Author's Notes: Here it is. The sequel to A Dragon in Shining Armour, "Holy War". Since it's a sequel, it's highly recommended that you read its predecessor - "A Dragon in Shining Armour" - first. That way, you'll have a full picture of who the characters are, what the universe is like, and what the plot and character arcs have been so far. Check out my profile to access it.
2020 Update: Hey, new readers, Griff here. Since I'm about two-thirds of the way into the story now, I thought it would be a good time to address any new readers who are just checking out Holy War now. I know that the amount of chapters is pretty daunting at first glance. Part of the reason for this is that I designed Holy War to technically be two books. However, when I finished the Metal Empire Arc, I decided that I didn't want to split Holy War into two, for practical, logistical, and thematic reasons. I didn't want to reset my followers and risk confusing anybody. Also, the two arcs transition smoothly, and there are plotlines and character arcs that follow through the course of both the arcs, so it would have been awkward to end it abruptly with those threads left hanging.
Because of that, I decided to keep the two books as one fic, making it as long as it is now. With that said, I view Holy War as two interconnected books, the Metal Empire arc (starting from the Prologue and ending after Chapter 25: Hard Reset, with the Act II Interlude) and the current arc (from Interlude: Act II to present). If you view Holy War as two separate books, it will seem much more manageable to read. As I said, at the time of writing this (March), I'm about two-thirds of the way done, and I know how I want the rest of the story to go. Thank you all for deciding to read my stories, and thanks to all of you who have continued to support me. I appreciate it!
Disclaimer: I don't own Digimon. I do own this story, these characters and this universe.
Rated PG-16 for violence, mature themes and subject matter, swearing, sexual situations and innuendo.
Prologue: Black Pincer Company
The long, tumultuous arms of fire rose up, whirling and thrashing as they grew. They danced and flickered erratically. Violently. Fire was indiscriminate about what it burned or which way it spread.
The walls gleamed with an intense orange colour and the pungent, stifling aroma of smoke filled the dank, musty air. Embers and glowing cinders blew in the breeze and flew deeper into the darkness. The wood snapped and crackled, and the windy roar of the blaze echoed.
The tempestuous flames reflected in a single red eye, which stared into the fire with a silent intensity.
The eye blinked and slowly gazed away, peering into the darkness.
It belonged to one of three figures. The trio were Digimon, all of whom sat around a small campfire inside of a cave. They stayed near the mouth of the cavern, so that they could still see outside into the starry night. If it weren't for the campfire, the cave would be completely dark.
The Digimon who was the owner of the single eye blended right into the darkness. He had the body of a humanoid insect Digimon, and that body was covered by a hard, black carapace that shimmered in the orange light. Over this thick, protective exoskeleton was ebony armour that was just as dark. It covered the upper part of his chest, his shoulders, his forearms, and his shins. Below the long, black greaves covering his legs were his feet, from which three, long, sharp claws extended from each foot. The vambraces he wore over his forearms doubled as deadly weapons from which claws could extend and retract. They were known as Gran Killers, and their claws were almost as long as the insect Digimon's arm.
His bug-like features were obvious. He had an insectoid head that was long and pointed, and he had a red, compound eye that gleamed against the flames. Long, scissor-like mandibles extended from his cheeks on either side of his mouth. They looked like they could snap a Digimon in half in a single chop. Additionally, he had four, long, irregular wings protruding from his back. They were formed in an 'X'-shape and seemed to have a bright, orange glow around their edges, which was less intense when he wasn't flying. However, he had humanoid features aside from his body shape. Resting on his semi-crossed legs were his black hands, which had four fingers and a thumb. He also had long, thick, orange-red hair coming out of the back of his head. As the wind blew smoke and cinders towards him from the mouth of the cave, the hair swayed gently in the breeze. Finally, decorating the armour and pincers were jagged, grey stripes, which added to his dark, intimidating appearance.
The GrandisKuwagamon closed his eye and bowed his head. He appeared to be deep in meditation.
