Hundreds of people stood in line outside the Square City Arena from early morning, each awaiting their opportunity to get a good place from which to see the band. Random Koi was an international success stopping by their lead vocalist’s hometown as part of their world tour.
Alex and Trask joined in the throng a little after noon. Trask had managed to get his hands on a ticket earlier, although he had paid almost triple the price for one. Vulpemon and Equimon had made their way up a nearby building and watched their tamers from the rooftop. They would sneak into the arena once the show had started. Vulpemon would have no problem, Equimon on the other hand was pondering ways of getting in without being noticed.
Vulpemon noticed the worrying look on Equimon’s face, “Don’t worry, Equimon. I’ll help you get in.”
“So when are you gonna ask her out?” Trask leaned against the wall of the arena building, facing Alex.
“Huh? Who?” Alex was caught off guard.
Trask chuckled, “You know who I’m talking about.”
“Oh,” Alex sighed and lifted his hand to his head, “I don’t know. I never get the chance.”
“Yea yea,” Trask lifted an eyebrow, smirking, “Just don’t wait too long.”
“Why?” Alex looked at him intently.
“Or you might never get the chance,” Trask turned and leaned his full back against the wall, his eyes wandering around the street.
Examining Trask’s expression, Alex thought for a moment, and then said finally, “It happened to you, didn’t it?”
Trask sighed, lowered his head and crossed his arms, “Couple of years ago, in high school. There was this one girl. We practically grew up together, we attended the same kindergarten, the same elementary school and eventually the same high school…”
Alex shoved his hand in his jeans pockets and leaned against the wall on his shoulder, “What happened?”
“Well…Let’s just say I hung out with the wrong crowd. But she and I, we agreed that we’d still go to senior prom together. But I happened to get expelled shortly before.”
“What did you do?”
“My little gang and I, we almost burnt down the entire science lab.”
Alex chuckled softly.
“After being expelled I wasn’t allowed anywhere near school property and…well…my parents sent me to another school. By this time I was so pissed off that I went and got myself expelled again. This time I beat up the wide receiver of the football team. But, longer story short; folks shipped me off to England, lived with my grandparents and cleaned up my act. Couple of months later I came back here, got a scholarship and never saw or heard from her again.”
Alex couldn’t find any words to say. Trask turned to him and noticed his expression, which was one of pity.
“Hey, don’t you dare feel sorry for me, man. Just, do what you need to do. You got nothin’ to lose by going for it, but you got nothin’ to gain if you don’t. Got it?” he said with an almost angered tone.
Alex quickly nodded, regaining his posture.
Maya and Phoebe, along with their Digimon of course, were at Phoebe’s apartment for a change; a decent sized loft with a renovated kitchen area for Phoebe’s various culinary activities. They were sitting on the short lime colored sofa, each examining their D-Arks. Their Digimon were watching intently.
“I can’t believe we didn’t try this before.” Phoebe said.
“I know. We should’ve figured all this out a long time ago.” Maya replied.
There was a silence, and a moment later Phoebe finally turned to Maya, “You do it.”
Maya shook her head, “Nah. You do it.”
“Come on. I figured out the last one.”
Since arriving at the apartment from Maya’s they had been busy figuring out the functions of their devices, getting to know everything they do. The Digimon didn’t really know much about the devices, and were as surprised as their tamers every time another interesting feature was discovered. There was one thing all of them, tamers and Digimon, were curious about; the voice.
That womanly voice that sounded from the device every time the Digimon evolved, the voice Alex had claimed explained to him the evolution activation feature.
Phoebe had just now discovered the devices records feature that recorded all information pertaining to any other Digimon they’d come across, friend or enemy, thus building its own Digimon encyclopedia.
“Well?” Phoebe egged Maya on.
“Okay, okay,” Maya inhaled deeply. Raising her D-Ark in her hand she spoke clearly, “D-Ark. Explain ‘Evolution’.”
