Creature - The Myotismon Freak Darkness. The very mention of the word could send chills running up and down the spines of some. But it was not like that to all. The night was cold, and dark. A small breeze blew gently across the darkened landscape, wrapping its chill fingers around trees, buildings, stirring creatures. There was no moon; only the stars shone brightly down upon this world, casting somewhat of an eerie glow upon the land. Some were frightened by it. And yet others were not. Some stirred at night, hunting, some just being. But one in particular had a mysterious identity, shrouded in mystery that hung like a heavy fog over his life. And, though unbeknownst to him at the moment, one of his former enemies was to help him recapture it . . . . . . And would also make a great sacrifice of their own. The creature stood tall and proud under the darkened night sky, an air of honor and mystery surrounding him. And indeed, it suited him well. He was one who had once known a being dedicated to honor . . . He himself had once taken its path. But he had turned away; now, though, he was willing to return. But even more mysterious then the seeming aura around him was his own past. He knew nothing of it. He didn't even know his true name; he merely called himself Surnruhae. All he knew was that his history was forgotten to him. But he would find out that it was complex beyond understanding, with hate-filled enemies and none who understood him. None truly could. The only thing he remembered was how he survived; indeed, he would never forget it. It caused too much suffering to others. He thrived upon the blood of others. Tai Kamiya lazily threw himself out on the couch. It was summer, and he had nothing to do. As a matter of fact, it was exactly one year-another summer-after they had defeated their last enemy, Myotismon. He sighed, recalling the tall and slender vampire Digimon. Frightening was how to describe him in one word-in a way. Tai's favorite nickname for him had been "Mr. Fang Face." Of course, he knew it probably drove his enemy mad. But maybe it didn't. He never knew; the Digimon of his younger sister, Kari, had Digivolved into Angelwomon and destroyed him before he could ever turn good. Suddenly . . . "Hey, Tai!" He fell off the couch at the shouted sound of his name. Picking himself up, he yelled, "Do you think you can be a little quieter, Agumon?!" The orange dinosaur-looking creature put a clawed hand up to his mouth, blushing. "Uh, sorry about that, Tai. But I just found something that I thought you might want to see." Agumon ran over to the TV and flicked it on. "Look!" The announcer on the screen had just picked up talking about a particularly troubling report. "City health officials are shocked about the increasing number of young women showing up in hospitals for severe anemia. They remember something such as this happening approximately a year ago; they also recall that the Digidestined identified the source of this as their old opponent, Myotismon. But Myotismon was destroyed. How could this be happening again? Has a new evil arisen? That is what some people are asking. Until we discover what is causing this, though, we will have to keep on searching. And, as a safety precaution"-the person quickly looked down at his notes, then back up again-"we recommend that young women, try to be inside after dark. Maybe this will put a stop to this new trouble." Then, breaking the hushed mood, he said, "Now onto the weather." Tai was shocked. "This can't be happening again." Agumon nodded his head. "I know it doesn't seem possible, but it is happening, Tai. And it is your job-and the other Digidestined's-to find out what is happening here, and put a stop to it." Surnruhae shot suddenly from deep slumber into waking. Why, he didn't know; but he had sensed something approaching. How, though? Then, he remembered: humans were creatures of the day. One had most likely stumbled upon him, hiding from the light in this world. Remaining hidden in the shadow, he crept silently behind the other life-form. Yes. It was a human, a female. She was tall, with a slight build. Her shimmering black hair fell down to her waist, even though it was pulled up into a ponytail. She turned around, still not noticing Surnruhae, and the vampire noticed that she had deep brown eyes. The human began walking in his direction, but he remained calm. The sun was