Previously on Vengeance: The DigiDestined begun gathering helps from fellow chosen all over the world to assist in their upcoming battle with Milleniumon. In the meantime as peace reign for three days – as promised by Milleniumon – TK, Yolei and Cody attend a birthday party organized by an acquaintance of Cody. However, what they do not expect is that they will be meeting their DigiDestined predecessors…

xxx

xxx

"We were once DigiDestined, five of us at first. We're said to be the first, chosen to fight the Legion of Darkness which plagued the Digital World," Darien Kanemuchi began. The way he spoke had a certain charming quality in it and his introduction had successfully pulled the attentions of everyone towards him. He smiled slightly, fondly, as he recalled memories of his teenage years. "It was a year of adventure, battling one major-domo bad guy after another. It was tough, too. Sometimes we really had run out of ideas, until a miraculous solution came our way. Sometimes, sacrifices had to be made. It wasn't just a fight…it was a full-fledged war which we won, but it wasn't a complete total victory on our side. The baddies weren't like any cliché villains you see in cartoons or TV series, they really meant business. But more importantly, despite the adventure and the hardships, we've found dear friends…our partner Digimon."

Darien paused momentarily as he scanned the faces of his audience. His four fellow DigiDestined – Max, Kira, Jon and Kanto – as well as the younger DigiDestined – TK, Yolei and Cody – and some non-DigiDestined guests, all of them were sitting around him closely. Yolei was sitting the closest to him, her brown eyes unblinking, while Cody had his green eyes fixed on him thoughtfully. Darien shifted his gaze towards the blonde DigiDestined TK, and was slightly surprised to find the boy having a look of recognition on his face.

"I remember Gennai telling us about you guys," TK admitted. "It was during our last battle with the Dark Masters, when I was eight. I can't believe that I'm finally meeting you guys in person. This is totally unexpected!"

"Gennai?" Kira inquired, her brown eyes widened. Her voice was wavering a little, but she looked at TK expectantly. "You know Gennai? How is he?"

The suddenness of Kira Kanemuchi's inquiries surprised TK a little, but he saw no wrong in answering them. "He's fine, and has been like a mentor to us all this time. Umm…why'd you ask?"

Kira's gaze was lowered, and Kanto Shigumi shifted slightly on his seat. Kira didn't seem to want to answer TK's question, or having difficulty coming up with an answer. Clearing his throat, Kanto decided to take over. "Uhh…see that picture?" Kanto beckoned towards the framed picture of the seven kids which hung on the wall, near the drawings of five Digimon. "The kid with brown, spiky hair wearing a Jedi-like outfit…that's Gennai. He's a friend of ours back then."

TK nearly did a double-take, while Yolei gasped in surprise. "Gennai as a kid? Now I've seen everything!" TK said. "We first saw him as an old man, then during these recent months he appeared to us again during the Daemon Corps invasion on Odaiba as a young man…and now, I'm seeing his picture as a kid." He shook his head slowly. "Wait till the others heard about this."

"I've thought that he looks familiar somehow," Cody said thoughtfully. The resemblances were rather obvious. "Was Gennai a DigiDestined?"

"Well, he wasn't officially a DigiDestined," Jonathan Lee answered with a smile. "He's part of an order called the Order of the Light. But we've made him an Honorary DigiDestined, so he was a part of the team too. Oh, and by the way, did you by any chance meet the members of the Order?"

"I've never heard of the Order of the Light," Yolei admitted ruefully.

"I have," TK said grimly. Yolei and Cody looked at him, both raising their eyebrows. TK didn't look too happy when he said that. "Well…sort of, I think. When we had our first adventures, there was one time when Matt and Tai….umm, that's my brother, and Kari's brother who was leader of our group. Anyway, they were having a fight, until suddenly some force or entity possessed Kari. It was a female, no doubt, as the voice that came out from Kari was female's, yet it wasn't Kari's voice. She told us about our partners' history…their DigiEggs were in this some kind of a lab, and there were people in clothes similar to Gennai's around. Then the Dark Masters came to steal the DigiEggs, Digivices and Crests, having heard that a group of DigiDestined would come to the Digital World. Gennai managed to escape with the DigiEggs and the Digivices, but as for the rest of the people…Piedmon – leader of the Dark Masters – killed them."

