“It's All A Bunch Of Bull”
* * *
~~~ Jenn's P.O.V. ~~~
Since the Digi Palace was said to be somewhere at the bottom of the ocean, to me the obvious thing to do was to head back to the beach and find some way to bring it back up to the surface. The others thought I was nuts, but like Tania said, it wasn't like we had much of a choice. Anyway, It was getting pretty late, so we decided to find some place to crash for the night. Skye, Emily, Alex and Nerimon found an old Church, not too far away. Not the coziest of places, but it was better than nothing. We should have known it was a trap, set by Her Majesty, the Digi Queen, and a whole horde of Nasty Bakemon. Heh, Lucky us. All our Digimon were too tired to Digivolve and to make matters worse, all the little Bakemon merged togeather to make one big Bakemon. It was then, Yazumon stunned us all, when he Digivolved into Djarumon and kicked some major Bakemon Butt! Now maybe we can get some sleep.
* * *
Not one of the kids or Digimon wanted to spend the rest of the night in the haunted church, but Yazumon was pretty exhausted from digi-volving, and the rest of them weren’t exactly well-rested either. Finally it was decided that if two sets of partners stayed guard instead of the usual one, everyone felt safe enough to sleep.
First Alex, Nerimon, Skye, and Magimon stood watch. They talked in low voices, complaining about not being able to sleep for a whole hour and wondering what the next day would bring to the group. After them Lexxy, Cunomon, Kristina, and Jaymon took a turn. Two more hours and by then the sun was up, and along with it most of the kids and Digimon.
Jenn yawned and cracked open one green eye, orange-brown fur filling her vision. Foximon snored lightly and turned over, her black-tipped ears flopping. The human smiled gently and stood up to stretch, careful not to wake her canine friend.
Jenn looked around for someone to chat with and found Lexxy running her fingers through her black hair in an attempt to comb it. “I think a brush would help,” she commented with a grin, approaching the other girl.
Lexxy smiled. “Yeah, well I would use one if I could find one. I’ll ask someone later.”
“Yeah.” Jenn fell silent, then cleared her throat a little nervously. “Um, hey, Lexxy?”
“I’m a little, uh, nervous I guess. What-what do you think we should do? Do you really think we have a chance to raise that palace?”
Lexxy seemed surprise. “You were so confident yesterday, Jenn. What’s wrong?”
The goggled girl sighed. “Just nervous I guess. I mean, I keep thinking what will happen if someone gets hurt. . . .”
“Jenn, stop that,” Lexxy snorted. “Geesh, if you keep thinking like that it’ll drive you insane. It’s the Digimons’ jobs to protect us. That’s what they’re here for. Let them worry about keeping us from getting hurt.”
“Yeah. . . .” The redhead didn’t seem very sure of herself.
Lexxy searched for something to say. “Jenn, you don’t have to make all the decisions, just because you wear the goggles,” she finally said with a smile. “Maybe Kristina would be a better one to ask about what to do; I’m no leader. But if you really want my opinion, I say we should find some high point here and have a look around, maybe draw a map or something. We might have more of a chance of success if we knew the lay of the land, so to speak.”
Truth be told, it made Jenn feel a lot better to have an idea come from someone else, to know she wasn’t the only one handling everything. “I think that sounds cool, Lexxy. Let’s go get everyone else ready.”
* * *
Sonomi clenched the crystal that had been displaying the image of the group ever since they had arrived in the digital world.
"You summoned for me, your Highness?" a voice rumbled. Sonomi looked up and smiled wickedly at the mysterious and beastly figure as it entered the room.
* * *
The gang of twenty stood at the highest point of the mountain they had spotted, which definitely wasn’t big enough to be Infinity Mountain. For a long moment there was silence as everyone looked in all directions. Perhaps this just wasn’t a high enough point, or maybe this wasn’t File Island after all. Either way, this didn’t seem to be an island. At least, they couldn’t see water on the horizon in every direction.
