XWAU02 — CH64

We open Chapter 64 With the standard request to catch up to current.

FOUR DAYS LATER_ _ _| HONG KONG_ _ _|

Yup. We completely skipped four days after the last episode, which, as you should remember, was about Akari and Shoutmon getting over a rough spot in their relationship.

The Sun rose on the first day of the three day convention- in which relation negotiations between the Digital World’s government, and the governments of the United Kingdom, The United States, China, and the late-comer Canada were to meet for negotiation terms.

Of course- that was only the official meetings.

The night before, many of the delegates had gotten together to simply see how well everyone meshed together in a room. No deals were made, nor were any broached- it was simply an exercise in seeing how well the Representatives gelled together. There was no sense in having representatives that would clash with each other needlessly, after all.

If only real politics worked this way. Nope. Shady Back room ‘unofficial’ meetings happen instead of wild parties.

Man, if I were in charge of world politics, the world would be such a happier place.

And, as with such a meeting, immediately came drinks, and questionable phrases, and questionable actions- all perfectly normal things that none of the representatives in question would be sharing with their respective governments and all of them perfectly normal things that most people would prefer to sweep under the bed and never touch on again.

And an embarrassed place too.

Shoutmon- waking up on that delightful sunny morning- was content to NOT do that for a change.

After all, he and Akari had finally gotten back into a decent relationship after those last tumultuous months of being apart, and he wasn’t willing to let that go.

And so as the sun shined through the window of that rented hotel room, he shielded his eyes, then looked down at his slumbering bed-mate, and wondered what dreams she was having.

He hoped they were pleasant dreams at any rate, and with that, he rolled back into bed and closed his eyes- praying that he could just fall back asleep and let this morning never end.

Except for these two.

Look at ’em, just sharing a bed together. Not a shred of clothing in sight.

Yup- these two got over their ‘breakup’ of misscommunication, and are right back towards trying to have a kid yet again.

And it still hasn’t happened.

A few moments later- there was a sharp set of four knocks at the door to their hotel room, and Sally called out from the other side- “Wakey wakey, eggs and bacon-y goodness!” Another set of knocks- “Come on you two- we’ve got an early morning schedule to keep and not a lot of time to get ready!”

Shoutmon groaned as Akari shifted beside him- even as Sally knocked four times once more (Oh yes, she was enjoying this particular reference, not being on the receiving end for a change)- her mind struggling to wake up after the events of the previous night. “So much for sleeping in…” He grumbled.

“Do I need knock four times four times in a row?” Sally called out again- and then Knocked again- “Why yes! Yes I do!”

Sally does enjoy Doctor Who references- especially when she gets to turn them on other people- but hates it when she gets them instead.

*Cue How to go (TV Edit) by School Food Punishment*

DIGIMON XROS WARS

THE YOUNG HUNTERS THAT LEAP THROUGH TIME.


*cue Title Theme*

“HONG KONG ASSASSIN! The Harpymon of Discord!”

Interesting title is interesting.

You’ll notice that I call out my use of giving Quartzmon a design stolen from DisQord, from MLP.

Yuu blearily stared at the television in the downstairs dining room. They were presently reporting about the upcoming conference in what was clearly Chinese (as it was a local channel), but to the poor boy, it sounded just like plain old Japanese to him. “So we really did get translator microbes?”

“More like a Babel Fish,” Taiki offered cheerfully as he downed a spoonful of Lucky Charms cereal. Yuu glared at his friend- nobody should be that energetic that early in the morning, especially after the night they’d all just had, “As far as I can tell, it’s something to do with the Digital World itself. Go there once, and your brain sort of gets hard wired to auto-translate any language into what it knows as it’s primary language. Sally and I have been working on figuring that out over the last few months, by the way. It’s really quite-”

“Taiki-” Yuu held up a hand, stopping the other boy, “I get it. It’s something that’s really worth focusing on at some later day and time, but right now…” his right eye twitched as Taiki looked at him with a bemused expression, “I am seriously jet-lagged and I have no clue what you’re even saying right now. So can we please shelve this for some other time?”

Introduction to the universal translator thing that everyone has from returning from the Digital World.

This set up is crucial for a joke that nobody is bound to get at this stage of things.

“Alright,” Taiki took a big slurp from his cereal bowl- drinking up a bit of the milk in the process, “food for another day.”

At that moment- Sally came marching into the room, dragging a bed-head Shoutmon and a slightly frazzled Akari (who was busy fixing her hair twin-tails) behind her. “-And following that we’ve got a break from eleven thirty to one where we’re waiting for people to either get lunch delivered or go out to get lunch themselves, while we process the day’s opening remarks.”

Yuu turned his tired glare from Taiki to Sally, and thought, ‘nobody should be this energetic this early in the morning, not unless you’re Taiki Kudo and Sally Sparrow.’

Meanwhile- through all of this- a bemused Tagiru strolled into the room, wondering just what the heck was going on.

Yuu is jet lagged- and Sally and Taiki are excelling at being secretaries and not being jet lagged at all.

Akashi, Tagiru, had no clue why he’d been invited onto this trip. Just one day out of the blue, Taiki had approached him with an offer to come help maintain security during the conference.

Not Real World Security- of course. Digi-Quartz Security.

