Digimon Tamers: Ultimate Evolution Chap. 1

It was a simple day in the district of Shinjuku, Tokyo. People were hurriedly bustling to reach their next destination, whether it was for work or leisure. Young children were playing innocently in the various parks that dotted the city, the most prominent of which sharing its name with the district. Young teens could be seen gathering with friends for a day out on the town. All in all, it was a perfectly normal, average city.

Well…..save for one little detail.

A young boy stood on the balcony overlooking the city below, a gentle spring breeze blowing through his spiky, brown hair. His tanned skin tone easily seemed to compliment the dark red color of his jacket and the black shirt he wore underneath. He also wore a pair of black denim jeans with a brown leather belt around his waist. Clipped to this belt was a strange, gold-trimmed device that sparkled with a mystic energy. A deck of cards was resting in a holder beside it. His crimson red eyes shone with a dreamful gleam in their color.

To some, this boy was a friend. To others, he was a valiant hero. To a select few, he was everything.

Takato Matsuki was once what could pass for a normal child. He attended school, he hung out with his friends; he even had a part-time job at his parents' bakery. However, all that changed two years prior, when he first met his partner, Guilmon.

You see, Takato was someone known as a Tamer, a person partnered with a strange creature known solely as Digimon. No one truly knew why or how these children were chosen, but it happened nonetheless. Takato was just one of these children, numbering ten in total, who was partnered with a Digimon. Their main duty: protect the real and digital planes from destruction.

After the D-Reaper's degeneration and ultimate death, the Tamers had reunited with their partners only about six months ago, when Takato had found a portal leading to the Digital World from their old hideout. It was a difficult mission – they themselves went into the other world to retrieve their partners – but it was successful thanks to the assistance of the Monster Makers and Hypnos. Since then, their partners had become part of everyday life in Shinjuku, many heralding the young children as heroes for their part in saving the world from disaster.

Takato couldn't help but chuckle in reminiscence as the memories of their past adventures filled his mind. There were plenty of perilous times – they had nearly been killed on several occasions – but being with their partners had proven to be the most enjoyable experiences of their lives. In many instances, they had matured in ways that other people couldn't possibly understand. But, that was the beauty of it all, wasn't it? It was what bound them all together over the years, and probably the rest of their lives as well.

The sound of heavy footsteps on the veranda caught his attention, breaking him from his reverie. He turned with a smile, knowing exactly who was intruding on his space. A small, red, dinosaur-like creature walked out beside him, black stripes around his arms, legs and tail. His yellow, reptilian eyes held both a child-like curiosity and a feral determination that still somehow astounded Takato at times. His white underbelly was imbued with the Hazard symbol, a reminder of the unholy power that Guilmon was capable of and exactly how dangerous it was.

"Hey Guilmon. Did you behave yourself while I was at school?" the twelve-year old boy asked his partner. The young dinosaur nodded in response.

"I sure was, Takato! Mom even gave me some Guilmon bread because I was so good too!" he replied with a childish zeal. Takato chuckled at his partner's energy, never failing to impress him. How the young dinosaur managed to keep it for the majority of the time was a mystery to him.

"That's good, so long as you didn't cause problems for everybody." Takato replied, patting his partner on his head. Guilmon wagged his tail in response to the touch, enjoying it alongside the praise. Suddenly, a beeping noise came from the device on his belt. Curiously, he checked it to find a digital signature within Shinjuku Harbor. He turned to his partner with a grim determination.

"Damn, just when I thought I got the day off….C'mon, Guilmon, we've got a Digimon to stop!" he announced. Guilmon nodded in response as his Tamer gripped the bars around the balcony's edge. With a heave, he hoisted himself over them, free-falling to the ground below. Since it was only about ten or so feet, the drop was not at all dangerous to the young boy. He had survived much worse. He landed squarely on his feet (his partner not having as much luck) before he took off in a sprint towards the harbor.

The crowd of people fleeing the harbor was a definite sign of digital activity – not many people stood around to watch what would happen. Takato and Guilmon made their way into the digital field, the familiar hazy fog around them hampering their vision. The young Tamer gripped his D-Arc in his hand, prepared to face whatever challenge came here today. Within the mist, a black shape began to form, putting both Tamer and Digimon on edge.

"Get ready, Takato! It's coming, and it's a big one!" Guilmon warned. The shadow took on a specific shape that moved towards them, its appearance becoming clearer with every step. Takato's D-Arc pulled up a holographic image of the Digimon before them.

"MarineDevimon, Virus type, Ultimate level. His attacks are Dark Deluge and Evil Wind." The young Tamer read aloud. The crimson-eyed brunette looked between his partner and their opponent with a hint of confusion. 'Guilmon seems pretty determined about this one….I wonder why?' he thought. MarineDevimon wasted no time with words.

"Dark Deluge!" he called. A poisonous, inky mist spewed from his mouth, covering the area in blackness. Takato reacted quickly, aware of the poison in the air. He drew a card from his deck, knowing which one he had. With a swipe, he scanned it through the slot on his D-Arc, the power entering Guilmon as a result.

"Digi-Modify: Tempest Winds Active!" he called out. His partner suddenly released a powerful wind, which blew away the mist. The card's power temporarily drained, Takato stored it away for later usage. In the meantime, he looked to his partner in determination.

"Guilmon, you ready to digivolve?" he asked. The red dinosaur nodded in response.

"Let's do it!" he said cheerfully. Takato nodded in response, producing a strange, blue card from his deck. He swiped it through his D-Arc just as before.

"Digi-Modify: Hyper Digivolution Activate!" he called. A bright light engulfed Guilmon as he began to grow and change.

"Guilmon Hyper Digivolve to…."

As the light faded, Guilmon's form had changed into a much large and more draconic one. His torso and arms were covered in large, cybernetic armor that served as a powerful defense. The new Digimon announced its name to complete its evolution.

"WarGrowlmon!"

With his partner now at the Ultimate level of evolution, he was on an even playing field with MarineDevimon. Both were the same attribute – virus type – and the battle seemed to be in their favor. Takato prepared another modify card, but MarineDevimon beat him to it.

