CHAPTER XV

Reality 05

“Oohhh! When life gives you nothing but a barrel of lemons…what else can I do with them but making lemonades…?”  and the biker let escape a meaningful sigh “And when I look at that face…do I actually need the lemons?”

“YOU ARE SO GOING TO BE SORRY ONCE I GET MY HANDS ON YOU!!” yelled Yoshino from her patrol car “YOU GET IT?!”

“SURE SWEETIE!” and laughing like the Daredevil he  was, Kouki Tsubasa sped up his Honda “IN YOUR DREAMS!!!!

And like always, the former dog from Kurata´s evil organization did what he knew the best: catching the police squad´s attention by driving through the streets the most irresponsible way possible: driving over 100 km per hour and without wearing a cursed helmet! And of course, he chose to do that during Yoshino Fujieda´s patrol hours.

Right now it was almost 8:20 in the morning and he was already causing such a ruckus! The bridge trembled under his bike´s wheels , such was his speed. Tsubasa kept going on, driving as if the damned place was deserted and narrowly missed  the pair of kids who were running  through it.

olderikuto

“Hiya Tsubasa-san!” was greeted  by Chika Daimon

“Hiya, kids!” he greeted back nonchalantly.

Soon after that, Yoshino´s patrol passed by their side.

“GOOD LUCK THIS TIME!!” yelled Ikuto Noguchi, waving a hand at Yoshino´s car

“Do you think she´ll be able to do it?”asked Masaru´s younger sister, now 15 and currently in third year of middle-school.

“Neah” he smiled ” He´s pretty much like your bro, reckless”

“That´s true!” she conceded and checked on her watch “Rats! We are running late!”

“Ok! Let´s hurry up…!”

Meanwhile,  the chase kept going on.

“GRRR!!!!! I HATE HIM!!!” Yoshino never hated that idiot so much, until now neither she nor her comrades had been able to successfully capture the law-breaker. He grew more irritating than during his stint as a rival Bio-Hybrid! “I HATE HIM! I REALLY HATE HIM!!!” she moaned, speeding up too.

“Yoshino-san, aren´t you going a bit too fast?” asked her partner grabbing desperately the handle. Riku Fujita, the newly-appointed partner never expected  fearing for his life during his first day as a patrol officer. What the newbie thought it would be a boring day checking the streets, helping an occasional granny to cross the street or rescuing a cat stranded on a tree…nope, suddenly he was inside a  Fast & Furious movie!

“Not as fast as him!” she gritted her teeth “He´s a living danger that needs to be pulled away from the streets…TODAY I´M CATCHING THAT ASSHOLE!!!!” and there she goes, pushing the car speed until it´s limits.

“NEAT!” congratulated the delinquent , noticing the car getting closer and closer to his bike

“SURRENDER NOW OR FACE PRISON TIME” replied her via her megaphone “IT´S MY LAST WARNING!”

Kouki ´s bike seemed to slow down, finally  letting the police car to catch up to him. His face leaned to the window and smiled at the former digidestined.

“I must admit this, Yoshino-chan. Your skills improved greatly since our last encounter…”

She frowned.

“Thank you ” she mumbled “Glad to see you are finally regaining some common sense, you can´t keep riding like a psycho …we are stopping at the next….”

She couldn´t finish her speech when he suddenly grabbed her by the chin and stamped a sonorous, shameless kiss on the lips! Time literally froze up, such was her astonishment.

“AS IF, HONEY!!!!!” and laughing like the maniac he was, he sped up again “LET´S BURN THE ROADS BABY!!!”

“YOU ARE DEAD!!! ” her puzzlement was immediately replaced by murderer´s aura. HOW DARED HIM?! “Fujita-san, you´d better hold on to something…I AM HUNTING THAT MORON AND MAKE SURE HE´LL GET A PERPETUAL SENTENCE!!!”

And loyal to her promise, the girl sped up like never before. The former digidestined was now emulating  Dominic Toretto and Brian O´Conner ´s driving skills, ready to crush her rival….

“HEEEELPPPP!!!!!!!!” yelled the newbie “HEEELP!!!!!!”

But nobody came to his aid…

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“My, my the newbie is having so much fun!” laughed Miki Kurosaki , of course everybody at the police station was following Yoshino  Fujieda´s chase “Isn´t him, Megumi-chan?”

“Wish he´s a bit less noisy” the other officer was more interested in polishing her nails than listening to the radio “Can´t stand his pitch…he sounds more like a Soprano than a tenor”

“Go  on Yoshino-chan! You can catch that moron!” Miki kept cheering for her friend

“Yup! especially when the  bet´s especially yummy today!” added another officer passing by “7 against 11, today is D DAY!”

“Nope!” yelled another guy “That yankee is escaping once again!” and soon everybody began to voice their opinions. It´s been a while since the entire police squad began the betting business, wondering when the so prestigious former DATS woman would be able to get it together and catch the elusive Tsubasa.

“5 thousands yens that he escapes today”

“Why not making it 8 thousands?” added another guy “Youshino-san isn´t a match against his skills, anyways” Truth be told, 80% of the guys were cheering for the delinquent.

“You idiots!” reprimanded Megumi “Stop betting against your fellow officers!”

Her reprimands were received with a rain of laughs, irritating both Megumi and Miki.

“Why should we?” smirked one of the guys “Until now, you DATS people are nothing nothing but pure talk and  below-average  skills…no wonder the government cut off their funding”

He was just a person from the office but his words felt like a combination of a poisoned dart and a stab with a dagger…Miki stood up, incensed. She would had slapped that jerk´s face but Megumi held her shoulder, preventing her from doing anything rash.

“See?” the man said with condescension “Sans the cursed super secret agency  , you became useless…even your beloved Commander. It´s such a pity, isn´t it?”

