Keygate Ficbit: Backstory Sum-up

“Earth doesn’t – didn’t – have much in the way of space travel,” Vincent went on. “We can reach low Earth orbit, and we’ve sent missions to the Moon. But through the Stargate, we can travel to thousands of other worlds… planets, if you call a universe a World. We’ve been searching for help and allies. To make a long story very short – the first time Dr. Daniel Jackson and Colonel O’Neill went through the ‘Gate, they encountered the Goa’uld; a parasitic alien race that had once ruled over Earth, and still ruled over humans across hundreds of planets. On Earth, our ancestors had rebelled, and sealed the ‘Gate. Given it took years to cross interstellar distances, the Goa’uld decided to deny Earth had ever existed, and simply forget anyone had dared challenge their power. When Jackson and O’Neill killed Ra to free Abydos… they were reminded.” A dark shrug. “Unfortunately, technology does advance. As of about a year ago, they can easily reach Earth.”

A year ago. Leon frowned. “So that’s not what pushed your World to Fall.”

“No.” Crimson glanced away. “For this… I need to sit down.”

As the echoes of Vincent’s story died into silence, Leon eyed the black flame huddled in the sniper’s lap. Tried to save a soul, and ended up destroying the world. Damn.

In a way, the most awful part of Vincent’s story was how long their World had survived. Most Worlds were swamped by the Heartless in an overwhelming wave; a tsunami of Darkness, sweeping everything away in a few nights of horror. Survivors were always shocked, but most of them were able to move on.

The Stargate had held out long enough for people to turn on each other. For Heroes to turn on each other. And from what Vincent hadn’t said, his Team had been right in the Heroes’ crosshairs.

23 thoughts on “Keygate Ficbit: Backstory Sum-up

  1. …kind of makes sense they would be. With no one there who could tell — no Princess of Heart or Keybearer — SGC would have no way of knowing the Heartless tagging around with Vincent were more along the lines of Tok’ra than Go’auld. And when you have a whole planet to think about… Taking out the infective vector makes //sense//.

    Ugh. It’s that exact same heartless*-seeming logic that amplifies my displeasure with zombies. A loose, loose, loose scenario all around.

    *no pun intended.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Ugh. I can’t even really joke about the zombie genre. The whole thing with one exception is Nightmare Fuel Unleaded for me, but of course Your Milage May Vary.

        That exception? Is Plants VS Zombies, original PC version, not the FPS remakes. The series takes itself too jokingly for angst to apply.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Wait a moment.

    I missed this the first time through, but Leon’s internal monologue capitalizes ‘Heroes’. I was originally assuming he meant Heroes in the classic sense; brave people capable of amazing things who do their best to make their world a better place.

    But this is KH. KH fic. Being written by Vathara.

    In KH symbols and stories and resonance matter. Friendships literally mystically bind people’s hearts together, even across worlds. And you, CrossOverCreativeChaos, are a known Prachett fan who’s most well known fic was inspired by knowing a quirk of… I believe it was Celtic(?) Law. I’ve seen you play with symbols-as-reality and metaphors having (semi-)literal weight.

    My initial assumption may be part of what Leon means, but is there more to that definition we don’t know yet? Like, Heroes being a specific type of person – usually overlapping with the above – who can more effectively combat Heartless? Or people who’s presence has some kind of mystical effect when a World is Falling to Darkness? Living mystical ‘shatter-points’, to borrow a term from Aoshi in Shadows in Starlight, or maybe a ‘node’ like Domingo mentioned in What Comes Around?

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    1. *EG*

      Basically, bunnies sort out the KH world setup like this.

      A World is not a planet. A World is a Story. And every Story has its Heroes.

      In KH-‘verse, what do we see Sora do? He stops the Heartless from getting Keyholes, and he protects the Heroes.

      Because if the Heartless get the Heroes – worse, if they get a Keybearer! – then that World is toast. The Heartless have torn out part of the story.

      And that’s why Aeris tried to save as many of her friends as she could. They’re Heroes too. And they continue to be Heroes wherever they ended up. Even the Turks…. 😉

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      1. That is fascinating.

        It’s also an absolutely brilliant way to divide the Worlds in Kingdom Hearts, because – in addition to in-setting vagueness – in a very literal sense that is exactly how Kingdom Hearts is designed on a meta level. It’s also brilliant because it makes the Heartless even more eldritch.

        In the games the Heartless’re definitely your ‘enemy’, and they’re described as basically personifications of ‘Darkness’ – which is very ‘Dark Side of the Force’ (especially with the Old Jedi Keyblade Master from Birth By Sleep. Y’know, the one who feels like an amalgamation of the entire Jedi Council from the prequels, and was written for and voiced by Mark Hamill?) Honestly it just adds an extra layer of amusing to Disney’s acquisition of Lucasfilms.

