Episode 50: No Crying Until the End

"No!" Kisekimon snapped, moving to follow Era, but ImperialBaghamon was quick to grab hold of the samurai's wrist to hold him back-- even though it took two of his hands, for the force with which Kisekimon lunged forward.

"Don't be stupid," ImperialBaghamon growled low, but his eyes were fixed on the ethereal new form that Genesimon had taken.

When they had destroyed three of Genesimon's cores, the remaining data -- now loosed from the containment of the cores, but still bound intrinsically to Genesimon itself, as it still had a core to bind to --, it had been like all of the data and information and power in its tremendous body had collapsed into the one remaining core, like a white dwarf star. The result of this floated before them, sucking in data from what few streams remained encircling the core of Yggdrasil.

In other words, the warriors were getting the distinct impression that however impressive their progress was, they had accidentally made everything worse for themselves.

But they had faced insurmountable odds before-- they had done it not mere minutes ago. If every step forward they make made it get harder, but they were still making steps forward, then that just meant they were getting just as hard to deal with for the other side... right?


That said, it was hard not to get a little bit taken aback when they heard Genesimon make a new sound. To be quite honest, they'd have preferred to stay with the bestial groaning and static, because while this sound was far more familiar, it was even less pleasant, and that was saying something-- the kind of sound that sticks in a person's head and echoes in their dreams in the years to come.
From behind its golden face mask, Genesimon was laughing. It was a high-pitched and nasty sound, undercut with a mocking, more-than-slightly-unhinged streak.

It took quite an effort for a number of them not to lurch forward and attack. No, they knew too well what kind of power this creature possessed-- or, rather, they knew too well that they had no idea how powerful this form was, and weren't about to take any risks. They rooted themselves to the ground, tense and ready to spring into action.

"Fools," Genesimon giggled, the first word they had heard it speak that wasn't an attack. It sounded almost like a child's voice, overflowing with ice-cold mirth. Its voice was androgynous, lilting, and clear-- and it chilled them to the bone.

"I can't speak for anyone else, but I think I liked it better when it didn't talk, yeom," Galeomon mumbled, more to herself than as something meant to be heard.

Perhaps in response, the tendrils on Genesimon's back suddenly flared out, lifting from their downward-arced position. The top pair curled up over its shoulders, the middle curving near its waist, and the last arcing smoothly down near the double-helix of its tail.
"Fools. Fools. Fools. Fools. Fools."
It began to repeat itself, in exactly the same tone as before, like a broken record.

"God Fist!" ImperialBaghamon roared, as though trying to drown out the one-word mantra of the angel-like digimon before them. In a burst of flames, his blades vanished; his hands now free, he thrust all of his fists forward. The fiery aura leapt forth, crackling and flickering, as it always did; but before it could contact its target, its target was somewhere else.

Somewhere else being a phrase that here meant inches away from ImperialBaghamon, the eye engraved in its golden mask seeming to stare into ImperialBaghamon. Genesimon had moved so fast that it was easy to miss, to think it had simply teleported.
"Touch of the Divine!" it giggled, all of its tentacles stretching to encircle ImperialBaghamon. The lion's pupils constricted, and he bared his teeth, bracing himself as the tendrils grabbed hold of him--

And then roared out in pain as they surged with light, causing his body to distort visibly.

Kisekimon growled, lunging forward at lightning speed with with one sword drawn. "Nova Blade!" he cried, attempting to bring his blade down on Genesimon-- and was met with only air. He stumbled forward as he hit nothing, as once more, Genesimon had feinted away.
ImperialBaghamon dropped to one knee the moment he was released, breathing heavily through gritted teeth; WarTriassimon knelt to help him to his feet, and he did not rebuke the help. Far above them, Genesimon's tentacles came to rest again, as it looked down impassively at the warriors on the ground.

"I will destroy," Genesimon said again in its high, childish voice. "I will destroy. I will destroy. I will destroy. I will destroy."
The more it spoke, the more they could hear something else creeping into its voice-- a familiar timbre, just around the 'edges' of its voice. It was speaking as Era. It didn't seem to be speaking in a way something with a mind of its own would; it was likely it was parroting its creator.
"I will destroy everything."

"Not if we have anything to do with it," Rocmon growled, preparing to kick off the ground-- but before he, or any of his allies, could kick off, Genesimon had another attack at the ready.

