Digimon Link D Rewrite



Disclaimer: I don't own Digimon or its characters. If I did, I think Fusion would be a massively different beast.

Chapter 1: One Wrong Shortcut – Shannon's Story

Sometimes, in this great big world, the most amazing moments in history begin with a mundane action. Newton was reading his books before gravity dropped a red delicious on his head. Archimedes was merely playing in the bath. Shelley thought that a scary story contest with her friends would help pass the rainy day. Sometimes, things just happen amidst utter mundanity.

In fact, right now, in classroom 107 of St Sergius' High school inside the City of Neighbourhoods itself, there was one person desperate for the tedium to end, scratching at the door for the end of day bell. Then again, this was a Friday, and everyone was looking forward to getting out of there. It wasn't the spiky haired boy staring out of the window nor the punk at the back of the room leaning on his chair, causing the back legs to squeak in pain, begging for a sweet release.

Seated at the desk closest to the door was a teenage girl in the final semester of her freshman year. Where there would usually be meticulously curled thick locks of chestnut hair were replaced with a frizzy mop of brown with strands jutting out all over the place. The bags under her dark blue eyes devoid of her usual positivity. Her head rested in her left hand to stop the throbbing of her temple. It was official; Shannon Jones was a mess.

"-iss Jones? … Miss Jones."

Shannon jolted a little as the teacher's question brought her out of her empty train of thought. She gave a little sigh with closed eyes before looking up at Mr Brooks as he stared at her with a disapproving raised brow. "Sorry sir, what was the question?"

The greying, balding man in a tweed jacket tutted before turning back to the novel in his hand; the same one that all the students had, if a little more dog-eared than the others. "As I asked you already, Shannon, what is the purpose of Tilney's confession to Catherine regarding his father's true crime?"

Feeling each word drip onto her head, Shannon nodded once to herself, looking over the page before responding to the teacher and her tuned out classmates. "Well, it feels as if, when you factor in the text's satirical nature, Austen wanted to prove that, no matter what supposedly horrific thing came from the pages of the gothic novels of the time, there-," she stopped, stifling a yawn before smiling with shame. "Sorry. I was going to say that, regardless of appearance, the true monsters of the world are presented through their actions. That there are more evil deeds in the world than what we can imagine."

Mr Brooks nodded before turning back to the board. "An interesting interpretation, Shannon. Good reference of Austen's relationship with the gothic as well."

Breathing a sigh of relief, Shannon tilted her head downward only for it to jolt up as the clanging noise of synthesised brass bells followed by the scraping of chairs on the wooden floors. She packed her stuff away, tuning out from her teacher's reminder of the assignment for net week and got up, hurrying out of the class. She felt a light weight fall from her person as she walked out but all she could focus on was getting to the bathroom and the clothes in her bag. Even the background noise of students was muffled to her ears. Well, all except one voice that stood out. A voice that came from behind her, deep and louder with every moment it drew nearer.

"Hey. Hey, Shannon. Shannon!"

Breaking out of her zone, Shannon turned around and looked down to see a familiar, dark-skinned hand hold out her phone.

The owner of said hand, a young man by the name of Dwight, had one brow raised on his stony face. "You dropped your phone. Again. Managed to get this off the floor before Dan stepped on it."

Shannon looked away for a moment, giving off a nervous chuckle before taking the phone from Dwight's hand. "Thanks, D. Sorry again." She stopped before putting the phone back in her uniform blazer pocket. "Wait. Swimming Dan or Heavyweight Dan?"

"Heavyweight. Believe me, if Swimmer Dan stepped on it, you'd hear his whining by now." Dwight walked ahead of her before eyeing the extra bag strapped around her shoulder and chest. "I take it you're going to see him today?"

Shannon nodded as she resumed walking, catching up to Dwight in little time. "Well, it has been a week since… you know… and I did promise Bill that I'd meet Corporal Hernandez and him today for dinner. It would be rude if I just didn't turn up, right? I mean, they just came back from deployment. Pretty sure someone would have my head."

Dwight tilted his head as a look of concentration appeared on his face. The first few times he did this, Shannon had thought that the weight of his head would topple him. "He does have a first name, right?"

Shannon let out a short puff of air followed by a groan as she side-stepped past a few of the cheerleaders on their way to practice. "I know. It's just… it's been a lot to take in. Mom and Dad haven't made it any easier."

