Episode 28: Shredding on
Thin Ice

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Bella shuffled papers on her desk, putting them neatly in order. She placed them in a pile on the edge which she had already made, of documents she would have to read carefully before signing. Contracts she had made with other companies and people. Normally, a pile this high would never have existed; Bella was fastidious, always on top of her work and what needed to be done. But there were letters from a fortnight ago still unopened, papers sticking out of folders that she had not bothered to clip in properly – after all, what did they matter in her grand scheme?

Very little.

Everything seemed so insignificant now. So much like it was a waste of time and effort; all her endeavors felt like that now.

The Generals were dead, and her own son had turned on her. The one she had stolen away, had also turned – and what made her more angry about that, was how everything she had promised him, he still had. A stupid mistake on her part that she would not be making again.

As far as she could see there were two remaining options open to her, three if she counted giving up – which Bella didn’t even consider an option.

The first was a little drastic, she needed to build up an army of the crystalline Digimon, but that took time, and precious stones of which there were few and far between in the city. She would have to go to Germany, where her Digimon were constructed, and watch them grow there. Perhaps see if there was a way to somehow construct crystalline copies of the Digimon that thwarted her time and time again. It was good plan, and it meant Bella would be able to leave this place for a time, to gather herself and her forces before returning and attacking again.

The downside to that plan was, of course, it meant leaving. During which time it would be just as easy for the group of Tamers and Digimon to grow stronger, to hit their latter stages and be more than a match for the crystal Digimon when she returned. Construction into levels higher than a basic Ultimate Digimon was dangerous, and had thus far shown itself to be a volatile result. A creature that was fearsome and steadfast would burn out quickly. Previous attempts had resulted in aborting the creature manually, or the creature using up all its energy and melting down.

More research, more time was needed, if her own artificial Digimon were to ever scrape by in a fight against a level higher than Ultimate.

The other option - the one that kept Bella close to home and able to watch - was the one presenting itself to her now as she sat behind her desk; Rose was opposite her, sitting stoically in the chair with Hatimon at her side, silently watching and judging as she did.

Bella would admit first that it was a less attractive option than the one with her returning to Germany. But as Rose had said, if Bella left it would be as if she was admitting defeat, turning and retreating with her tail between her legs. However, Bella was cautious... Rose was not reliable. After all, so many of Bella’s well laid and perfect plans had been destroyed or failed because of Rose’s attitude and her changing methods of battle.

“You would be overrun in seconds.” Bella stated after silence that lasted almost a full ten minutes. In that time she and Rose had not looked each other in the eye, and Rose had not moved even an inch on her seat. In fact her face was exactly the same as when she had spoken, her eyes dark and her face hardened. Bella didn’t recognize her daughter anymore – and she was willing to bet Rose didn’t recognize herself either.

“You don’t know that.” Rose argued, without breaking her impassive face. “After all, Tsukuyomon has lasted in battle with them all before, and has not had any problems facing them all.”

“They are stronger than when you have faced them alone. More connected… and they have your brother on their side.”

Rose stiffened a little. “I do not have a brother.”

“Still sour, are we?” Bella said, her tone reaching condescending levels as she sneered at Rose. “That your kidnapping plan did not work out as well as you had expected?”

“That’s beside the point.” Rose snapped, for the first time showing signs of emotion in her face and voice. “Mother. Hunter has been ten steps behind me ever since we were babies, you know that. He and Skollmon are not an impressive adage to their ammunition. In fact they will probably only get in the way.”

“Rose,” Bella sighed, “you’re not listening.”

“No. You are not listening.” Rose retorted. “I am all you need to defeat these plebeians. I am all you have ever needed. If you had only listened to me in the first place, then none of the silly fiascos that have happened before would have happened. It was a stupid idea to bring the Generals here – they took up space and were a waste of time. They did nothing, and only served to make them stronger.”

Bella sighed again, running her hands over her face. She felt old and tired. This argument had come up so many times over the last few months. Rose had quite vocally expressed how useless the Generals were turning out to be, stating that Hatimon should take care of them, to take their data as that would be their only use. And after Satyressmon had fallen, Bella had internally agreed with Rose. All the Generals had done was create havoc, and allow their adversaries to evolve to their later stages – something Bella had wanted to avoid.

“It is dangerous.”

“When have you ever cared what happened to me?” Rose hissed, folding her arms. “It’s been twenty-four years, mother. You cannot claim to be a doting parent now.”

Bella rolled her eyes, templing her fingers and resting her forehead against them.

 “Let me fight them, myself with Hatimon at my side. Let me prove that I am what you need, and all you have ever needed to attain your goal.” Rose’s voice was practically next to Bella’s ear, though she had not moved from her chair. “Hatimon and I are more than capable.”

“And if you fail? Then what line of defense do I have?” Bella argued. “I do not prevent you from fighting them for your safety – more for mine. You are my last line of defense, and when you fall – and you will – what will I have left?”

“Your plane to Germany – where you can wait, shaking like a terrified bitch.” Rose explained calmly. “A position that suits you best, I am certain.”

“How dare y-“

“How dare I?” Rose cut her mother off, her tone taking on a warning edge. “Mother, how dare you, tell me that I will fail when I know for certain I will not?”

“Rose-“

“Enough.” Rose got up from her seat, and Hatimon followed, on her paws already. “I will prove it to you that I am all you need. I will defeat them, and then you will be swallowing everything you have ever said to me.”

