A/N: Happy Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Boxing Day, Day of After-Christmas Sales, whatever you might be celebrating on December 26. I know this chapter might seem a little boring, but the plot will really start to pick up in the third chapter. These previous two chapters are to bring you, the readers, up to speed so you're not wondering "Why did they do that?" later on. Everything will get more interesting, I promise. In other news… HEY, TOMMIES! GUESS WHO'S JOINING YOU NEXT YEAR!
The Chosen One
Over eight hundred years had passed— 814, to be precise— and the angel blood had worn thin, exactly as the Council had known in their innate senses. Wars against darkness, sudden virii attacking their strongest fighters, Angel Digimon willing themselves to die… very few Angel Digimon in Civitas Dei, which had been reduced from a golden metropolis to a vacant ghost town. The number had waned from hundreds to merely eight Digimon still in their Angel form, and two who were true Angels in origin but did not assume the winged forms. The Council had withered away, one by one, to four Angel Digimon, and there was no sign of Goddramon to be found. Instead, the four Guardians resided in the city of the angels as well, but everything grew more difficult by the day, it seemed, and more Digi-Destined were needed to protect.
"We should not have to resort to children to do our bidding anymore," said Auroramon, one of the four Council members who still remained. "And innocent Digimon who hatched believing that they would have to fight…"
"It is not like we have a choice," replied Metatrimon, who had become the thirteenth angel of the Grand Council, but only after PyroAngemon had been expelled. "Angel blood is slowly running down a mere trickle, and although the Chosen One is finally home, he and his bride alone cannot procreate enough to give a sufficient generation. Goddramon is growing old and weak, and therefore he cannot very well create another Angel when he can barely maintain his dragon form for very long."
"Ah, the Chosen One…" murmured Seraphimon, staring wistfully out the space between the marble pillars of the hall where the Council still presided. The sun was setting below the clouds, bathing everything a spectacular, golden hue. "MoonAngemon would be pleased… Goddramon rest his soul… and so would Estrellamon. After so many years, we thought we would have never found him… but Wizardmon was a true miracle worker. His prayer helped us when we thought the Chosen One had slipped out of our grasp…"
"And, unfortunately, so did Lucemon," whispered ArchAngemon. "And about him… he must never know."
"Is anyone there?" echoed a deep, beautiful male voice from the other side of the chamber. The Angels glanced over to see whom they had been expecting: two figures encased in hooded white cloaks, their faces hidden; accompanying them were two young, winged boys, aged fourteen and nine, dressed in white bodysuits with silver belts, two feathery wings protruding from each one's back. Both had alabaster skin, which contrasted golden hair and striking, ice-blue eyes. The elder's face was streaked with amethyst slashes and his lips were the same color, and he appeared discomfited by them. The shorter of the two cloaked figures held a bundle of white cloth in her arms. Floating above it was a glowing star. "Our third child has finally arrived, and she is ready for her blessing…"
"Well, then, let us have a good look at her, shall we?" suggested Seraphimon, motioning for the other three Angel Digimon to rise. The six adult Digimon met each other in the exact center of the great hall, out of which a baptismal font rose, filled with pure water that emitted a mysterious smoke. Within it were two golden censers. The womon gently gave her newborn child to ArchAngemon, who unwrapped the silken robe ever so softly and swiftly, not disturbing the baby in her slumber.
And what a beautiful baby girl she was! Her skin was an extremely light pink, like petals from a freshly-cut white rose or a cloud when the dawn had just touched it. Her lips and cheeks were a lovely rosy pink, and the wisps of blonde hair that framed her face were extremely light, almost white. When she opened her eyes, they were the same ice-blue shade as her brothers'. Floating above her head was a single white pinpoint of a star, and sprouting from her back was a pair of white angel wings.
"This is the loveliest baby womon I have ever laid my eyes on…" murmured ArchAngemon. "And a striking resemblance to her mother…"
The taller hooded figure looked endearingly at his bride.
"What name have you chosen for her?" wondered Seraphimon.
"Callistomon," replied the womon. "Named for her enchanting beauty."
"The perfect bride for Metatrimon," murmured ArchAngemon to Seraphimon, who nodded.
The lights dimmed, and all the light that entered the grand hall was created by the silver moon and stars. The scene was breathtakingly enchanting, and even the two angel children ceased speaking. As ArchAngemon held the newborn Callistomon over the smoky waters of the baptismal font, Seraphimon waved the first golden censer over her. A bright white smoke spilled out onto her, but she did not make a sound.
