The Horde

By: Theodore 'Blitz' Leung

Disclaimer: All Digimon and their characters (except for those introduced in this fic/series) do NOT belong to me. I do not have permission to use their characters, but it's a FanFic, so, who cares? =) This story line belongs to me and me alone. Please ask for permission if you wish to use it. Thanks. Now let's get onto reading!

Siato grunted disappointedly and angrily, not enjoy the new accessory he was given: a black collar that fit tightly around his neck. It was a tracking device as well as an explosive device, standard to keep people in check. They never applied such a device to any of the gladiators though, since their arrogance led them to believe no one would be able to escape. Of course, he and Sapphire changed that rule on their break out. Siato mumbled something inaudible, though his Digimon partner, Agumon, assumed it had something to do with the collar.

"Rather stand a chance now then to not stand a chance at all," the Digimon commented, getting another grunt from Siato. The ex-gladiator didn't enjoy that fact, but his partner was true in those words; better to live now and escape then to never have a shot at it at all. Sighting softly, he headed for the door to his newly acquired chambers, though it felt more like a prison then anything else. That collar was a bar code that itched, to put it lightly.

"I swear, if I get a chance to fight that mercenary again, I'm going to rip him apart…" Siato muttered, recalling the defeat as he forced the door open. Agumon trotted behind him, keeping close to his partner but deciding it best not to interrupt the Human's anger streak. They walked over to the crew quarters next door, Siato trying to calm himself before knocking onto the door. He didn't exactly want to show any malice towards his partner in crime. A moment later, the door opened, causing Siato to stare intently at the figure.

Sapphire stood at the door frame; her long, blue hair damp and wet; a soaked, white towel wrapped around her body. The female giggled at Siato's reaction. The collar around her neck didn't seem to bother her.

"You act as if you haven't seen a scantly clad girl before," she remarked, rather girlishly considering her past environment and history. Siato regained his composure, sort of, trying to express himself.

"A-Aren't you a-acting k-kind of…laid b-back…?" Siato questioned, his words staggering as he continue to stare. Sapphire giggled again, walking back into her room.

"I don't like the situation as much as you probably do, but we might as well make use of the good things provided," she remarked, unconcerned about her lack of clothing. Siato continued to gawk as his gaze followed her. Sapphire glanced at Siato, blinking once, before heading back towards where he stood at the door.

"You really haven't seen a girl, now have you?" she spoke softly, grinning, before closing the door in Siato's face. He blinked again, wondering what Sapphire was on when she decided to just open the door without really much to cover her. Regaining his composure completely now, he stepped away from the door, nervously placing his back towards the opposing wall and leaning against it, crossing his arms. He waited patiently…and anxiously…

* * * * * *

Sapphire giggled softly to herself again, her back leaning against the door, wondering what Siato was doing behind it. Not thinking much of it just yet, she pressed herself off the door, letting her towel slip from around her body as she walked back towards the bed.

"You know, you shouldn't tease Siato like that," Gabumon muffled voice remarked from inside the bathroom. Sapphire giggled again, though it masked something, and she let that slip, being as her partner already knew about the history behind her. She sighed softly, lying down on her bed, her clothes sprawled out beside her on the bed, now partially wet from her soaked hair. The ex-gladiator closed her eyes tightly, reminiscing on those memories from so long ago. She whimpered softly, running a finger down her side, over her thigh…

"I'm so careless…" she thought, remembering why she was so unconcerned about her…body… She ran a circle around her thigh, before placing her hand between her legs, shuddering as she remembered. The pain...the torture…the ecstasy…

Sapphire gasped, sitting straight up, mentally slapping herself for letting her mind wander. She shut out those memories, forcing them back to the dark recesses of her memory. The female withdrew her hand away from her body, breathing rather deeply, her hand now curled into a fist. Slowly, she released the lock of her fist, uncurling it, staring at it.

