Xros Wars AU 02 — CH 56

We begin Chapter 56 on the wake of Chapter 61‘s publishing (go read it if you haven’t yet!), and on what very well may soon be the eve of Chapter 62.

^^For timing reference.^^

THE DIGITAL WORLD_ _ _| SOMEWHERE IN DESERT COUNTRY_ _ _| THE REMAINS OF SAND ZONE’S RUINS_ _ _|

White armored boots stomped through the sand filled hallways as a flickering torch cast a shadow on the ground. The black cape flowing behind the owner of those boots blew backwards in a sudden draft of wind, revealing a hallway riddled with unconscious Scorpiomon.

Before this mysterious person was a massive metal door, crafted to have the appearance of the skull of a dragon.

A hand covered in two gloves, a black leather one underneath a finger-less white wool glove, reached out, and pushed the door open, revealing an abandoned tomb in the room beyond.

It appeared to be something straight out of a video game…

The tomb raider smirked as he spotted a massive wall at the far end of the room, engraved with a strange set of symbols that most would pass off as graffiti.

This opening is a DIRECT SHOUT OUT to Skyrim.

You’ll be seeing a bit of it in this Arc- as this is the first time I managed to fit in anything *heavily* Skyrim related into the story.

*Cue Stand Up (TV Ver) by TWILL*

DIGIMON XROS WARS

THE YOUNG HUNTERS THAT LEAP THROUGH TIME.

 

The opening sequence, I feel I should note, is pretty much UNCHANGED from its Canon form, excluding Taiki’s Xros Loader Color and Shoutmon’s human form replacing his “King” form.

Yup- that’s right. The Creepy Emoticon Towers are STILL in the opening.

Do I plan on using them? Of course I am.

Will the work the same as they canonically did?

That remains to be seen.

EARTH_ _ _| JAPAN_ _ _| CLASSROOM D-13_ _ _| MONDAY: 8:35 A.M._ _ _|

Yuu Amano yawned as the clock ticked away. “Late,” he muttered. “Fifteen minutes late.” He was, of course, referring to their replacement teacher. The last teacher for Class D-13 had spontaneously won the lottery over the weekend and had retired to Tahiti to enjoy the rest of his short life.

Yuu looked up at the clock above the chalk board as his classmate, one Akashi, Tagiru, inquired aloud. “If he doesn’t show up, does that mean we get a free day?”

“No you idiot!” Nearby, another classmate, one Takahashi, Mami, threw a book at him.

Mami is a rather violent individual. No wonder Tagiru doesn’t like her.

THUD.

A book which was somehow caught by their teacher, who no-one had seen slip into the room, nor had seen him reach the exact center of it to catch said book at all.

“Takahashi?” The man inquired aloud, drawing Yuu’s attention to the man standing behind him. “Penalty for assaulting a fellow classmate.”

“W-WHAT!?” The girl protested.

“You heard me, Takahashi.” The man jabbed the hand holding the book over his shoulder, angling it so that his thumb was pointed at the door. “Outside, water buckets, thirty minutes.”

The Water Buckets thing is a genuine Japanese school punishment for disturbing class.

Yuu’s eyes widened slightly. “No way…”

Marcus Damon turned around to face the boy, an uncharacteristic set of glasses resting on his nose offset by a wild grin that broke out upon seeing the boy. “Well if it isn’t Yuu Amano! I should have known with my luck.”

Meanwhile, Tagiru just blinked. “Nani…?”

It wasn’t luck that landed Marcus this job- it was the standard Doctor Who trick of getting someone a winning lotto ticket and then taking their place.

*cue Title Theme*

“Sagomon the Deviant VS. The Heir of Space!”

This title is fairly straight forward- referring to Shoutmon’s pretty much for-flare-only SBURB title as Heir of Space.

Yuu put his hands on the teacher’s desk as politely as he possibly could once the lunch bell had rung. “What are you doing here?”

“What else?” The man (currently leaning back in his chair, feet on his desk and arms behind his head) said with a grin. “I’m your new teacher.”

“Do you even have a teaching degree?” Yuu frowned.

“Of course I do!” Marcus scowled. “I taught at three different schools over the course of five years.”

“Different histories, right?” Yuu couldn’t help but dig for info. “You’ve taught in other worlds besides this one.”

To be fair- Yuu is a BIT suspicious- He hasn’t seen Marcus at all since the end of the Code Crown War, at Cascade Side A.

“What are you guys talking about?” Tagiru broke into the conversation as subtly as a brick through a window. “Does this have anything to do with that DigiQu-” Yuu stomped a foot down on Tagiru’s, forcing the other boy to let loose a squeal of surprise.

In the side of the room, Mami exchanged a confused glance with another student, by name of Sudo, Miho. What the hell was going on over there?

“No,” Marcus said with little hesitation. “We’re just…catching up on old times,” his eyes drifted down to the bracelet around Tagiru’s wrist. “Though we are going to have to have a talk about what happened the other day.”

Tagiru frowned as he followed their ‘teacher’s’ gaze down to the bracelet.

Subtle Foreshadowing is Subtle! We’re introduced to Sudo, Miho, who becomes a bit of an antagonist in a future chapter. Why is she hanging out with Mami?

ONE DAY EARLIER_ _ _| KUDO RESIDENCE_ _ _|

“It’s the same style as the Omega Key, alright,” Kaiyumi said as she pulled her eyes away from the microscope looking at the bracelet around Gumdramon’s tail, who was looking thuroughly uncomfrotable at the room’s contents.

Three of Xros Heart’s prominent members- the Lopmon, the Sparrowmon, and the Denizen of Creation’s host- were at the table he was currently resting on. And all eyes were on him.

“To think that another one would just fall from the sky…” Kaiyumi said with a sigh as she rubbed at her forehead. “Two of them too!”

And so we now know what the Bracelets are- very similar in composition to the Omega Necklace/Key that revived Shoutmon and gave him all his cool space-y powers.

“I was hoping we’d have more time to be done with all this time nonsense before it started up again.” Sally Sparrow sighed as she pulled her yellow gloved hands out of the pockets of her yellow short sleeved jacket- all that could be salvaged from her old jacket back during the first part of the War- to mess with her now rather long hair. “But no! We’ve gotta get new loops added in on top of the old on the exact anniversary of it all.”

Sally has a new clothing style! Which we are now seeing for the first time proper in Hunters.

Taiki shrugged. “It’s hard to believe it’s been a year already, isn’t it?”

Gumdramon looked over at Tagiru, who currently was getting a massive info dump told to him via Yuu and Corone over in the kitchen. He seemed completely baffled by all of this, if the look of confusion on his face was anything to go by.

“So what do we do about this Digi-Quartz thing, then?” Sally said as she attached a diamond shaped hair clip to keep her bangs in place. “It certainly fits with what we heard about all the missing persons’ reports.” Gumdramon didn’t know why, but he thought it was odd the way her hand rested over it for a few moments after putting it there. Was she trying to hide the writing on it or something?

This bit was to remind readers of the Diamond Heart Hair Clip that Sally is supposed to have in this time frame. Mainly to say that SOON: They have to record that video, if they haven’t yet.

“We wait for Shoutmon before we make a decision,” Taiki said with a slight frown, “but the fact that there’s a guy just handing out Xros Loaders…” he shook his head. “We can’t let it go on like this.”

