Yay! I'm back again with yet another oneshot, though quite frankly I think I should have turned this one into a twoshot like that of Forcystus5 because it had grown to be ridiculously long – the single longest chapter that I've ever written for anything before. Regardless, I enjoyed writing this immensely. Anyway, this one is for WhiteWolfPrincess95, and it features her own OC, so I really, really hope that my commissioner is happy with the way that I portrayed both her and her relationship with the other characters.
Hope you like this folks.
Oneshot 9:- A Different Kind of Star
Worlds:- Digimon Tamers, Digimon Adventure, Star Wars: The Clone Wars
Under normal circumstances, Anakin Skywalker would probably have been celebrating by this point. Though the day had not particularly had the best of starts, having been forced to arrest the Rodian Representative Lolo Purs for the attempted murder of her own mentor, and then they had been forced into a race against time to stop a huge anti-matter bomb from the entire underwater city of Otoh Gunga.
Anakin could think of many, many things he would rather be doing than them.
On the plus side though, they had managed to disable said bomb and in the process, Anakin had managed to break through into the mental web that now comprised himself, his team-mate and fellow Jedi Aayla Secura and the three human children and their Digimon partners that had landed in his universe just under five months ago, which is why he would normally be celebrating.
However, there was another situation going on which had not yet resolved itself and that was the fact that the Digimon in question were locked in mortal combat with another powerful member of their own species. The battle seemed to be going relatively well, but there was always a chance that things could go either way in this kind of affair.
Which was why Anakin and Aayla were currently bounding through the tunnels beneath the city and dashing around boulder and corner alike. The two Tamers that were with them, Henry and Suzie, hurried along as best they could, while a slightly confused General Tarpals followed in the rear.
"Whatsa goin' on?" the Gungan asked. "Why wesa running?"
"It's complicated, General," Anakin called back over his shoulder. "We don't have the time to explain."
We need to try and lose him, Aayla reminded them. He can't know about the Digimon's existence. Not yet at least.
Yeah, I know, Anakin grimaced. Don't worry, I'll think of something.
"Master!" called a voice, and the group pulled to a halt at the sight of Ahsoka Tano, Anakin's Padawan, running down the tunnel towards them. She skidded to a stop in front of them and said, "Last of the droids and Quarren in the area have been dealt with Master. Most of the Quarren surrendered almost immediately and the Aqua Droids weren't too much trouble."
"Good work, Snips," Anakin nodded. "General Tarpals, I think it would be a good idea if you and the clones were to sweep the tunnels for any more potential enemy activity. Give every passageway a thorough going over. We don't want any other Separatists that we might have missed to escape."
"Good idea," Tarpals nodded.
"You're in charge," Anakin nodded.
"Commander Monnk and the others are that way," Ahsoka pointed over her shoulder and the Gungan quickly hurried away to join up with the white-clad men several corridors away.
The moment he was gone, Ahsoka turned to the others and said, "Did you get the bomb?"
"Yeah, Henry diffused it with a little guidance from Anakin," Aayla nodded.
"Cool," Ahsoka grinned. "Well done that Henry. And what about the Digimon? How are they getting on?"
"Not as well as they would like," Henry replied, holding up his D-Arc for Ahsoka to see. The little device was displaying an image of what Henry's partner, Rapidmon, was currently seeing. Missiles streaked out from around its edges and the large, mutant-like adversary they were aiming for vanished with a loud BACKEW noise and re-appeared instantaneously right in front of the screen, taking a swipe at it with huge, purple claws.
Ahsoka grimaced. "So, what do we do now?"
"We're going to head back over there," Aayla responded. "Perhaps some Modify Cards from Henry and Suzie might even up the odds a little bit."
"Got it," Ahsoka nodded. "What are we waiting for?"
The group of five immediately turned and bolted down the nearest tunnel.
Sakuyamon raised her staff and generated another swift Talisman Sphere as their opponent – the Digimon who had dropped them here in the first place that went by the name of Parallelmon – charged right towards her. He swiped with his large claws at the transparent shield, but moments before he hit it he vanished with another loud noise, dimension-jumping in an attempt to get past Sakuyamon's defences.
Sakuyamon smirked, guessing what was coming and threw herself backwards, phasing out the back of her shield as Parallelmon re-appeared inside it and swiped at empty air, now enclosed within the transparent bubble on his own. Sakuyamon promptly darted back and slammed the shield with her staff, sending it flying like a volleyball and carrying the yelling Parallelmon along with it.
Antylamon bounded forwards and swung her Bunny Blades hard at the shield. Sakuyamon dropped it at the last second before Antylamon hit, but unfortunately Parallelmon managed to gather himself enough to perform another dimension jump before Antylamon's axes could strike him. Antylamon barely had time to register the fact that she had missed when Parallelmon crashed into her back and sent her crashing forwards, almost slamming straight into Sakuyamon in the process.
Parallelmon immediately pursued, but with a blur of motion faster than he could track, Rapidmon appeared right in front of him and slammed his arm cannons into either side of his face. Parallelmon yelped in shock as Rapidmon then span around to boot him in the nose with a speedy roundhouse kick and flip around to shoot a single Rapid Fire missile into his stomach and send the other shooting after him as he span towards the ground far below.
Parallelmon growled in pain, anger and frustration. He'd been battling against these three for at least quarter of an hour and possibly much longer than that by now and they were still refusing to give up or even slow down. He swiftly tried to right himself, clutching at his stomach with one armoured hand and slamming the missile aside with the other, wincing as it impacted against his claws. He promptly tried to power himself upwards once again, but this dimension-jumped after he'd gotten a few feet to appear next to Rapidmon and slash at him from the side.
But this time they had been prepared for this and Rapidmon blipped out of existence milliseconds before Parallelmon even appeared and as the Mega slashed at empty air, he saw Antylamon powering back towards him with axes raised and this time she hit him, ploughing the heavy blades into his already heavily-damaged armour and bodily slamming him into a tree. Parallelmon screeched in pain and Antylamon immediately threw herself backwards, ducking as Sakuyamon's Twin Blades of Beauty and Truth lanced over her head.
Parallelmon tried to push himself off the tree but the attacks still struck his leg and sent him spinning with another slice taken out of him, leaving him completely open to a strike from the fox spirits which all surged in moments later and plunged into his body, letting loose cries of agony from his twisted mouth as he convulsed with the elemental power. And then, of course, Rapidmon appeared right above him and launched a Tri Beam directly down at him, sending him catapulting down into the ground to impact it hard enough to cause his own crater. Again.
As his three opponents regrouped nearby, Parallelmon heaved himself back upwards, staggering back to his feet and wobbling from left to right as he felt the last of his strength beginning to fade. These three were phenomenal battlers and coalesced as a team almost perfectly – none of them ever got in the way of the other as they fought against him and they all knew exactly what the other was going to do the moment that the other decided to do it.
"Give up yet?" Rapidmon asked.
"N… never…" Parallelmon grunted, wincing as he felt his data fluctuate again.
"Hey guys! You alright?" a voice cried, and Parallelmon glanced to the side to see five humanoids appear, including the two other Tamers and the cerulean skinned woman who had cut the dimensional claw that came out of his eye in half earlier.
Parallelmon growled, but the adult human nearby just chuckled. "Well, looks like we weren't really need after all. You guys seem to have this under control all by yourselves."
"Yeah, this guy looks beaten," an orange skinned girl agreed. "And you were right, Master. That is one ugly Digimon."
"Told you," the young male Tamer snorted.
"I will have… the final say," Parallelmon grunted as he took another step forward, but almost fell to the ground the moment he tried.
"Really?" Sakuyamon raised a brow beneath her mask as her body took on a yellow crystalline sheen. "Because from this angle it looks like that will be us."
Rapidmon's body began to warp too into the same substance except green in colour. "You messed with the wrong Digimon the first time and then you decided to come for us again. Not smart."
Antylamon also began to crystalize, but she took on a bright pink colouration. "And now you're heading to a dimension which you won't be able to escape from."
Their bodies burst into light and they transformed into pure energy at the same moment, lancing forwards like three separate beams and intertwining around each other in a complex web, before they slammed together and merged into one huge form that took on the shape of a giant glowing crane that plunged straight towards Parallelmon.
"TRINITY BURST!" they bellowed together, piling on more speed.
"Oh, now that is cool," Suzie gushed as she watched them.
Parallelmon's single eye narrowed and determination to have his revenge filled him to the brim. He growled and his instincts took over, causing him to throw out his hands, expunging the last of his strength to create a giant wormhole behind him, which promptly began to generate a huge suction that pulled fallen leaves and bits of debris straight towards it, as well as several large trees that had been uprooted in the fighting.
And, at the same time, the five humanoids nearby were also caught completely by surprise as they felt the pull on their bodies. The suction was incredibly strong, so strong in fact that Suzie was immediately pulled off her feet before any of them could react and screamed as she tumbled through the air straight towards the giant wormhole.
"HENRY! HEEELP!" she wailed as she flipped over and over.
"SUZAAGH!" Henry started, but he was suddenly whipped into the air himself. Anakin and Aayla both acted immediately and lashed out with the Force to grab both the two Tamers and attempt to reel them back, while Ahsoka grabbed hold of the trunk of a nearby tree and tried to make sure that Anakin and Aayla themselves were not taken. The Togruta Padawan gritted her teeth as she exerted her will over the Force, but a large cracking noise of to her left suddenly drew her attention.
She gasped and barely had the time to cry, "Look out!" before a large branch lashed towards them under the pull of the portal and smacked her over the head, knocking her unconscious and at the same time hitting both the other Jedi in the back and flinging them into the air, sending all three of them and the Tamers hurtling inexorably towards the portal.
Parallelmon allowed the portal suction to draw him back into it himself and his three assailants, unable to stop themselves, zoomed straight in after him. Parallelmon turned to try and flee, but he had completely used up his energy reserves and the Trinity Burst attack cannoned straight into his back, eliciting a shriek of agony as he was immediately blown into data particles. The three Digimon quickly separated as the bits of Parallelmon zipped through the vortex and whirled around to see what had happened to the others, only to see them tumbling along behind them, the portal closing moments after Ahsoka went flying past the entrance.
"Oh, man!" Rapidmon yelled. "Not again! Please tell me we aren't being whisked off to an unknown dimension again!"
"It looks that way to me!" Antylamon replied, reaching out and seizing Henry and Suzie in her enormous hands while the other two hurried over to gather the Jedi together. Anakin drew his unconscious Padawan close to him and looked up at the Digimon wildly.
"We can't be going to another universe!" he yelled. "We can't! We have our duty to fulfil back in our own universe! The war! The Jedi! The Republic! We have to go back!"
"Hate to break it to you, Anakin," Sakuyamon murmured, as they tumbled over and over. "But we just destroyed the only person we know who might be able to do that for us!"
Anakin felt his heart thud in his chest, a deep hollow feeling automatically filling up inside him. A few moments later, and he felt a hand gently covering his own. He looked down to see that it was Aayla, who gave him as comforting a look as she could manage while they were being whipped across the dimensional barrier. Anakin bit his lip, and then looked up as the whole group tore towards an unknown future.
The sun filtered through Tai Kamiya's eyelids as it rose over the distant horizon, causing him to groan and lift a hand to shield them from the glare before he opened them. Bleary-eyed, he glanced around at the rest of the Digi-destined campsite. Most of the other kids were still asleep, practically passed out on the ground, although it seemed that Matt Ishida was already awake, and staring out at the surface of the lake they had chosen to rest beside.
"Have you been keeping watch all night, Matt?" Tai murmured as he levered himself up of the rock he had been resting against.
"Someone's gotta do it, Tai," Matt grimaced. "And since everybody else was so tired I figured that I could lose a night of sleep."
"See anything?" Tai asked as he stretched his arm.
"Nope," Matt shook his head. "Not a sound, least of all from Myotismon. But he's still out there somewhere so it's best that we make sure he can't take us by surprise again."
"I still think it couldn't have hurt to wake someone up to relieve you, Matt," Gabumon murmured from the spot next to his partner. "Honestly sometimes I think that you work too hard. You deserve your rest too."
Tai chuckled, and then turned to look at the rest of the kids again. After a quick survey of the group, his eyes fell on their latest addition – the young girl who went by the name of Lily. She was so deep in sleep that she was practically unconscious. Tai smiled lightly. Any rest that that girl could gather was critical at this stage. After all, she had been through quite a lot a couple of weeks ago, and she was still recovering from both the ordeal and the injuries she had received in it.
Tai briefly reflected on the girl, as he usually did when he woke up just to remind himself that everything he knew about her was real. She looked just like a regular human girl, with deep brown eyes and midnight-blue hair, but that was as far as the similarity went. According to her, she was a star.
Not as in the famous celebrity kind, nor the giant balls of gas kind from his own world. The stars of the Digital World were extremely powerful beings; warriors that were believed to be the creators of the Digital World, as well as many others, and served under the Star-God Drasil and his wife Yggdrasil. Lily was only a young star, meaning that she wasn't anywhere near as powerful as she could be, but apparently she had fallen to the Digital World several years ago and had been living in it ever since.
Her life had been far from easy, largely because she had been discovered by the evil Digimon Myotismon, a powerful vampiric Ultimate that had taken her in with what seemed like kindness at first, but he had later revealed that he only wanted Lily in his service for the powers she would have as she grew older. Lily had tried to escape at first, but after repeated beatings and tortures at the hands of her monstrous master, she had eventually stopped trying and had become another one of his various minions.
The only real brightness in her life had been her friend, a Renamon that had been taken prisoner by Myotismon's forces shortly after Lily herself was captured. The two of them had been allowed to work together as long as they both swore service to Myotismon, which they had both done very reluctantly and they had been together ever since. Apparently she had also been friends with a guy called Wizardmon, but she had despised everybody else who worked for Myotismon, or Dorkula as she preferred to call him.
When Myotismon had heard that the Digi-destined were close by, he had sent Lily into their midst to act as a spy and then to eliminate the group, starting with their goggle-headed leader. At first, Lily had willing to do it, but the more time she spent with the group of seven kids and their Digimon partners the less she wanted to do it. Especially Tai. She had developed a very close bond with Tai, so much so that she fell in love with him, and that was when she refused to carry out her assigned task.
Naturally, Myotismon had not been very happy about this and had immediately tried to take her back into his service and kill the Digi-destined himself. Lily and Renamon had finally taken the opportunity to turn traitor and had both retaliated against him. However, that action had taken its toll on both of them. Renamon had been beaten badly by Myotismon and Lily had taken a Shadow Scythe from his servant, Phantomon, which had been aimed at Tai directly in the stomach. If it hadn't been for the quick actions of the Digi-destined, Joe Kido's medical knowhow and a timely digivolution from Birdramon into Garudamon, both probably would have died.
And now, two weeks later, and they had not yet met with Myotismon again. But they all knew that he was out there, somewhere, waiting for his next opportunity to strike.
"You staring at me again, Tai?" Lily asked, and it was only at that point that Tai realised that she had woken up. "Why is it that every time I open my eyes in the morning, I see you staring at me?"
Tai flushed immediately and stammered, "Well, it's…uh… it's…well…"
"It's because he looooovvves you," Lily's Digimon partner snickered as she sat up herself. "Isn't it obvious? He obviously can't get enough of your perfect face, your silken hair, your gleamiOW!"
"Shut up, Renamon," Lily glared at her, albeit slightly good-naturedly. "I wasn't asking you."
"That hurt," Renamon pouted.
"You've had worse," Lily replied.
"I was just… uh… making sure that you were alright," Tai supplied as quickly as he could.
"And daydreaming about what the future might hold for the two of you," Matt chuckled from his nearby rock.
"Matt! Knock it off!"
"Sorry. Couldn't resist."
"Is it time to eat yet?" Agumon yawned as he pushed himself up. "I'm getting hungry."
"Me too," Renamon nodded. "I'm starved."
"Who's surprised?" Lily rolled her eyes. "Not me."
"Did somebody say 'eat?'" Tentomon suddenly said, making everybody jump because it was nearly impossible to tell when Tentomon was awake or asleep since his large green eyes never actually closed.
The rest of the group were beginning to stir now, waking up one by one as the voices around them roused them from their sleep. As usual, Mimi was soon the only one still asleep, mumbling something about dying her hair pink, but it wasn't long before Palmon started shaking her shoulder gently to try and wake her up.
"What's for breakfast?" TK asked as he stretched his little arms.
