Sweat poured down Rex's forehead unable to move due to the fact that he was chained to a log. The sweat might have been due to the fact he was near an active volcano, but it was a lot more likely it was due to the fact his own teammates, this friends were about to throw him at it. One by one they stacked up on top of one another, Flint, Fonz, Jack, Dan, and finally Rex.
"Can't we talk this over?" cried Rex pleadingly.
"Sorry, but it's do or die time," replied Dan.
"Don't complain so much," replied Fonz. "It's really uncool."
"Jack?" asked Rex, hoping to get through to him.
"You know me," he replied. "This is one of those rare times that my butt's not the one that needs to be pulled out of the fire and I'm enjoying it. But later, if you survive, we can get some lunch and laugh about this. I don't know about you, but I'm in the mood for barbecue."
"Flint," wept Rex fearing that if he hadn't spoken up yet he probably wouldn't.
He remained silent, but gave a nod signaling everyone to get ready. They tightened their muscles as they knew they had to have perfect timing. Flint started running towards the volcano and after a few steps jumped with all his might, carrying everyone on his back. The others then jumped off from their gaining additional altitude till it was just Dan and Rex.
"There's still time," wailed Rex. "Please don't throw me!"
"Sorry," replied Dan. "I do this for love." And with that said he chucked Rex, like a football, with all his might towards the volcano. Rex spiraled through the air seeing the peaceful sky one moment and then the bubbling lava the next. He continued screaming, recalling how this madness started this very morning.
"No way," replied Flint and Rex adamantly. "We're not doing it."
"But little Danny here wants to help me so why won't you?" Angel asked. "After all you guys are my knights."
"Forget them," replied Dan with hearts in his eyes. "I will do anything for you whether it is to march through the desert or swim a whole ocean." He burned with the red heart passion of love and waved a flag with Angel's picture in the air.
"He's really infatuated with her," whispered Flint a little frightened and creeped out.
"I'm still trying to figure out where he got the flag," added Rex.
Flint and Rex had such high hopes for the day especially since Flint got a new red jacket and Rex a green bandana. When they arrived at the Guild they ran into a Gatomon and instantly Dan was on his knees proposing to her. They knew immediately it couldn't be anyone but Angel who sang at the Cat's Cradle.
The last thing they wanted was to get involved with her again, especially since she almost put them into massive debt with an eating contest to make them her slaves. Even though they won they still kind of were, though she said they were her knights, but a slave by any other name would stink as much to them.
"Sorry, Dan," she replied, "But I need five knights."
Just then, Jack and Fonz emerged through the doors in a hurry. Jack was sporting his new pair of jeans complete with a belt and a buckle.
"You guys could have at least waited for us to get up," panted Jack. "You know I hate to hurry."
"It's all cool," replied Fonz. "Did you pick a job for us yet?"
"We were about to when," Flint began to say.
Dan quickly wrapped Fonz and Jack between his arms and carried them to Angel. "We have five teammates now," he informed her.
"Well that makes things work out nicely then," she told him and gave him a pat on the head. "Good boy." Dan wagged his tail with happiness and Jack looked like he was going to barf in disgust.
"Hi, Angel," said Fonz. "How's it going?"
"Oh, Fonzie," she said in a delighted tone. "I haven't seen you in ages. I didn't know you were with these guys now."
"You two know each other?" asked Rex.
"We go way back," Fonz explained. "But can you tell your puppy love puppy to put us down?"
"Oh, right," she replied. "Sorry. Dan, honey, can you put them down?" He nodded in agreement and released them, letting them flop to the ground.
"So, what's this thing you need us to do?" asked Fonz.
"She wants us to be on this team thing," explained Flint. "It's supposed to be some sort of competition, but why should we give her our time when she's got an army of adoring fans that would jump at such an opportunity to be with her?"
"I told you," she replied annoyance spawning in her words. "I can't ask any of them."
