Episode 9: Dryads at the Show

“Taki! Taki, wake up!” Aimy was fanning an unconscious Takeshi with her open hand.

Eventually she resorted to slapping him full across the face. It worked, and a moment later Takeshi was sitting upright, staring straight at the five little other-worldly creatures in front of him; two were feline, albeit one was bipedal, another was a pony with an orange Mohican, then there was a purple fox-like creature and not forgetting the walking, talking plant. It was a little too much for Takeshi to handle all at once.

“Don’t worry, he faints over almost anything.” Matt said to the five youngsters he had invited to the apartment he shared with Takeshi. Aimy had brought Rion along, and the four, known to the Digimon as the new ‘Creators’ would explain, in detail, the events surrounding the ‘Remaking’.

“Where’s the fifth member of this little group?” Alex pointed out.

“Keslar’s rarely in contact with us these days. He’s busy with the new platform release of Eternity One.” Matt explained.

“That game’s so over…” Trask commented.

“Tell that to the 12 million copies sold the first three days of release.” Takeshi mildly snubbed.

“Enough about that. You said that there were five others like us, five other Digimon of Origin. Where are they?” Phoebe asked.

“None of us know,” replied Aimy.

“Remember, we were there during the Remaking, but we don’t have a single clue about Digimon in general. We’re only responsible for the creation of these ten Digimon, but the other five’s whereabouts are unknown to us.” Rion explained.

“So you wouldn’t know anything about the voice?” asked Maya.

“What voice?” asked Aimy curiously.

“Everytime our Digimon evolve, a womanly voice sounds out from our devices.” Maya pulled her D-Ark from her bag.

“Uh, may I?” said Rion with his hand outstretched.

Maya handed him her D-Ark.

“All of you have this?” he asked.

The rest nodded. He held it close and analyzed it from all sides.

“It does have some cool features…” said Phoebe.

Rion pushed the central button and the small screen produced a projection that jumped forward, inches away from the device. On the projection was an image of Rockymon, next to which was a bright red bar with the letters HP above it.

“Ah, this is the overall health status of your Digimon.” He pointed out.

Scrolling downwards he made out the faded words ‘Activate Evolution’. The projection was touch activated, so Rion ‘pushed’ the button. Nothing happened. Rockymon blinked, “What are you trying to do?”

“The option’s not available because there is no danger here.” Alex explained, “The device picks up on the Digimon’s brainwaves. If the Digimon is scared or excited, the option for evolution becomes available.”
The other tamers looked at him in surprise.

“What? That voice explained it all to me.”

“It ‘explained’ it all to you?” said Trask.

“You just gotta ask.”

“I didn’t know that.” said Phoebe.

“I think there’s a lot we still don’t know about these things, or our Digimon.” Maya pointed out.

“You just gotta ask, huh?,” Rion said to himself. Below the evolution function was the selectable ‘DigiVision’ function, which Rion wasted no time in activating.

Suddenly through the screen he saw himself holding the device.

“What the-“

He waved his hand, and saw the device do the same. He looked around the room, perhaps it was picking up on some kind of hidden camera. Then his eyes lowered to Rockymon.

“Rockymon, would you turn your head to one side, please”

Rockymon shrugged his shoulders and turned his head. The image on Maya’s device showed the view had changed.
“Just as I thought. The ‘DigiVision’ function shows you what your Digimon sees. Uh, well, for those of you who didn’t know that, that is.”

“Like Maya said, there are a lot of things we haven’t figured out yet.” said Viola.

———————————————-

“What are you guys up to this weekend?” Phoebe asked. They’d left Matt and Takeshi’s apartment and were on their way to their separate homes. Viola and Heraldimon had left an hour earlier.

“I’ve got a ticket for the Random Koi concert.” Alex was excited to show off the ticket he had received that same day.

“Woah dude, really? You know how hard it is to get tickets? They’re completely sold-out” Trask was a big rock and roll fan.

“I paid for it months ago…”

Maya and Phoebe walked on as Alex and Trask began a discussion about each one’s favorite bands and musicians. Vulpemon and Equimon looked on in both curiosity and confusion. Random Koi was a local based band that made it big when one of their tracks was featured in Eternity One. The lead vocalist, Max Keslar, was the son of the game’s creator Malgam Keslar, so a lot of people assumed the band became successful only because of help from Max’s father, which wasn’t the case.

Phoebe giggled, “I kinda like that band.”

“Me too, sorta” said Maya.

“A band?” asked Rockymon.

“It’s a bunch of people who make music together.”

“Oh.” Rockymon blinked.

“What about you guys?” Alex, along with Trask and their Digimon caught up to them.

“Viola’s invited us to her fashion show, very high profile.” Phoebe smiled.

“Right, whatever…” said Trask jokingly.

———————————————–

The next day, Friday, the Square City Botanical Gardens was closed off to the public. Viola’s parents’ company, Bella Tiida, had booked it for Viola’s exclusive annual fashion show. Although Viola wasn’t interested in being part of the company directly, she did find some pleasure in putting together a clothing line, which Bella Tiida always benefited from. And being a lover of flora, the Botanical Gardens was always the perfect place to host her fashion show every year.

