Valerie paced back and forth, finishing her soda. "Damn, what is taking Faye so long?" she asked herself. A strange voice answered, "She is no longer with us."
"What do you mean?" Valerie asked, not yet looking in the voice's direction.
"She's in the digital world," the voice replied. "Unfortunately, I fell out of the portal, and now I'm stuck here."
"Oh," Valerie responded, seemingly unfazed, as if she weren't paying attention to what the voice was telling her.
Valerie finally turned to look at the stranger, a yellow cat's head with a tail. She jumped, backing away from it. "Gah!" she shouted. "Who---and most importantly, *what* the fuck are you?! A...cat head? I can understand lettuce heads, but CAT heads?! Please tell me I'm hallucinating!"
"Nyaromon," the stranger said. "And relax, you're not hallucinating."
"Right...And what are you going to tell me next? You want me to burn things?"
"I'm serious," Nyaromon sternly replied. "I'm your digimon. You're my tamer."
"I don't get it," Valerie said. She noticed a glowing device on the ground. She picked it up.
"Ah, that is your digivice. You need it."
Valerie nodded, examining the digivice. "I still don't understand. What exactly is a digimon and a digivice? Can others see you? I mean, at least I would blend in with the rest of this town's crazy people if they can't, but how would I even explain--"
"Slow down!" Nyaromon yelled, bouncing several times. She stopped and cleared her throat before continuing, "A digivice is a device that links a tamer to their digimon. It's what helps us evolve. You can also communicate and track other tamers with it, as long as they're within range. I'm not sure if I'd be visible to anyone else. Luckily, it's just us two right here. And as for what a digimon is? We're basically...well, 'monsters' that live on a world parallel to yours. Though don't call us 'monsters'. We prefer 'digimon'."
"Ah," Valerie said, "Hence, the 'digital world' thing."
"Exactly." Nyaromon made a nodding motion. "And we have to somehow get back there."
"How do we do that?"
"I don't know. You hold the key."
"Thanks, Madonna," Valerie rolled her eyes. She looked at her digivice, pressing a few buttons. As soon as Valerie pressed the button marked with a triangle, Nyaromon glowed and her form changed to that of a small white puppy with floppy ears and a gold ring around its neck. "Nyaromon evolving to....Salamon!" she called out. Valerie glanced at Salamon. "And now...you're a dog," she stated, bemused. "Where's the logic in that?"
"Forget logic, Valerie," Salamon replied. "For you, logic went out the window the moment I arrived here. Digimon can have many different forms when evolving."
"Alright, whatever. Anyway, I remember you saying you had fallen out of a portal. Maybe we could start there?"
"Sounds like a good idea," Salamon nodded. "Follow me."
* * *
Faye awoke to the sound of a phone ringing, finding herself back in her bedroom. "Huh?" she asked, glancing at the walls and various posters on them. "Was that all a dream?" She walked to the phone and picked it up. "Hello?" she answered groggily.
"Hello, is Faye there?" a male voice on the other end asked.
"This is she..."
"Hello, Faye. I am so sorry to wake you up so early on your first day of summer vacation, but it has come to my attention that you had missed the mandatory assembly yesterday. Since you missed it, you must help clean the school, including scrubbing the bathrooms."
"Who the deuce are you?" Faye demanded. "Is this a prank call?"
"I am Principal Crowley, and I assure you, this is not a joke."
"But I don't want to do toilet detailing!" Faye cried.
"Don't worry," the voice sneered. "You will be joining your friends, Robert and Valerie."
"What? Valerie missed it, too?"
"Yeah, her poor excuse was that she was high or something."
"No!" I can't do it! I'm allergic to---" As she was protesting, she woke up once again on the floor in the house where she and her two friends were sleeping. "---crap!" She sat up, looking at her surroundings. "Oh," she said. "THAT was a dream."
Jess stirred from her sleep, looking at Faye. "Faye? Are you alright?" she asked.
"Yeah, I just had a bad dream about missing a mandatory assembly at school."
"That's it? It can't be that bad. I mean, I'm sure they'd understand that you couldn't attend."
"I don't think they'd accept this as an excuse," Faye said. "Bob skipped school to avoid a test once. He said he was abducted by aliens. So this digimon thing's not going to fly with them."
Bob slowly sat up upon hearing his name, having been awake minutes before Faye woke up from her dream. "That was an algebra test," he said. "And it's not my fault the teacher fell for it."
"Yeah? Well, it will be your fault they won't believe this truth!" Faye snapped at him.
"Not much you can do now. Besides, when we get back, we'll likely have evidence."
Faye stood up, stretching. "I guess you're right," she sighed. "Hopefully they would accept whatever we have. I don't want to be stuck on bathroom detail."
Jess shrugged, standing up as well. "We have more important matters to worry about than scrubbing toilets, Faye. You know, saving the world?"
Faye mumbled, "Yeah, yeah." As she was speaking, two Gomamon entered the room. "Ah, you're awake," one of the digimon said. "Come outside and have breakfast with us. We have some things to discuss. I'm sure you have some questions, and we will answer as best as we can."
