A big thanks to NurseBold, Nicolas H, Tim M, ncskeeter56, Thomas D, Avo, S. Nutter, Lucy B, Lars H, Jesper B, Frogsamurai, Bunny Waffles, Lizard Messiah, Kalafalafakah, Fabhar, Zach C, Dicky W, Sashank U, Patrick I, MidnightJayguar, Tyric Gaias, No Thanks, Michael M, Yeno M, Jeremiah Z, Alex G, Meadow, Spencer S, Taylor V, Jeremy H, Ethan S, Ben, Scott E, Johnathan C, Josh T, Shawn L, marcellis97, 0The Fool, Arcaryx, Powernap, rooster196, Johnathan D, Sukaleska, Ampharos3, Nick R, Tiemi, Fleshcrawler, Ryan S, Irene, Sarah D, Xegzy, Brad J, Leaveinlimbo, Zhanibek A, Earthpatriot117, CheesePie25, John T, Joe, Thundatwin, Deohn L, TwentyThousandCats, Nubice, Grimzero, MooMoo195, itsawaffle, Rafael B, Esquire, Ashby T, Mitchell S, Spencer Kohlman, Siphon Rayzar, Mrbucky92, ItsCool, wishindo, Vees, Sandesh, Seadrake, Obsidianking, Berd, Josh D, and mgrinshpon for being patrons.

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Last but certainly not least, a very special thanks to BrokenOlive for being a top-level patron.

Want to support me? See fuggmann on the place of patrons

High above the town of Dayton astride Dorugamon's back, Kyle clutches his jacket to his shivering frame as the thin, cold, morning air bites at every bit of his exposed skin. His legs, held to his digimon's toasty sides, are as warm as can be, but his torso and face feel like ice.

He grips the handlebar of Dorugamon's saddle as his highschool comes into view below, prompting the great dragon to slowly pitch towards the football field. Already, he can see the other kids below slowing and sometimes stopping to watch as the purple dragon glides down into a landing. Kyle can't help but grin at all the eyes he feels upon him.

Digimon may be a mainstay and cultural powerhouse in the modern world, but only one in every hundred or so children find a partner.

Nothing is stopping digimon and people from teaming up of their own accord, but the mysterious instincts of the digital creatures lead a rare few to venture into the material world to find a human tamer. Scientists are still scratching their heads over the phenomena, and how the digimon just know who they're looking for.

Of the 14,000 or so students in the Dayton public school system, only 121 are natural digimon tamers. Belmont, a middle school and highschool of about 1000 students, has 11 of those tamers.

Dorugamon lightly touches down in the football field, barely tearing up any of the grass and stirring the early morning mist into whirling little vortexes with her wingbeats. With a tired sigh, Kyle waits for the saddle's harness to recede, and before Dorugamon can complain, he pulls his phone from his purple hoodie pocket and toggles the saddle mod.

He drops a half-inch when the seat below him suddenly vanishes, but pays it no mind and slides off of his digimon's side down to the dew-coated grass.

"Have a good day at school, Kyle," Doru rumbles, pressing her large, furry muzzle gently to his side. "Call me if you need anything."

"I will, mom." Kyle snorts, adjusting the backpack on his back as he does so. "What I need is for this week to end so we can go to the digital world."

The Champion nods absently, her front paws wringing at nothing. The light of the morning sun glitters across her red claws gold eyes. "Indeed. It's been years, and I've so much I want to show you," she smiles. To most, the sight of all the jagged, dagger-like teeth would be bowel-loosening, but Kyle just finds it endearing.

The teen smiles back and rubs a hand across Doru's snout. "I can't wait. See you here at 3 o'clock?"

She presses her muzzle to her tamer one final time. "Certainly. See you then." With that, she extends her wings and takes off with a single, dew-scattering wingbeat, rising into the air and flying away.

Kyle grimaces and looks down at his wet jeans, now splattered with the dew that previously belonged to the grass. "You figure I'd remember this..." He sighs and shakes a leg.

The ring of the first bell stops any further grumbling, prompting him to start walking to the building, lest he miss the second bell and end up catching a tongue lashing.

