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Fanfic » Anime » Digimon » The Dark Horizon font size: (+) : (-)
Author: logan
R - English - Romance/Drama - Reviews: 154 - Publish date: 07-11-01 - Updated: 05-07-02 storyid: 350927

I don't own em so leave me alone ^_^ ok well in my estimation this series has begun like a steaming pile. I am hoping that I haven't slit my throat with chapter 1 here, but i hope that the coming chapters will redeem it. The idea i have for this fic makes it confusing, thus i explain it a bit sooner then i should in this chapter just so you all will have the slightest idea what i am doing with this fic. I hope this one won't turn out to be a big disappointment. Oh and i do know that i am always casting matt in a villain pose. Sorry to the matt lovers but i just don't like him... though i think as an antagonist he has a lot of usefulness...

Let me know what you think at logan91235@aol.com







Dark Horizon



By Logan











"Shadowy Agendas"









The water pooled to the ankles of his large boots that shimmered with a dull luster of gold trim that no longer shined. The pool was not clear and yet not mud either, the water was malignantly dark with the faintest red hint as the general stood there within the runoff. The air was filled with smoke that billowed outward like great black wreaths. The air also carried the faintest flavoring of burnt wood and flesh. The smell billowed on the winds like wilted rose petals.

His armor was of blackish cobalt chain-mail. Atop that sat plated gold armor that was carved out by artisans of limitless skill. Dragons stretched across the breastplate over fields of cherry-blossoms that too were of gold and silver. He studied his hands and found them to be not his own, though they too were masked beneath armored gloves that appeared heavy, but seemingly bore no weight. He wore a kimono of gold and green silk that trailed like a cape behind him. A large golden mask sat atop his head like a visor. The dragon mask stared outward in a seeming roar with scales of gold that were dusted ever so gently by silver. His eyes were rubies that glowed in the dim light. The mask had two ears which were perked atop his head that was crowned with horns and barbs. He felt at home in this guise of a golden dragon. As though it were really his skin and not simply a suit of armor.

He looked up to the heavens and saw them alive with tiny flecks of gold over the blackened sky. He watched as the tiny embers sailed gracefully through the air before plummeting back to earth. Each arrow glowed like a shooting star in the dark tides of the artificial night. They landed with a soft impact upon the earth or upon the already aflame ramparts of the enemy's turrets. The youth was shaken from his dreamlike trance by the savage battle cry so close to him. He turned and saw the face of a man with armor molded to him. The man ran tword the dumbstruck youth with a large katana drawn. He was screaming in a language that seemed so familiar, yet pushed away into a dense haze.

As though his actions were that of a puppet, the youth pulled the trident, held tightly in his hand upward. The swing was massive and as it collided with the blade, rang out in a shrill shriek of metal on metal. With a sudden movement that he did not know to make he felt his weight shift, and the large spear twirl around through the air. The samurai cried out in shock as the jarring pole crushed into his side and snapped the bone in his arm.

The motion did not stop as the staff spun in his hands. The face of that nameless adversary became alive with terror as he screamed out words that could not be understood. The trident's lethal point buried itself deep into the chest and past the armor which cracked away under the force of the impact. In that instant all was still as the samurai perished.

The silence was thicker then tar as the warrior with the golden armor stared in horror at his actions, though he felt no power to speak, or even to move. The puppet master bid him move, and he did. Stepping from the pool of bloody water where the samurai now lay along with other men that remained locked in the icy stare of the dead.

He turned and found himself roaring with a battle cry as he rushed into a tangled mass of swords and spears. The war that went on around him was troubling, yet not so troubling that it was robbing him of his senses. He found himself moving faster and more alertly then any man could. The trident gleamed silver in the light of the flaming ramparts which looked as though they were a part of some battlefield in hell. He ran through the enemies in the same dark haze that had filled him since beginning this grizzly chapter of a story he almost knew.

He didn't dare count as he felt another man crumple to the ground. There were too many to dare count, for if he did then he would be only deepening his knowledge of the atrocities that he was being used to commit by some devil puppeteer. The world was a haze to his eyes as the carnage came to a slow end with one final wail of pain which cut short all too quickly. He stood there in his golden armor of the imperial dragon and looked out over the ramparts with a horrified expression that he could not wear upon his real face, but did have all the same.

There were thousands dead and he stood there atop them as though their corpses were a thrown. He felt helpless as he looked upon all this death, and as he did he wondered why he was able to look through the eyes of another man that he somehow knew. He was watching this man act as though he were a ghost who was somehow tethered to this man like a chain. He looked out the warrior's eyes and was astonished by the sheer magnitude of it all.

"It isn't real, it isn't real..." he repeated through his mind as he watched the scenery pan out around him. They lay there like a sea of black and grey water. They were a carpet upon the earth that stretched to the horizon and was only interrupted by the burning pyres left by the arrows. He studied some of he landmarks and was horrified to find himself within a town that now was too still. He had seen this before somehow... seen the look of war. He was horrified by that, for he did not like to kill. He knew that with every fiber of his being and though he had no more choice in real life then he did now, he still didn't like to do it. The scene blurred to color as he stood there upon the mound of the dead and watched as the warrior he now was took his head in his hands and wept softly.

The act of crying was one shared by both combatant and unwitting participant. The ghost now understood his counterpart all the better. He was not a killer by choice either. Though he did do it, and did it well. The warrior knelt by the dark pool of water and looked down into it. As he did his reflection stared back at him.

