt another layer of clothing cover him and found that he was now wearing one of the robes over his normal clothes. He also had handcuffs on that were invisible under the robe's sleeves. "Hey, wait a minute! What's this for?" he said.
"Quiet you!" said one of the guards, aiming his rifle at Sora. He backed off and passed onto the train, soon followed by Riku and the ponies. They took seats altogether on the same side of the train.
When Sora sat down, he realized that he was sitting opposite to the woman with the light pink hair. "I'd move if you value your life," she said in a cold tone. This spooked Sora, but he held his ground.
"And why's that?" he asked back.
"I said be quiet!" said the guard that had threatened him before. It seemed that he had made it onto the train too.
The train soon got moving and departed from the Bodhum station, making its way down a track that was shielded by a glass cover. "You sure about this?" asked the black man who was now sitting next to the pink haired woman.
"Quiet," she said back.
The man hung his head slightly. "Best of luck," he said.
As the train descended into a cavern, what looked like some sort of security checkpoint was rapidly approaching. The barrier that covered the checkpoint turned a deep red, signalling a stop, but the train kept moving and picking up speed.
The train suddenly shook as it impacted the barrier, shattering it and making the guard stumble. The pink haired woman used this moment to jump from her seat, grab the guard by the neck and jump over him, snapping his neck. As she came down, she landed on top of a controller that the guard had been carrying. When the controller broke, the handcuffs on everyone's hands were released. "She did it," said the black man. He threw of his robe like everyone else and Sora, Riku, and the ponies did the same.
The door opened and two guards ran in. The pink haired woman used her robe to stop the bullets and charged toward the soldiers. She brought them down with a swift kick to their faces and picked up a rifle. "Come on," said Sora. "We have to help." The group charged after the pink haired woman and summoned their keyblades. She was already charging through the cars, absolutely destroying the PSICOM forces. She recovered her gun blade from one of the weapon racks and kept moving until she reached the head car. Everyone met up with her while the black man led a group of civilians with guns who joined the group as well.
The train passed into a massive underground cavern with glowing green lights and hundreds of train tracks floating in mid air above a massive chasm. There were also PSICOM vehicles flying around above the tracks. Unfortunately, they looked armed.
The ships began firing on several trains, even destroying a few. When they found the group's train, they started shooting at it like the rest. This time however, the pink haired woman took a rocket launcher from the black man and fired a rocket at an oncoming ship. It exploded and its fireball fell to the bottom of the chasm.
The train kept moving, the other PSICOM fighters discouraged, until a massive snake like robot with saw bladed arms rose from the chasm and landed on the back of the train. It came to a complete stop and the civilians jumped off and ran, followed soon after by Sora and his group, the pink haired woman, and the black man.
The woman climbed to the top of the train. Before the black man could make his way up, Sora stopped him. "Excuse me, but who are you two?" he asked.
"I'm Sazh," said the man. "Her? I don't know. Didn't ask, but she's Guardian Core. A soldier." Sazh then scrambled up to the roof of the train.
Sora, Riku, and the ponies jumped up after him and found themselves face to face with the robot that attacked the train and stopped it. On both of its arms, it had four large saw blades that spun individually or together, depending on the machine's desired attack pattern. It rumbled loudly and swung its arms in a challenging way as if to say, "Come at me."
"And who are you?" asked Riku to the pink haired woman.
"Lightning," she said back quickly. Lightning then drew her gun blade and Sazh drew a pair of pistols. The keyblade warriors summoned their weapons as well and prepared for a fight.
"Let's get it," said Rainbow Dash, determination in her eyes.
Sazh, Pinkie, Rarity, Twilight, and Fluttershy stood back and supported the assault team from far away which consisted of Lightning, Sora, Applejack, and Rainbow Dash. The machine took only a few powerful combined attacks to annoy it. It swung both of its massive arms toward the group which jumped back to dodge.
The machine suddenly jumped back (if it's possible for a machine without legs to jump by using its rockets) and hovered in midair. It stuck its two razor sharp "hands" into the train car and seemed to be stuck.
"Ha! Not so tough now, are ya!" taunted Sazh.
