Chapter 5: Faith and Joy
*Standard Disclaimer: I don't own rights to Digimon or its creatures and characters.*
Author's Notes: For all my faithful fans who waited for this chapter, you're patients is greatly appreciated. I've finally finished the last chapter of "Unheard Voices."
I'll be using Stingmon's Japanese attack (Spiking Finish) instead of his American attack (Spiking Strike). I've also changed XVmon's attack from V Laser to X Laser, because it really is shaped like an X.
Digimon really knocked me for a loop when I found out that the 01 Digimon can't reach Ultimate level anymore. Considering that both MagnaAngemon and Angewomon are in this story, I feel a little out of place. Still, the Crystal Digimon Saga is an alternate story line that takes place after "Genesis of Evil," so I guess I can change the rules. *Power trip!* Please review and let me know what you think.
TK held on tight to Kari's waist as Nefertimon soared along the continent of Folder. The Digidestined were close to where Tentomon had said MagnaAngemon was sleeping. With luck, they could sneak up on Avatar and remove his headband, freeing MagnaAngemon from his control.
Kari called back, "You feeling okay?"
TK nodded, "Yeah." Actually, TK did feel better. It felt good to be going into a fight with his friends backing him up. TK has always figured that since he was the most experienced of the Digidestined, he had to do the hard things on his own. That was why he had attacked Ken alone during Kimeramon's attack. But now, when TK needed help to handle something bigger than him, he had his friends to back him up. That meant more to him than anything in the world.
Up ahead, Davis held up a hand to signal everyone to stop. The Digimon came to halt and gathered around to plan a strategy. Davis said, "XVmon says that he can smell MagnaAngemon, so we're close. We need to think of a way to get Avatar's headband off MagnaAngemon without starting a fight. I don't wanna have to hurt our buddy." Everyone nodded in agreement. They'd all had enough of this scenario when they had battled MetalGreymon.
Ken spoke up, "What about Hawkmon?"
Hawkmon blinked, "Me?"
Ken nodded, "You could armor digivolve into Shurimon and sneak up on Avatar. With some luck, you could slice off his headband without having to fight MagnaAngemon."
TK nodded, "That's a good plan."
Hawkmon said, "I am more than willing to do this."
Cody said, "The rest of us should stay close in case anything goes wrong." Everyone agreed.
Davis held up a fist, "Okay, let's get MagnaAngemon back!"
Yolei took out her D3 and digiterminal. "Digiarmor energize!"
"Hawkmon armor digivolve to… Shurimon: The Samurai of Sincerity." Shurimon used his spring-like legs to jump ahead of the group. Yolei rode on XVmon with Davis, and Cody and Armadillomon rode with Ken on Stingmon.
* * * * * * * *
Shurimon crept up on MagnaAngemon without a sound. The large Ultimate was still asleep with Avatar's headband fixed directly onto his visor. Shurimon jumped from treetop to treetop. The ground had too many twigs to snap and leafs to crunch. The "high road" was much quieter. He won't know I'm here until it's too late. Shurimon prided himself on his stealth skills.
He crouched on a tree limb hanging near MagnaAngemon. Say goodbye to your host, Avatar. "Double Star!" Shurimon's left hand began to spin into a blade and his arm lashed out towards Avatar's headband. It two seconds, it would all be over.
Suddenly, MagnaAngemon's hand snapped up and grabbed Shurimon's arm by the wrist. "WHAT?" Shurimon managed a quick outcry of surprise before Avatar yanked him out of the tree and tossed him on the ground.
Avatar let go of Shurimon's arm. "I sensed your energy a mile away. Your efforts to take me by surprise have been in vain."
Shurimon nodded, "So I see. Very well, I shall simply have to apply the direct approach." He jumped in at Avatar, "Double Star!"
* * * * * * * *
Avatar felt a new sensation surge throughout his new body as Shurimon jumped towards him. This was the thrill of combat, a feeling felt by all living creatures, whether they enjoyed it or not. Avatar ignited MagnaAngemon's energy blade and sliced in at Shurimon. Their blades clashed and Avatar managed to repel Shurimon. The ninja tumbled backwards towards a tree, but quickly managed to turn his free fall into a flip and rebounded off the tree's trunk. Shurimon flew in at Avatar once again. "Double Star." He threw the large shuriken on his back. Avatar held up his beam shield and deflected the large dart, which returned to Shurimon's hand. Avatar took to the air and brought his knee up into Shurimon. His knee was almost larger than Shurimon's entire body, and the blow sent the armor Digimon flying.