In a rush she had left the office, letting the door slam closed, shaking the windows in their frames. Bella covered her eyes against the tiredness she now felt and leaned back in her chair. She had never been an affectionate mother, or close to either of her children. That was the job for nannies and au pairs. People paid to look after children when the parent could not. But even Bella could see that Rose was not herself, and knowing how fired up and angry Rose was prone to becoming, it worried her the littlest bit.

Rose, however, was not worried. At all. She examined her reflection in the mirror of the elevator and noticed nothing had changed about her appearance. She did seem a little paler than normal – but she felt fine. Nothing bothered her. She just felt angry. That was all she seemed to feel now. Angry all the time, like there was a fire that she couldn’t put out forcing her to carry on and on. She barely slept for the all rage she felt kept her awake and it would not allow her to sleep.

She exhaled deeply, leaning against the railing, waiting for the elevator to carry on its trip down to the ground floor.

Hatimon looked up at Rose. “What are you going to do?”

We,” Rose corrected, “are going to bring them to us. Make sure they know we mean business.” She explained, stepping out of the elevator as the doors opened. Hatimon followed Rose’s quick pace, just keeping up with her steps.

Rose walked a few paces away from the main entrance to Atlas Corp. The day was bright, but cool – more like fall settling in than summer. People came and went, cars pulling out of the underground car park, and people milling in the courtyard outside of the main building - taking their breaks, chatting casually. No one gave Rose a second glance as she made her way through the people, feeding off the distain and contempt she felt for everyone she saw.

She gripped her D-Touch in her hand, clenching her fingers around it tightly. Hatimon felt energy immediately filling her body, every fiber of her being tingled with a power that was not... natural. It didn’t feel right, it didn’t feel like she had a choice.

A howl of pain exploded from Hatimon’s mouth as she was engulfed in black light and by-passed her Champion stage, appearing as Tsukuyomon, towering over Rose. Her entire body was shaking.

“Rose-” Tsukuyomon started, panting under the strain she felt.

“Howl.”

“What?”

“I said,” Rose turned towards her Digimon, her eyes engulfed with black energy, “howl. Turn this place into a wasteland. I want everyone to see how much stronger we are than them.”


Tsukuyomon swallowed, but obeyed. She took a breath, threw her head back and released an almighty howl from her throat, a haunting sound that shook the ground beneath her feet. The air she expelled from her lungs turned to vapor as the coldness hit the warmer air. The noise spread upwards, and each new howl sent the noise further. Rose stared around her, how everything was changing. The ground from Tsukuyomon’s feet was now ice, spreading further and further towards the building and away from them. Trees were becoming icicles, vehicles stopping suddenly as they became encased. People ran, but were then frozen in place as the noise hit them.

In a short time, the whole of downtown had become a frozen wasteland where nothing moved, and the only sound was Tsukuyomon’s ghostly howl reverberating off of the reflective surfaces the ice had created.

Tsukuyomon panted when she had finished, and looked around the area with growing concern. “Now what?” She glanced at Rose, worry marring her features. The area was totally silent, allowing her words to echo off the sheets of ice which hid buildings from view.

“We wait for them to come.”

-----------------------------

Eva untied her apron from around her waist, hanging it up on the back of the staff room door. She had just finished her shift for the day, leaving the bakery in the hands of her manager, Helen. Her plans were not entirely set in stone, in fact aside from work, Eva had a relatively free day. That is, she had up until ten minutes ago when Tom, Frankie... and everyone had crowded in seeking sugary, sweet things.

Now it seemed Eva was in high demand, being asked for by Tom to go home and watch a new movie he had rented. Frankie wanted to go shopping with someone, and Piper had already refused. James had made the suggestion they all go out to eat together, so for now, while Eva made sure she had everything she needed. She took advantage of the quiet, because she could hear the rabble of her friends through the door.

The noise that hit Eva’s ears when she opened the door was... over-whelming. Usually the loudest noise was the oven in the back room, humming away as new bread was baked. That was currently deafened by the noise of the six people occupying the few chairs where some of the older patrons liked to sit in the morning waiting for their orders.

“Look, I saw the pastry first, now give it back.” Frankie was holding her hand out expectantly at Reyez, who had stolen – at least that’s what it seemed like – a cinnamon roll from the other girl. Reyez wore a goofy smile, while he chewed happily. Obviously he was under the influence of something or other – there was no other explanation for why he would be there unless he had the munchies.

“Don’t lick it!” A wail went up from Piper who dropped her hands into her lap as Hunter abused a bun with white icing. He grinned at her, pleased with himself.

Hunter smirked. “Here you go, kitten.” He handed her his own pastry, alighting a smile on her face.

“Ayyyyyyyyyye, Eva!” Reyez was on his feet, almost cheering when he spotted her.

Yep – definitely under the influence of something.

Eva shook her head, Tom sent her an amused look, which she responded with a withering one. “Okay guys, out of the store before you get thrown out and I lose my job.”

“But we’re buying stuff.” James explained.

“Don’t care, out, out, out!” Eva said to them, ushering them all towards the door, waving her arms wildly.

“Can I at least get another bun? Hunter stole mine.” Piper asked.

“No.” Eva retorted with a warning look which sent the blonde girl quickly out of the shop.

