Morning rose over the little camp around Deekamon's hut. It didn't take much to get anyone up-- they all, human and digimon alike, seemed to be pumped full of adrenaline, and so came to just as soon as the sun's rays peeked over the trees. (Mostly. Faris and Delfinimon had to be shot with a bit of water from Kamomon before they got up.)

Just as he had said he would, Egakumon -- as soon as everyone was at least half-awake -- sprang into a spirited re-telling of his and Simon's experiences the day before. He darted around like a little furry pinball, over-exagerating a few elements of the story (mostly his own heroism, and dragging out the battle a bit more than it had actually gone on for). Simon chose not to comment on these little falsehoods. After all, he had been in a state of half-shock-- it wasn't every day, after all, that... this happened, and it seemed to be quite a big deal to the little monster. Even Rajamon seemed to be grudgingly impressed.

The joviality only lasted for so long; Deekamon stood in the center of his clearing, and cleared his throat for attention.
"I hate to rush you off so soon," he said, "but keeping you here would defeat the purpose of why you were brought here, yes?"

The digimon leapt to their feet (and Egakumon started merely hopping from foot to foot in place instead of running around like a madmon) as Deekamon spoke.

"Parting ways, huh?" Faris said as he stretched out, clambering to his feet in turn and shaking himself vigorously to rid himself the water that remained on him.

"You're not a dog," Andrea remarked from where she stood, sighing, "can you at least put on the pretense of civilization?"
Faris gave her a sort of hurt, defensive look, but it Deekamon seemed to be proficient at nipping fights short in the bud-- or just had really good timing.

"Wisemon lives... I don't think there's any easy way to say this," he said, pointing to the west, "to the west."
The digimon groaned, but a sort of confused murmur began among the children; Toby punctuated it best, perhaps, with a bewildered look around and a mutter of "why is that hard to say?".

Egakumon pulled on Simon's sleeve. "That's where I said the Great Ocean was, remember?" he whisper-yelled.

Deekamon nodded. "If you didn't catch Egakumon's comment... if Wisemon hasn't moved -- and I doubt he has -- Sagemon lives out near the Great Ocean." A pause. "... in it."

"Augh, that guy's loonier than... ... something that's really loony," Delfinimon groaned.

"A sack of peanuts?" Kamomon provided helpfully, and shrugged. "I don't know, just sounded funny."

"Sure, that!" the dolphin said, waving one fin in the air. "Ugh, why couldn't he live somewhere normal?"

"... Delfinimon?" Lammon ventured, blinking. "You're a dolphin. Practically a fish."

"... shut up, yeom."

"Not only that, though," Deekamon cut back in, taking these constant distractions quite well, "the Great Ocean is in Era's domain, like here in the forest. You're going to have to be careful." He may have cast a sideways glance at Simon and Egakumon on that-- or he might not have, it was hard to tell. "Travelling, you might make a bit of an easy target. Be on your guards, and for the love of Huanglongmon, contact me if something goes wrong."

"Yeah, yeah, mom," Emily said with a good-natured roll of her eyes and a smile. "We will."

Deekamon nodded his head, and looked around him. He shaded his eyes and looked up at the sky. "The sooner you leave, the better," he announced, "not to seem like I'm chasing you off, of course! I'd just rather I hurry you out than you get literally chased out by who-knows-what."

With a shuffle, the children went to making sure nothing of theirs had gone missing; D-GEAR units in hand, all of their clothes and things in their pockets intact. Simon adjusted his hat and goggles, and smiled.
"Onward, yeah?"

Andrea came up beside him and smirked a bit. "I think you should lead the way," she said, "since you've been so kind as to explore the area already."

"Snippy comments aren't going to do any good for any of us," Julian remarked, putting his gloved hands in his pockets. Iguamon looked up at his partner, and nodded.

"You ready to go, Julian?" the dinosaur said simply; he got another simple nod in return from the human.

