Disclaimer time. Well if you thought I owned digimon... then you're an idiot because that ending was not exactly inspired by Logan. Well this is almost the end of this fic... one more epilogue and I am finally done with this fic. Dark horizon was a lot better in my head.... oh well. This chapter has a lot of big things in it and they all seem kinda rushed to me. But I hope you like it. ^_^
Ok ummm perhaps you could help me with something. You see I was reading a chaptered fic before ff-net got the major revamp a while ago. And it deleted my favorite stories -_-' I have been looking for this fic since then and have had no luck. So I was wondering if one of you knows.
It's a taiora and mimato. Set in a different era. Tai and Matt are working in a ship. Mimi is a rich passenger. Sora is sold as a slave and abused by her owners. If one of you know the name of the fic or the author's pen name, please tell me. I have been going nuts trying to find this fic. Thanks ^^
Well let me know what you think at email@example.com
Seth rose like a dark phoenix from the smoldering crater, his form tightening and contracting in spasmodic pulses of quivering black flesh that seemed alive and angry. The beast looked to be actually several creatures spliced to one demonic figure that was not quite adapted to his two cloven feet. His eyes burned as he clawed at the earth while manifesting further adaptations to being back in the land of the awake. He had dreamed for far too long within the cold shell of the asteroid, and now the sleep had ended and the beast was freed to the land of the awake.
The digidestined stared at him with a pressure squeezing their chests like a chain of ice. The mech was just as awe inspiring as the Greydramon, though this one also seemed to draw upon a great reservoir of fear that flowed steadily through each onlooker. Its narrow muzzle palpitated with acidic saliva as it stared at them from across the desert arena. Tai looked over at it and then to Izzy.
"If they can't fight... they will be killed in what's about to come." his voice whispered like a single breeze across a full graveyard. Izzy was moved by the silent thunder which seemed to rumble through the smooth timbre of the digidestined's voice. He remembered Tai's voice had a power to it before, a tone or pitch endowed with strength. Tai was guardian of courage... It seemed all too plausible that his voice was the means by which he spread his charge to the world.
TK stared at the boy with the golden eyes and was possessed by him. Tai's resurrection had always been different from the other seven, somehow less flashy, but more like a storm. While only showing a faint gust of wind or a gentle crack of low thunder, the storm is actually a great maelstrom of power beneath the cloudy surface. Tai was a storm made flesh, and now as Takeru stared at the awakened digidestined, he remembered just how powerful their leader was.
"TK..." the knight's head shot up as Tai spoke to him.
"Are you ready to set things right?" he replied softly.
"Can things be set right?"
"I know about the ninth digidestined" TK paled and looked away as Tai continued. "Hope doesn't exist within a mark on our wrists... Hope is much more then that. Things can always be set right... if one is willing to sacrifice to do it...." TK nodded a little as he watched Tai turn to Greydramon.
His hair whipped in the hot dry air. The dragon moved. TK, Braedon and Kari gaped as they watched the mech shiver to life. It rose up and stood before them with red jewel thundering with flame. Tai smiled a little as he stared up at the dragon god.
"It's good to see you again Greydramon..."
"I have nothing left.... nothing except destiny. Matt must pay for what he has taken..." Tai's words resonated as those of a man pushed to the summit of his control over his destiny. He now stood upon the cliffs which overlooked the crashing sea of his own fate. He was hollow and full all at once in such maddening proportion that they seemed to be the very thing pushing Tai closer and closer to the cliff's edge step by step.
TK turned to his fellow knights and with one nod they each stood decided on this issue. They turned to their respective mech, which kneeled before them in the position in which they had come to rest. One by one, the three chests split open to their pilot. From the gaping shadows of that cool dark recess came tendrils of silver. The serpentine appendages slithered out and took hold of each pilot by their waist and torso, then, having them in their grip drew them into the darkened cavity. As each of the three was placed within, their body was sealed over with bony apparatuses that were not unlike clamshells in their motion. They sealed over each pilot from face to toe with the tightness of a plaster cast mold.
Their minds were now not in their human forms, but instead in their digimon forms. Each symbiotic machine was now bent to the will of their occupant as each breastplate grew back over the cavity and sealed to fissure that vanished as two separate panels merged to one solid form. The three turned and stared at their foe, the great black dragon named after chaos itself.
They were not alone now... Mecha from both sides of the conflict now drifted downward to their respective sides. Some of the beastly digimon looked worn and torn up, while others gleamed with brightly hued shells. Izzy found himself no longer the commander, but more the observer. He had unwittingly been overthrown by the true leader of the digidestined. To the mechs unaware of Taichi's significance, they were simply operating as opponents to Matt's forces.
Seth snarled as its twisted black wings opened to full length. Though tattered, those wings seemed to cast a dark shadow over all the world. He looked like both fallen angel and chimera devil combined to one black abomination of all that was. It watched Tai through silvery animal eyes, colder then the darkest void of space.
The great leader stretched out his arms at either side in a pose almost of biblical rendition. He closed his eyes as the dragon's chest split and he was hoisted inside. Greydramon closed over him as Tai was placed in control of his partner's great form. Their symbiotic nature was asserted as Tai and the dragon became one in mind. The dragon turned to face his twin and their differences were never more apparent.
Greydramon stretched out his massive clawed hand which flared with jade light in a sudden strobe. From his forearm, the blade of emerald fire exploded. It was massive and constantly swirling with a cyclonic range of motion.
Seth hissed with amusement as it too stretched out its clawed hand. And as a dark reflection of their bond, his forearm too erupted with a blade of purplish black energy. The burning black blade shimmered there in the darkness like an oil slick for an instant before slipping away into the darkness. More a show that they were, in fact, brothers born of the same power. Greydramon and Seth; the twin sons of the digital.
Within the time between this action and the first clang of mech against mech, an eternity passed. But all too soon the storm broke. A mech flew across the dead earth soon followed by another and another, until the war was swirling like a maelstrom worthy of Armageddon.
In space, the battle had been horrible. On earth it was hell given fresh new imagery. As steel pounded steel, cyclones of dust and stone whirled across the barren landscape. The terrain was partially obscured by the whirling storm of dust and debris.
Seth had joined the fray and seemed far more demon then dragon. It snatched mecha up and crushed them in both jaws and grip, then tossed the twisted shells away. It was not preoccupied by which side the prey came from, it simply killed all it encountered with a hunger.