Sitting next to him was a Digimon of similar stature, although maybe a bit bulkier. Although he had an insect-theme as well, he was much more humanoid in nature. His upper body was covered with dark bluish-purple armour that covered his chest from his abdomen to his neck. On the front was a yellow plate that matched the yellow trimming of his body armour as well as the thick armour over his forearms. This Digimon had a brawny form, evidenced by the thick, spiked, metal shoulder pads flanking his head. His legs were also covered by greaves and boots. He also had plates covering his knees and quadriceps, which had the symbol of Thunder on them. Underneath all this armour was a dirty, orange jumpsuit that he wore from his neck to ankle. It was held up by belts and metal cuffs, and it served to cover his skin.
Like GrandisKuwagamon, he had wings coming out of his back. The thin, insect wings were covered by large, blue plates, which protruded from the back of his body armour. These insect elytra were emblazoned with AncientBeatmon's sigil of Thunder on his back, though they didn't necessarily indicate a direct relation to the Warrior of Lightning. His humanoid head was protected by a blue helmet. Extending from his forehead was a long, hooked, azure horn.
The Blitzmon lay on his back with his hands behind his head, his calculating emerald eyes staring up at the dark roof of the cave.
The final Digimon sat on the opposite side of the fire from them, nearer to the cavern's entrance. He had a similar appearance to Blitzmon thematically, but there were many differences. For one, he was much bigger. At a standing height, GrandisKuwagamon and Blitzmon only came up to just under his shoulders, excluding Blitzmon's horn. This Digimon was much more mechanical and insect-like. While he had the same dark bluish-violet and yellow colour scheme as Blitzmon, his lower body consisted of armoured tank treads, valves, and pipes for pressurized gases. With those, he could roll or hover across the ground seamlessly. He also wore armour over his bulky upper body. He had broad shoulders that were covered by black pauldrons. Extending from these were long arms that had electrical cannons over the ends of them, resembling Gatling guns. On the end of his cannons, between the barrels, were plus signs, emphasizing his electrical nature. Right below these arms were a pair of smaller arms, which ended with claws. They drummed against the armour covering his treads agitatedly.
Under that heavy armour, he also wore an orange jumpsuit that covered his upper body and both pairs of arms. He had a thick, sturdy head that was covered with metal. Like Blitzmon, he had a long horn protruding from his head, but his was much thicker and more resilient. Instead of a simple horn, it was actually a heavy cannon that was linked to a targeting system inside his body. When targeting, a screen could emerge from his back and aid him in aiming his turret.
The Bolgmon had wide, green eyes and shrunken pupils. There was a wild, slightly unhinged look in his eyes that was only made worse when he let electricity spark between his two arm cannons. With a broad grin behind his metal mask, Bolgmon watched the strands of electricity shoot back and forth, lighting up his features further.
He then looked up, his psychotic smirk disappearing. "…So!" he spoke, addressing his two companions. "How long until we can get out of this shit hole?"
GrandisKuwagamon opened his eye and looked across the fire at him. "What's the hurry, Bolg?" he asked him with a grin. "Still claustrophobic?"
"Screw off," Bolgmon retorted with a glare. "D'you like sleeping in the dirt, Grandis? I thought we were done with that crap years ago!"
"Can't be helped," Blitzmon spoke up, sitting up again and looking over at the cyborg Digimon. "After that battle at the World Tree eight months ago, the Royal Knights have really been cracking down on mercenary teams because of all the mercs involved in the battle."
"Tch," GrandisKuwagamon scoffed. "They could have at least taken that damn tree down…" he muttered.
"…Of course, they only go after the more unscrupulous teams and companies like ours," Blitzmon continued. "The moral, do-gooder 'mercenary' groups get a free pass."
"Kowloon's got hundreds of members but those knights still want to take us down?" Bolgmon asked. "Our company's only got three members; the three of us!"
