Into The Dark (Armor Champion Hunt) Dec 29, 2018 19:58:19 GMT
Post by Alice Alexandria on Dec 29, 2018 19:58:19 GMT
NOTE: I am truly sorry for the length of this. It's huge, at a staggering total of 4463 words.
Deep within Old Terminus, two souls wander through the strange, decrepit digital hallways, the detritus of the world, a seemingly endless labyrinth of increasingly decayed and abstract passages. An emerald haired woman leans against a plain, undecorated concrete wall, sketching symbols and translating them in a notebook while the other, a witch in red, stands guard. The occasional metallic, unnatural sound echoes through the tangled walls, causing both to become alert, only to dismiss it as nothing.
"I suspect the walls are moving." Alice states as she runs her hand and pen through her hair, her lips slowly curling into a frustrated frown. She looks down at her notebook, the message on the wall both difficult to understand and without proper context. "They have to be. No way we could get lost this easily otherwise... The text says we're in some sort of military bunker, but that doesn't make sense, either..." The more she thinks about it, the more frustrated she becomes, the long shadows coming from the scant lights amid the digital maze making things even more uneasy.
"There's a reason even the toughest Digimon don't go here. Old Terminus ain't normal... It's messed up. A lil' like you 'n me, actually." A sarcastic grin forms on Dorothy's face as she keeps watch to protect her defenseless human partner. She kicks a can amid the various bits of foreign, strange trash lying around, something neither of the two are particularly interested in, and sighs. "Figures you'd get interested in the dark corners of the world."
Closing her notebook, the green haired human nods in agreement. "I'm more focused on the history of the Digital World, but you'd be right. After all, my ideas suggest Old Terminus has something to do with the development of computers back in my world. And I know this place is dangerous. Thankfully, nobody wants anything to do with us... Yet." The thought of something or someone attacking makes her uneasy, a slight ache rushing to her hands as her mind reaches for something that shouldn't be there in the first place. She winces, deciding to divert her attention to the large window opposite her, hands up against the glass as she peers down into the faintly glowing abyss, the almost prison-like architecture getting increasingly broken and barebones and giving way to raw digital space the further down one looks.
The thought of what lay at the bottom fills Alice with both incredible wonder, but also fear. The stories of this place are far from pleasant, after all. "Let's get going. The less we stay in one place, the better. Less opportunity for something to catch us off guard." Slipping her book away, she gestures to Dorothy to follow as she heads down one of the many hallways, lined with pipes and a faint hiss.
"...Yeah, yeah. I almost hope somethin' comes our way so I can shred 'em to bits. Least we'd know something is here..." Dorothy follows alongside her human partner, the Witchmon's tense, aggressive posture a sign of her distaste for the current situation. Before the two continue traversing the labyrinth, she looks back, the long, strangely dark shadows seeming more than a little off.
As the pair descend a long, winding staircase that soon opens up into a gaping, sloped chamber of polygons more than anything else, the area so decayed that it borders on a jagged tube of glowing panels. Dorothy pays it no mind, simply ditching moving with her feet to fly on her broom as footing becomes difficult. "Personally, I think we should turn back. Nothin' here but more junk 'n ruins, really."
"Relax. We haven't encountered a single thing." Alice begins to reconsider heading down, but the next step she takes is one too many as she begins to slide, letting out a bit of a scream as she begins to slip down out of her control, further and further as it becomes steeper until it borders on a sheer drop. Dorothy springs into action, struggling to move the broom around in the space, but she manages to dive down and scoop up the human in time to prevent injury.
Dorothy rolls her eyes after doing this and sighs, having expected something like this, yet relieved it didn't turn out worse. "...You were sayin'?" Gritting her teeth, she gently lowers herself and Alice down instead of plummeting, landing on the roof of a derelict building, the tunnel having opened up into a small dystopic town. Pushing Alice off her broom, the Witchmon looks up, the hole the two entered from the only sign that this place is inside Old Terminus at all, but not too far up. "...Ya know, you coulda been fine even if I didn't catch you." The words come out of Dorothy's mouth without thinking, a brief laugh coming from the witch. "Maybe I should have let ya fall, let you take a bump every once in a while."
