Hi again everyone. Hope you enjoy the first part of the second half of this particular arc. Now that they have a new companion in tow, things will hopefully start to get even more interesting. Read on, folks.
Quest of the Gods
Chapter 56:- Size Matters Not
Now that D'Arcmon had been fully accepted into the group, regardless of the fact most of them still didn't know a thing about her, she had to be informed of the nature of their mission. And because she seemed to be far more comfortable around Impmon than just about anyone else in the group, including Impmon's own Tamers, it was agreed by all that it should be the little imp in question that would do the talking.
As Impmon told the story again, of how they were looking for Legendaries and how they seemed to be finding lots of enemy Digimon in this universe too, most of the others tried to avoid staring at D'Arcmon, while at the same time puzzling about her.
So this is what an angel looks like according to the world of you Tamers, huh? Anakin was saying. Well… they're vastly different than the ones we have on the moons of Iego. Those ones glow and they look their wings are more like those of a butterflies.
Yes, but the angels of our world are just an ordinary race like the rest of us, Barriss pointed out. Apparently they are more celestial and heavenly in other universes.
She doesn't look like a regular angel though, Henry said. We've seen a few angels and they're usually upstanding, regal and composed beings. This D'Arcmon doesn't seem to act like that at all. She's an angel only in form, I think.
What do you think her deal is anyway? Ahsoka asked all the others who could hear her. She seems so… suspicious and jumpy. As if she thinks we're suddenly going to jump on her at any moment and cut her throat or something.
I do not know but I sense a great deal of emotional trauma coming from her, Aayla said. More than I feel coming from our new friend, Felkan, in fact. Perhaps it would be best if we didn't probe too much. It may take time, but we must trust her for now.
We weren't going to do any probing, Lopmon said. But I don't think there have been many times where my curiosity has been stoked this much. She just stepped out of one of our pasts like a phantom in the night. And Impmon's talking to her so gently. I've only ever seen him act this way around one person and that's Jeri. And if I thought they had a history… what history do those two share?
For now it's best if we just try and make her feel welcome, Renamon suggested. Though that is easier said than done, I fear. We should just act friendly and… try to avoid personal questions.
Agreed, Anakin nodded.
Agreed, everyone else nodded too.
And just when we might have been starting to make an impression on Felkan, suddenly someone else with bigger trust issues than him pops up, Terriermon chuckled.
Felkan himself, while not privy to their conversation, was thinking much the same thing. He hadn't a clue what had happened in this particular Digimon's past but he could practically feel the emotional baggage that she carried with her. He noticed the way she kept glancing nervously up at the rest of the party, as if she feared that now that she'd finally gotten her friend back, all his other friends were going to try and take him away.
Was it possible this Digimon had gone through even greater emotional turmoil than him? It certainly seemed so despite the lack of knowledge that he had.
He could see the fear and the paranoia in her eyes though, and he wondered if that was what he would have become had he stayed in his exile for a few more years, going from hatred of humans to simply fearing them.
Maybe Gardevoir had been right about trying to get him back into the outside world again, regardless of the manhunt that would doubtless pursue. But now, thanks to Anakin's gimmick… he could hide in plain sight. So for him, it seemed that things were actually looking up.
Could the same be said for her?
But unbeknownst to the group, there was another player who was listening to Impmon's description of current events and pondering their implications. The little Tinkermon who had first fallen into this universe with D'Arcmon herself, was currently crouched on a tree-branch not far away, hidden perfectly amongst the leaves, and barely making the tiniest sounds as she listened in to the conversation.
"We don't know everything about the enemy we're facing yet," Impmon was saying. "But we do know that they are probably being led by a Digimon that can travel between the dimensions somehow. None of us have seen this guy except for some of the Jedi over there, but apparently he looked like some kind of huge black Knight Digimon with a giant spear and a massive axe."
D'Arcmon's eyes widened slightly, and Impmon noticed, only then remembering the description she had given of the Digimon who had allowed her to escape from the Dark Ocean – a huge black knight who had cut a hole in the fabric of reality to allow her and the Nightmare Soldiers through.
He hesitated, but D'Arcmon quickly regained her composure and said, "What makes you think he's the leader?"
Impmon faltered, giving D'Arcmon a look that wordlessly wondered if they should tell the others about this guy but D'Arcmon sent him a somewhat pleading look, clearly telling him that she didn't want anyone to anything more about her past until she was ready to share it. So Impmon cleared his throat and said, "Uh… well… we don't really know for sure, but he was the one who went to the Jedi World and brought their own incarnation of darkness to this one. But… there you have it. That's our situation. And we were just planning on getting on this train in Saffron City and heading off to try our luck at finding more Legendaries."
"What's a train?" D'Arcmon asked. "Is it dangerous?"
As Impmon explained further, Tinkermon grimaced and lay back on the twig she was resting on. She was most disgruntled. All this stuff about saving the universe and finding legends didn't mean anything to her. It was all bigger than her. Granted almost everything was bigger than her, but Tinkermon had always told herself that if something was bigger than her then she should do her best to ignore it. She led her own life and did her own thing.
All she wanted to do was go back home. But from the sounds of it, that wasn't going to be happening anytime soon.
"Great," she muttered to herself. "Just great. First those Goblimon and then zapped into a totally different and utterly stupid universe. That was a really bad day for me. Now what the heck am I supposed to do?"
But she deduced there was very little that she could do really. She had no interest in saving the world, but she didn't have a clue where she was going or what she was doing in this place.
So, when the morning came and the party below packed up and moved out when the light came, Tinkermon buzzed off after them still. If there was ever a chance of getting home, she realised that they would probably be the ones to find it for her.
Celadon City had been big.
Saffron City was even bigger.
