[After many months of absence, I have returned. I am sorry to have forced my loyal readers to wait all this time for this latest chapter in my tale. And for the new readers, I am glad to have you, but I do recommend starting with The White DigiEgg if you want to understand certain parts of this fic. Now then, let's focus on more important matters, like the premier of this third fic in an epic series. This has been a long time in the making and I am happy with the result. I should warn you beforehand that this will very likely be even longer than The Crest of Corruption. Now sit back and take in chapter one of…Digimon Legends: The Last Digivice…
Disclaimer: All things not created by me in the following pages are the property of someone else very, very far away. Japan I think. Probably some guys in California too. Anyway, since I'm making no money off this deal they can't sue me. No animals, humans, digimon, or pixels were intentionally harmed in the making of this fanfic. All original characters are the sole property of Arek the Absolute.]
The Last Digivice
Kari felt very alone in the infinite sea of darkness. She could see absolutely nothing and the only thing she could feel was a cold, biting wind. She seemed to be floating, naked and alone in the cold, black space. Then a light appeared in the distance. It was a dim, menacing, crimson light; it was very faint, but it was growing more intense by the second. Kari began to hear strange sounds from the void; clicks, heavy breathing, and the noise of some foul creature slithering about echoed all around her. The red light grew more and more intense and began to reflect off of dozens of long, black, bone-like tentacles all around her. The sinister shapes glistened in the burning light. The cold sensation all but vanished as an intense heat began to overcome Kari. She felt something prick her shoulder, and a quick look revealed it was one of the tentacles. It was very close, and its edges were razor-sharp. She tried to cry out for help, but she felt like she couldn't get any air to her lungs. The shadowy whips drew in closer and closer, causing Kari to shrink back from them for fear of her life. She looked around, absolutely terrified and desperate to escape. Soon the snaking tendrils were within inches of her body on all sides, slithering around one other. The light and painful heat were too much to handle. And then, a raspy, venomous voice spoke in Kari's ear.
A bolt of lightning cut the night sky. A low rumble of thunder followed it a few moments later as the ominous clouds that covered the sky let loose a torrential rain. Below, the city gleamed with light, standing out in the dead of night like a beacon. Dozens of buildings stretched out to grasp the sky in their curled fingers, none of them quite tall enough. Despite the late hour and dreary weather the streets still bustled with life, albeit not as much as normal. Subways continued their endless racing below the city streets while above them countless birds nested anywhere they chose. On the sidewalks, pedestrians hid beneath their umbrellas like turtles in their shells, dodging between cars and buildings and any other dry place they could find. Cars passed cautiously through deep pools of water. Thousands of people were still hard at work. Some worked in grocery stores; some were janitors; some had late nights at the office. Others were police officers, doormen, waiters, and virtually any other profession imaginable. Most of the city was at home, though. Some were watching television, others were talking on the phone, and still others were catching up on work they hadn't completed during the day. For the most part, those who were lucky enough to be at home were sleeping more or less comfortably in bed. There was another great bolt of lightning followed by a roll of thunder.
The explosion of light and sound were reminiscent of the apocalyptic battle between Omnimon and NightmareOmnimon. Each flash was like their swords striking each other. Each low rumble was like one of their world-shattering explosions. It all seemed so distant now, like a forgotten dream lying hidden, just beneath the surface. Now there were other things in life to be concerned with. All those adventures ran the risk of being forgotten, but if one thing is to be learned from what is about to unfold, it is that important things will never allow themselves to be forgotten. Sooner or later, they will return to haunt you when you least expect it. The story is ready to begin again, and it is about to take place in a small, darkened apartment in the city of Odaiba, Japan.
Kari awoke with a start, bathed in cold sweat. Her eyes looked straight ahead and were transfixed on nothing in particular. She had never had a dream more absolutely terrifying than that one, but her breathing slowed and her pulse ceased its racing as she came to see that it was nothing more than that; just a dream. Still, whether or not it was a dream, she was in no rush to go back to sleep. Suddenly she remembered that her shoulder had been cut in the dream. He hand raced to the spot, but found there was no wound. That was all the convincing she needed to be sure it was a dream and nothing more.
