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Old December 23rd, 2010 (06:15 PM). Edited December 23rd, 2010 by Grovyle42(Griff8416).
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Dracocide: Eternal Hate


Act I: The Gathering Clouds
Act II: The Surging Rain
Act III: The Devouring Storm
Act IV: The Breaching Light

Rated 14A for violence, language, and sexual situations and innuendo. Now parents can't get mad at me. <thumbs up>

Another Digimon "short" story based on the Digimon: Civil War and Digimon: Dark Reign universe (http://www.serebiiforums.com/showthread.php?t=342953 and http://www.serebiiforums.com/showthread.php?t=405283, respectively). This takes place in the aftermath of Dark Reign. Kamotz originally came up with the plot and was going to write it, but then became busy so I offered to write it instead since it centers around my characters. I tried to keep it as close as to what he planned as I could, but I made a couple, hopefully not too drastic, changes, especially in regards to my characters. It was 48 pages in total... Oh boy.

Anyways, this was originally made for the RPG, so there are probably a few references that will be completely lost on casual readers, but I'm hoping this will be able to stand alone anyways.

Disclaimer: The characters of Erebus and Balion are wholly mine. Most of the other characters belong to Kamotz (and, in one case, Food Guy) or were partially concieved by him, though I made the debut characters' personalities. The various, unnamed minor characters are also mine.

Also, the three piano songs I included are all written by the composer Toshihiko Sahashi.


Act I: The Gathering Clouds




The full moon shone high in the night sky, casting eerie blue rays down upon the buildings. A figure stood on the roof of a lookout tower. The black silhouette of his form was cast against the large white sphere resting in the sky behind him. Though the light rays reflected off of his elbow spikes and brown, metal helmet, shoulders and legs, they were lost upon hitting the digimon’s black, rubber armour. He folded his arms across his chest and fingered a red piece of fabric tied around his left bicep with one of his claws as they slackened.

The Cyberdramon relaxed his four crimson wings while looking out over the capital of the new world that was to be created from out of the Blackest Night of Dracul Samhain’s destruction and rebirth of the world. Luckily for the free digimon, a group known as the Avengers stopped him from recreating the world in his own view. With the Black King deposed, the survivors, spearheaded by most of the Avengers, began to rebuild and restore.

This Cyberdramon was one of those Avengers.

Erebus Artorius was his name. He was a former but reluctant soldier of the Dramon Empire. When the Blackest Night fell, he joined the Avengers in their quest to defeat Samhain. Afterwards, he helped the rebuilding process, but often moved around the lands, unable to settle down and live like the others. He was now in the capital, stoically looking down upon the city which was largely still under construction. The only buildings that were completely built were the council body’s center, several guard towers like the one that he stood upon, and several houses in the higher class residential areas. The city wall was in the process of being built as were many other parts of the city. The material used for the construction was salvaged from both the ruins of much of the Dramon Empire’s capital and the ruins of Dracul Samhain’s castle.

All the digimon, Dramon included, worked together to help rebuild the world which was decimated in the events of the Blackest Night. It seemed as though the world would be a utopia. With the world united, there shouldn't have been anymore warring factions or strife. However, just because the world should've been peaceful and just, that doesn't necessarily mean that it was peaceful and just.

Erebus’ gaze turned to a large slum at the edge of the city that was backed beside the city wall, still within the city itself. The slum was largely populated by Dramon. After Imego and Gog-Magog’s defeat in the Civil War and before Samhain’s take over, the Dramon Empire had to pay large sums of war reparations to the other nations, leaving them considerably less prosperous. Despite their cooperation with the resistance in Samhain’s rule and the united world that followed his defeat, the Dramons haven’t quite reached full acceptance among the other Digimon. Though this may be, a vast majority of the non-Dramon digimon would not outright agree that Dramons haven’t been fully accepted. It was an indirect, passive discrimination, though many would say they deserved it for what happened during the Civil War.

The Cyberdramon sighed through his nostrils as he looked down at the slum. Even in their united world, hatred and contempt still existed and not all was just. There were still Dramons who existed and held the ideals of their old empire- that they were superior to all other races and species. On the other side, there were digimon who thought that the all Dramon were deplorable, largely, though not completely, in part to the Dramon Empire’s take over of the world. The odd fisticuff broke out as a result, but never anything too serious...

A bad feeling over took him; he felt like something wasn’t right. A gust of wind blew through the statue-like Erebus’ crimson wings, causing them to rustle. The black-armoured Dramon finally moved, placing his feet at the edge of the watchtower and jumped into the air. He outstretched his wings and soared across the sky while pitching downwards in a gentle descent angle. Erebus declined through the air in the direction of the slum, barely visible against the night sky to anyone who might look upwards. He glided down and just before landing, swerved into an alleyway. There he quickly dedigivolved into his Strikedramon form.

