BioQuest: Seeking

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She stood over Suchong’s body, mangled and covered in reddish-brown stains. The sight should have made her nauseous. Instead, she examined his body for a place he’d store the formula for Lot 192.

Nothing so straightforward as a pocket, although… Elizabeth went to the supply cabinet and pulled on a pair of surgical gloves with a delicate snap of the elastic band around her wrist.

She found herself approaching his corpse with calculated steps, not just for the blood pooled on the floor. There was a chance the formula wasn’t here, and then– They would find another way. With a tear or Tenebaum’s help, somehow they would make this work.

Elizabeth peeled open the left-hand coat pocket on the corpse’s jacket, peering inside. “Too dark,” she whispered to herself. Slipping her hand inside, she wrapped her fingers around a small box.

Turning the side not soaked in blood to the light, she made out the phrase ‘NICO-TIME’ and dropped the cigarettes into the trash. “Now for the other pocket.”

Reaching in, the right-hand pocket came up empty. She set both hands on the table, looking over his facedown body. “Suchong… Where would you hide it?”

Nowhere Ryan or Fontaine might come across it and nowhere that he couldn’t readily access it in an emergency. Dr. Suchong needed to be indisposable to any political power to ensure his safety at all times, after all.

Not that it helped him in the end.

Elizabeth crouched to eye level with the desk, looking for any pockets he may have had on the front of the coat. Keeping it on his person made the most sense for him to do, and… “Wait, is that…?”

She reached for an edge of photo paper sticking out from the seam of his shredded lab coat, pulling it out as she tore the corner pinned by the drill. The secret pocket protected it somewhat from the pooling blood, and with the overhead light, Elizabeth could make out the picture.

It was Jack, staggering out of the Vita Chamber after– After the fight. Turning it over, she saw a notation in the center, L192, and a chemical formula she could only partially understand.

But Tenebaum would know exactly what to do and Elizabeth breathed a laugh. Finally, a bit of luck. She tucked the photo into an inner pocket of her coat, peeling the gloves off and tossing them into the trash.

None of the security staff so much as glanced her way as she left and only the small chirp from the camera made it clear she was there at all.

She walked down the short hallway, past two couches, and into the panicked crowd on their way to someplace they hoped would be safe or to arm themselves with plasmids or take their money out from the banks– all contributing to the growing chaos.

Except for one person. He was at the edge of the crowd, calm and certain as to where he wanted to go. His black button down with white cuffs ended at his forearm, baggy and poorly fitted just like his black vest.

Something about him was familiar, but she didn’t recognize the crew cut he had– not until he glanced over his shoulder before ducking down a passage deeper into Apollo Square. And she knew it was Jack, going out again when she asked him to stay. Towards Hestia Chambers, if she remembered correctly…

She looked to Bathysphere waiting the in dock, then down the hall with a flickering light where Jack made his way towards… Whatever he sought.

What do you want to do, Elizabeth?

Read the next chapter.

– – –

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Donut Heist

I can really only explain this in-character Demyx piece as a simple prompt combined with whimsy.

The Great Donut Heist

Okay, soooo…

There’s this box of little chocolate donuts in the castle kitchen, and I’ve got some preeeetty serious orders from X-face not to “shame the Organization” by hogging ’em all.

But… what Saïx doesn’t know won’t hurt me! 👀

So here’s the plan:

Eyes on the prize

I gotta do the recon here to make sure the donuts are where I can get ’em, of course!

Be a reeeaally good distraction

Who’s reeeaally stubborn, loud, and ready to argue all the time? Yeah, heheh, you know who that is.

…uhh, most Org members, actually.

Sneak into the kitchen

Put the entire box of donuts in my cloak

RTCBR, Mission Complete!

Return to Castle Bedroom! This mission report is going to be soooo tasty. 🍩

I’ll miss you

I have never written Saïx before, tbh, and I get the feeling that Demyx and Saïx is an unpopular thematic combo, buuuut…

It’s more about the broship of Axel and Demyx anyway. If nothing else, I had fun. Hope you enjoy it too!

Spoilers below for Chain of Memories and 358/2

His boots brushed the grey-white floor of Saïx’s office while Demyx just… Swung his feet and waited to be yelled at until he died. Again. Maybe he could open a corridor in time to run, but ennnngh… Living up to his title, the Melodious Nocturne hummed an aimless song instead.

[I]He’d just catch me anyway, then he’d be reeeaally mad. Like berserker mad.

“Quiet, Number IX,” Saïx ordered from outta nowhere.