Instantly, a look of horror swept by the faces of all five older DigiDestined, having heard what TK had just said. They looked like they were sick all of a sudden, as their faces had become so pale all of a sudden. Their reactions surprised the younger DigiDestined as well. TK immediately guessed, by their reaction and by the way Jon had inquired about the Order of the Light, that the older DigiDestined must have had close ties with the members of the order.

"I don't believe this," Max Miyazaki said, with a hint of sadness, anger and disbelief at the same time. "The order…gone?"

TK nodded slowly. "Gennai managed to survive, and he raised our partners over the safety of the File Island. Then, we came to the Digital World. If it weren't for Gennai, we wouldn't be able to meet our partners at all, and the Dark Masters would've succeeded in destroying the Digital World."

There was a moment of silence, as the adult DigiDestined began processing the facts that TK had just said. The deaths of the members of the Order of the Light were truly shocking to them.

"Gennai and Lady Angella must be really heartbroken," Kira suddenly said. Her brown eyes were shining.

"Who's Lady Angella?" TK inquired.

Kira observed TK intently, seemingly trying to figure out of how to answer him. "Have Gennai ever mention to you about Lady Angella?" When TK shook his head, Kira nodded, her brown eyes looking away slightly as she answered. "Lady Angella is the Vanguard of Light. I think she was the one who possessed your friend Kari." She stopped there, but TK had a feeling that there was something more that Kira was not telling, but he didn't dare ask.

"That's one mystery solved," TK said. "It could also be her who helped Kari and me back when we were at the Dark Ocean Dimension. We were stuck there, and overpowered, when suddenly a pink light came down from the sky, and struck Gatomon. Gatomon and the rest of our partners have lost their abilities to Digivolve to Ultimate levels a couple of years before, but the pink light suddenly gave Gatomon enough power to become Angewomon again. However it was only a one-time thing; Gatomon couldn't become an Ultimate again right after the incident."

"Something similar has happened to us as well," Kira reminisced. "And it was Lady Angella who helped us out, by enabling my partner to become an Ultimate level Digimon and helping us escape that dark dimension." She shuddered slightly, and Kanto, an arm still slung across Kira's shoulders, pressed her shoulders gently to calm her down.

Yolei had been listening to the whole conversation raptly. However her eyes were still fixed on the group portrait. She could pinpoint each person in the picture with the adults present in the apartment now, except for someone. There was a teen, somewhat gothic in appearance with his all-black attire, jet black hair which was a total contrast to his pale skin and emerald eyes. Yolei could've sworn she had seen this person before, but it was impossible, as she had never met any of the older DigiDestined before.

"Who's the Goth guy? Was he a DigiDestined too?" she asked, pointing towards the picture.

"Oh," Darien's deep brown eyes observed the picture, and for a while, Darien seemed to hesitate in giving more explanation than just acknowledging it. But he then took a deep breath and went on to give Yolei her answer. "Yes, he was a DigiDestined as well. His name is Kit Ishizaka. He didn't join us until much later."

"Why isn't he here?" Cody inquired.

Darien's expression darkened. "Well, truth be told…we haven't heard of him ever since all of us returned from the Digital World. He did give us an address of where he was staying with his older sister, and we did try sending mails and pictures to him, but we never got a reply. After about a year, Max and I decided that we'd go there – it was an apartment at Shibuya – to look for him, but when we reached the given address, the people living there weren't Kit and his sister. And the new owner told us the strangest thing – the previous owners have vanished without a trace, but left the apartment intact with furniture and all. Now, it has been seven years since we all returned from the Digital World, and still…" Darien let his sentence hung, and shook his head. His eyes then darted towards the individual portraits of their partners, drawn by Kanto. "How about now, I tell you about our Digimon partners?"

xxx

xxx

VENGEANCE

Chapter 40: Prelude to the Storm

xxx

xxx

It was nightfall, in the midst of the wide, dark desert of Server. The air was still and no wind blew against the mountains of sands. Against the moons of the Digital World, Milleniumon's metallic castle gleamed in silvery-gray hue. And in front of the fortress was Milleniumon himself, his dark profile illuminated by the pale moonlights. He was standing very still; his four long extremities were clasped together. His eyes were closed, apparently oblivious of his surroundings.

