|Digital War: Campaign Two
Author: Trinity Dragon PM
He was conceived by unholy methods, thought to be the monster his father was. He thought he was normal, another human with no life. Yet, he is the key to saving two worlds from an advancing army of demons. Looks can be so very deceiving.Rated: Fiction T - English - Supernatural - Chapters: 8 - Words: 23,121 - Published: 10-24-07 - id: 3854716
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Disclaimer: Hello, don't sue me. I don't own Digimon or anything remotely related to the topic except a few original characters and a certain plot idea to be implemented into this fic. As always, review or else I'll torture you to death with really lame jokes about plastic army men.
I landed with a loud thud and a cloud of dust. Thankfully, Cotramon had kept his word and broke my fall perfectly. Not surprisingly, my shoulder hurt after the fall. I'm sure Cotramon's shoulder hurt too, but he'd survive if worse came to worse. Actually, I didn't know if there was a cloud of dust or not. The fog was so thick that you couldn't see your claw in front of your face. I could smell dust though.
Cotramon got back on his feet in moments and pulled out a flashlight. "I'll never know why they call 'em flashlights. It's a steady beam." He turned it on, sending an amber beam deep into the mist. "Anyway, follow me. There should be a transport waiting at the end of the fog."
Isaac followed suit with me in the middle. I had been limping along for no less then five minutes when Isaac started yammering about the fog. "Hey," he said, raising his arms, "Cotramon?"
"What's this fog made of? It isn't soaking my cloths." I looked back to confirm what he had said. Sure enough, he was dry as a bone.
"Never heard of it."
My stomach growled. Food… "Does someone have something to eat?" It growled again, wanting to be fed as much as I did.
"I was wondering what that growling was," Isaac said from behind. "When was the last time you ate something?"
"That latte in the coffee house."
"There'll be food at the Guard Station," Cotramon replied. He stopped and pointed the beam back at me. "Let me check that wound," he said, approaching me. "I was a doctor in the war."
"Everything," he said again. "Do me a favor and burn off that bandage." My body combusted, startling Cotramon and Isaac and sending them a few feet away. When the flames died, Cotramon pulled out another strip of cloth from his pouch. "When your able, keep off the leg and it'll be fine." He wound the bandage around the wound, making me wince when he tied it.
I hobbled another ten feet before anyone said anything again. Isaac asked when the fog would end. "Should be just a few more feet." Five feet later, there was an abrupt end to the mist.
Cotramon waved. I looked to where he had gestured expecting to see some sort of vehicle. "Jesus Christ!"
"Amen!" Isaac shouted.
I pointed to the "transport."
"Holy crap," he gasped, seeing the same figure I did.
Cotramon strolled up to it, casually asking for a name. "Dart," it said. "Imperialdramon transport for your service, sir." Dart scrutinized Isaac and me for a long while. "I wasn't told I'd be transporting a human, sir."
Isaac was just as scared as I was of him. When Dart spoke to him, he backed away. Dart laughed. "Don't mind me, sir. I don't bite. Anyway, there isn't much of you to bite even if I did."
Isaac chuckled nervously. "I've just never—ah—seen a monster like you before. Anything, quite so big."
"And you're prospective Chosen?" Dart glared down at me. "Don't worry about family history, kid. You, not genetics, dictate your future."
"Yeah, thanks a lot, but I'll walk."
"Eleven thousand kilos on three legs?"
"I ran on it with them on my back. Anyway, I thought we were only going to the Guard Station."
"We are going to the Guard Station, twenty kilos away. Then it's onto Anshar." Dart turned his attention to Cotramon, who smiled again and mouthed that I was insane. "All aboard," he said. "My cabin is prepped and ready with the medical supplies you ordered."
This was the first time I noticed the glass carriage attached to the beast's underbelly. It was completely glass, reinforced with what looked like hairbreadth bands of chrome.
"Is that thing even safe?" I glanced at Cotramon who nodded. "And can hold how many people before cracking?"
"Twenty Champion-level Digimon," he told me. "Dart, get us onboard so I can get to work!" Dart obliged, bathing the green one in a bluish/purplish light. He rose twenty feet before disappearing into the cabin.
The same happened to Isaac, although he looked about ready to wet himself. Dart laughed and the human was inside a moment later. I was just a tad calmer than Isaac was. But I was still uncomfortable without all four feet on the ground.
