It would take two days to reach the mist-enshrouded Wind Terminal.
"I'm worried about what's happening back on Earth..." Venkman mused. "I mean, if this is really all some elaborate assault on the Containment Unit..."
"We may be just fine, Peter" Ray tried to reassure him. "In Season One Digital World time passed a lot slower than in Earth's plane--we may have only been gone a couple of minutes."
"That's still more than enough time for some jackass to pull the power lever."
"True, Peter..." Egon chipped in. "But do not forget about all of the backup systems. It would take them significanly longer to circumvent or override those. Ray or I could do it, but we designed the system and know all of the passwords."
"I'm reassured..." Janine admitted.
"You'd be reassured no matter what he said because he said it..." Venkman bit back, a little testy.
Over the journey Ray and Egon had thrown out theories, the most ominous one is that the electromagnetic effect that had brought them here was, indeed, some sort of malevolent manifestation. It had fouled up the computers in GBC and, in the process, somehow caused a PK manifestation and a dimensional pocket, utlizing the information in some of Ray's Digimon files to create this version of the Digital World.
"It might explain why it isn't a strict Season Four version..." Ray had explained. "The files about other years of the show are thrown into it, and they kind of mix and mutate, which is why Veemon is nothing much like the one on TV."
After their discussions, all agreed that the answers would probably be bound up in doing exactly as Ophanimon asked: find Seraphimon and confront the "Master of the Dark Network".
Right now, they were staggering around, barely able to see each other.
"I got your hand, Egon."
"I got yours Janine, I..."
"That wasn't my hand, Louis!!!"
Then all five Digivices began to glow.
Within ten seconds, the fog was gone.
An ornate castle stood before them.
"Hey, wait a second..." Venkman commented. "Doesn't this look like the MacMillan Castle in Scotland?"
"Holy crap, Peter! You're right!!! It is Uncle Andrew's castle, only a little more cleaned up..."
"And pained lavendar..." Janine snorted. "Somebody loves that color way too much..."
"Though I don't recognize that device from Castle Dunkal." Egon pointed. In place of the MacMillan crests was a curious design, a circle with five points on the top of it and a comet tail below it.
"The ascending comet!!!" Ray gasped. "It's the Sigil of Hope--the Crest used by TK and Angemon!!! This has got to be the place!!!"
They entered the castle. It was bright and clean, but nobody was in sight.
"All it needs is a few mummies to brighten it up..." Venkman commented.
"Mummies would be comforting right now..." Winston retorted. "Them I've dealt with before. "
"CUUUUUUUUUURSE!!!" Venkman shouted.
"Would you just shut your fool mouth up for once?!" An exasperated Winston shot back.
"I was thinking more along the lines of duckies and bunnies, Peter..." Ray chuckled.
"I don't want to know."
"Y'know, we have a Valley of the Duckies and Bunnies..."
"Veemon, we don't care" Venkman spat, now almost as exasperated as Winston.
"HALT!!!" a deep voice boomed out.
A huge being that might have been a muscular man jumped out to confront them. He might have been a muscular man, except that he was covered in tawny fur and had the head of a lion. He wore no shirt or shoes, but had black jeans on.
Ray's eyes went wide. "Leomon!!!"
"Leomon!!! Wait!!!" Veemon called out before Leomon could do anything with the rather large, intimidating looking knife he brandished. "We were sent by Lady Ophanimon!!! They're the DigiDestined!!!"
"Or the Ghostbusters, if you prefer." Venkman offered. "We do..."
"The DigiDestined?" Leomon's eyes narrowed. "Can they prove this?"
Ray caught on to this. "We sure can! Look!!!" he said, holding out his Digivice.
"The Mark of the DigiDestined..." Leomon gasped in awe. He quickly sheathed his knife and bowed to the assembled group. "My deep apologies, my friends. I am Leomon, King of File Island, and humble servant to the Archangels of Hope and Light."
"They sure like their titles here..." Winston whispered.
"We came to..."
