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Day 255: The Longest Day

Xemnas, Saïx, and Xigbar sit in the Round Room

Saïx: I sent Axel to Castle Oblivion last night, to help expedite the matter we spoke of. I also instructed him to clear out our facilities there. He should return soon.

Xemnas: And what of Megaminé?

Saïx: Still missing, sir.

Xigbar: Ha ha! Where, oh where could she be?

Saïx: Why, Xigbar... It almost sounds as though you know.

Xigbar smiles and hums, angering Saïx

Xemnas: Continue.

Saïx: Somebody accessed our main computer without authorization.

Xigbar: And you expect us to believe you really don't know who it was? As if. Little Poppet is turning into a problem.

Saïx: Nonsense. I see no problem whatsoever.

Xigbar: Ha ha! Well no, apparently you don't!

Saïx: Something you find amusing?

Xigbar: Ah, the things you hear from a guy with no heart.

Saïx prepares to speak, but Xemnas goes first

Xemnas: No matter what unfolds, our plans remain unchanged. Axel, Ranxy, and Xgem will play the respective roles that Kingdom Hearts has given them.

Saïx: But sir, Xgem---

Xemnas: Leave it be. How can you not see how perfect this is? In truth, this is more than perfect. Xgem is marching right into the arms of destiny, but to destiny's own time. We need not take any more steps. All we must do is watch with caution and patience.

Meanwhile, Xgem enters Castle Oblivion. She looks around and proceeds to grab her head in pain

Xgem: My head...hurts...

A memory comes to her. She is standing in a white hall of Castle Oblivion with Saïx

Saïx: This is the last you'll ever see of these walls, Xgem.

The memory ends and she falls to her knees, clutching her head and groaning. Axel appears from the end of the hall

Xgem: Axel... What are you doing here...?

Axel: I'm just here on orders, that's all. There's nothing for you to see here.

Xgem: Lies! This is the place I come from. I just know it.

Axel: What about your mission?

She says nothing

Axel: Don't be selfish.

Xgem: Or else they'll turn me into a Dusk?

Axel: They'll do worse than turn you into a Dusk. They'll just destroy you.

Axel offers his hand to Xgem, but she stands up on her own

Xgem: And is that because I'm useless?

Axel: That's not it.

She tries to walk away, but Axel grabs her wrist

Axel: Xgem, go home.

Xgem: I'm remembering things. I have memories of back when I was a human.

Axel: Well, stop remembering. Nothing good will come of it.

Xgem: I have dreams every night. And you're in those dreams, Axel!

Axel: Then they sure aren't memories. How could I be a part of your past? They're just dreams, that's all.

Xgem: You can't fool me. We've met before, Axel, right here in this castle!

Axel: No, we have not.

Axel places his hands on Xem's shoulders

Axel: Let's go home, Xgem. Don't keep Ranxy waiting.

Xgem: Please, Axel...you've got to help me! I need to know who I am.

She escapes Axel's grasp and runs

Axel: Stop! Stay out of there, Xgem!

She enters through the golden doors at the end of the hall. A light is released as they open. Later, Ranyx sits alone on the clock tower

Axel: You're early.

Ranyx looks up to see Axel standing at the corner entrance

Ranyx: No, you're just late.

Axel sits down next to Ranyx and smiles. Some moments pass and they have ice cream

Ranyx: Today makes 255.

Axel: What's that about?

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

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

Ranyx: 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 puts his hand on Ranxy's shoulder

Axel: Right, that first week you could barely form a sentence. But come on, you're still kind of a zombie.

Axel gives him a playful pat on the back

Ranxy: Oh, thanks!

They laugh

Axel: Hey, Ranyx. 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.

Ranyx elbows him

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

They laugh again. More time passes and Ranxy finishes his ice cream. Axel rests on his back

Ranxy: That's weird, where is she?

He looks to the corner entrance, which is empty. Axel's face turns serious and he sits back up. Meanwhile, Xgem looks into an orb in a room of Castle Oblivion

Xgem: Wh-What... Then I...wasn't who I am...?