It was not the face that was expected, but instead a kind one that shocked the onlooker. At the sides two long tendrils of chestnut hair hung low against his hard bronze cheeks. His skin was soft and clear with the exception of a single scar that rested just to the left of his chin. His eyes were the color of chocolate, and they glowed with a deep kindness that didn't fit with the bloodshed that had transpired.

The image of that face shocked the spectral Taichi. It was him. The face was older and bore the lightly tanned scar, but it was his own face. He stared blankly at the rippling image of himself in the dark water. He was so close to understanding the image, yet it remained just a finger-length away from his grasp. He watched as the sky turned red like the pool which now bubbled with drab crimson water. He felt ill as the bodies swirled with the sky and the water in a great maelstrom of imagery. He heard a voice that was his own screaming out his own name. It called out again and again with a bellowing roar that shook taichi to his core. As the time passed the voice grew until it was so loud that the earth trembled with it. The image faded from red to black slowly and as the swirling tides of darkening color turned pure black he lurched forward.



Taichi's heart thundered within his chest as he sat upright in his bed. There was a cold sweat on him as he stared into the darkness of his room. He felt his own breath crystalize to ice as he breathed outward as though a eerie cold was radiating from him. The voice still called out his name, though now it was no more then a faint whisper that repeated within his mind. He whipped the bangs from his eyes and let out a slow breath.

The dreams were coming faster and faster. Each was different and more perplexing. He felt as though he were so close to understanding these dreams that he saw through the eyes of someone who looked exactly like himself. But they were still so far away that he couldn't understand. The voice frightened him in a way he though he was beyond. It was not a threat being called outward tword him, but instead a plea. A plea for something that taichi didn't know how to answer. He didn't try to understand any better now for he knew he could not.

Instead of wracking his brain he got up and stretched. There would be no more sleep tonight, just the dream again and again, though possibly in a different setting.

This dream seemed placed in ancient China though other dreams had stretched across the earth. He was older in some of the dreams while in others he was a child. But the same dark constants remained: it was always him, and it was always horrible. Wars and death were common, though sometimes it would be someone dying in a hospital bed. There were several reoccurring candidates for that. Children that somehow he knew were his own, a young girl that he was unsure about who she was, yet assumed to be family, and the most common was a girl with red eyes...

He was troubled by the girl the most. There was some deep connection he shared with her, but to him she was no more then a face and a feeling. But even the stolid assassin had to admit it was one hell of a face and one powerful feeling. He briefly considered that he knew her at some point in his life, though after much deliberation he became sure that he would remember this girl.

Taichi snarled lightly to himself as he got out of bed and looked at himself in the mirror. He was still slightly damp with the cold sweat, though now it had lessened considerably. He looked back into the image in the mirror with scrutiny. It was him... the ghosts were him... but how is that possible? He looked at his shirtless reflection again, his muscles were all taught and strained with stress from the dream, or perhaps vision.

He looked downward to his wrist where the blackened tattoo of a sun rested. He looked at the mark with so many questions. He didn't remember where it had came from, only that it had always been there and always would be there. And that somehow i had a power all its own. The mark had some meaning to it that the young assassin could not ascertain. But somehow he felt that it was, in some way, tied to his dreams.

He left his bathroom and made his way to the kitchen that was illuminated in the soft ivory glow from the city outside. The colony never slept, and thus the glow never faded.

He debated staying, and perhaps getting back to sleep, but that didn't seem likely now, so he decided that he should go out and get a drink. He could use one right now... and the walk to the inferno would do his muscles some good, and perhaps loosen him up enough to return and sleep for a few more hours. He doubted it, but it was better then staying here where the voice would still call to him.

***************************





The youth walked slowly down the steely corridors. His eyes glowed softly with ruby flames as he listened to the sound of his own footsteps reverberating through the long winding hallway. He wore a sleeveless shirt of black fabric that was embroidered with strips of silver that formed intricate and menacing shapes. And large black pants held in place at the leg by large shiny black boots. His clothing hung loosely around him, and even in the windless environment it seemed alive like black fire. His neck and upper chest glowed like pale ivory in the faint phosphorous light of the passage leading from the docking bay. The eyes flickered like a red flamed candle which cast a sinister crimson light over his thin and chiseled face. Perhaps the youth's most striking feature was his hair which shimmered a platinum silver. The silver bangs fell over his brow and into his eyes as he continued down the winding hallway.

Within his hand he gripped a steel cable that clasped around the throat of a man with a military uniform. He gagged and writhed against the steel collar that choked him with ever lagging step. He scurried after the youth so as not to choke on the restraints. His face was bright red as he struggled with the choker. Every time he would fall behind he would receive a jarring jerk of the noose and gag in asphyxiation and pain. His neck was raw from where the collar had been jerked and now a soft red sweat glistened on his body as he followed.

The two passed several marauder officers on their trek to the commander. Some would smirk sinisterly to the blackish bruise that was swelling over the captive's eye and the blood-matted hair, while others would turn away in seeming disdain for the image. The boy with the silver hair said nothing as he continued onward. He was terrifying for nothing more then the icy expression on his placid features.

The man was clad only in a military uniform which was torn and stained with blood. His hair was in great disarray as some was plastered to his brow while more of it hung upward at a unnatural ark concreted by dried blood and sweat. His face was battered and bruised from his capture and as he looked to the faces of some of the more humane marauders it was clear how bad he looked. At one point in the young officer's life he had been considered handsome, now he felt as though he were a mutation of the man he once was. This boy had stripped him of so much more then his firearm. He had beaten in the face that had once given such narcistic pride, then he stripped him of his pride. The officer did not walk tall with squared shoulders and a broad step, now he walked with shuffling footfalls in a hunched over manner. His exhaustion and beatings had lift him too weak to carry himself with pride. The leash didn't help either. His wrists were bound closely to his neck and they two ached from the friction generated by the abrasive metal fibers.