The walk from the football field is long enough that most students are already in their homeroom classes with just a few stragglers. Thankfully, Kyle's homeroom isn't far from the front door, just down the first right and three doors down, but as he passes the door, the tamer eyes the nametag on the doorframe with distaste.

"Mr. Phil Harly - Algebra 1 - 2."

Oh, Harly. What a vile guy. With his big, hooked nose that makes his sneers all the worse and the odd spelling of his name. The bastard insists that every worksheet he hands out has both your name and his name on it, and if you included an E in his last name, it was an automatic 5% docked.

Kyle steps into the room, noticing he's the last one to arrive, and it throws him right into the spotlight when someone speaks up over the chatter. "Hey, Vanduff! I saw you on TV!" A fit, grinning teen near the back yells.

Nate Beckman, one of the few sophomore members of the football team. Tall, build like a brickhouse... and dumb as a rock from one too many blows to the head. His next line is going to be...

"Way to get your ass kicked by an angel!"


"Buzz off, Nate!" Another voice chimes in, this time on the other side of the room. Kyle turns to the voice as he finds his desk and sits down, finding one Tommy Miller, a squirrely kid who is an expert on all things digimon despite not being a tamer. Kyle can see Tommy's phone out on his desk, a video of the fight in question paused on the screen. "How was a Champion supposed to beat an Ultimate with all the tournament restrictions? Dorugamon did great!"

From his spot, Nate just shrugs. "How does a dragon lose to an angel? If I had a digimon, we wouldn't have lost."

"Right, sure," Kyle sneers. He crosses his arms and leans back in the uncomfortable desk chair. "That attitude is probably why you don't have a digimon, dumbass."

That wipes the grin right off of Nate's face, an ugly scowl taking its place. "The fuck you say?"


The room quiets when Harly, steaming mug in hand, slinks into the room with the same posture as a rat. The man's head is already tilted back as if looking down at them all from beyond his beak-like nose. "Get the weekend out of your systems, it's school-time now. You all have a test on multi-variable equations this friday, and If a single person has anything below a C, we will be doing remedial courses next week!"

Groans and moans are stifled across the room, as to not tempt the teacher into assigning more work.

"And furthermore!" Harly continues, setting his mug down on his desk. He paces imperiously in front of the board as he talks. His lips quirk, taking pleasure in his next words. "It's come to my attention that a few students were using digital implants and smart contacts to cheat in other classes. With permission from the school board, I will be using a WiFi jammer during our tests going forward."

Eyes go wide and faces go pale.

Before Harly can speak any further, the second bell rings, officially signalling the start of the school day. The teacher frowns at the interruption, but steps off to the side as the board at the front of the room powers on for the morning announcements.

Apparently the front boards in classrooms were some cheapo resistive touchscreens back when Kyle's mom was his age in 2024, and a few were just projectors being fed from a PC. Even older ones used real markers of all things. Not that these ones are much better, being simple capacitive screens since the school board is too cheap for anything holographic or with haptic feedback. The front boards barely even have voice commands or hand tracking.

The front board powers on, showing the smiling face of Miss Mendoza, the pretty, young vice-principal. As usual, the office in the back of her camera feed is just as spotless as her tanned face and perfectly styled wavy black hair. "Good morning, everyone!" She greets with career-educator cheer and a sparkling smile only seen on TV adverts. "It's 7:25am, March 11th. There's not much in the way of morning announcements, so we'll have you back learning in two shakes!" She giggles. "The sports field will be reseeded the first week of April, so both the soccer and football teams will be provided bus rides to the local park for their practice. All students please keep off the grass for at least one week after that."

'It didn't look patchy when Doru and I came in,' Kyle muses to himself, resting his chin in his palm. He looks around, silently lamenting that none of his friends are in his homeroom and first period. 'The school is just wasting more money I see...'

"The school book club has concluded their winter read-a-thon, and the award for most books read at a whooping 12 since December goes to Nicole Baumberger in freshman year! Congrats, Nicole! Please stop by the office when you can to collect your prize!" The vice-principal glances down out of frame for a second, probably at her computer screen. "Missus Truman will be out for the next few weeks on maternity leave, so her classes will be taught by either myself or a substitute teacher until she returns. She had a healthy little boy over the weekend and is so proud! Be sure to show her your love when she returns!"