Erebus was one of the Avengers, so he had a famous face, at least as a Cyberdramon or, to a lesser extent, Justimon. He could never stand being recognized, getting thanked, and receiving all that attention, so he tended to prefer his Strikedramon form when in public.

He fidgeted slightly as his reddish orange hair brushed against his back, itching him slightly. Erebus was used to the form, but he always felt strange when losing the wings that he was accustomed to. The Strikedramon calmly strode out of the alley and walked down the street of the slum. He walked past a couple houses that were under construction, towards where the city wall stood in development. All was quiet, except for the multiple footsteps of a digimon ahead of him.

Erebus looked forward and saw the black- armoured form of a Raidramon walking hurriedly. He looked nervous, especially given that he was constantly looking around him and glancing over his shoulders.

“Hey, buddy,” the quadruped hailed in a hushed tone. Erebus looked behind himself to see if he was talking to someone else, but was indeed talking to him.

“Er...?” the Avenger replied uncomfortably, wondering what he wanted.

“I wouldn’t be walkin’ ‘round alone at this time of night if I were you...” he said, his red eyes darting around as if scanning the area.

“...Why is that?” Erebus asked, curious as to why he was so nervous.

“Somebody... is going around killin’ Dramon,” he whispered. “I’ve heard rumours... heard it wasn’t just in this city, but other cities too... And not long ago tonight, I heard a draconic scream... I ran to where it came from and saw... data,” he explained, shuddering. “Didn’t see a trace of anyone though... It was like they were ‘nvisible. Got outta there as quickly as I could...”

Erebus stared at the Raidramon discriminatingly, trying to figure out if the jumpy digimon was just paranoid or actually telling the truth. “...Is there anything else you can tell me?”

“Yeah...” the Raidramon said. “Stay ‘nside for a few nights... or tell the Avengers ‘bout this. Or the governing body.”

With that, he quickly took off past the Strikedramon. Erebus watched as he bolted away. The dragon-man grunted and turned around, continuing to walk into the slum which was dwarfed in height by the city wall behind it, even though it wasn’t close to completed and there weren’t even any ramparts or parapets yet. Erebus walked down the dirt-ridden road which was lit up only by the moon rays and the odd flame inside of a house.

He stopped in his tracks when both a scraping sound and a familiar scent caught his attention. The noise sounded like the screaming of metal, a noise familiar to Erebus through the many battles he had fought. However, it was metal clashing against something other than metal. The aroma that he picked up with his sensitive senses was decidedly iron-like. He also knew what this smell was: not iron, but blood.

Erebus bolted into a full charge, following the sound and the scent. He sprinted down the street towards the base of the wall at the end of the slum area, but as he grew closer the sound suddenly stopped. The Strikedramon looked all around him but saw nobody. He heard no footsteps or the beating of wings. Erebus came to a stop at the base of the city wall. This was where the smell of blood was the strongest.

He saw no digimon, but what he did see shocked him and proceeded to elicit a throaty growl from his mouth. Erebus sniffed and walked toward the wall. Writing was carved into it. The dragon-man carefully examined the writing, running one of his claws down a groove in one of the letters. When he retracted his claw, on the tip of the bone was a dark red liquid. “Blood,” he growled, turning away from the wall in disgust at what this meant. “I should inform Ajax and the others at the governing body tomorrow morning...

“This cannot be ignored...” he said to himself. With that, the Strikedramon stormed away from the wall, on which a giant, sharpened rends engraved in the thick stone these large words:

EVERY DRAMON MUST PAY

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Erebus, in Cyberdramon form, groggily stepped out of his small room and made his way towards the front desk. He had stayed in a humble inn across from the council body’s center. Having stayed up late and woken up early, he was quite tired, but that didn’t bother him much. After a yawn, the Cyberdramon stopped at the front desk and looked over the counter at a Starmon, who sat on a stool flipping through his earnings. Erebus took out the appropriate amount of cash from a pocket in his rubber armour and outstretched his hand, offering the money.

“Hoo boy!” said the Starmon raising his hands in a deterring manner. “Please, pardner. You’re an Avenger; it’s on the house for you! It’s the least I can do!”

Erebus stubbornly persisted, leaving the money on the counter before nodding in thanks and turning to leave before the Starmon could refuse. He opened the large front door of the inn and stepped out into the street. Across the street stood the large, wide, and tall one-story building of the council body, made to fit almost any digimon. A large glass dome sat atop the center of the building Erebus crossed the street and walked down the stone path that led to the front entrance, which had a guard on each side of the door. He approached the door and turned to one of the two guards.

“I must address the governing body. My name is Erebus Artorius,” he added, just in case they were sceptical about letting him in.

“Err, very well. They should be free right now,” said the Gallantmon guard, resting his lance against the wall as he opened the door. “I’ll let them know. Wait here.”

