“Blade of the Dragon”
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~~~ Jaymon's P.O.V. ~~~
Glorymon finally Digivolved to her Ultimate, PolarGlorymon and started to beat the snot out of Marajamon. Just when we thought we were going to nip this thing in the butt, that Cleopatra reject made a come back and beat poor PolarGlorymon up pretty badly. In fact she was sent de-digivolving back to her in-training form, Junumon. Then just like that, Marajamon disappeared. Of cores that didn't mean she was through with us just yet.
Once we got to a safer distance, weird things started to happen to each of our human friends. Lexxy said it was most definitely Marajamon playing one of her dirty tricks. No doubt about that. All I have to say is I look forward to pecking that ugly witch's eyes out. Ha! That aught to teach her... but first I need to eat some lunch. That battle brought on quite an appetite. hee hee.
* * *
The tiny Lopmon didn’t suspect anything as it hopped along, sniffing the bushes for the best tasting greenery. It didn’t see or sense that much larger predator that followed in its wake. With each inquisitive hop to the next patch of leaf, a mirroring step was taken in the shadows behind the Lopmon. Silent and smooth, an arched neck curled back and up, almost ready to strike. The Lopmon paused to nibble a spiky purple flower. Now was the perfect time!
There was the sound of much movement approaching-many voices talking and branches and bushes being parted to let people through the forest-distracting both the stalker and its prey for a moment. The Lopmon suddenly flinched away from the nearing noise, disappearing into the undergrowth in an instant. The predator cursed as his meal escaped.
At that moment the noisy group emerged from the woods into his line of sight, and his annoyance faded into pleasure. It was a group of eleven humans and their Digimon partners. Thin green lips curved into a dark smile around long fangs. Today he would have a much better meal he had originally planned.
The reason he so often went hunting in the woods was his green coloring, which helped him blend into the trees. It served him now as well. The group of Digi-Destined was approaching closer and closer without even realizing he was there. They shouldn’t notice him, as long as he made no sounds or abrupt movements. Soon they would be close enough to spring at. His claws itched to feel them trapped under his heavy weight.
Sudden pain exploded from his tail, and he gnashed his teeth together to keep from making any sound to betray his position. “See something you like, Duodramon?” asked a sinister, female voice from behind him.
He turned his broad upper body and glared heavily at Marajamon, who held his snake tail in a tight fist. The snake’s head hissed softly in pain.
“You’ve played with them long enough. It’s my turn to hunt them,” Duodramon growled lowly.
“If you hunt them you will eat them,” she sneered, as if disgusted by his animalistic behavior. When his snake tail hissed again she released it, wiping her hand on her clothes as if touching something vile.
Duodramon bared his fangs. “Hunger is to be satisfied!” he said as loud as he dared.
Marajamon was not intimidated by the beast’s rage. “You know the master forbids us from permanently injuring them. We may weaken them, but we must not kill them. Yet.”
After a long growl, Duodramon nodded. He would obey.
She was satisfied with that. “Have fun then,” she smirked, walking away into the trees.
Duodramon turned back to the group of frail humans and their weak Digimon, but during the course of his conversation they had continued on their way and vanished. The snake head on the end of his tail scented the air, finally turning to the east. Duodramon began again to stalk his prey.
* * *
The Digi-Destined group decided to stop and have lunch in the forest, since it was such a nice day. A picnic seemed like a great way to relieve some stress, and the woods sounded like a good place to find food. Actually, there search turned up a frustratingly little amount of edibles, but Dani, Emily and Erica came to the group’s rescue. Dani still had some leftovers given to her by the Gekomon, and Emily and Erica had snuck some from Starmon’s restaurant (leaving some tips behind to pay for it, of course). Gathering up their stores from all these sources, the eleven kids and Digimon managed to make a decent meal for themselves.
The food was good, but talk was sparse. Everyone was anxious to get moving again, the threat of Marajamon hanging over them like a heavy cloud. What little talk there was, Samee was glad to find herself a part of. Any awkwardness between her and the group was buried in their determination to include their old friend.
