• Wait!
    This is the seventh entry in the Keys to the Kingdom series. Reading out of order can cause confusion and brain explosion! If you haven't read the first entry, click here!

    Chapter 7: The Rules of Space Travel

    How had she gotten herself into this? Mia asked herself as she took a mallet to the console of the space ship as Cid had instructed her to when it got temperamental. Things had gone so fast when she and Vincent got back to Radiant Gardens’ castle.

    “Cid, I thought you had a radar jammer on this place!” Leon had shouted at the blonde man, Cid, who had been piloting the space ship when Twilight Town had been destroyed.

    “I did!” Cid protested, turning to the giant computer that was set up on the wall in one of the rooms. “And there ain’t nothing wrong with it.”

    “The only way they could get here, then, is if they memorized the coordinates before the jammer was on,” Leon roared. “I can barely even remember them!”

    “It must have been Roxas,” Vincent said calmly.

    Leon looked like he didn’t want to accept the possibility. He opened his mouth to say something, but Vincent cut him off. “He’s not Sora, Leon.” His voice was soft. Gentle.

    The copper-haired man looked away. “I know,” he half-whispered. “It’s just… it’s easy to forget.”

    Mia had missed something, she was sure of it. She decided that asking them to explain it to her would make her even more confused.

    “Sora would never betray us, but Roxas would if it meant saving his own skin,” Vincent said softly. “That’s how Nobodies work.”

    Leon looked to Mia. “And her?”

    “I think she’s set,” Vincent determined. “She’s still scared, but it would take us longer than we have to get her over that. We can’t afford to wait any longer. Organization XIII has probably already identified the location of the next Keyblade master. She needs to go, now or never.”

    The next thing she knew, Cid was showing her how to operate the ship, and then, after a few words of goodbye, she was in space, hitting the radar console with a red mallet. Slowly, lights blinked to life on the radar. Mia sighed and sat down in the copilot’s seat. The place where Radiant Gardens had been was now completely invisible. There was no going back right now.

    It was going to be a very, very long summer.

    “Anything interesting happen?” asked Cid as he stumbled out of the space ship’s onboard facilities.

    Mia waved across the dashboard at the blinking lights on the computer screen as Cid sat down. “Whatever this means,” she grunted wearily.

    He looked at her concernedly. “You need a snooze?”

    “I need to wake up,” she moaned. “I need to wake up and find out this was all one really whacky dream. I need to look over and see a line of purple wombats singing show tunes right behind us, realize I’m in a sun-goddess sort of robe on a pyramid with a thousand naked men screaming and throwing little pickles at me—ANYTHING so that I know that I will wake up soon and anything that happens to me now will not have any effect on me in the future.”

    Cid laughed. “That’s what we’re all wishin’, lady, trust me. Think any of us like this any more than you do?”

    Mia did not respond, simply massaging the bridge of her nose. Eventually, she asked, “How long did it take for you to get used to this?”

    “Space travel and stuff, that’s easy to get used to. Come tomorrow, you’ll be driving this thing like you’ve been doing it all your life. But if you’re talkin’ ‘bout the Heartless… you’re never gonna get used to that. It’s always gonna hit you as hard as it did the first time, only… you know it’s gonna. Hard to explain.” He flipped three switches above his head and the ship gave a temperamental rumble. “C’mon, Shera, be good for me…”

    Mia stared thoughtfully out of the huge windows of the ship. “What do you know about Vincent?” she asked abruptly. She noticed his knowing look and grunted, “It’s not like it matters or anything, I’m just curious.”

    Cid shook his head. “Not a whole hell of a lot. That man’s pretty tight-lipped about his past, even to me. And I’m the closest thing to a friend that he’s got, aside from Yuffie, maybe.

    “I do know this, though: he just appeared in the castle. No explanation—says he can’t remember what happened, but I call bullshit—just says he’ll make himself useful for a place to stay. For all we know, he could have been locked in a basement back when Ansem was in charge and forgotten about. Between you and me, that’s my opinion.”

    “Why’s that?”

