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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

Disclaimer: I don't own em, don't sue. Well I don't really know what happened here. It's like all inspiration left me and I couldn't write more then a few paragraphs a day. It's a pretty long one and not a great one. But i do introduce Sora to tai in it, and tai to a mech which will be part of the central story. Also i do a bit more with TK and Braedon. They seem bad now but they are not villains in this. Hopefully this won't be too much of a bore/ waste of time.

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







Dark Horizon

by Logan









"The meeting"




Angel had managed to sleep for four hours since the incident in the interrogation room. He had watched the man die by some macabre fascination with watching the commander operate. He was something that angel couldn't really put to words. There was such joy in him as he eviscerated the man to such an extent that there was nothing left to identify. He had butchered the man with such meticulous effort that death came slowly, and when at last it did claim the poor bastard all that was left of his mind was the sliver that could weep.

Each tear excited Ishida in a way that augmented his carnal lust for death and agony. He took genuine pleasure in the act of torturing the young officer. That scythe of his was a lethal toy that served the most demonic child ever to exist. And that is what yamato truly was at heart, a being who saw death and agony as a child sees a game. He seemed to relish each drop of spilled blood with a passion that no normal man could ever obtain. As angel thought over the imagery of that dark evening he was convinced that evil was thriving within the leader of the rebel forces. Matt was eternal and thus the nature of evil was given enough time to grow from seed to tree.

"Is this what we are? Beings who will evolve into demons? Am i so like him, that soon i too shall be a devil?" he questioned into the blackness of his room.

The room was a larger cabin with one window which faced outward to the blackness of space that hung there as though it were floating in clear water. The starlight filtered in through the open window to the room, bathing it in the softest plume of pale ivory. The decorum was a sterile one, composed of a single bed, desk with chair of cool grey metal, a small shelf which was filled with neatly arranged faded photographs of him and a youth of similar age with long black hair and a mischievous grin on his pale face. The fall wall was dominated by various armaments which ranged from combat daggers to a pair of silver blasters that gleamed in the ivory light. They hung there, still, within the worn brown leather of their holsters. Angel felt his eyes trace the delicate curve of their grips in a caressing manner that seemingly longed to pull them from their holsters and blast a hole through the commander. To end him like he had ended so many before him.

He did not follow this inclination, though he did on some levels long for it. Long for the image of the commander as he would slump to the floor in a pool of red, and thus end his ambitions. Odds are that he would be killed long before he would ever be able to pull the weapon. But that too had a certain pleasantness to it... to be the one who falls to the earth and lives no longer. Even though he knew that it would be no more then a blink of an eye in the passage of time. He would wake up to the world as an infant and bide his time till the memory would inevitably come flooding back to him and return him to a life of warfare and death.

The commander was a more capable survivor by far. He did not take on battles that would kill him. No heroic last stands or valiant suicide missions for the greater good. He would ally himself with those who could prolong his life and kill those who would cut it shorter. He was older then the others for the simple reason that he wasn't the kind to sacrifice himself. he lived longer and thus was slower to be reborn f because he was slower to die.

TK remembered him from past lives and even back when matt was still a hero he was always the survivor. That was a long time ago though... back in the days when the earth was still pure and clean, and TK still went by his given name. Those years seemed so far away now, like looking back across time itself to the very first moment when the universe exploded with life.

He had been the devil's brother once. It seemed strange that he had once loved matt as a brother and trusted him with the unwavering faith of a child. That faith was gone now, gone like the ancient cities or the ideals of the men who once had faith in the earth and the people who hailed from it. Faith is hope and hope is dead. That was a cruel lesson taught all to well through the constant acts of evil that had killed the earth and was now poisoning the species. TK assumed that there would come a day when all that would remain are the 8. A time when the species would be eradicated and turn to dust and bone like the relic cities of earth. TK longed for that day when god would awaken and destroy the defenders as punishment for their failure to save humanity, or maybe destroy them as a reward for trying. An end... tK longed for that. An end to this world of blood and death and maybe he would get to see if there really was a heaven, though he doubted they would let him in if he were judged by the recent corse of his life.

He shook his head to be clear of these thoughts of heaven and peace. That was a pipedream that was no more then a self-told bedtime story. He had his own mission that needed to be completed. He would follow Ishida as a means to make real his true goal. To be reunited once more... to make whole the three.

The silence was shattered by a soft knocking at the door. As angel turned to the door he ran his hand over the touch panel which gave a soft beep in confirmation, then opened swiftly to the outer corridor. Just as tK was about to turn the corner and investigate he was shocked to find himself pulled into a deep embrace. He suddenly laughed happily as he squeezed back against the youth with the long flowing black hair.

"Your back early!"he laughed in a voice so different from the tine he had used with the officer that he would not be compared as the same man. His face changed too, where once there was a stolid and menacing visage, a smile transformed him to a kind faced and happy youth.

"Takeru! I see you made it back once again." the boy with the violet eyes chuckled as he relinquished tK to his own too feet. He too was smiling and the same effect was done upon his face. where once there was an icy cold, now there was a benevolent warmth that seemed to radiate from his glowing eyes.

"Yeah, the entire military couldn't stop me if they wanted to. But apparently they took pity on your sorry ass" he smirked as the boy with the call-sign of demon scowled in mock anger.



"Heh, you're a real piece of work Takeru... here i am, returning from a serious disappointment of a mission, and within less then twenty seconds of getting in my little bro is already tearing into me. Typical." he pulled his arms across his chest and scowled at TK.

"The older part is in debate, but as for the brother part? Heh... you are not by brother."

"Well geez man... how long have i known you? At least fifty years now? A few lifetimes for sure. What would you call me?" he shed his long black jacket and tossed it unceremoniously on tK's desk. His forearm, now exposed, bore a strange black marking that resembled a sun and star intertwined by strange symbols and patterns. The mark was a faded black but against his pale flesh it stood out all the more.

"I suppose brother is a fitting term, but you sure as hell better not get any ideas of beating the crap out of me like a brother.."

"Sorry I can't promise anything...." he chuckled

"You know... if you get technical i am the older brother..... a few thousand years senior." he slapped the youth on the back with a friendly smile that was returned by the boy with the amethyst eyes.

"I hear you brought Ishida a souvenir." demon muttered.

"Yeah... poor guy. He was a real monster of a human being, but the poor son of a bitch didn't deserve what he got." demon's eyes lowered softly in a thick silence that lingered for a moment.

"What have we allowed ourselves to become? Serving this monster... Takeru, this is a disgrace to what we are. How can you stomach licking that man's boots? There was a time when we would have fought against such a man.... but now we serve him." demon's amethyst eyes radiated with emotion as they met the burning rubies of TK's eyes.

"It sickens me.." he trailed off as tK walked over to the tray that rested on a silver platter littered with bottles. They gleamed in the starlight with the green and amber hues of the glass. TK took two crystal glasses and filled them with amber colored liquor. He spoke as he continued to make the drinks with a single-mindedness that separated his words from his body.



"Don't lecture me Braedon. I remember the days before... back when we were whole and the whole solar system feared us. I remember all to well what we were. And it sickens me to serve ishida, but that can't be helped. We are two where we should be three, we are weak now, but soon we shall be reunited with the third. Once that happens we will be the ones who control our own destinies." he handed Braedon a glass and took a slow sip from his own before he continued to speak.

Valor and honor... they are all but dead in this world now. Where once victory was determined to belong to the better pilot, or the more skilled warrior; now it is the more clever one who wins. It's a sad day we live in, but that can't be helped." he took the last of his drink and fingered the ice cube in deep thought.

"Ishida is growing in power with each day that passes. Soon he will be strong enough to challenge the military government directly in a war of attrition. He may even win.... but either way he will become very public soon. And by staying at his side, and in his favor, we will be more likely to find our third. Until we are whole we are handicapped and would do well to keep a powerful ally instead of a powerful enemy. He set down his glass.



Demon smiled softly "And once we are whole... then ishida will be made to pay for what he has done." tK looked at him with a raised eyebrow.

"Why do you care so much?"

"Because i have seen just a fraction of the evil that you have TK, and even that little sliver that i have seen is more then there ever should have been." he replied with a strange tone to his spectral voice.

"I think our code-names were mixed up... " tK quipped.

"I know you Takeru... you want to make him pay just like I do.."

"As a pilot you are exceptional, as a fighter you are skilled, but this faith that everyone is, at heart good... that is a weakness... Braedon, in the end... if we do destroy ishida it won't be for justice. If it is decided that we are to kill him it will be because that serves us and our ambitions. We are the knights.... our station in life is battle and war... it was never justice." tK spoke with an agelessness that dripped through the centuries. Within that voice there echoed a faint whisper of eternity. As though in the slight pitch you could hear the rumbling of the earth against the crashing of massive waves. That was what set the digidestined apart from all others... the ancient strength that flowed through them. tK was digidestined, and thus he too possessed this immense power, but it never burned as hot as when as he spoke of the three. There was both pride and sorrow as he spoke of them. But it was clear where his loyalties lay... in the three knights of fire.



"Are you in the mood for a mission? As i was coming in, ishida offered a job to take another transport that supposedly is housing some new weapons. It's close, so we could capture it tonight if the data is correct. Earn us a bit more trust with the commander i suppose." Braedon said after a long deliberation. Normally he was not one for such hasty missions that stretched one after the last. But he did sense an impending need within tK. As though he should vent some of the darkness which swelled within him in combat.

TK studied him through his burning red eyes and chuckled softly as he went to retrieve his coat. It would be good to feed the flames a little. To quell the burning that ached in his heart with a dark hunger for destruction.





