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Digimon: Devil's Ascent (RPG Thread)

Discussion in 'Role-Playing Games' started by Kamotz, Aug 29, 2010.

  1. Kamotz

    Kamotz God of Monsters

    "Bedivere is done whipping them into a frenzy," Svarog growled, floating down to Thor from the sky. He glanced down below to the Slayerdramon. "I hope, at least. This is not the time for battle-fury."

    "I never thought I would hear you say such a thing," Thor said, fighting to smirk, but finding it impossibly difficult. He looked out to the city below. "And how are things progressing?"

    Svarog followed his gaze and nodded silently. "We've set up lines to the nearby cities. The machine-type Digimon are managing electronic communication," he answered. "I've passed word that all cities are to do the same. It's a pity we never did this before. It would have saved us a lot of trouble."

    "It is difficult to leave the old ways," Thor said, shaking his head sadly. "This is true of gods and angels and mortals...and likely--I'd wager--of demons, too." He looked to the preparations. "Allow Bedivere to rally the soldiers as he sees fit; it's what he knows. Focus on preparing the rest of the city's defenses, and make sure the other cities do the same."

    "Do you think this will work?"

    "I must," Thor answered. "It is what I planned to begin in Asgard...it will have to now begin in Anatolia."

    "They're ready for you, then. Are you ready?" Svarog asked. He motioned to the balcony that stood above the city streets. "Are you ready, Son of Odin, King of Asgard?"

    Thor nodded and made his grim way towards the balcony, where several Monitamon and a Hi-VisionMonitamon stood, waiting for him. It was time; time to save the heart and soul of the Digital World. The thunder god strode out onto the balcony. The Monitamon's faces flickered and the Hi-Vision gave him a nod. They were transmitting...transmitting his message across the entire Digital World.

    It was time.

    "Digimon of the world, I come to you now as the bearer of dark news. By now you are no doubt aware of the rumors. I will not lie to you--the demon Mephistopheles seeks to raise the Demon Lords, and despite all our efforts, he is close." There was no point in hiding anything now; they needed to know, to be made aware of the threats looming over them. Thor remembered his father, and how Odin could inspire with a simple phrase or word. "Be strong," the All-Father said, and you would listen, and you would feel that strength flowing through you. Thor would find that strength, he would send it out into the Digital World, and he would hold nothing back.

    "Our world stands on the brink once again. We face an evil unlike any other--merciless, heartless, and corrupt. One that will not think twice about eviscerating and desecrating all we hold dear. And this time we are without the High Council, we are without the Royal Knights, to see us through." He saw their fear, and felt the utter loneliness that flooded through them, that wretched feeling of abandonment and loss. Good. They needed to feel it.

    "In times past, you relied upon gods and angels and heroes to carry you to salvation and victory. Now...we only have ourselves, and each other. And that will have to be enough. A dark day is upon us, a black night descends over the entire world." And it would. Thor would give them no empty promises, no grand soliloquies that right is on their side or that victory was assured of them, or that even he himself was sure if it. He did not tell them that salvation would come. Odin never claimed "I will save you," not once. But when Odin spoke all rose to listen and find the hope he inspired.

    "So gather your courage, and your strength, and your will. Gather all the bright things in your hearts that hold back the growing tide of fear and hatred and despair." Like his father before him, Thor called upon the entire world to find their own strength, to find the power to save themselves, to find the hope and light within themselves. And he let them know a simple truth, "And know that you are not alone, that the entire world stands beside you; the Peacemakers stand beside you; I stand beside you. Until my dying breath. This I swear to you."

    And so Thor would do what only he could; he who was a god and force of nature and a king and a warrior-born--he would take on the impossible burden alone, and shoulder the hope of the people. He would not waver or break. He would, as his father before him, make them believe.

    "You do not stand alone."

    =====

    Elsewhere...In the desolate fields and the wreckage of Avalon...

    "Tell me of our progress," Mephistopheles said, glancing over his shoulder to Nebiros and Sabnock, the only of his associates still present. "Where do we stand?"

    "Famine sweeps through the land. It is despoiled before him," Nebiros answered, in an almost trance-like state. "War descends on Jericho, and brings it ruination."

    "Belial raises the Lesser Lords as we speak. They move to join us," answered Sabnock, in a similar state. "Marcus and the Cambion gather for their destined mission. The Gate to the Black has been found."

    Mephistopheles nodded. "It's time." He surveyed the stark expanse of ruins and charred sky, still blistering from the mere passing of Chaos. It was a fitting place to begin. He raised his arms in prayer, calling out to the vastness of his terrible knowledge of the dreaded and the dark.

    "I looked, and there before me was a pale horse. Its rider was named Death. And Hell followed close behind."

    The sky swirled and bled; the earth shook, screaming in agony; and a pale, grey-green cloud descended from the boiling sky. It pierced into the wracked earth, which let out a scream, and burrowed into the datastream, into the histories and pasts and lives and deaths. And It rose, pale-grey like a corpse, and ancient beyond all life.

    "Who summons Death?" the Horseman demanded, spreading his huge wings. "Where are my children?"

    "I, Mephistopheles, have summoned you." The demon bowed. "Your...children are busy with their work, I-"

    "Was supposed to summon Death last," the Horseman said, his voice echoing across the blackened sky and earth like the toll of a hollow bell. "I sense only War and Famine. Why has my eldest not risen? Where is Conquest? Where is my son, the Horseman King?"

    "Dead," Mephistopheles answered. "Slain in battle. It was told, by Famine, that you and you alone had the ability to return him to his destiny."

    "It would have taken considerable power to kill a Horseman of the Apocalypse," Death mused, his eyes never blinked. "My eldest son is dead. Conquest will never ride again."

    "But-"

    "But his essence may yet be returned," Death continued. "For am I not Death? And thus, master of all things therein?" He raised a terrible hand. "He will never be as grand as he was...Conquest, no more. But I will remake my son anew: a new son. From the eldest comes the youngest." He looked to the demon. "Speak the words."

    "I looked, and there before me was a white horse! Its rider was given a bow and he rode out as a bringer of disease and Pestilence."

    "My son," Death echoed. "Pestilence. Rise."
     
  2. Griff4815

    Griff4815 No. 1 Grovyle Fan

    With strong, majestic flaps of his wings, Tiwaz flew over the grassy landscape. It had been several hours by wing, but he was now almost at Sparta. He hated the idea of how much time he was wasting just by travelling, so he flew faster than he normally would.

    He hoped there would be some order in the city when he arrived. If not, he would definately have a few choice words to say to the officers in charge there.

    While only an auxiliary one, part of the reason why Tiwaz wanted to go to Sparta was so that he could get far enough away from Fenrir so that he wouldn't feel as much of his DNA Digivolving partner's presence. It only served to remind him of the fact that the AncientGarurumon had been lying to him the whole time they had known each other. Hundreds of years of secrets. His caring yet meddlesome nature was opposed to them, even though Tiwaz had secrets of his own. He wouldn't admit it at this point, but Fenrir was right about Tiwaz being a hypocrite, even if the dragon was well-intentioned in his reasons.

    Tiwaz wouldn't let himself dwell on the issue. He knew that he had a job to do. And that was help prepare the soldiers and citizens of Sparta the best that he could. He had helped defend many towns and cities before.

    "Are you sure that this is a good idea, Tiwaz?" Tyr asked. "Should we be going off by ourselves and leaving the others? What if they encounter Mephistopheles? What if they need Perun?"

    "Have all the Peacemakers defend just one city while abandoning these other major cities? Sparta or Athens are worth no less than Anatolia in my books," Tiwaz responded. "Besides, we don't know what Mephistopheles is up to; it's better if we cast a wide net." The AncientGreymon closed his eyes. "And I doubt we could even become Perun like this."

    "Who? You and Fenrir?" Tyr asked.

    "No. Me and Trowa," Tiwaz said with a roll of his eyes. "Yes, me and Fenrir. Were you asleep during our row? Our hearts need to be able to beat as one or some rubbish in order for us to DNA digivolve. I know how he feels about me and I know that I'm not even sure if I trust him now. There's no way it'll work. Besides, I can sense that he's still weak from that ordeal with Azur. Not to mention the fact that I feel like there's something off about him."

    "But the last time you digivolved into Perun, right after we... err, defeated Typhon... you two had just argued and could still do it well enough," the VictoryGreymon pointed out.

    "That was different... We both had a common goal in mind: killing Amatsu-Mikaboshi," the Ancient of Flame explained. "Right now... I don't know where his head or his heart is at. Hell, I was surprised that we even managed to successfully DNA digivolve those two times against the Chaos Lords, especially after..." He trailed off. "Anyways, yeah. It's not as simple as simply saying a chant."

    "That's why you should talk your problems out with each other. Dragon to werewolf," Tyr suggested.

    Tiwaz growled and shook his goggled head. "He's untalkable!" he said in vocal frustration. "Believe me, I've tried talking to him! It's like talking to an anti-social, insufferable, eye-rolling rock!"

    Tyr sighed, unconvinced by Tiwaz's argument. "Okay..."

    "You think it's my fault, don't you?" the AncientGreymon asked.

    "What?! I didn't say that!" he frantically insisted.

    "I almost wish you would. You need to gain more confidence in yourself, Tyr! Didn't your dad, Hymir, tell you to stand up for what you believe in and all that?" Tiwaz asked.

    Tyr was silent for a few moments. "Kind of... It's just that... When I was young, after mum died, he kept putting more and more time into the brewery. He wasn't home as much and I spent a lot of time at Gunnar's," he answered. "I know he still loved me... We just didn't spend as much time together as other dads and their sons... He loved my mom more than anything, so when she died, he changed a bit..."

    Tiwaz nodded slightly, flying in silence. "...I see. So that's what he was talking about..." he finally said, remembering Hymir's heartfelt words to Tyr in the damaged jail.

    "Yeah..." Tyr said sadly. A silence ensued.

    "...I miss him..."

    "...I know, Tyr," Tiwaz said understandly. He closed his eyes. "Tyr, you know it's still possible he's alive..."

    "I know... I still can't bring myself to find out, just in case he's... not," Tyr explained, cringing at the idea.

    The AncientGreymon nodded. "That's one thing I won't push on you... Whenever you want to, Tyr."

    They flew in relative silence for the remaining minutes. Tiwaz advised that Tyr went to sleep and it didn't take long for the VictoryGreymon to comply.

    The city of Sparta was finally in view. The AncientGreymon flew over the city walls and observed the Grecan architecture below him. There were Digimon of all sorts scurrying around, most of them soldiers from what Tiwaz gathered. There was also an influx of civilians going into the city.

    Tiwaz readied his acting chops and swooped down onto the road. No later than when his feet touched the ground, Tiwaz found himself staring down the shaft of lance. The AncientGreymon looked up and saw a Gallantmon in front of him, five Knightmon on his left, five Grademon on his right, and five Okuwamon behind him.

    The Gallantmon narrowed his eyes. "Who are you?" he asked suspiciously. "What's your business here?"

    The dragon god stared at the officer calmly, but didn't let himself appear defiant. Instead, he adapted himself to become reasonable and as cool-headed as he could. Tiwaz bowed his head slightly. "Tiwaz Koenig at your service," he responded. "I am one of the Peacemakers. And those of you who read should quickly recognize me as one of the members of the Great Ten, as well."

    There was some chatter amongst the soldiers, but the Gallantmon lowered his Gram. "So the rumours are true," he muttered. "Fenrir Weissritter as well?"

    Tiwaz grunted. "He is back at Anatolia with most of my comrades. I came here to lend my assistance."

    "That's a shame," the Gallantmon replied. "It would have been twice the morale boost if we had Perun Sturmrächer at our disposal, but still, we're grateful you showed up."

    "And you are?" he asked, eyeing the Gallantmon.

    "Perseus," the Gallantmon replied. "I'm in charge of things here."

    Tiwaz nodded. "Pleasure to meet you. How are your defences?" he asked.

    "Pretty strong," Perseus replied. "We've recruited every digimon who could hold their own in a fight, including digimon from the refugees that are flocking to the city for protection. We set up a full perimeter with several lines of defence."

    "Good," Tiwaz replied, looking down at the Gallantmon. "Are there any UlforceVeedramon about? I need a line of communication between here and Anatolia. The same goes for the other cities."

    "No need for messengers," Perseus replied with a slight smile. He gestured behind him to a Monitamon. "With him, we have a direct link to Anatolia along with most of the other cities. Thor Odinson's message to the world helped ease things."

    Tiwaz looked at the Monitamon's screen and indeed saw Anatolia. "Incredible. That little boxhead is showing what's going on in Anatolia as we speak? Where were they thousands of years ago?" He looked back up at Perseus. "You know this city better than I do; where would I be best stationed."

    "The first line of defence," Perseus responded. "We need strength and leadership on the frontlines. As for where, we won't know until we're attacked."

    Tiwaz nodded until something off to the side caught his attention. He saw an EmperorGreymon leading a large group of digimon down the street. "What in the blazes...?"

    The crimson knight turned around. "Oh, them. They came all the way from Tiwheim to take shelter here."

    "Excuse me a second..." Tiwaz offhandedly said to Perseus as he passed him, walking towards the group that was heading up an opposite street. "Hoenir!" he shouted out.

    The EmperorGreymon in question turned and nearly tripped over himself upon seeing his ancestor again, in Sparta of all places. The High Defender of Tiwheim quickly told one of his subordinates to continue leading the civilians. Once that was finished, he ran over. "Tiwaz!" he responded, still in shock.

    The AncientGreymon grinned a bit. "I thought that was you, boy."

    Hoenir smiled. "What are you doing here? I thought you were going with the Peacemakers."

    "I am," he explained. "But I came here to help while we wait for the demon to act. What about you? Did you bring all of Tiwheim?"

    The EmperorGreymon nodded. "Yeah. We heard reports and agreed it would be best to take them to major cities since there's safety in numbers. There were a bunch of other villages and towns doing it as well."

    "I see..." Tiwaz spoke, suddenly becoming quiet and thoughtful. A matter that had weighed on his mind recently resurfaced and urged him to do something about it.

    The AncientGreymon looked at his descendant carefully. "Tyr... Are you awake?" he thought to the VictoryGreymon.

    There was no reply, giving Tiwaz his answer. The Ancient of Fire sighed and looked at Hoenir.

    "Hoenir... There's something I need to talk to you about."

    -

    Gunnar walked down Anatolia's defensive lines with Sigurd and Ulik, all following behind Dhazbog.

    "Yeah, I guess Thor and Bedivere's speeches were pretty motivating," Gunnar said, shrugging with a smile. "I mean, I think I could easily have done better, but that's kind of their one thing, you know? How could I take that away from them?"

    Sigurd scoffed and Ulik smiled a bit. "You're a real Digimonitarian," the BlackWarGreymon said.

    Gunnar chuckled. "Yeah, I know..."

    "That's right. What was your kill count again?" Sigurd asked. The WarGreymon started mock-counting on his fingers. "Oh, that's right. Zero."

    The ShineGreymon rolled his eyes. "The only one of us that killed anybody so far was Thor and Svarog. ...And Lucia, technically, but that was kinda... not her doing."

    "And they were civilians," Sigurd grumbled.

    "And, like I said, she was possessed by a demon," Gunnar reitterated.

    "Are they really that skilled?" Ulik questioned.

    "That, or you guys just suck," the WarGreymon laughed.

    The ShineGreymon grinned competitively. "Says the guy who wasn't even picked to be a Peacemaker. You're a pretty terrible soldier, Sig; you're way too emotional."

    Sigurd growled. "You'll be emotional when I'm through with you!"

    Gunnar just laughed and slung his arm around the WarGreymon's shoulder.

    Their superior and friend, Dhazbog, looked over his shoulder at them. "Get focused, guys. Keep an eye out for where Zeta Company is," he said. "Gunnar, you shouldn't even be tagging along with us. Start getting these digimon in order."

    "Dhazzy," the ShineGreymon laughed, rubbing the back of his head. "A few weeks ago, I was a Corporal. I'm still an NCO; just because I'm a Peacemaker now, doesn't mean I'm suddenly this big league officer. I'm not a Stormheart."

    "No," the EmperorGreymon agreed. "But you're a Peacemaker now. They're going to be looking up to you and your comrades for hope and direction. You're going to have to supply them with that. Tyr had growing up to do when he was with the Peacemakers and so do you. We're counting on you."

    "For once, I agree with Dhaz," Sigurd complied, giving Gunnar a punch on the shoulder. "If I can't be there, show these guys what the Greymon Alliance is made of."

    Ulik grinned and nodded as well.

    Gunnar scoffed. "No pressure or anything, right?" he asked. "Okay. I'm pretty sure I can pull this off. I am the most awesome and studly hot Peacemaker there is, right?"

    "You can always dream, Gunnar," Dhazbog said. The three chuckled, leaving Gunnar unamused.

    The ShineGreymon jumped into the air, releasing several blue so-called Burst particles from his wings with a flap. Sigurd grumbled something about getting fairy dust on him. Gunnar grinned and confidently glanced behind him at his friends. "Well, I'm off. I'll see ya when I see ya. Whatever you guys do, stay together and don't die, okay?"

