Episode 5: Toying Around

“You’ve got a secret admirer?” Phoebe examined the pink rose within the small glass tumbler of water at Maya’s apartment.

Maaumon sat on the bar stool next to Phoebe and peered over the island counter where the tumbler stood.

“It’s kinda weird. I don’t like secrets. Makes me edgy and uncomfortable.” Maya leaned her back against the counter and folded her arms.

“Do you have any idea who’s it from?”

“Not the slightest clue.” Maya sighed, “I’m no good at this kind of thing…”

“What?”

“Relationships.”

“Oh.”

“I’m glad Valentine’s Day is over. There’s too much unnecessary hype about it.”

“Well, I’m not complaining. We made a killing over at the deli.”

Rockymon was fast asleep on the sofa. His ears and tail twitched occasionally as Phoebe and Maya spoke. When Maaumon caught a glimpse of his tail twitching she hopped off the chair and crept up to the sofa. Her ears were pinned backwards and her eyes fixed on Rockymon’s bandaged tail. Each time it wagged her pupils became bigger. Her tail began to swish from side to side, the solid gold ankh dragged slowly on the fluffy black rug.

As Rockymon’s tail twitched again, Maaumon’s legs jerked in anticipation.

Finally, Maaumon made her move. She leapt up onto the couch and caught Rockymon’s tail with both front paws, claws extended.

Rockymon yowled and leapt up. Landing on the headrest of the couch he turned and hissed at Maaumon, who bolted behind the kitchen counter and out of his sight.

Phoebe shot Maaumon a glare from above the island counter, “Maaumon! I’ve told you before, not the tail!”

Maya giggled. Phoebe turned to the clock on the wall above the stove. She sighed, “My lunch breaks just about over.” She stood up and picked her bag up off the floor.

“So, you’re out of town tomorrow?” she turned to Maya.

“Yeah. Visiting my parents.”

“And Rockymon?”

“Oh, yea…I figured I’d pass him off as my pet cat, as usual.”

“Hehe, good luck with that. Come on, Maaumon.” Phoebe turned towards the door. Maaumon trotted along behind her.

Maya turned to see Rockymon was once again fast asleep, on the headrest of the couch. A moment later Maya could hear a faint shuffling of footsteps stop outside the door. As she opened the door, Alex stood in the doorway with his arm half outstretched. He was just about to knock on the door before it opened.

“Hey Alex” Maya had become more comfortable around the tamers than she did with her old friends. Having Rockymon around had changed just about everything within her social life. She had become a bit tense around everyone else, even her own parents.

“Hey.” Alex replied in a shy smile.

Maya examined the space around Alex, then peered down the hallway, “Er, where’s Vulpemon?”

“Oh she’s around. She’s just discovered that she can appear and disappear whenever she wants, which is really useful.”

“Oh, ok then.”

Maya invited Alex in. No sooner had he stepped inside the apartment he noticed the pink rose on the kitchen countertop.

“Your roommates?” he asked.

“Er, no. That one’s actually mine. First Valentine’s gift I’ve got in a while, though it’s embarrassing to admit.”

Alex folded his arms and circled the counter, examining the rose from all sides.

“And did it come with a card. With a name or anything?” he asked.

“Nope, and I don’t have the slightest clue who it could be from.”

“I see.”

Maya giggled, “You look so intrigued by it.”

At this Alex quickly unfolded his arms and casually brushed the comment off, “What? Uh, nah I was just curious, that’s all.”

Alex looked around for a distraction and spotted the ball of black fuzz on the couch, “Oh, I was wondering where he was.”

“Oh, yea he’s been out since this morning. Finally ran out of energy from the VirusBeemon incident.”

“I’ll bet. But man Manxmon is really cool. Make me wonder what Vulpemon will look like when she evolves.”

“I bet she’d look pretty cool too.” Maya smiled.

There was a bit of an awkward silence between the two tamers until finally Vulpemon appeared. Catching the scent of another Digimon, Rockymon woke up.

“Oh, Phoebe said something about you visiting your parents over the weekend?” Alex asked eventually.