“I don’t see what’s wrong with any of it, personally.” Kaiyumi spoke up. “Tagiru says the guy’s recruiting them to rehabilitate people who have been stuck in this place. So what’s the harm?”

“This Digi-Quartz has something to do with the storms, Kaiyumi,” Taiki said as he crossed his arms. “Whatever is causing the universe to fall apart, it’s originating in this other world.”

Some Digi-Quartz theorizing. At this stage- they think it’s a shadow world.

“I guess…” She blew a piece of hair out of her face. “But still, he’s not doing anything wrong trying to help while keeping it secret. The less people that know about a mid-world accessable through the storms the better as far as I’m concerned.”

“It’s not the watch man I’m concerned about,” Taiki continued, “it’s the people he’s hiring. That Ryouma kid I ran into…there’s something wrong about the way he acts. It’s too…cold.”

“Like a vampire?” Sally interrupted. “‘Cause he sounded like a vampire to me.”

This is a nod to the Canon!fandom calling Ryouma a Vampire.

“Maybe,” Taiki frowned. “I severely doubt it though.”

“You were saying?” Kaiyumi asked.

“If he hires unsavory people, what if they keep them prisoner inside their Xros Loaders?” Taiki asked the question on his mind.

I feel now is a good point to mention something about the Hunters Arc.

A main goal was very much to see HOW the Earth reacted to the Digital World- and all the things that have happened since Cascade Side A.

ELSEWHERE_ _ _| PUBLIC SWIMMING POOL_ _ _|

A boy pulled himself out of the water much to the cheers of the nearby girls dressed in rather revealing swimsuits. He scowled at them- his own personal little fan club- and they swooned.

He didn’t like it one bit.

As he stormed through shower rooms, he snarled and growled at the thought of it. He just wanted to be alone. The only reason he even came to the pools in the first place was to escape from the havoc his family brought to his home.

And then some stupid scouting agent just HAD to pick him up and those stupid girls just HAD to form a fan club for his endeavors.

“All I want is to be left alone!” He practically shouted as he pulled open one of the shower stall doors and stepped inside. “No girls, no family, NOBODY!”

Ah- the boy who got too much fame and hated it.

And to think that some people would LIKE having girls swoon over them.

As he fumbled with the door’s lock, he could have sworn that the radio station the pool played non-stop had suddenly lost its signal with the sudden cut to static, but that was impossible- the music was played nonstop by a local server.

He ignored it and moved to the shower.

“Do you really wish that?” a voice whispered through the static, making the boy stop in his tracks. “Do you really wish to be alone? Hm?”

The boy scowled. “Of course I do.”

“I can grant that desire, foolish boy.”

By the time anyone working at the pool forced the door open, all they found was an empty room, left exactly in the state it had been when the boy entered.

This part here is to show that Sagomon is REALLY good at kidnapping people.

Really. Really. Good.

ONE DAY IN THE FUTURE_ _ _| THAT IS TO SAY_ _ _| BACK TO THE PRESENT_ _ _| AFTER SCHOOL_ _ _|

With a backpack over his shoulder, Tagiru hummed a somewhat merry tune as he wandered the halls past the computer lab, where he had a standing appointment with a math tutor (he just couldn’t bare the thought of telling his parents that he was failing in that class).

As he walked up to the lab door, he noticed that his tutor was leaning against it, as if she were listening into something on the other side. It was kind of cute, he thought, the way her almost black hair was scrunched up against the door and how her glasses were askew on her face, evidently more comfortable that way than being properly set over her yellow eyes. “Um…?” he tried to start.

Those same eyes darted over towards him as she brought a finger up to ‘sssh’ at him, then pointed at the door for him to listen.

Introducing: Chou Hinomoto.

Tagiru’s love interest, and, as you probably figured out by this name alone, Akari’s mother.

Also: She’s Opposumon, but we don’t find that out until later.

Spoilers!

Tagiru’s own yellow eyes blinked as he moved over to the door. “What are we doing…?” He whispered to the girl.

“Miho-chan’s been in there muttering to herself,” she whispered back to him. “At least, I thought she was…but then I heard someone talk back to her so I wanted to see what they said…Now it’s been really quiet so I don’t know what they’re doing.”

Subtlety- thy art a brick!

Tagiru put his ear to the door and listened…

Silence lied on the other side…

Except for a vague sound of static?

“How long has that been there?” he asked, then clarified upon her confused reaction. “The static?”

“Uh…” She blinked. “Since the other person first talked?”

“Hmm…” Tagiru frowned. “Well, maybe she left? I don’t hear anything in there.”

“We can’t go in!” the girl protested, a slight blush breaking out. “Then we’ll come off as spies!”

Chou is quite a goofy girl, and her human form is, somewhat confusingly, rather similar to Miho’s character design. I only realized that after the fact when I came time to write Miho’s episode, by the way.

It’s the glasses+short hair combo.

He rolled his eyes. If there was one REALLY odd quirk about this tutor of his, it was that she really did not like the idea of espionage or trickery, and yet at the same time was so flustered by catching herself doing the things she disliked. “C’mon…It’ll be worse if we keep standing here whispering to each other!”

So, before she could protest, he slid the door open.

Both stared into the room in confusion.

It was empty.

Quite literally, and not figuratively, empty. As in: there was not a single desk or computer in the entire room.

OH MY! It’s the old “Make the Computer Lab Vanish into Thin Air!” trick.

Yeah- the Computer lab thing is a reference to ADV02.

“What the-?” the girl gasped. “Where’d it all go!?”

“Chou-chan?” Tagiru frowned, then reached for the pocket on his backpack that he had shoved his Xros Loader into. “Go get Yuu.”

“Huh?” the girl did a double take at the room, then at him, then back to the room. “But shouldn’t we get a teacher!?”

“Sorry, I meant…” Realizing his slip up, Tagiru clarified. “Yuu was speaking with the new teacher earlier. They should still be back in our classroom.”

So, Chou is Tagiru’s tutor- and, at this point, to his knowledge, she doesn’t know about Digi-Quartz. He wants to keep it a secret. Of course, CHOU doesn’t want Tagiru to know about her being a Digimon either. So she’s not going to bring it up either.

“Oh!” She nodded. “Right! Okay! I’ll be right back!” and with that she ran off, leaving the boy alone to his own devices.

Out came the Xros Loader.

“Time Shift!”

DIGI-QUARTZ_ _ _|

Tagiru emerged into the broken world moments later, finding exactly what he expected would be there- the entire contents of the computer lab- though not where they should be- on the ceiling, hanging upside down, instead of on the floor.

“Woah!” Gumdramon reloaded from the Loader with five-inch wide eyes. “What the heck happened here?”

“Dunno…” Tagiru replied as he looked up. “Must’ve fallen through the floor or something…Into Digi-Quartz?”

“How the heck did that happen?” Gumdramon frowned as his eyes snapped back to a normal size. “Eh…Maybe I don’t want to know.”

That is bizarre. Is it not?

MEANWHILE_ _ _| THE WATCH MAKER’S SHOP_ _ _|

The greeting bell dinged as Taiki pushed the door open to enter the ticking clock shop.

“I’ll be with you in just a few minutes!” came the voice of the shop’s owner from somewhere in the back. “Please look around until then!”

Taiki frowned as he let the door close behind him, but took the opportunity to survey the location.

