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Chapter 41 of SOS. This is part of the Homeworld Series of worlds, following Steel as he goes through his memories of his homeworld.

Story Edit

An Artisan's Tears Edit

Prior to going through the door to his memories, it was revealed that Steel's true name was Sors Alexander Hope. Once through the door, Steel is greeted with an ever present rain that seemed to fill his world. Not soon after that, was he greeted with Panchito. While the bird was confused, Steel did his best to explain the inner workings of his world to him. About the purpose of the fort they were near. About the entities known as the Disturbed, physical manifestations of the blood-lust and hatred in the hearts of the group known as the Fates.

He continued to explain that the Fates had a great deal of hate towards the disturbed, especially their leader, and wished nothing more than their destruction. He then went on to say that the leader was revered as a king of sorts. He also revealed that the rain was a manifestation of the King's tears, flooding the world with his sorrow towards his mistakes and decisions. When Panchito wondered who this king was, Steel responded that it was none other than Sors Alexander Hope himself. With that out of the way, the duo had started to continue to walk through the illusory world.

On their way to the fort, they were beset by a seemingly never ending horde of Disturbed. While the duo had managed to survive getting struck by them, they eventually made it over to the fort only to be blocked off by a gate. Beyond the gate, Steel could see his sister Winter battling an entity known as the Red Queen and nearly being felled by said entity. When hope seemed lost for her, Steel somehow managed to cast a cure spell, saving the woman. As he then tried to force open the gate between him and his sister, a light soon enveloped the group.

An Artisan's Hope Edit

When next they were aware of what was going on, Panchito, Steel and Winter were faced down with a giant crab like Disturbed, by the name of Cancer. While the creature seemed to be powerful, it was ultimately no match for the combined efforts of the group. While Steel was uncertain the meaning behind such a fight, he and the rest of the group started to walk away from the scene. During this time, Panchito asked Steel what he valued most, to which the man responded with "his family." After a short bit walking more, the group eventually ran into Gale, Steel's older brother.

As the group started to walk towards their next destination, Panchito seemed to start getting quite persistent in his questions about Steel's goals in his life and his overall endgame. Steel continued to respond with "family," and emphasized that they were pretty much the only thing in his life that mattered to him, even including himself. While he continued to swear he'd protect them, Panchito seemed confused by this odd resolve as Steel's family seemed more than able to protect themselves and how it was that Steel seemed to have no goal for himself. Eventually, Steel told Panchito that he never thought he would ever be able to be with his family once this was all over, and decided to show him what he meant when they reached the throne room of the castle they were walking through.

The "Throne Room," was more an entirely different dimension in of itself. One that seemed to contain nothing but muck, dead plants and seemed to be frozen in time. The only sign of life they had found there was a small wolf pup named Mar, who seemed rather excited to meet the new people. As the group traveled through this throne room, they eventually met with another wolf named Hail, though Hail didn't seem to take much notice of any of them. After they left the wolf seemed down trodden by the whole thing and Steel had suddenly seemed primed to kill Mar.

While Panchito was baffled by this turn of events, both Steel and Mar began to explain. Long ago, the entity known as Sors Alexander Hope was possessed by a being known as Grey. Once possessed, Gray started to go on a simple minded conquest to gain more power, slaughtering everything in its path. So that he may use him again, Grey eventually fragmented Sors off of himself and placed him elsewhere in order to gain even more power. Knowing that Grey would not allow him to die, Sors figured the only way to stop this and save everyone was to kill himself. And thus, the fragment known as Steel was born to kill the original Sors who now went by Mar. Once the explanation was done, Steel killed the wolf where it stood. However, when he had finished, a more ghastly, scarred and deformed version of Steel rose from Mar's corpse. It was the original Steel.

An Artisan's Shard Edit

The two Steel's immediately began to clash. The more monstrous one seemed to wonder why Steel had seen fit to play god. To act like he was far more high and mighty then anyone else, and decide that destiny was always in their favor. The monster continued to berate Steel over and over, with the monster stating that everything he did was with purpose, while Steel seemed to lack any. As the monster stated that when all was said and done, he would sacrifice himself to save his world, Steel had finally gotten fed up with him.

Starting to berate the monster, Steel told the creature that no matter his intentions, his means were far more warped. Steel continued to lecture, essentially himself, stating that he would simply dispose of anything in his way and never try to understand anyone or anything that existed out of his own views. When Steel finally asked what gave his monstrous self the right to decide he was beyond redemption, he gave his final strike and defeated the creature. With it, he was presented with a new keychain.

After defeating his original self, Steel was then faced down with Grey. Grey proceeded to then taunt Steel, probing at what it was that could've been his greatest fear. Eventually, he simply stated that Steel's greatest fear was creating irreversible consequences from his actions. While Steel started to lament over all the tragedy his inaction has caused, Grey then proceeded to strike at Steel, knocking him down. However, as he was about to be felled, Grey's blade was stopped. With Steel coming to realize that not taking any action is far more terrifying that what lies past trying to accomplish something, the man regained his keyblade and his form changed into a more wolf-like one to mirror his original self.

With keyblade in hand, Steel dueled Grey, talking about how his journeys had both changed parts of him and reaffirmed other parts. After declaring that ultimately he was simply just Steel, the keyblade wielder felled the specter of his past. With the fight done, the trial had been completed and Steel walked out from his room back into the main rooms of the Castle of Illusions.

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