Author's note:

This is sorta an experiment as I haven't really written any stories that include a Digimon from anything after season 3 (Here in Britain, only the first three seasons have been shown so far).

The main characters are Daniel Higgins, a Scottish boy of fourteen, and Vritramon. (Thanks to nightdragon0 for the pictures.) Please read and tell me what you think!

Chapter 1: Nonlinear Genetics

History:

It is ten years since the D-Reaper incident in season 3. Digimon have become common knowledge, but few Digimon have ever been seen after the D-Reaper incident, save for a few unexpected bio-emergences. The UN has established a separate department to deal with incidents and affairs regarding the Digital World. It has now become a popular topic for research and various expeditions have been made to catalogue the different species and understand their nature.

Many Digimon have been affected by the human interference, for better or for worse. They are currently trying to rebuild and recover from the havoc caused by D-Reaper. Some try to hide in the real world, some band into gangs for self-protection and often to threaten other Digimon into submitting food and suck like for their own use, and others have built villages with the aid of the UN.

Some, however, have decided to remain alone and independent, relying instead on the old Digimon quest to download as much data from the bodies of their victims as possible.

One such individual was Vritramon.

Somewhere in the Digital world:

In the centre of the Great Dunes, the largest desert on the Digital World, a great oasis stood silent and green on a yellow parched carpet of sand. Every so often, a single green cactus would spring, lonely and isolated. The oasis was surrounded for a few feet around it by lush green grass, from which several palm trees stood their silent vigil.

Standing at the oasis' edge, a solitary figure stood with his arms folded, gazing hypnotically into his reflection in the still water. Vritramon. He stood totally silent and unmoving, as if asleep on his feet.

Slowly in the distance, a line of dust was being thrown into the air. As the disturbance grew closer, a cacophony of jeers and hoots permeated the air. A low growl turned into a roar as a group of twelve motorbikes of varying sizes. They circled the oasis, jeering and calling out to Vritramon, who stood totally motionless. He didn't twitch, save the gently swaying of his tail. Finally after failing to provoke a response from him, the gang stopped circling. The gang consisted of mainly Goburimon and a few Ogremon. The leader, a tall Beelzemon (not the Beelzemon that joined Takato and co. in season three, by the way) stepped off his bike. He fingered the guns at his waist, anticipating a fight. He swaggered up to Vritramon until he was standing a few feet away.

"Hey! Lizard boy!" This attracted yet more jeers and stupid semi-literate insults to be hurled. He motioned for his gang to be quiet before moving forward a few paces.

"I heard tell that you're the biggest, baddest and meanest mutha' this side of the equator. But you know..." He fingered his guns menacingly, "I reckon you simply haven't met your match. That's what I'm here for, ya know?" This drew a slow growl from Vritramon.

"Do you have any idea what you're getting yourself into... punk?" Beelzemon bristled and drew his weapons.

"Whaddya say!? I'll teach you some respect you damn fire-lizard! How about I push that chunka metal and meat you call a body into the watta, huh!? Bet your wings'd sizzle in there, huh?" He crowed a cruel laugh followed by yet more shouts and calls from his entourage. He had expected a more drastic response, but instead, Vritramon simply unfolded his arms and threw an angry glare over his shoulder.

"Well, your motley crew might make a rookie tremble, but your little boys won't make a scratch on me." he stated. Beelzemon was now physically trembling with rage.

"I'll show you! Arrogant son of a..." he stopped in his tracks as Vritramon suddenly lunged for him with lightning-fast reflexes. Beelzemon looked down and saw Vritramon's hand stuck straight through his stomach.

"Ohhh.... Arrrghh.." he croaked. He burst into a cloud of data bits. Vritramon threw back his head and roared with such ferocity, the palm trees shook and the water surface rippled. The gang all started to flee in different directions, but Vritramon hunted them down, one by one, picking them off their bikes, or throwing them into each other. After only a few minutes, only a heavily wounded Goburimon remained, trying to crawl away. Vritramon walked calmly over to him and placed a foot on his back.

"N-no! Please! I was only following them! I had nothing else! Please!" Vritramon sneered and aimed his arm-mounted blaster at Goburimon's head.

"Say goodnight, punk." He fired with an intense flash. Goburimon disintegrated into a cloud of data bits. He threw back his head, spread his arms and began downloading the data of the obliterated gang. When he had consumed them, he took a deep breath, cracked his neck to the left, then to the right before turning back to the oasis.

"All too easy." He folded his arms once more. "The world is full of losers. Why is everyone else so pathetically weak?" He growled. Then a thought struck him.

"I think I'll go pay the village a visit." he sneered.

Edinburgh, Scotland:

"Daniel! Time to get up!" Daniel groaned, turned over and pulled the covers further over his head.

"Whatever." he muttered. His mother opened his door and flicked the light on.

"Hey! Turn it off!"

