This Is War
“Toil and Trouble!” Malkimon wasted no time in getting off an attack. She punted her blinking and drooling cauldron with her shoe, sending it flying through the air, the bubbling purple liquid inside sloshing out. It landed on the ground and splashed at the feet of Selenemon and Morrigamon.
“Be careful!” Selenemon ordered, dodging as a puddle of potion landed just where she had been standing. In front of her the crystal covering the pavement bubbled and fizzed. “It’s corrosive.”
The cauldron bounced with a couple of deft thunks, creating cracks in the ground. It’s legs wiggled in the air for a moment as it righted itself and went tottering back to Malkimon hurriedly.
“Crescent Sweep!” Selenemon brought her scythe down in a graceful arc, and an icy blade shot forward towards Malkimon.
“Witch Spear!” Morrigamon’s attack followed the ice blade.
“HAH!” Malkimon dodged one attack nimbly, using her cauldron for leverage, and then threw her minion into the air to stop Morrigamon’s spear mid-flight. The metal spear and the metal container clanged against each other. The spear had disappeared in a puff of black smoke before it hit the ground and reappeared in Morrigamon’s hand. “Is that your best?” Malkimon taunted, sitting on the rim of her cauldron, her expression and tone irritatingly cheerful.
Morrigamon grasped the shaft of her spear in both hands. “Don't be so cocky, we’re just beginning.”
Selenemon stood up straight, bringing her scythe into her body and beginning to spin in place. Morrigamon’s spear disappeared in black smoke, and black flames ignited in her palms.
“Winter Waltz!” Selenemon cried, as she began to speed up her spinning and steps. She transformed into a small tornado covered in a thin, icy vapor, which began to spread around the area, drifting and rushing towards Malkimon and the cauldron.
Blasts of black fire joined the spinning she-wolf, exploding through the freezing haze being brought into her tornado. It singed and burned anything that landed against it as Selenemon expelled them from her twister.
Malkimon dodged and ducked several times. A flame caught the top of her hat and burnt it slightly, leaving a black mark. Another flame came straight towards her and she flipped out of the way with barely a moment to spare.
Her cauldron wobbled around aimlessly, avoiding the flames, and was knocked into once or twice by Selenemon, as she circled and ricochet like a pin ball off cars and other structures around her, never losing speed.
As Malkimon righted herself from her flip, Morrigamon bolted at her from outside her field of vision; her gauntlet-covered fist landed cleanly on Malkimon’s jaw. Malkimon flew back, crashing into a nearby building. She released a feral hiss as Selenemon stopped spinning. Launching from the crater in the wall, Malkimon rounded on Morrigamon who span to her right, just out of reach of Malkimon’s red claws. Morrigamon raised her foot to Malkimon's back, kicking the witch a few feet away for space.
“That was a dirty move,” Malkimon complained, catching her footing.
“It’s a war,” Selenemon snapped, holding her scythe before her. “Or hadn’t you noticed?”
“Banshee Keen!” Morrigamon took a large breath while Malkimon was distracted and expelled it as her spear disappeared. The air was released as a high-pitched piercing wail that caused several windows to break, and Malkimon screeched, covering her ears. The cauldron bubbled and flailed around on its feet, disturbed by the noise but not as incapacitated as Malkimon.
Selenemon’s hands rose, palms forward, and she released a sudden blast of icy energy in the shape of a wolf’s head with a cry of: “Howling Gust!” The ice wolf’s jaws hung open, as if it were the one creating the eerie howl, and not Morrigamon.
The jaws of the ice beast clamped down on the cauldron just as Malkimon grabbed it and leaped inside, the purple potion filling it turning a deep, scarlet shade.
“Eye of Newt!” Malkimon’s voice came from within the metal container which began to spin in place, becoming increasingly faster and faster with every spin. The wolf’s head had disappeared and Morrigamon’s attack had silenced as they both watched the cauldron curiously. It turned and swung in a wide arc, bouncing off the frozen cars and buildings, using them to get around.
It crashed into Selenemon, knocking her into a wall. Then it made a beeline for Morrigamon. She took off into the air, but a moment too late as the cauldron snagged her shin and sent her flying towards Selenemon as she righted herself. The two impacted, creating a great crater in the wall where they both landed.
The cauldron spun around, adjusting its direction, and made straight for the two of them again. Morrigamon dashed one direction, Selenemon the other, leaping onto the top of a truck and denting the roof.
“Witch Spear!” Morrigamon’s spear flew through the air, its aim perfect.
Malkimon giggled from within the cauldron and it span to one side, just as the spear would have impaled it. The spear dispersed in a puff of black smoke and reappeared grasped in Morrigamon’s hand as she glared the moving target.
Selenemon seemed less put out as she stood up and grabbed her scythe, she watched the spinning object with keen eyes, never letting it leave her sight as it weaved and dodged and clunked against the cars to keep its momentum. The scythe sat with its curved blade down by Selenemon’s feet, while she crouched in a ready position. As the cauldron neared her, she drew the weapon back, then swung it forward with immense force, scooping the cauldron up in the curve of the blade. She spun once on the spot and then let it fly, sending the cauldron careering over the nearby cars and crashing into a wall of crystallized glass.
Malkimon and the cauldron separated as they slipped to the ground, Malkimon slowly recovering, and the cauldron on its ‘head’, obviously dizzy and apparently out for the count.
Morrigamon landed gracefully on the ground, joined by Selenemon a moment later, both towered over the witch Digimon. “You should know when you’re outmatched,” Selenemon told her, holding her scythe in one hand and leaning on her hip.
“I can go another round,” Malkimon yowled.
Morrigamon shook her head, poising her spear ready to strike above Malkimon. “You don’t get another round.”
Malkimon’s eyes shut tight, but the piercing of Morrigamon’s spear never came. She opened one to peer around as the sounds of gunshots were heard.