The green haired Tamer slowly gets to her feet with her Digimon's assistance, and she surveys the scene with a long, drawn out sigh, the overly bright neon signs and grimy, tangled pipes connecting buildings together giving both of them a sense that this place isn't natural, the miniature city surrounded in darkness save for its' own lights and whatever illumination spills from the angular hole in the false sky. "Last time we did that, I nearly died. That said... I think lowering us down to the streets would be a good idea."
"Where's the fun in that? With all these pipes, ya could crawl from one building to the other 'n go through windows 'n stuff." The witch jokes, looking at Alice's shadow with a slightly perplexed look for the briefest of moments, it seeming uncharacteristically clear and dark... Or is it? She shakes her head, and invites Alice to sit on the broom again. "Sure, sure. Guess ya like going up stairs more than down 'em." As Alice approaches, the concept of pushing her off becomes more appealing, though she holds back as the human sits with her, getting back to descending safely, this time to the ground as opposed to on a rooftop.
As she descends, it becomes harder and harder to think clearly, the thought of pushing Alice off a building slowly being replaced with even more vivid, violent imagery, and by the time the two reach the streets of the seemingly deserted dystopian cityscape, she doesn't take a moment to shove Alice off the broom and ready an attack, green energy pooling at Dorothy's fingertips, her mind reaching for some kind of excuse to explain why she did it. "Enough of that, get a broom of your own, Greeny, you're gettin' annoying with all your nerd stuff."
"What?" Alice's response as she regains her balance and looks at the Witchmon with an irritated expression more than anything else, her brow furrowed slightly and joined alongside a frown. "We're here for research purposes, not to do nerd stuff. This is important work!" Her anger gradually turns to fear as Dorothy aims the spell at her, and the human backs away slightly, unnerved. "Are you just angry we're investigating Old Terminus, or something?"
"Shut your mouth for once... All ya do is talk 'n write in that book of yours. It ain't dumb, but it sure ain't fun." Her emotions flaring up with aggression bubbling up to the surface, Dorothy responds with an almost ghastly tone to her voice, one usually reserved for her enemies. "And when we do fight somethin' we end up doin' that horrible thing where ya parade around how cool you are while I get to babysit ya..." She stands up, holding her broom at her side with one hand, every step towards Alice met with a step backwards from the human woman, tension slowly filling the air until it finally breaks, a blade of wind shooting out and slashing at the woman's foot as a warning shot.
"...What the hell is your problem?!" Alice responds as she quickly decides to step back some more, narrowly avoiding injury or worse. Though shocked at this initial outburst, her anger swiftly shifting to fear as yet another spell is prepared at her, the orange runes signaling something far less pleasant and much more painful than blades of air. Scrambling away, she looks for somewhere, anywhere, and heads into an alleyway before the blobs of flaming tar fly at her, streaks of orange saturating the unnaturally dark location.
Driven by negative emotions bubbled to the surface, Dorothy just cracks an overly wide, horrific grin, laughing loudly to herself as she lets Alice run. It feels good to lash out again, to be in control of her own life once more as opposed to being tethered to that human, that green haired nerd too focused on discovery to feel anything. Her ears pick up Alice's footsteps and the opening of a door, and she slowly follows, stalking her victim with an intentional, but abnormal cruelty.
Inside, Alice doesn't have time to care about the fact this place eerily resembles the apartment complex she lives in, the green haired woman looking for something, anything to help her get away or hide. With heavy breaths, she finds herself trying to call the elevator, slamming the button with her fist, hoping that it would help put some distance between her and Dorothy quickly. When the door opens, however, all that greets her is the empty, glowing neon void typical of Old Terminus, the space around the opening degrading back into plain, almost featureless material. At the sight of this, she decides to use the stairs instead, every shadow long, dark and harsh in a way strangely reminiscent of a horror movie, an almost intentional, theatric exaggeration of the current situation.
She only has the time to ascend to the third floor before the sound of laughter becomes apparent, followed by the horrific screech of a water jet cutting away at the walls, being fired at and through the walls in bursts to flush Alice out. Each shot comes closer and closer to the green haired woman's location, shattering objects and coming alarmingly close to harming Alice. Knowing she can't run forever, Alice tries opening one of the apartment doors, desperately searching for a way out, only for the door to give way and for her to tumble over into what lies beyond, a barebones representation of a room with everything made of smooth, almost featureless material, but aside from that it is identical to where she lives.