The inside was just like the outside. Glass, interlaced with light bands of chrome, and a few seats for passengers. Cotramon had a table laid out with surgical tools and an IV drip beside it. Isaac stood watching from the opposite corner, trying to stay out of the way.
"Isaac, you're going to help me." Cotramon went over and dragged him back by his shirt. "Just hand me what I tell you and stay quiet." He put a claw on the bed and clanged a little. "Eli, get up on the bed so I can KO you."
"KO?" I didn't like the sound of that. It made him sound like he was gonna knock my head with a sludge hammer. His teeth made him look like a psychopathic murderer from a movie when he grinned.
"Up! Heel boy, heel." I made for the bed, head-butting Cotramon as I did. Dart's voice echoed, telling us to simmer down. Cotramon was wheezing, but Ok. "Good boy… good."
"Do me a favor and wait 'til I take off," Dart ordered. "That should be in just a few minutes, while I get the mapping programs to set a course." The giant fell silent. Ten minutes later, he announced our takeoff, destination, cruising altitude and our estimated time of arrival. "Enjoy the flight and Godspeed."
The ground slowly shrank away, and I put my head down, resting on my front claws. "I hope your bedside manner is offset by your skill," I said once we were underway.
"I hope your fighting skills are as well trained as your mouth," he replied simply. He slapped a pair of rubber gloves on and swabbed my right, hind leg. "Isaac, hand me the IV drip… Yeah, that one. Good. Now, you're going to feel a little prick," he stabbed me with the needle.
"Little! Damn, you!"
"Language, Eli," Isaac scolded.
I snorted, already feeling the effects of the IV. "Damn, damn, damn, damnnnn…" The last I saw was Cotramon shaking his head in dismay at my cursing, then the darkness overtook me.
"Don't swear, it's not becoming." I looked around for the source of the voice. "And welcome to the Digital World."
I was human again. I smiled, stretching out and locking my hands behind my head. "God I love drugs!" What an experience! I still felt as if I was on four legs, but I stood on two. "Whatever's in that IV, I've got to thank the green one."
"Go ahead," the voice said again. This time he was behind me. "I'd like to see you two start to get along."
"Who are you?" I turned to see the source, but there was nothing.
He spoke again from the right. "Just someone with some experience. Remember that when you take your test."
"That doesn't help."
He appeared in front of me, in my form. "I'm your father." The demon? Not that I believe in demons, that's for the religious nuts who were still riding inside Dart. "No, no, noooo! Don'tever compare me to him!" He shuddered. "I worked my entire life to get rid of him!"
"Then you must be the famous Pyromon." Logical and right. By process of elimination, Pyromon stood in front of me. Yea for him. "Should I be honored or scared because you're dead?"
"Be honored that you're the Chosen." Chosen? Like a lobster? That's not for me. "I'm not dead either. I'm a Shadow."
"And what, pray tell, is a Shadow?"
"A digital ghost."
"I thought you weren't dead?" Tripped him up. Not dead and still a ghost? Yep, sure…
"I have a consciousness, just not a body to go with it. You took that when you were chosen by the Creator." He circled me, like he was inspecting me.
"How come everyone I know is a God-man?"
"Technically, I'm a dark dragon, but that has nothing to do with anything." Finally, he sat with his eyes fixed on me. "You," he said, "could be classified as a demon dragon, by cause of genetics."
"So I'm a demon? Perfect."
"Not in the slightest. Half spirit, but not a demon. That's chosen by you and you alone." He cleared his throat, sending a ripple down his body. "I have high hopes for you, boy."
"I don't even know you." Now I circled him. He followed me with his eyes, then turned at the 180-degree mark. "And you don't know me. But you say you have high hopes for me? Bull? What do you really want?"
"Just for you to pass the test." I stopped circling him and he sat back down, still with his eyes on me. "When you see the Sovereigns, tell them I'm your father. They may not believe it, but Zhuqiaomon will have you tested for that as well.
"He'll also want to know how you know that. Tell him," he continued, "and only him, about this. I wish I could tell you more, but I can't. The Creator told me what to say and I said it."
"Where's the 'Thus says the Lord' part I'm always used to hearing?" He chuckled, an amused expression in his eyes.
"This isn't the Real World, boy. And it isn't ancient times either."