Of course compared to the entire city planet that was Coruscant, Saffron City was nothing at all, leaving many of the group entirely unimpressed by its size and grandeur but the point still stood. This was the biggest city in all of the Kanto region and one of the most heavily populated. And now, a group of aliens, Interdimensional beings and wanted fugitives were planning on walking right into it.
While all the Digimon, including their angelic newcomer, hid from view from the general populace underneath Renamon's perception filter and navigated the crowded streets with care and ease, the rest of the group simply strode across the pavement and ignored all of the people who were similarly ignoring them as they passed by. None of them had the faintest idea that they had just walked past a Twi'lek, a Togruta and a Mirialan who were hiding beneath holograms. Even if any of them had known what any of those three things were.
Ashla's long green hair did draw a little bit of attention though – there was enough of it to make a decent sized mattress for a child after all. And a couple of guys actually approached her and asked her if she wanted a drink, to which Ashla merely waved her hand at them and they turned away, forgetting they'd asked the question. Still, Obi-Wan gentlemanly stepped up next to her and offered her his arm.
"I'm well aware you can look after yourself," he said, "But it would probably be less hassle for you if nobody bothered asking for your hand anyway."
"Most considerate of you, Master Kenobi," Ashla smiled and took the arm in her own.
"Looks like Obi-Wan's got himself a date," Anakin snickered, and there was a plethora of laughs from the rest of the group too.
"Yes, well when you've all finished having fun at my expense perhaps we should continue on towards the train station."
"According the guidebook Professor Oak gave us, it shouldn't be too far away," Henry said. "It's one the northwest side of the city to allow the straightest path to Goldenrod." He took Suzie's hand in his own and tried to pull her down the street that the map indicated they should take, but Suzie jerked her hand out of his grip and gave him a short glare.
"Right, sorry," Henry coughed. "Old habits die hard I guess."
"You shouldn't worry, Henry. I won't get lost," Suzie insisted. Although when Ai and Mako both took her hands moments later, she did nothing to stop them and led them forwards after Henry.
Felkan was still trying to get over the sensation of walking through the public like this. This had never happened to him before. Despite the fact that he was wanted across the world for something he and Absol had not even done, nobody was paying the slightest bit of attention to him and he wasn't even attempting to hide. He did keep checking his reflection in the window to make sure the hologram of the red-haired kid he had become was still up, but thankfully it was and he was positively thrilled. It felt like a great weight had been lifted from him.
Of course if he took the hologram down and people recognised him he would be instantly hounded, but even though he was still hiding he was more free than he had been in a very long time.
The three aliens took their own hiding in their stride. It was a little strange to be disguised as humans but other than that it just felt like walking down the streets of Coruscant. Except for Aayla, who had gotten somewhat used to people staring at her as she walked past in Tokyo. Perhaps she could have done with one of these holographic disguise matrixes earlier.
Up above, D'Arcmon was still sticking close to Impmon by allowing him to ride on her back, but was also sticking close to Renamon as per Impmon's instructions. While she did feel sure she could trust Renamon, as well as the others, if Impmon trusted them, it was still hard to accept this fact in her mind. After years in the Dark Ocean, trusting anyone she didn't know was not going to be easy. But she did her best.
Eventually they arrived at the train station and stepped up to the desk. Obi-Wan pulled the numerous tickets from his pocket and flashed them before the desk clerk.
"Quite a big number of you boarding the train today," she remarked.
"Indeed, and we are in need of one more," Obi-Wan replied. "We're the group who were given a place on the train today by Professor Samuel Oak. We're researchers for him you see, and we have had an addition to our party at the last minute. The Professor should have added another ticket to our order."
Felkan had called Oak on the X-Transceiver that morning to let him know they had found the angel but that she had insisted on staying with them for the time being and they would need an extra seat on the train for her since it would be harder for Renamon to conceal her in such a crowded space. The lady at the counter checked through her system and nodded. "Yes, the order has come through. Please wait while I print it off."
"Thank you," Obi-Wan nodded.
"You are early though," the lady said, as the printer whirred into life. "The Magnet Train only makes one trip from Goldenrod to Saffron and back every day. I don't believe it has even left Goldenrod yet, though it should do soon. You will have to wait a few hours before your journey."
"We just wanted to ensure we could remain together on the passage," Anakin said. "What time does the train leave?"
"Two in the afternoon," the clerk replied.
"Thank you," Obi-Wan nodded as he took the extra ticket for D'Arcmon. "We'll be here." And the group turned and walked away.
"Well, now that we're here," Barriss said. "What are we meant to do now? Just wait for the train?"
"There's little else we can or need to do," Anakin pointed out.
"Not quite true," Rika sighed, rubbing her forehead with a couple of fingers. "There is one thing. D'Arcmon can't just board the train as she is now. Everyone's going to see her wings and they'll guess what she is. And I think you know what that means, don't you?"
"Let me guess?" Aayla smirked. "More clothes shopping for Rika?"
"And here I thought getting the clothes for you lot was enough," Rika shook her head. "I really hope we don't get too many more on this quest of ours that I have to go shopping for. But I might as well get it over with." Renamon.
Yes, Rika, Renamon sounded amused from wherever she was hiding.
Would our angel friend like to accompany me to the nearest store?
While the Jedi, Felkan and most of the Tamers remained at the train station – the Jedi catching up on some much needed meditation – Rika marched out into the city armed with a guidebook and heading for the nearest clothing stores she could find, hoping to get it over with. D'Arcmon was with her, currently hiding her wings by wearing a heavy coat that had been given to her by the Jedi, but probably wouldn't have been a good idea to wear on a train. She'd also, very reluctantly given her swords to Renamon so she could keep them under her filter, and also taken off her mask at the insistence of the Jedi, and while all of them had noticed the scar running past her eye, the only one who made any comment was Anakin, and all he said was, "Hey, snap."