Its eyes flared white as it snapped a unlucky foe in two, then tossed the fragmented corpse away with a thud.
Seth's jaws opened and as the beast spoke, in both his and Matt's voice, and in something far different from a human's. The words were slurred with that second voice, but still comprehensible enough. "Black flame" From within the beast's gaping jaws a sphere of swirling black fire began to form, then suddenly it exploded outward in a great beam of black fire which washed over dozens of mechs. The black fire clung to them and spread like a blaze. The damned were soon screaming as they wildly convulsed in frantic efforts to purge the flame. They eventually slumped to the earth and perished.
TK, Kari, and Braedon suddenly were all too aware of that fire. It was the same fire that had killed them in the past. The same dark plumes which took the lives of all trapped within the lost colony.... The realization was terrible as the three remembered the black monster which had watched them die... It had a new name now... Seth.
Rage flooded through them as a longing for vengeance took hold. They stood together and drew their blades tip to tip to tip. The energy resonated between them much more ferociously then they had against the pilot of the Red Tyranomon... This was fueled with hatred. The dancing bolts of lightning soon swirled around them like a cyclone as they spoke as one.
They were off in a flash, hurtling toward Seth. Any mech that was too close was split in half without slowing their rate of approach in the least. They grew faster still as each blade was drawn and ready. The black dragon glanced over as they were ready to make the first slice.
With three strikes, Seth moved. TK and Kari were seized from mid flight in each talon, then pinned to the earth with a thunderous crash. Devimon was fortunate; he was smacked off by the dragon's skeletal tail and sent plummeting through a skeletal building which toppled atop him. The dragon roared at them as its eyes narrowed to a scowl. It snapped its chops at them as it glanced from one to the other in decision.
Suddenly it bore down on Kari's mech. The steel screamed out in chorus with Kari's own cry as the mech's legs were crushed to twisted scrap. The link shared between mech and pilot joined their pain also, and now Kari wailed with the symbiotic agony of being crippled from the waist down.
Angemon was turned so that his back was now face up. The dragon no longer needed to pin Kari, the pain of her crippling would do that and more to keep her from being an annoyance to him.
The dragon used its free talon to gently touch the mech's back. Then with the delicacy of tweezers, he gripped one of Angemon's wings.
TK howled in misery as one by one his mech's wings were ripped from his back. The demon seemed to find limitless delight in the act of slowly pulling the appendages off of him and then laying them in a heap next to the maimed angel.
A bolt of dark energy smacked across the dragon's snout with minimal effect other than drawing the creature's attention. Devimon roared with rage as he suddenly charged. TK tried to call to him, yet found that he could not form words under the weight of his pain while he rolled on the ground.
The devil screamed with hate as the colossal demon turned to him. Devimon expected him to strike with claws, not to do what he did. The scorpion barb at tail's end was too fast to be anticipated. Braedon cried out in a muffled wail as the tail's point impaled devimon through the stomach. The three were broken under the dragon's will and now they prepared for death's deliverance into the next rebirth, this time to one where Matt would have domination.
The dragon gathered the three up in one clawed hand, side by side.
Seth opened his jaws for them and daintily positioned their heads between teeth in a sort of mass guillotine.
Just as he was about to snap them to bits, a bolt of energy smashed into his chest like a freight train. The impact sent the three hurling out of the unclasped jaws and down to the merciful earth. The tide of fire which crushed against Seth continued to heave him off and up on sheer force. The dragon devil roared in pain as he finally broke from the beam and crashed into the earth. He rose up and snarled at Greydramon who stood across a road littered with enemy cadavers.
"Dark laser" Seth's jaws exploded with a thin dark beam which hummed in a horizontal arc across the battlefield, slicing several Mecha in half with the cauterizing kiss of dark energy. Greydramon avoided the beam by taking flight. He hovered there in the mid-stratosphere before drawing his blade of flame.
Seth seemed to grin as the black wings exploded open and lifted the black dragon above the minor skirmishes of the lesser mechs and carried him straight to Greydramon. The dark blade manifested with a snaky hiss.
The two met suddenly with collision of blade on blade. The touching of the two was brief, but explosive none the less. Bolts of energy crashed against each other with insane gyrations as energy sizzled and shrieked against energy. The two flew apart in a display of aerial prowess as dragon wings stirred the sky into chaos.
Both lowered into a crouch as they prepared to lunge. And then with the suddenness of a thunderclap they were engaged. The two dragons dominated the battle as the offset winds from each set of colossal wings pulled and jostled each other mech and man caught too close to the fray. The meeting of their blades sent rains of fire down upon them like a publicized Egyptian plague of burning hail. Soon the battle was more on hold as each fighter tried to stay out of the main conflict waged between digital gods.
Izzy looked up on the darkening sky which flared with various lights cast off from attacks. He watched in awed silence as the howling of the winds became the snarling of the two. Twin dragons of good and evil snarled and howled as they met claw and tooth with the savagery of epic detail. He watched as Greydramon was struck down to the earth, practically atop them all. Just as the screams began to chorus from the soon to be victims, the twin dragon wings exploded outward and carried the mech over them. As he righted himself, his red eyes focused on the black dragon foe.
The Greydramon exploded upward from the ground as symbols of shadow were transcribed atop glowing papyrus of ethereal smoke. They hung there for half a heartbeat before erupting outward in dozens of amber beams which hung together in a snaking stream of massive girth. As Seth avoided the beam, he was stunned to see them each split off like a dozen homing missiles of angelic origin.
The dark dragon was stuck first in the back, and then over and over again by each corresponding spirit of energy. He however was not brought down with the attack, and all too quickly recovered.
Twin bolts of red lightning cut the heavens and struck the partially airborne Greydramon. The beams did not release him, but instead entangled him as they spun around him like silken threads spun from some demonic arachnid devil. The ruby threads of lightning metastasized to chains of blood-hued steel. Greydramon snarled with reptilian hatred as he was restrained by the burning links of chain.
Seth slowly descended to him and sneered as best as his demonic visage could manage. The black dragon sneered at Greydramon who struggled with his chains. The black dragon's face changed. The armor shifted and re-made itself into a different formation before Tai's eyes. The blackish steel bent and warped until it formed a macabre resemblance to Matt's face. The face was terrifying as it stared over at Greydramon with a thin smile on its lips.