“Open fire!!” A man’s voice was no more than twenty feet away. The sound of other voices joined the first, and then there were the sounds of footsteps quickly covering the crystal ground, and those of bullets leaving guns. She saw Morrigamon give her a nasty look, as if she was debating whether to kill her now or save her own skin from the incoming gun fire.
For a moment she wasn’t sure what the bird warrior’s choice would be as the spear hovered above her, but then it appeared Morrigamon’s desire for self preservation kicked in and she took to the air as Selenemon dodged and ducked on coming bullets. She spun her scythe, creating something of a shield to fend off the worst of the gunfire, until Morrigamon’s black cloud swallowed them both and they disappeared in a puff of smoke.
Malkimon devolved, returning back to the form of BlackGatomon – a smaller and easier form to escape in. She ran, knowing the battle with Morrigamon was not over and that the crow woman was watching her from somewhere.
The advancing soldiers were a group of about two dozen. It was hard to tell as they all kept moving and looking around warily, guns poised at their chests, ready to fire if need be. They peered carefully around for the Digimon who had just disappeared before them.
Reyez and the others watched, hidden from the abandoned house.
Further off he could see that SkullMammothmon was gone, and so were the crystal Digimon he had brought with him. The Gods had disappeared as if by magic, and no matter where he looked he couldn’t see them. He hoped they were on their way back over to regroup. They could think and move more easily with their Digimon in their Rookie forms. Plus in those forms they could retain energy.
Throughout the fight with SkullMammothmon, Reyez had been able to see and hear the foot soldiers and their gunfire. How all the damage to the crystal Digimon had been done by their own Digimon, and how weak against them the human weapons had been.
As Eric had explained back in the Digital World, the weapons the army had been developing to combat the growing crystal Digimon issue had become outdated very quickly, and now were useless against them. Those weapons had been high tech, the kind of technology the army didn’t want the general public to know it had. And now that technology and those specific weapons were powerless against Bella’s creations. Reyez knew the bullets, the tanks, anything the army threw at the artificial Digimon would prove useless.
Reyez had debated walking out there with his hands up. A placating sign, something to show them he wasn’t a threat and to get a chance to talk with McTyre. He knew the General was here somewhere, in charge of everything. Reyez wouldn’t be the General’s favorite person, undoubtedly, but he wasn’t a fool and he would listen to reason. There was no reason the army and their Digimon couldn’t work together. There was nothing holding them back from doing that, being on the same side and facing the main threat. The threat that undoubtedly sat at the top of the Atlas Corp building, watching the whole spectacle unfold beneath.
He hadn’t walked out, though.
The main reason had been because these soldiers looked so jumpy that any movement, sudden or not, would probably cause one of them to pull the trigger and send a bullet through Reyez’s body – not a fantastic option to his mind. The other reason had been because Reyez didn’t want to do anything until he knew his Digimon was safe. That Marquismon was safe, and the others were safe too. But that required being over there, keeping an eye on things, while trying to keep out of danger.
Reyez felt like a coward hidden away and watching from the sidelines. It was not a situation he was used to or enjoyed. Sure enough, they were all safe for now, but this was as much their fight as it was their Digimon’s fight. It didn’t seem right that the Digimon should be taking the brunt of everything, while they all waited and watched. Their Digimon needed them; after all, they took their strength and power from their partners, being at a distance surely would give them a disadvantage.
“Rey.” James nudged him, and Reyez turned towards the other man. He slid down the wall, out of the view of any men who were going to approach, but Tom and Piper were keeping an eye on things through small cracks and holes where they weren’t so visible.
Everyone was quiet, and those who spoke did so in hushed voices. Eleanor was tending to a head wound on the side of Eric’s temple above his ear. His whole right cheek was covered in blood, and part of his right ear was missing too. An injury from their car overturning, Eleanor had said. She herself hadn’t fared much better; there were a series of gashes on her left arm where she had tried to brace herself from the impact, a small pile of glass was on the floor by her foot, smeared red, and she had a small nick on her cheek.
Frankie and Eva sat at furthest away from the entrance to their hide out, huddled away from the fighting and the soldiers. Rose stood aloof, but already looked drained and worried. Hunter kept close to Piper and Tom, jumpy whenever the blonde moved even a little bit. James kept close to Reyez, keeping an eye on the others. The Digimon sat between the humans. Unable to evolve, Corneliamon seemed at a loss of how she could help or what she could do, but Frankie found a use for her and was now stroking her head in a rhythm that seemed to keep her calm.
Ryudamon peered through a gap in the wall at the soldiers and the fighting, and Rubimon helped Eleanor tend to Eric, holding his arms down so he couldn’t push Eleanor away.
“Most of them are moving off to rejoin the other soldiers,” Ryudamon said gravely, his eyebrows furrowed. “Perhaps this was a foolish notion.”
“My foolish notion,” Rose corrected. “It was my idea we try a full scale attack and go into the Atlas Corp building. I should have known it would be surrounded and protected.”
“No one is to blame,” Tom explained, looking at Rose. “Your plan was the only one we had, and honestly the only one open to us. This would have happened regardless.”
Rose looked uncomfortable and shifted her weight from one foot to the other.
“Can you see Ymirmon and the others?” Eva asked.
“No,” Piper replied, looking at her. “Our Digimon have gone, so has SkullMammothmon and the crystalline ones.”
Piper twitched a shoulder in a half-hearted shrug. “Into hiding I imagine. Hopefully making their way over here unseen.”
“To hell with this,” Hunter said suddenly, pushing off from the wall with his foot. Twelve sets of eyes turned to him. “I’m not okay with hiding away in here. We should go out there and make the soldiers see that we and our Digimon aren’t the enemy!”
Piper moved from her spot. “If you go out there the soldiers will shoot you.” She gave Hunter a challenging stare and he returned it.
“Well, what do you suggest we do?” he snapped. “I’m not being a coward in here.”
