“So…Uh…These ‘Digimon’ are here to…Save the world, yes?” Trask’s father asked, his eyes fixed on the little horse at Trask’s bedside.
Marshall Owens was a tall man with broad shoulders and always wore a stern expression. He and his wife, Elaine, called Trask on a weekly basis since the first monster attack in Square City. They checked up on him, making sure he was okay. Trask had thought of explaining to them about Digimon, and about Equimon, but he always brushed the idea off. Both old fashioned in their ways, Elaine and Marshall would never understand. If they had their way Trask would’ve been yanked out of Square City the moment of the first Digimon attack.
When they had received the call about Trask’s accident they wasted no time in flying over. They had arrived at Square City General Hospital only to find that Trask had been wheeled out of the hospital by two of his friends, as a nurse put it. About an hour or so later they had returned, with a few more youngsters. Elaine dashed towards her only son, wrapped her arms around him and cried, loudly, over his shoulder. After a quick check up Trask was discharged from the hospital.
“Yea.” Trask replied. He sat on his bed, pillows stacked up to support his back and a bowl of hot soup on a tray on his lap. Equimon sat quietly beside the bed, listening to the conversation between Trask and his father. Trask had no choice now but to explain what was going on; What Digimon were, where they had come from, why they were attacking the city and, lastly, why he and his friends had Digimon too. Elaine took it pretty well after seeing how well mannered Equimon was, he didn’t speak unless he was spoken to. He helped Trask explain to his parents what had happened two nights prior, why he and Trask fought, and expressed sadness at wishing he hadn’t ran off. Trask leaned over and placed an affirming hand on his Digimon’s head.
“And what happens now?” Marshall enquired.
“I’m not sure.” Trask said. “So far, we’ve been fighting whatever comes up against us. I guess, we’ll just have to continue until something else comes up.”
Trask looked at Equimon, “Our enemies are getting stronger…”
“What does that mean?” Marshall’s eyes widened a bit.
“It means,” Equimon began. “That we must find a way to get stronger to defeat them. And we will!”
“What makes you so sure?” Marshall pointed at the horse Digimon.
“Because they’ve done it before.” Trask said. “They saved the world once, they can do it again.”
“Saved the world from a computer virus? I hardly think any of that happened. These ‘things’ are demons!” Marshal pointed accusingly towards the horse Digimon once more.
“They’re not demons!” Trask’s voice rose. “They’re not aliens! They’re not any of that! They’re from the Digital World, a world that exists inside ours, within the earth’s cyber network. I know, I’ve been there!”
“Been there? It was probably some kind of trick or spell that this thing put you under!”
Trask threw his hands in the air, “Why is it so hard for you to understand?”
At that moment Elaine walked through the door to Trask’s room, “Come now, boys. We have visitors.” Elaine gestured to Marshall and they both left the room. Trask gave a sigh before placing the tray of soup on the end table beside the bed. A moment later Phoebe and Maaumon walked into the room.
Trask smiled, “Boy am I glad to see you guys. I was beginning to go crazy trying to explain things to my parents.”
Phoebe smiled back. She held a box in her hand that she placed on the end table, “Just some treats from the deli I thought you might like.”
“So, how are you feeling?”
“Much better. The bandages come off in a couple of days.” Trask lowered his voice as he continued, “I hope my parents will have left long before then. I know they mean well but, having them here, well, having my dad here is just…making everything worse.”
“It’ll be alright.” Phoebe turned to the horse Digimon, “and how are you doing, Equimon?”
“Oh, alright I guess.” Equimon gave a small smile.
The familiar beeping of the tamer’s D-Ark devices echoed through the apartment. Marshall and Elaine stuck their heads through the doorway of Trask’s room, alarmed.
“What’s going on?” Elaine shouted over the loud noises.
“Don’t worry, it’s just my device!” Trask replied.
Phoebe drew her pink D-Ark out of her handbag while Trask retrieved his deep turquoise device from the table next to him. Ophanimon’s familiar and calm voice began to sound simultaneously from both devices, “Tamers.”
“Ophanimon, it’s good to hear from you again.” Phoebe said.
“I’m glad to hear you are all safe. I have a message for you all.”
“A message?” Trask asked. “It’s usually some sort of dangerous quest.”
“That comes later. For now, I need you all to assemble in one location.”
“Assemble? All of us?” Trask asked. “As in, ALL ten of us?”
“Assemble at one place. Anywhere?” Phoebe spoke.
