Episode 4: Depth

To say that they ate with the sort of demeanor of wild wolves would be a grievous understatement-- the digimon particularly dove straight into the food that was presented to them by the plant digimon, while the children were apprehensive. Simon picked up one of the rainbow of fruit splayed in front of them as they sat on the grass outside of the tunnel. It was about half-over again the size of a baseball, smooth -- almost rubbery -- to the touch, and vivid purple. It yielded easily to the touch, like a very over-ripe peach.
"What on earth is this?" the be-hatted boy asked, blinking.

"Terrafruit," Egakumon responded as though it were the simplest thing in the world. The rabbit grinned. "Every one of the fruit they gave us is Terrafruit, y'know? Comes in all shapes and colours-- and flavours, too." (He then unceremoniously shoved one of the purple ones into his mouth, and reached for a bizarrely triangle-shaped red fruit next.)

The kids looked on as Faris was the first to venture a taste of a red, as though they were watching some sort of spectator sport. After a resounding "hey, it tastes pretty good!", they dipped their proverbial toes into the similarly-proverbial water. Some of the Terrafruit found itself more warmly-recieved than others; the triangular red ones, for instance, had the taste of watermelon candy. Meanwhile, oblong blue ones had a distinctly salty, smokey taste -- these were left to Iguamon and Iguamon alone, as he seemed to be the only one who could stomach them.

It was only after some truly inelegant face-stuffing and a small bit of relaxation with the inhabitants of the Flora-Palmon village that the kids set out once more, digimon in tow. It was early afternoon when the twelve set out into the forest once more, marching in an unruly mob.

Kamomon, as soon as they hit the road, took off into the air again. He took it upon himself to rise above the trees now and again, to give the group a better idea of where they were and where to go, knowing the aforementioned.

"We're lucky you have a bird for a partner," Toby said to Emily in earnest, some time after they had departed the village. He watched the seagull-like digimon swoop back down to under the tree cover, into the sight of those groundbound. Emily smiled, though whether at the boy or the bird was anyone's guess. Kamomon landed on the ground and dusted himself off, having to do a bit of a curious hop-skip to re-join the group.

"Status report?" Andrea said, not stopping her stride as she cast a sideways glance to the bird digimon.

"The caves are up ahead, should be there within the hour," Kamomon replied, nodding his head once. Delfinimon groaned.

"I hate that place," she said, shaking her head as though to rid herself of the mental image. "It's dark and wet. Not like, the good kind of wet, yeom. Like the soggy, uncomfortable wet where mold grows."

"Back it up. Caves?" Julian asked, raising an eyebrow.

"Relatively system of caves," Lammon said, trotting up next to the oldest boy. "It serves as the proxy area between the Wide Forest and the Great Ocean."

"Which means," Iguamon said, "that it's what connects them." He pointed at the D-GEAR unit clipped to Julian's belt. "No matter what the maps say, the digital world can't smash everything together. Different bits of data get separated by proxy areas."

"So... caves?" Simon said; the dinosaur nodded.

"Caves, tunnels, sewers. Depends on where you're going."

Lammon took back up, here. "The first few caverns of these proxy caves are the farthest any of us have ever been from Deekamon's." She nodded her head to her fellow digimon.

"Should be pretty cool," Rajamon remarked, a smile tugging at his mouth.

"Isn't it great that they act like little tour guides?" Faris said with a grin, to Julian. Julian smirked a bit.

"It's our job, yeom," Delinimon said, beaming up at her partner. Faris smiled back, and picked her up with a bit of effort-- she wasn't at heavy as Faris thought she'd be, especially for her size! Her fins flopped over his arms like a stuffed animal's limbs. "I like this better," she said, twitching her tailfin happily.

"I'm not going to carry you around all the time unless you cut back on the terrafruit a bit," Faris responded. Delfinimon rolled her eyes. Egakumon snickered a little bit, looking up at his own partner.

"Hey, how 'bout a piggy-back ride, Si?"

Before he got an answer, however, a bush or two to the side of the path began to shake.

