Episode 29:

"Attack of the Digi Clones"


Shelli-Jo Pelletier

* * *

~~~ Lina's P.O.V. ~~~

I know we never get a break in the Digiworld, but this is too much! After traveling for what seemed like forever, we finally made it to a peaceful little valley, complete with delicious fruit trees! Of course, it had to be a trap. Some evil Digimon poisoned the fruit without our knowledge, trapping us all in these horrible nightmares! Thankfully the Digimon weren't affected. They were able to call us back to our wakeful selves, saving us yet again. What would we do without them?

* * *

The Digidestined and their Digimon continued to travel in the valley where they had been attacked by their own nightmares. Their destination was the opposite side, and no matter how uneasy everyone felt about the place now, no one wanted to backtrack and go all the way around, which would add several days to their journey at least.

For the first day, the group was cautious and watchful, but nothing happened. Still, on the second and third days they didn't get any less vigilant. The Digimon were spread out as they traveled, guarding their partners and searching the valley for anything hostile. Often times they were out of sight as they investigated the area. Things were going well. However, as the sun started to descend in the afternoon of the third day, the Digidestined began to realize something was wrong.

"Hey, has anyone seen Diratimon?" Lina asked, looking around. "He said he went to follow the sound of water he heard, but I asked him to come back quickly. That was a while ago. . . ."

The group of children and the few Digimon remaining behind to guard them paused and looked around, and Jaymon raised her wing into the air. "I'll go see if I can spot him from the air." She took off.

"The next time Foximon comes back, I'll ask her to see if she can follow his scent," Jennifer added. "Until then, we should keep moving. He knows which direction we're going, so if he tries to find us, he'll keep moving ahead."

Lina saw the sense in this and nodded, so the group started walking again. Hours went by, and the nervous blond started walking with Tania and Lexxy, who joked and kidded around to keep her mind off her missing Digimon.

Eventually they ran out of things to talk about, and all the Digidestined got quiet. The sun would be setting soon, and everyone's nerves were getting tighter and tighter. Finally Kristina burst out, "Jaymon hasn't come back yet! What happened?"

Jenn sighed and called everyone to a halt, biting her bottom lip with worry. "Neither has Foximon. . . ." She looked at the remaining Digimon, the two other foxes Huntermon and Sunemon. All the rest of the Digimon either hadn't checked in yet, or had gone back out after their return, to look for Diratimon and the others. "I think you two should stick close," Jenn said. "We don't want you disappearing too."

Huntermon nodded and padded closer to Emily, but Sunemon frowned. "Perhaps we should digivolve to our Champion forms," she said. "Night will be falling soon, and I don't think two Rookies can defend all of you. No offense, Hunter." The fox with the purple tail feather smiled at the other canine Digimon.

"No, it's okay, I agree," Huntermon said with a nod.

Jennifer thought it over, feeling the fearful expressions of her friends weighing on her shoulders. They all wanted to find their Digimon.

"Okay, here's how we're going to do it," she said finally. "Huntermon and Sunemon should digivolve, but don't go looking for the others alone. Emily and Samee should go with you. The rest of us should split up too. It's more dangerous, but we need to search a lot of ground before the sun sets. We're way too vulnerable in the dark. Either way, when the sun goes down we need to be right here back at this spot, so everyone pay attention to where you're going and come back here in a couple hours, okay?"

Everyone looked much better with a definite plan in mind. "That's why you're the leader, Jenn," Lexxy chuckled. "You're good at thinking up this stuff."

Jenn blushed at the compliment. "Uh, well, I've had a lot of practice at this point."

The two Rookies digivolved, then everyone picked a direction and set off. Skye decided to head in the direction she had last seen Magimon going. Hopefully she would find some indication of her friend as she searched. At this point, even a tuft of blue fur on a stick would cheer her!

Skye searched the trees in the area, bending low to see if anything in the grass could catch her eye. She parted low bushes with her hands and peered behind them, but it was getting harder and harder to make out details in the fading light. She was just thinking of starting to turn back when she saw three or four trees growing very close to each other in a straight line. Their trunks practically touched, forming a protective shield for the spot directly behind them.

