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Introduction

I started this project on 8 September 2011 (I think), because I love the story of 358/2 Days, but there are several things about having to actually play the game that irritate me (terrible graphics for the most part, boring gameplay, way too many difficult bosses, tiny print, etc.). It frustrates and saddens me that Days, unlike most of the other KH games, cannot be enjoyed from the cutscenes alone, which makes it less accessible - particularly since neither the manga nor the novels have been officially translated, and even if they were, they still deviate significantly from canon. (For the record, I actually like the manga a lot better than the game, but I'm a purist.)

So, since I enjoy summarizing my favorite stories (though in this case it is transcribing the entire script), this is my way of "fixing" as many of the problems with playing Days as are in my power to "fix." This Web page will be updated whenever I feel that I have made significant progress. This is my third time playing the game, if anyone's interested.

Kingdom Hearts: 358/2 Days
Video game copyright Disney; developed by Square Enix / h.a.n.d.
*This version: 3 December 2011, Standard Mode*


Note: Although I have recorded them in chronological order here, the Secret Reports are not available to the player until the game has been completed, and therefore may contain spoilers.

Days 1-50 | Days 51-100 | Days 101-150 | Days 151-200 | Days 201-250 | Days 251-300 | Days 301-358

Sax speaks in a voiceover as the camera pans over the Organization members assembled in the Round Room.

"Pitiful Heartless, mindlessly collecting hearts. The rage of the Keyblade releases those hearts. They gather in darkness, masterless and free, until they weave together to make Kingdom Hearts. And when that time comes, we can truly, finally exist."

As Hikaru Utada's "Passion" begins to play, the scene changes to a dreamscape of Roxas and Axel sitting atop the clock tower, sharing a final farewell. Roxas lost the battle in the Dive to the Heart, and must soon truly merge with Sora.

AXEL: Roxas....are you really sure that you don't have a heart?

ROXAS: I dunno. I can't...just look inside. But I figure...if there is something in there - inside us - then we'd feel it, wouldn't we?

AXEL: True enough.

Axel chuckles and hands over an ice cream bar, also holding another one for himself. Roxas looks at it in surprise, then laughs and accepts.

No. I - XEMNAS
Organization XIII's leader. Through power over nothing, he seeks power over everything.
Weapon: Ethereal Blades
No. II - XIGBAR
Founding member. He keeps an ear to the ground and a finger on the trigger. Manipulates space.
Weapon: Arrowguns
No. III - XALDIN
Founding member. A warrior with a silver tongue. He carries six lances, and can harness the wind.
Weapon: Lances
No. IV - VEXEN
Founding member. A brilliant scientist with dominion over ice...and a personality to match.
Weapon: Shield
No. V - LEXAEUS
Founding member. Tremendously strong, but surprisingly quiet - stalwart as the earth itself.
Weapon: Axe Sword
No. VI - ZEXION
Founding member. An intellectual with no room for feelings. He can create illusions at will.
Weapon: Lexicon
No. VII - SAX
Second in command who longs for the heart he does not have. Only the moon breaks his icy calm.
Weapon: Claymore
No. VIII - AXEL
An assassin who puts his own agenda first, and everything else on the back burner. Wields fire.
Weapon: Chakrams
No. IX - DEMYX
Prefers to kick back with his sitar, and leave the dirty work to the water under his command.
Weapon: Sitar
No. X - LUXORD
Life, to him, is just a game to be won...and he has all the time in the world to do it.
Weapon: Cards
No. XI - MARLUXIA
In the arc of his scythe, flowers grow and all else perishes. His pretty face hides ugly motives.
Weapon: Scythe
No. XII - LARXENE
Wields sharp knives and a sharper tongue. Her lightning strikes as quick as her temper.
Weapon: Knives
A newly-created young Nobody stands in front of the gates of Twilight Town's mansion, nearly an empty shell. Xemnas, hooded, appears out of a dark corridor and approaches.


XEMNAS: You seek answers.

The Nobody nods. Xemnas sweeps his hand in front of him, forming shimmering letters in the air that spell the name SORA.

XEMNAS: I can give you purpose.

The letters are re-arranged until they spell a new name: ROXAS.

No. XIII - ROXAS
A boy, newly aware of himself. His light shines as bright and brief as the setting sun.
Weapon: Keyblade


Roxas whispers his new name aloud.

XEMNAS: That is right - the new you.

The scene changes to Roxas walking across Tram Common in Twilight Town, then pausing to watch Hayner, Pence, and Olette pass by as they eat ice cream. Axel comes up and claps Roxas on the shoulder. His voice speaks in a voiceover as the scene changes again, to him and Roxas, who is still in street clothes, eating ice cream on the clock tower.


"Man, I miss the old times. Still got it memorized? The day we met, when you got your new name, you and I sat right here, just like this, and watched the sun set."

Day 255 ~Why the Sun Sets Red~

Roxas sits alone on the clock tower, gazing off into the distance.

AXEL: You're early.

Roxas looks over to see him standing by the corner. Axel walks over to sit next to him.

ROXAS (teasingly): No, you're just late.

Axel grins, and they start eating their ice cream.

ROXAS: Today makes 255.

AXEL: What's that about?

ROXAS: It's been that many days since I first joined the Organization. Man, time flies.

AXEL: So, you got the number memorized, do you?

ROXAS: Yeah. Have to hang onto something, right? It's not like I have memories from before the Organization. Don't you remember? I acted like a zombie.

AXEL (putting a hand on his shoulder): Right, that first week you could barely form a sentence. *clapping him on the back with playful condescension* But come on, you're still kind of a zombie.

ROXAS (swiping at him): Oh, thanks!

They laugh and look back out at the sunset.

AXEL: Hey, Roxas. Bet you don't know why the sun sets red. You see, light is made up of lots of colors. And out of all those colors, red is the one that travels the farthest.

ROXAS: Like I asked! Know-it-all.

They laugh again. After they've finished their ice cream, Roxas fiddles unhappily with the stick and then glances back at the empty corner.

ROXAS: Seriously, where is she?

Axel, who has been lounging comfortably, now frowns and sits up, though he says nothing.

A few months later, as Roxas sits depressed on the clock tower after losing everything that was important to him, he is thinking to himself.

"You gotta figure, everything starts someplace. The closest thing for me is when I was just seven days old, and I met her."

Day 7 ~Number XIV~

In the castle of the World That Never Was, Roxas awakens in his room. He slowly sits up, then gets out of bed and leaves. Entering the Grey Area, he sees four figures. An older man is sitting on a couch on one side of the room who has long, graying black hair, an eyepatch, and a large, jagged facial scar. A blonde woman is relaxing in a chair on the other side; a red-haired man is gazing out the full-length windows at the dark, empty sky outside; and a man with long blue hair and a large, X-shaped facial scar is presiding at the head of the room. Roxas walks around and speaks to them all.


XIGBAR [the battle-scarred man]: Hey, Roxas. Welcome to the program, as they say.

LARXENE [the woman]: Eww. You're awake?

SAX [the one in charge]: Today's is an important meeting. I expect everyone to be on time.

Roxas approaches the red-haired man, who turns to face him.


AXEL: Heya, Roxas.

ROXAS: ......

AXEL: Something I can help you with there, chatterbox?

ROXAS: ......

Axel folds his arms thoughtfully.

AXEL: Ah, I remember now. We were supposed to convene in the Round Room today. Blegh, meetings...

ROXAS: Round...Room...?

AXEL: Yup. Apparently the boss man's got some big news. Wanna head over there now?

{ROXAS: Not yet.

AXEL: Okay, just holler when you're ready. Not like you can find it on your own, right?

When Roxas finishes looking around, he comes back to Axel.

AXEL: So whaddaya think? Ready to go?}

ROXAS: Okay.

In the Round Room, the entire Organization has gathered on their tall thrones. Their leader is a golden-eyed man with long silver hair.

XEMNAS: Good tidings, friends. Today is a momentous day. I am pleased to announce that a new comrade has been chosen to wear the coat.

Xemnas smiles, and a small, hooded figure steps into the center of the room.


XEMNAS: Number XIV.

As Roxas looks down at the new member and continues to listen to Xemnas's speech, he thinks back to his own initiation, when Axel brought him to that same spot to present him before the Organization. He remembers looking up to see Xemnas smirking down at him.

XEMNAS: Let us all welcome one of the Keyblade's chosen.

Number XIV looks up at Roxas and smiles straight at him, to his surprise.

-------


Roxas's Diary: Entry 1

It's been a week since I got here. Sax told me to keep a diary, but he said nobody would check it. What am I supposed to write about?

Today they told us to go to the Round Room, where we met our new member, No. XIV. Was I like that when I first got here? I think I was. But I don't remember too well.

Secret Report: Meaning

A name defines an object. Describes the span of it. Gives it purpose.

We embarked upon the Replica Program to ensure our new power stays ours. Now, our shadow puppet, "No. i," lives. It needs a name. Something to define it. To give the hollow vessel purpose.