"Why not?" asked Rex. "You're still not telling us everything."
The words seemed to be on her tongue, but she didn't seem to want to utter them. Fonz put a hand on her shoulder and told her, "I've known you for a long time and I know what upsets you. It's Lily isn't it?" Angel responded with a gentle nod.
"Why's she so upset about a plant?" asked Jack.
"Not a plant," explained Fonz. "Well actually a plant Digimon, a Palmon named Lily. She's been Angel's competition as the Digital World's most premier idol for a while now. Angel's always been the most popular, but by the looks of things something's happened."
"Yes," she replied. "She showed up the other day and stole all my knights and my fans bit by bit in one night."
"How'd she do that?" asked Flint.
"She just got a few lousy hands and that was it," stated Angel with malice.
"Hands?" asked Rex. "Like Poker? You gambled them all away?"
"Well, an idol's fans are more important to them than money," she explained. "She lured me in losing a few hands to throw me off guard. Then the next thing I know I'm losing all my chips, uh, I mean, fans one hand after another. Since you guys weren't there I couldn't very well bet you, but Lily didn't seem content with me even having you which is why she's agreed to return my fans if I can beat her in a competition of my choosing."
"Why would she risk all the fans she has for just the five of us?" asked Jack with suspicion.
"Well I did mention you were the team that took on the Excavator Guild and won and that you're the closest team to the Infinity Zone among a few other things," she explained. Though some of it might have been true Flint and most of the others weren't too thrilled about being used as betting tools, especially by someone they didn't consider to be their owner.
"Well, we're not interested," said Flint.
"Find someone else," added Rex.
"I don't like dames playing games with me," stated Jack.
"We can't just turn down the lady," said Fonz. "That's uncool." As he said those words, the short black afro on his head wobbled before ballooning into a heart and changing to soft pink hue.
"You just have a crush on her too!" shouted Flint annoyed that yet another of his teammates was lost to love's evil embrace.
"Well, if you guys are doing it or not, I don't care," said Jack walking to the door. "I'm going back to the campsite and taking a nap."
As he passed Angel she gave him a kiss on his forehead and he stopped in his tracks. As he turned to face Flint and Rex they were terrified to find hearts in his eyes. "I'll do anything you want me too," he said in a love struck voice.
"That's three down," she said in a dominating tone. "Well boys?"
"That won't work on us," explained Flint. "We've resisted your power before and we won't falter."
"It's alright," said Angel. "I've worked it out with the Treasure Hunter's Guild and it'll be the same as if you were doing what you do every day, but in this case you'll get to go to a location on an island."
"An island?" asked Rex. "What's so special about that?"
"Well you guys can only travel on foot," explained Angel. "It'd take you all a lot of time to go to any of the further locations and some of them you'd need a different sort of transportation like a boat or a plane. Even a lot of the higher ranked teams cannot afford a vehicle let alone have someone who can drive them properly. If you do this for me and win I'll give you a vehicle of your very own."
Flint thought about this for a while. He paced a bit with Rex watching him. Angel watched him pace as well confident she already knew his answer. "Alright," he replied. "It's a deal."
"Flint, not you too!" cried Rex.
"We agreed to find the Infinity Zone and we can't allow such a good opportunity to pass us by. Besides, it isn't like we won't win. We've been through a lot already and we can handle a little idol competition."
"Well, I still don't like it and there's nothing you can do to change my mind," stated Rex putting his food down. A short while later they were flying in Angel's personal plane towards the island everyone sitting, waiting in anticipation except for Rex who had been tied to a log with chains and muzzled to keep him quiet. It wasn't very long before they spotted the island and started to land; the war of the idols was about to begin.
As they landed they found their opponent's already waiting for them. It was Lily and behind her was a few characters Rex and Flint recognized Gabumon, Gaomon, and Gomamon. There was also a Mammothmon and a Tyrannomon behind them that made everyone else seem puny by comparison. Flint smiled, eager for the challenge while Rex was a bit nervous due to the fact he was utterly defenseless as he was.
