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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Anyways, this was originally made for the RPG, so there are probably a few references that will be completely lost on casual readers, but I'm hoping this will be able to stand alone anyways.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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  #2    
Old December 23rd, 2010 (06:17 PM).
Grovyle42(Griff8416)'s Avatar
Grovyle42(Griff8416)
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Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: The Great Green North
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Nature: Calm
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Act II: The Surging Rain

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Erebus groaned and shifted as he came to. His blurred vision revealed to him that he was on his back in a small room. Morning light poured in through the window on the wall to his left, warming his body. The soft fabric of a bed lay under him; he could feel the mattress against his bare back.

The Cyberdramon groggily lifted his head and looked down. Erebus first noticed that his rubber chest armour had been removed and his toned, greyish chest was exposed. His left collar was wrapped in bandages and his left arm rested in a sling on his chest. The wound in his right side was also wrapped up. The dark colour of dried blood stained the bandaging, though the bleeding had stopped.

The door to the room was closed. From within the house, Erebus could hear the reverberating keys of a piano. He noted that whoever was playing was doing so expertly. The tune was grandiose and regal in style, yet very melancholic at the same time. It captivated him to the point that he almost didn’t notice when a familiar Avenger opened the door. Kairi walked in, holding a glass of water, and stopped upon noticing his movement.

“Erebus, you’re awake,” she said with relief.

“Kairi...” he greeted, nodding slightly. “Thank you.”

“I couldn’t just leave you bleeding there, could I?” Kairi responded with a small smirk. “I washed the blood out of your chest and arm armour. They’re drying outside right now.”

The Cyberdramon gave another quick nod, relaxed his head and allowed it to rest back on his pillow momentarily. “How have you been?” he asked.

The Sakuyamon placed the glass of water in his free hand and helped him sit up in order to drink from it. “Good,” she answered.

“The children?” he questioned after taking a drink from the glass.

“They’re good too. They’ve been getting along much better.”

Erebus nodded silently, weakly raising his arm to finish off the water. He placed the empty glass on the end table beside him and put pressure on his right elbow as he attempted to sit up on his own.

“Erebus!” Kairi protested. “You’ve lost too much blood; you need to rest!”

The Cyberdramon shook his head, repressing grunts of pain, and let his legs drape over the side of the bed as he prepared to stand.

“You were half-dead when you stumbled into my house!” Kairi persisted, standing in front of him. “You had deep stab and slash wounds! It took most of my healing power to stabilize them!”

“I’m fine,” the Dramon adamantly insisted, shakily standing to his feet.

“You’re not,” the Sakuyamon contested, standing between him and the door.

“I am. I must go... Please,” Erebus said, not so much asking for permission.

Kairi sighed in frustration. “You’re worse than Ajax! Fine, you can get up...” Erebus nodded in thanks and started to walk towards the door of the room. “...But if you’re well enough to walk, you’re well enough to join us for breakfast.”

The Cyberdramon froze in his steps, not liking the prospect one bit. He didn’t need to turn around to know that Kairi was grinning slyly. After a few moments, his stance relaxed with an air of defeat. “Great,” she said. “Let me help you to the table.”

“You don’t have to do that, Kairi,” Erebus said as she took his right arm.

“Yeah, yeah,” Kairi said with a roll of her eyes. “You’re a big mon with a big pride; you want to prove that you can take care of yourself. Karmas was the same way...” she said, her voice softening and trailing off on the last sentence.

Erebus sighed sympathetically. He knew that Kairi had already lost two digimon that she loved. He knew that while she tried to keep living her life, looking toward the future, those pains and those memories would never truly leave her. Kairi led him out into the wide, U-shaped living room that took up most of the first level. To their left were the stairs leading up to the second floor and on the other side of the stairs was a branch of the living room that led towards the kitchen. Diagonally across from them, to the left, was the front door that he had burst through. He noticed that his bloodstains had since been cleaned up from her hardwood floor. Erebus looked across from where they stood and saw a large table with twelve or so seats around it.

“...Who was that playing the piano?” Erebus asked as Kairi walked him out further, glancing at a familiar Monodramon as he did so.

The Sakuyamon stalled uncomfortably. “It was... err...”

The piano playing suddenly stopped and familiar, pretentious voice called out. “Erebus! Bitten off more than you can chew once again, I see?”

Erebus’ head swung towards the right branch of the living room, in the direction of the voice, and saw a blue-winged, humanoid dragon knight standing up from a small piano that sat against the wall and had several young rookie and in training digimon sitting around it, previously listening to the music. With a smirk, the UlforceVeedramon turned around and strode towards the two.

Erebus took his arm from around Kairi’s shoulder and used it to lean against the nearby wall as the Sakuyamon took a step away from him to turn and look at the approaching cobalt knight.

“Balion?” the stunned Cyberdramon asked, shocked upon seeing his old friend and comrade in Kairi’s home. “Why are you here?”

Balion responded with a smug smirk as he walked over to Kairi and gently wrapped his right arm around her waist and pulled her close to him.

“We’re...involved,” he responded in a sensual voice, bending down so that his cheek was incredibly close to brushing against hers.

Erebus stared in complete shock at the two, his head darting back and forth between the two. “You’re...” he began in disbelief.

“Just friends,” Kairi quickly corrected in irritation. She slowly pushed her hand against Balion’s cheek, nearly taking his helmet off his horned head with the action, and peeled him off of her.

“We could be so much more, though,” Balion responded with a mischievous glint in his red eyes.

“I managed to get a hold of him after you passed out last night,” Kairi explained, ignoring the blue dragon knight. “I called him because you were in really bad shape... and I didn’t know if you had any family or...” She trailed off upon noticing Erebus’ slight discomfort.

It must have been bad for her to call Balion,” he noted. “Well... Thank you, Kairi.”

“You were both lucky I happened to be back from training in Witchenly for a few days,” Balion explained. “I’ve been trying to get a better hold of my Future Mode form after that embarrassing fight with Siegfried. I should have had that bast-“ He received a swift elbow from Kairi before he could finish the rest of his swear, gesturing to the various digimon kids playing nearby.

Balion shrugged and looked around curiously at the eleven children scattered about the living room, many of different species.

The Sakuyamon noticed his confusion. “I’m taking care of orphans who lost their parents during the Civil War and Samhain’s rule,” she explained. “So unless you want to win the father of the year award, I don’t think you and me will be going on many dates anytime soon,” she added playfully.

The UlforceVeedramon snapped his partially gloved fingers. “Nuts... What about the father of the day award? I could pull that off,” he suggested.

Kairi rolled her eyes. “Come on, everyone, it’s time for breakfast... and that includes you two,” she said, looking at Erebus and Balion.

“Err, me too?” the UlforceVeedramon questioned uncomfortably, eyeing the children flocking to the table.

“Sure, you’re a guest too, after all. I’ll have to bring in two chairs from the kitchen.”

“Need me to get them?” Balion offered.

“Thanks, but they’re chairs, not Armageddemon,” she replied, walking into the kitchen and bringing two chairs over to the large, rectangle table.

Erebus awkwardly took the chair and sat down across the table from Balion. He tensed up as the numerous rookie digimon flocked over and took their seats around the table. His UlforceVeedramon friend also shifted slightly in his seat, but retained his relaxed composure, leaning back and slinging his arm over his wing and the spine of the chair.

“Everybody, this is Erebus Artorius and Balion Flamdring: two of my friends, so please give them a warm welcome,” Kairi said. Various, high ‘Welcome’s and ‘Hello’s chorused from the pack of children. Balion have a slight, informal wave of his hand in response, while Erebus remained absolutely rigid in his place, resisting the overwhelming urge to get up and leave as soon as Kairi blinked.

“Are they Avengers too, Miss Kairi?” a Gabumon asked.

“Yep, so everyone be on their best behaviour for them while I go make breakfast,” she said, turning around and starting to walk towards the kitchen.

Despite his seemingly stoic disposition, Erebus’ fists clenched and molecules of sweat began to form underneath his helmet as Kairi began to leave him and Balion alone with the children. His gaze frantically followed her. “Don’t leave... Don’t leave... No... Don’t go--” She disappeared into the kitchen.

The beads of sweat seemed to multiply as the gazes of the kids were drawn to him and Balion. Erebus could feel his heartbeat increase and he desperately hoped that Balion would do something showy, drawing the attention away from him. The UlforceVeedramon, however, shifted in his chair once more and began to drum the fingers of his right hand on the back of his chair. He cleared his throat.

“So, Erebus... I bet you never thought of me as a piano player, huh?” the blue Royal Knight said, looking across the table at him.

Erebus willed himself to nod and respond as calmly as he could. “Err... Yes. You’re very talented, Balion... but the song you played was quite melancholy.”

“Was it?” Balion asked, perhaps playing dumb, perhaps sarcastic. “I didn’t know you registered feelings,” he joked.

“...Where did you learn to play like that?” he asked. While he was genuinely interested in Balion’s talent, the conversation was more to try and distract himself by the horde of children looking at them with curious, expectant eyes. Regular children would have been bad enough, but children orphaned by conflict made it all the more worse for him. He felt a certain tragic irony sitting there.

“My family were nobles... rich. My father enrolled me into a high class, private military academy within the Dramon Empire. Learning piano was supposed to help my dexterity and timing my movements with my thoughts. It was also supposed to teach me patience... something I apparently lacked, said my instructor,” he said with a shrug. “I guess it grew on me after countless hours.”

Erebus nodded, unsure what to say now. The discomfort was beginning to fast return to the two of them.

“Excuse me, Mister Erebus?” the young voice of a Monodramon said. Erebus froze and slowly turned his head in the direction of the voice. “Do you think I can grow up strong and help people like you?” he asked hopefully. The Cyberdramon stalled. “You’re an Avenger because you want to help people, right?”

Erebus grimaced. “I am... because I fight...” he answered darkly.