    Dhazbog grinned proudly. "See, you're already getting the hang of it."

    Gunnar laughed and gave them a wink and a thumbs up. "Later, pals."

    The ShineGreymon whipped through the Anatolian airspace, observing the digimon below. He could see several perimeters and formations being established. It was a slight relief to them that things were already looking way more organized than they were against the Royal Knights' siege and the Chaos Lords' invasion.

    Gunnar frowned. He remembered that Sir Hector was still in the demon's captivity. As the only true local member of the Royal Knights left, Gunnar worried about him. Like Tyr, as a child, Gunnar always idolized the Royal Knights. Sir Hector in particular was one of the ones that he identified with most. "We'll free you from those pitspawn," he thought to himself.

    His thoughts were interrupted when Bedivere entered his line of sight. Gunnar swooped down and hovered in front of the Slayerdramon. "Yo, Beddy," he greeted informally. "How are the tactics going? Should the Peacemakers be evenly distributed throughout the lines?" he asked.

    He pointed his thumb to himself. "You know, I do have Burst Mode so I can pretty much be a powerhouse when I need to be, but I've got to use it strategically. It amps up my firepower, strength, defense and speed, but when I dedigivolve, I'm spent. So yeah, wherever you need me, just say," he said.

    Gunnar turned around, readying to fly away, but then he had an afterthought. "Hey, man. I know you're not the most popular Peacemaker anymore, but I'm with you on the Mephistopheles and demon thing. We need to roast those guys before they can cause anymore pain. After knowing they killed my dad way back when was bad enough, but now I've seen what they can do first hand. They've destroyed cities and virtually ruined my pal, Barry's life... To be honest, I can't wait to hunt these guys down. That said... I'm not going to trample over other, good digimon in order to do it. That would be pretty hypocritical if you ask me."

    Gunnar sighed. "While Artorius had a bit of a point, and while he was a role model to me growing up, I don't think what he did was right. I mean, besieging Avalon? I'm one of the biggest fans of the Royal Knights and I can't condone that. So yeah... don't lose sight of what's important."

    -

    Pyra flew down a wide, cobbled street until reaching a grand home. The Paildramon descended in front of the mansion and walked up to the door, knocking.

    Before the second knock, the door to her house opened and revealed Maximus to be standing there, looking at her in surprise. "Sis! I was wondering where you were," he said with a smile. "I heard you guys were back in town."

    "Hey, Max," she greeted, smiling as well. Pyra then looked at him curiously, noticing that he had been halfway out the door when he answered. "Were you going somewhere?"

    "Uh, yeah," Maximus said, rather nervously as evidenced by the way he rubbed the back of his neck. "Kinda..."

    Pyra frowned and folded her arms suspiciously. "...What's going on?"

    Max sighed. "...I'm going to help fight, Pyra," he explained.

    "What?!" she demanded incredulously. "Was it Fath--"

    "No!" Max insisted, raising his hands. "I want to fight! It's just liked at Avalon... If I can do something that can help make a difference, then I should, right, Sis?"

    Pyra remained quiet. The tendrils of fear and uneasiness gripped her heart. The prospect of losing her brother was a reality she never wanted to face again. "...Max," she finally said. "You shouldn't. I don't want you to."

    "But Pyra!" he protested passionately. "How do you think I feel whenever you go out with the Peacemakers? You said it before; it's my life! Shouldn't I help protect my friends and family? Just like what you're doing, sis...?"

    The Paildramon cringed, but she knew he was right and if she said anything contrary, she'd just be being a hypocrite. "You're right, Max..." she admitted. "But... if anything happened to you..."

    "I'll be careful," Max reassured her. He smiled and made a 'V' with his claws. "V for Victory, right?"

    Pyra smiled and pulled him into a warm embrace. "Right... Promise me you'll be safe. Don't do anything reckless."

    "I won't" the ExVeemon promised, returning the hug. "I know what it was like for you. I wouldn't want to put you through that again. I've gotta go now, though, okay?"

    Pyra nodded and released him. "Don't cause them too much trouble," she said with a grin.

    Maximus chuckled. "I won't."

    She watched as he flew off and then turned, walking inside. There, Terraneus walked over from the large living room. "Ah, Pyra... When I heard about Odinson's speech, I was wondering about you."

    "Father," she greeted with a smile.

    "You don't have to worry about your mother," Terraneus explained. "She sent me a message saying that she was headed to one of the other cities for protection."

    "That's good," Pyra answered, though she largely lived with her father during her life.

    "Have a seat. Do you want any tea?" the Imperialdramon Dragon Mode asked.

    Pyra took a seat on a couch but shook her head. "It's alright..."

    The Paildramon stared at the wall opposite to her, gazing into space as she thought. She pondered Thor's words to her before they arrived in Anatolia. He told her that power gained meant nothing.

    "...Pyra?" Terraneus asked with concern.

    Pyra closed her eyes. "Father..." she said. "What you said to me before... I've figured it out."

    The Imperialdramon frowned. "Oh?"

    "The story about Paladrius Torren where he discovered the Digi-Egg of Tenacity and used it to gain a new form sometime after becoming a BlackImperialdramon Fighter Mode. About how the digi-egg's power was sent down through the male Torren line. You asked me what part of the story may not be true due to the legend being born in a different time," she explained, looking at him.

    "Yes?" he asked.

    "I couldn't figure it out until today, when the Commander, jokingly or not, called me Paladrius' second coming," Pyra said. "You think that a Torren doesn't have to be male to unlock the Digi-egg's power..."

    Terraneus frowned as he stared at her. "That's... correct," he responded, his voice wary and uncertain as he observed her.

    "And... I know why you wouldn't tell me," she said, looking at him, but without any traces of malice. "You thought that if you told me that I might be able to achieve that new power, I would go searching for it, trying to find a way to access it..."

    Pyra closed her eyes. A chill crawled up her spine as she remembered her quest for more power during the Crusade, which ultimately led to... The sound of a dark, feral roar resounded in her mind.

    Pyra swiftly opened her eyes and stared at her father. "I would have made the same mistake... I would have gotten power, but a false power. A power that could only destroy, not one that could protect..." she said. "If I am truly the one that is to inherit that power and that form, it won't suddenly be bestowed to me out of nothing like I might expect it to. It's something that I have to grasp with my own two hands and with my sweat and blood... That's what you wanted me to realize, wasn't it, Father?"

    Terraneus closed his eyes and slowly nodded. "Correct, my Pyra..." he answered. "That's why I told you if you started desperately looking, like you had before... you wouldn't find it."

    "I understand..." she said, closing her eyes. "But I can't help but desire it. The power to protect the ones I care about and the power to defeat the ones who threaten us. It seems only natural."

    "Indeed... but if you let that desire consume, you will find only sorrow waiting for you."

    Pyra opened her eyes and grimaced. The shadow of her mind loomed over her once again.

    Always watching...

    "I know..." she spoke finally. "I don't believe in destiny, but if it's to be... I can't try to force it."

    Terraneus nodded. "Please remember that, Pyra... I don't want to lose you. Or Maximus."

    She thought about this new found possibility. A form higher than Imperialdramon Fighter Mode. Was it the Paladin Mode? The idea couldn't help but invigorate her. However, at the same time, she knew she couldn't let the same mistakes repeat themselves. Power had to be earned... But if that was true, then what about the gods whose power was hereditary? No, she had to keep her feelings and desires in check. She had no excuse for another descent into darkness.

    Pyra stood up. The flickering light from the torch behind her casting her shadow in front of her.

    "I will, Father... I'll do my best to."

    With those words, Pyra stepped forwards, embraced her father and said her farewells before stepping out into the night.

    -

    Somewhere in the thick of a forest, a rend opened up in mid air. From inside the void flew a GranKuwagamon with a TigerVespamon sitting on his back. The black bug blended in with the night sky as he flew, only the moon reflecting off his carapace.

    Kheprius landed on the ground and immediately slide digivolved back to his GrandisKuwagamon. "This is as close as I could get. Navigating around in there isn't easy."

    "Thank you," Barachiel replied minimally.

    "Uh huh..." Khep replied dismissively. "I still don't know why I agreed to do this. Don't you think we have more important things to do?"

    Barachiel remained quiet, looking around the dark landscape as he tried to get his bearings. "This is something I have to do, Kheprius," he finally responded upon realizing which direction they had to go. "I don't expect you to understand."

    "Sounds like you just being sentimental," the grandis muttered, following Barachiel as he walked.

    The TigerVespamon was silent as he treaded over and through some brush. It was a few minutes before they reached a clearing. In the clearing, one could tell that there was once something big there. The ground was clear and flat.

    However, the only thing that stood in that clearing was a massive tree that reached into the dark, star-lit heavens. A light gust of wing ruffled the leaves on its branches, but it refused to move. The titan tree remained still and stoic, as if it were a watchful guardian of the area.

    Barachiel stared at the tree, his expression unreadable.

    This was his home.

    This was what was left of his home.

    "I'll be waiting over here, Terrak," Kheprius said, knowing that Barachiel probably wanted some alone time.

    The gold insect was quiet as he stared at the ruins of Hadrael's mission. Everything looked so new and lush, they couldn't even be classified as ruins. Barachiel heard Kheprius' footsteps behind him, listening as they went further away. With the Royal Meisters in his hands, he stepped forwards towards the giant tree.

    As he approached, the memories lunged out at him. Barachiel remembered the good times he had growing up in the monastery, the times he had with Hadrael, the times with the others... He remembered the sorrow he felt as one by one, they were taken from him. His friends and comrades, his home, and then Hadrael.

    His grip tightened on his swords. He remembered lying bloodied and helpless as he heard the sounds of Nebiros, one of his childhood friends, killing the people he came to love and respect. Barachiel then recalled watching the descrated monastery erupt in holy flames, burning to the ground in front of him. And last, he remembered Hadrael dying in his arms, he felt like a child again, and even though Hadrael was dying, he still reassured him that everything would be okay, just like he had before.

    Barachiel moved both his swords to the same hand and placed his palm against the strong bark of the thriving tree. Michael's words came back to him as the MagnaAngemon created the tree in the stead of the mission's ruins.

    /-/

    "The Host deals not in destruction," Michael said, feeling as the roots of something pure took hold in the earth. "In the beginning when the universe bloomed all was Chaos, there was no Thing. And God filled it with pure creation, with every thing. That is the nature of the Host, pure Creation, and the safeguarding of its wonder." Something in the earth drew his eye. "Now watch."

    \-\

    "Pure Creation," Barachiel echoed, feeling the bark against his hand. He closed his eyes and bowed his head.

    "Creation..."

    His mind raced inside his composed exterior.

    Questions of morality, God, the Holy Host, the truth of God's intentions, Mephistopheles, Kheprius, Caradoc, Nebiros and Sabnock, Dracula, anger, vengeance, his past, his parents, his homes, Hadrael. These pictures and topics all bombarded his plagued mind.

    "A tree of Creation..." he spoke, his voice eerily calm and ethereal.

    "My mom and dad... My first home... My friends... My brother... My faith... My new home... My new life... Caradoc... And Hadrael..." he spoke, staring up at the tree.

    "I've lost everything..."

    He took the Royal Meister beam swords in his hands.

    "And a single damn tree is all there is to show for it!" he snapped.

    He let out a yell and started hacking the beam swords into the bark of the tree furiously. The swords entered and exitted the wood sending bits of bark and sap flying each time the blades left the tree. The insect roared in pain, anger and frustration as he chopped away at the tree of Creation.

    All the emotions that had been bottled up over the past many days flooded forth. They were the emotions that he tried to temper and keep at bay. The emotions that he didn't know what to do with without Hadrael's words of wisdom and advice. He had become lost within himself. And he hated it.

    The grunting and yelling continued with each slash across the tree's trunk. He almost felt like, if he kept hitting the tree, everything that he lost might come back to him. But he knew that wasn't true. Barachiel just continued venting his fury and sadness, carving the tree with his beam swords...

    Tears started emerging in Barachiel's eyes the more and more he lashed out at the piece of nature. Finally, his arms grew weary. With a final roar, Barachiel threw the Royal Meisters off to the side, where they landed in the grass.

    Barachiel finally broke down. He fell to his knees, sobbing and banging his fists bloody against the chopped up bark and wood in front of him.

    "Hadrael... Father..." he wept, hugging the tree as it bled sap. His fingers gripped the insides of the hot grooves carved in the trunk. "I... I don't know what to do... I'm so sorry..."

    The insect digimon pressed his forehead against the tree and felt the power of pure Creation against him. He felt its embrace. He felt his soul being warmed and comforted. For a split second, he felt as if he was with Hadrael once again, like the Angemon had just told him some words of repose.

    "It's going to be okay, Terrak..." he remembered him say...

    "I want to believe you," Barachiel thought through his tears.

    "Terrak," Kheprius' voice spoke from behind him. He wasn't really sure what to say to him.

    Barachiel slowly rose to his feet, not turning around as Kheprius grew closer. He raised his hand and wiped the tears away from his face. "I'm just about done. Please wait for me at the treeline," he said, his voice composed.

    Kheprius nodded a bit and turned around, flying back the way they came. Barachiel watched as all the sappy wounds and blemishes on the tree began to heal over.

    "Pure Creation," he thought. Barachiel looked down at the sap clinging to his hands and body. He placed a hand back on the tree, feeling its power once again. "Hadrael, I promise I'll try to remember everything you have taught me. I want be a digimon that you would be proud of."

    He turned away from the tree and started walking after Kheprius. When he reached the treeline, he looked over his shoulder at the tree. Barachiel and Kheprius then tried to make their way back to Anatolia...
     
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2011
  3. PeeGee

    PeeGee ROAWR!

    Tia walked through the streets of Anatolia, she needed some time to herself. Things lately had been nearly too much for the Bastemon. And there was the whole with Hira. She had no idea what his problem was, the Mihiramon had this almost creepy attitude whenever he was around her, and who knew what his problem with Kole was.

    "Men are so confusing sometimes," she said to herself, rubbing her forehead.

    "Hey there pretty lady!" a digimon yelled out, cat calling as he did so.

    Tia stopped, her arms dropping to her side. Grinding her teeth in annoyance, she forced herself to smile and turned to the digimon. Standing to the side of the street was an Agunimon.

    "Why hello there handsome," purred Tia, her tone mildly seductive. "I heard you little call."

    "Did you now?" he asked, almost enchanted by the Bastemon.

    "Yeah I did," she purred, placing her hand on the side of his face. "Now why is it that you be calling me?"

    "My missus is away and I need me some loving," he replied, his eyes starting to gaze downwards.

    SMACK!

    The Agunimon was thrown to the ground by an enraged Tia. He picked himself up, and with a roar, lunged at Tia. Tia was quick to retaliate, quickly grabbing him by the throat.

    "Listen to me," she growled, her grip tightening on his throat. "You are a disgusting pig and more than lucky to even have a missus. How dare you try and cheat on her and furthermore how dare you assume that I would be up for something like that with some random digimon off the street."

    She threw him to the ground again, the Agunimon desperately gulping in air. "You should be ashamed. If I even hear anything about you trying something like this again I will come for you."

    The fire warrior nodded his head and fled for his life. The moment he was gone, Tia suddenly found herself wondering where the hell that came from. The she remembered.

    *****

    "There you are," said Kole, "I have been looking for you."

    Hira turned his head to see the Piedmon walking up to him. "What do you want?"

    "I want to know what your problem with me is!" yelled Kole, throwing his arms into the air. "At first I thought I could ignore you, that your little crush on Tia was cute. But I was wrong! Ever since we got back, I have been waking up with menacing messages and threats written for me."

    Very good, I like it when you get angry. Makes me feel alive!

    Kole ignored the voice. "So what is it that I have done to you! Please enlighten me!"

    "You have taken Tia away from me!" roared Hira, "You have been plotting and plotting to keep her away from me! And you know what? I am sick of it! You don't deserve her! You are not good enough to have her and there is no way that someone like you can be better than me!"

    "Do I really need to go over this again?" asked Kole. "I am only friend with Tia, nothing more, nothing less."

    "That's all lies, you just want to keep her for yourself!"

    Kole slapped his hand to his forehead. "She isn't my type!"

    "Lies!"

    Kole sighed and grabbed Hira's head. He pulled the feline's head close to his, to make sure that he listened rather well.

    "Hira, as I said she is not my type. Since you have this weird obsession with her I need to tell you this. The reason that there will be nothing ever going on between Tia and myself is because I ... am ... gay!"

    He pulled away from the tiger and walked off, hopefully that would put an end to this whole thing.

    You should have hit him a little.
     
  4. Kamotz

    Kamotz God of Monsters

    The continent was gripped with fear. In the hours and days that followed Thor's declaration, the Four Horsemen went to work, sweeping across the land. Alone, each Horseman had power to rival any being that had ever lived in the Digital World. Together, they were powerful and unrelenting, their psionic abilities and influence heightened to terrifying levels.

    Pestilence fell upon the unsuspecting world, bringing with him disease and agony. It was never the same, what the Horseman brought. Sometimes it was a virus that ate away its victims slowly; sometimes a plague that killed off entire families in an instant; and others it was a contagion, an infection that warped the mind of all those it came across and turned them to madness before turning their knives on themselves.