“Thank you for your reminder” replied Megumi in the end , Miki´s eyes flared so much that were ready to incinerate both the jerk and the entire building. They had no idea for what DATS stood up for and they would certainly pee in their pants if they had the luck of meeting a digimon. Of course, save for the former digidestineds, the world did not remember the digimons and luckily wouldn´t ever….but still, such disrespect was hateful!

“By the way, Junichi-san” continued Megumi, tranquil as flower ” while you are rightfully entitled to your opinion…” and instead of showing her anger like her friend, she smiled. Miki contained a laugh, she KNEW that smile! It was pretty much like an italian´s mob boss´s kiss of death!

“Yes?” the mentioned Junichi smiled too, feeling over self-confident. It was so obvious that she couldn´t argue against his logic!!

“Never underestimate a fellow officer´s skills…Sooner or later Yoshino will accomplish her task. I am pretty confident she´ll win before the ending of this week. Second…” and she on purpose made a pause, creating an air of suspense towards her.

“Second what?”

Megumi graciously left Miki´s side and petted Junichi´s head.

“This is the last time you´ll be touched by a girl…because we, girls, talk” she took away her hand and her smile grew wider “Good luck trying to find a girlfriend, Romeo…because YOU´VE BEEN BLACKLISTED” and both her and Miki walked away the office.

The laughs ended in a sudden, a freezing silence befell over the entire place. The guys suddenly realized what was going on and whistling low, they returned to their desks; like obedient kids, they silently resumed their work  not before dedicating at the mentioned Junichi a funeral glare.

“Hey! What´s going on guys?” asked him, puzzled “Why are you looking me like that?”

Only one of his comrades dared to speak up.

“You´d better apologize to Shirakawa-san immediately or face a miserable future, Junichi-san”

“WHAT?! WHY?!”

And so they explained it to him:   Megumi Shirakawa actually  had a good deal of influence towards Japan´s female population, despite not working in DATS anymore the former member still had a lot of followers. Especially since she began publishing a blog detailing her past experiences as a digidestined…so when she said that someone had been blacklisted, she wasn´t kidding. Junichi wasn´t the first person to suffer such threat. Every  man that dared to cross her never managed to find a wife or a girlfriend until now..

The mentioned Junichi felt to his knees, shocked.

“IT CAN´T BE TRUE! SHE´S NOT THAT POWERFUL!!”

But the guys shook their heads.

“Remember Ozaki-san?” said someone “Two years ago he dared to treat her like a thing…today, even the prostitutes won´t take him…”

“OH CRAP!”  and he immediately exited the office, desperately seeking for Megumi. He would have to bow a bazillion of times and beg for her forgiveness….

DATS , while  no longer existent, still held a helluva of a power over the civilians´s  lives…

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12:00.

“Come on !” she giggled happily “Fasten up those things you call feet or I´ll leave you behind!”

“As if!” he giggled as well and his walk turned into a quick sprint, easily leaving the girl behind him.

“Oh yeah?!” she wasn´t ready to give up and began to run as well “The last one to arrive  is paying!”

“Then I hope you brought a lot of cash because I´M STARVING!”

“I say the same!”

This time the lovers´race was between  Ikuto Noguchi and  Chika Daimon. It was noon and, like always, they were competing to see who reached first   the school´s cafeteria; for now, Ikuto was going ahead. Chika pouted, damned Keenan and his long legs!

“So? ” he teased her while running across the halls “Ready to give up?”

“No way!” she hurried her steps “I am going to win this one!”

His face was  showing such a grimace that annoyed the Daimon girl very much. He could had spent most of his life like a digital Tarzan, raised by Digimons and thus having a more evident physical advantage over her..but she was Chika Daimon, for god´s sake! But unlike her brother, shecould always count with her own set of strategies.

“Ikuto-kun, your shoelaces are lose”

“WHAT?!” he automatically looked at his feet and she immediately patted his head, taking him by surprise and ups! the next second he slipped and fell to the ground.

Triumphal, the girl got first to the blessed cafeteria.

“NOT FAIR.!” when Ikuto  arrived, his ass  hurting considerably, Chika was already on the counter  “You played dirty!!”

“I did not!” she feigned innocence and pointed at the menu “I am having ramen today, and I want the BIG size…and am also in the mood for a  bread curry…”

Ikuto sighed, when she was a kid she was adorable…even Piyomon said so. The girl standing in front of him? Not so much. Years taught him that behind that angelic face there was a naughty spirit! Only he knew how a trickster was Chika Daimon,  ready to retort to all sort of tricks in order to get whatever she wanted…if only Masarus could see how much his little sister changed…!

“And” she was still enumerating her list to the lunch lady” I am having the strawberry shortcake !”

“Oh my, you certainly have a good appetite sweetheart!” the old woman smiled sweetly “Glad to meet a girl who´s not obsessed with stuff like dieting and so!”

“Diets don´t work anyways !” and pointed at the boy “Besides, he´s PAYING !”

“AWWWWW!”  the woman dedicated a lovingly glare at them “Your BOYFRIEND is such a dear, miss Daimon you are a lucky girl”

Ikuto´s face turned into a tomato but before he could reveal that wasn´t true, that they were friends and anything else Chika nonchalantly gave her response:

“Thank you!”  she smiled, totally unfazed “I am indeed  lucky !”

And much for the former little digital Robinson Crusoe´s embarrassment, the rest of the world began to cheer at them.

“Oh!!!!! so you are actually going out?!” said one of her friends

“I knew it!”

“Congratulations!!!”

“WE ARE NOT!!” yelled Ikuto, ready to dig a grave and lie in it “Chika-chan!!!!”

Masaru´s little sister gave her answer by kissing him on the cheeks.

“YES WE ARE” and not willing to let her bestie faint due to the shock, she added “Now, please, could you please pay up…?”

It was at times like this that he  wished he was still living in the Digiworld. Life´s WAY simpler living among digimons than surviving middle-school. And the main reason: Girls! There was no way he could ever understand them! As stated before  Chika Masaru , once an adorable little child nowadays was an adorable dork.