"Don't encourage it," said Sora in annoyance. As if on cue, the machine started to increase its rocket's thrust, trying to pull the train car off of the tracks.
"Whoa, that wasn't like a challenge or anything!" said Sazh. The machine started to pull on the car and rip it apart, carrying the others with it. "Time to go!" he said as he, Lightning, and the keyblade wielders turned to run. The train was quickly coming apart as the machine continued to pull. The group had to jump from car to car to avoid the machine's destructive rampage.
When they finally stopped, they were several cars down and completely out of breath. Lightning seemed to be the only one who was still able to fight. Sazh joined her and together, they brought down the massive machine with a few final shots and strokes of the sword as it landed on the party's new car. When it fell, it fell right off the side of the road that the train car was on. It dropped into the chasm below, hopefully never to be seen again.
Sazh fell backwards and landed on his back. "Whew. We did it," he huffed in exhaustion.
"Yeah," said Twilight.
"Let's do it again!" said Pinkie, now finding energy to bounce around.
"Come on, guys," said Riku. "We've gotta find a way to the fal'Cie."
At hearing this, Sazh shrank back. "What do you want with the fal'Cie?" he asked.
"It sounds like it's been causing a lot of trouble for the people up above," said Sora. "We wanted to help."
Sazh seemed to be deep in thought. "Yeah. To help." There was a small pause before he said, "So soldier, what are doing down here? You're Sanctum aren't you?" as he addressed Lightning.
"I was," she said back. And that was the end of it. Lightning jumped off of the train car and landed on the road that the train had been following.
"What's her problem?" asked Sora.
"I have no idea. Just met her." Sazh noticed Lightning creating distance between her and the group. "Hey! Wait up!"
As Sazh was scrambling off of the top of the train car, Sora stopped him. "We'll cover the aerial defense. You follow Lightning and travel on foot."
"And how are you gonna fly?" asked Sazh. Sora, Riku, and the ponies all activated their armor, then summoned their keyblades and their vehicles. "Oh," said Sazh. He almost looked scared while he looked at the vehicles. He snapped out of it though. "Okay," he said. "Get goin'!"
Sora and Riku flew off in one direction while the ponies flew off in another. Together, they fought off the aerial enemies and defended Lightning and Sazh on the ground. Every now and again, Sora would heal Sazh and Lightning if they began to lose some of their energy.
Eventually, Lightning and Sazh came to an impasse. The bridge had fallen apart and a gaping pit was their only option. Lightning snapped her fingers and a small cloak of electricity covered her. "Whoa, wait! Hold on!" yelled Sazh. He grabbed her as she tried to jump and held her back.
Lightning ran out of energy and touched back down on the bridge. "Crap," she cursed. "Great. Now what do we do?" Sora and Riku pulled up next to them.
"Just hop on here," said Sora as he jumped off of his platform and landed on the bridge. "Go on," he said.
Apprehensively, Lightning jumped onto the platform and was soon joined by Sazh. Slowly, Riku flew off toward the other end of the bridged that was broken off. When they were getting ready to land, the whole cave began to shake.
A hole opened in the ceiling of the cave to reveal a massive cross-shaped structure falling into the cavern. It had massive green wires draping off of it and it was glowing a bright neon green. It was already under attack by the PSICOM aerial troops and their vehicles.
"Is that our target?" asked Riku.
"Yeah," said Lightning. "If you can bring us in close, we can jump and get inside."
"Right," said Riku. He began speeding toward the structure as it slowed its descent into the depths of the cavern.
"Hold up," said Sazh. "You're sayin' we have to jump into that thing?!"
"That's the idea," said Lightning coldy. As soon as they pulled in close, Lightning launched off of the platform and grabbed onto the side of the structure as it shook, coming to a stop. Sazh quickly joined her and they pulled themselves up onto a nearby platform.
"Thanks for your help," shouted Lightning before walking through what looked like a maintenance hatch in the side of the structure. Sazh quickly followed and the hatch closed.
"Everyone, regroup," said Riku over a communications device in his helmet. "Meet at my position. Twilight, can you pick up Sora?"
