Disclaimer: Hello to you all. For the record, I do not own Digimon. I own Kai, the universe in which this is set, and the computer which this is being typed on. If you read this, I only ask you of one thing. REVIEW THE STORY or face my Crazy Aunt Betty and her toxic sludge. Evil cackle


DIGITAL WAR:

Destroy, Create, Control

Again I heard voices. Vaguely to where I could not understand them, but I was sure I heard voices. My body was numb and so was my mind. I couldn't use any of my higher brain functions. My eyes also seemed to be covered in a film of some sort so I couldn't see clearly.

A figure came into view. It was dark and bulky, with wiry appendages. But much more than that I couldn't say other than that from the outline it was Apocalymon. I was warming up again and things were becoming clearer. This was probably the test that Millenniumon was talking about.

I couldn't think direct coherent thoughts, but at least I was awake. And the voices were becoming more distinct. I could make out the beasts rasp and his words, though it sounded monotonous from my perspective.

"As you can see, Master," he was saying, "the subject is completely under my control. All of the implants are working steadily and the slave driver in his mind is at peek efficiency."

I heard a grunt to his left. Then a second voice. It was low and quiet, as if hating to admit that he was impressed. "Give me the remote." My heart skipped a beat and my subconscious screamed in protest to the awful things I would be subjected to.

The beast protested as well. "Sir," he said. "Why do you need to see the remote? I designed it as a lab assistant for me, Master. None of his functions would interest you." My eyes had adjusted to where the film did not inhibit my vision by now and I saw Millenniumon go down in a burst of electricity.

The Enemy's soft-spoken voice continued as if nothing had happened to his servant. "Now, give me the remote." The beast did so, still unfailing to point out that his master would not find anything of value.

A nebulous feeling of terror washed over me. It was all I was capable of at the moment. Millenniumon had promised me that I would be blacked out for this. But he was wrong. I wasn't able to think or talk or move, but I was still awake and feeling every emotion in it's most powerful form.

It was the only sense that was perfectly clear. And at present, I performed for the Enemy. And my dignity, as little as I had, was shredded in an instant. Nothing in my life would compare to that experience.

But it was at that time that I was the most thankful that I had been incapacitated like I was. If I hadn't been, I know I would have gone straight for his throat. Then onto his two cronies, one of which had worked to save my life. But the fact didn't change that I was seeing red.

And a new sense of fear seized me. I couldn't control my emotions because of the inability to use my higher brain functions. It was almost an out-of-body experience. And I could feel my body being corrupted by the uncontrolled Red Factor.

A flurry of hatred welled up in me for what was happening. I hated the Enemy with every ounce of my being. And if anyone was going to destroy him, it would be me. And his pet Apocalymon… laughing uncontrollably at my humiliation. I was going to strangle him with his own arms.

The feeling finally subsided when I saw Millenniumon. A distressed mega at the end of his rope. My empathy kicked in again and the Red Factor halted. Unable to express myself though, I couldn't even breathe a sigh of relief that Red Factor would not be my death.

It was only a small comfort though. Quite a bit of damage had been done to me. The disease had already corrupted my base genetics and data. I was fused with my implants, never to have them removed. And if by some miracle I evolved again, it would be corrupted beyond recognition.

Their laughing stopped at long last and the Enemy seemed pleased. Resignedly and a little spitefully, he said, "You did well." The remote dropped into Millenniumon's eager hands.

"Thank you, Master." He turned to leave, forcing me to walk behind him. As if I needed any more incentive than to get away from the monster that the Enemy was. "Sir," he said, dreading the response from his master. "I do need to perform one last surgery on him to install the voice recognition system so I won't have to fumble with the remote."

An angry sigh and his master's reply. "Very well. But see that it recognizes my voice, or that you keep it locked away in your labs." Millenniumon nodded and backed away slowly. I followed, still under the power of the remote, yet just as glad to be away from his master.

