Thanks for reviewing. Interesting that you thought that at first, then again having viruses as the bad guys is the most common thing that happens anyway. I've noticed int the shows, fanfics.. hence this fic. Plus I felt like doing something different.
I actually had this chapter, and the next one already written, but I'm staggering it, and trying to buy time to get the third ready. Anyway here's the first real chapter.
Chapter One – The Virus Problem
Running. That was the only though that filled his mind. That and escape. His breath was coming in short ragged gasps, but he didn't stop, only forced himself to keep going, to get away. Behind him he could hear yells. Demands that he should stop, but they were faint, and that spurred him on in his attempt to lose his pursuer in the dark alleys of the city.
Few ever ventured behind the back of the large buildings that made up the bustling Caermin City, which had been built in commemoration of the partnership between human and digimon. After all it was a maze, a sprawling mess of winding passages that served his purpose. Getting away. Getting out could come later, once the danger had passed. If it passed.
"Come on Dracmon!" The youth dared to call over his shoulder as he ran, hoping their pursuers where too far behind to hear him. Sweat rolled down his face, despite the cold night air. "They're going to catch up"
"I'm coming, I'm coming! I can't help it if I've got short legs" His partner behind him called back. The boy looked back over his shoulder at his partner running behind him. Dracmon was slightly smaller than the average rookie, but was; in the digimon's own opinion, one of the scariest looking. Completely covering his head was a black mask, leaving only his grinning mouth free. Where most people's eyes would be, on his mask were two eyes like marks, the right one red, the left one green. His true eyes were on the palms of his clawed hand, again the right one being red, and the left green. Adding the spike on various parts of his body, wing like appendages joined together with a blue pendant, and a forked tail, Dracmon thought he looked pretty fearsome. Others thought differently.
"Did I just hear you say something bad about yourself, or has my hearing gone?" The boy called over his shoulder, allowing the surprise and joking nature to overcome his fears, at least briefly. The boy, still running, looked past his partner, into the darkness behind them trying to see through it, and catch sight of their pursuers. Because, the fact was, whether Dracmon was scary or not, he was definitely one thing. A virus and that was all that mattered to those chasing them.
In the city everyone who had a partner had to register them, and inform the authorities when anything happened, such as they had digivolved, as well as into what. When Ricki's partner had become a virus, the boy had chosen to lie, claiming the digimon had been destroyed in an attack by a wild Stegomon that had rampaged through his neighbourhood, instead hand him other to the VCA. Except now, 5 years later, they had found out, and now he was a criminal alongside his partner, regardless of his age.
"Very funny Ricki. We're being chased by people who want to chuck you in prison, and turn me into tiny bits of data to float forever around the world. And you feel like making jokes" His partner scowled at him, before dropping one of his hands to his side, palm facing behind him, also trying to see those chasing them. "I can't see them" He informed his partner, who was once again looking forward.
"I don't either. Let's risk a break" The boy skidded to a halt. Part of him wanted to keep running, but he knew he was at his limit. If they didn't rest now he wouldn't have the energy to go much further. So he allowed himself to stand there, half bent over, breathing heavily. His legs hurt from the running, as did the rest of his muscles, and lungs . "Besides, it's possible we've managed to lose them" He excused, looking back the way they had come.
His partner halted next to him. "I don't know. I've heard the VCA are stubborn when it comes to chasing down viruses" He replied, one hand looking behind him. The other was focused on his partner, who was obviously exhausted from the chase. Dracmon studied the fifteen year old boy in front of him. With his spiked yet messy brown hair, and brown eyes he looked like the average kid, not someone who was wanted by the authorities.
Now that Ricki had stopped running, and got hold of his breath, he became aware of the cold. "Brr," He folded his arms and hunched up. "Great, we're far away from home, which we can't go back to anyway because people are chasing us, and it also happens to be one of the coldest nights we've had in a long time." He shivered again. Now he had another reason to regret running.
"I told you we should have stood and fought. I could have handled it!" Dracmon shot at his partner. The little digimon wasn't feeling the cold. Or at least not as badly as his partner, being human, was. "But now we've been running, I'm tired, and can't fight as well"
"No you couldn't. VCA train their people to the best of their abilities. Besides even if you could have beaten them, that wouldn't have stopped them sending someone else after us" Ricki tried to point out to his partner.
"Then I'd beat them too" Dracmon growled, looking back the way they had come again.
