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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

Oh my god I finally finished this chapter. I would like to apologize profusely for the massive wait i put on all of you. I hope you find this chapter worth the wait. The reason it took so long is because i can only write on the weekends with my schedule as it is. But by god i will finish this fic or die in the process. Either or. This isn't the best i have written but it isn't the worst. Lol don't flame me for that ok ^^

ok now about the recent problems fanfiction net has been having with the author alert. I have decided that so long as the author alerts are for the paying members only i will do my part to help anyone who wants to know when i post something new. I'll do a mailing list that will serv as an author alert for anyone who wants to know when i post something new. The details of this are at the bottom of my member profile on fanfiction net. I am not a bot so there is always the chance i may forget to send a message out when i post something. But i will try to be consistent.

Hope that helps. If interested take a look at the member profile.



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







Dark Horizon

by Logan







"The Dying world"



They had managed to land with some luck in the ruins of the once great city "New York." the city had once been called a pearl among cities. The land of opportunity where a great statue had once stood as a guardian and a greeter to ship fulls of the hopeless who came to this land seeking a better life. Perhaps they had achieved that goal once... pulled themselves up from squaller to a world that knew no bounds. That was not the case now.

The great statue of liberty now lay crumpled upon the stony earth of her isle. Where once her flesh had been a faint jade green, now it was a thick and matted brown with faint streaks of coppery red rust. The torch and most of the face lay intact upon the ground, though now the torch was missing plates and scarred by the all consuming rust. The sad eyes of the statue looked out from a pile of twisted metal with a deep lament upon her unblinking eyes. She stared out over the once great city with a timelessness that seemed to be older then the stars in the heavens.

The great city was now toppled and stood there in the burning sun like the bleached bones of long dead giants. Some of the buildings still stood while others had toppled to the earth in a mountain of concrete and steel. They had crushed into the network of tunnels with such a force that they shook the world as the mighty giants died. Some buildings had fallen into the bay and now lay there half submerged. The currents of water flowed through the office building with the same tide it had always had. Mankind's greatest achievements lay there now, dead upon the scorched earth.

Some say the fall of the planet was due to warheads... others pollution.... but the result was all the same. Mankind had caused the thinning of the fragile shield that kept the solar radiation at bay. Without that layer the sky turned to death, and soon the golden sun killed and broiled whatever could not find refuge. The land was now a desert of golden sand that blew across endless plains and dunes. The city of new York had managed to survive being buried by no more then luck. The currents of air had kept the sands at bay and left the once great metropolis standing.

Sora had managed to guide the Greydramon's fall so that it landed without violently crashing to the stony earth. Tai was hurt badly... that was becoming more clear to her with each hour. The stress of partnering, then the attack, had left him on the point of death. He was only human she reminded herself. After much work she had successfully pulled him from the chest of the mighty dragon. Tai looked so fragile as he had been lay there beside the mech. His forehead bled freely for a time and it seemed that his breathing caused him pain. This hurt Sora far more then she was ever prepared for.

She could remember Taichi as he had once been. Through the eyes of centuries he had always been looked on with love and friendship. But that was a lifetime ago. She hated humans, and here she was terrified that this one may perish. She lay beside him in the shadow of one of the tilting skyscrapers. She found herself more at peace as she remained close to him. Touching was better, though always within earshot. She had gently touched his cheek on various occasions during the first few hours.

There was a faint film of perspiration on his brow. He was too close to fever.. Too close to dying. Sora lay her head on his chest, careful of the ribs, his heart was still beating. Soft and rhythmically it tolled to her. She could smell him. His scent was an earthy one, a simple and yet appealing musk that she committed to memory. There was a part of her that responded to scent as would a digimon. She could smell so much about him... it was as though it were some sixth sense. In his scent she could divine certain traits about his health and even his nature. She could trust her own olfactory sense far more then the word of a human... that sense gave her the impression that this boy was special... rare... and that it would be a great loss if he perished on this lost world.

The attraction was a strong one. She felt closer to him now, even as she looked down on him she was not repulsed. He was human... no trace of digimon in his lineage... but she still found his slender cheeks and perportuned nose pleasant. He was human, but more then that. The evil in that race seemed to be no more then a whisper in this boy. She smiled down on him as she drew her head to his own. She nuzzled him gently as she breathed him in.

Sora had lived her life in a cell of glass and steel. She had been a prisoner and a victim for so long that these new feelings had all the more power over her. They were truly new... compassion for an enemy... but more so. The desire to take a mate. Love. Digimon mate for life, and Sora was part digimon. She felt a strange pleasantness at the idea of having tai as her mate. She couldn't hep at chuckling at the irony of herself considering a human for a mate. But then again... she didn't see tai as a human. Just a very strange digimon.

Her hand slipped into his own limp hand as she slowly curled up next to him. Once the sun set, she would go out and see about finding food and water. If Taichi died she would truly be alone again... and that scared her. There were so few of her own kind left. And there were no other humans like Taichi. If she lost him, she might never find a mate worthy to share her life with.

"Don't go and die Xian..." and with that she fell asleep beside him.



*********



Ishida leaned back in his plush leather chair as he stared hatefully down upon the green numeric screen which cast a jade glow over his features. There was obvious displeasure to him as he found himself reading a very unpleasant mission report from his two star soldiers. Never before had demon and angel been defeated... and this rare defeat would coincide with his grab for the prize of prizes.

Both the Greydramon and the hybrid had managed to escape him. He could infer where they had taken refuge, but it was more the fact that Greydramon now had a partner. It would be beyond salvage... it must be destroyed. The hybrid was a goal he must achieve. He had heard that this hybrid was a digidestined from Takeru. Even though it was just a suspicion, no more then a feeling in the pit of the stomach, he knew it to be true. The digidestined had a knack for sensing one another...

It must be Sora. He reasoned within his mind as he tried to recall where the other female digidestined had made their alliance. Sora was the only wild card... if she were the digimon hybrid and a digidestined then he would get more then he ever dreamed. He had come in search of her looking for longevity and here he found immortality at his fingertips. He must find this hybrid.

And there was a new player in this game... someone had been deemed worthy by the greydramon to share souls with it. That was one of the greatest threats now... though a hatchling, the greydramon was the first of the omega level digimon. Seth was the older and more matured of the two omega level digimon, but his power was derived from the greydramon.

The greydramon could be a match... or stronger. And the idea that such a powerful digimon had found a partner who matched its strength was un-nerving. This human had too much potential. Far to many lines of fate were leading to him. And in the core of his being yamato knew that this human could be a threat.



"Who are you? An enemy or an Allie?" he paused as his eyes fell upon the darkness.

"Tai?" he paused as he spoke the name so long hidden in the darkest vault of memory. Taichi... would fate send him to stop yamato? The same force that created him. Thousands of years had taught matt a valued lesson, fate loved irony. And on that premise it became more clear who the pilot really was. Taichi.... he had reappeared and was being placed in a position to destroy the commander.

"It would seem the time is at hand for me to be reunited with my brother... and finally settle this score." he traced his scarred throat gingerly as he rasped.



"Excuse me sir... we are here as you requested" a new voice echoed through the darkness of the room. Ishida glanced up to see the form of a young man with a face tattooed with various symbols in thick black lines. His face was dominated by the tribal markings which were dominated by a three pointed star which was drawn with such intricacy that it boggled the mind. the star was divided into three sections of unique design. All the other markings were centered around that central design.