"We're not about to be taken to another village, are we?" Toby whispered to Lammon, who shook her head in response-- though she seemed to be on the defensive, ready for a strike.
Iguamon, meanwhile, walked right on up to the shrub.

"Gotsumon?" he ventured to say. At the mention of the name, there emerged a head from the leaves. It was made entirely of rock, with two ear-like protrusions on the top. Big yellow eyes blinked up at the dinosaur, and following the rocky head was an entire rocky body.

"Paleomon?" the new digimon rasped, tilting its head... and breaking into a grin. "... Iguamon, now, yes?"

"You know eachother?" Emily said, putting her hands behind her head. Kamomon nodded his head 'yes' as he hopped into the air, and flapped to hover next to his partner.

"Gotsumon once helped us out of the caves," he said, "one time when Deekamon send us to look for you there."

"And again when we went in for its own sake," Iguamon added. "He's a pretty good guy."

Gotsumon nodded and smiled, taking a bow. "I see you've finally arrived," he said, and then looked at Egakumon. "... unless, of course, this is just Deekamon doing some sort of weird trick on all of you."

Egakumon suddenly looked very offended. He put his arms akimbo, and stomped one foot on the ground. "Hey, we digivolved to child level, didn't we? That's proof enough that--"

"He's kidding, Egakumon," Lammon said; regardless, Egakumon folded his arms and harumphed.

The rocky digimon indicated the direction in which the troupe was headed before they stopped. "I take it you are going through the proxy cave, yes?"

"Seems so," Andrea replied with a nod.

Gotsumon broke into a pebble-filled smile. "May I ask why?"

"We need to find some dude," Faris said; Rajamon cast him a sort of unimpressed look.

"Wisemon," the cat said. "We're going to see Wisemon. Deekamon said that he could explain things. Help us out."

Gotsumon blanched visibly here, and shook his head. "That will not be easy, nope. You are aware that the Great Ocean is under even stricter control than here, yes?" When he got a nod in reply, he continued. "I have heard from others in the proxy cave that you can't so much as blow a bubble without an Agent knowing about it."

The group looked at eachother; Egakumon was the first to step forward.

"Point?" he said, putting one hand on his hip.

"Try not to sound so much like a valley girl," Simon muttered, smirking.

Egakumon tossed his partner a look and stuck his tongue out, but turned back to Gotsumon. "We'll manage."

Gotsumon smiled again. "I was hoping you would say that, yes. There is a part of the proxy cave which should lead you to the very edge of the Great Ocean."

"Can we interpret that as an offer to help us through?" Toby questioned.

Gotsumon bowed low. "It would be an honor," he said, "but I cannot promise that we will not run into Agents. They have begun lurking in the caves, yes."

"Two of us have already digivolved up to Adult," Rajamon said; Egakumon nodded proudly, and then the feline continued. "We'll be fine."

"The rest of us still haven't seen it happen," Julian remarked, and he was right-- both times, the duo in question had been out of sight of the others.

"Yeah, how do we know it's not all a sham, yeom?" Delfinimon said, tongue obviously in cheek, still from her place in Faris' arms.

"Well, I don't think Rajamon could defeat Vegiemon on his own, the way he is," Kamomon pointed out.

With a sardonic smile, Iguamon said, "that still leaves Egakumon's story up to suspicion. We all know he's been chomping at the bit to digivolve." He got the response he seemed to want, as Egakumon huffed audibly. Howeever, it was Simon that leapt in.

"It was real, man! Just wait until we see something else that needs to be put in its place, and then you'll know!"

"Calm down, Simon," Andrea said, rolling her eyes... but then she smirked. "We all know that Rajamon could beat your bunny up in a fight any day of the week."


"... the sovereigns chose some very interesting ones, yes?" Gotsumon said to Lammon, who had walked up nearer to him. She nodded and gave the rock digimon a long-suffering look.

"Mmmm. They just need to be guided a bit. That's why we're going to go see Wisemon."

