Act III, Scene I
by Ajora Fravashi
*Disclaimer - I don't own Digimon. Toei/Bandai does. And Quest/Atlus
wants me to stop pestering them about rereleasing Tactics Ogre and
making a playstation version of Ogre Battle 64, so I don't own that
Ryo sighed miserably as he chucked another pebble out the open glass
door of the second floor sunroom that was home to Kageko's little
forest of potted plants. The orders came as he knew they would.
Unfortunately, he hadn't counted on them to be as severe as they
turned out to be. Ken was his best friend and what the Holy Beasts
were asking him to do after the D-1 Tournament and all the
unpleasantness was straightened out was nothing short of betrayal.
Betrayal was necessary, Zhuqiaomon stated. With all the great evils of
the Digital World neutralized, the population would become stagnant.
Most monsters existed purely for battle, they needed a sense of
purpose to be able to live in happiness. The boy with the Dark Seed
might provide an interesting countermeasure for stagnation. After all,
once the host was corrupted the Dark Seed would live in harmony with
its host. The only problem with this was that the host could never be
happy. Suffering was necessary, the Dark Seed couldn't bloom if it
didn't have the positive attributes of its host to feed upon.
They wanted to use Ken as a puppet, though Ryo didn't know exactly how
the plan would be pulled off. As far as he could tell, they wanted to
let the Seed corrupt his friend's soul, keep him miserable, and let
whatever Ken would become to do as he wished in the Digital World. All
for the sake of preventing stagnation. It made Ryo sick just thinking
Worse, Zhuqiaomon wanted him to be the one to take Ken's crest and
tag, and send the boy back home with faulty memories to fester for
awhile. Then they wanted him to give up V-mon and the others, wipe the
little digimons' memories, and stick them under a digimental. Ryo was
reminded that corruption was necessary to keep the Dark Seed from
blooming. It was all the hope he had to keep his friend alive.
Strange, that. When he had originally gone to the Holy Beasts in hopes
that they could help him heal the boy when Ken was first hit with the
Dark Seed, they gave him an elixir that would eliminate the progress
of Ken's illness and pull him back to health. Ryo hadn't realized then
that this was all it could do. So here he was, doing everything the
Holy Beasts asked of him just to keep Ken alive. Even now he was only
on a short break before the next level of the D-1 Tournament
commenced. Three more levels, three more days until he would have to
act on Their orders.
If he did not comply, the Dark Seed would end up devouring Ken's soul
and bloom into another Moon=Millenniumon. If he did, he would be
betraying his only living friend. If he did not, Zhuqiaomon would
stick a silver ring on him and make him do it anyway.
He would have to do as the Holy Beasts wished, even if the mere
thought was making him feel like shooting himself. But no, They'd end
up finding someone else to do it instead. Oh, he was going to hate
himself for this.
Sighing at whatever had caused things to go so wrong, Ryo turned back
to re-enter the house. This was supposed to be their house, but Kageko
was dead and soon Ken would probably not come anymore. Past the
sliding glass doors was a corridor that lead to the bathroom on one
side, with Kageko's bedroom at the other side. This was flanked by his
own bedroom, which was in turn followed by Ken's. No one went into
Kageko's room anymore, and soon enough Ken's room wouldn't be used
anymore either. He would be all alone without even V-mon for company.
Quickly he strode past the rooms and down the stairs. Even without
sparing a glance at the TV screen that had been dragged before the
fireplace, he could tell what Ken was playing just by the background
music. Tactics Ogre, wasn't it? Osamu would kill him if the elder
Ichijouji knew he got Ken hooked on a strategy game.
He remembered the day he had first introduced Ken to the game. It was
innocent enough, of course, but that was the day after Osamu had
kissed him. An experiment, the elder Ichijouji said, simply an
experiment. Nothing personal. Yet that experiment was the clue that
was finally beaten into his dense head and forced him to realize that
Osamu might have had another motive for being so friendly around him
when the boy refused to so much as talk to any lesser being. It was
bewildering; and before he knew it, he had peeled himself from the
other boy's arms, said something stupid about needing to be someplace
else at the moment, and took off.
