Notes: Well, it has certainly been awhile, now hasn't it? I hope my audience isn't too far-gone and that you enjoy this chapter. Things are drawing to a close.

I know it all may seem vastly confusing and to be honest, this isn't my favorite chapter. But it has been sitting on my computer for a year and I want to move onward. Please excuse the oddness with the bold and italics, special characters are no longer allowed and I needed something to distinguish.

Chapter 7: Final Curtain

Juri had never expected to find the streets of Shinjuku as empty as they were. She knew things had been bad; the news had been broadcasted throughout the bar for nearly half an hour before her father had insisted upon turning off the television.

His actions hadn't occurred nearly quickly enough. Most of the customers had been roused into a near panic and Juri had seen enough to understand that things would never be the same for the people of West Shinjuku.

It was then that she had made the decision to sneak away from the safety of the bar and into the chaos. Juri wasn't sure what she would be able to do, but she couldn't sit around while Takato and the others were fighting something so terrible.

A part of her wondered if she was being selfish by willingly putting herself into harm's way, but Juri dismissed it guiltily. She had as much right to go into battle as anyone else, even without a Digimon; she was still a Tamer after all.

Her resolution strengthened, Juri took advantage of her father and stepmother's distraction and began to creep out the front door. She nearly jumped when she felt something clutch her ankle tightly.

Glancing downwards, Juri's astonishment had given way to the slightest feeling of relief. Clinging to her leg tightly was Culumon, his small, white body tense and his luminous eyes shut tightly. The Baby II Digimon had been spending most of his time in the Katou household and everyone (including her father, who complained that Culumon ate more food than he purchased in a week) had taken a liking to him.

"Juri, you can't go out there, culu! It's dangerous!" Emphasizing his unusually cheerless words, Culumon tightened his grasp.

"Culumon..." Juri sighed as she looked down upon the diminutive Digimon. Acting as though he hadn't heard her, Culumon tightened his grasp upon Juri's ankle and shook his head vehemently.

"Your Mom and Dad will miss you if you go! You'll be a lot safer if you stay here, culu."

"I probably would be," Juri replied patiently. "But I can't just stay here while everyone else is fighting. There has to be something that I can do to help."

Culumon frowned slightly, yet continued to maintain his grip on Juri.

"If you're going, then I'm coming too." He finally stated resolutely. "We'll be brave together, culu."

Juri stared at Culumon a moment longer, before smiling ever so slightly.

"Let's go." She responded softly.

Looking more than a little nervous, Culumon reluctantly detached himself from Juri's leg. The Tamer bent down and scooped him into her arms quickly and gave a quick look around the hallway for anyone else who might have discovered their intentions.

I hope we're doing the right thing, Juri thought worriedly as she and Culumon walked out of the bar and into uncertainty.

The cold air rushed by him swiftly, shredding through ebony feathers and passing against his face bitingly, yet Beelzebumon paid it no mind. He had been flying relentlessly against the air currents for fifteen minutes, bolstered by uncharacteristic worry and a peculiar feeling he had no time to try and delineate.

The news report earlier had served to prove that West Shinjuku was going to Hell and without help; the Tamers faced the possibility of going with it.

Beelzebumon wasn't about to sit back any longer and allow that to happen, especially when he considered the effects of the Tamers' failure. The chaos would spread throughout the rest of Shinjuku and perhaps Japan and then there would be no way to keep Ai, Makoto and their parents safe. Not for very long, anyway.

But breaking the news of his decision had been easier than Beelzebumon had expected it to be. Makoto and Ai obviously remembered the danger the D-Reaper virus had brought the city and how important it was for him to do what was necessary.

That knowledge didn't keep the twins from enveloping Impmon in a double hug before he evolved. Nor did it prevent Ai and Makoto's parents from shouting protests over his "abandoning" them. Rather than giving a sarcastic reply, Impmon chose to ignore them. In a flash of light and amidst Ai and Makoto's excited cheers, Impmon vanished and a harried Beelzebumon took to the skies.

Beelzebumon nearly shuddered at the memory. He was giving up his usual "charging into the fray with both guns blazing" mindset in favor of "future planning." Something had to be wrong with him.

Growling under his breath, the Demon Lord forced his attentions onto observing the road below him. Wanting a clearer view of the surroundings and of any potential enemies or victims, Beelzebumon threw caution to the wind and dove downward.

