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Kingdom Hearts

New Era of Darkness
By Daniel Wood [ 02-24-04 ]
Chapter: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19


Chapter 1: The Gathering Begins

Agrabah.

A city full of mystery and magic, where the unexpected always seems to occur. This has been proven on many occasions. The best example being the time when the sultan of this rather unpredictable world was overthrown by his royal vizier.

The evil sorcerer known as Jafar.

Jafar had allied himself with a race of creatures known only as the Heartless. Creatures that were comprised of darkness. Creatures that were totally unpredictable, highly cunning, immensely powerful and literally without hearts. They were so mysterious that very few knew of their origin.

Not that it mattered. The Heartless consumed those who possessed hearts and entire worlds to boot. That was all people needed to know about the creatures that preyed on the darkness in people's hearts.

The darkness in EVERYONE'S heart.

It was because of this horrific power to steal hearts that had enticed Jafar in the first place. For years he had served the sultan. Tired of being some glorified lackey when he felt that he should have been Agrabah's ruler. When Maleficent introduced him, Oogie Boogie, Hades, Captain Hook and Ursula to this race of creatures and the awesome power they possessed, Jafar realised that he had a means to not only conquer his home world at long last but a means to be part of an alliance that consisted of some of the most powerful beings in the universe.

When the Heartless invaded Agrabah, it took everyone completely by surprise. No one envisioned the possibility of this otherwise peaceful world being invaded by a race of creatures that lived only to consume. No one envisioned the possibility of their beloved ruler being overthrown by a tyrant whose heart was filled with nothing but darkness and hate. And no one envisioned the possibility of thousands of people having their hearts taken away from them by a race of sinister monsters.

But as said earlier, in Agrabah, or indeed anywhere else for that matter, the unexpected always seems to occur.

But no matter how deep the darkness, a light always shines within. This was proven when Sora, master of the powerful weapon known as the Keyblade, Donald Duck and Goofy, chief wizard and captain of the royal knights at Disney Castle respectively, and Aladdin, an outlaw resident of Agrabah, battled and successfully defeated Jafar, bringing his reign of tyranny and despair to an end.

After the battle, Sora sealed Agrabah's Keyhole, preventing the Heartless from conquering the city and ultimately keeping the Arabian world safe from extinction. Later on, Sora and King Mickey sealed the door to Kingdom Hearts, the heart of all worlds. By doing so, the Heartless were prevented from returning to the universe and destroying what ever they chose. Agrabah and all other worlds were now safe from the Heartless threat. Everyone knew that at last, the worst was finally over.

After the Heartless were forever denied from returning to Agrabah and everywhere else, people began to repair the damage that had been done to their lives. The sultan returned to Agrabah and Aladdin married Jasmine, the sultan's daughter and princess of Agrabah.

Two years have passed. Peace reigns supreme throughout the entire universe and people live in happiness, harmony and tranquillity.

That was then. This is now.

Peace still resides, but the light that currently shines over all worlds is about to be shattered by a darkness like no other. A darkness that has no equal. A darkness that is so pure and concentrated, that possibly nothing could stand against it.

The darkness waited.

It waited for the right moment to strike but it was also waiting for something else. A person that could help it find one of the many things it was looking for.

Jafar.

During the battle with Sora and friends, Jafar had obtained a lamp that had the spirit of a genie trapped inside it. His third and final wish had been for the Genie to make him an all-powerful genie himself. His hatred, evil nature and darkness had made him more powerful than the Genie that had granted his wish. His new power also made him more powerful than ever before but his defeat had been caused by the forgetfulness of one rule.

Whoever is genie of the lamp, will be prisoner of the lamp until freed.

After weakening Jafar, Sora gained possession of his lamp and ordered him to retreat into it. Jafar had become a prisoner and could not escape from the lamp until someone summoned him.