A look around the camp garnered, in its own ways, similar reactions from the others-- that is, very nicely paired. Toby and Lammon were serenely checking around the area together; Faris and Delfinimon were cracking jokes at one another; Emily and Kamomon were chattering excitedly about getting to sea the ocean and starting an adventure; and of course, Simon and Egakumon were still acting as energetic as they had been up until now.

"I think," Andrea said, looking down at Rajamon-- who was rubbing against her legs like the over-sized cat he was, "that these partnerships weren't arbitrary."

"Of course not," the feline said, sitting down and flicking his tail. "Like we said earlier, we've all been waiting for years to meet you. You have no idea what it's like to spend years running this way and that, because Deekamon kept predicting things, and bunny-boy decided he got to be the leader."

"Sounds like a time," the girl remarked, smiling. Rajamon batted her leg with his tail, and stretched out.

Once everyone was in order, it was all but a march out of the camp; the digimon waved Deekamon enthusiastic goodbyes and yelled their thanks. It only made sense, one could suppose, considering how long they had spent with him... even if everyone sans Egakumon thought he was a talkative loon.
And off they went.

They were an unruly mob, to be nice of it; what with six kids and six digimon, one couldn't expect much more. Simon and Egakumon tended to the front, as did Andrea and Rajamon, while Julian with Iguamon stayed back more; Kamomon, enjoying more-functional-than-before wings, was gliding a foot or two above most of the kids' heads, while Emily watched. Meanwhile, Lammon was following Delfinimon, the latter of whom was having a bit of a hard time getting used to mobility that was more than simple bouncing, rather having to drag herself along with flippers. Faris was striking up conversation about something or another with Toby.

It was about thirty minutes later -- all kept along the dusty path -- that the children began to really appreciate their surroundings-- and the oddity of their situation.

They had all seemed to have taken it so well, but it was starting to set in now what had occurred, just in the past twelve (give or take) hours. Transported to another world -- which, for all they knew, looked like a forest. They had been teleported into this world by cellphones, and partnered up with a bunch of talking head monsters that turned into bigger monsters that fought really big monsters, complete with special effects.
This was like some bad cartoon.

"So this is still familiar territory, right?" Emily asked up to Kamomon, who smiled and nodded.

"We've got a ways to go, yet... though we're pretty much in the heart of the forest," the bird added thoughtfully. "It might take us quite a while to get to the Great Ocean -- days, even, especially with how fast you seem to be able to walk, yes?"

"Well excuse us," Faris said in reply to the seagull, putting his arms akimbo, but smiling. "We don't have wings, or anything like that."

"At least you have feet," Delfinimon quipped, waggling one of her flippers, to which her partner chuckled and rubbed the back of his head.

"Okay, granted."

"... we should be getting to the village, soon," Rajamon said, suddenly, sniffing at the air; as he did so, the group came to a halt.

"... village?" Andrea asked, blinking a few times.

"The Flora-Palmon village is the one 'round here, right?" Egakumon asked, shouldering his paintbrush with a look around.

"... Flora-Palmon village?" Toby said. "Um, could you explain?"

"All over the Digital World, digimon make little settlements, you see," Lammon began, nodding. "Usually just one or two types of digimon, when it's smaller ones..."

"But bigger ones are like biiiig cities with all kinds of digimon, yeom!" Delfinimon said, spreading her fins wide to indicate scale.

"There aren't many of those on the Wide Forest continent, admittedly," stated Iguamon, "though ever since Era took over he's been trying to instate more, I understand it."

"For some reason he thinks it's a good idea to put cities in a forest area, go figure," Rajamon said with a little roll of his eyes; they probably would have continued, had not Julian stepped in to the conversation.

"You're going off topic a bit."

With a sort of chuckle and sheepish grins, the digimon coughed and tried to pretend that little digression had never happened; for an awkward moment, they seemed to be deciding who was going to speak first.

"But very near here," Kamomon said, breaking the ice, "there's a little village of these digimon called Floramon and Palmon -- like plants -- and their two leaders, Vegiemon and Woodmon. As far as we know, Era hasn't bothered them yet. They're sort of..."
There was a slight pause as the bird searched for a word, landing on the ground next to Emily. "... reclusive?"