-------



Roxas's musings on the clock tower:

"After seven days of clinging to a number and a name, I had trouble processing anything else. I couldn't have told you who the people in black coats were, or what they wanted with me."

Day 8 ~The Icing on the Cake~

Roxas walks into the Grey Area to find Sax waiting for him.

SAX: Roxas, your work begins today. I will issue missions, which the Organization expects you to carry out.

ROXAS: ......

SAX: Think of these early missions as exercises. You still have much to learn before we put you to a real test.

ROXAS: ......

Sax glances over at Axel, who is leaning against the windows.

SAX: Axel will be joining you your first time out. Isn't that right, Axel?

AXEL: Oh boy... What, are you making me the kid's mentor now?

He comes over to join them.


SAX: Surely you don't mind showing Roxas here the ropes? Roxas, come see me when you're ready to go.

He walks away.

AXEL: Well, you heard the man. Starting today, I'm your babysitter.

ROXAS: ......

AXEL: Sheesh... Quit acting like a zombie, and let's get this show on the road.

Today, a young man with long, dark bangs is reading a book on one side of the room, Number XIV (still hooded) is standing near Sax, and Axel lounges on a couch as he waits for Roxas to get ready.

ZEXION: Number XIV's name... I wonder if it bears some significance.

NO. XIV: ......

AXEL: Just talk to Sax over there when you're set to go.

SAX: Are you ready to go?

ROXAS: Okay.

Axel comes over to join them.

SAX: Teach him well, Axel.

AXEL: Don't worry. I'll be sure he makes the grade. C'mon, Roxas.

ROXAS: ......

Axel realizes that Roxas is staring at Number XIV.


AXEL: Hey, what's wrong? You worried about the new kid? What was that name again...

SAX: Number XIV, Xion.

AXEL: Right. I knew that.

ROXAS: Xion.

AXEL: Got it memorized, Roxas?

ROXAS: ...Yeah.

AXEL: You sure? How 'bout my name, then?

ROXAS: It's Axel.

AXEL: And our boss's name?

ROXAS: Xemnas.

AXEL: Very good, Roxas! No way you're gonna forget his name, right? Now, let's get moving.

He opens a dark corridor and the two of them walk through it, emerging in the underground tunnels of Twilight Town.


AXEL: All right, let's start by talking about what we do on missions. Ahem. Missions are...uhh... They're, you know... Hrm.

ROXAS: ......

AXEL: You know what? Talking is dumb. Let's just go ahead and get our hands dirty, shall we? Follow me.


Axel runs off and waits for Roxas on a higher ledge. Roxas hurries after and climbs up to join him.

AXEL: There ya go. Good job.

ROXAS: Thanks.

AXEL: But don't go thinking you can just run and jump your way through every mission. You've gotta BE AWARE.

ROXAS: What...what do you mean?

AXEL: You hafta look around. Sometimes what you're after is sitting right under your nose. Got it memorized?

ROXAS: Y...yeah, I think so.

AXEL: All right, then, time for a road test. There's a treasure chest somewhere in these passages. I want you to find it.

ROXAS: That's all I have to do?

AXEL: I know, don't hurt yourself. Anyway, remember to look around.

They start wandering around the tunnels. Roxas notices that several exits have been sealed off by strange, black and white barriers.


ROXAS: Axel... What's this?

AXEL: A barricade. It means you're not supposed to go this way.

ROXAS: You mean there's nothing down there?

AXEL: Yeah, that's the gist of it. They're set up to keep us on task. That, or out of trouble. I mean, hello, look at it. Big, menacing X? I'll take the beaten path, thanks.

Roxas eventually finds a locked, gold-and-blue box down one corridor.


ROXAS: Is this the chest?

AXEL: Sure is! Well done.

ROXAS: ......

AXEL: Um, what are you waiting for?

ROXAS: The mission was to find the chest. Aren't I done?

AXEL: Uh, Roxas... There's this thing about chests. They have stuff in them.

ROXAS: So I should open the chest?

AXEL: Yes, that is generally what we do.

Roxas unlocks the chest with his Keyblade and finds a Potion inside.

AXEL: Good work! You can keep what you found. All right, time to RTC.

ROXAS: RTC?

AXEL: Return To the Castle. Go ahead, lead the way back to the dark corridor that brought us here.

Roxas nods and heads for the central area. Once they've found the corridor, Axel applauds.

AXEL: Bravo. So whaddaya think? Got the hang of this mission business?

ROXAS: Uh-huh.

AXEL: I'm sorry, speak up? Cooouldn't quite catch that.

ROXAS: I said...

AXEL: Hmm?

Roxas looks over at him.

ROXAS: I could have done that blindfolded.

AXEL: Ha ha! I dunno if I want a blindfolded zombie on the loose. All right, smart aleck, you did good. And no successful mission is complete without a little icing on the cake. C'mon.

He turns away and starts walking off.

ROXAS: But...don't we have to RTC?

AXEL: Later. Don't you remember our hangout?

The two of them go to sit up on the clock tower, where Axel pulls out a couple of light blue ice cream bars and hands one to Roxas.


AXEL: Here ya go. The icing on the cake.

ROXAS: ......

AXEL: You remember what this ice cream is called?

ROXAS: Umm...

AXEL: It's sea-salt ice cream. C'mon, I already told you once. Get it memorized, man.

Roxas takes a bite.

ROXAS: It's really salty...but sweet, too.

AXEL: Ha ha. Roxas, you said the same exact thing the other day.

ROXAS: I did? I don't remember that.

AXEL: Hey, what has it been, a week since you showed up?

ROXAS: Maybe.

AXEL: "Maybe"? C'mon, you must remember that much.

ROXAS: ......

AXEL: Well, that's okay. Today's where it all really begins anyway.

ROXAS: Yeah?

AXEL: Sure! Here you are, out in the field, working for the Organization... Today, you're one of us.

ROXAS: I guess it's a start.

They continue to eat their ice cream and watch the sunset.


-------


Roxas's Diary: Entry 2

Axel and I went to Twilight Town today. He taught me a lot.

Before we RTC'd (Returned To the Castle) we swung by the clock tower and had some sea-salt ice cream. Axel called it the "icing on the cake" after a successful mission. Well, except there was no cake - just the ice cream.

I don't know what to write in this thing!

Secret Report: Roxas

Seems like we're getting new members every day. No. XIII was a boy, Roxas. Now we've got a No. XIV, Xion.

Today's mission was to show Roxas the ropes. I feel like they've had me babysitting him since he got here. He's not a bad kid, but he's spacey. Good fighter, though. At least I won't be bored.

-------



Roxas's musings on the clock tower:

"That was my first day working for the Organization. They gave me missions, and I carried them out. But if you asked me what my job was... I would've just stared at you."

Day 9 ~Heartless~

Roxas enters the Grey Area. Sax and a handsome man with pink hair have been waiting for him.

SAX: Roxas, today you will be working with Marluxia. Come see me when you are ready.

He turns and walks off.

MARLUXIA: Well, there you have it. Welcome to the fold, Roxas.

Today, a man with long, dark blonde hair is standing on one side of the room; a young man (also with dark blonde hair) is strumming a sitar on one of the couches; and Marluxia is waiting for Roxas to get ready.

VEXEN [the long-haired man]: A Keyblade wielder... This could prove quite enlightening.

DEMYX [the sitar player]: So, uh...you play any instruments? No? ...Never mind.

MARLUXIA: We'll set out once you're ready.

SAX: Are you ready to go?

ROXAS: Okay.

Roxas and Marluxia head to Twilight Town's Sandlot.

MARLUXIA: Roxas, was it? I never properly introduced myself. I am Marluxia, Number XI.

ROXAS: Okay. So what do I have to do today?

MARLUXIA: Today, your job is to collect hearts.

ROXAS: Um, how do I do that?

MARLUXIA: Roxas, could you summon your Keyblade for me?

ROXAS: Well...sure, all right.

He does so.

MARLUXIA: Lucky Number XIII... At last, a chosen wielder of the Keyblade amongst our ranks.

Just then, three small, black beings with glowing yellow eyes appear out of nowhere.

ROXAS: Whoa, what are those?

MARLUXIA: Hmph. Nothing to be feared. So, Roxas, shall we put that power of yours to a little test? Use your Keyblade...and defeat those Heartless.

Roxas runs at the shadowy creatures and strikes them with his Keyblade, causing them to dissolve out of existence.

MARLUXIA: Good. Those Heartless are called Shadows.

ROXAS: But what are Heartless?

MARLUXIA: Dark creatures who roam about, searching for hearts. They come in two larger varieties. The ones you just defeated are known as Purebloods. Purebloods don't release any hearts when you defeat them. In other words, don't bother with them. Your mission is to collect hearts, after all. The other variety--

Three small, floating yellow Heartless materialize, each marked with a red emblem.