Static came through the com before Twilight replied. "Yes. I'm on my way to him now." A loud whooshing sound echoed out over the uproar of the guns and vehicles in the cavern as Twilight found Sora and came to a stop. She opened up her barrier of magic and motioned for him to jump on.
"Thanks," he said as he jumped into the magical barrier. He stood next to Twilight and got into his combat stance. His keyblade glowed blue and a third orb of magic began circling Twilight's magic barrier. "I'll help out," he said. As he spoke, ten PSICOM vehicles flew up from under a bridge and charged at Sora and Twilight.
The vehicles suddenly exploded as many magic bolts and lasers lanced through them from above. The rest of the mane six flew down and hovered next to Sora and Twilight. They all nodded to Twilight and together, they flew off to join Riku.
When they arrived, they hovered near the platform that Lightning and Sazh had used and jumped onto it. They deactivated their armor and dismissed their vehicles before opening the maintenance door and walking in.
As they made their way through the hallways of the structure, Sora asked the group, "Hey, how come we haven't run into any heartless yet?"
"Maybe they haven't found this world yet," said Riku.
"That, or they can't find us," said Twilight.
"No that can't be," said Sora. "They hunt keyblade wielders for two major reasons. The first being that if they have a keyblade warrior on their side, then they've got another way to collect hearts and consume them. Also, the heartless fear the keyblade above all else because it can destroy them. That's why they want it gone."
"Then why haven't we seen any if they're hunting us?" asked Rainbow Dash.
"I don't know," said Riku. "But they'll show up eventually. And when they do, we have to be ready."
On cue, the group had to stop as many shadows rose from the ground around them, blocking their path. A second later, they exploded in darkness as many bullets lanced through them. When the darkness cleared, Sora, Riku, and the ponies could see Sazh running towards them, his pistols drawn and smoking. "Hey!" he yelled.
"Sazh!" said Rarity. "Wherever is Lightning?"
"She's up ahead waitin' for me. I got a bad feelin', so I came back to search for you guys. Looks like I was right. Let me tell ya though, she is NOT happy about havin' to wait."
"Then let's hurry up and get back to her," said Rainbow Dash impatiently.
"Right," said everyone else simultaneously. They started charging down the hall of the structure while it seemingly increased in size. As they kept running, Sora asked the question.
"Why do the halls look like they're getting bigger?"
"It's because they are," said Sazh. "This area was designed for larger mechs and other types of fal'Cie troops to leave the station through special docking areas. The halls will return to normal in a few minutes."
"Wait," said Twilight as they continued running. "Does that mean that we could run into one of those creatures?"
"Well, I guess," said Sazh, worry working its way into his voice. "I can't hear anything though, so we should be safe."
The floor of the hallway suddenly shook, opening up a crack in the floor. Out of it poured massive quantities of darkness that pooled together to create a darkside heartless. Everyone stepped back a little as it rose from the ground, its hands dripping with darkness.
"Hold your ground!" yelled Sora as the darkside grew larger and larger. Suddenly, a massive black sword appeared in its hand. It gripped the sword and swung it at the group. Sora knew what was coming. That sword was made of pure darkness, and one swing would be all the ponies would have to take to lose their hearts. Even Sora and Riku wouldn't be able to endure in their current state of ability loss. Though they hadn't lost everything, they had lost enough to effect their endurance and their magic capacity.
As the sword came closer and closer, the group prepared for the end, yet it never came. Sora shut his eyes and held up his keyblade in defense, but when he heard the clank of metal on metal, he didn't feel anything collide with his keyblade. He opened his eyes to get a good look what happened when he saw an equine figure in a brown robe stopping the darkside's sword with a keyblade. Wait. Another keyblade user?!
The figure's keyblade had a navy blue and purple hand guard and blade, with the navy blue being the bottom half of the blade and the purple being the top half. A white crescent moon was the key bit. The handle was white and on one half of the hand guard, several pictures of the moon in its different phases were etched into the metal. The key chain had a crescent moon surround by black metal hanging on it.
The figure shouted in a powerful, female voice, "Go! I shall hold back this monster!" No one moved. "Now!" the figure shouted again, this time using the royal Canterlot voice which Twilight recognized. Before she could ask, Sora had grabbed her by the hoof and was trying to pull her along.
