1. 'Brave new world'
"I'm not afraid of tomorrow,
I'm only scared of myself!
Feels like my insides are on fire
And I'm looking through the eyes of someone else."
~ "Tomorrow" SR-71
His breath was hard and forced. His heart bounced off his ribs, creating a stabbing stitch in his chest, but he could not stop. Never could he stop. Or he would be killed…or worse.
They were close now, he turned his head to look behind him, his indigo hair flying in his face, and as he turned back, strands caught in his dry mouth. But he could not fuss with that now, he didn't have the time.
The school was like Fort-Knox to get into now that it was dark out and the moon was high. No, the school was not the protected goal; it was what was within the school. That being the computer room. The computer room with the only accessible Digital gate he could access. He couldn't risk going to the warehouse and reveal the Resistance's location.
Ken took a corner, knowing that he was slowing down, fatigue setting in. Not even the 'Rocket' could run for hours and not feel it. He would have collapsed if it weren't for the pure adrenaline pumping through his veins. He took another corner, where he stopped against a door, listening intently for his pursuers. In the few seconds of rest, his mind flashed back to the point at which he had been running with Miyako. He hadn't seen her in months and now he had to leave her once more. He closed his eyes tight against the tears threatening to flow over his cheeks and remembered her face as he stopped running and hid with her in a small area like the one he was standing in now, his back pressed against a wooden door. She had looked at him confused, her pale face beading with perspiration. "Why have we stopped Ken? They're coming!"
"I know. Miyako-chan, you can't come with me. As much as I would love you to be with me, I can't put you in that kind of danger again. I just got you back after thinking you were dead, please don't let him succeed in killing you this time."
She looked hard at him, her amber eyes filling with tears; "I love you Ken! I'd die for you! You know that! I want to go with you, please, let me go with you!"
He placed a finger on her lips and forced himself not to break down. "Please, don't make this harder. You know I love you, I'd do anything for you, but Miyako, I need you to live for me. I need you to go back to the Warehouse and-" he stopped as he heard voices coming towards them, "Go Miyako! Run in the opposite direction!"
He pulled her close and rested his bloody hand on her cheek. He stared into her eyes for what felt like hours and then he kissed her passionately. It took all his will to pull away and say to her, "GO!"
She did not argue this time, but instead ran like he instructed her to.
That felt like only seconds ago, but in fact it had been almost two hours.
His chest heaving, he took another deep breath and sprinted for his destination.
Reaching the computer, he showed his white D-3 to the screen and was pulled through, only to land in the same computer room. Kneeling on the floor, catching his breath, he looked up, and listened for the hurried footsteps of the men chasing him. None came, and the panic was quickly replaced with confusion.
He blinked and looked around him, slowly moving towards the window, where he placed his palms on the cool glass, searching the twilight outside, the streets busy with teenagers walking around in couples and cars racing to destinations.
Then it stuck him; "This isn't my world."
Yolei and Ken tumbled out of the computer and onto the cold floor of the computer room. Frowning, they both picked themselves up and blinked at each other.
"Er, Ken, why are we in the computer room?"
Ken observed his surroundings, "I'm not sure. We should have come out in the Digital World."
"Well, yeah, if we wanted to go from your room to the computer room, we would have just walked here, but then again, we wouldn't want to come to the computer room at night. Night? Already? What happened to-?"
Ken cut her off by placing his hand on her mouth, looking at her incredibly seriously, "Shh. Do you hear something?"
He took his hand away, and the lavender haired girl strained her ear to listen. "I hear, footsteps. A lot of them."
"They are running this way. We should hide, I don't think it would look good if we were caught here." The young man glanced around again, "Especially since we don't attend this school. Well, you don't anymore and I never have."
Yolei nodded and he pulled her to the back of the classroom and forced her to hide under one of the desks.
Within seconds, about five grown men had flooded the room, all gathering in front of the computer screen. They were all dressed in navy blue pants and shirts, all with navy shoulder-pads, breastplates and knee-guards. They were carrying large guns, and didn't look like the kind of people you would pick a fight with. Ken focused on something on them; it looked like a ring around their wrists, black and very familiar.
"We lost him." The first man growled.
"Do we pursue?" asked another.
"No, we cannot, but our master can, and he will not be pleased with this news. He is in no shape to enter the Digital World."
Yolei and Ken looked at each other with raised eyebrows.
"Come, we must deliver this news to him now."
They quickly exited the room, closing the door behind them as they left.
The couple stayed under the desk for a few minutes longer before emerging out from under their hiding place.
"Who do you think those guys were talking about when they said, 'Their master'?" Yolei questioned.
Ken placed his hand on his chin in a gesture of thought, "It has to be a Digidestined, because they said 'Only he can enter the Digital world'."
"I'm confused." Yolei confessed and folded her arms, frowning.
