A jumper fleeing from those that hunt him is torn from his world and all that he knew. A close encounter following his arrival captures his interest and soon finds himself fighting once more. Cr...
Disclaimer: I own nothing but my characters: Damien Starling, Cainedracumon, Cujomon, and Fenrirmon.
Sidenote: when the word jump appears as 'jump' it means jump/teleport. When it appears as jump it means jump/leap.
Darting around acorner, a man panted heavily as he held his prize close to his chest as he tried to escape those who pursued him. He swallowed thickly forcing his heart back down into his chest before securing his bag and tucking his prize underneath his arm he climbed up a fire escape in the back alley as the shouts drew, adrenaline fueling his desperate flight up the clanging metal steps as he heard others join him on the fire escape. The man's name is Damien Starling, and he is a Jumper; an individual who possesses the power to teleport (or'Jump').
The ability to'Jump' is a genetic anomaly that has existed for centuries and those who possess this gift have a freedom that most people can't begin to comprehend. They can transport themselves anywhere in the world at any time, for any reason. Experience and emotion play a key role in the affect of a 'Jump' and depending on the Jumpers state of mind at the time, it can cause significant damage. Jumpers 'Jump' for the first time at age 5.
As they refine their gift, the 'Jump' becomes more fluid. However, even the most skilled Jumper will cause environmental damage when in danger, angry or in aheightened emotional state during a 'Jump'. When a Jumper teleports between two places he/she opens up a rift in the fabric of space-time. The visible result of this process is a Jumpscar, an otherworldly "scar" that hangs in the air for several seconds, like smoke from a cigarette.
Jumpscars are dangerous and will shred anything or anyone who tries to touch one. Abullet fired near a Jumpscar will behave unpredictably, which is why Paladins do no use conventional weapons around Jumpers. However, it is possible for one Jumper to follow another Jumper through his Jumpscar. They can transport themselves anywhere in the world at any time, for any reason.
However, there is adark side to this gift; for almost as long as there have been"Jumpers" there have been those that hunt them. These people are called Paladins - an ancient sect that has long recognized the threat that Jumpers pose to the world, the Paladins have evolved into an elite organization of warrior-like individuals who find and kill Jumpers around the globe. Paladins believe Jumpers are simply too powerful to be allowed to exist and also believe that Jumping is bad for the planet.
Over the years, the Paladins have cultivated a special skill – the ability to sense when a Jumper is about to Jump in the vicinity. This heightened awareness gives the Paladins a much needed tool to use when battling the Jumpers. Today, Paladins are so good at killing Jumpers that few make it to adulthood.
Over time, the Paladins have also created special weapons that help in the capture and extermination of Jumpers. Primary among these are tether weapons, which are shot out of a special kind of gun. The tethers have the ability to harness Jumpers and an electrical charge running through the tethers prevents the Jumper from jumping while the Paladin moves in the for the kill. Paladins also use special electrified nets to contain jumpers.
As he hauled himself up onto the gravel covered roof his panic addled mind flashed back to one of the rare times he and a few other jumpers had gotten together, before the paladins' had gotten smarter and they, if possible, were hunting them even more viciously.
"Let's hear it for Damien" toasted as Kyle raised up his shot glass,"to the man who pulled this poor jumper's ass from those damned paladins!"
A quiet cheer went up around the table as Damien waved off the congratulations.
"I only saved your ass because you still owe me twenty bucks for covering the drinks for you last time," another bout of laughter went round the drinkers some obviously underage, "on a more serious note, I have something to announce."
A somber silence fell over the table as they waited, slightly afraid of what it could be,
Knocking back his shot in an appearance to gain strength from it
"I am proud to announce that I am now a member of the prestigious mile high club"
"Oh come on, that's your big news? Good job nearly giving us heart attacks" yelled Griffin
"It's important because I wasn't in a plane when I joined," Damien yelled back, smirking.
"Christ, you're a crazy bastard aren't you?"
"Anti-Christ is more like it, and if you haven't noticed we're already through the looking glass Griffin, insanity is a survival trait for us." he said, finishing with a crazy grin accompanied by an even more crazed laugh.