"Lady Ophanimon has sent the DigiDestined to reawaken Lord Seraphimon." Leomon finished Vee's thought. "This way..."
After a long walk into the bowels of the castle, they reached a large room who's walls seemed to be coated in crystal. In the center of the room was a large chunk of the same crystal, and in the center of it was a humanoid figure wearing powder-blue Gothic armor, with golden stylings and ten golden wings. The helmet appeared to completely cover his head, with no eye holes visible. On the stomach of the armor was the same comet insignia Ray had identified as the "Crest of Hope"
Ray gasped in about as much awe as Leomon had when seeing them---maybe even more! "It's him..." he paused, unable to finish the sentence.
"The Celestial of Hope." Leomon finished for him. "Lord Seraphimon"
"So, okay then..." Janine broke in, the aura of reverence getting to be too much for her. "So this guys an angel and we're supposed to wake him up. How?"
Winston glared at her. Intellectually, he knew this wasn't a real angel but emotionally...he felt like he should be on his knees praying or something. I thought if anybody might understand it'd be her...Ray, Egon, and Pete don't have much use for religion but I know she goes to the synagogue once in a while...
"Search me..." Veemon commented. Just as the five Digivices began to glow again.
"Okay..." Ray said, holding his device up. "Maybe this is how we do it..." and pointed it at the crystal-encased Seraphimon.
All five beams hit the crystal. It vibrated and shattered.
"Lord Seraphimon!!!" Leomon shouted, heading over to the wreckage.
Something stirred in the shattered crystal, and the blue-armored archangel hovered free of the pile of shards, practically glowing.
"I am unhurt, Leomon..." Seraphimon told him in a smooth, rich voice. "I have been weakened, but with the crystal containment destroyed, I am regaining my strength quickly."
Leomon turned to the others. "These are the DigiDestined, Milord. Lady Ophanimon sent them to free you. With them are her messenger, Veemon, and two others--Bokomon and Neemon..."
"Yes...I am forever in your debt, my friends."
"Great, oh powerful Oz. So like, send us home..." Venkman said.
"PETER!!!" Winston hissed, upset at Venkman's "sacrilege" to the Archangel.
"Were that it within my power." Seraphimon answered, apparently taking no offense. "But the gate between the dimensions has been comandeered by the Master of the Dark Network. His expertise in the ways of the computer has jeapordized both of our worlds. It was his attack that placed me in that stasis."
"We heard Ophanimon also mention a 'Master of the Dark Network' " Egon broke in. "If we are to defeat this enemy, we would require more information about him."
With his concealing helmet, Seraphimon displayed no expression, but somehow seemed to...radiate a sort of amusement. "Spoken like a true Voice of Knowledge, Egon Spengler. The Codes chose well..."
"Oh, let's just all give a big ol' hand to Mister Science here, uh-huh..." a new voice broke in.
"It's him!!!" Leomon shouted with equal parts anger and panic.
"Elvis?" Venkman queried. "That's who it sounded like..."
Veemon looked around, wide-eyed. "Oh shit. I didn't sign up for this part of the deal!!!"
There was a display of light around the crystal room, and to be honest it was quite spectacular, but also disorienting. There was no way to tell up or down. Or where the bang-up rendition of "Don't Be Cruel" was coming from.
"Thankya, thankyaverymuch..." the Elvis-like voice continued.
"Show yourself!" Seraphimon commanded.
"The King of Server usually doesn't take requests, thankyaverymuch, but for ya'll Ah'll make an exception..."
In a spotlight, he appeared. A man-sized sock monkey wearing sunglasses and outfitted with a microphone and a yellow teddy bear attached to his right hip
"Ladies and Gentlemon, Digi and Analog, Boys and Girls, let's give it up for the King of Server, the Master of the Dark Network, the one, the only..." After a dramatic pause filled, perhaps, with applause in his own mind. "...Etemon!!!"
"You gotta be kiddin' me..." Janine grumbled.
Seraphimon turned to look at her for some reason.