Taiki had explained it thus-ly:

“Digi-Quartz is Earth’s future, therefore, access to Digi-Quartz extends to everywhere. Digi-Quartz is NOT a known factor to the public, so we can’t officially have anyone on Time Line security.”

“So you want me and Gumdramon to watch out for anyone trying to come through via Digi-Quartz?” Tagiru had asked in return.

“Exactly that.” Taiki had nodded, and then explained, “Nene will be there- Echidna will be there- as will Cetus and Kotone. Both of them are very important people that some factions would want to take out.”

“What about Shoutmon?” Tagiru had to ask, “Isn’t he- the King of the Digital World- a major target?”

“Shoutmon can take care of himself, for one thing,” Taiki had countered. “Cetus and Echidna are one of the FEW foundations of the Digital World that keep it stable without the Code Crown. If something were happen to either of them- something very, VERY bad could happen.”

“So basically, I’ve got the most important job of all?” Tagiru hadn’t taken that lightly.

“You’ve got the most important job in sustaining a stable Time Loop, Tagiru,” Taiki had laughed, “Consider this training for that day to come.”

“…Well thanks for the vote of confidence,” Tagiru grumbled.

Despite it being the MOST important job of all- Xros Heart has assigned Tagiru the LOWEST RISK job of them all.

They want him where they know he’ll be of use- and where he’ll be SAFE.

They don’t want Tagiru dying before he goes back and causing a paradox.

And so, he said his quick goodbyes to Chou, promising to return with lots of souvenirs from Hong Kong, and had left Crysta-Pagumon with her to keep an eye on both him and Airu, in case something went wrong with either of them due to the whole “memory trap” thing that had happened. Then Taiki had Teleported him to the airport- and all of Xros Heart had taken the first airplane to Hong Kong.

But the thing was- Xros Heart had a major army of Xros Loader wielding folks- any number of them could guard the Digi-Quartz side of things with ease.

Why Him? “Why me?” Tagiru grumbled as he chewed on some cereal. He may have leaped at the call to help rescue Digimon from Digi-Quartz, but this was just insane! Tagiru only had three Digimon on his roster- one of whom he hadn’t even BEATEN in battle, but had been practically forced to take in. What good would he do against a would-be assassin who was trying to break things apart from the future?

In the end, Akashi, Tagiru had a job to do, but he wasn’t sure why he was being trusted with it.

Wasn’t a single Time Loop enough?

Basically- he’s on a leash. Xros Heart has stolen every one of his potential captures from him, and forced others onto him.

But as has been said…the more you force someone to go one way…the more likely they are to go another.

He hadn’t asked to be a part of any of this “Time Storm” business. He’d literally been dragged into it by a purple, rubber dragon and a rip in space-time.

Then again- from what Shoutmon had told him of their early days in the “Code Crown War”, most of Xros Heart had been dragged into it all in a similar way.

“This is going to be a long day,” Tagiru sighed.

“You’re telling me!” Gumdramon remarked from the Xros Loader.

He’s not quite at this point yet, however.

As he returned to get another spoon-full of cereal, Tagiru looked over the room- his eyes finally settling down on one Akari Hinomoto.

Supposedly- his future daughter.

Tagiru just couldn’t believe it at first when he’d seen her picture the first time.

She had his hair color (The red streak was all natural, but the brown part of his hair? That was dyed), and his AND Chou’s eyes. Then there was the way her face twisted up into a smile…

Slap a pair of glasses on her and let her hair loose, and she’d be almost a dead-ringer for a red-haired Chou-chan.

Akari Hinomoto was, without a doubt, his and Chou’s daughter.

But he couldn’t talk to her.

It wasn’t a rule or anything, Tagiru just didn’t know what to say, or if it would cause a paradox, or…?

Thus- despite a four day time skip in which they have HAD a chance to talk- father and daughter and mother have not.

But mainly…Chou didn’t know what to make of this either. Shoutmon had made sure to fill them both in on what was to be the full plan (That at some point in the future, a conscious decision to go back to fulfill the time loop had to be made. They weren’t going to force anything until well after everything wrong with time had been fixed), and he even showed them a few pictures that he’d recovered from some box to prove that it would happen at some point.

Akari was even in town for those full four days that they knew everything of what they’d soon be doing.

They had plenty of chances to get together and…And…

And in the end, no words had been exchanged between the three of them.

Silently, Tagiru was cursing Taiki for even offering him this job.

Taiki once more meddles to get people to talk things out.

He shook his head out- now wasn’t the time to be thinking about these sorts of things- not when he had a job to get to.

Thankfully, Akari was still tired enough that she hadn’t even seen him come in or leave the room.

As he walked out, he bumped shoulders with a girl with long brown hair, tied up into twin tails- they both let loose brief apologies to each other, and never even saw the others faces.

Tagiru Akashi then pulled out his Xros Loader and shifted time to Digi-Quartz all the while Nene Amano made her grand entrance to the dining room.

Enter Stage Right: Nene!

Exit Stage Right: Tagiru!

“GOOOOD MORNING!” Nene’s chipper voice entered the room just before the girl in question did a spinning bow to the people in the room.

Yuu shifted his glare from Taiki and Sally to his Older sister- ‘Correction: Nobody should have that much energy this early in the morning except for my sister.’

“Nene!” almost everyone else jumped to their feet to welcome the girl whom they hadn’t seen in a long time.

Yuu sighed, ‘Double Correction: Nobody should have that much energy this early in the morning unless my sister is around.’