Jenn sat apart slightly, holding her In-Training Digimon in her lap and feeding her tiny bites of food. Junumon looked discouraged with herself, but Jenn murmured encouraging and loving words without hesitation. She knew her Digimon had tried her hardest, and PolarGlorymon had been the most beautiful thing Jenn had ever seen. Now she worked hard to help her Digimon get past her doubts and regain her strength. After all, with Marajamon after them they needed every single Digimon to be able to fight.
As he swallowed a piece of fruit, Cunomon’s ears suddenly perked upright on his head. He sat up and put his nose in the air, inhaling cautiously. Then he poked Lexxy, who was listening to Tania tell a joke about the Beatles, with his tail. “Lexxy, I think we should get moving really soon,” he said under his breath.
Lexxy glanced over at him in concern. She rarely heard him this serious. The little dragon stared off into the woods with his eyes narrowed. She knew something was up. “Guys, we need to get moving,” she announced lowly.
“Huh?” Lina looked at her in confusion. “What’s the rush?” She followed the black-haired girl’s gaze to Cunomon, who was still examining the woods around them.
Pandamon sniffed the air and shivered. “Uh oh.”
“Uh oh?” repeated Dani.
All the Digimon began to sense something. Fur and hackles rose on edge, tails fluffed, fangs were bared. The Digi-Destined stared at their partners, bewildered. “Somebody tell me what’s going on!” Kristina demanded loudly, causing everyone to jump.
Jaymon fluttered up into the air, hovering over her Digi-Destined. “Just get everything packed up and let’s go! Hurry!” the pink and yellow parrot gasped.
A booming laugh echoed from the trees all around them, making it impossible to tell what direction it was coming from. “Too late!” proclaimed a very deep and gravely voice, like sand and grit churning.
The Digimon who stepped out of the concealing trees was the size of a large Champion Digimon (although actually an Ultimate), and shaped somewhat like a centaur. The four-footed Digimon had a man’s head with a lion’s mane and horns, along with a tail ending in a snake’s head. Both heads had sickle-like fangs. He was various colors of green, almost blending in with the forest.
Lexxy own green eyes opened wide in complete horror, her mouth falling open in a gasp. The creature had come from her mind, but he looked ten times more frightening than anything she had ever imagined. She was frozen in terror as both heads looked down on the group of Digimon and humans with sharp, cruel grins.
Cunomon made his move, feeling a need to protect Lexxy more powerful than he’d ever felt before. He leaped in front of the large Digimon, the sunlight striking his yellow claws as he flexed them. “Get lost, Duodramon, or you’ll be sorry!” the Rookie cried out, as loud and fierce as he could.
Duodramon’s only reply was to laugh condescendingly. When Cunomon launched at the large Digimon in his Rolling Spines attack, Duodramon took the blow on his shoulder pad without damage. The Ultimate Digimon chuckled. “Nice try. Now take this!”
“Acid Strike!” hissed the second head, shooting a putrid, thick, green substance at the small dragon. With a cry of pain Cunomon collapsed onto the ground. Duodramon rapidly repeated his attack, hitting the other Digimon before they could move from their protective stance around the Digi-Destined.
Fighting through the pain, the Digimon began to get up again. Cunomon was the first to his feet, shaking off the acid that was spewed at him. Seeing him on his feet gave Lexxy courage. She grabbed her digi-vice tightly in her fist. “Digi-volve,” she whispered, too afraid yet to speak loudly.
The dragon was encased in a bright light, which Duodramon had to squint against with a growl. “Cunomon digi-volve to . . . Sartomon!” The navy blue dragon spread his night-like wings and launched into the air.
“That’s it,” Jenn encouraged everyone, breaking the spell of fear on them all. “Let’s digi-volve!” The other Digi-Destined nodded and grabbed their digi-vices.
“Junumon digi-volve to . . . Foximon!”
“Pandamon digi-volve to . . . Kombatmon!”