MARLUXIA: Hmph... Is right over there. Forget about the Shadows. Take these out, Roxas. They are your real targets.

Roxas destroys all three of the yellow Heartless.

MARLUXIA: Those were what we call Emblem Heartless.

ROXAS: Why are they so special?

MARLUXIA: Did you notice? Hearts appeared when you defeated them.

ROXAS: Right...

MARLUXIA: Your job is to collect those hearts.

ROXAS: Is there any trick to it?

MARLUXIA: None. So long as the Heartless are felled by your weapon, the Keyblade, the hearts will be captured.

ROXAS: I see. And what happens to the hearts I collect?

MARLUXIA: They will gather as one, and create an almighty force known as Kingdom Hearts.

ROXAS: Which is...good, right?

MARLUXIA: Completing Kingdom Hearts is the Organization's primary objective. And to do that, we need all the hearts we can possibly find.

ROXAS: So that's what the Organization does? Collect hearts?

MARLUXIA: Actually, you are the first of us to accomplish it.

ROXAS: Wait, then--

MARLUXIA: The rest of us can defeat Heartless, but we have no way of collecting the hearts they release. Eventually, the hearts will turn right back into Heartless. You see, then, how special you are?

ROXAS: Hmm...

MARLUXIA: With power like yours--

He is interrupted when several more of the yellow Emblem Heartless appear.

MARLUXIA: Heh. Here come more of them. Each one is a gift, Roxas. Squeeze every last heart out of them!

Roxas battles the Heartless until the last one is defeated.

MARLUXIA: Excellent, Roxas. Your work today is done. I am amazed. That Keyblade... The things that could be done with that sort of power...

ROXAS: Umm...

MARLUXIA: I have high hopes for you, Roxas - as do we all. Defeat the Heartless, and help the Organization reach our noble goal.

ROXAS: Um, all right...

MARLUXIA: Shall we RTC, then?

Roxas's musings on the clock tower:

"And that was how I found out the Organization's goal. So they wanted to collect these things called "hearts." I didn't know what a heart was, or how it even mattered. But at least I knew what my part was."

-------


Roxas's Diary: Entry 3

The past few days, the other members have been showing me how to fight and do mission stuff. They also told me more about the Organization, and about myself.

I still don't really get what a "heart" is. But apparently, it's a vital piece of who I am - so I've decided to cooperate. If I collect enough hearts, I can complete Kingdom Hearts. Then I'll be whole.

Secret Report: On Track

Xion is being monitored. Roxas, meanwhile, has begun his training exercises.

It is imperative we keep Xion from having undue contact with Roxas until we are certain it will perform as expected - which will take another 10 days, if Vexen's convictions are to be trusted.

As for the Keyblade master, Marluxia will no doubt be keeping an eye on him.

-------



Day 10 ~Incomplete~

Roxas is greeted by Zexion as he walks into the Grey Area.

ZEXION: Good morning, Roxas. I shall be joining you on your mission today. Take care of what you need to and then check in with Sax. I am all ready to go.

He goes to read a book while he waits. A large man with auburn hair is standing nearby, and Marluxia is hanging out on the other side of the room.

MARLUXIA: The Keyblade wielder's power... How fascinating.

LEXAEUS: ......

ZEXION: If you've finished preparing, you need to report to Sax, not me.

SAX: Are you ready to go?

ROXAS: Okay.

Zexion & Roxas go to Twilight Town's central area, Tram Common.

ZEXION: Your mission today is to eliminate a set quantity of Heartless. The Organization may call upon you to meet other objectives - perform recon, for example. But regardless of the task you have been given, your primary orders still hold. You and that Keyblade of yours serve us best by collecting hearts.

ROXAS: So, even if I'm given another job, I should keep taking out Heartless while I do it?

ZEXION: Correct. Today, however, the two happily coincide.

The two of them search through town until they have defeated the seven Heartless that Roxas has been assigned to eliminate.

ROXAS: All done. I defeated the number of Heartless you said. Now we get to RTC, right?

ZEXION: Leave, already? I, for one, would apply myself a bit more.

ROXAS: But I--

ZEXION: Yes, yes, you did as you were asked. Mission accomplished...but...

An eighth Heartless appears nearby.

ZEXION: As you can plainly see, there are still Heartless wandering about.

The Heartless vanishes.

ZEXION: You don't have to eliminate them all. It's your choice. Just like I don't have to respect you for slinking back to the castle while there's still work to be done. And if that doesn't matter to you, just remember the Organization rewards those who make the extra effort.

{Roxas heads out again and defeats several more Heartless until all the ones in that area are gone.

ZEXION: Much better. I trust you'll exhibit equal diligence in your missions going forward. *opens a dark corridor*} All right, now that the mission is over, do you have any questions?

ROXAS: Yeah, umm... Just what is Kingdom Hearts? Marluxia said it was some kind of...of force.

ZEXION: Yes...?

ROXAS: And when I defeat the Heartless, those hearts pop out and become part of Kingdom Hearts, right? But like, what's the point?

ZEXION: Kingdom Hearts will complete us. That's the Organization's goal.

ROXAS: Complete us? Complete us how?

ZEXION: Roxas, you and I and all the Organization's members are what we call Nobodies.

ROXAS: Well, that's not very nice.

ZEXION: With a capital N. It's a name, for those of us who are missing a vital piece of who we are: our hearts.

ROXAS: I don't have a heart?

ZEXION: Correct. Like all of us, you entered the world without one. But you can help us get them. Kingdom Hearts is made of the very things we lack - a multitude of hearts. It has the power to complete us. Are you starting to see why you're so important? Each of us has a vital role in the Organization. Yours is collecting hearts.

ROXAS: Yeah, I get it.

ZEXION: Well, I just hope we can count on you to "get it" done.

ROXAS: ......

ZEXION: Any more questions?

ROXAS: No... Sorry.

ZEXION: Then we should be getting back. Come on.

The two of them enter the dark corridor to return home.

Roxas's musings on the clock tower:

"I found out I was a Nobody - that I was incomplete. Just like the rest of them, I came into the world without a heart. Would it have made a difference? If I had a heart...would that make me somebody?"

Day 11 ~Keyblade~

Roxas walks into the Grey Area and is greeted by Sax.

SAX: Roxas. Larxene will be your partner today.

ROXAS: Larxene...right. Um...

He looks around for her, but she is nowhere to be seen.

SAX: She already left. Meet her on-site.

ROXAS: Oh... All right.

SAX: This time, we expect you to try out magic for a change, instead of relying solely on the Keyblade.

ROXAS: Magic? I know magic?

SAX: Only if you arm yourself with some before you leave for the mission. See me when you are ready.

He walks away, leaving Roxas to figure out how to equip magic spells. Roxas speaks to the others before reporting to Sax.

VEXEN: Hee hee... Interesting... So much to inspect... To dissect...

XIGBAR: Get practicing so you can make yourself useful.

SAX: You will need magic for today's mission. Are you ready to go?

ROXAS: Okay.

He goes to Twilight Town and finds her in the Sandlot.

LARXENE: Nice of you to show up.

ROXAS: Umm, hi.

LARXENE: Ugh, this is the worst. Whose idea was it to send me along on your stupid baby mission? Do I look like I run a nursery school?

ROXAS: ......

LARXENE: Let Demyx handle this stuff. It's not like he's good at anything else.

ROXAS: ......

LARXENE: What? WHAT? You got something to say?

ROXAS: No...

LARXENE: Pfft, you'd be nothing without that Keyblade. ...Oh ho! I just got an idea.

ROXAS: (Uh-oh.)

LARXENE: You can do today's mission WITHOUT your Keyblade.

ROXAS: What? Why!?

LARXENE: Because I said so, that's why! Sax told you to practice magic today, didn't he? Well, sink or swim.

ROXAS: Yeah - sink! I don't know how to use magic.

LARXENE: Well, you're not gonna learn if you keep whipping around that oversized key.

ROXAS: Yeah, but...

A Heartless appears.

LARXENE: Ah, perfect. There's a Heartless. Go on, take it out - and you have to use magic! I'll stand here and watch.

ROXAS: (Thanks...)

Roxas casts a Fire spell and defeats the Heartless. Then several more appear.

LARXENE: Ooh ooh, here come some more. Go on, wipe 'em out!

ROXAS: ......

LARXENE: Ugh, at the speed you move, we'll be here all month... Go ahead. You can use your Keyblade this time.

ROXAS: Wait, what happened to learning magic?

LARXENE: Do you want to finish this awful mission or don't you? Just get to it.

ROXAS: (Well, since you asked so nicely...)

LARXENE: Oh, by the way, if you need to heal...do it yourself.

ROXAS: ......

He commences fighting the Heartless, then comes back to Larxene when he finishes.

LARXENE: Sheesh, about time. Worst. Mission. Ever...

ROXAS: ......

LARXENE: If you're our big-shot Keyblade wielder, then we're in deep doo-doo.

