Hm…I've always had an interest in World War Two. This is just something odd I wrote up, and my friend Heather got addicted to it, so I kept going. It's weird. Just weird. Hope you like.
Disclaimer: I don't own Kouji, Kouichi or anything else involved with Digimon Frontier. I'm just a bit of a history buff.
Chapter 1: 1942
The line that marched briskly toward the barbed-wire fences could have been called single file. That is to say, there was at least one person behind and in front of each other in a somewhat-straight formation. It was the other people clustered around each of the filed leaders that made it more of a mob.
Wives, wrapped in shawls and cloaks and as many extra layers as they could, clung to their husband's arms as the men continued forward, stone-faced. Small children rode in pouches or gripped their mother's clothing as they whimpered in fear. Teenagers and the unmarried youths walked with heads up and shoulders down, like some kind of elite guard, protecting their families by drawing the suspicious, ever-watching eyes of the green-clothed army men beside them, each barring a frightful black weapon in preparation for any hypothetical resistance.
All of the marchers shared the same traits: Dark eyes, dark hair, fine yellow-brown skin and small, stocky builds. And amongst it all, a boy who had only recently reached the age of fourteen stumbled haphazardly.
Kouichi Kimura was confused, to say the very least. First off, his mind was rather ashamed of itself at the moment: he'd fallen asleep in history class, something he'd been sure never to do before. But his self-scolding was pushed aside when he had woken to find himself sitting, not in his plastic seat, but in a modified livestock car jammed-pack with people, and moments later they were herded out into the dusty earth stretching out beneath the gaze of several deep blue mountains far in the distance. Now he was stumbling towards the frightening camp in front of them, trying futilely to keep up with a family he did not have.
"What's going on?" His mind gasped past low coughs that struggled from his throat. "Where am I?"
He stumbled and fell, hitting the hard ground. He lifted himself painfully, examining his scraped hands and bleeding left knee, not noticing the guard that stopped to watch him suspiciously.
"Up you get, kid." The guard reached down and yanked him to his feet, pushing him back into the crowd. Kouichi stumbled again, but kept moving as the butt of the rifle nudged him in the small of the back.
The boy gulped slightly against his dry throat, gazing nervously at a sign hanging not far from the fence itself. He thought it might have said 'Mans an are', but it was written in roman letters, so he couldn't be sure. Whatever was happening to him, it wasn't a dream…the stinging pain in his hands and knee made that obvious. But if it wasn't a dream, what was it? And where were they all going…?"
"Get your hands off me!"
Kouichi spun around at the familiar voice from behind. Not too far back in the crowd a second boy with long, black hair tied into a ponytail was struggling with one of the guards. The solider had dropped his weapon and was using both hands to restrain the boy as best he could. "Hey!" he called out to the others. "Somebody get over here! We've got a fighter!"
"Let go, you bastard!" Shouted the boy, obviously baffled by the adult's use of English. He pulled his arms forward in frustration, but was pulled back once more. "Get off!"
"Kouji!" Kouichi exclaimed, eyes widening in fear as two more guards broke from their ranks and hurried over to help. Kouichi pushed away from the group and ran to his brother. "Kouji, stop!"
The slightly-younger twin stopped, his eyes widening. "Nii-san?"
"You want some too, punk?" Growled the English-speaking guard. He pulled back his rifle and hit Kouichi in the stomach, hard enough to knock him to the ground, winded. The one who had attacked stepped over to the boy, seizing his arm roughly.
"Don't touch him!" Kouji lashed out again, nearly pulling his still firmly restrained arms. "Don't you dare hurt my brother!"
"Shut the hell up, you miserable bastard." Snapped the guard holding him, who suddenly shoved him forward. Kouji landed on top of his brother, whispering hurried apologies before rolling over to face their assailants.
One of the guards, puffing a foul-smelling cigarette hanging from the side of his mouth, lowered a gun to aim at the twins point-blank. "Damn Japs." He sneered, exhaling a puff of smoke along with his speech. "How 'bout I show you who's boss?"
"Morgan! Rogers! Lynch!"
The guards froze and instantly snapped to an alert salute. The cigarette-man dropped his light and pointed his gun into the air hastily. "Colonel Troy, sir!"
The twins turned slightly to look up at their savior. The man they called 'Colonel Troy' was tall and blonde with focused green eyes like some kind of raptor. Though he was dressed in the same basic fatigues as the other soldiers, two patches on either arm denoted his rank well above them.
He approached the group with his hands folded behind his back, examining each of the guards with scrutiny. "What seams to be the problem, Lieutenant?" He asked, addressing the cigarette-smoking gunman.
"A couple of troublemakers, sir." The Lieutenant sneered down at the boys.
"We didn't do anything!" Kouichi exclaimed, following the expression on the men's faces.
Colonel Troy looked down at the boys, both of whom were surprised when he spoke in Japanese. "Don't worry. I'll take care of it."
He snapped his eyes back up to his me. "Back to your posts, all of you."
"I said 'back to your posts'." Troy reached down and pulled Kouji up by the arm, grasping Kouichi's in the opposite hand. "I'll take care of these two. Go process the other new arrivals."