"Evil Wind!" their opponent shouted. A powerful gust of wind rammed into the large dragon, knocking him off balance slightly. He, miraculously, managed to stay on his feet despite the heavy armor he wore. WarGrowlmon decided to retaliate with his own attack. The armored blades on his arms began to glow brightly.

"Radiation Blade!" the dragon called, swiping his arms in a cutting motion. Two green blades of radiation energy flew through the air, colliding with their target and kicking up tons of dust. Takato cheered in excitement, believing the battle to have been won.

"Alright, you did it!" he complimented his partner. However, his celebrating was cut short by a surprise attack from their opponent.

"Hydro Pressure!" MarineDevimon's shout rung out, accompanied by a pressurized jet of water which slammed into WarGrowlmon, knocking the gargantuan dragon to the ground. Takato watched in shock as the aquatic demon emerged from the smoke, visibly unharmed by his partner's attacks.

"What the-how is he still standing?" he asked himself, attempting to discern an answer from this situation. None came to him, so he decided to simply try again.

"WarGrowlmon, are you okay?" he asked his partner, who sat up and nodded in response. However, his moan of pain did not go unheard as he stood yet again.

"Takato, this isn't a normal Digimon…." He commented. The boy nodded in agreement.

"Yeah….Hydro Pressure isn't naturally a part of MarineDevimon's move set. He either absorbed data from a Digimon who knows that move or…." Takato didn't finish his statement, the mere suggestion illogical and inane, even to him. 'There's no way this guy has a Tamer. If he did, my D-Arc would've sensed it and he wouldn't be attacking the city.' He rationalized.

"Something really strange is going on here, but if we get rid of this guy then it won't really matter, now will it?" Takato said to his partner.

"Right! Takato, let's biomerge!" WarGrowlmon suggested. The brunette hesitated for a moment. Biomerging was a powerful thing, but it took a lot of energy in order to obtain their Mega level form. However, there was something about this fight that just wasn't adding up. MarineDevimon seemed to be getting impatient with their conversation, preparing his next attack. Takato nodded in response to his partner's idea.

"Okay, let's go!" he called. His D-Arc began to glow brightly as WarGrowlmon degenerated into his Rookie form to begin. Takato held the device to his chest, his eyes closed in concentration. The light of evolution enveloped the two as Guilmon's data began to reformat itself around Takato's body.

"Guilmon Biomerge to…."

Takato felt the power flow into his body, the familiar sense of strength and ability accompanying this kind of transformation. His body was inside a digital orb that glowed with the color of Takato's red aura. One of the more embarrassing drawbacks to this form, however, left him without clothing, a representation of the purity of the human spirit. Thankfully, nothing was shown in this form, and no one besides Guilmon could see him either. The outside of their body was coated in white, silvery armor, a long red cape billowing out behind them. The knight's helm was draconic in appearance, similar to the top of Guilmon's head. A lance was mounted to his right arm, a shield to his left, and a black hazard symbol was imbued into the chest of his armor. The powerful Mega completed his evolution by shouting his name in the dual voices of the two who comprised him.

"Gallantmon!"

MarineDevimon adopted an eerie smirk that sent shivers down Takato's spine. Apparently, it was searching for a challenging opponent and saw one in the knightly Digimon before him. The aquatic demon prepared another attack.

"Aqua Torpedo!" it called. Thin torpedo-shaped blasts of water flew towards the knight, who expertly leapt over them to dodge. Taking his chance, Gallantmon volleyed with an attack of his own. Lightning began to crackle to life on his lance.

"Lightning Joust!" he called out. A powerful bolt of lightning shot forward, piercing into MarineDevimon's shoulder. The demonic Digimon cried in pain as it stumbled back from the force of the attack. However, it managed to gain its composure to unleash yet another attack.

"Aqua Edge!" it called. A dozen discs of water flew at them from below. Gallantmon quickly raised his shield to defend himself, easily protecting himself from the attack. Takato's mind was attempting to process the possibilities.

"Ugh….how can he have so many attacks? This isn't normal for any wild Digimon!" he announced from within the data sphere.

"Maybe he has a Tamer?" Guilmon suggested.

"If he did, we wouldn't be fighting right now." The young boy pointed out. Their mental debate was interrupted when MarineDevimon slammed one of its tentacles into the knight's body, causing Takato to wince in pain. He flipped over to catch himself, landing on his feet with graceful elegance.

"We've got to do something!" Takato said in a panic. MarineDevimon seemed to laugh at the knight for some odd reason.

"Is this the power of the Tamers? Truly, I had hoped for more." he spoke, his first attempt at a conversation.

"What do you want here? Why are you attacking us?" Gallantmon demanded to know, pointing his lance at his opponent for emphasis. The marine demon merely scoffed in disappointment.

"I was sent to test the limit of your abilities, but apparently the new world's order has yet to affect you at all." He replied.

"New world's order? What the hell does that mean?" Gallantmon asked in Takato's voice.

"You've no doubt noticed how I'm able to use many attacks outside of my species' normal move set, correct? The new world's order is to thank for that. It allows Digimon to learn new abilities, acquire new skills outside their species so long as their elemental affinities correspond with one another." The Digimon explained. Gallantmon was confused by his explanation.

"What is this new order you're speaking of? Did something happen to the Digital World?" he asked.

"After the D-Reaper ravaged our world, it had fallen into a state of disarray. It was a place where destruction and desolation far outstretched the beauteous nature of our former world. However, when all seemed lost, a mysterious, powerful entity appeared from some alternate plain of existence. It called itself Yggdrasil, and gave us Digimon the ability to thrive even in such a desolate place.

Once it was established that Yggdrasil was a mighty and powerful deity, many of us pledged loyalty to it to repay it for its kindness. Its most powerful servants, the Royal Knights, have served as its generals in its army, and I come to bare a message for the humans and Digimon who serve and protect this world." MarineDevimon replied.