“Eek!” Demyx recoiled, covering his head with arms. One second, two second… Safe yet? He peeked through an opening over his shoulder, that was brave enough. Gold eyes narrowed at him around the big X on Saïx’s face, and… He put his arms down, shrinking in the seat. “Uhh, yeah. Quiet. Got it.”

“Clearly not.”

Saïx glided and kinda stomped to the other side of his desk at the same time (how did he do that?), moonlight from Kingdom Hearts pouring into the giant windows behind him.

Like pretty much everything else in this place, his desk was barren. Well, except for a stack of papers in a filing stand and a couple pens. Next Christmas, Demyx was gonna get him a stress doll. Maybe seven of ’em. For symbolism.

“Heh–” The rest of his laugh died in a fake cough that Saïx bought… Probably ’cause he had something worse to say to Demyx. “Engh.”

“We’ve received a report from Castle Oblivion. You would do well to submit those too,” he warned, looming over the desk. Couldn’t not bring that up, huh? And why didn’t he just sit, this’d be a lot less scary if he just… Didn’t talk?

no, no, that would be waaaay worse

“Umm, okay?” Saïx’s face was a wall, like trying to read blank sheet music. What’d that have to do with Demyx? He was recon, not science or… Whatever they sent Marluxia, Larxene, and Axel there for. Probably fighting, another thing he was so not the right guy for. Still.

“Everyone stationed at the castle has been eliminated.” A stiff smile froze on Demyx’s face and he waited for a breathless beat. Nothing changed. The moon kept on shining and Saïx kept that dead stare. Leaning forward, Demyx kinda felt like he was gonna throw up.

“Wha…” This had to be a bad joke, Saïx would say that just to be mean. No way everyone was gone! “Wait, wait,” Demyx stalled and swatted the air in front of him. Could you get rid of bad thoughts that way? “Everyone’s eli… Gone, so who sent you a report?”

“Number II, not that it’s any concern of yours.”

Now that it wouldn’t make a difference, Saïx sat down. His desk might as well have been a canyon, nothing was reaching Demyx right. “You will need to apply yourself, Number IX.”

He flopped theatrically back into the chair, dropping his arms on the armrests. No hearts, no emotions… Demyx wasn’t supposed to care. Those were the rules.

“We have been reduced to half our numbers,” Saïx droned on with moonlight bearing down on him like a weird kinda spotlight. Demyx got to wondering if Saïx kept notecards too, only hidden under the desk for extra special bad news.

Waaaaiiit… He’d have to feel bad about it to do that. Hmm.

“…and Number VIII isn’t here to protect you from your mistakes.” At some point, he’d stopped listening and from how Saïx was clenching his jaw, Demyx was preeeetty sure that was obvious.

“Mmgh.” Demyx pouted and that just kinda made X-face more annoyed. What was he supposed to do here? He wasn’t the guy with the plan.

And good ol’ Number VII just glared straight on through him, heartless as he claimed they all were. Or maybe he really believed the lie?


“Hey…” Tapping his fingertips together, Demyx wandered into dangerous waters. Metaphorically. “Weren’t you guys friends?”

Aaand there it was.

Demyx gulped and almost stared back down, but that burning glower locked him right in place. W-was he nervous sweating? Ewww…

“Obviously Axel believed you needed that information,” Saïx forced out. Ticking him off this close to the moon, what was Demyx even thinking? Bad bet, don’t go against house, that’s what Luxord would say. “But your focus should be on your work. We don’t have room for slacking off, Number IX. Remember that.”

“Okay, but hey–” Demyx stopped at the soft fwoosh of a dark corridor behind him. “Who’s that?” Just an open corridor sitting between him and the way out. No one else there, so who…? “Oooh.”

“You are dismissed.” Saïx insisted, standing up again. Kinda guessed he was gonna throw Demyx through if he didn’t leave soon and that was a good enough reason to get up too.

“Alright, alright,” he whined and shuffled backwards to the swirling purple-black portal. “But y’know…”

“Dismissed,” he repeated and just a liiiittle bit, Demyx could see his shoulders tense up.

“Got it,” he squeaked and backed through the rest of the way, finding himself alone in the Grey Room. He stood there for a sec, just thinking.

Larxene, Marluxia, Vexen, Zexion, Lexaeus… Axel… All dead. He didn’t even know why. And what’d Saïx tell him personally for? He scratched his head and stared out into the nighttime sky they always had at the Castle.

“Aww man,” he complained to no one. There wasn’t even gonna be a funeral. “I’m really gonna miss you.” No heart, no emotions… Not yet, anyway. Saïx was super lucky.