"Sure you would" Ricki said sarcastically straightening up. Glancing behind them, he finally managed to convince himself that their pursuers had been lost. "Come on let's try and get out of here, and try to find some shelter, before we, or at least I, freeze" He turned and began to walk in the opposite direction from where his partner was looking, still worn out from the run. Dracmon nodded briefly, and followed him. Together the two partners walked, working their way through the alleys, attempting to find a point of reference for them to work out where to go.
Eventually they made their way out, only to noticed that the sky had darkened, and the night truly begun. Ricki sighed as he looked up, his arms still wrapped around him in a futile attempt to ward off the cold. He didn't know what they would do know. With the VCA after them, there were little options. Staying in the city definitely wasn't one of them,
"We'll manage" Dracmon said from beside him as they reached the large river that ran through the centre of the city. Ricki looked to the rookie, surprised, as always, that the digimon could guess what his was thinking. Silently he turned back to gaze into the depths of the water, wondering whether there was any point in running. Back in the alley escape had been all he had been able to think about, but now that he could think about other things, the chances of he and his partner looked thin.
"You sure? They're not going to stop looking for us Dracmon. They never stop looking." The statement was taken from a broadcast well known throughout the area, by the Commander of the VCA, at least it was supposed to be, and a face never appeared. He claimed they refused to let even a single virus escape and cause trouble, and as long as they knew they were out there they would keep looking, keep 'bringing justice'.
Not that it was justice. Though Dracmon and his ego could be very annoying to the boy at times, he had never been able to bring himself to believe his partner was a threat to the society. What the VCA wanted was murder, murder of his best and closest friend, and Ricki wasn't able to put up with that. Which was why he had lied, why he had run, but now it was all beginning to seem futile.
"Of course I'm sure. After all, this is us we're talking about."Ricki couldn't help but give a short smile, sure that when Dracmon said 'us' he meant 'me'. His thoughts were confirmed as the digimon began to ramble on. "I could take on any of those morons, all of them even at the same time. I'm not going to let them get in my way. If any them try to harm us I'll show them and then..." As the digimon continued to boast on Ricki let his smile grow wider. He always found it difficult to remain upset with the arrogant rookie around him. Others didn't know how he could stand him, but it was because he was his partner and friend.
"Let's go. We still need that shelter" The boy looked around as he spoke and began walking. One good thing about the cold night was the lack of people on the streets. It meant less people to identify them. Even so he made a note to try and find something like a hood or cap to hide his face when he had the chance.
However, while the streets were indeed clear of a human presence, it was not clear of watchers. Up above them, peering over a small ledge, a small figure watched them with interest, dark eyes wide with amazement. It had been lying on the roof top bored, reporting in only when necessary, certain that nothing of interest would happen as usual. As they got further away, the figure flapped a pair of wing like protrusions that grow from its head in the place of ears, allowing it to glide to the next building, and keep them in sight.
It wasn't going to lose them. No, this was an excellent find, worthy of merit. If they really were what they appeared to be, it would be a great find, useful to their plans. His mistress would be pleased to hear about what he had found, he was sure. As he continued to watch the pair, he made up his mind about what to do. He would report to his mistress, and then he would follow them, to make sure that no-one else got them first.
The room was large and filled with noise. Screens covered the walls and desks, each one showing different information to the one who manned it, each one tracking a different part of the city, or writing different reports. Suspended above them all was a larger screen, which displayed all of the recent data that was deemed important in different boxes. Sitting on the far side of the room, watching the screen was a man dressed in a black suit, with sunglasses that protected his eyes from the glare of the screens around him, at the same time hiding his face.
His light brown hair was combed neatly, with a short fringe falling on either side of his face as his lounged in the high back chair, his arms on the rests at either side, his face directed at the screen, though for all the people working on either side of him he could instead be watching them, his glasses hiding where he was looking. Next to him, back leaning against the chain sat what appeared to be a long eared rabbit, with a crescent moon on her forehead. Her own eyes were closed, but the workers knew from experience that did not mean she wasn't paying attention.
All of a sudden one of the workers, one who kept contact with those outside stood up, looked up, his eyes directed towards he suited man. "Sir." He spoke hesitantly yet urgently, and the response was instantaneous. The suited man stood up and walked over, everyone else who was standing moving to get out of his way. The rabbit remained at his chair, but one eye half opened keeping an eye on her partner.
"What is it?" The question was asked the second the man was standing behind the one who had spoken, who had already returned to his screen to ensure all the data he was receiving was correct, as it kept being updated.