Gotsumon inspected the rabble of children and digimon before him, and tilted his head. He squinted his eyes. "If you say so," he said, "but I hope so. Who knows, with the way the Digital World is, Yggdrasil might have pulled the wrong children in..."

Lammon shook her head 'no'. "They're the right ones," she said, sitting down. "The Sovereigns chose them, and Yggdrasil doesn't make mistakes."


It was a bit of a walk to the proxy caves-- and it was hard to miss once the trees thinned out. In front of them loomed, yet again, a great cliff face.

"So, uh, how do we get in?" Emily asked, looking around; there was no obvious entrance. Kamomon, who had been flying alongside, landed, and pulled on her pant leg. He pointed; the kids followed to see what he was indicating.

While the kids had been staring up at the cliff face and looking around, Iguamon and Gotsumon had trotted right up to a number of tremendous boulders. They suddenly smashed their hands forward into one rock each; both shattered with ease. Behind where the rocks had reclined against the cliff face a moment before, a good-sized tunnel-- large enough for a good-sized pickup truck to pass through -- was revealed. It sloped down, somewhat, deeper into the ground.

"... cool," Toby said as he peeked into the tunnel, poking his head around the others in order to get a better look.

"The lights still work?" Egakumon asked, looking at Gotsumon. The latter nodded, and made a sweeping hand motion. Indeed, if they were to look, the kids and digimon would see glowing red lights placed periodically along the walls-- identical to those in the underground Flora-Palmon village, though placed farther apart.

"Convenient," Julian said, raising an eyebrow.

"A lot of digimon can't see in the dark, Julian, us included," Lammon replied, "and a lot of them use the proxy areas."

"Don't look a gift horse in the mouth," Kamomon chimed in; the sheep digimon nodded.

Before any more remarks could pass their lips, Gotsumon stepped to the front of the herd, such as it was, again.

"I do not mean to make us rush, but the less time we stand here the better off we will be, yes."

Simon cast a glance over his shoulder, back into the trees. "When we come out, it'll be totally different, right?"

Egakumon nodded, and looked up at his partner. "Totally different part of the digital world."

"One we've never been to," Delfinimon added, and she frowned a bit. "I'm almost sad to leave the Wide Forest, y'know, yeom?" She nudged her head against Faris' chin-- he still hadn't put her down, and she wasn't complaining.
She seemed to spring something up in the digimon; Rajamon cast a look over his shoulder and frowned a bit, and Iguamon stood next to Julian, looking steadfastly at the cave opening, seeming lost in thought. Lammon bowed her head, and Kamomon hopped into the air and flew up a little bit, to get one last good glimpse around. Egakumon just frowned.

Rajamon looked up at Andrea. "Andrea?"


"We've waited our whole lives for you guys, y'know," the feline said; the girl nodded.

"It's just kind of... surreal," Kamomon said from overhead.

"That it's finally happened, right?" Emily finished, sounding as though she were in a completely different place, mentally, as she watched her partner flap to keep his place in the air. The seagull nodded, but didn't look down.
Toby looked around at the digimon, then down at his untied shoes. Julian shoved his hands into his pockets, casting a sideways glance at Iguamon, but remaining tight-lipped.

"Well, we can't, y'know..." Faris said, frowning a bit, and stuttering a little. "We've gotta move on, right? 'Fore some, I donno, palm-tree monster decides to attack." That seemed to shake the digimon from their reveries (and, in Kamomon's case, to return to earth).

"I'm sure we'll come back," Egakumon said all of a sudden, giving a smile that seemed half genuine, and half forced. There was a rippling murmur of assent.

"Then let's get going, yeah?" Simon said, pumping one fist in the air. Egakumon mirrored the motion, and his usual cheeky grin returned.

A mere second later, it was Iguamon who said, "Lead the way, Gotsumon."