"Not until you get up. You'll be late for school. Hurry up!" She left the room, leaving him to slowly emerge from his bed. In the early morning sunlight, it was just possible to make out the many dozens of posters of Digimon and dragons. The Digimon posters were all dragon-like Digimon, such as Cyberdramon, Exveemon and Flamedramon. A few of them were dragons in various exotic fantasy settings all of whom looked awe-inspiring and magnificent. The largest and foremost of all, however, was a life-sized poster of Vritramon a friend had bought him from America. It was his favourite poster of his favourite Digimon.

He made his way into the bathroom next door and locked the door. He got undressed and got into the shower, savouring the warmth of the water on his skin. He looked down at his chest at his scar. It was hideous, white train-track like mark that had been the result of an operation.

He had been born with an extremely rare disease called Forstner's disease* that had led to his heart being continuously weakened as he grew. At the age of five, he had his first heart operation. At eleven, he had needed a new operation and a pacemaker. In a few weeks he would need another monthly check-up. He didn't like the visits at all, since his mother would always be close to tears afterwards, and he would be the one comforting her, rather than the other way around.

After his shower he dressed for school and went downstairs for breakfast. While he was eating, he could hear a radio report;

"This just in, a large Digimon has just been reported to have bio-emerged along the M8 dual carriageway. Drivers in the vicinity are warned to avoid or take an alternative route..."

"These Digimon are always causing trouble." Said Daniel's mother, tutting to herself, "Why are they appearing again?"

"Mum, they don't do it deliberately. Sometimes they can't help it." he defended.

"Yes, well, they should learn to control their impulses. Like humans have." He rolled his eyes. Humans, control their impulses? His mood took an upturn as he picked up his bag and jacket, as he had only a week left before the beginning of the summer holidays. He couldn't wait!

Digital Plains:

Vritramon stood among the burning ruins of the village he had just razed. The former inhabitants were now either fleeing or being sucked into Vritramon's body as data. He gazed around cruelly satisfied with the havoc he had wreaked.

"So weak..." He noticed out of the corner of his eye an Agumon limping away. He stood stock still for a moment. The Agumon, thinking he was safe, started to run. Vritramon suddenly leapt into the air and with a stroke of his powerful wings, propelled himself at Agumon. He landed with a huge thump on the ground in front of him. Agumon fell backwards, his hands raised protectively.

"No! Stop, wait!"

"Too bad, little Agumon." Vritramon hissed, raising his blaster. "Your time's up."

There was a bright flash and the area was engulfed in a bright light. Both Vritramon and Agumon shielded their eyes as the intense light grew brighter.

"What the..?" Vritramon was suddenly aware of a burning pain in his chest. He looked down and saw a stream of binary code running into his chest. As the rogue code continued to dowload into his body, he felt his strength, his power and energy weaken. He staggered back, trying to swat the code away.

"What is this!? Arrrgh.." he screamed in pain as the code finished downloading and he felt every part of his body start to disintegrate. Data bits flew from his body and Digimon began appearing around him. He already recognised them. They were the Digimon whom he had downloaded. They were being re-constructed.

"No... This Can't be" He fell to his knees, one hand covering his chest as his breath grew harsh from the pain.

After what seemed like an eternity of agony, it abruptly stopped. There was a clamour of noise around him as the resurrected Digimon looked about confusedly, wondering what had happened. He tried to get to his feet, but his legs felt like jelly and he could barely move.

"I Feel So weak... What's happened to me?"

The clamour of noise was growing as the Digimon around him realised what had happened and they turned their attention to him.

"Not so cocky now, are ya... Punk!" he recognised the voice of the Beelzemon gang leader.

"Let's tear him apart! Let's take HIS data!" another cried. More calls went up as angry and enraged Digimon, once his victims, revelled in his new vulnerability. Vritramon tried to stand, but once again, his knees and legs failed him. He couldn't stand, let alone defend himself. Beelzemon drew his pistols and aimed one at Vritramon's head.

"This," he declared, "Is for what you did ta us!" He was about to pull the trigger when a new light erupted above Vritramon. He began floating upwards toward the light. He screamed in agony as his body began to break down into data bits. A swarm of attacks flew at him, but either passed through or fizzled out as they hit him. Vritramon's pain-tortured mind had just enough time to see what he thought was someone sitting at a desk, staring at him before he burst into data and was sucked into the light.

Somewhere in the real world, a mysterious woman sat back in her chair and smiled at a download complete' message on her screen, a full status bar flashing beneath it.

"Vritramon," she mused, "I have you now, my little dragon."

Daniel waited in the bus shelter for his ride, the ground covered in early morning dew. He had his hands stuffed in his pockets, his CD player earphones were playing in his ears. He was absorbed in his own thoughts, as he often was when he went to school. When he was younger, he had never really thought much about dying, but given that his condition was deteriorating and his life expectancy rapidly dwindling, he often thought of why he needed to go to school anymore. He was in third year, having completed his exams, and he couldn't help but think it was all for nothing: chances are he would be dead within a few years, before even reaching college.

His pessimistic thoughts were abruptly punctured as the blue double-decker pulled up to the pavement. He climbed on, giving a brief greeting to the conductor and driver before moving to the centre of the second floor. He slumped in a seat and stared out the window.

