1. We have moved to a new forum system. All your posts and data should have transferred over. Welcome, to the new Serebii Forums. Details here
    Dismiss Notice
  2. Be sure to join the discussion on our discord at: Discord.gg/serebii
    Dismiss Notice
  3. If you're still waiting for the e-mail, be sure to check your junk/spam e-mail folders
    Dismiss Notice

Digimon: Unholy Crusade

Discussion in 'Role-Playing Games' started by Kamotz, Jan 15, 2016.

  1. Kamotz

    Kamotz God of Monsters

    Kaladesh
    Vs. Sir Dagonet - Craniamon
    Svarog Rodsyn

    "God's Breath!" the Royal Knight shouted. A sphere of force erupted around him and stifled Svarog's flames. He surged forward and drove his spear into Svarog's gut. It struck through the sun god's armor and cut deep, forcing Svarog to cut his attack and fall back.

    "End Waltz!" Dagonet's power surged and hammered into Svarog. He felt the breath suck from his lungs and his fires nearly extinguished from the Knight's overwhelming strike. A swift shield-strike sent Svarog reeling, and a kick sent him flying right into Stein.

    "You've failed at your task, little god," Dagonet said, staring down at the two Guardians. "Your arrogance was assuming that we Royal Knights were the focal points of this attack. So you fought us instead of going where you were truly needed." He glanced over his shoulder to the center of the city. "And now Kaladesh lies in ruin for your meddling. And the humans you sought to protect are trapped here."

    He was right, Svarog realized grimly. The land and skies were thick with the Royal Knights' forces. If the Tamers were to escape, their only route was the rail lines running out of the city, and the Knights' forces would not let that happen.

    ==\=/==

    Kaladesh
    Vs. Sir Percival - Magnamon
    Thor Odinson


    Percival dashed forward, weaving back and forth as he closed the gap between himself and Thor, moving so quickly that Thor could barely follow his movements. He struck, a hard-hitting kick aimed at Thor's head, but Thor managed to raise his arm and block the blow. He expected, as before, to be thrown from the force of the strike; for the power to crash through him and knock him off his feet. But this time was different. His arm held, his footing held; he weathered the blow with little more than a tightening of muscles and gritted teeth.

    The Royal Knight hovered in place, stunned for a brief instant, but an instant too long. Thor struck back with a huge haymaker, drilling into Percival's unguarded midsection. A thunderclap exploded from the impact and Percival was sent flying into the midst of Kaladesh proper. Thor stood still in momentary disbelief at his own power before gathering his thoughts and tearing after him. A powerful wind kicked in his wake and sent soldiers on both sides flying.

    He tore through Kaladesh, following the path of ruin Percival had left in his flight. He burst through homes made of marble and brass before colliding with the Royal Knight towards the center of the city. A rolling wave of force exploded from their impact and struck a nearby fountain. A masterpiece of painstakingly-sculpted bronze filigree bent, twisted, and crumpled. Percival threw a vicious elbow that struck Thor's cheek, but only succeeded in knocking the thunder god's head to the side, leaving Percival stunned once again. Thor powered back a half-heartbeat later, slashing a wide arc with his sword.

    Percival avoided the blade's edge, weaving out of its range, but the cascade of power that followed crashed into him and sent him tumbling back. He righted himself and skid to a stop, pushing through and weathering the wave's onslaught. The city behind him didn't fare the same. Entire swaths of buildings buckled under the pressure of Thor's attack. It continued, collapsing the roof of the Kaladesh central rail station.

    A chorus of screams erupted as the station imploded. A mass of Tamers and their partners went diving for shelter. The line of evacuees was severed as the next - and last - train fled the station.

    "You don't have the ability to control that power of yours, Odinson," Percival growled. His voice lacked any of his previous bravado, but rang with fury. "You're just like them. All potential, no prowess. And because of that, we're going to win."

    Percival blasted Thor with a torrent of golden energy, pushing him back. The knight then took to the air and raced towards the station, his body glowing; he blazed towards the humans and their partners, defenseless in the rubble beneath him.

    "Magna--"

    "Pyro Barrage!" a voice shouted, interrupting Percival's attack. A barrage of fire splintered around his golden frame and forced him to alter his course. "You won't escape me. ROYAL KNIGHT!" A BurningGreymon roared down from the sky, chasing after him. A few flaps of her flaming wings and she was upon him, striking with fiery claws.

    "I don't have time for you," Percival said. He caught her wrist and twisted it sharply, forcing her to her knees. "You're not even worth my time to begin with."

    "Why you--"

    "Magna Punch!" Percival struck a massive uppercut on the BurningGreymon's jaw that sent her flying, engulfed in golden energy. He turned back to the cowering humans, but another Digimon, a TigerVespamon, stepped into his path.

    Percival barely even slowed, and tackled the insect through a wall. He pressed his face into the dirt.

    "Hey. Somebody wanna get this clown offa me?" the TigerVespamon grumbled. He struggled against the Royal Knight's grip, but Percival was simply too strong. "Oh, come on!"

    A two-sword slash crashed against Percival's defenses and stunned him long enough for the insect Digimon to scurry away and set down beside his "savior." A Gaiomon crouched low and glanced his way out of the corner of his eye.

    "Are you alright, Trowa?" the Gaiomon asked, not letting his guard down.

    "I hate everything about this, Duo," the TigerVespamon grumbled. "What ever happened to all our random wanderings? When did we become people who FIGHT ROYAL KNIGHTS?!"

    "When our Lady Lucia asked us to," Duo answered, full of resolve. He glanced the other way as a QueenChessmon stepped beside them.

    "I never commanded you two to do this," she said, her voice almost-cracking. "I told you it was your choice."

    "And here we are," Duo assured her.

    "Isn't this lovely," Percival mocked, his arms crossed smugly. "An insect, a soldier, and a princess that's a bit too far from her kingdom. Who do you think you are to challenge me?"

    "Together?" Lucia asked, glancing towards her Gaiomon vassal.

    "Together," he nodded.

    "Yeah, whatever," Trowa rolled his compound eyes.

    The three fighters charged Percival, and he took to them in kind. He sent their attacks glancing off his bracers, pivoting through their defenses, and then landed a series of powerful kicks and punches to their broken guards. Trowa was knocked through the air, Duo was flattened into the ground, and Lucia was thrown into a nearby pile of rubble.

    "Little help, Rhys?" Trowa shouted over his shoulder to a VictoryGreymon. But said dragon was occupied in holding up a massive pile of rubble that was threatening to fully cut off the Tamers from their escape route on the trains.

    "Little busy, Trowa," he said through gritted teeth. His eyes widened in panic as Percival stalked towards him. Humans of various shapes and sizes struggled to squeeze past Rhys's massive frame and into the tunnels beneath the station, pushing against one another in a panic.

    Percival raised a glowing hand.

    "Please don't," Rhys begged, straining under the weight of busted brass and crumbling copper. "They've done nothing. You have to see that. You're a Royal Knight! You have to protect the innocent! They're innocent!"

    "None of them are innocent," Percival said solemnly. "And they'll destroy our world if we let them."

    "No wait--"

    "Magna Blast!" A golden streak of light slammed into Rhys and sent him flying into the wreckage. The mass of twisted metal collapsed behind and atop him a half-moment later.

    The humans, several dozen strong, stopped and turned. They scrambled, trying to escape into the wreckage, or over it, or anywhere away from Percival. The Royal Knight watched them from the corner of his eye, but paid them little mind.

    "Vermin," he muttered, his armor alighting with a golden glow, the telltale beginnings of his Magna Explosion. "You don't deserve to exist in our world." Sparks cracked across his armor. "Magna Explosion." Light swelled around him and expanded outward. Tamers and their Digimon cried out in terror.

    Thor dropped from the sky, a crashing streak of lightning. He slammed into Percival and forced him to the ground. He howled in determination as Percival's attack blistered his palms, and threw the flat of the White Sword's blade in between them. Thor focused all his will into the sword, commanding it to hold strong, to weather and dissipate the energy of Percival's attack without annihilating everything around them.

    And for once, the White Sword obliged. Thor sprung back, his white armor smoking and his sword still held firmly in his grip.

    "Damn you, Odinson," Percival growled. He struggled to his feet, breathing heavily. His fists lit with golden energy, but it fizzled weakly.

    "Let's end this," Thor snarled, raising the White Sword.

    "Stop," Lucia barked. She hauled herself up. Beside her, Trowa and Duo followed suit. "You have to stop this, Lord Thor." She glanced to the Tamers and their partners. "They cannot survive the two of you clashing this close. There's nowhere for them to run to!"

    "The trains--"

    "They're cut off," Lucia interjected. Her eyes were wild and desperate. "Rhys tried holding up the entrance but...None of them can make it to the trains anymore. And those trains can't get out. Not with the Knights and their armies everywhere."

    Percival smirked. "We knew the Council would try something," Percival said. "We didn't know who they'd send, but we knew they'd send someone. And of course you'd come after us. The rest of your rabble wouldn't be able to handle our soldiers, and our mission would be successful. Kaladesh has fallen. The humans here are ours, and they will be expelled from our world."

    "No," Thor snarled. He gripped the White Sword tighter.

    "Thor!" a shout cried out from the skies. Michael dropped down gracefully and landed beside the Odinson.

    "Michael, the humans--"

    "I heard," Michael nodded, glaring at Percival. "I left Okatsu and another to hold of Guinier, but I don't know how much longer they'll last. We need to get as many humans out of the city as possible. The ones already on the train." He glanced over to the Tamers hiding in the rubble. "We can't save these."

    "I will not abandon them," Thor insisted, lightning sparking at his anger. "Leave them to the Knights' fury? Never."

    "Some of them or none of them, Thor," Michael shot back, his voice low. "That's all we can hope for right now. We didn't see their plan and we have to pay for it now."

    "We're not the ones who will pay," Thor snapped.

    Michael had no response for the thunder god, but turned to Lucia, Duo, and Trowa. "Get as many as you can carry to the train. We'll rally the Guardians and provide cover for them to escape the city."

    "No, you'll do nothing of the sort," Percival declared. He lit with brilliant gold and dashed forward, but Thor met his charge.

    "That's not your call," Thor snarled through gritted teeth. With a burst of strength he grabbed Percival and carried him through the ruins away from the assembled Tamers and up into the air.

    "Face it, Thor," Percival growled, pushing against his flight. "None of them will make it out of here any other way except back to their own world. You've lost!"

    "Maybe. But so have you!" Thor cried out. "Omni Sword!"

    The thunder god struck; the White Sword illuminated the entire sky with its cascade of power. Percival didn't even perceive the attack, he merely heard the words and then felt its power roll through him. He didn't even have the chance to cry out in pain before his world went white and he plummeted from the sky.

    Thor floated still for a moment, allowing the wash of energies to dissipate into the air around him. Everything seemed to vibrate violently from the power he'd unleashed. Below he could see Percival's still form and the wreckage left in his wake.

    "Odin's Blood, what have I done?" he whispered in shock. All that power...it was too much. How was he ever supposed to get used to that kind of power? Percival lay injured, possibly near death, on the ground below. How many other Digimon had he killed by simply not being aware of what he was doing? How much of Kaladesh had he left ruined in his wake? He should have wielded the sword like a scalpel, or an artist's brush. Instead he was hacking away like a butcher, and spilling cans of paint all over the floor like a fool.

    He shook away his insecurities. It wasn't the time to dwell on mistakes; not yet, anyway. There were still humans and Digimon that he could help. Michael was already circling the battlefield, a shining point of light amidst the smoke and the fire; he was gathering the Guardians, ushering them and any Tamer pairs they could towards the remaining trains.

    It wasn't enough. Even if they each carried two humans and two Digimon that still left several dozen abandoned behind them. How could they possibly choose who leave behind?

    Thor dropped low, his silver wings shimmered through the heat. He felt his control over the Paladin Mode begin slipping. He had minutes, at most, before he was forced to relinquish it.

    "Svarog. Stein. Get them to the train!" he shouted over the sounds of battle. The two were still engaging Dagonet, still playing into the Knights' tactics. He left them to heed his call and plowed forward, punching through the Royal Knights' ranks and making room at the front of the train.

    "Go!" he ordered the Locomon. Despite its fear the train Digimon did as instructed, and Thor leapt atop on of the cars to continue fending off attackers. He could hear the screams and sobs of the Tamers below him.

    As the Locomon began its building escape, Thor could see the rest of the Guardians making their way hurriedly towards the train. Even the others - the QueenChessmon, the Gaiomon, and the rest of that group were on their way. Svarog and Stein barreled through the Royal Knights' ranks. Theo flew through the air, fighting off anything in his way. Behind him flew Artanis, carrying an armload of humans. Henry dashed over what was left of rooftops, firing behind him with one hand, a human in the other, and her partner spitting fireballs from his shoulder. Shula and Frost had de-merged and stumbled their way onto the train alongside Tessa and a group of four tamer pairs. Denys and Fiona brought up the rear, Denys firing back to keep soldiers off their tail. Aria and Okatsu followed suit with Hoshiko. They were followed by a Tamer and a Sirenmon that Thor didn't recognize, but no other humans joined them. That left only Michael and…

    "GET OFFA ME, YOU WING-HEADED SCUM!" a snarling howl of fury carried up even past the roar of battle. Michael pulled his way into sight, literally dragging a frothing Samael behind him. The fallen angel was cut up, bruised, and bleeding, but seemed intent on breaking free of Michael and rejoining the battle. "I'M GONNA KILL HER!"

    But despite Samael's objections, Michael was able to force him onto the train.

    "Can this move faster?" Michael called out, knocking away a Mistymon that had hopped on board. A pack of Raidramon chased behind and were quickly catching up with the Locomon. In the air, AeroVeedramon and Wingdramon were closing in fast.

    "Not unless you want me to blow a gasket and get us stranded!" the Locomon shouted back.

    "I'll heal you; just get us as far as you can, as quickly as you can," Michael ordered. He slashed at a swooping Wingdramon. Beside him, Samael literally tore the guts out of an unfortunate Raidramon, and Svarog filled the sky above with fiery arrows.

    With a roar of effort, the Locomon charged. Steam flew from his engine, sparks erupted from the tracks behind him. Michael dashed through to the front of the train and placed a hand on the Locomon's back. He felt the Digimon begin to buckle and sent a surge of healing light into him.

    Thor growled, neither of them would last long in that fashion. He raced along the tops of the train cars towards the back, fighting off more of the Knights' soldiers while struggling to remain rooted to the roof. He had to force them back and get enough of a lead that Michael and the Locomon could slow down.

    He drew on the White Sword. One more time, he thought to himself; he could feel his control slipping. His body shook with the effort it took to just raise the sword high. He poured his power into it and its light erupted. The Royal Knights' soldiers let out their startled cries and dove away, falling back suddenly and quickly to avoid being annihilated by the weapon's power.

    But Thor held back. With the sword aloft and alight, he held until their pursuers were no more than a mass in the distance and too far to pose a threat. Only then did he allow the power to dissipate, for the Paladin Mode to fall away, and his body to drop.
     
  2. storymasterb

    storymasterb Knight of RPGs

    Hoshiko Yukimura & Okatsu Sekishusai
    Locomon Tracks


    The two raced for the departing train Digimon, almost last to leave. Andrea and Deneb were close behind, Okatsu holding the rear with sweeps of her weapon. The servants of the Royal Knights harried them as they ran, trying to cut them off, but the CresGarurumon held them back with lances of ice and slashes from her blade. Not one passed her as they jumped for the train and were caught by those aboard. A Tamer she didn't recognise caught her hand and pulled her to safety with a smile. Hoshiko returned it, looking around. Artanis perched atop the train, hurling slugs at the soldiers pursuing them. James still rode his partner, reckless as ever.

    Kaladesh burned.

    She had seen the flash and felt the ground quake. At first, she hadn't known what it was, but now she saw Thor atop the train with Artanis. His sword blazed and she knew that it was his power that had brought ruin upon the shining city. Buildings had broken before it like so many twigs before a hurricane. Whoever had stirred Thor's ire would probably not care to do so again, she thought. But seeing Kaladesh so broken was bitter, before that sensation was eclipsed by the cold grip of failure. She knew that the Tamers within this Locomon would be nothing close to the total in Kaladesh. And she hadn't seen any other trains depart. The puzzle pieces fell into place grimly. Their fight with the Knights had been ultimately pointless. It was the rank and file who had done the real damage.

    Okatsu rested a hand on her partner's shoulder gently. "I'm going to help Thor and the others," she said. Hoshiko nodded and the CresGarurumon was gone, gripping the roof of the carriage and swinging up to join those fighting above them. "Geki: Hyougetsuga!"

    Raidramon snapped at them as they closed with the carriage, but icy lances rained from above and struck several through, driving the others away. Artanis added his gunfire to the defense, forcing Percival's subordinates back with mighty salvos. The Locomon accelerated and Hoshiko steadied herself against the side of the carriage, wondering how it was moving so quickly.

    ----

    James Reeve & Artanis Dawnflame
    Locomon Carriage Roof


    Okatsu swung up from below, joining them on the rooftop. The CresGarurumon was graceful despite the Locomon's speed and the wind roaring past, hurling spears of ice at the Royal Knights' forces.

    "Trident Revolver!" Artanis bellowed. His volleys scattered the Raidramon below, before he turned his revolver to blast away a marauding AeroVeedramon.

    They had saved a group of Tamers and partners. They had achieved something, James thought as the battle raged on. But was it all going to be for nothing? The Royal Knights were hot on their heels and Kaladesh was ablaze.

    He forced himself to keep smiling, even just a little. No. They could fight this off. Fire roared through the air as Svarog unleashed his might against the pursuers. With a roar, Artanis added his Rising Destroyer, slicing AeroVeedramon and Wingdramon from the air with the solar beams. The train was accelerating, but surely the Locomon couldn't keep it up forever, right? They had to fight the Knights off.

    They had to secure this small victory. They had to do something.

    They fought desperately, Okatsu and Artanis side-by-side, the other Guardians adding their firepower in whatever fashion they could. A BurningGreymon perched on the next carriage with a vicious glare, hurling fire at the Wingdramon who threatened her.

