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    [KLAW-BA] BD-01: Lunar Gaiden

    Montropolis/Mystic Glen - Anime World

    [KLAW-BA] BD-01: Lunar Gaiden
    By Darrel Vanwinkle (Lord Pouchlaw)

    Chapter 01

    Basil Douglas was naturally excited. King Kazma (the anime rabbit from Summer Wars) of Anime World were allowing the Douglas family to move into the Montropolis region into a small farmhouse located just outside of the city, as per Samuel Douglas' request. Basil's mom, Karen and his brother, Valiance, though he preferred to be called Vale and his nearly perfect, gosh darn beautiful and super gorgeous sister, Lorraine, were all taking this move in stride.

    When Basil's father was laid off from his job, he never expected to be offered a new job in the Mystic Glen region doing nearly the same thing he had done before, only as a docking manager and for better pay to boot. But their fortune was all due to the chance encounter Basil had just before Christmas with a Genie Fox named Lezco who was on a mission to give out twelve wishes to deserving young people so he could earn his freedom from a local hero in Montropolis.

    The Douglas family were in one of King Kazma's motorcade limousines which was being driven by a member of the Red Rabbit police force. Their old home had been claimed by the bank due to a mortgage foreclosure and now they truly felt as if they were leaving nothing behind. The family dog, Champion, a large friendly Great Dane, quietly rested in his doggy bed near Lorraine's feet while the family parrot, Kokomo, focused quietly on the road ahead.

    "It was awfully nice of King Kazma to make the arrangements for my new job and our new home, Karen," said Samuel. "We should be there in another few minutes."

    Karen smiled. "Our own farm like I grew up on when I was a girl. We can grow our own food and maybe have a cow for fresh milk. And some chickens for eggs. And pigs for bacon and ham."

    Vale said, "I just hope we get there before one of us needs to use the bathroom."

    Basil exclaimed, "There's the Stargate leading into Anime World!"

    Samuel nodded his head as the red rabbit chauffeur turned the limousine off through the quiet Stargate from the main freeway. Then they made a left and got into the correct lane, as they drove onward as they approached the citizen entry gate into Montropolis.

    Standing in the check booth was Fujiko of Lupin the Third fame. "Hello folks. This is the citizen entry to Montropolis. Are you people the Douglas family? King Kazma told me to be on the lookout for that family. May I see your identification cards please?"

    Samuel held up his ID card for the anime female. "I am Samuel Douglas. King Kazma arranged my job in Mystic Glen."

    At that moment, Kokomo piped up, "Brawk! Time is money!"

    Fujiko held up a card reader device and took a picture of Samuel's ID Card. "Douglas family and pets. You are cleared to proceed to your new farm. Your Red Rabbit escort knows the way. Your new car will be awaiting you in your garage at your new residence. Please enjoy your stay."

    The humans smiled at Fujiko as the red rabbit drove on through the gate, following the route into the Digimon Farms area on an unpaved county road. They turned right on that and as they passed the first farm which had what looked like a corn field, they saw a short dragon like Digimon boy tending to his field. Just beyond that, they soon saw their donated courier box with their name on it.

    At that point, they turned into the south driveway and got their first look at the absolutely beautiful farm house, barn, stables, a like new tractor, a new lawn mower, and crop fields. The farm was surrounded by a wooden white fence.

    Karen exclaimed, "Oh my. I thought King Kazma said this was a little farm."

    Vale giggled. "King Kazma is an important rabbit; so to him, maybe it did seem little. I like it."

    Samuel smiled. "I can see me working that field on the weekends."

    Lorraine sat there quietly holding Champion in her arms. And the dog was protecting her, as usual.

    Karen tagged the red rabbit and pointed toward a neighboring fence as she said, "Who or what is that, friend rabbit? I know we saw him on the way in, but I am just curious for identification purposes."

    The humans all looked over at the brown and white dragon like being which was easily the size of both Vale and Basil. The Digimon wasn't looking their way but seemed to be paying attention to his own farm land.

    The red rabbit smiled as he said, "That is a Myrdramon. His family grow popcorn in their field and pop the excess amount, coat it in caramel and sell the result to the markets. The kid will be someone both Basil and Vale will be going to school with next week."

    Karen smiled. "Sounds like someone to show you boys around the school. Okay everyone, lets get unpacked and see about claiming our bedrooms." Once they were unpacked and Champion stationed in his doggy bed in the mud room, the family were looking over the bedroom arrangement.

    End of Chapter 01

    Chapter 02

    Samuel said, "According to the floor plan of the farm house, this is the master bedroom. And this is a daughter's bedroom bunkhouse." He pointed toward a building located along the back deck. "And this bedroom bunkhouse is for an older son. And..." He paused, as he looked over the rest of the floor plan. "Ah, there it is. The last bedroom is... there." He paused again. "No, that can't be right. The last bedroom isn't even near the main farmhouse."

    Basil looked over the page of the map of the house. "So where is my bedroom located, dad?"

    Samuel said, "Believe it or not, Basil, you head out to the back deck hang a right and go over to the side of the stables, then you head up these stairs to the second floor, and there will be a mini-deck and a door that leads into your bunking quarters."

    Karen arched an eye. "Are you serious? That sounds like a long trip for Basil to take every day to get to the kitchen and the bathroom. Are you sure that's the last bedroom."

    Samuel replied, "According to the layout, each bunkhouse has its own self-cleaning bathroom and Basil's bedroom is on the second floor of the stables, and in the back of that bedroom is a walk-in closet dressing room that leads to his own bathroom. But there is only one kitchen."

    Basil never complained at all to be honest. Lezco did promise that he would see about getting Basil a summer job at a circus and carnival, so he was willing to endure anything. Not to mention, the neighboring Digimon kid would be going to school with him and his brother. His father was going to be checking in at the new work place in the morning for a briefing with the dock personnel, while his mother was going to be in contact with the Montropolis High School to check to see if their school records had arrived as yet. Little did Basil know what Saturday morning was to bring. December 26th on the new farm was like the best Christmas present ever given. His dad had a new job; the family had a new home; and every sibling had their own private bedroom.

