Author's Notes

Hi guys. Guess what? This is my summer project. Funny how summer break starts in spring. Now, the last time I started one, I finished it halfway through the second semester, ie. following spring, but I figured this one is a really good opportunity for me to explore some new manga and anime (more like old, but ones I haven't seen). Then I stated making a list, and it was rather pathetically small. This is also one of those times where my brain goes wild with ideas, so I'm afraid you'll all have to tolerate that. At least the summer break's almost here. Two and a half weeks of studying and exams, and I'm home free.

There's twenty animes/manga universes involved (hence the summary) but the characters from Frontier are the main guys. As for the other nineteen…you'll have to wait and see. The first one, well second, is revealed at the end of this chapter read the chapter first. It won't make a whole lot of sense otherwise.

Unfortunately, this is the setup chapter. Action starts soon though.


AutoCycle

It's set on automatic. It's set on random. They can't get it off, and it sends them to places they know little or nothing about. 20 cycles, then they're home free...if they're still alive.

Digimon & Anime x-overs


Chapter 1

The IT Trade Fair

'I can't believe you actually dragged us to this stupid fair,' Takuya grumbled, crossing his arms.

'You agreed,' JP snapped back, though he sounded happy enough, turning from the newest Windows model demonstration to look at his goggle-wearing friend. 'Besides, you weren't moaning and groaning when we saw that vacuum cleaner.'

'Moaning and groaning?' Koichi repeated from behind them, sounding like he was stifling a laugh. 'You make him sound like a zombie.'

'Or a ghoul,' Zoe agreed, not bothering to hide back her giggle. The large expo in Tokyo had invited them all out during their spring break to look at the latest computer software, electronic gadgets and games. Actually, JP and Tommy had invited the other four, but no-one had really needed much persuading.

Unfortunately, Takuya wasn't quite as interested in computer software as he was about the latest gizmos. Actually, JP was the only one interested in all that stuff. Tommy, like Takuya, preferred games, as did Koji. Zoe wasn't exactly passionate about any of them though she would give the boys a run for their money and then some in any action-packed endeavour, and Koichi really only knew enough about computers to be able to research, type, format and print his homework, but he didn't really need to with the commentaries he was receiving from his friends. Besides, the fair was a good opportunity for them to get together; they had planned to head over to a local food joint for some ramen later too. Two years after their adventures in the digital world and their friendship was still going strong, though they found it a tad difficult to meet up in person between JP's first year at senior high school and his part time job at an electronics store, Koichi living in a different province and almost four hours away from the rest and babysitting for the family that moved into the apartment above his, and Tommy's last year of elementary school and subsequent studying for the junior high entrance exams.

But they were all taking a break that day, and despite the good-natured teasing and grumbling, no-one really minded.

'Hey,' Tommy said suddenly, almost losing his orange hat as he pointed at an abnormally large crowd. 'I wonder what that is.'

'Let's look,' Takuya said brightly, eager to escape the word processor, the one part of computers he really didn't like, namely because he only ever wound up using it for homework.

The others followed, the twins unhurriedly following at the back as Koji whispered something to his brother and got a confused reply. He then sped up to whisper the same statement to Zoe up ahead, leaving the elder of the two twins hanging slightly behind.

'Seriously?' Zoe asked, craning her neck so she could see over the crowd. She, after a few attempts, spotted the devices the ex-warrior of light had been talking about. They looked like some sort of monitoring devices, each of the six attached like a cuff or clamp to a dummy wrist. They had small screens, looking somewhat like the five centimetre watches or bands some people wore on their wrists. Koji was wearing one now, only because it covered the bandage with covered his latest kendo injury. He was a good swordsman, so it wasn't all that common, but there were people, as there usually were, that kept him at the top of his game.

Not the game that apparently was being advertised though.

'Cool,' Tommy commented, finally getting a clear view as some adults moved out of the way, seeing one, a seventh, opened up and showcasing the complicated circuits within. It somewhat resembled the connections within the D-tectors…or so he thought; he couldn't tell the wires apart all that great. 'Is that a gadget for some new game? Or a promo?'

'Not at all young man,' an older man wearing a top hat, an oddity in itself, commented, almost making the small boy jump and earning a glare from Koji. 'My apologies, but I see you're interested in my latest creation.'

'What sort of creation?' the ex-warrior of fire asked enthusiastically.

'It's an ingenious device really,' the man said, grinning at the enthusiasm. 'It, simply put, allows one to virtually travel to other places: countries, worlds, universes…'

'Really,' Koji scoffed, sounding rather unbelieving.

'You don't believe in other forms of life young man?' the scientist asked, raising a brow.

The boy flushed awkwardly. 'It's not that,' he said hotly.

'Ah, you don't think I'm capable of pulling that of.' The man grinned. 'Truth be told, this is still a prototype. I've gotten animals back, but I'm looking for six volunteers to test them out, right here and now. Young people,' he added hurriedly. 'It's a bit of a shock to older minds.'

