1 Despairing Darkness

By: Angel Of Darkness

Chapter 7 - " Disgrace,"

" Great job, Stingmon! Another control spire down!"

Ken's face lit up in a smile as another tall, Black tower fell to the ground, making a loud impact. Stingmon flew over to him and de-digivolved back into Wormmon.

" I think that's enough for now," Ken nodded and lifted Wormmon in his arms, cradling him to his chest. The little insect smiled warmly at him.

" Yeah. But we're making progress – by knocking down the spires, that woman can't do as much damage."

" Yeah.." Ken locked his eyes onto the ground, guilt evident in his features. " But there's still so many Control Spires. I'm sorry I ever created them. It could take months to get rid of these spires, and who knows what she has planned."

" Well, I'm going to knock down as many as possible, and I'm sure the other Digi-Destend are going to try and knock some down as well," Wormmon pointed out. " And speaking of the Digi-Destend, have you thought anymore about Davis' offer?"

Ken thought back to his last encounter with The Digi-Destend. They had called him because of a Golemon attacking a local dam, with a defenseless town lying in wait. After the battle, Ken had explained to them about Arukenimon. They, well, Davis, anyway, took him serious. Davis had even offered him to join them. But he had denied it. Now, as the posing threat Arukenimon presented seemed to be getting worse and worse, it appeared that Ken may have to re-think his decision.

" I'm just not sure, yet, Wormmon," Ken replied after a moment, " I don't think the remainder of them want me around..."

" They'll get over it, eventually, Ken."

" Yeah.. I suppose so..." Ken raised his head with a frown. " I don't know. Just looking at these spires makes me sick to my stomach... let's head home now.."

" Okay, Ken." Wormmon watched Ken quizzically. He seemed rather distracted.

" These jelly rolls are delicious, but I feel queasy."

" Me too," Ken agreed, " let's save the rest for later."

Wormmon's face downed in worry as he stared ahead.

" What's wrong?" Ken caught sight of his face, and turned his head.

" Well, well, I expected you would be here," Arukenimon grinned.

" You again!" Ken got to his feet, staring at the monitor with Arukenimon on it.

" Ken, please don't talk to her.." Wormmon tried to gain Ken's attention with the solemn words, but he didn't really seem to have heard him. Arukenimon scoffed.

" Well, I suppose I came at a bad time. I'll be going. Bye," she turned her back on them.

" Wait!" Ken protested, making Arukenimon turn back around.

" Your little friend there is being quite rude, why should I?"

Ken's eyes narrowed in hatred, and a growl caught in his throat. He clenched a fist at his side.

" Because you're the one who keeps following me. What do you want with me?"

" What makes you think I want anything from you? Maybe I don't." Arukenimon flatly said.

" Then why are you bothering me? What do you plan to do to The Digital World?"

What was it she wanted? He wanted to know the truth – the real truth.

" Oh, Ken, you're so nosy," she sneered, " that's none of your business."

" It is my business! You're using my control spires!" Ken shot back, anger evident in his voice

" Your spires? That's where you're wrong, boy." Arukenimon's lips formed into a bemused smile. " You've been mistaken if you think you were the one who had the idea for the control spires."

" What do you mean?" Ken asked, eyes narrowing in suspicion.

" Oh, yes, you're so special," Arukenimon flung her hair, throwing the topic off course. Ken growled in anger, ready to ask her again when she held her hand up.

" You know, any pretty little boy would have been as good. But I chose you. I knew you were Digi-Destend from the moment I saw you, and I knew you would be the one to do my dirty work. So, you see, you're nothing more than my little puppet." she smiled coldly as Ken shook in rage.

" You used me!" Ken hissed.

" Of course I did, you little fool," Arukenimon shook her head, disappointed with Ken's misconception. " and you did provide use to me. That is until you chose to betray me by teaming with those other Digi-brats. Throughout the years, you always were so easy to manipulate, the perfect toy, perfect tool for my bidding. You were mine to do with as I pleased..." Her face twisted into a rage-filled tempered one. " That is until you starting thinking and acting on your own, and you turned on me. You could have gone so far, Emperor, yet you denied it."

" Don't call me that," Ken hissed. " I'm not the Digimon Emperor anymore! I never will be again!"

" You think so?" Arukenimon's features lightened, " don't count on that."

" What are you talking about? I'm not falling for your tricks!" Ken snarled.

Arukenimon let out a cackle and threw her head back in laughter. " Oh? But you just have."

" How's that?" Ken sneered angrily, clenching a fist at his side.