    And the best part was that King Kazma sicced the Mack Roomon lawyers on the Real World welfare people. They had agreed to leave Lorraine alone as long as she lived on Anime World.

    Basil had finished his dinner and helped his mom wash the dishes earlier, and now, he was out for a walk on the huge farm land, mainly following the fence line. Back near the woods in the far back of the farm, he saw good looking 2-tailed brown fox gathering shiny rocks. Basil couldn't help but to say hello. "Konnichi wa, fox boy."

    The brown Kitsune glanced over toward the fence then smiled. "You must be one of the Douglas boys. My name is Glitter Prower." He walked over to the fence and shook Basil's hand. "And what is your name?"

    Basil smiled. "I'm Basil Douglas, the youngest member of the family. What are you doing?"

    Glitter grinned slyly. "I am gathering shiny stones for my father. It is a punishment. I would rather be romping in the mud swamps with Slick, Myrdramon, and Sony. They really know how to have fun."

    Basil grinned back. "I saw Myrdramon already. He looked pretty nice."

    Glitter nodded his head as he continued to pick up shiny stones. "He helps me with my homework." Then he stood up again. "Thanks for stopping to talk to me, Basil. I really hope you end up going to school at Montropolis High with the rest of us. You are okay. I have to get going now or my father will invent something else for me to do. Bye." And with that, he began spinning his two tails like a rotary helicopter and flew off through the woods to the South.

    Basil smiled. "Prower, he said. I'll bet his dad is Tails. He even flies like him. I better get back to the house now. At least I learned some more local names." And he headed off and back toward the farm house.

    At the kitchen table, Basil sat down after washing his hands and he saw his mother with that rare "look" on her face that no one ever wanted to get. "Um, mom... you have that... look... on your face... did someone do something bad again?"

    Karen looked at Basil and said, "I just spoke with the Montropolis School Board. They have the most utmost, most ridiculous rule that I have ever heard of. And it concerns you, Basil. When the school buses come on Monday... Vale will be getting on the one going to Mystic High. And you will be attending Montropolis High."

    Basil was actually happy about that, but he didn't dare show any happiness about it while his mom had that "look" on her face. "So what exactly is the dumb rule, mom?"

    Karen replied, "The Montropolis school rule is that we cannot send two children who are within four years or less apart of age to their school, so they can prevent favoritism among siblings in the school system. They told me that they have had problems with it before and they regret that this is the case now. So you have to go to school with your friend Myrdramon."

    Saturday morning brought about both sides of the locals from Montropolis. And that in itself was pretty strange in itself. The Sailor Scouts seemed very interested in Lorraine, which was typical for Anime females. Vale was meeting up with Naruto and Yu-Gi-Oh, two teachers who would be teaching him in his school.

    As for Basil, he was serving refreshments to the visitors as the perpetual nobody. He was almost wishing that he had gone to Mystic Glen with his dad. But his mother had convinced him that perhaps he would meet some of the local teachers from his school. So far, however, they hadn't seen a single resident from Montropolis... at all.

    End of Chapter 02


      Chapter 03

      "Mom?" Basil said. "I'm bored."

      Karen hugged her son and said, "Okay, Basil. I guess we were wrong about your coming teachers. You can go inside and watch some TV. Maybe you can find some more caring cartoons to watch."

      That statement literally got all of the Anime visitors attention, but they quickly began to wish that they hadn't turned to look at Mrs. Douglas because they were all then receiving that "look" that Karen was famous for having when she was upset. Basil chose not to wait to see what would happen to those people who earned that "look" as he went inside the house and turned on the TV and sat on the sofa with a sigh.

      "I was excited about living here originally... now, I feel like I'm the family servant that no one cares about."

      At that moment, a familiar Anime boy walked in from the kitchen and smiled at Basil. "Oh, I'm sorry. Is this the Douglas residence?" It was Ash Ketchum of Pokemon fame.

      Basil smiled and stood up. "Yeah, this is the right place. I'm Basil Douglas."

      Ashley smiled and shook Basil's hand. "I will be one of your teachers this year. Sorry we were late. I had been having breakfast with Miles Prower and Tai when we were reminded that the welcoming committee was supposed to be coming up here today. I know you will like going to school in Montropolis."

      At that moment, Miles Prower, Guilmon, Knuckles, and Pikachu came into the living room and greeted Basil with smiles.

      Basil was happy now. He was getting to meet some of the greats of Montropolis. "Am I ever glad you guys showed up today. I was starting to get bored."

      Knuckles said, "Where is your mom at, Basil?"

      Basil winked at Knuckles, escorting him over to the front window curtain where they both peeked outside.

      Standing in the front yard was Karen Douglas with her famous look on her face.

      Knuckles whispered, "I hate to admit this but that look actually scares me."

      Basil grinned and whispered back, "That is my mom's famous look that no one desires to get. You know you're in trouble when she makes that face. She is literally not the woman to cross when she gets like that." He then hugged Knuckles and pulled him away from window and returned to join the others once again.

      About an hour later, Basil was entertaining his guests in the kitchen of the farmhouse. At that moment, Lorraine and Champion came inside from the front yard and immediately headed out the back door en route to Lorraine's bunkhouse. Basil noted that his sister looked upset.

      "I'll bet someone tried to pet Champion."

      Pikachu then spoke in English, but with an Japanese accent. "Champion was the Great Dane, I assume?"

      Basil looked at the yellow Pokemon. "You can speak English? In the TV cartoon, you can only say your name."

      Pikachu replied, "Human producers tend to only want the human stars to speak English or Japanese. If everything spoke fluently in the show, then the importance of the humans would be undermined. Therefore I choose to only speak fluently off camera. And in the Montropolis School System."

      Basil looked to Ashley. "How do you feel about Pikachu talking?"