Nobody seemed to notice the ivy starting to grip at the ground around them, creeping closer and closer towards the feet of the kids and digimon alike... until Faris gave a yelp and a cry, kicking his foot out... and falling straight to the ground as a tendril yanked the other foot out from under him.
Suddenly, the ivy seemed to be everywhere-- on every digimon's foot, even around Delfinimon's tail and wrists. From gasps to yelps to outright shouts, not one of the twelve stayed silent -- with good reason, too -- as they were dragged into the trees on the side of the path.

***

Nobody seemed to notice the ivy starting to grip at the ground around them, creeping closer and closer towards the feet of the kids and digimon alike... until Faris gave a yelp and a cry, kicking his foot out... and falling straight to the ground as a tendril yanked the other foot out from under him.
Suddenly, the ivy seemed to be everywhere-- on every digimon's foot, even around Delfinimon's tail and wrists. From gasps to yelps to outright shouts, not one of the twelve stayed silent -- with good reason, too -- as they were dragged into the trees on the side of the path.

***

Okay, perhaps into the trees wasn't the right phrase-- they were dragged, it seemed, into the ground, into a wide, steep, and above-all dark tunnel hidden under the carpet of foliage.

This place was just full of surprises.

"What the heck is this, the kiddy-slide from--!" Faris was exclaiming from somewhere as they were dragged by their ankles down, before he got soundly cut off with a thump as they all hit a flat surface.

On the bright side, the ivy tendrils unwound from their legs and seemed to retreat.'
On the significantly less-bright side, it was pitch-black.

"Guys, where the heck are-- augh!"
"That was my foot!"
"Yeah, and that was my ear!"
"Step off my arm!"
"Wark! Someone's siting on my tailfeathers!"
"Frig! Where'd my hat go!?"
"Ow! Okay, watch the claws!"
"Egakumon, get your paintbrush out of my ribs, please?"

It was an almost-cartoony scramble as the kids and their partners fumbled around in the dark. However, all of a sudden, a dull, flickering red-orange light -- lanterns on the wall -- flooded the room, just as Simon jammed his beanie hat back onto his head.

"Okay, what the..." Emily murmured, looking around.

It seemed to be a cavern haphazardly dug out of dirt and rock, with jagged dusty walls, like a giant rabbit warren. Small tunnels ran off here and there, but straight ahead was the only tunnel large enough for anyone larger than a kindergardener to pass through.

"Welcome to Wonderland," Julian remarked dryly, looking around. "How is this thing supported...?"

"I think the question is more of 'who made it'," Andrea said.

Iguamon paused and placed one hand on the nearest wall. "If I had to hazard a guess, I'd say that it was the village."

Lammon blinked a couple times, looking over at the dinosaur. "You think?" the sheep asked, tilting her head. "But why would they move down here?"

"Yeah, aren't they... y'know... plants?" Simon said, adjusting his goggles. "Like, you'd think they need sunlight and all that stuff.

Kamomon shrugged, but he seemed uncomfortable. "I don't like it, at any rate. I don't like closed places and things like that," the seagull said, shuffling a bit.

Further conversation was stilled as from either side, there was a rustling, and out emerged a number of creatures. Both of them were about the size of the partner digimon, and they were split roughly half and half.

The first was green and reptilian, with spikes and a tail on its back and a great, blooming pink flower on its head. Its arms looked like clawed leaves, and its feet like roots. Its eyes were shiny, and its teeth poked out of a crooked smile.
The others were, similarly, green and reptilian, with green roots for feet and purple flowers for hands. Their yellow heads were covered by a helmet of red petals, with a frill of red leaves around its neck.

For some reason, the kids' D-GEAR units remained dormant; perhaps it was because the digimon gathering didn't look hostile.

"Psttt, what are these ones?" Toby whispered.

It seemed that the gathering digimon heard the boy; one of the digimon with a flower-helmet swept one arm wide, the other on its chest. "We're Floramon."
"And we're Palmon," one of the leaf-armed ones said, bowing.

