Errand of Mercy

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Author: Alex Warlorn
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Xanadu story universe

Author's note: Yes the boxed text is on purpose.


"This place sure wasn't easy to find." Riku, whose name once upon a time had been Rick commented to himself out loud. Of course it wasn't, not after one too many super villains had attempted to raid the place, and having the world's super heroes just squatting here perpetually acting as guard dogs was non-cost effective of their talents. So of course Project X had decided to become more obscure in it's location.

Riku considered that he might have needed help with this one, but he couldn't risk telling Kairi or Sora, he knew how they'd respond. His fellow keyblade masters didn't always approve his methods. And Riku -knew- how Mickey would have responded.

'Sorry guys, but this is just something that just needs to be done.' Riku sighed. Sora, whose name once upon a time had been Seth he was told, would think he was letting the Darkness warp his thinking again like it had soon after they had first come to this world.

Riku thought back to that day, it had been bedlam of course, with Riku and his friends adding to and honestly just trying to escape it the same as everyone else. Riku wondered where that crazy stampede had thought it was running to after Eric Winters had become Raven The Trickster.

Riku just hoped no one Previous had gone to the original Xanadu as XION! The character from the franchise's bridge story who existence had been erased from the memories of the cast after her death.

Riku shook his head, 'Okay, enough exposition for now, time to get to work.' Riku of course had been the first to realize what his keyblade could do, what their keyblades could do, it was actually rather logical when you stopped and thought about it.

Sneak into the Project X Compound Without Being Seen 

'Do those scroll messages have to always be so obvious?'

Of course Riku wasn't dealing with just twentieth century security here, but with technology from Star Wars to Star Trek to magical defenses he'd be doomed to guess at. Not that he was about to let that stop him. Of course it had HAD to be raining.

Riku felt a bit theatrical wearing an Organization XIII raincoat with the hood up: but it did it's job of keeping his face hidden regardless of what angle or how close an on-looker was. This wouldn't make it impossible to identify him via detective work, but it would be infinitely harder, in particular with people always seeking to backwards engineer one magical item or another.

With his appearance effective hidden, Riku ran, faster than any human being should have been able to, avoiding the cameras hidden in the trees.

He silently willed his keyblade into existence just long enough to get the first electric chain-link fence open, -without- setting off any alarms, and stepping inside, then using it again to take care of the mystic barrier surrounding the building a few feet closer.

The human security was going to be harder, while real life bored or distracted guards did ironically act a lot like their empty headed game counter parts, there was no way in hades they were going to simply go back to what they were doing two minutes later after not seeing him for a while.

Getting over the concrete walls had been easy, getting over the concrete wall without being stopped had been much much harder. On the plus side, this group was used to all out assaults by monologuing grandstanders or clumsy attempts to the fast tract to godhood by ambitious but foolish criminals. Riku's goal and method were different from those who had tried to break into this place before.

Riku was able to guess precisely what the range of vision was for every guard who was on the grounds from soldiers to armored mecha pilots and moved accordingly.

Again Riku's keyblade proved to be a deciding factor as he avoided the first floor, and entered in through the second story window, sealing the window after he entered leaving no mark he had come the way he had.

Riku found a useful wall map that showed one tiny room in the basement marked as 'Armory' and a larger room also in the basement marked as 'Sewage treatment center.'

'Somebody's been reading the evil overlord list.' Riku thought. 'Guess the air ducts are out then.'

But unlike everyone else who had come here without an invite he wasn't here to blow this place to piece, rob it of it's treasure trove of doomsday weapons, or use it as their new evil lair.

A gruff voice next to him spoke, "Somebody's been reading the evil overlord list, guess the air ducts are out then."

A second later Riku had his hand in a gesture for a Dark Firaga, while he was looking at the barrel of a tranquilizer gun with a silencer on it.

The big man in front of him was wearing a bandanna and gray form fitting body armor, he really needed a shave.

The big guy spoke before Riku could, "Who are you?"

"Neither friend nor foe. I'm here on my own mission."

"Meh, I'm just here to blow up a Metal Gear prototype."

Riku's eyes widened, "They're still making those?"

The big man nodded, "Pst, first one, this year. I guess those lawsuits by Hideo Kojima fell through."

"I think you should know, the room marked 'sewage treatment center' and the room marked 'arsenal' are."

"Yeah yeah I know."

"Good. Do you know where the holding cells for the mentally unstable Xanadu victims are?"

"How do you think I got in here?"

"Let me guess, the guards didn't recognize your franchise?"

"Would I be standing here if I did? They thought I was from a Rambo movie."

"Ugh.. I know how that feels."

"They're on this floor since you asked."

"Thank you."

"If you'll excuse me."

"Good luck."

"Thanks, but you make your own luck."

"You got that right."

With that Riku and the big guy went off in opposite directions.

Riku entered a suspiciously spacious hallway when a girl in a brown and green japanese school uniform wearing a gold tiara walked in from the opposite end. She was humming to herself when she spotted Riku at the opposite end. "Huh? Who're you?"

"Just someone new." Riku said simply. He saw from the look on her face she didn't buy that.

She reached for a head phone set she was wearing when Riku knocked it away with a Dark Firaga.

Instead of going for the head mike she instead assumed a fighting pose, "Okay! You want a piece of me? In the name of the Earth I shall Punish You!"

Defeat Sailor Terra 

'Again with the obvious.' What Riku hadn't expected was a countdown counter, apparently he had to take her out before someone else came along.

'Five minute eh? Pst. Piece of Cake.'

"Earth-Quaking!" Sailor Terra said punching the hallway floor creating a green shock wave along the ground which Riku was able to jump over.