“Oh King Drasil! “he moaned while looking for his wallet “Again, I beg your forgiveness for mankind´s sins…”

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The other former DATS member that wasn´t currently in  Japan (but neither in the Digital world no matter how much he wished it) was  enjoying a break in Vienna…or so he was supposed to!

The Sachertorte was resting, untouched, next to his coffee. He was sitting in one of the best spots of the Sacher´s hotel, next to a window only to ignore the postal view of the streets. Relena Norstein was on her way back from the ladies room when she stopped midway,  studying for a moment the handsome guy who was waiting for her return.

“Oh no, and there he goes again !” she sighed, a bit annoyed to see her beloved Tohma working AGAIN on his cursed laptop. She hadn´t been away for more than 10 minutes and he already  couldn´t resist his urge on checking his data…yep, she could tell his tendency of self-indulging with the net rather than tasting the delicacies he had on the table “NEXT TIME I AM HAMMERING THAT THING…!”

Tohma Norstein certainly knew how to make a girl feel really cherished, didn´t him?  He didn´t have the decency of at least waiting until he was back to the suite to swim in that endless ocean of data.  Now that he won the Nobel 2 days ago, he could afford one day or two without thinking in his work! That´s why he let her drag him from Stockholm  to Vienna during the last 48 hours…He  promised to take her around one of the most romantic cities from Europe without thinking in his next research or anything…!

“If only he wasn´t my onii-chan…” the 15ish year old sighed “If only…”

She shook her head, trying to think in something else. When would she learn that the guy she viewed as her prince was family and couldn´t be anything else…?

She kept watching him from afar and sighed again. She couldn´t keep her eyes away from his gentle face, his golden locks and those fingers! working tirelessly on the keyboard…if only she could wrap them with hers but…she gave herself a little slap, as a reminder. No sane person in this world should have that kind of thoughts ! Ever!

Please God, she prayed silently, grant me the strength to overcome these feelings. I don´t want to be like that anymore…please, hurry up on showing me my true Love…

But her good intentions were put in test the very following instant when a couple of girls suddenly stopped by his table. One was blonde, the other a brunette. Both were in their 25s-27s and once the sight of Tohma-oiisan caught their attention, they did not hesitate to approach him.

“Sorry to intrude…” said the brunette in German “but Maria and I were wondering if you were the Nobel Guy…”

Tohma stopped typing and smiling, he nodded.

“I knew it!” she said , gleefully “And then the guys say I don´t remember faces!”

The blonde laughed. Relena clenched her fists, she needn´t to be a clairvoyant to recognize a pair or pussycats !

“Come on, onii-chan! Just dismiss them already!” she mumbled.

Instead, he laughed.

“So that´s how people call me?”

“Well, I nicknamed you as Herr Wonderful” admitted Maria “I didn´t watch the news, is true what Lisette said? You are just 19?”

“I am”

Unmöglich!!!”

“See?!!” the brunette Lisette put her arms on her hips, showing off her accuracy “I was completely right!”

Tohma giggled again. It wasn´t the first and wouldn´t be the last he would be approached by strangers, in other times he would had dreaded the irruption but now…finally released from his worst nightmare, he kinda was learning to be more accepting of his surroundings. And it felt good to being complimented by the rest of the world, no matter if those girls truly understood what he worked so hard on…

“Ok, I have to give you credit for it” replied Maria a bit annoyed “Mr Nostein, right?”

“Tohma is ok”

“Thomas?”

“Oh no, Tohma. I was born in japan…”such a casual response irked Relena , how dare her aloof brother behave like a normal, warm human being…towards other girls?!

The lad was just trying to be polite, of course. But the sister didn´t think so.

“May we take a picture together?” asked the girls at the same time.

“Why not?”

If he was the Tohma H. Norstein from 5 years ago, he would had told them to get lost. Instead, he showed another of his rare smiles and posed for a selfie session.

“AWESOME!” Lisette happily waved her cellphone, ready to boast about meeting one of the newest and hottest celebrities of the moment. “Danke! !”

And to express their sincerity, each girl kissed the young man on the cheeks. Relena´s goodwill sank to the bottom of the ocean, she couldn´t stand it anymore!

“Hey you two!” she hurriedly rejoined Tohma and, possessive, embraced him from behind “Could you please quit it?!”

“…ah…nice to meet you?” the girls wondered why the little blonde was staring at them with such hatred.

“Relena…?” Tohma ´s cheeks blushed , his little sister had the ominous custom of displaying her affections in public. Despite being half German, his Japanese blood still demanded for a more sober behavior.

“YOU SCOUNDREL!” Relena pointed her finger at her sibling “I leave for ten minutes and you are already FLIRTING with SOMEONE ELSE!”

“Wait..!” he barely could believe what she was saying “What…?!”

Relena´s eyes began to shed some tears.

“I am aware that my body´s far from being perfect…but…but” she began to sneeze, inconsolable “Just because they are D-CUP doesn´t mean you have the right  to CHEAT ON ME!!”

Suddenly EVERYBODY ´s eyes was following the scene. From the passing waitress to the American tourists, in less than a minute Tohma Norstein passed to be from the youngest Nobel Prize winner to a soulless jerk who dared to break his girlfriend´s heart!

“No! No!” he waved his hands nervously “It´s not what it seems!!”

Maria and Lisette kept staring at him, dumbfounded.

“I discovered a cure for my sister´s illness…and she´s my sister!” he added quickly.

Relena hugged him tighter.

“We share a bond that none of you, girls, will ever dream to have. So please, if you are done with the photo session…may you leave us ALONE? NOW?!”

Maria and Lisette exchanged a horrified glance, they once visited Japan. And they certainly learned one thing or two about their eccentricities…or at least, they read some of the mangas. Japan was the land where, at least in mangas, you could break down some taboos…

“Ugh…yes, yes…have a lovely afternoon” Unable to hide their horror, they hurried back to their table where the rest of their female friends were waiting; they didn´t hesitate to share what happened at the Northstein table.

