The two centaurs were locked in a face-off. Newly evolved EpiCentarumon was a few feet taller than the Ox-headed Vajramon, the blood-red orbs decorating his body shone brightly, as did his red eyes that pierced through the darkness created by his helmet.
EpiCentarumon huffed and lunged forwards at full speed. Vajramon braced himself and threw his arms in front of him. the two centaurs locked hands in a wrestle, each trying to knock the other off balance.
EpiCentarumon’s anger fueled him and he pushed forwards, overpowering the enemy. Vajramon tried his best, but lost his footing and was tossed into a pile of fallen cherry blossom trees. EpiCentarumon gazed upon him for a moment; his eyes glowing with determination and rage, while the orbs on his body shone even brighter.
The four on looking tamers were relieved that the enemy had been subdued, but the feeling didn’t last long. Vulpemon, held in Alex’s arms, was troubled, “Something’s not right.”
“What do you mean?” Alex said, “We’re winning.”
“Something’s wrong with him, with Equimon.”
“I sense it too.” Elishamon confirmed.
“His evolution…it’s different…” Phoebe said.
Maya nodded in agreement, “He looks so angry”
“I think he’s in pain.” Rockymon added.
Trask was in shock when he woke up, confused at what had happened and where he was. “Equimon?” he called to his Digimon.
“He’s not here, Trask. He went to help the others face off an enemy Digimon,” Viola explained soothingly in an attempt to calm him down.
Trask sat himself up in a hurry, “No, he’s in trouble. I have to help him!”
Max held his shoulder, “No, you need your rest. It’ll be alright.”
Trask made an effort to stand, but was held back once again by Max, “You don’t understand! He’s in trouble! They all are!”
“Wait, man. Calm down.”
“No!” Trask held up his device, “Activate Digivision!”
The screen showed the destroyed battlefield that was once the center of Central Park, burning trees, cinders and wilted cherry blossom leaves rained down, along with what looked like data fragments.
“What the hell is going on down there?” Max exclaimed as he gazed into the fray shown on the device.
Voices of the other tamers and their rookies were heard, ‘EpiCentarumon, it’s us! Don’t you remember?’
Following the centaurs sight Trask’s device showed Maya on her knees, seemingly pleading with the new ultimate. Rockymon stood in front of her in attack stance, worry riddled his feline face. Alex and Phoebe ran forward and tried to pull Maya up, to get her away from Equimon in his new form. But he said nothing. Only deep groans were heard.
‘What’s wrong with you!’ Phoebe shouted at the new ultimate. ‘Don’t you recognize us?’
“He’s angry!” Midomon exclaimed. He and Heraldimon stood at the foot of the hospital bed, taking in whatever they were seeing and hearing from Trask’s device. “It’s corrupting him!”
“We must help him before he turns on the others!” Heraldimon said hurriedly.
“Would he… do that?” Max said slowly, as if the very thought of their ally, one of the Digimon of Origin, one of their friends, turning on them would be impossible.
“Go,” Viola turned towards the two rookies, “Help them!”
Viola turned to Max, who knew what she was thinking and held up his D-Ark as she did. Heraldimon and Midomon climbed up onto the table by the window and all at once, leapt out.
“Activate Matrix Evolution!”
“Heraldimon Matrix Evolve to…”
Heraldimon’s form burst into bright green light as her body transformed while falling through the air. Her silhouette morphed into that of Rosaemon before changing once more. The light faded just as the ultimate gracefully landed on the ground; she had green skin that glowed slightly. Her body was adorned with vines and leaves with purple rose petals that formed a kind of skirt. Her right arm was wrapped in vines and she held a dagger in her left hand.
“Midomon Matrix Evolve to…”
Midomon in turn was engulfed in blue light as his body changed into that of Graikosmon before morphing once again. His cape disappeared as silver metal armor began to form around his body, which had become more built and defined. A metal mask lowered into place over his face, two blades of thick metal protruded from his back, glowing in blue flames that kept him suspended in the air.
Carrying Rosatimon, Iliamon blasted through the sky towards the faint glow of flames and smoke rising up from a distance.
“I have to get there too! Let me go!” Trask tried to shove Max away but he was too weak.
“You can’t. You need to rest.” Max said.
“No…” Trask relaxed his muscles finally before giving a deep sigh. He placed his uninjured arm on Max’s shoulder and looked him dead in the eye, tears began streaming down his face, “I can…I can feel what he’s feeling.”
Viola exchanged a look with Max.
“I feel his anger. His pain…”
Viola raced out of the room.
“I have…to help him. He can’t…control it.” Trask lowered his head. Max placed an arm around him.
Suddenly The door of the room swung open and Viola reappeared, pushing a wheelchair through the doorway. She looked at Max, and he quickly understood. He helped Trask into the wheelchair and the three tamers headed off towards the elevator, evading the nurses and doctors they had past.