The sound of the pouring rain outside gave Kari a certain degree of calm. Now fully immersed in reality once again, she plucked her silk bathrobe from where it was neatly hung on a hook next to the bed; she was, after all, a very tidy person. She stood and cinched up her robe, walking to the bathroom just outside her bedroom. Once in the pitch-black chamber she groped the wall for the light switch. She found it a few seconds later and the harsh light switched on. Staring back at her from the mirror was the reflection of a very attractive young woman with long, chestnut hair, only a few months out of college: her own reflection.
She bent over the sink and turned on the faucet. She splashed some water in her face and then dried off with a hand-towel. With that done, she looked at her reflection in the mirror for a few seconds.
"Relax; it was just a dream," she said to herself.
After that brief reassurance, she turned around, flicked off the light and went back out. Before she passed through the door to her bedroom though, she was surprised by the sound of gentle snoring coming from the living room. Curious, she went to see what it was. Sure enough, there was TK, still fully dressed and looking very much worse for wear, passed out on the couch. She hadn't heard him come in, and since he was out here it seemed likely that he hadn't wanted to wake her up. Oh well; she was just glad that he was home before one o'clock tonight. She noticed that he looked like he could use a shave; she would have to remind him in the morning. With a great deal of care, Kari draped a blanket over TK's sleeping form and gave him a kiss on the forehead.
She made her way back to her bed, but when she reached the desk in the bedroom something reflected the light from the street below, catching her eye. She picked it up and saw that it was a small whistle, which she hadn't paid much attention to for years. She then sat down at the desk chair as all of the whistle's attached memories rushed back to her. Gatomon; the Digital World; all of those adventures. They were so long ago now: about ten years. Suddenly inspired, she placed the whistle in the desk drawer and turned on the desk-lamp. She then bent over to a small bookshelf nearby and dug out an old photo album, which included most of the shots she'd taken with her digital camera now printed out and collected. She fingered her way through the volumes of pictures before coming upon the two she was looking for a few minutes later. She set the book down beneath the lamp and looked toward the large picture on the left side of the page for a long time. It was the one of the whole group together for the last time.
"Wow…look at that…" she said nostalgically. "I can't believe we were all that young once."
She looked over each of the faces there in turn. She first looked at Joe, back when he had that long, wavy hair and those narrow, smart glasses. Always buried in his studies. Good old reliable Joe had gone through life as expected. He went through high school and passed with flying colors; for college he'd gone overseas to a university in Pennsylvania. Of course he was completely stressed-out the entire time but he still did quite well. He'd even stayed there as he worked his way through medical school. It had been months since Kari had seen Joe, but aside from the goatee he'd grown and the shorter haircut, she doubted he would have changed much.
Next came Mimi and Michael. Those two had been dating years back, but nothing serious ever came of it so they stopped seeing each other but stayed friends; or so Kari had heard from Mimi. Lately, though, Mimi had been hinting in her e-mails that she and Michael had started going out again and they were having a lot of fun. She even thought it just might be the real deal. Outside of relationships, Mimi had left college after only two years despite her father's warnings and had landed herself a job in a fashionable Manhattan restaurant. It wasn't exactly a job as a chef like Mimi really wanted—and that wasn't unreasonable considering the cooking expertise she'd no doubt gotten from her mother—but waiting tables seemed to satisfy her for the time being and her father was willing to help her out financially. She and Joe had renewed their friendship after he moved to America, living only a few hours from each other. As for Michael, he had shied away from the glamour of Hollywood and taken a different path than his action-star father. He'd decided instead to turn down the road of high finance. Through hard work, a few good connections, and dropping his father's name where appropriate, Michael had clawed his way to a reasonably lucrative position as assistant manager of a bank in the Bronx; not too shabby.
Moving onto Willis, he was likewise fresh out of college and already gainfully employed as a software designer while still taking graduate classes at MIT. Rumor had it that Willis' income was ludicrous—no doubt the end result of the stiff competition potential employers had given each other over him. Apparently, being a genius has distinct advantages. The last thing Kari heard was that he was healthy, happy, and enjoying himself immensely.