"Come on!" he yelled to Twilight. "We have to go!" Twilight unwillingly went with Sora and the rest of the group, hopping the massive gap that the heartless had created to keep running down the hall.
After running for a few minutes, the hallway ended abruptly at a massive door with the symbol of a Pulse l'Cie. Lightning stood in front of it, striking it over and over with her Blazefire Saber. As she heard the foot/hoof steps behind her, she spun and pointed the now exposed barrel of her gun blade at Sora, Riku, Sazh, and the ponies. "Whoa. Easy there," said Sazh as he held up his hands in surrender.
Lightning lowered her sword as she said, "What are you all doing here?"
"Sazh came back for us," said Pinkie.
"Did he now," said Lightning, shooting a small, barely noticeable glare at the gunman. She then turned and continued to slice at the barrier, but to no avail.
"What are you doing?" asked Sora as the group got closer to the door.
"Trying to bring down the barrier," said Lightning, maintaining her concentration on the door. She stopped and lowered her sword saying, "It's no use."
"Let me try," said Sora. He summoned his keyblade and pointed it at the barrier. From its tip, he fired a beam of light at the door. When it impacted, it spread across the barrier, shimmering slightly before extinguishing and leaving it untouched. Sora sighed as he dismissed his keyblade.
Lightning's face showed that she came up with an idea. "Cover your ears," she ordered. Sora, Riku, and the ponies gave a look of confusion.
Sazh suddenly ran a few yards away saying, "Oh, a blast charge? Hold up, hold up." When he was ducking, he said, "Okay okay, go ahead!" The rest of the group quickly got the message and did the same.
While the group crouched, Lightning put her hand on the door and whispered, "I'm sorry. Please, let me in." After a couple of seconds, the barrier disappeared and the door began to creak and slide open.
Sora opened his eyes to a strange sight. The figure that had protected them from the darkside went spiraling over his head and broke down the now unprotected door. He had been facing away from the door initially, giving him the view he needed. When he turned back down the hall, he could see the darkside, now pulsing with dark energy all over its body and holding a sword three times the width of the one before. It was practically running down the hall after the figure it had sent sailing through the door.
"Lightning, Sazh, go through!" yelled Riku. The group summoned their keyblades and faced the darkside as it got closer and closer, finally stopping when it was 20 yards away. Sazh wasted no time in turning to run, but stopped when he noticed that Lightning wasn't following him. He turned back around and ran toward the group which had been joined by Lightning.
"No chance," she said. "It looks like you'll need all the help you can get."
Sazh ran up next to her. "Oh, I know I'm gonna regret this," he said as he pulled out his pistols. With their team all set, Sora shouldered his weapon and charged forward, followed by Riku, the ponies, Lightning, and Sazh.
Before anyone could unleash an attack, the heartless swung its massive sword across the group, striking all of the ponies and Sazh. Lightning, Riku, and Sora managed to jump to dodge it, but were soon hit by the heartless's back swing which did significantly less damage. They were launched back and landed heavily on the floor of the corridor.
Sora picked himself up and watched in horror as Sazh and the ponies were slowly lifted into the air. Their eyes opened slightly as their chests began to glow a bright yellow and pink. Hearts left their bodies and floated toward the darkside which grabbed them in its black hands and put it in its own chest cavity which, as mentioned before, was a massive heart shaped hole. Sazh's and the ponys' hearts floated in the center of the heart shaped hole and stayed there as their bodies dropped to the floor, motionless.
"NO!" everyone yelled simultaneously.
"Come on," said Lightning as she picked herself up. "We have to focus." She used a Mega-Potion on the group to restore their health before rushing at the darkside, attacking its hands over and over again. Sora and Riku joined in, swinging at different parts of the darkside and getting mixed results.
As the darkside swung again, Riku and Sora cast reflect all at the same time, creating a massive shield that not only caused the sword to bounce off, but reflected all of the damage back at the darkside who was knocked onto its massive back.