It was a clock shop- nothing too out of the ordinary- excluding the facts that several clock designs appeared to have Digital World themes to them; but not out of place, either, from what Tagiru had told him of the Watch Maker.

At that moment, each clock struck the hour mark in perfect time with each other, sending a cacophony of noise through the shop. Taiki covered his ears at the massive sound and fell to his knees from the concussive force of it all…

It was then that his eyes fell upon a coo-coo clock that was topped by a blue police box, whose doors had opened and revealed the bird inside- a yellow sparrow.

Taiki visits the Clock Shop- and immediately comes face to face with YET ANOTHER Doctor Who shoutout.

Sally really hates these IRL Shout outs/references- so he’s never going to mention it to her- but if she saw it? Let me just say that she’d have shot it without even blinking.

Taiki did a double take as the bird pulled back into the box, and the loud noise began to dim back to it’s bearable level of tick-tock-ing.

“I’m sorry about that,” the old man called as he stepped out from the back room and onto the main floor, “but it’s a hazard in my line of work.”

“It’s fine,” Taiki shook his head as he stood up. “I’ve been through worse.”

“Ah, yes…” the man frowned as he looked his customer over. “Do I know you?” he asked with slight concern.

“Do you?” Taiki asked in return. “A friend of mine directed me here.”

“Did they now?”

“A boy by the name of Akashi, Tagiru?”

Although the man’s eyes were obscured by his sunglasses, Taiki could tell he was narrowing them at him. “Oh yes, the boy with the Crimson Soul…”

“That Xros Loader is unique, you know,” Taiki said as he pulled his own Loader out of a pocket, angling it in just a certain way so that the man could identify it if he should so please. “It’s got a long road ahead of it, something I don’t think you realized when you gave it to him.”

“Orange huh?” The man mused as he eyed the Xros Loader.

“My name is Kudo Taiki,” the boy began. “I’m a representative of the Xros Heart United-”

“Yes.” The Watch Maker said curtly, as he paused a few moments to collect his words. “I know who you are, Kudo Taiki-kun, The Maintainer of Xros Heart’s Legendary Infinite Xros, and former host to the Denizen Hephaestus.”

The Watch maker knows a LOT about Taiki that most people shouldn’t.

“Most humans don’t.” Taiki replied as he narrowed his eyes.

“I was in the Digital World when you performed that little memory wipe trick of yours,” The man smirked. “A Clever little thing, that.”

“You’re a Digimon then.” Taiki deduced as he felt the echo of The Watch Maker’s age- accurate to his outwards appearance- something older than twenty years.

This is to remind people that people over 20 are Impossible on this version of Earth through any Natural means. Every single person over 20 is that age due to external means.

“Maybe I am. Maybe I am not.” The Watch Maker chuckled. “Who can say but the creator of this Instance of reality?”

“I’m here about Digi-Quartz,” Taiki changed the subject.

“Of course you are.” Another wayward smile as the elder man turned towards the back counter, where two almost identical note-journals lay. “I’ve been waiting for today for a long time now, boy.”

“What is it? And honestly.” The demand hit the air. “I know it’s not a third world- the feel is all wrong for what you told Tagiru.”

“I think you know already, boy.” One of the books was picked up, and offered to him. “You’re just afraid to ask yourself what it really is for fear of the consequences.” A glint of light bounced off of the journal onto the man’s sun-glasses. “You sealed away your awesome power for that very reason, did you not?”

“How did you know?” Taiki narrowed his eyes as he took the book, titled “AROuND Project” for whatever reasons the man had. “Not even the whole of Xros Heart even knew of those powers to begin with.”

Mythology Gag here: AROUND was the code name for Xros Wars in the Listings before it was announced.

“Isn’t it obvious?” the man handed the other journal, labeled “Digi-Quartz Guide” instead, to him. “Or are you too afraid to play the game and find out if your hunch is correct?”

Taiki took the other book. “That’s not an answer.”

“Isn’t it?” The man chuckled as he turned to wander through the store. “Time has become unstable, haven’t you noticed? The Xros Loaders were never designed to travel through time and yet they can in their basic form.”

“We figured it out already, when we got Tagiru’s Loader examined,” Taiki replied.

“Did you now?” The man smirked as he led Taiki to the side door, and opened it, taking them out into an alley way. “Tell me then.”

This is basically a major posturing match. To see who knows what and how much they know of that thing.

Taiki’s eyes glanced over to the end of the alleyway as the distant sound of static could be heard. “It’s simple, really,” he began, “the Loaders are hijacking broken windows of time to another world- another Earth- one that remained fused with the Digital World because I couldn’t handle the strain in that world, and so everyone died.”

“Close…” The Watch Maker mused, “but not close enough.”

“I know we’re right about the window hijacking, with the Zone Transfer program,” Taiki continued, “but Digi-Quartz itself is a mystery still.”

“It’s all a part of the ever changing game, boy.”

And here it comes- the point where time xrosses itself.

Taiki stopped at the end of the alleyway, preparing for the moment where he crossed his own time stream a year into the past. “About that…”

“Yes?”

“With time, and space, broken as they currently are…” he shook his head towards a shadowed out static-form in front of him. “You can’t just write the rules.”

The man laughed. “Says the boy who has the power to re-write history itself.”

“I sealed that power away a long time ago.” Taiki said as he fished a note out of his pocket, unfolding it and holding it up so that the past him could see what it said. As he did this, he continued on: “But that’s not what’s important here,” his eyes narrowed to match the statement, “what is important is that you’re messing with something that shouldn’t be messed with.”

“And what, pray tell, will you do if I continue on this path of mine?” The Watch Maker asked with an amused tone.

“I’ll tell you the same thing that I told Ryouma,” Taiki turned around to face him. “I’ll have to join this game of yours and stop it from the inside.”

The Watch Maker laughed, and it was a laugh that still sent shivers down Taiki’s spine. “You already have your Xros Loader…Made them even! So Who am I to keep a player from the game you so desperately wish to play?” the man’s head turned down slightly, as if taunting him. “Read the rules first, boy. Someone with your level of power is bound to upset the balance of the game.”

“We’ll see.” And with that said, Taiki teleported away.

This conversation is copied verbatim from its last version- only with the text in-between the dialogue changed.

DIGI-QUARTZ_ _ _| THE RUINED SCHOOL_ _ _|

Tagiru and Gumdramon wandered down the hallways, over thick, overgrown vines, branches, and past ominous looking flowers.

“Eww…” Gumdramon stuck his tongue out as he hopped over a vine, and past one of said flowers, in his cat-like form. “I do not want to know why this thing has some creepy clown face printed on it.”

“This place just keeps getting weirder…” Tagiru frowned as he shrugged past a rather thick vine.

More Foreshadowing.

The School is already overgrown with Blossomon Vines.

They were on the third floor of five, working their way past the many barriers in their path as they systematically searched the building.

For whatever bizarre reason, the school was overgrown with plants- more so than the rest of Digi-Quartz had been so far. The plants were of a completely different nature and make up- which, to Tagiru, indicated that something was out of the ordinary.

This was pretty much confirmed by the time they realized that the only way to get from floor to floor was to punch a hole through said floors since the stairways were all filled up tight with vines.

For the first few floors, they’d made use of pre-made holes that someone else had made, and conveniently placed vine-made ladders at. After those became suddenly patched up with vines, however…

“Reload: MetalTyranomon!” Tagiru held up his Xros Loader and used the command Taiki had said to use…

And so comes the fun part! Tagiru demonstrates what Taiki reads.