The surrounding was quiet but soft wails were heard from the glowing spirit which was perched on top of Milleniumon's hulking body, yet the dark Digimon did not pay any attention to them. Different apparitions appeared within the yellow spirit, shouting and condemning Milleniumon. Images of Digimon, most of them machine types, appeared and disappeared within the ghastly spirit of Milleniumon. They let out echoing moans as their images swept by the spirit's head.

"After three days of meditation, it is now time to harness all the power that comes with the Digimon of Machine City, that I have absorbed," Milleniumon murmured, opening his eyes. "And thereafter, I shall pay the Digital World's chosen the visit to their home world, as I have promised them." His eyes flashed momentarily with violet light as he let out a deep, satisfied chuckle, and his eyes reverted to their normal state. "Powers harnessed…"

xxx

xxx

Meanwhile…

At the Old West Tavern, which was a local pub for the residents of the western quadrant of the East Sector, was still bustling with activity despite the time being already very late. Despite the fact that the tavern was situated literally out of nowhere, but still, that didn't stop Digimon from coming in. Patrons still came in and out of the establishment, and rowdy laughter was still heard amidst the chatting and yelling. From the outside, a lithe figure was heading towards the tavern, her presence alone attracting the attentions of the Digimon that exited the tavern. Whistles were blown, and some even stopped to gaze at the female, but she paid them no heed. Holding her head high, she continued walking until she reached the entrance of Old West Tavern.

When she pushed the salon doors open, it took about five seconds before all noises suddenly died out. Then, all eyes were fixed on her. Smiling inwardly, she resumed her pace towards the counter, where Digitamamon, the owner of the tavern, gave her a weary look with his yellow eyes. From the background, whispers were heard coming from the many patrons of the tavern, all directed towards the female newcomer.

"Isn't that her?"

"I recognize a beautiful female anywhere…but she does have some nerve showing up here again…"

"Look at her, though. She doesn't seem to appear worried at all."

Digitamamon merely snorted and looked at the newcomer. "What can I do for you, missy?"

"Just a pack of rrroot-beerrs," the female purred as she leaned against the counter. Her tails were flicked left and right, done on purpose to make the bracelets hanging there cling against each other. She tapped her sharp claws on the table as she waited for her orders, occasionally flicking her flaming red hair back.

From the other Digimon's point of view, the humanoid female cat seemed to want to attract others' attentions solely on her.

"Here you go, miss," Digitamamon said indifferently, putting a carton with six bottles of chilled root beers on the counter carefully with his hard-shelled head. How he had managed to carry the task out, one could only wonder, but he had been doing this for several decades and was quite experienced. "Six root beers, ready to go." Then, he narrowed his yellow, pupil-less eyes. "That will be sixty Digi-dollars, cash."

"Why cerrrtainly," his patron replied and took out several crisp Digi-dollars from the pocket of her Arabian-style trousers. She then took the carton gingerly and turned around, only to halt again in mid-turn. She could feel several familiar presences, from their scruffy appearances up to the foul odor which emanated from the canine trio. Beneath the semi-transparent violet veil which she wore to cover part of her face, the canines could see that the cat-woman was smirking.

"Remember us?" the leader of the trio, a Shadow-WereGarurumon spoke up. He eyed the Bastemon that was standing in front of her warily, keeping his distances. From either sides of the Shadow WereGarurumon, the BlackGargomon on his left was raising his Gattling-arms and was seething in anger, while the comic-looking Doggymon on his right hid behind his legs, whimpering slowly upon sight of the beauty in front of them. No doubt, they were reminded of their previous encounter not too long ago.

Several days before, the Bastemon known as Catrina, and her friend – a female Datamon called Nanomon – had came into the taverns. Thinking that the cat-woman was vulnerable, yet beautiful at the same time, Shadow-WereGarurumon attempted to make his move on her. Catrina had resisted, and had proven to be a somewhat able fighter – but she was unfairly outnumbered and thus, lost the scuffle. However, a stranger called Beowulfmon had come to her aid and had beaten them almost effortlessly. Ever since, the trio nursed revenge on Catrina and Beowulfmon.

"Didn't think you'd show," Catrina said coolly. She was observing the trio with disgust evident from the way she held her eyes. Trash, she thought silently.

The trio noticed that Catrina's tone was layered with venom in each single syllable. They looked around suspiciously. "Where's your friend, pussycat?" Shadow WereGarurumon inquired challengingly.