D'Arcmon had offered him a half-amused smile but said nothing.
Through it all, Rika had to endure a few mental snickers from the other Digimon that she knew were hovering somewhere nearby, making sure that the two of them were alright. She groaned. They knew that she hated clothes shopping, which made it all the more ironic that she was the best at it.
Eventually they found a store that looked half decent and Rika pushed inside, holding the door open for D'Arcmon, who was clutching the coat around her like a life-line as she knew it was currently the only thing that was keeping people from staring at her.
"Morning, girls," said the young sales girl behind the counter. "Can I help you with anything?"
"I think we can find our own way around, thanks," Rika said, which was her way of saying 'Buzz off' while trying not to be rude. The girl got the message and left her alone. As the door closed behind them, it momentarily stopped and jerked backwards a little bit before closing again. The store girl blinked in confusion for a moment, but Rika knew that several hidden Digimon had just entered the store behind them.
Renamon, she called through the mental link. Make sure those two boys don't go doing any peeking when they shouldn't be.
I wouldn't worry about that, Renamon chuckled. Terriermon knows that if he peeks I'll sit on him for the entire train journey later and I don't think Impmon would dare taking a look at his own friend.
Well good, Rika nodded. And then she turned to D'Arcmon. "So, any thoughts?" she asked.
D'Arcmon frowned. "I've never done this before," she said. "The outfit I have is the only outfit I've ever worn."
"Then I guess it's up to me," Rika said. "Let's just do this."
So they did. Despite Renamon's warning to him, she kept a paw firmly clamped over Terriermon's head to keep him from looking, while Impmon diligently turned around and faced out the window throughout the whole thing, which Lopmon was somewhat grateful for. Not that any of it mattered really since D'Arcmon only got changed in one of the private cubicles at the back of the store.
It took Rika a little longer than usual to pick out things for her than it had for the others back in Pallet Town. While D'Arcmon was capable of folding her wings against her back quite tightly, Rika needed to find something that would cover them up adequately. Normally she would have suggested cutting holes in the back of the shirts to allow her wings free, but since the point of all this was to keep them hidden, Rika needed to think a little more creatively. Still, she did pass D'Arcmon several ordinary items like jeans, T-shirts and even underwear, which made Renamon clamp her paw on Terriermon's face a little tighter just to make sure every time she picked it up.
Still, Rika had a pretty good idea of what was needed for her size and most of the stuff fit D'Arcmon very well. But after trying on a short sleeved, red T-shirt, D'Arcmon said, "Is there any chance I can get a… long-sleeved version of this?"
"Sure," Rika said, and promptly fished one off the shelf. D'Arcmon reached out for it, but as she did, Rika immediately noticed the marks around D'Arcmon's wrist. She grabbed D'Arcmon's hand before she could pull it back in and stared at it for a moment, before looking up at D'Arcmon's face searchingly.
D'Arcmon winced. "I don't want to talk about it," she said. "Just… the long-sleeves please."
"Hoping to cover something up are we?" Rika asked.
"Yes," D'Arcmon said, a little tightly.
"Then you'd probably be better off with sweatbands like mine," Rika showed her the red sweatbands that she still wore even after all this time. "In fact…" she quickly peeled both of them off and handed them to her. D'Arcmon stared at them for a moment as if they were potentially dangerous before slowly pulling them on and staring at them. Rika could see a slightly haunted look in her eyes.
"If… you'd rather the shirt…" she started.
"No. No," D'Arcmon said quickly. "These… these will do fine. Thank you… Rika, wasn't it?"
"That's me," Rika nodded.
D'Arcmon retreated back into the cubicle to continue changing and Rika turned round, somehow finding Renamon's invisible eyes with her own. Though she couldn't see the yellow fox, they both thought the same thing at each other – What the hell has that girl been through?
They both recognised scars that had probably been made be manacles – they'd seen slaves with them back in the Jedi World after they had been freed. But those scars looked far more livid than any they had seen before. And Rika had figured the sweatbands might have seemed a little bit like cuffs capturing her wrists to D'Arcmon, hence the haunted look. But thankfully she'd managed to get over it before Rika had a real guilt trip.
"They're still sticking out the back of the shirt," D'Arcmon whispered through the curtain. Rika thought quickly and pulled a shawl from one of the shelves, sticking it through the curtain and instructing D'Arcmon to try wrapping that around her waist. Moments later, she had to actually step in to help D'Arcmon with it as she didn't have a clue what she was doing, but moments later the two of them stepped out and Renamon finally allowed Terriermon to see again.
Whoa, Terriermon thought. If he hadn't known who he was looking at he probably wouldn't have recognised her. The red T-shirt and the shawl served to hide her wings nicely, and the jeans and sandals that she was also wearing made her look like a regular human teenager, apart from the scar and the red marks of her cheeks. But they were inconsequential in comparison. If he was a casual observer, Terriermon never would have guessed he was looking at an actual angel.
You've outdone yourself, Rika, he observed. I'll be sure to tell your mother about this.
If you do, Rika glared in his direction. I will get my mother to arrange a photo shoot for Princess Pretty-Pants. Co-starring a pineapple.
The store clerk looked up at the high-pitched yelp that came from in front of her, but she was unable to locate the source. She glanced back to the girls and smiled. "Are you done?" she asked.
As all this was happening, something else was beginning to stir at a building pretty much slap-bang in the middle of the city – the Silph Company headquarters. It was not the largest building in the city, but it was one of the grandest, standing at least eleven stories tall. And its outer walls appeared to be made almost entirely of reinforced glass, window after window stacked up against each other with very little space in between them. Only the corners of the building were not glass and they appeared to be made of steel or some other sheet metal.