Miss Mendoza's voice, almost musical and laced with a feather light spanish accent, keeps everyone's attention despite how mundane the morning announcements are. That voice is probably why the principal, an old, mumbling codger of a man handed the duty to her.


Kyle leans forward, wondering if...

"A reminder to everyone that student parking is behind the school while teacher parking is along the side. Please don't mix up your spots!"

Nah, it was a pipe dream to think they'd announce that he was in the State Digimon Championship. Everyone worthwhile already knows, anyway.

"The time is now 7:29am, and that concludes our announcements!" Mendoza smiles wide one final time. "Have a nice morning, everyone!" With that, the camera feed cuts, leaving the front board a blank white screen.

Harly wastes no time in taking control of the class back, quickly stepping back to the front of the room. "Books out and turned to page 288!" He barks, the front board instantly displaying said page when its microphone picks up the teacher's voice. "Now, read to page 296, then partner up and complete the exercise listed there. Show all of your work," he scowls.

Again, growls and groans are suppressed all around.

As soon as the bell rings, Kyle darts up out of his seat and throws his book into his bag, wholly uncaring if his haste comes off as offensive to his partner...Urm...

He glances back to the smallish, mousy girl in glasses he picked at random as a partner, forgetting her name even as she looks up at him neutrally.


"Remember the test on Friday!" Harly calls, but he's steadfastly ignored as everyone pours out of the room as if it's on fire.

Kyle himself weaves around Nate Bateman, who is still tilted about the 'dumbass' comment if the feeling of a glare on the back of Kyle's head is anything to go by. The jock is promptly ignored as the smaller teen rounds the corner to his next class.

The sound of quick footsteps behind him and a hand on his shoulder makes Kyle jump, half-thinking Nate has come

"Jeez, champ. Way to get robbed at that last fight."

Kyle groans and knocks the hand away, turning as he does so. "Piss off."

Behind him with a bright grin in place is Dom Gaul, Kyle's best friend and the only other sophomore tamer in the school.

Dom, at least in Kyle's eyes, is a true spotlight man, one fit for a book protagonist or the star of a film. Handsome, intelligent, charismatic, the taller teen has it all. His shining green eyes and golden blonde hair draw looks from all around, then an effortless conversation ensnares you like a cloying spell. Even the juniors, seniors, and a few teachers aren't immune to his charm. The added mysticism of being a tamer just makes Dom's schoolyard legend that much bigger.

And if that all wasn't enough, Dom's digimon is a Renamon, a truly gorgeous and kind-hearted specimen of her kind to boot, even without mods. Of the five known Renamon living in this side of the state, Dom's is the best by a longshot. The only mod she has installed is a simple color swap to make her eyes the same color as her tamer's emerald greens. One has to wonder if she and Dom...

Kyle shakes away that thought.

Now if only either of them had an interest in the fighting circuit. Kyle knows they would do great, well enough that Renamon could join Dorumon in the ranks of Champion level, but alas Dom just isn't into battling and Renamon is too vain to willingly muss up her fur in a fight.

"Just sayin, is all," Dom shrugs, falling into step with Kyle as they walk. "I know it wasn't you or Dorumon's fault, but man, that's lame way to go."

"Don't remind me," The shorter of the two grumbles, his hands clenching around the straps of his backpack. "We're winning next time."

Dom grins. "That's the spirit! Just uh..." His eyes dart side to side as if looking for eavesdroppers. "Remember your supportive pal when you're making millions, okay?"

"Dunno who you're talking about," Kyle replies dryly, making Dom shake his head and hold his heart.

"You wound me, friendo."

Kyle huffs. "Wanna know what wounds me?" He doesn't wait for an answer. "The fact that I have to wait for the weekend before Doru and I can go to the digital world."

Dom's eyes widen. "What? Did you really get a passport?" he asks, this time actually looking around for eavesdroppers. "How did you do it? Rena and I have been rejected three times already."

Kyle can't help but feel slightly smug that he's finally one-ups Dom at something. He pulls his phone from his hoodie, then opens his email and passes the phone to his friend, who takes it and reads the email incredulously. "Dunno how. Maybe the tournament?"