    War ravaged entire cities, destroying them before ever setting foot within them. The sheer force of War's coming brought the people to the brink of madness and lunacy. They turned on one another, slaughtering friends and neighbors until War descended and destroyed them; even after War's passing, they continued to fight and destroy one another.

    Then rode Famine, a blight upon the land. Fields withered and died, rivers dried up, and the earth became barren. His presence gripped the lands he passed over with a ravenous hunger, and they descended into chaos.

    Death followed behind them, sweeping up the souls and dissociated data of the dead into the pale eye of the hurricane that was his enormity.

    =====Anatolia=====

    Things were grim. Despite their best efforts, reports were coming in from the countryside. Battles, skirmishes, riots...it all led to one conclusion: the Nightmare Soldiers were gathering. Hysteria gripped the populace, and their demands for protection raised. Nothing was enough, and their protectors were wearing thin.

    Thor, grim-faced as he'd ever been, sat in the empty Council room at the head of the circular table he'd brought in for himself and his new advisers. Theirs was a thankless task, for all they could do was delay the inevitable, and fight back against the rising tide of darkness. It was not a fight they could win, not as they were. And Thor knew--as surely as they were preparing themselves, their enemies were doing likewise.

    "A report!" said one of the guards, an eager young Reppamon. "We've lost contact with our agents in Jericho." Thor noticed the Monitamon standing behind him.

    "Reestablish connection," Thor commanded, his voice calm, steady. "I want to know what's happened." Both Thor and the Reppamon looked to the little green Digimon.

    "Sir, that's not all. I don't believe it will be possible," the Monitamon frowned. "There was one last transmission." Thor nodded, asking him to play it. It wasn't much; just a series of shouts and static-polluted images--fire and explosions, screams, and then it went dark.

    "Is there anyone else there?" Thor asked. He had to know.

    "We had several of my comrades there," the Monitamon said. "But they--nothing. I can't reach any of them. It's like--"

    "Jericho is not far from here, correct?" Thor asked the Reppamon. The little Digimon shrugged and glanced to the Monitamon, who turned his face-screen into a detailed map of the area. "Only some several hundred miles. I want someone there. I want to know what happened."

    ===

    "Jericho has been destroyed," Thor said, looking to his council. Bedivere, Svarog, Galic, Commander Mars of the Greymon Corps, and several others, Peacemakers and not. "Brought to ruin. There are reports from the Slavic lands that the earth is barren, the forests wither and die. And cities to send word of terrible plagues from Avalon eastward."

    "And no word yet from Michael or Samael," Svarog said, his frown deepening. "It's been three days, we may be on our own. Are we prepared for that eventuality?"

    Thor shook his head. Until that morning he was more confident; but with news of Jericho's destruction and the recent reports of further disaster, he was less-so. He hated that feeling, complete powerlessness. He wanted to find the way, to call back to the World Tree and his father's power and seek wisdom...but no amount of wisdom would help them now. He needed knowledge--tactics--which was why he had assembled the Digimon before him.

    "The images of Jericho are indeed disturbing but there is a clue buried within," said Galic. He pointed to the image received from their scouts, of Jericho in ashes, a burning line of ruination seared across it. "This fiery line does continue on, from the desert and towards the west to the sea." He brought up a map and pointed to settlements and cities in the Slavic lands, and then to the cities east of Avalon. "These settlements reported the blights, and these reported the plagues. These are indeed very direct lines between each occurrence. Very direct, straight lines, as if something passed over, or through these areas. Something huge, and powerful."

    "Like a Horseman," said Svarog. "The destruction of Jericho: War. The blights and barren land: Famine? And the disease...Death, perhaps?"

    "I pray Death hasn't risen. Where do these lines go?" Thor asked. He and the others watched closely as Galic drew three lines. They intersected at a single point. "Rome."

    "It's an important city to the Host's followers, isn't it?" Mars asked. The rest remained unspoken, but the unspoken word hung over them. A Seal. "If these monsters are heading for it, we need to warn them. We need to evacuate."

    "To the countryside? They'll be slaughtered," Svarog scoffed. "Their best protection is together."

    "You saw what happened when a city remained!" Mars snapped. "Look at Jericho! What a single Horseman did to a city-"

    "Caught unawares-"

    "You can't know that for sure!"

    "Stop this, that's enough." Thor rumbled low, commanding silence with a single breath. "You're both right. Both wrong. No one has the defenses to stave off an attack like that, from three Horsemen; nor would they survive running to the hills. We need an ordered evacuation. Send whatever Whamon and GigaSeadramon we can afford. It's only twenty miles between Rome and the sea." As Thor spoke his commands, soldiers and messengers snapped to attention and went to make preparations. "We will send a unit to buy them time: engage the Horsemen, or whoever they are, until the civilians are at a safe distance."

    "Peacemakers?" Mars asked.

    Thor nodded and turned to Bedivere. "Get them ready. Not all of them, I can't spare them all, know that, but I'll give you as many as I can," he said. He gripped the Slayerdramon's shoulder. "Hold the line for as long as you can, but make sure you all get out alive."

    "Lord Thor," said Galic. His eyes were wide, and he seemed pale...if that were even possible. He motioned to the map. "This path, from Jericho to Rome...look at where it passes."

    "Damn." Thor growled.

    "Send word to Tiwaz in Sparta," said Svarog. "War descends upon him."
     
  5. storymasterb

    storymasterb Knight of RPGs

    Bedivere observed the speculation and second-guessing, the reports. Over the three days, he had been buried under reports reporting the loss of division after division of the military. In the east, they had slaughtered each other, turning swords and guns on their own allies. In the north-east, they starved, supplies dwindling as the blight consumed crops all across the region. In the west, they succumbed to disease and pestilence. The power of the world's military was slowly crumbling.

    Anatolia still held, he reminded himself. That was the important thing. But if Rome was in the firing line...

    "I'll have the Monitamon transmit a message," the Slayerdramon nodded. "I'll need to know who's available soon so I can play to our strengths. Even if this is just holding the line as long as possible, it'll help if we have as much of an edge over the Horsemen as we can have." He paused, bitterly adding a thought. "Except we have no idea what this third one is capable of... Death... and if War has returned, we don't know his new capabilities either."

    "Damn it," Bedivere muttered. "Excuse me." He turned and was gone from the room in a moment, moving at something between a fast walk and a sprint. He raced down corridors, until finally he found a Monitamon. He stopped before the small ninja television, gasping in breaths. "I have messages for you to transmit."

    The Monitamon nodded and gave a thumbs up.

    "To Sparta. Get me a link to the highest official or officer you can near a Monitamon there. Quickly." The screen flickered, and Bedivere worried, had War somehow reached the city already? Then the static cleared, and the face of a GrapLeomon gazed back at him.

    "Lord Stormheart?" the GrapLeomon questioned. "I am told you have a message?"

    "Yes," Bedivere said urgently. "Spread the word. The Horseman War is headed right for Sparta, the same being who annihilated Jericho." Fear crossed the lion-man's face. "Start evacuating at once. Head away from the city, and get as far away as you can. Take the sea, the land, the air, whatever. Just scatter. Head north and south, War is heading straight westward at Sparta. Also, find Tiwaz Koenig... or Tyr, whatever he calls himself when you find him, and make sure he knows this. But tell him not to face War. Tell him he needs to get out while he can."

    "But... how? Why us?"

    "You're in his way," Bedivere said grimly. "That's why. What's your name?"

    "Phaeton, sir."

    "Phaeton, I am Lord of the Empty Seat. I have supreme command in times of crisis, and with War sweeping through the east, and plague and blight elsewhere, I'd say this is now a time of crisis," Bedivere said solemnly. "As such, I am the highest authority present now. I now use that authority, and I order you to evacuate Sparta. Do not try and fight War. You will be massacred to a man. So evacuate the city."

    "My lord," Phaeton saluted. With that, he was gone, the screen flickering off. The Monitamon before Bedivere looked at the Lord of the Empty Seat questioningly, and Bedivere considered.

    "A message to Rome," he said. The screen flickered once more, and split. Dozens of screens, each one that of a Monitamon. All across Rome, Bedivere's face appeared to the officials and commanders.

    "Hear me, Rome," he declared. "I have a warning, and an order. We have determined that you are in peril. The forces which annihilated Jericho, which are bringing famine to the Slavic Regions, and which spread pestilence through the west, are converging on you. Three immensely powerful Digimon are coming, and if they hit your city, no defense you raise will stand before the three of them combined. They will crush your city and all within will die." Cries of panic, screams of horror. "As Lord of the Empty Seat, I hereby give my order. Head to the sea. We are sending as many GigaSeadramon and Whamon as we can muster for a massed evacuation effort to remove you from the danger." He paused, letting the words sink in. "While this evacuation takes place, my Peacemakers and I will do what we can to hold the three back in the city itself and buy you time. I cannot promise you indefinite time, or a victory, but I can give you more time." There were no cheers, only mutterings. Bedivere had just admitted that this foe was beyond the group which had slain the Amatsu-Mikaboshi. "So, hear me, Rome. This is a grave hour, a dark hour. But we are coming to help you. You are not alone in this struggle." He paused. "Commanders, officials. Tell your citizens. Tell them to pack only essentials, and move them down to the seashore. We'll evacuate you from there. We need you to move as swiftly as you can, I cannot give a definite time the Peacemakers and I can keep the Horsemen confined in Rome."

    "Yes, Lord Bedivere," the commanders and officials chorused together. The screen flickered once again, and was gone. The Monitamon looked up at Bedivere questioningly again.

    "No more," the Slayerdramon said quietly. "I need to choose the Peacemakers I most want with me in this fight." As he walked away, he mentally considered. For all Caradoc's idealism and stupidity, his Dynasmon X form was possibly the only thing they really had to match up to Famine's raw power, with the exception of Gigas. So if he could get either Caradoc or Gigas, he could pit them against Famine.

    War was more difficult. Without knowing the reborn Red Horseman's capabilities, it was much harder to plan for him, the same with the third Horseman. Placing more balanced groups of Peacemakers against those two seemed the only sensible way to oppose them. Caradoc, Vritra, Guinier, Kheprius, Barachiel, Pyra, Nocchi, Gigas, Ivy, Sha, Kole, Tia, Hira, Azur, Cresil... so many choices. And he didn't even though he didn't know the strengths and weaknesses of two of the opponents they would be facing. It was a tactical nightmare.

    -

    "No Digimon by the name of Ilyasviel Stern has entered the bunkers in your area?"

    "My apologies, Caradoc Stern, but that is the case. If you pardon me asking, why do you ask?"

    "I just wondered..." Caradoc murmured. "Thank you anyway." The connection cut, and he turned away, sorrow in his eyes. So his mother hadn't fled to Lyonesse. Nor to Rome, or the Slavic Regions, or, fortunately, to Jericho. So... where else was there?

    The world knew the threat now. Anyone would have gone into shelter... anyone... no. She couldn't be.

    "Are you alright?" It was Bedrawd.

    "I'm fine," the Valkyrimon replied. "Just asking about someone..."

    "Did you find what you wanted?"

    "No... I'll keep looking, I suppose," he sighed. "Has anything happened?"

    Bedrawd was suddenly grave. "Bedivere and the others have plotted out the disasters occuring across the world. The destruction of Jericho, the blight, the plagues, they've worked out from their courses and spread that the Horsemen are aimed right at Rome. Bedivere's put out a call for all Peacemakers to be ready to join him on a mission to hold back the Horsemen in the city and buy the local population time to evacuate by sea."

    "Rome..." Caradoc murmured. "The Holy Host... a seal?" He wondered. "Either way, I'll be ready. I've been battle-ready for the past three days anyway, so... it may be good to be able to really contribute something."

    -

    "Something's happened."

    "How did you know?" Guinier asked.

    "You came running up the stairs," Vritra said. "The city's in a buzz. Standing up here and watching, I can see it all." She glanced back at the UlforceVeedramon. "What is it?"

    "The Horsemen are going to attack Rome," the cobalt knight explained. "Bedivere's taking a team of Peacemakers to hold them in the city."

    Vritra looked back at the city below once more. "Horsemen... which ones?"

    "From what we can work out, War, Famine, and what seems to be Death."

    "He raised Death?" the goddess mused. "And War is back?" She frowned slightly. "I'm ready for battle, if I'm part of this group. If I'm needed, just come and get me." As Guinier left, Vritra gazed out at the sky. Dark and oppressive and grim. Just like the world now. "I am nothing, I am nobody," she thought. So what happened when you were nothing? Did you become something? Was that the point? With all that was happening, she hadn't yet been able to find Svarog and question him.
     
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2011
  6. <Before the meeting>

    A short distance away from Avalon, on the outskirts that would lead to the nomad’s settlement, stood two figures. One had a weapon drawn; the other stood still as a statue.

    “Are you sure?” the latter of the two asked.

    Scar grinned, one-handedly brandishing his original sword in front of him. It shone a low glow, reflecting the light that fell down on the ShadowWereGarurumon. He then took the hilt with his gloved hands, gripping it lightly and taking a fighting stance that told his blue counterpart across from him that he, Scharlach Hildebrand, was going to be serious.

    “Come on, Zur. You know me well enough to know the answer to that,” the darker wolf man said with a light, humorous tone. “Now unsheathe your sword and fight me.”

    Azur frowned, reluctant and unwilling to fight with his cousin. It reminded him too much of the disparaging thoughts that haunted his mind. “And if I don’t?” he asked, not moving from his spot.

    “Then you disappoint me,” Scar said, his grin falling and his voice serious.

    Azur’s scowl deepened, and he grit his teeth. Those words hit a little too close to his thoughts for comfort. “Why?”

    “Aren’t I your master?” the ShadowWereGarurumon asked, raising an eyebrow. “Even though you already had the skills from Fenrir’s past life, wasn’t I the one that helped you in making them your own?”

    The WereGarurumon frowned. What Scar told him was true; his body and movements with a sword would not have been as fluid or as efficient was it not for Scharlach’s mentorship and guidance. Even with Fenrir’s presence in his mind, he wasn’t as able a teacher as his cousin was. But none of that helped him understand where Scar was going, and he told the ShadowWereGarurumon as much.

    Scar had to roll his eyes. “Don’t you think you owe me this request?” he asked, moving a step closer. Azur regarded him with silence, unsure whether to unsheathe his weapon or not.

    ‘Fight him, Azur,’ Fenrir’s voice suddenly said.

    ‘What…?’

    ‘Show him how much you’ve grown as a swordsman. Make him realize that he doesn’t have anything to worry about by letting you fight again.’

    Azur looked down at his hand, which had somehow fallen on the hilt of his sword. With a slight trace of reluctance, he gripped it and pulled out his weapon. He turned to Scar, still unsure but willing to put the ShadowWereGarurumon’s fears to rest. He would have nothing to worry about.

    He took his own fighting stance, his eyes narrowing as he focused his senses all on the opponent in front of him.

    “Finally!” Scar finally let out a grin, adjusting his stance so that the hilt was beside his head, causing Azur to frown. He hadn’t seen that stance before. “I hope you realize that neither of us is going to leave this fight without a few new scars to show for them, Zur.”

    Azur grunted in response. The first time Scar had been serious with him was the first time he offered to train him with a sword, showing him just how little he knew about sword fighting. That had also been the last time since that moment.

    He was going to make sure that the outcome would be different of this battle would be different from that time.

    “Here I come!” Scar announced charging with a piercing thrust at Azur’s neck.

    Instead of avoiding or retreating, Azur charged right back, swinging his blade just in time to change the trajectory of the blade, sliding it away from his neck harmlessly, and then aimed a punch at his opponent’s gut. Scar, however, had taken a side step to twist around, causing the punch to miss and allowing him the moment to swing his sword horizontally towards Azur’s head. The WereGarurumon barely blocked the blade with his open, putting the two wolf men into a weapon lock.

    “You have gotten better,” Scar commented with a small grin, pushing against the blade harder. “Good to know that this isn’t going to be a short fight.”

    Azur stood his ground, not allowing him to get the upper hand. “I’ve been trained by the best.”

    “Nice to know that you think highly of me.”

    “Who said I was talking about you?”

    Scar raised an eyebrow, his smile widening. “Oh? Then I guess I have to show you that I have the right to be the best!”

    Azur didn’t reply. He pushed away from the ShadowWereGarurumon, who dashed after him, not planning on giving him any space or time to breathe or relax. The black wolfman readied to thrust. Azur grit his teeth as he halted, swinging his sword downwards, only barely missing Scar, who had noticed and retreated just in time.

    “Hehe, so old dogs do learn new tricks,” Scar said, grinning.

    “You’re only younger by a year. And I won’t fall for the same trick twice,” Azur told him. That had been how Scar beat him: using a wooden sword with a thrust at his chest that efficiently caused Azur to fall on his knees and give the ShadowWereGarurumon enough time to make a slash that stopped an inch from his neck.

    “A year and eight months,” Scar retorted, resuming his stance. “And we’ll see.”

    And they continued their dance of blades.