Joe sighed as he straightened his glasses. "It'll probably end up being fish again, won't it? That's what we usually end up having these days, and I'm beginning to think that eating the same thing over and over again is giving me problems with my digestion."
"You don't appreciate anything I do for you, Joe," Gomamon humphed. "I work so hard to find and catch fish that I'm not friends with to fill your stomach and all you do is complain."
"There are probably some fruit trees not far away," Palmon suggested. "The Digital World can be a pretty bountiful place if you know where to look."
"Fruit and fish seem to be the mainstay of what we've had since we came here," Izzy mumbled. "Except for those eggs we found in that refrigerator that one time. What I wouldn't give for a simple bowl of cereal."
"What's cereal, Izzy?" Tentomon asked.
"Sounds dangerous," Patamon murmured with a shudder.
"Nah, cereal's just the name for a type of breakfast you put in a bowl and then usually pour milk over the top," Sora said reassuringly.
"What's milk?" Yokomon interjected.
"Well, I don't know about all of you," Renamon announced as she clambered to her feet, "But I agree that it would be nice if we could have something else for a change. Plus, I'm ravenous so I'm going to go out there and look for something more substantial."
"I'm coming with you," Lily said immediately as she clambered to her feet.
"No, you stay here," Renamon shook her head. "I can cover more ground quickly if I go by myself."
"But what if you get attacked by one of Dorkula's flunkies?" Lily asked plaintively. "Something always goes wrong when one of us goes off on our own."
"No, that's just you," Renamon rolled her eyes. "You're the one who always runs off on her own and then gets attacked. Stay here with this lot and I'll see if I can rustle us up something edible."
Lily sighed. "Fine. Just make sure you don't scarf it all yourself."
"The very idea," Renamon smirked as she bounded away towards the trees.
"It's been known to happen!" Lily called after her before she vanished.
"You guys really are very close, aren't you?" Agumon observed. "And you're not even a Digi-destined, Lily."
"Well, we've you've been through what we have," Lily shrugged. "It's kinda difficult not to get so close to one of your only friends."
Tai could see that Lily was still worried, so he simply smiled and laid a gentle hand on her shoulder, causing Lily to look up and fix her brown eyes on his own. "Don't worry about her. I'm sure she'll be fine. She's got more sense than to stay where she's outmatched."
Lily frowned at him. "Are you saying that I'm not?"
"Er… well… uh…"
"Of course he is," Gomamon grinned. "After all, we've had more than enough evidence to see that… mmph mmfffh mgg." Palmon had shot out her Poison Ivy attack and wrapped it around Gomamon's head to seal his mouth.
"Oh, don't listen to him, he didn't say anything. Really," Joe chuckled nervously.
"Relax, Joe," Lily chuckled. "It's not like I'm going to charbroil him. Though, one second thoughts, I could." She grinned sinisterly as flames spurted to life in the palm of her hand. "Anyone up for grilled Gomamon?"
Gomamon went white... er.
Mimi chose that moment to wake up and murmur, "Does it taste good?"
The entire camp almost fell about with much-needed laughter, before Palmon lifted Gomamon bodily into the air and tossed him into the lake with a cry of, "Now get fishing for us, seal-boy."
"Yes, ma'aaaaam," Gomamon yelled as he sailed through the air and landed with a plop in the water.
"You know, I really, really don't know how I managed to get through all those years with Myotismon before I met all of you guys," Lily stated with a grateful smile. "I… I hope that… none of you ever leave me."
"Hey," Matt smiled reassuringly. "Course we won't. What are friends for, right?"
"You said it, Matt," Sora agreed.
Lily nodded to them both, and then she felt Tai taking a gentle grip on her hand. There was only one thing that could have made this moment more perfect and that would be the knowledge that Myotismon was dead. And maybe… just maybe… with this lot by her side, she might one day be able to make that thought a reality.
Renamon bounded through the trees on all fours like a silent and stealthy wraith and leapt up onto a large rock, tail swishing out behind her and bunching around her feet as she closed her eyes and listened, her pointed ears pricking as she tried to pick out any noises that might indicate something she could hunt. She was hungry as anything, having not had anything since yesterday afternoon. And Renamon got hungry quickly.
Of course this hunting trip also provided another purpose – allowing her to scope out the area and make sure that none of that vampire's flunkies were out trying to track down her or Lily. Or the rest of the Digi-destined for that matter. She had hit it off quite well with the other Digimon, particularly Agumon, though that might be because their partners had gotten so close in such a short amount of time.
Sure enough, a few moments later she heard a small snapping noise, so faint that humans and many Digimon might not have been able to detect it, but which indicated the presence of another being. Silent as a moth, Renamon pinpointed the direction of the noise instantaneously and slunk through the undergrowth of the forest, slipping around the trunks of the various trees and keeping herself low to the ground in prime stalking position, ready to pounce at a moment's notice.
A few seconds later and she arrived at the spot where she'd heard the noise, peering through a bush into the space beyond. There, she could see what appeared to be a small, white-Digimon with enormous ears which were flecked with green, as well as a single horn on his forehead. He was standing on a branch of a nearby tree, looking around him with narrowed eyes, as if trying to work out where the hell he was.
Renamon knew immediately that this was a Terriermon, though she had never seen one before. Nevertheless, it was too good an opportunity to pass up. After all, he was a rabbit. And she was a fox. What more could she ask for.
However, the moment she moved, the Terriermon was onto her, his own ears picking up the sound of the rustling leaves and looking around sharply. Renamon sprang out of the bush and sailed up towards him with an intimidating roar and the Terriermon yelped and sprang off the grasp, snapping out his ears and taking to the air right as Renamon pounded into the wood behind him.
"What the…!" the Terriermon cried but he banked sharply as Renamon set off in pursuit. Terriermon shot between two trees and whirled back through another pair in a zig-zag fashion, but Renamon bounded from trunk to trunk behind him before springing towards him and lashing out with her sharp claws. Terriermon folded his ears and dropped like a stone, causing Renamon to miss and go sailing over his head. But she flipped around regardless and landed on another trunk as Terriermon unfolded his ears and shot away in the opposite direction low to the ground.
Renamon growled and dropped to the floor, dashing across the forest floor after her prey and swiftly gaining ground on him. She quickly sprang up and took another swipe, but Terriermon pounded his ears upwards and just cleared her paw, flipping over and going the other way, forcing Renamon to slide to a halt and dash after him. Terriermon span about and landed on a nearby rock, dodging Renamon's pounce with a spin and then bouncing up to land on Renamon's head as she whirled around to grab him, before leaping up into the air using her as a springboard and sailing into the sky.
"Damn," Renamon murmured. "This one's good. But not good enough."
With an almighty leap, she flung herself up onto a nearby branch and catapulted herself up at the Terriermon. The bunny Digimon responded by throwing himself into a spinning Terrier Tornado and smacking Renamon in the face and send her flying backwards, but as she did so, she managed to pound him in the side with a claw swipe that caused him to yell and drop to the forest floor nearby as she landed against another tree-trunk.
"Gotcha now," Renamon growled as she sprang upwards and prepared to leap down on him and administer the final blow…
…when a roar of anger caught her attention from her side. Her head snapped around and, to her shock, a blur of yellow shot out of nowhere and cannoned into her, sending her flying backwards to collide painfully with another tree-trunk and yelp in pain as she fell to the ground. Grunting with exertion, she pushed herself back up, to see another Digimon standing protectively over the Terriermon.
Her jaw dropped.
It was another Renamon – identical to her in every external detail.
"How dare you?" the Renamon snarled and sprang forwards again. Renamon balked at the speed and ferocity of the attack and immediately flipped away, but the other Renamon moved with her dodge and slammed a paw into her gut, knocking her backwards painfully and sending her crashing into a rock. A cry of pain was torn from her throat, but when she looked up, she saw the Renamon was flying straight towards her already.
She rolled off the rock as the Renamon's blazing foot slammed into the spot where she'd been with enough force to fracture the rock into gravel and spun around to throw a punch of her own. But her opponent whirled around and caught the blow in her palm and hammered out her other fist to strike her in the side of the face, snapping her snout to the side and sending her ploughing through forest ground with enough momentum to leave a channel in the ground behind her.
She was brought to an abrupt halt by the trunk of a tree, wincing and gritting her teeth at the pain. This Renamon was obviously an incredibly experienced battler, possibly more so than herself, but it was the sheer speed and aggressiveness of the attack that had taken her off guard. She shook her head, trying to clear it, and saw her opponent moving in for the next attack.
Renamon bounded into the air and prepared a Diamond Storm, throwing her arms wide and sending a huge volley of the razor-sharp diamonds lancing down towards the new Renamon. The new Renamon in question narrowed her eyes and, instead of dodging, she caught Renamon totally off guard by leaping straight into the attack.
Her body twisted in a tight corkscrew, limbs splaying as she whirled forwards, the majority of the shards passing on either side of her body as she span. Those that still would have hit her were, amazingly, batted aside by swift punches and kicks from each of her four limbs and the moment she was clear of the diamond flurry, she straightened outwards and slammed straight into Renamon's stomach, latching onto her and spinning her around to slam her straight towards the ground.
Renamon grunted and quickly slammed her knee into the other Renamon's stomach and kicked her off, launching another Diamond Storm directly upwards at her in an attempt to catch her off guard. But the other Renamon merely smirked and before Renamon knew what was going on, the Terriermon suddenly ploughed into her side with a full-on Terrier Tornado which slammed her aside and sent her Diamond Storm flying above the tree-line…
…where it was promptly spotted by Yokomon as she perched on a rock beside the lake. "Hey, guys!" she called, waving her stamen and pointing it towards the glittering shards in the distance. "Isn't that Renamon's attack?"
"What?" Lily asked sharply, looking up and widening her eyes immediately at the sight of the diamond flurry. "Ugh, I knew something was going to happen. I felt it in my gut."
Before any of the others could stop her, Lily was immediately dashing towards the trees like a runaway mine train.
"Lily, wait!" Tai cried, hurrying after her. "Come on, Agumon."
"Right behind you," Agumon stated as he ran after his partner.
"Come on, everyone," Sora yelled. "Renamon might need our help."
The Renamon in question currently had her back against a tree, her white mane held firmly in the grip of the other Renamon, who was holding her claws right in front of her eyes.
"Alright then, whoever you are," the other Renamon growled. "You have precisely five seconds to tell me why you attacked my mate."
That sentence alone through Renamon for a loop. Her eyes shot open and she stammered, "Wha-?" glancing from the other Renamon to the little Terriermon standing nearby. "Y… you're mate? As in… friend-mate or mate-mate?"
"Mate-mate," the Terriermon replied. "And is that such a surprise."
"Of course it is, Terriermon, but that is beside the point," the other Renamon interjected. "The point is why did you attack him like that? Were you seeking to load his data and make yourself stronger?"
"Load his d…? What are you talking about?" Renamon objected, lashing out suddenly and pushing her doppelganger off to square up to her. "I was hungry, alright? I thought he looked like an appetising snack."
"Say what?" Terriermon shuddered. "A snack? For a Renamon? Oh, there was a picture I did not need."
"Momentai," the other Renamon said simply.
"What?" Renamon asked.
"Hey!" Terriermon shouted at the same time.
"So, you were planning on killing him," the other Renamon ignored both of them. "Well, I'm sure you can imagine that that does not make me very happy."
"How was I supposed to know that he had a mate? Or that said mate was another Renamon?" Renamon objected angrily. She paused and then added, "Seriously, how did that happen?"
"Very long story," Terriermon rolled his eyes.
"I can imagine," Renamon muttered dryly.
"Well, next time you go out looking for food, pick on something a bit less sentient than another Digimon," the other Renamon growled.
"Actually, I think that her explanation raises a few questions," said another voice, and Renamon looked around in surprise to see a Lopmon swooping out of the air to land on a nearby boulder. "Like, where are we?"
"Yes, I'd quite like too," agreed yet another voice, and Renamon was astonished to see a small group of beings emerging from the surrounding bushes. Several of them were humans but no human that Renamon had ever laid eyes on. There was an orange-haired girl and a blue-haired boy who both appeared to be slightly older than the rest of the group she was with, and there was a young girl that seemed to be slightly older than TK. But there also an adult human with long brown hair and strange clothes.
And then there were also the other two – the orange-skinned, striped-head-tailed teenage girl and the blue skinned woman, also with head-tails but falling down the back of her head instead of over the front of her shoulders.
"What the…" Renamon stared at the group, the last two in particular. "What is…going on? Who are you guys and… and what are you? You aren't Digimon. And you're not human either? And you're certainly not…" she faltered. She was going to say stars, but she remembered that Lily didn't like people knowing she was a star so she decided that not mentioning them at all, so she finished her sentence with, "…fish."
"Fish?" Terriermon blinked. "What the heck do fish have to do with this?"
"I think I've been eating too many of them," Renamon shook her head.
And it was at that point that Lily chose her moment to appear. "Renamon," she called, dashing into the clearing and standing next to the yellow fox, fists clenched and glaring suspiciously out at the rest of the group. "Are you okay? Who are these guys?"
"Um… Lily, I'm over here," Renamon coughed, leaning out from around the other Renamon and waving to her partner. Lily blinked and looked from her Renamon to the Renamon she was standing next to several times, before the latter Renamon bounded into the air and flipped over to land beside the orange-haired girl nearby, while the white and brown bunnies moved over to the shoulders of the blue-haired boy and the younger girl respectively.
"Oh, a human," the boy smiled. "Great. Can you tell us where we are? We… kinda… landed here late last night and you guys are the first life-forms we've seen anywhere."
Lily glared at them, eyes filled with nothing but suspicion, but Renamon simply murmured, "Seriously? You don't know where you are? Well, you're in the Digital World, on the Continent of Server."
The blue haired boy blinked and the two young girls with him started, and all three of them turned to look at one another. "S…Server?" the boy asked. "Are you… serious?"
"Guys, what's happening?" Tai Kamiya burst into the clearing, tripped on a tree root and almost went falling flat on his face. He would have done if Agumon hadn't darted in to catch him at the last second.
"Thanks, buddy," he murmured. And then he looked up. It took him half a second to notice that there was more than one Renamon on the scene, and, as the rest of the Digi-destined and their assorted partners filed into the clearing, many of them froze to stare at the newcomers in bewilderment and apprehension.
"Who are you?" Izzy asked.
Oh, my, GOD! Rika was shouting in her head. It's the Digi-destined. The actual kids from the TV series in the flesh. And their partners too.
In their Generation One looks too, Henry added. What in the world is going on?
What in the Digital World you mean, Lopmon agreed.
You know these guys? Aayla asked.
Yeah, they're famous fictional characters from our universe, but that's all they are – fiction, Henry nodded. They're from the series of Digimon that we told you guys about – how the heck can they be standing here in front of us?
I don't know, but who's this girl there, Terriermon stared towards Lily. I think I would know if there was a human girl running around with a Renamon in the TV series and there most certainly was not.
Human? Anakin asked. Oh, she is not human, I assure you.
What? Henry blinked.
I can sense a human when I'm near one, Anakin replied. We all can. Whoever she is, she's not human. And she doesn't particularly feel like a Digimon either, come to think of it.
She's definitely not a Digimon, agreed Renamon.
Regardless of who they are or what they aren't, we now have a group of suspicious children with powerful Digimon standing there and staring at us, Lopmon said quickly. I seriously think that one of us should start talking.
True, but I would advise that you not mention the TV show, Aayla agreed. At any point. That would do nothing but freak them all out.
Good point, Rika nodded. Let's act as if we have no clue who any of them are.
Ahsoka was staring expectantly at the rest of the group, knowing full well that they were in the middle of a mental conversation and seriously annoyed that she could not yet be part of it, but she had not gained access to the mental web yet.
Rika was the first to speak and she said, "Er… hello everybody. My name's Rika Nonaka, and this is my Digimon partner. I… assume that you all know her name, considering you… appear to be hanging around with another of the same Digimon."
"Hello," Renamon nodded, placing a paw over her heart. "It is my pleasure to meet you all."
"Oh, now she's all polite," Lily's Renamon growled. "She attacked me. And she was a damn good fighter," she added with a murmur to Lily. "Whoever she is, she's had a lot of experience."
"You were attacking my mate first," Rika's Renamon replied mild-manneredly. "I apologise for my assault on you, but I must admit that I can get carried away when my friends are in trouble. I have been through quite a lot with them, after all."
"Yeah?" Lily's Renamon raised a brow. "Well, anyway, stay away from me."
