I haven't given up yet.

Thanks to 90MMLu, the only reviewer for Ch 3.

90MMLU: I loved your review. It was detailed and gave specifics about what you liked. So encouraging.

On to apologizing profusely for taking so long to update. I lost a bunch of my free time and there was one scene that I rewrote a lot because I never liked it. Also, a lot of the fics that I really like are either taking a long time to update or stopping, and that's discouraged me. And, I've been getting a lot of ideas for one shots or other stories but not a lot for this. Enough excuses. Here's what you really came for.

"Ugh." TK and Davis groaned together. They were thrown to the ground. Hard. TK had already played half a game of basketball, got in a fight, and sprinted from the school to Davis's apartment. He did not want anymore pain or activity, but he knew that the Digital World needed him. He was shirtless and exhausted, but he could not just stop—this was too important. The two stood up and watched Kari and Ken make graceful entrances.

They found themselves at a small opening in a forest. Looking around, they noticed it was a crossroads. There was one road for each of the cardinal directions. The roads could hardly be called such. They were four directions that were clear of any undergrowth. The dirt had been compacted from travelers walking on it. The paths were obviously nothing more than heavily traveled areas of the forest. The starlight was not close to bright enough. Nothing beyond a few feet could be seen.

"TK," Kari whispered, hesitating between every word, "what's... what's going on?"

"I'm not entirely sure," he was breathing deeply, "Patamon e-mailed me and said there was an emergency. There was some sort of attack."

"Where was it? It doesn't look like anything happened. Was it far away?" Kari was quickly regaining her courage.

"Patamon didn't say. It was a short e-mail—basically, there was an attack, come to the Digital World."

"E-mail him back. We can't be much help if we're just standing in the middle of nowhere."

"Well," he paused before continuing, "I didn't bring my D-terminal or digivice. They were in my locker, and I was thinking of a way to get out of there. They never crossed my mind."

"I have mine. I'll send something to Gatomon." She pulled the device out from her pocket and started mashing buttons.

In the absence of any conversation from Kari, Ken asked "Davis do you have both of yours? We might need them. This sounds really serious."

"I have my digivice," he responded "but I didn't bring the D-terminal."

"That should be fine. You'll be able to digivolve." He paused, by now he was talking to himself, "Yeah, we won't need them right now. We can just digivolve and..." His thoughts retreated into his head.

The normal amount of oxygen had returned to their bodies. Their breathing slowed. They were thinking clearly again. Every one of them began to form different plans in their heads, trying to come up with solutions to the many problems they each tried to foresee.

"North." Kari finally announced, pointing to one of the roads.

"Let's go!" Davis started to run down a path leading the right way.

"Wait!" Kari shouted at him. "Don't!"

"What?" the annoyance in his voice was obvious. He could not wait when somewhere there was a digimon, or possibly many digimon, in trouble.

She wanted to yell at him. He sounded like he was upset even before he listened to everything she had to say. That was Davis, headstrong and stubborn. He was ready to charge into what, for all he knew, could be a deathtrap. He wanted to help others but was so reckless. One day, in her opinion, he was going to get in trouble for it. She wanted to scream but knew that they could not fight afford to fight each other, so she settled for a harsh glare.

"Gatomon said there was more than on of them. She never really said what 'they' were, but there's more than one, and they're right down that path. Don't run down there without Veemon!" Her voice was calming and slowing. "I told Gatomon to wait for us in the forest, west of wherever they were. We should be able to not be seen."

"That's all?" Davis asked, and Kari nodded. "Then, let's go." He started once again to run towards the trouble.

"Davis!" TK yelled, "Stop!"

"What, now?" He was clearly upset.

"Running into a forest when it's so dark you can't see anything is not a good idea. Just calm down. We can walk there."

Davis was upset with the other digidestined but reluctantly agreed. He expected the enemy to be too tough for him to handle on his own, especially considering he did not know where Veemon was or how long it would take to reach him. He followed even though he thought that they were wrong. He would not, however, remain silent about his dissent.

"OK, just tell me this: Why the hell are we going so slow when there's digimon in trouble?"

TK was the first to respond to his complaints, "It's a thick forest at night. We can't really go much faster."

"Yeah," Kari added "and we don't want to be seen."

"How can you even say that?" Davis was getting more upset by the second. "Every second we wait a digimon could be getting hurt!"

"You can't help anyone if you're dead!" TK was starting to yell again.

"Be quiet!" Ken began shouting too. "We don't need to fight each other! Just calm down and get going!"

The others were silenced by Ken's outburst. He rarely raised his voice. This had to be serious. Above all other impressions, they knew he was right. They could not fight each other at a time like this. They had more important things to do than fight. The four walked on, continuing northward until they had finally found Gatomon hiding in the trees with Patamon next to her.

"Gatomon," Kari was bursting with joy as Gatomon leapt into her arms, "what's going on here?"

