Jungle Diaries, Volume I: Culture Shock
By Ryan Griffin

    Deep within another world, a large, dark, iron tower rose above the landscape, disfiguring the pristine look of the jungle below.  While, thousands of miles away, the sudden presence of a dark tower would be nothing special, here, the inhabitants here were scared, for they knew nothing of what this meant.
    Two creatures, however, did know what this meant.  One was inside the tower, another far away from it.  And ironically, both were thinking the same thing:
    “Now is the time to act.”

    Another world away, a tall, lanky, thirteen year old boy was leaving an airplane, permanently.  He had pale blonde hair and a rounded face.  His hazel eyes darted quickly over his surroundings beneath their thick lenses.  His able brain calculating the gravity of the situation he was in.
    His name was James McConnell.  He was from Denver, Colorado, and now was going to live in a foreign country, Brazil.
    James calculated the situation and realized: it wasn’t a big deal.
    In fact, it was sort of an improvement.
    In front of James stood his father, Bryan McConnell.  His father was a botanist, who prior had worked at a university in Colorado, and now was hired for field research at the Goeldi institute in Belem.  Belem was a large port city on the mouth of the Amazon River.
    For James, it was practically a dream come true.  He loved science, particularly zoology, and the Amazon rainforest was a gold mine when it came to science.  He had prior interned at a genetics lab, and was called lucky by many of his colleagues on his move.  In some cases, it was the most respect he got, most marveled at the fact that a seventh grader became an intern; many patronized him because of his age even though, in his opinion, he knew more than several of the paid lab technicians.
    Socially, it didn’t impact James at all.  His classmates ridiculed him, perhaps because he always read and never played outside.  Perhaps because he never even tried to make friends.  Perhaps because his eyes almost seemed to glow in the dark and that he once asked a teacher to turn down the lights so he could see.
    James sighed, he didn’t think about it, but life really sucked back in the USA.  Now, at least, he could get a new life.  He liked the warmer climate, at least.
    James took his carryon, moved with his dad with the driver marked “McConnell,” and they were off.

    “So the store’s run by Native Americans?”
    “Yup.  One of the few families to live in modern civilization.  Their name was changed to Lopes a while back.  They have a daughter about your age.”
    “Hm,” James was not very excited about that prospect.
    As they entered the shop, James saw that it looked rather antiquated.  It wasn’t that the store or its supplies were decrepit; more like it was a new store back when Brazil was first colonized.  The woman behind the counter was a Brazilian Native, likely in her late fifties.
    “Ah, the McConnells.  It’s a pleasure to finally meet you,” she said with a smile, “I am U’yara Lopes.”
    “Well met.  I’m Bryan, this is my son James.”
    She took a good look at James, and said, “You’re going to be at home here.”
    James blinked, he had no idea what that comment meant, or what could possibly warrant it.  The woman turned back to his father without explaining the comment, or indeed acknowledging that she made it.
    “Most of my family is out, gathering supplies, but my granddaughter, Juana is here.  Juana!” She called.
    “Coming grandmother!” She came bounding down the stairs.  James got a good look at her.  She had long, dark hair, deep brown skin, a nice face, and eyes that reminded him of a dog’s, large, brown, and full of innocence.  She had a reasonable chest size, and was only about an inch shorter than James.  James came to the realization that she was rather pretty.
    “Ah, you must be James!  I’ve been waiting to meet you,” she replied in English.
    James was shocked, “Err… likewise, Juana.  Nice to meet you.”
    “Well,” Bryan said, “we’d better get our stuff to our apartment.”
    “I’ll show you there,” Juana chirped.

    It didn’t take long for James to set up his room.  It was smaller than his old room, but still big enough.  He had his books, his videos, a laptop computer, a sizable collection of animal figurines, and odd rocks, gems, fossils, pieces of fur, and other interesting things he managed to collect over his short lifetime.  James had no music, and no need for a stereo, but his father cared nothing for movies, and relinquished to him their sole TV.  Both had huge collections of tomes, and in their living room, in lieu of any electronic entertainment, was a library and their most valuable treasure, a replica saber-tooth tiger skeleton given by a friend of the family.
