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  1. #16
    Yeezy taught me The Booty Warrior's Avatar
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    Default Re: Kingdom Hearts: Lost War (3)

    Quote Originally Posted by Legacy View Post
    Okay, so I've finally caught up and I am enjoying this so far. Again, I have no prior knowledge of Kingdom Hearts, so the fact that you can get me interested in this fic and storyline is a compliment to you and your writing ability.

    My favorite part of your writing is the energy that you clearly write with. It really shows, especially through the characters' dialog, particularly Vicky and Vikas. The dialog itself comes off as genuine and accurate to how I imagine the "real" people would talk, but still is easy to follow and contributes to the story.

    Overall, a few word usage issues but nothing major at all. I think you are a talented writer. It takes a lot for me to get into a non-Pokemon fic, so cheers to you!
    It's greatly appreciated, particularly coming from someone like you. I guess that is an accomplishment, making a great non-Pokemon fic interesting in a sea of...Pokemon fics.

    So, the energy is what you like best? I think a lot of it is inspired from hip-hop, because being able to spit fire and flow like a raging river goes hand in hand with bringing a lot of energy. I was also trying to get the dialogue to sound close to what people sound like in real life while keeping it entertaining and meaningful.

    Oh, and Vikas and Vicky are the same person. ^^; I might have made it unclear, but "Vicky" is just a pet name.

    As for a few issues with word usage, were there any that stuck out in particular?

    And thanks again for the review! ^^
    "I never sleep, 'cause sleep is the cousin of death." - Nasir bin Olu Dara Jones, N.Y. State of Mind

  2. #17
    Yeezy taught me The Booty Warrior's Avatar
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    Default Re: Kingdom Hearts: Lost War (3)

    Well, like a phoenix, my fic rises from the flames. At least for now. The next chapter won't be for awhile. And I was hoping to put out two while I was on break. Oh, well.

    Oh, yes, for the ones I tagged, if you would rather I not do that, then I'll be sure to refrain from it in the future.

    @Gastly's Mama; @Stellar Haze; @Legacy

    Chapter Four- Return of the Ghost


    As Vikas stood in front of the fountain once again, he contemplated just killing Uncle right then and there. It was a simple matter, considering both of them were standing in front of the fountain, staring at their reflections. He’d hidden away most of his weapons, save the one on his bracer, and it would be a simple matter. Then again, there was always uncle Bashar to deal with. He’d probably get on Vikas’ case the instant Uncle’s body hit the ground.

    Thanks to the sun, he could see his and Uncle’s reflections rather clearly in the water. In fact, he could even make out the traces of a gray stubble on Uncle’s chin beneath his hood. The air was beginning to get warm, and on top of that, the humidity was also beginning to rise a bit. At the very least he’d be getting into an air-conditioned building before things got hot and sticky again.

    “So, you ready?” asked Uncle. “I made the call. The head monk’s sending the word out that the place is closed for the morning. That should be enough time for you to get your work done, right?”

    “Plenty,” said Vikas. “In fact, I should be done long before twelve, which means he kinda wasted that conservation day.” There were days that the temple complex would simply shut down for monetary reasons. All activities were suspended for the entire day, and this status could not be revoked once it was announced. Fortunately, today’s announcement had been made within an acceptable time frame before anyone had come. Since humanity had long since entered the digital age, the temple complex had an alert system that sent messages, whether they be text messages or voicemails, to all subscribers. It would take about half an hour for them all to receive the message, but once they did, they’d stop on their way to the complex and turn right around.

    “Well, I’m glad to hear that,” said a smiling Uncle. “Now, I think you should be gearing up right now, don’t you think?”

    “Yeah, I know. I haven’t forgotten what you’re going to do if I get all disobedient again.”

    After standing in front of the water and watching it drain away, it was time for him to get moving. As Vikas turned his head around, his thoughts commanded his shadow to extend behind him. Once it had become elongated to a certain point, it rose up from the ground and covered his body in its inky black, oily substance.

    He could imagine what he looked like now, having seen himself in a mirror wearing this outfit for so many years. He was wearing a black bodysuit that was a tight, yet comfortable fit. It was fairly unremarkable except for the protective vest covering his torso and shoulders, the elbow pads, and the fact that it emphasized his musculature, almost making him appear to be an all-black version of Bruce Lee.

    The mask covered his face up to his nose with cloth, and the strapped-on visor took care of the upper half. Unlike most visors, it had eight eyes arranged in a pattern that formed a dotted hexagon. Whenever he needed a new form of visibility, the visor would comply. If he had to signal to his brothers his position or to intimidate the enemy, they would also produce an eerie green glow.

    Covering the legs of the bodysuit was a pair of combat pants. They were the kind that had to be strapped on, exposing the sides of his thighs, but otherwise they were no different from the pants he was wearing without the suit. Currently, it was still in the multicam pattern, which would help out to a degree in sneaking through the base.

