Preface

The faint light pulses softly, sweetly; dim shapes out lit, past tales, future chronicles, waiting. The chest cavity of the armored digimon opens with a hiss. Now it rests on its haunches, tarnished and pitted by action - it kneeled that way too, its body moving with a slight jerking motions as it slowly descended.

They, the witnesses, would feel the silhouettes before they saw anything conclusive - but down and forward the boy's upper body fell into the grass and forest floor with a soft thump. Wires trailed from his torso and band around his head as his arms slipped from whatever they grasped, having evidently been engaged in servo-sockets of some kind.

"What a plot twist!" exclaimed the bunny-dog, surprised as the rest of the group.

"I suppose that explains why the signal seemed similar to a biomerge," his partner, Jian, scratched his chin.

"Is he alright, Renamon?" asked Ruki as her partner examined the boy - no, young man, along with Guilmon.

"He seems fine - his heartbeat sounds normal," the kitsune replied. She cocked her head briefly, as if trying to take in something from the figure before her that lay deep within. "Although I am getting an odd vibe from him..."

Takato approached, coming up alongside his partner, who was busy concentrating on what he could pick up through smell. His eyes were drawn to the small screen that lay behind the headrest, it displayed a symbol like the digital hazard, but inverted, and green rather than red.

"Heuristics disentangled," chimed a small synthetic voice from within the chest cavity. "Disengaging Non-Invasive Synaptic Link."

"It's de-digivolving," noted Guilmon as his head perked up.

"I wonder what its Rookie form looks like," mused Takato, art and design always on his mind.

In a warm glow, the mechanoid collapsed, briefly condensing into a dragon shape of sorts, before the wings merged into the body, leaving a distinctive saurian outline as the glow subsided.

"Isn't that one of the Tamer's that Suichong and Lopmon were keeping an eye on in America?" Ruki was the first to comment.

"I do believe you're right," replied Jian.

In a flitting dart of small shapes that emerged and whirled, the two were absorbed in a faint glow, and dissipated into a stream of particles of light that was soon gone.

"I guess there is more work ahead," sighed Takato.

"Clearly," nodded Ruki.


Approximately 4.5 Hours Previously...

"What's the situation?" asked Yamaki, as he walked to the center of the now expanded control room.

"Our scans are picking up a number of ruptures at the boundaries of the digital world at the first and second layers," Riley explaimed as the hands of multiple operators flew over keyboards. "It would seem that there was a spate of bio-emergences on the east coast of the United States, despite the increased security presence there. However, the largest one seems to have been unsuccessful due to unknown causes.

"How so?"

"After the initial bio-emergence, within 10 minutes and before the process was completed, the field became unstable and inverted."

"Almost as if something was pushing it back..." murmered Yamaki as the analysis chart flowed on the screen in front of him. "Let me guess," he said, pushing up his sunglasses ever so slightly, "it's the anomaly zone an hour south of Boston, isn't it?"

"That's correct," nodded Riley, "and it seems that whatever's going on, we'll find out about it soon enough," she turned toward him as one of her subordinates finished slipping her some info. "Apparently, since the inverted field is still unstable, it'll pass through the digital world like a drogue net before carrying whatever's caught in its wake this way. From what I understand, it's going to take a few hours to get here, so we've got some time to prepare for it."

"And the month had been going so well too," said Yamaki sardonically with a half-sigh. "Anything we can do about it?"

Shibumi says at best they'll be able to deflect it so that the center, with the most powerful digimon, will arrive in one of the rural, forested areas outside the city; the rest that do pop up will be a low enough level that the younger Tamers and less experienced DATS teams can easily take care of it should they prove hostile."

"Nothing too unusual then, good," Yamaki smirked a little as he flicked the cover of his lighter open and closed. "Very well - I'll go call up Satsuma and our division in the US and leave the local situation up to you, carry on."

"See you for dinner then, sir," said Riley as she turned back to the task at hand

"Of course," he replied.