Into Darkness Shall I Fall
Part 3 - Dance of Gold
by Meimi


Standard disclaimers apply.

SPOILER WARNING: Spoilers for 02 (that's season 2 for the uninitiated) up to and including the episodes involving the first appearance of the Crest of Kindness.

SHONEN AI WARNING: This is a shonen ai fic and contains within it romantic themes and hints of an intimate relationship between two male characters. If this disturbs you in any way PLEASE do not continue reading. And yes, I am sick and twisted, thanks for asking.

NOTE: This is a slight rewrite of the original release of this part. I redid a few paragraphs because I just wasn't happy with the way they had turned out. They look much better to me now. ^_^


It rained the next day. This was par for the course, Tokyo was basically on the coast and Japan on the whole tended to get waterlogged frequently anyway. But he still could have done without the rain. It made the day dreary and school minimally bearable at best. In fact, by the time school was over with, Ken was rather surprised he hadn't ended up killing someone. Then again, he had gotten good at controlling those urges, somewhat.

The walk home was monotonous, broken only by the requisite visit to the local convenience store. Koimon tended to get snarky if he didn't spoil her on a regular basis. Strangely enough, he didn't really mind. Feeding her sweet tooth had gotten to be a bit of an amusement for him. It was one of the very few pleasant things in life for him to do. It was certainly better than brooding.

As for brooding, well, he had been thinking on and off about the latest dream throughout the day. He wasn't quite sure what to make of it. Then again, it was so fragmented there wasn't much to be made of it. They had been real memories though. He was quite certain of that.

Why were they surfacing now? Kageko was dead. Somehow, he knew Ryo was too. Supposing he could figure out the identity of the man who had experimented on Kageko, there was very little he could do about it. There was no proof left, nothing to show that it had happened. He could always kill the man, but he doubted very much that his friends would have approved of murder, no matter how much it was deserved.

Justice would never be served.

Oh, he could tell their families about it at the very least. But he'd have to find their families first. And besides, what could he possibly tell them? That their children had died trying to protect a computer generated world? Yeah, that would go over well. Still, maybe he could find some anonymous way of telling them... Right, that would be great. It would be just another way of showing how much of a callous bastard he really was.

He'd just have to ignore it, or at least keep quiet about it. It was another callous reaction but one he was used to. The guilt he felt about it wouldn't be much worse than what he already felt about everything else he had done. The rest of his psyche would probably enjoy the company of yet another one of his screw ups in life.

Besides, it wasn't like he had enough information to make any sort of logical decision about it. The dream had been like little crystal clear snippets from a life he vaguely remembered. All of his other memories were either blurred and faded with time or just not there anymore. Maybe eventually he'd remember them too, but he wasn't counting on it.

Perhaps if he could find something that seemed familiar, he might be able to trigger his lost memories somehow. It would mean going back to the Digital World though, and he wasn't sure if he was ready for that particular journey yet. That was assuming he would ever be ready to go back there.

Still, it might be worth pursuing. Logic dictated that his memories were starting to come back for a reason, and that reason might be very, very important. Then again, his mind might also finally be coming completely unhinged thanks to all the little psychoses running around in it. Would it be worth it to try and remember or not? He wasn't sure of the answer for that.

Maybe if he talked to someone else about it, he might get a better viewpoint on how to decide. But who could he talk to? He didn't want to worry Takeru, which would be what would happen if he talked to him about it. He couldn't talk to his parents about it. They would think he had really gone over the deep end. Then again, maybe that's what was happening to him.

He could try talking to Koimon about it, but he wasn't too sure what the results for that would be. Most digimon tended to think a bit differently from people, and virus types usually had an even odder perception than the others. It was worth considering though. She had seemed to be worried about him lately, if worry was the right word for it.

It was the best he could think of, and maybe she'd give him a better insight on it. At least she wouldn't automatically label him as insane. Insanity was the norm for most, if not all, virus digimon after all. She couldn't really complain about something that she was probably quite familiar with. Though, that probably wouldn't stop her if she felt like playing with him.

Shrugging to himself, Ken walked the rest of the way home. At the very least, there wouldn't be any harm in trying. Hopefully. She'd be in a good mood when she dug into her sweets, so that would probably be the best time to try and strike up a conversation.

