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Dive Into The Heart: Riku
(2013-01-01 - 2013-01-01)
No description.
Mysterious Voice Had he exhausted himself with the little 'practice' battle against Katyna? Or had he just been tired in general? Whatever the case is, when Riku hit the bed, he was soon out like a light. Even the cawing of Diablo could not keep him awake. What is he to be expecting? Nightmares again? As his consciousness fades, there is suddenly an intense feeling of falling that digs deep into his gut. And then suddenly, water!

Bubbles come up around him as the dense water wraps around his body, and he continues to fall. Beautiful light shines from above as he sinks further and further towards the bottom... away from the light. Down to the darkness where he belongs? Yet somehow, in this dreamlike state, he knows to breathe. He knows that within this water, he can breathe as if it were air. He begins to slow down as he approaches the ocean's bottom...

And then finally... his feet touch down upon the ground, and a beautiful light circles away from where his feet touch the ground. Darkness is banished away by this light, and the 'ocean' disappears until he stands amidst complete darkness, upon a massive pillar. If he looks up, he can see black birds flying off - cast out by the light. And underneath his feet - stained glass. Beautiful stained glass, depicting at the center, Mickey - raising his keyblade to the skies. Around him, people he knows. The faces of people like Pete, Merlin... but then also Sora... Kaira... and some others he might not even know. And then suddenly there's a voice...

It rings from nowhere, and it's hard to recognize at first.

"So much to do...
...such a long road ahead..."

Riku This isn't quite like the places before, where the walls of dark water extend out in a column to a far distant light and darkness above and below. There is still that heavy feeling of storm pressure, a dreamlike quality to everything as black birds swirl around him and dance into the darkness overhead. Riku gradually turns his head down at the stained glass at his feet, taking a few steps across the stained glass. The teenager turns slowly to take everything in before crouching down to gently touch the circle where Kairi lay outlined and shining. She was smiling.

Riku took in a shaky breath and let it out, rocketing to his feet and glaring as he hears the voice. He has not had much pleasant experience with Mysterious Voices. He cringed in expectation of echoing footsteps. Waiting for-- for-- Riku's shoulders start to relax just a little as the dreamlike state does not twist immediately into nightmare. The voice wasn't-- quite definable, but it couldn't be. Could it?

"Who are you?"
Mysterious Voice Unfortunately, the voice does not answer. Not to his question. Instead, it speaks the name of the boy who just asked for it.

"Riku..." There's a ghostly feeling to this voice. It doesn't really seem to 'originate' from anywhere. He can just hear it. But this dreamstate lets him know one thing. For this moment, in this one moment... he's entirely safe. There isn't a thing that will harm him here. For now, this place, this place of light... it is safe.

Still, for all that feeling of safety, it doesn't take away the sudden-ness as three stone platforms begin to rise from the 'ground'. It's amazing, how the glass does not shatter beneath him or underneath those stone platforms. Yet, in this dream realm, it isn't something that is questioned. These platforms, these are diases, lit by three lights. One by one, they shine, and leave behind a shape.

A shield, baring an insignia on the front very reminiscent of King Mickey's head. A sword with the same shape formed as te guard of the weapon, and finally a short wand tipped once again with the symbol of the magic kingdom.

"Power sleeps within you, Riku."

He now stands amidst these three pedestals, a Trinity of power.

"If you give it form... will give you strength."
Riku Safe.

Riku feels something in his chest loosen and let go. He has not been safe, truely safe, in a long time. Perhaps even since the Night when Destiny Islands had been taken away. Running. So much running and fighting and doubting. Running forever, then turning to face those fears. Fighting forever.

He gasps slightly at the feeling of that burden, that fear being lifted even for a moment. It takes him longer to recover from the surprise of that fear being gone than if the voice had answered him.. which he had actually been hoping it wouldn't.

Riku sinks deeper into the dreamlike fog, letting go for the first time in ages and letting it all just slip through his fingers as he turns his eyes from one part of the trinity to another. It all washes over him.

Riku finds himself drifting towards the shield but he corrects his course to look at each one of the wonderous artifacts. Mickey. He frowns very slightly at the memory of.. something. The other world. The world in which there was doubt and pain and that clutching fear was completely abstracted from this one so he pushed the thoughts away.

Riku finds himself in front of the shield again eventually. A shield. A guardian. As long as you champion the ones you love..

Tenatively, like it would attack him or pop like a soap bubble he reaches out a hand to lay it against the metal.
Mysterious Voice As Riku comes to touch the shield, the voice speaks once more;

"The power of the guardian.
Kindness to aid friends.
A shield to repel all."