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



Tai sat at the helm in thick silence as the small craft passed the docking zone for the colony. After the shadowy vessel had passed the colony boundaries it began to steadily increase speed until it was racing through the darkness of space. It was a humble ship that was made for stealth and speed. It was triangular with a more flat construction then other private vessels which boasted more for armor and armaments. The name 'Raven' was airbrushed over the hull in purple lettering.

The raven was a fast little ship as it scooted through the fields of surrounding debris. Its power-core was considerably larger then other ships its size, as was the thrusters which spit out white flame as the pilot continued to fly faster then he should in such a obstacle ridden course. Tai held the controls with a precision that few could match as he narrowly avoided spinning pieces of scrap from destroyed ship hulls. The raven cornered effortlessly as it gracefully ducked under the twisted remains of a digimon mech that had fallen in some battle long past. The frame was twisted and mutilated so far that the cockpit itself was hanging open like gaping jaws. Tai payed little heed to it as he ducked under the spent machine and rocketed off in a semi barrel-roll.

His eyes closed slowly as he activated the automatic pilot to take him through the straight run to the cargo ship which he was to hijack. The job had been outlined for him in unusual details. The client was very specific with his knowledge and even went so far as to include blueprints of the cargo freighter that Taichi was to take by force. He would have one kill, the pilot. The transport hailed no defensive measures or guards. It surprised Taichi and struck him as odd that there would be no defense. But the client claimed that was due to insure secrecy. The freighter would appear to be just a scrap freighter on the exterior, but on the inside there was a very valuable military mech that the client was to receive for a very generous fee.

"One kill..." taichi muttered to himself softly as he stared out at the sea of stars which lay out before him as a great tapestry of silver stars. Tai clicked off the lighting so that the ship would draw no attention, and that he would be able to rest until he were in range. The engine hummed a soft lullaby as he glided through the dark tides. The star-light bathed him in silver as he watched them for a time. Twinkling softly so far away with an innocence that spanned the vast distance. There was a certain quality of cleanness that existed in the stars. They seemed so pure to tai that he could fall asleep watching them. And as he did drift away, no nightmares haunted him, only a deep sleep filled with an endless sea of stars.





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



They stood there like giants in the mech loading bay as takeru and Braedon guided them to their positions for launch. The room was massive and strangely menacing as cables snaked down from the high ceiling like the silken threads of a massive spider web. And the ships that hung there seemed no more then flies. Dozens of multi plumed cruisers and personal fighter ships remained held aloft through cables and automated mechanical arms. They were connected by cable umbilical chords which fed them fuel and updated their computer navigation systems.

The room extended upward like a massive cathedral of twisted cable and steel. The room was a massive circular hive with compartments which housed digimon mechs. It was so huge that it seemed to go on forever.

Takeru lead braedon to the central pod where they would jettison. Takeru was in the angemon mech. A massive and dangerous digimon that was in it's basic form human. The silvery visor it wore glowed like lightning in the darkness of the cargo bay. Six wings of silvery feathers wrapped around the frame of the mech like a cloak. The body was armored in various plates of living steel that moved in seeming breath. Upon it's chest there stood a pulsating red jewel-like sphere. The orb swirled with pulsing energy in a slow but steady heartbeat. It was adorned with various symbols and runes that gave it a mystic form. It walked with seeming ease as it almost glided to it's place in the center of the room. It's eyes glowed from under the visor in a radiant green that flickered with a serpentine tongue of green fire.

With a sudden whoosh of hydraulics the angemon was consumed in tube composed of thousands of steel strips that acted with the single-mindedness of the thousands of legs on a millipede. The tube churned and pulsed like the coils of a serpent as it swallows a mouse. Soon the coils opened and then vanished back into the floor leaving behind an empty space where once the angemon had stood.

Devimon-mech was soon to follow as it made its way across the floor, its talons clicking against the metal flooring all the way. The long whip tail glided in constant motion as the wings in seemingly nervousness opened and closed with each step it took. It moved like a demon as it crouched in the same place where angemon had once stood. The bladed wings wrapped around the form like a shawl as the coiling tube closed over it and swallowed it down into the core of the launch bay which existed under the hold.

Like the barrel of a massive gun the launch bay was considerably more tight around the two mechs. It was composed of those same metalic strips which formed a living tube that could accommodate the larger size of some mechs. Within this tube the two mechs were incased in steely coffins that resembled bullets in some respects. They were being fit to the mechs' distinct characteristics.



"Almost ready demon?" tK's voice filtered down through the mech to mech com.

"Just finishing the hyper shielding process. How many surrogates are we taking?"

He accessed the video unit to his com and with a brief flicker of light the screen diverged into four images of bakamon mechs which were being fitted with the same coffin-like apparatus.



Surrogates were a common thing in all military forces of this new world. They were machines made from humans, used to act as automated fighters. They were far from human pilots in the fact that they were nothing more then drones that could be applied to a digimon mech. Their humanity was erased long ago, then all the required information was uploaded into their minds. They were useful in combat, but against a human mech pilot they were vastly inferior since they lacked a mind of their own with which to pilot a digimon.

Demon watched them as they stood motionlessly in a seeming daze that never lessened. They were a breed of digimon that demon was unsure of. Humanoid at the core, though covered in green armor which gleamed with a deadly sheen in the faint glow of the overhead lighting. They looked off in to the distance with a strangely chilling expression on their blackened features. The coffin was sealed over his own mech, and it felt suffocating. He willed his mind away from the claustrophobic tightness of the tomb of metal and plastic that now enclosed the devimon mech. The air was being filtered and fed fresh to him through the digimon, but the air still tasted faintly different from the real thing.

Braedon was locked away within the living core of the devimon. He was connected directly to the digimon through the second form of bonding. The second form was much more reliable then simply relying on a joystick and a artificially attached console. This was the way digimon mechs were meant to bond. To be connected together through a technological link of minds. Braedon had known this bond for so long that it was natural to him. He felt more complete with his mind coupled to the body of his mech then apart from it. He could see in a way that he could not see without devimon. Human senses were so ill equipped when compared to the sensors of a digimon.

There was a strange poetry to being bonded to a living machine. To share minds with the beast and feel what it feels. There was such a spectacular sense of freedom to it. To be able to fly on your own power through the black tides of space. To fight as a digimon. To be a part of something that exists in a way the human mind cannot reach alone. To exist, for at least part of the time, as a digimon.

There was once a time when digimon were animals who befriended their partner instead of uniting with them. That held no appeal to braedon. How could one be content with that life? To not touch the mind of their digimon? That would be hell to the young pilot. He knew TK was old enough to recall the time when that was what being partnered was like, but takeru never spoke of that time. He kept it bottled away within the vastness of his infinite memory. Somehow demon knew not to ask about that time. As though it were a old wound in his side that could still ache.

His thoughts were broken as he felt the core consciousness of devimon informing him that they were preparing to disembark.. He felt the devimon mech being moved into position in the launching chamber and as he did his jaw clenched. The moment hung still for a time that seemed far longer then hours. But it suddenly came to a explosive end as the capsule was fired. It screamed through the chamber like a bullet from a gun. The coffin was white hot as it exploded from the core of the asteroid complex.

Alongside angemon hurtled outward, also sealed within the black pod, and soon after waves of surrogates were flung through space on the same trajectory as the leaders. The coffins were at heart specialized booster rockets which could be fired like a bullet at incredible speeds. Inside demon activated his internal sensors and stretched them out beyond the claustrophobic tomb of plastic and metal. It helped ease the strangling tightness which vised over his chest. He could feel space around himself as though it were a living thing that held a faint charge of life. He could feel the faint charge through devimon's sensors. In a way it eased his mind. seeing space as a living thing. But as he watched the other pods scream through the dark tides of space alongside his own there was still a tightness in his chest.





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





The raven flew in the dark ocean with such ease and gracefulness that it lived up to it's namesake. It was no less agile then a black bird as it glides across a cloudless night. The black steel frame of the vessel was dusted in silver starlight as it drew closer. The cargo freighter loomed in the distance, just beyond the fingertips of scanners and sensor arrays.

It was no doubt chugging along in a inconspicuously slow pace. The illusion was a simple one, another freighter hauling materials that wouldn't be worth the effort of stealing. It would appear to all others to be no more then another transport, like so many others. It would be old and worn, showing the decades on its hull as wrinkles are worn by the aged. And to all it passed it would be nothing. But the illusion was defeated to the eyes of the young assassin. He could see that this freighter housed a power that could be turned against one force by the other. it was a powerful weapon, but to taichi it was part of a job.

He could care less who contracted him to steal the mech. It could be any of a great number of forces. Pirate or individual, or even a well off outlaw who could pay for a professional. The mech was a paycheck and that was all that really mattered. And thus as the raven slipped away into stealth mode it did so not as a crow but as a hawk.



Taichi stared at the cobalt hull of the "harmony". It was old and looked ready to go to salvage. There were dents littered over the segmented body of the centipede-like hull from bits of rock and debris which had collided with the aging transport. It wasn't the largest of transports by far, for they could be found large enough to hold armada cruisers, but it was larger then the average transport freighter. The cockpit was a faded red, as though it were salvaged from another transport and attached to this new one. It definitely looked as though it were housing something without value.

The locking clamps were secured to the hull with a muffled clank. Tai was careful as he lowered a tube-like apparatus that formed a vacuum seal between the two ships. This took time as caution was of the utmost importance. Retrieving a plasma torch he began work on the hull. The flame burned blue as it sizzled through the dented hull. As it slowly cut, tiny pieces of metal leapt away from the smoldering steel like tiny crickets composed entirely of flame. The embers leapt at tai's hands and sizzled on his skin until they died. His teeth were grit as he tried to avoid breathing in the exhaust fumes released like phantasms of dust and stale air from a rank crypt. They burned his eyes as he continued his work on sheer will. He could not justify a delay on the grounds of discomfort. The purposeful imbalance of pressure between the ships assured that all smoke would be drawn into the raven and away from the potential smoke detectors which may exist within the hell of the freighter.

