Retrieve The Xros Loader

Chapter I: Vacation

Finally, a break! Between claiming the last zone and Bagura's recent activity to wipe out the humans, being able to relax was exactly what Team Xros Heart needed.

The new zone they were taken to contained a walled, but rather tiny, village of Digimon, mostly consisting of Tentomon, Terriermon and Wormmon. Once they found Xros Heart was an opposing force to Bagura, the villagers glady gave Taiki and his friends all the food they could eat and a place to rest. There was no sign of Bagura within a hundred miles, it seemed. Dorulumon was worried about the possibility of a trap, but his worries subsided after a few days. The village was remote, probably not on a single map.

"Ah, this is what I needed," Zenjirou sighed contently, resting on the big soft bed at the village inn. "A nice vacation."

"We shouldn't be sitting around so much," Taiki said. "Bagura's still out there, who knows what they might be doing!"

"Bagura? What's that?" Zenjirou said.

Akari gave Zenjirou and odd look. "...Team Bagura, our enemies. Y'know, Tactimon and-"

"I'm sorry, but the only thing that exists in the world, as far as I'm concerned, is this feather bed and, if someone could be so kind, a nice hot pot of tea," Zenjirou replied, resting his hands between his head and the pillow, closing his eyes. "Tea sounds good right now."

Taiki and Akari exchanged glances. "Right." They both said, starting for the doorway outside.

"Could you make it genmaicha, guys?" Zenjirou said, opening one eye. "Y'know, green tea and roasted rice. Really good stuff."

"Uh-huh, yeah, we'll get it," Akari rolled her eyes.

"You're a pal, Akari-chan."

Taiki and Akari stepped into the streets of the village. Shoutmon walked by with a bunch of little Wormmon closely following him.

"Tell us another story, Shoutmon-nii-chan! Please!" One of the Wormmon bounced up and down with enthusiasm.

Shoutmon scratched his head. "I'm a little tired-"

"We can get you some food!" Another Wormmon chimed in.

"Oh, I think I'm starting to remember the time I saved ChibiKamemon from a horde of MetalGreymon...Yeah..."

"Quick! Get him some food!" The group of Wormmon hurried off in search of food.

"Shoutmon, when did you ever save ChibiKamemon from a horde of MetalGreymon?" Akari crossed her arms, eying the little red dragon digimon.

"Won't know until I make up a date for it," Shoutmon said, glancing away. "They like hearing my stories so much, I'm running out!"

"Something tells me you and Zenjirou would get along really well right now," Taiki sighed. "We're being distracted, don't you want to become the Digimon King?"

"One more big meal, please, Taiki-san?" Shoutmon gave Taiki his most pleading of looks. "Please...?"

"Okay, but don't make ChibiKamemon a wimp in your story," Taiki said.

"I promise," Shoutmon gave a nod, just as the Wormmon came back with a plate of fruits and breads. "Okay, I'll tell you guys in the village square over there..." He trailed off, leading the Wormmon away.

"Maybe we should enjoy this break," Akari said. "I mean, after the whole thing with AncientVolcamon, I thought I'd sleep for weeks."

"I'm just going stir crazy," Taiki said, turning to Akari. "I mean, we've just been sitting around, it was fun at first, but... Don't you want to also go home?"

Akari nodded. "Yeah, but what can we do if we don't even have a clue of what to do next? Do you know how to claim this zone?"

"...No idea..." Taiki sighed. "That does it, I'm going for a walk outside the city. Maybe there's something there that can give me a clue!"

An ususually calm and relaxed voice came from the inn window. "Taiki never has a clue..."

"Shut up, Zenjirou!" Akari shouted.

"Where's my tea?"

"I'll get you your tea..." Akari growled, raising a fist.

"Remember, genmaicha!"

Akari started back to the inn, Taiki stopped her. "What is it?"

"I'm pretty sure he's just joking, Akari-chan."

"He keeps it up, I'm gonna break his funny bone."

"Go with me on the walk?" Taiki suggested. "Something to take your mind off the boredom?"

"Well, it wouldn't be a good idea for you to go alone," Akari shrugged, then nodded. "Let's go."

Taiki and Akari passed through the main street out of the city, going by Shoutmon and his war story fans...

"...And ChibiKamemon wept bitterly, saying, 'if only Shoutmon were here to save me!' Fortunately for him, I was up in a tree, waiting for the right moment to strike!"

Taiki and Akari exchanged glances and sighed in unison. They'd have a talk with Shoutmon later. They continued through the massive city gate, it was big enough for a pair of staircases leading up to a walkway atop the wall. Taiki had been meaning to ask why such a small village needed such defenses...Then again, with the Bagura Empire around he probably didn't have to wonder.