Koimon was indeed pleased with the sweets, and even waited patiently while he peeled the foil off of them. Ken propped his elbow up on the desk and watched her take tiny bites out of the chocolate wafers and chew them slowly. She was quite a lush at times. She was also far more perceptive than he gave her credit for.

Pausing in mid-nibble, Koimon looked over at Ken, who had been staring at her for awhile, and asked curiously, "What is it?"

Well, no time like the present. Ken sighed and answered somewhat vaguely, "I've been thinking."

"Should I be worried?" She asked sarcastically in return. She hated it when people beat around the bush about things, it was so annoying.

Ignoring the obvious baiting, Ken hesitantly continued, "I've been thinking about going back. It might help my memories. And... it's something I really should do. I've just been putting it off."

"Go back? To the Digital World?" Koimon blinked at Ken's almost imperceptible nod. Now this was an interesting turn of events, she hadn't been expecting this quite so soon. It would be nice to go back for a little while, to at least get her feet wet again, in a manner of speaking.

She had to admit, she was also curious about what this little human had been doing in the Digital World that he considered so horrible and awful. Frankly, after working for Lord Piemon for so long, she had her doubts about whatever it was being terrible and unforgivable and all that jazz. Then again, she was pretty jaded when it came to being evil and stuff. She wondered if he'd yell at her if she pointed and laughed and said she'd seen and done much worse. That might be funny.

Ken, in the meantime, had leaned back in the desk chair and was now staring blankly up at the ceiling. For some reason or other, he felt oddly relieved to have finally voiced his idea. He guessed he'd been fussing over it too much. He didn't really want to go, but it would be better to just go ahead and get it over with.

Humming to herself, Koimon practically inhaled the rest of her wafers, wiping the crumbs off of her muzzle with her paws when she was done and licking said crumbs off of her fur. Waste not, want not, and she really did like the taste of this chocolate thing. Finished with her grooming, Koimon extended her wings and flapped up on top of the computer monitor. "So when are you telling Hope about this little excursion?" She asked, figuring that she already knew the answer.

"I'm not," Ken replied, frowning at her penchant for calling Takeru by the attribute of his crest and not his given name. No matter what any of them told her, she still insisted on calling everybody but him by their crests or whatever insult she had deigned to give them. "I'm not going to subject Takeru again to that hellhole I created."

"If you say so," Koimon murmured as she draped her paws over the edge of the monitor. She preferred this particular perch when practicing her daily exercise in patience known as Ken watching. Some days she could almost swear that he was as insane as Pinocchimon had been. On other days, his sanity bordered on the deadly flavor her Lord had exhibited on rare occasion. Maybe that similarity was the reason she found him so intriguing. "When are we going?"

"Might as well do it tonight. The desert will still have a few hours of sunlight left," Ken explained as he returned to staring up at the ceiling. It was amazing how things tended to end somewhere out in the desert. It was either that or the vast wastelands of cracked, sun-bleached clay. Either way, too many things happened out under the blistering sun for his peace of mind. His first visit to the Digital World had dropped him in the wastelands. The fights against Millenniumon and his minions had been mostly in the desert. The last time they had been happy together had been in the desert. His own downfall had happened in the desert. Was it any surprise that he was starting to develop a severe distaste for sand?

Koimon's eyes narrowed to ruby slits at the mention of a desert. Aside from Etemon's home on Server, the deserts of the Digital World had never been good places to venture into. Lord Piemon even went to unusual lengths to avoid traipsing through them.

Now that she thought about it though, he had gone to the desert while she had still been reformatting after the fall of Spiral Mountain. He had never told her just what for, only that he had. She had heard tales about gods and beasts of unusual strength that inhabited the sands... perhaps he had found one of them. They had journeyed to the dark ocean shortly after her return, so there hadn't been much opportunity for her to inquire about it.


Blood. It always ended and began with blood. It had taken Hiroki's life's blood spilling out into the uncaring world to truly ignite his unquenchable thirst for knowledge of the Digital World. It had taken the eldest brother's blood staining the concrete of a street to cement his hold upon young Ken's impressionable mind. It had taken the blood of hundreds of digital creatures to gain the knowledge he held to this day. And now, it seemed that the blood of a stupid yakuza would end his life in Japan and force him to find another country that was far easier to simply disappear into.

