Author's Note-This is the last time I'll rewrite! I swear!
Lily-Uh huh. I've heard that one before. But you have thought of a lot of cooler ideas for this story and me...so I'll let it slide.
Screams erupt in the forest all around us as Digimon ran for their lives, the flames shooting upwards among the trees, tainting the evening sky a dirty shade of blood red.
An entire pack of Gazimon flee through the underbrush, their fur ripped and torn, their red eyes wide with terror as the light behind them grows stronger and closer…
One of them trips, sending his fellows crashing to the ground. The lead one turns his head and didn't even have time to scream…as the light washed over them like a wave of death, vaporizing them on the spot.
Bats chitter in the air above, black wings blocking out any traces of light as their beady eyes fix on their next prey, a terrified Hawkmon who only manages one quick squawk before being torn apart into data fragments.
The boy runs as fast as he can, shoving through the branches, his chest rising in and out in desperation.
Out of the corner of his eye, he can see the shadow moving quickly between the branches above him, pursuing him with an eerie grace and calmness, as if it knows he can't possibly escape.
Tai gulps and continues to try and run faster, his heart pumping wildly as he reaches the riverbank, and his fear and panic give him the sheer adrenaline to make the jump, but not without almost falling to his death. He clings to the craggy rock wall, wincing as the rocks slice away at his palms as he pulls himself up onto the other side and keeps running.
He glances behind him again, not noticing anything this time. His brown eyes narrow. He's sure it could make that jump much better than he could…why…
A sudden scream of pain erupts from his lips as a foot crashes into the small of his back, sending him crashing into the trees.
Wincing, he pushes himself upward and cringes as he met those pitiless eyes…
The girl's long dark hair hang down to her shoulders, her figure firm and athletic hugged by a T-shirt and ripped jeans.
But her face is completely blank, robotic, as if it has been completely wiped of all emotion. Tai swallows hard as he forces a soft whisper from his throat.
She raises her right hand and lets the sphere of light form in her palm…his eyes widen. "LILY DON'T!"
It's too late. Tai Kamiya screams as the orb ripped through his chest…and the life leaves his body.
My eyes shoot open as I bolt up in bed, my entire body shaking from fear, my hands trembling, my heart thudding so hard it felt as though it was going to burst out of my chest.
It's okay….it's okay….it was just a dream…
I manage to finally pull myself out of bed, my legs trembling as I walked to the bathroom. Flicking on the light, I stare into the mirror. Pale face, long dark hair curving around my face down to the straps of my black bra, dark brown eyes….full of the fear I was feeling.
I mutter a few curse words under my breath as I splash water on my face. I'd had that nightmare for the past six months, and every single time it got worse, more and more vivid, the chase, the blood…Tai's scream.
Actually it had been going on ever since Tai and I had split up…I'd been freaked but figured it was a one time thing. After all, it wasn't like Tai and I were still angry with each other. Our relationship had been too pressured, Tai being too clingy, me being too jealous….
So why wouldn't the dream leave me alone?
I sigh before turning the water off. It was times like this I desperately missed Renamon. Our friendship had been so special. I could tell her anything like this, while if I tried to discuss my past with anyone else, I'd probably be shipped off to the nearest psychiatrist and put into a rubber room.
Matt was busy with his band, Sora was traveling the country with tennis practice, Joe was training to be a doctor, Mimi was in America, Izzy was doing who-knows what with computers while TK and Kari were….far too young.
That left only Tai, and how the heck was I supposed to tell him I keep dreaming about killing him?
The exhaust from the bus stings at my nose as it crawls up to our stop like some kind of wounded animal. The three of us all coughed as the cloud of smoke enveloped us, and I glanced over at my two housemates.
Kari is only fourteen years old, and this is her first year in high school. She's nervous, but she needn't be—Kari's always been popular, what with her kind nature and her beautiful looks, short auburn hair with bright brown eyes and a kind smile, her pink headband pushed back to pull her bangs out of her face.
I on the other hand don't exactly invite attention. My darker and very sarcastic personality keeps most people from getting too close, though I'm told I'm beautiful with high arched cheekbones, pale skin, and penetrating hazel eyes.
If you take out the fact that he's as stubborn and bull-headed as me, Tai Kamiya's my exact opposite, with an easy-going expression on his face and a wild mane of chestnut hair that can never, ever be tamed.
The bus ride's long, full of screaming kids and people throwing erasers, homework, paper airplanes, and basically every school material at each other. I'm listening to my I-Pod, the music turned all the way up, but Tai's laugh echoes from the backseat, and my heart twinges slightly as the sound reaches my ears.
My eyes start to close as I listen to another song from Nightwish—some of the songs are weird, and the lyrics can be dark, but I personally just like the music. But it's not helping me deal with the little voice in my head that keeps saying I need to talk to SOMEONE about the nightmares.