And with that, the group of twelve and one guide shambled into the tunnel. The caverns were, to be simple, confusing. To start, the ceiling varied wildly, going from being so low that the children (except Toby for the most part, being as short as he was) had to duck their heads down to avoid smacking their heads into the rock, to high enough that they were easily twice again over as tall as Julian was tall. Outside of the ceiling, the tunnels were almost creepily uniform in width and appearance-- evenly-placed lights cast their soft red glow, the ground was shockingly even upon which to walk.
Gotsumon led them as they went-- and it was lucky that he did, as off-shooting branches and dead-end caverns were littered everywhere.

Perhaps a half-an-hour had passed with nothing but idle chatter and occasional whisper-shouted instructions from Gotsumon-- "watch out, yes, there's a pit here", or "be careful, stick to the right wall, yes". However, as they walked, a strange feeling washed over the humans of the team.

"My head hurts," Toby whined, clutching both sides his head as though he were holding together the halves of a coconut. Perhaps 'hurt' wasn't the best term, however-- it was less pain, and more like a fuzzy, nauseous feeling. It was almost like the feeling of one's leg falling asleep, and the tingly pins-and-needles feeling that came after, but centralized in their heads and washing down their bodies, leaving a wave of lightheaded nausea in its wake.

The digimon -- even Gotsumon -- paused and looked at eachother... with one major exception. "It's just reformatting," Iguamon said, looking at the clearly-worried humans. He got the hint quite immediately that this didn't help much. "It happens in proxy areas," he added quickly, holding out his claw-gloved hands. "It happens to everyone, I understand-- it doesn't do any harm."

Suddenly, Egakumon leapt up excitedly. "Oh! Deekamon told me about that!"

Rajamon looked at the rabbit, and raised an eyebrow. "Deekamon told you a lot, didn't he," he said with no small level of sarcasm.

"I would guess," Kamomon cut in quickly, before a fight could start, "that it was simply because Egakumon... well, listened to Deekamon more than the rest of us."

Egakumon harumphed again, but looked up at Simon. "I don't know what it is, exactly, but he said it happens to everyone in Proxy areas. We just don't notice it--"

"Because we're made of all-data, yeom!" Delfinimon finished, spreading her fins wide. "And you guys aren't."

"... remind me to ask you to explain that later," Andrea said, sighing. She held a hand to her head. "So explain what's going on now?"

"Oh!" Emily said; the others turned to look at her. "Like, moving a file from one place to another? Cut and paste?" she said, brushing her bangs out of her face.

"Guess that makes sense," Simon muttered; Adrea shrugged, and Faris nodded a couple times. If they were telling the truth about this being digital, it made more sense than (for instance) a bunch of plants moving underground to avoid a giant talking squash.

Julian looked both understanding and unimpressed, but rubbed the back of his head. "Please tell me this isn't going to happen every time we go between places?"

Gotsumon shrugged apologetically, smiling sheepishly. "I am sorry, but yes, yes. I assume, that is. ... you will get used to it?" Even as he spoke, either the effect was wearing off, or the children were indeed simply adapting; regardless, the fuzzy, staticky feeling began to fade. They began to walk again.

Another moment or two passed; suddenly, a rumbling passed through the tunnels. It started as a distant sound, echoing and reverberating throughout the earth; it soon escalated to rumbling the tunnels around the children and their partners.

"Hunker down!" Andrea barked, throwing her arms up to cover her face and dropping to the ground-- the latter partially because the tremors were growing so strong such that it was hard to stay standing. The rest of the children followed suit. Lammon stood fierce near Toby where he dropped; Iguamon leaned against the wall, using it to hold himself in a standing position; the other digimon had no such burden, and for all intents and purposes hit the deck.

"Please tell me it's not another enemy thing," Simon groaned, but the second his D-GEAR began to glow, that was put to rest as a suspicion and made into fact.

"I think we oughta get used to it," Toby remarked, as the wall about ten meters away suddenly collapsed. Where once was solid rock was now a new tunnel-- and in that newly-formed tunnel was a great purple and white digimon, much like a gargantuan mole in all ways save for one major factor-- the giant drill in the middle of its face, and the smaller drills that stood in place of claws.

"Faaantastic," Faris muttered. All six D-GEAR units sprang to life, and began to speak as they had come to realize would be usual.