    “Didn’t even know what a cell phone was. Only someone locked up for about ten years wouldn’t know that, unless he was from a really backwater planet. And, just looking at him with a gun, how backwater do you think whatever world he was from is?”

    Mia shrugged. Cid had a point. “It would explain how his hair got to be such a wreck,” she muttered. “And what happened to his cloak…”

    “Believe it or not, that cloak’s new!” Cid laughed. “He wouldn’t tell us what happened. It was weird! It was like he was tryin’ to hide somethin’. Wouldn’t be surprised if he was, that guy’s fuller of secrets than a world of politicians.”

    “Fuller… is that a word?”

    “Beats me.” His attention was drawn to his radar. “Got a world coming up on the starboard side.”

    “Which side’s starboard?”

    “Hard to tell. Stars everywhere from where I’m sitting.” Mia smacked Cid behind the neck. “Ouch! Okay, it’s your right.”

    “My right?” She craned her neck to get a good look out.

    It looked surprisingly normal. Like the pictures of her world from space that she saw in textbooks. Sure, the continents were in different places but everything else looked the same.

    “Okay, listen up. Leon told me to tell you the rules, so sit tight for a second.”

    Mia turned and sat primly at attention. Cid held up three fingers. “Rule number 1, make sure they don’t live there before you start swinging your Keyblade around. If they attack you, fine, fight back but please try not to kill them. Killing people is a no-no.

    “Rule number 2. Don’t tell anyone from you’re another planet, they’ll think you’re crazy and I am not busting anybody out of an insane asylum. If you look like a cultural moron, tell them you’re a hermit, it works for me.

    “And most importantly, rule number 3. Don’t meddle. If Heartless or Nobodies aren’t involved, don’t mess with anything. You might want to. You’re probably going to see things that you want to change, but you can’t.”

    Mia cocked an eye at him. “Why would I want to change anything?”

    Cid smiled and patted her shoulder. “Trust me. Sooner or later, there’ll be somethin’. Always is. Now get out there and find that other Keyblade Master.”


    Cid pressed a button. There was a flash of light.


    Deep beneath the Hellsing manor in self-isolation in a basement that would take a very long time to get to, Alucard was on edge.

    Well, ‘on edge’ was probably the overstatement of a century. Alucard was never truly nervous or worried, certainly not nowadays, but feeling a hundred souls wink out in an instant was certainly one of the most troublesome things he had encountered in his incredibly long un-life.

    He usually wasn’t one to care about people dying so far away. People died all the time all over the place, so why should he give a damn? It wasn’t the dying itself that had him worried, though. It was that this was the second mass death that week. Besides, his mistress had not given him anything else to do in days, and he really hated to wait.

    The index finger of his left hand was drumming out a tattoo on his chair as he reached for a wine glass filled with a red liquid too thick to be wine. He took a moment and inhaled the scent before taking a sip.

    He didn’t enjoy it as much as he usually did. Perhaps he was more concerned about all this than he thought he was, he mused. He allowed his head to rest against the stone wall behind him, closing his eyes to block out the light from the single candle on the small table next to him. The light went right through his eyelids, however, irritating him further.

    A chill breeze blew through the basement. The candle shuttered and blew out, plunging the room into complete darkness. At last, peace in the black. Maybe he’d take a nap… but probably not. It was the middle of the night. He could never sleep when it was dark out. But what else was there to do?

    Suddenly, he felt an irresistible tug deep inside of him. His mistress was summoning him! Finally. Something better to do than staring at the wall all night. A manic grin on his face, Alucard drained the remainder of his glass and faded into the darkness, leaving the basement empty and eerily silent.


    Did you like that? Cool. Rate. Comment. Do you want more? Unfortunately, the next chapter hasn't been posted quite yet for some reason--probably I ran out of money to pay the submission fee, I've hit the submission cap, I'm being lazy, or I just haven't written it yet! If you're unsure, or if you want to find out even more about Keys to the Kingdom, check out my journal, where I've posted every chapter as they are finished and even a link to the work-in-progress dojinshi by xX_cAnDyCaNeMaDnEsS_Xx! PM me if you have any questions about my story, and thank you for all your support and feedback!