Here is Chapter Eleven of QueenGatomon's Private Challenge Slavery.
“What happened here?” June gasped the moment they arrived in the Digital World. The land around them was barely recognizable as the Digital World they once knew. The trees and other vegetation had died away, leaving only a barren wasteland of rocks and sand. There were no Digimon in sight.
“I don’t know,” Jim frowned, looking at his D Terminal. “The Work camp is farther away than Izzy expected—it’ll be at least a day’s walk from here.” He shielded his eyes against the glaring sun, and gazed across the desolate field.
“We can get there quicker by running,” Gaomon insisted, glancing up at his partner.
Jim shook his head. “No, I have a feeling that we have a pretty big battle ahead of us, you guys need to conserve your strength until then, okay?” he asked. “Besides, we could all use the exercise.”
Gaomon, Fanbeemon, Lunamon, and Dracomon all groaned.
“Come on, everyone,” Momoe insisted, shifting her backpack on her shoulders. “We have plenty of food and water to keep us going, just think about saving Veemon and the others, and the time will pass by before you know it!” She began to walk, and, still grumbling, the others followed.
They were traveling on borrowed time. Scene Break
“I’m so glad that Dr. Kido let you come home today, Matt, we’ve all really missed you,” T.K. chattered, tossing his brother’s duffel bag onto the sofa at their Dad’s apartment. “Mom is even letting me stay the night with you, which is great, because I don’t think I’d be able to sleep alone, I’m so anxious about Patamon…”
“How could you have missed me, you barely let me out of your sight the entire time I was in the hospital, and that was two weeks,” Matt insisted, although he grinned at T.K., letting him know he was only joking. “But yeah, I understand about Patamon, I’m scared for Gabumon too…but…I’m sure they’ll be all right, they have to be.” He fell onto the sofa beside T.K., and they both stared at the blank TV screen, lost in their own thoughts.
“Do you really think everything is going to work out?” T.K. asked.
“June promised me, and she would never break a promise, you know that as well as I do,” Matt said, with a sideways glance at T.K.
“You’ve got that right,” T.K. snickered. “So, um, what’s going on between you two, anyway, you guys looked pretty serious back at the hospital,” he said mischievously. “I thought June was dating Jim, she’s not stepping out on him with you, is she?”
“T.K. of course not,” Matt protested. “Davis told me that Jim decided that June and I needed to get to know each other better, that’s all. And if you want my opinion, I think June is setting Jim up with Momoe, I’ve seen the looks she’s been giving him lately.”
“So you guys aren’t dating?” T.K. persisted.
“Who do you think you are, the Matchmaker?” Matt demanded, slugging T.K. playfully. “We talked for like, two minutes, it was nothing major. I appreciate what she’s doing, and she was probably just worried about me, you know how June tends to be obsessive.” But Matt was smiling when he said this, and T.K. grinned.
“Whatever you say, Mattie,” T.K. shrugged, leaning back against the sofa cushions, and feeling something hard jab him in the back. “Ouch—what the?” He pulled the TV remote and a dirty plate out from beneath the cushions.
“So that’s where the remote disappeared to, Dad told me he hasn’t been able to find it the whole time I was gone!” Matt laughed. Eyeing the dirty plate, he said, “And apparently, he couldn’t find the dishes either, I bet he ate takeout all week; Aww man, I feel so guilty.”
“Don’t, Dad never was much of a cook, anyway,” T.K. insisted, and they both started laughing. Suddenly, the telephone rang, and T.K. jumped up to answer it. He came back, his face white. “It’s Kari, she’s coming over.”
“I wonder what’s wrong now,” Matt frowned. A moment later, Kari was at the door. T.K. let her in.
“Gennai just contacted me,” Kari said, her voice shaking slightly, and it took Matt and T.K. a minute to realize it was from excitement. “He said that he found Gatomon, Patamon, and Gabumon! They managed to escape the camp, and are hiding out in the Night Forest with some other Digimon, waiting for help to arrive!”
“Kari, that’s fantastic news!” T.K. exclaimed, twirling her around, grinning. He felt saddened that the other Digimon were not with them, but elated that Patamon was safe.
“Can we get to them?” Matt wondered.
“We can try to open another port, but Gennai is worried that the signal won’t be strong enough for us to reach the Night Forest, it’s pretty secluded,” Kari explained, going over to Matt’s computer and booting it up. Once they were online, Kari held up her Digivice. “DIGIPORT OPEN!”
There was the usual flash of light, but then the three teens were thrown backwards by an invisible force, like what happened the last time any of them had tried to access one of the Digital Gates. They smashed into a wall, jarring shelves overhead; boxes tumbled down, knocking over books and knickknacks, creating more bumps and bruises, and generally causing a lot of racket.
It was here that Mr. Ishida walked in, and just stood in the doorway taking in the scene in front of him. “What on earth is going on in here?” he demanded.
“Uh, long story, Dad,” T.K. forced a laugh, sitting up with a groan. He was disappointed that the port hadn’t worked; Patamon seemed so far away now, T.K. felt like he would never reach him.
“Care to explain?” Mr. Ishida asked dryly.
“Not really,” Matt grimaced. Their dad knew about Digimon, but now just wasn’t the time.
“I wish you boys would be more careful, and it’s not healthy to get so riled up, you have to save your strength, you know,” Mr. Ishida said firmly, hanging up his coat and walking around the mess. He threw T.K. a Look, and went into his room.
“That doesn’t sound like Dad, something’s up,” T.K. frowned.
“He’s just got a lot on his mind right now, T.K., you know that,” Matt insisted, climbing to his feet. Matt figured that part of the problem was that he had convinced Dr. Kido to let him out of the hospital early, despite his Dad's wishing for him to remain longer, because he had developed a new problem with high blood pressure.
“”Yeah,” T.K. sighed, helping Kari up.
“I’m sorry it didn’t work,” Kari said quietly as they all stared at the glowing computer screen. She felt a pang in her chest, realizing just how close she had been to seeing Gatomon after all this time.
“It wasn’t your fault, Kari,” Matt insisted. “Let’s just clean up this mess, okay?”
The three of them lapsed into silence while they straightened up the living room, their good moods shattered by more than just a failed attempt.Next Chapter: Gatomon and Patamon drive Gabumon insane, and meet a familiar face.