Dom passes the phone back, rubbing the patch of stubble on his chin as he mulls over the verbal bait Kyle tossed out. "Well, I guess we just have to wait," he shrugs, not biting.

Unsurprised, Kyle just rolls his eyes as they stroll into their biology class a minute before the bell rings. He looks around, and sure enough Mrs. Truman is nowhere to be found. As he and Dom find seats near the back, the sound of high-heels echo from the hallway just before Miss Mendoza walks in with all her long-legged, slit skirt, flattering blouse glory.

"Psst," Dom whispers and elbows Kyle, drawing him out of his reverie. "You're staring."

Kyle feels his face heat up and looks away.

"Good morning, everyone!" The vice-principal greets the class with her megawatt smile. The smile gets wider when everyone responds back, a number of boys doing so with enthusiasm. "We'll be taking it easy today. I think Mrs. Truman had video lessons planned for most of this week and I see no reason to change it."

The announcement is met with open cheers from much of the class.

Mendoza turns to the front board and makes two hand gestures, one that mimics a light switch and the other the turning of a book page. After a short delay, the usually finicky machine mounted to the front wall both dims the lights and begins to play a video titled. "Birds and Bees?"

'Gross. I don't need a refresher, thanks,' Kyle props his science textbook up on his desk to hide his phone behind it, and sweet, naive Miss Mendoza goes and sits behind Truman's desk with her smile in place, unaware that half the class is goofing off.

Kyle opens his phone browser and mindlessly opens . Sorting by newest first, the front page is plastered with -surprise surprise- mods for Renamon, Gatomon, Lilymon, and other rare, coveted digimon. Some of them are rather pleasant and tasteful, like a plush fur mod, a mod that makes Renamon's gloves scroll through different colors, one for bioluminescent eyes that Kyle bookmarks so he can modify it for Doru, and a whole pack of different fur patterns like tiger and leopard for Gatomon.

Other mods are... well, the less said the better. How would a Rosemon even walk upright with those?

Thankfully the website has a counter for downloads and likes on each mod. The mods with actual downloads and likes are usually the way to go, and he's pleased to see the Invisible Saddle mod got an update.

Ver 1.4.23. Fixed collision bug with large flying digimon


As the movie on the front screen plays, droning on about the process of fetal cell division, Kyle busies himself looking for new and interesting digi mods. Dom, ever the upstanding guy, actually pays attention to the video and takes notes.

'Oh no, I know some poor digimon somewhere has been subjected to this against their will,' Kyle bites his lip to keep from grinning when he finds 'Anime skins w/ eyes vol. 1' For kicks, he downloads it and moves on. So far, nothing really seems to be jumping out at him other than various skins and updates for mods he already has installed in Dorumon. A glance at the Attacks section doesn't reveal anything new, and Doru's moveset as both Dorumon and Dorugamon are solid. Enough to cover most situations, but not so many that her code bloats and slows down.

'Oooooooh, hello...'

Then one does catch his eye.

Jet Engine DigiArmor 0.7.8 BETA

Not a true Digiarmor, but you get the idea. This mod adds AR500 steel armor to various digimon (see compatibility list below) and a set of engines based on a scaled version of the old General Electric GE9X engine whose patent expired a few years ago. Engines use the host digimon's stamina to materialize and operate so not recommended for the faint of heart (IE Rookies and below). Adds a seat, hud with basic stuff, and windshield so you don't get blown off. Next update to add lighter armor, better engine efficiency, and better aerodynamics. See for full set-up and use instructions. Note: The armor is needed to add structural rigidity for the engines so they don't rip right off of your digimon or go cockeyed, so don't use this mod without the armor. Check out BloodManBill's GAU-8 and AIM-120 AMRAAM Simulator mods for an authentic jet fighter experience. Under 18s use with parent permission.


1)Have a flying licence and working IFF duh

2)Not tournament legal anywhere lmao

3)Make sure your Digimon can handle the strain of carrying the armor and using the engines before getting off the ground.

4)Conflicts with saddle/seat mods. No, I will not patch it.