With a little effort, mostly to do with coaxing Reyez out of his chair and the purple elephant in the store with him, Eva managed to get them out and half way down the street before she stopped jostling them, herding the group like sheep. Everyone seemed excitable, at least that was what Eva gathered from them, as they all talked over one another, trying to be heard. She understood why, it had been a while since they had defeated Satyressmon, and Rose hadn’t shown herself, not even once – since the incident. It almost felt like it was over... like they had won.

Eva wanted to believe it too. That it was done. Rose, Bella... they had given up, admitted defeat and would back out gracefully now. But she couldn’t be as cheerful, or feel as relaxed as the others obviously did. She still felt like there was something coming. Something more. After all, even if they were outnumbered, there was no telling what Rose would do.

“Why the glum face?” Tom asked, slipping his hand into Eva’s. He had retreated from the group who were quieting down now. They were walking all as one, and Eva hadn’t even realized she was walking with them.

“I’m not glum.”

“Troubled, then.” Tom corrected.

Eva shrugged a shoulder. “I don’t know... I want to be happy. It’s like Rose has gone, right? That’s why everyone is so cheerful.”

Tom nodded in agreement, but said nothing.

“But it doesn’t feel right. I keep thinking something is going to happen. Like we’ve entered a calm before a storm.” The corner of Eva’s mouth drooped while she looked uneasy. “I’m probably just imagining things.”

“No,” Tom gave her an assuring smile, “it’s good to be wary... we know what Rose is like. She’s a loose cannon when she wants to be. But we have to enjoy the times we get where she isn’t trying to kill us.” He paused, giving Eva’s hand a gentle squeeze. “There’ll be a battle... I’m sure of it. But for now let’s try and enjoy the quiet, hm?”

A moment’s pause, before Eva nodded her head a little in agreement, cuddling up to Tom’s side as they followed their friends’ noise and rabble.

With nowhere in particular to go, Frankie took the lead, ordering the group downtown where she had learned the Camden Bonnetts would be playing. She wanted to go there, and as no one seemed to have any objections, she decided they were all coming too. Early, so they could find a place to sit and watch everything, close enough to the band to enjoy, but no so close that they’d be deafened by the noise. It had been some time since the group had performed, they had postponed many concerts due to all of the attacks that had happened recently, and many of their fans on the forums had been growing restless for news of the group.

This concert was rumored on the website to be a blow out. A big deal. A first-come-first-serve basis concert which would be recorded onto DVD. A one off performance, to signal that despite all the bad things that had happened lately, the group was still going strong. Frankie was excited for it, seeing it also as a chance to get out and to let loose with everyone.

Frankie’s leading of the group stopped abruptly as she, and the others all heard it. A haunting sound, somewhere in the distance echoing over them, like a melody being played from an unseen instrument. The hairs on Frankie’s neck stood upright, and she could feel her skin turn to gooseflesh. Before her, she saw her breath turn to vapor in the air, and the temperature dropped dramatically. Where a moment ago it had been warm and pleasant, it felt now like she had walked into a freezer.

“You feel that?” Frankie asked to no one in particular.

“Its... cold.” Tom pointed out. “How...?”

There was a slight pause, causing Hunter to look ahead. “That’s Tsukuyomon.” Hunter explained, his tone serious all of a sudden. He stepped ahead of the group, stopping suddenly when his foot hit the ground and he heard a cracking sound underfoot, like he had stepped on glass. The street has turned suddenly to ice, all around them they could see ice encasing everything, covering cars, lamp posts and buildings.

Eva ran her hand back through her hair. “I hate it when I’m right.” She muttered to herself.

“I think she wants us to go to her.” Hunter murmured. Skollmon manifested beside him in a flash of white light, his ears down, and shaking.

“She’s in pain.”


“She wants us to walk right into a trap, you mean.” James said darkly, folding his arms.

In sudden flashes, all the rookie Digimon had appeared from their D-Touches unbidden, all alert and aware, ears open, noses up. Carefully taking in their surroundings, the new frozen wasteland that lay before them. Hunter moved carefully over the ice to avoid slipping, and despite protests from James, everyone followed, slowly, following the noise from Tsukuyomon. They went past more frozen buildings, cars that had been stopped mid-movement. Even people frozen in place.

“It’s like Pompeii.” Piper said to herself. “Frozen in time... I didn’t think Digimon had power like this. ...It can’t be normal.”

“It’s not.” Skollmon grumbled. “Something is wrong.”

Each step was a crack under their feet and even as they walked forward, the ice continued to take over the buildings. Eva found herself subtly worried if it had reached the bakery by now. As long as the vapor was in the air, things continued to freeze.

“Skollmon is right, this power isn’t natural…” Irbimon flashed in a bright pink light, forming as Skadimon over the others.

Tsukuyomon was now in view, with Rose standing in front of her. The other rookies soon followed Irbimon’s suit and flashed into their champion forms.

Tsukuyomon twitched and clenched her eyes shut. “R-Rose.”

Rose smirked, watching the others from afar. “I’m so glad you could make it!” The surrounding ice amplified her voice.

The group, all of them, were horrified by the surroundings. The ice was much more grotesque and deadly in the area, now. Spikes formed everywhere, the Atlas Corps building was encased with a twisted sheet of ice. The frozen people looked more in pain than just frozen in place. Even their eyes didn’t move… it was like they were already dead.

“She’s lost her fucking mind…” James commented first.

Rose simply smirked, her eyes blazing with black energy. From behind her back she pulled out what appeared to be a fully loaded shot gun.