He didn't flare his wings until he was a fair distance above the several, vacant vehicles and the buildings beside many of them. The utter emptiness of the area aroused the unpleasant stirrings of déjà vu and Beelzebumon half expected to see the horrific visage of one of the D-Reaper's Agents looming above him.

Not that it really matters, he mused with no small measure of cockiness. With his mood and thoughts as scattered as they were, Beelzebumon felt as though he could have taken on ten Agents and still kept going.

Chuckling lightly without precisely knowing why, Beelzebumon nearly overlooked the obnoxiously grating sound located a short distance ahead of him. It wasn't until he came closer to a separation in the street, that he finally took notice.

Well, whaduya know…

Grinning with an almost feral glee, Beelzebumon descended to the ground. His odd tail twitched impatiently, while his metallic claws glowed with deadly energy and were poised to deliver a killing blow to whoever was stupid enough to try and cross him.

Beelzebumon had been expecting a homicidal Digimon or even some pathetic excuse for a scout. What came around the empty road and paused before him caused any malicious intentions he had to vanish. The Darkness Claw attack he had been developing also dissipated, mostly out of his pure shock.

Looking equally surprised, yet fiercely determined and riding a pink bicycle that appeared as though it had seen better days, was none other than Katou Juri…

It was honesty, rather than arrogance that often led Ryou to believe that the months he had spent in the Digital World, fighting side-by-side with Cyberdramon, had increased his awareness in regard to battle and possible attacks against him.

Yet perhaps it had been his overwhelming impatience, his desire to rescue those who had been trapped within the swiftly collapsing building from death or slaughter that had allowed Justimon to fall prey to an attack from behind.

The Digimon's tight grasp upon the Ultimate's neck was barely short of strangling, it was his voice, one reeking of old blood and fetid death that caused Ryou to gag within the sphere that surrounded him.

"I was hoping for a more worthy adversary to face." The Digimon snarled as he dug his metallic claws into Justimon's neck. "These humans have proved to be far too fragile to suit my tastes. The pleasure of your demise shall be mine entirely."

He will not defeat us! Cyberdramon raged furiously. We have dealt with stronger enemies.

Ryou mentally agreed. D-Reaper had possessed the power to obliterate entire worlds and would have done so if he had been permitted to. A sneak-attacking Digimon with a sadistic streak couldn't compare.

We have to get free first, the Legendary Tamer thought resolutely. It doesn't matter how strong he is, if he keeps this up, then we'll lose consciousness and be an easy target.

I have an idea, Ryou shouted to his partner. Let's make it a little easier for us to breathe.

Although it took a moment for him to catch on, Cyberdramon grunted his approval.

Lobomon tilted his head to the side when his captive began to glow with light. He soon found it difficult to maintain his grip upon the Digimon and reluctantly pulled back when the light began to take upon two shapes.

The Perfect Digimon gave a low snarl when the light finally died down and revealed a young human and his taller, draconian partner. He realized that the human was obviously one of the infamous Tamers and nearly smiled at his good fortune.

"Allow me to present myself." He announced with an air of grandness. "I am Lobomon, a Perfect, Cyborg Digimon. I use my Claws of Blood and Shattering Howl to decimate my enemies. I have also been looking forward to meeting you."

"The feeling isn't mutual." The human replied, his eyes narrowed. His partner's eyes were shielded by a metallic helm, yet Lobomon imagined that his expression would be of similar disdain.

"A pity that you will not live long enough to contemplate the emotion." Lobomon replied snidely.

My orders were to watch Veliomon and not to kill that particular type of human. No such thing was said regarding his partner.

Lobomon walked forward and allowed the claws on his feet to scrape over the ground loudly. He opened his mouth as though to speak, but the black energy that began to gather inside of it illustrated otherwise.

"Shattering Howl!" The Perfect Digimon roared, sending a solid beam of black light directly towards the Digimon before him.

Ryou had wasted no time in removing the cards from his pocket after Cyberdramon and his separation. The fact that the Digimon they were facing was a Perfect as well made things all the more interesting in his eyes.

Cyberdramon stood before him, his body tense in the anticipation of battle. Ryou knew his partner was unfazed in the face of the oncoming attack, they were an excellent team after all.

"Card Slash! Brave Shield!" He cried as he slid the card through his D-Power. The hefty item immediately appeared Cyberdramon's clawed hands just as the darkness-fueled attack crashed into it.

The cyborg Digimon's body strained with the effort of managing the energy that flowed against the shield in his hands and he slowly stepped forward, pushing the attack back towards its origin. The ground beneath him quickly became covered in hairline cracks, while the smallest pebbles trembled.