And as luck would have it, between Coredramon and ExVeemon on the compatibility list, Kyle sees "Dorugamon".

"Don't need to see anything else," Kyle grins and taps 'Download', already imagining the unreal speed jet engines are going to give Doru.


Kyle looks up and blinks when the lights in the classroom suddenly brighten. A second later, he realizes he spent the entire second period on his phone.

"Okay, everyone! We'll pick up where we left off tomorrow!" Miss Mendoza stands and brings her hands together in a clap. "Have a wonderful day!"

"Did you laze around the entire class?" Kyle looks over to see Dom's disapproving expression as they both pack up for their next lesson.

"I didn't 'laze around', as you put it," the firstborn Vanduff defends himself. "I was doing research. Just not on the stuff in class."

Dom frowns, but doesn't fuss. "Are you doing anything tonight?"

"I was thinking of using the neurosuite in the computer lap to prep for the digital world after school," Kyle says, shouldering his backpack and following after his friend. "Why?"

"We haven't hung out in a while is all," They stop at Dom's locker, one of the old ones still using a combination lock rather than a fingerprint or some other biometric. As the blonde puts in his combination from muscle memory, he continues. "You and Dorumon were training day in and day out for the last three weeks, remember?"

Kyle blinks and runs a hand through across his scalp, parting the half-hearted curls his hair tries to make. "Was it three weeks? It didn't feel that long."

'In fact, it felt like those weeks flew by. Why can't this week do that?' Kyle grumbles to himself. 'Dorugamon could 'accidentally' level the school, then it would go faster, right?'

She could do it easily, but the build up of that much energy would no doubt bring the Reppamon at the local police station running. While Dorugamon was the furthest thing from a pushover, a Champion powerful enough to indefinitely sustain their Champion form like the Dayton PD Reppamon would win out in the end.

Naturally, the government's fix to common people having firepower was to just have more firepower. For a while after digimon began to stream into the human world, tamers and independent digimon could make unreal money taking government security contracts. Nowadays, every PD has a Champion and several Rookies on staff, and some larger PDs even have the occasional Ultimate.

And unlike the Angewoman they faced in Cincinnati, these Ultimates don't tire out in less than a minute.

Dom's locker pops open with a noisy clatter, and from inside, he takes a thick English textbook that he stuffs in his backpack before shutting the locker behind him. "So, the computer lab after school?"

"Sounds like a plan to me," Kyle smiles as he turns down another hallway to his next class. "See you at lunch."

The rest of the day passes slowly but without incident. Kyle's first elective, Computer Sci 1, is a bore that he passes by tweaking a few mods for Dorumon. History is spent with a pair of friends in some corner seats as they cheat and look-up answers they didn't study for. Following that is a lunch spent with Dom and several other friends at a circular table, idly talking about life, school, digimon, video games, girls, the football team's opening game win, anything really. Kyle, Dom, and several other friends all have a study hall together where Dom is the only one who actually studies. They break up for their next class, which is PE for Kyle, then they all have English, where Kyle reluctantly pays attention so his shaky C grade doesn't fall. Finally...


The day ends.

Before Mrs. Forester, the freshman and sophomore English teacher can even utter a single word about homework, Kyle is out the door along with several others before beelining for the computer lab.

As he makes haste down the stairs to the basement level of the school, he pulls his phone from his hoodie pocket and opens his text messages.

Me: Hey Doru come on in and down to the basement. We're logging in to DigiCenter to see if their Digital World mock-up is any good.

It takes a moment, but Dorumon replies.

Doru: I'm on my way in. Renamon is here too. I assume she and Dom are coming along?

Me: Yeah.

Kyle drops his phone into his pocket as he finds himself at the Computer Lab door. With casual ease borne of many visits, he throws the door open, finding the lab deserted.

For the most part, it looks like any other computer lab. Rows of drab desks fitted with rather weak computers with a single monitor each. The computers are a timeless off-white, each one probably having less than 128 GB of RAM, and certainly not going past 5TB of SSD storage. They probably have abysmal write speed too. He's not even going to comment on the CPUs or the integrated graphics and sound systems. Even his cheap cell phone boasts better specs all round.