The blood glistened wetly from where it pooled around the body. It was fresh, having only been spilled a moment ago. In fact, it was probably still warm to the touch, though he wasn't interested enough to test that. The yakuza was scruffy looking, even in the few spots that weren't covered in blood. The man had been somewhere in his thirties by the look of it and certainly not a local judging by darker shading of his skin. He had probably been one of the criminal syndicate's imported thugs, though he was only a nasty mess on the floor now.

Mummymon was cavorting gaily over by the body, utterly pleased with himself for being useful. Archnemon stood further off to the side ignoring her digital companion and sneering down at the corpse. Oikawa was of mixed emotions about the whole thing. On one hand, he was glad his servants dealt with the problem before the man could escape to inform others of his location. On the other hand, the now looming threat of the syndicate sending other less foolish yakuza in search of their missing 'employee' was going to be more than just a setback.

Rubbing the bridge of his nose as he felt the onset of a headache, Oikawa waved negligently at the body. "Dispose of that as far away as possible, but don't let anyone see you doing it." Archnemon bristled at the underlying tones in his command, but he cut off any possible arguments by turning around and heading back to the computer room. She probably thought he was insulting her efficiency by stating the obvious. However, he could care less about her thoughts and emotions right now. He had far more important things to think about.

The time had finally come. He was going to have to pick up shop, as it were, and move elsewhere. It wasn't too big of a problem. He had planned ahead of time for such eventualities. Nevertheless, it was galling that such trivial matters were going to upset his research.

He'd be damned if he was going to leave behind his prized experimental subject. He was just going to have to go through with his other plans. That little digital mystery that had embedded itself into the back of dear Ken's neck was simply going to have to be removed and carted along with the rest of his research to where ever he ended up. After all, what was one more life in comparison to what he could gain through his continued research of the Digital World?


As predicted, the sun was still high in the sky and continued to burn the desert when they arrived. The stifling heat rose off the sand dunes in vision-warping waves. Ken wondered briefly how anything could possibly live in this type of hell, then brushed the thought aside. Life had a way of adapting and thus surviving anywhere it felt like going. Shaking his head of these odd musings, Ken looked over at his companion and frowned. What was she doing?

Lady Devimon hovered about a foot above the desert sand and glared disdainfully down at it. She must have evolved sometime during their transfer from the real world to the Digital World because she had been Koimon when he had opened the gate. Noticing his questioning gaze, she sniffed haughtily and said, "You try walking over sand in heels and see how well you like it."

"I think I'll pass," Ken muttered as he switched on the tracking program in his D-3. The wreckage of his previous base shouldn't be too far away from their present location. The blip showed up almost immediately and Ken pointed in the direction indicated. "It's a few miles that way. It shouldn't be too long of a walk."

"Who said anything about walking the whole way there?" The sarcastic question was the only warning Ken got before Lady Devimon wrapped an arm around his waist and hefted him into the sky. "Besides, this will be much faster," she explained as she headed off in the direction he had pointed.

Ken hadn't expected this. He had instead been expecting a thoroughly uncomfortable walk through the sweltering heat to his very own personal hell. She was being kind again, and like always it confused him. The only reason he could fathom for her actions was pure boredom, but that didn't seem to be enough of a motivator for it. Maybe she was bored. And even though most viruses went on massive sprees of destruction when they were bored, maybe she had just found another, more appealing way to relieve her own. Maybe that was it. And maybe he was just thinking too much about it.

He did have other concerns to worry about it. Of course, those other concerns were a few miles away and getting closer by the second. But unlike her, those other concerns weren't right there with him at the moment. She was a complete enigma, and one his thoughts were loathe to leave alone in a situation like this.

The hulking wreckage rose from the horizon, but he didn't really feel like looking at it just yet. Instead, Ken stared down blankly at the sand passing swiftly beneath them. He really didn't like sand. Too many unpleasant things had happened in the desert and on that beach for him to like the most common part of their landscape.

Admittedly, he had found some useful things squirreled away in old pyramids and stone ruins, but they just didn't compare to the awful, empty feeling that came over him every time he saw a little bit of sand anymore. The feeling wasn't something he could pin down either. It was just dark and cold and utterly empty, like a void had opened up inside of him and he just hadn't been sucked into it yet. That was an odd analogy, but it fit.