He drew back to a crouched position once he felt he had done enough damage to the hull to make the final work possible. He blinked as a means to clear his eyes before withdrawing the three section-scythe from his belt. It swished into position with a faint clank to lock it together. taichi slashed downward over the scorched and red gashes in the hull. The weapon was able to slice through the weakened steel with considerable ease. After three slashes with the weapon taichi stepped onto the rectangular cutout. It wined beneath him for a moment before his weight brought it down. The slab didn't crash to the floor like taichi had assumed it might. Instead it warped as it broke, leaving tai a tight entrance to the belly of the ship.





As he slipped inside his senses were assaulted. The compartment was pitch black and so as taichi fell it was only sheer luck that set him down on a desolate piece of walkway. He could have just as easily fallen onto some crate and hurt himself, but luck appeared to be on his side so far. There was a groaning whine that radiated from below him, no doubt within the bowls of the freighter there were many mechanical parts which needed better servicing. Tai puzzled at that for a time, for if they were mearly wanting a inconspicuous ship why not at least have a decent engine in the thing? After a slight deliberation he assumed that the government must have used an existing freighter and rented it for this mission. That made more sense so it would be recognized by some of the locals.

The smell was nauseating to tai as he held his scythe in the ready. It was damp back here, damp and full of mildew. Tai's nose could detect the pungent and sour flavor to the air. He would have to tune that out since the bile was already climbing up his throat. His vision became more clear as he could now see the refuse of old and warn tarp and other materials commonly found in a refuse satellite. As he made his way to the door he was relieved to see that it was in no way mechanical. No locks or consoles, simply a handle. He gripped the bar and pulled the doorway open. As he did a thousand beams of light erupted from the crack of the door. The next room had lighting, and to taichi's eyes it momentarily blinded him.

As he stepped forward through the doorway he found himself in a massive room with a gigantic creature covered in tarp. Tai found himself staring at the colossal giant who was propped against the far wall. The tarp was gently rising up and down with slow breaths. Tai knew that digimon were living things, but it still unnerved him that this huge mech was just as living as he. That it could reach over and grab him. That it could grind him to pulp within it's mighty grip. Tai recoiled from those thoughts for they were pointless ones. They were the thoughts of a scared and insecure child. Digimon are Benin until partnered. This digimon had no pilot to guide his actions and thus was in no way a treat to tai.

But somehow as tai watched the Greydramon breathing behind the white tarp he was drawn to it. A part of him felt a need to uncover it and save it from the darkness which it was wrapped within. He could almost sense a child like anxiety to it, despite the fact that it was far older then him and very un-childlike in appearance. It was breathing more softly now and tai didn't quite know why. It sensed him... felt him.

Digimon have powerful sensors... he knew tai was there, and seemed strangely pacified by the notion that it was not alone. Taichi had a brief inclination to talk to the mech, to try reassuring it. When that realization hit him he stepped back. This was so not like him that it scared him. He shuffled away from the Greydramon and turned for the door.

As he pulled the slab of a door away, he was shocked to see the captain standing within the center of the room. Tai ducked behind the half opened door and peered back. By some incredible act of fortune, the pilot had not heard him. It seemed impossible for tai to still be undetected even after such a clear blunder, yet there he was.... unheard or seen.

He watched the man. He was dressed in a officer's jacket which was short enough to show tai the absence of a sidearm. He was a younger soldier. His body was more lanky then muscle, and his face bore the subtle marks of naivety. No scars or blemishes upon his slightly pale flesh that tai could see. His hair was pulled back, though it was done so sloppily and let several strands of hair escape order. Tai's hand went directly to the scythe which was already open and waiting for him. The man was in a trance as he stared at a cylindrical pod which was entangled in a nest of cables and other pieces of techno matter. He simply stood there watching the translucent core of the pod which Taichi could not see. There was a quickness to his breath and a slightly moist quality to his brow as his eyes studied whatever lay inside. His pasty lips were pulled into a sneer that disturbed taichi. He ran his tongue over his top lip with exaggerated movements..

The young officer wasn't clear to tai, his actions seemed strange and there was a sense of wrongness to them. That was pushed to its utmost as tai witnessed the officer's hand sliding downward from his side to the crotch of his pants. Tai's eyes grew wide with disgust as it became clear what the soldier was doing. Tai could faintly hear him panting out words but tai had no intent of hearing them. he felt the air grow even more putrid by the moment as his skin felt saturated with filth for witnessing this far.

Tai suddenly steeled his nerves, and with his freehand threw the slab door open. The sound thundered as the metal door clashed with the doorjamb. The officer spun around to see taichi who was possessed by a feral sheen in his dark chocolate eyes. His lips said nothing, but as the scythe came to view the young officer was freed from the stupefied stare and given strength enough to frantically turn to run. He was two steps away when death claimed him.

Tai had covered the distance in three quick bounds and one jump which brought him ahead of the man. As tai had passed him the scythe's edge had raked across the youth's spine, and as taichi landed in a low crouch he was able to watch the pervert's head roll down the corridor.

His breath was shallow as he slowly rose to his feet. The ship was on auto pilot so all tai had to do for the moment was assure the greydramon was in good condition and not damaged, though that was very unlikely. But as he turned, he found himself staring into the core of the glass and steel pod. His breath caught in his throat.

Within the faint green muscle relaxing liquid she floated there. Tai's throat was solidified to a massive lump as he stared at the naked form of a young girl with flowing long hair. She was breathtaking as she glided there in a floating shroud of her own coppery-orange hair. It was long and glided as thousands of tendrils around her. Her face was earthshakingly beautiful with high cheekbones and a gentle curved nose that terminated in a button. The girl's lips were in a slight pout and the color of pink cotton candy which taichi had treasured as one of his rare indulgences to sweets. She had muscle, but not overly so, more the frame of an athlete with defined legs and a tightness to her. tai allowed himself a moment to take in the rest of her body and by sheer instinct commit it to memory. Everything from her slightly smaller, yet perportuned breasts to the gentle indent of her navel. Yet his eyes were drawn back to her face as he found himself staring into a pair of flaming ruby eyes. They glistened like flaming embers that never cooled. As tai watched he felt his own brow moisten, though for a different reason then the youthful soldier. His lips were dry as he mouthed out a word he had never used for a girl before "wow..."

He caught her eyes traveling him as well, they felt like a soft electrical charge over his skin. Then they dame to a rest on the scythe which was painted in the blood of his victim, soon the rubies focused on the decapitated corpse and the pool in which he lay. Tai watched her expressions and found no shock or horror in her. In fact there was the faintest glimmer of a smile on her pink lips.

She gazed back to taichi and looked at him with implorement. He felt himself wanting to set her free. He felt something deep within him awaken when he looked at the girl with the most beautiful eyes he had ever seen. It was like seeing her brought out a part of him. A faint attraction that flavored his judgement like a scent on the air. He had never really felt this yearning for any other girl. He could never get past the human disease which coarsed through them. they were always on something or swimming in some form of depravity. But this girl was different. She could be engulfed within the same problems that turned him so away from others, but he didn't care. He felt a need for her so strong that it sped his heart to a thunderous pounding that reverberated through his ribs like a series of explosions. There was a power to this girl behind the glass, a power that moved tai to the point of something spiritual.

She looked through him as though he were as clear as glass. And in those eyes she mirrored a deep sadness coupled to a greatness. She poured forth emotion in those eyes and without words was able to make a connection in taichi that no human had ever come close to making. She pressed her hand to the glass as she stared at him. Into him.

Tai didn't know what moved him to action so powerfully, but it did move him. The scythe in his hand seemed to glow white hot as he drew back. It was a pillar of kinetic energy that stretched from the weapon's handle all the way into his arm. He felt this force explode as the weapon collided with the armored glass which split open in a light gash which bled green fluid. The liquid that painted the girl in jade turned to a green fog once exposed to open air. The wound both bled out rapidly vaporizing fluid and a thick, puffy cloud of green smoke.

The girl had a wildness in her eyes as the muscle relaxant began to thin out as more and more of it was drained away. Soon she too began pounding on the glass. And with each strike her assault became stronger. Soon she was pounding to the point when the glass would crunch to clinging shards. Tai was shocked by the strength as she pounded harder and harder. She was still weak, but the strength was flowing back to her like a incoming tide to the shore. Tai suddenly felt the need once more and pulled back his scythe. It hung there for a moment before it was shot downward in such a force as to split the weakened pod down the middle.

The prisoner suddenly threw both her fists against the two sides with such fury that they were reduced to shards. The remaining liquid gushed forth in a tide of both jade water and green smoke which vanished to the air. She stood there for a moment before wobbling and collapsing into taichi's arms. The girl was light. She coughed and spit up the green liquid as she was held tightly to the boy's chest. He was vaguely aware of dropping his scythe to the ground as he found himself clutching her to him as she gaged on the water. Her body was still weakened from the fluid as tai stroked her naked back and pressed her to him. She was soft and warm in a way that sent thrillingly exciting tremors down his spine. He felt his pulse throb in his veins with each contraction of his heart which seemed loud enough to rival thunder.

By a great force that was both as alien to him and as moving as the stars themselves he found himself lowering his lips to her hair. He was just as shocked by his actions as she, when he kissed the top of her head. The girl's eyes shot open as he kissed her gently on the head. She smelled vaguely sweet and slightly exotic, with the faintest wisp of jasmine.