With that, he disappeared inside while Erebus leaned on the wall where the guard previously stood. He bowed his head and thought about what took place last night. “Could somebody really still bear a deep enough grudge after all these years to commit murder? Certain higher up members of the Dramon Empire – those who were responsible for all the death that took place in the Civil War – I can understand deserving this level of retaliation, but innocent civilians being killed just because of their race? That is not justice... That is a dark distortion of justice.

“Excuse me, Mister Artorius?” the other guard – a WarGreymon – asked suddenly. “Do you think you could give me an autograph? Uhh, for my kid, I mean.”

Erebus rolled his eyes, which were fortunately concealed by the helmet he wore, but nodded reluctantly, taking the quill the dinosaur offered. “Where?”

“My Brave Shield should do... I, uhh, plan to pass it down to him,” explained the WarGreymon a bit too quickly.

The Cyberdramon quickly scribbled down his signature, stopping when the door beside him opened and the Gallantmon walked out. “They’re ready for you now, sir.”

Erebus nodded following the guard inside. On the other side of the door were two more guards protecting the exit, apparently in case anyone should break past the exterior guards. As Erebus walked in, he noticed that the large hall not only led ahead upon entering, but also branched off to the left and right. The Gallantmon, however, led Erebus forwards stopping in front of a great door which also had two Mega level guards stationed outside of it.

“The governing body is just inside here,” the guard said, placing his gauntlets on the door and pushing.

The Cyberdramon exhaled through his nostrils. As much as he preferred keeping to himself and avoiding situations like these, he knew that he couldn’t ignore what he saw. The door opened fully and the Gallantmon walked inside to reveal a giant, grand hall. Sunlight shone from the glass dome above down into the center of the room, causing the brilliant, marble tiles to shimmer and seemingly glow. On the other side of the room, the floor was elevated by a step. A long, well-made wooden table, shaped like a near-semicircular ring, rested atop the dais. Seated on the outer edge of the table were the members of the governing body.

Sitting at the far left end of the ring was the form of a MedievalGallantmon that Erebus knew quite well. As Erebus started to walk in he cast Ajax a quick glance, who seemed to be observing him with the utmost seriousness and curiosity. Sitting next to him was his love, Rhea Ophania, an Ophanimon and one of the Three Angels of the Celestial Sphere. To her left – Erebus’ right – were the other two angels: Uriel Seraphim and Castiel Cherubei; a Seraphimon and Cherubimon, respectively. Seated at the apex of the half-ring council table was Arahon Alpha, the former Alphamon commander of the Rebellion. On Arahon’s left, sitting on the other side of the table were a SaberLeomon, HerculesKabuterimon X, MetalGarurumon and Plesiomon.

Erebus stopped in the middle of the room, in the center of the light that shone down through the glass, and bowed his head respectfully. “Erebus...” Ajax greeted, his assertive voice echoing throughout the room. “It’s been awhile. What brings you here?” he asked, staring at the Cyberdramon carefully. “Whatever it is must be important for him to come before us like this...” he mentally added. While Ajax was particularly intrigued by Erebus’ request for an audience, the rest of the body was generally neutral towards his presence, viewing it more or less as any other digimon who faced them with an issue.

“I’ve...” the Cyberdramon begun, stalling slightly as he chose his words. “...Some disturbing news has been brought to my attention. There have been rumours of a digimon stalking the slums of cities - this one included - murdering Dramon,” he explained.

“What?” Ajax reacted with shock and a hint of anger. “You’re sure of this?”

Erebus nodded resolutely. Most other members of the council, however, regarded this claim with scepticism.

“As disquieting as that is...” Castiel spoke up with hesitation in his voice. “Rumours are just that: rumours... They may be false, they may be true, or they may hold truth, which is... distorted.”

“Castiel is correct,” the SaberLeomon agreed, quickly and sharply. “I’d put more stock in a demon’s promise than I would hearsay.”

“Do you have any proof to back up what you say, Erebus?” Arahon asked calmly.

The Cyberdramon’s teeth clenched at the body’s doubt (barring Ajax), but he nodded once more. “Yes... I was patrolling the slum last night.”

“’Patrolling’?” the SaberLeomon questioned, interrupting and raising an eyebrow at his choice of words.

Erebus gave a short nod and resumed. “...I heard a noise and I went to check it out. Written on the side of the city wall were the words ‘Every Dramon must pay’.”

Ajax’s brow furrowed and Rhea and Arahon regarded his words with some concern. “It was probably just some drunk,” said the SaberLeomon dismissively.

“Yes... It’s probably not of any concern. It should be no surprise that there are still digimon who... hmm... resent Dramon...” the MetalGarurumon agreed. “Your kind were responsible for the dethroning of the Sovereigns. It led to many digimons’ deaths; there are some who will never forgive...”

Erebus clenched his fists and attempted not to growl.

“It’s better to be safe than sorry,” Ajax countered, turning his head and glaring across the table at the SaberLeomon and MetalGarurumon.