"It's good to see you Taichi....." the debauchery spoke. The cold metal eyes fixed on Greydramon with an expression of utter and complete alien origin. It seemed not human, but beast in human guise.
"We are Seth.... The older of the two. You will die in that mech..."
"I am awakened Yamato... You have betrayed the covenant of the eight. Betrayed the digidestined.... I will rectify your betrayal." Tai replied through the twin voices of Greydramon and himself.
"You remember... Good. Then remember how useless the eight were! The only future left for us is to be gods! And I prefer that to serving them!" the Yamato-thing yelled.
"We are not gods... We live forever for them!" he strained against his chains.
"Fool... Tell me Taichi, how many times have you watched Sora die for them? How many times has she been killed in a battle for them!?"
"She died so that they still have the choice. The same reason why we all die. Humanity deserves the choice between good and evil. You know that!"
"Does it help to tell yourself that... Does it make you feel better when she dies over and over again, life after life? Do you really believe their choice is worth letting the girl you love choke on her own blood life after life? Letting her be shot and stabbed, impaled and burned, over and over again!?" he roared as the chains rattled against greydramon's struggling.
"Stop this Matt! Enough!" Tai snarled.
"Look down at her Tai! Look at her as she lays on that earth... dead and bloody! She died for a lost cause! We all are forsaken! Whatever god made us has abandoned us! Just like he abandoned humanity! JUST LIKE YOU ABANDONED HER BY CHOOSING THEM!!!!" Matt cried out as the chains snapped.
Greydamon lashed out with one clawed hand. The talons slashed the Matt-thing's cheek and sent him reeling backwards. He stared up at the shivering Greydramon, on the edge of pure rage. The steely flesh bled black blood as Matt's features pulled to a smile.
"The truth hurts..." his face slipped back into the aspect of the dragon's muzzle.
"Not as much as this...." the Greydramon leapt atop Seth with a flap of its mighty wings. Two claws dug into the black dragon's torso as Greydramon's jaws clamped over Seth's neck. The black dragon roared in agony as it was savaged by bite after bite meant to rip the thing's throat out. They fell to earth still locked in the same death grip. Two reptilian forms writhing against one another in a brutal struggle of sheer savagery. Leather wings beat wildly against the earth as claws slashed both mech and earth with random cuts.
The battle halted suddenly as Greydramon's form was pierced by a black blade of energy. He roared in pain as he pitched off of Seth. The stricken dragon landed on its feet at a safer distance. His arm was bleeding at the shoulder.
"Seth is the older brother.... and thus the stronger." he projected himself atop Greydramon and sent him reeling with a slash. Greydramon began parrying slashes and thrusts with frantic speed, but it soon became clear, as cut after cut was made, that Matt had not exaggerated. Seth was older, and thus stronger. The Greydramon battled back with incredible determination, yet found itself short at each turn.
To avoid a dashing cut he took flight and soared high into the stratosphere.
The piercing beam made contact with Greydramon's abdomen. The dragon whimpered in agony as the beam cut upward an inch and then terminated. The beam had cut through him, and now left him near dead. He floated there stationary, doubled over and motionless, as Seth slowly rose up to him with a dark smirk on his reptilian continence.
Izzy and his men were pulling Kari, TK, and braedon from the shells of their tortured mechs. TK was first out and limped as he assisted them retrieve his brethren. The link between mech and pilot shared pain, and that now was as debilitating to them as if Kari had actually been crippled, Braedon impaled, and TK mutilated. Kari could not yet stand on her own and so TK and Braedon helped her to bear her weight.
"It... we were nothing to Seth." Braedon whimpered, still holding his intact, but tortured stomach.
"Matt is a powerful destined... and Seth is a digimon god. We never had a chance...." Kari strained through a voice heavy with agony so profound that it was almost a chain around her, squeezing the life out of her.
"Tai.... how is he?" TK groaned. Izzy shook his head and looked up to where he floated.
"He lost... Matt is too strong for even him now. There's no hope." His dark eyes were full of tears. TK choked on his breath as he looked up at where Tai lay floating on the stillness of space.
"There is always hope Izzy.... if you are willing to sacrifice for it."
"You've lost Tai...." Matt spoke softly, once again through the artificial face that now bore the scratches.
"You are lost to us now Matt..." Tai groaned
"We're all lost."
"I don't hate you Matt... I pity you more than anything else. Someone who could do so much, but is so utterly lost. I don't hate you.... You were so strong once, and smart also... but you made one crucial mistake." Tai looked up at him through the eyes of Greydramon. He cast a short glance down to Izzy and the others who were listening to the their conversation. His eyes lingered on where Sora lay. Mimi was holding her body tenderly and he was grateful for that; he couldn't look at her still on the ground where she had died, now she looked more asleep then dead. Even dead, she looked more radiant then any other woman he had seen since the dawn of time. She was his Sora.... His princess in the past, his best friend in the recent past, his mate in the present, his destiny in the future, and his reason for living since the beginning and until the end.
He looked back up to Matt and his eyes were haunted by the image of his fallen angel.
"I made no mistake Taichi... I will live forever. I will awaken again with all the memory I have now. I control Seth... and I'm on the verge of dominating the world.. What can you possibly do to stop me!?!" he roared with triumph.
Tai looked at him with a darkness that echoed centuries.
"Your mistake.... you killed Sora. You took her from me. She was the one thing I had that was worth living for. And now she's gone... taken from me. I loved her Matt... and I have no reason to stay alive anymore since I won't be able to be with her. All I have is a promise to keep... To stop you... To keep this world safe for another generation.
You asked me what I can do to stop you? Well here's the answer...."
Matt smirked. Yet below them, Izzy's eyes grew wide and he paled. Takeru looked to him questioningly until the realization hit him, and then he too grew pale. In the grave tone of Tai's voice the answer lay... and the answer would change everything potentially forever.
"Well Taichi? What is it you can do that will stop me?" he was laughing, yet that quickly ended as Tai spoke.
"I can digivolve!"
Matt's color drained as Seth reared back with a growing sense of horror at the implication of Tai's words. His fears were realized.
Tai screamed as he allowed himself to merge into Greydramon entirely. Two beings became one. Greydramon's cockpit was suddenly engulfed in golden flame as Taichi's body was assimilated into the red heart of the dragon god of the digital world.