EARTH_ _ _| LOCAL MIDDLE SCHOOL_ _ _|

“Rule Five.” Taiki read from the one journal as he walked his ‘sister’ home. “Something in Digi-Quartz emits a signal that messes with how young Xros Loaders function. For the first two months of being a hunter, it is only possible to have one Digimon outside the Loader at a time inside Digi-Quartz.”

“So our Loaders shouldn’t be affected then,” Kaiyumi mused. “They’re all older than a year.”

“Tagiru’s going to be hit hard by it though,” Taiki frowned. “He’ll work around it, though.”

DIGI-QUARTZ_ _ _|

Gumdramon suddenly turned into a beam of green energy that flowed into the Xros Loader, to be replaced a second later by the Massive Metal Tyranomon.

“Huh?” Tagiru did a double take. “What just happened?”

“Gyahh!” Gumdramon protested from the Loader. “This is such a pain!”

“Hm…” Tagiru shrugged. “Oh well. MetalTyranomon? Break the floor open!”

Heh. Simple rules.

EARTH_ _ _|

“Rule Eight, you may only Digi-Xros two Digimon together at a time no matter your Hunter Status,” Taiki continued. “This is to prevent ‘Sentai-Robot’ fighting styles, to keep the digimon being hunted safe from over-whelming power that would otherwise kill them.”

“Guess that means no Time Seven then!” Kaiyumi let loose a laugh.

“Maybe…” Taiki frowned. “There’s a sub note here about team Xrossing.”

The Watch Maker put this rule in ESPECIALLY because of Xros Heart’s little shows of power.

Despite what other goals he might have- he GENUINELY doesn’t want any Digimon that’s Hunted from Digi-Quartz to be hurt!

DIGI-QUARTZ_ _ _|

Dirt and dust flew out of the side entrance to the ruined building as MetalTyranomon and Tagiru slid down from the above floor.

“Thanks, MetalTyranomon…!” Tagiru smiled as he held up his Xros Loader to trade out Digimon. “I don’t think we could’ve gotten out here without you!”

“It was no problem at all, Kid,” The Tyranomon said with a goodnatured chuckle as he and Gumdramon switched places.

“So…” Gumdramon looked around. “What were we looking for again?”

“Any sign of Mami, Chou-chan said she was in the room before everything vanished,” Tagiru said as he looked around. “She probably got pulled into Digi-Quartz with the computers.”

“So why wasn’t she in the room with them?” Gumdramon asked as he expanded his nose out to sniff at the air.

“I don’t know, Gumdramon.”

As it is- Tagiru is looking for One Problem only to find another.

Sagomon isn’t who Tagiru’s “Hunting” here, and Sagomon could have continued on doing whatever it was he was doing if Tagiru and Chou hadn’t been eavesdropping.

And so while they walked on-wards around the school, Tagiru noticed that the air around the school building was surprisingly chilly, almost as if someone had dumped a ton of ice into the atmosphere. Not that there was anything wrong with that, of course, as it had been a fairly warm day back on earth, but it was certainly off putting…

Especially when they walked around the corner towards the field and track area- which had been completely hollowed out at some point to be replaced by a massive swimming pool that had been frozen over with ice.

“WOAH!” Gumdramon shrunk down into a square-ish block, reminiscent of some random thing from Minecraft. “Iceberg dead ahead!”

Yes- Gumdramon is doing Minecraft shoutouts too.

Hard to believe this guy becomes Tactimon, isn’t it?

“What the hell…?” Tagiru frowned as he looked at the iced over swimming pool, and the area surrounding it.

All of the plant growth in this area had completely veered away from the ice by a good yard- not even the typical Digi-Quartz moss was anywhere to be seen.

Gumdramon shifted into a cat form and began crawling towards the ice. “Yeesh…So what happened here?”

“Whatever’s causing the plants obviously isn’t coming from here,” Tagiru reasoned, “in fact, it’s probably keeping it all at bay.” He walked over to get a closer look at the oddly reflective iced swimming pool.

“Well that makes a whole lot of sense…” Gumdramon made a goofy face at his reflected self, which, naturally, gave the same face back. “Blyeeeeh! Hehehe…”

Tagiru leaned down and put his ear to the ice. “Hm…” he gave a knock at the frozen water, and frowned at the echoing response. “Odd…”

“What is?” Gumdramon turned to look at his friend.

“It doesn’t sound like water’s under there,” Tagiru knocked at the ice again, which produced the same sound, “just empty air.” He stood up, “Hey, Gumdramon?”

“Yeah?”

“Could you fly up and see what this looks like from above?” Tagiru asked.

Tagiru is being rather smart here! Why would you want to see what an Ice rink looks like from above?

“Sure!” Gumdramon shifted back to his regular form, then formed a miniature set of bat wings off of his back, which, somehow, allowed him to fly up into the air. A few flaps here, a few flaps there, and soon enough the little dragon was floating high up in the air, staring down at the swimming pool… “WOAH!” he did a double take. “That’s so cool!”

“What is it?” Taigur called up to the little speck of purple in the pink skies. “Anything?”

“It’s like a mirror!” Gumdramon called down. “‘Scept that it’s reflecting earth and not Digi-quartz!”

“What!?” Tagiru turned around to look at the reflecting ice… From his point of view all he could see was his own reflection. “Can you see me in it?” Maybe it was a height trick?

“Nope!”

“Try coming down, but keep your eyes on it!”

“Woah ho-ho!” Gumdramon called out as he lowered down a bit, “That’s really freaky! It’s changing images the lower I go!”

Tagiru frowned. So it was a perspective thing…

Quite Clever of Sagomon, really. By making the height respective to different points of time and space, he can literally go anywhere and anywhen from Digi-Quartz.

EARTH_ _ _|

A teenage girl slapped her boyfriend, who always knew just the wrong thing to say at just the wrong moment despite good intentions, across his left cheek. “YOU STUPID IDIOT!” and with that, she turned and stormed away, leaving the boy alone with his thoughts.

Tears flowed down her cheeks as she marched past a store front window, where, although she failed to notice, the reflection showed the sky of Digi-Quartz for a very brief moment before, like someone changing the channel of a TV, it was replaced by that of the world that was supposed to be reflected…

Only with one subtle addition.

A humanoid digimon standing where he wasn’t in reality.

The Digimon- a Sagomon- leaped from reflection to reflection as he followed the upset girl, listening intently to her tumultuous thoughts.

Sagomon’s going after ANOTHER Kid! This time a girl breaking up with her boyfriend (Foreshadowing much?)

“I just wish he’d leave me alone!” She was thinking with hurt and rage, “Leave me alone while he just goes and dies!”

Sagomon took in a sharp breath, as if he had been hit by a powerful stimulant, and then smirked as his cue was hit.

“Do you really want that?” he asked of her, breaking through those already flimsy mental walls and implanting the thought in her head. “Do you REALLYwant to be left alone for all eternity?”

“All…Eternity?” the girl stopped moving, and turned to look at her own reflection in a nearby store window.“Yeah…Eternity…An eternity without that cheating son of a bitch would be a relief!”

“Perfect…!”

In the blink of an eye, the girl seemed to go transparent, as if becoming a reflection of herself…

And then vanished entirely as a car drove past the intersection.

