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Archon blinked with disbelief as the Gotsumon fell to pieces before his very eyes. His face turned to an expression of utter exasperation as Cassie was struck by the sword and fell to pieces over it.
The BlackVeemon was impatient and desperate at this moment. He had gathered what he thought was valuable intelligence here, and he wasn't prepared to put it all to waste through this complication.
"If you've got a way to get us all out of here, please, do it now." he whispered to the Renamon variant. "I've got a technique of my own that can help too, it's like a smoke bomb. Ideally if we can come up with a way to take Carrie with us" he pointed to Carrie's separated head. "But if we can't, might be best to just leave them here and take the fall for this situation. Might cover our escape too, be more advantageous for what we were hired for here."
As much as he disliked the idea of leaving the head behind, Archon was no hero type. He wasn't going to put his own life in danger by jumping into that dangerous melee for the sake of picking up that heavy rocky head. He just wanted to get out of here.
"Yeah, power to the people!" Gotsumon shouted to the rabble, not quite sure where she was or what she was doing. In that way you could say she'd lost her head... thankfully the renamon had swiftly resolved the issue, grabbing the head and bringing it back. "Oh, wow, you're strong..." The gotsumon admitted as she was carried out of the fray, and slammed into place. With the disturbing sound of shifting rocks, the head turned itself around... or rather the face vanished on one side and emerged on the other, looking at the two.
"So, I've kinda been out of it, what's happening? Do I have my army now?" She smiled as she looked at the bureaucratic chaos. Unfortunately, Archon just wanted to leave, and the rock monster looked disapointed in this. "Aw... spoil-sport. What did you even get anyways? All I know is that Carrie gave her number to a hot looking D'arcmon... Listen, I don't get to come out that often an-" She pointed at him, looking annoyed, until she noticed her finger rocks were beginning to fade from yellow back to grey.
"N-nevermind, go, go!" She shouted, rushing to one of the exits... well, as fast as a creature made entirely of rocks COULD move.
As much as she understood wanting to save their own skin, Hasenya was confident in her ability to salvage the situation. She wouldn't be too pleased with herself if she had the opportunity to do something good in favor of running away. "Not necessary, it'll be fine." She had responded simply.
"Best to use it now, then." Hasenya nodded her head agreeing. She wasn't sure if a smoke bomb would be a bit excessive after turning invisible but- better safe than sorry. The Renamon placed a hand on the other two Digimon in her group. Doing what she did best by turning herself invisible, and the rest of her small team as well. Though only very temporarily, given she didn't very often use the ability on others. With Archon's smoke bomb though she felt they would be pretty safe getting out of there.
"Run fast, you won't be hidden for too long." She warned, though Gotsumon had already ran off by then in a hurry. They definitely didn't need to be told to run fast at that point, they were a step ahead of herself and Archon. At least they had gotten to apply Flashfire Phantom before she had started to head for an exit. Without further ado Hasenya would run for an exit as well.
It sure was a good thing that the party chose this time to disengage. What started out as a boring bureaucratic meeting was mere steps away from dissolving into Wrestlemania.
Surprisingly enough, it was Vulcanusmon who threw the first punch. He looked away from the battlefield, whistling innocently as he launched a dart from one of his mechanical arms toward Titamon's muscular neck. He then sat back, taking notes on the chaos that was sure to ensue. Steam spilled from Titamon's nose as he lunged forward, punching Zanbamon hard enough to send him flying across the room. The have-nots of Wrath's entourage were quick to follow in his footsteps. The amassed demons, undead, and nightcrawlers charged at Zanbamon's elite patrol, their higher-level counterparts sliding into their usual battle formations. They waited for the rabble to come at them, superior strikes holding them at bay even as their lack of numbers forced them to start falling back.