“Sorry, I couldn’t join you at the party, I only just got in this morning,” Nene bowed to apologize. She was presently dressed up in a light dress that seemed to be designed more for traveling on an airplane than for doing anything formal. “I heard there was quite a party last night!”

Nene makes a dramatic return- the first time we’ve seen her since Seven Swords. She and Kiriha don’t have much plot power in these later chapters- and the fact that their Denizens are now basically tied to the Digital World makes it hard for them to get out and do things now.

That said- their story arcs have run their course for the most part. The most dramatic parts have been seen, and their hands in events have made sure things have gone a certain way.

DIGI-QUARTZ_ _ _|

Tagiru shuffled his feet as he opened up a time-window; something that his Xros Loader had been modified to be able to create, courtesy of Kaiyumi. It was a minor version of the Time Shift gates- big enough for a one way portal into which ever era they were looking, but small enough that nothing could pass through Physically.

Through it, he could watch Xros Heart’s every move and ghost them so that way he’d know where they were going. Naturally, he knew the planned route by heart now, having memorized today’s paths the night before (And using Digi-Quartz to do it, too).

Of course, this also left him nervously watching as Xros Heart chattered about old times, and new times, and all the things they all needed to catch up on.

It was all…very… Normal? Was that the word?

Tagiru Spies on it as per his given job.

Man, this is so awkward.

Then, his attention was caught by something Akari was saying- “I don’t know how to talk to them…My parents… I had the whole week just now but I…”

“Eh?” Tagiru blinked. So she was hesitant to talk to him and Chou too?

“It’s nerve wracking, isn’t it?” Nene asked, her voice carrying the same emotions. “It was the same for me and Kotone when we came home after it all. The thought of talking to someone you haven’t seen in years?”

“Yeah…” Akari nodded, “I don’t know how they’d react or anything.”

“Sometimes,” Nene said, “you’ve just got to ta-“ And then a Wrister rang out of Tagiru’s pants pocket.

“Feh?” Tagiru fished the alarmed device out of its pocket and then pressed a button to answer, “Erm… Moshi Moshi?”

“AH- Akashi-kun?”

“Chou-chan?” Tagiru blinked, “Is that you?”

And so begins another Leverage Homage, which TV Tropes lists this particular episode as a Gender Separated Ensemble Episode, and this really isn’t, unless you count who the lead characters are in each one.

I was going for the two-part style story, in which two strings of events are playing simultaneously. On one side is Tagiru’s adventure (In Leverage, it was the Boys’ Night Out Job), and on the other is Airu and Chou’s adventure (In Leverage, it was the Girls’ Night Out Job).

Thus- I had to include the very funny scene of having two characters talking to each other over the phone (Wrister) while something was happening on one side.

Meanwhile in the Japanese section of Digi-Quartz:

Chou, though as Opposumon at the moment, beamed with delight, “Ah! It worked!”


“Oh? You mean the wrist-talkers?” Tagiru looked at the device he and Chou had both been given just before he left for Hong Kong. “I wondered if they’d work or not.”

“Yeah,” she nodded, though he couldn’t see it, then looked over her shoulder- where Airu, Ren, and Ryouma were currently trying to catch a rambunctious FlareWizardmon- and failing due to being half-asleep.

“HAHAHAHA!” The Fire Wizard laughed, “You can’t catch me!”

In the next episode I settled on FlaWizarmon’s voice- and it’s that of Ice King from Adventure Time.

Just read this with that in mind. 😛

“Um…How are you?” Chou said into the Wrister- trying to cover the noises behind her.

“…I’m fine? Is everything alright back there?” Tagiru asked, somewhat concerned.

“We’re fine,” the floating mouse-girl sweated just a little as Ryouma was sent sprawling into a pile of squeaky dog toys, “just having a little trouble with a slippery digimon, that’s all!”

That’s all. I swear that’s all! No need to worry!

Tagiru blinked. “Uh…” he sighed, “Well, good luck with that. But shouldn’t you be helping out with that?”

His girlfriend squeaked over the line, “R-Ren’s being stubborn! He thinks they can catch it without using the Xros Loaders…”

“FAIL!” came the distant, laughing cry of the wizard over the wrister as well, “SOOO Much Fail!”

“Erm, but I wanted to ask you how it was going,” Chou was asking, “with Akari-chan?”

“Oh, right…” Tagiru glanced through the portal where Xros Heart were still eating breakfast, “Well, I haven’t spoken a word to her yet, but…” he shrugged, “I think she’s just as worried as we are about what to say…”

Ren’s got good reason.

“Un…” Opposumon nodded with agreement, “probably…” And then Airu was sent flying through the store front window. “AH!” Opposumon squeaked, “Airu!”

“Is everything alright over there?” Tagiru asked.

“Ah!” Opposumon shook her head, “I gotta go! Things just got a bit worse! Tell Gumdramon we said hi! Have fun! Kisses~!” And with that, she turned off the Wrister and shoved it into her balloon pack with a shout of: “OI! LAVA-HEAD!”

OI! Lava-Head! XD

Tagiru blinked as the line suddenly went dead. “Well, that was weird.”

“What was?” Gumdramon, who had recently just joined Tagiru with a bowl of cereal in hand, asked.

“Ah…sounds like things are more lively back home than they are here,” Tagiru replied, “Chou says Hi.”