"H-huh?" My eyes shoot open at the sound of that voice. I nearly drop my I-Pod as every muscle in my body stiffens. That voice…
Everything around me seems to dim and fall silent, not important, not mattering, as I strain, desperate to hear her voice again. "Renamon….?" I whisper quietly.
The bus screeches to a stop in front of Odiaba Prep just as an eraser comes flying out of nowhere about to hit me in the face. I snap my hand up and grab it inches in front of my face.
The fifth year stares at me in disbelief, his eyes wide. "Whoah….how did you do that?"
I toss it up and down in the palm of my hand a couple of times, smiling slightly. "Practice." Before tossing it back to him.
The Digital World at daytime is usually a beautiful place, especially as the sun slowly peaks over the horizon, golden fingers stretching across the grass and through the forest leaves. But now the sun only means the beginning of danger.
There's an eerie silence that hangs in the atmosphere, pressing, tense. The sounds of Digimon shifting warily in the underbrush mean you know something big is about to happen.
Then slowly, several dark shadows appear on the horizon, contrasting horribly with the bright blue sky. Screams of terror erupt from the Digimon who turn and run for their lives, as the Rings dart downwards. One Gotsumon manages to reach the end of the field and into the safety of the forest, breathing a sigh of relief as he leans against the tree.
He turns and cautiously looks around….his eyes widen with panic as the Ring snaps ominously around his neck, glowing red as he chokes and struggles to pull it off to no avail before dropping to his knees. His eyes reopen, but now they are crimson red, and he turns to blast several rocks at a terrified Unimon, breaking one of the poor horse Digimon's legs at the knee with a well placed blast.
A cat Digimon is running as fast as she possibly can, her sapphire eyes filled with terror, her white fur sticking up all over as she bolts across the forest ground. Gatomon can hear the ominous heavy footfall of her pursuer, and she leaps upward, her claws snagging the lowest branch as she manages to barely pull herself to safety just as a huge fireball scorches the ground beneath her.
Her wide eyes reflect the flames as she leaps from branch to branch and continues running above the monster's head, before she gets unlucky, and a giant orange scaly tail comes out of nowhere to swat at the tree she's just landed in.
Gatomon screams as the entire tree is torn up by the roots and plummets to the ground, a horrible rushing and cracking sound filling the forest as it hits the ground, her entire world blurring around her in a sickening rush of red and green and flames.
For a while, she lies there, completely dazed, pain wracking her small body as the flames envelop the branches pinning her to the ground in a cruel embrace.
She can hear the low triumphant snarl of her pursuer, and looks up into the red eyes and cringes, waiting for the final blow.
There's a cry of rage above her, and a streak of yellow fur as well as a yell of "POWER PAW!"
Renamon flips to the ground, snarling as she watches the would-be assailant stumble backwards from the mere force of the blow.
Knowing she doesn't have much time, Renamon turns back around and slices her claws through the branches, grabbing Gatomon's scruff between her teeth and pulling her out.
Gatomon yelps as her tail gets caught on one of the branches….no….her tail ring is caught, and another yank from Renamon and, to her horror, it's left behind completely.
"No time!" Renamon nudges her, just as their attacker gets back to his feet and roars, really pissed off now. "RUN!"
Gatomon hesitates but she knows Renamon's right, and with a low hiss of frustration she drops to her belly and bolts into the underbrush towards safety.
Renamon turns back around to face him, fur bristeling as she snarls. "Come and get me big boy..!" before leaping into the air and crossing her arms, before releasing a flurry of razor sharp diamonds at him.
The monster's eyes narrow as he opens his giant maw, flames forming again. "NOVA BLAST!"
I freeze in the middle of math class, my hand clutching the pencil so hard it snaps in half.
The noise attracts our teacher, Ms. Adams, who, I will swear by the Dark Area, is like part demon part harpy. Her hawk like eyes narrow at me.
"Something wrong Ms. Kamiya?"
"N-no…" I mumble, distracted as I twirl the pencil subconsciously along a long strand of dark hair. She walks over and crosses her arms, staring down coldly at me. "If nothing's the matter, then I'm sure you wouldn't mind coming to the board and demonstrating problem 57?"
…Oh boy. "Umm…"
I groan before pushing myself to my feet, my face flushing as I make my way towards the board, the rest of the class either snickering, or looking on in sympathy.
"X squared – …" I can't even decipher the rest of that problem. I'm just standing here at the board, looking like an idiot, having not the slightest clue in the world what to do.
"Well…?" Ms. Adams prompts, and I fight the desire to throw the stick of chalk at her in frustration. If there's one thing in the world I hate, it's looking like a fool.
"Excuse me, Ms. Adams?"
The voice is softer, with a British accent….but still it's commanding, powerful, and it draws the attention of every kid in class, including the teacher.
The boy has ebony black hair—his face is pale, with black eyes that seem to see everything. His fingers run through his hair lazily as he says, "I believe what Ms. Kamiya is trying to say is that this problem has no solution."
…What? I glare at him but Ms. Adams raises an eyebrow and smiles. "That is correct, for the both of you. You are the new student, am I correct?"