He bore the making again as a necklace of silver. Which stood out against the cold grey chest armor. He wore a baggy green undershirt below the cold steel which hugged his imposing frame. Upon each thigh he wore specialized holsters for his custom buster rifles. Such weapons were outlawed for their excessive force. They were capable of crippling mechs with only a few shots, and the result one could have on the delicate pressurization of a space colony was directly the cause of the ban. He wore the two well oiled weapons with a sense of pride for the complete abandon of the laws of man.

He was soon followed by a smaller youth with no armor. He had braided brown hair which fell over his back in long strands. His eyes were downcast, but even at that angle they gleamed a glossy black with no trace of white which seemed ablaze in the darkness of the room. his dark clothing was loose and baggy and bore no weapon holsters. This youth was not imposing or boisterous, yet as his eyes fell upon you, they would evoke a fear more profound then any ever before felt. There was a core of icy darkness in this boy with the unimposing features and brimstone hued eyes.

Both of them stood before Ishida with a silence that augmented their complete lack of repose. They faced Ishida, though the younger boy did avert his eyes from direct contact.

"Sir.. how may we be of assistance?" the dark youth questioned in his gentle and yet desolate voice.

"Thank you for your promptness Alexander, Sin. I have called you in to inform you both of the failure of demon and angel to take possession of the greydramon and hybrid. This failure has proven the strength of our adversaries and the need for a swift reprisal." he rasped.

"They both were unable to kill one freighter captain? Or was the inelegance wrong and there was an escort of considerable size?" the gun toting Alexander questioned as his eyes flickered with interest. His steel eyes sparkled softly as he contemplated the failing of the two star pilots.

"There was no escort... and I suspect the pilot was already dead when our forces reached the freighter."

"Another group wanted the mech and girl?" Sin questioned in his soft and placidly icy voice.

"One who was able to take command of greydramon... The mech is still a hatchling, but it was enough to keep angel and demon busy. Then it would seem the hybrid allied herself with the pilot. Together they were more then our forces could handle..." Sin suddenly shot up and gaped at ishida. The blond commander winced lightly as he caught a glint of the overwhelming evil behind those eyes. He did not recoil, though a part of him was afraid.

"She... allied herself with a human pilot...." he gaped.

"Yes...."

"That can't be possible.... she would never side with a human." He suddenly became aware of his tone and adjusted it back to the downplayed voice and averted eyes that he had previously displayed.

"Digital hybrids hate humans.... the female would never affiliate herself with one."

"Your knowledge of hybrids has in the past been unnaturally accurate. But on this you are mistaken. This girl is more then just a digital hybrid... she is a reincarnated digidestined." the others sobered in shock as he rasped out to them. all was silent for a time, but in the end it was shard who spoke. He spoke in a uncharacteristically silenced tone.

"Which of the female digidestined is she?"

"Sora...."

"This.... complicates matters. A digidestined hybrid has never been encountered... but it is feasible that she would be much more powerful. But still the idea that a hybrid could Allie herself with a human is unthinkable." he spoke more to himself then to the other two. Ishida's eyes darkened.

"The identity of the pilot may be the cause of that...but I am not ready to speculate who was piloting the greydramon..." he paused for a moment before continuing.

"Though inopportune, this may bring forth an opportunity to flush out some of the more troublesome thorns in our sides. The greydramon and the girl will flush out an old friend... a friend who would pose a treat to our efforts if given time. A very long time ago i was taught that even in defeat there is victory. Though our prizes have slipped through our grasps this time, there is still a hope at salvaging victory.

I have sent Intruder to the dead planet in pursuit of the greydramon. Should our prey take the bait then he can be quite useful at infiltration and assassination." ishida smirked.

"Using the intruder cyborg? I think that may be a bit overkill." Alexander commented as he subconsciously fingered the silvery handle of his buster held on his left hip.

"Don't underestimate a man who can with the trust of a hybrid and the partnership of the greydramon." ishida grinned faintly with some dark pleasure in the core of his being. There was a strange sense of anticipation for the coming of this enemy. A hope that he would be more then they were capable of predicting. Some deeply rooted love for a challenge of massive perportune.

"Why were we summoned sir?" Sin questioned in his hissing, silent voice.

"Once intruder makes contact with the targets he will signal us. I want a team ready to destroy greydramon and capture the hybrid. The two of you shall lead this assault. With Alex leading the mechs and Sin dropping in to deal with hand to hand resistance."

"Sir... why do we need him for this mission? He isn't even a mech pilot..." Alex question in regards to Sin who turned to him and scowled. He glanced up to ishida who gave a quick nod. Sin smirked as he lay his pale hand over the taller boy's shoulders. The reaction was instantaneous.

Alex became white as a sheet as thousands of black veins materialized just beneath the surface of his skin. He gaged out a cry for help that came out as no more then a toad's boisterous croak. The pale youth barley seemed aware of the young pilot as his life force was drained away. It was as though the touch were able to take something from him, and upon that something's disappearance there was a profound cold left like a frost in the void. The world was darkening to pitch just as the boy released his prey. He crumbled to the floor gasping for breath as the color slowly filtered back into him.

"You see you will not just be fighting a mech, but also a hybrid. Sin is a interesting human with a considerable talent for some of the ancient ways. Tao magic... Ancient skills that humans have in the past been able to master. He is a prodigy of that art from what i know... and the ability to steal life force makes him invaluable when neutralizing a hybrid which has a lethal amount of life force. As you are now feeling Alex.... there is more to combat then mechs."

"If you will excuse me sir.... i wish to retire for the evening." Sin stated as he stepped over the wheezing pilot.

"Very well. Good night." and with that the young demon departed.



"S..sir.. Can we really put our trust in something like him. He scares the shit out of me." alex commented as he rose to his feet. And wobbly took refuge by leaning against a wall.

"He is a youth of considerable power, but do not question that he is nothing to me. I have seen far worse then that little display. He will not dare cross me..." ishida rasped as he sat down in his plush chair of black leather.

"Tell me alex... why is it that you follow me in this? I have learned that no one with skill will work for only a pay check nowadays. They all have their own objectives.... their own ambitions. But i was wondering what it was that you wanted from me? Power? Prestige?"

"I wish only to serve you till you see fit to reward me with what i seek."

"And what is it you seek of me?"

"Forgive my insolence sir, but i desire the benefit of your wisdom... you bear the mark of an eternal... a being who has learned for centuries. I seek your help in locating the three...."

"Ah... so you seek the three knights of fire. You belong to that ancient religion."

"Yes sir... "

"Such an original religion. A faith of mech pilots who want to be like the original three. To live under the same code of honor and discipline that has existed since the days of king Arthur. A code that was upheld by three pilots of godlike power." ishida smirked with an almost mocking tone.

"Sir... you say that everyone who serves you wants something... what is it that Sin wants?" he questioned meekly with a deep fear for what the answer may be, but the compulsion to know. Ishida looked into his eyes with an amused smile shimmering in the crystalline pools.

"He wants death. Whatever gives him his strength, wants death... lots of it. That youth is a killer of the likes that has not existed on earth for a very long time. Once every few generations there comes a monster of a man who delights in death. A psychotic. This generation seems to be swimming with them.... but i would place him pretty high in the running.... i don't sense any soul in that boy... just an evil.... but we all have evil within us."

"Not me sir... err... forgive my disagreement. I meant you no disrespect.

"Oh please... how dull the centuries would be without controversies. Never apologize for that... it's all that keeps you from being a mindless drone like a surrogate. But tell me Alexander.... once i tell you where the knights are now, what is it that you will do?"