    Vikas took a few steps with his boots. They went halfway up to his knees, and his pants were comfortably stuffed into them. Each step he took produced little noise. That was the last thing to check up on.

    Once everything was set, he held out his right and left hands. His MP5 emerged from the hammer space he had summoned it from, in the same substance that had composed his shadow. It was a very useful type of magic, and one of the first kinds Vikas had learned to perfect, giving him a significant level of mastery over it. In the same moment his shadow had covered him to form his suit, he had placed his backpack inside the hammer space that the suit was stored in as well.

    Gripping his MP5 with his right hand, he loaded the gun with the curved magazine in his left, slapped the charging handle, and proceeded to step into the pool. Before he could raise a leg, however, Uncle had placed a hand on his shoulder.

    “Not so fast, Black Spider,” said Uncle, pointing at his gun. “You aren’t going to be killing anyone, not even in self-defense, and especially not with that.”

    “And what would your position be if I were to find myself incapacitated, or worse, KIA?” retorted Vikas. “I was under the impression that you required my services. Would my death not hinder your plans?”

    “Yeah…right.” Uncle began pacing back and forth, running a hand through his hair. “See, thing is, think about what would happen if you shot and killed several of the guards down there.”

    “They would begin to ask themselves who it was that allowed me down there, I assume? Then turn to you for answers?”

    “Essentially, yes.”

    “Well, then, answer me this.” Vikas walked up to Uncle. “How would they know that it was me that killed them?”

    “Well, either they’d come to the conclusion that you’d somehow gotten the jump on me and followed me down or that I’d let you in.” He sighed and turned his head away. “But the most likely way they’d find out is, well…you know how your uncle Bashar is and how he wants me to just off you, right?”

    A few images flashed through Vikas’ mind of him in the mountains, on his knees, surrounded by corpses while uncle Bashar’s voice kept ringing through the air. He was saying something along the lines of instructions to clean house.

    Vikas lowered his head. “I see…very well, then.” He dismissed his gun, returning it to the hammer space from whence it came.

    “Well, whatever,” said Uncle, now returned to his cheery self. “Let’s get to work.”

    Uncle stepped into the fully-dried well, motioning for Vikas to follow. Once the two were at the entrance, Uncle knelt down to speak the password as Vikas activated his suit’s built-in stealth camouflage.

    Immediately, the bottom of the center fountain opened up, and the two slid down until they had both landed safely on their feet. It was a sensation that Vikas, though familiar with it, still found unsettling, likely because he hadn’t been down here for about two months.

    Once they were on their feet again, Uncle turned to Vikas, leaning in close so his mouth was next to where Vikas’ ear would be. “You know what to do from here. I’ll leave you to go on about your business. We’ll find out if you can finish before a few people arrive at the temple on time and find out that the place is closed. That would be a better record than before noon. I’ve also set aside a few doors you’ll be able to open without being discovered, and I think you know which ones I’m talking about. When you’re done, meet me by the river exit. ”

    “Good. Now, I think our business with each other is finished for the moment,” whispered Vikas as the two went their separate ways. Since he couldn’t rely on a gun to save himself and his family, he would have to use a more close quarters combat-oriented approach.

    He held out his right hand and a small black sheath emerged from his hammer space, falling into his grasp. He pulled the grip of the weapon out of it and swung it around a bit before examining it closely.

    The blade of this knife was about four to five inches long and black, like so much of his other equipment. The grip was comfortable, as it dug into the hand and was of a similar length. Once that was settled, he examined the buttons on the base of the grip. The first one caused a glowing blade of energy to emerge around the ordinary metal of the knife. Turning it off, he pressed the other button, causing the blunt side of the knife to open up and bring out a sharp edge, turning it into a dagger. He pressed it again to retract that edge and re-sheathed the knife

    Vikas strapped the sheath of the knife to his left thigh and held out the knife in his right hand with a reverse grip. Lowering his posture a bit, he began to walk as quickly and quietly as possible. Though he still remembered where he needed to go in order to re-establish a connection between his laptop and the database, as this was the last base he’d been to, his memory was a bit hazy on where to go in order to reach that room.

    The hallways looked much the same. The same gray floor, the same white walls that had the black lotus designs on them. There was even the same lingering scent of the maternity ward, or as Uncle in his occasional bouts of forgetfulness would say, the section that held the babies.

    As he traveled through the corridors, he didn’t encounter anyone. Perhaps Uncle was growing confident in the security of the base or he was deliberately making this task easier. Regardless, this was no time to render himself visible again.

    Eventually, he came to a large door at the end of one of the hallways. It was at least eight feet high, being ten at most, and it was in the shape of a trapezoid. If he had to hazard a guess, Vikas would assume it to be the entrance to an important area of the base.