Rika's Renamon frowned, realising that this Renamon was very different from herself, but decided to let the matter drop.
"My name's Terriermon," the bunny in question grinned. "And this is my human, Henry Wong."
"What? I'm you're Digimon, you're my human. That's the end of it."
"I like this guy," Gomamon grinned.
"And I always liked you too."
"What?" Gomamon blinked.
"Nothing." Terriermon added quickly.
"And I'm Henry's sister, Suzie, and this is my partner, Lopmon," the third Tamer added with a bright smile.
"And I happen to be Terriermon's twin sister," Lopmon added. "And Renamon here is Terriermon's mate."
"Mate?" Gabumon blinked. "Mate as in…?"
"Mate-mate," Terriermon threw in. "Yes, we've already been over that."
"Wow, really?" Agumon breathed. "That's… bizarre. How did you get a girl like her, Terriermon?"
"Why do you ask?" Terriermon grinned slyly at him. "Looking for tips on how to get together with your local Renamon?"
"Wh…what?" Agumon stammered. "D-don't be silly. I was just… curious."
Terriermon shook his head. "You really shouldn't objectify women like that, my friend. I think you'll notice that your friends Yokomon and Palmon are now glaring at you."
"Huh?" Agumon started and glanced over to his right, practically wilting under the glares of both the two flower-headed Digimon. "Just… forget I said anything."
"Alright, fine, we've established who you guys are," Joe began. "But what about the rest of your companions? You're the first adult human we've seen since we got ourselves landed in this crazy place? Do you know a way of getting back to the Human World?"
"Uh… no," Anakin said truthfully. "I'm afraid I do not. My name is Anakin Skywalker."
"That's an odd name," Mimi frowned. "Is it English?"
"Mimi!" Sora elbowed her.
"What?" Mimi blinked in confusion.
"Er… no actually it's from… from… Norway," Anakin finished lamely, picking the first country he filtered out of Terriermon's head and deciding that next time he needed to think of something to go with Henry or Renamon instead.
"And who are the two Digimon with you?" Mimi clasped her hands together. "And where did they get those clothes? Are they some kind of fashion statement? I'm really not sure why but I like them – they so work on you both."
"Er…" Aayla murmured. "Thanks, I guess. But… I am not a Digimon. Nor am I a human. I'm Aayla Secura and this is my young friend Ahsoka Tano."
"Hey," Ahsoka nodded. "Just for the record, I'm not human or Digimon either. Aayla and I are… are… well, I guess you could say that we're aliens. We're not from this universe, nor are we from planet Earth."
"Oh dear," Tentomon sighed. "I already know where this is going." He then looked up at his young human partner, Izzy, who did indeed appear to be on the verge of hyperventilating.
"Aliens…" he rasped. "Real… genuine… aliens? Seriously?"
"Yes," Aayla nodded. "I am a Twi'lek from the planet Ryloth and Ahsoka here is a Togruta from the planet Shili."
"We come in peace?" Ahsoka tried, waving slightly, not really sure what to do in a situation like this.
"Izzy, please try to control yours… oh why, do I bother?" Tentomon sighed as Izzy completely ignored him and dashed over to them, dodging around Renamon and moving to seize Aayla's hand, pulling to a halt moments before impact and suddenly looking embarrassed and nervous as he took the Twi'lek's hand and shook it vigorously.
"It is… it's such a big honour…" he whispered. "To welcome you to… well, not Earth. To welcome you, Miss Aayla. And you miss Ahsoka," he added as he quickly moved past Anakin to shake Ahsoka's hand as well. "I… I have always believed that there might really be aliens out there and now… now… oh my God, this is really happening. This is… this is… this is…"
"Izzy, breathe, for goodness sake!" Tentomon cried. "You're going to pass out!"
Izzy paused and took a deep breath, sitting down on the nearest rock as he tried to take control of himself. He only lasted a second before he started bombarding them both with questions again, such as, "What Galaxy are you from? What are your planets like? What kind of civilisation do you lead? When and how did you get here? How advanced is your technology? Do you know of any other planets out there with life of them besides your own?"
"Hoo boy. I think we've lost him," Matt sighed.
"Still, it is pretty cool, right Matt?" TK cried. "Real live aliens right here in front of us. And they haven't attacked yet so they must be friendly."
"Yeah, totally," Matt grinned. "I have to admit that it is pretty cool."
"At least they're nothing like Vademon, I suppose," Tentomon murmured.
"And I wouldn't be so sure that they're the good guys just yet, TK," Lily murmured, her face stony as she glared suspiciously at every single member of the group. "Back away, Izzy! We don't really know where these guys came from, or what they're doing here or what they want."
"I'm sure they're friendly. After all, they said they are," Tai put in.
"Are you really that dense, Tai," Lily sighed. "Let me tell you something. Myotismon was perfectly friendly to me when he found me all those years ago, just to get him into my good books and allow me to trust him and come to his castle, before he showed his true colours and imprisoned me there. And you've seen what kind of monster that guy is."
"Did you say Myotismon?" Suzie gasped.
Lily immediately rounded on her. "So you know him?"
Suzie yelped and stepped backwards, fear in her eyes. Henry stepped protectively in front of his sister and immediately covered for her with, "No, but we have heard stories about him. And none of them have… ever really been pleasant."
"That's an understatement," Lily snorted, unconvinced. "And how are we supposed to know that you're not really in league with him?"
Renamon – Lily's Renamon – frowned. "Lily, I think that might be a little irrational. After all, you were with Myotismon for years and you've never seen these guys before. Or heard of them for that matter. And I know that I haven't either, so, aren't the chances that they're working for Bat-face… marginal at best?"
"That doesn't mean anything," growled Lily. "That guy had me as a slave for over five years and I know for a fact that if he wanted to, he could get hold of a large number of enemy Digimon from seemingly nowhere. And you know as well as I do that we didn't know everything about him."
Renamon grimaced. "Well, I can't deny that," she muttered.
"Oh, I assure you that we are far from evil," Aayla stated, stepping forwards to smile reassuringly at her. "We may come from an alternate reality, but that does not change the fact that we, by which I mean Anakin, Ahsoka and I, are members of the Jedi Order – a group of beings that are sworn to keep the peace and protect the innocent and good from forces that seek to take their lives, their freedom, or just about anything else from them."
"So, wait…" Matt frowned. "Does that mean that you're not from Earth either?" he pointed at Anakin.
"Nope," Anakin shook his head. "I was raised on a planet called Tatooine," he grimaced at the mention of the name.
"So are you not human then?" Tai blinked.
"Oh no, I'm human," Anakin shook his head. "Very much so. Just not an Earth human like Henry, Rika and Suzie here."
"This sounds like a very overthought fabricated tale to me," Lily snorted.
"Well, they haven't give us much of a reason to distrust them so far," Gabumon pointed out.
"Yeah, and besides, we can always use some more help when it comes to defeating Myotismon," Palmon agreed.
"You guys are all so naïve," Lily growled. "Way too trusting. You all let me into your group without so much as a second thought, and I was originally planning on disposing of you for Myotismon before I turned traitor, wasn't I? How do we know this isn't something similar. If there's one thing I've learned from being a slave to that vampiric git, it's that you should never trust anyone unless they give you a very good reason to first."
"A good reason?" Ahsoka asked. "Like… say… this!" She suddenly bounded forwards before anybody else could move and her green lightsaber flashed into life in her hands as she took a flying leap straight towards Lily and her Renamon. The Renamon in question swiftly tried to move in front of Lily to protect her, but Ahsoka span in the air, carrying herself off to the left and swinging her blade through the air and slashing straight through the large, golden scythe of the Phantomon that had just phased through a large tree-trunk to strike at Lily's exposed back.
"Ack!" the Phantomon cried as the blade slashed through the front of his cloak and the blade of his scythe clattered uselessly to the floor. Before he could do anything else, Ahsoka had kicked him straight in the cowl and span around to blast him with the Force and send him smacking back into a tree and pinning him there.
"That…" Phantomon winced. "Was not the plan."
Lily's eyes were wide, realising that Ahsoka had probably just saved her life. Then she growled, her fists clenching. "Phantomon," she snarled as she stepped forwards to confront the Ultimate Ghost Digimon. "Still too cowardly to attack people from the front then, are you?"
"You ought to watch your mouth, traitor," Phantomon scowled at her. "The master is far from pleased with you and the more insults you thrown around the less pleased he is going to be."
"Big whoop for him," Lily folded her arms. "No matter how much more angry he gets, the result would still be the same if he somehow did manage to catch me again. So, is Lipstick-boy planning on coming after me again at last?"
"Not really," Phantomon shook his head. "I just happened to be the area and thought that I'd try and drag you back to the castle. But Myotismon has larger concerns than you right now, traitor. He's been making the final preparations for his departure."
"His… departure…?" Lily blinked. "Myotismon's… leaving? If this is some kind of trick then it's a lousy one."
"Oh no, he's leaving," Phantomon chuckled. "He's been marshalling his forces, preparing his carriage, planning out his domination and all that kind of thing. All that remains is for him to rake in the last of his army, execute Wizardmon and then be on his way."
Lily's blood ran cold as ice immediately at that last sentence. "Execute…? What do you mean, 'execute Wizardmon?'"
"Oh, you didn't know?" Phantomon snickered. "How amusing. But yes, Wizardmon is to be executed the moment that Myotismon departs. After all, Wizardmon failed to report to Myotismon when you confessed to him that you were not going to kill the Digi-destined and that you'd fallen in love with its leader. If DemiDevimon had not overheard you then it may have taken us longer to act. Myotismon does not appreciate any of his subordinates keeping information from him. For any reason, especially something like this."
"No! He can't!" Lily cried, panic rushing into her voice. "That's not fair."
"It's perfectly fair," Phantomon sneered. "Now, farewell, little Star."
"Why you…" Lily snarled and threw a fireball at him, but Phantomon had phased back through the tree that Ahsoka had him pinned against, thereby breaking her hold on him and then vanished straight through the ground. Lily dashed around the tree and flung another fireball futilely at the ground.
She merely stood there, breathing heavily, for several moments, before she looked up towards the horizon, a grim look of resolution appearing on her face, her fists clenching at her sides.
"Oh, I know that look," her Renamon dashed to her side and placed a paw on her side. "Listen, Lily, I know that Wizardmon means a lot to you but please don't do anything foolish. Myotismon is too powerful for us."
"So?" Lily demanded. "Are we just going to let Wizardmon get executed? He didn't report to Myotismon because he was trying to protect me! We can't let him get killed for that!"
"So, you're just going to storm back into that castle of horrors he lives in and rescue him?"
"That's exactly what I'm going to do, yes!"
"Lily, are you mad?" Renamon cried. "That's practically suicide, and if it's not suicide then it's a sure-fire way of getting yourself captured again."
"I don't care," Lily replied stubbornly.
"Isn't Wizardmon the one who was your only other friend when you were a slave of Myotismon?" Joe asked.
"A slave?" Anakin asked sharply.
Lily ignored Anakin but turned to Joe and nodded. "Yeah, that's him. He was always nice to me and treated me with respect and care. Sometimes when I was locked away as a punishment by Myotismon or given really severe wounds, he would use his magical abilities to transport me food or heal me surreptitiously, not enough for Myotismon to notice but enough to make me feel better. And if he really is in line for execution… I just can't let that happen. I'm going. And none of you can stop me. Not even you Renamon."
What is she anyway? Rika murmured. If she's a human then she's not a regular one? Is throwing fireballs a talent given to you by the Force?
If it is, then I've never heard of it, Aayla replied.
That Phantomon called her a little star, Suzie noted. Do you think she's really a star?
Suzie, you've seen stars close up, Henry reminded her. They're large balls of flaming gas exactly like the Sun from planet Earth. She can't be a star.
Henry, you forget that this is the Digital World, Terriermon pointed out. Not the same as ours, of course, but a Digital World nonetheless. Nothing can be completely ruled out as impossible.
Good… point, Henry murmured.
Whatever the case, this kid's got guts, Anakin stated. I like her.
Of course you do. She's a miniature female you, Aayla rolled her eyes. Regardless, "This smells like a trap to me," she added out loud. "Lily, isn't it? Your partner has a point. If you're thinking about walking into the stronghold of any powerful being, no matter what your past with the being in particular, then you have to proceed with caution. You need a plan."
"We've never had much of a plan before," Tai turned to face her. "And we're all still here. I agree with Lily – we should get a move on and free this Wizardmon guy."
"Need I remind you Tai that there have been several points in the past where we've only survived by the skin of our teeth," Matt interrupted. "And Myotismon is way more powerful than either Devimon or Etemon were. I agree with these new guys – we need a plan."
"I agree too," Joe nodded. "Remember when we made a battle plan to rescue Sora from the Pyramid, Tai. That still didn't really go the way we wanted it to but we were still more successful than in previous battles."
"Look, you lot!" Lily rounded on the Digi-destined. "We don't have time to plan this out. Wizardmon is in danger soon, and who knows how long it'll be before Myotismon is ready to leave for wherever he's going. We have to go now. I am going now. And this lot," she pointed an accusatory finger at the three Jedi and their own team-mates, "are not coming with us. I don't trust them at all and neither should you if you have any sense."
"Listen, Lily, whoever and whatever you are," Rika stepped forwards. "You might not trust us but we can help. We can give you a hand. You'll need all the help you can get against somebody like Myotismon, right?"
Lily's glare of suspicion only intensified, so Henry added, "Look, we've been on quite a few adventures of our own, and these guys here," he indicated the Jedi. "Are masters of coming up with plans on the spot. They can be unorthodox, bold and occasionally mad, but they work."
"Lily, I do think that we should stay and plan something out first," Sora nodded. "And if these guys want to help them we should let them, I think."
"You don't understand," Lily grimaced, looking down at her own feet. "None of you do really. Besides Renamon, Wizardmon was the only one who really kept me going for most of my time as a slave to Myotismon. None of you know how bad it got for me. The scars on my back – those are only a minor tribute to what happened. None of you know what it's like to live in those conditions, and I owe it to Wizardmon to break him out now."
There was a moment's silence before Anakin suddenly stepped forwards and said, "Listen, kid. You shouldn't be so quick to exclude people. I can tell you now that I know what it's like to be a slave. When I was a kid, I used to be one too."
Lily blinked and looked sharply across at Anakin. "What?" she breathed.
"Yes," Anakin nodded. "Not to an evil Digimon, granted, but I lived on a world where slavery was rife. You couldn't look in any direction without seeing one somewhere. I was beaten, forced to work for very little, starved – you name it, it happened to me. My owner," he said the word bitterly, "Even installed a special explosive chip on the surface of my brain which would detonate if I tried to run away."
Lily's eyes shot open and Anakin looked down at her with face grim. "Yeah," he nodded. "Exactly. Watto, for that was his name, might not have been as bad as this Myotismon of yours, but I know just what you're going through. What I really want to do is figure out a way of getting back to my universe and fast, for there is currently an interplanetary war going on there which I and my friends are very much needed in. But… I'm going to take some time out of that search in order to help you rescue your friend."
Lily held Anakin's eyes for several moments, and then glanced across at the rest of the group he had arrived with. Ahsoka nodded to her, and the rest of them took a couple of steps forwards to stand at the ready. Lily grimaced, but eventually she murmured, "Fine. I'm still not totally sure about you lot, but I suppose I can cut you all a little slack."
"Then you'll let us help?" asked Terriermon.
"I'll be keeping an eye on you, but yes," Lily nodded.
At that point, a large podium seemed to rise out of the ground for no apparent reason, startling everyone in the clearing. Said podium turned out to be a holotransmitter, which began to display the image of a short, elderly man with a long white moustache.
"Hey, it's Gennai!" Izzy cried.
"Greetings children," the elderly man nodded. "It took me a while to find you all but now that you're here, I've got some good news and some bad news."
"According to the show," Henry murmured, as the Digi-destined and their partners gathered around the hologram. "This is the point where they learn about an eighth Digi-destined child will be joining them, and that Myotismon will be heading the Human World to try and find her and kill her before she can meet up with them."
"Yes, but there was nothing about Wizardmon being put to death in the show," Rika nodded. "This is as much a new development as this weird Lily girl is."
"Is he important then?" Ahsoka nodded.
