"Where... am I?..." Jiro asked himself, still half asleep, but knowing full well he was not in his bed. It was dark, nothing could be seen, and the floor was cold. Metallic feeling. Yes, this was not his house. He attempted to get up, but realized he was holding something. Something breathing. He could feel a small pair of bat wings protruding from its back, and recognized subtle snoring noise it made. "Phascomon?" Jiro questioned. He waited. No response. He was asleep as usual. That was a good thing, if he had gotten an answer, he would have been suspicious. Phascomon had been with him for nearly three weeks now, and more often then not he was asleep. And he was a heavy sleeper at that. Not the type of mon' who enjoyed being woken up either. Holding Phascomon in one arm, Jiro used the other to help himself up to his feet.

Looking around, only darkness surrounded him. He began to think of a way to get some light in the room, however as said thoughts began to run through his head, his problem was solved for him. Jiro shielded his eyes with his free hand as the ground began to glow red. Screens all around him began to light up, and by the time his eyes adjusted to the light, he could see exactly where he was. He was standing on a large circular platform, appearing to be very high up in the air, considering that he could only see blackness below. Around him were various floating digital screens, depicting various things, from strands of code, words depicting the status of something, to what seemed like security camera videos, but seemed to be recorded from a more omnipotent point of view. What really caught his attention however, was the symbol on the floor. Taking up the entire platform was the image of a red, four winged bird, its beak bearing four red eyes, looking downward, dividing the image symmetrically. The bird was surrounded by a red circle, and Jiro quickly identified it as the mark of the Crimson Phoenix, the organization that governed the lower hemisphere of the digital world. He was drawn out of his pondering when he heard a voice. A female one.

"Greetings, Jiro Matsumoto." It said. Jiro quickly located the speaker, a girl with long, blond hair, and fair, light skin on a platform slightly higher then the one he was standing on. She was was wearing a very dark purple long-sleeved vest over a black shirt, and matching dark purple pants. She looked to be about 15, Jiro's age, and had a Dracmon standing next to her, arms folded behind his head. Jiro assumed that this was her partner. "I would like to be the first to welcome you to the Crimson Phoenix main headquarters..."

Digimon Dusk: Evolved

Chapter 1: Enter Jiro! The Busybody Sin of Sloth?

"The name is Megumi. My friends usually call me Meg, but you can call me Megumi." The girl said, looking down at Jiro. "I happen to be the head Administrator here."

"The... Administrator?" Jiro echoed. That was rather unexpected. The head admin was the digital worlds version of the president. They were the highest rating official within their circle of power. Why would she want to talk with him?

"After an extensive selection process, you've been chosen for the post of Global Moderator." She continued. Jiro blinked, rather taken by surprise at the notion.

"Me?" He questioned "A GM? Seriously? Why!"

"You seem qualified." Another voice said. A male one. It came from the girls partner, Dracmon "You have a sin as your partner, correct?"

"Sin?" Jiro responded to the imp, confused. Dracmon pointed to Phascomon, sleeping in Jiro's arms.

"Him. The one in your arms." Dracmon continued "He has the potential to become Belphemon, the Deamon Lord of Sloth once he has achieved his mega." Dracmon crossed his arms "Of course, there are other factors involved, but I would rather not get into the details. You've been chosen kid. Thats all there is to it."

Jiro looked down at his slumbering partner. Did he really make him qualified to be a mod? He had only been with the little fella for a few weeks! Half the time of which, he had been sleeping.

"Of course, we won't force you." Megumi continued, noting Jiro's silence. "The gate back to the real world is right outside. Take the lift behind you to the base floor, and continue down the hall till your out. You can't miss it." Jiro again was silent, his view shifting from the administrator to his partner and back again. He didn't fully understand still. This all seemed thrown upon him. Then again, he was being offered a fairly large role in the Digital Worlds governmental system, he couldn't just turn it down...

"Well..." He responded, scratching the back of his head "I suppose it wouldn't hurt to try it out..."