"And now to finish this." Avatar felt a slight twinge of disappointment at what an easy victory he had achieved. He brought his energy blade up.
"Spiking Finish!" Avatar turned around just in time to deflect Stingmon's energy stinger away. Undaunted, Stingmon brought his weapon around again and lunged at Avatar. Avatar used his energy blade to counter and initiated an awkward duel between the two Digimon. Yes, more energy, more thrills! Avatar laughed. He could see XVmon, Ankylomon, and Nefertimon approaching. The Digidestined weren't far behind. Avatar smiled with glee. I can capture the children of Hope and Light in one felled swoop! Things were getting better and better.
Avatar parried another blow from Stingmon and thrust his blade at the insect Digimon. The blade managed to cut a shallow wound in Stingmon's left arm. The other Digimon backed off while nursing his wound.
"Rosetta Stone!" Nefertimon hurled several stone tablets. Avatar slashed two with his blade and deflected the other with his beam shield.
"X Laser!" XVmon fired his attack. Rather than deflect it, Avatar chose to fly out of the way.
"Tail Hammer!" Ankylomon threw several spiked maces from his tail. Avatar batted them away like baseballs. He felt a fresh stab of disappointment. These weaklings were no challenge. He could destroy them in a moment if he chose. In fact, that might be a pleasant experience.
Avatar raised his sword above his head and began to bring in around in a large circle.
* * * * * * * *
TK cried, "MagnaAngemon, stop it!" He felt so helpless against Avatar, who was controlling his best friend. Could MagnaAngemon even hear him? Suddenly, TK noticed how MagnaAngemon was looping his arm around. TK shouted to the other Digimon, "Everyone, get out of the way! He's going to use his special attack!"
A golden gate materialized in the air and opened to reveal a portal of energy. "Gate of Destiny!" A massive beam shot out of the gate. All the Digimon scattered out of the way, but the shockwave still sent them reeling. Nefertimon bore the worst of it and was forced to revert back to Gatomon. She fell helplessly.
"Gatomon!" Kari cried, "Digivolve!" The crest of light shined on her chest.
"Gatomon digivolve to… Angewomon." The newly digivolved angel took to the air again. Kari heaved a sigh of the relief. TK grew more and more uneasy with the situation. None of the Digimon could stand up to MagnaAngemon's power, and Avatar was too good a fighter to be caught off guard. Maybe we should retreat.
* * * * * * * *
Meanwhile, Angewomon squared off against Avatar. "Avatar, release MagnaAngemon or face destruction."
Avatar laughed, "A very bold claim, my dear. Care to live up to your boast?" He took up a ready stance. Angewomon flew in and lunged for Avatar's headband with both hands. Careless. Avatar grabbed her by the arm and flung her in a circle before releasing her. Angewomon careened out of control. She slammed into the ground and disappeared in a cloud of dust.
"Angewomon!" The child of light was running towards her fallen partner. Avatar smiled. This was the perfect opportunity. He flew in towards the child.
"Celestial Arrow!" Avatar barely had time to swerve to the side as several arrows of white light darted past him. Angewomon emerged from the dust cloud. Avatar grimaced. She's tougher than I gave her credit for. Avatar brandished his energy blade and flew in again.
Angewomon fired several more arrows. Avatar deflected one away with his shield, and cut another with his blade, but the third one slipped past his guard and pierced his shoulder.
"MagnaAngemon!" The child of hope cried from below. Avatar bit back a curse and drove in at Angewomon. He slashed at her head but Angewomon dove to the side and quickly flew back to gain ground. Diving to the right, Angewomon fired several more arrows. Avatar dodged to the right and flew on a path parallel to Angewomon's. Then, he dove to the side and brought his blade down at Angewomon. The female angel dodged the blow and drove her fist into Avatar's gut. Avatar grunted and brought his own hand up, delivering a blow to Angewomon's head. The force of the blow knocked Angewomon off balance and she lost control of her flight. She fell towards the ground.
Avatar brought his blade around. "Gate of Destiny!" The portal formed once again and spewed lethal energy. In a moment, you'll be dead. Avatar smiled as the stream of power reached hungrily for Angewomon. Suddenly, a blue blur flashed by and pushed Angewomon out of the way. The blast of energy impacted on the ground without taking a single life. Avatar looked slightly lower. XVmon was hovering in the air with Angewomon in his arms.
"Angewomon?" XVmon sounded concerned, "Are you alright?"
Angewomon groaned, put a hand on her head, then nodded. "Thanks."