"Let the spirit of the four Guardians guide you; let the guidance and bravery of Goddramon teach you; let the soul of an angel always rest within you," recited Seraphimon. The censer made a lovely bell-tone as it glided back and forth like a pendulum.
Seraphimon then put the first censer down and reached for the second one, and a gentle rain of sacred oil was sprinkled over Callistomon, giving her skin the look of a dewy rose. "May you always remain with us in Civitas Dei, and may you always be true to your duties as an Angel Digimon, defending the world in times of need and bestowing your gifts upon it."
Finally, he placed Callistomon into the waters, and made a special sign of blessing that appeared in white light over the surface of the water. "By the power of Goddramon, I bless you, Callistomon, Angel of Beauty." He lifted the coughing angel out of the waters, and he and ArchAngemon wrapped her in the white robes. An aura seemed to surround her as the light within the chamber grew. Then he presented the child to her parents, who turned to their two sons.
"Aeronumon? Lokimon? Meet your sister, Callistomon," said the mother.
"What's so special about her?" Lokimon, the younger of the two brothers, asked impudently.
Aeronumon said nothing, reacting with his usual strong silence that either meant disapproval or a great sadness.
"She will be the one to help repopulate the race of Angel Digimon," replied the mother. "And you shall fight for us."
"Why can't I just be one of the humans?" asked Lokimon. "They're all so lucky, going about their lives and not having to fight. I'd rather do that— there's so much more to life there."
"Lokimon…" said the father, placing a hand on his son's shoulder. "My son, you should not take being an angel for granted like this. I should know… there was a time when I never possessed wings… or this highly-regarded rank."
"Yes… you did," whispered Seraphimon.
"And thank you, Seraphimon, for blessing our child," added the womon.
The mon, womon, and their three children returned to their citadel at the Crossroads between Earth and Digiworld. Perched upon a cumulus cloud of data, the marble palace overlooked everything—the moon, the stars, the gate to the digital world that few knew about. As Lokimon and Aeronumon retired to their rooms, the cloaked figures gave their child to their bodyguard, Angemon, who had landed before them in the front hallway (which was reminiscent of the Garden of Eden.)
"Has she been blessed yet?" wondered the Angel of Hope, removing the cloth from around Callistomon's beautiful face.
"Yes, my brother," replied the womon, the Angel of Light, removing her hood to reveal a helmetless face that looked exactly like Callistomon's, only the hair was darker and the eyes were lighter. "She is now an official angel… and betrothed to Metatrimon."
"How could you let them decide that, Angewomon?" demanded Angemon.
Angewomon sighed. "Seraphimon is the voice of Goddramon… so he knows what is best for her… even if we think differently." She slipped out of her white robe to reveal a figure as well-toned as ever, wrapped in a revealing white bodysuit with a leg, her arms, above her bosom, and on her stomach and hips cut away, and a golden breastplate. A pink ribbon wound around her shoulders, and her six dazzling wings unfolded and spread into the air. "And even if she thinks differently."
The Dark Archangel of the Digital World still remained cloaked, so he let his hood fall to his shoulders as well. He had the face of an angel— his skin was as blue as the sky; his hair as golden as the sun; his face flawless except for a crimson scar that spanned his eyes, which he kept hidden by a white, bat-winged mask. Set against his amethyst lips was a pair of pearly white fangs; in his former life, Myotismon Celestial Mode, merely called by his original name of Myotismon, had been a vampire, the most evil of his kind. His name alone had struck fear into the hearts of all those who heard it; the fear of laying eyes on his hauntingly beautiful face could kill with one glance from his ice-blue eyes. But how entrancing he had been! No female human or womon could resist his flawless features…
He allowed his cloak to fall to his feet, revealing his well-muscled, but very thin and fragile figure. His white-and-silver cape brushed against the floor, the silver shimmering as the light hit it. Like the parts of his former vampiric suit, he wore similar boots, gloves, belts, and cuffs, but they appeared quite different as well. His boots were white and lined in silver; one had a silver bat emblem, the other had a silver crescent moon. His belts and cuffs were gold and studded with silver, and his belt buckles were sterling silver crescent moons. His gloves were a shimmery gold. Like the other angels, he wore a revealing white bodysuit, but this exposed more of him than any other angels' did. The upper portion covered his arms, neck, and upper chest, and had blue bat emblems on the shoulders. The lower section was a pair of tight, white trousers with a silver-lined piece of white cloth hanging down from his belts. His angel uniform exposed everything from his collarbone to well below his navel, and the lack of coverage was regarded as a sign of power. The uniforms of Angel Digimon, rather than the number of wings, showed how truly powerful they were. Seraphimon's and ArchAngemon's overload of armor enhanced their strength, but Myotismon had none to his name. He also had no wings, showing that he relied on his own immense power for flight. Although it was difficult to believe, Myotismon was the most powerful angel in the digital world.