"About 6 hours ago we received information that someone, a boy by the name of Richard Maits..." At this he pulled up a profile, showing the fifteen year old's face, as well as information on his partner "...had been hiding his partner, a virus, he..."
"He'd lied about it being killed. I remember." The man had received the report himself. Such things always came to him first. "I sent Marvel to investigate, did I not?"
"Yes sir. About an hour ago, however the boy appears to have noticed him coming, and fled, and while Marvel gave chase, he lost him in the alleyways, Sir."
The man nodded. While Marvel and his partner were strong, they were used mainly to contain virus. When it came to a run instead of a fight, the fact he had lost them was little surprise. It was however a problem.
"Is there any idea where he is now" A high pitched voice perked up from the floor. Both men looked down to see the rabbit digimon had appeared at there said.
"No, Lunamon, Ma'am." The worker replied. "I've been looking, but it's too dark to make use of any cameras. The best we know is that he's likely by the river."
"Is Jackson..."Lunamon started, only to be cut off by her partner.
"Not back yet. Won't be for a while unless they make a breakthrough." The man studied the information on the screen, staying silent for a few moments before speaking. "Is Agent Maygold free?"
The worker nodded and, without needing the follow up order, began typing a command in the computer before touching a button on the headset he wore, and speaking a few words to the person on the other side, before turning to the suited man. "He's on his way Sir."
The man nodded his eyes still on the screen. "Is there anyone else free?"
The worker typed a few more commands on the board in front of him, before giving an answer. "Not in the direct area. No-one will be able to get there for a while"
There was a pause, before the man spoke quietly "Send Gray."
"Gray? Are you sure sir?" The man asked, clearly surprised by the order. Lunamon also looked a bit confused at the man's choice in agent.
"I'm sure. Nothing is more important than ensuring no virus escapes us. She'll be fine." The last sentence was almost whispered as the man began to walk away, leaving the worker to call after him.
The digimon nervously surveyed his surroundings, desperately trying to figure out what he should do next. He was surrounded on all sides, and there was little opportunity to escape, but he had to escape. Had to get free, then gain the advantage, show his enemy he wasn't about to roll over and give up. Failure would mean a fate worse than death.
Finally he formulated a plan, one which, if it went unnoticed, had a chance of success. Making sure there were no faults, the consequences of it not working in his head, he readied to move, stretching out his hand and...
"Come on you two. Not again"
The voice startled the digimon and he looked up, to see a kid who looked around eleven with short black hair facing him, and look of disbelief showing in his green eyes. The door he had just entered shut behind him as he walked up to the digimon. "Bryn, now is not the right time" The digimon replied nervously.
"Why? She beating you again? As always?" There was a slight welsh accent in the boy's words as he spoke, and while his words were stern, there was a twinkle of amusement in his eyes. "What's the stake this time?"
"Loser does all the winners chores for a week" The voice came from opposite the digimon, and he turned his purple head, long ears twitching in annoyance to face his opponent. Around fifteen, she shared the same green eyes and black hair as the boy occupying the room with them; only her hair was longer and tied up behind her, leaving her fringe to fall on either side of her face. She also spoke with the same accent, except hers was slightly more noticeable.
"I don't believe it" Bryn shook his head. "How many times does she have to beat you before you learn Gazimon? And Katie, will you stop forcing my partner into such things."
"Hey. It was him who begged me to do it. I just accepted" The girl threw up her hands in defence, though there was a smile on her face. Obviously she was happy at the prospect of no chores.
"I didn't beg. I merely suggested a rematch." Gazimon shot back. "Besides, I'm not going to lose this time. I have you right where I want you" He gestured to the table between them. On it laid a chequered black and white board, on which were several chess pieces, the majority of which were black.
"Yeah, sure Gazimon" The boy laughed. "Unless Katie's changed her policy of always being black, you appear to be losing."
"I'm not losing, merely playing with her" The hare digimon protested. Across from him, the girl raised an eyebrow.
"Really? Somehow I doubt that. Want to take your move and prove it?" The girl challenged, a smirk on her face.
Growling the digimon shot his hand out and made the first move in his plan, grinning wildly. This time she was going to lose. He looked up, ready to see a look of surprise on her face, only to find one of disappointment.
"That's all you could come up with. I don't know why I bother" She sighed, shaking her head mockingly.
"Oh yeah, why don't you move then, and we'll see" The digimon snapped back, only to falter as the smirk on the girls face widened, as she looked at the board.