Day 256: News

In the Round Room, Xemnas informed the assembled Organization members of Xgem's disappearance. He continued by prohibiting anyone from pursuing her.

Unhappy with Xemnas's decision, Ranyx argued that they should search for Xgem, but was told that all will become clear when the time came. Xemnas concluded the meeting with those words.

Day 257: Hollow

The days passed without Xgem

Axel no longer came to the usual spot, and Ranyx sat alone, eating his ice cream.

Day 276: Disorder

Ranyx stands on the School at Canterlot High. He remembers Ryan and Meg at the park, and picks up a seashell)

Ranxu: Xgem...

He looks around and sees a cloaked figure on the bridge to the smaller island. He gasps and runs to it. The figure walks to the small island and stops

Ranxy: Xgem!

They stand silent for a moment before the cloaked figure turns to face him. It takes off its hood and Ranxy is taken aback. Something snaps in his mind and the silver hair of Zexion is revealed

Zexion (lifting an arm): Surely...you must've known that this was going to happen.

Ranyx stands stunned

Cody (lowering his arm): Why would I know?

Cody walks in from the bridge. Ranyx switches his gaze between the two of them

Zexion: Because, in your memory, you've been to a number of worlds before you came to this one.

Zexion and Cody start to circle around Ranyx

Zexion/Cody (their voices becoming one): And of course, in those worlds, the only beings you met were the dark kind.

The world starts to flash and fade. Ranyx clutches his head in agony

Zexion/Cody: That's all that's left in your heart: the darkest of memories. Your memories of home are gone---every one.

Ranxy falls to his knees. He thrusts out a hand to catch his fall and the flashes get more intense

Zexion/Cody: That's a lie! I remember everyone from the islands!

Xgem continues to clutch her head in pain

Zexion/Cody: They're my...my...my closest friends...

She falls to her side

Zexion/Cody: And who threw away those friends? Maybe it's your own actions you've forgotten.

Cody continues to squirm in pain

Zexion/Cody: It was you who destroyed your home!

Ryan's eyes are wide in agony, his head throbbing. Later, Xgem is held in someone's arms, disheveled

Xgem: Who am I? What am I...here for?

The silver haired man brushes her hair aside and recalls a conversation with Megaminé. They sit in a White Room, at opposite ends of the table

Megaminé: So we meet again.

Cody: You made me a promise.

Megaminé: I remember. It was to look after Sora. I'm sorry... I'm not sure I've kept that promise very well.

Cody: Can you tell me what's happening?

Megaminé: Some of Ryan's memories are missing.

Cody: How could that be?

Megaminé: Ryan's memories are escaping through Ryan's Nobody into a third person---and now they're starting to become a part of her.

Cody: Isn't there a way to bring back just Ryan's memories?

Megaminé: If they're still separate...then I think I can take out fragments of it.

She picks up the sketchbook on the table of the picture of Axel, Ranxy and Xgem

Megaminé: But if her memories and Ryan's memory fragments are completely weaved together... I would need to untangle them from each other and that would take more time. Which means it would take even longer before Ryan can wake up again. And DiZ wouldn't tolerate that.

Cody: So what can you do?

Megaminé: If I just jump in and rearrange her memory...then Ryan might wake up only to find out that nobody remembers him anymore. That's a risk I just can't take. It's too late either way. Ryan's awakening has already been delayed. Ryan's Nobody and the one that's absorbing his memory... None of us imagined that they would fight so hard to become their own people. Unfortunately, the only real solution...is for them both to go away. Did you know her face was blank at first? But now...there is a face that is clearly visible. I think that's proof that she has entered Ryan's memories. Ryan's memories, Ryan's Nobody's memories, and her memories... They're all a jumbled mess now. And to put them back into one... I'm afraid there's no other way.

Cody: All right.

The blindfolded Cody looks up to see Ranxy running into a dark corridor. He looks back at her. She has a dream of her, Ranxy, and Axel watching the sunset from Canterlot High

Xgem: Is it that I'm not supposed to exist?

Ranxy and Axel look over at her

Axel: Well, what do you want to do, Xgem?

Xgem: I want...I want to be with you two.