      Ashley replied, "Oh he's a pro. A great actor. He's helped me many a time with my lines."

      Basil nodded his head with a hum.

      Miles came over with a glass of milk and said, "I am looking forward to see what classes you take in Montropolis, Basil."

      Basil smiled at the two-tailed Kitsune. "I saw your son last night gathering shiny stones."

      Miles grinned. "He was naughty so that was his punishment. He chose that over cleaning Sonic's toilet with a single paper towel." He winked.

      Basil laughed out loud. Kokomo was then heard, "Brawk! Dow Jones!"

      At that moment, Vale came into the kitchen and saw Basil's guests. "These guys are from Montropolis? I'm actually jealous, Basil!"

      End of Chapter 03


        Chapter 04

        Vale continued. "Your instructors are some of the most famous anime toons! Mine are some of the newer guys that I only vaguely know of!"

        Basil turned to his brother. "Not my fault, Vale. By the way, what happened earlier with Champion and Lorraine? We saw her and Champion go through the kitchen and out to the bunkhouses."

        Vale giggled at that point. That obviously meant it was a classic 'do not touch my dog' moment. "One of the Sailor Scouts tried to pet Champion and Lorraine came unglued, like she usually does. The next thing we knew, the Sailor Scout was lying on the ground and Lorraine and Champion were heading into the house, fast."

        Knuckles chuckled. "About time one of those pompous Sailor Scouts took a fall. That should make Miyuki pretty happy when she hears about this."

        Basil asked, "Who is Miyuki?"

        Knuckles replied with a grin, "Miyuki Tsukino aka Andromeda, a cousin of Sailor Moon. She's an interesting person."

        That evening at the dinner table, the Douglas family was gathered for a meal and Samuel was telling the others what his job was to be like in Mystic Glen.

        "I don't see how they got anything done before I hired on there," Samuel remarked, as he spread some butter on his corn bread. "Ghosts, skeletons, and Skeletor himself roaming around the docks. And most interestingly, I'm Skeletor's superior on the job site itself. He walked me through the routine there. He was nothing like he is in the cartoons."

        Karen said, "We met the teachers today, dear. They are a pretty okay bunch, but I trust Basil's teachers more than I do Vale's teachers."

        Vale piped in, saying, "I totally agree, mom! They had shifty eyes! And they made you use your 'look'!"

        Karen said, "Well, they treated Basil like he wasn't even there. And if it weren't for Basil, we wouldn't be living here at all."

        Basil was eating quietly, but with a big smile on his face. He was kind of wondering who Slick and Sony were; the two others that Glitter had mentioned as being his and Myrdramon's buddies. Then he noticed everyone looking at him. "What?"

        Samuel said, "Your mind was in the clouds, Basil. Karen just said that we wouldn't be here now if it weren't for you."

        Basil chuckled. "I just got lucky, that's all. Besides, if my mind was in the clouds, the Superheroes of Heroes Reach would be splatting into it as they flew over on their patrols. Could you just imagine...?"

        Karen cleared her throat. "Ahem. Not at the dinner table. Or do you want that... 'look'... tonight?"

        Basil kept quiet after that.

        Lorraine finished her dinner, saying, "I am going to look up some college information on my computer." Then she stood up and headed toward her bunkhouse with Champion happily following her. Vale then said, "Champion and Lorraine, sitting in a tree..." Samuel wanted to warn his son that their mother was right there, but it was too late as Vale became the beholder of that special 'look' that no one wanted to get. Followed by that special 'scolding' that no one deserved to get.

        Later that night, Samuel and Basil were seated in deck chairs on Basil's private deck in front of his bedroom over the stables. "This is a pretty quiet spot, Basil," said Samuel. "You have a nice arrangement out here."

        Basil grinned. "I'm still surprised that my bedroom is actually out here with its own bathroom and away from the main house. It is almost like VIP quarters. And its a lot quieter in there than you might think, dad. I slept beautifully last night. Especially with my not having to hear Vale's snoring. He is worse than grandpa ever was."

        Samuel chuckled. "I think he is worse than your mother..."

        Basil giggled quietly. "You better watch your mouth, dad... you have to sleep with her tonight."

        Sunday morning was upon them before they knew it. And Basil heard someone knocking on his bedroom door. He got out of bed wearing nothing at all and walked over to the door and opened it sleepily.

        Standing on his deck was Myrdramon, the Digimon boy from next door. "Morning Basil. May I come in? Your mom told me you were up here."

        Basil yawned and stepped out of the way, allowing the Digimon to come in. Then he closed the door and headed back toward his bed sleepily. Apparently, Basil was used to sleeping in on Sunday morning.

        End of Chapter 04


          Chapter 05

          "Nice erection, Basil."

          Basil stopped and blushed as he came awake immediately and looked over his shoulder at Myrdramon. "Um... how did you get in here...?" Having already forgot that he let the boy in.

          Myrdramon chuckled. "You opened the door for me, silly. Glitter told me last night that you met him. He said you were really nice. Thanks for being polite to him. He is a good friend. Anyway, I came by today to help you with choosing your Montropolis High classes. I brought the schedule book, forms, and everything. Your mom said it was a good idea so you wouldn't waste a lot of time with this stuff on Monday morning."

          Basil yawned again as he grabbed his undershorts and got into them before sitting on his bed. "Okay, come on over and sit down with me. Lets see these things. I normally sleep in on Sunday morning. Why are you up so early?"

          Myrdramon came over and sat very close to Basil. "Mischief," he whispered. "Don't tell anyone..." Then aloud he said, "So... let's get your classes figured out."

          Basil grinned. "My bedroom is soundproof, silly. Your whisper isn't going anywhere." He then looked in the schedule book at the classes for each hour. "Is this right, Myrdramon? Three classes in the morning and only three in the afternoon?"