The Monodramon tilted his head and glanced at the other kids to see if they understood. “What do you mean?”

Balion inadvertently interrupted the conversation when he lightly elbowed the Gabumon beside him. “Hey, kid... Did you know that I am the fastest digimon alive?” The Gabumon slowly shook his head, looking at him with awe. “Yeah, I beat this Rapidmon in a race so badly that I passed him five times before he even made it to the finish line. Rai – that was his name – actually broke down crying afterwards, so I had to fly him home. True story, of course.”

“Wow...” the Gabumon said, starting at him with awe.

“Yeah, I know,” Balion replied. “I have always been fast though; it’s not the blue digizoid.”

The young digimon seemed not to have heard him as he stared above the UlforceVeedramon’s eyes. “Your horns are really big and cool...”

“...And then there’s that,” he said resignedly, slouching back further in his chair.

Kairi walked over from the kitchen, using her staff to telekinetically carry fourteen plates over to the table. Upon seeing the Sakuyamon, Erebus relaxed very slightly. On the plates, which gently floated down before each of the table’s occupants, were various sliced fruits, bread, and eggs.

Erebus nodded in thanks and started to dig into his food, frankly having been starving. Balion, however, ate much more slowly and tactfully. The Cyberdramon stopped mid-bite when he noticed some of the orphans were staring at him, amused at how quickly he ate. Balion chuckled as well. “For Yggdrasil’s sakes, Erebus, you’re eating like Strom! ...Actually, no, I take that back; if Strom was eating, I would have lost my appetite by now.”

The Cyberdramon sneered, fidgeted in his seat and started to eat more slowly. “When was the last time you ate, Erebus?” Kairi wondered.

“A few days...” he admitted. “I have been busy.”

“Which brings us to the Mammothmon in the room... What exactly were you doing that caused you to wind up half-dead in my living room?”

Erebus glanced over in the direction of the children before turning back to Kairi. “Maybe I should wait until after breakfast...”

The Sakuyamon nodded in understanding, beginning to start picking at her breakfast. As silence started to overtake the table once again, Erebus the awkward atmosphere return as well. It wasn’t that he didn’t like silence, it was that the less conversation he had with Balion and Kairi, the more likely it was that one of the orphans would start asking him things. Even with the conversation with his fellow Avengers, he still found the meal unbearable to sit through. The Cyberdramon was never good in social situations, and Kairi seemed to catch on to that. Balion wasn’t too thrilled about the situation either, for that matter, but he was decidedly more relaxed, at least in appearance, than Erebus was.

“Have either of you heard from any of the others?” Kairi asked them.

“...Err... Well, Ajax is in the governing body of the capital... and Caesar is training in seclusion on a mountain,” Erebus said hesitantly.

“You saw Caesar?” Balion asked in surprise. “I haven’t seen him since peacetime started. I started to think he tried to use Magna Explosion but flubbed it up and Magna imploded instead,” he said with a grin.

“How is he?” Kairi asked.

Erebus gave a dismissive shrug and swallowed the egg that was previously on his plate. “...It’s hard to tell with him,” he answered. Balion could have sword that he heard a low growl on the end of that response. “I also took a few trips to Rai’s village awhile ago. He and Karasu were well, and insisted I stay the week.”

“That silly wabbit ditched me on the day we were supposed to have our rematch!” Balion added in irritation.

“Excuse me?” Kairi questioned, casting the UlforceVeedramon a look of confusion.

“Oh, excuse me; I meant ‘rabbit’,” he corrected.

“I don’t suppose either of you heard from Osiris...?” Kairi asked with worry.

They both shook their heads. “I heard a few rumours here and there, about a BanchoLeomon wandering around mountain ranges, deserts, what have you... just fighting things. I wondered if that was him or not.”

“I hope not...” Kairi said sadly. “Just fighting... living to fight. That’s not much of a life, is it?” she mused.

Erebus grimaced and reflexively drove his fork back towards his plate too hard. The utensil pierced through the dish with such force that the plate split in two from the point of impact. The action brought silence around the table.

“...I’m sorry,” he said, feeling blood rush to his face. “I... don’t know my own strength sometimes,” he quickly explained. Kairi gave him a nod and a reassuring smile.

The cobalt knight across from him regarded him with a raised eyebrow. “He’s lying by omission...” Balion thought. “...You don’t talk about your past a lot, do you, Erebus?” he asked, hoping to invoke a response.

Erebus froze at the question and released a barely audible snarl. “...What about Hyperion?” he asked, hoping to change the subject away from him.

“I think he’s still looking for Yggdrasil,” Kairi replied.

“What’s left of her, anyways...” Balion added grimly. His trademark smug grin soon returned to his face however. “I sure hope he finds something though. She sure was hot.”

“I still can’t believe you hit on her,” Kairi sighed.

“In front of Hyperion too,” Erebus added.

“You’re very brave and very stupid, Balion,” the Sakuyamon said with a small grin.

“You are half right, sweetheart,” the Royal Knight said. “And I didn’t know they had a thing at the time, not that I particularly cared. And even if I did know, between us three, I don’t think there was much competition; I doubt Hyperion is able to navigate the bed sheets all that well, if you know what I mean,” he said, grinning.

“I don’t know what you mean,” said a distressed-looking Patamon. “What does he mean, Miss Kairi?”

The Sakuyamon in question shot a burning glare towards Balion. “...And this is where things get awkward again,” he muttered before downing a glass of water.

“What about Strom and Nova?” asked Erebus.

“Speaking of awkward!” chuckled Balion. “Yeah, Rai told me that Strom’s friend told him that Strom was too much of a coward to tell Nova how he feels about her. And this is despite the fact that Nova probably already knows he likes her. I mean, Storm practically drools all over the floor every time she walks in front of him... which is understandable since she is pretty hot, but you know what I mean.”

“It’s not easy confessing one’s feelings to the person they love when they’re not sure how they feel about them back, Balion,” Kairi defended.

I have never had that problem,” proudly stated Balion.

Kairi rolled her eyes. “That’s because the only feelings you get are--“ she promptly cut herself off upon remembering that the orphan digimon were present.

Balion grinned. “Right. So, I guess they are just close friends or something like that. If he doesn’t ask her out soon, I might just have to take his place,” he said with a sly grin. “Let’s see... Rai is probably off rechallenging Karasu to another race around the world. I would join them, but I don’t want to embarrass the poor bunny; Rai can be pretty fragile. Who else? Oh yes. I think Genesis has a phobia of metal ‘X’s now.”

“...Balion and I really are not all that close,” Erebus explained sheepishly upon seeing Kairi slowly turn her unamused gaze to him.

“Miss Kairi, we’re done eating now. Can we go play?” the young Agumon asked eagerly.

The Sakuyamon gave him a nod, signalling to the kids that they could leave the table. The digimon children took their plates and headed towards the kitchen. “I can’t wait to get wings like Mister Erebus!” said the Monodramon to his Agumon friend. Erebus felt his muscles relax as they left and he couldn’t help but smirk lightly at the rookie dragon’s words.

Kairi and Balion then turned to Erebus. “So, what happened, Erebus?” Kairi asked.

“...Someone has been murdering Dramon in the various cities of the world,” he said, wincing upon feeling shooting pain in his body.

“What?!” Balion said in outrage.

“That’s awful...” Kairi said sadly, agreeing with Balion’s sentiments.

Erebus nodded. “I have been trying to find the one responsible. Ajax gave me unofficial permission to investigate. Caesar told me to go to the city based where the Celestial Sphere“-- Erebus paused upon noticing Kairi grimace, being reminded of her past--“...fell. He killed a Flamedramon when he was with his Allomon friend. I was too late to prevent that, but I stopped him from killing a female Paildramon, but he got the better of me. He left me with these wounds before he was forced to flee. Then I made my way here,” he finished.

“Did you see what he looked like?” Balion asked.

Erebus shook his head. “It was dark. He seemed to be a part of the shadows... a tactic I’ve used before.”

“Well, lucky for you, I, Balion Flamdring, the Cobalt Hero of the Blackest Knight, will help you bring this villainous scum to justice!” the UlforceVeedramon proudly declared.

Erebus immediately grimaced and a chill crept down his back at the prospect of working with him.

“I would help...” Kairi begun apologetically, “but I have a duty to these orphans. I’m all they have,” she explained.

“I understand,” Erebus replied, reassuring that he knew the importance of what she had to do.

“So it looks like it’s just you and I, Cyberdramon,” Balion said playfully, popping the last piece of fruit on his plate into his mouth.

Erebus sighed. As much as he dreaded working with the Royal Knight, he knew Balion’s speed and power would be vital to him. “Fine...” he submitted, slowly standing to his feet. The Cyberdramon immediately swung around upon feeling two of the three holes in his shoulder reopen. He snarled internally. “Damn... If Kairi sees me bleeding again, she will try to keep me from going again.

“Thank you for your kindness, Kairi. Do you think you could get me my armour now? I need to go,” he said in a hurried voice. He raised his right arm and placed it on the bandages which grew crimson with his blood. He grimaced as he saw two large streams of blood flowing down his grey, muscular chest.

“Err... I don’t know, Erebus. Can’t you wait awhile longer so I can be sure your cuts won’t reopen again?” she asked.

A bit late for that...” he thought. “Please... I’ll be fine... I’ve been through worse things,” insisted the Cyberdramon.

Kairi sighed and complied. She stood up from the table and walked through the kitchen to the back. “Were you planning to tell her that your stitches broke and your wounds reopened?” Balion asked nonchalantly.

For a moment, Erebus was surprised. “...No,” he answered.

“I’ll cover for you, if I can, that is,” Balion said, standing up from his chair and walking over. “Just get behind my wing... without bleeding on me, if you would be so kind.”

