Categories > Games > Kingdom Hearts > Glass2 Reviews
Ironically enough, I don't like Axel all that much anymore...
It started off simply enough.
The whole Organization is stirred up. Talk of moving NaminÃ© to a second location was the only thing that they seemed to discuss--that and this Roxas kid that would replace her. Naturally, the curiosity and importance that they be separated from one another intrigued Axel, even if the kid didn't look like much fun. Wooden expression, an apathetic demeanor, a tendency to stare off into the distance while the Superior was giving orders--but it Xemnas was involved, then this kid has got to be important.
But there's a fine line between curiosity and boredom.
Axel stays to the sidelines and observes in the beginning. Number Thirteen had apparently wandered alone for a time before Xemnas found him, which could explain the skittish look he held that every new recruit had in the early years, and the tendancy to hold himself completely still in the others' presence.
But the other behavior patterns...it took Axel awhile to figure those out.
No memories. With that, it became obvious why he seemed on edge, studying the others with a cool-eyed intensity no one could really ever simplify to a single reaction or thought--usually many, which were impossibly pared and distorted.
It made the others uneasy, uncomfortable--especially Xemnas. While they babbled on about hearts, how they got here, and how to undo it, Roxas silently obsessed over the fact that he, unlike the others, lacked that past needed to understand his current position. NaminÃ© didn't have a past either, but she never acted like a kid who had been locked in a forgotten. NaminÃ©'s Other must've been a girl who /listened/, rather than acted.
Roxas' Other apparently didn't think the same way.
It's the amnesia that sets him apart from his new family, labeling him out of place, like a pact instinct. The only one who seems to take real notice is Xemnas, the only ruler here, and no one dares question him. Taking predator kingship to the extreme with grand, sweeping gestures, strange pauses, and a tendency towards the dramatic, Xemnas is the one thing Axel can fear as a Nobody. The Superior may be strange, but that doesn't make him any less dangerous.
Axel treads softly around the current situation; besides, there's no reason to cause trouble, since Marluxia's been looking far more smug than is reasonable ever since the start of Castle Oblivion. A confidence that sends hairs rising on Axel's back. He knows well enough how to decipher motives.
Xemnas and Marluxia--two predators, circling through the pack.
So Axel is a little quirked when everyone is split into two groups, which he could tell anyone was a bad idea. One half for NaminÃ© at Castle Oblivion, the other for Roxas, here in the World That Never Was. He's mildly irritated that he's to join Marluxia in the first group, but doesn't make much of it. He could slide out of it easily. Switch the placement around, maybe.
Axel spends the time until the move trying figure out what the big deal about this kid is. No humor, no personality--no difference from a Dusk at first glace, if you ignore the body shaping. Dull. No exhibitions of extraodinary power, unless you count that key thing he carries around, but Axel doesn't even know where to start figuring that out.
The first glimpse of something strange occurred during a routine briefing. Xemnas noted on the fact that Roxas, although newly arrived, already seemed to have a handful of loyal Nobodies. Everyone gave one look at them and called them /samurai/. Roxas studied at them, only a hint of expression on his face, and replied in the usual manner--a shrug and a nod.
Not exactly strange, not exactly routine. Axel waits. Observing.
Watching their Nobodies practice on the field is enough to content Organization members for quite some time. Axel chooses to watch the /members/.
Number Thirteen was seated with Demyx by the training field, watching the Nobodies practice their attacks on each other. The Snipers were roaming idly on the sidelines, having grown restless of their laser games with the absence of Xigbar. Eventually, Xaldin gets up and calls for a stop, muttering to himself and glowering at each of the Nobodies in turn. Demyx leans over and whispers something to Roxas that invovles a strange hand motion and a wave at Xaldin's turned back. Roxas nods. Smiles.
Axel's spine tingles. Something doesn't add up. Something's irregular.
This kid was inhaling everything he was being taught. The Organization was his first language, his first voice, his first /impression/. His characteristics are nothing of his own, but of what he's seen. Xemnas' inhumanity, Demyx's weird sense of humor, Lexaeus' implacability, Zexion's composure, Larxene's cruelty... Nothing is original. Roxas spits back what's imputed inside of him, like a machine.
Axel tries to pinpoint something that is only /him/.