Zanbamon himself paid his troops little mind, leaping over their battle lines to smash Titamon into the ground. His thundering hooves forced Titamon to a knee, but they didn't land cleanly: just before impact, Titamon's thick green hands wrapped around each leg, bringing the two towards a stalemate. Zanbamon's humanoid upper half rained blows against Titamon's knuckles with both blades, but Titamon refused to lessen his grip. In fact, he met the blows head on, rearing back to give the Zanbamon's horse head a vicious headbutt. This dazed both "horse" and "rider" halves of the Digimon, and Titamon was able to fling him to the ground with ease. He drew his own blade, pointing it at the downed horseman.
A Reapermon stumbled past this standoff, seemingly wreathed in black flames. In actuality, they were the bodies of about ten DarkRizamon that had swarmed around him. All eleven of these unfortunate Digimon were promptly reduced to data, caught in the crossfire as Zanbamon and Titamon swung for each other. And judging by the pixels thickening the air, they were far from the only casualties. In this fervor, nobody was paying attention to the trio of invisible rookies.
Yet soon they would stop paying attention to the fervor, too. A massive portal opened in the middle of the room, flooding it in a blood red light. Through this portal stepped Daemon, adjusting his cowl and smoothing the creases out of his robes. His eyes were half lidded, and he seemed to be nursing . . . a cup of coffee? Huh. Who would've figured him the type? He didn't seem to notice what was going on in the room, idly stretching out his wings and arms. Titamon and Zanbamon sure noticed, however. They froze up, swords still locked, before slowly yet surely lowering their arms. So, too, did what remained of their fighting forces. Nobody wanted to be caught with their hands in this cookie jar.
"Is the morning report finished yet, Titamon?" Daemon asked. He didn't even look at the titanic ogre.
"Oh, uh . . . yeah! Yep!" Titamon stammered. "All finished here! Look at all these satisfied little monsters." He wrapped his thick, meaty arms around the two nearest Digimon, pulling them so closely to him that he nearly crushed them to death. The smiles on their face were as huge as they were fake.
"Excellent. And Zanbamon, the patrols?"
"Not a maggot in sight! And we even worked in some training on the side, too," Zanbamon boasted, running up to a completely non-reacting Daemon. It was as if he was already in a rush to out-brownnose Titamon. "You should see the battle scars on the boys. There's no way they won't learn something from this."
"Good to know." Daemon sighed, folding his arms closely around himself. "Oh, and one more thing?"
Both Titamon and Zanbamon leaned in closer, as if trying to hear what Daemon had to say. In response he wheeled around, grabbing them both by their throats. Despite being dwarfed by the two massive Digimon he lifted them effortlessly, hovering into the air so he could hold them over the ground. Their eyes widened in shock at Daemon's sudden perceptiveness. Titamon coughed and sputtered, while Zanbamon tried to stammer out excuses and explanations. "I don't have the time to deal with your nonsense. Understood?" Both of the former Wraths nodded, faces turning colors and tears burning at the corners of their eyes.
"Good," Daemon said, closing his eyes and sighing deeply. His grip slackened for a second, only for him to smash Zanbamon and Titamon together with all of his might. This single blow was all it took, the two Digimon erupting into data. Daemon released his grip, allowing the duo's hollow wireframes to clatter to the ground, as their component data swirled into a single nexus around him. It coalesced into a single Digitama, looking for all the world like a shimmering crystal. "Remember that when you emerge, or you won't be getting another chance," he muttered, before picking up his coffee in his other hand. Despite the fresh smoke rising from the top, he downed it in a single gulp.
The room was dead silent, and the Digimon crowded around him were as still as statues. If Archon, Carrie, and Hasenya hadn't already made it out, there would be nothing stopping their escape now. Yet this opportune moment to flee wouldn't last. It would barely be a minute before Daemon turned over his shoulder, eyes smoldering hatefully. "Now quit staring! Waste my time again and I'll remind you what sin this wing is named after!" he shouted, sending the Digimon scattering in every which way. A Diaboromon slid into Titamon's desk, frantically taking notes with his giant pencil. A Meramon picked up the sword Zanbamon left behind, promptly falling into step behind Zanbamon's former patrol. Vulcanusmon exited the scene coolly, folding a few books into the tanks on his back. Noise, hustle, and bustle had returned to the fortress.
