Author's Notes: As pointed out by one of the reviews 's name was missing, this was actually not intentional and was an issue between me uploading my doc and likely some compatibility problem with which somehow ended up erasing her name for whatever reason. If anyone catches anything else or would just like to point out any spelling or grammar errors roaming around, feel free to email me or just post it as a review with some feedback and I'll fix it up.
Welcome to the Digital World
XX:YYAM/PM, 2XXX, X Month X Day, Unknown Location
Ryoga Hisamoto rubbed his head feeling for the bruise that he suspected was the source of his headache. His nostrils flowed lightly with mucus and his eyes were moist as he tried to hold back the imminent burst of tears from the pain all over his body. He had resolved just this very morning to do his hardest to not be called a scaredy cat anymore, it'd be completely meaningless if he broke that resolve already.
Yet as he slowly got up to survey his surroundings, he imagined that no one would be able to blame him if they were in his same shoes. Ryoga stood in a bizarre forest in which the trees ranged in colour from red to purple while the leafs were all large and round with greyish veins on them.
What made absolutely no sense in this already bizarre setting was that Ryoga could clearly recall that merely moments ago he had stepped through the front door of his house to wait for his dad to drive him to school. One second his foot was just stepping outside his doorstep, the next second he found himself tumbling round and about in the dirt feeling like he had just fallen off the side of a cliff. Which he probably had, Ryoga noted as he saw the sharp hill not too far away.
Having quickly reached his tolerance limit for the bizarre and strange, Ryoga resigned on his oath freeing up the burst of tears and screams.
"I wanna go home!!!"
His cries continued for a while as they echoed lightly in the forest with no response to his cry for help. Slowly his cry died down to a sniffle and he eventually settled for short bursts of hiccups.
"Mommy…Daddy…!!!" His tears were just about to resume before Ryoga caught sight of something purple flash right by the corner of his vision.
Silently Ryoga looked around him, barely holding back sniffles and an occasional hiccup. "Who's there?" He asked towards the bushes.
"Mommy…" Ryoga whispered as he slowly moved towards the bush. Prying it open slowly, Ryoga breathed a sigh of relief as he realized that nothing was hiding within the bushes.
Just as he relaxed himself, something furry and soft brushed against the back of his neck making him jump.
"AHH!!!" Ryoga screamed as he fell right into the bush.
Without turning around to see what it was, all Ryoga did was cover his head with his heads as he returned back to a state of tears. "WAHHH!! DADDY!!"
"Aru?" A soft voice sounded from behind Ryoga.
"Aru aru?" The voice persisted as it walked up to Ryoga and moved it face next to the boy's.
Unable to handle the suspense, Ryoga opened his eyes into a thin crack as he saw the creature that looked like a mix between a fox and a small dragon. For a few brief moments both Ryoga and the creature stared at each other wordlessly and breathlessly.
"Digimon?" Ryoga said suddenly, his eyes opening wider in fear.
The purple digimon took a step back away from Ryoga but kept its eyes locked on the boy. "Aru."
Ryoga scrambled up from the ground and moved back as quickly as he could, "Please don't eat me!"
Keeping the same amount of distance between the two of them, the purple digimon took a few steps forward. Ryoga inched back again as the purple digimon approached him, his expression full of terror, his hands in front of his body trying to wave the purple digimon away.
"Help!! Someone help!! Mommy!!" Ryoga screamed as his back hit a tree, stopping him from moving backwards any further.
"Aru." The digimon said keeping the same distance in separation between the boy and itself.
"Hey is somebody there?" A voice shouted out from Ryoga's left.
"Here! Here! Help me please!!" Ryoga cried back.
"What's wrong, I'm coming!" The voice called back. Ryoga could vaguely tell that it was a boy maybe a few years older than him.
At first the purple digimon appeared tranquil and calm, essentially ignoring the conversation between the two boys. But as the older boy approached closer to where they were, the purple digimon spun around to face the direction of the incoming boy, his back arched down and his tail pointed up in alert as the digimon growled lightly.
Popping out nearby from a multicoloured bush was a boy a few years older than Ryoga, he wore a school uniform Ryoga hadn't seen before and his hair was an uncontrolled flurry of spikes reaching up to the sky. Most notably was a strange pair of goggles hanging from his neck.
What attracted Ryoga and the purple digimon's attention though was what stepped out from behind the older boy. An orange dinosaur like digimon that stood about half the height of the older boy, it eyed bother Ryoga and the purple digimon quizzically as though not sure what to make of the combination.
Meanwhile the older boy took another step towards the purple digimon and motioned at it with one hand, "Easy there bud, we're not here to make trouble with either of you."
The purple digimon eyed the older boy slightly but then turned his attention back onto the orange dinosaur.
The older boy motioned towards the digimon that had followed him, "Go stand back a bit Agumon, looks like this guy's got as much fighting spirit as Gabumon and Chris."
"You sure?" Agumon said cautiously as he began to inch back.
"Don't worry about it, I got this one handled." The boy replied.
"Hey kid, what's your name?" The boy asked Ryoga.
"I'm…" Ryoga sniffled, relieved that someone else was here with him, even if it wasn't a grownup. "My name's Ryoga, Ryoga Hisamoto."
The older boy nodded without taking his eyes off the purple digimon who remained less cautious as Agumon moved out of sight, but just as alert.
"Nice to meet you Ryoga. My name's Takahiro, you can call me Taka."
6:30AM, 2XXX, July 12, Japan
If it could be said that the alarm clock is the greatest enemy of all school students in the world, then Takahiro Ban could be said to be someone who took that statement far too literately. His hand swung into the air again as he attempted to swat the source of the ringing in his ears.
His flailing arm manage to wave seamlessly through a pile of junk on his bedside stand only to end up smacking straight into the corner of the wooden stand.
"AHH!!!!" The pain vibrated through his nerves reaching as far as his shoulders.
It was a ceremony that Takahiro performed every morning ever since his mother had decided to move his alarm clock off the bedside stand and onto a table far enough off that Takahiro would have to get up to reach it. That was a year ago, even now Takahiro seemed to have trouble realizing in the mornings that his alarm clock was not within reach of his destructive flailing.