But despite the massive amount of windows, nobody could actually see inside the building from the outside on any level – the windows were one way, so that people inside could see out, but all people on the outside could see was the reflection of what was around them. The Silph Company did, after all, want to keep its secrets very closely guarded. They were the leading manufacturer of Pokémon related products in all of the regions, so they had to keep ahead of the competition.
Today, inside the complex, it mostly seemed to be pretty much business as usual, with scientists in long white lab coats carrying equipment between the rooms, or staring into microscopes or tinkering with some small electronic device they were attempting to build. Admittedly a lot of what they made didn't work, but they had designed some very useful products. They had, with the help of Professor Oak, created the first Pokédex. They had created almost every kind of commercially available Pokéball. They had created the Pokégear. And while they had not been responsible for creating the first artificial Pokémon, they were now the ones who owned them.
Today, though, the President of the Company received a visitor in his office on the eleventh floor. He stood by his window overlooking the city and brainstorming some of his latest ideas for inventions, when there came a knock at the door. He turned to call 'come in' but the door opened before he could.
"I knew what you would say," the woman on the other side of the door stated.
"Why, hello Sabrina," the President chuckled as the local Gym Leader stepped into the room, closing the door behind her. "What can I do for you?"
"It's more a question of what I can do for you today, Mr. President," Sabrina replied. She was a young woman in her late twenties, with grey-blue hair that hung to her shoulders before curling around behind her. She wore a pink tank-top that left her shoulders and navel exposed, long white trousers and two strange thick bands around her wrists. But her expression was flat and serious as she sad, "I believe that you may be in danger."
"In danger?" the President blustered. "Whatever do you mean?"
"I have been having visions recently," Sabrina replied.
If most people had said that, the President would probably have called security, but not Sabrina. She was not only a local Gym Leader, but she was also a Psychic. Very few humans could use Psychic abilities and none could do so with the same efficiency as a Pokémon could, but the President had seen Sabrina bend spoons with her mind without looking like she was trying. She insisted that every human had the ability to use Psychic powers, but most just didn't have the strength of belief to think they could do it. The President had tried himself, but had been unsuccessful.
But what set Sabrina apart most of all was her ability to see into the future. She admitted to herself that most of what she saw was fractured and incomplete a lot of the time, but almost everything she foresaw did eventually come true. And she also couldn't control what she saw. People had once tried to come to her asking questions about their personal lives and how it would go, but Sabrina turned them away, telling them that she didn't command her visions but that if she did see anything she'd let them know.
"Visions?" the President asked. "Visions about what?"
"I have been having them for some time now," Sabrina placed a couple of fingers against her head and closed her eyes. "I've never been able to make much sense of what I saw until recently. Most of what I've been seeing involves strange creatures running amuck, many of which resembling Pokémon I have never seen before. Humans and… things that look like humans but are not swinging swords made of light. Creatures evolving into bigger shapes but then degenerating back to their smaller forms. Many things that seem like they could only be the stuff of dreams and yet I know them to be visions of the future."
"How long has this been going on?" the President asked, remember the news stories about the strange creatures that had been sighted by the public in Vermilion, Cerulean and just yesterday in Celadon – all the major cities that surrounded Saffron.
"A few weeks," Sabrina replied. "But I never mentioned it because I have never seen anything that would actually be useful. Until this morning. I saw more strange creatures and men wearing black running through hallways and threatening scientists. I saw great black claws and moving shadows and what can only be a battle. And not a Pokémon battle but an actual battle, with attacks flying everywhere. And it was focused here, on this building. And I received it strongly, indicating it's going to happen soon, possibly even today. I feel it is imperative, Mr. President, that we evacuate the premises for the time being."
"But we are in the middle of a great deal of work," the President protested. "Is there no way to prevent his from happening at all?"
"If there is then I have no yet foreseen it," Sabrina replied. "I do not know who it is that will attack, but there will be one."
The President sighed. He had been there three years ago when Team Rocket had stormed their building and tried to steal a bunch of his technological developments. He had hoped that his increased security since then would be enough to prevent something similar happening. But if what Sabrina said was true, which it usually was, then she was right. They had to get out of there now.
"Very well," he stepped up to his desk. "I'll order the evacuation now." He pressed the button on the little com device that he had on his desk with which he could make announcements to the whole building and said, "Attention, this is the President. I am ordering a full evacuation of the premises. Please make your way to the front doors as quickly and calmly as possible."
"It might be a good idea to call the police too," Sabrina said as he took his finger from the button.
"Good idea," the President picked up the phone and dialled. "Hello, I'd like to talk to the police."
But all he heard on the other side of the line was white noise. He blinked and stared at the phone. "That's funny," he said. "It's not working." He pulled out his personal phone and was shocked to see that he had no signal. "No signal? How could there be no signal? This building has perhaps the strongest signal in the city."
"Something's wrong," Sabrina said. The President looked back at her to see her eyes had glazed over slightly. "The intruders," she said. "They're… already here."
And she was right. A few minutes ago, the phone and communication lines for the building had been severed, meaning that the announcement for the evacuation that the President had given had not been received by any of the staff, who carried on, unaware that nothing was wrong. And a few men in black uniforms in one of the nearby side-streets had set up a device to jam the signals of all mobile phones in the area.
Rearing up from the shadows near the back of the building, Duskmon stared up at the structure they were about to invade. He had to grudgingly admit that the humans did seem to know what they were doing when it came to building things. But that would just make it all the more satisfying when the time came to tear their cities to the ground.
