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“Are we there yet?” Emma asked, sipping water as Michael replied,” Just a little further.”
“How come that doesn’t make me feel better?” Zoe complained, slouching as they struggled to walk further.
The sun was at it’s hottest as the sand radiated heat into their sneakers. Splashing waves seemed to call them in as it’s cool spray tried to bring them forward. Swift winds offered some relief, but not much. Koji checked his cell-phone, 12:18. It was supposed to be cool, being it was autumn on Earth, but for some reason they’d found their way into a heat wave. Sarah fanned herself as Mei used her backpack as an umbrella. Christine threw water on her face as something strange seemed to come into sight.
“Am I hallucinating?” J.P. asked as he stared.
“No J.P.,” Michael said happily,” We’re here.”
A structure that seemed to come out of nowhere appeared to them. Crafted in stone, it rose from a cliff, supported by arches. Four towers rose from the side closest to the sea, each lining the edge to make a giant square tower. The main area of the station extended away from the sea. A green roof and black windows heightened the beauty of an otherwise ordinary church layout. From above, it would’ve made a “t” shape with the top facing the ocean. They walked along a beaten trail, past high grass and into a strange, open area. It was like Stonehenge, only the ring of stone was supported by thirteen statues, each of strange and triumphant digimon. Michael opened the glass doors, revealing an open and welcoming room. It was exactly like the lair Terminus stayed at, only the opposite. Where there was black before, now there were white walls. The glass ceiling and windows were in sky blue and detailed withy flowers and streaks of light. Pillars, shaped like graceful trees rose up, their roots wrapping into arches and vaults. But the front of the station, where there would’ve been an altar, was there Michael went.
He stood in front of several, giant monitors, each lit up with data flowing over the screens. They extended up, into the tower. How many there were, nobody knew. While they appeared random, the lowest and biggest screen in the center had a strange, flashing line with the request,” D-Tector Identification:_”
Michael scanned his digi-vice over the screen as it beeped, saying in a beautiful, female voice,” Welcome Michael Konaka. Please, enter the Lock Code.”
He placed his hand over a laser screen, accessing a holographic keyboard. As they all watched, he typed in the code “Aria” as the streams of data suddenly go dry. He closed his eyes as the monitors turned white, swallowing them in light as bits of data erupt from the ground. Outside, the world is still and the sea, calm. Then, streaks of light erupt from the surface, stretching across the coast and into the mountains. Soon, these mere streaks turn into one massive, multi-colored wall extending for miles. Thousands of digimon watch the phenomena which they can only compare to the Aurora’s on earth. They shine for at least a minute before dying down, the world returning to it’s normal routine.
The girls stood in the station, confused by awe and shock. Takuya took Michael by his vest, slamming him against the wall. They were all gathered around him, fierce and filled with anger. He wasn’t afraid, no matter how many of them ganged up on him. Takuya put a fist not six inches from his face as he said,” All right, talk. What was that?”
“You owe us some answers,” Koji said just as angrily as he replied,” I promised you I’d answer any question once we got here.”
He calmly grabbed Takuya’s wrist, watching as he used the second to try attacking. Michael spun Takuya, planting his face in the wall and holding him down as he said,” I’m gonna let go now. If you try anything, we both know who’ll win.”
Michael released his grip as Christine began pleading,” Stop it. Please, I’ll tell you anything.”
“You each get one question,” Michael said calmly, pointing to Takuya as he said mockingly,” Talk.”
“Well for starters, what did you just do?”
“I was sealing Epsilon. That light extended a whole three continents. It acts like the chains on a cage, trapping Epsilon so he can’t be reborn.”
“Another thing, who exactly is Epsilon?” Koji demanded.
“Epsilon was a program designed to protect researchers from digimon. It was a failsafe meant to stop digimon from coming into our world. But, like the digimon, Epsilon became sentient and began to believe his purpose was to protect mankind.”
“What researchers?” Zoe asked as she crossed her arms distrustfully.