"You will not be allowed to harm the Celestial of Hope!" Leomon snarled.
"Oh, please, Kitty...Ah don't mean to hurt him...just steal his fractal code and use it to open the gate and release Apocalymon, that's all...Ah don't see what that would hurt..."
"I think we're gonna be hurtin' him in just a second." Winston said resolutely.
"You got it" Venkman agreed, the two stepping forward.
Ray had a sudden, horrified thought...But some things are different here...maybe it won't...
Veemon stepped to the two Ghostbusters' sides too.
"Oh, muhcy, an' the widdwe baby Digimon wants to fight me too?"
"Vee?" Venkman muttered, with just a tinge of concern.
Etemon chortled. "All right, ladies and gents, as we seem to have some music critics in the audience tonight, I'd like to ask the boys in the band to step forward and make their voices heard, thankyaverymuch..."
Etemon strummed a chord on his air guitar, and his "band" appeared...
"By the codes..." Leomon snarled.
There were four of them. Three were giant dinosaurs
"Hm..." Egon mused. "Roughly Tyrannosaurus, Stegosaurus, and Monocloneus..."
But the fourth one was smaller, an ugly, muscled green humanoid with a gaping maw. He reminded Venkman of nothing so much as a Gwar album cover...
"Hey. Leo...long time no see, huh?" it taunted Leomon
"Ogremon..." Leomon snarled...
"Oh boy..." Ray inhaled.
"We got your answer for that right here..." Venkman grinned, pulling out his Digivice. Winston nodded at him.
Egon and Janine did likewise. Ray had a nagging reservation, but kept quiet...
"EXECUTE--SPIRIT EVOLUTION!!!" five voices cried in unison.
Within seconds, Agnimon, Lobomon, Beetlemon, Kazemon, and Kumamon were on the scene. Etemon's dino-patrol shrunk back.
"Not bad..." Etemon admitted. "But mah boys won't let me down!!! Attack, uh-huh!!!"
"Etemon must not reach the Lord of Hope!!!" Leomon cried.
"Worry about yourself, Friskies-breath!!!" Ogremon laughed, and jumped Leomon.
"Oh, man, we are like so screwed and this sucks because I just started a really long novel and..." Bokomon started to whine.
"Boy, the geek's sure right about you---you are an annoying little turd." Veemon rolled his eyes.
Neemon babbled incoherently, but seemed clearly worried about Agnimon. Wtih good reason, apparently--Agnimon and Lobomon were fighting Tyrannomon, who had just Dino Kicked Venkman through a wall. Lobomon jumped in with his lightsabers, but got Fire Blasted before he could reach the giant red dinosaur.
Beetlemon and Kazemon had teamed up to attack Stegomon. But Beetlemon was quickly knocked back by Stego's spiked tail, and Kazemon was protesting in angry Brooklynese about the Shell Needles that were driving her back.
Kumamon had really drawn the short end of the stick--he was having to take on Monchromon all on his own. Ray was hit by a Volcano Strike, and went down.
Veemon started to walk toward the battle, his face hardened. "Okay, Boko..watch over Lord Seraphimon for me...I gotta go..."
"A...and do what?"
"Immediately, save Kumamon's ass." Veemon replied.
"But...but I know enough from my nephew that you're a Rookie and won't stand a chance and you said you couldn't Digivolve like the Veemon on TV and..."
An impish grin played on Veemon's blue face. "I just said the guy on TV couldn't Digivolve right, Stinky...there's a difference." He turned back toward the fight. "Let me show you how a real Digimon Digivolves..."
When the display of fractal codes faded, it was still recognizable as Veemon--the same blue color and reptilian appearance, but he was larger, some twelve feet tall. The yellow "V" mark on his forehead had been replaced by a larger, blue on on his chest. His arms were now white instead of blue. His head was longer, more anglular, and all three horns (at the back of his head and his nose) were larger and sharper. His entire body was now more defined, muscled but athletic. His tail whipped around eagarly, and he reared back and howled...