The lamp's fate was unknown but there was a distinct possibility that it had been buried in the Cave of Wonders, which was where the battle had taken place. The darkness that currently waited knew of this possibility and was certain that it was true. The dark entity was eager to unleash maximum chaos and despair immediately but as powerful as this new entity was, it was also highly intelligent. It knew that by itself, it could only conquer a fraction of the universe. With the power of a genie to aid it, it could accomplish more. So much more.

The darkness was growing more and more impatient by the minute. It had waited in the vast deserts of Agrabah for hours. It had waited for the man who claimed that he could help this mysterious darkness find the cave and more importantly, the Jafar-Genie. And so far it had all been for nothing.

The darkness felt like leaving and destroying this world in rage and frustration. It was just about to leave when it heard the sound of a horse racing towards it at top speed. The horse shrieked in panic as it halted in front of the darkness, looking deeply into its eyes. It tried desperately to get away from the entity, fearing for its life. The man riding the horse somehow managed to calm it down long enough for him to dismount and restrain it by viciously pulling it by the reigns. After a few minutes, the horse finally calmed down, but still shook nervously in front of the darkness that just simply stared at it.

The man looked at the darkness that stood before him. It was seven foot tall. It wore a cloak comprised of pure darkness that covered its body. Its entire body was the same shape and build of a fully-grown man and coloured in a shade of black that was just as dark as darkness itself. It had point-blank eyes that were coloured blood red and glowing redder and redder by the second and its head could only be described as a sort of arrowhead shape that was pointing downwards. As for a mouth, it didn't even have one. The darkness looked very bizarre but at the same time, looked as though it could destroy anything that dared to oppose it.

The man was just about to speak when the horse started to panic again. The man withdrew a dagger shouting, "I'll kill you if you don't shut up and keep still!"

With that the horse calmed down again and stopped shaking.

"Stupid animals", muttered the man, "I don't know why I bother with them!"

"My sentiments exactly", agreed the darkness speaking in a voice that sounded as though it was more than one person talking, "But unlike you, I also fail to see why I should even persist in wasting my time depending on unreliable creatures such as yourself."

"I beg pardon?"

"I said midnight", sneered the darkness, its eyes glowing even redder than before, looking as though it was about ready to explode, "And when I said midnight, I MEANT midnight. NOT three o'clock in the morning."

"My most sincerest of apologies, o great emperor", replied the contact apologetically, "The guards at the palace were a lot more..."

"I do not have the time nor the patience for your tired, feeble and wasted excuses", growled the mysterious entity, the tone and volume of its voice becoming more sinister and louder, "Five words: DID...YOU...GET...THE...MAP?"

The thief took a scroll out of his pocket. The emperor held his hand out, waiting to receive the only item that could help him locate Jafar. The thief smiled and held the scroll away from the mysterious outsider.

"Not so fast, friend. We had a bargain, remember? The treasure if you'd be so kind."

If there was ever a moment for this creature to lose control, stop restraining itself and give into rage and frustration, it was now. This incompetent human had allowed him to wallow in impatience for three hours. He had wasted his time even further by trying to calm down a ridiculous animal that the darkness had considered to be too cowardly to live, when the thief could have silenced it by just simply killing it. He had refused to give him the map when he had asked for it and now he was asking for immediate payment. Although it had been part of the agreement, the sheer arrogance of this man to ask to be rewarded after everything he had put him through was the final straw.

The emperor's eyes emitted the brightest red light imaginable, completely engulfing the contact. The creature raised his right arm as high as it could go, his hand enlarging itself to three times its normal size and his fingertips extending into razor sharp claws that could tear through diamond as if it were paper.

The darkness screamed in fury whereas the thief screamed in fear. He closed his eyes waiting for the end and the horrific brutality that was to follow.

Nothing happened.

Nothing except the screams of pain that could be heard halfway across the desert and the horrific death that was just too intense and too brutal to watch.

The thief slowly opened his eyes. What he saw forced him to stare in absolute disbelief.

