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Homines in Tenebrae: Chapter 1, Escape
It was morning. Everyone was lazily getting out of their beds to get their mission from the second of command in the Grey Area. However, they all received notice that there was an addition to the Organization, and that their missions were going to be delayed. One of the last to wake up was Vincent. After dragging his groggy self to Saix, he, too, was informed about the addition to the Organization.
Only moments after he was told did Vincent realize that they already had numbers one through twelve in the Organization already filled up. This would be number thirteen.
And that meant that he would be taken from his temporary position and erased.
The two looked at each other in silent understanding. Although it seemed that they both had relatively plain faces, they could both tell what the other was thinking. Number VII already had a plan for how to help Vincent. He couldn't watch the boy perish. It would be like watching himself die. All the man needed to say was, "Are you ready?"
Vincent gave a little nod, just noticeable for the other. "I'll be in the lab in the meantime. I will see you there, I presume?"
"No longer than ten minutes once the meeting starts. Be ready ahead of time."
With that, the teenage boy turned and returned to Vexen's Laboratory. He looked around for the last time. There was no way he would ever return back to this place ever again, unless he was asking for death, of course. As he looked around, there was one special thing that he wanted to take with him. He didn't know why he was attached to the object, but it just gave him comfort. It was a small blanket, pink and white with random patterns on it. Vincent would hold it as if a baby were wrapped in it sometimes. He would always need it by his head when he slept so he could smell it. It was just a sense of security. Having a material possession he was extremely attached to didn't seem wrong, so he held it and waited.
It seemed like he waited for far too long, that Saix was somehow being delayed. Maybe this meeting was just longer than usual. Number XIII was a vital member to the Organization.
Vincent sat on the counter, swinging his legs and waiting. There was nothing to entertain himself with, and he couldn't be occupied with anything when Saix came. Every once in a while, Vincent would stop swinging his legs and begin to nod off. To try and keep himself awake, he tried reciting parts of a book he read and loved. Of course, that failed to it's job. It was his own fault he hadn't been getting sleep lately with the thoughts of his demise in mind. Hopefully Saix wouldn't take too much longer…
Vincent eventually fell asleep, too weak to keep himself awake. He put an effort in trying to do so, anyways.
A loud slam woke him up. He jumped and fell of the counter. Vincent had to blink a few times before being able to see anything through his drowsy eyes. All he could see was black, and a hint of blue running to him. Vincent felt himself being lifted off the ground, being carried by someone. After finally coming to his senses, he gave a relieved sigh when he realized that it was Saix carrying him, but obviously in a hurry.
"Saix-" he tried to speak, but the second of command cut him off.
"No time to explain, I have to get you out of here!" The bluenette summoned a dark corridor and looked back once. Vincent tried to as well, but Saix kept his gaze away from where he was looking. Then VII turned back and ran through the portal.
The other side of the swirling darkness was not a familiar place. It was dark, destroyed, and just all around gloomy. Although, it looked like it could've been a pretty place at one point. In the center of the unknown town was a giant castle, with pipes coming out of dark areas and collapsed pathways. It was abandoned, or so it seemed. On the very front of the castle was an all too familiar symbol, the Heartless emblem. What was this place. And why would Saix bring him here?
The dark corridor behind the two was closed, and the elder let Vincent down onto his feet. "Where are we?" Vincent was amazed by what he was seeing. He felt right at home here, even though he had never been to this place before.
"This used to be where I lived," Saix said softly, a hint of sadness hidden behind his monotone voice. Vincent was exasperated to say the least. Why would he want to live in such a gloomy place like this? Then again, he may have not had the transportation to go to another world. Typically, where you end up is where you end up.
The two silently walked for a minute, up towards the castle, and had small conversations.
"I think we'll be safe here for a little while. Almost everyone in the organization knows this place well."
"Who is 'almost everyone'?"
"The founding members of the Organization. They all lived here before they got turned into Nobodies. It was a very long time ago, it seems."
A small moment of silence prevailed between the two; it was never awkward. When neither knew how to continue, they would both think during the silence.
"Why is this place so…"
"...So dark? It wasn't always this way. It had just recently ended up like this when the Heartless came along and took over."