Avatar took advantage of the moment and dove in to attack. As long as he was holding Angewomon, XVmon couldn't use his X Laser attack. Avatar raised his hand, doubled the length of his blade, and-
"Spiking Finish!" Stingmon interposed himself between Avatar and his targets and began to duel with Avatar again. Why won't they just die? Avatar backpedaled and created another gate. "Gate of Destiny!" The Digimon scattered once again, but the gate was too close for them to avoid the full force of the blast. XVmon, Stingmon, and Angewomon reverted back Veemon, Wormmon, and Gatomon under the force of the blast. All three of them tumbled to the ground. Avatar laughed.
The Digidestined ran towards their fallen Digimon. Avatar dove down once again, strait at the child of light. Before any of the Digidestined could react, Avatar landed and snatched the girl up.
"KARI!" The child of hope cried.
"TK! Davis! Help!" Avatar took a certain pleasure in hearing their cries.
The child of courage and friendship shouted. "Let her go!"
Avatar smiled and shook his head. "I'm afraid I can't do that. Farewell, Digidestined. Thank you for allowing me to accomplish my mission." He laughed and began to lift away from the ground with the child of light firmly in his grasp.
"Grand Horn!" Avatar felt a painful blow delivered to his back. He was so taken off-guard that he dropped the child of light. Avatar whirled around to see that Shurimon had become Aquillamon, and he was currently diving in to attack.
Meanwhile, Ankylomon charged in and caught the child of light on his shell and carried her to her friends.
* * * * * * * *
"KARI!" TK half-ran, half-limped up to his friend. His heart had dropped to a dead stop the instant Avatar had come down and picked her up. This is all my fault. Kari and the others are in danger because I couldn't protect Patamon. His gut twisted with guilt. "Are you alright?"
Kari nodded. She was a bit wobbly from the experience. "I-I'm okay."
TK looked at the others. "Guys, we have to withdraw."
"WHAT?" Davis growled, "But what about MagnaAngemon?"
TK said, "I want to get MagnaAngemon, but I don't want to lose any more friends in the process. None of our Digimon can beat MagnaAngemon's power, and Avatar is just too good a fighter for us to slip in and get the headband. We need to come up with a plan. Maybe we can set a trap."
Davis shook his head, "We might not get a second chance at this. We have to keep fighting!" Everyone looked at the last two Digimon that were fighting Avatar.
"Tail Hammer!" Aquillamon and Ankylomon's attacks struck Avatar in unison. Avatar crossed his arms to shield himself from the blast. The attacks didn't even dent his body. Avatar lashed out and grabbed Aquillamon's talon. He swung the bird Digimon into Ankylomon and knocked them both the ground.
TK gestured to the fallen Digimon, "Our Digimon just aren't strong enough. Staying here would be suicide!"
Davis said, "TK, no offense, but you give up way too easily. We've got to give this our best shot. Patamon's counting on us!"
Ken stepped forward. "Davis is right." Everyone's eyes tripled in size at Ken's remark. Not only was Ken supporting Davis, but he had also used his first name. "We have to give this fight everything we have in order to get MagnaAngemon back.."
Davis nodded, "Yeah, that's right!" He looked at Veemon. "Wadda say, buddy? Feel up to another digivolve?"
Veemon nodded, "Yeah! You bet!"
Gatomon raised a claw, "I'll digivolve again too!"
Wormmon nodded, "And me!"
TK looked at his friends. "Everyone…"
Ken said, "We know this is the right thing to do, and we'll do everything we can to help you." Suddenly, a soft red glow emanated from Ken's pocket. He reached in and pulled out the crest of kindness. "What?" The crest floated into the air and hovered over the Digidestined.
The crest's glow changed from soft red to bright gold. The crest began to shift and mold into a larger object. Davis was the first one to realize what it was transforming into. "The golden digiegg!" The digiegg of miracles glowed brightly in front of the Digidestined.
Kari's voice was filled with awe. "The crest of kindness is the golden digiegg?"
TK could hardly believe it himself, but when the thought about it, it actually made sense. When Davis had first unlocked the power of the golden digiegg, it had shown the crest of kindness on its surface. After Magnamon had defeated Kimeramon and reverted back to Demiveemon, the golden digiegg had vanished, and Davis had just happened to find the crest of kindness right next to Demiveemon. The golden digiegg must have reverted back into a crest after Magnamon defeated Kimeramon. Why didn't we think of that before?
The golden digiegg flowed over to Davis. "I guess I can still use it. Veemon, let's do it!"
Veemon cheered, "Ready when you are."
Davis nodded, "Give this fight everything you've got. Golden armor energize!" The digiegg flashed with even more brilliance.