Henry explained. "He's imperative. Who knows what other effects this Lily might have on future events, but Wizardmon was the one who found the Digivice of the eighth child, and made another of Myotismon's Digimon, Gatomon, remember that she was said child's chosen Digimon. He then rebels against Myotismon, steals a special device from him called a Crest, which allows the partners of the Digi-destined to reach the Ultimate Level and then sacrifices himself to ensure that Gatomon and her partner survives to digivolve and destroy Myotismon."
"So if he were to die now then he would not be able to do any of those things," Aayla mused. "I guess this means that we have to make sure he stays alive."
"Agreed. But… well, actually going to this castle might be beneficial to us too," Henry thought. "Myotismon and the Digi-destined both use a special portal gate beneath Myotismon's fortress to get to the human world, but according to the anime, it goes to many other places too. There might be a way for us to get back to your universe, Anakin."
"And back to ours?" Suzie asked.
Henry bit his lip. "Maybe. I don't know."
"Then it sounds like we have a double-mission," Renamon nodded. "Let's do what we have to do."
The dark, cloaked figure of Myotismon sat tall in his chair, staring down at the ten cards on the table in front of him, analysing the various Digimon that were printed on them and shuffling them around from time to time, trying to figure out which ones he would have to place in which slots on the terminal before the portal, and which of the ten was the fake.
"Hey boss," DemiDevimon flapped over to perch on the side of the desk next to him. "Have you figured out the answer yet?"
"Not yet, but I am close," Myotismon responded simply. "I now merely have to decide which of these two particular cards is the fake, as I have narrowed it down to just them. As soon as I have figured that out, we shall be able to depart for the human world and track down that eighth child."
"Great," DemiDevimon nodded. "I knew that you'd figure it out easy, Master. Is there anything else that you need me to do before we leave? Gatomon and my reinforcements are assembled and ready for action."
Myotismon grimaced. "No, DemiDevimon, I do not require your services at present. The only thing that would have made this a greater triumph would be if that traitor Lily were back in my service. But it seems that cannot be helped for now. But I shall return one day to track her down and reclaim her as my own."
"My lord, I have news," Phantomon stated as he rose up out of the floor by the door. "Very important news."
Myotismon looked up to scowl through his red mask. "It had better be important."
"Not important per se, but certainly news you will want to here. Lily is on her way here as we speak."
"What?" Myotismon's eyes widened fractionally. "How do you know this? And why would she risk herself to come back here? Have the Digi-destined somehow learned of my plan to eradicate the eighth child?"
"That, I do not know, my lord. But I did run into Lily earlier and tried to take her prisoner, but I was stopped by some strange new Digimon that I've never seen before. Still, before I escaped, I told Lily that you were planning to execute Wizardmon. And if that doesn't bring her running then I don't know what will."
"Execute Wizardmon?" DemiDevimon blinked. "But you had no such plans did you, your Evilness?"
Myotismon now had a smirk on his face. "Indeed I did not," he smirked. "Wizardmon has proven an asset to me many a-time, but it is true that he and Lily were… close. Excellent work, Phantomon. Lily's greatest flaws are her stubbornness and her inability to think things through before acting. I believe she will indeed come running."
"Thank you, my lord," Phantomon bowed.
"I suppose we can stave off our departure for a few more hours," Myotismon nodded. "Go, both of you. Marshal our reinforcements. Tell them to be ready for a fight. I want as many of the Digi-destined killed as possible and Lily and her precious Renamon to be taken prisoner." He sneered. "Soon, you shall be back in my clutches, my pet. I know you too well."
It took them about an hour but eventually the group were at the foot of the enormous castle where Myotismon resided. The three Jedi had to suppress shivers at the sight of it – their senses through the Force were telling them that this was a place of extreme evil. They could detect many terrible forces from within, but there was one particular evil which trumped the rest. It was worse than Ventress, worse than Dooku, worse than anybody they had ever encountered in their own universe.
"Alright, we're here," Gabumon whispered. "Now what do we do?"
"The first thing we'll have to do is get inside of course," Lily's Renamon murmured. "After that, we should probably be expecting a fight. No doubt Myotismon is aware that we may be coming thanks to Phantomon, and that ghost also mentioned he was marshalling an army."
"Great, another dangerous battle situation," Joe sighed.
"What about after we get inside besides fighting?" Aayla questioned.
"If Wizardmon is soon to be executed then he's likely to be in the cell block near the base of the castle," Lily murmured. "There are dozens, perhaps hundreds of Digimon trapped there at any one time. Myotismon would often kill them for his pleasure or even pit them against each other… or against me and Renamon to try and train us up."
"That despicable creature," Anakin growled.
"Master, steady yourself," Ahsoka placed a hand on his arm. "Don't go doing anything that you might regret."
Anakin flinched as if struck, but he managed to marginally suppress his emotions, though his face still clearly displayed his intense anger.
"In that case, we should split up," Aayla stated. "Some of us should remain behind to both take on and distract any potential resistance we meet, while the rest of us should sneak off to the cells. Since Lily and Renamon know the way there, they will have to be part of that group, but for the rest of us… well, it's your decision really."
"Isn't that dangerous?" Yokomon shuddered. "If we split up then what if one group finds themselves up against Myotismon or something."
"Good point," Sora agreed. "We might need all of us together to take on someone as powerful as him."
"Ah, but that's where we have a trump card, you see," Lopmon smiled. "You see, Terriermon and Renamon here are mates. And that means that they have a special mental link with one another, so they can talk telepathically no matter how far apart they are."
"Whoa, really?" TK gasped.
"Prodigious, that's astonishing," Izzy breathed.
"The mating bond?" Lily's Renamon's eyes shot open. "Of course! How could I forget about something like that? What's it like?"
"It's quite something," the other Renamon chuckled. "But I also cannot shut off my mind from his so every insane, stupid or… disturbing thought that passing through his head is automatically picked up in mine."
"Wow. I wonder if I'll ever have that experience."
"Mating bond?" Lily frowned.
"Yeah, it's a natural occurrence in my Digimon type. Any Renamon who chooses a mate gains a telepathic link with him the moment the deal is closed, so to speak."
"You never mentioned this before."
"You never asked."
"Anyway," Anakin agreed. "If Terriermon stays and fights with the first group and Renamon comes with the second group, then if anything happens to one group, the other will immediately know about it. We can also guide our two groups back together through them before we press on together to find the portal."
"Wizardmon should be able to lead us to that," Lily nodded. "He always knew more about the layout of the castle than I did anyway. Damn that vampire for never letting me know that he had one."
"Right then, so how are we meant to get up there?" Mimi asked, pointing up towards the castle. "We can't walk in the front door, right?"
"Don't worry," Agumon grinned, pulling a large bushy wig from hammer space and placing on his head and then placing his arm around Palmon's shoulder. The Rookie in question did the same thing to him, the flower on her head covered with another wig that resembled a set of dreadlocks.
"We'll slip inside with these disguises and then we can haul you up from one of the windows," Palmon grinned.
"Where the hell did you get those wigs?" Terriermon blinked.
Agumon frowned. "Actually, I don't know."
"Well, regardless, take them off. They look stupid," Terriermon rolled his eyes. "We've got a better idea, right, Rena."
Renamon nodded. "Rika," she turned to her partner.
"Gotcha," Rika smirked. "How's this for a magic trick?" she added, flicking a card out of her deck and flipping it around to slash it through her D-Arc. "Digi-modify! Hyper Wing activate!"
The Digi-destined, their partners, Lily and the other Renamon watched in astonishment as Terriermon's mate sprouted a set of shimmering white wings. She smiled and said, "All aboard," wrapping an arm around Rika and presenting her other arm to Sora. The young girl hesitantly stepped over and allowed the fox to grip her and then shoot upwards towards the window of a nearby tower, Yokomon grasped in both of Sora's own arms.
"How come she can do that and I can't?" Lily's Renamon scowled.
"I knew you'd say that," Lily murmured. "And I don't have an answer for you I'm afraid."
Henry and Suzie swiftly enthused their own partners with Strength cards, allowing the bunnies to effortlessly carry their respective Tamers upwards beside Renamon. The moment they had deposited their loads, all three of them swooped back down to pick up someone else. The three Jedi glanced at each other for a moment, and then all three of them ran forwards and leapt right onto the wall of the castle. To the astonishment of the assorted crowd, they actually began to scale it right before their eyes, using the Force to help support their own weight as they moved up the vertical heavy stone blocks with almost no effort whatsoever.
They managed to get everybody upwards relatively quickly, though Lily was still reluctant to let Rika's Renamon near her and Lily's own Renamon found the experience of being carried upwards by the small white bunny she had tried to hunt that morning totally humiliating. And of course, Joe panicked halfway up and Renamon had to clap a paw over his mouth to keep him from giving them all away.
The three Jedi having flipped themselves into the window a while ago, that left the whole group together now within the castle walls. Agumon and Palmon tossed their wigs out of the window and the latter sighed and said, "Actually, I'm kinda glad we didn't have to go through with that idea. We did look ridiculous in those things."
"Yeah, but I still thought it was a good plan," Agumon murmured dejectedly.
"Aww, there there Agumon," Palmon patted his shoulder. "We'll use your plan next time."
"Alright then Lily," Tai smiled. "Lead the way to those cells and we'll handle the rest."
"I can't believe I'm back in here," Lily's fists were clenched together and her expression was dark, but she shook herself and jerked her head towards the nearest door. "It's this way."
Lily led the group through several hallways, each one darker and gloomier than the last and it did not take long for the Digi-destined to lose their bearings completely. Almost right off the bat they began to notice various oddities that made them want to stop and stare, including upside down flaming torches and completely doorways that seemed to have everything beyond it tilted at a strange angle, but these were all ignored by Lily and her Renamon as she led them down a couple of flights of stairs and quickly rounded another corner.
However, as each of them had been expecting, it took them practically no time at all before they ran into their first sign of trouble.
Lily pulled sharply to a halt and growled when she saw who was standing in front of her after a couple of minutes of nothing. Everybody else almost piled into her, but they managed to avoid it as they moved around her to try and get a better view.
"Well, well," DemiDevimon smirked. "If it isn't the little star who thought that she could run away. What are you doing here? Decided to come crawling back to beg for mercy have you?"
"Oh, how I hate you, you little ball of brainlessness," Lily scowled. "Where's Wizardmon?"
"Wizardmon?" DemiDevimon questioned. "Oh, so that's why you're back is it? Guess you must have heard about the Master's plans for him. Yeah, Wizardmon's not gonna be alive for much longer but I'm sure he'll die happy in the knowledge that you decided to hand yourself over to the Master on a silver platter."
"Why you…" Lily growled and jumped forwards. DemiDevimon leapt into the air and swooped backwards.
"Nanimon!" he called. "They're all yours."
"Right!" yelled a nearby Digimon that charged out from a door off to the left and skidded to a halt in front of the irate star. He resembled a squat wrestler with a heavy beard and thick dark sunglasses, and no neck whatsoever – his whole body seemed to be comprised of a large head with limbs. "Men!" he called, and various assorted Digimon poured out from nearby doors, including Numemon, Vegiemon and a Sukamon complete with Chuumon, who all formed a barrier in front of the group.
"You won't get past us. No matter how powerful your star powers are," Nanimon crowed. "Me and my men had been training for this moment and now we're going to lay down the law."
"Oh dear Lord," sighed Ahsoka. "Do you want to take this one, Master? Or shall I?"
"Let's go for a two-fer," suggested Anakin, and then both sprang into the air to flip over Lily's head and land in front of her, lashing out with their hands and sweeping them to the sides, flinging every single Digimon except Nanimon painfully into the nearby walls with the Force and reducing them to groaning piles. Nanimon hesitated, and just had enough time to see Aayla diving straight over Lily and spinning around to plant a fierce kick straight in the middle of Nanimon's face, breaking his sunglasses and sending him flying backwards as if shot from a cannon.
DemiDevimon balked and dodged as Nanimon crashed into the wall and fell, unconscious. He balked again when all three Jedi raised their lightsaber hilts and activated the blades. "Ack! I'm getting of here!" he yelled. "Somebody! They're here! Get them!"
He shot away into a nearby door and before the group could set off in pursuit a huge set of doors opened on the other side to reveal an enormous Mammothmon directly on the other side, who stomped in to bellow a deep throated roar at the group. Through two smaller doors on either side of him appeared a Tuskmon and a Snimon, who both growled angrily and flexed their claws and scythes respectively closing in on the group.
"Looks like it's time to fight," Tai observed.
"For some of us yes," Anakin nodded. "But remember the plan. We've got to find Wizardmon as well."
"I've got this," Terriermon nodded. "Who's with me?"
"I'm in!" Gomamon cried.
"I'll join you too!" Tentomon nodded.
"As will I," Palmon raised her hand.
"Okay, I'll stay too," nodded Ahsoka. "The rest of you should probably get going. Now!" she added as the Mammothmon suddenly barrelled straight towards them.
"Come on, let's go Lily!" Renamon shouted, grabbing her partner and steering her towards another corridor as the volunteered Digimon sprang in to engage the Mammothmon and his associate while the rest of the group hurried after Lily and her partner.
"Digivolve, quick!" Joe shouted as he, Mimi and Izzy bunched together and raised their Digivices. Their three Digimon promptly burst into light and did just that as they hurtled forwards, joining battle in mid-digivolution.
"TENTOMON DIGIVOLVE TO… KABUTERIMON!"
"PALMON DIGIVOLVE TO… TOGEMON!"
"GOMAMON DIGIVOLVE TO… IKKAKUMON!"
Aayla took one brief moment to glance back and the enormous insect, the giant boxing cactus and the gigantic walrus-like creature that emerged from the light. "Impressive," she murmured, before she turned and sprinted right after the rest.
The Mammothmon pulled to a halt when Kabuterimon crashed into its face, grabbing hold of its tusks with his second pair of hands while placing the other pair straight over its single eye, which was indeed what it saw out of despite it seeming to be painted on the armour of his face. Mammothmon growled as his vision was obscured and lashed upwards with his trunk, slamming Kabuterimon in the leg before tossing his head to toss him aside.
Kabuterimon spun in mid-air and folded his arms over his chest to cry, "ELECTRO SHOCKER!" and unleashed a huge sphere of crackling pink electricity that slammed into Mammothmon's shoulder and caused him to stagger a little, leaving room for Togemon to dart in a deliver a solid punch to the side of Mammothmon's head with one gloved fist. Mammothmon bellowed as his head was knocked to the side still further and swung himself around, disorientated.
Which gave Ikkakumon all the opportunity he need to slam him in the side with a surprisingly agile tackle for such a bulky Digimon. Mammothmon was shoved to the side and only just managed to keep his footing, trying to clear his head as he did so.
Tuskmon and Snimon darted in from either side of Mammothmon and charged towards Togemon and Ikkakumon respectively. Tuskmon threw himself at the giant cactus and rammed the top of his head into her stomach to send her crashing backwards, which turned out to be a very bad idea because he reeled backwards with a roar of agony, several large needles embedded in the top of his head.
"Heh, that's nothing," Togemon smirked as she rolled herself to her feet. "NEEDLE SPRAY!" She threw herself into a spin and lanced out dozens more needles directly at the Tuskmon, who snarled and shook himself as they embedded themselves in his hide, allowing Togemon to dart in and pound him in the face with a giant glove and send him crashing into the wall.
Ikkakumon had a less easy time of it than Togemon. He managed to throw himself backwards to avoid the initial slashes from Snimon's large scythes and threw himself forwards a moment later to ram Snimon in the front, jamming his horn painfully into the giant bug's abdomen. Snimon hissed and lashed out with his large feet to kick Ikkakumon backwards, throwing himself into the air and throwing a pair of energy blades downwards from above. Ikkakumon tried to dodge but he was too slow and then slammed him in the side, causing him to cry out in pain as he was flung into the wall with a colossal thud.
"Ikkakumon! No!" Joe cried.
Snimon cackled as he bore down on Ikkakumon, who was struggling to his feet, with single scythe raised for the final blow.
"Not today, you!" Kabuterimon swooped in from nowhere and blindside the other bug, grabbing him by the sickles with his four arms and grappling with him as they both crashed to the ground nearby in a tangle of exoskeleton. Kabuterimon quickly overpowered Snimon and spun him around to fling him into the air, right into the path of a volley of Harpoon Torpedoes from Ikkakumon which exploded against his back and sent him crashing into the wall instead.
"Thanks for the save, Kabuterimon," Ikkakumon called over to his fellow Champion.
"No problem," Kabuterimon replied. He then turned around to see Mammothmon was getting back in the game. "Whu-oh," he added.
