DISCLAIMER: "Digimon Tamers" and "Digimon Savers" are the property of Toei Animation, Bandai, and Akiyoshi Hongo. All original characters and concepts are either mine or Megaraptor's.

Divided Paths
Factor of X
Entry 1.04 – "Crimson and Azure! Dukemon VS ChaosDukemon"
Written by Infinity Blade


ChaosDukemon chuckled darkly, forcing himself to his feet. Despite just taking a direct hit from Dukemon's Royal Saber, he didn't seem all that much worse for the wear.

"Dukemon," the dark knight said, a mixture of both bitterness and joy in his voice, "at long last. I've been waiting for you..."

"Answer me now, impostor!" Dukemon screamed. "Just who are you, and what business do you have inciting a battle of this magnitude, surrounded by innocent people!?"

"Innocent?" ChaosDukemon asked, and then scoffed. "Such a term is a dangerous generalization, Dukemon. Very few sentient beings can make that claim honestly. Isn't that right, Matsuda Takato!?"

"Shut up!" Takato shouted from within Dukemon. "I don't know how something like you could possibly exist, but if you're determined to be our enemy... I won't let you hurt my friends or anyone else, no matter what!"

"Heh. It's a little too late for that," ChaosDukemon said, motioning in the direction of the injured SaintGalgomon and Sakuyamon.

SaintGalgomon placed a massive hand on the ground, trying to push himself up. "Don't be so... sure about... ARGH!" he then collapsed back to the ground with an earth-shaking thud, as both he and Sakuyamon glowed brightly. Their forms shrunk back down, into Terriermon, Jenrya, Renamon, and Ruki.

Ruki grimaced visibly, holding one arm and staring down at the D-Ark in her hand. "Wh- what the...?"

"Your time is nearly at its end, Digimon Tamers," ChaosDukemon said. "Tell me, how many fights have you been in over the years? How many battles have you had where you took even more damage than you did from me, and yet were still able to keep fighting? Yet now..."

"Just what the hell is that supposed to mean!?" Dukemon barked.

ChaosDukemon said nothing, while Beelzebumon gave a howl. The Demon Lord was standing up, rubbing his head and glaring intensely at Dukemon's double. "I could give a shit about your riddles!" Beelzebumon shouted.

"Beelzebumon!" Dukemon said. "Can you still fight?"

"You bet your ass!" Beelzebumon shot back. "Ain't no way I'm backing down from a guy like this!"

"Alright then!" Hirokazu said, leaping off of Guardromon as the boxy robot landed beside the knight and demon. "Lets show this punk what we're made of!"

"Hirokazu," Takato said, "are you sure-"

"This guy's hurt my friends too," Hirokazu said, and grinned back at Guardromon. "And we're not exactly helpless these days, are we, buddy?"

"Not in the least!" Guardromon replied. "Just give the word, Hirokazu!"

"Right!" the brown-haired teenager said, thrusting out his D-Ark. "MATRIX EVOLUTION!"

Bright light engulfed both Tamer and Digimon, fusing them into one. "Guardromon, EVOLVE!" A single, humanoid figure was formed. He was somewhat bigger than Dukemon or Beelzebumon, clad in black, cybernetic armor. As the light faded, it was clear this being was something of a far more 'complete' version of an Andromon. "HIGHANDROMON!"

ChaosDukemon's eyes narrowed. "Still going to keep sacrificing your friends by throwing them at me, Dukemon?"

"Cut the crap!" Hirokazu's voice echoed from HighAndromon. "You don't even know what you're talking about!"

"Indeed!" HighAndromon proclaimed. "Our friendship is a strength far greater than any power you can summon!"

Beelzebumon chuckled, arming his positron gun. "I may not be as corny as either of these guys, but yeah... you ain't seen nothin' yet, asshole!"

"If that's the way you want it..." ChaosDukemon growled, and then charged at the three Ultimate warriors. "I'LL TEAR ALL OF YOU TO PIECES!"

Dukemon held his shield up, bracing himself for any incoming attacks. ChaosDukemon was screaming wildly, and his rush seemed notably... reckless. Yet, one who would make such foolhardy battle decisions couldn't have possibly beaten Cyberdramon, Sakuyamon, and SaintGalgomon...

"That's as far as you go!" Beelzebumon cried, unleashing a volley of blasts from his gun. "DEATH SLINGER!"

HighAndromon thrust his hands into the air, generating power between them before thrusting it forward. "ATOMIC RAY!" The energy burst forth from his palms, joining with Beelzebumon's attack.