The device gave a beep as the small projection appeared before the screen. On a red grid appeared a silhouette of a small Digimon with the words ‘In-training’ below it. The same womanly voice as before began to explain;
Also known as Digital Evolution or Digivolution. When a Digimon downloads enough data, the process of Digivolution is triggered. During the process, the Digimon’s appearance and attributes change and it becomes significantly stronger than it was before. The resultant form of the Digimon almost always has a different name than the previous. The Digimon’s consciousness, however, remains unchanged. If the Digimon does not absorb enough data to maintain the form, it will revert back to a lower level in time.”
As the voice was explaining the silhouette of the ‘In-training’ form morphed into a bigger form with the word ‘Rookie’ beneath it, and once more into an even bigger form with the word ‘Champion’.
“We already know all of that.” Rockymon waved his paw in disinterest. As Felismon he and Nyaromon explained all about evolution before.
“Maybe the device can tell us something not even you know about, Rockymon.” Maya kept her gaze on the projection of the D-Ark.
“Um, ask about Lilithmon.” Phoebe said nervously.
“Explain Lilithmon,” Maya instructed.
The projection went blank and showed the words ‘Data Unknown’.
“So much for that,” said Maya. She thought for a moment and said finally, “Explain Limits.”
The voice began as the projection showed bars and gauges beneath a silhouette of Rockymon, “Limits; Special attacks that each Digimon possesses but can only use it under certain circumstances. Once Limit attacks are ‘unlocked’ the D-Ark digital device displays a gauge of the Digimon, which starts off as empty if the Digimon is in passive mode. Once in battle, the gauge begins to slowly fill up. If the Digimon is hit hard the amount filled up will be larger. Once the gauge is full, Limit Activation becomes available. There are three levels of Limits, levels 1, 2 and 3.”
“Uh, okay explain Level 1 Limits.”
“Limit Level 1;
Level 1 Limit attacks are available to Rookie, Champion and Ultimate level Digimon. They consist of specialty attacks only used once the Limit gauge becomes full. Each full gauge only delivers one attack. Sometimes the use of a Limit 1 attack leads to Evolution.”
“Uh huh,” Maya hummed. The tamers and Digimon absorbed everything that was being said.
“Did you know that, Rockymon?” Maya turned to her Digimon with sarcasm. He just folded his arms and gave an annoyed “Hmph.”
“D-Ark, explain Level 2 Limits.” Maya turned back to her device.
“Limit Level 2;
“Great. Explain Level 3 Limits.”
Phoebe sighed, “What else?”
“I don’t know. You guys have any ideas?” Maya turned to the two feline Digimon. Both of them shrugged their shoulders. Suddenly Maya’s mobile phone began to ring. Maya managed to snatch it off the coffee table before Rockymon. He had a habit of running around her apartment with the phone, sometimes even answering it himself.
“Man this is gonna be awesome!” Trask yelled to be heard over the screaming crowd. They were lucky enough to get a great view of the stage from where they stood, about twenty or so meters from it.
Vulpemon and Equimon were awaiting their opportunity to sneak passed the security guards at the arena entrance. “Now you have got to be quiet.” Vulpemon told the pony Digimon. He nodded and they set off across the street. Equimon treaded carefully at a steady pace so as not to make noise with his hooves on the ground, the chain wrapped around his front leg clanked softly.
They had managed to reach the arena’s loading area without being noticed. There were security guards and stage handlers all over. The two Digimon hid behind a nearby pickup truck, watching. The handlers were taking what looked like large boxes and bags into the arena from the back of a bus-like vehicle. The sides of the bus had large images of three young men, each holding a musical instrument. “Is that the band?” Vulpemon asked.
“Yea, Trask showed me a cover of one of their albums, that’s them.”
Equimon noticed a large trunk being offloaded. The handlers set it down next to the bus and continued with the smaller items.
“I’ve got an idea.” he whispered. While the handlers had taken their current load into the back of the arena the two Digimon had snuck up on the trunk. Vulpemon, with her opposable thumbs, managed to pry it open. Flipping the lid right over, they saw nothing but two large speakers within. “What now?” the fox Digimon asked, not knowing Equimon’s plan.
“We gotta get em out.”
“How are we going to do that, genius?” Vulpemon folded her arms, “They look heavy. And those humans will be back any second.”