He doesn’t even have to say anything to trick her- he’s just asking a question and she answers honestly.

Imagine this: all the OTHER people he’s asked “Do you really want that?” and they’ve answered “No.”

He just leaves them alone.

Only the people who ACTUALLY are so cold as to think these things are the ones he takes here.

DIGI-QUARTZ_ _ _|

It was at that moment that the entire image reflected in the Ice sheet changed, rippling as if a pebble had been droped into the watery surface that should have been there.

“Uh oh!” Gumdramon gulped.

The ice seemed to buckle, and then…

KAWOOOSH!

Like it were a pool of water and not solid ice, the image seemed to explode out from the smooth surface as Sagomon- a dark ninja type digimon wielding a very strange weapon- leaped out of the other world into Digi-Quartz, carrying the freshly kidnapped girl over his shoulder.

Tagiru’s eyes widened in shock and surprise.

Sagomon’s eyes narrowed in frustration as an annoyed scowl formed on his mouth.

And then Sagomon returns to Digi-Quartz.

His home is being invaded by a kid and his rubber dragon!

“FIRE VORTEX!” Gumdramon flew forward as a sphere of red flames, hoping to catch Sagomon off guard…

“HUWAH!”

KLANG!

Only for that very strange weapon to swing in from the side and send the hapless Gumdramon flying away.

“GYEAAAAHHHH!

“GUMDRAMON!” Tagiru set off after his partner immediately, leaving Sagomon to his own devices as he landed on the ground, kidnapped child still over his shoulder, with a very dis-satisfied look on his face.

“Fools.” He hissed as he strolled over to the ice sheet and…waded through it as if it were water.

The girl over his shoulder did not react as they stepped foot into the bottom of the pool- hollow, as Tagiru had suspected- and reached the prison that the other ‘lone wolves’ had been brought to.

Sagomon slung the girl off of his shoulder, and laid her down on the floor next to the others- making five in all. That boy would make it an even six, even if he were not one of his originally targeted targets.

And….like the weaklings they are…Gumdramon and Tagiru are quickly dispatched.

They need to take a few levels before they can even think of competing on Sagomon’s level.

Gumdramon had landed in a garbage bin, eyes swirled out much like a stunned Pokemon as he muttered “Did anyone get the number on that truck?”

Taigur sighed as he pulled the little dragon out of the dumpster and out onto the ground. “What the hell are we going to do about that guy?”

“You could let the experts handle it?” came a suave voice, that belonging to Ryouma, from behind him.

Tagiru turned around to face the boy. “It’s you…!”

“Oh?” Ryouma raised an eyebrow. “Have we met?”

Tagiru closed his mouth immediately, realizing his mistake. “Ah…Well…”

Introducing: Ryouma. He’s scouting the new talent.

“Heh…” Ryouma smirked as he held up his sickly looking Xros Loader for all to see. “That’s fine, a lucky break like MetalTyranomon is bound to happen eventually to kids like you…BUT. Sagomon is on a completely different level from that.” Those purple eyes narrowed. “Really, I don’t even think the Digimon King himself could take this guy on and win. Sagomon is just on a completely different level compared to most digimon in general.”

You just know that Ryouma’s going to be eating these words later on. He underestimates people constantly.

“And how would you know about that?” Tagiru asked, raising an eyebrow.

“I’ve been stalking him for weeks,” Ryouma said as if it were common knowledge, “he’s hunted countless children from both worlds, and uses their negative energy to fuel his own evolution and progression. Someone like that doesn’t deserve to exist in any world- I’m going to kill him and be done with it.”

This may SEEM like a kindness, but this is actually NOT Ryouma’s actual plan, nor is it something he’s ABLE to do due to the Hunting Rules.

The Watch Maker would be all over him in a second if Ryouma actually went in for the Kill.

Tagiru was about to say something when someone came running up to them- Yuu Amano. “Tagiru! There you are!”

“Oh!” Tagiru smiled at the boy. “Yuu! About time you got here.”

“Well excuse me, but I had to come up with an excuse as to why the computer room was empty!” Yuu frowned, “Seriously, what’s up with it being here in Digi-Quartz?”

“Friend of yours, ‘Tagiru’?” Ryouma interrupted as he hastily hid his Xros Loader.

Suspicious.

“Yes!” Tagiru put one arm around Yuu’s shoulder as he carefully held the stunned Gumdramon with the other. “From Xros Heart! About as expert in Digimon as people get!”

Yuu held out his hand to Ryouma. “I don’t think we’ve had the pleasure of speaking before. I’m Amano, Yuu.”

“Ryouma.” the silver haired boy carefully met Yuu’s and shook it, somewhat unnerved by the other boy’s appearance. “Mogami, Ryouma.”

“Pleasure to meet you, Ryouma.” Yuu smiled. “Now then, what was all this about a Digimon?”

“I’ve got to go!” Ryouma turned to leave. “Sorry, I just remember that I left the stove on.”

And he was out of there in the blink of an eye.

“What a weird guy.” Yuu mused aloud.

Really?

Left the Stove on?

Not even *I* would buy that one.

“RELOAD: STARMONZ!” Yuu held up his Xros Loader and released his astrologically designed friends.

“YAHOO!” Starmon let out a whoop of delight. “About time we got some center stage action!”

“YEAH!” The Silver Pickmon all chimed in agreement.

“Hayate no Gotoku!” The Red Pickmon cried out rather randomly.

The Red Pickmon is referencing the Anime, Hayate the Combat Butler.

The first of two, so far.

Everyone…just sort of stared at him for that last line.

“Really?” Yuu had to ask. “You’re going with Anime titles now?”

Tagiru and Gumdramon just stared at them with envy. “So Cool…!” Tagiru said with wide eyes.

“How come they all get to come out at once like that?” Gumdramon huffed as he crossed his arms.

Gumdramon asks because he hasn’t read the darned guide book yet.

“Head out and see what you can find about this swimming pool.” Yuu instructed the Starmonz Brigade. “If you can, identify the Digimon Tagiru saw come out of it, and if you can find anything about the vines out, let me know right away.”

“Gotcha!” Starmon saluted. “We will do our very best, SIR!”

“Time to knock some birds out of the sky!” Red Pickmon roared with enthusiasm.

And so they filtered out into the environment, leaving the two boys and sole digimon alone for the moment.

“So…” Tagiru looked around. “I…”

“That was stupid rushing off without backup!” Yuu scolded the duo. “You should have waited for me and Marcus to show up first.”

“But…” Tagiru managed to say before Yuu continued.

“But I can’t blame you for doing what you did,” he sighed. “We did a bunch of stupid things like that during the war, but we always had a full team as backup right behind us.” Gumdramon couldn’t help but blink at this, feeling like the boy was trying to tell Tagiru something he didn’t know about through vague coding. “We went in with all or nothing, and if we split up, we did it in such a way that we had people who could come to rescue us if something went wrong. That’s just how we rolled, and that’s how you should roll with us if you’re going to be a part of Xros Heart!” It was the eyes. There was something hidden in those blue orbs that reeked of hidden info.

‘What the hell, Yuu?’ Gumdramon frowned.

Yuu’s trying to set up one of Xros Heart’s foundation-al rules in Tagiru- also, he’s trying to hold back the paradox of Tagiru dying before he can go back in time.

