Episode 34: Got Your Back

By now, it would be redundant to remark upon the darkness of the sky when Faris cracked his eyes open, and that he found himself peering up at a foggy, dim sky. However, this was indeed the sight that he awoke to find.
Well, that, and a big dolphin nose that obscured half of his vision, with big purple eyes settled behind the shnozz, peering down at him.

"Good morning, yeom!"

"Oh god, get off me, you weigh a ton!" Faris exclaimed, shoving Delfinimon off his chest. The dolphin tumbled off and onto the dark, loamy soil in the least dignified manner possible.

A quick look around revealed... a forest. With extremely poor lighting. He was in the thick of it, though the brush and debris on a small portion of the ground had apparently been cleared away.

"You're awake?" Toby's voice said from a few feet away, where he was seated on a fallen log. Lammon was seated alongside him, at his feet.

"Something like that," Faris replied with a nod, rubbing his head as he sat up. "What's going on?"

"We got... separated, again," the younger boy said, playing with the hems of his sleeves. "I donno where the others are. They're not showing up on the D-GEAR radar--"

"D-GEAR unit," Delfinimon and Lammon corrected in unison, in low tones. It was automatic at this point. Toby smiled, rubbing the back of his head.

Faris sighed, getting to this feet. "Fan-freakin'-tastic. Now all that's left is for us to be attacked by wolves."
On cue, the dark bushes began to rustle; Faris nearly jumped out of his skin with a yelp of, "I didn't mean it!" However, the two digimon and Toby turned calmly. Emerging from the brush was Iguamon, a few pieces of terrafruit gripped in his claws.

Iguamon raised an eyebrow at Faris' reaction, but was unfazed as ever.
"You're awake? That's good," the dinosaur remarked in his usual laconic way (as usual), face impassive (as usual). He held the fruits up. "Found food."
He tossed a terrafruit over to Faris and Delfinimon; the boy split it more-or-less in half, handing one half to the dolphin aside him. A few feet away, Toby did the same with the fruit the dinosaur handed him, granting half of it to the lamb at his feet.

Iguamon, for his part, also split his in half, but walked over to a tree close-by; Faris hadn't noticed, in the dim light and confusion of waking up here, that a familiar shape was propped against the tree. Julian, arms folded and head bowed, was asleep.

"He woken up yet?" Faris asked, his gaze lingering on his brother before looking at Delfinimon; she nodded her head.

"You're a waking-up slowpoke, yeom. He was the first of any of you to wake up, so he's just asleep. He was up a pretty good time before either of you two," the dolphin mused, before gracelessly face-planting into her half of their fruit. (She'd likely excuse it as the fact that she didn't have hands; really, this way was simply much more entertaining.)

Faris rolled his eyes. "So I'm going to take a totally wild guess here," he said, looking at Toby and Lammon, "and say that we have no idea where anyone else is?"

Toby shook his head. "Afraid not," he said, rubbing the back of his head. "I only woke up a little while ago, myself..." he mumbled, leaning back on his seat on the log. "But like I said, there's nothing on the map, so... I donno..." He trailed off, shrugging one shoulder a bit resignedly. Lammon nuzzled his hand.

They ate in relative quiet; Lammon and Toby talked quietly, as did Faris and Delfinimon, while Iguamon was remarkbly tight-lipped the entire time.

As soon as he was done with his portion of his fruit, Iguamon gently shook his partner's shoulder with one clawed hand. A frown tugged at Julian's mouth and he shifted away from the motion, before cracking an eye open to look at his saurian partner. "Thanks," he mumbled, taking the fruit offered to him.

Julian lifted his head, seeing both Toby and Faris awake. "Morning," he drawled, a bit sarcastically. It was still as dark as it had been; Iguamon had mentioned that it likely would be, and the prediction didn't disappoint.
It was hard to see in the low light, but there were dark circles under his eyes; however much sleep he had gotten, it had clearly not been enough.
"I miss anything?"

"They just woke up," Lammon provided, standing up and stretching her limbs out.

"And we haven't been killed in the night. ... day. Whatever it is, yeom!" Delfinimon added cheerfully, gaining her a look from Faris -- and a bop on the head. He stood up, scooping the dolphin into his arms.

"Optimistic," Toby said with a small smile, getting to his feet.

