A/N: First real long chapter, I think. A lot happens in this chapter, though it's easy to not realize it. I hope you all enjoy! Don't be shy; read and review!
Part I: The Digital Clones
Chapter XI: The First Mission
"Would you believe you're the first students to approach us?"
They weren't quite sure how it happened, but Raymond, Connor and Gabriel had all come together all at the same time halfway down the hallway after the final bell had rung.
This, the first full day of school, was usually the day in which clubs and L.E.A.P.s opened their doors to be observed by prospective new members. However, DATS Inc. hadn't left, and the three boys had figured they would after the incident in the bus parking lot. As an AACT major, Connor had his major class—as well as almost all his subject classes—in the basement of the school, as so he was sent to the teacher's parking lot. However, since Raymond and Gabriel had Audio Technology together, they headed down a different set of stairs than the girls but also ended up in the school bus parking lot.
Luana, who had witnessed it all first-hand as well, arrived at the DATS Inc. table soon after the boys. Karen, however, went with the rest of the Science majors to the teacher's parking lot. However, BlackAgumon, followed soon after by the man and the Gatomon, had burst through the doors the students had only just exited through and many students had caught a glimpse.
All five of the students smiled awkwardly at the man in the lab coat and the Gatomon sitting on the table.
"My name is Dr. Hans Mesmer. I see that you children are showing an interest in our organization. Have you ever heard of the famous DATS in Japan?"
"Of course I have!" Karen blurted out, before covering her mouth with both hands, face redder by the second.
Dr. Mesmer frowned at her before he continued.
"As you may… already know... DATS was founded to protect humans from digimon that were crossing into the Human World from the Digital World. Of course, the organization in Japan now only conducts research and is no longer a police-like task force, since the Digital Barrier has been repaired. Before I continue, however, I'd like to ask you all a question."
He swept his eyes over the five children present, pausing at each for only a second, before landing on Karen.
"Have any of you ever had an… unusual encounter with a digimon?"
Raymond and Connor immediately glanced between themselves, but no one responded.
"Other than in the parking lot before, of course. Perhaps, with a digimon that showed signs of being… different than our clones? Maybe even… a digiegg?"
They all hesitated but, as Gatomon stood on the table on all fours and walked over to rub her cheek against Dr. Mesmer's arm, they all slowly nodded.
"Well, I'd like to extend an invitation to you five lucky boys and girls. How would you like to learn more about digimon, about how to properly care for one and fight alongside one, and get to help keep the people of this area safe from wild digimon from the Digital World?"
The teens stood there, stunned by the sudden offer. But how could any of them turn it down? They suddenly had digimon to take care of, and here was an expert petting his very own digimon and proposing to teach them how to properly care for their new friends. They simply couldn't refuse. When he insisted they all make their way to DATS Inc's main office in their city, all they could do was rush home to their parents or personal maids and ask or beg for permission. Eventually, they found their ways to sneak their digimon past their mother, father or social workers and met up once again at DATS Inc.
"Mmm, I hate getting blood drawn!" Connor said with a pout.
"They did it in the least painful way possible with that… butterfly needle, is it?" Raymond responded.
"Yes," said Karen simply. She couldn't resist putting her knowledge to use.
Gabriel and Luana trailed behind those three, quietly taking in their surroundings. From the outside, DATS Inc. looked almost identical to the one in Japan, though only Karen could make that observation. Inside, it seemed to be made of hallways lined with doors. They were shuffled into another elevator as Dr. Mesmer continued to explain how their DNA would be examined and their compatibility with their digimon would be confirmed, and how their iDigivices were being examined by their advanced computers and specialized researchers. In the meantime, they found their way into a classroom, which Dr. Mesmer told them had been set up just for them. He taught them about levels, species, attributes and fields, and how the last three were connected. He taught them about the Digital Dive, digisoul and eventually succeeded in getting them all to summon tiny traces of it.
Dr. Mesmer seemed fascinated by the fact that their digisoul was not the same color as their iDigivices, except for Karen. Although Raymond had a black iDigivice, his digisoul was blue. Gabriel's iDigivice was grey, but his digisoul was yellow. Connor's iDigivice was green, and his digisoul was red. Luana had a yellow iDigivice, but had pink digisoul. Karen had both a purple iDigivice and purple digisoul, though her digisoul was a slightly lighter shade. The results came in quickly for their iDigivices, and Dr. Mesmer returned to the classroom all smiles. He showed them the features of them, including the Settings screen that most of them had glanced at already. Lastly, a woman walked in with the results of their DNA examinations and their digimon.
"Well, the test results came in positive for all of you… except for Miss Bambico."