    -----------------------------------------------------------------

    <Before the meeting>

    Shoon Alryght didn’t know what to do. He had tagged along Galic to inform of the nomads of what they needed to do, which was one of the most basic things that they had learned to do since becoming one of the nomadic troops: communication and message relay.

    Of course, Shoon wasn’t quite good at that. He didn’t receive the usual standard training since he had only been with them for less than a year. He had spent most of the time learning a lot of basics that the nomads usually learned well before their teen years. What he lacked in training, however, he made up with experience on the streets and with his exceptional intellect.

    Of course, that meant that he was quite a novelty around the nomads when he wasn’t around causing trouble, which was probably why he was sitting on one of said nomad’s shoulders against his will.

    “Man, Shoon, it’s been real quiet since you’ve been gone,” the nomad, a Flaremon by the name of Grant, said, walking beside Galic.

    “Of course! The nomads are always quiet!” Shoon retorted, folding his arms. “Now put me down this instant! I will not stand being treated like a child!”

    “And you haven’t changed one bit,” Grant said with a loud laugh. The Mamemon X folded his arms and grumbled.

    “Grant, put him down,” Galic told him with a small smile.

    “I will after Shoo tells me about what he’s been doing.” The furry lion grinned and looked up at the metal ball Digimon. “So, what have you been doing?”

    Almost instantly, Shoon’s disposition changed and he started to relay the events of the past few days, albeit exaggerating his own actions to make him seem braver and more heroic. He didn’t even realize that Grant had stopped paying attention after the first few minutes.

    “Okay, I’ve distracted the kid now,” Grant said in a low enough tone that Shoon couldn’t hear or notice. He kept his head up, however, making it seem like he was listening to Mamemon X’s narration. “So, you care telling me why we’re being relegated to footmen and messenger boys again? You know that we’re just as good fighters as those army men of theirs, even if we’re not as big a force.”

    “First of all, Shoon is almost an adult, even if his actions may make one think otherwise. You will need to treat him as such soon,” Galic replied in the same low tone. Despite what he said, Shoon could still be a handful, and he had a problem with keeping his thoughts to himself, although that was not always a bad thing. “And because it is one of our better abilities that can be utilized.”

    “The soldiers who are trained as messengers don’t have our ability to blend in our surroundings and hide our presences. We’re also better at traversing obstacles, which I’m quite certain you are aware of,” Galic added, folding his arms and putting a hand on his chin in thought.

    “Well, yeah, I guess so,” the Flaremon muttered. Most messengers were usually flight-able, but unless they were quick or agile, they were usually very visible and vulnerable targets. They, on the other hand, were quite at home weaving through obstacles like fishes in water.

    “I just wish we could be on the front lines too,” he muttered, seeing the familiar huts of the settlement appear beyond the trees. “This is our home, too. We want to fight for it, too.”

    Galic nodded in understanding. “You will be. Our units will mostly be in center of the battle where we can handle ourselves well enough alone. If this threat is as big as we’ve been thinking it is, then we all will at one point. We cannot afford to not use any advantage we have,” he told his fellow nomad.

    The Flaremon sighed and nodded. “I suppose that means you’re going to be busy strategizing with the heads, huh?”

    Galic nodded once more. “Most probably. I am still capable of fighting without my other arm and ear, but I am far from my best,” he told his friend.

    “Ah. And him?” Grant asked, gesturing to the Digimon on his shoulders.

    “He will accompany the Peacemakers,” Galic said simply, although Grant could detect an emotion that the MachGaogamon was trying to hide.

    “You don’t want him to.”

    “…No, I do not.”

    “You’re worried about him?”

    Galic nodded. “He…is very much like my past apprentice.”

    “The one that died, right? The one whose egg is back at the settlement?” Grant confirmed. It was

    Once more, Galic gave him an affirmative. It was a strange thing. Dunkelheit’s egg had remained unhatched for the past months since he had died. It would have hatched a few months ago, and they had all expected it to, but it did not. He tried to hope that it didn’t mean that there was something wrong with the egg.

    “So what’re you going to do about it?” he asked, smiling a bit as he saw a few familiar people coming from some of the huts to greet them.

    “I have to let him make his own choices. I can guide him, but I cannot dictate him,” Galic said simply. “In any case, I will still train him as much as I can before the battle.”

    “That’s probably a good idea. We’ll help!” Grant said happily.

    Galic allowed himself a short chuckle. “Are you sure? Shoon will most likely ask to try out his inventions on you,” he told the Flaremon with a raised eyebrow.

    “His…inventions?” Grant frowned. The last time he did that, he wouldn’t allow himself go out of his hut for a week. “Er, maybe Zane and Flora can do that instead,” he amended, turning to a Growlmon and pair Floramon that were waving at them.

    Galic let out a small chuckle, enjoying a bit of calm and respite despite the threat that loomed ever so dangerously over their heads.

    -----------------------------------------------------------------

    <Before the meeting>

    An audible sigh.

    How did Aeria find herself back in front of the fountain she had slept in front of again? She had just started walking all alone once more, just as she always had. She had little understood what Guinier told her. Her moment? Why didn’t she have that moment back when she had been in danger so many times in the past when she had so much to protect? Why couldn’t she muster the power to overcome the darkness – if it was even that – that she now knew she had inside her.

    She sat on the wooden bench that she had laid her once before. It was as cold as she remembered. She was tired. The WarGreymon supposed that if she had little else to do, she might as well sit and try to make sense of it all.

    She closed her eyes. The city was in danger. On a bigger scale, the whole world was in danger. The danger was the imminent invasion of demons and the mastermind behind it all, Mephistopheles. Everyone was at arms to defend against them. And the Peacemakers were at the front lines. She was a Peacemaker, so she would also have to be with them.

    Except she wasn’t sure if she was going to be of any help.

    Aeria bit her lip and looked down at her clenched hands. She hated herself for being weak, for housing another consciousness in her that took away the one that she loved the most. Before she even realized it, she was already shedding tears that began to muddle her vision.

    “Crying…won’t help,” she told herself as she reached up to her eyes to rub the tears away.

    “You’re right, they won’t.”

    In surprise, Aeria quickly raised her head, blinking. “Who’s the-“

    Her question was cut off by her own surprise at who was standing in front of her. “Y-you’re…” Aeria managed to whisper.

    The ShineGreymon in front of her, a female by the proportions of her body, looked at her closely. “It’s been a while, Aeria,” she said, folding her arms. It was then that Aeria realized that the ShineGreymon was flanked by a Sakuyamon and a Garudamon, both also females.

    Aeria then felt fear rise up in her, and she subconsciously wrapped her arms around her.
    “I…I’m sorry,” she stuttered out, looking down at the ground.

    “Excuse me?” the ShineGreymon asked, raising an eyebrow.

    “Are you sure she’s the one?” the Sakuyamon beside her asked. “I mean, she might just look the same.”

    “No, Sadira. It’s her,” the ShineGreymon confirmed. “The way she’s acting proves it.”

    “What did she do?” the Garudamon on her other side asked, looking at Aeria scrutinizingly.

    “Something she never should have done in the first place.”

    Aeria shut her eyes closed. “Cerina… I’m…so sorry,” she said once more.

    “I know,” the named ShineGreymon said moving closer to stand in front of her. When Aeria looked up, she saw the anger in the light dragon’s eyes, and she looked away once more. “And I hope you know why I’m angry.”

    “Because…I killed him,” Aeria whispered in a very low tone.

    The ShineGreymon stiffened. “What did you say?”

    Aeria bit her lip before speaking once more. “Because…I killed…you brother,” she said louder, looking back at Cerina. “Because…I killed Roman,” she spoke, her voice cracking.

    The next second, she felt a stinging on her cheek. For a moment, she froze, feeling that the pain on her face was just even though she felt that it wasn’t enough for the crime she thought she had done. Then her mind went blank when she felt warm arms suddenly enclose her in a hug.

    “Idiot…I’m angry because you left without even saying goodbye,” Cerina suddenly said, holding the WarGreymon close.

    Completely in shock, Aeria stuttered, “B-b-but I-“

    “I know you did. And you got one crappy story from someone who wasn’t even there to see what really happened,” the ShineGreymon said, pulling away and looking into the WarGreymon’s eyes. “Aeria, I was there, so you better believe me when I say this: You didn’t kill Roman.

    The next thing Aeria knew, she was seeing darkness.

    -----------------------------------------------------------------

    <Still before the meeting>

    “You’ve become a really strong swordsman, Zur.”

    Scar gave his cousin a wide grin, offering out his hand. He would live up to his name in the future, bearing a new one right on his cheek and one short one that went diagonally across his back. The WereGarurumon before him let out a grin, taking Scharlach’s hand without hesitation and shaking it back.

    “I’m gonna be proud to say to everyone back home that I got this wound from you,” Scar said, pointing to the slash on his cheek.

    Azur nodded. “Tell everyone…hi for me,” he said with a semblance of a smile on his maw.

    “I will,” Scar replied, putting down his hand. “Take care of yourself, okay? Don’t die on me. And make sure to slice up some demons for me, too, all right?”

    “I won’t, and I will. You too.”

    “I’ll try, cuz.”

    The next moment later, Azur watched his cousin walk away, on a journey back to his own hometown. If the ShadowWereGarurumon was going to die, he wanted to do it fighting while protecting his home and friends. Azur hated the thought, but he wasn’t going to stop Scharlach from doing what he wanted. He probably missed his home too.

    Despite the reason for Scar’s departure, Azur dearly hoped that the ShadowWereGarurumon wouldn’t die. And not only for the reason that he was Azur’s cousin and dear friend; he wanted to at least win once with a serious Scharlach.

    Azur sighed and looked at his tired, shaking hands.

    ‘You still did well, Azur,’ Fenrir’s voice said in his mind.

    Azur nodded. “Thank you…for not helping me,” he said quietly.

    ‘It was Scharlach and your fight, not mine. I would be dishonoring you both by doing so.’

    Azur nodded in understanding. “I would not have been able to fight him if not for your teaching.”

    ‘It is only right of me to teach you Azur. You handle your sword well enough that I have little left to pass on you. Instead, I have something else now to teach you,’ Fenrir said with slight hesitation in his voice.

    “Something…else?” Azur asked, raising an eyebrow.

    ‘Yes, Azur. Because you have a body similar to mine, you not only have the capability of a swordsman, but also of that of a god. Or at least a demi-god,’ Fenrir told him.

    Azur kept himself from frowning, wanting to see where Fenrir was going.

    ‘During my journey with the Great Ten, I used little of my true powers as a god, which is why my most used attack is that of ice rather than that of light. The few times I have used it were dire measures.

    Azur then heard a sigh.

    ‘I will be honest with you Azur. I hated being a god, so I was loathe to use my abilities granted by being one,’ Fenrir suddenly told him. ‘That is not to say that I wish you to hate it as well. You are yourself, and I am myself. You are whatever you wish yourself to be. A swordsman. A god. Or something else entirely. And thus, I am giving you the decision whether to be able to use my powers of light. But before that, I must teach you how to control it.’

    The WereGarurumon gave another nod, quietly listening to Fenrir’s words. He wasn’t sure if he wanted to use them at all. Most gods didn’t give him a good impression.

    ‘I won’t try feed you the same things that Svarog and Tiwaz have tried to tell Vritra,’ Fenrir told the WereGarurumon. He had many times overheard what the respective fire gods have told the godling to know what Fenrir was talking about. ‘Their ways and mine are different, or so I believe. Believe what you will, Azur, but I do not believe that gods are an element incarnate in sentient form. We are merely another race, that which has great abilities and longer lives. It is not that we are not given these abilities and are long-lived because we are gods. We are gods only because we have such characteristics.’

    ‘As such, Azur, like anyone that has been given power, I will teach you only if you swear to me that you will not abuse them.’

    Azur contemplated to himself for a moment, thinking thoughts only he could hear. And then the moment passed.

    “I swear.”

    -----------------------------------------------------------------

    <Still before the meeting>

    “Just a little more.”

    Cresil gathered energies around him, violet runes of an unreadable language floating around his body in a spherical shape. They flashed and crackled with raw power, magic at its wildest form. And he was at the center of it. He needed to control it.

    “Just a little more…and Mephistopheles will finally pay…”

    -----------------------------------------------------------------

    <After the meeting>

    Azur stood at the outskirts of the city.

    You do not have to do this for me, Azur,’ Fenrir told him.

    Azur nodded, knowing what Fenrir meant. Despite that, he knew that it would put Fenrir’s mind at ease. It was the least he could do for him. “We’ll get to him.”

    You are going to worry Pyra again.

    “I…left her a note,” Azur told Fenrir, his cheeks tinting slightly pink under his fur. He had never written her one before, even though he only left a simple message telling that he was heading towards Sparta to aid Tyr and Tiwaz.

    Are you sure that will be enough?

    Azur was silent for a moment. “…No, it won’t,” Azur finally said. “But I still have to do this. I know you don’t want him to die.”

    It was Fenrir’s turn to have a moment of peace. He didn’t want to admit it. He and Tiwaz just had a row a few days ago, after all. But despite that, he didn’t think he could bear having to see his fellow ancient, one of his closest friends, die, especially if he did nothing to stop it at all. And he was certain Tiwaz wasn’t going to just stand by; he would fight War no matter what anyone told him. He was just that stubborn.

    But stubborn as he was, he had a heart that could match it. If only he knew how much trouble and worry it had caused not only Fenrir, but also the rest of the Ten back in the day.

    Thank you…

    Azur nodded once before the light of digivolution changed his form into that of MagnaGarurumon. He would need his flight and speed if he wanted to get there in time. And he took off.

    -----------------------------------------------------------------

    “So, what do you think?”

    “She’s definitely a talented one”

    Cerina and her Garudamon friend sat down on one of the hills near Anatolia, looking down at Aeria and Sadira at the base of the landform. Their movements were graceful and elegant, as if caught in a dance. In fact, any onlooker might think that they were rehearsing for a very intricate show of dance and grace. However, the four women knew better.

    “I hoped so, Rosa. She was already a good enough fighter in the first place, and she learned how to dance from me quite easily,” Cerina said, following the quick movements of the WarGreymon that were becoming more and more precise.

    “You’re understating what she’s done,” Rosa, whose full name was Pedrosa, the Garudamon said, doing the same as the ShineGreymon beside her. “She learned everything I needed to teach her in three days. Her aptitude for it is incredible.”

    Cerina nodded with a small smile. “She’s come such a long way… I didn’t expect her to become a Peacemaker at all.”

    “With a personality like hers, I’m not surprised you think that way,” Rosa mused, closing her eyes. “And her story… Both of your stories are still quite conundrums to me.”

    “I know. I’ll explain it to both you and Sadira in time, but for now, we need to help Aeria get stronger,” the ShineGreymon said, standing up, gazing down at the two fighting dancers. “And to do that, she needs to master at least the basics of Paso Fuerte.”
     
  7. Griff4815

    Griff4815 No. 1 Grovyle Fan

    From within an ebony void flew the jagged, black form of Kheprius with Barachiel standing on his back as if he were a surfboard. As soon as the two brothers were out in the streets of Anatolia, Barachiel hopped off and landed on the ground. Kheprius landed on the cobbles next to the TigerVespamon, shedding his GranKuwagamon form in a flash of light to become GrandisKuwagamon once again.

    "Feeling better now?" Kheprius asked, his tone a bit acidic.

    "Slightly," Barachiel answered, ignoring the sarcasm. They both looked around and saw digimon, soldiers and civilians of all shapes and sizes, scurrying around.

    The TigerVespamon started walking. "We should meet up with Thor and the others and figure out what we should be doing," he told him.

    Kheprius scoffed at the notion. "Screw that. I'm finding Trowa and hitting the bar," he replied from behind him.

    "Terrak!" a female voice called from behind Barachiel.

    Barachiel swung around and looked at Kheprius. "What?" he asked.

    The GrandisKuwagamon blinked, just as shocked to have heard Barachiel's birth name. "Do I look like a girl to you?" he asked before looking around fervantly.

    Kheprius turned around and saw the slim, athletic body of a long-haired female Stingmon running towards them.

    "Kheprius! Terrak!" she shouted, her voice flooding with absolute joy and relief.

    "AH!" Kheprius stammered when the Stingmon slammed into both himself and Barachiel, tackling them both to the ground in a hug.

    "What in the-?!" Barachiel attempted to say before hitting the stone road with a grunt. The golden insect couldn't help but blush as he looked down at the girl a year or so younger than him, who had her arm wrapped around him. Whoever this was wasn't unattractive in the slightest.

    Kheprius winced. "Damn! What the hell?! If you wanted me that badly, all you had to do was ask!"

    The Stingmon, however, sniffed and continued hugging them. "I... I can't believe it... I never thought I'd see you two again," she whispered, stifling a sob of joy.

    Barachiel and Kheprius exchanged confused glances before the latter decided to speak up. "Uh... Who are you...? How do you know us?" he asked, dumbfounded.

    The Stingmon looked up at him with a mock-offended expression. "Well that's a fine way to greet your old friend after all these years!" Her red eyes suddenly widened a bit. "...Wait. Please tell me I didn't get the wrong digimon. Terrak and Kheprius Aeolus, right?"