Julian was the last to stand, still clearly tired. "I'd like to waste as little time as possible in trying to re-join the group," he said, stretching out his arms above his head; he was half-propping himself up with the tree he had been sitting against. "If none of you object, we should get moving."
Toby nodded a couple times, face half-buried in his hood; Faris threw a mock salute with one arm. (Of note: he nearly dropped Delfinimon, but she held tight to his remaining arm and he held her fast.)

"If you don't think you're gonna fall asleep on the way, broski," Faris added after a minute. Julian rolled his eyes in reply.


The group of six was predominantly led by Julian. There was a sort of uncomfortable, ill at ease air about the little group; there wasn't a whole lot of conversation. The oldest of the group was clearly running on entirely too little sleep, and the youngest seemed a bit uncomfortable-- quieter than usual.
As for Faris, hanging a bit back?
Faris just felt like he was missing something.

"What's the deal, Tobes McGrobes?" Faris mumbled to Toby after a while, quickening his pace a bit to catch up with the shorter boy.

"Hmm?" Toby said, looking up to meet his eyes.

"Hi, yeom," Delfinimon-- who, being in Faris' arms, was more on-level with Toby's face -- said; the shorter smiled a bit, then returned to looking up at Faris. "What's up?"

"I am totally missing something," Faris said, rubbing the back of his neck and putting one hand in his pocket as they walked. "Has Jules been acting weird, or is it just me?"

Toby shrugged one shoulder. "I've only seen as much as you," he said, frowning a bit and coughing into his sleeve. "He does seem a bit... preoccupied, though."

Well, that was a big fat no help at all. Faris sighed but then shook his head, biting back the frustration welling in his mind; it wasn't Toby's fault if he had no idea what was going on either.
He just didn't figure he was going to get much in the way of an answer by asking Julian himself.

And so they continued on. Eventually, they had walked far enough that Faris saw fit to set Delfinimon down ("my arms are starting to hurt-- you need to walk off the weight"). The dolphin then actually took advantage of her lower vantage point.

"What's going on, yeom?" she asked, quietly, of Lammon and Iguamon; the dinosaur and sheep looked at eachother, but said nothing. Delfinimon furrowed her brow and put on her best annoyed face. "You guys kept talking like something was gonna go wrong before any of them even woke up, and I don't like being left out of the loop. Yeom."

Lammon let loose a sigh, and nodded with a bit of over-dramatic resignedness. "Do you remember when we were all separated back in the Deep Jungle?"

"'Course. That was when birdy boy and I played flyswatter, yeom." Delfinimon tilted her head. "What of it? Something happen with you guys?"

"Keep your voice down," Iguamon admonished; he waited a second, and Delfinimon mimed zipping her lip. Only once she did, he continued. "Julian is... driven, you could say. To protect his brothers." It didn't register to Delfinimon that the dinosaur had said brothers-- plural.

"I think Julian can't shake the association," Lammon supposed. "A sort of big brother instinct."

Delfinimon raised her brow (still not having caught on to the plural). "We're talkin' about the same Toby and Faris, right? Meek little shorty and Sir Faris of the Sarcasm Court, yeom?"

Iguamon fixed the dolphin with one of his signature unreadable looks. "I will explain it once the humans go to sleep. I don't want to be the harbringer of the news in case we are overheard, nor do I want your reaction to give too much away." He spoke low, quiet; Delfinimon had to strain to hear him.


The small group continued; eventually, they reached the edge of a small clearing -- it was smaller than the one in which Luke and Sampamon would, the next night, face down with Forbidramon, but still decently sized.
Little did they know that just beyond the trees, the mansion in which Andrea and Emily were having their... experiences... sat nestled in the dark.

However, they indeed had no way of knowing this; as it was, when they settled down, Julian mumbled something (half asleep) about getting back on the move as soon as they all woke up.
The oldest boy was asleep moments afterwards, after Iguamon helped him manuever into a half-comfortable position.

Toby was quick to follow, and Faris was hot on the heels of sleep; none of them were in any mood to stay up any longer.

"So it's you owe me an explanation time," Delfinimon said, as soon as she was sure that the others were asleep. Lammon gave one last inspection of her partner before she nodded, walking forward to sit next to Delfinimon, who in turn was next to Iguamon. They were seated a few feet away from where their partners slept, and making sure to keep an eye on the environment around them.

In quiet tones, the dinosaur and sheep explained to the dolphin what had been learned back in the Jungle -- of Julian's (and by extension, Faris') half-brother. Delfinimon was taken aback.