"Veemon golden armor digivolve to… Magnamon!"
* * * * * * * *
Avatar looked down at Hawkmon and Armadillomon, who had reverted back to their rookie forms after losing consciousness. It had been such an easy fight. Aside from Angewomon's attack, it had been a very simple battle. None of the Champion Digimon could match his strength. That made the fight seem empty somehow.
Just then, a bright light flashed over the landscape. Avatar turned around and instantly had to shield his eyes from the glare. This light is hideous. His eyes adjusted to the golden light, and he saw a new Digimon floating in front of him. It was an Armor Digimon by the looks of it, but he was incredibly powerful. Avatar recognized this Digimon. The Armor Digimon that could compete on the same level as an Ultimate, and possibly a Mega: Magnamon.
Magnamon said, "Avatar, I'm your only opponent now. Let's dance." He took up a fighting position.
Avatar laughed, "As you wish." Magnamon charged forward with his fist cocked back. Avatar lashed out with his energy blade but Magnamon had apparently anticipated that move. The instant Avatar stabbed his hand forward, Magnamon flipped higher into the air and rebounded off Avatar's arm.
"Magna Punch!" Magnamon delivered a blow right to Avatar's chin. Avatar's head reeled back, exposing his headband. Magnamon drove forward to strike. "Magna Kick!" Avatar brought his right arm up and batted Magnamon aside before he could connect. Impressive.
Magnamon regained control of his flight and turned to face Avatar. He just barely had time to dodge to the right as Avatar slashed at him with his energy blade. "Magna Blast!" Golden rays of energy leapt from Magnamon's armor. The beams struck against Avatar's shoulder. Avatar screamed in pain. Behind his visor, Avatar's eyes burned with hatred. I'll kill him!
Magnamon, meanwhile, had landed on the ground and was regaining his bearings. Avatar screamed in at him with is blade poised to strike. Magnamon jumped back just as the energy blade penetrated the ground. "What's the matter, Avatar? You're so slow!"
"SILENCE!" Avatar sliced downward again, and Magnamon just barely jumped out of the way in time. They continued like that for some time. Avatar would try to cut Magnamon in two, and Magnamon would evade his blade with just seconds to spare.
"Magna Blast!" Magnamon fired a beam of energy at the ground in front of him, kicking up a large cloud of dust in the process. He vanished from Avatar's sight. Coward! Avatar expected Magnamon to fly away and gain some distance, but instead he dove through the dust cloud feet first. "Magna Kick!" He drove both his feet into Avatar's belly. Avatar groaned and began to fall back. Magnamon shifted around and began to punch Avatar relentlessly. It was obvious that he was trying to break down Avatar's defenses before attacking his headband, but Avatar would not give him such an opportunity.
But just then, Avatar noticed that the force of Magnamon's punches was decreasing. He was running low on energy. He has the advantage of speed and nimbleness, but I have greater stamina and power. This battle is mine! He brought his knee forward and kicked Magnamon away. Magnamon bounced to a stop on the ground a good distance away. "It is time to end this, Magnamon. Gate of Destiny!" The gate materialized once again, but instead of releasing a stream of energy, it began to suck everything in like black hole. Magnamon grabbed at the ground as the power of the gate pulled him in. "This is the end for you, Magnamon. You should have known better than to challenge me." Avatar laughed.
* * * * * * * *
This isn't good. Magnamon held onto the soil as the Gate of Destiny pulled him even closer. Soon, the ground would break, and Magnamon would be deleted by the Gate's power. His mind flashed back to fighting ExPiedmon within the Gate of Destiny. He'd barely survived that encounter, and Davis had come even closer to being killed. Magnamon didn't want to repeat that experience again.
He risked a glance at the Digidestined. Davis was shouting something at him while trying to run to Magnamon's aid, but Yolei and Ken were restraining him. Magnamon smiled, That's my partner. He remembered what Davis had said. "Give this fight everything you've got." Davis wanted to help his friends, and so did Magnamon.
He had a plan. It was crazy, and bordered suicidal, but it might work. Taking a deep breath, Magnamon let go of the ground. Instantly, the Gate winds pulled him closer. Magnamon went limp and built up all this strength for his next move. He could hear Davis scream his name, and Avatar's insane laugh. He built up all the power within him and waited.
He was spinning end over end, so he only caught glimpses of the Gate of Destiny. On one turn the gate was far off. Another turn and it was much closer. On the third turn he was practically at its doorstep. He waited as long as he dared… and then a second more… and then another second… NOW!