“No one is saying we have to be cowards or hide the whole time,” Piper explained slowly. Everyone was on edge and it was showing. Getting angry or challenging each other was only going to make their situation worse. “We needed to regroup anyway. Now that we have, we have to think of another way to help and get out there to our Digimon without causing hurt to ourselves.”
Ryudamon sighed. “Piper is correct. There’s no knowing what will happen to your Digimon if one of you is badly injured or killed. One wrong move could spell complete victory for Mukademon.”
Hunter growled and shoved his hands in his pockets. “So, let’s come up with some kind of plan of action.” His eyes turned to Reyez. “You were in the army, any ideas?”
Reyez had known that eventually his military history would come up in this battle. He knew strategies and battle plans, things useful in a fight, but he felt at something of a loss. This wasn’t a typical war, a typical battle. This was something no one would ever be trained for, no one in their right mind would want to be trained for. These were extreme circumstances, and despite how much Reyez thought and wracked his brain to come up with some kind of plan, nothing he could conjure in his mind seemed suitable for the situation they found themselves in.
Still, feeling the eyes of his friends on him, he felt a twinge in his chest which told him that despite their minimal chances of success, he had to try something.
“How many soldiers are left out there patrolling?” Reyez asked Tom.
A few seconds of silence before Tom replied. “Four. No,” a pause, “six. In pairs.”
“Okay.” Reyez rubbed his chin with one hand, before running his both over his head. “I can’t go out there alone, it’s too risky. I‘m pretty sure if I can get in contact with McTyre I can explain the situation and get our Digimon and us off the military radar… but it’s a case of getting in touch with him.”
“Let’s worry about that later, and concentrate on getting out of here first,” James suggested seriously. “What do we need to do?”
Frankie got to her feet in a rush. “You’re going out there too?”
James shrugged one shoulder. “Reyez said he can’t go out alone, it’s too dangerous. I’m certain as long as we’re non-threatening we’ll be fine.”
“But…” Frankie chewed her lower lip.
“Frankie,” Reyez said firmly. “We can’t hide in here and wait out the battle.”
Frankie struggled. “I know. But why can’t one of you just go?”
“Two people will make it clear that there are more people here… it should, in theory, make the soldiers less hostile. It’s less suspicious with more than one person anyway,” explained Reyez. He was looking through a gap again, keeping an eye on the soldiers as they marched and followed a perimeter route.
Though the answer clearly didn’t satisfy Frankie, or make her any less worried, she said nothing and retreated back to where she had been sitting. James followed after her, murmured something inaudible to her and kissed her forehead.
He turned to Reyez and tilted his head. “So?”
Reyez opened his mouth to speak but was cut short by the sound of gunfire from outside.
Eva and Piper both screamed.
Hands went to ears to try and block out the sound.
Tom, Reyez, and Hunter peered from gaps in the broken walls to see what the soldiers outside were shooting at. Ryudamon joined them, while Eleanor hurriedly tried to finish bandaging Eric’s wound in case they needed to move quickly.
“I can’t see what they’re shooting…” Hunter trailed as a giant blue paw landed on the ground in front of the destroyed house, crushing a solider beneath it and leaving a dark red splatter in his place. The paw, decorated with dark grey pieces of armor, crackled and fizzled like live electricity, and left a trailed of singes where each one stepped, lithe and cat-like.
“Yeah,” Tom agreed with Reyez’s unspoken sentiment and drew back from the wall.
“What?” Eva demanded frantically. “What is it?”
“Something huge and electric,” Tom told her softly.
Her eyes widened. “Taranimon?!”
“That’s not all.” Piper had gained enough courage to edge towards the wall and the only vantage point they had. Tom returned to see what the others were seeing.
Being shot at and dodging easily was a satyr-like woman with large goat horns sticking out of her head. She moved smoothly and without pausing, bashing soldiers whose bullets shot past her with a mirror twice the size of her own body. Her movements were graceful and determined, almost balletic.
Her mirror crashed into a pair of soldiers, sending them reeling into the side of a car where they struggled to right themselves until another larger vehicle landed on top of them, crushing them beneath its weight.
Lastly, following the fast-moving, mirror-wielding satyr came a human-like form. It looked emaciated, the skin hanging from visible bones was almost yellow and waxy in color. It was male, and its face was painted to look like a skull with hollow eyes. He was decorated around the neck with shells and bones hanging from numerous necklaces, which seemed to weigh him down. He carried in both hands two large bones, painted red.
“Is that…?” Hunter left the question unasked as he noticed Piper had paled considerably, almost to the same color of her scarf.
Reyez hissed. “Stay quiet. They’re making for the military encampment outside the Atlas Corp building.”
“How are they alive?!” James demanded, turning to Ryudamon.
The ancient lizard looked at him, confused, and for a moment James felt like he saw a glimmer of fear in the old lizard’s face. “I don’t… don’t have a clue,” he admitted. “It’s not… can’t be possible.”
“They’re here!!” The yowling voice of BlackGatomon caught all of them unawares as she stood at the entryway to their hiding spot. She meowed and caterwauled loudly, as if she were in pain.
“SHUT UP!” Reyez shouted, lunging for her.
BlackGatomon dodged him nimbly and dashed outside. She clambered on to a car and then leapt from there to what remained of the roof of the broken down building.
“HERE! THEY’RE HERE!!” She was screeching as loud as she could, grabbing the attention of the three Digimon who had appeared as if from nowhere, and were causing havoc with the remaining soldiers who were scattering, their guns firing off at random in all directions. Bullets passed through the giant electrified Digimon, while the two others were able to weave and duck and dodge the bullets as they were fired, while raining down attacks of their own.
“We need to move!” Ryudamon exclaimed, helping Eric to his feet.
The yowling of the feline Digimon had grabbed the attention of the large static Digimon, who bounded over on its four electrified paws as it smashed the remaining section of the abandoned house, just as Reyez and James led the others out.
