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XAP
The following passage describes the events which lead to the story of KHSOS, and the very introduction of it. Known as "Chapter 0," it reveals the 3 masked apprentices and the abduction of Terra, Ventus, and Aqua from the Land of Departure. As this was set 4 years before the events in Birth by sleep, Ventus was only recently given to Eraqus by Master Xehanort and has now been taken away,along with Eraqus' two pupils.

State of EmergencyEdit

The Night BeforeEdit

It had been, up until then, one month since Xehanort left Ventus in Eraqus'  capable hands. The boy had made friends with both Terra and Aqua very quickly, so all was well in the Land of Departure for some time as a result. Despite this outer shell of happiness, however, something was clearly bothering Eraqus. The night sky, in that very night as he pondered, had been lit with many stars... too many stars. They were far too bright to even see the rest of black space.

In an attempt to uncover this recent cosmic anomaly, he sent a letter to another old comrade of his: Master Yen Sid. It wasn't long before Yen Sid replied with his letter:
There is something dreadfully wrong Eraqus.
When stars go out, there is trouble, but if multiplied-
Oh, how I wish not to think of it.
I fear your apprentices may not be ready for what may lie ahead.
It may be even too strong for you to handle.
I ask that for now you keep your students indoors.
Tell them not of what is going to happen, I must further research the matter.

This made no sense to him. "What IS going to happen?" he would constantly asked himself. He took the recommendation and instructed his students to stay inside for a few days. For further precautions, he even created a barrier around their home. The following night, Eraqus heard a loud crash in his sleep. For fear of his disciples, he ran from his room to their quarters only to find 3 masked assailants.

He drew out his keyblade. "What have you done with my students!?" The one in purple chuckled at his question.
"You're supposed to be the infamous Eraqus?" She turned to the other. "Bit of a let down, I'd say"
The old master lay his blade in aim ready for battle. "I'm not asking again."
The one in purple once again seemed hysterical. "Spare me the bravery act." She added a mocking tone to everything she said. Her left hand raised and let out a dark mist.
"You had your warning!" Eraqus charged through the mist unknowing of what would happen if he inhaled it. The images in front of him began to go fuzzy. His body slowly began stiffen. Before he knew it, he was unable to move.
The female member walked passed him drawing out her keyblade. "I'm gonna go wake up the kids. I'll let you know when I've had my fun..." The one in black and white finally spoke out. "Remember. Master wants them alive."
"Oh blah, blah his needs! Your can be such a downer Aux!" she dashed out of the room humming an ominous melody to herself.
Still able to partially move his lips, Eraqus muttered out, "Y-you... can wield the k-keyblade?"
The other 2 drew theirs out as well.
The one called Aux spoke out again, "Know that we mean you no harm. We are only following our master's wishes."
The one in Red stood next to him. "You wanna knock him out, or should I?"
Aux turned away. "Do what you must." In an effort to lift his limbs, Eraqus tried to break free.
"Keep doing that," the red one said "It paralyzes further after every movement."
"Who.. Who are you?"
"Story for another day. For now-" He raised keyblade over his head. "Lights out old man."With a quick strike to his head, Eraqus fell to the ground.

The one who left the room earlier returned.
"Are they unconscious, Nequa?"
"Like little dolls waiting to be wrapped." She turned to the one who had just struck Eraqus.
"Vanitas, go load em' up."
He walked passed her wondering out loud, "I still don't get it. they're all weak. why does he want them now?"
Nequa pestered on, "Who cares? Sooner this job is finished, sooner I get to finish my other business."
Aux motioned to the limp Eraqus. "What do we do with him?"
"Leave him. He's not on the guest list."
He looked back at the man laid on the floor. He couldn't help but feel sorry for him.
"Hey lummox! Quit growing a conscience, and go help Vanitas."
Doing as told, he left the room. Alone with Eraqus, she knelt beside him.
Between you and me, I don't really care what he's planning. I refuse to call him my master, because in the end of it all, he will be the one bowing to me." Rising back up, she left the room. "You will all bow to me..."

The Next MorningEdit

Struggling in his sleep, Eraqus woke with a startle. He was back in his bed. as if the night before never happened. He was too paranoid, he had to make sure. Rushing back to his student's rooms, he yelled out their names, "Terra! Aqua! Ventus!" No answer.
He ran outside the castle hoping to find some hint. Yen Sid was already outside. In shock, he rushed up to the old wizard with a flurry of questions in his mind, it spurted out like nonsense. "Yen Sid... Intruders... Kidnapped...Masks..." The wizard raised his hand silencing him. "I believe it's best if I start," he reasoned.
In a lengthy lecture, He explained that the increase in star count was due to rifts from time. Some one had been affecting the course of time bring worlds from the future and past, causing worlds to go out of order. A second matter was troubling him. Eraqus spoke of 3 attackers from last night who claimed to have been following a master. This master has been kidnapping keybladers from different worlds for some purpose. "Why didn't they take me? I'm a master. They are only my apprentices." he asked desperately.
He took a short pause.
"My dear apprentices... This confuses me still. I've tried to contact Xehanort on the matter, but it seems I can't reach him." A troubling thought entered his mind. What if Xehanort was behind these kidnappings? His heart was definitely leading to darkness. How far was he going to go for power? "What should I do now? I have to find them!"
"Patience Eraqus. Let's begin with what we know. These assailants are after keyblade wielders, yet they did not capture you. They are jumping through time and space, and it is all being lead by one master schemer."
"I know this much. but where would we begin with an investigation like that?"
"I'd start with new apprentices." Eraqus seemed confused. "Isn't the issue that they are all being captured?"
"Correct, Existing wielders are being taken, BUT- If you begin training new ones, this could lead to developing a small resistance to whatever threat is causing this."
"Old friend, you still make no sense. Not anyone can wield the keyblade. The keyblade-"
"Chooses it's master. I know Eraquas. And with the right qualities, anyone can wield the keyblade"
"Even if your plan is to work, my question remains the same. Where do I begin?"
"I want you to wait Eraqus."
"You want me.. to wait? While all this chaos is going on?"
"As we speak, letters are being sent around to different worlds declaring an SOS state of Emergency. Asking those who are willing and ready to fight for their worlds. If there are hearts of light out there, they will come to you. Have faith my friend." He turned to the exit finishing with; "I will return in 1 weeks time."

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