“He…He destroyed Vajramon like he was nothing…” Duke said, still in disbelief.
By now the tamers and their Digimon were trapped in a circle of burning trees and relentless flames whose roars drowned out the faint sirens of fire trucks in the distance.
EpiCentarumon stood unwavering, staring menacingly at his comrades for what seemed like the longest time. One swipe from his long sword had annihilated Vajramon, another Ultimate, effortlessly. What damage would he be able to do with a few rookies? The group tried to steer away from the thought, but could do nothing but plead at the corrupt Digimon in helplessness. The orbs on EpiCentarumon’s legs still glowed eerily.
Suddenly he tightened his grip around the sword in his hand and began to raise it into the air. Maya’s eyes widened as she and the others stood at the edge of the circle, blazing foliage roaring behind them. Their Digimon stood before them, each concealing the fear that consumed them as they faced the unfamiliar gaze of their ally. Their comrade. Their friend.
EpiCentarumon began to lower the sword, but then stopped suddenly. He paused for a few moments, his arm began to shake slightly. Finally he retracted and took a step back, but not before his arms were snatched up by thick vines that came from the sky. The tamers and rookies looked up instinctively to see Rosatimon leap overhead and land before them, followed by Iliamon who lunged at the centaur, grabbing both his wrists and forcing him away from the group. EpiCentarumon’s sword dropped out of his hand as he pushed back against the force of Iliamon, the glowing red orbs seemed to be blazing furiously. Rosatimon reassured the group, making sure they were all alright before leaping into the air once more, landing on the far side, behind EpiCentarumon. Her vines still wrapped around his arms, she pulled with all the strength she could muster, pulling the centaur back as Iliamon pushed from the fore.
“I will not fight you, brother!” Iliamon said.
EpiCentarumon let out a groan before standing up on his hind legs. He kicked Iliamon forcefully with his front legs, sending him tumbling to the ground. Rosatimon lost her footing with the force of EpiCentarumon pulling on the vines and tumbled forwards. Iliamon pushed to his feet, “What are you doing?”
The centaur paused.
“This is not who you are! Look at me!” Iliamon stepped forward. “It’s me, Equimon.” Iliamon gestured to himself, “It’s me, Midomon. We’re all your friends, not your enemies!”
The glow of the orbs on EpiCentarumon’s legs dimmed a bit.
“Trask, he’s alright.” Iliamon said. The centaur looked him square in the eyes once he heard the words. “He’s alright. and he’s awake. He’s worried about you.”
Rosatimon felt the tension of her vines ease a bit.
EpiCentarumon shook his head, the glow had disappeared from the orbs now. “T..T..Trask…” he said finally, his voice deep, but gentle in tone. He turned to face Iliamon, his gaze was caught by the group behind the Greek Digimon and he suddenly realized what had happened. He stumbled back, dazed and confused, he saw the tamers and rookies cower behind Iliamon, and felt the vines that bound his arms, turning to see they were from Rosatimon. All at once he realized what happened, or what could have happened.
“Guys…I…” EpiCentarumon managed to say finally. “What did I…Did I hurt anyone?”
Iliamon relaxed a bit, “No, you didn’t.”
He looked down, realizing only then that he wasn’t in Rookie level, nor was he Kentauromon. He then looked around, surrounding them all were blazing, uprooted trees. Tiny cinders and wilted cherry blossom petals were carried by a light breeze.
“I…did this? I…don’t know what to…There are no words…I..” He looked upon the tamers and their rookies and the fear on their face. Fear towards him, something he never in his life imagined he’d ever see. He knelt down on all fours and lowered his head in shame. Rosatimon retracted her vines. Maya slowly stepped towards EpiCentarumon. She reached out her hand and raised his head up to look at her. “It’s alright now,” she said calmly.
“But I almost-”
“Shhhh,” Maya put her arms around the centaurs neck and hugged him. He sighed greatly and hugged her back.
The rest of the tamers and rookies were overcome with relief. The fires around them had begun to die down.
In a flash of turquoise light Maya felt her grip loosen, opening her eyes to see Equimon in her arms. “Let’s go see Trask,” she said softly. Tears streaming down the sides of his face, Equimon nodded.
“Guys, look!” Duke caught sight of something coming up the hill in the distance.
The tamers and Digimon turned their attention to see Viola come up the hill. She waved to them before the form of Max came up beside her, pushing Trask in a wheelchair.
Equimon’s eyes widened and he dashed as fast as he possibly could towards his tamer. Trask pushed to his feet, with the help of Max, just in time to catch the galloping little horse as he leapt at him.
It was the night of the final rehearsals. Selina sat in her dressing room, rolling her knuckles on the sole of her right foot. Tulamon sat quietly in the corner of the room, sensing her tamers nervousness. Selina was chosen as the lead, the prima Ballerina, in a production of the classic Swan Lake. She rehearsed day in, day out since being given the part.
