Episode 14:

“Dani's Crest of Melody”


Jennifer Morton,

Shelli-Jo Pelletier


Skye Galbraith


* * *

~~~ Nerimon's P.O.V. ~~~

OK Digi-fans, here's what happened in the last action-packed episode for those of you that can't remember! Jenn, Alex, Foxi and I all got stranded on some snowy place we'd never seen before! Well, at first we didn't see Jenn and Foxi but we heard her scream and found her surrounded by Frigimon! Seemed like they'd been possessed or something . . . anyways I was kicking butt in my Champion form, but Foxi and Jenn had both passed out and we needed to protect them from the snow. With that we found shelter, and under the loving care of myself and my partner Alex we nursed them back to health! Alex and Jenn received their Crests and I just can't wait to find out what my next digivolution is gonna be. First of all though, we have to find the rest of our friends. I just hope they haven't run into any trouble. . . .

* * *

"Egads!" A small lizard-like Digimon dropped the berries and seeds he had been carrying when he noticed a larger, lifeless creature lying beached in front of him on the ocean shore. Beside it was a smaller creature, which the lizard (formally known as a Gekomon) recognized immediately as an In-Training Digimon. The little Gekomon stood trembling at the sight.

All he could really make of this unknown creature was short, tangled blonde hair, covered in mud. One white-sleeved arm was stretched out on the sand, and the other bent around her forehead, completely covering her face. He couldn't see if the creature had legs or not since they were almost completely buried under the sand.

The Gekomon began to turn around and run the other way, screaming, when in the process his legs became caught on a thick piece of string. The Gekomon struggled and cried in a pitiful show of melodrama as the string wrapped around his legs tighter and tighter until they were both pinned together and he could no longer keep his balance.

After spitting the sand out of his mouth, he lifted his head to see that the string was actually attached to a gold tag. He dug it out of the sand and quietly examined its shiny surface.

Putting two and two together, a thought suddenly struck the Digimon. "The prophecy!" he gasped. Could this creature be one of the Digidestined children? The Guardian of Melody? He began to ponder.

“Oh! I'd better get help!" the Lizard realized, snapping out of his train of thought. If this really was the human that was meant to save them, then he wasn't about to risk leaving her there to be someone's digi-dinner. And with that final thought, he raced back to his village to let the others know of his discovery.

* * *

Lexxy still couldn’t believe it. One minute she thought for certain this was the end, and then suddenly she felt something under her legs and lifting her up through the water! As she broke the surface she took a deep breath and looked around. She was riding on a bright pink dolphin, who looked back at her with a round blue eye. Lexxy recognized her instantly. It was Niji, a Bowmon that she had invented!

“Are you okay?” squeaked the dolphin Digimon. “Good thing my pod was here to pick you up!”

Other than being cold, wet, and a little waterlogged Lexxy was fine, and said so. She was more concerned with the fact that her friends had been thrown from the Piramon ship along with her! “What about my friends, others like me and Rookie Digimon?” she asked the Bowmon urgently. All other thoughts were forgotten, though she still amazed at seeing another invented Digimon in this place. (After all, other than their partners they hadn’t found any other invented Digimon, only ones from the show.)

Niji whistled a conversation to the other colorful shapes in the water around her, which Lexxy only just now noticed. One by one the other Bowmon dove down into the water. “We’ll find them, if they’re here,” Niji assured her passenger.

“T-thanks. Um, how’d you find me? . . . .Have we met before?” Now that the situation wasn’t a calamity anymore, the curious girl wanted answers.

“I don’t think so.” The blue eye studied her intently. “I don’t meet many land-goers. And you’re obviously one, so when I saw you I thought I’d help you out. You get caught in that bad storm we just had?”

So this is different from my story, Lexxy thought, not surprised. They were all used to it by now. “Yes, me and my friends were being held by Piramon.”

Niji snorted, blowing water from her blowhole. “He’s nasty. Glad the storm let you get away. If we can just locate your friends you’ll be all set!” the dolphin Digimon said cheerfully.

Lexxy hoped they were all right. If something happened. . . .