now setting; the human apparently hadn't taken notice of it. The human, simply called Amelia, was amazed by this place. It was dark here, so black that one couldn't tell if it was day or night. She was also curious; it was amazing here. But, in this case, her curiosity was to be her downfall. She walked silently over to a certain place near the wall. She somehow felt drawn to it . . . And, as the last of the sun's rays fell and darkness set in, she saw a creature step from the shadows. Matt Ishida was tired. His day in itself had been tiring-he had gone to visit T.K., and they had been reminiscing so much that it seemed as if time had wings while they were together. Still, he was weary. Flopping onto his bed, he put his head on his hands and began thinking about the future. They would never find him. Never. And he would make sure of that. Humans never took the time to understand him. As if they could, he thought grimly, baring his fangs. They never could. No one could. He still was hidden by the shadows, which were now deepening. This human could not have chosen a more inopportune time . . . . . . For them. He suddenly, in one smooth and swift motion, drew himself up to his full height, somewhere between six and seven feet. The human saw this, and an expression first of surprise, then fright, then . . . one unnamed spread across her face. She stood in one placed, transfixed, as Surnruhae moved silently closer to her . . . It was somewhat more calm here than outside. The shadows lay spread across the dark floor, deepening its blackness. It soothed him, the darkness; soothed his restless soul, his poor, restless soul. Suddenly, someone burst in on his peace. The Digidestined. Why couldn't they leave him be? He was about to draw away from his siege of Earth, to return to the Digital world. But they didn't know that. "It's time to finish this once and for all, Myotismon!" their leader, Tai, shouted. Myotismon made no move to escape. He merely kept his head down, cloak wrapped about him, and eyes closed in slumber. Tai strode boldly up to him, his Crest of Courage silently glowing. The vampire Digimon towered over him. "This is the end, Myotismon. We've come to defeat you once and for all." The other Digidestined stepped from the shadows. Myotismon continued to ignore them. Tai stood taller, and tried to thrust his face into Myotismon's. He was not successful in getting as close as he wanted; he was still a good half foot or more away. The dark lord finally stirred, moving away from the Digidestined. "All I want is peace, human. Leave me be. I will plague you no more." His voice echoed in the silence. Tai followed. "No, Myotismon. We have to destroy you. And how do we know that you're not lying, anyway?" Myotismon opened his dark blue eyes and stared at Tai. "Because I am not attempting to harm you, now am I? You may trust me in this. I only wished to be left alone." Tai, as well as the other Digidestined, thought that Myotismon's eyes presently had a tired and hunted look to them, mixed with sadness. Still, he was determined to stop the evil Digimon once and for all. Suddenly . . . "Agumon Digivolved to . . . GREYMON!" "Gaubumon Digivolved to . . . GARURUMMON!" "Biyomon Digivolved to . . . BIRDRAMON!" "Tentomon Digivolved to . . . KABUTERRIMON!" "Gomamon Digivolved to . . . IKKAKUMON!" The Digidestined Digimon charged Myotismon, who moved not. T.K. and Patamon watched on with wide eyes. "Nova Blast!" "Howling Blaster!" "Meteor Wing!" "Electro Shocker!" "Harpoon Torpedo!" All the dark lord did was move very calmly out of the way, letting the attacks blow past. "I am not going to fight you, Digidestined. Leave me in peace." But Tai ignored him . . . "This morning, Miss Amelia Lopez, a visitor from the United States, was discovered with a severe case of anemia. Her case is just one among many, sadly enough. Health officials are growing increasingly worried as more and more young women show up in hospitals each day, all of them with anemia. They think the cases are linked, to each other as well as those of one year ago. But the one who was causing it all was supposedly destroyed. Has he returned after all this time? We may never know. All we know for now is that something needs to be done about this." Tai flicked off the TV set, and sighed. Myotismon couldn't possibly be back. He was destroyed by Angelwomon. But something Gatomon had once