The morning ritual continued as Takahiro's door was swung open and his mother walked in with a frying pan in her hands. She swung it, hard, right onto Takahiro's behind. "Shut up, and wake up while you're at it, you're going to be late!"
Takahiro groaned as he reached with both his hands trying to comfort his soft behind. "Ah! What kinda mother are you!? Anymore of this and I'm going to call child services!" She swung again, Takahiro could almost swear it was harder this time.
"OK! OK! I forfeit! I'm getting up!" Takahiro shouted as he jumped right out of bed and began changing into his school uniform.
Content with the results, his mother began stepping out of his room and back into the kitchen, frying pan in hand. "Quickly now, I don't want your breakfast getting cold again."
"Yes...." Takahiro answered back with an evident lack of enthusiasm.
Takahiro's school uniform was a matching pair of dark blue pants and blazer along with a white dress shirt that he wore inside of it. Luckily for Takahiro, ties were an optional part of the uniform, the last time his mother had tried forcing him to wear one he ended up puking from the strangle on his throat. He looked into the mirror again as he tried to tame down his spiked hair but once again to no avail, the dark brown mass defied the laws of gravity as it continuously pointed itself up towards the sky.
Finished with grooming himself, Takahiro made his way downstairs towards the kitchen, and sat down on his seat as he looked at the food on the table.
"Cheese and bread again..." He turned towards his mother who was likely working on his lunch, "Mom, could it be that...you burnt the egg and sausage again?"
Takahiro could almost imagine a vein pulsating on her forehead in anime style as she turned slowly to regard him. "Eat it..." Her frying pan looked terribly menacing right now, particularly since it was burning hot at this point, "...or don't." She left it at that, though Takahiro was sure he could find the fine print that detailed his death on the bottom of that frying pan.
Takahiro turned to look at the television as he bit into the dry crust of his bread with bits of cheese covered on top of it. His mom had tuned into the news again, and like every other day it was reporting details on the battle with the Digimon.
"Just yesterday, the UHAD forces reclaimed over 12km of ground as they pushed forward on the battlefront with a new battalion of UH tech's latest armoured vehicles. The struggle lasted a fierce 20 hours before the world division barrier settled, lending to another victory in humanity's battle."
The newscast went on to talk about the deceased from the battle yesterday as well as many other technical and political analyzes that Takahiro had no interest in. He simply felt astounded and excited as the so called Digimon flashed on screen and performed their raw physic defying spectacles.
"That's cool..." Takahiro muttered as he bit into the last bite of bread.
"No it's not, that's a war for our lives Takahiro, your father is out there somewhere. This is anything but cool." Takahiro turned around to see his mother standing over him, her face carried one of those rare and serious expressions.
Takahiro nodded as he got up and grabbed his bento box, proceeding to shove it down his backpack.
"I'm off mom!" Takahiro put on a pair of white running shoes and proceeded out the door.
"Don't be late for supper!" His mother cried out to him as he walked off towards classes.
7:00PM, 2XXX, July 11, America
The fifteen or sixteen year old boy literately took off the ground as his body was sent flying into a pile of trash in the dark alleyway. The bruise on his left eye was a deep and dark purple while his lips bled and his nose appeared crooked from hard impact.
"That's it?" A blond boy a few years younger called out to him.
"You son of a bitch Chris!" Another boy shouted as he charged at Chris with his fists from behind.
Without turning back to look first, Chris spun and swung his leg right into the gut of the boy trying to assault him. The boy dropped straight onto the ground clenching his teeth as he grinded them in pain as hard as he could.
Chris looked around at the five boys scattered on the floor, all older than him, all bigger, yet all weaker.
"This is it? The menace of the fifth alleyway? What a joke." Chris said as he turned to leave. His clothes had caught a bit of dirt and blood from his foes but asides from that Chris Seiichi Watanabe walked out from another fight virtually unscathed.
"Not enough." Chris muttered.
"You think you can just walk off like that twerp!?" A voice shouted back from inside the alley. Walking out of the darkness was a man in his mid twenties, he had a rugged and unshaven beard as well as a buzz cut and the tattoo of a serpent on his cheek, a classical back alley thug.
"Messin with my boys like that, you looking to die twerp?" He asked while continuing towards Chris.
Chris grinned, his face brimmed with joy like he had just found the treasure chest he came out hunting for.
"You're the boss right? In that case you must be pretty tough then." Chris asked cheerfully.
"That doesn't matter kid, you ain't walking outta here tonight anymore." The man said as he pulled a black pistol from his pant pocket and aimed it at Chris.
Seeing the pistol Chris laughed hysterically, "Beautiful, brilliant, I couldn't have asked for anything more." He licked his lips as he began walking towards the man. "You made this whole trip worth it."
The man frowned as he watched Chris walk closer to him, "Shit kid you looking to die?"
"Die? No not at all, just looking to have a little fun sir, enjoying the night life." Chris replied, another few paces closer.
"Fuck kid, you're messed in the head. Man just go home, I don't want to see your brains splattered against the wall anymore." Chris had taken another step and was now inside the man's reach if he swung out with his arms.
"And miss all the fun? Not for the world." Chris said as he stopped just a mere three steps away from the man. "Scared?"
"Fucking piece of shit!" The man swore as he dropped his gun and swung his right fist right at Chris' face in a hook.
Chris jumped as the hook aimed towards his head drove itself right into his guts. However instead of flying right into the wall as he had done to the boys before, Chris clung onto the fist after the man finished his swing.
With Chris' hands clenched around the man's arms, he opened his jaws and bit right down on the man's exposed thumb.
"Ahh Shit!!" The man screamed as he swung his arm into the wall, trying to shake Chris off.
Before his back would be smashed against the alley wall, Chris let go of the man's arms and landed on the ground, satisfied that he had bitten far enough into the man's thumb to taste blood.
"I'm gonna kill you punk!!" The man screamed as he tried to kick Chris with his left leg while his left hand tried to wrap around his torn thumb.