Lazily her hand flicked out, moving one of her pieces. "Checkmate, I believe"
Gazimon stared wild eyed at the board, trying to figure out what had gone, when he realised something. "Wait a minute. You could have made that move ages ago. Why didn't you?"
"Because, my dear Gazimon" The girl started as she stood up from her chair. "I was playing with you" The smirk was still present on her face as she turned to Bryn. "Did you need something?" The words were gentle, different from the tone she used on Gazimon.
"Ah yes" The boy's eyes widened as he remembered. "Kai reported in. He thinks he's found another virus tamer"
"Where?" The girl replied, reaching to a black jacket that lay over the back of her chair, and pulling it on.
"Near the river. Ryan's already heading towards them, but we think others also know about him"
Nodding to show she understood, the girl reached a hand up to her ear, pushing back her hair to reveal a small black earpiece with pink highlights. Tapping one of the pink buttons on it she spoke clearly. "Meet me outside. We've got a new target."
There was a response, from the other end of the head set, and the girl grinned. "Well I'm off then."She smiled warmly to Bryn, before heading towards the door. "Be careful Bryn. Oh, and Gazimon don't forget my chores." She gave a final smirk at the digimon before finally exiting the room
"Be careful too" Bryn called after her in a slightly worried tone.
Next to him Gazimon was still staring at board, stopping only to glare at her as she called out. Grumbling he began to pack away the board. "I know she's your sister and all, but there are times I can't stand her" He complained to his partner, but the boy just laughed.
"It's your own fault for challenging her you know. I don't understand why you do it time and time again. No-one can beat her at chess, or tactics. You know that."
Gazimon just continued to grumble.
The boy walked quickly, his eyes open for any sign of movement that might lead to the discovery of his target or his partner. Besides him walked an average sized rookie digimon, who at first resembled humanoid wolf with a horn coming from his head, however on closer inspection, it was revealed to be more reptilian, the fur a coat which he wore giving him a wolfish appearance. Every now and then the digimon would raise his head and sniff the air, trying to catch the scent of their two targets.
"Notice anything yet?" The boy asked, still walking, his hand firmly embedded in the pockets of his blue jacket, which had the VCA logo both on the right lapel, and the back. Underneath he wore a black t-shirt, along blue uniform trousers.
"No Leo. Maybe they did not come this way?" The digimon answered, looking around. "The information was simply a guess after all."
"Maybe" The boy answered, running a hand through his blonde hair. "But still, we must keep looking. If they are here, we need to find them." He increased his pace, forcing the digimon at his side to do the same.
"That may be true, Leo, but if he is not here, we are wasting time which could be used searching other areas." The digimon's voice was calm and gentle, not wishing to antagonize his partner.
For a second Leo didn't answer, just kept walking, before he sighed. "Maybe your right but..." He stopped noticing something up ahead. Signalling to his partner to stay quiet, he moved forward, hoping to get a better look before being noticed. As he walked closer, his digimon behind him, the shape he spotted became more defined, splitting into two, a human and a digimon. They were walking slowly ahead of them, unaware they had been noticed.
Getting closer he was able to make out the feature of the pair. A short black digimon, and a brown haired boy. It matched the basic description he had been given, which was reason enough for him to suspect they were his quarry.
"Hey you two!" He called out, speeding up his pace again as the figure stopped, and began to turn around. "On the authority of the VCA I order you to stop so that..." He didn't get to finish. The second he had said 'VCA' the pair had taken off running, heading towards the shelter of the alleyways. Gritting his teeth, Leo ran in pursuit, his partner following at his side.
"Stop!"He repeated as he took up pursuit, the irritation at having to chase them showing in his voice.
"Leo" His partner's voice came from beside him. "I suspect they will try the same trick they did with Marvel. We cannot lose sight of them, or they will likely be able to get away."
Leo didn't answer, just kept running, determination showing on his face as he pursued the pair, following as they turned yet another corner, only to skid to a halt. The pair had stopped running, and were now standing facing the VCA team. In the boys hand was a familiar shaped device. A black hexagonal shaped object, with a hexagonal screen outlined in red in the middle. The device had four red buttons, two on either side of the screen, the speaker holes below it, and another hole above it, allowing for the device to be placed on a key ring or chain, though it appeared the boy just kept his in a pocket.
Sighing, Leo reached into his own jacket pocket, feeling for his own device. The presence of the digivice meant his target planned to fight, instead of just giving up or running. It also meant he could almost certainly digivolve, otherwise there was little point for it. Taking out his own digivice, the body of which was grey, with light blue buttons, Leo once again spoke. "I advise against this action. It'll only make matters worse."
