Chapter 14 - Kutsu
by Senashenta

*gets struck down from above by lightning* ^^;; (If you read the disclaimer in the last chapter, you'll understand this. lol.) Despite what I may claim, I don't own Digimon or Lord Of The Rings, nyao nyao~! =^-^=

Ne, minna! I've set up a website dedicated to the whole Digimon/LoTR thing:

It's got the main fanfics, as well as art I've done and fanart, an encyclopedia, soundtrack info, etc. In a month or so I hope to have it finished, so right now there are some empty pages. ^_~ I'm looking for submissions, so if any of you have doodled or written something that pertains to the Digimon/LoTR fics in your spare time, or have a suggestion for a theme song for a character, etc. send it in:

Domo, nyao nyao~! =^-^=

Notes for Allison: Know what? You're not the first person to ask about the title-thingies. ^^;; Basically, I decided I wanted titles for each chapter. "Company" has chapter titles in English, "Digital" has chapter titles in Japanese, and when the third part of the trilogy comes out, it's chapter titles will be in Elvish. I'll add translations of the Japanese at the end of the last chapter, okie?

~Chapter Fourteen~


Ken woke face down, to a pounding headache and complete darkness.


What had happened?

He tried to recall...

He had been picked up by the dragon-like creature, which had carried him out over the trees and out of sight of his friends. He had struggled, of course, but that had only made it grip him harder- the pain in his shoulders reminded him of that. Finally, exhausted both physically and mentally, he had given up, though the claws had already been pushed through his clothing and into his flesh.

He couldn't remember much else, besides trees blurring together below him.

<I must have passed out. Or they hit me...>

His head throbbed again and he squeezed his eyes shut for another second before opening them again.

<They definitely hit me.>

Swallowing, which was hard given the dryness of his mouth and throat, Ken shifted a little; stone, cold and hard, was all he could feel beneath him. After another moment of stillness, he attempted to sit up, only to be rewarded with the loud clank of metal against metal.

<Of course. Restraints.>

Without being able to see, he somehow managed to work around the chains and sit up, checking his surroundings as he did so. He couldn't feel anything besides the floor, and, behind him, a stone wall. His fingers sought the chains and followed them down to his wrists- thick metal cuffs bound him to the wall.

The Child of Kindness laughed weakly; he even recognized the cuffs, he thought, as one of the kinds he had used during his time as the Digimon Kaiser. Although he had used them for more versatile things than simple handcuffing people to walls. Still, cruel irony was not something he felt like dealing with right then.

Especially after....


He struggled through the roaring pain in his head; the memories of what had Daisuke....faded in and out of his mind, and he closed his eyes. The redhead had been his best friend for such a long time....he could barely recall a time before Dai had been there. It had been Dai that had pulled him out of the shadows of the Dark Spore and his life as the Kaiser, and taught him about kindness and friendship again. He had been the first one to accept Ken for himself, flaults, flaws and all. He had always been a bright spot....

Without him....

<I might sink into Darkness once more.>

If he had been human, tears would have welled in his eyes. As it was, h swallowed against the lump that rose in his throat, choking him.

<Come on, Ken,> he chided himself mentally, disturbed by his own weakness, <what would the others say if they saw you here, sniffling in a corner?> Taking a deep breath, he sniffed and leaned to rest his forehead on his knee. The chains clinked as he moved, making him sigh. And aside from the restraints, his clothes had a strangely....congealed....feeling about them. <Oh God....>

The blood that had poured over him when Daisuke had died still soaked him from head to toe, and was apparently on the verge of drying. Still sticky and clotted, Ken shuddered, gagging at the idea.

<Dai's blood...!>

Quickly shoving those particular thoughts to the back of his mind, he took one deep breath after another, trying to keep himself calm. He had to get out of the chains. He had to get out of....of wherever he was. He had to get back to the others. He had to do SOMETHING.

<Think, Ken, think!>

His mind seemed to be going numb, but finally he managed to decide the best course of action, and as he saw it he had two options. One, search his clothes and see if they had left anything on him that might help him to get out of the chains and escape, and two, pretend to be dead and then make a run for it when they came in to check on him.

Of course, should he attempt the first option, he wasn't sure he could take on whatever was outside the cell door by himself. And should he decide on the second one, even if they fell for his faking-dead, they were likely to chop him into tiny bits for good measure, anyway. Or possibly lop his head from his shoulders and leave it stuck on a pike, Vlad-The-Impailer style, for his friends to find.