"It is said that any pilot who possesses sufficient strength and honor may challenge one of the three knights. If i defeat that knight i may take their place in godhood. I could become one of the three... such a prize would be worth any cost...."

"Your faith is your own matter alex... but serve me well and i will tell you who they are, and where to find them. However i doubt you will be able to become a god..."

"It's not my place to speculate. But even to die at the hands of one of the three would be the pinnacle of my existence. But for now i pledge my loyalty to you. If i serve you well, that is the reward i desire. But give it only when you feel i have earned it." he gave a half salute as he too turned and departed through the doorway.

"Faith... Heh. let him serve me, and then perhaps he may try his hand at godhood. However... in the end all that remains eternal are the chosen. If he wants to think that he can become one of us simply by killing one of us, then he will find it a fruitless endeavor, and most likely a lethal one.

Let the cattle believe what they will... in the end they all will be slaughtered like cattle." ishida smiled as he turned away to the darkness which loomed in deep silent space.







*********



Tai lay there on his bed of earth in the darkest sleep of his life. He could feel within him a difference. A splinter of something that had not been there before. Maybe it was a part of greydramon... or maybe a part of sora... or perhaps it was something of the ancient taichi who had awakened as the young assassin had become a partner to a digimon again. The memories were vague within him, but he did sensed something evolving within his core.

Though still locked in that deathlike sleep in which he now lay, he was in a way awake enough to think. He could feel sora's presence had left him. That troubled him on some levels, for it was possible she had left him for good. He doubted it though.

He had slipped through countless bouts of almost being conscious, though he did try to cling to the vague glimmer of light within the darkness around him, it would always slip away.

He was able to hear the faint whale song of the greydramon in the back of his mind. the song of an animal with limitless capacity for war, yet an unbridled beauty that came outward in the soft surreal chords of this song without words. Tai drifted back into deeper unconsciousness to this tune.

The world of shadow suddenly came alive as he listened to a new voice. It was no more audible then a faint murmur at first, but as he found himself drawn nearer and nearer to the voice he could make it out better. It was sora's voice gently coaxing him out of the unconsciousness that held him. He opened his eyes to find the sky now a dark inky sea of clouds which hung with only the faintest silver cast upon them from the ivory crescent moon. Sora was hovering above him with a look on her face that almost mirrored concern.

She helped him to a sitting poison by leaning him against a crumbling wall of brick. It was only now that taichi became aware of a change in position. They were now inside a crumbled building. Through his hazy eyes he could see that the roof had been blown off long ago.. The floor was relatively clean, though being stone, it offered no warmth. In fact it seemed to hold the cold and deposit it directly into the still weakened taichi's core. He glanced to his left to find upturned pews that lay partially intact and partially splintered.

"You brought us to earth? Last time you pick the date...." he rasped through his parched throat and swollen tongue.

"Watch your mouth human... i was born on this planet." she used the "H word" but not with the same malice she had shown him before. He would almost call it a playful tone, yet he hadn't known sora long enough to tell where the line lay between playful and dangerous. Her face glowed of the faintest moonlight which came down over them like sheets of pale ivory. Her eyes glowed in the dark with the same luminance of a cat's amber eyes. Tai found it strange how the qualities about her that were not human were just as alluring as those that were. There were parts of her that mirrored some feline, while other traits seemed vaguely reptilian or of another more alien breed. But it was all this that linked together to form sora.

His vision was still blurred as he came to see more depth to the darkened cavernous church. They were alone, and seemingly safe. Taichi moved too quickly and was suddenly made aware of his fragile state. His hand clutched his chest as the bolts of pain crackled through each last nerve.

"Be careful... you almost died in that fight... your ribs are in bad shape and the neural stress of the joining and battle were almost more then your neural system could take. it's a miracle you were able to live through that.... " she commented as she began rummaging through a fabric pouch she had acquired somewhere during tai's unconsciousness.

"It feels like the miracle would have been if i didn't wake up to this kinda pain... it's like every cell in my body is sore." sora smirked in triumph as she withdrew a strip of brownish meat that was sunbaked to jerky. Tai didn't even know how hungry he was until he had the meat in his hands and then to his gnashing teeth. It was very flavored, yet as he ripped the strips of meat away with his teeth their flavor was muddled to a fraction of what he felt it should be.

"You put yourself through a lot of abuse tai... more then most of your kind could have survived."

"Sora... you are part digimon... maybe you could explain something i felt when i was partnered to greydramon...." she looked at him and nodded slightly.

"It was all so overwhelming.... the feeling of being part of something so powerful... merged almost to the soul... but when i..." he paused as he gathered his words. "But when i was merged i felt like i could go deeper into it then i did. Like i needed to merge deeper...." he trailed off as sora's eyes turned off to the darkness of the abandoned church.

"Digimon mechs are much like digimon in many ways. They partner with humans.... but they are now part machines... capable of going deeper then the old breed of digimon ever could. A pilot can sometimes merge to the third level... where they actually become one in soul. This can only be done between certain pilots and certain mechs. But even if you can.... you must never do that taichi." she looked so grave.

"Why?"

"Even though the mech and pilot become much stronger, they are no longer able to separate. They blend souls.... if their physical forms are separated the digimon and the human will perish. No getting around it... no chance... never try it taichi."

"Alright... i promise" he was lost in a world that hung on the outskirts of his contemplation. In one day he had been thrust into this maddening new world of hybrids and mechs and all that lies between. He felt, once again, that this was a one way trip. That he would never again return to his apartment or to the bar. He would likely never again be an assassin. Sora would be hunted.... and for him to keep her in his life he would have to protect and hide her away.

Hybrids can live in deep space... she could make a home on the earth, or on some asteroid that floats in the depth of space. He was however not a hybrid. He would never be able to live with her in space, and odds are the radiation of earth would eventually kill him. The world had changed so suddenly that his head spun. In some ways the darkness had grown eternal, while in other ways the light had finally appeared.

Tai pushed the thoughts of this world aside as he took another mouthful of the meat which he suddenly questioned. "Hey sora.. Where did you get this? It's not like there are any stores on this rock." she chuckled softly.

"You might want to ask this first... 'do i really want to know where sora could have gotten fresh meat on a dirt-ball like this planet?'" she smirked. Tai smiled weakly as he looked away from the meat and off into the eternal darkness of the church. He felt sora draw closer to him and lean herself against his shoulder. She withdrew another slab of meat, which appeared more raw and reddened. Tai averted his eyes from her as she began to tear off chunks of meat with her enlarged teeth. She made contented little sounds as she showed off some of her more digimon qualities.

Tai smiled at the oddness of his life. Here he was hiding from an army with his stolen war machine and genetically engineered monster girlfriend with a taste for raw meat. Life was strange.. That he had no question of us he bit off another bite of his cooked meat while sora mauled hers.



The darkness of the church loomed around them and rendered them all but invisible to any other stalker. Upon the tattered skeletal roof the intruder crouched with a catlike grace. It was cloaked in shadow and hidden from any passing glance.

The being was sleek with a body of plated steel. It's face had no features, just a indented steel plate that resembled the shrouded hood of death. It looked almost like a skull of shadows as it stared down on them. it appeared muscular, though all was mearly modeled after the human it once was. Intruder was the prototype of a new breed of surrogate... one not made for mechs. Intruder was designed for death and infiltration. This was clearly shown by the massive sabers on each forearm. They gleamed with demonic indignation in the faint moonlight's pale kiss.

The intruder stood there in the garb of shadow and night watching the two as they huddled together on the aged stone wall of the dank church. His objectives were all too clear...

he signaled ishida.