The group burst into a new fit of laughter at his retort, one even snorting some of his beer, despite the joke being a little morbid because of the usually short and very hectic lives of jumpers. Unfortunately, Damien knew that this would likely be the last time he would see some of them,
“A toast,” raising his glass he looked around at those before him,
“to friends and comrades here and gone,” his smile tinted bittersweet at the bowed heads,
“may they never be forgotten and may retribution for their absence be swift and absolute.”
He raised his glass once more towards the sky before downing its contents, his actions repeated in silence by everyone, before he turned and headed into the biting New York winter with the last drink burning just a little more than the others in his throat.
Damien dashed across the rooftops, grunting as he leapt to another building, he ran as fast as he dared, trying to put enough distance between him and the paladins behind him to make a getaway and not have them follow through his jumpscar.
Unfortunately, luck was not with him that this night as he cornered to sharply around some pipes, losing traction on the loose gravel coating the roof his feet slid out from under him, costing him precious seconds as the paladins drew ever closer.
Distracted as he was, avoiding the electrified cables of the paladins' shocksticks, he didn't realize until it was too late that he had run himself into acorner. The paladins right on his coattails he took a chance and leapt of the roof, hoping that being unable to place their jumpscar opening machine directly underneath it would be enough for it to not work.
Taking a few steps back, Damien got a running start to put as much distance between him and the roof as possible. A dozen feet away from the roof he hoped he was right and jumped, completely unprepared for the shockstick catching him in the small of his back and pouring electricity into his body. He screamed in pain as the tens of thousands of volts coursed through him and the machine he stole from the very paladin cell chasing him, the same kind of machine that he was trying to escape from.
Damien had felt the burn of a shockstick many times before but this was on a whole other level of pain, it felt as though his body was being pulled in every direction at once. Just as he thought that he could take no more, like a rubber-band stretched to its limit then let go, his body snapped back and the last thing he felt before the black overtook him was a bone-jarring impact and the sharp pain of the pilfered machine digging into his chest.
He groaned as the black faded away from his vision, twitching various parts he checked to make sure everything was were it was supposed to be after that nightmare,
'fingers, toes, arms, legs, back, and neck alright I'm not paralyzed or missing anything',
he carefully stood and did a visual inspection, and was relieved to find that despite what was probably a minor concussion and several very nasty bruises from landing on the machine he was overall, fine. He was also pleased to find that he still had his canvas shoulder bag and all its contents and the machine was intact if a little scratched and dented.
'Looks like my hunch was right and they weren't able to follow,' he thought relieved that he was, for the moment, safe.
Kneeling, he picked up his hat from the ground and brushed the dirt and grass off of it before placing back on his headup off the floor and returning it to his head, he finally noticed his surroundings and the damages caused by his arrival, fissures spread across the ground from where he stood and several trees had cracks and tears from the violent energies of the jump.
Whistling at the surprising amount of damage he took in the effects,
'no wonder why it hurt like a bitch, I mean, I've never had a jump this bad even my first was less violent than this.'
His contemplations were cut short as Damien heard footsteps nearing. Quickly he 'jumped'into one of the nearby trees, far enough away to not be noticed, but remaining close enough to observe the newcomers in order to gain insight into this unknown situation.
Waiting silently partially hidden in the old pine, he watched as a young girl looking around the age of 12 or 13, with red hair up in a pony-tail, wearing jeans and a t-shirt with a broken heart on it walked into the clearing. He nearly fell out of the tree as a golden furred humanoid fox blurred into existence 'Damn, looks like I'm not in Kansas anymore, or dead, or I've cracked, or ….oh hey they're talking'
"-at's going on," asked the girl, "the digivice went off, but there's no field or digimon in the area, do you sense anything Renamon?" Renamon spoke in a clearly feminine voice,
"I do not know Rika, I do not sense any digimon, but something in the area feels…off." The girl, Rika, looked clearly annoyed at this, but says nothing and walked off. As Damien observed the Renamon who remained, when there was a rustling noise from the tree in which he hi.