“Hell! That´s a messed couple of siblings!!”

Feeling like  drowning in a sea of shame, the ashamed guy hid his face behind his laptop. Relena happily attacked her Sachertorte and the  Turkish coffee.

“Mhhh…delicious!!” her eyes sparkled with little hearts “We must come back more often to Vienna! This tastes like HEAVEN”

For the other party, everything tasted like hell. The elder brother ´s body  trembled violently, poor Tohma  was close to fall victim to a nervous breakdown…She did it AGAIN!!!

“Oh dear!” Relena kept her happy chit-chat “Is the air conditioner, right? Why don´t you ask the staff to turn it off if you are that cold?”

He wasn´t cold, quite the opposite. The usually aloof Nortsein sibling  was in danger  to erupt like the Krakatoa volcano!.

“Relena…”

“Yes, brother?”

” For how long..?”

“How long for what?”

Still shaking like a miserable, he abruptly  shut down his laptop and signaled at a nearby waiter, who of course had watched the whole incident and was dying to know more. The former digidestined wanted to have nothing else with the cursed cake, the cursed coffee and his cute sister…without any suavity, he demanded to pay the bill.

“Forget the recepit, we are leaving NOW” he put a pile of hundreds of euros on the waiter´s hand and stormed out  the place, dragging his beloved little sister with him. Still he couldn´t avoid the general public´s  teasing smiles from the entire hotel before they reached the streets.

For at some tense minutes, Touma remained silent.  Relena  was forced to fasten her steps , Touma walked so fast that she almost had to run. When they reached the Vienna State Opera House, he,finally stopped. Relena´s smile vanished. Ok, she may had gone a bit too far with her teasing…she closed her eyes, expecting a berating shout but he, instead, leaned on  a wall  .

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“How long are you going to keep behaving like that?” he said in the end.

Relena opened her eyes and her heart ached when noticing looking at his, reading the internal struggle between his brother love and his murder wish.

“Why are you being such a brat?” he was baffled; the Relena from the past was so sweet and delicate! But since her cure, Relena began to act like a spoiled, jealous girlfriend driving the poor guy to a borderline insanity. “If you keep acting like this, spreading misunderstandings, you may ruin my career…!”

The last thing he needed was to be labeled as a weirdo siscon. And while he currently wasn´t interested in joining the dating pool…Relena was making sure to chase away all his potential girlfriends! Why? No matter how much he tried to reach for an anwser, even a genius like him couldn´t come up with any….

Relena remained in an obtuse silence , the gesture unnerved Tohma even more.

“I don´t get it!!” he shook her arm, desperate ” Did I do something awful to you in another life or something?” he begged “Whatever bad karma I owned to you, I think that I already paid it fully with the cure. Right?”

His anger now was gone. Instead, his face expressed a deep, felt sadness. Relena couldn´t help but feel remorseful.

“I know” her eyes threatened to spill some tears but she managed to prevent that from happening “Brother…I…”

Karma? Since when did you owe me such a thing?, she always wanted to say that but never had the courage of doing so, My dearest onii-chan..if only I could tell you…! My body may have been healed, she kept speaking to herself, but not because of you. I owe my health to … I will never tell you my secret. If I did, your heart will suffer cruelly and I´d rather spare you that kind of pain…

She extended her arm, wanting to caress his cheek but he slightly moved away his face. Saddened by the subtle reject, the girl ended embraced herself.

“There wasn´t the need to sacrifice so much  for my sake…” she suddenly whispered, more to herself than to Tohma”I never asked for it”

Her words shocked him even more than the previous bratty act.

“Relena?!”

Under the golden lights of the Opera House, Relena Norstein surprised her brother with the following, heartfelt declaration:

“I won´t apologize for chasing away that pair of sluts” her blue eyes shone even more the the building´s lights  “But let me apologize  for having stolen five precious years from your life…”

That was the first time in his whole life that Thomas Norstein was left completely speechless.

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Reality 012.

It promised to be a heated day in the Grand Prix in Catalunya, Spain. Both the public and the racers were ecstatic ,  their hearts filled with indescribable feeling of excitement fueled by the noise of the motors. The public barely could wait for the show, the same happened with the racers.

Still, some of the contestants , while letting the techs checking up their bikes, managed to spare a bit of their times to exchange some greetings and texting their families and friends. Sora Takenouchi was proudly standing next to the guy he considered his best rival, the spanish Jorge Lorenzo. God, he wished he owned a bike like his Yamaha. Although Sora was proud of his Ducati, of course! Despite never being able to defeat Lorenzo, Sora and Piyomon (who had no qualms on joining her human at the boxes) loved it when they were allowed to talk to him.

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Y aquí vamos…listo!” Sora managed to spill some words in spanish while Piyomon took the selfie

Apuesto a que se lo mandarás a  tu esposa, verdad?” laughed Don Lorenzo

Claro! Si no lo hago, me mata” joked Sora as well, again in spanish. Nope, Sora really spoke little spanish but managed to learn some phrases in some foreign languages thanks to his rivals. Of course, what both he and Piyomon learned mainly was how to ask for a pizza, some bad words and mainly how to say I love you. Miyako always loved being pampered in foreign languages!

“Oh sí, oí mucho acerca de ella. Acaso no marchó una vez, en pleno concierto en Budapest,  por que se enojó con el director?

Miyako Ishida´s infamous concert in Budapest, which happened in the 2010, leaving quite in the middle of the performance due to her constant quarrels with the conductor? Sora grinned. Whoever said that his Miyako was the Angel of the Cello, certainly never met her malignant side. And Sora loved her even more after that!

” after chatting for a while, the Spaniard announced he had to go and the pair exchanged a brotherly hug. Piyomon received a gentlemanly kiss on her cheeks, which left her like a maiden in love.