Lobomon opened his mouth wider, showing blood-tainted fangs and causing the beam of light to widen and strengthen. The conflict had become a battle of wills with both Digimon pressing the power between them closer to the other.

I know you can do it, Cyberdramon.

Ryou watched his partner with worry when Lobomon abruptly closed his mouth lunged forward towards him. Lobomon's lengthy claws scraped against and shattered the shield into pieces.

Without hesitation, Cyberdramon gave a Lobomon a harsh blow across his mechanical muzzle, one that sent the lupine Digimon flying backwards. Cyberdramon flapped his wings, causing wisps of dust to rise and took to the sky for an attack Ryou knew all too well.

"Erase…Claw!" Cyberdramon shouted, spinning in the air and releasing the deadly crimson energy from his claws. Lobomon 's expression was one of pure shock from below. He gathered himself and leapt, fleeing his only intention.

Nevertheless, Cyberdramon's attack enveloped him completely. Seconds later and with a furious howl, Lobomon exploded into a shower of data fragments.

Ryou smiled faintly at the victory.

One obstacle down and still one more to go. I'm guessing Ruki and Lee ran into their own versions of trouble, otherwise they would have been right behind me.

Cyberdramon touched down on the ground a few feet ahead of him and extended his arms as though to welcome the influx of foreign data. Once the task was complete, the Legendary Tamer moved behind him and would have congratulated him had not the Perfect Digimon flung an arm to stop him.

"Ryou…look ahead." Cyberdramon commanded, his voice its usual gravely tone.

Ryou followed his instruction and immediately frowned at the sight a short distance away. He had forgotten about the Digimon in chains during the battle, but it had become impossible to miss with its body surrounded by golden light.

What's going on? That light, it almost feels…comforting.

As though responding to his thoughts, the light enveloping the Digimon glowed glaringly bright before fading into near-nothingness. And where a strange and bound Digimon had once stood, a small and familiar item rested instead.

"A Digi-tama?" Ryou muttered, nonplussed. "How could it possibly be here?"

Before any explanation could be offered, Cyberdramon pulled Ryou close to him and folded his leathery wings around him. The last things the Legendary Tamer would remember were a blinding light and deafening a blast that sent the Cyberdramon and him flying into a nearby vehicle.

Jenrya wasn't quite sure if he had ever felt as frustrated as he'd been feeling ever since he and Terriermon had Matrix Evolved into SaintGalgomon. It was one thing to be rendered unable to fight, but to be captured and simply pushed aside without even having the chance to do anything was almost maddening.

Even more infuriating was the fact that all methods of escaping the purple bubble had been utterly blocked. Any attacks they had used had not only been directed back SaintGalgomon, but had also sent currents of electricity coursing through the sphere as well.

This is all starting to seem almost hopeless, Jenrya thought with distress. Hypnos is being torn apart, people are dying and we can't do a single thing about it.

Within his pillar of emerald light, Jenrya clenched his fists tightly.

What if we finally get out of here and find that we're too late? What if the chaos spreads and even we aren't enough to stop it?

You'd think this thing would come with some sort of exit. Terriermon's frustration-laden voice interrupted Jenrya's musings.

I wish it did, Jenrya agreed darkly. I know Ruki is more than able to take care of herself, but if anything has happened to her…

Moumantai, Jen, His partner spoke assuredly. We'll figure a way out of this. Besides, Sakuyamon could probably eat that 'mon for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Relaxing slightly, Jenrya couldn't help giving a slight smile.

Probably. But I wouldn't mind giving her a hand, once we find a way out here.

You bet, Terriermon's voice replied enthusiastically. Harpymon and us have some unfinished business.

That's putting it very lightly, Jenrya murmured.

Patience may be a virtue, but I'm nearly at the end of mine. How much more time must we waste by being here.

Despite Jenrya's negative thinking, the shield gave the slightest tremor and the purple energy that fed it grew much dimmer.

I think this thing is weakening. The Tamer's voice was filled with relief.

Finally,Terriermon responded, obviously pleased. What'd I tell ya', Jen? Sakuyamon is thrashing that Digimon all over Shinjuku.

I'd like to think so, but something feels…wrong. Almost out of place.

With the obliqueness of the shield removed, Jenrya was better able to see the world around SaintGalgomon. His eyes widened in shock when he noticed that the sky was alight with brilliant colors.

Terriermon, look at the sky! Jenrya ordered with a measure of franticness.