"... okay, wow," she said after a moment, blinking a couple times. "And Far' doesn't know about this kiddo?" Lammon shook her head, and Delfinimon groaned.

"Toby reminds Julian of Seth. He's still trying to come to terms with that, and I doubt he's having the best of times coming to terms with the protective instinct," Iguamon surmised; Lammon looked at him, quirking an eyebrow.

"He's told you that?"

Iguamon looked at Lammon out of the corner of his eye, and the corner of his mouth twitched upwards as he shook his head. "He doesn't need to. We understand each other."

"If only any of the rest of us did, yeom," Delfinimon grumbled, looking over at where Julian was sleeping. "I don't think any of us actually understands what's on his mind ninety percent of the time."

Iguamon shrugged. "I don't understand your partners and they do talk all the time -- some more than others," the dinosaur said, casting a look over at Faris; Delfinimon grinned. "We're here to help and understand them, and them, the same to us. We'll do it in the ways that suit us."

Lammon nodded, before sitting up and stretching out. "That said, I'd like to sleep now, if that's alright?" she said with a gentle smile; Iguamon gave a 'hmm' of agreement, and Delfinimon nodded.

"Good night, yeom," Delfinimon chirruped as they each parted and went alongside their partners. Lammon curled herself gently over Toby's midsection, like a living woolly blanket; Iguamon sat down next to Julian, eyes closed and body still as a rock almost immediately.

Delfinimon, for her part, dragged herself over to Faris, and lay down by throwing herself gracelessly over his lap, backwards, so she was facing up towards the sky.

"Careful, there," Faris mumbled, smiling and cracking one eye open; Delfinimon grinned back up at him, but she mentally faltered-- at that moment, she understood something without words.
Faris hadn't fallen asleep before the trio of digimon had begun talking.


It was... some time after they went to sleep. Time was hard to get a bearing on; for the sake of convenience, they called it 'morning'. The little group was gaining their bearings, working out the aches and preparing for returning to the trek.

"The lighting here bites," Faris said, stretching his arms over his head.

"Weirder things have happened in the Digital World," Toby said, smiling faintly, with a shrug of his shoulders.

"... In the past week or so, yeom."

None of the other four noticed Iguamon looking up at Julian and then pointedly looking off in another direction, his eyes flicking as though to indicate something. The eldest boy followed his partner's gaze, and silently nodded.

"You ready to go?" Julian said a minute later, putting his hands in his pockets and looking over his shoulder.

"Mmhm," Toby said with a nod.

"Aye aye, captain," Faris drawled, throwing a half-hearted mock salute. "Lead us unto our untimely deaths!"

"Whatever willing, I won't," Julian replied, and it was hard to tell whether or not the statement was made in humor or not. "Iguamon said he saw something off this way. If it's hostile, we've got it handled."

Faris was about to say something -- as was Toby -- but they had no chance to speak before the eldest and his partner had already walked into the trees and fallen out of sight. Faris shrugged, putting his arms akimbo and acting offended, before he picked Delfinimon up.

"Getting a freakin' workout, here, carrying her fat tail everywhere," he said off-handedly to Toby, and Delfinimon stuck her tongue out defiantly.

"And yet, he keeps on carrying me. All I'm saying is that I've got a sweet gig here, yeom."

Toby smiled, buring the bottom of his face into his hood as they began to follow after Julian.
Or, they would have, if the eldest's only-moments-ago remark about 'if it's hostile' weren't immediately relevant.

They heard the roar, first, but the following flash of light of a digivolution was immediately visible in the otherwise oppressive darkness.

A few seconds afterwards, Velocimon -- with Julian on his back -- was sent skidding back through the trees, digging his claws into the ground to avoid tumbling head over heels backwards. Without even looking at the other two, he darted back forward.

And yet, they couldn't see the attacking party yet.

"Ah, crap," Faris muttered, pulling his own D-GEAR out as it began to glow; Toby already had his in hand.

"Delfinimon, kickstart digivolve to... Shayumon!"

"Lammon, kickstart digivolve to... Ariamon!"

Both boys stayed on their feet, in close pursuit of their partners as they surged after Velocimon.

They immediately had to step back, because once more the dinosaur was sent skidding backwards; this time, he found himself followed by the attacker. In turn, Shayumon and Ariamon (with their partners alongside) had to quickly side-step to avoid collision.