“But anyways, good work, you two,” Yuu concluded. “I wouldn’t have thought of getting an aerial view on it. I mean, why would we have needed one? I would’ve thought of it as an ice field and left it at that.”

“Well…” Tagiru was, yet again, interupted by the Starmonz Brigade returning, in a rather big hurry.

“HE’S COMMIN’!” Starmon cried out in terror as, not a moment later, Sagomon burst out from the corner of the building, weird weapon primed, and ready to strike down his opponents. “AN’ ‘E’S MAD!”

“GOT IT!” Yuu held up his Xros Loder. “RETURN!”

Sagomons swung his staff thing down at Starmon, only to have his target vanish in a burst of green light. “Weh-?” he scowled in annoyance.

“RELOAD: SPADAMON!” In return, a burst of green light formed over Sagomon’s head, resolving down into the familiar shape of Spadamon- who had his sword at the ready as he fell down towards the partially distracted Sagomon.

“LIGHTNING JAB!”With incredible speed, Spadamon jabbed his sword into Sagomon’s back repeatedly before jumping off of the aquatic ninja’s head, and flipping over towards Yuu. “Haha! Now that’ll teach ‘im!”

SPADAMON! Why is he here? To show that Yuu has a lot of Digimon on hand at this point of time.

(“What speed!” Gumdramon’s jaw literally stretched down to the ground in shock as Sagomon hit the ground with a thud.)

“Spadamon,” Yuu began, “let’s go with that new technique we’ve been practicing with!”

“You really think that’ll put a dent on this guy?” Spadamon asked as Sagomon forced himself up.

“If anything, it’ll be good sparing practice,” Yuu concluded.

“If you say so…!” And with that, Spadamon transformed into knight’s jousting spear with a flash of blue light. Yuu caught the spear easily, and swung out to the side, preparing for his first attack.

Yuu goes Gallantmon- ready to spear Sagomon through and through.

“ELECTRICAL BLITZ!” Yuu dove forward, swinging the spear tip back straight at Sagomon, whose eyes were widening in surprise.

There was a clash as Sagomon brought up his odd weapon to block- spears were near impossible to block with anything but a shield; however, this was a lance, and not a spear- and thus the shape of the lance was easy enough to be deflected to the side.

Yuu’s attack glanced off to the side as Sagomon ducked into a roll, and as Yuu slowed to a halt to change directions, Sagomon leaped into the air, raising his weapon’s bladed end up so he could strike down…

Of course- he doesn’t get much of a chance to show off.

Metal spikes hit the ground, {“FORCE!”} A foot slid out in the dirt for traction, {“BALANCE!”} Lips parted in a smirk,{“PUSH!”}

Sagomon was blindsided by the sudden attack- a massive shock wave that sent him flying to the side, rather than down at Yuu.

Tagiru and Gumdramon turned their heads towards the source of the attack- which had originated just to their right- it was the person from the beginning of the episode, with the same clothes on as before, standing so that he had just yelled into a microphone stand…

Yeah, we don’t even need to see his face to know who this guy is, now do we?

“Shoutmon!” Yuu smiled at the King, “It’s about time you got here!”

“Sorry to keep you waiting…” Shoutmon smirked as he pulled his microphone stand out of the ground, “…but Taiki wanted to finish reading some guide book first!” he jabbed a thumb over his shoulder, where Taiki stood a few yards behind him, leaning against a wall as he observed the situation with a calm smile.

Shoutmon has showed up with a mighty FUS RO DAH!

(Gumdramon’s jaw hit the dirt again, just as Sagomon struggled to get to his knees, let alone his feet. “The King AND Hephaestus at once!”)

“Is that a Sagomon?” Shoutmon had to ask as he brought his attention to the dazed ninja before him.

“Yeah,” Yuu nodded. “Looks that way.”

“Hum…” A curious look broke out on the dragon king’s face. “I wonder if he’s the same Sagomon that I was going to exile to the void for kidnapping people so he could drain them of their emotions, good and bad alike.”

Yeah, it’s the same Sagomon.

“Ryouma said Sagomon was doing this repeatedly!” Tagiru threw in before he realized what he was even saying. “So he probably is!”

Thanks Tagiru.

“Ah, I see…” Shoutmon nodded, then gave his microphone stand a twirl as he traded it out for a different summon-able weapon- a golden sword. “Well that should make this interesting then.”

Sagomon growled as he shook the daze out of his head. “What the…?”

With that as his cue, Shoutmon roared as he flung himself forward, sword gleaming in nonexistent sunlight…

{“~~~-~~~-~~~!”}

This is the Slow Time Shout that Shoutmon’s just used- he said it so fast you can’t hear the words.

Sagomon hit the ground with a thud, eyes wide as the Digimon King leveled his sword down. What the hell had just happened? With one roar, the fiery dragon type had exploded into a blur of motion and-

Three seconds.

It had been all over in three seconds. Sagomon lay there within a fraction of an inch of his death, already his data was flickering as if it were about to fall apart at any moment.

Shoutmon basically just froze time- dealt a bunch of Crit. Hits- and then resumed Time.

Cheating, maybe, but that’s just how good Shoutmon’s become over this last year.

“Hmm, not bad. Not bad at all…” Shoutmon seemed to comment on the sword’s sharpness rather than the fact that he had just moved faster than the eye could see. “It held up to the strain well enough, I guess?”

Instead of remarking on Sagomon- he’s talking about the SWORD and how well it held up to the time strain.

Sagomon’s eyes trailed over to the side, taking in the reactions of those who had just observed it- Tagiru and Gumdramon had their jaws wide open. Yuu was similarly stunned, although more so in the sense that he had just seen something that he hadn’t seen in a while.

Taiki just smirked an all-knowing smirk, as if he’d been expecting something like that.

“Hey, kid,” Shoutmon called back to Tagiru. “Your name’s Akashi, right?”

Tagiru snapped out of it. “Huh? Yeah! Akashi, Tagiru!”

“Right, thanks,” Shoutmon narrowed his eyes towards the still utterly stunned Sagomon. “Sagomon, correct?” Sagomon nodded. “Right then, for your crimes in the Digital World for kidnapping and illegally draining emotional data, I’m sentencing you, Sagomon, to eternally be bound to Akashi, Tagiru, for as long as he may live. You won’t hurt anyone like you’ve done while under his watch, got it?” Sagomon nodded again. “Good. {Contract Bind Tie.}” And with those final three words, Sagomon and Tagiru briefly glowed a similar color of golden red before the Xros Loader in the boy’s possession pulled Sagomon into it.

And so- Shoutmon basically tied a Serial Kidnapper to a young boy who had no idea what was going on.

Why? Because Sagomon’s future form is one of those MANY Digimon back during the first intermission.

“What the hell was THAT!?” Tagiru had to ask as they Time Shifted back to Earth, unconscious kidnapees on hand.

“Long story short, I died, got resurrected and fused with this mystical amulet and gained all of the powers that it had locked up inside of it,” Shoutmon said nonchalantly as they stepped back onto the school grounds. “Come on, kid, keep up with the times. The whole “King’s three words” thing was soooooooo six months ago.”

And in fact, we SEE those first thee words during the Act3 intermissions. The Most Recent one, in fact.

“Ah, we only just told him about the storms,” Yuu coughed. “We haven’t told him about the amulet yet.”

“Really?” Shoutmon turned around, raising an eyebrow at Taiki especially. “Have you gotten lazy or something?”

