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DigiDestined

#1
She didn’t know how long she was unconscious for before the sprinkling shook her from her ‘slumber.’ With a big yawn, Roll sat up off the grass and rubbed her eyes a little before opening them to take in her surroundings.

…rain forest?

The girl’s blue eyes went wide as she recalled picking up the little digital device from the box and tapping the button. What had she done? Rising up to a fully vertical position, Roll glanced down and noticed that her clothes were brand new. In place of a patchwork dress, she was wearing a new red dress, much like the one she had ordered online a few days prior. Even better than that, her shoes were gone, and although they weren’t heels, they were still one of her favorites—red boots designed to resemble Blues’ own ‘boots.’ Reaching up to her head, Roll found that her hair was soft, and the bow that she’d stopped wearing—it kept getting dirty and being too hard to clean—was back.

“What’s going on?” She asked aloud as she glanced at her surroundings. Around this time, her system would start running some diagnostic scans to provide her with more information, but none of the usual overlays were available. Even more disturbing, her HUD seemed nonexistent. Her internal display was nothing more than what she could see with her eyes, and she couldn’t even pull up the command prompt or a simple DOS window.

Down near her feet, the girl spotted the little gray apparatus that had seemingly brought her here. As she knelt down to pick it up, it started to jiggle and emit a somewhat soothing humming as the tiny screen flashed to life. Scooping it into her palm, she stood up and waited for something on the little device to give her any indication of what had happened. If her system hadn’t been on the fritz, she probably could have interfaced with the piece of equipment wirelessly, but it appeared as if that option was off the table for the time-being.

“What did you do to me?” Roll spoke playfully as she poked at the device.

As if it response, the screen flashed white and released what amounted to a handheld tornado of swirling… binary? The black 1s and 0s swirled above Roll’s cupped palm until they retreated back into the device, but as they receded, they left behind a basketball-sized egg with blotchy green spots. The egg floated for a moment before settling down atop of the device in her hand, and before Roll could ask the obvious question, it started to wiggle and a series of tiny cracks appeared from the top.
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Dante's Abyss 2015
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#2
As Roll watched, the top of the egg broke open, the pieces disintegrating into dust as they fell toward the ground. Lowering the egg, the blonde glanced down inside to see a green mass twitching inside. A beat later, it surged outward, causing much of the radius of the egg to splinter, and after a delay, it retracted and repeated its effort. At that second pulse, the remaining top two-thirds of the egg shattered into dust.

The creature hatched from the egg was a little smaller than a volleyball, with a pale green skin. For all intents and purposes, it was little more than a blob, although it had slightly long ears, and its tail terminated it a large leaf the width of its body. Other than that, it had just two large black eyes and what seemed to be a pink pacifier in its mouth. In other words, it was adorable, and more than that, it was probably the cutest thing she’d seen since arriving in the Omniverse.

“What are you?” Roll asked

“I’m Leafmon,” it replied, its high-pitched child’s voice a little muffled as it talked around the pacifier.

The fact that it spoke with perfect English startled Roll, and she nearly dropped the pudgy, spherical creature onto the ground. “That’s who you are,” the girl said with a smile as she lowered the blob to the ground and sat cross-legged in front of him. While the rest of the egg had dematerialized, her little device was still present and a few inches next to Leafmon. “But tell me what you are.”

“A Digimon,” Leafmon replied cheerfully as he bobbed up and down. “You’re not aware that you’re in the Digital World?” He asked after pausing amidst his jovial hopping. Roll chewed on her lower lip for a few moments before shaking her head. “Oh, my!” Leafmon declared as he gestured with his tail to the gray apparatus on the ground. “Why else would you get a Digivice?”

“That’s what you call this?” Roll asked as she leaned over and grabbed the little piece of technology off the forest floor. “It doesn’t seem like it does anything… the screen is so tiny and these buttons seem mostly cosmetic.”

“It’s a conduit!” Leafmon replied as he again jumped up and down. With no limbs and limited facial expressions, it was obvious that hopping was his main way to add emotion to his conversation. “It brought you here, right? And it generated me, right?” When Roll nodded her head twice, Leafmon continued. “Then it’s a Digivice… it lets me draw on your energy down the road, and it’ll also point us in the right direction if ever we get lost. That’s why it’s so cool to be a Digimon linked to a DigiDestined… you start off with so many hacks that others here have to unlock on their own!”

