Chapter One: And so it Begins…
(This is basically my rewriting of Digimon Adventure, with hints of Digimon Adventure X [Done by me] thrown in as well. Eventually we'll move onto 02 which will contain more heavy hints of the original X.)
The sun shone brightly over Japan. This especially made the day of a group of summer campers at the base of a small mountain. The younger children ran around whilst they waited for their counsellors to collect them and give them their activities. The older kids, well, teenagers, those responsible enough to look after themselves walked around, taking part in some more dangerous activities. However that was not to say all of them were.
A tall, dark haired youth lounged asleep on the branch of a tall tree. He was dressed casually, a long sleeved blue shirt with orange stars on the shoulders. His cargo shorts were a pleasant brown and his trainers were a glossy white, with blue laces and soles with, yellow spots alongside.
His hands were encased in a pair of white gloves, and on one arm he wore a black sweatband. His skin was lightly tanned, and his hair was a chocolate brown that stuck up in spikes. Around his neck was a pair of round goggles on a blue and black band of elastic material.
The boy was Taichi (Tai) Kamiya. As he slept he snored slightly and rolled onto his side, nearly falling out the tree. A soft breeze lazily flicked a stand of hair off of his face. Tai screwed up his face and opened eyes the same shade of brown as his hair. Sitting upright, he stretched his arms and yawned deeply. He rubbed sleep from his eyes and looked down. Yawning again, he began a careful climb down from his perch.
Once back on ground level he stretched from head to toe, hands above his head. As he relaxed he felt something cold and wet land on his nose. Tai stopped and looked up. Dark clouds were beginning to roll over the bright sun. He sighed. He knew that the good weather wouldn't last for long. The weather had been acting peculiar for a few weeks now.
Tai began to walk back to his cabin, deciding that he'd grab a jacket before he headed back to play some football, when it started to snow…
Sora Takenouchi dabbed her forehead and set her racket down. She was tired and worn out from an afternoon's tennis practice on one of the camp courts and she was ready for a good shower and then maybe hanging out with some friends.
Sora quickly walked into the changing rooms and stripped her tennis gear off, then she looked around slightly awkward. When she made sure no one else was there, she quickly undressed and stepped into a shower cubicle. She turned the shower on hot and then basked in the hot water that ran over her body and through her auburn hair. She closed her brown eyes for a few moments before opening them and grabbing the soap.
Five minutes later Sora emerged from the shower and grabbed a towel. After a few minutes of drying herself off Sora quickly pulled on her casual clothes that consisted of blue jeans and a white blouse, and walked out of the changing rooms feeling refreshed.
She was just in time to see the first few snow flakes falling to the ground.
Yamato (Matt) Ishida had several things he wanted to do, and being at this camp was not one of them. Still, it was the first time he had got to see his younger brother in a few months, ever since his brother's thirteenth birthday party.
For some reason none of the camp's activities really seemed his sort of thing. He'd spent the last few hours just lounging on a grassy slope, basking in the sunlight. His blonde hair practically shone under the sun's gaze. Although it was summer he wore a black shirt with top two buttons undone and faded grey jeans.
A chilly wind played with his hair and a strange shadow blacked out the light that seeped through Matt's closed lids. He opened a single blue eye lazily. A cloud as black as ink was drifting swiftly across the crystal clear sky.
Matt sighed then groaned as he got to his feet, his body stiff from lying down for so long. As he rolled his neck, snow flakes began to circle down from the sky.
Sitting on the step to his cabin was a boy slightly shorter than others his age. He stared intently at the screen of his laptop. The boy was named Koushiro (Izzy) Izumi. He seemed too engrossed into finding out for the cause of his laptop's recent malfunctions to bother taking part in any of the activities the camp had to offer.
He sighed and slumped back, seemingly defeated for a moment. He fingered with the collar of his black t-shirt that he wore underneath his bright orange button up. He closed the laptop and tucked it under his arm before standing up and walking back into his cabin. He didn't notice it had started to snow until he walked back outside.
Mimi Tachikawa sat amongst her friends gossiping as girls do. Although the counsellors had said that they had to be involved in one activity per day, Mimi was far too self conceited to even consider sinking to the level of physical exertion.
She laughed and gasped at all the juicy gossip that her friends kept feeding her. She liked the fact that they all looked up to her as the font of all wisdom. She liked that role a lot.
Mimi rolled back on her seat on top of the picnic table at a particularly interesting rumour that she herself had spread. As she opened her eyes and looked at the sky, she pouted at the darkening sky. She really wasn't a fan of the rain.
It was actually a welcome surprise when she discovered that it wasn't rain that fell from the sky today.
It was good to have his older brother not hanging over his shoulder for once but Takeru (T.K.) Takashi missed his brother even though he knew what he would do was just hang over his shoulder to make sure he didn't cut his thumb off or something.
His brother may have been over protective of him, but he was still family and the time they spent apart thanks to their parents divorce… there was just too big a gap there.
He shrugged off this thought and smiled. This was the first time he could practice since he arrived. The basketball court was free of younger campers and his brother wasn't hanging over his shoulder.
T.K.'s smile widened. He bounced his basketball experimentally, then practiced his dribbling for a few paces. Only when he noticed his breath fanning out in front of him, did he see the snow falling around him.
Joe Kido wasn't happy. His parents had decided that he wasn't getting out enough. He sighed. He'd tried explaining to them that the reason he didn't get out much was because he was studying for his final year of medical studies.
He tried to please them one way and he ended up disappointing them in another. He scowled and put his hands in his head. Quizzing himself was the only way he could make sure that he didn't slip behind in his studies but he couldn't remember the symptoms of kwashiorkor disease!