“Yeah, it’s been a while. My mom and I talk on the phone almost every day but she still gets so worried.”

“Yeah that’s moms for ya.” Alex couldn’t help thinking when was the last time he’d visited his parents.

Vulpemon stood patiently next to Alex as Rockymon, rubbing his eyes, hopped onto the bar stool by the counter. Alex turned to Rockymon, “That Limit Attack of yours was insane, Rockymon.”

Smiling widely with his sharp little teeth Rockymon nodded, “Hehe, thanks!”

“And Manxmon, wow, what an uppercut!” Alex was lost in thought for a second, his mind drifted to boxing, one of his favorite sports. Maya giggled.

“Makes you wonder,” Alex began, “just how big and powerful they can get.” He turned to Vulpemon at his side.

“Yeah, it is pretty insane.” Maya turned to Rockymon, “Didn’t you say before that Mega was the last level of a Digimon’s evolution?”

“Yep, Mega. But that’s the last level of a Digimon’s natural evolution.” Rockymon explained. “There are more, but I can’t remember what they are.”

“Can you imagine our Digimon at Mega level? That’s gotta be insane.” Alex’s mind began to wander yet again. He suddenly remembered an image that appeared in his mind sometime ago. It was a woman, wearing a tight black bodysuit, over which she had purple, metal-like armor. On her arms and legs were long purple gloves and boots, with golden accents. Though Alex didn’t realize it before, the image was somehow very detailed now. The woman also had a purple mask over her head, just covering her eyes. The mask now looked like the snout of a fox. She also had long, white hair and carried a long, silver staff.

Thinking back, the first time this image came to Alex’s mind was before he met Vulpemon.

—————————————————–

On Friday morning Maya and Rockymon had left for the weekend, off to visit Maya’s parents who lived quite a distance from SquareCity.

Rockymon hadn’t enjoyed being on the bus at all. The few times they’d used the bus he’d get motion sickness. He also got very annoyed at school children pinching his cheeks or tugging his ears and arms. He would repel them by hissing and showing his sharp teeth and claws.

Maya wasn’t too fond of riding on the bus either, especially since the trip to her parents’ lasted for almost five hours. She hated the thought of sitting for more than necessary, if she could run the distance she would.

Before Rockymon came along she would try and sleep the whole way, now she was packing snacks and treats for both of them, which she did enjoy.

Rockymon fell asleep at her side. Maya picked him up and sat him on her lap. He immediately leaned to one side, clutching her arm with his and resting his head on it. She stared out the window for a while, it was almost noon. She recognized the farmlands they’d passed, the famous dairy farms that supplied the whole city and its surrounding towns. The fields were a bright green against the faint, purple mountains in the distance. They were almost there.

—————————————————–

Phoebe felt a bit lonely on campus. Maya’s classes ran almost parallel to hers so they’d meet up in between. But with Maya gone for the entire weekend, Trask always busy with his Law studies, and Viola and Alex each working, Phoebe just sat by a tree on the grounds, next to a little bush in which Maaumon hid herself.

Phoebe sighed, “It sucks not having the other tamers around.”

“It sure does.” Maaumon said. “Who do we hang out with now?”

“I don’t know. I guess we could wait for Trask and Equimon.”

Phoebe picked up her D-Ark. The tamers had also discovered that it had a clock function,

“My next class is in another whole hour.”

She leaned her head back against the tree and closed her eyes. Maaumon, looking around for any other students, crept up next to Phoebe and rested her head on Phoebe’s lap.

———————————————————–

Trask had often asked himself why he let his father talk him into studying Law. His father was a lawyer, and a very successful one at that. Trask was always into motor sports. He knew the ins and outs of cars and motorbikes and always wanted to make a career out of it, but in the back of his mind he knew his father disapproved of it.

So Trask swallowed his pride and took up Law. And come this summer he’d have to intern at his fathers firm. He’d been dreading it since he started studying at SCU three years ago. Even more so now, after having Equimon and meeting the other tamers. His mind would often wander about the Digimon.