"And that message would be?" Gallantmon asked, prepared to defend himself should the need arise. The aquatic Digimon smirked in response, seemingly savoring the answer before revealing it.

"Lord Yggdrasil has deemed the humans who have partnered themselves with Digimon solely responsible for the desolate state of the Digital World. Milord has deemed it necessary to carry out your execution in order to compensate for such blatant madness. Despite your semblance to Lord Gallantmon, I have been ordered to eliminate you!" he replied to Takato's shock. The demonic water Digimon prepared his next attack, but Gallantmon beat him to it.

"Lightning Joust!" he cried out in desperation. The bolt of lightning struck MarineDevimon straight through the chest, causing him to gag and keel over on reflex. Gallantmon's glare was just as sharp.

"I'm not letting you lay one finger on any of my friends, you got that? I don't know who this Yggdrasil guy is or why he's using us as a scapegoat, but I won't allow him to harm this world in any way!" Takato announced in fervid determination. MarineDevimon chuckled lightly, the pain in his body numbing his senses.

"Fine then…perhaps if you see the new world…..for yourselves…..you'll see…..exactly what you've done." He muttered. Suddenly, the water in the bay beside them began to sink inwards, a whirlpool forming beside them. Gallantmon looked at it in surprise, letting his guard down for a small moment.

That was all the time MarineDevimon needed.

With the last of his strength, he used his tentacles to knock Gallantmon into the whirlpool, created by his Great Maelstrom technique. He grinned in satisfaction as his body began to break apart into data.

"That whirlpool….leads straight into the Digital World. Now…..perhaps my much stronger brethren can….finish….the job…." He commented, his last words in honor of his unfulfilled duty. His body faded into small data particles that floated away into nothingness. Gallantmon, however, did not notice this in the slightest, focusing all his attention on trying to escape the torrential rapids. However, all efforts proved ineffective, and the Royal Knight was drawn into the center of the whirlpool.

"AAAAAHHHHHHH!" Takato's shout was the last thing to be heard as the portal closed. The whirlpool subsided and the waters calmed themselves, leaving no hint that anyone had ever been there.

(A few hours later: Hypnos Headquarters: Meeting Room)

"What do you mean he's gone?" came the indignant shout from Rika Nonako. The people and Digimon around her flinched at her tone, evidence that she had just been royally pissed off and, therefore, should be kept away from at all costs. However, that was not an option here, as Mitsuo Yamaki stood before them all to deliver this piece of horrid news. The older blonde man sighed at the young girl in front of him.

"This afternoon, at approximately four-fifteen, a bioemergence was detected in the vicinity of Shinjuku Bay. Takato was the first to respond to the call and engaged the Digimon in battle. There are only four things we know for certain. First, the Digimon was of the Ultimate level, though was a powerful one at that. Secondly, Takato and Guilmon biomerged at some point during the fight. Third, the Digimon was the one who opened the portal leading to the Digital World. And, lastly, the Digimon was deleted at some point before Gallantmon was drawn into the Digital World. Whatever exactly happened I don't know, but what's clear is that someone – or something – was clearly after the Tamers." Yamaki explained.

"Is Takato alright?" a young boy with blue hair asked. His steel grey eyes held wisdom far beyond his mere twelve years of age. He wore a dark green short-sleeved shirt with a pair of black sweats. A pair of white bands was around his wrists, the muscles on his arm well-defined and developed for someone his age. Having practiced martial arts since a young age, Henry Wong was certainly the physically strongest and mentally smartest in the group. He was also the tallest as well, standing nearly a full head above some of his companions. His green-trimmed D-Arc hung at his waist, where his cards were strapped at its side. His partner, a cream-colored dog-rabbit hybrid, sat on his head, his long floppy ears hanging beside his face.

"Momentai, Henry! I'm certain that Takato's as fine as fine can be!" he said reassuringly, his optimism a bright counterpart to the seriousness of the situation. Henry sighed in resignation. Terriermon, more often than not, had no knowledge to the meaning of the word "tact."

"Terriermon, is now really the time to kid around? We all know Takato's in big trouble – there's no use denying it." He replied.

"I know that, jeez, but seeing you get all worried over it is gonna give me a migraine!" Terriermon replied. Rika sighed in annoyance.

"Henry, would you be opposed if I were to beat some sense into that hare-brained partner of yours?" she asked in a threatening tone. Despite her harsh demeanor, Rika Nonaka was a very compassionate person. With fiery red hair and violet eyes, she was often considered to be quite a beautiful young girl, though others would claim that her personality was quite the opposite. Wearing a dark blue blouse under a plain white tank-top, her blue-trimmed D-Arc and cards were strapped to the black leather belt around her waist. Her blue denim jeans were worn and slightly faded, a testament to the many battles she had seen. Her partner leaned against the wall on the far side of the room, her golden fur and narrow blue eyes watching all within. Her fox-like appearance was accented by her long tail, lithe figure and shinobi-like grace.

"That depends; is Renamon going to try and delete me?" Terriermon asked.

"Maybe…" Rika answered with a sinister tone. The bunny Digimon turned pale at the thought. Yamaki cleared his throat to garner the attention of the room once again.

"In response to Henry's question, we have pinpointed the current location of Takato's D-Arc, which should be where he is as well. Unless circumstances have separated him from it, he should be located in the Digital World's second layer, the forest level." He answered. A red, blinking dot on the screen behind him illustrated the point. However, a second dot, this one colored purple, could also be seen within the vicinity of Takato's location.

"Is that purple dot Ryo?" another young boy asked. He had spiky brown hair and his dark blue-hazel eyes held an eternal sense of enthusiasm that was also evident in his actions. With a rusty-red jacket over a plain black t-shirt, his similarly trimmed D-Arc hung at his waist, where a brown belt held both it and a pair of dirty white jeans. A black visor cap was around his forehead, hinting at his athletic interests. Though typically a little short on the uptake at times Kazu Shiota was a valuable and trustworthy friend and comrade. Yamaki nodded at his question.