ROXAS: ......

LARXENE: Ugh, can't you even hold up your end of a conversation?

ROXAS: ......

LARXENE: You'd better pull it together, or we'll never finish Kingdom Hearts. Unless, of course, we put somebody else on Keyblade duty...

ROXAS: What? You have somebody else?

LARXENE: None of your beeswax. You just worry about defeating Heartless and collecting hearts for us. Maybe, one day, you'll be almost mediocre at it.

ROXAS: ......

LARXENE: Ugh, let's go - before you kill any more of my brain cells.

Roxas's musings on the clock tower:

"They taught me that my Keyblade releases hearts. But why do I have it? How did I learn to use it? The more I learned, the less I seemed to know."

Day 12 ~A Closed World~

Roxas walks into the Grey Area and is greeted by Vexen.

VEXEN: You're mine today, Roxas.

ROXAS: Uh, all right...

VEXEN: Report to Sax when you're ready.

Other members are relaxing around the room.

LARXENE: What do you want? I'm busy. Go hit your head against the glass or something.

DEMYX: Man, why's Larxene gotta be such a witch all the time?

VEXEN: Hee hee... It appears my conclusions were, once again, flawless.

SAX: Are you ready to go?

ROXAS: Okay.

Vexen and Roxas head for Twilight Town's Tram Common.

VEXEN: Now, listen carefully. Your mission today is to perform reconnaissance in this area.

ROXAS: Reconna-what? What about fighting Heartless and collecting hearts?

VEXEN: Oh, there's far more to the Organization than that, boy. Our work wouldn't go half as smoothly if we didn't gather the needed intelligence beforehand. Fortunately, you are in good hands. I will be by your side today to help stimulate that insensate mind of yours. First, take a look around the immediate area, and report anything unusual you find. And don't go wandering too far until you've carefully examined the clues closest at hand.

Roxas nods. He starts walking, and notices the tram track.

ROXAS: This spot's paved with different tiles. It's like a road...

VEXEN: Fascinating... And?

ROXAS: Uhh...

VEXEN: We'll never get anywhere with you simply stating the obvious.

They continue on a little farther until they come across a shop.

ROXAS: Wow, what do they sell here?

VEXEN: That's your job to find out, idiot.

They move to another shop.

ROXAS: I guess this place sells clothes?

VEXEN: You guess? Are you daft? What else would it be?

Roxas continues to a third shop.

ROXAS: I think they sell jewelry here.

VEXEN: Anyone can see that. The point isn't to wander around gawking. Analyze what you see.

ROXAS: Umm... It's a pretty big town.
{Well, there are a lot of shops.}

VEXEN: Is that all? You should have figured out that much when you got here.
{And?}

ROXAS: This could be the center of town?
{Business seems to be booming?}

VEXEN: Could be? Are you asking me or telling me? {What, because you saw a couple of shops?} Roxas, you are looking but not seeing. Here's what I see: This whole town was built along a mountain. That's why the roads slope. Houses have been built along the terrace. And at the top is a station. The trains there are the town's primary system of transit. Up there, see that clock tower? That's the station building. Based on its location, we know the tracks are probably elevated. And this must be downtown. All these shops in one place... Now, what about this path you pointed out? Trams must run here. See, look closer. There are marks.

ROXAS: You figured all that out just now?

VEXEN: But that's just it! I only stated what I saw. There was no "figuring" involved. That's the next step: analyzing the data you find. The clothing and jewelry shops tell us how these people live. This whole town is a blueprint of their lives.

ROXAS: ......

VEXEN: Distressing. Very distressing. Your mind wasn't made for this, was it? Well, you're not off the hook yet, boy. If I let you quit with these results, I'll be the laughingstock of the castle. Follow this path and investigate the remainder of the area. And stay on the path, if you please! Everything you need to know about this plaza lies along it - provided you are capable of connecting the dots.

New breakthrough!

Roxas begins following the tram track until he comes to an entryway to the tunnels that is blocked off by a gate.

ROXAS: An underground tunnel system? It's shuttered.

VEXEN: Note the number over the door. That's this gate's designation.

ROXAS: It says number four.

VEXEN: Precisely. Four, not one. Which means there are multiple gates.

They continue on until they pass a building with a door.

ROXAS: It's locked.

VEXEN: You don't have to open every door we pass, you know. Try to remember that we run a covert operation. The town may be quiet, but it's not empty. If you allow yourself to be seen, YOU'LL become the target of investigation.

They approach a building further down the track.

ROXAS: Arches, staircases... Seems like an easy town to get lost in.

VEXEN: Easy to get lost? Your job is to be mentally mapping this place! Think of this as a landmark. Consider it a clue.

They come upon an opening that has been sealed off by the Organization.

ROXAS: There's a big hole in the wall. I can see some woods on the other side.

VEXEN: We're investigating the town now. Did they not teach you about these barricades?

ROXAS: Yeah... They did.

The track forks, half of it leading into a gateway, while the rest curves back around.

ROXAS: The entrance is shuttered. It looks like the road leads right into this building.

VEXEN: Then you should have already pieced together what the entrance is for.

The two of them head back for the dark portal.

ROXAS: We've been through the whole area.

VEXEN: All right, then, what have you learned?

ROXAS: Well, umm...let's see. The town has a lot of overpasses and underpasses. And the tram seems to circle the plaza. Oh, and there was that entrance that looked like it led underground, but it was shuttered.

VEXEN: Anything else?

ROXAS: Huh? Oh, umm... Err...

VEXEN: Never mind. Wouldn't want you to hurt yourself. You're showing some improvement, at least, even if your natural talents do fall woefully short of my own.

ROXAS: ......

VEXEN: You're done, boy. Go ahead and RTC.

As he walks on ahead, Roxas grumbles to himself.

ROXAS: I could've figured it out if I had more time.

VEXEN: Oh? Is that so? Then take all the time you like. But don't hold yourself up to my standards. Little steps for little minds.

New breakthrough!

{Roxas looks around some more until he comes to a wall in an enclosed area.

ROXAS: That entrance with the shutter leads into this area, and then the road stops. We know the road is for the tram... So this must be the tram yard.

VEXEN: At last, a modicum of intelligence. My teaching is paying off!

Roxas finds another enclosed area on the other side of the plaza.

ROXAS: This spot's out of the way and surrounded by buildings.

VEXEN: But why would they leave the space open? They must have a reason. It's kept clean, which means what?

ROXAS: People pass through here a lot?

VEXEN: Precisely. Finally, a glimmer of insight! Hmm, not bad. You're finally starting to see the bigger picture. But while I applaud your effort, you need to be able to see these things at first glance.

ROXAS: Oh...right.

VEXEN: Your goal should be to gather the maximum amount of data in the minimum amount of time. Spend too much time dallying, and you risk being seen. Sometimes the locals will be wary. You need to be warier.

ROXAS: I understand.

VEXEN: Today's mission was just an exercise. I am satisfied. Let's return.

New breakthrough!

The two of them return to the dark corridor.}

VEXEN: That concludes today's mission. Any questions or concerns?

ROXAS: Umm... How often do I have to do this?

VEXEN: Whenever the Organization needs to know more about a world, naturally. Every world is unique, with its own terrain, values, Heartless population - any number of variables that could be turned to our advantage in the missions ahead.

ROXAS: Wait, "every world"? You mean there's more than one?

VEXEN: Yes, boy. You didn't think you'd be mulling about here forever, did you? You will visit many worlds for many reasons...but our ultimate goal remains the same.

ROXAS: Kingdom Hearts.

VEXEN: That's right. Now come along.

Roxas's musings on the clock tower:

"Later on, I discovered the job was more than just a commute between the castle and that town. The walls between worlds are steep, so we create our own ways: dark corridors which lead to every place imaginable."

Day 13 ~Deeds to Be Done~

Roxas walks into the Grey Area and is greeted by Sax.

SAX: Roxas, I have decided to pair you with Lexaeus for your mission today. Come see me when you're ready.

Roxas sees Lexaeus waiting for him nearby, and goes to speak to the others.

ZEXION: Yes, what is it? Don't waste my time with idle chatter.

MARLUXIA: Numbers XIII and XIV...

LEXAEUS: I trust you're ready?

SAX: Are you ready to go?

ROXAS: Okay.

Roxas & Lexaeus arrive in Twilight Town's Sandlot.

LEXAEUS: ......

ROXAS: So, um--

LEXAEUS: Do you know what a Limit Break is?

ROXAS: No...

LEXAEUS: It is the most powerful move at your disposal - one that only works when you are on your last legs.

A Shadow appears.

ROXAS: A Heartless.

LEXAEUS: Time for some practical application.

ROXAS: Huh?

Lexaeus PUNCHES ROXAS IN THE FACE.

ROXAS (having a hard time staying on his feet): Oww... Mutt muzz zat for!? Nngh...

LEXAEUS: There. Now you're on your last legs. Let's see you use your Limit Break and defeat that Heartless.

