Episode 11: A whole new
digital world

  dark                      light

This didn’t feel familiar. Where she was, what she could feel underneath her. Everything was hazy, and she didn’t want to open her eyes yet. She felt sick; and opening her eyes would only make her want to vomit more than she already did. So she was forced to rely on her other senses.

Eva was aware of one main thing; that she hurt. Everything. Her body, limbs and muscles all felt like they had been pulled from their sockets and screwed back in again, badly. Her head was aching so much she couldn’t think straight. She was lying down – that much was clear. And wherever she was, it was sunny. She could feel warmth on her face. Her fingers brushed over what she lay upon. Grass. Long, prickly grass. There was the sound of running water close by, and the back of her jumper felt slightly damp. Like she had lain down on dewy grass.

She inhaled deeply. “Okay... one thing at a time.” Eva told herself. She moved, slowly and with purpose. Though she winced whenever she did make even the smallest movement, Eva managed to get herself somewhat upright, sitting up. She rubbed her hands slowly over her face, blinking her eyes open, shading them from the light. She felt like she’d been asleep for years.

Once her eyes had adjusted to the light, Eva was able to take in her surroundings – which gave her a very clear message. She was no longer home. She was lying on grass, long grass about knee length and where she had been lying was flat in her bodies shape. She was in a meadow it seemed, which was littered with bushes and trees, though none of them looked as they should of. The trunk of one of the closest trees was a turquoise colour and it had purple leaves. A bush some feet away had flowers blooming on it the size of dinner plates, and was a bright vibrant orange.

“What...” Eva struggled to her feet slowly and stood on the spot. Pushing her hood off her head and running her fingers back through her hair Eva continued to look around. The meadow was flat for the most part with a small incline in the distance which led to a dense forest, littered with more differently coloured trees.

The water sound she had heard turned out to be a small stream barely five feet away. The water looked clean enough, so Eva quickly splashed her face with it, finding it cool and refreshing, clearing her mind for the moment.

She stood again and heard her D-Touch bleep in her pocket. She withdrew it and suddenly remembered.

The battle.

Hunter. Rose.

Terasumon. Tsukuyomon.

Ryudamon.

Skadimon. The attack. Uncimon.

Uncimon.

“Oh my god!” Eva gasped; she hadn’t even realized that she didn’t have her partner. No Irbimon, no Uncimon. Not even a DigiEgg. There was no signal of him on her D-Touch, despite the fact she tapped the keys wildly for a few minutes, trying different combinations. She even tried ringing people. Tom first, the Frankie and Piper; there was no answer from anyone.

Eva could feel panic rising up in her chest, she willed herself to breathe slowly, so keep calm. That there had to be a rational explanation. That she was dreaming. She would wake up any minute in a hospital.

“Oh-kay Eva. Oh-kay...” Eva breathed through her nose and mouth quickly. Too quickly. “Keep calm, for God’s sake.” Her attempts weren’t working; she was breathing faster, and at the same time willing herself to not cry. Where was Uncimon?! Where was Tom? Was Uncimon dead? Was she?!

“HELLO?!!” Eva finally gave into her panic and started shouting. “HELLO!!! TOM!!! UNCIMON!! FRANKIE!!!” She cupped her hands around her mouth, hoping it would make her voice carry further over the open plains. “ANYONE?!!”


She waited a few seconds, seconds that passed like hours straining her ears to pick up any returning calls. She hoped someone would reply; but heard nothing back. Eva shuddered stuffing her D-Touch back into her pocket and wrapped her arms around herself. She was beginning to tremble with worry and with fear. She had no idea where she was. Where anyone was. If this was Heaven, then surely there should have been some Angels or harps playing or something.

“Start walking. That’s the best thing. You’re bound to find someone if you walk.” Eva told herself. She took a step. Her body ached with pain, her muscles complaining to her that she should stay still. She kept moving, slowly but with purpose and the pain worked against her every step.

Without any clue where to go, Eva kept checking her D-Touch to see if any signals apart from her’s came up. She kept calling out to see if she could get a reply. The meadow had proved fruitless, with no one else there so she went to the nearest place she could see, which was the well covered forest close by. The trees gave cover, some with massive dark blue leaves like palm trees, other with branches stretching for metres above the other trees. The forest floor was a carpet of flora and leaf litter. And the forest was quiet, so quiet that Eva could hear every twig she snapped when she stepped on them.

