What has come before...
Anniversary Back-story: The following tale takes place several months after the events of Year 2 of Digimon Anniversary. For those of you who don't want to wade through the fic and its subsidiaries to understand what's happening, here is a brief review of the events.
Year 1 & 2: Following the final defeat of Diaboromon/Armageddomon, the Digidestined decide to start the annual Anniversary tradition, a few days lounging around the campsite where the original Digidestined's journey began as well as a night of remembrance for those they'd lost on the way. During this time, the chief concern amongst the Odaiba Digidestined is the arrival of the extremist group HADD – Humans Against Digital Demons. The Digidestineds biggest problem in combatting HADD is their terrible public image, as Digimon have been linked to human related disasters since the early nineties. Currently, the Digidestined have decided to begin an active crusade to change all that. Though this plan is easier said than done...
Memoirs of Victory
Memoir One: Symbols
December 17th, 2004
(Odaiba Middle-School Soccer feild)
"It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas".
Sora Takenouchi swats her boyfriend in the arm. "Don't say that." She tells him. "I haven't looked for gifts for anybody yet".
Matt Ishida blinks behind his dyed blonde bangs. "Not even mine?"
Sora narrows her eyes seductively. "Well, I have something special planed for you…"
It's at this point that I clear my throat to remind my two perverted friends that I'm sitting right beside them. Sora blushes and turns back to the game, while Matt glares daggers through my skull from his position across from her. I grin devilishly. Hookup terminated.
We're sitting amongst our friends. The second generation Digidestined sit below us, hooting an hollering, while the three of us sit a little further back, relaxing together and snacking on our overpriced food. It's a cold day, but not so horrible that we can't enjoy a good year end soccer game between two rivals before school lets out for Christmas break this year.
I turn back to the game playing out before us. The Shinjuku Raiders against the Odaiba Tigers. Or, as it's more commonly known for us, Ken Ichijouji against Davis Motomiya. The last two years Ken's team has bested Davis', but the games have become extremely competitive, and one or the other often ends up with a bloody lip or a bruised knee. They tell me its the best feeling in the world. It is. I remember it.
Ah, the glory that is soccer.
"Tai." Sora nudges me out of my day dream.
She motions to a woman in front of us. "HADD."
I frown, following her gaze. Strapped to the womans arm is a band with the words 'one world' written across in green, beneath a symbol representing the group. Instinctively the three of us adjust our attire so that our digivices are hidden and keep an eye on her. Matt frowns. "Do you think she noticed us?"
I shake my head. "No."
"I think Ken said she's the mom for one of the defenders on his team."
"Really?" Sora sounds disgusted.
I blink. "They don't know he's a Digidestined?"
Matt shakes his head in the negative. "Nope. He's good at keeping secrets."
I frown. Humans Against Digital Demons. They'd sprung up the year before, following the Chrysalimon crisis at Tomodatchi. Religious extremists, biologists. Punks mostly. College kids with a lot of ego, a lot of fear, and a lot of anger. Now however, even the parents are becoming more and more interested in the movement, which makes me worried.
"We should have brought the Digimon." I hear Matt snarl under his breath. "Sent a message."
"Today was about Davis and Ken. Remember?" Sora lays a hand on his knee. "They don't need anymore distractions. Besides, It's been a while since the three of us hung out together.
There are reasons for that, but I don't say anything.
We keep our eye on the HADD lady, but little comes of it. Purhaps she'd just come from one of their meetings. Or purhaps she was a hateful old woman. Either way, there was nothing we could do right here, right now. Best lay low. And after a while, we relax.
At that moment my D-Terminal buzzes, breaking my thoughts away. Instinctively I reach into my pocket, thinking little of it. Izzy had mentioned wanting to talk about rules and procedures regarding blahblahblah… honestly, Izzy goes on and on about things few of us care about. Davis has the ball at his feet and is racing through defender after defender on his way towards the goal. Ken is keeping good time. I take my eyes off the game with the full intent to look up again as soon as possible.
