Chapter 2

Getting to Know Yourself

"Hey there, partner," Flamemon said, surprising Takuya.

"…Hey…" Was all Takuya could muster through the shock.

"Are you going to be okay, buddy?" Flamemon looked up curiously into Takuya's face. He had to look up since he was nearly a foot and a half shorter than Takuya.

"Lady Ophanimon, what's going on?" Takuya inquired, having finally recovered enough to ask that important question.

"Remember when you first left the Digital World five years ago and your spirits took on physical forms to continue your good work," Lady Ophanimon began, recalling memories long since past.

"Yeah," Takuya answered without taking his eyes off of Flamemon who had started performing different stretches to loosen up his body.

"Unfortunately, when that happened they proved to be weaker than when you children combined with them. So when they fell against Leviamon, I chose to return them to all of you. However, the program to give them form was never completely removed, so all I did was re-activate it, and now you have a temporary partner while you're in that Zone," Lady Ophanimon explained so simply despite the oddity of the subject.

"That's great… but won't that make future missions much more difficult for me," Takuya asked having realized that he might have just lost his spirit and primary method of combat.

"No, once this mission is over your spirit will return and Flamemon will disappear. Hence my use of the word temporary," the digital angel responded as if it was just that simple.

"That seems really messed up. Isn't that the same as killing him?" Takuya protested. He might have dreaded the loss of his spirit, but he the morality of the other option weighed even heavier on him.

"No, since he is essentially you," Lady Ophanimon replied.

"Okay… I don't get it…" Takuya didn't even bother to try and hide his feelings of confusion.

"Remember how the Warriors you left behind five years ago thought like you and had many of your skills and personality traits?" Takuya just nodded at the phone, still too stunned to realize that she couldn't see him doing so. "That was because they were created from parts of your own mind. They were the physical manifestation of your subconscious when you were all eleven. So when he disappears, he'll just be returning to your mind in a sense," Lady Ophanimon stated, trying to put it as simply as she could. From Takuya's constant complaints about her and Koji being too technical with him she had learned to be as basic as she could.

"So I'm essentially working with myself," Takuya commented as he rubbed his temples. He was close to understanding it, but a few parts of it still escaped him.

"Yes, and no. He is parts of you, but Flamemon also has a digimon side that was created from the remaining memories still within the Spirit of Flame," Lady Ophanimon answered.

"I'll take your word for it, so let's just forget about all of that before my brain explodes," Takuya sighed in defeat. He came to the conclusion that it was better to forget everything at the moment and wait until it actually became important.

"Sounds like a plan to me, buddy," Flamemon spoke up after he finished stretching.

"Lady Ophanimon, is there anything I should know about this partner style of combat. I heard a lot about it from Kari and Tai, but a lot of it was about feelings and just knowing," Takuya inquired as he tried to remember everything he had heard from the Digidestined on the subject.

"Not much. Since you share a deep link with the Spirit of Flame you will just know how to make him evolve, but unlike a normal partnership you will have to be the one to initiate the evolution. He can't evolve on his own no matter what happens or how much trouble you or him get in," Lady Ophanimon explained.

"That's going to be a serious drawback," Takuya sighed. He was really starting to wish that he hadn't gotten out of bed today. This mission had already come at a bad time and it was starting out on the wrong foot, so he could only imagine it continuing to get worse.

"But unlike the partnerships you've witnessed before, you will have complete control over his evolutions and his stats," Lady Ophanimon noted on a more upbeat tone.

"What does that mean?" Confusion once again swept over Takuya.

"It means that you control when and to what level he digivolves too. As well as things like his strength, speed, defense, and power. It will be up to you to control these things during battle to give him the best chance at victory," Lady Ophanimon added.

"That means I'll be counting on you, partner," Flamemon interjected before returning to watching Takuya with a complacent smile.

"How do I do those things?" Takuya asked, eyeing the now vacant D-tector in his hand. Somehow it felt lighter and colder to Takuya, but on the other hand it made him feel like it was connected to his soul.

