XROS WARS AU 02 — CH60

We Begin CHAPTER SIXTY having just come off of finishing up the Hunters Arc. I recommend you catch up before reading, just for the sake of having something calming to fall back onto after the Chaos that I have Written.

Looks like Smooth sailing from here, otherwise.

EARTH_ _ _| JAPAN_ _ _| ON THE ROAD UP TO THE LOCAL HOSPITAL_ _ _|

“She did WHAT?!” Yuu shouted in surprise at Tsuwabuki.

“Took all of those Digimon back over to the Digital World so Echidna-san could help out,” The ninja boy replied with a shrug, “and took that kid Ren-kun with her too.”

Taiki chuckled, “I teleported them, so it’s ok.”

“Why am I the last one to find out about this?” Yuu asked with a groan.

“Well you were still getting checked out by the school nurse for any side-effects,” Taiki said, “and since she forwarded everyone over here, it’s really not too bad for us, I suppose.”

“And why’s that?” Yuu asked with a frown.

We do a brief re-cap of the previous episode’s last few moments.

“‘Cause we’ve got a problem,” came Shoutmon’s voice as he waved at them from the entrance to the nearby hospital.

“Weh?” Tsuwabuki stared a bit, “What kind of problem?”

“A bad one!” Came a familiar voice as a certain plant type fairy digimon stepped out of the shadows next to Shoutmon, “Zenjirou’s hurt.”

“Thanks for calling us, Lila-san,” Taiki smiled at the green haired girl, though it was a hollow smile. “How bad is he?”

“Well…” She looked off to the side…

Welll….. Basically, if you ever see it written like that, imagine it in the same tone of voice as Samantha Stevens on Bewitched.

INSIDE_ _ _|

“OIIII!” Zenjirou was calling to them from the bed he was stuck in- with his right arm held up in a cast and his left leg suspended in the air- also in a cast. “About time you guys got here!”

“We had some business at the school to take care of first,” Taiki said with a shrug. “Everyone almost became plant food.”

“Yeah yeah, sure…” Zenjirou rolled his eyes as he took in a deep breath- “YOU SAY THAT WHILE SOME VIGILANTE IS GOING AROUND BREAKING KENDO FIGHTER LIMBS!?” He roared while shaking his left arm about like mad and kicking the air with his right leg.

Man, have I missed writing Zenjirou. He has just some of the most outlandish reactions at times.

Tsuwabuki and Taiki pulled a set of ear plugs out of their ears while Lila simply grabbed his left hand with both of hers and shooshed at him.

“Care to start from the beginning?” Tsuwabuki asked, noting out of the corner of his eye the two silver rings on both Zenjirou’s and Lila’s left hands.

“Well,” Lila took a breath.

Weellll….

Title Screen.

*Cue STAND UP (TWILL) Tv size*

DIGIMON XROS WARS

THE YOUNG HUNTERS THAT LEAP THROUGH TIME.


*cue Title Theme*

“The Cheater Swordsman’s Revenge?”

STAND UP is used here, for whatever reason I can’t recall.

The title is meant to make people think this is a straight up an’ up BET.

THREE DAYS IN THE PAST_ _ _| DAI-KWON DOJO_ _ _|

“It’s been something going on for about a month now,” Lila explained, “kids at Zenjirou’s dojo had to stop coming in due to injuries they’d sustained mysteriously.”

“That’s another one,” Zenjirou frowned as he watched their dojo’s master mark off another student from the roster of those who would be competing in the next tournament. “Five this week…”

“It’s not like we can do anything,” Kotemon said from nearby- he looked completely at home in the dojo in either form of his, although he got less attention from the rest of the students in his human form. “It’s not a Digimon doing it.”

“That we know of!” Zenjirou protested, “Every single report we’ve had is the same- they’re walking home at night and then…BAM! the next thing they know, they’re lying at the bottom of a set of stairs a half-mile away with broken arms and legs!”

“I’ll admit it’s suspicious,” Kotemon grumbled as he crossed his arms over his chest, “but we don’t have any proof of foul play.”

“Grr…” Zenjirou frowned as their Dojo master walked into the room-

“I’m sorry to announce that Ken-kun will be dropping out of the tournament- he’s suffered an injury and will be unable to join us again for several months.”

“At the time, I knew it had to be someone who was competing in the tournament,” Zenjirou continued.

Zenjirou looked around the room- everyone looked rather unsettled by this turn of events, but none looked out of place.

“Even so- Kotemon was right- I couldn’t run any kind of investigation. There wasn’t anything that would let me…”

I Immediately shatter that illusion.

“Kiiisssuuu~” Lila kissed Zenjirou on the cheek as he walked out of the Dojo, Kotemon at his side. “How was practice?”

“Meh,” was Kotemon’s reply.

“Another kid got hurt last night,” Zenjirou said with a sad expression on his face. “That’s twelve this month.”

“At this rate there’s not going to be much of a tournament, is there?” Lila frowned.

“Nope,” Kotemon remarked.

“I dunno, Zenji…” Lila continued, “it seems like a lot of bad luck, I guess? Though I really don’t want to think that someone’s doing it intentionally…We had enough of that back during the war.”

“Yeah…” Zenjirou nodded.

“Of course he just couldn’t let it go!” Lila huffed.

By the way- through these first few minutes of the episode, you’re supposed to gather the hints that Zenjirou and Lila are now married.