Erebus agreed, doing so just as Kairi entered the room from the right branch of the living room. The Cyberdramon continued to bleed as Kairi walked towards them. Her form, along with the room, grew brighter as light-headedness struck him. He began to feel off-balance so he outstretched his tail to help his equilibrium.

The dramon reached around Balion’s wing with his right arm and weakly took the rubber armour pieces from Kairi. He felt a hint of relief upon seeing the red bandana tied around his arm piece. Erebus stumbled forward slightly, his head accidentally resting on the UlforceVeedramon’s wing and shoulder for a moment before straightening himself back up. Kairi gave Erebus an odd look.

“Okay!” Balion said quickly, grabbing Erebus’ arm and pulling him while keeping himself between Erebus and Kairi. “We really should be going now. Thank you for everything Kairi and you still look stunning!”

Balion stepped behind Erebus as they approached the front door. The Cyberdramon pushed the door forward, took a step, and then came crashing down on the front deck outside.

“Erebus!” Kairi called out, shoving past Balion to the now-unconscious dragon.

“...I may have promised him that I wouldn't tell you about his wounds reopening,” Balion said sheepishly.

Kairi scowled. “He fainted; he lost way too much blood. Help me take him to his room, please,” she said. The UlforceVeedramon nodded before rolling Erebus onto his back and pulling him by the feet towards his room. “I don’t get it,” Kairi said. “He didn’t seem in pain at all.”

“Erebus is good at hiding things...” Balion answered. “He has a real hero of justice complex; once he hears about something he views as wrong or evil, there’s no stopping him.”

Once there, he and Kairi gently placed him on the bed. “You heal him here, Kairi. I’ll take up where he left off,” Balion said. The UlforceVeedramon reached into the pocket of Erebus’ armour and pulled out his badge and warrants.

“I guess I’ll be needing these too,” he muttered, walking towards the front door. “Take good care of him, Kairi,” he said, looking over his shoulder. With that, Balion disappeared from sight in a streak of azure.

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Balion raced through the streets of the city where Erebus last was. The city was nowhere near as big as the capital, but it seemed to be relatively more complete. The buildings he flew by seemed to have a golden, celestial hue to them and there seemed to be a large percentage of celestial digimon living here. The UlforceVeedramon wondered if that was because this was the place where the Celestial Sphere fell during Samhain’s take over, before being burned by Ajax. He glanced at the address scribbled down on a piece of paper that he was given by local authorities. The UlforceVeedramon’s red eyes glanced to the left and the right as he passed by houses large and small, looking for the house of the Allomon that was present last night when the Flamedramon was attacked.

After gawking at an Angewomon flying nearby, Balion came across a large house built for someone at least sixteen feet tall. “This must be the place,” he said, as he glanced at the address scratched on the exterior wall. He rapped his fingerless glove-donning knuckles against the great wooden door. Inside, he heard echoing stomps grow louder and louder as they drew near. “That’s right. I forgot how loud and obnoxious dinosaurs could be,” Balion thought to himself, remembering Strom.

The door swung open and revealed the large blue figure of a dinosaur who had large dark circles under his red, irritated eyes. “What do you want?” he asked in a distracted, monotonous voice. Balion could tell he was obviously distraught.

“I am Balion Flamdring. I’m here about last night,” he explained.

The Allomon simply looked down at him before turning around and walking inside, leaving the door open. “...Come in.”

Balion followed him in and stood while the dinosaur sat down on a large chair. “...So, what happened when your friend was attack--“

“Murdered...” the Allomon corrected with rage and sorrow in his voice.

“...You have my condolences,” Balion replied before allowing him to continue.

“I... I’m not sure. We were walking down the street and then suddenly something hit us into the alley. I tried to get up and then I heard my friend cry out. I turned to look and could only see movement in the shadows and then I saw my friend...” he said, trailing off.

“So, nothing you can tell me about the attacker?” Balion asked.

“...He did say one thing before I heard my friend’s cry... ‘For Oberon,’” said the Allomon. The dinosaur then glowered. “...Promise me, when you get this guy... you’ll kill him. He’s a cold-blooded murderer.”

Balion stared at him, both shocked and contemplating his plea. “Err... I appreciate your help,” he said with a nod, turning around and heading towards the front door.

The UlforceVeedramon closed the door behind him and took a few steps into the street. “Maybe I’ll have better luck with that Paildramo--

The building behind him exploded in an overwhelming burst of heat and dark energy. Balion was thrown across the street by the blast, slamming into the wall of a house as the Allomon’s house along with everything inside was decimated. The UlforceVeedramon snarled and looked across the street to see a burning crater, crackling with energy, in the place where the large structure once stood.

“Damn it!” Balion shouted, scrambling to his feet and launching himself into the air. He looked around, eyes darting between the air and the ground, spinning in every direction to try to see the culprit. “Damn it! Damn it! I cannot let him escape!” he swore.

Balion ripped through the air, looking around like a hawk. When he found no luck in the direction that he was going in, he darted to the side and circled around to look in a different area. Balion still found nothing, despite his unmatched speed. The cobalt blur continued flying back and forth over the sky of the city, which had become a light grey of thick, overcast clouds. However, no matter what direction or altitude he tried to fly in, he couldn’t find him.

“Damn... How did he escape me?! I'm the fastest digimon around!” Balion snarled, looking bitterly down at the smouldering crater, which began to draw a worried crowd. “...He must have been making sure the Allomon wouldn’t talk. That was a Mega level attack if I’ve ever been blasted by one...” Balion figured. “And what he did to Erebus... this bastard is no joke... I need to get to the Paildramon before he does.”

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Balion strode down the hallway of a large building that was acting as a makeshift hospital until a true one was completed. Despite the fact that it wasn’t an official hospital it still smelled like one: sterile. He followed a Digmon who worked at the hospital, past a crowd of digimon coming and going. The UlforceVeedramon dodged a passing stretcher and followed the bug digimon down a hall. The Digmon stopped at the doorway and pointed into a medium sized room.

“She’s right in there, Officer,” he told him.

“Excellent. Also, tighten the security around her room, and I mean Mega level digimon,” he added in a low voice.

The Digmon nodded and Balion entered the room. He saw a female Paildramon around his age lying on a bed. Her arm was in a sling and her torso was dressed with bandages. “Wow, she is good looking...” he thought to himself, his gazing moving from her face and moving down her body.

“...Hello?” she asked weakly.

“Oh! That’s right. Do forgive me; my name is Balion Flamdring. I’m here to ask you about last night,” he explained, walking over and sitting down in a chair beside her bed... and positioning himself for an ideal view of her.

“I see...” she replied, grimacing as she thought about it.

“Could such a beautiful, young lady like yourself please tell me exactly took place last night?” he asked with a sly grin.

“I was walking along... I felt like I was being watched, almost... I heard a cry from a few blocks away so I turned around to see if anybody needed help,” she explained. Her free fist balled up while she continued to recollect. “...Then somebody grabbed me and pulled me into an alley. He started to beat me... I don’t think he wanted anything from me other than to kill me,” she said.

“You must have been very scared,” Balion said softly, moving much closer to her and taking her hand in his. “It is alright now though; I will take him down... But to do that, I need you to tell me whatever you can. Did you see what he looked like?”

The Paildramon shook her head regretfully. “No... It was dark and he was like a part of the shadows. I thought I was going to die... but then a digimon came and drove him off. He moved like a shadow as well...”

“I see... and did he say anything?” Balion asked, remembering what the Allomon said.

“Yes... I remembering him saying ‘For Oberon’,” she explained.

That name again... Just who is this Oberon?” the male dramon thought to himself.

“Oh, excuse me,” a female voice said from behind him, interrupting his thoughts.

Balion turned around and inadvertently widened his eyes upon seeing a rather well-endowed HiAndromon nurse standing the doorway. “Heellooooo, Nurse!” he said, his grin widening.

“I hope I’m not interrupting,” she said, walking in with some water for her Paildramon patient.

“Why, not at all!” Balion said, brushing his hand along the Paildramon’s hand as he stood to his feet. “I was just about to leave, actually.” He walked over to HiAndromon. “But please keep me posted if anything comes... up,” he said, grinning. He ripped off a piece of paper from one of the warrants he had and scribbled down his number before gently taking the nurse’s hand, putting his number in her palm, and slowly closing her fingers around it. “And you can call me for any reason.”

Balion then started to walk towards the door, but turned around upon reaching the doorway. He faced the Paildramon and calmly pointed his finger at her. “And you... You can call me anytime too,” he said slyly. He then winked with what the two females could have sworn was a high, audible ‘ding’ noise. Balion then strode into the hall, his smile disappearing. “I should find out who this Oberon is... Maybe the records the governing body holds has information on him. I should go to the capital and check,” he concluded. He exited the makeshift hospital and disappeared in a speedy, blue flash towards the capital city.

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No more than half an hour later, Balion flew over through the city skies of the capital. He easily spotted the large building, which was recognizable by the glass dome on the roof. The blue warrior swooped down towards the building and landed in front of the entrance. The two guards recognized him and allowed him in upon the flash of his badge. “Take me to your records,” he told the Gallantmon who had helped Erebus.

The guard nodded and began leading him down the long hallway, which really seemed more akin to a great hall due to its sheer size. Balion was reminded of the style many higher class buildings that were back in the Dramon Empire. Many Dramon were quite large and thus needed appropriate space to manoeuvre. The large, grey bricks making up the floor and wall were very medieval, the style that much of the Dramon Empire was built in. The only thing missing, he decided, was grand murals of warriors and figure heads (like himself, he also decided). He had to wonder if the architects were Dramon or if Dramon architecture merely influenced the style, especially since much of the Dramon Empire’s ruins were used to reconstruct the world.

They turned a corner and continued to walk through another large corridor. “I am so glad I am not part of this Governing Body. As much as they need a significant Dramon on the body, I’ve always hated politics and bureaucracy. Father never understood that...” he thought.