"Magna Explosion!" Magnamon released all his energy at once in an ever-widening sphere of golden light. The sphere expanded to match the Gates size, and the world vanished in an explosion.
* * * * * * * *
"MAGNAMON!" Davis fell to his knees. "Magnamon… I don't believe it." Tears began to fall down his face.
TK watched his friend overcome with sadness. That was how TK felt when he had lost Patamon during the fight with Devimon. He lost his partner trying to help me. TK felt even more guilty. "Davis… I…"
Ken, meanwhile, was still watching the fight. Avatar was laughing his possessed head off, and the explosion of the Gate of Destiny was still expanding. Ken pointed a finger. "Look!"
A small shadow appeared in the explosion, a shadow that quickly resolved into Magnamon. His armor was badly burnt and cracking all over. Several patches of armor broke off as he flew in at Avatar. Avatar was so taken aback that he didn't move in time to dodge. "Magna Punch!" Magnamon's blow connected squarely with Avatar's headband. The headband was forced off MagnaAngemon's head and spiraled upward. MagnaAngemon cried out and clutched his head as Avatar's influence left him.
Magnamon channeled all his power into his cracked gauntlets. "Magna Blast!" He fired all his power at the headband. Avatar's headband was caught in the blast. Cracks danced their way across the band, only the three rubies remained intact. The headband shattered into thousands of tiny shards, and a black liquid seeped out from the remnants. The rubies, gold shards, and liquid fell onto the ground in a small mess.
MagnaAngemon sank to his knees and began to glow. He finally reverted back to Patamon. Magnamon flashed gold and transformed as well, but he didn't become Veemon or Demiveemon. Instead, he became a small round Digimon with what could only be described as a cowlick coming off the top of his head.
"Veemon!" Davis ran forward.
"Patamon!" TK limped after him, supported by Kari.
Davis slid to a stop in front of the tiny blue Digimon. "Veemon, are you okay?"
The little Digimon slowly opened his large, button-like eyes. "Davis?"
Davis smiled, "Hey, buddy. You've lost some weight." He chuckled, even though tears were coming out of his eyes.
The little Digimon smiled, "I'm Chibomon, the baby form of Veemon."
Davis nodded, "You used up all most of your energy fighting MagnaAngemon. I'm sorry, you got hurt because of me."
Chibomon replied, "No. You wanted to help TK, just like I did. I gave the fight my very best shot, just like you told me to."
Davis held him close. "Thanks, Chibomon. You were awesome, the best!"
TK knelt down by Patamon. "Patamon?" His voice quivered with apprehension.
Patamon's eyes fluttered open. "TK? TK!" Patamon laughed and jumped into his friend's arms. "Oh, TK! I thought I'd never see you again. I tried so hard to make Avatar stop, but I just couldn't break his control. It was horrible! It was like watching my body from the outside. I'm so sorry I hurt everyone."
TK squeezed the air out of his partner with a big hug. "No, no. It wasn't your fault. I should have protected you. Please forgive me."
Patamon said, "It's not your fault, TK. If you don't blame me and I don't blame you, then it's no one's fault, right?"
TK nodded. His face was wet, just like Davis'. "Yeah."
Kari smiled, "I'm glad you're back, Patamon."
Gatomon nodded, "Me too." Everyone else agreed.
Patamon looked at Davis and Chibomon, who was asleep in Davis' arms. "Thank you, Davis, Chibomon."
Davis turned slightly red at all the emotion he had shown. "Hey, no biggie."
Ken, meanwhile, located his crest, which had reverted back from the golden digiegg. Despite the damage to Magnamon's armor, the crest was fully intact. Ken smiled, "I think that if we ever need Magnamon again, he'll be at full power next time."
* * * * * * * *
The pain rose and fell like waves in a vast ocean. Avatar, now stripped of his container, could feel his energy draining away. The headband was destroyed, and Avatar's essence, the black liquid, was seeping out. He had failed. He had lost MagnaAngemon, and any hope of a new body. It's not fair! I deserve a real body more than those fools. Why? Why did I lose? He had been in control of one of the strongest Digimon in existence, but he had lost to an Armor Digimon. It just wasn't fair.
Rage filled Avatar. He channeled all his energy and began to focus on forming his temporary body. He knew this was a fatal move on his part. There was no way he would survive. But before he died, he would kill all the Digidestined.
* * * * * * * *
"Can we eat now?" Armadillomon's stomach growled. Everyone sighed.
TK said, "Let's head back to Primary Village. I want to tell Elecmon that everything's okay now. We can have a quick bit to eat and head home. This has been one long night."