“It took us nine months to even find him,” Taiki countered, obviously alluding to some behind-the-scenes revelation that had been made before, which only made Tagiru’s brain immediately remember his concerns about Xros Heart being a mafia like organization.

(“ohcrapohcrapohcrap” Tagiru froze up like a dear in the headlights.)

Taiki continued on, without even noticing the other boy’s plight, “You’ll have to forgive me for wanting to break it to him gently.”

Taiki’s taking it slow and steady here- not rushing things.

“Gently?” Shoutmon raised an eyebrow. “Taiki, we don’t have the TIME for ‘gently’!” He pointed back at the closing time portal. “The other side of That is very much a sign that we don’t have the time to be doing things Gently!” And so before Taiki could get another word in edge-wise, Shoutmon put a hand on Tagiru’s shoulder and told him flat out: “Congratulations, you’re going to be a dad! I am so, so proud of you, son!”

Shoutmon, of course, as we’ve just learned from, again, the most recent A3 Intermission, is NOT GOOD with taking things slow. So…He’s put a rush order on things.

An odd, wet-sounding wail filtered out from the back of Tagiru’s throat as his brain fully broke from the completely non-sequiter revelation. “whaaaaaaaat…”

Okay…This Requires some context. Give me a second here to dig up the link.

Okay. Found it: Click this link. (Archive Of Our Own link.)

Now Read the pester-log up until Juuust after the first break. You’ll understand.

Or, if you don’t want to read through all of that, here’s the joke itself:

TG: but no okay seriously back on topic
TT: What part of that exchange was even a modicum short of serious for you?
TG: most of it
TG: dont really give a shit if you wanna tell jokes about me and a hundred cows
TT: 😉
TG: but you really are my son rose
TT: I knew it. I knew John was a liar.
TG: he was just lying to protect you my boy
TT: Daddy hold me I’m scared.
TG: its okay my boy shhh ive got you
TG: now make your old man proud turn this into an incest joke in exactly one step
TT: Daddy your overwhelming fatherly cologne makes me feel funny in my now-poorly defined genitalia and/or gender identity.
TG: thats my boy
TG: thats my boy
TT: Brb
TG: ?
TT: sending this to John.
TG: wait wait hold on let me turn off my music

Through the wall, Rose heard the sound of her best friend make an odd, wet wailing sound at the back of his throat. “Oh my god.”

“John?” called Jade. “What is it?”

“Oh my god!

TG: great idea
TT: Thank you.

Yeah. That….That’s me just giving an homage to one of the most FUNNY things I’ve ever seen written. Seriously, it’s up there in the top three!!

“Gently?” Shoutmon raised an eyebrow. “Taiki, we don’t have the TIME for ‘gently’!” He pointed back at the closing time portal. “The other side of That is very much a sign that we don’t have the time to be doing things Gently!” And so before Taiki could get another word in edge-wise, Shoutmon put a hand on Tagiru’s shoulder and told him flat out: “Congratulations, you’re going to be a dad! I am so, so proud of you, son!”

An odd, wet-sounding wail filtered out from the back of Tagiru’s throat as his brain fully broke from the completely non-sequiter revelation. “whaaaaaaaat…”

“Shoutmon, that wasn’t the approach I was going to go for,” Taiki scolded the King.

“Meh.” Shoutmon shrugged. “I’m the king, I can do whatever I want!”

Yuu just stared on in bemusement as Gumdramon asked: “Can someone fill me in on what’s going on here?”

Shoutmon comes off as a bit of a pain here- believe it or not, his character arc between him and Akari had been fully planned out in advance before even writing any of these episodes of Hunters.

Marcus stared at the inside of the empty computer lab intently as the clock on the wall ticked away. “This is annoying…” He scowled.

“Oi, Marcus!” Yuu called out as he and the others came up through the hallway. “Impromptu meeting on the roof.”

“Oh!” Marcus turned away for a single moment. “There you guys are! Did you find what took the computers?”

“You mean those computers?” Shoutmon asked as he pointed into the room.

Marcus looked in, and scowled again. “Damn it.”

The room was full again.

Maybe LESS of a pain and more of a Troll? IDK.

Once they had all gathered on the rooftop, Taiki began. “Digi-Quartz is quite clearly not a fusion of Earth and the Digital World.”

“Our school doesn’t have a swimming pool,” Tagiru nodded in agreement, “never has, never will!”

“Yet.” Marcus countered. “I heard a rumor in the teacher’s lounge this morning, the principal is planning on introducing the idea of a pool publicly by Friday.”

“So…it’s predicting Earth?” Yuu had to ask. “Or maybe…”

“It is earth.” Taiki said with finality, voicing the thought nobody wanted to hear. “I’ve checked my Loader for the time coordinates each time we transitioned back and forth. The discrepancy is exactly ten years, with spacial coordinates remaining the same.”

And thus- The Swimming Pool is explained.

“So we’re looking at thirty years?” Shoutmon asked. “Beginning to end for this world, thirty years?”

“Probably a bit more or less,” Taiki reasoned, “but I can’t be sure on that.”

Forty, technically, if you count the Paradox that is Digi-Quartz.

“So what’s exactly happening?” Gumdramon asked. “I don’t get it.”

“Sometime this year, an explosion of time will be centered over this earth,” Marcus said with grim feeling. “We don’t know what causes it, but it causes a storm, an explosion of static and noise that tore time apart to the point that the Guardians of Time-Space, my group, were thrown into disarray from the shocks. I haven’t heard a word from them since a year ago, and I’m assuming the flow of time in their area has slowed down so we have a chance at setting things right, but that last message was dire.”

Marcus’ group is STILL out of it- though it’s more of a case of THEIR timeline waiting to catch up to XWAU02’s timeline.

“Every Star, Every Planet,” Taiki said simply. “Everything that ever was or ever will be- Gone. Except that Earth remains after it, somehow.”

Taiki knows he’s quoting Doctor Who- but damn it! It’s FITTING.

“Probably the weird world-space you set us in keeps us out of synch with the doom coming from the explosion or something,” Shoutmon said with a slight smirk.

“But we can do something, right?” Tagiru said after a few moments of silence. “We can stop whatever it is?”

“We’ve got a plan, kid,” Shoutmon said in reply, “but it’s a broken plan, really… We don’t know who to fight yet, so we’re going to have to ride the course out.” He looked like he was about to say something longer, but changed his mind. “It’s getting late. You should get home, we’ll talk more later.”

Shoutmon is coming off quite different from how we last saw him in the Intermission.

The last year has really given him some perspective- the last six months more so than anything else.

As they watched the boy run through the exit, he met up with a girl- his tutor- waiting by it.

“That’s the girl who came up to us earlier,” Marcus said as he recognized her. “What was her name again…?”

“Chou something.” Yuu answered. “She’s from the AP Math Class along with Miho and Yomi.”

“I haven’t met her yet,” Taiki couldn’t help but cross his arms with a smile. “Kudos to Tagiru to keep her out of sight.”

“Heh,” Shoutmon smirked. “Look at that hair.”

In the orange light of a setting sun, the girl’s almost black hair revealed more of its green tones.

“Hinomoto!” Yuu snapped his fingers almost simultaneously. “Chou Hinomoto! That’s her name!”

“That settles it then,” Shoutmon continued. “Akari’s parents are right there and we just have to let them go about their relationship without interference.”