"...Get up." Dorothy kicks the downed woman with a sarcastic, malicious chuckle, every thought in her head one of murderous intent, and yet, she questions why she's going this far to cause suffering to Alice. But she's unable to stop thinking of murdering her in cold blood, ripping her straight in half and laughing the entire time... "C'mon, what are ya, a filthy coward now that ya can't use your own spells? And by that, I mean mine."
"...Still stuck up on that, huh?" Alice responds back, knowing she can't run any more. She slowly stands up, and approaches the Witchmon with determination, but fear as well, knowing that she might die at any moment. "I get that. I understand why you're not okay with it... But that's not important right now." Her eyes dart from place to place, looking for something to assault her own Digimon partner with, a futile last stand. She snags a crude, boxy chair and screams, terror and tears in her eyes as she swings it at Dorothy, putting all of her strength into it in the hope it may buy her some time.
With the chair colliding into her, the witch in red flinches, staggering back, but not really in that much pain, a small grunt the only response she gives. Holding up a hand again, a green circle glowing before Alice is punted out through the window and knocked off her feet, shards of glass flying everywhere as Alice lands on some of the pipes connecting the dilapidated buildings together, the ordinary human understandably in agony. It pains Dorothy to see this, but she can't stop herself, the violent outburst overriding all other instincts. "Course ya can't do anything. I'm better than you. Makes me wonder why ya humans are always in charge..."
In the pained, dazed nightmare that Alice lays on, she hears the hiss of something leaking out of the pipe, something that if her hunch is correct, could very well be her last shot to saving herself. She fumbles, weakly pulling her lighter out of her pocket as she lays here, and tries to smirk despite the numerous scratches lining her body. "...You really want us both to die? If the gas in these pipes is flammable, this entire place is going to explode. And you damn well know I like fire." After stating her ultimatum, she catches something out of the corner of her eye, something genuinely unsettling that shakes both Alice and Dorothy to their very core. What should be Alice's shadow has countless eyes, vicious, twitching red ones with pupils pulsing with a hypnotic glare, monstrous and alien even in comparison to a nightmare. The eyes shift erratically from place to place, gazing around at random at first, but soon, all of them focus directly on her, a dread filling every fiber of her being. Staring into this creature is like gazing into the abyss.
Though she's still undeniably angry and violent in regards to Alice, this new creature demands even more attention, an almost instinctual fear coming from it as Dorothy readies an attack at the shadow but is too late to actually do anything, the thing slinking off, her aggression slowly fading as it snakes out of view. She takes a deep breath, her rage slowly turning into mere irritation and then regret, and soon enough words come out of her mouth. "...Greeny, what the heck was that thing?!"
"...Are you done your tantrum?" The green haired woman holds up her hand as if to say she can't get up, prompting Dorothy to get on her broom once more and float over to Alice to assist. "You were trying to kill me. Not just attack me or get all threatening... Actually kill me." She gets onto the Witchmon's broom without another word, just shaking her head and trying to comprehend recent events.
"I, umm... I didn't mean to. I kept on gettin' angrier and angrier and I couldn't stop thinkin' about hurting you 'n showing that I, you know... Hate some of the things ya do, but I never act on it. Not like that, I'd never hurt ya that bad, trust me. That thing messes with your head, makes ya do things..." Dorothy explains, the Witchmon's expression hard to read, uncertain and now full of the same fear evident in Alice's eyes. "S-Somethin' like that." She looks back to the fake apartment, and notices something peculiar on the table, something that strikes her as both familiar and inviting as opposed to the unforgiving, shadow filled nightmare the two have been in for the past hour or so. "Hey, that looks like treasure."
When the two are back on the ground, Alice approaches it carefully, still shaking slightly, holding her arm briefly, the pain of being slammed against a metal pipe still fresh throughout her body. "...It better be." The object is an egg shaped... thing of sorts, a shiny blue in color, decorated in gothic frills of black with white lace, colorful ears on a mock headband and a strange, mask shaped symbol on the front which glows a sickly lime green. "...I don't know what it is, but it seems valuable... What do you think?"
An unease fills the air as Alice simply holds the egg and Dorothy watches, neither of them able to shake the feeling that they're being watched, the harsh, impossibly black shadows seeming more malevolent than ever. "I think I know what you're holdin'. It's a Digimental. Kinda important... If a Digimon's weak 'n wants to come off as stronger. I'm already plenty strong, though, why would we need somethin' like it? If one of them shadow things comes 'round I can probably just blast it to bits..." She leans forwards, looking at the egg with her smile slowly becoming the opposite. "You're not thinkin' of trying it out on me, are ya? As far as I know you'll be the one wearin' that dress, given our track record."
