Chapter 40 of SOS. This is part of the Homeworld Series of worlds, following Stratos as he goes through his memories of his homeworld.
As he stepped through the door, Stratos appeared in his homeworld of Rennshalt. The land around him was barren, with dry and brown looking grass, dead looking trees. The sky was one of ever changing day and night as the sun seemed to be super imposed in some large orb of darkness. The ground had plumes white and black mist billowing out from it. In the distance from where he appeared, there was a town that went by the name of Himmel, Stratos's hometown. With the sight in his vision, the boy began to walk towards his place of birth.
As the boy made his way to the town gate, he was greeted with the sight of a familiar looking man, to him. As the older man spotted Stratos, he called out to him. Frozen in place, as if he had seen a ghost speak to him, the man who went by the name of Lith wondered what Stratos was doing outside. While the boy didn't respond to him in any intelligible way, the man simply reminded Stratos of the dangers that lie outside. He assured him that despite his blessing of the keyblade, he was still just a boy, and to leave all the dangerous work to him and the other adults, only to then drag the boy back into the gates of Himmel.
Stratos, now realizing the when of where he was, started to walk around his rather humble and urban home town. While he seemed somber, his thoughts were interrupted by the voice of Mickey Mouse. While confused why the mouse was there, he wasn't given much of an explanation, and the duo just went about through Stratos's homeworld as his memories played before him. Eventually, a girl by the name of Pheera had rushed to him, asking for his help. She had stated that his friends had gone to a place known as "The Chasm" in order to save one of their other friends who had gone missing. Agreeing to help her, Stratos and Mickey went on their way.
The Chasm Edit
Stratos and Mickey had made their way towards this Chasm. On their way there, Stratos informed Mickey that during this day, his friends had nearly gotten themselves killed looking for a dead man. Once they got to The Chasm, they were greeted with heartless spilling out of it every which way. With Mickey's help, the duo had managed to break through the ranks of the shadows, eventually making their way to Stratos's trio of old friends.
They had all appeared to be in some kind of danger, and already harmed. When Stratos had appeared to help, though, Meso, the eldest of the group, told him to back off. While Stratos was confused by this, the boy started shouting at Stratos, telling him that he was sick of living in other's shadows. Losing it, Stratos then wailed on Meso, starting to yell at him about how he had always felt weak and insecure about it. However, towards the end, Stratos had come to terms with his weakness, and managed to drag Meso and his other friends out of The Chasm.
Once they had made it back, the memory played back as normal. Where in the normal memory, Lith was spurred to go fight the man who was said to cause the ruin of their world, by the time Stratos had come back with Meso, Lith had already vanished. Going after to him to complete the memory, Stratos informed Mickey about the man they were going to meet, Noir. A person Stratos believed to be beyond measure, and one that he had to go face off against to face his greatest fear.
As Stratos journeyed across his world, he had eventually come face to face with the man known as Noir. The man seemed to know about the illusory state of the world. Seeing Stratos, he lectured the boy on the meaning of power, and wondered if he had gained an understanding of what his power was. While Stratos seemed to have a better idea then he did before, Noir still felt it unsatisfactory, and thus the two had begun their fight.
While Stratos attempted to use his answer, being simply mimicking the power of his friends, Noir effortlessly beat this aside. The man proved to overpower the boy with great ease, deflecting attack after attack as though it were nothing. When he had finally broken Stratos's sword, he simply questioned if all Stratos was, was the sum of other's parts. Realizing that this was not enough, Stratos pushed himself one step further, learning to mix and combine other's strengths to form his own unique kind. Taking Noir by surprise with this power, he had defeated the man and proven worthy of passing this trial. With a final goodbye from Noir, Stratos left the world as it started to fade to white.