The digimon before them... well, it looked like it fit in, in this area. It was tall and lean, hunched over as it gripped its staff. Tattered black wings emerged from its back, and a sort of face-mask matched them, smaller wings coming off its head. It wore large gloves, and black pants and boots covered its lower half, a length of dark-red cloth -- like a loincloth of sorts -- was tucked into its belts, long enough to drag on the ground. However, this all avoided the main point, and its most striking feature -- its entire body was devoid of flesh, instead being vivid red bones, ribcage curled around a large black core.

When Toby and Faris' D-GEARs began their usual litany, they got the impression that Julian had already been treated to it.

SkullSatamon. Perfect-level undead digimon. Its wickedness is refined, causing its DigiCore to become concentrated in its corruptness. Its Nail Bone attack disrupts the functioning of its target's data.

"I'm gonna go out on a limb and say you could use a bit of help there, bro," Faris called, cupping his hands over his mouth.

If Julian heard him, he didn't respond, as Velocimon threw himself forward and towards SkullSatamon, head bowed.

"Fast Strike!"

SkullSatamon only laughed, jumping out of the way and flapping his wings to remain out of the way of the dinosaur's attack.
"Cute!" the undead digimon chuckled, gripping his staff. "But come on, now, you're going to have to try better than that. Skull Hammer!"
He twirled his staff before slamming his feet back down onto the ground, swinging his staff over his head and smashing it back down. Fittingly enough with the name of the attack, Velocimon took the brunt of the attack to his skull helmet.

Julian had to abandon ship and jump off of his partner's back, as the attack was strong enough (unsurprising, perhaps, considering that SkullSatamon was a perfect-level) to send the dinosaur reeling.

"Crap, you okay?" Faris blurted, immediately running forward to inspect his brother; luckily, his own partner provided cover of sorts.

"Been a while since we fought a digimon that's actually had the presence of mind to talk, yeom," Shayumon remarked, flexing her claws into the dark soil, before throwing herself forward, twirling herself around on her arms as her tailfin began to glow.
"Tail Saw!"
She slashed her glowing tail-blade across SkullSatamon's ribcage, but it was like trying to cut a diamond with a fingernail -- it had not even the slightest discernable effect.

"Aw, crap, yeom," she drawled as SkullSatamon grinned.

"Skull Hammer!" he cackled, this time swinging his staff like a baseball bat-- with Shayumon as the baseball. Though it wasn't exactly a home run, it did send her tumbling backwards-- and into a tree.

"Something tells me," Ariamon mumbled, closing her eyes. "This isn't going to work, as it is." Toby paused, then nodded, looking at his D-GEAR as it began to glow once again, shaking hard, as his sheep partner was engulfed by the same light.

"Ariamon, virtuous digivolve to... Nimbimon!"

SkullSatamon turned his attentions to the newly larger sheep. "Fancy that," he remarked, twirling his staff. "An opponent that's -- you might say -- on the level." He let loose a nasty cackle.

"First: never laugh at your own jokes, it makes you look stupid," Shayumon groaned, picking herself up. "Second: that one was just lame, yeom."

"No comments from the peanut gallery, if you please," SkullSatamon replied offhandedly, before rushing forward at Nimbimon. The sheep handily leapt out of the way, landing behind the attacker-- but she did not, yet, counterattack herself.

This bought time for Shayumon, herself, to get a bit of a kick-- and she began to glow.

"Shayumon, virtuous digivolve to... MetalShayumon!"

Velocimon growled, having taken quite a while to gain his bearings again; he stepped up alongside his partner (beside whom, Faris, too, was standing). He said nothing, while Julian only nodded; Velocimon nodded in return, then ran forward.

Mid-stride, both he and Julian's D-GEAR began to glow.
"Velocimon, virtuous digivolve to... Triassimon!"
And suddenly, he was quite a good deal larger.

"... well, that's just not fair, now, is it," SkullSatamon grumbled, turning around to look at all three of his now-perfect-level adversaries; though his face, being bone, could not truly move, the little lights in his eyes that served as pupils narrowed somewhat.'
"No matter. I can call in the cavalry, too, you know."

SkullSatamon then reared his head back and let loose an unearthly howl.

"Sounds like a freakin' banshee with a sore throat!" Faris yelped, clapping his hands over his ears, and snarky as his summation was, it was at least accurate. However, after that, he didn't make any more comments-- because suddenly two more SkullSatamon, one from the left and one from the right (relative to the original, at least) leapt out of the dark trees around them and alighted on the ground.

"Come on, then, head case," the original SkullSatamon snickered, pointing at Triassimon. "You seem to have a beef with me, don't you? My friends can take yours on."