The youth stopped suddenly and his prisoner stumbled into him. It was a light tap, but the second he touched the youth with the platinum hair he tried to jump back. He was too slow, like a mouse-tap the boy's arm swung outward and hammered into his sternum. The force of the impact floored the officer, and as he crumpled to the floor his bonds cut into his flesh all the more and agitated recently sealed wounds. He struggled to get back to his feet where he could once again breath, but found the act more difficult then imagined. He instead opted to crawl to his knees so he would have enough slack to breath.

The youth looked at him in a complacent manner that had no undercurrent of humanity. It looked at him like a machine with human form. His eyes glowed all the brighter with the dark ruby incandescence that seemed to pulse in the soft overhead lighting. His hair seemed electrified in the light as it shimmered like the most pure silver. It was then as the officer stared up to him that he saw the face transform. As a crocodile can erupted from the cool waters of a pristine pond, so too did the boy's face erupt with a dark delight at the ghastly visage of the officer. He was far stronger then anyone could know, and that strength was supernatural in origin. His muscle mass left nothing to the force he so effortlessly used when manhandling the officer.

That strength was a force to be reckoned with, but it bore no comparison to the look in the boy's burning eyes. The intensity of his scowl was so indomitable that it rippled through the officer as though he were jelly. He croaked in agony as the boy pulled his leash upward like a noose. The frantic officer squirmed as he struggled to raise himself high enough to breath again. As the blood was cut off by the noose-like cable the officer's mind grew hazy. The pain numbed enough for him to groggily observe the boy. He was more handsome then any of the other youths the officer had known. A clean-cut appearance that boded against his venomous nature. His features were well perportuned and shapely, but he was nothing like his image... he was cruel and monstrous.

In the strange haze he heard the noise of a door sliding open on its robotic tracks. It clicked open in a hushed exhale of hydraulics and then there came a voice. The voice was like sandpaper. It hissed and rasped out words like a gas-leaking hose. Yet as the hazy officer glanced up he saw only a human shaped blur of flesh tones and greens that looked vaguely in the shape of a uniform. The snake-voiced man spoke to the youth, and as he spoke the youth eased up on the cable. As blood flowed into his tingling face his vision cleared ever so slightly.

The face that went with the raspy voice was an older one. It was weathered by the beginning of notable age. He was still handsome, though now his brow bore a set of cresses. He was in his early forties, but if you looked into his eyes you would see age beyond years. He seemed strangely out of place in this time. Older then the ages... like the hollowed stone buildings of the dying earth. He too seemed a relic of ages gone by.

As the officer looked at the commander of the marauders he was aware of a similar quality in the youth who took him hostage. The look of a misplaced soul. Though this man was far more out of place then the boy-monster. It was comparing a hill to a mountain.

He was shocked to find the youth speaking to the commander. He spoke in a voice that sounded kind. It was a voice that was commanding, yet when addressed to the ancient man, clearly submissive. The commander did not return this tone... instead he replied with a tone that was clear, despite his ragged voice, a tone of friendship. He was not barking orders to a subordinate. The boy's voice was almost hypnotic as the bleeding officer listened. It was like a soft whispering breeze held against a hurricane.



"I see you brought a souvenir from your raiding party, Angel." the commander rasped. The officer was shocked by the code-name for the devil-boy. The youth smiled darkly as he gave a sharp jerk to the cable. The officer gaged in pain and suffocation.

" I thought you would find him useful... it would seem this man has been closely affiliated with the X project for quite a while. In fact he was the one to kill the X-3 and the X-4... but that was in the early days... he later worked his way up to project supervisor...." Angel smiled as he pulled the man into the darkened room where the commander had lead. The demon boy pulled on the leash, and in order to not have his head pulled off the officer crawled across the floor until he was lead to a chair which he was instructed to sit in. He didn't rebel, for he knew all too well that if he did he would be pulled up by the cable. He was vaguely aware as angel used the cable to bind him to the metal chair.



"You were the one to kill the two hybrids?" Ishida asked with a tremor of a growl in his hissing voice.



"Yeah..." he replied as he found his voice. Ishida's eyes focused with sudden ferocity as he reached to his side and took something into his grip. His eyes were dark with hatred as he stared into the man's bloodied face. Ishida trembled with rage as he stared at the officer. His gloved hand was clenched around the grip of whatever he was holding.



"Do you have any concept over how rare one of the divine is!?" He snapped in a tone that sounded reptilian.



The man found strength in his anger as he yelled back at the blond commander.



"You call them divine!?!" he gurgled with blood as his yelling agitated some of the cracked ribs. "They are animals! FREAKS!!! how dare you call them divine!?!" he cried out in rage.



"You sing an old song... one i have listened to for lifetimes." he snarled. Angel turned his back as ishida drew nearer. That terrified the officer far more then anything the man with the scarred neck was saying. The devil with the silver hair was turning his back on a seemingly bigger devil.



"I have heard that song over and over again so many times that i know the words by heart.

I have sang them before too.... i have worn white hoods and burned crosses.... i have taken the scalps of savages and worn them on my coat. I have sentenced witches to hang. I have fed men to furnaces in camps." he paused and looked deep into the eyes of the man. "I have watched the crucifixion of saviors...." the officer stared into the icy blue eyes with horror.