    They both nodded, their faces still blank.

    The female bug digimon frowned. "Okay. I'll give you a hint... Terry and Kheppy..."

    Barachiel immediately realized who she was. "R-...R-Ruki?! Ruki Vesalius?!"

    Kheprius' mouth gaped, making the connection as well. "Hold on. What?!"

    "Finally!" the Stingmon known as Ruki said in exasperation. "I swear, you two used to be smarter. And it's 'Doctor' Ruki Vesalius, while you're at it."

    "I... don't believe it," Barachiel whispered.

    "Ruki," Kheprius echoed. "The Ruki from the village a few kilometers away? The village that Dad always did business in?"

    "That's me," she said, finally releasing them and standing up. The two of them stood up as well, still in minor states of shock. The Stingmon looked at the two of them, smiling. "I heard about you joining the Peacemakers, Kheppy. Then I heard a rumour that Barachiel was actually your brother, so I decided to put it to the test to see if you were actually Terrak."

    "It was you who called my name awhile ago," Barachiel said.

    Ruki nodded. "You've both... changed so much."

    The two male insects became uncomfortable and looked off in different directions.

    The Stingmon winced. "I guess I can hardly blame you though. I heard about what happened to Manu Village way back then. I'm so sorry..." She pulled them into another hug.

    "Yeah, well..." Khep said dismissively, but he never the less placed a hand on her back. Barachiel's face was too tinted for him to focus on being polite though.

    "I was devastated when I thought you two might have died in the attack... but here you both are, somehow..."

    "Somehow," Barachiel said. "It's good to see you again, Ruki... Very good..."

    "You sure became more polite, Terry," Ruki said with a smile. She turned to Kheprius. "And you've certainly become more edgy and outgoing. I never would have guessed, Kheppy."

    Khep grinned a bit. "Wouldn't have expected you to be come a doctor either."

    Ruki laughed. "Want me to give you a check up?"

    "Go right ahead."

    Barachiel stared at them blandly, but Ruki soon turned her attention back to him. "I know you changed your name, Terrak. Which would you rather I called you?"

    "U-umm. 'Barachiel' would be fine, thank you... but if you would prefer 'Terrak', I guess that would be okay," he explained.

    "You never let me call you Terrak," Kheprius muttered.

    "'Barry' it is, Terry," she said with a smile. "I really have to go now, though. Duty calls. We'll catch up later. Oh, and promise that you'll both keep each other safe. You're brothers, after all!"

    "...We'll try," Khep responded.

    Barachiel nodded, giving her a wave as she turned to fly towards the hospital. The TigerVespamon exhaled and started walking in the direction of the council chambers, with Kheprius following behind him. As happy as he was to have met his old friend again, he couldn't help but feel strange about it. First Kheprius, then Nebiros and Sabnock, and now Ruki.

    "My past... My shadow..."

    -

    Tiwaz watched with steely blue eyes as Perseus and his men continued to herd the terrified populace out of the sturdy walls of Sparta. He growled and turned to the GrapLeomon beside him. "Phaeton," he spoke, turning to the GrapLeomon that had relayed the grim news to him. During his three days there, he had made a point to get to know the soldiers there. There was little more important in leadership than building a relationship of trust with one's subordinates.

    "Tiwaz, sir," he replied, looking up at the large dragon.

    "What are you still doing here?" the AncientGreymon asked.

    "It's just... why aren't you evacuating?" the GrapLeomon asked.

    The wyrm 'humph'd and looked towards the east, his eyes gazing far into the distance. "It would be rude if nobody was here to welcome him to this great land, wouldn't you say?"

    Phaeton looked at him with shot. "But Tiwaz! You can't! You Peacemakers were barely able to stand up to him before!" he protested.

    "Don't underestimate me, boy. I may not be a young buck and the time I grew up in may have been ages ago, but my body and my heart still burn strongly," he explained firmly. He outstretched his wings.

    From nearby, Hoenir saw this and ran over. "Tiwaz!" he shouted. The AncientGreymon turned and saw his EmperorGreymon descendant jogging over.

    "Hoenir, you should be helping Perseus and the others keep everybody calm and organized as you evacuate," Tiwaz told him.

    Hoenir narrowed his eyes, looking into Tiwaz's. "You're staying, aren't you?"

    "Yes," Tiwaz answered, his voice resolute.

    "That's insane!" Hoenir said. "You can't do that!"

    The AncientGreymon shot him a stare and snorted fire out of his nose. "If I always did something 'sane' then you wouldn't have a home right now."

    "That's just it!" Hoenir protested. "The last time you did something like this, you died!"

    "Ah, ah!" Tiwaz said raising a foreleg. "There were five Dexmon. There's only one War. Besides, somebody has to buy you time to escape. There's a chance War could come across your group and kill all of you. There's no way I'll let that happen."

    "Famous last words. Again," Hoenir replied, folding his arms across his chest and glaring.

    "I'm with him, Tiwaz. It's too risky," Phaeton said.

    "Both of you just leave with the others," Tiwaz growled. "You're the High Defender of Tiwheim, Hoenir. Go and start acting like one. You need to put your duty before me."

    Hoenir narrowed his eyes. "You really are as stubborn as they say... Are you really that eager to die?"

    Tiwaz turned and faced his descendant fully, glaring at him back. "If I'm going to die, it will not be to the likes of War," he boldly said. "I promise you that."

    "And what makes you so sure?" Hoenir countered.

    "For one, I'm a god of fire," the AncientGreymon said. "Second, I just made you a promise. I'm a dragon of honour and when I say I'm going to do something, I fully intend on following through with it."

    "But Tiwaz," the GrapLeomon protested. "Lord Bedivere ordered me to tell you not to fight it."

    Tiwaz gave an audible, emphatic scoff. "Hah! Bedivere is two thousand years too young to be giving me orders. I'm going out to meet War before he can make it to this city and I fully expect you all to be out of here in case he gets by me."

    "Fine," Hoenir muttered. "But if you die, your statue is coming down. Think of it as incentive, if our deal isn't already incentive enough."

    Tiwaz smirked. "You don't have to worry about that."

    With that, Tiwaz flapped his powerful wing and rose up over the two digimon, preparing to take off east to meet War in a single, fiery duel.

    Hoenir frowned. "I can't believe you're doing this just for one city."

    The dragon smirked and looked over his shoulder. "Just one city? Hoenir... This. Is. SPARTA!"
     
  8. storymasterb

    storymasterb Knight of RPGs

    They stood before him, gathered to arms. All the Peacemakers who could be mustered, who could be spared. Caradoc, Guinier, Vritra, Kheprius, Pyra, Gigas, Nocchi, Cresil, Kole, Lucia and Duo.

    They looked weary, tired. Three days of non-stop effort and waiting for Mephistopheles to make a move they could safely counter had done that. But still, they looked ready for battle. Ready to finally make an attempt at stemming the tide and saving something. He saw the bitterness in their eyes, in Caradoc's especially. The Valkyrimon had wanted to go and help, he remembered. He had argued even with the Lord of the Empty Seat to try and make some difference, to go and help the victims of pestilence and famine and war. But there was nothing they could have done. How could one fight a plague? How could you slay a famine? And for warriors to stop War... was that even logically possible? But now they were going to try and make a difference.

    "I know," he said to them. To all of them. "That the last three days have been trying. We have stood in this city and watched as calamity after calamity occurs out there. But now the chance presents itself, the opportunity for us all to make a difference. It may seem small. But saving the people of Rome from the Horsemen is a step in the right direction, back from the darkness, toward the light. So, Peacemakers. I ask you, stand with me. As we stood against Artorius, and as we stood against the Mikaboshi. Stand with me against this threat, here, now. We may not know victory this day, we may not end the Horsemen, but we can win a victory in showing Mephistopheles that there are still people in this world who will stand up and refuse to allow his plans to bear fruit." He gazed across their ranks. "So. Let's save the people of Rome from their fate. With me." The Slayerdramon turned and rocketed skyward. And behind him, they followed, those standing at his side. The Peacemakers trailed behind him, racing towards the battle. Towards the moment where they stood and refused the black future which hung darkly over their world.

    "Tiwaz... if you've ignored my order, then I wish you luck, you stubborn old fool," the dragon knight thought as he rocketed into the turbulent heavens and shot off from Anatolia, heading to the west, towards Rome. "Azur... Fenrir... keep him alive. Please."

    -

    Several hours of flying passed in a rush of clouds and wind and the odd rain. Every mile they flew, Bedivere wondered, were they too late? He looked off to the right sometimes, wondering if he would see the sight of Tiwaz and Fenrir locked in a battle to the death with War, but he saw nothing. Their course didn't take them close enough to Sparta for him to see if War had reached that city yet, or if he had passed it, leaving but ash and devastation in his wake. Like with Jericho. The pictures he had seen flashed back. Ashen waste, a city levelled to the ground, a line of blazing ruination ripped right through its centre. Solidified metal gleaming dully under the sun where War's passage and flame had melted armor, weaponry, and more. Was that Hell on earth? He didn't even know.

    The sea rushed away below and gave way to land, to verdant pastures. Good. They were on the peninsula on which Rome had been built. Hills and mountains passed as the Peacemakers flew onward, racing toward Rome. Racing against the countdown to the city's destruction. How far were Famine and the third Horseman, uninterrupted by Tiwaz and possibly Fenrir? Had War reached Sparta? If he had, were Tiwaz and Fenrir even now gripped in mortal combat with the Horseman? Or were they already just data and ash in the wind, Sparta consumed in destruction like Jericho?

    The hills below gave way to flat pastures once more. And it came into view. A great city, rival of Avalon in its days of greatness, or Anatolia. A city of simple magnificence and glory, the shining ribbon of a river winding through its centre, dividing here and there into seperate channels. But to the west, past the city, people streamed away. Flying, walking, swimming, all these ways Digimon left. A small group of angels flew overhead, observing, Bedivere recalled the fact that Rome was particularly special to the Holy Host. No doubt the angels were priests and missionaries, and in the peoples' hour of need, they had come to lead their flock to safety.

    As the Peacemakers approached, one such angel approached. A shining Angemon stopped before them, body shining white, wings spread wide as he regarded them.

    "I am Gaghiel," he said. "Lord Stormheart, it is good to see you. As we speak, my fellow clergy and I have managed to coordinate the evacuation of much of Rome with the aid of the city officials and military commanders. As it is, much of our population is en-route the ocean to await evacuation by the transport Digimon."

    "That is good news, Gaghiel," Bedivere nodded. "Thank you. My Peacemakers and I can assist with evacuating the last members of the city's population, then we will need to prepare for the arrival of the Horsemen."

    Gaghiel gave a grim nod. "We had best hurry. I cannot imagine the Horsemen are too far away."

    "War will likely take longer to arrive," Caradoc noted. "Tiwaz and Fenrir may be fighting him in Sparta as we speak."

    "If they are, there's no telling how long they might keep him back for," Bedivere cut in. "We had best get to work. Gaghiel, take us to the last occupied areas. If military forces are in the area, I want them to assist with these last evacuations, then draw back. I want the only people involved in this battle to be the Peacemakers and I. It's too much of a risk for any other parties to face the Horsemen."

    "I understand," Gaghiel replied solemnly. Bedivere turned to the Peacemakers.

    "Go through and sweep the occupied sections," he said. "If you find anyone, move them out and hand them over to the military forces, we can't afford to escort civilians when the Horsemen may arrive at any moment. If you sight a Horseman, send up a signal. Do something to get our attention so we can come and assist you." He paused. "However, chances are that even if Famine and the third Horseman enter the battle at the same time, War may be delayed by Tiwaz and Fenrir, if Tiwaz was too stubborn to leave Sparta. As such, we need to watch the east and northern sides of the city. Those will be where the Horsemen are most likely to appear if they angle in a straight line right toward Rome."

    He looked at them. Into their eyes. "If we don't make it out of here, Peacemakers... let me say this. It has been a honor. Regardless of what has happened, it has been an honor to fight alongside you. Thank you. All of you."

    And so they seperated and descended, Gaghiel indicating areas, and Peacemakers swooping into them to search for any straggling civilians. Bedivere remained overhead. He watched the horizons to the north and the east. Storm clouds broiled and raged along the northern horizon, were Famine and the third Horseman - Death? - close? Was the battle nearly upon them?

    If so, they would fight. For love and justice and hope, for survival and for the light of the world. Until their dying breaths. That was what he silently promised the three Horsemen as they made their inexorable, unstoppable advances toward the city from afar...
     
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2011
  9. Kamotz

    Kamotz God of Monsters

    It came, burning across the sky; a column of fire a thousand miles long, searing a black path over the sea, leaving only death and destruction in its aftermath. It was power; raw, unadulterated, uninhibited power. It scorched the world; cities were laid to ruin with its passing, and the survivors were driven to ravenous, murderous fury in its wake. This was the rider of the red horse, this was War.

    The burning light streaked over the world, thundering headlong through the sky towards its final destination. Anything unfortunate enough to lay in its wild path would feel its unrelenting fires and perish. Sparta, as it so happened, was one such place to have the misfortune. Like so many other villages and cities, Sparta's fate seemed already written--just another victim of War's passing.

    As it was, however, Sparta was not unprotected. It had a lone defender; one no less magnificent, fiery, and determined than the monster bearing down on them. Tiwaz had already called for the evacuation of Sparta; he had ordered even the Spartans themselves to abandon their city; pride and fighting spirit were not enough to win this day. But Tiwaz would hold his ground; he would show this Horseman that not all cities were so easily ravaged, that not all places were its for the taking.

    The monstrosity neared, searing through the heavens like a meteor. Tiwaz prepared to meet it, but was floored by its sudden and fiery burst of speed. Though he recovered, War didn't slow, and continued towards Sparta...for a moment.

    Then the burning sphere around it dissipated, and War slowly turned around. The ShineGreymon, bursting with flame and power, gazed down at the fire god with a baleful and condescending glare.

    "Hello...Husband."

    =====

    The two storms darkened the horizon as Bedivere and the contingent Peacemaker watched over the evacuation of Rome. Thousands were forced to flee, racing to the coast with only their most valuable possessions...and some without any at all. But the two storms drew nearer, and time had run out. The two roars echoed through the sky and brought a chill to the blood of all who lived. There was no doubt.

    The Horsemen were upon them.
     
  10. storymasterb

    storymasterb Knight of RPGs

    The storms raged. Black and white, they scoured across the land. Under the darkness of Famine, the crops crumbled into death and blight. All things under the shadow weakened and fell grim. At the heart of the tempest of blight, a dark sphere blazed. Famine.

    The white storm raged. Tendrils lashed, and under them all fell ill, plague spread, and death consumed the land. Trees and grass and crops alike succumbed to insidious disease which left verdant land a ruin in the wake of the pestilence. At the heart of this storm, a pure white sphere burned. The White Horseman, reborn. Conquest? No. This was something new.

    Bedivere gazed into the nightmares, and he spoke. "Peacemakers. Take them, six to a Horseman. Caradoc, Gigas, both of you on Famine. You can compete with his strength. Vritra, go with them, your Dramon Destroyers give you some advantage in that match-up." He paused. His eyes turned from the black storm to the white. "Guinier, with me. We need versatility here, we don't know what that one is capable of. Demon. Cresil. I know you're there, I want you with Guinier and I. You're hard to predict. We need that against this enemy."

    He glanced to the remaining six. Khep, Pyra, Nocchi, Kole, Lucia and Duo. "The rest of you, decide where your strength is best-suited. Choose quickly. They'll be on us in a few minutes. Maybe less." He raised a hand, and summoned radiance to it. Azure and emerald burned in his grip, and exploded into crimson. "Exalted Evolution! Examon!" he called to the storms, a challenge as much as an invocation. From the crimson his wings burst open, the regal blood-red drake emerging with the Ambrosius aimed at the heart of the white storm.

    The Horsemen answered. The storms exploded out, and moved, raging and writhing. Under their shadow blight and plague claimed the land. The spheres burned ever more fiercely. He could feel the malice radiating from Famine and his white counterpart. A crushing aura of power and desolation. But he had to resist it.

    They had to resist it.

    "Now," he said, a single word into the endless abyss. Somehow, it reached his allies. "Charge." A second. And it spurred them on. With cries of anger, of hope, of determination, the Peacemakers plunged into the nightmares with weapons drawn and conviction in their eyes.

    -

    "Draconis Evolution, Dynasmon X!" Caradoc roared as he plunged into the blackness. His form blazed and was encased in shining black armor, jagged edges gleaming in the light of the lightning which raged around them. His four ragged wings tore open and spread, the mighty dragon knight emerging from his evolution. The gemstones across his body burned in response to Famine's darkness.

    Famine beheld the challenge, and he met it with his power. The black sphere at the heart of the storm exploded. It erupted forward as an unstoppable juggernaut. Vritra, swathed in evolutionary flame, rushed into its path, but an arm swathed in baleful blackness grabbed the goddess and ripped her from Famine's way. The Black Horseman smashed into Caradoc, the sphere of writhing blight giving way to the nightmare.