Gripping both twins by opposite upper arms, he turned them around and marched them off. Kouji struggled a bit, but was placated by Kouichi's silently-begging eyes not to cause trouble. They were led into the camp…which looked suspiciously like a racetrack…and were taken into a small room that they could only assume used to be a manager's office. It was made almost completely of wood furnishings with a simple desk, two windows covered by vine Venetian blinds, a few pictures and decorations on the wall, including a pin-up calendar, opened to the month of November.
"Sit down." Troy said gruffly, motioning to the two folding chairs in front of the desk. The twins did as they were told as they Colonel sat behind the desk. Kouji scowled at the man, while Kouichi seemed oddly preoccupied by the calendar.
"Now then," Troy pulled out several sheets of paper, gazing at the twins levelly. "I notice you boys don't have numbers."
"Are we supposed to?" Kouji scowled. Kouichi nudged him, looking nervous.
Colonel Troy narrowed his gaze at them. "Where are your parents?"
Kouichi gulped, cutting off his brother. "Not…Not alive."
"I see." Troy nodded, shifting through his papers. "A couple of orphans, eh? I suppose we'll just have to get you registered now, then."
Kouji glanced at his brother in confusion, but Kouichi's face had taken the kind of shallow pallor one gets when something shocking and horrifying has been realized. The younger of the two fell silent, reaching over to grip his twin's hand comfortingly.
Colonel Troy produced two legal-looking forms and a pen, filling out the two pages simultaneously. "Names?"
"Minamoto." Kouji took charge rather firmly. "Kouji and Kouichi."
Troy pointed his pen at the younger twin. "Kouichi Minamoto?"
"Kouji." Stressed the long-haired twin. "I'm Kouji."
"I see." Troy scribbled down the names in the blanks expected of him. "Age?"
"Twins, I take it." Troy asked, and Kouji nodded. "Nissei?"
The twins blinked. "Excuse me?"
"Too young for Issei. Nissei." Troy filled in a bubble to the side of the form. "You'd think young people would know that by now…"
"Sir?" Kouichi spoke up suddenly. "Where are we, exactly?"
Colonel Troy looked up at him with a soft gaze. "California." He sighed, filling out the rest of the forms quietly. "This is Manzanar. You're here for your own protection."
"Protection?" Kouji snapped. "From what?"
Colonel Troy didn't answer. He pushed two pieces of paper dangling from two simple brown strings to the boys. Each card had a number: Kouji's was 748, Kouichi's, 749. "You are to wear these at all times and remain within the gates. Curfew is strict, and if you miss mealtime, too bad. Do you have any linens?"
"No." Kouji scowled at the number dangling from his neck.
"You'll have to share, then." Troy stood, moving to the door. "Come on. We'll get you situated."
The twins hurried after him. As soon as they were out the door and back among the crowds, Colonel Troy switched back to English and seamed to completely ignore the boys. He gave and received orders all too easily, pointing out directions to the English-speaking around them, and it was all the twins could do to keep up with him.
Kouji growled softly, clutching his brother's hand so that they wouldn't be separated. "What the hell is going on?" He hissed. "What is this place?"
"Kouji?" Kouichi spoke, his voice very soft. "Did you see the calendar in Troy-san's office?"
Kouji frowned. "Not really. Why?"
Kouichi bit his lip as though about to say something, but was cut off by Colonel Troy, once again in Japanese. "Here it is, you two."
'It' turned out to be a small house stable, like somewhere to keep racing ponies, that had been loosely modified with a few boards attached to each side. Inside were two small cots with lumpy-looking, barely-covered mattresses and one ragged blanket each, plus a pillow per bed.
Troy pointed to one of the cots. "You two'll have to share this one. We've already got another pair slotted as your roommates."
"Four people?" Kouji bristled. "In here?"
"Count your blessings." Troy sighed, moving to the door. "We've got families of eight living in places like this. Dinner's in two hours, so I suggest you boys get yourself set up and comfortable. You're going to have a long first night."
The makeshift door swung shut behind him. Kouichi sighed sadly and sat on their new 'bed'. Kouji dropped next to him angrily.
"Who…the hell…is that guy?" Growled the younger twin. "And what is up with this damn place?"
"Yeah?" The younger twin's voice softened as he looked to his brother.
"The…The calendar…" Kouichi shifted nervously, wringing his hands as he stared at the ground. "It said it was November…"
Kouji stared at his twin blankly for a long time before the words found their way to his mouth. "It can't be."
"I think it can." Kouichi gulped again, wringing his hands more than before. "We…We were talking about this…in history. 1942 is the middle of the second World War. And…And I've heard.…that is, I've read about this place…Manzanar, California, in the U.S.…during the war it was…it was…"
"What?" Kouji asked, taking a deep breath. "What was it?"
Kouichi looked up at him with a frightened expression on his face. "It's a Japanese American Concentration Camp."
Issei - 'First Generation', the first generation of Japanese people to live in the United States, those who imigrated here from Japan.
Nissei - 'Second Generation', the first generation of Japanese born on U.S. soil. The children of the Issei.