“...I also found fresh blood in the letters,” the Cyberdramon spoke up. “It couldn’t have been drawn more than twenty minutes from when I found it.”

“We should look into this,” Ajax advised to the other governing body members.

“Did any of these rumours mention who the presumed killer was?” asked the TyrantKabuterimon.

“No...” Erebus answered grimly.

“A ghost murderer,” the MetalGarurumon said with a roll of his eyes.

“Whoever did that could have just cut themselves or something,” the SaberLeomon suggested.

They can’t be serious... I’m not the one grasping at straws, but they are!” he thought as a visible scowl grew on his face.

“That might be a stretch...” Arahon countered, “but I don’t think we can spare the manpower or resources searching this digimon at this point in the reconstruction, regretful as it may be. If it becomes a problem, we will look into it again.”

“It’s already a problem,” Erebus responded in a calmed voice, though his agitation was clear in his tone. “This is the indiscriminate murder of Dramon.”

“We don’t know that yet,” Arahon responded.

“I agree with Arahon’s stance,” the SaberLeomon said.

“As do I,” concurred the MetalGarurumon. “All those who agree, say ‘Aye’.”

The words ‘Aye’ rang out from the Plesiomon and TyrantKabuterimon, followed by Uriel and Castiel in near unison. Rhea also agreed with the others, leaving a reluctant Ajax.

Knowing that he was alone and that it wouldn’t make a difference even if he did oppose, he cast a look to Erebus. Grudgingly, he answered, “Aye...”

“Then this meeting is adjourned,” Arahon said, nodding at the Cyberdramon. “Thank you, Erebus.”

Scowling, Erebus grunted and turned around, storming out of the room and into the hall. “Useless bigots,” he growled to himself, unable to help but feel that because Dramon were the victims, that they were less important due to lasting grudges.

“Sir, hold on!” a voice called from behind him. The Gallantmon guard walked over to the still-fuming Cyberdramon. “Ajax has asked that you wait for him in that room at the end of this hall. He’ll come and speak with you once he’s finished with the others,” he said, pointing down the hall to their right.

Erebus reluctantly complied, willing to humour Ajax for only so long. The guard led him down the long, wide hall which was largely undecorated at the moment. Erebus supposed that they might do some interior designing after the more important work was done on the city. The Gallantmon opened the door to a room at the end of the hall which then turned to the right into an adjacent hall. He walked back to his post as Erebus entered the small room which was lit with two torches on the stone walls. In the center of the room was a table and a couple chairs sitting around it.

The dragon-man walked in and leaned against the nearby wall. “How can they ignore this so readily? Whatever certain members of my species have done in the past, innocent Dramon do not deserve to suffer for it. This world was supposed to be united with Dracul Samhain’s death...” he thought, tensing his balled up claws.

Erebus waited for Ajax, growing more and more furious with each minute that passed as he treaded amongst his thoughts. Five minutes passed and the Cyberdramon finally stood upright. “Why bother waiting for Ajax? He will not help me,” he thought, turning towards the open doorway and walking towards it.

Suddenly, Ajax appeared from the left hallway and stood in the doorway, blocking the black-armoured dragon’s path. “Erebus,” he said in a diffusing tone.

“Get out of my way,” Erebus bitterly snarled, forcefully pushing past him to get to the doorway. “I’ve wasted enough time.

Ajax sneered and grabbed his shoulder after having been knocked into the wall by him. “Wait,” he said, pulling the Cyberdramon back toward the table near them. Erebus growled but Ajax cut him off. “Look, I agree with you that there’s something going on here, but I don’t think I can get the others to go along with it.”

“A vast understatement...” Erebus muttered, still boring holes into the MedievalGallantmon. “Dramon are dying and you’re all sitting on your hands.”

“And you mean to do something about it, don’t you,” Ajax said, more as a conclusion than a question. Erebus didn’t need to respond to prove Ajax correct. “I can’t condone vigilantism, Erebus...” Ajax began.

As the Cyberdramon opened his mouth to protest, the armoured knight cut him off. “But... I might be able to convince the others to turn a blind eye if someone were to take it upon themselves to investigate... for a little awhile, anyways.”

Erebus looked at Ajax with surprise, not noticing that he had left something on the table beside them. He felt gratitude to his fellow Avenger, for what the favour was worth. The MedievalGallantmon turned around and walked towards the way he came before Erebus could respond or thank him. An orange glint beside him caught Erebus’ notice. He looked down and saw a golden badge that Ajax ‘forgot’ on the table, resting atop several signed warrants with Ajax’s signature written at the bottom of each one.

Ajax stopped in the doorway, turned his head and cast a glance to Erebus out of the corner of his eye.

“And Erebus? ...You have one week.”