It was like a maze. Upturned roots tripped Eva at many turns, and fallen logs blocked her way several times, forcing her to back up the way she came. Every minute that passed her body ached even more. She hoped she would find one of the others soon. Either that or she would wake up in her and Tom’s bed, with Irbimon. That they had somehow made it home after the fight with Hunter and Rose.

Just thinking about them made Eva angry and made her carry on walking. She was going to find her Digimon, her friends and rip the Divine twins apart the next time she saw them, if she ever did see them.

“Okay Eva, time to stop thinking so morbidly.” She told herself. Eva sighed and leaned against a log, she needed a rest for a moment. Unsure of how long she had been walking already, she was aching and maybe she was closer to someone now and they would hear her.

“HELLO???” She yelled out into the trees, though her voice was caught by the leaves, “CAN ANYONE HEAR ME??!” No reply. Eva slumped and sighed, kicking a fallen tree trunk. “Great.”

“Hi!” A voice yapped behind her. Eva yelped and jumped from surprise turning to face the owner of the new voice. She came face to face with a trio of creatures, all grey in colour with long black claws, their paws partly bandaged and long ears. Their features made them look somewhere between a cat and a rabbit. Her D-Touch vibrated and Eva withdrew it from her pocket. A hologram of the Digimon appeared with information.

“Known as bullies and trappers, Gazimon are untrustworthy Digimon who enjoy the misfortune of others.” Eva sighed, and rubbed her forehead. “Joy.”

“Hi.” One of the Gazimon said again, hopping along the log where Eva had been leaning. “Why’re you shouting?”

“I lost my friends.” Eva replied. “Have you seen them? They look like me.”

The Gazimon all turned and looked at each other in turn. Eva could have sworn one of them winked, but couldn’t be sure.

“Oh yeah, we’ve seen them!” One of the Gazimon said, “They’re not far, they’re sheltering in a cave.”

“Really?!”

“Yup. Follow us.” A Gazimon beckoned her with a paw. Eva took a step and then stopped. She had a nagging feeling in the back of her mind that prevented her from moving any further. The grey Digimon looked at her expectantly. “Well?”

“Can you bring them here?” Eva asked.

“No. They’re all settled in the cave.” One Gazimon replied. “Besides, don’t you think it’d make sense to move you to them?”

Eva pursed her lips. “Did they have Digimon with them?”

Again the Gazimon looked at each other. “Yes.” They replied together, each nodding and smiling enthusiastically. Eva frowned.

“No way. I don’t believe you. I’m staying here.” Eva said. “I can find them without some tricky Digimon trying to get me more lost than I am already.” She turned her back on the Gazimon and began to walk away.

“Electric Stun Blast!” One Gazimon shouted, shooting a ball of static from its mouth at Eva’s back. She turned in time to see it flying towards her and braced herself for the impact which never came. With her eyes tight shut, she heard something come through the leaves on the floor, and the attack deflect and implode on a tree trunk a few feet away.

“Go.” A new voice commanded. Eva opened her eyes and saw the Gazimon leaving swiftly, not before casting her rescuer a dirty look. Eva turned her attention to the new comer. Black and purple decorated armor, orange skin, and a samurai-esque helmet.

“Ryudamon!” Eva fell on her knees in relief. “What... where am I? Where are the others? Uncimon! What happened to Uncimon!?” She babbled quickly, question after question as Ryudamon eyed her patiently.

“They’re near, at my home temple. I moved your Digimon first as they were most injured. And your friends, they are all awake. I was coming back to get you but you were not where I remembered you being. I have been looking for you since you wandered off.” Ryudamon explained, “How are you feeling?”

“Confused. Lost. Scared.” Eva complained. “Where do we have to go?”

“This way, ‘tis not far.” Ryudamon helped Eva to her feet and walked a step or two in front of her, leading her through the forest over a barely walked path. Had you not known it was there, it wouldn’t have been visible. Ryudamon led her through without any trouble, with no upturned roots to trip her up, a short distance from where she had been to a well hidden clearing.

Standing on poles off the ground, with wooden stairs leading up to it was a building, made entirely of wood and about two floors in total. Eva couldn’t see how big it really was as she and Ryudamon approached it, but it was undoubtedly larger than the apartment she and Tom shared. There were sash windows and doors which looked as if they slid open. The roof of the building was turreted, and decorated with dark red and black slats, with gold decoration, like it had been taken off an ancient pagoda.