My heart stops for a moment.
Who are you?
I'm not sure why, but the cold feeling that I usually get when something bad happens shoots up my spine and makes my hairs stand on end. Something about this simple message has my face contorted in confusion. A wicked sense of déjà vu hits me like a truck. I wrap my fingers around the Digivice strapped to my belt.
Ever perceptive, Matt gives me a frown that lets me know he's worried. I shake the feeling a little. "It's probably nothing."
"Weird email." I tell him. "I'll sort it all out when I'm back home."
Matt frowns, clearly concerned. "What's up Tai?"
"It's alright." I tell him after a smile. He frowns in my direction but then Ken steals the ball back and his attention shoots back to the game. I wish I could do the same.
I look down at my D-Terminal. A few simple kanji on a flat LCD screen send shivers up my spine. Not so much the message really, though that too is rather ominous. It's the sender whose signature has my heart pumping a little harder than usual. With nervous reservations I type a response.
Who is this?
Seconds tick by before my mysterious admirer responds.
The hairs of my arm stand on end. Furiously, I type back.
No I don't. What do you want?
There is a roar from the crowd around me, and my eyes dart from the small screen to see that Ken has stolen the ball. The unease I feel has left me numb to the game I love. My D-Terminal buzzes, and my eyes glue themselves to the screen to see what my mystery admirer has sent me.
Meet me at the FacTry Mart building, 11pm, downtown.
I bite my lip in wonder. The FacTry Mart building had been abandoned years ago when the company shipped its assets overseas to America – taking my friend Mimi Tachikawa and her family with it. The building itself has never been reopened. Cautiously, I type a final message to my admirer.
Really… Who is this?
What I get in response, seconds later, chills me to the core.
Her voice jolts me from my focus. I turn my head to find Sora Takenouchi staring at me. "Are you alright?" She asks with genuine concern.
"Uh…yeah. Yeah, I'm fine." I mutter with convictions even I don't believe.
"You've been pretty quiet", Matt frowns beside her.
Sora raised an eyebrow. "Yeah what gives?"
"An… Old friend invited me to a party."
Sora's mouth widens like a Cheshire cat, veiled interest already bubbling behind brown sugar eyes. "An 'old friend', huh?" She practically purrs. She's definitely been talking to Mimi too much. "What's her name?"
I frown. "What makes you think it's a she?"
"I told you." Matt mumbles to Sora. "Totally yaoi."
I grin seductively. "Only for you Matty."
A hand on his mouth keeps Matt from retorting. Sora doesn't like me keeping secrets from her, and when she finds out about them she doesn't let go easy. "Who is it then? Somebody from our old soccer days?"
"Who do I hang out from camp aside from you guys?"
"Alright then…" she crosses her arms, a curious look on her face. "Who is it?"
"You wouldn't know him."
Sora frowns. "I know all your friends."
I hesitate. Images are flooding through my mind. A kid in a lab coat and a faceless mask.
"Not… all of them."
She blinks in confusion. "I don't?"
"You know I have friends of my own, right?" I glance at her with mock sympathy. "You don't know everything about me."
That hurts her a little more than I wanted it too, but I can't take my words back now. We watch the rest of the game in relative silence, as Ken's effective strategy slowly but surely whittles away at the fiery heart of Davis.
December 17th, 2004
(The Streets of Odaiba)
I'm walking towards the old FacTry Mark building a few blocks from school. If I don't hurry, I'm going to be late. Late for what? Now, that's the question worth a million-yen. Whatever happens though, I think I've got to do this alone. My past has caught up with me. My dark past. Guess I should have brought a flashlight.
Matt's right though. It is beginning to look like Christmas. The stars are beginning to come out through the dark blue sky, twinkling down on this world of ours. There's a light breeze washing over the back of my neck, and I'm sure we'll be getting snow pretty soon. Someone even thought to drape some lights over the power lines down the street. That must have been awful dangerous.