The Gallantmon led him to a large doorway at the end of the hall. “It’s just in here, Balion,” he said, parting the doors with a push. Balion walked in gigantic room and saw rows upon rows of twenty-foot (Spinomon sized) bookcases filled with old books, new books, and countless files.

“Oh boy...” Balion murmured, suddenly finding this very daunting and not fun.

“It’s your first time in here?” the guard asked. “Don’t worry; you can ask one of the helpers to assist you,” he said, gesturing towards various digimon wandering through the record library.

As the Gallantmon walked back down the hallway, Balion looked around. Despite the fact that he saw many male helpers who seemed available first, his eyes rested on a female digimon. A Zephyrmon, a few years younger than him with a pretty form, caught his interest. She was scanning over a clipboard in her hands as Balion approached her.

“Excuse me, Miss,” he said, hailing the young woman upon stepping up to her side.

The Zephyrmon looked up from her clipboard and turned to Balion. “Oh... I recognize you,” she said blinking. “I saw you in the council room with Mister Ouranos awhile ago. Your name is Balion, one of the Avengers, right?”

The UlforceVeedramon was admittedly a little taken off guard by this. “Uhh, yes. Balion Flamdring’s my name. It is nice to meet you, err...?”

“I’m Sylpha. How can I help you, Balion?” the Zephyrmon asked.

“Well, Sylpha,” Balion began, pleased that they were on a first name basis already, “I need your help finding out something.”

“And that would be...?” asked the Zephyrmon.

“I need to find out about a digimon named ‘Oberon’,” he replied. “It might help me figure out a string of murders I’m investigating.”

“Okay, let’s go look then,” Sylpha proposed. Balion agreed and followed her, walking close behind the digimon. They walked down a corridor of bookcases. Balion was surprised so much had been salvaged from Samhain’s rule.

“Is this case you’re working on the murders of several Dramon?” she asked.

Balion looked at her in shock. “You know about that?”

“I heard two of the guards talking about it after a Cyberdramon came to meet with the governing body,” she explained. “Here we are... ‘Oa’ to ‘Op’,” she said, scanning the bookcase.

Sylpha then kneeled down to look through the books and files of the bottom shelf. Balion leaned forwards over her and looked down... though he was more looking down her front than he was helping her look. “I found something,” she said, grabbing a file and looking up at the UlforceVeedramon.

Balion changed his gaze to meet her eyes and then to dart to the file. She opened the file and allowed Balion to look over her shoulder at it. “Oberon... A BlackWarGreymon,” he said, reading the file.

“It says he was part of the Rebels of the Harmonious Republic. He was the second-in-command of a strike team sent to assassinate the Three Great Dramon,” Sylpha said.

“I remember hearing about that,” Balion said, recollecting the event. “They failed miserably.”

“Apparently... It says that Oberon was killed by a General Daehak that day,” the Zephyrmon explained.

“That must be it... His motive,” Balion said, bringing his fingers to his chin. “Whoever the murderer is must want revenge for Oberon’s death that day. And there’s not much more information I can work with here.”

“I wish I could help more,” said the Zephyrmon, regretfully. “I don’t want any more digimon to die because of some grudge. I don’t know how he can feel justified doing what he’s doing.”

The cobalt knight nodded and put his fingerless glove-donned hand on her shoulder. “I completely agree... You know... you could keep helping me if you like. I could use the company,” he said with a grin.

Sylpha smiled. “Thanks. I’m off duty in a about thirty minutes, if you don’t mind waiting.”

“Not at all,” Balion said reassuringly. “Hmm... I wonder what records they have on me in here.”

Thirty minutes passed and Balion walked down the large hall with his new lady-friend at his side. “I could have struck a better pose for that profile,” he thought to himself. “Hmm... It was weird though that there was absolutely no information on Erebus’ past. How does an Avenger get away with having no data on them prior to becoming a Corporal in the Dramon Aerial Forces? The rest of us pretty much have our whole life stories in here.”

“That is a bit weird,” Sylpha agreed. “Maybe he lived somewhere rural?”

“That doesn’t change the fact that pretty much all of us were interviewed for the record not long after the peace started. I think the only one that was exempt was Caesar by Ajax’s decree,” Balion said with a shrug.

The two of them opened the large front door to the council building and stepped outside. Balion squinted as the bright, orange sun shone in his face. The solar orb had half disappeared into the horizon and was close to completely setting. He glanced up and saw that thick, grey clouds seemed to be chasing it as it set.

“Damnit... I don’t have a place to sleep tonight. I don’t have any money for inns,” he explained.

“Umm...” Sylpha began hesitantly, pondering if this was a good idea. “...You could stay at my house, if you need to.”

To this Balion raised an eyebrow with sly intrigue. “I would be honoured to... Thank you.” He outstretched his arm, gesturing for her to go ahead of him. “Lead the way.”

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Sylpha opened the door to her medium sized house, allowing Balion to walk in before closing the door behind them. The UlforceVeedramon looked around the living room, taking in the new scenary. There was a small couch in the center of the room, near a dining table with one chair on each end. One particular piece of furniture caught the UlforceVeedramon’s interest: a piano sitting on the opposite side of the room.

“Make yourself at home,” the Zephyrmon said to him with a smile. Balion smiled and nodded in response. “You’re probably pretty hungry... Is there anything in particular you’d like for supper?”

“The choice is entirely up to you,” Balion responded, starting to walk towards the piano.

Sylpha nodded and walked straight ahead, to Balion’s right, through a doorway and into the kitchen. “Is fish alright?” she asked from the kitchen.

The UlforceVeedramon sat down on the bench of the relatively humble piano and ran the tips of his bluish white fingers along the tops of the keys. “Fish would be incredible,” he said with a smirk, despite the fact that he had no strong feelings for or against fish.

As Sylpha started heating the fish, she stopped in surprise upon hearing a jumpy, grandiose song coming from the piano. She let the fish heat and walked out of the kitchen, into the living room and turned to her right to see Balion tickling the ivories. “...That sounds amazing, Balion,” she said, evidentally impressed by her guest’s piano skills.

Balion smiled, cloaked his wings around his shoulders and continued playing. “I’ve been told. Thank you though; I’ve been playing since I was young.”

“I’d love to be able to play like that,” Sylpha said, watching how quickly and surgically his fingers moved over the keys.

“Maybe I can show you sometime,” the UlforceVeedramon offered. “Just so long as the world doesn’t need saving.”

The Zephyrmon grinned and walked into the kitchen to check on the fish. “You learned in the Dramon Empire then?” she asked as she flipped the sea creature over.

“I did indeed,” Balion said, not taking his red eyes off of the piano. “...It’s rather weird isn’t it?”

“What is? The song?” Sylpha asked. “It’s a bit pompous, I guess, but I still like it a lot.”

“No, no...” Balion said annoyedly with a less-than-pleased expression on his face. “I mean the world... A little over two years ago most digimon species lived autonomously from each other. Now all the species live more or less together in a united world.”

“And it only took a world conquest and two world shattering events to do it,” the Zephyrmon responded, smirking.

Balion chuckled. “Indeed... Imagine what a third could accomplish!” he suggested good-naturedly, prompting a laugh from Sylpha.

Several moments later, she called from the kitchen. “It’s done!” She emerged with a plate and two bowls in her arms. On the plate sat a well-seared fish and in the bowls, potatoes and salad respectively.

Balion ended his piece and stood up, walking over to the table in the center of the room. He sat down in a seat and urged Sylpha to take her share before him. “The seasonings smell delicious,” he complimented, grinning at her.

She blushed slightly. “Thanks... I wasn’t expecting that; I usually only cook for myself.”

“A pretty digimon like you? I find that hard to believe,” he said, cutting into his fish.

“You know, people don’t often expect Dramon to have such good manners. I guess you prove that stereotype wrong, huh?” Sylpha pointed out.

Balion smirked. “Social tact and first impressions may not always be my strong suit, but manners are second-nature from where I grew up,” he explained.

“And where was that?” she asked curiously while cutting off a portion of fish.

“I come from a rich, noble family in the Dramon Empire... relatives of Bahamut in one way or another. I was made to join a private military academy at an early age; that was where I learned how to play the piano. My father, Klain Flamdring, had high expectations for me to rise through the ranks of the Dramon’s army like he did. I didn’t want to be a high-ranking officer, though; being a general or a tactician would be so boring and so political... I wanted to fight on the frontlines where the excitement was. Eventually I became an officer’s apprentice and learned a lot that way. Then Samhain took over and I’m sure you know the rest,” Balion said before eating a piece of potato. “What about you?”

“I grew up in the Celestial Sphere,” she explained. “I lived there until Imego and his forces attacked. My father and brother were killed in the initial assault... Me and my mother fled as refugees and eventually were picked up by the Rebels.”

“Oh... I’m sorry,” Balion said, looking down slightly. “I wasn’t part of that battalion.”

“It’s okay... It wouldn’t matter even if you were. It wasn’t your fault,” she said, smiling and shaking her head dismissively.

“You probably don’t like Dramon very much, though...” Balion said, looking up at her.

“I’m not going to persecute a whole race based on the actions of a few individuals,” Sylpha explained. “Nobody will ever know peace if we can’t learn to forgive and accept each other. There’s just no point in holding grudges.”

The UlforceVeedramon stared across the table at her for a few moments. “That’s admirable... If only our murderer thought the same way you did,” he said, finishing the last of his food and proceeding to wipe his mouth with a napkin.

Sylpha smiled and took her plate to the kitchen while Balion opted to take his. As the sun disappeared over the horizon, the Zephyrmon started to light various candles around the house for light. She turned to face the cobalt Avenger. “Where did you feel like sleeping tonight?” she wondered.