"Oh, cool..." Louis admitted.
With a burst of speed that belied his bulk, Veedramon charged Monochromon and body checked him; Monochromon was larger, but the speed and surprise forced the dinosaur to be thrown back. Knocking another hole in the wall.
"Helping hand, Kume?" Veedramon asked Ray, helping him up.
"Oh, wow...is that you Vee?"
"Yep" His voice was deeper, but still sounded like Launchpad from Ducktales.
"You're right...you ARE cooler than ExVeemon."
Neemon started babbling in panic.
Monochromon charged them. Kumamon and Veedramon took a nasty Slamming Attack full force.
"What I wouldn't do for a proton pack right about now..." Venkman snarled, dodging another Fire Blast. He'd learned the hard way that just because he also used fire attacks didn't mean Tyrannomon's Fire Blasts didn't hurt...
"Wait a sec...."Venkman thought outloud. "That'd apply to him, too!!!"
Agnimon fired a Pyro Tornado right to Tyrannomon's crotch.
Tyrannomon's eyes bulged wide.
Lobomon made his move. With a few swift applications of Lobo Kendo, one of Tyrannomon's arms flew free of his body, and disappeared in a cloud of derezzing pixels. The great beast howled and slumped to the ground.
"Ah don't like this..." Etemon grumbled.
Beetlemon looked too and fro. He saw what he needed and his computer-like brain crunched the numbers and vectors. It will work...Janine has to only keep the creature occupied for ten point three more seconds...
Kazemon was doing quite well avoiding Stegomon's attacks--she was fast and mobile. Beetlemon had no expression on his face really, but Janine knew Egon well enough that she could...sense that he was up to something, and it required that she distract Stegomon for a few more seconds. You want a distraction, Doctor Spengler, you get a distraction!!!
"Hey, Steggy, your aim always this bad, or you have too much sake with your bronto burgers or something?"
Stegomon roared an obscenity and fired again.
That was too close!!! Egon!!!
Beetlemon waited for another second. Almost...
NOW!!! "Proton Slam!!!"
He hit the ground with a charged up attack. A vibration was sent through the crystal lacing the room, and right above Stegomon one stalagtite splintered off of the ceiling. The stalagtite impaled Stegomon.
"Ah really don't like this..." Etemon grumbled louder.
Monochromon was now losing his battle. Kumamon and Veedramon were both swift, while Monochromon was ponderously slow. None of his Volcano Strikes could hit them.
"Crystal Freeze!" Ray fired another blast, staggering Monochromon.
Veedramon reared back, white energy coruscating his maw. "Vee Nova Blast!!!" With that, a wedge-shaped arc of force flew out of his mouth, hitting Monochromon full-force. Monochromon slumped to the ground.
"Ah really really don't like this..." Etemon grumbled even louder.
Ogremon and Leomon were wrestling savagely. Ogremon tombstoned Leomon, them spinning piledrove him.
"I'd do the Worm, but it's gay as hell!!!" Ogremon guffawed.
Leomon grabbed him and choke-slammed him.
"Wow, this is better than the WWF..." Bokomon gaped.
Neemon babbled something critical.
"Okay, okay, WWE. Or whatever they call themselved this week..." Louis replied, chastened.
"Okay. That's enough." Etemon snarled.
The five Ghostbusters and Veedramon had turned to face Etemon.
"Okay, Spanky...any last words?" Vee snarled at him.
"Quite a few, actually..." Etemon grinned, and launched into "Hound Dog"...
And suddenly, Veedramon and the five Ghostbusters felt like they'd been hit by a brick wall apiece.
"What the f***?!" Agnimon shouted, dropping to his knees.
Etemon paused in his song for a second. "Dark Network Concert Crush, Baby..."
He begun to sing again.
"G...guys? Janine?!" Louis cried fearfully. Beside him, Neemon was also babbling and about in tears.
"The Digi..." Leomon couldn't finish his thought because Ogremon whacked him with this cudgel.