“Sprinkling Needle!” Corneliamon’s tiny darts of water impacted on the giant paw, while the crackling blue Digimon sniffed the remains and dug at it like a dog searching for a bone.
“There, Raijumon! Behind you!” crowed BlackGatomon, who had hopped from the roof of the destroyed building to an abandoned car before Raijumon’s paw had turned the bricks to rubble.
Raijumon whipped around, head down and snarling with lightning-esque teeth at the group, who were tiny in comparison to the Digimon that stood over twenty feet in height.
Raijumon was advancing. One paw was equal to dozens of their own slow steps. The group had found themselves cornered by rubble, unable to climb over in time before Raijumon tore them apart. Hunter, James, and Reyez stood in front of the group, as some sort of human shields.
“What do we do?” Rubimon asked, surprisingly calm.
Reyez replied, trying to keep his voice low. “Scatter. On the count of three.”
“That’s probably not a smart move,” a female voice giggled, and was followed by the sound of a soft landing. The satyr-like Digimon perched on the top of a telephone line tower, leaning casually on her giant mirror weapon and smiling blithely. “You’ll be squashed like bugs before you could get out from under Raijumon’s paws. And who wants to clean that up?”
Reyez remembered the image of the soldier who had been crushed under the electric Digimon’s paw and the puddle of dark red that remained once the paw was back up. He felt sick.
“Who are you?!” Ryudamon demanded.
“We’re faithful to Mukademon,” explained the goat-woman Digimon. “Or wasn’t that obvious?”
“We’re also here to finish what was started so long ago…” Another voice, male, belonging to the sunken, sallow-skinned Digimon who stood opposite the goat woman. The group was trapped in a triangle of the three. “New and improved.”
Ryudamon stared at each of them confused, his confusion seemed shared with everyone else around him.
BlackGatomon leapt gracefully from one car roof to another, then to the roof of a truck where she stood beneath the bulk of Raijumon. She stared down at the group of humans and Digimon, her expression smug.
“Allow me to shed some light on the subject. Your confused faces are taking away my enjoyment of this.” She began sneering, spreading her whiskers wide.
Rubimon growled softly.
“Wisemon’s little dark ritual in the Digital World gave our dear Master an idea, only, in his genius he decided to use it on a bigger scale,” explained the black cat. “The information that was stored in the Atlas system when Lord Mukademon’s devoted Generals were first brought here was still there in the depths of its memory. Once the data had been reconstituted, it was simply a matter of having the correct ingredients to make Satyressmon, Taranimon, and Bondyemon bigger, better, and stronger.”
“Get on with it,” Tom prompted, and was swiftly silenced with a jab to the upper arm by Eva.
BlackGatomon stared at him distastefully. “A dark altar isn’t hard to create, and the negative energy here is rife and perfect for what Lord Mukademon needed. Through the ritual, performed by the Master himself, he created these new, advanced forms for his Generals. Strong enough to combat even you and your precious Gods. You’ve already met Raijumon…”
Above her, the sparkling blue beast growled.
“Perhaps you should be introduced to Capellamon,” the mirror wielding goat woman bowed, “and Bacaloumon.” The other mimicked Capellamon, causing the bones and shells around his neck to rattle against each other as he moved.
Introductions over, the three Mega Generals advanced a step each, while BlackGatomon remained in place. “I dread to think what you’ll all look like once they’re finished with you,” she taunted. “And where are your Digimon, so devoted to protecting you?!”
“She has a point…” Rose murmured.
BlackGatomon yawned. “You put up a good fight for a little while at least. I’ll tell Lord Mukademon you all died,” she paused. “Yes. Just that you all died. Wouldn’t want to embellish it too much now.” She settled down, laying and stretching out on her belly. “You have until the three of them are upon you to try and escape. Let’s make a game of it!”
Raijumon towered above the group, while Capellamon and Bacaloumon moved towards them. Capellamon with her mirror poised in both hands, and Bacaloumon holding two large bone clubs in either hand.
“Anyone, any ideas for getting out of this one?” inquired Eleanor, her voice quivering.
“I’m thinking,” Ryudamon replied.
Rubimon had her eyes switching from each of the three Megas. They were nearly upon them, a few more seconds and they would each unleash an attack. “I could distract them.”
“It’s too risky,” Ryudamon argued.
“We’re about to be squashed, charred, broken, and killed,” Hunter snapped. “I’ll take any plan at this point.”
“Time’s up,” BlackGatomon said, matter-of-factly.
“Oblivion Plume!” Bacaloumon cried, firing off blasts of dark energy at the center of the group.
Capellamon came down on them with her mirror drawn back, the face of it charging with white hot energy, “Star Gazer!”
Raijumon snarled above them, his maw crackling with sparks of blue lightning. “Bolt Sniper!” He gnashed his jaws together, firing down the forks of lightning as the other two attacks impacted.
Each attack exploded on contact as the humans all cowered and grabbed each other for a form of protection. The attacks drowned out the light around them, and the sound muffled.
Rubimon opened her eyes first, surprised to be able to do so. Surprised to still be alive and be able to feel surprised at all. She saw her companions all crowded together as they had tried to protect one another. Eleanor squeezing Corneliamon. Tom bent over Eva, while Hunter had shielded Piper. James and Reyez had turned in to shield Rose and Frankie.
Their savior surrounded them, causing their space to be cramped and darkened in comparison to outside. The only light coming in was through though tiny gaps between the fuchsia and turquoise-colored petals. Rubimon touched one of them and released a sigh of relief.
“Marquismon… you’re a life saver,” Rubimon exclaimed on a long breath. “Literally.”
Eyes began to open, taking in the petal-covered cocoon around them that had protected them from the blast. The noises of fighting outside were audible through the layers of brightly colored shield, but in here they were protected.