    ‘Considering its huge size, I suppose that behind it might lie the computer room. If memory serves me correctly, hardware was often being moved in and out, and the size of this door would make transport simple for the equipment,’ thought Vikas. ‘Then again, it could just as well be the entrance to the cafeteria or the game room or some other fancy place that Uncle thought to add unnecessary décor to.’

    There was only one problem with going inside to have a look. Vikas had finally run into security. Fortunately, though, it was light; a mere two guards stood in front of the door, each armed with bullpup assault rifles, assuming that the long shapes behind the triggers in their hands were ammunition clips. Though Vikas was still invisible to the naked eye at the moment, there was a good chance that even if he wasn’t, they would be unable to spot him, considering he was still in a more shadowed part of the hallways and they were busy conversing with each other in Hindi.

    ‘I could use a projectile-based version of the old knock-knock joke to draw their attention away and open the door,’ thought Vikas, ‘but it would likely trigger suspicion, since my access of it would most certainly be recorded and magnify my chances of being exposed. If I were to knock them out, using my knife to assist me, that would only make matters worse in hindsight. Even if I managed to escape before they regained consciousness and alerted the base, there is no guarantee that my loved ones would be safe from the either of my uncles’ wrath.’

    It would be difficult, indeed. However, Vikas was used to sneaking around on his own, having done it for the past eight years. This time would be no exception, as a bit of a realization came to him.

    He backed up a bit to make sure that the guards wouldn’t notice the faint purple fire on his invisible left hand if they decided to stop their conversation to look around for intruders. Once his spell was ready, he held his hand out in front of him, palm facing the direction of the door, and fired.

    The advantages this spell possessed, particularly when used for infiltration, were numerous. Unlike many fictional stories, where he would have had to punch, call out a name, or make a loud noise in order to fire the projectile, he simply needed a quick thought. The projectile itself was an invisible, somewhat cloud-shaped sphere, the only indicator of its presence being that anything seen through it would look hazy and distorted. Such a thing might be noticeable in broad daylight, especially if the enemy was on high alert, but not at night and most definitely not here.

    After flying past the unaware guards, the projectile reached the door. The door’s edges gave off a faint purple glow, signaling the success of the spell. Now that the sphere had found its target, the spell had spread through the whole door. Balling his free hand into a fist, Vikas began directing the spell. After a few moments, he quickly loosened his hand, and a loud bang echoed from the door.

    The guards were broken out of their chat and their attention had now been directed towards the door. As Vikas sheathed his knife and jogged as quietly as he could to get behind them, he caught their whispers.

    “That noise just now, did it come from the door?” asked the guard on the right

    “It had to have been from the inside,” replied the left guard. “Look, there’s a slight bulge on the center of the door. It’s pointing outward toward us. Perhaps the technicians accidentally collided something against it, the clumsy fools.”

    Technicians. That meant that this room might be the one he needed to get into.

    “But this is a reinforced door. The only way for the hardware to make such an impact would be for them to fling it at the door. Do any of them strike you as muscular enough to do such a thing?”

    “Hmm…p-perhaps it was the Black Spider?”

    “The Black Spider? Here? How could he be?” The guards shakily turned their heads towards one another.

    At that moment, the door began opening from the bottom. The two guards quickly raised their weapons, pointing them at whoever was going to appear on the other side.

    Once the door opened up enough, a figure of one of the supposed technicians appeared. The figures of the guards in their gray combat shirts and pants were better illuminated as well. The technicians were wearing olive green drab, red caps and brown shoes.

    Now that the door was full open, Vikas quickly crouched down and began moving around the guards, keeping his steps as soft as possible. It was no easy task, as they were somewhat huddled together, and getting too close into their personal space would likely cause them to jump. He ended up stuck between the men, still crouched low to the ground.

    “What are you doing?” said the technician. “Put those things down!”

    The guards slowly lowered their guns and one of them stepped forward. “So, you heard that noise as well? That loud bang? Did you hit the door?”

    “Of course not. I had opened the door to ask you the same thing.” The technician stepped forward as well to meet him, when the situation Vikas was hoping to avoid occurred.

    The technician jumped up just as Vikas slipped past him. He began turning around, his head moving from one direction to another.

    “What is it?” asked one of the guards.

    “I thought I felt some presence near me,” replied the technician, who was now rubbing his right arm gently as though goose bumps had formed on it. “Maybe one of those Black Hearts or something. We were warned that they can sometimes get out of control.”

    “We were thinking of something a little different, actually. Perhaps the Black Spider is among us.”

    “But how could he be? He hasn’t returned to the base for about two months. And there’s no chance of either of the commanders accidentally allowing him in.”

    “Well, Commander Bashar has warned us to keep an eye out for him. I doubt that he, Commander Hafez’s closest friend, would be warning us for no reason, especially considering he’s the more down-to-earth of the two.”