“The researchers of Project Trinity. Those scientists were actually trying to find three girls that went missing thirty years ago. They’d stumbled upon this world, falling into a digital gate never to be seen again. But by searching hard enough, these researchers discovered the digital world. With all the government contracts, permits and codes, it took two years before they could actually try opening gates to find the girls. Of course, back then two years would’ve been hundreds in this world. Even I don’t know what happened to them.”
“But why is Epsilon trying to destroy us?” Koichi asked,” Wasn’t his purpose to protect us?”
“That’s the point. He was able to gain access to the internet, searching documents on us and our society. Epsilon thought we were too destructive and hostile for our own good. So he wants to wipe us out to protect us.”
“So, why hasn’t he destroyed us yet?” J.P. asked as Michael replied,” That’s my favorite part of the story. You see, the ten researchers joined with digimon partners, each combining their power in a battle that lasted for days. But in the end, Epsilon escaped into time, regaining his strength to destroy the world again. So, to protect us, the scientists built these four Stations for the next group of kids to save the world.”
Tommy thought long and hard about his question. All eyes turned to him as they eagerly waited for their last answer from Michael. As he opened his mouth, the air went still. Everyone was wide eyed as he finally asked,” Who are the Demon Lords?”
“What?” Sarah asked, confused and unaware of what he was talking about. All the digimon were suddenly on edge, scared and fearful as their trainers tried to comfort them. Their eyes were full of terror as they couldn’t talk or think. Each shuddered as an instinctive fear took over.
“He’s lost it,” Mei said obnoxiously. Nobody thought they’d heard of these digimon, but Tommy was convinced, trying to explain,” Terminus mentioned it when Takuya was stuck as his Beast Spirit. I’ve been thinking and realized we’ve got no idea what he’s talking about.”
Michael took in a deep breath as Christine nodded to him. He became very solemn and dark as he said,” You’re thinking of the Seven Great Demon Lords.”
“That doesn’t sound good,” Beth said, still trying to calm Gaomon down as Renamon said,” They’re not.”
Michael nodded as he continued,” They are the ultimate nightmare of any digimon. Each one of them was created from the most corrupt digimon, pulled from the Dark Area and infused with pure darkness. Epsilon ‘saved’ them from that world so they could wipe out the digimon for him. But once he disappeared, the Demon Lords were allowed to roam as they pleased so long as they answered the call once Epsilon returned.”
“I’d hate to run into one of them,” Koji said as a rush of cold lingered over them. Michael; continued as they listened,” You already have. Lucemon was their leader, and I’m sure you remember how strong he was.”
“And there are six more of them we’ll have to fight,” Christine added sadly.
“That’s just great,” J.P. said as Zoe clung to him, both listening as Michael continued,” Lilithmon, Barbamon, Daemon, Belphemon, Leviamon, and Beelzemon. Although Lucemon was the leader until Epsilon came back, and was indeed the strongest, they’re still a force to be reckoned with. And the fact that Terminus is working with them makes me think he’s trying to replace Lucemon’s seat.”
“How are we supposed to beat digimon like that,” Sarah said doubtfully as Beth lifted their spirits, crying enthusiastically,” By doing our best. Each of us was chosen for a reason and no digimon’s gonna get in MY way. Sure, they sound scary, but I know I can handle it. What about you guys? As long as I have Koichi and Gaomon with me, I know I can do anything.”
“She’s right,” Emma said, hugging Liollmon as she said,” all I need bare my friends to help me through.”
“You guys are such saps,” Mei said as Koji teased,” You’re not scared, are you Mei?”
“I understand,” he said, using her stubborn attitude and temper to his advantage,” I’d be scared too. Maybe you aren’t strong enough for this journey.”
“That tears it,” she said, grabbing his ponytail as she held him right up to her face and said,” I’m coming with you and no Demon Losers are gonna stop me.”
“Then what’re we waiting for?” Zoe asked as she took J.P. out the door, crying,” Every second we wait gives Epsilon more power, so let’s not stand around!”
Everyone followed happily, marching out the door until Takuya’s stomach started growling. As it echoed through the hall, they watched angrily as he asked,” How about one lunch break first?”
He laughed, clutching his stomach as Zoe said,” You’re such a boy.”
“How’d I get stuck with you?” Sarah asked sadly, slouched as she trudged past him.