“Come along, your friends are inside.” Ryudamon waited on the bottom step, stopping to help Eva up as there was no banister for her to support herself on. Above them the doors slid open, and there was the scuffling of feet. Eva was able to look up in time to see Tom, Frankie and Piper running out to meet her. Tom was first, racing down the stairs and enveloping Eva in his arms immediately.

“Jesus! I was so worried about you!” Tom proclaimed, holding Eva’s face in his hands. “Are you okay? I’m so sorry I wasn’t there. I tried to get through to your D-Touch but it wasn’t registering!” He kissed her without warning, then hugged her tightly again. Eva smiled, returning the hug, feeling instantly better for seeing Tom. Frankie and Piper were next, wrapping their arms around Tom and Eva in a group hug manner.


“Don’t you think the girl’s been through enough?” Reyez shouted from above them, standing beside James. “Give her some breathing space.”

“Yeah, besides, I’m sure Uncimon would be happy to see her too.” James added with a smirk.

“Oh, right. They’re right.” Piper nodded, releasing Eva and Tom.

Frankie did the same, “Our bad.” The two girls ran back up the steps, Ryudamon now at the top waiting for them. Tom helped Eva up the stairs and into the room they had all come from.

-----------------------------

Hunter laid back on his sofa, glasses half-hanging off his nose as he toyed with his dog tags, and paid no attention to the news report on the television screen. Skollmon was on the floor, at the end where Hunter’s feet dangled off, dozing quietly. After the battle, both Skollmon and Hatimon had been tired. Not as badly injured as their enemy Digimon, but they still had used a lot of energy. Rose had been off to visit Bella immediately, Hatimon in tow. Hatimon went where Rose went. Hunter had returned to his apartment with Skollmon wanting to rest up, and give his Digimon a break after such a gruelling test of his mettle.

He’d been sprawled out on the sofa like this for the good part of three hours, boredly flicking channels and settling on whatever was mundane enough to be background noise and not actually penetrate his skull. There had been reports about what had happened on the dock. Cell phone footage of the fires and the explosion caused by Terasumon and Tsukuyomon, but no actual footage of the Digimon themselves, and best of all no footage of himself or his sister.

They were always careful when they had to do their mother’s bidding. One of the biggest things she told them about was that they were to always be careful, to stay hidden if possible. That if they were caught she would not help them in any way, and if they did anything to tarnish Atlas Corp, they would be on their own. And she was serious; Bella did not make empty threats.

Hunter released a heavy sigh, swinging his legs around to the front of the sofa and sitting up straight. Skollmon was alert immediately. Hunter stretched and got to his feet, still stretching. He was hungry. He hadn’t been when he arrived home, but now he was. He had little in the way of food in his kitchen, some moldy bread, peanut butter, jam. Some general junk food he knew he shouldn’t be eating. And some cereal. He grabbed the cereal from the shelf and started eating it straight from the box.

Skollmon was at the door, staring at it, and Hunter knew why a minute later when there was light knock. He sighed, spraying some cereal crumbs on the floor. No prizes for guessing who this would be. He opened the door none-the-less without checking the peep hole.

“Come in, mind the mess.” He walked through to the living room, leaving Rose to close the door, which she did, barely touching it with her finger. She hated the way her brother lived. It was like a pig-sty. Food everywhere, the only time it got cleaned was when the maid came by, and even then he managed to mess it up in minutes again. Nothing was tidy. He kept nothing neat. Rose hated it. She had always hated it. Bella though, didn’t seem to care.

Hatimon and Rose entered the living room, Rose remained standing. Bella sat down on the arm of the sofa. Hunter sat back where he had been sitting and pushed his glasses up on his face, he turned off the television.

“When I ask you both to come and report to me, I expect the both of you.” Bella stated harshly. She was up on her feet, as was Hunter and she was sizing him up. “It is not an option, is that clear?”

“I don’t see-“
Bella’s hand went swift against Hunter’s cheek and his face turned quickly, “Do not back talk to me.” Bella snapped, “Is. That. Clear?” Bella asked again, annunciating. Hunter glared coldly at this woman he was forced to call his mother, though she had never acted as one. Over his shoulder he could see Rose smirking at him, looking so pleased with her.