In a flash she had pushed away from him and drew back as if burned. Tai stared at her with wide eyes as she held her fists up in a vaguely offensive posture. She had question and shock laced into her crimson eyes as she stared at him. Tai blushed lightly at her nudity as he forced his eyes to remain locked on.



"Who are you?" he whispered in a voice of wonderment as he slowly lowered himself to pick up his scythe. His eyes never left the girl's which were locked to his in a radiant glare.

The second his hand clutched the scythe she reacted. Her lips pulled back into a toothy snarl which bore the wickedly sharp teeth that had grown in an instant's time.

Taichi felt himself pale as her eyes suddenly burst into flaming orbs of crimson light. They danced with wispy phantoms of transparent flame. Her breathing came out in a low and threatening hiss which sent shivers down his spine. There was a vague catlike quality to her as she eyed him like a mouse. Even the long flowing hair now seemed bristled and alive like that of an enraged cat. The ferality of the girl was terrifying to tai, but it didn't even begin to diminish the attraction he felt for her. even when she shivered with rage and seemed more animal then human he still found a strangely enticing quality to her. She snarled low in a growl that was almost that of a tiger.

Taichi was breathing shallowly as he moved with added wariness. His hand was clammy as he slowly retracted the scythe with a click. His eyes were still locked onto the luminescent eyes of the young woman who seemed transformed in the illumination cast down by the cylindrical bulbs overhead. She watched him with curiosity as he slowly returned the scythe to it's place at his belt. After a moment of pure stillness she relaxed. Her body calmed visibly as she continued to stare at him.



"What are you?" he gaped with a slight tremor in his voice. She stared at him for a moment before deciding to speak. Her voice was low and with a tremor of something that tai couldn't place. He would call it the voice of an angel, but this voice was not the tone of a harp, more like the subtle caress of black velvet on the skin.

"Why did you free me?" she questioned in a low voice.

"No one deserves to be kept in that. Kept in a cage where you can't even feel or move." he spoke with a slight tremor in his voice.

"Why did you free me?"

"I don't know... I... i couldn't leave you in there. I had to do something...." he stuttered faintly as she stared at him with all traces of anger fading away like smoke. Her eyes glided over him like shadowy kisses that enlivened every inch of his skin.

"Who are you?" her eyes slipped shut with a sudden sorrow that took taichi by surprise.

"In my language i am Shara, but you may know me as Sora." tai gave a faint smile at the name. It was beautiful.

"My name is taichi.." she looked at him with the faintest glimmer of moisture to her ruby eyes. Tai found his eyes drawn to the unborn tears that lingered in her own. she looked at him with a sorrow that echoed outward from her like golden light from the sun.

"Is something wrong Sora?" he questioned

"Yes! You're a human!" she hissed with a sudden anger that caught tai off-guard. She used the word as though it were a horrible insult. As though evil itself was comprised of the two syllable word. Tai didn't know how to respond to the insult, so he mearly stood there and remained silent.

"I should kill you..." she growled softly as her eyes scintillated with tiny red wispy tendrils of transparent flame.

"Because i am a human.... why do you hate humans?" he questioned with as much placidity as he could muster. He watched as a tear rolled down her angelic cheek before vanishing in a downward free-fall to the steel grated floor. His hand longed to wipe the tears away but he didn't want to force her to make contact.

"Humans are monsters.... they murdered my parents, and have spent the last eighteen years torturing me. They don't deserve to live.... none of them." she growled. In spite of the low snarl tai drew a step closer. He reached out to touch her only to have her pull back lightly with a look of tempered anger in her soft crimson eyes.

"They tortured you?" he said softly with genuine sympathy, a emotion he hadn't yet felt for any other person in his life.

"I am the X-5, a research subject.... like a mouse or a chimp. They cut me to watch me heal.. Injected me with chemicals and drained blood so much that I could barley breath. I was an experiment." she had the faintest tremor in her voice as she spoke. Tai felt his stomach twist in pain as she mentioned being tortured.

"I'm sorry."

"I don't want pity."

"I don't pity... i was just saying that i am sorry you had to undergo that. I think i can understand why you hate humans. I guess i would too...." she looked at him with skepticism.

"I understand because i know that you are right about them.. About them being monsters."

"You're a human..." she said softly with the slightest thread of disdain.

"I never said i wasn't a monster." his voice was cold as he thought over the human species which he was unfortunately bound to by genes. Humans had destroyed their world, continued destroying each other, and it was humans who experimented on this girl before him. That bothered him in a way he couldn't really understand. He felt pangs of guilt ripple through him as though he himself had done those horrible things to the girl.

"You're a strange human Taichi..."

"Was that a complement or an insult?"

"Does it matter?"



"Why did you kill that man? He was your own species..." she questioned as she glanced over to the severed remains of the pilot who had been cut down in mid stride. He was surrounded by a pool of crimson, and seemed eerie in the faint glow of the lights. Sora looked at him with a slight curiosity as well as a sense of mirth at the remains of one of her captors.

"It's my job to kill people..."

"A race of monsters.... but at least you kill your own kind. I suppose that is a step up from the rest of humanity."

He gave a half smile as he looked at her smooth skin and radiant eyes. She did not return it. Tai suddenly was reminded of the fact that she was nude, as that realization reasserted itself he felt his cheeks burst into flaming blush. He glanced down sheepishly as Sora stood there in bewilderment. It was only after taichi mentioned it that she made a faint attempt at covering herself. Tai peeked up to find her too blushing. That was a pleasant surprise to him, to see that she was not completely alien to him. There was a faint glimmer of some of humanity's better qualities within her. they were subtle and sporadic, but they did exist.

"Umm... I should go to the cockpit and change the freighter's corse... why don't you borrow some of his cloths?" Sora looked down to the blood soaked pilot and made a face that caused tai to chuckle.

"I will not be wearing that man's clothing... but since it bothers you so much I'll improvise..." tai blushed a little deeper as he quickly turned away so he could hide the heat on his cheeks. He practically sprinted to the cockpit, leaving the hybrid to 'improvise'."



The cockpit was no different from the rest of the freighter, it too was old and worn, the chairs were of torn leather apolstry and the dials were cracked in several locations. The room was bathed in a faint red light cast down from the overhead lighting. Everything was either a shade of red, or a deep black. The consol was still as the grave when Taichi entered and sealed the door behind himself.

With a labored sigh he fell backwards against a wall. The cool metal felt good on his back and seemed to slow the thunderous beating of his heart. He couldn't believe himself. how could he feel this way about a potential threat. And that was what she was... a human digimon hybrid with a hatred for all humans. Tai wasn't kidding about not liking them himself. but she would see him as another human... and maybe try to kill him.

Tai knew that he should try to eliminate this hybrid, but somehow he felt that he could never allow himself to harm her, that he could never allow anyone to harm her. she was a species apart, but perhaps that was where this attraction lay... she was not another human on their road to self destruction. Not another looking to drugs or fornication as a quick fix to life's pain. Whatever the source of the feelings, they were strong. And in all likelihood, stronger then his will to resist them. He went to work on the console.

They say there are moments that are so important that they change the coarse of your entire life. These moments come like lightning from a clear sky. As Taichi plodded away on the keypanel he was filled with the revelation that meeting this young woman was such a moment in his own life. Their brief interaction was all it took to awaken a side of Taichi that he had thought never to have existed. He knew how sudden this was, but it was no use... he loved her. somehow he could feel that love palpitating through him like blood from the heart. He had never felt love before... and in that isolation thought it to not exist within him. But now as his mind's eye took in the face of that angelic girl he discovered that there was within him a seed. A tiny seed, no larger then a grain of sand. That seed was buried within him deep beneath the ice and snow. But now it was growing.

In all likelihood she would want no part of him.... would in fact want to kill him. But as he thought about her and that mysterious feeling she invoked, he knew his destiny involved her. He would do what he could for her... to set her free of her captors. To protect her from any who would do her harm... to show her that there is at least one human who would not be prejudice and afraid of her.

Tai shook his head as he listened to his own thoughts. This was so much not him that it made possession seem like a plausible excuse. He was shocked by the sheer depth of feeling he had for this girl after knowing her so briefly. His eyes lowered back to the controls, as he began re-correcting the corse and deactivating the tracking apparatus.

Whatever the corse of this new life he was embarking upon... it was already obvious it would not be a orthodox one, and most likely, a violent one.





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





Sora stood before the Greydramon with a notable interest in the massive mech. She studied it's rhythmic breathing with a great fascination. The creature was bathed in a off-white tarp that hung around it in an endless array of shadowy folds. The entire mass was covered and looked like a giant ghost of fabric that. Sora slowly approached the base of this specter and took hold of the tarp. With a quick pull she had managed to remove a section. The fabric ripped noisily as she began crafting the tarp into a cloak.

Her mind was filled with questions that bore no answer. Most were about this assassin boy. He was human, one of the species that had killed her parents... but somehow she found that her hatred could not be easily rooted tword him. Never before had she had this problem. Humanity was so easy to hate. But this boy was somehow different. He said he agreed that they were all monster, but the troubling part is that she found her self believing him. Something about him inspired faith in her.

And also there was a warmth. Not a fire, but a gentle heat that swelled within her body as she had touched him. Never before had she felt that. She had been touched by guards and scientists before, but there had always been such loathing in her when they touched her. it was like swelling nausea. But taichi.. He brought out pleasant little butterflies of heat within her stomach. She found herself wanting to touch him again. To feel that delightful little spark as their flesh touched.

When she had first seen him through the pod her plan had been to trick him into freeing her, then to kill him the second she was free. But that touch had saved him. He had caught her as she had fell and wrapped her in his arms. Her mind drifted back to how good those arms felt around her. he had done something else that registered as a pleasurable experience. He lay his lips against the top of her head. There was a word in their language for that... but she could not fully grasp it.