Reyez checked his D-Touch. Ailurmon’s status was fine; she remained, it seemed, at full power and almost totally unharmed. He made a mental note to treat her to something huge and tasty when they made it through this.
“Now what?” Tom asked, releasing Eva from his grip as everyone else began to relax a little. “We can’t stay protected in here, I would guess this makes Marquismon unable to fight.”
“You’d be right,” Ryudamon replied. “She needs to let us out when Capellamon and the others are distracted. Then we need to get away from here to regroup.”
Piper shook her head. “I don’t like that plan.” Ryudamon looked at her curiously. “As a group we’re going to move slower. We’re a bigger target and easier to see. We need to move in smaller groups, halves if you want, but no more than four of us per group.”
Ryudamon looked thoughtful for a moment.
“I also suggest that Eric and Eleanor, as you don’t have evolving Digimon, you get to somewhere out of the way, somewhere unlikely to be attacked, and stay there with Corneliamon, Rubimon, and Ryudamon,” Piper continued. “I don’t mean to sound cruel, but you’d only serve to get in the way.”
Eleanor shrugged a shoulder. “I agree.”
“Where do we want to get to?” James inquired, folding his arms. “It’s fine to say we split, but we need a place to be moving towards.”
Reyez cleared his throat. “I can answer that. With these ‘new and improved’ Generals on the scene, our Digimon would do best to take them out before we head for Mukademon. Kill the minions before the big bad. We need to drive them apart, take them one at a time. Four Gods versus one of these should be more than enough firepower to take them down. One group should head towards the park, it’s vacant and out of the way of any military I would guess. The second group should head in the opposite direction. Towards Downtown maybe, where it’s a mess of buildings, and will make it harder for whichever general follows down there to get a clean hit.”
“And how are we to pass this information on to Selenemon and the others?” Rose prompted, folding her arms.
Reyez rubbed his forehead, before placing a palm on Marquismon’s petals. “Hopefully Marquismon can pass the message on.”
“It’s a plan…” Hunter murmured.
“What do we do about the one left over?” Eva pressed. “What if two follow one group?”
Rubimon frowned. “I don’t think they’d be that stupid. They wouldn’t leave the Atlas Corp building undefended, especially when there is a military base just out front.”
Tom huffed, rubbing his hands over his hair. “It’s a plan that’s better than having no plan.” He sighed. “Let’s go for it.”
Reyez nodded and laid his hands against one of the petals protecting them from the attacks outside. “When you’re ready. Let us out.”
“Star Gazer!!” The white energy shot in three strong blasts following Selenemon and Gaiusmon.
“Winter Waltz!” Selenemon began spinning.
Gaiusmon turned mid-leap, drawing his watery broadsword across himself in a wide arc. “Monsoon Rhapsody!” The bellowed cry was followed by a wash of aquatic energy, joined by the tornado of arctic ice. Both crashed together into Capellamon, leaving a trail of overturned cars and broken lamp posts in their wake.
Capellamon dodged at the last minute, vaulting off the wall of a tall apartment building and landing on the ground once the mixture of water and snow had passed her.
She drew the mirror back, letting it charge again.
“Gorgeous Reflection!” A flash of white exploded from the mirror’s surface, blinding Selenemon and Gaiusmon temporarily. Capellamon, who had now split herself into two, raced towards them through their confusion, one whacking Gaiusmon with the head of her mirror and the other kicking Selenemon squarely in the chest, sending the she-wolf reeling back.
With Raijumon trying to grab Morrigamon from the sky where she hovered just out of reach, and Capellamon and Bacaloumon both distracted, Marquismon’s petals opened one by one, lowering onto the ground and allowing the humans within to run out into the scattering dust and debris.
Immediately, twelve bodies separated. Eleanor, Eric, Ryudamon, Rubimon, and Corneliamon all bolted towards the remaining buildings near Atlas Corp to find somewhere to hide. Piper, Hunter, Eva, and James ran across the battlefield in the direction they had originally come from, towards the closely packed houses and apartment buildings.
Reyez, Frankie, Tom, and Rose all made for the main road, which would lead them to the safety of the park. Marquismon rose up from the ground; she made a spinning motion in the lotus flower that surrounded her body and her vines snapped back into place. It seemed that was a signal of sorts, and the eight Mega Digimon fled from their adversaries, following their partners swiftly.
Capellamon looked confused, as did BlackGatomon who had been watching everything unfold from different vantage points. Raijumon snarled and snapped at the air as Morrigamon swooped over his head. Selenemon bounced from building to building, until she landed on the ground and began running just behind the humans with Vayumon and Marquismon not far behind her.
“FOLLOW THEM!” BlackGatomon ordered, pointing wildly in both directions. “I DON’T CARE WHO YOU FOLLOW, JUST FOLLOW THEM AND KILL THEM!!” She was screaming, her pupils needle-point tiny, and her small body shaking furiously.
Capellamon took off after the departing form of Marquismon, while Bacaloumon followed James’ group through the streets and over the buildings. Raijumon twisted his head between the two directions, confused as to which way to turn. Eventually BlackGatomon hissed at him, leaping up to swipe her small paw across his face.
“You stay!” she ordered. “There’s no telling what these meat bags are up to.”
Raijumon growled softly in response, watching as BlackGatomon bounded from the van roof to the ground and followed after Capellamon.
The park had never seemed as far away as it did running for it now.
In his mind, when they had been concocting this plan, Reyez had placed a mental guess it would take them no more than four minutes to reach the park via the main road, and at the pace they were running, he was sure this would have been the case.
He just hadn’t taken into account the amount of blockades they would come across.
The crystal substance had created walls where there shouldn’t have been walls; impasses caused by buses blocking streets meant that every time they came to a block they had to improvise.
Every now and again they could hear Capellamon catching up to them, and the sound of her giant mirror charging an attack. Whenever that happened, Vayumon, Marquismon, or Selenemon would back up to counter it, giving them another few precious seconds to get ahead.
