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Back on the Sons of Chaos channel, the avatar of a cartoonish businessman stands at the door of Marvin’s private chatroom. The avatar is unkempt and dirty. He leans drunkenly against a nearby wall and watches Marvin scrolling through the Grimm news feed.
The attack on Nation X was trending throughout GriMM.
Word had it that the hacker Judge singlehandedly stopped a large-scale attack on Nation X orchestrated by the Sons of Chaos. He was not only able to destroy Nation X’s powerful Digimon, but he also outsmarted Tartarus and the Sons of Chaos.
“To what do I owe the pleasure?” Marvin asks, taking notice of the interviewer for the first time. “Come to wish me well?” His tone is playfully mocking.
“Glad to see you up so quickly. And I asume…No side effects,” a different voice says sincerely. A small fox with dragon wings and a large ruby embedded on its forehead appears near the interviewer. Its tail flicks at the air.
Marvin smiles. “I wouldn’t have made it back withouty you.” He reaches to Dorumon and ruffles its fur playfully.
“What about Megadramon… Er Aidramon?”
“Luckily,” Marvin stops petting Dorumon and stands to finish his explanation, “there was no heavy damage to the Digicore. It’s currently undergoing repairs and will probably be out of commission for a while.”
“That was close Marvin. We could have lost you out there.” There was concern in the Digimon’s tone.
Marvin grimaced at the thought. “That kid you scouted saved me.” Marvin runs his fingers through his dreadlocks. “I can’t believe I let a hacker surprise me like that. I’m getting old man.” He lets out a nervous chuckle. “Maybe I should plan for an early retirement.”
Dorumon ignores the joke. “We have to do something about Judge. We’re exploring options for retaliation”
Marvin shakes his head and crosses his arms. “You mess with Leon and we’ll have the Americans all over us. We have to think this through.”
“He attacked first!” Dorumon shoots back, its voice almost a growl. “This is an insult to us and what we stand for. We can’t let this slide.” The fur down its back stands angrily. Its tail flails behind it.
“He’s right,” the interviewer speaks up for the first time. His voice is stern and gruff. “We can’t let this go.” The interviewer drops his disguise. Tartarus stands before Marlin with a bored look on his face. He is neatly dressed and well-kempt. He has a scar over his right eye and stands taller than Marvin.
“So what then? We go to war? The big war you…both have been planning?” Marvin doesn’t hide his frustration.
Tartarus looks at his friend pensively for a moment before moving to a nearby couch to sit. He spreads himself out comfortably and turns his attention up to Marvin. “I’ll admit, losing the Machinedramon was a….setback, but the pieces have fallen into place. This can still work.”
“Loogarmon, you mean. And Eiji. Those pieces?”
“What do you think of them by the way? Good huh?” Tartarus smirks as he leans forward, eager for Marvin’s answer.
Marvin sighs. “The kid surprised me,” Marvin says, taking the seat opposite of Tartarus. “At first I thought he was just another cocky code cracker, all-flash, and no substance. But he did good. He doesn’t get a big head and listens to directions. He’s got good instincts too.” Marvin starts to relax in his chair. “and he didn’t leave me behind. I like him.”
Dorumon gives lets out a smug smirk.
“His partner is still just at champion level though.” Marvin sounds concerned.
“He’s young, he’s got room to grow.” Tartarus leans back in his seat and folds his hands behind his head. “I’ve got something to help him grow a little faster.”
“You don’t mean…”
“We don’t know the full extent of Eiji’s power yet,” Tartarus begins as he brings up Eiji and Leon’s profiles on a virtual monitor. “We can’t rely on him until we know the extent of that power. We have to push him. We have to know that he is down for the cause and that he will stick with us to the bitter end.” Tartarus pauses for a moment to examine Marvin’s reaction. “Are you still with us?” He asks grimly.
“Of course I am.”
“Nice work Leon,” Pulsemon says, greeting his partner as he wakes from the testing pod. Leon sits up, taking off the helmet used to measure his vitals. His blond hair is matted from the sweat.
Pulsemon begins running around the lab impatiently.
“You too Pulsemon,” Leon says softly as he stands up from the pod and walks over to a nearby monitor. “We set a new record,” Leon remarks with excitement as he reads over the results of their endurance test.
Pulsemon nods eagerly. “We’re unstoppable! It’s all because they put you in that diaper.” It snickers at its own joke.
“Shut up!” Leon can’t help to laugh along with his oldest friend.
“Phenomenal,” a voice says over the intercom.
Professor Ryusenji stands on the other side of the observation window with a large smile.
“I didn’t realize you were here!” Leon bows his head slightly in an attempt to hide the sudden flash of redness on his face.
“Ryu-booo!” Pulsmon chirps, waving eagerly. “Did you see?! Did you see?!”
“Pulsemon my friend! You did such an amazing job!” the professor responds, matching Pulsemon’s energy. “And you too Leon.”
“Thank you, professor.” Pulsemon continues to fidget through the room.
“To think, the lone hacker judge taking out a whole nation, the Sons of Chaos, and a Machinedramon? America must be so proud.”
“It was now or never,” Leon says solemnly. “They had to pay for what they did. For killing all those people…” Leon pauses for a moment. “I had to do it, for myself. It was the only way I could move forward as a hacker.”
The professor nods and gives a proud smile. “I would have never guessed you would grow up to be so strong.”
Leon moved to Japan in elementary school. His dad worked as an assistant professor at the Tokyo University of Electrical and Computer Engineering. He would often take Leon along to work with him.
“You look like someone who is good at taking care of things,” the professor said to Leon one day. He crouches down to bring himself closer to Leon. He hands him a small screen with the pixel art Digitama on it. “I bet you’d be great at raising it with love and care. I’m giving this to you, can I trust you?”
Leon nods his head as he looks down at the small device and studied the strange video it plays. The small egg occasionally shakes.
“This isn’t a game,” the professor continues his explanation. “This is a Digimon, it’s alive and it exists in the Digital world.” The professor goes on to explain the existence of Digimon and the importance of this task.
Leon promises to take care of his Digimon. From that day on, Leon and Pulsemon became inseparable. Together they grew stronger, setting and surpassing limits until they were as part of the DDL as the professor was.
Leon walks out through the security gate and into the lobby. TV displays throughout the room report on the recent attack on Nation X. He sees Eiji sitting across the room, his head buried in his phone as he scrolls slowly through the day’s feed.
“Eiji!” Leon shouts, waving to get his attention. His voice echoes through the lobby. Eiji lifts his head and finds Leon walking towards him.
He waves back as the memories from elementary start rushing back.