"Something is very wrong here Yolei." He moved to the large window in the room, looking down on the quiet street, a sense of uneasiness washed over him, "I don't think this is our world."
"What do you mean Ken?"
"Look outside." He gestured to the window, "When we left for the Digital world, it was just turning dusk, but out here it is well into the night. Plus there's those guys and their talk of a master."
Yolei nodded and noticed there was no activity outside, "Where are all the people? There isn't a single car on the roads. Wherever we are, it's creepy."
"We should go, try and figure out where we are." Poromon advised.
"And more importantly, how to get back."
Ken had found it relatively easy to get out of the school. He was used to picking locks to get in and out of places back in his world. He walked down the street, looking up at the setting sun as it stained the surrounding clouds with hues of orange, pink and lavender. His eyes dropped to his feet at the memory of seeing his last sunset before Miyako was taken from him.
He watched his feet as he walked under the street lamps that had just burst to life. He wasn't wandering around aimlessly, but in fact, looking for someone, anyone who could tell him where he was. He gathered that he was in Japan, Odiba, from the familiar scenery, but he needed to know if he had gone back or forward in time or if he was in a parallel universe. He had read about the subject often, and because of the digital world, he figured anything was possible.
A sound caught his ears and he lifted his head to acknowledge the voice.
"Ken!" It was Davis. He was running up behind Ken, "Dude, what are you doing here? It's getting late, shouldn't you be home?" He stepped back and took in Ken's appearance. He noticed that Ken's clothes were worn looking and there was a hole at the knee of his jeans. He also noticed that his hair was messy and though still chin length, it was uneven somewhat, not at all how Ken usually keeps it. He narrowed his eyes at him with concern, "Ken? Are you all right? Were you attacked or something?"
Not hearing what Davis had just said, Ken studied the boy's face, tears filling his eyes, "Daisuke? Is that you?"
The goggle-wearing teen frowned, "Daisuke?"
"Davis! Hey Davis wait up!" This time it was TK to call, Kari and Cody running along side him.
Ken looked at them too, blinking back tears.
"Hey man, what's wrong?" Davis asked, seeing Ken's eyes water and the way his face blanched.
"I can't believe it's you." He sighed.
Davis frowned at his best friend, "Huh? Ken what's up with you, you look like you've seen a ghost."
"Where's Yolei?" Kari asked, "I thought she was with you. Remember you were gonna meet us in the digital world, but you never showed up."
Ken blinked at the brunet. Then turned to the group as a whole, "I have something to tell you."
TK frowned at the disturbed look on Ken's face and stared at him, "Ken, it's okay, you can tell us. What's wrong?"
"I don't know how to tell you, so I'm just going to tell you straight out."
"Okay." TK indicated for him to continue.
"I don't think I'm your Ken." He paused and looked at their faces.
Silence. They pondered over the words that had fallen out Ken's mouth, wondering what he meant.
"Huh?" Davis summed it up nicely.
"I think I'm from a different world, a parallel universe, one very different to this one. Either that, or I'm from a different time, but judging by your ages, I don't think that's quite right." He stopped babbling and looked up at them again, "We should find your Ken and Miyako and let them know what's happening."
"What? Why? Huh?" Davis blurted out.
"Miyako? Um, here we call her Yolei and she's not home, we checked." TK informed him, "We called your, uh, Ken's place and he wasn't answering. We searched the Digital world, but we didn't see their signals on our D-3s. So I don't think they are here."
"Is it possible that they were sucked into your world?" Kari questioned.
"Well, when I tried to access the Digital World, I was sucked into this world, your world. If they tried the same thing, it could be quite possible that they ended up in my world."
"And that's a bad thing?" Demiveemon asked.
Ken looked down at the blue dragon-type Digimon, "Yes, it's a very bad thing. For your Ken especially."
"Why?" Kari asked.
"Because," Ken hung his head in shame, "there's a price on my head."
"In my world, I'm a wanted man, dead or alive."
"Why?" Cody looked at Ken sharply, "What did you do that people would be after you?"
Ken took a long pause before answering softly; "I tried to kill my brother."
The group looked at the ragged teenager who resembled the Ken they knew and loved, but was so different. Cody found his voice again and choked out the words through restrained anger, "You tried to kill Sam? Why would you do that?"
The young man let go of a long breath that he hadn't realized he had been holding and sat down under the street lamp, running his hands through his messy hair. "It wasn't something I wanted to do." He said quietly, as if he was not speaking to them at all, but instead at confession, "I had to do it. There was no other choice. Thousands relied on me doing it. He's a monster and has to be taken out."
"Ken," Kari said soothingly and sat down next to him, placing a hand of comfort on his shoulder, "you're not making sense. Tell us what happened."