"Keep your voice down," Gatomon whispered in response. "They're not far away." She paused to listen for any sign that they had been detected before continuing, "Somehow, some humans got into the Digital World. They're shooting some sort of arrows at the digimon. Once they're shot they can delete the digimon whenever they want."

"But it just gets sent back to Primary Village, right?" Davis asked, now that he could get information, he found it much more important than rushing into save everything.

"No." Patamon sighed. "They can actually delete data whenever they want. They need to shoot something, but after that, they can make it permanent."

There was a long pause anybody dared to speak again. None of their digimon had ever been in this much danger. Nobody wanted to volunteer their own body, much less their partner's, for what could be death. The silence was eventually broken by Davis.

"Where's Veemon?"

"Wormmon's missing too," Ken added.

"There was more than one attack. We split up into groups. Everyone else is at the places." Gatomon explained to the two boys.

"Well, we're kinda useless for this," Davis said sounding defeated.

"Then it's up to us two." Patamon had an aggressive look on his face.

"No, it's not." TK's voice was also very meek. "You e-mailed me when I was busy, and I couldn't get it before we came here."

"That almost explains the shirtlessness," Gatomon quietly joked, drawing a laugh from Patamon before he turned back to TK and became serious again.

"I'll still fight. A few boom bubbles, and they'll go down easy."

"No!" TK could not control his outburst. "You can't fight, not as a rookie. You might—" He was not able to finish the sentence. It was as if just saying death made the possibility more realistic.

"C'mon. That's never stopped us before. In your world, we were in just as much danger." Patamon was determined to help. He would risk his body more quickly than anyone else. He cared about everyone too much to stay out of a battle. Sacrifice was a part of his nature. He would rather be the lowest than see somebody lower than him.

"No. You're a rookie. You're too small." TK, on the other hand, did not want his partner to risk it.

"I'm not too small. It's harder to hit me. Gatomon actually has the disadvantage. Besides, remember the first time you were here. You hated when they said you were too small."

TK looked around for help from the others. "You're not going to give up, are you? Fine. Do it. Just be careful." He paused and sighed. "Let's get going." His eyes scanned the group, looking at everyone's faces for confirmation that they were ready.

They were. With that, the four humans and two digimon left to find the humans that were causing trouble in the Digital World. They walked slowly through the dense forest, partly to avoid tripping over the plants and partly because they nervous about encountering the foes. The small steps gradually inched them closer and closer to the enemies.

"I can see them up there." Davis whispered, pointing ahead and slightly to the left. He saw a fire near a group of three people through the trees. They were too far away to see in detail. From here, they were nothing more than shadowy outlines.

"Ken, Davis, stay here." TK whispered back, watching the tiny figures move around in the distance. "Kari, Patamon, Gatomon, let's head up there." He started to leave with Patamon on his head, and Kari not moving from her stop.

"TK," Kari whispered harshly to make him stop, "You and Patamon shouldn't go. You don't have your digivice with you. It'd be a big mistake."

"I'm not letting you go there alone."

Kari knew she had no chance of convincing him otherwise. Defeated, she followed him. They walked slowly together to the source of whatever had brought them to the Digital World.

As the two were leaving, Davis leaned over to Ken and, whispering, asked "Are we really gonna let them go alone?"

"No," came the response from the other boy, "but they won't want us following. Just give them a little head start, so we can follow without them noticing."

"You're a smart man, Ichijouji," Davis whispered back as the two shared a chuckle.'

"Go back and prepare to attack the next spot." A deep voice coming from one the figures shouted commands at the other two. The three stood around a fire they had made in a forest clearing with digimon standing calmly behind in submission. The opening in the trees did not seem natural. It had the appearance of a recent battle. The trees were broken in their trunks. Scorch marks surrounded the area and could be seen on the dirt.

Two of the people left with six digimon following them, leaving only two to assist the apparent leader. The tallest person, who was giving the orders earlier, turned around to survey the landscape. This was his. He looked at the trees. He could make something worthwhile out of this forest.

TK and Kari waited in the forest watching the people and the digimon leave. They could barely see the outlines of the shadows walking away, but their footsteps could still be clearly heard.

"Wait for a while after you can't hear them anymore." TK whispered even more quietly than earlier. His voice was barely audible. "Me and Patamon will go first. We'll try to get him to face the other way. Then, you go."

She nodded, and they waited quietly together, not moving. They could not risk making any noise. If the guy by the fire noticed them, it would ruin the plan. They had no clue how hard of a battle this would be. They thought it could be over in a few seconds or last for hours. Why risk losing the element of surprise?

The two heard the sound of a twig breaking behind them. Kari's head instantly turned towards TK's direction. He was already looking for the source of the noise. Her eyes kept darting from the sound behind to TK to the fire and the person in front. Her mind was racing, "Was it the two that left? What if they came back? We can't take on three. We're surrounded." Every fiber of her wanted to scream for help, but she knew she it was worthless. Nobody was around except the guy they wanted to attack.