Equimon thought for a second and walked over to the side of the trunk. “If you can lift it a bit here, I can kick it over.” He gestured with his hoof to the bottom of the trunk on the side where he stood. Vulpemon braced herself and gripped the bottom corner as Equimon said. She took a breath and slowly began to lift it. “I was right. It is heavy,” she strained, “Well?”
“A little higher, little higher.”
Mustering all her strength she managed to lift the corner a bit more. “Perfect, now hold that,” Equimon turned his back towards the trunk. Turning his head he examined the corner and distance from his hind legs, aiming carefully.
He bucked up on his front legs and gave a swift and powerful kick to the lower side of the raised trunk, flipping it over. One of the speakers tumbled out of the trunk, landing a little distance from it.
“Nice work,” said Vulpemon.
Equimon smirked, “Now we gotta flip it back over, without those things in it.”
“Shouldn’t be that difficult now,” Vulpemon walked over to the trunk and knelt to grip the side of it once more. She tested it, and was relieved to feel that it was much lighter now. She lifted it up, as the other speaker sat flat on the floor. She turned it back over and set it down before Equimon. His ears flew back and he truned his head rapidly towards the sounds he heard, “They’re coming! Quick! Get inside!”
Vulpemon looked at him, “What?! That was your plan?”
“Hurry! Or we’ll never get inside the arena!”
Having no choice Vulpemon stepped into the trunk, followed by Equimon. “Now close the lid!” he whispered.
Vulpemon reached for the lid and enclosed the two of them inside the trunk. From within they heard footsteps getting louder and louder, then heard two muffled voices;
“What about this one?”
“That goes below the stage. What the-,“ There was a pause. “What the hell happened to those speakers?”
“I don’t know.”
“Dammit. Just get em’ inside. All of it. And hurry it up will ya?”
The Digimon could feel the trunk being lifted and slightly sway as they were carried along, the cheers of the crowed within got louder and louder. A moment later they felt the thump as they were lightly dropped onto the ground again. They listened for the footsteps, once they were sure it had gone Vulpemon raised the lid of the trunk open a bit and peered around.
“I think we’re in.”
Equimon raised his head and looked through the crack. He smiled to himself, “It worked!”
“Where did you learn this from?” Vulpemon asked.
“From a movie Trask and I had seen.”
“I commend you. That was a good idea.”
“Why thank you.”
With that the Digimon hopped out of the trunk. The room was mostly dark and they were surrounded by the same boxes and containers they had seen outside. They could hear the audience scream in anticipation. Suddenly there was the sound of footsteps again. Both Digimon dove behind a stack of boxes before realizing the sounds had been coming from above.
“ARE YOU READY!”
“I SAID ARE YOU READY!!!”
The audience screamed even louder than before.
“GIVE IT UP FOR RANDOM KOI!!!”
The two Digimon tried hard to block out the loud applause, and insanity, that was going on. They could make out the shuffling of more footsteps above and not a moment later, the music began; a screeching electric guitar solo opening one of the band’s best hits. As the rest of the instruments jumped in, the base, the drums etcetera, everything below the stage began to vibrate.
“We certainly cannot stay here the whole time! I’ll go deaf!” Vulpemon yelled out to be heard, she was cupping her ears with her paws.
“What do you suggest?” Equimon yelled back.
Trask and Alex were screaming and jumping up and down with the rest of the audience.
“Who was it?” Phoebe asked Maya curiously as she sat her phone back down onto the coffee table.
“It was Matt. He said that he and the others had found out something, something really important. They’re on their way here now,” Maya explained.
“What do you think it could be?”
“I have no clue.”
“What do you think it is?” Maaumon asked her fellow feline Digimon. They both sat on the fluffy shag rug by the sofa. Rockymon shrugged his shoulders.
Suddenly Maya’s phone began to ring once more. She picked it up and answered.
“Whoa, whoa. Matt? Calm down…What’s going on?”
Phoebe shifted herself to the edge of the sofa. The felines sat up alert.
“Matt? Matt!” she lowered the phone, “We got cut off.”
