A/N: You know, I wonder if they'll laugh when I am dead? Love and be loved. Read… and review!
Death Of A Warrior
I stare at the slender figure, the dark digimon that enslave the woman I love. I can not see the Dark digimon who had become my nemesis to this point. I can only see Ryo Akiyama and Henry Wong. I see the fiery hair and the violet eyes. I can almost hear her soft voice carrying across the desert to me. I can almost smell the perfume she would wear for me, the same perfume she wore on our first date that she knew I loved. I can almost taste her lips on mine. I can almost feel the weight of her body leaning against mine.
Almost. But I can not.
'This is for Rika.' I lift my lance up, point it straight at her back, and whispered as softly as I can, "Lightening Joust."
My lance glows at the tip, powering up and then blasts off right for BlackSakuyamon. Everything grows silent as I watch this lightening bolt rocket off of my lance and fly through the desert air at the person I know and love. I am deaf to the Digital World as I watch it plow through her, totally absorbing her body in its explosion, because when the shot rings home… you never hear it.
"ARGH!" She screams out.
Immediately everything speeds up. I watch the explosion take place and then run right at her. BlackSakuyamon is a in a heap on the ground and I fall on top of her, pinning her to the ground in an odd position. I grab her by the hair and yank it violently so she is forced to look me in the eyes, "At last" I say, speaking quickly, but pausing here to savor the moment, "we meet again, isn't that right? Hello, Rika. I'm here to tell you that it's okay to come home. And I'm gonna end this as quick as I can, I promise."
She struggles under my weight, groaning at the pain, "Oh, don't worry, it's gonna be as pain free as possible. I'll make sure of that. It's been really real, BlackSakuyamon, but this is where the road ends."
I pick up my lance and position myself to stab her through the spine. I take one last look down at her when I see it. The typical yellow of BlackSakuyamon's eyes is now gone, replaced by completely black pupils. I've seen this song and dance before, a cheap tactic to clear out physical space. I jump off of her immediately and back up, cursing to myself. 'I should have known it wouldn't be that easy.'
Her whole body explodes with black and violet energy in the immediate area around her, just the way it did when BlackWargreymon used this Darkness enforced attack. After the smoke clears on the self-destruction moment BlackSakuyamon shakes violently on the ground. I think for a brief moment that this could be my chance to end it, I even take a step towards her, but if I have learned nothing else from my battles with these Dark Megas, it's that its never that easy. I take the step back and prepare for her counter. And then it comes, as her violet fox of energy appears out of thin air and stares me down for a second, contemplating my existence, while BlackSakuyamon begins to get to her feet. I scream out, "BRING IT ON!"
"BRING IT ON!" I hear being screamed from not far off. 'That voice!'
I turn and find Gallantmon not far off! He's alive! He's facing what looks like a floating, transparent smoke screen. Wait, no, that's a fox. 'Renamon.'
I look around trying to find HiAndromon and find he is locked in a fistfight with an Triceramon. I quickly whip out my shotgun Berenjena, take careful aim and shout, "Double Shot!"
The blast shoots right through the Triceramon who is gone immediately. HiAndromon looks around confused before I call to him, "Kazu! Over here! Come look and see whose back?"
I point with the Berenjena towards the battle going on with Takato. He stands still, staring at me cautiously before following the direction of my gun and then his entire facial expression changes. He looks back to me quickly, nods his head and then begins running towards the red knight. Without a second's hesitation I do the same.
The violet fox stares me down for a few seconds, taking in my appearance, almost confused at the look of me. BlackSakuyamon stands on her feet and look directly at me, "What were you saying about the end of the road?"
A voice calls out of the wildness going on around us, "Gallantmon!"
I turn to follow the voice and find Beelzemon and HiAndromon, standing at the ready. "I think you're gonna need this" HiAndromon yells and then throws my shield at me.
I grab Aegis out of the sky and position it towards BlackSakuyamon. I nod to them and return to looking at Rika. The violet fox is no longer staring me down, threatening to attack, but floating just over her shoulder as she points her staff at me, saying, "Your shield and lance will be no match to my staff, Takato."
"I love you, Rika."
Electricity spurts up around her forehead but doesn't even make it to her neck this time. She must be prepared for this, "There you go again, whining about a dead girl, how adorable."
"If you only knew the half of it." I respond, knowing that it is time to fight for my 'Dream Girl.'