A lime green Bowmon surfaced right beside Niji, and Lexxy’s heart surged at the sight of a coughing Cunomon clutching the dorsal fin. “CUNO!”

“Ugh? Lexxy, this is really . . . wet.” The dragon sneezed water from his nose miserably.

“I know, Cunomon, I know. Sorry.”

The green Bowmon poked his head above the water to address Niji. “There’s no other land-goers around for miles,” he reported. “We’re positive.”

Lexxy gasped. “I-it can’t be!” she insisted frantically. “There were twenty of us! There has to be more than me and-and Cuno. . . .” She looked at her partner, who stared back with wide eyes.

“Things travel fast in the ocean, miss, don’t worry,” Niji assured her. “Why, I’ll bet they’re already washed up on some island. There’s a whole bunch of them near here. You want we should drop you off on the nearest one? You land-goers have a better chance of finding them on land.”

Lexxy couldn’t speak. She was too worried about the others. Jenn, Alex, Dani . . . were they all gone forever? It was Cunomon he told the Bowmon leader, “Land would be great. The closer the better!” And so the whole pod of Bowmon took off with a splash and a surge of water. Cunomon grumbled, as he was soaked.

* * *

“Why why WHY do we always get stuck in the water?” Cunomon demanded angrily, shaking himself like a wet dog on the beach. Lexxy stepped out of range as droplets flew, ignoring her partner. They had been brought to an island that looked like it was entirely forest. Big trees stretched out as far as the eye could see, past the sandy beach. They weren’t the pine trees Lexxy was used to back home. These were much more exotic, but she recognized them. A few broken branches lay scattered on the beach. They were hollow inside, just like the bamboo of Earth.

She realized Cunomon had been repeating a question over and over again. “Huh?” she asked intelligently.

The dragon Rookie stuck his tongue out at her. “What now?” he wanted to know.

“We have to find the others,” her reply was immediate. “I know they survived. We couldn’t have been the only ones.” A terrible guilt was on the girl. If they had all died but she and Cuno, she would never forgive herself. Stop thinking like that! She said fiercely, and started walking.

“Hey, wait up!” Cunomon ran to catch up and spotted a faint path through the woods at the same time she did. “Oh, well that’s convenient,” he muttered under his breath. Lexxy again ignored him. He wasn’t liking this one bit. Why was his partner acting so weird?

Suddenly she shrieked loudly and fell. Cunomon leaped forward in horror. “Lexxy! What happened?” He stopped at her side, nosing her arm as she picked herself off the ground.

“Ow . . . I tripped. Over that thing.” She looked back, as did her Digimon partner. Something flat and yellow sat right in the middle of the path.

Cunomon sniffed it. “Weird. I don’t know what it is. Do you-” He stopped as Lexxy cried out in amazement and snatched it up. “Okay, so you do,” he answered himself. “What is it?”

“I can’t believe this. It’s a laptop! A yellow laptop . . . with a pineapple symbol. . . . Oh man, this looks just like Izzy’s laptop!

“Who? What?”

Lexxy ignored him. Cunomon fumed as she opened up the flat thing and it hummed to life. “You’ve got mail,” a tiny voice informed them both.

“It’s alive!” Cunomon yelped. He leaped behind Lexxy and hid. “Quick, get rid of it!”

Finally his partner answered him. “Don’t worry, Cunomon. A laptop is just a machine from my world. I don’t know how it got here, but it looks just like-er, one I’ve seen before.” The black-haired girl decided not to mention the Digimon television show at the moment, since all the Digimon partners were getting annoyed with the number of times it came up. “It’s for communication, you see,” she continued to explain. “Humans can send each other messages through this.”

“Do you mean someone is sending us a message?” asked the little dragon.

“Um.” Lexxy thought it over out loud. “Well, I mean it’s more likely someone’s sending a message to whoever owns this laptop. But I don’t know whom it could belong to. We’re the only humans here. Unless it belongs to the Digimon Queen. . . .” Lexxy gulped and put the laptop down. “If that’s the case, we should get out of here. We’re divided, drenched, starved, and not in the best of shape. I don’t want to be here if the Queen’s lackeys come looking for it.” She went to stand up, but Cunomon grabbed a lock of hair in his mouth and tugged her back down.