“Yes. All ten tamers and Digimon of Origin together in one location. When you all are together, you will receive further instructions.” And with that, there was a faint click, then silence.
Phoebe’s mobile phone immediately rang. Trask’s parents, befuddled, walked into the room. Phoebe excused herself and left the room to answer her phone.
“What was that all about?” Marshall asked.
“Time for us to get going.” Trask said as he lifted the blankets covering his legs and slowly stood himself up. Equimon steadied him as he did.
“Get going? Go where?” Elaine asked as she also helped Trask stand.
“To save the world, again.”
“This is nonsense! All of this!” Marshall began.
“Dad! Just- don’t. Okay?”
“I will not just stand by and-”
“Uh, excuse me,” Phoebe slowly walked in, interrupting Marshall. “Uh, that was Maya. They’re meeting at Viola’s. If you can’t make it, they’ll come here inst- ”
“No, no. I’m good. Let’s go.” Trask laced up his boots and threw on a fresh tee shirt. He pocketed his D-Ark, grabbed Phoebe’s arm and, with a mild limp, headed towards the front door with their rookie Digimon in toe all before either of his parents could say a word.
“Well, Phoebe hasn’t called me back so I assume Trask is alright enough to met up with us at Viola’s place.” Maya placed her mobile phone on the kitchen counter.
“Just spoke to Davis, he’ll be there too. Sounded a bit over excited though.” Alex said.
“So, the twenty of us together again after, what, a month?” Maya spoke.
“Has it only been a month? Felt like ages.”
“Yea. I wonder what all this is about.” Maya placed a hand on her chin and leaned against the counter.
There was silence as the two tamers thought to themselves before Alex said finally, “You think it’s about the Origins?”
“The Origins? Has all of our Digimon reached Ultimate level already?”
“Not yet.” Rockymon said, hopping onto one of the bar stools.
“He’s right.” Vulpemon agreed from the window sill on which she sat. “Maaumon is the only one left to achieve Ultimate level.”
“Oh. Yea, I forgot.” Alex said.
“Well, we better get going.” Maya said, clutching on to her phone and D-Ark.
A moment later the two tamers and their Digimon were out the door and on their way to Viola’s apartment on the other side of the city.
Viola paced in front of the fireplace in the living room of her spacious apartment. She sipped at a warm cup of green tea. Heraldimon sat on the nearest sofa to her tamer, her hands on her legs and her gaze on her tamer, wondering why Viola was suddenly perturbed. Finally the little plant Digimon asked, “What’s bothering you?”
“Huh? What?” Viola stopped suddenly, turning her head to face her Digimon.
“Something troubling you?”
Viola composed herself, “No, of course not. Why would something bother me?”
“Well, you’ve been acting strange since Ophanimon’s message. What’s the matter?”
“Nothing. I’m perfectly fine!” Viola tilted the mug in her hand to her mouth for another sip of tea, suddenly realizing that the mug was empty. She casually made her way to the kitchen area when suddenly there was a knock at the door.
Heraldimon jumped up off the sofa to answer. The doorman had been given orders to allow the tamers up immediately. First to arrive was Duke. Enumamon had flown them over, landing on the rooftop of Viola’s apartment building. “Hey” Duke greeted as he and Elishamon walked in.
“Hi” Viola replied, “Some tea?”
Just as Heraldimon had shut the door another knock was heard. Alex, Maya, Phoebe, Trask and their Digimon had arrived at the same time. Max and Midomon had arrived a few minutes after. His band, Random Koi, had taken a bit of a break after their last major show in Allos city, so Max spent a lot of his free time in Square City, where he could be close to the others if something had happened, like Trask’s incident.
“The others aren’t here yet?” Phoebe asked. As she did a breeze suddenly picked up out of nowhere, followed by blinding purple light that engulfed the room. A few zapping and sparks sounds later and the light began to fade, revealing Yasmin and Griffmon. “Hi!” Yasmin greeted each tamer with enthusiastic hug before conversing with Trask about his recovery. The rookies too were glad to see their purple griffin comrade and exchanged stories of how each had reached Ultimate level. Maaumon was enthused at first, then, slowly, the smile faded from her little face and she quietly withdrew herself from the group.
With a flash of blue light Selina and Tulamon appeared, followed swiftly by Davis and Vedamon in bright orange light. “Guys!” Davis flung his hands in the air in greeting. “It’s been a while.”
Phoebe watched the rookies happily greet Tulamon and Vedamon, suddenly noticing Maaumon’s absence. She looked around the apartment, finally noticing her Digimon sitting alone by the balcony sliding door staring out at the gentle falling snow. Just as Phoebe was about to step towards her she saw Viola move towards the feline first.