said haunted his thoughts like a specter >from the past. "When Digimon die, their data is just reconfigured. It's kind of like they're downloaded to a different computer," she had told them. This meant that all defeated Digimon had-have-a chance of returning. But the question was, had that happened to Myotismon? Unbeknownst to Tai, Izzy had also seen the newscast. He, too, thought of what Gatomon had said, and came to a conclusion, which he told to Tentomon. "Tentomon?" "Yes?" "After much thought, I have come to a conclusion." "What is it, Izzy?" "If Myotismon truly has returned, then that means his data reconfigured. And that means that he would have no knowledge of his past . . ." "Unless something happens that causes memory data to reconfigure, too, and not just make up new things that happened after the return." "Exactly." Izzy looked out the window, over the city, towards the setting sun. "If Myotismon is out there, and he doesn't know of his past, then that means that he could be convinced to fight for good . . ." "If he doesn't remember the evil." Night. His time. Darkness filled the sleeping world, covering all, sleeping and waking. Creatures slept, creatures stirred, creatures shivered in fear of the blackness. Some inhabited the Night, living under its blackness and thriving. But not all did. Some were of day, of sun, fearing the Night and all that thrived within it. Only their bravest, the most courageous, dared to venture out into its dark shelter. Most never came back. Sometimes, he was the reason for that. The shadows fell over the street, over the sleeping world. He melded into them, hidden from sight. It was as he planned . . . The person walking down the street was preoccupied by something that had been bothering her all day. It seemed as though her family's business would soon shut down. What would happen then? Shaking her brown-haired head, she muttered to herself, "I don't know. I just don't know." She never suspected that her life was about to change . . . From the shadows lining the streets stepped someone. They were tall, pale, and slender, with blond hair and sorrowful dark blue eyes. She somehow stood transfixed by them . . . She stood still, never moving as the slowly walked up to her. She could feel herself drawn into their arms . . . Sora and Biyomon walked silently along, Mimi and Palmon beside. They were never going to get used to life now. It was all back to normal, after their adventures in the Digiworld. Nothing would ever be the same. Sighing, Mimi stopped in front of a candy store. "Some candy would sure taste good right about now," she said, turning to Palmon, then back to the store. "Don't you agree?" She pressed her face against the glass. Sora, too, stopped, and looked at Mimi. "Unless you have any money," she told her, "I don't think you can buy anything." Mimi sighed again, and then continued walking. She was silent for a while. And then . . . "Hey, Sora!" She came to an abrupt halt, almost tripping Palmon. "What?" Mimi looked around, and then said, "I just had the strangest feeling." "Like what?" "Like I could sense someone, lost, kind of far away." Sora shook her head. "It probably wasn't anything." Mimi sighed yet again. "I guess you're right." They continued walking. The creature stirred restlessly. Night seemed to pass all too quickly-especially when he had a set goal. And yet, when he had arrived in the human city, he felt as if he had been there before. Strange. He had never been there before, not that he could remember. Rather, it was something he couldn't. He didn't know what he was. He didn't know of his past, of his future-all he knew about was here and now, the present. That was the constant thought that kept him from slumber. Here, hidden from even the most stubborn of the sun's rays, he was sheltered from light. That was one thing that had to be. And it was. Dreams. Haunting. A fleeting glimpse of a girl, tall and slender, with dark green eyes tinged with midnight blue. A sword was at her side, dark, and a crest hung at her throat: Honor. Honor. Damhriis. And he was there, too, the proud warrior beside the astounding pupil. Glowing red eyes narrowed, he haunted his dreams. Dreams . . . "Damhriis!" And the girl . . . Shadowsoul . . . "Damhriis . . ." The robot moved not, but he could sense that Damhriis would never desert him. Never. Never . . . The moon was bright upon the pale