“Wait, Lexxy. Maybe someone sent it to us to help us fight. Like Piximon or something. Or if it is the Digimon Queen’s, we should read it to find out her secrets! Maybe we can find something to use against her. Knowledge is power. I heard that somewhere before.” The Digimon looked pleased with himself for his smart thinking.

Knowledge. Izzy’s laptop. Cunomon was right. This was too good an opportunity to miss. Still feeling a little uneasy, Lexxy nevertheless opened the laptop back up and clicked on the e-mail icon.

Immediately a window popped up with a text message. It wasn’t very long, and there was no name or identity. The return e-mail address was anonymous@digiworld.com. “Greetings Lexxy. I hope you receive message this in time. Please respond ASAP!”

Lexxy blinked at the strange message. It WAS for her! How completely strange! Of course, in Digiworld this should be perfectly normal. She wondered how long it would take for this person to reply. Sitting cross-legged, she rapidly typed out: “I’m here, you mind telling me what’s going on? - Lexxy” and hit send.

Cunomon watched what she was doing with interest. Lexxy wondered if he understood written English. She was about to ask him, but then the laptop again chimed in with, “You’ve got mail!”

“That was fast,” muttered Lexxy, opening the e-mail.

“I’ll explain later. Right now you need to find your friends. It’s important! Follow this path, and hurry. One of your friends is about to make a huge mistake!”

Lexxy was never one to let anyone else have the last word, even if she was working against time. She quickly typed out, “Fine, but you owe me some answers, buddy,” and then hit send. Without waiting for a reply she shut the laptop and leapt to her feet. “Come on, Cunomon,” she said. “We’ve got to hurry!” She took off down the path at a run, the laptop under her arm.

“Why? What happened? Lexxy, don’t ignore me! Wait up! LEXXY!”

* * *

She was sore, that much she knew for sure. With a small groan Dani shifted herself over in her bed. The covers were so soft and comforting. Pulling them closer to herself she let out a sigh of happiness. But as her thoughts returned to her, her azure eyes shot open. Her vision was blurry, but she knew instantly she wasn’t at home. This room, as cozy and cute as it was, was definitely not her bedroom. An attempt to run her hands through her hair was stopped by a cold cloth on her forehead.

Two brown eyes came into view right in front of her face, and a smile emerged from what she soon realized was her In-Training Digimon.

“Bamboomon?” Her voice broke, expressing her panic.

“I’m so glad you’re awake! I was beginning to worry,” said the little Digimon.

“Are you okay? Why are you Bamboomon? Last I remember you were Pandamon. Are you all right?”

“I’m much better now. I just woke up a moment before you did. So I was watching you, to make sure you were all right.” But the blonde didn’t seem totally convinced, so he added, “I can digivolve to Pandamon if you want me to. Do you want me to?” He was so eager to please her she couldn’t help but let out a small laugh and ruffle his fur.

“No, that’s okay. I was just worried,” she replied, and then swung her legs around the edge of the bed. On the bedside table was her tag. Suddenly feeling an urgency, she put it back on around her neck.

From the other side of the room the door cracked open and the head of a Gekomon peeked inside enquiringly. “You’re awake!” he cried happily, rushing forward and nearly jumping right into her arms.

“Er . . . not to be rude or anything, but who in the world are you?” The little green Digimon seemed faintly hurt but he smiled nonetheless as Bamboomon explained what had happened. Meanwhile the door was pushed open again, this time by a small, dark Digimon. It squeaked, “I wanna see the human too!”

With a side-glance to the tadpole Digimon, Dani knew it was in fact an Otamamon. “That’s right!” added the Gekomon, desperately trying to keep his footing while having a pushover war with the Otamamon. “I was looking for food when I found you by the water. So I got the others to help us bring you to the palace.”

“Palace?” Dani repeated incredulously.

“Our master, ShogunGekomon’s, palace. That’s where you are right now,” the Otamamon answered.