Delfinimon stuck her head around Faris' legs to get a better look at them. "The ones from the village?" The plant digimon nodded, in near-unison. "Okay, that was kinda creepy..."

"Shh," Egakumon said, putting a claw to his mouth in a shushing motion. Rajamon stepped forward, in front of the rabbit.

"Why are you underground, and why did you bring us down?" the cat asked, looking around with inscrutable expression.

One of the Floramon stepped forward. "Woodmon told us to," she said, motioning down the tunnel. "He hasn't told us what he wants, but he wants to see you."

"We're supposed to escort you," one of the Palmon added, making his way behind the group followed by a number of others of his kind. As a unit, they funneled their way into the passage, having to thin down to the humans walking alongside their partners, with little room for any else. Julian, being the tallest, had to duck down a bit to avoid bumping his head.

"So we set off, and in the first hour we get attacked by a bunch of plant-men, this is gonna be a long journey." Faris remarked, but was quickly shushed, in turn, by Emily.

"It's going to be longer, I bet, if you make them mad," she said in a low voice. Faris seemed to get the point, and mimed zipping his mouth closed.

"This couldn't have been here the last time we were here... I would have noticed," Iguamon mused, looking around. "That was just a couple weeks ago, wasn't it?" The dinosaur looked behind him, at Delfinimon and Lammon, for affirmation; both nodded.

"Whether or not that's true," Andrea remarked, looking around, "it's pretty killer, anyway."
And it was-- the fact that it could have been carved out in just a couple weeks was just the icing on the cake. The flickering, otherworldly red lights gave a sort of ambiance to the tunnels as they were led through by a bunch of sentient plants.

Before it could be ruminated upon further, however, the tunnel opened up into a wider hall; a handful of Palmon and Floramon milled about, tending to the lights and small blobby digimon. If anyone cared to look up, they would notice that the roof of the roo was at least partially supported by the roots of a number of trees, intertwining and at points sticking out of the ceiling, even coming down as columns further into the ground.
Further ahead in the room sat a digimon that, on first glance, looked for all the world like any of the other tree roots forming support pillars, until one noticed the bright blue eyes and jagged mouth. Two long branch-like limbs extended from its body, and further in front of those were smaller arms equipped with gnarled hands. Four root-like extensions served for feet, and on closer inspection, it looked as though the top of its head was a broken, hollow tree-trunk -- though this feature was obscured, a bit, by the low light.

Now, the D-GEAR units sprang to life again.

Woodmon, adult-level vegetation digimon. Its bark is highly flammable, but provides good protection from all other attacks. It has a very fierce personality, and it uses its Branch Drill attack to drain its enemy's energy-- or, failing that, simply strike them.

"Great," Julian said, looking between the hologram and the actual Woodmon until the D-GEAR turned off with a 'blip'.
"So these are them?" he asked, scanning his gaze across the six humans and six foreign digimon and narrowing his eyes.

"Yes, sir," the Floramon in front said, bowing deeply.

"Uh, Woodmon sir," Egakumon said, "we've been through here before-- I mean, when your village was still above ground."

"And we're with them," Simon chimed in, pointing at the rabbit digimon.

"We mean no harm, I think they mean to say," Andrea said, looking cautiously at the large plant digimon in front of them. She flinched a bit as the monster let out a sort of dark chuckle.

"Of course you don't," he said, his booming voice dripping with sarcasm as he folded his hands. "We know you're with them."

"... what, with Era?" Kamomon said before he could stop himself, tilting his head and looking bewildered. He fluffed up his feathers a bit, even.

"Is that why we were brought down here, sir?" Toby asked, sidestepping around Emily. "Because you think we're with Era? ... sir?"

"We don't think," the trunk-like monster said in a gravelly, but still booming, voice, "we know!" He was stopped here, however, as a Palmon at his side gave him a sidelong glance and a bit of a concerned expression.

"Do we?" the smaller digimon asked. "You just told us to bring anyone down who passed by..."

A Floramon on the tree digimon's other side chimed in: "And it does kind of look like these are the digimon that Deekamon was protecting. Just... bigger."