Ken blinked as a strange glitter in the sand caught his eye. What was that? It looked gold or something... familiar. "Stop!" He remembered now, Magnamon had been an armor evolution of V-mon with gold armor. He had been using a jury-rigged golden digimental to power his base of operations. It was still here...

"What is it?" Lady Devimon asked curiously as she halted in midair. He seemed almost frantic about something, which was unusual. For the most part, her little human tended to be of a calmer persuasion.

"Put me down, there's something in the sand that I need to pick up," Ken explained as he dangled his feet towards the ground. He smiled gratefully as she wordlessly floated down and dropped him gently in the sand. A quick jog over to the golden glimmer and a little digging in the sand produced a piece of jagged shiny, gold metal.

The digimental was in pieces again, not really surprising. He had never meant for it to be used in evolution when he had repaired it. It hadn't been stable enough for that purpose. The other pieces should be around here somewhere though, along with the piece of the Digimental of Kindness he had used in place of the missing part.

The sounds of gears grinding together and the hiss of coolant echoed around in the shop. He knew Kentarumon fiddled around with broken machinery all the time. It was this very fact that brought him back to the shop again and again in hopes that the wise digimon could repair the things he had found. So far, Kentarumon had been successful in putting the digimentals he brought in back together. That is, until now...

Kentarumon clopped a hoof against the metal floor as he looked down at the golden metal pieces scattered over the countertop. "Sorry kid, there's not much I can do about this."

"Why not? What's wrong?" Ken asked as he picked up one of the pieces and studied it. The Digimental of Hope, which Ryo had found and sent to Gennai for him to use, had been pretty useful and it was gold. Surely this one would be useful too, but why couldn't Kentarumon fix it?

"You don't have all the pieces. I could put it together, but it wouldn't work without the other piece," Kentarumon shrugged as he explained the problem.

"But these were all the pieces I could find." Ken frowned helplessly. He had looked and looked and looked, but there hadn't been any other pieces in the pyramid.

Kentarumon shrugged again. "Some baby2 or child probably ran off with it. You can never tell about these things."

He never had found the other piece, but he had needed a good power source for his base. What better than to use a digimental he couldn't use any other way? He had shattered the Digimental of Kindness again and used a piece of it to replace the missing part. That's why the golden digimental had always sported the symbol for his crest and not its own, whatever that was.

Ken counted the pieces he had dug out of the sand and gathered together into a little pile in front of him. They were all there, including the little piece of rose-colored stone from Kindness. He wasn't going to leave any of it behind, but how exactly was he going to carry all of it?

"Oh really," Lady Devimon muttered in annoyance as she finally guessed at why he was just sitting there staring down at those things. Ripping off a small piece of her cape she kneeled down beside him, gathered all the pieces on top of the fabric and made a workable little pouch out of it all. Plopping it down in his lap, she stood up and went back to hovering, quickly brushing the sand off of her legs. "There. Can we go now?"

"Of course." Ken was slightly bemused by her actually being able to guess at what was holding him up. The bemusement didn't last very long as she yanked him up and zoomed off to the ruin. She could be awfully impatient at times.

It took them very little time to reach the ruins of the base at her new pace. Once there, she dropped Ken off to the side without a word and started hefting boulders out of the way of an entrance they could barely make out. She was showing off, it was something she seemed to like doing. Ken didn't really mind all that much. He wasn't in any hurry to go back in there, even though he knew he had to.

Lady Devimon tossed a few more medium sized boulders out of the way before brushing her hands together and gesturing at the gaping hole now visible in the wall. "Shall we go?" she quipped.

Oh well, so much for taking her time. Ken sighed miserably and stepped past her into the dark corridor beyond. Lady Devimon followed a little ways behind him. They walked in the darkness for several feet before a bend in the corridor revealed soft glowing glyphs etched onto the walls. Ken didn't remember those being there.

"Huh, power amplifiers," Lady Devimon murmured as she brushed her fingertips over the glyphs. "Where's the power coming from?"

"I'm not sure." Ken was shocked to discover that he could actually read them now. And she was right, they were codes for amplifying power. But when had he learned how to read them? Ryo and Kageko certainly hadn't had enough time to teach this digital alphabet to him. Gennai had never had the time to teach him either. So, how had he learned it?