Dani’s brow furrowed as let out a sigh of confusion and successfully ran her hand through her hair. Something about this situation, this room, was all too familiar. But she just couldn’t quite put her finger on it. She was still too tired and hungry to be thinking. . . .

“Oh no!” She gasped dismayed.

“What? What’s wrong?” asked all the Digimon, alarmed.

“I haven’t-Er-Do you guys have any food I might be able to have? I haven’t eaten in a few days-”

“Of course! No problem!” said the Gekomon. “We’ll go send for some food this very minute!” And with that, the two Digimon rushed away, closing the door behind them.

“The poor creature. She hasn’t eaten in days,” said Otamamon as they made their way through the hallways to outside. Gekomon blinked, adjusting his eyes to the brightness of the sun. The palace in which they lived was divided into buildings, and unfortunately for them, the kitchen was on the other side of the grounds.

“We’ll have two tables full of food sent up for them,” said Gekomon nonetheless. Slowing down as they approached one of the buildings, he poked his head into it and let out a cheerless sigh. Inside was a large, ginger-colored, sleeping Digimon. Their master, ShogunGekomon.

“Do you really think the human can help?” he asked hopefully.

“I sure hope so,” replied the other.

* * *

"Lexxy, do you mind slowing down!" Cunomon complained while he and Lexxy made their way down the path.

"Cuno, one of our friend's could be in danger! I can't slow down. You'll just have to try and keep up!"

The dragon panted a little as he tried to pick up the pace. "You know, that e-mail or whatever-you-call-it could have been a trap or something. Did you ever stop to think about that, miss know-it-all?!"

Lexxy kept walking. The path led them both up a hill. The hike became steep and a bit uneasy, but she never stopped. And yes, she did take Cunomon's words into consideration. "It’s true, Cuno. But still, we can't take the chance."

The two stopped once they reached the top and caught their breath. A tiny village and, behind that, a huge palace was spread before them.

Lexxy's digivice went off the moment she reached up to wipe the dripping sweat from her forehead. "Argh! Doesn't that thing have a mute button on it somewhere?" Cunomon snarled, covering his ears.

"Shut up, Cuno," Lexxy shot back at her Digimon, then plucked the beeping digivice from her belt loop. She concentrated on the village up ahead. "That's gotta be the place."

* * *

The Gekomon returned to Dani's room with two tables full of food, as promised. Dani's mouth watered when she saw the spread. "Now that's what I'm talkin' about!" she grinned. She looked over to Bamboomon, who nodded in agreement.

"Lets dig in!" they shouted together, and with that began tearing through the food like a pack of wild dogs.

"Will this be enough?" the Gekomon asked.

Dani looked up from a turkey leg, and grinned with a mouthful of meat. "Are you kidding!" she paused and swallowed. "This is perfect!" She thanked them, before going back to stuffing her face.

Meanwhile on another end of the table, Bamboomon licked some spaghetti sauce off his nose. "What a life!"

"Tell me about it," Dani laughed. "Too bad my boyfriend couldn't be here to see this."

"Boyfriend?" Bamboomon raised an eyebrow.

There's that puzzled look again, Dani thought. "Oh, never mind."

"Sorry to interrupt you, miss," the Otamamon squeaked nervously.

"Just call me Dani." Dani stopped eating for a moment and sat down on the bed.

“Right, Dani. Well, you see, you must know why you were brought here," the Gekomon began to explain.

"I should have known there would be a catch. Wait a sec! I remember where I saw this place!"

"Oh no, not the show again." Bamboomon tried to cover his ears with his big feet. Instead of continuing, Dani just sighed and shook her head, seeing as it was pointless to mention and it would probably just confused the Gekomon and Otamamon. That was the last thing she needed at the moment. Although, she couldn't help but chuckle when an image of her dressed as Princess Mimi, singing on stage, popped into her head. "So anyway, go on?"

"Our master, ShogunGekomon, was put under an evil spell by the Digimon Queen! We need your help to-"

"Sure, just tell me where to go!" She smiled. "I'll have him up and dancing again in no time!"

The Gekomon ran up and hugged the Digi-Destined. "You really are the Guardian of Melody!" he cried.