Dani whistled appreciatively. “This place is like a maze,” she grumbled. “We’d better draw a map or we’ll never find our way around. I can’t believe we’ve just been wandering around for days!”
Pandamon snorted. “What are we, chopped digi-kibble? We know our way around, Dani.”
“Well, most of the time,” giggled Huntermon.
“Either way, we should draw a map,” Lexxy voiced.
“What’s with you and the map?” Cunomon chuckled.
“I just would like to know where we’re going!” she defended herself indignantly.
Jenn chuckled as she pulled out the pencil and paper they had found at the church and sat down. She had to draw lightly, afraid to poke through the paper onto the ground, but started sketching as best she could.
The others sat back to watch, sure that Jenn would turn out a masterpiece like she always did. Not that Jenn was the only artist in the group. It had just been her and Lexxy’s idea, so everyone assumed she’d be the one drawing.
A minute passed. Then five. Jenn started grumbling in frustration, using her eraser almost as much as the other end. Lexxy leaned over her shoulder. “What’s wrong?”
“I don’t know!” she sighed, annoyed. “I just can’t seem to get this right. Arg!” She pushed the pencil into Lexxy’s hands. “I’m sick of this. You try.”
“Me?” Lexxy blinked. “But I’m not really that good-”
“You always say Lexxy’s a great sketcher, right? That she grows up and becomes an artist?”
“Well yeah, but I’m not Lexxy. She’s just a fictional-”
Jenn cut her off again. “Just try! This is the digital world, and you look just like Lexxy Ishiodori. I’ll bet you can draw like her too!”
The black-haired girl blinked, then shrugged. “I’ll give it a shot,” she agreed, turning the paper over and starting to draw.
"Wow, Lexx. That's amazing!" Lina praised, looking over her shoulder in awe, as were the rest of the kids and Digimon.
"Yeah." Lexxy's mind began to trail off into thought. Okay, so maybe this was to be expected. "But how?" she still had to question. Just then, it hit her. "Hey, Jenn!" she called over to the redhead. "You have to dance!"
Jenn looked at Lexxy as if she had lost it completely. "What?"
"Come on, just do it!"
"I think I'll pass"
"We won't laugh."
Cunomon began to snicker. Lexxy violently shoved her elbow into the dragon's stomach. "Oof."
Jenn finally sighed and nodded. "Okay," she caved, "but don't say I didn't warn ya."
She got up and trudged over to a cleared area in front of the group. "Here I go," she gulped. "And a one and a two. . . ."
She managed to form an imaginary beat in her mind as she began tapping to it. "Hey, I'm really doing it!" she cried. It was something she had always wished she could do.
"Hey, that looks like fun!" Foximon cooed. She ran towards her Digidestined, mimicking her every step. Unfortunately, it wasn't as easy for someone with two extra legs. Everyone giggled at Foximon's cute actions.
Jenn stopped dancing and took a deep breath; a bead of sweat trickled down her temple. "I never thought in a million years I could actually pull that off. I mean I practically have two left feet!"
"Wow, it must be hard to get your shoes on," Jaymon replied.
"It's a figure of speech," Kristina murmured.
"Oh right. . . ." The parrot nodded, then turned to the other Digimon and shrugged. "I don't get it."
"I remember Jenn explaining to me once that instead of her character being an artist, she was a dancer," Lexxy explained.
"You actually remembered something! You really are changing!" Tania teased.
"That's why I asked you to dance Jenn. It proves my theory."
Erica approached the two girls sheepishly, confusion and curiosity written all over her face. "But if I'm becoming Erica, then how come I still feel like Jeanine?"
"Good question." Lexxy paused to think about it for a moment. "My best guess is that whatever or whoever pulled us into this world is responsible for our changes."
"Well, I hope we find them soon, because I'm getting tired of all this waiting around bull $#*%!"
"Skye!" Magimon yelped.
"What?! It's gonna get bleeped out anyway."
Magimon just shook her head. "Ladies and gentlemon, I give you the ruler of the Digiworld."