Karen stared at him in shock as he handed them all back their iDigivices, as well as DATS full-body uniforms for the others matching their iDigivice color.
"It would be best if we sent Falcomon back to the Digital World."
Karen looked out at the park, panting heavily. From her perch on a thick branch, she could see the entire area. When she glanced up, she could see Falcomon, tired from flying her all the way up the various trees, searching for a thick and high enough branch. They were both sure the newest DATS Inc. members would be chasing after them as their first mission. Karen chose to pass the time with the marble notebook she had brought with her to DATS Inc., looking over her notes.
Digimon: digital life forms with artificial intelligence; residents of the Digital World; some are feral and driven by instinct alone
Fields: Holy; Dragon; Aquan; Bird; Dark; Beast; Machine; Insect-Plant
Species: Virus Busters; Dragon's Roar; Savers of the Deep Sea; Wind Guardians; Nightmare Soldiers; Nature Spirits; Metal Empire; Jungle Troopers
Attributes: Light; Fire; Water; Wind; Darkness; Earth; Steel; Thunder
Levels: In-Training; Rookie; Champion; Ultimate; Mega; Burst Mode
Digisoul: human emotion controlled with the power of will; manifests physically as an aura on or around the user's body; "Digisoul Charge!" [Champion]; "Digisoul Full Charge!" [Ultimate]; "Digisoul Charge! Overdrive!" [Mega]; "Charge! Digisoul Burst!" [Burst Mode]
Digivolution: digimon's appearance changes, and it becomes significantly stronger than before; resultant form of the digimon almost always has a different name than the previous; however, the digimon's consciousness remains unchanged
Karen looked up as a voice spoke from the tree across hers.
"So you're the digimon I've been looking for. Falcomon."
"I feel like a babysitter."
Gabriel stared down at his iDigivice's screen, which had the Map app open. Eight dots flashed, almost overlapping each other. The human's dots matched their digisoul, and their digimon's dots matched their iDigivices. He looked up at Raymond as he spoke. He somehow looked older in his black and white DATS uniform. Tsukaimon sat on his head, his ears perked up in an attempted to zone in on their target. Gabriel glanced over at Puroromon, who was flying right next to his head. Why was only his partner still an In-Training level digimon?
"Hey, we're getting paid, right? An hourly salary twice the state minimum wage. Most minors never get this much. A lot of adults don't make this much. It's a job, and we'll be able to help our mom," Connor said, nodding to himself several times as he spoke.
He seemed completely comfortable in his green and white uniform, as well as with DoKunemon wrapped around the back of his neck, her head resting on his right shoulder. Raymond looked at him in surprise. That might have been the most responsible thing he had even heard his twin say, though Connor put a damper on it by grinning with his eyes closed as soon as Raymond made eye contact with him.
"We're wasting time," Luana said, arms crossed. "Connor's right in that we're getting paid to complete a specific task, and we're just standing around talking about it."
With her bright yellow uniform contrasting starkly with her light pink hair and pale skin, she was an interesting sight to see. Leormon and she looked at each other and Leormon smiled broadly, causing Luana to smile in response instinctively before turning to frown at Gabriel.
"I'm not picking anything up on the map save for us. We might as well keep moving."
"But in what direction?" Connor asked.
"Isn't it obvious?" Luana looked down at her own digivice. "Our target is Shamanmon. A Beast digimon, and a dweller of the forest. We go into the park, and quick; we're losing daylight."
Luana ran ahead and the boys followed, Leormon quickly overtaking them all and trying to find the target's scent. As the group slowed to a jog and then to a brisk walk, they almost crossed the entire park.
"Split up." Raymond ordered. The others followed, as Dr. Mesmer had named him leader and the others had no reason to argue.
It was Tsukaimon—once she decided to fly off of Ray's head—that spotted them in the trees. Shamanmon stood on a tree, talking to someone across from him. He was green and humanoid, with muscular arms and legs. His blue clothes, his strange club and especially his green mohawk made him a unique-looking digimon. Tsukaimon's eyes next fell on Karen and Falcomon. Karen was busy writing away in her marble notebook as Shamanmon spoke.
Raymond pulled out his digivice and was about to press the Map app when the screen changed. "Shamanmon", "Level: Rookie", "Species: Nature Spirits", "Attacks: Shaman Hammer, Mad Twist, Boulder Throw", "Field: Beast" and "Attribute: Earth". Finally, there was: "It does a strange dance when it does its ceremonies. It is said it becomes highly tensioned when it hears the voice of God, and it foretells the future like a prophet."
"Master, I've found him! Poison Bubble!"