"Um, yeah, sure . . . that's me." Dani shrugged. She had no clue who or what this Guardian of Melody was, but she wasn't about to tell them that.

* * *

"Right this way." The little lizard led Dani and Bamboomon to the building where their master was being held. It was exactly what Dani had expected. It was all there: the stage, the mic, even a disco ball hanging from the tall ceiling. And right there in the middle of it all was ShogunGekomon himself, sleeping like a log. A very big log.

Without thinking, Dani skipped onto the wooden stage and grabbed the mic. "And a one and a two! I wanna sing a sooooong-"

The Digimon looked on in confusion. "Uh, what are you doing?" Otamamon interrupted.

"Trying to wake up your master. Isn't that what you wanted?" Dani looked a bit disappointed. Something told her that this was going to be different from what happed on the show. (You'd think she would have figured it out by now.)

"Yeah, but. . . ." The Gekomon stared. "You’re not doing it right."

"How am I suppose to do it then?" Dani frowned, placing her hands firmly on her hips. She was beginning to ask herself why she even volunteered for this in the first place, and also to understand why it was never a good idea to jump to conclusions.

The Gekomon pointed to something on stage in the corner: a piano. "In the prophecies, the Guardian of Melody would play a song on that thing."

"And that's supposed to break the spell?"

"That's the idea."

"I see." Dani blushed and sheepishly walked over to the piano.

Just as she was sitting down, another Gekomon ran franticly into the room. "We caught two trespassers! They were trying to jump over the gate!" it gasped.

The lead Gekomon frowned and allowed the other to lead him out of the auditorium. The Otamamon trotted behind, as well as Dani and Bamboomon.

* * *

The dungeon was a long hallway with rooms on one side, separated from the hall with bars. Your standard dungeon, Dani thought with a chuckle. I wonder why these guys are so worried about trespassers? Well, I guess I’d be nervous too, with the Digimon Queen’s cronies running around.

The two Gekomon and Otamamon led the way. They were approaching a corner, and Dani could hear arguing voices before they came to it. Familiar arguing voices.

“Hey HEY! Watch it or you’ll get a spine in the gut!”

“Cuno, leave these guys alone. I don’t think they’re the badguys.”

“Yeah, well if this one would stop poking me with his tuba-!”

Dani’s blue eyes opened wide. Bamboomon gave a little gasp, which told his partner that he recognized the voices too. Sure enough, as they rounded a corner there was the scene before them: Lexxy and Cunomon were being shoved into one of the cells by a bunch of Gekomon and Otamamon. Most of them were shouting. Lexxy was trying to hold back her snarling dragon from attacking.

“WAIT!” Dani cried out. As one, everyone froze and went silent, turning to the newcomers.

“Dani!” cried the black-haired girl in complete surprise. “We found you!”

The leader Gekomon turned to the blonde. “Do you know these two, O’ Guardian of Melody?”

“Er, yeah,” she nodded. “These are my friends. They’re not trespassers; they came to find me and Bamboomon. You can let them go. Oh, and my name’s Dani.”

With many apologies, the Gekomon and Otamamon backed away, allowing Lexxy and Cunomon to leave the cell. Lexxy rose an eyebrow. “Guardian of Melody?”

“Don’t ask,” Dani sighed. “Well, come on. There’s something I promised I’d do for these guys.”

The Digidestined began the trek back to the auditorium. “Wait.” Lexxy suddenly smirked. “Why are you being so helpful to us in a jam? I thought you didn’t like me.”

“Well, I don’t, but I have nothing against Cunomon,” Dani snorted back over her shoulder. Of course, she was glad that they were both all right. She wasn’t about to tell them that, though.

* * *

“. . . .So you see, I’m supposedly this Guardian of Melody who can wake up their leader. And my Crest is the Crest of Melody, on the Internet I mean, so I figure I can give it a shot.” Dani was explaining the situation to Cunomon and Lexxy as she sat back down in front of the piano in the auditorium. She was a little nervous. In the real world she’d never tried to play the piano, but her character was great at it. Staring at the music book in front of her, she could hear the notes in her head as she read the lines of music. Her fingers reached out and began to softly strike the black and white keys as a beautiful melody filled the air of the auditorium. A huge smile broke out on Dani’s face. She was doing it!