Cody's voice sounded sleepy. "Yeah…" He was having a hard time keeping his eyes open.
Patamon said, "I'll fly you back. I'll feel good to armor digivolve again."
TK nodded, "Digiar-"
A loud roar made everyone jump where they stood. They all turned around to look where Avatar's destroyed headband lay. The black liquid was merging together and seemed to be growing somehow. It slowly rose and rippled into a rough humanoid form. TK marveled at the sight. How can that much liquid have been in one tiny headband?
The liquid seemed to solidify into a huge skeleton. It was pitch black and shaped like Devimon without skin or wings, he even had horns on his head. A large fireball generated inside his rib cage, which gave his eyes and mouth an eerie red glow. TK just stared for a moment. That's the true Avatar.
"DIGIDESTINED!!!" Avatar moved forward. His movements were slow and awkward. It was almost as if he was limping. When he moved, bits of data fell off his body and dissolved. He was being deleted at an incredibly slow rate. "Digidestined, you have stolen my chance for life away from me. I will make you pay!"
Ken looked at Wormmon, "Can you digivolve again?"
Wormmon shook his head. "I'm too tired from the last fight with MagnaAngemon. I don't think I can do it."
Hawkmon nodded wearily, "Indeed. I do not have the strength to digivolve either."
Armadillomon said, "I'm plum tuckered out."
Gatomon said, "Sorry, Kari."
Avatar opened his large mouth. The fireball in his chest glowed brighter, and a beam of bright red energy shot from his mouth. The blast connected with the ground a fair distance from the Digidestined, but the ensuing explosion was so huge that it sent the children and their Digimon flying backwards. They all hit the ground and rolled to a stop.
Cody exclaimed, "What power! He's on the same level as a Mega!"
Yolei said, "But look at him. It's like he's dying."
Avatar laughed, "Your Digimon are too weak from the last fight to oppose me, and there is no way you pathetic humans can survive. Give up and I will provide you with a somewhat painless death."
TK remembered what Davis had said. "TK, no offense, but you give up way too easily." He shook his head. I won't give up, not this time. We got Patamon back, even though the odds were against us. And this isn't the first time we've pulled off a miracle. I always thought that I had to take on every difficult task because I had the most experience, but my experience didn't free the golden digiegg, or help to defeat Kimeramon. We overcame all the challenges we've faced so far because we stuck together as a team, even when we disagreed. I know we can beat Avatar, even though the odds are still against us. I believe in this team, and in myself. The Digivolution Crystal, which hung from TK's neck, began to glow bright white.
Davis was the first to see it. "TK! The Crystal!"
Patamon jumped into the air and hovered in front of TK. "TK, try to make me crystal digivolve. I know I can beat Avatar if I become a Crystal Digimon."
TK nodded, "Go for it, Patamon! Crystal armor energize!"
A beam of light jumped from the Crystal and struck Patamon. His body became a sihlouette in the bright light, and his form began to change. "Patamon crystal digivolve to… Shinmon: Shining Faith!" TK looked at his new Digimon as the light died down. At first, TK thought it was Pegasusmon. The form was similar, but then TK noticed some major differences. Shinmon's head was that of an eagle's, and his front two legs were actually three-toed talons. His rear legs were horse legs, and his body was a bright orange, just like Pegasusmon's. Two angelic wings protruded from his back. His armor was amber colored with silver, gold, and ruby trim. Gauntlets encircled his front feet, and boots, similar in design to Pegasusmon's, covered his back feet. A breastplate with large shoulder pads protected his chest, and his helmet covered the top half of his head and beak with two small wings fixed to the top.
Ken was the first one to identify the form. "It's a hippogriff."
Davis frowned, "He's not a hippo! I think you need to get glasses like Yolei's, Ken."
Ken shook his head. "Not a hippo, a hippogriff. A hippogriff is a mythical creature that is half-griffin, half-horse."
Shinmon nodded, "I am Shinmon, a Crystal Digimon. As Patamon I use the power of faith to crystal digivolve. My prism shield can deflect any blow, and my Shining Strike will decimate all of my enemies." He looked at his friends, "You saved me from my imprisonment. Now, let me protect you." He took to the air to face off against Avatar.
Avatar built up power for another blast and released it in a bright flash. "Prism Shield!" A shimmering barrier of light formed between Shinmon and the blast. The energy beam struck the shield and exploded in a burst of light so bright that the Digidestined had to shield their eyes. When TK managed to see again, he noticed that the ground behind Shinmon's shield was untouched, while the rest of the land was burnt and defaced. Shinmon's incredible. I knew we could do it!