He gave an exasperated sigh and pulled off his glasses and began to wipe them. When he put them back on he was shocked and appalled to see one of his text books was wet in spots. He sighed and picked it up, ready to take his stuff back into his cabin to continue his self quizzing when he noticed that it was snowing.
Tai stared into the sky in blind shock. It shouldn't be snowing. It couldn't be snowing. It was impossible. He shivered and wrapped his arms around himself, his breath fogging out in a pale cloud.
An icy wind whipped his hair. On that wind, Tai thought he heard the chilling ghost of a laugh. And then the snow fell harder. It piled on the ground in clusters, a veritable blizzard that chilled him to the bone.
Tai staggered through the snowstorm, pulling his goggles over his eyes in an effort to shield them from the elements. The wind buffeted him stronger than any physical blow could. The laughter Tai had heard before came again, stronger and mocking.
"Tai!" cried a voice, brushed by his ear before being stolen by the wind. Tai looked around for the source of the voice as the blizzard seemed to choke the surrounding land with an icy grip.
"Tai!" The voice came again, closer this time. Tai stumbled to where he thought it was coming from, his feet already becoming numb with cold as melting snow seeped into his trainers.
"Tai!" came the voice, right next to him. He looked up and saw Sora standing beside him and tugging at his sleeve. She ran off into the blizzard, Tai clomping away behind her.
A cabin loomed out from nowhere. Tai didn't know if it was his but he was glad it was there. He just wanted to get out of the cold wind and warm up. Sora slammed her shoulder against the door and it blew open, snow collecting on the floor just behind the door.
Tai shuffled in after her and someone on the other side of the door closed with some apparent effort. But close it did. Tai rubbed his arms to get some circulation back into them. He looked about the cabin to see who else was there.
Aside himself and Sora there were five other campers. He recognised all of them on face value, but it took his numb brain a second longer to remember names. A shorter boy with slick red hair he had met at school a few times that was named Izzy. A trainee W.A.G standing in the corner trying to get cell-phone signal he knew was called Mimi.
A tall boy with dark blue hair, clutching at a stack of medical textbooks he knew to be called Joe. And then there were the two boys who had closed the door against the wind, and were now sliding a bolt across it. Brothers Tai knew, named T.K. and Matt.
They looked up at him as he came in, all aside the brothers, who were looking out the windows in grim awe. Izzy looked up from the screen of his laptop for a brief moment, before returning to some complex looking calculations.
"You okay Tai?"
It took Tai's numb brain to figure out that Sora was talking to him. He looked at his friend and tried his best to give her a smile. She wasn't convinced. She reached a hand out and felt his forehead. Her eyes widened in shock.
"Tai you're freezing," she commented. She dragged Tai across the cabin, and he was about to complain when she threw a blanket at him. He sighed and wrapped it around himself, grateful for the warmth.
"Argh," cried Mimi, stamping her foot, causing Joe to jump and drop a book at the sudden noise. "I can't get any signal! Stupid snow."
Izzy didn't bat an eyelid at this outburst. He stared deeply into the screen of his laptop. He tapped at a few keys and shook his head before closing the lid on it, clearly disliking what he had seen there.
"Well that made absolutely no sense," he muttered.
Tai was about to ask what, but decided against it. An explanation for someone like Izzy could take a day at the very least. Mimi opened her mouth then apparently came to the same conclusion as Tai.
Tai felt the warmth return to his limbs and shook off the blanket, despite Sora's protests. He joined Matt and T.K. in staring out the window. He wondered just when the snow would stop.
When Tai opened the door at last, he expected a powerful blast of wind to hit the back of it. However when no winds or snow came through the door he opened it fully and took a sharp intake of breath at the sight that met his eyes.
Outside of the door it seemed as though the Arctic Circle was spread out before him. He stepped down from the doorway and his foot crunched into deep snow. He gasped at the numbing cold that bit into his leg. He lifted his foot and shook off the small clumps of snow that clung to his feet.
"Damn," he whispered, his breath fogging out in a white mist.
"It's… beautiful," Sora muttered stepping out into the snow beside him.
"It's cold that's what it is," Matt muttered from the doorway.
Izzy stepped out further into the snow field, oblivious to the freezing temperature. He stooped down and scooped up a handful of snow. He frowned and turned his hand over and let the snow fall back to the ground.
"This is impossible," he murmured.
Tai couldn't help but agree. It was impossible but it had happened. Tai stepped further out into the snow, biting his lip against the cold. After a few strides he was standing by Izzy.
"What do you think?" he asked.
Izzy looked at him and shrugged.
"I would suggest climate change if we were currently in winter but we're in summer. I don't have any theories other than a freak spell of weather. There could be a more scientific way of explaining this but we'd need a team of top scientists and thousands of dollars worth of equipment."
Tai raised an eyebrow.
"Hey, I'm smart but I'm not that good."
Tai smiled in understanding. The smile vanished as something hard made contact with the back of his head. He turned around, flinching as small flakes of snow fell down his back. Matt smirked as he reached down to pick up another clump of snow.
"Oh it is on Matt!" Tai cried, bending down and scooping up some snow of his own. Matt laughed at Tai's reaction, and quickly began to pack the snow in his hands together. But Tai was slightly faster.
Matt cried out as Tai's snowball hit him square in the chest. He laughed and threw his own back at him, but Tai sidestepped to the right, laughing all the while. Sora sighed and put her hands on her hips, smiling at the childish antics of the two other boys.
Izzy ducked down through the snowballs being thrown and stepped back into the cabin. He might not have the right equipment, but he would be able to see what other scientists across the globe thought. Thank you internet.
