Tamer Evolution
Part 6
by Christian "Sid" Lang

"Why didn't things like that happen on Yamaki's shift?"
Tenbatsu curses, pacing through the op center.
"I have the best technology of this planet at my disposal! How could this happen?"
He looks at the steel doors, nodding slowly.
"At least I've managed to stop them here." he whispers.
He had immediately placed 90% of the guards from this level at the door.
The troops have waited there for Yamaki. And the plan had worked.
The roar of machine gun fire had startled him a bit, but not much.
"Do you think they managed to hold them off, sir?" a guard asks.
Tenbatsu nods. The remaining 10% are in the op center, just in case.
Then he can hear a scream coming from outside.
Before he can ask anything, he can hear more creams coming from the outside.
Not one shot is being fired.
Then there is silence again. Dead silence.

Yamaki gulps when he risks a glance around the corner.
Renamon is standing in the middle of the guards.
Or rather: She is standing in the middle of what is left of the guards.
The floor and the walls are covered with blood, just like Renamon's claws.
Renamon is shaking visibly, as if realizing for the first time what has happened.
"Oh my GOD!" Jusr mutters when she sees the scene.
"They're alive... most of them..." Renamon whispers.
Yamaki doesn't like the fact that she makes the statement sound like a question.
"...some of them..."
With that being said, she moves away from the door.
Yamaki gulps again when he realizes what might happen if his plan to bring back Ruki fails.

The entire op center is silent.
Everybody looks at Tenbatsu.
"The doors are locked?" the man asks.
"They are, sir." one of the guards whispers.
Tenbatsu nods slowly.
"This is madness. We're not safe here."
He turns to face the woman who had spoken.
"What?" he asks Reika, who is sitting in a chair.
"This door won't hold them back. And the guards should surrender as soon as possible."
"You're MAD!" Tenbatsu barks, trying to hide his own worries.
Just then, the massive steal door seams to glow.
A split-second later, it shatters, covering the ground with debris.

Renamon stares through the smoking doorway, her arms still raised at her sides.
He attack had shredded the door just as planned.
The humans would pay. She would make them pay for what they had done.
She whirls around when she feels somebody touch her side.
Her claws are already flying towards the attacker when she realizes who is standing there.
"J-Juri?" she whispers, almost sounding like a child now.
"Please, Renamon! Stop this!" Juri cries, pointing at the bloody corridor.
The fox blinks. Then she looks at her blood-covered paws.
Have I gone too far? What would Ruki think of this?
She bites her lower lip, her paw trembling now.
"You're right. This is unneccessary. I've gon-"
Her confession is interrupted by a single bullet slamming through her shoulder.

"One's down! It's the Digimon!" a guard reports, lowering his rifle.
Reika gulps.
This is insane! she tells herself.
The guard smiles and raises his rifle again.
He never has a chance to complete the move because a crystal shard hits his right arm.
The guard screams in pain, holding his wounded arm.
His buddies make their final mistakes by storming the doorway.
"Fox Leaf Arrowhead!" she can hear a distant voice shout.
She covers her eyes and only hears the guards scream in pain.
When the screams go on, she knows that these haven't been killing shots.
Then she can hear steps. Somebody coming in. Slowly.
Reika risks a look and smiles when she sees Yamaki.

"YOU!" Tenbatsu yells, pointing at Yamaki.
"Indeed." Yamaki mutters as he walks to a console.
"Stop, Yamaki! You not authorized to acc-"
Tenbatsu's protest is silenced by a paw applying pressure to his windpipe.
"You are the man who took away my Tamer." Renamon whispers.
Yamaki frowns when he sees Tenbatsu's struggles becoming mroe frantic.
"Renamon." he mutters, but the fox doesn't answer.
"Because of you, people have died today." Renamon continues.
She looks at the struggling man and smiles when she sees his struggles becoming weaker.
"You're a weakling. Nothing more."
With these words, Renamon lets Tenbatsu fall to the ground, where the man coughs wildly.
Yamaki sighs. A dead Tenbatsu would have been bad for his own plans.
"Renamon, Juri. Please bring Ruki here." he says, typing some commands.
"Boss, haven't you read my mail?" Reika whispers, coming over to him.
Yamaki gives her a look.
"Do you want to tell her that Ruki is presumably dead?" he whispers back.

The first thing Yamaki had done was to call back the guards from the lobby.
He knows that Lee and Takato would fall back now.
"I've got the hardware you requested, boss." Megumi announces.
The woman gives him a large helmet.
"Thanks. How're you doing over there, Reika?"
"Almost done, boss." somebody shouts from under the consoles.
Good. Once Reika is finished reconfiguring the equipment Tenbatsu used, we're all set.
Yamaki frowns. He doubts that this will work. Reika's mail had told him so.
She had told him that Ruki's personality had been wiped. Deleted. Killed.
But he decided to go on, simply because he knows these kids and their Digimon.
They would have tried it anyway.
Still, he knows that he is risking his life with this plan.
What if it doesn't work? Renamon has killed those guards easily. She could do so again.
He had never thought of Digimon as murderers. They kept their fights among themselves.
Until a human attacked her Tamer. he reminds himself.
Yamaki frowns and looks at Tenbatsu, who is tied to a chair nearby.
If Renamon doesn't kill him after this, I might be tempted to so... he grimly thinks.