The sky changed as the winds swirled around the mech which now was bathed in a strange glow. The sun darkened in eclipse and suddenly the world was in twilight. There did, however, come a light. Greydramon's body glowed with silvers as beams of white energy struck the earth from the core of the mech.
The dragon's wings hung open and he was still as swirling phantoms of silver light breached from his glow and then returned to it as if they were dolphins swimming in a silver sea. The clouds swirled around him in a great vortex that spanned the earth. Space and time seemed to bend around the mech as his body became no more then a ghost of shadow and light that swirled against itself like the liquid blobs of a lava-lamp.
They all stared at the digivolution with stunned awe as the world seemed to change around them. On the ground around them plants sprouted and grew, then died and returned to the earth within the elapse of seconds. Trees sprung up around the destined, bore pink and lavender blooms, shed them, and then died and returned to the earth all around them, only to repeat the performance again within another moment.
The phantoms of light and shadow skimmed through the fragrant air like serpents on translucent water. The wispy phantasms danced around human and destined alike with such amazing performances that words were inadequate to describe them.
Izzy looked down and marveled at his shadow which was cast in every direction on the changing earth simultaneously. A glance down to his wrist revealed that his crest was now resonating with color and energy in response to the ascension of the god of the digital earth.
Mimi suddenly shrieked in surprise as a ghost rose up from the earth around her. Her eyes were wide with shock as she stared at the ethereal form of Palmon who looked up at her with an almost questioning stare. The digimon then turned and looked up at Greydramon.
Soon more came up from the earth. Each different, and all seeming phantoms of the digimon lost when the plague took them from the people of earth. Soon the entire landscape was littered with ghostly phantoms of digimon before mecha. Virus data and vaccine all stood together and stared at the swirling mass of energy which was Greydramon becoming.
"My god..." TK whispered as he looked at Angemon's specter which stared up like the others. He reached out and touched the digimon, only to find he had the all the matter and substance of smoke. He didn't respond to the touch but continued to watch the change.
"Look!" Kari cried as she pointed upward to the eclipsed son. The others gasped in shock as they saw what was eclipsing the star. The spectral planet soon became all too clear as the chosen once again found themselves staring at the digital world.
"But the digital world was destroyed with the plague..." Joe gaped.
"Maybe they weren't destroyed...." Izzy stammered as he watched the digimon begin to ripple like images on a pond.
Greydramon's body flashed with sudden strobes of energy that sent new motion to the lazy movements of the floating spirits. They all watched as the digimon dematerialized to smoke and lifted off into the air. The ghosts joined together until the thousands and thousands of phantoms formed a river of gray smoke which wafted upward to the ghostly visage of the Digiworld which assimilated them like two drops of water becoming one.
The growing and dying foliage was now in frantic pace as each second heralded another generation of vegetation and then its end. The lazy serpents of glowing energy now flew with the rapid darting movements of a flock of hummingbirds. And still the strobing light from Greydramon tolled faster and faster. It started to seem more like a heartbeat with each moment that passed. Reality was swirling around them in a maelstrom as the digital earth's phantom exploded into a sea of spirits. The ethereal tides exploded into Greydramon as every glowing phantom joined with the dragon. And then it no longer was the Greydramon becoming, but instead the became.
The being was long and serpentine, but of such incredible proportion that it seemed to go on forever. Coils stretched and flexed as the colossal beast smoldered with wispy tendrils of smoke. It was of mecha, but far different from any mech. The dragon looked to be of eastern design, but it had aspects of the fabled ferocious western dragon. Atop its head phalanxes of long horns formed a seeming crown. Its armored form was sleek with black armored scales, each with sapphire and turquoise tinges. It gleamed as though it were made of polished jewels, but it bore no polished stones, just endless legions of scaly armor. It had lost its human aspect in the digivolution, now it was pure dragon. Two massive tri-fold wings lay coiled at the dragon's main body. The bony ridges of the wings were a snowy white, as was the dragon's armored cranium, which contrasted against the dark leathery flesh and smooth scales which ruffled gently as the two wings slowly opened to the world. Their size magnified exponentially as they each stretched out to full size.
The beast's length was mostly in the tail which remained in perpetual, sinuous motion. Its body was thick with muscle and ivory ridges that terminated in spines and sabers. Its talons were massive and seemed more lethal then any weapon ever constructed as they retracted and elongated like a cat's.
As they stared at this massive digimon they noticed that it had the same red jewel heart of Greydramon, only this heart was not swirling fire, but a stationary shadow locked in the stone as though the glowing ruby were actually ice which had frozen over a swimmer. Tai's body lay locked in the crimson bangle in a position which almost appeared to be deep sleep.
The dragon's eyes flared silvery white flame as it suddenly roared out into the heavens. It spoke not an attack, but a name... its name... the voice was Taichi's more clearly then it had been as greydramon. But that voice now carried with it something that whispered of the dragon's true nature.
"Ryuujin-mon." It growled through the voice of Taichi. (For the record: Ryuujin translates to dragon god. I know it doesn't roll off the tongue but oh well. God gave us translator programs and I plan to make use of em ^^)
The dragon god pulled back its chops into a snarl which turned blood to ice. Endless phalanxes of massive fangs gleamed like ivory in the darkness. It turned to face the mecha that now hung there still with phenomenal terror. It grinned at them and panic took hold fast. They flew off in a thousand directions seeking frantic escape from this being that looked capable of devouring worlds like snakes devour eggs.
The great dramon stretched out its arm to the glowing ember of the distant sun. Its eyes flared for a moment as it spoke.
The sun's flames came to life with a sudden ripple of animation. They spun off from the sun with serpentine motion. It seemed a snake in form, but more likely a dragon if the source of the apparition was considered. The lightning quick dragon was composed of solar fire that trailed back to the sun's core. The dragon of fire cut off all retreat by actually engulfing the stratosphere's end with white hot fire. The sea of flame swirled around them all, but gave off no heat which would hurt those who were not protected by mech armor.
"Not happening..." It smirked through dragon lips and Tai's voice. To those who knew him, it was clear that this beast was part Taichi. The way the dragon carried itself and even more how it spoke.