"Yes. Before Ryo had returned to the Digital World, I contacted him and delivered a communications device so he could take in touch with us. I informed him of the situation earlier and he agreed to try and track Takato and Guilmon while we prepared ourselves here. Apparently, he's closing in on his location, but we have to provide them with a way back to Shinjuku." He replied.

"So are we all going to help Takato?" a third boy asked. He had short, dark green hair and gentle, ebony eyes. He wore a white sweatshirt with a pair of black jeans, a pearl-trimmed D-Arc on his belt. Clear, thin-rimmed glasses were on his face, which only served to finalize his appearance as a "nerd." However, Kenta Kitagawa was also an incredibly kind-hearted person. His partner floated beside him, the only Mega-level by default. Despite the pink water-fairy's diminutive size, MarineAngemon was a powerful healer and magic user, having saved the Tamers on many occasions.

"Now that's just a stupid idea. If we all go, then who'll defend the city in case a Digimon attacks?" Rika asked. Kenta looked away and nodded, slightly put-off by her comment.

"Well, yeah, but we all went the first time." He replied.

"Kenta, we admittedly invited ourselves along that time as well…." A young girl cut in, the only one currently without her partner. She had shoulder-length brown eyes and jovial, lively amber eyes. She wore a yellow sundress that ended at her knees, where a pair of white boots began. Her yellow-trimmed D-Arc was clipped to the white belt around her waist, though the screen was static and unusable. Jeri Katou was the focal point of the D-Reaper disaster two years prior, her negative emotions brought about by the death of her partner Leomon allowing it to evolve and change into the creature it ended up as. However, in the end, she was rescued by Takato and the others, who also managed to destroy the D-Reaper. She had recovered miraculously, having moved on from mourning her partner.

"Yeah, but if we didn't go then we wouldn't have gotten our partners either!" Kazu pointed out.

"Yes, but Henry, Ryo and I are more than powerful enough with our Mega forms. And once we find Takato, that's a fourth Mega to add to the team. We'll be fine with just us." Rika explained.

"Rika, are you sure you want just us to go? Last time, we needed as much help as we could get." Henry commented.

"That's because we had the Devas and a homicidal Beelzemon trying to kill us everyday, but now the Devas are gone and Impmon is on our side." She replied.

"We don't know how powerful this new enemy is – its subordinate was capable of capturing Gallantmon and sending him to the Digital World." He replied.

"I'd be more impressed if he actually lived to do it, though." Rika retorted. The three youngest Tamers in the room looked on in slight amusement.

"I think Henry should stop trying to convince Rika otherwise. Once she has her mind set on something, she won't budge an inch." Henry younger sister commented. The youngest of four, Suzie Wong was only nine years old, but her skills with her partner were far beyond that age. Like her older siblings, she was vastly intelligent for her age, her maroon hair in twin pigtails on either side of her head. Her hazel eyes shone with a childish gleam that accented her features nicely. Wearing a simple pink shirt with a long, white skirt, she had grown used to being around Digimon a long time ago. Her pink-trimmed D-Arc was at her waist, like most other Tamers. Her partner, a brown and pink version of Terriermon, sat on her head much like her male counterpart.

"But….while they're fighting, Takato is in big trouble…." The young boy among the trio pointed out. Mako and his twin sister, Ai, were the last additions to the Tamers and the youngest at the moment, only eight years old. They shared there partner with each other, though Mako did most of the fighting with Impmon. Both siblings had light brown hair and matching eyes, the only difference being the ponytail on the back of Ai's head. Mako wore a dark blue jacket with a pair of black shorts, typical for most kids his age, while his sister donned a pink hooded-jacket with a pair of blue jeans. The purple-trimmed D-Arc they shared was around Mako's waist, a symbol of his bond with their partner, who sat in the corner of the room, watching the debate lazily.

"I wouldn't mind going to the Digital World; Mako and I have never been there." Ai said.

"It's a pretty dangerous place. I'm not sure it's smart for you guys to go there." Impmon said from his corner.

"But we've got you and the others to protect us, so there's no problem, right?" Mako asked.

"I still don't like the idea." His partner said.

"But Suzie went when she was seven! That's a year younger than we are now! And we've been your partners for two years now, Impmon! We can handle ourselves, you know!" the young boy replied.

"The little guy has a point; if one of us goes, we should all go." Kazu added.

"You just want to go back and try to biomerge with Guadromon…." Kenta accused him.

"That's not the only reason! Jeez, Takato's in trouble and you think I'm that shallow?" the other boy asked in a hut tone.

"But you admit it's true?" Jeri asked, getting involved.

"Well, yeah, but I'm not gonna focus on that until Takato is safe!" Kazu asserted.

"I think Rika's right when she says not everyone can go." Kenta admitted.

"Though I'd like to go, I know Rika's right too. We can't leave the city defenseless." Jeri agreed.

"And what if Takato's been taken by some kind of ultra-powerful force like Zhuquiaomon or the D-Reaper? We couldn't beat either of them without everyone's help!" Kazu argued.

"But last time we didn't expect an attack on the city!" Kenta replied, his emotions flaring up. The memories of the D-Reaper were too horrid to ignore, especially in light of the destruction and death it brought. The Tamers were made aware that there were several civilian casualties taken during the D-Reaper's assault. That knowledge only served to sadden the Tamers into remorse for not working as fast as they should have. Kazu flinched at the comment, but his resolve didn't deter.

"The D-Reaper was evident in the Digital World beforehand. If there's another entity like it, then we can all take it out before it can do any damage if we work together." He replied. The arguing amongst the Tamers only grew in ferocity as each side tried to plead its case. Yamaki sighed to himself. This tension had been evident for a while, but this argument was getting out of hand.

"All of you, quiet now or none of you will be going!" Yamaki ordered. Though it was an empty threat on his part, if he gave word of this to their parents, then…..The Tamers immediately fell silent. The older man sighed in frustration.

"I understand that you all have grievances with each order – believe me, I do with some of my co-workers as well. But it's important for you to either put them aside or work them out as soon as possible. If you don't….well, I wouldn't like to see how that works out on a battlefield." He stated. An involuntary shudder was shared amongst the children. They wouldn't either.