It starts with the visual direction of the wedding rings.

The “Kiss” part here shows that they’re rather comfortable about it.

THE NIGHT BEFORE_ _ _| 9:45 PM_ _ _|

“I got the Monitamonz together, and prepared an ambush,” Zenjirou explained as dramatically as he could.

The Three Red Monitamonz had surprisingly different looks in human form:

Sollux looked like what one would imagine to be a typical Hacker type, wearing a large green hoodie with a skull printed on the chest, and having a stylish pair of blue lensed shades over his eyes. What little of his hair that could be seen under his hood was blondish and messy.

Eridan looked like someone would call a punk. He wore some baggy purple jeans and a crisp, white T Shirt. He had a leather jacket tied around his neck with the sleeves, making it look somewhat like a cape and scarf combination. His dark hair was sleeked back to some minor degree and had a few purple flares to it here and there.

Aradia was the oddest of the three- she had on a ruby red jumpsuit on under a brown adventurer’s jacket, like something you’d see out of Indiana Jones. Her face and hair- unlike the others- was un-observable due to a motorcyclist’s helmet that kept it all hidden from sight behind black visor plastic and green protective metal- but it retained her signature “0U0” emote on the top of the helmet, painted in crimson red paint.

Sollux is based on the typical fan-interpretation of Human!Sollux, from Homestuck. Eridan is a sort of combination of his Homestuck character design as well as Cronus’ design.

…Aradai is the odd one out. You can draw some parallels with the Headless Rider from D…Dur….Okay, give me a second to look up how this is spelled….

Durarara!!

Right. That. I can never remember how it’s spelled.

In reality- Aradia’s character design is meant to make the readers think that there is something up with her. This is the first hint that Aradia is Akari’s older sister.

She was getting some odd stares from Sollux and Eridan for this odd choice, but whether or not she was letting it get to her or not was unseen.

At the moment, the three of them were standing a good distance away from the Dojo entrance, each prepared to move at a moment’s notice.

“I had them on monitoring- there weren’t that many students who stayed behind that late at night, so I wanted them to follow the ones who left, and protect anyone who got attacked. I was figuring that if *I* was targeted, I could fight back anyone who got in my way.” Zenjirou sighed, “It didn’t work out that way…”

Zenjirou- you underestimate the power of a crazed individual.

Zenjirou was walking along, towards his own home, down a night time street.

It was as he walked that something felt off…like he was being followed.

Taking a page from one of the PawnChessmon, Zenjirou activated his Xros Loader and reloaded a rather sharp looking katana without a word or a missed step.

A few moments later, he stopped walking, gripped his sword and spun around, ready to strike-

What happened? WHAT HAPPENED???

THE PRESENT_ _ _|

“The next thing I knew, I was lying on the ground at the bottom of a stair case nowhere near where I was standing before,” Zenjirou grinned despite it though, “but I caught something nobody did before!”

“And what’s that?” Taiki asked, a frown on his face.

“The time!”

“Eh?”

“There was a clock behind me just before I got attacked! I saw the reflection in my sword! Nine Forty-one!” Zenjirou explained, “And guess what?”

“What?” Tsuwabuki asked, absolutely hinging on the story’s progression.

“There was a clock in the plaza where I landed,” and here was the reason for Zenjirou’s grin, “Nine thirty-one!”

“What?” Taiki frowned, “Are you sure the clocks weren’t off?”

“I’m sure!” Zenjirou shook his head, “I had the Monitamon check both of those clocks this morning, they’re perfectly on time with each other!” His grin shifted to something serious, “and what’s more, that second clock is over a mile away from where I was before. There’s no way I could have traveled so far within a backwards ten minutes!”

“So…” Taiki frowned, “You’re thinking someone’s teleporting people through time and hurting them mid-transport?”

“That’s the only thing that makes sense,” Lila said as she tightened her grip on Zenjirou’s hand. “We were hoping we could solve this on our own, but…If the time storms are involved, we don’t really stand a chance.”

Taiki shook his head out, “You really should have told me about this sooner.”

“You’ve been busy with the whole Future Earth stuff,” Zenjirou countered, “I figured, the less you had to deal with the better!”

Zenjirou- unlike his canon self- KNOWS about Digi-Quartz, but has left that off to Taiki and the others to enjoy a normal life with Lila.

It’s sort of sad that after all they went through- Zenjirou and Lila are the only ones with stable, normal, and, for the most part, rather uneventful lives post Hunters. 😦

Again- I must ask- I am mean to my characters, aren’t I?

Outside the hospital, Shoutmon and Yuu rejoined Taiki and Tsuwabuki.

“So?” Shoutmon asked, “How are we going to do this?”

“I’ll look into the dojo,” Taiki said, “that’s going to be the best place to find any suspects.” He looked to Shoutmon and Yuu, “I want you two to investigate the places where people are landing. Maybe there’s something in Digi-Quartz there.”

“Got it,” Yuu nodded.

Taiki went to say something more when his wrister went off, “Hold on one second…” He fished the thing out of a pocket and turned it on. “Yes?”

This right here was a break in writing.

The episode was going to go along a certain path at this point, and after I took a day’s break after writing “Got it,” I had the great idea of working Rei Ayanami from Nobody Dies into the story.

Thus, when I picked up the story the next day- I began changing track immediately.

The jump in narrative dialogue can clearly be seen here if you look close enough.