"Oh crap..." Kumamon groaned, as a band of fractal codes appeared around him.
"Wh...what's goin' on?" Veedramon asked, as fractal codes began to swirl around him, too.
"It would appear..." Beetlemon theorized with pained effort. He, Kazemon, and Lobomon were also manifesting the swirling lights "...That his attack is causing a negative reaction in our Digivolutions..."
And there was one more shout.
The codes began to swirl around Lord Seraphimon as well.
"I was afraid of this..." Kumamon continued. "He did it in the show, too..."
Egon Spengler, Janine Melnitz, Ray Stantz, Peter Venkman, Winston Zeddemore, and Veemon all slumped to the ground, their Digivolutions cancelled by the Dark Network Concert Crush.
"Pummel Whack!" Ogremon shouted, firing energy beams at the five humans and Veemon. Weakened by the Dark Network, they were all thrown back.
"Oh no..." Bokomon whined.
Etemon moved forward, unhurried. "Thank ya, thank ya very much..."
"I hope you are pleased, my Master..." Ogremon said, bowing before Etemon.
"Ya did good, Baby...we get the power of the Sigil of Hope, you get to whack Leomon, win-win situation, uh-huh..."
Etemon and Ogremon moved forward toward Seraphimon, now down on one knee and surrounded by swirling fractal codes.
Neemon threw himself at Etemon, babbling angrily. Ogremon just grabbed him and threw him into a wall.
"You wanna try an' stop me too, little man?" Etemon asked Bokomon.
Louis just peed himself and passed out.
"Ah'm impressed---you're still up after that attack, Angel-boy..." Etemon gloated, regarding the swooning Archangel of Hope. "But you're weak enough now, uh-huh..."
Etemon twirled his microphone dramatically. "Fractal Code Digitize, Baby!!!"
The swirling lights about Seraphimon began to flow into Etemon's microphone...the Archangel seemed to shrink and distort...
"You shall not have the power of Hope!!!" Leomon shouted, jumping into the flow of the fractal codes, pushing the small form that was all that was left of Lord Seraphimon out of the fray.
"Y'damn fool!!!" Etemon shouted angrily.
The glowing thing that was once Seraphimon landed next to Janine with a meaty thud.
"Take Lord Seraphimon and get out of here!!!" Leomon shouted.
"Too little too late, Kitty..." Etemon grinned. "The real power's already here--the rest of his life force'd just be a bonus. The power of the Angel of Hope is mine, Baby...Mine!!! The Master of the Dark Network!!! The Artist formerly Known as Etemon!!!"
"Formerly"? Ray thought, feeling a wave of creeping dread.
"Behold mah ascension...Etemon...Mega Digivolve to..."
The swirling codes passed into Etemon and transformed him. He was larger, and was now clad in golden armor, with fur-lined boots and cape. An ornate crown sat on his head. He flexed and posed, clearly pleased with himself.
"...KingEtemon!!!" he cried, his voice exactly the same.
The Ghostbusters were picking themselves up off the ground, horrified by this turn of events--especially Ray and Veemon, who had a better idea what it all meant.
"Go, Ghostbusters of Earth!!! Make sure Lady Ophanimon knows what has happened!!!" Leomon shouted, and jumped KingEtemon.
Janine grabbed the still glowing bundle that was once Seraphimon. Egon grabbed her hand. They ran.
Venkman grabbed Neemon, Winston Bokomon, and also made a break for it.
Veemon and Ray spared one last look at Leomon.
"What about you?" Vee asked.
"My life is unimportant. GO!!!"
Ray and Veemon ran.
"Y'know somethin', Frisky...you have officially pissed me off."
KingEtemon threw him off. "Monkey Wrench!!!"
Leomon howled in defiance and pain as the thrown tool literally knocked him in half. He vanished into a cloud of pixels.
"I was afraid of that..." Ray said as he ran. "Leomon always dies..." Nevertheless, there were tears forming in Ray's eyes...