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The next morning, Michael held out one of the pixels Hisyarumon left once Michael defeated him. They were at the docks on a perfectly calm day over the clouds, but they were all on edge. Everyone stared at the reflective square as Michael explained,” This is a virus. A particularly strong virus that’s the source of Epsilon’s power.”
“So, Azulongmon was being controlled by this?” Koji asked as he held it up against the sun.
“Unfortunately. For Epsilon to control a Guardian means he must be near complete. But this Dark Data does give us a slight advantage.”
“How do you figure that sir?” Gaomon asked as he said,” Guardians are made of a Vaccine, which counters the virus. But, because the virus is stronger than the vaccine, he can control any digimon he wants. But this is good for us because the positive and negative forces are countering each other inside the digimon. This makes the controlled very unstable, but it also weakens them to the point of Champion.”
“Then let’s go!” Takuya said as he got on one of the gliders,” There’re digimon out there that need out help.”
“You’re right!” Beth yelled enthusiastically,” Who knows how much chaos Terminus and those Demon Lords are causing.”
“It does make sense,” Koichi replied as he readied his glider,” If Terminus corrupted one Guardian, who knows how many villages are in trouble.”
“So what’s the problem?” Emma asked, grabbing Tommy as she mounted on his glider,” Next stop, Aquarius Terminal!”
“Hold it!” Mei yelled as everyone halted at the sound of her voice. A dark and terrifying look came from her eyes as se took her chin, smiling above everyone else as she said,” This is too easy. Just flying to the Terminal’s pointless. So how about upping the ante?”
“What do you have in mind?” Koji asked with the same creepy smile.
“A race! A race to the Terminal, and the loser has to…to…I can’t think of anything?”
“It should be humiliating,” Sarah said as Tommy added,” They need something we’ll never live down.”
“I’ve got an idea,” Michael said dastardly as he cracked his knuckles,” The looser has to cook dinner, for a whole week!”
“That’s not very funny,” Beth said, until she thought,” How about that, but the winner also chooses one punishment for the looser too.”
“You’re on,” Takuya said as he revved his glider,” When I win, the loser has to be my slave the rest of the journey.”
“Oh yeah,” Mei said, brushing her hair back as she clenched her fist and said,” When I win, you’ve gotta give me massages anytime I ask. Even when we get back home!”
“Not so fast,” Michael said, sliding his goggles over his eyes as he proclaimed,” Once I win, the losers’ have to go cosplaying as their partners’ digimon!”
“That’s never gonna happen!” Beth yelled as she got on with Koichi,” Let’s start this thing. On your marks…!”
Everyone pulled down the levers and pressed the throttle as Beth continued,”…get set…!”
The Tension was high as a lonely breeze came to watch their match. Everyone watched the others as the drivers struggled to keep themselves back from hitting “start”. Sweat fell from their brows as Beth waited to catch them off guard with the final,”…GO!”
Everyone suddenly floated up and sped away into the clouds. A sea of white spanned beneath them as all the flying digimon joined them. Streaks of energy blasted from their gliders as they soared with the digimon. Only the highest mountaintops broke through the sky as Christine stuck out her hand, streaking the fluff as a ribbon of clouds formed behind her. Her eyes glistened until the excitement wore off as everyone wondered,” What now!?”
“It’s a two hour journey,” Michael said as he put on the autopilot,” We cruise.”
For hours they did nothing but admire the view. The rush was gone. Their thrill had been drained. Every drop of life vanished as they did nothing but stand and watch the view. But then, Michael began setting systems and pulling levers until the others watched him curiously. Michael gave them a final salute before he fell below the clouds.
“What was that all about?” Lunamon asked until Kudamon asked,” Sarah, what time is it?”
“Time for the others to fell defeat!” she yelled as she dove down with the rest. They shut their eyes from the water, but when they emerged Michael had a huge head start. They then stabilized as they watched the Terminal.
It was built on a giant island with many smaller islands connected by Trailmon tracks. Each went in separate directions from the Terminal, dividing the village into it’s districts. But what was most incredible about the main island wasn’t that it housed the Terminal, but rather that it housed the Terminal in the hollowed out trunk of a giant oak. The houses and walkways were built on the roots as the roads stretched all the way up to the branches. While they all stared in awe, Michael just brushed Koji, causing him to fumble as the real race was on.