Balion took a step towards her. “I’ve got an idea for that...”
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  #3    
Old December 23rd, 2010 (06:17 PM).
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Grovyle42(Griff8416)
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Join Date: Jun 2007
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Act III: The Devouring Storm


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The orange glow of the slowly sinking sun shone outside of Erebus’ window, not pouring into his room like it had been in the morning. The body of the Cyberdramon began to rouse and stir. His tail twitched and his claws slowly started moving. A low, waking snarl escaped his throat. Erebus looked around his darkening room and saw a Monodramon peeking in at him.

“Miss Kairi! He’s starting to wake up now!” he called, looking over his shoulder into the living room. The young dragon walked away as Kairi came over, opened the door and walked into Erebus’ room.

“Kairi...” Erebus said, cringing. “I... What happened...?”

“Take it easy, Erebus,” Kairi said, sitting down beside him on a chair that seemed to appear there in between then and this morning. “You fainted from blood loss.”

The Cyberdramon raised his head and looked down at the wounds on his armourless body. The bandages around them were drenched with blood which had since dried from when Kairi had stopped the bleeding. “...How long?” he asked grimly.

“You’ve only been out since this morning,” she explained. Upon seeing him start to try to sit up, Kairi pressed her hands against his chest and lightly forced him down. “I don’t think so, Mister. You’re staying in this bed, Erebus, even if I have to tie you down,” she said resolutely.

Erebus cringed and reluctantly sat back. “...But--“

“Balion’s taken over for you. I stopped the bleeding but you still need the night to recover. If you get up now, you’ll become light-headed and then faint again,” Kairi said. “I’ll get you some orange juice.” With that, she exited the room and turned left.

Erebus sighed and looked out the window, seeing clouds and the darkness of night coming towards him as the sun disappeared. He grimaced and began to sit up, unfortunately for him, just as Kairi came back in the room. “I’m not bluffing, Erebus. I can get the chains right now,” she said, glaring at him.

“Please, Kairi,” he said.

Kairi sighed, walked over and sat back down in the chair. She placed the orange juice in his claws and spoke. “Erebus, why?” she asked, sadly.

“It is my fight,” he answered in simple determination.

“You make it seem like they’re all your fights,” Kairi retorted.

“That’s because they are,” Erebus answered grimly.

“Why?” she asked him.

“The evil in this world... I need to purge it,” he explained, looking at her. “I need to fight... because it won’t go away.”

“I agree that the world would be much better if everyone were like the children that I took care of...” she said with a gentle smile, turning and looking in the direction of the living room. “But we killed Imego and Samhain... Isn’t that enough?” she asked softly.

“No... because innocent digimon are still dying,” Erebus replied.

“There will always be evil, Erebus... but that doesn’t mean you should push away the good things in life.”

“I am not priveliged to such things,” he answered, looking away from her.

“Why aren’t you?!” Kairi demanded. “You’re a digimon like I am!”

Erebus slowly looked at her with a level gaze. “...No... I’m not like you, Kairi. ...I was born to fight... fighting is the reason I’m here.”

“And what happens when there’s nobody left to fight?”

“There is always somebody left to fight,” he retaliated.

“...So you’re going to keep fighting for the rest of your life?” she asked, frowning.

“I’m going to fight until I can get rid of the evil that people ignore so readily. Then maybe I can enjoy the good that people take for granted,” Erebus explained.

“You can’t keep fighting... That’s not living, Erebus. I’ve lost two digimon I loved in the last three years... I can never get rid of the pain, but I’ve made my peace with what happened and now I’m trying to keep living, because they would have wanted me to. Why are you like this that you have to strive for some impossible goal?”

Erebus didn’t respond.

“What will you do if you finally get rid of all the evil you think you need to destroy?” she demanded. “Will you finally be at peace? Or will you just keep fighting for another cause? Are you fighting for justice or are you fighting for your own sake?”

The Cyberdramon grimaced and thought. “I... I fight... for justice.”

“Then stop fighting when you don’t need to,” the Sakuyamon said. “Enjoy peace.”

“But fighting is all I know...” he whispered.

Kairi glared into his eyes. “What about Rai, Karasu, Balion, me, the rest of us: your friends? Even if you don’t know what to do with yourself, we’re there for you. Isn’t that worth anything to you?”

Erebus glanced up at her and then looked downwards. “More than you know...”

“Then don’t throw your life away because you’re so bloody stubborn and proud that you can’t wait until morning to take down this guy,” Kairi said, placing her hand on his arm.

Erebus knew her argument was concrete and she successfully made him reconsider. The Cyberdramon looked at Kairi and nodded, promising that he would. As she stood up, leaving him with his untouched orange juice, Erebus spoke up. “Thank you, Kairi... for trying to help me.”

The Sakuyamon smiled, turned and gave him a soft nod. “Thank you for listening to me. I don’t want to lose you too.”

Erebus looked at her and returned the nod before lying his head back on his pillow. “How much progress are you making, Balion?

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Balion opened his eyes, his pupils restricting within his crimson irises as a single ray of sun piercing through the dark clouds hit them. His body shifted on the comfortable mattress as he started to wake up. He felt unrestricted in his bed, and he remembered why. As Balion placed his still glove-donned hands behind his head, he looked to his left, over the side of his bed, and saw all of his blue digizoid armour and V-bracelets (blue, form-fitting pants included) strewn across the floor. The only clothes he still wore were his cobalt, fingerless gloves and his helmet.

He felt a warm hand run down his bare chest. Balion’s head turned and, lying on the pink side of his right wing, covered mostly by the blankets, was the naked form of Sylpha. The Zephyrmon slowly opened her eyes and looked up at him, shifting closer to the UlforceVeedramon. Balion smiled and placed his arm around her back before kissing her.

“I don’t typically have one night stands with Dramons I don’t know,” she said, grinning after pulling herself back from the kiss.

“What? You know me; I’m the famous Balion Flamdring of the New Avengers!” he joked with a smirk.

“You know what I mean,” she replied, still grinning.

“Well... Maybe we can make it a two night stand to get to know each other battle. No... better make that a three night stand to be on the safe side,” Balion proposed with a sly expression on his face.

“We’ll see after we catch this guy; we’d better get on that, by the way,” Sylpha pointed out.

“I guess...” Balion said in an exaggeratedly reluctant tone. The UlforceVeedramon sat up, draped his legs over the side of the bed and got to his feet. He then slipped on his suit and armour. His Zephyrmon companion did the same.

“How do we plan on catching him?” Sylpha asked,

“I was thinking about that while playing the piano last night,” he explained. “I’m guessing he wasn’t too pleased that Erebus interrupted his attack on that Paildramon. He’d probably go for her in a second, if he saw her.”

“...You want to use her as bait? I don’t think she’ll be too thrilled about that,” she responded, folding her arms.

“Well, we’ve got to try, don’t we?” Balion asked, stretching and heading for the door.

Sylpha nodded and followed him. “Let’s go then...”

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“You want me to what?!” the Paildramon asked in disbelief.

Balion and Sylpha stood beside her as she lay, mostly recovered, in her hospital bed. “We need you to be bait,” Balion explained.

“This creep nearly killed me... If it weren’t for that digimon who confronted him, I would have been dead! You want me to risk getting killed again?!” she asked in anger.

“We think that he’ll want to finish what he started. You’re our best chance at drawing him out,” Sylpha explained.

“If you don’t, what almost happened to you will happen to more innocent Dramon,” insisted Balion.

The Paildramon was still unsure.

“Please... I promise I won’t let him get anywhere near you. In case you don’t know... I’m the fastest digimon alive,” Balion said, adding a soft grin at the end.

“...I’m holding you to that promise,” she said with a shaky, reluctant sigh.

Balion smiled. “Thank you...” He then walked out into the hall with Sylpha. “Sylpha...” he said, looking into her eyes. “...You go home.”

“What? But I--”

Balion interrupted her protest. “It’s too dangerous. I’ve felt the power this guy has. You’d just be putting yourself in danger,” he said. The Zephyrmon looked about to retort to him. “Please...” he urged, putting his hand on her arm.

After a few moments, she sighed and nodded reluctantly. “Just be careful, Balion.”

“Don’t worry about me,” he said with his usual confident grin as he put on the lower part of his helmet that covered his face. “He’s the one who will need to be careful!”

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The female Paildramon stood nervously in the middle of a dank, muddy field just outside of the city. She made a point to fly in plain sight on the way from the hospital to this point. Balion hid within the thick branches of a tall tree, in an ideal vantage point to see the Paildramon and everything around her, so he could get the drop on the attacker before he could get to her.

A faint, eerie breeze blew across the field from the direction of the city. The branches of the tree he was in rustled as a result. The UlforceVeedramon looked down at his arms. He silently fiddled with the V-Bracelets around his wrists, turning the knobs to his desired function. “Left... Tensegrity Shield... 120% concentration density, 75% width. Right... Ulforce Sabre... 85% concentration density, 130% length.” He then waited... rather impatiently.

Balion looked through the branches up into the sky above him. The clouds were a thick, dark grey colour. Zero light could pierce through them. He then looked over the city and saw thunderheads moving through the sky towards them. “Damn... A thunderstorm’s approaching... I have to be even more aware of him now,” Balion thought, looking around.

Suddenly a cry resounded from nearby. Balion’s eyes widened and he looked towards where the Paildramon was. He saw a black form racing down from the grey sky towards her. The knight snarled and burst out of the tree he hid in, causing branches and leaves to tear outwards as he left in an azure blur.

“On no you don’t!” Balion shouted, activating his V-bracelets. From them appeared a translucent emerald shield and sword. He rammed into the black figure and sent the digimon spiralling to the side before he could reach the Paildramon. As Balion pushed him through the air, he looked over his shoulder and yelled at Paildramon, “Get out of here!”

The knight then felt a knee painfully pound into his abdomen and throw him away from the digimon. Balion coughed and growled as he was forced back. He looked up and saw the black form of a humanoid dinosaur, clad in armour and gigantic claws. A BlackWarGreymon.