Roxas draws on his Limit Break so that his Keyblade glows with power. He bashes at the Heartless with lightning-fast strikes until it is vanquished.

LEXAEUS: Well fought.

ROXAS (still looking ill): Yeah?

LEXAEUS: Organization members are often asked to conduct solo missions. The only person you can count on out here is yourself.

ROXAS: So I've noticed. Nngh...

LEXAEUS: You and that Keyblade are invaluable to the Organization. With your job, however, comes risk. Each mission will pit you against more and more Heartless.

ROXAS: And I have to face them if we're gonna complete Kingdom Hearts, right?

LEXAEUS: Correct.

ROXAS: So what happens when Kingdom Hearts is finished? What good does that do us?

LEXAEUS: We will unite with it. You and I will gain hearts of our own.

ROXAS: I don't understand...

LEXAEUS: When the time comes, you will. In the meantime, there are deeds to be done, and only you can do them.

Roxas straightens up.

ROXAS: So you need me.

LEXAEUS: Yes.

ROXAS: Are they good deeds?

LEXAEUS: Good for the Organization.

ROXAS: Right...

LEXAEUS: ...... We should return.

Roxas's musings on the clock tower:

"Our group had its good apples, just like it had its bad. But everybody wanted the same thing: to complete Kingdom Hearts. What is Kingdom Hearts? What happens when we gather enough hearts and finish it? I didn't know then...still don't... But I'll fight for my chance to be someone whole - fight against the darkness, for however long it takes."

Day 14 ~Friends~

As Roxas walks into the Grey Area, he is greeted by Axel.

AXEL: Hey, Roxas. It's you and me again today.

ROXAS: Okay.

AXEL: Check in with Sax when-- Well, you know the drill. I don't know what they've cooked up for us, but let's get it done with style, huh?

ROXAS: Right.

AXEL: Oh, by the way, Roxas, today will be your first really-real mission. That means you should definitely prep your weapon beforehand. Oh, and if you want to practice what you've learned so far, we've got the Holo-Missions all set up for you.

ROXAS: Holo-Missions?

AXEL: Yup. Basically, they're a way to re-experience missions you've already been assigned.

Roxas nods and starts preparing. He checks out the Holo-Missions, upgrades his weapon with a Gear, make sure his panel arrangement is optimal, then goes and speaks to everyone else in the room.

AXEL: Don't forget to prep your weapon.

LARXENE: What are you looking at? ...Oh, dream on. It's not gonna happen, pipsqueak. Here, take this and take a hike.

She gives Roxas a Potion.

LARXENE: Get lost. You're blocking my light.

MARLUXIA: Your task is clear. Strike down the Heartless and collect hearts.

DEMYX: You ever get the urge to just do something stupid...and AWESOME? Wait, wait...I'm getting an idea... Nope, it's gone.

SAX: Today will be your first true mission.

Roxas & Axel head for Twilight Town to collect hearts.

AXEL: Our second mission together.

ROXAS: Yup.

AXEL: ......

ROXAS: ......

AXEL: Sheesh, don't talk my ear off. ...You ready or what?

ROXAS: What? Oh...oh, yeah.

They travel around town defeating Heartless until Roxas has collected all the hearts that are available. They are cleared to return to the castle.

AXEL: So, got any plans?

ROXAS: I was just gonna report to Sax and then go to my room like I always do.

AXEL: Go to your room!? Oh, Roxas, Roxas...

One of the teenage inhabitants of Twilight Town, a boy named Hayner with wildly-styled blonde hair, runs into the alley nearby and calls back to his friends.

HAYNER: Move it, Pence!

Two other teens jog up to join him, first a pretty brunette girl named Olette, and then Pence, a dark-haired boy who seems out of breath.

PENCE: Hey, wait up!

HAYNER: Last one there has to buy the winner an ice cream!

OLETTE: Oh, sure, now you tell us!

PENCE: No fair, Hayner!

HAYNER: Better get flyin' if you don't wanna end up buyin'!

He runs off again with the other two close on his heels, none of them taking any notice of Roxas & Axel as they pass.

ROXAS: Who were they?

AXEL: Hmm... Must be some kids who live here.

ROXAS: Really? They sure acted weird.

AXEL: Yeah? How do you figure?

ROXAS: Why did those last two seem to enjoy getting pushed around like that? They were even making those "ha ha" noises.

AXEL: You mean laughter? Sometimes people with hearts do that even when it doesn't make any sense.

ROXAS: Oh... Then I guess they're different from us.

AXEL: C'mon, let's get some ice cream.

ROXAS: Why?

AXEL: Whaddaya mean, why? Because we're friends.

ROXAS: So...friends are people who have ice cream together?

AXEL: Sort of... That, or laugh at stupid stuff that doesn't make any sense. Like those kids we just saw - they were friends. C'mon, I'll show you how it works.

He walks off. Roxas stares after him for a minute, then follows.

A little later, Hayner is chasing Pence around Station Plaza.


PENCE: I swear, Hayner, it wasn't my fault!

HAYNER: Yes it was! I saw you drop it! You owe me an ice cream! Get back here, Pence!

OLETTE: Come on, Hayner! You can go one stinking day without ice cream!

Up on the clock tower, Roxas & Axel are eating sea-salt ice cream.

AXEL: Hey, Roxas. Let's meet up for ice cream again after your next mission. I mean, who wants to spend their days just bouncing between work and the castle, right?

ROXAS: Ha ha, not me!

He pauses.

ROXAS: Hey, I laughed... I guess we really are friends.

-------


Roxas's Diary: Entry 4

Me and Axel went on a mission to Twilight Town. Afterwards, we went and had ice cream again up on the clock tower.

He said friends do stuff like that. Or they laugh together. So does that mean me and him are friends?

Secret Report: This Kid?

Another mission with Roxas today. Is he seriously my responsibility? At least he's starting to talk like a normal person. Maybe that means his memory's coming back.

Still, this kid's supposed to be the Keyblade master's Nobody? I don't see it.

-------



Day 15 ~Missions~

MARLUXIA: Number XIII... Roxas. Hmph. Here, take this. Make use of it as you see fit.

He gives Roxas an Ether.

MARLUXIA: If only we'd met sooner, Roxas... You would have made a fine addition.

ZEXION: Your work has been improving by leaps and bounds. Here. I believe you deserve this.

He gives Roxas a Panacea.

ZEXION: I hope you continue to apply yourself.

LARXENE: Is it true you're almost semi-competent now? Maybe we should've let you in on-- Nothing.

XION: ......

LUXORD: We all need a little break every now and again.

SAX: Roxas, I've assigned you another handful of missions. Some will be mandatory, but beyond that, our policy is that you set your own workload. The order of execution is also for you to decide. Start with the missions you feel most prepared for.

Roxas & Larxene are partnered on a mission to eliminate Watchers in Twilight Town. Afterwards, Roxas joins Axel on the clock tower for ice cream.

-------


Roxas's Diary: Entry 5

The other members have been teaching me more about how to fight and stuff. It's going, I guess.

Every day after work, I've been meeting Axel at the clock tower to have sea-salt ice cream. It really is salty! But still sweet, too. How come it tastes so familiar?

Secret Report: How Dare They

Ugh! How DARE they shut me out of monitoring the Keyblade master! And then to send me off to teach that half-baked Nobody basic magic!?

I should've had him light ME on fire.

It won't be long now, though. Once I'm over at C.O., our plan goes into action. No more playing nanny. Ever.

-------



Day 16

LUXORD: What shall I do without half the poker league?

SAX: You should go into every mission prepared.

Roxas & Marluxia are partnered on a mission to collect hearts in Twilight Town. Afterwards, Roxas joins Axel on the clock tower for ice cream.

Day 17

Roxas is not needed in the field today. Instead, the Organization will determine his fitness for future missions by conducting an assessment of his combat ability. He must prove his endurance by surviving for a set period of time in a small area filled with hostile Dusk Nobodies.

After successfully passing the exam, Roxas goes to the clock tower and finds Axel already there, eating ice cream.


AXEL: How's work? Goin' okay?

ROXAS: Yeah, can't complain.

AXEL: That's good.

Day 22 ~Left Behind~

XIGBAR: It's nice in here with the loudmouths gone.

LUXORD: What shall I do without half the poker league?

XALDIN: Just go about your mission. Nothing else need concern you.

AXEL: Hey, Roxas. You and me are teamed up today.

SAX: Roxas, today's mission is mandatory. I've assigned Axel to assist you.

Roxas & Axel arrive in Twilight Town with orders to eliminate a Guardian Heartless.

AXEL: Okay, let's get this done fast. What was today's target again? A Guardian?

ROXAS: Huh? Oh, yeah. I think so.

AXEL: You are such a zombie. Want me to go have all the fun while you figure it out? C'mon.

They set out to find their target. After making their way through the tunnels, Roxas opens the final gate before the entrance to the Side Street.

