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Jack was blinded by the light. When it cleared, he looked and saw that TigerVespamon was gone. He sighed with relief, but his relief didn’t last long.
“Where’s Spencer?” Tyler shouted.
“Libby’s gone too,” Kate realized.
“Boone and Matt disappeared too,” Andy noted.
“It was the rift,” Penny said. “It took them with him.”
“Took them where?” Rachel asked.
“To the digital world,” Penny answered.
“Well, that’s not so bad,” Jack said. “They’ve all been there before.”
“You’re optimistic; that’s a good thing,” Penny said. “I hope you’ll be able to hold onto that with what’s about to happen.”
“What do you mean?” Jack asked.
“The Digital World that you traveled to and that we traveled to last time probably doesn’t exist anymore,” Penny said. “It still exists, but it’ll exist differently now.”
“What does that mean?” Kate wondered.
“The digital world is always evolving,” Penny explained. “Remember when the original Digi-Destined went to the Digital World? It wasn’t the same three years later when the Digimon Emperor was taking over. Was it?”
“But that was a television show,” Tyler said.
“Based on reality, if you haven’t noticed already,” Penny said. “Anyway… we can try, but it’s not even very likely that the portal will open up from one of our computers anymore.”
“Let’s give it a shot,” Andy said. He pulled out his laptop from his backpack. “Jack, open the gate.” Jack walked over to the computer and held his digivice to it. He waited and waited, but nothing happened. “Alright, you were right.”
“So how do we get them back then?” Jack asked.
“We go in after them,” Penny said. “The trick will be getting back out. We could attempt to force another digital rift, but that’s dangerous.”
“First let’s worry about finding a way in,” Rachel said. “Where do we start with that?”
< > < > < >
“So what are we doing?” Tokomon asked Tyler.
“Spencer is stuck in the Digital World,” Tyler said, packing supplies into his backpack. “We need to go help him… and the others.”
“What about finding the portal?” Tokomon wondered, remembering what Penny had said earlier.
“We’ll find it. Don’t worry,” Tyler said.
< > < > < >
“What will your mom say when you get home?” Frimon asked Rachel.
“What do you mean?” Rachel said. They were still on their way to Rachel’s house.
“We were in the Digital World for two months,” Frimon recalled. “Won’t she be worried?”
“Time moves differently in our world,” Rachel said. “For all she knows I was out with friends for a couple hours.”
“What about your dad?” Frimon wondered.
“I’d rather not talk about that right now,” Rachel said. The truth was that her dad was in the military and it upset her that she never got to see him.
< > < > < >
Andy arrived home to find his dad watching television. He was careful to keep Missimon out of view. The news was on.
“The attacks on the city today are the result of what many claim to be a monster attack,” the reporter said. “The monsters in question seem to be related to a card game called Digimon.”
“Andrew, you’re into that Digimon stuff right?” his dad said.
“Yah, Dad,” Andy said.
“Maybe you’d find this report interesting,” his dad guessed. “I was out of town all day so I missed all of this monster stuff.”
< > < > < >
Jack stood out on the balcony of his room of his older brother’s apartment. He looked out over the city. It’d been years since his parents had passed away and he’d gotten used to his brother’s apartment and the view that he had from it… but all the destruction that had happened that day… it unsettled him. Now his best friend was gone and lost in some world that they didn’t know anymore.
“You okay, Jack?” Upamon asked.
“I’ll be fine,” Jack said. “Let’s just find that portal.”
“Jack? Who are you talking to?” his brother came onto the balcony.
“Jared?” Jack gasped. “I… I can explain.”
“That’s one of those Digimon isn’t it?” Jared said.
“Yes…” Jack said.
“So you were involved with all of that craziness today then?”
“You’re probably about to do something crazy too?” Jared guessed.
“How’d you know?” Jack wondered.
“It’s what you do,” Jared said. “Do me a favor, bro? Be safe.”
“I will,” Jack smiled.
< > < > < >
It was nearing midnight and Penny still hadn’t gone home yet. “Why aren’t we going to your home, Penny?” Kyokyomon asked.
“I don’t want to see my dad,” Penny said.
“Why not?” Kyokyomon wondered.
“I don’t want to talk about it,” Penny replied.
Kyokyomon dropped it there. He knew by her tone that he shouldn’t say more.
They sat down by a tree just off the bike trail they were walking. Penny closed her eyes and breathed for a few moments.
“Penny, I see something,” Kyokyomon said.
She opened her eyes. Something was sparkling ahead of her. “We found it.”
< > < > < >
The next morning, Kate and Poromon met up with Penny, Tyler, Jack, Andy, and Rachel off the bike trail. “So we found a gate,” Kate smiled. “We can get them back now.”
“Right, but like I said before, the trick will be getting back out,” Penny said.
“We also can’t wait to use this gate,” Tyler said. “It might not last.”
“Alright,” Penny nodded. “But you all have to be aware… the rules of the game could have changed. There’s no telling what will happen now.”
“What do you mean ‘the rules’?” Andy asked.
“The gate, digivolution… everything and anything,” Penny said. “Things won’t be the same. I can’t tell you how, but it will.”
“Well, everyone ready?” Jack asked.
“Yah,” Rachel said. “Let’s go.”
The six walked into the light and the adventure began again.
(Numbers indicate order of appearance. Bolded characters are fought by the protagonists, and italicized characters appear only as a voice or silhouette.)