“Dramon scum!” he snarled, boring his eyes into the UlforceVeedramon with nothing but pure hatred.

Balion surged forward, raising his shield in front of him and swinging his green beam sabre down on the digimon. “So you’re the one who’s been killing all those Dramon!” Balion yelled as he sliced downwards, only to have his sword blocked by the dinosaur’s left gauntlet.

“You all deserve to die!” the BlackWarGreymon roared, shoving Balion’s sword arm aside and flying towards him to slash across the pink interior of Balion’s wing. “For what you did to my older brother!”

Balion grimaced and kicked off his belt, pushing himself back away from him. “You’re his little brother?!” he snarled. “Ray of Victory!

Azure power burst from Balion’s chest towards Oberon’s brother. The BlackWarGreymon crossed his claws in front of him to brace himself from the attack. The blue energy parted around him like a ‘V’ upon impact, but he burst through it with intense fury and resolve. “I, Elegast, will punish all of you Dramon scum for your misdeeds! For Oberon’s revenge!” he roared, ripping towards Balion with claws posed to strike. “Terra Destroyer!

A small yet highly concentrated orb of negative energy built up in between his two claws which he then hurled at the UlforceVeedramon. Balion hastily raised his Ulforce Shield in time to block it. The black, burning power parted around his shield, streaming off in five different directions. Balion was forced back in the air just by blocking the attack.

Elegast then aggressively followed up his attack by rushing Balion as the attack still parted. The dinosaur warrior slashed his claws down on Balion’s face. His claws shrieked against Balion’s blue helmet, sending sparks shooting off from the knight’s face. The claws ripped down his helmet, leaving visible scrapes along the metal, and actually cracking it just above Balion’e left eye.

Balion grunted as he felt his neck muscles strain and ache by the brutal swipe. Elegast followed up the attack by bringing his other set of Dramon Killers down on the opposite side of his foe’s face. While this strike didn’t break the metal, Balion could definitely feel the painful pressure. The UlforceVeedramon growled and bashed the BlackWarGreymon’s face with his shield. Upon seeing him recoil, Balion went on the offensive and thrust his Ulforce Sabre forwards. The emerald beam sword cut into Elegast’s side, through the armour, and drew blood that leaked down the dinosaur’s side.

Elegast roared and kicked Balion’s wing. He then swung around and whipped his strong black tail across Balion’s face, ripped the armour of Balion’s lower face, leaving his mouth defenceless. The BlackWarGreymon took advantage of his foe’s exposed area and delivered a mighty karate chop into the UlforceVeedramon’s cheek and mouth.

Balion cried out in pain as he was thrown in reverse. Elegast swiped his Dramon Killer gauntlets horizontally. Luckily for the Royal Knight, Balion had good enough instincts to flap his wings and rear his head back before his face could be slashed off. Instead the tip of one of the metal claws merely knicked his cheek, drawing a small cut.

Ray of Victory!” Balion yelled, releasing a concentrated beam from the V-crest on his chest towards the BlackWarGreymon, which slammed into his legs and sent him flipping forwards. As his foe went head over heels, Balion shot forward with his superior speed. He raised his sword and prepared to slash at his rays, but he underestimated his opponent’s reflexes. Elegast whipped his feet around Balion’s neck, squeezing before flipping himself upright. As he did so, he released his foe, sending him flying downwards.

Balion snarled and spread out his wings to halt his decent. He shot back upwards in a pillar of blue and rammed his shield into his foe’s chest, sending them both upwards. “Try this, you stinking lizard!” he growled, driving his Ulforce Sabre into Elegast’s leg. The dinosaur warrior in question furiously responded by driving his clawed foot into Balion’s chest armour, pushing him away.

“You’ll die just like the rest of them,” Oberon’s brother snarled. “Black Tornado!” Elegast’s body started spiralling in the air, twisting like a raging cyclone towards Balion.

“Crap! How’s he so fast?!” Balion sputtered, hastily raising his Tensegrity Shield, expanding it so that it covered a wider area to protect against the rapidly approaching, horizontal, black tornado. Elegast raged against the shield, ebony contending with emerald in a fight for dominance. The dark clouds overhead were almost nearly black. Thunder reverberated in the air as the two struggled.

Elegast gave a mighty roar as he pushed with a surge of power. To Balion’s complete shock and horror, the black tornado shattered through the shield, forcing it back into his V-Bracelet. “Impossible!” he shouted.

“Die!” the BlackWarGreymon responded, ripping into the knight’s chest armour. Balion roared in pain as the claws ripped through his blue digizoid armour and hacked into his chest. “R-Ray of Victory!” he sputtered, blasting Elegast in an explosion of power at point blank range.

Oberon’s younger brother was thrown back but promptly surged towards him again. Balion used his speed to dart to the side and hack at his bicep. He then shot to the side so that he was behind Elegast and proceeded to drive his boot into the back of his head. Elegast snarled with pain and swung around, easily ripping his claws across Balion’s shin. As the UlforceVeedramon staggered in pain, he made another ferocious assault, grabbing Balion by the horns and driving his face into his helmeted head.

The azure warrior spat out a mouthful of blood and even then, more trickled from the corners of his maw. Balion drove his feet into the BlackWarGreymon’s gut and pushed off. “Ray of Victory!” He fired another powerful ray from his chest towards his enemy. Elegast scowled and swung his Dramon Killers down, which ripped through most of the attack. He then rushed forwards. Balion thrust his right, sword-bearing arm forwards, aiming for Elegast’s chest. The BlackWarGreymon dodged to Balion’s right, causing the UlforceVeedramon to miss entirely. The Royal Knight was now completely exposed.

Elegast ripped his right claw across the side of Balion’s neck, tearing three large rends into his flesh which leaked blood. The claws continued to pass by his neck and rip into the edge of his blue wing as well. Balion roared in pain and turned around, ready to retaliate with a mighty hack of his sword. However, as he spun around, his eyes widened. Elegast was already staring at him, his arm pulled back and his Dramon Killers poised. He drove his arm towards Balion’s face. This time, it would be fatal.

Balion watched with steadfast eyes, knowing this was the end. Something moving quickly suddenly obstructed his view. A familiar form moved between him and the oncoming claws. His eyes widened upon recognizing the body. It was Sylpha.

Sylpha let out a short, pained cry as the Dramon Killers went through her. The three claws pierced through her chest, stopping centimetre away from Balion’s stunned and mortified face. Elegast regarded her with some surprise but merely shrugged it off and retracted his claws, allowing her to fall into Balion’s arms.

Lightning pierced through the clouds, with thunder echoing its power only seconds afterwards. Balion could feel the trickle of rain drop begin to pound the ground around him, falling on himself, Elegant, and Sylpha's body.

“Sylpha...” he said in shock, looking down at her limp body that had just saved him.

She weakly looked up at him and placed her hand on his chest. “Bal...ion...” she whispered before her head fell to the side. Balion’s eyes widened in horror as her form disappated into data in his arms. The data particles scattered with a gust of the storm’s wind.

The UlforceVeedramon’s arms remained outstretched and he kept staring down at where her body was. His fists clenched and his arms shook with fury. His breaths became deep and laboured. Balion slowly looked up to face Elegast, tears of pure rage and sorrow brimming in his wild, crimson eyes.

“She shouldn’t have gotten in the way,” the BlackWarGreymon said callously.

“You...” Balion said a scathing, near-demonic growl. “You don’t care about Oberon... You just want an excuse to murder. You killed Sylpha and that Allomon and they weren’t Dramon...”

Elegast narrowed his eyes to his, flying closer.

“You’re disgracing Oberon’s name and memory... Killing weak and defenceless digimon in the shadows...” snarled Balion, blinking back his tears as rain continued to fall on him. “...This proves just how weak your family really is!” he roared.

The BlackWarGreymon’s golden eyes widened in fury. He unleashed a savage roar to chorus with the cacophonous thunderclap and lunged at Balion as the sky lit up with another bolt of lightning. Balion prepared to retaliate with all that he had, but before he could two arcs of white, purging energy slammed hard into Elegast’s side, slicing through his armour and into his skin as it threw him to the side.

Balion’s head painfully wrenched to the side, trying to see who attacked his enemy. Flying through the increasing cascade of rain in the dark sky was the form of a familiar, drenched Cyberdramon.

“Erebus...” he said.

Erebus responded with only a nod, then turning to Oberon’s brother, who was recuperating from the attack. The Cyberdramon raced towards him before he could completely recover. “Desolation Claw!” Erebus unleashed two arcing blades of energy towards Elegast, one clipped his arm, cutting into his armour, but the BlackWarGreymon managed to hack the other one away with his Dramon Killers.

“You again,” he growled, racing towards Erebus.

“Me again,” Erebus responded, ripping towards him in response. He ducked into the air and drove his clawed fist into the dinosaur’s chest. He then held his claw there, which began to glow. “Cyber Nail!

The claw ripped into his armour and slashed at the scales underneath. Elegast snarled and responded by hacking his claws down Erebus’ rubber armour. However, the part of the armour he attacked was durable enough not to be pierced, even by the Dramon Killers. He growled and improvised, delivering a solid, claw-headed uppercut on Erebus’ gut, sending him flying back to Balion, who caught him.

“Balion, spread out and attack together,” Erebus muttered to the UlforceVeedramon, who nodded. Balion sped away from him, setting up a crossfire with Erebus’ position.

Ray of Victory!

Desolation Claw!

The two attacks unleashed from the Dramon simultaneously and slammed on both sides of Elegast, engulfing him with energy. He emerged from the attacks smoke-ridden and enraged. His body started to glow and his form shifted.

X-Evolution... BlackWarGreymon X!

His claws extended and became even more jagged. Glowing red gems adorned his body and his back sprouted a flaming jetpack. He snarled and felt a newfound power flowing through his wounded form.