“Oh….he´s a hottie” the bird was still seeing hearts in the air “Pity you have to compete against him…”

Another competitor just joined the box, his uniform prayed the Honda label but when he took off his helmet Sora smirked.

“Hiya Motomiya, was wondering when you were showing up”

Daisuke Momotmiya smirked the same way.

“Wherever you go, so do I” announced “I won´t leave until I beat my idol!”

“You just narrowly missed don Lorenzo” joked Sora “He may have a sixth sense because he seems to know the precise moment you are approaching ! Could it be the stench coming from the googles?”

Daisuke showed his sempai the tongue.

“You are as mean as your wife!”  but the brunette didn´t mean it in an offensive way, he actually admired both Sora and Miyako very much. Heck! He grew up admiring dearly Sora and his gang, since he was in primary school.

“Thank you! We do the best we can !” Sora caressed the 25ish year old guy´s messy hair “really, why the heck are you still wearing Tia´s googles? It´s not wise to wear them under the helmet…”

“Those googles are my treasure” admitted Daisuke “Even if I cannot win a single race, I can´t see myself not wearing them”

Sora sighed, Daisuke kinda reminded him of Linus and his blanket.

“At least you wash them, from time to time. Right?”

“Of course!” Sora didn´t buy it, Daisuke´s response was too quickly.

Takenouchi´s phone vibrated at the moment, announcing an incoming text. The digidestined of Love smiled, Miyako had certainly replied to his selfie.

“Sure darling” she texted back “Go ahead and DESTROY THEM”

“Lovely thing” Daisuke peeked over his shoulder “Pretty scary as hell!”

Sora and Piyomon laughed their asses off.

“Can´t destroy Don Lorenzo” Sora texted Miyako back “I still owe him 20 bucks”

“Really?!” asked Daisuke

“Neah, but I lost a big deal the other night in the last Poker round with the guys”

“How come I wasn´t invited?”

“Huh?!DON´T YOU REMEMBER?” noticing the other guy´s skeptic expression, Sora began to look through his cellphone´s gallery ” Believe me, you ´ve been the heart of the party!”  and smirking, Takenouchi showed his younger friend  some pictures.Daisuke ´s irked expression was replaced by an astonished one. The pictures showed a  passed out Daisuke  on the table and drooling over the cards; it happened 2 nights ago in a tiny fonda, “apparently you couldn´t deal with more than 2 jars of local wine…”

Motomiya´s face paled when looking at the rest of the shots. He discovered that not only he had been lying unconscious on the table…his dear comrades and rivals had not qualms playing over the drunkard some pranks. Sora borrowed a marker and ended painting on his face a beard and mustache; another guy ended writing on his forehead DON QUIJOTE DE JAPÓN and a fellow german insisted on placing a pulpo all over his head.  But the scene that made him want to shoot himself was the red, flamenco dress that the rest of  guys insisted on putting him on.

“MOTHERFUCKERS!!!” he yelled “I AM KILLING ALL OF YOU!!!”

Sora tried to calm his friend.

“You are not!” and petted his shoulder ” Remember the rules of the bike brotherhood:  whenever the first one passes out, the lucky guy  gets the pranks!” that was some sort of ritual among the racers. When not competing, they liked to hang out and to alleviate the tension they used to play pranks at each others.  That time, unfortunately, Daisuke became the prey “Hey,  it wasn´t so bad. Be thankful you didn´t lose it in Australia, 3 years ago. Poor fella, the guys ended tying him naked to a lamp post!”

Daisuke, for the first time, began reconsidering his decision of participating in the Prixes. This was actually his first year in the professional circuit, never imagined the guys would be that NAUGHTY.  Neah, Sora had to be BSing! They were all grown up men, for Lord´s sake!

“By the way, where´s v-mon?” asked Piyomon, now busy with her own cellphone.

“Stuck in the bathroom ” replied the google boy “due to eating a Paella  in a dubious state. Or was the Fabada? Whatever,  he´s having a helluva of a diarrhea right now!”

Sora didn´t pay attention, he was suddenly struggling with his cellphone.

“Hey bro, what´s the matter?” asked his pal

“The damned thing went blank right” it was no use switching it off and on again, the device refused to work! “rats!”

“Rats!” Piyomon cursed at the same time “Mine too!”

“Wanna try using mine…?” offered Daisuke and took his, but to his surprise even his phone wasn´t functioning at all!

“That´s strange..”

“THE RACE IS ABOUT TO START, RACERS GO TO YOUR SPOTS…”

Daisuke and Sora shook their hands.

“Good luck in the race”

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Now, this time in Los Ángeles, another digidestined was ready to enter the race…as a double stuntman for an A-celebrity  who happened to ride a Ducati motorbike as well! Of course neither the director nor the film company allowed the star to perform the dangerous act by himself, no matter how much he insisted.

“Tachikawa, it´s your turn!” yelled the director.

“Coming!” and Makoto Tachikawa, still wearing his emblematic cowboy hat, emerged from the shadows…more or less, from the main actress´s trailer….

“Aheam…!” gasped one of the assistants.

makoto

“What?”

“The face…there are some lipstick marks..”

Instead of blushing, Makoto grinned

“What can I say? I´M HANDSOME !” and accepted an assistant´s handkerchief and cleaned his face.

Everybody laughed their asses off. That was his daily catchphrase and despite being a double stuntman, he allowed himself to act like a A- list celebrity and heck! he could be bitchier than many of the actresses as well!

Well, at least Michaela Knight (which by the way was her stage name, it sounded way better than Michaela Washington) couldn´t complain about that. Not while spending the last hour having fun with him…why did they have to choose Ben Affleck when Tachikawa was actually born to play the main role?! And God forbid the blonde actress´s heart but  Makoto Tachikawa had a body to die for….!  Once he ended doing his business, she would certainly call him back to her trailer…so he could help her rehearse her lines. Of course.

Laying over his designated bike, Palmon was quite entertained updating her Instagram account.