Easily evading the kick Chris moved in close and sent his right fist straight into the man's crotch. The towering twenty something man dropped to his knees like a brick in response, whilst his hands fumbled about trying to cover his injured thumb and crotch.
Seeing the man buckle down onto his knees Chris sent his fists at the man's face one after another, flattening the man's nose, bruising his eyes and cracking his teeth.
A few minutes later Chris stopped as the man in his twenties lay on the ground helplessly whimpering.
Chris ignored the man as he went and picked up the gun the man had dropped earlier. He made a small sound of disappointment as he dropped the plastic makeshift toy back onto the ground.
"Would've been even better if it was real, guess you're just an alley punk like your kids after all." Chris said as he held onto the side of his stomach. It was the only place the man had managed to land a hit on him and it hurt like hell, likely he was going to feel it for a few days. But god it made him feel so alive.
"Almost, almost." Chris said cheerfully as he walked out of the alleyway.
As he passed by a digital screen hanging on the side of a building the news broadcast caught his eye. They were broadcasting news on the war with the Digimon again, back and forth back and forth, the battle had gone on for what seemed to be forever now.
But that wasn't what concerned Chris, what fascinated him was the images of the digimon that the screen showed as they rampaged over the human troops, dozens of humans sometimes succumbing at once to a single stroke of a digimon's attack.
"Yeah." Chris whispered.
"That kind of action is more like, that kinda fun is what I'm looking for." Chris said with joy.
He licked his lips slowly as though savouring the sight of a feast before him, "O yeah I'll be there, you can bet on it."
7:00AM, 2XXX, July 12, Japan
"Wake up sleepyhead."
"Mmm…just a few more minutes sis…" The boy mumbled as his sister ruffled his sheets again.
The older sister sighed as she looked at her sleeping brother. Despite the various methods she had tried over the years, she had never picked up the keen art of waking people up the way her mother had managed. It was a good thing for her that her father had more self awareness in regards to the matter, but for her brother, it was an uphill struggle every morning to get him out of bed.
"Shou-kun's going to be here soon, last time I gave you a few more minutes you whined about missing Shou when he arrived." She said.
"…" The boy was silent, evidently he had fallen back to sleep without hearing her out.
"Great, I'm going to have to dry the sheets again later…" The sister said softly. She left the room momentarily and arrived a few seconds later with a glass of water in her hand.
"Wake up Kenji Okamura." She said as she mercilessly dumped contents of the cup right onto the sleeping boy's face.
"AHHH!!!" Kenji screamed as he jumped up and spattered water out of his mouth. "What the heck sis!? Again!? You do this to me every morning and then hang my sheets outside like I wet my bed or something!"
"If you could just wake up, this wouldn't be a problem." She responded coolly as she already began starting to fold up his bed sheets to be taken out to dry.
"Dad!! Kaede wet my bed again!!" Kenji screamed as he moved out of her way and rampaged downstairs towards the dinning room.
Picking up his sheets, Kaede Okamura followed her little brother down the stairs towards the kitchen. She opened the yard doors as she moved outside to hang her brother's bed sheets while the usual morning bickering occurred behind her.
"Dad, you've got to get sis to stop doing that!" Kenji screamed as he took a bite out of the breakfast Kaede prepared for him.
"Kaede, you really need to find a better way to go about this, we're wasting water and your time every morning." The elder Okamura said casually as he turned another page of his morning papers.
"That's all you say everytime…" Kenji grumbled as he took another bite. Spotting the cover of the newspaper his dad was reading, Kenji commented on it, "So I guess the UH won this time around."
"?" His dad looked quizzical for a moment as he realized Kenji was referring to the front page. "Looks like it, this war's been going back and forth for so long that it's easy to forget how surreal all these events are."
"Digimons right? Like they come right out of a manga." Kaede noted as she stepped back into the house and went over to the kitchen.
"I think it'd be kinda cool to see one. I mean they breathe fire and shoot lightning and stuff." Kenji noted excitedly.
Kaede sighed as she walked over and handed Kenji and her father their bento boxes, "Make sure you don't say that to anyone who's got family or friends fighting the war. It certainly isn't 'cool' for them."
Kenji stuck his tongue out apologetically as he grabbed the bento box and went upstairs to pack up and change.
"Thank you for your work every day Kaede, I'm sorry I can't be more help during the mornings." The father Okamura said.
"It can't be helped after all, you never did do anything even when mom was around." Kaede said.
"Too true, I'm glad she at least taught you a few things before she left us." He replied with a laugh. "Well I need to be off for a meeting, I'll see the two of you later tonight, just leave some dinner behind for me I might be a bit late."
Kaede stretched and yawned lightly after she waved her father off and sat down on the living room couch as she waited for her brother to finish changing and packing. The mention of digimon in the morning caused her thoughts to drift back to the night a few years ago when her mother died. The irony was that she could never remember her mother's last moments as she lay dying, instead the image burned into her mind was the towering dinosaur like digimon who breathed a pillar of flame into the air.
7:30AM, 2XXX, July 12, Japan
"Yes!!" Miyo cheered as she finished her final lap on the tracks with just enough time to grab a shower before getting off to classes.
"Congratulations Miyo, that last lap keeps you at the top of the track team and puts you at a new personal best." The track team supervisor who coincidently shared Miyo's last name said.
"Thanks Ms Fujiwara I feel good enough to do that again a few more times." Miyo said cheerfully.
"Well too bad your first class happens to be mine and I expect you to be there. You better go shower while there's still some time left, I don't want you using your track team practice as an excuse to be late for class again." Ms Fujiwara responded.
Miyo clucked her tongue in disappointment, "Cheap."
Ms Fujiwara raised one of her eyebrows as she eyed Miyo with a hint of anger, "You really need to watch the things you say Fujiwara-san."
Miyo turned around and waved off to her teacher as she began walking towards the change room facilities, "Yeah yeah, I'll be more careful next time sensei."
Ms Fujiwara sighed as she turned her attention back on the other members of the track team who were wrapping up their morning practices. She knew Miyo wouldn't watch her language anymore than before, after all it wasn't the first time they'd had the conversation about it.