She folds her hands in her lap and Ranxy places his hand on hers

Ranxy: Then come back with us.

Xgem: I can't... Not the way I am now. But...what would it take for me to be like you?

Xgem glances over at the two of them and then puts her head down. They continue to watch the sunset. Meanwhile, Axel sits on the clock tower, eating ice cream, when Ranxy walk in

Ranxy: Hey... It's been a while.

Axel: You think so?

Ranxy (sitting next to him): So...I went to the School today. And there was this girl who looked kind of like Xgem...but I couldn't get close enough to tell for sure. I probably imagined it. To be honest, I'm not even sure today's mission really happened. Feels like I just woke up from a dream or something. Do you remember our promise? When we said that the three of us would go to the beach on our next break? Maybe that's why. Maybe I saw Xgem there because I wanted her to be there.

Axel stands up, sighs, and thinks

Axel: Wanna go look for her?

Ranxy: Huh?

Axel: Beginning tomorrow, let's use our spare time to find Xgem.

Ranxy: Mm-hmm. Sounds good, let's do that.

They look toward the sunset. Axel looks down

Day 277: Searching

While visiting a world on a mission, Ranxy met the always cryptic Cheshire Cat.

Before disappearing, the Cheshire Cat responded to Ranxy's questions by saying that he must follow his heart and decide what to believe in.

Would having a heart resolve everything, including Xgem's predicament?

Ranxy was left pondering over what he could believe in when he doesn't possess a heart.

Ranxy and Axel continued their search for Xgem

Day 296: Confessions

Ranxy and Axel enter the clock tower ledge

Ranxy: It's no use.

Axel: You sure you're not forgetting some place?

Ranxy: I've been everywhere I know how to get to.

Axel: Alright...

Axel sits down and sighs

Ranxy: The only place I haven't been to is Castle Oblivion.

Axel gasp

Ranxy: It was just the other day that Xion was asking you what the place was like. And the day before she disappeared, you said she was put on an important mission. Remember?

Axel: Yeah... But there's nothing there anymore.

Ranxy: Well, Xgem might be there.

Axel: Hmm... (sighs) Apparently...Xgem comes from Castle Oblivion.

Ranxy: What?

Axel: That's probably why she was asking about the place.

Ranxy: I had no idea...

Axel: Me neither. I only found out a little while ago.

Ranxy: Castle Oblivion... Xgem...

Day 297: Contact

Axel and Ranxy enter Castle Oblivion

Ranxy: So, this is Castle Oblivion...

Ranxy walks ahead of Axel and starts groaning

Axel: Ranxy!?

Ranxy tries to keep walking forward as he holds his head

Ranxy: Agh! My...my head!

Axel: Easy, man! Let's retreat for now and---

Ranxy: I'm fine! We have to...find Xgem...

He falls to his knees and continues clutching his head

Ranxy: Wh...what's happening?

Axel: Ranxy!

Roxas: So much...rushing into...my head...

(Axel helps him stand up)

Axel: Let's get out of here for now!

He summons a dark corridor

Ranxy: No, wait... There's...something...I can...almost...

Axel walks him into the corridor

????: Giving up already? I thought you were stronger than that.

Ranxy (waking up): Cody!

He pants. Axel and Ranzy are on the Side Street in Twilight Town

Axel: Are you alright?

Ranxy: What...happened to me?

Axel: You collapsed just as you entered the castle doors. Don't you remember?

Ranxy: I only remember going inside.

He stands up

Axel: Just take it easy for now.

Ranxy: I'm fine. Let's go back to Castle Oblivion.

Axel: Don't push yourself, man. (sensing something) Who's there?

They see two cloaked figures watching them

Ranxy: Xgem?

One lowers their head and opens a corridor, walking inside

Ranxy: Xgem, wait!

Ranxy runs over but the other figure steps in the way as the corridor closes

Ranxy: Rrgh... Out of the way!

The figure says nothing and runs

Ranxy: Hey!

Axel: Ranxy, wait!

They chase the impostor through the Underground Passage. They follow him until he reaches the grate to Sunset Terrace, where he escapes through a dark corridor. They arrive just when it closes and catch their breath

Axel: I thought the impostor was sighted in Castle Oblivion!