He was still alive, but the horse alas, was not.

The thief saw the creature's hand return to normal size and shape and his eyes stop glowing bright red. The horse was still standing but it was shaking violently and its entire body had been ravaged and was covered in slash wounds. Darkness was literally pouring out of the poor animal's wounds. The darkness that was "bleeding" out of the animal spread and covered its entire body. It stopped shaking, collapsed in a heap and then disintegrated into nothingness.

The man backed away in absolute terror. Breathing and sweating heavily, more than a man normally should. His heart beating as fast as it could. His eyes wide open in fear to what he had just witnessed.

Truly understanding power.

The emperor turned towards him.

The thief screamed and ran for his life.

He didn't get far.

A blow from the darkness to the back of the head nearly knocked him unconscious. The thief lay in the sand dazed but still alive.

For the moment.

The creature picked him up by the throat in a vice-like grip. The thief felt a tremendous amount of pain running through his neck but the pain he was feeling was nothing compared to the fear he felt as the dark being looked him in the eyes.

The emperor's eyes changed position, so it looked as though he was smiling, despite the fact that he didn't even have a mouth.

The emperor tossed the thief to one side. The thief grabbed his neck, coughing violently and gasping for air. He looked up to see the emperor standing in front of him, still "smiling" at him. The thief was on his back and on all fours. Paralysed with fear and finally realising what the horse had been so afraid of. He could only begin to imagine what other powers this sinister threat possessed and what he was truly capable of.

He didn't have to wait long to see what else this new form of darkness could do. A snake-like creature appeared from the emperor and grabbed the map that the thief had dropped whilst attempting to flee with its mouth. The snake creature was coloured black and had red point-blank eyes, just like the darkness it had come from. It smiled at the terrified thief, with the map still in its jaws, then retracted to the emperor, turning back into his left arm.

The thief couldn't believe he was seeing this.

"Trust me, my below average friend", said the emperor in a calm, soothing voice, whilst taking the seal off the map so that he could unveil and read it, "You will get everything that you so rightfully deserve, as will I."

The creature looked at the map for a second, closed his eyes, then without warning, the map just faded into nothingness. The darkness opened his eyes, which glowed bright red again.

It knew.

It knew where to find the Cave of Wonders.

It knew where to find Jafar.

The emperor turned towards the thief again and started walking slowly towards him.

"Come with me."

The emperor transformed into a huge falcon-like creature, grabbed the thief by the shoulders with its talons and took flight. The thief screamed as the darkness carried him away, about twenty feet high above the desert.

"Where are you taking me?!", yelled the thief, "What are you going to do to me?!"

"You wanted to go to the cave as much as I, didn't you?" the emperor calmly replied, "And seeing as how your horse has tragically...passed on, it seems to make sense to provide you with another means of transport so that you can get there. Besides, your assistance has been of great value to me so far, so it only seems fair that I should provide you with your reward."

A nervous smile started to spread on the thief's lips, but he still continued his silent whimpering.

"There is no need for despair, my loyal contact. Nothing bad will happen to you. I promise."

The creature's words sounded authentic and true. His voice was a lot calmer and soothing than it had been a few moments ago, when it had been filled with stressful anger and an extreme lack of tolerance, due to the thief's arrogance. The thief breathed a heavy sigh of relief. He now felt safe around this new form of darkness and knew at long last that he wasn't in any danger.

A few minutes later, the emperor gently bought the thief back down to the ground on his feet. The creature released the grip his talons had held on the contact's shoulders, then flew to an area a few meters ahead of the thief and then landed. The emperor reverted back to his humanoid form and raised his arms high above his head. The emperor's hands started vibrating, brimming with the power of darkness. His eyes began glowing bright red again.

"Hear me, guardian spirits of the Cave of Wonders! I summon you to heed my call! Reveal the cave's entrance to me! Grant me access to the power that I seek!"

