Team Matrix was up earlier than normal as they reached the guild facility premature of their scheduled fight. They wanted to get warmed up before the fight by taking advantage of the facilities inside. They all had a particular air of tension around them and didn't say a lot. Flint was tense for the thrill of fighting a strong opponent. Rex was eager to see what the cafeteria had to eat since they were going to check it out after a workout. Dan was nervous that defeat would mean they would miss their chance to see Angel perform if they lost all their money to buy tickets. Jack was on edge too. He was not nearly as powerful or fast as the others and his special attack was only good for lighting birthday cakes. If their opponents were as tough as Fonz said then he figured he was an instant loss for the team. The only thing that calmed him was that he knew the rest of the team was strong. If he was lucky enough they could win the first three matches and not even need him. That thought along was enough to let his keep up a confident smile. Fonz had a look of uncertainty. He knew how strong the team was, but unlike Jack he knew it was more likely they would lose. He even had something else on his chest he needed to get off before they started the matches but he didn't want to say it if he didn't have to. It wasn't something that was a secret he would carry to his grave. He just didn't need to bring it up before. Now he was afraid to bring it up knowing he was just going to put more stress on everyone else.
"Is something wrong?" asked Dan to Fonz. He was careful to make sure the others didn't notice.
"Just nervous like the rest of our team," Fonz explained.
"Yeah," agreed Dan. "But even you are a bit more concerned than I would have expected. If you have something you want to say I'm all ears."
Fonz knew that Dan was the most mature member of the team and the one he could talk to with the fewest consequences. "Alright," he began as they reached the fitness room at the guild facility and the rest of the team already went inside. "I'll tell you, but keep it quiet for now. Promise?"
"Of course," answered Dan as he kneeled down and let Fonz whisper it into his ear. As Dan heard it his expression changed to one of semi-surprise. "I can believe that."
"And you promised not to say anything," Fonz said. "If we win I can tell them without worry."
"But what if things don't turn out so well for us?" asked Dan. "What will you do?" Fonz was silent and went in to join the others. Dan followed behind him.
"I'll go first," volunteered Jack as the group was looking at one of the machines in the room. He flexed his arms as he got ready to grab the handle.
"What did we miss?" asked Fonz as he and Dan arrived.
"We were just about to test this strength tester," explained Flint. "We just pull on this handle against the resistance and it calculates how strong we are. We already calibrated it to Rookie Level Digimon."
"This should be fun," stated Dan with a smile.
"Yes it will be," chimed Rex. "This whole place is like an arcade except it is free and you get sweaty from exercise instead of the anxiety of trying to get the high score."
"Then stand back and watch the master at work," bragged Jack as he gripped the handle in one hand as the device instructed and pulled it with all his might. As he did, the screen on the device showed a meter slowly filling up with blocks. Jack barely managed to light up a forth block before he couldn't bare it anymore and let go of the handle. "How was that?"
"According to the chart," explained Flint. "Four is average so you just made it."
"Well I have been rather physical lately," he said trying to make an excuse for his lackluster results. "I just haven't fully recovered yet."
"Well let me have a try," replied Rex. He grabbed the handle and gave it a pull. The bars appeared a bit faster than they did with Jack and he surpassed him quickly managing six bars in the end.
"What the," began Jack in astonishment. His eyes darted to the chart. "Above average. Well I guess I could pull off an eight at my best."
"I don't know about an eight," said Fonz. "But let me see what I can do." He took his turn, but the numbers went up as fast as they did for Jack. He managed to get four bars too, though his results were a lot more solid than Jack's.
"Only a four?" asked Dan. "Are you sure you are trying?"
"Brute strength isn't really for me," admitted Fonz. "If this machine was a test of cool I'd fry the circuits."
"I wouldn't doubt that," chuckled Flint as he grabbed the handle between his claws. "Guess I'll give it my best shot." As he pulled the bars came faster than ever. He managed eight right away and the ninth soon after. With the rest of his might he maxed out the strength tester at ten bars before letting go. Rex and Jack just stared in complete awe at how well he did. Even Fonz seemed to bat an eye at the sight. Dan, on the other hand, smiled like he expected as much.
"Ten is marked at Superior," stuttered Jack. "And it is at the very least on par with an average strength Adult Digimon."
"Well I guess I shouldn't expect anything less from you, Flint," admitted Rex. "Whenever you Digivolve you'll have to be at least as strong as an Ultimate if not more."
"I don't know about that," said Flint. There was a slight bitter undertone in his voice as he said that. "But if I keep trying I'm sure I can reach that kind of strength as a Rookie."
"Then you'd really be monstrously strong," stated Jack still a bit shaken up. "How about you, Dan? You can pull off a Ten with ease too right?"
"I probably shouldn't," said Dan.