Ranxy: Xgem...

Axel: No way that was Xgem!

Ranxy: The one who ran away first was Xgem. But...why run?

She hides around the corner, overhearing them. The impostor walks up to her and takes his hood off

Riku: You want to go back?

Xgem: Huh...

Xion looks at Ranxy and Axel

Day 298: Fracture

Ranxy chases a cloaked figure into the south alcove in Twilight Town's Tram Commons. The figure turns around and takes off her hood

Ranxy: Xgem.

He walks up to her

Ranxy: Where have you been? Axel and I have been looking all over for you.

Xgem: You have? Sorry.

Ranxy: Let's go home. If you come back voluntarily, Saïx will let all this drop. He has to.

Axel stands with his arms folded on a ledge around the corner, listening. Xgem looks down

Ranxy: I don't care what he said to you. I'll be there. Me and Axel will make sure---

She takes a step back as he holds out a hand. Ranxy gasps

Xgem: I really can't.

Ranxy: Why not? Come on...

He tries to grab her, she backs further away. She looks down and tries to run

Ranxy (grabbing her arm): Wait!

She stops...and summons her Keyblade, pointing it straight at the gasping Ranxy. He lets go of her arm. A chakram flies in, but she blocks it and it shoots into the ground, lighting on fire and disappearing. Axel walks in

Axel: Well, hello there...Xgem.

Ranxy: Axel?

Xgem lunges for him

Ranxy: No, wait!

Xgem takes a strike at Axel, who summons his chakrams in a swirl of fire. Ranxy stands helpless as the two exchange blows. Xgem blocks an attack and the chakrams fly back to Axel. Xgem runs for him again

Ranxy: Stop!

Xgem hesitates, looking over at Ranxy, before getting a smack from behind that knocks her unconscious. She falls forward, but Axel grabs her, and her Keyblade falls to the ground with a metal clang, vanishing

Ranxy: Xgem...

Ranxy runs to her. Axel carries her over his shoulder and exits through a corridor, leaving Ranxy by himself, running at nothing

Day 299: Sora

Axel and Saïx talk on the upper level of the Hall of Empty Melodies

Axel: You're sure things are better this way?

Saïx: I never expected you to question it. If you could save one of them... why would you choose the puppet?

Axel struggles with his thoughts

Saïx: Or put it this way. Which would you rather suffer the loss of: some make-believe friendship, or a real one?

Axel looks away

Saïx: Things are finally right again. Of course we're better off this way. Xemnas is exasperated from all the "fixing" we've had to do. We have to set things right. There is simply too much on the line...Lea.

Axel walks out. Meanwhile, Xemnas and Ranxy sit in the Round Room

Ranxy: I need to know...

Xemnas: About what?

Ranxy: Xgem. Tell me what happened to her.

Xemnas: Xgem is a valued member of the Organization, but she needs her rest. So worry not.

Ranxy gasps as a flash occurs. He thinks about the conversation at The Dark Margin. Ranxy stands hooded as Xemnas walks past him, placing a hand on his shoulder

Xemnas: Ryan.

The memory ends

Ranxy: ...Ryan?

Xemnas snickers

Ranxy: Who is Ryan?

Xemnas: The connection.

Ranxy: Connection?

Xemnas: He is what makes you and Xgem a part of each other's lives. And the reason I placed Xgem among our number. If you want her to stay that way, I must insist you get your mind off these needless distractions. I will have Xgem return to her duties tomorrow. Today, you must focus on yours.

Ranxy: Understood.

He leaves the Round Room and walks through Twilight's View. He sees Axel and stops

Axel: Hey, Ranxy.

Ranxy turns away in disgust and walks past him. Axel sighs. Saïx meets with Xemnas in the Round Room

Saïx: Are you certain we've taken suitable measures with Xgem and Ranxy?

Xemnas: I will admit, Xgem has strayed from our original designs. However, we are also seeing an interesting side effect.

Saïx: Really?