Drimogemon. Adult-level beast digimon. Some of the best diggers in the digital world, they live most of their lives underground. They use both their environment and their drills to attack, primarily with Iron Drill Spin attack.

The mole-like digimon thrashed her head wildly, until she came to a stop; she stared at the group with a sort of feral intensity. There was obviously not going to be much in the way of discussion.

Gotsumon shuffled back into the group for protection; Simon, meanwhile, took a step forward. "C'mon, Egakumon," he said out of the corner of his mouth. Egakumon grinned, and up and lunged forward. Simon's D-GEAR got hardly a chance to cool down from its introduction before it began to glow again. Almost mid-stride, Egakumon was bathed in white light; he didn't even notice that Rajamon had leapt up aside him, glowing brightly.

Kickstart digivolution, begin.
"Egakumon, kickstart digivolve to Shokunimon!"
"Rajamon, kickstart digivolve to Baghamon!"

In a few seconds time, there stood both a larger tiger and a lankier rabbit than were there a moment ago; Lammon smiled a little bit. "I suppose that solves the problem about whether they digivolved," she remarked.

"Whoa," Emily remarked; Kamomon hopped up and draped his arms around her neck to get a better look.

Drimogemon let out a mighty cry, a roar that shook the tunnel with its volume.
"I think she's mad," Toby said quietly. However, while the mole roared, Baghamon took it upon himself to dash at her, snarling as his paws began to kick up a trail of flames behind him. He barked out a quick "Tiger Gem!", and light began to gather in the gem on his necklace. Once he drew nearer his target, it fired in a brilliant beam which struck Drimogemon.

He was stopped pretty dead in his tracks, however, from releasing another attack when Drimogemon yelled out "Iron Drill Spin!", the horn-like drill on her face beginning to whir loudly. She bucked her head forward at just the right moment, into the tiger-- who was thrown back nearer the group.

"Hah," Shokunimon said. He whipped his brush out, aimed it at his target, and quite decisively yelled:
"Paint Blast!"
A vividly multicoloured blob of paint sprang forth from the rabbit's paintbrush, and splattered quite impressively on Drimogemon's face.

She did not seem impressed.

By this, it was meant that Drimogemon snarled and charged at Shokunimon-- and by extension, the group. Shokunimon wasted no time-- he charged straight at the mole, holding his paintbrush behind him like he was a sword-wielding samurai. One foot began to glow.

"Tumble Ki--!"

Before he could even get the attack name out, Drimogemon smashed her horn into him. He was thrown back to the group-- in fact, straight into Baghamon. As they connected, both Shokunimon and Baghamon were encased in a bright white light. For a second they glowed, before the light spread out, leaving their bodies in little glowing orbs that dispersed in the air. In their wake, they left only Rajamon and Egakumon, once more in their smaller forms. Almost immediately, the kids and digimon alike turned their attentions to the two.

Drimogemon snarled, but suddenly paused. She seemed to be thinking for a moment, before she gave a little smirk, and before anyone looked back to her, she turned around and retreated through the tunnel she had created on the way in.

"Are you guys okay?" Toby inquired, looking between the rabbit and the tiger.

"Never better," Rajamon replied through gritted teeth, pushing himself to his feet.

"Fantastic," Egakumon added, getting up with a bit of help from Kamomon. "Okay, so that didn't work."

Andrea sighed, massaging her temples. "That's, what, three attacks in the last day?"

"Four," Emily said, smiling serenely. "'Member? Simon and Egakumon's thing. We were asleep."

Delfinimon, meanwhile, looked at Egakumon. "Heheh. Guess we know you were telling the truth now, yeom?" Egakumon smirked.

"Told y'so."

Julian, meanwhile, looking up the tunnel. His eyes narrowed. "Why did she run off?" he asked of nobody in particular.

It was now that Gotsumon spoke up again, pushing his way out of the protection of the huddled group. "She could have been a scout," he said. "To find where you were, yes?" He indicated the tunnel she had made. "She retreated, yes? I didn't see it, no, but..."

