Digimon :: Core





 

It had been a few days since the group had crossed the expansive, White River. The battle with Gesomon, though initially one of their most dangerous encounters yet, had been a thing of the past. Misumon and Maia had noticeably improved their friendship, thanks to it. Before, Maia wouldn't even really allow the digimon near her—now, Misumon was placed quite comfortably on Maia's shoulder.

 

It was far more comfortable than Finnmon's metal skull, or Rakumon's bony head-structure. Things had been mostly normal, since then. At least, as normal as it could have been for being trapped in another world, hanging around monsters with incredible powers.

Maia was opting for a new approach to the situation. She was doing her best to keep herself calm and in control. She had even gotten past her foul mood since they arrived, and attempted to take on a more helpful role for everyone. Overall, the group had gotten along fairly well. She was, still, of course, bound and determined to make sure Huey had been kept safe, but at the same time, she tried her best to keep the concerns of others in her mind as well.

She had decided, that after the battle with Gesomon, she would try her best to remain less irritated. Brian didn't relent on his incessant flirting, however. Tyson was still a bit too goofy for his own good, but it was a work in progress. Maia still wanted to go home—there was no doubt about that. However, she had decided that she would do what she could to make sure they made their journey to Digica safely, and at least remind everyone to keep on their toes.

“This is just great,” Tyson's voice broke as they came to the top of the small hill. They had been following a path from the river's end, after arriving on the large patch of land, which was home to Infinity Mountain. The first day's worth had been mostly beach, then, more grass. Now... “More freakin' trees. You know, I've had enough of these back the way we came from,” the amber-eyed teen grumbled.

The trees, thickening as they continued along their path, retained a similar coloring to those from the previous land they were on. It seemed they were headed into yet another forest. This time, however, it was a bit different. There were several different fruits scattered about, hanging from the trees. There was also a wide variety of flowers, this time, making the area at the very least, smell quite pleasant.

“It's not so bad,” Brian shrugged, glancing around at the flowered trees surrounding them. “You guys have any idea where we are yet?” he asked the digimon, but specifically looked at Finnmon. The digimon seemed rather relaxed, walking along, his arms wrapped behind his head.

“Not a clue, though this is probably the forest the Alraumon mentioned a while ago,” the green digimon admitted. “But at the rate we're going,” he looked out past the thick greenery surrounding them, into the distance. They had gotten closer to the mountain since they had started, and were making pretty good time. “We should reach the Mountain in about two days' time.”

“Then, perhaps, we shall get a chance to observe our surroundings, and figure out just where we are,” Bazamon added.

The bird glanced back at his partner, who was wearing quite the foul look upon his face. He had remained that way for a little while. After arriving here, the group rested for the night, and the next day had been attacked by a digimon. Rakumon had evolved to Drakemon, in order to fend it off. Ever since then, Huey had been quite upset about something. Bazamon could wager a guess, but he didn't want to cross that bridge just yet.

“It's getting kind of late,” Maia spoke up. “Maybe we should set up camp?”

“And get food,” Rakumon chimed, taking a bite from a familiar, lemon-shaped, black fruit. Tyson blinked, looking down at the digimon.

“More food?” he asked. Rakumon nodded, before tossing the remaining fruit into his large jaw. He clamped down, finishing it off.

“I'm a growing 'mon, I need my nutrition,” he said with a silly grin. Tyson chuckled in response to the dragon, patting his head a bit.

“Alrighty, then,” Tyson nodded, hearing no more objections from the group on the idea of setting up camp. “We should find a clearing, or something,” he suggested, looking around. Brian had wandered away a bit, moving towards some gathered bushes, pushing one aside.

“Here looks good,” he said, stepping forward. The group followed, pushing past the brush, stepping into a small, but workable area. The trees were gathered around thickly, but a ground-out spot had been laid. There was remnants of a few burnt pieces of wood.

“Someone was here not too long ago,” Finnmon observed, poking his yellow-tinted toe-claws at the fire. It had since died out, but had done so recently. If Finnmon had to wager, within the past few hours. Rakumon opted to sniff the air, looking for any signs of a scent he recognized.

 

“Hmm, it seems a bit familiar...” the dragon spoke, continuing to sniff the air. It was as if something clicked a second later. “Aha! I know that smell!” he declared, excitedly, only to be silenced by the loud sound of breaking trees. The group snapped to attention at the source, only to see a white blur head towards them. Collective gasps could be heard, as the object headed their way.

Finnmon shot forward, “Rock Head!” his skull bashed against the bone. It was sent the opposite direction, knocked off its target. Finnmon did something of the same, flying back by the harsh force. He hit the ground with a grunt, only for Brian to kneel down next to him.

“Thank god for hard heads, huh?” the brunette spoke, helping the digimon back into a sitting position. The group's attention moved forward as the object had began spinning back the way it came. Suddenly, from the thick trees, a yellow, ape-like creature emerged swiftly. His hand wrapped around the object—which was revealed to be a bone of some sort. The ape's feet crashed into the ground.

The digimon stood up fully, revealing a yellow and gray body, and a stance of close to seven feet in height. He stared at the kids coldly, swinging his bone-stick to the side. “You are humans, yes?” he asked, his voice coming off collected and cool.

“Yeah, what of it?” Tyson demanded, stepping forward, D-Hub in hand.

“I'm here to kill you,” the ape digimon said once again.

“I'm not even surprised, anymore,” Misumon sighed, jumping down from Maia's shoulder, next to Rakumon. “Just let me ask, who sent you?”

“As if I would reveal such information,” he spoke, readying the weapon. “However, after hearing of your defeat of Turuiemon, I must say, I was a bit surprised.” So they were both sent by the same person? But by who?

“Apemon, Champion level,” Maia spoke up, having the digivice pointed towards the digimon. “Nature Spirits Field. His attacks are Infuriation, Nyoi Bone, and...” she paused at the last one. “Ma... en Mobaku...ken?” the girl had never seen the word before.

“Bazamon, go, you got this!” Huey urged the bird. The digimon glanced back at his partner with a bit of surprise. He couldn't handle this digimon alone. None the less, he adopted a defensive position, as did the others at his side.

“Let's go, guys!” Rakumon declared, bolting forward. He jumped up, his claws glowing with energy. “Power Hook!” he took a swing at the ape, only for the digimon to swiftly swing his bone club out. It struck the little dragon aside, but not before a strong steam of water, accompanied with a hot-gust of wind headed in his direction.

The ape seemed momentarily surprised, swinging his arm into a defensive position. The attacks struck against him, but did little more than scorch his fur. Before he had a chance to react, a blur of silver and green was headed his way. Apemon proved his swiftness, managing to move aside, just enough to dodge Finnmon's assault.

“Nyoi Bone!” the yellow ape shouted, flinging his powerful bone weapon forward. It glowed with energy, before following Finnmon. It struck the green digimon in the back, throwing him down into the ground ahead.

“Finnmon!” Brian called, clutching tightly to his D-Hub. It sparked in green, before projecting a glow towards the downed amphibian. The digimon's yellow eyes shot open.

010101010101010101010101010101010101

“Finnmon, digivolve too...!”

His body broke away, before the green remains were covered in a series of code.

“Najimon!”

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The green warrior emerged from the light, down on one knee. He glanced behind him, eyes locking with the Apemon. “Interesting,” the ape mused, holding his bone club out, dangerously. “So this is how you bested Turuiemon.”

“Tch, man, I can shatter a Golemon. What can you do?” Najimon shot back, standing up swiftly, going on the defensive. Apemon seemed a bit surprised at this.

