By: Wolf E. Urameshi
Disclaimer: All Digimon characters and related trademarks are legal property of Akiyoshi Hongo and Bandai; therefore no infringement of the law is meant in any way, nor any profit is made out of this. Also, all original characters and related trademarks are property of their respective owners and used with permission.
Author's note: Well... It's been a long time since I last touched this fanfic. I know, the wait has been long (and few read Digimon fanfics nowadays, anyway), but I have returned with several new ideas for this one. I know I don't update this much, but please understand that even though it's a Digimon fanfic, its structure regarding the story aspect is very complicated and takes a lot of time to create, organize and write. I actually got the idea for this one after seeing the disasters caused by hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Therefore, I decided to sit down and write something dedicated to those people. I wish they were around to read it, though... But you can, therefore I invite you to do so. I thank you for taking the time in reading this chapter. I know it will be of your reading pleasure.
This chapter is dedicated to the victims of hurricanes Katrina and Rita. It is also homage to the efforts of everyone in helping the people of Texas and New Orleans, Louisiana. I hope it is of your liking.
Chapter 9: Minuet of Twinge
"And now on other news, after waiting about three hours or so in expectation, we have visuals regarding the recent attack of hurricane Benson on the Eastern side of Okinawa Island!" The rather pointless voice of a reporter could be heard from a TV in Jack's room as he came out of the shower with a pair of velvet shorts.
"Hmm? What's she talking about--" His voice was cut by sheer shivers as he saw some of the most horrific images he had seen. No words could describe what he saw as the reporter's voice rang indistinct. Steep destruction was all that was shown on the TV screen. A giant lake surrounded several prefectures of Okinawa, pieces and bits of houses were now floating logs around the lake, small boats with people were joining them in silent solitude and dead bodies of older people, adults and even children floated around as salvage units came close to them to perform autopsies and rescues. Even animals were not spared. "...What the Hell is this?"
He still refused to believe what he saw. However, his mindless suffering was cut by his cell phone ringing madly. He went to attend the call, and to his dismay, the voice knew what was going on. He started a conversation as his sight turned towards the flickering screen. "...Jack, are you watching the news right now?"
"I know, Bob, I know, I saw it. My gigabytes were just blown out."
"Very funny; Ada just called us in, said she wanted us there as soon as possible."
"I'll bet it's about Benson."
"Most probably, all I could hear was consternation in her voice. After all, I don't blame her; who wouldn't?"
"Be right there, but calling us at this time of night and even if it's not an emergency?"
"Maybe it is and she's keeping quiet about it. You know her, don't you?"
"I guess you're right. I'll just get ready and meet her. I take it everyone knows?"
"Yeah, she asked me to tell everyone. You're the last one."
"Why was I?"
"I don't know. I guess I just wanted to."
"...I'll be right there." He just hung up with exasperation as he turned to the TV set. "...Strange guy."
A while following the conversation, at the Police Department, perhaps the only one obscenely calm about things was Jack himself. All he saw was fret in the other's faces, aside from their home-like clothing. "Okay, now that we're all here, just for a recap, I have something to show you." She turned on a nearby projector as clips of the destruction in Okinawa played, followed by few grunts from some and sighs from others.
John raised himself from a chair and directed his eyes at the light that expressed the pain of the people. "As we all know, Benson was a 5-rated hurricane with winds of over 200 mph. It's really taken a number on Okinawa. Ironically, though, it has died down, and many meteorologists have rated it as one of the worst natural disasters of this century." Their mouths expressed nothing, but the stare of one of them did.
"...And, why are you injuring us mentally with these?" A rather troubled Shigeru inquired her as she shook her head.
"I understand how you feel, for I feel the same way, but unfortunately, this world has a natural way of doing things. This is one of those, whether we like it or not." Her eyes fell down in disappointment with herself, possibly feeling like a total fool at not being able to do anything to stop it.
"Then I suppose we're here to receive an assignment regarding this one?" Ted's voice seemed to solicit, but his tone was more challenging.