Faye, Bob, and Jess nodded and followed the Gomamon outside with their digimon. They sat in front of a blanket with various types of fish, fruits, and bowls of rice. The three humans opted for plates of fruit and rice while their digimon, with the exception of Betamon, ate some of the fish.
"So who is Deemon, anyway?" Jess asked. "We only saw him once, and that was just an illusion."
One of the Gomamon answered, "He is the evil digimon that had been attacking this region for the past couple weeks. We haven't seen much of him, either, just his henchmen. But they, like him, don't seem to be very competent."
Another Gomamon spoke, "Other areas have been attacked, and fallen, and he claims credit for that. We highly doubt he's responsible. According to our sources, there's someone far worse than he is. And I am not talking about incompetence."
"There is someone other than Deemon who's attacking this world as well?" Faye groaned. "Damn it!"
"That's what it seems."
"What's their motive? What would they gain from ruling the world?" Jess asked.
"All I know is that it's bad enough that you three have been summoned to stop them."
"And who summoned us?" Faye demanded. "Also, why us?"
"I can't say for sure." The Gomamon shook its head. "Fate, maybe? You were destined to meet your digimon at one point or another, to help them grow strong and defeat this enemy that threatens the digital world."
"By grow strong, you mean evolve, right? Mine hasn't even done that yet!"
"In time, she will. You can't rush these things."
"Time?! Whatever," Faye said. "I'm going for a walk." She stood up and started walking out of the village and into the forest. Konekomon followed, calling to her. "Wait!"
Jess and Bob looked to each other. "Shouldn't we go after her?" Jess asked. Bob shook his head. "If she doesn't come back soon, then we can. For now, Konekomon can look after her."
"Are you sure?"
"I've known her long enough to know that when she gets upset like that, it is best to let her cool off."
"Alright," Jess nodded. "If you say so."
* * *
Deemon leaned back in his chair, watching his monitors. He glanced at the screen to his left. "Ah, so now she's wandering on her own," he said, tenting his fingers. "Excellent. Now we just need to get someone who's not an utter failure out there." He pressed a button on the control panel and leaned close to the microphone. "Hey you!"
A nasal voice responded, "Yes, master."
"Send out a good digimon to attack the girl with the cat."
"Good as in..."
"Good as in not going to get beat up by a CAT," Deemon yelled. "Not like the one that got beat up by a dolphin or bird. Someone who doesn't SUCK. Here's an idea, maybe have them steal her digivice?"
"Right away, master."
"And one more thing. If they fail, you are getting demoted to janitorial duties. Capisce?"
* * *
Konekomon continued to follow Faye in the forest. "Faye," she said. "Are you upset because I haven't evolved yet? If you haven't noticed, Hawkmon and Betamon evolved because their partner was in immediate danger."
"What do you think I'm going for?" Faye asked.
"Why are you in a hurry to see me evolve?"
"So we can hurry up and kick Deemon's ass, then whosever else's ass that needs kicking, so we can get back home!"
"Are you back on the going home deal? I thought you liked being here." Konekomon's ears lowered.
"I do, but..."
"But?" Konekomon asked. "But what?"
Before Faye could answer, a tall digimon resembling a teddy bear walked up to the two. "You look like you could use a hug," it said. Faye stepped back, looking at the digimon. "What the hell is this creepy thing?" she asked, taking out her digivice to identify the bear. As she read the name "Monzaemon" on the screen, the digimon punched the digivice, knocking it out of her hand. "Hey!" she shouted. "What the hell?"
"Oh, I'm sorry," Monzaemon said. "Let me pick that up for you."
Konekomon growled. "As if! You're one of Deemon's cronies!" She jumped to grab Faye's digivice. Monzaemon glanced at her. "It seems you've figured me out." He kicked Konekomon away from the digivice and picked it up.
"Hey!" Faye yelled. "Give it back!" Monzaemon spread out his arms, as if he were about to give a hug. "Lovely attack!" he called out in an almost sing-song voice. Heart shaped bubbles flew out, one of them engulfing Faye. "No!" she started giggling. "Let me out, give me my digivice!" Faye called out to Monzaemon, who ran deeper into the forest. "You thief!" she laughed uncontrollably. "This isn't funny, damn it, but why do I feel so good?"
* * *
Valerie and Salamon walked a mile on the trail in the park, and stopped near a hot dog that was on the ground. Salamon looked at it and nodded. "This is just about where I had landed." Valerie looked at her digivice, which started glowing. "My digivice is reacting, I wonder if it means something."
"Try pressing one of the buttons," Salamon suggested.
Valerie pressed a button, but nothing seemed to happen. She looked at the screen and pressed a few more buttons until finally a force compelled to hold the digivice in front of her with the screen facing outward. A rift appeared in front of the pair. "This is it," Salamon said. "Follow me." She walked into the portal, with Valerie reluctantly following behind.
Valerie and Salamon ended up in a forest. Before Valerie could get a good look at the scenery, she heard a voice yelling in her direction, getting closer to her.