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Erebus, in his Strikedramon form, jogged down the street of the slum that he had walked on last night. He stopped at the corner of the street he ran down and the street that was adjacent to the city wall where he found the sentence. The dragon-man looked across the street and saw a small crowd of Dramon gathered around the graffiti, talking about it heatedly. Dramon passing by would either acknowledge the threat and join the crowd, or awkwardly ignore it, passing by as if there wasn’t anything wrong.

The Strikedramon growled and ran towards the crowd, shoving through it. “Step back!” he roared, pushing an AeroVeedramon onto his rear before spinning around to shove a Growlmon away from the wall. “You’re screwing up the crime scene!”

“Who the hell are you?!” a Gigadramon spat, slithering towards him, ready for a fight.

Erebus became engulfed in light and emerged in his Cyberdramon form. The Gigadramon moved towards him another foot, readying his clamp-like hand. Before the serpentine dramon could act, Erebus drove his shoulder into the Gigadramon’s gut. As the dramon reeled back, Erebus spun around, striking him with his tail while raising his leg up high, before bringing his heel down on the Gigadramon’s collar. The digimon fell on his back, the wind knocked clear out of him.

Erebus whipped his badge out of a pocket in his rubber armour and held it out in front of him. “I’m Erebus Artorius; back off,” he warned simply.

The crowd went silent and stepped back, allowing him some space. Erebus turned away from them and carefully stepped towards the wall. His hand donned with hard rubber rested on the stone wall and he ran one of his claws along the inside edge of the rends in the stone. “It’s comparatively shallow... and the gashes are course,” he observed. “It cannot be a sword. A long blade would be deeper and finer. It must be shorter, like a claw or a dagger, perhaps even a dull spear...

Erebus crouched down on his haunches and bowed his head in thought. “It’s doubtful that they are a Dramon... They have to be Mega level or at least Ultimate to be able to take down these digimon without much problem. Perhaps even a very skilled Champion level if they can set up the perfect ambush... There’s still so many possibilities...

“It doesn’t look like he’s doing anything...” a green Coredramon whispered to his friend, a blue Coredramon.

“Shh!” the blue Coredramon replied, quickly cupping his hand over his friend’s mouth. “Don’t you know who that is?! He could break you like a twig! It’s why he’s alive, I heard...”

Erebus then stood to his feet, prompting the green Coredramon to subsequently put his hand over his friend’s mouth. “-ee’s eh-ing –ub...” he told him. His voice was muffled so he had trouble saying what he intended, which was, “He’s getting up!”

The Cyberdramon turned around and walked towards them. The two Coredramon started panicking, releasing each other’s snouts and backing up. Erebus, however, just walked between them and through the crowd, who made way for him.

“Where are you going?” one of the Dramon asked.

“I need to find a list of crime records and missing digimons reports to find out when this began. If I can find out what is connected and when, I may be able to find some leads...” Erebus explained.

“You should be able to find those at the law enforcement station near where the governing body meets,” another explained. The Cyberdramon nodded in thanks and continued walking.

“...Are you going to catch the digimon who’s doing this?” the green Coredramon asked nervously.

Erebus stopped in his tracks and stood there in silence. The emerald dragon became terrified he said something wrong.

“...Yes,” Erebus answered firmly, not turning around as he spoke. He then flapped his red wings and took into the sky.

A cool breeze blew against him, flowing down his collar and between his skin and his rubber armour. He looked up and saw a sizable cloud block the sun in the sky. Erebus flew over the tops of buildings, some finished, but most largely still under construction as he glided. The governing body center entered his line of sight and he swooped down closer the ground. The street was thriving with digimon at this time of the day. Several street vendors had set up their shops and were haggling with customers. Many digimon went in various businesses and came out new food or items in hand. Daily life seemed normal once again and the world prosperous... but Erebus knew better. He knew that Dramon were being murdered and he vowed to stop it.

He circled once around the large building, inspecting its surroundings, before landing on the street on the back end of the council center, opposite to the inn he stayed at. The law enforcement station, a medium-sized, stone tower, stood across the street from Erebus, who had previously assumed that it was just a better constructed lookout tower. After allowing a Triceramon to pass down the street in front of him, the Cyberdramon crossed and walked up the steps to the tall building.

Erebus pushed open the wooden food and entered the dimly lit lobby. The large room was filled with digimon, over half of them law-enforcement officials, made evident by their badges. The Cyberdramon wasted no time and hurriedly walked over to the front desk, where a Beelzemon, who donned a badge on his leather jacket, sat in a relaxed fashion with his feet up and arm draped over the back of the chair.

“Yo, what can I do for ya?” he greeted nonchalantly.

“Give me your crime records for the last two weeks,” he said impatiently.

“Listen, bud... we don’t jus’ give those away like these free mints here – want one, by the way?“ he said, gesturing to a plate of mints on the table. “Anyways, jus’ who the hell are ya and what makes you think I’ll give ‘em to ya? They’re for law-enforcin’ eyes only, ya know. And I don’t even know if you got eyes under that shiny helmet a yours...”

