“Y-You tr-tricked me!” Sarah yelled as they made way in the Ice Continent.

It was snowing and frosty as they stopped on the Ice Continent coastline. Warm beaches were replaced by high glaciers and mighty icebergs. They’d made on last stop to transfer to another Trailmon, but Sarah wanted nothing to do with it. Unfortunately for her, she’d never had a real winter and never seen snow for real before. Living in the warm, humid forests of India, she was completely out of her element, even with two coats on.

“I told you we were stopping,” Michael said as she replied angrily,” You never said it’d be THIS cold!”

“Here Sarah,” Kudamon said as he wrapped himself around her neck. She sighed happily, but still shivered as she said,” Thanks, but it’s not enough.”

“So when does the next train arrive?” Emma asked, dressed in her little pink coat and toboggan. Michael was unloading their backpacks as they all put on winter clothes. In fact, Michael specifically told each of them to bring a jacket before leaving, which helped out a lot. As he took out the last of their things, he replied kindly,” Tomorrow afternoon. After that our last stop will be the Autumn Leaf Fair.”

“And it’ll be warm there, right?” Sarah asked as she squeezed Gaomon and Dorumon next to her. Their warmth helped, but Gaomon tried escaping as she said,” No! You’re too warm. RENAMON!”

“Don’t even try it,” she replied as Christine laughed beneath her breath.

Michael took them inside the village, carved into the iceberg with little paths and squares built of snow. By the time they reached the hotel, Sarah had every digimon, even Renamon, trapped in her grasp. Takuya sighed, handing her a simple coat as she released them all. Koichi and Beth smiled together as Michael told them,” Alright, girls in one room, guys in the other. Go have fun.”

Tommy and Emma were outside, building a giant igloo as Sarah shivered on a ledge, trying to watch the auroras. It was a cloudy day, but not dreary. The clouds were a pale grey and fragile snowflakes floated down as the distant sea shined a brilliant orange in the sunset. Takuya sat next to her, handing her a hot bowl of soup as Beth and Koichi passed them by.

“You know, I can‘t wait for you to digivolve Gaomon” Beth said as she went along,” It’s gonna be so awesome!”

“I can’t either ma’am,” Gaomon said as he went with her.

“I mean, I don’t know if you’ve noticed…”she said with a smile which quickly turned to a frown,”…but we’re the only ones that haven’t digivolved.”

“It’s alright,” Koichi assured her,” You’ll get Gaomon to digivolve soon. I can feel it.”

“I guess,” she said, still frowning.

She went along with Koichi, exploring the town until she found a strange pass. They followed it, over a gorge, and discovered a giant castle. It was high and mighty, built from ice and towering over them. But it was surrounded by high glaciers and barely broke the surface.

“C’mon!” Beth yelled as she crossed the bridge inside. But as she walked on, Koichi paused and proclaimed worriedly,” Maybe we should wait and go in with the others!”

“No way! What’s the worst that could happen?”

“Has she been paying any attention to this world?”

“You guys, there’s nothing to worry about. It doesn’t look like anyone’s been here for years.”

“Looks can be deceiving,” Gaomon said as Koichi told her,” I’m gonna go get Michael, just to be safe.”

“Alright,” she said as they ran off. She should’ve waited on the bridge, but her curiosity took over and she went inside. It was cold and dark as a rush of wind flew out the door. The only light came from that door as she crept further in. Suddenly, that door closed as a dark presence came up from behind. She let out a giant shreik as everyone ran back for her.

“Elizabeth!” Koichi yelled as he saw her lying on the bridge. While he tried to wake her, Gaomon and all the other digimon snarled at the enemy in the castle, Barbamon.

“It would seem I’ve yet to introduce myself,” he said coldly,” <I am Barbamon, the Leader of the Demon Lords.”

“Elizabeth! Elizabeth!” Koichi shouted as he tried waking her. Barbamon grinned and with a delighted tone said,” It’s no use. She won’t awake from my Death Lure attack until the nightmare is complete.”

For Beth, she awoke on the cobblestone streets of London. Skid marks were scorched into the road as a driver yelled to make sure she was alright. She got up, wincing as the driver asked,” You alright love?”

“I’m fine,” she said with her American accent. The driver gave her a frown and said,” You Americans. Watch yourself now and remember, the roads are opposite.”

She gasped as he walked away. As she did the same, she thought about how many times she’d been mistaken for a tourist back home. But this was home. Big Ben rang over Parliament as she read the time: Three o’clock. As its toll echoes through her mind, she passed by her old school. Thinking Gaomon, Koichi and everything was just a dream, she went inside to pay her teacher a visit.

