By: TigerCat

Strangely, it was Izzy who noticed Joe was missing. He had awakened to do some typing, and immediately recognized the absence. Izzy roused the sleeping Tentomon and they went to look for him.

Skullgreymon's ill temper must have flared, for without being provoked, the bone beast fired the fish-shaped torpedo on its back. "I think we're goners." Gomamon said, knowing he couldn't digivolve before it hit.

"Horn Buster!" Megakabuterimon's attack destroyed the missile, giving Gomamon the chance to digivolve. "Gomamon digivolve to: Ikkakumon!" He immediately digivolved again. "IKKAKUMON DIGIVOLVE TO: ZUDOMON!"

Skullgreymon was extremely violent, but not stupid. He lumbered away, not will to fight two Ultimate Digimon. "Joe, I realize you are enraged by Silver's death, but I suggest you save your anger for Piedmon. It was he who caused her to die." Izzy told him. Zudomon and Megakabuterimon devolved back to Gomamon and Tentomon.

"Yeah, come on Joe. If we work together, we can beat Piedmon and avenge Silver." Gomamon said. Joe nodded. "I guess."

"Spirit of Dragon, accept this energy to take solid form to save us all from harm."

"My purpose is finished." The Dragon shrank and became the lost metal necklace.

Sora opened her eyes. Not now. Of all times to have one of these weird dreams. I can't say anything about it to Joe. Poor guy already feels devastated, and to mention Silver would crush him. She sat up and noticed that the sun was starting to come up. She got up, and noticed that Tai was just getting up too.

"So what are we going to do?" Sora asked, falling into step next to him. Tai shrugged. "I don't know. I mean, one of us is gone. And I don't know how Joe would react to leaving her grave."

"Hey, Tai! When are we going to go defeat Piedmon?" Joe called from across the camp.

"Huh?" Tai looked extremely confused. Sora nudged him, "He obviously blames Piedmon for Silver's death and probably wants revenge."

"Oh." Tai turned and called back, "Today, if you want."

Joe nodded and walked over to Silver's grave. Picking up the pendant, he draped it over the crossbars of the headstone. "Wherever you are, may you have peace." He joined the others, taking the last position in the line as Tai led them to Spiral Mountain. Unseen by anyone, the dragon pendant began to emit silvery light.

"Master, what is troubling you?" A small Digimon asked Piedmon. "Nothing you should know of, worm! Go, and tell Machinedramon and Puppetmon I would speak with them! GO!" Piedmon yelled at the servant.

"As you wish." The Digimon scurried off to deliver the message.

"Ha, the Digi-Destined turned out to be real flops." Puppetmon said as he maneuvered the Digimon to destroy each other. Joe snorted irritably, then picked up a stick. He threw it with surprising accuracy and severed the lines controlling Zudomon. "Vulcan's Hammer!"

The attack destroyed the lines attached to the other Digimon. "Your evil has ruled the Digiworld for long enough, Puppetmon. Now we will stop you. Hand of Fate!"

"Vulcan's Hammer!"

"Horn Buster!"

"Flower Cannon!"

"Wing Blaze!"

"Celestial Arrow!"

Puppetmon dodged all the attacks he could, and endured the ones he couldn't. Metalgarurumon stepped forward and stood directly in front of Puppetmon. Behind the Dark Master, Wargreymon signaled. "TERRA FORCE!"

The two attacks slammed Puppetmon from opposite sides, deleting the evil Digimon. "All right! We did it!" Tai whooped. Sora rolled her eyes while everyone else laughed. Joe nodded. "One down, two to go."

"You bet, Joe! A few more days and we'll be able to lay back and soak up some digital sun!" Gomamon said. Joe cringed. "I get sunburned really easily. I think I'll sit in the shade and read while you soak it up."