"The fact that your brother's marrying one of his squad-mates?"

Shannon looked down at him, mouth open and eyes close to brandishing daggers. "No. I mean a little bit but… I mean, why Bill never told me that he and Marco were going out I couldn't understand. My parents, yes, but me? And the first time he mentions it, he's already proposed? Trust me, if I wasn't so ticked off at my parents, he would be getting a piece of my mind. I mean, if he didn't visit, I probably wouldn't have even met the guy until the day of the wedding."

Dwight laughed. "You know, when you get angry, your mouth looks like a cat's backside?" He looked up, chuckling as Shannon's mouth puckered from his words. "See?" He stopped by the door to the girl's bathroom right next to where the cheap white paint was flaking of by the door handle. "Relax, Shan'. You'll be fine. I'll wait out here whilst you get changed and we'll take the bus to Fed' Hill. You're meeting them at the sushi place there, right?"

"No, Marco apparently wanted to go to that British style fish and chip place that just opened up. And thanks." Shannon walked into the bathroom, grabbed a stall and proceeded to get changed. As she was mid-way in putting her jeans on, she spaced out a little, her hand clenching into a fist as the argument between Bill and their parents replayed in her mind. If she didn't know any better, it felt like the words somehow became mushier to distinguish yet weighed her down further to the floor every time this happened. She shook her head. She was not by the top of the steps. She was in the bathroom at her school. They were just memories now. They weren't there. It was just in her head; her frizzy, dry mess of a head. After she finished getting ready, she headed to the sinks where there were mirrors. Unfortunately, there were no outlets, so she braced herself with a brush and a spray can for the battle of a lifetime; her hair.

Twenty minutes later, the hallways were bare, and Dwight was grumbling, checking his watch for what felt like the hundredth time before the bathroom door opened and Shannon walked out. Gone was her uniform and, in its place, was a nice little smart-casual number with brown ankle boots but what Dwight was genuinely surprised at was the hair. What was once a brown puffball was a 'do that made him think of cabaret and those old Hollywood pictures she and him researched for a play they helped with, complete with a pencilled-in beauty mark on her left cheek. He wouldn't say it, but he was impressed. One part did raise a brow though. "What's with the jacket?"

Shannon looked down, brushing her hands on the garment in question; a thick khaki jacket with metallic buttons and black, decorative shoulder pads which were a blade or two away from starring in a Mad Max movie. "What? I thought I'd be easy to spot. It's a nice coat."

"You'll be easy to see alright. Along with the parade of limbs you've sliced off people with those great big shoulder pads of death."

Shannon chuckled with a coy smile. "You're lucky we need to get the bus, Mr Charles, otherwise you'd be suspended on the flagpole by now."

Dwight shrugged. "Guess I'd have it coming. If I needed to come down, I'd use those pads to cut the rope."

Shannon groaned before pulling out her phone. "Come on, ten minutes."

"Yes, ma'am."

Eventually, after a moderate bus ride complete with at least one guy taking out his glass eye to polish it, the two arrived at Federal Hill Park. From the moment she stepped out, Shannon smelt the salt air from the harbour just across from the entrance. There were several people she could see from the entrance. The sounds of young children's screams of joy as they swished between the trees and the tubes of the slides. The chatter of the mothers clearly on their second gulp of "jogging juice", judging by the volume of their screeching laughter. As she and Dwight walked further in and upwards, they passed a group of four people having a picnic, one particularly angry young girl channelling all her rage down the speaker in her phone and, amongst the play equipment, a girl who Shannon recognised from her class playing with a boy who looked around eight or so. She looked about their age with glasses, a brown ponytail and a face which tried too hard to smile. Shannon took the chance and nudged Dwight.

"What was that for?"

She pointed over to the girl who was currently taking off a blazer like the school one Shannon had in one of her bags. "Isn't that Rosa? You know, the one from Biology."

Dwight looked over before nodding. "I think so. Guess that's her little brother with her. She was the one who gave that tai chi demonstration for the talent show, right? Figures since they do classes up here." He looked at Shannon. "Why did you ask?"

Shannon shrugged her shoulders. "I don't know. Maybe she'd like to buy a ticket. Not too often you get to watch a movie outdoors. Might be a bit more money in it for you."