Miyo had jogged near the girls change room when she spotted one of her classmates walking towards the main building from the school entrance. Seeing that she had some time left and Ms Fujiwara would probably be a bit late to class, Miyo jogged over and tapped her classmate, Takahiro Ban, on the shoulder.
"Yo Taka." She said as she moved up beside him.
"O hey Miyo, you just finish track practice?" Takahiro responded.
"Yep, still the top of the pack." Miyo said as she motioned her hands in a victory sign.
"Ha, only reason you're the top of the pack is cause I left the track team." Takahiro said proudly.
"I beat your old record a long time ago Taka. You know you really shouldn't have quit track for soccer." Miyo said. "You're really not as good as you think at that game."
Takahiro winced in pain as Miyo stabbed him where it hurt, "Hey I scored last game."
"You mean on your own goal? I heard that didn't go very well with your teammates."
"Stupid ball wouldn't roll straight…." Takahiro mumbled.
"Take it easy, I'm sure it'll come to you eventually." Miyo checked the time again noting she would have to go shower now if she wanted to get to class before Ms Fujiwara did. "Hey I'll see you in class later then."
"Knowing you? You're gonna spend the rest of Ms Fujiwara's class standing outside for being late." Takahiro said.
Ignoring Takahiro's taunt, Miyo sped off towards the change room, now with a slight sense of urgency as compared to before.
"Maybe I'll just do a quick rinse instead." Miyo said to herself as she stepped inside the change room.
As Miyo passed through the change room doorway she swiftly tripped over what appeared to be a white and blue plush doll. Falling straight to the ground, Miyo extended her arms out to absorb impact as she toppled on top of solid earth.
"Ow!" The plush doll said and Miyo said simultaneously.
"What!?" Miyo lifted her face as she surveyed the scene before her.
She had passed through the doorway of the change room and ended up in what looked like a tropical rainforest except that someone had gone around with buckets of paint and no sense of aesthetics. Behind her was a small scale waterfall that dropped right into a pond with a stream that led off deeper into the forest.
Feeling the familiar pain of a sprained ankle, Miyo opted to flip onto her backside so she could tell what bizarre object had caused her agonizing pain.
Standing up just as Miyo was turning around was the white and blue plush doll she had tripped over. To describe it simply was to say that it was a bunny like plush doll with 2 bunny ears pointed upwards and 2 pointed down. It had what appeared to be a pink ribbon tied to its chest and symbols of crescent moon on various part of its skin.
"Well that was awfully rude." The plush doll said.
"Huh? I'm sorry but…what?" Miyo said in confusion, it felt as though she had been picked up from reality and dropped in wacky land.
"Gosh you really need to start paying more attention to your surroundings." The plush doll seemed to be lecturing Miyo while standing no taller than perhaps Miyo's waist height. Though with the addition of the bunny ears it was probably as tall as Miyo.
Performing a small curtsy, though Miyo wasn't even sure if it had legs, the plush doll spoke as if it was introducing the next theatrical act, "My name is Lunamon, welcome to the digital world."
XX:30AM/PM, 2XXX, July 12, Digital World
Kaede sat on a relatively flat and dry piece of rock by the waterfall the group had found as she watched Takahiro return piggybacking a small boy with yet another purple looking digimon treading slowly alongside the two of them. On top of Kaede's own lap was a cute looking puppy digimon with large round ears, it ruffled and snuggled against Kaede's stomach from time to time while sleeping.
"Would you mind grabbing Miyo some more water Takahiro?" Kaede asked as she pointed towards Miyo who sat leaning against a piece of rock with her twisted ankle outstretched on the ground.
"Thanks for the service Taka." Miyo waved cheerfully.
Takahiro heaved a loud sigh as he put Ryoga down next where Kaede sat. "He's got a few bruises and scrapes, can you take a look at the kid and see if he's ok?'
Kaede nodded to Takahiro as she turned her attention to Ryoga, "Nice to meet you, my name is Kaede, you are?"
Ryoga looked at the older girl shyly, his cheeks slightly blushed from embarrassment as he tried to find words he hoped would make the best impression. "My…I'm…Call me Ryo…" Ryoga muttered out as he recalled Takahiro's introduction. "…ga…Ryoga that is." Ryoga finished as he gave up trying to make a nickname for himself.
"Nice to meet you Ryoga, here let me take a look at you." Kaede smiled as she began checking at the bruises and scrapes over Ryoga's body.
Amidst all this, another boy sitting close to the group kept silent and to his own thoughts. Standing slightly behind him was an orange digimon with a horn who wore a set of blue fur over his body acting like a cape with a hood attached. The boy was blond and unlike the rest of the group was clearly more of a foreigner though not without Japanese features. His hazel eyes looked at nothing in particular and simply skimmed between the scenery and occasionally at Takahiro over by the waterfall.
The purple digimon circled wide away from the blond boy and the digimon next to him as it moved in slowly next to Kaede. Though no open confrontation occurred, the horned digimon and the purple one continued to stare at one another until they had both placed a safe distance between each other.
"Master…" The horned digimon noted towards the blond boy.
"Let it go Gabumon, the purple one isn't worth our efforts." The blond boy responded.
"Aru…" The purple digimon said softly as it stood next to Kaede, looking at Ryoga as he got himself tended to.
Seeing the purple digimon approach so closely, Ryoga involuntarily flinched as he inched slightly away only to realize a bunny like digimon stood next to Miyo in the direction he was flinching in. Unsure which alternative was better, he opted instead to grabbing onto Kaede's arm and pulling himself closer to her.
Placing her hand on Ryoga's head gently, Kaede soothed the boy like she often did to her own brother, "Don't worry about it, I think he's just worried about you." She gestured towards the purple digimon, "Right?"
Showing a lot more affection for Kaede than it had for anyone else so far, the purple digimon moved closer as it snuggled around Kaede's outstretched hand.
"Water delivery." Takahiro announced as he returned from fetching water by the waterfall. In his hands was a small portion of water carried by using the goggles Ryoga had seen on his neck just a bit ago.