The dragon god glanced down at the digidestined and pierced them with its gaze. They felt like glass before the being's eyes. Each stain and speck of dirt seemed all too clear to the digimon's timeless eyes. It seemed ready to nuzzle them or devour them at any second... and that decision seemed to be made by the dragon's findings from staring into each soul. It shook its head in a reptilian fashion before returning its gaze to the mecha which littered the sky like a swarm of hornets. Some were Izzy's, some were Matt's, all were under Ryuujin-mon's scrutiny. It studied them for a moment more before turning its gaze to the heavenly fire which caged them all together.
"Judgment..." The dragon's body trembled with jade lightning which danced across him before being drawn to his two eyes which now flared with that same emerald sheen as the embers and sparks had a moment before.
Its head shot down to the earth and formed a fearsome scowl. The eyes flared and Izzy cried out in horror. The man who was standing a foot away was suddenly engulfed in fire which plumed outward from within his core. He didn't have time to fall before his body was soot on the wind. The dragon god snarled as one by one others became ash in the wind. Death seemed to pass over one and take another in a completely random manner. Some were taken and some were spared with not a single word passed. The attack seemed to peer into the core of the judged and deliver either mercy or incineration. None could hide from the dark gaze.
His massive head shot up to the mechs which had been watching with horror. They fled in every direction. Some opted to try to pass the barrier of flame...their end was not particularly pleasant. Others tried to dash away to the distant horizon of earth, hoping to surpass the dragon's range. One by one they were taken. Their mech suddenly exploded into wisps of energy and the pilot, should he be judged guilty, became cinders on the wind. Dozens were taken from either side of the skirmish, with no mind paid to allegiances... Only the content of their heart.
Several Tyranomon opted to attack before the gaze fixed on them. Their missiles flew free even as three were judged. The three wafted away as multi-hued particles of energy phantoms. The missiles made contact with incredible pyrotechnics that sent sheets of fire washing over the serpentine dragon god. Yet as the intangible plumes of black smoke and immaterial tongues of flame thinned and were gone, the Ryuujin-mon remained. Its jaws opened and the blackness turned white with fire. Two more Tyranomon became cindling under the dragon fire while the final two darted off. Their speed was nothing to a creature of this power, before they were a mile off he was atop them. He seized one in his talon while the other was snapped up in his jaws. They both were rendered scraps of steel as the dragon's gaze once again found the guilty, and once again judged them.
Seth drew back his clawed hand and summoned his blade. The black dragon knight was ready to lash out against his foe despite the odds. Death meant nothing now... He would be reborn as sovereign of the human world, all he had was time. The black mech took flight into the solar flame which was not near hot enough to stop him. He had all the fire of hell to test him and no solar flare would smolder his future. He flew fast through the clouds of swirling fire.
He dropped from the sky atop the dragon god and caught the digimon unaware. The black blade met the beast with a hiss of black flame. Matt bore down as Ryuujin-mon roared in shock and pain. He was thrown off by the beast's pitching, yet he recovered fast. He was already flying in for another attack when the dragon god retaliated. The long muscular tail lashed from across the horizon and struck him hard. He rolled through the air and barely managed to regain composure.
"Dark laser!" The beam erupted with a electrical hiss and found the dragon god with no time. Yet as the dragon god turned to face the beam space changed. The beam's arch suddenly bent around the dragon's form and flew off into space. Again Seth fired, and again the will of the ultimate dragon prevailed.
"Impressive.... You are quite powerful Matt..."
"You haven't won this yet... I have a trick too. And even the lizard god won't save you."
"I am the dragon god... and I am Taichi... We are one." he replied softly through the dynamic voice of dragon and Taichi.
"Then Tai went through a lot just to die..." Matt's voice thundered with a tremoring hiss. He drew back and Seth opened his hands to the heavens. Swirling dark energy filled the air around his clawed hands like a black entity of ethereal night.
"Mana destroyer!" the twisting nest of smoky snakes writhed suddenly as the air around Seth became alive with endless swirling cerberean serpents of liquid shadow. And then like a bolt of black lightning, a beam of oily shadow streaked the sky and was narrowly avoided by the quick jerking movements of the dragon. The beam burned the air and left a gaping hole in the stratosphere that air didn't rush in to fill, but instead seemingly retreated. The massive beam seemed too capable of snuffing out god or planet with little effort.
"Heh... Small taste of Seth's greatest attack.... Now tell me lord of lizards, do you remember what it looked like when your world was destroyed?" Seth's silver eyes flared with dark glee as he directed his hands downward to the planet. The squirming black entity surged around Seth like a cloak caught in a swirling wind. The glowing essence of death slithered against Seth as he screamed the attack:
"Mana destroyer!" the beam fired.
Izzy looked upward as the black bolt of planet killing energy bore down upon him and all others who could only stare up in horror and helplessness.
"NO!" Tai and the dragon god cried out as they shot downward in a impulse to beat the beam to earth. The words came even as they were pivoting downward to the planet's burnt surface.
"Threads of destiny!" The words resonated from all directions as the great dragon's body glowed white. The incantation was more then a mere attack... but a manipulation of time and space given form. each scale on Ryuujin-mon became burning white energy. The flapping of his wings cast up a sea of snowy embers as the motions of his body kicked of plumes of pale flame. The dragon lord was now burning with white fire and electric tendrils as he suddenly halted with a great flaming reverse flap of his massive wings. The silvery radiance fled the dragon's extremities and soon congregated only in the once red, and now white jewel atop the dragon's chest. Into Taichi's body the energy pooled, and then in one heartbeat everything was gone.
The great dragon's heart exploded with white beams of silver energy. The beams filled the burning sky and shot outward as a million points of light. Millions to billions of glowing white threads exploded outward like a sea of lightning bolts that shot down to earth with a blinding speed.
The dark beam slowed as time twisted under Ryuujin-mon's essence. The threads of destiny swirled apart and around the blackness. They tied around it in a thousand angles from a thousand directions. It all happened within a second or perhaps a year, but the essence of destiny's will did happen. The black beam flickered as it continued to bear downward. It slowed more and more, and finally, when it was no more then twenty feet from eradicating the planet, stopped. The beam arched and forked like black lightning kissing a lightning rod, and then faded.
Seth drew back to fire the attack again, yet found the silver threads advancing upon him. He flew fast upward as the silver beams tried to entangle him. Each of them had a mind of their own as the matrix of silver energy curved for him again and again. Though breathtakingly fast, he was snared first by one thread, and then another. He ripped at them with his claws, yet was seized again and again by hundreds and then thousands of the silken beams. His lashing wings soon were drawn tightly together and bound. His gnashing claws were bound and soon rendered immobile. Thread after thread tied to the demon's body, hobbling him more and more until his great jaws were stitched together under the ethereal beams.
