"This is insane!"
Eighteen-year-old Izumi Orimoto slammed her fists down on the table, her long blond hair flying behind her. It was no longer covered by a hat, now left open to the wind. Shadowed green eyes flashed with many dark emotions, sharp pain underlying them all. "You cannot do this!"
"Why not?" replied an icy cold tone. Kouji Minamoto's frosty blue eyes bore into her own, pain also prevalent within them. The two were of equal heights and ages, though Kouji was by far the more intimidating at the moment. "You know that it's their fault it happened."
"It is not!" another voice denied, this one carrying a masculine, strong tone. Junpei Shibayama, eldest of all the assembled though only by a year, was unmovable with his crossed-arms pose. "It was Lucemon's fault, not all angel and demon digimon!"
"And whose fault was it that we, no, Kouichi was called? Cherubimon's fault! And Ofanimon called us to fight! Then Lucemon, a Demon Man digimon, wounded Kouichi, which led to his death!" Takuya Kanabara's brown eyes blazed like the fire he had been known for as the Warrior of Flame. He had grown to be of average height, but his personality burned very brightly with a barely contained passion. Right now, that passion was centered on the hatred of what had been done. "We have to do this! You're with us, right Tomoki?"
All attention was soon focused on the remaining member of their group. Their formerly shortest member had hit several growth spurts since the conclusion of their original journey years ago and now stood eye to eye with Junpei, despite being four years his junior. Tomoki Himi was the remaining factor—usually bright cyan eyes were now completely shadowed by pain and loss. When he spoke, it was with a calm that could be attributed either to his Warrior of Ice days or to the weariness settling within his body.
"I can't condone genocide," he told the older members, continuing when he saw Kouji's glare, "and I doubt Kouichi would allow it as well. You, Kouji, of all people should know that."
Kouji flinched, but Takuya immediately retaliated against the accusation in the Chosen of Ice's words. "We know what we're doing, and we're going to do it with or without your help."
"You won't have Chackmon's help, or Lowemon's for that matter!" Tomoki shouted, losing his cool at Takuya's words.
"You do not have the authority to deny us the Spirits of Darkness," hissed Kouji darkly, recovering in an instant. "They were my twin's, and he bequeathed them to me."
"If you want to play it that way, then neither Fairymon and Ranamon," Izumi paused and, upon receiving confirmation from Junpei, continued, "nor Blitzmon and Grottomon will help to you. You can't act, because we have match you in the Warrior count and outvote you here." Her eyes suddenly weakened with fatigue. "Please. Kouichi would not have wanted this."
"That's too bad," Takuya spoke. He turned away, avoiding Izumi's pleading eyes, and Kouji followed suit. "You gave the Spirits of Water and Earth to us already as well, so we outvote you in the Spirits. We're going and hell will come to any angel or demon who crosses our path."
"And we will have the Spirits of Ice, Wind, and Thunder aiding us, whether they come willing or not," added Kouji icily.
That line caused Izumi and Junpei to stiffen in shock, though it caused an entirely different effect in the Chosen Child of Ice.
"Wait!" Tomoki made a desperate lunge for the pair, but Takuya held his hand out, faded remnants of his Warrior of Flame powers appearing and releasing a burst of heat. Tomoki instinctively formed a barrier of cold air to defend himself, though the force of the heat slammed him back into the wall.
"Tomoki!" Izumi and Junpei cried at the same time as they rushed to the fallen teen. It was at that point that Takuya and Kouji exited, presumably toward the Trailmon Terminal at Shibuya.
Tomoki folded into himself, bringing his knees up to his face. The pure despair etched on his face stabbed deep into the remaining pair's hearts.
His sobs echoed throughout the room, bringing a desolation which would not dissipate any time soon.
"We have to stop them," Junpei sighed as he leaned against the dresser. Tomoki was currently curled up in bed, utterly worn out. The past week had been extremely tiring for the teen, with Kouichi's funeral to deal with and then Kouji and Takuya's insane vows of revenge and genocide. Izumi sat on his bed, carefully running her hand through his soft brown locks, declining to answer for a moment.
When she answered, it was in a soft voice filled with the desolation she currently felt. "But how? By now, they've got all our Spirits and probably have or are close to killing off HolyAngemon, Angewomon, and Andiramon," questioned Izumi, referring to the Three Great Angels in their Perfect forms.
"The remnants of Lucemon's supporters are probably half gone as well," added Junpei pessimistically.
The two waited in the silence, Izumi continuing her gentle ministrations on Tomoki.
"When did it turn out like this?" asked Izumi, her voice quiet.
Junpei didn't answer, choosing instead to keep his gaze locked on Tomoki's face. It was so youthful now, reminding him that, despite his early maturity, Tomoki was little more than a fifteen-year-old who had watched his boyfriend die before his eyes and then had seen the person he looked up to decide to commit genocide. The tear stains on his face and the bags beneath his eyes were proof that he hadn't had the best of nights for a good long while.