"There are Heartless? Why'd you bring me here, then?!"
"Because nearly no one will come here. I even asked some of those in the Organization if they'd ever go back to Radiant Garden and they said no."
Another long while of silence. The two helped each other over small cliffs and supported each other on the climb up. A gargantuan castle towered high above their heads, which got even bigger as they neared. Although Saix said that there were Heartless, not too many seemed to be around besides the occasional shadow or neoshadow, which both Saix and Vincent could defeat with a single swing of their weapon.
The silence was beginning to make Vincent anxious and tense. He quickly thought up more questions to continue a conversation with the bluenet.
"So, why were you so late to getting me?"
Saix grunted and blinked. He didn't look over to the clone as he spoke. "There were a few… complications. II constantly tried to stop me from going anywhere. That, and the introduction of Roxas took far longer than I expected."
"That's the new member's name? Roxas?"
"Indeed, just like everyone in the Organization, his name was taken from his Somebody with an 'X' added in to make his Nobody name."
"But I don't have an 'X'."
"I suppose that is because you were never an official member of the Organization. There was no need, nor were you a Nobody."
The brunet gave a nod, acknowledging that he wasn't a Nobody. He began to think out loud and tried to think of what his Nobody name would be. Only one could come to mind by using his shorter nickname, Vince: Civenx. He smiled after coming up with his name. It wasn't a great accomplishment, really. But if he ever needed an alias, he had one.
"So… what was your name before you became a Nobody?"
Saix halted. He made no expression for Vincent to read. He always had the same face whether he was mad, happy, or sad. Not that Nobodies had feelings, according to Xemnas.
"I would rather not talk about it," he simply put.
As the proper boy he was trained to be, Vincent respected the man's wish and did not pester. He apologized for bringing it up. VII failed to acknowledge his apology in any way.
The two finally reached the summit of the mountain they climbed for so long. The only reaction Vincent had to the mass in front of him was a gape of his mouth. The castle at the peak slightly resembled the Castle that Never Was, only with color and looked far older. Countless pipes twisted and turned outside of dark openings in the side of the castle with holes in each one. Whatever used to be in those pipes was long gone now. However, some did have a strange, bluish-purple gas coming out of it. It almost looked like fire. Or, perhaps it was fire, and some parts of the castle were still working thanks to the Heartless. Beams of light were just over Saix's head, and a platform constantly traced its path from below. Diamonds that glowed blue were stationed right by the dock where you can get on the platforms.
Vincent stayed close to Saix as if the castle intimidated him. A worried look took over his face. It was something about this place…
Saix led the boy inside the castle. They were first met with a fountain in what seemed like an entryway. The bluenet walked over to the fountain and took his coat off. Quickly, he threw himself into the water. Vincent didn't even really know how to react. He shook his head and slowly walked over. Saix was just hot and sweaty, and the water was very fresh and made him feel clean.
Vincent followed the lead and went to go take his cloak off. VII was quick to stop him since the boy wore no other clothes under his coat. "Just wash off your face and arms." The clone gave a short nod and did as told. The water wasn't cold. It was warm, probably heated. Saix scooched himself under the fountain and washed his hair. He didn't mind that his other clothes were getting wet, it just made him feel nice. The clone jumped in while Saix wasn't looking and rolled around in the water to wash off.
Both of them were tired. It was a long way up to the Hollow Bastion castle.
"This place used to be beautiful," Saix explained. "I hate the Organization's castle." Saix took Vincent's coat off, accepting that he needed to take care of the boy. He should've been able to take care of himself. Vincent enjoyed the help, as strange as it may have sounded. It was a habit he got into since Vexen and Saix both fathered him so much.
The two got out of the water after a while. Vincent put his coat back on. Saix took his wet clothes off to dry except for his pants and a black t-shirt. Saix sat down with Vincent on his lap. They would rest until they regained their energy to get up and move farther into the castle.
Sounds of metal and shrill noises awoke Vincent from his deep slumber. Many of his deficiencies had taken a toll all at once. With his eyes only nearly open, he saw a figure up in front of him. It was Saix, as he recognized his clothes. The boy fell over to look around him and saw a cloaked figure. Vincent blinked a few times to try and see the detail of the man's face. Long dark hair… Who had dark hair in the Organization? Xaldin- but he had compassion and respect for both Saix and Vincent.