    James was reading when he heard a knock on his door, followed by Juana entering the room.
    “Hello James,” she said, then paused, “I can’t speak English too good, may I speak Portuguese.”
    “Very well,” James responded in Portuguese, “It would do me good to get immersed in the language.  I took some classes, but I doubt they’ll help much”
    “It must be tough, coming into a foreign country.  I’d be scared.”
    James blinked, “Well…I’ve always wanted to come here.  I wanted to see the rain forest.”
    “Really!  My family does lots of work in the rain forest!”
    “Our store only carries sustainable products…products that don’t harm the forest, like fruit.  We have a very strong base in tourism.”
    James nodded, “What is school like?”
    “It’s hard, but I’m sure that you’ll be fine.  I heard you’re really smart, so it won’t be a problem.  Besides, American schools are supposed to be the best, right?”
    Juana then asked, “Where’s your mother?”
    James stiffened a bit, “Dead.”
    Juana drew back in shock, “I’m sorry,”
    James sighed, “It’s OK.  She died when I was six.  I barely knew her.  It really affected my dad, though.  Before he was given the offer to come here, he felt barely alive.  I think if it weren’t for me, he would’ve just given up completely.  He felt much better when given the offer to come here.  I’m glad, he’s all the family I’ve ever had.  My mom has no one on her side of the family, and my dad’s side…the less said about that, the better.”
“Sorry for bringing it up,” Juana paused a bit before asking another question, “Do you miss your friends?”
    James stared, “What friends?”
    “Back in America.  Do you miss them?”
    James paused, “I really don’t have any friends.  I never talked to anyone.  Most people didn’t like me for some reason…and I just didn’t make friends.”
    “Really?” Juana asked, her eyes brightening, “That’s great!”  James was a bit shocked at her response.  “I mean…I really don’t have any friends either.  Not many people like me either…because of my race.”  She paused, “Does it bother you?”
    “That I’m a Native American?”
    James looked incredulous, “Not at all.”
    Juana was relieved, “Well, what I mean is, I really don’t have any friends either, and since you’re here, all alone, I was wondering if you’d be my friend.”
    James was shocked at the idea.  He’d never once been asked to be someone’s friend.  It was a whole new experience for him.
    “I’d like that,” he smiled.
    Juana smiled back, “Thank you.”  She paused, “Nice room.”
    “Thanks, designed it myself…”

    James and Juana became fast friends.  Within a couple of days, James became more familiar with Portuguese, and became more in tune with the culture.  
    The day before school was to start, James’s father got permission for the two of them to go on a small scale research expedition.  Juana’s father, who was a freelance researcher, was also to be on the expedition.
    As James stared at the looming forest before him, he felt true awe for the first time in his life.  As he was driven up to the huge canopy, he was already confronted by it, in the form of birds squawking and shrieking, monkeys chattering, and giant swarms of butterflies.  James, when he was younger, always remembered playing in gardens, trying to identify butterflies.  He found it would be almost impossible to do so here.
    Juana looked on with similar, if not the same awe.  Despite going to the jungle occasionally, she still found herself dwarfed by the giant trees.
    For their part, the research team ignored the two children.  The team was simply recording a certain population of ant on a few particular trees near the border of the forest.  It was nothing major.  James and Juana were basically given free reign.
    This is probably why, when it happened, the team was a good enough distance away not to notice it.
    It started with an earthquake.  Now, earthquakes rarely occur in Brazil, especially near the Eastern coast.  After the first tremors, the scientists were rather shocked.
    James and Juana instinctively grabbed one another.  A blinding light glowed brilliantly in front of them, forcing them to close their eyes.  When the light subsided, the two were holding two glowing balls of energy, which were coalescing into a physical form.
    Unfortunately, before they could examine that form, the earth swallowed them up.

    “I say we kill it now and get it over with.”
    “Don’t be so hasty.  It might have something to tell us.  A messenger or a prophet, perhaps?”