"TUSK CRUSHER!" Mammothmon bellowed and the tips of his tusks shot outwards to fire directly towards Kabuterimon. The bug hurriedly lifted himself into the air and shot over the top of them, but they cured upwards and followed him into the air, and considering they were still indoors, Kabuterimon had no room to manoeuvre. But more help was at hand as another volley of Harpoon Torpedoes lanced in from below to intercept the tusks and detonate them moments before they sliced into Kabuterimon's wings.
The two Champions quickly turned round to face the Ultimate as it thundered towards them again, dashing in front of their partners to shield them and leaping forwards to crash right into him, straining against the larger Digimon with all their strength to try and keep him away… and still being forced backwards gradually by his sheer power.
Meanwhile, Togemon was completely owning the Tuskmon. The dinosaur Digimon seemed to have no defence against her attacks, his body filled to the brim with needles as the cactus Digimon rained punch after punch on top of him beating his head against the wall several times and then slamming him in the gut with another terrific blow.
"Shame you're not a herbivore," Togemon chuckled. "Because if you were, this would be ironic."
A loud growling hiss caught her attention from behind and she suddenly turned around to see the Snimon shooting down towards her with both sickles raised. She quickly fired a spray of needles at him but his tough exoskeleton simply allowed them to bounce off and he slashed down, gouging a huge pair of slashes across Togemon's front and causing her to cry out in pain as she fell back against the wall.
Snimon raised his blades, but again he was interrupted – this time by a hail of green bullets that lanced out of nowhere.
Snimon shrieked and staggered to the side, trying to shield himself with his blades. Togemon looked round to see a Gargomon charging straight towards them, firing a continuous round of swift blasts from the cannons at the end of his arm. He then sprang into the air and pounded Snimon in the side of the head to send him crashing into a nearby wall.
"Good punch," Togemon complimented.
"Thanks," nodded Gargomon, whirling around to unleash another round of laser flashes at Tuskmon as he tried to scramble to his feet. "Hey, Ahsoka! Can you give us a hand?"
"Already on it!" Ahsoka cried as she dashed forwards towards the two Champions straining against the Mammothmon. With amazing speed and precision she sprang straight onto Ikkakumon's back and dashed up his neck, springing right off it and grabbing one of Kabuterimon's long arms and swing upwards again to seize the enormous horn on the beetle's nose and span around it like a pole to fling herself directly towards Mammothmon's face, her lightsaber flashing into her hand as she did so.
With a cry, Ahsoka jammed her blade straight into Mammothmon's face. The Ultimate Digimon shrieked and reared upwards, tossing the two Champions backwards in the process. Ahsoka withdrew her blade and backflipped off, landing on one of Mammothmon's large tusks. Mammothmon jerked his head to the side wildly, but Ahsoka clung on like a limpet, so the Digimon tried to swing up his trunk and swat at her. Ahsoka sprang up and over the strike, slashing downwards as she landed on the other tusk, slashing into Mammothmon's trunk as she passed before springing off again to land nearby.
Mammothmon practically squealed in agony, and he was then struck in the side by both Kabuterimon and Ikkakumon. Gargomon turned to Togemon and said, "You go and help those two against Big and Woolly. Ahsoka and I will handle these two."
"Got it," Togemon clambered to her feet. "LIGHTSPEED JABBING!" she added as she charged straight towards the reeling Mammothmon. Gargomon turned around to see Tuskmon rearing up and bearing down on him, roaring as he charged him head on. Gargomon dodged deftly and hammered the side of his head, spinning around to Bunny Pummel the base of one of the huge tusks coming out of his shoulder so hard it snapped and went flying to the side, striking Snimon in the stomach and knocking him backwards.
As Gargomon opened fire on the struggling Tuskmon, Ahsoka held her blade ready as she stood in front of the towering Snimon. "Care to test your blades against mine?" she asked.
Snimon growled and sprang straight towards her.
The rest of the group had run into trouble already. Lily had led them down several more flights of stairs and across several bridges in the middle of a large central structure, calling to them to not look anywhere but straight ahead or they would get confused. They were still a few levels up from the prison cells when they entered another relatively large room to find several enemies already waiting for them.
"Greetings, Digi-destined," Gatomon smirked, displaying her claws prominently in front of her. "I've been looking forward to finally meeting you all face to face. And you lead them all straight to their dooms, did you, Lily? How very thoughtful of you. That's the sort of thing we wanted from you to being with."
"Have I mentioned how much I hate your guts, Gatomon?" Lily glared at her.
Gatomon scowled back. "You humiliated me, star! You tricked me when I had you prisoner and you managed to escape from me. Lord Myotismon was very angry, and you know better than most what he can be like when he's angry."
"Yes, but somehow that side of him is slightly more tolerable when you are the target of it," Lily replied. "Who are your friends?"
"You're the one we should be asking that of. Somehow you seem to have pulled a few more humans out of nowhere. But they'll be eliminated just the same. As to my own friends," she indicated the hulking beings over the top of her. "This is SkullMeramon, and this is Raremon. And this lot are the Gizamon," she nodded to the swarms of smaller Digimon all around her. "We know why you're here, Lily, and there's no way you'll be getting past us."
"Where's Batface then, Kitty-cat?" Lily's Renamon growled. "Is he not going to grace us with his presence?"
"Myotismon has more to concern himself with than a pitiful group of kids," Gatomon sniffed. "Now, shall we dance."
"Oh, I'm going to enjoy this one," Lily growled.
"Wait, Lily," Renamon murmured in her ear. "We still need to find Wizardmon and get him to safety."
"This won't take but a minute," Lily replied, throwing herself forwards, her hands igniting in flames and hurling them straight towards Gatomon. The cat Digimon lithely bounded over the top of it and landed on all fours, dodging to the left and then the right as flames slammed into the floor around her. She threw herself straight towards Lily with claws splayed and Lily dodged to the side with a roll and struck out at the cat as the flew past, but Gatomon span herself through the air to avoid the blow and landed on all fours, leaping up again to slash at Lily's face.
Lily swung her arm in from the side to bat Gatomon's paw away and kicked up at the flying cat, who grabbed her by the ankle with her tail to swing herself around Lily's body and slash again, forcing Lily to leap backwards as she conjured more fire out of nowhere.
"Don't just stand there!" Gatomon called to the rest of her forces in the room. "Do something!"
SkullMeramon was the first to react and immediately thundered forwards, his chains alighting with blue flames as he seized one in his hand and flung it straight towards Tai and Matt. Both of them started backwards and their partners rushed to their defence, but Aayla beat them to it and bounded in front of them with blade at the ready to slash straight through the end of the chain and repel it back towards its caster. SkullMeramon growled and charged forwards with more chains at the ready, Raremon and the Gizamon all close behind him.
"Thanks for the assist, Aayla," nodded Tai. "But now it's our turn, right Agumon?"
"Gotcha," Agumon nodded.
"Hold on, Tai," Matt interrupted. "Don't we need to focus on rescuing the prisoners?"
"Yeah, but we still need to get past these guys to reach the prisoners," Tai reminded him. "They're blocking the only exit, so we'll have to fight our way through."
"Good point," Matt murmured.
"Let's do this," Gabumon cried as he and Agumon both charged forwards, bursting into light as they did so.
"AGUMON DIGIVOLVE TO… GREYMON!"
"GABUMON DIGIVOLVE TO… GARURUMON!"
As the enormous horned dinosaur and the equally large blue-furred wolf appeared out of the smaller Digimon, both of them immediately stormed towards most powerful opponent, SkullMeramon. Momentarily blinded by the light of digivolution, SkullMeramon pulled to a halt, only to be rammed by a double tackle from Greymon's huge head and Garurumon's massive paws, and tossed backwards across the room to plough through several Gizamon.
"You take out the slimy one while I hold the big guy off," Greymon growled.
"On it," Garurumon growled, turning to face the charging Raremon. The disgusting Digimon launched a Breath of Decay right at him but Garurumon threw himself into the air and flew straight over the attack, which splatted against the back wall. "HOWLING BLASTER!" he added as he fell, unleashing a huge stream of bluish flames that enveloped the other Champion, eliciting a shriek of pain from him as he reeled backwards. Garurumon slammed into him moments later, ignoring the fire of his own attack as he smashed Raremon against the wall, splattering large bits of him everywhere.
"Ugh," he added as his back was coated in slime. "Maybe I should just fry you instead of getting too close."
Raremon snarled and shoved Garurumon back, lashing out with one enormous, gelatinous hand. Garurumon instinctively snapped at it and closed his jaws around it, which turned out to be a bad idea for though he successfully destroyed the hand with a horrible squelch, his mouth was filled with the most foul tasting thing he had ever put in there. He retched and almost fell over, allowing Raremon's other hand to smack him across the face and send him rolling.
Meanwhile Greymon had charged SkullMeramon again and was attempting to shove him back into the wall and pin him there until he received some more back-up. But SkullMeramon had other plans, slamming Greymon underneath his chin with one giant fist and then lifting up a foot to kick him in the chest and knock him backwards. He then added the final touch by spinning around to whip two powerful chains into Greymon's stomach and send him crashing onto his back. Greymon quickly scrambled upwards as SkullMeramon advanced towards him.
"NOVA BLAST!" he tried, unleashing a huge fireball from his mouth that sailed towards the Ultimate. But before it could hit, a large transparent shield suddenly appeared between it and its target, causing it to splash uselessly against it.
"What the…" Greymon blinked.
"I wouldn't do that if I were you," Taomon stated as she soared up next to him. "SkullMeramon are capable of absorbing fire attacks and using them to power themselves up."
"Wait, Taomon…" Greymon frowned. "Which one are you?"
"I am Rika's Taomon," Taomon chuckled. "Do you need some assistance?"
Greymon chuckled. "Never be too proud to say no."
"Good to hear."
SkullMeramon's chains pounded against the shield to little effect, but moments later and Taomon dropped it, flinging a Talisman Star which sliced through the chains again, allowing Greymon to charge forwards and swing himself around to club SkullMeramon in the face with his mighty tail. SkullMeramon crashed into the wall with enough force to imprint it, only to find himself peppered with Thousand Spells from Taomon's sleeves.
"METAL FIREBALL!" he roared, unleashing a huge blast of molten blue flames from his mouth, which Taomon and Greymon hurried dodged aside from. The blast went sailing away to strike Raremon in the side, causing him to squeal as more flames washed over him. Garurumon promptly took advantage of this and added his own flames to the mix, obliterating Raremon into data before he could recover.
"How did you manage to digivolve your partner straight to the Ultimate stage?" Renamon protested to Rika.
"That's one of the advantages of being a Tamer," Rika smirked.
"Come on, Renamon," Turuiemon stepped forwards, having digivolved at the same time as Taomon. "We have a small army of Gizamon to intercept."
The Gizamon in question were throwing themselves around the other combatants to throw themselves directly towards the small group, claws extended. Some of them threw themselves into the air to roll like large buzzsaws thanks to their back spikes and sailed straight towards the children.
Turuiemon sprang forwards and stabbed straight into one of the flying Gizamon with a blade, whirling around to slash both up another and flipping onto her hands to perform a spinning kick to knock two more out of the air. She bounded back onto her feet and performed three lightning kicks to the ground-based Gizamon to send them flying away, then backflipped into the air to launch a large Gauntlet Claw down on the group, causing shrieks as the energy blades ploughed through several ranks.
Renamon bounded up next to her and supplied her own combat skills, seizing one of the spinning Gizamon by a horn with startling precision and whirling him around to toss his scything body straight into his own comrades. She immediately threw herself into a spinning kick to knock three more flying, then seized another pair in her paws to bash their heads together, flinging them both to the sides where one crashing into the wall and the other met a quick end at the hands of Turuiemon.
Anakin and Aayla were both protecting the rest of the kids from the Gizamon, holding out their hands to create something like a barrier with the Force. Any Gizamon that got within several feet of them was instantly repelled backwards as they both combined their Force prowess into the same move as they quickly had another internal conference with the Tamers.
That Lily is trying to kill Gatomon, Henry pointed out as Gatomon was flung back into the wall by a lucky fireball from the star, landing on her feet and hissing angrily as she leapt back into the hand. Gatomon is a Champion level Digimon and an experienced one so she should be able to handle herself, but we can't take that risk. She's got to be allowed to live so she can meet up with her partner.
What do you guys think we should do? Rika asked.
Aayla, Anakin turned to his fellow Jedi. Why don't you go and take over the fight with Gatomon? Remind Lily that this is not the time for personal vengeance and that they need to rescue the slaves. The rest of you can hold the enemy here, while I press on with the Digi-destined, Lily, Rika and both Renamons to the prison cells. You can make sure that Gatomon makes it out of the fight alive, right Aayla?
I can indeed, Aayla nodded. I'll go do it now. She darted straight forwards, activating her lightsaber and spinning it around her like a wall of blue to plough through the Gizamon horde and obliterate at least eleven of them before they knew what was happening. She drew level with Lily and flew past her before she realised what was going on, leaping around to kick the surprised Gatomon right in the chest and send her smacking into the wall again.
"Hey, this is my fight, not yours!" Lily yelled at the Twi'lek.
"This is not anybody's single fight, regardless of what might have happened in the past, Lily," Aayla reminded her. "We came here to free Wizardmon and stop Myotismon, not settle a vendetta with a cat. There's an opening to the other end of the room now. You have to take Anakin and the others to the prison cells. I'll deal with this feline."
"She's my oppon…"
"There is no time for childish vengeance," Aayla frowned at her. "Just get going. Don't just do what you want, do what is right."
Lily hesitated for a moment as Gatomon pushed herself back to her feet, but then she growled and said, "Fine. Renamon, let's go. Take the others through there. I'll be right behind you."
"Got it," nodded Renamon. "Come on then!" she belted through the remaining Gizamon and Anakin set off in pursuit with the rest of the children, except Matt and Suzie, who were both staying behind. Anakin cleared the way through with a simple wave of his hand and they dashed towards the door, Taomon splitting away from the double combat against SkullMeramon to join them.
"Looks like I can't finish this myself, kitty-cat," Lily snarled to Gatomon, as she turned around and ran after the rest. "Make sure that she doesn't get out alive, Aayla."
Crossing her fingers mentally, Aayla said, "Don't worry, I've got this," before she turned back to face Gatomon.
"So, you're my opponent now?" Gatomon growled.
"I would rather not fight you," Aayla replied, hefting her blade. "But apparently I do not have much a choice. But let me ask you something first – who are you? Who are you really?"
"I am Gatomon, loyal servant of Myotismon," Gatomon smirked. "I always have been."
"Have you?" Aayla raised a brow. "Have you really? I do not sense any evil coming from you, Gatomon, as I do with the majority of the rest of this castle. I do not think that you are really a bad person. Perhaps you have merely… lost your way."
Gatomon blinked, and suddenly clutched at her head as an image flashed through her head, of a lonely Nyaromon sitting and shivering in a snowstorm and waiting for… for something. But then she was back in the present and she flexed her claws.
"Shut up!" she growled, launching herself at Aayla, and the Twi'lek prepared to pull off a staged fight of ferocity as she had done when Luminara had been infected by the Geonosian brain worm.
"This way. Just a few more flights," Renamon cried as she bounded down the stairs, Anakin and the rest of the group right behind her. Lily was running along at the back, worry for Wizardmon creeping back up inside her once again now that her anger at the presence of Gatomon had abated a little. She was already cursing herself for letting herself get distracted. Who knew what horrible tortures that Wizardmon had been going through these past few days.
As it turned out though, not many.
"Lily?" said a voice from behind her, which caused Lily to pull to a halt in shock and wheel around. The rest of the group pressed on, having not heard the voice, but Lily's eyes widened when she saw Wizardmon standing in the corridor behind her with wide eyes.
"Wizardmon!" Lily gasped, rushing back to him and immediately throwing her arms around the startled Champion-level Digimon. Wizardmon almost fell backwards but he quickly embraced Lily back and then broke the hug almost straight away, staring wildly into her eyes.
"What are you doing here?" Wizardmon demanded. "Are you insane, coming back to Myotismon's castle like this?"
"But… but Wizardmon," Lily protested. "Phantomon said that Myotismon was going to execute you. How… how did you…" she paused, blinking, and then a slow growl began to build up in the back of her throat. "That sneaky, deceitful little windbag! He lied, didn't he?"