*********



Their proximity had grown even closer after they ate. Sora was now resting in his lap with his arms entwined around her waist. She smelled sweet to him as they sat there in the darkened corner of the old church. She had been quiet for a time after the meal, but that silence had melted away as if in response to some unseen stimuli. She had suddenly began talking to him in a personal manor. She asked about his home on the colony, his friends who she soon discovered were nonexistent. She surprised him with the depth of her interest and capacity to be so human. He didn't tell her that of corse, but still marveled at it.

"Do you have any memories from before you were taken by the scientists with the X project?" he questioned with a gingerness to the line of questioning, and the feelings it may conger up. Her eyes grew sad as she thought back through a childhood of experimentation.

"My kind have a memory that is different from yours. You can only remember things from your own life... but i can remember things from my own genetic code. It's called cellular memory... i think it's all that kept me from losing my mind."

"I don't think i understand."

"I can remember bits and pieces from my parent's lives, and even tinier shreds from the lives of my parent's parents. That's how i know what i am and what the world looks like. I can remember shreds of my own kind... i know my parents by their own memories... those fragments of memory were all i had for so long... it was the memory of their lives that gave me hope... a reason to live too, in the chance that someday i could see the things they saw in their lives." there was a sadness in her eyes as she stared off into the world that she could remember but no longer see. It occurred to taichi that she had lived so long from the memory of what the world was... but that memory was dated, and now the world was a different place. He took her hand.

"You are disappointed..." he stated stupidly as he squeezed her hand.

"In some ways yes... the earth was a nicer place from the memories... but there is one pleasant surprise i have found. You. I had no idea there were people like you taichi... you're a human, but a special one..." she nuzzled his neck in a canine show of affection that tai bashfully mimicked back.

"You mean that?"

"Yeah....." tai slowly leaned over and kissed sora's neck gently. It was not as much born of passion as it was a tenderness that had been missing from both of their two lives. Sora gave a faint rosy blush as tai pulled away. It was technically her first kiss. They sat in silence before sora spoke with a sudden uneasiness to her normally pronounced voice.

"You know about my childhood... what was yours like?" she questioned.

"It began like a lot of others. My parents were two teenagers who didn't have enough money for contraceptives, i never knew them really. They abandoned me when i was very little.

i was born on the street and lived there till i was six. I stole what i ate and ran with a gang of kids who were basically hoodlums. It was a very unoriginal life... i saw kids murdered in the gangs, some got sick and died, others overdosed, but most ended up dead at the hands of a rival gang or a security officer who was thinning out the population of parasites.

It was a hard life, but i was pretty decent at surviving in it. I had this talent for killing people then... at five i had some kind of sixth sense at where to smack someone with a pipe to shatter their skull. I suppose that was because i was a digidestined... killing is second nature.

There were people... they would come into the slums with stun weapons... they took some of us.. To be sold. When i was six they took me." tai paused as he alleviated the faint quiver of fear in his voice. Sora said nothing about it for it was obviously a symptom of a few very bad memories.

"They piled us together in vans where we were left for a few days without food or water. Chained together with no room to breath. It was so dark and scary... it smelled of sweat, urine, and crap. I think some of us died in the vans, some must have. It was as close to hell as i have ever come.. Feeling this tightness around your chest as you struggle for air. Tword the end it started smelling like death... we were in there so long that we got used to the urine smell. But the smell of death was too much... there was blood on the ground i remember...it was too dark to see, but it smelled like dead flesh and was sticky. Even now the feel of blood on my skin makes me want to puke." he looked up to sora's eyes and felt her touch on his cheek.

"After a while they finally pulled us out. i remember that it was all a blur. It was so bright outside from being in pitch black. I remember being half awake as i ran and stumbled away onto the sandy ground. They must have loaded us onto a transport freighter without even taking us out of the van.

Later i found out that they were slave traders. They take kids from the gangs and sell them. Some of them were bought as servants, others would become toys for some of the sickos out there, and a very rare percentage would be bought by a corporation known as Manticon." he paused.

"Manticon is a corporation that trains Mercs. It buys them young and uses gene therapy and extensive training to bring out the best in human potential. Or the worst. They make assassins and soldiers to sell out for private use. Mercenaries for hire. Trained to be the most scary sons of bitches out there. That's part of their charm.

Hand to hand techniques, advanced weapon training, explosive training, infiltration, assassination. They are the best soldiers for hire... and their primary weapon is a retractable hand scythe that lives up to the fearful nature of the unit. They chose a scythe to live up to the mantis image that Manticon perpetuates. A bug that assassinates with scythe-like appendages.

I was taken by them... trained for ten years to be an assassin, a killer. I was one of their best, being what they wanted came naturally to me... i raised myself in rank until i was their second best. Topped only by an older cadet who became my friend. My best friend."

"What was his name tai?" she asked with genuine interest and a faint smile on her face. the smile was quick to pale.

"Yamato ishida" he spoke as though the word were as cold as ice. It froze to icy vapor upon the air, and chilled deeply as it fell upon sora's ears. she stated blankly still in the shock of it all.

"We were friends.... brothers in a way. But i hated my life at Manticon. Something within me told me that it was wrong to take life like that. Not to protect life, or even an ideal. But for money... that seemed so wrong to me.

I started thinking about escape... before they used me to kill like that... to assassinate. I had it all planned out... i would cripple their security matrix and open all the locks through the computer system. They would all be in such a panic that they wouldn't notice if i were gone... i set it all up and was ready to go... but i forgot something." he paused as he chewed his lip lightly.

"I couldn't let matt become what they wanted him to be... he was too good a person to become a murderer... so after i crippled them. i came back for matt." sora lay her hand on Taichi's as if she could sense where this was going. He began to speak as his mind drifted back.



*********



The younger taichi raced through the corridors of the military fortress known as Manticon. His footfalls fell like thunderous war drums over the steel floor. The halls were bathed in flame-red light from the flashing warning lights. The air was blistering as the vents belched hot air as a random malfunction caused by the hacking of their controls. It had been taichi's goal to cause as much chaos as he could. The more that was chaotic, the less they would pay attention to him.

He rounded a corner and found himself in the barracks. The alarm which screamed around them was silenced only by the infinitely louder hammering of his own heart. He skidded as he collided with the wall and began work on the locking mechanism. It fell quickly to him and he burst through the threshold and into yamato's quarters.

The blond was sitting on his bed with a look of astonishment on his crystalline blue eyes. He stared at taichi in a complete stupor. He tried to speak but found his words no more then shuddering syllables. Tai sensed the need for speed and thus spoke for him.

"Matt! We need to get moving fast... they will be looking for me as soon as they find out i was the one who crashed their systems. We have got to get to the shipping bay before they think this is a breakout!" he yelled loudly as he implored yamato with his need for urgency. He suddenly rushed to matt and took the boy's arm in a half attempt to pull him to his feet, matt came to his feet but didn't budge any further.

Tai begged him to run before it was too late for them.

He did move as he pushed tai's hand away.

"Please tell me you didn't do this..." he said through his almost musically smooth and clear voice.

"They are turning us into killers... murderers.. We can't let them. of corse i am breaking us out!" the younger boy beamed with an unnatural pride for his actions, as though he knew definitively that this was the only right act.

"Taichi! How could you... you have broken so many orders! Every regulation manticon has! My god! Do you know what they will do to you for this!?! you have to be insane!" he yelled with a panicky fear in his perfectly blue eyes.

"Matt this is wrong. Fuck manticon! To hell with their plans for us! Come with me brother! We have to get out before they come!" he took matt's arm as the boy looked down.