"Sacrificial Flare!" it giggled, and those preparing to lift into flight immediately abandoned such ideas. All seven warriors, in fact, felt themselves quite suddenly feeling much more tired than they had before. Their bodies shook; they began to glitch out, feeling themselves growing unstable.
Some -- Rocmon, Galeomon, MagnaAriamon, and of course Kisekimon -- tried to call attacks to retaliate even so; but they found that when they summoned the energy within themselves to manifest their attacks, it was immediately sapped away.

Indeed, Genesimon was gathering energy. Not just any energy, mind-- but energy it was actively stealing from its foes through some invisible force, adding it with just a pinch of its own power. If they looked up (which, admittedly, would be difficult) to Genesimon, they would see the white light being compacted into a sphere in front of it, just below its chin.
It was densely packed, a tremendous amount of energy and data packed into the space of a glass marble. In truth, it was only really visible by the contrast it had with the black orb embedded in Genesimon's collarbone; were it not for that, it would have been lost on the backdrop of Genesimon's glowing-white body.
Once it dropped it, however, it was perfectly visible-- not just for the moment where it was silhouetted by the black and corruption-red of Yggdrasil's hollow, but because it was suddenly blindingly bright.

All of the energy that Genesimon had sapped away was released in one powerful burst, and that came with a lot of light. Of course, the warriors couldn't much see anything as the blast of energy knocked them backwards. The blow separated them, sending them tumbling head over heels backwards for a fair distance.

For a moment, their scattered bodies began to glow faintly, as though they were about to be forced to separate and de-digivolve.


The warriors did not know that they had an audience.

With Yggdrasil in as much disarray as it was, it should come as no surprise that the digital world was in a pretty messy state. Tears were spreading throughout the fabric of the world; even the battle in the Timeless River had ground to a halt, all eyes -- those of Agents and rebels alike -- looking to the sky. In areas left intact, even those not raging with battle, the sky was rent in kind. After all-- if they could see out of Yggdrasil's hollow, would it not follow that others could see in?

How many of Era's agents had truly known what he was striving to do? Not many; most of them, indeed, had joined from fear, or intimidation, or had been reclaimed from eggs. Few of them had so much as seen Era, let alone know his plans.
Many of the Warriors' friends -- and enemies alike -- had fallen. Eggs lay strewn on the ground, and digimon lay defeated. Data had streamed off into the sky, but with Yggdrasil in such disarray, their data lingered free, shifting about the sky in streaks and streams from end to end of the digital world.

In every area they had passed through, and every area that they had not, it was the same. Their friends, digimon who believed in the warriors, watched, with hope and belief in their hearts. Those who had doubted them, attacked them, tried to hinder their progress out of good intent... well. Let it be said that the doubt was gone.
Some, of course, could not be moved. Not every digimon had a change of heart; some digimon simply remained cynical, or had no hope in their hearts to ignite. Some stood by Era; some still believed the lies that Era had told them, and still doubted and hated.

But for the first time in almost a century, since Era began to truly take power, those in the last group? They were in the minority.

It would be hard to say, afterwards, if these onlookers -- peering through shifting rips in the sky, struggling to make out what was going on -- had really affected anything.

But they watched the warriors.

They held support and belief and hope in their hearts-- fear, of course. A lot of fear-- afraid of the unknown, and of what could happen, and of Genesimon.
They wished and they hoped, and perhaps they they prayed, that those seven-- fourteen -- heroes would succeed, even as their world began to fall apart around them.


They couldn't let this world down. They couldn't risk their own.
If one attack was enough to bring them down, well, they barely deserved to call themselves warriors. They had survived Forbidramon; they had survived the Reapers. They had survived Genesimon's previous attacks-- even those that felt like they were threatening to tear them apart.

This was nothing.

They had friends. They had worlds to fight for. They had digimon counting on them; they had people counting on them.
They didn't need a second breath; they were already riding on their thousandth breath since coming to this world, and if they could take that many, they hardly had to fear running out any time soon.

"We will never," Kisekimon said, "give up." He had to use one sword almost like a cane to force himself to his feet, as the glow began to fade. What was odd was that, despite his being far away from his allies, all could hear him, loud and clear. They could hear Kisekimon's knightly voice, and also the voice of the boy and the rabbit who made Kisekimon up-- three voices talking at once as though right next to each of them.

"We stand together," WarTriassimon said, and just like before him-- the voice of the boy, the dinosaur, and the warrior all spoke as one, clear as day to all of his allies. "Just as we always have."