No, the real star of the show is in the corner.

Dominating a corner of the basement room is a behemoth that resembles a supercomputer of old. A monolithic slab of racks, cooling fans, and countless wafer-thin neuro-CPUs capable of interpreting, converting, writing, and emulating a fraction of human brain function like a mess of gold-plated neurons. Fiber optic cables as thick as human wrists reach from the machine into the wall, no doubt combining into a tree-trunk of a cable beyond Kyle's view. One side of the machine boasts a simple analog terminal with a glass monitor, keyboard, and a keyhole emblazoned with a power logo. The other side not facing a wall has a large ethernet patch panel with two plush chairs sitting close by, where simple headbands sporting CAT6 plugs sit wrapped up. NEUROSUITE MKIII is plastered across the side of the huge case in a brutalistic impact font with a smaller "By Microsoft" under the name in loopy cursive.

A cheap knock-off, but it works.

Walking over to the Neurosuite, Kyle runs his hand under one of the lab desks and stops when his finger bumps into something. He wraps a finger around the bump and pulls it free with the sound of tearing tape, leaving a small key in his hand.

Smiling, he-


-whirls around, hiding the key behind his back.

In the doorway of the computer lab, a smaller boy with a Wanyamon at his feet looks in, his expression dismayed when he finds Kyle before him.

The intruder's name is Harris Baumberger, the youngest tamer in the school at 13 years old.

The boy is several inches shorter than Kyle, with short cropped brown hair and hazel eyes. His babyface is smooth, still untouched by acne much to Kyle's envy, and his simple outfit of shorts and a t-shirt reveal his slim physique. Were it not for his status as a tamer, Harris would be easy to lose in a crowd.

The In-Training Digimon at his feet is just as simple and childish, resembling a limbless, blue-furred cat's head the size of a melon with a tail and yellow eyes. The fringes of his fur are white, and tiger-like stripes of darker blue are streaked through his coat. The little cat glares up at Kyle with anger simmering in his eyes.

"Beat it, Harry." Kyle frowns. "Dom and I are setting up down here. Come by another time."

"Looks like you're alone down here, and there are two spots, jerk," Wanyamon shoots back with an ugly expression. "Let Harris have one!"

"It sucks that we have seniority, then," Kyle crosses his arms and doesn't budge. "Dorumon and I have an upcoming trip to the Digital World, and we need to prepare for it. Maybe if you were at least a freshy with a Rookie, I would have told Dom tough luck, but I'm not trusting a kid and a trainee to watch mine and Doru's backs in the mock Digiworld that DigiCenter set-up."

Neither Harris nor Wanyamon seem to understand the underlying meaning in Kyle's words, or if they do, they simply don't react. "But Kyle..." Harris begins, looking away when Kyle's eyes fall on him. "You've been down here every day for almost a month. No one else has had a chance to go online..."

Kyle, unimpressed, just shrugs. "Again, that sucks. You should have got here first."

Wanyamon hisses, his ears laid back. The anger remains even as Harris bends down and slowly picks the furry digimon up into his arms.

"C'mon Wanyamon..." Harris mutters. "We'll come back another time," he says, turning and leaving without another word.

The little cat digimon manages to wiggle enough in his tamer's arms to stare daggers at Kyle for one last second before they pass the door.

The older tamer just shakes his head.

As Harris' footsteps grow quieter down the hallway, three more sets of feet can be heard incoming, two sets of which make the distinct sound of claws tapping on the tiled floor.

A moment later, Dorumon, Dom, and Dom's Renamon round the corner.

Kyle raises a hand in a lazy wave. "About time you all got here," he says, eyes landing on Renamon for the first time in what feels like weeks.

Renamon could not have been a more perfect digimon for Dom. The anthropomorphic fox digimon easily tops out at six feet without counting her ears and is coated in silky golden fur with a snow-white belly, paws, tail tip, ear tips, and chest tuft. Every fluid, inhumanly graceful step she takes makes her luscious coat, her pride and joy, ripple and shimmer in the light. The black sclera of her eyes makes her shining green irises all the brighter, pairing well with the small smile that always seems to be on her muzzle. All of this bewitching beauty, and not a single mod needed other than the color swap in her eyes. It leaves her code clutter-free, making both her body and mind nimble. When she and Dom walk side by side, heads are always turning.