"When Kouichi grew sick," was his honest reply.
Izumi quieted, her gaze once again falling on the teen at her fingertips.
"Yeah," she agreed, her eyes darkening.
The two remained in silence, continuing to watch Tomoki. A sense of helplessness permeated through the air. Takuya and Kouji's betrayal had struck them all hard, especially after they were already sent reeling by Kouichi's death. Izumi knew that Tomoki had had one of the toughest times, being Kouichi's boyfriend throughout his steady weakening and then his death. And she knew that Kouji had been hurt badly by the loss, which spread to Takuya in turn.
And yet, there was nothing she or Junpei could do to help.
She gripped her jade necklace tightly as she felt her own tears, hot and angry, burn in her eyes.
"The Digital World's going to fall into ruin," said Junpei quietly. Izumi looked up, finding something in his tone that made her want to listen. "Takuya and Kouji aren't going to stop at angels and demons. They're going to soon spread to all the Knight digimon because of the Royal Knights, then every digimon that ever hurt Kouichi... and them. That's how bad they're going to get."
"They're going to ruin the world," Izumi realized, to her horror. "The Digital World will collapse in on itself, with so few digimon to protect it. And even if they themselves don't and since we can't be there forever, what will happen when something else decided to invade or rule?"
Silence met the question; there was nothing they could do.
"But what are we going to do about it?" asked Junpei finally, his voice lowering.
The quiet voice froze them in their tracks. They turned slowly to the Chosen of Ice, who sat up slowly and carefully. His whole body screamed fatigue, but there was a quiet strength in his gaze that was worthy of AncientMegatheriumon and his Ice lineage.
"I don't care how, but we have to stop them before they are lost." Tomoki's gaze grew distant with a sadness which few would attribute to a normal teen, but Tomoki was anything but. None of them were.
"We owe that to Kouichi," here he paused before continuing, "and to Kouji and Takuya themselves for everything they had done before."
"We don't have any means to get to the Digital World though," Izumi insisted. It was a truth she had to state because she doubted that the Trailmon Terminal was still standing, and their last travel to check up on the place had involved using the power of the Spirits.
As if her words set off something in the workings of fate, a large portal opened in the sky. Izumi and Junpei took ready positions in front of Tomoki, instinctive after their self-defense classes, and waited for what was to arrive.
What did appear shocked them.
A small, yellow, vaguely rabbit-like creature flew through the opening in space, landing securely in Tomoki's arms with a small thump.
"Neamon!" the Chosen Child shouted once he realized exactly who was in his arms.
"Last time we checked, he was Chronosmon," commented Junpei as he shared a glance with Izumi, crowding around the fallen Child-level digimon.
"Tomoki?" the digimon asked weakly.
The Chosen of Ice immediately laid the digimon down, noticing the burn marks on his body. "Neamon? Where's Encyclomon?" he asked, referring to Bokomon in his Perfect form as the angelic keeper of history.
Great tears fell out of the Neamon's eyes as he spoke in a hushed voice, tears choking his every word. "KaiserGreymon suddenly appeared. We greeted him, but he took a swipe at Encyclomon. I tried to defend him, but he forced me to revert to Neamon. Then he killed Encyclomon, saying that all angel digimon must die." Neamon's tears continued and he spoke in a voice that few would recognize if they had only known him years ago. "Before Encyclomon disappeared, he sent me through a portal with the last of his powers. What happened to Takuya?" The small digimon weakly grabbed Tomoki's shirt, his voice rising. "What happen to Takuya to make him like this?"
"Kouichi died," answered Izumi in her own sad voice, to which Tomoki flinched and Neamon's arms grew limp.
"Takuya and Kouji vowed revenge on all angel and demon digimon and took our Spirits to become KaiserGreymon and MagnaGarurumon. They are now on a rampage throughout the Digital World," Junpei added in a matter-of-fact tone, unwilling to use emotion unless he wanted to loose his own tears.
"But..." Neamon's eyes suddenly widened in realization. "Lucemon!"
"That scan damaged him in a way he couldn't recover from," Tomoki explained quietly. "And now... We're powerless."
Neamon, contrary to what he was before his evolutions, was not stupid. He noticed the shaking of Tomoki's hands, the sign of unsettled nerves. He noticed the darkness which flittered across the eyes of Izumi and the sadness at Junpei's very core. He understood what it meant.
"You can still try to talk them down," the digimon insisted. "The Trailmon Terminal's still up." That caught the attention of the three. "Please," he finished with a pleading tone.
The three remaining Chosen Children shared a look which had been developed from their long bond. With a maturity usually unseen in them, they simultaneously stood and walked out, Tomoki cradling Neamon in his arms.
They had to do this.
There was no other option.