“Taiki, is Shoutmon with you?” Sally asked.

“Yeah, I’m here, why?” Shoutmon frowned.

“We’ve got a wiry girl here with a majorly Xrossed Up Centarumon asking to meet our ‘leader’, as if that cliche wasn’t bad enough,” Sally grumbled, “Anyways, she’s refusing to speak to me about anything, so if you could meet us downtown where Breakdramon came through at, that’d be great.”

“Eh?” Shoutmon blinked, “What’s someone doing there?”

“Something about the barrier here is weaker than everywhere else. It’s probably got to do with how Breakdramon crossed the time stream like he did,” Sally groaned as the sound of a crash echoed through the Wrister. “Sorry, I gotta go. This girl’s insane, I tell you…Hey! No! Put that down, R-!”

The signal cut off, and the three boys shared an equally uneasy glance.

“Welp,” Shoutmon rolled his neck, “Care to teleport me down town, Taiki?”

This is also foreshadowing something important for Cascade Side B- the Breakdramon Rift is an important artifact.

“Sure thing…” Taiki nodded, and with a snap of his fingers and a glow of Red-white energy, Shoutmon teleported away.

It was a jarring transition for the King, one that he still wasn’t used to, and probably never would be.

The red and white energy hissed with static, never a pleasant sound, and, for a brief moment every time, Shoutmon swore he saw the Earth and the Digital World in orbit around their Sun.

When the world returned to normal, Shoutmon stood in front of what Sally had described as the Xrossed Up Centarumon.

He could see why she’d make that assumption- given the heavy robotic feel and similar design to X4B- but there was something vastly different and unsettling about the Robot.

“What the hell?” Shoutmon stared, “Is that Unit-05?”

It was a giant robot from a certain Giant Robot Anime he’d seen over the airwaves years back when he’d been just a kid.

“Eh? Yeah, that’s me,” The Evangelion replied, surprising the King even more, though he wasn’t sure why. “Most people call me Go-Kun, though.”

“Riiight,” Shoutmon glanced around nervously. If this was the Unit-05 he remembered, then the Pilot wouldn’t be too far away, and in fact, was probably-

“Heee~eey.”

“Damn it.”

Shoutmon hated it when he was right.

And obscure as this is- those who know what ND is would recognize these characters immediately.

However- I must make it abundantly clear that these are NOT the same Rei and Go-Kun as shown in any version of ND that was written at the time of posting this chapter.

They are from a Branched time line- as I stated at the end of the chapter.

Coming off of Cascade Side B- you can now see WHY this is an important distinction.

The plan quickly had changed. With Shoutmon off doing whatever, Yuu had accompanied Taiki to the Dojo instead, leaving the Monitamon Trio to investigate the accident sites.

“Row Row, Fight the power,” Eridan hummed, somewhat. He was trying to be quiet, but was failing rather spectacularly at it. “Do the impossible see the invisible…”

Sollux’s left eye twiched, “Hey, E.D.?”

“Row Row fight da- Yeah, what is it, Sol?” Eridan turned his head towards his fellow Monitamon.

“STOP SINGING WOULD YA!?” Sollux roared at his fellow Monitamon.

Aradia…”Ehehehe…” Just giggled beneath her helmet, which she still refused to take off.

Eridan is singing the infamous Gurren Lagann rap- and Sollux doesn’t like it.

The trio were currently investigating the stair-case where Zenjirou had been found for any signs of dimensional tampering.

So far? No such luck.

“Yeah yeah, Sol,” Eridan grumbled as he kicked at a rock, “you’re just jealous of my marvelous singing talents!”

“Talents?” Sollux stared at Eridan with an incredulous stare, “You call that talent?”

“Oh, you guys!” Aradia grinned as she wrapped her arms around both of their necks and drew them into a rather unconventional hug, “I love you both and all, but please, we’ve got a job to do here! Can we at least do that properly?”

“Ye-Yes, Ma’am!” The duo apologized immediately.

Nobody noticed the rock that Eridan had kicked resting firmly half-way through a ripple of space time.

Whoops! And nobody would ever see this after that.

Sorry rock.

MEANWHILE_ _ _| DAI-KWON DOJO_ _ _|

Yuu took in the odd stares that the remaining students of the Dojo were giving Taiki with the deductive skills of a detective.

Yes, he realized the moment he thought that sentence, it didn’t make any sense at all. But hey- internal narration is hard to come by these days!

Odd thoughts aside, most of the students were staring at Taiki as if he were the savior of them all. Apparently, Taiki had bested Zenjirou here once, and now that Zenjirou was out of the way, having actually requested that Taiki would take his place in the up coming tournament, all of those expectant students were sure now that no more harm would befall their school.

Canon Timeline referencing of Zenjirou’s original backstory for hanging around Taiki in the first episode.

Of course, the Coach was taking this in stride, but insisted that if anything went wrong before the tournament could be held- he’d be canceling it outright.

It was a precarious situation, but one Yuu was interested in watching all the way through. (He’d pretty much stood still through the last adventure through no fault of his own.) Kotemon elbowed Yuu in the leg to get the kid’s attention.

“See that kid over there? With the angry scowl?” Kotemon whispered to Yuu.

Yuu looked over out of the corner of his eye. Indeed, there was a boy with a rather short hair-cut that had a rather out of place scowl on his face. “Yeah?”