The thrown room was behind us now, and sealed off by a massive set of double doors. Millenniumon sighed heavily. "You're awake, aren't you?" He knew I couldn't respond. But still, somehow the message got across. "That was the real test, to see if I was trying to oust him."

I already knew that. The clues were obvious to me, as they should have been obvious to anyone. But still, the "act" went off with only one pretty major hitch. As soon as he deactivated the remote, I was going to give him a piece of my mind—what was left of it after Red Factor, that is.

Minutes later, in a lab strikingly similar to the one in Valhalla, I had my chance. Millenniumon deactivated the control, standing within perfect distance of me. For a moment, I considered just letting it slide.

He checked me over, inspecting any possible damage the Enemy might have done. I stood completely still, until one of his heads was at my eye level. WHAM! He recoiled from the sudden shock of my fist colliding with his face. And quite to my surprise, he didn't react.

"I had that coming," he replied gravely. I knew what he was thinking now. This was the reason he wanted to escape so badly. He had finally grown sick of his master's cruelty to others and to himself.

"I'm going to be corrupted," I told him bluntly. "Red Factor."

That was all he needed to know at that point. And all I wanted to say for that matter. There was no way that I was going to evolve to a natural form after this. But if it was the cost of freedom, I didn't really care.

"Figured as much. It shouldn't effect the surgery."

Now, why did his lack of concern make me worry? Was it normal? Most likely it was. I found the calm in his voice disquieting to my own peace. I gulped. I have to say that I shouldn't have been so unnerved by it all. Red Factor is, as yet, untreatable. There was nothing anyone could do about it except the Creator.

But if my luck kept on its current course, the chances of divine intervention would be questionable at best. At the very worst, I would suffer the same fate as the drones: having my consciousness sucked into the Enemy's being and tortured until my life cycle expired. Unfortunately for me, in a battle of odds, the latter of the two would win.

Yes, though, I was disconcerted by the reply I received. Millenniumon had shown me more compassion than I would have imagined he was capable of. But he had also shown more indifference. It was like I was a means to an end for him. (Which didn't bother me much because we'd be sharing the same end).

"So this is no problem to you? I'm going to be corrupted because of your heads' collective incompetence!" Control yourself. It wasn't his fault… Trying to calm myself wasn't working very well. He admitted he had a punch in the head coming to him. He can't be all bad.

"There is nothing I could do, so why worry about it?" As much as I hated to admit it, the beast had a point. One I'd known the whole time, too. It was me though. I was the one suffering through this, wasn't I?

"You should worry more about me and whether I'll help you." His face registered more indifference. We both understood the situation. I didn't have a choice but to help him or suffer the ultimate in torture. "Can you at least tell me how bad you think it is?"

"You don't want to know," he said, dismissing the question. "And I wouldn't want to worry you about something you can't help."

"I'm already worried."

"I'll have to check internal damage first before I can make a diagnosis. Other than that, I couldn't say." Well, that wasn't what I was hoping to hear. He probably didn't care one way or the other whether I was corrupted or not.

The real question was why, though. I had quite a few ponderings going through my mind, one of which was how he got his form. Was he corrupted? I wasn't stupid enough to ask. He might black me out again and put in a control device for real.

And anyway, escaping Neflhiem wasn't going to be easy. The Enemy would have guards at all the access points. He'd have security cameras; booby traps set up to kill any intruders. And Millenniumon was going to sneak past them? I was going the sneak past them?

"When are you going to perform my surgery?"

"I could easily begin now if it would make you worry less." Why would he want me to worry less? Confused, I was. Then, as if reading my thoughts, "I can't have you paranoid if we are to escape without detection. It would make you a liability that we cannot afford."

Oh joy. "I guess we should just get this over with then, shouldn't we?" The beast nodded. After this procedure, I would be free to speak my mind—literally—whenever I wanted. And of course, we'd be plotting our escape and the eventual downfall of the Enemy.