"We're good to go sir," Team Rocket Elite Domino flipped onto the top of a dumpster behind him. Many of Duskmon's eyes swivelled to face her, a move that even she found highly creepy.
"Then prove to me that DarkKnightmon did not make a colossal mistake when he allowed you weakling humans into our fold," Duskmon growled, lifting a skull-hand and extending one of his swords. "Let us move in."
Domino scowled but knew better than to oppose this guy – he was as slippery as a Ghost-type Pokémon. She merely turned and gave the signal to several other Rocket grunts filling the alleyway, who were wearing coats and jumpers over their uniforms and had taken off their caps to serve as quick disguises. They turned and filed out of the alleyway, slipping out onto the main street and heading towards the front doors. Domino cartwheeled off the dumpster and laid her hand on Duskmon's arm tentatively.
"Shall we?" she asked.
Duskmon shadow-travelled, taking Domino with her and re-appearing in a small patch of shade on the roof of the building. Many other Rocket grunts in full uniform were already waiting for them there. The building had a very large curved sun-roof that ran down the centre of the building from front to back, and the Rockets had gathered together on both sides of it.
"Wait for the signal," Domino crouched low, holding her long tulip ready for action. "We need to be in and out as quickly as possible."
It all started when a poor man who heading into one of the toilets ended up crapping himself.
To be more precise, he crapped himself because just as he entered the cubicle intent on doing his business, a huge and hideously ugly face suddenly burst out of the toilet in front of him. The man screamed and fell backwards against the door as the massive sludgy shape of a mid-sized Raremon loomed out of the water closet, slimy clawed hands detaching from his body and slashing down at him. Ignoring his soiled underwear the man dashed out of the cubicle, the claws slamming the ground behind him, only to find more Raremon clambering out of all the other cubicles around him.
This was happening all over the building, as employees bolted out of the bathrooms, the sludgy Digimon that could beat even Grimers and Muks in terms of repulsiveness oozing out after them, slashing the wall and leaving trails of goop everywhere they went, gurgling evilly at the sight of people fleeing for their lives, only to run into more of them.
The sounds of the screams reached the lobby of the building just as the security guards were inspecting the crowd of people in coats and jumpers that had just entered. As they turned around in alarm, the men and women in question whipped off the coats and jumpers to reveal the black uniform and red R's of Team Rocket underneath. They were led by Rocket Executive Petrel, who immediately called out his Weezing.
"Gas the place up!" he called as several other Rocket grunts called out Koffings and Weezings too, as well as a few other Poison-type Pokémon who immediately filled the room with their fumes. The security guards coughed and hacked and cursed as their lungs were filled with the noxious gases, but the Rocket members donned gas masks and charged straight in, knocking the guards out with well-placed punches and kicks. Petrel directed some to secure the lobby and some to move out into the rest of the building, before he pulled out his radio, set to a frequency that would not be jammed by their own device and said, "You're good to go, 009. We've secured the exit."
"Acknowledged," Domino nodded and raised her fist into the air. Many of the grunts were holding heavy looking rams while others had called out some Fighting-type Pokémon like Machops. They all immediately leapt onto the sunroof and struck the glass, pounding hard against it until it shattered, sending hundreds of shards crashing through to the floor below.
More grunts threw ropes over the edges and they leapt down, scaling swiftly down into the building. Domino merely jumped and landed on the edge of the shattered glass like a cat. "Come on," she called. "The Boss has given us a job to do. Let's not disappoint him."
And the grunts, who had waiting for so long to receive orders on the request of Giovanni, cheered as they fanned out and charged through the various corridors. Still on the roof, Duskmon watched them and again had to admit something to himself. Though they were weak and frail fleshbags, these humans were pretty efficient.
But he felt sure it was his own reinforcements that were going to win the day.
As if the chaos already spreading through the building was not enough, it was about to get even worse. Some of the scientists working in the labs had only just started to hear the screams, when objects seemed to go flying across the room of their own accord. They gasped and pulled backwards, flattening themselves against the walls as their desks overturned and their precious work was tossed about to shatter against the wall.
One of the scientists hit a storage shelf in his panic and something dropped from above to land in his hands – a strange pair of white binoculars that looked like they could be strapped to someone's face. Except they weren't binoculars, it was a Silph Scope – a device that had been invented several years ago in order to let people view Ghost-type Pokémon that had turned invisible.
On a hunch, the scientist lifted it to his eyes now.
The fact that he could suddenly see the room was full of Bakemon didn't particularly help. In fact, it made him scream and one of the Bakemon immediately whirled to face him and lanced out a long black hand from beneath its ragged ghost-like arm which seized the Silph Scope and pulled it from his face. All the scientists saw the Silph Scope hover in the air for a moment before being crushed. And then the Bakemon revealed themselves to their sight and laughed in the face of their fear.
In about a minute flat, the entire building was reduced to pandemonium as employees of all kinds from janitors to security guards to scientists fled in terror from the monsters and the criminals that swarmed their premises. Rocket members rounded them up and locked them in storage rooms, while the Digimon chased them into other rooms and sealed them in.
Some tried to fight back, pulling out their own Pokémon to fight with. But these were not great trainers and the inexperienced Pokémon were no match for the sheer numbers weighed against them. Bakemon swarmed the Pokémon and the guards they belonged to and beat them into unconsciousness. Raremon filled the corridors as they bore down on terrified people in front of them with no place to go. And one brave and reckless guard charged on of the Raremon with nothing but a janitor's mop as a weapon.
Suffice to say, he did not last very long.
To sum up, a hostile takeover was swarming through the building and thanks to the efficiency of the attack and the one-way glass panels of the building, nobody on the outside had the slightest idea what was going on. People passed by in the street outside, with no clue of the turmoil within.
