~I don't own the Digimon, or Marathon franchises, nor the many other fan-characters that appear in this entire story. All characters and concepts belong to their respective owners.

Chapter 1


"Now would you please explain, again, what happened to the ansible drone prototype? No, never mind, just play the footage again." Commander Edwards held his head in frustration, he had the lucky misfortune of being in command of the research facility. Strange occurrences were annoyingly common, they're bound to happen anytime you work with advanced technologies; today was one of those days. The facility had been operational for roughly 40 years, and this was the first major incident in a long time. On the screen the drone vanished again in a flash of light, with no trace of its destination.

"Commander, I've isolated the root of the power fluctuations that accompanied the incident." said Leela, as her consciousness streamed from her digital core on Deimos to the base, nestled into the hills and craters near Claritas Rupes.

"Really? That's the first good news I've heard all day! Bring it up on screen."

The first video loop was now accompanied by another, a robot could be seen fiddling with some connections.

"Directly prior to the incident Bot 32 was investigating the Prime Artifact's subsystems. It noticed a previously unidentified section that had been running on minimal power for some time due to a frayed connection. Upon its repair the section regained full power and began to initiate new subroutines, causing the artifact to send out power fluctuations that traveled to directly beneath the prototype before returning with a different signal to the artifact." The computer explained with the aid of some diagrams.

"So the Artifact teleported the drone somewhere!?" said Edwards, scrunchinghis 'brows, his hand on his forehead, as more thoughts cascaded through his skull.

"That is unknown at the present, but it currently seems to be the most probable hypothesis."

"Well that seems to explain Q-ring experiment results a bit... but that still leaves several questions unanswered, namely where did the drone go and how did it get there?"

"Commander!" the ComNet squawked.

"Yes?" Edwards turned his attention to the feed now open on his headset.

"We're picking up a signal from the ansible, we think it might be a feed from the drone, Sir! I'm forwarding it to you now."

"Excellent," he said as turned his focus to the computer screen. A city could be seen in the distance, filled with large buildings and densely packed bazaars. An explosion occurred, throwing large amounts of debris and dust into the air, large figures could be seen moving in the haze, many creatures of all shapes and sizes running away in panic, some resembling lizards and saurians, others birds, beasts and robots. They sported a variety of extremities, including wings, tails, arms and blades, which blended with their bodies in not always a graceful manner. In other words: a large assortment of monsters.

The commander merely watched in silence.

The view zoomed in with the whir of a camera lens, Fennec live feed 01 3/25/2090 3:34 SST, read the stamp in the corner. The creatures could be seen more clearly now.

"Why do those things look so familiar..." he muttered.

"They seem to be Digimon, Commander."

"Are you telling me that this feed is coming from within one of the Digital VR's? Please tell me this is a joke..."

"Negative Commander, location does not correspond with anywhere within the DigiNet."

He sat in his office chair and brooded. If the location was nowhere on the DigiNet, he thought, then these were not the Digimon his world knew, merely existing on computer systems...

The haze on the display faded away to reveal several individuals directing Digimon in a fierce battle.

"...and things just keep getting more complicated," Edwards sighed. He closed his eyes briefly as he pondered; they snapped open as he stood. "Leela buzz the Councilor," he said, his tone growing more serious now.

"Paging Daneel... Paging all relevant units..." She echoed through the network.

"Are you sure you want to go ahead with this, Sir?"

"Positive, besides, I've got a lot of toys and tricks up my sleeve - and I'd actually like to try them out," the figure in light power armor replied from the hatch of the Lightly Armed Vehicle.

"If you say so sir, but there's only one of you."

"I'll keep that in mind," he paused a moment, "Durandal, seeing as you're eavesdropping, I'll give you the honors."

"Heh, if you say so," said a voice.

The LAV disappeared with a flash.

" I'll just go and get to work," said Edwards, trying to take the day in stride.

"Probably a good idea, couldn't hurt to be a little more prepared..." teased the voice.

Anyone who'd ever met Durandal wouldn't have needed to see his avatar's facial expression to tell there was a grin plastered across his being - one could tell that he was clearly enjoying himself merely from his tone.

As you may very well be aware - the Digital World is a big place, such that there are even multiple versions of it and Earth within its collective whole. In turn, these are made up of zones - and there are many, many multitudes of zones within the entirety of the Digital World. At the approximate center of this inter-dimensional expanse is the limbo-esque Zone-Capital, the heart of the World Server where resides the core of ENIAC, one of the host computers of the Digital World. Here there exists the headquarters of an organization tasked with safeguarding the stability of the servers on the expansive network: the Zoners, comprised of Tamers of every type imaginable, some of which you may know very well...

Izzy, bearer of the crest of knowledge, and the Zoner's lead tech-head was, as usual, at his workstation, trying to make order of the never-ending stream of data that flows makes up the digital plane. Computers in various states of assembly, piles of papers and reports, tools ranging from a soldering iron to a laser, among other gizmos and gadgets lay sprawled across the room. All of sudden, a beeping eminated from the main display, red flashing across its edges, grabbing his attention.

"Eh?" startled, his fingers flew across the keyboard. "Hmm... that's odd," he murmered.

"What is it Izzy?" the buzzing of wings announced Tentomon's entry into the room. "Pointdexter again?" he referred to the child-scientist, wanted for crimes against human and Digimon alike.

"It looks like something else entirely..." Izzy replied, as he sifted through windows on the computer monitor. "I'm getting odd signals reverberating through several zones."

"Could it be someone else on our list of nemesis then?" Tentomon's head skewed as he too pondered what else could be causing the disturbance.

"No, these signals don't seem to correlate with any of our ordinary problems."

"If our problems are ordinary, I'd sure hate to meet an extraordinary one," the flying, electric beetle said with a nervous sweat-drop.

"In fact... they're from nowhere within our database..."

Tentomon's antennae perked up in alarm, perpendicular to his head. "Here we go again," he sighed.

In a dark room a lone figure sat silhouetted by a conglomeration of glowing computer monitors.

"Hmm... another anomaly," he paused a mere moment for contemplation. "So the plot thickens..."

A tall figure steps out from the shadows.

"Do you wish for me to investigate Master?"

"Has the recovery team reached the object?"

"They're nearly there, sir."

"Then no, why should we go to them, when they will inevitably come to us?"

Notes: This is quasi-canon with the Digimon Zone Fan group on dA. You will doubtlessly notice many other similar references throughout this story, needless to say, it is because I was inspired by them, and I will do my best to explain them if there are any questions on the matter. Thanks to Crazyeight for the editing advice.