Lexxy and the others watched in awe. The song coming from the piano was so beautiful and moving, so full of emotion. All thoughts, all anxiety, slipped away and the listeners just experienced the music.

Suddenly a bright orange light spilled from the top of the piano, making everyone but Dani shield their eyes. The music never faltered, but the light began to pull itself in, becoming more and more compact until it floated in a little ball above the huge musical instrument. Then the light died down and everyone could see it was a Crest. It floated to Dani and slid into her tag just as the music came to an end. The song was finished. “Wow,” Dani breathed softly.

Awed, no one said anything until there was a deep rumble on the stage. “You’ve done it!” cried the lead Gekomon happily. “Our master awakens!”

“I hope this isn’t like the show. . . .” Lexxy muttered under her breath.

ShogunGekomon, a huge orange Digimon, rose from the stage and turned to look down at all of them with a big smile on his face. Suddenly it fell to a stony glare. “WHO WOKE ME?!” he roared. “I WILL MAKE THEM PAY!”

“Of course.” Lexxy rolled her eyes. Then everyone was running for cover, and it seemed like a good idea. She followed Cunomon.

“IT WAS YOU, WASN’T IT?!” shouted the gigantic Digimon. His loud voice made Lexxy want to cover her ears, but she turned back to see what he was talking about. There stood Dani, tiny in front of him, frozen in horror.

“Dani!” Bamboomon cried. He was running to his partner and leaped in front of her. “Bamboomon digi-volve to . . . Pandamon!” With a running dive he shoved Dani out of the way just as ShogunGekomon brought his enormous foot down where she had been standing.

“MUSICAL FIST!” roared the aquatic Digimon. From the tubas on his back, great blasts of air ripped into the walls and ceiling, thankfully missing any people.

A small voice yelled, “Spiral Kick!” Pandamon whirled through the air but bounced right off the giant’s thick hide. A blue whirl contacted as well, as Cunomon tried right after him, but ShogunGekomon only laughed loudly.

“Go, go! Get out of here before he squashes you!” Lexxy ordered, shoving Gekomon and Otamamon out the door. Despite their fear, they were uneasy abandoning their clearly crazy “master.” Lexxy didn’t care about that at the moment, she just wanted them all out so that no one got hurt. As she got everyone out she couldn’t help but look back at the battle taking place on stage. Or lack of one. Dani still hadn’t moved away yet, and the two Rookies weren’t being much more than a distraction.

Finally the last of the water Digimon was gone and Lexxy bolted for the stage, griping mentally that Dani was going to get killed. Coming up behind the blonde, Lexxy grabbed her arm and tried to pull her toward the doors.

Dani shook her off. “No way,” she insisted. “I’m not leaving the Digimon!”

“We have to run, Dani!”

“NO!” Dani whirled and shoved Lexxy away from her. The dark-haired girl stared, shocked. There were tears in the corners of Dani’s eyes as she shouted in frustration. “You think you know everything, don’t you?! Just because you’re friends with everyone and you’re so damn popular, you think you’re better than the rest of us! You don’t know everything! You’re lost here too, just like us! Stop trying to control everyone! Stop making us feel so . . . so stupid!”

“Dani. . . .” There was no way Lexxy could be angry, not with the hurt, desperate expression on the other girl’s face. “I-I never meant. . . .” She couldn’t find the words. Instead she did the only thing she could think of: she took a step forward and hugged the girl. Dani bowed her head on Lexxy’s shoulder and cried. “I’m so sorry,” Lexxy muttered, angry with herself for the way she had been acting. “I didn’t mean to. I’ll-I’ll try to be better from now on.” Even though they hadn’t known each other before coming to Digiworld, Lexxy still felt like Dani was a close friend. There was a bond between all of them, that no one could deny. A soft blue glow surrounded the two girls, and when it faded the Crest of Compassion was in Lexxy’s tag.

Unfortunately, Lexxy didn't have time to admire her new Crest, for a giant orange foot hovered close above their heads, ready to come down on them at any second.