He nods politely, and I'm still too much in shock that someone actually helped me that I'm barely able to listen. "I'm Damien, ma'am."
"Just Damien." He smiles again, and for once Ms. Adams doesn't ask any questions, just orders me back to my seat and continues with her lecture.
I glance over at Damien as I have to walk past him to get to my seat. "Thanks…?"
He just smiles, leaning back. "Not a problem. The no-solutions are ridiculous…waste of time for a smart girl like you."
Is he being sarcastic or sincere? I can't tell, especially because of that half-smirk on his face when he calls me smart.
My eyes narrow and I ignore him. The sick feeling in my stomach won't go away, the horrible sensation that Renamon…is in danger…
My hands are shaking slightly as I pull my cellphone out of my bag and type a quick message. "Meet me at the front hall. NOW."
The laughter of the soccer players reaches my ears first, then their sweaty smell. My eyes narrow as I pointedly look away from most of them.
"Hey look….it's the freak!"
"Kirk." I sneer over at him, my gaze meeting the blond idiot's sneer. "Big words for someone whose butt I kicked last week."
His face flushes as the rest of them howl with laughter. "You just wait witch. That's what everyone thinks you are, you know? A wi-"Shut up Kirk."
Kirk's eyes widened with fear as Tai walks up, the group of soccer players dispersing respectfully away from their captain. I can't help but smirk as I see the fire in Tai's eyes. A part of him will always be the General that defeated the Dark Masters.
"I…I was just…"
"You were, just joking?" Tai demands, stepping closer to Kirk and causing him to step backwards uneasily. "Next time I see you messing with Lily, I'll not only have you kicked off the team but you'll be drinking through a straw, understand me?"
Kirk glares at him before stalking off. "Why do you bother hanging out with that…freak?" He yells spitefully over his shoulder before laughing and rounding the corner.
I sigh and look up at Tai as we're now alone in the hallway. "You didn't have to do that."
"I know I didn't." He responds before staring at my pale face. "Lily, what's wrong? You're shaking. Are you sick?" Tai moves closer to me, protectively. "Are you sick?"
I shake my head. "Tai, it's not that. It's….." I stare into his eyes. "Home…."
His own eyes widen. Even after four years of living here in the human world, there's only one place I call home.
Tai glances from side to side to make sure that no one is listening before moving in closer and tugging me into the corner. "The Digital World?" He breathes, eyes widening. "Are you sure? In all of four years, there's been nothing…"
My temper flares. "You think I'm making this up?"
"No, but…are you sure it wasn't just some kind of nightmare?"
I shrug his hand off my shoulder, storming down the hallway. "I'm not crazy, Tai. I know what I felt, and if you won't help me, then I'll find a way….if Renamon's in trouble there's no way in the Dark Area I'll leave her alone."
"Lily, wait!" Tai growls in frustration before bolting back after me.
I duck into the computer lab, my eyes scanning the room, before walking over to one and turning it on.
Tai closes the door quietly behind me and walks forward. "Lils, you do realize that even if there is something wrong in the Digital World, we can't get there. The portals are shut. Izzy's been trying to open them for years with no success. And you do realize that every computer I touch ends up breaking?"
I ignore him, typing keys as quick as I can and pulling up the familiar screen that shows an image of a green datapad and a red dot at the top….indicating it's still closed.
I want to scream, to slam my fist down onto the desk and curse. Tai touches my shoulder and closes his eyes.
"…You're sure…something's gone wrong?" His eyes fix on mine, pleading with me for reassurance, to at least know that I'm positive, that I'm not putting him through this for nothing.
I nod silently. "I've never…" My voice catches. "Felt Renamon so scared since Myotismon was alive."
Tai's jaw tightens in response. "Then what the crap are we supposed to DO?"
I close my eyes and don't say anything, horrible images filling my head. Gatomon and Agumon being blasted into data particles, Renamon…Renamon being stabbed through the core, her lifeless body hitting the ground as some dark figure laughs.
The computer room is completely silent. The two of us just standing there in our helplessness, unable to do anything to save the ones we love.
It's so quiet that for a moment I don't hear it. Then it continues to grow even louder…the soft beeping….red light flashing from Tai's back pocket.
His eyes meet mine, widen, before pulling out the little device that I haven't seen him use in so long. Strange red symbols flash on his Digivice, and he stares and mouths one word-… "Agumon?"
The computer is going completely nuts, flashing on and off, as well as the lights. I glance at Tai just as the lights go completely off, plunging us into darkness. "What the?"
A strange, tugging feeling in my stomach begins, pulling me forward, sucking me in. "TAI!"
He lunges forward, trying to grab my hand as the light from the computer suddenly explodes outwards, surrounding us both, and suddenly everything's a blur of wild colours and spinning lights, I'm falling head over heels over and over before everything goes black…
"Oh Yggdrasil…" The voice is pleading, almost tearful, as it whispers, "Please….please wake up…please don't…"
"Die?" I mumble, my eyes finally opening. I see Tai leaning over me, desperation in his eyes, and I manage a weak smile, even though every part of me is sore. "Don't worry. You're not getting rid of me that easily."