        I got sidetracked. Point is, that while the Heartless very much come off that way to the player as the Hero (haha) of the story, in universe the Heartless are very much an Outside Context Problem from the perspective of the Heroes you fight alongside throughout the Worlds. Even for Sora, in that first encounter they feel very Lovecraftian ‘other’ (in hindsight that’s totally Ventus who does all the narration that Sora may or may not be hearing at the beginning of the first Kingdom Hearts, isn’t it? Wow. I can’t believe I didn’t realize that till just now). Formulating the Heartless as something outside and beyond the Story, something that devours and rips out the pieces as opposed to being a recognized entity to be fought, restores that creeping horror and dread of that very first powerless encounter.

        This also makes the Keyblade wielder an even more interesting figure, because for those Heroes who Sora fights alongside Sora is basically coming along and providing context. The Keyblade wielders force a narrative onto the Heartless, making the Darkness into a part of the story – one that can even be fought! – instead of the hungry presence from beyond its borders. Even wielders who side with the Darkness do this, because they enforce the narrative of the Sith to the Light’s Jedi over the previously Formless Dark.

        Goddamn, this is brilliant.

        So, I take it being a Hero may be one of the requirements to become a Keyblade wielder? Possibly one either from a Multiversal place or who has ‘Keyed’ like Merlin and Aeris describe?

        (Y’know, Keying fits into this even more fascinatingly, because of course you can’t go home/return to your original Story, you’ve made yourself part of a new Multiversal Story. Plus, this justifies that weird ‘enforce the boundaries/stability of the Worlds’ thing. If you don’t then Heroes risk becoming Multiversal and having to be removed from their native Stories anyways, in spite of the Heartless not having taken them.)

        Liked by 1 person

      1. Hmm, I’d argue that there are three people who count as Storytellers to one degree or another. The First is Xehanort. The Second is Yen Sid, if only because he’s setting up Hero’s (or rather Riku, Sora and Kairi) as needed. The third is Dis/Original Ansem the Wise, though his case is a murky one. Malificient probably counts as a murky case as well.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. @Bel

        That’s a possible reading, but not the only one. Personally pretty much all of them read to me as either ‘Mentors’ or ‘Greater Context Villains’. Plus, by the rules established here, all of them qualify as Multiversal figures at this point, and I think part of ixenathier’s original thought on Tellers involved them creating new Heroes specifically within the Story.

        Actually, looking back, no. ixenathier does not say that, and their example – Mickey having spoken with Walt Disney – specifically view the Teller as a figure from outside and beyond the story, which may point to a fundamental flaw underlining the premise of a Teller, in this context. If the Teller is already a figure outside the Story then trying to fit a figure within the Story to that role is already a violation of the nature of a Teller.

        The role of the Teller is too meta a concept to really be of much use, especially since one could argue the Heartless just as much a creation of the Story Teller as the Hero. Suggesting the Story Teller is the one actually defeating the Darkness is essentially suggesting the Author is the one accomplishing all of the Heroes deeds. That’s got a technical level of truth to it, but it fails as an assignment of… responsibility for action, I wanna say, because while the author is responsible for the entirety of the story, what we as readers want from the Story is for it to… to fit. Yes, ultimately everything that happens in the Story is because of the author, but we’re more interested in the context of the story itself.

        Basically: @Bel, I disagree, those are Mentors or Big Bads, and @ixenathier the idea of a Teller is funny for the joke of Walt Disney talking to Mickey, but ultimately too meta to really be useful.


  3. True on the meta.

    But this reminds me of a quote. Don’t remember who or where I saw it, but it fits.

    We do not tell children stories to teach them that monsters are real.
    They already know that.
    We tell them stories to teach them monsters can be killed.

    May not be the exact words, but close enough for my point.

    Without the Hope of Victory, what good is a Hero?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I came back today after finishing up the day’s work to hunt down the Chesterton citation if needed. In absence of that, there were a couple of relevant bits in Hogfather. One being the one about human delusions being the difference between the sun rising, and ball of flaming gas. The other one about Teatime’s end.

      Liked by 2 people

  4. All this about Storytellers is making me think of the Story-Spinners from Princess Tutu, Drosselmayor, Fakir, and the Story run wild in the Prince and the Raven.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. I own the whole series on DVD. One of the few series I’ve intentionally collected all of, one of my favorites, one I’ve never regretted purchasing, and one I will probably continue to love forever.

        Honestly, I put Princess Tutu on the same level as Rurouni Kenshin… Possibly it’s one of the few animes I might consider putting above our favorite scarred swordsman.

        Don’t bother with the Princess Tutu manga though. Just save yourself the time and don’t. It’s… It’s not even really Princess Tutu.


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