AXEL: Up this way, Roxas.

ROXAS: Right.

They head for the Sandlot, where the Guardian appears.

AXEL: There's our target. Here we go, Roxas! Keep your head out of the clouds!

ROXAS: Right!

They charge into battle and defeat their enemy.

AXEL: Mission accomplished. Heh, gotta say, man, you've come a long way in just a handful of days. You ready to head back?

ROXAS: Yeah.

They get some ice cream and go to the clock tower.

AXEL: I'm gonna miss this ice cream thing we do.

ROXAS: Huh? Why?

AXEL: Starting tomorrow, I'm gonna be away.

ROXAS: Oh...

AXEL: Since you're my buddy, I guess I can fill you in. I'm gonna be at Castle Oblivion for a while.

ROXAS: What's that?

AXEL: The Organization's got a second castle situated in the world between worlds. It's called Castle Oblivion. Got it memorized?

ROXAS: Yeah. I wish people told me these things.

AXEL: ......

He stands up.

AXEL: Well, I gotta head back and get ready. Fun fun fun... Anyway, you take your time.

Roxas nods and watches Axel leave, then finishes his ice cream by himself. He is surprised to find the word "WINNER" printed on the ice cream stick.

-------


Roxas's Diary: Entry 6

Axel is going to some place called Castle Oblivion. He told me because we're friends.

He had to go home early to get ready, and after he left I noticed the word WINNER on my ice cream stick. I wonder what I won... I'll ask him when I see him tomorrow.

Secret Report: Castle Oblivion

They pushed up the C.O. plan. Our little hero with the key must've made a move.

Me and his Nobody have been meeting up for ice cream the last few days. Not the best conversationalist, but at least he's mastered a few facial expressions besides "doom" and "gloom."

I told him about C.O., but he didn't seem to follow. Guess that's understandable.

-------



Day 23 ~Silent Companion~

As Axel walks down one of the halls of the castle, he passes Sax, who speaks to him.

SAX: Axel. I have a message from Lord Xemnas. We have reason to believe one or more of the members assigned to C.O. intend to betray us. Find them, and dispose of them.

AXEL: And I take it that's straight from Lord Xemnas's lips, huh?

He walks off.

In the Grey Area, Roxas hurries through the entrance.


ROXAS: Axel!

However, no one is there except Demyx and Xion. Sax walks up behind Roxas.

SAX: Axel already left.

He continues on to take his place at the head of the room. Roxas looks down at the ice cream stick in his hand.

ROXAS: But...this ice cream stick that says WINNER... I have to ask him what I won.

XION: ......

DEMYX: I found this lying around, but what am I gonna do with it, am I right?

He gives Roxas a Blazing Shard.

DEMYX: Wonder what it's like there, anyway. I've never been.

SAX: Roxas, starting today you will be executing missions alongside Xion. Pay extra attention to the intel I've prepared for you in the mission briefs. Use the data on your targets to decide which panels you should take into the field.

Roxas takes a look at the mission details and prepares accordingly.

SAX: Today marks your first time out on a mission together. We need you to eliminate a specific Heartless. Roxas, you are in charge.

ROXAS: Me? Oh...okay.

He turns to look at Xion, then walks into a dark corridor leading to Twilight Town. Xion follows. Once there, Roxas nods decisively and speaks to his companion again.

ROXAS: Let's go.

XION: ......

ROXAS: (I'm in charge, huh?)

He moves through the town destroying Heartless. Xion follows closely after him, but does not make any contribution in battle except to cast an attack spell every once in a while.

After they have eliminated their target, they make their way back to the dark corridor in the Sandlot.


ROXAS: I've got someplace to be. You go ahead and RTC without me.

XION: ......

Xion walks into the dark corridor, and Roxas heads for the clock tower. Even though he has an ice cream bar, it's no fun hanging out by himself.

-------


Roxas's Diary: Entry 7

Axel left before I woke up this morning. I never got to ask him about the ice cream stick.

I was partnered up with No. XIV for today's mission. Xion wore a hood the whole time and wouldn't say a word to me. Come to think of it, I didn't have a whole lot to say, either.

Afterwards I went and had ice cream by myself.

Secret Report: Research Entry 326

The Program is largely on target. No. i, my finest Replica, has proven an even greater success than anticipated.

I intend to take the other vessel - judged unfit for number status - to Castle Oblivion, where I will subject it to further testing.

One thing is clear: could these Replicas not be classified as a special sort of Nobody?

-------



Day 24 ~Silence Broken~

Roxas walks into the Grey Area to find Xigbar, Demyx, and Xion talking together.

DEMYX: This place is, like, a hundred times better minus all the bossy coworkers, am I right?

XION: ......

ROXAS: Bossy coworkers?

DEMYX: Yeah, the "dream team" that got shipped off to Castle Oblivion. Dreamy for me, because they're gone!

ROXAS: Oh...

XIGBAR: Too bad you and Poppet didn't get to spend more quality time with them.

ROXAS: Poppet? Who's that?

XIGBAR: Xion, of course. Who else, kiddo?

ROXAS: My name's not "kiddo."

Sax arrives.

SAX: Roxas, get to work.

After Roxas prepares for the day, he speaks to the other members in the room.

XIGBAR: We sent a total of six members over to Castle Oblivion. That's about half our number.

LUXORD: No use fretting the absence of others. They simply lose this round by no-show.

XION: ......

DEMYX: I love days when Larxene is out. I can sit around playing sitar...instead of gopher!

SAX: You will be teamed with Xion again today.

Roxas & Xion are sent to Twilight Town to eliminate Heartless called Deserters. Once they have done so, they are allowed to return through the dark corridor.

ROXAS: I've got someplace to be again today, so go on ahead without me.

He starts to walk away.

XION: R...Roxas...

ROXAS: Huh?

He turns back.

ROXAS: What did you say?

XION: Your name...it's...Roxas, isn't it?

ROXAS: Yeah, Xion. ...That's right.

As Xion leaves, Roxas remembers when Xemnas named him. Later, he muses to himself as he eats his ice cream on the clock tower.

ROXAS: My name... Was that the first thing Xion's ever said?

-------


Roxas's Diary: Entry 8

I teamed up with No. XIV again today. We finally talked a little - Xion even said my name for the first time.

Afterwards I had ice cream by myself again. The lady at the shop said you can trade the WINNER stick for an extra bar. But I can't eat more than one.

Secret Report: The Upper Floors

Marluxia has succeeded in leading the Keyblade master to the castle.

I sense multiple threads at work, but details on each of the projects are scarce. I suspect some alleged Organization projects are secretly private machinations.

Marluxia seems especially suspect.

-------



Day 25 ~Two Keys~

Roxas enters the Grey Area and sees Xion nearby.

ROXAS: Morning, Xion.

XION: ......

ROXAS: Umm... Something the matter?

XION: Good...morning, Roxas.

Sax walks up.

SAX: Both of you, finish your preparations ASAP. A giant Heartless has surfaced. It must be exterminated today.

After Roxas prepares, he moves around the room to speak to people.

XION: When do we get to go?

XALDIN: Take this. Let it fuel more hard work.

He gives Roxas a Moonstone.

XALDIN: This place is refreshingly quiet with Demyx gone.

SAX: Your mission today with Xion is of critical importance. I've arranged for you to be allotted additional slots as you complete missions for us. The harder you work, the more panels you will be permitted to install.

Roxas & Xion are dispatched to Twilight Town. They arrive in the Side Street.

XION: Roxas.

Roxas turns back questioningly. Number XIV finally lowers the hood to reveal the face of a pretty girl with short black hair and blue eyes, about the same age as Roxas.

XION: Good luck today.

ROXAS: Th-thanks. You too, Xion.

They travel throughout the town, searching for their target. Again, Xion mostly just follows Roxas around, though occasionally she casts some attack magic when they come across Heartless.

Once they reach Station Plaza, a Darkside appears. Roxas quickly summons his Keyblade.


ROXAS: What is THAT?

XION: Our target!

ROXAS: You ready for this?

XION: Yeah.

They charge into battle. Roxas manages to hold his own pretty well, with Xion offering some support with attack magic, until the Darkside disarms Roxas as he is trying to block. The Keyblade flies out of his hands and lands at Xion's feet, then vanishes and re-appears in her hand. Gripping the weapon tightly, Xion flies at the Darkside and defeats it with one blow of the Keyblade.

ROXAS: Whoa! Xion, I didn't know you could use the Keyblade.

XION: Yeah...neither did I.

ROXAS: You did great. In fact, you deserve a little something extra.

He walks past her, heading for the train station.

XION: Something extra?

ROXAS: Yeah, the icing on the cake. C'mon. There's this place...

He takes her up to the top of the clock tower.

XION: How'd you find such a great place?

Roxas hands her one of the ice cream bars he is holding.

ROXAS: Heeere ya go. Sea-salt ice cream.

Xion looks at him, and he nods encouragingly.