The ground rumbled as though it was an earthquake that was occurring. The sand blew in the faces of the emperor and the thief as though it was a sandstorm that was about to appear. The natural disasters that occurred indicated neither. All it signalled was the arrival of a gigantic tiger head that rose out of the desert and then opened its mouth, allowing entrance to those who desired it.

The thief stood up. The violent shakings of the ground had knocked him off his feet and he had covered his face to prevent the sand from blowing into it. The emperor on the other hand, was still standing. Not even the mightiest of earthquakes could topple him and force him to lose his footing. As for the sand, it just blew straight past him. He didn't care about natural disasters. All that mattered was the glorious sight that stood before him.

The tiger mouth entrance's eyes lit up and growled as it stirred into full wakefulness.

"Who disturbs my slumber?", enquired the tiger head.

"It is I, Sharak. The source of all darkness", replied the dark entity, "And your new master."

The tiger head's eyes turned bright red at the mention of this announcement, as though the emperor's words had somehow forced the Cave of Wonders to now obey him.

"Proceed, master", replied the tiger cave entrance, "As master of the Cave of Wonders, you have the authority and permission to touch whatever you desire. As do those who follow you." The cave's entrance now stayed permanently open. Sharak looked on in sheer pleasure and delight as his plan was going as smoothly as he had predicted. The cave's words made him realise that at long last he could begin his take-over.

"Finally, after all these aeons of incessant waiting and planning, my dreams of universal domination will become total reality", said Sharak as he moved towards the cave. He was about to enter when he realised that the thief was not by his side. He turned around to see him standing a few meters away from him in complete amazement.

"Well, what are you waiting for?", asked the source of all darkness, "You wanted all the magnificent treasures that the cave has to offer. Now's your chance to claim what you desire and deserve."

"You....you're just going to let me take all the gold and jewels that are in there? Just like that?", stuttered the thief, "But...but why?"

"It is like I explained to you earlier. Your assistance has been of great value to me, so it only seems fair that I provide you with your reward. You will get what you so rightfully deserve because you have earned it."

The thief smiled, rubbed his hands together and sprinted towards the cave, following Sharak down the stairs to the treasure room.

In the treasure room, the thief was having the time of his life. He was literally swimming through all the gold coins, diamonds and rubies. He was throwing handfuls of treasure up into the air and showering himself with royalties that had been previously forbidden to touch.

Sharak on the other hand, had more pressing matters to attend to. He scoured the treasure room looking for the darkness that was Jafar. He knew that Jafar had survived his battle against Sora and friends. He knew that he was still alive because he could sense the evil sorcerer's hatred and darkness. Sharak knew that the vizier was still on Agrabah but had been unable to retrieve his lamp and pinpoint his exact location. Because the lamp had been buried in the cave after it had retreated to below the desert in the aftermath, it had been shielded from Sharak's watchful eye.

The spirits that guarded the cave denied anybody from trying to find it. As powerful as the emperor was, he had not yet become powerful enough to summon the cave's entrance from a location of his choosing. He needed a means to find the exact location of the cave on Agrabah. Whilst previously trying to find it by searching every square inch of the desert, he came across a thief who had been wanted by the palace's guards for stealing some of the sultan's most valuable treasures.

Sharak hadn't the time to tolerate the presence of this rebellious rule-breaker, so he just simply decided to kill him and then refocus on his quest. As the thief saw the demon approaching towards him, he thought he was trying to take the treasure that he had stolen away from him.

Sharak remembered the conversation well.

"Oh no you don't!" shouted the thief, "Finders keepers! I stole this treasure fair and square! If you want some, get your own!"

"Foolish human", replied the emperor, "Royalties are meaningless and are of no value to me."

"Yeah, right!" laughed the thief, "Everybody in Agrabah would kill to get their hands on the sultan's treasure!"

"I never said I was from this vermin infested world", sneered the darkness, "I couldn't care less about what happens here or your ruler's fortune."