landscape, illuminating all with a pale sheen. The stars, too, shone, barely holding their own against the moon's light. Covering the ground was a creeping mist, not the un-seasonal one that had plagued Odaiba approximately one year ago. Most was silent. Sora Tekanouchi walked along, trying to get home in a hurry. She remembered what had lurked in the fog a year ago . . . Of course, he had never attacked her in hunger. Never. He stayed away from the Digidestined, in that way. It was others who bore the brunt of it. Namely young women. Anyhow, as she hurried home, Sora thought she heard something. Something that sounded like it was trying to, perhaps, get away . . . No . . . They must never find me . . . They would not understand . . . The words, meant as thought, were heard with a slight whisper as they wove through the mist. Never . . . Sora stopped. Never. A creature stirred in the shadows, showing itself to the frightened human. And indeed, Sora was frightened. They were tall, slender, with dark blue eyes set in a pale face. Three stray blond bangs, hanging away from the rest of their hair, fell over and slightly away from their face, which was hidden behind a red mask. Draped >from their shoulders was a long black cape. Myotismon . . . She remembered him. Remembered . . . Sora tried to scream, because Biyomon wasn't with her, but she found that the sound was lodged in her throat, caught by the rising lump of her fear. Why fear him? He had always stayed away from the Digidestined in that way . . . But he had been destroyed. And now he was back. And that most likely meant that he had forgotten his silent vow of Honor . . . She couldn't move, however much she tried. Her legs were immovable pillars driven into the Earth as he approached. She couldn't even fall over. She made one last attempt to scream, as she sensed what felt like two sharp needles sinking deep into her neck . . . It haunted him. Why had he attacked? I had to in order to survive. I cannot help what I am, but merely have to accept it. But something that had to do with his past kept tormenting him, driving him mad. Something that bore terrible weight on his conscience. One that was ever growing heavier . . . He tried to dismiss it. But he couldn't. He tried to ignore it. But it wouldn't allow him. And, all the while, he heard a repeated phrase, one that seemed to sound as a whisper on the wind . . . Honor. Never forget it. And please, Tlaernskuha-never turn the dark path into evil. It only brings suffering, and pain. So much pain . . . "Just what happened?" "You heard me, Sora was taken into the hospital last night. And you know why, Tai? It was for anemia." Anemia. He knew what that meant. "But . . . I thought we destroyed him!" Tai's voice was incredulous, shocked by this turn of events. "Yeah. So did I. Either something else Digivolved into Myotismon"-Matt briefly paused-"or our old foe has returned." Returned . . . Sora awoke to the sight of glaring white hospital walls. There were no other humans around; she was alone in her room. She was dazed. She tried to pull herself up into a sitting position, and was surprised that she could do so. She had just now remembered what happened the night before. Sora was amazed at this. She remembered what happened to all who encountered Myotismon . . . . . . But that wasn't the case with her. She was pale, yes, but not weak, or tired; she felt almost fine, except for a splitting headache. Looking around, she saw no one. No one. They had apparently left her to her nap. The initial shock of waking up in a hospital had, by now, worn off. But she was still puzzled over her present position. She was supposed to be weak, and tired, but she wasn't. She was supposed to have all those symptoms of anemia-but she didn't. All she had was a headache and a terrifying memory. The Digidestined began rubbing her eyes fitfully, as one whose eyes just got used to the dark-and had the lights immediately turned back on. She could feel intense pain, as though she was being blinded by the light . . . But that was odd. Unless it meant . . . "No. This can't be." No. No . . . This couldn't be happening. No. "No!" Sora lay back down again, trying to go back to sleep. But she couldn't. And she then realized that it was night outside . . . By what seemed to be new-found instinct, Sora almost threw herself out of bed-finding that she was still wearing her normal