T.K. stepped out to join everyone else, all of whom were looking at the sky, aside from Tai and Matt who were still throwing snowballs. He stood in between Joe and Sora and looked up.
"Do you think it's gonna' snow again?" he wondered aloud. Joe shrugged and adjusted his glasses.
"We have to assume so. We didn't think it was gonna' snow now but it did so it could happen again."
"True," Sora agreed. Mimi looked at her, then pulled out her phone. She gave an exasperated sigh that she was still not receiving a signal. Sora looked at her. "Maybe you should put that away. Why can't you just enjoy what's happened before it disappears?"
Mimi looked at her. She sighed and slipped her phone into her pocket. "I suppose it is pretty," she conceded.
"Do you?" asked Izzy stepping out from the cabin, a small bag slung over his shoulder. "You think it's pretty? You are a fascinating individual you know that right?"
Mimi threw him a dirty look before she bent down and scooped up some snow into her hands. Izzy rolled his eyes and easily sidestepped the clumsily thrown snow ball. Mimi stomped her foot and spun away from him. Izzy sighed and looked at the sky. His mouth dropped open.
"And I thought the snow was impossible," he breathed. Sora looked at him then looked back at the sky. Her eyes widened and she took a sharp intake of breath.
Tai and Matt looked up from their snowball fight and concentrated their gaze on the sky. Their jaws dropped.
The sky, that had until recently been filled with dark clouds was now a sea of raging colours. Reds and greens and blues. Yellows and oranges, all the colours of the rainbow danced in a twisting, stretching, an eternally changing pattern.
"It so… hypnotic," T.K. muttered.
"It's so beautiful," Mimi breathed.
"Yeah, but what is it exactly?" Tai asked.
"Maybe it's an aurora?" suggested Sora.
"You mean the Aurora Borealis, the Northern Lights?" Izzy confirmed. "That's impossible. You see that in Alaska. We're way too far south."
"Tell that to the snow," muttered Sora.
"I really think we should go inside," Joe suggested. "Before we really do catch pneumonia."
"And miss this?" Matt asked, looking at Joe as if he was insane. "The sky is short-circuiting."
As Matt was speaking, the lights in the sky shifted. Tai caught a glimpse of a swirling green vortex. Then it was gone, hidden behind the shifting sea of colours. Tai squinted and could just make out the vortex against the clouds.
"Hey," Tai said. "What's that?"
Matt looked at him and then back at the sky. "I don't see anything. You okay Tai?"
Tai nodded. He was sure he could see the vortex behind the lights, just out of sight, yet still visible. Then the lights disappeared, as though they had never existed, swirling into a single point. And now the vortex of green fire was visible for all eyes to see.
"Whoa," Matt gasped as he took a hurried step back. Tai was about to agree with him when a flash of light burst from the hole in the sky. This single light split into seven pink glowing spheres that fell toward them, burning as they fell through the atmosphere.
"Duck and cover!" Tai cried, realizing that whatever the objects were, they were falling directly at them. Matt looked at him, then understood and dived aside, not caring about how cold the snow was.
The group quickly disappeared in various snow drifts, all except Mimi who didn't want to get cold. Izzy quickly stood up and pushed her over before dropping back into the snow, just as the objects hit the ground, disappearing in a cloud of steam.
Tai rolled over in the snow and got to his feet. He looked around, suddenly afraid if someone had been hit.
"Is everyone okay?" he called.
Matt slowly clambered to his feet. "We're still here."
Joe got to his hands and knees, looking slightly shaken. "What… what was that?"
One by one the group got to their feet. Izzy however was no where to be seen.
"Izzy!" Tai called "Are you okay?"
"Dude, over here," Izzy called. Tai looked over and Saw Izzy crouching in a patch clear of snow. Water was soaking into the grass, but Izzy was looking into a crater in the Earth.
"Were they meteors?" Izzy muttered to himself. Tai walked over to Izzy, just as he noticed a beam of light rise from the crater nearest him.
"Okay," Izzy said, standing up abruptly as another beam rose from just in front of him. "So they're not meteors."
Tai stepped up to the beam and stared at it. It was warm and bright, but pleasantly so. He didn't have the need to shield his eyes from the light stream.
Tai suddenly got the urge to stick his hand into the beam. Only when he did so, did he think of what could go wrong. But nothing happened. For about five seconds. Then the light disintegrated. Tai raised an eyebrow and flipped his hand over. Nothing had changed.
Something flashed. Tai blinked and in that moment something materialised in his hand. He looked at this new object with an air of fascination and confusion. It looked like a small, rounded cross. A small black antenna emerged from one of the rounded edges and in the centre of its blue surface was a small black circle with a rectangular mini screen in it. On one side of the black circle was a single oval button, and on the other were two of the same.
"What are these?" asked a voice from behind him. Tai turned around and saw that everyone else had one of the strange devices.
Izzy tilted his head as he looked at his. "My guess is some sort of remote digital apparatus."
"No instructions?" Joe said turning his over to see if there was anything on the back, oblivious to a sudden rumbling that came up from beneath them.
"Forget the instructions!" Tai cried, as a wall of water erupted from nowhere in front of them. "Surf's up!"
Before anyone else could react, the water fell towards them. Tai had one moment to take in a breath before his world was filled with rippling currents and silver bubbles.
Tai groaned, his head ringing like a bell. Someone was speaking his name. Tai screwed up his eyes and tried to open them. When he did manage to open them, he was nearly blinded by a strange, yellow tinged light. He hissed, then coughed. He rolled over, retching and coughing up the water that was in his lungs.