It devolved from there, very quickly, into a flurry of attacks from all sides; beams from one SkullSatamon's staff were countered with the glowing orbs fired from around Nimbimon's neck, while MetalShayumon's torpedos were knocked out of the air by expert swings of the other's staff.

All the while, blasts of blue and red fire from Triassimon's twin heads spat out at the first SkullSatamon, who was flying around nearer the dinosaur's faces and striking out with beams from his staff whenever he found an opening-- these were less rare than they might otherwise be, as Triassimon was splitting his attentions between both this one SkullSatamon, and also blasts of fire at the other two with whichever head was most convenient.

"You have to keep your heads in the game, buddy," the original SkullSatamon was taunting, getting a good wallop in on Triassimon's blue head as it spat a stream of fire at the SkullSatamon facing MetalShayumon-- in turn allowing the shark's boomerang arm-guards to send their target tumbling backwards.

"I am really, really starting to dislike this guy," Faris mumbled-- he, Julian, and Toby had moved to one side, out of the line of fire as best they could be. "His lines are terrible."

"What'd I say about the peanut gallery?" the first SkullSatamon sneered -- it seemed he was the only one really speaking -- and suddenly he was much too close to the kids for comfort. Triassimon roared-- the other two digimon were too preoccupied with their own SkullSatamon, and he himself was too large to effectively drive SkullSatamon away from the humans without risking injuring them himself.

SkullSatamon picked up on this, grinning-- and reached out a hand for Julian, flexing his claws.

Before he could grab the boy, however, SkullSatamon got a snarling cyborg shark smashing into him from the side; as soon as MetalShayumon smashed him out of the way...

"Orb Bomb!" Nimbimon reared her head back and released a blast of energy from the orbs around her neck, sending the original SkullSatamon tumbling backwards into the trees.

Some part of Julian's mind registered Faris yelling something akin to waste that loser!, but he was focused on Triassimon -- each head was spewing a stream of flames at either of the remaining two SkullSatamon, and before long they erupted into beams of light, their digitama falling to the ground

With a rumbling growl, the two-head dinosaur fixed all four of his eyes on where SkullSatamon -- the original -- had been sent tumbling into the trees.

Before long, the skeleton's shape burst out of the dark trees, his wings flapping to keep him afloat. "You realize, of course--"

"Dark Swarm."

He was cut short when suddenly he was engulfed by black; his glowing pupils constricted, as what looked like dark insects swarmed over his body, and within seconds he exploded into light.
Another dark shape flew up out of the trees, grabbing the egg in his claws.

Flapping his wings silently, the smallest Reaper, PicoDaemon, peered down at the group with his foggy blue eyes, face impassive.

Nimbimon's own eyes narrowed, and she pawed at the ground with her hoof. "Hello again," she said, voice even. PicoDaemon merely swivelled his eyes to look at her; he said nothing.

"Call me crazy," MetalShayumon rumbled, flexing her claws, "but isn't it counterproductive if you guys keep offing your own underlings?"

That did elicit a reaction from PicoDaemon.

"He was not of Lord Era," the small Mega said, voice devoid of emotion. "He could have jeopardized his goals by attacking you." A short pause. "I believe he knew this. We of Lord Era send our... appreciations, that you are so willing to help us on this front."

"Wait, what?" Faris cut in, blinking a couple times, his face falling.

"I am not obligated," PicoDaemon said, closing his eyes, "to explain anything to you. It would be a waste of my time. Farewell."

The last thing he did was allow SkullSatamon's digitama to fall from his claws; they heard it smash on the ground, and then PicoDaemon himself was gone from sight.

With a resigned sigh, all three of the perfect levels released their energy and returned to their child forms.

"I don't understand them," Iguamon said, stretching out his limbs as soon as he was in his smaller form.

"We will, I'm sure," Julian said, frowning and shaking his head. What he meant was I am going to get some form of answer if it kills me, but he did not say it.

"With hope," Toby said, frowning a bit and nodding, and looking around -- not just at the digimon, but at the other two boys, too. "You're all okay?" He got a series of nods in return.

For a few minutes, they milled about; they would continue their search soon, yes, but they had earned at least a small respite. Faris, with Delfinimon hot on his heels, took a few steps away to sit down next to a tree, letting out a possibly over-dramatic 'whoof' of exhaustion as he did.
The dolphin looked up at Faris, and she spoke in low tones, trying to read his face. When she spoke, she was careful to be far quieter than was her wont.