Tai sighs in relief, a shaky smile forming on his face. "Don't even joke…"
I glance around me, freezing. "Where are we…?"
I've never seen anything like this area before. Everything's blackened and destroyed, the ground is completely scorched, and there's no sign of life anywhere.
"I know where this place is." Tai breathes, slowly getting to his feet, his arms going numb at his sides like he can't believe what he's seeing.
"This is the Native Forest…what's happened to it…?"
I slowly get to my own feet, the destruction horrifying me as well, but not so much that I've lost leave of my senses. The sound of something huge and powerful marching from behind the hills…towards…us…my eyes snap open as I scream "TAI LOOK OUT!" shoving him out of the way just as a MASSIVE fireball strikes the ground right where we've been standing.
Both of us go flying from the force of the explosion, tumbling over and over in the skies with each other. I hit the ground and clench my teeth in pain as the rocks scrape against my face, leaving deep scratch marks over my cheeks.
Tai groans, his eyes slowly opening as he shoves himself back upwards. I look at him and see his entire body tense, a strangled gasp of horror escaping from his mouth.
And then I get a better look at what attacked us. It's a massive dinosaur type Digimon, with orange scales and blue stripes, with a brown horned helmet covering his head, huge canines bared in a snarl. The only difference is a weird black collar wrapped around his neck.
"Greymon…" Tai whispers, his voice cracking.
Oh freaking Yggdrasil….No….
Kari rolled her eyes in annoyance as Davis Motomiya continued to keep hitting on her. The boy would just not give up, no matter how many times she said no.
"And now children I'd like you all to welcome our new student, who's moved back here to Odiaba this fall after several years abroad." The teacher droned, and Kari looked up, her eyes widening immediately as she did so.
The boy had messy blonde hair hid underneath a white fisherman's hat, a green and yellow shirt and brown pants.
Those blue eyes….she could never have forgotten them even if she wanted to. "TK…" She breathed.
Davis looked up, a look of horror appearing on his face as the new boy immediately went over and sat by his girl.
"I thought it was you." TK said softly, turning to smile at her. "It's so weird to be together again after all these years."
Kari smiled. "Just like old times."
The curly-haired teenage boy to the right of TK nearly had a complete and utter spaz attack. After six months of Davis painstakingly trying to win Kari's heart, this boy just comes right out of nowhere and….
Davis clenched his teeth. He was not going to let that happen. Not in a million years.
The huge tail flies over our heads as Tai shoves me to the ground, saving me from going flying and possibly breaking my back.
"Greymon STOP!" He yells, his eyes wild. "Don't you recognize me? It's me, Tai!"
He didn't seem to be in a listening mood. Greymon roared again, flames forming in his jaws. "NOVA BLAST!"
I leap to my feet to shove Tai out of the way and force him to run, but someone beats me to it. A flash of white fur flashes above us along with an angry hiss. "LIGHTNING PAW!"
The punch sends Greymon tumbling to the ground with an indignant grunt, and the creature backflips in mid air to kick him in the top of the skull, slamming his head down and dazing him badly as he lies on the ground groaning…
"Gatomon…?" I breathe, my eyes widening.
She hisses at us, her eyes wild. "Don't just stand there you idiots! MOVE!" She streaks through the badly destroyed forest and I grab Tai by the shirt, whose still staring at the fallen Greymon.
"You can't help him if you're dead, now come on!"
Tai hesitates for only a moment longer….before bolting after me. As our footsteps recede, Greymon's red eyes snap open and he snarls.
"The Digimon Emperor?"
Gatomon leads the way through the tunnel, which is so low Tai and I both have to crouch to get through.
She nods and stares forward, as though she's looking into the past. "Two years ago….a strange human appeared. He created these devices called the Dark Rings. When they capture a Digimon, they brainwash and control the Digimon completely. There's….no breaking free."
I flinch slightly. As an escaped slave myself, nothing sounds worse than that. "Didn't anyone try to fight back?"
"They did…until they were captured or had their friends enslaves. We, that is the Chosen Digimon, led the rebellion…" Her ears drooped. "Until…he came for us."
Tai's fists are clenched so tightly they're shaking, rage flowing from him so powerful it seriously hurts me to sense it.
Not knowing what else to do, I touch his arm, my gaze meeting his in a fervent plea for him to calm down.
"Out of all of them, only me and a few others remained uncaptured." Gatomon sighed, her claws digging into the stones.
My eyes widen. "Wait….what about Renamon?"
"…Lily…there's something you should know…."
Before she could answer, the sound of a low groan fill the tunnels. My eyes widen as I shove past Gatomon, breaking into a run at that sound of pain. "RENAMON!"
The tunnel curves around to a small cavern, more like a hole than anything else, with a long podium of stone standing up in the middle.