          Myrdramon looked and grinned back. "It is all cool. Digimon and Pokemon have a last hour class called Team Fighting. Its where your anime human partner and your Digimon or Pokemon work out for grades and improvements. Because you have no partner, Kazma has arranged for you to visit the local game shop and use a beginners gift certificate to acquire any three games you want to get some experience in. Once you have your games, you will attend the last hour class with the rest of us. The last hour class actually takes place in the Digital Partner world. You can call it a field trip class if you want to."

          Basil nodded his head quietly. Getting to play games in school sounded pretty awesome to him.

          Myrdramon said, "See anything you want to take?"

          Basil began filling out his classes form. "I think I want Digimon History, Manga Literature, Anime Mathematics, Digital Sciences and Toon Physics each in any available classes available. I don't mind what time slots they are in. Then I get to go on this gaming outing with the rest of you which sounds totally awesome. After we are done with that, we come home together."

          Myrdramon grinned and licked Basil's face. "You got that out of the way pretty fast."

          Basil made a face. "Ewwwww!!! Don't do that, Myrdramon!"

          That afternoon, and well after Myrdramon had departed, Basil received another visitor. This time it was a known Superhero rabbit from one of the TV shows; Captain Rabbit of the All Stars. "Hi. Are you Basil Douglas?"

          Basil had been helping his mom plant flowers out in front of the farm house. "Yeah, that's me. You look familiar."

          The heroic rabbit boy smiled, as he opened his cape and brought out a suitcase and set it on the ground in front of Basil. "My name is Captain Rabbit and a mutual friend told me that you needed some extra clothes."

          "Oh I have plenty of clothes..." he started to say.

          But Captain Rabbit quickly interrupted him by saying, "...Lezco."

          Basil stopped talking immediately and smiled widely. "Lezco sent you? WOW! I wasn't sure if he remembered me or not! Of course I'll accept clothes from Lezco! He really saved our family when we needed it!"

          Captain Rabbit then said, "He was working for me at the time, Basil. Granting Christmas wishes in order to repay me for my helping him out of a debt. He told me about you guys and because I was preparing for college and I had some extra clothes that I knew would fit you, I brought them over. If nothing else, I would like you to wear my lucky shirt and jeans on your first day of school. The pants are for a human; I wouldn't give you pants with a rabbit tail hole in the back, Basil. Lezco has even ridden on the shoulders of the shirt. I met my best and most trustworthy friends while wearing this shirt. And I want you to have that kind of luck, too."

          Karen stood up and smiled. "That is very kind of you, Captain Rabbit."

          Captain Rabbit smiled back. "And you must be Karen Douglas. I helped King Kazma make the arrangements for your new home and that is how I know your name. I've been hearing that your eyes are famous." He winked with a grin.

          Karen laughed. "Oh you mean my special 'look'? I only do that to people who upset me."

          End of Chapter 05


            Chapter 06

            Captain Rabbit then said, "I have also heard that you are retired from a very special career that you are not proud of. Would you care to tell me about it?"

            Karen almost gave him that 'look' right then and there, but instead, she said, "My husband convinced me to leave a career in Las Vegas to raise a family. The mob wasn't too happy to lose a good card dealer like me. Before I met my husband, my skills were a bit underhanded. I cheated several people at the card table... until Samuel put a stop to me by beating me at my own game. My ex-boss was about to have Samuel thrown out of the casino until he said out loud, So you want me to tell the police about your crooked dealers, is that it? I met with Samuel later after I quit my job and we skipped the country so we could settle down. We have had a few close calls with my ex-boss' boys trying to bring me back."

            Captain Rabbit smiled and calmly said, "My team and I have been tasked to get these people off of you and your family's case."

            Karen's eyes opened wide at that statement. "Truly? What do I have to do for the All Stars in return?" He had her full attention now.

            Captain Rabbit replied, "Just provide us with as much information about your former boss and his goons as you can. After that, my team will handle the rest."

            While Karen was thanking Captain Rabbit for the information, Basil was opening the suitcase. "Where are these lucky clothes, Captain Rabbit?"

            Captain Rabbit replied with a smile, "Immediately on top of the rest, Basil. I know you'll enjoy wearing them. I even got you some new shoes that most Montropolis students love to wear. Yours are made for humans."

            Monday brought forth the first day of school for the boys. Lorraine and Karen were staying at the farm house, while Samuel had already left for work in Mystic Glen. The boys were at the courier box awaiting their buses. And Basil was wearing the lucky clothes that Captain Rabbit had given him.

            Vale grinned when he saw his 'bus' coming. Except it wasn't a bus at all; it was one of Arden's Pizza delivery vans. "Looks like I'm riding to school with delicious scents, Basil. I bet you have a clunky old school bus." But Vale was about to lose his smile entirely.

            Digiporting in from seemingly nowhere was the famous blue furred Digimon, Garurumon. And he had a saddle on his back without a rider. "Which one of you boys is Basil?" he asked.

            Basil raised his hand with a grin. "That's me. But you don't look like a clunky old school bus." Then he winked and made a pointed motion secretly toward his brother.

            Garurumon laughed. "I sure hope not, Basil. I'm your personal daily escort to school from now on. Aren't I the lucky wolf?"

            Vale was of course very JEALOUS! Not only did he have to SHARE a ride to school in the pizza van, but his ride had to stay on the roads. He huffed and got into the pizza van.

            Basil was still giggling as he climbed up into the saddle on Garurumon and strapped himself in. "Okay, I'm set! Let's go!"

            And Garurumon then digiported away in a rapid blink of the eye where they soon arrived in the parking lot just outside of the school where other Garurumon were depositing anime human students off of their backs to the sidewalk in Montropolis.

            As Basil walked into the otherwise normal looking high school building, the hallways were anything BUT normal. There were male and female versions of young anime humans, Pokemon, and Digimon all milling around to and from their lockers and their class rooms. Many were chatting in the main hallway, and the rest simply hanging out with their friends.