“Oh… my… g-” Piper finished but was cut off by the sound of the shot. The bullet hit the ground and that was enough to scatter the group. The ice took over, and their sudden range of panic caused them to fall and slide in many different directions.

“Destroy them, Tsukuyomon. Have no mercy!”

Tsukuyomon growled, twitching. Her eyes faded into the same black energy as if she had succumbed to the power, “D-…D….DESTROY!” She roared, leaping over Rose and rushing towards the group.

“AH!!” Piper screamed. “DIGIVOLVE!” Her eyes erupted into yellow light.

“Pain Geyser!” Vespasmon attacked quickly as Tsukuyomon charged towards him first, his attack merely turned into ice against her blade as she swiftly sliced it in his general direction. Vespasmon leaped back, turning into yellow light and appearing as Aureliumon. Aureliumon clashed his short sword with Tsukuyomon’s blade, pushing his bulk against hers.

“Roma Victor!” He growled, leaping back and attacking her head on. Tsukuyomon stomped the ground, forming a spike in the ice that almost pierced Aureliumon’s mid section.

Tsukuyomon’s voice was dark, almost not her own. “Now, you are in my territory!” a twisted smile formed across her muzzle.

“Tiger Clutch!”

“Glacial Saber!”

Hyrokkimon and Byakkomon attacked from both sides. Tsukuyomon’s eyes opened wide as four blades pierced both sides of her body. Before they could remove the blades, she screamed.

Tsukuyomon’s scream caused the ground to rumble, the black aura around her worked itself into an attack, blowing both Hyrokkimon and Byakkomon into separate directions with force, shooting out the blades from her body and healing the wounds immediately.

Byakkomon leaped to his feet, rushing towards her and pulling his blade from the sheet of ice. He pushed himself into the air. “Full Moon Divide”

Tsukuyomon turned her head upward towards him and opened her mouth. “Endless Hailstorm!” Tsukuyomon released a giant black beam from her mouth, a totally new alternative to her attack. The beam of black energy and unnatural ice vapor struck Byakkomon directly in the chest.

“Byakkomon!” Frankie shrieked, only to be silenced by the shot of Rose’s shot gun.

While the Digimon battled Tsukuyomon, the tamers found themselves distracted by the gun wielding psycho. Rose had obviously acquired the shot gun from the police car that was frozen nearby, and was using it as if she had known how for years.

A smile on her face, a steady walk on the ice in her heels, it was if she was an unstoppable force to be reckoned with… well, she was.

As Rose stalked, the group found themselves hiding in various locations, trying to avoid her…except for…

Reyez couldn’t hold back his laugh, Frankie punched him in the arm. “You’re going to get us killed, oh my god!”

Piper glared at Reyez, as it was only those three. They had all split up but Frankie, Piper and Reyez had grouped together in one hiding place.

A sudden close range gunshot caused them to shriek.

“He’s the army man, why don’t we push him out there and get him to take the gun from her!” Piper suggested, slightly annoyed but almost serious as well.

“Because he is high as a kite!” Frankie retorted.

-----------------------------

Aureliumon and Byakkomon fought Tsukuyomon fiercely. Despite her wielding the katana in her muzzle she kept her blade clashing against theirs as if she was wielding it with a skilled hand.

She leaped back. “Winter’s Blade!” She rushed towards them a streak of icy blue light.

Aureliumon and Byakkomon both grunted, unable to keep their guard up with her increased speed and strength.

Tsukuyomon skidded herself to a stop. “Endless Hailstorm!” Her heavy blizzard rained on the battlefield.


Mistresmon twirled in the air, a little giggle escaped her. “Beautiful Bouquet!” She fired her attack towards Tsukuyomon.

“Her partner’s mood has an effect on her, I see.” Oisinmon galloped towards Tsukuyomon. “Lunar Barrage!”

Oisinmon’s arrows formed into one, shooting through Mistresmon’s cannon forming into one bigger arrow with the power of both of their attacks.

Tsukuyomon turned, slicing the attack with her katana while charging towards them.

Mistresmon giggled, almost like she was being constantly tickled. She twirled once again, going into the ground as Oisinmon evaporated into a beam of light before Tsukuyomon reached them.

“Twilight Wave!”

“Discipline!”

The two females reappeared behind her. Their attacks hit dead on, sending Tsukuyomon flying into the side of a pile of ice-covered cars located on the side of the street.

Tsukuyomon, however, did not stay down for long.

Frozen cars shot towards each ultimate, causing each to dodge or to block the oncoming attacks. Tsukuyomon chased behind the cars, using her ‘Endless Hailstorm’ attack to follow.

The Ultimates dodged the best way they could with Terasumon using his heat as a counter to melt the ice attacks before they could hit the others.

Aureliumon launched forward towards the charging canine.

“She’s strong.” Byakkomon commented, breathing heavily, leaning on his blade for support as Tsukuyomon battled against Aureliumon, practically crushing him down to the ground with unrelenting attacks. “Much stronger than she had ever been before.”

“We’re stronger.” Terasumon growled. “If we pool together. We can… have to defeat her.”

Kinnarimon swooped above them, firing shot after shot of dark energy at the wolf Digimon.

“Waiting here is doing nothing.” Oisinmon commented harshly, getting to her feet. She limped on her back leg where it had been injured. Byakkomon supported her.

“An all out attack – it worked on Satyressmon.” Hyrokkimon yelled from across the ice plain. Aside from Tsukuyomon, he seemed to be faring the best out of the all the Digimon together, knowing the plains and being able to move more easily over the slippery ice.