“So you were the one that bested Golemon, huh? It seems we underestimate you humans and your digimon,” the hand around his weapon tightened. “Well, you could handle one, but let's see how well you do, otherwise!” The digimon suddenly let out a deafening howl, which resounded through the trees. It was high-pitched, painful, and caused the quartet of humans to slap their hands to their ears.

“Oh god, that's worse than nails on a chalk board!” Tyson whined loudly.

From behind the group, a sudden, sharp sound could be heard. One of the trees suddenly fell to the side, with a fresh, clean cut through it. “Well, this is exciting,” Misumon spoke in a deadpan manner, looking in the opposite direction. Bazamon joined her side, as did their partners. From the trees, two, silver blades emerged, chopping aside anything in its way.

A large, insectoid digimon emerged, bearing a pair of scythe-like arms, and a green body. Maia visibly cringed at the thought. “God, this place has giant bugs?” the girl asked, feeling a bit more nervous than she let on. Huey was the one with his D-Hub out this time, gathering information on the digimon.

“Snimon, Champion Level. He's from the Jungle Troopers Field,” the boy announced, before looking at Bazamon. “You got this!” he insisted. The bird didn't respond, and instead, stepped forward. Misumon did as well, but Huey cut her off. “This is Bazamon's fight!” he insisted.

“Huey,” Maia muttered, “he can't do it alone—“

“Why? Just because he can't evolve, he's not good enough?” the boy demanded, shortly, showing a surprising anger, combined with a frightening glare. Maia stared back at him in a small surprise. That wasn't what she meant, at all.

Behind them, Najimon and Rakumon faced down Apemon. “I see you brought back up,” Najimon chided. “Ah well, I'm not the only one that can evolve,” he couldn't help but to smirk a bit, before he shot forward. “Skull Shatter!” the digimon shot forward in a blazing speed, directly towards Apemon. The swift animal digimon moved to the side, swinging his bone club out.

Najimon showed a surprising amount of agility, stopping mid-attack, swinging out his foot harshly at the ape. The yellow digimon was sent flying back, towards the trees. Rakumon followed up with a trio of fireballs in his direction, which exploded as they neared him.

“Infuriation!”

A sudden shower of needles shot from the smoke ahead, directly towards the two of them. “Rakumon!” Tyson called, just as the needles struck. His digivice gave off a sparking glow, before Rakumon was surrounded in the same glow.

010101010101010101010101010101010101

“Rakumon... digivolve too!”

In a flurry of broken particles, Rakumon's small form changed in size and shape.

“Drakemon!”

010101010101010101010101010101010101

The dragon emerged, ducking himself downward. The needles struck harmlessly against his boney structure, but some still managed to stick into his exposed arms, causing him to release a low growl of pain. Najimon released something similar, at his side, backing away.

Apemon emerged from the smoke with a sweep of his bone. “You two are strong,” he commended, glaring in their direction. His fur was tattered, covered in burn marks from the attacks. “But you lack the refined experience that I have earned, over the years!” the digimon shot forward, violently, “Nyoi Bone!”

*** *** ***

Misumon and Bazamon's attacks were nigh ineffective against the bug digimon, Snimon. The digimon hissed, swinging his metal blades outward. The two were driven back, avoiding the attacks. “Gah, this digimon is a real pain,” Misumon muttered, landing next to Bazamon some feet away.

“Perhaps we can find its weak point?” the bird suggested, leading to a nod from Misumon. Maia and Huey watched, not far behind. Maia had her D-Hub at the ready, hoping that Misumon would be able to evolve, if the need arose. Right now, there seemed to be no clear victor in either direction, but how long that would last, wasn't clear either.

“Bazamon!” Huey called, once again, earning the bird's attention. The boy held his D-Hub firmly, showing it at the bird. Nothing happened.

“Twin Sickles!” the Snimon called out suddenly, crossing his arms, pulling them away from each other quickly. A pair of purple-colored blades of energy shot forward at the two digimon. Smoke erupted from their position. Maia released a small gasp, no longer seeing either digimon.

“Too slow!” Misumon chided from above, latched in Bazamon's claws. The little bird had managed to carry her and himself out of harm's way. The digimon looked up, quite dully, only to see the little beaver rushing towards him. “Bubble Slam!” her body was surrounded in a strong current of bubbles, before she slammed directly into his skull. The digimon stammered, stumbling back.

One of his sickles flew out—the blunt end striking Misumon away. The beaver went flying into the ground, before Bazamon moved into action. The bird swung his wing forward. “Tropical Gust!”

A burst of hot air shot from his wing, striking against the mantis digimon. Another sickle of purple energy shot his way, leading the bird to surprise. He barely managed to avoid it.

Huey suddenly ran forward, away from Maia's side. “Huey!” the blonde girl called in pure surprise at his sudden actions. He headed right towards the Snimon, waving his arms. What is he doing?! The girl's thoughts were positively panicked. She started after him.

“Hey! You big, ugly bug!” Huey taunted, waving his arms fiercely. Snimon looked his way, snarling. “Yeah, come and get me!” he challenged, standing boldly as the digimon turned to him. This has to work! I know Bazamon will evolve to save me—just like everyone else! The boy's thoughts were cut short as there seemed to be no evidence of that. Bazamon attempted to head in the boy's direction, but would never arrive in time.

A force hit the smaller boy, and they went sliding away from the impending sickle. It struck against the ground, cleaving into the grass and dirt—but no injuries had been left. The digimon snarled, looking over at the two humans.

“That was too close,” Maia shot, sitting up quickly. She held tightly onto her little brother, pushing him behind her, as the digimon approached. Snimon readied another attack. The girl cringed at the oncoming assault, only for a glow to burst from the device in her hand.

010101010101010101010101010101010101

“Misumon, digivolve too...!”

Her body broke apart into bits of data, before reforming.

Castorimon!”

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The massive beaver digimon drew in a breath. “Hydro Stream!” a sudden, powerful blast of water shot from her mouth, striking the Snimon straight in the back. The digimon was sent flying overhead of the two kids, before slamming into some trees beyond. Castorimon wasted no time, and ran forward in a tackle.

“Hey! Are you two alright?” Tyson called, back near the center of the site. Maia gave a quick nod, still clinging tightly to Huey. For now, Castorimon had Snimon under control, and she swiftly turned to her brother.

“What were you thinking?!” the girl demanded shortly.

“It's okay for you to go out and fight like that, but it isn't for me?!” the boy shot back, leading Maia to a bit of surprise.

“It's not the same!” the girl insisted, glancing back at Castorimon and the bug, who were no locked in a strong attack against each other. The girl stood up, moving her brother back to the other boys, away from the ensuing fighting. Bazamon attempted to back Castorimon up as best he could.

Huey only managed a glare at both his sister, and the little bird. As they reached safety, Huey tore his arm from his sister's grasp, letting out an audible grunt of annoyance. Maia looked momentarily upset, but that was cut short by the pain-ridden call of Castorimon. The large beaver went down into the ground, revealing a nasty strike on her side. Maia donned a concerned expression as the Snimon approached.

Bazamon tried helplessly to gather the digimon's attention, but his attacks were no more effective than before. “Blast it!” the bird snapped in frustration. A lone, metal sickle was raised into the air as he closed in.

“Lightning Howl!” the sky darkened for a split second, before a powerful bolt of lightning struck from above. It was accompanied by a wolfish howl. The attack struck against Snimon's outstretched arm, causing the digimon to screech in pain, falling back from his attack.