I'm thinking about Sora again.
She's going to be ticked off at me. I can already see her hazelnut brown eyes blazing like a fire while her clenched fists desperately want to punch me, and my arm already aches from the coming strike. Sora doesn't like it when people are intentionally guarded with her: which is weird to me, seeing as she's the girl who likes to keep all her hopes and fears bundled beneath a smile. That pretty smile of hers…
I have to. This mystery person I'm meeting hasn't revealed much about himself, but he has sent me something – evidence that he knows more about me than I'm comfortable with.
Why else would he sign his message SIGMA?
I bite my lip. The wind chill has gotten colder, making the hairs on my neck stand on end. My gut is telling me that something is very wrong. I can't put my finger on it. Yet.
But I will.
I'm almost at the entrance of the old laboratory when one of them steps on a twig behind me. I sigh and come to a stop. I guess I should say something – I can only play nice with them for so long. "Oi, you can stop following me now."
I hear a yelp and the sound of rustling leaves, followed by low obscenities from a deeper voice. I sigh again and turn around. There stands Matt, looking miserable and tugging against a pair of hands sprouting from within a bush; desperately trying to keep his jacket out of the sticks. Discovered, the hands let go of him and rise with the rest of the human body they're attached to. Sora gives me a sheepish look, while tugging the twigs out of her hair. "Uh… hi there Tai. Fancy meeting you out here…"
"How long have you known we've been following you?" Matt doesn't even try to defend himself.
"A couple blocks," I answer. "You two got into an argument about whether I could hear your Matt's shoes or not – I totally could for your information. Also, one of you should learn how to actually whisper."
"Mm…" Matt glares.
I ignore him. "This is totally stalking by the way."
"S-sorry," Sora says as she brushes the final leaf from her jacket.
"Sora was worried about you," Matt states bluntly, before coughing when Sora's fist pops him in the stomach. "Er, we were worried about you."
I frown. "I'm fine, thank you."
"Nn…. Are you sure?" Sora asks me with a skeptical gaze. "You never take your eyes of a soccer game. Especially not one with your friends in it."
"You looked distracted," Matt grunts.
"Let me rephrase that. You looked like you were going to do something foolish."
"Mm…" I glare, but Sora steps in between us before another of our arguments kicks up.
"C'mon Tai, we're friends. You can talk to us."
I avert my eyes for a minute. "…Not this time."
Matt frowns. "Why not?"
"What secret are you keeping that's so sinister you can't tell your best friends?" Sora pouts.
I hesitate. "Look, an old friend of mine from a bad time may need my help and he asked me to come alone. Please?" They fall silent, looking to eachother for an answer. I sigh, staring up at the moon. "If you're really my friends, you'll let me do this on my own. Just trust me. Okay?"
December 17th, 2004
(The FacTry Mart Building)
"You're telling me."
I glare at the back of their heads, easing the door of the FacTry mart building closed and hoping the police don't notice us breaking in. "Oi, some friends you two are."
They both ignore me, pulling out their digivices from their pocketbook and belt loop respectively and holding them up in the air. In time the systems within the mystic device churn on and a light shines from the screen, along with a faint whine we've all come to know and love/be annoyed by. I sigh and raise my own device, giving us a better look at what we're dealing with.
The FacTry mart was a high end electronics store from way back when, featuring PC's before PC's were even popular as well as being responsible for providing Odaiba and the surrounding areas with the first few Pineapple Pads. But that was a long time ago. Other, better stores had taken over their market and last I heard they're intrests had been sold to various buisnesses. I'm not sure why my admirer would want me here. I have no connection to it outside of my father buying the family computer here. Whoever this guy is isn't making his motives clear.
"It's cold." Sora shivers, wrapping her arms around her.
Matt says nothing, instead taking his bubble jacket off and wrapping it around her shoulders. It's a sweet gesture, and she rewards him with a smile and a quick peck on the cheek. They look so happy. It kinda sickens me.