‘Why were we chosen?’ ‘Are there other tamers out there?’ ‘Are we the only ones who know about Digimon?’

He was too intrigued by the Digimon to care about his lectures. Sure, he was there in class, physically, but mentally he was elsewhere.

Often in the back of his mind he caught the image of what looked like a magnificent Greek warrior, but instead of having legs, had the lower body of a horse. He carried a rope of shining gold in one hand and a great sword in the other. As weird is it was Trask couldn’t help but feel a bond with this creature of his mind. Every time he thought of him he felt this sense of familiarity, like that of a long lost brother. Almost the same feeling he felt with Equimon.

In the middle of class Trask heard his D-Ark beeping. A moment later the fire alarms all around campus began to sound. The lecturer prompted all students to calmly make their way outside. Needless to say the students didn’t leave calmly, but in a frenzy of both confusion and excitement. Trask waited for the others before making his way outside. He could still hear his device beeping incessantly. He looked around for the little bush Equimon had usually his himself in, but he wasn’t there. Trask was beginning to panic within himself when he heard someone call his name.

He turned to see Phoebe carrying Maaumon through the throng of students.

“Phoebe! Have you seen Equimon?” Trask had to yell to be heard over the crowd.

“No, we haven’t.”

Finally Trask pulled out his D-Ark. He saw the turquoise dot moving around, with two dark red dots moving towards it. Phoebe stretched her neck to look over the device, “That’s in the direction of the football field!”

Without hesitation the two tamers made their way out of the crowd of students towards the sports fields, where they spotted smoke. Trask ran a little faster, worried about his Digimon partner. When they reached the field they saw that half of the wooden pavilion was blown away, the other half still smoking. In the center of the field stood two abnormally large teddy bear looking Digimon.

Phoebe lifted her D-Ark, “Teddymon, Puppet type Champion level Digimon.”

“More champions.” Trask scanned the field for Equimon and saw his ignited form dash at the nearest Teddymon. The Teddymon raised its hand and flung any flames towards the remains of the smoking pavilion, incinerating it.

Maaumon jumped from Phoebe’s arms and made her way down onto the field to help her comrade.

One of the Teddymon spotted the little cat running towards them, “Hmm, another playmate!”

He stood poised with one arm outstretched, waiting for Maaumon.

“Maaumon, lookout!” Phoebe yelled, but Maaumon couldn’t hear her.

Maaumon’s ankh began to glow. She leapt towards the Teddymon, ready to swing her tail. Teddymon swung his large paw, whacking Maaumon like a baseball bat hitting a small stuffed toy. Maaumon flew back and hit the ground. She rolled a distance before coming to a stop.

“Fire Dash!”

Instead of his entire body igniting, only his hooves burst into flames. As he galloped a trail of fire followed him. He circled around the two Teddymon. A moment later the teddy bear Digimon were trapped in a ring of fire while Equimon helped Maaumon up.

The Teddymon became angry. Trask and Phoebe could hear them yell at each other when one of them was finally fed up.

“Stuff Punch!”

Raising his large material-made paw, the Teddymon punched the ground beneath him, sending sand flying towards the flames that trapped him. His brother did the same and soon the flames were put out by the sand.

Equimon and Maaumon readied for their attacks.

As the Teddymon approached Maaumon stepped forward.

“Cat’s Meow!”

Maaumon began to screech. The sound stunned the two Teddymon. Equimon made his move with another Fire Dash attack, igniting one of the Teddymon. His brother quickly batted at him before the flames got any bigger. They turned to the rookie Digimon and growled.

“Wiki Whack!”

The two Teddymon began to wave their arms frantically in a windmill-like motion whilst running towards Maaumon and Equimon. The rookies were struck by wave upon wave of heavy blows until finally their tamers D-Arks began to beep once more.

Trask and Phoebe were relieved to see the words “Activate Limit” appear on both of their devices. Without hesitation they pushed the activate button.

“Limit Activated!”

Maaumon picked herself up, her eyes began to glow in a bright light. Equimon stood firm, readying for his limit attack. Both rookies were now fully energized.