Hearing all this, Daemon sighed and turned to walk away. "There's just no good help these days, I swear," he muttered, setting a hand on his temple.
"You'll get nothin' if you don't move your stony ass right now!" Archon replied to Carrie.
Then he accepted Hasenya's help, glad for her ability to turn them invisible. The BlackVeemon used to moving around in the shadows, he didn't put a second thought into moving out - rushing toward what he hoped was an exit.
He took one last glance back at the melee that was going on behind him. Archon's red eyes furrowed with puzzlement. This was meant to be Daemon's elite fortress. How could it have descended into chaos so quickly? Especially from what he had gleaned from its command structure upon his entry.
Still, there was no time to dwell on that. All of Archon's mind was set on getting out of here. And so he would follow Hasenya and hopefully Carrie was following as well. He would not know of the events within the fortress that followed, but, at the very least, he had plenty of intel to share with GranDracmon when they would next meet.
Archon would just keep running and running, even as his granted invisibility wore off, praying to simply survive what was going on.
The gotsumon reluctantly acted, running her way to the doors. She didn't seem to notice she and her friends were invisible though, as she just kept sprinting as fast as her rocky legs could... which isn't that fast, admittedly. She was easily overtaken by the veemon and renamon, thankfully she was able to track the smoke, following Hasenya.
"So Pinky, any advice on how exactly we plan to get out of this maze? Because if I remember correctly, that scarecrow seemed to imply there's no way out, not that I take the words of a scaredy-crow." She snickered at her not terribly clever statement, annoyed at the idea of being stuck in this hellhole. "Oh, and that 'king' of ours seems to have blue blood because my color's running away from us and I don't think a Renamon and Veemon could bluff their way into a villainous spot like the neutral grey of a gotsumon." She points out. "...I mean, I hope your guys are still here, I ain't got any senses other than sight to tell me and-"
"No, we have a digiport!" D'arcmon reminded, taking over again. "We can just jump to the human world and escape from there!"
"H-Human world?" The Renamon stuttered, less out of fear and more out of surprise that someone would have brought something so useful. She did have reason to be anxious sure, seeing as they had never been to the human world. But they'd be more anxious having to stick around here for much longer. Hasenya was just glad she had thought much much further ahead and bought herself a holo suit.
Pinky was a first. She had certainly been called things less creative and a lot more cringe-inducing, though. "Let's use that, then. We should be home free from there, so long as at least two of the three of us have a holosuit, right?" She'd take the human world over having to work her way through a maze that might just be full of angry evil digimon. The invisibility wasn't going to last forever, so the group had better decide what they were going to do now.
The hallway that Archon, Carrie, and Mae fled down was empty. But was that really a surprise? Daemon himself had descended into Titamon's quarters to set this mess out. If the swift way he dispatched of his misbehaving generals was any indication, any Digimon who didn't know their place would face a similar fate. For the first time since their arrival, the halls of Wrath fell silent around the trio. There was nobody to distract them. Nobody to monitor them. And nobody, absolutely nobody, who could stop them.
If Carrie feared her Digi Port would face interference from the Icon of Sin, she would be in luck. Any attempt on her end to open up a portal would go off without a hitch. Sure, the portal would look a little jittery. Maybe a few pixels of data would even bleed off of it. Yet if it was the route they opted, to take the portal would hold firm just long enough to get them home.
The only complication was the quiet sound of wings flapping. It was a subtle sound, barely audible through the fortress' thick walls, but each flap sounded ever-so-slightly louder than the last. Would the party even notice the sound? Would they pay it any mind? Or would they be confident enough in their escape plan to execute it before it could hit any snags?
Archon halted at once when Hasenya came to the same conclusion. There was a way out of here indeed, but, to do so, it seemed that they'd have to go to the human world.
"Oh... geez..." he muttered, trying to remember as much about it as he could from Alan and Levi. Still though, Archon thought that would be their best chance of getting out of here.
"Do that, please!" he said, while regretting his lack of bravery in retrieving Carrie's Gotsumon head in the chaos of earlier, he now intended to make up for that. "Just we need to... what's that?"