"Come on, it'll be fine. We're alone now... Right?" As soon as Alice finishes her sentence, she notices something unsettling on Dorothy's face, looking up to notice her Digimon partner's expression, cold and dead with a slightly agape mouth, pupils wide with shock as if she's witnessing something horrible. As much as Alice tries to get Dorothy to respond, she can't get the witch in red to so. "...Right, Dorothy?"
Suddenly, Dorothy begins to shriek, the shadows in the room slowly sprouting eyes one by one, all exactly like the first shadow creature that was in Alice's own shadow. The sounds they make are scratchy and unpleasant, a faint reversed whispering full of things not quite words, and in a burst of light, Dorothy reverts back to her previous form, the weaker, smaller Tsukaimon, still screaming. Horrific imagery plays over and over again in her head, every potentially fatal mistake having turned into a vivid, inescapable nightmare where the worst came true. Worse still are visions of five figures, all familiar, but none pleasant. More of the shadow creatures seep in, focusing on Alice, an unfathomable dread seeping into her very soul.
She has to do something, anything, before they do the same thing to her. Shoving the Digimental into Dorothy's face, Alice panics, the orange light from her Digivice glowing brighter. but not bright enough. The green haired woman places the glowing gadget it on her heart at first, but to no avail as the many eyed shadows creep closer, hallucinations beginning to seep into Alice's mind, clouding her vision until she finally drops her Digivice next to the egg-shaped Digimental, the burning orange and vibrant green lights present on each glowing brighter and brighter, the shadows temporarily retreating as the light of Digivolution wards them off.
And when the ghastly images fade for the pair, Dorothy cheers, a confident, but slightly grumpy shout of triumph coming from her new appearance, unlike anything she's taken before, a short, blue humanoid in a much more frilly dress, black and white but with colorful decor and a grotesque puppet of a lizard on one hand. "...Better a maid than an animal, but it could be better, ya know?" The feeling of power usually brought about with her more humanoid forms isn't there, but instead, the idea of being able to get away with anything is in its' place, a smirk forming on the blue maid's face as she picks up Alice's Digivice, holding it up to her to give it back. "Whatever, that bought us some time 'n got us outta that so I ain't arguin'." A defeated sigh comes from her after this, the shadows slowly creeping into the room, a sense of urgency overwhelming the pair of Digimon and Tamer.
"It won't be long before they're back... What the hell are they!? They're Digimon, but they don't act like any Digimon I know of, organized yet completely devoid of anything resembling thought, malicious and outright torturing their victims... Everything about them is wrong..." Unpleasant thoughts still swim throughout Alice's head as she leans against the wall, such psychological torture taxing on every aspect of her. Painful memories of a fire slowly fade into the background, and she takes her Digivice back, immediately pointing it at Dorothy and trying to scan her, anything to take her mind off the guilt. "Mienumon.. Armor Champion... Unidentifiable Type? Primary function is stealth? This just..." She shakes her head, keeping careful watch over the room for any shadows, her breathing heavy and nerves frayed with paranoia. None of what comes up on her Digivice is familiar, the new information and potential for research running wild in her head despite the dire situation at hand. She closes her eyes briefly taking a deep breath, and opens them with a determined expression now on her face as she exhales. "It could work... We're obviously outnumbered, but we might not even need to fight."
"What are ya thinkin'? Hide? There's that whole gettin' outta here thing, that's kinda important..." Dorothy rolls her eyes, the Mienumon irritated that she's so short in comparison to Alice, even moreso than before. "You don't have a plan, and neither do I." She grumbles, not even sure of the extent of her own abilities in this form. She glances to the garish chameleon arm puppet with its' long striped tongue, and just shakes her head. To her, she looks ridiculous. As she waves the puppet around, its' tongue strikes Alice as the shadows begin to slink into the room once more, tension filling the air.
"...Did you just attack me again?" While Alice isn't harmed, she looks down at herself to see herself slowly vanish, shadow and all, a transparency traveling up her legs that slowly covers her entire body, the experience disorienting as she looks at it in person. "...Wait. Whatever that thing's tongue touches... Becomes invisible." It doesn't hurt, the sensation actually slightly numb as soon enough her entire body is unable to be seen, and with that, the shadows seem confused, eyes opening up to focus on Dorothy instead, who turns the puppet on herself.