“That’s Tacker, Nozomi, Taiki beat him out of the tournament last year, then went on to face Zenjirou,” Kotemon explained. “If you ask me, he’d be the number one suspect in all of this right about now.”

Kotemon is operating under my learned assumption that a person’s first guess is almost always correct. You can thank Elementary for that.

Careful viewers will pick up on the similarities to a certain “Nozomi” whose alter ego was “Dusk Taker” here with Tacker. Just look at that shameless C hiding in there.

Just jutting out all…impudent like.

Like it’s got something to prove.

Yuu frowned, “I suppose so…” He looked at one of the few other students who didn’t have something other than awe on their faces- a girl in her late teens, with long black hair. Her eyes were firmly set on the boy they’d just been talking about. “But what about her?”

“She signed up with Kirigaya, Yuki, but that’s ripped straight out of some anime that was airing recently, obviously a cover ID.” Kotemon shrugged, “She joined up just about after the accidents started, not that good at Kendo, but she somehow slips past all the tests with flying colors. Zenjirou thought she might have been the other one responsible, but…” Kotemon’s eyes narrowed, “it looks like she’s got the same idea we do about Tacker.”

“Maybe she’s investigating the accidents too?” Yuu asked.

“Only one way to find out,” Kotemon shook his head in agreement.

This is referencing the theory that Accel World‘s Kuroyuki-hime is Sword Art Online‘s Kirito and Asuna’s future daughter.

But in all seriousness…

I swear- if I hadn’t written this myself- I’d be doing an acrobatic pirouette off the handle at this blatant referencing to Accel World!!

Taiki was to avoid traversing home alone- so, at the end of the day, he would teleport home from the Dojo. Meanwhile, Yuu and Kotemon would follow the girl, Kirigaya, Yuki, to see what she was up to.

Oddly enough, she didn’t leave until the other kid, Tacker, Nozomi, left the dojo, and began following HIM.

“I guess that confirms that,” Yuu muttered.

“Yeah,” Kotemon nodded in agreement.

It was odd, doing a double follow like this. Yuu never thought he’d be doing anything stealth like again after the war against the Bagura Empire. But here he was…

It wasn’t that interesting, nobody said anything, and the Kirigaya girl nearly got caught more times by Tacker than she would have almost stumbled upon Yuu and Kotemon.

It seemed that, after a good fifteen minutes of this- Tacker tired of the chase, fully aware of what was going on, and ducked into an alleyway.

When the Kirigaya girl ducked in after him- there was no sign of the boy, just an empty alleyway.

“Damn it!” she stomped her foot on the ground in frustration, “He got away again!”

Yuu and Kotemon decided that was their cue to reveal themselves.

Or they would have, anyways, had the entire world not shifted around them suddenly, transitioning them suddenly from Earth to Digi-Quartz.

Whoops.

EYE CATCH!

The Trio of Red Monitamon stood in a trinity back-to-back pose, each preparing a different element to throw.

The Disk they were on flipped over, revealing the trio in their Human forms, each standing cool and dramatically with their previously held element in hand.

EYE CATCH!

Back-To-Back poses are Cool.

“Ow-ow-ow…” Yuu rubbed at his head, “What just happened?”

“Looks like we fell into Digi-Quartz…” Kotemon frowned as he looked around- the girl they’d been following was nowhere in sight, and the boy, Tacker, was missing as well.

But there was something Silver in the sky- descending towards them rather fast.

“Oiiii~!” it was a non-crimson version of KinGRavemon- a regular old KinRavemon, in actuality. Though it looked rather beaten up. Patches of armor were broken, and its wings looked like they had seen better days. “You guys need any help down there?”

You couldn’t tell a gender from the voice- it sounded auto-tuned to disguise away any tones that would give them away- about par the course from a Digimon of the Cutemon line.

Going off of the tried and true Homestuck method of eventually showing an object, concept, or event that was previously referenced to some degree- we now have the Silver Crow Expy that Cutemon’s Future Form was modified from.

“Sure, thanks,” Yuu took the Digimon’s hand, who helped pull him to his feet. “What are you doing here?”

“Ah, I’ve been trying to help people out when they get pulled in here,” The KinRavemon explained, “A friend of mine got hurt because of that, so I’m here to help out as best as I can!”

“That’s nice of you,” Kotemon scowled, “Except people are still getting hurt!”

Though you couldn’t see their face, you got the impression that the KinRavemon narrowed their eyes at Kotemon. “Well, I didn’t say I was doing a good job of it, now was I?”

As if to punctuate its point, a small explosion sounded in the distance, forcing them all to turn towards the source.

“Damn it!” the KinRavemon clenched their fists, “It’s already started!” And with that- the Silver Digimon took to the skies- soaring towards the fight that had obviously just started.

“Let’s go!” Yuu nodded at Kotemon, and at once the duo rushed off.

The Plot Thickens!!!!

EARTH_ _ _|

“Well…” Eridan huffed as they approached the last of the attack sites, “this is the last one.”

“If we don’t find anything soon, we’re doomed…” Sollux sighed.

“I think we’ll find something!” Aradia was smiling beneath her helmet- not that you could see it.

“Alright, alright,” Eridan nodded, then waved his hand half-heart-edly towards the plaza, “spread out and see if we can find anything.”

Before they could split up, however, a voice from behind them spoke up, “Excuse me, nya?”