BioQuest: For Family

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Read the previous chapter.
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Elizabeth paced in the tunnel, kicking some pebble into the running water now and again because, well, she could. “The formula is easier to steal, harder to miss. I should go for that,” she muttered to herself, gesturing as if it was on a table beside her right there.

“But then, the materials,” she trailed off, thinking on where they would even get those legitimately. It’s not as if she could steal the makings of it and the formula. That would be a good portion of the lab’s supplies, they would know.

She pivoted, looking into the shadows of the tunnel arches for an answer… Or maybe the feeling of being watched was finally getting to her. “For goodness’ sake,” Elizabeth scolded herself. “My family needs me at the labs.”

Her meaning caught up to her after she’d already said it, and she strode purposefully to the pathways leading out and up to a Bathysphere that would take her to Artemis Suites.

The streets were already in chaos. People crying, shouting to sellers and bankers, maintenance men installing the glowing Vita Chambers already… Elizabeth fought the urge to reach for the familiar surface of her pinky’s metal cover and focused on removing the image of a revived Jack covered in his own blood from her mind.

My family needs me.

That thought pushed her ahead with a shaky breath towards the next ready Bathysphere. Lucky for her, the lockdown being broadcast overhead didn’t apply to scientists.

It would make her a target eventually, but for now… Elizabeth sat in the Bathysphere alone and the door closed behind her. Anyone who targeted her was in for more of a fight than they realized. She was a DeWitt, after all, and she smiled out at the inky black ocean floor dimly lit by Rapture.

Or what was not broken in the city. The amusement park was dark, and Elizabeth only barely noticed it was there at all. Hardly a priority when one considered that other critical areas of the city had been blown apart and if the damage was to be contained, the repair Big Daddies would have to focus on those regions.

Just like that, the Bathysphere docked and she was in Artemis Suites of Apollo Square, following the practiced walk to Suchong’s clinic. She was surprised to find the entrance unmanned with countless moving shadows cast on the floor outside the door.

What they were saying, she couldn’t tell. The clinic had been heavily soundproofed to the outside long ago. And the moment she passed through the doorway, a camera chirped to life– calming when it was only her– but still, she had everyone’s attention now.

A sea of faces she didn’t know parted to show Sullivan, marching up to her and dropping a hand on her shoulder. “Miss, what are you doin’ here alone? Don’tcha know there’s a war on?!”

“I, I thought people may need help, so I–” He led her further into the lab, pulling her into an empty surgery room she distinctly recalled as beige, not the red-brown she saw splattered behind his looming figure.

“Look, your dad does great work, but I can’t keep covering for ya if you pull stunts like this,” he scolded her and kept her in place with his hand.

“I’ve got break-ins, turrets to set up, artsy types going ape, and this area’s turning to a prison overnight.” His face was unhealthy combination of pale and flushed, and Elizabeth wasn’t certain he even breathed during that lecture. She nodded, putting on her best wide-eyed innocent look. “So you beat feet outta here back to Booker, you hear me?”

“Yes sir,” she nearly answered to empty air as he went back to the main entrance of the lab… Leaving her to finally see Suchong’s maimed corpse affixed to his old desk with a bloodied stump of a drill.

What do you want to do, Elizabeth?

Read the next chapter.

– – –

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Xigbar and MoM

So this is what happens when I think about KH after exposing myself to toxic glue fumes.

Spoilers ahead

So I’d seen this theory flying around that Braig and the Master of Masters (MoM) were the same person… And I thought it was bunk.

As if, amirite?

And I got to thinking on how to disprove it, falling down this crazy little rabbit hole of proving it to myself by mistake.

Connection 1: The Cloak
This is shared with the entire Organization, though. And it was first worn by MoM and Luxu, who would be documented by the Foretellers.

It seemed just as likely that choosing the cloak was a remnant of Terra’s studies as a Keybearer being accessible to Xemnas.

It didn’t have to be Braig that connected the cloak to the Organization. The evidence here just wasn’t strong enough to tie them, but it didn’t rule anything out either.

Conclusion: Too many variables with the cloak.

Connection 2: The Eye
One of the supports given for why Xigbar and MoM are the same person is that they both have one eye.

The issue with this one is a bit obvious. MoM had one eye in Back Cover, the other being in the Keyblade for Luxu.

Since he came before Braig chronologically in the canon timeline, how could Braig have two eyes at the start of BBS if he (as MoM) had one prior to that?

Note: I am assuming that MoM was telling the truth about his eye. MoM was deceptive, but he was generally honest in the information he did give. That’s what made his deceptions so effective.

The first way I thought of to make this work was if Braig came first chronologically. In that event, he would later become Master of Masters in the future and travel to that time in Back Cover after the business with Organization XIII.