“Hello?” she asked as she knocked on Ms. Whites’ classroom door,” It’s me.”

She turned around from her desk, a beautiful and pure lady about twenty-five years old. Ms. White looked confused and asked,” May I help you?”

“It-It’s me, Elizabeth.”

“Hmm. I’m afraid I don’t have any Elizabeth’s in my class.”

“But I’ve been with you the whole semester. You told us stories about students from past years before us.”

“Other students? I haven’t had old students. I just started here.”

“But…that’s impossible.”

“Perhaps you’ve got me mistaken for someone else?”

“I guess,” she said as she left sadly, mumbling as she left,” Thanks.”

“What happened?” she asked as she went down the street. The clock tower chimed again as a mail boy dropped a load of newspapers. She rushed to help him until she saw the date. September twenty-second, 2006. Seven years ago. The exact day it happened. Somehow, Beth had fallen into the worst day of her life. The mailman thanked her as she went off again, running for her old house.

“It can’t be. Not today. Not again. Oh please not again!”

Dark storm clouds gathered as she stopped in front of her little home, a white apartment styled just like any other London building. It was there Beth saw herself playing in the window, her mother cooking dinner, and her father sitting in his chair. What was out of the ordinary was her father, who wasn’t supposed to be there. Elizabeth gasped, covering her mouth as her two parents began talking.

It was painfully obvious the conversation was getting more heated. Her mother sent young Beth, only five at the time, up to her room as they began truly screaming. Indistinguishable, but fully audible, the fight carried to the empty street. It wasn’t the first fight. It wasn’t the worst fight. But it was the last. Her father took his coat as Beth heard her mom yell,” Where do you think you’re going!”

“Away!” he yelled as little Beth came back down the stairs, looking for the toy she’d left downstairs. Her father grabbed an umbrella as the rain began pouring. Modern Beth was standing, cold and alone in the downpour as tiny Beth stared right into her fathers eyes. She remembered that look all too well. She looked desperate as he looked regretful as he finally said,” I can’t take you anymore Anne.”

He slammed the door as the two Beths began crying in unison. Anne began yelling,” Henry!” as he walked down the street. He phased through the Beth standing in the rain as she turned around. Her father walked away as she clenched her fistrs, crying,” Daddy don’t go! Please I miss you! Please daddy! Daddy! Don’t leave me alone!”

She knelt down, crying even more as her dad kept walking away. Beth began waiting as the rain poured on her innocent face,” DADDY DON’T LEAVE ME! Please no. No. No. No.”

Beth fell even further, lying on the cold street as she whined one last silent whine,” Please don’t go.”

Henry turned the corner, leaving his daughter forever as she screamed in the mud. Beth clenched her stomach and yelled from a gaping mouth, all to relieve the pain. To loose her father once was terrible and affected her forever, but to watch her dad leave twice was like a living Hell.

“DADDY DON’T LEAVE ME!” she cried in reality, Koichi holding her gently as they all watched her suffering. Everything she said during that painful memory was copied into real life. Takuya and Koji wanted so hard to get rid of Barbamon, but Michael told them it was pointless. So they all watched, Barbamon laughing as everyone else cried while Beth gave her last push,” Please don’t go.”

In London, she wandered the streets in turmoil. Big Ben’s sepulchral ring just worsened the pain as she stood atop the Tower Bridge. Cars went by as past as people as the lights of the city just weren’t as lovely.

Beth went back to her house one last time, only to see herself sleeping by the window. Her mom placed a blanket over her old self as Beth somehow felt it’s warmth around her in the rain. Her mom began crying too as those cold tears somehow touched the present Beth. She felt warmth around her, and tears. But there was cold and voices. Suddenly the rain stopped, and a ray of light hit her as she realized it was really the light of her friends. Beth nodded to herself and walked off and away from her horrifying memory.

It was in the busy street that she pondered how to escape. The rays of light were gone until an oncoming taxi splashed dirty water over her face that the rays returned. With a dead stare, she watched the next car come by. Just as it’s headlights gleamed into her eyes, she jumped forward and into the busy streets. Everything went black. There was a screech, a thud, a small crash, and the sound of a screaming woman.

Beth then woke up, with Koichi peering down at her. She found both his tears and her own. They all smiled as she was still in shock. Gaomon helped pull her up as he said,” We’re glad you’re back ma’am.”

She gave him a fake smile until she saw Barbamon. He sneered at her as she gritted her teeth. Beth stood back up and with darkness in her eyes said,” Only a monster would put me through that awful experience again.”

“Thank you,’ he said coldly,” To loose a father is awful indeed, but to loose him twice? Well, we heard the screams.’

