Disclaimer: Not mine. The end. Except for original characters.

Asequel to The Greatest Skill a Doctor Has. It might be helpful to read it first but isn't necessary.

Comments are always welcome.

We're Looking to the Sky

By, Nicole Silverwolf

"Well what are all the little kids gonna do man?
The little kids are all standing around,
Well what are the kids gonna do d'ya know?
They're looking to the sky dadeoo…"

-excerpt from 'There is a Light' by Nick Cave

Somehow mind numbing was the only way to describe the scene before her. To watch as an entire city crumbled to dust, fifty story buildings reduced to rubble that barely reached over her head. Nothing could have prepared her for the level of destruction before them now.

Nothing.

She hadn't even been born when the last major earthquake had rocked Japan but she knew this is what it must have looked like. Or perhaps this was what the few survivors that emerged from the remains of Hiroshima or Nagasaki some fifty odd years ago had seen.

It felt...violating Akiko decided turning the word over and approving of its feel. As if something had violently ripped the heart out from everyone left.

The ground was brutally burned and charred, every trace of the green park and the neat orderly sidewalks, ripped away. She continued forward slowly, three EMT's at her back and a few others ranging ahead of her. Searching for survivors.

The sounds of the battle and the horrible monster had disappeared some time ago. It wasn't nearly as comforting as she thought it should be. There was a wary oppressive weight in the air. Anticipation of something. Dread if she wanted to be more accurate. Whatever was going on...it wasn't over yet.

After waking--strangely as if from a nap-- in the Convention Center of all places she had rounded as many medical personnel as she could and with several of the senior doctors had attempted to aid the thousands of wounded and calm the terrified masses of parents who wanted to find their children.

But soon medical personnel from other hospitals had arrived and the...Digimon...as she had vaguely heard from one of the children had disappeared. The girl, who couldn't have been older than 12 or 13 at the most seemed unfazed by the event. She was gone now...to who knew where.

"Look! Look at the sky! What the hell is that?"

Akiko swiveled her head skyward, along with everyone in shouting distance of the observant EMT. What was there was just plain...wrong.

The ceiling of stars above them was gouged, ragged strips of stars intermingling with a water-colored, upside down mountain range. It looked like something out of those Sailor Moon cartoons she had been so attached to growing up and through college.

But that world wasn't real. It was a child's cartoon that she had never quite grown out of. It wasn't supposed to be real.

Jack shouted hard and loud, shocking her and the rest back to life. "Come on guys! We can't do anything about it! Let's keep moving...search for the wounded!"

"Pick up the pieces and deal guys...this is what we're trained to do!" Johnson seconded and it was all the motivation they needed. The group pushed forward again towards the center of the blast radius. Picking around the rubble was a slow process...they hadn't gotten very far in over two hours.

But perhaps that was due to the fact that they were choosing--purposefully--the most devastated routes. Survivors were most likely to be stuck in the twisted metal that was once buildings than in the wide spaces where there was nothing more than a few inches of dust. Akiko hoped they would find few bodies or survivors. It was something of a blessing to have had the city evacuated before the Digimon had attacked.

But she was not so naive to believe that everyone had escaped. Especially the homeless and street children. Or those too stubborn to listen to reason or common sense. But the things they had witnessed before this had driven many from the central areas of Odaiba.

Thank someone for small miracles.

Far off, what would be miles away they could see others struggling forward towards ground zero. Parents mostly she noted. But there were amazingly children as well. A very young boy with wild brown hair that stuck out in all directions at once. One little girl with hair the color of dusty violets tied back by a bandana hung from her mother's shoulders.

That oppressive weight lay on her shoulders again and they hurried forward. Something was happening soon.

Jack was closest when it did.

They were still hundreds of feet from the center of the battle.

A column of light--at first brilliant, blinding white--resolved itself into a calmly fluctuating rainbow myriad. Like a tunnel or a gateway maybe. To where no one in Akiko's group could even guess.

They stopped without saying anything, staring in awe at the site before them. Others had stopped as well: searchers, survivors, children. All staring to the stars.

"What are those kids doing?" A doctor she didn't know queried. Her dark eyes swiveled to where he was indicating.

Where the column reached the ground, children stood in a loose circle around it. All of them looking skyward and each carrying a thing that roughly resembled a stuffed animal. The pale light of mixing colors played off their faces and reflected nothing but surprised resignation and a determination that seemed only slightly out of place on their young faces.

Their team stood on an outcropping of rubble, handholds of twisted metal and steps of windows and walls before. They could see arguing going on. Two semi familiar faces, she should know them from somewhere. She did know them. But from where?

Narrowing brown eyes she didn't dare move forward. Something important was going on and she was not involved. Wouldn't even be allowed to be involved in. But something they all needed to witness. Something important to all of them.

Like a lesson they all needed to learn.

A lesson.

A boy.

Blonde hair. Azure blue eyes, so uncommon here.

A name. A strong name...the name of the people of Japan.

Yamato. "...but nobody calls me that. I like Matt."

A half-remembered conversation from so very long ago.

And then it resolved itself, like a slow camera fade or a puzzle piece falling into the right place. Sudden insight gripped her with its fierce simplicity.

Matt. Yamato 'Matt' Ishida!

Of course. With that base to go on she could plainly make out his clothes and blonde hair, which still didn't obey a comb. Blue eyes that could go forever, hardened at the moment into ice chip flints. He was arguing with his mother--Nancy--her addled mind reminded her. Something about having to do this...and the fate of the world. Several of the other children were also in arguments with who could only be family members.

As suddenly as the fighting seemed to have started; it stopped. The children reformed their tight knit circle around the column of colored lights. They faced outwards now, somehow she knew that despite their fearless behavior they were scared about whatever they were going to do.

The tallest one among them stepped back only a fraction--more like fell really--and was suddenly suspended in midair.

Jack took in a breath as he tried to resolve his vision with the impossibility of it all. With some unknown signal the others--eight of them--leapt into the light and turned to face out again. They were all floating on colored air.

Akiko ignored the thoughts that this was a valuable time being wasted instead of using it to search for survivors. Mesmerized by what she was seeing she craned her head back as far as she could to watch the children rise into the sky.

Her eyes fixated on Matt's azure blue watching his parents as they slowly shrank and glanced back with fear at his little brother, who while not so little anymore was still a younger sibling. TK was waving and smiling, perhaps scared but not realizing the magnitude of what was going to happen...whatever it was.

But Akiko kept her eyes on Matt, confusion and sadness warring with anger. This was right and wrong all in one. His waving hand, nowhere near as energetic as the rest of the children's stopped--gloved digits curling in on themselves--and his face fell to reveal one she remembered from years prior. Terrified and with far too much responsibility buried in them.

Azure, marine blue eyes scanned over everyone else, her included. She knew that he would not see her, nor recognize who she was. It had been a long time since she had seen him. Many more years since those fateful few weeks in a hospital that was only partially standing now.

"Be safe my friend. I lend you my strength to get through this." She whispered into the predawn air. Akiko had never thought herself to be a spiritual person. She never took her eyes off of him even as he faded to a speck and then to nothing visible at all.

The column also faded like fabled rainbows always seemed to in the stories.

The battle for the future had begun.

Owari

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