“Cheekomon digi-volve to . . . Cheetormon!”
“Diratimon digi-volve to . . . Dracomon!”
“Yazumon digi-volve to . . . Djarumon!”
“Jaymon digi-volve to . . . Skylamon!”
“Magimon digi-volve to . . . Athenamon!”
“Huntermon digi-volve to . . . Agurimon!”
“Nerimon digi-volve to . . . Nedikismon!”
“Sunemon digi-volve to . . . KiSunemon!”
The Champions flew at Duodramon, intent on overwhelming him. Foximon hung back to protect the human children as best she could. She wasn’t strong enough to take part in this battle, but at least she had regained her Rookie form.
Duodramon didn’t look alarmed in the least, nor was he phased by the attacks that were thrown at him. “Acid Flail!” he cried, grabbing his tail and swinging it over his head in a circle. Green globs of acid were flung in all directions. Dracomon, Skylamon, Cheetormon and Nediskismon were hit and fell back to the ground, returning to their Rookie forms. The others fanned out and tried to dodge the slung blobs as best they could.
“You are worse than flies,” chuckled the evil Digimon in his grating voice, releasing his tail. The snake head shook itself and hissed in displeasure. Apparently it wasn’t too found of that attack. Ignoring his other head, Duodramon grinned with an evil look. “I think it’s time to swat you.”
A deep growling noise came from deep in the Ultimate Digimon’s throat, and the Champion Digimon remaining backed off slightly, wary. That wariness turned to panic very quickly as Duodramon began to grow!
The remaining Champions grabbed their Digi-Destined and the Rookies and pulled back frantically, trying to get clear of the monster’s rapidly growing girth. As a group they ducked into some thick trees just in time; a giant clawed foot stomped down inches from where they had just been.
With laughter like thunder booming down on them, the Digi-Destined took stock of their situation. They had Sartomon, Kombatmon, Djarumon, Athenamon, Agurimon, and KiSunemon left who were able to fight. The Rookies were dazed and weak from taking Duodramon’s repeated hits, being held by their partners. They wouldn’t even be able to defend the Digi-Destined if the Champions were incapacitated.
“This reminds me of Devimon,” Samee muttered, peeking from behind a thick tree up at the massive Duodramon. He was amusing himself with stomping on trees and spraying acid down on the helpless forest. He knew where they were, he was just biding his time. He was toying with them.
“Okay, we need a plan,” Jenn thought out loud. “This shelter won’t hold up long, but even when we were all Champions we didn’t phase him, and that’s when he was normal sized! I think we have to retreat, guys. We can ride the Champions and get out of here fast enough.” The redhead looked upset but determined. This might have been a lost battle, but it wouldn’t be a lost war. They weren’t giving up! The others were all nodding their heads, seeing the wisdom in her words. They all trusted Jenn as their leader.
Suddenly the trees began to shake all around them. The ground shook and groaned. The Digi-Destined and the Rookies hid under the Champions in fear as the trees were uprooted and yanked into the air. Duodramon grinned at them mockingly. “Peek-a-boo!” he laughed. “What do we have here?”
“Run for it!” Jenn commanded, leaping on Agurimon’s back behind Emily.
“I don’t think so. I’m not done having fun!” the monstrosity roared. His voice was loud enough to make the Digi-Destined clap their hands to their ears in pain. “Oh, I think I’ll play with this one.” One giant green hand shot down like lightning and closed around Lexxy, cutting off her scream.
“LEXXY!” Sartomon bellowed, seeing his Digi-Destined drawn away from them in the grasp of the giant monster. He spread his wings and leaped into the sky after her. “Star Shooter!” he commanded, striking Duodramon’s wrist. On reflex the hand opened, dropping Lexxy to the forest floor. Before she could hit she was caught safely in Kombatmon’s arms.
Now Sartomon was mad. He circled around Duodramon’s head like an angry hornet, keeping his attention away from the other Digi-Destined and Digimon. Stars flew from his wings in a constant stream, striking all over the giant body but not causing any harm. Duodramon’s heavy brows crashed together in an expression of annoyance. With a growl his hand shot out and snatched the dragon right out of the air. He squeezed his fist cruelly, crunching his wings.