The group took this opportunity to jump onto the darkside's body and attack its head relentlessly, dealing great damage to the massive heartless. Meanwhile, Sora jumped off of the darkside into the air and pointed his keyblade at Sazh's and the ponys' trapped hearts. He fired a beam of light at them, releasing them back to their owners who jumped up up at once and continued fighting.
Sazh immediately started firing his machine pistols at the darkside's hand which still held its sword. When one of the bullets struck his wrist, the hand and sword disappeared into darkness all at once. The ponies noticed this and, when they also saw the darkside's weakened state, they all activated their elements of harmony and fired their massive rainbow beam at the heartless. This time, though, the beam came from their keyblades.
When the attack met with the darkside, it began to glow a bright white before disappearing and releasing... a heart? Sora noticed this and when everyone had relaxed, he asked Twilight how she managed to get a heart out of the darkside.
"It must have been the elements of harmony," she said. "They helped defeat Nightmare Moon a few years ago and restore her to Princess Luna. Maybe they found that heart in the darkness."
"But only emblem heartless release hearts when defeated," said Riku. "The others don't."
"Maybe the elements of harmony found the heart in the pure blood's deep darkness," said Fluttershy from the back of the group. Everyone turned towards her in shock because for the most part, she had been quiet for the trip so far.
"Could be," said Sora as he crossed his arms in thought. A slight groan came from the destroyed door where the keyblade wielding figure had landed. "Come on. Let's go see what happened."
As the group approached, the figure held up a hoof (?) and opened a dark portal. Riku looked on in shock as the figure picked itself up and hobbled through the portal. Riku charged after the figure as everyone yelled behind him, "Wait!"
He jumped through the portal and it began to waver. "Wait up!" yelled Rainbow Dash as she flew toward the portal and inside of it, causing it to collapse and shut behind her. Everyone looked at where the portal used to be in shock before Sora spoke up.
"Come on everyone. Let's get moving."
"But Rainbow Dash and Riku are gone," said Twilight, fear lining her voice.
"They'll be fine," said Sora. "Riku was once stuck in the dark realm and he fell to the darkness. But he found his way back. If anyone can protect Rainbow Dash, it's him." Twilight looked at him skeptically before turning back to Lightning and Sazh who would have had their jaws hanging open had they not had more self control.
"So where did those three go?" asked Sazh.
"They went to the realm of darkness. Or at least, they passed through it," said Sora.
"What's that?" asked Lightning.
"No time to explain. You two came here for a reason, right?" asked Sora.
Realization dawned on Lightning's face and she said, "Serah." She suddenly turned and hopped over the wreckage of the door and ran down the hall. Sazh sighed.
"Man, that girl can't sit still," he said as he turned to follow her. Sora and Twilight exchanged a glance before they too started running after Sazh and Lightning.
As they group battled their way through strange creatures and monsters, they eventually reached the center of the structure. There, they were met by a young boy, another girl, and a man in a white coat and a black bandana on his head.
"Snow? What are you doing here?" Lightning said coldly.
"I came to find Serah," said the man in the white coat, now identified as Snow.
"She doesn't need your help."
"She's my bride-to-be. I'm going to find her and protect her."
"I said she doesn't need your help!" yelled Lightning as she swung at Snow, knocking him on his back. He picked himself up and wiped his mouth.
"Please listen to me. You can't shut me out like this."
"You don't deserve it. You don't deserve her, especially after the crap you've pulled." No sound filled the massive room that the group stood in except for that of machinery and far off creatures.
Lightning started walking up another flight of steps, with Snow, the girl, and the boy looking after her. "So who are you three?" asked Twilight. The boy stepped back, not expecting a horse to be talking but stood still again.
"I'm Snow, and this is Vanille," he said as he pointed to the girl, "and Hope," he finished pointing to the boy.
"Hiya," said Vanille cheerfully. Pinkie Pie recognized the cheerfulness in her voice and ran towards her.
"Hi! I'm Pinkie Pie!" she said enthusiastically as she shook the girl's hand. "And that's Twilight, Rarity, Fluttershy, Applejack, and Sora," she said as she motioned to her friends.
"Hey," said Hope slowly to the group. Fluttershy walked over to him and timidly held out her hoof. He slowly took it and shook gently.