Starling suddenly froze as he realized that Renamon heard him, she whipped her head around at the tree looking for the source. He cursed mentally at what he though was his lack of control as she searched for the cause.
After a tense few moments, a squirrel scampered down the trunk, worry abated, the vulpine digimon slowly backed away, and suddenly jumped and phased into the darkness of the night. Concluding that he won't be discovered and relieved it wasn't him that caused the noise, Damien cautiously emerged from the tree.
Leaving the park forest, he fell back on an effective method for finding a safe place to rest, he flipped through the newspaper until he caught the familiar words for 'apartment' and 'vacant' and soon enough he was squatting in an unoccupied apartment.
Walking out of the bathroom and feeling much more relaxed, Damien quickly found a comfortable enough spot in the corner on the floor. Resting his head on his rolled up coat, he slowly slipped off into blissful unconsciousness a memory from long ago floated through his mind,
'may you live in interesting times,'
causing a small grin to show on his lips for the first time since the theft went pear-shaped with the location and events leading up to.
Damien jerked back into consciousness skipping the fuzzy limbo state as he began laying out the necessary tasks that needed to be done while remaining unnoticed for the time being.
'Let's see, first, I need to figure out where I am as well as what happened. Next, I need to locate any digimon in the area because they seemed to be able to detect my -arrival- last night and I absolutely must find a more comfortable place to sleep,' he thought while rubbing his sore neck.
Now with a plan of action and making sure he wasn't leaving anything and his hat was secure, Damien made his to the window, and 'jumped' onto the 3rd story roof of a nearby building and began his task of acquiring information on the city and by what he saw the previous night how close this world was to his own.
The sun was just beginning to set when he had finally finished searching city and he was heading to a travel agency he had found when a blur skirting the rooftops to the left caught his attention. As he made his way over to investigate, his finely honed senses gained from 9 years of not only surviving, but thriving under near-continuous attacks from paladins drew his vision to a parking garage roughly 4 city blocks from his current position where a small fog bank was forming from seemingly nothing.
When his attention turned back to wear the blur was, it was gone,
'what was that? A possible enemy or maybe an ally, I'll worry about that later. Right now I need to check this out,'
Damien thought to himself, as he closed in he heard what indicated fighting.
'damn it, I just know this is gonna be messy,'
he thought while deciding a course of action. 'Jumping' into the garage, he found it left him in pain, out of breath, and feeling deeply unsettled, only to be distracted from the effects of the jump to find that the Renamon from last night was fighting what appeared to be a scarecrow complete with crow and armed with a bow and a quiver of arrows.
Beyond the obvious weirdness of the battle, Damien was shocked at how vicious the scarecrow fought and how the fox fought with a grace that seems more like a dance than a life-or-death battle. The fight progressed, neither giving any ground and the combatants beginning to tire, the battle taking its toll.
After performing a"Diamond Storm" (and hiding a wince at the fact they were yelling out attacks) the Renamon suddenly delivered a flying kick aiming to smash the figure's skull into the pavement, but the other combatant just bent around it with a flexibility born from being made of straw, and brutally struck Renamon in the head with its bow sending her flying into a support pillar.
The impact knocked loose concrete which partially buried the fox beneath it causing acry of pain break from the stoic fighter. The other digimon seized the opportunity and charged an arrow with enough energy for it to glow visibly, ready to finish of the trapped -mon.
Deciding that he couldn't leave the Renamon to her fate and that having her indebted to him would be useful, Damien quickly grabbed a piece of rebar weighted at one end with a chunk of concrete from the ground and performed a series of 'jumps' towards the back of the assailant, gaining a huge amount of momentum, he struck the beast's skull with the force of a speeding automobile, crushing the creature's skull like an overripe melon.
Unfortunately this would-be this fatal blow only served to irritate and turn its attention towards him. Damien was forced to dive only barely out of the reach of its attacks as he couldn't allow it to grow frustrated and turn back to its original opponent.
With a skill born of years of combat improvisation he tore off his t-shirt and thoroughly soaked it in some gas that had pooled beneath a ruined car while pulling a lighter from inside his coat.