The girls gasped in horror when they looked up. ShogunGekomon's voice rumbled, "YOU WON’T GET AWAY THAT EASILY!"

He began to lower his foot when Dani screamed, "PANDAMON!"

The little panda Digimon immediately leapt at his partner's cries, as did Cunomon when he heard Lexxy call out his name. The two Digimon turned to each other and nodded in unison.

"Pandamon digivolve to . . . Kombatmon!"

"Cunomon digivolve to . . . Sartomon!"

Sartomon flew at ShogunGekomon, ramming his horned head into his side and causing him to stumble towards the wall. His weight was too great to hold him back, so instead of bouncing off he busted right through the brick. As he struggled to keep his balance, Kombatmon gave him a final kick, making the larger-than-life Digimon fall two and a half stories down into a body of water that surround that area of the palace.

* * *

Dani, Lexxy, Kombatmon, Sartomon, and a herd of Gekomon and Otamamon went down to check on ShogunGekomon. Thankfully, since ShogunGekomon was an amphibian Digimon, the water didn't harm him one bit. (Although there were an awful lot of bruises from Satromon's horns jabbing into his tender flesh.)

The leader Gekomon held his breath as he kept a focused eye on his unconscious master. "Is he gonna be okay?" He turned to Dani hopefully.

"He'll be okay. He just needs a quick nap," Kombatmon joked. Just then, ShogunGekomon began to stir. Lexxy hid under Sartomon's wing, while Dani ran behind Kombatmon.

"Ohhh what a nap!" the giant yawned, stretching his arm. His voice had lost its loud fury. "I haven't felt this well-rested in years!"

The Digidestined looked on in confusion. How could someone one moment be trying to flatten them, destroying everything that got in its way, then be totally relaxed and harmless the next? "Let’s not push our luck on this one," Lexxy whispered.

"Well, let’s at least apologize for having to kick his butt," Dani replied, then added with a low grumble, "Even though he did deserve it."

The blonde nervously approached ShogunGekomon. "Hey um . . . we're sorry we had to fight you. . . ." she began.

"No, no. It's perfectly all right, my dear." ShogunGekomon bowed. "Thank you for freeing me from that horrible spell. I only wish there was something I could do to make up for all the trouble I caused."

"Well, I wouldn't mind taking some of that left over food with us!" Dani grinned.

"Of course!" He clapped and ordered the Gekomon to supply them with plenty of food and water.

While they were waiting, ShogunGekomon began to explain how all of this had happend. "You see, I was in bed asleep when one of my servants woke me, telling me that there was an attack. Sure enough, when I went outside, there she was: the Digimon Queen! The last thing I remember, she yelled something about getting revenge and taking over the digital world."

"Revenge?" Lexxy questioned. "For what?"

"How should I know?"

"ShogunGekomon," Dani interrupted, "Exactly how long ago did this happen?"

"Oh, I dunno . . . uh, what year is it?"

"2001. Or at least it was, last time I checked."

"Then I'd say about a hundred years."

"A hundred years?! Lexxy, did you hear that?"

"Yup, which means exactly what I suspected. Time goes by faster here." She paused, and smiled. Both she and Dani knew there was no avoiding it. "Just like on the show," they chimed.

The Gekomon returned with a backpack full of goodies and the food left from Dani's room, plus two canteens each filled with fresh, cold water.

Lexxy hopped onto Sartomon's back and the black-haired girl waved goodbye. Kombatmon snatched up Dani, who saluted the cheering village of Digimon. The panda grabbed hold of the dragon’s spiked tail and hoisted himself upward, firmly hanging onto his human partner. "Hang on, kiddo," he said with a charming wink.

The Digidestined took off gracefully into the evening sky as a thought still lingered in Lexxy's mind. Revenge. . . . Why is Queen Sonomi looking for revenge? And on who?

* * *

Far away, the queen studied the image of a sleeping Tania and Yazumon in her black crystal. "Perhaps it is time for something a little more drastic," she chuckled evilly, as her focus went to Yazumon. "Rest well, little dragon. You'll be needing it."