"Tai? Are you okay?" asked a voice, but not one that Tai recognised at first. It sounded vaguely familiar.
"Yeah, I'm okay," Tai muttered. He looked over to the source of the voice. His heart froze in his chest.
Squatting in front of him was a small ball of pink flesh, with sharp teeth, long ears and bright red eyes. Tai stared at it for a few moments. It stared back at him.
"Oh-kay," Tai muttered edging away from the creature. "That's the last time I eat camp food."
The creature laughed and bounced on the spot. It continued to bounce, laughing all the while, moving a foot closer to Tai with each bounce.
"You don't need to be afraid of me Tai!" the creature cried merrily. "I'm your friend, I'm your friend, I'm your friend!"
"Er," Tai said, taking a rapid step back. "Just what are you? Have you had your rabies shots?"
The creature chuckled and bounced a full ring around Tai. "Everything's going to be alright now Tai! I've been waiting for you!"
On this last word the creature bounced at Tai. Tai's instincts took over and he caught the creature in his arms. Tai had the urge to throw it away, but something held he back.
"Waiting for me?" Tai asked confused. The creature smiled.
"My name's Koromon. And we're partners!"
"Koromon?" Tai repeated, confused. "That means… 'Talking head?'"
Koromon chuckled. "It means 'Brave little warrior' and don't forget it Tai."
"Okay," Tai said. He didn't know what it was but he felt like he had seen this strange persona before. A long time ago… hidden deep in his memories. He shook it off. Whatever it was it was telling him that he could trust this little guy.
"So," Tai said. "What did you mean you've been waiting for me? And how do you know my name?"
Tai turned at the sound of the other voice, a lot more familiar than the voice of this creature in his arms. Izzy was looking at him from behind a tree, looking slightly bedraggled and more than a little bit wet.
"Izzy," Tai cried. "You okay?"
"Yeah, I'm cool," Izzy replied. "But I've got this little pink thing following me."
As Izzy said this, a small, pink creature waddled up behind him. It was knee height, with several stumpy legs. Its arms had small stubs for fingers and its eyes were a dullish red.
"It is me Motimon," the creature announced. "At your service! Anybody want lunch?"
A shocked Tai jumped and accidentally threw Koromon. "Another one? What are they?"
The creature who identified itself as Motimon jumped toward Tai. "My friend's call me Motimon," he repeated in his high pitched voice. Then he paused for a moment, before his face split into a smile again. "Everyone does actually!"
Izzy walked up beside Motimon. "I believe that those remote digital gadgets have taken on an actually life form," he theorised. He put his hands on his hips as he studied Motimon. "I don't remember reading this in any wildlife study."
"You think?" Tai said raising an eyebrow at Izzy's bizarre comment. "It's weird."
Tai looked around for the first time since he had woken up. They were in some sort of forest, no, jungle clearing. Strange tree bearing even stranger fruit sprouted from the ground around them. Vines hung from various branches and then there was that weird light.
"The vegetation is lush," Izzy commented, looking at a tree. He then knelt down and examined the ground. "But, the soil appears to be rather common."
"Nothing is common in the Digital World!" Motimon cried, bouncing.
"That's right Tai," Koromon chirped. "You're in the digital world!"
"Okay," Tai muttered. "And where is the Digital World?"
"I don't car so much as where it is," Izzy said. "I want to know what it is."
Tai rolled his eyes and walked over to the tallest tree around them. "Guess I'll just have to see for myself."
Tai judged the distance between the lowest branch and the top of his head. He took a few deep breaths then leapt as high as he could, kicking off from the tree slightly. His gloved fingers gripped on the lowest branch. Tai grunted and pulled himself up, thankful that the branch was able to support his weight.
Tai knelt on the branch for a moment to catch a breath, then stood slowly up on the branch. Tai repeated this process until he reached on of the higher branches in the tree. He sat down; noting that unlike most trees there weren't that many leaves to block his view.
Tai decided not to let it bother him and reached into his back pocket for his mini-telescope. He wobbled slightly and he threw out his arms to keep his balance. Once he thought that he steady again, he slowly brought the telescope to his eye.
As he did so he heard a rustle below him. He looked down, and saw Koromon climbing through the branches faster than he could. Koromon's climbing method was to bounce to the next branch then swing to safety by grabbing it with his ears. An impressive technique Tai had to admit.
He returned his attention back to observing wherever it is they were. He panned his gaze, trying to see something other than jungle. Something glinted in his vision. He flicked up the zoom and saw crystal clear waters.
"The ocean?" Tai muttered. "Our camp was nowhere near the ocean."
He panned his gaze a little further and saw a craggy point jutting from the ground.
"I sure don't remember those mountains," Tai murmured. He paused for a moment, as Koromon reached a branch near enough level with his, on the other side of the tree. "Something tells me a compass isn't gonna' help much."
"Yo Tai?" Koromon asked. "You see anything?"
"Nothing I recognise," Tai said, moving to put his telescope back into his pocket when he heard a deep low rumbling noise, like the sound of a fly's wings beating, but the pitch made it seem stronger, as if the insect was larger.
"Wait?" Tai said slowly, lifting his telescope to his eye again. "What's that?"
This time, Tai panned his gaze across the skies. Something flashed across his vision. Something large and bright red. Tai scanned the sky for it again and saw it. It was looping in the air, a large, red beetle-like insect, with a red exoskeleton that had black markings on it. Its underbelly was a rigid array of various shades of green.
"Some kind of giant red beetle," Tai muttered. Then he noticed its trajectory. "And it's flying right at us!"