"Actually, yes, it's a new undertaking. We are to be present in Okinawa to assist the victims of this natural disaster. Kaylee, Caroline and the others are there by now, helping the refugees."
Satisfaction was the only thing present in their faces. They were being given the chance of helping the victims. This truly fed their expectations and quenched their thirst for resolution; that was more than enough. "...So, um, when do we leave?" Toshiro managed to ask, not being able to say anything in the seven minutes and twenty-eight seconds that followed the whole presentation.
"...Tomorrow." John replied back with a blank face that whispered nonentity to its spectators.
The next day the mission officially began as the Guards, dressed in their usual outfits boarded a helicopter with a red-and-black color scheme, along with in-laid green seats. John and Ada were at the helm as they put on the pilot's equipment, the former being the first. "'Kay, testing, all systems are online and in standby. Taking off, so put on those seatbelts for once, bastards." His joking tone also demanded action as everyone on board obeyed, the chopper at long last taking a ride into the skies.
However, a rather uncertain someone was getting impatient in the chopper forty-five minutes later. "Hey John, how much longer to land on Okinawa?"
"I'd say about a couple of seconds, Bernard; I can see the island from here now."
"I wonder what Okinawa has to offer today..." Jack asked himself as he sat closer to the pilots, trying to get a clearer view of the isle. He did, and he regretted he had asked for it. Black skies replaced the peaceful air of the island. The coastline was completely in ruins as few animals swam in the now peaceful seas. What were once known as houses were now demolished homes. Resorts were still letting out accumulated water, just like when a stiletto pierces a living being and releases reddish pain. People were trying to start over, but the striking idea of losing everything sans them was uninviting. In other words, Okinawa was now a mere phantom of what it once was.
"Can't believe I'm seeing this version of Okinawa; it's worse like this than in some screen..." Toshiro wondered aloud, his brother joining him in silent retribution.
"..." Shigeru said nothing, overwhelmed by the angst in the situation.
"Damn... If only I had been here sooner..." Ted's soul was full of regret and guilt over it, even though he had no part in the destruction. John and Ada were following suit unconsciously as if a candle's light had died down.
However, the sad moment was interrupted by the pilot's now soft voice. "We're landing in Okinawa now. Hold on to something..."
Sand was kicked up in screaming agony as the helicopter landed on the white sand of Okinawa, remnants of rain falling and deadly silence surrounding them, save for the chopper's rumble of terror. The Digimon descended onto the watery ground as the place fell on stillness. "This rain's worse than when it rains in Kyoto, I still can't believe it's raining like this!" Ada remarked suspiciously; having gotten off the vehicle, Jack said nothing either as he stared up.
"Alright, here's the stuff: We need to patrol this coastline to find any survivors. We'll have to conduct air patrol as well as on land and water. So we need to split up," John suggested with a nod of endorsement from Jack.
"Agreed. So, here's what we'll do. We'll digivolve to our current forms and break up. I'll go with Ada and take care of the land. John, you, Ted and Bob take care of the sea. The twins will take care of the coastline. I hope we all agree on those terms." Everyone nodded in agreement, but...
"T-twins? Are we that close?" Toshiro asked acerbically, but Jack just grinned impishly.
"Isn't that what you are?"
"Um..." Shigeru was forced to cut in.
"Actually, yeah, we are! Go figure, huh?" He pulled him aside and walked with him around the beach. Everyone's senses were confused, as they saw no sense in such a situation. Meanwhile... "You idiot! Don't you see how obvious the fact that we're twins is?"
Toshiro was rather embarrassed, but he meant such a comment as him being compared to Shigeru, who was actually more eccentric and rambunctious than himself. "Geez, sor-ry. I didn't know this would make you mad!"
"Look, just forget it and let's move on," They digivolved and scouted the coast as their fast stomps interrupted the remnants of tranquility of the beach. The furious rain poured over them as their pants joined in a discourteous chorus. "Hey, I was wondering, did you ever see the news?"
"I still think... they're worse... than this! I have to see... the city before we... make any stupid assumptions!"