Millenniumon punched a button on a wall and a metal platform rose from the floor. As directed, I laid myself down on the table. I it was cold, just like a torture table and briefly I wondered if that's what its original purpose was. Either because of that thought or the coolness of the counter, I shuddered violently and then laughed it off as best I could.

The beast seemed to share in my mirth for once as his eyes lit temporarily. I couldn't say for sure though, because he had just stuck a needle in my arm full of sedatives. Almost as quickly as if I'd been shut off by that remote, I was out cold.

My perception of the passage of time, I believe. So I couldn't possibly tell how long it was before I woke again. In Neflhiem, the sun there only shines for a few hours each day, and the light is so pale that there are no shadows. During the dark hours, flood lamps lit the factories and complexes.

From what I knew of the place, it was entirely industrial and fueled by the harsh winds that continually plagued the surface. Drones were working the factories like bees in a hive, overseen by one powerful mega that was conscious but restrained by electric shock collars.

I didn't know how I knew what Neflhiem looked like. The information had just shown up out of nowhere. Another gift from the beast if I had to guess. It was almost like the Creator had abandoned the place and left it to rot. The sky was starless, and lightless except for the pitiful excuse for a sun.

It was much better inside, according to what I had been given. An overall feeling of dread prevailed, though, even inside the confines of slave cells. It was an invasive train of thought, penetrating to my very core. I had known fear and even full-blown terror, but never from the vantage point of the hopeless.

That's the exact point of view I had now. From the feel of it, the surgery had been a complete success. But the side effects were almost not worth it. I could actually see through the eyes of the drones, hear the echoes of their consciousnesses; their fears and hopes, pains and sufferings, and worst of all the constant knowledge that they'd never be free. It was enough to make even the strongest willed Digimon break apart inside.

But another, much more welcome reaction was that I could now understand the beast. He sat staring at me as I woke, knowing the exact turmoil I was going through. It was the first time that I realized that Millenniumon had gone through and performed the procedure on himself, and failed miserably. He knew the drones, but didn't have the same security that I had.

And because of that, his thoughts were the only consistent ones in the whole cacophony of emotions. Both of us were silent in thought and speech for quite a while. Then I broke it: "Now you know what the world feels."

It was the entire reason for his change in attitude. It took the destruction of his home city, subsequently the massacre of his entire FmU, and then the thoughts of all the drones he had helped create to bring about his renaissance. He was stubborn for sure, and had at one point held firm a deep belief in the Creator.

I knew the beast now. I knew his character, his thoughts, his convictions and his purpose most of all. He was not going to be content just in dying for his crimes. He wanted to correct them as best he could. An attempt to try and change the past. As far as I knew, my existence was solely to be his spokesperson: an arbitrator for him to try and plead for his life.

I now had a sense of what he was trying to accomplish. Then and there, my view about the beast changed irrevocably. Without a second thought or a single doubt in my mind, I told him I would help.

In the next several weeks we began to plot and scheme. Of course, I lived up to my "function" of the beast's assistant in the lab, but never more than monitoring vitals and handing him tools.

On several occasions, I had heard Millenniumon speak of an underground passage to the gate. When we worked in the labs, it was not turning ordinary people to slaves but instead, repairing damage that had been done, then placing them in that passage so they could escape.

Ours, however, would not be so simple. According to Millenniumon, the Enemy didn't know of the tunnel's existence. So if we were to just waltz in there and try to walk out the other side, the tracking device on Millenniumon's restraining collar would alert him and we'd be destroyed before we were half way through.

In that we encountered a horrible and almost impassible problem. How in the world were we going to deactivate the tracker? The credit for finding the solution goes to the beast and one of the "drones" we were supposed to be creating. If we couldn't beat the tracker, we would go around it. It was such a simple idea; it was a shame that I didn't think of it first.

Instead of trying to take off the collar, we would scatter the signal that it beamed back to the Enemy. We would appear to be in one place, but in total reality, the Enemy wouldn't know we were missing until after we were in Muspelshiem.

