Disclaimer: I don't own Digimon or X-Men Evolution. So sue me. No wait…don't.
The X-Evolution - Memories
Chapter 18: Twin/Towers
"Angel? Angel, are you here?"
Cyclops's voice echoed off the fallen rubble. Even that minor vibration seemed to be enough to shift the fragile remains from their barely-stable balancing acts, so that the floor almost seemed to shift under their feet. Nightcrawler reflexively grabbed onto Scott's arm with one hand and his tail, ready to teleport them away at a second's notice. It was a textbook X-men safety measure, but it didn't stop them from getting covered in soot.
"Auw, man," Kurt groaned, shaking the fine dust out his fur. "This is hopeless. There's no vay that someone could've survived this."
Cyclops brushed off his own shoulders with a small scowl. "We've seen worse and lived through it, Kurt. Just keep looking."
"Vunderba," Kurt groaned, and began moving through the ruined apartment as carefully as he could. His pointed ears twitched in the stil air, but he didn't pick up any noise that could have been the flutter of angelic wings. "This place is a major disaster."
"Which is why we need to be careful," Cyclops reasoned, then suddenly stopped. "Did you hear that?"
"Hear what?" Kurt asked, but at that moment a silver-green blur zipped past him and knocked him flat on his back.
"Nightcrawler!" Scott shouted, his hand automatically flying to his visor, only to be knocked away by the same silver-green blur. The shape zipped past him, then doubled back to spin him around like a top and drop him to the ground as well.
With a resounding laugh, the blur stopped on top of what had been Angel's rather lovely dining room set, revealing itself to be none other than Quicksilver himself. Pietro snickered openly, gloating over the X-men as they tried to scramble back to their feet. "You guys are way too slow. This bird's already flown the coop!"
Cyclops snarled, lifting up into a crouching position. "What have you done with Angel?"
"Wouldn't you like to know?" Pietro taunted, and started to run again, but just as he picked up speed he ran into a sudden billow of sulfurous smoke.
In that instant, Nightcrawler was on top of him, pining the speedster to the floor with all five limbs. His normally jolly blue-furred face twisted back into a fierce snarl, leaning over Quicksilver's face. "Vhat about Yin?" he demanded with a cat-like hiss. "Vhere is he?"
Pietro grunted, pushing at one of Nightcrawler's arms with a both of his hands. "Get off, you blue freak."
"Wrong answer," Cyclops threatened, coming to stand just behind Kurt. The ruby red quartz of his visor glowed threateningly, as though the force beams were only barely being held back. "We're not going to ask a third time, so you better come clear: Where. Is. Yin?"
An unseen force from the shadows flung Nightcrawler to the floor. Kurt rolled expertly and popped upright to stare behind him, boggle-eyed. "It can't be…"
Quicksilver was on his feet and out of sight in an instant, disappearing into the darkness as quickly as he had appeared. The voice from nowhere vanished just as swiftly. Scott coughed to force some air into his lungs, keeping his eyes tightly closed until he was sure that the visor was still in place. He curled around to climb to his feet, darting his gaze around the room. "Was it?"
"I couldn't see," Kurt gasped breathlessly. "But that vas his voice. You don't think…"
"Don't assume anything, ever," Cyclops ordered, breaking into a run. Nightcrawler followed after and teleported further ahead down Quicksilver's path. Scott's hand moved to his communicator instantly. "Iceman, Shadowcat, this is Cyclops. We are under attack, I repeat, we are all under attack. We need to regroup, now."
( - )
( - )
Bobby stopped his attack less than a foot away from its intended target, the icy air barely tickling the small figure's skin. Fragments of frozen water molecules hung motionless in the air, the connections between them the only things keeping them aloft. He held his moment of hesitation for almost a full minute, as though he were frozen in place himself. Finally, he pulled back and let the ice scatter across the ground.
Kitty's hands rested on his elbow and felt almost ridiculously heavy. The figure in the shadows didn't even blink, just stared at them both with large, navy blue eyes.
"Yin…" Shadowcat gasped. "Like, oh my god, Yin! Are you okay?"
The smaller boy didn't speak, just continued to stare at them from the shadows. Bobby sighed and forced himself to relax, pushing away the feelings of wrongness. With little effort, he pushed a grin onto his face.
"I bet you don't even remember us, huh?" he sighed, running a hand through his shaggy blonde hair as he extended the other to the dark-haired boy. "You don't have to worry. We're friends."
The navy blue eyes narrowed sharply, and the younger boy finally spoke. "Of course you are."
All of a sudden, Bobby's and Kitty's feet were yanked out from under them. Iceman hit the floor and Shadowcat nearly fell through in, hardly able to regain enough control their own limbs to get back on their feet.
"Yin, stop it!" Shadowcat shrieked, pulling herself up with her arms. "We just want to help you!"
"I don't need your help. Any of you," the boy said softly, and vanished into the darkness.
But even as he disappeared and before they could recover, they heard another voice, this time accompanied by rumbling footsteps that shook the entire hall. "No problem! They're going to be the ones who need help by the time I'm through with 'em!"
Iceman saw the charging Blob and shouted, "Kitty, get down!"
Shadowcat dropped through the floor, disappearing in an instant. Bobby's hands shot out over the place she'd been just seconds before, spraying a thick layer of ice across the floor. Blob's foot hit the ice and flew out from under him, his own momentum sending him barreling down the ice, his limbs flinging wildly. Bobby rolled to the side at the last minute, ducking into the corner of the hall and letting the massive mutant shoot past him.
As Blob hit the solid, un-iced ground and began to roll, a blast of static suddenly filled Bobby's ear. It was quickly followed by Scott's voice: "Iceman, Shadowcat, this is Cyclops. We are under attack, I repeat…under attack. We need to regroup, now!"