Which was not a pleasant thought, to say the least.

<So what do I do?>

He continued to ponder, leaning against the wall and shivering from the cold of the stone floor against his still-damp clothing for some time, with no success. His thoughts were....less than adequate. He couldn't think of why, but his mind was working about as slowly as a sloth's.

"I must still be in shock." This was muttered vaguely, and his mind flitted over the events of that day, resting again on Daisuke. And he thought of the most pointless thing he possibly could; <I never picked up his goggles->

The- ahem- train of thought was interrupted when a door across from him opened suddenly, pouring light into the cell (which, Ken now saw, was not really a cell at all. The walls were flat stone, the same as the floor, and rose up above his head some way, making him think of being trapped in the ramparts of a castle.) The hinges of the door screamed, and he could practically picture the rust as he winced, his head pounding under the harsh impact of the sound.

"Get him up."

Though he certainly didn't recognize the voice, he could tell it belonged to an Orc....they all had the same sound to them, in his experience. Whether it was a normal Orc or one of the mutated ones that Saruman had created, he didn't know. And somehow he just couldn't get himself to care.

A second later he was being hauled to his feet and slammed backward against the wall while the chains that secured him were removed from the stone. The shackles remained, and the creatures who had come in after him used the now-free chains to lead him along, jerking him out of the room.


Ken stumbled on the threshold, and the Orc- yes, they were normal ones, as opposed to Saruman's super-Orcs- yanked on the chain again, making him fall forward, and then reached down to pull him up again.

A strange look gleamed in it's eyes, and Ken realized with a start and a welling of dread inside of him that he was still in the form of an Elf....which, given that he was in a place that was TEEMING with Orcs, was probably not a good thing....

Sneering, the Orc slammed a fist into his midsection, making him double over, and then released him and started forward again, dragging him along behind itself. Ken gasped for air, unable to regain his breath as the creature continued to jerk him along.

<I have to do something....if I don't....>

He didn't want to think about what would happen if he didn't escape.

But his mind was still working too slowly to be of any help; he continued to allow the foul beast to drag him through twisted hallway after twisted hallway, toward....really, what his destination was, he didn't know. He didn't WANT to know. He WANTED to be anywhere but where he was. He WANTED to be with his friends. He WANTED to be with Takeru! He WANTED to go back and stop Daisuke from doing such a STUPID thing....

....he wanted a lot of things, and he wasn't going to get any of them if he didn't get out of the cuffs and manage to find a way to escape.

So, what are you waiting for? A voice inside his head told him, just attack them. They won't be expecting it, and you'll get away....

<Stupidity.> He responded, <there are way too many Orcs in this place for me to take on by myself.>

That doesn't sound like you. You've become weak.


Ahead of him, the Orc jerked on the chains once more, making him almost-trip, and he scrambled to keep his footing as the creature continued to walk. The shackles on his wrists pinched his skin painfully and he winced.

Come on Ken, don't kid yourself. You used to be strong, and now you're just a sniveling weakling, A peon like all the rest of them.

<I'm not....they're not....>

'I'm not....they're not....' A mocking tone. You're just the same as them. Just as expendable.

Ken paused, shocked when he finally realized who he was having a mental conversation with. <No....he's gone....he's been gone for....ever since....>

Obviously not, the Kaiser laughed in his head, you didn't realize just how much of your personality I was, did you? Well, I suppose that's par for the course. A snort, you know, Ken, the only reason I'm here is because you want me to be.

<No, I don't!>

You think you can get out of here on your own?

He had a good point.

No, wait! Ken shook his head. What was he thinking? He wasn't agreeing with the Kaiser, was he? He could and would get out....there....was a way, right? He could....wait until they weren't looking and....

With your hands cuffed and that Orc holding the chains?

<Shut up! Shut up!> If he could have, the bluenette would have clamped his hands over his ears. <I don't need you! I don't want you to be here! How could I?! You're a monster-!>

And right now we're in a nest of monsters. The Kaiser countered smoothly, so it seems that I'm better suited to getting us out than you are, wouldn't you agree?


A moment of weakness on his part, and the Kaiser quickly took advantage of it, rising from the dark place he had been hiding to overwhelm Ken's mind. Within seconds, he was pressed down into the corners where the Kaiser had formerly been, and his body was moving, seemingly on it's own.