Over the next five minutes Lady Ophanimon explained how to work his D-tector as a Digivice. What he needed to remember was the dial on the side shifted through the options and the buttons selected and controlled the different options. It was a lot deeper than that, but for now he only needed the basics. After testing out some of the opinions Lady Ophanimon announced that the corridor to the human world was finished and he could leave at any time.

"Young one, before you go. I believe that this will be of use to you," Azulongmon called him to a stop before he made a ball of blue light form in front of the Runner.

"What is it?" Takuya asked as he poked it with his finger, which sent sparks flying off it.

"It is DigiCore that will allow you to travel anywhere in the Real World and Digital World in an instant," Azulongmon answered with a hint of pride in his tone.

"That'll be useful. But how am I supposed to carry a glowing ball of data with me and go unnoticed. I'm not even going to mention the fact that it shocks me every time I touch it," Takuya commented as he nursed his singed finger.

"Takuya, select the functions tool bar on your Runners Phone and pick the 'store new application' option. Then hold it up to the DigiCore and hit the enter button," Lady Ophanimon interrupted.

Takuya did as he was told. He picked the option and the held the phone up to the DigiCore and hit enter. The phone started to emit a bright light from the display screen, which was followed shortly by a high pitch digital sound. Without warning a flash of light temporally blinded them and when the light ceased the orb was gone.

"What happened to it?" Takuya wonder out loud.

"It was stored in your Runners Phone. Now all you have to do is select the new option labeled 'Jump', then use the mapping program to choose your destination and hit enter. When you do, you will be teleport anywhere you want in that Zones Real or Digital World," Lady Ophanimon explained.

"Why don't we have anything like this in our world? It would make things a lot easier for us," Takuya inquired of the angelic digimon on the other end of the phone. His question was half driven by how useful the ability would be to their jobs as Warriors of their world, while the other half was giddy with how much it would cut down his travel time to school and the places he could freely go.

"You need the Transport Access Key Digicore to do that, and unfortunately Lucemon took it with him when he was destroyed," Lady Ophanimon sighed, regretting its loss at the hands of the former Digital Ruler of the Frontier Zone.

"That sucks," Takuya and Flamemon responded in unison.

"It's time to get moving you two, before the Digidestined of that Zone start sending back the first batches of infected digimon," Lady Ophanimon announced as the portal to the Dimensional Corridor appeared before them.

Taking a last look at each other Takuya and Flamemon jumped into the portal and where deposited on the roof of a high-rise in the real world. By looking around Takuya was able to ascertain that they were somewhere in Odiaba; the most logical place for Lady Ophanimon to start him off on his search for the Digidestined.

"So what's our first stop?" Flamemon asked, assuming that from what Takuya had told him that the Digidestined were already on the move.

"If I remember right, it should be New York," Takuya told his new partner. "And we don't have much time to prepare."

"Then break out that phone of yours and let's get to New York," the fire digimon cheered.

"Right," Takuya pushed the locking mechanism on the red and black metal phone and it sprung open to reveal a neon blue screen and a numbered touch pad. He quickly selected the 'Jump' option, scrolled the map over New York City and hit enter. There was a split second paused before they were engulfed in a bright light and disappeared from the rooftop. When the feeling of being pulled up and down and the bright light subsided the two found themselves standing on a rooftop in New York City. If it hadn't been for the change in time of day and surroundings they wouldn't have been sure they had even moved.

"That was cool… and a little painful," Flamemon spoke with a groan of discomfort.

"Yeah… but why is everything bursting into bright light today!" Takuya added with an agitated yell.

All of a sudden a private jet flew over head. It was low to the ground in an obvious attempt to land somewhere in the city.

"That should be Davis now. On his way to met up with Mimi and some other Destined from this Zone," Takuya said making sure to note where the plane landed.

"Shouldn't you have me digivolve to BurningGreymon and fly you somewhere closer to the landing zone," Flamemon suggested.

