Author's Note:

Hi guys! I am an avid fan of Digimon Season 3. The other seasons, in my opinion were stupid, and I mocked them just as much as any other Digimon hater. Season 3 however, was truly awesome. I was, however, saddened by the cliffhanging conclusion. Then I became aware of the two movies released for Digimon Tamers, "The Adventurer's Battle", and "The Runaway Express". I obtained, with some difficultly, both of them, and they were just as good as the series. I was saddened, however that there were so many other people who were likely frustrated at their inability to obtain the films for themselves. And so, as a holiday treat, here is a story adaptation of "The Runaway Express", the shorter and in my opinion, better of the two movies. I am using here the actual translated dialogue and scenes from the movie, with nothing wasted.

***

The train opened its eyes. He felt…strange. Different somehow. How so? He didn't know. He couldn't think straight. He couldn't see anything. All around him was darkness. No, wait, there was something else…

Fear.

Fear of what? He couldn't be certain. His head was still oddly empty, and he couldn't even remember his name. Yet now he was sure of something. He had to run. He had to hurry.

He would not be stopped.

***

It was a warm spring day, the cheery type that usually used sunbeams to paint smiles upon the faces of even the grimmest person, especially one on her way to see the sakura trees. But as Rika made her way onto the station platform, she was definitely not smiling. Her mother, Rumiko, walked a decent distance behind her as Rika shouted into the cell phone over the noise of trains arriving and leaving the station.

"I told you that watching cherry blossoms is stupid! They're not even in bloom yet!"

"Uh…erm…no…that's not what I meant…uh…" Takato responded timidly.

"Then WHAT?" Rika demanded.

Rumiko sat down on a seat and looked back at Rika with a worried look on her face.

"Nobody asked you to do this sort of thing!" Rika continued, "Besides, why did my family know before me? Explain!"

More worried glances. Rika, however, had her back turned and was too angry to care what her mother thought anyways.

"Hey, ANSWER ME!"

On the other end of the line, Takato cringed. A bead of sweat dripped down his face, partly from the humidity, but mostly from the interrogation he was enduring. He hated it when Rika got angry, it was impossible to argue with her and difficult to find words to say. Even quiet, polite ones. Eying the phone nervously as if it were a stick of lit dynamite instead of a harmless object, he continued speaking in the broken sentences uniform to those unfortunate ones on the receiving end of Rika's fury.

"Well…you see…you're always busy and…the truth is today's your birth-" Takato stuttered.

Guilmon suddenly poked his head out of the cardboard box. He never liked enclosed spaces, and it was boring to be stuck inside a box whenever he went somewhere with Takato.

"Takato!" Guilmon called.

Takato stopped mid-sentence and looked over at Guilmon. With and look of alarm, he let out a cry of surprise and jumped onto the large red digimon, pushing him back inside the box.

"I told you to stay inside!" Takato said as Guilmon's legs protruded from the bottom of the too-small box.

On the other end of the line, Rika sighed as Takato's dismayed voice sounded over the phone.

"Guilmon!" Takato moaned.

"Stop it, Takato." Rika said, pausing as her normal harsh face dissolved to a softer expression she had been showing more often lately. A small smile crept onto her face, though it was gone almost as soon as it came. "It's so obvious. Stop it, okay?"

Suddenly, violent vibrations began rattling the platform. Rumiko turned and stared down the tracks, wondering if it was an earthquake. Then Rika felt it, and her eyes widened as she spun around to see a massive, old-fashioned train charge down the tracks. She covered her head as it thundered by, creating a great gust in its wake. People screamed and gasped, and as the train passed Rika ran down the platform, staring at it.

Something was wrong. A long plume of smoke rose from the train as it sped away. No steam-powered train had been used for nearly a century. And there was something else, something that stunned Rika and left her breathing heavily as she stared at the retreating form. Call it tamer's intuition, but the train had felt...alive. But that would mean-

Suddenly Rika spun around and began running. If the train was what she thought it was, it would have to be stopped, and she was the one to do it.

"Rika?" Her mother asked, clearly frightened.

Rika ignored her and dashed out of the station. It had been a long time since she had gone digimon-hunting, but hopefully she hadn't forgotten everything.

***

Locomon hurried on. He had to go faster. He had to escape. That was what was important. His clouded and misguided thoughts, however, did not strike the panicked train coordinators as they observed the impossible; a century old train on their tracks, running without any apparent regard for barriers, even living ones. Calls went out, and the news spread quickly.