Erebus sneered. “I’m Erebus Artorius,” he said.

“Uh huh. And jus’ the other day, an ExVeemon claimin’ to be Balion Flamdring walked into a store and demanded that all the female digimon in there take off their clothes or Dracul Samhain would come back. And I knew for a fact that Balion was off ‘n Witchenly or wherever.”

“...Are you sure it wasn’t Balion?” Erebus asked dryly.

“Point is, either give me some proof or scram,” the demon digimon said while twiddling a toothpick around his fingers.

Erebus grudgingly drew his badge and a warrant from a pocket in his armour and handed them to the Beelzemon. The digimon’s three eyes glanced at the badge and then scanned the warrant. “...Trusted individual... yaddi yadda... permission to access all law enforcement files an’ evidence... yaddi yaddi yadda... signed by Ajax Ouranos,” he finished, sliding the warrant back to Erebus. “Well, Mister Avenger, sir, I’ll ring up a file jockey and get the records for ya.”

The Cyberdramon nodded as the Beelzemon reluctantly sat up, stood and walked through the door behind him. A few moments later, the demon’s head poked through the door and beckoned Erebus in. “Yo, rubber-pants, you comin’ or not?”

Erebus silently followed him, being led down the stairs into the basement of the station. Across from the bottom of the stairs was a door leading to a vault of evidence and files. The Beelzemon turned and raised his hand. “Ya got free reign to go in here, but it’d probably be easier if you waited here while I got someone to find the records for ya.”

With that, he walked inside while Erebus leaned against the wall, waiting. After a couple minutes, the demon digimon returned and informally handed him a stack of papers while passing by. “I got the copies. Knock yerself out and close the door when you’re done, got it?”

Erebus nodded and began scanning and flipping through the records, trying to make any connection that he could. He looked through the various reports of disappearances, trying to find commonalities.

Thirty minutes passed and he now sat on the stairs, still going through the various files. The Cyberdramon growled in frustration, holding himself back from ripping the records into tiny pieces.

Nothing... I can’t see any connection... How am I supposed to string this together? Who could be of use?” he wondered. “...Who else?” Erebus suddenly said in almost disdain, standing up and putting the records in his armour’s pocket. “The super-soldier of miracles...

“...Caesar Magnus.”

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Erebus drove his claws into the cliff face hoisting him up another meter as he scaled a relatively skinny yet tall and steep mountain. It was akin to a giant spike raised out of the ground and piercing into the heavens. The Cyberdramon grunted as he threw his other arm over his head and pierced his claws into the rock. A swirling cloud passed around him, engulfing him with white vapour until he pulled himself out of the cloud with another step upwards. The dragon had flown up for the three quarters, but he figured he’d give his wings a break and get an arm workout out of it. He realized time was a factor, so he climbed faster.

After several minutes, Erebus reached the apex of the mountain, which was actually a wide plateau the length and width of a house. Thousands of feet separated the Cyberdramon from the ground as he pulled himself up onto the summit. The zenith radiated gold, causing Erebus to narrow his eyes slightly. In the very center of the level crest was a blue, draconic digimon clad in golden armour. He sat cross-legged, levitating off the ground while remaining perfectly still. The Cyberdramon couldn’t help but allow a barely noticeable grin to appear on his face.

“Erebus Artorius,” the digimon said in an ethereal, detached and relatively youthful voice, not even needing to open his eyes.

“Caesar...” Erebus greeted. “I see Ajax has not been watching over you as much...”

“I have obtained better control over my abilities,” Caesar calmly replied, slowly opening his eyes. “Though I am still honing them, as you can see...”

Erebus looked at him cagily and stayed standing where he was. “I see... I haven’t seen or heard about you since the world started to rebuild. Is this where you have been all this time?”

“Yes... It was Ajax who told you of my whereabouts?” the Magnamon asked.

Erebus nodded. “Hiding away?” he asked with a hint of resentment.

Caesar didn’t respond.

“If you ever need somewhere to stay, you can stay at my place,” Erebus added. “...Surely even super-soldiers must eat sometime.”

“Thank you,” Caesar answered, his voice still steady. “...Why did you seek me out?” he asked.

“I need your help... There is a digimon going around murdering former citizens of the Dramon Empire,” he explained. “You may be able to help decipher a pattern surrounding the chronology and circumstance of these murders.”

Caesar bowed his head and uncrossed his legs, placing his feet on the ground and standing upright. “I am a super-soldier... I was never truly part of the Dramon Empire,” he responded.

“That’s no excuse...” Erebus barked angrily. “I have as much reason to care as you do.”

While he wasn’t sure what Erebus meant by that last comment, a soft smile appeared on Caesar’s face and he nodded. “You are correct...”

The Cyberdramon was confused momentarily. “Was he testing me?” he wondered.