I go on the offensive, for the first time in a long time, and dash towards her, shield and lance pointed in preparation. BlackSakuyamon stoically watches me charge at her and then at the last moment she swings her staff up and blocks my lance, but my shield charges forward and I push up against her. I push her back a few feet before we both tumble to the ground, I losing my lance and she losing her staff. I crush her under the weight of Aegis. "Tell me, Rika, do you remember when I told you that I loved you? Do you remember?"
She growls up at me, struggling to break free. "DIE, TAKATO!"
Suddenly the purple and black fox returns, flies upwards and then dive bombs through my back! My chest burns like it's on fire, but these pains are nothing that I haven't already been dealing with, so instead of letting go of my shield and rolling away helplessly, like I would have just a day ago, I push back and go into a standing position. My upper body muscles pull like tightened strings from the pain as I reach down, grab my lance and take a few steps back. I look for her staff so I can kick it away but it's nowhere to be found. I try to stall, "Die? You mean like so many of your peers?"
She stands back up and now I find her staff, which is, of course, right by her side. She picks it up and returns to glare at me, "Die like so many of your friends. Like your entire army, like the entire digital world after I have killed you."
I bark back in anger, "Die like BlackWargreymon died?"
But this is something else. This was news to her. Her entire body language changes instantly. She no longer stands tall, glaring at me. Her shoulders droop, her head swings to one direction, her mouth hangs open, and her eyes suddenly soften. "You… killed BlackWargreymon?"
Is it possible that The Darkness does not know that its most reliable knight has been killed? Is it possible that he knows of none of our victories? Knows none of my victories? Do I tell her all of them now or hold it back to keep The Darkness at bay. No, he'll know shortly, once he begins checking. I'm sure he has ways to check. I yell to her, "That's right. BlackWargreymon is dead and he will never again terrorize the Digital World. Neither will ChaosJustimon nor BlackMegaGargomon."
BlackSakuyamon gasps, putting her hand to her mouth. "You didn't."
"Takato, did you?" I hear a voice call near by.
Both BlackSakuyamon and I turn to the lone remaining spectator, HiAndromon. Beelzemon is gone, probably off to help the fight that is going on. I never wanted to break the news to Kazu like this, but now I had no choice, "Yes, Kazu. They're all dead. I didn't have any other option."
He stares solemnly at me and I stare back. After a few more seconds he nods his head. He understands. Quickly, he turns and returns to the war that is going on around him. I look back to BlackSakuyamon, who looks dumbfounded. "Rika, it doesn't have to be like this. Not anymore. Just give up. I promise you—"
"Promise," BlackSakuyamon snaps out of it, "you never stop promising. Even when you broke the damn girl's heart, you're still promising."
Of course. She's trying to break my spirits, trying to derail me from speaking directly to Rika myself. It will be harder this time. I was able to get through to Sakuyamon before, so it will be more difficult this time. She continues, "I must say, I'm impressed. I didn't think you had it in you to kill your closest friends. Do you really think you can do that again to the girl you claim to 'love'?"
She thinks she can weigh me down, but I know if I want Rika to come out I need to go right for the heart, "Do you remember what happened when I told you I loved you, Rika? Do you remember?"
She points her staff at me, and calls out, "Ura Izuna."
This time her main attack is different however, instead of being squeezed by a giant energy fox, four different foxes fly out from her staff towards me. Dark Red, Violet, Black, and Dark Yellow. They fly at me but I will have none of this, I swing Aegis at the first two, the Dark Red and Dark Yellow foxes, and they disappear on impact. The Violet and Black foxes come towards me. I point Gram, my lance, at them and shout, "Lightening Joust!"
The blast shoots through the foxes, destroying them, and BlackSakuyamon stands stock still as my attack flies just over her shoulder, missing by just a few feet. She seems upset but also bewildered at my fighting back. I take this opportunity to speak quickly, "You looked me in the eye and you tested me, Rika. You asked me if I really meant it. You didn't say you loved me too, not right away."
"And she never will, now that she's dead." BlackSakuyamon says, running towards me.
It's my turn to stand stoically as the imposing threat comes right at me, "All the pain you've been through in life. All the hurt. The way you're Dad treated you and walked out. The way you've never really connected with your Mom…"
She is upon me but I put up my shield, blocking her staff from it's bone crushing intentions and she pushes me backwards, screaming in my face as I go on, "the way you're afraid of losing your grandma, the way you lost Renamon for what you thought was forever. And then I have the nerve—"
"SHUT UP!" She stops pushing and then just begins beating her staff against Aegis. She's completely lost her composure at this point and I can see the electricity building, spinning around her neck and moving down her arms.