The sword Riku drew of course wasn't his, showing his keyblade to someone would have been a dead give away once someone did some digging. It was a quest double of the legendary Himura Kenshin's reverse blade sword.

"Boulder-Smashing!" Riku hadn't expected the giant boulders to fall from the ceiling, avoiding them was more than a little tricky. If he had been normal Riku would have been squashed flat when he took a hit from one, instead he staggered and lost a good deal of health. Riku could see from the look on her face this girl seem very proud of this move.

But just because this wasn't his sword, didn't mean Riku couldn't do his own techniques. "My turn!"

With a battle cry, Riku used Dark Break, leaping up into the air and stabbing the Sailor repeatedly with the tip of the blade, and then quickly backed off.

Terra made her way to Riku and quickly began to punch and kick at hand to hand combat, not Riku's speciality. She hammered at him trying obvious to disarm him. Smart move. Riku fell backwards onto his back, and for a moment Terra was sure she had gotten him until he rushed foreword and knocked both his feet into her gut.

"Everyone has their own definition of justice." Riku said.

"Earth-Quaking!" This time she hammered her first onto the wall of the hallway, and the shock wave was doubled and lasted the entire space of the white hallway.

Riku was knocked over for real this time but was able to roll out of the way before her heel connected with his hidden face.

'Could use Dark Aura to win in one move but that would be a give away.' Riku thought.

Instead Riku used Maelstrom, spinning like a top almost, he slashed into her repeatedly.

"Boulder-Smashing!" This time Riku rolled foreword out of the way of the falling rocks from nowhere and slashed right past her.

An orange sphere appeared around her for a moment then shattered. She fell foreword to her knees, "Not.. enough.." She mumbled as her arms fell to her sides. There wasn't a mark on her, but she wouldn't be getting up and going anywhere until Riku was long gone.

The counter stopped.

Continue Search Through Project X Compound 

'Yeah yeah yeah.' Riku thought as he left the hallway.

He avoided one James Bound and a mundane guard before finally getting to the hallway he wanted.

The names of course would be written on the cells in big bold letters, didn't want to accidently open up the wrong door and let out cthulhu.

Finally he came to the door he wanted. Of course it would be locked. So what? Riku discreetly took out his keyblade and opened the cell door and walked inside. He made sure his true weapon stayed out of the view of the security camera inside.

The giant purple living plush dinosaur looked at him, a dead look in his eyes, a screaming emptiness. 'Reminds me of a Nobody almost.' Riku thought.

"Hello. You're Barney right?"

"Yes! No! No-oh-oh!" The big dinosaur began crying.

"I see." Riku remembered everything he had read about this poor soul. "You're the one changed at Xanadu?"

"I wasn't even supposed to be in the costume! I wasn't supposed to be in the costume! I wasn't supposed to be in the co-co-costume! It's not fair! I was supposed to be Spider-Man but they needed an extra hand cause the guy who was supposed to be was sick! It's not fair! It's not fa-air-air!"

"Don't care much for kids eh?"

"Little brats! They won't leave me alone! If I had been the cheap purple fake costume then at least they wouldn't want me! But no! I had to be in one of the good costumes of the freak! And all the internet garbage! I hate it! IHATEIT!"

Riku thought about what he had come all the way here to do and asked, "Do you wish to die?"

The big guy looked up, "Huh?"

"Do you wish to die? Do you wish your pain to end? I can end your pain right here and right now."

Barney looked at him oddly, "What are you? A vampire? I don't want anything to do with-"

"I'm no vampire. And I'm not an nineties anti-hero. I don't whine enough anymore... I can end your suffering right here and right now. You won't have to suffer anymore of this."

"P-promise?"

"I promise. You'll never have to endure this pain again."

"You'll-you'll really kill me?"

"I came here just to offer you this choice. It's yours to make. If you say no, I'll leave. And you'll never see me again."

"I... I..."

Riku leaned against one of the padded cell walls waiting for an answer, not pushing it one way or the other.

"You're not a ring-wraith are you?"

"Can't really say." Riku answered. "Not here to turn you into an undead minion if that's what you're worried about."

"..." Barney was silent for over a minute before finally shouted, "DO IT!"

One last time. "You sure?"

"JUST DO IT!"

His weapon out of view of the cameras, Riku fired a beam of light at Barney from the tip of his sword into Barney chest.

+++++++

"And how are you feeling today Terra?" Dr. Sands asked Sailor Terra who was holding an inch pack to her head.

"Don't ask... I have to get stronger."

"Did you get a good look at him?"

"Couldn't even be sure it was a him. Guy looked like a cheap rip off of Lord of the Rings though."

'So that one wasn't Solid Snake.' "I'll contact the Nazgûl watch."

"Dr Quest! I mean Dr. Sands! You've got to see this!"

"Nene? What is it?"

"It's Barney!"

Sands looked with horror, "Oh no! Don't tell he snuck a snarp object into his cell again!"

"NO! But our other intruder last night, I think, maybe-"

"What is it-?!"

"He's gone 100%!"

"That's impossible! He must be putting on an act again or suffered a bout of dementia!"

"I've seen his play acting before and this doesn't seem like it! I've asked our vulcan to look inside his mind and she can't find a trace of his Previous anywhere!"

Sands didn't waste another 'that's impossible.' "Get him to my office at once! Prepare a full medical examination! Run over every second of the tape of his cell last night!"

"Already on it sir. But you know... it's actually kinda weird..."

"What is?"

"All this time.... I don't think I've ever seen him so," The anime girl hesitated for a moment before speak, "So happy."

~ Fin and New Beginnings