The Kaiser curled his fingers around the chain that was hanging from his wrists. Eyes narrowed, and he waited for the perfect moment for-


-leaping forward, he yanked the chain from the Orc's gnarled hands and, before it's comrades could react, wrapped it tightly around the creature's neck. Bracing a foot against it's back, he pulled, straining against it's strength and cutting off it's air.

<What are you doing...?> Deep in his own mind, Ken couldn't be angry at the Kaiser for attempting to kill the foul thing, but it still had no idea what could possibly come from it.

Hush and watch... uh, this is taking far too long.

Snorting angrily when the Orc didn't die fast enough- the others were beginning to come out of their shock and head toward them- the Kaiser gripped it's head, one hand on each ear, and jerked, snapping it's neck cleanly.

It fell with a grunt, and Ken had to marvel. <I didn't think I was that strong....>

That, Ken, is one of the bonuses to having an Elven body, it seems.

The dark voice that responded in his head, though the Kaiser's, was different somehow....he couldn't place the difference, really, but he was....more pleasant than Ken remembered. And more systematic. The bluenette shivered, a mental action as he no longer had control of his body, and watched through far-away eyes as he turned to face the other two Orcs.

The encounter ended faster than he could have imagined.

Would you like to see what you can do if you choose to?


Without letting him finish, the Kaiser jumped into action again. His hands still bound, he swung the chain, putting all of his muscle behind it, and slammed it into the side of the first Orc's head. The creature was thrown to the side and hit the stone wall, snarling, only to be on it's feet again in an instant.

Ignoring it, the Kaiser focused on the second Orc. Dropping down as it reached him, he spun, kicking it's legs out from under it. And as it hit the ground, he was already next to it. Snatching the short sword from it's belt, he slashed across it's throat without even a second's hesitation.

Then, chains still jingling, he whirled and thrust the weapon into the gut of the other Orc even as it reached him, having recovered from it's collision with the wall. Smirking, the Kaiser jammed the metal up under the creature's ribs, twisting, and then released the sword, letting the Orc fall.

"Hm." Looking down thoughtfully at Ken's hands, which were covered with the sticky black substance that passed for Orc blood, the Kaiser clucked his tongue. "That was far too easy."

<Too easy?>

A sigh, yes, well. Shall we go?

Shocked, Ken could only nod dumbly, and the Kaiser stooped to retrieve another sword before quickly and stealthily starting down the corridor.

Two personalities, two beings, silently crept down the hallway. Internally, Ken attempted to wrap his mind around what was happening. <This isn't any better!> He was practically wailing. Granted, it was a silent wailing, but still.... <I wanted to get OUT! I wanted to be with my friends again! With Takeru, not with- with- the Kaiser!>

A feeling of amusement came from the Kaiser. With Takeru...? He mused, an interesting choice, I must say. I really would have expected you to end up with that Daisuke character. Though, I must admit I'm more than glad you managed to avoid the purple-haired wench. SHE was altogether too annoying. She grated on my nerves.

<Miyako just->

Continuing his silent creeping through the halls of wherever-they-were, the Kaiser chuckled mentally, cutting off his sentence. Tell me, what it is about the Child of Hope that you like? A pause and a snicker, then, it's his Luke Skywalker-esque complex, isn't it?

If Ken could have stared at him blankly, he would have.

You obviously have no idea what I'm talking about. Ah, well, it's no wonder. You never were one for movies. He stopped then, peering around a corner. A half-smile quirked from the Kaiser as his eyes landed on a troupe of Orcs, which were seated outside a high set of double doors. Lazy creatures. A tsk, I wouldn't have stood for that. Saruman should do something about it.

A shiver from Ken. The tone in the Kaiser's voice making him nervous again.

"I think we'll be going in there."

Hearing his own voice with the Kaiser's edge was unnerving. <In where?>

There must be something important beyond those doors, pet.

<But....the Orcs!>

Now, now. We've been through this before, haven't we? Stepping around the corner in a low crouch, the Kaiser approached the unprepared Orcs with a stealth that was almost unnatural. I can easily dispatch this pathetic bunch.


Something was wrong, and Ken could tell. They were supposed to be finding an escape route, not exploring. And now the Kaiser was looking to pick a fight with Orcs....and was making observations about Saruman's ruling...

How did the Kaiser know about Saruman?

I'm in your head, Ken, of course I know.