Christine and Koji set up lunch as everyone observed the statues in front. The stones offered perfect shade from the burning sun as a they laid out the food. Yet, almost everyone was observing these statues. Each was somewhat different, yet the same, connected. They stood on pedestals, engraved with ancient digi-code which no one but Gaomon was able to read or understand. Finally, once Koichi noticed the two statues with Dynasmon and Crusadermon, he asked,” Does anyone know who these are?”
Christine looked to him, still working as she replied,” That, Koichi, is the third side of the Beast-Man War. Those are the Royal Knights.”
“No way,” they all said together as Michael replied,” Sure are.”
“But we beat them both,” Zoe replied, continuing,” and there were only two of them.”
As Michael helped Christine, he explained,” You only battled two of the Royal Knights. The rest were wiped out.”
“How?” Koji asked, clearly fascinated by all the stories he’d never heard during his last visit here.
“As you know, the Royal Knights were once a force of good, so they were naturally against the war. They fought both sides, trying to end the fighting with more fighting. In the end, eleven of them were turned into digi-eggs as the remaining two pledged loyalty to the one who ended the war, Lucemon. In fact, they’re still out there now, probably rookie digimon with no memory of their past.”
"So cool!" Dorumon said as he stood in front of the statue in the center. An imposing, yet comforting digimon in grand armor loomed over him. His tattered cape stretched onto the ground as he held his sword proudly. Michael walked up, scratching Dorumon’s head as he said,” This is Alphamon, the mysterious leader of the Royal Knights. He was the strongest, bravest and most daring of the group. But because of a legendary and unrivaled power, he was absent from their ranks, forever known as the Lord of the Empty Seat.”
“I hope I get that strong someday,” Liollmon said excitedly as Emma said,” I’m sure you will. I’ll make sure of it.”
Christine butted into the conversation, the most forceful thing she’d done this whole journey, and said,” They say that in a time of great crisis, the available Knights will assemble to save both worlds. Maybe they‘ll give us a helping hand.”
“Me too,” Beth said, gazing at the statue labeled “Gallantmon” and said,” We’ll need all the help we can get if we wanna stop Epsilon.”
Michael went back inside as everyone was outside. He walked through the white fortress, returning to the computers from earlier. Now each had a strange symbol on them, each the same but none of them matching any of the Seals of the Elements. It didn’t really concern him, though he did find it strange. But once he gave his D-Tector Identification, it didn’t matter. He successfully accessed the mainframe, revealing a search engine unlike any on Earth. Naturally, his curiosity took over and he began typing in everything he wanted to learn about.
However, Michael was so distracted, he hardly noticed Zoe walk in. She saw him, standing still and realized he was being secretive again. The logical thing to her was to keep a close eye on him and make sure her team was in the loop.
“Michael,” she said angrily,” What do you think you’re doing?”
“It’s the mainframe,” he said in wonder,” It’s the most powerful search engine I’ve ever seen.”
“Really?” she said, watching each monitor. Each had different photos and documents, pieces of information and books floating through the tower. She saw things like the Declaration of Independence, the Eiffel Tower, and Titanic pass by as Michael pondered what to search for next.
“Let’s see ‘Digimon’,” he said, quickly typing as a new window popped up. A page of knowledge, probably twenty feet long appeared, containing every drop of information on digimon and links to each individual species.
“How about, ‘Spirits’?” he said, typing again, but finding a page on Souls instead.
“What about Epsilon?” Zoe asked, typing for him. After several seconds of searching and waiting, only an article of the star Epsilon appeared. She tried searching “Project Epsilon” only to find a classified page. The same appeared once she tried searching “Project Trinity”.
“I guess we’re not allowed,” she said disappointedly. Michael shut it off, taking her back as he assured her,” Maybe we could try on another Station.
“I guess,” she said.
He took her outside, taking his backpack as he led them back to the sea. For the next several days, nothing happened. Michael kept quiet as the digimon kept away. But unknown to them, Terminus and Lilithmon saw the wall of light over the border, waiting to see just how close he’d get to beating them. They flew away, ready to spread their terror as Michael tried to spread his light.