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Regroup and Rebuild

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Shibuya – Scramble Crossing

August 1, 2015

Isa opened his eyes to find himself in a bustling city. Immediately he knew something was wrong. He shouldn't even be alive for one thing. When Xehanort had turned him into one of his vessels, he'd implemented a failsafe that fatally wounded him when that woman, Master Aqua, attempted to remove the fragment of the old man's heart being used to control him. He remembered reconciling with Lea while he bled out on the sands of the Keyblade Graveyard. He remembered standing before the judges of the afterlife waiting for them to decide where his soul would go.

A buzzing in the pocket of his Organization robes snapped him back to the present. Focus, Isa, he told himself. Stay calm, and you'll find your answers. Fishing his hands into his pockets, he was surprised when his gloved fingers came into contact with a hard rectangular object. He withdrew his hand to find himself holding what appeared to be a pocket-sized computer screen. His eyes narrowed when he read the message being displayed.

"Reach 104," it read.

"You have 60 minutes. Fail and Face erasure.

-The Reapers"

"So this is the Reaper's Game, then," a familiar voice commented from behind him. The former Number VII turned around to find Ludor, the human self of Luxord, standing behind him holding a similar mini screen, likely holding the same message. Immediately, Isa remembered what had happened. An angel by the name of Joshua had interrupted his judgement and offered him a chance to atone for his sins. Common knowledge dictated that there were three parts of the afterlife, Elysium for the good, Tartarus for the evil, and Ashphodel for everyone else.

But what most (including Isa and Ludor until now) were unaware of was that there was a fourth component, the Reaper's Game. A week-long event in which the souls of the dead competed for a second chance at life. Considering everything he'd done under Xehanort's influence he'd practically jumped at the chance to atone for his sins.

"It would seem that way," he replied as he walked over to the former Gambler of Fate. "And from what Joshua told us about the rules of the Game, we need to form a pact in order to combat the Noise."

"Sounds like a plan then," the former Number X said with a smile as he placed the small screen back in his pocket. "So, Isa," he went on with a sly smile, knowing how the former Luna Diviner always preferred to work alone. "Will you make a pact with me?"

"It's the only way to make it out of the Game alive," Isa replied. "Very well." As soon as the words left his mouth, the former Organization members were surrounded by a blue light. They blinked in perfect sync with each other as the light faded. Immediately, each felt a burning sensation in their left hand and looked down to find timers branded on their palms counting down the seconds remaining for them to complete the objective. Having been informed of the rules of the game beforehand, they immediately checked their pockets and started cycling through pins until they found the ones that activated their old weapons.

Isa suppressed a shudder as his old claymore materialized in his hand. Holding his signature weapon from his days in the Organization brought up a slew of unpleasant memories. His increasing distance from Lea. His disgusting treatment of Xion. Oh how he wished he could go back in time and prevent all of this. To smack some compassion into his past self. But alas, without the Key to Return Hearts, any attempt at removing the fragment of Xehanort's heart within him would only lead to his premature demise, thereby greatly affecting the timeline. As much as he wanted to undo what he'd done, he wasn't stupid.

With a nod to Ludor, they began walking through the streets in search of either a place with a map of the city or another player who they could ask for directions. Whichever they came across first. As they walked through the streets of what Joshua had referred to as the city of Shibuya, Isa's resolve to atone for his crimes only grew. He would win the game, get back to Radiant Garden, reconcile with Lea, and make amends for everything that he'd done. While his self-confidence had taken a severe beating thanks to his possession at the hands of Xehanort, he wasn't going to throw away a second chance when it presented itself to him.