"Maybe, but you saw the wanted posters yourself, remember?" GrandisKuwagamon reminded him. "We're small but effective. Not to mention the messes we left behind on a few jobs. I'm not surprised we showed up in their sights."
Blitzmon nodded. "We should think about moving that fire deeper into the cave. If any scouts pass by, they'll be able to see it."
Bolgmon glanced into the dark of the cave and then over his shoulder to the outside. "You guys go ahead. No frigging way I'm going in there."
"See? Wimp," GrandisKuwagamon said with a smirk.
"Fuck you," Bolgmon answered. "We should just chance it and go to an inn in a town. If anybody recognizes us, we can fight our way out."
"And draw even more attention to ourselves," GrandisKuwagamon sarcastically spoke. "Great idea." He stood to his feet and folded his arms across his chest. "No, we should lay low for another few days and then do the job."
"I agree," Blitzmon said.
Bolgmon rolled his eyes. "Whatever. I'm still not going in there."
"Fine, just don't get seen," GrandisKuwagamon told him dismissively.
"I don't have bolts for brains," Bolgmon retorted.
"No; if anything, I'd say you've got a few screws loose," GrandisKuwagamon said to him. He walked over to the fire and kicked at a branch, causing cinders and smoke to billow into the air. "So don't blast anybody either."
Bolgmon let out a laugh. "That's up to them!" he exclaimed enthusiastically.
"I know you like target practice, but you won't be laughin' when all twelve Royal Knights come crashing down on your big, metal ass," GrandisKuwagamon reminded him. "Worse, I don't want to get cornered in a cave because you're blast-happy."
"Cripes. Relax. I was only kidding," Bolgmon responded with a roll of his eyes.
"Tell me that when you have a hapless flying Digimon in your sights, begging you to shoot him," GrandisKuwagamon countered with a smirk. "You can't resist."
The insect-like tank Digimon rolled over the ground towards them a few feet. "Like you're the bastion of self control, Grandis," he sarcastically said.
"Epitome of self control," Blitzmon corrected.
"Whatever. The point stands," the larger Digimon said. He frowned and looked out of the mouth of the cave. "Why don't we just leave? We can prob'ly reach Facture by morning if we travel all night."
"Bolgmon has a point, GrandisKuwagamon," Blitzmon decided, looking over at the black beetle man Digimon. "It'd be safer travelling at night than during the day, too."
"And here I was looking forwards to sleeping," GrandisKuwagamon sardonically replied, adjusting the Gran Killers on his wrists.
"We can crash out at an inn there when we arrive and then do the job at night," Blitzmon suggested.
"Tch. Fine. You convinced me, Blitz," the ebony insect conceded. "Anything to keep Bolgie from bitching about confined spaces."
Bolgmon growled a bit. He rolled his treads over the fire, snuffing it out in a flood of smoke and ash. "Good. Let's go."
"Hit a nerve apparently," GrandisKuwagamon mused, smirking and heading out of the cave. "D'you even have those?"
"Why don't you hit the one in my elbow and see if I accidentally shoot you?" Bolgmon challenged.
"Hey, now. Save that aggression for our job," GrandisKuwagamon told him with a dismissive wave of his hand. "Our client said that there'd definitely be guards protecting the target. They're disposable."
Bolgmon smiled darkly. "Can't wait…"
"Just try not to level the block," Blitzmon added. "Security is extremely tight there, and the D-Brigade is tremendously disciplined, even if those tin cans are neutral."
GrandisKuwagamon nodded and walked out into the shadows of the cliff they stood under. He looked up and saw the mountain towering over them. "Slip in, eliminate the guards, grab the prints, slip out, get paid enough money to last us until next summer. Sound good?"
"Very," Blitzmon responded, smirking and cracking his knuckles as electricity sparked between his hands.
"Oh, yeah! Let's kick some ass," Bolgmon agreed with a slightly unhinged grin.
GrandisKuwagamon turned his back to them and walked out into the grass. Shadows passed over his blood red eye. "Okay, Black Pincer Company. Let's move out…"