"About time Taka, took you long enough to fill water into goggles." Miyo said jokingly as she took the goggles carefully from Takahiro and slowly poured the contents down her throat.
"Well you know, just to make sure I clean them thoroughly and you don't end up drinking god knows what from god knows where those goggles have been. I for one wouldn't have felt safe putting them on until I cleaned them." Takahiro said.
"Of all the things you decided to pick up off the ground here…goggles." Miyo said as she passed the empty goggles back to Takahiro.
"More like it's the only thing I saw that resembled anything I've ever seen." Takahiro noted as he took another look around the bizarrely coloured forest. "Well maybe besides the waterfall here, I've seen that before."
"Takahiro-kun do you think you can pass me those goggles for a moment?" Kaede asked suddenly.
"Eh? Sure. You can just call me Taka you know." Takahiro said as he passed her his goggles.
"Thank you Takahiro-kun." Kaede said as she took the goggles from his hands while ignoring Takahiro's comment.
Kaede examined it as she turned it over a few times and fidgeted with it, "Hmm, I don't seem to recognize this brand, 'DPQ'…"
"Let me see that." The blond boy said from across Kaede.
"O, have you heard of it before Chris?" Kaede asked.
Without answering Chris kept his hand outstretched towards Kaede.
"O, sorry about that." Kaede apologized as she lightly tossed the goggles over to Chris.
Chris took a quick glance at the brand label and fidgeted with the goggles slightly before tossing them back towards Takahiro. "DPQ is an American brand that hasn't released anything over-seas. Those are the newest models that just came out a day ago."
"You've been to America?" Kaede asked.
"I live there. I got teleported here like the rest of you but I wasn't in Japan when it happened." Chris replied.
Takahiro smiled at his own revelation, "Awesome it's new and it's American, too bad I don't actually need goggles for anything." Takahiro said as he put them back around his neck.
"You're a lucky man, those are in the market for about 150 dollars." Chris added with a grin.
"Score! Hey Miyo how many yen is that, am I rich or what!" Takahiro asked excitedly.
"How am I supposed to know you idiot." Miyo complained as she clearly began regretting handing the goggles back to Takahiro.
"Approximately 14,400 yen." Ryoga said suddenly.
Everyone one of the kids shot an unexpected look at the boy who definitely looked like he was still in elementary school.
"Uhh…it's…just…my hobby?" Ryoga suggested weakly.
"Regardless, if these goggles are new and came from where Chris did then it might mean there are other things nearby that got pulled here along with us. Maybe something we can use." Kaede suggested.
"Coincidently, where exactly is here?" Miyo asked.
"I've already told you that twice now Miyo, this is the digital world." Lunamon said with agitation.
"And I've told you, I don't believe a talking stuffed bunny." Miyo retorted.
"So that means you guys really are digimon?" Takahiro asked nervously.
"Do I look like a stuffed bunny to you? Yes we're digimon! Really!" Lunamon yelled.
"Well actually about that stuffed bunny part—" Agumon said as he tried to cut in.
"But you know I just thought…aren't digimon supposed to be all big and scary and…well…ferocious and stuff?" Takahiro asked.
Takahiro looked towards Agumon, the orange dinosaur might have fit the scary department if he was twice as tall and made an angry face as opposed to that smile. Frankly the only other candidate who could fit that bill was Gabumon but he looked more like the silent butler type standing behind Chris. The purple digimon following Ryoga just looked like a painted fox, Miyo's friend was definitely just a stuffed bunny and the dog digimon sleeping on Kaede's lap was as un-ferocious as it got.
Definitely not what Takahiro imagined if someone told him he was with a bunch of digimon who were waging war with the UHAD.
Lunamon shrugged in response, "We don't know any of that, matter of fact, we were just born."
"What do you mean?" Kaede asked in surprise.
"Precisely what I said, we were just born less than two hours ago." Lunamon repeated. "Salamon there might have a better idea, she was the first after all."
Kaede looked towards the puppy digimon on her lap, "Do you Salamon?"
Yawning slightly and looking unwilling to move away from Kaede's lap, Salamon turned towards the rest of the group.
"…That's it!?" Takahiro burst out.
"Master." Gabumon said to Chris.
"Go ahead." Chris gestured.
Stepping out from behind Chris, Gabumon filled in the gap in explanation. "I was second to be born so I may be able to provide a sufficient account. What Lunamon has said is true, we were just recently born, when we digimon are 'born' or 'created' we are outfitted with a basic packet of knowledge."
Gabumon stopped and looked at Lunamon to confirm what he said before he continued. "These packets of knowledge are simply facts, not experience. For example I know and understand language, I can walk, run, jump despite being recently born but I have no idea what you mean when you say digimon are ferocious."
"Do you know what we are then?" Miyo asked curiously.
"Strangely enough this is one piece of information that is only partial, when I look at any of you the word human comes to mind, but nothing more." Gabumon finished.
"So then this really is the digital world…" Takahiro whispered.
"Either way I think we should look to see if there's shelter nearby or anything else that ended up here with us we can use. The sun…or whatever provides daylight here seems to be dimming." Kaede said as she sighed.
"Leave it to me, I'm a great scout." Agumon said.
"Ha, was that a part of your packet too?" Takahiro said jokingly.
"Actually yes." Agumon responded.
"What the—no fair I want one of those packets!" Takahiro said.
Lifting Salamon onto her arms, Kaede stood up and brushed the dust off her school uniform. "How about this, Takahiro and I will go with Agumon to see if we can find anything. Can you take care of Ryoga for us Miyo?"
Miyo looked from Kaede to Ryoga a few times before she sighed in defeat, "Well can't help the twisted ankle can I, guess I'll play babysitter this once."
"And Chris? Can you look after the two of them?" Kaede added.
"I shall watch over the two younglings until your return Lady Kaede." Gabumon said in place of Chris.
"Wait!!" Ryoga shouted suddenly.