"Now what, genius?" Dorothy awkwardly rubs the chameleon puppet's tongue on herself, the same effect slowly moving across her body. She remains silent, not willing to say anything about how these horrific shadow creatures will find out the ruse eventually. She takes a few steps after fading away, every movement silent, the chittering and whispering of the shadows more obvious than ever as they all open their eyes, a low, angry drone coming from all around as eyes slowly sprout from every single shadow, hissing and glaring around, angry, hateful eyes lining every darkened surface. "...Y'know, let's get outta here first."
The only response from Alice is a quiet, muffled yes, the two slipping away from the shadows, or at least, attempting to, given their presence in the hallway as well, the entire mock cityscape infested with these creatures. Occasionally one of them changes form out of the shadow they mimic, revealing their true silhouette, a horrific, hound-like creature that one could mistake for invisible, but there is no mistake that these monsters are their own shadows. Back at the ground floor, the seemingly gone elevator has arrived, the door open as if waiting for the pair the entire time.
Alice and Dorothy get in, and as the door closes, the invisibility and muffled, eerie silence fade, the two seemingly safe from the hordes of unidentified, dark shadow Digimon. The elevator itself is not really that notable, an average, if slightly run down affair that seems to have been through a lot. The lights flicker slightly, and the whole thing rattles on occasion, as if it isn't moving properly. "We're... Safe. Finally..." The human woman sits down on the floor despite the slight layer of grime, and sighs, taking out her notebook to write things down, occasionally running her hands through her hair. "I almost don't want to record what we found down there, but I'm obligated to."
"There might be one still 'round, but I ain't in the mood... I'm just glad we're outta that. Uhh..." Dorothy nervously backs up into a corner, the blue, gaudily dressed Digimon struggling to find the words. "Sorry for nearly, uhh... Killin' ya back there. I don't know what I'd have done if I got out without ya... If I did." Discomfort spreads across her entire face, slight tears in her eyes, and she stops speaking.
"Don't even say there's still another one of those wretched things. If even one could get you to try and murder me... I don't think we could have survived long against a group of them. And the Digimental we found... I'm still not sure what it means." Alice begins drawing a picture of the blue, imp-like version of Dorothy onto one of her journal's many pages, finding the details particularly tedious. "But you did good helping us out of that mess in the end. I have to ask you, though..." Shutting her eyes, the emerald haired Tamer decides to ask a bit of a pressing question, one that's bothered her for quite some time. "You still seem mad about your evolution. When that wretched shadow was forcing you to attack me, you said a lot of things. Are you?"
Dorothy almost interrupts the human as she continues to lean in the corner, barely moving. "Course I am. It hurts you just as much as it hurts me." She tries to brush her hair out of the way of her eye, but fails. "How do ya do it?"
"Do what?" Alice's response comes quickly, a tone of slight concern in her voice. "Right... I think of it as a learning experience, and something only I can put to words. A once in a lifetime opportunity to do something new, to explore a new frontier. The Digital World may be fairly explored, but... I'm certain that what we are isn't something recorded yet. Funny how I search for secrets, and yet you and I, we're the greatest mystery of all so far." At the end, she sounds almost frustrated, perhaps even slightly fed up with the lack of answers.
"Ya know, I said there were stories about this kinda thing. Sharin' one might help." The maid Digimon laughs, perhaps enjoying Alice's frustration a little, but irritated at the predicament herself. "While this dumb thing takes us up, might as well."
"...Where did you hear it?" Alice returns to drawing, finishing up her depiction of Dorothy as Mienumon with a slight smile to her face, finding Dorothy's current appearance to be suitable for some kind of prankster or otherwise harmless, but troublesome sort. "It's not much, but it would be a lead."
Dorothy rolls her eyes, deeming such trivial matters unimportant, but given how her Tamer asked for it, she obliges. "Back in the Dark Area, when I was still a lil' limbless rat. You ain't thinking of going there right now, are ya?"
"Of course not." Closing her notebook after drawing both Mienumon and the mysterious, unidentified shadow Digimon, she stands up. "We're going home the moment this door opens. Now, about that story..."