He said nothing.

"Jesus matt! COME ON!!!"

"Traitor...." the low, crystal clear voice came. It was a punch to tai's stomach as he stepped back in shock.

"But matt..."

"You are a disgrace to manticon taichi... you are a traitor to all we stand for. Surrender yourself and we may be merciful. Persist in escape will be met with lethal force."

"Matt.." tai whispered as the tears welled in his eyes. He backed away and felt himself pressed against the cold metal wall back in the corridor, matt stared out at him from within his room. His eyes were jagged shards of ice that gouged tai's flesh to goose bumps and cold sweat. Tai had never thought that matt was happy in this life, or that he would choose manticon over his "brother"

his mind reeled louder then the alarm could dare match. He was betrayed and afraid and knew only that he had to escape, not just from the soldiers who would punish his escape attempt, but from the deeper wound that yamato had delivered upon him.

Tai ran faster then he ever had before. Grief and fear had mingled to adrenaline and that had fueled tai's escape. He ran down the corridors that were becoming more hot with each second. The alarms screamed all the louder as did the thunderous tolling of his heart and footfalls over hot metal. It was due to this sound that he was unaware of the second set of footsteps which were following behind.

Tai had made it to the shipping bay which had been spared from the chaos. The ravens were docked in perfect running order for the flight training exercises that would be conducted in the morning. Tai had planned it all, but it wasn't going according to the plan anymore. There would have been a second escapee, but that was a waste now. The second raven that would be used now sat in the ready position for a pilot who would not be coming.

He began the final programming for his escape flight with a feverish need for speed. His fear was swelling like a red tide within him. Too much was ad-lib now. There was no second man to provide cover while the computations were input. He was vulnerable.

He had just entered the final computation when he heard the sound he had heard so often before during training. It was a hellishly clear noise that was far too familiar. The sound of metal against metal followed by a click which locked the pieces into place.

Tai leapt back as the console was split in half by the downward swing of a hand scythe. His eyes shot up to the deadly visage of yamato. Tai backed away.

"Matt?"

"I will make you pay for betraying manticon." he growled as he drew back the scythe again. He cut the air with a whistle of metal. Tai evaded the blow, yet was stung as the weapon glided across his chest in a faint cut that seemed more a prelude to deeper blows.

Taichi cried out in pain as matt continued swiping at him wit the weapon. The weapon landed more often then not, but due to taichi's efforts the cuts were never as deep as they had been meant. Tai leapt aside as the weapon slashed through the steel wall as though it were tissue. The fight was leaving the room in tattered spires of jagged steel. Thankfully taichi had managed to keep the enraged assassin away from the ships. His only way out.

"Please matt stop!" tai called out as his friend kicked him across the room with un-natural power. The blond roared as he drew up his scythe again. His eyes were burning with sapphire light augmented by tears which could be either of sorrow or hate.

"Manticon gave me purpose taichi. I'll kill you for betraying them!" he cried out as clearly as ice. He rushed forward with his scythe drawn upward, ready to kill tai. He screamed with rage as he prepared to meet flesh with his scythe's razor's kiss.

Tai pulled out the scythe and flipped it open with a metalic snarl. The weapon snapped into place as tai moved under a power he didn't know. It was as though he were a piece on a chess board being moved by a will that exceeded his own. he shot forward upon the advancing matt and with a shriek of anguish and grief he slashed outward with the scythe.

All fell silent. As silent as a tomb. Tai's eyes were squeezed shut as he clutched tightly to the weapon's grip. His knuckles were white as he felt the wetness spread over his bare hands. The liquid had a distinctive texture that tai could remember from a thousand nightmares. He looked down at his hands and began wiping them off on his pants with a expression of horror. They were painted red. All he could think of was getting the blood off of his skin. He could feel it permeating him. He wanted to vomit as he suddenly thought about where this blood had come from. Before he was unaware of yamato... but now his feverish mind flew tword a faint gurgling sound.

His eyes went wide as he turned to where matt stood several feet away. He was pale as a ghost with the exception of his throat which was painted with wet crimson. His shirt was now colored with blood as he stared back at tai with a look of disbelief. He still held his own scythe in his left hand while he clutched the gaping wound with his right. The blood was spilling over his fingers as he continued to stare at tai.

Taichi's eyes were wide with horror and shock. He had not expected to actually beat matt. He hadn't wanted to hurt him. It was all sick luck that made matt step against tai's weapon instead of away from it.

"Matt!?" tai croaked as the blond fell to his knees in a pool of liquid red. He was staring at tai with shock as he released his throat. He changed then. Just for a moment, but something flashed behind his eyes. It was like heat lightning flaring within a blue sky. Tai was shocked by the image of his "brother" as he looked up again as a new person. Something dark had flashed within him as he met death.

That thought scared the shit out of tai as he looked back into those demon eyes. Touching death had given something from beyond a chance to take residence in the body for that moment before his death. Tai was frozen by the sound of boots on the metal far off in the complex. They were coming. He willed himself to move for the raven. But his progress was halted by yamato.



"Be seeing you soon..." he gurgled through a wet and ragged voice. Tai turned to see him fall face first into the puddle of his own blood. It splashed outward in little beads as the scythe slipped from his slack grip.

Tai turned for the raven and was almost to the cockpit when he was stopped by a new voice. It was clear and commanding.

"Stop! Turn slowly!" the security had found him. He complied and was met by the cannon-like pulse rifles of the manticon officers. He was overcome by a swell of hopelessness. He had come so close to escape... but paid such a cost. They walked over yamato with no regard to him. They left footprints in the pool of crimson as they advanced closer to him.

Tai was almost theirs when he caught something out of the corner of his eye. Movement. his chocolate eyes froze as the puddle of blood began to boil like red foam in a crimson sea. The soldiers didn't see it... they were all focusing on taichi even as the corpse moved.

Death was fast as a falcon for them. The dead matt sprung forward with a wet roar of a word without meaning. He had punched through the leading soldier's back and into the warmth within. The young officer shrieked in pain and terror as he was lifted off the ground by his spine. His scream was cut off.

Tai cried out in shock as he pressed against the raven. The demon ishida had moved onto the next. He now was gripping his scythe again. Tai couldn't recall when he picked it up. But now the weapon had sliced through the next officer. they were too shocked to fight back at first. More then enough of an advantage.

One soldier finally pulled up the weapon and began firing. His shots were dodged by inhuman speed as matt leapt through the air and repelled from a wall to one of the beams in the ceiling. The soldier continued firing, but by the time he caught on to where matt was the blond was already descending upon him in a free-fall with scythe out.

Tai managed to regain enough control to scramble into the cockpit. The craft began powering up as tai frantically prepared to fly. Ishida turned to face him with a dark hunger in his cold eyes. His throat was no longer bleeding, but instead scabbed over. He defied death.

The demon boy began running for the raven, and despite his speed, the jets picked up at just the last second and flung tai away, through the open hanger door. He was sure matt had cut a piece of the tail off , if not clung on to it. He would be there clinging to the hull and climbing across the frame to get tai.

As tai glanced back through the rear monitors he was relieved to see the tail intact and the rapidly vanishing form of Ishida, still within the hanger. He was looking at tai until the black craft vanished. Never had tai known a feeling as horrifying as seeing his brother painted in blood staring out for him like a wolf from the other side of the fence.

His words came again from within tai's terrified mind.



"be seeing you soon...."