Roll still didn’t understand, but the obvious joy and energy of the little blob was infectious—so much so that she forgot she was in a rain forest rather than a drab, overpopulated metropolis. “Where did you say we are?”

“The Digital World,” Leafmon answered. “To be more specific, this is File Island and we’re in the West Native Forest… I guess you could consider this the ‘starting zone.’ Aside from a few jerks, this place is relatively quiet. It’s where many Digimon are born and stay until they’re strong enough to digivolve.”

“Digivolve?”

“You don’t know much, do you? Are you sure you’re a DigiDestined?” The remark was made in clear jest, but Roll couldn’t help but question whether or not she’d merely stumbled upon all of this by accident.

“I’m sorry…” Roll muttered, her shoulders drooping down.

“Oh, no!” Leafmon yelped as he hopped up onto her crossed ankles. “Don’t be sad! I was just playing… Digivolving is when Digimon advance to their next stage. You’re going to help me out with it, so I can’t have you being sad.”

The girl nodded her head as Leafmon hopped up her leg until he found a stable spot on her thigh. It was then that she asked the first question that came to her mind: “So what do we do now that I’m here?”
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Dante's Abyss 2015
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#3
“We should head to File City!”

“You have cities here?” Roll asked, already aware that it was probably a rhetorical question.

“Yes,” Leafmon replied with a bob of his head/body. “It’s mostly Digimon, but you might some others like you there as well, if you need some human interaction.”

Roll nodded her head as she glanced around her surroundings once more. She was reminded of how much she lacked without her wireless functionality and her various ease-of-operation applications. She wanted to pose the question to her new little friend, but she doubted that he’d be knowledgeable on that topic. “So can you walk or would you rather I carry you?” She inquired as she turned her attention back to the Leafmon.

“I’ll walk… just give me a quick second, okay?”

“For what?”

“This first one’s the easiest, but do you mind picking up the Digivice and clipping it onto your dress? I wouldn’t want you to lose that.” Roll nodded her head and attached the device to her dress just above her right collarbone. Once she let go of it, it started to hum and the screen began to glow. “This is our freebie,” Leafmon replied as the little blob began hopping around in a circle around Roll. After his second lap, he froze mid-hop as his entire body was consumed by a white light. From all around the frozen Leafmon, strings of binary code emerged out of thin air and vanished into his body.

“Leafmon digivolve to…” There was a blast of light that momentarily blinded Roll. “Budmon!” When her vision returned a beat later, she glanced down to see that her new friend had taken on a different form. He was still a green blob (albeit now a little bigger than a basketball), but the ears and pacifier were gone. The tail still had a leaf, but it was bigger and the stem itself was much shorter. Instead of animal-like ears, the new Digimon had a handful of pink horns poking up out of his body, with a few larger ones on top and teeny ones on the bottom side.

“You changed?”

“Yea!” Budmon’s voice was a little deeper than that of Leafmon. It was the difference you’d expect to see if you compared a babbling toddler to a young child. Plus, his voice wasn’t garbled by a pacifier. “I’m Budmon now… this is my second baby stage. I think they call it ‘In-Training’!’ With more than black circles for eyes, the little guy was able to clearly show how happy he felt.

“Did I ever introduce myself?” Roll asked.

“Nope!”

“How silly of me,” the little girl giggled as she stooped down and offered a hand to the Digimon. “My name is Roll Light.”

“Yay!” Budmon shouted as he gave his new companion a soft headbutt. Without any hands, it was the best he could offer. “You ready to rock n’ roll?!”

The blonde held back a sigh as she nodded her head. “You lead the way, Budmon!”

“Onward…” The little Digimon paused for what could only amount to dramatic emphasis. “to destinyyyyy.”
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Dante's Abyss 2015
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#4
The trek through the Native Forest was actually quite pleasant!

For someone who had spent her entire life, both before the Omniverse and all the time since, living in large cities, Roll found herself to enjoy the outdoors quite a bit. This was the first time since right before Doctor Wily decided to try and conquer Monsteropolis that Roll had seen a tree in person, and while she’d seen some lakes and creeks, those were close to dense cities and tended to be less than pristine. The river that they walked alongside on their way north through the forest was beautiful, with crystal blue water and a population of shimmering fish and amphibians that croaked out little melodies as they passed through the area.