“Ah, that’s nice.”


Meanwhile- watching the hotel through their own bit of inter-time surveillance was none-other-than a would-be assassin: Harpymon.

She crouched on a nearby rooftop, observing the same scene at two different points of time with her specially crafted binoculars.

One lens observed Earth-that-once-was while the other observed Digi-Quartz as it presently stood.

“This job just got a lot harder,” Harpymon scowled.

Introducing Harpymon.

Several hours later- the lunch break finally came about. Tagiru watched as the meeting hall slowly dispersed of people eager to get something to eat- though the ones he was to follow were still in there, shaking hands with the foreign representatives and briefly conversing about what the immediate lunch plans were.

As he observed those people starting to leave the room, however, he failed to notice someone slipping out of the room and shifting through time to join him in Digi-Quartz.

Akashi, Tagiru, failed to notice them slipping up behind him as he followed the Xros Heart delegation down the hallways and out to the elevators (where he already had one lined up and waiting for him courtesy of Sagomon).

In fact, he only noticed that there was someone else with him the moment he entered the elevator- as that other person had as well.

“Yosh!” Akari said with about as much energy as she always had as she slipped through the quickly closing doors. Tagiru just stared as she flashed a grin at him. “I just barely made that!”

The Elevator ride down was about as awkward as could be- what with the only audio coming through a small window in time that Tagiru had to keep dragging with him lest it be lost on a higher floor.

And so… Let the Awkward fest Begin!

“So, ah…” Akari scratched at her nose, “Hi.”

Tagiru blinked, “Hi?”

“I’m Akari-” she stopped, “but you already knew that. Right…Right…” she shook her head- and once more Tagiru was struck by the resemblances.

Chou would sometimes shake her head in that same way when trying to teach him something about math.

“Mouuu~” She sighed, “I had this whole thing planned out in my head and once I’m here it just doesn’t want to come out…”

“Ah, yeah,” Tagiru grinned a little, “I hate it when that happens.”

Akari looked at him for a moment, then giggled for a few moments.

“Eh?” Tagiru raised an eyebrow, “what’s so funny?”

“You’re still just like what I remember,” Akari said, a smile forming on her face, “just…younger.”

People really don’t change all that much- not when they go through what Tagiru goes through.

Also- keep in mind that Akari’s memories of the past are *still* muddled to some degree. She can remember more than she did, but at the same, time, she won’t really remember most of it properly.

“Really?” Tagiru didn’t know where to go from there. He felt a little relieved, to be honest. Maybe he could just act natural…?

“Yeah,” she nodded, then frowned and peered at his hair, “though your hair’s different. It’s all brown except for that one spot.”

“Eh, my dad thought it’d be a good idea if I dyed it all brown,” Tagiru shrugged, “Mom didn’t like it one bit at all. She liked that I got her hair.”

“So I get my hair from your mom?” Akari mused after a moment, “I never knew…”

“Didn’t I ever tell you?” Tagiru stopped himself after a moment, “No, I guess I wouldn’t.”

“Hm?” Akari tilted her head to the side. Okay, that one he recognized as one of his own physical quirks from when he’d been younger.

Tagiru’s thinking why he wouldn’t tell Akari as things stand in the present.

We from the future know that it’s because of what Quartzmon did.

“Ah, it’s nothing,” He shook his head- then laughed at the repeated motion. “This is weird.”

“Tell me about it…” Akari grumbled as she pulled out her Xros Loader. “It feels weird just being in here. Probably ’cause of this, though.”

“Is that…” Tagiru looked at the Red Xros Loader in her hands- almost identical to his own save for the green trim. “Mine?”

“Yeah,” Akari nodded, watching as Tagiru pulled out his own Xros Loader, “it is.”

“I don’t even want to think about what might happen if they touched,” Tagiru held his up to compare it at a distance to its future self. “I’ve seen enough time travel shows to know that’s never a good thing.”

“Sometimes it works out okay, as long as it’s a stable loop,” Akari replied, “just a spark of electricity or something…But then again, mine’s a bit different form how it used to be.”

“You guys upgraded them, right?” Tagiru asked, although he already sort of knew the answer to that.

“Yeah,” Akari nodded, “Lopmon…Kaiyumi…She put all of our Xros Loaders back together after they got blown up.”

“Blown…?” Tagiru sighed as he closed his eyes and banged his head against the back of the elevator wall. “I swear, I don’t want to even know what’s going to happen anymore. Just let it all unfold without anyone going back to mess with it.”

Whatever Akari was going to say was preempted by the twin “Dings” of the same Elevator on two different points of time as it reached the same floor at two different points of time.

“Welp, time to follow the crowd,” Tagiru laughed.

Imagine riding in two elevators at once.

How bizarre!

As they walked out of the elevator, Tagiru decided to pull out the wrister again to try calling Chou back.

“Akashi-Kun?” Chou’s voice came out of it after a few moments, presumably she was having a hard time getting to it.

“Hey, Chou-chan,” Tagiru smiled despite the fact that she couldn’t see it.

Akari- though she had a hard time remembering some minor things still- could still remember that smile from her childhood. And the voice on the other end of the wrister…?

“Is something wrong?” Chou asked.

“No, not really,” Tagiru glanced at the Time Window- Xros Heart’s Earth side were waiting at a street edge for a taxi or a limo.