"Come on you fucker, you got any brains in that head of yours of is it all just padding?"
Snarling with fury the creature shot an arrow into the parked car causing it to explode brilliantly. After a moment of waiting, he decided that the foolish human who dared mock it was dead and turned back to finish off the arrogant fox.
Only to come face-to-face with the 'foolish human'
"how about alittle fire scarecrow,"
then all it knew was pain. Damien watched impassively as the crow, true creature, writhed on the ground, wrapped in the burning cloth, with its scarecrow puppet until the digimon appeared to break into tiny particles and to his surprise flow into the partially buried Renamon.
Shaking his head, Damien put aside his curiosity and began to gently remove the rubble that was covering the knocked out digimon, 'how could she possibly not have any wounds? I mean even if she's tougher than any human the impact should have left at least a scratch,' he thinks. Once the rubble was cleared away he realized another thing, 'I can't just leave her lying here,'
With that decision made, Damien very carefully lifted the unconscious digimon up bridal style and 'jumped' them both to a small, secluded clearing in the park near where he first appeared.
No longer occupied by mortal combat, the adrenaline left his body and allowed him to finally feel the results of repeating the jump within that accursed fog, the pain bringing him to his knees as he emptied his stomach onto the grass beneath him. His hands tore out fistfuls of grass as he heaved and agonizing tremors shook his form.
Panting, he wiped the tasted of bile and copper from his lips and slowly pushed himself onto his feet, only to be lifted and pressed against the hard bark of a tree by a tri-fingered hand that wrapped around his throat.
“oh just fucking wonderful”
Slowly lifting his arms, he adjusted his position a little in her hand before relaxing and just hanging in her grip. He lifted his coal black eyes to meet her electric blue ones, calmly gazing at the one who held him.
“You're questions are obvious and I'll save you the trouble of asking them. My name is Damien, we're in Shinjuku Park, and I brought you here after finishing off the scarecrow because you were unconscious.”
She let go and he stood, grumbling while he massaged his throat before straightening and meeting her eye to eye.
"great more injuries as if I wasn't in enough fucking pain already"
Pushing himself away from the trunk, Damien stretched like a cat, several loud pops and cracks were heard from his back causing him to hunch over slightly and hiss in pain while grumbling to himself,
Not outwardly reacting in the slightest to the sight of Renamon standing not ten feet away ready to cause him even more pain, he rubbed his eyes with one hand trying to will away the throbbing headache that was pounding out a tattoo just behind his eyes. Sighing he gave her the answers he knew she wanted, "you were knocked unconscious by the creature you were fighting and I decided I just couldn't leave you lying there so here we are." Hearing his explanation she relaxed her stance but didn't completely lower her guard,
"Now as I was saying, I was exploring the city and the sudden appearance of a fog bank sparked my curiosity, much to my surprise you two were kicking the crap out of each other after you were knocked I got the scarecrow's attention"
"Nohemon," she corrected,
".. fine, Nohemon; I killed it before it could finish you off, and dug you out from under the rubble, and brought you here." he finished.
A raised eyebrow is what he got in reply, “How did you kill Nohemon? I find it hard to believe you took him down.”
That thought caused him to snort in disbelief, “He was made of straw, which, apparently, is highly flammable,go figure.”
Suddenly, he snapped his fingers in realization, "Where are my manners," Damien stood to his full height and removed his hat with a flourish, bowed low, and introduced himself,
"My name is Damien Starling and it was my pleasure to be the one to pull your fuzzy butt out of the fire."
Not caring about the silent stare being given at his flamboyant introduction he then turned and headed towards the trees at the edge of the clearing when Renamon asked Damien about something that had been bouncing around in her head,
"how is it possible that you defeated the Nohemon, and how did you get all of the way across the city, because I know that I would have awoken at some point if you had carried me."
Slightly surprised at how long it took until she asked that question he answered "he was probably quite weak from fighting you and he underestimated me so I was able to take him by surprise."
Renamon was about to turn and ask again how he got here and why he had helped her when ashout was heard that caused her to turn away, "Renamon!"