"I'll see what's over there, then head back," decided Skye out loud, walking over quickly. Behind the trees it was dark in shadow, so Skye walked slowly. Still, she wasn't prepared when the ground fell away beneath her!

"Ahhhhh!" Skye screamed, hands held up in front of her face as she slid along some passage underground. It sloped downward and she continued to head deeper into the earth, roots flying by her head. Skye forced herself to stop screaming, taking a deep breath and holding it. She spread her arms, trying to slow her descent. Unfortunately all that accomplished was the roots cutting into her palms, so the blue-haired girl quickly pulled her hands back in.

Finally the ground seemed to be sloping less and less, and Skye descended at a slower pace. She was about to try to put her hands out to the walls again when she caught sight of a light up ahead. An end to the tunnel! Just as she pulled up her feet to catch herself, she was spit out onto a cold tile floor.

Skye groaned quietly and picked up her head. The lighting was dim, but she could see roots of trees threading down the walls and hanging from the ceiling. She could hear the click and whine of machinery, and she seemed to have landed behind a large machine. Small button lights and gears glowed on it.

Anxiously, the girl gulped. This seemed like such a threatening setting, and how was she going to get back to the surface?!

Well, worrying wasn't going to get her anywhere. She didn't want her friends to have to search for her as well as the Digimon. It was time to find an exit! Skye stood up—and gasped!

Here was the source of the dim lighting in the room . . . and here were the missing Digimon! The room was huge, stretching far away from Skye like a long corridor. On either side of the room, tall glass tubes stood side by side like sentries standing guard. Each one was filled with a faintly glowing green liquid, and in each one, a Digimon floated. Their own Digimon!

Skye gazed in horror at the eleven tubes on the left side of the room, feeling her heart clench as she spied Magimon floating close by. Every Digimon was curled up, their eyes closed. Were they alive? How could they breathe?! The eleven tubes at the other side of the room were strangely empty.

Shaking herself, Skye walked around the machine and toward the tubes. She knew she had to help the Digimon escape, and she had to work quickly. Someone had obviously captured them and done this to them, and that someone could show up at any time.

As Skye crossed the chamber floor, she stepped over large bundles of wires. Her blue eyes followed them, leading from the pods where the Digimon were suspended to the large machines at the end of the room, then to the empty tubes filled with liquid. What could be going on here?! It was like something out of a science-fiction horror movie.

"I always hated those movies," Skye muttered, approaching Magimon's tube first. She stared at the buttons and dials on the base of the tube, but she didn't dare touch anything. Who knew what it would do to her best friend?

After studying the tube, Skye noticed the hatch in the back, which seemed to have a simple latch holding it closed. She darted around the other side and grasped it firmly. "Well, here goes nothing," muttered the girl, flipping the latch and tugging sharply.

With a sucking sound, the hatch popped open, and immediately Skye jumped back as green liquid began pouring out around her feet. She made a face at the fate of her poor shoes, but gingerly stepped into the puddle just as the limp form of Magimon settled on the bottom of the tube. Quickly Skye reached inside and pulled out her dripping Digimon.

"Magimon? Magimon!" She stroked her Digimon's damp fur, making sure her mouth and nose were clear of the viscous liquid. Urgently she whispered her partner's name and shook her shoulders until she stirred.

"Uh . . . Skye?" Weakly Magimon opened her blue eyes. "It-it is you!"

Skye beamed in relief and nodded. "Yes. Are you okay? Are you in any pain?"

"No . . . ." The cat Digimon sat up and shook her head. "No, I feel a little weak, but that's all. Humph. And I'm all wet." Like any cat in this situation, she looked indignant.

Skye laughed gently and helped Magimon to stand. "Considering our situation, there are worse things," she offered.

Magimon looked around and her eyes widened. "I agree," she murmured. "This doesn't seem like a good—" Suddenly she gasped, as if just recalling something.

"What is it?" Skye asked nervously.

"Lordessmon! That's who captured us," the feline uttered darkly. "She is our new enemy. . . ."