"—to bulldoze my way into your life and in just a few months come out of no where and tell you that I love you? Like anyone ever could? Like I really meant it? Who did I think I was?"
She screams out, "DIE!"
She jabs at the shield with her staff once, twice and then on the third I make my move. I lift my shield up, drop Gram on purpose, and slide out of the way as her staff goes to the spot I was just standing. I grab her staff with my right hand and yank it will all of my force. BlackSakuyamon comes towards me, not letting go and I follow through by swinging my shield at her head, connecting square on her forehead and knocking her to the ground. She releases her staff and I hold it sky high, away from her. I spin away from her quickly, hold the staff in the sky with both hands and bring it down on my kneecap. Just like that, it snaps in half! Escaping from the staff is a scream like a fox being fatally shot. I toss the two halves away and they explode into data. I quickly pick my lance up from the ground, turn back to Rika, and point Gram directly at BlackSakuyamon's throat. The electricity is slowly running up and down her body. I speak softly, "Do you remember what happened next, Rika?"
She glares up at me, defeated and she knows it, paralyzed by the electricity that threatens her hold. She can't focus on both physically fighting back me and mentally fighting back Rika. I continue, "You cried into me, sweet tears of happiness, because you knew that I was being true to you. That I meant it. You knew that finally you could admit it to yourself that you felt it too."
Her eyes close and then there is a brief moment where the black of her body fades to gray, but it never reaches yellow. She speaks as if she could pierce me with her words, "Rika feels it right now. She feels my undying hatred for you, Takato Matsuda."
I just smile at her. She knows that she is lying to both of us. I speak slowly and softly, "Was that how she felt about me before autumn? Before she wanted to change who she was and before I needed a friend more than I needed myself?"
Again BlackSakuyamon fades to gray but then immediately back to black. She screams out, "Stop it!"
"Rika pulled me out of the pouring rain and told me that I was going to be alright. That I was weak and pathetic… but I was going to be alright."
"You still are weak and pathetic!" she hissed back, the electricity growing even stronger, her body now fading back and forth between gray and black continuously.
"Do you remember, Rika? Come on, come out of there, Rika. You remember. You remember feeling safe around me. You remember that if things weren't all right you could say that. You remember that you could be yourself around me, not the tough girl you had to be around everyone else."
"I'll be myself around you once you're DEAD!" she screams.
"We stood outside of Yamaki's apartment and you looked me in the eye and you just knew that I needed you. You tackled me into the pond and we fell into the water. The way we spent hours on end just talking. Sitting in that chair by the window, watching the rain and the thunder with you. The smile you gave me," I said, lowering my lance to her stomach, "that you kept hidden from the rest of the world! The way we kissed! The way it felt like electricity," I raise my lance up, "I love you, Rika!"
I bring Gram down and break through the electricity, slice through the digimon, cut through the girl. She screams out, "AHH!"
Her entire body changes from black to yellow and the screaming melts away to a whimper. Her eyes look up into the sky for a few moments, unmoving and unfeeling. She blinks twice and then they move, first away from me. Then her eyelids close for a moment. She opens them up again and looks straight up at me. She takes a big gulp of air, breathing in the desert, fighting for life, trying to survive. Finally she looks up at me once again and whispers, "Takato."
"Rika," I whisper back.
"You did it. I'm," she reaches for breath, "so proud of you."
I almost can't handle seeing her like this, in so much pain. "Rika, I'm so sorry."
She coughs and groans at the same time, "Don't say you're sorry. This is how it must be. We must all die so that you can…"
"Save your breath." I plead with her, and she nods in agreement.
"What's going to happen to you?" I ask, letting my fears take over.
"I'm not going to get in your way ever again. There's no one left, Takato. Only you and The Darkness. You can stop him now."
"I never wanted to hurt you," I say, my chest now burning from the pain I feel for what I've done to her, not from her attacks.
"I know, Takato. I understand."
"Rika, I love you so much." I feel an unforgivable pain build inside of me. How could I do this? How could I kill Rika? What have I done?"
She reaches up and touches my face, "Takato, I will always love you. I'm sorry I let this happen."
"No!" I intervene, "No, Rika! This is not your fault. You did nothing to deserve this. I should have been there. I should have been there to protect you."
"But you can't kill yourself now for not being there then." She says softly.
I run a hand through Sakuyamon's hair. It's not right that this is happening and we are not ourselves, that we must subject Guilmon and Renamon to our pain. Renamon! Oh my God. "Renamon, I'm so—"
"I wanted this just as much as Rika did," she interrupts me, "and if nothing else I am sorry for not protecting you when I was with you. I should have and could have done so much more."