What's happening to it? The Digimon inquired with equal amazement. Don't tell me it's falling!

With the luck we've been having, I wouldn't be surprised.

Once the clouds shifted to a reddish hue, giving the impression that the sky was almost awash with blood, Jenrya closed his eyes.

Of all the villains and dangers we've faced, I never thought things would end like this. There was no final battle, no last group effort. All those people were counting on us and now…Terriermon and I are alone.

I think this is it, Terriermon.

You never know, maybe Dukemon will fly in with one of his famous nail-biting, last-minute rescues.

Jenrya shook his head sadly.

Not this time. We're on our own.

Terriermon's voice was filled with uncharacteristic seriousness when he spoke. Whatever happens…at least we're together, Jen.

Thank goodness for that. Moumantai.

Dad…Mom…I'm so sorry…I won't be making it back to you after all.

A great rumble filled the air, blocking out any other sources of sound. The shield surrounding SaintGalgomon silently cracks and shatters, leaving the Ultimate Digimon at the full mercy of the light that surrounded him…

Amidst a sky glowing with golden energy and the ground strewn with destruction and dust, Sakuyamon and Erinyemon had resumed their unlikely battle.

With every blow they gave, Ruki knew that sight of Juri's innocent, though scarred face was preventing both her and Renamon from fighting at their most ferocious. Ruki was completely aware that memories aside, there was no connection between the sadistic, insane Perfect and her friend, yet was having slight trouble acting like it.

With a hellish shriek that had become all-too-irritating, Erinyemon lunged forward, her clawed fingers flexed as though to clutch Sakuyamon once again. Yet the Shaman Digimon feinted to the side, causing Erinyemon to pause unsteadily. It was then that Sakuyamon gave an ideal attack.

"Rice Cord!" She shouted, releasing a group of elemental fox spirits from her staff directly towards the battered Perfect.

"Dark…Telepathy." Erinyemon rasped, her breathing immensely labored. The familiar purple shield materialized around her body, yet its color was far paler than it had been in its prior incarnations.

With swift fluidity, the fox spirits crashed into the shield and shattered it, before smashing into the shocked Erinyemon. Bursts of multi-colored light exploded around her, while acrid smoke once again filled the air.

From within Sakuyamon, Ruki eyed the slowly soon-dissipating smoke sharply.

That had to have annihilated her or least knocked her out long enough for us to do what we need to, the young Tamer remarked.

I hope so, Renamon replied. The constant distraction was beginning to grow tiresome.

Frowning intensely, Sakuyamon took a few steps cautious steps closer.

Ruki was growing immensely aggravated by the situation.

She's put SaintGalgomon out of commission, done nothing but get in Renamon's and my way and she did something to Takato and won't say what it is, Ruki mused coldly. Not to mention her routine stalking and anyone else she might have hurt while she's been here.

For a moment, the only sounds in the decimated area were those of Sakuyamon's footsteps upon the ground. She reached Erinyemon's prone form quickly, yet hesitated as she stood above her.

The haughty Digimon was almost unrecognizable amidst the crumbled ground around her. Visibly bruised, burned and seemingly bleeding from various cuts and scratches, Erinyemon looked like the literal face of death.

Such a waste, Renamon murmured softly and Ruki couldn't help but slightly agree. Knowledge of the pressing matters at hand however, renewed her prior determination.

Let's get out here, She spoke firmly. Before I start to feel even sorrier for her.

With that said, Sakuyamon turned away. Nevertheless, she had barely taken three steps when a garbled voice came from behind her.

What now? Ruki thought with exasperation.

Half-expecting to see Erinyemon rejuvenated and preparing for another round, Sakuyamon sighed at the sight that greeted her still. The Perfect was in the same position she had previously been, aside from spasmodic twitching.

"They will become one," Erinyemon uttered incoherently, her chest heaving with every gasp. "With the breaking of sun, the Old Ones shall tremble. All of it his plan…"

The 'Old Ones?' Who is she talking about?

Curious despite herself, Sakuyamon stepped closer and exhaled lightly. The strong scent of burning was once again in the air.

"Lord, I failed." Erinyemon continued, her voice growing ever fainter. "Takato…shouldn't have let her take him for Demon's fodder. I failed..."

Sakuyamon nearly jumped backwards when Erinyemon gave a final heaving gasp and her body ceased shuddering. The area became utterly silent as her body then fell into heaps of ashes.