Then there was Davis. True to his word, he hadn't as much as touched a soccer ball since his little accident five years earlier. Moreover, his quest to prove that he was still as much of a man as anyone else had turned into a full-blown crusade. He'd lost over half a dozen girlfriends because he was in such a rush to have kids. In the end, that was probably best for him because although he'd matured a lot he still had a ways to go. Professionally, Davis' entire higher education experience had revolved around two things: partying and girls. Still, he had somehow managed to come out with an impressive array of knowledge about his major: advertising. Davis, being the type to never give up on a dream, felt knowledge of advertising would really help him out in making his noodle cart idea a reality. Still, he didn't even have enough money to get that started, so for the time being he was bouncing between jobs most of the time. He had little luck finding anything in advertising because even though he was good, there were a lot of people out there better than him.
After Davis were Ken and Yolei. They had been through their share of difficulties over the years. It may have been a bumpy ride sometimes, but somehow they'd beaten the odds. Their love had only grown over the years and now they were engaged, an announcement they had only made a few days ago. The big date had been set for about two and a half months in the future. Beyond that, Ken was kept very busy at work. The interest he'd had in mystery and detective novels as a kid had grown into a career goal and he was now working as a street cop. It was hardly glamorous, and the danger had Yolei constantly worried but Ken loved the job and always managed to reassure his fiancée that he'd be just fine, and he always was. As for Yolei, she had nixed college to travel and refine her skills with her true passion: the violin. She had said that those were the best years of her life, but she did find it hard to be separated from Ken for so long, and it didn't really give her any real career prospects. Honestly, though, she seemed to want to settle down and have a big family to take care of, just like her parents had done.
Cody was still in college and hoped to someday go onto law school. Kari never would've thought that timid little kid she'd once known so well could turn into such an outgoing guy that was apparently the finest orator any of his professors had ever known. He also worked at a martial arts studio, training his students in kendo. Since his grandfather died he was always looking for a way to honor the old man, and in a way he thought that teaching others what his grandfather had taught him would accomplish that. His work and studies kept him very busy though and he barely had time to spend with his friends, much less a girlfriend. One thing that had never changed was how seriously he took everything, especially his studies.
Kari then turned her attention to Izzy. He'd arguably been affected most by being cut off from the Digital World. He would pour over his old collected data from time to time, trying to find some way to get back. It wasn't that he missed His partner more than anyone else did, but he did miss the thrill of researching a whole world; in Kari's opinion Izzy was never happier than when he was proposing one of his countless theories regarding the Digital World. Still, he'd managed to do okay for himself, even if he wasn't really happy. He was the assistant webmaster at some manufacturing company based in Yokohama, which meant he was still within an hour's travel by train. He even had a girlfriend now. Kari had only met her once but Izzy sure seemed to like her.
Next were Matt and Sora, who were married just under a year ago and still seemed as happy together as they were when they were first engaged. They'd hit their share of troubled patches in the past, but nothing could deter them from loving each other. After his band had broken up, Matt went into the airforce and found a real niche for himself. Sora's friendship with Mimi seemed to lead to their rubbing off on one another; specifically, Sora seemed to take on Mimi's interest in fashion and Mimi had picked up a rather down-to-earth attitude from Sora. That interest in fashion led Sora to try to break into designing, but it was a long road and she had to settle for the position of secretary at a big clothing store in Kyoto for the time being.
Of course Tai was also there in the picture too, a wide grin on his face. In high school he'd been student body president and an officer in every club he'd joined. He had started numerous student organizations in college, led protests against unfair policies, and represented his fellow students on countless occasions. His role as head honcho of the DigiDestined had obviously prepared him to become the artful negotiator and charismatic leader he'd grown up to be. He had just recently hit it big when a member of the Tokyo City Council offered to make him his campaign manager.
Kari then saw TK and herself. The very day this picture was taken she had broken up with him. She'd been so afraid that she had broken his heart, but he was more resilient than she had given him credit for. They got back together five years later but their relationship was on something of a roller coaster ride. Fortunately they were past all that now—they agreed that most of their problems had been the result of hyperactive hormones—and they were very happy together. They had moved in together about a year ago when they were both in college, sharing the rent for the mildly cramped apartment. TK was working as journalist at the time to feed his passion for writing, as well as his stomach. What time he had that wasn't taken up with sleep and work was mostly spent on his first real book, which he hoped would be published and sell well enough that he could cut back on his hours at the paper and spend more time with Kari. Kari had studied hard to become a teacher and she was well on her way to becoming a substitute. If she wanted to become a real teacher, though, she had a few more years of school to look forward to.