    Famine was revealed, and for the first time Caradoc understood why the others had never thought this horror might be him, dead and twisted beyond recognition. Famine was too monstrous, too brutal. There was nothing in him to suggest any decent soul lurked beneath the mask of a nightmare.

    "You," Famine whispered. "They sent you?" The Black Horseman struck. His fist hammered down and like a dark comet it struck. Caradoc's armor screamed, splinters shattering from the impact. "They don't see it, do they? But I do. I see the doubt in your heart and the fear in your eyes, Caradoc Stern. And I feel your hunger. For atonement, for redemption, for salvation." His hand lashed, a backhand whip which Caradoc tried to block with a raised forearm. He cried out as the blow hit like a sledgehammer, cracking his bracer and wrenching the arm back to near-breaking point. Famine was a monster, with strength beyond match.

    "You hunger for a redemption you know is beyond you," the nightmare mirror of himself whispered. "Your whole life you have hungered to be raised from the darkness of abandonment into which you were thrust. And you hunger still." Another meteoric blow. Caradoc caught the fist in his own hand, the hammer crushing into his palm, and he strained. But he could not match Famine's strength.

    "Why...?" he snarled. "Why aren't I strong enough?!"

    "You believed physical might could ever be enough in this battle?" Famine asked. "No. That very hunger which has led you through disaster after calamity, to this desperate, worthless thing you call a life... that hunger only feeds me." He burned with an infernal aura. "Give me it, Caradoc Stern. Give me your despair, your humiliation, your pain. For I am Famine. And I am... so hungry."

    He reached out, but he moved in a blur. His fists struck over and over, more splinters of armor flying from Caradoc's battered form.

    "Off him!" Vritra bellowed. The WarGreymon X struck in a screaming meteor which grabbed Famine and buried him under blow after blow of screaming flame-wreathed claws.

    "You too," Famine whispered. "Breath of Wyvern." Blight and hunger screamed free and clawed Vritra, hurling her away in a supernova of black flames. The storm around writhed more savagely in response as Famine drank in the hunger, Caradoc's hunger for salvation, Vritra's hunger for victory. The Black Horseman emerged.

    With a cry, Caradoc plummeted at him. But Famine evaded his desperate grab and with one massive hand grabbed the inferior Dynasmon X by the skull. Caradoc's armor shrieked as Famine's talons sparked across the plates of his helmet.

    "So hungry," the nightmare spoke. "So starved. Of love, of companionship, of kindness. Ever since that black day. And you have never stopped hungering. Not since then." He glared into Caradoc's eyes. "Is this what you face me with? An empty soul starved of a mother's love? Did you believe yourself my equal?"

    "Get off him!" Vritra struck again, forcing Famine to release Caradoc to defend himself.

    "Nothing," the Horseman declared as he backhanded the vicious demi-god. "You claim yourself a drought-bringer? A world-searer? You are nothing. Nothing but hunger and empty aspirations. I hunger so. Feed me your power."

    "You're nothing," Caradoc reorted. "You're a frail thing which clings to the ghost of a dead man to live. That's all you are, Horseman. Nothing more." Famine struck. For such a monster he moved with impossible speed, striking Caradoc over and over. More armor fractured and splintered under the barrage of punches and other blows.

    "What are you, then?" Famine commanded. "What are you, Caradoc Stern? A mere tool which has outlived its purpose? A fool consumed by a mindless desire to do 'good'?" The Black Horseman grabbed Caradoc and threw him down, kicking the other Dynasmon X away. Blackness seared around the monster's frame as he took another burning onslaught from Vritra in his stride and backhanded her across the storm. "You. Are. Nothing. You claim to be serving something more? I see your hunger. Your need, your desperate craving. Starved of love and attention, all you want is to be admired."

    "That's not true!"

    "Then why keep fighting for your 'justice', for your 'right', long after you had earned the love and companionship you sought?" Famine said, the question a knife to Caradoc's heart. "You had everything you claimed to want. Redemption and loved ones. Yet still you hunger. I see you, beyond your mask, right at your core. At the very essence of your existence, Caradoc Stern, all you want is to be the hero, appreciated and admired. So you continued to blame yourself for every calamity you stood within. The destruction of the Chess Kingdom. The capture of Hadrael. Anything to gain reasons to keep fighting long after your redemption had been achieved."

    "I wanted to save people!"

    "It was your own selfish soul you were trying to save," Famine answered. "And look where it has left you. Friendless. Alone. Trapped in despair. Doomed to become what you hate so much. Hated by the woman you love. Scorned by the friend who understood your loss. What are you now but hunger?"

    "I..."

    "You are just hunger," the Black Horseman proclaimed. "And you cannot defeat me in such a state."

    "I'll rid the world of you," Caradoc whispered. "Enough!" He rocketed at Famine with a wild cry, anger burning in his eyes. Famine burned with hunger incarnate, and struck once more. Despair and blight and starvation exploded from his armor, shadow and flame as one which smashed into Caradoc and Vritra, crushing the Peacemakers under their own hungers and desperate needs. And Famine looked at them.

    "An empty half-goddess seeking her full potential," he declared. "A careless fool who abandoned everything for his own selfish desire for acceptance. Both, nothing." He turned to the other four Peacemakers who had chosen to face him.

    -

    The plague consumed all below. Plants withered and turned to a hideous mud of diseased, consumed flesh. Trees cracked and blackened and decayed under the storm's influence. And the White Horseman turned his glare upon Rome. Within the sphere of white plague, Pestilence moved. The sphere rocketed from the tempest's heart into Rome proper, and it struck one target - Bedivere.

    The sphere crushed the Examon into the streets of the city, crushing open an impact crater all around. The plants which had snaked up through Rome's paving slabs withered and died instantly as Pestilence struck Bedivere. Swathed in white fury, a mace swung from the sphere and crushing Bedivere down again and again. The White Horseman raised his mace once more, and Bedivere bellowed.

    "Digitalize of Soul!" A nightmarish demon-drake-form ripped from nothingness and seized Pestilence. It sent the Horseman staggering aside in a flurry of dark claws and fangs for a moment, before the white-swathed being struck, shattering the data beast into pixels and then to nothing. As Bedivere rose, Pestilence said nothing. His aura of malice blazed out, crushing against the Lord of the Empty Seat like waves on the sea-shore.

    "Who are you?" Bedivere asked darkly.

    "Do you not remember?" the Horseman spoke. His voice conveyed all the suffering of plague, of family after family succumbing to disease, of men and women breathing their last through lungs flooded with foul mucus. "Do you not remember the ones you left behind?"

    Bedivere's breath caught. "What?"

    "We all gathered," the White Horseman whispered, voice a corruption. "That day, in Avalon, the Council brought us together. To fight for this world, so they claimed. And you won. But you left me behind. Abandoned, forgotten, nothing." The being let out a cold, dark laugh, full of anger.

    Bedivere took a step back in shock. "No... it can't be... you... it can't be..." The white aura of plague burned away. The white-furred form of a monstrous Vikemon took a step forward, raising his dual maces. The plague raged around him, tearing at Bedivere's data, trying to gain an infecting foothold. From the plague, Bedivere thought he heard it, Mephistopheles' dark whisper. 'I looked and there before me was a white horse! Its rider was given a bow and he rode out as a bringer of disease and Pestilence.'

    "I am Pestilence," the Horseman spoke in a voice of bile. "One who was betrayed by you and what you sought to protect." And the memory came back. It shocked Bedivere into silence.

    Pestilence struck. His mace swung and hammered Bedivere, hurling him across the street. The Examon crushed into a building, smashing through the wall and collapsing the structure. His eyes never left the form of the monstrous Vikemon even as Pestilence surged forward like an unstoppable tide. The White Horseman met Bedivere's gaze.

    "Kame Kouken. The lost, the abandoned," he spoke, a tide of hate and scorn. "The one the heroes left behind..."
     
  11. Azur sped towards Tiwaz as fast as his rocket boosters could carry him, and it didn’t take him long to find himself looking at the city of Spartans in the horizon. However, a glance to the side and the sight of a red figure flying towards the city like a red comet told him that he wasn’t the only one that was closing in on the draconic ancient of fire.

    We need to hurry, Azur,’ Fenrir thought to him urgently. ‘I have a very bad feeling about that Horseman!

    Azur nodded and accelerated, hoping to reach Sparta before the Horseman could, only to see that the red figure was too close for him to outrace. He let out a curse when the Horseman seemingly crashed and landed in front of another familiar figure, one that Azur and Fenrir instantly placed.

    Tiwaz!

    The MagnaGarurumon growled arrived above them just in time as War, a ShineGreymon in Burst Mode, summoned a large, enflamed sword.

    Azur! Digivolve into AncientGarurumon and give me control now!’ Fenrir ordered, his sense of foreboding growing with each passing second.

    “Roger,” Azur said.

    He closed his eyes as he immediately ceased function of his boosters, starting to freefall towards the two dragons. He put his arms to his side to speed his descent as the light of digivolution started to surround him and as War raised her blazing weapon, ready to run Tiwaz through. A glance to the side told Azur that said dragon digimon seemed too surprised – by what, he couldn’t tell – to give off a proper reaction; all the dragon man did was stand stiffly, slack-jawed.

    Then with a roar that caught Azur’s attention, the ShineGreymon dashed. “Time to die, Tiwaz!” War snarled.

    “No!” Fenrir snarled, his evolution completing as he landed on the ground, summoning his Sharpness Claymores and slashing down with one of them to embed War’s sword into the ground. “Not on my watch!” Fenrir growled, using his other weapon to slash forward.

    To Fenrir’s surprise, War had a shield of fire ready to intercept his weapon. “And you must be Fenrir,” War noted, shoving the shield forward and slashing upwards simultaneously, effectively pushing the AncientGarurumon backwards, landing in front of Tiwaz.

    Fenrir risked a look over his shoulder. “Tiwaz! What are you doing!? Don’t just stand there like an idiot!” he exclaimed. It slightly worried him when his fellow ancient didn’t respond.

    In front of you!’ Azur’s voice suddenly called out.

    The AncientGarurumon quickly turned his head to see that War was charging towards him with her shield in front. At the speed she was going, it was clear that Fenrir wouldn’t have enough time to evade, and even if he could, he would be leaving Tiwaz vulnerable. He had one choice left.

    He grit his teeth, dug in his feet and stood his ground, using the flat end of his weapon and a forearm to defend against the incredibly amount of force that suddenly collided with him. Then from his side came War’s sword, too quick for him to dodge or block.

    With a hiss, Fenrir felt the enflamed sword cut partially through his armor and sear his skin. He could even feel the intense heat radiating from the shield he was currently blocking against.

    “I won’t…let you hurt him…!” Fenrir growled as his blades and his flashed. “Absolute Zero!

    At his shout, ice started to form at their ground, only for the ice under War’s feet to melt. War let out a mocking laugh. “Is that all?”

    Fenrir narrowed his eyes, increasing the intensity of his power enough for icicles to suddenly start forming around his body, although any that tried to form around War only evaporated and turned into steam, especially the ice around her feet. Her intense heat was even enough to make the frost on Fenrir to start dripping water and turn into steam. Fenrir’s increased output combined with War’s incredible heat created a mass of evaporated water that was so large that it began to form a large-scale cloud that spread outwards with incredible speed. It was only then that War suddenly realized that she was beginning to get covered in large amounts of steam that clouded her vision.

    Fenrir then fled backwards, instantly losing War in the mist of steam. With his white armor, the loud sound of water evaporating around them, and his scent being swept away by the water, it was almost impossible to detect him. War, on the other hand, made herself easily spotted with the use of her flaming aura.

    War roared and Fenrir turned to his back where he knew Tiwaz would still be standing. He let out a curse and put a hand on Tiwaz’s shoulder.

    “Tiwaz! What happened!?” he asked with a hiss, making sure to keep his voice low to keep War from finding them.

    “She’s… War is…” Tiwaz muttered, seemingly in a world of his own.

    “She’s what!?” Fenrir urged, glancing behind him to make sure that the ShineGreymon wasn’t nearby.

    “Ri-Riz… Rizalia…”

    Fenrir frowned. Where had he heard that name before? He thought hard, trying to find out why it sounded so important in Tiwaz’s voice.

    Fenrir,’ Azur suddenly called out. ‘In Lyonesse’s journal! Rizalia was a name she wrote there,’ the younger consciousness told him, remembering reading it.

    Fenrir thought harder. He knew it wasn’t the name of his children. And Tiwaz didn’t have any daughters according to what Lyon had written. And then it hit him.

    He let out another curse. Rizalia was his sister by law. Tiwaz’s wife. Now he understood why Tiwaz was acting that way. He would have acted the same way had it been Lyonesse in War’s place.

    “This…is not good,” he muttered to himself, turning back. To his worry, the red figure where War was supposed to be had disappeared. “Not good at all.”

    ---------------------------------------------------------------

    “Hmm. I imagined that one called Pestilence would have been far more grotesque,” Cresil muttered as exited from the realm he occupied through Bedivere’s shadow. Nonchalantly, he walked past the Slayerdramon and gave the Vikemon a look over.

    “Kame Kouken,” the Astamon repeated, trying to place the name. “Ah, the Archelomon. A former Peacemaker, if I’m correct.”

    He then let out a smile, turning to Bedivere. “Quite an interesting turn of events, don’t you think, Lord of the Empty Seat?” he asked, a tone of amusement in his voice. “Mephistopheles seems to enjoy striking where it hurts the most, no? I can only imagine who he has picked to replace War.”

    “Now if I also remember, this Kame proved little of his true power in the battlefield. Let us see if this still proves true,” Cresil said, grinning as he ran towards Pestilence without care, ignoring the usual precautions that any sane person would have taken against a formidable opponent. Then again, Cresil wasn’t really sane in the first place.

    Pestilence didn’t seem to care as Cresil swung his arm in front of him, suddenly causing a bolt of energy to streak towards the Vikemon. Before it could reach the Horseman, the magic started to dissipate before suddenly dissolving into dark slime that fell to the ground harmlessly, seeping into the ground like sludge.

    Despite the display of Pestilence’s effect, the Astamon continued his charge, pointing his machine gun at Pestilence and shooting wildly. “Hellfire!” he let out, cackling all the way as he shot magic-enhanced bullets at the Vikemon. Pestilence seemed to have noticed that the ammunition wasn’t as easily rotted as Cresil’s raw magic and acted.

    Arctic Blizzard,” he bellowed. In a flash, the immediate surroundings of the Vikemon froze, including the bullets, which fell down on to the ground harmlessly.

    “What powerful abilities! How interesting!” Cresil said with a large smile, not slowing down. “Now let us see what this will do! Maverick!” he yelled out, suddenly jumping in the air as his right leg suddenly radiated a great amount of violent, crackling energy.

    Before the Astamon’s kick could connect, however, The Vikemon caught the Astamon’s leg in his hand, showing impressive speed that belied his large body. In his grasp, he kept Cresil upside down over the ground, and the energy that concentrated in Cresil’s started to show the same result as the energy bolt, soon turning into black slime that dripped down Cresil’s leg, down to his body, then to the floor.

    “How droll,” Pestilence noted as he stared down at Cresil with contempt.

    Soon, the Astamon’s clothes started to wrinkle and tear, portions falling down to the floor in tatters. His hair started to fall off in clumps, leaving behind bald spots where boils and injuries started to form. Even Cresil’s arms weren’t spared, cuts and bleeding boils forming over where the torn clothes could be seen, the skin wrinkling and turning even paler than it was before. The leg that Pestilence held seemed to suffer the most damage; the pant leg was completely in tatters, showing Cresil’s formerly muscular leg. It had shriveled up with countless amounts of wounds and abscesses, bleeding blood and pus. One of his bat-like wings even fell off, leaving a bleeding sump in its place. Despite all the pain that must have caused, Cresil laughed loudly with an insane caw.

    “How very interesting your ability is!” Cresil crowed, showing teeth that had blackened, one even falling off as he spoke.

    “Die,” the Vikemon said simply as he dropped the laughing demon man into the ground.

    “Oh, I will have to warn you,” the Astamon said with a large grin, his body soon dissolving into black sludge. “I do not die so easily!” he exclaimed as the last vestiges of his body turned into slime. Unimpressed, Pestilence turned back to Bedivere. Behind the Slayerdramon was yet another Astamon.

    The seemingly revived grinned, stepping beside the dragon knight. “My shadow clone is quite realistic, don’t you think?” Cresil asked Bedivere with a polite smile. “Though I will have to make a few adjustments. It would not do to show such ungentlemanly manner, although I’m sure lesser opponents would have been quite perturbed to see a display.”

    The Astamon turned back to Pestilence. “He has quite a bothersome ability. Pestilence is a rather fitting moniker; material objects rot around him, and magic seems to dissipate and turn useless. It also seems that he infects Digimon with rather dangerous maladies upon contact. Who knows what else he is capable of doing?” he wondered as he raised a hand in front of him, runes and small balls of energy swirling around it.

    “Of course, I may have a spell or two to hinder the ability, although at that level, it would only last for ten minutes, maybe lesser than that,” he said as the magic in his hand grew stronger. “Of course, that is if you are willing to risk accepting a spell from a demon.”