The pain sears my entire body. I can't believe any of this is happening, "Rika, I'm sorry. I love you. Forgive me."
"There's nothing to forgive, Takato. Nothing to forgive."
"What do I do now? I'm lost without you, Rika. I can't go on without you. I can't do this alone. I need you. You can't leave me."
"Takato, you're not alone. Look around," she says, nodding her head towards something.
I turn my head and find that we are surrounded with allies. I had been so focused on Rika and Sakuyamon that I lost awareness for everything going on around me. There stood Beelzemon and HiAndromon. Jeri and Suzy were being protected by Puppetmon. Kenta stood tall, MarineAngemon just over his shoulder, smiling encouragingly at me. MetalSeadramon waged war in the background, along with a small number of others. The battle at Terrier's Lake was won, and now my team stood by my side, watching the death of the most important person in my life. I looked back down to her, "Rika…"
"Takato, you've done everything you've had to do. Now end it. You have to defeat The Darkness, it's" she struggles for her breath, "up to you. You'll never be alone. I'll always be with you. Always."
I shake my head and I feel the hot sting of tears slide down my face. But it is not Gallantmon's face that they slide off of, but of my own. I gather Sakuyamon into my arms and lift her up, careful to position the lance so that it doesn't go any further into her. I feel the tears run down my cheeks in waves, and the crushing pain in the pit of my stomach knowing we don't know what is going to happen after she is gone. I stand in position and grip Gram tighter, prepared to say goodbye, and I whisper, "Rika, I'll never let you go."
"I know, Takato. Now end it and send us home. I'll be waiting for you, in my room," she whispers because she can not speak.
"And I'll sit in the corner, and we'll just watch the rain come down," I say, remembering that fateful June day.
"And we'll just talk, for hours," she says.
"And never really talk about anything," I add.
"Yes, Takato. I promise," she whispers.
A brooding voice suddenly booms over us, "That's enough."
I look around to find the source of the voice and realize at once that I have forgotten my most important enemy. Henry and Terriermon warned me that he was coming! How could I forget about him? The voice booms over us again, "What a shame such a strong group had to perish, but I suppose that's the price I have to pay to get rid of me."
Appearing almost out of thin air The Darkness, the Dark Me, walks out into the opening and stands a several feet from me and stares at Guilmon and I and Sakuyamon. He has no soldiers beside him, no one to protect him. He has come alone while his army has fought a losing effort. I look him in the eyes, still careful not to move too much with my lance for fear of hurting Rika anymore than I already have, and yell out, "So you just let your soldiers die while you watched? And now you come to rescue Rika again?"
"What a fool am I? You think I come here to save the girl? I come to bury her."
What? What does he mean bury her? I give him a bewildered stare and that's when Rika grabs me tightly, "Takato! You have to be strong for me, don't let him get to you. Fight him with a clear mind! Don't forget about my promise, I'll be—"
"I said," The Darkness speaks over her, "that's enough."
Suddenly, he reaches his right hand out towards Rika and me! I pull her tighter and look her in the eyes, preparing to remove the lance so he can't claim her for himself again like he did last time, "Rika, I love you."
I watch as over her shoulder The Darkness closes his outstretched hand into a fist, "Takato, I lo—AHHH!"
Sakuyamon! With the close of his hand her entire body disintegrates around my lance! The shaman princess explodes into nothing but data! There is nothing, no remains.
Rika is dead.
"NO! RIKA!" I scream out, reaching out grasping at the data as it streams away. I try to grab hold of it and bring her back but it is gone in a matter of seconds.
He… he killed her. He killed Rika. I look right up to him with a fury in my entire being I'm not sure I have ever known. My blood boils, my heart explodes, my every nerve races and twitches. "You fucking monster."
"Yeah, yeah, I killed the girl you slept about that time so long ago, I blah blah, but never forget," he says, giving me a greedy smile, "that we are one in the same. I just do what you are incapable and unwilling to do."
I've never wanted to kill someone so badly before. I've never thirst for blood like I do right now. He just killed the only thing I had worth living for, the girl who saved me from myself. I scream out, "You and I are nothing alike."
He smiles at this! Not just smiles, he laughs! He chuckles at me and then says, "Perhaps all this time in my world, and, ah, in that suit of yours, perhaps you've forgotten what you look like? But we're pretty alike, you know."
"Guilmon, are you ready to kill this guy or what?" I ask within ourselves.
"Whatever you want, Takatomon! He can't delete Renamon like that and expect to get away with it!"