Koji used a last bit of accelerant to boost past Michael, but he didn’t take that lightly. They were neck and neck until J.P. and Christine came from behind in a sneak attack. She was followed by Tommy, then Koichi and finally Takuya. Koichi did a full 360b degree spin over Christine, pushing himself into the lead. But the Michael and Koji came in from both sides, forcing her down as they collided and Takuya took their spots.
Everyone was so focused on the race, they hardly noticed the city wall they should’ve avoided. They each tried to stop, but it was too late. They ended up curving until they fell off the gliders and onto the wall. Each fell on top of another, creating a perfect dog-pile as Emma and Tommy reached the other side. They floated mid-air, smiling as Tommy said,” Looks like we won!”
“But we all lost,” Kudamon said as Renamon crawled out.
“Not exactly,” Emma said with an intelligent look on her face,” Right now, Tommy and I are in city limits. If you guys can reach the other side of the wall, you’ve made it.”
“But the gliders,” Koichi said as she explained,” Nobody ever said you had to be IN the glider, just that you had to reach first.”
“So hurry up!” Liollmon yelled as he said,” I wanna know who’s making my dinner tonight!”
It was absolute, perfect chaos as they all scrambled to touch the railing. A foot found it’s way into Koji’s face as Mei pushed him aside. Beth was tackling Takuya until Sarah forced her way past her. But in the end, their hands reached in a wave that ended with Sarah and Takuya. As they watched their friends sadly, Emma said,” Sorry Sarah, looks like you’re cooking.”
“And for you Takuya!” Tommy shouted as he readied himself fore torture,” You’ve gotta tell everyone else what a good job they did.”
“We never wanted to pull a prank on you,” Emma said kindly,” It was all in good fun! So, give each other a pat on the back for just having fun.”
The day from there was uninteresting. Koji found an inn as Sarah made a trip to the Grocery Island, a strange place where Earth food grows on trees and shrubs. She brought the ingredients back as she prepared a favorite of hers, Spicy Indian Grilled Shrimp, cooked perfectly by Agunimon’s holy flames.
But in town, Michael and Christine wandered off to buy Trailmon tickets in advance. They walked along the crowded, white city as Michael became full of memories of living in Thira. Everything was cool as they strolled beneath the shade of the tree, but all wasn’t fine. A tiny Bearmon was rushing past the crowd, clutching in it’s arm a loaf of bread as he pushed Michael aside.
“Hey!” Christine yelled, but again it wasn’t a loud yell.
“Wait, Christine!” Renamon yelled as her tamer ran off to catch the thief.
It wasn’t that hard for her. All Christine did was wait for an opening then jump on Bearmon. Once she did that, she took the bread and gave him her lunch instead. He then ran off as the owner of the stall and Michael came up from behind. Renamon leaped down and rejoined Christine as Michael said,” Nice work.”
“Oh, no. I haven’t done anything.”
“Thank you,” the owner, a Falcomon with a sort of British accent, told her gratefully,” Here, a little something for your troubles.”
He gave her a few digi-dollars and a strange pill she didn’t recognize. It was green, with gold swirls and elegant writing on it. She put the money in her pocket, but then asked,” What is this?”
“It’s a very special remedy. I only give it to my most trusted customers, but you’ve proven yourself. Only use it if you can‘t get to sleep.”
“O-Okay,” she said, putting it in a special place next to her D-Tector.
They said goodbye and went on to the Station. Naturally, because of Epsilon not many people were traveling. Within the empty station, Michael purchased his ticket and took Christine back to the inn where they stayed for the rest of the night.
“Just in time!” Takuya said, pushing Michael and Dorumon to the table,” Sarah’s just finishing up.”
“Tada!” she said, putting down plates of red shrimp, crispy with smoke over a heap of yellow rice and vegetables. The smell was intoxicating as they all clapped their hands and broke the chopsticks. But once they took the first bites, their mouths were set on fire. Renamon started coughing up cinders as Dorumon actually fainted by the heat. Michael fanned his flaming tongue while Emma too fell victim to one of the most powerful, culinary forces known to man or digimon: Spicy Indian Food. Everything burned as they rushed and crowded around the sink, fighting for just a single drop of water, never suspecting the five spices Sarah rubbed into the core of the shrimp.
“Out of my way!” Mei cried while Tommy tried squeezing his way past her. Takuya was still sitting, laughing and grinning as he said,” Okay. I like it spicy.”
But then, he too fell prey to Sarah’s cooking and jumped into them for a drink of water. He knocked them away like bowling pins, gulping up the water as Sarah calmly too a bite, proclaiming,” You guys are wimps.”