“What happened?” Phoebe asked anxiously.
“I heard him say that they’d passed Memorial Bridge, then I heard this loud crash…and a sort of growl or roar.”
The fur immediately stood up on both Rockymon and Maaumon’s backs and necks.
Without another thought the tamers and their Digimon bolted out of the apartment and headed for the bridge. The bridge was built to link Square City to the national highway, the only route in and out of the city. It was originally named the Gateway Bridge. Ten years ago there was a mysterious explosion that completely destroyed the bridge, stagnating the city from the rest of the country. Twenty two people died in the explosion. Dirt roads were created as alternative routes whilst the bridge was being rebuilt. Eleven decorative granite pillars line each side of the bridge, with the names of the twenty-two victims engraved on each of them. The structure was renamed Memorial Bridge.
The two tamers and their Digimon caught a bus heading in the same direction. Although they were trying to be calm around the other passengers, the worry was written clear on their faces. An elderly woman in a nearby seat sniffed and sneezed viciously as soon as they got on. Maya and Phoebe both held on to their Digimon.
“I’m so sorry,” Maya said to the woman, “We’re…uh…We’ve got a veterinarian appointment and we’re kinda late…”
Maya turned back in her seat as Phoebe leaned over and whispered, “Can a person be allergic to Digimon cats too?”
“I guess so,” Maya shrugged her shoulders.
The bus stopped a block from the bridge. The tamers, carrying their Digimon jumped off and ran as fast as they could up the street. As they neared the bridge their D-Arks began to beep. Phoebe lifted hers up in mid-run, “Dorulumon, Virus type Beast Digimon.”
“Get ready!” Maya shouted as they turned the corner. The street was strewn with smashed cars. People were running wildly to get away from the bridge. At the entrance of the bridge there were cars piled up, blocking it.
“Where is it?” Maya asked, looking around frantically.
It jumped up onto the top of the pile of cars; a black, wolf-like creature with a bright blue mane and paws. It had large silver drills on its forehead, legs and on the tip of its tail, with exhaust duct-like structures protruding from its shoulder blades. The tamers caught sight of it as it gave a loud, shrieking howl.
“Let’s get em!” Rockymon and Maaumon leapt from their tamers arms. Both Maya and Phoebe called out instructions to their D-Arks;
“Rockymon evolve to…”
In a flash of red light the tall, muscular black panther stood; teeth bared, ready for battle.
“Maaumon evolve to…”
In a brighter flash of pink light the calico colored cat stood, sharp clawed paws at her sides, her tail sweeping from side to side.
“You’ll never win against Them,” he growled in a deep, dark voice.
“We’ll just see about that!” Manxmon made the first move, leaping up at him with his arms cocked at his sides, ready to strike.
His fist shot forward as he reached his target, dodging the sharp drill on Dorulumon’s head and connecting with his jaw, sending him tumbling back down the pile of cars.
“That was easy,” Mikemon said from where she still stood. Manxmon landed on top of the cars, where Dorulumon had been knocked off. A moment later the cars began to shake beneath him. He swung his arms to balance himself. Suddenly there was a loud bang and Manxmon, along with the cars that he stood on, were sent flying through the air. Maya, Phoebe and Mikemon made a dash back around the corner of a building as the cars crashed down onto the ground where they had stood. Manxmon tumbled as he hit the ground.
“Where are Matt and the others?” Maya suddenly remembered.
“I’ll find em. You two stay here.” Mikemon said and ran back towards the bridge. Manxmon picked himself up and looked back for Maya and Phoebe. After assuring himself that they were safe he looked ahead of him. Dorulumon was missing. Manxmon looked around, there was no sign of him.
Mikemon searched through the street, in every intact car until she heard a faint cry, “Mikemon!”
She made her way towards the direction of the voice. The Creators were trapped in Rion’s pickup truck, pinned by other cars on all sides, with another car on top of it.
“Hang in there!” Mikemon said.
Mikemon readied herself as her paws hardened. Lunging forward she struck the car on top of the truck, sending it rolling backwards before crashing into another car. Mikemon aimed and struck the car blocking the driver’s side door, sending it screeching as it slid on its tyres. She helped the humans out of the car.