But that's not what holds my attention. A strangled cry escapes my lips as I see a bundle of bloodied yellow fur lying weakly on the ground, not moving. I drop to my knees, my hands shaking as I reach out to her. "Renamon…?"
Her chest rises weakly as though every breath hurts as her bright blue eyes slowly open. "Lily…?"
I bury my face in her mane as a whimper of delight escapes her mouth and she starts licking my face wildly.
Tai smiles at the scene before sighing and leaning both hands on the pedestal and closes his eyes….before realizing what's sitting in front of him.
"What the heck?"
I glance up and see what looks oddly like a Digiegg sitting there. But I've never seen a Digiegg with a giant, dagger like horn sticking out from the top….or covered in red flame like patterns…or that had the Crest of Courage prominently displayed in the middle.
"What is it?"
Tai stares at the Digiegg as though entranced….his right hand stretches out and, fingers trembling, lightly rests them on the top of the egg before I can warn him not to. He tries to pull it off, but it doesn't budge. His eyes narrow as he tries harder, pulling until I'm sure he's going to wrench his back out.
"Tai, stop it." I step forward. "Stop it Tai. You're not going to help anyone. Besides, why does it matter?"
"…" He sighs before slowly pulling away, turning to face me and lowering his head.
Light shines forward as if the egg was exploding, and Tai yelled, pulling back as though blinded as three dots of light bolt into the sky, through the top of the cave. "Tai, what did you do?"
Kari suddenly breathes sharply in, her auburn eyes widening, her hands shaking as she leans against the school's lockers.
TK turns his head to look at her, concerned. "Kari? You okay?"
She nods silently and forces a smile on her face as she looks up at him. "I'm fine TK….I….just a little tired, I guess. How does your mum like the new apartment?"
He laughs ruefully, shoving his books and other belongings back into his locker. "She hasn't seen it yet. Too busy writing that newspaper article on toilet paper."
"Hey buddy!" an angry voice calls out, and Kari facepalms, as TK turns around, confused.
A boy with maroon colored curly hair and brown eyes glowers, his fists clenched inside his gloves indignantly. "That's MY girl you're talking to."
TK raises an eyebrow and turns to look at Kari, who just rolls her eyes and shakes her head as if to say-"Don't ask me."
"She's not your girl." TK responds flatly to him. Davis splutters and curses at them both as he and Kari try to ignore him, walking over to the computer room.
Kari wants to show TK her new pictures she took recently on the computer, and she's more than a little annoyed he keeps following them.
To everyone's surprise, the door is adjar. That's weird. Most people don't come over to this computer lab, as the other one is more popular—though not for academic reasons.
TK glances over at Kari the minute they step into the room. The two of them can both sense it…the raw power that's coming from the computer. Without speaking, the two of them rush over to the computer and flick back on the monitor.
For a minute, they can't believe their eyes. TK has to sit down while Kari lets out a quiet gasp. "The portal's open…?"
"The portal?" Davis demands sceptically from behind them. "What portal?"
The computer's light flickers again, and Kari's eyes widen as something goes flying outwards. "Watch out!"
TK ducks just in time, but the ball of light hits Davis right in the head, knocking him backwards and onto his butt. "Ow!"
"Are you okay?" Kari stammers, trying not to laugh.
He grumbles, pushing himself back upwards and blushing slightly as he glowers at a smirking TK. "Ha hah…very funny. What is this thing anyway?"
"What is…?" Kari's mouth drops open and TK lets out a sharp breath as they see what's in Davis' right hand.
It looks like a regular cellphone, bright blue, but it's the symbols around the edges that tip the two of them off. It's a Digivice.
"No way in heck…"
Davis eyes it curiosly, turning it over and over again in his hand. "Cool. So, can I get Donkey Madness on this thing?"
"TK something's wrong." Kari said quietly to her best friend. "Why has the portal suddenly opened like this? I don't…understand."
"Neither do I." He muttered through clenched teeth. "But we know something big is going on. That's how it always goes, if the Digital World has called us back."
"Called you back?" Davis demanded. "What makes you think you're so special that only you can go to this…whatever it is you're talking about?"
TK raises an eyebrow before turning back to the computer. "You've got no idea how dangerous this place can be. I don't care if you have a Digivice or not, you're not coming."
Davis' eyes narrow as he takes a step forward. "Listen TC, if you can go, then I can go too!"
TK stares at him blankly. "T…what?"
"Enough arguing." Kari yanks out her own Digivice. "I don't care what you decide, but if my partner or anyone else I care about is in trouble, I have this chance to help them. I'm not letting it go to waste." She held it up to the screen and shouted-"Digiport open!"
Davis' eyes widen in complete disbelief, his mouth dropping down to his knees as he watches her disappear into a flash of white light.
TK nods and holds his own up. "I'm with you!" Another flash of light, and he's disappeared as well.
Davis doesn't have a clue about what's going on. A big part of him wants to run from the room screaming, but his bullheadedness overrides that. Like heck he's going to let TK be there for Kari and not him.