Archon turned as he heard the sound of wingbeats approaching in their direction. The BlackVeemon thought he saw a shape heading in their direction. At once, going by what he had heard from Vulcanusmon and his sense of security, this was something serious. And something he would act to prevent. Archon knew that they had some valuable intelligence here, and if they were caught, all of their risks so far would be for naught.
When he had a good means of attacking, Archon would prepare a Shadow Flame attack. He built a ball of dark fire in his hand, then hurled it up at the thing that was following them.
Ideally, Archon would have issued a challenge before attacking, just to make sure that this thing was indeed a part of their opposition, but, he couldn't afford to make that risk here. They were in the middle of Daemon's fortress while it was erupting into crisis. All he could focus on was their escape from here with the intelligence they had obtained.
However, Archon had deliberately aimed his attack so that it would only launch close to its target, not with the intention of hitting it. His logic was - if they aimed to help them, they would say so. But if they aimed to harm them, they would at least have some sign that their targets fought back.
"Carrie! Get that portal open as fast as you can!" he shouted at his comrade, hoping the immediate threat had been dealt with.
Archon uses Shadow Flame in the general direction of the object that is following them.
Shadow Flame - In a similar way to an Impmon, Archon conjures a ball of monochromatic flame in his hand, then hurls it at a target, causing dark damage if it hits. The flame is not illuminative, and is difficult to see in darkness, but can still be sensed, heard or felt.
"We don't have the upgrade that'd let all of us go in at once, we'll need to go two at a time..." D'arcmon mumbled, taking out the digivice and looking at the settings and applications. "Come on, come on... here!" She pointed at a wall and fired, the portal arrived, showing Carrie's house interior. The sickeningly pink bathroom with tiled floor, comfy bathmat, and a spare robe and her discarded pajamas. A mirror covered in condensation and a blue linoleum sink greeted them as well.
"Y-you two go first, I don't think I'll be able to open the portal from there." Carrie's voice broke through, looking worried at her two new friends. That is, until the flapping wings. "Please be D'arcmon please be D'arcmon..." She whispered to herself as she prepared a few rocks.
To whomever got to the other side of the portal first, they'd be greeted by the sound of a door being banged on by someone. "Carrie!" Her mother shouted. "You've been showering for an hour! Is everything ok in there?" The running shower water made the room nice and warm compared to cold bureaucratic halls of the Sin's palace.
"Honey, this is your last warning! I'm coming in!" They could hear the door being unlocked from the other side.
Hasenya wasn't very keen on the idea of leaving the two behind while she went on through, but she was smart enough to know that the sooner she swallowed her pride and did it the sooner they'd be able to follow her. "Just.. be careful." Was all she could really say, and it wasn't particularly useful information. There was that option of Digivolving and facing their problems head on, but things weren't quite desperate enough to call for a measure as drastic as that. Besides that, she felt pretty certain it would just cause more problems for the group later.
So without a better option and not wanting to waste too much time standing around and thinking about it, she used the sort of glitchy looking portal and wound up in what she would soon know was Carrie's house. The pink didn't really bother her, for all she knew all humans had strange pick bathrooms. And considering her default state, she wasn't exactly in a position to judge another persons overuse of the color.
Hasenya's first panic reaction to the sound of the door opening was likely not the smartest thing she could've done, but it was too soon to turn invisible after using it earlier to make the groups escape. The blackened fox sprang forward and took hold of the doorknob and pressed herself against the door to hold it tightly shut. For just a rookie Hasenya was particularly physically strong, though that didn't mean she could hold on forever without Carrie to hopefully diffuse this entire situation before it got a little too crazy. Things probably weren't going to calm down just because they got out of Sin's palace, unfortunately.
Fwoosh! Archon's Shadow Flame was right on the mark, sending the strange being pursuing them spiraling to the ground. A Tsukaimon went spiraling down to the ground, face covered in comical amounts of soot from the flaming attack. It opened its mouth in shock, smoke rolling out in a great, big cloud. It laid there for the moment, dazed and confused but saying nothing. If Archon chose to follow after Hasenya, he'd have more than enough time to make his way through the portal. This Tsukaimon was clearly taking its sweet time getting back up!