Skye pressed a hand to her mouth in utter horror. She couldn't believe her own Digimon creation was alive here in the digital world! Now she could understand the sick look on Jenn and Lexxy's faces when they realized that their own dark creations had come to life. The weight of responsibility she now felt was terrible.

Magimon's voice brought her back to her senses. "Come on, Skye. We have to free the others before Lordessmon returns."

"R-right," Skye said a little shakily, standing straight. "Let's hurry." The tube next to Magimon had Pandamon floating inside. She reached over and flipped the latch, yanking at the door.

Magimon's damp fur rippled with distaste as the water flowed out. "Ew, so that's how you do it, huh?"

Skye apologetically smiled. "Yeah, I'm afraid there's no way to keep from getting wet." She was shaking Pandamon as she spoke, trying to wake him.

The feline Digimon curled her nose. "A heroine's work is never done." She walked to the next pod and grabbed the hatch.

The comatose Digimon were quickly roused as soon as they were freed from their prisons, and it wasn't long before Skye was pulling open the last hatch, holding Sunemon in her arms.

"Sunemon, wake up. Sune—"

"Well, what do we have here?" A smooth, cold voice echoed around the room.

Skye gasped and stood up quickly, still carrying the groggy Sunemon. Around her the other Digidestined Digimon were growing and showing their fangs, ready for battle even in the state they were in.

The shadows moved at the end of the room, then seemed to part as a slim figure walked up the row of tubes. "Hello, dear," said Lordessmon. "Nice to see you've found my little experiment."

Skye tried to glare at the evil Digimon, but she found her knees quivering as Lordessmon neared. She couldn't believe the aura of darkness that surrounded this being, chilling the entire room. She had created this!? Why? Now Skye wished she had created a villain as cheesy as Etemon. At least then her teeth wouldn't be chattering in fear.

"Don't worry, Skye," murmured Magimon, standing in front of the covering girl. "There's eleven of us, we can take her!"

Lordessmon looked at the cluster of Rookie Digimon with a sneer. "Well, this seems rather unfair," she said lightly, not concerned. "Maybe I'll show off my brilliant creations and make the numbers a little more fair at the same time!"

The female Digimon was standing next to the machine that Skye had landed behind when she fell into this place. Lordessmon pressed one of the buttons on the machine and the tubes on the far side of the room—the ones that had been empty of anything except the glowing green liquid—began to bubble and seethe. Skye and the Digidestined Digimon watched in shock as eleven Digimon began to develop in the tubes, starting as specs but growing at an enormous rate. Quickly Skye could tell that the eleven Digimon being created were copies of her Digimon and her friends', but as the liquid began to drain from the tubes, it became apparent that there was a difference.

Lordessmon cooed in pleasure. "Aren't they beautiful?" she purred, pushing another button. All eleven tubes hissed and opened up, and eleven Digimon stepped down onto the floor.

They were almost identical to the Digidestined Digimon, but the difference was striking. They had been washed of all color, appearing to be only black and shades of gray. Their eyes glowed eerily, either a hard yellow or a fiery red. All of them had claws and fangs bared.

"W-what are those!?" Diratimon yelped.

"Some sort of copies," muttered Yazumon, scowling.

Skye, eyes wide in panic, had her hand pressed against her mouth in horror. "Virus copies," she gasped.

"That's right." Lordessmon's voice echoed loudly in the underground room. "This is my virus clone army. Now there is no way you will not be defeated." She smirked. "And once you Digimon are deleted, I will have my new pets pick off their own Digidestined partners." She laughed coldly. "Ironic, isn't it?"

Cunomon shivered, picturing the black Cunomon cornering Lexxy and attacking her. "That'll never happen!" he shouted angrily. "We'll fight them and stop them!"

"That's right," growled Pandamon. "We have to stop them!"

"No, no!" Skye spoke up. "Run! We have to get to the others so we can digivolve!" Skye knew that even if they defeated all the virus Digimon, there would be no way the tired group could then defeat Lordessmon, who still stood at the end of the room.

The Digimon were used to obeying the wisdom of human partners. They nodded, even though they wanted to fight and rid the digital world of their evil copies. Still surrounding Skye in a protective circle, they made their way to the end of the room where Lordessmon had entered. It had to lead somewhere!