Which was exactly what the attackers were hoping for.
The President could hear the screams emanating from around the building. "No, what's going on?" he cried. "Who's attacking us?"
"I am uncertain," Sabrina strode over to him and took his arm in an iron grip with her hand. "But come on, I am getting you out of here."
She pulled out one of her most powerful Pokémon from his Ball – her Alakazam. The bizarre humanoid Pokémon crossed the spoons he held in his hands defensively, his mind picking up the threat coming from seemingly all around us.
"Communications have been disrupted and the building is invaded," Sabrina said, laying her hand on her Alakazam's shoulder. "Come Mister President. We must leave. We shall teleport you to the police station and alert the authorities directly."
The President hesitated at the thought of leaving all his employees in the lurch but knew that he would be no use whatsoever if he stayed anyway. So he hurried forwards… right at the point where a long chain whipped straight out of the floor in front of him and wound around him like a constrictor snake. Sabrina and Alakazam both gasped in shock as the President was yanked through the floor as if it wasn't even there, as if he himself was a ghost.
"Mister President!" Sabrina cried. "Alakazam, quick!"
Right, Alakazam replied in her mind and teleported directly into the room below. They both saw three Phantomon leering as the President was being dragged back towards the door by several Bakemon, but the Phantomon whirled around to face them as they appeared.
Sabrina gave them no time to comment on their appearance and thrust her hand out. "Take them, Alakazam!"
Alakazam thrust out his spoons and tossed the Phantomon backwards like the rags they resembled with a Psychic blast. The flumped softly against the wall but caught themselves before they dropped to the ground and one shot forwards with a cry of "SHADOW SCYTHE!" Alakazam caught the scythe by crossing his spoons but the strength of the blow forced him backwards several feet. But Alakazam generated a Shadow Ball right before his face that blasted into the Phantomon's chest and sent him flying through the that the President had been dragged out of. The two other Phantomon closed in, but Alakazam touched his hand to Sabrina and teleported into the corridor, the two of them chasing after the President, right as the Phantomon whirled around in pursuit.
There were a few rooms in the Silph Company building that were more heavily fortified than some and one of these included the room where the Porygon were kept. The emotionless Pokémon sat silently in their places on the shelves, or on the table when they were taken down for any humane tests. There were also a few Porygon2 and even a couple of Porygon-Z sitting silently with their brethren, while other shelves were stacked high with Up-Grades. And there were a couple of Dubious Discs as well, which the scientists were trying to replicate because the Dubious Disc had been created from a totally unknown source.
Now many of the scientists were standing at the doors, and trying to reinforce them as several Raremon pounded on the door outside, scraping at the metal with their claws to try and force entry.
"I don't know how much longer we can keep them out," one of the cried.
"If we let them in we'll all be toast," another yelled.
"No, let them in," another protested. "We can order the Porygon to defend us. I would like to see them stand against so many of them at once."
"We can't risk it," another disagreed. "Let's just have the Porygon on standby! In case we can't keep them out."
"Alright then," said the one who had protested. "I was hoping I wouldn't have to get my hands dirty but… Porygon, use Psybeam!"
The other scientists all blanched as the Porygon on the table rose up and turned to face them blasting out a multi-coloured Psychic beam that swept across the room, blasting all the scientists backwards except the one that gave the command. The scientist smirked and stepped towards the doors, opening the lock and greeting the Raremon on the other side.
"Job's done," Gideon said – the Rocket scientist having infiltrated the building earlier with the help of some of the Bakemon. "The Porygon are ours."
Sabrina ducked under a flying piece of sludge as Alakazam hit another Raremon with a Charge Beam attack. They'd been in hot pursuit of the president two of the offending muckpiles came splurging around the corner in front of them. And with the Phantomon closing in behind them, it seemed that they were now surrounded.
But a Psychic type that could teleport could rarely be trapped in this kind of way. Alakazam waited for the last second as the three Phantomon swung their golden weapons in at him and his trainer, before teleporting them both past the Raremon. The two sides of Digimon met with a collision course – the attacks of the Phantomon carving through the Raremon and slaying them instantly, but the muck of the Raremon that splattered everywhere plastering the Phantomon to the floor. Sabrina and Alakazam ran on, not caring if they were still pursued. The President was their priority.
The Bakemon that held the President hostage blinked when they were confronted with Sabrina and Alakazam again. "Wow," one of them said. "These guys are persistent. But that was about all they could get out before a Psychic bolt appeared out of nowhere behind them and struck them both dead on, causing them to gurgle in pain and fall to the floor like dishcloths in a breeze.
Sabrina and Alakazam ran towards the President when a voice said, "A Future Sight, huh? It seems that the Gym Leader of Saffron City is as resourceful as people say."
Domino had appeared from a doorway next to the President and was leaning against the wall with a smirk on her face, long tulip held in one hand.
"The red R," Sabrina murmured looking at the symbol emblazoned on Domino's front. "Then the rumours that I heard from far off are true. Team Rocket is indeed back in action then."
"Indeed, and as you can see, we've made some pretty interesting allies recently," Domino said. "Ah, ah, where are you going Mister President?" She sprang forwards and planted her foot between the President's shoulder blades as he tried to scramble away, pushing him to the floor.
"Unhand him, Team Rocket agent," Sabrina ordered, as Alakazam stood ready to fight. "Or I shall make sure you regret it."
"Oh please. I'm not some Team Rocket agent," Domino huffed. "I'm 009, Team Rocket Elite Domino. I would have thought someone who could see into the future would have figured that out. But apparently you can't see everything, can you, Miss Psychic? And nor can your Alakazam."
"The future is never clearly defined," Sabrina replied.
"Not true," Domino smiled almost sweetly. "Yours is. And I'm surprised you didn't see it coming."
