A/N: This story pretty much ignores the final episode of season two, except for the part about the Chosen Children defeating BelialVandemon. Thus, everyone in the world did not get a digimon, which was such a stupid idea because it takes away the uniqueness of being a Chosen Child as well as the point of the show (and this story). Also, as I pretty much like all of the Japanese names better than their English versions, that's what I'm going to use: this applies to humans and digimon.

In Japan, the school year starts in April and consists of three terms. This story starts at the end of the kids' first term, during their month-long summer break before second term. Daisuke, Takeru, and Hikari are in their first year of senior high school, Ken and Miyako are in their second, and Koushiro and Mimi are in their third. Iori is in his second year of junior high school. Taichi, Yamato, and Sora are all in their first year at the local college, where Jyou is in his second. This would make their ages, from oldest to youngest: Jyou: 19, Yamato: 18, Sora: 18, Taichi: 18, Koushiro: 17, Mimi: 17, Miyako: 16, Ken: 15, Hikari: 15, Daisuke: 15, Takeru: 15, Iori: 13.


Digimon 03: Digital Guardians

Prologue

The entity that was sometimes called Gennai was weary.

The world was disintegrating around him; fields, forests, and sky reverting back to the digital code they were derived from. Soon, he knew, there would be only space filled with thousands upon thousands of strands of this code. And then there would be nothingness, until the code reformed into another world.

Desperately, he worked to finish what he had begun. The stage had to be set for those destined to bring balance back to this place. He held the last Artifact in his hands- for the shape he wore at the moment was indeed humanoid- and spoke strange words from an ancient language never known to man. The golden object burned bright and hot with light, then winked out of existence as if it had never been.

Gennai slowly lowered his hands. It had taken most of his remaining energy, but the Artifact had been hidden well. He was very tired, yet one thing remained: the message must be sent.


Three Years Later: Izumi Residence, 2:54 a.m.

Koushiro awoke suddenly. He lay still for a moment, eyes wide open in the dark, and tried to determine what had awakened him. Finding everything to be as still and silent as was appropriate for early morning, he shrugged it off as some biological glitch. Closing his eyes, the seventeen-year-old attempted to sleep.

His attempt was in vain. Minutes ticked by, but he found he was unable to slip back into unconsciousness. Irritated, Koushiro sat up, swinging his legs over the side of his bed and into his slippers.

Treading softly so as not to disturb his parents, he entered the kitchen. Pouring himself a glass of water, Koushiro wondered again what had caused him, a normally heavy sleeper, to awaken at such an odd hour. It had been sudden even, not the lethargic process it usually was: Taichi always joked that Koushiro was a lot like a slow-loading computer in the mornings.

Shrugging at his reflection in the kitchen window, Koushiro set the glass on the counter and headed back to his room. He was just about to crawl back into bed for another attempt at slumber, when a slow blinking light caught his eye. It was coming from his computer.

That's strange, he thought. I'm sure I turned it off before I went to bed.

He paced over to the computer, and reached toward the keyboard. The moment his fingers touched the keys, the screen lit up. Koushiro stepped back in surprise, squinting against the sudden brightness.

Something was there, black type against a white background. Quickly recovering from his shock, he leaned forward again, trying to read the characters displayed on the screen.

It looks like a message. He frowned. But who would send me an email at three o'clock in the morning, in a language I can't understand?

Unable to make sense of the jumbled figures, he attempted to figure out where the message had come from by analyzing the signature characteristics of the sender. Tracing the route backwards from his computer took a while, mostly because the message seemed to be an old one, but Koushiro was completely awake by this time, his natural curiosity stimulated by the strange situation.

He almost fell out of his chair when he finally reached a result, and he rushed to double check his computations. The outcome was the same.

The message had been sent from someone in the Digiworld.