He had not always been quite so powerful; life as an angel for him had begun over sixteen years ago. As the Vampire Lord of Server, Myotismon had been so ruthless towards his servants that it had driven Wizardmon to pray to Azulongmon to change him into an Angemon. Azulongmon had given Wizardmon a spell, which had not been recited in its entirety. Instead of becoming Angemon, Myotismon had transformed into AngeMyotismon—quite different from his Celestial Mode form with long hair and six white bat wings protruding from his back. The outfit had taken on the appearance of Angemon's, except it had not all formed and pieces of it were cut away to expose a lot of his skin. As AngeMyotismon, the vampire still possessed his vampiric instincts, including a thirst for blood. When his addiction to Rosemon's life caused the digital forests to wither away, the vampire was banished from the digital world until he could prove himself worthy of his "AngeMyotismon" title. During this time, Angewomon had fallen madly in love with him and, with the help of PyroAngemon, traveled to the real world. Unfortunately, PyroAngemon was killed by Myotismon Shadow Mode, the evil counterpart that had split from the vampire's original form, and had told Angemon everything. For several days, everyone was after AngeMyotismon—Angemon, Myotismon Shadow Mode, and even several angel-hunters, while Angewomon was his paramour and his hope. AngeMyotismon, after completing three unselfish, life-saving deeds, which included defeating his own Shadow Mode, had changed back to his vampiric form. Azulongmon had rewarded him by giving him the choice of becoming Angemon, AngeMyotismon, or merely Myotismon. The vampire chose to remain Myotismon, but to defend the earth in times of need, so Azulongmon converted him to a different mode—his Celestial Mode, which was similar to AngeMyotismon but not the same. He and Angewomon were immediately wed, and Angemon became their bodyguard.
But all was not well. Several months into their marriage, Myotismon and Angewomon encountered an enemy named InfernoDevimon, who gave the vampire a scarring that was so intense, he began experiencing painful memories from his past. Things took a turn for the worse after Myotismon gave Angewomon the vampire's kiss—a form of making love by biting into one's neck—against the angel's will. Angewomon had become infected by a virus that the vampire had created, and Myotismon was so overwhelmed by everything that he had been sent into the Dark Ocean. There, he encountered an innocent-looking Poyomon that looked exactly like his childhood form, but he constantly lost his friend to flashbacks, hallucinations, and attacks from his past enemies like Toxidramon and LadyDevimon, who would stop at nothing to prevent him from returning. As Wizardmon and Angemon diligently searched for a cure to the malicious virus, they found a prophecy that said Myotismon would return, and his bloodline would produce a fabled Last Scion, as well as a revelation that only the vampire would cure Angewomon's ailment. It was then that the angel maiden discovered that she was pregnant with Aeronumon, and if the vampire did not return in time, both would die. Luckily, Myotismon received help from InfernoDevimon, who turned out to be PyroAngemon in a different form. Together, they defeated the Demon Corps and Toxidramon, but Myotismon Shadow Mode found his lighter counterpart and merged bodies with him. Within a shell that only destroyed, the two souls battled, and the Shadow Mode was forced out. It was a battle to the death above the waters of the Dark Ocean, and it seemed that Myotismon Shadow Mode held the upper hand until Myotismon Celestial Mode unleashed his most powerful attack and sent his counterpart into the seventh layer of Hell, where he would never have hope of escaping. With the tears of an angel, he healed Angewomon and spared the life of Aeronumon.
Aeronumon had been delivered alive and well nine months later. He was truly a special Angel Digimon, though he was extremely soft-spoken and emotionless. He felt trapped and discomforted by the life of an angel, and there was no explanation for the violet blemishes that had appeared on his face. His parents said that he had been that way since birth, and the cause was unknown. Although he was an angel, he felt as if he belonged somewhere else…
Seven years after Aeronumon's birth, Myotismon and Angewomon were blessed with Lokimon, though he was even more of a rebel than his brother. (Angemon claimed that it was on account of his father.) He had seen humans wandering the digital world below, and ever since he was young he had dreamt of losing his wings and becoming a flesh-and-blood human. Not too fond of his parents or Angemon, Lokimon seized every opportunity to fly away, but somehow the other angels or Guardians had found him every time.