    An AeroVeedramon nearly plucked James from Artanis' back with a dive, its claws passing just by him. The RizeGreymon's arm lashed out and smashed the dragon aside.

    Thor came racing past, his body resplendent in gleaming white armor and crackling with power. He swept through the attackers as though they were nothing as he passed.

    "Thor, what are you-?!" James cried over the screaming wind.

    The world behind the train burst into white light.

    The air screamed. The heavens themselves seemed to tremble. He remembered feeling this before, distant during the battle, at some point after the MegaGargomon had bombarded Bedivere and Theo. Now he felt it up close and it shook him right to the soul. All he could hear was the roaring of thunder and he couldn't look into the light, for it was utterly blinding. He clung to Artanis and tried desperately not to be thrown away by what he realised was the power of Thor's sword. Nothing he had seen in Saga could compare to it. He felt like an insect beneath it. He felt the storm rage on and on, making him shudder.

    As soon as Thor's power had exploded forth, it was gone, vanishing as soon as the thunder god had summoned it. The white light dimmed away and the Royal Knights' army was far in the distance, too far to catch them. The light faded from around Thor's form, the glorious white armor fading to its normal black, the awe-inspiring light of the sword fading. The Imperialdramon Fighter Mode fell.

    Artanis dived across the carriages and caught him before he could be swept from the rooftops by the wind.

    "That power..." James whispered. It was like the white glow was still there in his irises, though he had only caught a glimpse before its blinding light had forced him to close his eyes and look away. "We should get him inside, and get inside too. I don't think they'll be chasing us anymore."

    "Let us hope not," Artanis said curtly. "For I fear we are not in a fit state to fight further right now."

    ----

    Hoshiko Yukimura & Okatsu Sekishusai
    Locomon Carriage


    Okatsu swung back into the carriage and her form was consumed by light, shrinking to her Gabumon X form.

    "Thor drove them back," she explained to Hoshiko. "They're too far behind to catch us now."

    She had felt the train tremble and seen the blinding light behind them, of course. And close to Thor's power, she had felt the crackling energies. She had read myths about the White Sword carried by Odin and then by Thor, stories of the enemies laid low by the blade. But only now did she fully appreciate its power. So close to Thor unleashing that power, she had no choice but to feel how great and terrible it was.

    She looked around at the Tamers in the carriage with them. Some were broken in the way she knew all too horribly well. Their partners had been left behind in the chaos, or cut down while they tried to protect their human Tamers. Others clutched their partners close like they never wanted to let them go. It was so like the camp back in Axis Mundi. Like the march from Ama.

    "Are we safe?" a girl said quietly, holding a Palmon close. "Are they gone?"

    "We're safe," Hoshiko answered. "We've driven the Royal Knights back."

    "Not everyone though," another Tamer muttered. "Jason got separated from us. Kimberly too. They're still back there."

    How many were still back there, Hoshiko thought morosely. How many had paid for their mistakes?

    A VictoryGreymon was in the carriage with them, having joined them during the escape. He had been fighting off the pursuers too, with a look in his eyes that said he wished sincerely that he didn't have to fight at all. Or perhaps that he didn't have to fight those opponents.

    She crossed to him. "Thank you for helping us," she said. "What's your name?"
     
  3. TheSequelReturns

    TheSequelReturns Phantom Thief

    < Henry Vane (AvengeKidmon) >
    - Kaladesh Perimiter -


    He would give this lady one thing, Sir Kay was certainly strong enough to warrant the title of "Royal Knight". Every time Henry though they had the Crusadermon on the plank, she would flip the tables and send himself and Samael falling back. It was like a dance, give a little take a little. Swing this way and take a bladed ribbon to the arm. Swing that way and land a bullet in her leg.

    The pirate had seen a lot in his days, been a bonafide demon in full combat had not been one of them. And if Samael was any indication of the rest of his kind, he was better for it. Samael fought like a crazed beast with the mind of a master tactician. Brutality and elegance in perfect sync. It was as impressive as it was terrifying. Though it didn't seem to phase Sir Kay nearly as much. If anything, his demonic status seemed to bemuse her, as though the mere fact of it put Samael firmly beneath her. Self-rightousness like that would get you killed.

    Samael parryed another barrage of ribbons, and Henry saw his moment. He dove under the demon, grateful that he had wings in this form, and pelted Sir Kay with another barrage of bullets from below.

    "You, rouge, are an annoyance." Sir Kay spat. She dove, readying a blow before Henry could even register the movement. "Fist of Athena!". All Henry could feel was the snap in his chest as the blow connected. Stars danced in his vision as he was sent tumbling towards the ground, Samael tearing after Kay somewhere above him. Blood splattered against his chest, but he didn't know if it was Samael's, Kay's, or his own. Finally, he hit the ground with a thud, his world going black for a moment as the pain in his chest throbbed with fresh agony. In the back of his mind, he could still feel where that bullet had scraped off his rib. Still taste the saltwater as it burned in the hole in his chest and the exit wound in his back.

    Henry shook his head, trying to clear the sensation, but the battle had started to shift. He saw Percival pummel Aria like she was a plaything, leaving her battered and broken on the ground before giving Thor a chase into the city. Kay cried out in pain somewhere above him. Svarog and Stein bellowed like wild creatures fresh on the hunt as they cornered Sir Dagonet only for the Royal Knight to leave them both in a heap. The city went up in flames and the Tamers and their partners cried out in rage or fear or desperation. This was what war looked like, and by Neptumon's tailfin it was different than plunder. How any sane mon made sense of this madness was beyond him, but right now the Tamers in the city were about to be slaughtered. There was only one thing to do.

    ---

    ~ Aria Morningsong (Lilamon) ~
    - Kaladesh -


    Every last byte of her being was nothing but pain and the shame of failure wrapped up in even more pain. For a moment, Aria simply lay there, broken and bleeding on the ground. She could feel her sap, her lifeblood, all over her. No broken bones, the benefit of being a plant she supposed, but whatever her equivalent was she had it. Percival had moved so quickly, had hit her so hard and so fast she didn't even know what happened or how she wound up wherever here was. Her vision was still a blur of black splotches and bright flashing spots when she heard a vaguely familiar voice calling out.

    "Get up lass, get up if you can." it called. "I've seen worse. Pull yourself together."

    A rough hand made its way to hers, and to Aria's credit she managed to dig up the strength to grab it. She blinked the dirt and tears and sap out of her eyes, then when that failed to clear her vision she feverishly rubbed her eyes on her arm, trying to clear her head and her sight. It worked, sort of. She could see enough of the dark shape before her to identify it as a digimon, but she didn't recognize him.

    "Who are-" she started through a bone dry throat but the other mon cut her off.

    "No time for pleasantries lass, the city's in peril. Get your landlegs back and help, we have to get the Tamers, and our own sorry hides, outta this disaster."

    "Henry?" she offered, still dazed, but the AvengeKidmon had already took flight towards the city. Aria traied to gather what little strength she had left in her battered state and managed to take flight herself, realizing in the process that she had reverted to her Lilamon form while she was blacked out. No surprise there, she was lucky to be in one piece after that beating. No doubt she had Thor to thank for her continued existence.

    The city before her was in ruins. Fires raged on, buildings crumbled and Tamers and digimon, both partners and civilians, ran for whatever safety they could find. And at the center of it all, the Guardians surrounding the train station, or what was left of it, as they piled every last tamer and digimon they could on board the last Locomon. Henry, she was pretty sure he was the AvengeKidmon, had a Tamer and a Candlemon slung over his shoulders as he booked it towards the train. She saw a Boltmon she recognized as Stein literally grab a handful of Rookie level digimon and toss them like so many cannonballs at the train as he ran for it himself. It was astounding. And there was Michael dragging Samael like a sack of extremely angry potatoes in a picture she would never forget.

    Okatsu and Hoshiko came up beside her, firing at the approaching soldiers of the Royal Knights, trying to buy the train time to escape. Aria fell into place, with them, launching as many Marvel Shots as she could muster. A Poyomon was before her, crying, huddled in the rocks. She scooped it up and kept going, making it to the train after it had already started rolling. She looked back just in time to see a Tamer and his Patamon partner, huddled together amidst the flames. The two of them stared after the departing train, like the others they couldn't save, before embracing as the enemies closed in.

    And that was it. Suddenly the battle was gone, replaced by the frantic Locomon trying desperately to push itself to the limit to get them out of there as the bloodstained rocky countryside swept by. Aria sat the Poyomon down and promptly collapsed against the wall, sound asleep.

    ---

    + Frantz Stein (Boltmon) +
    - Locomon Traincar -


    The only thing that had snapped Stein out of his rage had been the desperation in Thor's voice. The God of Thunder spoke with authority and power, and something in Stein had recognized that call to action. Before he knew it, he was a Boltmon again and running towards the city. The Fire God beside him and Dagonet somewhere behind him. He had saved as many Tamers and digimon as he could in the chaos, but he knew that many were left behind. They did all they could, but it wasn't enough. And Stein didn't know how to process these emotions.

    He was sad at his failure to defeat Dagonet in time. He was ashamed at the loss of life in the city. He was angry at the Royal Knights with renewed fever. And he was, somewhere deep down, wrestling with something he couldn't quite identify. But it hurt. It hurt more than the pain of his injuries.

    Aria snored from his lap, out cold. The Boltmon had found Aria slumped against the wall, beaten to a bruised pulp and completely unconscious. So now he was watching over her, making sure the little flower mon was going to recover. He had no idea where Wise One had gone during the battle, but he hoped she and the others were all okay. She would know how to fix the Lilamon. She fixed him after all.

    "She'll be all right." Henry said as he stumbled over.

    Th Boltmon nodded. "Stein hopes so."

    The pirate was back in his CaptainHookmon form, and looking like he was nursing an injured rib. He patted Stein on the shoulder firmly. "Don't worry, she's got spirit that one. The lass will pull through."

    "Stein doesn't know what to do now." he shrugged sending a fresh line of oil running from a wound on his shoulder. "Did the Royal Knights win?"

    Henry was silent for a moment, taking in the others who crowded the train car. "Aye. I think they did, that. But I don't think we lost, if you catch my meaning."

    "Stein is even more confused."

    "Well, you see." he scratched under his chin, "Its like this, most of this lot wouldn't be here if not for us risking our hides out there. We saved a lot of folk. We didn't stop the Knights, that be true enough, but we did good. As good as a schooner in rough seas." He looked back at the Boltmon only to see Stein staring off into space, back towards Kaladesh as though he could see through the walls of the train car all the back to the city. "We'll give those rotten warmongers what for next time, don't you worry." he offered. "They'll rue this day in the end." And with that, Henry walked off further into the train, headed towards a TigerVespimon near the front of the car, leaving Stein alone to puzzle out his thoughts.
     
  4. Solsabre

    Solsabre The Reforged Soul

    Theo Grayson (BlackWarGreymon)
    Skies above Kaladesh


    “Gargo Missiles!” The booming cry of the MegaGargomon rumbled through the air moments before their barrage struck Sir Bedivere. In those few precious seconds, Theo released his hold on the Royal Knight's tail, throwing himself as far as possible while rotating mid-air to face his opponent. An unearthly red fiery glow erupted between his clawed hands, growing exponentially in size.

    “Terra Destroyer!” The old soldier yelled, finally releasing one of his strongest attacks in tandem with the missile strike. The resulting explosion enveloped the Examon in a blinding light and the shockwaves pushed Theo further into the air.

    “Theo,” His name carried with static over the comlink. Artanis's Partner.

    “I'm still here, James,” Theo mumbled with a harsh cough from the thick fumes occupying the skies. The BlackWarGreymon clenched his right side with a sharp intake, reminding him of his previous injury, but the temporary reprieve soon ended. Sir Bedivere batted his mighty wings to clear the billowing smoke away. The Examon's scales and armor were scorched and cracked in places, but the damage seemed mostly superficial.

    “For a mere soldier, you are indeed skilled,” the Royal Knight conceded. Theo kept his silence, knowing any slip up on his part would likely reveal the source of his training. “But a fool still for missing our true objective now achieved.”

    Theo's eyes widen in realization as he glanced at the smothering city below him. Everywhere the Royal Knight's forces torn in the Consulate forces and decimated the city streets as Tamers and digimon fled. The two dragon circled one another through the air in a standstill, Theo attempting to buy precious time in a moment of uncertainty. The damage was already done.

    A blinding white light exploded across the burning skies of Kaladesh, distracting Sir Bedivere as Theo dropped from the air to disengage from their fight. He soared low over the city, when he spotted the Archangel Michael circling the battlefield and signaling the Guardians to regroup towards the Locomon station. Many Wingdramon and AeroVeedramon soldiers gave pursuit after the fleeing humans and digimon. Those Royal Knight digimon laid between him and those he'd promised to protect.

    With little time to spare, the black dragon drew from deep within, calling forth the dark winds of his sorrow. The black streams of air surrounded his battered body as he begun spinning, dramon destroyer extended outward in his desired path. Two more swirling black tornadoes took shape alongside him, further obscuring his form. With a final push, Theo released the remaining energies he'd been holding in reserved throughout the battle.

    Black Storm Tornado!

    The trio of tornadoes tore a warpath through the Royal Knight forces blocking his way. Among the chaos, he lashed out from the central tornado with his dramon destroyers, carving into bodies and rendering the afflicted digimon to data. In the wake of his attack, a pathway became clear for the retreating Guardians behind him with their human and digimon passengers.

    Even as the winds waned, Theo continued slashing and kicking in all directions as the enemy invaded his space. Only as the Locomon finally departed from the ruined city did the black dragon relent and fall back. The Royal Knight forces followed, ever keeping pace. Theo struck at a pair of Raidramon running alongside the train, sending them to oblivion. Just when he thought it would never end, he saw the white form of Thor standing at the rear of the train. The White Sword held aloft as a blinding and burning light erupted once more over the skies. Theo shielded his eyes from the brilliant display of power as he kept pace with the train just alongside the rear carriage. The next time he glanced back the pursuing forces were a long distance away and soon to disappear.

    The light receded from Thor, returning him to his Imperialdramon Fighter Mode form. The thunder god dropped in turn only to be caught by Artanis. Relief washed over the BlackWarGreymon as the adrenaline wore off and his own weary and pained body demanded he land as well. Drifting downward slowly, Theo landed on the caboose's rear platform. He stood in the entryway slumped against the door frame, favoring his right side. He walked past James and Artanis, giving them a slight nod, and dropped onto a nearby bench lamenting, “I’m too old for this. I haven’t fought a battle like that in years…”

    Theo grimaced at the irony as he was in better shape now than six years ago. Tired in spirit, but with the stamina of a dragon half his age. One of the stranger effects he noticed after meeting Kyle. He reflected back over the battle and Sir Bedivere’s parting words.

    “Damn it, I should have realized it sooner,” the old dragon muttered softly, rubbing tired eyes. “Should have seen it coming...” The words he uttered; haunted him as though he was referring to an another memory in the distant past.

    In his tired state, his digicore instinctively reached out to the one person he could always draw comfort and strength from, however, only a black void greeted him at the other end of the broken bond. Theo gasped painfully, a clawed hand gripped at the right side of his chest armor where his heart and digicore resided at the terrible reminder of his still recent loss. His eyelids clenched tightly shut and his breathing harsh and shallow from the still fresh spiritual/emotional pain. The physical agony emanating from his side paled in comparison.

    Not in many months had Theo been forced to cope with such an episode of shock from the loss of his human partner.

    <3 <3<3<3<3<3<3<3<3

    Tessa Tesla (Wisemon)
    Locomon Cars


    The young Wisemon shuffled through the crowded cars after she and several others packed into the Locomon. Tessa held on with a death grip an overhead railing as the Locomon hustled over the tracks at reckless speeds, but she knew the fate awaiting them if they didn’t outrun the Royal Knight forces. Through the train car’s windows, a blinding light flooded the surrounding landscape. Tessa leaned out the window to investigate the light’s source after it began to wane.

    Thor fell in the distance to be caught up by Artanis. The Wisemon pulled herself back into the car and made her way slowly back to the rear of the train to check on her fellow Guardians. On the way, she looked out for Stein wondering how her newfound friend was doing. Entering the last car, the little mage’s attention was immediately drawn to the pained breathing of Theo.

    “Theo!” Tessa exclaimed, climbing onto the bench next to him, but the BlackWarGreymon didn’t register her presence. She noticed him cradling his injured side and strangely his upper chest where she couldn’t spot any wounds. Pulling in a deep breath and concentrating, Tessa gently placed her hands on the afflicted area. The old dragon flinched from the contact and a cool blue light bathed both digimon. For several minutes, Tessa struggled to pour energies into her work, but the previous battle had left her drained like everyone else. In a desperate attempt to focus, the female Wisemon began to hum softly to calm her own nerves and help properly direct the energies. However, it was still like pouring molasses through a pinhole, too slow and tiring.

    “That melody... does it come with words?”

    Tessa jumped to attention, the sudden voice jarring her from her concentration. A Sirenmon stood in the isle with a brown-haired female human alongside him staring hard at the semi-conscious mega-level greymon.

    “It does,” Tessa replied confused. “Why?”

    “If I add my voice to yours, I can amplify your power,” the Sirenmon explained, “at least temporarily. The melody is of Paradise Eden origins, ‘Ar Hyd y Nos’ am I correct?”

    “Yeah, it is.” Tessa answered with further surprised at the bird-fish’s deduction. It was not a lullaby known to many outside the Holy Host.

    “I was privileged to exchange melodies with a traveling Angemon Bard sometime ago,” he said with quick explanation at Tessa’s perplex look. “Very appropriate melody for the task at hand-”

    “Deneb,” the female tamer spoke, reminding the Sirenmon to the purpose of him joining Tessa. Deneb rubbed his short arms together, “Right, if you’ll start first I’ll join in shortly. You should notice the difference shortly…”

    “Sure, I guess, but I’m not much of a singer….” Tessa hesitated ever so slightly, humming was one thing, but actually singing…

    “Won’t matter, I assure you, so long as the words come from the heart,” Deneb waved her worry off, his certainly plain as day. Tessa took the Sirenmon -Deneb- at his word, once again closing her eyes and placing her clawed hands over Theo’s side. She relaxed and let the words flow from her in soft voice.