    Cresil grinned.
     
  12. Griff4815

    Griff4815 No. 1 Grovyle Fan

    Rizalia.

    Rizalia Koenig.

    Tiwaz had gone to face War, planning to charge the horseman's incarnation and clash with it in battle. Instead of a battle in which he would duel one-on-one with War, Tiwaz had found a nightmare.

    "Hello...Husband."

    Those two words. The sight of War's body. It was if a boulder had landed on his chest, knocking the wind from his lungs and crushing his insides. Tiwaz had went into the intercept mission calm and confident. What remained of the dragon was a stunned, worthless statue before War.

    All he could do was stare, mortified at the ShineGreymon standing before him. He wasn't facing a horseman, nor was he facing an omnicidal sociopath. The only thing he saw before him was Rizalia Koenig, his dead wife.

    "Riz..." he whispered, his cobalt eyes wide and moon-like, glistening behind his helmet. He knew it wasn't her. He knew it wasn't really her, but seeing her again, then of all times...

    Ever since he had been resurrected, he had longed to hold her in his arms, to feel her breath against his scales, her lips and body against his... He wanted to apologize for leaving that day, leaving her to go to battle on the day that he died. Tiwaz had left her, knowing he would probably die in that battle against the Dexmon. The odds had been overwhelming, but he assured her that he would come back. He knew that he would break her heart, but... he still had to go. He had to save that village. During those days, he had been in a dark place. His friends in the Great Ten was dead. Fenrir was dead. Rizalia was the only person he had left. But he left her too.

    Because that's what it meant to be a hero. That was how he justified it to himself. Shouldering all that weight, responsibility, baggage and guilt on his own.

    Whenever somebody else had a problem, Tiwaz was always the first to jump to their aid, whether they wanted it or not, but as soon as Tiwaz had a problem, he refused to tell anybody, determined to deal with it (or not deal with it) himself. To do otherwise would make him weak; vulnerable. Tiwaz would always fight, defiantly standing against the odds and adversity and weakness. He would always fight.

    Except for this time.

    This time he couldn't.

    Tiwaz couldn't fight the woman he loved. He felt helpless and he was unable to fight against this helplessness. Just like those times before...

    And War fed off this.

    The AncientGreymon stared blankly, even as War charged him, all he could do was remain fixated on her with a dumbfounded expression.

    Even when Fenrir landed in front of him, clashing with War before Tiwaz could be skewered, Tiwaz was still in a trance-like state, barely noting Fenrir's arrival and intervention at all.

    It wasn't until Fenrir created a steamscreen and placed a hand on his shoulder did he start to become more aware, if only slightly. "F-Fenrir..." he whispered.

    "Torrid Weiss!" a voice yelled through the steam.

    Bursts of scorching flames through the steam towards them. Tiwaz instinctively raised his burning wings in front of him to protect himself while Fenrir parried the explosive shells with precise slashes of his blades.

    "You're married to a horseman, Tiwaz?!" Tyr asked in shock. "Did you know this when you married her?!"

    Tiwaz didn't respond for a few seconds. "It's... still War," he whispered grimly, "but..."

    War charged at the two battle partners. Fenrir let out a growl and prepared to charge in return, knowing Tiwaz would be next to useless in battle in his current state. He started to run with blinding speed to keep her from coming close but suddenly Tiwaz's tail blocked his path.

    "Stop it, Fenrir!" Tiwaz pleaded.

    "It's not her, Tiwaz. War is only using your memories against you," he barked.

    "I know! But..."

    "If we don't fight her, she'll destroy everything in her path, we and Sparta included. Are you telling me you want that to happen?" Fenrir asked him.

    Tiwaz didn't, but that didn't make it any easier for him. "I..."

    "If you will not fight, then stay back," the AncientGarurumon said, staring over his shoulder. "The way you are right now, you'll only end up dead."

    The dragon snarled, but knew his lupine comrade was right. How could he fight War when she looked like his wife? But at the same time, he couldn't just stand there and let War carve a path of destruction through the land. He knew that fighting half-heartedly would only be dangerous with him, but something in his heart wouldn't let him raise a single claw to harm her, even when he knew that it was War and not Rizalia.

    He grimaced and grit his teeth. "I don't know what to do..." he whispered.

    -

    "...Who?" Kheprius asked, genuinely confused when the horseman spoke a name that they were apparently expected to know. "Who the hell is Kame? Does Bedivere know him or something?"

    Pyra, who was beside him, grit her teeth. "The Archelomon who was with the Peacemakers when we were first formed. He was killed by those humans' Gizumon automatons, but you probably don't remember because you were pretty focused on yourself and only yourself back then," she explained.

    "Oh yeah..." Kheprius remembered. "I think he tried to freeze me once. Didn't really care for him."

    The Paildramon rolled her eyes and took on a luminous glow as she evolved. "What I need right now is power," she thought. "Warp Imperial Evolution!"

    As the Horsemen did battle with her fellow Peacemakers she took to her Imperialdramon Fighter Mode form, gaining majestic armour and two powerful cannons.

    Kheprius observed his two combatants carefully. Pyra did likewise, watching as Pestilence infected a rather conveniant clone of Cresil. "Who are you taking?" the GrandisKuwagamon asked her.

    "You should take Famine," Pyra responded. "You're built best for unpredictable close combat and we just witnessed what Pestilence can do when he makes physical contact."

    "Yeah, I don't think Ivy can heal that," Khep replied matter-of-factly. "And I'm guessing you're taking Pestilence since you're a ranged fighter?"

    Pyra nodded. "That's the plan."

    "Then good luck," Kheprius said, flying towards his target Famine.

    "The same to you," Pyra responded, flapping her strong red wings and soaring over the city of Rome in Pestilence's direction.

    "Just wait until that b*stard War shows up," the dusk-hued insect spoke, his voice callous. "He's back, ripe for the picking. There's no civilians here for him to use as meat shields and there's no Svarog here to ruin my chance for my bloody and satisfying revenge. Come fight me, War; I'm waiting."
     
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2011
  13. storymasterb

    storymasterb Knight of RPGs

    "This isn't the time, demon," Bedivere growled, rising once more and aiming the Ambrosius at Pestilence, keeping a wary gaze fixed on the White Horseman. "Do what you can for us. Give us some breathing space against him."

    Pestilence surged forward. THe Horseman formed a terrifying projectile of white as he charged, an unstoppable juggernaut against whom there could be raised no defense. Bedivere flapped his wings back and burst skyways, trusting Cresil to retreat into the shadows or misdirect Pestilence with another clone. This wasn't a close-ranged battle. Fortunately of the Lord of the Empty Seat's three forms, Examon had the greatest ranged potential. He brought up the Ambrosius and aimed, raising his other hand as coruscating emerald shone in his palm.

    "Pendragon's Glory! Digitalize of Soul!" he roared. Crimson laser bolts flashed from the Ambrosius as an emerald salvo tore from his talons and together the two attacks impacted on Pestilence. However, the White Horseman emerged from the devastating barrage relatively unharmed.

    Guinier descended to his side. "How should we fight?" she queried, glancing down at Pestilence.

    "Fight at range," Bedivere answered. "If you have to make physical contact, go for brief strikes. No prolonged contact, or what happened to the demon's shadow puppet will happen to you." Guinier nodded, and raised a hand. An azure sphere blazed into life above her palm, casting coruscating rays across her form.

    "In fearful day, in raging night, hope's light shines forever bright. For life and love, we all shall fight. With blade and shield, I'll end this plight! Future Evolution! UlforceVeedramon Future Mode!"

    She emerged, swathed in radiant power, the glory of the future singing from the light around her form. Racing forward, the UlforceVeedramon Future Mode raised a hand and called power to it. She struck in a blinding flash, shooting by Pestilence like a comet and unleashing her conviction as a burst of exalted light. "Ray of Victory!" The power of the glorious future flashed and struck, burning across the Horseman's massive form.

    Guinier raced into the sky and turned, gazing down only to see Pestilence emerge. The Horseman gazed venomously up at the two dragons, and raised his twin maces. With a cry, he brought them together, words seething to the two. "Arctic Blizzard!" A howling storm erupted, all ice and frost and chilling wind. It consumed Bedivere and Guinier in its folds and froze into them, daggers of ice stabbing through their armor and into the two.

    When the storm subsided, Bedivere's vision returned only to be met with Pestilence. The Horseman struck the Examon with his maces over and over, crushing him with sheer force. With each hit, plague and entropy smashed into the dragon's Red Digizoid armor, tearing at his data.

    "Bedivere! Ray of Victory!" Power and radiance flashed, it grabbed Pestilence and hurled the Horseman back. Guinier flashed forward, her glorious power burning around her form. Bedivere raised his free hand, and she raised her own, emerald and azure shining in their grips.

    "Digitalize of Soul!"

    "Ray of Victory!"

    Power burst from the two dragons and buried Pestilence under coruscating rays of blazing light. He was smashed down and hurled into Rome. A firestorm erupted on his impact as the attacks exploded into blazing energy, only for the flames to freeze and shatter to nothing as Pestilence rose with a roar.

    -

    Caradoc struck over and over. He rushed Famine, he struck from the side, above, below. No matter where his attack came from, it was stopped. Famine caught his blows with ease and forced his weaker counterpart to draw away. And still the Horseman spoke.

    "Why do you fight?" he spoke. "What drives you but an endless hunger for redemption? For acceptance?"

    "Shut up!" Caradoc bellowed. He erupted forward, trailing fire and fury, but Famine answered with starvation and blight. Dark hellfire exploded from the Black Horseman and wrapped its talons around the Peacemaker, crushing him under hunger and need.

    "You are nothing, no hero, no savior, no martyr," the Horseman scoffed. "Just a never-ending maw which feasts on redemption and spouts self-blame to gain more to feast upon. You are a glutton whose delicacy is atonement. And you are soulless, lacking even that to call your own. You are nothing and have nothing. Just your never-ending craving for redemption."

    "Enough!" Vritra roared. She struck the Horseman and hit him over and over. "Enough talk! This is battle! Not a debate!"

    "As you wish," Famine answered. "Dragon Thrower." He let loose with a blazing salvo of emptiness from his lancing palm and hurled the demi-god flying. She crashed into Caradoc and halted his charge dead in its tracks. "Do you not see? The sheer emptiness of your existences and the hunger which is the last thing driving you both onward?" He gazed at Caradoc. "You, the martyr with no cause, ever-hurling yourself at calamity for the sweetness of redemption." Then to Vritra his gaze turned. "And you, the god-mite, ever-seeking your full power and glory, forever held back from it by your own inflated sense of self-importance. Cowering behind a long-fallen nightmare." He outstretched his arms, gazing at the two. "I hunger so. Give me your desires and dreams so that I may sate my hunger." Darkness and hellfire burned around the Horseman as he drank in their hungers and their emptiness, drawing power from Caradoc and Vritra's own deep-rooted needs.

    Caradoc roared something incoherent and rocketed at Famine, one fist drawn back. Before he could strike Famine met him with a burning fist and crushed a hammer-blow into the weaker Dynasmon X's face, sending the atoner reeling. A follow-up punch knocked the dark knight into the path of Vritra's Terra Force ZERO, making the Peacemaker roar in pain as the fiery energies seared into him.

    Vritra erupted past him, wreathed in flame. Her Dramon Destroyers lanced for Famine's throat, but he caught the anti-Dramon weapons on his gauntlets and wrenched them aside before unleashing a blast of nihilistic energy from his hungering maw into Vritra's face. The demi-god recoiled, the blast searing at her mouth and eyes, and from the hellfire Famine's great maw came. It clamped down on her helm, crushing and gnawing, trying to bite through the armor to reach for her flesh and eyes. She howled something into the great emptiness of Famine, and gorged him on flame. Dredging embers from her divine spark she blasted them into the endless maw and sent exalted fire into Famine's infinite stomach. The Horseman reared away, and Vritra kicked off of his armor, unleashing flame as she did so and lighting her vernier boosters. Fire exploded around her form, crashing down on Famine and hurling her away while purging foul juices from her helmet into wisps of steam. The fire goddess glared down upon the Horseman, and with a mighty cry she wrapped her armored form in holy fire and rocketed at him once more.
     
  14. Kamotz

    Kamotz God of Monsters

    Jerusalem (approx. 600 miles from Anatolia)

    The First Temple of the Host stood at the center of the city. It was a grand structure, huge and awe-inspiring. Built from shimmering white sandstone, decorated intricate carvings; scenes of the Creation and the Host's work. It had been a gift of sorts; countless centuries ago, the First Prophet Avrahm was given a vision, and from it he went to build the temple, all alone. It took only six days for the lone man to build the temple; the scripture states he was given the strength and power to do so by God Himself. And it was at this temple that the first angels of the Host--through Avrahm--met with the mortals and delivered the Word.

    "Destroy it," Mephistopheles scowled, looking down at the First Temple. This would be his grand message, his final ultimatum: Heaven, we come for you next. "Burn it to the ground. Let our actions speak loud and clear."

    The demons behind him nodded; snickering, sneering, cackling. And like black shadows, they fell over the city; and the streets ran red with blood and fire; and the temple burned.

    =====

    "Here's a thought," War hissed, grabbing Tiwaz's face. "Die." A force exploded between her hands and sent the dragon reeling. She turned back to Fenrir and engulfed him in flame. "Aleady this city burns. Its people trample one another in their panic. You could never stop me, but you have delayed me, this is unforgivable. I have other places to be, I must bring the War-sword to Rome. Already my name is whispered in the minds of killers, a prayer for ruination."

    War spread her fiery wings; let their burning embers dash out and set the air and sea aflame with fear and hatred. She felt the writhing below her, in the hearts of Sparta's people. It filled her with its might, and she let out a flash, of fire that was not fire, but hateful power and furious agony. It slammed into the two ancients, and she was off again, burning through the sky like a meteor.

    Headed for Rome.
     
  15. Griff4815

    Griff4815 No. 1 Grovyle Fan

    "Damnit!" Tiwaz swore, growling as War burst by Fenrir and himself, heading in Rome's direction. He had come out to stop War and ended up doing next to nothing. He wouldn't let this stand.

    "Rizalia or not," the dragon god whispered with bitter pain. The crushing weight of responsibility once again rested on his winged back. "I can't allow Rome to be decimated. I... We have to go after her. If I know the others, they'll be at Rome to meet her."

    The Ancient of Flame glanced at the Ancient of Light. "Get on," he commanded. His gaze followed the streak of fire heading through the sky. Tiwaz's eyes hid veiled pain which he further concealed by lowering his goggles over them.

    "You'll conserve energy that way," Tiwaz added and that was all that he said. He had no wish to speak to Fenrir about anything else in that moment, especially not his dead wife. He figured that that would suit the AncientGarurumon just fine anyways.

    With nothing more to say, the AncientGreymon flapped his wings and took off after War, one fiery meteor in the sky chasing another. He just hoped he could catch up to it before it collided with Rome.

    -

    Kheprius dove towards Famine as he staggered back from one of Vritra's reckless blitz charges. When her fiery form recoiled, putting space between herself and the Dynasmon X, Kheprius swooped in and raked his jagged claws across Famine's wings. He lashed out in retaliation against the GrandisKuwagamon, but Khep was already on his way away from the draconic juggernaut before he could land a hit.

    When he flew back through the sky, soaring around a bell tower of a church, Kheprius saw Caradoc in a state. When he had been observing Famine's battle, picking his time to dive into the savage melee without getting caught in the crossfire, he had heard the Horseman deconstructing Caradoc - trying to get under his skin.

    The GrandisKuwagamon sneered, flew up beside the mortal Dynasmon X and looked over at his smoke-wreathed form. "Whatever he's saying to you, don't let him get under your skin, Doc," he told him, glaring at him. "What these horsemen say to you, even if it seems true, they're just trying to invoke the emotions they need to make themselves stronger! They're trying to mess with your head and manipulate your fears and desires. You can't let it get to you or else you're playing right into their hand!"

    With that, he flew forward towards Famine alongside Vritra, a digimon who wanted to be a fire goddess and, as a result, the opposite of Khep's ideal battle companion, but they had a job to do and Kheprius always had a knack for being adaptable.

    Khep made a beeline for the Dynasmon X who raised a large hand to retaliate. In a brief flash of energy. Kheprius changed. "Slide Evolution!" A GranKuwagamon emerged, the massive insect closing in on Famine without giving the horseman time to adapt. "Grand Death Screw!"

    Like a drill, Kheprius started spinning in a black maelstrom of death that broke past Famine's defences and ripped against his jagged armour. Famine snarled at the aggressive attack and power exploded from his palms, impacting the ebony cyclone. The attack clipped Kheprius' sides and slowed him down enough for Famine to catch his pincers in his hands.

    "You're so empty," Famine hissed, glaring at the insect before him. "So very empty..."

    "Your hunger for the past... The desire for your brother's acceptance..." the Dynasmon X rasped. "You're so--"

    "Yeah, yeah. Shut your damn mouth already!" Kheprius shouted, driving his massive set of right claws across Famine's face, freeing himself before following up with a slash of his left claws. "I've heard it all before from your buddy War; I came here to kill you, not get analyzed by a friggin' shrink."