He was special in some way she could not grasp... and it was that which made her question if she would be able to kill him. She would spare him, at least until she discovered the origin of these feelings.





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



The coffin like pods were on their final descent as the automated clock triggered their destruct. With a sudden whoosh of flame and gas the pods exploded outward in three sections of steel which spun outward in the perpetual motion of space. The figures within remained motionless for only a moment before they too awakened.

The two mechs were alive with ghosts of shadow and phantoms of light. Ever so slowly they begin to move as though they had just awakened from hibernation within that cell of steel and plastic. Their appendages moved with sinuous motions that gently stretched out their forms. The devimon's tail slowly worked back and forth with anticipation as his claws pulsed with movement. Angemon's wings flexed, giving him the impression of being massive before they pulled back down to his body. His eyes glowed a emerald green from behind the silvery visor. Which was painted with strange designs and flickering shadow.

The space around them seemed alive with a strange heat that warped the image of the distant stars to squirming silver striations. The ethereal angel hovered there alongside a archfiend in the form of a great black devil with leathery wings. It hovered there alongside it's holy predecessor with a seeming peace between them. Truth be told, it would be unsure which truly was the devil and which the angel.

The humans within had been transformed in the brief time that elapsed from coffin to open space. It was now that they would be made to kill and hunt down the freighter. They would destroy the cockpit and then have a surrogate drag it back. Humanity was something to be shed when it was time to fight. Braedon was now truly demon as he hungered for the image of fire as it glides on the tides of space. They both were ready as their mech's suddenly picked up the faint signal of the freighter on their mid-range sensors. With less then a moment's delay they were off with no more then a solitary ember which spun off into oblivion in the thick blackness of cold space.

The two mech's wings flapped with wide swiping motions, that were in essence conditioned impulses. As they soared through the perpetual blackness of space. They flew with both thrusters and wings. Angemon's wings gently shifted as would a bird as it soared through air. There was no air in space, but it did still fly like an animal of the ancient earth. There was a grace to the motions of the two as they moved through space with seemingly flawless motion. Flying was controlled by the human pilot, but it was the digimon who supplied the instinct to make such motion possible. It was liberating in a way that surpassed words.

Literature had said that humans had always dreamed of great blue skies back when there were blue skies. But now flight was so reachable in a way that left tin can airplanes or rocket spaceships so far behind. Digimon were the key to freedom from the earth and from the ground. Through them mankind could evolve, if only for a moment, to a dreamlike form in which flight were real. Many humans became pilots for this reason... and almost all of them believed it to be a religious, and even poetic experience.

Like a silver laced specter it was vaguely visible from where they flew. It looked so pathetic as it was enveloped within the all seeing field of the sensors. It chugged along with a seeming cockiness in the disguise which shielded it so sorrowfully poorly. It was only as good as that false face it wore. It was laughable... angemon's wings spread wider in anticipation while the black devil alongside it shifted into a cloak and rippled away into the blackness of space. The act of cloaking was more an instinct of the predatory digimon. Angemon was not equipped with a personal cloak, thus it would register as clear as a bell on the ship's sensors.

The mech's ethereal glow made the metal radiate a burning silver hue. Angemon was now radiating light as though it had just descended from heaven itself with all the splendor of firmament. The markings on its being became white flame as spectral light erupted from it in great swirling clouds. The aura of the great digimon cast a faint and yet blinding light that seemed to bend space from black to white. The light was only permeated by the faint emerald glow of the eyes which were still concealed beyond the visor's outcropping rim. He was flying faster now as his light became so magnificent that the radiance had illuminated the cloaked form of devimon who was racing forward with a predatory speed.

The devimon mech was burning with a strangely luminous dark light that twisted against the encroaching white. They were flames of black fire laced with the slightest trim of violet. The two mechs were racing forward now in a blind rush. No communication was shared between the two pilots as they guided their mechs forward with a grace and precision that was alluring in a dark and hypnotic way. They flew in seeming patterns that brought one around the other. as they met there were crackling sparks of white and dark lightning and flame. They cast off swirling tongues of energy as they glided forward in the dance. Soon the energy had intensified to the point where all of the mech was consumed within an orb of silver or black flame. Within that flaming pyre the mechs drew their weapons. The devil took up his scythe which stood more as a staff. Angemon clutched a beam Sabre of white flame that hummed a macabre tune like the whistle of an executioner. The speed was mounting with impossible perportunes as they were now atop the decrepit snake of a transport freighter.







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



Tai turned around in the pilot's chair with an amused smirk on his lips. Sora was standing at the doorway clad in a white cloak that concealed the majority of her features. Her nudity was completely concealed behind the folds of the white fabric which billowed around her like a gown. It was surprisingly well crafted, especially considering that it had once been tarp. Sora gave a soft grin as she turned around so he could fully take her in.

The cloak glided on the still air as though it were no heavier then a feather. Tai found his eyes lightening as he took her in. The long coppery hair cascaded out from under the withdrawn hood in dozens of shimmering tendrils which lay at rest on her shoulder. She seemed to be more sociable now, though perhaps it was just tai wishing too hard that the hatred she felt to his species could be alleviated. But she was smiling ever so faintly, and that gave him some measure of pleasure. God how her face was transformed when she smiled. Her face became so human that he dared not tell her. but it was something he had never seen of the humans before. There was a kindness so deep that it was a river without beginning or end. He had known her for such a short time, but that was irrelevant... just a few moments with Sora had taught him that there was hope, even if not originating from a true-blooded human.

"What do you think Xian... err... Tai?" she corrected with a faint blush. Tai looked to her with question as he began to ask about why she called him by that strange name. His words were halted as she spoke with a more harsh tone then he would have preferred.

"Human language is not my first. Sometimes I slip and use my language on some words and names. Taichi is the equivalent of Xian in our language." she explained with softer tone then what she had used for the word "human."

"Does it have a meaning?" he questioned with genuine interest.

"Deliverer." she replied softly as tai smiled at the word. He both liked the idea of Sora seeing him in some way as a deliverer, but it also was a grim reminder of the dreams which haunted him and the tattoo that marred his wrist. His eyes moved over sora and froze upon her wrist. He felt his blood turn to ice and his breath turn to stone in his windpipe.

Upon her wrist she wore the dark tattoo of a digidestined. It was a tribal heart in thick black ink upon her cream skin. It burned into his eyes with such power that he felt the color fade from his cheeks. Sora smiled softly as she looked into his eyes with a sobriety that kept Taichi from his breath.

"You... you're one of them." he gaped.

"One of us... you have a mark too." Tai glanced down to his sleeve which still covered the dark sun on his wrist.

" I can feel it in you taichi... just like you feel it in me."

"N-no... I can't feel anything. I'm not taichi Kamiya!" he breathed out in a faint but terrified whisper. Sora shocked him further as she stepped forward and in a blind act of compassion touched his face.

"It doesn't matter to me tai... all they are dreams and memories from a long time ago. I don't care if i was some hero to humans back a thousand years ago. All that is a lifetime away tai.. I don't want to be a part of that world... and if you don't, then you don't have to be a part of it either." tai watched her as her face was so close to his that he could feel her warm and sweet breath as it transformed his skin to gooseflesh. She was so beautiful as those fiery eyes fixed on him with such a deep reservoir of tenderness that it moved him in a way he had never known possible. Her lips were so close to his own that he could see the faint shimmer of the overhead light in their aspect. Her words came to him as a soft fragrance that was heard instead of smelled. They gave him a comfort he could not adequately word. He breathed out her name as all the reply he could think of to her words of such meaning and eloquence. That name in itself was volumes.

Sora stared at him from her distance of no more then two inches apart, and as she looked through him with those ethereal eyes of molten flame he felt more life in himself then ever before.

What startled him more was the name he had used for her. He had not called her sora, but instead the name she briefly mentioned upon their first meeting.

"Shara.." he breathed

Her lips were so close now that the heat they radiated filled his own as a phantom kiss that bore the dream of being made real in one more moment. Her words came as a faint whisper of lust and something else that tai could not name as of yet. She breathed out the word as her lips drew closer. "Xian...."

And just as they were about to make contact in the first kiss of both their lives the console came alive in the shrill scream of the proximity alarm.







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



"You want to do the honors angel?" demon smirked over the com and was answered only with a faint smile from his partner. The com flicked off to the image of the docile freighter which hung there in seeming shock.

Angemon suddenly flung himself forward upon the serpentine freighter. The silvery sword of both steel and light was drawn out with a menacing sheen to the radiant blade. He drew back and brought it downward over the engine-room of the serpent freighter. It cut cleanly in a sudden eruption of silver flame. The metal was white hot where it had been cleaved and hung there in frozen momentum before the wounded engine erupted.

The great hulking machine screamed in a low, agonized, cry as the fuel cells bled plasma into the open compartments. In it's raw form it was a thick glowing gas, but as it kissed the burning metal where angemon had cleaved it, there was an eruption of flame that blew the severed compartment outward into space in fragments of burning steel.

The angel was bathed in white flame as it towered over the wounded snake with sword gleaming in malevolent light.







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



Taichi's eyes went wide as he felt the jarring shudder of angemon's attack. As his eyes turned to the open doorway he was terrified by the wall of fire which rushed at them at a blinding speed. It had moved from compartment to compartment with a deadly persistence as it sought out flesh to make kindling of. The captain had already been charred to black soot by this very wave, and now it was coming for taichi and sora. Sora was staring at the flame with an intent gaze as taichi tried to form something in the way of a goodbye to his almost lover who would now be his partner in death.

She turned her back to the fire but as taichi stared at her face he saw no fear, just a silent resolve that evoked questions, but also hope.

