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Michael walked through the empty forest, waiting for Terminus. It was an empty day, the day after Mei went crazy. But with nothing to do but walk, it felt more like years ago. It was the seventh Daybreak, and Michael couldn’t help but think about Christine. That perfect, clear image of her began to fade. The colors were mixing in his head and the details fading. He knew he had to hurry up, somehow. As they sat down for lunch, Michael made a proposition.
“We can fly to Christine,” he said as they stared asking,” What?”
“We’ll ride our digimon the rest of the way. It’ll speed things up so we can get to Christine faster.”
As they all thought about it, Michael went on,” Who knows, we might even dodge Terminus.”
“I don’t know,” Tommy said as Renamon asked,” Michael, have you even thought this through?”
“I have!” he said angrily as Renamon asked,” Even the math?”
“Not more math,” Beth said as Renamon went on,” Quite simply, there aren’t enough digimon to carry everyone.”
Michael sighed as Renamon explained,” Of the spirits, only Takuya and Zoe can carry one person. And while Gaomon and Chirinmon are larger, they can only carry three persons. Let’s say every flying digimon can carry one partner digimon per three persons.”
“We need one more,” Michael said depressingly. He calculated again and again, but each time he realized they needed one more flying digimon. He lay back, shutting his eyes as he said,” Sorry I asked.”
“It’s okay,” Zoe said kindly,” You’re just trying to help.”
“Maybe there’s another way,” Mei said productively,” If we put our heads together then maybe-”
“There’s no other way,” Michael said angrily. Zoe put on her angry face as she told Michael,” You know, you’re not the only one that wants Christine back Michael. Just because your plan doesn’t work doesn’t mean we can’t figure something out.”
“There’s no I in team,” Beth said energetically as Zoe continued,” So stop whining. We’ll get there, but not if you keep sulking!”
He turned to her, angry and stern as he said,” You don’t know Christine like I do!”
“Maybe we know her better,” Koji said as Michael yelled,” Did you know the night I met her she was committing suicide! Did you know her mom is emotionally abusive! For all I know she could’ve killed herself by now!”
“There’s that I again,” Takuya said wisely,” We know she’s had it rough, but what does that have to do with you trying to do everything by yourself!?”
Michael got up, taking his bag as he walked away. He turned to them one last time as he said,” I promised to protect Christine-”
“Oh God!” Mei said angrily as Michael went on,” -and you’re just holding me back. Come on Dorumon.”
Dorumon shrank back, not moving as Michael called again. He glared and said,” Fine! You’re against me too, then that’s fine! I guess no one really cared about Christine!”
A few hours later, Michael found himself out of the forest and in the open fields of the Dark Continent. Blades of dead grass shot up almost a foot on both sides of the trail, still growing and swaying with the breeze. It was here Michael found Terminus on a barren area of the field. He looked confused as he asked,” Where’d you little gang go?”
“They’re gone,” Michael said, annoyed by Terminus as he replied,” That won’t do. I need all of you here or else it’s no fun.”
“I’m the only one you want!” Michael yelled as Terminus said,” True, but can you play chess with only a King?”
Terminus took the back of his scythe and knocked Michael out. As Michael fell Terminus laughed and said,” This should hold you ‘til those squirts come.”
Meanwhile, everyone was in the forest. Dorumon walked sadly as the dark trees lingered over them. They were all wondering the same question: Would Michael ever come back? It filled their heads until Tommy finally said,” I hope Michael comes back.”
“Why?” Zoe asked angrily,” All he ever did was overdo things and act like we weren’t important. I say good riddance.”
“But Zoe, he helped us through all this riddles, and got us this far,” Emma said wisely,” He’s just worried about Christine.”
“She’s a strong girl,” she contested as Koji said,” But he doesn’t see her like we do. Think of it this way: When you look at J.P., do you think he’s the Warrior of Thunder, or a guy who’d be nowhere without you.”