“Is the entire Digital World like this?” Roll asked as they stopped at a spot where the river bent in from of them, impeding their path. “It’s almost too pretty to be real.”

“This is the Dataverse,” Budmon replied as he hopped up next to the robot girl. “Everything here has been created from code, so it’s really not real, if you think about it. Plus, like I said, we’re in the starting area, so it’s supposed to be warm and welcoming!”

“I was created from code…” Roll muttered as her digital companion hopped to the edge of the stream.

He paused there and spun around to look up at her. “Not really. You’re flesh and blood, like all the other Digidestined. You’re physically inside the Dataverse.”

“No,” Roll shook her head. “I’m a robot.” She put a hand over her chest, but before she could follow up, she felt something that made he lose her train of thought—

—a heartbeat.

“You look like you’ve seen a ghost,” Budmon quipped.

“I have a heartbeat.”

“You’re human, aren’t you?” The Digimon’s remark carried with it a sarcasm that was somewhat lost on the robot/not-robot (?) girl.

“I was built from metal bits!” She shot back as she tried to access her HUD of any of her various system applications. Before she hadn’t dwelt too much on them not popping up at her will, but now she felt fear and confusion and frustration all mixed together in some sort of cocktail of prepubescent emotions. “The Dataverse can’t do this right. It’s just tricking me, right?”

If he had anything more than a head, the little guy probably would have shrugged his shoulders or something, but since he lacked the requisite appendages, he just kind of stared at her and twisted up his lips before offering a response. “I mean, I guess when you were downloaded? I’m a Digimon, I don’t really know much about people being physically downloaded to the Dataverse. At this point, I’m really just supposed to lead you in the right direction until we reach File City, you know?”

She didn’t really know, but the girl was too confused to try and argue the situation with the talking, leaf-themed head. “Where do we go from here?”

“Across the stream,” Budmon replied, as if he was answering a completely rhetorical question. “File City shouldn’t be more than another mile or two north of our location, and once you get there, Jijimon can probably answer most of your questions.”

Roll continued to stare at the stream, which appeared to be about two or three feet deep and a solid ten feet from one bank to the other. “We’re just supposed to walk across that? I don’t know if you noticed, but I’m barely four feet tall, and you are a bouncing head.”

“It’s not that deep! And that’s why I need your help,” Budmon replied with a smile. “That’s kind of the whole point of this ‘me being a baby-level’ … You help me out know, and then later when I’m grown up and strong, I’ll help you.”

Putting aside her issues for the time, the girl nodded her head and stooped down to pick up her digital companion.
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Dante's Abyss 2015
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#5
“This is weird,” Roll muttered as the pair stopped to eat some berries. “Have they always tasted like this?” She asked, glancing down at Budmon, who wore a look on confusion.

“What?”

“Berries,” Roll stated as she shoveled more into her mouth and continued to talk as she chewed. “Have they always tasted like this?”

The Digimon furrowed his brow. “Y-yes?”

Roll had eaten berries before, but she must have never realized just how yummy they could be. What was growing on the bush in front of her didn’t look any different from normal blackberries, but each one tasted like the greatest thing in the entire world. What had she been missing out on all her life?

“Why are you being so goofy?” Budmon asked after eating a mouthful of low-hanging berries. “They’re just blackberries.”

“Yes, but I can’t recall ever enjoying them like this.”

“Maybe it’s because you actually can enjoy them,” Budmon spoke, prompting Roll to pause mid-chew. “If you really were a robot and now you’re not, it makes sense… right?”

The girl swallowed what food she had left and looked down at her limbless comrade. She spoke no words and instead found herself wondering when she had last eaten. Was it sometime with Blues? She and her brother had spent many nights playing old console games and eating ‘junk’ foods. Or had she taken lunch at the Community Center at some point after that? Either way, Roll found herself unable to recall if she’d ever really paid attention to the taste of food. Eating wasn’t anything she had to do, but her system would always provide her with the correct term or terms to describe what she was consuming—Sweet, Sour, Spicy, et cetera.