"Right. Whatever you say, pops." He was startled, taking a small leap back in surprise. "What?"
"No one has called me Pops, since your brother."
"I'm an only child," I told him, bemused at the mention of a brother.
"I have another son, so you do have a brother. One of the Ancients. It's time for you to wake up now, though. You'll find your brother eventually, so I don't need to say anything more about that."
I woke up, back to the quadruped form that I'd been cursed with. Isaac was asleep on a row of seats in the front of the cabin. Cotramon was in the row beside me, talking to Dart. He instantly cut the conversation off when he saw me stirring.
"Hello sunshine!" he said "The bullet came out fine and your digital form won't have a problem using that leg."
That was the good news. "Now what's the bad news," I asked, limping down from the platform. "There's always bad news when the doctor says the surgery went fine."
He hesitated, meaning I was right about the bad news. He sighed before answering. "Digimon are much more resilient than humans are, so in this form you won't have a problem."
"But you changed back to your human form while you were under the knife." He paused, taking his time to think of the next sentence.
"And you lost your right arm."
"Bloody hell damn it!" I screeched, causing Dart to get after us once again. "What kind of a doctor are you!"
"Not one trained in human physiology! Give me a break! I thought you would stay in your Digimon form!" He brought his voice down, seeing Isaac move and moan a little. "I tried everything I know, but you lost it anyway. Despite how much you hate the Creator, we asked him to intercede on your behalf."
"And nothing? Big surprise!" My voice was dripping with sarcasm, which wasn't lost on Cotramon. "So now I'm supposed to do what?"
"Get a new arm. We can fit you with an implant, free of charge."
He didn't get it. "I don't want an implant! I want my arm back!" Isaac woke up and looked at me. He went strait back to sleep when I glared at him. The body was good for at least one thing.
"We can put a cyber-mechanical arm on you. The best the Digital World has to offer," he said. He pulled out his Pic and tapped in a few commands. A holographic photo came up of a Digimon with a mechanical arm. "MetalGreymon's arm," he said. "Built-in computer, we can load your Pic onto it, wireless Internet."
"Impressive, but not for me."
"Are you sure?" He rattled off more features, including high impact titanium-digichrome shell and frame. "Well?"
"I don't think so." He just didn't get it. How many times do I have to tell him? "Spare me," I said. "I don't want to hear anymore about the damn thing."
"Just consider it."
"What, the fact that you amputated my arm without consulting me? How many codes and laws does that violate?"
"None in the Digital World," Cotramon replied matter-of-factly. "A doctor here has the authority to do whatever he feels he needs to do in order to save the patients life. I am pretty sure that Azulongmon would rather me have dumped you overboard than try to save you."
"Meh." He did do that. Kudos, but I still want my arm. "So there isn't anything you can do but an implant?"
"We can take you tomorrow to get it." He woke Isaac again. "I'm having your temporary Pics brought to the landing zone, too."
"When am I gonna be tested?"
"When you recover enough." He set about packing the surgical tools away and folding the table into a compact metal slab. "I hope we land soon. I actually want to see how they're going to get your Pic and you to stay together."
"Whad'ya mean by that?"
"Well," Cotramon said, taking a seat near where Isaac was, "you don't have any hands, so handling a compact computer is going to be difficult for you. Unless you want me to carry it or share a unit with Isaac?" The human made no objections.
I did, however, make an objection. "I don't trust him. Frankly I don't trust you either!"
"And as a testament to that, you have use of your shoulder and leg." He rifled through his pouch for the communicator. "Dart," he asked, finding it in seconds. The giant transport answered, his voice echoing inside the cabin. "Do you know how long it will be until we land?"
"That is about ten minutes away at this time," he said, lowering his voice slightly. "The Western station is waiting for you when you land. As soon as you finish your errands in town, meet me at the landing zone for our flight into Anshar Proper"
"Good," Cotramon replied. He popped open the lid on his Pic and typed a series of numbers, eliciting a beeping noise similar to a phone ringing.
"Central Customs Office, Ansharian West Guard Station," a pleasant, female voice answered. "How may we help you?"
"Yes, I'd like to have two Pics at the ready for pickup," Cotramon said. "Our transport lands at a quarter past the hour in landing zone three."