Much later, when everyone else was fast asleep, Sora was still awake, laying out looking at the stars. She was thinking back to the dream she had had several nights before. I don't understand. What is so important about what Silver said to summon the Dragon? "Spirit of Dragon, accept this energy to take solid form to save us all from harm." That's not much different from what she said before. And then that Dragon turned into the necklace that Joe had been wearing. I thought that was weird, but…wait…I think I know what the dream meant! Unfortunately, sleep overtook her at that moment, and she forgot what she had discovered.

"Yes…I think…you are…right. A…very needless…waste of…potential…But we…can not bother…with that…now. We already…killed this…potential!"

"How you forgotten the amount of power we possess? We are the Dark Masters and none can oppose us! All it takes is the pooling of our attacks, and we can bring this potential back!"

"Then we…should do…that. GIGA CANNON!"

"CROWN TRICK!" The energies pooled and began to swirl. They collected and formed into a body. Piedmon leaned close to the body of energy. "Now listen closely to me, servant of evil. Go and seek the body of one called…"

The Digi-Destined walked along, moving onward to Spiral Mountain. Machinedramon materialized in front of them. "Greetings…Digi-Destined…Meet the fate…of the…one you called…Silver. GIGA CANNON!" The attacks completely missed, giving the Digimon a chance to digivolve.

"Agumon warpdigivolve to: WARGREYMON!"

"Gabumon warpdigivolve to: METALGARURUMON!"

"Tentomon digivolve to: Kabuterimon!"

"Gomamon digivolve to: Ikkakumon!"

"Palmon digivolve to: Togemon!"

"Biyomon digivolve to: Birdramon!"

"Patamon digivolve to: Angemon!"






The Digimon scattered, using a different technique than last time. Machinedramon couldn't hit all of them, but perhaps they could injure him.

"Hand of Fate!"

"Vulcan's Hammer!"

"Horn Buster!"

"Flower Cannon!"

"Wing Blaze!"

"Celestial Arrow!"



All of the attacks hit dead on target. Machinedramon glowed for a second, then exploded. "Awesome! We did it! Piedmon's next!"

Joe clenched his fist. Good. I can't wait to repay him for what he did to Silver. Suddenly, laughter came from where Machinedramon had been destroyed. "Foolish…Digi-Destined. Did…you really…think it…was just…that easy?"

"Oh man, I thought we nailed him." Matt said, standing defensively in front of TK. The laughter changed, and an image began to form as the source of the laughter.

"Silver?" Joe rubbed his eyes and looked again. "Silver?" He took a few steps forward, then hit the dirt when Tai tackled him. "What did you do that for? It's Silver!" Joe awkwardly swung at Tai's head, but the smaller, more agile boy easily dodged.

"Joe, that may be Silver's body, but do you really think she would attack us? Or call us 'Foolish Digi-Destined.'? Besides, her voice is…different. Darker, somehow." Izzy told him. Joe's shoulders slumped. I thought… maybe… Piedmon must have done this. I swear I am going to repay him.

"Weak, pathetic children. You may as well give up now. I see the power the Dark Masters wield, and you can not defeat it. You, boy, seem amazed by my mere presence." Silver walked towards Joe, shifting into battle mode. The claws on her right arm slid out as she strode towards him. Silver raised her fist to strike.

"Vulcan's Hammer!" Zudomon threw the hammer and knocked Silver away from Joe. Silver got up. "Is that your best attempt? Tritanium is far stronger than anything you would have here is. Sad. I'm going to wipe all of you out, one by one, and there is nothing you can do about it." Silver moved forward again, this time towards the Digimon.

Joe watched as she walked past. Something glinted around her neck and he was just able to recognize the dragon pendant. She's wearing the dragon pendant, she seems to have absolutely no knowledge of us from memory, and she called herself "I." How is this going to help us in any way? Joe racked his brain, but his heart wasn't in it. His emotions were completely mixed, even though he knew she had to be stopped before she could hurt any of them.