"And even discounting that -- not to discret you, sir -- but I think you're the only one who thinks it," the Palmon muttered in a voice only half-meant to be heard, rubbing the back of her head.

None of this could be heard, of course, to those in the 'audience'; the children merely exchanged glances with eachother and their partners, curious and slightly worried.

"What do you suppose they're...?" Toby asked, looking around (and up, really, for how short he was) at the others

Rajamon frowned, flicking his tail back and forth. "If they attack, I've got this handled," the cat muttered, likely-thankfully only audible to those directly around him.

"Geeze, we should be trying to make allies, not making enemies," Simon groaned. "The fewer fights we pick, the better, right?" Toby and Julian both nodded; Andrea was trying to eavesdrop on the plant digimon's conversation, and Emily was idly -- nervously -- playing with one of the straps on her overalls, watching nervously.

"It'd be one heck of a salad if there was a fight, yeom," Delfinimon said, looking around; she was oblivious to the short stares that she got from all in her party, except for her partner, who snickered.

It took a moment, but after a moment, Woodmon spoke in his echoing voice once again.

"We've been in a bit of a state of disarray," the Palmon directly to his side said, stepping in front of her leader. "Our other leader..." She paused, looking for the world

"Defected, recently," the Floramon provided.

"Vegiemon defected?" Rajamon blurted, before he turned to look at the kids. "Vegiemon and Woodmon, together, were some of the biggest holdouts around, when Era took over the Wide Forest-- before any of us were hatched. They've kept themselves secret, see."

"And so this Vegiemon turned to the dark side," Andrea supplied, folding her arms, "and I assume that's why you're down here?"

The Floramon who had spoken nodded his head. "Woodmon made us move down here so Vegiemon couldn't tell Era where we were, and he told us to bring anyone suspicious down."

"We're suspicious?" Emily asked, frowning a bit.

The Palmon frowned a bit and nodded. "We hadn't seen anything like you -- or the other digimon -- before. We weren't used to seeing them so..."

"Big!" Delfinimon said with a little flip of her tail.

"Powerful!" added Egakumon, grinning.

"Changed," Woodmon boomed. "You stood out. Forgive us if we're suspicious. Era has the habit of sticking digimon where they don't belong."

With a sort of resigned nod, the children nodded and shrugged.

"We weren't too hurt," Julian said, dusting his arms off. Iguamon looked up at his partner, before he turned to Woodmon and asked:

"May we leave?"

The tree-like digimon seemed to consider it for a moment, threading his fingers -- on both his smaller hands and his big trunk-like arms -- together in contemplation. "If you are here, we may request your help."

"Why do I get the feeling this is going to happen a lot?" Faris said, and Andrea elbowed him in the side.

Woodmon hoisted himself to more of a standing position, and peered down at them. "I'm going to have to ask you to see if you can defeat... him." By 'him,', he likely meant Vegiemon-- particularly from the pained way in which he said it. "I ask that only one of you fights-- I don't want, you understand, to damage the trees or the ground. It could cause our tunnels, here, to collapse." He waved a hand to indicate the roots that held up parts of the caverns.

"Makes sense, I suppose," Toby admitted.

"Who should?" Lammon asked, sitting down.

Woodmon paused, looking pointedly at Rajamon. The feline raised his eyebrows, but took a step foward. "Your ability is..." and the tree monster flinched a little, here, involuntarily, "fire, correct?"

Rajamon nodded, and a sort of smirk pulled at his face. He paced over to the nearest wall, and tossed his head wordlessly-- the couple of palmon and floramon gathered around shooed away instantly. Rajamon opened his mouth, and from the air sparked little bits of glowing energy that gathered into his mouth, accumulating.
Much as he had used against Grizzlymon just the night before, Rajamon let out a yell of "Prince Fire!" and released it at the jagged dirt wall. The ball, crackling with fire, hit the wall and burst, a few cinders flying a foot or two away but dissipating quickly.