Angemon was their faithful bodyguard; he always wore a silver helmet over his eyes and a tight, white bodysuit exposing his muscular figure. Blue baubles and a golden sun decorated it, and a belt with a cloth hanging from it was slung around his waist. His golden hair fell over his six wings, and he always carried his Angel Rod. The children considered him to be a companion, but not necessarily a best friend.
Wizardmon resided in the citadel with them, as Myotismon's confidante and best friend. Once worst enemies, the two had patched everything up between them over the years. Goodness was reflected in his jade-green eyes, which were concealed by his frayed, pointy hat and grey cloak. His straw-colored hair was bound back in a ponytail, and his small figure was wrapped in a loose, yellow bodysuit covered by zippers. He carried his sun staff everywhere and had a book of spells embedded in his mind, it seemed. He was an alchemist as well as a wizard, and many of his potions had saved the Digimon when the angels could not. His former Digi-Destined partner, Rena Yuriko, had yielded the wizard to the Royal Angel Family when she reached adulthood, for they needed him more than she did. Wizardmon was heartbroken to leave his partner, but he knew that he must do it for the digital world.
Finally, their pet was Phoenixmon. He was a lovely, crimson bird with flames blazing from its feathered tail, and his feathers lined in pure gold. His long, thin beak and spindly legs were also gold-plated, and his eyes were a beautiful shade of violet. His wings could spread to a great expanse, and he could carry anything across the digital world easily in a matter of seconds. He was special to the family— particularly Myotismon and Angewomon— because he was reborn from the ashes of their dear friend PyroAngemon. That was his third and final form, never to die because he always arose from the ashes like phoenixes always do.
At that moment, Phoenixmon let out a sympathetic screech and flew down to Myotismon's feet. At his height, he reached up to the vampire's knees, so Myotismon stooped downward and stroked his feathers.
"It's such a miracle that you could be resurrected, PyroAngemon…" said the Dark Archangel. "But never to assume your true form again… how devastating, indeed!"
The phoenix cooed in agreement. Still, this form was better than remaining in the infinite limbo of the Dark Ocean, and Myotismon had lived up to his promise that PyroAngemon would live to fly again. This was far from what he had expected, though.
"And you, my love…" purred Myotismon, holding Angewomon against him, "you were a blessing to me. If it had not been for you, I would have never lived… and bearing three beautiful children and giving them the new life that I never had."
Angewomon let her gaze wander downward, and she knew that she was concealing a terrible secret from her husband. At first, he had been hiding himself from her, behind his mask. The scar that had been the source of his Crimson Lightning attack was also Myotismon's greatest shame— a mark of servanthood. But now this was something greater. The entire Grand Council— her and Angemon included— had kept this terrible secret from reaching the vampire, lest it destroy his fragile view of life forever.
For Lucemon was still alive, and his return was imminent. The angels had been kept in the dark about this for hundreds of years, and several had lost their lives merely trying to find him. Perhaps Myotismon was the key to defeating this fallen angel once and for all, but if the shame was revealed to him…?
All would be lost.
He would not know whom to believe.
He would never speak to Angewomon again.
He would never continue the Angel Digimon bloodline or fight for the collapsing remains of Civitas Dei.
"Mother? Father?" Lokimon broke the trains of thought by suddenly materializing before them. "May I go watch the humans with Phoenixmon?"
"Loki… you know it is time for you to get your rest. You and Aeronumon will be continuing your fighting lessons from your father and Metatrimon…" Angewomon reminded him.
"What good is fighting if I don't want to be an angel anymore?" questioned the middle child, who was known as the Angel of Strength. "Please… I need the chance to become a human! I've never been happy as a Digimon, so won't you please… please, just make me a human! Get Wizardmon or Seraphimon to wave his wand over me and get rid of these stupid wings!"
"You should be fortunate you were born an angel!" shouted Myotismon. "I was a vampire, and my life was more miserable than yours."
"Yeah, but at least you're famous throughout the digital world. And then there's me, the no-name Lokimon. The forgotten middle child. I've been to Server a bunch of times and made friends with the kids there. They're certainly not as… weird as you two."
Angemon turned pale. "You… went down to the surface?"
"Yeah…?" said Lokimon condescendingly. "What's the matter with that?"
"You don't know what's down there," Angewomon elucidated as gently as possible. "You don't know what evil Digimon are out there who would go at great lengths to kill an angel."
"I know one. My father." Lokimon spit out his words. "You're a Virus, and you screwed up Aeronumon. He refuses to talk, and he's got those weird purple marks on his face so he looks all deformed and stuff."