The forest wasn't far from outside of the village. A stream ran through it, passing by the village. The pair walked along the stream, gazing at the strange plantlife of the Digital World in awe...

"...Kudou Taiki..."

Taiki and Akari stiffened up upon hearing that voice, stopping in their tracks. "...Kiriha?" Taiki turned. Sure enough, Kiriha stood behind them. They were shocked by the condition he was in, his clothes were torn all over, he was covered in dirt and had a few obvious wounds. He was limping, using a large stick as a crutch.

"What on Earth happened to you?" Akari asked. "And where are your Digimon? Gonna tell us to join you or die again?"

"...Actually..." Kiriha glanced away, his serious expression remained unchanged. "My Xros loader has been," he cleared his throat. "Taken."

"Taken? What happened?" The sudden worry in Taiki's voice almost caused Akari's heart to stop. His bad habit was about to kick in...

"...Tactimon..." Kiriha said. "Three days ago... I was ambushed by Tactimon and his army, and he took my Xros Loader and my Digimon...I'll never forget the ferocity he fought with..."


Three Days Ago...


Kiriha had set his Xros Loader on a nearby tree stump, he stood behind another tree...

...Relieving himself and humming a tune. "Gokigen na chou ni natte..."

Then Kiriha heard the most ominous of chuckles, followed shortly by a rather unexpected word... "Yoink."

"...Yoink?" Kiriha leaned to one side from his tree. His eyes widened, he shifted slightly to help protect himself and his dignity.

Tactimon stood before him, holding his Xros Loader in one hand, shaking it back and forth as if to say 'Lookie what I got!' The Tactician-Digimon kept silent, he simply turned and walked away with another chuckle. Sure, he could have killed Kiriha then and there but he knew letting him live with THIS humiliating defeat was a fate even worse than death.

As he walked away, Tactimon cocked his head to one side, eying Kiriha. Kiriha was certain that under Tactimon's mask was the most smug of grins.

After Tactimon's departure, Kiriha could only stand by his tree, dumbfounded. He was not sure what was more frightening...Coming face to face with Tactimon and somehow avoiding a grisly demise by his hand...

...Or the fact that Tactimon had actually uttered the word "Yoink" and STILL managed to appear vaguely threatening.


The Present...


"...I was amazed I came out of the ambush alive. His soldiers were unrelenting, and I had no Digimon partner to defend myself with." Kiriha held up his crutch, sighing lightly. "Just a big stick, and my will to live." The big stick portion of his story was somewhat true, except he had had an encounter with a pack of Numemon the day after the incident with Tactimon...

Akari smelled the air. "...Do either of you smell something?" She covered he nose. "Something foul..."

...An encounter that left him in desperate need of a bath, given what Numemon love to attack with. Kiriha shuddered at the memory. Six hours in a stream and he still couldn't quite get the smell off.

Kiriha was not at his proudest moment. Which was further realized as he found himself asking TAIKI for help. Thankfully, Taiki was the type that wouldn't let him get as far as asking...

Taiki stepped up to Kiriha, putting a hand on his shoulder. "We'll help you!"

Akari groaned, Taiki's bad habit was kicking in. "Taiki...This is Kiriha..."

"And didn't he help us escape from AncientVolcamon and Tactimon?" Taiki asked. "Come on, we owe him at least this much!"

Akari rubbed the sides of her head. "...Let's see what Zenjirou has to say." Unlike Akari, Zenjirou would have no trouble speaking his mind on the matter. She knew he'd be enough to either change Taiki's mind or get Kiriha to leave.

Taiki just short of marched back to the village with Kiriha and Akari. Akari still occasionally inquiring about the foul odor...

Upon returning to the village, Taiki and Akari found Shoutmon up a tree with a furious ChibiKamemon below, holding a stick similar to the one Kiriha had been limping with. ChibiKamemon would jump up and swing at Shoutmon now and then, as if he were a whimpering red, dragon-shaped pinata.

"I'm sorry! I really am-"

"I-I'm not a crybaby!" ChibiKamemon shouted, contradictory tears welling in his eyes. "And how could you say I was brainwashed by Tactimon and betrayed you guys? Even if I was, just the sight of YOUR 'supreme awesomeness' wouldn't snap me out of it!"

"J-Just put the stick down...We can talk...! Mon to mon!" Shoutmon cried. He never knew ChibiKamemon could be so threatening... He was relieved to see Starmon and Pickmon coming to his aid. "Brothers! Help me!" Starmon and Pickmon started to crowd around ChibiKamemon. "W-Well? Hold him back or something!"