"Alright, boy, give me another second and then we're gonna try a Lightening Joust and then figure it out from there."
"What makes you think you're going to succeed in killing me this time when you have failed already before?" I challenge him.
He just smiles again, a smile I want so badly to smack off of his face, "Look at our precious girlfriend? I let her live before and now that she is dead you think that I will fail to get rid of you?"
"Look at your precious Darkness soldiers," I yell, expanding my arms to my surroundings as if you say 'look at whose left.'
"Your army is defeated again and now I have killed your strongest body guards. One by one, all of them are dead. BlackWargreymon, ChaosJustimon, BlackMegaGargomon and BlackSakuyamon. All dead."
"Along with all of your closest friends, Me," he shoots back.
"Once you're gone they'll come back, I know they will." I respond powerfully.
"HA! Is that what I think will happen? I am terribly mistaken, I'm afraid! Even if you do somehow end my reign over the Digital World, your friends are never coming back."
I explode with his taunts, "ENOUGH! LIGHTENING JOUST!"
I shoot the blast right at him and just before it hits I watch it fly away, far off into the distance behind him. "Is that all I have to offer?"
Suddenly a voice screams out, "Try this on for size! Double Shot!"
I look to the side and Beelzemon is firing his double barrel shotgun at The Darkness. He lifts his hand up just before the bullets reach him and they stop in mid-air! They drop to the ground and he smiles viciously at Beelzemon and the other Megas, "Now that's more like it! Let's see more of that!"
Without permission the other Megas attack. 'No! This is what he wants!' HiAndromon rushes forward first followed by Puppetmon and Beelzemon, MarineAngemon following up on the rear. "No! He wants you to attack! Stop!"
I rush forward ahead of my fellow Mega Level digimon right for the All-Dark Takato. We have to do this! For Ryo and Henry and Rika! For Takato! For all the digimon this jerk has killed and will kill if we can't succeed. Guardromon and I thunder towards him and he displays a stupid grin on his face, waiting for us to arrive.
HiAndromon and I are within a few steps when it happens. He holds his hand up and points his palm at me. Wait, I've seen this before…
A wave of black energy is shot at us. No actual energy is shot but it feels like a gigantic gust of wind blown right through us. Before I can even think of what just happened I feel an emptiness in my stomach and I feel desert air hit my face. I take a few more steps, shortened significantly, and tumble over, falling flat on my face, crash landing into the desert. Gallantmon and Takato! He did this to Gallantmon and made them de-digivolve! I look over my shoulder and, sure enough, there is Guardromon, face down as well. Oh my God, we're defenseless!
I look back up at The Darkness and I am met with his solid black eyes staring down at me. He says in a low voice to me, "Tsk-tsk, what a shame to lose a friend like this."
He raises his right hand and forms a gun with his thumb and index finger! He points it at me and smiles. 'This… is it. He's going to kill me.' Before he pulls the trigger though, he drags it across the desert and points it… at Guardromon! "Watch out, Guardromon!" I scream and turn my head towards him, "Guardromon, no!"
"Kazu!" he screams back.
A feel a wave of something blow past my ear and then Guardromon is gone! He explodes into data and disappears forever. 'Guardromon… no. He… he killed him. He killed my partner.' I turn back and look at The Darkness, embodied by Takato. He turns his attention back to me, sneers, and then flicks his wrist at me the hand-gun.
"WHOA!" I scream out as my body flies into the sky.
I go rolling across the desert sand for a few seconds, each roll a new bruise, every rotation another agony screaming through my body. I suddenly feel myself bowl through another person and they crash land on top of me. I open my eyes finally and realize I have clipped Jeri by the kneecaps. She lies on the ground yelling out in pain just a few feet away.
He killed Guardromon, just like that. Without exerting any effort or showing any remorse. That bastard! 'This is my chance, I have to make him pay!'
I fly towards him, Puppetmon just in front of me, MarineAngemon to my left. Having dispersed of Kazu he now turns his attention to our triangle. He puts his hand out towards Puppetmon and then snaps his wrist downwards. Immediately Puppetmon stops in his tracks, his knees buckle and he falls onto his face! With quick reaction, The Darkness then points his right hand towards myself and MarineAngemon! He makes as if he was back-handing one of us and MarineAngemon screams out, "Phoo!"
