Digimon Fan Fiction ❯ The dirt basin ( Chapter 3 )

[ P - Pre-Teen ]
?LESS.? – chapter 3 – The Dirt Basin

Everything seemed to fly around her and LoveLESS felt her stomach start to turn. She held tighter to Neo’s arm and pressed her face against it. She willed her stomach contents to stay where they were and for this sensation to stop. Suddenly a weightlessness took hold of her, a light blinded her and the next thing she knew she was gazing hazily up at a clear blue sky. Translucent strips of data flirt in and out of sight as they strolled along the sky. LoveLESS continued to lay motionless on her back soaking it all in. « The digital world…  » she said with bated breath as she slid off her visor. Slowly she pushed herself up. Neo, along with the tablet he had gifted her were nowhere in sight.

She had landed in a dusty heap at the base of a scraggly cliff. Brown sand-like cliffs and stone formations surrounded her but unlike the shapes the real world scenery took, stones shaped over time with wind and water, these formations had sharp right angles, curly sides and perfectly geometrical shapes cut into them. LoveLESS climbed to her feet and with dismat to remembered she was shoeless. Hanging her visor around the back of her neck she swiped off the dust from her bottom and began to walk around. Around a curve she spied her turquoise tablet. Fear of the crack in the screen she was sure to find crept into her mind as she walked over and picked it up. She found to her delight not even a scratch graced the touch screen. After a few more minutes of aimless walking, with several stops to pick out stones that lodged in her now very dirty feet, she discovered that she had landed in a small, completely enclosed ravine. « Wonderful. . .  » she sighed to herself. A loud crunch of landing feet caught her attention. Thinking it had to be Neo she quickly turned around only to find it wasn’t Neo.

Slowly, Neo opened his eyes and was greeted by the same clear blue sky, a sky whose color he’s only seen from his screens. A breeze gently rustled his hair, a sensation he’d never experienced before. Joy he’d never known before began to build within him and he began to laugh. Laying flat on his back, the breeze tickling his scalp, and the much dreamed of blue sky above, Neo laughed with pure joy. The moments passed as he soaked in this new freedom. He hardly knew what to think or what to feel. Suddenly he stopped and sat up, quickly glancing around him. LoveLESS was not within sight. His joy began to become replaced by mild dread as he noticed his landing had been at the top of a perfectly square rock perched upon an impossibly skinny stone pillar. Had they both landed here and then the tiny hacker had tumbled off?

Quickly he was on his feet and peering down at the scenes below him, afraid what he might see. At the bottom of a ravine off to his right he spotted her; slightly dusty and looking annoyed but intact. She was not alone. While her back was turned a small creature jump down and landed with a thud. Even through his alarm Neo thought ‘My kind takes the strangest forms.’ The digimon was a few inches shy of being as tall as LoveLESS and it’s body was the shape of a dark purple five-pointed star. Large gloved arms sprang from its sides and large booted legs sprang from below it with a brown leather cowboy set on its top point.

With quick silent movements Neo navigated down off his perch and into the ravine. As he landed he heard a crunch of metal on metal. The star digimon stumbled backward clutching at its face while LoveLESS advanced on it, her tablet raised up high. She had used it like a club! So focused what the spunky little hacker she failed to notice his arrival. Unable to help himself he began to laugh again at the scene. Both combatants turned toward him. The digimon’s face registered panic but LoveLESS smiled at him and brandished the tablet again.

« You’re right, this thing is way stronger than any tablet the real world’s made. It survived that landing and this guys face. » As she made her way over to him the digimon beat a hasty retreat, clambering up the stone face and out of sight.

« I’m glad to see you’re alright. When I realized you weren’t with me I began to worry. But I see you’re prepared to take care of yourself hm? »

LoveLESS tucked the tablet under her arm. « I always have in the past, and I can still do it now in the present. Look- » She pointed up to the sky. « It is just like you imagined it would be? »

Neo looked up. « No, » he said.