"...We talked to those Wormmon, Shoutmon..." Starmon said, he turned to ChibiKamemon. "Where did you find that stick?"

"Borrowed it from Jijimon," ChibiKamemon replied, not taking his tearful glare off Shoutmon.

"CRAP!" Shoutmon screamed. "...Dorulumon hasn't talked to them, has he?"

"Not yet..." Starmon trailed off. Shoutmon's sudden sigh of relief saved him from asking 'why?'

"...Suddenly, I'm wondering if Nene would be a better source to turn to for help in this matter..." Kiriha muttered.

"You're welcome..." Akari growled.

"Um...I say we let them sort this out on their own," Taiki said, laughing nervously as a couple Pickmon passed a stick to Starmon. "Let's go see Zenjirou..."

At the inn, Zenjirou still lay contently on his feather bed. He was eating grapes from a bowl on a nearby stool. He heard footsteps. "Taiki, is that my tea?" He joked. His eyes suddenly went wide. "UGH! What's that smell! Please tell me that's not some sort of freaky Digimon tea they have here..." He held his nose.

"...Hello, Tsurugi Zenjirou..."

"Kiriha?" Zenjirou turned, he gagged. "Seriously, when was the last time you had a bath?"

"I had a feeling that smell was coming from you..." Akari trailed off.

"I'm sorry, but I have been having a very bad week," Kiriha said, turning to Akari with a frown.

"No kidding," Zenjirou waved his hand. "Taiki, what the hell is he doing here, anyway?"

"His Xros Loader was stolen by Tactimon," Taiki said. "We're going to help him get it back!"

"You and Akari are going to help him get it back, that's so nice of you, Akari!" Zenjirou said.

"You're helping, too..." Taiki trailed off.

"Again, I refer to the fact that only this feather bed, these grapes and I exist," Zenjirou rolled onto his side, his back to the group. He still held his nose.

"Kiriha has saved us, you know," Taiki said. "Are you that ungrateful?"

Zenjirou was silent for a moment or two. He finally let out a loud sigh. "...You come up with the plan, at least, got it?"

"Thanks, Zenjirou! I knew we could count on you!"

"Yeah, yeah, just...Get him out of here, my eyes are watering! Seriously!"

Akari was disappointed. She had been hoping he would be able to at least rant Kiriha away. Guess they were all in this...

Kiriha, Taiki and Akari stepped out of the inn. "Now we just need a plan..."

"Good luck, we're talking about a digital tactical genius," Akari said. "He's always five steps ahead of us..."

"He is also about five miles away from you," a voice spoke up. Akari and Taiki both shouted in surprise, turning to face the source.

"...Hello, Nene," Kiriha said, turning. He'd learned not to be surprised by Nene's sudden appearances.

Nene stepped out from an alleyway behind the inn. "Tactimon has located your hiding place. He and his army will be here within a few hours."

"Wh-What?" Akari went pale. "We...We couldn't even hold our own before when it was just him, Kiriha had to save us! And without his Xros Loader he's..." She turned to Kiriha. "...Useless and smelly."

"...I love you, too, Akari," Kiriha crossed his arms with a frown.

"Sorry, but it's the truth," Akari said.

"If Tactimon's closing in," Taiki began, "we need to evacuate the village!"

"You don't have time," Nene said. "Save yourselves."

"No way! Xros Heart never leaves people to suffer at the hands of Bagura!" Taiki shouted. "We'll fight to the end!"

"Then I hope your demise is a merciful one," Nene started to leave. "I thought it only fair to warn you."

"Wait," Kiriha raised a hand.

"What is it?"

"I have a plan that might buy us some time." Kiriha said. "Will you help us?"

Nene stopped. She thought for a moment. "...Yes, but on one condition."

"What is it?"

Nene turned to Kiriha, holding her nose. "Take a bath first."

Kiriha let out a low growl. "...I had a very bad week. Numemon were involved."

Taiki spoke up, "Yeah, but-"

"NUMEMON!"

To Be Continued...


BONUS! TACTIMON BING FA!


Hello, Dummies.

My name is Tactimon, the greatest strategic mind in the history of the Digital World. You may call me "Lord Tactimon." Call me anything else and you won't live long enough to regret it.

War Strategy is a very complicated science, which I expect none of you to understand in even the most basic of terms. However, I believe in sharing my vast wealth of knowledge, so I am willing to give you, you stupid, stupid Humans, a rudimentary lesson.