"Are all humans so quick to accept death? No wonder you all are so easy to kill... well i for one am not ready to become extinct." she smirked.

Her back exploded with such force that it threw her cloak upward like a massive updraft of hot air. The gentle curve of her back on her shoulderblades came alive with motion as skin gave way to steel. Taichi's eyes were wide as two great skeletal appendage burst forth from her shoulders and then began to explode with thousands of metal blades in rows of attrition on these new branches of silvery steel. Tai gaped as the wings finally took shape. They were like an angel's wings only instead of soft downy these wings were of silvery metal plumes. The wings were massive and as Taichi felt himself enveloped within them, they seemed able to swallow up the two and still have room.

The massive silver wings closed around both Taichi and Sora in a seal that even the flames could not penetrate. Within the embrace tai was amazed by how safe it was within these wings. He glanced up and found Sora staring down at him with an amused look on her soft face.

"Can't believe I saved you...."

"Don't worry, you just did it so you can kill me later." he smiled grimly. She chuckled. The fire bathed over them, yet they lived safely within the shell of silvery wings that surrounded them. tai could feel Sora all around him, not just her wings either, but her arms too. It was only now that he realized how close they were. What once had felt like a massive cavern of silvery dark wings now was a bubble around them. the proximity was not unpleasant as it closed over them like a warm skin. He could feel that these wings were weapons for they bore a razors edge that was carefully adjusted so he would not be cut. They were like gold in texture, soft and yet strong. He felt safer in that seal of razor wings then he had his whole life. Even though they were steel there was still a warmth to them, like Sora herself.

"Are you an angel?" he whispered softly.

"Not even close Xian.." she smiled as she used his name in her tongue instead of his. The angelic wings opened and as they did there was a rush of hot air that stung Taichi's lungs as he breathed it in. Sora's hair danced in the hot winds as she questioned Taichi.

"What just happened?"

"We were attacked by something... the engine room must have exploded. We're dead in the water.." he cast a glance over to the console with trepidation, only to find the intense heat had destroyed the controls and left behind a smoldering pile of melted plastics and fused circuits. The air smelled of burnt leather and wire with the faint aroma of metalic gasses rising like specters from the decimated control room. Gentle flurries of ash danced along Taichi's feet as they made their way out of the control room and tword the engine room. There was a faint glow of fire radiating from the compartments with more fuel for the flame. Tiny particles of refuse now were alive with the flickering tongues of orange and yellow flame. The ceiling was clouded with black thick smoke that triggered the shrill scream of the fire alarms. The smoke was slowly wafting backwards in a gentle receding tide.

"Tai... the air is thinning!" Sora suddenly gasped. Tai was filled with a sudden profound fear. If the atmosphere were to be lost in this confines space then they would have no chance. He was unsure how Sora knew that the air was being drained outward through a gap in the hull. But now as he looked down at the flurries of ash and the slow tide of the smoke it was clear.

"We have to get to my ship!" tai yelled with a sudden urgency as he and Sora broke into a run down the smoldering corridors. They passed the charcoaled bones of the decapitated captain. He crumbled to dust as tai accidentally kicked his skull. Their footfalls clanged heavily on the metal of the walkway that still sizzled with heat from the inferno.

They had reached the compartment before Greydramon's when the loss of air became too much. Tai could feel the pull of the vacuum on him. As he looked through the partially open door he saw only fire and destruction. The corridor was cluttered with broken pipes and severed electrical wires, still crackling with white sparks. The room was littered with devastation and it became painfully clear that if they did make it to the raven it would be in similar condition. Tai felt nausea hit his stomach in waves as Sora stared bleakly at the devastated compartments. Her wings were pulled closer to her body, though they still were impressive.

"Without my ship we're dead." he stated blankly. For the first time he was truly against the idea of dying, yet here he was at it's doorstep. Sora snarled suddenly as her eyes turned the same wispy red as they had before. Her hair raised to full attention and glided on nonexistent currents of air. Her teeth had elongated to a more feral set of fangs that thankfully were not directed at tai. The wings on her back now were raised to a all encompassing stature.

"Like hell!" she roared in a voice of rage as her eyes exploded with ruby flame. Her hands shot forward and began crackling with light. The ash and debris on the ground swirled around her in a hurricane of wind and energy that cast her cloak into a frantic dervish dance. The metal grate underfoot began to shiver in fear as the ancient power of her species was evoked. Tai stepped back in shock as he watched the bolts from some of the wall mountings burst off like the corks from miniature wine bottles. Sora's hands were glowing with energy as she suddenly bellowed out in a enraged battle-cry. The ground between her and the passageway was suddenly ripped apart by a shockwave so intense and directed that it crushed steel like brittle sandstone in a direct line with the doorway. The room beyond exploded with embers and debris as the blast pulverized all that lay in her path. Tai covered his eyes as wood and steel splintered and cracked and fragmented to embers and rubble. Sora advanced upon the doorway and then repeated the attack to completely clear the room. When she turned to tai she found him clutching the wall taking shallow breaths. The air was so thin that he would soon pass out. she ran to him and grabbed him as he was about to fall. She was afraid of losing this boy. More afraid then she could remember being.

Sora scanned the room frantically until they fell upon the Greydramon. It was incredible. The thing had the qualities of a knight and a dragon all in one. Its wings were blades that lay around the kneeling form of the silverish-black mech. It's faceplate wore dragon horns and a helmet that resembled the mythic beast. Behind that helmet were various steel plates that preceded a red jewel-like orb that glistened faintly in the darkness of the room. The entire body was bathed in phantoms of shadows and wispy ghosts of orange light which washed in from the fire. Her eyes lit up as she stared at the slowly breathing digimon. A chance.

"Come on tai! We need to get you in the Greydramon."

"Sora... there's only room for one. I want you to get in." he ordered weakly which caused a faint smile in Sora as she pulled Taichi to the mech's chest.

"I'm part digimon remember? I can survive in zero atmosphere. But you need air!" she helped tai stand before the mech's chest and then cursed at how it was lacking a entrance. Tai's eyes fell upon it's chest which bore a red jewel that glowed faintly. It was massive, and covered the mech's heart. Tai could feel the slow and relaxed bass that radiated from within that jewel of ruby flame. His drowsy eyes fell upon a faint sliver of golden fire which erupted with each rhythmic beat. He slowly drew his hand closer to the orb and found that the golden fire grew the closer he got.

His own pulse was hammering in tune with the golden light and the rapidly increasing thunder of the mech's heartbeat. His hand was so close now that the warmth spread to his finger tips. He touched it.

The heart exploded with golden and red flame as thousands of tiny lightening bolts assaulted tai's hand. He felt the sparks of golden fire probe through his veins and into his very core. He pressed down on the jewel that was the shared heart of Greydramon and himself. Sora stared in awe as she witnessed the partnering. The chest suddenly erupted in a gentle white steam as the armored torso gently opened to accept him. Layers of metalic and organic armor parted to open to a warm dark hollow. Sora helped push Taichi into the cavity and watched in shock as it sealed itself with him inside. She jumped off as her eyes locked on the mighty Greydramon.





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



Tai felt himself being pulled deeper into the core of the Greydramon. He wasn't sure if the thundering heartbeat he heard was the mech's or his own. but he felt a strange comfort as he was pulled deeper into the mech's body. His arms were stretched out while his feet remained together. the air was clean and plentiful now as he assumed the Greydramon was producing it for him. The entire cavity was alive with motion as it shifted itself to match his body. There was only darkness to be seen, but as he listened his senses were filled with a strange song. It was like the singing of whales in the deep oceans of the lost earth. Only the oceans remained whole on that planet after the sky turned lethal. Whales and other aquatic animals eventually were able to adapt to this change.

Tai had heard the songs of whales and dolphins and there was a similarity to the sound of the digimon. It was something that comforted Taichi in a strange way. As though he were able to almost hear the Greydramon's thoughts. He continued to listen for a while as the mech acclimated itself to him. He was shocked when he felt the pain start. It was so fast and so agonizing that he screamed out. All along his spine he felt the hot pain as something was impaled into the nervous chord. The tiny pieces of Greydramon soon vanished in his consciousness as they positioned themselves along his spinal chord. The wounds healed faster then humanly possible and as they healed all that remained of the fiery pain was a low ache.

He was doubled over in pain when all in one great flash the world was opened to him. He suddenly could see in a way he had never thought possible his vision came from all angles and spectrums. His mind existed on plains that preceded all his wildest dreams. He found with shock that he could see Sora through greydramon's eyes. He moved his hand and was startled to find that the greydramon's hand moved. It was a strange experience to suddenly be someone else. No longer tai, but now the greydramon. He spoke to sora through the com and was amazed that both, he knew how to use the com, and that the voice he produced through greydramon was his own. He wished he were a poet so he could adequately word this amazing feeling of being a part of something more then just what he was. It was like being tossed into the very core of the universe and having every mystery and sensation shown and explained to you. He could feel beyond feeling and know things that he could not explain to any who were not partnered to a digimon.

"Hey tai! You in there?" sora yelled up. Tai focused on her and was astounded to be suddenly made aware of every microscopic hair on her body and every last gentle and unperceivable curve of her body. He felt her heart beating as though his hand were to her chest.

"This is incredible.... god sora.... it's amazing." he gaped as she stared up at him.

"Tai focus.. Don't let yourself drift off. We need to get out of this thing before whatever attacked us decides to finish the job. Can you work that thing?"

"I.. I think I can..."

"How about weapons? What does this thing have?" she yelled up in question. He winced.

"Sora, these sensors are really good at picking up sound. Please quit yelling." he spoke softly as he and greydramon both rubbed their ear on impulse even though one didn't have ears, and the other wasn't hearing sora with his ears.