“Beth, it’s okay,” Emma said, smiling as she continued,” I know it must be hard losing your dad because, I lost both my parents when I was little. It felt terrible, but I knew they’d want me to be happy and remember the good times I had with them.”

Beth was still sad as Emma kept going,“ So…please don’t be sad. You’re my friend, and I care about all my friends.”

Beth grinned as she said,” Thanks Emma, but I’ve already make my decision.”

She lifted her head and with restored radiance yelled,” And I know it’ll take a lot more than that to break me!”

“What!?” Barbamon cried as Koichi cheered,” That’s the spirit.”

“You might’ve knocked me down, and toyed with my emotions, but nobody can break the indestructible spirit that is Elizabeth Moore!”

“Then I guess I’ll have to take the alternative approach,” Barbamon said with a grin. He lifted his staff and sent waves of energy that rocked the castle. Everything began shaking as he faded into darkness, yelling,” I may not break your spirit, but I can obliterate your bones.”

Barbamon was gone, disappeared into the dark passages. Everyone held on as the castle began tilting and crashing. Everyone digivolved their partners as the old digi-destined executed Spirit Evolution. Michael flew out the doors with Dorugamon as Kyubimon and Christine followed him onto the bridge. Lekismon, Liamon and Kumamon went next as Reppamon and BurningGreymon went after them. Zoe and J.P. went last after Kumamon as Koichi tried getting Beth out.

By now the castle was at a forty five degree angle and most of the towers and fine details were crumbling off. Lowemon struggled to get up, but a piece of roof pushed him off. He fell, but grabbed a pillar as Gaomon grabbed his shoulder. But Beth fell as the window below her shattered and led into the abyss. She grabbed the edge of the window as Koichi tried getting down.

“No Koichi!” she yelled as she hung on,” You go. Don’t wait up for me.”

With each passing second the castle became less stable, but naturally Koichi stayed as she yelled,” Stop Lowemon! Just go. I’m used to people I care about leaving me.’

“No way,” he said, carefully climbing down,” I’d never leave my friend in danger. Beth, I’ll never turn my back on you. Friends don’t do that.”

As she hung, her D-Tector started glowing. Koichi got down even lower as the castle caught onto the side of the abyss. He was now as close as he could get as he said,” I promised both Michael and myself I’d protect you. A promise is a promise Beth.”

The digi-vice was at it’s brightest as she gathered her strength. Beth climbed onto the overturned wall and scanned the Fractal Code, proclaiming,” Tell me something I don’t know!”

“Beth,” he said happily as she yelled,” Execute Evolution! Gaomon digivolve to Gaogamon!”

Her new digimon was like an agile, husky dog. Gaogamon was the same blue as Gaomon and had the same dog-like face and boxing gloves over his front paws, but he was bigger and stood just like a real dog. He agilely took Beth back onto the bridge as Lowemon followed behind.

As they landed on solid ground, the last of the castle crumbled into the chasm. Gaogamon reverted back to Gaomon as Beth shouted,” That was so awesome! I finally digivolved you Gaomon!”

“You sure did Ma’am,” he said gratefully. As she cheered, Koichi put his hand over her shoulder and asked,” You sure you’re okay?”

“Hey, it’s like I said: It’ll take a lot more than that to break me!”

“That’s good,” Sarah said with relief as Takuya said,” Now that’s what I’m talking ‘bout! We’ve all got our digivolutions, Barbamon’s gone, and we can finally relax!”

“Last call for Autumn Leaf Fair!” the terminal shouted as the happy looks on their faces disappeared. They trudged through the snow as Mei complained,” Somehow this is Koji’s fault.”

On the train, it was a perfect night. The auroras shined as Beth slept on the seats. Gaomon pulled the blanket higher over her as Koichi watched her proudly. Only Michael, Koichi and Gaomon were left awake as Koichi said,” She sure has had a long day.”

“I know,” Michael said as he watched the ice field,” We all have.”

“To think, just a few hours ago she was screaming and wailing like that.”

“Perhaps,” Michael said wisely, adjusting himself as he said,” But for now, let her dream. In her dreams all is right, like a built in sanctuary.”

“A sanctuary?” Koichi asked, watching Michael with a smile as he said,” I never thought of it that way.”

Gaomon sat at Beth’s feet as he added,” We all need a sanctuary sir, someplace to fell safe.”

In Beth’s sanctuary, her father and mother were opening presents with her on a snowy Christmas morning. But it was the modern Beth, and she sat with Koichi and Gaomon. They laughed and smiled as everything was finally right. Beth smiled and gave her father a hug as she unwrapped a CD. It felt so warm and comforting. This was the future she swore to fight for until Epsilon was gone and everyone could unwrap presents with their families.

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