    “I don’t trust it.”
    “You don’t trust anyone.”
    “With good reason”
    “What do you say?”
    “I’d like to talk to it.  We’ve heard stories from the eastern continent about their species saving the area from overlords.”
    “We’ve also heard stories about them being overlords.  Littering the area with towers of control.  And did we not see a tower of iron being erected, destroying the forest in the process?  Better to kill him and not waste time second-guessing his actions.
    By this point, James had opened his eyes and immediately wished he hadn’t.  He groaned and tried to move.
    “It’s moving!” a tall figure began to tense up.
    “Quiet!” a small, pink figure chided
    “Ah, my head!” James groaned, “…Where am I?”
    “Ah, so you do speak our language!”
    By now James took a good look around, and shocked him worse than a sudden headache.  There were four figures standing around him, and only one of which looked even remotely human.
    The latter was a two meters tall anthropoid fox, which sported yellow fur and purple gloves.  Its posture and its intense glare told James that this was the creature that wanted him dead.
    Another was a pink bird, about a meter tall, with an ankle bracelet.  Another of the same height looked like a cross between an iguana and a small child, save for two flowers that were its hands.
    The smallest was a white dog with a gold collar.  It couldn’t have reached James’s knee standing on its hind legs.  Yet, through its posture, its eyes, and the way the other creatures acted around it, James could tell it was the leader.  
    “Good to see you up and about.  I’ve heard the passage into our world is physically painful, and was wondering if you were well,” the dog said.
    “And if you were well, perhaps we could remedy the situation,” the fox bared its claws.
    “Hush,” the dog admonished, and then turned to James, “Forgive Renamon.  He doesn’t trust anyone outside of our village.  Come to think of it, he doesn’t trust most of the village,” the dog chuckled to himself.
    James was pretty much silent throughout this dialogue.  He then asked, “Who, and what are you?  And where am I?  One minute, I’m in the jungle, then there’s an earthquake and flashes and a ball of light appears in my hand-”
    He then realized that he was holding something in his right hand.  It was shaped somewhat like a walkie-talkie.  It was white, with bright orange side trims and buttons.
    “What on earth is going on?” James never felt this clueless in his entire life.
    “I shall try to explain.  You are a human, from Earth.  This is the Digital World, and we are Digimon.  It stands for Digital Monster;” the dog looked at him speculatively, “A human has never entered our realm before.”
    “Then how do you know about us?”
    “Because our worlds are linked.  You may be the first human to arrive in this area of the Digital World, but others have been seen to the far north, the far east, and the far west."
    “Not the south?”
    “We are almost as far south as the Digital World goes.”
    “So you’re all Digimon.  You look like different species, though.”
    “There are hundreds of types of Digimon, but we are all one species.  We tend to refer to each other by the name of our type.  I’m Plotmon.”
    “Wait, was that Protomon or Plotmon?  I didn’t quite catch that.”
    “Our type’s name should be Protomon, but was pronounced wrong by early Digimon, so our name became Plotmon.  This,” he motioned to the bird, “is Piyomon.  This,” he indicated the flower/lizard, “is Floramon.  And he,” the fox, “is Renamon.”
    “Nice to meet you, I am James McConnell.  You can call me James.  And I kindly ask,” he addressed Renamon, “that you not disembowel me.”
    “How about if I slit your throat?”
    “Peace, Renamon.  Tell me, how did you come here from your world?”
    “Well, I was in a jungle in our world, when suddenly, there was this earthquake, and a flash of light, and Juana and I…oh, no!  Juana!  Where is she?” James became frantic.
    “We sent another team to investigate the second crash, where your friend most likely is,” Plotmon said.
    James relaxed, when he finally realized what the device in his hand was.  It was that ball of glowing light he grabbed before becoming sucked into the vortex.   
    “Do you know what this is?” he asked.
    “A Digivice!” Plotmon said in awe, “So I was right!  You are a Chosen Child!”
    Renamon relaxed his posture, but his claws still twitched in anticipation, “Being a Chosen doesn’t make him a saint.  The Kaizer was a Chosen Child.”