No. The Kaiser was a completely separate personality....he wouldn't know....would he? Maybe this had something to do with the One Ring....maybe Takeru was right about it's pull on him.

Ah, the Ring. A tacky trinket, that, though I should like to see what it could do.

<Oh no....> the problems just kept getting larger and larger. Ken decided he'd had enough and began to struggle against the Kaiser's hold on him. <I'll get out of here on my own!>

Stop that, the Kaiser chided, or you'll make me lose my concentration.

Then, ignoring Ken's pathetic struggles, he swept toward the Orcs, frighteningly gracefully.

The first one fell before any of them knew what was happening, and the second one followed quickly, as it reached for it's weapon. With three left, the Kaiser's confidence rose and he allowed a partial chuckle as he deftly avoided a clumsily charging Orc and turned to slash across it's neck as it passed.

The final two were dispatched shortly, leaving the hallway empty and the Kaiser barely out of breath.

Ken continued to struggle. He had to get control back....he HAD to....

"My," a laugh, "I think I could get used to being an Elf."

Dropping the now-blood soaked sword, he stepped up to the doors and pushed. They opened without so much as a creak, and he walked boldly into the room beyond, despite Ken's frantic attempts to stop him.

<I can't let him->

The doors slammed shut behind them, making him jump.

And at about that moment, Ken realized that the Kaiser was gone from his mind, having vanished completely. Blinking, shocked, the bluenette attempted to make sense of the situation to no avail.

"Well, that certainly was entertaining."

Whirling to his left, Ken stared at the man who had spoken. Though he had never met the infamous Saruman the White, he had no doubt that was who he was looking at now, and he stifled a gasp.

Saruman arched an eyebrow, "you have potential, Young One."


The Wizard took a stop toward him, making Ken retreat in the same way.

"You need not run. I have a proposition for you."


Saruman tilted his head to the side slightly, tapping a nail against his staff, and regarded Ken thoughtfully. "You have something I am interested in." He informed the Child of Kindness. "And I can take it forcefully, yes, but I would much prefer your cooperation."


"Yes, well, you are in interesting being and I would much rather keep you alive."

Dread welled up inside him, and Ken gulped. <I can't do anything....I'm unarmed, and....if what they said is true....he's....stronger than Gandalf was....>

"Yes, Gandalf the Grey pales in comparison to me." Saruman told him with a knowing tone, making him jump. "Do not kid yourself. Should you be uncooperative, I will do anything in my power to retrieve what I want from you." He paused, then added; "but first there will be much pain for you, and you will wish you had been gifted with death before I am willing to give it to you."

Somehow, Ken got the feeling that this was a 'join me or die' speech, and despite the fact that he knew how dangerous Saruman was, he simply could not bring himself to agree with the Wizard. There wasn't a single part of him that was willing to cooperate.

<I can't....>

Saruman sighed, pressing his lips together angrily. "That is your decision, then?"

Ken faced him, hoping he looked as determined as he felt. "I will not help you."

"As you wish," a wave of his aged hand and the doors behind Ken opened to admit a handful of Orcs. They latched onto Ken, who struggled vainly, and began to drag him from the room. "Perhaps he needs not die yet. Take him to the dungeon. Torture him. Do what you wish, but do not kill him." Turning a flat eye on Ken, he spoke to the bluenette directly, "and remember that you may stop the pain at any time, my Elf friend."

Ken looked away, repeating; "I will not help you."

"Hm," anger welled in the Wizard's face, and as the door was closing behind them he added, "be sure to use the whip. I'm told that he used to be particularly fond of it."


Me: A short chapter this time. Can you tell I had trouble with it? I had to just close my eyes and plough right through it and hope for the best. *sigh* Ken was being altogether too stubborn and it bothered me to no end. Oh, and for those of you who might not have understood, the words in italics were the "Kaiser" talking, and Ken's thoughts <which were in arrow-brackets> were his responding.

Ken: Well, really. I'm sure they had NO idea.

Me: Sarcasm? That's different for you, Ken.

Ken: Yes, well, I've had a bad day.

Me: *sigh* Ah, so everyone's aware, I know Ken's internal dialogue with the Kaiser is similar to Gollum talking with Smeagol. I was afraid it would be TOO much like it, but I think I managed to avoid sounding like Ken was turning into a creepy-critter, too. ^^;; The entire thing with the Kaiser was kind of important to the storyline, though, so I couldn't just cut it out...


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