The Battle I Staked My Life On

Prologue: The Abyss' Shadow

The ocean was a dangerous place.

In one moment, it could be calm and serene, and, in the next, it could be violent and ruthless. The ocean provided life to countless marine digimon and vegetation. Yet, at the same time, the sea could drag one down under its currents. It could drown, it could pummel with its waves, and it could crush under its immense pressure. It could go deep enough to where not even light could reach. The darkness of the abyss was a constant cause of both intrigue and fear.

The vast ocean was beautifully deceptive, and it should be - if not feared – at least respected, for it held many dangers within its inviting embrace.

Waves splashed down gently and the water bobbed up and down rhythmically. The crests of the deep, blue waves were highlighted by the bright moon shining overhead in the night sky. The stars above flickered like distant candles. The ocean was at relative ease.

This was all the better for the four digimon swimming through the ocean's surface. Skimming the surface of the dark, moonlit sea were four different-looking digimon.

At the front of the group was a humanoid digimon clad in blue, white-trimmed armour, which looked like diving gear. On his head, which emerged and submerged with every wave, he wore a long scuba mask that pointed back behind his head. He paddled through the water with long arms and sharp, webbed, metal claws. However, it was his strong, fish-like tail that did most of the swimming.

Behind the Depthmon was a mammoth of a mammal digimon. A giant, blue whale digimon with a massive, fluked tail swam steadily through the waves. Over the top half of his body he had a brown, helmet-like feature that glistened in the moonlight while wet. Several sturdy ropes were secured tightly around the Whamon's body.

These ropes were tied to a large, buoyant, raft-like vessel. It was as wide as the giant whale's body and half as long. Beneath the raft were many sealed barrels that served as pontoons to help keep the vessel afloat. On top of the raft were securely fastened containers that were presumably filled with goods.

Flanking the cargo-hauling Whamon were two sea serpent digimon – one on each side. Both were almost as long as the Whamon. They were both long and eel-like, they both wore bladed helmets on their heads, they both had numerous fins, and they both had red scales and white underbellies. However, they also shared some differences. The one to the right of the Whamon – the MegaSeadramon – had a gold helmet with green hair sticking out from under it. The one to the left of the Whamon – the WaruSeadramon – had a black helmet with orange hair sticking out from under it. They both swam at the same pace as the Whamon, making sure to keep at a similar pace.

The Whamon swam a bit higher and released a spout of sea spray from his blowhole. "There was a time when I could make this route without needing an armed escort..." he rumbled.

"Times have changed, I'm sorry to say," the Depthmon ahead of him replied while looking around the surf dutifully. "Can't be too careful nowadays with the pirates around here."

The WaruSeadramon scoffed. "Pfft. Pirates? What pirates? Have any of you seen any pirates around these waters? Because I sure haven't."

"That's because you don't have anything worth stealing," the MegaSeadramon called to him from the other side of the Whamon.

"Yeah, well I just don't know why we're even needed," the darker toned WaruSeadramon replied before dipping his head beneath the waves for an underwater view.

"Look, they wouldn't be very good pirates if they were in plain sight all the time, now would they?" the MegaSeadramon retorted. "Don't complain. We're getting paid good money for this."

"Just as long as you're not taking your share of the bits out of my pay," the Whamon mumbled.

The Depthmon looked over his shoulder and grinned under his mask. "With the amount you get paid for transporting cargo from port to port, it would be a raindrop in the ocean," he said, sending his hand skimming across the water. "Especially with the hazard bonus."

"Shouldn't we get a hazard bonus?" the MegaSeadramon asked. "We're the ones who are risking our lives to protect this cargo shipment."

"That's our job, genius," the WaruSeadramon called back to him.

The Depthmon shook his head with exasperation and dove underwater. He disappeared from sight and left only a trace of oxygen bubbles floating to the surface.