Lordessmon glared as the Digidestined started to run. This wasn't in her plan. . . . "After them!" she ordered her evil Digimon.

* * *

"Where could she be?" Jenn worried, scanning the area. "We were all supposed to be here by now!"

"Maybe she's wherever the Digimon are," guessed Samee.

"Which we also don't know," Tania pointed out glumly.

The Digidestined stood in the small clearing, looking at each other unhappily, waiting for someone to come up with a suggestion. Eventually there was a voice coming from the trees, and everyone turned to look as Skye and the Digimon burst out of the woods.


"It's Skye!"

"And she found the Digimon!"

The Digidestined realized that Skye and the Digimon were not wearing happy expressions. They looked panicked. "What is it?" Jenn asked.

"Look out!" Skye yelled, as soon as she was within hearing distance. "We're being followed! They're just about here!"

There wasn't even time for the other chosen children to ask what the blue-haired girl was talking about. Just as she reached them, panting and out of breath, the woods erupted with black shadows.

Alex found his voice first. "What are those?" he gasped, knowing already but unable to voice it.

"They look like. . . ." Kristina couldn't finish her thought.

Jaymon finished it for her. "They're our virus clones! Kristina, look out!" Jaymon flew infront of her partner, as one of the virus clones spit out an attack. The little parrot blocked it sucsessfully, bounceing it off her bright yellow chest. The impact sent Jaymon falling to the ground, but thankfully unharmed.

The Digidestined Digimon stood in front of their partners protectively, facing off against their virus counterparts. They were about to attack as a figure strode through the woods and stood on the edge of the field.

"Lordessmon!" Skye gasped faintly, staying close to Jennifer for comfort.

The female Digimon sneered. "Show them you are better than the originals, my beautiful creations!" she called to the virus Digimon. "Digivolve!"

The shadows seemed to intensify around the eleven black and gray Digimon, almost as if they were glowing with a deep black light. Nothing could be seen inside it. Suddenly the darkness evaporated, revealing eleven black and gray Champion Digimon (well, ten Champions and the virus Athenamon). They towered over the side of goodness.

Jenn was shaken by the sight of these dangerous looking Digimon that looked so much like her friends, but she knew she had to encourage everyone to continue fighting. "Guys, it's time for us to kick it up a notch too! Digivolve!"

The more colorful Digimon nodded as their partners gripped their digivices.

"Foximon digivolve to . . . Glorymon!"

"Cunomon digivolve to . . . Sartomon!"

"Pandamon digivolve to . . . Kombatmon!"

"Diratimon digivolve to . . . Dracomon!"

"Yazumon digivolve to . . . Djarumon!"

"Cheekomon digivolve to . . . Cheetormon!"

"Jaymon digivolve to . . . Skylamon!"

"Huntermon digivolve to . . . Agurimon!"

"Nerimon digivolve to . . . Nedikismon!"

"Magimon digivolve to . . . Athenamon!"

"Sunemon digivolve to . . . KiSunemon!"

"Attack!" shouted Lordessmon.

"Go for it!" cheered Jenn and the other Digidestined.

The clearing in the wooded valley quickly became a battleground. The Digimon clashed over and over, shooting their attacks in all directions. Great gouges were ripped in the earth where attacks missed their mark. Trees along the edge toppled over. The human children took cover behind anything they could find. Lordessmon supervised it all with a smirk on her lips.

"Dark Star Shooter!"

"Scarring Flame!"

"Dark Scarring Flame!"

"Sword Twister!"

"Dark Raging Cyclone!"

Both the good guys and the viruses were shooting attacks left and right. Often they hit their mark, and all the Digimon began to show wounds on their bodies. But they didn't slow down; they were too determined to fight for their friends or their mistress.

The battle was taking too long for Lordessmon. She still had a trick up her sleeve. "My beauties, allow me to give you a gift! You can repay me by finishing these weaklings off quickly. Digivolve again!"