    As the men continued their conversation, Vikas began looking around the room. The other technicians had been going on about their business operating on the tall gray supercomputers lined up close together, though they occasionally turned their heads whenever the men at the door raised their voices. The general shape of the room resembled a large dome, where many other supercomputers were, currently in the process of being operated on. The floor had the same color scheme as the hallways, only it had more of a shine thanks to its metallic composition. There were railings behind the computers in his immediate vicinity.

    Creeping up to these railings, he swung over and dangled from them. In this way, he was able to observe the floor below without having to worry about someone colliding with him. The lower area of this room was where activity was in much greater quantity, but it was also far enough below that his legs wouldn’t brush against someone unexpectedly.

    ‘It is to be expected, of course,’ thought Vikas. ‘After all, the computers down there are the main ones connected to the central computer that manage all the information that is carried throughout this country and from each base. The ones up here are merely supplementary.’

    However, it would appear that connecting his laptop to the central computer for a direct update would not be possible at the moment. Nor would it be an option for quite some time, as the central computer appeared to be out of commission. It was large and cylinder-shaped, with several keyboards connected to it and a large monitor in front of each one. There was also a pale blue hue to it, perhaps to make the floor around it give off the same sort of color.

    Vikas cursed his situation. If he could not update his laptop from here, then his family might as well have received the death sentence. There would have to be another method to attempt. If this was some challenge by Uncle, then it was certainly one worthy of his ability at stealth.

    An idea occurred to him. If it were not possible to use the central computer, another person’s would do just as fine.

    When he turned toward the men at the door, he found them nodding their heads at each other, as if in agreement. Vikas looked around over the railing to be sure that no one was going to pass by and pulled himself up and over it. He moved his body low to the ground again and moved in their direction. As he did so, he was able to hear their conversation again.

    “…Yes, we should do that,” said one of the guards. “He may have slipped in through some other method. We will go immediately to the security room and look through the records. If he got in, the entrance he used should be listed.”

    The guards turned around and began walking out. As they did, Vikas moved around the technician, carefully keeping his distance so as to avoid another close call, and followed the guards out as the door began closing.

    Once they were all outside of the room, the guards took a right while Vikas sat down with his legs crossed. If he wasn’t able to handle this in the simplest manner, then there was only one thing left to do. The only real issue would be finding someone here who had an unattended computer.

    Getting up, he began walking in the opposite direction that the guards had gone. It was difficult remembering where to go, as he wasn’t always in one base for too long. If his memory served him correctly, this was one of the few bases that Uncle had the gall to build beneath a cultural and religious site.

    After some walking, he found a few doors available for access. They numbered in three, with one on the right side of the hallway and two on the left. Drawing a line to connect them would form a triangle. Unfortunately, unlike the door to the computer room, there weren’t any guards lying about.

    ‘Something is wrong,’ thought Vikas. ‘Should there not be at least one guard walking around? Perhaps I simply missed him. I should wait for a few minutes for him to appear.’

    With that thought, he sat himself down against the wall next to one of the doors, waiting for a guard. This could possible take a great deal of time, so he might as well make himself comfortable.

    While waiting for his chance to get inside one of the rooms, Vikas thought back to the days when he and his brothers walked these hallways in casual dress, cracking jokes at each other without a care in the world. Everything had seemed so simple back then. They were fighting under Uncle and Bashar’s command to eventually free their world from the ignorance and restore understanding and sanity to it. That was their main objective. They had been taught to manipulate people and situations at times if they had to, but their goal had been the same for the past eight years.

    And now everything had changed. He’d escaped Uncle’s grip for a mere two months and already he was discovered. It was frustrating trying to be a one-man army.

    ‘I would like to say that they keep pulling me back in every time I get back out,’ thought Vikas, ‘but this has only been the first time.’

    After spending a minute or two sitting around and having internal monologues, Vikas finally received what he was waiting for. A lone guard was approaching, his rifle held loosely. He was slowly turning his head from left to right as he walked.

    ‘Excellent,’ thought Vikas as he readied another projectile. ‘He is unaware of my presence. I can infer, then, that the base has not increased the level of security just yet.’

    Now that he had his spell prepared, he would have to make a choice of doors. At the moment, the guard was at the farthest door on the left, but he was looking at that side at the moment. Were Vikas to aim for one of those two doors, his spell might become visible momentarily and blow his cover. Boldness was not an option in these circumstances.

    Instead, Vikas aimed for the single door on the right side of the hallway. The spell was shot and it reached the door before the guard got too close. Immediately, he activated it, setting off another bang that caused the guard to jump.

    His reaction was just as Vikas had hoped. Like the guards before, he became fully alert and approached the door cautiously. Since the hallways were wide enough for two way traffic, Vikas quickly maneuvered himself behind the man, preparing another spell. Once it was ready, he fired it at one of the other doors and activated it when the first one had been opened.

    The guard gave the same reaction he did the first time. With that taken care of, he began looking into the first door that was opened. There wasn’t anything there that would assist him, as it was simply a storage room full of extra hardware.