"We all did it," said Rex. "And it is just for fun."
"Yeah, but it might not be necessary," suggested Dan.
"Just give it a try," pleaded Flint. "Then we can all get a workout."
"If you insist," replied Dan as he gripped the handle. With a single fluid motion, he pulled it and maxed out the bars instantly and ripped the handle off the machine and pulled it over. It made a lot of broken machine noises before dying. All of them just stared at it vacantly for a moment before tiptoeing away.
"Enough of a workout," whispered Flint. "Time to eat."
"Adjust light number three a bit to the right," said Rich standing on the stage as he was preparing for the show. He watched as the Digimon at the controls hit some buttons and adjust the light accordingly. "Alright. Now let's see how the lights are set to move during the performance."
The Digimon pressed a few more buttons dimming the lights and letting all the lights spin around the room in a preprogrammed fashion. Without the accompaniment of music and a huge audience it didn't seem as interesting as it normally would be.
"That's perfect," Rich replied as he took a look in all directions to make sure all the lights flowed in synch. "We should have everything set up perfectly by tonight."
"Well that's good to hear," stated Angel as she entered into the show room. "How is my entrance going?"
"Looks great," answered Rich. "The fog machines are set up to go off as the blue moon descends onto the stage. Then you will emerge from below the stage singing."
"What about the part where the Blue Moon Prince appears from the moon and sings with me?" asked Angel.
"About that," began Rich. "We haven't yet found Rex and even if we could we'd need him to agree to sing with you and we don't know if he even can."
"But the tale of the Blue Moon Prince says that he and the singer fall in love with each other's beautiful voices before they even see each other. They love one another so much until the forces of the Dark Side of the Moon come and kidnap the singer. Then with all his might, the Blue Moon Prince flies to the fortress of the Dark Side King in order to defeat his forces and a fierce beast in order to save her. And they both live happily ever after." Her eyes grew huge and joyous just thinking of it. Rich saw that she was getting a little too into the show.
"I know you're excited," he said trying to bring her out of it. "But it is just a make believe story after all."
"But stories have to come from somewhere," she replied.
"But this story was made up," he commented. "By you in fact."
"Break me out of my fantasy," she responded. "And get yourself a new job." She said it in dreamy tone, but it didn't make it any less serious.
"Uh, I've got more some more manager stuff to handle," he said as he slipped away afraid to endure her wrath.
The cafeteria was filled with the sounds of vigorous eating, nowhere more so than the table that had team Matrix sat at. Together, Flint and Rex tore into big chunks of meat right off the bone until they stripped it clean and then moved onto another that was on their plate. Already, they had finished several platefuls and were ready to rush and get another plate. Their eating was quickly drawing a crowd of other Digimon to watch them binge.
"Are you sure you two should be eating so much before we fight?" asked Jack barely able to eat himself with how nervous he was. "That can't be good for you."
"Jack has a point," agreed Fonz. "This will be a tough fight, but I don't think it warrants a last meal."
"But the fight is going to be an easy one so we need to fill up as much as we can," explained Flint.
"Yeah," agreed Rex with a mouthful. "And besides this food is really tasty."
"I don't think they know what being afraid mean," commented Jack as he watched them run for another plate piled with meat.
"Leave them be," Dan said. "They have been through a lot already so they must know what they are doing."
"That's mine," argued Flint grabbing the last piece of meat available.
"No way," replied Rex refusing to let go. "You ate more than me already. This piece is mine."
"I am older so I need to eat more," stated Flint.
"But how am I supposed to grow if I don't eat," counted Rex. The arguing between them didn't quell and eventually had them wrestling over that one piece of food despite having packed plenty of food on their plates already. This also caused the crowd to change their gawking to watching their ridiculous fight, though they were so full from eating they were quickly stopped by a stomach ache and had to retreat to the bathroom.
"You were saying?" asked Fonz to Dan.
"We're dead," he admitted.
Moments later, Rex and Flint charged back into the room looking recharged and ready to go, though the toilet paper stuck to their feet didn't inspire much confidence in their teammates. "Time to meet our destiny," Flint announced throughout the whole cafeteria embarrassing the other members of their team even further.
"And afterwards," added Rex looking at the food remaining in the cafeteria. "We can all go and have a victory feast. Now let's go! Charge!" The two of them ran to the arena room with Dan, Fonz, and Jack following slowly behind.
As they pushed through the doors open they saw Ember and the rest of her team waiting for them on the spectator bleachers. The way they were sitting, it was clear that they were ready and waiting for Team Matrix to arrive. The calm look on all their faces showed they had no doubts for their victory. Ember sat closes to front of the bleachers and had a Cutemon and a Bucchiemon on the left and a BlackGatomon and an Angewomon on the right.