Fluttershy's eyes softened and she suddenly embraced Hope. "I'm so sorry," she said slowly, looking to be on the edge of tears, but for no apparent reason. Hope returned the gesture after a few seconds and started to cry slowly. When they were done, they separated and rejoined their groups.
"Come on," said Snow. "We'd better catch up to Lightning."
The group started making their way up the steps, but weren't half way up when Lightning called out above, "Serah?" That was all Snow needed to hear before he started sprinting up the steps. When the other people and the ponies got to the top, they found Lightning and Snow talking to another girl with light pink hair, apparently, Serah.
"You made it," said Serah weekly. She fell to the ground and Lightning and Snow rushed to her side.
"Serah, what's wrong?" asked Lightning fearfully.
"...save us," said Serah. "You can save us. Protect us all. Save Cocoon."
"Save Cocoon. Serah, that was your focus?" asked Lightning.
"Anything. I'll do anything," said Snow quickly. "Leave it to me -- You'll see. I'll protect Cocoon. I'll save everyone!"
"Somehow, I'll make things right," said Lightning. Sora, Hope, Vanille, and the ponies watched what was going on, partially with sympathy and partially with confusion.
"Thank... you," finished Serah. She closed her eyes and began glowing blue while slowly lifting up into the air.
"Serah?" said Snow, fear evident in his voice. "Serah? SERAH!"
After about 30 seconds, Serah had been completely covered in crystal and was now transparent. Snow fell to his knees and Hope spoke up. "So it's true," he said. "When a l'Cie completes their focus, they become crystal and are given eternal life." Lightning shut her eyes for a second before opening them, rage present. She started running up another (and the last) set of stairs and towards a massive, unshielded door. It opened for her and she ran in. The group automatically followed her and entered the massive door.
Inside, they found themselves in a dimly lit hall. They could hear Lightning's footsteps as she continued to run. Together, Sazh, Snow, Vanille, Hope, Sora, and the ponies followed her until they came to another locked door which Lightning was relentlessly attacking. "I got it," said Sora. He held up his keyblade and fired a beam of light at the door, this time dropping the barrier and allowing the group to move through.
When they entered through the door, they found themselves in front of a massive machine-like creature. "There's the fal'Cie," said Sazh in wonder. "Let's end this."
"Right," said Sora as he summoned his keyblade. Sazh, Snow, Vanille, and Lightning were already attacking the creature as it swung at them with two giant, metal, rotating blades that oddly resembled those found in a pencil sharpener. "Come on, everyone."
"Um, are sure that's such a good idea?" asked Fluttershy, shrinking back towards the door. Hope was just returning from trying to run.
"I guess we don't have a choice," he said as he pulled out his airwing. Fluttershy nodded and summoned her keyblade along with everyone else that could wield one.
"Sora, attack the two blades while we focus on its body," said Lightning over the constant sound of metal striking metal.
"Right," said Sora. "Everyone, focus on the blades!" he ordered to his team. Rarity and Fluttershy stood back and supported the team with Cure and Reflect spells, making the damage that the group had sustained zero.
"Ars Arcanum!" yelled Sora. His keyblade glowed yellowish orange and he began relentlessly striking one of the blades, breaking it apart. He quickly jumped to the other one and began swinging at it before the skill wore off.
Finally, the second blade was destroyed and the fal'Cie was beginning to lose its health at a faster rate as everyone in the room began attacking it, chaining together their attacks to bring devastating damage to the god-like creature.
Suddenly, the group was knocked back by one of the blades that Sora thought he had destroyed. It turned out that the blade had regenerated and was now pounding at the downed group, incapacitating Applejack, Fluttershy, Sazh, Vanille, Hope, and even Sora.