"It's all in the past, Ishida, don't worry about it…" she whispered, glancing at her clothing. Calming herself, she reached for the articles of clothing, donning it so that she may properly greet Siato outside the door…

* * * * * *

GS sighed softly, standing guard over the unconscious Nina. Jinmamon watched the other side, the pair keeping close watch for any UDF patrols in the area. Whatever was going on, the mercenary suspected foul play from the UDF: someone wanted him dead, or her dead, or perhaps both…

The sniper's Armour stood on the ground, idle and open, waiting at a moment notice for its pilot to leap onto it. GS hoped it wouldn't come to that anytime soon, though he couldn't be so sure about that. Rather safe then sorry was a good thing to keep in mind, especially when dealing with a young girl…

"What's my attachment to her…?" GS thought, glancing back at the female. She looked so innocent; yet, she almost killed them in combat. He wondered about her…there was an aura of something…familiar around her, that he couldn't quite put a finger to…something that kept him watching over her…to protect her…

He shook the feeling out of his mind for a moment, returning his concentration on keeping watch for any patrols. The sniper would have preferred to get away from the open, but he didn't want to risk moving Nina, not until he knew he could move her without hurting her, especially after that last fight.

"Just wish she'd hurry up and wake up…" GS thought, closing his eyes. They were snapped back open when he heard the female groan, signalling her awakening. The mercenary and his partner met gaze, GS signalling for his partner to keep watch, getting a nod in acknowledgement. With that cue, the mercenary knelt down by Nina, taking one of her hands and holding on to it lightly. She moaned again, her eyes flickering open.

"Satsuki…" she whispered, focusing onto the mercenary in the exoskeleton. GS smiled, though it couldn't be seen through his mask. "Satsuki…" she repeated, with more force this time, her mouth curling into a smile. "Satsuki!" Nina cried out, leaping at the mercenary and wrapping her arms around his neck tightly, sobbing.

"W-Wha…?" GS wondered, taken aback by the action. He knew he should've been expecting it, yet…he couldn't have anticipated, not like…

He slowly wrapped his arms around her body, unconsciously, caringly, something unlike him. Nina cried softly, glad to see her Satsuki once more. The mercenary closed his eyes, glad to see her as well.

"Alright…that's enough…" GS whispered, pulling away. Nina held on tightly, but still released her grip a bit to allow her Satsuki more freedom. "Are you hurt…?"

"N-No…" she answered softly, rubbing a tear away from her eye. The young girl gazed deeply into GS' eyes, through the visor, somehow. "I'm okay…I can walk by myself…" Gs nodded, turning his gaze away, about to stand up.

"I'm sorry, Satsuki…" Nina blurted out apologetically, her gaze falling to the ground in sadness. GS returned his attention back towards her.

"For what…?" GS questioned, unsure what she was apologizing for.

"For…trying to kill you…" Nina replied softly, barely audible. GS only stared, recalling the murderous, insane female he fought against earlier in the day, but it wouldn't possibly be her, GS wouldn't believe it was the same girl.

"It wasn't your fault…don't let it bother you…" GS consolidated, hefting Nina up and in cradling her in his arms. The mercenary inadvertently glanced towards the destroyed Armour Nina was piloting, getting Nina to face that…killing machine…as well. She sobbed again, quickly turning away. "You didn't have any control…you couldn't have known…" GS tried to reassure, though he was pretty sure he was failing at it. He was never good at caring for others…

"Satsuki…?" Nina asked, getting GS' attention once more. The mercenary returned his gaze to the female once again, wondering. "Can we leave please…? I don't like it here…" GS nodded, agreeing with her last comment completely. He set the female down, making sure she could stand, before heading back to his Armour.

"Um…GS…we have a problem," Jinmamon spoke as GS suited up. The mercenary directed his gaze towards where his Digimon partner was pointing. He raised the Armour's rifle, trying to zoom in with the scope, but then cursed softly when he realized the scope was destroyed by a rather insane shot from a submachine gun Nina used against him; though he dare not say that out loud. Nevertheless, Nina seemed to have read his mind, sulking. GS kicked himself for thinking that, just using his eyes to scan the area. He could only see a cloud of dust being kicked in the air, though he couldn't see what was doing it, it was wide…very wide…

"What is that…?" GS muttered softly, unable to recognize anything through the dust shield. He had a decent idea what was there though, and Nina somehow confirmed it for him.