"No, we'll just draw unnecessary attention to ourselves if we do that. Everyone is on the lookout for digimon right now, so we'll travel while staying out of sight until we find the infected faker digimon," Takuya answered the red digimon.

"Sounds good. Let's get going, buddy," Flamemon announced as he followed Takuya to the rooftop elevator access.


At the landing site Davis, Mimi, and Michael (their American Destined contact) were currently trying to stop an angry Cherrymon from destroying a giant Christmas tree, while unbeknownst to them infected digimon were hiding among the good ones. They also didn't know that a Warrior from a different dimension was about to cross paths with them.

After a small fight and a lovely flower necklace from Lilymon the raging Cherrymon was finally brought under control.

"Man, that was a pain," Davis complained.

"Yes, but at least it's done with," Mimi pointed toward the brighter side of the events.

Walking between a Mammothmon and a Golemon, Davis made his way to the laptop and held up his D-3.

"Are you all ready to get back to your own world?" Davis asked with a big smile before he turned back towards the computer and prepared to open the portal.

Seconds before he could utter the words necessary to open the gate something veiled in flames dropped from the sky and crashed right down on top of the Golemon and scared all the others. Davis and the other children's attention was instantly affixed to the impact point, where a dragon digimon with wings the color of fire and covered in red, white, and gold armor stood with its foot firmly placed on the Golemon's neck.

"Where did that digimon come from?!" Davis yelped in surprise.

Wasting no time BurningGreymon activated the golden blasters attached to his arms and aimed one down at Golemon's head. As they sprung open a wave of heat and a burst of flame were released, distorting the cool night air.

"What is he doing!?" Mimi cried.

"Wait! Don't!" Davis shouted.

Even though he had heard the boy, BurningGreymon had no intention of stopping.


Takuya and Flamemon had just arrived in time to see the fight between the decorative Christmas tree and the Cherrymon start. Taking advantage of this extra time they made their way up to the roof of a nearby building overlooking the street where the Digidestined planned to send the lost digimon back to the Digital World. The two walked right up to the edge and looked down, watching the Digidestined try to get the crazed Cherrymon under control.

"How are we going to tell which ones are infected?" Flamemon asked.

"I've got just the tool for that," Takuya smiled as he reached into one of the inner pockets of his jacket and pulled out a second pair of goggles.

The new pair of goggles had red metal rectangular frames with a black stretchy band. The lenses appeared to be made of some kind of reflective steel which one wouldn't expect to be able to see through. He quickly wiped them clean before holding them up to his eyes without putting the band around his head. Once they were over his eyes the view in front of him was replaced by a digital wireframe representation of the streets and digimon below with strange numbers and displays scrolling by on the sides.

The new piece of technology was something Lady Ophanimon had created along with the Runners Phone so that what happened during the Sealed Digivice incident didn't happen again. It allowed for the visual tracking of digital and dimensional anomalies; Scanners is what she had called them. In as few words as possible, they allowed him to physically see things he would normally have to sense out, such as energy or wavelengths.

The Scanners quickly processed the scene below and locked onto two digimon with target radials. Takuya reached up and pressed a small button on the frame of the right lens, eliminating everything but the two digimon within the targets. The lens then focused in tight on the sickly red wireframe outlines of the digimon and began to spew out lines of code on the sides. However, while most of the data was something that only Izzy or Ken, maybe even Koji and Koichi, would understand, Takuya only cared about the symbol that popped up. Both digimon had been tagged with pulsing yellow biohazard symbols.

"According to the Scanners that Golemon and Mammothmon are giving off a foul energy from their bodies and have been tagged as priority dangers. There's no doubt that they're the viral digimon," Takuya pointed out the two digimon.

Taking as much time as he could to prepare for the moment of truth Takuya zipped up his black duster all the way to the collar and flipped the hood over his head to hide everything but the lower half of his face. He felt that he had to at least act the part he was about to play. Although he mainly did this so his eyes wouldn't give him away. So they wouldn't give away the fact that he didn't want to do this.

Taking one last deep breath he gave Flamemon the order to evolve and carry out the plan. With that BurningGreymon flew off the roof and dive bombed the two digimon.