Was this what humans went through every time they ate?

“We should get a move on, Roll.” Budmon said, nudging at his partner’s knee. “We’re not too far away from the village.”

“Sounds good,” Roll answered as she stooped down to pluck up her new friend.
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#6
The two new friends continued for a few more hours before they arrived at File City. As Roll had expected, the place was both impressive and underwhelming at the same time. Constructed of buildings that resembled the interior components of computers and random pieces of junk, File City had a little over a half dozen structures. Most of them had quaint little metal signs in front of them that read ‘Bank!’ and ‘Toilets!’ Roll couldn’t help but smile as Budmon ushered her towards the largest structure—a one-story building with an entranceway that looked like a giant can of tuna.

“This is Jijimon’s home,” the little Digimon declared as he hopped on into the building. As Roll got closer, she noticed that the structure was made of some sort of glossy white metal. Passing through the entranceway, the blonde smiled at how quaint the place was. Tables were lined with papers and pictures, and a few crates filled with wheat of some sort were lined up on one of the walls. At the back of the room was a solitary figure. An old man with wild white hair and facial hair, he was dressed in tattered brown clothes and supported himself with a cane decorated with a large yellow paw.

“Hello there, Roll,” the small old man said, bobbing his hair-covered head as the girl and her companion crossed the room toward him.

“Jijimon?” Roll inquired, prompting another nod from the old man. “You’re a Digimon too?”

“Correct,” he replied. “I might appear young, but I’m one of the first Digimon here in File City.”

Before Roll could get a response in, a feminine voice rang out from behind her. “Don’t worry about Gramps, he likes to think he’s a comedian.” The girl turned around and found herself looking at a three-foot cat that walked on its hind legs. “I’m Gatomon, and while Gramps does all the paperwork, I’m the one who handle the tough work,” the cat added with a wide smile as she extended a hand toward Roll.
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Dante's Abyss 2015
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#7
“What brings you to these parts, Roll?” Gatomon asked, offering a cup of tea to the young girl. “It’s been a very long while since we’ve seen any sort of non-Digimon visitors to these parts.”

The blonde took a long sip and savored the gentle notes of flowers and citrus. If this was what it was like to taste, she never wanted to go back to before. “I don’t know,” she replied as she set the cup down on the table. “We got a delivery to our home, and when I opened it… BAM” The girl clapped her hands together for emphasis, causing Budmon to twitch next to her.

Gatomon didn’t flinch. The talking feline leaned forward and brushed her chin. “That’s so weird, but yea, you don’t seem like a bad person. I’m inclined to think that it was just some really good luck that brought you to us.”

“Luck?” Roll asked, her expression doing little to hide her confusion.

The cat pointed to the third individual in the room. “If this little fella was waiting for you, it means you were supposed to be here. That means you’re here to do good work, I believe it.”

“But what am I supposed to do?”

Gatomon smiled at the question. “Anything.” She replied as she pointed to a picture on the wall. Although the edges were tattered and the colors were faded, it looked like a giant circle with a lot of different colored zones. In the center, there were clearly something that looked like mountains, and Roll could spot a few other obvious landmarks—tundra, desert, swamp, and something that looked like a graveyard, among other things. “That’s File Island. We’re near six o’clock, if you think of it like a giant clock.”

“Those mountains are scary,” Roll muttered, prompting the cat to nod her head.

“Mount Infinity. It’s right there before us, but if you find someone who has been inside of it, they’d be the first. Or at least the first that I’ve heard of, and I’ve been here for a while.”

“What’s in it?” The blonde asked, eliciting a shrug from the cat.

“Not sure,” Gatomon responded. “Something magical? Something malevolent? Even the old man isn’t quite sure, and I think he was probably here when that mountain was friggin’ made.”

Roll chuckled and looked down at Budmon. The little limbless Digimon seemed a bit perplexed. “You okay, Budmon?”

“I think so?” He asked, turning his body to glance up at his new friend. “Little warmer than normal, but I think that’s a good sign.”

From her chair, Gatomon nodded her head. “It’s been long enough, you should be just about ready, am I right?”

“Yes, I think you are,” Budmon spoke after a soft delay as he vanished beneath a white glow that rapidly consumed and obscured his form.