    Sleep my child and peace attend thee,
    All through the night
    Guardian angels God will send thee,
    All through the night
    Soft the drowsy hours are creeping,
    Hill and dale in slumber sleeping
    I my loved ones' watch am keeping,
    All through the night


    Deneb’s harmonious voice joined hers for the next few verses, filling the car with the soft comforting lullaby.

    While the moon her watch is keeping
    All through the night
    While the weary world is sleeping
    All through the night
    O'er thy spirit gently stealing
    Visions of delight revealing
    Breathes a pure and holy feeling
    All through the night

    Angels watching ever round thee
    All through the night
    In thy slumbers close surround thee
    All through the night
    They will of all fears disarm thee,
    No forebodings should alarm thee,
    They will let no peril harm thee
    All through the night.


    The blue glow of Tessa’s hand brighten, infusing the wound with needed energy and visibly reversing the damaged data quicker than Tessa had ever managed before. The song with Deneb’s help might have affected others in the train car in hearing range, but Tessa was too absorbed in her work to noticed.

    Theo’s eyes cracked open for a moment. Deneb’s tamer being in his line of sight, the black dragon whispered in a barely audible breath, “Kyle…”

    _ _ _ _ _ _ _

    Andrea Mercer & Deneb Odebu (Sirenmon)
    Rear Train Car


    “Kyle…”

    Andrea held her breath, not entirely believing what she was hearing. Seeing the hurting greymon had triggered a moment of deja vu for the brown-headed tamer, but she’d brushed it off as an uncanny coincidence. The BlackWarGreymon looked her way again with great confusion apparent in his eyes, “you’re not him...but like...”

    “My god...Theo?” Andrea replied, worry creeping in her normally even tone. She climbed up on the seat beside the black dragon on the other side of him. Visible concern was clear on her face as she gently shook the muscular arm to get the soldier’s attention, but Theo didn’t noticed as he sunk back into the depths of his turmoil

    The Wisemon watched on with a perplex look and rested her hands in her lap, the healing done, “I don’t understand, I healed the damage to his side, but I couldn’t detect any other physical injuries to cause such a state.”

    “Bereavement shock,” Andrea stated, turning her head to meet the Wisemon’s silent query, “I’ve only seen it a few times. Digimon that have lost their human partners can sometimes go into a deep state of emotional shock. It’s different for each case, usually depends on how much the digimon relies on their tamers for the-” Andrea paused, trying to think of the right words, “-emotion-derived energy we tamers supply for things like evolutions. Theo was nearly catatonic when I found him a year ago.”

    “I had no idea,” the Wisemon wondered. Deneb nodded solemnly, silent this whole time. He remembered the state he and Andrea found Theo in too well.

    “It’s not really common knowledge,” Andrea continued, rubbing the black scale arm reassuringly. “I suspect he’s suffering a relapse as a result of exhaustion and stress from the battle.”

    “Come on, Theo, you need to pull yourself together,” the female tamer whispered in the dragon man’s ear. As though her words registered, Theo’s breathing started to slow and even out. His body relaxing as the tension left. Together the three of them carefully eased the larger mon lower to lay on the bench more comfortably on his side.

    The Wisemon stood to leave, “I should go and see who else needs healing while I can.” Her hands still lit with a blue glow.

    Andrea nodded, “Thank you,-”

    “Tessa,” the Wisemon supplied, “Tessa Tesla.”

    “Thanks, Tessa,”

    “My pleasure,” Tessa smiled slightly, bowing before departing further into the train.

    Andrea leaned on the bench, slightly relieved Tessa didn’t pry further into exactly WHO Theo’s partner was. That would have been getting a little too personal for her liking. She felt movement behind her.

    “I shouldn’t have sent you away…”

    Andrea turned around. Theo’s eyes betrayed his exhaustion, but they were at least focused. “I should have tried harder to stay.” Andrea firmly said, not wanting the older dragon to blame himself. “When did you digivolve?” the auburn couldn’t help but ask, since he’d been a WarGreymon last she’d seen him.

    “Sometime after you left,” the black dramon sighed. A moment passed, Andrea thought he’d fallen asleep, but then he mumbled, “-glad you and your partner are safe. I wasn’t sure how to find you.”

    Deneb floated beside Andrea,”You can rest assured, Elder. I intend to keep Andrea safe from harm.”

    Theo chuckled slightly, though the action pained him, “just Theo.”

    “And I’m Deneb Odebu,” the Sirenmon said, officially introducing himself.

    Andrea noticed the black dragon was fading fast as speaking was an effort for him, “Get some rest while you can, Theo.” More quietly, she said, “and remember you’re not alone anymore.”

    The BlackWarGreymon nodded before he passed out completely in peaceful oblivion.

    The female tamer asked her partner, “Deneb would you mind staying with him.” She was still worried about the black dragon. His outward appeared was terribly neglected. “I’m going to go to the front of the train to see where we’re heading.”

    “Of course, my dear,” Her partner scooted into the seat next to the slumbering dragon. Deneb still retained his Sirenmon form as he hadn’t expended as much energy during the battle as the others had, plus he wanted to keep up his melodies if only to help ease the pain and sorrow felt by others on the train near him.

    Andrea collected herself and steady her own emotions. Pulling a notebook and writing utensil from her backpack, she began the tedious and heart-wrenching, but necessary, task of doing a headcount and list of injuries as she made her way forward to the front of the train.
    _ _ _ _ _ _ _

    Tessa Tesla (Wisemon)
    Different Locomon Car


    “So,” Tessa stared deadpanned at the fallen angel, “are you going to let me heal your injuries-”

    She stood with her hands planted on her hips in an unamused stance, the blue glow of her hands emanating softly against her robe’s fabric. Since Deneb’s assistance in boosting her healing abilities and renewing her energy levels for the moment, Tessa had been going around the train cars healing those digimon wounded, partner or otherwise. She’d been a little less than thrilled to come upon the frothing demon spawn next.

    “-or do I need to worry about being turned into a shish-kabob again for trying to be helpful?”

    A portal laid hidden in her shadow if she needed evade. Better safe than sorry.
     
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2017
  5. storymasterb

    storymasterb Knight of RPGs

    James Reeve & Artanis Dawnflame
    Rear Locomon Carriage


    "Give us some space!" James called as Artanis descended to beside the slowing Locomon. Thor was held securely in the RizeGreymon's claws, the Imperialdramon Fighter Mode still unconscious. James presumed it was the effort of unleashing his blade's immense power that had done so.

    Thinking of it still made him shiver a little. Being so close to the light and feeling its energy pulse through him had been awe-inspiring and frightening at once.

    The Tamers and Digimon within carefully helped Artanis lower Thor to the carriage floor, White Sword still gripped firmly in the Imperialdramon's hands. As James leapt from his partner's back and was pulled to safety by the Tamers within, he landed close to the blade. It was closer than he had ever been to Thor's weapon. His eyes traced the Digicode runes adorning the blade, following them up to its tip. He noticed the others around him carefully avoiding the sword as though afraid just touching it might reduce them to dust. He couldn't say he didn't share that feeling, though he smiled outwardly as usual. Of course, they also kept away from Thor's ornate armor, probably in fear of his ire more than any properties it might possess. He wondered if any of them knew who Thor was or if his demonstrations of godly might had been what intimidated them.

    Artanis joined him with a careful transformation back into his Agumon form, staring down at the unmoving god of thunder. He bled from minor cuts, though his worst wound, not completely healed by his return to Rookie form, was the great gash in his shoulder where Bedivere had buckled his cybernetic arm in RizeGreymon form. Regardless, the Agumon stood with pride and dignity, wearing the cuts like medals.

    "I have not seen such might," he said quietly. "Not even unleashed by the Royal Knights."

    James nodded in agreement. The Royal Knights were ferocious opponents, as the battle they were speeding away from had shown once again, but even they seemed to break in the face of Thor's power. Or rather, the White Sword's power, he guessed. Perhaps Hoshiko would know more. Before he could further ponder the mysterious blade, Theo came past, walking as though the weight of a mountain was on his shoulders, and slumped wearily into a seat. “I’m too old for this. I haven’t fought a battle like that in years…”

    "You fought valiantly, and should be proud," Artanis said, but it didn't seem that Theo heard him.

    “Damn it, I should have realized it sooner,” the old dragon muttered softly, rubbing tired eyes. “Should have seen it coming...” He suddenly clutched at the right side of his chest, where his heart was, with a terrible gasp of pain. The Tamer crouched down, but could see no blood or sign that Theo had been wounded there. Not physically, at least.

    “Theo!”

    Tessa was next to him and Theo so suddenly that he flinched, looking straight at the Wisemon before looking back at the BlackWarGreymon. Light surrounded her hands as she placed them on Theo's chest and then it shone around them both, a soothing hum coming from Tessa's lips as she worked. James was silent, as was Artanis, solemnly watching her and Theo.

    "He is not wounded, yet he seems almost catatonic," the Agumon said. "This reminds me of..."

    James nodded gently. "It's like Nyon."

    The same memory came to both of them, a Wingdramon stood in utter silence over the body of his Tamer. His eyes had been as hollow as Theo's were now, and his claws had clutched his chest in exactly the same way as Theo did now. Nyon's partner had died as they fought the Royal Knights, knocked from the Wingdramon's back by a stray blast from Bedivere's lance. Artanis had tried so desperately to save Matthew, flew as fast as he could, but even that hadn't been fast enough. Everyone else had been the same, or unable to help as they struggled to survive. Matthew fell and hit hard ground far below. It had taken Artanis and two others to pull Nyon away from the fight, screaming at him that they had done all they could do.

    Once his rage subsided, it had been replaced with the same terrible emptiness and pain James saw in Theo now.

    He was pulled from the memory by singing. Another Tamer stood beside him, a brown-haired young woman, a Sirenmon stood between her and Tessa singing in tandem with the Wisemon.


    While the moon her watch is keeping
    All through the night
    While the weary world is sleeping
    All through the night
    O'er thy spirit gently stealing
    Visions of delight revealing
    Breathes a pure and holy feeling
    All through the night

    Angels watching ever round thee
    All through the night
    In thy slumbers close surround thee
    All through the night
    They will of all fears disarm thee,
    No forebodings should alarm thee,
    They will let no peril harm thee
    All through the night.


    He hadn't heard the melody before, but it reminded him of the choirs of the Holy Host. Just hearing it made him feel less weary and as though the burdens on his back were lightening. At his side, Artanis too seemed emboldened by the song, standing with greater pride than before. Theo's wounds closed before their eyes at Tessa's touch, leaving unblemished scales behind. The BlackWarGreymon's eyes opened, and James couldn't tell if he was looking at him or at the other Tamer. For a moment, his stare seemed wistful.

    "Kyle..." he breathed.

    James' eyes widened a little, before he saw Theo's gaze fade into a confused stare at the young woman. “you’re not him...but like...”

    "Not... him...?"

    At James' side, Artanis seemed to yearn to intrude, to ask a question, but he was silent as his partner was. Despite their confusion and wish for answers, they didn't want to interrupt this.

    “My god...Theo?” the other Tamer said. She slipped past him and Artanis, climbing onto the bench on the other side of Theo from Tessa. Her hands gripped his arm gently and shook it, but the BlackWarGreymon didn't acknowledge her presence. He seemed lost in a state of emotional chaos.

    Tessa seemed confused in a different manner. “I don’t understand, I healed the damage to his side, but I couldn’t detect any other physical injuries to cause such a state.”

    “Bereavement shock,” the brown-haired woman stated, turning her head to meet the Wisemon’s silent query, “I’ve only seen it a few times. Digimon that have lost their human partners can sometimes go into a deep state of emotional shock. It’s different for each case, usually depends on how much the digimon relies on their tamers for the-” she paused, trying to think of the right words, “-emotion-derived energy we tamers supply for things like evolutions. Theo was nearly catatonic when I found him a year ago.”

    "She's known him that long? Then where has she been?" But those questions gave way to more memories of Nyon. He had known there was something more than the grief affecting the Wingdramon. He was no stranger to grieving. His dad had died when he was so young that he barely understood death and had had its reality thrust on him suddenly. He knew he wasn't the same as he had been before that. Not just because now he spent so much time in Saga and overcame challenges he could never find in Analog, but because he had had his entire world broken around him and rebuilt with cracks in the glass.

    “It’s not really common knowledge,” the other Tamer continued, rubbing the black scale arm reassuringly. “I suspect he’s suffering a relapse as a result of exhaustion and stress from the battle.” She turned to Theo and whispered something in his ear that James couldn't hear, before she,Tessa and Deneb moved Theo gently so that he lay on his side. James helped as best he could, before stepping back as the dragon warrior rested.

    Tessa turned to James and Artanis, laying her hands on the latter and surrounding him in light. Slowly the Agumon's wounds closed, even the gash in his shoulder knitting itself shut with threads of radiance. “I should go and see who else needs healing while I can.”

    The young woman nodded, “Thank you,-”

    “Tessa,” the Wisemon supplied, “Tessa Tesla.”

    “Thanks, Tessa,”

    “My pleasure,” Tessa smiled slightly, bowing before departing further into the train.

    "Thank you, Tessa Tesla," Artanis said with a slight bow of his head as she passed. James watched her go, before motion stirred in the corner of his eye. He looked back to see Theo stirring, looking at the other Tamer.
    They listened in silence, watching, not interrupting the sanctity of the reunion. It didn't feel right to break the moment. James listened and was interested, looking between Andrea and Theo before finally gathering his words once the BlackWarGreymon slipped into unconsciousness. Before he spoke, however, Andrea did.

    James watched her walk away, seeing her stop by injured Digimon and Tamers as she walked. Who was she? She knew Theo, clearly. And there was something else there, something left unsaid. Something about... Kyle. That had been the name. Who was he?

    Artanis looked at Deneb and spoke, drawing his partner's gaze back. "Deneb Odebu. Thank you for assisting your comrade, and your friend." He paused. "But if I may ask, how do you and your partner know Theo? And why are you here now?"

    Partner.

    James looked at Theo, suddenly feeling a sense of understanding. How Theo had so instinctively protected Fiona when Samael lunged at Tessa. Those hollow eyes so like Nyon's. "You're not him...". "Remember you're not alone anymore". He hadn't really wondered before just why Theo was there, thinking he was just like Thor or any of the others who had joined because they couldn't bear what the Royal Knights were doing. But now, with everything else, the pieces seemed to fall into place. He was sure he was right.

    Theo had had a partner. He looked at the BlackWarGreymon with new understanding and pity. Nyon's rage and despair came back to him, the Wingdramon's anguished shrieks ringing in his ears.

    "Let me go! Let me fight! FOR MATTHEW!"

    "No, Nyon! We've done it! We can't do anymore! He wouldn't want you to-"

    "Don't tell me what he would want! I know! I'll make them pay!" The Wingdramon tore at Artanis' arm, before Alexis swooped in on Cielstraza, the DoruGreymon grappling with the frenzied Wingdramon. A Garudamon added his strength, his Tamer not in sight. Together they pulled Nyon back as their allies around them forced the Royal Knights' forces away. Every agonising drag through the air, Nyon screamed in anguish and grief, the sound ripping at James' soul. He wanted to fight too. He wanted to make the Knights pay. But he couldn't let more people die. Matthew wouldn't want that. Matthew would tell him not to let more people die.

    So he forced himself to keep dragging the Wingdramon back and let his stare fall on the distant Sir Bedivere.


    "Did they take your partner too?" he wondered in his mind. "Is that why you came to fight with us, Theo? To avenge him?" He slowly looked at Deneb.

    "Kyle..." he said hesitantly. "He was Theo's partner? Wasn't he?"

    ----

    Okatsu Sekishusai
    6th Locomon Carriage


    Hoshiko was talking to the VictoryGreymon and so Okatsu relaxed, as much as she ever relaxed. She sat, but in a way letting her rise immediately should danger approach. If anything threatened Hoshiko, she would be ready.

    "Um... uh..." She turned to see a young human boy, not one of the two who had spoken before. He clutched his Candlemon partner close as though afraid the flame Digimon might vanish at any moment. The sight sent a pang of pity through her. She knew how terrified Hoshiko was deep down of losing her and being forced back to Saga. But Hoshiko was still an adult by human standards, mature and able to cope with the situation. These were mere children. She would have scoffed right then if not for the impression it would have made. That was the threat that had the Royal Knights so up in arms. Children. It would have been pathetic were it not so cruel.

    "Are you well?" she asked.

    "You... you saved us... I just wanted... to say thanks..." he stammered out. "You were amazing."

    "I thank you," Okatsu said with an incline of her head. "But you need not thank us. It is our duty. As warriors, as Guardians, we will protect the innocent."

    "The Royal Knights say they're protecting the innocent," an older girl muttered. "They say we're a threat."

    "They are insane," Okatsu replied. "They are so sure of their convictions that they have been blinded to reality. It is for that reason that we oppose them."

    "And grateful as we are, you're sure doing a fine job," the girl replied. "How many got left behind?"

    She didn't want to argue this. It was simple. They had made an error. They had prioritised the wrong objective. Next time, they would prioritise the correct one. The innocent had suffered for their mistake and that would be a stain on her honor. But it could be put right through rigorous correction. And she knew that even had they pursued protecting the Tamers over fighting the Knights, the simple fact was that saving everyone would have been near-impossible. The Knights' forces were numerous, powerful, and aimed precisely for their marks. Mighty as the Guardians were, they were not powerful enough to stop such an onslaught indefinitely.

    "Hey, pipe down," a boy replied. "They could've just left us to the Knights."

    "No," Okatsu replied, with a chilly undertone to her voice that she quickly forced back. "I would never have. For my mistress would never have abandoned you. Even if we stood alone, we would have helped you." And with Hoshiko at her back, she would have fought that battle alone. Until spears pierced her limbs, until swords cut through her. But she would have fought on and died standing. If Hoshiko had wished such of her.

    Intimidated a little by her, the Tamers were silenced. Okatsu's keen ears picked out the scratching of a pencil on paper. She looked around to see a brown-haired human woman approaching, stopping by the injured and scratching down words on a notebook in her hands. As she came close, Okatsu recognised her. She had passed through the guild before, always walking by Okatsu's sharp-eyed guard. When the guild had existed, she had been its chief protector. Bandits and treasure hunters would sometimes attempt to steal the precious relics they held for study.