The Whamon continued swimming, pulling his shipment along as he did. "The last three merchant convoys in a row were attacked by those pirates, you know," he told the two Seadramons.

"Going to Hydra's Port or from Hydra's Port?" the MegaSeadramon asked, looking over at him.

"Both," the sea mammal responded. "It's getting too dangerous for other cities to ship to the place anymore. So if you two could do your jobs and pay attention, that would be great."

"Pay attention to what?" the WaruSeadramon asked. "The only thing around is water. No pira-"

Suddenly, a pillar of water shot upwards from out of the ocean, ahead of the trio. The geyser of water reached heights even higher than when Whamon expelled water from his blow hole. They could tell from the height and the volume that it was from an enormous blast of pressure.

Their Depthmon comrade suddenly emerged from the end of the waterspout, flailing as he flew through the air. The Depthmon fell and landed on the Whamon's back with a gasp.

"What the?!" the WaruSeadramon explained, looking around.

Suddenly, underwater blasts exploded around his and the MegaSeadramon's sides, sending two more cascades of water up from beside them. They let out roars as they were concussed by the unexpected blasts and thrown against the Whamon's sides.

"What is this?!" the Whamon demanded, trying to shake the two sea serpents off of him.

Suddenly, a figure launched itself into the air from beneath the water, shooting upwards like a spring. A strange, amphibious, humanoid digimon with webbed hands and feet flew through the air. He performed an impressive, acrobatic somersault, but his dark blue clothing and cape were so hidden against the backdrop of the night sky that it would be easier for the Whamon to just use echolocation to spot him.

The figure landed on top of the Whamon, right over the Depthmon on his back. He was holding a long, intimidating pole-arm in his hand; on one end was a feature akin to the cylinder of a revolver, and on the other was a blade in the shape of a crescent moon. His white hair blew in the sea breeze and he had an expressionless yellow beak. Over his face, he had a belt-like mask that covered one of his eyes, the other of which glared down at the Depthmon.

The Sagomon spun his staff around and placed the crescent-shaped blade down so that the tips were pressed against the Whamon and the Depthmon's neck was collared by the blade, the metal pinning him to the Whamon's hard back threateningly. "Nobody move," the Sagomon ordered coolly, continuing to glare at the Depthmon.

The MegaSeadramon groaned and arched his spine so that he was upright again. He saw the Sagomon on top of his teammate and was about to act, but he felt something hard and metal against his lower body.

"I wouldn't do that," a deep, gruff voice warned.

The MegaSeadramon looked down and saw a bipedal walrus-like digimon floating in the water. The waves splashed against the large, green shell, which was strapped to the digimon's back by a thick belt. He had two savage tusks protruding from his mammalian mouth and a giant, serrated horn stuck out threateningly from his forehead. His skin was greyish and the furry parts of his body were orange, but the MegaSeadramon's eyes were drawn more to the giant, metal hammer that was pressed against his scales.

From behind the Zudomon emerged another digimon, appearing from underneath the surf. The first thing that could be seen was a metal fin sticking out of the water. Following that was the deep blue colour of armour that covered the front half of a light-blue shark's body. Had it been brighter, MegaSeadramon would have been able to read the Digi Letters inscribed on his armour that read "Deep 2000". In addition, he had a long tail and two fins protruding from both sides of his body. The Tylomon gave a toothy grin at the MegaSeadramon. "You should just stay still, eel boy," he spoke threateningly.

The MegaSeadramon growled with anger and annoyance, wondering how exactly they got the drop on them. He looked over Whamon to see if his WaruSeadramon teammate was okay. The WaruSeadramon was in a similar situation. He was looking down at a whitish-grey submarine-like digimon. The digimon had four white fins sticking out from under her white armour, the two front ones doubling as flippers. She also appeared to have two small yellow arms mid-way on her body. Likewise, the part of the Submarimon's body that the WaruSeadramon was most concerned about was her serrated, spinning drill nose, which was dangerously close to his body.