« No? »

« No, it’s far better than I could have imagined. It’s beautiful. » The sincerity and joy in his voice gave LoveLESS a good feeling. She rarely did anything for anyone, she was mostly tied up in causing headaches. « Come see. » Before she could respond Neo scooped up LoveLESS on his arm so she sat in the crook of his elbow and bounded out of the ravine. She flattened herself against him as they ascend up to the cliff’s edge, her stomach it seemed had not completely settled from their trip here. « It’s all beautiful isn’t it? »

From her spot on his arm she looked around. It looked like they were middle of desolate no where. The same rock formations from the ravine littered the landscape along with more ravines and plateaus. « If you like spaghetti westerns, sunburn, and desolation it’s nice. » She then voiced the one thing Neo had never thought about. « Now what? »

His shoulders sagged and he honestly responded, « I don’t know. I’ve been so obsessed on escape I never planned what I wanted to do once I had. I thought I’d jinx myself if I started planning for a future I might never have. »

LoveLESS patted on his chest and motioned to the ground; meaning she would like to be put down. He looked down at her. « You have no shoes. »

« Really? I hadn’t noticed. » She looked up at him with sarcasm plastered on her face. « I guess that explains why my feet are burning and bleeding. »

« And you want me to set you down? Silly. You’re a wisp of a thing I’ll just carry you. »

« Fine, then let me sit on your shoulder, I want to better view. Sitting down here on you arm I feel like a little tiny purse dog, » she said as he gave her his other hand and helped her up to sit on his shoulder guard.

Continuing the conversation she asked, « Well what kind of things did you do in your purgatory-cell? »

As he responded Neo began to walk around, still relishing this world and his new freedom, « Hacking, rearranging code, causing headaches. »

His walk was smooth and even and caused LoveLESS no discomfort from her seat on his shoulder. « Like what, you didn’t need money or anything. » She was honestly curious too. What would a digimon hacker think was fun to do.

« Rearranging doorways so the lead to walls, formatting doors to not open, recoding cakes so it looks and smells like fish heads but still tastes like cake, that kind of thing. »

LoveLESS laughed, « those are the kind of things you do? »

« This world is nothing but data and I have a key for unlocking it. How can I not do things like that? I like to cause mischief and mayhem, not terror and destruction. »

LoveLESS ran her fingers through her hair massaging her scalp and untangling her strands. Deciding to attempt to get some more information from her companion she said, « I assume that not all virus digimon can do that, I mean effect the digital world like that or this place would be nothing but chaos. Is that why you were hidden away? »

« Hm, I’m not sure really. It’s possible I suppose. I know where we are I think. »

« Ya, 50 miles from anything in all directions, right? »

Neo ignored her and came to a stop. « Give me your tablet please. I want to show you something. »

The hacker obeyed and placed the thin machine into his outstretched hand. Grasping the tablet in one hand he gently touched one golden claw tip from the other hand to the screen. The screen flashed and scrolled coding and the tip of the claw seemed to slip into the screen. He handed the tablet back to LoveLESS. « Here, digital world GPS. We’re in the middle of what they call the Dirt Basin. You’re right though, there nothing around for miles fortunately a trailmon track runs right through here, we should be able to catch a ride. »

« Aw, cool program! Is this something you made up yourself? Or did you steal it? » She asked as she examined the map. Indeed about 5 miles north was a train track that ran parallel from their current position. Stretching off to the right the tracks shot off of the land and kept going over the open water and into the main point of the digital/real world connection. A label that popped up as her finger hovered above it declared it as The Hub. The opposite way down the tracks showed the train weaving through several small settlements and into a wooded area.

« Stolen. Someone already had the financial foresight to develop and market the map. Walking to the track won’t take too long, but trailmons aren’t known to be punctual, depending on the mon. They can be a temperamental kind of digimon. » Thinking about his own kind Neo asked, « Am I frightening to look at? That little digimon took off just at the sight of me. »

« I dunno, you’re unnerving based on height alone, maybe it’s association. How are other Virus digimon thought of? The news keeps saying their being uncooperative with the real world and the other digimon. »

« I think that is the general sentiment about my fellow virus type digimon I can’t say from personal experience. Any virus digimon I’ve come across was doing awful hacking jobs with the help of a human. I mean awful, hacking away at the coding with a dull hatchet bad. I have no desire to associate with that. »

LoveLESS giggled, « Wow, you’re a regular elitist aren’t you? »

Neo twisted his neck slightly and looked at her with three eyes. « Would you have associated with that? »