"Right. But even then, what does that mean now? Do we even have a way of getting into the Digital World?" Henry asked.

"As a matter of fact, we do. However, its power will only last a short while – I imagine that only three of you will be able to go without causing problems." Yamaki revealed.

"So we couldn't all go anyway? Man that bites. But wait, if you knew that, how come you let us argue?" Kazu asked.

"You could say that I was just testing to see if you could resolve an argumentative situation like that on your own. Or you could say I found it amusing. Either way is fine with me." The older man said. The Tamers sweat-dropped in unison. 'Of course.' They thought as one.

"So then who's going and who's staying? Yamaki said three of us could go…" Kenta said.

"Henry and I are obviously going, since we can biomerge to Mega level, but I'm not sure about our third party member." Rika said.

"It'd need to be someone who can hold their own and support us as well." Henry remarked.

"So a Mega then?" she asked. He nodded in response, much to Kazu and Suzie's dismay. Neither of their partners could use their Mega forms yet, so they were out. However, this left the Tamers with two alternatives.

"Then either Impmon and his partners or MarineAngemon and Kenta. Which would benefit us more in the long run?" the young blue-haired boy asked.

"I think Impmon would. His Mega form is insanely powerful, and he's helped us out quite a bit in the past." Rika said. She was truthful, after all. Beelzemon was one of their most powerful Mega Digimon. It would be foolish to leave him out of an expedition party like this.

"Actually, I think MarineAngemon would be a better choice." Henry remarked. Everyone shot him a strange look, almost as if he had sprouted a second head.

"Ok, why?" Kazu asked.

"Think about it like this: more often than not, we get really injured in our battles with Digimon. Remember the last time in the Digital World, when we all went to get our partners? Before we found MarineAngemon, half of us were near-dying from our injuries, but he healed them right up. I think it would be wise to bring them along for their healing capabilities rather than the over-powered muscle Beelzemon has. Besides, what if Antylamon and Guadromon can't handle fighting, let's say, a Mega that breaks through? Beelzemon would be better off here." He explained. As much as she didn't want to admit it, Rika knew Henry had several excellent points. Damn.

"Fine. The fairy and his partner can come along too…." Rika relented.

"Hey, MarineAngemon isn't a fairy!" Kenta retorted in defense of his partner's honor.

"I wasn't talking about him." She replied in a belittling tone. The young boy blushed in realization, though whether from embarrassment or anger was yet to be seen.

"Now that we've got our team ready, when are we leaving?" Henry asked Yamaki.

"You'll leave within three hours. Try to talk to your parents in the meantime. I've already contacted Takato's parents about the situation, so you may want to pay them a visit before you leave. His mother in particular sounded very worried." He replied.

"Right. Let's get going, everyone." Rika said, taking her role as temporary leader of the Tamers. With her order, the group of children left the room with their partners in tow. After they left, Yamaki groaned before massaging his temples with his fingers.

"Those kids are going to drive me to drink…." He moaned aloud.

(Current Day: Digital World: Forest Level)

Takato's eyes shot open, his breathing heavy. Memories of the battle with MarineDevimon flashed through his mind, with the ultimate outcome painfully obvious to him. He looked to his side to see his partner fast asleep, the strain of Biomerging taking its toll on the young dinosaur.

He took a quick look around in order to discern where in the Digital World they landed. To his surprise, he saw the lush green forests and beautiful meadow-side lake around him, rather than the harsh desert of the lowest level of the Digital World.

"At least the water explains how I got here." He remarked, noticing that his clothes were damp from the water. However, that was the least of his worries. How was he going to get home? He supposed he could go ask the Sovereigns for assistance, but last he checked Zhuquiaomon hated their guts. And, if what MarineDevimon told him was true, then there was a new lord of the Digital World these days.

"Yggdrasil….I wonder what that could be?" he wondered aloud. MarineDevimon had said that this Yggdrasil thing blamed the Tamers for what went wrong in the Digital World. With all the devastation and destruction, a WWII-esque scenario was painted; the people needed a scapegoat and a leader provided one. Great. Just great. Takato had a feeling that he was going to be treated just like the Jewish people were in Nazi Germany. Even worse, if that was a possibility.

Looking up at the sky, he could see the sun (or what resembled it) moving across the clear blue plain. It moved from east to west, just as it did on Earth, which Takato noted was absent from the sky as well. 'I guess that's one of the changes MarineDevimon was talking about.' Takato thought to himself. He decided it was time to get moving, otherwise they'd get caught by an unwanted visitor. He gently shook Guilmon beside him.

"C'mon, Guilmon, wake up." He urged. With a moan, the dinosaur rose from his slumber, blinking to adjust his vision.

"Ugh…where are we Takato?" he asked.

"We're in the Digital World, Guilmon. MarineDevimon sent us here, remember?" his Tamer replied. The dinosaur nodded in response before standing on his hind legs.

"Yeah, I remember now. We got sucked into that big swirling thing in the water, right?" he asked. Takato chuckled at his partner's terminology.

"That's called a whirlpool, Guilmon, and yes, that's what happened. Apparently, it let us out here." He explained.

"But where is here?" Guilmon asked.

"That's what I want to know to. C'mon, let's get going before someone finds us." The young boy replied. However, he didn't even get to take two steps before a voice called out to him.

"Hold up a second!" he heard someone call out from behind him.

"Aw, nuts….." Takato muttered to himself as he turned to see who was calling him out. Much to his relief, it was a familiar face.

"Ryo! Cyberdramon! What are you doing here?" Takato asked as his old friend approached, flying in on his partner's back. Ryo jumped down from his perch, wearing the same outfit he had the first time they had met in the Digital World. The sixteen-year old teen looked down at the younger boy with a smile.

"Yamaki called us after you got sucked into that portal and we came to get you. I know the Digital World as if it were my own backyard, so you'll be safe with us. Besides, I could use some help investigating something before we head home." Ryo replied. The last statement caught Takato's attention. It wasn't like the Legendary Tamer to be asking for assistance unless it was something big or life-threatening.