The insect opened huge jaws, mandibles clacking horrible. Tai hooked his legs around the branch he sat on and tilted backwards so he hung off the branch by his legs. He felt the tree shake as the creature sliced the top of the tree off with a single swipe of those enormous mandibles.
Down on the ground Tai could here cries of alarm for Izzy and Motimon. Tai looked over to make sure Koromon was okay. His new-found friend was hanging off the tree by his ears.
Tai sighed began to pull himself up, when Koromon's terrified voice sounded.
"Here he comes again!"
Tai whipped his head around seeing the insect carving a wide arc, ready to come back for another pass.
"What the heck is that thing?" Tai cried.
"Kuwagumon," Koromon explained. "An insect type. He's got teeth like knives and mandibles that'll chop through anything!"
Tai grimaced and looked down, then back at Kuwagumon.
"This is gonna hurt," Tai groaned. Before he could do anything, Koromon launched himself out of the tree, spitting pink bubbles in Kuwagumon's face. The insect roared and dipped slightly. It wasn't much but it was enough to see that Koromon bounced off of his head and not into his mouth.
Tai gave his friend a quick concerned gaze, before sliding off his branch and underneath Kuwagumon's chomping jaws. Tai fell for straight down for a few moments before his foot snagged on a branch, causing Tai to twist, and land on the next branch painfully before falling to the next one. The wind was knocked out of Tai's lungs and he swore he heard something crack. He prayed that it was a branch.
Then, there were no more branches. Tai thought the worst was over with, before the ground slammed into his back. Tai lay there for a few moments in silent agony, taking agonised breaths in through tortured lungs.
He heard rushed footsteps and suddenly Izzy was above him, trying to prop him upright.
"Tai, are you ok?" Izzy asked.
Tai looked at him as if he was stupid.
"Dumb question," Izzy realized aloud. He quickly placed a hand to his chest. Tai winced, but Izzy sighed in relief. "Nothing broken," he told Tai. "I may not be a doctor but I still have some medical knowledge."
Tai nodded as he heard a pathetic thump somewhere nearby. He looked up. His eyes widened and he pushed Izzy aside as he got to his feet.
"Tai you really shouldn't strain yourself," Izzy protested.
Tai ignored him as he limped towards the motionless form of Koromon. His friend was motionless for a few moments before shuddering. Tai knelt down and picked him up into his arms.
"You should pick on bugs your own size," Tai muttered as Koromon looked at him. Then he smiled. "That was pretty cool though. You're brave for a little guy."
Koromon gave him a lopsided grin.
"I was nothing."
"Uh Tai!" Izzy called. Tai looked around and saw his friend backing up to him, looking into the sky. "He's coming this way again!"
Tai followed Izzy's gaze and gulped. Kuwagumon was swooping down, roaring with animalistic rage.
"Oh dear oh dear!" cried Motimon, waving his arms up and down. "We need to go. Quickly! This way!"
The small creature ran through the undergrowth faster than Tai would expect of someone with such small legs. Tai hesitated for an instant, then sprinted off after Motimon, still clutching Koromon with one hand, and his bruised chest with the other.
Trees and branches whipped at his face and obscured his vision of the rapidly fleeting Motimon. The stumbling uncoordinated footsteps behind him he knew to be Izzy. Motimon looked back at them.
"Hurry up!" he cried. "For having two long legs you guys are awfully slow."
Tai tried to stretch his strides longer but his battered lungs screamed in protest. He staggered for a few paces before pushing himself harder. This turned out to be wasted effort as Motimon stopped just in front of a huge tree. He looked up and down, murmuring to himself. He then looked back again.
"Quickly! In here!" he cried. And he jumped through the bark and into the tree, disappearing in a mass of green ripples.
Tai took one look back at Kuwagumon and leapt into the tree himself, hoping that he would go through the bark and not bounce off into Kuwagumon's jaws.
He was pleasantly surprised when he went through the bark. It was like jumping through a sheet of warm water. When Tai emerged on the other side he looked up and around.
The insides of the tree were plated chrome metal. Some unknown light source reflected a white shine off of the metal interior of the tree.
Tai stumbled as Izzy crashed into him, the shorter boy gasping for breath. Tai turned and put a reassuring hand on his shoulder.
"You okay?" Tai asked. Izzy looked at him and gave a him a cheesy grin and a thumbs up.
"Prodigious," he panted. Izzy slumped down on the ground and looked around the trees insides. "What kid of tree is this?"
Motimon rolled his eyes as if it were obvious as he replied: "Well it's a hiding tree silly."
Izzy looked at Motimon.
"In all my years," Izzy said. "I have never heard anything so ridiculous!"
"Shhh!" breathed Motimon. "It's not soundproof you know!"
As if to prove his words, Kuwagumon's roar cut through the air like a knife. Tai flinched and Motimon curled up into a ball.
"Quiet now," Koromon whispered. "Don't make a sound."
Tai complied, resisting the urge to lean against the chrome walls of the tree. Eventually the beating of insect wings disappeared. Motimon slowly uncurled himself and looked around.
"I think it's safe," he whispered.
Tai nodded in silent agreement. He looked at the wall, took a deep breath in and closed his eyes. He stepped through the wall again, appearing back in the jungle, stepping straight into someone.
Tai jumped, opening his eyes to see who he had bumped into. He let out a relieved sigh as he saw the familiar face.
"Sora," he said, holding a hand to his chest, smiling despite his heart hammering behind his ribcage.
Sora looked just as shaken as he felt. She looked a little worse for wear, with mud caking her knees and a slight damp clinging to her hair. A few scratches marked her arms but otherwise she was fine.
"Jesus Tai!" Sora panted looking at him with a scolding but relieved look. "You nearly gave me a heart attack!"