“...It’s clear.” Hunter said icily. His cheek stung.

Bella tossed her hair over her shoulder, and turned to face both Hunter and Rose. Hunter had now sat down, and Rose was perching on the arm of the sofa where Bella had sat moments before.

“Now – from what Rose has been telling me, you mission was successful, yes? That the group is now... gone?”

“As gone as they can be.” Hunter muttered.

“They’re gone.” Rose confirmed. “They won’t be coming back. Them or their Digimon. The way is free for us to carry on as you want to mother.”

Bella’s eyes narrowed as if she was reading their faces for any signs of lies. She relaxed a bit, “Good.”

“With those Digimon out of the way, we can focus on bridging the gap between both this world and the digital world. This will open up thousands of possibilities for Atlas Corp, and keep us in constant contact with other companies spread throughout the globe. Energy from Digimon will power more supplies, making more money. When wild Digimon attack, Atlas Corp will step in as the heroes, giving us Military power and from there we can proceed with the next step.” Bella made her way towards the door.

“For right now, get some rest. I have booked your flights for Germany to settle a little ‘dispute‘. I need you to convince them that our intentions are good, and they will either join our cause or be destroyed. Your flight leaves at 6 AM. Don’t miss it.” Bella stepped out of the apartment with a single glance of goodbye.


Rose looked at Hunter with a satisfied smirk and followed right behind with Hatimon close.

Once the door shut Hunter glared, the feeling of throwing a tantrum filled inside him. He quickly grabbed a vase that sat close by his couch and tossed it at the wall, yelling in anger. “FUCK…YOU!!” He shouted.

-----------------------------

“They’re going to be okay though... right?” Frankie asked Ryudamon. He had been explaining why their Digimon had reverted to their in-training forms. The battle with the ultimate form Digimon had forced them to use and expend an incredible amount of energy. As Ryudamon had explained, they were lucky they were just in-training forms and not their baby or DigiEgg forms as they could have been.

“They’ll remain in this form for a few days I would imagine, it’ll make it easier for them to recuperate and get their strength back in this form. They’ll evolve again soon.” Ryudamon explained. The six humans and their in-training Digimon were sitting in a large room in Ryudamon’s home; they sat around a low table, two on either side and Ryudamon on the remaining end, in a square so he could see them all clearly. Each Digimon was bandaged in some way, and eating through some much needed nourishment in their partner’s laps or in front of them on the table.

Eva had found that she wasn’t the only one hurt when she had woken up; everyone had ached in one way or another. Though, many questions about where they were or how they got there Ryudamon told them he would explain later. They all assumed as they sat and Ryudamon introduced himself that now was later.

“Why is this building here?” Piper asked suddenly, staring at the ceiling.

Ryudamon surveyed her, “That... requires a rather long answer.”

“We’re listening.” Reyez said.

Ryudamon nodded and sighed to himself. “Well... perhaps I should start. You... that is. You are no longer in your world. The world you know.”

Silence. Tom and Eva exchanged looks and she shrugged her shoulders. “So this is... a different realm?” James asked.

“Yes.” Ryudamon replied, “And no. It is a world parallel to your own. It exists on a different plane, but the two worlds inter-mingle at times. There are many things from your world that are in this one. And likewise, many things from this world that are in yours.”

“Does this world have a name?” Tom asked.

“The Digital World. Or DigiWorld, for short.” Ryudamon explained.

“Digital World?” Frankie repeated, “Meaning... this is the world Digimon... come from? Originally?”

“Quite.” Ryudamon nodded his head slowly. “They don’t just appear. As I said, things from this world appear in your world. When the two worlds cross over, some Digimon are able to breach the gap, it creates havoc. Where do you think the ideas for Godzilla, King Kong and ‘It Came from the Black Lagoon’ came from?”

“Digimon?” James said, “Digimon inspired some of the best monster flicks of all time?”

“And not just your uh... ‘monster flicks’. Many of the creatures in mythology were because of Digimon crossing over and being seen by humans.” Ryudamon added. “The point is, there have always been humans like you with Digimon to stop this from happening. Or to get rid of any Digimon who did cross over.”

“So why are we here?” asked Eva. “How did we get here? I thought we were dead for sure.”