I clear my throat, looking for some way not to be the bad guy here. "Listen you two. This is as far as we can go together alright?"
"No. Not alright." Matt frowns as he turns to me.
"We're with you no matter what." Sora nods.
"I don't even know what this 'what' is." I try to explain. "For all I know this could be a trap."
"Oh no," Matt says. "You're not getting rid of us that easily."
"If your in trouble just tell us."
"I'm not in trouble."
She takes one look in me and frowns. "I don't believe you," she states matter-of-factly and turns on her heel, nose held high. Matt sighs and gives me a partially sympathetic look but follows. And after a while, so do I. Wonderful
Nothing. Only the lonely echo from our mouths as it bounces from wall to wall. I bite my lip, confused. This was the place alright. So where was my secret admirer?
"This place gives me the creeps." Matt announces.
I nod. "Tell me about it."
Sora huffs and after searching one last time turns to me with that 'told-you-so' expression that I hate so much. "Tai, there's no one here."
Matt nods. "Looks like this was all a wild goose chase."
I clear my throat and glare. "Maybe had I come alone he would've…"
"Wait, what's that?"
I blink and turn to where Matt is pointing. There on the far wall is a large computer screen. I don't know how I missed it: honestly, I could have sworn there was a bare wall here only moments before. The screen itself is dark with a blue twinge to it. A single white cursor blinks on and off, waiting for someone to give it a command.
Sora blinks. "It looks like, some kinda monitor…"
"Yeah but… FacTry mart was supposed to take all its stuff with it… right?" Matt scratches the back of his head.
I frown, taking a closer look. "What is it doing here?" I ask as I reach out and touch the screen.
Suddenly the screen flashes to life. An image of the three of us, silhouettes in a darkened room, pops onto the monitor like a flash form a camera. I look around to see where the security cam is, but can see none. Not at this angle. The screen then does something strange. White lines intersect it like latitude and longitude, running across our faces; first Sora, then Matt. When it gets to me however, a grid forms around my body and a red light beeps on the side. Just underneath my picture, words type themselves out to us.
YAGAMI TAICHI. VICTORY TAMER, FIRST CLASS.
"Yagami?" Asks Matt.
I nod. "Moms maiden name. She tacked it onto mine when I was born. Kinda a middle name I guess."
"Taichi Yagami Kamiya?"
Sora blinks. "You didn't know that?"
Matt frowns and shakes his head. "No."
I bite my lip, peering closer at the screen. "Why is it calling me Yagami?"
"And whats this about Tamers?" Questions Sora. "It thinks we're Tamers?"
Matt shakes his head agian. "Not us. Tai."
I'm about to respond to that when the computer begins typing again. When it finishes I start to realize just what kind of trouble I'm in. And just how much I've dragged my friends into. In just a few simple kanji, the computer tells me everything I need to know.
WELCOME TO FOLDER.
Suddenly that feeling of dread knots up my stomach again. "Oh no."
I swivel on my heel, catching both Matt and Sora by the shoulders and pushing them back towards the door. "C'mon," I panic, "we have to get out of-"
I can't finish my sentence. A sudden gust of wind nearly knocks us over. I turn swiftly back to the monitor widened eyes. That's no ordinary gust.
"That wind." Sora cries.
"You felt it too?" Matt asks.
She nods, gathering Matt's jacket around her shoulders. "What is going-"
And then they see it too: circle after circle after endless circle leading down a tunnel of light. We've seen this many, many times. We know it well.
"A digital gate!" Cries Matt as the wind around us builds and builds.
Sora gasps. "Here?"
"Quick," I order desperately. "Grab on to something!"
But by then it's already too late. The wind becomes unbearable, forcing us closer to the monitor until we are no longer even on our feet. The gate has us locked in its clutches, and once a gate is open there's really no way to fight it. In moments the three of us are in the air, shooting towards the computer at a high velocity and towards the unknown.
Towards a land they call Folder.