clothes, except for her shoes-and ran over to the light switch. With one swift motion, it was off. And she was out of there, nearly ripping the door off its hinges, then slinking in the shadows out the door . . . Surnruhae turned silently around. There was another creature approaching . . . He could see her long before she knew it. And she could see him long before he knew it. She had, by some amazing ability, sighted his dark form amidst the shadows. "Leave me be, human." "I am not going to fight you, human. Leave me in peace." But Tai ignored him . . . "I came in search of you, Surnruhae, known by many other names as well. I wish to be called . . . Draeskahriim." Yes, Draeskahriim . . . It meant "dark one" . . . He looked her over, head to shoed foot. "Sora Tekanouchi." She looked up. "Yes?" "Why do you come to me . . . calling yourself 'dark one?'" "Because that is what-who-I am, Surnruhae, forgotten one with the lost past." How did she know? . . . "I merely wish to join you. We are like, in some ways"-she made a move of melding with the shadows-"but different in others." She smiled, baring only glittering white teeth, no fangs. Surnruhae bared his own fangs, glaring discomfortingly at this "Draeskahriim." "That may be true, human, but I am a . . . loner, as you would say. I remain unto myself and myself alone. I have no business with others . . ."-he paused-"unless I am on the hunt." "Perhaps . . . This will show you of our similarities." The human was silent for about two seconds, then suddenly shot a pulsating energy ball at the ground before his feet. He made no move to stop it; or so it seemed. When it was about three feet away, he raised a gloved hand in command, and it disintegrated. "So. You possess some powers. But you do not know how to control them . . . You cannot control what you do not understand . . ." He drew himself up to his full height, causing his fangs to catch the moonlight and glitter. "You are dangerous with the powers you now possess, Sora Tekanouchi. Unless you learn to control them, you will destroy much without meaning to. But I can teach you." He suddenly shot an energy ball at the wall, blasting it to a smoldering black color. "As you see, I know how to use my powers." Matt was sprinting at full speed to catch Tai, and almost ran over him. By the time he caught up with the leader of the Digidestined, he was out of breath. "Tai-I-just-saw . . . Sora-" he panted. "Where?" "Just-outside-of-town-" "But why would she be there?" "I-don't-know.-But-" "But what?" "But-she-was-different-" "Different how?" "Turned-she's turned-" "Turned what?" "Turned-dark-" Matt passed out, right then and there. He had been running too hard, and what he had just seen bore too much weight on him. Tai was left with a burdened mind and an unconscious Matt. Things had just taken a turn, and not necessarily for the best . . . "Crimson Lightning!" He swung a bolt of scarlet lightning at the phoenix-like Digimon, lancing it right in the chest. "Birdramon! No!" Her Crest of Love was glowing, glowing . . . "Birdramon Digivolved to . . ." A wall of fire sprang up around her, shielding her from sight. And then, she stepped through: tall, proud, and powerful. The feather in her fluttering golden-orange hair moved slightly as she spread her fiery wings wide. "Garudamon!" They will still not win . . . The voice was heard in remembrance as a whisper on the wind . . . "Celestial Arrow!" The arrow of light made contact, causing pain, to shoot through his slender-built body, intense, fiery pain . . . And all was black . . . But this darkness was not soothing . . . "Something must be done." Tai's voice rang throughout the room in the silence. "But what?" Joe. Silence. "Well . . . We have to stop Myotismon." "But . . . wasn't he destroyed?" "Yes. But he apparently returned." It was Izzy. "We could all tell that. But how?" asked Mimi. "And how are we going to get Sora back?" Everybody had, by now, been informed as to what had happened to Sora. "I don't know." Matt sighed. Tai glanced out the window. "Wherever she is, we are going to find her, and bring her back." The final battle. So this was what it all boiled down to. He was tired; he did not want to fight. But his adversaries did. So he had no choice but to battle. They led the attack. "Agumon Digivolved to . . . GREYMON!" "Gaubumon Digivolved to . . . GARURUMON!" "Biyomon Digivolved to . . . BIRDRAMON!" "Tentomon Digivolved to . . . KABUTERRIMON!" "Palmon Digivolved to . . . TOGEMON!" "Gomamon Digivolved to . . . IKKAKUMON!" "Nova Blast!" "Howling Blaster!" "Meteor Wing!" "Electro Shocker!" "Needle Spray!" "Harpoon Torpedo!" Despite the fact that he did not wish to fight, he had no other choice. It was the Law of the Jungle put into motion: Kill or be killed. Eat or be eaten. He stopped the onslaught, turning it back towards the Digidestined Digimon. Then . . . "Nightmare Claw!" Two at once . . . Greymon and Togemon and fell over, all color drained from them. They didn't really move, occasionally twitching as if having a nightmare . . . "No! Greymon!" "Togemon!" "Howling Blaster!" Garurumon led the next assault, followed by Birdramon, Kabuterrimon, and Ikkakumon. "Meteor Wing!" "Electro Shocker!" "Harpoon Torpedo!" It wasn't helping. "Digivolve!" "Garurumon Digivolved to . . ." The wolf reared up on his hind legs, eyes blazing. Ragged blue jeans, torn and ripped, appeared on his legs, while gloves-fingerless-showed on his hands. A belt slapped diagonally across his chest, and dog tags dangled from his throat. "WereGarurumon!" He howled, and charged Myotismon. "Birdramon Digivolved to . . ." A wall of fire shot up around the phoenix-like Digimon, engulfing it and hiding it from sight. But it did not remain that way for long . . . The tall creature stepped proudly through the flames, eye glowing. Her golden-orange her fluttered gently behind her, as did the feather protruding >from it. She spread her wings wide in a show of power; the flames at her feet roared. "Garudamon!" The fiery Digimon, reminiscent of a human crossed with a bird, joined the ensuing fray. "Kabuterrimon Digivolved to . . ." A searing power surged through the insect-like Digimon, changing him. His horn grew larger, more elaborate, splitting into two blades to form a red axe. The rest of his body was turned to a dull red color; now the power gathered at one spot, the conjunction of his wings, and formed a blue hemisphere. Then it spread out, forming a covering over his huge, glossy insect wings. "MegaKabuterrimon!" The huge scarlet beetle joined the battle. "Ikkakumon Digivolved to . . ." A winging wall of shimmering water rose around the furred Digimon, causing him to be blocked from view. Lightning streaked overhead; one particular bolt shot down and formed a hammer in a large, clawed hand. The wall of water suddenly parted, revealing a powerful Digimon of the Water. "Zudomon!" The Water Digimon now joined, too. "Gatomon Digivolved to . . ." The cat-like creature grew taller, more slender. The orange-striped gloves on her hands came off, replaced by feathered white ones, as her tail sucked into her body and hair fell loosely down her back. Glimmering white wings sprouted from her back, and a helmet rose over he beautiful face, covering the upper half of it-including her piercing blue eyes. "Angelwomon!" She, too, joined the brawl. She and Kari had just now arrived. "Wolf Claw!" "Wing Blade!" "Horn Blaster!" "Vulcan's Hammer!" Those not fighting were Patamon, Greymon, and Togemon; Angelwomon was saving her strength for the end. Myotismon stopped the attacks, causing them to disintegrate into the air heavy with the sounds of battle. And through it all, a mysterious human was watching from the sides . . . "Draeskahriim. That's all I've heard." Tai was worried by what Matt told him. Sora had turned against them, or so it seemed. She had virtually disappeared, occasionally seen by Matt or another Digidestined. She was still not . . . accustomed to disappearing into the shadows, despite the teachings of Surnruhae. Perhaps it was the fact that she was human, while he was not. But something else also bothered Tai. Izzy had told them about a somewhat disturbing prophecy. It went something like this: The wall of Fire shall rise And envelope the Darkness. It was disturbing because Gennai had told them that, in order for there to be life, there must be a balance between the Light and the Darkness-a Harmony, if you will. Without one, there would be nothing. Nothing. So now they had to save Sora, figure out this baffling prophecy (prophecies always use symbolism; what did these symbols mean?), and prevent it from happening to keep the balance. It all gave him a headache. But it had to be done. Draeskahriim knelt in the darkness, head down. It hurt so much, so much .