All the Digidestined gathered there could do was watch as the next few seconds passed and the event unfolded before them.

Quickly turning his attention to the Mammothmon on his left, BurningGreymon used all his strength to drive his left claws and blaster into the infected digimons side. It pierced deep inside, but he knew it would take more than that to kill this fake digimon. Summoning up the power of fire into his blaster he unleashes his attack from within the Mammothmon.

"PYRO BARRAGE"

Suddenly flames began to pour out of the wound, followed by out of the digimons mouth, ears, and eyes. A second later the infected digimon burst into a cloud of digital bits, with a final blast from its mighty trunk becoming its swan song. BurningGreymon then focused his attention on the Golemon pinned under his foot. Once again he summoned up the flames and called out his attack.

"PYRO BARRAGE"

The blast connected with the Golemon's head at point blank range, completely destroying it in a hail of fire and digital fragments. A few seconds later the rest of the body would follow and turn into little bits of data as well.

Davis and the others just stood there unable to comprehend what had just taken place in front of them. A digimon had just dropped out of the sky and killed two innocent digimon in such a short amount of time that they were unable to react. To them it had to be an evil digimon to have done something like that. This couldn't have been further from the truth.

"Why did you do that?" Davis yelled having recovered enough to talk.

"…" The fire digimon gave no reply.

From high above Takuya saw the fight come to a quick and decisive end; he also saw that the digimon on the ground where preparing to engage BurningGreymon, so he decided to put an end to it and move onto the next location. He put his fingers up to his lips and let out a loud, high pitch, whistle to call his partner back to him. Hearing his partner call him BurningGreymon bent his legs and arched his wings, using the force from the two to propel himself high into the air with incredible speed, leaving the onlookers in shock once again.

They watched as the dragon digimon flew above one of the high rises and landed next to a figure completely covered by a black jacket. It was an imposing image. The extremely powerful digimon still venting flames into the night sky standing at the ready for an order from a faceless and emotionless figure in a black coat which billowed in the wind behind him; truly a frightening scene.

"Is that a human!?" Lilymon's surprise was evident in her voice.

"It's probably a digimon in disguise like Mummymon and Arukenimon," Davis growled, having used a bit of his past experience to try and understand what he was seeing.

"Davis, what's that in his hand?" Exveemon inquired of his partner after spotting something familiar.

Davis squinted his eyes in an attempt to see what his partner was talking about. "What's what?"

This would be the most shocking moment of their night. This horrible realization would hit them hard.

"That's a Digivice!" Mimi cried. Even from this distance a Digidestined could make out a Digivice, even if it didn't appear to be a model they were familiar with.

"What!? You've got to be kidding me! That digimon just killed two innocent digimon, and he's the partner digimon of some Digidestined!" Davis stated to no one in particular, anger and confusion clouding his senses.

"Why did you do this?" Mimi demanded an answer from the cloaked figure. Even though she couldn't see his eyes she knew that he was looking straight at her when she spoke.

"…" He gave no response; he just turned away from them and walked across the roof out of sight.

"You're not getting away!" Davis yelled as he hopped on Exveemon's shoulder and ordered him to fly up to the rooftop. If they hadn't been in such a rush they may have notice the flash of light from the rooftop, but this time it escaped them.

Davis and Exveemon reached the roof in a matter of seconds, but found it and the surrounding rooftops to be empty. Whoever they had been, they were gone now.

"They're gone!" Davis cursed.

"Davis, we have to finish up here before something else happens," Mimi called up to the boy.

"Right..." Davis said in a defeated tone as they returned to the laptop on the ground and sent the remaining digimon home to the Digital World.

"Try and cheer up Davis. We succeed in getting them back to the Digital World after all. That's a victory in my book," Michael did his best to cheer the younger boy up.

"It sure doesn't feel like a victory," Davis moaned, trying not to let the feeling of defeat swallow him up.

A new twist has been thrown into a story once told. How will it change the future this Zone will face?


To be continued…