"Osamu became a cruel tyrant." He continued as if he hadn't heard her, "Forced us to call him Kaiser and enslaved Digimon and humans, and locked them away. So many people were killed, so many friends." He began to shake and clutch at his hair, "I had to stop him. I had to. There was no other choice." He stared at the ground in front of him, his eyes growing wide, as if he could see the memories playing out on the asphalt like a movie in front of him. "I managed to break in. I had been to the base a few times before without him knowing, or maybe he did know and was just toying with me. Letting me get away with it."
The small group who had begun hovering around Ken looked at each other and back to him when he began speaking again.
"I was armed with my sword. I had been training for months, for that moment in my life. I wish I could have thanked Kouen for that, instead of shun her the way I did. I'll never forgive myself if he hurt her again. But then, I never knew if I could trust her."
"Who's Kouen-?" Kari began, but Cody signaled for her not to interrupt Ken's train of thought. The boy knew that Ken was venting and that he would eventually answer their questions in his own time and his own way. She nodded and looked down at Ken again.
"I managed to get into his bedroom, where he was sleeping. He was guarded of course, but I managed to get past the guards by destroying the rings on their wrists. It seemed so easy. He just lay there, so peaceful, like he was my brother again. I had to remind myself that he was not my brother, that he would never be my brother again." He paused to look at his hand, which was crusted with dry blood. It shook violently and Ken felt his stomach turn over at the site of it, but the poison was being released and he could not stop himself from continuing his confession. "I stood over him, my sword raised over my head, poised to plunge it into his heart, but at that moment, he opened his eyes, and I knew for that spilt second he was Osamu again. He wasn't the Kaiser, he was my brother and I couldn't do it. I flinched and missed his heart, but I still pushed the blade of the sword into his body. Shocked at what I had done, I pulled it out again and heard him howl with pain. Blood, there was so much blood. I had to stop it. I pressed my hands on the wound, but it didn't make a difference. So I ran. I don't remember how I got down to the dungeon but I got there and I found Miyako. She was alive! I couldn't leave without her, so I picked the lock of the cage that held her and set her free. She was so thin and fragile, but I made her run with me. I couldn't leave her behind."
He stopped again and held back a sob, "I had to though, she couldn't come with me. He would kill her if she did. I love her." He breathed, "I love her."
Davis bent down and sat next to Ken on his other side, "I think we should get you inside and let you rest or something."
Kari nodded and looked around, "TK, would you mind if we went to your place? It's the closest."
The tall blond nodded and helped Ken stand up again, "It'll be okay Ken, we'll help you."
They began walking in the direction of TK's apartment block while Ken used TK and Davis as a crutch to support his tired body. The somewhat vacant youth mumbled, "It will never be okay."
After finding their way out of the school, without setting off any alarms, Ken and Yolei made their way down the deserted street, the intended destination was Ken's apartment.
Yolei shuddered with cold and wrapped her arms around herself; "I still don't see why we don't just go to my apartment." She complained.
Ken unzipped his black jacket and handed it to her to keep herself warm, "Well the trouble started with my computer, so I figure we start there to find out where we ended up and see if we can use the computer there to get back to our home."
"Okay," Yolei mumbled as she zipped up his jacket, "but can't we take the train then?"
Ken grinned at her and nodded, "Okay Yolei, we'll chance the train." He glanced around himself, "I have this strange feeling that it's a bad idea if we are seen."
She took his hand, "Really? How do you mean?"
He shook his head, "I'm not sure exactly, but it's just a gut thing. Makes me wish I had brought Wormmon with me."
After a quiet train ride, in which they seemed to be the only passengers, they arrived at Tamachi station. They began walking towards Ken's apartment but when they arrived there they found the place to be swarming with men who looked like the ones they had encountered at the school. Yolei figured they were some kind of police as her mind wondered to the day when they had found Ken's home flooded with police men, the day they tried to confront the Emperor in the real world.
She looked at him worriedly, "What do you think is going on here?"
"I don't know, but I'm going to find out. Wait here."
Before Yolei could stop him, he ran to a bush and hid behind it, eavesdropping on a conversation a couple of the large men were having.
"…He was not happy with the news."
"Do you blame him? His own brother, tried to kill him."
"Foolish really, doesn't he realize Osamu is evincible?"
Ken bit back a yelp of surprise when his dead brother's name was mentioned. But what had that guard said? That he, or his self in this world, had tried to kill him? Why would he do that?
Yolei stood quietly against the wall, watching Ken intently when she nearly screamed as a hand rested and turned her by the shoulder. A tall boy with chocolate brown hair, tied in a pony tail faced Yolei and smiled, "Hey, what are you doing out this late, don't you know it's not safe?"