“Can I-?” Akari stopped after she started- suddenly realizing that she’d been reaching out for the Wrister.

“Who was that, Akashi-kun?” Chou asked, slightly concerned.

“Someone wants to talk with you, Chou-chan,” Tagiru offered the wrister to Akari, “here.”

Akari took the device and stared at it for a moment, almost as if it were going to explode.

“Hello…?” Chou asked after those few moments of silence passed.

Akari fumbled for words. Again? Why was it so hard to just say… “Hello?” she parroted without realizing it.

“…Akari-chan?”

“Um…Yeah…”

Tagiru shook his head a little bit, a smile on his face, and then went to reload MetalTyranomon so they could follow the Limo that had just arrived on the other side of the Time Line.

It’s awkward writing awkward situations.

Harpymon smirked. They were on the road- and once they stopped to eat, she could fulfill her mission requirements.

The Girl that had joined the boy had the ability to jump across time. Instead of tricking the boy into opening the gate for her, she would simply wait for the girl to open one instead, as she no doubt would.

And furthermore- the boy was distracted by her presence. He wasn’t keeping as sharp of an eye out as he could have, and should have.

Harpymon’s smirk turned into a full on grin. “Too easy!”

Harpymon prepares to strike.

Xros Heart had stopped at a nearby restaurant- fast food for a quick return to the conference, traffic alone would keep them away long enough.

Akari handed Tagiru back his wrister, a smile on her face and tears slightly forming in her eyes, “Thank you. I think I needed that…”

“Ah, it’s fine,” Tagiru waved it off. “Besides, talking over the phone is different from meeting face to face. I’ll have to treat you both to dinner once this is all over with!”

Tagiru seems ready to accept how things are going to go.

He offers to cook dinner!

Akari stared at him for a moment, “You know how to cook this early on?”

“Yeah, I have a whole house to feed now,” Tagiru laughed, a little nervously, “I’ve got a lot of practice in.”

Akari fidgeted for a moment before asking, “D…do you know how to make toast yet?”

“Toast?” Tagiru was confused for a moment, “like a specific type of toast?”

“Sort of sweet with brown swirls in it?” Akari provided the information she was hoping to hear.

“Like…French Toast?” Tagiru asked.

“I…think so?” Akari frowned a little, “I never really knew what it was called other than that it was ‘toast.’

“I think I know that one,” Tagiru scratched at his head, “I’d have to make the bread from scratch though…”

“Yes! That!” There was a sparkle in her eyes as she remembered that part specifically- or rather, the first time he’d let her help out in making it. “That’s it exactly!”

Akari’s unintentionally started an information loop into her past. But it’s not so much of a bad one. I mean- what parent wouldn’t want to cook food for their kid once they find out their favorite food?

Harpymon was confused by this- the two of them had already climbed off of the giant cybernetic Tyranomon, what was keeping the girl from leaving?

Another thing- they obviously knew each other to some degree, so why was the girl asking if he knew how to make toast as if he’d known it previously but might have forgotten?

Harpymon frowned- something was amiss. If the girl didn’t leave soon…She’d miss her window of opportunity! But that was alright if she *did* miss it… There was something WRONG with this. Like…Like…

Harpymon couldn’t put a finger on it- but whatever this…this was…it was unsettling. She had to investigate further.

Harpymon’s getting the Time Travel info- realizing that this is JUICY information.

Too bad she can’t use it.

“Anyways, I should go join them,” Akari smiled, “they’re probably waiting by now…”

“Yeah,” Tagiru nodded, smiling all on his own, even though he wasn’t happy about returning to surveillance. “probably.” He sighed, “And I have a job to get back to, so…”

Akari nodded, “Right, then…” She turned to leave, then glanced back over at him, “I’ll see you for dinner, then…?”

“Yeah,” Tagiru nodded, then, as she turned to leave again, a thought hit him, “Oh! And if that Shoutmon breaks your heart, tell him I’ll be coming for him!”

Akari laughed, “You’re so over-protective, dad…”

And there it is.

And there it was. The two of them had frozen at that exact word.

Harpymon’s frown turned upside down.

“Dad.”

Father.

Male Parental Figure.

Exactly one half of who gave that girl life.

And they were the same age.

Time Travel was involved somehow, Harpymon knew that.

But what to do about it…?

She didn’t have long to think about it- the Girl was raising her Xros Loader.

Time for a decision- act on this new info or hold it for later and stick to the original plan.

What’ll it be Harpymon?

“Time Shift!” Akari said the words- and a portal opened before her.

As the girl was about to step through- something blurred past her, and went through the portal first.

Neither Tagiru nor Akari needed to say anything- they both acted.

They jumped through the portal immediately after the ballistic Harpymon.

Ah- Job it is then.

Taiki’s ear itched as a familiar presence appeared on his mental map of the city. “So this is where you come in,” he muttered.

Sally looked over at him, “Huh?”

“GET DOWN!” Taiki suddenly swapped places with Nene via a Teleport- just in time as Harpymon came blasting through the restaurant window barreling straight towards the spot Nene had been standing.

ZWAP!

Too little too late- Harpymon found herself two stories above ground level- crashing straight down at the pavement outside the restaurant that she had just crashed through a second earlier. “Oh Cr-!”

CRASH!

This is a classic Teleport redirect.

Taiki’s instincts have really been honed in on this skill. He could have just as easily sent bullets flying back into the gun that launched them with this amount of reflex.