From the trees nearby, a familiar, blue blue emerged, tackling the insect digimon. Snimon was forced down into the ground, allowing Castorimon a moment to catch her breath. Maia breathed with a small relief, seeing a familiar, blonde boy emerge from the nearby bushes.

“I think we know who set up the fire,” Brian mused, at the sight of their bespectacled teammate. It was Jett.

The boy seemed to pay no mind, focusing on the battle between Keracomon and Snimon. Castorimon got back to her feet, and joined the wolf's side. “Need a hand?” the digimon offered, to which, Keracomon nodded. “I'll soak him, you fry him,” the digimon smirked, before drawing her head back, sucking in air.

“Hydro Stream!” A powerful blast of water shot forward, driving into the digimon. It splashed across his body, only for Keracomon to prepare his attack.

“Volt Charge!” The wolf shot forward in a flurry of electrical, blue energy. His form momentarily vanished, before reappearing right at Snimon's side. It collided powerfully against him, releasing a static charge against the wet digimon. Snimon released a screech of pain, unable to recover himself from the violent pair of attacks.

His body vanished in a fit of data, which Jett promptly absorbed into his D-Hub. “Good work,” Jett complimented Keracomon, joining his side. Maia had done so too, alongside Castorimon.

“Thanks,” the girl said to the pair. Castorimon nodded in agreement. Jett simply returned a light nod, turning ahead to their other opponent. Drakemon and Finnmon had still been dealing with the monkey digimon, who showed no signs of exhaustion. He was no doubt stronger than the Snimon, and much more agile.

“Wait for the right moment,” Jett warned.

He swiftly avoided a fiery breath from Drakemon, only to strike his chin with the bone weapon. Najimon, meanwhile, dug his hands deeply into the ground. “Rock Fist!” he bellowed, as the ground around his hands broke apart. He drew his arms out swiftly, revealing a swirling mass of rocks around his two wrists and hands. He shot forward, taking a swing towards the Apemon.

The ape managed to dodge, swiftly. The rocks around Najimon's other fist suddenly tightened into a gauntlet of earth. He took a sudden, swift, unexpected strike at the ape's back. The first strike had been revealed as a fakeout, and the second struck him directly in the back.

Apemon shot away, catching himself. He was panting. “Nice hit,” he complimented. Najimon landed on the ground, showing he was more than ready to keep going.

“Dynamic Beat!” a voice suddenly rang behind him. Apemon swiftly, and barely, shot to the side. Keracomon appeared, striking his electrified claws into the ground, uselessly. A stream of powerful water shot his way too, followed by another blast of fire. Apemon barely managed to avoid them, using the trees to help him along.

“I think that's all for today. I'm sure they could use a report.” the Apemon said, perching himself atop one of the trees. “Nice fighting with you—I shall see you again!” and suddenly, he disappeared into the trees. Najimon and Keracomon chased after his direction, but upon passing the trees, could see nothing.

“Gone,” Keracomon said coolly.

“That monkey gets on my last nerve,” Najimon huffed, allowing the rocks to drop from around his wrist. The digimon returned to their partners' sides, taking a load off. They were visibly exhausted from the encounter. They had given it their all, and managed to best the Snimon, but the Apemon had gotten away.

It was becoming apparent that there were indeed digimon stronger than themselves here. “Is everyone alright?” Tyson asked, looking around at the group. They hadn't retained too much damage, aside from some scratches, cuts, and bruises. Bazamon had a few torched feathers, much to his annoyance, but it was nothing too serious.

It didn't take too long before the four digimon released glows, shrinking back to their smaller forms. “I thought you guys could hold out longer?” Brian asked, ducking next to Finnmon.

“If we got energy to spare, yeah,” Finnmon replied shortly.

“Those digimon were no push-overs,” Rakumon added. “Both of 'em were a lot stronger then us—especially that monkey.”

“And they're all working with the same goons that sent Golemon and Turuiemon after us,” added Finnmon.

“And who might that be?” Tyson asked. The digimon gave a collective shrug, leading the boy to scratch his head. He turned to Jett, then, bearing a grin.

“Good to see you're still around,” he offered. Jett had nothing to say in reply, and turned away for a moment.

“We need to set up camp,” the blonde spoke, almost coldly. Tyson felt a twinge of annoyance, but shrugged it off, deciding he was right. “Maia, Huey, food.” Jett started to list off, before turning to Brian and Tyson. “Get fire wood.”

“And who made you the boss?” Tyson asked, looking at him sternly. Jett flashed a glance in his direction but had nothing to add.

“So far, it seems you've only lead everyone into danger,” Tyson grumbled, folding his arms quickly. “You should have been scouting the area, looking for signs of enemies. Instead, you walked along like an idiot, not even bothering to think what would come your way. You should expect it by now, this place isn't just some walk in the park,” his cool tone didn't let up. “We need someone more intelligent to take charge,” Jett's voice was cold and precise. It was clear, that boy was a lot more intelligent, but he was also a lot more arrogant than even Brian.

Brian had no qualms, and neither did the siblings. Tyson released a huff. “And what about you?”

He brought down a backpack—which Tyson hadn't quite noticed until now. He began drawing out a small handful of supplies, including blankets, and some bottled water. “Where did you get that stuff?” the boy asked, clearly ignoring Jett's orders.

“A small village, back on the other side of the river,” Jett replied shortly. “They gave us food, shelter for a night, and some supplies, including a boat.” Tyson huffed, folding his arms. “Judging by your appearances, I'd say you weren't so lucky.”

“We found a village, but we were attacked by this big rock-thing, and they kicked us out,” Tyson went on to explain. “And we managed to put together a raft, only to get attacked by some kinda sea-monster.” He crossed his arms, realizing he had lost his coat along the way, during the Gesomon fight, much to his annoyance. He really liked that jacket.

“Are you going to stand there and talk all day, or are you going to get something done?” Jett asked, coolly, leading Tyson to roll his eyes. “I don't care about your little stories, or how you managed to get here. My only concern is reaching Digica.”

Tyson hadn't realized before—probably due to the fact they hadn't seen each other more than once since arriving here—but Tyson couldn't stand this kid's attitude. He was cold and arrogant, giving off an aura that he only cared for himself. There was a small pause, before Tyson tore off, on his way to fulfill Jett's orders.

*** *** ***

Maia and Huey had taken to exploring the nearby area for food. Maia was especially on guard, though, was quietly thankful that Misumon had opted to follow them. “Huey,” Maia spoke up after a bit of tense silence—mostly due to the anger Huey had been giving off since the fight.

“What?” he snapped.

“Why did you act like that, today?” the girl asked, almost hesitantly. Huey's temper was comparable to hers, and even though the girl could have acted on the defensive, countering his with her own, she almost never did. Huey huffed.

“How else am I going to make Bazamon evolve? He should have by now, we've been here almost a week!” the boy snapped, his anger showing through. “It worked when everyone else got in danger, you know. So why didn't it this time?” Maia looked at the younger boy with a pang of regret.

“It doesn't work like that, kiddo,” Misumon spoke up, gathering both of the siblings' attentions. “You just gotta wait for the right time.”

“Well I'm sick of waiting!” Huey snapped, harshly.

“Huey, don't get upset over it,” Maia insisted. “Trust me, it doesn't work.” she reached a hand out to comfort the boy, but retracted as he took a harsh step away. “I don't know, maybe you're too young to understand—“

“Don't tell me that!” Huey's voice was even harsher this time. He was almost yelling. “Stop treating me like I'm some helpless, little baby!” his cold gaze directed at Maia as he continued. “I'm old enough to know what's going on! I know that Bazamon should protect me when I need him to!”