"The Horde…"

* * * * * *

Jena slowly led her Armour into the hanger of the WUF base she was now stationed at. The Aerial Armour pilot decided to pick up her Armour hidden nearby so that she may use it later. She was, after all an ex-UDF operative, and now basically a WUF soldier; might as well make full use of everything available.

The Aerial Armour touched down on the pad, right beside Ventra's Terra Armour. Sighing softly, she opened her Armour open, taking the Digivice from the slot and stepping out. Ventra greeted her, waving at the entrance nearby. Jena smiled lightly, heading over towards the true WUF soldier, feeling a bit better since their last battle. She noticed Ventra staring deeply into her Armour, however. The female pilot suspected it had something to do with their first encounter…on not so friendly terms. Jena was about to apologize for that encounter, but was interrupted by Ventra before she could complete even one word.

"Don't worry about it…it's in the past," he told her, forcing a smile. Jena forced a smile back, nodding as well. "Come on, our Digimon are waiting for us in the cafeteria, best not keep them waiting." Jena couldn't argue with that point either, allowing Ventra to lead her through the base, being as she was still pretty new to the location. They made sure that they concealed the UDF insignia on Jena's Armour, nothing some duct can't handle for a temporary solution, they could paint it over later. For now, Jena would continue to assume the role of a mercenary to keep her previous identity hidden.

"Hey, are you alright…?" Ventra asked, breaking Jena's train of thought. She gasped softly, nearly bumping into the now still Ventra. She bowed her head, silently apologizing. Ventra only chuckled a bit. "Don't start apologizing like that, it's very un-mercenary like." Jena only nodded, taking the suggestion to heart. Best to keep the cover secure was what went through her mind.

The pair entered the cafeteria, mostly empty aside from a few soldiers here and there. Most were silent, probably still recovering from the shock over the previous battle. A lot of them were still new to combat after all, takes a bit of time to adapt.

"Come on," Ventra ordered in a whisper, directing himself and his companion towards the table where their Digimon sat, chatting to each other about their respective partner. They went silent upon the appearance of their partners at the table.

"Hey, what seems to be the problem…?" Jena asked, wondering why they just grew oddly silent. Both Digimon exchanged glances, then pointed towards one of the corner tables. The soldier and 'mercenary' turned their gaze towards that table, seeing a pair of soldiers, unfamiliar to both, but distinguishable by the similar collars each had around their neck. Each Human was flanked by a Digimon.

"I haven't seem them around this base before…and they don't seem to be rookies either…" Paramon commented softly, still glancing towards them.

"And those collars are military issue, but not standard gear, more like restraints…" Kisheartmon added, looking away now, thinking. "I believe I've seen a few UDF prisoners strapped into one before…"

"What…you're saying they're UDF escapees?" Jena thought out loud, softly out loud, taking a seat at the table. She took another quick glance at them.

"They can't be…unless they're the reason the UDF attacked in the first place, but I doubt it…" Ventra remarked, wondering about the allegiance to the base. "I haven't seen them around either, so they must've just come in now…which means they came in after the attack…"

"It's odd…it's like they are the prisoners of the WUF instead of the UDF…" Paramon mused, turning his attention back to his companions. "But I haven't seen any prisoner dressed with such a collar before…and it's supposedly a UDF device…so what is WUF doing with it?"

"They stole the technology?" Kisheartmon suggested, trying not to draw attention to their table. "I wouldn't be surprise if WUF did steal the technology…or it might even be only a replica…an imitation of the real thing…" Their conversation was interrupted by a short coughing from the end of the table. They turned their gaze towards that side, seeing one of the soldiers with a collar on, the soldier being the female one with blue hair. She had a small smile on her face.