They ventured further in, walking through hallway after hallway of glowing glyphs before they came across an enormous hole punched through the corridor from above. Chimeramon's handiwork, no doubt. Lady Devimon was floating him over the gaping chasm when something must have caught her eye from below. "What's that?" She asked as she pointed down at a dim glimmer of light far below.

"I don't know." Ken looked curiously at it as she started to float down towards it. It was of a different hue from all the glyphs. It looked almost... gray.

It was gray. They floated down into a massive room. The walls were covered with more glyphs, but that wasn't what they had seen. It was instead the light of the glyphs reflecting off of the water that covered the floor. The water had turned the light gray, because the water was gray. It looked like it was from the beach, but how had it gotten to be here?

Lady Devimon tested out the depth of the water before dropping him off in it. It was less than a foot deep, but it covered the entire floor. A giant machine towered out of the water at the center of the room. Ken certainly didn't remember that.

"A spiral," Lady Devimon murmured as she walked through the water towards it. She was right, it was a spiral, a spiral of green and purple and black and gray metal that spiraled up to the ceiling. Light seemed to dim around the mysterious machine, deepening the shadows around it into inky darkness.

Tilting her head to the side in thought, Lady Devimon studied its shape and remembered Lord Piemon's fascination with spirals. He had always been interested in the power he could derive from such things. She remembered him explaining why spirals were preferable to circles just before he had begun the creation of Spiral Mountain.

"You see," Lord Piemon had begun, gesturing grandly at a model of a strange spiraling mountain composed of four lands, "you must understand the nature of the Digital World. Its power is great, but it is trapped within a circle, constantly circling itself again and again. The power doesn't grow and it doesn't wane, it is simply there and thus unusable for my needs."

"A spiral has far better results. It is much like the lives of those silly humans, the power is born at the base and spirals up, gaining more and more power as it journeys towards the end. The end is death, and through death life gains more than it could ever achieve in immortality."

"With the power gained through a spiral, you can destroy," he smirked as he crushed the model with one hand, "or create," a simple wave of his hand reconstructed the model, "anything you want. You gain the power of life and death. I want that power and I will have it."

He had almost succeeded, but the children had returned to the Digital World and unraveled his great work. She had been amused that after they had defeated her lord the children had then been faced with the power of entropy. Apocalymon had gained life and power through the death of others, a true spiral if there ever had been one. But the children had defeated him as well and now here she was faced with another spiral. Her existence truly was a circle.

Stepping closer, she frowned as she kicked something that skidded across the floor beneath the water. Now, what was that? Bending over, she searched around in the water for several seconds before she found it. Closing her fingers around what felt like a ring, she straightened up and looked down at her discovery.

It was a ring. Specifically, it was that cute little tailmon's gold tail ring. A holy ring to be exact, if she was remembering her facts correctly. What was this doing down here? And how had the little tailmon lost it in the first place?

She briefly toyed with the thought of keeping it, but then tossed that idea out. She certainly didn't need a power boost. Shrugging to herself, Lady Devimon turned around and headed back towards Ken. She'd give it to him and wash her hands of the matter. Surely, he'd know what to do with it.

Ken in the meantime had been trying to figure out why the machine was there and what it was for. He had no memory at all of building it, but who else could have made it? As the Kaiser, he had overseen all of the construction being done on the base. He couldn't have possibly missed something this big.

Why was it here and why did it have gray water all around it? Was it connected to the dark ocean? That was an unsettling thought. Had he been borrowing power from that dead world? But why? He had had the golden digimental, he hadn't needed another power source. Unless this was a backup of some sort... He did not like that train of thought, nor did he like the idea of him building something like this without even remembering the construction or what it was for.

It would probably be best to just destroy it and forget it. Anything that was connected with the dark ocean shouldn't exist in other worlds. Ken was certain of that much at least. He wasn't sure if a simple direct attack on it would be smart though. It might release whatever power it was storing in a sizable explosion. He didn't want to blow up half of the desert.

Lady Devimon distracted him from further thoughts of destruction by walking up and offering him what looked to be a gold ring. "What's this?" he asked curiously as he accepted it.