“You didn't need him then,” Misumon reminded, calmly. “You had others looking out for you, who could manage.”

Huey gave a glare in the direction of the beaver, before folding his arms. “No one asked you.” the boy said snottily. The beaver was notably offended

“Huey, that's enough now,” Maia said in an attempt to chide him.

“No way!” Huey snapped back. “I'm tired of you, and you,” he said to both of them, pointing at the pair. “And I'm sick of everyone acting like I can't handle myself—or like I need some kinda lesson all the time!” he snapped. “Bazamon should evolve when I want him too! He's ready now, I know he is!”

With that, the boy stomped off, without so much as a bit of food to carry back with him. Maia released a small sigh, earning a glance from Misumon. “Yeesh, what a spoiled kid,” the digimon said, folding her little arms.

“He's right though,” Maia admitted finally. “About me treating him like a baby. I don't know how else to keep him safe... I do what I can, but it never seems to be enough.”

“Maybe it's too much?” Misumon offered, but Maia's down-trodden look didn't improve. “You know, with the way he seems to act,” the digimon continued. “Maybe he deserves to be treated like that.” There was no disagreement on either end, and Maia turned back to gathering food.

She wasn't sure how to approach him without setting him off. Misumon was right, he really was a spoiled kid. Maia knew she had a lot to do with it, the way she treated him—so did their parents, as a matter of fact. “Huey's used to getting what he wants,” Maia spoke up again a few moments later. “Our mom praises him for every, little thing he does, and his dad seems to think he's the greatest kid in existence. I try to look out for him, since they're always at work, but it doesn't seem to be helping.”

“Parents, huh?” Misumon questioned. “I'm not too sure how it works, but why did you call your dad 'his dad', and your mom 'our mom'?” the beaver seemed quite curious, earning a small, confused glance from Maia. Maybe they weren't so much like humans, at least in some ways, after all.

“He's not my dad,” the girl spoke, a bit lowly. “Huey and I are only half-siblings.” Misumon nodded in slight understanding.

“Do you have a dad, then?” the digimon asked. Maia became noticeably tense.

“Let's get going, I think we have enough food,” she swiftly changed the subject, leading to a raised brow from Misumon. The digimon decided not to push it for now, and to just let her be. She gathered up some fruits of her own, before following the girl. “Do digimon have families?” Maia asked, after a few moments.

“Kinda,” the digimon spoke. “Digimon are born from eggs—either from data, from up there,” she pointed at the sky. “After it goes through lots of stuff—takes a while.” Maia nodded as the beaver went on. “Or else some digimon can take from their own data, and create eggs. It usually doesn't end well for the digimon giving up their own data, though.”

“So, digimon are reborn? Or something?” Maia asekd, leading to Misumon to shake her head.

“It's like...” Misumon began. “It's a giant pool of old data, up there. It all mixes together, before it's formatted, after going through the Dark Area. Or so they say, I really think that place is just a myth.” Maia rose an eyebrow at that term. 'Dark Area'. It didn't exactly sound pleasant. “And after it formats, and gets purified, and all that jazz, it randomly pieces off to make new digimon eggs.”

“So, nothing like the digimon they were before?”

“Rarely. You might see a few similar traits, to some parts of the data, but since it's so mixed and mangled, and essentially reset, it can easily make an entirely different digimon.” There was a small pause before the digimon continued. “Then, after they're born... some are born together, and consider themselves brothers and sisters. Some look out for others, considering themselves a mother or a father, I guess. Nothing's really specific, though. And they aren't labeled 'parents'; family, sometimes. ”

“I see,” Maia returned. “Do you have any family, then?”

“...I did,” Misumon started, shaking her head a bit. “But that's long passed. I left that behind when I left Aquaria, and became a Guardian Digimon.” Maia decided not ask any questions on the matter, and the two of them made their way back to the camp site in silence.

*** *** ***

The group sat quietly around the campfire that had been built, and lit up, courtesy of Rakumon. Most of the digimon had opted to rest, exhausted from the previous, difficult battle they had faced a couple of hours ago. Bazamon was still awake, however. Not only was Huey still in quite a foul mood, Tyson seemed to have joined him. He and Jett hadn't said one word to one another, since earlier.

Jett gave off an unapproachable aura just from the way he held himself. Maia was still somewhat down-trodden, though not too noticeably, and just remained silent. Brian was about the only one who seemed quite himself, smoking a cigarette, of course.

He looked down at the pack, frowning at the fact he only had a few more left. He'd have to ration, but he wasn't sure how things would go after he ran out. Sighing, he shut the case, replacing it in his jacket. It was a miracle they survived getting wet, at least in his mind.

“Everyone seems in a chipper mood,” he dropped in finally. “Glad we all can have these happy chats every now and again,” his tone was of pure sarcasm.

“I wouldn't want to annoy our almighty leader,” Tyson said, offhandedly, gesturing in Jett's direction. The blonde's cool, blue eyes fixed on Tyson in a cold glare for a moment.

“You give me a headache,” the blonde replied shortly.

“And you're an ass,” Tyson replied shortly.

“Stop it,” Maia insisted, to which, both backed down. Jett silently decided that a fight would not be beneficial here, and would only lead to more problems.

“Now we're making progress,” Brian chuckled, sarcastically. Another silence fell over the group once again. At least it was peaceful silence, even if it was a bit tense. Jett seemed a bit on the arrogant side, though Maia had no way of being too sure. They hadn't talked much, but the way he came off just seemed to instill that fact. And she knew Tyson well enough to know that he didn't respond well to that type of attitude.

This group is shaping up to be a great team, Maia thought in sarcasm. The silence moved over them again. At least for a few minutes.

“Bazamon, why can't you evolve?” Huey asked suddenly, leading to a bit of surprise from the surrounding group. The bird looked over at youth, confused. He looked back at the bird, meeting his eyes with a cold, demanding glare.

“I am not sure,” Bazamon said, swiftly looking away. His voice sounded with a bit of shame.

“It's not my fault,” Huey insisted, looking back into the fire ahead. “I'm counting on you, and you still can't do it?” the younger boy's voice didn't lose any of the demand from earlier. “Everyone else has already, so why not you too?”

“I...” Bazamon started, at a loss for an explanation. “Don't believe we're ready.”

“Well, why not? You're not ready, but I am!” Huey shot, his tone becoming a bit agitated. The rest of the group opted for silence, watching the scene unfold. Though, at the rate it was going, there would have to be intervention soon. “I want you to evolve, so just do it already!” the boy snapped, standing up quickly.

“I cannot simply force myself to evolve, Huey,” Bazamon shot back, growing a bit of an irritated tone himself.

“I support you all the time, and you protect me, right? So what's stopping you?” Huey demanded, heatedly. Bazamon stared back, before the two of them broke into a glare. “Even when I was in trouble, you didn't save me. Why are you letting me down?!”

“Me, me, me,” Bazamon shot back, finally, apparently snapping. “I, I, I. Are those the only words that matter to you?” the digimon demanded.

“At least I don't go nuts when my feathers get a little crispy!” Huey returned.

“You... you don't even have feathers!” Bazamon flung his wing out at the boy. “You don't understand how hard it is to keep my body in pristine condition!”

“You don't even care about me!” Huey snarled. “All you care about is your stupid feathers!” Bazamon seemed downright offended by that remark, and wore an expression of surprise.

“And all you care about is yourself, you selfish boy!” Bazamon retorted.