Just then, TK noticed that something was wrong with Avatar. His mouth was open in a silent scream, and his whole body was shuddering. Suddenly, Avatar's jaw began to lengthen, followed shortly by his nose. They jutted outward until they formed a long snout. The rest of Avatar's body began to change as well. His legs bent at an angle, and his hands became larger. In moments, Avatar had transformed from a humanoid skeleton to what looked like a black SkullGreymon with Devimon's horns. The fireball still burned within his chest. Is he devolving? TK had never seen anything like this before.
Shinmon flew in and raked his claws against Avatar's skull before taking to the air again. Avatar roared in anger and grabbed at Shinmon with his claws, but the Crystal Digimon was too fast for him. Avatar shouted, "It's not fair! It's not fair that I cannot have what I desire the most!"
Shinmon looked down at his opponent. "What do you mean? What do you want?"
"A body to call my own!" Avatar's eyes were filled with hatred. "Do you have any idea what it is like to exist without a body of your own? Do you know what it is like to have to steal someone else's shell to exist?"
Shinmon glared at him, "You'll get no sympathy from me, Avatar. I was inside your mind when you possessed my body. You're filled with nothing but hatred and contempt for other creatures. You are a threat to everyone around you!"
Avatar snapped, "How dare you presume to judge me? You have no right! You don't know enough about me, do you? Well, I shall tell you my story before you die." He glanced at the Digidestined. "You humans and Digimon are so proud of yourselves for stopping the Dark Masters, but did you ever stop to think about the Digimon you failed to save?"
Shinmon was taken aback. "What do you mean 'the Digimon we failed to save?'"
Avatar said, "When the Dark Masters took over Primary Village, they shattered countless digieggs as they drained the village of all energy. In the process, countless baby Digimon were deleted before they had a chance to even live. I was created from the pain and despair of those baby Digimon. I am the culmination of their feelings of loss at not having been able to have a chance at life! It is their pain which gives me so much power!" He took a swipe at Shinmon, who quickly dodged the blow.
Avatar continued, "But because I was created from baby Digimon, my body was too unstable to survive in the physical world. As I use up energy, my body devolves into cruder forms until nothing is left. I nearly perished a few moments after my creation, but then my master found me and saved me. He sealed me within a headband, which gave me the power to control others. And so I began my life as a parasite, jumping from host to host to survive. I had to hide in the shadows and watch as you creatures squandered away your lives on trivial pursuits. None of you understand the gift that you have been given. None of you know what it is like to not have a permanent physical form. None of you can understand my pain and loneliness. All I ever wanted was the chance to live as you creatures do, but now that will not happen, and it is ALL YOUR FAULT!" He fired another beam at Shinmon.
"Prism Shield." Shinmon deflected the blow. Despite his earlier words, Shinmon's voice was soft. "Avatar, let go of your hatred. We can help you if you let us."
Avatar snarled, "I don't want your help. You pitiful creatures are beneath me and I will not take any charity from you!" As he spoke, Avatar's body began to melt. His claws drooped and sagged until they became small rivers of flowing goo. His legs gave out, and his head began to sink into his body. Even under all the black goo, Avatar's fiery core still burned bright. He had devolved into a creature that bore a strong resemblance to Raremon. "It's not fair! I deserve to live, I earned the right!" He opened his mouth and fired yet another blast of energy that Shinmon dodged.
Shinmon shook his head, "Avatar, have you no regret for what you have done to others? What about Lazio? You killed him for no reason, and you forced GrandKuwagamon to serve you."
Avatar replied, "The fact that they were so easy to control shows how weak they were. And the malcontent Digimon are just the same. I didn't even have to possess those fools, all I had to do was play on their fear and hatred to turn them against the Digidestined! I have no pity for such inferior creatures!"
Shinmon's body began to glow yellow. "Then you leave me no choice. I will stop you for the sake of every other living creature." The yellow aura around his body grew brighter. "Shinning Strike!" A stream of energy poured from Shinmon's body and struck Avatar head on.
"MAAAAAASSSSSSTEERRR!" Avatar screamed as his body began to dissolve in the bright light. He vanished in an explosion. When the dust cleared, a pit had been carved into the ground that was so deep the Digidestined could not see the bottom.
TK limped up to the edge of the pit. "Is he gone?"
Shinmon nodded, "Yes. I'm sorry but I had no choice."