Dwight looked in Rosa's direction for a moment before shaking his head. "Pass. She'd probably want something that'd keep that brother of hers occupied for an hour or two." He walked alongside Shannon for a while before a humming noise filled the air. Before either of them stopped to wonder what was causing the sound, they were both hit with a flash of white light, causing them both to rub their closed eyes with a balled-up hand. "What was that?" Dwight asked before letting a short, breathy silent groan out. "Man, that stung."

"Tell me about it." Shannon blinked as she opened her eyes. As far as she could see, everyone around them had not followed their example but seemed to carry on with their day. "Strange." Her train of thought was stopped before it left the station when the voices of two guys calling out Dwight's name, as well as the nickname 'Half-pint', tore through the air. The two had reached a fork in the path. One led back down to the bottom of the hill and the gate out to the harbour's yacht spot and the place where she'd meet Bill and… his fiancée.

The other path led to the centre of the park where, amidst the trees, three guys and two girls were busy with setting up what looked like a silver audio box, a food vendor and a large, white canvas-like screen which stretched from one large, pristine oak to the next in front of a cornered-off area where the paying viewers would be laying their blankets in an hour or two before getting lost in turmoil between a roman emperor and his Egyptian queen. The voices came from two of the boys plugging cables from the audio box into a generator and projector or, judging by their crouched stature, they were failing to untangle the mess of plastic covered wiring.

Dwight sighed, waving a hand at the duo before turning behind to face Shannon, a grimace appearing on his face at the sound of that nickname. "Looks like my stop. Better get going before Andre yanks out the wires." He began walking away backwards before pointing at his watch. "Don't forget, we're showing the film at seven. We'll give them a military discount."

Shannon smiled. "Will do, D. See you later, wish me luck."

Dwight laughed. "Wish you luck? Shannon, I'm all the luck you need."

She stopped when she heard those last six words. They seemed a bit off. Shaking her head, she walked the more travelled road, her curiosity about the flash of light from earlier blanked out with how she was going to start the conversation. Jokey? Sombre? Excited? She had no clue. Thinking about it, what would she say? What could she say? Sorry? Part of her wanted to sprint back and take the next bus home. She found that piece of her and, with a little slap on her cheek, she buried it deep down in her head. After all, she made a promise. She then stopped in the middle of the path, stepping to the side to let a mother and pram trundle past before taking in a deep breath, holding it and exhaling. Nodding to herself, she resumed her journey along the scuffed up, tarmacked trail. As she did, she took her next step, gasped and fell on her backside when her boot sunk through the path as if it were made of treacle. She jumped back, heels clacking on the trail as the place where she stepped began to glow green with lines of ones and zeros. Breath catching in her throat, Shannon swallowed before stepping back, giving a small yelp as the green lines stretched out further, inching towards her like green stringy lava. With each step she took it grew closer and closer before she broke off into a run back down the path.

Finding herself back at the fork, Shannon ran towards the other turn straight to the screen setup. In her haste, she spotted Dwight fiddling with the box. "Dwight! Dwight!" she yelled before turning back. She gasped. The green lines seemed thicker, spreading outwards and upward to the trees and the bushes behind her.

"Shan'? What're you-?" Dwight looked up, jumping down from his seat as he saw the lines approaching him as fast as Shannon was going. That was, until she fell, left shoulder and head hitting the tarmac before he broke out into a run towards her, caring little about the oncoming lines. "Shannon? Shannon!? Can you hear me?"

Dazed, Shannon looked up to see Dwight's face; his wide-eyed, gaunt face present before it was overcome by the lined of ones and zeroes which appeared on him like a thin net. Thinking for a second, dread collected in her stomach like a lead weight. She opened her mouth, but nothing came out. All she felt was the throbbing pain on her head, the scuffs on her hands and the green lines as they crawled up her skin with the buzz of pop rocks sprayed with soda, before they invaded her mouth, conquered the tongue and slid down her throat. All she could do was stare at Dwight for what seemed like an eternity, unable to move or utter a single sound until, like before, a light flashed bright as lit magnesium only this time, the flash engulfed them. Now, she didn't feel the ground underneath her, only air as she fell, silently screaming until she felt a thud, and all fell to black.

Well, dear readers, I hope you enjoyed that opener. Hopefully, Shannon is safe. The question is what awaits her when she wakes up? Tune in next time for the next Chapter of Digimon Link-D Rewrite; The Forest Locker.