When she turned back, she found that Damien was nowhere to be found and there was no sign that he was ever there. When she heard her name called a second time she phased out to answer her tamer's summons.
Standing on top of one of the many skyscrapers, Damien looked out with a small grin as the sunset threw the sky into a dazzling array of colors while it sank beneath the horizon. Completely relaxed for the first time in many years, he thought of all the things he wanted to do now since there were no Paladins hunting him.
Even with all his ideas; Damien planed to return here everyday because it seemed to be the most exciting of anywhere at the moment. Falling backwards off the building, his grin widened as he imagined how much fun this would be, then laughter escaped as he realized that he was in Japan and that there really were monsters attacking the city.
'Well, its not Tokyo but I guess it'll have to do,' he thought to himself before disappearing without a trace; only the slightest of scarring remained of the 'jump', which also disappeared in seconds. Despite the sadness he felt at never seeing his friends again he planned on fully enjoying himself without the constant threat of Paladins. Something every jumper had only dreamed of, which only added to his growing excitement knowing that the fun was only just beginning.
TWO DAYS LATER
Sitting unnoticed on the edge of a raised walkway crossing the street, Damien watched the fight before him like an average moviegoer, bucket of popcorn included. Quietly keeping a running commentary on the scene before him like a sports announcer, he began his little show,
"Ladies and Gentleman, welcome to the first ever spectator digimon battle today we feature Renamon and her tamer Rika Nonaka versus our mystery guest digimon, let's get ready to rumble."
As if the entire thing was choreographed, the fog seemed to clear before his eyes, revealing a large, flaming, cat-like beast in the center of the it all.
He noticed something moving down below, and, apparently, so did the Lynxmon, as it turned its attention towards the newcomer."Hmph, just a Armor digimon, and a weak one, at that." the voice of a girl cut through the fog like a knife made of ice.
A red-haired girl, wearing a tan trench coat and purple sunglasses, stepped through the fog and gazed coolly at the digimon before her. The Lynxmon gazed at the human curiously.
'Weren't humans supposed to be highly skittish creatures? Easily frightened by anything they didn't understand, or something more powerful than they were? Well, he was stronger than any human could ever hope to be, yet this human...child was standing up to him, looking him right in the eyes without so much as blinking! Hell, she even looked a bit bored!'
The digimon let the comment about his level slide. She knew nothing of his power, but he was more than happy to educate her.
Rika scoffed before pulling off her sunglasses and walking off to the side. As another figure appear behind her, she called over her shoulder, "Renamon, walk all over him." Damien saw her looking quite bored with the fight, almost as much as he was. She looked around for something to do, but found nothing. She leaned against a tree, tapped her foot impatiently, then pulled out her Digivice and pointed it in Lynxmon's general direction. A holographic display popped up above the device's screen and she mumbled out the information to herself .
Then he noticed that, down below, Renamon was nowhere to be found, Rika was smirking and looking up, and the Lynxmon was standing on the ground looking highly confused. Renamon had jumped up behind and above the Lynxmon, getting some SERIOUS hang time, and readying her Diamond Storm attack. Damien smiled and waved when the fox looked at him and they made eye-contact, but it was too fast for her tamer to notice that her partner's attention was elsewhere. He guessed that she realized that he wasn't here to cause trouble and just wanted to enjoy the show.
"Diamond Storm!" Renamon spread her arms out and the energy ball in front of her exploded into hundreds, maybe even thousands of small, razor-sharp shards of energy, which rained down on the Lynxmon, destroying it.
Remaining sitting until Rika left, Damien got to stand up, "nice fight, though you might want to get your tamer to cut back a little on the taunting she just might end up pissing off the wrong digimon who'd go for her instead of you," he says without even turning around to see who it is behind him.
The silence did not falter and realizing that he wasn't getting a response, he stood and turned to face his current source of entertainment. As he stared through a half-lidded gaze waiting for whatever she wanted, Renamon was slightly surprised at how he was only slightly taller than her and that while just a little above average for the rest of the global population, he would tower over most people in the Orient.