"Alright, can I take the kid now?" A new voice sounded out from behind him. Turning, he was greeted with another boy, this time with short, messy black hair, looking to be right around Jiro's age was standing on what he could only assume was the lift to the lower floors of the complex. He was wearing the same outfit that Megumi was wearing, and he soon realized, so was he. An Impmon was standing beside the boy before him, leading Jiro to the conclusion that it was the boys partner.

"All yours Hyde." Megumi responded "Show him around first, and when your done take him to the Native Forest. We have several reports of Gazimon claiming that the land there is 'theirs' and it seems they don't realize that they are bothering others, or have forgotten exactly what happens to those who do. Id like you two to... 'remind' them."

"Alright then." The boy, Hyde apparently, said, nodding to the admin, and motioning for Jiro to follow him "Come on kid, lets get movin. I don't have all day after all."

Nodding, Jiro glanced momentarily back at Megumi and Dracmon, who also motioned for him to follow, and he stepped onto the lift, and as it clicked and began to descend, the boy spoke.

"The names Hideki." He said "But please, call me Hyde. I hate the full name."

"Er... Ok..." Jiro mumbled, still a bit taken in by all this "If I may ask... what exactly did she mean by... 'remind' them?"

"Wow, you really are clueless, aren't ya kid?" A different voice responded, this time belonging to Impmon "The only laws the Crimson Phoenix enforces are those that protect the peoples free will. Those digimon are claiming that the land they are on is theirs only, and are kicking out anybody else who ventures on it. Considering they aren't listening to what others want, we have to step in and show them how to 'share.' If you don't know what im talking about, you must really be dense."

"I... think I get it..." Jiro said, nodding "Seems sorta... communistic to me..."

"Are you kidding me?" Hyde said, the lift clicking as they reached their destination floor and they got off. The walls were made of a sleek dark metal here, and there were several hallways that branched off into other places. Several virus type digimon, and some humans that could be assumed to be their partners could be seen going to and frow on business within the building. Some even stopped to glance at them as they walked, noting that their uniforms dictated they were GMs. "In a communistic society, the government owns and regulates everything. You realize how much work that would give us? No way, were not handling that. We believe that the digimon should be smart enough to handle their own affairs without us stepping in. We don't have many laws restricting what people can and cannot do, but we do jump in when certian digimon take advantage of that freedom, impeding the rights others hold."

"Nothin like those angelic airheads up in the Azure Dragons" Impmon continued off of his partner "I swear, up there, you can get pegged for anything! Im pretty sure that even littering is a chargeable offense!"

The Azure Dragons were the organization that governed the northern hemisphere of the digital world, and though Jiro was not well-versed in digital world politics, he knew that it was a far more law-based society when compared to the more free-spirited rule the Phoenix had over its people. However, they were known to have better quality of life then residents of the lower digital world, with a lower rate of thefts and such. Even the wild and untamed parts of their sector of the digital world was known to have some order to it. If Jiro remembered correctly, there were two other organizations within the digital world, the Jade Tortoise and the Silver Tiger, controlling the land around the border, but when one thought of the digital world, these two main empires were the first to come to mind.

The hall let out into a large room with several other hallways connecting to it, with a very large arch-shaped door taking up most of one wall. It was fair to say that this was the entrance hall. The door, rather then being made of sleek dark metal like the rest of the building, it was made up of some type of wood, with very intricate metal framework holding it together. As they approached, the doors swung open outwards, allowing moonlight (geographically, Suzaku City rarely got any sun) to shine through the entrance.

Suzaku City, capital of the digital worlds southern hemisphere, was located directly on the south pole. Despite its location, the city, and the dense forest that surrounded it for several miles, remained at a reasonable temperature. Chilly, like that of a cool evening, but well enough to wear normal clothes. Once one left the Native Forest's treeline, they entered a large snow field, fitting of what one would expect the south pole to be. The city itself, seemingly suspended in nearly endless night, was constructed upon several very tall mountains, almost as if they were floating islands, connected by stone bridges, linking each other at various points, allowing transit between the other mountains. Between the mountains and beneath the bridges were several one-railed tracks in which Trailmon could provide transit throughout the city, and even beyond its borders on. The buildings (the outside, at least) seemed to be made of stone, and were built in what could be described as a gothic style.