"And we're not afraid of any creep-show knockoff digimon made by a guy who clearly played way too many video games," Galeomon said; three voices, all speaking in tandem-- and all sounding like they were grinning slyly, unable to resist making a crack at Era, even now.

Genesimon giggled again, as the warriors got to their feet, lifted into the air, prepared themselves to try one more time.
"This world will burn. Burn. Burn. Burn. Burn. Burn. Burn. Burn. Burn."

... was it just them, or was its voice sounding more and more like Era's with every word?

Well, at any rate.

ImperialBaghamon was never one to let a challenge go. Burn? He could do that. "You want burn? Bring it, if you think you got the guts," he growled with a smirk-- or rather, ImperialBaghamon, Rajamon, and Andrea growled with a smirk.
He surged forward; once more, he thrust his fists forward, even as he ran. "God Fist!"

Once more, Genesimon was gone a moment before the flames were able to hit it, shifted out of the way, in another place so quickly that it was like the warriors had missed something in their perception. ImperialBaghamon smirked-- almost like distracting Genesimon was exactly what he was trying to do, instead of actually hitting it.
Because this time, someone else was ready.

"Ouroboros!" Quetzacoatimon cried, writhing her body in the air, then biting onto her tail. She spun in the air just once, but that was enough; in the circle of empty space, black energy had gathered, and the moment she released her tail, shot forth in a powerful jet-black beam.
Genesimon was hit by the dark energy; as it was not looking at the snake, it didn't catch on in time to react. There was something oddly artistic about it, Genesimon's shining-white body silhouetted by the black beam on a black background.

When it was hit, Genesimon was not moved and it did not suffer any recoil -- but instead, its body distorted. It all but froze like that, for just a second; not like anything organic, or, really, any other digimon they had seen-- it froze like a computer freezing up.
It didn't last long enough for anyone to get another attack prepared (not that they didn't try); in the blink of an eye it rolled its head and came back to life.

"You will suffer for your sins," it intoned, and for a moment, its voice, too, seemed to have been distorted-- like a sound file that had corrupted. "Suffer! Suffer! Heaven's Absolution!"

Once it finished speaking, its tentacles once again flared out; combined with its head and double-helix tail, it looked from even the slightest distance like a shining eight-pointed star. Its glow intensified until it was painful to look at; then, an impossibly thin line, like a single thread, stretched both skywards and forever downwards from Genesimon's head and the point of its tail.

Along that axis, it was as though the space around it was forced apart. It erupted with light, and the warriors began to feel themselves being dragged towards the split.

The last time Genesimon's attack had drawn them in... while it had ultimately made them come back fighting, nobody could really blame them for not wanting to repeat the experience. They dug in their heels and their claws, but its gravitation was hard to fight.

"It will be okay," MagnaAriamon said-- and just like before, it was not just her voice, but of the boy and the sheep who comprised her, that reached her allies' ears (or, really, did it reach their ears? It felt like they heard it the same way they heard the children within their cores), just before the light engulfed them all. "We will make it out."

All believed her-- for they knew she was right. No matter what Genesimon did, they could endure it.

Of course, by no means did that make it any more pleasant.

It was a reprise of the voids of Genesimon's previous form, only marginally better lit-- it was not entirely dissimilar, visually, from the white voids that they had rested in. However, instead of a comfortable numbness, it felt like they were being split apart, in just the same way as Genesimon had split space; they cried out, they roared and screamed and hissed.
They could feel the power that was trying to break into their hearts, trying to pry their minds open and sift through what it found there; but this time, they found themselves able to resist, keep that much out.

And as though offended by this, Genesimon redoubled its efforts at physical pain. Even in the brightly-lit void of white, some of them began to lose their vision, blacking out from the pain. The white light was like acid being poured into a wound, searing down their throats when they tried to scream and replacing the air in their lungs.

Every inch of their bodies was telling them not to move, to speak, to exist. Their resolve was breaking; they could feel tendrils of energy starting to creep in through the cracks--

And then they were ejected, thrown out of the white and back into the comfortable darkness. Their bodies shook and their chests heaved; thin tears streaked down the face of more than a couple of the warriors.

Genesimon was giggling again. The giggles were becoming more jarring, and disturbing as a result; its voice was becoming more and more like Era's, but its giggles remained high and child-like. "I will not destroy you quickly. I will make you hurt. I will make you hurt. I will make you hurt," Genesimon said, its tentacles once more relaxing as the thread of light began to fade, space once more falling into alignment.