He is out of the way and it is only the two us now. I run full force at him, point my Blaster at him and prepare to shoot. Just before I can get a blast off, however, he puts his hand up in a stop sign. I can't move a single muscle in my body. I am frozen in my spot and the next thing I know he his slowly closing his stop sign into a fist. I feel my whole body tingle and grow with a bright light. I feel myself shrinking and I already know what's happened. I can't stop him now. No one can stop him now.
He pulls his fist towards his body and I involuntarily fly towards him! He reaches out for me just as I'm about to crash into him and he grabs me by the neck! Immediately I lose all air and stare into the eyes of my most hated enemy. His dark eyes meet mine and we stare into one another for a few moments. I don't let my fear show in these waning moments. I need to be strong and show him that I do no fear him. I can not let him know that he has won. Cannot give in.
"IMPMON! NO!" I hear Gallantmon scream out and then he is followed by a chorus of others.
For just a moment, The Darkness pulls his eyes away from me to peaks at Takato and the others. Without looking back to me he says, "You're friends can't save you now, you know that, right?"
"No one can help me now, and I wouldn't want them to any way, you punk."
His eyes dart back to me, and he smiles at this, "You've been a pesky pain in my side for several years now, you know that?"
"And I've only just started." I whisper back.
He laughs and pulls me closer, so that we are just about nose-to-nose. I breath him in now. The enemy I have fought for so long, who I have held off and repelled and punched and counterpunched, now stands before me, holding my life in his hands. His power is greater than anything I ever imagined. Gallantmon and I barely defeated BlackWargreymon. What chance did I ever really have to defeat The Darkness by myself? The entire digital world truly lies in the hands of Takato now. He speaks with almost a laugh in his voice, "You've been an admirable opponent, but in the end you never stood a chance!"
"What end? I'm gonna be the one who kills you, fool." I hush back to him.
He's just about giddy with this response, "Hoo ha ha, it's really quite funny, when you think about it, isn't it? You fought me for years while I just watched you struggle in futility. I just loved watching you squirm."
"Yeah, well BlackWargreymon really squirmed under my sidearm when I killed him."
He laughs at this, "Oh, I bet he did! You think I cared about him? Like it even mattered? You spent years trying to kill him, and now I'm going to kill you in a matter of seconds."
I don't say anything in response and he just smiles and stares into my soul. Now he stops laughing and grows serious. His expression changes to bored and he says, "Good bye, Impmon."
He raises his left hand but I don't look at it. I keep my eyes glued to his and just before he swings his hand I whisper, "You'll never kill me."
He swats my whole body with his left hand and a pain I haven't felt since Gallantmon and the D-Reaper beat me down comes rushing back to me. But it feels stronger this time. I feel it enveloping my whole body as I crash into the desert sand and go rolling along for hundreds of feet further. I feel my right arm digitize and shake to a point of deletion, but it doesn't reach that point as I come crashing to a halt. The deletion has not come. Not yet, at least.
Impmon goes flying across the desert and there is only myself and MetalSeadramon left. I quickly turn to him and yell, "MetalSeadramon! Protect the others!"
He nods and quickly flies to protect Kazu, Jeri, Suzy and Kenta, just a few feet away, but totally unprotected at this point. MarineAngemon had landed right back into Kenta's arms but he was completely out of commission. I needed someone to protect them, in case I was unable to, but I suppose, if I can't stop the Darkness now, no one can.
I march towards him and yell out, "This is our battle, leave everyone else out of this."
He smiles to me and as I close the distance to within twenty feet. He raises his palm up to me, "If this is our battle then let's make it an even platform then, why don't we?"
His icy cold voice sends chills up my spine but that is nothing compared to his attack, which pulls all the plugs on Gallantmon and I realize that I now stand before him without Guilmon. I turn around and he is lying face down, clearly exhausted and defeated, "Guilmon, I love you buddy, but this is my battle."
He looks to object but can't, he opens his mouth but it is The Darkness' voice that screeches over his, "Well let me just take care of that for you then."
I watch as Guilmon's body slowly slides across the desert sand and towards MetalSeadramon and the rest of them. I turn back to The Darkness and it is just he and I, his hand having moved Guilmon all by itself. He looks up to me and takes a few steps closer. I stare at myself and can't help but wonder how I had let it all reach this point. Where there was no hope but for me to defeat my greatest opponent single handily, in a fist fight. I am the first to speak, "Hello, Me."
I join his rhetoric in the hopes of throwing him off but he just seems to enjoy it, "Oh, you've finally learned have I? It is Me! I am you. You are I."
"I'm going to kill you," I respond.
He shoots me a smile and asks, "Just like you killed Roy Akiyama, Henry Wong, and the beloved Rika Nonaka?"