Yolei cocked her head at the boy; he was dressed in jeans and a green shirt, matching his green eyes. His appearance appeared clean enough save for the fact that his clothes looked old and worn. Her gaze was averted when another figure moved out from behind him, a girl, slightly shorter than Yolei, with short brown hair, a pink top and yellow shorts. There was a shocked look on her face.
"Miyako you escaped? But how? Nobody has ever-" Hikari didn't finish her sentence, but decided to hug the older girl as sobs escaped her.
"Kari? There are somethings I need to tell you, and a lot of things to ask you. First of which is, my name is Yolei, nobodies' called me Miyako in years."
Hikari pulled away and stared at her with confusion, "You've never called me Kari, you know I don't like the nickname. What's going on here?"
The taller boy frowned at the bush where Ken was crouching, "What is Ichijouji doing? Does he want to be caught?"
Yolei looked at him, "Caught? What do you mean?"
"Ken tried to kill his brother tonight, but failed, unfortunately and now everyone one of the 'Masters' snipers are out for his blood."
Yoleis' eyes widened and she swallowed, "Ah, what? He tried to kill Sam? What kind of world is this? The Ken in this world must be like the Digimon Emperor!"
Hikari and the older boy frowned at Yolei, "Miyako, I mean Yolei," Hikari explained, "Osamu has been keeping you prisoner for months. Ken tried to save you all, all of us tonight by killing his brother. A very hard decision for him to do, but the only choice. The Kaiser is too far gone."
Yolei clutched her head; "I'm so confused!"
"I think there is a lot of explaining that both of us have to do when we get back to home-base." The older teen suggested.
Looking back at Ken they noticed something they could not have stopped, one of the snipers had spotted Ken and grabbed him by the neck. Ken choked back a yell of shock.
"Well, that was easy enough." The sniper mused.
"No!" Yolei made to rush out towards Ken, but Hikari and the other boy grabbed her, "Let me go!"
"Yolei, it's too late for him now. Don't get us caught too. We may be his only hope." Hikari told her.
Yolei relaxed in their grips, "I don't understand!"
Else where, in a large room, a single figure sat on a 'throne', his hair spiked, his glasses gold-rimmed, a sadistic smile etched on his face. The sound of a phone ringing pulled him out of his thoughts. He pressed a button that seemed to not be there and spoke, "Yes?"
"Master, we have him."
"Excellent. Bring him to me now!"
Osamu put the pressed another button to hang up, wincing as his shoulder hurt him, a reminder of where Ken, his brother had stabbed him. The fool had missed his heart by inches, and he would pay dearly for trying such a thing.
A horrible glint was in his eyes as he thought over how he was going to punish his enemy, and his grin grew.
A young woman by the name of Kouen Tamashii around the age of twenty stood at the Kaisers' side dressed in a very feminine, floor length Vietnamese Ao Dai. It was pure white with gold edging around the hem. It was tight fitting, starting at the collar, which was like a choker around her neck, all the way down to her waist, where it flared into a skirt. The skirt part of the dress was divided into two drapes of material, one at the back and one in the front. This meant that her legs could been seen in the slits all the way up to her thighs. Where she should have worn pants, she wore white hot pants.
She turned to the twenty-one year old tyrant, her copper braid swinging at the small of her back as she did so. Her eyes were glazed over, but she seemed aware of her surroundings. The red strands of hair fell in her large green eyes and she lifted her right arm to brush them aside, the Black Ring glinting in the artificial light of the throne room.
He turned to her, "Kouen," he said kindly; "do you love me?"
She smiled sweetly at him and nodded, "Yes master, I love you with all my heart." Though her voice was kind, it was void of emotion.
The smile on his face faltered a fraction when he heard her reply and he sighed as if the answer had not satisfied him. His spirits did brighten though when the thought of his brother being tortured at his hands, came to mind again.
Nic: Okay so not many changes were made to the first chapter.
Ken: But the writing was improved.
Nic: There's that.
Kaiser: Plus the fact that this is the starting block, after the first few chapters, that's when the real changes will be made.
Nic: You hit the nail on the head.
Osamu: I can't believe you are giving us more work by making us re-write this. When you have so many other stories that you are working on.
Nic: Quite whining!
Wormmon: I just know you have new readers reading this and thinking, 'what the hell is going on?'
Nic: Well if they stick with it, they will know exactly what is happening in the second chapter. Also I should add, that Akino Ame was inspired by my first attempt at Doppelgangland to write her story 'With Broken Wing' (which is brilliant by the way), and if things are similar between the two that is why. Do not flame her or me for what you may think may be steeling of ideas or copying each other. We are friends and fans of each other's work and I am honored that she wrote a story, which was inspired by my story. Anyway, I hope you enjoy this version so Doppelgangland. If you liked it before, I'm sure you will love it now, 'cause I hated it before. Anyway, there are twelve chapters and an Epilogue as well as a sequel. I will post a chapter every Saturday.