"Sorry," Tai apologised, his rapidly beating heart slowing down. "We were just setting the trap we were gonna' set for that big bug."
"We?" Sora said confused.
Helpfully at that moment, Izzy stuck his head out of the tree and looked around.
"Is the coast clear?" he asked, not noticing Sora.
Sora jumped slightly at the sudden appearance of Izzy out of, for all she knew, thin air.
"Geez!" she cried. "Is everyone trying to scare me to death today?"
Izzy stepped out of the tree looking bashful, scratching the back of his head. Sora looked slightly relieved at the sight of Izzy. Tai looked around for any sign of Kuwagumon, but a voice interrupted him.
"He is gone."
Tai looked down at the high-pitched feminine voice. Standing next to Sora's leg was a small plant like creature. It had a small, bulbous body that was supported by hundreds of root-like feet. Out of the creatures head bloomed a tall, blue flower. Its eyes were a grassy green and outside each eye were four short lines, like the tips of a cross.
"I am enchanted to meet you friends of Sora," the creature expressed. "Welcome to the digital world."
"Oh yeah," Sora said following Tai's gaze. "Tai, Izzy, meat Yokomon. My own personal…" she looked at Yokomon, hoping she would give her some help. When none came, Sora sighed and continued. "My own personal something or other."
"Looks kind of like a vegetable," Izzy muttered, earning a scowl from Sora. "I guess she must be another one of them." He looked back as Koromon and Motimon emerged from the tree and looked bemusedly at Sora. "Whatever they are."
Tai nodded in agreement as a small rustle came from behind the tree they had been hiding in. Tai was instantly on alert but what emerged was a small, dog like creature, with stubby legs and long ears like Koromon's. Its fur was a deathly white and inside its mouth, Tai caught a glimpse of razor sharp teeth in many rows.
"Another one?" Tai said, raising an eyebrow. "They're popping up everywhere."
The creature looked at Tai with its beady black eyes and smiled, revealing a vicious incisor.
"Hello," it said in reply. "I am Tokomon." It looked around at where it had come from. "Hey, I found more or them!"
From the same bush that Tokomon appeared from there emerged two more figures that the impromptu group recognised.
"Hey," T.K. said, looking bedraggled but otherwise unhurt. Tai looked over at Matt who appeared behind his brother.
"You too?" Tai said.
"Yep, I'm here too," Matt replied. Tai sighed and nodded to Matt's left.
"No, I meant that under your arm."
"Oh," Matt said. "This guy? Yeah well…"
The creature underneath Matt's arm looked slightly bashful. It was small and like Koromon possessed no limbs. It's skin was an orange-brown for the most part, but around the face it was a pale white. Its eyes were a slight red and emerging from its forehead was a curved, vicious looking horn.
"Hello," it said at last. "You appear pleasant. Tsunomon is my name and I am quite pleased to meet you."
T.K. ignored this exchange and bent down to pick up Tokomon. When he did so the little creature began to squirm in his grip. T.K. chuckled a little but tried to restrain his new friend.
"So where's everyone else?" he asked as he continued to struggle with Tokomon.
"We haven't found them yet," Tai explained.
"More appropriately I'd say that they haven't found us yet," Izzy corrected. Tai growled slightly but ignored him.
"So what are we going to do?" Matt asked.
"What do you mean what do we do?" Tai asked. "We look about and see if we can find the others."
"What you mean Joe the study freak and that other girl?" Sora said raising an eyebrow.
"Her name is Mimi," Tai reminded.
"Well she's probably just picking flowers," Izzy suggested. "Or on some sort of nature hunt."
And then a scream cut through the air.
"Okay so she's not picking flowers," Izzy commented.
"Let's go!" Tai cried, sprinting off in the direction the scream came from.
"Do you think she's okay?" Tai heard Matt call from behind him.
"Let's hope so," he heard Izzy call in answer.
The undergrowth passed before him and he could only hope he was still going in the right direction. If he wasn't he was leading the others into a natural maze with no way to get out.
As soon as he had thought this however he heard the furious and familiar tones of Mimi's voice. He couldn't tell what was being said but he knew someone was in trouble.
He burst suddenly into a clearing, Koromon and the others hot on his heels. Tai blinked a few times and took in the scene before him. Mimi was leaning over a cowering Joe, beating her fists upon the arms that he had thrown above his head to defend himself.
Beside Mimi there stood another one of the creatures. Like Sora's this one was also plant-like. Its eyes were a deep maroon. Its face was white whilst the rest of its onion shaped body was a pale green. A stem grew from the top of its head and branched off into four leaves. Instead of root-like tentacles, four small feet emerged from the creature's underside.
Cowering behind Joe was yet another creature. This one, had brown oily skin everywhere except its stomach, which with a pure white. It possessed no fingers or hands, having simple flippers and not feet. Its eyes were a crystal blue and it had a single spiky column of fiery orange hair.
"Don't do that!" Mimi was screaming. "Don't sneak up on people with something that – that THING hanging over your shoulder!"
The brown creature that floated behind Joe raised a fin in indigence. "Who 're you callin' a thing?" he asked offended. "I'm no stuffed animal."
Mimi screamed again and aimed a loosely packed punch at the creature hovering around Joe's shoulders which the creature easily dodged. It stuck its tongue out before continuing.
"The name is Bukamon!" it announced proudly.
"Get it away from me!" cried Mimi taking a few steps back.
"Mimi relax!" Tai called out as he stepped towards them.
Mimi squealed and tripped over the plant creature at her heels in a fit of girlish shock. The creature, rather than being offended, simply galloped over to Mimi and offered support.