Xemnas: The Key. Xgem was affected by Ranxy, just as we had anticipated. This was indeed what we had hoped to achieve... But then, through Ranxy, Ryan himself began to shape "it" into "her," giving Xgem a sense of identity. Our plan seemed like a failure at this point... But then it occurred to me. Xgem is keeping Ryan's memories trapped by claiming them as her own. Keeping her close to Roxas will ultimately prevent Sora from ever waking.

Saïx: I see. And what of the imposter?

Xemnas: See that he stays away from Ranxy. He is merely an impurity that would make Xgem's existence incomplete.

Saïx: Then we shall return to our original plan.

Outside, in the Dark City, Cody stands atop Memory's Skyscraper. He looks over to the moon. Xgem sits curled up in her room

Xgem: What am I supposed to do... ...Cody?

She looks outside her window

Day 300: Shutdown

Ranxy sits on the clock tower. Axel and Xgdm join him. They sit in silence. Megaminé stands in the Pod Room)

Megamine: Oh no..?

..

DiZ walks over

DiZ: What has happened?

Megaminé: Ryan's memory...I'm afraid has stopped.

DiZ: What does that mean?

Megaminé: Unless something is done, he'll never wake from his slumber.

DiZ: The gloves must come off then.

Megaminé: But...

DiZ: Nobodies never should have existed---as I'm sure you understand, Megaminé.

Megaminé: Yes...

Day 301: Vacant Place

Ranxy sits on the clock tower alone, eating ice cream

Day 321: Waning Power

Ranxu has a dream about when Ryan lost his Keyblade, and his friends, to Cody. A tear falls from Ranxy's cheek and he wakes up. He wipes the tear from his face and looks at it

Ranxy: What..is this...?

A memory of Ryan sealing the Agrabah Keyhole plays

After Xgem returned to the Organization, Ranxy grew weaker by the day. It was as though Xgem continued to gain strength as Ranxy lost it.

Using the Keyblade was beginning to wear out Ranxy.

After their mission, Ranxy and Xgem sit on the clock tower

Xgem: Are you really okay?

Ranxy: (laughs) This is getting weird.

Xgem: Huh?

Ranxy: Since when do you ever worry about me?

Xgem: What do you mean "weird"?

Ranxy: Usually, I do all the worrying over you. I don't think it's ever been the other way around before. Just feels strange, that's all.

Xgem: Ranxy, of course I worry about you.

Ranxy: I'm just glad you're back, Xgem. Even though it might have been rough on you.

Xgem: Is Axel coming today?

Ranxy: Ah... Who knows...

Xgem: You didn't fight, did you?

Ranxy: How could he? How could that jerk attack you like that?

Xgem: ... "That jerk"...? Do you mean Axel?

Ranxy says nothing

Xgem: But...I wouldn't be sitting here with you if Axel hadn't done that.

Ranxu still says nothing

Xgem: He's your best friend.

Ranxy: I know, but so are you.

Xgem: Heh. It's just not the same without all three of us...

Later, Axel walks through Naught's Skyway

Xgem: Axel!

Axel: Huh?

Xgem approaches Axel from behind

Axel: You need something?

Xgem: Well, um... Something's wrong with Ranxy. You don't know why, do you? He says the Keyblade wears him out when he goes to use it. And then today, I was fighting the same way Ranxy does.

Axel: You would know more about Ranxy than I do by now.

Xgem: What do you mean?

Axel: (sighs) Well, what do you think, Xgem?

Xgem: I'm not sure.

Axel: Not sure, huh? Is that because you're a puppet?

Xgem gasps

Axel: You do know that. You're a replica whose original purpose was to copy Ranxy's powers. So if you see Ranxy's powers getting weaker, while your powers are getting stronger... It could be that you're robbing Ranxy of his powers more than you oughta be.

Xgem: What can I... Then what should I do?

Axel: You gotta think for yourself. Cuz I know you're not just a puppet. We're best friends. You, me, and Ranxy, that is. Got it memorized?

Xgem: Sure. Can I ask you just one other thing?

Axel: What's that?

Xgem: I saw a purple dragon today who has those movement like Ranxy.

Axel gasps and sighs

Xgem: Is he who I think he is?

Xigbar stands around the corner overhearing the conversation

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