“This way!” Mikemon gestured for the humans to follow her as she led them down the street in the opposite direction of the bridge.
Manxmon continued to look frantically for a sign of Dorulumon.
He turned to see Maya and Phoebe point upwards towards the first of the bridges structural towers. He made out the figure of Dorulumon, sending a sinister glare towards him.
“You’ll never win against Them!” Dorulumon howled. A cloud of blue and black smoke appeared and engulfed him. Once dispersed there was no trace of the Digimon.
Mikemon and the Creators came up behind Maya and Phoebe from the other side of the building. Manxmon made sure Dorulumon was gone from the vicinity before making his way back to them, reverting back to Rockymon in mid-walk. Mikemon had reverted back to Maaumon as well. Takeshi squeaked with fascination at seeing it.
“You’ll never win against ‘Them’. He meant the Shadow Lords, right?” Phoebe asked.
“I assume so.” said Rion.
Matt looked around, examining the damage of the drill Digimon, “What a mess.”
Slowly, people began to peer around the street corners. Soon, there were crowds of people all over taking pictures or talking about the events with each other. They hadn’t taken much notice of the group and the two cats.
“Uh, we’d better get out of here.”
“There is much to discuss.” Rion said.
Taking another bus, it took them around five minutes to get back to Phoebe’s apartment, which afforded little room for the six humans. The small sofa only allowed two or three small people, so the coffee table was used as seating, along with an ottoman Phoebe had fetched from her bedroom. The two felines sat patiently on the shag rug, eager to hear what the Creators had to say.
“So what’s the news?” Phoebe asked, half excited.
“Yesterday you mentioned a voice that sounded from your D-Arks every time your Digimon evolved,” Matt began.
“Rion and I looked into it and we discovered something interesting,” Aimy continued, “We managed to trace the ‘voices’ data back to a Digimon.”
“A Digimon?” Rockymon looked at Maaumon.
“How did you manage that?” asked Maya.
“Through the information we had during the ‘Remaking’. The information held the data of the ten Digimon of Origin. The ten Digimon in turn held the data of five exalted Digimon,” Rion explained.
“The Digimon Lords,” Takeshi chipped in.
“Also known as the Holy Angels.”
“They created the Digimon of Origin.” said Maya.
“Correct. While we were searching our archives we had found a collection of data that none of us had seen before. At first we thought it might have been cache files, pieces of information left over from some internet files. But when we looked into them, we discovered that they were the source files that ‘created’ your D-Arks.”
“However the files couldn’t be accessed.” said Aimy.
“We’re still trying to get into them. But going back to the voice, it’s the same data as that of one of the Digimon Lords.”
“Which one?” asked Phoebe.
“An angel named Ophanimon.”
“Ophanimon,” Rockymon said to himself, in deep thought.
“Rockymon?” Maya looked at him, noticing him crinkle his nose as he thought.
“I…I can’t remember, but that name…”
“Same here,” said Maaumon.
Aimy turned to Rion, “You don’t suppose…”
“What is it?” Matt asked.
“They might have dormant memories. Memories of what happened five years ago.” said Rion.
“Why can’t they remember?” asked Maya.
“Their memories are stored in their Mega forms, the forms in which they experienced everything that happened.” Rion crossed his arms.
“From what Keslar told us, the Digimon of Origin’s eggs were imbued with an immense capacity of power that they hatched straight into their Mega forms. Mega Digimon, as we’ve figured out, absorb a great amount of data or energy from their environment to retain their forms. Using that data we could find out where they were and who they were up against, what attacks they used etcetera…” Aimy continued.
“Lower levels don’t retain as much information. But your Digimon will be able to access those memories when they reach Mega level,” Rion looked at Rockymon and smiled slightly, “For now though, don’t try too hard to remember.”