Iguamon looked at the rocky digimon, and sighed. "Then we should move. Directly."

Kammon got a determined expression. "We could stand and fi--"

But before he could even finish the sentence, Iguamon outright barked at him, "No!" He paused, then, and realized that he had sounded unintentionally harsh. "No. You saw what happened when those two," and he nodded his head at Egakumon and Rajamon, "tried to fight her, and the rest of us are still child-level. We'd best just move."

"He's right," Lammon said quietly, nodding. "If she has backup, we'd be even worse off. "Are you two okay?" she asked, looking at Egakumon and Rajamon.

"Already said yes," Rajamon replied, shaking himself as though he were a dog shaking off water. "Let's go." They needed no more instruction-- with Gotsumon taking the lead again, they took off at a brisk, march-like pace down the tunnel again.

It didn't last long.

Perhaps ten minutes had gone by before the rumbling started up again.

"Why am I not surprised," Andrea muttered. Despite this, she -- and everyone else -- seemed plenty surprised when part of the ceiling caved in. It was a scramble to avoid the rocks falling down, and the scramble led to a backwards domino effect. Gotsumon hop-skipped backwards, which crashed into Egakumon and Rajamon, who knocked down their respective partners; Delfinimon, Faris, Emily, and Kamomon scrambled to keep them from falling over-- and failed. They crashed down, whereas Toby and Lammon just shuffled backwards-- and they only narrowly avoided knocking into Julian and Iguamon.

"We need to work on not doing that," Faris mumbled. He looked up from the pile, however, to look ahead of them.

From the tunnel that had just opened over their heads, Drimogemon had returned. She was alone, but she looked as though none of the attacks from before had so much as scratched her.

"You two stay back," Kamomon said quickly, seeing Egakumon and Rajamon hop to attention. He extracted himself, and did a sort of hopping dash to the front. Behind him followed the other three digimon, and between themselves, they formed a small living-shield wall between themselves and the kids, the two digimon who were being excluded, and Gotsumon-- who once more rushed back into the group of kids.

"One at a time," Drimogemon rumbled, the first thing she had said in earshot of the group aside from calling her attacks. Her eyes were narrowed and her lips were drawn back in a smile that showed off her teeth.

"Lammon, get her front. Kamomon, left. Delfinimon, go right," Iguamon said in a low voice, holding his claws up as though he was preparing to attack. "We can't rush her alone. That's what they tried to do," and he once more indicated the two digimon that were not on the front-line.

"Yes, and we're also doomed," Delfinimon whispered back. "If those two couldn't--"

"We'll be fine," Kamomon cut in before the dolphin could finish speaking. However, as if on cue, Drimogemon snickered nastily.

"Go on believing that," she sneered, waving her head back and forth as though inviting them to attack.
They took that invitation, leaping forward.

As per Iguamon's hasty instructions, the group of four split, with the bird and the lam rushing to the mole's right side, and the dinosaur and dolphin to her left. A chorus of attacks were called-- Lammon leapt straight past Drimogemon's face with a "Counting Sheep!", the smoky end of her pony tail flaring up. A pink haze drifted up into the mole digimon's face, and her eyelids slid halfway down.
Delfinimon and Kamomon, rushing to their respective sides, opened their mouths; Kamomon gathered a swirling ball of water in his mouth, and Delfinimon gathered energy. Almost-simultaneously, the two cried out.
"Blast Bite!" from Delfinimon, as she snapped her mouth down on Drimogemon's leg; "Ocean Blast!" from Kamomon, as he fired the water with great force.

This worked as Iguamon had hoped it would-- as he ducked around her back, and ran up her back. At the back of her neck, he called out, "Dino Claw!" and scratched madly.
Drimogemon bucked wildly, but Iguamon grabbed clawfuls of fur and held tight; with a mighty swipe of both paws, she knocked back the other three into the group.

"I feel like I got hit by a truck," Delfinimon muttered into the ground.

"Great," Iguamon growled, his eyes narrowed. He lifted one claw to strike again... and lost his grip, tossed off by the mole's wild motion. He tumbled to the ground, and looked back at the group quickly.