It was becoming more eloquent. A long silence followed; Genesimon seemed to pause, waiting to see what its foes would do.

"Is that all you can do?" Quetzacoatimon hissed; like her allies, hers was three voices speaking in tandem. "You can hurt us as much as you want." She began to straighten up her huge body, breathing heavily. "But you can't scare us with that anymore."

"You can hurt us-- you've proven that, lad," Rocmon said as he got to his feet, and it was a surreal thing indeed to hear the heavily-accented bird's deep voice mixed with the much lighter-accented, higher voice of his Child form, and of his female partner, "but we've got something to fight for. That's more important than anything you can do to us."

"We have something to protect."
Twenty-one voices -- seven children, seven child digimon, seven megas -- speaking in perfect tandem, as though some unseen force was giving them the words. They had friends to save, and friends to avenge. They had a world to protect.
"You will never take this world from us. From anyone."
They got to their feet; they brandished their weapons and stood tall. They were damaged, they were hurt, they were bleeding; but they were ready for anything the angel-like abomination could throw at them. They were warriors, through and through-- honorable, brave, adaptable, positive, dedicated, trusting, and compassionate all of them.

And for the first time, Genesimon faltered-- for the first time, they saw enough of a mind in Genesimon for it to falter:

"I'll kill you!" it outright screamed, its voice shifting erratically between the childish timbre, Era's voice, and a mechanical screeching grind. "I'll kill you! I'll kill you! I'll kill you! I'll kill you!!! DIVINE LIGHT!"

Around itself, Genesimon summoned semi-solid columns of light, data rushing around them; they burned through the invisible ground, destroying everything in their path. A circle of ten surrounded the area immediately surrounding Gensimon, as though protecting it; at random, pillars of light crashed through the battlefield, searing through at various angles and at various intensities-- all focusing on the digimon.

It was impossible to predict when the next beam would form; if they stayed in place for more than a second, one would smash through them, but they seemed to be able to predict where the warriors were going to be.
They did not dissipate, merely stayed and burned away; this quickly turned the battlefield into a maze of light, which made things very difficult-- the large digimon could barely avoid the beams, but the smaller ones were knocked between them like pinballs.
The energy felt as though it was burning them like acid-- as though it was stripping away data from the affected area. Indeed, it did-- for a few seconds after contact, any part of the warriors that had touched the light continued to shine with data as their bodies tried to repair themselves.

"Enough!" MagnaAriamon's voice (and Lammon's, and Toby's) cried out, clear as a bell. That was right-- light was her element. She could not stand to see it used this way. She felt more than defensive of her allies (her friends)-- she felt personally offended.
"Radiant Lance!" she yelled, throwing her staff like a spear. It sailed through the air and began to glow; it passed, unharmed, through the pillars of light between it and Genesimon.

Genesimon began to screech again, mechanical and distorted, and like a switch had been flipped, the pillars of light disappeared.

"You will not," Genesimon hissed as its body corrupted and froze again. As it continued to speak, its body began to visibly distort, even though it was not suffering the effects of an attack; every time it glitched, it seemed that the hollow around them followed suit. "You will not, you will not, you will not! This world will burn. You will suffer! I am a god!"


When Era had stepped backwards, had run away through and into Yggdrasil, he had left a mindless creation with one operative -- absorb, overtake, and destroy Yggdrasil -- with no controller.

He had not expected that this form would happen-- this collapsed, super-dense Genesimon.
He was willing to take it, of course; he would be a fool to do otherwise. It just needed to do the one prime directive, but he didn't want to be around for the fallout; he didn't know what would happen, how badly it would break down.
Yes; Era expected his magnum opus to self-destruct. It was made to do one thing, and then destroy itself. (He hardly wanted to deal with a super-powered abomination with the power of the idiot gods; even without a mind of its own, it was dangerous, and more importantly, it was a digimon.)

He had planned so much of this ahead of time; he though the had everything planned out. Even if it didn't strictly succeed, the freak brats had no chance; it just needed to stall until the densely-packed power destroyed it, as it inevitably would, and that would be enough to take Yggdrasil down with it. If it was due to happen in its perfect form, it was sure to happen now.

But the spanner in the works here was when Era tried to run away.

He had not expected was for Genesimon to do... exactly what it was supposed to.

It had attempted to absorb Yggdrasil.
While Era, himself, was moving through it.