"Geez sora... not like this thing comes with an owner's manual." sora raised an eyebrow.

"How do i get stuck with the only assassin in the species who doesn't know how to use a mech. I thought everyone of your kind was some kind of pilot." she quipped.

The greydramon slowly raised to his feet with a degree of uneasiness. Its clawed talons dug into the ground, carving a series of deep gashes which shredded metal like paper. The two wings at his side stretched outward and then closed back to their ready positions at his side. The mighty titan of grey steel stood more surely now as it tested the new appendages. It was basically human, but the dragon side was undeniable. It was something more then any other mech in a way that could not be clearly elaborated on. It looked to sora through the gleaming redness of it's jewel-like eyes.

It stretched out a hand, and within a moment the talons exploded outward like a series of wicked swords. It flexed its claws with genuine interest to the new faculties of this body. The talons gleamed brighter in the faint amber glow of the flames. They were bathed in the faint orange light cast off by the flames which danced in agony over the last of the oxygen.

"Are you really positive about that no air thing? Cause to get out of here we are going to need to go through open space.." he worried.

"My kind are space dwellers. I can breath and survive in space without a ship or a life support system. Worry about yourself, whatever decided to kill the engine is still probably out there." she smirked with a dark glee at the idea of a fight. Tai knew she was truly preying for a group of human manned mechs with which she could shred. He wasn't sure if one hybrid could actually take on a mech... but sora's confidence in it was all he needed to push him onward.







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



"Not very much of a workout if you ask me." angel quipped as he floated next to demon's mech which was hovering silently while spinning his scythe.

"What were you expecting? Lets just have a surrogate tug this thing back. They should both be undamaged by the fire, but the pilot must be charcoal by now, no sense waiting for all the air to drain out." demon reasoned as he motioned for one of the surrogates. The machine responded with mindless enthusiasm as it flew over to the front of the machine and latched on. It was no more then a drone to the will of its superiors.

Just as the freighter was beginning to move there was a sudden anxiety in angel. He quickly made contact with demon.

"My sensors are detecting an energy signature!" he yelled over the com with a suddenness that startled the younger pilot. The sensors were screaming with warning as the energy source came alive before them. They were about to call back the surrogate when the freighter wrenched violently forward. As if struck. The serpentine transport curled back on itself in convulsion as the central compartment exploded outward in a hail of steel and flame which erupted like a cyclone of debris. They drew back in astonishment and horror as the freighter "harmony" was reduced to fire and steel within a heartbeat's time. The explosion came out as a storm in the inky blackness of space. The fire danced outward in the remaining oxygen like a nest of flying snakes. The flame spun outward in a dervish around a central figure of massive size that was bathed in flame like a cloak.

The two marauders gaped at the figure which swam in a sea of golden flame. It was shadow and fire to them now but as the fires died it came more clear to them. a cold sweat ran down Takeru's back as he watched the massive mech stretch out its colossal wings of razors. The memory was a closely rooted one to Takeru as he watched the dragon knight arise from the flame. He was afraid to some extent but thrilled all the same. He wanted this to ring true... to be given the chance for vengeance against the foe which might be standing here.

Greydramon roared outward in a reptilian cry that was saturated in savagery. The sensors stretched outward and touched the mechs that surrounded them. tai was shocked by the ease of moving greydramon. Some of it was second nature to him while other aspects were shrouded behind a strange fog in his mind. he felt the presence of devimon and angemon. Though one was partially hidden behind a cloaking device he could still sense it on some level.



"Tai... do you feel them?" sora questioned as she floated beside him, her wings gently shifting to keep her balanced.

"Yeah i do... but sora i am not a pilot. These guys are going to kick my ass if i try fighting them."

"Well now would be a good time to get good at using that thing cause those are not pacifists over there. They're marauders... that means they are here to steal the ships cargo, greydramon and me..." Taichi's eyes darkened as that thought registered fully within his mind.

his voice came in a low and reptilian hiss that seemed both the be greydramon's voice and his own. "no..."



"This is angel, from the marauders. you are to surrender the greydramon and the digital hybrid to us. Eject now or be destroyed" the comm hissed out as taichi stared into the stolid expression of angel. His ruby eyes gleamed in a way that was similar to sora's, though they were more the shade of blood then fire. He smiled thinly at tai.

"No... leave now or i will kill you." he uttered darkly in the tone of an assassin. His eyes gleamed with a strange light in the darkness of the cockpit. Angel smirked at the words with no attempt to hide the pleasure he got from hearing tai's readiness to fight.

"Understood... i hope you are a better pilot then you appear to be. The com flicked off



Angemon stretched out his sword to the surrogates. They stiffened under his gaze with a mindless readiness. With a motion from angemon's blade they dove upon greydramon at a incredible speed. Their claws stretched open like four massive switchblades as they rushed downward upon him.

Greydramon managed to dive out of the way in the last moment as the first of the wraiths nearly split him down the middle. Tai was frantically searching for how to activate some form of a weapon on this mech when he was struck from behind by another bakamon. Tai cried out in pain as he and greydramon both lurched forward and hissed in agony. He managed to turn to see the bakamon which had wounded him standing there with its claws bathed in a blood-like liquid that must be greydramon's. He was suddenly struck by the realization of how strong the link he and the mech shared. Damage to one was damage to them both.

The bakamon charged him with open claws. Tai managed to cover his face just as the claw would have connected for a death blow. The attack throbbed in tai's forearm as he stared up helplessly at the spectral digimon. It had drawn back for another attack which would probably kill him when sora suddenly flung herself upon him.

The surrogate was thrown off the stunned greydramon by the force of the impact as the feral sora hovered before him. Her hair was standing on end as she flung herself upon him. Tai gaped as she proceeded to shred into the mech with claws and wings. She was engulfed within such a rage that soon she was screaming out words in her language as she ripped plates of metal off the wounded bakamon. He shrieked in a cold metalic voice as his body suddenly fell limp.

Sora looked up just in time to see the second bakamon as it smacked her off its fallen brethren. Sora was caught off guard and thus had no time to defend against the hit. She was propelled backwards by the force which would have killed any normal human.

Tai shrieked in rage as in a moment he was up. The greydramon moved like lightning as within one motion it was able to use its open wing full of razors to slice through the bakamon which had hurt sora. The mech floated there for a moment before it burst into flames.

Sora looked up at tai with a measure of pride as she spat a bit of blood from her mouth. She cast a small smile to tai as proof that she had survived without serious harm.



"Good... it would seem our little pilot is not completely inept as a fighter." angel smirked to demon who also was watching the fight with interest.

Tai grinned darkly as some of the fog receded. With a flash of blue fire greydramon was in battle with the next. It skillfully dodged a swipe from one of the clawed hands of a bakamon. As the enemy was off balance he grabbed the bakamon by the head. The digimon squirmed against him for only a moment as greydramon suddenly quelled his struggling by ripping the head off the mech's torso.

Greydramon hurtled through the sky from one bakamon to the next with a seemingly limitless capacity for battle. Tai had stopped thinking as now all was impulse that perhaps was coming from him or maybe the greydramon. Thought had faded away to reaction as he began getting lost in the act of fighting. The surrogates were no match for greydramon as soon it had decimated the last of them and left them no more then floating debris on the dark tides of space. The world was now fire and light which swirled around him like the dream he had the previous night. He was only able to hear his own shallow breaths as he panted softly from exertion. Sora was beside him, but she was surprisingly quiet as she allowed him time to digest this new experience.

he glanced upward and saw the two mechs staring down at him with interest. Devimon was now uncloaked as he peered down with glowing red eyes. They were judging taichi as a pilot with a silent deliberation. Tai knew that soon it would come to a fight between the four of them, but for now all was still as they conversed with one anouther.



"He is impressive, even for fighting surrogates." demon observed as he stared at the greyish black flesh of the digimon who glowered up at them.

"I know... when i first saw him i thought he might be the black monster. But the greydramon doesn't look enough like it, despite a few similarities. Also the boy who is piloting the greydramon is a newbie... not like the black monster." angel said softly.

"He's not going to give up the hybrid or the mech."

"It was a risk that the greydramon would find a pilot. Ishida wanted it for our forces, but since it is partnered to this kid we have no recourse but to make sure it doesn't fall into an enemy's hands. As for the hybrid... We can make due with some of her genetic structure if we can't take her alive."

"You are loving this aren't you?" demon smirked as he raised an eyebrow.

"The chance to do battle against a digimon like that... you know it. Don't try to deny that you don't want this chance also. You were cut from the same cloth as i... this is a new plateau for us. We have never done battle against such a foe."

"Even though the pilot is a joke?"

"Well hopefully greydramon will be able to make up somewhat of a challenge."

"Don't underestimate the pilot... there is something about him that bears watching." demon smirked with a fading veil of restraint. As he and angel spoke the two mechs became more heightened for battle. The tense energy that radiated of them seemed more vivid in the faint blackness of space. Around them minute particles of gas and metal fragments swirled in tiny currents of space. In the distance the severed carcases of the bakamon floated like dead fish upon oily water. They were not intact, most were torn to shreds and left so decimated that they were no more then scrap armor and twisted cybernetic flesh.

Angel slowly lowered so that he was on the same level as taichi. His green eyes burned beneath the visor with wispy flames of jade. The wings of this massive angelic figure stretched outward in a form of great majesty. The digimon was slender and sleek, even despite the massive armor which hung over the angel's chest with long and ridged thorns and spines of shimmering silver. It was only now as taichi stared at the digimon that he caught the faintest wisps of long platinum hair which floated like spider webs.