Thus- the pieces quickly begin falling into place.

“But you came right out and told him!” Marcus protested. “That’s going to change things a lot!”

“Hey, I’ve got a handle on these things,” Shoutmon countered. “Remember what I did to get Taiki and Sally hooked up in the first place?”

“And we all know how that went,” Yuu wriggled his eyebrows. “From what Kaiyumi’s been saying-” Taik teleported a bucket onto the boy’s head, effectively cutting the cowboy-like remark off before it left the stables.

The Bucket is a double purpose item: One it’s a Homestuck “reference” to troll reproduction, and two…

It’s a quick and dirty way of shutting someone up.

“Hehehe,” Shoutmon chuckled. “Well things are definitely interesting around here, just the way I like it,” he put his arms behind his head with a yawn. “Yeesh, I’m jet lagged. I was on the other side of the world when you finally brought me over, Taiki.”

“Sand Zone?” A glance to the side.

“Yeah- and those three words were exactly where the journal said they’d be.” A glance met. “Time Stands Still. I risked a lot on those words when I used them against Sagomon.”

“So that’s what you said?” Taiki did a double take. “You said it so fast back there I didn’t catch a single word of it.”

“Yeah, it’s kind of retroactive like that,” Shoutmon shrugged. “Everything slowed the second I’d chosen those words in my mind, but I still had to say them to make the effect work, ya know?”

That indeed was the shout Shoutmon collected and GOOD GRIEF Do you not see how MUCH OF A SHOUTOUT SHOUTMON IS!?!?

I mean- even UNINTENTIONALLY!

Right. Moving along.

“Yeah,” Taiki nodded.

“Anyways,” Yuu began with a slight narrowing of his eyes as he pulled the bucket off. “Now that we have Akari’s parrents, who becomes Tactimon and Lilithmon?”

“They’ll show up eventually. But I think a better question…” Shoutmon countered the question with a question, “is what the hell do we do about Digi-Quartz?”

“Roll with the punches?” Marcus offered, remembering the events of the “Cascade” Battle’s prelude.

Shoutmon nodded. “Sounds like a plan to me.”

Tactimon Shoutmon has his suspicions of, but they’re confirmed when Blastmon is confirmed as well….

Yuu really wasn’t including Blastmon in that group of Time Travelers.

But he is.

Spoilers! But then again- YOU SHOULD HAVE READ THE NEW CHAPTER FIRST! 😉

Meanwhile…

Ren sipped at his soda as he watched people walk by. Of interest was a brown haired boy with goggles arguing with a red haired girl about hair clips.

‘What’s with the goggles lately?’ Ren thought with a sour expression. ‘Are they really just the “in” thing to wear or something?’ With one last sip, he drained the soda out of the paper cub, and turned to throw it into the nearest trash can.

Taichi and Sora.

That done, he walked away from the out-doors restaurant hands shoved in his pockets, and hummed a tune. As he passed by an electronics store with a massive wall of TV’s for their external display, he checked up on the news.

“-The Four missing children, thought to have run-away from their lives, were discovered today, safe and sound, by another girl around their age,” The reporter said before the TV cut to a recorded clip.

“I’m just glad something good came out of our argument…” The boyfriend of said girl was saying as she hugged him. “I don’t want to know what would have happened to those kids if Gia hadn’t found them.”

Instead of praising Xros Heart- they instead turned a good thing out of a bad one! The Girl’s fight with her boyfriend lead her to ‘discovering’ all of the missing kids!

“I don’t even know how I did it…” the girl was saying in another clip of the same interview. “I just sort of walked around and then…I just found them all lying there, right in the middle of the park! I don’t know why nobody found them before but I just couldn’t leave them there!”

Without emotion, Ren turned away, continuing past an alleyway where…

“Tobari, Ren!” Came The Watch Maker’s voice as he stepped out of the shadows “What a surprise it is to see you again!”

“Ah, the old man,” Ren said with a flat voice, offhandedly noticing that the store he was about to walk past was that stupid clock shop. “Got something to say?”

“Nope, just thought it was a funny coincidence to run into you again was all,” The Watch Maker laughed. “Then again, fate has funny ways of manipulating our feet! So maybe fate has drawn us together again, hm?”

This bit here is to give Ren some characterization- mainly, that he is flat and emotionless with regards to other people in the world that don’t hold his interest.

“Meh,” with a shrug, Ren turned to leave.

“Oh, and if you see Ryouma, would you mind asking him to drop by later?” The Watch Maker asked. “I have a few questions about his recent activities that I’d like some clarification on.”

“If I see him, sure,” Ren pulled a hand out of its pocket to fiddle with the MP3 player within, “but Ryouma’s an sly guy- Unless he has a team hunt for us I barely ever see him or Airu.”

“Oh, I’m sure you’ll be seeing each other a lot more in future times,” The Watch Maker said with a bit of sly, future knowing tones. “The game balance has changed drastically today, Digi-Quartz will be shifting its actions to compensate.”

“You say that like its sentient,” Ren didn’t even so much as frown as he scrolled through the some 2090 songs on his player.

I actually had 2090 songs on my MP3 player when I wrote this chapter. It’s since grown exponentially.

“Isn’t it?”

Ren turned to face the elderly man, only to find him missing and the Clock Shop closed for the night.

“Crazy old man.”

And with that, he selected a song.

This is OMINOUS foreshadowing towards Quartzmon (Comeon, who are we kidding. Of COURSE he’s going to show up in this story!)

BEGIN: ACT 3 INTERMISSION 2.

ProblemChessmon took to the stage next, signalling to Astamon to cue the tack he’d selected.

“WHO LET THE DOGS OUT?”

Making everyone either groan aloud or laugh in amusement as the song played four “Woof”s in a row.

No, I’m not so evil as to put the readers through this.

After enduring the torture of the meme that repetitive song represented, Hangyomon (Hey! Long time no see!) took to the stage next.

With an opening beat of clapping, the fish took a breath and waited for his cue among repetitive “Woah-ah-woah-ah-oh!”s.

What’s the song?

“The Bomb.”

And with that, the song wound down with more “Woahs” and “Everybody singing nows” while everyone clapped along… Which turned into full fledged applause as Hangyomon gave a bow to the audience.

“WHOOO!” Mizuki gave a cheer at her partner’s singing. “Yeah! That was awesome!”

He grinned in return.

Catchy song- isn’t it?

END ACT 3 INTERMISSION 2.

NEXT TIME!

“GIGA DRILL BREAK!”

“KYUUUU!”

“WHAT THE HELL IS THAT THING!?”

“That, Tagiru, would be a Breakdramon.”

“What’s it doing here!?”

“GYAARRR!”

“Everyone! Let’s bring it together!”

“GALAXY XROS!”

“Next time: Digimon Xros Wars: Hunters!”

“Breakdramon’s Rampage! A New Hunter’s Trial!”

“The Games! Will! Never stop! The Games will never stop!”

“I won’t stop until we Catch this Monster!”

Next chapter: BREAKDRAMON APPEARS!

Time to FINALLY start that loop. Bluh!

 

DAYS LATER EDIT:

I completely forgot to post the initial plot description for this one, didn’t I?

Whoops.

02DQ theorizing. Shoutmon’s BDH moment returning from DW. Sagomon Hunted (tg). Base Episode Transition. (BET.)

Yeah- this fit pretty well for being so simple. Hah!

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