So he holds up his own Digivice, determination filling him like never before, and shouts out the words without even really knowing what they mean-"DIGIPORT OPEN!"
"KEEP HIM BACK!"
Tai's standing in front of me protectively, pressing me back away from the huge hole in the cave wall smashed there by fierce slam from Greymon's tail. His roar echoes loudly outside, and I can't help but flinch as he lowers his massive head and one red eye glares in at us, devoid of all of Agumon's cheerful innocence.
Gatomon charges forward, her paw shining with energy as she slams it into Greymon's eye. "LIGHTNING PAW!"
He roars in agony and backs away slightly as Renamon charges in as well, crossing her arms over her chest as an entire storm of diamonds forms behind her. "DIAMOND STORM!"
The razor sharp stones slice through his skin, leaving deep cuts across his face. Tai lets out a strangled gasp. "D-don't hurt him!"
"Oh, I'm sorry" Renamon snarls, looking back at him. "You prefer it if I let him eat you alive?"
He clenches his teeth and lowers his head, seething quietly but knowing…there's nothing we can do.
The sound of something crashing and then several loud screams echo above us. I look up, my eyes widen but I don't leap out of the way in time and three people come crashing down on top of us.
"Ow…." A low voice, male, not one I recognize groans and tries to get up, his elbow digging into my back. "That freaking hurt…"
"Would you get off me?" I snap icily, causing him to jump upwards, and nearly fall backwards on himself in his haste to get away.
I don't recognize the one boy, but the blonde haired kid is unmistakeable as he helps Kari back up to her feet.
TK grins. "Hey Lils. How've you been?"
Gatomon's eyes widen at the sight of her partner. Kari drops to her knees, her voice shaking as she's sounds like she's about to cry. "Gatomon…" but Tai grips her shoulder. "Kari…not now all right. We can have a cozy catch-up later…right now we have to-!"
The boy screams suddenly, as another roar echoes outside and the sound of Greymon slamming his entire weight into the mountain makes the ground shake. "Earthquake!"
Tai loses his balance and falls back into me, Kari screaming as a giant crack forms in the ground, like an open mouth stretching upwards ready to swallow us whole.
Renamon whirls around, her fur bristling as she plunges forward to try and grab me but too late.
"Kari!" Davis lunges forward and grabs Tai's hand, whose desperately holding onto me, whose desperately holding onto both TK and Kari. He clenches his teeth and wraps one hand around the immovable Digiegg.
There's another sickening crashing sound above us, as the very cave wall is being torn away, and Greymon roars once more, this time managing to stick his whole muzzle into the hole, snarling and snapping at Renamon and Gatomon, who are being pushed back away from us just trying to stay out of range of those massive teeth.
Davis clenches his teeth, but his grip is beginning to slip. Sweat trickles down his forehead and its only his pure stubbornness and adrenaline rush that's keeping him from letting us all fall to our deaths.
I close my eyes, waiting for the fall that's sure to come, when another flash of white light occurs above us. Davis screams suddenly as though something is burning him, and his grip slackens, causing him to tumble forwards….
"I've got you Davish!"
Davis slowly opens his eyes…hardly daring to look. When he looks upwards, he's sure he must be dreaming, or he's already dead. One of the two.
A lizard-like Digimon is clutching Davis' hand in his own tiny one with unbelievable strength. He's covered in blue scales, except for his white underbelly, with a small horn sticking up from his nose, and a yellow V across his forehead.
With unbelievable strength, he groans before tossing the entire line of people upwards, and sending us crashing down beside him, where we all lie groaning and nursing brusied bodies and bruised egos.
"Boy that was a close one…" the little creature pants, dropping down on his butt and looking up ruefully at us.
We're far back enough Greymon can't reach, and Renamon runs over to me, panic in her bright blue eyes. "Lily! Are you okay?"
I rub the back of my head and wince. "I'm fine…" before pushing myself back upwards and fight the desire to laugh.
Davis is slowly scooting away from the Digimon on his butt, his eyes huge. The little guy stares at him and is talking to him like you would a frightened rabbit. "Hey, you don't need to be afraid of me. I'm your friend, Veemon!"
Tai snorts, and I can tell he's remembering the first time he and Koromon met. This memory seems to cause deep pain in him as he glances back out where Greymon is still desperately trying to get in at us. He takes a deep breath before walking over to Davis. "Look kid…I recognize you're freaked out right now. But I hate to break it to you…this is your life now. The talking little monsters that follow you all over are part of the package deal. And so is being chased by even bigger, much nastier Digimon. Granted, we're usually not being attacked by our own partners but…."
"I don't think you're helping." I mutter.
"Shut up…" Tai turns back to Davis. "The point is the minute you bonded with that Digivice you became one of us. And rather you like it or not, there's no going back."
Davis stares back at him before turning his head to stare at Veemon, who smiles and gives him a thumbs up. He looks down at the Digivice just as another roar echoes through the sky.