Rajamon's smirk spread, but faded slightly as he looked around-- all of the plant digimon had flinched away, especially Woodmon, who had thrown his larger arms up in front of himself for protection. As the cat paced back to the group, Woodmon opened one blue eye and spread his arms to peek through them.
The tree coughed, and tried to maintain dignity.

"And your partner is?"

Andrea raised her hand, the other on her hip.

"Hey, Andrea, looks like it's your turn to run off into the woods alone," Emily said, smiling. A sort of half-smile tugged at one side of Andrea's face, but she did not let it show too much.

Woodmon sighed deeply. "... he'll be in the area. You just need to lure him out."

Rajamon nodded silently, and turned to Andrea.

***

A few moments later, Andrea and Rajamon were shown the way out by a pair of Floramon-- through another series of tunnels, quite maze-like to look back upon, popping out on a hillside near a stream.

"I can't imagine they're too happy down there," Rajamon said as he hopped out of the tunnel; Andrea followed, and as soon as she had stepped out, the plant digimon replaced the dense foliage that hid the hole. In a second's time, it was nigh-impossible to tell there was anything under the bed of vegetation.

"Mmm," the girl said, looking around. Between the trickle of the water and the morning sun shining through the trees, it was fairly idyllic to look uon-- Like an opening scene for some movie with an environmental message, she thought, right before the area gets bulldozed.

There was a rumbling.

"Crap, I didn't mean it..." Andrea hissed, wavering slightly and holding herself steady on a tree. Rajamon didn't seem to hear her (or if he did, he didn't comment)-- but he growled, his ears pricking up.

"He's close."

"What tipped you off, the rumbling?" Andrea asked, frowning. "Couldn't, I don't know, an earthquakemon do that?"

"The smell," Rajamon replied, and a second later, the human girl got the message-- there wafted over the heavy, sickly-sweet scent of fruit and flowers. It smelled, in a word, incredibly ripe, almost like rotting fruit.

Only a moment later, there crashed through the trees a thing that appeared to Andrea like a monstrous squash. It moved itself with great hopping movements, and lashed out with tentacle-like vines, taking out small plants and bushes as it went. On its head was a plume of red leaves, right above narrow red eyes-- which themselves rested above a wide mouth filled with teeth.
It was pretty imposing, to be honest-- but thankfully, it seemed not to notice them as it crashed over the hill, over the now-underground village.

Andrea's D-GEAR booted up, and began to speak.
Vegiemon, adult-level vegetation digimon. It uses its sweet smell to draw small digimon close, but once they get in range it drags them close with its vines. However, when a digimon draws near it that its vines can't subdue, it attacks with foul smells and compost.

"Go?" Rajamon hissed.

Andrea looked down to him. "Go."

Like a shot, Rajamon took off with a great bound. Before Vegiemon could turn to see him, the cat pounced at him. He yelled out:
"Fire Dash!"
As he said it, the long fur on his limbs, head, and tailtip suddenly burst into flames, as he threw himself headlong into Vegiemon.

Rajamon crashed into Vegiemon with a thud and a squeltch; Vegiemon let out a yowl of pain and whipped himself around. Rajamon then got a faceful of vine, tumbling back down the hill and landing at Andrea's feet.
"I'm fine," he said before she even had a chance to remark, and darted back up the hill; he was met with a bellowing boom of "Stink Jet!"

Rajamon was hit full in the face with a blast of what seemed to be a mixture of liquid and gas-- but no matter what form it was in, it smelled foul, even from where Andrea was standing.
With his face covered in the goop, the cat snarled. Careful not to let any drip into his mouth, he opened his maw and began to gather fire once more. "Prince Fire!"
The fireball shot at Vegiemon, and blasted him straight in the face. The giant plant digimon stumbled back (as best it could stumble without feet), and curled its lip.

"I bet you know where the village went," Vegiemon growled, whipping out one of his vines at the cat digimon. It hit true, and wrapped solidly around Rajamon in a hugging grip.
Rajamon snarled and began to gather fire in his mouth again, but a harsh squeeze put an end to that tactic right-quick. The smaller digimon gave a yelp, and snarled as Vegiemon drew him closer.
"The village used to be here," the plant digimon said, blowing putrid air in the child digimon's face. "So where is it now?"