Morrigamon had become their eyes in the sky, leading them through the safest and easiest way she could find, which more than once had required climbing over walls and fences which had barbed wire on them. Reyez had cut up one of his arms already, and Rose had trails of blood dribbling down her inside leg from where she’d caught her thigh on a piece of wire.
Now they ran alongside the main road. It wouldn’t take them long to get to the park now. From where they were, they could all see the way was clear, no more blockades. Once they reached the park then everyone could open fire and they would have one less General to worry about. One less enemy.
They would be one step closer to Mukademon.
“Wa-wait!!” Frankie’s voice came from behind Reyez and he glanced back. She was clutching her side, obviously where a stitch had developed and had her free hand on her knees as she drew in breath.
“Frankie!” Tom yelled. “This is no time to stop!!”
“I can’t run anymore!” she complained.
Capellamon appeared on top of a car, leaving a great dent in the crystal that surrounded it where she landed. Her mirror was fully charged, glistening and humming as she took aim at Frankie, drawing the weapon back. Her face was manic, eyes wide open as she was panting, grazed in places where the attacks aimed at her had hit.
“Star Gazer!” She threw the mirror forward with all her strength, the sparks of white light erupting from it, aiming straight for Frankie.
Vayumon dashed in front of his partner, drawing his wind paws around her in the form of a protective shield. The attack hit him in the back and he reeled forward, almost toppling on top of Frankie.
“Witch Spear!” Morrigamon’s spear came flying down from the heavens, piercing through the car roof as Capellamon jumped out of the way. The spear disappeared in a puff of black smoke and reappeared in Morrigamon’s hands above.
Landing on the ground, Capellamon grasped her mirror in both hands and charged towards the recovering Vayumon.
“Mirror, Mirror!” She pointed the mirror towards Vayumon. In a blast of white light, a metallic clone of the god dashed towards him. Vayumon's wind claws lashed towards it, clashing hid wind-made swords with that of the clones. With a couple of quick swipes, the clone dispersed into shattered glass. Capellamon charged right away, but as she neared him she tripped, and a vine snapped out from beneath her.
Righting herself, Capellamon glared around, searching for Marquismon. Another vine smacked down on the ground beside her, then another, kicking the goat-woman’s legs out from beneath her body.
Getting to her feet again, her anger bubbling over, Capellamon dodged another vine, then a second, snatching her mirror’s handle and bringing it down on the vines like an axe. Marquismon yelped, drawing the vines back towards her, away from the other Digimon’s wild swings.
Vayumon was up on his feet now, two katanas grasped in his hands, recovered and furious at the other Digimon’s backhanded attacks.
He rounded on Capellamon, both katanas drawn back as he charged roaring.
The swords clanged down together on the handle of Capellamon’s mirror as she brought it up to guard herself from the attack.
“Run!” Selenemon ordered Rose and the others, ushering them with her hands. “We’ll deal with Capellamon.”
“No!” Rose protested.
“Rose…” the she-wolf’s voice was impatient, firm but still gentle. “We can’t argue about this.”
“No! Look!!” She was pointing, and Selenemon saw at what.
A car was approaching them fast, moving erratically over the crystal ground as it dodged the large holes and the parts of the road that were unstable.
“It’s an army issue jeep,” Reyez murmured, seeing the coloring and knowing it all too well. “This can only spell trouble.”
“Forget Capellamon for now, we have to get out of sight!” Tom yelled, as he started running along with Frankie, Rose and Reyez.
Vayumon unleashed a hellish gust of wind as he drew his swords down before him, which pushed Capellamon back several feet. He followed his companions as they ran away from the main road to take a different entrance to the park.
The jeep caught up in no time, heading off road and driving alongside the running humans and their Digimon. Vayumon and Selenemon attacked it, fearing the worst, but both attacks were dodged and the jeep came up along with Reyez again.
“Louis!” Reyez hadn’t dared to look up, too concerned with getting to the park, to safety, and getting rid of Capellamon. The voice he heard didn’t register at first, until he heard it a second time. “Private Louis!” Reyez glanced at the owner of the voice from the corner of his eye, surprised to see General McTyre leaning out of the open side of the jeep with his hand extended.
“I’M A LITTLE BUSY!” Reyez yelled, trying for another bout of speed. His energy was failing him, and he was beginning to remember why he hated running. Frankie and Rose had already fallen behind.
“Please,” McTyre stressed, reaching his hand further out of the moving car.
Despite his better judgment, despite all his common sense telling him not to do so, Reyez grabbed the older man’s hand and was pulled inside. Aside from the driver, McTyre only had two other soldiers with him, both armed and at the open end of the jeep, firing back at Capellamon, keeping her at bay as the jeep swerved over the ground avoiding sharp pot holes and dents.
Reyez hadn’t even heard the gun shots.
One by one, Tom, Rose, and Frankie were pulled into the jeep and it sped away over the bumpy ground followed by Marquismon and the other Digimon. Capellamon had disappeared from view by the time Frankie had been pulled into the car, so the Megas surrounded it like a protective entourage.
Despite Capellamon no longer being within range or sight, the soldiers kept alert, and the driver continued their escape, making turns and changing routes through and around the park, narrowly avoiding frozen cars and trees as he kept up speed.
“What the Hell is this?” Reyez demanded, indicating to the jeep.
McTyre eyed him. Reyez saw how much older the General looked. The sockets around his eyes were sallow and dark. It was like he had aged twenty years in no time at all. The stress of the city’s current state and the Digimon attacks were obviously taking their toll.
Reyez felt a touch of sympathy for the older man. He would not like to be in the same position.
“I saw you and your friends fleeing the scene in front of the Atlas Corp building,” answered McTyre. “You’re one of my men, I decided to follow you.”
“Your men shot at our Digimon,” Tom snapped.