*********

"I remember the last thing i saw before manticon blew was another raven flying off. Matt must have somehow ignited the jet fuel in the shipping bay.. I don't know how he did it.. But he killed them all. Matt was loyal to manticon... but the demon killed them all. Then used the second raven to escape.

I escaped to the colony and became what i was trained to be. I gave up on any dream of peace and decided it was my place to be what manticon had wanted... a killer.

From time to time i would hear about commander ishida. He was amassing bodies on his road to taking control over the colonies. I have made it a point to stay away from him since then. I stuck to a slum colony and never took jobs that would get in his way.... until i was tricked into it by a guy named koshiro..." he growled lightly.

"That little bastard must have set this up so i would be in ishida's way. Made me an enemy so i become their ally. Smart move, but I'll break that little guy's arm for it. I don't like being used.... especially against a demon." he said the last part with no levity in his voice. He believed that matt was some devil as surely as he believed in the air he now breathed.

"Tai... matt is a digidestined. No one really knows what happens when a digidestined awakens. It is possible that the change in matt was triggered by having his throat cut. Also that he was healed by the power that makes us remember our past lives. He isn't a monster." sora looked into taichi's eyes as he spoke with a grim tone.

"Yes... he is." tai replied darkly.

"Every life he takes is my fault. Everything he has done since manticon i will be held accountable for. He is a monster sora... the things he does couldn't be done by any human..."

"Humans kill, taichi... they do evil for pleasure. I am starting to think that you are not really a human because you seem to be the last of your kind that can do good too. Maybe there was a time when people were really good at heart. But i think that they just allowed evil to take root. If you accept something for too long then it will grow into something worse." sora paused as she looked at tai.

"But maybe there is hope for them. you are a human, unfortunately, and you seem to be immune to the disease of your kind. Maybe that means that there is still a chance the evil can be cut back. That the roots haven't dug in so deeply that they can't be pulled out." she was talking more to herself now then to taichi.

"Maybe there is hope?" she questioned him as she turned to face him. He stared at her for a moment. She was like no other to taichi. Something pulled him to her as a moth might long for a flame's amber light. Moths die when they embrace flame. They are incinerated in the passionate burning light that they long to touch. Tai was aware of the parallel to himself with sora. He was a moth, and like a moth he no longer cared that loving her would result in him being no more then ash in the candle's light. He needed her and wanted her in a way that set him ablaze.

He leaned forward and kissed her. not a chaste peck or a soft kiss either. He pressed his mouth to her deeply with a hunger that had grown within him for as long as he had lived. Sora's eyes went wide as she froze under his lips.

She had never been touched like this. She saw humans do this, a show of affection and a prelude to mating. She was shocked by taichi's actions as it would seem he wished to breed with her. it took a moment for her to remember that humans were strange animals and that this action was just another weird human ritual. But it came so naturally to her.

She had no memory of being kissed like this. Of being kissed at all. And yet she knew how as though it were part of her. her body knew how to respond to taichi and she was amazed as she allowed her eyes to slip shut and deepen the kiss.

They were suddenly one being as their lips pressed against the other's. All the world had faded to a blur of color and warmth so real that it seemed more a sea of sensation that had washed over them like foamy waves from the sea to the shore. Sora was lost in the same sea as taichi. They were both vaguely aware of half spoken murmurs and the feel of fabric gripped tightly in clammy hands. Clothing was soon piled upon the stone floor which was now warm beneath them. the world had blurred away to no more then sensation. The texture of taichi's hair in sora's hands. The warm breath that was puffed out through sora's partially open mouth in company with a low and pleasant moan.

Sora had lived in a shell of glass and steel all her life. Locked away in a prison without sensation. Taichi had condemned himself to isolation from the world as punishment for yamato. They had both been denied the pleasures shared only by the living, and it was only now that they had started living. They were free to feel the world for the first time now. They had escaped their hunters so far, and only now did they revel in their freedom.

Maybe making love had complicated matters for the worst in the long run. It would be considered in some ways a reaffirmation of life in the face of all the death and danger they had endured. And maybe this need for companionship would prove a mistake. Separation would now be impossible to survive by either of the two. But they didn't care anymore. They were not alone now. That was all that they could prey for. They were addicted to the other and vice-versa.

Lost in each other's touch. Moth to a flame.





*********



They lay there together in a warmth which radiated between them. their skin was moist with perspiration as each hand glided over the other's moist touch. Sora murmured softly as she kissed tai gently on his exposed neck.. Tai was half awake and half asleep as he slowly stroked sora's damp hair. He was, for the first time, content. He had a soft smile on his thin lips as he felt sora gently shift closer to him.

Their hands linked as he glanced downward to meet her shimmering ruby eyes. She was looking up at him with a strange and unreadable expression on her tender face. he looked at her with unsurity if that face meant regret or discontent. It was so lovely and yet so fragile. Like the face of a china doll which is brittle like a paper-thin sheet of ceramic. All was still for seemingly hours until the shell broke and she flung herself against him in a tight hug. Her face was buried against him and he felt the warmth of tears spread against his skin. He didn't understand why she felt the need to cry, in fact he was almost certain it was the first time she had ever engulfed in such a human act, but he held her as she did.

An hour later her tears were gone and something else had welled up within the hybrid. She was different in a way he couldn't fully understand. It was like something had died away within her. The lump of malignant hatred had dissolved somehow. It was now smaller, and in its absence something good had flowed up like a spring of cool and clear water from the depths of the earth. He looked at her as she lay there with her hair of liquid fire cascading over her bare back. He could see the change within, and even though it was nothing more then a small step tword something better then human or hybrid, she was closer.

The moment was shattered by the shrill whistle that was vaguely reminiscent of a plane flying through the low atmosphere. But this was louder. It was a dull whine of metal as it plummets downward through the thin air. To confirm their fears, they looked up to see the darkened sky which was illuminated by the distant burning embers which were mechs making planet fall. Their armored flesh glowed of reds and whites as the friction from entry to earth's atmosphere lit them up like the distant lights of candle flames in the darkness.

There were five that dropped downward in a free fall that ended with a whoosh of blue thruster flame. Their descents slowed as they corrected their trajectory tword the run-down church. They were still a ways off, but getting closer fast. The mechs were rocketing forward at attack speed which was proof that they knew the location of their quarry.



"Tai! They know where we are!" sora yelled as she threw her cloak back on. Tai was frantically fumbling with his cloths while hopping around, trying to get into his boot. He succeeded at record breaking speed with pants and boots. He was clutching his shirt as he ran to where he felt greydramon. The dragon was crying out to him through the strange link they shared. The mech sensed that there was danger coming and that his partner must be fast.

"How the hell did they find us on this rock? There's so much surface area on this planet. It's impossible they could know!" he yelled as sora passed him. She had withdrawn her wings and was now flying at his side with the grace of a current of air.

"I don't know. But we have got to get greydramon before they get here."

The mechs were closer now. Close enough to distinguish the large red winged form of the leader. It was red and black with four massive metalic wings. The creature was of the tyranomon breed, but this particular model was extremely powerful from a lifetime of battle. At its side flew four other tyranomon of darker coloration. The air around the five rippled outward with heat striations.

"Tai, get to greydramon and get over here. I'm going to see if i can slow them down."

"No way sora. Those aren't surrogates with the big red one!"

"And if they get to us before you awaken greydramon we are dead for sure. Plus... i don't take orders from humans" she chuckled with dark humor. Tai wanted to try to stop her, but instead bit his lip and choked out "Take care Shara."