    Looking into the second room that was opened, he found what he was looking for. This room had numerous cubicles with computer desks and people in casual dress typing away at their keyboards and a few walking around, like the one approaching the door. Just what he needed.

    Vikas waited at a distance for this person to exit and approach the guard. Not wanting to listen in on their conversation, he passed through the door into the room.

    Unlike the room holding the central computer, there was only one floor here. It also had a grayish-blue carpeted floor, most likely since it was the room he hoped it was. As he maneuvered his way around, he took in his surroundings. This room wasn’t too fancy, but the level of activity and the abundance of black screens and frantic typing indicated to him he had entered what was referred to as the “Coding Room”. Every one of the bases around the world had them, where the organization’s security measures were developed.

    Given that the digital age had come a long way since the beginning of the twenty-first century, new methods of protecting secrets were being worked on around the clock. This was the place he needed to be in order to turn things in his favor.

    While sneaking between cubicles and people, he kept his eyes out for the larger cubicles with doors on them. Those were where the most important security software was developed by the best programmers. Since the room was essentially a giant rectangle from a bird’s eye view, Vikas kept looking at the corners and the far ends.

    Eventually, he found what he was looking for amongst the typing, footsteps and chatter. There was an open cubicle at the opposite end of the side of the room he had entered. Getting there, however, would be more of a challenge, as he would have to pass by a number of cubicles without making contact with anyone.

    Slowly, he crept forward, until a woman turned a corner and began walking towards him. They seemed to be in a hurry, so Vikas began backing up quickly, until he turned around and saw someone else heading in his direction.

    Thinking fast, Vikas performed a side flip onto the top of one of the cubicle walls. These walls were thin, but nothing he couldn’t balance himself on. Just like the previous encounter, however, he had caused a nervous jump in someone. He had made his little maneuver when he was too close to the man behind him.

    “What’s the matter?” asked the woman. “You look startled. Did you see a ghost or something?”

    “No,” replied the man, “at least I think. For a moment, I thought there was something or someone in front of me, about attack.” He looked only slightly shaken, though, as the minimal loss of skin color he suffered dissipated. “I’m fine now.”

    “Then get back to work. Or are you taking a break?”

    “Break.”

    The two parted ways, allowing Vikas to return to the floor and continue onward. It was a miracle that there was no one sitting behind the desk where he had landed; otherwise, he would be setting off a chain reaction of alleged experiences with ghosts. It also helped that the suit, having been saturated with darkness for so long, along with his overall powers over darkness, helped to keep him calm, else his heart would have been racing.

    Fortunately, he didn’t run into any other distractions along the way. Once he was inside, Vikas waited until he was certain that no one would be coming back before sliding the door shut. He then began fiddling with the control panel next to it, pushing buttons until it was set to remain locked with a new password.

    After taking care of that order of business, Vikas turned his attention to the computer in front of him. Like all the others, this one had a monitor that was currently displaying a screen full of unfinished programming. He set himself in the wheeled chair in front of the desk and deactivated his stealth camouflage, as there were no surveillance cameras set up within here.

    ‘One would imagine that those producing the most important parts of the shields regarding these operations would be under heavier surveillance,’ thought Vikas. ‘It is fortunate, then, that Uncle believes himself secure in his organizations secrecy. At the very least, that is how things should remain for now.’

    Holding out his left hand, he summoned his backpack from his hammer space, unzipped the largest pocket and pulled out his laptop. It was of a standard size, with a rough sort of texture thanks to the octagonal pattern on the surface. Pulling it up revealed the same pattern on the inside.

    Vikas set his laptop on the desk, moving the computer’s keyboard out of the way to make room for it. It was no easy task, as whoever worked here had his or her desk in a mess, with papers and books all over the place. He then pressed the power button on his laptop and reached into his backpack again, this time opening the smallest pocket to pull out the flash drive he’d received from Uncle, putting the backpack down at his feet.

    He inserted the flash drive into one of the USB ports on the computer and entered the password for his laptop. As he waited for the desktop to set itself up, he thought back to the days when Uncle would place him and his brothers at random desks, teaching them programming skills. It was difficult work, but they all had fun together.

    “Hey, man, you shouldn’t be thinking about the past too much,” came Queen’s now distorted voice as Vikas turned his head around. He was no longer wearing the same clothes he had on earlier. Instead, he was now dressed in his own bodysuit. The basic scheme of it was the same as Vikas’, including the combat pants, except for its rougher-looking texture and a rhinoceros horn protruding from his forehead. Currently, he was standing behind Vikas, leaning over him with his hands on his shoulders.

    “I know I should be focused on the task at hand,” said Vikas, “but this place is rather distracting. Remember the-“

    “Programming challenges we used to have put on us so we could learn things we weren’t gonna really use?” interjected Queen. “Don’t worry, I didn’t forget.”

    “That is a good thing…” mused Vikas, “…but how did you know that I was thinking about that? I don’t recall mentioning this to you before.”