He snarled out words as they watched the demon's end. The light now went inward and the beast was crushed under its power.
Soon the smoldering and hateful dragon eye faded away to a dark murky black. The mighty Seth collapsed atop the dead earth and did not stir. Still held within its cocoon of ethereal threads, changed to glowing specters of energy not unlike those of the phantom digimon present for the great digivolution.
The spirit of the digimon plague faded away with spectral whirlwinds of phantasmal energy. The vicious features of the beast Seth dematerialized to smoke on the wind along with the threads that bound him. And soon all that remained was a shadowy figure which lay sprawled upon the cold ground.
Izzy was first to approach, but soon followed by the other digidestined. They peered down at where Matt lay. The changed boy was alive, his bleeding chest rose up and down with gentle undulations. He stared up at them with a darkness that pierced them.
"Lets end it..." TK said softly as he withdrew a pistol from his side. Matt didn't flinch from it. TK stepped forward and slowly took aim on the immortal's head. His finger brushed the trigger, but then was seized by a strange force which pulled his gun downward and away from where Ishida lay. TK cried out in surprise by the invisible pressure until a voice echoed from above them.
Ryuujin-mon slowly floated downward toward the surface, and landed as though he were as light as a feather. His red core, which held Taichi rippled. It changed from stone to water as Taichi stepped out from where he had lain suspended. The red jewel regained its solidity the second Taichi left it, and as he did the dragon god grew still as stone...
"Don't kill him..." Tai spoke. As they looked at him it became clear that Tai was not the one speaking. His eyes were reflective with a shimmering gold while the rest of him seemed to glow gently. His celestial glow was faint, but notable, and as they looked, they parted for him.
"Taichi?" Kari whimpered softly as he passed her. he paused and glanced back.
"No." He turned back and walked over to Matt who stared up at him with a slight scowl.
"Well if it isn't the lizard god..." he rasped as he held his stomach.
"Hello Yamato." he replied as he lay a hand over the blond's chest. Matt's body jumped slightly as the black varicose veins faded away, leaving only pale flesh. Matt coughed up a black tendril of smoke which faded away in the wind, leaving him, and all to come, free of the entity known as Sin which had been mortally wounded along with Yamato. Matt scowled at the expressionless human with the spirit of a god.
"You still won't win... Sora's essence has given me eternity. I will be reborn as I am now.. Awake to my power. Your curse on us."
"Yamato... the years have been hard on you."
"Go to hell! You damned us all with your gift!" he spat as he coughed on the words.
"You chose the existence... I never forced you."
"WE DIDN'T KNOW IT WOULD BE LIKE THIS!" he cried as a tributary of blood slipped from the corner of his mouth.
"I am sorry for your pain... For all of your pain. It was a high price that no mortal could have fully grasped... but the choice was made and the past cannot be changed..."
"We are forsaken... all of us.. We will never have peace." he spoke more softly now, with less hate and more sorrow.
"What?" he croaked.
"You have been corrupted by evil... I take that blame on myself. For you Yamato... the journey ends. Call it punishment if you wish... or you may call it freedom." Matt's eyes widened as the light caught a tear reflecting sapphire blue.
"You are lying to me...." he trembled.
"No... you have earned the right to move on. You have earned freedom from the bond made so long ago."
The others watched in shocked awe as the being using Taichi's body lay his hand on Matt's wrist. There was a faint flash of blue light, and then as Taichi removed his hand. The tattoo was gone. The others gasped as Matt's eyes fell upon his clean wrist. And he cried for the first time in a hundred years. Mortal tears.
"You are.. Death will finally release you from your curse. Regardless of certain actions, you have earned this. You are free, digidestined."
As the dragon spoke, Matt's gaze shifted beyond them and off into the heavens which now were clear and full of stars. He stared up at them and his gaze traveled beyond the stars.
"Oh god..." he whispered as he finally faded away into the peace he had sought for so long. And there as all the others watched, Yamatto Ishida found his release.
The being turned and focused his saffron eyes on the digidestined who stood before him. The eyes were the doorways into the true nature of the being that could not be contained in either mech or man. The essence of the dragon god flowed through his gaze like pinholes in fabric of heaven. His radiant skin flashed alabaster as Kari stepped forward and spoke with a tremble in her voice.
"Taichi... is he?"
"The bearer of the crest of courage has perished in the becoming. It was his destiny to restore me. To give me the chance to make right the actions of Ishida... purge me of the plague... and correct several mistakes." his eyes fell upon Braedon, who gazed back at the dragon with child like awe. "Taichi.. His fire was extinguished, and now this body dies around me... Time grows short."
The being stepped forward to where the three stood. Kari had retreated to their side as she awaited the judgment of the being which created the digidestined in the first place.
"Hope and light are the key to all the other powers... They are linked to the world. Their weakened state has had a dark effect on humanity. You see the power of the crests now? Their burden?"
"Yes... we do now. We failed" TK spoke softly as he bowed his head. The dragon stared down on him without malice.
"No... you didn't. A lesson as important as this one is now learned. You understand that the crests cannot be diluted, or else the effect will be felt on humanity, you understand that. And that is not failure. But the mistakes must be made right."
He turned to Braedon and opened his hand. The boy yelped as the darkened marking on his own wrist was expunged, and the twin markings were restored to Takeru and Hikari who fell to their knees in pain. Smokey gray was made black as the emblems of hope and light darkened to their one time glory. The others watched as the changes occurred in them. Kari's lavender streaked hair became chestnut brown once more as her eyes turned to cinnamon orbs. TK reared back as his blood red eyes teared, and then were washed clean. He stared back at them with sapphires as the silver mane he had bore for so long became golden locks again. The pain ceased as the two restored destined examined their bodies. They were just as remembered, like an old suit that still fit perfectly.
"You are restored... but sadly there is still one loose end." he glanced to Braedon who looked up helplessly. Kari cried out as the dragon stared down on him through Taichi's form. he would expunge the ninth just as he had the markings on his wrist.
"You were never meant to be destined... as cruel as it may sound."