Catrina raised her eyebrow. "Who? Nanomon? She's not here." She smirked, knowing exactly that Nanomon wasn't who the werewolf was referring to.

"Not that tin-can. The knight with the shining armor."

"Beowulfmon?" The feline woman shrugged. "Well, he's not here either."

Shadow WereGarurumon bared his yellow fangs. He cracked his knuckles. "Is that so? Good. Then he will not be here to help you."

"Not that I'd need any helping," Catrina said offhandedly, and put the carton of root-beers back on the counter. Then she narrowed her green eyes. "Why? Planning on pushing me arrround again, like you did to me last time?" she challenged.

"Maybe," Shadow WereGarurumon said, grinning maliciously as he began to advance towards Catrina.

The tavern's other attendees began to see that a fight was brewing between the Bastemon and the dogs, and immediately attempted to clear out. Digitamamon sighed in exasperation, but knew that there was no stopping Shadow WereGarurumon and his gang. Catrina however, held one arm up high.

"WAIT!" she shouted commandingly. "Remain at your seats. This won't take long, I prrromise."

Digitamamon and the other attendees looked skeptical, but otherwise found themselves obeying the feline. They however, wisely cleared the nearby tables and chose to sit near the walls, away from the path between the counter and the doorway, where Catrina and the canine gang were currently at. Digitamamon snorted and jumped over the counter, single-handedly (although he had no hands) pushing the tables nearby them towards the walls. Knowing that a fight would usually involved damaged properties, Digitamamon wanted the damage to be as little as possible.

The clicks of Black Gargomon's Gattling guns were heard at about the same time Shadow WereGarurumon began to raise his sharp claws. Doggymon in the meantime, scooted under a nearby table and whimpered slowly. Catrina shook her head and readied herself as well, knowing that Shadow WereGarurumon and Black Gargomon were planning to attack her at the same time. She began channeling her energy to her paws and foot as a dark orange aura began to emanate from her body.

"Kaiser…"

"Gattling…"

Suddenly, Catrina darted swiftly between Shadow WereGarurumon and Black Gargomon, and jumped. As she jumped, she parted her legs wide in opposite ways, and began to spin. "Too slow, boys! HELTERRR SKELTERRRR!" she shouted triumphantly, and began to deliver flurry of kicks, punches and scratches, all equipped with her dark powers. She spun with unimaginable swiftness, like a raging whirlwind, and gave her enemies no chance to strike back. At the same time, she made sure that neither Shadow WereGarurumon nor Black Gargomon would move out of range of her attack, as she wanted to settle as quickly as possible. As she attacked her opponents, she began to see the effect of her Helter Skelter attack. The attack mainly caused her enemies to de-Digivolve, and thus…

Black Gargomon began to glow with dark green energy, and regressed into a small green-furred, lop-eared rabbit called Terriermon. Seeing that one of her enemies had devolved, Catrina used this chance to eliminate one foe and kicked Terriermon squarely on his face, sending the little rookie flying out of the doorway. She then turned her attention to Shadow WereGarurumon, who still managed to retain his Ultimate form. However, she was pleased to notice that his face now harbored a look of disbelief upon witnessing what she had done to his accomplice. Taking advantage of the situation, Catrina summoned more energy and delivered the same attack all over again.

Shadow WereGarurumon had no chance at all to strike back, and felt strange dark powers seeping through his skin. Suddenly he felt even more drained than before, it was as if the dark energy from Catrina was eliminating his own power from within. Having been an Ultimate for so long, Shadow WereGarurumon felt a strange sensation as his body shook, and it was at the same time when Catrina's kick landed on his chest. The force generated from the assault sent the seasoned Ultimate flying on the roof, crashing the ceiling-fan that was rotating ever so slowly, and for a brief second Shadow WereGarurumon hung limp on the fan blades…before his weight began pulling the ceiling-fan down. Catrina and many other patrons jumped out of the way when they heard a loud snapping sound, and the ceiling-fan plummeted down and crashed thankfully just on the wooden floor. That sent sands and dust all over the place, causing all the patrons to cough in reflex. When the dust cleared out, Shadow WereGarurumon was no longer there. In his place, which was in between the fan blades, was a beaten-looking Black Garurumon.