***

Rika ran out the tollbooths and through the crowded station. People stared at her, but she hardly noticed. She felt a rush she hadn't known in nearly a year. Out of the corner of her eye, Rika caught a glimpse of yellow that vanished before taking form. Good. Renamon was following. Rika ran faster, her heart pumping with the thrill of the hunt

***

Takato walked through the crowded streets of Tokyo. Rika had cut him off. Well, at least he wouldn't have to face her for a few hours. Maybe she'd cool down and just have a good time.

Yeah, right. Takato thought.

Just then he glanced up at a giant television screen that displayed breaking news. Suddenly, he froze. A massive, black steam engine was causing panic on the train lines. At first Takato merely hoped that it wouldn't disrupt the tamer's travel plans, but then he realized something else. Two bright, malicious red lights were set into the front of the train. They reminded Takato awfully of eyes.

Guilmon's head popped out of the cardboard box, but Takato didn't mind. Whatever it was, the train had to be stopped, and they would need all the speed they could get. He set off at a sprint, with Guilmon following him closely.

***

Henry looked exasperated as Susie, Lopmon, and Terriermon all gazed out the train window, Terriermon hoisting himself up by grabbing Henry with his long ear. He sighed. It was going to be a long trip, just to pick Rika up.

Then suddenly the train abruptly halted, and Suise, Lopmon, and Terriermon all fell forwards, pressing their cheeks against the glass. Shouts of surprise came from all around, and Henry stood up, suddenly alert. What had happened?

***

Calumon fell back and giggled. He had come too close to the birthday cake Jeri was making, and his face was had gotten covered with whipped cream. He flew over to Jeri, who smiled and wiped his face gently with a napkin. Sekio, Rika's grandmother, was busing herself in the kitchen as the TV played the morning news. As Calumon dived back into the cake, Jeri hoped only that Rika would like it. She looked up only for a moment, distracted by the breaking news. Something or other about a runaway train.

***

Kenta grumbled, the immense load of presents straining his back. How come he was always left to do the menial tasks? Passing by a stack of TV screens, he suddenly heard MarineAngemon making a lot of squeaking noises. That meant something was wrong. Dropping the presents, Kenta followed the sound of his partner's "voice", shoving his way through the crowd to reach the TVs.

***

"There you go." Kazu said as he put the last of his cards into the box. Things were so much easier for him with Guardromon carrying his collection.

Suddenly an out-of-place whistle blared. Kazu and Guardromon turned to see an ominous plume of smoke rising in the distance. As if synchronized, Kazu set off at a run as Guardromon activated his rockets, hovering above the ground.

***

"Hurry up Guilmon!" Takato shouted as he dashed up the stairs.

Without waiting for a reply, the tamer turned and continued running. Guilmon followed soon after, frightening two lovers as he passed. As Takato ran down the stairs to a station platform, Guilmon slid down the banister, catching up just in time; the loud, angry whistle was growing closer. Peering down the tracks, Takato spotted the train growing closer, moving extremely fast. It would stop here, Takato thought.

"Guilmon!" He called as his partner let out a grunt of acknowledgement.

Takato's digivice glowed and displayed a message in glowing green letters:

DIGIVOLUTION_

Suddenly Takato's digivice released beams of crimson light. The rays gathered around Guilmon, forming a brilliant capsule vaguely in the shape of an egg. Inside, Guilmon's data was being rewritten, the old skin peeling off to reveal pure data, which then multiplied and synthesized new proteins that coagulated into skin.

Suddenly the egg burst open with a flash of flames. Growlmon emerged from the inferno, and shot flames from his nostrils. He let out a roar of challenge and stomped his feet, placing himself on the tracks in front of the oncoming train. People gasped and screamed at the spectacle, none of them noticing Takato pressing a button on his Digivice.

Immediately a display emerged and Takato examined it, his fears realized.

"Locomon. Machine type digimon. Ultimate level." Takato raised his head, looking on in fear. "That's not a train…it's a digimon!"

***

Author's End Notes:

Sorry, but I have to stop here…homework etc. This is only part 1 though, and I'll be releasing the rest of the movie piece by piece…if people want me to, that is. We are, believe it or not, only three minutes and a half into the movie right now, so there is plenty more to expect. Also, for those who are wondering, this movie apparently takes place after the end of Season 3, which means that the Tamers got their Digimon back…somehow. I have no clue as to how that happened. _