    Not one had succeeded until the Royal Knights had come.

    Okatsu never forgot the faces of those who passed the guild's door. Andrea had been a friend who had come several times before. And just now, in Kaladesh, she and Deneb had joined them in battle. The Gabumon X rose and placed herself in the woman's path.

    "Andrea," she said in greeting. "It is good to see you well. I am sure Hoshiko will want to speak to you now that we are in less dangerous circumstances."

    ----

    Hoshiko Yukimura
    6th Locomon Carriage


    "I'm Rhys," the VictoryGreymon said in a quiet voice. "Rhys Koenig. It was... it was nothing." He seemed so timid, something so unusual for a Greymon. Especially compared to the fiery and courageous Artanis.

    "I'm Hoshiko," she replied, extending a hand. He accepted her handshake and she felt the strength in his claws. Timid he might be, but he was as powerful as any Greymon. "You and your friends. I didn't see a lot of you, but you were fighting to protect the Tamers. Are you from Kaladesh?"

    Rhys shook his head. "I'm from Greystone." The kingdom of Greymon, Hoshiko noted. One of the few things she knew about Artanis' tribe was that they had originally been founded there before departing long ago to seek harsh environments to test themselves. "But I... I wanted to protect the innocent." His tone became strained as though he were struggling with an inner conflict. "From the Royal Knights."

    Hoshiko looked at him and saw the disbelief in his eyes as he spoke those four words. It was like his entire world was broken by the idea that the Royal Knights had become such villains. It wasn't something new to her. She had seen plenty of Digimon horrified by the revelation, at least those who hadn't agreed with the Knights. Some in Axis Mundi had already venomously spat at her to leave their world. She didn't give them a response, despite the fact that they were unknowingly wishing death upon her, a sentiment that hurt her deep inside. For so long Saga had been welcoming. But now it seemed half the world wanted her and her friends gone.

    "What about your friends?" she asked. "Are you all fighting to protect the Tamers like we are?"

    Rhys nodded. "The Council asked us to. And... to stop the Royal Knights," he added in a pained whisper.

    "What?" It escaped her before she could stop the question.

    Rhys looked at her. "What's wrong?" he asked innocently.

    "I didn't realise there were more," she explained. "I thought we Guardians were the team."

    The VictoryGreymon shook his head. "We couldn't stand by," he said in that soft voice. "Not while innocent people were getting hurt." He paused. "I thought... they were just mistaken..."

    The Royal Knights, she knew. That had been what she'd thought at first. Before their partners starting dying. Before the guild was set ablaze.

    "Who are your friends?" Hoshiko asked, leading him away from what was clearly a disturbing subject for him.

    "Trowa, Lucia, Duo, and Radha," Rhys said. "We're called... well." He blushed. "It wasn't us who came up with it. One of the other teams did."

    "Other teams?" she thought.

    The VictoryGreymon looked above her like he was gazing proudly at some celestial beacon. "We're called the Peacemakers," he announced.

    "The Peacemakers?" she echoed.

    "That's what we're doing," Rhys said, almost defensively. "We're going to make peace."

    "I'm not mocking you," she replied. Sincerely, she wasn't. She was still stunned by the revelation that the Council had apparently formed other teams without telling them. It didn't seem to make sense. "I'm just... surprised." He didn't seem underhanded or cold. He seemed like an innocent idealist caught up in a war much too cynical and cruel for him. She wondered if he'd known that they didn't know. Or if the Peacemakers knew about the Guardians.

    Why hadn't the Council told them?
     
  6. Kamotz

    Kamotz God of Monsters

    Locomon Transport - Rear Car (7th)
    Thor Odinson


    Thor rolled slowly to his knees, bracing himself on the side of the car. He released his grip on the White Sword and let it fade into the aether. He took a deep breath and felt his strength and wits return to him. His body ached as if he'd fought for days rather than minutes; such was the toll of holding the Paladin Mode for so long and wielding it in battle against a knight like Percival.

    He still had such a long way to go. His father had lived in that form, in complete tranquility and full control, since time immemorial; he would have to somehow find the strength and will to do the same if he hoped to stand against the Royal Knights in any sufficient manner. The last debacle had proven that he was woefully untested. He swing the sword around like a child, not a god with a thousand years of experience.

    But the time for self-pity and self-criticism would have to wait until later. Thor glanced around the car--the only train that had made it out--it wasn't even at capacity.

    "How many did we save?" he asked, letting the other question go unasked: how many did we fail?

    "Not enough," answered a QueenChessmon--the same from earlier. She sat nearby, her head in her hands. "Not nearly enough." The Gaiomon stepped near her and placed a hand on her shoulder, but she pushed it away. "We failed them. How many will die because of us, Duo? How many--"

    "If it's any consolation, Lucia, the Royal Knights typically avoid killing," the Gaiomon muttered. He didn't seem convinced. "They don't want to kill Digimon. And it's easier to send the humans away by destroying their Digivices. Killing humans is usually a last resort, or an accident."

    "Hardly words to set me at ease," Thor sighed, rising to his feet. He rolled his shoulders and glanced around the cabin. His wings were already feeling cramped. He caught sight of James, Artanis, Theo, and a Sirenmon he didn't recognize--Deneb, he was named. He watched Deneb's partner head forward to the rest of the train after a hushed and hurried conversation.

    "Up, Theo," Thor insisted, striding forward. He grabbed Theo and hauled him to his feet, practically shaking him awake. "You're no good to any of us like this. And there are more things for you to do beyond sleep. You can sleep when we're done. You can sleep when we've accomplished something."

    ==\=/==

    Locomon Transport - 4th Car
    Samael Cain


    "Helpful, eh?" Samael laughed, wheezing through the pain of the many holes punched in his body. He stood and stretched his neck to the side, revealing a long gash that ran from his eye, across his cheek, down his throat, and to his sternum. He sneered--or grimaced, he wasn't exactly sure--as his pale skin knit together in twisting, lurching motions.

    "I'm a demon," he said, teeth bared and gritted in pain as his body healed itself. "I don't need healing. I'm pretty much unkillable." He straightened and popped the joints in his neck and fingers. "You should worry less about me and more about the idiots who can't actually survive a fight."

    Samael brushed past her and walked towards the front of the car. "Don't guess they serve booze on this wreck, do ya?"

    ==\=/==

    Locomon Transport - 3rd Car
    Svarog Rodsyn


    He glowered from his spot on the roof of the car. The world sped by, slower now than their start, but still fast enough to keep the roar of the wind in his ears and smother the moans and wails of grief from the cars below. It was pitiful, to grieve like that after a lost battle. And Svarog had no patience for it.

    It was only when some of the crying finally ebbed away, that he made his way down into the car's interior. There he found Stein and Henry, along with the passed-out Aria. He scoffed at the sight. This was his support? This was the one who had chosen to stand beside Thor in battle against a Royal Knight.

    "Get her awake and on her feet," Svarog growled, glaring down at her prone form. "Get her healed and ready for the next battle. We don't have time to waste on things like sleep and sorrows.

    "If she is to stand in battle alongside gods--even those as sullen as the Odinson--she must first stand altogether!" His voice boomed through the car, but got little response from the sleeping Lilamon. He rolled his eyes and turned to Stein. "And you, next time you get in my way, make sure something comes of it. If you're in my way again and keeping me battle you're serving no purpose other than aiding my enemy."

    He thrust a finger towards the taller Digimon. "And I don't need that."

    "Well lookie here. God above and devils below. If it isn't ol' fire-breath making a big deal of himself again," Samael quipped, stepping into the car. He brushed past Henry with an "out of my way, Cap'n Crunch" and snarled at Svarog. "Big, mean god here couldn't beat one little knight, and he even had backup. Now he's lookin' for anyone to blame except himself."

    "Watch your tongue, demon, or I'll burn it out," Svarog warned.

    "I'd be worried if I hadn't just seen you fight," Samael sneered back.

    Svarog lunged forward, embers flickering in his wake. He grabbed Samael by the collar and slammed him past Stein and Henry into the wall of the car, almost shaking it off the track entirely. His body lit with flame, but Samael placed the muzzle of one gun against the underside of the god's chin.

    "You ready to go, matches?"

    "Would take more than your paltry attacks to put me down, demon filth." Svarog grit his teeth and prepared his body to defend against the attack. Samael's eyes were wide and wild; this was serious.

    "ENOUGH!"

    ==\=/==

    Locomon Transport - 3rd Car
    Michael Ha'Yisrael


    "ENOUGH!" Michael shouted, pulling Svarog and Samael from one another throats with just the sound of his voice. Svarog stepped back and Samael shrugged himself out of the god's grasp. "You'll have plenty of time to fight, believe me, without having to fight one another."

    He'd been at the front of the train conversing with the Locomon, trying to get a sense of how much longer until they'd reach Axis Mundi. Many of the Tamers needed medical attention and none of their healers had much experience with human physiology. He thought to check on the rest of the Guardians. They were, after all, his responsibility.

    But lo and behold, they were already gearing to kill one another!

    "We have another hour left before reaching Axis Mundi," he said, glaring at the two. "If you two can't keep it together until then, I suggest using different cars!"
     
  7. TheSequelReturns

    TheSequelReturns Phantom Thief

    + Frantz Stein (Boltmon) & Aria Morningsong (Lilamon) ~
    - 3rd Locomon Traincar -

    The Apollomon he had fought beside earlier appeared before Stein. Svarog. The lion-man was the most eager combatant Stein had ever seen. He engaged Sir Dagonet with a fever that even Stein's unleashed rage was not equal to. And yet he had been fully in control of his actions, riding the ebb and flow of combat with ease. The rage had blinded Stein at the time, but now in retrospect he knew Svarog was a warrior beyond his depth. Stein wasn't quite sure though if the feelings he had for Svarog were those of respect or unease.

    The Apollomon's gaze drifted down to Aria and filled with contempt as he scoffed. Stein's brow furrowed as Svarog berated Aria with a few choice words. Why was he so angry now that the fighting was over?

    Beneath the mask, Stein's face was unreadable. A crease of the eyebrows, a slight puff of steam from the exposed metal at his shoulder, a stray spark from his wires, were the only outward signs of his displeasure. "Stein was not here to help the Knights." he rumbled.

    The demon man, Samael, approached then and the two began bickering between themselves. That was another character that Stein had mixed feelings about. But Stein cared less about who Samael was. The important thing was what he did. And so far it seemed like he was here to help. When he wasn't egging on disagreements with the rest of the Guardians anyway.

    In his lap, Aria stirred. The Lilamon's eyes fluttered open. It took her a moment to realize that she was, indeed, draped across Stein's lap like a sleeping child. Her head was still a blur and her body still felt like a few pieces were laying back in that crater Percival had left her in, but she had enough pride intact to push herself up and off of the Boltmon. Not enough to care about comfort though. She plopped down on the floor to the left of the much larger digimon and let her head tilt back into the wall. She hadn't known it was possible to feel that much pain at once until Percival happened. But hey, she was still breathing. She'd take it.

    Something was wrong though. Her left arm felt limp. Trying to lift it was a painful struggle, so it was obvious that something was broken in there. A resigned sigh escaped her lips as she glanced up at Stein, then towards the bickering Svarog and Samael. The archangel had stepped in now, trying to break the two of them up.

    "Everyone's still on edge I see." she muttered. She winced as the train car rattled a bit, jostling her bruised body. "I wasn't very impressive myself."

    The Boltmon scratched around in his rust colored mop of hair. "Stein doesn't know. The Sun God seems to think that I was in his way."

    "Honestly, I'm surprised he doesn't scoff at the dirt for stopping his feet." she mumbled to herself. Stein tilted his head, a bit confused, but Aria waved him off. "Its nothing. Forget it."

    "Stein has a good memory. Forgetting things is hard. But Stein is not so good with names. I only remember my own name most of the time." The Boltmon nodded to himself.

    Aria chuckled weakly. "Is that why you keep using it? So you won't forget it?" The Boltmon nodded again and Aria's half-smile slowly faded. "Wait, that's... actually the reason? Jeez, I was joking."

    "Jokes are hard too. Lots of words all jumbled around meaning things they don't normally mean. Stein doesn't understand when people mean what they say or when they mean what they don't say." The Boltmon turned to look towards Svarog and Samael and Michael.

    "Speaking of difficult puzzles, you're a weird one yourself." Aria poked his knee, which was about at head level for her, to no avail. She poked again, but still Stein didn't react. She frowned. "I can't figure out if you know more than you let on or if you're really just an oddball with more than a few screws loose."

    The Boltmon shrugged. "Stein is Stein. It's everyone else that's odd."

    ---

    < Henry Vane (CaptainHookmon) >
    - 3rd Locomon Traincar -


    Samael snapped as he brushed past Henry on his way to pester Svarog. Henry brushed the dust off his shoulder. "Tsk. You wish you could look this rugged."

    The demon was always on edge it seemed. What sort of creature walked around with so much fury boiling around inside them? Well, Svarog wasn't much different Henry decided. But who was worse? Svarog who derided someone who was nearly killed while he paraded around his worth, or Samael who seemed to be the only one crazy enough to snap back? Screw 'em both he supposed. Henry shook his head. Gods and demons and angels and legends, the world was so much simpler, so much cleaner when everything came down to honor and loyalty and the measure of your steel. This nonsense was too much. It was almost laughable if it wasn't so damned serious.

    And then there was that other group that joined them at the end of the battle. Here he was thinking the ship was going down and the rats had scurried off, Captain Henry coming to rescue another charity case and the Council had entire teams running around in the shadows. What was next? A Royal Knight turned out to be a Biomerge? He'd believe anything at this point.

    A TigerVespimon was leaning by the door to the 4th Car, a few paces away from the pirate. A member of the Council's other team if he'd caught that right. "A word, if I may." he said as he slid next to the tall insect.

    The TigerVespimon twitched an antennae in what looked like his equivalent to raising an eyebrow. "Why is it always words with you people?"

    Undeterred, Henry continued. "You're in service to the Council right? Did you know there was another team at their behest?"

    "Look matey," the stranger's tone was equal parts jovial and condescending. "I'm here for one reason, to make some bad guys go boom. Not because some council told me to or because some princess or whatever thought it was a good idea. Got it?"

    Henry squinted. "Who said anything about a princess?"

    "Who are you again?"

    The pirate gave a tip of his hat. "Captain Henry Vane, of the Queen's Ransom."

    The TigerVespimon snorted. "Trowa Mithra." he offered flatly. "Now if you'll excuse me El Capitan, I need to find something to drink." Trowa turned, mumbling to himself "Queen's Ransom huh? You have no idea..." before the door slammed shut behind him.

    Well, that was different. It took all sorts to raise an army it seemed. Not that Henry was really surprised. One of his old crew had been a Divermon who, despite being able to literally breathe underwater, was afraid to duck his head under. People didn't have to make sense as long as they worked hard.

    The scuffle between the assorted empowered beings seemed to have fizzled out now. Svarog was standing alone, so Henry took this chance to see if he could learn something else. Had to pass the time somehow. Besides, he had to know what this whole god thing was all about. Why meddle around in the affairs of mere mortals? Perhaps the Apollomon was as simple as he appeared, a fighter who wanted a fight. But Henry knew that everyone had secrets. The gods perhaps most of all.

    "So, is it always like this when the Council drafts a crew?" he asked Svarog as he approached. "Or are there more personal disputes at play here?" He held up a hand in defense. "Not to pry or anything, I'd like to know when to duck and when to expect a scuffle is all." He nodded towards Samael. "Especially with that one."
     
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2017
  8. Kamotz

    Kamotz God of Monsters

    < Svarog Rodsyn (Apollomon) >
    - Locomon Transport: 3rd Car -


    "Don't you worry your puffy hat about Samael," Svarog grinned, his eyes still Locked on Samael's form as he moved towards a different car. "If the archangel can't keep him in line rest assured: I will." He said it with complete certainty - because of course - and yet he felt that same nagging...twinge. Samael moved with deadly precision; a fight against him would be costly. The thought only served to heat Svarog's blood; Samael may not have been "worthy" in the usual sense, but a fight with the demon would certainly be one "worthy" of his time.

    "As for the Council," he scoffed, crossing his arms. "Let them poise and prattle on like the bureaucrats they are. It's no wonder two of their number were taken prisoner by the Royal Knights: they went soft from all their sitting. A war god like Andraste taken captive? What a disgrace."

    Svarog turned to Michael. "I'll wager you didn't know about the other team either," he said, glancing to where the TigerVespamon - Trowa - had buzzed off to. Michael shook his head. "The Council doubts us, it seems."

    "You seem pleased," Michael muttered. Svarog almost laughed.

    "I'll take any chance given to prove that overblown lot wrong," Svarog smirked.

    "Like we did in Kaladesh?" Michael challenged, and Svarog's smirk dropped.

    "There will always be more fighting, Archangel," Svarog said, and his smirk slowly returned. "I have fight left in me; I am not yet done."

    ==\=/==

    Glen Elendra, the Kingdom of Nature
    Peacemakers - Second Squad
    Drakn Stormheart


    Glen Elendra was called the "Kingdom of Nature" for a reason. Every stone or or metal structure was ingrained with life-programming; the metal was embued to allow roots to grow through it and into the ground. Buildings were as much gardens as they were homes; they were as much a part of the surrounding natural wild as they were a city. Thus Glen Elendra succeeded in blending civilization and nature as no other kingdom ever had.

    The Glen Elendrans had sought to integrate humans into their society - it was their way, after all - but this had drawn the early attention of the Royal Knights. They had been given an ultimatum: expel the humans; excise them as you would the rot on a tree. The Glen Elendrans refused, claiming it would be a betrayal of the world's soul.

    So now they burned.

    The Council had sent Drakn and the rest of the Peacemakers to various "hot spots" across the countryside in anticipation of such an attack. His squad had arrived just in time to intercept the Royal Knights and their forces, but the battle was going…"poorly" would be too weak a word.

    A hard blow from Sir Tristan sent him sprawling. Drakn scrambled to his feet and swung his weapon wide to intercept the Gallantmon's following strike. He tried snaring the Gram lance in his sword's elastic blade, but found no purchase along the conical length of Tristan's weapon. Tristan simply pulled back with a screech of metal-on-metal and sent a bolt of light stabbing into him.