That had to have been one of the most astronomically stupidest things
he had ever done. The day afterwards he went back to visit and
hopefully apologize for taking off like that. But Ken was the only one
home and he ended up dragging out the playstation to show Ken his new
game. All the while, once Ken had mastered the system with a speed
even he was unable to match, he had rambled on about how complicated
humans were. Amidst his chattering were rhetorical questions of just
how Kageko was going to beat him should he tell her, what was he going
to do about Osamu now that their friendship had taken an unexpected
turn. Was Osamu mad at him for running away? Would it be wise to tell
Kageko now since Kageko was the closest thing to a girlfriend he had?
Why did things have to be so complicated?
Ken hadn't offered much, of course. How could the boy have since this
was all well beyond Ken's experience? Just a few questions, a smile, a
nod, and reassurances that it couldn't be all that bad. But Ken at
least listened, which was more than a lot of people would give him.
Ken always listened to him, which was something he valued quite a bit.
And what a stupid fool he had been, for the next day, before he could
manage to apologize to Osamu in person, he had been told of Osamu's
death. It had been too late, and he couldn't bring himself to go to
Ken was the one friend he had left, and the Holy Beasts wanted to use
his last living friend for their own ends regardless of whether Ken
wanted to do as they wished or not. He really did not want to lose the
bond they had, and yet it was necessary to at least keep the boy alive
long enough for him to find a solution that would eliminate the Dark
Seed permanently. But he had a little time, at least. It would all
happen only after the D-1 Tournament.
Just a little time, but it was something.
There was something deliciously ironic about the fact that the Kaiser
might have done more damage than the Holy Beasts expected once Oikawa
decided to use someone already corrupted and easily bent to his whims.
If they had known that Oikawa would develop the dark towers that
presented such a threat to their powers, the Holy Beasts might not
have been so quick to pick out Ken for their experiment in keeping the
Digital World bristling with activity. Perhaps fate, if there was such
a thing, thought it would be a grand idea to focus all the efforts of
Oikawa, Vandemon, and the Holy Beasts upon the one child with a Dark
Seed that still lived. Somehow Ryo doubted that the Holy Beasts
realized how far out of porportion their experiment had gotten once
the Vandemon-possessed Oikawa came upon the scene until the appearance
of Black Wargreymon. Even then it wasn't until Qinglongmon had enough
that the creature born of a hundred Dark Towers was confronted.
As far as he was concerned, had Zhuqiaomon been the one to confront
the artificial digimon, Black Wargreymon would have been toasted on
the spot. The twists in the grand scheme of things were almost comical
were they not so dire.
Ryo opened his eyes slowly as he brushed those thoughts away. There
were more immediate problems he had to take care of. Were he not
already aching in several dozen places, he could have sworn Demon
finally killed him off and sent him to whatever the Digital World
version of an afterlife was before he would be configured as a
codewalker. But here he was, curled up in a futon that had been
hastily unfolded and with covers carefully draped over his body.
Curled up before him was a bundle of purple and white fur. There was
no way he could have gotten out of Demon's grasp unless Savali had
gone in and rescued him after he had passed out. But that brought up
the question: why? The little digimon owed him nothing, and was
self-serving by nature. Surely the tsukaimon had another reason for
doing so. Oh well, he could ask later.
Carefully the Tamer rose from the mattress, mindful of the sleeping
digimon. A cranky tsukaimon was one he did not want to deal with at
this moment. He was soon made aware of Takeru kneeling in a corner
with an unconscious Ken cradled in the blond's arms. Unconscious? Oh
shit, he didn't have much time left at all. Frantically he brushed
back the rebellious lock of hair that refused to stay with the rest of
the spikes and approached the younger boys.
Takeru looked up at him then, confusion and despair dulling those blue
eyes that once shone with such promise and naivete. Ryo wondered
faintly just how much Takeru actually cared for Ken, then brushed that
unvoiced question aside. There would be time later.
"We'll have to go to the operation site regardless of whether or not
Ken's awake. I'll lead the way, I'll have Stingmon carry Ken, and I
want you to bring up the rear so we won't have any nasty surprises hit
us on the way over," Ryo stated, automatically taking charge as he did
so. Takeru blinked, evidently thrown off by something he said.
"Stingmon? I don't think he can evolve without Ken awake to trigger
Smiling whimsically at this, Ryo dug out his D-3 and showed it to the
younger boy, unaware of just how much baggier his robes had gotten.