"Stop, thief!" Faye yelled, running with Konekomon. She stopped as soon as she saw Valerie. "Valerie?!"
"Faye!" Valerie cried, hugging Faye. "I was wondering what was taking you so long to find Bob."
"I ended up here, and so did Bob. We have to defeat two evil digimon before we can go home."
"I've heard." Valerie nodded. "Salamon explained it to me."
"And my digivice got stolen by a teddy bear."
"That scumbag! I'm sure we'll get it back."
"Yeah, I hope so," Faye sighed. "Anyway, we should get back to the village. They're probably worried about us."
"Yeah, a village of Gomamon. They invited us to stay there when they heard we were sleeping in a cave."
"That's nice of them." Valerie and Faye started to walk back toward the Gomamon's village, followed by their digimon. While they were walking, Faye continued to explain the events that transpired in Valerie's absence.
As they reached the lake, the sky began to darken. Purple lightning struck the ground in front of the four. They jumped back to see a purple Raidramon landing in front of them. "So, it is true," she spoke. "There are humans here."
Faye reached for her belt, where her digivice would usually be clipped, before remembering that her digivice had been stolen. "Damn," she grumbled, shaking her head. "Stupid teddy bear." She looked at the Raidramon. "Who are you?" she demanded.
The Raidramon laughed softly, swaying her tail back and forth. "What, missing that toy you depend on to survive here?" she sneered. "It doesn't matter, it won't be able to identify me. My name is BlackLighdramon. You can think of me as an observer. Though right now, I'd like to see what you're capable of."
"You're allies with Deemon, aren't you?" Faye asked.
"Deemon?" BlackLighdramon scoffed. "Yes, I do know him. He was placed in charge of this small region. He doesn't seem to be doing a very good job. I assume it's because of you kids?"
"Then, let's see what you've got!" Purple lightning sparked between the protusions on BlackLighdramon's back, before striking out at Faye. Konekomon pushed Faye out of its path, taking the hit herself. "Gahh!" Konekomon yowled.
"Konekomon!" Faye cried. "Dammit, what were you thinking?"
"I'm...fine!" Konekomon growled, standing up and facing BlackLighdramon. Salamon ran next to Konekomon. "Are you nuts?" she asked. "She looks too strong to handle in this form."
Faye looked to Valerie. "Valerie, send a distress call to Bob and Jess. Their digimon can evolve."
Valerie nodded. "Right." She pressed a few buttons to send the signal to the other two children. While they waited, Valerie asked Salamon, "What about you, are you able to evolve?"
Salamon looked back at Valerie. "I could, and I know I need to," she answered. Before she could continue, BlackLighdramon sent another lightning attack at the two digimon, knocking them backward toward their respective chosen children. Konekomon collapsed in front of Faye, devolving to Ogyamon, and falling unconscious.
"Useless," BlackLighdramon sneered, walking toward Faye and Ogyamon. Salamon growled, standing back up. "Hey, you!" she shook her head, and glared at BlackLighdramon. "How about picking on someone who could actually fight?"
BlackLighdramon's ears perked as she looked at Salamon. "You think you can take ME on?" she laughed. "Bring it, puppy girl." Valerie glanced at Faye and Ogyamon, before looking at Salamon, then BlackLighdramon. Her attention moved to her digivice as she frantically started to press the buttons on it. "Come on, one of these has got to make you evolve!" When she pressed the button with the square shaped marking, Salamon glowed with a bright white light.
"Salamon!" she called out, as her form changed to that of a cat. "Evolving to...Gatomon!"
"It worked!" Valerie laughed, relieved. "Now we can kick your ass!"
"Go ahead and try," BlackLighdramon grinned. As she spoke, Bob and Jess ran in with their digimon. They both pressed the appropriate buttons on their digivices to evolve their digimon.
"Impressive," BlackLighdramon sarcastically said. Jess nodded, looking at her. "Damn right it's impressive," she replied. "And you will find that you're outnumbered and surrounded."
"Numbers mean nothing to me. Let's see what you're capable of."
"You heard her!" Bob called to Dolphmon. "Let's have her join Seadramon!" Dolphmon nodded and kicked at BlackLighdramon with his tail, knocking her into the lake. He dove in after her, but before he could perform his next attack, BlackLighdramon discharged purple electricity through the lake. Dolphmon was sent flying out, landing on the ground by Bob, and devolved to Betamon before losing consciousness. "What?" Bob exclaimed. "No!"
"Enough of this!" BlackLighdramon jumped out of the lake. "I'm already bored with you!" Purple lightning discharged from the protrusions on her back at the remaining evolved digimon, reverting them to their previous forms, and knocking them unconscious. "It is pathetic that Deemon was bested by the likes of you. I'll be having a word with him later. For now, I will let you live." With a flash of purple lightning, she disappeared.
The four humans knelt by their respective digimon. "We should head back to the village," Jess finally spoke, slowly shaking her head and gently picking up Hawkmon. "Recover, and figure out what to do from here." The other three nodded, holding their unconscious digimon in their arms, and followed Jess to the village.