"I'm glad you could all be here on time," Ember said as she jumped down to greet them. "I see you chose to get washed up before coming." She was of course noting the toilet paper still trailing behind them. "Allow me to introduce my team. The Cutemon is Jill, Love is the Bucchiemon, Lucy is the BlackGatomon, the Angewomon is Marie and of course you know I'm Ember."
"Those names aren't ominous or anything," Jack commented sarcastically.
"Please to meet you all," replied Flint. "This is Rex, Dan, Fonz, Jack, and I'm Flint. And not to brag, but we are going to be the ones winning this battle."
"I think you are a cocky muscle head," stated Ember in a causal tone. "You think that just being gutsy and cheerful you can overcome any obstacle. You are the type of Digimon I love crushing the most."
"I think she likes you," whispered Rex to Flint though with how quiet the arena room was everyone could easily hear.
"You think so?" asked Flint to Rex. "I wouldn't want her to go easy on me because she has a crush on me."
"Don't think I can't hear you," shouted Ember, her ears twitching. "I wouldn't find any of you attractive in the least." She panted a bit trying to regain her composure before jumping down towards them. "Not that I can blame you all for thinking so. After all, I am easily one of the most attractive and enchanting Digimon you will probably ever meet even if I am being a bit boastful." To prove her point she strutted over to them and swaying her tails back and forth. She passed by them all in a very alluring manner that gave them all an eyeful. As she passed by Guilmon hearts appeared in his eyes as he entered his love overwhelmed state.
"Oh Angel," he sighed overwhelmed by Ember, but channeling his love towards Angel. "I love you so much."
Next she passed by Flint and Rex who did nothing but chuckles as her tail brushed against them in a ticklish manner. When she passed by Fonz he did his best to remain cool, but it was clear he was just barely as his afro frizzed and let off static sparks. Jack remained motionless as she walked passed him. She turned back to him and poked him in the forehead and watched him fall backwards like a statue.
"So shall we begin?" she asked though she could see most of their team was beaten before the match began.
"Yes," agreed Flint ignoring the disarray his team was in. "But first, we need to do our team pose."
"We are," Rex and Flint announced together. The rest of their team was still stuck in place from Ember's last act. "Team Matrix!" The swung their arms in the air like they usually did and the simple act of them doing this appeared to have an effect on Dan, Jack, and Fonz, bringing them back to their senses much to the Killer Three's surprise.
"Looks like they have some fighting spirit," commented Lucy.
"I think it is very cute," chuckled Love blushing.
"I really hope I get to fight that Impmon," stated Jill with a grin on her face. "What about you Marie?" The Angewomon remained silent like she didn't hear Jill's question. "Still silent as ever I see."
"So who gets to fight first?" asked Flint eager to get things started.
"I've set up a randomizer on my DigiPad," explained Ember as she showed it to him and the rest of their team. "All I have to do press this button and it will randomly select a member from out teams to fight." She pressed the button and they watched it flipped through their names on two separate columns almost too fast of them see their names. When it finally stopped abruptly it showed the first match was between Jack and Jill. "Looks like you get your way again, Jill."
"You know I always do," she said jumping down and getting onto the battlefield. Jack took a spot on the other side while Ember and Team Matrix got into the bleachers.
"The rules are simple," explained Ember. "There is no time limit. Special moves are allowed, but not weapons. You win by knocking your opponent unconscious or out of the ring or if they give up. Cheering is allowed, but no interfering from the peanut gallery."
"No need for that," bragged Jack. "I don't need any help to win."
"You sure are confident," commented Jill. "How about we have a little side bet then?"
"A side bet?" he replied. "Interesting. What did you have in mind?"
"How about the loser has to be the winner's slave for the rest of the day?" she suggested.
"Alright," Jack answered with a smirk. "Sounds good to me."
"Does this mean that Jack is a perv?" asked Rex to Flint.
"I was always wondering that," replied Flint.
"I am not!" shouted Jack. "Dan, Fonz, you have more sense than those right. Set them straight."
"Every group has to have one," replied Dan nodding his head.
Fonz nodded too. "Being a perv isn't cool, Jack," said Fonz. "You need a crash course in how to treat a lady."
Jack groaned and returned his focus to the fight. "Let's just fight," he grumbled. "Maybe I'll get some respect when I win."
"Very well," Ember said. "Match start."
Right off the bat, Jack used his special move producing to a sizable ball of fire in his palm. He then approached her grinning. "Don't think because you are so cute that I will go easy on you," stated Jack. "If you don't want to get burned you better quit now."
"Dogs that don't shut up barking do so because they are weak and want to act tough," I really hate a show of false strength," she said. "I'll beat you in under a minute."