He can feel that somehow, a 'power' radiates from this shield.

"Is this the power you seek?"
Riku Guardian.

The word resonates, like a single heart beat that feels very much like the sensation of that fear letting go. He's wary. He's so wary of the power lurking within the shield but it hangs suspended in this place where he does not have to be afraid.

In this place. He can be.. anything.

Even himself.

Mysterious Voice "Very well." The voice becomes a bit more recognizable. Riku starts realizing that he knows this voice from somewhere. Not just from his travels - but truly from his past. The shield lifts up to his hands for him to take, before it finally disappears into a flash of brilliant white light. "You will walk with a guardian's power. Now..."

The pedestals remain standing, only the Sword and the Staff remaining.

"Which shall you give up in return?"
Riku A small part of Riku's mind keeps trying to place the voice, but with something like curiosity now that the fear has faded. He ought to know them, but from where?

Riku wanders to the sword and then to the staff. Everything comes with a price. This almost causes him to recoil again, but this place is safety. There was no deception here. Everything was laid out plainly-- or plainly enough, even though he didn't know where this dream would take him.

He finally stops in front of the sword. A sword and shield? No. A Staff and Shield. He took the magic into himself. He had even learned, for even a moment.. to control it well. He wasn't going to give it away now.

But the sword? He had been training with the sword all of his life. It was there for him far before the magic was. But had he been practicing for the wrong reasons? Everything seemed muddled in his head as he tried to decide what to let go of.

Riku closes his eyes, trying to listen.. to hear the answer bubble up from the depths as it had before when he had asked instead of ignored.

The teenager slowly opens his eyes and reached out for the staff. He didn't need the magic. He knew how to control it now, even if it was only for just that day, but he had never needed it-- he had only thought he had.
Mysterious Voice "The power of the mystic.
Inner Strength.
A staff of wonder and ruin.
This is the power you forfeit."

With that, the staff disappears in a bright flash, and the pedestals begin to shake. The sword too disappears, and the ground begins to shake... and then suddenly the glass shatters! That feeling of 'safety' suddenly disappear, as darkness approaches him again. The 'shards' of glass disappear around him, as he falls further and further. And as he turns to look down at what he approaches, he finds a beautiful stained glass image once more...

But this time, it's a beautiful picture of Kaira, asleep, leaning back. Around her, objects amidst circles. Stars, items. A sword, a staff, a shield, the symbol of the Trinity. Kairi looks so peaceful - asleep. Finally, gravity changes again, and he is set gently down upon this platform.

"You've chosen your power."

The voice is young - and he realizes it is not a face that was in that previous room.

Then the source of the 'dread' in this place comes out. Small black blobs draw from the ground... and he realizes all of the sudden that all his power has left him. He has nothing anymore. No darness, no sword, no armor. He's just like that kid in the past. The kid who could do nothing to get off of that island.

"Many a time you'll be expected to fight. No matter what, Riku..."

But then, the shield appears in his right hand... and with it, he feels a strange power. The heartless crawl towards him, threatening him.

"You must not forget...."
Riku "No."

Riku can barely make that soft noise of denial come out.

Not again.

And he's left alone. He's left alone-- falling and falling-- and it all comes back to the island again. Another world doomed because he listened to darkness and echoing footsteps. His home gone. The safety wrenches away and Riku withdraws into himself. He was a fool to trust in this place, in this moment of 'safety'-- The teenager growls very softly, anger rising as he glares at the heartless.

"I.. am not going to let you take me." Even if that was all he had left, he wasn't going to give himself up. The shield appears rather abruptly, and he stares at it as if not really expecting to be given something with everything taken away. The dreamlike quality of the world returns, seeping into his mind and making him start to lose a grip on his resentment. Riku narrowed his eyes and braced himself briefly before throwing himself into assaulting the shadows.

He had a way to fight back now. He wasn't going to stand by and watch. He wasn't going back into the dark.
Mysterious Voice With this shield, things somehow seem different. It's a stark contrast in how he took down the Heartless with his blade. They always were destroyed into a poof of smoke. But this time, as he hits them with that shield, they /burst/ and pop... and a heart ends up floating up into the air. One would never expect a simple shield to have this much force. But within moments, all four heartless are bested... so easily.

"You must not forget.
Do not be afraid."

