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Day 355: Unsaid, Unheard

Ranyx lays awake in his room

Ranyx: Xgem... Replica Program... Xgem was a puppet made to replicate my powers---the Keyblade's powers... When Xgem left the Organization, Axel didn't stop her. Like he wanted her to go. Axel's probably known about Xgem for some time now, but has kept it from me. Xgem and I are both special Nobodies. Xgem was a replica. A puppet. What about me? Am I a puppet, too? Xemnas said... Ryan was what connects her and me. But who is Ryan And who am I...supposed to be?

He sits up

Ranyx: Axel... If he's hiding things from me about Xgem, what could he be hiding about me?

Ranyx gets off his bed and walks into The Grey Area to confront Axel

Ranyx: Axel.

Axel: Hey, Ranyx.

They stand silent for a moment

Ranyx: Did you find Xgem yet?

Axel: You know it isn't gonna be that easy.

Ranyx: I suppose not... Have you know.... about Xgem, this whole time?

Axel: No, not the whole time.

Ranyx: Since when then?

Axel: Uhhh... I can't exactly remember when.

Ranyx: Didn't get it memorized, huh?

He tries to force a smile but sighs

Ranyx: Axel... Who am I, really?

Axel says nothing

Ranyx: I'm special, like Xgem. I know that. But the Organization wanted me out of the picture. Am I right?

Axel: Yeah... They did.

Ranyx: I guess it's 'cause Xgem copied my powers, and the Keyblade's powers, and they didn't need me anymore. And Axel, I guess you felt the same way.

Axel: You're wrong there. You'll always be...my best friend.

Ranyx: Best friends are supposed to be honest with each other! Who am I, Axel? Xemnas says me and Xgsm are connected to each other through Ryan. I don't even know a Ryan! Am I a puppet like Xgem?

Axel: You're different from Xgem.

Ranyx: Then why d---

Axel: Finding out the truth doesn't always work out for the best.

Ranyx: What makes you so sure about that? I have the right to know the truth! How did I even get here? Why am I so special? Where did I learn how to use the Keyblade? I hardly know who I am! What is so wrong with wanting some answers!?

Axel: Ranyx...

Ranyx: I need to know, Axel. Please... Who am I?

Axel: You've just gotta trust me, Ranyx.

Ranyx: I don't. I can't.

He turns around and starts leaving

Axel: Ranyx...

Ranyx: Somebody knows where I came from. If I can't get answers here, I'll get them somewhere else. That'll be the person...I trust.

He walks back to his bedroom and looks at the WINNER popsicle stick

Ranyx: I tried... But I have to find out about myself. There's no reason for me to be here...anymore.

Ranyx leaves the Castle and walks through the neon-lit streets of the Dark City, passing Axel, who is leaning against a building

Axel: Your mind's made up?

He stops

Ranyx: Why did the Keyblade choose me? I have to know.

Axel: You can't turn on the Organization! You get on their bad side, and they'll destroy you!

Ranxy: Why do I care? They don't ever miss me.

He walks away

Axel: That's not true. I would.

Day 356: Place to Belong

The curtains in the White Room gently sway as two young girls sit at opposite ends of a long white table. The girl in black removes her hood

Megaminé: Nice to meet you...Xgem.

Xgem: Megaminé, are you able...to see my face?

Megaminé (nodding): Yes.

Xgem: Then what do you think I should do?

Megaminé: What do you want to do?

Xgem: Hmm...

Xion looks over at the sketch of her, Ranyx, and Axel hanging on the wall

Xgem: At first, I just wanted to be with Ranyx and Axel forever. But then I started to realize that my memories... Well, these aren't really even mine, are they?

Megaminé: You're not Ryan, and you're not Ranyx. You're Meg as Ryan remembers her.

Xgem: Oh... As I remember more of my past, the more I feel the need to go back where I came from... What should I do...to go back?

Megaminé: So you're going back to Ryan?

Xgem nods

Megaminé: If you return your memories to him, then you will disappear. In exchange for not having your own memory, you're connected through other's memories. So when you disappear, no one will remember you. There won't be any "you" to remember. For all the powers I possess, I can't keep even one piece of the memory called "you" connected.

Xgem: I know. I'm ready. Otherwise I wouldn't be here. I also know that Ranyx should be going back with me. But...I don't think he would understand. Not yet.

Megaminé: I know. Ranyx can't feel Ryan just yet...

Xgem: Megaminé, will you please watch over Ranyx once I'm gone? You won't be alone. I asked someone else, too. There just isn't anything else I can do.

Megaminé: All right.

Xgem: Thank you...