“Knock it off!” Maia's voice finally cut through the argument. The two glared coldly in her direction.

“Shut up, Maia!” Huey snapped. Maia seemed taken aback by the sudden outburst, and quieted herself. ”This isn't even about you, so butt out!” Huey yelled, before turning back to Bazamon.

“See? You are so self-absorbed, you don't even realize a sensible suggestion,” Bazamon retorted coolly. “Don't you understand that everyone around you tries to look out for you? Is it not good enough for you? You need me to digivolve, too, just to make yourself feel better?” Bazamon added, scornful, waiting a moment to see what Huey would say to that. With the return of silence on the boy's end, Bazamon shook his head. “Childish.”

“I am not a child!” Huey snapped back, angrily. “I am just as grown up as everyone else here—but no one believes me! They all treat me like some helpless, little boy!”

“Perhaps because of your attitude!” Bazamon shot back. “If you wish to have the respect you deserve as a matured person, than I suggest you start showing some maturity. All you care about is yourself, and being able to show off just how competent you are—but in reality, you truly are a helpless, selfish, little brat!”

Huey seemed actually shocked by those last words, and retracted a bit. “Contrary to what you might think, not all of us Digimon will bend over backwards to keep you happy,” the bird continued his assault. “I will not subjugate myself to your every beck and call, just to keep you happy. I will not stand by, and allow you to demand such things of me. It works both ways—and if you cannot respect me as your equal, then we have no partnership.”

The bird stepped away, leaving the younger boy stunned by the words. “Perhaps when you learn to be concerned for more than just yourself, then I shall return.” With a furious flap of his wings, he took off into the air, before disappearing into the night. Huey watched in the direction the bird digimon had gone.

After a momentary silence, with his back turned to everyone, Huey spoke up. “He's gone...” he muttered, his voice almost upset. It quickly changed back to angry in a second. “W-Well, good! I knew he didn't care about me anyway!” he yelled loudly—only wishing Bazamon could hear him.

“You just proved him right,” Jett's cool voice broke through the otherwise silent gathering. Huey tensed up, but didn't turn back to him.

“Hue, let's get some rest,” Maia spoke up, a bit hesitantly, to the boy. “We'll find Bazamon tomorrow, and talk to him then,” she offered with a meek smile. Huey scoffed at her attempts.

“You baby him too much. It's sickening.” Jett replied shortly. Maia looked at him in surprise—Jett really did have no qualms about rude remarks.

“He only just turned 11,” Maia insisted. “He's too young to deal with these sort of things.”

“So teach him how to grow up,” Jett insisted.

“I'm still here—I know what you guys are saying, so knock it off!” Huey insisted. “I'm tired of everyone treating me like I'm so young and useless!” the boy snapped, angrily, fists clenched. “I don't need anyone to look out for me!” he stormed off, running near the edge of the trees, removing himself from the campsite as much as he could.

“Huey!” Maia started, attempting to get up, but Tyson held out a hand.

“Let him be,” the brunette insisted. “He does need to learn to look out for himself,” Maia looked at him as if he were grossly mistaken. He wasn't running off any further ahead, and just opted to stand as far away from the group as possible. As she decided to listen to Tyson, and sit herself back down, Huey spared a glance back. He sat himself on the ground, next to a tree. His arms folded sternly, and he showed no signs of moving.

Time passed, and Huey had eventually fallen asleep, still in the same position as earlier. Maia had just returned from bringing a blanket over to his sleeping form, seating herself back down at the fire. The digimon were asleep, for the most part. Jett, Maia, and Brian were the only three still awake. The latter of the trio was laid back, hands resting behind his head.

“So,” Brian spoke up, having been fiddling with his D-Hub. “All these digimon fields that the digivice tells us about,” he clicked another button, causing a chart to display, showing a number of familiar fields the group had come across so far, as well as a few not yet recognized. “They got this rock-paper-scissors thing going on,” Jett seemed intrigued by what Brian had said, and immediately followed his actions.

Tyson rubbed his eyes, growing tired, but felt the need to offer his opinion on the newly obtained knowledge. “Makes this place seem even more like a video game,” he chuckled. “You know, like with the magic spells, and types, you know... Oh it's Super Effective!” Tyson said mockingly, waving his arms in a silly fashion.

“I can't believe you think this is some kind of game,” Maia retorted.

“He's got a point though,” Brian said, checking over the list of Fields. “Rakumon would be a bad match against digimon in the same field as Finnmon,” the teen couldn't help but to grin a bit. Tyson huffed. “It's okay, though, Rakumon could beat up Misumon.” he added, casually.

“Doubtful,” Maia retorted. “I don't care about those little labels, water can outdo fire any time,” Tyson grumbled.

“There's more than just these that make up a digimon's effectiveness in battle,” Jett's cool voice cut through the chatter. “Like Maia said, a digimon using water would beat one against fire. Electrical types, like Weimon, would beat water-type ones.” Jett sounded quite interested in what he was reading off. No, he was fascinated. He sounded like he was actually enjoying learning this. “Logic is pretty apparent here.” he added.

“So complicated,” Tyson muttered, mockingly putting his hands to his head.

“It's a good thing. We can devise strategy like this,” Jett added in a matter-of-fact tone.

“Agreed,” Maia added. “With that, we can probably defeat the stronger digimon, like Apemon.” Brian didn't have any objection against this either.

“Alrighty, I'll leave the battle plans up to you two then,” Tyson added with a shrug. He clapped his hands behind his head, dropping into the ground below, making himself comfortable for the night. He slipped into thought for a few moments, wondering about the possibilities of what they could come up with. He didn't want to admit it aloud, but it was a cool idea. He didn't necessarily care for strategy, he was the type that took the toughest, heavy hitter possible, and used that to crush his opposition. That way, he didn't have any need for plans... He grinned at the thought, before eventually drifting off to sleep.

The night passed on quietly. There were no more disruptions, be they arguing among the group, or attacks. It was an oddly peaceful night, despite the events from earlier. Brian and Maia eventually fell asleep, but Jett remained on watch. As the night passed on, he had awoken Tyson to take over—much to the latter boy's dismay.

*** *** ***

As the next morning had come, everyone slowly awoke to the bright sunlight breaking through the trees above. Tyson grumbled, exhausted, as he stared at the dimming fire. He had been nodding off several times. He was tired—he hated standing watch. He rubbed his brown eyes as the others began to move around him. He didn't bother paying attention to the others, however, and was too busy trying to keep himself awake.

The flick of a lighter could be heard behind him. Tyson released a loud yawn, before a large splash of water fell down over his head. He yelped, feeling a sudden chill shake him awake. “G-Gah! Hey!” he snapped, glaring back up at Brian, who was smirking, holding a half-empty bottle of water in his hand, and a cigarette in his mouth.

“Rise and shine,” he added, before capping the water.

“Huey!?” Maia's nerve-racked voice seemed to shake everyone. Tyson wiped the excess water from his head, looking over to the girl, who had moved to where Huey was the night before. She seemed frantic. Tyson figured out why within a few seconds. “Where is he?!” she demanded, shooting a cold glare back at Tyson. “Weren't you supposed to be keeping watch?!”

“I, uh...” Tyson started, nervously. “I had trouble staying awake.” Maia's glare heated up a bit more, and she started over in his direction.

“What is wrong with you?!” she demanded, leading Tyson to retract. He didn't mean to lose sight of him. “Dammit, he's out there, all alone! Who knows what kind of trouble he could—“

“That's enough,” Jett cut them off, having his D-Hub out and observing the area. “Weimon, anything?”