Oh, he hated.
He hated more purely than he had hated anything before-- and that was quite a feat. Of course, it was nothing he couldn't come away from with clean hands. He was still far better, far cleaner than the freak brats. After all, he had never merged with filth of his own volition.
But they had still dirtied him. They had made him run away, they had ruined the plan. It would have gone so much smoother had they just laid down and died.

And yet, Genesimon... well. It didn't have a mind of its own, so that was no problem; he was not competing with its will or anything of the sort. However, the tremendous power coursing through it was fogging his mind. It was overwhelming-- more than overwhelming, it was like it was eating away at him.

But it was nothing he couldn't come away from. He just had to take care of this quickly.


"I don't know about any of you, but this thing is starting to get on my nerves," Rocmon muttered, picking up into the air once more. Genesimon was still ranting before them, its body shifting and distorting; and every time it did, the world around them continued to do the same.

"Then let's end this while we still can," Kisekimon said with a nod; he looked around. It was almost unrecognizable; no Sovereigns coiled around and encircling the tree, for there were not sovereigns anymore to be there. It was corrupt and tearing apart, like something huge had dragged its claws through the fabric of space itself. It was accelerating; Genesimon's rage was beginning to pull at the threads.

Most worrying of all, they were starting to see lightning-quick flashes of something beyond this world-- people. Human people, human buildings.
Not only was the digital world beginning to break down, but so was the barrier. They were about to be pulled together.

They had to make their move. Unless they ended this hundred-year war, here and now, they risked losing everything.

"All out!" Kisekimon barked, then, and once again, all three of his voices reached the hearts of his allies.

"Yes, sir," ImperialBaghamon replied wryly, and anything further he or anyone might have said was quickly drowned out.

"Electro Break!" Galeomon bellowed, gathering electrical energy in her hands. She gathered it until it was larger than ever before, until it seemed that if she held onto her attack any longer, she risked electrocuting herself more than any enemy. The lightning sphere sailed smoothly through the air, crashing into Genesimon and engulfing its white form for just a second.

Genesimon screamed with pain and rage, and in a heartbeat, was in front of Galeomon. "Touch of the Divine!" it hissed, and instantly its tentacles spread out and gripped around Galeomon. Due to their size difference, it was only able to grip around her face, but that was enough. It began to surge with energy; with tentacles wrapped around her head, all but wiring her jaw shut, the shark was not able to cry out. She would writhe and try to escape, but the energy from attack was paralyzing the rest of her body.

"You will not touch her!" WarTriassimon roared, almost feral, rushing forward with spear in hand. "Armor Breaker!" He leapt forward with his spear, jumping high enough to reach Genesimon bringing it downward on the beast (for no matter how human-like it looked, it was a beast).
Genesimon did not move out of the way this time. The spear hit its mark true, smashing straight into the pulsating sphere in its chest. It made no mark, and in fact WarTriassimon felt his entire body shake with the rebounded energy, but whether it made a physical mark or not, Genesimon was not pleased.

It screamed, mechanical grinding mixed with its twin voices. It immediately let Galeomon go, its tentacles retracting as though by reflex. Its body surged even harder than before; the space around it followed suit.

"Thank you, yeom," Galeomon growled sidelong, a bit pained but defiant. Her body distorted for a moment as she straightened herself up. WarTriassimon nodded once.

Above, Genesimon's body began to flare out again. "Heaven's--!"

"Not this time!" ImperialBaghamon snarled, the moment he saw the attack being telegraphed, and his sabers appeared in his hands once more. "Imperial Saber!" he roared, slicing all four arms down. This released four arcs of fire, which soared at Genesimon blindingly quick, and hit it squarely-- interrupting its attack before it could begin.

Had they been able to look closely at Genesimon, they would see that something was starting to crack. It was not the sphere in its chest; that beat on defiantly, sending cracks instead through its bearer's chest. No, that was as close to normal as they would get-- but now, there was a pair of hair-thin cracks running down its golden mask. It began to hiss: "No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. You will not. You will not. You will not."

Quetzacoatimon hissed low, her eyes narrowing. The plumes on her head were all but flattened down, like an angry cat's ears. Call her contradictory, but if Genesimon was going to say they would not... "Brilliant Hunter!" she roared, flapping her wings and releasing a rain of razor-sharp, paradoxically-bright dark energy.