The greydramon growled low at the image of the humanoid foe. There was a dragon's heart now bound to taichi's. A hunger and rage that seemed to bubble up from the digimon's core. He was more dragon then anything else and that bred for a fiery lust for conflict and war. It watched with interest as the black devimon lowered downward to meet him. The two were armed with weapons of various origins. The angel had a sword that seemed mostly energy based while the devil carried a massive steel scythe. They were both fearsome opponents with a seemingly superior mastery of their mechs. And what troubled him most is that on some levels he hoped they were as strong as they appeared.

The com flickered to life with the image of angel. His eyes were ice as they burned into the chocolate orbs of taichi. Tai stared back with a collected and yet menacing glare. As angel took him in the ice shimmered ruby. They spoke of a vague surprise in the look of the young assassin. He studied tai in that instant with more intensity then any sensor. They were looking for something in tai... something he didn't know.... the probing stopped as angel assumed taichi did not remember him. That was good... but even a unawakened taichi would be capable of testing takeru's limits. This would be a new high for takeru to fight his one time mentor and hero. Taichi had once been so much to him... a role-model for his every conception of courage and honor. He would relish a fight against such a powerful opponent...

But if he won... to kill taichi would be more then he could stand. He dreaded the realization that he had finally been able to surpass his hero. In a thousand lifetimes tai had always been so far ahead... always a teacher and never an equal. The thought that takeru could defeat this icon was a troubling one, in his heart he knew he was not ready to become a role-model or icon.

"You have passed the first trial, but now you face us. You will not live past this day pilot, but let us see if you can die with honor." demon spoke in a low and spectral voice as he stared into the chocolate brown eyes of taichi. He was probing into tai with that gaze that seemed capable of reading thought as easily as text. Tai stared back without a reply as he listened to the slow pulsing heartbeat of greydramon.

Tai closed his eyes for a moment before opening them with a newfound darkness. "You will not get her... i refuse to give you the chance to put her into another laboratory. She and greydramon are under my protection." he spoke with such resolve that angel took notice in a difference about him. A darkness that burned alongside those same old codes of honor and heroics.

"What does it matter to you? You could leave the mech and the girl. You are a decent pilot, honor dictates that you are worth sparing. If you make no further act of aggression against us, we will drop you off at a space port. You aren't going to get this offer again..." angel uttered with no levity in his soft and yet powerful voice.

"I can't abandon sora." he whispered faintly.

"What is your name boy?"

"Taichi."

"Well then taichi... you have something many don't posses. Courage and loyalty are virtually gone in this world. I am impressed that you are willing to stand for a hybrid, a creature most would damn because of fear and prejudices of her race. You have earned my respect and that is something few have." angel said

" i don't suppose you are willing to let us go?" he chuckled.

"I may respect you taichi, but i still have a task to perform. Good luck."



All was suddenly illuminated as the majestic angel shot forward upon the dragon. Greydramon was able to narrowly evade the downward strike from the silvery sword. As the blade cut the space, tiny embers of silver broke away and flickered in the dim light. Greydramon shot backwards as angemon swiped out horizontally, again kicking up silver flakes of light which died in the cold of space. Tai was withdrawing as the angel attacked with a lightning quick volley of slashes. Each time greydramon was able to evade, but they soon became faster and more powerful.

The dragon slipped away from an upward thrust, but was caught in the face by a well placed kick. The impact jarred taichi as the greydramon hurtled backwards unceremoniously. Pain burned within his jaw as he used his wings to stop his momentum. With a sudden flash of light his attention was drawn upward to where angemon was hurtling downward with sword ready. The moment was frozen as greydramon had no time to fly away. All he could do was draw up his hands in defense.

It was then that a new faculty became available to his use. From the core of greydramon, which was pure energy, thousands of tiny metalic tendrils grew like veins and arteries. Tai gaped as the coiled nerves of silicon grew throughout the entire mech at startling speed. Tai didn't really grasp their purpose until the blade was an inch away. And then as death seemed close enough to touch it happened. It was lightning through the veins. The energy from that great surging core shot outward through these new organs like power cables. It exploded from the heart of the greydramon to the forearm where the flesh was changing to accommodate this new adaptation.

Just as death was about to snatch him up the forearm of greydramon exploded with jade light. It was a blinding flash of emerald which swirled outward in waves of living energy. The energy solidified in the form of a blade. It was of pure energy that gleamed with jade luminosity. As angemon's sword collided with it the two energies clashed and crackled like thunder. Angemon was frozen in shock as was greydramon by the sudden evolution of the mech.

"A pure energy weapon!?" demon gaped from his place farther back.

The light flashed like a strobe of jade and silver as the two mechs bore down against one anouther. tai snarled out in triumph as he threw angemon backwards. The angel was stunned but not damaged as tai glanced down to the burning sword in his hand. It hummed faintly with a metalic growl.

"TK! That weapon was pure energy... not energy created around a amplifier like your mech's sword. How can it focus that kind of power?!?" demon gasped. Sora smiled at tai from where she floated.

"He's learning that thing faster then normal...." she breathed out, more to herself then to anouther.



"Good... he's better then i had hoped...." angel smiled.



Angemon exploded forward once more. This time greydramon advanced as well at a blinding speed. They clashed sword to sword over and over again in a dance of speed and fury. The sky was alive with the luminescence from this battle as silver and green light exploded like lightning over a cloudless sky. The two darted forward and struck out three times before darting away in a new maneuver. Greydramon was flying faster now as it glided on the tides of space like a rocket. The razor wings would slash at the angel at various intervals while the two drew close enough for such maneuvers.

After the dance had gone on for a seeming eternity angemon retreated out of range.

"Lets step the lesson up a notch..." he smirked while panting lightly. As the words left his mouth the angel mech's wings stretched outward to full length. Greydramon drew back in shock as the angel's wings began to spark with blue lightning. It started small with no more then a few brief flashes, but soon it was alive with crackling blue and silver thunder.

"Heaven's charm!" it called out in TK's voice

the wings suddenly erupted in thousands of tiny blue bolts of lightning. Greydramon shot backwards as the glowing bluish embers of light and lighting exploded at him like a barrage of tiny comets. They came at greydramon in waves off attrition that were not easy to avoid. He flew upward in a corkscrew pattern and was only hit by a few dozens of the thousands of blue cinders. They all massed together in a tightly knit pack as they rocketed upward after him. By instinct alone he was able to close himself up in the dragon wings and focus the strange energy to a shield. Even behind the green shield and the armored wings it felt as though he were being torn to bits under such a ferocious assault. The shield exploded into fragments of green energy which fizzled away soon after being flung outward into space.

He was laying there in a daze as he became vaguely aware that the impact had hurt him severely. Ribs were broken and he had a light concussion. Wounds shared by greydramon.

He glanced up to see both enemy mechs exploding forward at top speed with weapons drawn.

"Good try taichi... it was an honor killing you." angel muttered as he drew closer to make the kill. It was only as they were no closer then seven feet that taichi's eyes shot open with a strange and unnatural light. Greydramon's sword had dematerialized during the impact of angemon's attack, and now he opened both clawed palms to the oncoming attackers. The veins of energy crackled within him as he suddenly spoke out words he didn't fully comprehend.

"DRAGON RAGE!!!" as the words echoed through his own ears and those of his opponents the energy began to take shape. Angemon and devimon halted their attack and tried to break away, but were caught within the tidal force of the attack. Energy erupted from his hands like a maelstrom of liquid fire which was jade and silver and dark black all at once. The blast engulfed the two mechs with one great bite and continued to throw them backwards. The beam was devastating as they were able to break away from the blast. The two mechs were charred and damaged as they managed to regain equilibrium. Tai had passed out during the attack, drained from both wound and energy loss. Greydramon was also in a seeming state of unconsciousness as he hung there in space without motion, wings open and limp alongside the arms.

"I can see why Ishida wants that thing... it has a limitless energy reserve. If it wasn't still weak from my attack it could have killed us I bet." angel muttered as he willed the angemon mech back to life. Demon was doing the same as they both prepared to finish off the immobilized mech. However, just as they were almost recovered Sora appeared before them with a dark smile on her lips.

"Forgot something did you?" she smirked. Her hair was flowing in nonresistant wind as she raised her hands out to the weakened foes. The palms of her hands were glowing white, as she stretched out her wings to their utmost.

"The human Taichi is under my protection now... remember that if you ever try to harm him again...." she growled as her hands raised skyward. Braedon and Takeru both looked up with trepidation as the very fabric of space began swirling with energy. Clouds of energy swirled like the spectral clouds of nebulas. The energy was localized over Sora like a thick rain cloud that shimmered with heat lightning. And then as she brought her hands back down, two bolts of silver lightning struck, erupting from the heart of the nebula cloud and exploded upon the two mechs. They were engulfed within the silver light which danced over their frames in thousands of tiny bolts of silver lightning. They were suddenly thrown backwards by a monumental force into space, adrift.

Sora watched them for a time to insure that they were both unable to counter attack. It seemed that they were both unconscious due to the final attack. Sora knew that their mechs were already healing them, and that within half an hour the two would be back to full strength.

Her attention returned to Greydramon as she flew over to him. He was alive and awake to some extent, though Taichi remained in a deep dreamless sleep. She stroked Greydramon's massive hand with the knowledge that Taichi could feel it.

"Come on... we need to get you some place to recover..." she said with genuine concern. Her gaze slowly fell upon a tiny planet in the distance. Sora stared at it for a moment before closing her eyes. She sighed heavily as she spoke out a name with many feeling attached to it. A place of memories... and perhaps their salvation.



"Earth...."







Hope is a very intangible thing.

It can be kindled or extinguished within a heartbeat.

It soars and it plummets.

Hope is a key

it opens the gateways to all things worth having.

If we lose it, we ourselves are lost.

Cultivate it, or be lost.



Not The End...