Disclaimer: "Digimon," "Digimon Tamers," and all respective names and characters related to them, are the property of Bandai, Akiyoshi Hongo, and Toei Animation. Used without permission, for non-profit, and simply the sake of fun and entertainment of the fans. Certain original characters and concepts are my own creation.

Notes: So yeah, stuff happens. Welcome to the THIRD version of Inner Demons. Explanation after this little prologue.

Inner Demons

Realization 000 - "Prologue"

By Mugen no Ken

"Survival of the fittest."

In our world, this is the law that – above all else – governs the path of sentient creatures.

In the animal kingdom, the food chain exists as it does by this principle. Those beasts who are strongest and fastest prey upon those beneath them for sustenance.

Human beings may see themselves as being above such primal instincts, but it is the same. They prey upon the world around them for survival. They prey upon themselves to come out above one another. Countries and kingdoms have been built, gone to war, to conquer other lands... only to inevitably fall, to be fed, loaded into the structures of other societies.

This is the way of humans. Survive. Build. Fight. Destroy. Rebuild.

It continues on and on. It has for centuries, and will continue to do as such for many more. This is because the human being's greatest power – that which sets it above the wild animals, that gives it the ability to be the fittest to survive – can be its greatest weakness.

The mind.

The intelligence of the human being can create a great many, wondrous number of things. It can also create the most horrible and the most destructive things imaginable.

The thing about the human mind is that it is never satisfied.

It must always continue to push the boundaries of known science.

It must always continue to build.

To create.

As it is said, the road to hell is paved with good intentions. Inside every mind, there lies the potential for something darker. Most can suppress this.

However, if that darkness lies within everyone, so does the potential in their creations.

For most of humanity's creations, this is benign. Humans create tools and weapons, but they cannot harm another without the act of a human wielding them.

However, if a creation were not an inanimate object, if it could think and feel just as any human being could...

The inevitability of that potential darkness carrying over is not just likely.

It is a certainty.

If such a creature then also possessed power far beyond anything known to man...

Who, then, is the fittest to survive?

Staring down at the pool of crimson puddling on the rocky floor beneath him, the young man realized that was an awful lot of blood. An awful lot of his blood, actually, which was a decidedly worse realization all things considered.

Still, it didn't matter. Not really. Not at this point.

"Can you move?" he heard a voice ask. It was distant, and there was no speaker near him. Yet it was still clear. He knew, in a sense, it was coming straight to his mind.

The young man blinked some blurriness out of his vision. One hand was clamped down tightly onto his side, trying in vain to hold the wound closed that had already stained his clothes a solid red . His other arm hung limply, a solid blue object clutched tightly in it.

He was in a cave. Not the best place to die in, and not where he planned to if he could help it. Light was dim, but it was enough to make out what was around him.

Oh, and a lot of his blood, just to make that clear.

"Enough," the young man said with a pained grunt. He found the strength to push off the wall he'd been leaning against, and stumbled forward uneasily.

He nearly slipped in his own blood.

Now that would have been a really terrible way to die. Slip and fall on his blood, bust his head open on the wall. Or just fully open the wound and bleed out on the ground.

Yeah, this was great.

"It's done. She's safe. But..."

"It's still alive, huh?"


"Yeah, well, so am I," the man muttered, continuing to move unsteadily towards the entrance of the cave. As he inched out, he saw it.

Destruction as far as the eye could see. Craters the size of cities. Pieces of land who had had their very nature so destabilized by the power that had ripped them asunder, that even gravity no longer held its laws to them. This world held the same laws of physics as the one the man came from, yet the power that had torn apart this land had been enough to break even those.

There was one form nearby. It was far larger than a human, clad in dark armor. At a glance one might almost think it was made of claws and teeth. After that glance, most would be thankful to discover it was also unconscious.

"For now."

"Might almost be a better thing..."

The man started making his way to the prone, armored body.

"You know that's not a certainty."

The man gave a heavy sigh. He reached the unconscious creature, and fell uneasily to his knees. He let his hand fall from his side again. He didn't worry about the wound anymore.

"Yeah, yeah. But what about what he was after? The four of them might be dead, but-"

"It's... taken care of, as best as we could manage. It'll be safe for now, but it's really just going to delay things..."

The young man smirked. He reached his bloody hand out, placing it on the armored creature's back.

"That's enough for now, then..."

"This is the last thing I'll be able to do for you. Are you sure...? You won't be-"

"It's fine. Do it. So long as we can still fight..."

"Very well, then. This is the last thing I can do."

The man just nodded. He stared at the creature before him.

"Okay, Cyberdramon," he muttered, and held up the blue device in his other hand. "One last time. And... I'm sorry."

"Good luck, Ryo."

Akiyama Ryo grit his teeth and closed his eyes.


-End Prologue

-Begin Arc 01

Notes: So, what the hell happened? Life. Yet again.

Truth be told, I've not really had the best of health issues in the past couple years. Which is to say the ones I DID have got worse, so between that, real life responsibilities, and other things keeping me busy... well. Work I'd restarted on Inner Demons kind of ground to an utter halt.

So what's happening now? I'm starting up again. Since I had been so close to the beginning when I left off before, I'm going to be revising things here and there, beefing up chapters, and rearranging some of the structure. While there'll be a few key things shifted around here and there, a lot of the content from my "second version" of Inner Demons will remain. Since it IS being shifted around though, and a couple key scenes re-written, the remaining chapters are coming down for now until I'm finished with them.

In the meantime, we've started a little differently. And in a brief manner, showing a character I've never yet shown the purpose of in ID. Actually, three characters.

Since I've never gotten to the point yet where I'd be fooling with ANY of them yet in any version of ID, this is a glimpse of some ideas that really haven't changed much since their inception. You'll eventually get to see what their deal is, but suffice to say there's a very, very good reason I'm starting with this.

Some of my older works will probably be coming down within the next few months, as well. Particularly, ID's old version and Divided Paths – mostly because the original ID isn't going to be very reflective of where this is going, and Divided Paths will be starting again soon... but in a very different manner. And with a co-author! So look out for that. Any removals will be announced in this story before they happen for the foreseeable future, so if anyone (for any reason) wants to hold onto those, now's the time.

Now, before you're wondering if this is just going to go up again and me not update for another couple years, I'd like to note my intention of breaking ID's story into "Arcs." The problem with ID in the past is that I'd try to fling out too many ideas at once and they'd all just collide and pile up. And I'd be posting everything as soon as I finished it, which... isn't good either. But ID is far too long for me to wait until I was done with it, so what then?

ID's Arcs will be overall storylines I'll write out to completion before bothering to post them. ID's first Arc already has the majority of it written, so now that I'm back working on things, it shouldn't take very long to hash that out. But it won't have any of it posted until that first Arc IS finished. That way, there is a certain limit to how much I can leave anyone hanging.