Rocmon took her cue, and lifted up into the air, himself, almost exactly opposite the serpent, on the other side of Genesimon. "Heaven Strike!" he cawed, rising high into the air before swooping down with glowing claws. He did not pick up Genesimon (he did not want to see what would happen if he tried), but not even a moment after the rain of Quetzacoatimon's attack ceased, Genesimon was struck hard by the claws of the giant bird.

It screeched, loud and long, body distorting, but by the time it was able to move again, yet another of its foes was upon it.

MagnaAriamon soared expertly through the attacks of her allies, moving light as the air and dodging this way and that. Her body began to glow with bright light; though Genesimon, too, was white, her light was softer, less harsh. Once her light had engulfed her, she cried out: "Cleansing Light!"
She surged forward at high speed, leaving a faint streak of light in her wake. Her body was incorporeal as she passed through Genesimon, and the light seeped from her and into the beast. For a moment when she emerged on the other side, her body was glitched heavily, but she returned to normal within a second.

The same could not be said of Genesimon, who froze and screeched like a corrupted sound-file once more. The cracks in its mask were growing, to the point that they were visible to the onlooker.

In addition to seeing the cracks, Kisekimon saw his chance. He rushed forward, scarf trailing behind him like a scarlet comet-tail. "Double Blader!" he yelled, crossing his swords in an X. He leapt into the air and sliced down and out with both swords.

For the first time, Genesimon suffered physical feedback from a strike. It fell like a bag of bricks, but it made no sound when it hit the ground-- none of impact, at least. Oh, it screeched and hissed and uttered garbled words, quite loudly at that.
But all of those were interrupted by a deafeningly-loud:


As it hit the ground, Genesimon's golden mask split clean in two, cleft down the scored line that bifurcated it. It fell away as Genesimon straightened itself up again, and revealed its face.
Bandages were wrapped around most of the lower half; it lacked a nose or eyes that the warriors could see. Under a gap in the bandages was its mouth, filled with crooked teeth that poked over its torn lips. Much of its skin was snow-white, but unlike the rest of its body, it was mottled with bruises that were similar in colour to the skin of its previous forms, and thin cracks-- much like the ones that surrounded the cores stuck in its body -- spider-webbed across the surface.

They realized quickly that they were wrong in assuming it had no eyes. From the middle of its forehead, a thin line split; directly under the carved eye on its golden mask had been an eye, of sorts. It opened sideways, much as the single eye of its previous form had; but when the eyelids opened, they revealed what seemed to be an empty socket. A tiny pinprick of red-purple light flared to life inside the socket, then-- as close to a pupil as it was going to get.

Being completely honest: it was pretty darn freaky-looking.

"I will destroy," it hissed again, and slowly, it began to lift its hands away from its shoulders. It sounded like bones cracking as it lifted away, the orbs staying put embedded where they were in its hands, leaving craters in its shoulders, as though its body were rock instead of flesh. "You will beg, beg, beg, beg, beg, for a mercy that I will not grant." Its tentacles, flared out, and its twin leg-slash-tail tendrils uncurled from around each other. "This world will end in flames as it deserves, as it deserves, as it deserves."

It hissed low and long; the core in its chest was beating harder than ever. "It ends now. Now. Now. Now. Now."

Genesimon began to glow brighter. Behind it, the root-like core of Yggdrasil began to shake violently.
And then, it snapped in two.

They saw the world around them distort; they caught flashes, more frequent, of the real world -- human people reacting to flashes of things they didn't understand -- and also of the digital world outside, Digimon screaming out and crying out and roaring and--

And rooting for them.

Genesimon was right. They had to--

"End it!" Kisekimon screamed to his teammates, all three of his voices frantic. He did not notice -- none of them noticed-- that the place over their hearts were beginning to glow brightly. "Now!"

They didn't need the instruction, of course. They threw themselves fully into their attacks, pouring all of the energy they had left into one last attack each.

"God Fist!" ImperialBaghamon roared, and once more, punching of all four fists into the air released a fiery aura. It crackled and flickered, and if they looked close, onlookers could almost see it take the shape of a tiger for just a moment as it lunged forward.

"Shark Attack!" Galeomon bellowed, rearing down and focusing; every last bit of power she had in her went into generating her attack. It paid off; a thousand shining sharks made of pure energy, thrashing and writhing, formed around her, almost filling the air. She roared, and as though that were the signal, they rushed at Genesimon, a feeding frenzy of incorporeal white sharks.