"How can they get worse?" The boy asked back, gripping his digivice. "You're already going to kill Dracmon, and imprison me." His words were full of hate, and Leo realised there was little reasoning with the couple. The boy's partner was already crouched in a fighting position, yet at the same time he could see both were tired, no doubt from the run earlier, which was probably the reason for them choosing a fight over another chase.
"So be it." He muttered to himself, not bothering to explain the reasons for the VCA. They never understood that he was merely protecting the city from a threat. Raising his own digivice he looked to his partner, who had remained silent throughout the short exchange. "Ready Gabumon?"
The reptilian digimon just nodded, his eyes focusing on the target. Leo knew his partner preferred talking to fighting, but he too appeared to have noticed the futility of such an action, as he settled into his own stance, waiting.
Taking a deep breath the VCA agent took stepped forward, raising the blue and grey device as the screen began to glow, a series of blue ones and zeros running across the screen. "Gabumon. Howl!" As he spoke Gabumon began to glow along with the digivice, his form turning into a series of ones and zeros as his shape began to grow and change.
The second Gabumon started to digivolve Ricki raised his own digivice, somewhat surprised the VCA agent had acted first. "Evolution, activate!" he called out his own phrase, as the screen again began to glow, except this time the numbers that surrounded Dracmon as he began to change were red.
Soon the lights faded, leaving behind two different digimon from the rookies that had stood in the same places only moments before. Next to Leo was a large blue and white striped wolf, this time a true beast instead of just a reptile beneath a piece of fur. From each of his shoulders protrude a trio of quills, with smaller version coming from his hindquarters.
The VCA agent himself was wearing a triumphant look on his face at the sight of his digimon as he slowly turned to see what the virus had become. Whatever he is, there is no way he'll beat Garurumon. His partner had fought many battles, though admittedly most were training, and the majority had been won by the blue wolf.
However has his eyes fixed on his partner's opponent his determination faltered briefly, the expression on his face flickering briefly to fright. Facing him was another wolf, purple with a silver stomach, ruff and face, along with red markings on his back and tail. Whereas Garurumon was simply a wolf however, the viral beast had metal blades attached to his feet as claws, as well as other spikes and blades coming from his ankles, resulting in any form of scratch causing a lot of damage .From his shoulders, curved slightly around his neck were wing shaped structures. A similar pair came down of either side of his face, guarding his yellow eyes from the side.
Subconsciously the boy took a step back, somewhat shocked at the fearsome appearance of the champion. The digimon noticed and a slight smirk formed on his face, obviously happy at the idea his appearance was frightening, despite Leo quickly replacing his determined look on his face as he reached for his digivice and, after pressing a couple of buttons, read the details that began to scroll across the screen.
"Sangloupmon. A champion level virus digimon, naturally." He frowned. There was little data on the digimon. It was rare, and that meant he couldn't warn Garurumon about any tricks he might have. "Just be careful, and end it quickly" he ordered lowering the digivice.
Garurumon nodded and turned back to his opponent, as if studying him, before suddenly charging forward catching the virus digimon by surprise as he opened his mouth, unleashing a set of blue flames from his mouth at the virus.
Surprised at the sudden charge Sangloupmon had begun to respond with his own, only to attempt a leap to the side when he noticed the attack, a little too late Growling as they clipped and burned his shoulder he whirled around and leapt again, this time directly at Garurumon, lashing out with one of his lethal paws.
However the blue wolf just dodged with a practiced technique and charged at the blood wolf, slamming into him with his shoulder and knocking the virus on the floor. Slowly walking up to the downed digimon Garurumon placed a paw on Sangloupmon's shoulder keeping him down as he readied another attack, his mouth brimming with flames as he waited for Leo's order to revert him to a rookie.
As he'd watched Leo's triumphant smile had returned, and grown bigger as his digimon easily beat the virus. It obvious that despite his appearance, the digimon had had little practice in his champion form, making it a simple task to beat him.
On the other side of the two wolves Ricki watched with horror, surprised at how quickly it was over. Leo took satisfaction at the surprise, after all the kid had broken the law. He had no reason to feel sorry for him. Virus digimon were a threat, and he was just eliminating that threat. If the kid had wanted to get away he shouldn't have attempted a fight, a fight he should have realised he would lose.
Turning back to Garurumon he decided to end it before the boy started pleading. Despite his convictions the pleading always got to him. Looking his partner in the eye, he nodded.