"You're mad...." he gaped.



" Malus peior pessimus aeternus eternus..." he replied with a dark smile. The man stared blankly until angel turned to him with a placid expression on his now softened lips. He looked down into the officer's eyes with no mercy, but no malice either, simply truthfulness.



"It was an ancient earth language, Latin. It means 'Evil is eternal.'" he turned away once again as Ishida smiled darkly.



"You remind me of the men i once knew. That blind hatred that humans are so good at seems to infect every generation... but the divine are special.. They are a very rare species, that are on the verge of extinction..." he turned away as he fingered the object in his hand.



"There have been no documented cases of them breeding... no specimens captive, except the two you killed.... you have no idea what a divine could mean... what they can be used to obtain.... and as far as we know you wiped out the last of their kind... " he snarled.



"They are not extent...." he replied with a dark tone. This caught matt off guard.



"You're saying you have one....?"



"Unfortunately... the politicians that govern the X project will still not permit the termination of the X-5. They are certain that we can gain from experimentation on her."



"You have a female... and an X-series female at that!?!" he spoke incredulously. As the officer looked into the sapphire blue eyes he was frightened by a sudden electrical shimmer within them. they glowed like lightning over a black sky.



"How old is she!?

Is she healthy!?

What level classification is she?

Her cellular structure, is it more human or more closely bound to the digital?" the commander rambled off questions with enthusiasm that troubled the officer. The X-5 was dangerous.. She was born with the genetic memory of her parents locked within her cells. She was stronger then they were also... and unlike them, she challenged her masters. She rebelled against experiments and was commonly attacking her guards. It had gotten to the point that the hybrid was kept in a low level sedation.

She remembered the death of her parents... the hybrids had the ability to recall information that was locked inside their cells. The X-5 could remember the lives of her parents with troubling clarity... it seemed that was another trait of the monster's race.



"Release me...." he rubbed his throat which throbbed. " remove my bonds and i will tell you..." he sensed that he may have an advantage, but instead ishida motioned for angel to tighten the cable. The officer whimpered with pain as he felt the sharp cord grind through his shirt and jacket to his chest. He looked into ishida's eyes and found them alive with a darkness that obliterated all hope of gaining the upper hand.



"You are going to kill me no matter if i tell you or not..." he wheezed in a wet voice. Ishida grinned; that alone made him a thousand times more frightening.



"Yeah, I am..." he rasped out through his smirking lips.



"Then you can go to hell." he replied complacently.



"Heh... sorry, no hell for me... and i was telling the truth about killing you... you will die at the end of this interrogation... but before that inevitability, there are different ways to pass the time." he smiled more broadly.



"I my self am a conversationist. I love to chat about many things, current events, literature, gossip, military secrets involving the X project...."

He reached out with his hand and clicked the release on the grip. With a metalic click it exploded open in a three sectioned hand scythe.

The blade gleamed in the dim light with a razor edge. It shimmered like ice in the room as the officer stared at it. It was extremely well crafted.. The weapon of an assassin. It would be invisible to scans, and easily hidden. And also devastatingly lethal. It was a rare weapon... one only a select few had.. The officer recognized it as the staple close-quarters weapon for a Manticon officer. Or at least someone trained by them... the fact that ishida had one meant that he was not simply a gifted strategist... he was one of the most dangerous men alive...



"I would prefer conversation.... but i can find other ways to amuse myself until you have to die..." As the words left his lips his hand flung downward, and in one foul swoop buried the weapon in the officer's hand. The force of the attack had sent the lethal point of the weapon through the bone in the hand, and even through the steel armrest which that hand had been resting upon. The officer shrieked in agony as his hand bled freely. His fingers twitched with severed nerve endings as the hand struggled against the rest as though it were a living butterfly pinned to a collector's display. Ishida looked into the screaming man's eyes, and as they met, pulled the scythe bact tword him. The sound of metal being split by the lethal weapon was blended to the sound of bone being severed and of corse the blood curdling scream.

Ishida smiled darkly as he pulled out the now red scythe. The officer was crying pitifully as ishida pulled up a chair next to him. He sat on it comfortably as he watched the man clutch his split hand which was bleeding profusely. He laughed loudly, and as he did the room echoed with the dark chords like some demonic eco.



Angel watched the commander from his place at the far end of the room. He was so many things for so many lifetimes. They all were... they have had good lives... and bad ones. But never before had the platinum haired youth seen one so utterly lost in the darkness. And as Angel watched the interrogation through his blood ruby eyes, he was filled with a tremor of fear. He glanced down to his forearm, and pulled his arm-guard back enough to expose his wrist. He studied the marking that stared back at him. It was faded from black to a smoky grey. But there it stood upon his wrist.

The crest without purpose in this new world. The crest of hope.





"So... feeling chatty?" Ishida hissed.









***************************



The night air was cool, and amazingly smelled clean. There was a stiff breeze from the northern front of the colony. The nights were better here then the days. Though more dangerous, the darkness veiled some of the refuse on this artificial world. Its lights shimmered like stars. The faint glow of red neon basked the pavement in a rosy hue. The colony was so crowded with buildings that their lights meshed together like a nest of diamonds.

Taichi did like this place at night. He stood there at the threshold to the inferno and was bathed in the neon red of its sign. He was glad that he left to go out. The walk did help distance himself from the voice that called to him, and the night was a good one. He looked up to the sky and saw them there, a endless sea of stars which shimmered down on him. Somehow the stars had always given him hope that there was more to existence then this world.. That perhaps there was a better world out there, farther away from the colonies and the earth. Perhaps out there amidst the galactic wind there was a good world.