ROXAS: Well? Go on, try it.

XION: Okay...

She takes a bite, savoring it.

XION: It's sweet. But kinda salty, too.

ROXAS: It's really good, right? Me and Axel always meet up here for ice cream after work.

He takes a bite of his own ice cream.

ROXAS: Sea-salt is Axel's favorite.

XION: Sounds like it's yours, too!

ROXAS: Heh, yeah. I don't remember it too well, but Axel said he took me here my very first day with the Organization. And then he bought me some ice cream again after my first mission. Said it was the "icing on the cake."

XION: A little something extra?

ROXAS: Exactly.

XION: You guys must be close.

ROXAS: Axel's my first friend.

XION: Your...friend? Roxas, do you think I could be a friend?

ROXAS: When Axel gets back, let's ask him. Then all three of us can have ice cream together!

XION: Okay!

They happily continue eating their ice cream.

-------


Roxas's Diary: Entry 9

Today was my third day with Xion. I've gotten to know a little more about her. That's right - she's a girl, with black hair, and she can use the Keyblade just like me!

I took her out for ice cream afterwards, but I'm saving the WINNER stick. Axel deserves a reward when he gets back. Xion wants to have ice cream with us from now on. Maybe we'll be friends.

-------



Day 26 ~Terminated~

Roxas awakens, sits up in bed, and stretches.

ROXAS: Wonder what today's mission is. I hope it's with Xion.

He goes to the Grey Area, where his attention is caught by Xaldin & Demyx's conversation.

XALDIN: ...Then what in blazes did happen?

DEMYX: Don't look at me, man! I just found out minutes ago.

Roxas moves past them to speak to Xigbar.

ROXAS: Is everything okay?

XIGBAR: Okay? As if. Word has it at least one of the folks we sent to Castle Oblivion has been terminated.

ROXAS: Terminated? But that means...

Sax walks up.

SAX: Roxas, your mission. Go with Xigbar to Agrabah.

ROXAS: Is it true about Castle Oblivion?

SAX: That's no concern of yours.

ROXAS: But what about Axel?

SAX: Who knows. Perhaps he is among the lost.

ROXAS: But...

XIGBAR: No buts. There's work to be done. Get yourself ready.

Roxas prepares himself for the day, then goes around to speak to people.

XIGBAR: You ready or what?

XALDIN: Are you using panels effectively? Equip a weapon panel and show me. I'll tell you if you've done it properly.

{If Roxas does not have a weapon panel equipped:

XALDIN: You still haven't equipped a weapon panel. Try again.

Roxas alters his weapon with a Gear.}

XALDIN: Good. It seems you have at least a rudimentary grasp of panels. You may as well have this.

He gives Roxas a Hi-Potion.

XALDIN: I've nothing else for you. Move along.

DEMYX: Can you believe it? Terminated... Talk about a bad scene.

XION: I guess we're not working together today.

A Moogle wearing a black Organization coat is hovering near the door.

MOOGLE: ......

SAX: Roxas, in light of your excellent performance, we have decided to award you a new rank. Have I neglected to mention the new shop? Conduct your business there before missions.

Roxas has attained the Novice rank. He goes to check out the Moogle Shop.

MOOGLE: Greetings, kupo. What...is your name?

ROXAS: Roxas. What's yours?

MOOGLE: ...... My name is of no importance, kupo.

ROXAS: But... Hrm.

MOOGLE: Are you here to shop, kupo? Have a look, kupo, at my wondrous wares.

ROXAS: Okay, let's see what you've got.

He buys some new items and re-arranges his panel grid.

SAX: I'm sending you and Xigbar to a new world today to conduct recon.

Roxas & Xigbar arrive in Agrabah, a world based on the film "Aladdin."

XIGBAR: Ugh, I'm already frying out here. C'mon, kiddo. Let's get this investigation over and done with.

ROXAS: ......

XIGBAR: What's wrong? Dazzled by the new scenery?

Roxas shakes his head.

ROXAS: Do you think it's true - about the members stationed at Castle Oblivion?

XIGBAR: Ha ha, is that seriously what's eating you?

ROXAS: We might have lost a comrade. Maybe multiple comrades. That doesn't bother you at all?

XIGBAR: As if.

ROXAS: ......

XIGBAR: Look, the faster we get this mission done, the sooner you can RTC and get your answers.

ROXAS: Fine.

XIGBAR: Let's go, kiddo.

They begin their investigation. Roxas pauses in front of the palace doors.

ROXAS: Big door...

XIGBAR: Probably leads to the royal palace.

ROXAS: Probably? Are you just guessing?

XIGBAR: As if. Take a good look. High walls, ornamental carvings... The construction's different than the rest of the city.

They pass by a stall with dishes for sale.

ROXAS: These dishes are covered in sand.

They notice long wooden poles propped against a wall.

ROXAS: What's all this lumber lying around for?

They pass by a shop.

ROXAS: Is this a shop? It's deserted...

XIGBAR: Yeah, as in "full of desert."

Next to the shop is a large pile of sand.

ROXAS: A sand dune, here? That's kind of odd.

XIGBAR: Different strokes, I guess. Maybe they like beach volleyball.

ROXAS: You really think that's it?

XIGBAR: Ha ha ha, no. No, I don't.

In another area of town, Roxas notices something else.

ROXAS: There are signs here of somebody trying to clear the sand.

At another shop:

ROXAS: Are they selling pottery...or sand?

A little farther on:

ROXAS: This stall is half-buried in sand.

XIGBAR: Remind me to build MY city someplace less dusty.

Roxas jumps up to a high ledge and notices more stuff.

ROXAS: Lumber, rope... What's all this for?

He moves back down to the scaffold.

ROXAS: The wall here is falling apart... I guess it's an old city?

XIGBAR: As if. Look closer. The bricks aren't eroded. This damage was all done recently.

ROXAS: By what?

There are more coils of rope in one corner of the scaffold.

ROXAS: A pile of rope? Hunh.

They move to a scaffold on the other side of the area.

ROXAS: No sand piles up here.

XIGBAR: Which means they must've just built this scaffold.

They move to the outermost section of the city and find that the sand piles here are especially huge.

XIGBAR: This place is swimming in sand.

ROXAS: ......

XIGBAR: I guess them's the breaks when you build your city in the middle of the desert.

ROXAS: ......

XIGBAR: Past that, not much to mention, though. Seems like a pretty normal town, yeah?

ROXAS: Huh?

XIGBAR: Still with me there? I've seen you spaced out before, but this is ridiculous.

ROXAS: What? I'm fine. I'm fine...

XIGBAR: Let me guess. Castle Oblivion?

ROXAS: ......

XIGBAR: Like I said: the longer we take here, the longer you're gonna have to stay in the dark.

ROXAS: I know.

They resume their investigation.

ROXAS: This door is boarded shut...

The wall nearby has had a large chunk of it broken off.

ROXAS: This wall looks ready to collapse.

Near the city's entrance is an enormous sand pile.

ROXAS: Look at the size of this dune.

XIGBAR: It's 'cause we're next to the city gate. Okay, so we've got an entire city under a layer of sand. What do you make of it, Roxas?

ROXAS: Me?

XIGBAR: Yes, you. How do you think it ended up like this?

ROXAS: Hmm, maybe because...of the city's location? I mean, we are in the middle of the desert. Maybe this is normal.
{they need the sand for something? Sand comes in handy...doesn't it?}

XIGBAR: Heh heh, normal? As if. Look at the city walls. They built them high to prevent exactly this from happening.
{Ha ha, right, if you're trying to build the world's biggest hourglass... Think. The sand's placement is too random to have been gathered on purpose.}

ROXAS: Okay, fine. Then maybe...the city was hit with a sandstorm? That would explain the damage to the walls.
{this was all some kind of prank? You know, somebody's idea of a joke?}

XIGBAR: Attaboy, Roxas. You're right on the nose. This place got hit by a sandstorm. And not just once or twice, from the look of it.
{Some sense of humor you've got! Remind me never to make you mad.

ROXAS: Why?

XIGBAR: ...... Roxas... This is the work of a sandstorm. Multiple sandstorms, from the look of it.}

XIGBAR: I guess the high walls around the city weren't high enough. Now, how 'bout the lumber and rope? Roxas, gimme a damage assessment for the city.

ROXAS: Well, from the look of it...the city was devastated. This whole place is a wreck.
{things could've been worse. It's just a little wind and sand, right?}

XIGBAR: Yup, and that's not all. All the building supplies lying around, and that scaffolding? They've been rebuilding. {As if! Get your eyes checked, Roxas. All the building supplies lying around, and that scaffolding? That means they're repairing the city, which means it's serious.}

ROXAS: "They," who? The citizens?

XIGBAR: Who else? And it looks like a major effort. There may be somebody leading the operation.

ROXAS: You think so?

XIGBAR: All right, Roxas. We've got what we came for. Let's RTC on outta here.

ROXAS: Okay.