"Mimi are you alright?" it asked as Mimi pushed herself into a sitting position.
"I think so," Mimi grunted.
"Don't worry," the creature reassured. "Tanemon is here to protect you."
Mimi smiled before she pushed herself to her feet. She then gave Joe a scathing look and stomped over to Tai.
Uh-oh, Tai thought to himself, seeing the look in Mimi's eye. Mimi stopped an inch away from Tai and leaned in.
"Don't sneak up on me like that!" she screamed. Tai winced and put his fingers in his ears. "Don't sneak up on me when there are these- these..!"
And the she spotted the little gang of mismatched creature's that were now cowering behind their chosen partners. Her eyes widened and she took a single step back.
"What are they?" she whispered.
Tai opened his mouth to say something, but then realized that he didn't know the answer. He cast Izzy a pleading glance but the prodigy just shrugged. Tai looked down at Koromon. The creature looked at him expectantly. As Tai opened his mouth again, a familiar, low rumbling started.
Tai looked up rapidly at the source, already knowing what to expect. As he thought, Kuwagumon's red shelled skull burst through the tree canopy, wings buzzing, mandibles clacking and letting out a strange animalistic roar.
Instantly Mimi threw her hands up to her face in sheer terror. Before she could scream however, Tai grabbed her arm and pulled her along after the other who had already turned and fled from the rampaging creature. Tai looked around and saw Kuwagumon dive through the tree canopy, open maw consuming everything that he happened to come across.
Tai grimaced and ran all the harder, practically dragging Mimi behind him. He could hear her complaining about trivial things like her outfit and her hair but he didn't care much for Mimi's complaints at the moments. Although he was dragging Mimi behind him Tai caught up with the rest of the group, Kuwagumon's roar growing fainter ever so slightly.
For a moment Tai was hopeful until the reached the edge of the jungle. Tai took a few steps out from the tree line and stopped dead. The reason was clear. In front of them was a jagged cliff edge. A small ledge jutted out in a craggy point for a few yards before tailing off in a vertical drop. Tai let Mimi's arm drop and stepped cautiously toward the cliff edge.
"Be careful Tai," Sora called.
Tai didn't respond. Instead dropping to his knees and looking out over the edge of the cliff, hoping to see some sort of way down. Far below a winding river twinkled in the sunlight. Closer at hand, Kuwagumon's roar was gradually getting nearer.
Tai got up and turned to the others.
"There's no safe way down," he announced bitterly. "We're going to have to stand and fight."
"What?" Sora cried. "That's pointless!"
"She's right," Matt agreed taking a step forward. "There's no way we can fight that thing!"
"Not and win at any rate," Izzy added.
Tai clenched his jaw. "Then what's your alternative?"
Matt strode over to Tai, Koromon and Tsunomon in tow. "Maybe we could rope a few vines together and parasail down," Matt suggested.
"There's no time!" Tai shouted.
As if to prove this point Kuwagumon let out another ear splitting roar. The rest of the group took nervous glances behind them and took a few steps toward Tai and Matt. Tai scowled and stood face-on to the jungle.
"What do we do?" Mimi asked, only just keeping herself from hysterics.
"We fight!" called a voice from ground level.
Tai looked down, shocked at Koromon's response. The small creature was staring defiantly at the tree line, baring pointed teeth, an almost wild look in his eyes.
"Koromon's right!" said Motimon, raising curled fists. "It's time we showed what we're made of!"
"They're right!" Yokomon cried.
"No they're not!" Sora snapped, pulling Yokomon into a bear hug as she lurched forward. "It's useless. You'll be no match for him."
As she spoke, Kuwagumon burst from the canopy and hovered high above them. The insect began to descend, mandibles clacking horribly. Tai caught movement just at the edge of his eye line. He looked down and saw T.K. dive to keep hold of Tokomon. The small Digimon was struggling to get free of T.K.'s grip, opening his jaws wide in an attempt to bite off T.K.
"We can beat him!" growled Tokomon.
"No we can't," T.K. snarled in response.
"Digimon attack!" cried Koromon.
Tai looked down as his new friend launched himself toward Kuwagumon as the larger creature landed. Almost immediately after Koromon's cry every other partner launched themselves toward Kuwagumon, breaking out of their master's grasps.
"Koromon!" Tai cried, rushing forward after him. "Come back!"
For a moment, time seemed to stand still. The group of attacking, alien creature suspended, frozen, and the group of humans, looking on in frozen terror.
And then all seven creatures glowed. Tai looked on in amazement as their new friends began to change. His focus however was on Koromon. His new guardian's skin changed from fleshy pink to yellow ochre. His red eyes became an acid green. His body stretched and changed. Arms and legs grew where previously there had been nothing. At the end of each limb were three fingers, each tipped with a razor sharp talon. His face stretched, becoming a long snout with small slits for nostrils. Pointed fangs jutted from his mouth at regular intervals. His long floppy ears shrank back into his skull, becoming small nubs on the back of his cranium. A short stumpy tail grew out just above his legs.
When Koromon began the change he was no higher than Tai's knee. Now he was just above waist height. And that was just the start.
On Koromon's right, where Motimon had stood was another insectoid creature with a shell of maroon, with grey spikes emerging from his back. His skin was green underneath and his eyes were a bulbous green, two orange antennas emerging from just above the eyes. From his torso four red and grey appendages emerged. The upper pair were long and slightly bulky, tipped with a single grey claw. The lower pair were more spindly and had a mass of grey finger like digits. His legs were like his upper arms, but instead of a single claw, there were four talons arranged around each foot.