“Move on sweetie” he deposited a kiss on her flowery head “Big brother´s gotta earn some bucks”

“Okaayyyy” Palmon lazily moved over, like a cat “Had fun playing with miss Knight?”

“Oh yeah! ” he winked an eye “Hopefuly you didn´t peek this time and posted anything suspicious to TMZ, right?”

Palmon ´s cheeks blushed.

“Did it once because you dared to hide my Wii!” on the rare times both digimon and partner would enter into a memorable brawl. Fortunately, their fights lasted as little as a passing car.

“And you shouldn´t had taken  one of Gene Simmons´s boots as a souvenir” reminded him, softly “The Demon doesn´t appreciate that kind of things” Makoto could scratch off one of his favorite singers´s name off his  list due to him not welcomed to the KISS´s parties anymore. Makoto was a fan but Palmon ´s devotion was like a raging bull and couldn´t resist…let´s say that mr Simmons didn´t feel so heavenly when he discovered one of his precious boots missing and he almost melted his computer when his fans pointed him  Palmon´s  Instagram account , boasting about  his souvenir. A very contrite Makoto had to use all his charms to apologize to the band but even his charms didn´t work this time. Both Makoto and Palmon were booted right away  from the army!

So Makoto had not choice but to to punish his digimon for her naughtiness. But Palmon sometimes was like a little child, unlike her superior forms she rarely matured! Instead of admitting her fault, Palmon ended taking the punishment in a bad way and ended leaking some saucy pictures of her digidestined to the TMZ site.

The TMZ guys feasted with Makoto´s pictures for a good while, declaring that digimons were their new BFFS! Makoto, then,  proceeded to hide her phone, laptop and every single thing that reassembled technology for a good while…

“A cross on my heart, I didn´t!” Palmon was telling the truth, besides she wasn´t that nuts to lie to the Digidestined of Sincerity on his face! While wearing the crest, Makoto had the power to look through everybody´s lies…

“Good girl” he kissed her forehead again and Palmon, quite happy danced her way to a nearby chair. But when she began to check up again her messages, her screen suddenly went blank.

“Oh crap!”

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“Oh holy lady of Saint Crap! Not now…!!!!!!” that was Inori Izumi´s canto de la alegría when her beloved, unbeatable comp0uter´s screen suddenly turned blank “FUCK IT!!!!!!”

And her words flied across the entire Shibuya, setting the alarms in at least a dozen of vehicles from her building´s block. Tentomon, who was trying to nap, opted to cover his poor ears with a pillow.

How could that happen to HER? The  Hacker Queen?! Ok, nobody gave her that title…the governments from all the world usually called her the obnoxious Spiderwoman (which kinda liked since she loved the Marvel character anyways) but not being born in UK, and always wishing to have a bit of royalty blood flowing through her veins…whatever.

The female version of Izzy furiously tipped on her keyword, trying to figure out who was the damned jerk who DARED TO ENTER INTO HER TERRITORY. A blank screen? HAH!

“Once I find you, you are gonna pray you are dead…”

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Meanwhile, not too far from the Koushiro´s residence, Yori Kido uttered a curse that left both staff and customers from Starbucks almost deaf; while waiting for her latte, the now 29 year old blue haired digidestined was checking up her newest messages when her I-Phone´s screen died.

“NEXT GENERATION OF PHONES MY SHITTY ASS! I´M SUING!” her irked tone frightned the poor barista so much that the employee almost dropped the coffee.

“Miss Kido?…”

“FINALLY!!!” yelled the digidestined of Reliability”Almost 5 minutes to get a goddamed beverage?! What kind of company is this?!”

“So…sorry.. for the …wait?”

“I´m a freaking journalist, babe.. I can´t waste my precious time waiting for a latte when I´m chasing after the news” Attila the Hun was a kitten compared to her stormy mood, which happened quite frequently “Smart up, kids” and for everybody´s relief, she finally decided not to sit down and ended heading straight to the streets.

Gomamon was waiting for her at the car.

“Welcome back, Yori-chan” greeted the digimon “It´s got chocolate, right?, ”

The woman put the blessed beverage on her digimon´s claws.

“They better pray they didn´t mix up the order” was the human´s reply “They don´t want me BACK THERE”

“ahh…no worries, it tastes perfect!” added the digimon in a cheerful tone “What´s up with the phone, boss?”

Gomamon couldn´t help but notice her struggles with the device.

“I don´t get it” she said in the end, puzzled”I have the upgraded version, never had to deal with virus in this blessed thing…and now it´s rotten? That´s strange!”

“yup!” Gomamon was too engulfed with his latte to actually pay attention to one of the first signs of an impending event that would change everybody´s lives…

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” Alteration of frequencies in the gates between the worlds. Imminent corruption of data coming from external sources. Need you here ASAP. Alex”

That was the message that the digivice projected moments before he was about to go to the monthly meeting board. Not anymore. “Okay, I´m off” declared the seventh digidestined and without giving a second thought, he took his device and left the office.

“Mr Akiyama, wait!”  the secretary chased after him “Where are you going?”

“Out” replied Ryo heading directly to the elevator.

“But you can´t leave ! You have a meeting in 5 minutes!”

“I´m afraid something came up” his fingers were pitter-pattering his shoulders while waiting for the elevator. Damn! The cursed thing was taking too long, why didn´t he install a Star Trek teleporter instead of relying in the prehistoric elevators?! He dreaded waiting…!

“WHAT?! But the board members are waiting with the representatives of Nippon Tecno 4RDSX are waiting to the board room. That company is among the BIGGEST ones. If you can´t ditch them like!!”

Ryo Akiyama, currently 27, cared about the situation as much as he cared about going to the dentist. While  revisiting the speech he was going to give to the board the digivice came across a message from Alex Mc Coy and changed plans. When his best buddy showed concern towards anything related to Digital World business routine stuff like negotiating with other companies had to wait.

 

Anything that came from the Digiworld business was top priority. Period.