“Afraid not,” the wolf responded, his voice coming from the D-Hub. “I have picked up his scent, however, he shouldn't be too far ahead.” Weimon had went at the moment he noticed Huey missing, and had been keeping in contact with Jett. Within a couple of minutes, he already had found his trail.

“Let's go, then,” Rakumon declared, running forward. The others wasted no more time, Jett and Brian quickly packing up, and going after them.

Maia couldn't have felt more nervous at this moment. Huey had run off, and after his actions from the day before, she was even more worried. He was trying to prove himself, in some silly way. She could understand his frustration, but how could he have been so reckless?

Tyson glanced at her with a pang of regret. He didn't intend to let this happen—hell, he didn't even expect it. Huey had always been far more concerned with himself, but Tyson would never have expected this. Why did he leave? Was it to seek out Bazamon? Or was it to prove himself...? Dammit, Huey, you can be a real pain sometimes, ya know?

*** *** *** ***

Huey released a light sneeze, sniffling afterward. Where did that come from? He thought. The younger boy continued walking ahead, having reached the end of the forest. He had left about an hour ago, and managed to sneak off while Tyson was dozing off. The boy looked ahead, seeing a deep ravine stretching out for some distance. It was deep, and the grass became less dense as it continued, before completely disappearing at the large gap in the land.

“See?” he spoke to himself. “I knew I could get here, on my own. I don't need anyone looking out for me,” he muttered, glaring back in the direction of the others he had left behind. His gaze shifted back out across the ravine. “I don't even need Bazamon. I can do this all on my own.” His eyes fixated briefly on the gaping hole on the opposite side of the canyon, it must have been a cave of some sort, but it was far off the ground.

The wind blew calmly past him as he stared ahead with a determined glance. Now all he had to do was find a way across. He looked around, and lit up. He ran to the side of the ravine, eyes fixated on a gaping land-bridge. It was like something he'd seen in the movies: roped across the large canyon, complete with some old-looking planks. It looked sturdy enough.

He took a step forward, carefully. It rocked very slightly, but seemed to stay in place. He took another step forward. I can do this on my own! I'm tired of everyone treating me like I'm helpless... I don't need Maia or Bazamon, or any of them! He started forward with renewed vigor at his thoughts.

“Huey!” The sandy-haired boy glanced back with a bit of surprise at the familiar voice. A blue wolf creature had emerged from the trees, bearing that familiar, dark-green scarf of his. Weimon. “Why have you run off? The others are worried,” he spoke calmly.

“Go away!” Huey snapped, a few feet out on the rope bridge. “I don't need anyone to look out for me, I can do this myself!” Weimon scoffed, folding his arms as he approached the bridge.

“What will you do if you are approached by a digimon?” the wolf asked, retaining a surprising calm. Huey seemed to lock up at that question, but shook it off, and continued forward.

“I'll fight it off, myself!” Weimon deadpanned a bit at that blatant lie. Even he could tell Huey was hardly convinced by his own reply.

“What do you hope to gain, by running off by yourself?” he questioned. Huey paused, remaining silent for a few moments, his head hung low.

“I have to grow up on my own, right?” he replied lowly. “I'm tired of having to rely on everyone—being babied by all of them. I know I can do this!” Weimon stared in silence as he continued. “Haven't you ever wanted to prove yourself?!” Huey shot back suddenly, showing a determined expression as he locked eyes with Weimon. The wolf, with his arms still crossed, shook his head. Though, he did have a small smile across his muzzle.

“Every day,” he admitted. “We all want to prove ourselves at some point.” Huey donned a surprised face as he stared back at the wolf. “However, there's a fine line between proving yourself, and doing something foolish to try and show off... Running away, making everyone worry about you, being impatient and reckless?” the wolf continued as Huey stared. “That's not the way to do it.”

Huey's lips pursed tightly together as a strong silence came between them. The only thing to be heard was the calm wind blowing through the trees. After a long moment Weimon stretched out his paw. “Come on, let's go back. Then, we'll find Bazamon.” Huey gave a light nod, and started back the way he came.

“Huey!” a distant call could be heard, leading both to look over. Emerging from the forested area, Maia could be seen, with the others not far behind. She looked incredibly relieved upon seeing Huey. The siblings' expressions locked, leading Huey to look away quickly.

He wasn't sure why, but he could feel this overwhelming dread. Was it regret...? Weimon's ear suddenly twitched, and his eyes widened.

A sudden, strong burst of wind came from their side—the bridge rocked dangerously, as Huey was still trying to make his way back. Huey's arm went over his face in attempts to guard himself from whatever had flown by. Furious wings beat ahead of them, leading Huey to stare in fear at what was now on the other side of the bridge.

A giant, blue and yellow bird. “Huey, get back here, now!” Weimon demanded, starting forward. The rest of the group wasn't far behind in following after him. The giant bird released a loud caw, managing to deafen them. His large, lightning-shaped claws struck out against the bridge.

Huey screamed as the bridge was broken apart. The planks and ropes fell from beneath the boy, and he fell downwards. The bird's claw gripped around the rope bridge, and below, Huey's hands quickly snatched onto a piece of the rope, hanging on for dear life. Weimon barely managed to get himself back to the solid ground.

The bird shot off into the sky above, Huey hanging on the opposite end of the now-broken bridge. He released another scream. He could hear the distant calls of his name from below. “What will you do if you are approached by a digimon?” Weimon's words rang through his mind as he suddenly realized something.

He couldn't do a damn thing against a digimon!

A low chuckle came from Thunderbimon. “This is what you get for crossing into my territory, human!”

Huey's teeth grit tightly together as he held on. He could feel small tears of fear forming at the corner of his eyes.

Far below, the group stared on in helplessness. “Rakumon, can't you fly up there?” Tyson asked the digimon, who glanced back at him. Tyson had a rare, serious expression on his face. “I know you can do it!” Tyson declared, fists tightened.

“I'll do my best,” he ran forward as Tyson held out his D-Hub. The dragon was surrounded in a red glow, and he jumped upward.

010101010101010101010101010101010101

“Rakumon... digivolve to...!”

“Drakemon!”

010101010101010101010101010101010101

From the light, the larger dragon emerged, flapping his wings furiously. The previous jump had given him a bit of air, allowing him to gain more with each flap. He was not, by any means, skilled at flight. His heavy body had already made it difficult to continue upward—however he was determined.

I've got to reach him...! The dragon thought strongly, beating his wings again. His form ascended towards the large bird, and he welled up fire within his mouth. “Let him go!” he demanded, gathering the bird's attention. Huey too looked in his direction, and the dragon released a stream of fire.

The large bird easily avoided the blast, flying to the side as it shot past. Drakemon tried again, but the attack missed. He couldn't keep up with this bird's speed in the air. “Spark Wing!” the bird called, spreading his wings to the side. A furious rain of electrified feathers flew into Drakemon. The dragon roared in pain as the electrical shock coursed through his body. “Pathetic.” the bird snarled.

“Drakemon!” Huey called in pure fear as he watched the powerful dragon fall towards the ground helplessly.

“Thunderbirmon,” Brian read off from his digivice. “Champion level, from the Metal Empire Field,” his teeth grit as he realized something, thanks to the added information given from the D-Hub.

“Drakemon's weakness,” Jett spoke, gathering glances from the other boys and the digimon. Tyson bit his lip, understanding the need for tactics... but how the hell were they supposed to figure out a way to take down an enemy without any way to reach him?