Megaminé: Well, if you're ready, let's go see Ryan.

DiZ enters the room by way of the dark corridor

DiZ: Megaminé, it's them! The Organization has found us! They're almost here! This blasted puppet led them right to our doorstep! See what you get for trusting it?

Xgem: I can handle this!

Xgem runs out

Megaminé (standing up): Wait! Xgem...

Xgem leaves The Old Mansion and searches around for the intruder. Axel enters through the corridor

Axel: Why do I always get stuck with the icky jobs?

He stops once he sees Xgem

Xgem: Axel...

Axel: Xgem...what are you gonna do?

Xgem: I've decided that I have to go back to where I belong.

Axel: Well, to be honest, I always felt that was best, right from the very beginning. But you know, it still really bugs me. Something about this just stinks.

He clenches his fist in anger

Xgem: It's for the good of everyone.

Axel: But how do you know that? Everybody thinks they're right...

Xgem: This is right.

Axel: They're gonna destroy you!

She summons her Keyblade and Axel gasps

Xgem: Please don't hold back, Axel. Promise.

Axel (struggling hard): What's your problem? You both...think you can do whatever you want. Well, I'm sick of it. Go on, you just keep running. But I'll always be there to bring you back!

He summons his chakrams and they fight a heavy battle. Later, Axel carries her back to the Castle on his last legs

Axel: Why you gotta cause me so much trouble...

He struggles to walk and falls to his knees, dropping Xgem. They both lay unconscious at Nothing's Call. Xemnas arrives and picks up Xgem as one would hold a cloth puppet

Day 357: Tears

Ranyx sits atop Twilight Town's clock tower alone, thinking

Ranyx (chuckling weakly): Where did I think I could go? What a joke.

He buries his head in his arms. A hooded Xgem enters and sits next to him

Ranyx: Xgem!

She hands him an ice cream bar and he smiles softly

Ranyx: Thank you.

They sit quietly and watch the sunset

Xgem: Ranyx... I'm out of time.

She stands up and takes her hood off. Ranyx's eyes widen and his jaw drops

Xgem: Even if I'm not ready...I have to make this choice. You have poured so many memories into me...given me so much...that I feel like I'm about to overflow. Look at me, Ranyx. Who do you see? If you see somebody else's face... a boy's face...then that means I'm almost ready. This puppet will have to play her part. Ranyx... This is him. It's Ryan.

Ranyx is speechless. Xgem walks off into the air, remaining suspended. She puts her hood back on and faces him. He stands

Xgem: You're next, Ranyx. I have to make you a part of me, too.

She holds out her hand and dark tendrils move around her

Xgem: Don't you see? This is why I was created.

The dark tendrils and smoke envelop her. Ranyx engages her. After a painful and heavy battle, Xgem falls to her knees, the darkness wrapped around her dissipating. Ranyx holds his head while walking toward her

Ranyx: Who are you...again? It's weird. I feel like I'm forgetting something really important.

Xgem: You'll be...better off now...Ranyx.

She falls over, and Ranyz catches her in his arms. She starts to splinter, small shards of memory floating out of her body

Ranyx: Am I...the one who did this to you?

Xgem: No... It was my choice...to go away now. Better that, than to do nothing...and let Xemnas have his way. I belong with Ryan. And now, I am going back...to be with him. Ranyx...

She places her hand on his

Xgem: I need you...to do me a favor. All those hearts that I've captured... Kingdom Hearts... Set them free.

Ranyx: Kingdom Hearts... Free them?

Xgem's legs start to become crystalline. Ranyx gasps

Xgem: It's too late...for me to undo my mistakes. But you can't let Xemnas... and Vixyner....have Kingdom Hearts. You can't. Good-bye, Ranyx. See you again. I'm glad...I got to meet you. Oh...and of course, Axel, too. You're both my best friends.

She places a hand on Ranyx's cheek

Xgem: Never forget. That's the truth.

Ranyx continues to hold her as her eyes close. She drops her hand, but he catches it, scattering more memories)

Ranyx (pleading): No! Xgem... Who else will I have ice cream with?

The crystal envelops her entire body. She is bathed in warm light until all that remains is a seashell. Ranyx touches it and remembers her smiling face as they sat on the clock tower together

Ranyx: Xgem.

Tears fall from his eyes. Meanwhile, Axel lays in his bed

Axel: How did this happen?

He sits up

Axel: Hmm?