"That'll teach you," Catrina spat towards the half-conscious Black Garurumon as she sidestepped the wolf, heading towards the counter.

Digitamamon peered over the counter and scrutinized the damage done to his tavern. He grunted in disapproval and glared at the Bastemon.

"That will be an extra ten Digi-dollars, missy," he said.

Catrina took her carton of root-beers and looked at Digitamamon incredulously. "But I've helped you cleaning out this…this trrrash!" she protested.

"I know, and I thank you for that," Digitamamon said in a no-nonsense kind of way. "This is why I've deducted about sixty percents from the total cost."

"Sixty, huh?" Catrina considered, before finally nodding her head. The deal seemed fair enough in her opinion. "Well…ok."

After paying the cost damages, Catrina took the carton of root-beers and exited the establishment merrily. She was practically jumping with joy as she headed towards Beowulfmon's house, which would take her quite some time. It was midnight now, and she would reach the house in two hours time minimum. Catrina considered turning into her bestial cat form, but since she was carrying the carton along it would be impossible for her to do so. However, she thought that there was no need in rushing, as Beowulfmon, Wizardmon and Nanomon were probably fast asleep by that time. It made no difference whether she arrived at the house in two hours time, or when the sun began to rise.

As she walked, her mind was brought back to the past few days she had spent with those she could sincerely called, for the first time, as her dear friends.

How she had improved! That first came to her mind. Beowulfmon had made a point to spar with her every morning and evening, and during those times he would point out what Catrina had done wrong and how to better execute an attack. As days past Catrina found herself honing her battle skills. In the meantime while Beowulfmon would teach her offensive techniques, Wizardmon, or as his Ultimate form Mystimon, taught Catrina strategies and defensive maneuvers. And finally, Nanomon, with her vast knowledge of Digimon in her programmed database, was able to offer Catrina many hints of how to fight certain Digimon in the most effective manner – by imparting the strength, weakness and many other vital points of various types of Digimon.

Battle skills were not the only thing which Catrina had honed while living with her newfound friends. She learned courtesy as well, and began to wonder why would she ever fight the DigiDestined in the first place? Beowulfmon and Wizardmon had told her many interesting stories pertaining the DigiDestined and their adventures in the Digital World. While she had heard a lot, in her opinion there was something more about the DigiDestined that they had withheld from her, but what she had been told were enough to convince her to be on their side instead of her former master's.

Few hours flew past as Catrina made her way home. Home, she thought wistfully. Once, the Velvet Claw was her home. The flying high-tech ship was her luxurious home. However that was all in the past. Right now, despite the lack of many things which Catrina had gotten used to, she found herself adapting to her new conditions. It was difficult, but she reminded herself over and over again that Chaos Specter was the one who had destroyed her home dimension. She was taken away from where she truly belonged. And now, with her new friends, the sense of belonging began to rise from within. This confused Catrina slightly as well, as while she was with Chaos Specter she did feel belonged as well. It was different though, she thought. Belonging can have two meanings…with Chaos Specter; Catrina felt like she belonged to the master, as in, Catrina was Chaos Specter's to be used at his will.

With her friends however, the word had a different meaning. It's like…family.

Catrina pondered upon this even more, the elatedness she'd felt for defeating Shadow WereGarurumon was soon gone, like the wind. She was so deep in thought that she didn't realize that she was now in an area which was close enough to home. If she made a run for it, she could reach home within less than thirty minutes. Looking at the still-dark sky, Catrina estimated that it was about three hours to daybreak, which was good. She wouldn't be late.

However, there was a feeling of uneasiness that suddenly crept within her. It sent a chill down her spine, and made her furs stood up slightly. Catrina couldn't understand what was happening. The night was cold, but she was used to colder surroundings. Was it the strange clouds that suddenly appeared at the sky? The clouds were not thick, but there was something that was rather off about it. Catrina thought that she could smell something too. Something…burning. Smokes.

She quickly ran as swift as she could, a feeling of dread suddenly replaced the easiness. It couldn't be, could it? She thought nervously. "Oh, no…" Catrina gasped, involuntarily dropping the carton of root beers she was holding as she saw Beowulfmon's house from a distance…or what was left of it. Piles of burning woods were what was left of the house Catrina had began to call home. She ran and ran towards the house, wondering whether her friends were safe.