            "This is awesome; blows my old school away!" said Basil as he got over his shock of his school. He then began heading off toward the principals office where he was slated to receive his locker assignment and the finalization on his chosen classes.

            "What do you mean that I can't take Digital Sciences this year?"

            Principal Agumon replied, "Digital Sciences is filled to capacity, Basil. You'll have to take an alternative class in your fifth hour while taking Toon Physics in your fourth hour. You can take Digital Sciences next year. I am sorry."

            "What is available for me to choose from, Agumon?" asked Basil.

            Principal Agumon said, "All fifth hour classes are filled except for three. Anime Sewing, which is about filled with an abundance of female students; Digivice Dynamics with three advanced students; and a late arrival class called Game World Mechanics which has no students as yet."

            Basil arched an eye. "What is so special about that last one?"

            Principal Agumon shrugged his shoulders. "I am not really sure. The instructions say that you get to work with the game world of your choice for the entire hour. It doesn't say what you will be doing in that class. But it sounds like you might be getting to spend some free time to do as you like."

            Basil hummed. "Okay, I'll take Game World Mechanics. A mystery class is sure to have some educational value in it someplace."

            End of Chapter 06


              Chapter 07

              Basil was soon tracking down his fifth hour class: Game World Mechanics. He thought it was kind of lame that he had to take one of these left over classes because of spacing limitations in the other classes. And so far, the lucky clothes were not proving to be very lucky at all. In fact, things were about to get completely out of paw, as the saying goes.

              As he reached the door with the class title on it, he noticed immediately that it appeared to be the door to a phone booth. Just inside the door, Basil found a directory with instructions. "Choose a game world, press the button and you will be digiported into that world. You will be returned to school when the hour ends. Use your time wisely and learn everything you possibly can." Then Basil began looking over the list of strange sounding game world names. None of them were familiar to him at all. But then his eyes settled on a game world that seemed rather tame on the list of the rest of the weird sounding names. "Lunar Gaiden. I wonder that is in that world. Be my luck that it is about prissy princesses or something equally as lame as that. But a few of the other titles have a skull pic next to the titles. I don't want to get killed in those places. So let's check out the Lunar Gaiden game world."

              Basil pressed the button and in a flash, the inside of the booth he was standing in vanished around him and he was dropped into a moon lit forest clearing in some game world where it appeared to be night time. "Okay, this is freaky. And I have to be here for one hour? I may have made a mistake."

              Glancing around to get his bearings, he wondered if staying in the clearing was a good idea or not. But the need to pee convinced him to take his business behind the trees for better privacy. He had just finished relieving himself when he heard what sounded like an explosion in the clearing. Putting his junk away and zipping up his pants, he took two steps toward the closest tree to the clearing when he was suddenly grabbed from behind and had a furry clawed hand over his mouth. He was then pulled back from the clearing to a dry gully just out of sight of the clearing where his captor, what looked like a brown leather clad rat man, squatted down to look him in the face. "You must be one of those new students we were supposed to have gotten. My name is Skywatch; I am a Lunar Rat Scout for the training zone; that's where you are right now. Are you familiar with the Lunar Gaiden game at all?"

              "Basil Douglas of Montropolis on Anime World, formerly of Planet Earth," the boy started in reply to the rat. "No, I wasn't sure what Lunar Gaiden was going to be. I was actually afraid that it was going to be something like prissy princesses or something as equally lame as that. Or are you a transformed prince?"

              Skywatch chuckled. "Me, a prince? Hardly. So you are attending Montropolis High School. How long did the instructions say you would be with us in this place?"

              Basil replied, "The instructions said, verbatim, choose a game world, press the button and you will be digiported into that world. You will be returned to school when the hour ends. Use your time wisely and learn everything you possibly can. In as many words. Why are you asking? Is something wrong?"

              The rat scout genuinely looked apologetic as he picked up the boy and held him over his shoulder as he began carrying him off into the dark wilderness even further away from the clearing. "There is a time difference between Montropolis and the Lunar Gaiden game world. I have to get you back to my place so we can attempt to call your principal. Sadly, you are going to be here for a while."

              The boy then asked (while surprised that the slender rat scout had the strength to carry him,) "How long is a while? From the way you are saying this, it seems like one class hour in Montropolis is not one hour here in your world."

              Skywatch jumped over a fallen log as he continued to run with his living load. "Oh good; you are not a stupid boy. One Montropolis High School class hour is four nights here in Lunar Gaiden. Since the instructions did not warn you of this stipulation, we need to call your principal. Not to mention the added danger... the Game World Mechanics class is like a digital version of Pleasure Island; you know, with the donkeys. The difference is that a recruiter isn't trapping you in the class and having too much fun isn't what changes you into a local species. What changes you is staying too long without the necessary safety gear and I can see from looking at your left arm that you do not have the necessary safety gear. This gear consists of a partner card bracer which fits on your left wrist like a wristwatch. This gear allows you to make the crossing during combat challenges where you and your partner work together against the one who challenged you. Without the gear, when the class hour ends, you become one of us and this world becomes your new home -- permanently. However, if we contact your principal right away, he can digiport an unopened Lunar Gaiden bracer to us and once you put it on, your safety protection then begins. Without the bracer, you are literally volunteering to join the species and become a citizen of Lunar Gaiden. Once a bracer bonds to an owner, it will always appear on your wrist any time you make the crossing into a Game Mechanics class world. So even if you accidentally leave the bracer at home, when you make the crossing, it will appear on your wrist. It is a built in extra safety precaution."

              Basil then said, "I am glad I ran into you then; you actually care about people. Um... since this is a night world and you are a rather tall yet strong rat man, what are the species similar to that I would be familiar with?"

              Skywatch steeled up for a possible bad reaction as he continued to carry the boy. "Lunar Gaiden is the Were-Animal combat world. Thus, that makes me a Were-Rat. At least that is what you might associate me with that you might know from role playing games back on Planet Earth."

