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“They force me to keep intruders out…disobeying them and allowing one in means they will bring an end to my life,” Andromon said.
“They’ll kill you for disobeying them?!” I asked. “Why would you willingly disobey them, knowing that?! And why would you wait until after our fight to do this?! You could’ve saved the both of us a lot of trouble, you know!”
“I wish for my life to come to an end,” Andromon said. “I told you about what I really am…a Human that was turned into a Digimon…I was originally created to be a Bio Hybrid, but they failed, and I am unable to revert back into my Human form…I live on as neither Human or Digimon…the easiest way to end it all is to be destroyed by my creators…they built me, so they can easily destroy me, but destroy me for no reason they will not…I fought with you to test your strength…stronger than me, you are, but strong enough to destroy me you are not.”
“…Okay, fine. I’ll…help you,” I said. “In return for my help, I expect you to answer all my questions, understood?”
“I shall answer only those that I know the answer to; that I promise,” Andromon walked weakly over to the door of the room, which had been forcefully removed from its hinges during the fight. “Come; follow me deeper into the lab.”
“The Human girl and the midget Digimon who escaped during our previous encounter; why would you two be in a place like this?” Flamedramon asked.
“I am NOT a midget!” Statuedramon yelled indignantly.
“What are you doing here, Flamedramon?” I asked.
“Who’s in charge of this place; do you know?” Flamedramon asked.
“I…believe it’s being operated by a man named Braig,” I said.
“The Humans capable of turning into Digimon…they seem to be after me. I’ve had a run-in with one of them the other day,” Flamedramon said. “I’ll destroy this place before it manufactures any more of those freaks…and that man named Braig is going down in flames.”
“No…I won’t let you…step foot in there…” Boltmon wheezed. The Digimon began to pick himself up off the ground, but Flamedramon shoved his foot on top of Boltmon’s head, which slammed it down onto the ground.
“Wait, don’t kill him yet!” Statch shouted. “I have a few questions I need to ask him!”
“What I do with this thing is my own business!” Flamedramon snapped his claws, and Boltmon’s body became entirely covered in flames. His body then began to disintegrate, leaving behind the body of the man we saw in Mandrake Town. Flamedramon removed his foot from the bandit’s crushed skull and walked toward the lab.
He’s…just like Gallantmon…
“You aren’t…going to try and fight us as well?” Statch asked.
“Destroying this place is a higher priority for me,” Flamedramon said. “Judging by the fact that you were surprised by your friend’s transformation into a Digimon, I’d be willing to guess they aren’t allied with you; is this correct?”
“…We don’t know anything about this place,” I said.
“Come with me, then; I’ll need all the help I can get.” Flamedramon walked into the lab. “What should we do, Statch?” I asked.
“Thomas told us to wait here; we can’t let anyone else in the lab,” Statuedramon said.
“But…we already did let someone in, and that someone is Flamedramon,” I said. “Flamedramon the serial killer…”
“…Good point; let’s go.”
Andromon had been leading me down a lightless corridor through the lab; it had been a straightforward path, and every now and then, we passed by a dimly lit bulb, just enough of them to provide us with enough light to see through the entire hallway.
“Who was it that turned you into a Digimon?” I asked.
“It was…more than one…” Andromon said. “I never saw their faces, nor do I know their names. The name Braig remains unfamiliar to me…” Andromon opened a door and led me into a room before he suddenly stopped walking, and I bumped into him. “Up ahead lies someone in wait; two of them, to be exact.”
“How can you tell?” I whispered. Andromon said nothing, and began walking again.
“They are two Humans,” Andromon said. “Something different about them, there is…” The lights in the room suddenly turned on, momentarily blinding me.
“Oh, Andromon, you ruined my big surprise! So, so naughty…” a woman’s voice said. “Why did you have to lead the boy so far into this place? We needed him alive just a little while longer, but it looks like his end has come…and don’t think that you won’t be going unpunished, Andromon.”
“Why else would I lead this child into this room?” Andromon asked. “Doing so…makes you upset, I knew it would. Upset enough…to kill me, perchance?”
“…So…you’ve completely given up on life, have you?”
“Who’s there?!” I asked, trying to look through the blindingly bright lights.
“Oh, you really don’t remember me? Aw, now you’ve gone and hurt my feelings…” Whoever was speaking to me began walking up to Andromon and me. By this point, my eyes had adjusted to the bright light. The room we were in was nearly empty, save for a bed with a few straps to hold someone in place, and around it, several stasis tubes filled with what appeared to be deep blue liquid. “That was a very naughty thing to do, Andromon; our master won’t be pleased at all.”
“I care not; I only wish to end what you have started,” Andromon said. “My life…or, rather, what is left of it…”
“Silly boy; I would never be so foolish as to eliminate our pawn.” The woman strode past Andromon and approached me; I felt my knees weaken when I saw who it was.
“…Abigail…? Is that you?” I asked.
“Oh, so you do remember me after all? How…touching…” Abigail reached up and placed her hand on my cheek. “I was only seventeen when you left that foul city with that woman. Thomas…why did you leave me behind? I thought we were friends! I was your only friend in that damn city, remember?!”