"That was never my doing!" shouted Myotismon.
Angewomon felt her stomach plunge into ice. If only he knew… if only he knew… I wish I could tell him… dear Goddramon, how I wish I could! But I'm so very afraid…
"Lokimon, please… just go to sleep," she stammered, changing the subject in her mind. "Your father is a true angel; it was proven when he saved my life. And so are you. If he weren't, you would not have your wings." She halted after saying that last portion rather quickly.
The Angel of Strength looked mollified, then snorted. "I hate all three of you. I hate this stupid place. I hate being an angel. I hope you all die in your sleep. Especially you, Myotismon." He always addressed his parents by their actual names when he was mad at them, which was quite frequent now. Lokimon disappeared in a tornado of light, phasing through the dimension in order to reach his bed.
Angewomon lay a hand on her husband's shoulder. "Myo… he's not getting to you, is he?"
"No, I've felt so much worse…" mused the vampire, reminiscing about Angemon's ridicule after infecting Angewomon with his virus. "And yet, I feel that three children is enough. Goddramon knows how Callistomon will turn out… Aeronumon has not spoken to us since the marks appeared on his face, and he seems to be isolating himself. And then there's Lokimon, and he wants to be a human… I was never meant to do this kind of work!"
"Neither was I, but remember, it takes a village to raise a child. And it looks like we have our own village here. You teach our sons to fight, Wizardmon and I give them lessons, Angemon gives them flying lessons and watches out for them… and Phoenixmon is a companion beyond compare. We have so much help… and yet, it is so difficult."
"You think you had problems," Angemon cut in. "I had to babysit TK when the Digi-Destined were still on File Island. Talk about an irritating little brat."
"Angemon!" gasped Angewomon. "What a terrible thing to say about your human partner! And with him not knowing makes it even worse!"
"Angewomon… I feel it is time that we get our rest as well," suggested the vampire. "As tomorrow the Council is giving me an assignment that they have not told me anything about except that it is very crucial to existence. We have to defeat a Digimon called Lucemon in order to do so."
The Angel of Light turned an unhealthy shade of pale that made her wings look dark.
The chamber in which the Dark Archangel and the Angel of Light slept was more aesthetically pleasing than the front hall. Their enormous, white, round bed in the exact center was exactly like a cloud, covered in light, feathery blankets and soft pillows, and was all surrounded by a white veil. Tall, glass windows with blue stained-glass patterns surrounded them on all sides, letting white and blue moonlight to stream in; the bedroom was in the rotunda atop their palace. The floor was a shiny tiled marble that was polished to reflect, but the vampire cast no reflection.
Angewomon waited atop the bed, wearing nothing but her white bodysuit. Myotismon had done the same—he only wore his white suit. (Unless the opportunity presented itself, all Angel Digimon were required to wear their uniforms, even in their sleep.)
"Myo… I love you so much, but… please don't go through with this!" she pleaded, clasping Myotismon's hands in hers.
"I have to, Angewomon," said the vampire. "As much as I love you and wish there could be another way, this is my duty as the Dark Archangel, and that means having to make a sacrifice for the good of the digital world."
"But… Callistomon!" exclaimed Angewomon. "What about her, growing up without a father?"
"I promise you, Angewomon, I will not leave any of you until the time comes."
"Yes… but in case you don't, would you give me a kiss to remember you by?"
"Not this time, my pet. Three children is more than enough for both of us."
The two angels slipped beneath the covers, drawing even closer to each other until their bodies were pressed together. "Myotismon… please stay… at least until Aeronumon receives his wings. Then your daughter will know you and remember you…"
"Remember, I will try to find a different way. For you… and for our new child." He pressed his lips against Angewomon's for a brief second and ran his fingers through her silken hair.
Angewomon cradled her head in the curve of her husband's neck, breathing in the sweet aroma, possibly for the last time ever… and then she began to cry.
"Angewomon, it's all right," reassured Myotismon. "I will find another way. I promise."
As the tears trickled down the angel's porcelain cheeks, she knew that this was not merely about her husband leaving her. If he were to learn about the secret his past possessed, the digital world would be in great peril. But if he did not learn and had to embark on the mission, the crime would be even greater. Either way, the Angel Council would force him to do something that was unforgivable.
"I'm sorry," she whispered before falling asleep in her husband's arms.
Myotismon lay awake for several minutes after, pondering what his bride could have meant by apologizing to him. She had not done anything… and if she had, he would find out, but not for five years to come.
To be continued…