" You foolish child. The Digital World is in trouble, and you fell for my distraction. You're more weak and vulnerable than I thought!" She errupted in a series of laughter as Ken's eyes narrowed dangerously, making them twitch. He was about to argue again when Wormmon cut him off.

" Ken, this is an emergency!"

Ken turned to the sound of his partner's voice, his eyes scanning to see Wormmon holding the phone in his hand, looking worried. " What is it, Wormmon?"

" Davis is sending e-mails. It's your old base, the reactor is causing explosions. Here."

Ken walked over and took the phone, listening to hear Izzy on the other end.

" Your old base is going to explode. Get to the Digital World as fast as you can and take your crest. I think Davis may actually be right this time. His theory is that the power source of your base can only be contained by your crest. It's a good theory." Izzy explained.

" Oh, Emperor boy!" Arukenimon snickered, trying to draw Ken out further.

Ken refused the bait. " I have a theory of my own to check out."

Arukenimon laughed out loud. " Very clever, but I'm still ahead of you."

Ken clenched the phone in his hands, glaring gravely at Arukenimon.

" Not for long." Wormmon said.

" Ken, you're thinking too much again!"

" That's because I have to find a way to end this!"

Ken and Wormmon raced throughout the desert-like area, where only a short distance ahead of them stood a control spire, where his base resided. He could see the explosions in the distance.

" She used my pain and guilt to control me. I'm guilty of too much already. I'm responsible for the death of my brother, I'm responsible for the pain and suffering I caused here as the Emperor. Not this time!"

Ken's eyes narrowed in anger as he continued through the desert. He could see Arukenimon in the long distance.

" She keeps trying to make me look like a fool! She won't succeed! I was a fool for far too long, I'm not doing it again! She will never get the best of me again. Ever!"

" We will beat her, Ken!" Wormmon encouraged. " I promise you."

They were only a few feet from them, now.

" My turn?" Wormmon questioned.

" Hero time, Wormmon!" Ken took out his D-3, allowing Wormmon to Digivolve to Stingmon.

Stingmon flew overhead near Ex-Veemon, and Ken raced over to Davis.

" Davis!"

Davis turned and smiled. " About time! And they doubted me. Where's your crest?"

" It's right here," Ken replied, unveiling his palm to reveal the small crest in his palm.

" Great! Then I'll..."

" What do you think you're doing Davis?" Ken reached back and clenched the crest in his fist as Davis went to grab for it. Davis responded with a glare.

" Saving the world!"

" This is my responsibility! I don't want anyone else to get hurt because of me!"

" What are you trying to do, get yourself killed?" Davis snapped. " That's a genius move!"

" At least that way I'd be with my brother!"

Tears fell down Ken's face, shocking Davis. He had never seen Ken that way before.

" Your brother? I ..." Davis was at a loss for words. He hadn't known of Ken's brother.

Ken closed his eyes as the small streams fell down his chin.

" He died because of me! I don't want you, or anyone else, to die because of me, too! I'm guilty of enough! I couldn't live knowing someone else died on my conciance." He took a break to catch his sobs in choking breaths. " So it doesn't matter if I die as long as no one else does and the Digital World is saved, Davis! I deserve to die for everything I've done!"

" Enough!"

Ken's eyes widened in shock when he felt a huge stinging sensation on his right cheek, knocking his head to the side. He looked up to see Davis with a hand raised in the air.

" I'm tired of your lone wolf act! No one is going to die because of you, I don't know the story of your brother, but I'm your friend, and I'm not going to let you do this by yourself! There's people who care about you! If you go and kill yourself, your parents will suffer more than they have already! They can't afford to lose another son, Ken!"

Ken bowed his head. " But I don't know how to fix my mistakes."

" Do you think I do? You just keep trying until something works, and when it gets really bad, you hang with your friends because they're always your friends, even when you mess up!"

Davis told him, clenching a fist. Ken shut his eyes tight together, preventing a whole other trail of tears from coming out.

" Great, so what if you don't happen to have any friends?"

Bright light clouded his vision even from his clenched eyes, making him open them in shock. His D-3 was bleeding light. He took it from his pocket just as Davis took out his. Both were doing the same thing. Ken looked up at Stingmon to see he was glowing the same color as the D-3's light, as was Ex-Veemon. He could feel Davis' heart beating along with his.

' So this is what it feels like to have a friend,' he thought, ' it's not that bad.'

Both kids watched as their Digimon merged with the other, creating a mutant Digimon.

Arukenimon smirked.

' So they DNA Digivolved, huh? Hmm... this just adds to the fun a lot more.'

Please R&R! Thanks!