ChaosDukemon roared, lobbing his giant shield at the attacks. They struck it, their combined force exploding against it. It sent the shield flying back towards ChaosDukemon like a bullet... but he was no longer there. Instead, Dukemon's gaze shot up, finding his double high in the air, his lance lit with black energy.

"What is he doing?" Takato asked absently before he and Dukemon came to the realization. In the next instant, Dukemon leapt back in front of Ruki, Jenrya, and their Digimon, currently defenseless.


Dukemon held up his shield and braced himself, taking the full attack himself. His shield did absorb most of the blast, but it was still a great strain on him and the sheer force of it sent waves of pain straight through him. As the onslaught subsided, he gave a grunt of pain and dropped to one knee.

"You... bastard..." Dukemon huffed.

"You're gonna PAY for that!" Beelzebumon cried, taking flight and going straight for ChaosDukemon as he fell back to earth.

"N-no..." Takato stammered, but couldn't shout out. Beelzebumon was now even further enraged, though, and no words were going to stop him regardless. Even if he was falling right into ChaosDukemon's trap.

Too many battles had taught Takato a lot about a warrior's mind and heart. Jenrya, Ruki, and Ryou were all still better strategists than him, but there were still things he understood these days that he never would have in the past.

Understanding that, FEELING the force of the Demon's Disaster, he knew... that attack wasn't meant to harm his friends. It was meant for Dukemon, and Dukemon alone. ChaosDukemon knew EXACTLY what he'd do by taking aim at those who couldn't defend themselves.

And in turn, he knew exactly what Beelzebumon would do.

"EAT THIS!" Beelzebumon roared, flying right up in front of the descending ChaosDukemon, pushing his gun into the dark knight's face. "DEATH-!"

"FOOL!" ChaosDukemon shouted, grabbing the barrel of the gun and whipping it – and Beelzebumon's body around – just as he was firing... and sending the blast straight at HighAndromon.

The android tried to dodge, and succeeded in not getting hit dead on, but was still hit all the same. He was tossed back, his heavy body crushing rubble beneath him as he landed.

Shock was written on Beelzebumon's face, but it was quickly replaced with pain. ChaosDukemon slammed his knee into Beelzebumon's gut, and then struck the Demon Lord in the back with his elbow as he doubled over. "Your fight is over," ChaosDukemon spat, and the blow sent Beelzebumon rocketing into the ground, which wasn't far below them by that point.

ChaosDukemon landed gracefully next to the fallen demon, and eyed him carefully. "You are beaten, yet you do not revert," he said, scowling. "...ah. Of course. Your power lies beyond just your Tamers, doesn't it?"

His lance started to charge with power again. "We shall have to rectify this permanently, then. I regret having to take it this far..."

"HOLD IT!" HighAndromon cried, on his feet, but staggering. "I shall not allow you to-!"

"SILENCE!" ChaosDukemon roared, making a swift motion with his hand. His shield came flying back from where it had been sent earlier, flying past him and slamming into HighAndromon's body. HighAndromon hit the ground again, but this time, he glowed brightly and reverted back to Hirokazu and Guardromon.

"Now," ChaosDukemon said, holding up a hand as his shield returned to him. He aimed his charged lance back at Beelzebumon. "Where was I..."


The sharp cry was enough to catch ChaosDukemon's attention, but not quickly enough as Dukemon charged into him, slamming shield into shield. Dukemon pushed him back across the ground, his own lance charged with a bright blue power.

"You've done enough damage!" Takato screamed. Dukemon came to an abrupt stop, and ChaosDukemon leapt back.

"It ends here!" Dukemon proclaimed. "ROYAL SABER!"


Without hesitation, both knights thrust their charged lances at one another... and in an instant, both were enveloped in a massive explosion.

-- --

More than anything in the world, Ruki hated to feel helpless. The sensation of not being able to do anything about the world around you was something she couldn't stand, and she always fought to be above that. She refused to be helpless.

Yet, that's exactly what she felt like. They had been powerless to stop ChaosDukemon in his assault, and now could only sit and watch him fight Dukemon. They were helpless to do anything about it, helpless to stop HighAndromon and Beelzebumon from falling against him. Helpless as Dukemon and ChaosDukemon's attacks struck one another...

The explosion was deafening. The earth shook. Ruki quickly lost sight of both combatants as dirt and rubble flew up around them, and she had to shield her eyes. Then, there was nothing.

The rubble and dust began to settle, but there was only silence coming from where Dukemon and ChaosDukemon had been standing. Several moments passed, and still nothing was heard...