Angel walked over to Lily and they expected a harsh exchange of words to be made. "Lily!" exclaimed Angel happily. "So good to see you."
"Likewise," replied Lily. "This competition is going to be so fun."
"That's great!" added Angel pouring on the sugar. "Kisses, girlfriend." They then proceeded to kiss the air on one side of the others face and then the other.
"What are they doing?" asked Flint full of confusion.
"As idols they can't very well act nasty and violent," explained Rich, Gatomon's Patamon manager and the pilot of her plane as he just started coming down the stairs. "Basically, the sweeter they talk the more malice they are feeling towards the other and right now I'd hate to be stuck between those two."
"Well, why aren't you competing then?" asked Rex.
"That's the power of a contract," he replied. "Under no circumstance can I be used in any part of a bet, burnt, thrown out a window, or forced to get her tacos after 8 PM."
"That's a weird thing to add into a contract," commented Flint.
"Not really," he explained. "I've had to renew her contract with me several times and I've made sure to prevent past incidents." Rex and Flint couldn't help but pity the guy.
Once the pleasantries were behind them they were brought to a pair of circles that both teams stood in (Tyrannomon and Mammothmon were too big and had to stand beside it. Then Lily explained the rules.
"This will be a simple exploration game," she explained. "There is a temple located on the other side of the island and the first team to locate it will win. There is a catch, however. One team will take the left side of the island while the other gets the right side as to prevent any cheating from the other team. Any questions?"
Nobody raised their hand at first, but then the Tyrannomon did and spoke in a surprisingly high voice. "Um... why is that guy tied to a log?"
"Because I don't want to be part of this nonsense!" cried Rex.
"I must say you have a real interesting team there," said Lily trying to be insulting. "I'm sure you'll win no problem."
"Of course I have to," replied Angel. "I have to win back my fans after all."
"Then you won't mind making the bet a little spicier then?" she asked.
"Like what?" asked Angel sensing something fishy.
"How about," she said with a grin. "The loser will have to open for the other at their next show."
In that instant it seemed like Angel was exploding with rage, though her appearance seemed no different. Rex and Flint didn't know what was so bad about that and they were afraid to ask judging from how scared Lily's team looked. They would have asked the rest of their team if they understood, but they were still love struck and Rich was gone and the song of a plane taking off could be heard in the distance.
"Agreed," she said in a voice that was evident she could barely keep her anger hidden.
"Good," said Lily. "Then without further ado, let's get this contest under way.
Tyrannomon quickly rushed at the thick jungle they had to go through. At his size it would have been a difficult task, but with his strength he brushed it aside with ease, clearing a path for Mammothmon who had the rest of their team riding on his back.
Angel scowled seeing that having so many fans made it easy to pick the best contenders for any situation while she had to make do with whoever she could scrape together. Lily didn't even need the three members from her entourage, but did so just to agitate her.
"Alright!" she said realizing getting made about it now was not going to help her win. "Let's get going too!"
Jack, Dan, and Fonz followed her orders and immediately ran after her into their side of the island. Flint had to carry Rex, log and all. It was a good thing he was strong for his size or it'd be a lot more troublesome.
"Wait up guys," he called to them as he tried to maneuver through the jungle. He received no answer. "Is anyone even listening?" Flint continued moving forward, but holding onto the log made it hard to move and see in front of me. Suddenly, he took a step and found no ground. With all his might he tried to keep him and Rex from falling, but it was no good.
Rex was facing in the direction they were coming from and had no idea what was happening till they were already falling and the light of day got swallowed by the enormous pit that was invisible from above thanks to the tree coverage. They both screamed as they fell, though there was nobody around to hear or help them, but that was not entirely true. A distance off, Lily and her team heard them and did nothing. She only smirked feeling victory was assured.
The battle had just started and Team Matrix had already hit rock bottom.