"Two Pics for your transport," the voice confirmed. "And is there anything else we can do for you?" I was tempted to steal the phone and ask for a burger and fries.
Cotramon was a step ahead of me. "And if possible, we need some food and drink." He turned from the communicator, holding it to his chest. "Isaac, what do you want?"
Isaac looked thoughtful, then hesitant, then he smiled. "Anything but cafeteria food," he said.
Cotramon nodded before looking at me and asking the same. "Food," I stated bluntly. "And maybe something to beat you with."
"Two bowls of stone soup and a steak, rare," he said, holding the phone to his mouth again.
"Two soups and a rare slab?" the voice asked, maintaining her pleasantness. "And to drink?"
"Please pull forward to the drive-through window," I said, mocking the voice on the other end of the line. "That'll be ten ninety-nine, thank you and have a nice day."
"All this is paid for by me," Cotramon scowled. "The least you can do is be a little grateful for it." And he thinks I'm demanding. "All I ask is that you show a some respect for the Sovereigns and the Creator."
"When the Creator proves himself," I told him. If he can, I added to myself as an afterthought. Just what made Cotramon think there was anything but a past of primordial ooze anyway? The question of the ages…
Dart interrupted my ponderings with his landing announcement and orders to sit and secure our things. The Guard Station was more than just the insignificant refueling depot that Cotramon made it out to be. It was more of a sprawling city on the outskirts of the Digital World.
We landed in a clearing a quarter mile from the main wall. Digimon moved about busily, hurrying on to whatever they were doing. From the cabin I could see a pair of somethings waiting ten feet from the platform. They came quickly once Dart had settled, and again stopped and waited.
"I would have thought you would go into town for that," Dart spoke.
"I want to get into Anshar as soon as possible. Let me out so I can get what we need." Soon after that, Cotramon was outside talking with the two somethings. Unfortunately, I couldn't hear the conversation. By the looks of it, though, things were going well for us because he came back with three rather large boxes.
"Alright," he said, coming aboard again. "Stone soup for Isaac and myself, and a steak for Eli." He pulled two sealed bowls from the first box and set the metal table again. "Eli, this is yours." He put a plate down in front of me.
"Yep. That form of yours can't eat cooked meat without getting sick." His waiting to tell me the important things was getting rather annoying.
"You couldn't tell me beforehand?" I think he just liked irking me. "You like doing this to me, don't you? You like waiting to spring the bad stuff on me."
He just nodded, smiling and digging into his soup. I grumbled, reluctantly tearing off a piece of meat. I had finished about half of the bloody chunk of meat when I noticed that Isaac was watching me.
"Yes," I said, swallowing. "What is it?"
"You look like you're enjoying that."
"It isn't as bad as I expected."
"Stone soup isn't what I expected either," Isaac said, taking another sip of his meal. "Good though."
"What did you expect?" I asked. He shrugged when I suggested rocks, and then went back to eating. I did the same and started chewing on my own meal. "What's in the soup anyway?"
"A couple of vegetables and some sort of meat," he said inspecting a spoonful of the liquid. "I think it's poultry but I can't be sure."
"I have no idea what I'm eating." And I hated it, too. The flavor was like a cross between fish and beef, but a hint of something else. Altogether, though, it wasn't bad "It's Ok."
"Mine's more like a stew than a soup," Isaac decided. "I don't quite know what the vegetables are, but they look like beans."
"They aren't vegetables," Cotramon interjected. "They're nuts. The Digital World's equivalent of peanuts."
Meh. They can have their peanuts. I actually did like what I was given. In fact, the thought of it made my mouth water when I finished. I started in on the coffee. It was definitely a different blend, but not one I was familiar with.
For half an hour we ate and then waited in silence. Dart broke it with his monstrous voice. "If you would again secure whatever you've brought with you, please. I'll be taking off in just a few minutes."
Cotramon set about strapping the boxes under the seats and folding his table once again. "Isaac, finish that quickly. The same goes to you, Eli." I made a face and tipped my bowl of coffee into my mouth. An instant later, we were flying again and I spat out an empty bowl.
Dart spoke again, announcing our flying time and destination. "Eleven thousand kilos to Anshar. We'll be landing in four hours at landing zone sixteen." We rose above the cloud base and all the interesting ground features were lost to the white void below us.