Looking down and to the right of the first picture, Kari looked over the second picture. It was the last picture she'd taken of Jack and Stormdramon before they left. Since then she had seen him only a few times. In fact it had been eight years since they last met face-to-face. They occasionally spoke through e-mail, though. From what Kari had heard, Jack had gone through a lot over those years. His father died of a heart attack three years earlier; it was apparently the result of years in a high-stress job with so little release. After that, his mom began taking more and more time to be with him; she didn't want to end up like her late husband. Career-wise he was on the fast track to success, already a manager at his father's old company while simultaneously attending graduate classes at Swarthmore, a university not too far from Philadelphia. Indeed, one of the things about Jack that Kari had only learned a couple years ago was that he was a lot smarter than she once gave him credit for. In the last message she'd received from Jack, Kari had learned that he was engaged. That was over three months earlier.
As Kari looked down and pondered over those faces, as they had appeared so long ago, she failed to notice the tall figure approaching behind her.
"Kari? What are you doing up?" asked TK.
"Oh!" she gasped and instinctively shut the album. "I'm sorry, did I wake you?"
"Nah," TK said with a yawn, "I woke up because of this really freaky dream…"
Kari froze in her tracks. "D-dream…?"
"Yeah, it was weird," TK began. "There was this duck there, but it had a beak like a hawk or something and it started attacking me. When I tried to hit it, it turned into a wooden butterfly and I tried to run away but—"
Kari breathed a sigh of relief. "Sounds like you've been working too hard. I'll bet we both have been. Let's try to get some sleep tonight."
"Maybe you're right. Let's go to bed."
Kari slipped the photo album back in its proper place and followed TK over to the bed, where they both climbed under the covers and shut their eyes, slowly drifting back into an undisturbed sleep.
Outside, the rain continued to pour down over the city. The occasional car continued down the flooded streets and people still dashed from one dry spot to the next. The city remained aglow despite the late hour, and life went on as normal. A bolt of lightning cut the night sky and a low rumble of thunder followed it a few moments later.
Several hours passed and the sun began to rise, or at least it tried to. The sky was still overcast, but the rain had stopped, leaving deep puddles in the rolling, grassy hills of this place far removed from the hustle and bustle of the big city. The day was just about to begin, and it was met by the smell of wet grass and a gentle breeze. A wooden shack, dug out partially from the side of a hill, was tingling with the awakening of its only resident. A yawn could be heard emanating from within as the creature inside stretched. The shack's resident scratched an itch on his back and then hopped down onto the floor, plodding his way toward the door. The low hatch creaked on its hinges and swung outward, revealing the new day to the stout, furry, red-and-purple creature. He took in a great breath of air through his nose.
"Ahh…" he said, releasing his breath. "Now that's invigorating. Well, time to get to work."
"Don't bother going down to the river," said a strong, male voice from down the path, "today's fishing is already taken care of."
The short creature stood up on his toes and peered down the hill. Hovering there and carrying a net full of fresh fish slung over his golden staff was Angemon.
"Good morning, Elecmon. Sleep well?" Angemon asked.
"You betcha'," Elecmon said warmly. "I gotta' tell ya' I'm surprised to see you up this early. This has got to be a first!"
"Maybe you're just getting old," Angemon suggested with a smirk.
"Maybe you young pups are just wearin' me out," Elecmon remarked.
They exchanged more friendly conversation as they moved down the road toward their mutual destination of Primary Village. Their leisurely walk took them only twenty minutes to get down the winding path to the village. As soon as they arrived, Angemon set down the net he carried and de-digivolved to Patamon.
"Looks like I'm not the only one who tires out easily," Elecmon noticed.
"I'd like to see you try it," Patamon returned. "Besides, it's not so easy without a partner."
"Alright!" said Elecmon. "I'll start with these fish and you take a look around. You know the drill."
"I'm on it!" said Patamon as he and Elecmon took off in opposite directions.