“You almost were.” Ryudamon commented dryly. “As Tsukuyomon and Terasumon attacked, I was able to leap in and transport you here as the attack impacted. To them it looked like you were incinerated; and believe me you would have been.”

“Why bring us here?” asked Tohuimon.

“Yeah,” Reyez added, “Don’t get me wrong, grateful that you saved our ass and all, but why here? Why not somewhere else, like Vegas?”


“Vegas?” Ryudamon tilted his head questioningly. “What is this Vegas?”

“Never mind.” Frankie sighed, rolling her eyes.

Piper commented, “He makes a point, why here?”

Ryudamon adjusted his helmet slowly before he spoke again, as if he was thinking how to continue. “This is the safest place for you... for now. Believe me, had I not brought you here, your enemies would have found out you were not dead and kept coming after you. Here you are safe, away from them.”

“Why do they want to kill us?” Uncimon grumbled, “What did we ever do to them? We didn’t hurt them or insult them.”

“Heh. People have attacked and killed for a lot less.” James muttered.

“They attacked you for who and what you are.” Ryudamon said gruffly. It sounded as though he was losing his patience, so any comments, quips or remarks were swiftly forgotten. “It’s... I somehow doubt you know much of the history of the Digital World.”

“We don’t know anything.” Fallomon said, “We’ve all been in the human world since hatching.”

“Hm.” Ryudamon exhaled and folded his arms, “Then I best catch you up. The Digital World had existed since the beginning of time. When your world was created, this world was created too. Though it’s only been as the humans began relying more and more on technology that the Digital World has become more active and populated.

“The Digital World was... and always has been ruled over by Gods. Each one with their own station, working in harmony to keep this world trouble-free. Settling differences with discussion, not war and bloodshed. Diplomacy and common sense reigned supreme.”

“Uh... reigned?” Tigrimon queried.

“Yes. Reigned. Past tense.” Ryudamon cleared his throat, “A thousand years ago there was a terrible battle. An enemy that would not listen to reason and only wanted blood started a war between the Gods and its followers. This parasite infected the Digital World, spreading its poison through everyone and everything. Really, the parasite should never have been allowed to exist, but it was created when the Digital World was created. It gained power as the Digital World grew and the Gods all agreed, years before this cataclysm, to seal it away, and keep it sealed using a powerful Core. The Core was the only one of its kind and was the Core of the Digital World, what kept it as stable as it could be kept. And when the Digital World and the human world crossed over once again, a human found their way into the Digital World.

“Despite humans having Digimon before, to fight Digimon in their own world, no human had ever set foot in the Digital World. This human in particular was of a gluttonous and greedy nature. He stumbled upon the Core holding the parasite in its prison and stole it, taking it to the human world. The barrier between the worlds broke the seal, and consequently allowed the parasite to spread through the Digital World. And it spread quickly. Like a plague it covered the land, infecting everything it came into contact with. Soon, Digimon were revolting against the Gods, fighting them, wanting them to relinquish their power. Fights broke out, Digimon against Digimon. A world that once had been peaceful was now in turmoil, on the brink of destroying itself.

“The Gods made the difficult decision to go to war against the parasite and its followers, using only their own strength. Most of those who had been infected were cleansed in the fighting and fled for their own safety, allowing the Gods to combine their powers and concentrate solely on the parasite. But it was more powerful than they could have ever imagined. Locked away in its prison for so many years, the parasite had become consumed with hate, anger, greed and a thirst for revenge and destruction. This powered it, and kept it from being harmed by the God’s normal attacks.

“Finally, after many years of fighting, the Gods made the ultimate choice, that in order to destroy the parasite, they would have to destroy themselves. The explosion, they believed, would be enough to kill it, and then at least the Digital World would be safe. They went to one last, final battle where the parasite met them, and in a flash of lights the Gods combined, creating a meteor of light that crashed through the battlefield into their enemy. The Gods were destroyed.”

“And the parasite?” Corvimon asked, from Tom’s shoulder where she was leaning so far forward he had to hold her up.

“The parasite...” Ryudamon sighed, “It had managed to shield itself at the last moment. The impact had badly wounded it, and it lost nearly all of its life force and power. It slinked off, to hide away in secret to regenerate its health and power and try again to destroy the Gods.”

James frowned, “But you said the Gods died.”