"No kidding," Iceman groaned, banging on the floor with his hands a few times to get Kitty's attention. "Shadowcat, come up, we've gotta get out of here!"
"What about Yin?" Kitty gasped as she flipped out of the floor and onto her feet.
"If we buy it, we can't help him, now move!" Bobby grabbed his partner by the arm and practically tossed her ahead of him, not about to still be around when the Blob got his feet back under him. His eyes darted to every dark corner as they ran, expecting the shadows themselves to leap out at them with a life of their own.
"Dammit, Yin…" he thought. "What the hell are you doing?"
( - )
( - )
After just twenty minutes, Yin's steps had become so broken and erratic that Angel was practically carrying him. His navy eyes fluttered open and closed anxiously, and it was all he could do to lean against Angel's side and place one foot in front of the other. His fever had spiked at least five degrees, leaving him breathless and soaked with sweat, his forehead sticking to Angel's shirt.
"It's all right," Warren soothed, stroking the boy's sweat-soaked brow. "Just keep moving. You can make it, just a little more…"
"Kouichi? Oh my god, Kouichi!"
The sudden voice startled both of the fleeing mutants and the two bodies rushing at them from the darkness just made it worse. Angel yanked Yin close to him and flared his wings wide like a defensive mother bird, ready to take to the sky in an instant if need be.
The two advancing figures stopped short, sliding to a stop in the light of a streetlamp. They were young, teenagers, one girl and one boy. She was obviously the older of the two, a tall blonde with sky blue eyes, and he was a smallish sort of boy with mousy brown hair. Both were dressed in glossy black clothes, hers lined with dark purple, his in an icy green. But it was the distinct pattern of the uniforms - several stylized X's repeating over and over without even trying to be subtle - that let Angel know exactly who they were.
"You…" Warren lowered his wings slowly and loosened his grip just the slightest. "You work with the Professor, don't you?"
The girl's blue eyes lit up with excitement. "Yes! Yes, that's it exactly!"
"What's wrong with Kouichi?" the boy asked worriedly, scurrying forward for a better look.
"Is that his name?" Angel muttered softly, not really asking the question so much as voicing his thoughts aloud. "Kouichi, I mean. He told me it was Yin."
The smaller boy frowned deeply, his thin brows knotting together in concern. "So he still doesn't remember. After all this…"
They approached slowly, as though worried that they would spook the older man again, but Angel remained calm this time. Yin wavered unsteadily on the spot and groaned, so Warren guided him to the ground as slow as he could, letting him knell down as the two X-men rushed forward.
"Is he hurt?" the girl asked, her voice worried and soft.
"No," Angel shook his head. "It's more like he's sick, but it's come on too quickly to be anything natural."
The youngest in the group bit his lip, glancing to the girl like a younger sibling begging big sister for advice. The girl licked her lips once, then reached out to touch Kouichi's face with gentle hands, guiding his eyes up to meet hers.
"Kouichi, can you hear me?" she asked softly, stroking his cheek with her thumb. "It's me, Izumi. Tomoki's here, too. I know you probably don't remember us, but…we're your friends. We want to help you."
Yin groaned, closed his eyes and shook his head, weakly repeating the same 'I don't understand,' mantra from before.
"He doesn't speak English," Angel said in a slightly defensive tone, as though he was suddenly having his doubts about the newcomers' intentions.
"That thing is gone," Tomoki realized, pointing to Kouichi's distinctly uncovered temple. "The translator. It must have fallen off."
Izumi nodded in understanding, cleared her throat and repeated the question, this time in completely fluent Japanese. Kouichi's eyes opened wide and the words and he whispered back to her in hurried, broken spurts of frantic communication.
"He says that something's wrong," Izumi translated once they were finished, for Angel's sake. "He says he feels something coming up from inside of him, like it's trying to get out from the base of his skull." She closed her eyes and shook he r head, the long blonde hair rustling down her back as she did. "I don't think we can help him. We've got to get him to the Professor."
Tomoki groaned, looking around at the unfamiliar streets as though he was completely lost - which, to be perfectly honest, he was. "First we have to find the Professor."
"Then we're going to have to hurry," Angel said slowly, turning his head towards the sky. "Before someone finds us. Look."
Izumi and Tomoki turned to follow the angelic mutant's gaze as Angel pulled Kouichi back into the shadows. A flash of light in the distance drew their attention to a silvery, round shape in the sky, rounding the TV antenna that stood on the skyscraper down the street. On top of it, a figure was crouched, and though from this distance they couldn't see who it was, they could guess.
"Magneto," Izumi breathed, tensing up, and wind suddenly picked up strength.
"Stay calm," Angel hissed, realizing what was happening. "We don't want to draw attention to ourselves."
The wind stopped and Izumi stepped back, pressing herself against the wall. Tomoki followed suit. Three sets of eyes remained glued to the lazily-moving silver disk, especially when they noticed the other two were hovering nearby, circling outward through the neighborhood like predators searching for their prey.
Zypher, Yuki and Angel knew for certain: They were the prey.
"We need to get out of here," Warren said softly, standing and pulling Kouichi slowly to his feet. "I know this city. Follow me."
Tomoki grinned, the way that Takuya always had, trying and failing to cover up the fact that he was scared out of his mind. "It's not like we have a choice, huh? Lead the way."
Angel nodded to the two teenagers, letting Izumi pull the ailing Yin's arm over her shoulders to support him better. The blonde man spared only one glance back to the hovering disks before he lead the way through the curving backstreets. Magneto had not noticed them yet. He could only hope that kind of luck would hold up for a little while longer.
The pacing of this story is really screwed up. (gloom) I apologize for making you all wait so long for such a dumb chapter. The next chapter will be better, I promise, and so will the chapter of Balance I'm hoping to finish next week…