And thus, the two of them set about their morning routine. Elecmon prepared the fish to serve to the dozens of ever-hungry baby digimon while Patamon checked over the babies, made sure everything was fine, and kept an eye out for digieggs that were ready to be hatched. It had all become very much the standard operating procedure over the stretch of years. Patamon found that he had learned much under the tutelage of Elecmon, who often told Patamon of how proud he was of him and what a fine digimon he was growing up to be.
Several hours passed by slowly, and morning was in full swing. The clouds had mostly dissipated and the ground was still wet but things seemed less gloomy with blue sky overhead. Elecmon had met up with Patamon at the usual spot in the shade of a tree where they always ate breakfast together.
"I think you really outdid yourself this time," said Patamon, happily devouring another fried fish.
"You flatter me, kid," said Elecmon, stripping the meat from his own tasty morsel and disposing of the bones, "there's nothing really special about these."
"Well you must've done something new," said Patamon as he took up another fish, "because these have never been so good."
"Oh Patamon, I nearly forgot to tell you something."
"What is it?"
"It seems an old friend of ours is coming to the island!"
"Really? Who is it? Wait. Let me guess. Is it…Tentomon?"
"Nope. Try again," Elecmon said with a laugh.
"Not even close."
"Gatomon?" Patamon asked hopefully.
"You want me to just tell you?"
"Okay, fine. I give up, now who is it?"
"It's none other than Omnimon!"
"Omnimon?! Wow! We haven't seen him in ages! What's he doing coming here?"
"Well the way I heard it, he just finished taking care of some kind of trouble in the west quadrant. A whole bunch of Mojyamon had a beef with some Golemon…something about mining rights I believe. The thing's been going on for months and it could've become violent if Omnimon didn't take immediate action. At least that's what I've heard. Anyway, a few days of mediating things and Omnimon had settled the dispute. I guess after that and everything else he's been busy with lately, he's up for some r and r."
"Well it'll sure be nice to see him again. When does he arrive?"
"Tomorrow, I think."
"I can't wait to catch up. Can you imagine the stories he has to tell?"
"Don't sell yourself short, kid. You've got a few tales of your own. Remember the time that savage Kuwagamon attacked?'
"Oh come on. I bet Omnimon deals with problems ten times bigger than Kuwagamon every week!"
"Yeah, but he's also the strongest and wisest digimon in the whole world. Doesn't that make your accomplishments just as great as his?"
"Well…I guess so."
"Don't sell yourself short, kid."
"Hey! Who's Omnimon?" squeaked a small voice.
Patamon and Elecmon both turned to see the source of the cry. It was Jyarimon, a red, ball-shaped baby digimon with fringed ears and small black eyes. Patamon had seen a few of this kind of digimon in his time with Elecmon, but none of them were as much of a handful as this newest one.
"Omnimon is the digimon who watches over all of us and makes sure that nothing bad happens," said Patamon.
"Is he strong?" asked Jyarimon.
"Of course he is," Elecmon said with a chuckle.
"I'll bet he's not as tough as me!" Jyarimon asserted.
"Well, we may never know," Patamon said, stifling a laugh.
"Jyarimon, why don't you go play with some of your friends?" Elecmon suggested.
"Because I don't have any," was Jyarimon's rather snotty reply.
"Oh come on. I bet you have some," said Elecmon.
"No, I don't! They're all stupid anyway."
"Look, I'm sure that if you just try too—" Elecmon started.
"You know what? You're stupid too!"
And with that, Jyarimon bounded off into the woods.
"Poor kid," said Patamon. "He's such an outsider."
"It's strange," Elecmon said. "All the others I've ever seen of that species have been really sweet and well-adjusted, but they weren't the brightest bunch. This one seems to be just the opposite."
"Nah, not really. His species is actually pretty new and it's probably just branching out. I'll be interested to see how he digivolves."
"They first appeared in the south, didn't they? His species, I mean."
"Yeah, but oddly enough most that have been hatched have come from here."
"I hear there's lots of strange stuff in the southern quadrant."
"You don't know the half of it, kid. I went down there once and I tell ya' the Kurisarimon were a dime a dozen."
"Really? I've only ever heard about the one. I didn't know there were more of him out there."
"Oh yeah. I don't know how it happened exactly but those things just took a liking to the place and now they're all over."