“Eyah!” Eridan nearly jumped out of his shoes.

“Hehe…Smooth move, E.D.,” Sollux chuckled as he turned to look at the girl, for it was indeed a girl, who had spoken up.

Annnnd, as if the Expy Pile didn’t stop getting taller…

She looked to be about in the same age bracket as those at Zenjirou’s dojo, but had something immediately that set her apart from the rest of them.

Cat ears.

Twitching, moving, Cat ears, and a swaying, nervously dodging, cat tail.

Both of which were easily identifiable as coming from a Mikemon- the Calico version of Gatomon and Tailmon. Her hair was the same color as a Mikemon’s fur as well, and… she had the same big, over-sized, cat paw gloves on.

…We now have Chiyo’s Vid-Game avatar as a character.

“Nya?” The girl- whose transformation spell obviously hadn’t been cast properly- stared at Sollux as he stared at her.

“Um…” Sollux scratched at his head, “Can we help you?”

“I’m looking for a friend of Mi-nya,” good grief, Sollux nearly face-palmed, was she working in a “nya” wherever it almost *barely* fit? “Her name’s N~Yuki-chawn,” she reached a paw up over her head, “about yea tall, and she’s got long black string- erm…Hair! Hair’s what it’s called, nya!”

Good grief… *ahhem*

Mi-nya: “Mine”

N~yuki-chawn: “Yuki-Chan”

Eridan, who by this time had recovered from the initial shock, stared at the cat girl in abstract confusion. “Uh…no, we haven’t seen her, miss…?”

“Chiiiii~” the girl seemed to be purring at first, but then she added on a “-chawn” honorfic at the end.

“Miss…Chii-chan?” Eridan sent an annoyed look at Aradia, who seemed to be struggling to hold her laughter in. “Right, well, we haven’t seen anyone fitting that description.”

“Are you sure-nya?” Chii-Chawn…CHAN… Looked so hopelessly lost, “But she and Haru-kub aren’t back n~yet!”

It was too much, Aradia burst out into laughter. That last one had just been too cute for her to handle.

“Nya-ni?” The cat girl turned her head to the side, ears flattening in confusion.

Chiiiiii~: She’s purring like a cat, although introducing herself. “Chawn.” Chan, again.

“Haru-kub” is “Haru-Kun” and…well..

“N~yet!” is “Nya” + “yet”…but it also has the double meaning of being “Nyet.”

Russian for “No.”

DIGI-QUARTZ_ _ _|

“GEIST ABEND!”

“DEADLY GAZE!”

Red Lasers lanced out in opposite directions as the girl battled with her opposite.

Both were Duskmon- but both were different in design from the one we’d seen previously in DarkKnightmon’s employ.

The girl’s armor was form fitting- and seemed to be focused more on sharp angles and many, many sharp blades that made up a skirt. There were miniature eyes floating around her like planetary objects, and her hands were transformed into long but thin, sturdy and sharp blades. Her head was uncovered, and her long, black hair flowed out behind her as she jumped around.

The male’s design was heavy and bulky- several times more spiky and rather unwieldy looking. He had Leather wings and mutated arms- his right a pair of giant scissors and his left a set of writhing, twisting tentacles. His head was replaced by that of an angry bird’s visage, and not a hair could be seen on it, save those that were vile and twisted into tentacles like his left arm.

And- as you no-doubt realized by now- these are our two missing players: Kirigaya, Yuki, and Tacker, Nozomi.

Duskmon has two attack names due to English dubbing. As always- I’m making use of a good thing and using the variant names for variant versions of the same Digimon!

“Geist Abend” is “Deadly Gaze.”

Also- their armor designs are drastically different versions from a standard Duskmon design. Yuki’s is based off of the ‘light’ version of Black Lotus’s armor in one of the OVA episodes, and is the female version of Duskmon’s armor. Tackers armor? That’s basically an expy of Dusk Taker’s (HAHAH! Get it?? 8^y) design taken to an extreme.

“EROBERUNG!” The girl dove forwards, swinging her blades around in semi-circles before dashing down at the rather brutal looking Duskmon.

He brought his scissor arm up to block, and snarled, “So- it turns out that another of my classmates is another of my kind! How pathetic!” and with that, he flung her away.

“You’re the one who attacked my friend!” She snarled back at him once she landed, and then jumped forward again, “You brought this on yourself!”

“Which one?” he shifted his tentacle arms into a shield, which she slammed into, sending sparks into the air as she pushed against the immovable force, “Was it the girl with the pretty green eyes? Or maybe the boy with the Xros Loader?” A slight twitch in the tentacles, and the girl went flying, “Oh wait, Maybe it was that blue armored Knightmon?”

“RRRAHHH!” Kirigaya dove towards Tacker…

And then a small Meteor slammed into the ground between them- bringing the fight to a quick and neat break.

“Yuki-san!” came the voice of the KinRavemon as it and CascadeStarmon came dashing over towards them.

“Oh look- if it isn’t the Chrome Disaster,” Tacker, Nozomi, spat at the ground, “come for another beating, have you?”

This is basically the moment where you should GET that they’re Accel World expies. “Chrome Disaster” is specifically a reference to that character arc for Haru in Accel World.

Anyone who didn’t get this obviously hasn’t seen Accel World, and the reference is lost on them for the humor that is about to come…

“Why you-!” Kirigaya, Yuki, grit her teeth and prepared to leap forward again…

“OI!” Yuu called out, “No More Fighting!”