And with the heartless bested, he's given a moment of reprieve. But more importantly, with them gone... that feeling of intense safety overcomes him again. And with that... memories. Memories of him and Sora running across the beach. Kairi, smiling at him as she gives him a glas of lemonade. The warm embrace of his mother. Just laying in his bed and relaxing. The warm beach, the smell of the ocean... this is a moment...

This is a moment to reminisce.
Riku "Bad dreams again, sweetie?"

Riku rubs his eyes, head hanging down as he tries to fight off the approach of the elusive and treacherous feeling of safety. He tries to push away the memories but, like they had been all sharp edges in the realm of darkness-- maybe these ones were also trying to tell him something.

Or maybe it was just trying to make him let go again. Riku stood in the aftermath of the destruction, the smell of warm oatmeal filling his lungs.

"Maybe somewhere out there, someone is really hurting.. and just needs someone to listen." Take your own advice, Riku. Listen.

The sound of the ocean. "So." he says quietly to himself. "I guess I'm the only one working on the raft." He smiles very faintly. The raft.

It had meant everything to him once. Let's go to the other end of the ocean. Let's do it together. Let's all-- Riku slowly closes a fist. He rocked back and forth on his heels, letting the memories wash over him like the tides. A few seabirds fighting over a sandwich squawk over the sound of laughter. The memories have edges of pain to them. His parents. His dad teaching him the sword. Rain. A warm kitchen filled with cheerful banter.

He missed that so much it made his entire body ache.


Riku puts a hand over the shield he had used, hands slightly splayed across the surface. Somehow he had to save her. He had to get her away from the darkness. He had time for memories later. Somehow, he had to put things right.
Mysterious Voice The memories continue to flood, and then suddenly... twilight. Sora and Riku are running over a bridge.

"Hey, slow down! Will you just wait for me?"

"Keep up Sora!" Riku hears himself call out, running. They were younger... they were just... having fun!

"I can't run anymore!" Sora complains.

This is followed by him suddenly standing amidst the beach... and then notices an older boy standing there in strange clothing.

"So how did you get here anyway?" Riku asks...

The boy replies; "Is there some reason, you are interested in the outside world?" The dream changes a little...

Has his reason changed?
Riku Riku gets some serious mental whiplash as the dreamstate takes him over the bridge. These were the sharp edged ones.

The memories that cut him to look at and so he buried them, but they were not buried anything like as deeply since they had been wrenched from the sand just so recently.

Perhaps that is why it doesn't hurt is much to blow the sand off them and take another look. Riku stands poleaxed with indecision, slowly trying to peel away the reasons as his mind jerks back and forth between --this is reality, and nothing more than curiosity, and then this is one of the sharp edged dreams-- and there is so much doubt and confusion and.. disappointment.

Riku waited, and held on, and the shuddering unreality began to fall away. A little at a time, an echoing word here-- a fragment there-- like shattered glass falling away as an outer layer of crystal shatters, revealing what it had shielded within. Riku took a long time in answering but maybe that was all just in his head. A long time, or no time at all, or anything inbetween.

At first. At very first-- his reason was only to escape. But running doesn't get you anywhere.. running and fighting forever..

Riku shakes his head slightly. "Because--" Riku dredges the words up as if pulling them through a deep morass. "Because there are people worth fighting for.. worth protecting.. worth.. saving.. somehow." Riku forces himself to say the rest. "And.. There are things I need to set right, and even if I can't, I still need to try."
Mysterious Voice The young man nods, smiling as Riku gives his answer. It seems like a reflection of his own inner self. A smile, because he's being honest to himself. "Outside of this tiny world, is a much bigger one." He says, before he approaches Riku and kneels down in front of him. Then he reaches his hand forwards... and summons...

A keyblade! It looks rustic, and... recognizable. There's a sudden flash of a memory. An armor that stood in his way.

"In your hand, take this key.
So long as you have the makings,
then through this simple act of taking,
its wielder you shall one day be.
And you will find me, friend.

No ocean will contain you then.
No more borders around,
or below,
or above.

As long as you champion the ones you love."

Followed by a shout out from a kid in the distance. Sora.


And then suddenly, Riku falls again. The dream sails away like sand dispersing under a mystic wind, and he falls... further and further...
Riku They stood in the way. A flash of memory. Why did not come back? Why--

But it felt right. He was honest, and he listened and-- then everything was gone again. Riku turned slightly away and as he does so, starts to fall as the ground goes out from under him. He has nothing to hold onto but he still lunges to keep a hold on that-- moment. That space. "SORA!" He turns, twisting almost completely around as he continues to fall, desperate for some way-- but there is nothing, and inevitably it all falls away from him again.