"BEOWULFMON! WIZARDMON! NANOMON!"

Nobody was in sight, and Catrina couldn't know exactly what had happened to them. When Digimon die, they didn't leave any trace behind as they would disintegrate into data. There was no means for Catrina to track her friends at all. She fell on her knees and not knowing what else to do, she began to weep.

"Who did this?" she sobbed. "WHO DID THIS!"

"Catrina…?"

Catrina instantly turned around upon hearing a familiar feminine robotic voice. She immediately saw Nanomon, who was hiding behind a large stone behind the river. Catrina knew instantly that whatever had happened, it scared Nanomon enough for her to go near the river, a place she detested the most as the water could short-circuit her. The robot was slightly buzzing with sparks of electricity, signing some damage, but otherwise she still operated fine.

"Nanomon!" Catrina cried happily. "I'm so happy to see you!"

Nanomon approached Catrina slowly, or rather, somewhat haltingly, her eyes still fixed on the house. As the robot got closer Catrina saw that she had suffered some significant damage as well. Nevertheless she was glad that her friend was still operational. "He came, Catrina…he's found us!" Nanomon said frantically.

Catrina's eyes widened instantly. She knew exactly who Nanomon was referring to…but she had to be sure. "Nanomon, who did this?" she asked urgently. "I need to be sure."

Nanomon buzzed several incoherent words as more electricity sparked from her circuits. "…came…chaos…specter…Velgamon…Veldusmon…unknown…Beowulfmon…Wizardmon…captured…" With that her eyes closed and she limped on the ground, unmoving. Her circuits, buried within her metallic body, suddenly imploded, sending more sparks out through the sides of her body where the metallic parts were joined to constitute a body.

"Nanomon…no! Please, don't go," Catrina wept hard, fearing that Nanomon would be destroyed. She now realized that her friend had actually suffered extensive damage. She looked down fearfully, expecting the worse, but to her relief Nanomon remained unconscious, but not destroyed. "She's still reparable…I need to get her to…somewhere," she said, breathing hard. Her brows narrowed as the words Nanomon had just said echoed in her mind. "Chaos Specterrr…he's capturrred Beowulfmon and Wizardmon. No doubt he's still after me. But why catch them?" she whispered slowly, trying to sort out possibilities. She couldn't come up with any, but a growing feeling of hate began to form in her heart.

"He's destrrroyed my home world…and now he's taken away my frrriends, and nearly destrrroyed anotherrr frrriend," she said vehemently. Then her expression softened. "I need to save them… but how? How am I going to go to the Velvet Claw?" she wondered despairingly. Her eyes then fell on her fallen friend. "Nanomon needs repairrring too, but who can do that?"

Catrina paced around nervously, trying to think of any possible way for her to get Nanomon fixed and her two other friends rescued.

I can't teleport there anymore, Catrina thought bitterly. Suddenly, an idea came to her. It would be the only way for her to be able to get Nanomon repaired and Beowulfmon and Wizardmon rescued from Chaos Specter. Thinking again, she realized that she wasn't too fond of the idea, but it was the only choice she had. Like it or not, if she wanted to see Nanomon repaired and in order for her to rescue her friends, she had to risk it. She might be turned down, she might even be attacked, but she had to try.

"I need the DigiDestined's help," she realized. "I need to go to Asuka City."

xxx

xxx

Author's Note:

Firstly I'd like to say that I'm sorry for the long delay. I haven't lost interest in the story but I've been somewhat busy this semester and also, I've begun a new story (Wira Digital) and spent quite a while drafting its storyline. Combine that and my busier schedule this semester, I've been out of touch with my other two stories – but I'm using my summer holiday, which is about to end anyway, to get back to the stories' groove.

The chapter is very short, I know. I have to cut a lot of things out from the pre-chapter part where the current DigiDestined meet the original DigiDestined, and even some of the things mentioned there have not been featured yet in Legends of the DigiDestined. I don't want to spoil Legends too much. I just thought of making it as a 'Coming soon, on Legends of DigiDestined' sort of advertisement, as Legends too haven't been updated for a while.

Thank you so much for all the reviews and mails asking about the update of the story. I apologize again for keeping you waiting.

Anyway I've decided to cancel my Live Journal and Forums because I can't find the time to maintain them anymore. I'll focus instead on finishing Vengeance as soon as possible.