Lexxy had successfully finished her map. After taking a few seconds to admire her newfound talent she then rolled it up and stuck it in her back pocket for later use. She planted the pencil behind her left ear. Since the view wasn't as good as she would have hoped, she would need it again to add anything she may have missed as they continued their journey through this great big digital world.
* * *
"Okay, how exactly did we end up in a desert?" Diratimon moaned.
"The forest was on the other side of the mountain. We came down the opposite side," Lexxy knowingly replied. "The beach really shouldn't be that far. In fact, according to my map, this way will get us there faster."
"Woah!" Alex suddenly froze in his tracks.
The boy speechlessly and slowly lifted his arm, pointing towards the building.
Lexxy's mouth dropped about two inches. She recognized it almost immediately.
"It's gotta be a mirage," Emily protested.
"It looks pretty real to me," replied Huntermon.
"Whatever. Let’s go check it out!" Jenn ran as fast as she could towards the familiar building. The others exchanged confused and worried glances at one another.
"Interesting. One minute she's all bent on being the cautious one, and the next she's Tai Kamyia with a ponytail!" Skye wondered as she and the others ran after Jenn.
* * *
The building was a coliseum. The same coliseum from a well-known episode. "I wonder if we'll run into SkullGreymon in there?" Alex gulped as they set foot inside, carefully taking time to study their surroundings.
"Does anyone besides me find this a little convenient?" said Tania.
"I kinda hope this isn't the same one. Remember how Etemon used it to trap the Digidestined?" Krisina reminded.
"Well, so far I don't see any evil Greymon jumping out at us, so-" Jenn started, but was cut off by a very excited gasp.
"A soccer field!" cried Erica. She was already making a running dash towards the grassy turf, with Cheekomon following close behind. The blonde stopped and took a deep breath. It was perfect. Finally, something about this world she could actually enjoy. She suddenly felt a light thump at the end of her foot. "All right!" she cried joyfully when she saw what it was.
"What is it?" Cheekomon cocked her head curiously at the round object.
"It's a soccer ball," Erica explained, picking it up and playfully bouncing it up and down on her knee. Cheekomon's head was totally in sync with the ball’s movements. Up, down, up, down, upm down.
"Now you try," Erica smiled as she kicked the ball over to Cheekomon.
Cheekomon bounced the ball a few times on her head and then passed it back to Erica. The other kids and Digimon soon joined in. It took some explaining, but the Digimon caught on pretty quick.
It was a nice break. Even Jenn, who totally hated sports (or anything that involved running for that matter) was having the time of her life.
"Hey Cheekomon! I'm open!" Pandamon ran along side the cheetah, waving his arms around wildly. Cheekomon passed him the ball as the little panda scored his first goal.
"Ha! Digimon one, humans zippo!" he mocked.
“We’ll see how long that lasts!” Skye, who was good at sports both in real life and in her fan fics, shot back. She gained control of the ball and passed it to Lexxy, who wasn’t that good but was having a fun time with her friends.
Lexxy was near the Digimons’ goal, so she turned to make a shot. Cunomon was the goalie, and the partners shared determined grins. The black-haired girl pulled back her foot to kick the ball, when suddenly the entire ground began to shake! She lost her balance and fell to the ground.
“What’s that?” Cheekomon asked, running after the ball as it rolled away across the field.
“Uh, I think he might have an answer!” yelped Erica, pointing.
On the other side of the coliseum stood a hulking figure. Its metal-encased hand was drilling into the ground, shaking the entire field! It was Minotarumon!
“I don’t think we want to ask!” yelped Diratimon. “I think we should run!”
“Good idea. Heh heh heh.” The giant bull Digimon chuckled darkly. He picked up his drill-arm and thundered onto the field. The Digimon and Digidestined ran to avoid being crushed by his massive boots. The attack was so sudden they didn’t even realize they were being herded right into one of the goalie nets, which crashed down and trapped them all inside!
“How did I know this was going to happen?” groaned Tania.
“Well, here’s another fine mess you’ve gotten us into, Jenn!” snapped Emily.