    By the gods, the Royal Knights were strong. He had admired them for so long, for his whole life, even. He wanted so badly to be one day counted among their number - not even as a Royal Knight himself, but just among those honored few who they chose to fight alongside them. What had happened to those Royal Knights?

    His sister, Adriana, landed in a heap not too far off. Sir Lamorak floated down and readied his blades with a smirk, even as she struggled to stand. He'd never seen anyone get the better of his sister in a contest of speed and agility, but not only was Lamorak matching her blow-for-blow, but she hadn't been able to land a single hit whatsoever: the Jesmon's armor was entirely unblemished.

    There was a huge commotion; entire buildings uprooted and blown to the side as two huge forces collided nearby. Gigas, the huge-even-for-a-HerculesKabuterimon and the physically strongest Digimon Drakn could ever have conceived of meeting, was locked in a contest of strength against Sir Caradoc - a Dynasmon not even half his size...and losing.

    Caradoc surged, breaking Gigas's grip; he pulled him forward and drove his forehead into Gigas's huge skull with enough force than anyone else would have splattered their own brains. He took a single step back, then spun around and caught the falling hammer of Nocchi the Puppetmon. He ripped it from Nocchi's hands and cracked him across the face with an enormously powerful backhand that sent him flying. There was another war-cry as Sha, the Shawjamon leaped at him. But Caradoc hurled Nocchi's hammer; it caught Sha in mid-flight and carried him into the distance.

    There was another cry of pain as Odric, a Valkyrimon and Drakn's longtime friend, took the full force of Sir Gareth's uppercut. The bare-knuckle Royal Knight ducked Saria's swinging staff and delivered a spinning elbow to her midsection. She stumbled to the side and right into a reverse spinning roundhouse that caught the side of her head and laid her out. Sir Gareth rushed the recovering Odric. He stopped Odric's sword by grabbing the Valkyrimon's wrist, and twisted his arm behind his back. There was a sickening pop as Odric's shoulder dislocated and Gareth knocked him to the ground with a stiff elbow.

    His squad was laid out all around him and he still had no idea where Sir Gawain was! Their only real task: figure out where the strategist was and what he was up to. It was the only way they could get the humans out of their situation intact.

    "Not good," Adriana muttered, stepping beside him to face off against the other two Royal Knights. "And who knows where Gawain is. Haven't seen hide or hair of him since we arrived."

    "I was just thinking the same thing," he said. He whirled the Fragarach around him and prepared for Tristan's incoming attack. "Hold them off as long as we can, right?"

    "That's still the plan, little brother," she smirked.

    "Still on that? Here of all times and places? You're literally minutes older than me."
     
  9. Kamotz

    Kamotz God of Monsters

    Subcontinent of Olympia
    City of Meletis
    Peacemakers - First Squad
    Pyra Torren - Paildramon


    To the Tamers, the city of Meletis seemed inspired by - or perhaps the inspiration for ancient Athens. Meletis was the city of learning, magic, high-level coding, and progress. It was a city-state of progressive thinkers, pious believers, and wise oracles on the Coast of the Siren Sea. Meletis was born from the defeat of tyranny, and to the present day it retained a spirit of the triumph of free thought over brutish force. Meletians prided themselves on their great temples to their gods, the Olympus Twelve, their thaumaturgical coding academy, their great works of architecture. The Twelve Senators, a council of philosophers, served as the ruling body of Meletis, each one representing one of the Olympians.

    But on this day the city smoldered.

    People prayed, begging, to the skies above; that their gods - any gods - might save them. But none appeared before them. None manifested to deliver their divine intervention. In her pain, Pyra found herself praying for much the same. Sheer instinct.

    It shouldn't have been possible. He was one Digimon!

    "Your efforts are commendable," he said striding forward with a grace and fluidity that belied the unbelievable power he possessed. "You knew that the Royal Knights had sent two contingents - one to Kalades, the other to Glen Elendra - and thus only had their field commanders to send here to Meletis."

    "Looks like you have us all figured out," she said. Pyra glanced to the side, searching for her allies, but none of them seemed any less-beaten that she was.

    "Perhaps," he almost-shrugged. "Strategy was never my strong-suit. And it seems not to be yours either. You took quite a gamble, 'Peacemakers,' in assuming that no Royal Knight would be present here."

    "You're a hell of a lot more talkative than I imagined you'd be," Khep said, stumbling to a defensive stance beside her. The GrandisKuwagamon raised his gauntlets, but he was clearly still hurting.

    "Well. You lot have provided me a rare opportunity to enter the fray and involve myself in battle," Sir Lancelot said with a nod. "I thought I would merely stand here while our forces removed the humans. I commend you; you've forced me to act.

    "Had I not been here your tenacity may have forced a stalemate with our forces," he continued. "Perhaps you might have even gained an advantage. But alas, I am here. And thus your defeat is assured."

    "Well aren't you humble," Khep muttered, steeling himself for the fight.

    "It's not a boast," Lancelot said, his voice even and unwavering: no sense of anticipation, or even of amusement. He was bored, Pyra realized. "It's simple fact."

    "Fact you!" someone howled. Azur leaped through the air, exploding from the smoke with a cry of 'Wolf Claw' on his lips.

    Lancelot knocked the WereGarurumon away with a stiff backhand before his claws ever connected. His sword extended in a flash and parried Dunk's razor-sharp claws. A swift kick to the stomach sent the Cerberumon X flying. Galic and Justin attacked together, the MachGaogamon and the Justimon drove their metal fists into Lancelot, but the Royal Knight barely blinked as they struck.

    "No way!" Justin exclaimed, an instant before his mechanical arm was shredded by the Transcendent Sword and he was hurled away. Galic barely had time to register the attack before he was hit by the heavy end of the Supreme Cannon and thrown to the ground.

    Khep charged, claws glinting in the firelight. Lancelot readied his blade and met him full force. Khep's momentum stalled Lancelot for a half-instant before the sheer overwhelming power of the white knight plucked him from his charge and carried him across the courtyards into the agora. Khep struggled, trying to fight his way back to his feet, but Lancelot held him down with the strength in one arm.

    "Supreme Cannon," he said, his voice unwavering and unemotional. The agora exploded.

    And Pyra could only stare wide-eyed at the madness around her. It had been over in seconds. She'd barely had time to blink and move her aching joints into attack readiness and everyone was down again.

    "Don't look so shocked, Pyra Torren," Lancelot said, striding out of the inferno he'd left Khep in. "You lot were doomed the moment I raised my sword."

    Pyra flung her arms wide. "This is madness, Sir Lancelot." There was no way she'd beat him head-to-head. She had to stall him, again, until the others regained their strength...or at least caught their breath.

    "Yes. It is," Lancelot agreed, looking from her to the fires billowing around them. "It's madness that it had to come to this at all. Have we Royal Knights not proven our worth? After a thousand years have we not shown that all we want is to fight for Saga's best interest? This violence, this bloodshed, it could have been avoided. The humans could have simply been expelled. Instead you made us your enemies. So that when you fall - and you will - you will have no one to blame but yourselves."
     
  10. Solsabre

    Solsabre The Reforged Soul

    Rear Train Car
    Deneb Odebu (Sirenmon)


    Deneb watched his partner’s backside as she disappeared into the next car. The Sirenmon sighed and resumed his quiet vigil over the sleeping Theo. He closed his eyes to start humming one of tunes, when the Agumon, who had helped them with Theo, spoke up for his attention.

    Artanis looked at Deneb and spoke, drawing his partner's gaze back. "Deneb Odebu. Thank you for assisting your comrade, and your friend." He paused. "But if I may ask, how do you and your partner know Theo? And why are you here now?"

    Deneb rubbed his neck with a short arm, considering his words. Andrea was a private person and perhaps Theo as well if the Agumon and his tamer -at least Deneb assumed the young man standing next to him was- didn’t already know, but…

    "Kyle..." the young man said hesitantly. "He was Theo's partner? Wasn't he?"

    The Sirenmon jerked his head towards the young man. So, he’d heard that. Deneb gave a resounding sigh and nodded, seeing little point in hiding it. “Yes, Kyle was his partner and my beloved Andrea’s twin brother.”

    Deneb paused to let it sink in. “A year ago, my Andrea came back to me distraught. Apparently, there had been an accident back in your world and her brother lost his life because of it.” He shook his head, recalling the memory. “My beloved Andrea, bless her heart, reached out past her own grief to search out for the partner that Kyle had left behind. I was shocked. I never knew her brother had also ventured to our world, but together we sought him out and found Theo...much like you see him now.” He nodded to the sleeping greymon with some confusion, “though he was a WarGreymon at the time.”

    To the Agumon, “At the time, Theo bid us to depart immediately to be left alone. Perhaps it wasn’t the best decision on our part to do so, but Andrea and I didn’t wish to stress him further. So, this is the first time we’ve seen him since that day.” Deneb sighed. The bard digimon would have spoken further if not for the approach of the rising Imperialdramon.

    "Up, Theo," Thor insisted, striding forward. He grabbed Theo and hauled him to his feet, practically shaking him awake. "You're no good to any of us like this. And there are more things for you to do beyond sleep. You can sleep when we're done. You can sleep when we've accomplished something."

    Deneb sprung into the air, alarmed. “My good Sir, please!” he exclaimed respectfully, the storyteller had recognised the White Sword and its Owner. Deneb was somewhat intimidated by the thunder god, but his concern for Theo partially overrode the feeling. “Let him be. I don’t think you quite understand what he’s been through!”


    *******

    5th Train Car
    Andrea Mercer


    The 19-year-old tamer left the rear car after doing a quick survey of the rattling car’s few occupants. More distressed tamers and their digimon partners huddled together in their seats here. Andrea quietly spoke to each, gripping a shaking shoulder to get their attention, names, and overall condition. At times, she stopped to examine a tamer’s injury; binding wounds with strips of cloth, making make-shift slings for broken arms or dislocated shoulders, elevating swollen ankles and knees, rubbing the backs of teary-eyed youngsters. Through it all, Andrea kept her tone even and steady to calm the nerves of those she assisted. She didn’t speak in excess, rather she fell back on her emergency training to guide her actions on what needed to be done.

    Andrea jotted down in her notes, when a familiar voice called her name. The tomboy glanced up and spotted Okatsu, the Garurumon X, approaching her.

    "It is good to see you well. I am sure Hoshiko will want to speak to you now that we are in less dangerous circumstances."

    “You as well, Okatsu,” Andrea nodded back, placing the pencil in the now closed notebook to save her place. “Likewise, Deneb only had time to give me a quick rundown of events, when I gated in from back home during the battle.”

    Andrea glanced around the car. Her outward appearance was composed as usual, but inside her heart ached for the devastated and scared tamers and digimon. “What were you both doing in Kaladesh, by the way?” She asked, knowing Hoshiko’s guild was located in Ama.

    *******

    3rd Locomon Car
    Tessa Tesla (Wisemon)


    "I'm a demon," Samael said, teeth bared and gritted in pain as his body healed itself. "I don't need healing. I'm pretty much unkillable." He straightened and popped the joints in his neck and fingers. "You should worry less about me and more about the idiots who can't actually survive a fight."


    The Wisemon rolled her eyes and threw her arms up in exasperation. Her white orb eyes followed the Fallen One as he walked away heading to the next car after he passed her by.

    "Don't guess they serve booze on this wreck, do ya?"

    “The Dining Car is behind us,” Tessa muttered, not expecting a response from the demon. “Guess I better make sure he doesn’t get wind of my personal stash…” She patted the right pocket of her robe habitually which contained her dimensional pocket book.

    A groan got Tessa’s meandering mind back on track. She hurried over to a wounded Gatomon, cradled by younger female human. The blue glow of Tessa’s hands wrapped around the semi-conscious cat mon till the open wounds closed and the Gatomon passed out in relief. The human girl gave Tessa a silent nod of thanks. The wizard smiled within the depths of her hood.

    Glancing around, she saw no other injured digimon and moved into the next car as Samael had moments before. Tessa had barely emerged into the connecting car, when she yelped and dove to the side as the rushing bodies of Svarog and Samael slammed into the side of the car.

    "ENOUGH!" Michael shouted, pulling Svarog and Samael from one another throats with just the sound of his voice. Svarog stepped back and Samael shrugged himself out of the god's grasp. "You'll have plenty of time to fight, believe me, without having to fight one another."

    "We have another hour left before reaching Axis Mundi," he said, glaring at the two. "If you two can't keep it together until then, I suggest using different cars!"


    “I’d offer to zap them to a dimensional pocket for a time out if I thought it’d do any good,” Tessa spoke unamused to the Archangel, brushing dust from her robes and strolling unconcern between the feuding god and demon, “but I’m afraid their egos wouldn’t size as it is.

    Tessa was about to say more to Michael, when an aching familiar face and monstrous digimon talking with Aria, the Lilamon, caught her gaze.

    “Stein!” Tessa’s eyes lit up and her voice raised with cheer as she hurried closer. Her sharp eyes did a quick once over of the Boltmon’s collection scraps and cuts. She rested her glowing hands on her hips and gave Stein a thoughtful tilt of her head. “Well, at least I don’t need to fish you out of the water this time, big guy. Why don’t I get you patched up now?”

    As she extended her arms out, the blue glow flickered weakly. The effects of Deneb’s abilities were beginning to wane.

    “Drat...why now…” Tessa muttered quietly. She hurried to heal Stein before the power boost ended, but she then noticed Aria’s tired and injured state. The Wisemon smiled apologetically at the Boltmon. Instead, she knelt beside the Lilamon, gently placing her small clawed hands over the limb left arm. The blue light brighten momentarily as Tessa went to work. She kept at it with ease for several seconds, when the healing aura nearly disappeared halfway through the healing. Tessa grunted in sharp focus, pouring in her own energies from reserves to sustain the aura on her own. Sweat dripped down her neck from the intense effort on her part. Finally, she was done.

    Tessa swayed in her crouched position before flopping back from exhaustion. She leaned limped against Stein’s trunk of a leg, rolling her head back to look at the Boltmon. “I don’t suppose anybody’s got any food handy, do they?”

    ******
    Rear Locomon Car
    Theo Grayson (BlackWarGreymon)


    Theo jolted awake as he was hauled to his feet. The BlackWargreymon floundered disorient as he tried to get his feet underneath steady and gripped the armored arm holding him up. He blearily registered that it was Thor before him and speaking insistently.

    “Up, Theo, you're no good to any of us like this. And there are more things for you to do beyond sleep. You can sleep when we're done. You can sleep when we've accomplished something."

    He finally got his feet planted on the floor of the train, though his body leaned against the wall for support. Theo panted hard till he caught his breath. Deneb fussed at Thor to leave the BlackWarGreymon be.

    Theo waved the Sirenmon off with a small gesture. “Deneb...please... he’s right.” Theo said, his voice tired laden.

    “He’s right,” the older dragon repeated, rubbing his aching head.

    “But…” Deneb said, worry evident for the black dragon.

    “I’ve had a year to grieve, Deneb,” Theo said quietly, but not so low the others couldn’t hear. The old dragon glanced about the car, the raw emotion and despair plain on the faces of the tamers near them, “but theirs has just begun.”

    “The Knights won’t stop till their mission is completed.” Theo pulled himself up straighter, drawing from the old discipline instilled in him decades ago to push through the aches and pains plaguing him.

    “And I understand that better than most.” He shared a knowing glance at Thor.

    Memories of Kaladesh’s destruction burned in his mind. The cries of tamer and their digimon called out for help, but he was too far away. A dying tamer he comforted in his arms following the battle of Camelot.

    He remembered a promise he'd made to his partner. A promise forgotten during the year he drowned in a sea of sorrow.

    Theo’s fist tighten with a budding resolve.
     
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2017
  11. storymasterb

    storymasterb Knight of RPGs

    James Reeve & Artanis Dawnflame
    Rear Locomon Carriage


    Understanding, pity and pain flooded James in equal measure. He had guessed from the clues that Kyle had been Theo's partner, correctly, but he hadn't expected Deneb to so quickly spill the entire story. And while the Royal Knights might not have robbed Theo of Kyle, he doubted that would have made a difference. He had seen more Digimon robbed of partners than he wanted to remember, just as he had seen humans in the same situation. The Royal Knights proclaimed their wish to avoid spilling blood, but they were more ruthless than they would ever admit. They might argue that the killings were self-defense or tragic accidents, but there was a coldness to it that he always saw. It was why Dagonet's speech had rung hollow in his ears.

    But he couldn't imagine what Theo's pain had been like. He doubted he ever could, not unless he lost Artanis or someone as close to him as Artanis. The Agumon was his closest friend now, closer than anyone he knew on either Analog or Saga. The bond behind Tamer and partner was sometimes compared to that of lovers by those who philosophised and thought about it. He didn't tend to think about things like that, but he saw why they made the comparison. To have that bond severed and worse, to not even be there in your partner's last moments...

    He found himself respecting Andrea despite having only just met her. To lose her brother and keep going in that way must have been agonising.

    "I'm sorry," he whispered, not meaning to be so quiet but unable to speak louder. The words weren't any help. They were spoken to the wrong person and had Theo been awake to hear them he knew they wouldn't bring comfort. But he couldn't find anything else to say.

    Artanis rested his right arm across his chest and inclined his head in a solemn bow. It was his tribe's gesture of respect, James knew. "Your partner is strong, Deneb Odebu. I offer my condolences to her and to Theo. I cannot truthfully say that I understand the pain they must have suffered."

    "Neither of us can," he murmured.

    The solemnity of the moment was broken by Thor's intrusion, as though a thunderclap had struck to smash the silence like a hammer.

    James stepped forward. Though the god of thunder intimidated him still, even more so after that awe-inspiring display of power, he felt reassured by Artanis and Deneb at his side. But before he could speak, before he could tell or even ask Thor to give Theo a moment, the BlackWarGreymon was rising, lifting himself up with the Imperialdramon Fighter Mode's aid.