"I know... I should have died as a human. And now you have to make that happen for real." he turned to Kari and TK with sad dark eyes that didn't go with his forced smile.
"It's ok... I've seen so many incredible things. Thank you for letting me be your brother. I'm ready." he smiled at them and both TK and Kari found courage enough to yell at the dragon.
"NO! Don't hurt him!" Kari cried.
"He doesn't deserve to be killed like this. It wasn't his fault." TK replied through a trembling voice. The dragon's eyes narrowed.
"Silence..." and the thunder rolled across the sky. They complied hesitantly. Turning once more to the ninth, he spoke.
"There was never meant to be a ninth digidestined... I only found eight worthy souls, and barely had strength to endow all of them. The strain of a ninth throws off the balance." he spoke as Braedon listened.
"You are not digidsestined now that the crests are restored to Kari and TK... but you have been immortal, and thus you are not a human either. I find myself at a impass with you Braedon... and so I must make a choice before this body perishes and my ability to act is gone." he motioned for the boy to rise to his feet, which was done without question.
"There must be eight and no more or no less.. I offer you a choice" their eyes widened as the dragon spoke.
"Take the crest of friendship and let it flow through you and grow. You will live forever and grow strong. You will see wonders beyond words, but I advise you to choose carefully...
You will come to know humanity. You will learn of all they can do, know all that their kind can achieve... but you will watch them fall short every time. You will see their light squandered, and their virtue abandoned... and you shall never have the luxury of forgetting.
"You will spend eternity guiding them, and watching them fall. This is the burden of both gods and immortals who truly know mankind. The digidestined were formed to maintain the choice each human makes... To preserve their chance at achieving their destiny. To guide them through the dark horizons.
"The choice is now yours... Braedon..." he spoke softly, and yet the reverence of his words flowed through the still earth like a tidal wave. Braedon closed his eyes. His lips trembled as he took a step forward.
"I accept." As he spoke, all grew still. The dragon raised his hand to the sky which swirled in gentle undulations as the halcyon silence took hold. The only noise was that of a low breeze which swept low to the ground and kicked sand at their ankles. Acting outside his own will, Braedon raised his hand and bit back the pain. From the distant skies a beam of blue streaked forth. The blue bolt wrapped around his wrist and sizzled like flame on flesh.
Stones danced on the ground as the sapphire flame burned into his wrist. He snarled with pain as the mark was made. The blue fire swirled on his wrist as he fell to his knees, holding his blazing arm. Slamming both fists upon the earth tiny tributaries of blood flowed downward upon the cold earth. The crimson tide extinguished and all that remained was the blackened tattoo of the crest of friendship. As he crawled to his feet the dragon god spoke.
"The balance has been restored... Braedon is now the bearer of the crest of friendship." TK and Kari helped the boy to his feet as the being watched from Taichi's changed eyes.
Izzy stepped forward and looked to the dragon in human guise. He bowed his head.
"What about me..." Izzy asked softly "I made digimon into mecha.... changed them into weapons..." he closed his eyes as he subconsciously rubbed his mark. The dragon turned to him and came close to smiling, though still unaccustomed to human lips, and thus settling for a smirk of sorts.
"You Izumi... you have maintained my species. Digimon were not meant to be weapons.... but they were meant to be. Your actions have ensured that my kind has survived till my resurrection. Thank you for that." he suddenly clutched his chest and snarled in a reptilian growl.
"My time is growing short... This body was meant for a human soul... not mine. I have one final thing to do for you... One final choice I can offer to you." The digidestined watched as the dragon stepped forward.
"You have sacrificed much in your immortal lives. Come to know a great deal of suffering.... and found very little peace. My offer to you is a reward for your sacrifices. A chance to find peace.
The eight are restored... and now I offer you all an end. I am willing to restore your mortality. Make you human once more and let you receive the peace that Yamato has been granted. There must either be eight or none... and so I ask that you decide for yourselves. The gift can only be given if each is truly willing to become human again. This is your choice... your reward... Your compensation for all you have missed." They were silent with shock at the offered freedom each had sought for so long.
"But... what about Sora and Taichi? They deserve the choice. Braedon just became a destined..."
"If you choose to be freed of the responsibility... I shall enlist other worthy mortals to fill the place of those who have chosen their freedom; there will always be eight destined.
As for Sora and Taichi.... they were given the choice to be reborn as mortals. And they have made their choices... Concern yourself not with the decisions of others... This question only you can answer."
"The new digidestined.... They would be starting from scratch...." Izzy questioned hesitantly.
"They would be as Braedon is now... He is immortal, but without the experience of the centuries you all possess. The new digidestined would be beginning afresh..." he replied.
"If we chose to be mortal... we could have children?" Mimi asked hopefully.
"Yes, you would be free to be parents and later grandparents."
Izzy smiled sadly as he looked at her. Mimi had always wanted to be a mother... and now she had the chance... TK squeezed Kari's hand as he stepped forward toward the dragon.
"If we make this choice.... would they have a chance? Would humanity be able to survive without us? The new digidestined would be weak... Could they really protect mankind?" his words were shadowy as he studied the being clad in Taichi's form. He seemed strangely sad.
"I don't know... Humanity is a tricky species to understand... They can achieve so much, and then destroy it so easily. I cannot see the future, that is beyond me.... but I can see the past. And that history proves either path is possible... That is the very reason I endowed eight souls with the power to change destiny for the better.
That is the true legacy of the digital destined... they possess the capacity to make a new future for both of the twin species... digimon and human. By cultivating the most pure and true virtues of the eight souls, I made beings who can reshape the destiny of mankind. I did this in the hope that they could guide humanity to a possible destiny... One that you cannot even perceive yet...
"You all have shown the greatness of your species.. The nobility I see in the core of humanity. That is why I am offering you this... because you all are the most worthy to find peace." The great digimon's voice trembled with something as he spoke to them.
"The choice is yours... now make your decisions while I still have strength enough to create other destined. Step forward and be freed..." they exchanged a look between each of them which was followed by a nod of understanding. Izzy smiled softly as he looked up.
"We are not digidestined because we were made into digidestined once long ago. We are digidestined because we choose to be. Each lifetime, each year, and each day... we are the chosen because we chose that for ourselves... Destiny is not forced on anyone... It is a choice.." Kari said with a gentle resonance to her voice.