"What kind of investigation?" he asked, intrigued.

"I'm certain you've noticed, but if this wasn't the Digital World, you could mistake this place for Earth. Everywhere, the Digital World is changing. It's becoming more terrestrial, more….humane, for lack of a better term. Digimon are becoming much more intelligent and sophisticated, some even developing a sense of moral values all on their own. And, to top it all off, there's this new guy called Yggdrasil who's supposed to be calling the shots now. The whole thing is very suspicious, so I thought I'd have a look. I figured if this guy was up to no good, we'd stop him, right Takato?" he explained. The younger Tamer nodded in agreement.

"Yeah, I gotcha. MarineDevimon mentioned Yggdrasil too. He said that he was using us Tamers as a scapegoat to blame everything on – the D-Reaper, the harsh environment, the degeneration issue, everything." He revealed. Ryo's eyes widened slightly at that.

"That explains the not-so-warm welcome I received a few times. Now I know something's up with this guy…" he remarked.

"Let's find out before we head home. Sounds like this guy is bad news." Takato urged. Guilmon nodded in agreement with his Tamer.

"Yeah! Let's go beat up the bad guy!" he cheered. Cyberdramon huffed in annoyance, wondering how such a silly creature was able to become the powerful Mega-level he was. With that, the two Tamers set off with their partners, but a nagging thought keep bothering Ryo's mind.

'Guilmon said to beat up the bad guy, but…..why does this feel like it's not that black-and-white?' he thought to himself.

(Current Day: Real World: Shinjuku)

Henry, Rika and Kenta stood in front of the opened digital gate alongside their partners. They looked back at their friends who were staying behind.

"You guys better protect this place while we're gone. We don't want to find it totally destroyed when we get back." Rika said.

"Don't worry! The great and might Kazu is here! So long as I'm around, there's nothing to worry about!" Kazu said triumphantly.

"You're partly why I'm worried." She replied with a sly smirk, deflating his ego.

"You'll be safe, won't you?" Jeri asked in concern.

"Leave it to us." Henry said with a reassuring smile. Terriermon waved from his spot on his shoulder.

"Yeah, we'll handle anything that comes our way and bring Gogglemon home safely!" he assured. Suzie looked to her elder brother in slight disappointment.

"Promise you'll come back, Henry." She said with a soft whisper. He gazed at her sympathetically with his steel grey eyes.

"Don't worry. I'll be back and everybody will be safe, ok? Take of things while I'm gone. I'll be counting on you." He replied. She nodded in response, though one could still see the tears in her eyes.

"I-I'll take care of it! I-I'm not a little girl anymore – Lopmon and I can handle it." She said to reassure him, even though she was the one in need of it. He gently patted her on the top of her head, a serene smile on his face.

"Yeah. I know. Just be careful." He said.

"You too." She replied before returning to her parents' side.

"Henry, are you sure this is enough? I don't doubt your strength, but the Digital World is a very dangerous place. You could end up seriously injured, if not worse, if you aren't careful." His father pointed out. He knew the dangers of the Digital World far too well – after all, Janyu Lee was one of the ones who had helped to create the first Digimon nearly three decades ago. However, his son and his friends have proven to be more than adequate at their job, having defeated the likes of the Devas and the D-Reaper.

"I know Dad, but trouble has a habit of finding us." Jenrya replied with a small chuckle.

"Like we've been saying, don't worry too much. We've got each others' backs and we're going in with a set plan in mind. We can handle this. We'll come back with Gogglehead and Mr. Perfect safe and sound." Rika said with a small smirk on her face.

"Right. Let's begin the process. Riley, are you ready?" Yamaki asked his female co-worker. Riley nodded in reply.

"All set, sir. I've gotten a lock on Takato's current location. He's met up with Ryo and they're both heading to the west. I'm sending the Tamers to a location thirty meters ahead of them so they can rendezvous with each other." She explained.

"Good work, Riley. Now, Tamers, enter the Digital Gate. We'll make sure to stay in contact." He said to the young heroes. They nodded in response.

"Understood, sir." They replied in unison. Over the years, they have taken to military-esque protocols in situations like this, where Yamaki was the general and they the soldiers. In retrospect, it fit their relationship quite well on the battlefield.

The Tamers looked back one last time at their friends and families before nodding with each other and jumping into the portal, Rika and Henry first. Riley was typing away furiously at her monitor at the Hypnos Headquarters, her connection with Yamaki still going strong.

However, the monitor began to flash a bright, startling her. An alarming buzzer began to go off, indicating that something was amiss. In desperation, she looked over the data again. She gasped in shock.

"Yamaki, there's big trouble! Some kind of digital anomaly has just altered the coordinates of the Tamer's destination! Judging from the numbers, they're being sent to a different sector of the Digital World!" she reported. Yamaki received this information just as Kenta entered the portal behind his friends.

"Wait, Kenta, and stop!" he called out, but it was too late. Hearing the urgency in the elder man's voice, Kazu charged forward with his partner by his side.

"Don't worry, Kenta, I'm coming!" he shouted before jumping in after him. Suzie, Ai and Mako looked at each other before nodding.

"Let's go! We gotta help them!" The eldest of them said, the trio taking off with their partners behind them. With that, the three youngest Tamers disappeared into the light. Jeri hesitated after seeing the display, but she felt a gentle urge on her shoulder. She looked up to see her father, with a grim expression, nod his head. His silent permission granted, she smiled, pecked him lightly on the cheek. She grabbed a communication device from Yamaki and jumped into the portal after the young ones. Once all the children were gone, the portal disappeared. The parents watched on in shock at this sudden turn of events.

"Yamaki, what the hell just happened?" Janyu asked in rage.

"Some strange anomaly altered the co-ordinates of their destination, sending them to a different part of the Digital World." Yamaki replied.

"But they're all together, right?" Mayumi Wong asked in concern.

"That's…not entirely true." Riley replied hesitantly over the communication link. Yamaki eyed the device in his hand with dread.

"Riley? What does that mean?" he asked, with a hint of edge to his voice.