New breakthrough!

They head back for the dark corridor.

XIGBAR: Uh-oh.

A handsome young man in ragged clothes and a beautiful, richly-dressed young woman are talking near the corridor. Roxas & Xigbar cannot RTC without being spotted.

XIGBAR: Those must be the locals. Normally, I'd be able to just slip on by, but the way you stick out? Well.

ROXAS: (Thanks.)

XIGBAR: We'd better take the long way around.

They return to the previous area and jump up to a high ledge, where there is another entrance to the palace forecourt. From this vantage point, they are able to overhear the other pair's conversation without being noticed.

JASMINE: You should get some rest, Aladdin.

ALADDIN: I'll be okay. Besides, the sandstorm's finally let up - now's our chance to patch up the city.

JASMINE: That's true, but still... You'll run yourself ragged at this rate.

ALADDIN: Jasmine, you don't need to worry - I'm fine. And since we don't know when the next storm will hit...we need to get everything running again before it does.

JASMINE: If only Genie were around...

ALADDIN: I miss him, too, but this isn't a job for magic. Agrabah's our city. We need to be the ones to fix it up.

JASMINE: Of course, you're right...

ALADDIN: Now, I should get back to work.

JASMINE: Wait. I'll help, too.

He nods, and she follows him as he heads off to resume work.

XIGBAR: So that guy must be spearheading the city repair efforts. The question is, why him? He doesn't look like royalty.

ROXAS: Does he have to be?

XIGBAR: It's not easy getting people to follow you, especially when it involves work. It's the kind of thing you'd expect somebody in the palace to be doing. They already call the shots, right?

ROXAS: True.

XIGBAR: But he definitely wasn't royalty... The girl next to him - now SHE was royalty.

ROXAS: ...... So what now? Do we look around inside the palace?

XIGBAR: No need. We have our answers, and we even got a peek at their leaders.

ROXAS: Good, then we can go home?

XIGBAR: Why, Roxas? Did you leave the toaster plugged in?

ROXAS: You know why.

XIGBAR: Heh heh. C'mon, let's RTC.

New breakthrough!

On a sudden hunch, Roxas goes to check the city gate again. Sandy gusts of wind are blowing out in the desert.

ROXAS: Check out all this sand... I don't think we're going outside.

XIGBAR: Another storm is brewing.

They head back and re-examine the palace doors.

ROXAS: Did those two come through here?

XIGBAR: This door's pretty solid, and the wall's high. The locals might be using the palace as a storm shelter. These people will never be able to repair the city fast enough. Heh heh, glad I don't live here.

ROXAS: Plus they have to deal with all the Heartless.

XIGBAR: Aha! You picked up on a juicy bit there, Roxas.

ROXAS: Why?

XIGBAR: The storm and the Heartless... It's possible they're not completely unrelated.

ROXAS: You think there's a connection?

XIGBAR: All right, I think that's all we're getting for one day. Let's RTC.

New breakthrough!

As Roxas heads for the dark corridor, a Heartless suddenly appears behind him. Xigbar quickly eliminates it, then saunters past Roxas.

ROXAS: Hey, where do Heartless go when they're destroyed?

XIGBAR: They don't go anywhere. They're gone. Only the hearts they held remain. But the hearts go somewhere: Kingdom Hearts.

ROXAS: So what if a person without a heart is destroyed - a Nobody like you or me? Does some part of us remain?

XIGBAR: As if. We're not even supposed to "be" in the first place. What's there to leave behind?

ROXAS: Then whoever it was at Castle Oblivion--

XIGBAR: Gone.

ROXAS: And I'll never see them again?

XIGBAR: Nope.

ROXAS: Oh...

XIGBAR: You coming?

ROXAS: Huh? Oh...yeah.

As Xigbar enters the corridor, Roxas is suddenly overcome.

ROXAS: Nngh!? What's going...on...

He collapses. His last thoughts are of Axel & Xion before he loses consciousness. Then he sees an image of a yellow-haired girl in a white room, wearing a white dress, drawing something in a sketch pad.

ROXAS: Who are you?

-------


Roxas's Diary: How Long?

I only remember part of this day. I heard somebody sent to Castle Oblivion was terminated. Sax said it may have been Axel.

I tried to ask Xigbar about it on the day's mission, and he said nothing's left of Nobodies once we're gone, because we have no hearts to leave behind. I don't remember much after that. They say I collapsed and wouldn't wake up...

Secret Report: Axel's Actions

Simple deduction suggests Axel's outwardly inscrutable actions are the result of some directive from Sax.

Why else eliminate Vexen? He simply wanted to do research. Did we not all stand to gain from the fruits of his Program? What is Axel thinking?

-------



Day 27 ~The Dark Margin~

In a dreamscape, Xemnas, hooded, sits on a dark beach where the moon shines over an ocean. Roxas, also hooded, approaches him.

XEMNAS: I've been to see him. He looks a lot like you.

ROXAS: Who are you?

XEMNAS: I'm what's left. Or...maybe I'm all there ever was.

ROXAS (slightly irritated): I meant your name.

XEMNAS: My name is of no importance. What about you? Do you remember your true name?

ROXAS: My true name is...

XEMNAS: You have been with us for six days now.

He rises and lowers his hood.

XEMNAS: The time has come...

He moves past Roxas, clapping him on the shoulder and mouthing a name: Sora.

In the real world, Xemnas & Sax are in Roxas's room, watching the boy sleep.


SAX: Namin must have begun her work...

XEMNAS: Will he wake from this?

SAX: I am told he will - provided she strips the hero of all his memories.

XEMNAS: Then much hinges on Castle Oblivion.

SAX: We needn't stop collecting hearts. Number XIV has gained power over the Keyblade, just as we intended. Xion can fill Roxas's shoes for the time being.

XEMNAS: And the chamber? Have you found it?

SAX: No, sir. I would say progress is slow...if we had actually made any.

Sax leaves. Xemnas continues to observe Roxas.

XEMNAS: So, sleep has taken you yet again...

-------


Secret Report: Organization Dog

Axel is in the way, though I don't know if he's aware of our plot.

Vexen had no part in our plans - why eliminate him, assuming Axel's orders were to root out traitors to the Organization? Discerning his motives merits our full attention.

-------



Day 28

Secret Report: Dealing with the Traitors

I've uncovered most of what I need to know about the Replica Program, but where's the other one? I can't find any trace of it.

...Vexen was caught in the middle. Pitiable, but unavoidable. I could not risk his Program falling into their hands.

Of greater concern are the traitors. Not the obvious turncoats, but the ones who will get in his and my way. The Keyblade master is not our enemy.

Day 49

Xion is in Roxas's room, watching him sleep.

XION: I went to a new world today. Roxas, you should've seen it. It was so beautiful.

She sets something down, adding to the pile by Roxas's pillow.

XION: Well, I'll visit you tomorrow, okay? Bye, Roxas...

She leaves. Roxas stirs a little, heedless of all the seashells that have been accumulating beside him. He dreams of a boy in red clothes being shut into a white pod.

Day 50 ~Familiar Sound~

In Roxas's dreams, he hears the voice of a girl named Kairi.

"I knew that I'd find you snoozing down here."

Roxas awakens at long last and goes to the Grey Area, but is surprised to find it empty. He leaves and goes to sit up on the clock tower until Xion arrives.

XION: Roxas!?

She comes over to him.

ROXAS: Xion... What happened to me?

XION: You were sleeping - a long, long time. Sax told us not to get our hopes up. That you might not-- Well, you're awake now. That's what counts.

ROXAS: Ugh, I feel like a zombie. Guess there's some things a nap can't cure.

They both laugh. She sits down on the ledge beside him, and pulls another seashell out of her pocket.

XION: Here, I brought you this. It's a seashell. I've been picking one up every time I go out on a mission. Hold it up to your ear.

Roxas does so, and closes his eyes. He hears seagulls and ocean waves. He also sees an image of the boy in red, sitting on a beach with Kairi and looking at the sunset.

-------


Roxas's Diary: Xion's Seashells

I must have missed a lot. It's like I had the longest dream. I woke up to find a bunch of seashells by my pillow. I counted them - one for each day they said I was asleep.

I was wondering who left them there, but then when I got to the clock tower, Xion gave me another one. I held it up to my ear, and I could hear the ocean... Why did it sound so familiar?

The stuff I dreamed about felt strangely familiar, too. I remember being in a white room with somebody the same age as me wearing red clothes...and then he sort of disappeared into the white.

And there was a girl's voice - she said she knew I'd be "snoozing." Why would she know that? The voice was a little like Xion's.

Secret Report: Strange Feeling

Roxas woke up today. I think he was dreaming this whole time.

Being with him feels strange. Familiar. Like listening to the waves crash up against the shore. But why?

-------



To be continued....

Days 1-50 | Days 51-100 | Days 101-150 | Days 151-200 | Days 201-250 | Days 251-300 | Days 301-358