"Kid, you haven't heard nothin' yet…"
As this went on, the sun shone down on the aged, scarred summit of Infinity Mountain, which was still surrounding the great crater left from the return of Protomon. That crater, which once seemed so alive, was now dead and inorganic again. It was no different from any other crater except for one key difference. On and around the great stone platform that once held the legendary White DigiEgg had been built a shrine in the Greco-Roman style wityh white large, marble columns and arches and a domed roof. To the select few who knew of it, it was called the Shrine of the Dark Incarnate. Inside the shrine's single, extensive chamber, which was decorated with statues and great murals and woven tapestries, sat the shrouded figure of the ever-youthful Gennai. He was deep in meditation in the very center of the room, where the light of the sun could filter through the dome directly onto him, encapsulating him in a pillar of light.
"Gennai…" a voice whispered on the wind.
He remained sitting, moving deeper and deeper into concentration.
"Gennai…" the voice repeated.
"I hear, my friend," Gennai said.
And with that, Gennai opened his eyes to find his consciousness somewhere completely removed from the shrine in the crater. It was a place he had been only a handful of times before. Everything was bathed in a dark blue light. He sat on one of countless stone platforms, all arranged close together but not actually touching; like a floor with dozens of wide, endlessly deep cracks in it. Before him was a single platform, much larger than and elevated above the others. A column of brighter bluish light rained down over the platform. This was the Dragon Gate, the old throne of Azulongmon.
"Gennai, we must speak," said a voice that seemed to echo from every corner.
The massive figure of Omnimon stepped from the darkness and onto the elevated platform, his armor shining in the light.
"Of course, old friend," Gennai said as he lifted his eyes to Omnimon.
"Listen carefully," Omnimon said, "for the time has drawn close again. I have sensed a great fluctuation as of late, building up stronger and stronger over the course of these past months."
"I too have sensed such a disturbance," said Gennai. "I hope you are free to tell me the nature of it."
"Alas, my knowledge is not so exact. Even though I possess the combined wisdom and knowledge of the Sovereigns, great volumes of Protomon's knowledge remain sealed away even from me, just as the bulk of his power has eluded me."
"Then we must begin to seek out the source of these fluctuations ourselves."
"Gennai, I am coming to File Island. I want you to call on the other Guardians to meet you at the Shrine of the Dark Incarnate. I will have much to tell you, and many quests to complete before we may know the true nature of this growing threat."
"I shall do your will, my friend."
"Also, I must ask you to find some old companions of mine. I fear I have lost track of them as a result of my incessant duties."
"Well, Patamon is still on the island. I must tell you that he has been developing marvelously and no doubt will be eager to see you again. I am not sure about the others, but I will know by the time of your arrival."
"Very good. I will see you soon enough."
Omnimon began to turn away from Gennai, but then stopped mid-stride.
"Is there something else?"
"I wish to ask a question," said Gennai.
"What is it, my friend?"
"Well…is it the one we've been waiting for? Could it be the one we've feared this whole time?"
"Do you want to know if we must prepare to face the Destroyer?"
"Yes, old friend. That is my concern."
"Then I'm afraid I cannot and must not answer."
"Must not…? But, why?"
"To form an answer at this early stage of the game would be foolhardy. If the foe that is coming into being is not the most hated and feared of that dark alliance, then this affair shall be settled soon enough. If it is true that the day of reckoning draws near…then I put my faith in our will to survive against all odds."
"Do you truly doubt in your ability to overcome the foe we may one day have to face?"
"I cannot say how strong the Destroyer may be. All I can do now is hone my skills and try to uncover the source of this disturbance."
"Then we must act as swiftly as possible. If this is indeed the Destroyer, then there may yet be time to stop him."
"These things have all been foreseen in ages past, and so shall they unfold now. Act quickly, friend, but also act quietly. If the growing threat becomes aware of our search it may shrink further into the shadows."
"I shall see you soon, Omnimon," Gennai said with a bow.
"Take care, Gennai."
Gennai's eyes shot open, and his consciousness was reunited with his body in the shrine. He calmly regained his composure and stood again
"Well?" asked a female voice from the shadows.
"He will arrive soon," said Gennai, turning to look at his companion. "But there are things we must do before his arrival. Come, we must rally the others."