The Bakumon landed in the blimp, careful to keep Flint from breaking free of their grasp. The lead Bakumon moved to open the door to the halls as their captive broke free from his other five captors with one big burst of strength.
"What was that?" cried one of the Bakumon taken back.
"He wasn't this strong a moment ago," commented a second. "He should have been able to get away from us with ease."
"I could have, but it would have been rude to refuse your invitation right into your blimp. It would have been a lot harder getting in, otherwise."
"You tricked us," shouted the third one. "But we still outnumber you."
With that, the Bakumon returned to their attack pattern of swarming around Flint to overwhelm him, but Flint's reaction was different than the last time. He didn't punch blindly at them. He stood perfectly still save for his eyes. They kept moving left and right. As this was happening the Bakumon were getting impatient. They normally went in for the kill when their opponent grew worn out from punching air, but to them they were at a stalemate.
"Would you just hit us!" shouted the Bakumon.
Flint grinned and replied, "Okay, but only cause you asked for it."
He made a fist and swung forward. The Bakumon flying around expected it to be another miss, but it connected with one right between the eyes. The others stopped from the shock of seeing their comrade hit, but Flint quickly followed up by swinging back at another one behind him then he rammed three more at once with his other arm. The lead Bakumon saw his friends were out cold from those attacks. In a panic he bore his claws and attacked head on, but Flint grabbed his arms and he was helpless.
"No. This we can't fail," he cried in a desperate tone. "If we don't deliver you to Faust..."
"I don't care," explained Flint. "I'm here to rescue Dan." With that said he threw the Bakumon at the door with enough for to dent it. A pair of nearby Digimon noticed it and went to investigate. As one opened the door he only had time to see Flint's orange-scaled foot collide with his face as he charged out; after that all he saw was stars.
Rex and Fonz watched as the blimp's engines roared to life and it began to leave. "Alright," said Fonz to Rex. "Flint's on board. Now what are we supposed to do?"
Rex thought for a moment, but quickly blushed with embarrassment and replied, "Uh, I have no idea. I knew he wanted to get on board, but it was sort of a last minute thing. I'm not sure what we do now."
Fonz sighed. "Well we better keep on its tail or we'll lose it. There's no way I can shoot it down now."
They were about to make their way after it when they heard a rustling behind some bushes. Fearing it might be another enemy trying to sneak up on them; Fonz shot an arrow at it.
"Hey, you nearly took my head off," said a voice Rex recognized. Out of the bushes emerged Jack, lugging around his suitcase.
"Oh, it's you," said Rex. "Uh, Jack right?"
"What an honor that you remembered me," mocked Jack. "Now where are those jokers from the Excavation Guild?"
"Up there," Fonz answered by pointing.
"Wait until I get my hands on them," growled Jack.
"What did they do?" asked Rex.
"Look at this," he grumbled as he threw the suitcase on the ground. It burst open and revealed it was full of rocks. "They scammed me. Somehow they swapped my suitcase of RAM with this worthless junk. Wait until I get my hands on them."
"But earlier you said it was practically suicide," commented Rex.
"I'd rather be dead than broke," Jack stated with dollar signs in his eyes. "They will pay until it hurts... their wallet. You mugs can fight them all you like. I just want my money."
"This might work," suggested Fonz. "If we all work together we might actually be able to get onto the blimp."
Flint failed to take two things into consideration when he decided to board the blimp. The first was that the blimp was even larger than he anticipated; and he figured it would be pretty big to begin with. His second mistake was that he didn't expect so many enemy Digimon to be on board as well. After forcing his would past that one Digimon he quickly made his way to find Dan. He ignored the Digimon he passed attempting to conserve energy, but behind each door and around every corner there was several more Digimon that chased after him. In no time at all, he had an entire platoon nipping at his heels. It was too late to reconsider fighting them. They wouldn't even need to bother with that. At the rate they were coming at him they'd dog pile on him and he'd be helpless.
Taking another turn down a hall he encountered the one possible thing that could get in his way; a Numemon was mopping the floor. Flint was unable to avoid it and slid into the wall, just missing the Numemon as he fled in terror. Groggy for a moment, Flint came to his sense just in time to see the lead Digimon charging at him. With no time to get up he grabbed the nearest object to shield himself.
Relieved (and somewhat in disbelief) Flint had grabbed the bucket the Numemon was using to clean the floor and he had actually got it snagged over the Digimon's head leaving it preoccupied as it tried to unstuck its head. Flint wasn't about to let this chance go to waste and carefully made his way onto safe ground. The Digimon only managed to free itself in time to see the stampede of Digimon trample him as they pursued Flint.
As Flint made his way down the corridor he immediately spotted a familiar red, dino Digimon in the room at the end. "Dan!" he shouted as ran towards him, finding renewed strength to run faster than ever. His Digimon pursuers saw this as well and found their own renewed strength knowing what would happen if they didn't stop Flint from reaching Dan. As he neared the door, Flint could feel their claws scratching against his coat. He knew if he could just make it into the door they wouldn't just get stuck like he and Rex did earlier. He forced out the last bit of his energy to leap through the door as the other Digimon were trying to force their way through only to get stuck in it by one another.