"I have faith in you taichi... get greydramon and we can deal with them together." and with that she was gone. Tai didn't dare glance back for fear that he would be too slow. He had to get to greydramon or sora was surely dead.



*********

Her wings were held closer to her body as she shot off in an attempt to intercept them farther away from greydramon. The wind was hot even though it was still night. Her hair whipped violently in the maelstrom of wind against her face like hundreds of tiny whips. She focused herself on the coming threat. Summoning up every ounce of the animalistic power within she felt her teeth elongate into sharpened canines.

She could see them perfectly clearly now. As her hands dropped to her sides. Crackling tendrils of energy filled her grips as she pulled more power tword herself. The energy focused itself to a pair of glowing orbs of dark flame. Her eyes were now glowing a flame red as she shot tword them even faster. Summoning up the hatred she felt for them as humans and for their intentions to kill her mate and cage her, the fury grew like swollen rivers, feeding power into the dark orbs which sizzled in her grips.

She stopped short of the oncoming mechs with a jerky halt. As she slammed to a stop her arms flew forward, releasing the two orbs which exploded out at the coming foes. They were calm like the eye of a hurricane until they came within rage, then the storm broke. Sheets of burning energy exploded outward. The tyranomon mech shot upward at an impressive ark to avoid the blast while his compatriots scattered like a flock of large black crows. The blast was swirling around them in a dervish of lightning and swirling fiery tongues which consumed and merged with eachother on the dark winds of the blast's radius.

Sora flew straight into the clouds of spectral fire where she summoned up another blast which was more in the shape of a beam rather then an explosive blast. The lance of energy nearly hit one of the crow-like enemies, but was dodged in the nick of time. It flew past the enemy and off into the night. He counter-attacked with a blast of his own. it was not as energy based as sora's. His was more fire then that. Sora charged the beam with a roar of passionate anger. She drew her wing up and reflected the blast. It burst upon her silvery wing in a eruption of orange and white sparks. The mech drew back in shock as the enraged hybrid shot up at him through the spinning planets of fiery ash and embers.

He drew his hands up in a defensive block as sora fell upon him with slashing claws. These models were built stronger then most, but given time she would claw her way through the mech's arms and into the cockpit where the human morsels hid. He tried reversing away, but sora was moving with him. She suddenly cried out in pain as she was knocked off of him.

She spun in a somersault of a fall until she righted herself and hovered there in shock. Her ribs were burning with pain as she watched the red tyranomon retract a large whip cable back into his arm. It glowered down on her through a large robotic snout that looked like a dragon. The darker mechs flew to the leader's side seeking some degree of protection, or perhaps just to draw upon the confidence of their leader who stood there with no visible fear.

The mech waved it's clawed hand in a mocking greeting. Then it charged. The red tyranomon shot forward like a crimson comet as it collides with earth. Sora was stunned by the mech's speed as it slammed into her, throwing her back. Her head shot up as she licked the blood from her lips.

"Who are you?" she growled, aware that the mech would be able to pick up her voice and feed it to the pilot within.

"My name is Alex. You are a lucky monster sora, most people don't get my full attention. But it would seem commander ishida has requested the pleasure of your company. I trust you remember him?" the voice echoed from the mech.

"Yeah i do remember him...." she growled as she whipped her cut lip again.

"The real treat is that he didn't have a preference as to whether you attend alive or dead. I decided on dead, so if it's all the same to you... lets just get to the fun part of this." there was a smirk in his voice as he drew back again. The four attacked first. Sora met them with agility perfected by adrenaline. She was doing well at avoiding them, but sadly they were working as a team. That gave the advantage of being able to overwhelm her. The fifth hung back and watched as sora repelled the four gifted pilots.

He was aware mainly of the fact that she was drawing energy as she fought. She was being sly about it, hiding it from the four pilots. It was a valid move since the four would not make it easy to go one on one with them. But she would not be allowed to take them. as sora was preparing to rain energy down upon them in a tide of destruction he stepped in. The thunder crackled through the nightly air in a low and mournful howl of energy. Sora had drawn her hands up which now were radiating with liquid energy. Her eyes were glowing with fire as she stared down upon the four who were held in place by chains of terror. They were good pilots... but never had they fought a hybrid of sora's class. She was more then most would dare engage.

She was a tempest of energy as her hair lashed in hot swirling winds. Thunder rolled around her like a tide of lightning as he body was swallowed up in a ruby light. It was now shocking to find that the four were no longer held in fear, but instead held by the force this girl was generating. The winds were pulling them back as they tried to flee.

The earth was rumbling as stones danced violently on the ancient blacktopped road of a long-unused highway. The sky was as black as tar, yet the faint fiery glow bathed the landscape in a hot red light. Sora was almost ready to unleash the blast when her attention was drawn to her left where the red tyranomon mech hovered feet away from her. she tried to call out but was silenced as the dragon's jaws opened.

From the open maw of the red dragon mech ribbons of flame erupted outward in streams of orange and white fire. Sora reeled back as she was swallowed up within the fire which exploded around her in a swirling cyclone of the blaze. Her attack exploded upward like a great pillar of energy into the heavens. The nightly clouds flashed red as sora's beam set them ablaze with that ruby light. She fell back as her hands covered her eyes. She was writhing against the fire as her wings flapped wildly to keep her aloft.

She was falling when she regained control. The fire hurt her worse then she had been hurt in a long time. But she was able to come out of it without serious injury. They fell upon her even as she was falling. The black mechs rushed upon her with a hunger for retribution. The first slammed into the dazed hybrid with a shoulder rush. Sora groaned in pain as she fell straight into the next which met her with a swift kick to the small of her back..

Despite the pain she flew away with considerable speed, she didn't get as far as she had hoped. One of the mechs lashed her across her back with its whip appendage. The snake tendril seized her by the leg and hurled her back into the fray where the red tyranomon was waiting. Sora cried out in pain as she collided with the mech and was seized within its claws.. She moaned on the edge of consciousness as the tyranomon lowered its muzzle to her. the mech had glowing green eyes that snarled with a reptilian fury.

"Bastard" she spat. As the mech's jaws opened before her. there was a faint orange glow from within the depths of the mech's maw. She allowed her eyes to close as the blast erupted over her. she was hurtled down to the earth by the explosion of fire that burned and singed her. she was hurting badly, but knew that she could take worse. But that would be easily arranged once she was on the ground on the edge of conscious. They would all hammer her until she was nothing more then a red stain on the cursed earth's scorched ground.

She landed with a thud flat on her back. She was amazed by her survival. As she lay there her mind drifted beyond the ache which rippled up through her entire body to tai. She found the prospect of dying no longer a thing of release for her, as it once had been. She now had something she wanted. Her life showed promise of blossoming beyond doctors and labs, blossoming into a world she could share with the boy who bore the name of deliverer. Tai was deliverance to her, a way out of this shell of hate and cold... deliverance into life. But she would never know his world now... she would be killed and taken back to Ishida as a bloodied corpse. For whatever reason he wanted her it would be a disgrace to her memory. She didn't dare think of matt now. She would be dead soon enough and she wanted to keep the thought of tai in her heart for it's last beat.

His lips were so gentle on her own. his touch was so loving. He was a fighter but so much more then that. He was her deliverer, and she loved him for that. It was love... most human of emotion was now her own. she had doubted it existed for so long, yet now she knew it existed, for it existed within her for this one human boy. She was expecting the crushing blow to follow soon after impact. But instead she found it in a sound rather then the silent free fall.