“However,” the Magnamon begun, “I have chosen not to become physically involved in the world until I have mastered my... ‘sight’." Erebus sneered at this. “That doesn’t mean I cannot help you, though. This could provide me with an opportunity to explore my power’s scope further.”

Erebus nodded gratefully and walked towards him. He reached his claw into his armour and pulled out his documents, which he handed to Caesar. The Magnamon took the records and quickly scanned them. Caesar’s eyes went distant and burned with a bright, golden hue as he tapped into his powers with the new data he received. He proceeded to twist his reality, starting to devise the crimes and events into a timeline.

Erebus’ gaze softened. “This... is what super-soldiers can do. What they were born... made... to do...” His fist clenched.

The data of the digital world rushed through Caesar’s consciousness, flooding him with information on a primal scale. Several congruent events fell into place before him in his racing mind. His eyes returned to their normal, red colour and his eyes focused on Erebus once more.

“Three constant commonalities leading up to the murders are present in all the cities where the murders occurred,” Caesar explained.

Erebus smirked. He was finally onto something. “Please, now check the cities where the murders haven’t occurred.”

Caesar nodded in understanding, knowing Erebus meant to check which other city had these common events, which would make it the target for the next attack. The Magnamon went scouring through the world’s data once again. “...I have something. The city built around where the Celestial Sphere fell has data similar to the others. The next murder should occur there.”

“Thank you, Caesar,” Erebus said, his voice exhibiting deep gratitude. He turned away from the Magnamon and started to walk towards the edge of the peak.

Before making it to the edge, Erebus stopped in his tracks and stood there. He glanced over his shoulder behind him. “You shouldn’t stay up here too long.”

“Why not?” Caesar asked.

“You shouldn’t isolate yourself,” he said.

“What is it that you do?” the Magnamon asked, offering a small joke. Upon Erebus growling and continuing to walk away, Caesar followed up. “Why not? I must perfect my abilities...”

Erebus stopped again. “Because super-soldier or not, you’re still a digimon like the rest of us... Remember that.”

Caesar sat down, crossed his legs and began floating a foot off the ground once again. With his eyes closed, he asked curiously, “Why does it matter to you, Erebus?”

Erebus stalled before giving a dismissive wave of his claw. “... Thanks for the help, Caesar. ...Useless excuse for a digimon,” Erebus said, muttering the last part.

“I heard that...” Caesar informed with a small grin on his face.

Standing at the peak, the smirking Erebus reacted with a short chuckle before diving off and making for the city.

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The moonlight shone down on the young city, casting shadows from the various buildings down onto the streets. The city almost seemed to glimmer in the moon’s light blue rays. Erebus stood on the rooftop of a higher building, looking down at the slums below. He decided that this was a good vantage point for his patrol, figuring that flying around would draw too much attention. The streets were quiet, for the most part, but there was movement on the street below him that caught his eye.

Erebus saw a female Paildramon walking down the far side of the street, across from where he positioned himself. He watched her as she casually walked away from him, the moon reflecting off the armour on her head and shoulders. The Cyberdramon readied to jump at any moment, should she be attacked. However, she continued walking, safe and undisturbed.

The dragon’s form tensed up when he heard a cry echo from a few streets away. Erebus launched himself off the building and soared at full speed in the direction of the pained yell. In moments, he landed on the roof of a building stopped upon hearing a noise. He heard sobbing below him in an alley, prompting him to look down.

A Flamedramon lay on his back with a three wounds in his stomach all bleeding out onto the ground beneath. Data was streaming from his dying body. Standing over him was the large form of an Allomon, whose claws were drenched in blood. Erebus snarled in a fury and leapt down, landing between the dying digimon and the dinosaur. He jumped up, grabbed the Allomon by his neck and slammed him into the building behind him.

The dinosaur grimaced in pain and raised his claws in front of him. “Pl-Please! Don’t hurt us!” he sobbed.

“You killed him,” Erebus snarled, tightening his grip to the point of his claws threatening to break skin.

“No!” the Allomon choked. “H-He’s my friend! We were just out walking and then we were attacked! Please help him!” he begged.

Erebus saw the tears and terror in the dinosaur’s eyes and knew he was telling the truth. He relinquished his grip and snarled, knowing the assailant couldn’t have been far. Before he could act, an explosion rocked the earth, sounding off from the way Erebus had come. The Cyberdramon dashed out into the street, where a Sealsdramon stood, having ran out upon hearing the detonation.

The black-armoured Avenger pointed at him as he flew into the air. “Help that Flamedramon and get the authorites, quick!” he ordered. Erebus then shot through the air towards the billowing eruption of energy coming from an alley beside the street he previously over looked. He flew as fast as his wings would allow towards feminine cries of pain at echoed into the sky. The Cyberdramon dove down into the alley and saw the moonlit form of the Paildramon he saw earlier being beaten down by an attacker hidden in the shadows of the building behind the digimon.