"Dan," he declared, breathing and sweating from all the running he had just done. "I'm here to save you. There is nothing to worry about now." No sooner had he said these words, the Digimon behind him managed to get unstuck and flop on top of Flint like a tidal wave.
Flint was standing, but not voluntarily; in fact he was out cold after getting toppled by all the other Digimon. A pair of Digimon were holding him up by his arms and making sure he couldn't escape. The other Digimon were also there and they looked quite fearful even though Flint was caught. Dan was also there and he had a defeated look like he never should have come to rescue him. Then a soft chuckle came from behind as Faust approached.
"Well, it seems we have another guest, don't we fellows," he said in a bone chilling tone. He then put his sharp-nailed hands over Flint's neck. They were sharp enough the take his head off if Faust wanted to do that. Flint still wasn't conscious to be terrorized by it (much to Faust's disappointment). The evil Digimon gently felt around Flint's neck before speaking again. "But he doesn't appear to have what we were looking for. Now why would you bring something worthless on my ship?" He then placed his nails so that all eight fingers were pressed against Flint's neck.
"Don't kill him," cried Dan. "Do what you want to me, but don't hurt him."
"Then again," Faust added as he removed his hands from Flint's neck. "Maybe he has some value. Of course, provided that you are obedient to me forever and that you retrieve the artifact that you have kept from us so long."
Dan sobbed, feeling ashamed that he had dragged others into this mess. He would have regretted the whole thing to if the time he spent with Flint and Rex had not been the best time of he had ever had. "It was nice, even if it was short. Alright, Faust, you wi..."
"No!" boomed a voice behind Faust. It was Flint. He appeared out cold a moment ago and he lifted his head up. His eyes had a fiery gaze in them that seemed to frighten the other Digimon even more than Faust did. He then struggled against the two Digimon holding him as he began kicking and complaining. "We've been through too much to let this guy put an end to it. You're a member of Team Matrix after all and we see things through as a team."
"Such a raging fire in this one," grinned Faust. "It fills me with ecstasy to break them." He licked his blood red lips with his tongue in anticipation for the terror he was about to bestow on Flint as he thrust his hand at Flint's fact to impale it. He stopped short and turned to see the terror in his eyes of coming so close to death, but Flint's eyes remained as fierce as ever. Faust was taken aback by this and wasn't expecting it when Flint released a burst of steaming hot air though his nose, searing Faust's palm and forcing him to pull away.
"So you are Faust? You talk too much. I am Flint and if you think threatening to kill me will break my spirit you can forget it," Flint explained. "I'm not as weak as the Digimon you control with fear. The same goes for Dan. You have no power of him as well."
Gritting his teeth, Faust was not used to such an opponent, resisting him with nothing more than raw guts. He turned to see his minions watching it all go down, though they we not shaking with fright like they were a moment ago. Rather than allow them continue watching he decided to send them away. "What do you think you're doing standing around," he growled. "I am in a very bad mood now. Return to your stations before I decide to take it out on you for your incompetence." All but the two Digimon holding Flint vacated the room.
"You're fearless; I'll give you that," said Faust in a serious tone. "And now you're wearing down my patience. I could just do this to you and put an end to it." As he said that he felt the grip of the two Digimon grow tighter to the point it was becoming uncomfortable and then painful as he felt them blocking the circulation in his arms. Flint didn't understand what happened to them till he noticed the tattoo that they and all the other Digimon had on now had a bright red glowing eye on it. The Digimon had also changed as well, their eyes appeared soulless and they gave off a low growl as they gave off a more savage aura.
Trying his best to ignore the pain in his arms, Flint growled to Faust. "What did you do to them?"
"I'm sure you know of the Dark Gears and Dark Rings. They are tools of Darkness capable of controlling Digimon and locking them within their own bodies. Well, this is my contribution to such items, the Dark Tattoo. It is in many ways their true successor. With the eye I can see whatever they do and my eyes are over every inch of the Digital World. And since it is part of their body it is not so easy to free them from it." He held his fingers over Flint's chest a cold dark power emanating from it. "I can even control how much mental will the Digimon has under its own control so they can range from completely in control to mindless beasts."
"Well, if it is so foolproof why didn't you bother to use it on Dan when you had the chance?" asked Flint.
"How perceptive of you. Dante was a strong-willed one. I inevitably wore out other Digimon who were under my control. They preferred to be themselves and serve me rather than be trapped for weeks or even months without their consciousness. He, on the other hand, was stubborn and had valuable information I couldn't be without. He was a special case, but you my friend are a different story." He placed his hand on Flint's chest and while his body was normally very hot it quickly turned ice cold. Flint was very uncomfortable with this, but refused to show it in his expression.
Dan was trembling, recalling all the other Digimon he saw Faust do this to. "Not again," he cried in a low voice.
Faust regained his sinister smile sensing the dread from Dan. "So, Flint was it, how would you like to become a permanent member of the Excavation Guild?"