The sound was a repeating crash of thunder that shook her to the cavity of her ribcage. It tolled again and again like the second hand of some massive cosmic pocket watch. The tolling grew louder as the thunder rolled across the heavens as a sonic set of breakers would upon the ocean. Her eyes were bloodshot and dazed as she willed them open.

The distant sky was showing signs of morning. A faint rosy hue painted the low-hanging clouds to the distant horizon of shadowy forgotten skyscrapers. No lightning rang out across the heavens, and yet the thunder tolled faster still. Now winds began to sweep across the dead earth from some distant point which Sora didn't even look to. She felt the sting of sand on her bare neck as she crawled to her feet and wobbly stood on the cracked earth. Her wings were held around her in a defensive embrace. Her body was already beginning to heal, but she would be dead before she was back to normal.

The black mech loomed before her as it landed on the earth with a thunderous crash. It was soon followed by a second and then a third. The fourth hung back with the red mech which had remained in the air. Sora stared tword the things with hatred as she listened to the thunder clash. But it occurred to her as the tolling roared and the winds kicked up even farther. The sounds and wind were growing louder and originating from behind her. she turned slowly and was frozen by the image that greeted her.

The Greydramon was half running and half flying across the earth. Its feet crashed against the stone earth like the distant call of thunder while the great skeletal wing's flapping had stirred up the gusting winds. The dragon was racing forward with such speed that it bore no mind to obstacles. The massive dragon crashed through buildings and plunged through obstructions with no apparent concern. The black mechs began a frantic effort of getting back. Too late.

Sora was stunned as the colossal dragon leapt over her and rebounded off the ground beyond her so as to take point and throw himself upon the prey. The massive dragon mech collided with a dark tyranomon who frantically tried to flee. But the greydramon's claws had dug in too deeply into the mech. Greydramon seized the mech and proceeded to pummel it with deep slashes and crushing blows. The tyranomon was growing too still under the crippling agony of greydramon's ministrations. Greydramon pinned it to the cold earth with a taloned claw as it drew back with its right hand. For a instant circuits flashed with a eerie green light before the arm exploded outward into the shape of the massive wickedly sharp sword of green energy.

The tyranomon screamed yet was silenced as the green blade was plunged through the mech's chest and into the cockpit where the human was surely split down the middle. Greydramon's head shot up as it caught sight of the closer of the two tyranomon. It leapt upward with a whoosh of wings. The black tyranomon was grabbed by the leg and slammed back to earth. The momentum threw greydramon down on it as well, landing with taloned foot into the mech's lower torso. Greydramon ripped the thing's chest open with its bear hands. The dragon made a needful snarl as it violently assaulted the tyranomon's head. Tai was getting better at being one with greydramon's thoughts. He was more dragon then man when he was locked within the mech's chest cavity.

Greydramon pulled back with no look of repentance on it's reptilian guise. It flexed its wings as it took sight of the next. It's voice came with a dragon's snarl interlaced to Taichi's soft and yet commanding tone. The words were neither of the two's now.

"Dragon rage." the words were followed by liquid fire which swirled around the greydramon for an instant before shooting outward to the next black tyranomon. He was able to escape the beam with just burns. It could have been a lot worse. He was about to rejoin his brethren when a force flung them apart. Tai glanced over to sora to find her with her hand stretched out to them. as hurt as she was her power was unquestionable. The mech was held aloft in chaotic swirling. Greydramon was about to charge the thing, but stopped as sora shot forward faster. Her hair was wild as her silver wings stretched outward. Behind each silvery feather a matching razor of silver lowered. The tyranomon froze as sora collided with it. Her wing had opened wider and just as she was about to collide with it she had spun in a 180. The motion had brought her wing against the thing's neck and with that one elegant motion split the tyranomon's head from it's body.. Both halves fell to the earth, and as the landed, burst into flames.

Sora smirked hatefully at the red one . It attacked her. the long cabled whip had shot outward for sora, but never connected. Alex froze in shock as he watched the greydramon appear from nowhere and seize the cable. With no delay greydramon used the cable to spin the tyranomon around in a great circle. The spinning lasted only a moment before he hurtled the red tyranomon tword the earth. The pilot however brought his mech out of the free fall and flew back to a safer distance.

The final black tyranomon had jetted off tword sora with weapon drawn.

The sky was suddenly illuminated with red light as the black mech was engulfed in a massive beam from high above. It's steel bubbled with heat for a moment before it exploded with a massive spray of debris. The light faded away instantly as sora stared with wide eyes at taichi who was mirroring that expression. Neither of them had fired that blast...

The heavens rippled like an ocean of sky as a cloak disengaged. A very big cloak. The entire skyline was suddenly rippling like a pond as a great shadow fell over the land. The red tyranomon backed away slowly with fear as the image of a colossal ship appeared before them. it was painted with highlights of silver and deep shadow. The form was that of a colossal wing. It had massive gun turrets which were all trained at them. thrusters spat sapphire light outward as the ship corrected its corse to a standstill. The ship's name was engraved upon the hull in clear black letters. "The Listener."

The sky around it began to ripple as dozens of mechs uncloaked. They were many different types, each armed and ready to fall into the fray.

From the front hull of the titanic ship a light illuminated a part in the seams forming. This opening unfolded outward into a platform surrounded by ion cannons which hummed with deadly energy. Four figures stood within shadows upon that platform, overlooking the three combatants. The listener was armored to withstand a war and armed to punch a hole through a planet.

Sora flew over to greydramon for comfort should the listener appear to be ally to the red tyranomon. But then again that mech looked panicky as it stared up at the ionic cannons.

The lights initiated on the platform with a soft silver glow. There were faces tai couldn't identify. A girl with long brown hair braided neatly on her back. She wore a red blouse and a dark green shawl around herself. There was also a medic with a white lab-coat flapping in the winds cast down from the distant horizon. He wore wire framed glasses on his face that gleamed silver in the runner lights.

Taichi's eyes widened as he did recognize the two figures who stepped forward. They were scowling down on them. Tai didn't know if they were glowering at he and sora or at the tyranomon pilot. The girl was wearing a dark body-suit while the boy was wearing a black muscle shirt and green baggy pants.

Koshiro spoke trough a multi faceted intercom that rang out through the ship's speakers and into the cockpit of the mechs. His voice was dark and without levity.

"Take aim..." on his word the dozens of ion cannons and various missile turrets and rail guns all automatically sprang to life and alined themselves. Several human manned guns were now beeping out confirmed lock-ons to target while the human pilots grinned dryly.

"Terminate it." he smiled darkly.

The sky was illuminated with red light as the gun turrets exploded with a array of high-density laser blasts. The tyranomon bolted off as shots rang out around him. He rolled and pivoted as beams grazed his crimson hull. He was going full throttle as the listener opened fire on him. Taichi and Sora stared out in shock as only a few of the lower power weapons blasted at the rapidly vanishing figure of the tyranomon. The firing ceased, leaving only a faint cloud of dust on the horizon. The Tyranomon was gone with only sheer blind luck to thank. Tai emerged from the cockpit of Greydramon and stared up at izzy. His chocolate eyes met the dark pools of izzy as he stared down at him.

Tai was filled with apprehension as he caught the faintest of grins on the boy's lips. Once again he was playing along to another's game, and this koshiro could be far more dangerous to Taichi's future then he dared imagine. But for better or for worst, he was now playing the game.

"Prodigious...."



Life is a circle, and thus the past, given time, will come back to you.

That can't be changed, so worrying over it is fruitless.

What really should worry you is that your past might dredge up demons long forgot.

Be conscious of your actions, for demons of your own making are the hardest to banish.



Not The End...