McTyre viewed Tom wearily. “At the moment any Digimon we see we have to deem as hostile. How am I supposed to know which are on which side?” He rubbed his forehead slowly. “Ailurmon isn’t with you?”
“Not in the form you recognize,” Reyez replied. “But she’s here. And she’s a good guy.”
“I have little doubt,” McTyre sighed. “Maybe I should explain-”
His words were cut off as the jeep turned over. Frankie and Rose screamed, grabbing the rails above them and clinging on. Reyez and Tom did the same, while McTyre clung to his seat. The two armed soldiers flew from the open back of the jeep, landing in two heaps on the ground. There were blurs of black feathers and green vines, a golden scythe and huge wind paws as the jeep rolled and continued to roll down hill.
When it stopped it was on its side, the windshield had been shattered and the driver lay motionless on the steering wheel, blood seeping from a gash across his forehead where the glass had cut him.
“You didn’t think you could lose me that easily, did you?” Capellamon’s voice was a far-too-cheerful chime coming from outside the jeep.
“You and your kind don’t know when you quit, do you?” Vayumon snarled.
“We’ll quit when we’ve won,” Capellamon retorted.
Selenemon growled. “Which will never happen.”
“We’ll see.” There was the sound of Capellamon’s mirror charging.
“Move,” Reyez ordered, shoving Rose. “Move. Move. Move. Move. Move.” Despite the rolling of the jeep having disorientated him quite significantly, and him feeling a little nauseated because of it, he managed to right himself onto his hands and knees, shoving Rose in the shoulder as she had been sitting next to him. He ushered her and Frankie out first, then Tom and McTyre. Reyez followed after them.
Rose had crawled to a few feet from the fighting, hiding under a child’s climbing frame.
“My driver …” McTyre murmured, wiping blood from a wound on his cheek.
“Is as good as dead, General,” Reyez told him harshly. “Might as well get used to it. He’s not the first man you’ve lost today.”
“Do you have to be so blunt about it?!” Frankie yelled. “That’s someone’s life.”
Reyez regarded her for a moment, taking on a cold stare, detached. One she had come to know and loathed. He looked past her and went beneath the climbing frame with the others.
“Crescent Sweep!” Selenemon drew her ice-covered scythe forward in an arc, sending a wave of frozen mist towards Capellamon.
“Witch Spear!” Morrigamon’s stave flew through the mist of ice, aimed dead-on Capellamon.
Capellamon leapt from her tryst with Vayumon, bouncing from the trunk of a tree as the spear pierced the ground and Selenemon’s wave of ice swallowed Vayumon up whole.
Selenemon gasped and quickly apologized as Vayumon waved her off and recovered quickly. Morrigamon landed.
Capellamon aimed her mirror. “Star Gazer!” She shot a beam of white light. Vayumon and Selenemon dodged the attack quickly, with it hitting the nearby jeep instead, causing it to explode.
McTyre stared at the flaming remains of the vehicle, while debris from it scattered and landed in hot and charred heaps on the ground. Reyez could see him fighting every natural urge he had to run and search for what might have remained of the driver, but also knew McTyre’s own sense of self-preservation was too strong to allow him to do that, no matter how much he might have wanted to.
“You could have prevented the deaths of hundreds of your soldiers, you know,” Reyez said coldly, “if you’d just waited for us.”
McTyre rounded on him, his face a mixture of outrage and anguish. “The city was being overrun by monsters running amok, while being caught in a crystal prison… I didn’t know who was enemy and who was ally. I did what was necessary.”
“And killed many in the process,” Reyez told him bluntly.
“Rey,” Tom snapped, “enough.”
“No. No,” Reyez retorted. “The General should understand the amount of blood on his hands.”
“I’m not talking to as your underling right now,” Reyez interjected. “I told you, I don’t know how many times, that you should leave the fighting of Digimon to people with Digimon. Even when I was helping you develop weapons for the fighting of the crystal Digimon… and you didn’t listen.”
“Where were you then?!” McTyre yelled, his gaze shifting between Reyez, Tom, Rose, and Frankie. “If what you’re saying is correct, that only Digimon can destroy other Digimon, where were you when we needed you?! When this city was being over taken by an unknown force?! You worldly input would have been greatly appreciated then, Private.” He spat.
“We were in the Digital World,” Rose answered, folding her arms. “Getting stronger.”
McTyre stared at her distastefully for a moment, before he released a long breath and all the anger seemed to disappear from his face and body. As if all the strength left him, his shoulders sagged and the aged look returned to his eyes.
“I will admit, I should have left the fighting of these monsters to you…” McTyre said slowly. “But I had to do something when the city was being overrun… even if it wasn’t the correct thing to do.”
Tom spoke up before Reyez could. “We know you did,” he told the General, “but you have to leave the rest of the fighting to us now. It’s the only way to win. Order an evacuation of what men remain and we’ll deal with the rest.”
McTyre sighed. “My wife was right, I’m getting too old for this. Said I should have retired.”
Frankie’s mouth quirked into a small smile. “Maybe you’ll have a chance to tell her she was right once this is over.”
McTyre allowed himself a weak smile, turning his attention to the ongoing fighting.
Marquismon’s crystal ball went spinning from her hands with a cry of: “Enchanting Kiss!” It seemed to expand and then contract, drawing into itself Capellamon, who dug the base of her mirror into the ground to stop herself from being sucked in.
“Winds of Hell!” Vayumon’s wind claws slammed together before him, twisting and creating the signs of a glyph, which glowed burning orange in front of him. With a roar, he thrust his swords forward, breaking through the glyph, and sending a wave of high wind energy speeding towards Capellamon to dislodge her. The first wave was followed by smaller bullets of energy that impacted on her skin and face, leaving small grazes and cuts.
Capellamon shrieked, tightening her grip on her mirror hand and digging her hooves into the ground.