The guards at the gate would be easy as well. Like the drones, the guards were working on autopilot, so they would recognize their superior (i.e. Millenniumon) and let us pass without a problem. So simple a plan, only a genius could think of it.

With that in mind, there was only one last detail to work out. Getting out of Neflhiem wouldn't be a problem in the slightest. The problem would be how to get out of the Palace Complex. Security was tight here, and so were the guards. The guards had been specifically programmed by the Enemy himself to not let anyone in or out without his pass code, which was changed regularly. That ten digit alphanumerical code was the only thing that separated us from freedom.

Both of us had spent hours trying to hack into the Enemy's personal database without any semblance of luck. At long last, we decided that that course of action was ultimately going to end in the discovery of our plan and both of our executions. Plan "B" was even riskier.

But it was the only plan we had left to choose from. Again, it was simple, and the tunnel would be useless because of the change. Millenniumon was going to lie to the Enemy's face, telling him that we needed to move the clone works to the more advanced facilities in Anshar.

It still had its risks. The rebellion had been laying siege to Anshar for almost twenty years. It was quite possible that Anshar could be taken before we had the chance to get there. Or Millenniumon could be captured before our escape attempt and killed, along with me.

Neither of us fancied the idea of approaching the Enemy. My own proclivities toward the idea were based fully on the bond that had developed between me and the beast. Our time together had now seen fit to form a rather stable friendship with each other. Considering his history, I'd personally say it was a strange relationship. It was also the only one I had to fall back on.

I had reservations about what might happen to Millenniumon if he did not successfully convince his master to let us move the clone works to Anshar. Secondary effects included my deletion as well, which just added more incentive to not get caught.

And then it was time. I had followed Millenniumon, acting stony and spaced-out like all drones. He rehearsed his part well, as did I. And when we entered the thrown room, for what was hopefully the last time; I was not disappointed to see that the Enemy did not like my presence.

"Millenniumon," he said with casually building anger, "why is that here?" I was glad he couldn't hear my thoughts. I was thinking, but not speaking, a torrent of profanities that I wanted to spew at him.

"It is my personal assistant, sir," Millenniumon replied, telling me to bow mentally. "It has been a guinea pig for me, sir, and the latest test requires my constant observation."

Quite to my surprise, he bought it. Either that or he was playing us. For a fact though, he didn't have a clue to the real reason I was there. I wanted to hear this for myself.

"Very well. If you must insist on its constant companionship, I will make no objections." He leaned forward in his seat. "Now is there a reason that you are here? Or are you just wasting my time?"

"No, sir."

Here it comes… The moment of truth. My throat tightened due to nervousness. Involuntarily, I held my breath and then noticed that it had happened and quietly let out the breath so as not to draw attention to myself.

"You asked for a status report on the clone works," the beast continued. "I came to inform you that we will need to move the works to more advanced facilities." Millenniumon paused.

"This project is the most important that I have given you, Millenniumon." A burst of static came from Millenniumon's conscious as his collar activated. "I specifically told you when you started that whatever you needed to do, you were to do it without asking me.

"Your constant insistence on asking me about everything has become a thorn in my side that I will no longer tolerate. The next time you must ask my permission for something, you and your guinea pig will be destroyed immediately."

"Then we will move to Anshar at once sir." His tone suggested that he was sincerely grateful for the Enemy's cooperation. We moved from the thrown room back to our sanctuary on the other side of the Palace Complex.

The plan had so far been a success. We were honestly packing the clone works, not that I knew much about it, for the trip to Anshar. But we were not moving them there to even fake working on them. Subtlety would have dictated otherwise, but we were going to hand over the plans to the Rebellion at our defection. All we wanted in exchange was asylum in the new Digital World.

The next three days we spent packing the clone works, and other experiments that we thought might be valuable to the Rebellion. Soon enough, with fake drones in tow, our entourage entered the city of Anshar.

All of us celebrated freely for the first time in ages. Millenniumon even took the time to sabotage the security system, just to irritate the Enemy. But only a day and a half into our celebration, it was cut short.