"Just like I killed BlackWargreymon, ChaosJustimon, Black—"
"OH STOP IT!" He screams over me.
I stare at him dumbfounded. What, what just happened? He goes on, clearly agitated, "You and your compatriot Impmon clearly think that I care for those digimon you killed. Do you know who I am? Do you know what I am capable of? Do you think I need those Digimon? Do you think they are important to me? Do you think I can not raise up different, more powerful digimon? WATCH THIS."
Suddenly he takes a step back and puts his arms to his side. He raises both palms to the sky, and slowly, as if there is some force working against him pushing his arms down, he raises his arms and open palms upwards. The ground shakes violently near by and out from the desert floor on either side of him rise dark figures, one standing on two legs, the other on four. His arms come to a halt once his upturned palms reach his shoulders. He curls his fingers inwards and then the two forms take shape! Oh my God. The one on the right takes the form of another BlackWargreymon! He suddenly yells out as the second digimon, the one on all fours, takes shape, "Do you see? Do you see now? How little I cared for those digimon you killed?"
My worst fears are realized as the Darkness digimon on the left takes the form of a BlackMetalGarurumon! The two come to life and breath in the air. They stare at me and growl. The Darkness booms over their growling, "Impressive, no? No? Oh, well, then, allow me."
Suddenly he slams his two hands together in a clapping motion and then the two digimon follow suit! The BlackWargreymon and BlackMetalGarurumon fly at one another and crash into each other in the air! A dark light explodes from their collision and I have to turn away for a second while the light grows brighter! The light fades and I look back.
"Allow me to introduce you to," The Darkness speaks as a pure black body appears in front of me, with yellow toe-claws and yellow claw markings on its chest. Red lights pop up on its face and in the center of its chest. A black and red cape descends from its back. Out of his left shoulder extends the head of the BlackWargreymon and from there a sword extends down from the mouth. Out of his right shoulder extends the head of the BlackMetalGarurumon and from there a giant cannon comes down from the mouth, "BlackOmnimon!"
The eyes come to life and scan the surrounding quickly before arriving on me. He points his Transcending sword down to me and I stare up at the blade, no more than a few feet from my face. The Darkness calls out, "How proud are you now of your defeat of BlackWargreymon, Me?"
I stare up at the sword, speechless. I had never seen such a digimon in it's own right, let alone infused with Darkness. If this was the extent to The Darkness' power, then we truly did not have any hope. The Darkness yells to me, "Now, let's take care of your little pet over there. BlackOmnimon, attack!"
BlackOmnimon swings his sword away from me and points it towards, MetalSeadramon! I scream out, "MetalSeadramon!"
"Be strong, Takato Matsuda! I will deal with this fiend! RIVER OF POWER!"
BlackOmnimon does not even react, he just yells back, "Termination Sword."
It's not even close. BlackOmnimon's attack vastly overrides the River of Power and crashes into MetalSeadramon! There are screams from Jeri and company before BlackOmnimon points his BlackMetalGarurumon head towards his enemy and yells out, "Chaos Cannon."
The blast takes off and completely overrides MetalSeadramon and in a matter of second the Mega level digimon is completely gone! Just like that, we are all defenseless. What now? I turn back to BlackOmnimon and then The Darkness. He smiles at his creation and then turns to me, "Do you see now, Me? The destructive force I am capable of? The power I wield?"
I say nothing as I sit in stunned silence staring at the Dark Me. I don't let on about my surprise however, as that would only give him everything he wanted. I just stare solemnly at him, waiting for him to call off his monster. We both know that BlackOmnimon can't kill me, just like BlackWargreymon couldn't kill me, just as none of his creations could kill me. He has to be the one. There can be no other way. He seems to acknowledge this, finally, as he calls out, "BlackOmnimon, back down. This one is mine."
The giant unholy knight takes a few a steps back and then The Darkness steps forward towards me. We stand about fifteen feet away. He smiles at me and I just stare back. I need to find out right now what will happen when we try to destroy each other. This bastard has killed Rika and now Guardromon, Impmon and MetalSeadramon, along with countless others! I'm going to—
"Oooh, you're mad, I can feel it, Me. Hold that though," he says while raising his hand into a stop sign and I feel my entire body tense up. I can't move. I can't do anything. I've lost total control of my body once again. But what does he mean he can feel me being mad?
He speaks as if he's devouring his own words, and he begins walking the short distance between us, "Oh yes, your anger is rising. Yes, this will be just perfect. Time to die!"