Juri watches the crew preparing Ruki's rescue.
She strokes Renamon's fur, keeping the Digimon close to her.
"Everything will be all right." she whispers.
Every muscle in Renamon's body is tensed.
Juri knows that she has to keep talking.
Renamon's too dangerous if nobody keeps her occupied.
She can see that Yamaki is ready to begin now. He is already putting a helmet over Ruki's head.
Renamon hurries to Yamaki, her tail hanging low.

"Yamaki." he hears Renamon hiss as she grabs his arm.
He tries to keep his nevousness out of his voice.
"What is it?" he asks.
The Digimon looks down at Ruki, then back at Yamaki.
"Whatever happens now, I won't blame you." she finally whispers.
He feels like sighing, but manages to simply nod instead.
Renamon also nods, then kneels next to Ruki, holding her hand.
Yamaki bites his lip, knowing that the Digimon trusts him completely now.
"Okay people! Let's move it!" he finally shouts, clapping his hands.

Kneeling next to her Tamer, Renamon reviews the events so far.
She has dragged the others into a fight. She has wounded and killed humans.
All this just because of my selfish wish?
She sighs, stroking Ruki's hand.
Ruki will decide what to do. Let her be my judge.
In the background, Yamaki gives several orders, sounding more like a character from Star Trek.
"Very well. Attempt the transfer!" he finally orders.
Renamon bites her lower lip. The moment of truth has finally come.
Long seconds pass.
"Nothing, sir." Reika finally whispers.
The Digimon struggles hard not to collapse right away.
"Ruki!" she whispers, tears flowing down her face.
She would have kissed her Tamer just like a fairy tale character.
But the helmet is covering Ruki's entire head.

"Please! We've come this far to save you!" the Digimon begs.
Yamaki gulps. He has never witnessed something like this before.
Of course, he had known of the strong bond between Tamer and Digimon.
That had become obvious when the Gate had taken the Digimon away.
But this... is more. The terms love or family come to his mind.
"Reika, re-attempt transfer." he whispers, staring at the crying fox.
"Sir, it is usele-" Reika starts to protest.
Yamaki's fierce stare instantly silences her.
"Re-attempting transfer." she quickly whispers.
"I've got something!" Megumi suddenly announces.
"Transfer has started!" Reika shouts.
Yamaki smiles when he sees Ruki's body spasm lightly, a sign of the transfer.
Renamon looks at him, and he simply nods.
Everything will be all right.

After a long minute, Ruki's body goes limp again.
Renamon moves a bit to allow Yamaki access to the helmet.
The man carefully removes it and gently places the head on a small pillow.
"D-Did it work?" Renamon asks, as if talking to a doctor.
"The transfer has been successful." Yamaki replies carefully.
Renamon is about to ask more when she hears Ruki groan.
Everybody now looks at the young groaning girl.
"Ruki!" Renamon whispers, her mouth inches from Ruki's face away.
The Tamer's eyes fly open, startling Renamon a bit.
"R...Renamon?" she asks weakly.
Instead of answering, Renamon hugs her Tamer.
"You're back!" she cheers, tears flowing freely again.
"Yes. I'm back." Ruki whispers and snickers.

Yamaki quickly checks if anybody is watching him.
When he is sure everybody is still staring at Ruki, he sighs and wipes the sweat from his forehead.
He isn't sure what would have happened if the transfer hadn't worked.
Renamon had promised not to hurt anybody, but would she have remembered it?
Yamaki shakes his head. It has worked. That's all that counts for now.
He walks over to her, remembering the bag he has brought along.
Renamon looks up at him, but he only smiles and opens the bag.
"Here. She might want to wear something more fitting." he whispers.
He had taken one of Ruki's normal outfit just before they had left.
"Thanks." Renamon whispers and nods.
"Come on, Ruki, let's go home." she whispers and picks up her Tamer.

Juri smiles when Renamon comes her way.
"Ruki! I'm so glad to see you back again." she tells her friend.
Ruki looks at her and cocks her head. Finally she also smiles.
"You... Yes, of course..." Ruki whispers and pets Juri's cheek.
Renamon raises an eyebrow, but doesn't say anything.
Ruki has been through lots of trouble. Small wonder she's acting... strange. Juri thinks.
"I'll visit you someday, okay?" Juri promises, and Ruki nods.
"Please do so. I can't wait to meet you again..." Ruki whispers.
Juri frowns lightly, but keeps smiling.
"After all, you have done so much for me in the past..." Ruki continues.
Renamon frowns, but only shrugs.
"Errrr... Come now, Ruki. We'll get you dressed. And then we'll go home."
"Yes, Renamon. I have been away for quite some time, haven't I?"
The Digimon nods and carries her Tamer out.
Something's not right here. I'm sure of it... Juri thinks.
But she decides not to say anything for now.

Hello, Juri... How nice to see you again...