"So that's why everybody was mobilising," Wizardmon blinked. "Nobody was telling me what was going on? But Lily, this is madness. I am touched that you thought I was in danger, but regardless of my well-being you shouldn't have come back here. Myotismon is too strong. And if he finds you here then he'll lock you in chains for the rest of your life and torture you for all eternity. Please, you must leave."
"I… I can't leave, Wizardmon," Lily shook her head. "I have to help the Digi-destined stop him from finding that eighth child, even if you're really okay."
Wizardmon frowned. "So you heard about that too then. Well, that bit isn't a lie but…"
"Wizardmon, tell me where the gate is," Lily said quickly.
"What?" Wizardmon's eyes widened.
"Please. If I can somehow sabotage that gate and stop him from leaving then I can stop him from tracking down that eighth kid and… and…"
"And what?" Wizardmon raised a brow.
"And… nothing…" Lily said quickly, but it seemed that Wizardmon knew her too well.
"And the Digi-destined might not be able to go home themselves," Wizardmon replied. "And that Tai boy will have to stay here with you. Is that it?"
"No!" Lily denied quickly. To be honest that was only a fleeting thought that had passed through her head, but her main motive was indeed to stop Myotismon from going to wreak havoc on the Human World and finding the Eighth child.
"You know I do not approve of this relationship between you and this…" Wizardmon began.
"Spare me the lecture," Lily snapped and then immediately regretted it. "Sorry. Look, just tell me where the portal is. I need to know."
"Lily, I cannot," Wizardmon shook his head. "I have no desire to see you put your life on the line just to stop Myotismon. Go anywhere near that portal and you will only find pain and suffering at his hands."
"I can take care of myself," Lily replied.
"Your overconfidence has been your downfall many times, Lily," Wizardmon replied. "Please, just listen to me this once and…"
"I have to do this Wizardmon," Lily replied. "With or without you." And she closed her eyes and tried to focus on something, generating images of mist and wind and other ethereal looking or invisible things. Wizardmon's eyes widened as Lily slowly faded out of his view, turning invisible right before his eyes. It was a trick that she had had little practice at, but she could still do it nevertheless.
"Wait! Lily!" Wizardmon cried, feeling the air of the girl darting past him and up the side-corridor he had come from. He quickly hurried down it, but Lily was fast on her feet and by the time he reached the end he could no longer hear her. He glanced wildly from left to right, but he had no idea where Lily had gone.
"Damn that child's recklessness," he growled to himself. He racked his brain, trying to come up with something, but there was only one thing that he could think of now. He quickly hurried back down the corridor and took to the air, gliding down the corridor with no visible means of support in the direction that Lily's friends had taken. He needed their help… for Lily's sake.
Lily moved silently through the castle, trying to guess where Myotismon might have hidden the portal door. She had seen most of this castle during her time here, especially the lower levels, but she had no idea where to look. And the disorientating effects of the castle made everything seem completely topsy-turvy.
Eventually though, she found something useful – a lone Bakemon wondering through a nearby corridor with a broom in his hand. As Champion-level Digimon went, Bakemon were pretty useless, and this one was easy prey to the young star. She blindsided him while invisible and kicked him into the wall, grabbing him and holding a fireball in front of his face.
"Alright you," she growled at the terrified ghost Digimon. "You are going to lead me to the portal that Myotismon wants to use to get to the human world or so help me, I will burn your face of right here. Got it?"
"Yes! Yes! Yes!" Bakemon wailed. "Please don't hurt me, my lady. I… I'll take you to the portal."
"Good boy!" Lily smirked, letting him go. "Try to escape and I will hunt you down if I have to. Now, get moving."
"Just two more levels," Renamon cried from the front of the group. "Don't worry Lily, we'll get Wizardmon back in now time."
There was no response. Sora, who was now the one at the back of the group, looked around and pulled to a halt when she saw the empty corridor behind her. "Guys! Lily's gone!"
"What?" Tai yelled as he skidded to a halt so fast he nearly fell over, and everybody else froze in their tracks as well. "Where did she go?"
"I don't know. I'm sure she was right behind me," Sora cried.
"But she's not now," Yokomon added helpfully.
"Oh, Lily," Renamon growled as she bounded to the back and stared into the corridor. "Please don't have gone and done something stupid again. That's the last thing we need right now."
"She do this often?" asked Anakin.
"More times than we can count," Patamon murmured.
A shadow appeared in the corridor, causing everybody to tense, and Renamon's eyes widened when Wizardmon suddenly rounded the corner. "What the… Wizardmon? You're…?"
"Renamon," Wizardmon nodded as he came to a halt. "It is good to see you, but I'm afraid that you've all walked into a trap. I am not scheduled for execution, and now Lily's gone to try and find the portal by herself."
"What!" cried a large number of the group.
"Oh, Lily! Why?" Renamon pressed a paw over her eyes. "Why must you be so thick sometimes?"
"There is not much time," Wizardmon replied. "We must act now if we're to get to her before Myotismon does. I can show you the way but…"
"No," Renamon shook her head. "Myotismon can't know that you're helping us. Quick – use your magic to show me the way. I'll go and get her. Quickly! You can help this lot to go and free all the prisoners downstairs."
Wizardmon was about to protest, but he knew that Renamon had a valid point, so he simply raised his hand and a small blue orb appeared in his gloved hand, which levitated into the air and shot back the way he had come. "Follow that orb. It will lead you to the portal room."
Renamon bounded down the corridor without another word at incredible speed, dashing after the floating orb on all fours with only one thought on her mind – rescuing Lily.
"Renamon, wait!" Tai cried. "You can't do it by yourself!"
"Tai, she's already gone," Sora turned to him.
"She won't be alone," Taomon narrowed her eyes, shooting forwards and reverting back to her own Rookie form to barrel after her. "Don't wait for me. I'll make sure that they stay alive until you come for back-up."
"Renamon! Wait!" Rika shouted.
"No time!" Renamon called over her shoulder. "Free those prisoners!"
Rika bit her lip, but just shouted. "You just be careful, alright?" But Renamon was already gone, in hot pursuit of her doppelganger, faster than any of the others except perhaps Anakin could hope to keep up with.
"Well, if we're going with this insanity," Wizardmon sighed. "I shall guide you the rest of the way to the prisoners and then to the portal once they are free. Let's go."
The moment that the Bakemon led Lily into the room, she slammed it in the side of the head and knocked it out completely, causing it to drop to the floor, motionless. She stepped forwards, enthralled at the sight before her. Against the opposite wall was an enormous pair of metal gates that reached practically all the way to the ceiling of the massive room. Lily couldn't believe she had never known this place existed, but now that she was here, she found herself captivated. And to think she could have used this portal as an escape route of her own if she had only known about it.
She quickly shook herself out of her confusion and stepped forwards. "Alright," she murmured to herself. "Now to blow this thing up so Dorkula can't use it for his evil."
"I had a feeling that you'd say that," a deep, menacing voice that made Lily freeze, automatically petrified, said from everywhere. Lily's head swung wildly around to spot Myotismon floating out of the shadows with a cruel smirk on his gaunt face, cloak wrapped around him and surrounded by several bats.
"So, my pet," he said. "It seems that I am able to predict your movements better than you assumed. And it seems your foolhardiness has not ebbed. Coming here alone? I must wonder what was going through your head when you made that decision?"
Lily stood frozen for several seconds, before her anger kicked into overdrive and she conjured another small flame in her hand and prepared to throw it – anything to try and keep this monster at bay. But then a small ball and chain lanced out of nowhere behind her and wrapped around her neck, cutting off her air and yanking her onto her back. It was Phantomon, a fresh scythe gripped in his stubby arms and before Lily could stop him, he had swung his chain around to capture her wrists behind her back and swing her round onto her front, hauling her up onto her knees in the process.
"Disappointing," Myotismon shook his head. "Supremely disappointing, my pet. But then, you always were too rash for your own good. And now, you are in my power once again. Oh, how must you must be kicking yourself in your mind."
"Go to hell," Lily retched, the chain still tight around her neck, bracing herself for what she knew was coming next.
"There's that attitude of yours again," Myotismon chuckled. "I must admit, it will be more… fun… to prune that out of you a second time around. CRIMSON LIGHTNING!"
Lily screamed in agony as the red whip-like bloody stream lashed across her back, flaying a long line right between her shoulder-blades. The pain was intense, searing at every nerve, muscle and sinew it made contact with, and she knew that attack wasn't even at full strength. A full power attack could probably rip her in half, but Myotismon always seemed to know exactly how much power to put in to cause the most amount of pain without causing permanent damage.
"Time for your to recognise you master once again," Myotismon laughed, pulling the whip back again and lashing it down again, then again, and then again, until practically the whole lower levels of the castle were filled with Lily's agonised, heart-rending howls.
It was after about the tenth lash that Renamon pulled to halt beside the door and looked inside, her eyes widening in horror as she saw her partner lying on her front, hands bound and neck chain, and her back a complete mess in several places, and Myotismon was just getting started. She immediately made to bound inside and stop him, but suddenly she was grabbed from behind and hauled back into the corridor by Rika's Renamon, who had just caught up, and pinned against the wall.
"Are you crazy?" Renamon hissed. "You cannot fight against an Ultimate like him with your partner in such a state? He could kill you in an instant."
"Let go of me!" Lily's Renamon growled back, wrenching as another bloodcurdling scream echoed from out of the room. "You expect me to stand back and listen to be partner get tortured into a snivelling wreck?"
"No, but I expect you to have some common sense," Rika's Renamon replied. "Your partner blundered in there without any, so you cannot make the same mistake. We must stall Myotismon until the rest of the group get here to help us."
"We don't have time to come up with a plan," Lily's Renamon snapped.
"Actually, I already have one," the other Renamon smirked, causing the one pinned against the wall to cease her struggles. "Myotismon knows about you, but there's a chance that he might not be expecting two of us."
Lily's Renamon blinked. "So?"
Rika's Renamon chuckled. "So, we use that to our advantage," and to the other Renamon's amazement, she vanished right before her eyes as she raised her perception filter.
"Hey. I didn't even know we could do that," she breathed.
"Well, we can. Now, here's the plan."
Lily's eyes were beginning to unintentionally leak such was the intensity of the pain. They were screwed tightly shut and her teeth were gritted in a desperate attempt to not scream, yet every time the red hot whip lanced against her back, she couldn't help but yell in pure agony. It felt like Myotismon was practically flying the skin off bones. She didn't even want to know what kind of state her back was in right now, and her arms were little better.
Myotismon lowered his Crimson Lightning to smirk at the pitiful young girl in front of him. "I would be willing to be there is nothing you would like more than for me to kill you right now."
"Wrong," Lily choked. "There's nothing I would like more… than for me to kill you right now."
Myotismon smirked and chuckled darkly. "Well, regardless, your suffering will never come to an end, Lily. As soon as your own little pet comes to find you I will kill her before your very eyes. And once I have finished off those deluded Digi-destined then we'll move on to the bigger things. Your suffering has only just begun, Lily. The rest of your life will be nothing but a living hell from now on."
"I wouldn't be so sure of that," Renamon growled as she bounded into the room. "Release her right now!"
She charged straight towards Myotismon, who laughed cruelly and lashed his whip out at her. To his mild surprise, she twisted in the air and managed to dodge the strike, coming to land of all fours not far away, fur bristling as she squared up to her much more powerful opponent.
"I will not allow you to lay another hand on Lily ever again," she snarled.
"There is little that you can do to stop me, Rookie," Myotismon sneered. "You could not best me at the Ultimate level. You do not have a hope against me now."
"We shall see," Renamon raised a brow, bounding forwards again. Myotismon conjured a second Crimson Lightning in his other hand and lashed out at her with both of them one after the other. Renamon rolled in the air and just managed to twist between the two, losing several hairs on her tail and flipping to the side… where she promptly disappeared.
"What?" Myotismon blinked, staring at the spot where she had disappeared.
"GAH!" yelled Phantomon as something hammered into him from the side. Myotismon whirled around to see Renamon with her hind paw planted in Phantomon's face, seizing his scythe and swinging it directly at him with a powerful swipe. Phantomon didn't even have time to yell again as he was pulverised by his own weapon and sliced in two pieces, disintegrating on the spot.
"Lily, are you okay?" Renamon asked, kneeling down beside the young girl.
"What… do you think?" Lily gasped.
"Impressive, I must admit," Myotismon raised a brow beneath his mask. "But Phantomon was nothing compared to me in terms of power. Now, it is over for you, fox! GRISLY WING!"
As a swarm of bats exuded from the folds of his robes, Renamon scowled and leapt up into the air. "DIAMOND STORM!" she countered, throwing a huge flurry of the razor-sharp projectiles down to slice into the bat swarm and slaughter several of them, but the rest of them just kept coming. Renamon backflipped and vanished into the air again…
…and a split second later another Diamond Storm lashed in from the side to slice into more of the bats. Myotismon swiftly raised his cloak to protect himself and swung around to see Renamon standing off to his right and bounding towards him. He summoned a Crimson Lightning and reared back to lash out with it, but Renamon vanished before he could do so…
…and he was suddenly pounded in the back right between his shoulders with a powerful blow. It didn't do much damage to him, but his light build meant that it threw him forwards several paces and fell to one knee. He looked around to see Renamon again, smirking at him.
"How did you get over there so fast?" he growled.
"Trade secret," Renamon chuckled.
Myotismon scowled and lashed out at her again. But she jumped and vanished again…
…moments later she landed on him from above and pounded the side of his face with her foot before spinning away. "Oh, that felt good," she chuckled as she disappeared again…
…and Myotismon felt something seize his cloak from behind and yank backwards. He stumbled, but managed to swing around and pound Renamon in the gut with a hammer blow from his fist. Renamon gasped as she was thrown towards the wall, but she vanished again even as she flew away…
…and Myotismon was promptly blindsided the moment she did, and there she was again, driving her own fist into his gut and then into his face. Myotismon snarled and lashed out another Crimson Lightning, only for her to duck and backflip several times to disappear again. Myotismon swung around, expecting her to somehow be behind him…
…and Renamon slammed into his back again, having come from the exact same direction she had been thrown towards. "ACK!" Myotismon cried as he was tossed forwards again.
"How are you doing that?" he bellowed.
"No comment," Renamon smirked, fading away once more, and reappearing moments later near the wall and turning around to immediately lift her tail into the air and wave her hindquarters at him in a clear derogatory gesture. Myotismon seethed and immediately powered up his Crimson Lightning attacks, getting angrier and angrier by the second.
"Here it is. This is the place where all the prisoners are held," Wizardmon said as he led the group out into a tall, dark and dank corridor lined with various cages. Some of them were jam-packed with various dejected looking smaller Digimon. Others appeared to be holding larger, more powerful looking ones that had been beaten into submission or where restrained in some fashion.
Anakin felt his jaw tightening. This was a hideous reminder of everything that had been wrong with his childhood. He had been unfortunate enough to see the conditions that slaves of the Hutts often had to live in and this was just as bad, if not even worse. The eyes of the Digimon that looked out at them were haunted and filled with fear, as if they had been completely drained of every last shred of hope within them.
"This is horrible," TK murmured, as Sora kneeled down to cover his eyes.
"Well, it may be horrible," Tai said with conviction. "But we're going to get all these guys out of here right now!"
"That Myotismon is just as much of a monster as any Sith Lord," Anakin's hand tightened around his lightsaber. "You're telling me that Lily had to endure conditions like this?"
"Anakin," Rika glanced up at him. "Are you alright? You're not supposed to be getting angry, are you? You're a Jedi."
Anakin gritted his teeth and did his best to suppress the near-overwhelming surge of anger he felt inside him, but it was damn difficult to do and his lightsaber flashed into life in his hand. "You're right," Anakin nodded, feeling the presence of the others entering his mind to help soothe his troubled mind. "Come on, let's free these guys."
"Not so fast," two voices said from the corridor, and a pair of small figures emerged from the shadows to fill the corridors, blocking their way.
"Pumpkinmon and Gotsumon," noted Wizardmon. "Having a pleasant day, you two?"
"We've been instructed by Lord Myotismon to make sure that any Digi-destined that come down here are eliminated immediately," Pumpkinmon stated. "And these guys look like Digi-destined to me."
"That's right," Gotsumon nodded. "So prepare to be eliminated, kids."
Anakin and Tai both stepped forwards but Wizardmon raised a hand slightly and said, "Oh, come now, you two. I know that that is not your nature. You aren't killers, either one of you. I don't even know why you chose to enter Myotismon's service in the first place, but I know that your hearts really aren't into his orders. These children are not your enemies. They are enemies of Myotismon, not Digimon who just want to have fun."