Balion swore and shot towards him, whipping his Ulforce Sabre up towards his foe. Elegast blocked the beam sword with one of his new claws and raked his other Dramon Killer down the UlforceVeedramon’s chest. Balion grimaced in agony and weakly tried to thrust his beam sword towards him again. Oberon’s brother bashed his arm to the side and drove his fist into Balion’s face.

Desolation Claw!” Erebus shouted, unleashing blades of energy from his elbows, trying to support Balion.

Hades Force!” Elegast retaliated, building up a massive sphere of crackling dark energy over his head. The countless raindrops that fell over the orb immediately turned to steam, even before touching it. He threw the attack towards Erebus’ soaring arcs of deleting energy. The powerful attack swallowed the two blades hole and proceeded to engulf Erebus, who crossed his arms in front of him in a last ditch effort to protect himself.

The orb of dark energy that had enveloped Erebus exploded outwards in a burst of blinding white light. Emerging from the darkness was Erebus’ Justimon form, rising into the dark sky as a bolt of lightning crackled behind him. His red scarf flapped in the breeze for a few seconds before the rain soaked it and weighed it down behind his cyborg form.

The Justimon cast a look to Balion, who nodded in understanding. Balion’s form also became encased in light. “From farthest peak to tallest tower, the form I seek becomes my power. To slayeth my foes with draconic blade, this knight shall victor over what evil has made. X-Evolution! UlforceVeedramon X!

Balion shot out of the light in his X-Antibody form and raced towards Elegath with an even larger Ulforce Sabre extended from his V-Bracelet. He clashed with the BlackWarGreymon X’s form who crossed his Dramon Killers to block the beam sword. “Now Erebus!” he yelled.

Erebus was already on the way. “Voltage Blade!” His mechanical right arm transformed into a large, beam sword which he brandished in front of him. The Justimon hacked the beam blade down Elegast’s spine, prompting a roar from the digimon. He swung around and slashed his claws across Erebus’ chest. Erebus sneered and flew at him again with his sword at the ready. Elegast let his blade this time and thrust his other pair of Dramon Killers at him. Erebus was forced to dodge and pull back momentarily.

Balion took this opportunity and slashed his Ulforce Sabre down at the warrior. Elegast, however, anticipated this and performed a powerful back kick into Balion’s abdomen, sending him flying backwards through the rain. “Hades Force!” he roared, hurling an intense blast of darkness at Balion.

“Damnit!” Balion growled, raising his new shield to block the powerful attack.

Justice Burst!” Erebus changed his arm back into its regular, smaller mode and pelted Elegast with a salvo of beam bullets. “Balion!”

“I know!” he shot back as Elegast dodged many of the bullets, ripping through the storm towards him. Balion’s body became surrounded with a controlled azure power that flowed off of his form. The raindrops around him glimmered cobalt as they fell. "I summon the Fates of Witchenly, bringeth to me my destiny, that burneth bright and thus transform, with future sight to future form! Future Evolution! UlforceVeedramon Future Mode!

The blue power exploded outwards, engulfing the surrounding rain and throwing the BlackWarGreymon X back into Erebus’ Justice Burst attack that pounded against his body. Balion’s Future Mode form emerged as thunder echoed through the air. His armour became more regal and his attacks much more powerful.

He sneered as he stared up at Elegast. Two large humming blades shot out from his two V-bracelets. “This ends now.”

Balion’s form was completely gone in less than a millisecond. He reappeared behind Elegast and slashed the two beam blades deep into his back. Before the digimon could turn around, Balion moved in closer and restrained his arms. “Erebus!” he shouted. “Now!”

Erebus shot towards them while firing countless beam bullets at him. “Thunderclap!” His arm then shifted, tripling in size and crackling with thousands of volts of electricity. He flew towards the BlackWarGreymon X, building up as much momentum as he could while drawing his fist back. He slammed the gigantic metal fist deep into Elegast’s chest, and sent electricity coursing throughout his body.

Justice Kick!” Erebus followed up, driving his fist into his foes chest, shattering the beaten armour with 40 tonnes of power behnd it. “Prepare yourself, Balion! Trinity Arm!

Erebus arm shifted into a massive beam blade that surged with electricity. He drove it into Elegast’s chest assaulting him with not only the blade, but sparking power and beam bullets.

As his prey writhed in his arms, Balion’s V-crest began to build up enormous amounts of power that pressed against Elegast’s back at point blank range. “Ray... of... Victory!

A sapphire beam completely engulfed the BlackWarGreymon X, sending him flying out of Balion’s grasp and towards Erebus. The Justimon readied his giant Accel Arm and brought his enormous fist hammering down on Elegast, making him plummet limply to the ground below. He hit the ground with a thud. His smouldering, writhing form didn’t rise. Erebus and Balion flew in the air momentarily. Lightning crackled down nearby which was followed by the reverberating noise it carried. They descended towards the defeated criminal and landed in the mud before him in silence.

...And then Balion turned him on his back, kneeled down on his chest and continued driving his fists into his face. Elegast’s head limply shot to whatever direction Balion’s knuckles drove it in.

“You...”

Punch.

“Damn...”

Punch.

Bastard!”

He drove his fist square into the end of the now-BlackWarGreymon’s snout. All that Elegast could do was spit out blood during the brutal beating.

“...I’m finished,” Balion muttered, standing up and wiping his bloody hand on the digimon’s rapidly expanding and declining chest. Erebus nodded and placed his metal foot hard on the BlackWarGreymon’s throat. He remembered all the innocent lives this digimon took and pressed down harder, causing Elegast to make a grizzly gurgling sound.

Erebus adjusted the Extend Transmitter on his shoulder and shifted his robotic Accel Arm into the Critical Arm- the Voltage Blade. Balion extended his own Ulforce Sabres as well. The three beam blades hummed in a chorus as they pointed at Elegast’s torn body.

“We should kill him,” Balion snarled.

“He deserves nothing short of death,” Erebus agreed, glaring down at the dinosaur digimon. An intense hatred for this digimon welled up inside of Erebus. He hated everything he stood for. “He didn’t fight for revenge; he’s no more than a despicable creature committing indiscriminate murder under the pretense of justice.”

The UlforceVeedramon took a step closer and prepared to thrust his two swords. Erebus did the same. Balion glared down at the rain and blood-soaked digimon. A flash of lightning momentarily lit up the pair as Balion snarled, seeing flashes of Sylpha’s death in his arms run through his head.

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“I’m not going to persecute a whole race based on the actions of a few individuals,” Sylpha explained. “Nobody will ever know peace if we can’t learn to forgive and accept each other. There’s just no point in holding grudges.”

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“Damn it,” Balion grimaced, stepping back and returning his Ulforce Sabres to his V-Bracelets. “I can’t kill him... Sylpha wouldn’t have wanted me to.”

Erebus’s Voltage Blade, however, still hovered over his throat. “Are you going to do it, Erebus?” Balion asked over the rumbling of thunder. The Justimon didn’t respond. He continued to glare down at Elegast. The BlackWarGreymon looked up at Erebus, wheezing as rain pelted him.

“Do it... scum... Kill me like your kind killed Oberon... Show the world your true nature that they have so easily forgotten...”

Erebus pressed his blade, crackling intensely with energy, against his throat and tensed his arm.

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“What will you do if you finally get rid of all the evil you think you need to destroy?” she demanded. “Will you finally be at peace? Or will you just keep fighting for another cause? Are you fighting for justice or are you fighting for your own sake?” Kairi’s voice echoed in his head.

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Erebus grunted and allowed his Critical Arm’s blade stray to the side, away from the BlackWarGreymon. “...I’ll let the appropriate authorites deal with him,” he said, transforming his arm back into the regular Blitz Arm.

“Why?” Balion asked, slightly surprised.

“Because I fight for justice... not revenge,” he said, glaring down at the murderer. “Killing him would only justify his false words about our species... But if he escapes or is released and starts killing again... then I’ll kill him without mercy.”

Balion nodded and grabbed one of Elegast’s arms. “Then let’s bring this bastard to justice...” he said. “Erebus, go get the chains in my bag,” he requested, pointing through the rain to the tree where he had been perched.

The Justimon complied and returned a moment later, handing them to Balion, who went on to remove Elegast’s Dramon Killer gauntlets and bind his arms behind his back. Erebus stood over the digimon, going through his pockets, and then glanced at Balion. “My badge?”

Balion casually took the badge from his pocket and flicked it up into the Justimon’s hand. Erebus then outstretched the badge, flashing it at Elegast. “You’re under arrest for the murder of all those Dramon civilians,” Erebus said to him. “Now hold still and shut up.”

The UlforceVeedramon Future Mode finished restraining the digimon and hauled the captured criminal to his feet and glanced at Erebus. “Can you take his other arm?”

Erebus nodded and forcefully closed his arm around the dinosaur’s right bicep. The two dramon avengers then leapt into the air with Oberon’s younger brother in tow. They flew in complete silence – odd for Balion – and were accompanied only by the beating of rain and the sharp echoing of thunder that followed the piercing bolts of lightning through the dark sky. They descended in the city where the remnants of the Celestial Sphere have been.

The two abruptly burst through the local law enforcement building, treading in water as they went. “Holy--“ a nearby Angemon officer said in surprise, stepping away from the door.

“We have defeated the killer responsible for the numerous Dramon deaths,” Balion announced as he and Erebus threw the BlackWarGreymon face first onto the station floor.

“That’s great,” the Angemon said in some surprise. “But you two aren’t officers...” Erebus gave a quick flash of his badge. “...I see. Well, you two should go to the hospital immediately. You’re both in rough shape,” he said, noticing how beaten and bloodied the two were.

They nodded and turned to do just that. “This vigilante thing could cause you some trouble when you report back to the governing body,” Balion explained to Erebus. “Politics...” he scoffed.