The catwalks were being assembled that morning, the models quarters were being set up and everything was going accordingly. As sunset approached, guests and paparazzi alike began pouring in.
Being a high profile event only the who’s who of Square City attended, or were invited. As usual, Viola’s parents were there, seemingly hogging the spotlight from their only daughter. Phoebe and Maya were especially invited, Maya had made the special effort of dressing up for the evening, something she always found tedious. Phoebe on the other hand couldn’t wait to flaunt her brand new $350 suede knee-high boots.

After almost an hour of setting up and ushering guests to their seats the MC for the night began a lengthy introduction on the upcoming program, after which the DJ took over with his mix of catchy electronic beats, to which the models took to the catwalk.

This was all new to the two tamers, Maya had never been a fan of the whole thing, models were mostly super skinny, she thought. And in this case, she was right; they were tall, lanky and awkward looking. It was as if the skin on their abdomens had been held away by their rib cages and hip bones so as to not wrap around their insides, almost like the poles that hold up a tent.
Phoebe, however, saw models as almost goddess-like. She was squeaking with excitement since they got there, jumping up and down when she spotted Evelyn Swanson, Viola’s mother and editor-in-chief of the Bella Tiida Quarterly fashion magazine.

As for their Digimon, they were hiding comfortably up one of the taller trees, with a good vantage point of the events. Heraldimon had joined them. She had used her abilities over earth to thicken the density of the leaves, so they wouldn’t be seen from below, or above for that matter.

Rockymon had looked on with confusion and a sense of pity, “Oh gosh! Don’t they eat? They’re so…so puny!”

Maaumon agreed. She had noticed the same thing when Phoebe showed her some fashion magazines earlier and explained what it’s all about. Phoebe would just snub at her comments and carry on.

Heraldimon was most intrigued. She had watched Viola throw the ideas for the garments together, but now looking upon their completion it was astonishing. Viola had been inspired by Heraldimon’s rose and had used the idea for an accent on each and every piece, something that was well received by the crowd.

About halfway through the show a pair of models took to the catwalk. Their skin was oddly pale and somewhat greenish in color. The audience thought it part of the show, as did Maya and Phoebe, until their devices began to beep violently. The guest in the row before them turned and shot the two tamers glares of contempt at the noise. Phoebe apologized profusely in whisper while she and Maya stood up and made their way to the back of the seats.

Rockymon noticed the two leave the crowd. He caught the sight of Maya’s D-Ark flash bright red, “Something’s up.”

“Hmm?” Maaumon was examining the pale pair of models still strutting down the catwalk. Heraldimon squinted a bit.

“Those aren’t part of the collection…” just as she pointed out the pair of lanky models shot forward off the catwalk. Spinning in the air with graceful athletic ability they landed synchronized behind the rows of seats. The audience applauded loudly. Viola had heard the loud clapping and peeped around the corner of the dressing area. She saw the two models, but didn’t recognize them. She heard one of the models behind her call out, “Um, Miss Viola. You’re bag is…beeping.”

Viola turned and headed back into the models dressing quarters. She picked up her handbag, the moment she did she had recognized the familiar beeping of her D-Ark.

“No. Why today?” she said softly.

“Is everything alright, Miss Viola?” the same model noticed Viola’s expression changed.

Viola looked up at her, “Oh, yes. Everything’s fine.”

The pair of models caught sight of the tamers and smiled widely. Phoebe gasped at seeing that their teeth were razor sharp and their eyes had become cat-like. Their skin began to stain with a darker grayish-green array of patches. One of them stretched an arm with an open palm facing the tamers. From the center of her palm a spike of thorns shot forward.

Maya’s eyes widened and she jumped out of the way, pulling Phoebe with her. Rockymon’s fur stood on end, as did Maaumon’s, “Digimon!” they yelled out. The two felines leapt clean off the tree almost soaring in mid-air. Both Maya and Phoebe yelled out, “Activate Evolution!” as soon as their devices gave the option.

“Evolution!”

“Rockymon evolve to…”

“Maaumon evolve to…”

In a flash of red and pink light a tall panther Digimon with boxing gloves landing before the tamers, along with a shorter bipedal cat Digimon, also wearing gloves.

“Manxmon!”

“Mikemon!”

The audience was enthralled by the display and continued to applaud. Heraldimon looked on, “Viola must still be in the back section,” she thought. Vines of thorns extended from her arm as she suspended herself down the tree and made her way to the models quarters.

Viola raised her D-Ark, “Drusmon, plant type Champion level Digimon.”
From the corner of her eye she saw Heraldimon peeping in from underneath the tent that covered the models dressing area. Viola casually walked towards her Digimon, “What’s going on?”

Manxmon and Mikemon are fighting two Digimon. The humans think its part of the show. What are we going to do, Viola?”
“Go and help them, I’ll take care of the rest.” That being said Viola activated the evolution feature on her D-Ark.

“Evolution!”