Erebus landed and charged the shadow-hidden digimon to prevent him from attacking the Paildramon. “Desolation Claw!” he roared, unleashing blades of energy from his elbow spikes. After successfully releasing the attack, Erebus whipped out his badge. “FREEZE!” he roared.

The digimon turned to face him and jumped up, kicking off the side of the building, to avoid the oncoming beams. He then kicked off the wall he just touched and darted over to the opposite wall, proceeding to ricochet himself off of it and lunge, head-first, down at Erebus. The Cyberdramon grunted and leapt up, claws readied, to meet him in the air. However, his foe had far greater range and power as Erebus would soon discover.

A roar of pain ripped from the dramon’s mouth as a blade pierced through the gap in his armour, at the left shoulder, and stabbed deep into his flesh. The cold metal sent agony rippling outwards in his body from the point of contact. The pain he felt and the momentum of his foe sent Erebus falling down to the ground on his back. The attacker the swiped his blades and sunk them across the right side of Erebus’ chest, managing to hack past the durable rubber armour and rend his skin. Another growl left the dramon’s mouth as he swiped his claws to try and fight back. The digimon bashed his oncoming claws to the side and readied himself for a third strike.

“What’s going on?!” a police officer shouted, running across the street with three comrades towards the alley. The commotion drew a crowd of Dramon from their houses, who came over to see what was going on. The digimon growled and leapt into the air, not wanting to be seen. He escaped without a trace before his Cyberdramon opponent could get a look at him.

Erebus grimaced and repressed a snarl of agony from making it past his lips. He slowly rolled onto his side, prompting pain to shoot through his arm and chest. The dramon lay on his chest in the alley, trying to stifle the pain that hindered him. Looking up, he saw the female Paildramon propped up against the wall of the left building, injured and barely conscious, but alive.

With a snarl, he stood to his feet and limped over to her. He knelt down and picked her up in his arms, despite his arm muscles twitching, throbbing, and searing with pain. Carrying her, he staggered out towards the officers.

“What happened?! First a Flamedramon and now this?!” a Leomon officer asked, running over as his comrades kept the crowd of Dramon back.

Erebus handed her to him and took a weak step back. Before anybody could notice, he quickly adjusted his shoulder armour with right claws to conceal his grizzly wound from the digimon around him. Upon successfully doing that, he then moved his arm in front of the slashes on his chest and turned his back to them.

“Hey, are you okay?” the Leomon officer asked, noticing his sluggish, uneven movements.

“Yes...” Erebus answered unconvincingly in a choked, grating voice. “Get her to a hospital. Protect her.”

The Cyberdramon slowly stumbled away and pushed his way through the crowd, away from the group. Barely able to keep himself up, he cringed with every step he took, but fought through the pain as best as he could. He could feel his blood leaking down his arm and chest, between his skin and his armour so that the rubber stuck to his body. Drops of the crimson liquid dripped off of his left claws and left a trail of red dots on the ground in his wake.

“Where are you going?!” the Leomon called to him, considering stopping him if it weren’t for the Paildramon in his arms.

“The only place... I can...” he answered haggardly through grated teeth.

The wounded Cyberdramon broke into a jog and flew through the night.

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A young dinosaur and dragon - a cringing Agumon and a sheepish Monodramon, respectively - stood in a sizable, yet humble house that stood alone in the landscape, removed from the bustle of urban areas. A couple light sources shone inside, illuminating the walls and furniture from the darkness of the night. The tall, slender form of a humanoid, female digimon stood over them, as the flames added an orange hue to her fox-like helmet and her gold and black armour.

She kneeled down before them and started to wrap a bandage around a cut on the Agumon’s arm with a soft smile on her face. “See what happens when you stay up this late? You guys get tired and careless, and then somebody gets hurt.”

“Sorry...” the Monodramon said, rubbing the back of his neck while looking down.

“It was my fault too,” the Agumon reassured, offering a small smile as the Sakuyamon finished dressing his cut before healing most of it with the magic she possessed.

She smiled, stood up and placed a hand on both of the children’s heads. “Come on, guys; it’s time for bed.”

“Okay,” they agreed in unison.

The Sakuyamon led them towards the stairs. The kids followed until the Monodramon stopped and turned around. “Something wrong?” the young woman asked.

“I can hear something...” he said hesitantly.

She walked towards him and put a hand on his shoulder. “It’s probably just the-“

The front door burst open and the black, bloodied, panting form of a Cyberdramon quickly staggered in, prompting a yell of surprise from the three.

“Erebus?!” the Sakuyamon said in shock.

“Kairi! ...I need... your help--“ As the stumbling Erebus finished his sentence, his voice trailed off. His legs buckled with his next step and he collapsed, crashing down onto the wooden floor. Erebus’ blood pooled on the floor around his shoulder and several drops continued to trickle from his chest. He let out a weak, fading growl as unconsciousness overtook him.
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