"Why are you here?"
was her monotone inquiry and knowing that the length of this impromptu interrogation directly affects how much fun he gets to have, he decides to nip this problem in the butt before it gets out of hand,
"Look, I only came here because I enjoy a good fight, was bored, and the fact that inhuman creatures are actually attacking in Japan is funny as shit."
Noticing that she was slightly disbelieving about his motives he continued,
"I know you don't trust me and I don't really care, but I would recommend keeping my being here to yourself."
The sarcasm on her next statement was so thick that he couldn't help but smile at tweaking the stoic fox,
"and why would I not want to tell my tamer about you, because I really think Ishould."
"Because Idon't have any more interest in you or your tamer than any other spectator at a game, and that if your tell your tamer about me I will make it my personal task to keep her so paranoid about an invisible enemy that she will barely be able to function, let alone fight effectively. Who knows, she may even begin to lose trust in you as she begins to lose trust and/or doubt your sanity in saying that there are people out to get you and with no proof."
Narrowing her eyes at the threat, she was only partially successful at keeping the anger out of her voice,
"why should I trust you if you so obviously have no qualms about threatening us?"
Sighing at the fact that they have nearly gone in a complete circle,
"you really can't, but I have no cause to harm either of you unless I am provoked, and I honestly think that we could find each other as friends if you got to know me," he said with a shrug and alopsided grin.
He started walking away after receiving a a curt nod from her but stopped a few meters away, "If you ever would like to get to know me or just want to talk about anything use this," he said and tossed her a small device like a pager but thinner, "press the button and I'll come, otherwise I'm usually up on the roof of that building over there watching the sunset," he pointed to a tall brick building before walking away.
Watching him go, her sight of him was blocked as he past by a lamppost and he was just gone. Shaking her head she examined the small transmitter for amoment before slipping it underneath one of her gloves then she followed Damien's example by leaping onto a nearby building and heading for her tamer's house to rest.
Reappearing in an alley on the other side of the city he walked towards the street but only made it about halfway before he noticed the unnaturally thick fog that had quickly appeared.
Slowly, he bent and tensed his legs while shifting his weight onto the balls of his feet preparing to jump clear as he carefully he scanned the fog for any movement, he was not disappointed. The fog cleared slightly to reveal a shaggy black dog that at first glance looked perfectly normal, besides being freakishly big, but as it walked closer Damien could see the six slitted crimson eyes in place of place of the normal two. The hound stopped once it stood only two meters away, simply watching Damien as the silence stretched on before finally speaking in a low, gravelly voice,
"You are not scared, why?" Pleasantly surprised at the near civil tone Damien responded, "While I don't doubt your strength, I am quite certain that any attempt to kill me will fail and in about a minute or two it won't really matter anyway,"
Only slight interest showed on the canine's face as he asked "Oh? Why only minute?"
"Well it's more like 45 seconds now, until a digimon, followed by her tamer show up and with a decent chance of success, attempt to claim your data for their own," ignoring the raising of the creature's hackles he continued pointing a thumb at the restaurant nearby, "unless you would rather join me for a bite to eat, something to drink, and perhaps a little fun."
The digimon seemed to be thinking it over before nodding his assent, "Very well." Clapping his hands, "Excellent, now let's get something to eat cause I'm starving," Damien replied before turning and rapidly heading towards the door, holding it open for his new companion he said, "and my name is Damien Starling," to which the digimon simply stared at him before it responded in kind, "and Iam Cainedracumon."
As Cainedracumon walked through the doorway he stopped and turned his head towards Damien, "You are quite strange for a human," he stated, pulling the door closed behind him Damien replied with a knowing grin, "I know."
Unnoticed by the both of them, a certain fox digimon had landed just outside the alley looking for the recently biomerged digimon. Unable to spot the digimon, Renamon scanned the area with her acute senses knowing that the digimon was here but she can't completely search the area without being seen. About to return to Rika's home when out of the corner of her eye she spotted a very familiar form walking into a restaurant. Knowing that no human could travel that quickly even with the aid of an car, her eyes narrowed as she frowned before she vanished back into the shadows vowing to observe Damien Starling much closer from now on.