As Roll watched, the shapeless ball of energy ballooned outward. “Budmon digivolve to…” Very quickly, it started to take a defined shape, with limbs sprouting out from the light as it faded to reveal a new Digimon. The spikes and generally goofiness of Budmon were no more. This new Digimon was stout, about two feet tall with an egg-shaped body and tiny yet functional arms and legs. Its lower half was the color of grass, and the upper half of its body was pink. More than that, it looked like an upside down flower, fit with petals that ringed where a neck probably would have been. From the top of its cranium, a little sprout poked up and terminated with two little leaves. “Lalamon!” The new Digimon replied, its eyes black circles and its mouth a tight black line.

“You can walk on your own now!” Roll declared as the emotionless-looking Digimon glanced up at her, its circular eyes now hemispheres that somehow managed to perfectly convey its lack of enthusiasm with her wit.

“I’ll show you walking on my own,” Lalamon replied in a monotone that left Roll wondering about his tone until one corner of his mouth curved upward in a tiny smirk.

Gatomon snickered. “I think the two of you will do just fine out there. You just have to remember to rely on one another, because you’ll grow stronger over time. Seek out any artifacts you can get out there, because they’ll help Lalamon to reach even higher levels of power, okay?”

The blonde girl nodded her head. “I understand,” she said as she slid from the chair. “Where should we go, though?”

With a shrug, the cat gestured to the map. “Your guess is as good as mine, but you might want to head southeast or southwest of here. You’ll be in either a tropical jungle or some small mountains. There shouldn’t be too much danger, and you might be able to make some friends out there.”

“Friends?” Roll asked, furrowing her brow. “Other humans?”

“No,” Gatomon replied. “While most of the Digimon out there are feral, there are many fully coherent Digimon out there that haven’t ‘gone native.’ If you meet any, you should direct them back to here. We could use their help defending and growing this place for future Digidestined. Does that make sense?”

Roll nodded here head. “Explore. Grow strong. Find trinkets. Find friendly Digimon. That actually sounds like a lot of fun!”

The cat grinned. “I love your attitude, Girl. I think we’re going to get along just great.”
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#8
“I like the smells out here.”

Roll glanced down at Lalamon and smiled. Now that he’d transformed into a strange little flower-looking thing, he seemed to have a more complete personality. In an ironic twist, his voice had become rather drawl, which was probably to match his likewise blank features. Even so, the conversations between the two of them had been fuller, reflecting the fact that the ‘rookie’ Digimon had certainly grown more complete with the recent transformation.

“They are nice.”

Despite the lack of further clarity, Roll agreed wholeheartedly with the sentiments from her companion. The ‘North’ Native Forest smelled like a rich blend of fine wood, ripe berries, and flowers. While Lalamon’s built-in knowledge of the region was only superficial, the Digimon and his partner were excited to explore the new area. Although neither would speak it, they were both hoping for some sort of action to occur. Or maybe they would find a lost Digimon and be able to recruit him to File City?

Roll though the number of possibilities was limitless, and while a part of her missed her family, she knew they would be doing just fine. Coruscant wasn’t a nice place, but they had carved out their own slice of heaven within the sphere of the imperial system. Unless her brothers started drug trafficking, they’d be fine.

“So you’re not sure what lives out here?” The blonde asked as the pair trudged along the path. As they came to a stop, the girl took a moment to fix the backpack that Gatomon had given her prior to their departure. The cloth sack was filled with food and a few other adventuring provisions that would tide the twosome over until they returned.

‘After that, you’ll have to pay for the rest… town’s gotta making a living too, ya know.’

As Gatomon’s words faded back into her thoughts, Roll smiled once more. She had liked meeting the strange, bipedal cat that seemed to run the place, and while Gatomon clearly had up some barricades, the girl felt like the leader of the settlement was happy to make a new friend.

“Obviously, there’s a lot of stuff out here,” Lalamon replied. “I’m not sure what species of Digimon may or may not live out here, though… maybe some bugs? I’m sorry. Like I said, I wasn’t pre-recorded with anything beyond South Native Forest.

“S’okay,” Roll shot back as they continued their trek through the thick forest. “It’s a nice walk, anyway, and I’m sure we’ll come across something sooner rather than later, y’know?”

“Ya.”
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