It was another tranquil, yet boring day. Takuya was trapped in this place, forced to listen to uninteresting rants by his teacher. Outside the sky was blue and every tree had changed it’s color. It was a great place, but he wanted the freedom that came with the Digital World. It’d been two years since his life changing adventure. Ever since then he had a better appreciation of everything except how boring everything was. The others and himself had tried many times to get back by the Train Station but to no avail. He just wanted something to break the cycle other than weekends.
Suddenly the bell rang, ending the teacher’s speech as the students awoke from their comatose state. Takuya returned his books to his locker. He then strolled with Chiaki and Teruo to the playground, the most free place in school. Some kids climbed the jungle-gym, others played basketball, most just stood around talking. That’s what they did. Teruo was discussing a history report when Takuya noticed a strange girl standing behind the fence. She was dressed in red with black hair and dark, tan skin. But what was most striking was that for a moment, he thought he saw a digimon on her.
“Hey guys,” he said frantically,” See that girl?”
“Yeah,” they said.
He simply ran off after her. They didn’t do anything to stop him, but the girl started walking away once he noticed her. Takuya ran as fast as he could, the most exciting thing he’d done in a long time. The chase was in vain however, as she walked the corner and seemingly disappeared.
“Who was she?” he thought to himself as he turned back to his friends.
After that, school was the same, uneventful activity it’d always been. It was computer skill, then math, and finally getting to go home. But today was Friday. Takuya promised he’d meet up with his friends in the park by city hall for a soccer game. He said goodbye to Chiaki and Teruo as he rushed past the other students. He glided through crosswalks, running along the sidewalks, but still keeping a look out for traffic. He definitely didn’t want what happened the day he left for the Digital World to happen again.
Suddenly, he was stopped by a red light, forced to stay while the others waited for him. He checked his phone, realizing he was already late. Takuya was fidgety, waiting as if the light was on for an eternity.
“Are you alright?” a girl asked from behind him.
“I’m good,” he said as he turned around. It was the red girl from before. Up close, he saw she was an Indian girl, dressed in a red sari draped over her shoulder with golden borders over the fabric. Her hair was wavy and black like the night. A tiny red crystal was hanging between her brown eyes as she brushed her hair behind her ears.
“Hey, you’re the girl from school before!” he said angrily,” Why’d you run away?”
“I ran because I didn’t find what I was looking for,” she said. She walked away as the light turned green. The mysterious girl vanished among black suits and colorful tourists. Takuya ran, only a block away from the park. Cool shade gave him the strength to keep searching for them as the autumn leaves floated on the breeze. Little kids were playing catch as teenagers jogged along the paths.
“Where are they?” Takuya asked himself just before he saw all his friends sitting on a table by an empty field. Tommy was kicking the ball to Koji as Zoe acted as referee. To think, they’d all changed so much, yet stayed the same. Tommy was as old as he was when he first got his Spirits. J.P. and Zoe started dating while she wrote her ‘fiction’ book on the Digital World. Koji and Koichi spent a lot more time together and now even go to the same school.
“Hey guys,” Takuya said as he caught up with them,” Sorry I’m late.”
“Sorry?” J.P. said unhappily.
“You’re fifteen minutes late!” Zoe said as she grabbed his ear and shouted right next to it, a way of making sure he listened to her,” We were getting worried.”
“C’mon guys,” Tommy said,” Don’t fight.”
“He’s right,” Koichi said,” We’re about to celebrate the day we became friends. We shouldn’t be fighting.”
“Ready to feel defeat?” Koji said confidently as he threw the ball at Takuya,” Try not to loose so badly this time.”
It was Koji and Koichi versus Takuya and Tommy. J.P. put the ball directly between them as Zoe counted down from five. She yelled go and Koji hit the ball to past Takuya. The twins chased it but Tommy kicked it back to Takuya. Their defenses were gone and the goal was open, but they came from both sides. Koji closed in but Takuya stopped, slid around the ball and hit it to Tommy. It ricocheted into Koji’s goal, scoring one point for their team!
“Best two out of three,” Koji said energetically. The game lasted a good thirty minutes before they admitted they needed a break. Zoe took out four bottled waters for them from a pink backpack with colorful butterflies on it. Takuya was proud as he took in great gulps of water. The game was tied and he scored his last goal in less than a minute. But he couldn’t stop thinking about that red girl. What was her name? Was she really carrying a digimon? Was all this in his imagination? Takuya knew he had to tell the others about this, so he put the drink down and asked,” Hey guys, did you see anything weird today?”
“Like what?” J.P. asked.
“Well, I saw this weird girl at school today. Then I saw her again on my way here. It was weird. I could’ve sworn I saw a digimon with her.”
“Well, I might’ve seen something,” Koji said, clearly intrigued,” There was a black haired girl I could’ve sworn was following me. But when I went to talk to her, she ran off down the stairs. Once she was there, I was sure some digimon was waiting outside for her.”
“That’s exactly like what happened to me,” Takuya said,” What about you Tommy?”
“There was one girl,” he said, trying to remember every detail,” It was recess and she was the only one on the swing set. I sat next to her, asked her what her name was, and we talked a little. But then she left. I didn’t see a digimon, but her name was Emma.”
Zoe crossed her arms, thinking about her day before she said,” well, there was one boy. I was bored in math class, so I just looked out the window and there he was, the only guy on the bleachers. But he definitely had a digimon out in the open. J.P., what about you?”