"This isn't right, this is too weird! How can you all just trust these…things!? They're digimon, we're at war, they're the bad guys!" Ryoga cried out in confusion. "Haven't any of you ever seen what they can do from TV? They can kill people like it means nothing to them, nothing!!"
Miyo turned and looked at Ryoga, "Well besides being a bit annoying I have nothing against bunny here."
"Agumon's cool, and sides I've always wanted to meet a real digimon without it turning me to charred crisp." Takahiro added in.
"…" Chris stayed silent and ignored Ryoga's question all together.
Confused and unable to understand what the older kids were thinking Ryoga turned towards Kaede who he believed to be the only one of them with a rational mind.
"It's a bit like in the mangas I guess? Sometimes the good guys fight a bad guy only to find out later that he was really just doing what he thought was right?" Kaede tried to explain. "Just because some digimon are bad doesn't mean that every digimon has to be the same. After all, your friend there was just trying to protect you all this time wasn't he?"
Ryoga turned and looked towards the purple digimon who even now kept the same distance between itself and Ryoga.
Sniffling away some of his tears, Ryoga whispered to himself, "I just wanna go home…"
Grinning wide, Miyo pulled him closer until she basically had an arm lock across Ryoga's chest. "Come on kid lighten up, we've gotta make the best of this one time experience while we're here."
"We'll see you in a bit then." Kaede said seeing that Ryoga was taken care of and put to ease however temporarily. There were certainly parts of that Ryoga questioned that she agreed with but Kaede believed that one of the main reason all of them seemed to accept digimons and this new reality so quickly was that watching the battles back home sitting in the comfort of their couches never really made any of the war and deaths feel real.
Seeing that the two of them had walked out of sight, Miyo turned to Chris with Ryoga still in her arm lock. "So Chris was it? You got any funny jokes to kill time with? I bet you're really good with jokes."
"Not even ONE funny little joke?" Miyo emphasized.
"Just ONEEEEE?" Miyo repeated.
Miyo promptly gave up on Chris as she turned her attention to Ryoga.
"Well kid, I hope you've been reading a lot of gag comics."
XX:55PM, 2XXX, July 12, Digital World
"I've never seen that uniform around before, you're not from Tokyo are you?" Takahiro asked as they marched after Agumon.
"No, I live in Kyoto, my school is called Fusaka Gakuen, you probably haven't heard of it." Kaede replied.
"Fusaka…Fusaka…Actually I think I have. Isn't that the really prestigious girl school over there?" Takahiro asked.
"I don't know about really prestigious but it is famous as a girl school over in Kyoto." Kaede answered.
"Taka?" Agumon said all of a sudden.
"What's up Agumon?" Takahiro said.
"What's a school?"
"The place you go to learn stuff." Takahiro said.
"Why? What do you mean why? Where else would you go to learn— O right, your data packets, convenient little…" Takahiro said.
"We don't receive data packets of information when we're born Agumon, that's why we need someone else to teach us what we need to know." Kaede filled in for the digimon.
"I see…not very convenient." Agumon noted. "O I think I smell something over here!!" Agumon shouted as he began running towards a set of pink bushes.
"By the way Kaede, I seem to recall that Fusaka Gakuen only starts at the high school level…" Takahiro asked suddenly.
"No, Fusaka has a middle school division, but your guess is right, I'm 16." Kaede said nonchalantly as she ran off after Agumon.
"Wait what! That's two years older than me!" Takahiro said.
"…and?" Kaede asked suspiciously.
"Dammit, no wonder Miyo said she felt more mature than us…" Takahiro muttered to himself.
"Come on guys, why're you running so slow?" Agumon shouted back from the front.
"Alright alright, we're coming!" Takahiro shouted. "Stupid scouting packet…"
By the time the two caught up with Agumon they emerged from a section of the forest where the wildly painted trees and bushes didn't grow and the view opened up to a small clearing. Near the center of the clearing was a potentially artistically placed, tilted, broken fragment of Takahiro's middle school building.
"Hey, that's the front entrance to my school." Takahiro noted.
"Looks like it was cut off just a bit after the lockers at the entrance," Kaede noted as she studied the structure from afar. The chunk of the school building was essentially a vertical slice 3 meters in length starting from the entrance of the main building. It had been dropped onto its side upon arriving in the digital world but at the same time tilted up diagonally by a bumpy slope which made for rather unstable placement.
"Let's go in, maybe we can find something useful in the lockers." Takahiro suggested.
"It doesn't look very stable, that might be a bad idea if it collapses." Kaede warned.
"So…What do we do?" Takahiro said as he turned towards the older girl for advice.
"Maybe we can—" Kaede started to say.
"Hey guys!! What're you waiting for, let's go!" Agumon shouted from within the building.
Takahiro turned as he saw Agumon waving towards them standing on top of one of the teetering corners of the building.
"Agumon get off! It might fall!" Takahiro shouted back.
"What might?" Agumon asked quizzically as he scratched his head.
"The build…oh great…" Takahiro slowly said as he realized that the school building was already starting to tilt towards one direction. It would appear that the building had been in such a delicate state of balance that even the weight of Agumon alone was enough to tip the scales.
"Agumon jump off now!!" Kaede shouted as she motioned Takahiro to take cover behind a small grove in the clearing.
Beginning to feel the momentum of the building as it started to fall, Agumon hastily jumped out from the equivalent of the second floor as he landed, rolled and began dashing as far from the building as he could.
"Ahh!! Wait for me, where are you Taka!?"
"Over here dino brain! You want to get us all killed!?" Takahiro shouted from behind the grove.
"I thought it looked safe." Agumon said as he dove behind the grove with Takahiro and Kaede.
"Sure of course, scouting is in your packet but apparently physics and common sense aren't." Takahiro groaned.
The sound of the collapsing building drummed in Takahiro's ears as he clasped his hands to them hoping to stop his ear drums from popping. The resulting cloud of dust passed over Takahiro and Kaede as a blanket of dirt settled down on the group of four, causing Takahiro and the others to sneeze and cough. Somehow Salamon managed to remain snugly asleep during the whole ordeal.
"Well at least Agumon managed to solve your question about what to do." Kaede said as she began brushing dirt off of her and climbing out of the grove.