Timing isn't crucial. Time is infinite. But Axel is growing impatient.
He follows him after Number Thirteen is dismissed to go do... whatever it is Roxas does in his spare time. All Axel has ever seen him do is swing that key-thing around, dueling with Samurai and causing sharp clicks to echo off the walls. This time, however, he has no intention of praticing. He stops to look out over a railing, his eyes scanning as a dog's would if he saw a threat.
No. No that wasn't it. Axel tried to determine--at a safe distance--what Roxas was thinking. Curiosity. Hunger. A hunger for memories. For answers. Something to dwell on.
"Hey," Axel steps forward, "You got a second?"
The kid doesn't even look at him. Twilight and darkness. Reflecting pools.
Axel scowls. The false exterior is really starting to aggravate him. He clears his throat. "I've got a job. Not much, just scouting a town not too far from here. It's pretty nice there. Lots of sun, you know. Did you want to come along?"
He sounded like he was talking to a child. With a moment of split decision, he realized he wasn't sorry. Roxas was learning like a child, contemplating like a child, acting...well, that was what he wanted to figure out.
Roxas gives sort of a half-shrug.
Axel hangs on the silence. He's used to indifference, being who he is and who he's around, but stark disinterest is something he's not that experienced in. He almost walks away, but holds. "When did you want to leave?"
Roxas twists his gloves in that preparatory sort of way, and says "We haven't left yet?"
Axel grins and opens a portal with hopes sailing.
By the end of the day, they had plummeted. The assignment wasn't remarkable--checking a world overrun by heartless and confirming that there was no threat--and neither was his partner. Roxas remained emotionless and void of expression the entire time, and answered simply and awkwardly final to each one of Axel's attempts at friendly conversation. At the portal home, he walks past Axel and into the darkness without looking back.
He hesitates in asking Roxas a second time. But curiosity overwhelms him.
This time, he doesn't open a portal, but leads them down to the lower levels of the City. Roxas notes their detour and is quick to make his point of deviation from orders clear.
"There's reason," Axel says quickly, thinking back to the excuses he thought of before he came to ask Roxas, and realizing suddenly how fake and idiotic most of them sounded. "We might run into.../interference/ on the next job, and I just want to make sure you're prepared for it."
Roxas' visible tension relaxes slightly, although it doesn't disappear. "The Superior is concerned with my performance."
Axel knew it was a question, but Roxas didn't ask it as such. He was challenging him. Testing him to see if he would give the answer Number Thirteen wanted. By this point, Axel had stopped caring. "No, I am." Roxas looked at him, his eyes a strange, almost dizzying sapphire glow in the semidarkness. The reflected the few lampposts scattered around, and the End Of The World merely one street away.
"Here," Axel said, "watch." He held out his hands and Roxas watched quietly as licks of flame passed easily from finger to finger, creating an almost hypnotizing dance that illuminated Axel's face. He drew his hands apart, and the flames became larger. He let them trickle down to the floor and create a circle around the both of them, then it disappeared and Axel sucked it back into his fingers with a relish and aimed his hand at the open space beyond them. Fire shot from his palm and engulfed an area ten feet in diameter with a blazing glow. He let the flames fall until they were merely sparks, and then rise back up again. Figuring it was enough, he flicked his hands and the flames disappeared, leaving the light they stood in feeling rather blue and dull.
He turns to the boy beside him. "So, what do you do?"
Roxas splays his fingers and the key-mace-thing falls into his hand. He fingers it gently and tosses it into the air with a confidence that's lazy, or arrogant, or both. Complete familiarity. The weight, the curves, the movement. Number Thirteen could handle this weapon in his sleep, and was fully aware of it.
Axel wasn't impressed. Every Nobody in the Organization can summon a weapon at will--even some of the lesser ones, if the ability is bestowed upon them. But Roxas keeps standing there, keeps looking at Axel with a strange expression as he twirls the key between his fingers.
And the second realization strikes him with a wide-eyed and spine-shivering reaction.
Roxas didn't just summon a weapon.
He was one.
Axel closed his mouth, which he realized was open slightly. "Uh...okay. Nice. Very nice." He sounded like an idiot. He knew. "I can see why the Superior keeps you."
Roxas relinquishes control over the key and allowes it to dissipate.
It wasn't so simple after that.