              Basil made an unexpected comment. "But you aren't ugly enough to be one of those were-rats. They are hideously obese with broken teeth and they have a very foul odor. You are handsome, slender and very clean; your vocabulary is superb and you haven't bitten me once."

              Skywatch chuckled as he replied, "You are too kind, Basil. But yes, I am a Were-Rat Scout. And now I am likely going to pop what little gaming knowledge you may have about the species. First of all, to most Earth humans, a Were-Rat is like a cockroach or a spider; very undesirable to meet at night. Secondly, we enter the artist mentality of favoritism; because the artists prefer other species over rats and bugs, they will draw said species as ugly (and as repulsive) as possible; that way, you have no desire to become one nor to play one. I bring the case in point that within those self-same game worlds, the lunar wolves and the lunar lions and lunar tigers and even the lunar bears are drawn as impressively as possible. Even the sexually capable lunar foxes are drawn in a better light than lunar rats. I have personally seen some of this derogatory art so I know what I am talking about."

              Basil could see the logic in what Skywatch was saying in regards to the artist's conception of species they did not like. It actually made sense especially since he met Skywatch.

              End of Chapter 07


                Chapter 08

                It almost didn't surprise Basil when Skywatch carried him in through the entrance of what looked like a broken drainage grate in what looked like a city drainage pipe. And although Skywatch was being careful to avoid all combatant matches whose fights were echoing through the drainage tunnels of the ruins of this once great city. And as Skywatch was boarding what seemed to be an old cargo elevator, another rat man came running along with a mountain lion man. "Hold the lift, Skywatch!" And with a final leap, the two jumped into the cargo elevator and slid the cage gate closed as the mountain lion man sat on what looked like a bicycle in the back of the elevator and began peddling with gusto while the other rat man made sure his bag of supplies hadn't lost anything. The cargo elevator then moved with a jerk up the shaft as the mountain lion man said, "Good thing they didn't detect your devious cheat before we gathered supplies and departed, Slyeye."

                The rat who was obviously Slyeye (pronounced as Sly-Eye) gave a wink toward the mountain lion. "You worry too much, Moonfang. We had a two tunnel head start on them before they realized that I used the sly jack card to win the bet against them. Besides, we needed these supplies and they were going to raise the prices again for no good reasons whatsoever. But wait... we should check our manners; Skywatch has a date with him for a change." He was now looking directly at Skywatch while trying to get a better look at Basil. "I never thought you had it in you, Skywatch... Nabbing a player isn't normally your occupational hazard. Did you have sex with him yet?"

                Basil wasn't all that thrilled with the suggestion that this new rat was making. "No, he hasn't had sex with me; in fact, he has been a perfect gentle-rat toward me since he met me. Skywatch's manners are superb. I hope to someday have a partner like him."

                Moonfang then said, "So... since you mentioned a partner, kid... where is your partner? Or is he injured and recuperating from a battle or worse case scenario... was he blasted into a million particles?"

                Skywatch quickly prevented Basil from answering the inquiry. "Which is none of their business, Basil. Don't forget what world you are in at the moment. These two are generally nice guys, but they should earn your trust. Never give out free information since your life depends upon being cautious in Lunar Gaiden."

                Slyeye then glanced at his friend for a moment before taking a stab at the truth. "Which likely means that this kid arrived here by accident and Skywatch is taking him to the closest world to world telephone so they can contact the Red Rabbit Army in Montropolis." He then turned to look back at both the boy and Skywatch. "Which is a shame because this boy looks better than most visitors that we get in Lunar Gaiden. Not to mention, if Skywatch is helping him, then he must have complimented him in some nicer than usual sort of way."

                The rat then grabbed Basil's hand in his own and shook it. "I apologize for the sex statement. My name is Slyeye. I am a Lunar Rat Gambler or as most opponents say of me, that cheating dirty rat. But I am obviously not dirty, I guess they got one of the two right. My skills involve cheating. My partner hates it when I party without him."

                Moonfang continued to peddle to make the lift go up the elevator shaft. "I am Moonfang the Lunar Puma Engineer. I am the one the locals come to when they need some mechanical item to be repaired and put back into working order. I repaired this elevator and I was the one who got the world to world communication tower back into operation which was not an easy task. I have no partner in the world as yet. Most players think engineers are a lame combat occupation to have for a partner. But the key point to an engineer is that if we repaired it, then we know how to break it. You are a handsome boy, Basil. As Slyeye said a moment ago, most of the players we get in Lunar Gaiden don't give a damn about us as people; they only want to fight... as if that was the most important thing in life. We will be up to the communication tower in a bit. If there is anything you want to know about Lunar Gaiden, just ask."

                Basil said, "Based on something Skywatch told me earlier, how many of you were born as Lunars? Or is someone here a former player?"

                Moonfang replied, "These two rats are pure through and through unless they lied to me when I first met them. But I was once an employee to the company that created the Lunar Gaiden battlecard game. My ex-programming partner was a greedy fuck and after we completed the game world one night, he decided that he wanted the programming credit all for himself and he tricked me into coming into the game world without a safety bracer. When my time limit ended, I changed into this species. But I got my revenge... I was able to do some in-game programming that he could not counter in the Anime World. Not to mention, I put a bounty on the greedy schmuck so if he ever appeared in the game world, he would be swarmed by Lunars all seeking to collect the bounty. I have since contacted our boss and now I am an in-game programmer where I work on fixing things from the inside when glitches are detected by players."

                Moonfang then continued. "The game was originally aimed at cute smaller warriors; but when my ex-partner programmed in more dangerous species without my knowledge and I became one of them, it changed the whole concept of what the game was supposed to be about. Here on the inside, I programmed in a stipulation that the original four species were declared to be rare to unique ranked partners and a lot more powerful than the newer species that the greedy schmuck programmed in. The original four species were Rats, Mice, Hares and Rabbits. The game was originally intended for a younger audience in the nine through twelve year old age group. After the inclusion of the more common adult like species, the age rank was changed to reflect the danger of the game. Thirteen on up. Of course, I have since met someone who can come and go from this game world without danger of getting stuck. Her name is Medina. She is what you might call a digital doctor as well as being an honorary member of the Battlecard Police Force. When she is in this world, she has one of two identities. One is a white horse woman and the other is a purple dragon lady. Her white form is a lot nicer than the purple form. She has since learned that I cannot get out of the game world, although she did try to find a way to get me out... oh boy did she ever try. I think she mentioned once that she was also a member of the All Stars."