Finnmon grumbled, glowering towards the bird. “We can't reach him,” the green digimon muttered lowly.

“We have to do something!” Maia snapped, panic evident in her voice. Her eyes widened as the bird began to fly towards them murderously. Thunderbirmon's arms flapped ferociously, static collecting around them. Its attack was being aimed right towards the group on the ground.

“Thunderstorm!” There would be no getting out of the way in time to avoid this attack. Finnmon and Misumon shot forward, the latter drawing in a breath. Weimon and the humans ducked downward at their order.

“Sprinkler Jet!” she shouted, shooting the water forward. Finnmon simply leaped into the air. In the blink of an eye, the electric waves went for Finnmon's mask—as well as Misumon's spray of water. The conductivity of both was enough to draw the lightning to themselves, leading them both to cry out in pain from the resounding shocks.

Their burnt bodies hit the ground. Brian moved forward to Finnmon's side, but Maia had stayed at her knees. Her fists were tightened helplessly. Huey was in the clutches of something they couldn't even fight—and Misumon had taken serious damage from that attack. The girl's teeth grit together tightly. What could they do?!

Electricity flew dangerously off the bird as he hovered above them—Huey was too far above the ground to land without breaking his leg, or even his neck. Maia quickly got to her feet, taking in a deep breath. “I have to help him!” she snapped, starting forward.

In a surprising move, Jett grabbed tightly onto her arm, pulling her back. Sparks of lightning fell against the ground as the bird released another caw. Maia looked at Jett in shock. “What do you think you're doing?” she demanded, harshly, trying to break free of his grasp.

 

“Do you really think it's smart to get yourself electrocuted?” Jett returned coolly. Maia stopped resisting as he said that. “We have to count on the digimon,” the blonde male added.

“Misumon, Finnmon, and Rakumon are already out—Weimon can't reach him,” Brian interjected. “So what exactly is your plan, mister genius?”

Jett remained silent at that question. What would they do here? No matter what sort of genius idea they could come up with, they wouldn't be able to approach. The Thunderbirmon had left a trail of electrical energy almost entirely around him. None of them could get into range. Perhaps they could try for a catapult maneuver, but even than, the chances of that actually working were slim to none.

“The only chance we have,” Jett said under his breath.

“Bazamon,” Tyson added. There was no sign of the digimon, however. He had left... Come on, Drakemon, can't you get up? Tyson looked in his partner's direction, his face fixated into a frown. It was like with Golemon... he didn't stand a chance on his own.

Maia stared up at Thunderbirmon, with Huey barely hanging onto what remained of the rope bridge. They had no way of helping him... He was literally stuck. All of them were. Maia bit her lower lip, wishing desperately for some way to help him.

The Thunderbirmon flapped his wings, flying up further into the air. Huey stared up with fear. How could he possibly escape this? How could the others win? His eyes fixated on Drakemon, lying injured on the ground. Misumon and Finnmon too had been injured... Weimon had no way of reaching him. The boy's eyes tightened, tears stinging at their corners.

I really am totally helpless... Huey said in thought, feeling regret at his earlier words. And selfish! If I didn't run off like this... He sniffled, teeth tightening together. If I didn't make Bazamon leave... he might've been able to help them. His teeth gritted together more tightly. His knuckles grew white as his grip on the rope tightened. The bird was still going higher, and higher. I didn't want this to happen—It's all my fault. I'm sorry, Bazamon... his thoughts rang loudly as he choked slightly, due to the tears now falling down the side of his face.

BAZAMON!” He released a desperate cry, as loudly as he could.

Thunderbirmon released a loud growl, “Silence yourself, boy! No one will save you now.”

“Release him, immediately!” a distant voice rang out, leading Huey's eyes to open suddenly. The surprised expression fixated on the being ahead of him, as his eyes still burned with tears. Fire welled up around a familiar, brown bird's wings, igniting multiple, colorful feathers in an orange blaze. The bird's sky-blue eyes locked with the larger, thunder bird's, who showed no signs of following his order.

“B-Bazamon?” Huey was in shock. The rest of the group, below, mimicked that expression. Tyson, however, was grinning.

“Feather Fire!” Bazamon shouted, spreading his wings apart. A series of feathers shot off, ignited with fire, pelting against Thunderbirmon. The larger digimon released a cry of irritation, as his grip was forcibly loosened. Bazamon shot forward, ignoring the now torched feathers all along his wings. Huey screamed out as he fell downward.

In the blink of an eye, Bazamon's feet clutched against Huey's hooded sweater. The boy quickly grabbed onto his partner's feet, and the two of them paused briefly. Bazamon struggled to keep himself in the air, but the weight of Huey was just too much for him. The two of them plummeted.

“Bazamon!” Huey cried, closing his eyes in feeble attempts to mask his fear of the two falling. “I-I'm so sorry!” the boy choked out, his grip tightening briefly around the bird's leg. His other hand brushed against the D-Hub at his belt, before he finally realized just what he would do. Bazamon couldn't carry them both... His expression turned determined in a moment as he realized something... Bazamon cared about him—he even sacrificed his feathers, which he held so dearly, just to help him. To Huey, that was proof enough. He had to repay the favor.

His hand then suddenly released. The bird yelped in surprise, suddenly taking to the air easily without Huey's added weight.

The bird's eyes widened as he looked downward. Releasing yourself to save me...? The bird's beak shifted into a grimace, and his eyes to a determined glare. He shot downward in a blitz. It was the most selfless act he had ever witnessed from this boy. He wasn't about to let him die like that!

“Huey!” he declared, shooting downward in a sudden blitz of speed.

A soft glow broke out from the yellow device at Huey's belt. The boy seemed to realize this, grasping it as he fell. His eyes widened as orange-colored sparks tingled across his hand and the device. It released a brilliant glow, which Huey immediately aimed upward at the bird. “Bazamon!”

“I will protect you!” Bazamon shouted, feeling the glow suddenly surround him.

010101010101010101010101010101010101

“Bazamon... digivolve to!”

Bazamon's body began to break apart, revealing a yellow lining beneath his form. That form was covered in a bright, orange-yellow glow, which grew rapidly in size. His body began to form beneath the light, revealing a lighter tan than before. His feet, now complete with larger, more bird-like claws emerged. Wings began to break free, revealing full, thickly covered feathers, which also came from his tail. The feathers were no longer of simply tropical colors, but now, considered of the full color spectrum—like a rainbow.

The bird released a loud caw as a golden chain wrapped around his neck and body, loosely, and his wings spread apart widely.

“Ozelumon!”

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In the blink of an eye—Ozelumon shot downward, before spreading his wings. The sudden updraft pushed him upwards, allowing Huey to land safely against his soft, feathered back. The boy gasped, realizing that Ozelumon had just barely managed to save him. With a second flap of his large wings, the bird took to the skies once again.

Huey stared down at the larger bird now beneath him, only for the digimon to spare a glance back at him. The two fixated their eyes upon each other in a tense silence. Ozelumon allowed a simple smile to cross his beak. Huey sniffed, and his mouth curved into a tremble. He buried his face into the bird's back with a tight squeeze. “Thank you, Bazamon.” he muttered, his choked up voice muffled by tears and feathers.

“Oho? You've evolved, I see,” the Thunderbirmon replied in mock praise. “Do you truly believe you can withstand my power over storms?” he demanded.

 

“Shut up, you over-sized turkey!” Huey declared, quickly wiping his eyes, showing a quick recovery. “Ozelumon can totally kick your butt!”