"We are the digidestined... and we will continue to be that for as long as we are needed." Izzy smiled as he looked up at the radiant form of Taichi. The dragon seemed to have developed more control over the facial muscles, for he now smiled.
"How refreshing it is to see that I made such a wise choice so long ago. Your kind is capable of such greatness.... You are proof of that...." he turned away from them and looked up at his mechanical form which hung there in silence.
"Now there is one balance left to be restored."
"What?" Joe questioned as Taichi turned to him and smiled.
"One last act while I am capable of it. Once I am done I shall return to the people of this world. I long to be reunited with them... To be divided amongst them, and feel what they feel. How strange it is that a god would long only to be part of the mortal soul."
"You... said something about a balance?" Kari asked. The dragon smiled through Taichi, and it almost had some of the warmth to one of Taichi's smiles. He looked up at the heavens.
"I am proud of you... digidestined" his voice was so close to Taichi's as said those words, and then he was gone. From Taichi's form a golden radiance shifted outward like ribbons of shimmering smoke. Tai collapsed to his knees, and then to his stomach where he remained still. The essence of the digital god was in perpetual motion as it swirled as spirits of amber. The entity that in itself was unnamed, spun outward and around them in gentle and wispy gesticulations.
Kari walked over to where Taichi lay, and with some effort rolled him over. He looked peaceful in death and she wasn't destroyed by the image of him lying dead on the earth. She took his hand and squeezed it gently before turning it wrist up.
A black sun of rich hue stared up at her. its color was thick black, proof that courage thrived within its bearer. Tai was dead, and as a soft wind washed over them, the crest blew away like black sand which had merely been arranged on his wrist. She watched as the dark sand disappeared into the winds that carried them all to their next life, or perhaps to the place the dragon had offered as reward for their years of suffering. But the fading of the crest was proof that Taichi was really gone, perhaps never to be seen again by the bearer of light. She smiled as she kissed his bare wrist and returned it to where it lay.
The dragon of gold light lifted upward to where the Ryuujin-mon waited. It disappeared into the mech's vacant jewel and gave the dragon life once more. It lifted its noble snout to the destined and regarded them again through the silvery white eyes which burned upon the dragon's visage.
The beast's wings opened and kicked up storms of swirling clouds. It took flight with no more then two flaps and then hung there in the heavens. The dragon was radiant in contrast to the clouded sky which danced around him as if possessed with a playful spirit that willed the clouds to jubilance. The shimmering scales of sapphire turned to ones of alabaster as winds that were more than air began to dip down from the heavens and swirl against the dragon's form and bathed him in ethereal splendor. His tail coiled and straightened in a motion which stirred the clouds to further action. The sky was now moving in perpetual curling motions.
Before his attacks had surged with a great power that seemed almost ferocious, now the words flowed out like the eternal chronological rhythm of the sea which would churn forever, and was thus beyond might in its omnipotence.
"Genesis" The word was whispered now with lips but instead with heart. Though carrying no decibel, the word was heard in the very soul of all who would listen. The beginning... A word of power that surpassed that which was to destroy, for to create is a far greater show of preeminence.
And in the beginning there was the word... And it was blinding.
The dragon lord disappeared as steel simply changed to energy. For that instant as the digidestined stared up at where the dragon had been, they saw something. The being was witnessed only from the corner of their eye, though they were staring straight at it. It was of sheer light that obscured almost as much as the very essence of the being hid. They couldn't see exactly what the being was, but that it was perhaps the real face of the giver of immortality. Perhaps the dragon god was just one more face for the real god to wear, or perhaps not. That question would haunt all of those who looked up and saw into the essence of creation.
From the being there came sheets of ethereal light which washed over all the world and bathed it in silver. The digidestined watched in awe as the earth began to heal. The scorched soil rolled over black and rich as skeletal trees exploded up and out from the newly remade earth. Their branches stretched outward to the sky and filled with leaves. From them the earth rippled outward with millions of blades of fresh green grass that had been extinct on this world for lifetimes. The growth and healing overtook the skeletal remains of man's buildings. Soon each ruined office building long derelict was ensnared within a vast matrix of roots and vegetation which painted scorched concrete green and lush.
From the glowing being of swirling light a beam of light split the earth in the distance. From the beam's impact, water surged forth. The trickling stream soon grew and stretched out around them into a river and then to tributaries which now fed the growth. It was not the earth of old... new landscapes had formed and the old were still locked away in hollowed antiquity.
The swirling clouds now shed tears of cool and clean rain. They watched in awe as all that had been was now restored to them. The dragon's form was gone, but the essence of the dragon god now effected the globe with life as trees stretched higher and reached out to form canopies of lush shade .
Looking up at the swirling clouds TK gasped as they parted around the destined in a perfect elliptical eye of clear blue sky. No man had seen a blue sky in a hundred years... and now as they looked up, they felt tears mingle with clinging rain water. Beyond the perfect blue they beheld another miracle which was being born simultaneously with the earth's resurrection. Not the moon.... but undeniably more beautiful... a second earth now orbited its sister world with silent grace. It glowed with blue radiance as it shimmered like a jewel in the heavens.
"The digital world...." Mimi whispered in reverence.
The second planet faded away into invisibility as it had always been... Reached only by the pure and worthy. A world of data that was just as real as its sibling world. The balance was restored.
The swirling white energy that had been or had worn the dragon god now turned its attention to the mecha. Eyes were shielded as beams of silver light pierced the heavens and struck the mechs. Each steel frame was turned to white energy and then remade as small orbs which lay atop the earth where the mech had stood.
TK walked over and lifted the orb. He smiled. It was organic... beautiful real and unquestionably pure. A digi-egg. All the mechs had been returned to a form where they could be more then merely weapons in a war... but instead companions on a journey.
The being vanished into the perfect sky, but each human in colony or planet felt him. A being of limitless power, bound eternally to the mortals who were capable of so much.
Wounds had been healed...
And a second chance given.
How wondrous it would be to not make mistakes,
To know that each choice made is the correct one.
Sadly that's a dream.
Man makes mistakes constantly, it's in his nature.
Also in his nature is the desire to correct his transgressions.
Its deeply rooted to seek atonement for sins, and expunge the mistakes made.
And so we seek out the second chances wherever they may be given.
Making and learning from mistakes are the nature of humanity.
Needing second chances is the measure of man.
Giving them is the measure of god.
Not The End.......