    Plotmon looked at James with a bit more scrutiny, “I wonder…” the dog approached James, “May I touch it?”
    James considered, “Sure, I don’t see why not,” He brought his hand forward, with the Digivice in it.  When Plotmon’s paw touched it, it burst in white light.
    James balked, “What does this mean?”
    Plotmon’s eyes shined like they never had before, “It means you’re my partner!  I knew it.  I’ve waited my whole life for my partner, and now, here you are!”
    “Partner?” But even as he asked, he knew in his heart that the creature before him was linked to him somehow, that somehow a piece of him had been lost, and now was found in this creature.
    “Come, I will take you to our village!” Plotmon ran off.  Floramon and Piyomon followed.  Renamon and James looked at each other, and walked side by side, neither wanting to turn their back on the other.
    And now, James took a good look at the world he landed in.  It was surrounded by trees the size of skyscrapers.  The smaller trees of this world reminded him of the larger trees he saw in the Amazon.  James never thought he could feel smaller after seeing the Amazon for the first time, but now, he felt completely dwarfed.  
Creatures beyond his imagination rested in those giant trees.  A huge flaming bird passed overhead.  Dragonflies the size of a man buzzed by.  A giant spider web hung between two trees, with a spider that could’ve eaten a minivan.  James had to move out of the way of a tank-sized metal beetle that blared through the woods, not even noticing him.
    Upon entering the rainforest, James commented that there were “killer bugs,” referring to the huge number of mosquitoes and similar insects.  Here, “killer bugs” took on a completely different meaning.
    “We’re here!” Plotmon yelled when he reached the tallest tree they had come across yet.  He pressed his paw on the tree, and a door appeared in the tree.  The Digimon entered, and James followed.  When they were all in, the door closed, and they lurched forward.  James boggled.  The tree had an elevator in it!
    “How does this work?  This is incredible!” James asked.
    Three of the four Digimon in the elevator tensed and Renamon simply said, “Don’t ask, unless you want your ear talked off.”
    James looked at him oddly.
    Plotmon looked up and said, “Well currently we are in a modified transport cell of the tree, to make it short,” sending a miffed look at Renamon.
    “Ah, so we are actually in a modified xylem of the plant!  Incredible!  But, the doors closing, how does that work?”
    “Well…” and the two became engrossed in a discussion.  The remaining three Digimon tuned the lecture out completely, and Renamon let his guard down.  It was obvious this human was indeed Plotmon’s partner.
    They stopped on a platform on several of the tree’s major branches.  The platform was about as wide as a park and was split into layers, separating merchants from residencies from what appeared to be government-like facilities.  
    As the group left what James and Plotmon dubbed a “xylevator,” they split up.  Only Plotmon and James remained together.
    “The second group should be here with your friend,” Plotmon said.
    James looked at him, “What exactly is your role here.  It’s obvious this is a village.”
    “Digimon don’t usually group into large communities like this one.  But this area of the Digital World is a tough one.  More dangerous than many others.  So Digimon at weaker levels join here to be protected from larger forces.  I’m currently the apprentice shaman.”
    “This really is an incredible society!” He said as he looked around, “There are so many species that get along with one another.”
    “Again, groupings like this are very rare.  And you define get along too loosely.  Digimon of similar types and species tend to congregate with one another and stereotype against others, sometimes dismissing others as below them or dangerous, like Renamon.  I’ve heard Earth is more advanced technologically than Digiworld, so I guess that our problems don’t really exist.”
    “Actually, the same ones exist, but for much more idiotic reasons.  Hey, another xylevator is opening!”
    Another group of Digimon appeared.  This group also dispersed when the doors opened leaving behind a tan-skinned female human and a two foot long golden armadillo-like creature.
    “James!” Juana said brightly, “I was getting worried about you!”
    The two Digimon seemed to know each other, and greeted by touching ears.
    “Same here.  Your clothes are different!”
    “So are yours.”