There were more steps. They were getting louder. Whatever was back there was coming closer. She forgot about the person near the fire. She turned around giving whatever was approaching her full attention. "There!" her mind was screaming. "Two shadows. They're human. It's them!" She let out a earsplitting shriek. The two started running at TK and Kari. "Shit!" everything except her head was frozen in fear, "now they're sure we're here." She looked at TK, and saw his head darting back and forth. The guy by the fire heard the scream and was sprinting towards them.

TK rushed to Kari's side with bushes tripping him nearly every hasty step. He barely made it there. His arm quickly extended, a punch to the face of the assailant who immediately screamed. He recognized that voice. He was instantly about-face. This was the true enemy.

"Kari, stop screaming." She recognized the calmness in that voice. Ken was calming her down, reassuring her that they were not evil. "We followed you guys. I guess it was—"

"Not now, Ken." She could hear Davis too. It was him who TK had hit, he was the one who screamed. The overwhelming joy of seeing her friends almost made her forget the still evil, still attacking person. She had her strength back again.

TK stood between his friends and the attacker. He was being flanked by two digimon, TK was not able to tell what they were, maybe a horse and a smaller horse. It was dark and the fire was behind those three, they were in complete silhouette. TK looked around for some sort of help—there was no way he could face a person and two digimon by himself. Patamon was flying next to his shoulder, but the others were still over by Kari. They were too far away to help him.

"You," the tall, shadowy figure yelled, "get him!"

The larger of the two creatures stumbled forward. The forest was obviously too dense for such a large digimon. It was slow, but the bushes were being horribly bent, its lack of speed in the trees was made up for by its sheer strength. TK could hear Patamon screaming attacks, but they were all futile. This beast was too powerful.

TK knew he needed to run. He wanted to get out of there but was frozen in fear. He heard the footsteps becoming closer and closer. He saw the silhouette becoming larger and larger. The digimon's front two feet lifted off the ground. They shot at TK. He flew backwards, his chest exploding with pain. It was too excruciating to scream.

Ken and Davis rushed to the aid of their friend. They slammed into the side of the horse-like creature, toppling it. It recovered quickly, but their goal was accomplished—TK was safe, at least for a few seconds.

"Gatomon," Kari was running towards the three, "it's our turn now."

"Right." A quick reply came from the cat digimon before transforming into an angel.

"You," the assailant was yelling again, "after those two." The smaller, more agile digimon started a graceful run to Ken and Davis.

"Run!" TK was finally able to gather enough strength to shout at his friends. Ken obeyed immediately, dragging Davis with him. He did not want to abandon TK and Kari, but the last time he refused to listen to them, it started this entire nightmare.

The larger bucked his front feet in the air again. They came slamming towards TK only to be caught by Angewomon. She harshly threw the creature away from the group. A black arrow whizzed past her, sucking the little amount of light out of the surrounding air. TK, Patamon, Kari, and Angewomon darted their heads in the direction of the human. There was another arrow on his bowstring. It flew past Angewomon again.

She held her finger forward. The Celestial Arrow was forming as the Dark Arrow was being prepared. The two looked at each other. This was the end for one. Both launched with a blinding flash. The shadowy human was hit. Light was poring out of his waist. The Celestial Arrow hit his digivice. He faded from the Digital World.

The horse digimon rose to his feet. "Thank you." He struggled for more words but could not find anything else.

"You jumped in front of his arrow. You risked your life for me." Angewomon was the only one to notice where the other arrow had went.

"I was already hit by one. It wouldn't make a difference. Besides, you guys are our last hope. We need you a lot more than we need me. I'm Equmon by the way."

"You may be one of the bravest digimon I know." TK, lying on the ground, was in awe by this great beast. Fighting it seconds ago, he was now ready to call it a hero.

"Hello all." Davis's voice rang out above everyone else. He, Ken, and the smaller of the two formerly opponent digimon were calmly walking. "As soon as we were far enough away from the fight Cervusmon stopped attacking and explained everything."

TK looked over at the three and realized that Cervusmon was a deer, not a smaller horse. He fixed his eyes back on Equmon, "Just one question," he began, "if you were on our side all along, why did you kick me so hard?"

The horse looked back at him and chuckled, "That was a gentle kick. I'm a bit offended that you think I'm that weak."

The eight looked around at each other and shared a long laugh.

The scene I was referring to that took a lot of rewrites was "The two heard the sound of a twig breaking behind them." and everything after. I hated it so many times. Hopefully, this one isn't too bad.

I might work on some of those one shots I was talking about earlier, and I still don't have much free time. You should expect longer times for updates. Sorry.

Please review.

To everyone who is going to review. All I've had so far is extremely positive reviews, and I love that. I love that you like my story, but part of the reason I'm publishing this is to become a better writer. If you have any suggestions or think something could be better, tell me, just don't be harsh about it.

Please review.