Morrigamon drew in a breath. “BANSHEE KEEN!!” The high pitched wail she released forced Capellamon’s hand, as she released her mirror to cover her ears, incapacitated for a moment. Instantly she was drawn into Marquismon’s floating crystal ball and in an explosion of power expelled, landing on the ground with a thump, her mirror crashing to the ground a few feet away.
Capellamon murmured incoherently, slowly moving her fingers and arms as she regained feeling in them after hitting the ground.
Feet were moving towards her, and there were vines crawling across the ground ready to strike her down should she attack or move too swiftly. She felt dazed, confused, and infuriated above all.
It had been her time to take them down, do what she had dreamed of doing, and the time had come to an end so suddenly. This would be it. A final attack from the four Megas and she would be gone.
Funny how she didn’t remember one of them being a cauldron.
“Eye of Newt!” Malkimon’s voice echoed from inside the black and bubbling cauldron as it bounced and bobbed, ricocheting off trees and the ground, smashing Vayumon first, then using Marquismon’s vines to gain some leverage to launch into the air and come crashing down nearly on top of Selenemon.
“You again!” Morrigamon exclaimed roughly.
“You didn’t think you’d seen the last of me, did you?” Malkimon's voice taunted from inside the cauldron.
Selenemon lost her she-wolf grace for a moment as she released a feral snarl. “You two watch Capellamon. Morrigamon and I will deal with this pest.”
Vayumon released a low rumbling growl. “She’s not worth it.”
“Trust me,” Morrigamon laid a hand on his chest, “this shan’t take long.” She and Selenemon stepped away from their companions, chasing the slowing cauldron with their eyes.
“Oh shan’t it?!” Malkimon giggled. The red ooze that protected her inside the cauldron exploded out of it as she leapt out and balanced on the rim of it, smiling grimly. “We’ll see who comes out on top!”
Unknown to Malkimon, a vine had slowly crept itself around her neck before quickly wrapping and tightening itself around. “I am so over you,” Marquismon's voice said irritably.
Malkimon choked and kicked her feet as the vine raised her off the ground.
Morrigamon summoned her spear, spinning it in her hands before pointing it forward. Selenemon readied her scythe.
Malkimon was able to kick her cauldron forward in her effort to breathe, sending it joyfully running towards Morrigamon and Selenemon.
Selenemon charged it, meeting it halfway, with a howling cry of: “Crescent Sweep!”
The ice-charged attack knocked the cauldron back. Malkimon took her claws and dug them into the vine around her neck, causing Marquismon to loosen her grip a little. It was enough for Malkimon to wriggle out of the vine and drop to the ground. With no time to catch her breath, she charged towards the two gods.
“Fire's Burn!” She released two fireballs from her palms.
Selenemon raised a single palm. “Howling Gust.” The giant wolf-head ice attack launched towards Malkimon, taking over her fireballs and hitting both her and the cauldron. Malkimon planted her heels into the ground, trying not to fall over from the attack. Selenemon kept her palms raised, releasing another attack, standing perfectly stationary, her expression unreadable and impassive.
That was what caught Malkimon by surprise. Morrigamon's spear became the center of Selenemon’s attack, the wolf head of ice opened wide to reveal the sharp end. The impact knocked Malkimon off her feet, pinning her to the ground with a high pitched scream of pain.
It was the cauldron that disintegrated first, dispersing into a cloud of black data with a low, gurgling cry of pain. Malkimon screeched, crying as she struggled against Morrigamon’s spear which had her pinned to the ground. She couldn’t move, apart from flailing her legs, and try as she might to pull the weapon from her gut, it wouldn’t budge and all she could do was wail and scream, struggling against it.
“This isn’t how it was supposed to end!!” Malkimon cried, shrieking as Selenemon and Morrigamon approached her slowly, their expressions grim. “I was supposed to win! I was to win! Lord Mukademon is supposed to win! And I’m supposed to be there at his side!!”
“You’re a delusional servant,” Selenemon told her frankly.
Malkimon’s eyes widened, the severity of the situation dawning on her and unleashing new terror. She clawed at the stave sticking out of her gut, clawing at the wound, coating her fingers and hands in pixelly blood.
The staff moved a little, Malkimon released a strangled yowl as Morrigamon grabbed the shaft and held it back in place turning the blade sharply.
Malkimon’s eyes blazed. “You’re not being very merciful, for being Gods,” she spat, blood dribbling down her chin and into her hair.
Selenemon allowed herself a small, satisfied smile. “This is war,” she drew back her scythe, “there’s no room for mercy.”
In one fluid motion, Selenemon swung her scythe down and sliced cleanly through Malkimon’s neck. Both her body and head disintegrated into particles which flew over the heads of the Gods and disappeared into the sky.
Casting each other long looks, the she-wolf and bird woman Digimon turned to their companions who had been safely guarding Capellamon. In the distance, their partners watched and waited with McTyre. Selenemon felt a moment of concern for Rose who had gone white as a sheet. Tom and Frankie too both looked unwell at what they had seen.
“That’s one annoyance out of the way,” Vayumon muttered as the two Megas rejoined him and Marquismon.
Selenemon looked down at the satyr Digimon. “One more to go.” As before, she drew the scythe back.
Then, quicker than the four of them could react, Capellamon had risen from her place on the ground, dashed between them, grabbed up her mirror and was above them, using the crystallized bough of a tree as a vantage point.
Capellamon laughed. “That was entertaining to watch, and good riddance; her annoying yelling was getting on my nerves.” Capellamon righted herself on top of a tree limb, posing with her mirror. “Now... shall we dance?”
Digimon: Reboot, original characters involved, and graphics are © 2010-2017 Zuza J, Rebekah L, & Keisha P, unless stated otherwise. Do not alter or redistribute any of the site content without granted permission. Digimon and characters not made for the Reboot universe are © Toei Animation, Bandai, and Akiyoshi Hongo.
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