“Tell the bulldogs (a.k.a the board) not to worry if things don´t work out. If they threaten to take the business somewhere else , it´s fine with me” he still cursed the elevator that still didn´t arrive. He was so going to do something with the elevators when he comes back! ” For all I know it´s a garbage organization . I was going to boot them anyways”

“But…but…!” the secretary was nearly hysterics “It´s still not right! At this rate no company will want to have any business with Hypnos!””

Ryo smiled far from being worried.

“As long as the government hounds don´t try to pry inside this building” smiled Ryo “We ´re fine. And by the way, Onoreda-san, cancel all my business appointments for this afternoon as well. It´s quite UNLIKELY I´ll be able to keep them, sweetie”  and without waiting for his personal secretary delighted expression, the elevator´s doors closed behind him.

“ARGH!!!! THAT MAN´S GOING TO BE MY DEATH!!!” and so was her frustrated yell that momentarily froze time in the main floor.

The employees , who had been working diligently in their tasks, could not hide their astonishment and many pitied the 30ish year old woman.  Tally Onoreda from reality 12 wasn´t that different from her 03 counterpart. She had to put up with the demands of a boss that was sometimes closer to insanity than sanity.

“THAT´S IT! I AM SO FILLING A RESUME AND SIGN FOR A MORE CONVENTIONAL JOB!!” and fuming like a train, she headed to the Board Room , expecting a Mount St Helena´s reaction. It was the third time the president stood up his own people….

“The President´s nuts!” mumbled one of the  subordinates “How can he say such thing about Nippon Tecno 4RDSX? It´s like saying no to Microsoft!”

It wasn´t the first time that Ryo Akiyama came up with stunts like this, dumping clients at the very last hour . For most of his staff he was nothing but a genius who forged a fortune when he was 18 – pretty much like Bill Gates save for being more handsome – but at the same time treated his company like a playground more than a software company. For them he was nothing but a capricious rich kid that had the power to screw up and may God know when he would grow tired of it and get rid of it.

To begin with,  he would yawn all the time even at the meetings thus unnerving his advisors.Sometimes he would skip a last minute reunion to go out on dates as a consummated Casanovas.He should be feeling like Alexander the Great, owning the best spots at the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building and having created one of the most powerful software companies in Japan…HYPNOS. (which unlike reality 03´s organization, this one seemed to an average high-tech based company and not being involved with secret conspiracies with the Digital World like the MIB people…apparently)

Yet there were many rumors circulating in the building. There  was  the mystery about certain acquisitions – which were not cheap- that hadn´t all that much to do with the company´s motto and nobody knew why the president needed so containers that looked like for MILITARY purposes.  That was what Mitsuo Yamaki, one of board members, was going after. When the secretary hesitatingly announced the meeting was cancelled instead of protesting like the others he nodded and took his leave.

“Why am I not surprised?” he smirked and headed to another elevator. He wasn´t going back to his office, he was going to fulfill his REAL job as a spy for the government.

This Yamaki shared a lot of similarities with his reality 03 counterpart. The same poker-cold-asshole-yet handsome-face, screwed up mentality and of course he had to wear the sunglasses at work!

“Akiyama is directly involved with those creatures known as Digimons. Spy on him and expose his true purpose. Certainly for the Nation of Japan!” he was given the order 5 years ago, until Yamaki  came to stage  the government´s efforts to spy on Akiyama´s activities were fruitless. Until someone recommended Mitsuo Yamaki and he´d been swiftly doing a proper job as a rat and haven´t been discovered…yet.

Slowly but diligently Mitsuo was able to confirm his bosses`suspicions. Ryo Akiyama indeed had secrets. HYPNOS was just a facade. To average eyes it was just a software company like Microsoft but Mitsuo ended finding about about a certain door  in the parking lot. It was a small, rusty door which prayed “MAINTENANCE ROOM” yet Akiyama would go through it in a daily basis, without allowing anybody else.

“If he´s going, I´m going” mumbled the blond spy whilde going down in another elevator” And I´m finally exposing that bastard”

 

Meanwhile Ryo was busy with his own worries. He had to personally check what Mc Coy discovered in the Digiworld. As  a member of the Cavaliers (the name that runs for the digidestineds from Reality 12) his duty was to look after the digimons´welfare.  That was the deal the day he got a digivice. Yet sometimes  he wished to be more like  his 01  counterpart (who by the way spent a good deal in reality 03 joining the tamers) who considered he was leading a much more interesting life as a SUPREME than him as a Cavalier. Being a Supreme was way more challenging than being a local digidestined. He´d rather trade places with  the other Ryo and join Nova and his other self in inter dimensional adventures rather than being stuck in a single reality .

Nova. Sigh!

If only Nova Takariyama said yes to his proposal years ago…!

He shook his head and smiled.

“There´s no way I could compete against him, even if I owned the whole world…!”

But it wasn´t the time to let himself being dragged to the memories of a past love. Right now he had to focus in Alexander Mc Coy, his right hand at Hypnos and a digidestined like him.  Unlike Ryo, Alexander was the introvert type and would seldom show his face  in the main floor unless he had to. While Ryo attended the mundane stuff Alex-kun would monitor the Digiworld´s activities in the secret lab that was located in the maintenance room in the  parking lot.

But when he  finally got there Ryo´s face turned livid. The door was open!

“WHAT THE HECK..?!” Ryo felt a chill running through his bones. Alex was the overzealous type, he would never forget to lock the door. The chills increased when he practically found the lab deserted. The computers were running like always but neither Alex nor the rest of the crew (composed mainly by digimons like andromons and chessmons) was there!

“HOLY SHIT!! WHERE´S EVERYBODY?!” he yelled “Is there any party that I wasn´t told about?!”

With his forehead already drenched in sweat he  went across the room (which was huge) and looked for any indication of life. But the seats were empty, no other living soul was in the lab besides him. He then headed to Alex´s chair and noticed his coffee mug on the floor, Ryo touched the spilled beverage and was still warm.