This isn't right. There has to be a way. There always has been before. Joe frustratedly dug into his pockets for anything that might give him an idea. He pulled out the ring that had once saved his life when interchanged with the dragon pendant. Perhaps…perhaps this time, I have to be the one who does the switching. He got up and charged at Silver, not knowing exactly how he was going to get this done. While he was still several feet away, Silver turned and spotted him. The cable and grappling hook from her left arm wrapped around him, pinning his arms and shutting off his air supply. The cable retracted, bringing Joe straight to her.

"You seem to have a death wish. You keep running at me for some reason." She started to say more, but Joe passed out and went limp from lack of oxygen. "And this is the material you expect to fight the Dark Masters with?" She tossed him to the side, like a doll thrown by a child who is finished playing. Noticing something in the dirt that he had dropped, she knelt and picked up a ring.

"I suppose this is the weapon the boy would have used against me."

"My name…is not boy." Joe coughed, struggling to his feet. "My name is Joe."

"Stronger than I thought, but also stupider. You had your chance to live, and yet you still challenge me? I will have no mercy on you this time." She started towards him, but Piedmon's voice stopped her. "Enough, servant. You have proven your effectiveness against them. We must not waste this entertainment value. Now, return immediately, for there is another task you must do."

Silver knelt, and bowed her head, humbly. "Yes, Master Piedmon. I will do as you command." She arose, and looked over the Digi-Destined again. "You have been spared by my master, but next time, we shall see." She disappeared, teleported away by Piedmon's power.

Everyone crowded around Joe. "Are you okay?" Sora asked.

"No. I think she broke my ribs." Joe tenderly touched his left side and winced in pain. "Well, bruised them, at least."

"How are we supposed to do this?" Matt asked. "She's pretty much indestructible. Any energy our Digimon use against her will just be absorbed and turned on us. And it doesn't look like there is anything that can penetrate that metal."

"I have acquired a large file about Silver and her weapons. I have been maintaining it since we first met her. Perhaps an analysis will render a weakness." Izzy said, gesturing to his laptop. Tai nodded. Izzy immediately began typing. After a few minutes, Izzy's eyes went wide. "Impossible. She has no structural weaknesses."

"What does that mean?" Mimi asked.

"It means we can't beat her." Matt said morbidly. Izzy nodded. "The metal her symbiote is comprised of has three weaknesses. Plasma, sulfuric acid and quasar radiation. We don't have any way of producing quasar radiation, so that is not possible. Silver's weapons cancel the other two methods. She can produce an electromagnetic shield that will repel plasma, and the shield also alters the chemical alignment of sulfuric acid, making it no longer harmful. She is impervious to all our efforts."

"There has to be a way." Tai said, smashing his fist into his palm.

"We've always won before." Sora agreed.

"Yeah, but we weren't fighting a friend before." Joe pointed out.

"We know she has no weaknesses, but she knows all of ours." Izzy shook his head.

"There is one weakness that we could possibly take advantage of. I don't know how, but it's the only one. Separate the symbiotes." Joe said quietly.

"But how?"

"Servant, I have summoned you to perform the task of eliminating the Digi-Destined." Piedmon told Silver, who knelt at his feet.

"A great honor, Master Piedmon. I will not fail you." Silver arose and tentatively stepped closer. "Master, if I may…"

"You may. What is it?" Piedmon asked, curious as to the request of his slave.

"Allow me, Master, to send out some of your minions, to toy with the Digi-Destined and test their strength and skill. It will be a great entertainment to you, I'm sure."

"An appealing idea. Do so, but take only those who volunteer. Remember that you have no power except that which I give you."

"Always, Master Piedmon." Silver bowed and left.

"Dark Psi Attack!" Missiles rained down onto the Digi-Destined. They were too tired to digivolve, and figured this was the end.

"Enough, Megadramon." A voice said. The missiles instantly stopped. "They are too weak to be a challenge. We will leave them until later. Perhaps." Silver appeared in the air next to the flying Digimon. "Master Piedmon has approved this game, but I promised it would be entertaining. I will give you time to recover, and regain your full strength before the next attack. Then perhaps you will be some fun to play with. Farewell for the moment." She disappeared and was gone, Megadramon flying off.