Dust, debris, and pavement flew into the air like a bomb had gone off.

This was the sight that Tagiru and Akari saw upon exiting Digi-Quartz.

“What the hell was that!?” Tagiru shouted in disbelief as a dented manhole cover rolled to a stop at his feet.

A second later, Taiki, Shoutmon, Nene, and Sally teleported next to them with a flare of Red and white energy.

“That-” Taiki explained as the relativly unscathed Harpymon crawled out of the crater she had made, “would be Harpymon.”

“As in the Harpymon from before?” Shoutmon asked, “The one you fought with while Akari and I fought with-?”

“That very same one!” Taiki nodded.

“Well crap,” Akari blinked, “How the hell did we miss this one?”

“I don’t know,” Taiki shook his head, turning towards Tagiru, “What did you s-”

Tagiru was already running towards Harpymon, with Gumdramon at his side.

Tagiru doesn’t care to hang back and talk- he’s got a job to do, after all.

“YOSHAAAA!” Gumdramon roared like a regular old Leeroy Jenkins. “FIRE VORTEX!”

A blinding sphere of burning fire came hurtling at Harpymon, who, despite being dazed, easily leaned to the side, allowing Gumdramon to miss entirely.

“NO FAIR!” the little rubber dragon went sailing off course- hitting the back of a car’s bumper and then-SPROING– sent flying back at Harpymon: “HAHAHA!”

Harpymon, who was presently focusing on Tagiru (who was stupidly running at her with a the dented manhole cover like it was a giant Frisbee to be tossed), didn’t see him coming.

SMAK!

“GAWK!”

Gumdramon hit Harpymon on the back of her head- sending him flying up into the air where-

“YOSH!”

-Tagiru threw the manhole cover at his elastic partner, who began to shoot down due to gravity, where he then hit the cover, and then began to ride it down like a re-entry shield.

CLANG!

Harpymon only barely dodged the near-death-dealing move by fate alone- in her double dazed state, she fell to the side just as Gumdramon hit the ground.

Despite that fact- everyone stared at the split second plan that had just been enacted.

Tagiru and Gumdramon just have a DYNAMIC flow when it comes to battles like this.

I mean- did you see this? Did you actually SEE this?

Everyone but Nene, who simply clapped with glee. “Eee! That was so awesome!”

This uncharacteristic squeal brought a few odd looks her way, but otherwise went ignored.

Mood Swings.

That, and she’s actually very impressed by this.

Wouldn’t you?

*cue Tagiru Chikara!*

“TIME BURST!” Tagiru shouted as his and Gumdramon’s bracelets glowed brightly.

Then…

“REEYYYAAAHHHH!”Gumdramon’s body seemed to explode into data as he expanded outwards, changing forms in a more drastic way than usual.

His tail became long and serpentine like- tapering out into into a massive battle ax. His simple red vest turned into a massive piece of torso armor, complete with shoulder fins that extended out into what looked like stationary wings containing jet thrusters. His little hands blew out into giant fists wrapped up in yellow gloves, and his clawed feet became excessively layered in metallic plating- almost looking as if he were wearing yellow boots. His legs were coated in black leather pants, held up by a belt that was massively long to the point that it practically became a tail-coat.

Finally, his head elongated, and a massive metallic helmet snapped into place with a hiss of steam as his green eyes flared open beneath a set of goggles. Yes. He was a dragon digimon, and he was wearing goggles.

“CHOU SHINKA! ARRESTERDRAMON!”

Stock Footage.

Hibana chirashite DEAD HEAT! Ki wa nukenai ze DANGER ZONE!

As Harpymon came to her senses, she realized there was a massive, purple dragon standing over her. “CH-”

Moeru! Toush! Atsuku! Hibikiatterunda

Arresterdramon brought a fist down on Harpymon- who simply vanished away in a blur.

Kibun saikyou SUPER STAR! giri giri semeru HUNTING TIME

“Since when could YOU grow big like that?!” Harpymon squawked in dismay as Arresterdramon spun around and took off to face her in the air.

Iku Ze! Ore no, chousen ga hajimaru!

“RREEAH!” Arresterdramon swung around- hoping to hit her with his Tail.

“TOO SLOW!” Harpymon blured away in an instant- appearing again behind Arresterdramon and delivering a kick to his back.

Nerai wo sadameru no sa, Hanate ima, jounetsu de, tokecha isou na,

As Arresterdramon began to fall…

“TAIKI!” Sally shouted- and a second later, she vanished in a teleport…

Afureru ore no POWER!

…Only to reappear under Arresterdramon as Sparrowmon- easily catching the Dragon before he fell too hard.

“Oof!” she grunted goodheartedly, “Wow! What have you been eating?”

Good heartedly? Oh COME ON spell check. I wrote good-naturedly, didn’t I?

….bleh.

Tagiru Chikara! tomerarenai Mugen no ENERGY uzumaku yo

“Talk later!” Arresterdramon pushed off and away as Harpymon came falling down at them again.

Ima sekai wa ore wo matteru HEAT UP kyuujoushou tsukinukero

From that moment on- it was nothing more than the three aerial Digimon ducking and dodging and placing attacks.

Those who could follow the movement from the ground saw only blurs of speed from Harpymon and Sparrowmon- while Arresterdramon struggled to keep pace.