"When the destination coordinates were being influenced, they changed a total of three times; the first was just as Rika and Henry were entering the portal. The second was when Kenta and Kazu went it, and the last was when Suzie, Jeri and the twins jumped in. Each of those groups is now in a different sector of the Digital World." Riley explained. Tears began to fall from the parents as Yamaki slammed his fist into his hand, anger clearly on his face.

"Find out what that anomaly was immediately! The portal we opened shouldn't have been so unstable to be prone to outer manipulation! I want results, Riley!" he barked in a harsh tone. She was unaffected by his tone – in all honesty, she was most likely even madder than he was at the moment. She had been the one to suggest using the portal in the first place, and now her idea had caused such a catastrophe.

"I'm on in!" she replied in a loud tone, causing Yamaki to flinch back in surprise. He turned to the parents of the now-missing Tamers.

"I'd tell you not to worry, but there'd be no point in that at the moment. However, we're going to work around the clock to make sure that these kids get back home safely. You have my word." He said.

"We understand, Yamaki, we were here when it happened. We saw what went wrong with our eyes. Last I checked, I gave my daughter permission to go." Mr. Katou said in response. This surprised a few of the parents present. After the incident with the D-Reaper, he and his daughter began to repair the bond that had been broken when her mother passed away. He was overprotective of his child – he was well aware of this – so for him to actually allow her to be placed in danger like that was….strange to say the least.

"You actually let her go? Didn't her partner die last time she went to the Digital World?" Rumiko asked in surprise. He winced at that reminder, but he also remembered what his daughter had said about it.

"…That's true, but she's not exactly defenseless herself. She's got a warrior's spirit, she does. Did you honestly expect her to sit around to wait for her friends to get back from this? She'd have been even more depressed than she was when that thing used her as a puppet! Besides, she has three competent Tamers with her as well. They'll take care of each other." He replied. His thoughts drifted to the one comment she made after he had blown up at her in rage.

"Daddy, you may not trust the Tamers, but I do. They saved me, after all. We trust each other and we take care of our own. Don't forget, I'm still a Tamer too."

"Rumiko, I don't think it's right for us to question his decision. After all, we all let our children go into that portal." Seiko reminded her. Mie winced in obvious regret. Takehiro put his arm around her to comfort her, but it did little to placate her worries.

"Takato…..please be safe." She prayed quietly, but the silence around them reflected how empty her hope sounded.

(Current Day: Southern Quadrant)

Takato and Ryo looked around as they stopped to rest for a moment. Their DigiVices had begun to act very strangely, blinking and flashing brightly before turning off yet again. They couldn't find anything wrong with them,

"Man, I wish there was a manual for this sort of thing." Takato said in annoyance, tapping his D-Arc with his hand.

"So do I. It gets really annoying at times." Ryo agreed. The younger brunette nodded.

"So, did you find anything out about Yggdrasil before I got here?" he asked in interest. Ryo pondered for a moment before turning to him.

"I find discover a few things, but most of these are merely rumors and speculations." He admitted.

"It's better than nothing." Takato reminded him with a smile. Ryo smiled in return before continuing.

"You already know that Yggdrasil took control of things after the D-Reaper incident and that he has employed the Royal Knights into his service, but there's still quite a bit of mystery around him as well. Despite their being thirteen knights in total, only three have been seen in this sector of the Digital World. Since there is no known way of traveling between sectors, some Digimon are wondering if Yggdrasil is actually just one being or four separate entities, like the Sovereigns. Also, and this part is interesting, it appears that Yggdrasil is hunting down certain Digimon." He explained.

"Hunting them down? You mean like how soldiers would track down a traitor?" Takato asked.

"Exactly. Apparently, these individual Digimon have been found guilty of some kind of heinous crime on par with being partnered to a Tamer. I don't have any clue as to what that could be, but none of the Digimon that have been deleted thus far have had any obvious connections. It's really confusing, but no one's questioned his motives yet." Ryo replied. Takato adopted a thoughtful expression before a realization dawned on him.

"Maybe…..maybe this Yggdrasil is a program like the D-Reaper, only smarter. It could just be putting on an act in order to deceive everyone, then just stick the knife in their backs once they're turned. That would explain why it wants us Tamer gone, since we have the power to stop him once we get everyone together." He suggested. Ryo's eyes widened slightly at that thought. He had never guessed at that possibility. With what he's faced in the past, the idea was not too farfetched. In fact, it was quite sound.

"Wow. I have to say, I'm impressed. Even I didn't think of that suggestion. Are you a secret genius or something?" he asked teasingly, eliciting an embarrassed flush from the younger boy.

"W-What? No! I mean, not really...I mean-oh never mind!" he replied before turning away in an attempt to mask his emotions. Ryo laughed in response, smiling in enjoyment.

"Ah, you're too easy to tease, Takato. Anyway, let's get our Digimon and get moving. If we spent too much time here, those Royal Knight goons might show up and try something." He replied. Takato nodded in response. He didn't know who the Royal Knights were, but they sounded extremely powerful. They had to be at least Mega level. Just then, he recalled one of the things MarineDevimon said during their fight.

"Despite your semblance to Lord Gallantmon, I have been ordered to eliminate you!"

Takato gasped in realization. 'If what MarineDevimon said is true…..then Gallantmon is one of the Royal Knights! And that means that….' he thought to himself. He glanced at his partner before looking down at his hands.

"I'm…..a Royal Knight too." He muttered in disbelief.

(Current Day: Eastern Quadrant)

Rika's eyes fluttered open, her body resting on a wide, grassy plain. Beside her, Henry and Terriermon lay fast asleep, still tired from the transfer. However, Kenta and MarineAngemon were nowhere in sight. She sat up, rubbing her eyes tiredly.

"Renamon? Are you okay?" she asked. Her partnered materialized beside her, the same stoic expression on her face.

"Rika, I'm afraid this isn't our correct destination." She reported. Rika was immediately wide awake at that.

"What? Did something happen?" she asked in shock.