Looking upwards, Jiro discovered that the building they had just exited was in fact a large castle, resting upon the middle mountain in the center of the city. Several spires and towers extended off of the main building, even extending onto some of the neighboring mountains. At the top of the castle, two spires extended, forming what looked like a pair of deamon horns. A pair of gargoyles were set upon ledges atop the door, seemingly staring down at Jiro, and only when one blinked did he realize that they were not gargoyles at all, but Devidramon!

"Don't worry bout them" Hyde insisted, seeing Jiro's caution upon realizing the digimon were interested in him "They havn't seen you before is all. They know your with us though, they wont cause any trouble."

Jiro was fairly relived at this information, as the two dragon-like digimon did not seem too friendly. Taking his gaze off of them, but still feeling their eight eyes upon him, he looked over the city. To Jiro's side, the same emblem that he had seen in the admin room was present on the ground, faintly glowing red. Jiro recognized this as a gate back to the real world, as people and digimon alike were appearing and disappearing as they stepped on and off the emblem. He marked this place in the back of his head for when he needed to return home, but for now, Hyde motioned to him to follow, and he continued down a short flight of steps and across one of the large stone bridges to be shown the rest of the city, Phascomon still sleeping soundly within his arms.

The next hour or so was spent wandering around Suzaku City, Hyde informing Jiro of the main important districts and buildings. All over the city, Jiro saw several different digimon of varying stages, rookie, champion… even some ultimate. The majority of them were virus attribute, however he did see data, and surprisingly even some vaccine type digimon. This city seemed to be quite the diverse place. As Jiro observed the other digimon, he couldn't help but realize that the digimon were also observing him, just as the Devidramon had, and just as the other Phoenix members had. He slowly began to realize just how big of an icon he had just became, and his heart began to pound, wondering exactly how he had fallen into this mess, everything seemed to happen so fast!

"Hey… Hyde?" The boy couldn't help but ask, his nervousness showing up in his voice. His guide looked back at him "Eh… did this experience happen as suddenly for you as it is for me? I mean… they could have sent me an e-mail or something instead of sending me here during my sleep…"

"If they had sent me an e-mail, I woulda spammed it immediately." Hyde said nonchalantly "I mean, you do realize just how absurd it would sound, right? Im rather glad they brought me here. Its better to have it said to you in person: Hey! Congratulations! Your one of the Seven Great Deamon Lords, destined to help run the digital world! Yah, I wouldn't a believed that in an e-mail." "I suppose…" Jiro responded, looking down at his digimon momentarily, before continuing "The Seven Deamon Lords… those were the mega digimon that embody the seven deadly sins from the bible… Right?" Jiro wasn't a very religious person, but at least he knew this much.

"You would be right kid, that's what they are." Hyde said "The Crimson Pheonix has up to seven Global Mods operating at any given time, and each one has a potential sin as their partner. Before you go and ask, this fella here becomes Beelzeemon, Lord of Gluttony."

"At least, were supposed to have seven…" Impmon mumbled, crossing his arms "Ever since that punk showed up we've got eight…" "Meg's boy-toy isn't a GM, hes just a mod." Hyde stated "She just gives him special treatment so she can hear him whisper sweet nothings to her…

"Might as well be a GM then!" Impmon rebutted "She sure as hell treats him like one!"

Jiro simply observed the two as they went over their conversation involving the admins love intrest. Impmon seemed to not like the guy, commenting that he only made it this far because of his relation with the admin, and how he nabbed a mission that apparently was supposed to be taken by Rin and DemiDevimon, whoever they were. Though it was clear Hyde didn't particularly like this guy, he did note that he was fairly strong, able to reach ultimate and wasn't all that bad. Jiro marvled at the gossip. It made this thing seem more like a group of friends hanging out, rather then several young teenagers governing a country. As their conversation began to slow to a stop, Jiro decided it was best he spoke again, liking to change the subject to something he could actually talk about.

"So Hyde…" Jiro asked "What was your first day here like? Ya know… as a GM?"