The thief wasn't buying the story, "You'd have to be stupid not to get your hands on all the gold that resides in the sultan's palace! Other than the treasure that's contained within the Cave of Wonders, it's the only place where you can get all the loot you need!"

Sharak looked at the man inquisitively, "You know of the Cave of Wonders?"

"Sure do!" said the thief, "If it wasn't for the fact that the cave was secretly hidden beneath, and the fact that its treasure was forbidden from being touched, I'd ransack all the loot from there instead of having to risk my neck in the palace!"

Sharak pondered.

"Perhaps an introduction is order", explained the creature, "I am Emperor Sharak. I am currently in search of an item of great value that I believe is contained within the confines of the cave. If you could take me there, I will be able to provide you with a reward that possesses far greater value than any fortune you can acquire."

"I can take you there", said the thief, "But I need to get the map that provides directions to the cave from the palace. I've seen it there every time I've stolen treasure from the sultan, so stealing it isn't a problem."

Sharak looked deep into the eyes of the thief.

"Yes. Your eyes and voice do not lie. So it seems we have a deal."

"But even if I get the map, it won't do us any good", countered the thief, "The cave's buried far under the desert. We won't be able to get in inside."

"The fact that the cave's presence is well hidden below the vastness of the sand poses no problem. I will be able to resurface the entrance once I know its exact location."

"But how?"

"It does not matter", answered Sharak, "How soon can you obtain this map?"

"I'll need a few hours to ride back to Agrabah and another hour to break into the palace, swipe the map and escape, then another three hours to ride back here. So I reckon I can deliver it to you in about seven hours."

"Meet me back here at midnight", said Sharak, "We'll find the cave and obtain what we're looking for."

"Are you sure you can get us into the cave?" asked the thief, who was still not sure that this creature was telling the truth.

"Yes", replied the darkness, who was starting to become a little irritated by this simple-minded human, "Now do we have a deal?"

"Deal!"

It was a deal that had so far allowed Sharak and his accomplice to benefit immensely. As far as the thief was concerned, he'd got what he came for and was already filling the sacks that he had brought with him, so he could take with him the biggest pile of loot he had ever stolen.

Sharak was still searching for the lamp. He had searched the entire treasure room for it but so far his efforts had been in vain. He had done well so far by gaining access to the cave but it looked as though it had all been for nothing.

The evil emperor refused to give up and continued searching. He could still sense Jafar's darkness and was certain that his lamp was here. He followed his senses and proceeded to the lamp chamber. He looked towards the middle of the floor.

There it was.

Sharak roared with triumph. He had finally found the lamp.

"At last!" shouted the source of darkness as he extended his right arm so he could grab the lamp. His arm retracted back to its normal length. Sharak looked at the power that was now literally in the palm of his hand.

"Finally, the gathering starts to grow! It will only be a matter of time before my forces and allies will be complete! The darkness that I have accumulated so far will continue to grow until it outbalances all light! Soon the Council of Darkness will be whole! Soon my armies will be primed and ready for conquest! Soon all those who follow the path of light and are foolish to believe that they can stop me will be destroyed for their defiance! And soon, very soon, after twenty thousand years of rebuilding myself... I WILL BE THE MASTER OF ALL!"

With that, Sharak let loose maniacal laughter, comprised of hideous joy, which echoed across the entire universe.

The thief entered the lamp chamber to see what was going on.

"I take it from your squeals of excitement you've found what you're looking for."

"Indeed, my friend", replied Sharak as he turned around to face the human. His eyes changed position again to give the thief the impression that he was smiling, "And I have you to thank for that. There was the possibility that I could not have found the cave or the lamp for that matter without your help. Thanks to your assistance, I can now begin rebuilding my empire. I must congratulate you, my unknowing accomplice. By helping me find Jafar, you have helped me to begin sealing the doom of my enemies."

"Uh...glad I could help", said the thief in a confused tone of voice.