I am unable to move and just watch him close the gap between us. No! I need to find a way to break free and fight him myself! I can't let him just kill me without putting up a fight. But what do I do? He has total control over my entire body! Just like he did when I tried to kill BlackWargreymon all that time ago and just like he did last time we faced off. What do I do? He closes within ten feet. Here he comes. This is the end.
"NO!" A voice screams out and then a flash appears before me, in the shape of a body, standing in the few feet that remain separating The Darkness and me.
It's Kazu! He stands between the two of us with his arms outstretched, his whole body being a shield. "You can not kill him, I will not allow it."
The Darkness, again, just smiles at him. "You foolish, foolish boy. Let the important people take care of this matter."
He raises his hand into the stop sign that he has used so effectively to this point and points it at Kazu. He flicks his wrist back towards the group.
But nothing happens. Kazu stay standing between us, his arms still outstretched. He stands valiantly between the two of us. Does The Darkness not have control over his body? But, he just tossed him like a rag doll earlier? What is going on? "You have killed too many and done too much damage. This ends here!"
"What is this, boy? Out of my way, now!"
"You'll have to kill me yourself to get to Takato. No more of your tricks." Kazu speaks almost out of his body. How is he doing this? How is he so brave without Guardromon? Without anyone?
The Darkness looks angrier than he has ever been around us. He quickly closes the gap between himself and Kazu and screams, "FAIR ENOUGH! DIE!"
The Darkness brings his fist into Kazu, who raises his left arm as a guard and then a scream lets out, "RAGHHH!"
But it is not Kazu who screams. It is The Darkness! He screams out in agony. He looks down at his right arm, which he had just brought down on Kazu's left forearm and I catch glimpse of it. Almost as if someone had extinguished a shallow fire with an entire bucket of ice water, his right hand is completely gone and his skin smolders and melts away like it had been completely burned off! He screams out louder this time, "RAGHW!"
His scream is bestial and the look in his eyes is that of a wild animal. He stares at Kazu like he's seen a ghost. "YOU WILL DIE FOR THIS!"
He swings his left hand, his full, free hand, backwards, towards BlackOmnimon, who immediately explodes into data and disappears into the wind, rather than streaming upwards like he'd been defeated. Now he takes a step back from Kazu and bring his left hand up swinging, creating a windmill motion, directed towards Kazu.
Suddenly, the sand around Kazu launches up and grabs hold of him! It spins around his ankles, up to his knees and towards his lower body. At the same moment The Darkness explodes into data and also disappears into the air. The sand wraps around Kazu's waist and he begins to move his hips and swing his arms frantically. The sand swallows up his torso and climbs up his body! It slides down his arms and he reaches them out to their full extent to his right and left, palms turned skywards. The sand wraps around his neck and his screaming stops. He looks to the sky and lets out one last cry, "TAKATO HELP!"
I am too dumbfounded to even move to his request. I can't feel anything and just watch as the sand runs over face, into his mouth, suffocating him, and overriding his entire face and hair. The sand tightens suddenly and then sinks in until it solidifies and the sand is no longer sand but, instead, turns to stone.
Kazu stands before, spread out like he had been crucified on a cross, turned completely to stone. I was too late to help him. I didn't even move to help him. He stood between myself and imminent death and now… now he is dead.
Kazu is dead.
A/N: An emotional and action packed chapter. "Death Of A Warrior" has been planned in my mind since pretty much the beginning. I would mark the chapter's origins to the summer of 2008 (or right around when the fourth chapter, "Takato's Crucible," was written), meaning this chapter was 4 years coming when I finally got to write it. It turned into everything I ever wanted it to be, and I really hope you all agree. "Death Of A Warrior" really symbolizes everything "Promise" has come to be about: internal and external battles, emotional endings, total struggles, lots of fighting, and just when you think you're in the clear, well that's when your biggest enemy and greatest fear come to life. You're never out of the woods with The Darkness on the prowl. Also, for the first time in years I went back to look at my old works with "Autumn Leaves" and the earlier chapters of "Promise" and DAMN I just realized that FF changed their settings. I used to have these crazy weird dividers between peoples thoughts and points of view and now they are ALL gone. So when I get the time I'm going to go back and fix those so future readers won't get confused like some of my more recent readers have been. Sorry about that guys, I had no idea it had happened. Anyway, I hope you enjoyed this chapter. Please review it if you've finished reading because you know how much I love you're reviews. Thanks for reading, I hope you enjoyed it. Until next time!
Love Always. Rukato Forever.
"Gentlemen it's time to spread the word, and the word is… Panic!"