Hyde turned from his digimon back to the new recruit. "My first day?" He questioned, and scratched the end of his chin as he thought "Well… kinda like you. Bouts of denial and nervousness at the beginning, but eventually I liked the idea of it. Kind of an amazing opportunity when you think about it! I was kind of surprised though… Here I am, apparently the partner to the supposed Deamon Lord of Gluttony, but I didn't view myself as gluttonous at all… In fact, im the lightest kid in my class!"

"And he sure as heck doesn't act gluttonous." Impmon continued off of his partner "He shared his food whenever somebody asked for some. I went to school with him one day, and his friends practically ate his whole lunch! Not to mention, he was a bit overly-generous, loaning out his things when his friends needed em, and even giving away some of his things. It doesn't sound that bad, but trust me, it ended up hurting us in the long run." Impmon glanced up at his partner, who looked a little tense at his partners words. Putting that behind him, he turned to talk to Jiro once more.

"I like to think ive grown a bit more backbone since I came here." He said in a rather confident manner "So how about you? You think your sin is fitting?"

"Well… not exactly…" Jiro responded "I always feel a bit… pressured to do stuff, you know? Ive got this brother, Ichiro, back at home, and being older an all, hes done everything Ive done before, and hes done it better. He was at the top of his class grade-wise… the best at sports… not to mention all the girls were flocking after him. I kinda want to be known as something other then 'Ichiro's brother' though… so I try to put extra effort into all I do and…"

"He never gets anything done…" A new voice said. This one was practically mumbling, seeming very sleepy, and came from in-between Jiro's arms. It was Phascomon, the tiny koala monster seeming to sleep-talk into the conversation with them "Hes so stressed… about everything that he does… he ends up doing… nothing…" The tiny koala yawned, and then went back to making his usual snoring noises, having put his two cents in. Jiro was rather amazed he had joined the conversation at all.

"Eh… basically…" He said, using a free arm to scratch the back of his head "The reason I decided to stick around here was because… well… im finally doing something bro hasn't done. Its kinda like… my own thing, you know? And seeing all these digimon watching me go by… It sorta makes me confident in myself, ya know? Even though I don't think this fellas gonna be of much use. Hes only ever assertive when he comes to a rude awakening…"

"Well lets give that a shot, wont we?" Impmon said, reaching a hand out to pinch said digimon, however Jiro hastily swiped his partner away from harm.

"I wouldn't suggest that!" Jiro said, sounding a bit worried "How about we go out into the field before we try something like that… ok?"

Both Impmon and Hyde gave Jiro confused looks, but before they could question him, a loud horn sounded. Beneath the stone bridge they were standing on, a trailmon passed them, pulling into a nearby building that one could assume was the station.

"Well, speaking of the field…" Hyde said, watching the trailmon as it came to a stop "We oughta get on that mission Meg has for us. The forest station is only a couple stops away from here, and if we hurry, we might be able to catch this ride. Hurry!"

Hyde took off down the road, turning the corner that lead the way to the station with his digimon, and Jiro suddenly realized that he should get moving too, and chased after them, still clutching Phascomon close. His nervousness and hesitation were beginning to lift off of his sholders, and he felt a type of excitement begin to build up within him. Perhaps being a Deamon Lord wouldn't be so bad after all. Perhaps it would be that one unique thing that made him… well… him!

Unseen to the two boys, a little pink kuramon floated after them, observing their movements, and transmitting what it saw back to the admin room, where Meg and Dracmon were watching.

---

"Say Meg…" Dracmon said, turning his head to his partner "About their mission…"

"Yes?" She responded, still not turning to look, still viewing the screen as the Deamon Lords boarded the train.

"Didn't we already send…" He began to ask, but cut himself short as Meg gave him a devious little smirk, which soon spread to the impish digimon, who chuckled lightly, and crossed his hands behind his back, returning to view the screen. "You know, its things like this that remind me why I enjoy being your partner…"

"Yes… I know…" She said as she observed "Now lets sit back and enjoy the show, shall we? Im rather interested to see how our new recruit reacts…"

"Indeed…" Dracmon replied "Though Im a bit more interested in our vet… not the new one…"

"Yes…" Meg agreed "He hasn't quite been the same since then… has he?"

---END CHAPTER---