    Indeed, James had changed from a white shirt and denim shorts to long khaki pants, a khaki vest, and a blue long-sleeved shirt with a picture of the Earth and the words “Fragile: Handle with Care,” printed in English and Portuguese.  And what appeared to be a whip was attached to his belt.  Juana’s clothes had changed into a buckskin jumpsuit, which looked more North American than Brazilian.  She carried a bow and quiver of arrows.
    “This world is very strange, and interesting.  Juana, you should meet Plotmon.  Turns out he’s bonded to me!”
    “So is Armadimon,” she referred to the armadillo-creature, “She was very nice when she found me.”
    “Ah,” Armadimon looked up, “You must be James.  Glad to meet you,” she stuck out her ear, like a hand shake.  Not wanting to look rude. James got on all fours and touched ears.  Juana did the same with Plotmon, albeit more reluctantly.
    “So I assume you have one to?” James asked, holding his Digivice up.  Juana responded by holding up a similar device, brown where James’s was orange.
    “Armadimon called this a Digivice.  What does that mean?  Why are we here?  And when can we get back?”
    “I believe I can answer that,” another voice said.  A figure that looked like a fictional wizard carrying a staff approached.
    “Honorable Wizarmon,” Plotmon and Armadimon chorused, and bowed, which is hard to describe for quadruped beings.
    “I always knew that my two apprentices were Chosen Digimon.  You humans were sent here because an evil has infected our world and you two, with the help of your Digimon, must stop it.”
    James balked, “You mean we’ve been sucked into your dimension to become superheroes?”
    “Well, yes, you could put it that way.  Trees have been chopped down, and an iron tower rests in its place.  I do not know what lies in there.”
    “Honorable Shaman, I thought you knew everything!” Plotmon gasped.
    “I know very little, young one, but I understand much.  I understand that the appearance of the tower and you Chosen is no coincidence, that you must-” He stopped, “There is trouble!”
    At that moment a mob of Digimon scattered from an area, chased by a large, humanoid Digimon.  It was a three meters tall ogre creature with brown skin, shaggy white hair, long sharp teeth, and a leopard skin loincloth.  It carried a huge wooden bone club.  It was currently wreaking havoc on the village.
    “That’s a Fuugamon!” Plotmon called out.  “An adult level Digimon.  Very powerful and dangerous.”
    “Something is dreadfully wrong!  There are no Fuugamon in the surrounding area!” Armadimon yelled.
    “Then, we have no choice but to stop it,” Wizarmon said, with an eerie calm, “Magical Game!
    He raised his staff, and struck the ogre with a streak of blue lightning; the creature stumbled back, but did not look seriously hurt.
    Plotmon took the opening, “Puppy Howling!” He let out a screeching howl that nearly made James and Juana’s ears bleed.  Fuugamon roared in pain.
    Armadimon continued the assault, “Rolling Stone!” She curled up into a ball, and then rolled at top speeds into Fuugamon, knocking the ogre off his feet.
    “Thunder Cloud!” Wizarmon formed a ball of lightning in his hand and tossed it at Fuugamon’s head.  He roared in pain, and then went still.
    Plotmon edged closer to inspect the damage, when James yelled, “Get away, he could still be conscious!”
    The Irony Gods heard James, for at that instant, the brown ogre jumped to his feet and yelled, “Evil Hurricane!” and held out his fist towards the trio of Digimon.  A blast of wind blew them all back.
    Plotmon leaped forward and yelled, “Petite Punch!” and socked the ogre right in the face.  It had absolutely no effect.
    “Heavy Stick!” Fuugamon smacked the dog with his club.  Plotmon careened off the branch and fell into infinity.
    James had a less than intelligent moment and jumped off the edge to catch Plotmon.  Luckily, he caught the puppy Digimon.  Not so luckily, he, too, began to fall.
    In a stroke of luck, the pair fell into a tangled web of vines about a hundred feet under the tree.  James briefly wondered how, in the name of physics, he could’ve fallen into the vines without so much as a broken limb, but the wondering was cut short by the fact that Fuugamon had jumped from the branch to attack the pair.