He lowered his gaze back to the colony and let it fall over several homeless men who huddled around a flaming barrel. Somehow, seeing them sobered him from his thoughts of hope. He turned away and entered the Inferno.

The air was not fresh here, but instead flavored with smoke. Tai walked into the room and allowed himself to be assaulted by the noise of the place. Loud conversations blended with the dark music that was being played from the stage. The singer was not as loud as the previous one, but he was also wrapped up in the darkness. But as a switch, he was singing a love song. Not a happy one, but it was still about one of the few things that was almost pure about his species.

He went to the bar and ordered his drink from a new female bartender with short black hair and a tattooed face. Hers were no hearts, but instead snake-like branches filled with thorns. She gave a dark smile to Taichi as he finished his first drink way too fast. He didn't even shudder at the potency of the drink.



"Hey.. I'm Rave... I'll be off my shift in half an hour... maybe you would like to..."



"No thanks Rave, I'm not interested in a relationship." he replied.



"Who said i wanted a relationship?" he blushed so slightly that it wasn't detectable to normal people. He chuckled softly before kindly refusing her offer. She mearly shrugged and went to another customer.



Two new faces entered the bar. First was a beautiful woman with dark hair and purple highlights. She had a gorgeous complection with high cheekbones and red lips. She was

Euro-Asian with an athletic body and a long and sleek neck that terminated over the notable swell of her breasts. She has a faint tan, though she was more on the pale side then many. Her eyes glowed a soft golden amber.

She wore tight black pants and a black tank-top that accentuated her figure. Her belt was black also, though some of the instruments upon it gleamed with color. Most notably, the silver blaster that appeared to be in top condition. She wore a red scarf around her neck and a com-badge on that scarf.



The second of the two was a man in his early twenties. He was dressed in a dark coat which also bore a silver com. His coat was buttoned around his mid section, leaving only a hint of a red undershirt visible. He was dressed neatly and orderly, and above all else he carried himself like a ex-military officer. His face had color to it, and was shapely despite his hollow cheeks that gave the appearance he was not eating enough. He was average build, though his shoulders were broader then his frame would dictate. His eyes were almost colorless, only deep pools of black that shimmered like pools of burnt oil. His hair was a deeper shade of red and pulled back to the sides of his face. no bangs fell over his eyes as he stared out over the crowd. His hand was at his side, close to the blaster.



"Whoa... holy shit! Look at the new meat!" one of the drunken patrons uttered to his partner who turned to admire the girl who stood at the doorway beside the boy with the dark coat. The two rose up and walked to meet the girl. They were big men with excess of muscles and various chains over some of their clothing. Thugs.



"Hey hot-ass." one greeted the girl who scowled lightly.



"Fuck off moron." she muttered darkly, though her words didn't even register to the inebriated man. His friend chuckled and commented that she was feisty. He then noted the boy at her side and turned to him.



"How much for a few hours with the girl?" he smiled as he reached to his wallet.



"I'm not a pimp and she is not on the market. I recommend you go sit down..." he replied in a low voice. That made the man angry.



"Now listen asshole, you have no right disrespecting me and my partner like that. And this girly is way to hot to be with you. So take a hike before we teach the two of you some respect!"



The girl turned to the boy with a look of loathing as the first man was running his hand over her breast. "Izzy?" she asked with a tremor of fury in her voice that was battling hard against restraint.



He smirked. "Go for it Kari.." she smiled sweetly as she turned back to the man. Then brought the back of her hand across the man's face. He was thrown to the floor by the impact, but soon to get up with a burning rage in his eyes. Kari waited until he was to his knees before she gracefully kicked the side of his head. The impact dropped the man to the floor where he didn't stir.



His partner was about to punch izzy, but with blinding speed the youth seized him at the throat and lifted him off the ground in a strangling grip. He did this one-handed and seemingly effortlessly. The man thrashed against his grip before izzy silenced him with a commanding voice.



"Take your buddy and get the hell out of here." he dropped the man to the floor. Yet as the two were about to leave the second man pulled a club. He reared back to strike izzy in the back of the head, but instead felt it shatter over Kari's fist. She stared into the man's wide eyes as she dusted off the splinters of the club. He made no further attack, but instead pulled his partner out of the bar as quickly as possible, all the while looking to kari with profound terror. The two glanced around the room only to find that for the most part no one was paying attention. It would seem that here in the inferno violence was a common thing that no longer was worth looking up from your drink.



The two stepped in and away from the threshold while scanning the patrons. Many of them were massive men with scars and wounds. Some even had large cybernetic parts which replaced severed limbs. One such man glanced up at them with a faint red lense that was tied into his optic nerve. A large scar trailed over his cheek and brow. He glanced back down to his beer and continued to drink. Kari turned to izzy.



"You sure we are going to find him here?"



"We have tracked the signal... it's faint, but it is here."



"If it's so faint how can it be one of us? His signal would be one of the strongest." kari reasoned as she looked across the darkened expanses of the bar. There were many seeming candidates, but none had the aura that signified that it was him. They each had a presence that was perceptible, like the faintest odor on the wind. There was the faintest glimmer of that aura on the wind. It was a subtle glow that was too easily overlooked. This perplexed kari for the one they were seeking was one of the strongest of them. his aura should be swelling to the point where it could be sensed from orbit.

"Patience kari... all shall be explained when we find him..." izzy replied in a somber voice that he had adopted for dealing with the more impetuous kari. She was not one to sit back and let the enemy come to her, but instead hunt it down and grab it by the throat.