"Unfortunately, you of now no further use to me", continued Sharak, the tone of his own voice becoming more sinister, "So it is time for us to part ways and for me to give you your real reward."

"What...what do...what do you mean?" asked the thief starting to feel afraid again.

"I said you would get everything that you so rightfully deserve, remember?" replied Sharak, still "smiling" at the frightened and confused specimen that stood before him, "And a greedy, worthless vermin like yourself has no right to exist. You deserve death more than anything else."

"You...you said that we'd both get what we'd deserve!" exclaimed the thief, "Does that mean you're going to kill yourself too?!"

"You stupid mockery of life!" roared the emperor, "Are you truly that naive?! You are less than nothing to me! I am a million times your superior! I am the superior of all! I do not deserve death! I deserve total supremacy! The best deserve the best! The worst deserve the worst!"

The thief tried to run away but he'd forgotten that from Sharak, there is no escape.

The source of all darkness' eyes emitted red light for the umpteenth time. A barrier appeared in front of the lamp chamber's exit, denying the thief's escape. He ran into it in a feeble attempt to try and get out of the cave, but failed miserably as the barrier's magic hurled him backwards.

"A flawed specimen like you doesn't even deserve death...by my hand!"

Then out of nowhere, a dozen creatures appeared and surrounded the thief who was fearing for his life more than ever before. He instantly recognised the creatures that Sharak had summoned.

They were Bandits.

They were the Heartless.

"No! Please!" begged the thief, "You said you'd let me take the treasure and leave! You promised nothing bad would happen to me!"

"I lied", replied Sharak "smiling" with his point-blank eyes blaring.

He raised his left arm and pointed at the thief. The Heartless Bandits rushed towards the human all at once, wielding their swords high above their heads, slashing away at thin air in a berserker frenzy. The thief knew that this time, this was the end.

"Noooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!!!!!"

The Bandits' swords slashed away at the human as he screamed in intense pain. Afterwards the Heartless backed away. The thief had met the same fate as his horse. He shook violently, with darkness pouring from his wounds that soon eclipsed him. He stopped shaking and then collapsed. His heart then emerged from his body only to be consumed by the creatures that had taken his life. What was left of his body disintegrated. Then out of the ground where the thief had once stood, emerged a Fat Bandit Heartless.

All of the Heartless that stood present turned towards Sharak.

Then bowed down before him.

"You have done well, my loyal followers", congratulated the emperor, "I am both amused and impressed by your abilities. You have all proven to me once again that the Heartless are unquestionably my greatest weapon."

The source of all darkness then turned towards the other side of the lamp chamber, looking at the Keyhole that had been sealed by Sora. He raised his left hand in front of it. Cracks started to appear in the Keyhole, with darkness gradually escaping from those cracks. The sealed Keyhole shattered piece by piece, until it became open once more.

"Enter the Keyhole and take over this world's core from within", ordered Sharak, "I will be sending others to Agrabah soon to eliminate those who could potentially put a halt to our plans."

The Heartless followed their leader's orders and ran straight towards the Keyhole. As soon as the last Bandit had entered the Keyhole, Sharak turned toward the lamp chamber's exit where a dark portal opened. Sharak entered the portal to return to his home world.

On the other side of the portal, Sharak entered a room that was almost pitch black. The only source of light available was a horrible, ominous green light, which took place in the form of a central spotlight that allowed those present to see where they were going. The portal closed behind Sharak as he moved closer and closer towards the mysterious green light.

A figure appeared out of the darkness. He was around about the same height as Sharak, but a bit more bulkier. He wore a toga and possessed jagged teeth. His nose was quite a crooked, pointed shape and his skin was a sort of pale grey colour. The most distinguishing feature about him was that his head was on fire. Blue fire.

"Hey, five star performance all round!" said the newcomer, "That performance just simply put all award winning actors to shame! The way you set that sucker up before he literally bit the dust was just first class entertainment! No wonder people call you the main event! I'm real, real tempted to ask for your autograph!"