Roxas got up out of Sora and summoned the oathkeeper and oblivion keyblades before charging straight at the body of the fal'Cie, dodging the blades with expert precision and being supported by the barely standing Rarity, Snow, and Lightning. Snow and Lightning began focusing their attention on the giant spinning blades while Rarity protected them with Reflect. Roxas, meanwhile, was unleashing wave after wave of different attacks of Sora's such as Ars Arcanum, Strike Raid, Sonic Blade, and Ragnarok. He even managed to execute the Trinity limit(1). Long story short, the damage was immense. Finally, the fal'Cie had had enough. It summoned high powered lasers and fired them at the group, downing Lightning, Snow, and finishing off Rarity. Roxas was now the only one standing, and he didn't plan on wasting a second. He spun his keyblades and slowly brought them closer to each other until they began to grind together, showering the area in sparks. When he stopped spinning the keyblades and the sparks ended, a single keyblade appeared in the air; the Two-Become-One keyblade.
He took it from the air and with it launched a massive beam of light into the fal'Cie. The overload of energy destroyed the lasers and blades permanently, allowing Roxas to finish the fal'Cie off by pounding it over and over with his own limit break, in which his keyblade glows white and when ever he swings, columns of light follow the path of his keyblade to strike far off targets.
When the fal'Cie began to shut down, Roxas cast Curaga on the entire group, resurrecting Sora and causing himself to disappear.
The metal beneath everyone opened and they began to fall. They were suddenly caught by strands of blue energy from the dying fal'Cie. Sora and the ponies watched helplessly as Snow, Lightning, Vanille, Hope, and Sazh began screaming in pain as the fal'Cie imprinted something on their bodies.
Then they were all dropped, free falling to their doom.
When they awoke, they were all lying on some sort of crystal. When they picked themselves up, they looked around to see that the entire area was covered in an ice-like texture. It appeared to be water that had been transformed into crystal. "Lake Bresha," said Sazh slowly in wonder. "It's crystal."
Before the rest of the group could marvel at the scene, a squad of PSICOM soldiers came around the corner. "Survivors!" shouted the leader. "Shoot them!" Bullets flew as Snow ran forward to meet them. When he thought he was going to break one of their noses behind their helmets, he instead unleashed an ice-covered punch that froze all of the soldiers at once.
Snow jumped back and marveled at what had just happened. "You just used magic," said Hope, despair lining his voice. "That was magic. Only l'Cie can use magic like that. You're an enemy of the state!" Snow checked his arm and he found a strange tattoo on it. It was the mark of a Pulse l'Cie. He took a step back, almost as if he was afraid of his arm.
The rest of the group started checking over themselves. Sure enough, everyone had been marked a l'Cie. That is, everyone except for Sora and the ponies.
"Why aren't you l'Cie?" asked Sazh to Sora and the ponies.
"Maybe it's the world. Maybe because we're outsiders, the rules are different," said Twilight.
"Yeah. Just like in Port Royal," said Sora, checking himself over.
"Port Royal?" asked Vanille, confused.
"Oh, it's nothing," said Sora with a barely noticeable wink to Twilight.
"So what should we do now?" asked Pinkie.
"Well, we still haven't found the keyhole," said Sora, thinking to himself. "Our keyblades haven't reacted. Let me try something." Sora summoned his keyblade and began focusing his light into it, urging it to branch out. Finally, he felt his light bounce back at him, acting like a sonar. "There," he said, pointing to the next hill. "The keyhole must have been under the lake."
Together, the l'Cie and the group made their way over the crystal waves and found themselves in a small crystal clearing. Sora held up his keyblade and a keyhole appeared in the side of one of the crystal waves. Sora jumped back a foot, twirled his keyblade and pointed it at the hole. He fired a beam of light into the hole and a loud click resounded throughout the crystal lake.
Sora turned to Lightning and her team. "Well, we'd better get going."
"Goin' where?" asked Sazh.
"To another mrmphpmpr-" said Pinkie as Twilight covered her mouth.
"Can't say," said Twilight. "But we'll come back."
"Okay," said Vanille. "I guess we'll see you then," she finished with a smile which Pinkie heartily returned.
"Goodbye," said Sora as he turned away. He started walking and the ponies followed close behind, ready to activate their armor and fly off.
Sora decided to fly with Twilight again as his main mode of transportation was off in Faust knows where.
Once in space, the group continued flying, searching for anymore worlds that could possibly house a portal to the dark realm. They also had a new goal. Hunt down Riku and Rainbow Dash.
Eventually, they came to another world. One that was heartwarmingly familiar.