    “‘Cause I know you inside and out, Vicky.” Although he was laughing a bit, Vikas couldn’t help but notice the slight hints of nervousness in his voice. Something was off about it. Surely Queen would be completely certain with regards to matters like this.

    “Well, anyway,” said Vikas as he turned his attention back to his laptop, “I am a bit curious as to why you suddenly decided to put your uniform on.”

    “Ah, you know, that hammer space craziness. Plus, I figured since you decided to suit up, I might as well do the same.” Even with the focus-enhancing properties of the suit, he was still able to sound too casual for the situation. Not that it failed to help Vikas to relax a little bit, though.

    “I see.” Turning his attention back to both computers, he scrolled the mouse over to the bottom-right corner of the screen and clicked, minimizing all other windows. When he was met with a white screen for a desktop, he looked over the program icons until he found what he was looking for: an icon in the shape of an emerald turban.

    Scrolling the mouse over it, he gave it a right click and opened its file location. In an instant, he was met with another window showing him a small list of files. A few more clicks and he was out of there, with the folder containing all of those files there. He made a copy and sent it to the flash drive.

    With that out of the way, he re-opened the window with the coding and sent a copy of it to his flash drive as well. As he continued to work, his thoughts drifted away to the last time he was working this hard. It was during his ruined Christmas.

    ***

    He had to hurry. He had to hurry. They were gone, and he was coming for him next. He had to hide. He had to hide all traces of himself.
    Rapidly twitching fingers running frantically across the keyboard, Vikas began deleting and saving files. Not a single trail could be left. Too much risk to be taken. He had to become invisible.

    If he didn’t finish doing this, Uncle would come and get him. He couldn’t let that happen. They had died. He had to escape or else he would be next. He had to hide until he could find a place to calm down. Calm down, clear his mind, understand what had happened. Yes, understanding, the best idea at the moment.

    “Just c-calm down, understand what happened, and I can make s-s-sense of this. Just, j-just, just, just calm down. Calm down. Calm…calm d-d-d-down…but, but, but…”The pain of trying to work while suffering from a broken rib or two and several deep cuts was more intense than usual.

    Vikas backed away from his laptop before the tears began spilling onto the keyboard. Wrapping his arms around himself, he curled up into a ball lying on his side as he sobbed, keeping himself as warm as possible against the cold air of the mountains as the snow began to fall.

    As he felt the blood spreading and staining his clothes, the idea of just lying here and bleeding out began to look more and more like a good way to end the day.

    ***

    “Hey, are you thinkin’ deep thoughts like usual?” asked Queen. His hand was on Vikas’ shoulder once again.

    Vikas lightly shook his head as he resumed work again, having relapsed into a daydream. “No, my attention wandered off for a moment. I just feel strange. Working this hard again is something I haven’t done in some time. The last time, however, I was completely out of my mind and I could barely function.”

    “Well, now you can come up with plans, so you can prepare the revenge shot, right?”

    “Hardly something so trivial as to be called ‘revenge’. I find the word ‘justice’ to be more appropriate. What strikes me as…interesting is the fact that just several hours earlier that same day, I was completely calm and at east with all of you.”

    “Yep. Talk about a whiplash of moods. Anyway, I guess I’ll see you later.”

    “Of course.”

    Vikas continued working until he found himself satisfied with his results. Saving his work onto the flash drive in a separate folder, he disconnected it from the computer and opened up the program.

    He was greeted by the familiar sight of a black window with an elaborate design of white-outlined flowers interwoven by their stems. There were several buttons to click, but the only one that held his attention was the one that said “Maps”.

    After clicking on it and searching through the list that came up, he found the one he wanted. It was the map of this particular base. After giving it a quick look, he’d pinpointed the next area he was going to be visiting before taking his leave.

    With his next destination determined, he turned his laptop off and placed it into his backpack. He then dismissed it and set everything on the desk back to how it was.

    With that out of the way, he reactivated his stealth camouflage and waited for a few seconds before resetting the password to the door and reopening it. While the mechanism did bend the light around him to make him invisible, it took more time for his outline to fully disappear.

    Once his outline had satisfactorily vanished, he moved out and back into the larger room. Activity seemed to have died down a good bit, which would help in leaving this place.

    He made his way to the door, following someone on the way out. It was much easier now that he’d adjusted to the patterns of the people walking around and gotten some practice in.

    After getting out of there, he began making his way toward his next destination. It wasn’t too long a trip, as its location was relatively close by. He had a few things to check up on.

    Within the span of what felt like about ten minutes or so, Vikas found himself in a hallway with several doors on each side. Though it looked very much like the rest of the paths he’d been following, its main attraction was that it was where he and his brothers slept whenever they visited this particular base. His room was on his right further along the hallway.