Finally, the dust settled completely, and Ruki lowered her hand from her eyes. There was no sound, but there was light. A bright, crimson light surging up from the ground where Dukemon had been standing, reaching towards the heavens.

It was not the only one, though. Parallel to it, in place of ChaosDukemon, was a blue light.

"That's not possible," Jenrya, standing next to her and Renamon with Terriermon in his arms.

"None of this should be," Renamon said.

Both pillars of light flashed brightly, and from each appeared a figure floating above the entire scene. In place of Dukemon was a red-armored knight with glowing, angelic wings. "DUKEMON, CRIMSON MODE!"

He – along with everyone else – seemed immediately taken aback by what he faced. Floating across from him was still an identical double, his armor dark blue, and his wings just as bright. "CHAOSDUKEMON, AZURE MODE!"

It made no sense, Ruki knew. This creature's entire existence was so improbable that it was just insane. Guilmon and all of his forms was a Digimon created from Takato's mind. He was unique. One of a kind.

Yet the fact this thing was real was something that couldn't be denied. She had felt first-hand the force of his attacks, the pain it brought her and Renamon... The helplessness of not being able to do a damned thing about it.

"Just... what are you!?" Dukemon screamed at his opponent.

"I am you," ChaosDukemon said, his voice lacking emotion. He seemed to find no humor in mimicking Dukemon's transformation, however it was he did it in the first place. There was no hatred. No malice. He held out a hand, willing a shining white blade to appear in it. "You are me."

"You don't even make any sense!" Takato shouted, Dukemon thrusting out a hand and summoning the same type of sword.

"Oh, I completely understand that," ChaosDukemon said. "I find it not at all surprising that you would think such a thing, blind as you are to the nature of the world around you. Tell me, Takato, Dukemon – whichever – how is Katou-san doing?"

Ruki blinked a bit and looked up at Jenrya, who seemed to have the same question on his face. She looked back at ChaosDukemon. Why would he ask something like that, and why would he call Juri that?

"Leave her out of this!" Takato roared. "If you think I'm going to so much as let you lay a hand on her..."

"Oh, so now you want to be the protector," ChaosDukemon hissed. "Typical."

"You have no place, no right to be critical of anyone!" Dukemon said. "Not after what you've done to our friends."

"They're alive."

"No thanks to you!" Dukemon shot back.

"Only because I knew nothing would happen to them," ChaosDukemon said, and pointed his sword at the crimson knight. "I knew that because I know you. It is as I told you, we are the same."

"All you are is mad," Dukemon said, lowering his own blade.

"No, I assure you," ChaosDukemon replied. "I am quite sane. I came and have done what has been done for only one purpose... to get you. Now that you are here, and it is just you and I, I assure you that I have no intentions of harming your friends."

"You expect me to believe that?" Dukemon asked.

"Believe what you wish," ChaosDukemon said. "All I expect of you now is to defend yourself!"

Both knights dashed at each other in the air. As their blades met, it sent out a thunderous shock wave of power that further shattered the ground beneath them. Seeing this, Dukemon kicked away and flew higher up into the sky, with ChaosDukemon wasting no time in following his foe.

Ruki cast her eyes back down to what was once their battlefield. Hirokazu and Guardromon were back on their feet, checking on Beelzebumon. The demon Digimon tried to insist he was fine, and seemed poised to continue the fight before he fell back and reverted to Impmon.

Further away, MarineAngemon was working to heal Cyberdramon, now frantic due to the fact that he seemed to have his work cut out for him.

And all Ruki could do was sit there, watching everything. She looked down at her D-Ark and sneered at it, as if it were a person that would be able to see the disgust on her face. How could she have fallen so easily? She had faced worse, hadn't she?

"Your time is nearly at its end, Digimon Tamers. Tell me, how many fights have you been in over the years? How many battles have you had where you took even more damage than you did from me, and yet were still able to keep fighting? Yet now..."

Remembering ChaosDukemon's words sent a shiver up Ruki's spine. Looking back up to the sky, where every strike that the two combatants laid upon each other echoed like a thunderclap, she knew exactly why.

It was because he was right.

As Sakuyamon, she and Renamon had faced countless enemies. But not a single one had ever dispatched them like ChaosDukemon did.

In years past, there had been very few foes that had lasted long against Dukemon Crimson Mode. The Agent of D-Reaper that acted as a clone of Juri – codenamed ADR-01 – had been one of them. And that thing had been the only one to come even close to beating him.

ChaosDukemon Azure Mode wasn't anywhere close to beating him. No, what was troubling was that he was matching Dukemon's every move. To her eyes, they were little more than flashes of red and blue, now, but the battle still refused to go either way.