“Abigail, forget about your past; we have work to do,” a familiar voice said. Abigail’s arm fell to her side as she turned away from me. The man who spoke strode up to Abigail, and the lovely young woman kneeled before him.
“My sincerest apologies, Father Sephyrus,” Abigail said.
“Sephyrus?! You’re here too?!” I asked. The kindly priest smiled at me as he approached me. “So, you made it out of Cyclamen before those bandits arrived!”
“Bandits…? Oh, yes, them,” Sephyrus glanced at Abigail.
“Why are you here? I thought all civilians had returned to Cyclamen when the bandits were defeated,” I said, and then turned to Abigail. “And you…when I returned to Cyclamen about a week ago…was it you I saw?” Abigail smiled, and nodded slowly. “What are you both doing here?”
“Are you certain you know where you’re going?” Flamedramon asked, giving Statuedramon a look of annoyance.
“Of course I am; Thomas is my best friend, and I know exactly which way he would go in this place!” Statuedramon said. “I think…” Flamedramon sighed.
“If you don’t want me to burn this place to the ground with your friend in it, you will take me where I want to go!” Flamedramon shouted.
Why is he coming with us? Didn’t he want to kill us earlier? I was frightened by being so close to Flamedramon. I could hear my heart beating louder and faster; my legs were shaking so hard, it was a wonder I was still able to walk, and I felt a terribly nauseating sense of dread in the pit of my stomach. As we continued to walk through the brightly lit corridor, Flamedramon turned around to face me, gazing at me with slight curiosity.
“You…you somehow feel…different from other Humans I’ve encountered,” Flamedramon said.
“I…I’m sorry…” These words came out almost instinctively. He can tell, too?! It’s been so long since anybody’s noticed, I’ve almost forgotten about it… Unlike other Digimon, Flamedramon didn’t seem unnerved by my presence, and instead continued to gaze at me with curiosity. “I’m sorry…”
Statuedramon stopped walking. “Flamedramon, let me make one thing very clear to you,” he said. “I know you have this whole vendetta against all living things, be they Human or Digimon, but if I see you even try to hurt her, I will fucking murder you; no matter how much stronger you are than me, I will kill you with my bare hands if you hurt her or any of my friends.” Upon hearing Statuedramon’s words, Flamedramon turned away from me.
“I…have no intention of killing her,” Flamedramon muttered. “It was probably just my imagination, anyway…”
“Ah, very well said, Statch!” said a voice from the shadows of a nearby doorway.
“That voice…is that you, Adrian?!” Statch hollered.
“Yeah, it’s me,” Adrian stepped out of the shadows.
“You’re back! Does that mean you’re all finished with what you needed to do?” Statuedramon asked. Adrian approached us, ignoring Statuedramon. “Are you…able to come back with us? To Lachesis?”
Has he forgotten so soon? I gazed at the large man with uncertainty as he approached the three of us. Boltmon said it was Adrian who brought him here…where he was turned from Human to Digimon…does that mean—!
“Sorry, buddy; I’m not coming back,” Adrian said. “There’s…something I need to show you. Could you come with me?”
“Okay, sure!” Statuedramon smiled and happily walked behind Adrian as the large man led him further down the corridor. “C’mon, what are you waiting for, Zelda? There isn’t anything to be afraid of; Adrian’s a good person!” I quickly glanced over at Flamedramon before walking after Statuedramon, and I could hear Flamedramon’s footsteps as he walked behind me. “So, where are you taking us, Adrian?”
“I’m taking you to see Thomas, of course,” Adrian spoke slowly and nervously, as if he were afraid something would leap out of the deep shadows of the lab and attack him.
Is it…Flamedramon that he’s afraid of? I glanced over my shoulder over at Flamedramon, who was glaring at Adrian. I don’t blame him; I’m sick to my stomach with fear about him, too…
“Thomas should be beyond these doors,” Adrian pointed to a pair of doors, near the end of the corridor.
“Thanks for the help, Adrian!” Statuedramon reached up to push the doors open when Adrian smacked his hand away. “What the hell, Adrian? Didn’t you say Thomas was past these doors?!”
“Indeed I did, but I cannot allow you to see him,” Adrian said. “I was really hoping to keep you two alive a little longer, but since you know where this laboratory is, I’m afraid I’m just going to have to—”
“Fire Rocket!” Flamedramon shrouded himself in flames as he launched himself at Adrian, who pulled a nearby door off its hinges and protected himself with it. Flamedramon crashed head-first into the door before falling to the floor, carefully holding his aching head in pain.
“Flamedramon, what are you doing?!” Statuedramon yelled.
“This man cannot be trusted by anyone!” Flamedramon said as he picked himself up off the floor. “Only by those that are like him!”
“You realized what I am, then? You’re pretty smart…for a serial killer!” Adrian swung the door he was holding and struck Flamedramon across the head with it, breaking the door into two pieces. Adrian then kicked Flamedramon in the stomach, launching him through the doors he had prevented Statuedramon from opening. Adrian walked through the doors after Flamedramon, and Statuedramon and I followed quickly after him and into a large, empty room.