"It's a holy ring," she answered and smiled mysteriously in amusement.

"Uhuh." By her expression, he ought to know just what it was, but he didn't have a clue. "And that is?"

"It's a power boost that the cute little tailmon uses," she explained further, still quite amused by his lack of knowledge.

"Oh, Hikari's partner. I guess I should return it to her..." Ken trailed off as he stared down at the gleaming gold ring. That color of gold was quite reminiscent of the digimental. It couldn't possibly be... Ken hastily dug a piece of the digimental out of the makeshift pouch and compared it to the ring. It was.

The holy ring was the missing piece of the digimental. It didn't really belong to Tailmon. She had probably just discovered it in passing and had started using it. She had probably even become dependent on it. That would explain her weakness after its loss. And with the Digimental of Light she really hadn't had a chance to build her own natural power back up. It really was strange how things could turn out.

Well, he could just rebuild the digimental the way it was supposed to be and offer it to them. They'd accept his explanation of it if he did that, otherwise they probably wouldn't believe him at all. Yes, that was a do-able course of action, and at least it would give him something to do other than fret over his missing memories.

That still left him with the dilemma of what to do with the machine. Ken didn't want to leave it there, but he wasn't sure whether destroying it would cause more problems or not. "I hate this," he muttered sourly as he glared at the spiraling ton of metal.

"Hate what?" Lady Devimon asked as she too turned to look up at the odd machine.

"That." Ken pointed at the machine in emphasis. "I can't decide what to do about it. I want to destroy it, but I'm not sure if that's a good idea. Wrecking it would probably cause it to explode."

"Oh. Well, it doesn't look like it would be too big of a problem." She studied the massive machine for a moment longer, then she twirled around, smiled cheerfully and said, "Let's go outside and I'll show you what I mean."

"What?" Ken managed before she picked him up and sped out of the room, heading back the way they had come. Blinking in suspicious confusion, he asked, "What do you mean by that and why do we have to go outside?"

"You'll see." It was the only answer she seemed willing to give him, and Ken was starting to feel concerned as warning bells went off in his head. She couldn't possibly be thinking about anything truly destructive... then again, she was a virus after all.

"Here we go," Lady Devimon chimed out, still far too cheerful for Ken's peace of mind, as she quickly flew through the hallways and up out of the entryway she had just recently cleared. She went straight up into the sky, ascending at speeds Ken's stomach did not want to tolerate. Thankfully, it decided against purging anything that was in it in protest. In a few seconds she stopped and they hung there in mid-air looking down at the wreckage far below.

"You know how the force of an explosion goes up and out?" she asked vaguely, still in that eerie good cheer and humming now too.

"Yes..." Ken replied hesitantly. He was a little bit beyond concerned now. He had never heard her humming before. It was very disconcerting.

"Well, we should be far enough away from it now," she practically singsonged as she extended her left hand which instantly turned back into its claw form. A stream of black and gold bats formed from her palm and headed straight for the ruins of the Kaiser's former base.

"Are you nuts?!" Ken shouted as they both watched the bats impact against the stone exterior in the span of a few seconds. Several exploded off of the surface, but most of the others appeared to be boring directly into the rock.

"Sometimes, yes." She smiled sweetly as a spark erupted from the rubble. This was going to be a nice show. "Besides, destroying things is quite exhilarating."

The spark was soon followed by the close approximation of a sonic boom as the rocky exterior exploded outwards and fire engulfed the entire mass. On the whole, it was kind of pretty, but Lady Devimon had seen and done better. She was somewhat disappointed. She had been hoping for something a bit more spectacular. Oh well, maybe next time.

Looking down at Ken, she smirked and asked, "You didn't want anything else out of there did you?"

Ken sighed heavily and rubbed his temple. Wonderful, he could feel a headache coming on. "Now you're asking?"

Lady Devimon chuckled as she turned around in the air. That had been fun. She should do it more often. Ken could probably do with a little venting like that too. Maybe she should convince him to help out next time. That might be even more fun. It was certainly an intriguing thought for later, in the meantime, "Let's go home."


Hee, Lady Devimon is fun to write. The blame for me actually finishing this in a reasonable amount of time lies at Vain's feet. Encouragement really does wonders. Anyway, next part is more dreams and memories. Whee! ^_~