"There's one thing that makes me different from the rest of you. I'm
a Tamer, I can handle any digimon I want to. Besides, Wormmon has
experience with me and that tends to make the process easier. Any
The blond simply shook his head as he pulled Ken up with him. Ken was
so much more lighter now than the boy used to be, and it made him sick
with worry. From what Akiyama said, it didn't look that there was much
time left at all. A command from the Tamer had all three digimon in
the house bounding into the room. The only one that looked in any way
displeased with the summons was Savali, and Takeru figured that the
tsukaimon just wasn't pleased with anything unless it was making
someone else miserable. Piccolomon was still on patrol from the looks
of it, and wasn't likely to be joining them on the journey to the site
Ryo picked out for the operation.
They were told of what had to be done, of what to look out for. And
for the time being, the Tamer had Stingmon answering to him. With Ken
unable to do much of anything, that was the only choice they had.
"Daisuke, could you repeat that please?"
Daisuke glanced up from the notebook he was absently flipping through,
looking as nonchalant as he knew how. As if reminding a small child of
something important, he repeated his statement. "Ken's in the Digital
World and probably needs our help. I think we should go help him.
"I thought that was what you said," Iori muttered softly as he drew
his attention from Armadimon who was currently snoozing beside him.
While he may have long since accepted Ichijouji into their ranks, he
had never become as close to the former Kaiser as the others were.
And certainly not as close as Takeru got now, if the snippets of
delighted conversation passing from Daisuke to Miyako and back again
were any indication. But Ichijouji was one of them now, and far be it
for him to deny another Chosen Child assistance. While he had certain
issues to work out concerning his morally-rigid upbringing and just
what all this concerning Ken and Takeru's relationship meant to him,
he was not going to let it bother him for the time being. As much as
his upbringing said how wrong that kind of relationship was, they were
his friends too and he wasn't going to let his morals get in the way
of friendship again. "This is the Demon problem, isn't it?"
"Bingo," Miyako interjected, making her trademark sign as she did so.
"We're not sure where he and Takeru are, but we're pretty sure they
might get themselves in trouble, especially with Demon out on the
prowl. Holy Angemon and Stingmon won't be able to handle Demon on
their own, and I would like to see our friends survive long enough for
me to talk Ken into a wedding dress."
Rolling his eyes at this, Daisuke shut the little notebook. "I really
don't think Ken's interested in playing dress-up with you, Miyako. In
fact, if you so much as speak of it again I think he'll run to Demon
Miyako stuck her tongue out at Daisuke before countering. "You're no
fun." This, of course, began a minor raspberry war that was only
interrupted when Hikari cleared her throat. Given that she had been
silent all throughout the meeting, this drew everyone's attention.
"We can use our D-3s to search for them. We've done it before and we
can certainly do it again."
Oddly enough, of them all Hikari was the only one that didn't really
have an opinion one way or another about Ken, Takeru, and their
involvement with each other. So long as they were happy, she said,
there was no point in bringing such attention to their relationship.
This had been stated with the tone in her voice that suggested that
she would not like to comment further. Miyako wondered briefly if
Hikari had problems she wasn't ready to talk about yet, and made a
mental note to address that as soon as possible once they were alone.
"Sounds great," Daisuke suddenly enthused, pleased that Hikari was
finally responding to something. He did like her as a friend, but the
girl could be so withdrawn that it was hard to talk to her about much
of anything. It was probably a good thing that his crush on her
finally died out. "We should head out now, I guess. Miyako and Hikari,
since you will probably be the only Jogress pair we have available,
I'd like it if you keep your partners from expending too much energy.
We'll probably need it if Demon decided to show his face. Will you be
so kind as to do the honors, Miyako?"
With a grin, the purple-haired girl brandished her D-3 and lined its
screen up with the computer screen in Daisuke's room. "Digital gate,
There were few things it enjoyed over the short course of its life.
The way the wind brushed against its scales and feathers, the freedom
of flight. But far above its love for flight was its love for the
hunt. Someone that seemed like another version of it was somewhere out
there, and its liege counted upon it to bring the Other to him. This
was all the meaning of its existence, and it simply assumed that once
its purpose was done with, Lord Demon would destroy it. Not because it
was in any way powerful, nor because it may have annoyed Lord Demon
once. No, it was simply because of what Lord Demon said it once was.