Raymond looked up at and the trio in the trees looked down. Shamanmon leaped off his tree as a large bubble popped on the branch, coating it in purple poison, eroding it completely. Shamanmon swung his club at Tsukaimon on his way down, but missed and landed shakily on his feet.
"Trapping me is useless," Shamanmon said, his eyes bearing down on Raymond.
"Master! Poison Bubble!"
Shamanmon shot several purple energy rings from his wooden club that met the bubble and caused it to pop before it could reach him.
"I don't want to fight you! You humans can't use me! I explained this to—"
Tsukaimon inflated her body and spit out dark clouds that engulfed Shamanmon. Breathing some in causing him to cough, and his coughs became more ragged as he breathed in more of the smoke.
A gust of wind cut through the smoke and Shamanmon took a deep breath of fresh air. Falcomon landed next to him, with Karen on his back.
"He told me his story. DATS Inc. kidnapped him from the Digital World so he could predict the future for them, like how stocks would do. But Shamanmon can't do that. He's been avoiding you and the rest of the DATS members by predicting where your digimon would be, but he can't predict the future of humans."
"I don't care. Our mission is to return him to DATS headquarters. If they can't use him, he'll be cloned or brought back to the Digital World, or one and then the other—"
"Clones can't produce attacks or use their abilities. They want Shamanmon himself. To… to enslave him!"
"Whatever the case, both Shamanmon and Falcomon must be returned to DATS," Raymond said.
"You say 'returned' as if DATS owns him. He's my partner, alright? He's no Raptor One."
"Raptor One?" Connor asked.
Karen grinned. "I happen to know just a little bit more than all of you."
"Whatever. We're wasting time and it's getting dark. Tsukaimon, attack!"
"Yes master! Poison Bubble!"
"No, different attack!"
"Of course!" Tsukaimon flew at Shamanmon, using the explosion of the two attacks as cover.
Tsukaimon slapped Shamanmon several times in the face in rapid succession with her wings, leaving several scratches on his face before his club swung around and hit Tsukaimon. She flew down a few yards before touching down on pavement, skidding a few yards before hitting a tree.
"He's stronger than he looks," Gabriel said.
"He has a huge club and huge muscles!" Luana countered.
"Tsukaimon! Are you alright?"
Gabriel turned to face him. Raymond's face was calm, but his voice broke slightly, revealing some emotion. He was worried for his partner, which seemed unusual to Gabriel.
"Yes master!" Tsukaimon said, ignoring the pain from the scratches and scrapes as she stood on her paws.
Shamanmon raised his hands above his head, and a medium-sized boulder appeared in his hands,
Tsukaimon dodged it but it hit Puroromon instead, and the boulder sent her flying against a tree. Crushed between the two, Puroromon fell a second after the boulder and landed on top of it. She tried to lift her wings, but the piecing pain was too much for her.
Gabriel rushed to her side and picked her up in his arms, wincing as he examined the scratches on her.
"You'll be ok," he whispered, desperately holding on to that hope. Suddenly, Puroromon began to glow with a silver light, and Gabriel closed his eyes, still holding his digimon tightly and bringing his iDigivice up to his face.
"Tsuakimon! Put all you've got into it!"
"Puroromon digivolve to… FanBeemon!"
"FanBeemon". "Level: Rookie", "Species: Metal Empire", "Attacks: Gear Stinger, 88 Call, Venom Stinger", "Field: Machine" and "Attribute: Steel". "An Insect Digimon which belongs to the mysterious clandestine air hive, "Royal Base". Although its daily life differs from that of other Insectoid Digimon, it is a strong, dedicated worker due to its personality being so cheerful."
One attack negated the other, but the second poisonous bubble was too fast, coating Shamanmon in the sticky purple poison. He cried out in pain as he dissolved into data. Raymond raised his iDigivice towards Shamanmon. He pressed and held the button on the bottom left side of the device. The Camera app opened, and Shamanmon's data was absorbed into his iDigivice. A picture appeared of him on the screen.
Raymond looked up in time to see as several bamboo cylinders hit the ground and exploded, enveloping the area in black smoke. When it cleared, Karen and Falcomon were gone.
A/N: So, this new chapter took a while to appear, huh? But here it is, in all it's glory and in all it's probably many mistakes! This chapter's actually really information heavy, so take a minute to think about everything. Some foreshadowing went into this, too. Reviews time!
TheallknowingandUnseen: Action scenes can be tricky. One of your favorites was stared, huh? I wonder if you mean BlackAgumon or Gatomon. As always, thank you for your support! And thank you for letting me know about that. I edited it, of course. I should get this beta read, now that I think about it.
And thank you to all of my readers!