Silent agreements were made as the ultimate Digimon all left their places, circling around the frenzied blue wolf. She surveyed them all with her eyes alert and guarded, swishing her head from side to side as they all surrounded her, preparing their attacks.

She hissed under her breath. “That’s right. Feed me your power. Feed me your strength.” She waited, eyeing each of the Ultimates in turn, waiting for it.

Together they attacked, simultaneously, each attack impacting into Tsukuyomon’s body, wrecking through her limbs with waves of pain, which subsided as more energy flowed through, taking over the feeling of anguish, replacing it with intensity. Her body was engulfed in a black aura, each attack after that ricocheting off of the blackened ball.

Eva peered out of her hiding place, she saw others doing the same. Rose standing close by, a manic smile creasing her face. Eva breathed. “Not good.”

“Tsukuyomon, evolve to…” Through the gloom they could see shapes, things changing, and hear painful mewls and cries from Tsukuyomon. Her form changed, rising up onto two human legs, fur disappearing being replaced by smooth human skin. The fur instead becoming long, dark navy hair sprouting from the new form’s head, and armor that covered her arms, hips, legs and breasts. Vaporous ice spread out from her back, almost in the shape of wings, and in her hand she held a massive golden scythe. The only remnants from her previous form were her wolf tail, the ears, and the two spikes of ice that stood behind them, like a horned crown. “Selenemon!”

“…Well, this is wonderful!” James grimaced but quickly ducked at the sound of the shot gun.

He was getting quite annoyed with having to hide and barely not being able to watch the battle. Rose was proving herself to be more annoying then deadly with her constant taunts and wild shooting.

James could see Hunter hiding behind a trashcan in the alley across the street, with Reyez behind a car and Rose standing in the center of the three. He suddenly noticed that Rose had a box of bullets located in a fanny pack she kept on her hips. However, the box was dropping bullets that obviously she wasn’t hearing hitting the ground.

Eventually if she kept this up, she would run out of bullets. A shot gun only carried two bullets at a time so if they could distract her, get the bullets as well as the bullets she left on the ground, she’d be powerless.

He bit his lip, wanting to rush out but he needed a distraction. He thought for a moment. They needed to do something quick.

-----------------------------

Selenemon took to the air, blocking Kinnarimon’s oncoming speedy punches and kicks.

The higher level Digimon grabbed Kinnarimon by her throat in between attacks, causing the Digimon to jerk slightly.

“Be gone!” She slung the ultimate Digimon into the wall of ice that covered a building with immense force, injuring Kinnarimon nearly to the point of de-evolving.

Hyrokkimon ran up the side of the building, his glacier blades prepared for battle.

Byakkomon shot from the ground towards Selenemon, his blades drawn as well.

Selenemon raised her palms. “Howling Gust!” Her attack shot towards Byakkomon.

Hyrokkimon leaped from the building, dueling his blades against Selenemon who swiftly blocked with her scythe. Hyrokkimon could only stay in the air for a short amount of time, but Selenemon saw this as an advantage. As Hyrokkimon dropped down the ground, she followed, stomping him into a crater before he could recover after landing on his feet.

“Hm…” Selenemon twisted her heel, causing Hyrokkimon to cry out in pain.

Terasumon’s ‘Blazing Mirage’ hit Selenemon from behind, the three burning wolves’ attack barely catching her off guard. She quickly fought them off, only moments before Terasumon jumped on top of her, pinning her to the ground.

Terasumon growled. “Get a hold of yourself!”

Selenemon’s eyes glowed even more, as her facial expression changed to worry for only mere seconds. “Help…me.” Her voice was not of her own, but of Hatimon’s.

Terasumon’s face was masked with confusion. Selenemon kicked off the giant wolf, flipping to her feet.


“Winter Waltz!” She slowly began spinning, bringing her blade and arms inward. She began to step and spin in circles with her wings and tail quickly covering her in an icy mist. Selenemon became a tornado of ice and a golden streak of blade, dashing around the battlefield attacking each and every Digimon. Her speed was unmatched, and unstoppable. Their attacks did nothing to stop her.

-----------------------------

“I am growing BORED of this silly game of hide and seek!” Rose growled.

Behind her back, James slowly crept out, picking up the bullets she was dropping behind. He was going good at this for at least five minutes now, going undetected and hiding quickly when she turned around.

Much to the visual protests from Frankie whose mouth was being covered by Piper and Eva’s hands so she couldn’t give anything away.

Rose sensed something behind her, however, she quickly turned at made eye contact with James who froze in his place.

“Gotcha!-” She turned to aim the gun.

However, she was hit on the side of the head with a can. Rose turned to fire, noticing Hunter who had another can equipped in his hand. Hunter stuck out his tongue before running down the alleyway leading onto the next street.

“YOU!” Rose growled, giving chase.

Once Rose was out of sight, the group peeked over to make sure their Digimon were okay.

“We need to head to the park, maybe we can overtake her there.” Tom said, stepping out. The Digimon had moved their battle close to that direction, and they needed to be as close as possible.

Eva trembled, almost scared to move.

“We need to do it fast, Hunter is probably running around the block…he’s bound to reappear any minute.”

The others silently agreed to Tom’s statement, making sure the coast was clear before they started jogging lightly in their destined direction.

Frankie almost slipped on the ice in her heels, but Piper quickly caught her.