    James barely scrambled away from an Evil Hurricane attack and stumbled to the up most vines in the web.  It broke off, and James had about five picoseconds to grab onto the vine before becoming a human pancake on the forest floor.  He did, and swung through midair, screaming like a ninny all the while.
    “James!” Juana moved to jump after him, but Wizarmon held her back.
    “Leave him.  He knows what he’s doing and where he’s going.”
     Juana took a second look at James, and had a hard time believing that he knew what he was doing.
    Indeed, if you asked James if he knew what he was doing at that moment, he would respond, “AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!” which, roughly translated from deathly scream, means “No.”
    Although, after the vine had completed its swing, James realized there was another vine.  He grabbed it, let go of his current vine, and swung on the new vine.
    James soon began to become familiar with the situation.  While he was indeed mortified by swinging from a creeper vine some seventy stories above ground, a part of his brain seemed to feel comfortable.
    Brachiating!  James thought, It’s some part of my brain that instinctively remembers how my tree swinging ancestors lived and feels comfortable in this situation.
    James had little time to ponder this quandary, however, as he had to direct the vine towards another vine.
    Throughout all this, Plotmon was clinging for dear life to James’s arm, and now said, “There’s a light to the left!”
    James turned.  Indeed, a bright yellow point of light was glowing from his left.  And, as he turned the other way, Fuugamon was jumping branches and was rapidly gaining on them.
    James grabbed another vine and flew towards the light.
    Boy, this sure isn’t what I expected when I came to Brazil.  I knew I was in for some surprises, but nothing like this. James thought, almost bitterly.
    Surprisingly, his subconscious responded, And what did you expect, James?
    He chose to respond in turn, Well, I’m not sure.  All of this seems both completely shocking, and yet, surprisingly familiar.  Like the vines.  It feels like…
    Like you’ve gone home?
    James nearly blinked in shock, Yes.  But I feel…like I know nothing.  Like everything I did know is a lie, and now I have to learn everything all over again.
    The voice in his subconscious answered, Well then, James, are you ready to learn?  To use your mind the way it was trained from birth, to look at the world with a scientific view?
    James seemed shocked, but responded the only way he could, Yes, yes I am.
    He felt a smile come from the voice, Good.  You have earned the Digimental of Knowledge, James McConnell.  Use it with the wisdom I know you have.
    The yellow light in the distance became brighter, and suddenly, James and Plotmon were flying towards it, not on a vine, but in a ray of light.
    “James, that’s a Digimental!  With it, I can evolve into a more powerful Digimon and defeat Fuugamon!”
    James nodded, “Then let’s end that walking natural disaster!”
    They reached the source of light.  It was a small egg shaped structure in a hollowed out tree, about the size of James’s palm, yellow except for strange purple markings.
    He landed in the tree, and the Digimental flew to James’s hand.
    “Say ‘Digimental up,’ James, and I’ll evolve.”
    He nodded, “Digimental, UP!”
    “Plotmon, armor evolve!” Plotmon was spun around, and the Digimental spun in unison.  The two combined, and the puppy was surrounded by a yellow pollen mist.  The mist coalesced into a swarm of butterflies, before breaking away.  The creature in Plotmon’s place was a meter tall.  It was vaguely humanoid, covered in golden armor.  Its hands were three pronged talons; two wispy earlike antennae came from his head, as well as a curled golden spiral, reminiscent of a butterfly’s tongue.
    But the overwhelming feature of the creature was its giant white butterfly wings.  They kept the Digimon afloat in the air indefinitely, and they were so large that their wingspan could’ve covered Fuugamon.  The Digimon landed and announced its name…
    “The sweetness of science, Butterflymon!
    Fuugamon chose that moment to jump onto a branch of the tree that James and Butterflymon.  
    “Evil Hurricane!” another blast of wind flew towards the insectoid Digimon, who simply batted his wings and fluttered away.
    Fuugamon howled in fury, and punched a few more Evil Hurricanes, which Butterflymon dodged easily, making his opponent grow angrier by the minute.  The ogre jumped up to smash the butterfly with his club, and he effortlessly flew away.  The ogre landed unsteadily on a branch and leapt towards a new, easier target: James.