The concert lasted a good three hours, ending at midnight. Vulpemon and Equimon had managed to make their way to the top of the stage, onto the platform that held the lights. Equimon settled himself down, folding his legs under his body in a very horse-like manner. While Vulpemon sat cross-legged, tucking her tail at her side. They had a full view of the back of the band as well as the crowd, who couldn’t see them. Vulpemon spotted Trask and Alex, keeping a close eye on them throughout the show, although her eyes did shift towards the band members, each with their own instrument.
“They’re quite skilled at those instruments.” she said.
“They sure are!,” Equimon swayed his head from side to side and up and down, enjoying the music.
During an intermission his ears twitched and his nose crinkled. He picked himself up and looked around warily.
“What’s the matter?” Vulpemon stood up also.
“I caught the scent of a Digimon,” he inhaled deeply, “But it’s gone.”
He settled a bit, “Maybe it was nothing.”
“It’s never ‘nothing’.” Vulpemon said. She lowered her ears and lifted her head up. She sniffed and examined the scents in the air. There was quite an array of scents that she made out; beer, sweat, smoke…but nothing out of the ordinary.
Once the arena had begun to clear out, the Digimon retraced their steps back down the platform and mingled in with the crowd. Half of the people were drunk and hadn’t noticed the pushing and shoving by their knees.
Equimon had mistakenly stepped on someone’s foot, scolded himself silently and carried on, not noticing that person drunkenly punching the man next to him as a result.
They had made their way out of the throng as soon as they were outside, creeping underneath another pickup truck. On the other side of the truck Alex and Trask stood, laughing and chatting away about their favorite moments of the show. They had been waiting for a sign of their Digimon.
“Psst!” Equimon tried to get their attention from underneath the truck. Trask looked immediately, “There you are. Come on, let’s go.”
Vulpemon noticed the two tamers drenched in their own sweat. Trask occasionally slicked his longer hair back and whipping his hand in the air to rid it of excess moisture. She thought it foul, but was at least glad none of them took to alcohol the way most of the other humans did. Alex was adamantly against it, Trask however did enjoy the occasional beverage, albeit not at an occasion such as this. Besides, he was the driver.
The tamers walked casually, continuing their conversation as their Digimon crept up behind them.
They had finally reached Trask’s car; an adequate sized black SUV, tricked out with red and black leather interior and a killer sound system. Setting off, they turned the corner, but were stuck in a long line of vehicles making their way out of the parking lot.
In the back seat Equimon sniffed, “Vulpemon.”
Crinkling her nose Vulpemon confirmed his earlier suspicion. “Alex! There’s a Digimon here!”
Alex turned back from the front passenger seat, “What? Here? Now?” He and Trask exchanged looks and Trask pulled out of the line and made his way around to the other side of the arena. Just then the D-Arks in their pockets began to beep and light up. They parked, and Vulpemon and Equimon shot out of the back door before Trask could turn off the ignition.
“Hey! Wait a minute!” Alex frantically released his seatbelt and jumped out of the car and began to chase after them. After a few strides from the car Alex stopped and held his D-Ark up. Trask got out in time to catch the two Digimon run around the corner. He caught up to Alex, “What is it?”
The Digimon ran into a side entrance. It was unlit and Equimon slowed his pace so as not to bump into anything.
Just then both Digimon came crashing through the wall of the arena. From within a form leapt out before them; it was tall, around seven feet tall, wearing golden armour with a brown cape. It had a Greek-like war helmet with a bright blue Mohican. On his arms were shining metal gauntlets, the same kind of metal his boots were made of. There was a shining blue orb on his golden chest plate.
Vulpemon and Equimon pulled themselves up and stood their ground.
“Not today, scumbags!” the Digimon said.
Alex and Trask heard the loud noise and just then their D-Arks gave the option. Trask raised his device. Their Digimon were out of their sight, but they activated their devices anyway;
“Vulpemon evolve to…”
In a flash of bright yellow light Vulpemon became a larger, fox Digimon with nine tails and a white mane.
“Equimon evolve to…”
A flash of turquoise light later and Equimon was a tall, muscular grey centaur Digimon with turquoise orbs decorating his entire body. The metal rods piercing out of his left hand sparked with small blue static charges.
The two champions heard the mysterious Digimon say to himself.