"Really?" Pumpkinmon blinked. "So, you guys won't attack us?"
"Er…" Tai murmured. "Only if you don't attack us either."
"Phew," Gotsumon chuckled. "And here I thought that you guys would batter us in on sight."
"Mind if we free the prisoners now?" Wizardmon asked.
"Knock yourselves out," Pumpkinmon grinned. "In fact, we'll give you a hand. Come on."
"Wow, that was easy," Sora blinked.
"Did you have to jinx it?" Rika asked a moment later, because suddenly a large shape appeared out of the shadows at the other end of the corridor – huge and squid-like with massive clawed tentacles – Gesomon. And he, unlike Pumpkinmon and Gotsumon was not going to be so easy to talk to.
"CORAL CRUSHER!" he yelled, lashing out with several of his enormous tentacles.
The Digimon before him all quickly responded with an outburst of attacks, knowing full well that Gesomon was planning on taking them all out as his tentacles swarmed down the corridor en masse. Yokomon sprang off the floor and burst into light with a cry of:-
"YOKOMON DIGIVOLVE TO… BIYOMON!"
"SPIRAL TWISTER!" she added moments later, unleashing a helical attack of greenish flames that surged towards the oncoming tentacles.
"BOOM BUBBLE!" Patamon swelled like a balloon and hurled a large sphere and concussive air.
"MAGICAL GAME!" Wizardmon added, releasing a large burst of blue energy from the end of his staff.
"ROCK FIST!" Gotsumon threw in, hurling a large barrage of small rocks from the middle of his forehead.
"TRICK OR TREAT!" Pumpkinmon finished, summoning a large pumpkin from nowhere and hurling it forwards.
The four attack crashed into the tentacles and knocked several of them aside, but one of the main ones still lashed onwards, prompting Anakin to leap forwards to intercept it, lashing out with the Force to knock it aside and then slashing through it with his lightsaber. Gesomon howled, but before he could even retract the tentacle, Anakin was amongst the other ones, hacking through another as he dived past it and rolled across the floor, springing into a rebound off a wall and twisting to double-slash through two more and spin around to stab into the clawed hand of another as it swiped at him.
"Whoa! I wish I could do that!" Tai stared with wide eyes.
"Quite standing and watching and help us free the prisoners!" Rika yelled.
"Oh. Right," Tai nodded, as he and the Digimon quickly got to work. Gotsumon provided him, Rika and Sora with rocks so they could start trying to smash the locks off the cage doors while he began to do the same thing with his head. Wizardmon blasted a couple of locks open with quick shots from his staff, while Pumpkinmon actually pulled the axe from out of the top of his own head and set to work with that too.
And all the while, Anakin was holding his own against the squid-like Gesomon. He halted the advance of another tentacle with the Force and slashed through it and backflipped over another as it aimed for his legs. His eyes narrowed as Gesomon brought down both of his largest, albeit injured, tentacles down towards him and he immediately threw his hand up and outwards, calling on the Force to throw the tentacles out wide and pin them all to the outside walls. Gesomon balked and tried to shift his tentacles, but Anakin flexed his fingers and they stayed put.
"No, you don't he shook his head."
Biyomon quickly noticed the opening and said, "Sora! I'm going in!"
"Ok!" Sora nodded. "Just be careful!"
"Aren't I always?" the bird smiled as she soared over Anakin's head and between the pinned tentacles, bursting into life against as she did so.
"BIYOMON DIGIVOLVE TO… BIRDRAMON!"
Gesomon hissed at the bright light show but that promptly became the least of his worries as the huge fire-bird soared out of the light and raked her talons across his rubbery front. Gesomon squealed and tried to pull backwards, but Anakin still had a hold of his tentacles, allowing Birdramon to perform several swift and brutal lacerations with her feet before she pulled backwards and spread her wings as wide as the corridor would allow.
"METEOR WING!" she called, and rained several large fireballs down which instantly peppered Gesomon and caused him to squeal and finally wrench free of Anakin's grasp to flail wildly around. But before he could grab Birdramon, the other Champion had swept forwards to ram him in the front again and fill his gaping jaws with flames, knocking him straight onto his back.
"Anakin, we need some help here!" Rika called over to him as she tried to bash the lock of another cage. Anakin blinked and then remembered what was going on. Quickly suppressing the urge to continue battling against the squid, he immediately turned around and dashed across one wall, severing lock after lock with swift strokes of his outstretched blade. The doors swung open of their own accord and the assorted Digimon within looked out nervously, the more adventurous of them gently stepping outwards to look around them.
Gesomon lashed at the bird with one of his few remaining tentacles, which Birdramon promptly seized in her beak and tore right off. As Gesomon howled, Birdramon pressed down on him with her talons and then called, "PHOENIX RISING!" surging her wings and shooting straight upwards as a huge plume of fire and smoke suddenly gushed out of her tail and straight downwards, enveloping Gesomon in a fiery inferno. With a final squeal, Gesomon vanished into particles and Birdramon landed on the ground, triumphant.
"I've been waiting for an opportunity to use that attack," she remarked.
"Good work, Birdramon," grinned Sora, as Anakin darted into a cell next to her to slash through the chains pinning what appeared to be a young Persiamon to the wall.
"We must now hurry to the throne room," Wizardmon stated. "No doubt Lily and the Renamons will need some help against Myotismon."
"Yeah, we're on our way," nodded Tai. "But how do we communicate with the others with your Renamon gone?" he turned to Rika.
"Not a problem," Rika smirked. "As it happens, I have access to the telepathic link as well."
She placed her finger to the side of her head and closed her eyes, though this was more for effect than anything else as she didn't really need to do this to communicate. Alright guys, she thought. I think we're done stalling. It's time to finish up our various battles and get to that portal.
Got it, Gargomon replied as pounded Tuskmon full in the nose and knocked him backwards. "Alright guys! They've successfully freed the prisoners, but Lily's gone off and done something stupid, so we need to finish up here and fast!"
Snimon was smashed back into the wall with a Force-push from Ahsoka, one blade missing and the other promptly shorn off as he slashed down at her leaping form. He hissed again and Ahsoka plunged her blade into his abdomen, but Snimon was evidently more resilient than that and he knocked her aside with the flat remains of one of his sickles.
"Got it," she nodded. "Care to do the honours?"
"With pleasure," Gargomon nodded, springing into the air.
"Digi-modify!" Henry shouted, slashing a blue card through his D-Arc. "Matrix digivolution activate!"
"GARGOMON DIGIVOLVE TO… RAPIDMON!"
"Wow," said Mimi, as she beheld the cyborg bunny Digimon that rose out of the light. "So you can go to the Ultimate level too?"
"Yes," nodded Henry. "It took us a while to figure out how to do it though."
"Those cards of yours are fascinating," Izzy murmured. "You mind if I take a look at them?"
"Another time perhaps," Henry chuckled.
Rapidmon moved with blinding speed. Tuskmon and Snimon had no idea what hit either of them, and with a pair of blurred kicks, they had both been smacked into one another and fell in a pile nearby. Rapidmon promptly zipped up next to them and threw out his arms, preparing and launching a Tri Bream down at the unfortunate Champions and obliterating both of them on the spot.
He then turned around to where the other three Champions were still duking it out with Mammothmon. The Ultimate Digimon let off a massive trumpet and suddenly tossed his huge head, knocking all three Champions to the ground in front of him with bats from his tusks and trunk alike.
"FREEZING BREATH!" he cried, raising the trunk and exuding a huge blast of frigid air out of the tip, which washed over the three Champions and immediately began to form heavy ice shards which pinned them to the ground and began to creep up their bodies, threatening to encase them completely. But Mammothmon was interrupted as Rapidmon slammed a Rapid Fire right into the side of his head to knock him off balance again.
"Come on, you lot!" Rapidmon cried. "I know that you can take this guy. He's half blind and has next to no brain. You're strong enough to take him."
Kabuterimon growled, wrenching his arms out of the ice which had tried to pin them down. "He's right! Izzy, I think it's time we showed him that horns trump tusks any day."
"Agreed!" Izzy cried, the crest under his shirt suddenly glowing a deep purple. "You can do it, Kabuterimon!"
Ahsoka's eyes widened in astonishment as Kabuterimon wrenched the rest of himself free of the ice and exploded into light with a loud roar of triumph:-
"KABUTERIMON DIGIVOLVE TO…"
The Digimon that emerged was enormous, an insect that defied all the laws of physics with his huge, bulky, red shell, complete with jewel on the wing cases, heavily armoured limbs and enormous six pronged horn on the end of his nose.
Mammothmon shrank back from the light, and MegaKabuterimon immediately took advantage of that. The battle was over almost before it began as the enormous insect charged forwards and grabbed Mammothmon around the head and front legs with four massive arms, hoisting the squealing pachyderm into the air and tossing him across the room to slam painfully into the opposite wall. As Mammothmon fell to the ground, MegaKabuterimon threw himself forwards with a thunder, his horn crackling with electrical power.
The big, red bug ploughed into Mammothmon with so much force the enemy Digimon was slammed straight through the wall and three walls immediately after it, all the while with electricity sparking over his body before he slammed down with the force of several bulldozers to crash into another wall, dent it and then burst into data.
"Whoa," Ahsoka blinked. "Remind me not to piss you guys off."
"That's right," MegaKabuterimon chuckled as he turned around. "Or I'll squash you like…"
"…a bug?" Ahsoka guessed with a smirk.
"What? No, I was going to say a muffin. Why would I say bug?"
"I dunno," Ahsoka shrugged, as the enormous beetle de-digivolved down into a small pink blob-like creature. "Come on. We should go. Rapidmon, you lead the way."
Rapidmon degenerated into Terriermon and said, "Got it. Come on."
Aayla ducked under another slash from Gatomon's claws and threw a faux slash of her own that narrowly missed cleaving Gatomon's ear. Gatomon twisted about, avoiding another slash that passed beneath her tail and was about to land on her feet when Aayla pushed out her hand and slammed Gatomon into a nearby wall with the Force. Gatomon hissed and pushed herself away to throw herself at Aayla again, but Aayla just flung her back with another wave of telekinetic power and pinned her there.
"Listen, Gatomon," she said, kneeling down in front of her. "I do not wish to fight against someone with no evil in their hearts, even if they do serve under an evil tyrant like Myotismon."
"Don't talk rubbish," Gatomon growled. "I am committed to my master for life. I do whatever he wills me to do."
"But is that who you really are, Gatomon?" Aayla asked. "Is that who you choose to be, or is that just all you know?"
"What?" Gatomon frowned. "I…"
She jumped as another image of a lonely wandering Salamon jumped into her head and she squirmed harder, unable to break free of Aayla's hold. "No. I… I… I don't… Shut up!"
Aayla looked down at her sadly. "I think that there is more to you than this, Gatomon. You've just forgotten who you really are." She then reached down and neatly plucked one of Gatomon's gloves off, examining the X shaped scar on the back of her paw. "Is this the kind of thing that a master worthy of your support would do?"
Gatomon was startled. How had she known about that scar? (In reality, Aayla had just been told about it by Suzie in her head). More images of a beaten and defiant Salamon in the dark corridors of this very castle flashed back into her head and she blustered for several seconds. Confused and afraid, she panicked and flashed a Cat's Eye Hypnotism at Aayla. Aayla had been prepared for this, drawing on the knowledge the others had of Gatomon's abilities from their heads, and pretended to fall backwards, dropping Gatomon's glove.
Freed, Gatomon darted over to retrieve it and pull it back on and lifted her claws to strike at Aayla again. But Aayla looked up and fixed her brown eyes with Gatomon's blue ones questioningly and the cat hesitated. That hesitation turned to complete confusion and she grasped her head and fled, dashing into a dark corridor and away.
Aayla sighed, hoping that her words had penetrated through to Gatomon enough to make her remember sooner than she would have done ordinarily, and then turned to face the rest of the room. Turuiemon was just finishing off the last of the Gizamon with a quick gauntlet claw, but Greymon and Garurumon were still locked in combat with SkullMeramon.
"Our attacks won't work on him!" Greymon cried as he charged forwards to try and ram SkullMeramon again, only to be brought down by a hefty punch to the side of the head and a kick to the gut that sent him crashing backwards. Garurumon bounded forwards and pounced on the Ultimate, trying to grab him by the neck in his jaws, but SkullMeramon lashed out with a chain and forced Garurumon to bite into that instead and then punched him in the chest that sent him ploughing backwards to knock the recovering Greymon over again.
"METAL FIREBALL!" he yelled again, spewing more powerful flames directly at the floored Champions. Both of them quickly looked up and threw their own signature moves at the attack to cancel it out, but they still had to throw themselves backwards to avoid the splatter of the molten flames.
SkullMeramon lifted up his chains and launched them forwards, but then both Aayla and Turuiemon bounded right over Greymon and Garurumon and set to work. SkullMeramon was shocked as the Champion and the Twi'lek swung into his chains head on and became a pair of windmills of death. Aayla span around and slashed through two of them and slashed around and over her own head to take out another and arc out her blade wide to scythe through two more. Turuiemon slashed out to either side of her body to take out another pair and then kicked another aimed for her gut to knock it away and span in a smooth circle to slash through another.
Both landed on their feet smoothly and Aayla said, "I reckon it's time we took things to the next level."
"Got it," nodded Turuiemon. "Suzie?"
"Matt?" Gaurumon added.
Matt raised his Digivice and his crest erupted with blue light while Suzie swept a blue card through the slot of her own. The two other Champions bounded forwards and showered the room with more light as they alternatively grew or shrank into their new forms.
"GARURUMON DIGIVOLVE TO… WEREGARURUMON!"
"TURUIEMON DIGIVOLVE TO… ANTYLAMON!"
Antylamon was so tall that she almost grazed the ceiling but she and her fellow Ultimate both shot forwards to attack the attacker. SkullMeramon immediately threw out another Metal Fireball in a wild attempt to stop them, but Antylamon morphed her hands into axes and swept it aside with ease.
"Shall we double-team him?" the huge bunny asked.
"No complaints here," WereGarurumon agreed. "WOLF CLAW!" he bellowed, slashing his red claws through the air to generate a bright energy slash in the air which lashed out towards SkullMeramon.
"BUNNY BLADES!" Antylamon agreed, swinging one of her own axes to generate a similar, albeit pink, energy blade which crashed with WereGarurumon's attack and almost seemed to meld with it to form an X which sliced right into SkullMeramon's chest to part his upper torso from his legs, both bits vanishing into data immediately as they sailed apart.
"Hey, that was pretty cool," Greymon chuckled.
"Come on," Aayla waved the others over. "We don't have time to dither."
Things had taken a turn for the worse for both of the Renamons, though they were still maintaining the illusion that there was only one of them quite successfully. Approximately a minute ago, reinforcements had arrived for Myotismon. Lots of reinforcements. DemiDevimon had flapped his way into the room, and behind him came a powerful DarkTyrannomon, and angry Dokugumon and a huge MegaSeadramon who wound his way through the door. And on top of that, Myotismon had raised his hands and several of the Devidramon statues on the walls had suddenly morphed into the real thing and flung themselves into the air.
Rika's Renamon bounded over the top of a Lightning Javelin from MegaSeadramon which fractured the floor beneath her and sprang aside to avoid a Fire Blast from DarkTyrannomon, singing the tip of her tail and only saved by her blinding reactions. She threw up her perception filter, and Lily's Renamon immediately lowered hers as she punched one of the Devidramon in the side of the head to send him crashing to the floor. MegaSeadramon whirled around and lashed down at her with his tail, but Renamon dashed away and narrowly avoided being squashed, only to run straight into Dokugumon who spewed Poison Threads right at her.
Only being ploughed into by the invisible Renamon saved Lily's partner from becoming entangled. "Thanks," she murmured as she flipped back onto her feet.
"No problem," Rika's Renamon replied. "But things are getting too wild here. I'll try and draw their attention. You get Lily to safety."
"Gotcha," nodded the other Renamon, raising her perception filter. Rika's Renamon bounded invisibly forwards and pounced on top of Dokugumon's back slashing into the duplicate of the old enemy who had almost killed her so long ago with her claws and feeling good about it. Two of the Devidramon swept forwards to attack her, but she sprang away, causing them to plough into the Dokugumon instead. Renamon landed smoothly and turned to see DarkTyrannomon bearing down on her, and beyond him, Myotismon standing by the pedestal in front of the gates and setting the cards into their appropriate slots without touching them.