“I just want you to know, that if we die. I am terribly sorry.” Frankie looked to Piper, with big innocent eyes.

Piper was a little shocked, but comforted Frankie with a light pat on the shoulder. “Why are you apologizing?” Piper offered a warm smiled.

“I--…” Frankie couldn’t find the words, but swallowed. “Before I started dating James, I… slept with Jesse.”

A pause.

Piper’s warm smile subsided so fast, replaced with a facial expression of shock, horror, anger and disgust. She dropped Frankie who hit her butt on the sheet of ice. “OW!”

“YOU WHAT!?”

“YOUR BROTHER IS CUTE, OKAY!?” Frankie quickly stood back up.

“NO! NO! NO! CUTE AND JESSE IS THE BIGGEST OXYMORON! IT’S JESSE! MY BROTHER! HE’S A FUCKING LAZY POTHEAD!”

“Offended!” A protest from across the battlefield.

“SHUT UP, REYEZ!”

“OBVIOUSLY YOU’VE NEVER SEEN YOUR BROTHER SHIRTLESS!”

“I DON’T WANT TO SEE HIM SHIRTLESS! OH MY GOD, FRANKIE! I KNEW YOU WERE BAD BUT I DIDN’T KNOW YOU WERE DESPERATE!”

“….DID YOU JUST CALL ME DESPERATE!?”

“JESSE IS A NEW LOW!”

“Almost lower than Miles.”

“SHUT UP, EVA!” Frankie shouted.

The constant shouting was enough to bring Rose back. She had lost Hunter around the block and made her way back to where the battle was taking place. Their yelling would certainly get them caught.

Once Rose had made it back to the street, she noticed the group running towards the Atlas Corp building, near the park that dipped below the hill next to it.

Rose fired the shot gun, startling the group and causing them to split up and hide again. Tom shouted in pain as pieces of the bullet ricocheted into his arm, throwing his running off balance. Eva pulled him behind a car. 

Reyez and James peeked around the side of a city bus. Reyez quickly noticed the handful of bullets in James’ hand. “Give me those.” He demanded.

“Why?” James questioned, not turning his attention away from the stalking Rose.

“Just give them to me.” Reyez demanded. James shrugged, handing them over as Reyez placed them in his pocket. 

Piper and Frankie quickly put their senseless bickering aside, hiding behind cars in the building parking lot.

The battle with Selenemon had drawn closer to the building, down the street.

“You have fought valiantly. But you have lost.” Selenemon taunted, speaking loudly, her voice echoing off of the ice walls that surrounded her and the Digimon. “Come out now, and I will make your deaths quick and painless.”

“What do we do?” Frankie whispered, trying to hide the panic from her voice.

“Come out, come out, where ever you are~!” Rose sang, spinning on the spot, shotgun in hand, grinning wildly.

Eva was trembling, trying to bandage a bleeding scrape on Tom’s arm where the shot pellets had grazed him as he hid. It was more difficult due to the trembling of her hands. “We can’t do anything.”

“She has us between a rock and a hard place.” Tom explained, gritting his teeth. “This fucking sucks.” He added.

“Understatement of the century.” Frankie murmured, peeking over the car she was hiding behind. “I hope the others are all okay… come on Byakkomon, get up.”

The icy ground was sprawled with the weakening bodies of their Digimon. Low on energy and struggling to move, let alone attack their enemy. Byakkomon lay flat on his belly, his katana just out of reach, beside him, Oisinmon. Terasumon barely remained on his feet, shaking with the effort it took to remain slightly upright. Hyrokkimon was forcing himself to get up, as was Aureliumon. Mistresmon swayed uneasily, hovering over the ground. And Kinnarimon had landed, the damage to her wing too severe to keep her aloft.

“I don’t want to kill you, while you’re all down like this.” Selenemon spoke, eyeing Terasumon with amusement. “There’s no enjoyment in it for me.”

“Others have underestimated them, just as you do.” Terasumon spoke, his voice coming out in gasps and punctuated by winces as he moved his paws, trying to stand up straight and erect. Selenemon’s expression turned to one of surprise.

“Them?” she repeated. “You’re not one of them?”

“No.” Terasumon admitted. “They’re different to you and I.” He explained. “But you don’t remember that, do you? I doubt you even recall who you are.”

Selenemon totted. “You’re boring me.” She stated. “I’ll cut you down first.”

“I’m your brother.” Terasumon murmured. “You don’t recognize me, do you?”

She looked him over, her eyes judging, and her expression unreadable. Around them, unnoticed, the other Ultimates were struggling to their feet, silently rising up. Eventually Selenemon opened her mouth to answer. “No.”

“A shame.” Terasumon murmured.

“Isn’t it just.” Selenemon drew her moon scythe back. “Crescent Swe-!”

“Wedding Lust!” Mistresmon’s words echoed up over Selenemon’s voice, cutting her off mid-sweep. Below her, Venus-fly trap petals – all glowing bright blue - emerged and wrapped around Selenemon’s body, locking her into place.

Selenemon thrashed. “NO!”

The other Ultimates were rounding on her, each glowing their significant color.

Each released a final attack.

“Lunar Barrage!”

“Piercing Hail!”

“Nightsong!”

“Ocean Massacre!”

“Full Moon Divide!”

Terasumon caught the gaze of Selenemon, seeing the panicked eyes of his sister stare back at him. He threw his head back and howled. “Volcanic Pillar!” She was engulfed in the flames and each of the attacks impacted against her, together, and Mistresmon held her firmly in place.