    When he approached it, he found the scanner next to his door. With a bit of concentration, part of the suit dissipated to expose his hand, which was relieved of its glove and then placed on the scanner. After a few moments, the door slid open and he stepped inside, deactivating his stealth camouflage as the door slid shut behind him.

    His room looked completely untouched in the two months he’d been away. It was a decently sized room. The same metallic gray walls surrounded him, the same black carpeted floor underneath his feet was still there, along with the black bed in the corner of the room. As he approached it, he found some slight amusement, as always, from the size of it. Unlike the beds his brothers slept in, his was large enough to accommodate two people. There weren’t too many noteworthy sights in the room, aside from a computer, and the metal cupboard on the wall right next to it with the horizontal slit in the middle.

    Just being here was stirring up memories of the last time he was in this room. He took a few steps toward the cabinet, brushing his hand against the slit as he allowed his suit to dissipate entirely.

    ***

    Another day of relaxation was giving way to nightfall above ground as Vikas slid the blade on his wrist into the slit on the cabinet. With a little twist, the lock clicked open, and he removed the blade and pulled down the door. In it were three shelves. The top one contained a few childhood and high school photos. In the middle and bottom shelves were where anything else was stored.

    It was in the middle shelf that he placed his bracer and the MP5 slung around his torso before closing the shelf. He then grabbed a device lying on top of the cupboard. It was much like the wrist blade on his bracer, except that it was operated by a button on one side near one end, rather than the flexing of a finger to extend the blade.

    Vikas closed up the cupboard, pushed the button on his device to extend the blade, and inserted it into the slit. With a quick horizontal twist, the door was locked, and the device was placed back on top of the cupboard.

    He then lied down on his side on the bed, one of his arms outstretched. It was a good time to take a nap. After all, there wasn’t anything going on. His brothers were busy entertaining themselves, and they had already hung out enough for the day.

    After what felt like about an hour, the coms system in his room activated.

    “Boys! I need you to get up and out of your rooms. We’ve got a field trip to go to on, so hustle! We’re headed to the mountains, but there will be no need to dress too warmly!” It was Uncle’s voice. He sounded so jovial. Perhaps he had something planned for them as a way of making up for the rough week they’d had. Hopefully it was something relaxing.

    Getting out of bed, he left his room. As he walked out, he found both Rashid and his older brother Hassan leaving their rooms at the same time. Both of them were taller than him, Hassan by a mere inch or two, Rashid by almost half a foot. Being brothers, they also shared the same skin tone, which was a bit lighter than Vikas’. Born of Pakistani parents, they looked the part, but their faces were more rugged, indicative of their greater experience. Their hair was neatly cut, probably no longer than an inch, and the clothes they wore, tight orange and green jackets respectively, showed off their more muscular frames. Judging by the jeans and the white sneakers they were wearing, they hadn’t changed yet.

    “So, you guys know what’s going on?” asked Vikas as the two turned around.

    “Nah, man,” said Hassan, whose dark brown eyes lit up, “we were just talkin’ and then that announcement came up. How ‘bout you?”

    “I don’t know anything. I was just putting some stuff away.” Once he’d caught up to them, he walked between the two.

    “Oh, don’t lie, man,” said Rashid as he pressed his hand down on Vikas’ head and dug his fingernails into his scalp.

    “Yo, stop it!” Vikas stumbled forward, massaging his head with both hands, though he was smiling in spite of the pain. “That shit hurts, man! You should not be doing that to one of your big brothers and clip your nails.”

    “Alright, I’m sorry,” said Rashid, though he certainly didn’t look it. “I forget to ease up sometimes.” While they were all as close as brothers, Rashid and Hassan had a special place in his heart, the three of them having been neighbors since they were small children, allowing them to get a little more freedom whenever they decided to get physical.

    “Anyways,” said Hassan as he shot a disapproving glare at Rashid, “you sure you don’t know anything, Vicky? I mean, you are Uncle’s little pet.”

    “No, I’m not. He’s just helping me with my ‘special condition’, or whatever it is that’s up with me. Besides, you guys are all way more skilled than I could ever be.” Vikas put an arm around each of them as they walked.

    “If you say so, then,” said Rashid.

    They were already quite a distance from the living quarters when Vikas turned around for a moment to see that the others were beginning to emerge from their rooms. They were taking their time to catch up.

    His attention returned to the prospect of going into the mountains without being properly dressed. Perhaps Uncle had created some artificial hot spring?

    ***

    After opening the door to the cupboard, Vikas reached into the top shelf to retrieve his photos, but found nothing. Peering in, his eyes confirmed that they were gone.

    “I’ll just ask him about them later,” muttered Vikas as he closed the top shelf and opened the middle one. Inside, he found some leather.

    He recognized this. It was a reward Uncle had given him years ago when he and his brothers were just starting out on their mission. It was black with silver threads adorning it, fashioned into the same banyan tree pattern on his bracer.