Riku lets out a cry of absolutely unbridled frustration, almost pointed straight down now as he falls and falls-- and it seems to take forever, and everything that felt right.. felt like he had a grasp on.. something.. recedes into the far distance.
Mysterious Voice Finally, Riku comes to land upon his final Station for this journey. He lands upon it... and looks beneath his feet. This time, there are no pretty pictures. All the glass is cracked. It's a mess. It's impossible to tell what had once been depicted here. Dark wisps flow up from between the cracks. Yet still, the door remains.

There is still that door, at the end, with a light shining behind it. And inevitably, Riku is drawn to that door.

"The closer you get to the light..."

Yet something happens as he gets closer...

"The greater your shadow becomes."

And indeed, a shadow comes. But it may not be like what he expects it to be. The shadow comes and shifts its shape, and finally turns into the image of a raft. The raft. Almost done... yet never finished. And then voices from around him. His own voice this time:

"I guess I'm the only one working on the raft."

Over and over again.

How many times had he not said it?

How long had it not taken to build that raft?

How many times... had he himself not played, and forgotten about that raft?

And blamed his friends for his own lack of work?

The shadow then suddenly expands, and the darkness expands. The light of the door is suddenly washed away, as the door is forced to SHUT - as /darkness/ becomes an ocean he has to swim within, and that raft... just dances there on the water. Safe...

And then voices behind him. "Rikuuuuu!" Dark water rains down.

"Riiiikuuuuuu!" Sora.


King Mickey.




They all call out for him. They stand upon that island. And before him is that raft.

Will he give up on that raft and swim safely to his friends?
Riku The storm.

Riku can barely make anything out as the dark water surrounds him from all sides. The rain hammers him as he gasps and struggles to keep afloat in the ocean of darkness.

As he goes down, the ear-ripping, mind twisting wrathful scream is there waiting for him. A hopeless despair pulling at him and the ocean is full of clawing, twisting shadowy shapes.

Manhattan is there as he loses sight of his friends. The light falters and goes out, but it all seems so detached from him. A dream within a dream, all the images distorted, the sounds echoing thickly through the dark water. Riku thrashes to the surface. Mercade. Will. Reize.

The indecision was going to destroy him. He had to choose. He had to go in one direction or another but nothing felt right. It was so hard to listen with the storm raging around him.

No one reached the other end of the ocean because they lost interest. Everything was here on the island. All their friends. Everyone they knew. Why leave that all behind? Perhaps it would be a project for another day.. and another.. and if the raft was never finished, then who would be left to care?

They were calling out to him. They were calling out for him to turn back, to give up, and he had always listened before. He had always made excuses before. He had left others make his choices for him, be his conscience for him, do the heavy lifting-- but they were back there, on the island, and the island was not in danger.

It was the ocean he had to conquer.. and for that he needed the raft. He needed to /finish/ what he started. He would make his way back to his friends someday. Somehow-- but this was something he needed to do for himself.

RIku lashed out a hand, trying to pull himself onto the raft. It was the only way he could reach the doors without drowning, and if he could only hold it together long enough-- then he would see for himself what was behind it. What he needed to see beyond it.

To the other end of the ocean, then.
Mysterious Voice The boy finally climbs onto the raft, and upon that raft he finds a hand. The hand of Sora's and Kaira - who both help him onto the raft. They smile at him. Honest smiles. "We always knew you could do it." Just moments before the raft takes off into the ocean, and they naturally come to float towards big doors of light in the distance...

And when they float through, he can see their faces one last time. Smiling to him... and then...

He awakens.
Riku Command: Hug

Permission Denied.

Riku grins sardonically, thumping Sora a little harder than he means to as he coughs and splutters, dark water sluicing off his clothes. They were finally on their way. They--

Riku bolts up with a choking gasp from the volumnous comfort of the large bed in his tower rooms. He pulled a hand through his hair looking with abstraction at the far wall, then up at the ceiling.

What had he been-- ? ..Pictures, flashes, fragments of images. He felt strangely better. Not only because he usually only gets real sleep here.. but as if some knot in his chest had loosened. One that he had barely knew had been there. Riku swings his legs over the side, a little strangely unsteady as he gets to his feet.

"What was that?" he murmurs to himself, then shakes his head. He needed to take a walk and clear his head.. see where the roads took him from there.

This scene contained 20 poses. The players who were present were: Mysterious Voice, Riku