“Hey!” J.P. yelled as Zoe said,” I probably shouldn’t answer that.”
“But you get what he’s saying?” Renamon replied as Zoe asked,” I guess so. You all really want Michael back, don’t you?”
“YES!” Dorumon yelled as he leeched onto Mei, crying pitifully as he wailed,” I’m useless without Michael! I need my tamer!”
“Knock it off or I’ll knock you off!” Mei yelled as they broke through the forest, into the field.
They did come a while later, only to find Michael strapped to a pole over a pile of wood. His mouth was taped as they all gasped. Dorumon tried running for Michael, but Terminus stabbed the scythe in front of him as he said,” Don’t do anything foolish, or you’ll get Michael back Medium-Rare.”
“This is low, even for you!” Takuya shouted as he said,” Oh shut up. I’ll let him go once somebody answers my question.”
“Then get on with it,” Beth said as Terminus said,” Two men are served identical drinks at a bar. One dies while the other lives. Why?”
It was an easy one Michael remembered, but his mouth was still tied. They glared at Terminus and said,” What about Michael?”
“Nah, I think I’ll let you guys figure it out this time.”
They though about it, exploring every possibility as Michael prayed they’d get it right. Everyone tried hard, but Takuya answered first, proclaiming,” There was no connection between them.”
“Isolated incidents?” Terminus asked as Michael shook his head no. Takuya drew back his answer as Terminus held Michael’s head and said,” No cheating. I can’t have the brains giving the answer away.”
“Man,” Mei said as Koji, the next smarted among them, said,” One man poisoned the other!”
“Is this your final answer?” Terminus asked as Michael tried shaking his head no. But Koji nodded yes as Terminus said,” There was poison, but no murder!”
They fell back as Terminus cried,” It was poisoned ice cubes! One drinks fast, the other slow. This slow speed let more ice melt, meaning he drank in more poison.”
Terminus cut Michael free as Leviamon appeared behind him. Like a winding snake, he crawled towards them as Michael yelled,” You cheated Terminus!”
“Don’t slander my name!” Terminus cried as he explained,” I simply put you in a position where you couldn’t use your King.”
“Relax Michael!” Mei said as she grasped her D-Tector,” We can take him.”
“And we’ll do it as a team,” Zoe said as Leviamon laughed. Terminus disappeared as Leviamon said,” I doubt that. There’s no cover in this field, and I already know your double ring strategy. There’s no way you could’ve thought up a new plan already, not without Michael at least.”
The fight started on a low note. Leviamon used it’s Rostrum attack and instantly defeated every digimon that couldn’t fly. As Renamon explained before, this only left four: Takuya, Zoe, Chirinmon and MachGaogamon. As they hovered over the crater, Leviamon smiled, waiting for the real fight to begin.
Michael watched furiously as Leviamon tried to swallow Takuya. But MachGaogamon pushed him out of the way and took the blow instead. As the razor sharp teeth sank into his skin, MachGaogamon yelled and reverted to Gaomon. Beth caught him as he fell while Michael studied the mess he caused.
Takuya didn’t take this lightly. He combined blazing flames with Zoe’s furious winds to create a giant tornado aimed right foe Leviamon. But with another Rostrum attack, the laser sliced right through. Zoe dodged easily, but Takuya took a direct hit. He fell as Chirinmon took his place. He used his speed and created two clones, each ramming and slicing Leviamon. But once he regained focus, Leviamon used his tails to catch the two clones. They disappeared as the original Chirinmon used his aura to counter. The glow only stopped Leviamon’s Rostrum for a few moments before he too was defeated. As Sarah caught Kudamon, Michael ran angrily for Zoe.
“You’re all that’s left,” Leviamon said in a sinister voice before Michael stepped in. He grasped his D-Tector as everyone stared. Dorumon ran up with Michael, the two finally reunited, as Michael yelled,” Don’t lay a finger on Zoe. Every time I was selfish or too determined, she tried keeping me grounded. I respect her for that. It’s something only a good friend would do!”