Julian was kneeling next to Egakumon, whispering something to the rabbit-- he couldn't hear what. Iguamon raised an eyebrow, and quickly turned his attention to Drimogemon again.
He lowered his head and seemed prepared to charge... until a white and blue blur moved past him.

"What, y'come back for more!?" Egakumon yelled, hopping up and down and waving his paintbrush like a flag. "C'mon, bring it!"

Drimogemon was distracted almost immediately, snarling as she turned to look at the other digimon. "I could crush you with one claw," she growled, and took a step towards the rabbit-- and indeed, reared one hand back. Iguamon's eyes lit up with comprehension.

"Iguamon, go," Julian said in an even tone, almost out of the corner of his mouth. Iguamon needed no further instruction, and he reared his arm back to strike... and his arm, followed by the rest of him, was engulfed in light.

Kickstart Digivolution, begin.

"Iguamon, kickstart digivolve to..." Iguamon grew much larger, and his back seemed to bow, moving his head forward. His legs lengthened and became more animalistic, and his tail whipped back and forth as it grew in length. Spikes sprouted on his lower back; his hands became less oblong, more like a real dinosaur's; one large claw grew on each foot. A long, shaggy mane grew forth from his head, and similar hair sprouted on his legs and tail-tip. The finishing touch came with a skull helmet that snapped into place on his face. "Velocimon!"

"Sweet," Simon said, smiling.

"Mole Claw!" Drimogemon cried, slashing her claw down at the rabbit digimon in front of her. Egakumon darted out of the way, his tail flicking out of the way at the last second to avoid being smashed by the mole's mighty paw. As Drimogemon turned to see where he had gone to, a scowl on her face, she was treated to a much larger dinosaur than had been there before, rushing straight at her.

"Fast Strike!" Velocimon cried, putting his head down in his charge. To an observer, for a moment he may have seemed to disappear for just a second-- only a second. He was clearly visible once more when he smashed, skull-helmet first, into Drimogemon's chest.

She roared, and the drill on her face whirred to life.
"Iron Drill Spin!"
She jabbed at the dinosaur, who recoiled from the hit with a growl and a snarl.

Velocimon gave a feral roar, however, and didn't even as announce an attack as he slashed out at Drimogemon's face with one of the large claws on his feet. She reared back. Velocimon smiled, and looked over his shoulder. "Stand back," he said in a gutteral voice; the onlookers shuffled backwards, avoiding disaster this time.

"Boulder Break!"
Velocimon uprooted from the ground around him a massive boulder, and hoisted it up. Then, without warning, he dashed into point-blank range with it, and smashed his skull-helmet-protected head into it. It shattered into a hundred pieces, many of them going straight into the mole.

She snarled and roared-- and began to glow white. Data began to encircle her body. She gave one last roar-- and in her place was a purple egg, a moment later.
Velocimon was covered in light a second later-- however, unlike the mole digimon, he simply shrunk back into Iguamon.

"Dude!" Faris exclaimed, grinning at Julian. "Your partner is killer."

"No kidding!" Kamomon cried, lifting himself into the air from excitement-- and landing a second later, reminded of his injury.

There was general exclamation-- the digimon, who seemed to be doing better for themselves, gathered around Iguamon, exclaiming their congratulations. The humans, meanwhile, were tittering amongst themselves.

"So, uh, why did you have to choose Egakumon?" Simon said, putting his hands behind his head. Despite his offended tone, he was grinning widely.

Julian pulled his lips back in a thin smile. "I figured he was the only one dumb enough to do it," he explained with tongue in cheek.

A minute or two was spent like this; however, before too long, Gotsumon raised his voice. While they had talked, he had walked ahead and picked up Drimogimon's egg. "We should continue going, yes?" he inquired, looking around at the gathered.

The kids exchanged glances. Toby was the first to speak. "Okay, but one question."

Gotsumon tilted his head.

"How much further is it? I don't want to get attacked for the fifth time today."

[Chapter 4: End]