Tonight, although it was just a rehearsal, Selina felt ill at ease. She could always suppress her anxiety and nerves, but for the past week, it’s gotten the better of her. She had fallen a couple of times during rehearsals that week, managing to sprain both her ankles at one point. She had also been sick, hardly eating, and when she had, the food wouldn’t stay down. She had complained to Tulamon about the annoying pain in her heels that began the day before, and she was trying to ease the pain by messaging her heels.
A knock at the door, followed by a male voice, “10 minutes, miss.”
Selina straightened up on her chair, composing her posture before the mirror. She powdered her face and delicately, but briskly, applied her makeup. She stood up and ruffled at her white, feathered tutu, examining it for any stains or faults. Once satisfied, she slipped it on before putting on her ballet shoes.
“Break a leg, Selina!” Tulamon waved.
Selina smiled widely, “Gee, thanks.” She winked at her little Penguin Digimon and headed out the door.
The chatter of female voices echoed down the hallway. A dozing Tulamon stirred. She recognized the voices as Selina’s fellow performers, so she knew the rehearsal was most probably over for the night. After a few minutes Selina walked through the door.
“How did it go?” Tulamon queried.
“Well.” Selina sat down on the chair in front of the mirror, sighed and began dabbing at her face with a sponge to remove the makeup.
“Just ‘Well’?” Tulamon raised an eyebrow.
Selina paused and looked at her Digimon. “Alright,” she smiled. “It went very well.”
“Good to hear.” Tulamon smiled back. “How do you feel?”
“A bit calmer, I guess.” Selina continued to remove her makeup.
It was a brisk night in Moscow. Selina slipped on her coat before she and Tulamon headed out. There were few people out at this time of night. Selina felt a chill as a cool breeze swept by. She shrugged her shoulders and walked on. Tulamon paused for a moment, before turning her head this way and that in a hurried motion. Selina stopped and turned to her, “What’s up?”
As quick as lightning Tulamon leapt at Selina, pushing her out of the way of what looked like a large blade that flew at Selina’s head. The two tumbled to the ground. Selina coughed after having the wind knocked out of her by her Digimon, who quickly rose to her feet and searched the black sky for a sign of the large blade. Selina slowly pushed to her feet, “A Digimon?”
“Could it be anything else?” Tulamon said sarcastically.
Selina reached into her handbag and frantically searched for her device.
“Tulamon evolve to…”
Tulamon became engulfed in blue light. Her form grew tall; her fins lengthened and sprouted three long claws each. From her behind sprouted five long, magenta feathers that bent in the middle. Same colored feathers grew from the top of her ears.
A menacing cackle sounded from the rooftop of the theater. The black silhouette of the enemy was vague against the backdrop of the dark night sky.
Niscimon wasted no time and launched a meter long, sharp icicle towards the silhouette. The enemy disappeared as the icicle flew out of sight. Niscimon searched the nearby rooftops frantically as she guarded her tamer.
In a flash Niscimon felt a searing pain across her right fin. Her scream alarmed Selina so suddenly that she tripped back over herself. Niscimon turned to see if she was alright, before feeling her flesh torn once again from the flying blackness.
The tips of Niscimon’s claws formed blades of ice. She launched them in every direction in an attempt to both injured the enemy and protect her from further assault.
Finally a screech was heard. Niscimon and Selina turned to the origin of the sound to find the ‘shadow’ fall out of the sky and hit the ground. The city lights revealed her form; she looked very much like a woman, wearing a leotard made out of pitch-black feather. From the shoulder down she had human arms, up until the elbow, which were morphed into black wings. She wore a black feather mask in the shape of a swan’s face and had mechanical legs from the knees down, along with long, flowing blonde hair.
“Hagoromon, the agent of misery and deception. She’ll stop at nothing to ruin a good mood. Ultimate level.” Selina read the info displayed on her D-Ark. Hagoromon picked herself up off the ground, giving a cackle as she did.
Hagoromon opened her mouth and began to spew forth a black liquid aimed directly at Selina. Niscimon jumped ahead of her just as the liquid struck. She screamed at the pain that radiated from her skin where the liquid made contact. It was sticky, the smell putrid.
Selina gasped at what happened next. From the black liquid, Niscimon’s dark blue and cream fur began to turn grey and white. Niscimon knelt down as her body was seemingly stripped of its color. Her head slumped forwards and her eyes froze in position, colorless and lifeless.
Selina stood up and poked at Niscimon’s back. There was no response. Selina tugged at her partner’s fin. Nothing.
“Niscimon? Niscimon snap out of it!” Selina tugged at her fin more.