“Heaven’s Gaze!”

From Maaumon’s eyes shot two beams of light at one Teddymon. He was trapped by the beams and yelped as he tried to break free of the light.

“Tail Spin Tornado!”

Equimon galloped around the two Teddymon, getting faster with each revolution. Static charges began to develop under his hooves. A moment later he became a grey blur around the Teddymon as blue electric charges zapped the Teddymon from all sides of the little tornado.

Slowing down Equimon began to pant heavily, but stood his ground.

The Teddymon were dazed, the static electricity still zapped them with every move they made.

Once again the tamers D-Arks began to beep. Maaumon and Equimon became covered in pink and turquoise light.

“Evolution!”

“Maaumon evolve to…”

Maaumon’s form grew a little in size. She stood on two legs. Tufts of fur grew from the tips of her ears. The ankh at the end of her tail disappeared. When the pink light faded she stood, with gloves covering her paws, a calico colored cat with glowing golden eyes.

“Mikemon!”

“Equimon evolve to…”

As Equimon’s body grew to that of a full grown horse his neck and head turned into the torso of a man. Glowing orbs all over his body shone their bright turquoise light through the light mist that engulfed him. Once the light faded he stood as a tall grey centaur with bright turquoise orbs decorating his body. He had a thick steel helmet that covered his dark face, his single red eye glowing through. He had a clawed hand on his left arm. His right arm was split below the elbow, with steel rods riddling the inside. The rods constantly created small blue charges which made a crackling sound.

“Kentauromon!”

Looking upon the now Champion level Digimon, the Teddymon clung to each other. Phoebe and Trask looked upon their Champions in awe. Mikemon stood with one paw on her hip, waiting for the Teddymon to make a move.

The Teddymon composed themselves and readied for an attack on the new Champions.

“Stuff Punch!”

One Teddymon lunged towards Mikemon, who gracefully leapt out of the way.

“Paw Punch!”

Mikemon’s paws hardened and she punched Teddymon full in the face.

“Wiki Whack!”

The other Teddymon attacked Kentauromon, who only had to lift one of his hoofed forelegs and kick the Teddymon back. The two bears stumbled over each other and fell to the ground.

Static charges began to develop in Kentauromon’s left arm. The static charges grew into small bright blue lightning bolts that jumped around eagerly for an attack.

“Blue Lightning Burst!”

Kentauromon aimed his arm at the Teddymon and the blue lightning sprung onto them. No sooner had it hit the Teddymon they burst into blue flames that engulfed them over and over until finally their data slowly eradicated.

Trask and Phoebe cheered at their Champions victory. In the distance they heard the fire brigade sirens. Kentauromon and Mikemon’s bodies became covered in light once more and a moment later stood Equimon and Maaumon in their places. They quickly made their way up to their tamers and the foursome made a run for it as the sirens got louder.

———————————————–

Vulpemon looked down at her tamer from the large wooden beam of the ceiling she sat on in the dojo. After the last class, Alex had begun punching the nearest training dummy. Unless he was teaching a class or training for a tournament Vulpemon took it as a sign of frustration. Yet Alex was only last frustrated when he’d lost a match at the last martial arts tournament some weeks ago. She figured it had something to do with that visit to Maya’s the other day.

——————————————————

“No way! Both of them evolved?” Maya had called Trask from her parents home to check up on the team.

“Yea, it was insane. You should’ve seen it! They were both so awesome!” Trask’s excitement could be heard by Rockymon who sat next to his tamer on her old bed.

They had reached Maya’s hometown a little after noon. Maya’s father, Steve, picked them up from the station. He was a little perplexed at seeing his twenty-three year old daughter clutching on to a rather large black cat plush toy, but was happy none-the-less to see her. As was her mother, Teresa, who had thrown her arms around her as soon she disembarked the vehicle in front on her parents’ house.

The weekend was going by smoothly, Maya was enjoying the company of her parents and being back home after so long. She was also relieved that Equimon and Maaumon were now strong enough to deal with whatever threatened them while she and Rockymon were away.

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