Which meant he was just as strong. And knowing what Dukemon was capable of, what he could become, that fact was more disturbing than anything she could think of.

-- --

MarineAngemon floated above Cyberdramon, gently sending wave after wave of little blue bubbles down to him. As each one touched the dragon, they were absorbed into his body, slowly healing his injuries.

The key word was 'slowly.' Cyberdramon was really wishing the little gnat would hurry up.

All he could still do was watch. Which was much easier now that the battle had taken itself to the skies, where Dukemon and ChaosDukemon continued to battle relentlessly. Cyberdramon almost snorted in annoyance. Though neither one of the fighters was winning, Dukemon seemed on the defensive, constantly flying higher and higher against his enemy's attacks. He was trying to get further away from those in the city that couldn't defend themselves, but at the same time costing himself any sort of tactical advantage.

It was all well and good to protect the innocent – Cyberdramon had no issues with that. There was no way he could defeat ChaosDukemon without taking the fight to him, however. If Dukemon kept up like he was, there wouldn't even be a chance for victory, no matter how powerful he was.

No, there would be no victory with just Dukemon alone. And if he fell...

Cyberdramon hated to admit it, but he was steadily starting to realize that – even if he and Ryou became Justimon – even he could not defeat ChaosDukemon. Not as they currently were, anyhow. Not alone.

Grunting loudly, Cyberdramon dug his claws into the ground and began to push himself up. He knew what needed to be done.

"Pa pi pu!" MarineAngemon blathered.

"Hey, Cyberdramon," Kenta said."What are you doing? MarineAngemon's not done-"

"I'm well enough to fly," Cyberdramon said, shoving MarineAngemon out of the way as he got to his feet.

Ryou was standing in an instant. "Do you seriously think that we'd do anything but get in Dukemon's way now?"

Cyberdramon looked down at his Tamer. Out of everybody, humans and Digimon both, Ryou was the only one who truly knew him. Even after so many years, there were so many secrets that lay in their past that no one else would ever know.

Likewise, Cyberdramon was probably the only one who really knew Ryou. As such, it was no surprise when, despite his words, the young man pulled out his D-Ark.

Which Cyberdramon promptly swatted out of his hands.

"Hey!" Ryou shouted. "What're you-"

The dragon gave his Tamer a shove, making him stumble back and nearly lose his balance. "This isn't something Justimon can do."

Saying nothing else, he flew into the air, ignoring Ryou's shouts of protests. It wouldn't be long before he'd be unable to hear them, at any rate.

As he neared the two dueling knights, Cyberdramon truly appreciated just how intense the fight was. Every time their swords so much as glanced against the other, a wave of power burst out around them that would pretty well obliterate anything nearby had they not been in the air.

Beneath his mask, Cyberdramon's eyes widened as he paid closer attention to the next blow. As another clap of energy shot out around them, he understood something – the swords weren't actually even touching. The energy around them was so intense that as soon as they were close, it created an explosion of power that knocked the blades back before they could connect.

More impressive was the fact that neither warrior's armor had a single scratch on it. Neither Dukemon nor ChaosDukemon had been able to even penetrate the other's defense. Given that they had been going at it for several minutes, the warrior in Cyberdramon's heart almost wanted to just watch and see who would actually hit the other first. With the kind of power that was on display, all it would take is one clean blow to finish the other one.

His mind knew better, though.

Obviously growing frustrated with the continued stalemate, ChaosDukemon flew back, still holding his sword in a defensive state. "This is growing tiresome, Dukemon!"

"Hmph! This is your battle, impostor!" Dukemon said. "You're the only thing that's keeping it going!"

ChaosDukemon gave a snarl. "And I'll end it!" He pulled his sword back, laying the flat of the blade on his empty palm and pointing it at Dukemon. "I will be whole again!"

"You speak nonsense!" Dukemon shouted, raising his own sword high above his head. "But if a quick death is all you wish for, I, Dukemon, shall grant it!"

"Pierce him, Tyrfing!" ChaosDukemon screamed, the point of his blade increasing in brightness before he dashed at Dukemon through the air. "DESTRUCTION SWORD!"

"Blaze bright, Blutgang!" Dukemon shouted, sweeping the sword down to his side as if placing it in an invisible sheath. He waited, calmly, before moving forward rapidly and 'drawing' the sword, the edge of it glowing intensely. "INVINCIBLE SWORD!"