"I do not normally live for praise as high as that, Hades", said Sharak, "But I am flattered by your approval nevertheless."

"Man, that desert bum really thought he was gonna get a happy ending! laughed Hades.

"It is not enough to merely destroy your enemy, my friend", replied the emperor, "You have to make your enemy learn the true meaning of the words fear and power. You have to make your nemesis more frightened then they have been in his or her life. Then you must calm your victim, make him or her foolishly believe that you would never do anything to harm them, as well as granting that person their greatest desire. Then can you catch them truly off-guard and unawares. That is the right time to strike. You must also make them learn to suffer like never before, turn their emotions against them and haunt them with the despair and suffering of their loved ones, and then destroy them. Only by doing so can you truly achieve and savour the utterly brilliant satisfaction of destroying your enemy."

"Yeah, I consider myself to be an expert in the pain and suffering department", sniggered the god of the Underworld, "Its how I get my kicks. I wonder if our old buddy Jafar shares that same enjoyment."

"Well let us ask him, shall we?"

Sharak revealed the lamp to Hades, and rubbed it with his right hand. A horrible red smoke thrust out of lamp's spout. A maniacal laugh sounded, growing louder and louder as the bizarre red smoke increased its mass. The smoke evolved into a huge cloud, which then transformed into the frightening figure of the Jafar-Genie.

"Free! I am finally free! Free to extract vengeance on those who dared to imprison me!", laughed Jafar as he flew away from Sharak and Hades. His joy was short-lived however as the manacles on his wrists glowed with magic. The same kind of magic that prevented him from escaping the restraints the lamp held on him. Jafar used all his strength to try and escape but no matter how hard he tried, he couldn't escape.

"Still as forgetful as ever I see", stated Sharak, "All that phenomenal cosmic power that you possess and you are denied the freedom to use it for your own purposes because you are currently being restrained by the rules of the genie. I find it very sad that that rule is your handicap now just as it was when you were defeated by that boy."

Jafar stopped struggling to escape and turned his attention to the one that had summoned him. He looked to see two individuals looking at him. One of them he instantly recognised.

"Hades?!"

"Long time no see, beard face!" greeted the god of the underworld.

"And who are you that has summoned me?" asked Jafar, turning his attention to Sharak.

"For the moment, I am your new master", he answered, "But that can change. I do not wish to use you for slavery. I wish to use you for alliance."

"I'm listening", said the genie.

"I am Sharak, the source of all darkness, and supreme ruler of the Heartless. This universe that we live in was once under rule. MY rule. I wish to restore this glorious order, and at the same time, I wish to destroy the descendants of those who dared to bring my rule to an end. I wish to crush the existing light that disgraces all worlds, and completely annihilate those who pose a potential threat to the resurrection of my empire."

"And why do you need my help?" asked Jafar, "You have powers that are seemingly greater than mine."

"I have been severely weakened", explained Sharak, "When I ruled the entire universe, my power was absolute and unequalled. Somehow, for reasons that are unknown to me, an army of warriors....heroes if you will, were able to destroy a large proportion of me. I have been able to regenerate myself but I am nowhere near as powerful as I was during my previous incarnation. I can only reclaim a fraction of this universe by myself in my current condition. My chances of retaking everything improve greatly if I forge alliances."

"And why should I agree to help you?"

"Because I can do more than offer your freedom", continued the emperor, "I know that you crave vengeance against the young human named Aladdin. I know that you crave for his destruction. I also know that you wish the same for the Keybearer. The boy known as Sora, and the followers of King Mickey. The ones referred to as Donald Duck and Goofy. I know that you wish to unleash maximum hatred on all of your enemies. I can help you destroy them. I can also help you to become Agrabah's ruler once more. Already the Heartless have entered the Keyhole of your home world. Very soon will it be under control of the darkness."