She scoffed, « Well of course not, but they aren’t my kind. Besides I am an island on to myself. »

He chuckled in response and started walking again. « An island? What are you doing here then. »

« Me? » LoveLESS smiled. « I’m getting a free ride and presents from a kidnapper. » He laughed in response to her. « Don’t tell me how to do it, just if you think I can. Do you think I could manufacture some coding and give myself some shoes? »

« LoveLESS, while this world my resemble your world more then the screens of data and code you’re used too, it can be manipulated just like the codes can. You could be able to do it the same way I carry out my mischief. Of course I’ll say mum on how I do it. It would take away the fun right? »

« You remember I like my fun, » LoveLESS replied with a smile still on her lips. Stretching her arms above her head she let out a yawn. « Before you snatched me away I was planning on curling up in my feather down comforter. How long do you think It’ll take you to get to the trailmon? »

« Hm well, lets take a look and see if we can see the trailmon at all. Hold on to me. » Before LoveLESS could manage to say ‘how? Would I do that from up here?’ they were airborne. Each beat of Neo’s crimson red wings brought them higher. « There, it’s coming from the ocean, from The Hub. » Sure enough a yellow steam engine with five cars was heading down the tracks and out toward the other side of the Basin. « I think it’s a Kettle trailmon. »
Readjusting to place a securing hand on LoveLESS Neo glided with the air current to intercept the yellow trailmon. As they neared the tracks Neo slowed farther and prepared to land on one of the compartments. « You know what’s funny? »

Pushing her hair from her face and replied, « No but I feel like you’re about to tell me. »
« I’ve never flown before, » He laughed. « No room in the cell. »

« So I’m part of your maiden flown voyage? »

« Yes, you’re part of history, » Neo joked. As the kettle trailmon approached it saw the two hovering. Apparently jump-on were common in the digital world transportation as it didn’t pay them much concern.

As it went beneath them it shouted out to them in a loud but nasally voice, « Last compartments empty! Pay when you hop off! »

« Thank you, » Neo yelled back as the compartments thunder underneath them. With a soft thump he landed on the last car. Taking hold of LoveLESS with both hands he gently placed her on the slightly swaying rooftop, shielding her from the rushing wind with his body. On shaky legs LoveLESS made her way to the ladder to the end of the roof and climbed down. The compartment door swung open for her and she entered.

To her delight the last car was a sleeper car. A single corridor ran along the right side of the car with three doors leading off on the left to the rooms. The walls were wooded with wainscoting and painted a pale yellow. The nasally voice re-emerged from a speaker mounted on the wall. « Like I said all the rooms are open. I don’t have a dinning car and the other cars are simple passenger cars. »

Although the car was taller than a normal human train car, Neo still had to duck his head to avoid hitting the ceiling. « Can you tell me how long to the next town please? » Neo asked as he followed LoveLESS through the first door. »

The voice now came from a speaker in their compartment. « The Dirt Basin is a big area. It’s going to be five hours until we hit Line In The Dirt. »

LoveLESS let out a small laugh, « I guess that it’s so named because it’s the cut off point for the Basin right? »

« It’s a very practical name, » buzzed the nasally speaker. « I’ll alert all passengers when the stop is nearing. »

Yawning again the hacker let down the lower bed. The compartment was wood-paneled with the same pale yellow color as the corridor. A large picture window covered the left side of the compartment. « I need to sleep, » she said. « Do you need a bed? Cause I’d rather you be on the lower and forgo the possibility that these flimsy chains cannot support your weight and you come crashing down if you’re on the top bed. »

Neo settled with his back propped up against the wall opposite of the beds. « I’m too excited to sleep. Besides I need to make some financial arrangements for this ride and the next town. »

« You mean steal some money? » LoveLESS said through a yawn.

« Judging me? You of all people. . . « 

The hacker unfolded a stiff white sheet and fluffed the flattened pillow. « I didn’t say anything, I was just clarifying. Elitist and touchy, huh? »

« Go to sleep. »

« I am, you keep talking. » LoveLESS settled under the sheet her back to the wall. She must have been more tired then she though because the gentle sway of the train quickly lulled LoveLESS to sleep.

Face to face
Line in the Dirt