Viola knelt down, “What’s wrong, Maaumon?”
“Nothing” Maaumon sighed.
“Come on. You can tell me.”
Maaumon didn’t reply, instead shifted her gaze downwards towards the ground.
“I think I know what’s the matter.” Viola said finally. “You’re upset because you’re the last one to evolve into ultimate level.”
Maaumon looked at Viola, and the tamer knew from the feline’s soft, sad expression that she was right. Viola placed a hand on Maaumon’s head and gently began stroking her fur, “Do you know how upset Heraldimon was when she was the last to reach champion level?”
“She was upset?”
Viola nodded, “Yeah. But she evolved didn’t she? And you will too of course. It’s just a matter of time.”
“Yeah but…What if I turn out like EpiCentarumon? What if I-”
“You won’t. You can’t think like that. Equimon and Trask…that was a completely different situation. You won’t turn out like that. I promise.”
“Maaumon gave a little smile.”
Viola smiled back. “Now come on, I’ve got some treats for you guys.”
Viola made her way to the grocery cupboard, shifting some of the neatly organized cereal and biscuit boxes trying to find a specific one. In her searching she hadn’t noticed Davis casually walk up to her, “Hey Vi.”
Trask noticed Davis make his way towards the lavender haired girl. He nudged Alex, “This is gonna be good.”
“What did you just say?” Viola pulled out the box of biscuits she was looking for.
“Uh, all I said was ‘hey’.”
“No one calls me ‘Vi’.”
“Well sorry I-”
“No one.” And with that Viola walked past the other tamer and towards the group of rookie Digimon.
“Are those what I think they are?” Midomon noticed the familiar packaging of one of his favorite treats. The other rookies immediately turned to see what Viola was carrying. Viola knelt down and handed the box over to Maaumon, who had rejoined the group unnoticed but the rest. She reached inside and pulled out a single biscuit, each was covered in sugary icing of different colors, she pulled out a light pink colored one before nudging the box over to Heraldimon who sat next to her. The rest of the Digimon impatiently had their turn picking out and devouring the boxes contents. It had made only two rounds of the rookies before it was empty.
Suddenly their was a light tapping sound. The tamers and their Digimon turned towards the balcony, seeing the familiar silhouette of the Crescemon in the dim light of the balcony.
Maya opened the door and invited the Ultimate in. “Thank you.” Crescemon said before lightly shaking off the snow. “It’s good to see you all together” she smiled.
“I bring a message from Ophanimon. You probably all knew that already. Please feel free to sit down. This will take a while.”
The tamers and the Digimon made their way to the sofas of the living room. There was just enough space for all ten tamers on the widespread sofas. The Digimon sat by their tamer’s feet on the large rug. Crescemon lowered herself onto her knees and sat in a traditional Japanese style before she began,
“The portal to the Digital World has been closed.”
“What? How did that happen?” Trask said.
“I though the portal stayed open.” Yasmin said, “That’s how the Shadow Lords minions get here.”
“Please, allow me to continue. The portal was closed off about 27 Earth hours ago. Something triggered its closure.”
“Something, or someone?” Alex asked.
“Neither I nor Ophanimon knows what it was. The Digimon you fought yesterday were the last to enter before it collapsed.”
“How long have you been here?” Maya asked.
“Ophanimon had given me orders to stay here in your world, to keep a watchful eye on both you as well as the Digimon that come through the portal.
“You mean you’ve been here the entire time?” Trask asked, agitated.
“I know what you are thinking, but I’ve had to follow orders…”
“What orders, to wait for us all to be damn near dead before lending helping hand?” Trask leaned forwards in his seat.
“Trask, man. Calm down” Alex said.
“I am not to interfere until it is completely necessary. You must understand, your Digimon must progress to their higher levels to become stronger. To do that, you must face enemies more powerful than your Digimon’s current levels.”
“Wait. What?” Selena stood up. “You mean to tell us that you have been allowing these enemies to come to our world and destroy everything to force our Digimon to fight them and become stronger just so they can take on your enemies?”
Trask and Alex echanged looks.
“Actually, she’s pretty much summed it all up perfectly.” Trask folded his arms.
“It all makes sense now,” Viola said.
“Everything we’ve done. Everything we’ve been put through and everything we are still doing is all to benefit you and those angels.” Max spoke.
“I understand your anger, but it was necessary to allow the enemy through. How else would our Digimon pregress?” Crescemon continued.