Renamon raises a thin eyebrow, crossing her arms under the bust hidden by her chest tuft. "So what's this I hear about you and Doru getting a pass back to the digital world?" She asks, voice as smooth as her fur. "It seems rather arbitrary when Dom and I have been rejected countless times."

'Countless? Drama much?' Kyle shrugs. "Dunno, don't care. We've got a passport and that's all that matters to me. My guess is that we've been recognized as being able to handle ourselves."

"We have worked rather hard over the past year," Dorumon agrees, looking between Kyle and Renamon. "The Digital Commission isn't very clear on how they choose who gets what privileges, however. Some level of transparency would be nice."

Dom shakes his head with a rueful smile. "Not going to happen."

"Anyway, are you all ready?" Kyle asks, turning back to the terminal on the side of the neurosuite. He lifts the key in his hand and jams it into the power-switch marked keyhole, then gives it a full 360 degree turn.

The lights above flicker for a second before stabilising, then with the whine of countless fans and the hiss of a leaky cryosystem, the neurosuite rumbles and reluctantly shudders to life.

The terminal screen runs through several boot diagnostics too fast for any of the watching tamers or digimon to track, then after briefly displaying the Microsoft logo, the screen shifts to a log-in page that Kyle fills in without even glancing at the keyboard.

The cryo cooling hisses even louder and the fans boost to max speed, making the whole room uncomfortably loud. Dorumon and Renamon both fold their ears back.

C:\NS\system32 netsh wlan show digi loc


Digimon on interface Wi-Fi:

User profiles

All User Profile : DORUMON

All User Profile : RENAMON

All User Profile : WANYAMON

All User Profile : BOTAMON

It takes only a few commands into the following console window on the terminal to wirelessly find and connect to both Renamon and Dorumon. The wireless handshake and resulting ping test both come back green.

C:\NS\system32 begin se1

C:\NS\system32 begin se2

C:\NS\system32 load_digi doru

C:\NS\system32 load_digi rena

On the chairs by the side of the mammoth machine, the headbands connected via cables both slowly blink a single blue LED on the fronts. Dom takes one of the lounge chairs and fits the headband snuggly to his head, being sure to keep his forehead clear so the band rests on as much skin as possible. After leaning back and giving Renamon a smile, he gives Kyle a thumbs up and leans back, seemingly falling into a deep sleep in less than a second despite the din of all the cooling systems in the room. Beside his spot, Renamon crosses her legs and sits down in a meditative stance, her eyes closed. She too goes still.

Kyle locks the terminal and makes his way to the other lounge chair. He takes his headband and looks down at it, tracing a finger along the thin copper band inside filled with thousands of microelectrodes and sensors. Then he pulls his bangs away from his forehead and slips the cool band on, pressing the copper to his forehead.

Dorumon leans against his chair as she too sits, dropping into perfect stillness.

Kyle leans back, closing his eyes as the noise of the neurosuite's cooling fans rapidly fades into nothing. A second later, his limbs tingle and become numb, before suddenly becoming unfeeling. All that is left is the thu-thud of his heart.

Then all at once, sensation returns to his body, and like every time, the teen tamer gasps and blinks his eyes as he's assailed by brilliant color and sound.

His blurry vision clears, showing not the dingy computer lab around him, but a huge plaza bustling with people and just as many digimon.

Beyond the flat plaza is a brain-bending cityscape, with clean, futuristic buildings-no, monoliths of shining metal and glass that are impossibly large and skyward standing. Any conventional logic says they should have collapsed under their own weight long ago, yet they stand in stark, almost mocking defiance.

Flying digimon and floating vehicles weave between the buildings seemingly with no rhyme or reason. Some slow, some fast, others in lines and others in loops, yet never does anyone collide.

Kyle looks back, seeing rails behind him. Looking over them, he sees an abyss of light blue with clouds far below, showing that the plaza is the top of yet another skyscraper.

Looking up, he sees floating, holographic signs dominating their airspace above the plaza. They lazily rotate to display their message to everyone.