A "strategist" by the name of Sun Zi once jotted down:

To know yourself and the other, in one hundred battles no fear.
To know yourself and not the other, one victory for one defeat.
To know neither yourself or the other and disaster is certain.

Fairly smart words, especially for a human. I suppose some of you may perhaps beat me in a chess game. IF I were distracted enough...

Anyway, let's take the current situation with myself and the fools of Xros Heart:

I know myself to be a genius, a fierce warrior, perfect strategist and, not to be one to go on and on about himself but I am also quite handsome. Just ask Lillithmon, she'll vouch. Ha ha ha!

I know Kudou Taiki to be an optomistic fool, that Zenjirou pipsqueak to be a hothead and Akari to be "moral support" at best. The same goes for Starmon, Pickmon and their "friends" like that crybaby turtle. Dorulumon, however, may pose a threat...About as much as a mosquito, maybe!

Kiriha has also been effectively neutralized, as I have his Xros Loader. It is my most favorite of battle trophies! Perhaps I shall make a pendant out of it to taunt him on the battlefield. Ha ha ha! Yes, I think I shall! What would you humans call that? "Battlefield bling" or something like that?

With this knowledge, I can deduce my "opponents" (as if you could call them that!) stand no chance against me. The upcoming battle will be a slaughter, and I shall love every minute of it! Oh ho ho! I cannot wait! It will be...Perfect.

Our next lesson will cover ambushes. For now, I shall tell you the different between an ambush and a standard charge:

When you charge your enemy at the perfect time, you slaughter them.
When you ambush your enemy at the perfect time, you slaughter them while shouting "SURPRISE!"

That is all for today, Dummies.

Regards,
Lord Tactimon


Original Author's (AKA Ori's) Notes:
I wrote this fic back in 2000, when my psychic powers first began to develop...I kept this fic printed and hidden in an envelope with instructions not to open it until 2010. If you are reading this, I assume Taiki has followed his instructions.

Also, my powers tell me that in 2016 United States President Barack Hussein Obama will win an unprecedented third presidential term after he singlehandedly fights off an alien invasion with the holy sword Excalibur.

...Okay, fine my psychic powers are only limited to guessing what episode of The Simpsons is going to air on Fox tonight. This is brand new and...I'm back, apparently. I'm back to FFN for the time being. Not sure for how long...Maybe this one fic, maybe two or five or forty-two or four hundred-twenty...I dunno! Let's see what happens!

I'm writing this fic for a friend who requested a Xros Wars humor fic, and I just couldn't pass up a challenge and a chance to flex my humor writing muscles for the first time in months. Not really sure how funny this is turning out so far, I don't want to go with zany Mugen E-esque humor like before. I want to keep everyone relatively in-character.

This fic takes place right after the AncientVolcamon episode, which is as far as I was in the series at the time I started writing this.

The final portion, Tactimon Bing Fa, is mostly jokes people who love war strategy as much as I do might get (The Thirty-Six Stratagems is my bible, to put things lightly). The name comes from "Sun Zi Bing Fa" or "Sun Zi's Soldier Law" (The Art of War) and it will be used to close each chapter. I'm probably over exaggerating Tactimon's character, but it's hard to resist... And I'll try not to make any of the jokes overly advanced stuff only Zhuge Liang would get a chuckle out of (though, knowing me, he'd get a chuckle of how horribly wrong I am).

Oh, and I hope no-one takes my treatment of Kiriha in this chapter as character-bashing. I like Kiriha, too. And remember: The more I like a character, the meaner I am to them (Vamdemon, Takato, Jianliang, Osamu and Ken can vouch for that).

The new stuff will be put up on Taiki's account, since it's where my best quality work is currently being archived. That and I don't really wanna use my old account again...Too many memories.

Hope you enjoy, and I promise: Unlike all the fics I wrote before, there WILL NOT be any random slash pairings inserted into the story. I've learned from the past, really!

Finally, I've set up a DeviantArt account if anyone's interested in my crappy digimon humor comics. The account name is Qibushi-Zijian.


Taiki's Notes:
YES! Ori's back! He's writing humor again! Oh, I cannot wait to see how this turns out! And he's asked me to be his editor to ensure quality work! I promise to do my duties as editor with all my heart, Ori! I'll make you proud! Though, I should say, there really is not much for me to correct aside from the odd typo.

But, wait, no slash? Um, could I get you to reconsider that one, Ori? Please? Taiki and Zenjirou, maybe?

Y-You could call it my birthday present! Honest!

Please?

-Taiki Matsuki