"Eleven thousand kilometers in four hours?" Isaac asked. "That's almost seven thousand miles. And you expect us to land in four hours?"
Dart laughed at him, apparently finding his question funny. "I'll be using the Rift Program. It lets Digimon travel faster than most of your world's supersonic jets." He paused, seeming to think for a moment. "Expect a little turbulence throughout the flight and a jolt when I rift."
Cotramon produced his own Pic and pulled up a holographic map of Anshar. North of us was marked as desert and still north of that a bright little dot was marked Anshar Proper.
"All of the Sovereigns and the Nobles are going to be there to test you," Cotramon said, highlighting the dot. The map changed to one of a city; the center filled by a large building I could only assume was where his Sovereigns were.
The lights dimmed and Dart reported that he was going to rift. He provided a countdown and ten seconds later we were all knocked into next week. That was probably the "little" jolt he was talking about.
Cotramon remained standing through it. When we were situated again he continued his monologue. "I'm not quite sure how the test is going to work, I just know that you'll be tested on speed, strength, defense, and digivolving." He looked to Isaac. "That's where you'll come in, Isaac."
"So what's digivolving?" Leave it to Isaac to bring up the obvious question. What a gift. "I sincerely hope that it's different from evolution."
"Trust me, it's different," Cotramon answered in a tone of fake relief. "Digivolution is when a Digimon levels up. There are twelve levels and he's at number three, Rookie."
"And they want me to do what?" Isaac asked. "I don't get it." Big surprise. "I'd like a little bit of an explanation." I laid my body across an isle, settling for what I knew was going to be a long flight.
"Alright," Cotramon settled as well. "You have twelve levels of digivolution. Each one is more powerful then the last. They are (in order of least to greatest): Fresh, In-training, Rookie (that's where the two of us are), Champion, Ultimate, Mega (Dart is a Mega), Silver, Gold, Sovereign, Emerald, Diamond Minor, and Diamond Major.
"You're going to be expected to get him to Champion. And don't kid yourself with thinking that you could take a champion. The only thing a human could fight and win is a Fresh level Digimon. And even then it's iffy."
Isaac had more questions, so I was correct in saying it would be a long explanation. I can't say I was thrilled with the topic, but it was informative and it let me know what to expect.
For example, I now knew the names of each plane and its capital. I also found out the Digital World is a multidimensional world, meaning that each "plane" was a separate dimension but still part of the same world.
And as for my testing, they were most likely going to put me through an air-racing course for the speed test, a couple sparring matches for the strength and defense tests, and then general knowledge tests. Why they would want to know anything like that, I'll never know.
Anyway, it took about half the flight to satisfy Isaac's curiosity. Finally, he settled down and went back to sleep. I was lying on the floor near the back wall of the cabin and Cotramon situated himself by where he had stashed the boxes.
"I don't understand you," Cotramon said sometime later. "You seem to hate us so much, yet you took a bullet for Isaac."
"I'm starting to regret it," I said back.
"Give us a chance. We're on your side."
I turned to face him. "And you still tried to kill me."
Cotramon sighed, shaking his head. "Perhaps we started off on the wrong foot. I—"
"Gee, ya think?"
"—I'd like to start over if you don't mind." He stood and walked over to me. "My name is Cotramon, formerly Grey."
Ok, I decided. I'll play along. I'm not totally evil.
And who says?
I pushed the thoughts aside. "Fine," I said. "Name's Pyromon, formerly Elijah Matthews."
"And you're a student?" He seemed interested. I wasn't sure whether he was playing me or whether he was genuine. "What were you studying?"
"High school students don't study anything really. We just sit and goof off all day." I stood up, stretching my legs and tail.
"But you must have wanted to do something?"
"Nah, nothing much." I yawned. "You said you were five hundred and thirty years old," I asked. "Is life as boring as I think it is?"
He said no. "I've actually had a pretty interesting life. I've loved and lost, treated the late Pyromon and his father, been convicted of at least one level four offense, and worked so many jobs you'd swear I changed them like a human changes cloths."
"Only once! I thought we were past that." He pouted, faking a tear. "Anyway it was a failed attempt."
"Level four offense, huh. Whad'ya do?"
"Murder." He said this casually, like it was nothing but a common occurrence. "I'd been harassed for a few years by a rival gang. I couldn't stand it anymore and I attacked."