If it weren't for Nicole, he wouldn't have bothered. Nicole was his one true friend. He wasn't exactly a pariah. People generally liked him (partly, he suspected, from sympathy) and he was grateful. He just didn't mix well and Nicole was the only other person from his primary school to have gone to the same secondary school as him. She was the only friend he had that didn't make an obvious attempt to watch their words in case they offended him.

His cloud of gloom deepened, despite the short time left until their holidays. Now that he thought about it, it was simply another day passing, becoming all the more closer to the end. When the bus pulled up to the school gates, he waited until everyone else on his floor was past him on the way to the stairs when he stood up and made his way off.

"All right, Danny?" came a cheerful voice from his side. He looked up to see Nicole running toward him. He gave a nod and removed his earphones.

"Morning. You're all bright cheery today. End of term giving you the jitters?"

"Uh-huh. What's up with you? Oh. Thinking of your poor wee ticker aren't you?" Despite himself, Daniel couldn't help but grin at her candour. Not even his parents were as open and frank about his condition as she was. It made a refreshing change. They walked side by side and talked about nothing in particular. When the bell rang, they stopped.

"What have you got now?"

"Tech. What about you?"

"Modern. See you later, then."

"See you after." She had barely run out of sight when a powerful hand tapped him on the shoulder.

"Wavin' goodbye to your girlfriend, eh Higgins?" Daniel froze. He recognised that arrogant drawl.

"Brian." he quavered, "What do you want?" Brian Soutar, the biggest boy in fourth year had developed a taste of picking on the weaker students. He had his usual entourage, Gary, Paul and Andrew.

"Nothing in particular Higgins." he sneered, but it was clear he was after something. Not wanting to provoke anything, Daniel tried to walk quickly away, but was stopped by Andrew, who stepped in his way. A nervous pang ran through him. He hated fights and confrontations.

"Hold it, Higgins." said Andrew, "Didn't your mam teach you manners?" he shoved Daniel back toward Brian who grabbed a bunch of Daniel's shirt and sweater in his ham-like fist. Things seemed to be getting out of hand when a teacher, by some stroke of misfortune his next teacher, saw what was happening and called to them. Brian swiftly released him and put on a sickeningly sweet grin.

"Alright sir? Just cleanin' Higgins' sweater. Pure horrible, man. Isn't it?" He asked his mates who promptly agreed.

"Brian, isn't it? Get to your class, or it'll be detention for the lot of you!"

"How? We havna done anything wrong!" The teacher began walking toward them and they quickly scarpered.

"See you after, Higgins." he called mockingly.

In his third class, Computing, he was half-asleep with boredom. His teacher droned on and on, explaining about this and that in the computer's systems. He couldn't wait until his next year, when they would let them disassemble an older computer to see how it worked. Until then, he would have to put up with this snooze-fest.

He received a poke in the ribs which made him jump. Nicole sat beside him and grinned. He returned the favour by elbowing her. Unfortunately, this did not go unnoticed.

"When you have finished poking and prodding each other, Daniel and Nicole, perhaps you could tell me what the address bus does?" They both jumped, drawing whispers and grins from their classmates.

Dirty-minded lot, Thought Daniel irritably.

"Daniel? Would you mind coming up here to point out the address bus?" Daniel gave a soft sigh and stood up. As he walked to the front, a sudden excruciating pain exploded in his chest. It took his breath away and he stopped in his tracks.

"Is something wrong?" his teacher's voice sounded mildly sarcastic, and a little concerned.

"I'm... Fine sir." he croaked. He resisted the overwhelming urge to clutch at his chest. He noticed the anxious look in Nicole's eyes, but bravely started walking again. Within moments, the agony struck again with redoubled force. He cried out and clutched at his chest with both hands.

"Daniel? What is it?" his teacher was hurrying toward him. Daniel dropped to his knees. He could hear the frightened and confused voices around him, but he no longer cared. All he could think about was the agony in his chest that felt like his chest was about to burst. He fell sideways and the pain pushed darkness into his eyes.

Daniel slowly opened his eyes. Everything was in a haze as tears distorted his vision. He blinked them away and realised he was somewhere to which he was no stranger. A hospital. He tried to sit up, but he felt no strength within him.

"Daniel! Thank God!" he recognised two voices on either side. His parents. His mother sat by him, holding his hand. His father stood on his left side. A series of tubes and intravenous drips ran from a hanging drip next to his father into his left hand and wrist.

"MomDad?"

"We're here son." his dad said with a reassuring smile. His eyes were wet with tears, as was his mothers. She stroked his hand softly.

"Just sleep, Daniel. Don't try to talk. The doctors will take care of you." his mother spoke softly, barely audible. Her words weren't necessary as a powerful urge to sleep took him over and he slipped once again into unconsciousness.

*Forstner's Disease is a fictional disease, based on my own condition Angina Pectoris which is basically severe chest pains. I mean absolutely no disrespect to anyone who suffers from a similar disease. Forstner is in actual fact, the name of a type of drill bit, so I haven't deliberately taken a person's name and used it inappropriately.

By the way, please tell me if any Scottish slang or anything like that baffles you. It's the way my friends and me usually talk (although I have an English accent; long story.)