Ryudamon nodded slowly, “That I did. Their physical bodies died. But their souls kept living. They dispersed after the battle, and went to the human world one at a time, where they manifested into six DigiEggs, each waiting for its partner when they were mere babies.”

There was a silence where what Ryudamon was insinuating started to sink in. The six humans all exchanged looks with each other, while the Digimon waited, confused, awaiting answers and wanting to hear more of their world’s history. Piper examined Tiberimon in front of her, and he stared back.

“So... what you’re saying is... that... our Digimon are the Gods?” Piper asked. She turned her gaze to Ryudamon. He made a small inclination with his head, confirming her belief.

“No way!” Reyez protested, “There’s no way.”

“Why?”

“How can these guys be Gods – I mean they’re-"

“What do you mean ‘these guys’?” Uncimon retorted. “We can be Gods.”

“I mean you’re just so small. And you’re not powerful enough and... you’ve never shown any God-like qualities, unless you were the God of gluttony.”

“Besides,” Tom added turning to Ryudamon, “You said this happened a thousand years ago.”

“A thousand year in the Digital World.” Ryudamon corrected.

Reyez puffed on a cigarette he had lit moments before, “What’s the damn difference?”

“Time moves differently here than to your world. One thousand years in the Digital world is about equal to twenty of your human years.” Ryudamon explained calmly. “I promise you this is no farce or joke. Your Digimon are the souls of the Gods; each in a new form.”

“You said the Gods ran their own... areas.” Frankie said slowly, “What ‘areas’?”

“Their stations.” Ryudamon nodded and rubbed his head beneath his helmet quickly. He wandered off swiftly from the table going to a separate room and returning a few moments later with several scrolls. He unrolled one of them and tossed it to the side, and did this another two times before he found the one he was looking for. He opened it fully. It showed a map of the Digital World, divided into six parts, each part decorated slightly differently.


“The twin brothers of Wind and Ice ruled here,” Ryudamon indicated to two westernmost squares. “The Dark queen ruled here,” another square, this time in the middle on the top row. “Lord of the Seas here,” he indicated to the eastern square on the bottom row. “Lady of Light had this area,” he indicated to the centre square on the bottom row. “And finally, the Mistress of Earth.” He pointed to the final square, northeast. “Now tell me, do those powers sound familiar?”

Ryudamon looked around at the faces of each human, seeing recognition and understanding. The Digimon all examined the map and hopped onto it, sitting on each square their abilities represented.

“It’s pretty irrefutable.” Tom murmured, “Isn’t it.”

Frankie nodded, not really answering.

“Our Digimon... are Gods...” James said slowly.

“I‘m not high enough for this shit.” Reyez grunted. He got to his feet.

“Where are you going?” Ryudamon asked briskly.

“Home. God or no God, I ain’t staying here.”

“You can’t go back.” Ryudamon said sternly. Reyez stopped in his tracks and turned towards the lizard Digimon. “You can’t go back until I deem you are ready to go back.”

“And that’ll be when?” Tiberimon asked.

“When you learn to work as a team.” Ryudamon told him firmly. “I imagine Claire has told you that I have been watching you?”

“Ms. Lynn, yeah.” Frankie said, “What about it?”

“I have been watching you since before you received your D-Touches. I’ve been watching you all since you met your Digimon.”

Piper made a face, “Ew.”

Ryudamon ignored her and carried on, “As partners, each of you have gelled perfectly. You match one another so well; it’s almost touching to see. But as Digimon in a team,” Ryudamon was talking to the Digimon now, “You don’t seem to know the meaning of the word co-operation. Not only did I bring you here to keep you safe, but also to make you learn to work together.”

“We work together just fine.” Uncimon said indignantly. “We don’t need training.”

“I beg to differ.” Ryudamon retorted, arching an eyebrow and folding his arms. “Your training begins now. And when I deem you as ready, and only when I deem you as ready will I send you home to face your foes. I understand this may be difficult for you all to swallow, so I will give you some respite before we begin.” Ryudamon bowed his head low and picked up the scrolls he had discarded on the floor. He left the room, leaving the humans and Digimon to their thoughts.