    He knew that voice. It was like his own when the deaths and pain weighed especially heavy on him, when he wanted to be alone but had to put on his mask for the others. Fighting the Royal Knights like he had was soul-crushing. Despite his bravado, he knew deep down how outclassed his group were back then. It was a small group of Tamers against Saga's champions. Only luck had spared them, and even then, Matthew had died. Others had died. On those days, he felt guilt and pain more than ever. Guilt that he had spurred them on and led them to the slaughter. Pain that he hadn't been able to save them. But Alexis and the others needed him to smile and reassure them that they were making a difference.

    And here Theo was, burying his pain just as James did. It was what had to be done. You had to bury it with whatever came to hand and keep going in a situation like this. He couldn't become paralyzed by it, not when at any moment Tamers might need his help. He couldn't grieve so openly and let the others see how vulnerable he was when they needed his strength.

    James followed his gaze. Some of the Tamers looked at them, drawn by the presence of the awe-inspiring thunder god and his glorious sword, or by the quiet conversation. He imagined it was the former. But others had their heads bowed or tears escaping their eyes. Tamers who had lost partners and friends in the fires far behind them. It was like looking at the recent past. The Tamers in the camp in Axis Mundi had had the same expressions. He had seen so many of them. He had seen Hoshiko embracing a weeping child. He had held crying children and crying Digimon and felt the flames of rage and the icy daggers of guilt and grief in equal measure. That was what the Knights' mission meant. The tears of children, all for Galahad's madness. It was pitiful and monstrous all at once.

    He saw Theo's fist tighten. It was a gesture he himself had made many times since the Knights started this crusade of theirs.

    "If you feel prepared," Artanis finally said to Theo, "then we should plan our next actions. For the time being, we can only ride this train to our destination, but past that, we must be ready for the trials to come. As much as we can." He too looked at the Tamers.

    "For their sake," James murmured, echoing his partner's unspoken thought.

    ----

    Okatsu Sekishusai
    6th Locomon Carriage


    Okatsu followed Andrea's gaze. She remembered her brief conversation with some of these Tamers. She felt sorry for them and guilty that the Guardians had failed them so, but she didn't display it as openly as others might have. Okatsu's world was straightforward, in a sense. She dealt with things without commotion. If a mistake was made, she learned from it. If she failed, she would make up for her failure without making a fuss. It was very like Hoshiko, she reflected. Neither of them were much for expressing their inner selves, except to one another.

    "We were protecting the city," she said. "We're part of a group gathered by the Council. The Guardians, we're called." She paused. She tried to read into Andrea's question, feeling there was more to it. "You both."

    The Gabumon X met Andrea's gaze. Of course.

    "You haven't heard," she murmured. Like Andrea, her outer composure didn't slip, but inside, she was recalling that night against. The flames. The screaming. Fighting amidst the broken building. Knightmon storming through rooms, smashing artifacts and walls as they came, and her halberd meeting their blades as she howled in outrage at their cowardice. Her icy blade slicing through the fires to clear a path for trapped Tamers. Seeing her comrades falling around her. Hoshiko calling out for her to come, and racing to her mistress' side to deflect the Crusadermon who descended through the darkness.

    "We were in Kaladesh because of the Guardians," the Gabumon X spoke. "But we are part of the Guardians because the guild fell, Andrea. We were attacked almost immediately after the Royal Knights embarked on this course. Hoshiko and I led an evacuation to Axis Mundi, and we were there for some time before the Council summoned us." She recounted the facts straightforwardly even as inside, she was deep in memories. Kay's shield-coated fist swinging dangerously close to Hoshiko as she fought off another Tamer's partner. Leaping at the Crusadermon with a fierce snarl as she saw red and tackled her down. Shee punched her away a second later, recovering from the CresGarurumon's charge, and then her ribbons were everywhere, cutting into her. Another Digimon struck Kay and she escaped the whirling blades, drawing back to protect Hoshiko and the other Tamers.

    "I am glad that you're safe," she said. "Hoshiko and I worried about you while we marched to Axis Mundi. Everything seemed so... uncertain." They hadn't even known if the Knights had taken over, she remembered. Privately Hoshiko had told her that she was scared they would arrive only to find Galahad standing in the Council chamber waiting for them. Of course, that had not been so. But it had seemed a terrifyingly real possibility as they traversed hostile mountains.

    ----

    Hoshiko Yukimura
    6th Locomon Carriage


    Hoshiko still contemplated Rhys' words and the Peacemakers. How many more were out there? Rhys had mentioned other teams, how many exactly had the Council gathered in secret? She supposed it made sense, the Royal Knights were dividing their forces, so dividing their own forces to meet that was common sense. But to not tell them about the strategy...

    She was distracted from those thoughts as her gaze wandered the carriage. She had noticed Okatsu's absence from her side and it was disconcerting, the Gabumon X never strayed very far from her now. But she found Okatsu talking to a familiar face, a face that brought a smile to her lips.

    "Excuse me," she said to Rhys. "I have someone I'd like to talk to."

    Rhys nodded. "It was good to meet you," he said, clearly smiling beneath his helmet. "It's going to be a long train journey, I think, I'm here if you want to talk some more. Or I'll be somewhere, I might go and find the others."

    "Likewise," Hoshiko replied, walking away towards her partner and the other Tamer. She listened to them for a moment, hearing Okatsu recount their journey. She was reminded of the fall too, of the Knights descending to break Digivices and break partnerships without relent. Anand's partner being cut down as he tried to defend the helpless young man. Her fist slowly clenched, then she forced it open again.

    "Andrea," she said once there was a lull in the conversation. "It's good to see you again, I'm glad you're safe. Like Okatsu said, I was worried about you." She paused. "Where were you?"
     
  12. Solsabre

    Solsabre The Reforged Soul

    Rear Locomon Car
    Deneb Odebu (Sirenmon)


    Deneb dipped his tudor hat towards James’s and Artanis’s sentiments with a slight smile and gratitude. As a matter of truth the fish-bird digimon was in a similar standing as they in regards to truly understanding the depth of loss his dear partner and Theo experienced when Kyle passed.

    The Sirenmon fiddled with his red bow tie, a nervous habit, as he hovered in the open space of the train car. Despite Theo’s apparent reassurance, he wasn’t convince the BlackWarGreymon was in any shape for an upcoming fight. Just why do warriors always have to tough it out?!

    "If you feel prepared," Artanis finally said to Theo, "then we should plan our next actions. For the time being, we can only ride this train to our destination, but past that, we must be ready for the trials to come. As much as we can."

    “Indeed, I am sure the Council has received reports of the other Knig-” Theo tilted to the side as a wave of weakness overcame him.

    “Elder!” Deneb exclaimed, forgetting Theo’s passing on titles. The Sirenmon fluttered in the air to catch the dragon man, but his smaller swallow-like body could hardly support the bulkier dragon’s weight. He merely helped guide Theo’s descent with an audible thud back onto the seat.

    “Sorry...I haven’t push myself this hard since that time…” the dragon man muttered with his eyes closed. One clawed hand cradled his aching head as he sat hunched forward. The other arm laid still across his lap. “My body’s still learning to compensate for the loss…”

    “Do not worry. Some warm food, a strong drink, perhaps some music, and solid rest usually restores a weary body and spirit in no time,” Deneb assured him, resting a comforting arm on the older greymon's shoulder and to ensure he remained upright. He sent a stern glare in Thor’s direction. “Surely even gods need time to recuperate sometimes or do you live solely on the air around us?”



    *******
    5th Locomon Car
    Andrea Mercer


    "We were protecting the city," Okatsu said. "We're part of a group gathered by the Council. The Guardians, we're called."

    “Sal told me the Council sent a team to aid the city,” Andrea commented, referring to the RaptorSparrowmon, who was her Guild Boss as Frontier Rescue. “I didn’t have time to consider that included partnered pairs.”

    Andrea frowned outwardly with mild confused, that still didn’t explain Hoshiko’s and Okatsu involvement. Hoshiko was a scholar and adventurer, not a combatant unless forced too. The Gabumon X picked up on Andrea’s lingering confusion.

    "You haven't heard," Okatsu murmured.

    "We were in Kaladesh because of the Guardians," the Gabumon X spoke. "But we are part of the Guardians because the guild fell, Andrea. We were attacked almost immediately after the Royal Knights embarked on this course. Hoshiko and I led an evacuation to Axis Mundi, and we were there for some time before the Council summoned us."

    Andrea stiffen. The tomboy was neither the most sociable of people or academically inclined, but her occasional visits to the Ama Guild were a refreshing change in atmosphere and she’d gotten to know a few members, including Hoshiko and Okatsu.

    "I am glad that you're safe," Okatsu continued. "Hoshiko and I worried about you while we marched to Axis Mundi. Everything seemed so... uncertain."

    She nodded, letting Okatsu speak uninterrupted as it seemed the Gabumon X stared off into memories. It wasn’t obvious with Okatsu, her body language was more subtle. Perhaps it was why Andrea felt more comfortable and at ease with speaking to Okatsu and Hoshiko, being similar in that part of their personalities. Though Andrea tended to be more action oriented in her methods and start on a job she saw that needed to be done without the need to be directed.

    The brown-haired woman certainly related to uncertainty Okatsu spoke of. The last fire she fought with her fire crew nearly left them cut off from support lines one night. If the winds had shifted or had been any stronger, her fire crew would have been surrounded. She was holding off on telling Deneb that close call, he’d throw a fit. A familiar figure walked down the train car aisle to join them.

    "Andrea," Hoshiko said, entering the conversation. "It's good to see you again, I'm glad you're safe. Like Okatsu said, I was worried about you." She paused. "Where were you?"

    “Sorry,” Andrea said, both for their loss and for disappearing without a word. Their concern surprised Andrea somewhat, she hadn’t thought they were that close for she seldom stuck around for long. “I worked on a ground crew of wildland firefighters for the summer season and being on call I couldn’t come to Saga during the last five months. I just arrived back today during the battle. Got a sitrep from Sal and joined the efforts to help guide Tamers and their digimon to safety. Then I saw you and Okatsu fighting. ”

    “Looks like I am out of the frying pan and into the fire now.”
     
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2017
  13. Kamotz

    Kamotz God of Monsters

    < Thor Odinson (Imperialdramon - Fighter Mode) >
    - Locomon Transport: 7th Car -


    "There's no time for 'understanding,'" Thor growled, fighting back his irritation. They had lost. They were losing; they couldn't afford to spend time fighting themselves and fighting through their various crises. They couldn't let that fear or uncertainty or grief paralyze them. They needed to be worthy.

    Deneb continued to protest, and even James stepped forward. Madness. They had to look beyond themselves if they were going to fight, if they were going to have any hope of winning. They had to be more than what they currently were; the Royal Knights had proven that. Thankfully, Theo understood. He sent Thor a poignant glance, but Thor wasn't sure what for.

    "Become more," Thor said, turning towards Artanis and James. He sent a pointed glance Theo's way as well. "Be more in each moment than you were in the last. Because surviving - because this," he motioned to the train around them, "isn't enough."

    Artanis, Theo, and Deneb seemed to take that to heart and put on a brave show, but another bout of vertigo hit Theo and he lilted to the side, sending Deneb into another flurry of panicked concern.

    Thor barely held back his grimace; he was quickly becoming tired of the simpering puffin. "Of course. After a great battle we might feast and revel for days on end. We might tell tales of our deeds, bards would sing of our bravery and valor," he glared down at Deneb and his voice grew harsh. "But that was not a great battle, so we will not revel. We will not feast for sorrow nor will we drink to celebrate defeat. If I must live solely off my own anger, I will."

    He glanced down at Theo. "If you cannot stand; if you cannot gather your wits and rise above whatever insurmountable pain you feel then lay down and be done," Thor said, his voice sharp. "What if we were still there, Theo Grayson? If the lives and freedom of everyone on this train depended on your ability to hold yourself up, would you stand then? Or would you still need this one," he pointed at Deneb, "to coddle you like a child?"
     
  14. Solsabre

    Solsabre The Reforged Soul

    Locomon - 7th Car
    Deneb Odedu


    "Of course. After a great battle we might feast and revel for days on end. We might tell tales of our deeds, bards would sing of our bravery and valor," he glared down at Deneb and his voice grew harsh. "But that was not a great battle, so we will not revel. We will not feast for sorrow nor will we drink to celebrate defeat. If I must live solely off my own anger, I will."

    “I-I...that’s not what I was getting at,” Deneb stammered, fighting for once to find his words. Orating was his livelihood in whatever form he utilized it. He breathed deep and pictured himself speaking before a difficult - a very difficult- audience. “Perhaps you don’t need to, but you stand among mortals who do. We need to bother with such trivials to rise and get through each day, for that is a part of life and to live. It only seems detrimental to me to send warriors to fight with no rest and fuel to win a fight.”

    Thor glanced down at Theo. "If you cannot stand; if you cannot gather your wits and rise above whatever insurmountable pain you feel then lay down and be done," Thor said, his voice sharp. "What if we were still there, Theo Grayson? If the lives and freedom of everyone on this train depended on your ability to hold yourself up, would you stand then? Or would you still need this one," he pointed at Deneb, "to coddle you like a child?"

    Deneb puffed up in Theo’s defense and his own pride, “Coddling! I hardly see myself as warrior, so maybe I don’t completely understand.” The Sirenmon hovered higher in the air to be more on eye level with the thunder god. “ But I’ve performed for downtrodden soldiers before and seen their spirits lifted, to forget the struggle for just a moment, then they were ready to face the next battle. I’d hardly call it coddling!”

    Locomon - 7th Car
    Theo Grayson (BlackWarGreymon)


    Theo sat very still. The rattling and shaking of the train did not help his disorientation in the least bit. Kyle’s digivice found its way into his empty hand, a clawed thumb gently rubbed itself over the device’s surface in soothing motions. However, His head continued to throb with increasing pressure from the rising voices of Deneb and Thor. The older dragon tuned them out as much as he could, before his patience snapped.

    “Would you both be quiet already!” Theo growled, his greymon temper finally rising to the surface. The black dragon dredged up the strength from somewhere to stand, startling Deneb in the process. He turned to Thor to face him.

    “A decade ago, yes, I was ready to lay down and be done. Over twenty years of service to them,” Theo pointed the direction of the smoldering Kaladesh, where the Royal Knights army laid behind them. “and one dear loss nearly did me in. I was ready to give up and none of my comrades within the Knight’s ranks could keep me there. What place does a warrior have on the battlefield if he does not have the will to fight?” The older dragon hung his horned head in shame.

    “And then I gained something precious that reminded me how to live again,” Theo revealed the yellow and gray digivice resting in his palm, before closing his hand in a gentle fist. “Losing him hurt worst than anything I knew before and I can only be grateful I still had someone who cared enough to drag me back when I lost my way.” Theo glanced at Deneb apologetically for his earlier rebuke.

    “I will not squander the second chance he gave me.” Theo said firmly, glancing over the tearful passengers in the train. "So, yes, I will be ready to stand again when the time comes.”

    The second wind sustaining Theo drained from his body. He steadied himself with an iron will to keep from swaying again. Tired yellow eyes turned away from the thunder god and pardoned himself.

    “I’m going to get some air.”

    The old soldier passed through the car slowly to the rear platform outside, occasionally running his free hand on the overhead railing to keep from stumbling. Outside, Theo allowed himself to deflate completely and leaned heavily with his arms on the guard rails. He held his aching head in one hand -the wind whipping off the train actually did ease some of the pain- and stared longingly at the deactivated device.

    Theo sighed and put the digivice away for safekeeping.

    The screen of the digivice lit within the confines of the pouch.

    A dark brown hair young man leaned against the railing mimicking the BlackWarGreymon’s posture. He stood unseen by Theo, by anyone. A flicker. A remnant in the digital layers. The young man’s lips moved, but no words came out. Digimoji scrolled across the digivice’s surface, blinking urgently as it did so.

    In the time of darkest defeat, Victory may be nearest.

    The digivice went dark.
     
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2017
  15. TheSequelReturns

    TheSequelReturns Phantom Thief

    < Henry Vane (CaptainHookmon) >
    - 3rd Locomon Traincar -


    What was it with everyone mocking his hat? He looked good darn it.

    Fashion comments aside, Henry found himself nodding along as Svarog spoke. These gods (angels, demons, etc) might all have different views, but one thing they all had in common was that they spoke with such conviction, such certainty that it made you want to believe them. Even Samael had that infectious confidence, though he was less inspiring and more... motivating.

    "Fair enough." Henry leaned back against the wall of the car, absentmindedly polishing his hook with his free hand. "But loose cannons are a threat to everyone around them."

    "I admit, hearing that a few of the council big wigs got themselves captured really took the wind out of thier sails." Henry laughed. "All the pomp and grandoise speaches and that fancy meeting room and they didn't fare any better than us."

    Which was a line of thoguht that really made Henry wonder. What exactly was the difference between the council members and those like Svarog here? Was it all a matter of prospective? Did Thor and Svarog simply think that sitting around talking about the porblems ad nasueum was a collosal waste of time and wanted to get involved personally? Or was there a bigger difference? A matter of status or stature above and beyond mortal affairs. Perhaps he would never know, but Henry had gone from wondering if the gods even gave a damn to wondering if things might be better if they didn't to trying to decide if two particular gods deserved his loyalty and respect all in a matter of hours. So his image of the world might need a little patching up before he was ready to ponder such things.

    "It does beg the question though," Henry pondeered aloud, "Just what is the point of the council if they can't handle problems such as these?"

    Svarog then turned to Michael to discuss the other teams. So many secrects the council keeps. The Royal Knights were in the wrong, that much was certain now. But that didn't mean the council was in the right.

    "Hear hear!" Henry raised a clenched fist. "Now that's a prospect I can drink to." From somewhere in the folds of his jacket Henry produced a flask of rum. It was the last of some lord's private collection, liberated the night before Avery Tew shot him in the chest and kicked him into the sea. The pirate had meant to save it to savor over his revenge but now he wasn't certain that day would come. Better to drink with comrades while you had the chance.

    The CaptainHookmon downed a swallow of the strong drink, savoring the burn as it went down, before offering the flask to Svarog. "I don't know much about gods and such, but I can respect a man with determination."

    The Lilamon from earlier, Aria he remembered, floated by shaking her head. In the relatively cramped car, she had to float right past them to get out but she avoided his eyes and Svarog's and disappeared throgh the door to car number four.

    "Wonder what's gottten into that lass." Henry mumbled.