Behind her was a dark blue, shrimpy, amphibian-like creature floating in the water. Rigged to his back was a tank; the silver upper half seemed to be used for oxygen and the red lower half for propelling himself while underwater. He had a white underbelly and face, and his green eyes seemed to lack any sort of confidence as he held up a small harpoon in the face of the giant sea dragon. Fortunately for the Divermon, the WaruSeadramon didn't really feel like testing what the other pirate's drill could do.

"So I guess there are pirates," the WaruSeadramon murmured to himself, shrinking back against the Whamon's side uncomfortably.

The Whamon sneered when he saw a final digimon appear from the dark water. The first thing they saw was a humanoid body emerge from the water. A blue helmet, soaked with water, sparkled in the moonlight as it appeared. On the nose of the helmet was a sharp, metal blade and, at the back, was metal stylized as a fishtail that pointed up against the helmet, ending with a curved blue blade at the back of his head. Two white, fan-like ears protruded from under his helmet. The digimon also had yellow mouth with sharp teeth reminiscent of an aquatic fish. It was a variation from the more human-like face that some other digimon of that species had. His neck, arms, and back were covered in damp, purple fabric. He stood apart from the other pirates by how regal and majestic he looked. His armour was very ornamental; the blue spaulders protecting his shoulders had an intricate fish scale design, as did his torso armour and the faulds protecting his hips. He also wore sapphire breastplate and bracers.

The intimidating digimon finally rose to the surface, revealing that his entire lower body was that of a large, powerful fish. Red cloth hung from his sides and went around his body to meet at the back, the stray ends hanging behind him like a sash. Several belts were strapped around his fish-like lower body, ending at his tail. In his hand, he gripped a long trident that had prongs shaped like jagged, arrowhead-like fish heads, arranged in a triangular pattern around the shaft.

"What is that?" the Depthmon asked, looking past the Sagomon standing over him.

"Somebody you don't want to annoy," the Sagomon replied, not taking his eyes off of the Depthmon.

"Is that a Neptunemon?" the WaruSeadramon asked wide-eyed. "I didn't think they were real."

"Just like you didn't think pirates were real," the MegaSeadramon muttered, nervously watching as the Neptunemon swam over to them.

"Greetings, my fellow Deep Savers," he greeted, smiling as he quickly approached them. However, his smile wasn't the sort to put any of their hearts at ease; all it did was make him look even more fearsome.

"What's so good about it?!" the WaruSeadramon retorted hostilely.

The MegaSeadramon shook his head in response to his comrade. He turned to the Neptunemon and glared. "Who are you and what do you want?" he asked, hostility in his voice.

"My name is Captain Neptunemon," the Neptunemon replied. "And I think you know what we want."

The MegaSeadramon sneered and looked towards the cargo the Whamon was towing, which they were tasked with protecting. "The shipment from Hydra's Port…" he spoke. He frowned and turned back to Neptunemon, giving him a defiant glare. "…We won't give it to you! It's our jobs to protect it."

"Very professional," the pirate captain said, swimming up to him. "But you should be more concerned for your lives than for your shipment."

The Zudomon pirate swung his hammer back threateningly. The MegaSeadramon grimaced and looked at the other three before turning back to the Neptunemon.

"Give us the shipment and nobody gets hurt," Neptunemon promised him. "We have no intention of causing any of you grievous bodily harm unless you try to get in our way."

"Damnit…" the Depthmon growled in frustration. "I hate saying this, but just let them have it. I'd rather get chewed out than knocked out."

"Ditto," the WaruSeadramon agreed.

The Whamon grumbled, giving reluctant compliance.

The MegaSeadramon hissed. "…Damnit. Fine," he muttered, giving way, though extremely annoyed at himself for doing so.

Neptunemon smirked. "There's a good boy…" he spoke. He then turned to the mammal digimon. "Zudomon, cut the ropes and start pulling. This haul's a good one; I can feel it."