"So you will help me regain control of Agrabah and destroy my enemies", said Jafar, "But what's in it for you?"

"There are heroes out there who previously denied Ansem, the seeker of darkness, to succeed me as the ruler of all. These heroes also succeeded in preventing you, Hades and all those who desired total domination, from conquering all worlds. Your enemies are my enemies. Anyone who opposes darkness is an instant enemy of Sharak."

"So if I agree to help you conquer all worlds, and destroy all our enemies, you will allow me to rule Agrabah under your name?" concluded the former vizier.

"That is exactly what I am proposing", reassured the source of all darkness, "Those who serve under my rule will benefit by having total command over their home worlds. You will be allowed to control Agrabah as you see fit, just like Hades will be granted total rule over Olympus, but if, and only if you serve under my order. Those who oppose me will be destroyed."

Jafar knew that Sharak was telling the truth. Jafar could also tell that the power that this darkness possessed was vastly superior to his. True, Jafar was a being that had obtained phenomenal cosmic power and was now an all-powerful genie, but this creature that had crowned itself emperor was the source of all darkness. He was the reason darkness existed in the first place. He was literally darkness itself. The amount of darkness that Jafar possessed was nothing compared to this mysterious entity that was only at a fraction of full strength but could still destroy anything that stood against it. Jafar guessed that Hades must have realised it was better to ally with this creature than to oppose it. The genie decided it would be wise to follow suit and do the same.

"Just one more enquiry", spoke Jafar, after considering his options, "Why do you wish to free me? I could be just as much use to you as a slave."

"You are wrong. The curse of the lamp restrains you and prevents you from realising your full potential. If I were to simply wish to have control of the universe and all of my power completely restored to me, there is the possibility that someone will take control of your lamp and undo all my wishes. I can't wish for you to destroy my enemies either because you can't kill anyone whilst serving the possessor of the lamp. There are also the possibilities of your lamp being destroyed or you being freed after wishes are made. If either were to happen, you would cease to exist or be an unguided spirit. Whatever happens, any wishes I make will be undone, making your use void and worthless. If I freed you now, you would still exist even if your lamp was destroyed. Under my guidance and leadership, nothing can possibly defeat you and you have a better chance of achieving your goals. Further more, if you're unrestrained, you would be at your prime. I require the optimum services of all those who serve me if I am to succeed in my take-over."

Jafar looked at Sharak. This being loves the sound of his own voice too much, he thought, but what he's saying makes perfect sense. He is obviously highly intelligent and one that can provide a fair and powerful alliance.

"I accept your terms, Sharak", agreed Jafar, "I will agree to conquer all our enemies and fight by your side. When the light falls, all power and supremacy will be ours."

"Under my rule and in my name, I trust?"

"Of course."

"Then an alliance has been forged, and a bargain has been struck!" announced Sharak, "You have spoken the truth and in doing so, have earned the freedom you desire! Grant me my first and final wish! Grant yourself your first and final wish! I wish for your freedom!"

With that one wish, Sharak had unleashed a nightmare force. A force of amazing and destructive power. A force that was now allied to him.

A force known as Jafar.

Jafar's manacles unlocked themselves, fell to the ground and disappeared into thin air. Jafar looked at his now bare wrists and felt the delights of unrestrained power. At long last he was free to destroy.

He wrapped his arms around himself and transformed back into his human form. Hades instantly remembered the original form of the sultan's former vizier, and smiled as he saw the more original and familiar form of the genie take shape.

An evil smile spread across Jafar's lips. His eyes glowing bright red.

Hades' smile turned into a frightful grin.

Sharak's eyes burned a horrible blood red colour.

The three of them let loose a maniacal and frightening laugh that nearly deafened those who could hear it.

And everyone in the universe could hear it.

And they all began to wonder what those laughs could possibly mean.

Sharak, Hades and Jafar knew what those laughs meant.

They meant doom.

Chapter: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19



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