    ---

    + Frantz Stein (Boltmon) & Aria Morningsong (Lilamon) ~
    - 3rd Locomon Traincar -


    "Wise One! You are well!" Stein exclaimed in his booming voice. The Boltmon somehow had a way of projecting his voice to where even though it had more bass than a Whalemon's it didn't feel like he was shouting to the whole room.

    Stein chuckled to himself. "Yes, water is not good for Stein." But the big guy cocked his head when Tessa's orbs flickered. "Don't worry about Stein. I heal fast. Pain not a big problem." He motioned to Aria, who was still rubbing her injured arm beside him. "But, if Wise One is feeling okay, Flower Friend hurt her arm. Wise One can fix it, Stein believes in you."

    Aria frowned, even as Tessa turned towards her and began to work her magic on the Lilamon's injured arm. Was that all she was good for now? Being a 'flower friend'? Aromatherepy and dainty little folk songs and all the things she absolutely hated about her home? Stein was a monster fighter who shrugged off his injuries so Tessa would fix her arm. Tessa could make portals and heal people and other amazing things. What did she bring to the team? Why was she even here if all she was going to be was a burden?

    The arm felt worlds better as the Wisemon's work was completed and she stepped away drained. But the healing of her arm did little to ease her hurt. Aria tested it, rotating her shoulder and flexing her elbow. It was a little stiff, but it worked. "Thank you." she mumbled to Tessa.

    The Boltmon tensed up ever so slightly as Tessa put her weight on his leg. He rumaged through his pockets, but found nothing more than a foil package of crackers that had been reduced to crumbs in the fighting. He shrugged. "Wise One needs better snack than crushed bits."

    A quick search of Aria's flower turned up nothing but her little pouch of coins. The Lilamon shook her head. "All I've got is some money, but until we get back to town that won't do us any good."

    A loud chuckle escaped the Boltmon. "Stein thinks Flower Friend is nice for trying."

    Something in Stein's tone was like a final straw descending to snap the spine of her feelings. Aria looked up at the laughing Boltmon, the brave and smart Tessa, and then around at the others. Warriors and gods and celestial beings and the scattered human and digimon refugees even they had failed. And she felt worthless.

    "I need some air." Aria said and leaped to her feet. She floated away from Stein and caught sight of Henry chatting with Svarog. He offered the Fire God a drink and Aria rolled her eyes as she ducked past them and out the door. From car to car she continued, making a beeline for the end of the train where hopefully she wouldn't have to see any more defeated or self-righteous faces.

    She finally emerged onto the rear platform, nothing but the tracks and the last marks of Kaladesh on the horizon. She took one look at her only company, Theo, and decided he didn't look any more together than she did. She gave him a solemn nod and spent the rest of the trip gazing out at the horizon in silence.
     
  16. Kamotz

    Kamotz God of Monsters

    < Svarog Rodsyn (Apollomon) >
    - Locomon Transport: 3rd Car -


    "There is no point to the Council," Svarog scoffed. "Just a tired bunch of self-important fools posturing and perpetuating the myth that they do anything of import at all. If the Council exists for any reason at all anymore it's to keep gods like that distracted." He scoffed and took a swig from the offered flask. "You want gods like that more involved in the world's affairs?"

    He handed Henry the flask again and glowered at some unseen opponent standing beyond the horizon. "The last time those prattling pompous paper-pushers got involved they were all on different sides of the issue and they almost started a world war. And not the fun kind."

    ==\=/==

    < Samael Cain (Beelzemon) >
    - Locomon Transport: Rear Car Roof -


    Samael fumed silently. Everyone was always gettin' in his business, in his way. Why was it so hard for them to just not do that. Don't step in his face and he'd let them keep theirs. It wasn't such a hard concept, was it? "Don't go getting yourself killed by the badest Nightmare Soldier who ever lived" wasn't that hard to understand, was it?

    But throughout it all, Samael was the only one to ever really truly remember his - their - mission: "stop the Royal Knights." By any means necessary. That last bit was Samael's personal addition, but he was adept at reading between the lines. Everyone else was all so concerned with making sure the little human tidbits survived each little bump and bruise the world threw at them. But from everything he knew, their home world was filled with seven billion of the squishy buggers. No one would miss a few more if it meant that their job got done in a timely and efficient manner.

    Kill the Royal Knights and this all ended. And yet all of the, even Michael himself, seemed so preoccupied with making sure that the humans survived in the most roundabout way possible. The only way to make sure they survived - if that was really what the idiots in charge wanted - was to kill the ones trying to gank 'em in the first place. No more Royal Knights, no more humans in danger.

    "But no. Coddle and cry and weep," he growled. It was all they ever seemed to do.

    ==\=/==

    < Thor Odinson (Imperialdramon - Fighter Mode) >
    - Locomon Transport: 7th Car -


    Thor watched Theo leave; he didn't have the patience to deal with that kind of self pity, and Theo certainly didn't deserve his ire. Not when he himself had failed their efforts. Still, he found himself furious at the thought of laying down and waiting for something else to happen. There was still so much more to do. So much left behind.

    He felt a pulse from the White Sword, nestled in the space between realities, and for a brief instant he thought he saw a figure standing beside Theo at the rear platform. And then, just like that it was gone, and Thor was convincing himself that it had never been there at all.

    He found Michael making his way to the back of the rail, grim-faced as ever. "If the Royal Knights don't kill us, we might just kill each other," he muttered under his breath. Thor had no idea what he was referring to, but could only imagine it had something to do with their...rowdier members.

    "We'll figure out what's next when we get the humans to Axis Mundi," Thor said, fighting down his own anger.

    "What's next is we need a leader in the field," Michael half-growled. "Someone up to the task of allocating out fighting strength. We need to battle the Royal Knights on both the large and small scale - the battlefield tactics and the larger scope of things. And I cannot do both all at once. Kaladesh demonstrated that."

    "I would offer my assistance, Michael, but Kaladesh demonstrated my own shortcomings as well," Thor said, shaking his head. "If I lose focus for even a second..."

    "Then focus on the sword," Michael said. "We have time, for the moment."

    Thor nodded; he'd done nothing but focus on the sword for the past year, ever since he first picked it up.

    "What?!" a shriek shook Thor from his thoughts and brought him back to the matter at hand. The QueenChessmon, Lucia, stood suddenly and glanced about the room before walking quickly over to him and Michael. "My lords."

    Michael nodded quickly, impatiently. He wasn't used to dealing with the common Digimon, it seemed.

    "I just received word from the 'Second Squad' at Glen Elendra," she said, panic coloring her voice.

    Thor gazed at her curiously. The second what-now?

    "The Peacemakers?" she said. Still nothing. She growled and almost stamped her feet. It would have been endearingly mortal of her if Thor hadn't sensed the tense urgency of her words.

    "The Council called together another group, but we split into three squads to cover more ground. I led mine to Kaladesh. Lady Pyra Torren led another to Meletis, and Captain Drakn Stormheart led the last to Glen Elendra," she explained hurriedly. Her Gaiomon vassal was already standing close beside her.

    And if anything, she looked even more frustrated by that fact.

    "Drakn Stormheart," Michael said. "He's the Slayerdramon from earlier with the Council, yes?"

    "One and the same," Lucia said quickly. "We went to places where we were anticipating the Royal Knights' involvement. Places where the humans were welcomed and celebrated. We just received news from Drakn in Glen Elendra - they're under attack. Five knights, at least. And it doesn't look good. Sir Tristan, Sir Lamorak, Sir Gareth, and Sir Caradoc have already succeeded in turning back Drakn's squad. Sir Gawain is unaccounted for, but his presence means the battle is already lost if they cannot stand against the other four."

    "No," Thor said. "There's still time if we act quickly."

    "What are you thinking?" Michael asked.

    "There's a junction station. Not far from here," Thor said, glancing out the windows. "Before the tracks follow the sea to Axis Mundi. They meet a line from the West, from Glen Elendra."

    "We send this train along to Axis Mundi with the Peacemakers and the humans," Michael said, reading Thor's intention. The thunder god nodded. "We take a rested Locomon full speed to Glen Elendra."

    "Oh yeah, that sounds really good," Samael muttered. He swung down from the roof of the train and pushed his way past Theo and Aria. He sent a wild grin Thor's way. "You know me, I'm always ready for a fight. Mikey here looks 'bout fine too." He turned and pointed at Thor. "But you? You're playing it right, but you're about ready to keel over. And the rest of our little merry band? Most of them can't even hold themselves up.

    "So no. No way am I running off and getting myself killed because you lot can't pull your weight."
     
  17. storymasterb

    storymasterb Knight of RPGs

    James Reeve & Artanis Dawnflame
    Rear Locomon Carriage


    Theo left, wandering away in the face of Thor and Deneb's argument. For a moment, James considered following him, but decided against it. He might not have known exactly how Theo felt, but he knew grief like an old friend. Sometimes silence was best. Sometimes being alone was best.

    He considered talking to Thor, but the question of "about what?" brought that to an end. He knew what Thor was getting at, there was no need to question it.

    Surviving was what he knew. Ever since the Knights had started this, surviving was victory. All he'd needed to do was get Tamers behind the walls of Axis Mundi, because even gone mad the Royal Knights didn't dare strike at that city. So long as he and Artanis and Alexis and the others could fend off attacks from both the Knights and the Digimon who'd fallen in under their flag, they'd won. But this was different. They were called the Guardians, as though it was the same as it had been. What Thor was getting at was that fighting this as though it was the same as back before the Council had called him to join the fight wasn't enough. It wasn't victory, not just because so many Tamers had been left behind, but because nothing had been truly achieved. If they'd evacuated every Tamer and partner from Kaladesh and spared the city, that wouldn't have been enough either.

    He didn't like it, but he knew deep down what lay at the end of Thor's point. It wasn't victory until they stopped the Knights. Saving Tamers wasn't victory. Not when the Knights would just pick another camp, another city the next day and do it all over again.

    He and Artanis moved away from Thor as Michael approached, giving the two some space. He could stand up to gods and angels, but that didn't mean he didn't feel small in their presence. Most of the time he fought monsters and helped out small communities. Names like Thor and Michael were distant at least. Now there they were, standing just a few footsteps away, and their being there made him feel tiny by comparison.

    He felt a hand pull at his sleeve and looked away from the god and the angel to see one of the Tamers. She was caked in dust and soot, her blonde hair a tangle of strands, her eyes still a little wide from the fear she had felt. She was only just a teenager as far as he could tell. Too young for this. A Lunamon was at her side, presumably her partner.

    "You're James Reeve, aren't you," she asked quietly. "We heard about you. They told stories."

    He nodded. "Yes, I am."

    "And I am Artanis Dawnflame," the Agumon said from his side.

    "Thank you for helping us," she mumbled, bowing her head a little. "I know you hear it a lot and you probably don't think anything of it but... truly. You've done so much."

    He smiled like he always did and put a hand on her shoulder, looking into her eyes as she looked up, startled. "What's your name?"

    "Erin," she murmured.

    "It was my pleasure, Erin," he said. "I'm glad we could get you out of there." But there was the unspoken thought locked behind both of their lips. Not everyone had been saved. Not everyone had escaped. And James alone found another thought.

    "Because surviving - because this - isn't enough."

    "Who are they?" Erin asked, looking past him at Thor and Michael. As he looked with her, a QueenChessmon approched them.

    "Thor and Michael," he replied. "Thor's the god of thunder and Michael's an archangel."

    "You know them?" She sounded awestruck. Like the legend of James Reeve wasn't already impressive enough, he thought sardonically. Now they could add him being the trusted comrade of a god and an archangel to it.

    "Not really," he admitted, chuckling a little. "We kind of just... teamed up."

    Erin looked back at him and it seemed like she was struggling to speak for a moment. "Are you going to stop the Royal Knights?" The question stopped him in his tracks, because it was what he had already been wrestling with.

    "Surviving isn't enough."

    What was his mission? To defeat the Royal Knights or to save the Tamers? They seemed like one and the same, but Thor's words had exposed that they weren't. Perhaps he just hadn't thought about it before. Everything had seemed straightforward, like if he saved Tamers over and over eventually the world would find a way to make it all stop. But it wouldn't. Too many Digimon were on the side of the Knights, whether because they had always been against the Tamers or because they respected the Royal Knights too much to go against them.

    "Yes," Artanis said, perhaps mistaking his partner's silence for an opening to speak. "We will stop them, Erin. It may take many battles and much effort. But we will put an end to this. And once we do, we shall ensure that recompense is paid for the lives lost and the anguish inflicted by their actions."

    That was Artanis, alright. Direct and to the point.

    The girl smiled. "I'm glad. I... so many people have gotten hurt... I almost wanted to just go home. But I couldn't leave Phoebe..." She put an arm around the Lunamon at her side. "I don't want to lose her and all of this."

    James looked at her smile and the sadness in her eyes. "He's right," he forced out. "It's going to be hard. It's the Royal Knights after all. But we're taking a stand against them and one day, we'll win." Even if he was full of doubt and questioning himself, he couldn't let her see it. Even if she weren't caked in dust and soot, even if she wasn't so clearly shaken by her narrow escape, he would still have smiled and reassured her like this. He couldn't let her feel that helpless, not when things were so desperate.

    "You're so brave," Phoebe murmured. "Both of you. I wish I could be brave like you... strong like you..."

    "If that wish is honest, then you will find your own way," Artanis said. "Aspire to that aim, Phoebe. Seek strength, find courage, and though it may be a long path to walk, one day you will stand as brave and strong as us. Of that, I have no doubt." He rested his claws on her shoulder and gave a nod of affirmation.

    "Thank you," Erin and Phoebe said together, chuckling in tandem too. For a moment James' smile grew wider. This was what he wanted to protect. This beautiful bond between humans and Digimon. He'd known almost since he arrived in Saga that some Digimon wanted all the humans gone, but he could never accept it. He had seen what humans and Digimon could achieve together.

    "I'm sure you're busy," Erin murmured. "I just wanted you to know how much we appreciate you helping. It must be so hard for you to fight against them..."

    More than she knew, he thought sadly. Hopefully more than she would ever know.

    "I don't want to hold you up if you've got somewhere to go or someone to see," she continued. "I wish I could help you, though."

    He gently shook his head. "I don't want you to get hurt. Artanis and I can handle it. And besides," he indicated Thor and Michael, "I'm teamed up with guys like them. Together, we'll pull through." He chuckled.

    "James is right," Artanis said. "At this moment, you are not prepared. There is no shame in admitting that fact, so long as your spirit is undaunted and you strive to better yourself." He looked between the two. "I see strength in your future. Though you may seem meek on the outside, your hearts are strong, and for Tamer and partner, strong hearts can become power. One day, you will be powerful, perhaps more so than James and I." He smiled as best as an Agumon could.

    Erin smiled too. "One day. And then we'll come and show you how strong we've gotten!"

    She was so enthusiastic now, James thought. It was heartwarming to see the pair so energised once again, like he and Artanis had lifted the shadow of Kaladesh and replaced it with sunlight.

    "I need to go now," he said. "But if you need me while we're still on this train, come find me, okay? I might be busy but I'll be with you as soon as I can."

    "Okay," she nodded. He walked on down the train, away from Thor, Michael and the QueenChessmon, away from Theo. Artanis followed him. As he walked, the glow of seeing Erin happy was replaced again by the shadow of doubt again. He felt like he was fighting for people like her, for the right of Tamers and partners to exist together in Saga. But how were they meant to fight to best achieve that?

    ----

    Hoshiko Yukimura & Okatsu Sekishusai
    6th Locomon Car


    "So you missed it all," Hoshiko murmured. Sometimes she forgot that others didn't spend anywhere near as much time in Saga as she did. No one except Okatsu knew that she didn't go back to Analog at all, it wasn't the kind of thing she wanted to share and though some people probably suspected it, no one could know for sure except her and her partner. "Things have become quite a mess, I'm afraid." She forced a smile. "Everything happened so fast with the guild that there wasn't time to get in tough with our other branches or anyone else. I lost track of you and everyone who wasn't with me while we marched." It had been an arduous march, crossing mountains as blizzards howled, moving at night when they feared that those loyal to the Royal Knights were nearby, a harrowing crossing of the sea at one point. "Even now there are people who haven't been accounted for."

    Far too many people.

    "This train is going to Axis Mundi," Okatsu said. "The Royal Knights and their followers don't dare attack it with the Council there, and the Council are against the Knights, so it's a safe haven for the time being. We have a camp there to house those fleeing persecution." It was a grim reality that the Knights were only the most visible face of anti-Tamer sentiment. She had always known it existed, perhaps only the most naive and innocent Tamers didn't know about it. But the Royal Knights launching their crusade had inspired all who shared that sentiment, whether it took the shape of insults and words or violence and killings. As far as she had been able to tell, the Knights made some honest effort to avoid killing, even if that didn't make up for the lives they had taken. Not all who followed their lead showed that sort of restraint.

    Hoshiko fidgeted a little, wrapping her right hand around her left forearm. "I know we don't know one another that well, Andrea, but I am truly glad to see you safe. I worry about all the people who got lost when this madness started. It's good to know that you aren't..." She let the sentence trail off. No. No point in dwelling on her worries when Andrea was stood in front of her and they were heading to perhaps the safest place for them on Saga. "When we get back to Axis Mundi, if you need a place to stay, I can sort something out for you. I know it must be a shock to come back to Saga and find it like this when it's been welcoming for so long." Again she was reminded of the thought that had broken her heart when it had first come to her. When she had gotten to Axis Mundi and been told of the full scale of the Knights' attack and what they had declared.

    "The world that was my haven is rejecting me."

    Okatsu rested a paw on her partner's hand for a brief moment. "I apologise, I know that this is a lot to take in, Andrea, but what do you think you will do?"
     
  18. Solsabre

    Solsabre The Reforged Soul

    Tessa Tesla (Wisemon)
    3rd Locomon Car


    The Boltmon tensed up ever so slightly as Tessa put her weight on his leg. He rummaged through his pockets, but found nothing more than a foil package of crackers that had been reduced to crumbs in the fighting. He shrugged. "Wise One needs better snack than crushed bits."

    “Oh, phooey,” Tessa moaned, thumping the back of her head repetitively against Stein’s leg after she flopped to the train car’s floor.