"Something must have occurred during the transfer. We are not within the sector we are familiar with." Her vixen-like partner replied.

"What the hell does that mean?" Rika asked.

"I believe we are within a different quadrant than our own." The Digimon replied.

"Wait….you mean that we're in another dimension?" her Tamer asked. Renamon shook her head.

"Not exactly. All the Digital Worlds existence in the same dimension just as all the human worlds do. They are merely fragments of each other. No one quiet knows how this occurred or who is responsible, but one could assume the first Chosen Children are the ones we seek." Renamon explained. A groan from beside them alerted them to Henry's presence. The young Tamer sat up, his eyes opening as well.

"Ugh….what happened?" he asked.

"I feel like I just got through a milkshake blender…." Terriermon remarked, holding his head in discomfort.

"Do you want the good news or the bad?" Rika asked her comrade. Jenrya gave her a strange look before glancing around the area.

"Wait a minute….this isn't our Digital World." He remarked. Renamon was surprised at his deduction.

"My, I'm impressed. How did you discern that?" she asked. Henry assumed an 'explanation pose.'

"My father did work on the original Digital World, so I know some of the subtle differences between the sectors. Besides, having been here two times before hand, I noticed the difference immediately." He began. "This place is much calmer than our own Digital World, much more peaceful. Not to mention that if we were in our quadrant, we'd have been found asleep and probably deleted by a passing Digimon. You know that old myth about absorbing a Tamer's partner's data. The fact we're still alive is our evidence." He explained.

"I had done some scouting before you had woken up and it appears that this domain is ruled by the Sovereign Azulongmon." Renamon reported. Both Tamers' eyes widened in response.

"Azulongmon? But wasn't that the Sovereign in charge of the Digidestined and their partners?" Rika asked.

"He was. But that means that…..the TV show was based on actually events in a different quadrant!" Henry exclaimed in realization.

"So then the Digidestined are real….perhaps they would be willing to help us out." Renamon suggested.

"And what are we supposed to say? 'Hey, we're from an alternate plain of existence and we need finding our friends and getting home.' That would work out real well!" Terriermon rebutted.

"Terriermon!" Henry scolded his partner, rapping his knuckle on his forehead yet again.

"Hey, Henry, you know damn well that they wouldn't believe it if we told then!" his partner reasoned. Rika sighed in annoyance before speaking.

"As much as I hate to admit it, the rabbit is right. The chances of them actually believing our story are slim to none. For now, let's just try to find a way out of this place." She said. With that decision in mind, they set off into the forest around them.

They failed to notice the pair of eyes watching them from afar…..

(Current Day: Northern Quadrant)

Kenta and Kazu had awoken thirty minutes ago and had mutually agreed to try and find the others. However, after exploring the area, they began to realize the vast differences in the Digital World.

"This place actually seems….hospitable. This is nothing like the last time we've been here." Kazu remarked. Guadromon nodded in agreement.

"It appears that the digital composition of this quadrant is different that our own. We've apparently been sent to a separate area of the Digital World, but I'm afraid that's all I can gather." He reported.

"Great, so we're stuck here…." Kenta muttered.

"Don't worry, Chumley, I'm here with ya!" his companion replied. Kenta sighed before continuing.

"Why did you jump into that portal anyway? You were supposed to stay behind with Juri and the others!" he said accusingly. Kazu shot him an incredulous glare before answering.

"Hey, Yamaki said for you to stop, but you didn't listen! I wasn't about to let one of my best buds go into danger like that alone!" he replied, slightly offended. Kenta immediately clammed up, flushed in embarrassment and shame.

"O-Oh….I'm sorry." He replied. Kazu's expression lightened up at that.

"Don't worry about it. For now, we need to get the heck outta here!" he replied. A sound of shouting came from overhead, catching Kenta's attention. His eyes widened as he looked up.

"Kazu, up there!" he called. The four members of the group glanced up and saw two flying figures in the sky. One of them held a glowing green net, with what appeared to be….

"Hey, those are kids in there!" Kazu said in shock. They watched as the figures continued to fly towards a large beanstalk in the distance.

"They're heading that way! C'mon, we gotta catch up!" he said to his companions. With a unanimous nod, they sped off into the distance.

(Current Day: Western Quadrant)

Jeri shot up in surprise, her eyes wide. She looked around to find herself in a large, hospital-like room in a bed of some kind. She got up and went to look around, curious as to her whereabouts. Just as she opened the door, three smaller human figures ran into her from behind it.

"Jeri! You're okay!" Ai exclaimed in joy. The brown-haired girl looked at the three younger Tamers with a smile.

"Yes, I'm fine. But, where exactly are we?" she asked in confusion.

"We were in big trouble, but then the nice DATS agents helped us out!" Mako replied.

"Huh? DATS agents? What's DATS?" Jeri asked in confusion.

"Perhaps I can explain that?" a young male voice said from the doorway. The four Tamers and their partners looked up to see a young, orange-haired boy standing there. He wore a long-sleeved yellow shirt under a red, sleeveless vest with a pair of blue sweatpants. A pair of goggles was wrapped around his head, a strange charger-like DigiVice on his belt and a confident smile on his face, highlighting his dark brown eyes. Beside him was a small, bipedal lion-like creature. It had flame red fur and a long tail, which ended with a flaming tip.

"Who are you?" Jeri asked. The boy smiled as he held his hand out to her in a friendly manner.

"I'm Koh Makuchi, a member of DATS and partner to Coronamon. My teammate Sayo and I found you all unconscious outside the base and brought you here to be cared for. I believe we have a lot to discuss." He replied. Jeri nodded in response.

"Yes, I believe we do."

So, the newest adventures begin. I've had this idea in my head for awhile, but I had a little trouble figuring out how to start it. In my opinion, this is the best I could do in order to have all the characters I want to get involved. Things are going to get pretty chaotic soon in the Digital World. Will the Tamers find their way home? What caused the malfunction of the portal? Who is Yggdrasil and why does he want the Tamers gone? And is DATS a friend or foe? All these questions and more will be answered next time, so stay tuned!