"How the hell do you stay so calm Izz... this could be the end of everything!" she uttered in a loud whisper that was forced to silence. He looked at her softly with that same collect look that he was famous for. But behind that mask there was the faintest glimpse of fear. These were dark days that they were embarking upon.

"Look kari, i know what we are up against, but thinking like this will serve nothing. We have to consolidate as much power as possible to stop him. If we can find taichi we have a better chance." she looked at him through her glowing amber eyes.

"We are going to lose you know... we don't have any of the really powerful digidestined on our side." she replied softly.

"Don't count us out so fast kari. Even though your crest is at half strength it is still powerful. And once we find taichi we will have one of the most powerful of the eight. And who knows... Takeru and Sora are still out there... if we can add them to our side then we have a good chance." he closed his eyes and sighed. "Lets just find tai."

It was then that they felt it. Like a soft warmth that pulsed outward. Kari's eyes snapped open as she looked to the source of the power. It radiated out from one source, and kari found her eyes pulled to that source who sat alone at a far corner of the bar. The boy that was the source of this power was dressed in black and had a complection far darker then any she had seen. The shadows were drawn over him like war paint and in the faint red glow of the sign he seemed like some demon of black and red. He was drinking his beverage completely unaware of the two sets of eyes which followed ever movement as though it were fascinating.

"Lets do it..." He muttered as he drew in a slow breath and walked tword the shadowy youth who holds the key to survival.







***************************



Tai felt a hand on his shoulder. His muscle tensed at the contact, as he expected this to mean no good. His eyes lowered to his drink as he felt the hand withdraw. The figures came from either side and sat next to him at the bar. He glanced up to meet the boy's eyes with a slight scowl. He said nothing for the first moment as the two seemed to study him as one might study a painting. The two were weary as they looked at him and that made taichi nervous. They were expecting something of him, or gauging something.

"What do the two of you want?" he replied curtly.

"But you a drink?" izzy offered. Tai raised an eye to him and chuckled.

"Sorry man, this isn't that kinda bar.... your cute and all, but not my type." he laughed softly as he noted the bewilderment on the faces of the two. He sobered lightly as the boy begin to speak.

"Taichi... we have been looking for you for a long time." tai's eyes darkened at the mention of his name.



"How do you know who i am?"

"Koshiro..." he offered

"I didn't ask for your name, i asked how you know mine."

"Knowledge is my area... i know a lot more then your name. You are an assassin for hire." tai turned to face him with no levity in his features.

"If you are looking for me to do a job, you are not going about it the right way. You contact me over the web, not in person."

"I am not here for that."

"Then what?"

"I am here to get your help..."

"Who the hell are you, and why would I help you?"

"Because it is your destiny to do so... you are different from other people, like us." he paused abruptly as taichi got up and dropped the money for his drink. Izzy spoke quickly as he was about to lose his chance.

"You have nightmares!" tai stopped. "Horrible nightmares where you are someone else. You wake up feeling like you are losing your mind because you here someone calling to you. Begging you to become something. Something you aren't sure about." tai turned to stare into the boy's dark eyes.

"You were born with a black tattoo on your wrist..." he was cut off as taichi pulled the scythe, which flew open in a heartbeat and came to a rest only an inch away from his throat. He had a look of rage in his eyes. Kari stood up with her hand on her weapon, yet was frozen as she came to stare down the barrel of taichi's gun. It hummed softly as she blinked in shock.

"Go ahead and try moving..." tai growled as he held both of their lives in his hand. Izzy was the one to speak. He spoke softly with no fear in his voice.

"Knowledge is power tai. You have very little of that now, and to face what's coming, you will need a lot more. You think we are the only ones who will be coming to find you? We are just the first, and of all those who will have a purpose for you, ours is the only one where you will have a choice..." tai was still for a moment before the scythe clicked back into place and he returned his blaster to its holster. He sat back down slowly without taking his eyes off of the boy with the black eyes.

"That scythe was really something... Manticon right?"



"You know a lot koshiro... in fact everything you say makes me more certain that i should kill you. How do you know me? How do you know about the dreams and the.... mark.?" izzy smiled softly as he pulled back his sleeve and raised his wrist so tai could see the black tattoo of the crest.

"Knowledge is my area...." he chuckled.











***************************



Once upon a time, long, long ago humans lived entirely on the earth. The earth was a horrible place to live then. The skies were dark with the smoke of thousands of thousands of fires. Demons marched on the earth and fed off of the humans. Dragons burned whole villages. Some of the humans who made alliances with the demons rose to power and enslaved the masses. People fled to churches and temples, yet they were no help against the evil that filtered into our world through a massive hole in the fabric of our world. The gate of hell had opened and from it came the armies of hell. This page in earth's history came to be known as the dark ages.

Some humans fought back against the demon armies. Though many could not win, there were eight human warriors from across the globe that had power to battle the evil. These humans fought for years and were eventually able to force back the scourge. After years of warfare, the eight were able to force them back to the doorway to their demon dimension. They stood there before the gateway and were terrified. Then one of them decided that he could not allow the evil to recover and come again to his world. He walked through the doorway into the demon world. Then, one after the other, they each followed.



That world was known as the digital world.



For five years the eight battled in hell until they had broken the back of the demon armies. But then as that world was finally purged of the superficial evil the eight were confronted by the first good creature that they now knew to be digimon. That digimon explained that there were evil digimon, and without a force to control them, the evil ones could corrupt the good ones. This was the nature of humans as well.