Hagoromon’s cackle once again filled the air as Selina felt a tinge of hopelessness and fear well up inside her. Her eyes began to fill up with tears as she stared into her Digimon’s barren eyes. Selina lowered her head, allowing a single tear to stream down her face. She caught sight of something glinting on the floor, a single icicle blade lay just before Niscimon’s fin.
All in one swift move Selina grabbed the icicle and dashed towards the enemy. Alarmed, Hagoromon stopped mid-cackle as she saw Selina rush forth. She gave a wry smile before giving way. Selina missed. Hagoromon giggled. Selina rushed after her once more, again Hagoromon evaded. She was enjoying the tamer’s futile attempts.
Where Niscimon was slumped over, her fin twitched, as her cheek. Niscimon was fighting the spell cast upon her. She could hear Selina’s voice and Hagoromon’s sick cackle.
Hagoromon stuck her mechanical leg forth at the last second, tripping Selina mid-run, sending her tumbling as she hit the ground hard. She groaned as she lay there, the icicle had cut into her hand as she fell and a tiny stream of blood trickled from her palm and onto the cobblestone floor.
Hagoromon’s cackle subsided as she gazed upon the fallen human, a smiled still written on her deep red lips.
“Ah. This has been so much fun!” she sighed before continuing as she traipsed merrily around Selina. “But…I’m afraid now I’ll have to kill you. But I’m going to make it fun.”
Hagoromon knelt down before Selina and lifted her head to face her.
“I’m going to make your Digimon watch!”
“How will that be fun?” Selina sneered as she pulled away from Hagoromon’s feathery fingers.
Hagoromon thought on this for a moment, then finally stood and said, “Well, it’ll be fun for me!” She let out her maniacal laughter once more.
Hagoromon raised one of her arms, the feathers at the tips wriggled and warped, all at once morphing into a solid, black blade. She readied to lower it down onto the helpless tamer.
Niscimon twitched. Ever so slowly the colors of her fur, feathers and eyes were restored. She tried with all her power to move her paralyzed body.
Hagoromon lowered the blade. Selina closed her eyes. She braced for the impact. A warm sensation began to fill her uninjured hand, she felt the warmth spread over her. She slowly opened her eyes, but could see nothing but light, bright and blue. Gentle snow began to fall, as she looked closer, Selina saw that it wasn’t actually snow, but clear and brilliant diamonds that fell gently from above, glistening and shining in the bright light.
Selina turned around to see Niscimon’s silhouette engulfed in the same light, standing before her in the spot where Hagoromon had stood a second ago, but was now nowhere in sight.
“Niscimon Matrix evolve to…”
Niscimon was suddenly encase in a giant-sized diamond. Within, her body elongated, taking on more human-like proportions. Her legs grew longer, as did her arms. Light began to shine through the cracks appearing on the large diamond. All at once the diamond exploded to the sound of a shattering glass. The light faded and Niscimon’s new form stood with a light blue glow. She retained the fur around her neck, as well as the holy ring on her upper right arm. On her abdomen she wore a black belt, a shining white crystal snowflake served as the buckle.
Selina pushed to her feet, she suddenly noticed her hand which had magically healed itself in Niscimon’s light.
“Selina” Demeramon’s voice was gentle, female, and yet commanding. “Are you alright?”
Hagoromon pushed to her feet. She was dazed for a few moments, having the wind completely knocked out of her once she was forcefully tackled by Niscimon. She composed herself before facing the oversized penguin. Then she realized, Niscimon wasn’t exactly Niscimon any more. She was being glared at by a new form, a glare that might have set her aflame where it a weapon itself.
Demeramon raised her arms. In a flash of light a powerful gush of water spewed forth from her palms, streaming directly at Hagoromon at fatal speed. Hagoromon raised her arms to protect herself, but the streams soon overpowered her and sent her tumbling backwards and into the street.
After a moment Hagoromon pushed to her feet once more, mumbling to herself, probably moaning about her feathers that were now utterly and completely drenched by the freezing torrent. She took a step, then suddenly felt a tug on her feet. She looked down, only to find that her mechanical feet were frozen to the ground, buried in solid ice. In that instant Hagoromon felt a sinking feeling in her gut.
A strong breeze began to pick up. Selina clung to Demeramon’s arm, then realized that the wind was somehow blowing right past without affecting her. She could make out the tiny ice crystals that shone like glitter. The wind picked up speed, surrounding Hagoromon in it’s freezing grasp.
With a squint of Demeramon’s eyes Hagoromon became enshrouded by the blizzard. Her scream was slowly drowned out by the strong whipping sounds of the wind. After a moment the storm subsided. Blue data fragments floated in the still air, the only remains of the enemy. Selina, still holding on to Demeramon’s arm, looked around. The street and her surroundings were untouched by the battle that just took place and unchanged by Demeramon’s blizzard. It was as if nothing had happened there at all.
To be continued…