“Look, there he is!” Statuedramon pointed over at Thomas, who was standing behind a tall Digimon I’d never seen before.
“Hey, Abigail, Sephyrus, I’ve brought you something special!” Adrian shouted, dragging the unconscious Flamedramon behind him and holding up his left arm.
“A job well done, Adrian,” Sephyrus said. “Now, this nuisance can finally be rid of once and for all.”
“Thomas, what’s going on?!” Statuedramon yelled. “Who the hell is that woman, and that Digimon that’s standing next to you? And what in Arcadia’s name is Father Sephyrus doing in a place like this?!”
“How adorable; your little friend has no idea what’s about to happen, does he?” The woman called Abigail looked over at Thomas.
“You ought to enlighten him, then; we owe them that much,” Sephyrus said.
“Yes, sir,” Abigail reached into her cleavage and pulled out a device identical to the one Garret had as Adrian reached into his pocket and pulled out another one.
“Oh, no…don’t tell me they’re—”
“Bio Hybrid DNA Charge!” Abigail interrupted Statch and slammed the palm of her hand on top of her device, which was colored black. “Bio Hybrid Digivolve to, BioLadyDevimon!”
“Bio Hybrid DNA Charge!” Adrian slammed the palm of his hand on the top of his device, which was colored brown. “Bio Hybrid Digivolve to, BioArbormon!”
“No…no way…” Statuedramon looked up at BioArbormon, who had dropped Flamedramon on the ground. “Adrian…you…you’ve betrayed us?!”
“Yes, I suppose you could say that,” BioArbormon said. “I was promised something by someone important; hell, all of us were promised something in return for our undying loyalty. And in return…we got to become these powerful beings, stronger than Humans AND Digimon!”
“I was promised nothing…” the Digimon standing in front of Thomas said.
“Nobody cares, Andromon,” BioLadyDevimon said.
“Adrian, you speak quite a bit too much,” Sephyrus said. “You really need to work on that.”
“Okay, okay, I’m sorry,” BioArbormon said.
“So…when you were dragged off by those knights all those years ago…you were taken here?!” Thomas asked.
“Yeah; I didn’t know about it at first, but after I could turn into this guy, I didn’t really care anymore,” BioArbormon said.
“I’ve been like this for nearly ten years now,” BioLadyDevimon said. “A few years after you left Cyclamen, I was given the ability to Bio Hybrid Digivolve.”
“…And what about you?” Statuedramon glared at Sephyrus. “Can you Digivolve too?”
“Yes, I can,” Sephyrus said. “Abigail and Adrian will be capable of defeating the three of you without my assistance, so I’m afraid you won’t be seeing what I can become. After you lot are out of the way, Flamedramon shall be dealt with, and then, the rest of your organization.”
“Sorry about this, Statch,” BioArbormon said. “…You know what? Actually, I’m not sorry; I’ve been promised something better than anything anyone at Lachesis could’ve ever given me!”
“Fire Rocket!” Flamedramon suddenly jumped up off the ground and assaulted BioArbormon, tackling him to the ground. “You, over there!” Flamedramon looked over at the Digimon Abigail referred to as Andromon. “Give me some help!”
“Flamedramon, what are you doing?!” Statch asked.
“What does it look like? I’m saving your sorry asses!” Flamedramon was kneed in the stomach by BioArbormon, who shoved him off and got back on his feet. “You’d better appreciate it; the next time we meet, don’t expect any mercy!”
“Lightning Blade!” Andromon turned his hand into a spike and hurled an electric bolt at BioArbormon, who leaped out of the way of the attack.
“Andromon, what are you doing?! You’re supposed to be on our side!” BioLadyDevimon snapped.
“We aren’t mad at you for leading the boy here, if that is the worry plaguing your mind,” Sephyrus said calmly.
“It had come to my realization that you are the only ones capable of ending my pitiful life,” Andromon said. “That was originally why I led Thomas here; so you would kill me. But now, after learning the rest of you were promised rewards for your service, while I’ve been given nothing after all I’ve done for you, I felt emotion for the first time in countless years; envy, wrath…after all I’ve done for you, I haven’t been given anything in return for my services!”
“You haven’t been given anything because you’re a failed experiment!” BioLadyDevimon said. “You and that clueless ogre, Boltmon…we shouldn’t have wasted our time with either of you!”
“You may not have told me much about what you’ve all been doing, but I know enough,” Andromon said. “You must be stopped!”
“Now you’re talking!” Flamedramon said.
“What about you? Why are you helping us?!” Thomas asked. “Weren’t you trying to murder us?!”
“I only assist you for my own reasons; these guys are a bigger threat to me than your guild,” Flamedramon said. “Now, go! Get out of here! Andromon and I will distract them long enough for you to escape! Flame Fist!” After Thomas ran over to us, Flamedramon shot flames from his hands between us and the Bio Hybrids. “Go, now!”
“Come on, let’s go!” Thomas said, quickly grabbing my hand and leading us out of the room and through the dimly lit hallways. My stomach was churning and my heart was pounding, but I felt a sense of relief wash over me as we finally found the door to the outside, where we were once again in the light of the moon.