It was then that it became clear that the digital world would always be a threat to the human world. And then the one good digimon offered a deal. A powerful spell that could transcend life and death to ensure that there would always be protectors for the twin worlds.

The eight warriors accepted the bargain and became known as the digidestined. From their hearts their most dominant trait would be used to power the spell. Courage, love, hope, light, friendship, sincerity, reliability, and knowledge. The power would be signified in a marking found upon their wrist.

They would be made to pay a great price for this power. Each of the eight would become immortal. Not in body, but in spirit. They would be born and live their life until death without any knowledge of their pasts. But, should an evil descend upon the world, the eight would be awaked with the knowledge amassed in their many lives. They would be awakened to the nature of who they were and would be once more... digidestined.





***************************



"So let me get this straight... you came here to tell me a fairytale." taichi scoffed as he swallowed another gulp of his beer.

"It isn't a fairytale taichi, don't you find it strange that you were named after the leader of the digidestined? How you look like him?"

"So what, names and looks mean nothing. Too easily coincidence." he rejected.

"And the dreams? The tattoo of the crest of courage? Are they coincidence too?"

What do you want from me? I'm not sure if you've missed this, but i am not a nice guy" he took a sip and looked deeply into izzy.

"You think i am the reincarnation of taichi Kamiya? The hero who saved earth back in the ancient digital wars of 01? Tai kamiya was a hero. They write about him and the other digidestined in history books. He was a saint and a hero... i am nothing like him!" he barked.

Izzy sighed and took a sip of his own drink while kari suddenly spoke.

"I guess you never read too deeply in those history books." She chuckled. "Taichi kamiya was no saint. The man was pretty far from it in a lot of ways. But he was a hero. And as hard as you try to forget the dreams or as much effort you put into hiding the mark it still is true... you are him..." she replied darkly as she took a sip of the red liquid that filled her glass.

"You don't remember because you haven't triggered yet."

"Triggered?" he questioned.

"It's what we call it... the name we have given it when we awaken. Technically it is when we are in a state of intense shock. You see the trauma is the key to triggering the memory." izzy spoke.

"And i suppose the two of you have... triggered?" he smirked at the terminology. They nodded.

"I have known you a long time taichi. Been your friend, your partner. I've been the best man at your wedding before.... and kari... she's even been your little sister in the past. You see we digidestined are drawn to one another even before we awaken. It's similar to how we all look the same and tend to have the same name, even why we carry certain personality traits regardless of the life we are born to. I can't really understand it.... yet."

"What is it that you two want from me?" he asked as he took the last swallow of his drink.

"We need you to help us fight a very powerful enemy. One who has a chance at conquering not just this world, but all the future worlds." Izzy's eyes were drifting off to a far off place that existed in the shadow cast by the shelves on the far wall behind the bar. The shadow seemed far more menacing then he dared imagine. It was as though the sheer thought of this foe were enough to lend a dark spark of life to the shadows that loomed around them in the perpetually dark bar.

Tai wasn't really interested in what the boy was saying, but something in the way he looked off as he spoke caught his attention. The darkness was all around them now and played with the red glow cast down from the neon. The meshing of red and black painted the youth with a strangely disturbing aura of darkness and savagery. He paused and the moment lingered an eternity as he worded the description of this enemy.

"There is a power that guides us all. Destiny i suppose. This destiny pulls us to our calling in life. I have been drawn to science in all of my lifetimes. That i suppose is my destiny. But for this foe destiny is a dark thing. You see he is one of the eight, one of the stronger of the eight. In the beginning he was a good man, but over time he was pulled farther away from that goodness. Much as a child is pulled from innocence as he ages, so too are we pulled in our paths. But for us it is different, with each lifetime we continue to be dragged further along. And for him, that meant being pulled deeper into darkness." he paused as his eyes slipped shut slowly.

"We have been aware of this descent for a long time now, lifetimes in fact. but in the more recent lifetimes he has became open about his ambitions. He wants power and lots of it. He has always been one of the strongest of us, and the idea that he is using that strength to dominate is a troubling concept. In the past lifetimes we have been able to stop him, to kill him. But since he is one of the digidestined he cannot ever be purged. Each time he comes back stronger, and soon i fear we will be unable to halt his progress.

Taichi, what we need from you is your help in stopping him now, in this lifetime. The war we wage is an eternal one, but this world now needs us. I know you can't remember, but above all else you must know deep within that this is a part of you. That inside, you are more then you have become." izzy's eyes were now fixed to taichi in a way he had never before done. They were of that voice born in the dream that haunted the young assassin. They probed deep into the dusky chocolate of his almond shaped eyes and called out with implorment that exceeded the reach of words alone.





Tai stared into those black pools of nightly water and was suddenly drawn back to a dream that he wasn't sure if he had yet experienced. The face was younger and the hair different, but it was the same look of need and desperation. He was suddenly caught within a great swell of memory that hit him like the breath of god. He felt himself lurch backwards as his mind was filled with that look, but coming from faces he had never seen in this life. Thousands of faces. He was having trouble breathing as he stared off into the faces of thousands of people. They stared back at him with that look being mirrored in each of their faces. Some were the faces of children with dirt streaked across their round and cherub cheeks. Some were the dignified please of the elderly who looked back with a profound sorrow. The faces swirled together as the air erupted into great geysers of red fire which swallowed up the lost souls and regurgitated them in clouds of ash that stung taichi's eyes. He felt tears pour down his cheeks as a pang of nausea wrenched through his stomach. In that heartbeat he had felt the pain of so many countless lost souls cry out in agony. The force threw him backwards and in that instant he was returned with no passage of time greater then a moment.





