As soon as the tamers split up from the friendly giant and his timid kin, Garret was already scanning for any other signals down in the caves. The Digimon were alert too. They focused their superior senses throughout the endless abyss. The cave system did widen extensively when they retraced their steps past where the tamers had their battle. Colorful specs of Digizoid embedded in the patterned rock formations made the journey a spectacle that they had no time to enjoy. Stalagmites and stalactites were arranged in rows and columns connected by thin metal strips along the ground or ceiling.
Not a single reading appeared on the scanner. Everyone that normally toiled in the mines had already vacated for their own safety. The party felt the need for urgency and picked up their pace. Garret became impatient and annoyed.
"This stupid thing isn't working. You think the caves are jamming the signal?"
"That's a possibility. I'm thinking also that if they have a DAIS, they might know how to conceal their own presence," Lloyd pointed out.
"Watch your step up ahead," Trance remarked.
It was almost too dark to see with only the dim LED lamps providing illumination. Lloyd used his DAIS as a flashlight by using the function that made the screen a bright white. The cave branched into three paths that all sloped down. In between the paths were chasms. The bottom could not be seen with the light they had. None of them felt comfortable enough to investigate.
Ward charged down the middle path and no one knew enough to protest. His guess was as good as anyone else's. They all crossed a harrowing bridge to get to the other side of the pit, walking single file to be as far from the edge as possible.
“Hey Lloyd!” Garret called.
“Don’t look down,” he teased with a sneer.
Once they were across, they stopped. Everyone turned their heads and peered into the darkness. The sound of crushing gravel beneath tiny footsteps caused them all to be silent and still. The mysterious figure called out to them in a low masculine voice.
"You're going the wrong way," he said.
The unknown Digimon stood at the opposite end of the bridge. The light was too dim to make out his features properly. A small thing with infantile proportions, no more than a few feet tall, came into view. He had beige colored fur and long rabbit ears that practically dragged on the ground. Lime markings covered parts of his body. There was a single horn on his forehead.
Lloyd thought it best to take charge of the situation before his new companions had a chance to ruin it. He approached in a manner as docile as he could muster and knelt down. His voice was lighter and higher pitched when he spoke.
"Hey there, little guy. Do you live here? Could you help us?"
"Pft. Don't talk down to me like that," the rabbit dog spat as he crossed his arms and averted his gaze. "Like you, I'm not from here."
"Sorry, I didn’t mean to offend. We’re looking for someone. Perhaps you’ve heard of them. The name is Chartreuse?”
“That’s me,” he said casually.
He doesn't seem as threatening as he was made out to be. I wonder where the twin could be. I have to choose my words carefully here. Where to start? I'll get right to the point.
"We found these when we came to this world. I was hoping you'd be able to tell us more about them."
The tamers presented their DAIS before Chartreuse. There was an awkward air about the meeting from the infamous Digimon's listless demeanor.
"Oh. This, you mean," Chartreuse replied as he pulled his own device out of a pouch tied to his back. His DAIS seemed different than theirs. It had a deeper case and a peripheral of some sort attached to the bottom. "A Digital Arcadia Interface System. It's so users can interact with this reality."
The young boy inevitably found his way into the conversation. "But we're humans, from a different world. Aren't you a Digimon? What kind are you?"
Chartreuse made brief eye contact once more and formed a wry grin. "I'm a Terriermon."
"Why doesn't your data show up on the radar then?"
"I don't want to be found."
This is going to be difficult. Well, at least he hasn't tried to fight us like everyone else. He has to know more. I just have to ask the right questions.
"Your DAIS looks different than ours. Where did you get it? And how can it do things that ours can't? Sorry, it's just that... We've heard a lot about you."
Chartreuse began to point and swipe away at the touch screen. The DAIS was comically too big for his petite hands. Without lifting his eyes, he answered. "I made some modifications to mine. There's really no limit to what you can do here if you know how to go about it. This is one of the features I added."
Binary code unfurled in a spiraling array of neon green light. Data arranged and assembled itself into a vague amorphous blob. Several seconds went by and the shape was well defined. The Terriermon had created a clone of himself. However, the double was slightly different. It had rosy brown fur with carnation pink stripes and three horns instead of one. Upon materializing, it skipped over to Chartreuse and caught him in a warm embrace.
The feats were not over. Another command was issued to unique DAIS. Everyone was alarmed by a sight they knew all too well as an evolution sequence began. They backed away from the enigmatic duo as a veil of darkness enshrouded the rabbit. The adult stage emerged from the shadows. What was such an unassuming form became tall, muscular, and monstrous. It had brown fur with blood red hands, feet, and face. Sharp fangs lined a huge maw. Two spikes as big as a human arm jutted out of the beast's shoulders.
"Wendigomon. Adult level. Virus. The dark evolution of Lopmon that draws upon the power of its anger. Brings about destruction with its mastery of the powers of spacetime. Sounds like its not to be fucked with," Garret read from his DAIS.
The feisty dragon growled contentiously. His foot claws anxiously scraped the stone beneath him and he clenched his fists. Monodramon were known for their insatiable drive towards hunting Virus Digimon. "Garret..."
Chartreuse hopped onto the shoulders of his now empowered twin. They did not bother to look in the direction of those around them. Rather, Wendigomon trudged down the path of the left bridge.
"I have to go do something," he remarked.
"Wait!" Both tamers called in unison.
Wendigomon descended into the tunnel towards the bowels of the cave. The party hesitated at this crucial moment out of fear. Their quarry was no higher than the level they could attain, yet the uncertainty of their abilities was still a factor. The Digimon delayed for the sake of their tamers' lead. They had both learned to follow the guidance of the humans.
In that span of time, Wendigomon manipulated his ability. Space distorted around them. Looking at their image was like the shimmering heat rising off of blacktop on a hot day, but more intense. A vortex spawned around the twins and pulled them out of existence. The group gave chase, but it was beyond too late. There was not a trace left behind after the vortex closed.
"They're gone!" Ward cried.
"Let's go after them!" Garret added.
Only three of them remained in the crossroads. Renamon had already started running down the corridor.
"Just remember what we talked about. Let's hurry."