That was when the three Phantomon suddenly burst out of the ground all around them. Two of them appeared right next to Alakazam, who started and threw up a Reflect but it wasn't enough. The defensive move did manage to prevent the two Shadow Scythes that struck him simultaneously from killing him outright, but the defences of an Alakazam were not high, so he was still knocked backwards and rendered unconscious by the blow.
"Alakazam!" Sabrina cried in shock at seeing her Pokémon so brutally injured. Instinctively she reached for another Pokéball, but Domino interrupted her with a yell of "Not so fast there, Gym Leader."
Sabrina froze, suddenly aware that all three Phantomon had their scythes levelled at a different target. One was holding it over the neck of the President. One was holding it at the neck of her Alakazam. And the third now had the point pressed against the back of her own neck.
"Make one more move," Domino challenged her. "And all three of you die. I hear you yourself have some Psychic powers, Sabrina, but even you can't save all three of you at once. Make one move, physical or psychic, and either you die, your Pokémon dies, or the President dies. Or possible all three. Who knows? But you would be wise not to risk it, eh?"
Sabrina seethed inside, cursing her visions for not showing her something more clearly that could have prevented this. But she conceded defeat and slowly moved her hands away from her Pokéballs to her waist.
"I surrender," she said. "Do not harm them."
"Now there's a good girl," Domino crowed. And without warning she levelled her tulip at Sabrina and fired an burst of electricity from the flower-tip. Sabrina screamed as the shock convulsed her body and she fell to the ground. Domino was on her in a bound and sprayed a small cloud of the same knock-out gas she had used on Suzie and Lopmon before into Sabrina's face.
The effect was almost instantaneous, but as Sabrina blacked out she vaguely heard Domino's voice say, "Take the President and lock him away with his employees. I'll make sure this little Psychic stays out of the way." And her head hit the carpet and she knew no more.
"Ah come on," Tinkermon muttered as she flitted through the streets, with her arms folded, glaring down into the crowds of humans and Pokémon below. "Why do there have to be so gosh darn many of them? Where the heck are they?"
When the group she had been following entered the city, Tinkermon had been momentarily hesitant to follow them. To her, Saffron City was an absolutely daunting place. She'd never seen anything so big as this before, and she was so tiny that to her it was like what the Empire State Building must look like to an ant.
But because of the crowds, even though her hesitance was temporary, she had lost sight of the ones she had been trying to follow and had been darting around trying to find them ever since. To her irritation she'd already forgotten what most of them looked like, but she thought surely she would recognise one or two of them if she saw them. Surely she would recognise the Digimon when she saw them.
So where in this world could they be?
"This is why I prefer being on my own," Tinkermon complained as she stood on the edge of one of the tall buildings and looked out over the sprawling metropolis below. "It's easier to keep track of everyone you're travelling with because there's only one of you. I'm never going to find them in this place."
Tinkermon whirled around to see a bird with a red-feathered head staring at her with its head cocked to one side. "What are you looking at?" she demanded.
"Spearow." The bird replied.
"No I heard you say that the first time, dolt. Care to answer with something that makes sense?"
The Spearow launched itself at her, intent on clamping her in its beak, but Tinkermon leapt into the air and evaded its chomping bite, smacking it over the beak with her lance. The Spearow squawked in surprise at how hard such a small blow was, but Tinkermon finished up by spinning around and kicking he Spearow in the backside. And her little boots had on large spike on each toe end. Granted she was so little that the spike itself was actually quite small, but it still made the Spearow yelp at the pinprick and it decided that there was much better prey out there than little human-like things, and it flew away.
"Yeah, you better run," Tinkermon yelled after it. But as she watched the Spearow's progressed, she saw it fly past a large building which looked to be mostly made of reflective glass.
And then she spotted the shadowy form standing on the roof.
"What the…" she frowned, flitting a little closer and peering at the black-armoured creature there. "Wonder what's going on over there."
And she zoomed in a little to have a closer look.
Back outside the train station, there had been some hefty congratulating going on about disguising D'Arcmon to look like a regular human. They'd stashed her original garments in one of their packs, and D'Arcmon still so weird to really be wearing anything else, but if it meant that nobody was going to stare at her then she'd gladly wear them.
Honestly, she'd had enough of being stared at for quite some time.
Now the group had no other option but to wait for the train. Which wasn't something that was agreeing with all of them. They knew the world was edging ever closer to destruction and therefore felt like they should be doing something more active with their time. But there was nothing they could be doing and in the long run they'd still get to Goldenrod much faster if they waited now rather than trying to head there without the train.
So they passed the time the only way they could – by planning.
"While these disguises are definitely working," Anakin was reasoning in a hushed voice. "I think that we should start thinking of aliases and perhaps a backstory or two for each of us if someone stops us for whatever reason. As long as we keep to ourselves we probably won't need them but it never hurts to prepare."
"Anakin makes a good point," Barriss nodded. "Even our names might strike some people in this world as unusual. Best we all have an alter-ego of some kind, even those of us without a holographic disguise."
"All I need is my second name," Felkan said as he sipped a cup of hot chocolate – something he had not had for years and had missed a lot more than he cared to admit. "Spencer. That works just as well as any first name."
"And if people should ask you what your second name actually is?" Aayla pointed out.
"Then I will tell them it is Martin," Felkan replied instantly. "That was my mother's maiden name. Back when she was still alive."
Anakin winced. "You lost your mother too?" he asked.
Felkan gave him a level stare before saying, "Barely knew her. I only found out she died recently. And she died three years ago apparently."
"It does leave a mark though, doesn't it?" Anakin asked him. "One that you can never truly replace."