Instead of looking up at the two fighting, the clone looked down at himself. He couldn't feel the pain before from one of his deficiencies. His arm was impaled by one of Xigbar's bullets. His forearm had a large chunk of flesh ripped off and a pool of blood began to form on the tiled floor. The clone's azure eyes grew wide at the sight of the wound. It immediately made him woozy and caused him to fall over on the ground.
He tried to look away from himself to try and settle down and regain his senses. Saix stepped away from him and toward Xigbar, swinging his claymore like a lunatic. The Freeshooter backed up into the wall only to sink through it in a dark abyss. Shortly thereafter, the dark corridor disappeared.
Saix returned to Vincent with haste and picked him up. Caramel eyes stared down at the clone to make sure that he was conscious. His lips moved to speak to the boy, but Vincent could hear nothing. Not a single word that came out of his mouth was understood by the boy. He did his best to read his lips but he spoke far too fast for that.
With a worried expression, Saix rushed deeper into the castle with Vincent close to his chest. There was no way he would leave him behind. That was the whole point of this mission, to keep Vincent alive.
As they entered a room with a long corridor and an open space at the end, The Luna Diviner stopped in his tracks at the sight of someone standing at the end. Xigbar smirked at the second of command with his weapons pointed directly at Vincent. He wasn't instructed to hurt Saix, the Organization still had use for him. The two began to converse, leaving Vincent in oblivion.
"Just had over the kid and we'll cut you some slack, okay stiff?"
"I'll never hand Vincent over to the likes of you or anyone else in the Organization. He doesn't deserve to die!" Saix retorted.
Xigbar shook his head and gave a shrug, not moving his aim more than an inch off. "You sound like you think he's a real being. Hmph, as if! All he'll be is a clone. A sad being constructed from false memories and created solely to help the Organization with his power of the keyblade. We just don't need him anymore. If we don't eradicate him, we'll end up being the ones in his place."
"You're not second of command, therefore you don't know all of the details! Xemnas is just leading you on so he won't spoil his plans!" Saix looked down at Vincent for only a moment, a terrible mistake on his part.
Xigbar seized the opportunity and shot Vincent right in the shoulder. If Saix had shifted any more than he did, the boy would've been a goner. Vincent threw his head back and arched himself up into the air, screaming from the excruciating pain coming from his arm. Saix almost dropped the boy from wanting to cover his ears, but refrained.
As a last resort, Saix finally opened a dark corridor. Xigbar ran down the hall to try and catch to two as they tried to escape, but to no avail. Right after Saix went through, the corridor closed and all that the bullets hit was a solid brick wall. Xigbar snarled and hit the wall with his fist. He knew he was going to get it for letting the two get away, but he would definitely get his chance. There may yet be a chance to get his place as second of command.
The dark corridor that Saix had opened unknowingly brought the two to a completely different world than what was expected. In fact, this wasn't a world that Saix recognized at all. It was old fashioned and strange. Most of the buildings around looked like apartments and stands stood outside as a market. In the center of the square was a fountain, likely there just for decoration. Many kids were around. They were dressed not like the two rebels were, but elegantly. Men and women alike wore hats, some women with a veil over their face. Canes as well seemed popular to carry whether one needed the use of it or not. Despite the beautiful look, the place was bustling with people two see the two in their dark leather trench coats. Although, not many seemed to pay much mind to them. Perhaps it was regular to be wearing a trench coat?
Saix tried not to look for too long since he had a crippled boy to tend to. The sounds that he had been making only moments before ceased. Vincent felt like dead weight in the Nobody's arms, but he knew that he had just passed out. Vincent never had a large tolerance for pain or blood.
The man brought Vincent to an alleyway, taking off his still damp coat to look at his wounds. They were not fatal, but they were definitely ugly to look at. Saix could barely look. He balled up the coat and put it under the boy's head as a pillow. Then he took off his own coat to lay over Vincent to make sure he kept decent and at least somewhat warm. Without hesitation, Saix got himself to his feet and left the alleyway to search for a medic.
Hopefully the boy would not wake in his absence.