The sounds were terrible. Ice cracking and groaning beneath the strength of the attacks, and Selenemon’s howl echoing up above everything, bouncing off all the ice walls, an agonized screech as her body was shot through with pain from every angle, unable to defend herself. Helpless against the barrage.

Selenemon felt herself drained, her body became unstable and tired.

“R-Rose…” She muttered before falling down and crashing. In a flash, Selenemon had been replaced by Yinmon.

Rose turned slightly, with a bored expression on her face. “Weak.” She grimaced, turning back to focus on the group.

Reyez, who was sitting on the hood of a car waved casually at her. His attitude alerted her, it was… very familiar. He slid off the hood of the car, walking towards her with ease on the sheets of ice. Rose began to shake as Reyez walked towards her, but she kept her smirk on her face. “Good boy, be the hero and take one for the team!” She aimed her gun.

Reyez picked up his pace and rushed towards her, using the ice to his advantage to gain momentum. Rose pulled the trigger but Reyez dodged by sliding. Before she could fire the second shot, he was in front of her. Reyez palmed the barrel of the gun downwards with his left hand, immediately pushing his weight towards Rose and using the force of his right palm to turn her head. He had moved to the side in a way, but the impact of him hitting her caused her finger to jerk and pull the trigger, though missing him. Reyez’s elbow, now merged to the side of Rose’s face, allowed him to grab the handle of the shotgun, giving him full control and taking it from her.

Reyez pointed the gun at her with a smirk on his face. “You've been wrong about every single thing you've ever done, including this. You're not smart. You're not your mother. Hell, you're not even a full-time employee. Where did your life go so wrong?”

Rose backed away, growling in her throat with a scowl on her face.

Reyez aimed the shotgun and pulled the trigger, shooting it close to her feet. Rose screamed, jumping to the side. Reyez laughed, he pulled a bullet from his pocket, reloading the gun. 

“Reyez, STOP!” Hunter growled, walking towards him alongside James and Tom. Reyez turned the gun, pointing it at Hunter then quickly the ground in front of him, causing them all to stop, slightly frightened by Reyez’s erratic behavior. 

Reyez smiled. “I mean, we could just off the both of you. Go into the building, off your mother and that would be the end of everything. Should have done it all to begin with.”

Hunter paused. “What the fuck… are you saying…?”

“I don’t think Rose is the only one that lost her mind.” Tom added to the comment.

Reyez raised the gun towards Hunter, keeping a serious look on his face as he aimed directly for the center of the young man’s head.

“Rey…” Frankie breathed.

Time stood still, as everyone watched.

Piper screamed out in protest. “DON’T!”

Reyez closed one eye, ready to pull the trigger… before he burst out laughing. “Nah, I’m just kidding I wouldn---”

Rose tackled Reyez to the ground, sending them both over the long steep hill that led into the nearby park.

Hunter ran to the edge of the hill, alongside Piper. Stunned and surprised.

“Shit!” Hunter cursed aloud.

They both tumbled as Rose tried to get the upper hand on Reyez. When they had reached the bottom, Rose mounted herself on top of Reyez in an attempt to choke him. She gritted her teeth as she attempted to add as much pressure as possible. Reyez glared, using his power to push Rose’s frail body off of his. He rolled over, gasping for air but at the same time looking for the shotgun that he dropped on the way down the hill.

“Fuck, fuck, fu-” He groaned to himself.

Rose appeared from behind, latching herself to his back. She attempted to choke from behind using her arm, weighing him down back to the ground. He had to admit, she was pretty strong. Reyez tried to fight her off, and in the process look for the gun.

Rose noticed Reyez’s Swiss army knife in his back pocket. He was able to elbow her in the gut, backing her off. Reyez saw the gun over at the far right, between some bushes. He ran for it but was once again tackled by Rose. 

“GET OFF ME, YOU CRAZY BITCH!” He growled.

Rose pulled the switch blade from his pocket, opening it and stabbing him in the side with the sharp blade.

Reyez released an animalistic growl, in reflex and adrenaline he overpowered her, turning around quickly and hitting with her a quick left hook, which connected with Rose’s jaw. The power behind his fist was enough to knock Rose to the ground, putting her out of commission.

Reyez panted, pulling the blade from his side and sitting down on the ground, breathing heavily.

-----------------------------

“What the hell kind of stunt were you trying to pull anyway, you fucking idiot?!” Frankie’s scolding of Reyez could be heard from down the hall, like she wanted everyone to hear it. “If you want to play hero, then do it when, ya’know, you’re not likely to die!”

So many people filled the hospital hallways, most suffering from shock and mild-hypothermia. Others, like Reyez, had suffered more serious injuries. Tom had had his grazed arm bandaged properly, and the few shotgun pellets that had embedded themselves into his skin had been removed. Hunter had a sprained wrist. None of them were without injury, minor or otherwise.

Eva was just happy everyone was still alive.

After Reyez’s knock to Rose’s face, she had woken up much quicker than anyone else had anticipated, and had disappeared almost entirely, trailed by a weakened Yinmon. No one had been tempted to go after her. The Digimon were exhausted from fighting, barely able to stand – and they all weren’t faring much better. Since then it had been a blur. A rush to James’ truck where he, Frankie and Reyez piled in and James drove them to the hospital (which had thankfully been just out of Tsukuyomon’s icy reach). Eva, Tom and the others all followed in other vehicles.