    Fortunately, as an Evil Hurricane was about to knock him off the branch, Butterflymon swooped in and grabbed his human partner.
    James could only stare, dumbfounded, as his Digimon carried him through the air effortlessly.  He looked down on the ground again, but without the fear he had when swinging on the vine.  He felt the strong muscles of Butterflymon’s arms and the powerful beat of his wings, and it felt as if they were his own wings, that he himself was flying.
The moment was cut short by a powerful blast of wind that nearly blew the pair out of the sky.
    Butterflymon steered to the platform where Juana, Armadimon, and Wizarmon were standing.  He deposited James on the platform.
    Butterflymon’s deep green eyes winked, “I wouldn’t want my partner to get hurt.  Sweet Thistle!
    He opened his right talon, and a yellow pollen haze coalesced around it, turning into what looked like a wheat stalk, made completely out of sugar.  It looked about as threatening as a Pixie stick.
    Yet, as Fuugamon pounced down on Butterflymon, brandishing his thick wooden club, the thistle knocked the club aside and threw the ogre aide.  He landed on the platform.
    Quickly regaining his composure, the ogre roared and beat his chest.
    Butterflymon chuckled, “You should really calm down!  Sweet Pheromone!
    He flapped his wings at high speeds, letting off a sweet smelling yellow haze.  It enveloped Fuugamon, who stopped roaring, and began to look dazed and confused.  
    “What is that?” James asked.
    “My Sweet Pheromone attack puts enemies into a mental haze, similar to opium in its chemical makeup.  It lasts long enough for me to do this!” With that, the armored butterfly grabbed Fuugamon by his shoulders and tossed him into the tree’s trunk.
    Fuugamon hit the trunk with a “thunk” and momentarily coughed up a piece of circuitry.  With that, he shimmered, and shrunk into a small brown goblin.
    “Wait, I know that Digimon!  It’s Shamamon!” Armadimon exclaimed, “He’s a child Digimon that lives in the sector near my home!”
    Wizarmon hovered over to the piece of circuitry that Fuugamon expelled, then turned to Shamamon and produced a vial, “Drink this.”
    “Thank you, Honorable Wizarmon,” Shamamon drank the potion and handed back the vial.  He began to look much better.
    Butterflymon fluttered over to the goblin, “What happened to you?  Why did you evolve?”
    The goblin shrank in fear, “Who are you?”
    Wizarmon beckoned James over, “This is Plotmon.  With the help of his human partner, James, he armor evolved into Butterflymon.”
    The goblin’s eyes became starstruck, “A human!  I can’t believe it!  In my lifetime, I was able to meet a Chosen Child!  All this time, I was friends with a Chosen Digimon!  I feel honored!”
    James felt rather embarrassed, “Well, I wish we had met under different circumstances.”
    Shamamon instantly became worried, “Why?  What did I do wrong?  Have I offended you?”
    “You don’t remember?  You were a Fuugamon.  You were just trying to kill us,” Butterflymon said.
    Shamamon became really worried, “I can’t remember!  I was eating when something flew towards me and rammed itself into my throat.  I was choking, then I felt my body go limp, then I woke up here.”
    Wizarmon held out the device, “You expelled this.”
    Shamamon nodded, “That’s about the right size.”
    Wizarmon paused, “This device must allow a Digimon to evolve unnaturally, causing them to go feral in the process.  I will need to study this more.  James, Butterflymon, I thank you.”
    Before James could respond, Butterflymon grabbed him and danced around, “I evolved, I evolved, I evolved, yay!”
    He promptly devolved into Plotmon and stared up with James in rapt awe.  A yellow light streaked from the puppy and was placed in James’s vest, transforming into a D-Terminal.
    “Thank you,” the dog said.
    James laughed, “I’m not even sure how it happened.”
    “The Digimental chose you,” Wizarmon stated, “It chose you because you activated the trait it is associated with, Knowledge.  It chose you to use its power, to fight this.”