The battle paused as the virus copies of Glorymon, Sartomon, Cheetormon, and Kombatmon began to glow.

"This can't be good. . . ." growled the original Sartomon.

Kombatmon looked at his dragon comrade and sweatdropped. "You can say that again."

"No time! Look out!" The two Champions dodged as a black DracoSartomon and a MetalKombatmon with onyx armor dove straight for them.

Lordessmon chuckled. "Good, good. Now finish them!"

The battle continued, but it was obvious that it was practically one-sided. With four new Ultimate Digimon on their side, the viruses were quickly beating back the already weakened Digidestined Digimon.

"You guys can't give up!" Erica shouted.

"Keep trying!" encouraged Dani.

"We believe in you!" Emily added in.

Even with all their support, their friends were losing the battle, and no matter what they tried, they couldn't get their Crests to glow. If only they could make their Digimon digivolve to Ultimates, they might have a chance!

Suddenly, as the dark PolarGlorymon loomed over Glorymon, about to strike, a spasm of pain crossed the virus's face. She paused in her attack, and Glorymon used the opportunity to squirm free and limp backward out of range. She watched her mirror double cautiously.

"Hey, something's happening to them!" Athenamon suddenly shouted across the battlefield, as the virus Athenamon faltered and swooped to the ground in mid-attack. She was shivering, and seemed unaware of her surroundings. As Athenamon watched, her dark counterpart shrunk and returned to the form of the virus Magimon!

"They're de-digivolving!"

Again the battle paused, this time as the Digidestined Digimon watched their foes twitch and recoil from the attacks. The shrunk from Ultimates to Champions to Rookies, and finally all the way down to In-Training Digimon.

"NO!" howled Lordessmon, unable to believe her eyes. Her army of darkness had dwindled to little babies! "How can this be happening!?"

The eleven good Digimon hovered on the battlefield, staring at the tiny black and gray Digimon, unable to believe their eyes as well. Just moments ago they were losing badly, but now? Now they had to defeat In-Training Digimon?

"Um, are we supposed to fight them?" Djarumon asked Dracomon, squinting down at the little Digimon on the ground.

"They're almost cute," snickered Skylamon. Then she glared as the small pack of In-Training Digimon started running toward the area where the Digidestined were hiding.

"Dark Bubble Blow!" they screamed, red eyes gleaming like coals as they tried to attack the humans, sharp teeth gleaming.

Agurimon and Glorymon landed in front of the group of humans, absorbing the weak black bubbles.

"Not so cute anymore," growled Agurimon. "Look at them, she didn't give them any thoughts or opinions. They can't even speak. They're just mindless attackers."

Glorymon nodded to her fellow fox. "They'll keep attacking, no matter what. It's the only thing they exist for."

KiSunemon limped forward, her feathered tail in ripped tatters, glaring at the In-Training virus copies. "That is no existence for a Digimon. Digimon deserve to have feelings and thoughts, not be mindless fighting machines. Fiery Claw!" In seconds all of the viruses were nothing but digital dust.

The Digidestined children stood from their hiding places and walked out into the battlefield as their Digimon returned to Rookie (and for Magimon, Champion) form. The poor Digimon were exhausted, wounded, and starving. They were happily picked up by their partners and held protectively.

"I think this may have been one of our toughest battles yet," murmured Lina, looking at the ruined trees and field. "They had to fight themselves."

"I wonder what happened to the clones?" Erica wondered out loud, cuddling Cheekomon.

Lexxy spoke up. "I was wondering the same thing. There's no way to be sure, but Skye described to me an underground room that seemed to be for Lordessmon to copy our Digimon's data and infuse it with virus data. It's possible our Digimon's information couldn't fuse with viral data. It's just not compatible."

"In other words, good triumphs over evil again!" Jenn concluded.

"Wait, speaking of Lordessmon, where is she?" Skye demanded, looking around. But the female villain was long gone. No one could remember even seeing her after her army had been reduced to In-Training Digimon.

"Well, maybe she's gone," Skye muttered, "but I know she'll be back."

The other children looked at their unconscious Digimon. They all knew it too. That was what they were afraid of.