It's finally over, Ruki muttered grimly. She had used to take pleasure in vanquishing her enemies, but the battles with D-Reaper, Parasimon and even Hekatemon had made her more than slightly tired of it.

Feeling no small amount of sorrow, Sakuyamon turned and leaped.

We'll save everyone we can, Ruki thought determinedly.

As she flew amidst the golden sky and over the destruction below, the Shaman Digimon abruptly hesitated. The sky was beginning to flicker and quickly become a disturbing hue.

It's turning red! Ruki exclaimed in shock.

As the color grew almost painfully bright, Sakuyamon shielded her eyes and tried to land. A moment after her boots touched the ground, everything exploded.

Beelzebumon had quickly gotten over the shock of seeing Katou Juri and Culumon in the desolated and demolished area, yet it hardly diminished his ire.

"Where do you think you're goin'?" He inquired loudly as he stared at his two smaller companions.

"The world's endin' and you two thought it'd be fun to go on a joyride?"

Juri was hesitant to answer. For all Beelzebumon's anger and how quickly he had been set upon attacking, she couldn't help feeling that something was amiss.

"Beelzebumon sure looks cranky, culu." Culumon whispered in Juri's ear less softly than she would have chosen.

Even Culumon can feel the difference. What could be happening to him?

"Here's some advice, you little cream puff," growled the irate Ultimate. "Keep your mouth shut or you'll see just how 'cranky' I can really be."

Juri's eyes widened and she alighted from her bicycle cautiously.

"Is something wrong?" She asked tentatively.

With an almost feral look in his eyes, Beelzebumon nodded.

"Something's not right." He responded, his voice strained. "I feel…like destroying everything!"

With a disturbing suddenness, Beelzebumon doubled over and clutched his head, as though in pain.

"You two, get outta here! Before I do something we'll all regret." The Demon Lord ordered hoarsely.

Juri stared at him uncertainly. She was even more aware of the danger she faced, yet she couldn't just leave Beelzebumon to face whatever was plaguing him alone.

Beelzebumon glanced up at Juri, has lips drawn back in a wild snarl that displayed his impressive fangs prominently. "Go!"

The wild look on his face sent a cold shiver down the girl's spine and she clutched Culumon tightly to her.

"Alright, we're going." She uttered softly "Please be careful."

The reluctance plain on her face, Juri climbed back onto her bike. Seeing Beelzebumon in such a state had shaken her and rather than going forward as she had planned, Juri steers her bike back in the direction she had come from, back to her parents and the safety of her home.

She looked back only once, a fearful part of her wanted to be certain that Beelzebumon hadn't been trying to catch up with her. All the same, the Demon Lord had remained in the same position.

Beelzebumon watched Juri and Culumon disappear from sight and grimaced as a fresh wave of pain hit him. The desire for destruction all but burned within him, aching for release.

"It ain't me you need to be worried about." He muttered to himself softly.

What the hell is wrong with me?
Callous towards the destruction and chaos strewn on the ground below, a solitary figure streaks across the sky, his mutterings loud enough to attract the attention of others, were he somehow among them.

What do I appear to be?" Piemon growled, while gesturing wildly. "Some witless jester who caters to the amusement of children?"

He fury caused him to fly faster and soon even he could not ignore the changes in the sky, the shifting of its hue from yellow to crimson. Nevertheless, Piemon focused tried to focus upon the task he had been given. The addresses of his victims were still fresh in his mind; mainly due to the time he had spent infiltrating Hypnos.

If only LadyDevimon were by my side, Piemon mused with uncharacteristic wistfulness.

Her destructive tendencies often needed to be quelled for fear of punishment, yet watching her bring about gory death set Piemon's heart aflame like nothing else. The connection they shared was unlike any other.

A sudden vision of her fair face invaded his mind, her expression frozen into one of immense pain and horror. Piemon paused in the sky directly above an office building and released a snarl of fury far less eloquent than his nature might have normally allowed.

The treacherous wretch! The Ultimate Digimon thought with hatred and desperation. He forced my silver angel and I into his service and I was a fool for ignoring his true intentions.

"Clown Trick!" Screamed Piemon as he sent a burst of colorless energy from one of his hands directly towards the building below. As he anticipated, windows exploded and sent shards of broken glass and debris to the ground.

Yet that moment of random destruction brought Piemon little comfort.

He has seen fit to slay my dear LadyDevimon and I shall be sure to repay such an act by staining my Trump Swords with the blood of those irksome children!

Cackling with malicious madness, Piemon flew faster and caused his body to once again stream across the burning sky.