"I'm sorry…I know this is rude…but can we sit with you…?" she asked, motioning towards all her other companions who were only staring as well. Jena and Ventra exchanged stares, slightly embarrassed with the gossip of the person standing over the table and her group.

"S-Sure…" Jena replied, trying to sound calm, though half failing at that. The other female; however, only smiled, beckoning for her group over while pulling up a chair.

"My name is Sapphire, Sapphire Ishida," she introduced, sounding as friendly as possible.

* * * * * *

Ventra whistled in awe, 'watching' Jena fly circles in the sky, though the stealth on her Aerial Armour as on. The pair were far from the WUF base, testing and refitting Jena's Armour to make it more efficient, though it bothered Ventra in bothering.

The group decided to break off from the newly acquainted soldier friends: Sapphire, Siato, and co.. The truth was revealed to them about their gladiator past and their current situation. Jena and Ventra felt sympathy for them, but there was little they could do in their case. They could only wish the best of luck and left for this area.

"I don't see why you wanted to come out here, your Armour is just fine," Ventra commented through the link, watching Jena's Armour on radar in the form of a bleep, a tracking device placed on the exterior of her Armour.

"I don't think I've ever seen an Aerial Armour in such a condition before…" Paramon commented, reading the schematics of the Armour on a small handheld computer. Kisheartmon was by his side, watching the Digimon at work.

"It's heavily modified…" Kisheartmon commented, glancing up at the sky to look for Jena. "But the efficiency isn't as high as we wanted, about 70%..."

"Ventra's Terra Armour is only about 72-73%, but that's taking into account it's a bigger Armour, more room for accessories," Paramon replied, whistling. "The best Aerial Armour I've seen is around 45%...this…this Armour blows it out of the sky…"

"That, and take into account Jena is an amazing pilot," Ventra spoke, continuing to watch Jena fly around while inside the confines of his own Terra Armour. "Actually…even if I'm angry with that battle…she's the better of us, I can't manoeuvre my Terra Armour anything like how she does for that Aerial Armour."

"That's because she fights with low armour configuration," Kisheartmon informed the Terra Armour pilot. "She's accustomed to the 'they can't win if I don't get hit' mentality, hence the lack of armour plating on the Aerial Armour."

"Yeah, the armour rating is less then your standard Aerial Armour, not like its saying much, but it is lower…" Paramon remarked, skipping through a bit of the specs. "I guess that's where the room for the extra gadgets come from, though one good hit and she's down…"

"Stealth and Flash Bombs can easily keep her from getting knocked around," Ventra countered, still watching in awe. "I'm actually wondering why she uses so many slug weapons…couldn't she add a bit more secondary functions if she just drops those submachine guns and just pack more ammo for her rifle?"

"There's actually a secondary weapon we wanted to pack onto the Armour, but that secondary weapon isn't light enough to accommodate the Armour, even with the lack of submachine guns…" Kisheartmon spoke, the answer satisfying both Paramon and Ventra.

Jena deactivated her stealth, gracefully landing right in front of Ventra, bowing her head. Ventra could imagine the smirk on her face. Whatever anger and prejudice the pair had before seemed to have just dematerialized after a certain encounter between them.

"Thanks for the optimism, but Kisheartmon was the one who thought of the efficiency factor; she's my personal engineer," Jena added through the communication network, giggling a little. "Though I have to admit, your Armour is just as well build and customized, you're the first Armour pilot to give me such trouble in combat," she remarked without malice, putting aside that anger from their very first meeting on unfriendly terms.

"Well, you can account most of that on Paramon, he's my personal engineer," Ventra answered, using Jena's own words for his own. The pair of Digimon snickered, enjoying the compliments, even if they are coming in a strange sort of way. However, that laughing was cut short when the handheld computer as well as the sensors for both Armour's went off.

"Um…that's not good…" Paramon commented, slightly sarcastically. He quickly tossed the small computer to Kisheartmon before donning the binoculars and taking a quick peek towards the direction of the alarm. He dropped the item instantly upon identifying the source.

"It's the Horde…"


Completed: 06/05/02