“Oh and who the hell are you?” The clearly evil one of the two Duskmon groaned in exasperation, “Damn it, this is getting out of hand. Any more and I won’t be able to erase your memories of this encounter…!”

SLAM!

And then Kotemon hit him on the back of the head with the door to an SUV.

“And all the…pretty…birties…” Tacker, Nozomi, hit the ground with a thud, shifting back into his human form as he lost consciousness.

Kotemon threw the (now dented) car door to the side and laughed, “And Good Night to you too!”

…Because, honestly? Anyone who sat through Dusk Taker’s story arc pretty much wanted to do this to him before the first episode he was in even ended.

I know I did.

And good god, that little punk deserves a lot more.

EARTH_ _ _| THE HOSPITAL_ _ _|

A few hours later, Zenjirou was finally wheeled out of the hospital in a wheelchair, a tired look on his face as Lila pushed him down the sidewalk towards a waiting cab. “This is embarrassing ” he muttered silently.

“What? That your wife is taking you home in a wheelchair, or the fact that you’re in a wheelchair to begin with?” The remark was supposed to come off as joking, but a small bit of concern leaked through.

“That I got caught off guard like that!” Zenjirou practically shouted, “That someone could catch me so off guard that I didn’t know what hit me until it was too late!”

“It’s not that bad, Zenji,” Lila huffed, “there’s something weird going on and we just couldn’t-”

I Couldn’t, Lila!” Zenjirou stressed the “I” heavily, “I couldn’t and I got hurt because I couldn’t help my friends!”

“They’ll still think you’re a good guy for trying!”

“Yeah, A for effort, F for execution.”

Lila’s left eye twitched as she pulled the wheelchair to a stop, “Zenjirou-kun.”

“Yeah?” He looked over his shoulder to spot a ghastly sight.

Lila’s hair was blowing on a nonexistent wind as her eyes seemed to glow with a red aura, “Let’s drop all this quitte talk, okay?”

“…” Zenjirou stared at her, his own eyes wide with horror. He gulped, “Y-yes, honey!”

“Good!” And with that, she snapped back to normal.

A moment later, Zenjirou’s Wrister, currently in Lila’s purse, beeped.

This scene was originally at the beginning of the episode just after the hospital scene, but before Shoutmon got called away.

When I wrote Rei into the story- I pulled this scene to the end of the episode and added the Wrister beeping.

SPARROW’S OFFICE_ _ _|

When next Tacker, Nozomi, awoke, he was in a pitch black room whose only source of light were two dimly glowing red light bulbs.

“What…?” He groaned, “is that supposed to scare me?” It was then he realized he was handcuffed with magically enhanced handcuffs: He couldn’t shift forms.

And then…

The red orbs spoke.

“Heee~eey…” They blinked- clearly being eyes an not light bulbs as he’d previously thought. “You wanna play a game?”

Anyone who knows Terrifying!Rei knows that this is a baaaaaaad thing to be asked inside of a dark room.

Accel World fans are silently cheering at this moment of imminent karma deliverance.

Meanwhile, outside…

Sally flinched as she heard the Duskmon inside cry out in angry protest. “Are…Are you sure we should have left them in the same room together?”

“Yeah, Rei’s harmless…” Shoutmon paused a moment as he let that thought sink in. “For the most part,” he quickly added, “generally.”

“It serves him right-” The KinRavemon, shifted into human form and finally settling their gender as male, crossed his arms, “after the way he treated Takuyama-sempai…”

“Could someone explain to me what’s going on here, exactly?” Sally asked with a frown, even as a frenzied Nozomi inside cried out:

“No! I Hate Turnips!”

Then there was a crash from inside and nobody cared.

I leave it up to the reader’s imagination as to what’s going on at this point- but ND Fans should fear the Turnip.

“We came here from the Digital World a few months ago,” Kirigaya, Yuki, explained. “It was the four of us, Chii-Chan, me, Haru, and Taku.” She sighed, “We were fine at first, and other than Chii-chan having a hard time keeping in human form, we didn’t have much trouble. But then a few months ago…”

“Takuyama-sempai got hurt really badly,” The KinRavemon, Haru, explained. “He…he got put in the hospital, and he couldn’t remember what happened to him…Then…”

“He fell into a coma,” Zenjirou said as he hobbled up to them on a pair of crutches, Lila supporting him half way. “Right?”

“Yeah,” The girl and boy both nodded, both recognizing him from the Dojo.

“So we got the guy?” Zenjirou asked, looking over at Sally, “We caught the guy who’s been doing this?”

“Yeah,” Sally nodded, “Kotemon hit him over the head with a car door in Digi-Quartz. Yuu took him up to the cafeteria a few minutes ago to get us all some food, by the way.”

“Ah..” Zenjirou nodded, “I’ll have to thank him for that when he gets back.”

The first “Him” is Tacker, the second “Him” is Kotemon.

“So the question is,” Shoutmon spoke up, “Why was this kid, who up until now nobody even knew Was a Digimon, want to attack kids like that?”

“Is there ever any reason to do something like that?” Kirigaya asked, “Is there ever a reason to cause such violence and destruction so casually?”

“A lot of the time,” Sally cast a glance back to her office as a shrill squeak came from inside, “Er…I’d have to say that a lot of the time there isn’t any real reason. But if I had to guess, this guy’s had something planned.”