Funnily enough, most of the children and young teens were at the gaming section.

The man noted that and scratched his head. 'If only it hadn't taken all morning to set up,' he muttered, apparently having not noticed the elder twin…for a good reason, he was hidden behind JP's larger frame and having trouble squeezing anywhere else because of the crowd. His hearing on the other hand was not impaired, so it was that he heard Takuya's excited: 'we'll do it. Right guys?'

'Takuya,' the ex-warrior began, before almost falling when the crowd parted. 'Don't laugh,' he muttered to his brother.

'Oh come on,' the reckless and self-proclaimed leader of their group of six whined, a little like a child. 'It'll be fun.'

'It could also be dangerous,' the boy said quietly. 'It is a prototype after all.' He looked like he was going to continue, but reconsidered and stayed silent.

The man in the top hat tipped the head ornament. 'Don't worry young man,' he said. 'My hamsters haven't lost much more than a few meals in twenty cycles. I need humans just to get a report of the experience. Hamsters don't make too much of a conversation.'

Koichi still looked worried, but Tommy looked rather excited as well. 'Cycles?' he asked.

'Yep,' the man grinned, pointing through a gap in the crowd to the screen displayed on the bands. 'Set to twenty. Totally random. Random timings before a switch. Random settings, so you could wind up anywhere. I need to know what's out there before specifying the settings.'

JP and Zoe looked at each other, then at the twins, who while having not made eye contact, were both thinking the same thing. 'Aren't there regulations with this sort of thing?' Koji asked finally.

'Of course,' the man said, sounding a little offended. 'I've got special permission to run a full scale demonstration. It's passed the health and safety check, and the brief trials we've run have been a success.'

The elder boy shrugged at that. 'How long will it take?'

'In this here time, no more than ten minutes. Tops.'

'Don't tell me you're agreeing?' Koichi asked.

The ex-warrior of thunder shrugged again. 'Why not? Sounds fascinating.'

'That it does,' Koji said. 'And it looks like nothing is going to talk Takuya out of this.'

Zoe groaned and face-palmed her head, before sharing a look with the elder twin. 'I don't fancy being a guinea pig,' she admitted. 'But I have to admit, it does sound like an adventure.'

'Truthfully,' the ex-warrior of darkness muttered. 'That's what I'm afraid of.'

'Oh come on.' Takuya grinned. 'Remember the-?'

It was a little hard to kick discretely, but luckily, the yutakas made it that much easier. Takuya shut up immediately, before grasping a new train.

'Don't be a coward,' he quickly covered. 'Come on, it'll be fun. Just like the virtual world we went to last year.'

Koichi, being Koichi, didn't take offence like someone else would have. Which was rather fortunate. He bit his lip lightly, before shrugging. For some reason, his adventure in the digital world was stuck in his mind, more specifically how it had ended. It had taken some persuasion to convince him to go to the virtual world with them at that point as well, but it had all been fine. Perhaps he was overreacting.

'Hold out your hands then,' the scientist said, the crowd parting to let him through to the display case, which was actually far close than they had originally thought. They all did so, standing in a semi-circle around him

One by one, he clasped the devices onto their left wrists, watching them all lock into place. Each showed the same settings, screen reading 020.

'You mean this thing can take 999 cycles?' JP said, sounding awed.

'Well,' the man scratched his head. '20 is the maximum I've tried, but that's the idea.'

He flicked the screen off a small I-pad like device. 'All right,' he shouted, as the crowd gathered around. 'Five, four, three, two…ONE!'

The screens suddenly flashed a luminescent blue, before a sudden, larger burst swallowed the six up whole.


'Ow…' Takuya moaned, trying to get up. 'For a virtual travel, that sure hurt.' He realised suddenly he couldn't. 'Who's on top of me?'

'Me,' JP's voice answered him. 'Zoe, can you get off?'

'I'm stuck between you and Koji,' she responded. 'Tommy?'

'Stuck between you and Koichi,' he replied. 'Koichi?'

'Who in the world's on top of me then?' he wondered, before wriggling about…and falling off the human pyramid with all six bags. 'Oh.' A pause, then: 'ouch.'

With a little more wriggling, Tommy managed to get out from beneath Zoe's elbow, allowing Koji to squeeze out, then her, then JP, and finally the human pancake.

'Where are we?' Takuya groaned, once he finally got himself up. 'It looks like Japan, but I don't recognise this place.

The park looked normal enough, as did the streets, the people wandering them. Only, none of it was explicitly familiar.

'Let's see,' Zoe said allowed, reading the street labels. 'It says Domino High School's that way.'

'Domino?' Koji repeated. 'I've never heard of that.'

'Well, we are travelling across universes,' Takuya reminded.

Koichi had been sorting through the bags at that point in time. Evidently, some of their stuff had fallen out. 'Hey,' he said suddenly. 'Do these belong to anyone?'

The other five blinked at the six mechanical devices, able to be strapped to an arm with a record system and five zones, each device holding a deck of cards in them. Then they all shook their heads.