"I guess... that makes two of us!" Their eyes were scanning the area as they patrolled the disloyal sands, but meanwhile, in the water, Bob and John were all desperation as the seas shook them sadistically.
"Argh, this isn't normal, even if it's the after-shock!" John's voice suggested despondency about the wild storm that attacked the ocean.
"Well, don't blame me, blame... Uhh... Who do I have to blame?"
"Man, can't you—Whoa!" Their little escapade onto the sea was soon broken by an onslaught of waves bent on bringing them down. "Yo, evasive maneuvers!"
"What I do best on the sea!" In the sky, the strong currents were trying to get Jack and Ada killed, the latter mounting Jack, since she had no way of digivolving.
"Gah, since when is the air so complicated? Now I can't even look down!"
"Keep looking, there has to be someone in need of help!" Ada pleaded as she wrestled between watching her life and stalking any victims.
"I'm trying, but I can't see anything around here with this wind! Try listening!"
"All I can listen to is the wind, there's no way of telling if anyone's in danger!"
In the intervening time, the brothers at long last returned to the chopper, panting in fatigue. "Glad we didn't see anyone, if not..." Shigeru was cut off. His mind did not know of how to carry on.
"...If not, what?" Toshiro inquired, but his brother said nothing. He was heartbroken between saying he was relieved and saying he was worried. The pain came out double.
Conversely, a voice broke the silence. "Help, somebody please help us!"
"Wha--" They reacted with a gasp, and knew what to do.
John was trying to survive when suddenly... "Guys, come in!" Shigeru called in through a headpiece to John and pleaded his attention.
"Huh?" He turned to Bob. "Something's up, stay here, I'll go see what's wrong!" John digivolved to ultimate level and took flight, Bob shrugging in ignorance and turning to the sea... Hoping on the inside nothing was wrong.
"Come in now! We have survivors, it's an emergency!" Toshiro called to Ada, the female startled at the tone.
She turned to Jack. "I heard! Back to the chopper!" He wrestled with the wind and was able to do a U-turn and returned to the landing site. Once he landed, however, he met up with John and looked around the site, trying to locate the others. Ada got down and joined in the survey fraught.
"They say emergency, but they say no location!"
"Guys, we're north of you! Please, come here now!" They stared at each other, trying to decide what to do.
"You guys go ahead! I'll tell the assistants of the situation!" Ada yelled stepping onto the chopper and getting the radio.
"Alright, but take care of yourself!" They requested, rushing into the scene. But then they saw the siblings actually meant it. A large group of people were attempting to escape as a gigantic tree was trying to claim their souls... And Toshiro and Shgeru were holding it.
"What the Hell are these people doing here? They shouldn't be here, it's too dangerous!" John demanded, but not realizing the reasons.
"They're here because a girl was left behind, so they came back for her!" Shigeru replied, the others looking at the frightened people, especially a little girl that stood out among them. She had long blue braids and a teddy bear wrapped on her hands. But the time they spent looking at her was lost time for the siblings. "Yo, we need some help!" They returned to their senses and quickly went to help them push the giant tree aside. It was very heavy. "Gah, where's Bernard when you need him?"
A strong, blue hand joined them and raised the tree for them. "Right... Here! Rgh!" His might threw away the tree into the now maddened ocean, making a huge ripple.
"Guys, go take the people to the shelters! I'll go get Ada!" John yelled as he turned and flew away back to the chopper.
"John, no!" Jack's cry of plead fell to deaf ears as he ran behind the people.
"Ada, hold on!"
John sighted the chopper, but gasped as he saw it break up into shambles. Ada was fighting for her life as she held on to a nearby portion of the remnants. "Ada!" He rushed to her, now back to normal, and took her hand. "Gotcha! Hold on!" He pulled her away from the chopper as it was taken away, shattered and battered.
It was a few days later that the situation was finally on its way to being normal. The Guards did an excellent job when helping out the people. And even though Okinawa was completely decimated, it would soon flourish once again as the Grand Island it truly was...