Subet wo kakete iodomu BATTLE hitotsu ni nare HEART AND HEART!

We cut the full song short at this point.

*cut to 2:38*

Tagiru ran back over to the others, “Anyone got any ideas how we can land a hit on this guy?”

“I’ve got one!” Nene held her lavender Xros Loader up- “We Xros Sparrowmon and Arreserdramon together!”

“That should work!” Taiki nodded in agreement, then looked towards Tagiru, “Tagiru! Just like we showed you!”

“Right!” Tagiru nodded.

A flash of red- A flash of lavender- Tagiru and Nene stood shoulder to shoulder, holding their Xros Loaders up at angles by their faces as they shouted orders:

“ARRESTERDRAMON!”

“SPARROWMON!”

“DOUBLE XROS!”

The Xros Loaders slammed together.

With a flash of golden light- Sparrowmon and Arresterdramon swirrled around Harpymon, confusing her for a moment, before they slammed together into a Digi-Xros.

Sparrowmon’s hoverboard replaced Arresterdramon’s wings- and the Sparrow-Shield Blaster appeared on his left arm. Topping it all off was how Arresterdramon’s head armor shifted to mimick that of Xros Five’s.

“XROS UP! JET-ARRESTERDRAMON!”

Harpymon gulped…And then absconded as fast as she possibly could straight up into the atmosphere.

Mostly- I just couldn’t fill the remainder of the song’s middle verse with actual footage.

Massugu ni todoke mirai no MESSEJI hikari sasu basho wo sagashiterunda

Jet-Arresterdramon followed her with ease- moving so fast that he created a sonic boom from the sudden acceleration.

Yume oikakete jiyuu ni toberu made..OHHH!

“IIIIIKKKEEE!” Tagiru shouted after them.

TAGIRU CHIKARA! Tomerarenai

Jet-Arresterdramon caught up to Harpymon in an instant- and, with a smirk hidden behind that face plate, he spun around and slammed his tail into Harpymon.

Mugen no ENERGY uzumaku yo, Ima sekai wa ore wo matteru

As the bird began to fall- that tail then suddenly stretched out like a snake and tied up the bird-woman with the signature attack: “MACH PRISM GARRET!”

HEAT UP! kyuujoushou tsukinukero

And with their captive held prisoner- Jet-Arresterdramon shot down for the crater already in the street and threw Harpymon head first at Mach Speeds.

Kono uchuu no domannaka de HOLD UP!

As Harpymon went flying forwards- Arresterdramon threw the Sparrow Shield forward and fired twin Drill shaped lasers out…

furiagero, Ima sekai wa ore wo matteru HEAT UP tsukinukero

KTHWAM! SHUNK! FTHOOOM!

Harpymon hit the ground- and then the lasers ignited the dust in the air that was thrown up from that impact.

Subete wo kakete idomu BATTLE hitotsu ni nare HEART AND HEART!

And as the fire turned into smoke- a beam of light shot out of the ground where Harpymon had been- going straight into Tagiru’s Xros Loader, which beeped in confirmation of a captured Digimon.

And once the smoke faded away, all that stood there was a triumphant looking Jet-Arresterdramon.

Whooooo!

What fun!!

THE NEAREST POLICE STATION_ _ _|

A short time later- the arrested Harpymon was reloaded from Tagiru’s Xros Loader, straight into a jail cell that was just small enough to prevent Harpymon from building up enough speed to escape from it.

“EH?” She glanced around nervously, “What’s going on?”

And then Nene stepped out of the shadows of the room- her eyes glowing pink as she smiled at the bird, “Hello there.”

Harpymon gulped. “Oh…Fudge.”

“Yes, I do like Fudge, I think I’ll have some for lunch after this!” Nene then leaned up to the caged bird and, dropping the chipper tone, said as seriously as possible, “I’d like to know who hired you to kill me and Echinda.”

Cravings.

These were the subtle hints that I planted into this chapter early on before the Intermission Reveal.

“…” Harpymon weighed the decision in her mind quickly- One the one weight, if she kept silent, then her boss wouldn’t come to kill her for failing in her mission. On the other, if she sang like a canary, she’d probably be put under protective custody from Xros Heart.

It was a simple decision:

“Quartzmon,” Harpymon said as fast as possible- as if the words were killing her to keep them in, “His name is Quartzmon. He wanted you gone so he could destroy the Digital World’s core to fuel some project of his! That’s all I know! I swear!” She started tearing up, “Please! You’ve got to keep me safe from him! I only took this damned job because he threatened to kill me if I didn’t do it!”

But here’s the kicker.

We learn Quartzmon’s NAME.

“Harpymon described Quartzmon as a horrid mix-and-match of Digimon parts,” Shoutmon said as he slammed a sketch down on the table, “If it didn’t match what Airu described of the person who memory trapped her, I’d say she pulled this guy straight out of a cartoon.”

Truth be told, their sketch artist for the description was a fan of a certain children’s cartoon, and so had probably exaggerated the drawing to some minor degree, at least in the art style itself. But even so…

“We have a Name then,” Taiki nodded, “The one who set Digi-Quartz up too, most likely.”

“That, or it’s an alias he’s using that he got from the place itself,” Akari brought up the possibility.

“He sure doesn’t look like he’s made out of any crystal to me,” Gumdramon scoffed.