At the time I was writing this scene- the Boston Marathon Bombing had just happened.

I wrote out my thoughts, basically.

After a few moments of relative silence, Yuu and Kotemon returned, arms laiden with trays of little sandwiches and chip bags.

“It’s probably got something to do with the Kendo Tournament,” Yuu said, having heard the tail end of the conversation on approach. “He was only targeting people who were in that tournament, right?”

“Right,” Kirigaya nodded, “That’s why I joined the dojo- I had to see if there was something going on there, and by that time, another kid had already been hurt, so I figured I was on the right track.”

“If anything,” Kotemon reasoned, “I’d say Tacker decided he had enough after being beaten out of the tournament last year, so he decided to thin the competetion.”

“That makes a lot of sense,” Zenjirou nodded, “he probably wanted to face me one on one at the end of it, but when I started investigating…”

“Sssh…” Lila patted Zenjirou on the shoulder. “It’s alright…”

“Ahhem,” Yuu coughed, “Now then, if you don’t mind…” His left eye twitched, “Could SOMEONE take something off of this tray so I could sit down already?”

Poor Yuu.

A WEEK LATER_ _ _|DAI-KWON DOJO_ _ _|

The Kendo Tournament, short as it would be due to the lack of participants, was still packed tight with people eager to watch.

Shoutmon frowned, despite this.

In the end- the boy who had caused all of those accidents confessed to his crimes of attacking people for the purely selfish reason of simply wanting to take the chance of victory away from them.

That had been his only reason- destruction for destruction’s sake. He even confessed to having planned to cause even more mayhem at the tournament itself, should it have continued on to go through.

But sometimes- even if people cause shit to happen with a set goal in mind…

Sometimes there are just people out there who snap and cause damage and pain for the sake of the act alone.

Tacker is an example of the latter.

Quartzmon is an example of the former.

This is- in retrospect- a direct set up for the reveal of Quartzmon’s antics in Cascade Side B.

And to think that all it took to break him was a severe dislike of eating turnips? (Rei had slowly and dramatically cut a Turnip open before the boy, and then fed him the pieces.)

She fed him the pieces, alright, but not through his mouth.

Well- some of it was through his mouth.

Well…I lie. All of it. All of the turnip went into his mouth.

Rei sort of found it more amusing that Tacker acted like she was doing the more perverted version of it- however.

He REEEEEALLLY hates turnips.

Tacker had then- with the join approval of the both the Digital and Human governments- been sentenced to two years of community service mining on a recently discovered asteroid in the same orbit of Earth and the Digital World. Since the rock had a breathable atmosphere, nobody thought it was too harsh for the kid.

You think this is too LITTLE punishment?

Keep in mind I had him sentenced to this with Cascade Side B in mind.

Some argued that two years was too much of time for “simple” assault, others argued that it was too little time. But all relented against the argument of the boy’s own confession of using memory erasing and time manipulating powers.

He would be supervised, and placed under strict magical enchantments to suppress those powers of his.

He would have to endure every single day of those two years, and, some astronomers suggestively pointed out, what WAS a Year out in this new part of space? Both worlds were still operating on their old standards, but…

“Standards change.”

That said- they took care of that too.

In other news, the other worldly girl, Rei, and her Evangellion Unit-05, had safely been sent back through the rift in space time that they had come through, once more sent on their long, and convoluted path through the Multiverse.

Shoutmon had sometimes wondered if the time storms were visibly affecting other parts of the multi-verse, and now he had his answer.

Yes.

Time was unstable enough for Anyone to be able to cross over into a different Universe given the right circumstances. Even if the two universes in question were equally Mutually Fictional to the other. {During one conversation, Rei had mentioned that there had been an old anime series before the Second Impact about Shoutmon’s team, although the adventures didn’t quite line up the same. Maybe it was the other versions of them that Taiki and Sally had seen once?}

Mutually Fictional and yet not Fictional at all.

This leads into the basic idea that…well…”Fictional” is just another term for “Inspired by a Tue Story.”

Maybe it would be even worse than that.

After meeting those four Digimon whose friend had been hurt, Cutemon had pulled Shoutmon aside and told him something very grave indeed:

“They’re almost exactly like characters from an Anime I watch!”

And that brought on another issue that was plaguing Shoutmon’s mind.

Data Duplication.

It was the concept that any piece of Information could pass across the boundaries between dimensions- be it a song or an action or even the very reflection of a person’s identity and soul- and appear in those other worlds in a suitable form.

The very fact that time was unstable enough that you had two different sets of characters appearing in another world that was not their own in a situation that very much resembled ones that they would have encountered otherwise…

It gave him a headache even thinking that sentence, but even so, that was the theory proven right before his eyes.

Ominous foreshadowing with that term “Duplication.”

I hadn’t even meant it as foreshadowing at the time- even though Cascade Side B had long since been a plan in my head at this stage.

The lines were blurring way too much, however. It was supposed to be *reasonable* formats. Things like TV shows and Manga and Cartoons- NOT actual people!

Add into the mix the fact that they were almost upon the one year deadline that created the Time Storms in the first place? Who knew how many other dimensions were leaking over into each other- bleeding, more like- and was causing havok that nobody knew about. Things were going to get worse before they got better.