    "Very well... Dragon Thrower!" Famine shouted, washing dark power over the GranKuwagamon to send him crashing into the side of a building. When Kheprius hit, he disappeared in the collapsing rubble and then emerged behind Famine from a Zone Black Hole portal, ramming his pincers into Famine's back.

    The Dynasmon X slammed his fist down on Kheprius' head, sending the bug crashing to the ground.

    "Bastard packs a punch," Khep hissed, getting to his feet and slide digivolving back into GrandisKuwagamon. "Looks like we're in for a horseman reunion ceremony. I wonder who War and Death took the forms of. Somebody dead, I guess. I just hope we can figure out the key to beating these guys."

    -

    Meanwhile, Pyra made sure to keep Pestilence at more than arm's length. "Positron Laser!" A winding azure stream exploded from her arm cannon and exploded into the Vikemon's back after a narrow dodge from the downward swing of one of his heavy maces.

    Pyra flapped her wings and flew into a steep ascent to put distance between herself and Pestilence before doing a frontwards flip, firing another Positron Laser down on the groundbound horseman while her body was inverted. The Imperialdramon Fighter Mode then caught herself by flapping her red wings.

    "Unlike Thor and Svarog before, Kame is dead, so using his form as a scapegoat has no effect on me. I know he's not really in there, so I have no qualms about firing on him," Pyra thought to herself. "I just hope that Bedivere won't pause... but the way he's been recently, I doubt he will."

    Pestilence raised a large hand towards her. "Absolute Zero!" The temperature around Pyra started to drop so she knew that she had to get out of the attack's radius or else risk being downed or frozen. The humanoid dragon flew above the freezing temperature, her armour being cold and frost-laces after only a few seconds, and she extended the large cannon from within her draconic chest armour.

    "Giga Crusher!" she shouted, causing a beam to rip from the sky, through the cold air to level out the temperature, and down onto Pestilence. The ground around the Vikemon exploded and disintigrated, but the Vikemon emerged still battle ready.

    Pyra grimaced. "We had enough trouble with two, but now we're supposed to fight four of them? Just fighting them doesn't seem to work. Do we need more power? Or is there another way? An unorthodox way..."
     
  16. PeeGee

    PeeGee ROAWR!

    "Kame," whispered Kole, "So Mephistopheles really is going for us Peacemakers to be the Horsemen.."

    I don't care. Digivolve already so that we can kick his butt.

    "Fine," said Kole, feeling a little as if he was inside a sitcom or something. "Heaven shall crumble and Hell will rise! Face my wrath with your very own eyes! From the heart of chaos itself! I shall destroy you myself! Apocalyptic Evolution! Apocalymon!"

    He felt the familiar rush of energy burst through his body, and soon Kole was once again Apocalymon. And he was ready. He zoomed towards Pestilence, his tentacles snapping.

    Stop, you idiot. Don't go any closer to him.

    "I know that!" yelled Kole, "Don't patronise me! Total Annihilation!"

    The ends of each of the Apocalymon's tentacles started to glow, and in each of them a ball of black energy began to form. He threw his arms forward and each ball of energy burst out of the tentacles and zoomed towards Pestilence.

    "Die!" roared Kole, "Total Annihilation! Total Annihilation! Total Annihilation!"

    More and more energy burst of Kole's tentacles. Eventually they all reached the White Horseman and exploded.

    "That should do it," said Kole, catching his breath.

    "Arctic Blizzard!"

    From out of the smoke created from the explosion, a blizzard surged. Unable to move out of the way, due to the fact that his bottom half was enormous, Kole was barraged by small sharp ice that was moving incredibly fast. He screamed in pain, even as the barrage stopped, and took a couple of seconds to compose himself. He looked over to where the cloud of smoke was, and saw that Pestilence was untouched by his attacks.

    "I don't know why I am surprised," Kole asked himself before turning to the others fighting the Vikemon. "So anyone have any idea as to how we are going to defeat this big ol' lug?"
     
  17. Hotshot

    Hotshot Don't ask questions.

    Out of nowhere, a golden form collided with Famine, sending the black Horseman staggering back several steps. With his talons now locked in Gigas's claws, Famine had nowhere to go.

    Except up.

    The dragon of insatiable hunger spread his enormous wings, glaring at Gigas all the while. The HerculesKabuterimon, realizing the Horseman's next move, mimicked him. The two herculean creatures took to the skies, their bodies crackling with energy. Dark, blazing embers fell from Famine's wings as a layer of dust falls from a long-unused ceiling fan. Electricity trailed in their wake. They rocketed skyward, each trying to overcome the other. But it was Famine who emerged victor, his raw power greater than Gigas's own.

    Igniting the insect in an inferno of bluish flame, Famine sent him hurtling back down to earth. The Horseman collapsed his draconic wings and dove, falling towards the crater in which Gigas now lay, his exoskeleton still smoking. Just as the HerculesKabuterimon was stumbling to his feet, Famine slammed into him like a meteor, pinning him to the ground.

    "Kranatos," the demonic beast growled, his voice like gravel and dripping with malice, "your hunger...it's strong. You have but one desire, and that is to protect your world...your people...your family. Feed me your desire. I'm hungry."

    Gigas, through raspy breaths, wheezed, "Hoho...ho... 'Here comes the train'! HORN BUSTER KAI!"

    Lightning exploded from his horn and fists, engulfing Famine in a swell of white energy. The Horseman was flung backwards, hurled off of Gigas by the power behind the Peacemaker's attack. Chuckling breathlessly, Gigas rose to his feet and faced Famine. "I bet I can eat more than you any day of the week, big guy. So bring it."

    ==========

    "Nyahahahahaha!" howled Nocchi, as he hurled himself into the battle against Pestilence. As if reading the minds of his fellow Peacemakers, the Puppetmon said, tapping his wooden noggin, "I got your plan right here."

    He cast a glance at Pyra and Guinier, then at Kole, and finally, at Bedivere and Cresil. "Look, you guys have to keep away from ol' Kame, cuz he's got that germy voodoo goin' on. But guess what? I'm made of wood. I don't have organs and blood and things like you guys do. I guess you could say I've got an impenetrable immune system, cuz I can't get sick. So here's what we're gonna do..."

    Nocchi eyed Pestilence. "He's got that mace, and probably some icy moves. Those are what will get me. An' I won't be able to puppet him fully; he's definitely too strong for that. But I can hinder his movements, if only slightly...slow him down, trip him up, throw his punches off-target."

    The Puppetmon dashed over to Bedivere and shimmied onto his back. "Alright, Beddy, you an' I will take this guy on, mano-a-mono, if ya catch my drift. The rest o' you, shoot yer lasers and stuff at that 'Pest'! Nyahah! I crack myself up!"

    Nocchi flashed a grin. "So, just a recap... Beddy'll fly me around as I keep Pesty from killin' you guys. Then Guinier, I want you to keep him busy by bein' all speedy and pestering the Pest. Pyra, Kole, be the big guns and dish out some serious damage. Cresil, aim all yer attacks at his hands...keep that mace from hittin' me an' Beddy! Got it? Alright, let's MOVE OUT! NYAHAHAHAHA!"
     
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2011
  18. TheSequelReturns

    TheSequelReturns Phantom Thief

    The battle raged as the two Horsemen clashed with the Peacemakers who had gathered here in Rome. Though only Famine and the new Horsemen Pestilence were to be the opponents for all twelve assembled Peacemakers, the fearsome power of the Horsemen served well to even the odds.

    "I know you're hesitant to use your Dianamon form again." Duo said to Lucia, "But right now that's our best option."

    Lucia didn't argue. She simply gave a solemn nod. "It is... painful to think about, but you're right."

    "Look, no matter what you might think, that wasn't you. You achieved that form to try and avenge your people, the demon merely twisted it. That form isn't evil, you just need to show yourself that." He smiled, though the gravity of the situation stole some of its joy.

    "And what of the Reaper? Will you be okay?"

    "Leave Famine to me. Worry about yourself, I'll be alright." He took her hand in his. "I'll see you when this is over, alright?"

    "Yes. Stay safe." She said.

    With a flash of black light, Duo assumed his BlackWarGreymon form and rocketed towards Famine. The draconian Horseman was already proving himself to be a formidable opponent, though that was nothing new. They had clashed before. For a moment, it appeared as though he had gotten the best of Gigas, the Horseman pinning him to the ground. But if Duo knew anything about Gigas now, it was that the golden bug was not to be underestimated. Famine was sent reeling back from a harsh blow, and right towards Duo's waiting blades. With another flash, he shot towards Famine in his Gaiomon form, one hand raised towards Famine. "Gaia Reactor!"

    The air around Famine collapsed as several explosions detonated all around him raising a cloud of dust around the Horseman. Then Duo's blades lit with blue fire as he closed in, each blade trailing an arc of ghostly energy in its wake. But Famine was no pushover, and the Dynasmon X's claws met Duo's blades before he could even close the distance.

    "Ah, the boy." Famine rasped. "Your hunger is great as well."

    "There is nothing you can say to me." Duo said, his blades straining against the monster's claws.

    "Isn't there? You hunger for revenge, for forgiveness, for answers. You hunger for you lost one's arms even as you embrace another."

    "You lie."

    Famine only seemed to smile. "Her words remind you of your lost one. Her actions, her face, her eyes. She is nothing to you but a shadow of Rayne."

    "If you ever say that name again..."

    Famine laughed, a dry rasping sound. "Yes, give me that hatred, that desire, feed me your hunger." As though lifting a toy, Famine pulled Duo from his feet and held him in the air, the monster's grip threatening to steal the breath from his lungs. "You seek my death. Such hunger, give me more. I will take it all from you until nothing remains."

    "You will try." Duo twisted one of his blades, dragging the cutting edge along the gap between Famine's fingers, cutting a deep gash. The beast's grip lossened, and Duo slipped through, falling to his feet. As soon as he hit the ground, he rolled to the side, barely avoiding a massive slam from Famine's hands. The Horseman's fists crashed into the ground, cracking the stone and nearly knocking Duo off of his feet. The Horseman seemed to get stronger by the minute.

    ---

    So much pain, so much suffering. A form born of conquest and revenge, one that had been used to spread darkness. It was now going to be used for good, to combat an even greater darkness. Perhaps there was some measure of redemption to be found in that.

    Lucia had assumed her Dianamon form once again, the feel of it strange to her but the sense of power was reassuring. In her Minervamon form, she felt small, childish, but now... It was as if she was royalty again, tall and powerful. It was that single thought that drove her forward with such conviction. The Horsemen would not get the chance to repeat the tragedies of the past, not so long as she could do anything about it. And with this form, she just might be able to.

    As she neared however, she overheard the revelation of Pestilence's vessel, Kame Kouken. That only slowed her for a moment. Kame, the real Kame, was gone. This thing was only using his body, his memory, twisting it to its own ends the same way she had been twisted by that demon. This was not Kame, no this was simply the Horseman Pestilence. Kame Kouken was gone, and this thing that twisted his memory could not be allowed to live.

    Nocchi seemed to pull the others together into some kind of plan. Long range bombardment with a few close range fighters. It might work. The Puppetmon may seem a bit dense at times, but when it came down to it he was perhaps one of the best strategists in the group. If the others were to attack from the front...

    Lucia strung up an arrow, the silver light forming into both the arrow and the string as her scythes became the bow. She took aim, taking a moment to familiarize herself with the unfamiliar movements. And then, she fired, the silver bolt crossing the distance and embedding itself in the back of Pestilence's shoulder. Before the first arrow had completed its journey, she had another notched, sending it into the back of the Vikemon's neck. The Horseman roared with fury.

    A cold glint in her eyes, Lucia strung another arrow. With the others starting their attacks, there was no way the Horseman could counter them all. They would whittle him down, with a thousand cuts if they had to.
     
  19. Kamotz

    Kamotz God of Monsters

    The Peacemakers fought against the two Horsemen, a valiant and defiant struggle against beings that were not beings, but forces of suffering given physical form. To fight them was to fight against an idea. To fight Famine was not merely a contest of physical might, but a battle against the very concept of hunger. To battle Pestilence was not merely a battle to stem the tide of a plague, but a endeavor against all sickness, uncertainty, weakness, and despair that ever crossed into the mortal experience.

    But they fought on, for these things had been given physical form; and coalesced and consolidated themselves into a single place and moment. They were no longer mere wisps of ideas and philosophy, but flesh and bone and blood. And the Peacemakers would battle them as flesh and bone and blood.

    As they fought, however, they began to notice something; that the evacuation had slowed to a trickle. While Rome was mostly empty, the stream of Digimon escaping with the Whamon and GigaSeadramon had slowed. Around them, the citizens of Rome clamored and clawed at one another, agitated, for a space. They growled and pushed and climbed over those they deemed to slow. They fought and threw each other to the side. It seemed that the powers of the two Horsemen were already seeping into the minds and souls of the populace. It wouldn't take much to break them and send the throng into a full-blown riot. A single push...that's all.

    Even those same transport Digimon ceased their evacuation task and turned to watch the spectacle in the sky, where a trail of burning-red fire cut a deadly black path across the sky, a meteor of ruinous intent. That was it, the push. The arrival of fiery War turned worry and agitation into mass-panic and hysteria. The Digimon below erupted, screaming and shouting, a panicked riot of frantic souls wailing and howling and trampling over one another to get at the more-than ample space provided by Thor's evacuation team.

    War arrived with an explosion, drilling solid-flame into Vritra, Nocchi, and Pyra, swathing the others with red-hot fire, and sending liquid light tumbling down onto the fleeing Digmon below. And just like that the battle was joined, escalated, and exacerbated.

    And despite the fires of War ripping through the air, and the heat of battle gripping them, their breath turned to ice, and a cold grey chill rolled in across the sky. A pale numbness and emptiness, like death.
     
  20. Kamotz

    Kamotz God of Monsters

    He could barely hear his thoughts over the screaming, over the ripping horror of the scene before him. The pure-white first sphere of Paradise burned, erupting pillars of fire that crashed beyond its bounds and seared into the second sphere. The flames blasted infernal pathways, bridges between the spheres, so that the demonic attackers could continue their onslaught.

    The gall of them; marching the Nightmare Soldiers right to the Gates of Heaven, breaking through them, and assaulting Paradise itself...it was inconceivable. And yet, Michael had always suspected, always feared this day would come. He had often warned the Sacred Angels: secure the borders, remain on alert, epsecially after the destruction of the First Temple in Yerushalayim--but always they scoffed at him, called his concerns frivolous. No dark force would attack here; not where they were weakest, not where the holy light was so powerful, not where the presence of the Sacred Virtues served to weaken those with evil in their hearts.

    But they were wrong, and Heaven was burning.

    Michael wondered how these few demons had managed to do so much damage. There were only seven of them, and as powerful as they might be, Heaven had warriors that were just as powerful, maybe even more-so. They had righteousness and divine light and words of exorcism and banishing. How was it possible?

    "Send the Chorus of the Conclave," Michael said, looking to a Gargoylemon. The lanky Digimon saluted and spirited away. He turned to several others. "Gather another battalion at the third sphere and prepare to engage them. Pull our forces back from the first sphere and regroup them at the fourth. Ascend the Sacred Angels to the ninth sphere and evacuate all non-combatants from the combat zones." The Gargoylemon bowed their heads and did as they were told.

    "What do they hope to achieve?" Michael wondered. Why would they attack? So hopelessly outnumbered; even as powerful as they were, such a straightforward and outright attack would only end in their defeat. With the Horsemen otherwise-occupied in the mortal layer of the Digital World, the true force of their coalition was gone. No. There was something else. Mephistopheles would not expose himself so quickly and eagerly if there wasn't something else planned.

    "Samael," Michael said, turning to the fallen angel, who had remained silent all this time. He was unreadable, a mask of sharp red eyes, but Michael knew; he was worried. "Should they breech the fifth sphere..."

    "You want me to go in," Samael said, and Michael nodded. "Why not send me now? Or go yourself?"

    "There's something more at work here," Michael answered., shaking his head. "And no one else here believes it. At the moment, I trust only you."

    Samael sighed and shook his head. "Well that sucks."

    =====

    Though the Peacemakers fought valiantly, the newly-arrived War was beginning to turn the tide against them. War crashed into Vritra and Khep, dragging them away from Famine. She sneered, feeding on Vritra's flames and Khep's anger. She sent fire billowing out, burning into Kole's form, staggering the giant Digimon. The fires of her arrival burnt Nocchi's strings and forced Bedivere back. She lashed out with her tail, knocking Lucia and Pyra down, and the sheer force of light unleashed from her form blasted away the shadows and left Cresil revealed.

    Her brothers capitalized; Famine hurled Duo to the ground, then turned and rocked Gigas with a hammer-fisted uppercut. He turned and caught Caradoc as the smaller Dynasmon tried to attack him, slamming his massive horns into the Peacemaker's head and knocking him back. Pestilence struck at the revealed Cresil, battering him with a wild flail of his mace. He turned his frozen breath on Lucia and Pyra, and lifted Kole; only to hurl him crashing into Bedivere and Nocchi.
     

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