“I’ll do what I want,” Leviamon said as the Rostrum shot right for Zoe. She looked away as Michael’s D-Tector started to glow. It covered him in an aura that shielded him from any harm. So once the Rostrum came, he just pointed his finger at Leviamon, splitting the attack in two as he shouted,” You need to learn some manners!”
Once the attack ended, they all watched proudly as Michael said,” And I’ve gotta clean up my mess. Care to join me Dorumon?!”
“Anytime,” Dorumon said as Michael scanned his Fractal-Code. The light covered them both as he yelled,” Execute Warp Digivolution! Dorumon Warp Digivolve to DoruGreymon!”
A graceful, red dragon emerged from the light. His white wings loomed over them as he took a fighting stance. Sharp teeth and sharper talons made him look like something from fairy tales. And Michael was the knight, standing on DoruGreymon’s head as they charged against Leviamon. DoruGreymon launched his Metal Meteor, a giant, well metal meteor, that clashed with Leviamon’s Rostrum.
Michael watched the gaping mouth in front of him. Leviamon’s breath burned his eyes as DoruGreymon struggled to keep him away. At the last minute, he used the spike on his tail and slashed at Leviamon. He fell back as Zoe kicked him away.
“I can take it from here,” she said as Michael replied,” Right. Emma, it’s your turn now!”
She nodded as she ran over to Michael. Emma held onto the white fur on DoruGreymon’s neck as he flew up to Leviamon. Zephyrmon was locked in battle when Michael arrived. Together they knocked Leviamon back for Emma to finish him. DoruGreymon created a huge gust of wind from his four wings as Zephyrmon unleashed the Hurricane Gale. Then, Emma held onto DoruGreymon’s tail as he flung her over to Leviamon. She started to glow like a bullet, riding the wind as Leviamon was lost in the explosion of white.
“Again, eh?” Terminus thought out loud as he said,” Defeated again. I guess I’ll see you guys tomorrow.”
“What?” they asked, confused as Emma and Leviamon fell back down.
“I can still fight!” Leviamon shouted as Terminus forced him into the Corridors, proclaiming,” No, you can’t. It’s best we wait for another day.”
“You’d better run!” Beth yelled as he vanished in the darkness. Michael took his D-Tector, watching it as he told himself,” With this power, I swear I’ll find you Christine.”
Then he looked at everyone, smiling around him and said,” But I also swear I’ll lead these guys through the darkness.”
“Michael!” Dorumon shouted as he grabbed Michael’s leg. He started crying again as he yelled,” I missed you! Don’t ever leave like that again!”
“Dorumon, get off him,” Sarah said as Michael said,” It’s alright. I’ve got a little sister that does this all the time.”
Dorumon looked up at him, both smiling that their team was reunited. But then, Mei broke the moment and asked,” You’ve got a sister?”
“WAIT A MINUTE!” Beth yelled, stopping everything as a creepy, huge smile came on her face. She turned to Michael, causing him to shudder and sweat to fall off his temples as she said,” We’ve got one more flying digimon.”
“Oh, yeah I guess so,” Michael said as she jumped for joy and whooped,” Yes! No…more…WALKING!”
She digivolved MachGaogamon, climbing on his back as Koichi said embarrassingly,” Beth…”
“She’s your partner,” Takuya said happily as he digivolved to BurningGreymon and said,” Hurry up, we aint got all day!”
They all flew over the field, watching the horizon as rolling hills and beautiful streams were presented to them. Everyone stared in awe as Beth put on her mp3. While she closed her eyes to sleep, everyone else was relaxing in one way or another. But Emma watched with a determined look, thinking to herself,” All right Epsilon. If I’m the only one that can stop you, then I’ll take every blow you throw at me. Are you watching, mom and dad? Can you see how much stronger I’ve become?”