Shoutmon had ordered the guards around the Time Rift on earth to be doubled, and had some sensors and monitors placed around Digi-Quartz’s end. They wouldn’t be caught off guard if something came through again- and no doubt that *something* would, intentionally or not.

The tournament had been a chance for everyone to rewind a bit after such a stressful week. Even Kotone had returned from the Digital World a second time, having pulled off whatever it was she had run off to do on that day that everything had happened.

And so, once the tournament began, Shoutmon slipped out of his seat and worked his way to the exit. Taiki would understand.

Something would indeed…And it would be guarded quite well.

Zenjirou and Lila were sitting in the row in front of him, so they didn’t notice him leaving. He was sort of relieved that they didn’t.

Zenjirou’s leg and arm would take about six months to heal up properly- and that was if they had the time in the first place. But he had Lila, and that-

Shoutmon stuffed his hands into his pants pockets as he slipped past a tyke who was cheering on her big bro from her parents lap.

Another reminder.

He glanced over to the other side of the dojo- where Tagiru and Chou were sitting and watching as well, at Taiki’s invite, of course.

Those two…

Shoutmon frowned slightly. More reminders.

He finally made it outside, and began walking down the streets.

“Life’s too short to hold onto the past,” and with that, he thought back about what ELSE had gone wrong during that long and tiresome week.

TO BE CONTINUED.

These next two episodes are a subtle ease into Shoutmon’s simple character arc with Akari and the fact that they haven’t been able to have a child yet.

There- I said it.

You don’t have to theorize any more.

This is really what all of their little ‘misunderstanding’ is about.

They want to have a kid- but can’t. It’s not for a lack of trying either. They’d been at it since they defeated DarkKnightmon. (After that last scene where Akari’s dragging Shoutmon off.)

BEGIN: ACT 3 INTERMISSION 6.


Joujou Yuujou! Banji maji kaichou!” The duo on stage finished up with one last chorous of, “Cha Chara chara cha chaa~n!

As those two singers (Lunamon and Spadamon, specifically) climbed down off of the stage, Zenjirou clenched his right hand into a fist. “Yosh! Alright then!” And with that he stood up, much to everyone’s surprise.

He turned to Lila, a somewhat awkward smile on his face.

“What?” The flower fairy frowned slightly at this, “You want me to go sing with you? Nuh uh! I don’t sing!”

“Humor me?” He pleaded, clasping his hands before his face as he bowed, “Please?”

Lila glanced to a nearby table, where Shoutmon and Akari were nodding her on. She sighed and turned her attention back to Zenjirou, “Okay. But nothing fishy okay?”

“I promise! Nothing fishy!” Zenjirou saluted, then turned towards the stage.

And so- in true Homestuck fashion of showing a plot point after it’d been mentioned in passing…

We now get Zenjirou proposing to Lila.

It is also around this point that I learned that some of my readers didn’t READ the Intermissions because of the Karaoke segments.

I began shifting their importance value way up after this point- and dropped the song parts all together.

Lila sighed again, and got up, not having a clue what was about to happen.

All around her, certain people (Taiki, Sally, Akari, Shoutmon, Astamon, and Kazemon specifically) seemed to be grinning expectantly, while most of the others clapped on in confusion.

Zenjirou got up onto the stage, and then kneeled down to help Lila up onto it. However, as she stood up, he remained kneeled, fishing back into his shirt pocket to dig something up.

Some people ‘oooh’ed in the audience as they realized what was about to happen.

Lila blushed as she saw the small, square, red felt box. ‘He wouldn’t…!’ she gulped, ‘He is!’

“Well, Ah…” Zenjirou began, “I know this isn’t the most romantic of places, but… I think it’s okay? For this? Today?” He looked up to meet her eyes. “Lila- It’s been almost one year now since we met, and… We’ve been through some strange things, haven’t we?”

She nodded, “Yeah, we have…”

“But the worst part of any of that was not being with you for that one-week-slash-six-months that we were stuck on opposite sides of a time line…” Zenjirou smiled just a bit, “I realized that very first day that all I wanted was to be there with you.”

“Oh, Zenji…” Lila sniffed a bit- was she crying? Her cheeks felt wet.

“So…Lila…” He opened that box, revealing a shimmering silver ring inside. “I don’t want to miss a single moment. Would you do me the honors of spending every moment by my side? Will you marry me?”

The room fell silent as she simply stared at him.

And then…

She gave her answer.


END: ACT 3 INTERMISSION 6.

It’s rather obvious that she say’s Yes.

But I had to be an evil troll and leave it as a cliff hanger.

NEXT TIME!

“HELP ME! You’ve gotta help me! Please!”

“PAGU PAGU!”

“…You’re kidding me, right?”

“What the hell, Tagiru!?”

“Leave me alone, Airu!”

“…Hey! Hey! Lady!”

“What?”

“…Go to Space!”

“…”

“Next time! Digimon Xros Wars! Okonomiyaki Panic! The Disaster on Baker Street!”

“Are we seriously doing Sherlock Holmes now?”

“It’s what’s in the script.”

Actually- No, We’re not doing Sherlock Holmes.

I am a Lying Author who even wrote Space Core Lines into the teaser when Space Core doesn’t even appear.

What the hell, me?

06Ties into: Kendo Match, Kotemon (?) hunted (tg). Ren + Dracmon deviant. Not really sure on this one.

This doesn’t even match the printed episode text AT ALL.

I like the published version better.

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