Max stood up, “This is all one big chess game to you. You and those angels. We have revived some of them already right? Where are they? Why aren’t the here helping us, huh? I’ll tell you why, because we are all just pawns. What if one of us had died during a fight with an enemy Digimon?”
“I wouldn’t allow that to happen.”
“How, how would you stop that? Equimon’s evolution became corrupt because of his fear of losing Trask. He became more powerful than Iliamon and Rosatimon, two ultimate level Digimon. Tell me, tell us all how would you have stopped him?”
“Equimon regained control over his evolution.”
“What if he didn’t?”
“It is impossible.”
Crescemon sighed and rose to her feet, “It was a fail safe.” The tamers listened with intrigue.
“The Digimon of Origin, although can become somewhat corrupted, cannot kill one of their own.”
The tamers exchanged looks with eachother.
“How did that happen?” Phoebe asked.
“It was a condition put into place by Seraphimon when the Angels sacrificed themselves to hatch the ten Digimon eggs to defeat the Shadow Lords in the past. The Angels made it so that if one of the Digimon of Origin ever became corrupted by one of the Shadow lords, they would never be forced to kill another Digimon of Origin.”
Max sat back down in his seat on the sofa.
“This was the first time on of the Digimon had become corrupted. It was not necessary to inform you all of this before. The fact that Equimon was corrupted by his own feeling rather than a Shadow Lord was a relief.”
“Why do you say that?” Alex asked.
“A Shadow Lord’s control over a lesser Digimon is far greater than a corruption during evolution. Once a Digimon is slave to a Shadow Lord, almost nothing can restore them to what they were before.”
There was a long silence in the apartment as the group took all the information in.
“Alright.” Viola said finally. “Let’s all just be glad Equimon and Trask and all of us are okay. Let’s all just focus on what needs to be done. The sooner we can defeat the Shadow Lords the sooner we can all carry on with our lives without worry.”
“Viola’s right.” said Maya. “Crescemon, is there a way of opening the portal to the Digital World again?”
“That was the reason why I am here. To tell you how.”
Any and all tension in the apartment subsided and the tamers and Digimon listened.
“Once again your D-Ark devices are the key to opening the door to the Digital World, but only once all ten Digimon of Origin have obtained Ultimate level.”
Maaumon felt the gaze of everyone turning down upon her. She dared not look up to face any of them.
“That shouldn’t be a problem.” Phoebe said.
“Uh, the portal’s closed, where are enemy Digimon gonna come from for Maaumon to battle?” Max noted.
“Not all battles take place on the battlefield.” Crescemon said.
“What do you mean? Maaumon doesn’t have to fight an enemy Digimon to get stronger?”
“Not necessarily. Maaumon, although unknown to her now, possesses the power over Light. Light is one of the most powerful sources that together with Darkness, can conquer anything. A Digimon of Origins abilities are hidden away in their lesser forms until they are tapped into. The Digimon Lords made it so that your Digimon’s powers can only truly be awakened by an indestructible bond between them and you, the chosen humans. That is why you have made it this far. That is why every time you or your Digimon came close to death, that bond triggered their hidden potential. However, fighting enemy Digimon was not the only way of helping your Digimon evolve. Each enemy, although the Shadow Lords didn’t realize this, was a test. A test not of your Digimon’s strength, but of their bond with you. The stronger the bond, the more powerful your Digimon can become, and with that bond, the Origins can be awakened once in your possession.”
“So, how can Maaumon evolve now?”
“Through-” Crescemon twitched her ears suddenly. She picked up on the faintest of sounds of wings flapping in the distance.
The tamers and Digimon instantly picked up on the familiar alarmed expression of an enemy Digimon nearby.
“What is it?” Viola asked.
“It seems there is one who made it here before the portal had closed.” Crescemon replied.
“This is our chance Maaumon.” Phoebe looked at her feline Digimon.
“That’s kind of convenient, and enemy Digimon showing up exactly when we need them to.” Davis said. Viola rolled her eyes.
Maya lifted her device into view, Crescemon was right. It was a Digimon, heading straight in their direction. The device showed a large, black cat-like Digimon with white wings metal armor and a strange claw-like structure on it’s back. it also had a metal helmet which covered it’s eyes and were laden with large, pink jewels. “Hippolytamon, an Ultimate level Digimon. The product of combining Kumomon with BlackGatomon.”
“Let’s go!” Maaumon said.
“No pressure, you guys.” Trask said.
“We’ll go with you.” Maya said.