He sees an envelope on his windowsill. He opens it and takes out the WINNER popsicle stick. He stands there, unmoving

Day 358: Believe

A hooded Ranyx walks through the Dark City streets. His destination: The Castle That Never Was. He enters Memory's Skyscraper. It begins to rain. Neoshadows emerge from the ground where he walks. The neon lights of the city buzz in Ranyx's ears, the rain sizzling off their hot cores. Neoshadows surround him. He takes out the Oathkeeper and Oblivion Keyblades, spins them, and strikes them together as if challenging the Heartless to attack. The Neoshadows fall to the deadly blades. The Heartless continue to appear. Ranyx stands at the base of the skyscraper and looks up. Cody stands atop the building, over the large flickering video screen. Ranyx jumps to the side of the building and runs up the length of it, striking down more Neoshadows as they follow him upward relentlessly. Ranyx tosses the Oblivion upward as Cody dives down to catch it. As he does, he gasps from the flood of memories of Xgem pouring into his mind. Flashes of a wounded Xgem on a Bridge, and in his arms on an Tree. Cody and Ranyx pass each other over the large video screen. Ranyx reaches the top of the skyscraper and looks down at the ground. More Heartless emerge around Cody, who clutches his head. A Neoshadow lunges for him, but he strikes it down. Ranyx jumps from the top of the building and the two of them attack the Heartless without a sound. The darkness is dispelled and Cody's memories of Xgem flicker. The two fighters turn toward each other and jump backwards

Ranyx: Who are you?

Cody: What does it matter? I'm here for you.

Ranyx: Why are you trying to stop me?

Cody: Because I want back the rest of Ryan's memories.

Ranyx: Ryan!? Enough about Ryan!

Cody: Do you have some kind of plan?

Ranyx: I'll set all the Hearts free! Then everything will be the way it was! She'll come back...and the three of us can be together again!

Cody: You mean Xgem? It's a struggle just to remember the name now... Either way, I can't let you go doing anything crazy.

Ranyx: I'm going to defeat the Organization and I'm going to find Ryan! I want Xgem back. I want my life back!

Cody: If you try and defeat the Organization, the last thing you'll get is your life back. The Organization will destroy you.

Ranyx: Enough!

Ranyx attacks Cody. After a powerful and emotional battle, Ranyx stands over Cody, who is sitting on the ground)

Cody: Why!? Why do you have the Keyblade?

He looks at the Oathkeeper, but shakes it off

Ranyx: Stop it!

Ranyx attacks Cody, but Cody knocks him away, the Keyblade tossed from Cody's hand. Cody walks up to the body of Ranyx, whose head fills with memories of him, Axel, and Xgem having ice cream. Cody slams his Keyblade into the ground. He stands there for a moment. He gasps as Ranyx struggles to get up, using the Oblivion for support. He stands and pulls it out of the ground, running at Cody, who shoots a Dark Firaga spell at him. Ranyx blasts through the spell and lunges at Cody, who jumps away

Ranyx: Why don't you quit?

Cody: Come on, Brother. I thought you were stronger than that.

Ranyx: Huh? Get real! Look which one of us is winning.

Ranyx is surprised at this outburst

Cody: So it's true. You really are my brother's Nobody. Guess DiZ was right after all.

Ranyx: What are you talking about? I am me! Nobody else!

Ranyx summons both Keyblades and runs to strike him again. Cody dodges the first attack, but misses to block the second one and gets hit in the arm. He hears a voice

Xgem: Cody, please! You have to stop him!

Ranyx: How many times do I have to beat you?

Cody struggles to stand, holding his arm weakly

Cody: All right. You've left me with no other choice.

Ranyx: What?

Cody: I have to release the power in my heart---

He stands and takes off his blindfold, letting it fall to the ground

Cody: the dark power that I've been holding back. Even...if it changes me forever.

He lets out a scream as pillars of dark energy surround him. Ranyx readies his Keyblades once again. The energy clears to reveal the body of a white-haired man and his Guardian counterpart, hovering in the air. Cody teleports in front of Ranxy and the Guardian grabs him by the torso and arms, forcing him to drop his Keyblades in his anguish. They clatter to the ground and vanish

Cody: I have accepted it.

Later, Riku stands over Cody's body. The memories of Xgem begin to fade, as if in a dream, until only Ranyx and Axel sit upon the clock tower. DiZ enters through a corridor of darkness and Cody puts his hood up

Cody: DiZ...he could feel Ryan.

DiZ: Oh, he told you how he "felt," did he? Ridiculous. A Nobody cannot feel anything. 

Cody:If he had met Ryan, things might have been different.

Ranyx hears a voice in his head

Xgem: Ranyx, don't be sad. I came from you and Ryan. I am you...the same way that I am Ryan. You'll forget me, but the memories themselves will never go away. Memories of you and me will always be together...forever, inside him.

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