The others could practically see a vein popping on Jenn’s forehead, just like in the Animes. “I’d like to see you do any better!” she returned.
Foximon tugged on her pant leg, trying to keep her cool. “Just let it go, Jenn. No one likes being in here.”
Erico put a hand to her head. “I cannot believe this. . . . Hey, where’s Cheekomon?”
While the girls complained, and the others frantically searched for a way out of the net, Minotarumon loomed over them with a ghastly grin. His drill was drawn back and prepared to strike, demolishing the whole trap! Then a small voice rang out.
“Ugh!” Minotarumon was knocked to one knee as Cheekomon, who had escaped capture because she was running after the ball, attacked. She came in for another hit, but the giant bull whipped his metal hand up and slammed the little Rookie down to the ground. A weak cry escaped her as she hit.
In the net-like cage the group gasped. “CHEEKOMON!” Erica screamed, horrified at seeing her partner hit so brutally. A bright light enveloped her digi-vice, causing Minotarumon to roar.
“Cheekomon digi-volve to . . . Cheetormon!”
Where the little cheetah girl once stood there was now a taller cheetah woman with long red hair in a ponytail. She wore a brown vest and her blue eyes glinted with determination as she faced off against Minotarumon.
“All right, Cheetormon’s on our side!” Nerimon cheered. “With her Fierce Claw and Thunder Beam attacks we’ll be out of here in no time!”
“You’re about to regret spoiling our game,” she growled at her enemy.
Minotarumon smirked. “We’ll see about that. Darkside Quake!” He swung his drill and caught Cheetormon upside the head.
The cheetah Digimon back flipped with the blow, taking it in stride. She landed lightly on her paws and sprang forward immediately, letting loose a cat howl of anger. “Thunder Beam!” she screamed. Thunder struck from the sky, collecting in her palm, and she through it at Minotarumon in a beam.
The other Champion snarled in pain and rushed forward to hit her again. Cheetormon danced aside gracefully and slashed out with her claws, leaving slash marks on his thick hide. This only made him angrier. He tried a quick series of punches, managing to catch her once on the shoulder and again on her jaw. She slipped on the grassy turf and crouched, avoiding another of Minotarumon’s blows.
“Fierce Claw!” she yelled, crouching right in front of the bull. Her right paw glowed with a red energy and she struck like a viper, slamming her fist right through Minotarumon’s torso!
The evil Digimon screamed in pain and rage as his pixels began to disperse. “You cannot defeat all the Queen’s minions!” he swore as he disappeared.
Cheetormon stood and flipped her ponytail over her shoulder. “We’ll see,” she snorted delicately.
There were cheers from the goal net, where the others were still held captive and had watched the battle with bated breath. The elegant Champion strolled across the green and flexed her sharp claws. With two powerful swipes she cut the wires encasing the metal frame. Electricity sparked, then went out as the wires were cut. The others spilled out and back on the field.
“Whew!” Yazumon sighed, wiping his forehead with his red-clawed paw. “Nice to have some breathing room again!”
“Cheetormon!” Erica cried gratefully, running forward to her Digimon. Cheetormon devolved and then Cheekomon leapt up into Erica’s arms for a hug. “I guess the Digiworld isn’t ready for us to take a break just yet,” the blonde girl sighed. “We were having so much fun.”
“Soon we’ll beat the Digimon Queen,” Cheekomon reminded her confidently. “Then all the Digimon in the Digiworld can have fun, just like we were, without worrying about becoming slaves or having their lands ruined.”
Erica put on a smile, proud of her Digimon. “You got that right, pal,” she said, hugging her again.
~~~ Erica's P.O.V. ~~~
It's fun feeling the wind in your hair and playing ball with your buds! Today I found out what a true friend Cheekomon was for me! Even if she doesn't get much of the sports, she's a very fast learner. Minotarumon was strong but not strong enough for my flexible Cheetormon, nor as quick. If it wasn't for her we might not be standing where we are now. This journey is teaching me a lot, because it's just like riding a horse, If you get kicked off, remember....just jump right back on and hold on tight! ^_~