"Yeah great job Agumon." Takahiro said sarcastically.
"Thanks Taka." Agumon replied happily.
"Looks like they need to add sarcasm to your packets too." Takahiro sighed.
Meanwhile Kaede had walked on ahead and entered into the school building which had conveniently fallen down such that it was orientated as it normally would as opposed to being on its side or upside down. As she moved past the lockers and into the hallway that should have led into rows of classrooms, she found that instead of seeing the school corridors, the school building ended at the corridor leaving her staring out a gaping hole back into the multi coloured woods on the other side. The actual segment where the school entrance had been severed from the rest of the school looked as though it had been cleanly cut off by an expert swordsman. The cement where the building was dislocated was smooth to the touch, almost as though it had been polished. Unfortunately it also meant there was not much worthwhile in this front entrance except for the student lockers in the front.
"Alright Agumon you're up." Takahiro said as Kaede returned back to the lockers.
"Right." Agumon said as his claw slash left three claw marks in the locker tearing off both the lock and part of the locker itself.
"Well at least's its open. I can see why the UHAD have had such a tough time with you guys." Takahiro said as he opened the broken locker.
"Hey this is a girl's locker…what the heck is this…o food…wow that's some strong scented perfume…" Takahiro mumbled as he searched through the contents of the locker. In the end Takahiro managed to pull a bento box out of the locker and left everything else inside.
"Next one Agumon." Takahiro said enthusiastically.
"Roger!" Agumon replied with the same level of glee.
In his excitement Agumon slashed all three lockers horizontally right down the middle, sending the locker doors flying and saving Takahiro the trouble of having to even open them.
"Hey you're getting better at this." Takahiro commented. "Let's see…"
Seeing there was nothing else to investigate, Kaede joined in as she began to search in one of the lockers to locate something useful.
"O more food." Takahiro noted.
"Hey Taka what's this? I can't pronounce the label…Coon..dom? Condon? Coodon?" Agumon said.
Takahiro glanced back casually and answered him, "That's a box of condoms Agumon." Ignoring Agumon, Takahiro turned back towards the locker he was searching.
"Wait what!!??" Takahiro screamed as he snapped his head back at Agumon, in the process bumping it against the locker.
"Ow damn that hurt. Let me see that Agumon!" Takahiro screamed.
"?" Agumon gave Takahiro a puzzled look as he handed over the red box.
Takahiro looked and flipped the box over a few times as his eyes grew wider and wider with each passing second. Soon he held onto the red box as though it were the holy grail of his life.
"What is it Taka?" Agumon asked innocently.
"O…it's uhh…you know…emergency…tools…and stuff…yeah." Takahiro said slowly while trying to dodge the question and looking for something to distract Agumon with.
"Takahiro-kun, I found some bandages and a few spare backpacks we can use to carry some stuff in…what's that?" Kaede noted as Takahiro urgently tried to hide the box of condoms behind him while his face flared in red.
"Taka said it was emergency tools." Agumon said innocently.
"That's good news, what'd you manage to find Takahiro-kun?" Kaede smiled as she pressed Takahiro on.
"It's…it's…AHH!!!" Takahiro screamed suddenly in defeat as he showed Kaede the box of comdoms. "I give up! I'm sorry! I won't do it again!!"
"Nice find Takahiro-kun." Kaede said casually without any hesitation.
"…Huh?" Takahiro said disbelievingly. This was beyond mature, this was almost like Kaede saw Takahiro's holy grail as nothing more than a common household appliance.
"Water containers right? We can't count on your goggles forever after all, so you found these as water containers." Kaede explained with a smile.
"Well actually—" Takahiro tried to explain honestly.
"R I G H T ?" Kaede added without that smile.
"Yes mam." Takahiro replied without a moment's hesitation. Suddenly Kaede felt a lot like his mother in the mornings and Takahiro wonder whether all mature women were like this.
No longer sure what he should do with the box of condoms Takahiro fidgeted between continuing to hold onto it or passing it onto Kaede. At which point Kaede simply grabbed it and shoved it deep down on the backpacks she had gotten her hands on.
"Let's speed this up a bit Takahiro-kun, we don't have all day." Kaede said coldly.
Evidently Takahiro had just landed himself on Kaede's list of males who she looks down upon.
"Right, let's move onto the next—" Takahiro began to say.
The sudden screech brought an abrupt end to the awkward and laughable atmosphere of Takahiro as he winced from the loud noise.
"That certainly doesn't sound anything like the building collapsing or breaking apart." Takahiro noted.
"Sounds more like some kind of creature made that sound." Kaede replied. "And if it's a creature here in the digital world, that likely means…"
"It's a digimon!?" Takahiro shouted as he rushed out of the building and back into the clearing.
A blue serpent soared in the skies straight above Takahiro, the serpent was adorned both with a pair of red wings and a skull cap on top of its head. Takahiro seemed to recognize this particular type of digimon from watching the news before, it was one of the more common digimons that showed up in the assaults against the UHAD.
"Ok well…somehow I think his personality and looks are a lot more of a closer match to the term ferocious." Takahiro said to himself.
"That's Airdramon! We need to move out of here Taka, Airdramon are known to be very sensitive to things in their territory." Agumon urged.
//\\= = Spinning Needle = =//\\
The Airdramon opened its jaws as something invisible shot out and struck the ground near Takahiro and Agumon. As they hit the ground causing an eruption of dirt and grass, Takahiro could somehow tell that it was a large invisible cylinder about as tall and wide as he was.
A few falling pieces of cement from behind him told Takahiro that the Airdramon had fired off more than one of them and some had hit the school building.
"Good thing it looks like he's got terrible aim." Takahiro said.
"We need to move back into the forest for cover Takahiro-kun." Kaede said as she ran out of the building.
Takahiro turned and looked at the school building which was starting to collapse after being hit by Airdramon's attack. "Well, at least only the principle will miss it."