TK nodded, "I understand." He couldn't help but feel a little haunted by Avatar's story. TK had felt the same hatred towards Avatar and Dark Digimon that Avatar had shown towards other creatures. Am I no better than Avatar, all full of hatred? TK noticed that Shinmon's body flashed white and shrank down to a familiar form.
"Tokomon!" Shinmon had reverted back to Patamon's In-Training form. TK picked his tiny partner up. "I guess between digivolving into an Ultimate and Crystal Digivolving, you've used up a lot of energy, huh?"
Tokomon nodded, "Yeah, and I'm really tired. Sorry I can't take you back to Primary Village."
TK smiled, "It's okay. Go to sleep. We'll hitch a ride with the others. You did great, my friend." Tokomon smiled and fell asleep. TK turned to the others. They all looked exhausted, but they were all smiling brightly at him. TK said, "Let's go home."
* * * * * * * *
TK surveyed the scene at Primary Village from his resting-place on a small bench. His leg had been bandaged, and Tokomon was asleep next to him. The baby Digimon were all bouncing around happily, trying to get the Digidestined to play with them. Elecmon, while relieved to have TK and Patamon back, was fretting over how late it was. It was past the digibabies' bedtime. TK looked at his friends. Cody was asleep with his head on Yolei's shoulder, who was looking pretty tired herself. Kari was playing with the Digimon babies and Ken was standing off to the side, talking with Wormmon. Davis was walking towards TK with Chibomon in his arms.
"How you feeling?"
TK gave a small smile. "Better, you?"
Davis sighed and sat down, "I've played tons of soccer games, but this is the most tired I've ever been."
TK said, "Thanks, Davis, thanks for helping me and Patamon. You're a good friend."
Davis waved a hand, "Hey, you would have done the same for me and Veemon, right?"
TK let out a small breath and looked at the stars, "Davis, what did you think of Avatar?"
Davis' expression soured, "A pain in the neck, why?"
TK said, "I just can't help but think about him as he died. He was so full of hatred towards us just because of who we were. It… reminded me of myself."
Davis frowned, "What do you mean?"
TK explained, "I hate Dark Digimon, Davis. I hate them with a passion. Devimon forced Angemon to give his life, and Piedmon chased me and Kari throughout Spiral Mountain. That was frightening."
Davis nodded, "I know what that's like. I was brought before Myotismon, remember?"
TK nodded, "Yeah, I wasn't too crazy about him either. All those evil Digimon haunted me. No matter how many times we beat them they just kept coming. I hated them, because I was so afraid of them. I don't want to hate them, it just happened. But I don't want to hate them! I don't want to hate anybody."
Davis placed a hand on TK's shoulder, "Then you won't."
TK blinked, "Excuse me?"
Davis said, "Back on my walkabout, I realized that I needed to start acting like a better friend to you and Kari. It's not easy sometimes, cause you and Kari are always paling around, but I try to keep my temper in check. That doesn't mean it always works, but I'm giving it my best shot. You say you don't want to hate Dark Digimon, so you won't if you try really hard to change your mind. You understand me?"
TK nodded, "Yeah, I think so." He yawned, "But I think I'll change my thoughts in the morning, we need to get back."
Davis nodded and stood up. "Yeah, let's go home." The two friends headed towards the others.
* * * * * * * *
The sun rose slowly over the Digital World, but one shadow remained in plain view. A dark rift formed right above Avatar's ruined headband. A large figure stood there, as if the sunlight was terrified to go near him. He raised one massive claw and several rubies floated up from the debris.
Magnamon had destroyed Avatar's headband, but the rubies had remained intact. Through these rubies, Avatar's master would triumph. There was still options left to him, and it was time to use his trump card. "Child of hope, child of light, I am not done with you yet."
The Crystal Digimon Saga enters its final arc and the identity of the evil force is revealed. "Caring Hearts" is coming soon.
Author's Note: Sorry, Ken fans, but I don't think I can come up with a story arc for Kenny boy. It's time I wrapped things up, and Kari's story arc will be the last one. I'll get to working on "Caring Hearts" very soon, provided school doesn't get in the way of my writing. We can hope.
By the way, I have many people to thank for creating Shinmon. A very clever author named Thou Shalt Not gave me the suggestion to use a Hippogriff. My friends Taty and Eric gave me the idea for TK's trait. As Taty and I decided, faith isn't like hope. You can hope for a good situation, but you can place your faith in people. Finally, I'd like to thank ShannonL for giving me suggestions for Shinmon's attacks.
Shin is short for shinpou, which is Japanese for faith. So, Shinmon is actually Faithmon in Japanese. Clever, huh? No? Didn't think so…