This was it, Cyberdramon realized, and he was moving before he even realized it. He tore through dimensional space with his claws wildly, quickly gathering power. He did so faster and more recklessly than he had ever dared before, knowing any hesitation would mean it was all for nothing.

ChaosDukemon didn't even see him coming.

The attacks of the armored knights collided, and there was a surging flash of energy. Cyberdramon felt pain for a moment, and then all he saw was white...

-- --

Takato hurt all over. That, at least, was the first sign upon regaining consciousness that he was still alive. As he opened his eyes, though, he wasn't expecting to see Ruki's face.

He gave a shout of surprise, instinctively, and she flicked him on the forehead with her thumb and index finger before turning to shout behind her. "He's still breathing!"

"Gee, thanks for the concern," he muttered as he started to sit up – and immediately regretted it as an even more intense pain shot through his right arm. The one that Dukemon Crimson Mode was holding his sword, Blutgang, in. Gritting his teeth to keep from screaming, he grabbed it to keep it from moving.

Last he remembered, Dukemon attacked ChaosDukemon, and he saw Cyberdramon coming up from behind...

He suddenly looked around frantically. "Guilmon!"


Takato looked over his shoulder to see Guilmon laying behind him, Jenrya helping him up into a sitting position. The reptile's yellow eyes were spinning, he was obviously disoriented, and hadn't called Takato that since they first met when he was ten... but otherwise seemed okay.

"Wh-what happened...?" Takato asked.

"We were hoping you could tell us," Renamon, standing behind Ruki, said. "All we saw was a bright flash, and then Dukemon fell out of the sky and landed where you two are sitting now."

Takato looked around. Hirokazu, Guardromon, and Impmon were there, too, assessing their various injuries, and walking up to them was Kenta, MarineAngemon floating beside him, and Ryou. The oldest Tamer of the bunch had a hard, serious expression on his face.

Still, Takato continued to look around. Where was ChaosDukemon? And, more importantly...

"They're gone," Ryou said abruptly, before anyone else could say a word. "Both of them."

"Gone?" Takato asked, before the possible implications sunk in. His eyes widened and he went to his feet, ignoring the pain. "No... you don't mean...!"

"No, I don't," Ryou said, gazing up at the now-empty sky. "They're alive, but they're gone."

Takato blinked. To say he was confused was an understatement. "But... how?"

"I didn't realize it at first," Ryou said. "But Cyberdramon wasn't attacking him."

"No offense, then what was he doing?" Ruki asked. "I mean, attacking stuff is sort of what he does."

"No. He was..." Ryou scratched his head, then shook in frustration. "Argh, just get yourselves together. I'll explain when we get back to Hypnos. I only want to have to go over this once."

"But," Takato said, "where is he, then? If not here..."

"The Digital World," Ryou said, then sighed. "Probably."

Ruki raised an eyebrow. "Probably?"


-- --

If Cyberdramon thought that he was hurting before, he hadn't even known what pain was.

But that didn't matter.

He started to pick himself up, finding that he was on the floor of a vast, seemingly never ending desert. It was night wherever he was, but the wasteland was still well lit, for floating high above was a bright green sphere rotating, with beams of red light constantly shooting out to various points below. It was a representation, Cyberdramon knew, of the Real World.

He was in the Digital World.

He was home.

"Excuse me!"

Cyberdramon whipped around, claws at the ready to tear apart anything that dared to attack him.

What he found was a small, child-like Digimon floating a short distance from him. His body seemed to be made of rocks and had big, yellow eyes. "Just what, what do you think you're doing here!?"

Cyberdramon began to speak, and then looked behind the smaller Digimon. Lined up in a surprisingly neat and organized manner was dozens upon dozens of Digimon of varying types and levels. They weren't fighting, and it almost looked like they had been following this smaller Digimon before Cyberdramon landed in front of them. And the way they were organized, the manner in which they were positioned...

It was an army.

Cyberdramon looked back at the floating white Digimon. "Who...?"

"I am Insekimon, General of the great, mighty Mercurimon-sama!" the Digimon boasted proudly. "And you are in the middle of a war zone! Now, now name yourself, or face the consequences!"

Cyberdramon bared his fangs into a sadistic, toothy grin, his claws beginning to shine. "Try me."

-To Be Continued


Notes: So, that took awhile. My excuse?

Well, for one thing, my plans for Factor of X were getting a little too... "busy," lets say. I had too much going on later on in the story and had to streamline it. That took some time.

Additionally, trying to incorporate elements of Savers into the Tamers world-setting required me to see more OF Savers. So I had to let that run its course. But! Things are back on track now.