One scaly fist punches into the weakened cave wall, then again, then again, and then again, until with a shattering of rock the wall is gone completely.
TK's eyes widen. " Greymon? But….what….how?"
"We'll explain later!" I shove Tai forwards just as the massive jaws slam shut right where he used to be. "Right now we have to run!"
Tai turns back towards his partner, desperation in his face. "Greymon…" He whispers, staring up at the snarling face, his tone one of utter and complete failure.
Kari fishes in her pant's pocket for her Digivice. "Gatomon you have to digivolve!"
"What? What do you mean you AGHHHHH!"
All of our screams echo in unison, Tai's and Davis' in particular, as Greymon's claws wrap around Kari's waist, and he lifts her, kicking and screaming in the air.
Rage floods through me, drowning out the screams of everyone else as I rush forwards. I don't care if it's Greymon at this point. All I know is, that is my little sister he's hurting, who is being crushed right before my eyes, and there is no way in heck I'm standing back here and letting her die like this.
I'm not hearing Tai's scream for me to come back, I just jump upwards as I reach the giant hole, expecting a huge ball of light to be forming in my hands and to slam it in Greymon's skull, enough to knock him unconious, not to kill.
…But it doesn't come…Absolutely nothing comes. My eyes widen as I don't feel a speck of power, not a tiny bit of strength flowing through, no magic…
The tail whirls around and swats me in the middle, knocking the wind out of me so I can't even scream as I plummet towards the ground.
Renamon shoots outward and plunges down after me, hooking her claws into the cliff's side and reaching out with one paw to grab my hand as I start to fall past her.
I gasp as my body collides with the rocks painfully, leaving deep gashes and horrible bruises…but I'm alive.
"Don't…ever…do that again…" Renamon pants, her teeth gritted with the effort of holding me.
"I'll try not to…" I cringe as Greymon roars again. "But we might not get that chance!"
Kari cringes in pain as Greymon's grip tightens on her, gasping. "GATOMON!"
Gatomon pounces with a cry of desperation and brings back a paw for a punch, only to be swatted away with Greymon's other hand like some annoying fly.
Tai bites his lip so hard a trickle of blood runs down his cheek. "GREYMON STOP!"
Greymon freezes at the sound of Tai's voice….his red eyes widen slightly…the hand holding Kari trembles…
"Davish, you've got to do something!"
"Huh?" Davis stares down at Veemon. "What do you want me to do?"
"You care about her, don't you?" Veemon gestures to Kari before looking up at him with a pleading expression. "You can't leave your friends to fight alone! Have courage!"
Davis stares at him for a few minutes more, before his head jerks back around at the sound of Kari's scream and Greymon's enraged roar as Renamon pulls me up onto a ledge and safety before pouncing forwards to strike him in the stomach, knocking him back several paces. Flames pour from his mouth. "NOVA BLAST!"
"NO!" The scream erupting from his mouth doesn't sound like his own…the Digiegg in his right hand starts to shine, as he shouts words that he's never said before, yet seem perfectly right. "DIGIARMOR ENERGIZE!"
The golden light that surrounds both him and Veemon blinds everyone else…Tai and TK are both forced to take steps back, and I shield my eyes from below.
"What the #$$ is going on?"
As the light grows brighter I hear Veemon shout-"Veemon armor digivolve to…Flamedramon! The Fire of Courage!"
"…Holy…" TK breathes, his blue eyes wide. Tai can't say anything. He just nods numbly in disbelief.
The new Digimon is tall, lanky yet powerful looking, with Veemon's blue body covered by flame-patterned red armour, just like the Digiegg, with the same blade-like horn sticking up from his forehead.
He looks over and smirks at Davis, whose just as dumbstruck as the rest of us. "What do you think?"
"….I…" Davis finally manages to find his voice. "You're…you're freaking awesome!"
He chuckles. "This is nothing. Watch and learn." Flames cover his entire body as Flamedramon kicks off from the ground, diving down and striking Greymon in the chest, knocking him backwards and making his head snap up, the flames from the Nova Blast shooting harmlessly up into the sky.
Renamon's eyes are huge. "Armour Digivolve? What the heck is that?"
The impact means Greymon loses his grip on Kari, and she screams, but barely falls before Flamedramon grabs her. She stares up at him in awe as he winks at her. "Thanks for dropping in." he quips, before setting her down next to her brother and darting back at Greymon.
Greymon roars, the flames forming in his jaws again as he blasts them right at Flamedramon. But Flamedramon doesn't even bother to dodge, he just dives right through them, blue eyes narrowing as he focuses on the Dark Ring wrapped around Greymon's neck.
He pulls back one fist, claws unsheathing and becoming wreathed in flames themselves before snarling and slicing downwards—Tai lets out a shattered gasp, but Flamedramon doesn't leave a scratch on Greymon's neck. The Dark Ring is another story. It shatters into a million pieces on impact….Greymon drops to his knees and moans as he starts to shrink…
Flamedramon lands behind the degenerating Greymon and smiles slightly as he looks back over his shoulder, before the grey light surrounds him as well and he turns back into Veemon. "Davish, what did you think?"