    He held it in his hand for a few moments, frowning at it. Eventually, he decided to slip it onto his bracer. With a faint white glow, the leather had reattached itself. He then removed the bracer from his arm, pulled the sleeve of his hoodie back, and reattached it.

    Vikas then reached into the shelf again, finding the sling for his MP5. He summoned his suit and then the gun, refitted the sling onto the carrying rail, and dismissed the weapon.

    Now that he’d experienced enough months-old nostalgia for one day, he reactivated the suit’s stealth camouflage and closed the cupboard door.
    As soon as he was out, the door closed behind him. He reactivated his stealth camouflage and made his way toward the river exit.

    After what felt like about twenty minutes, he found himself in front of an elevator door. Uncle was, unsurprisingly, standing in front of it.

    “It is done,” said Vikas as he approached Uncle. “I have what you told me to acquire.”

    “Well, I’m glad to hear that, Vicky,” said Uncle as he turned around. “Though, I have to admit, you did take a little longer than I thought. It’s almost halfway to nine.”

    “And your point is? I only intended to do as you asked, not meet some time requirement.”

    “Well, fine.” Uncle placed his hand on a scanner, and the door opened up. “I was just expecting you to be done sooner than this.”

    “I would have been,” said Vikas as he and Uncle stepped into the elevator, “but the central computer was being worked on.”

    “Really, now?” Uncle frowned for a few moments. “I’ll look into it. By the way, you can take your suit off now. There aren’t security cameras on the elevator.”

    With another thought, the suit’s stealth camouflage was deactivated and it dissipated off of his body. As soon as he was back in his ordinary clothes, he began coughing rather violently.

    “Tired already? I thought I trained you to be the best out of them.”

    “Don’t bullshit me,” said Vikas once he’d caught his breath. “They were all better. And besides, if it weren’t for that issue with the central computer, I would have been done sooner and I wouldn’t be coughing.” It was unfortunate that they were in an elevator. Large as it was, acting up now would drown them both.

    He caught Uncle’s gaze lowering to his bracer. “I see you knew which rooms I left unwatched. I won’t be under suspicion, by the way. I had security deactivated for that part of the base the day you left us.”

    Good for you, then.”

    As the elevator continued to ascend, Vikas moved away from Uncle to a corner of the elevator. It was a shame that they didn’t have a way to view outside. It would be nice to see the Yamuna River beneath the water’s surface whenever this elevator was used.

    Eventually, the elevator stopped. The top opened up to reveal the morning sky and the floor beneath them extended upward until it was level with the shore. The two stepped off onto dry land as the elevator closed behind them and made its way back down to the base.

    “Oh!” said Uncle. “I almost forgot. How did you get your laptop’s information updated?”

    “Simple,” said Vikas. “I decided to use a more faulty trick. I downloaded the program you had developed so that we could have easy access to the database from anywhere back into my laptop.”

    “Oh, I see.” A smile formed on Uncle’s lips. “I’m glad you decided to allow us to keep track of you. I wouldn’t want to lose my nephew again.”

    “I’m sure you wouldn’t.” Vikas had to fight down the smirk that was trying to make its way onto his face and maintain his façade of groaning and lowering his head, lest Uncle catch on to what he was planning. “Well, now that I’ve gotten what you told me to, what exactly is it that you want from me?”

    Uncle smiled at him. “Well, you’ll find out soon. Trust me.” He turned away briefly to have a look at the river. “But first, since I’m sure you’ve blocked me and your uncle Bashar from your phone, unblock us or else your mom.”

    “Fine, then. By the way, I didn’t block uncle Bashar. Just you, Hafez.”

    “Again with the ‘Hafez’! What happened to ‘Uncle’?”

    “…That should be obvious.”

    “Well, if you say so. Anyways, I guess we should part. I can image you’re way past just being sick of me or something.”

    “Right you are.” With that, Vikas left.

    As he walked onward, he began wondering just how much control he now had over his situation. Uncle had caught and ensnared him the moment his lowered guard had been exploited. With just a single phone call, the only thing left that he held precious to him was now hanging by a noose, ready to be pushed off the metaphorical platform if he didn’t behave.

    Speaking of the only thing he held precious to him, as he approached the mandir from its right side, he spotted three familiar faces. He quickly pulled up his hood and covered his bracer with the sleeve of his hoodie before they spotted him.
    Last edited by The Booty Warrior; 20th January 2012 at 05:45 PM.
    "I never sleep, 'cause sleep is the cousin of death." - Nasir bin Olu Dara Jones, N.Y. State of Mind

  3. #18
    The Dimension Wizard Flaze's Avatar Moderator
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    Default Re: Kingdom Hearts: Lost War (4)

    The chapter was good and it was obviously an insight chapter so that we got to know a little bit more about Vikas. However I still believe it was a little lackluster and that you needed to add a little more juice into it. Also who's this person Vikas was talking to back when he was in transferring the data it kind of took me by surprise.

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