Reyez had been admitted and examined. The wound, luckily, was not serious or fatal. Though the nurses and doctors kept commenting on the fact Reyez was extremely lucky that none of his major organs or arteries had been hit. A few centimeters to the right and he would have died in minutes.

And this was the reason for Frankie’s yelling at him.

“You turn up, high as a kite, and think it’s a smart idea to go and attack some crazed lunatic with a shotgun? And what was the stupid stunt where you were threatening Hunter?”

Reyez shrugged a shoulder. He hadn’t said anything and was just letting Frankie berate him. She wasn’t angry with him, not really. She had been scared and this was her way of dealing with it. James would get yelled at later – and probably Eva too.

Eva rubbed her face, walking past the other people lining the halls of the hospital, some having been seen to, or waiting to be seen. It was stuffy in here, and the smell was too clinical and clean. It was making her feel sick. Or maybe that was just the worry.

Either way, she found her way outside, deeply breathed in the fresh air and went to sit on a bench close by. The ice had reached along the car park of the hospital, but the main building had been mercifully spared the fate of becoming an icy prison. Who knows what would have happened if it had become as such. Now that it wasn’t a battleground, the ice covering some of the buildings and the trees was actually quite pretty. Then all Eva had to do was think back to how it was created, and suddenly it wasn’t so lovely any more. She sighed. It would take some time for the city to get back to normal and all the ice to melt. It didn’t disappear when Selenemon was defeated. It was there as a reminder.

Lost in her musing, Eva didn’t notice as Tom sat beside her. He handed her a cup of tea in a plastic mug and smiled weakly.

“It’s the good stuff from the cafeteria. Not from those crappy machines.” He explained. She offered her thanks in a small smile and snuggled up against him.

“How is Frankie’s tirade going?” she asked.

“Well, she’s done with Reyez for the moment.” Tom explained. “She’s started on James – but only because she couldn’t find you.”

Eva groaned, causing Tom to laugh to himself. “It’s not funny. We could have died.”

“I know.” Tom confirmed. “But if I don’t laugh, I’m just going to focus on how close it came.”

“Fair enough.” Eva commented. Tom patted her head with one hand, sweeping his fingers through and across her hair. Eva was immediately in a state of relaxation, as she was whenever anyone touched or toyed with her hair. She was welcoming it, a few moments where she could feel a little relaxed, if not totally. She didn’t imagine she would feel fully relaxed now for some time.

Her tea slipped from her hands as they went limp. “Crap.” Eva scowled. She bent down to fetch the cup, the tea now melting into a small patch of ice. As she moved away, the area that was melting glowed suddenly, emitting a pale pink glow. The liquid that had been the ice was suddenly shifting and moving of its own accorded. Tom had leaned over now too, watching with intense curiosity. The liquid danced together, merging and emitted a stronger pink glow as it hovered in front of Eva’s face.

She lifted her hands and gingerly cupped them around the pink light, which ceased. Eva felt a weight in her hands. Opening them, she was faced with an item she was familiar with, like the one Tom had received some time ago from the Resistance.

“A Lodestone.” Tom commented, sitting back up straight.

“Uh-huh.” Eva murmured. “This isn’t over. Is it?”

“Not by a long shot.” Tom confirmed with a solemn shake of his head.

-----------------------------

It was half past 9 P.M and Reyez laid across his couch, his head turned as he flipped through channels, laying on his stomach and trying not to bump or even remotely graze his wound on anything. He had been living in his new house just on the outskirts of downtown since Nicole had gotten married, yet still hadn’t unpacked some of his things.

The house was still littered with cardboard boxes; some empty, others still filled with junk.

Ailurmon was in the kitchen rumbling around for something with Reyez’s sister, Blaire, who was staying over. Blaire was one of Reyez’s younger sisters, but admittedly one of the closet to Reyez personality-wise. Her hair was tied in a ponytail with a bandana wrapped around. Her hair was dyed a golden blonde and she shared the same eye color as Reyez.

She walked into the living room, her oversized jogging pants barely staying up on her waist as she sagged them worse than her brother. She wore one of Reyez’s old shirts which she had turned into a belly top, much to Reyez’s disdain as he actually still liked the shirt she cut to pieces. “Do you need anything, Blue?”

“A fat blunt and a pack of sour gummi worms.” Reyez simply replied, not turning his eyes from the T.V.

Blaire shook her head. “Will just a giant bag of pizza Doritos do instea-”

BZZZT! The doorbell rung.

Reyez and Blaire looked towards the door as if it would magically open, but the doorbell was only followed by a more urgent knock.

Blaire looked at Reyez. “Expecting company?”

Reyez shrugged. “Nicole has a key and it’s too early for booty calls…”

Blaire walked towards the door. “Who is it?” She asked, however still opened the door. Ailurmon poked her head out of the kitchen, her face painted with irritation and ready to jump at any unexpected threat.

Blaire gasped lightly at the tall man standing in front of the door.

He wore his shades on his face despite it being the early night, but she could tell his tone was serious and professional. There was no sign of a smile on his lips.

“Excuse me, for the late intrusion little miss, but is Sergeant Louis in?”

Blaire was particularly stunned, and more so confused whether she should lie or not. However, Reyez made himself known as he walked to the door.

“What do you wan---….” He paused.

General McTyre stood at the door, in full uniform. Still not a crack of a smile on his face, but his voice lightened up a bit.

“I believe we need to talk, Sergeant.”


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