"Oh goody. Enough time to go nuts."

"How can we win? She's crushing our morale." Tai said.

"What morale?" Matt sneered. "We've been beaten from the first."

Sensing a fight, Joe rolled his eyes and went with Gomamon to find food. Like we need this. We're being destroyed by Silver, our sworn protector, and she doesn't even know she's doing it. It's like she's been possessed or something. And how am I supposed to tell Gomamon to fight the person I love? Even if logic demands that I fight her, I can't bring myself to do it.

"Darkness Wave!" Bats flew over everything, obscuring sight. Angewomon flew towards LadyDevimon, ready to fight. Kabuterimon flew at Deltamon. "Electro-Shocker!"

"Serpent Bite!" The strange Digimon countered. Minotarumon scraped his feet against the ground. "Bull Fighting Attack!" Angemon and Togemon moved out of the way. "Hand of Fate!" Angemon yelled. At the same time, Togemon said, "How about a Needle Spray!"

At some silent command, all the evil Digimon stopped attacking and left. Silver stood alone. The Digimon tried to digivolve again, but could barely retain their current forms. Silver shook her head. She spotted Joe, and strode towards him. "So, how defiant do you feel now, insolent one? You are defeated. I choose whether you live or die. And you die. You friends I will let live, for they were not so stupid as to try to attack me." Finished with her speech, the two cables wrapped around Joe and lifted him up. Slowly, they began to squeeze, forcing the air from his lungs.

I have to…hold on…can't pass out…that would mean certain…death…Joe went limp, this time for real. Silver strode towards him, making sure the job was finished. She jammed her fist into the small of his back, causing him to gasp, even in his unconscious state. A small grin of satisfaction crossed her face at his pain.

"Joe! Vulcan's Hammer!" The energy engulfed Silver's form. "Thanks, I needed a charge."

"By the symbiote heritage, know your own duality!" A strange voice shouted. The dragon pendant and ring both began to glow around Silver's neck. Suddenly, two Silvers appeared. One was wearing the pendant and ring while the other was plain. The adorned one yelled, "No one touches Joe and uses my body to do it!"

"I do whatever Master Piedmon says." The other responded. The two slammed at each other, a blinding fight. Tritanium against tritanium, the two fought. Finally, the adorned one succeeded in penetrating the other's symbiotic armor and stabbing the heart. "My purpose is done. Death resume as should have been." Silver, for this was the true Silver, fell as the other body disappeared.

Sora went to check on Silver while Kari went to see Joe. Kari easily roused Joe, and together they went to help Sora with Silver. There was nothing to be helped with, however. "She's dead."

"I believe Piedmon had resurrected her body merely for the purpose of using it as a weapon against us. Zudomon's attack provided enough energy for the real Silver to split with Piedmon's servant, and they battled. When Silver triumphed, Piedmon's power left, and she was back to the starting point." Izzy theorized.

Joe touched the dragon pendant, silently thanking Silver for coming back to save them one last time. Light beamed from the pendant, forming a spectral Dragon in the sky. Without a word, the Dragon dove into Silver's body. All wounds instantly closed up and after a moment, Silver opened her eyes. "Ow. I feel like a semi hit me. What are you looking at?"

Joe hugged her after the shock wore off. "How?"

"I did ask the Dragon 'to save us all from harm' didn't I?" Silver replied, still hugging Joe.

"So, um, what do we do now?" Mimi asked.

"We save the Digital World. Again and again and again…" Joe said.

"Is it just me, or does Joe seem to be developing a sense of humor?" Gomamon asked.

"I think you're right. This is the second joke he's made in a couple of weeks. Are you sure you feel okay?" Sora teased.

"I'm allergic to humor. Go away." Joe motioned. Everyone laughed.

***************************** A/N: Thanks to Nate, who is the reason this part had a plot. You people who are reading need to give me some feedback. Do you like it, hate it, want to kill me? Tell me!

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Mail the author: TigerCat