Izzy and kari looked to him with some concern as his breath was coming in deep rasping gasps. He had broken into a cold sweat as he whipped the perspiration from his brow compulsively, as though he were whipping away the lasting feeling of illness from the pit of his stomach. He looked up at them with a sudden ferocity as he felt his hand struggle to go to the scythe at his side.

"WHAT THE HELL DID YOU DO TO ME?!?" he snarled

"Nothing. The dreams are coming faster... even when you're awake." he replied before turning to Kari "He's on the verge kari, I think part of him is trying to trigger. Amazing... he hasn't triggered normally, but somehow his body is trying to awaken."

"Is that possible izzy?"

"I've never heard of this happening before in any of the documented case of a digidestined. Taichi was one of the strongest... perhaps his nature if fighting to assert itself."

"Tai, i promise that i can give you some answers if you'll help us stop him. You are the only one who can still help. We need you..."

Taichi looked at the boy with a sudden flare of defiance in his gaze. He rose to his feet and glowered down to the youths. "I have been a soldier before! It's something i am not looking to repeat. Why in hell would i risk my neck by working for you!?! just so you could stop some creep with a power complex! I am nobody's foot-soldier and i will be dammed if i let you try to make me into one."he ended in a low growl. Izzy blinked back in surprise by the outburst.

"But tai... we are asking you to lead, not to be a soldier. We need someone like you to help us defeat general Yamato." izzy was silenced by the look that flushed over Taichi's features. His eyes were wider then before, and filled with a sudden nauseating shock and stomach turning paleness that drained the color from his cheeks. He looked as though he had just looked upon the face of Satan himself, and he was terrified by that image. The word rung through his head like the dark melody of a funeral bell ringing from the church top of a burning steeple. Izzy and kari looked at him blankly as his features twisted before turning to face them again, but this time with a profound fear. That look cast a wave of concern through izzy, who had always remembered taichi as the braves of them all. The moment lingered for a time, and when it was broken by tai he spoke softly yet with a great wave of certainty.

"No...i will not get into a battle with Ishida... and if you wish to survive, then the two of you will stay as far away from him as you can. Ishida is a monster... and he will kill you. Just like he will kill anyone who is stupid enough to oppose him." he turned and began walking away. He paused only for an instant and spoke. "Don't come after me again koshiro... i may not want to kill you, but i will do it if you make things difficult for me." and with that taichi disappeared from the inferno and into the nightly air from which he came. Izzy and kari stared at the door blankly for a time before turning to one another. With no more then a look the two paid for their drinks and left.





***************************





The air was colder now, though it was surely the after affects of the conversation that plagued the two digidestined. Izzy was walking slower as his eyes remained locked on the ground. Kari knew he was thinking of the next move, but soon her patience was worn out. she nudged him on the shoulder to signal that he should share what he was thinking about. He glanced up at her amber eyes with a surprising gleam to his own.

"You look like you have a plan Izz...." she offered and his lips pulled up into a soft smile that was in no way good-natured, but more the look of a man who had outwitted anouther.

"Things could have went better in there... he is not going to willingly help us since it seems he has some history with ishida in this lifetime. But like it or not he will be working with us."

"And how do you plan on getting him to do that?"

"Simple... knowledge is power and as i said, he has very little of that. We use his ignorance to the full spectrum of ishida's plan to our benefit."

"And how do we do that?"

"Ishida has been after the greydramon mech.... we cannot allow him to add that weapon to his arsenal so we will be the ones to intercept it from the military. With a mech like that we may be able to turn the tides of this war... so i suppose the only way of doing this right is to do exactly what tai said when he thought we needed him as an assassin. We contact him over the web under an alias and get him to capture the greydramon.

Odds are ishida will be coming after it too, so we put tai into a situation where he will have to fight some of ishida's men and get the mech for us. That gives us a common foe... then he may feel it necessary to join us." kari looked at izzy with a slight shimmer of repentance in her eyes. What you are planning to do to him... it isn't a very honorable tactic." she said softly.

"Honor is a dead concept in this world." he replied simply.

"This isn't like you izzy, you know this isn't right to do this to him, to force him into helping us." she spoke softly.

"Right and wrong... they aren't clear to me anymore... how right is it to let matt unleash a on this world just so he can rule it? How right is it to allow one of our own to become so evil that he has become the thing we fought to destroy? Is it wrong to use severe methods to stop that from happening? This world isn't a good place anymore kari... right and wrong don't really exist anymore. But it doesn't matter. We swore to defend this world from evil.. Even if the species is evil we still owe it. If i do this to tai... will you still help me kari?" he asked softly as his dark eyes found hers.

"You have been my friend for a long time izzy. I will stand by you in this."



"I don't think i deserve such loyalty, because i can't offer it to taichi." he felt kari's hand squeeze his shoulder softly in seeming reassurance, but even as she did he felt the stiflingness of her touch. He was a good man once, but in the time of this dark world he had become something else. Something without compassion. It was as though he were a machine... but unique in that he could, despite his best efforts, tell the difference between right and wrong. And as he evaluated himself as a leader he was filled with self-loathing.



"Maybe there shouldn't room in this world for loyalty either." he whispered under his breath.







Marching forward they go by.

Marching forward they dare not cry.

***

Marching forward their souls are lost.

Marching forward despite the cost.

***

Marching forward they dare not dwell.

Marching onward straight to hell.







Not the end....