Nevertheless, get up it eventually did. It swayed unsteadily on its nubby forepaws, ears spread wide to help it catch its balance. Finally, it shook its head, blinking a few times to confirm that its internal equilibrium had been restored. It seemed rather nonchalant about being blasted in the face. Once the initial shock had passed, it was content to stretch back and yawn as if nothing had happened. It looked around, curious, before its eyes set back down on Carrie in her D'Arcmon form.
If Archon was still there, the Tsukaimon would hop right up to him. If not, it would default to hopping up to the D'arcmon. However, in any case, its tactic was the same: with a big grin on its face, it would chirp out a cheery "Hi!" as it approached. "You guys see the rock lady? I wanted to tell her something, but she's all gone now." It puffed out its cheeks in disappointment, before looking back up at the duo expectantly. Would they know anything?
Archon was a little surprised to see that his attack had struck the Tsukaimon that was following them, especially in that he had aimed it as a warning shot. Did the Tsukaimon make a bad judgement of evasion? Or was his aim that bad that he had hit something he didn't intend to? Still, the fear of the chaos that was happening within the walls of Daemon's citadel was playing strongly on Archon's mind here. He didn't want to make sacrifices, not with his new life the way it was now.
"Carrie, if we get through this, I'll repay you big time, I swear." Archon promised, before he took the chance and ran through the portal.
On the other side, Archon found himself in a setting that was just as uncomfortable - a human's bathroom. That seemed like it was about to be entered. He looked with horror at the door as it was about to be opened, but Hasenya prevented it from doing so with her body.
Archon knew they only had seconds to defuse this situation. So, gathering all the information about humans that he had learned from Alan, he turned to Hasenya for help here.
"Hasenya, I need you to say this sentence as seriously and clearly as you can..." the BlackVeemon uttered to the pink Renamon. "Say 'I'm sorry, mom, I'm fine, but I'm indisposed right now, please don't come in!' Only please sound like Carrie?" he looked at the portal he had just jumped out of. "God I hope she's okay..." he added as an afterthought.
Carrie blinked at the unusual digimon, a purple patamon that floated in the air... well, until it got knocked down by the Veemon. "Oh, oh my gosh, I'm sorry!" She said, the portal closing as Archon fled the scene. She moved to the little guinea pig-like creature. She paused and realized she was supposed to still be evil, "uh... Sorry you got in our way!" She said, unconvincingly. "I know the Gotsumon, but what do you want with her? Some peop- Digimon have other things to do you know!"She hoped the little guy was used to this kinda rudeness, as seeing the happy little bean so close broke her heart to have to be such a monster. Literally, one supposes...
Across dimensions, Carrie's mother had a more literal struggle, pushing against the door as a renamon pushed back. "Carrie? Carrie you're going to be late for your classes, you need to let- you need to hurry!" Her voice seemed more concerned now as she tried to look inside. She was lying, Carrie had the day off, but the digimon didn't know that. She stopped pushing to step back, and look through the keyhole to see if something had happened to her daughter.
Hasenya never would have envisioned her first experience with the human world would go like this. She would have preferred more wholesome things, preferably related to family or Mae- or heck, both! Instead she was there holding a bathroom door shut and waiting for backup to help her out of a scary situation with some human she didn't know. Though it was likely only seconds, it felt like forever to the Renamon before Archon finally showed up.
"S-Sound like Carrie?" The fox whispered, looking between the door and Archon before shaking her head. It was a better solution than hers, at least it was worth a shot. She wasn't sure she could imitate Carrie perfectly, but maybe all those times she made fun of a certain Neemon's speech patterns could pay off here? "I'm sorry mom, I'm fine. I'm indisposed right now so please don't come in!"
They weren't aware that Carrie's mother would go for the keyhole- The best she could do about that was cover it with her hand. The two digimon would just have to hope that this little oversight didn't ruin Hasenya's attempt at acting.