“Sartomon!” Lexxy gasped on the ground, his howl of pain torture to her ears. Duodramon’s evil glare as he eyed the Digimon in his grasp could only mean one thing. Her Digimon was about to be deleted! Lexxy could only think of one thing. “Sartomon, DIGI-VOLVE!” she shouted desperately.
Both Lexxy’s Crest and digi-vice began to glow. So did Sartomon, the light shining from between Duodramon’s knuckles. With a roar of pain he released his prize and recoiled, crushing more trees with his clawed feet.
“Sartomon digi-volve to . . . DracoSartomon!”
DracoSartomon was a huge Ultimate, fully the size of the giant Duodramon. He was a humanoid-dragon with blue skin and sky blue wings. A leather sash went around one shoulder, and bandanas were tied around his arms and tail. He stood in front of Duodramon and growled a challenge.
Duodramon might have looked slightly cautious at the sight of this new Digimon, but it was soon covered up with his usual amused expression. His snake head reared up and opened its fanged maw, ready to volley another glob of acid at DracoSartomon. “Acid Strike!”
The dragon Digimon leaped into the sky, spreading his sky blue wings wide. “Blade of the Dragon!” he called out, and a shining sword of energy coalesced on his back. DracoSartomon pulled the sword from its place and held it in his hand, blocking the blobs of acid hurled at him.
Duodramon glared at the dragon Digimon in anger. He could choose to fight, but he would use his full strength against a fellow Ultimate, and he had to be careful of not to destroy these pests. He really couldn’t disobey his master. As much as he loathed admitting it, that one was more powerful than he.
Backing away, Duodramon sneered balefully up at DracoSartomon. “For now the hunt is over,” he growled. “But I’ll be back.” As he backed away, he shrunk until he returned to his normal size and disappeared into the forest, leaving the leveled and uprooted trees as his battlefield.
DracoSartomon’s form began to glow and he also shrunk, settling onto the ground in his Rookie form once again. Cunomon grinned tiredly and thumped his tail. “That’ll show ‘em,” he insisted proudly.
Diratimon and Yazumon appeared on either side of him, smirking. “Wow, that DracoSartomon’s quite the stud,” snickered Diratimon, elbowing Cuno with a wing.
“Yeah, the digi-babes are gonna be all over you now,” added Yazumon with a chortle.
“Aw, you guys are just jealous,” Cunomon sniffed, walking away and trotting up to Lexxy. “Are you okay?” he asked seriously.
“I’ll always be okay with you here,” the vested girl told her dragon. She was about to ask if he was all right too, but the laptop on her back suddenly beeped urgently.
“What’s that?” asked Alex.
“Oh, the laptop!” Lexxy pulled it out and turned it on as everyone crowded around. “It’s another e-mail!” she exclaimed, deciding to read out loud for the benefit of those who couldn’t see the screen. “Same e-mail address as always. It says, ‘Checking in with the Digi-Destined. We’ve previously lost your signal and have been making attempts at contacting you. If you are receiving this message, please respond immediately with an update.’ That’s all it says.” Without waiting for anyone’s reaction, she began typing out a reply.
Tania harrumphed, crossing her arms. “We don’t even know who this is,” she complained, looking meaningfully at Jenn as the leader, to remind her. “Why do we always do what they say?” She leaned over and snatched Lexxy’s laptop away from her.
“Hey!” Lexxy objected, but she was ignored.
Tania typed quickly, talking out loud as she did so. “Hey, why don’t you try telling us who you are and what you want with us, you weirdo!”
“Tania!” Lexxy scolded, taking the laptop back. She read the added words with a frown and deleted them. Then she looked at Jenn, who gave her acceptance with a nod, and the black-haired girl hit the send button.
Tania pretended to pout. “You’re no fun, Lexxy,” she grumbled.