//\\= = Spinning Needle = =//\\
As the four of them ran towards the edge of the woods, Airdramon continuously rained down more and more of his invisible pillars, though Takahiro couldn't say that they felt particularly threatening since they never got close to hitting any of them. What the pillars did manage to do was detour the escaping group as they were forced to run around the pillars.
"Wait a second…" Kaede whispered.
"Just run right past them after they hit the ground Takahiro-kun, this is just compressed air!" Kaede shouted.
"Alright!" Takahiro shouted as he jumped straight into and through one without any hesitation, showing either complete trust in Kaede's deduction or just not enough patience to think it through.
Without needing to swirl left and right, Kaede, Takahiro, and Agumon ran in a straight line towards the edge of the forest while the terribly aimed pillars of air continued striking down around them.
"Hey Agumon you're a digimon too right? Can't you do something about that guy up there?" Takahiro stopped and asked.
Agumon looked up towards the Airdramon circling about in the sky, it was hard to tell how big the serpent was from this distance but Takahiro assumed he was at the very least as long as a cargo truck.
"I'll give it a shot." Agumon said.
//\\= = Pepper Breath = =//\\
Takahiro watched as a blazing fireball the size of his head erupted from Agumon's mouth towards the sky. His excitement and anticipation soon died as the fireball reduced in size and became a puff of smoke before it even reached half the distance to where Airdramon flew.
"That's IT!!??" Takahiro screamed.
"Uhh well yeah…you know…" Agumon said with a faintly visible blush.
"Do you two have to clown around NOW!?" Kaede said as she turned back and grabbed Takahiro by the arm, dragging him back into a run.
//\\= = Wing Cutter = =//\\
Changing his pattern of attack, Airdramon unleashed two large blades of air with a flap of his wings. Unlike the invisible pillars of air he shot off before, the two large blades were so densely compact that instead of seeing right through them, Takahiro could identify the two large crescent blades in shape by their opacity.
"No good if you can't hit us!" Takahiro shouted into the sky as he stopped running and glared at the flying digimon.
"You idiot!!" Kaede screamed.
Kaede pulled on Takahiro's arm trying to move him towards the forest only to have Takahiro slap her hand away as he watched the incoming air blades approach with a confident grin. However, Kaede could tell that the source of Takahiro's confidence was erred, the opacity of the air blades had managed to deflect the light that Takahiro's eyes captured which caused him to mistaken the trajectory of the blades. It was almost the same as seeing an object in the water but missing it when you went to grab at it because of how water bent light entering into it.
"Looks like you also need some more physics lessons!" Kaede shouted as she jumped in front of Takahiro and used her entire body weight to push him out of the way.
"Hey what're you—" Takahiro began to shout just as the air blades he thought would land much further away collided with the ground a few steps in front of him.
The ground under Takahiro's feet shuddered from the impact, not only were the blades much closer, they were also significantly larger than Takahiro had assumed. The air blades left a gash in the ground measuring at least three meters in length and a meter deep. The burst of compressed air sent pebbles and stones flying outwards at highspeed, scratching and cutting Takahiro in various places despite being shielded by Kaede. It was enough to testify to what would have happened if he had remained standing where he was.
"Kaede!! Kaede!!" Takahiro shouted as he tried to lift Kaede from the ground.
"You really are an idiot." Kaede said as she tried to put on a smile only to have it turn into a wince from the pain.
"…" Takahiro clenched his teeth silently in remorse and guilt as he thought about how easily they could have avoided this if he had just kept running.
Kaede had managed to suffer just about as many scrapes and cuts as Takahiro had despite being in the front, however from the way her hands clenched tightly around her stomach, Takahiro guessed that she had been less lucky with a particularly large piece of flying debris.
"Taka, he's coming in again!" Agumon shouted as he pointed up towards Airdramon who looked ready to unleash another set of air blades.
"We're almost there, just hang on a bit!" Takahiro said as he tried to lift Kaede onto his back. "Help me out Agumon!"
"It's coming!!" Agumon shouted.
"Ahh!!!" Takahiro shouted as he put all his strength into his legs and dashed towards the forest with Kaede secured onto his back.
Luckily for Takahiro and Agumon, instead of another set of air blades, the Airdramon had opted for another round of awkwardly aimed air cylinders. Using the chance, Takahiro managed to run to the edge of the clearing, the cover of the forest was practically within hands reach and safety along with it.
"We made it!!" Takahiro shouted just as they were about to step into the forest.
Takahiro and Agumon's joy quickly turned to surprise as they found their feet lifting into the air and their bodies suspended by nothingness.
"What's going on here!" Takahiro shouted.
"Taka, look!" Agumon shouted as he pointed towards Airdramon.
//\\= = Tornado = =//\\
Takahiro watched as the Airdramon continuously flapped its wings and created what appeared to be a circular wall of wind stretching about ten meters out, surrounding both Takahiro and Agumon.
"No way…a tornado!!" Takahiro shouted.
"A what?" Agumon asked leisurely.
"Well you see a tornado is—" Takahiro began to answer leisurely until he realized that the uplifting wind was pulling Kaede off his back. "Damn it, Kaede!"
Takahiro's outstretched hand grabbed nothing but air as he watched Kaede soar higher up in the sky helplessly.
"Taka, I'm getting dizzy." Agumon noted weakly as he began spinning in small circles. "What's happening?"
Takahiro began to catch the same motion sickness as the tornado gained enough strength to begin repaidly twirling Agumon and himself in circles. Takahiro didn't know too much about tornadoes or their physics since he had never learnt it, or never paid attention if they did. However from the movies he had seen he could at least tell that they were getting a straight ride to the top and then tossed out to fall to their deaths.
Takahiro groaned weakly as he tried to hold back the regurgitating sensation in his guts.
"Well…this is bad…"
Preview: Bad indeed, regardless of the fact that we know the main characters can't die it will be interesting to know how Takahiro and Kaede will survive this dilemma and whether further trials awat them thereafter. On the other hand, are Chris and the others really as safe and snug as they were when Takahiro left them at the waterfall or have they also run into a bit of trouble on their own? Stick around as we begin to dive down into the mystery behind the 'Digimon Wars'.
To be Continued…