But then… It’s confirmed in canon that Xigbar recruited Marluxia.

Which means he had to know as Xigbar to go to the world as it fell to darkness and collect Marluxia. How could Braig be alive before MoM, but have the knowledge as Xigbar to time travel to that era for Lauriam/Marluxia once the world fell?

Conclusion: They had to be different people, but somehow Xigbar knew about that world, Lauriam’s presence, and the certainty that it would fall.

Connection 3: Knowledge
So how could Xigbar know about the world’s demise in Back Cover and that Lauriam was there?

This information could only be obtained by someone who was there. A book in Radiant Garden could have mentioned this war that caused that world to fall, but it would be unlikely to mention Lauriam with enough detail for Braig to find him accurately.

And Braig doesn’t really seem like the bookish type

So he had to get this knowledge from a person who knew all about the events in Back Cover, and that could only be MoM or Luxu.

And all we have in canon about Luxu’s role in Back Cover was to watch as events unfold and then “do his thing” – take the crate, his Keyblade, and leave to get an apprentice he could pass that Keyblade on to so MoM could see the future.

But how would Luxu or MoM even meet or directly influence Braig? The one connection between them is Xehanort, who did have Luxu’s Keyblade – so he was an indirect apprentice of Luxu – but he wouldn’t know the details of Back Cover to give to Braig.

Even if he did, why would he tell Braig anything? He was only a guard at Radiant Garden, no one paramount like a Foreteller.

Here’s where the glue fumes kick in

There are two ways in Kingdom Hearts to get access to real memories that technically belong to someone else: be their Nobody or their replica.

And MoM disappeared well before the world fell, so it’s unlikely that he became a Heartless.

He’s way too dedicated to his own goals for that to happen

EPIPHANY: Braig is MoM’s replica.

Stay with me here.

MoM has the ability to create living beings in a lab environment, as seen when he created Chirithy.

It is extremely possible that he would apply this knowledge to the creation of replicas to make one of himself. Especially since Xehanort was present with Luxu’s Keyblade for most of his interactions with Braig and that means MoM saw him in the future…

Going on the canon data that replicas bear at least a small resemblance to the original (such as having the same eyes), MoM would recognize Braig for what he was and make the future happen.

Being MoM’s replica would allow Braig to know when and where to go for Lauriam. He likely didn’t know why or how he knew, only that he did.

It also explains other similarities, such as their mischievous personalities and general mannerisms.

But how did Braig end up on Radiant Garden?
And here’s where the crate comes in. In the case of Luxu, MoM tells him never to open the crate. And when Luxu says he wants to know what’s inside… MoM tells him and the player can’t hear what he says.

All you hear is Luxu’s gasp of surprise and asking why. MoM only responds, “You’ll see.”

If a newly made replica was in that crate, opening it would wake them up into their zombie state – like Xion – and that couldn’t happen too early for MoM’s scheme.

But what scheme would that be?
MoM is enigmatic but thorough. When he manipulated the Foretellers into the events of Back Cover, he knew they would all inevitably push that prophecy onward at exactly the right pace.

So there must be a plan with having a replica brought to the future by Luxu, who of course would open the crate eventually.

Theory: It’s about Kingdom Hearts.

How could it not be? It’s the name of the series, for one, and opening Kingdom Hearts was something the Master of Masters specifically told the Foretellers not to do – meaning he knew at least one of them was bound to try it.

Then Braig turns up as an orphan with amnesia on Radiant Garden, joins the guard because what else on this planet might get him closer to power, and surprise, surprise!

Braig ends up almost front and center in a scheme to complete Kingdom Hearts, losing his eye in the early stages of that scheme.

Conclusion: MoM is using XigBraig and the sight from Luxu’s Keyblade to steer the Organization to complete Kingdom Hearts.

Bonus for Xehanort:
Even better, being a replica made Braig a great candidate to be the first vessel. As a replica, Braig would have to grow his own heart over time. He wouldn’t come with one, so to speak, in a less literal sense than Nobodies.

And because of his personality, Braig never seems to feel anything but fear, disdain, anger, and mostly idle enjoyment of atrocities. He seemed to prefer that. Because Braig started off angry and bitter, I theorize that his ability to feel never fully developed into a complete heart.

There was almost zero risk he’d want that back after being Norted.

And this is the kicker.
If Braig had been able to be less spiteful, to forgive and try to grow as a person rather than in power, he’d probably have a Keyblade of his own just like Data Sora did.

He was a replica of a powerful Keybearer, after all. If he’d put any stock in his heart instead of going straight for power, he’d have it by now.

never said he was smart

And that’s the ramble!
Hope you at least had fun reading this madness.