It would be destroyed because Lord Demon said it was once human, and
humans were detested by those digimon that made up the Demon Corps.
Human... how could a simple, low-power virus like it have been human?
It didn't look like it could have been of the same species as the
Tamer it brought before its liege. And yet it was drawn to the scent
of the human that Lord Demon wanted. Blood calls to blood, Lord Demon
said, and that was that. It asked no questions because no questions
came up. This simply was the way things were. No curiosity, no
regrets, no emotions, just acceptance. It was never capable of even
the limited emotions that most digimon had. All it cared for was
flight and the hunt.
Mixcoatlmon spiralled amidst the sheltering clouds, heedless of the
chilly ice crystals that pelted against its scales and feathers. It
was close, it knew this instinctively. Even as far above as it was, it
could sense its own blood singing for the Other.
Eyes far sharper than those of a true serpent focused upon the convoy
many meters below it. The Tamer was settled in a mechanorimon, with
that traitor tsukaimon clinging to the mechanorimon's arms. The Other
could be seen riding in the arms of a stingmon, and these two were
followed closely behind by another human on a pegasumon. They were all
flying over a mountain range. It hissed to itself as it tried to
calculate just how he was going to stun the insectoid digimon and
snatch its prey. The stingmon was well-protected and could be fast if
necessary, so it was just going to have to be faster.
With a breath drawn and held, Mixcoatlmon hovered for a second before
folding its wings tightly against its body. It dove and embraced
gravity's pull, relishing the sheer energy of the act. Within seconds
it slapped its tail against the stingmon's head, coiled the lower part
of its body around the Other to drag the human with it as it opened
its wings, and pulled away before the convoy could gather their wits.
The flight afterwards was unimpressive once Mixcoatlmon lost those who
were following it within the clouds. It had its prey at last. Lord
Demon would be pleased with it and its purpose would be fulfilled.
Thus, it too was pleased.
It could feel the Other squirming weakly in its coils. Such fragile
things humans were. The merest squeeze could crush the Other's bones
and kill him. But that would make Lord Demon angry, so it was not
going to do such a thing. Mixcoatlmon pulled out of the clouds briefly
to verify its location. Yes, it would be there soon. Just a little
Soon enough it arrived at the hollowed-out skeleton of a cone volcano
that had long ago died out. This was the home of the Demon Corps,
where all those who served Demon gathered. This was all the home the
feathered serpent had ever known. It glided easily past the guards,
only pausing to be allowed into the heart of Demon's lair.
With what could have been a satisfied toss of its crest feathers,
Mixcoatlmon uncoiled and settled the human before Demon's throne. With
its duty done, the feathered serpent fluttered aside and waited for
Ken glanced up sluggishly at the evil digimon. One second he had been
sleeping peacefully with dreams of flying, and the next he had been
snatched away and dragged into what felt like a pool of ice crystals
with the coils of a snake around his torso. And here he was, sitting
before Demon. He was too weak now to do anything more than sit, and
was too listless to understand what Demon was saying to him. Any
energy he may have had was gone now. Where did it all go?
He merely watched as Demon rose from the throne and picked him up off
the floor. All he wanted to do was sleep for an eternity. Why wouldn't
people just let him sleep? Demon was saying something else he couldn't
be bothered to understand, and then...
Something rose up within him, vibrant with the energy he had lost. It
bade him to sleep, and sleep he did. It would take care of the danger
that Demon presented, all it needed was the use of his body. He was
too tired to protest.
Within the body of the Child of Kindness, triggered by the threat to
its host's life, something began to awaken. It was only partially
aware, yet this was just enough.
The Digital World had not seen it in years, yet it came back. This was
simply the way of things, Millenniumon always came back. It was too
early for his resurrection, but he would have his own body soon
enough. There was a threat to be taken care of, however, and it was
best to eliminate it before it could eliminate him.
Ken's eyes glowed the color of that which had not walked the expanse
of the Digital World in years: an unholy, bloodthirsty red. He yanked
himself from Demon's grasp and gave a grin that was not his own as he
floated in a way no true human could manage. For Ken was asleep, and
Moon=Millenniumon was half-awakened by the presense of another
mega-level virus. The voice that shaped his words was not his own, yet
both host and parasite harbored the desire to be that which was
"I am the harbinger of the twilight of the gods."
Ajora: And thus the whole reason for this fic's title ^_^.