Erebus growled, shifting back into his Cyberdramon form. Balion followed suit, grimacing as he took on his regular UlforceVeedramon form. “I’ll deal with that when I have to,” Erebus said, leading them towards the hospital. “Hopefully, they’ll see what’s right...”
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Old December 23rd, 2010 (06:18 PM).
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Grovyle42(Griff8416)
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Act IV: The Breaching Light


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The two Dramon felt a surge of energy and vigor rush through their bodies, easing the pain, as a healing aura washed over them. They both rested on beds adjacent to each other. The female HiAndromon nurse worked on Balion’s wounds while a Guardromon nurse attended to Erebus.

Balion winced as she began to stitch up the three long, still bleeding gashes on his neck. He simply stared off into space, hardly taking notice of her. The two Avengers had their wounds closed and bandaged and received their obligatory strict warnings to take it easy.

Erebus slowly stood up from his bed with a strained snarl. He got to his feet and walked towards the door. “Erebus...” Balion hailed him.

“I need to go address the council,” he explained. “You should go home and rest.”

“Good luck,” the UlforceVeedramon said, sitting upwards as well. “Tell Ajax I plan to fight and beat him in a sparring match sometime soon.”

Erebus nodded and exited. The female HiAndromon nurse walked over towards Balion. “You’re all fixed up now,” she explained. A small grin appeared on her face. “You know... if you’re feeling up to it, you and I could go back to my place and... see what happens,” she suggested.

Balion initially jumped at the idea. However, his memory of Sylpha soon entered his mind. At first, he only wanted to sleep with the Zephyrmon, but such a bond grew between them that she was willing to take Elegast’s attack for him. “I have been so shallow all this time...” he thought, grimacing and turning his head away from the HiAndromon. “...Sylpha.

“No... I’m sorry,” he said, distracted. “I am going to return home.” Balion then stood to his feet and left.

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Erebus walked into the governing body’s building unannounced, pushing open the front doors after a nod to the Gallantmon and WarGreymon guards. He strode forwards, down the large hallway ahead of him and walked into the council hall, to the surprise of many of the governing body members. A silence overtook the room and the only sound that was heard for several moments was the thudding of the rain against the glass dome above.

“Erebus,” Ajax said, looking at him with a raised eyebrow. He noted the various bandages, scuffs and dried blood stains on his armour. “...We weren’t expecting you.”

“I’ve brought the murderer behind the Dramon killings to justice. He is in prison as we speak,” Erebus explained, not taking the opportunity to say ‘I told you so.’

“So, there was a killer?” Rhea said in surprise.

“And you defeated him?” Arahon asked.

Ajax smirked with a hint of pride at the development. Erebus nodded. “Yes.”

“Be that as that may!” the SaberLeomon growled. “That’s vigilantism!”

“I agree!” the MetalGarurumon said. “He should be arrested.”

Bullmuk!” Ajax hissed. “Are you so callous as to lock up a digimon who not only caught this murderer, but also risked his life time and time again for the digital world?”

“I don’t see why vigilantism is a crime...” Erebus said, growling. “You, the governing body ignored this string of murders and I’m the one who has to explain myself? If you continued to turn a blind eye, the death toll would have been far greater than it already is. How many deaths would it have taken for you to have decided that it was worth diverting the manpower and resources? Or are the lives of Dramon worth less than other digimon?” Erebus retorted, staring particularly at the two quadrupedal digimon.

The SaberLeomon snarled. “Insolent--!”

Arahon raised his hand. “Enough... Erebus, I regret not taking more claim more seriously earlier, but we can’t condone vigilantism, for there are those who take it too far or could try to use it as an excuse to perform malicious acts.”

“Arahon,” Ajax said. “I’ve fought by Erebus’ side, as have you, Rhea, Uriel, and Castiel. I’m positive we can agree that Erebus was doing nothing more than fighting for what was right in our absence. He’s a good warrior and I don’t think he would do anything close to what they are suggesting.”

“I agree, Ajax...” Arahon said.

“As do I,” Rhea said.

“And I,” added Castiel.

“Me, as well,” Uriel finished.

The HerculesKabuterimon X and Plesiomon nodded in agreement.

Arahon nodded, looking down at Erebus. “That said, I have no intentions of incarcerating you. You have our deepest gratitude for bringing this scourge to justice before anymore lives were lost needlessly.”

The Cyberdramon nodded his head. “Thank you,” he said, turning around and walking towards the door. Upon reaching the doorway, Erebus looked over his shoulder. “One last thing... He was Oberon’s little brother,” he said, leaving them with that as he left the council room.

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Balion walked through a huge, ballroom-like, luxurious room adorned with pristine tiles. He had returned to his mansion which was isolated away from the cities on a large, grassy hill. The UlforceVeedramon’s footsteps echoed through the room as he slowly approached a grand piano which sat against a tall wall with large windows. His boots treaded mud and water across the clean floor.

He glanced outside and saw rain continuing to fall and rap against the windows. The UlforceVeedramon silently sat on the piano bench and let out a small sigh as he stared at the keys. Memories of how impressed Sylpha was by his playing flashed through his mind, as did his suggestion to her that he would teach her sometime. He knew now that that wasn’t going to happen.

The cobalt Royal Knight closed his eyes and slowly placed his white, wet fingers upon the keys. He waited a few moments before pressing down on the keys, initiating a song. The song was low and pretentious. However, the tune had a very melancholic, sorrowful tone to it. Soon, the song that Balion played became powerful, emotional, and almost angry or frustrated.

The UlforceVeedramon poured all of his heart and effort into the song, not even needing to open his eyes to play it. Some might say that the song was conveying his emotions. His fingers raced across the the keys, pounding them. Near the end of the song, a jolting pain shot down Balion’s neck and through his arm, causing his limb to twitch and miss his next desired notes completely and creating a discordious sound from the instrument.

“DAMN IT!” Balion roared, lashing out and slamming his closed fist down on the keys in frustration. Tears threatened to enter the corners of his closed eyes as his mind was plagued by the death of Sylpha.

Not long after, a Wingdramon flew over to the doorway and looked in. "Master Balion! Is everything alright?" the butler asked with concern, especially upon seeing the bloodied bandages on the knight. This was the only butler he had.

“I’m fine...” Balion answered, his voice shaking with rage and agony. “Just... go and take the rest of the day off,” he said, not looking up at the Wingdramon.

“Err... Of course,” he said hesitantly, but nodding and leaving Balion alone.

The UlforceVeedramon continued staring at the his clenched fist and the piano keys under it. “Sylpha...

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An obelisk of the purest, whitest marble stood in a carved-out, golden field, shooting up towards the grey rain clouds over head. Drops of rain fell upon the tall structure, ricocheting off it as they hit. The structure was created by Caesar after Dracul Samhain’s defeat.

“Oberon. Valra. Ragna. Braon. Boagrius. Fabian. Karmas. Quintus. Gatmuz. Theron. Tytania,” the names whispered to those that passed by or approached the great memorial, dedicated to the friends and allies of the Avengers who gave their lives for freedom in the Civil War and the Blackest Night.

"Go tell the Avengers, passerby, that here, for your future, we lie," it whispered.

Balion stood silently beneath the memorial, standing unaffected by the rain. He held a single rose between his thumb and index finger. He kneeled down and gently placed the flower at the base of the obelisk. “Sylpha,” he whispered softly, allowing her name to become one with the data of the obelisk like the others.

He closed his eyes and bowed his helmeted head before slowly standing up. “Oberon...” he thought, remembering the name that had echoed from the memorial; the name that so many Dramon had died in the name of. The UlforceVeedramon was sure that that was not what the hero of the Civil War would have wanted at all.

Balion turned around and expressed mild surprise at Erebus standing behind him, his head bowed as he stood in the shadow of the pillar.

“You’re here...” Balion said somberly, turning back forwards. Erebus nodded and stepped up beside him. “I might go back to Witchenly soon... There’s a lot of training I still need to do with the Future Mode I got from Gotungir and I could use some time to think.”

“When are you leaving, then?” Erebus asked.

“I’m not sure... A few days, a week, maybe?” he replied. “I have arranged to play a piano concerto for the citizens of the capital before then, though. My skill plus my fame as a hero ought to have an incredible turn-out. You should come, Erebus, if you liked my music as much as you said.”

“I’d like that,” Erebus replied, still staring at the obelisk.

“I could probably pull a few strings and get you in VIP seating,” Balion offered.

“That’s not necessary,” Erebus insisted. A momentary silence overtook them, which was broken by Balion.

“It seems hopeless sometimes, doesn’t it?” he said suddenly.

Erebus looked at him, regarding him carefully. “What does?”

“...Even after the world’s end... after the world’s rebirth... after the world’s unification... the prejudices and hate still exist. ...How can that be?”

“The world is distorted...” Erebus answered grimly. “...But it can also be kind... There are those with evil in their hearts who wish to destroy others or service themselves. It seems like there always will be. The permanence of hate...” he said. ”...But that shouldn’t distract you from those who have good hearts... Friends... lovers... family.”

“You sound like you’re going to stop fighting or something...” Balion said, looking at Erebus, who shook his head.

“I’m always fighting...” Erebus responded. “But maybe I can still enjoy happiness... the things people take for granted, too... Maybe...”

“Maybe...” Balion sighed and placed his glove on the warm surface of the obelisk. “...Will the world ever change, Erebus?”

“...That’s up to us,” he answered. “All of us... If the world is going to truly change, then it will have to be by our own free will,” he said, looking up at the white obelisk that stood highlighted against the dark grey clouds.

Balion retracted his hand and looked up as well.

“By our own free will...” he echoed, looking into the sky, where, through the darkness of the clouds, a ray of light stubbornly shone through and fell upon the flowing, golden fields of grass in front of them...
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