    He placed the circuitry in James’s hand.
    “It is clear that the tower and this device are related, that some great evil looms over our land.  And you two were chosen to fight it.”
    Juana looked at it, “It’s almost like our world.  The natural beauty of the forest is being threatened by technology.  I will fight this evil.  I will save your forest.”
    Armadimon nudged Juana’s leg, “Our partnership signifies the connection between our two worlds.  If you save our forest, perhaps you will save yours.”
    James looked at his watch, “I will join in the fight, but what about our world?  We have lives there, are we going to abandon them to save your world.”
    Juana paled, “My dad must be going crazy!”
    Wizarmon nodded, “I have a way for you to return to your world.  Come.”
    They walked to a small hut.  Upon entering, it was obvious the hut was much larger on the inside than the outside.  Wizarmon led them to a room, and pulled back a curtain, revealing a thick blue pool.
    “This is the portal to your world.  It appeared here yesterday, heralding your arrival.”
    With that, James and Juana realized their partners had vanished.  They soon returned, carrying sacks filled with their few possessions.
    Plotmon yipped happily, “Well, no time to waste!  Let’s go!”
    James looked confused, “You’re coming with us?”
    Juana shook her head, “We can’t let you do that.  You have lives here; we can’t take that away from you.”
    Armadimon shook her head in response, “Our lives are to be your partners.  We are linked to you by soul itself.  We are meant to be with you.
    “Well, then,” James picked up Plotmon, placed him on his shoulder, and held on to his bag, “I can’t wait for you to meet my dad.”
    Armadimon looked up at Juana, “Can I ride on your shoulder?”
    Juana shook her head, “Not unless I want a broken spine.”
    Wizarmon beckoned the foursome to the portal, “Hold out your D-3s.  It should take you back to the place you were taken from.  You should be able to open the portal from any computer.”
    They nodded.  The two humans brought forth their Digivices, and the two pairs of human and Digimon were absorbed into the blue light.

    Getting home from the Digital World was a weird experience.  How we managed to hide Plotmon and Armadimon and avoid interrogation from a group of scientists, who are inherently curious anyway, is a mystery.  I guess they figured we passed out after the earthquake.  They’d been searching for us, and were just glad we were alive.
    I couldn’t hide Plotmon from Dad, anyway.  They’re still talking now.  Dad, of all people, knows not to reveal Plotmon’s existence.  I can trust him.  On some level, I think he’s as excited as I am about him.  All scientists believe in extraterrestrial life, and to my dad, meeting one was an incredible experience.
    Well, it’s been an interesting day, to say the least.
    I felt like a real hero today.  Like if Indiana Jones meets Star Wars.  And the weirdest thing is that it feels normal, like a right of passage.  
    I’m worried, though.  Fuugamon was powerful.  If something could create that power, much less control it on some level, it would have to have incredible power behind it.
    And I’ll have to stand up to that power.
    Fortunately, I have Juana by my side.  That feels good to know.  She has a power behind her, I can feel it.  There’s probably a similar power behind me.  The two of us were Chosen for a reason.
    Still, I have to take things one step at a time.  And the next step is school.  I personally can’t wait.
    I mean, my strong point has always been learning.

                                                                                                                                        -    From the Diary of James McConnell

Author’s Notes:

    First off, I own very little of this.  Digimon and its characters belong to Toei Inc., Bandai, and people who are generally not me.  The universe the story is set in belongs to Lord Archive.  James and Juana belong to me, as do the personalities of their partners.  If you want to use ‘em, fine.  But give ‘em back.  And telling me would be nice.
    It took me forever to get his story out.  I first had this in mind around late March.  A few hard drive reformats and cases of writer’s block later, here we are.
    If any aspect of this story confuses you, good.  It will be explained later.
    I don’t live in Brazil.  If at any point I make any reference to Brazilian life that is incorrect, please notify me, so that I may correct it.
    Have questions?  Comments?  Death threats?  Then review, or email me at griffinguy24@yahoo.com.