    A quick search of Aria's flower turned up nothing but her little pouch of coins. The Lilamon shook her head. "All I've got is some money, but until we get back to town that won't do us any good."

    The little mage eye-balled Aria’s coin pouch. Maybe she could transmute them into something edible. The body did need trace elements for proper function, right? Tessa shook her head. Nope, too tiring. High-coding of that level required an energized body and fresh mind. Also, transmutation was a notoriously finicky process. First, there was the deconstruction of the object at hand into its base components, which could degrade in quality if one wasn’t careful with the High-coding. Then reassembling the base components in the right order for the desired object. Of course, then you have materials left over and that makes a mess in the lab...especially if said base components accidently get dumped on with a chemical concoction that Tessa may or may not have knocked over. Yes, father hadn’t been too happy about the expanding foam incident that day...

    A loud chuckle escaped the Boltmon. "Stein thinks Flower Friend is nice for trying."

    “Huh?” Tessa snapped out of her meandering thoughts, “Oh! I appreciate the thought, Aria!” The Wisemon smiled with her eyes, though the ever present little voice in the back of her mind deflated and bummed out.

    "I need some air." The plant digimon quickly departed from Tessa’s and Stein’s company with little warning. Tessa tilted her head in confusion, but figured the train car was a little stuffy. Surely opening a window would be less trouble.

    “Stein, I can speak, write, and read in several ancient languages, some of which are no longer spoken and yet,” Tessa sighed, opening a small book which had been hiding in the fabric of her robes, “sometimes I still don’t understand some digimon.”

    Oh! Silly Tessa! She forgot about the dimensional pocket she kept an emergency stash of food in for during her travels.


    _______________________


    Theo Grayson (BlackWarGreymon)
    Rear Car Platform


    Theo watched out over the endless horizon. His headache was gradually clearing and he only needed to close his eyes for a moment or two when the previous disorientation rose up now and again from the ever shifting gears of the rattling Locomon. In a way, the rhythmic jolting of the car was soothing. Theo tried not to feel guilt for his appreciation for the quiet solitude, when the humans and digimon inside suffered from the recents losses and pain. He should be in there helping them. He understood the loss.

    The door behind him slid open and faint light steps made their way across the platform. The dragon warrior didn’t turn to acknowledge the newcomer. However, to his mild surprised, Aria appeared at his side and draped herself over the railing. She gave him a solemn nod and stared out over the horizon much like himself. The Lilamon didn’t speak and nor did Theo press her to do so.

    Yet, Theo couldn’t help but watch her out of the corner of his eye. Something was bothering her that much was apparent for anyone bothering to pay attention. He certainly didn’t know the troubles of her mind for he only knew Aria recently. Nonetheless, Theo felt for her. One so young shouldn’t be so burdened.

    Any further contemplation was interrupted by a loud exclamation and discussion going on inside the car. Theo alarmed straightened himself up to turn and listen through the doorway. Before stepping closer, he glanced at Aria. Without really knowing her situation, Theo simply reached out and gently squeezed her shoulder reassuringly to convey he saw her. With a mere tilt of his head, he beckoned Aria to come and find out what the motion was all about.

    Theo listened with dread to the QueenChessmon’s news about Glen Elendra. The madness. Was there nothing they could do? His head perked up with interest as Thor and Michael brainstormed a means of getting to the Kingdom of Nature to hopefully still turn the tide.

    Samael brushed past the BlackWarGreymon from the train car roof to join the conversation.

    "Oh yeah, that sounds really good," Samael muttered. He swung down from the roof of the train and pushed his way past Theo and Aria. He sent a wild grin Thor's way. "You know me, I'm always ready for a fight. Mikey here looks 'bout fine too." He turned and pointed at Thor. "But you? You're playing it right, but you're about ready to keel over. And the rest of our little merry band? Most of them can't even hold themselves up.

    "So no. No way am I running off and getting myself killed because you lot can't pull your weight."


    “I am ready,” Theo said firmly. He would not go back on his word to Thor. However, Theo was tired of the constant uphill battle the group faced since they first assembled at Axis Mundi. “However, we need to determine a way to even the odds.”

    He sighed, “Unfortunately my knowledge of Royal Knight army tactics and methodologies is a bit dated.” Theo’s head spun as he thought the situation through. He also wasn’t surprised that other teams had been established. It was sensible and practical. One special team of skilled fighters couldn’t be everywhere at once. However, it was annoying the Guardians hadn’t been informed of this fact from the beginning. He turned to the Queenchessmon, “Lady Lucia, how are you keeping in touch with Captain Stormheart? Would he be able to inform us if we’re dealing with the five knights or their armed forces as well?”

    Mentally recalling topographical maps, he’d once spent hours studying as a trainee, Theo suggested, “Glen Elendra is surrounded by thick forests. Surely we could use the cover of the forest to approach the city if we got off the Locomon rail a safe distance away and maintain an element of surprise?”
     
  19. TheSequelReturns

    TheSequelReturns Phantom Thief

    < Henry Vane (CaptainHookmon) >
    - 3rd Locomon Traincar -


    Henry nodded along to Svarog's assessment. It made a certain degree of sense. It certainly explained why he had never bumped into any of them before.

    "In all my years of seafaring and... shall we say liberating unused goods, I never did run into any council folk, divine or otherwise. You'd recon that with all the chaos myself and those less reputable caused out on the seas that any protector worth their salt would have at least tried to shut down our operation. But if the blowhards can hardly be bothered to give this their all then I see why the black flags still wave."

    Had Henry not been inside a train car, he probably would have spit out of contempt. Instead he briefly wondered if it would be too big a breach in decorum to do so anyway before shelving that thought and suppressing the urge. He settled for a snort instead.

    "If their only value lies in pushing their work on others, then I say let 'em rot."

    The pirate pocketed the flask as Svarog returned it and listened with interest as the fire god make a remark about the council nearly starting a world war. Henry made a mental note to contemptuously spit the next time he was in open air, in honor of the council.

    "So not only do they pass off the only semblance of a job they have, but a little spat between members would be enough for them to drag the world burning down into the deep with them? That's some pretty murky waters to be sailing the way we've been. I'm starting to feel like the better option might be ditching the council entirely and setting our own course."

    ---

    + Frantz Stein (Boltmon) +
    - 3rd Locomon Traincar -


    Stein watched with mild confusion as Aria suddenly hopped up and floated speedily out of the room. She needed air? Didn't plants need sunlight? Stein pondered this for a few moments. Air and sunlight were both outdoorsy things. Perhaps when Aria found the air, she would also find sunlight? That made sense for a few more moments until some logic circuit in the back of his head misfired.

    There was air inside the train car too, or Tessa and the others wouldn't be able to breathe. Was the air inside the train not good air? Or was there not enough air to go around? The Boltmon took a deep breath but could detect nothing amiss in the air quality or quantity. The word "air" floated around in his head for a bit, unable to find any further connections. Flower Friend was confusing sometimes.

    "Wise One can speak languages that can't be spoken?" Stein chuckled to himself. "Wise One is even more clever than Stein thought."

    At least three of his logic circuits questioned the concept of speaking unspeakable words, and a fourth was bouncing the word "air" against this new information in an attempt to find some resolution to the earlier quandary, but the benefit of being a cyborg was that one possessed both logic circuits and a brain and could ignore either. So he decided that Wise One was probably smarter than his logic circuits and decided that if she said she could do it she probably could.

    "But it is nice to know that not even Wise One understands everything." The Boltmon took a glance at the packet of destroyed crackers in his hand, decided that the little bits would spill everywhere if he tried to open it with his huge fingers, shrugged, and plopped the whole packet, foil wrapper and all, in his mouth and ate it. A memory of calling the Royal Knights "Foil Bites" came back to him and he chuckled to himself as he imagined the battles being over if the scary Knights had actually turned out to be tasty Bites instead.

    A slight movement from Tessa snapped him back from his wandering daydreams and Stein took a moment to finish processing her statement. "Stein doesn't understand most digimon either. Sometimes I don't understand myself. But sometimes Stein thinks its better to be confused because then you get to learn more things." He nodded to himself once. Then twice. Then, after a pause, a third time. "If you knew everything though, you could tell the Royal Knights what they needed to hear to fix their broken thoughts."

    A persistent little stray thought came back to the front of his mind and after mulling it over for a while he turned to Tessa and said simply, "Is the air good?"

    ---

    ~ Aria Morningsong (Lilamon) ~
    - Rear Locomon Traincar -


    There was something calming about watching the rails pass by from under the train and out to the horizon where they vanished into a thin line. That's life for you. Always changing, always moving, the past vanishing behind you and the future rising up to meet you.

    When she was little, just a Palmon, she used to love going for rides on the river boats. She would watch the ripples fade out behind the boat in intricate shapes as they bounced off the rocks and the shore and each other. Always moving, never static. And when they stopped, they vanished altogether. She told herself she would be like the ripples. Moving, growing, changing, always in motion. Never stopping. Now it felt like she was not the ripples behind the boat in an endless river, but the ripples from a pebble tossed into a puddle. Moving and bouncing until she'd rebounded off of every edge and realized the only place left to go was back to the center where she would fade out.

    Rivers led to the sea. The seas circled without end. But the tracks, like a puddle, had a beginning and they had an end. And so she sat and watched the rails vanish and thought about how big her puddle was until she felt a hand touch her shoulder. A hand with claws and scales. Warm, and squeezing just enough to snap her out of her thoughts. Before she could turn around the feeling was gone. But she turned to see Theo standing behind her. He nodded his head towards the train car's interior where it sounded like a new discussion had broken out.

    Theo, the BlackWarGreymon who had lost his human partner. Theo, the dunce who had gotten smashed between two tables and probably tripled the damage bill by giving Svarog an excuse to join the bar brawl. Theo, the brooding old soul who apparently didn't mind being called "Gramps" since he never bothered to correct her.

    She didn't know what to say. If if there was even anything to say. Somehow, she felt that everything that needed to be expressed already had. So Aria blinked her thoughts of tiny puddles away and nodded before following Theo into the train car.

    That was where she heard about Glen Elendra. Or as her folks used to call it, the "big city". This war was right on her door step.

    For a moment, she couldn't breathe.

    And then that shard of toughness in her grabbed that fear by the neck and strangled it. The Royal Knights were in her homelands. And if the forests burned, it would affect the whole kingdom. Her family too, would not go unscathed. This had to stop. Her fear gave way to fury at the thought of the forest ablaze. Samael pushed by her and Theo (How exactly had he gotten behind them and when?) and joined the conversation, but Aria barely registered what he said as her mind tried to dig up everything it could.

    "I know the place." Aria said to no one in particular. She stepped forward a step. "I know that forest. I can show you the hidden trails through the undergrowth." Her gaze darted around the room as she racked her brain for anything, anything that could help. "Or barring the stealth plan, we can use the trails to aid in any evacuation efforts. Glen Elendra is my home, and I won't let the Knights do to it what they did to Kaladesh."
     
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2017
  20. Kamotz

    Kamotz God of Monsters

    < Svarog Rodsyn (Apollomon) >
    - Locomon Transport: 3rd Car -


    "Ha!" Svarog clapped Henry on the back with a laugh. "Spats between gods are never 'little.' A thousand years of history come to a head. All that rage, all that anger and righteous indignation - all from beings whose whims can uproot mountains or part the seas.

    "It's a glorious thing to see a God War," Svarog said with a grin, but then it soured. "Less glorious when it's those pompous bureaucrats fighting it behind armies and proxies. And then even slightly less glorious than that for the little mortal realms and kingdoms caught in the way. And so there is the Council to keep the peace[/]."

    Svarog spoke of "peace" almost like it was a curse, the false ideas of weak gods.

    "Let the weaker Digimon worry about petty things like 'morality' and making 'peace,'"Svarog shrugged, silently wishing he hadn't passed the flask back quite yet. "In the meantime use the Council for what they're good for - it's not much, admittedly. But they do this better than most." He gestured flippantly to the train car around them. "And every once in a while they point you to a good fight."

    ==\=/==

    < Thor Odinson (Imperialdramon - Fighter Mode) >
    - Locomon Transport: 7th Car -


    "Could just 'nut-up and kill 'em," Samael offered with a shrug.

    "We're not killing the Royal Knights," Thor insisted angrily. Wasn't enough being spilled without adding to the body count?

    "Then I got no clue what you have us here for," Samael muttered with a growl. Thor fought the urge to reach across and threaten him - it likely wouldn't do any good. Samael was a killer through and through; he'd probably enjoy it.

    Lucia nodded. "From what he's told us it's an entire contingent - like what we faced in Kaladesh," she said, glancing back absently towards the long-vanished city over the horizon. "The personal forces of Tristain, Lamorak, Caradoc, Gareth, and Gawain."

    "And how did you come to know this?" Michael asked again, eyeing her critically.

    "Odric's falcon," she answered, pointing out the golden bird on the window. It belonged to a Valkyrimon - Thor had seen enough of them living in Asgard to recognize the avian companions quickly. "As soon as things got dire Drakn had Odric send a message. If your plan is certain then we should have the falcon return and let them know help is on the way."

    "If the battle has gone on long enough there's no use in a surprise attack," Michael mused, more to himself than for the benefit of those around him. "If this other squad of yours is struggling to contain the violence then they'll need swift assistance. We should prepare these trails as evacuation routes. Even at full speed it will be some time before we reach Glen Elendra. There's no way to be sure Drakn's squad and the Glen Elendrans can hold off the Royal Knights until then on their own."

    Thor nodded grimly, and swallowed hard. He barely had the strength to stand; the battle with Percival had taken everything he had. He was hoping for a night of sleep, of relative peace to recover and refocus; so that he could prepare himself to wield the sword again. If he picked up the White Sword now…

    "Then let's get to it," Svarog said, announcing his presence with a boisterous bellow and his crass intrusion. "Tell these Digimon and their human pets to get ready to leave."

    "They'll stay," Michael cut in. "We'll take a different train."

    Svarog shrugged. "I don't much care for the particulars. Tell them to stay put then," he said. "Regardless, stay out of our way. If we're going to catch the Knights then we need to move quickly, and I don't want the humans slowing us down."

    "You almost sound concerned for them, Son of Rod," Thor said with a smirk.

    "And I thought you Asgardians had more stomach for battle, Son of Odin," Svarog shot back. He clearly hadn't appreciated the jab at camaraderie. "And yet here you are, barely able to stand."

    ==\=/==

    < Serra Castiel (Beelstarmon) >
    - Glen Elendra, the Kingdom of Nature -


    This was just great. Of all the gin-joints in all the world, the Royal Knights just had to barrel their way into her favorite one. And of course, it was just as she was making another supply run. Before all of this...mess, Serra almost had a mind to thank them; business in her Axis Mundi tavern was booming. All the Digimon and humans partners fleeing the countryside and looking for a place to gather and forget; all the lone Digimon stumbling their way into her establishment from whatever little war-torn regions of the world seeking shelter with the Council, hoping to wait out the war. It was the best business she'd seen in years.

    She'd really need to give Nadia a raise. That little Lekismon was working overtime-and-a-half with all the new customers. And with all the new business this whole crusade was drumming up, Serra wasn't exactly short on funds for the rabbit either.

    But then these armor-clad goombas had to go and wreck her next big batch. Everyone knew you distilled the best gin in Glen Elendra - they had all the right botanicals in the surrounding countryside; the air was clear, the water was cool. Serra had purchased a substantial plot of land and built a second (or was it third?) small tavern to help run her distillery.

    And then the Royal Knights blew it up. That...that was just uncalled for. But Serra knew how their sort worked - her past life among the Holy Host of the Celestial Sphere had taught her all about their kind of sanctimonious righteousness. They were all about law and order and procedures. So instead of flying off the handle as she felt bound to do, she went to lodge a formal complaint. And was summarily dismissed.

    And that...that might have led to her punching Gawain in the mouth. He was fine, of course - he was a Royal Knight, after all. But that then led to the other Knights attacking her. If it weren't for the intervention of some group of something-makers (she didn't remember, and it was very noisy when they arrived), then she probably (though not definitely) wouldn't have made it out with her head still on her shoulders.

    And that was how Serra Castiel, once-angel of the Holy Host, owner of four of the finest...fine, most okayest taverns in Saga, found herself fighting alongside a couple dragons, a hawk, a fox, a frog, a bug, and a puppet. It seemed like the setup for a really bad joke.

    Except it really hurt.

    Serra was, despite her devil-may-care attitude and flippant demeanor, a highly trained soldier of the Holy Host. She knew tactics, how to fight, how to kill, and how to change from mischievous to merciless in the blink of an eye. But these knights were kicking her ass.

    She dashed forward, a quick sprint, her feet barely touching the ground. Gawain stepped forward a half-step, eyeing her critically. She realized, too late, that he'd stepped to her too awkwardly - his position had thrown off her footing, her pacing. She'd have to adjust on the fly or risk stumbling straight into his sword.

    She twitched her toes. The gun barrels in her heels fired, shooting her forward and closing the gap between her and the Royal Knight. He ducked her spinning roundhouse only for her follow-up spin kick to sweep across the side of his face and catch him in the jaw. He swerved, pivoted, and thrust his rapier at her. She dipped to the side and tried to divert his arm with a palm-strike, but his aim was true and his strength held fast. At the last possible moment she swung away and his blade pierced the spot where her throat once was. It passed so close to her that she could hear the sharp song of metal slicing through the air.

    Serra's muffler wrapped itself around Gawain's arm, and she used that leverage to try and pull the Knight off balance. But Gawain held strong. He grabbed the scarf and yanked Serra towards him, rapier drawn. She stumbled forward as he thrust, and only years of training and fighting gave her the combat awareness to avoid the blow by leaping into it feet-first and firing from each heel to swing her up and over the strike.

    She landed undignified on Gawain's shoulders, wrapped her thighs around his head and threw her body back, swinging with all her might. Her momentum picked Gawain up and hurled him gracelessly spinning through the air. But he caught himself as he flew, and twist hard. Gawain landed in a crouch on all fours in his Leopard Mode. He circled Serra slowly.

    And though she reminded herself that she faced down a Royal Knight and not a wild and feral beast, the look of primal fury and hunger in Gawain's eyes.
     

Share This Page