I wouldn't have thought him capable of it. But there was the argument in the coffee shop… "Still, you did it."
"There were three of them. I was an Ultimate at the time, getting ready to digivolve to Mega." He put a claw behind his head and sat in a seat a few feet away. "It wouldn't have been so bad if I was only a Champion," he said, reminiscing. "The three of them, two Champions and a Rookie, didn't stand a chance against me."
"So you took a stand and ended up in jail?"
"Jail? That's a level ten offense," he corrected. "Only the worst of the worst are sent to the penal colonies. No. Level four offenses are punishable by de-evolution by four levels."
I snorted, almost laughing at the fact. "That doesn't make sense," I told him. "Death should be the worst."
"Digimon come back as eggs. The penal colonies prevent that. They're mining operations in Gaia and in the polar regions of Muspelshiem." Cotramon leaned back in the chair, looking up. "Usually, though, de-evolutions result in corruption when the offender digivolves again."
He looked back down quickly, and asked me about what I wanted to do after my schooling was complete. "I wanted to be a writer," I said truthfully. "Nobody thought I was any good though."
"Does it matter?"
"Yes. People have to think your good to get your stuff published." He grunted. I didn't get him. For being five hundred years old, he was stupid. Or maybe ignorant was a better way to describe him. "No chance of it now, though."
"Why not?" He stifled a yawn, but failed. "You can still write. All you need is a computer."
"And do you happen to have one handy," I asked sarcastically. He smiled deviously. "Don't tell me, a mechanical arm."
"Cybernetic. Includes a computer that uses your own brain as a hard drive and memory unit."
"Special."I can't believe he's still trying to sell it to me. "You could sell an ice cube to an Eskimo," I said, turning away. This was getting annoying. "Fine, I'll take it. But I want you to know that I'm not happy about it."
"I didn't expect you to be."
Don't worry. I wouldn't be happy about it either. That voice kept popping up at the most inopportune moments. Worse yet, I didn't know where it was coming from.
I growled, trying to force it out. Cotramon noticed and asked about it, again in his concerned voice. I answered, "I keep hearing voices in my head."
"Possibly a Shadow." Cotramon explained to me what a Shadow was and then about Mind Users being able to use telepathy. "It may be a Mind User trying to contact you."
"I think that's the more likely of the two," I figured. "Anyway, he sounds like he already knows me."
"What's it sound like?" Cotramon's voice turned to one of anxiety and dread. "I have a suspicion."
"Sounds deep and almost friendly." Almost. That was the key word and the one reason I didn't like it. "Like he wants something."
You are a smart kid.
Cotramon was silent in thought. "Don't tell him anything about where you are. And be weary of tricks."
Yes, why indeed would you need to be weary of me?
Cotramon told Dart to speed up and that it was an emergency. "That's your father," he said at last. "The demon."
Was I really that unlucky? I'd like to think not, but the facts spoke for themselves. Now, not only was I a demon child, but I was the target of that half's manipulation. So needless to say, I was that unlucky.
Goodbye, I told him. "I said goodbye. I think he's gone now."
How terribly wrong I was. I can't say hello to my own offspring? He let out a chuckle. I would have thought that those humans would teach you some manners. The male is a prospective ally for us.
"Us?" I said aloud.
Cotramon repeated it with a tone of worry. "Don't say anything more. He already knows where we're going." The Digimon dug out his Pic as fast as he could, then dialed in a number for the communication function.
"Anshar: Air traffic control and security. How may we help you?"
"Transport to landing zone three. Be on the lookout for agents," Cotramon ordered. "We'll need security teams out there by landing." The phone clerk asked about specifics. "Just do it and don't ask questions."
There he goes, spoiling my fun, the Enemy said in a mocking habit. It is always someone. First Drake and then his son, and then that damn Chimera.
Chimera: Mythical creature made up of a whole slew of different things. What chimera?
Cotramon must have noticed the curiosity etched on my face. "Don't let him get you to start asking questions, Eli." But what about that chimera? Mythology had always interested me and now I had the chance to ask about one of my favorite myths. "What did he say?"
He was just a project that failed. My curiosity peeked with the word project. And the Enemy knew it. Do not listen to short one. Go ahead and ask your questions.