Lily herself had managed to haul herself to a nearby wall, but she was still in incredible intense pain. She felt something invisible touch her arm and despite the pain she lashed out and smacked into something which went, "Ow! Lily, it's me."
"Renamon? But… what…?" Lily blinked, staring across at the Renamon which had just booted DarkTyrannomon in the nose. "Wait… oh… that's clever… ungh!"
"Hold on, Lily. We need to move. Now."
"No! I've gotta…"
"Get some sense, and no when it's too dangerous. You're in no condition to fight. Now, let's go." Lily allowed Renamon to help her to her feet and hobbled slowly towards the door, unnoticed by the combatants in the room as the other Renamon only just managed to dodge the flailing tail of the MegaSeadramon.
But, as soon as they arrived by the door, Gatomon appeared, dashing down the corridor towards them. She froze when she spotted the injured Lily, who glared at her, but the cat immediately barrelled forwards and slammed into the injured star, knocking her backwards with a shriek of pain and simultaneously throwing Renamon to the floor, causing her to lose her grip on the perception filter and lower it.
Gatomon blinked, and then looked up to see the other Renamon, dodging a couple of slashes from a Devidramon and cried, "Lord Myotismon! There are two Renamon!"
Myotismon whirled around, and the Rika's Renamon froze in surprise, her split second hesitation allowing the Devidramon to cleave her side and send her flying into the wall with a shriek. Lily's Renamon tried to get up, but both she and Lily were immediately snared by Dokugumon and held down in her silky threads.
The pedestal throbbed and the huge gate began to slowly grind open behind them, indicating Myotismon had finished setting the cards. Myotismon looked from one wounded Renamon to the other and chuckled lowly. "An interesting development," he admitted. "And a clever ploy. But it seems your little trick has run its course. And now I have two Renamon to kill right before your eyes, by little pet. That only makes things all the more amusing."
"Leave them alone!" Lily growled. "Leave them both alone."
Rika's Renamon pushed herself to her feet, but she was quickly grabbed in the claws of one of the Devidramon and held firmly. Myotismon turned towards Gatomon and said, "I knew I could rely on you, Gatomon. Now, kill that Renamon of hers. Stab her with your claws while she lies helpless and watches."
Gatomon immediately raised her claws, but as she prepared to slash down, the words of Aayla flashed back into her head. Was this her destiny? Was this really who she was – a cold blooded murderer who always carried out the orders of a bloodthirsty vampire? She'd always just gone with it before thoughtlessly, but now… now she just… wasn't sure.
Who was she? Who was she really?
Her hesitation proved to be Renamon's life-saver, for at the other end of the corridor behind them, the rest of the group had now converged, led from their various locations by Wizardmon and those with mind-links respectively. Wizardmon took in the situation at a glance, seeing his long-time friend with her claws raised over his other long-time friends and he came to a snap decision.
"Quick, we must act!" he said. "I shall pretend that I am still on Myotismon's side just in case something goes wrong. Now, someone throw me down that corridor!"
Anakin caught on immediately and said, "I'll do it." And he lashed out with the Force to hurl Wizardmon backwards down the staircase. The Champion Digimon ploughed into the back of the cat with a grunt and both of them went sailing straight over Lily and Renamon to land amongst Dokugumon's threads, breaking several of them in the process.
"Gatomon!" Wizardmon grunted. "Are you okay?"
"Yeah, I'm fine!" Gatomon nodded as they struggled to their feet.
"Greymon!" Tai shouted. "Get down there and save Lily, quick!"
"I'm all over it, Tai!" Greymon thundered past the humans and barrelled down the stairs, Tai's Crest of Courage activating and showering everything with orange light, which was practically drowned out when Greymon also exploded with light.
"GREYMON DIGIVOLVE TO…"
The result was a much large dinosaur with a metallic face-guard, huge metal left arm, chest-plate and with six purple wings jutting out his back exploding through the door and swooping over the top of Lily and Renamon as they pushed themselves upwards.
Wizardmon and Gatomon leapt aside, but Dokugumon never knew what hit it. MetalGreymon landed on top of her and slammed her into the ground under his enormous frame, flattening her into data instantaneously.
"MEGA CLAW!" MetalGreymon roared, swiftly pointing his arm at the Devidramon with a grip on the other Renamon and letting fly, the hand shooting outwards on a long metal pole so the three claws on the tip punctured the Devidramon's chest and destroyed him immediately, Renamon dropping to the ground in the process.
MegaSeadramon immediately surged towards him, but MetalGreymon leapt upwards and slammed him in the side of the head with his retracting claw to knock him away, and then focused down on Myotismon, his chest plate opening up to reveal two missile ports. "GIGA BLASTER!" he tried, a pair of fish-shaped missiles bursting right out from within and streaming down towards Myotismon.
"CRIMSON LIGHTNING!" Myotismon responded, lashing out with the bloody looking whip to slam the missiles aside, detonating one and sending the other spiralling downwards to blow up another Devidramon. MetalGreymon growled in annoyance and stepped back turning himself into a living wall that protected Lily and Renamon from all and sundry, as well as the rest of the group as they ran down the stairs to join the throng.
"Lily!" Tai cried, grabbing the young star in a vicious hug.
Lily screamed as he pressed on her horribly disfigured back and punched him in the gut, causing him to let go and reel backwards and let go. "Sorry," Lily gasped. "But that really hurt."
"No, I'm sorry. I didn't think," Tai blustered, massaging his stomach. "It's so good to see you though. You idiot."
"Yeah, yeah, I know," Lily winced.
"Here, let me help," Aayla murmured, bending down to place a hand over Lily's wounds and use the force to slowly heal them. "My healing skills are not as good as they could be but hopefully they should be enough."
"T… thank you…" Lily winced as her back was healed over slowly.
"Renamon!" Rika called as her partner bounded over. "Are you alright?"
"More or less," Renamon responded with a wince, looking down at the gash the Devidramon had given her.
Myotismon snorted. "So, you have a few new friends then, my pet. No matter, they shall be dealt with eventually, but I am afraid we have more important matters to attend to. DemiDevimon, Gatomon, and all the rest of you but the Devidramon, get through the portal. We shall deal with the Digi-destined another day.
MegaSeadramon growled, but followed orders, as the rest of them wheeled their way towards the portal, as well as a large army of Bakemon that raised themselves out of the floor to follow them others.
"Oh, no you don't!" MetalGreymon cried, charging forwards, but he was suddenly swarmed by large bats which surrounded his head and obscured his vision, and then lashed across the side by a powerful Crimson Lightning, allowing the other Digimon to escape through the portal. Wizardmon took one last look back at Lily before he sighed and followed Gatomon into the light beyond.
"Do not think that your successes today mean anything, Digi-destined," Myotismon smirked as his army vanished behind him. "I am still several steps ahead of you. And once I find the Eighth Child, then both this world and your own will be powerless against me."
"Oh really?" Rika raised an eyebrow, turning to face Renamon. They both knew that they had to allow Myotismon to get away, because without his attempts at intervention, Gatomon and Kari might never become partners, Angewomon would never be born and without Angewomon, there was a possibility that WarGreymon and MetalGarurumon would never be born, and who knew what would become of the Digi-destined when it came to face the Dark Masters or Diaboromon without them.
But still, that didn't mean they couldn't bring the pain a little bit.
"I've heard just about enough from this guy, haven't you?" Rika asked.
"Indeed, I have," Renamon nodded. "I think it's about time to show him that the Ultimate level can only get you so far against certain opponents."
"Who exactly are you then?" Myotismon sneered at the two of them.
Rika didn't answer him. Instead, she pressed her D-Arc to her chest and cried, "Biomerge activate!"
The Digi-destined and Myotismon watched in astonishment as the new digivolution began, Lily and Renamon watching with wide eyes as Rika and the other Renamon both burst into light and fused together with a cry of:-
"RENAMON BIOMERGE TO… SAKUYAMON!"
Myotismon almost gaped at the sight of the shaman Digimon that had appeared in front of him, long grey hair waving in a non-existent wind as she looked up, eyes hidden on her fox-mask and staff twirling almost leisurely in one hand.
"You are an agent of darkness, Myotismon," Sakuyamon stated. "And no matter what you might delude yourself into thinking, darkness with all fall to the light. AMETHYST WIND!"
She flung a huge barrage of purple shards right towards the vampire Digimon, who threw himself into the air to avoid them, lifting his cloak in an attempt to shield himself from the rest, which punched straight through said cloak and hit him anyway, eliciting howls of pain from his throat. He tumbled backwards several times as Sakuyamon floated slowly towards him, gripping his side in one hand and baring his fangs in anger.
"CRIMSON LIGHTNING!" he tried, lashing outwards again, but Sakuyamon merely raised her staff to catch the attack around the ring at the tip, yanking Myotismon forwards with it and then smacking him in the face with the staff before he could stop. She then threw him backwards and raised a Talisman Sphere, only to throw it at him and send him ploughing straight into the ground below them.
"See what I mean?" she asked down at him as he scrambled to his feet.
"I shall not lose to you," Myotismon stated with a growl. "I shall not lose to any Digimon. Especially one who has lowered herself to merging with a pitiful human. GRISLY WING!"
Sakuyamon smirked as the bats surged towards her and reached down to her belt. "SPIRIT STRIKE!" she countered, unleashing her four fox spirits which tore into the bats like a whirlwind, an inferno, a flood and a lightning bolt all at the same time, completely obliterating them on the spot. The spirits continued downwards and circled Myotismon lazily. The vampire tried to lash them away with more Crimson Lightning, but his attack just went straight through them as if they weren't there.
Myotismon looked up and balked as he saw a Twin Blades of Beauty and Truth slashing down towards him. He jumped backwards instinctively and made the mistake of passing straight through the fire fox spirit. It felt like he had been presented with a crucifix and he collapsed to the floor, roaring as fiery pain soared throughout his whole body. And then the Twin Blades crashed into the floor in front of him and sent him tumbling forwards to come to a stop beside the gate.
"Now do you get the picture?" Sakuyamon asked as she lowered herself towards the ground.
"This is not over!" Myotismon declared. "Devidramon! Kill her!" And then he surged backwards and towards the gate. Sakuyamon made to pursue him, but she abruptly had to raise a shield to block the attacks of the three remaining Devidramon, who all fell on top of her and tried to claw their way through the shield. Myotismon slipped through the gate behind them, and the huge metal structure automatically began to close.
"GIGA BLASTER!" roared MetalGreymon, and another pair of missiles streaked from his chest to cannon into two of the Devidramon and obliterate them on the spot while the third was flung into the air. MetalGreymon promptly charged forwards to slash through him with his heavy left arm and finish him off too. Then, he glowed and shrank back down into the small pink blob that was Koromon.
As Sakuyamon landed on the ground and split back into Rika and Renamon, the Digi-destined all stared at them with wide eyes.
"Who… who are you guys?" TK asked.
"That was astounding," Izzy gushed.
"Why can't I do that?" Lily's Renamon whined.
"Look, there's no time for you to ask questions – the gate is closing," Aayla pointed towards the huge metal doors which were already halfway shut.
"Right," Tai snapped out of it. "Come on everybody! After that guy!"
"Let us give you a hand," Ahsoka grinned, and the three Jedi all called on the Force together, lifting all seven Digi-destined, all their partners and Lily and her Renamon, into the air before they knew what was happening, and then hurling them forwards. Yelling and screaming all of them soared across the room towards the doors under the telekinetic power of the others.
"Wait! Why aren't you coming?" Matt shouted as they flew.
"This is your fight, not ours!" Henry yelled. "But we have faith that you can do it! We believe in you all!"
"Bye!" Suzie called, waving after them.
The kids and their partners sailed through the small gap in the doors and the Jedi lowered their hands as they watched it grind shut completely.
There was a couple of moments of silence, and then Rika murmured. "Well, I can safely say this has been quite a weird day."
"You're telling me," Anakin mumbled. He turned to Pumpkinmon and Gotsumon, who had notably not followed Myotismon's orders to go through the portal with the rest of the group. "Do you reckon that you two can go back and make sure that the rest of the prisoners get out of here safely? We've got something we need to test out here."
"Yes, sir!" they both grinned and then hurried away.
"Do you reckon they'll be alright?" Henry asked. "They didn't get through the gate on the first attempt in the anime."
"Yeah, but the Digital World runs much faster than the Human World anyway," shrugged Terriermon. "They could have stayed here for another year and all that Myotismon would have have time to do would be to rub his wound a little bit."
"Yes, but we destroyed so many of his minions today," Henry worried. "The continuity has been all shot to hell. What if one of the other Ultimates destroys MegaSeadramon or DarkTyrannomon early on, so Lillymon and Zudomon might not get the chance to appear? What if Myotismon realises that Wizardmon is a traitor earlier in advance, as well as Gatomon? And without Gizamon, Tuskmon and Snimon, will VenomMyotismon still rise and force the Digi-destined to begin the prophecy to awaken WarGreymon and MetalGarurumon?"
"I'm sure that they'll be fine," Renamon smiled reassuringly. "They are the Digi-destined. And with that Lily with them they have an extra boost. Even if she can be occasionally overly reckless."
"Yeah, she sure was a hothead, wasn't she?" Lopmon chuckled.
"We never did really learn exactly what she was, did we?" Ahsoka frowned.
"No, but everyone was calling her a star," Aayla agreed. "So unless that is some kind of obscure nickname… well, you get my drift."
"Regardless, it's not our problem anymore," Anakin said. "Now we need to try and figure out a way of using this portal to get back to our universe."
The Tamers glanced at each other, all simultaneously wondering the same thing – could it take them home to their own universe as well.
"Maybe we should go and find Gennai," Henry suggested. "He might be able to tell us if…"
Suddenly they all froze as the gate slowly began to slide open again completely of its own accord. They stared at it in astonishment, wondering if somehow something had gone wrong and the portal was about to disgorge the Digi-destined back into this world or something.
Ahsoka blinked as she saw a faint glow out of the corner of her eye and her head flicked to the side. She blinked, as she saw an ethereal, glowing man with a brown beard and long brown hair and robes that definitely looked like they belonged on a Jedi. Her eyes widened, as the man smiled at her and gestured towards the portal, before he faded from sight. Ahsoka stared in shock.
That man? He had looked like…
Had that been Obi-Wan Kenobi's old master? She'd only seen him in pictures, but… it looked like him.
Whatever the case she shook herself, as if the Force was telling her what to do.
"Come on!" she cried. "This is our way back! I know it!" And she charged the portal without another thought.
"Ahsoka! Wait!" Anakin cried, setting off in pursuit, and before the others knew what they were doing all nine of them were dashing straight towards the portal. Ahsoka dived through into the whiteness and the other all followed one by one, feeling the jerk and the pull and the tumbling that indicated that they were once again crossing a universal barrier.
One wild ride later…
And they all landed with a less than dignified thud in a forest. They looked up bewildered, to find themselves in the same spot where they had fought Parallelmon before. The wrecked house and various appliances that he had thrown at them was enough to tell them that. Lopmon could even see the fridge she had thrown at him.
"What the heck happened there?" Anakin blinked.
"I don't know," Aayla said as she got to her feet and helped Rika to hers. "But if I were to guess, I would say that the Force called us back for some reason."
"Heh. Maybe it couldn't stand to see this world without it's Chosen One," suggested Terriermon.
"Oh, shut up," Anakin snorted. "Whatever the case, I reckon you could call it a miracle. Now we should get back. People are probably going to be worried about us."
"Not if time in the Digital World was faster than time in this universe as well," Henry laughed.
"Here's hoping," Anakin nodded, as he put his arms around Aayla and Renamon's shoulders and the whole group walked off together back in the direction of Otoh Gunga.
Could… not… stop… writing.
There was just so much to do in this oneshot, and I still wish that I could have given the Ultimates longer action sequences than they did, but it had already gone well over the usual length of a oneshot by the time MegaKabuterimon appeared. But here it is, WhiteWolfPrincess95. Your oneshot finally brought to life. I hope that I did your character justice, and I hope that you liked the action sequences involved. It's a shame I couldn't fit Lillymon and Zudomon in somewhere, but… well, you can't have everything I suppose.
If anybody would like to pop over the profile of Lily's creator and have a look at her stories then by all means go ahead. I'm sure she'd be thrilled to have more readers if you don't read them already.
Fergus Flamacron, signing off.