On Koromon's other side where Yokomon had been was a strange bird like creature. Her feathers were a pleasant pink but her wings were strange in that they were also like arms. Each one was tipped with three red claws. Her feet were a pale yellow, again each tipped with three red talons. Around her left ankle was a metal ring. Her head was bulbous and she had a beak the same colour as her talons. Her eyes were a bright blue and tail and head feathers were trimmed with a deeper shade of blue.
Where Tsunomon had been on Motimon's right there was a strange wolf-like creature. His skin was a bright yellow, but over that was a coat of blue fur with darker stripes. On his stomach was a patch of some strange blue armour, marked with purple symbols. Where the curved blade had been there was now a single yellow horn, reminiscent to that of a unicorn's. Down his sides were two long strips of fur that ended in three curved claws, exact replicas covering his arms.
On Yokomon's left, where Tanemon had been, a taller, bipedal plant creature stood. His skin was green and root like veins could be seen running up her arms and legs. At the end of her arms where hands should be, short purple and green wines grew out, five on each limb, like fingers. Her eyes were a pleasant green and on top of her head was a four leafed brilliant pink flower.
Where there had once been Tokomon was a similar creature, still small and still a quadruped. However instead of being entirely snow white this new creature had a brown back and face. His eyes were a light blue and for ears, large bat-like wings emerged from the back of his head.
The last new creature took the place of Bukamon. Where there had once been a seal-like creature there was now a white quadruped. Its body was low to the ground and each of its four paws were tipped with three black claws. Its eyes were now a light green and along its head was a Mohawk of flaming orange hair. All over the creature's body were purple markings.
Tai took a step back at the sight of the change that had become of their new friends. All of them looked stronger, more powerful. More monstrous.
"Look at them," Sora gasped. "Wh-what happened to the little guys?"
Tai blinked dumbly. "They're… bigger," he said rather simply.
The group of monsters leapt at Kuwagumon, crying out various battle cries as they latched themselves onto the creature. Kuwagumon roared and swatted them aside, scattering the various creatures across the cliff top.
The creature that had once been Koromon was the first to recover, getting to his feet to stare fixedly at Kuwagumon.
"Alright you asked for it!" he declared as he comrades struggled to their feet.
Kuwagumon spread his wings in response, the low buzzing filling the air. The plant creature rushed to him as he began to take off. She raised her arms in the air and smiled.
"Poison Ivy!" she cried, flicking her hands. Her vinery fingers extended and wrapped around Kuwagumon's leg.
Kuwagumon roared as it tried to tug off the small creature's grip. 'Tanemon' grimaced and began to pull Kuwagumon down with strength seemingly impossible for a creature her size. Kuwagumon roared and pulled harder. As he did so 'Tokomon' flew up and around his head.
"Boom Bubble!" he yelled. He stomach inflated and his cheeks ballooned out. Just when the creature seemed ready to burst, he exhaled in a rapid, sharp blast. A shockwave of displaced air ricocheted at the back of Kuwagumon's head. Kuwagumon roared as he head was thrown forward. Tanemon snarled and pulled, Kuwagumon coming closer to the ground. 'Motimon' flew up to the same altitude as Tokomon, the smaller insect hovering for a few moments before he struck.
"Super Shocker!" he declared. For a moment there was silence, before a bolt of orange lightning sparked from Motimon's antenna and struck Kuwagumon's face. The larger insect cried out and Tanemon pulled him back onto the ground. As she did so, 'Bukamon' dashed forwards. As Kuwagumon landed, he rolled and took Kuwagumon's foot out from under him. Kuwagumon roared as he fell to one knee, and Koromon stepped forward.
"Stand back everyone," Koromon warned. "Pepper Breath!" The dinosaur spat a ball of red and yellow flames at Kuwagumon. The insect roared as the flames rocked him backwards.
'Tsunomon' ran forwards, 'Yokomon' taking flight, neither creature giving Kuwagumon time to recover.
"Blue Blaster!" cried Tsunomon. He opened his mouth to allow a burst of blue fire to fly from his throat.
"Spiral Twister!" crowed Yokomon, a spiral of green flames generating from nowhere and flying toward Kuwagumon.
The larger creature roared and got to his feet, enraged beyond belief. The group of smaller monsters gathered together, unconcerned with Kuwagumon's wrath.
"All together!" Koromon declared. Tanemon and Bukamon stepped back as the other five prepared themselves to attack.
Kuwagumon took a step and the small band of creatures let loose their assaults. Kuwagumon roared once more, before falling silent. He stood there for a few moments, before he began falling backwards. The group of humans watched as Kuwagumon fell to the ground with a mighty crash.
"They completely devastated him," Izzy breathed, shocked and amazed.
"Incredible," Tai stated, just as impressed.
Koromon was the first to turn and face the humans.
"Told we could do it!" he laughed victorious.
"Try telling him that!" cried Mimi. Tai lifted his gaze from Koromon to see Kuwagumon stand back up. Koromon and the other turned just as Kuwagumon lashed out with a vicious backhand.
The assembled creatures landed in a heap in front of Tai and the others, the seemingly triumphant moment shattered. Kuwagumon stepped forward and lowered his head. In a flash his mandibles were embedded in the cliff that they stood on. For a moment there was a horrible silence, then, a crack sounded like a gunshot. The outcrop tilted and lowered, to moorings to the rest of the cliff failing.
"I'm sorry Tai," Koromon groaned.
And then the rock gave way. Humans and monsters alike let out collective screams and the ground beneath their feet fell away from them and they began to plunge down to the river bellow.
To be continued…
But if you've seen the show then it's not that much of a cliff hanger huh?