Felkan said nothing but the Jedi all knew he had been more affected by his mother's death than he was admitting.
Obi-Wan cleared his throat. "Back to the topic at hand," he tried to relieve the situation. "I believe that I will call myself Ben. It seems a practical and simple name to me. Not to mention easy to remember."
"Ben Kenobi?" Anakin sniggered. "That's just weird. I will never get used to calling you that, Master."
"Fortunately you won't have to except in public," Obi-Wan pointed out. "And you shouldn't call me 'Master' either. That might seem a strange term for someone to use here."
"Noted," Anakin replied. "I guess I'm somewhat torn… but I think that I'll go with Lars as my alias name. Lars is my stepbrother's name. I only met the guy the one time and… to be honest it's not a memory I look fondly on because of… what happened later. But it'll do in a pinch."
"Do you suppose Ashla will still do for an alias name?" asked the Daughter of the Force, who was also still getting used to blending in with a massive crowd of people who didn't have a clue how special she was.
"You bet," Ahsoka nodded. "And if you like, I can play your little sister Ashley."
"Sister?" Ashla blinked. "I have… I have never had a sister. I have only ever been the sister."
"Well it is only pretend really but you've got one now," Ahsoka gave her a reassuring smile, and the hologram of the blond woman around her smiled with her. "Don't worry if you feel uncomfortable talking to people. I'll be nearby to take over."
"I extend my thanks… sister," Ashla replied with a smile of her own.
"How about you, Barriss?" Henry asked the disguised Mirialan.
"I am not sure," Barriss shook her head. "I've never been much of an undercover kind of Jedi. And most of the names I'm thinking of are Mirialan names that I don't think would fit this context."
Oh, I have an idea, Terriermon said from where he was hidden close by but listening to every word. How about… Meredith?
"Meredith?" Barriss frowned in bemusement. "Why Meredith?"
I dunno… I just tried to think of names that sounded like Mirialan and that was the first name that came to mind.
"Meredith," Barriss rolled the name of her tongue. "I quite like it. Yes, I'll use that name."
"I'm never going to be able to remember all this," Ahsoka chuckled. "But it's your turn, Aayla."
"I am somewhat torn," Aayla replied. "I am thinking I could go with a name similar to my own, like perhaps Amy. Or should I go for something completely different like, say, Jennifer?"
Definitely go with Jennifer, Terriermon added his opinion again. If you called yourself Amy, I wouldn't be able to stop myself from saying, 'Come along, Pond' all the time, to you. Or it would make me think of Amy Farrah Fowler and you're not like her at all.
Aayla smothered a laugh, catching both the Doctor Who and the Big Bang Theory references that none of the other Jedi got. "Very well," she said. "Jennifer it is. And what of you, D'Arcmon. We can hardly go around calling you that."
D'Arcmon looked stumped but before she could say anything, something dropped out of the sky and landed Suzie's milkshake. The young girl, who had been about to take a sip, started backwards and all of them watched in bewilderment as a tiny little bedraggled fairy hauled her way out.
"I do not recommend that. Ugh," Tinkermon wiped the milkshake out of her hair as best she could.
"Tinkermon?" D'Arcmon breathed, standing up and leaning over the table. "Is that you?"
"Who… what… whoa, D'Arcmon?" Tinkermon blinked, staring up at the angel Digimon in bemusement. "I should be asking you that question. What happened to you? You've gone through a complete wardrobe change."
"What's going on?" Anakin asked. "You know each other?"
"She fell into this universe with me," D'Arcmon replied. "We'd only just met in the Digital World about a couple of minutes before we were pulled in. What are you doing here?"
"Actually I was looking for you," Tinkermon replied. "Or at least someone who might be able to help. There's something going down out there in the city."
"Going down? What's going down?" D'Arcmon asked.
"Heck if I know. I got out of there quick as I could, but what I saw… there's no doubt about it. Humans and Digimon working together and leading an attack on one of the buildings out there in the city."
"What?" Henry stood up quickly, Rika right with him. "What did they look like? What building?"
"I dunno. Lots of humans wearing black with big red R's on the front of their clothes. And I saw a few Bakemon and I think a Raremon or two, and they're being led by some tall black Digimon I don't recognise. I don't think they saw me but there were sure a lot of them and I got out of there quickly. I didn't know what to do though but there's people in trouble alright. But now that I've found you, D'Arcmon… where's Karatenmon anyway."
"Uh… not important," D'Arcmon replied.
"Little miss," Obi-Wan climbed to his feet. "Do you think you can show us the way back to this building? It seems to me that this Team Rocket we fought against really is back in action. And is working with the enemy Digimon as we feared."
"We have to stop them," Ahsoka agreed.
"We will, as soon as we know where we're going," Anakin replied.
"Who are all you guys anyway?" Tinkermon asked.
"If you wouldn't mind, we could introduce ourselves once the crisis is solved," Anakin said. "Please, can you lead us to the building?"
"Sure… just follow me. I'll take you there," Tinkermon buzzed her wings to dry them of milkshake, but they flopped down slightly. "Uh… someone might have to carry me though. But it's that way." She pointed with her lance into the city.
"Well, here we go again," Rika muttered as they all stood and hurried off.
"Let's just hope we don't miss the train," Henry agreed.
And there's another chapter gone. This one was somewhat entertaining to write in a lot of ways, because as we know I happen to like chaos whether it be caused by good guys or bad guys. I prefer it being the good guys, but this time I went for the other end of the stick.
Kudos to anyone who noticed that the aliases for Ahsoka, Barriss and Aayla are actually the names of their voice actors for the Clone Wars series. And Amy is the name of the actress who played Aayla in the live-action movies.
Until next time.
Coming up:- Chapter 57 : A Big Sting