"Don't underestimate me," he cried rushing in close to strike her with the fireball. She remained perfectly still in place as he moved in quick. Team Matrix watched the match excitedly, but The Three Killers didn't look too interested in it, already figuring the end results would be in their favor.
As Jack came within striking distance he planned to hit her dead center with the fireball and beat her within the minute she predicted her victory in. He guided the fireball with his arm, but as he did so Jill moved her arm so she was pointing two fingers at Jack. She then jabbed them at Jack's arm holding the fireball and jabbed him quick in the shoulder. It didn't hurt him in the least, but he suddenly felt his arm get heavy and drop lifelessly. In utter shock, he stopped in place. Seeing this, Team Matrix gasped in surprise too.
"What happened Jack?" shouted Flint. "What did she do to you?"
"She just poked me," he answered. "And not my arm feels like it fell asleep." While they were talking, he neglected to notice the fireball slip out of his fingers and set his foot ablaze. "Ah! Hot!" In a frenzy, he starts hopping on one foot and pat out the fire with his good hand while his paralyzed one just dangled behind him.
"Jill may look cute, but she's knows how to take down foes much bigger and stronger than her with little effort. With a little jab with her fingers she can paralyze the muscles in their body. That along with her evil nature makes her incredibly dangerous. That's why we call her 'Killer Touch Jill.'"
Jack managed to finally calm down and soothe the pain from his foot, though his arm was still useless. He turned to angrily face Jill, but he quickly became full of fright when she was right in front of him. Before he could even react, she poked at his other shoulder making his other arm useless as well. Despite all his attempts, they just dangled like wet noodles. Then Jill jabbed his right thigh and he felt all his right leg's strength leave him. He managed to shift his balance to his left leg, but it was hard without and control over his other limbs. It was still a futile attempt in the end when Jill jabbed his left leg and sent him tumbling to the ground like he was groveling at her feet. With a sadistic smirk she stepped on his head.
"Do you give up?" she asked.
"I won't," he groaned. "I don't let our team lose."
"So loyal to a team that has no respect for you," she laughed.
"A lot you know," he replied. "They might tease me a lot, but when it counts they won't let anything happen to me."
"Who would care about a weakling like you?" she taunted ready to kick dirt in his face."
"That's enough, Jill, you win," shouted Ember. Her words made Jill stop in her tracks. "Do you want us to have to open a vacancy for a new member?"
Jill turned to look and saw the rest of Team Matrix was at the end of the bleachers quivering with anger and ready to jump in. Flint was dripping with sweat as the fire in his belly was boiling over. He gripped the metal railing so hard he left an impression in them. Jack was so angry tears streamed down his eyes. Fonz's wig was sparking static that looked like it was just on the edge of exploding. Dan's eyes showed a fierce, beastly look in them like he was ready to tear anything in sight apart.
"I guess I was wrong," Jill stated. "They will protect you because they are weak like you. How cute to see the weak following the weak. Like doing that will make you seem strong when all you can do is just make a lot of obnoxious noise."
"Laugh while you can," Jack said. "But we're going to still win. The others are a lot stronger than you think. This isn't over yet."
"Perhaps, but our side bet still stands and you are my slave for the day," she stated. "Now get up to those bleachers. They are quite uncomfortable and I want something soft to sit on."
As she left, Flint rushed down to see if alright. "I'm sorry this happened," he said to Jack.
"I'm sorry to have lost," he said. "Once again I'm useless to the team as a fighter."
"You did more than we could have hoped," Flint explained. "We knew this was going to be a tough fight, but we had no idea they were monsters like this. We'll be more prepared now thanks to you."
"You really mean that?" he replied so happy he was teary, wide-eyed.
"I do," Flint said as he went back to his seat.
"Wait, didn't you come to help me out," I still can't feel my arms or legs," he stated.
"Oh, Rex really wanted to see you do the worm," Flint admitted. "And I did too."
Seeing the danger had passed, Jack saw things were back to normal. He dragged himself by the chin off the battlefield and struggled to think how he'd get up the steps.
"Think we should tell the others?" asked Dan to Fonz.
"We might as well," Fonz sighed knowing they couldn't allow their team to keep fighting this fight without knowing.
"What's going on?" asked Flint as he got back up.
"There's something you need to know," Fonz said. "I can't fight ladies."
"What do you mean?" replied Flint confused. "That's all they have on their team."
"Exactly," answered Fonz. "I can't fight any of them so I'll lose come my turn."
"And with Jack's loss none of us can afford to lose," added Dan.
"Well that just means you, me, and Rex have to win our fights," stated Flint. "If we all stay focused and are serious about it there's still hope. We can do it no problem, right Rex."
"Hahah," Rex laughed not paying them any attention. He was still looking at Jack, squirming up the steps to Jill. "Look at him go."
"There's not hope. We're dead," admitted Flint.