"Fossil Storm!" WarTriassimon roared aloud, smashing his spear point-first into the earth and concentrating all of his energy. What he created was not, this time, a small squadron of fossils-- only one rose from the ground. It was a velociraptor made of bone and held together by otherworldly energy, and it wasted no time in rushing forward, bones rattling with every stride.

"Biting Hailstorm!" Rocmon keened one more time, rising high in the air and flapping his wings hard. Hail rained down, shining bright with refracted light, sharp and vicious as a rain of knives, sending a spray of razor-sharp ice into the maelstrom. He did not stop at one barrage; he contnued, sending wave after wave of ice.

"Shining Break!" MagnaAriamon cried, tracing a circle in the air with the shining tip of her staff. Once more, it created a disc of light, which shone bright and released a powerful beam of pure energy. It shone so brightly it was almost blinding; the sheep spent all of her effort into maintaining it, and almost shook with the effort.

"Spectrail Tail!" Quetzacoatimon roared, one last swan-song attack. Energy began to gather in her tail-tip; she moved like it was heavy, as she gathered more energy. Finally, she swiped her long body through the air, releasing a titanic blade of rainbow-hued dark energy, aimed square at Genseimon.

"Nova Blade!" Kisekimon yelled, one sword glowing bright. Once more, he lobbed it like a spear, not wanting to draw too close to the maelstrom of attacks that was gathering near Genesimon.

This happened within the space of seconds; though the attacks were independent, they seemed to merge when they struck Genesimon. For a moment, it was surrounded by a swirling mass-- fire and ice, earth and electricity, light and dark, all at once. It was a horrible noise they heard, Genesimon's scream of pain.
And then Kisekimon's sword struck its target true; it impaled Genesimon straight through the core in its chest, sliding clean through and out of it back. The blade sunk in to the hilt; at the end, the black tassel at its pommel hung, swaying silently.

Having thrown all of themselves into their final attacks, the warriors could feel their bodies growing weak-- feeling a light begin to engulf them, the sign that they could no longer maintain their Mega levels; but they held resolute, refusing to stop until they saw their work be done.

Genesimon did not scream.
It made no noise at all.

Genesimon took the attack, and for a moment alone, it hung suspended in the air. The core in its heart began to pulse, but they could see-- even from where they stood -- that it had been all but completely covered by white cracks, and every throb was only serving to break it further. The warriors held their breaths. Could it be...?

It was.

In the blink of an eye, the black sphere shattered. It broke into a thousand pieces, scattering and falling to the ground like glass. In turn, every other orb in its body -- those that had been dull and lifeless -- began to break in kind, sudden and instantaneous.
Kiseimon's sword clattered to the ground; when it hit, the blade snapped clean in half.

One by one, almost as though spurred by this event, the seven mega digimon began to split apart. They could no longer maintain these forms, each warrior swiftly separating into a child-level digimon and a child. They were tired, they were ragged. They breathed heavily; they felt like their bodies were made of lead and then some. They couldn't have maintained their mega forms had they even wanted to.

But they had won.

It was over; all there was left to do was watch.

Without the cores to bind it together, Genesimon was falling apart. It floated just above the kids and their partners; data began to rush out of its body, swirling around it. There was, in conservative terms, an unbelievable of data being released; but with the core of Yggdrasil snapped in two, it didn't seem to know where to go. Instead, it merely began to coalesce around them, creating a titanic sphere around their battlefield-- around the 'edges', so to speak, of the Hollow of Yggdrasil. It rushed and swirled as it poured out of Genesimon's body, creating a kernel sphere in the absence of a tree to gather around.

It rushed fast and hard, and before long, it was abundantly clear that Genesimon's body was about to be no more.
Without warning, a dark, remarkably-human-like shape dropped out of Genesimon as the last vestiges of the angel-like abomination flickered out-- as did the last vestiges of Era's hundred-year rule.

It didn't matter that they still had one final challenge to overcome. It didn't matter that right now, almost every part of this world was going to need to be re-built. It didn't matter that Yggdrasil was corrupt and in shambles, for seven pure fragments lived on in the hearts of seven little digimon, and that alone kept this world intact (even if it was hurting). It didn't matter that these little digimon would need to die to plant the seeds of Yggdrasil, to heal the tree and their world.

It didn't matter, because for the first time in a long time, the digital world was free. For the moment -- just this one moment -- that was all that really mattered.

[Chapter 50: End]