                Basil said, "So you are the only former human in the game world?"

                Moonfang shook his head. "There is a Lunar Wolf in the communication tower who was also a former human phenotype. When humans get changed into a local species, they usually become the lunar version of whatever their personality reflected in life. If you are more like the original four species, then you become one of them and your survival ranking goes way up. Otherwise, like me... you become one of the larger species and you have to work your tail off to survive. Thankfully, I have had my shots which marks me as braver than the other species especially since most of the warriors in this game hate needles."

                Skywatch chuckled. "If you want to see a funny sight, just start talking about hypodermic needles near a group of bad scary warriors and watch them start trembling in abject fear because they wrongfully believe that the speaker has one on his or her person and they also think they are about to get it."

                End of Chapter 08


                  Chapter 09

                  Basil then asked, "How can I get a partner like Skywatch or is there a secret trick to getting one of the rare species?"

                  Moonfang replied, "Although we are not supposed to do this, there is a programming trick for getting the partner you want at the card purchase request device at the game card shop. Skywatch, name a number between twenty-seven and fifty-two."

                  Skywatch smiled. "Thirty-eight."

                  Moonfang then said, "When Principal Agumon gives you your beginners gift certificate go to the local game shop and go over to the Lunar Gaiden Partner Request device and then you swipe the gift certificate through the gift reader. This will deduct one game choice from your gift certificate. After that, in the promotional code box you type in the following code: LARGE-S38. This stands for Lunar Anniversary Rat Gift Elite - Scout number thirty-eight. Entering that exact code will give you Skywatch's personal partner card. Once you get the card, slide it into your partner bracer, picture side up and say the word, ACTIVATE. The partner will then bond to you and you will be ready to return whenever you like. Scouts have the extra ability to cross between worlds at will. And if you are partnered to one, you can also make the crossing yourself without having to be in a challenge. What are some of your other interests, Basil? I may be able to help you decide on some other games. And for the record, your gift certificate is only good for games that assign you a partner to work with."

                  Basil smiled. "That's easy. I like Farm Sims and games with a Mobian twist. Two of my friends fit those two topics. Designing your own partner would be super ideal."

                  Slyeye suddenly said, "There is that one farm game where you get a farm partner at the start... what's it called...? Oh yeah, Golden Harvest. The combat cards involve crops, natural disasters and veterinary boosters. It is a little on the difficult side to learn but it has a lot of players. Challenges are done solely online. It can be a little boring."

                  Skywatch grinned. "As well as being a little mushy. Part way into the sim, you are required to help your partner find a mate of the opposite sex."

                  Basil said, "That sounds a little sick."

                  Moonfang said, "Now don't tell the boy that, Slyeye. He will think you are serious."

                  Slyeye nodded his head at Basil. "My buddy is right, Basil. That is not the game for a boy. However, the only farm sim partner game I can think of that a boy might enjoy playing is State Fair Advanced Edition. And it is one of those games where you can design your own partner. When you build your partner, the log-in matrix matches your partner up with an available set of farms that you have to help him develop. You get to choose the farm based off of various pictures and descriptive conditions. You work with your partner to make your farm into an award winning farm. It can be a lot of hard work; overall, the partner owns the farm but he needs your help to develop the place to become a winner for the state fair. There are some fights involved when you have to fight off intruders to your partner's farm. This is more the game you play when the weather prevents you from going outside."

                  Moonfang smiled. "I've heard of that one. It has a decent amount of players. Overall challenges occur during the state fair itself. At the start of the game, you have ten quests to get you familiar with developing the farm. Then your partner will receive an invitation to participate in the state fair. Complete as many quests as you can before the state fair and make sure your farm is developed as much as possible. When the state fair occurs, your farm is placed into a safety lockdown which prevents other players from sabotaging your farm during the fair itself. Make sure you have a two-day weekend available where you can spend the time with your partner at the state fair, as in make sure no one is going to be looking for you."

                  Basil remarked, "You know, that hardly sounds fun; in fact, it sounds like a lot of work. I guess it wouldn't have made a difference if I had said that I like Carnivals ever since I saw the one in Pinocchio."

                  Moonfang chuckled this time. "If that is what caught your attention, then the game of choice you want to try is Six Hooves Over Jackland. It is another one of those special games where you get to customize your partner by filling out a questionnaire involving personal statistics about yourself. Then you help your partner in his quest to visit six amusement parks and carnivals until he achieves the ability to journey to the ultimate carnival in his quest to ride every ride in the park. Generally, players in the game give their partners their own middle name to use as their own name. Every time you win the game, the next game adds one more carnival to the list of those you have to visit. So you see, it can be never ending fun."

                  Skywatch then said, "Most gamers shorten the name of the game to Battlecard Jackland. I haven't heard any statistics involving the game, however."

                  Moonfang continued. "A good Mobian partner game is called Mobo Zero. Your partner is a cadet in the Mobotropolis Mobian Defense Force. The game idea was suggested by Geoffrey St. John, the Mobian Skunk in charge of the Secret Police of Mobius and it is set in a version of Mobius that has no Sonic the Hedgehog."

                  Basil hummed a bit at the concept of the Mobian game. "That one has promise."

                  Skywatch nodded his head. "Our stop is coming up and then we can contact Agumon to have him fetch you a Lunar Gaiden bracer from the game shop. I just hope he takes this seriously or else he will be dealing with your parents when you cannot come home human."