Davis laughs and lets Veemon leap up into his arms. "What do I think? I think that was the most amazing thing I've ever seen!"
"I've got to admit." I chuckle, walking over with Renamon next to me. "That was pretty amazing." The smile on my face is masking the fear that's still in my heart.
I glance over and see Tai leaning next to Agumon, look back at Davis one more time before running over to Tai.
"Agumon…?" Tai whispers, laying a hand on the small dragon Rookie's flank.
Agumon's eyes flicker before slowly opening…the same emerald they've always been. "Tai…?" He whimpers.
Tai's voice catches. "Thank Yggdrasil…I'm so sorry…"
"You're sorry…I should be sorry…" His eyes then fully open, a look of horror appearing on his features. "Where's
"I'm right here Agumon…" Kari smiles as she walks over to him, leaning next to her brother. She's still sore, but I can tell she's trying not to wince so as not to upset him.
"…I'm so sorry…"
"You're not the one who should be sorry." Renamon responds angrily, her tail lashing back and forth. "The Digimon
Emperor is the one who should be sorry. And trust me, when I sink my claws into that creep…"
"You might have to beat me to it." I say darkly, my fists clenching at my side. How dare someone threaten my family? "What I want to know is, how is he stopping us from getting you guys to digivolve?"
"We don't know." Gatomon shook her head. "All we know is that this affects all Digimon, including ones that got their Champion forms naturally like Renamon did."
"Well?" Davis' voice startles all of us, and he's standing there, his fists clenched and an excited gleam in his eye.
"Why don't we just go over there and pound him flat? With Flamedramon here, how can we lose?"
I raise an eyebrow and snort. "It's a lot more complicated than that Rookie."
TK nods. "We're better off not doing anything too rash until we know exactly what we're up against."
"Besides," Tai agrees, resting a hand on a still oddly-forlorn Agumon's head, "our partners are worn out. We need to cut our losses and heal up before fighting again."
"Where's the nearest portal?" I ask, looking over at Gatomon who nods before leading the way through the destroyed Native Forest.
Agumon keeps looking down at the ground, not meeting anyone's gaze. He looks like all the life has been sucked out of him, despite Tai's best efforts to cheer him up.
"There it is."
I blink as Gatomon points one claw at what looks like a miniature television. "A TV…? Well that's new I suppose."
Tai shrugs and holds out his Digivice. But…there's no reaction. "Huh?"
"Let me try!" Davis shoves to the front and holds out his own Digivice confidently. "Digiport open!"
…Nothing. The screen stays stubbornly blank.
"…Abacadabra? Open seasame? PLEASE?"
Veemon blinks as Davis practically dances in front of the television set. "What are you doing?"
"Is he opening the portal or summoning rain?" I mutter.
Kari slowly looks over at me. "Does this mean…?"
"We can't get home." Tai's jaw tightens. "We're trapped here."
"Come on Tai pick up…" Izzy mutters, pacing back and forth in the computer room, the cellphone pressed to his ear, desperate to hear his best friend pick up.
Mrs. Kamiya had called saying that Tai, Lily and Kari were all missing. Maybe he was being stupid, but he couldn't shake this fear…
A young girl with long dark hair sticks her head in. She's a freshman, like Kari, but a bit more pudgy and with round glasses perched on her nose, wearing a pink blouse and jeans.
"Oh hi Yolei…" Izzy says, distracted as he looks over at his friend from the computer lab. "Listen, I'm sorry but I don't really have much time to talk…"
She shrugs. "I just wanted to ask…"
His eyes widen as she holds up what looks like a red cellphone…with those symbols etched around the side…"W-where did you get that?"
The sounds of snoring fill the campsite. I'm lying on the ground, staring up at the stars and feeling the wet grass press into my back. Yggdrasil, how did a normal day go so wrong so fast? I flex my right hand slightly and feel a scowl of frustration form on my face when…again there's no spark.
Tai's lying next to me, his brown eyes fixed on mine. "Are…you okay?"
"…Fine…" I mumble before turning away. He rests his hand on my shoulder. "Lily…" He lowers his voice so no one can hear him talking. "What happened…it's been a long time…it's probably just a fluke. There's nothing wrong with you or your powers."
"…Yeah. Just a fluke."
"I'm just trying to help."
"I know you are." I mumble, turning my head to give him a half-smile. "I'm sorry. It's been…a long day, you know?"
He nods silently as I curl up into a ball, letting sleep overtake me.
The sun shines down the next morning, light playing across my face. I groan, my eyes slowly opening as I feel something heavy wrapped around me. "Wha…?"
Then I turn my head slightly and nearly scream as I see Tai's head resting on my shoulder, his arm draped over my waist, a half-smile on his face….You've got to be kidding me.