“Quartzmon…” Sally clenched her fists, “this guy gives me the creeps.”

And then it’s confirmed to be the Chimera who messed with Airu.

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

“…And in other news, the Assassin that was hired to kill one of the Digital World Representatives, Lady Echidna, has given investigators a name of the person who hired her.” The News Anchorman said, “The name is not being revealed at this time, however, due to it being an ongoing investigation. However, details of the Assassin’s hiring have come to light, such as the fact that the one who hired her has threatened her life should she not have gone through with this assassination attempt. The Assassin is currently in International Protective Custody, awaiting trial in-“

The TV clicked off.

“And so…” The Watch Maker mused, “they begin to uncover the truth behind the World…”

“Chi Chi Chi…” Clockmon chimed.

The Watch Maker got up from his chair, and began stalking over to his workshop desk- where several in-progress clocks lay on its surface.

This is where I began to develop The Watch Maker’s back story fully. I hadn’t decided on what to do with him up until this point.

The Watch Maker pulled a key out of his pocket, and inserted it into a drawer on the desk. He turned the key, and then pulled it out once it clicked. With a grim look on his face, The Watch Maker pulled the drawer open, revealing a heavy, thick, and old briefcase.

The Watch maker pulled the Briefcase out, and then laid it on a clear spot on his workbench. With the same key, The Watch Maker unlocked the locks on the briefcase, and then opened it.

Inside lay an investigator’s file folder, stuffed to the brim with photos and text documents and sketches and hand written notes.

The Watch Maker pulled out a particular photo, taken on a certain day six months earlier, and stared at it. “Quartzmon…” he growled.

Indeed- the picture was off that stitched together Digimon, who looked rather similar to the sketch that Harpymon had provided.

The Watch maker clenched his fist around the photo- crudely wraping it up into a tube in the process. “I will catch you, my white whale!”

TO BE CONTINUED!

And I haven’t looked back yet.

BEGIN: ACT 3 INTERMISSION 10.

HONG KONG_ _ _| THAT FIRST MORNING’S BREAKFAST_ _ _|

Akari sighed. “I don’t know how to talk to them…My parents… I had the whole week just now but I…”

“It’s nerve wracking, isn’t it?” Nene asked, her voice carrying the same emotions. “It was the same for me and Kotone when we came home after it all. The thought of talking to someone you haven’t seen in years?”

“Yeah…” Akari nodded, “I don’t know how they’d react or anything.”

“Sometimes,” Nene said with a smile, “you’ve just got to take a leap and just jump right in!”

“And speaking of,” Echidna spoke up suddenly, “Isn’t it about time you’ve told them what you asked Kotone not to?”

Oh? What’s that?

“Right Right!” Nene nodded, though most everyone else was confused. “So…Well…” She fidgeted a little, blushing a bit even as she tried to find the words… “Kiriha and I…Typheus and Echidna…”

“Out with it already!” Sally encouraged her friend, “We don’t have all day!”

Nene smiled at Sally, then took a breath and said…

“Echidna and I are pregnant.”

Yup.

Yuu’s spoon full of cereal clattered to the table as he stared at his sister. “Wh…” And then, much like Tagiru had several weeks earlier, the back of Yuu’s throat let loose a wet-sounding wail. “WEEEHHHH!?”

Taiki and Shoutmon shared a look, then both of them laughed.

Yuu mimics Tagiru’s previous reaction.

Akari simply rubbed at her eyes and grumbled, “It’s way too early in the morning for in-jokes, Taiki…” she turned to meet Nene’s eyes and smiled, “Congratulations, the both of you!”

“That’s great!” Sally gave Nene a hug, “how far along are you?”

“Almost a Month, we think,” Nene said, smiling all the while, “Sally, though, I’ve got something to ask of you and Taiki…”

“Yeah?” Taiki asked, “What is it?”

“I’d like you two to be the child’s god parents, if that’s alright?”

Taiki and Sally looked at each other, then nodded in unison as they said, “Sure!”

This sounds like good news for them, doesn’t it?

Nobody noticed the brief flicker of red in Akari’s eyes, nor the way that she tensed up during those few moments that the question had been asked an answered.

Nobody but Shoutmon, that is. He sent a questioning glance at her, but she just shook her head, mouthing that she’d tell him later.

He didn’t like the sound of that.

END: ACT 3 INTERMISSION 10.

You’d be Wrong.

Akari’s time powers here are meant to highlight an ominous undertone to these otherwise cheerful events.

NEXT TIME!

“Later, Chou-Chan!”

“Later, Akashi-kun!”

“Oi Oi! What’s this thing supposed to do?”

“Hi Hi Hi! I’m FlameWizarmon! Catch me if you can!”

“OIIII! LAVA HEAD!”

“Next Time, Digimon Xros Wars…”

“The Tricky Wizard! Ignite the Fires of Courage!”

“…Guuhh…I just want to go to sleep…”

The Next Time Segment.

Short- but simple.

10Digital World/Earth Negotiations. Nene/Echidna being ‘hunted’ by Harpymon. GLX5 formed to take down assasain. (Overkill much)

The Episode summary.

Overkill much indeed.

Anyways.

Yeah.

Nene’s Pregnant! The child of her, Kiriha, Echidna, and Typheus…. What incredible power that little girl will have.

As said in one of the most recent chapters- that girl’s name is “Nyarko.”

Think about that for a moment.

 

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