“I think it was on my way here. I was out the door, ready to come here, when I bumped into some girl. She sure was shy. All I did was apologize and she ran off. But then I saw a flash of yellow, trailing behind her. Maybe that was a digimon?”
“I guess I’m up,” Koichi said. He was easily able to remember as he said,” She had red hair in a ponytail, and she was listening to music. She was on the subway and got off just before I did. But there wasn’t any digimon with her. Maybe it was that blue thing I saw when she was leaving?”
“Maybe it’s just the anniversary coming up,” Zoe suggested,” It’s just our imaginations making us think there are digimon.”
“Yeah,” Takuya assured himself,” That’s probably it.”
The game ended with a victory for Takuya by one goal. The sun disappeared behind the horizon, turning the city orange as the sea of people receded and the night life began. Takuya still heard the sound of blaring horns and shouting citizens in the background from his calm little house. His mom had dinner ready as his brother Shinya sat on the living room floor playing a video game. It was Shinya’s birthday the same day of the anniversary, so they figured they’d use that as a way to celebrate.
Takuya spent the rest of the night in his room, playing online, checking his e-mail. But it wasn’t until a chat-room opened up that the night took a strange turn.
“Hello?” it said from a strange user he’d never heard of.
“Hello?” he replied back.
"Are you Takuya Kanbara?"
“Yeah, who are you?”
“If you really want to see the Digital World again, meet me in the street outside your house at one in the morning.”
Who was this and how did they know about the Digital World? It couldn’t be a prank from one of his friends because he knew all their usernames, but this was someone else. Could it be that girl from school. He replied hastily,” How can I trust you?”
He waited a few moments, only to see it reply,” My name is Scheherazade Agrawal. We met at the red light this afternoon thirty minutes after school ended. You saw me with my digimon partner Kudamon on my shoulders.”
“Alright,” he typed in reluctantly,” I’ll be there.”
That night, long after his parents went to bed, Takuya sat up in his bed. The sounds of the city were the only thing to keep him company as he waited. For awhile he was doing the most useless things to pass the time: Watching videos, reading news on his homepage, or looking up pictures of random video game characters. But then he heard a faint ‘tink’ come from his window. At first he thought it was his imagination but then a second came and he opened his window. But it wasn't until a third rock hit his cheeck that he noticed the new girl yelling"Psst!". But Takuys was somewhat relieved. There she finally was, whispering yet yelling at him at the same time,” Get down here!”
He quickly snuck past his parents’ room, then his brother’s and down the stairs. Takuya quickly slipped on his sneakers as he burst through the door to meet her. She kept using furious hand gestures to get him closer, but once he did she calmed down.
“Finally,” she said with her light, Indian accent,” You’d think you’d rush down to meet a pretty girl like me.”
Takuya was stern, waiting for the answers he desperately wanted. He looked her right in the eye and said,” Who are you?”
“I told you in the chat room, I’m Scheherazade Agrawal, but I’d prefer to be called Sarah.”
“Sarah?” he wondered, but shook it off and asked,” How do you know about the Digital World?’
“Isn't it obvious? I’m one of the new girls.”
“Yeah,” she said enthusiastically,” We’re the new Digi-Destined, here to help!”
“Why do we need new guys...er, I mean girls?”
She looked away, saddened by something. With a tiny sigh, Sarah watched the skyline as she confided in him,” Takuya, why else would we be here other than if the Digital world were in trouble? you see, the Spirits you left behind failed at protecting the world, and now our new enemy id free. Epsilon!”
“How did that happen?”
“We’re not sure, but he has to be stopped. We’re setting off on a Trailmon tomorrow to stop him!” she said with a fire in her eyes that told him she had the potential to be a great fighter,” Long ago he was just a protection program used by a group of scientists to make sure no digimon harmed them. But he became sentient, like the other digimon and misunderstood his purpose as a need to protect humans. He thinks humans are too destructive, so he’s going to take over both worlds."
“Sounds like you need help!” Takuya said enthusiastically,” Do the others know at least?”
“My friends contacted them like I did you. You’ll meet the rest on the train.”
She took his hand, giving him a new D-Tector much like the one he had before with only minor differences,” Takuya, we really need you. Your experience, wisdom, your protection are all crucial. In this digi-vice are your Spirits of Flame, returned so you can protect us.”
“Relax Sarah whatever your last name is,” he assured her, trying to lighten her up with humor,” We’re all in this together.”
“Thanks,” she said with an appreciative smile,” I guess I’ll see you tomorrow?"
“Sure,” he said with dreary eyes and a yawn,” Man it’s late.”
“You should get to sleep. You’ll need focus to figure out an excuse for your family.”
“What?” he asked, confused as she ran away down the hill and around the corner. The moist air and silent street sent a feeling of emptiness as he checked the D-Tector. It was red and black, just like his old one. Although the buttons were gold now and the screen was circular rather than hexagonal. He checked to see both Agunimon and BurningGreymon still inside. For him this was awesome. He thought the spirits stayed in the digital world but here they were. And he could use them in the human world.
Takuya climbed back into bed, drifting, nodding, dozing off into sleep. He thought about the others and what sort of girls they were paired up with. Then he ended up thinking about everything else. Who was Epsilon? Was this a prank? What was he going to do about his parents? He needed more details and it seemed the only way to get them was to get on that train.