"So what do you think of what you heard last night, yeom?" her face was sympathetic, but she got a (clearly affected-- clearly fake) look of confusion on her partner's face in return.

"I have no idea what you're talking about, 'ya big tuna fish," Faris said, smiling a smile that didn't quite reach the eyes.

Delfinimon was about to reply, but she was cut short before a single word could make its way out.

A large, familiar red tiger burst through the brush, opposite the direction PicoDaemon had went; he was followed by Kaizokumon, and then Andrea and Emily.
The reason this interrupted Delfinimon: they nearly bulldozed her and Faris.

"Wow, uh," Faris said, blinking a couple times once he re-gained his bearings. "... looks like you've been having fun."

Andrea sighed, rolling her eyes. "You have no idea."

"You have no idea how nice it is to see you guys, too," Emily said, rubbing the back of her head.

For a while, they relaxed. They allowed Andrea and Emily to sit down, as well as both of their partners to drop to child level once mor. They exchanged explanations of their experiences since waking up; it was clear, then, that as much as the trio of boys and their digimon were 'allowing' the duo of girls and their partners to rest, they were just as much resting themselves.

They rested for a short while; perhaps they felt that the heat was at least a bit off, now that five out of seven duos were together. Before long, however, they began to walk again, in search of their missing comrades.. ... this, however, did take a significantly longer time, and it was nearing the end of another day (again, not that they could particularly tell, by the lighting) when they got any hints.

They were drawn by the sounds of a scuffle not far away, and upon checking their D-GEARs it indeed brought up a single flashing blip.
Julian and Andrea were at eachother's throats to try and decide who of the two would lead the way.

"And this is why we have goggles the boy scout to lead, instead of these two," Faris remarked, putting his hands on his hips and raising an eyebrow, as they moved forward with some trepidation.

The group stopped near the edge of a large clearing; it was hard to make out, but they could see a trio of dark shapes near the other side. One was handing an egg to another, who nodded and turned to leave. The group didn't disturb the farewells that were being exchanged; they couldn't place the odd shaep out, familiar though it was... but one was clearly serpentine, the other clearly human.

"Hey!" Emily said, cupping her hands over her mouth, after a few tense moments of silence following the departure of the third shape into the underbrush. The human shape was visibly startled, looking over; the group of five humans and five digimon emerged, then-- and became six and six, with Luke and Sampamon added to the roster once more.

Six down, one to go.

"I'm going to put forth the motion that we try to, like, sleep, before we go tromping through the woods any further, yeah?" Emily proposed; the decision passed unanimously.

They rested in the clearing; Luke shared his own experience while separated, a bit sheepish; the digimon all but applauded when the news of Sampamon finally reaching her Perfect level was revealed. He may or may not have not chosen to remark on the final events -- of his handing the egg to Ichimon, or that the digimon they ran into was an Ichimon at all -- but that was far from the point.

Andrea, though she didn't say it, made a note to ask Luke -- once they found Simon -- about whatever it was that Epidemon had said; little did she know that Julian had questions of his own, relating to PicoDaemon's words.
They held their tongues, however, and went to sleep.

The next day, it seemed that no matter where they looked, Simon and Egakumon were nowhere to be found. They searched for the bulk of the day, until what might have been early evening, but they found neither hide nor hair of their de facto leaders.

"You'd think, with how... un-subtle they usually are, it'd be easier to find them, yeom," Delfinimon remarked around mid-day.

It wasn't much long after her remark that they were reaching the edge of the area. They assumed they were headed towards a Proxy area. They were approaching the mountains that had peered up over the trees, and ahead of them, the path was plain to see, rocky and rugged and leading up into the peaks.

"We should maybe... rest here," Toby said, a bit uncertain; Lammon nodded.

"It's as good a place as any. Perhaps they simply weren't dropped into this area at all," the sheep mused, sitting down.

Indeed, the others settled down as well; they weren't speaking much, all six humans and all six digimon lost in their own mental worlds.

"Hey, guys!"

Simon's familiar voice was unmistakable; the group looked around, and eventually saw him. The boy was seated on a small shelf of rock at the mountain's foot, looking sleepy and tired and decidedly exhausted, but there was a sort of undeniable energy exuding from his person.
In his arms, a small, familiar white and blue head with arms was asleep, eyes slid closed and breathing slow.

[Chapter 34: End]