From below, the rest of the group stared at the two birds in the air. “Awesome!” Tyson declared, pumping a fist into the air. “I knew he could do it,” he beamed. An injured Rakumon stumbled over to the brunette's side, also staring at the scene above. He grinned in approval, before setting himself down on the ground. Brian seemed moderately impressed, folding his arms as he looked upward. Jett didn't seem to care either way. Weimon and Finnmon shared similar expressions, and Misumon moved over to Maia. Thankfully, the digimon all seemed well.

The blonde girl's gaze hadn't shifted once from the events above. The beaver carefully placed her tiny paw against Maia's pant-leg, as she was still locked in place. Her head lowered slightly, her eyes masked beneath her hair. It was difficult to tell exactly what expression was on her face.

The two birds had immediately began flying at each other. They both proved incredibly nimble, able to dodge each others claw and beak attacks. Ozelumon swiftly moved to the side of the next attack, only for Thunderbirmon to lower himself immediately. His wings spread out, “Spark Wing!” a sudden barrage of electrified feathers shot towards Ozelumon.

Huey held onto his partner's feathers tightly. He wasn't scared—not any more. Bazamon had evolved, and now, Huey had full faith that the bird would protect the both of them—and his friends.

Ozelumon seemed to recognize the boy's feelings. His jaw suddenly opened, and he drew in a deep breath. A greenish-colored aura began to swirl in his throat. “Aero Blast!” A stream of powerful wind energy shot forward. The electrified feathers were swallowed up, before the wind energy struck strongly against Thunderbirmon. The digimon was driven back, releasing a shout of pain.

“Thunderstorm!” The bird digimon suddenly replied violently, spreading his wings. Waves of lightning energy burst forth, leading Ozelumon to scoff. Thunderbirmon was going into an all-out offensive.

“Your foolish rampage will do you in!” The digimon declared as he shot back, and began to fly at incredible speeds in a counter-clockwise motion. His speed seemed to pick up as he continued, before his rainbow-colored feathers were surrounded in white energy. Huey pressed himself against the bird's back, tightly, feeling the powerful winds rush over top of him.

The thunder waves had missed him, entirely, flying uselessly past him. Bazamon is so strong now... I know that he can beat this guy! “Go, Ozelumon!” Huey shouted, giving his partner his full support. Ozelumon's speed picked up in his counter-clockwise motion, generating a vortex of wind energy.

“Sonic Streak!”

The winds suddenly whipped to life, creating a powerful tornado-like structure around Thunderbirmon. The enemy digimon wasn't able to keep up with Ozelumon's high speed. The winds grew violent around him, before moving inward. The bird digimon screamed in pain as the sharp winds began to tear at his form relentlessly.

Ozelumon suddenly flew away, giving a flap of his wings to slow himself down. He and Huey watched as the super, sharp winds tore Thunderbirmon apart. In a matter of seconds, a large vortex subsided, revealing a lingering cloud of data left in its wake. With the click of a button, Huey drew the data into his D-Hub.

“Ozelumon... you're so freakin' cool,” Huey added happily, beaming, as he patted the bird on the back.

“I must admit, I am quite fond of this form,” the bird replied, before slowly descending towards the ground below. Ozelumon received no shortage of praise from both the digimon, and Tyson, upon his landing. He lowered his head, letting Huey climb down. Maia hadn't run towards them, and seemed rooted in her earlier spot.

Tyson put a hand atop his head, rustling the younger boy's hair. “You're pretty lucky that Bazamon showed up when he did,” the teen added with a dopey grin. “But you should go talk to Maia—she was really worried,” he added quietly. Huey glanced over at his sister, donning a small frown.

He wasn't sure he could really get mad at her for worrying—after all, even he realized what he did was stupidly reckless. And to make matters worse, he had charged off for selfish reasons. He was completely reckless just for himself—he wasn't protecting anyone... he had no good intentions.

The boy drew in a breath before moving towards his older sister. He stopped a few inches before her, looking down. She didn't look up, and seemed to be completely locked in place. Huey bit his lip slightly, “Maia, I'm sorry,” he muttered quietly.

Her arms suddenly shot out, grabbing against Huey, pulling him into a tight hug. The embrace lasted for a long moment, before she released him. Her stern gaze met with his own as she lowered herself down a few inches to his level, and he could see traces of tears at the corner of her eyes—her expression was serious, almost angry.

“Don't you ever do something so reckless again!” she snapped suddenly, gaining a bit of surprise from everyone. The blonde girl stood up, before her hands clapped against Huey's shoulders. “Running off on your own like that?! It doesn't matter how old you are—how mature you think you are—you almost died!” she continued, leading Huey to look away in a mix of shame of annoyance.

“What would you have done if Bazamon hadn't come?!” she demanded, fear and worry clearly a large part of her anger at the moment.

“But he did come!” Huey shot back. The siblings' eyes locked for a tense moment. “That's why the digimon are here—to protect us. So you don't have to worry so much, alright?” The silence took them over again, as Maia's grip tightened upon her brother's shoulders.

Maia released her hands from them, before turning her back to him. “Just please, be careful,” she spoke quietly. Huey only nodded, before rejoining the others. Maia's arms folded against each other, and she stood in silence for several moments. The expression on her face was unreadable.

“Humans are strange,” Finnmon muttered, earning a nod of agreement from Rakumon, who stood at his side.

“So...” Tyson started up, rubbing his chin slightly, glancing over at Ozelumon who towered at his side. A sly smirk crossed his face.

“Can I help you?” the digimon asked.

“Oho!” Brian grinned, realizing what Tyson was grinning about. He slung an arm over the other boy's shoulder, bearing a bright grin as he looked at the bird. “I think it's a great idea!”

“It would be effective,” Jett muttered, arms folded, looking up at the bird. Ozelumon felt a suspicion towards all of them as they stared at him.

“What?” he demanded.

“Ozelumon, you could fly us to the mountain, right?” Huey said, excitedly, clapping his hands together as he and Maia joined the rest of the group. The other boys(aside from Jett), grinned, revealing similar thoughts to the younger boy. The digimon sighed, fearing the worst was yet to come for him. How often would they abuse his large size and wings for transport?

“Just this once,” the bird insisted, lowering himself.

“That's what he thinks,” Tyson grinned evilly, exchanging glances with Rakumon. Everyone began climbing up to the bird’s back, leaving only Maia and Tyson remaining.

“Quickly now,” the digimon insisted. Tyson seemed excited.

“Wait,” Maia said, leading Tyson to glance at her with confusion. “Aren't you afraid of heights?” the girl looked at Tyson, who seemingly froze up at the thought. Ozelumon would carry them far off the ground, high in the air. Tyson tensed up, hugging himself, with a slight bit of fear on his face.

“Oh man, why did I even think of this stupid idea?!” he demanded from himself, swiveling in place.

He shook his head, clasping his fists dramatically together, before very slowly climbing up. Maia shook her head as he did so, patiently waiting for him to get himself situated. The girl glanced back out at the ravine behind them, feeling the gentle breeze blow through her hair.

Each battle they came to seemed more frightening than the last. Her worry was increasing—it was more than dangerous here. Huey could have easily been killed by the incident, but Bazamon had protected him—just barely. Misumon had barely protected her—and it was sure to repeat as time went on. She may have been easily worried, but she felt it was well-founded here.

What other sort of dangers would they encounter? And could the digimon really keep them safe? This wasn't her being harsh towards them—she did now trust them... however, she didn't know just how far they could go to protect them...

She was scared about what was yet to come...

To Be Continued...