"You ain't the most elegant speaker, are 'ya?" Andrea cut in-- she had, it seemed, rushed straight in when neither had been looking. Much like she had done the previous day, she suddenly smashed her knee the one of Vegiemon's vines that was gripping her partner.
He let out a gurgling roar, dropping the cat-- and almost immediately grabbing Andrea, instead, almost as soon as Rajamon hit the ground.

Hidden underneath Vegiemon's vine, Andrea's D-GEAR unit began to glow. It shot out like a beam, and struck Rajamon.

Kickstart Digivolution, begin.

"Rajamon, kick-start digivolve, to..."
Rajamon grew to several times his original size. The fur around his limbs and on his head vanished; a second necklace-like piece of jewelery snapped around his neck, as the gem thereupon turned blue as his eyes. Bracelets -- two per limb -- snapped with a clink around the paw equivilent of wrists and ankles, as another tuft of fur appeared near the base of his tail. As the light began to fade, he let out a roar.

"Baghamon!"

Without wasting so much as a second, Baghamon leapt at Vegiemon, and against his better judgment, bit down hard into the tentacle that held his partner. She was dropped swiftly, even as Vegiemon whipped around to smash a vine into Baghamon's body.
"Back away, Andrea," the cat commanded; she nodded once and quickly vacated the general vicinity. As soon as she was a safe distance away, Baghamon began to dart in a circle around Vegiemon, faster than he could turn to catch up. "Fire Cyclone!"

Fire began to be kicked up where Baghamon's feet connected with the ground. Within a moment's notice, Vegiemon was surrounded by a circular wall of fire; Vegiemon yowled from within. Baghamon stood at the ready; however, by the time the flames died down, Vegiemon was both blackened and unconscious. Almost as soon as he saw it, a white light enveloped Baghamon, and down he shrunk again to Rajamon.

Rajamon looked up at Andrea; she smiled, and he smiled back.

Up from the end of the tunnel a short ways away, there popped a couple Palmon; they looked cautiously around, before they gave a cry back down the tunnel. Under the ground, there was an echoing noise as the message was conveyed. Within a minute or two, the entire area was flooded with Palmon and Floramon, anxious to get a look at their ex-leader-- and along with them came the other children.

"Whoaaaa, way to go there," Faris exclaimed, trying to catch a glimpse around the crowd of plant digimon.

"I take it you digivolved?" Kamomon asked, smiling; Rajamon nodded.

"Way to go, bud-deh! Welcome to the club!" Egakumon said with a grin, holding up a claw as though for a high five. Very much to his surprise, Rajamon -- instead of mocking him -- pushed himself to sit on his hind legs, and slapped his paw into the rabbit's club-like claw.

The digimon parted, as Woodmon emerged from the tunnel. He looked with great caution at the ashes around where Vegiemon now lay, but the tree-like digimon edged closer. He gently prodded the other plant with one root-like appendage.
All of a sudden, Woodmon drew his hand up and smashed it into Vegiemon. Some of the Palmon and Floramon gasped aloud. All of a sudden, the latter was engulfed in swirling data, which -- like Grizzlymon, the kids noted -- flew into the air, leaving a yellow and red egg behind where Vegiemon's body had laid a second before.

"He'll be back," the leader said, smiling around at his villagers as he picked up the egg. "But I think we should rebuild the village for him, first." He then paused, and looked to Rajamon. With a bit of distrust in his eyes -- he wasn't one for fire! -- Woodmon nodded. "We extend our thanks."
He then shifted his attention to the other children and their partners. "That is for all of you. You are a team, after all, I assume?" When he got a general murmur of 'uh, yeah, I guess we are', he chuckled. "How can we show our gratitude?"

The kids looked at eachother. After a moment, Emily was the one to speak up:
"Food would be good."

"We hope fruit will do," a Floramon nearby squeaked, smiling.

"Bring on the food!" Faris cheered; the others seemed to agree.

[Chapter 3: End]