                  Moonfang soon activated the brake as he stopped peddling. Then Slyeye slid open the cage door as Skywatch carried Basil out of the elevator and into the communication chamber. Skywatch approached the communications console where upon he set Basil down in a seat facing the console before he booted up the monitor. "This is Lunar Gaiden safety console calling Montropolis High Principal's Office. Come in Agumon. This is an emergency."

                  On screen, Principal Agumon appeared looking a little winded. "This is Agumon. What is the status of your emergency? Lunar Gaiden calling us is most unorthodox. I don't think we have ever gotten a call from your world before."

                  End of Chapter 09


                    Chapter 10

                    "My name is Skywatch the Scout. One of your students arrived in Lunar Gaiden as part of the Game World Mechanics class and he isn't wearing a Lunar Gaiden Partner Bracer. Without one, Basil cannot return to your school 'human' when the class hour ends. We need you to digiport over to the game shop and pick up an unopened Lunar Gaiden Partner Bracer and then send that bracer to these coordinates where we will give it to Basil. And for the record, Agumon... I really like this boy. He had nice things to say about me." Coordinate info was then sent.

                    Agumon replied, "I'm on my way!" and they saw Agumon vanish via digiport out of his office.

                    At the game shop, Agumon arrived and quickly told the clerk. "Emergency. A student accidentally went into the Lunar Gaiden world without a safety partner bracer. I need a fresh unopened one right away."

                    The clerk went back into the storage room and emerged with the unopened Lunar Gaiden partner bracer box. "You are in luck, Agumon. This is the absolute last one that we have. Don't worry about a payment. Just get that boy back to the school in one piece." And he handed over the product box to the Agumon and watched as the principal vanished back to the school.

                    On screen, Skywatch saw Agumon reappear and place the box unto the item digiporter, punch in the coordinate information and then he hit send. "Last one that the guy had, Skywatch."

                    As the product box arrived on the console arrival pad, Skywatch said, "Basil, it is here. Open it and put it on immediately. I am just glad you didn't arrive as naked some students do. Despite Slyeye being in heat half the time."

                    From a chamber beyond a door marked as kitchen, Slyeye exclaimed, "I am not!"

                    Basil quickly opened the product box which had some interesting gold leaf trimming designs around it and he pulled out the partner bracer as well as an instruction booklet on the basics of the game itself. There was also a necklace with the original four partner species in Fonz jackets embossed into one side of it. The etched writing on the reverse read as follows: You don't have to be big and powerful to show that you have class. "I rather like this necklace," and he put it on. Unbeknown to himself, the smartest move he would ever make in this game world. "Now for the Partner Bracer."

                    Skywatch instructed him as to which way was which so he could use it properly later. Basil soon had it on his wrist. Skywatch then said, "I would advise that you read as much of that instruction booklet as you can, handsome. I'll quiz you on it later."

                    The remainder of Basil's class hour was spent reading and being tested on the instruction booklet. When it seemed that there was nothing else to be learned from the instruction booklet, Basil pocketed the booklet in his pants pocket as he slowly stood up and gave Skywatch a much appreciated hug and an unnecessary kiss on his whiskered muzzle.

                    Skywatch blushed somewhat as he returned the kiss trying not to be disgusting about it. Of course his paws found their way down the boy's back to his rump as he also returned the hug. "Your class hour is about over and then when you get back into the school, head to Agumon's office, pick up your gift certificate and go pick up your three free games. Lunar Gaiden, Battlecard Jackland and Mobo Zero. Exactly as we talked about a few days ago, Lunar Time that is. I hope you get some good partners from the other two games. Some partners can be real sleaze buckets thinking about nothing but sex all the time." He made a thumb jerking motion toward the kitchen.

                    And as if on cue beyond the closed door, Slyeye was again heard to reply, "I am not!"

                    Skywatch then said, "When you do make the transfer between Anime World and Lunar Gaiden, always remember to get out of a clearing as fast as possible. Forest clearings are the designated battle zones in our world. If you arrive in one, get out of the clearing then try to home in on my location with the Scout version of teleport that I will teach you after I become your partner. And what's the code?"

                    Basil smiled. "LARGE-S38. Then ACTIVATE."

                    Skywatch stepped away from Basil just in time. "Good boy. Its started, back you go. See you soon."

                    And in a Star Trek Enterprise fashion, Basil found himself back in the telephone booth sized Game World Mechanics chamber. Looking over the grid of buttons again, he noticed Jackland as well as Mobo Zero within the list of game world choices. "Cool. Now to go fetch my three free games." he turned around and emerged from the class booth and almost collided with Agumon who was waiting just outside the door worriedly. "Ah! You scared me, Agumon. Thank you for fetching me this bracer." He knelt down and gave Agumon a hug and a kiss to show his appreciation. "I need to go pick up my three free games before my last class. I was going to head to your office to get the gift certificate."

                    Agumon blushed as much as Skywatch had. "I will save you some steps, Basil. I have the gift certificate right here." He handed it over. "Go up the street to Back Alley Game Shop, BAGS for short. Yeah, I know... strange name for a front street game shop. There is nothing back alley about their games though. The clerk is very helpful if you need help finding anything. They also sell comic books as well as handheld games. As soon as you get your new games, return to the school and I will help you get to your last hour class."

                    Basil with his game certificate in hand promised to return to the school once he had his games and then he ran off down the ground floor corridor and out the front door of the high school building and turning left, he headed up the street in his quest to visit the game shop. When he came across the place, he entered the shop and said, "I'm the boy with a gift certificate. Where is the Lunar Gaiden Partner Request device?"

                    The clerk pointed Basil over toward the device before exclaiming, "You're wearing one of the anniversary necklaces; those are ultra rare since they don't make them anymore. Since you are wearing that, I will give you a discount on anything in my shop no matter what it is. Have fun with your choices."

                    End of Chapter 10
                    End of Episode One.

                    Stay tuned for the next episode, A Brother's Tale.