“Heraldimon evolve to…”
A flash of green light later and Rosaemon appeared.

“Rosaemon!”

“Needle Dance!”
Running back to join her comrades Rosaemon jumped into the air and twisted her body, releasing a tornado of thorns that at first were shot in all directions. At Rosaemon’s will each one of them had turned and headed for the Drusmon like small homing missiles.
The Drusmon squealed and flinched as they were hit. One of them turned towards Rosaemon as she landed.

“Palm Thorn!”

A sharp spike shot from its palm at Rosaemon. As she outstretched her arms the vines around them leapt and caught the spike in mid-air, rendering Drusmon’s attack futile. Meanwhile the other of the Drusmon duo kept Manxmon and Mikemon busy.

“Neko Claw!”

Mikemon leapt forth with her claws barred. Drusmon parried the blow and countered with an open palm, whacking Mikemon into the air.

“Panthera Punch!”

Manxmon came in with an uppercut to the lower jaw that sent the Drusmon flying as well. Mikemon landed on her feet, while the enemy Digimon had flown clear of the rows of guests in their seats and landed square back on the raised catwalk.

“Why aren’t these people running away?” Manxmon asked.

“They think its all part of the show.” Mikemon replied.

“We’ve got to make sure nobody gets hurt.”

Mikemon nodded.

Rosaemon was dodging blows from the other Drusmon when Manxmon stepped in, simply picked Drusmon up from behind and hurled her towards the catwalk. She landed on her sister and they both crashed down onto the catwalk, groaning as they tried to get up. Maya and Phoebe were cheering their Digimon when their devices began to beep once more. As soon as the voice sounded, “Warning!” they knew what was coming.

“Opponent Limit Activated!”

“Oh sh-“ Viola came running towards the Maya and Phoebe after her D-Ark sounded.

“Extraction Fronds!”

Plants surrounding the event began to shake as there was a loud rustle of leaves. All of a sudden sharpened leaves shot out from all the plants towards the three champions. Mikemon protected her face with her gloved paws while Manxmon tried to counter by punching the leaves with his gloved fists. Rosaemon, however, was unaffected; the leaves seemed to just bounce off her. If anything she somehow felt more energized from the attack.

Viola raised her D-Ark once more and noticed Rosaemon’s health gauge fill up, “I don’t believe it. The Drusmon attack is actually given her energy…”

If anyone was surprised, it was the Drusmon. Rosaemon raised her arms up towards her comrades.

“Needle Dance!”

Spinning on the spot, she released thorns from the vines around her body. Each thorn pierced and shattered an enemy leaf, swiftly ending the Drusmon’s attack before heading for the Drusmon themselves in a swarm-like formation. They made an effort to run, which was futile. They squealed as the barrage of thorns rained onto them.

“Let’s end this!” Rosaemon yelled and, raising her arms once again, called out…

“Twisted Thorns!”

Vines of sharp thorns had burst through the bottom of the catwalk, restraining the Drusmon by their feet and arms.

“I take it that’s our cue,” said Mikemon.

Manxmon gave a smile and the two felines leapt onto each of the Drusmon.

“Paw Punch!”

“Panthera Pounder!”

Mikemon’s paws hardened and she struck Drusmon over and over. Large boxing glove entities appeared above Manxmon and he began his puppet-like assault on the other dryad Digimon. The felines paused and readied for the finishing blows. They struck at the same time and the Drusmon both burst into bright green data fragments that flew all over.
The audience roared in applause and a standing ovation. Manxmon and Mikemon were on the catwalk, with Rosaemon joining them. They looked at each other, each shrugging their shoulders. Eventually they all bowed. Guests had begun throwing roses at their feet. The Digimon hadn’t understood what that meant, but bowed again before Rosaemon jumped onto Manxmon’s back and he and Mikemon leapt up out of sight and into the darkness of night.
The tamers each gave a huge sigh of relief. Viola returned to the models area.

——————————————————–

“The annual fashion show of Bella Tiida Heiress Viola Swanson was a truly massive success. As critics and guests alike enjoyed the creative floral line of the heiress they were treated to an impromptu scene of some sort as two of the models spontaneously leapt across the catwalk as three suited actors jumped in…”

The events of Viola’s fashion show were the talk of the town the next day, Alex and Trask were sad to have missed it. The team had gathered at Maya’s apartment, along with Matt and Takeshi, as Sasha was once again out of town for the weekend.

“It was so strange. The Drusmon looked straight at Phoebe and I, never mind all the other people that were there, they looked right at us before they attacked. It was as if they knew who we were.” Maya explained.

“You don’t suppose they do actually know who we are…” Alex said, holding his chin.

“Slaves of Lilithmon, sent to track us down?” Trask voiced his theory.

“That’s probably exactly the case,” said Matt, “I mean Lilithmon is back, so we had to bring the Digimon of Origin back to defeat her. She might be trying to strike you guys down before you get any stronger. I don’t think the Shadow Lords would stand a chance when the Digimon reach Mega level.”

“They sure as hell won’t,” said Trask.

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