“Us too.” said Yasmin.
“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.
“Griffmon evolve to…”
Purple light filled the apartment as the large, purple griffin stood on all fours, a dark purple mane proudly framed his eagle-like face.
Phoebe and Mikemon joined Yasmin atop Leoarmon and he leapt off the balcony. Maya clung on to Manxmon as he leapt from rooftop to rooftop towards the threat. Hippolytamon landed on a rooftop ahead of them. The rest of the group and Crescemon watched from the balcony of Viola’s apartment. Griffmon and Manxmon held steady on a rooftop opposite the enemy Digimon.
“Phoebe, you stay here.” Mikemon said as she dashed off, clearing the distance between to two buildings in a single bound.
Mikemon leapt at Hippolytamon without hesitation. The large claw structure on Hippolytamon’s back expanded infront of her feline face, catching Mikemon in mid-air. Hippolytamon smiled before tossing the champion clean off of the roof.
“Mikemon!” Phoebe yelled.
Manxmon moved at light speed, catching Mikemon and flinging her back up onto the roof. Leoarmon decided to step in.
Leoarmon lunged forwards with his claws, his wings powering him forwards. Hippolytamon reared up on her back legs and caught Leoarmon’s claws in her massive, feline paws. Hippolytamon was slightly larger in size than the champion, but much stronger and she pushed forwards with her back legs, knocking Leoarmon off balance before tossing him to the ground.
Mikemon found her moment and rushed past Hippolytamon, slashing her face with steel hard claws. Hippolytamon yelped as she stumbled backwards a bit, flinching from the deep scratches inflicted on the side of her face.
Hippolytamon roared loudly as the mechanical claw on her back widened into a full on cannon that she aimed at the smaller feline. Light began to form within the barrel, charging it’s power. A moment later a blast of pink light shot forth towards Mikemon. She readied herself and leapt out of the way just in time, only to be swiped out of the air by the larger cat Digimon. Hippoytamon began her assault, pinning down Mikemon, scratching and clawing at her.
Manxmon tackled Hippoytamon off of his comrade. The mechanical claw took hold of the panther Digimon and tossed him high into the sky before forming into a cannon once more.
The blast of pink light hit Manxmon as he fell back down. His screams were only drowned out by the sound of the blast. Finally it was Leoarmon who body slammed into Hippolytamon and ended the assault. Leoarmon leapt up and caught the panther.
Mikemon pushed to her feet, she was scratched all over, tiny trickles of blood spilling from her wounds.
“We should help them!” Alex said.
“You must give Mikemon a chance. If anything goes wrong, I will take her out myself.” Crescemon said.
Mikemon stood, her eyes determined even though her knees felt like jelly. Hippolytamon regained her form and turned towards the small cat.
“Mikemon, get out of there!” Leoarmon shouted.
“No! I have to do this on my own!” Mikemon was determined. For too long she was tossed aside by enemy Digimon because of her size. Although she’s proven that she can pack a punch, she’s often felt like the weakest of the group, for not always being able to hold down a fight with a much larger opponent.
“I believe in you, Mikemon.” Phoebe said from where she, Maya and Yasmin stood.
“You can do it, Mikemon.” Trask said. The other tamers and their Digimon began to cheer her on.
Phoebe checked her device, noticing Mikemon’s health gauge begin to fill.
“It’s happening.” Crescemon said.
“She’s gonna evolve?” Davis asked.
“All she needed was some positive emotions. Some positive energy, if you will. The Light within her feeds off the positive moods of her allies, making her stronger which in turn heal her comrades.”
“So all this time she could’ve evolved without ever being in battle?”
“Yes. Although it wouldn’t be as easy for the rest of the Digimon of Origin.”
Soft light began to fill the air above the rooftops where Mikemon stood. The light became brighter and brighter, eventually engulfing the entire rooftop, blinding Hippolytamon and the other champions.
“Mikemon matrix evolve to…”
Engulfed in warm, pink light Mikemon’s form grew taller, wings sprouted from her back and long hair from her head. Leoarmon and Manxmon felt their strength returned to them suddenly. As the light faded, they all gazed on the new form. The new Ultimate was slightly human-like in proportion. Her long paws remained cat-like, with three long, pink claws at the tips of each paw. Her fur and wings were pure white. She had long, flowing reddish-brown hair that was tied with diamond jewels and wore striped pants. Her body was adorned with golden jewelry and lastly, she wore a golden mask of a lioness, the light of her face shone through the eye holes, and seemed to beam ahead of her.
To be continued…