Like I said, a failed experiment. Like you, I have always been interested in such things. Maybe he wasn't so bad. I at least had a common thread with him. He was a willing subject. So I ran the tests necessary to see if he was compatible with the body.
"I take it he was," I said. "I've got to meet this chimera."
"Don't let him get to you," Cotramon warned me again. What was the problem? I was just having a conversation with him. It wasn't like I was going to do anything. "And I know you think your just having a talk, but he'll turn it into something else."
"Bah!" I didn't believe it. Demons weren't real anyway. That was for zealots; something I prided myself on not being. So was he good for the job?
Yes, actually. And he was excited about it.
He was really wanting to try the test. Unfortunately, something happened to him during the transformation and he was corrupted. That was kind of disappointing for me to hear.
"He escaped," Cotramon answered, butting in once again. "Kai escaped before the control unit could be installed, or so the theories go. Don't let him convince you anything else."
"And you know?" Cotramon nodded and asked Dart of the ETA. An hour and a half 'til landing. "I don't believe you. You tried to kill me."
"If you keep conversing with the Enemy, I'll try again."
"And I thought we were past that anyhoo." Apparently not. I don't know whatever happened to getting back on the right foot. Was that supposed to be better than the left? "You won't even let me have a chat with my own father?"
"It's for your own good."
Who was he to say what was for my own good? My mother? Doubtful. "Where do you get off telling me what to do? You don't own me."
"I'm your partner from now until one of us is killed. I don't want to lose something that I've been so privileged to have." Privileged? I considered this entire ordeal a curse beyond measure.
"He's manipulative," Cotramon continued. "If I had any way of keeping him out of your mind, I'd be all over it right now."
Manipulative? I may be mischievous and clever, but certainly not manipulative. He sounded honest. I was really getting into the conversation, and Cotramon was trying to ruin it. Starting to regret saving his life?
No, I said, not yet. He just doesn't know you yet. Yeah, Cotramon was starting to get annoying, but I was determined to push past that. I'd rather have him as an ally than an enemy.
He caught me on a bad day.
"He says you caught him on a bad day."
"Every day was a bad day for him." Anshar Proper was becoming visible on the horizon. "I really do worry. He's pure evil, a tempter."
"Tempter? Nah," I yawned. "I would trust him." Cotramon looked ready to explode after that. "Just give him a chance."
"There's a reason why they call him the Enemy," he said through clenched teeth. "He's trying to get you to join him."
Would it be that bad?
"I don't know." I was confused now. Cotramon was right that he wanted me to join him, but would it be that bad? What's the catch?
No catch. Son, all you have to do is hold out for a month and a half. Then I will find you. It sounded like a good deal. From what I could gather, he wanted a number two man. What could be better than that?
And how do I know you're telling the truth?
Would you rather trust someone who tried to kill you, or me? He had a point that I couldn't argue with. Trust me. I would have, but there was just one problem. There was something in the back of my mind that kept telling me to run from him.
I want some time to think about it, ok?
I was hoping he would be reasonable. He wasn't unkind, but he wasn't patient either when he said he needed an answer now. The red flags were going up all over the place with that reply.
It isn't that your offer isn't tempting, I told him. I just want to keep my options open for a while. Tempting offer? Maybe the green one was on to something. I didn't know what to think, until my father thought it for me.
I will only offer once. After that, if you find yourself in this world, you are on your own. If that's how it was going to be, then I didn't want to be apart of it. I have other fathers who had probably had better deals to offer anyhoo.
No thanks. Silence. Eerie, all encompassing silence befell my mind. I didn't think and the "demon" didn't answer. The silence intruded into the cabin around me. Cotramon held his breath, seemingly knowing the conversation in my head.
Finally, Cotramon spoke. He was relieved, it sounded. "He's gone?"
"Yeah, he's gone." I shuttered. He was so nice at the beginning, but then he started badmouthing Cotramon and I got suspicious. Then he got demanding. "What happened to Kai?"
"The experiment corrupted him. He lives outside of Yggdrassil like a hermit." The air of tension in the cabin was replaced by normal conversation again.
"Don't worry about it now. After the testing, I'll take you meet him." Ok, that didn't sound so bad. I just had to pass the test. No problem.
A/N: Hey all. Chapter five is done apparently. Long one too. The next should be their landing in Anshar Proper and Eli's first meeting with the Sovereigns. That's going to be fun...