“Oh please, tell me it´s not what I´m thinking…” a part of him still hoped that Alex  simply took off but the scene spoke otherwise “What happened…?” Ryo then looked at the screens and his face turned blue when he looked at the data. There was a map between the human and digital world and the the appearance of odd signals all over the routes left him shocked. The numbers were way above the normal scales and the information was insane at best. That meant trouble. Huge trouble….”DAMMIT! THAT´S NASTY!”

He nervously grabbed his digivice and sent messages to the rest of the Cavaliers. Then he proceeded to notify Nova and Ange  as well when all the screens went blank and the entire system shut down.

“WONDERFUL! ” he yelled, frustrated “I SO NEEDED THAT!”

After attempting to no avail to restart the system Ryo gave up. If the system went bad and his friend wasn´t there then he had no choice but to go into the digidestined mode. He let go of his suit and tie, opened his shirt and uncovered   two golden pendants. The pendants were no ordinary jewellery since they  containiedthe crests of Light and Hope. Ryo then closed his eyes and summoning all his will he exclaimed:

“PATAMON AND GATOMON! SHOW UP!!!!”

The devices shone and a beautiful light emerged from nowhere. It was a gate and it brought two digimons to his presence: a Patam,on and a Gatomon.

“Hiya Ryo-san, long time no see” greeted Patamon.

This patamon was actually different from the regular ones, wearing two golden sacred rings around his ears which could only mean he had a different type of digievolution hiding under his sleeves.

“Glad to see you again, anyways” smiled Gatomon. She too was different from the regular digital felines since she was wearing two rings around her tail instead of one “You should call for us more often!”

“Wouldn´t dream to interrupt your current lifestyle” smiled Ryo despite his uneasiness “Even as digimons, no happy married couple appreciates a constant meddling from their digidestined!”

Patamon and Gatomon giggled. Ryo wasn´t joking, the patagato couple had been happily married for the last 3 years!

“Don´t BS us!You ought to call more often sir!” declared the digimons “You are still our human!”

He almost succumbed to his need of hugging his digital friends, life hadn´t been so fun without them hanging around at home. But as he said, when they felt ready to tie the knot it also meant its time to live a tad more independently from Ryo. If only he could do the same…finding a beautiful soul to fall for and make her his! He shook his head, this wasn´t the correct time to analyze his lack of amour.

“The Digiworld is under threat. We need to go  to Sakuyamon-sama´s place and gather the rest of the team” said Ryo  and his digimons nodded. Patamon and Gatomon immediately  turned into their champion and ultimate forms…albeit a tad different from the regular ones.

“Patamon Digimental evolution to…Angemon”

“Gatomon Digimental evolution to…Angewomon!”

Golden and glitter, outrageous looking digital angels proceeded to carry Akiyama through the net.Neither noticed a shocked Mitsuo Yamaki ,who just  made his way through the  unattended door at the parking lot, and did not hear his astonished yells when the sunglassed man watched Ryo and two winged individuals jumping to a  vortex which had just opened in the middle of the lab.

“NO WAY!!!!!” the vortex vanished as soon as it emerged.

While Yamaki fell to his knees, attempting to make sense of what was going before his eyes Ryo and his angels were already on the other side of the vortex.

 

“You rarely go to the Sakuyamon-sama´s temple” said Angemon “Is the threat that big?”

“I fear it is” nodded Ryo “I actually   been haunted, during the last weeks, by an ominous feeling. The crests had been trying to warn me but I paid no attention…but now, the signs became too clear. Something nasty´s going on in the gates between the human and the Digiworld…and Alex-san is missing ”

Angemon and Angewomon looked around and their faces paled. The lab was completely devoid of any activity! Where were the digimons that constantly monitored the digiworld´s activities with Alexander Mc Coy?! Where was Mc Coy himself?!

“NO!” Angewomon bit her lips “NOT HIM!”

When they responded to Ryo´s call, while surfing on the net , they already sensed an abnormality. But Alexander´s absence was notoriously bad… it could mean the  end of the Digiworld!

“Did you already notify to Nova-chan and Tempus Angemon-sama?” asked the angels , their voices filled with anxiousness.

“Tried but did not get any response from  them” replied Ryo truly concerned “My digivice cannot establish any sort of link to Nova´s…and Alexander-san is gone and cannot reach his signal as well. Damn! If only I paid more attention to my instincts…!”

When he talks about instincts he´s not bluffing. Unlike the other digidestineds, Akiyama was granted – thanks to his crests- with a certain degree of clairvoyance. That was the power coming from the crest of Light. But since opening his company he grew up a bit distracted and didn´t pay so much attention to it as before. Right now his senses were ringing loudly.

” I am also worried about my younger counterpart” admitted Akiyama “He may be the one with the bracelet  but  I am fearing about his safety”

Suddenly his heart threatened to stop. A vision came up and Ryo could see his other self and cyberdramon fused into Justimonfighting against an odd version of Lord Holy Angemon…black and white robes, silver hair and wielding a golden scythe…?

“SHIT! NOT HIM!” he began to sweat.

“Ryo?!” asked Angemon “What´s going on?”

But Ryo was still trapped in the vision. The unknown angel was beautiful yet terrifying and his body began to ache horribly when seeing Justimon receiving a crude beating from the mentioned angel…the vision ceased at the moment he watched Justimon falling down, reverting to both Ryo and Cyberdramon…the adult Ryo ´s spine shivered. He never felt so scared in his life! It was as if he was receiving the beating himself, despite the almost limitless distance between reality 03 and 012. His body was still in pain.

Angewomon sensed Ryo´s distressed expression and realized what was going on.

“Easy, Ryo” Angewomon petted Ryo´s head, trying to bring him some comfort “Whatever you are seeing, everything will be okay”

The lad blinked and bit his lips

” I certainly HOPE it will” because  he had the terrible feeling that an impending END was approaching fast.

 

 

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