-----------------------------

The respite Ryudamon allowed them lasted into the afternoon, until the sun was falling into the Western sky, rays dappling through the leaves in the high canopies. Everyone had split off for the most part to come to grips with their new identities and those of their Digimon. Reyez had disappeared into a small side room with Tohuimon and they had not come out for some hours now. Tom had explored the top floor with Eva and their Digimon, found several rooms laid out like bedrooms and adopted one for themselves. They also had not come out again. Piper had been the only one to leave the safety of the building. She had ventured a few metres outside and lay back on the grass with Tiberimon on her stomach. Any attempt to talk to her had been fruitless – and she had been simply listening to the sounds and collecting her thoughts.

James had gone off alone, and had been occupying the same piece of floor on the landing that went around the outside of the building for almost half an hour. Fallomon sat beside him on the wood. Frankie had remained in the main room for the most part with Tigrimon, but now tentatively stood in the threshold of one of the sliding doors watching James – contemplating whether to go over or not. He looked tense and worried.

Tigrimon gave her a nudge in the side where she held him in her arms and indicated with his tail to James. Frankie shook her head silently and turned to go back in doors.

“I know you’ve been standing there for about ten minutes.” James’ voice stopped her. “You can sit down, it’s okay.”

Frankie smiled sheepishly and sat beside him so their thighs were touching, Tigrimon on her other side. Their legs dangled off the landing, and Frankie kicked hers, crossing her ankles. “Penny for ‘em?”

“Huh?”

“For your thoughts.” Frankie added, smiling at James’ clueless look.

“Oh.” He laughed softly, “Just thinking. Worried... I guess.”

“Your family?”

“Among other things.” James confirmed, he showed a lop sided smile for a moment, then dropped his head, his hair covering his eyes. “Guess I’m worried how long we’ll be here. And how much time will pass in our world while we’re here.”

Frankie placed her hands in her lap, “I’m sure it won’t be that long. We don’t work that badly together. I bet it’ll be like ten minutes had passed in our world.”

“I hope so.” James sighed; he rubbed a hand through his hair and over his neck. His hair immediately flopped back into place. Frankie observed him from the side. She shifted so she now turned towards him, sitting on her knees. She placed her hands in his hair, starting to move it this way and that, pursing her lips. James lifted his head and looked at her, arching an eyebrow.

A few minutes of Frankie toying with James’ hair and she huffed, “Nope. It’s not going to work, your hair is just impossible.”

James laughed, “Why do you think I wear hats all the time?”

Frankie smirked, “I had wondered.” She slid her hands down James shoulders and arms, inter-locking her hands with his. “Don’t worry – everything will be fine. You can’t keep thinking all doom and gloom.” She squeezed his hands, and James, with a small smile, squeezed back. “Try and think happy for a change.”

James sighed, but laughed none-the-less. “Thanks... I’ll try to think positive. It seems to work for you.”

“It does! Have you ever met a more positive person than me?!” James laughed, shaking his head. Frankie grinned, leaned forward, applied a light kiss to James’ lips and leaned back again. James stared at her for a moment before he grinned, pulling her towards him and wrapped his arms around her waist. His lips grazed Frankie’s for a moment, before she brought the kiss deeper.


The moment was ruined however, when Piper screamed from outside the building. The noise of feet running over wood was heard seconds later, James and Frankie both leaping to their feet and running to the other side of the house. They were joined moments later by Tom, Eva and Reyez, their Digimon and Ryudamon. Piper was on the ground outside, now on her feet, Tiberimon in front of her growling at the intruding Digimon.

Tom pulled out his D-Touch and it scanned the new Digimon, “Numemon, a mollusk Digimon who’s skin as slimy as his pick-up lines.” Numemon was green, with purple markings and about four feet high, including its weird popping eyes that sat on stalks. Its tongue lolled out of its large mouth, lined with teeth. Piper was backing up as Tiberimon advanced.

“Oh look, it has friends.” Reyez said, as two more Numemon slid out from behind the first one. Tiberimon growled louder.

Uncimon hopped on the spot, and then started away towards the stairs. “Uncimon, no! You’re not-“

“No. Let’s show these guys they don’t mess with us. Powerful or not. We protect you.” Uncimon argued. He was halfway down the stairs. Tohuimon and Tigrimon were behind him. Corvimon and Fallomon feet behind them. Once all of them reached the ground, they lined up straight, facing the three Numemon as Piper ran up the stairs brushing something pink and slimy off her jumper. “Okay everyone.” Uncimon said firmly, “ATTACK!!”


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