Intense white light stabbed into his eyes. He screamed, shutting them tightly and jumped back, only to find that there was no solid ground below him. He fell a few feet and landed heavily on his head.
Still dizzy, he stood up.
"What the . . .?" he said to himself. "Where am I?"
He opened his eyes dimly and waited for them to get used to the light again. His head hurt and it wasn't making it any easier for him to collect his thoughts. He looked above him and saw a large, iron bell and a small window in the gray brick wall. He must have fallen in from that.
He stood up and tried to keep his balance when he noticed that he still wasn't very high off the ground. That meant he was only a foot tall! He looked down at his feet and saw a pair of bird-like claws with red talons.
"Forget the where am I question," he said, "more importantly, who am I?"
He looked over at his arm and noticed that it was a black, leathery wing. It was like a bat's wing.
Bat? he thought. The word sucked at his mind, bringing up weird images. Images of a dark man dressed in a cape, with a red mask and fangs. Images of bats and crimson lightning - whatever that was - and . . . and teeth. Great big teeth drawn up into a cruel grin.
"Myotismon," he whispered, remembering. Oh yeah, things were starting to come back to him now. His name for one.
He flew up to the window and perched in it and looked outside.
From his guess, he was in an abandoned church steeple. "I'm a bat in a belfry," he chuckled. Around him were run down buildings and cracked sidewalks. It was an ugly neighborhood. Even so, he wondered why it was still here. Myotismon would have destroyed it along with the rest of the city.
"Hey, where is the boss, anyway," asked Demidevimon, his harsh voice receiving no answer. The last thing he remembered, the Boss was going to make a meal out all the people at the convention center, poised to take over the planet and then . . . and then . . .
"HEY!" yelled Demidevimon in a rage. "That bat-loving freak ate me!" He was steamed. He was too mad to speak. Yet somehow he was alive. That was the part he couldn't figure out.
"Oh well, who cares?" he said, calming down. "Those Digidestined brats must've taken him down. Good riddance! I'm off the leash and I can do anything I want!"
He sat in the window and stared out at the world around him. "If only I could think of what I wanted to do . . ."
Suddenly, he heard a phone ring. He looked around and saw a pay phone ringing by itself. He looked around, but no one was there to answer it. He didn't want to leave the steeple until after dark, so he decided not risk answering it in broad daylight.
The phone rang for ten minutes. He kept waiting for someone to pick it up. The ringing was driving him nuts! Whoever was on the other end of that phone had to be a complete psycho to let it ring a few hundred times!
Finally, his annoyance out-weighing his caution, he flew down to the pay phone, made sure no one was in sight, and picked it up.
"Boy, have you ever got the wrong number," growled Demidevimon into the receiver. He wasn't too happy with balancing on one foot and holding the phone in the other and he really felt like telling this guy off.
"Actually, I got exactly the one I wanted," said a hushed, oily voice. "Nice of you to finally pick up, Demidevimon."
He froze. Someone else knew he was alive and also knew where he was.
"Okay, start talking, chump!" Demidevimon squeaked trying to sound tough (and failing).
"Watch your mouth, you little feathered bowling ball," the voice said without even getting louder, but somehow getting much nastier. "I've got an assignment for you."
"Yes. It has been nearly one and a half years since the Digidestined defeated the last of the those digimon that were prepared to take over the digital world. The Digital World has turned against those who would seize power. Things are currently not in our favor, to say the least." The voice paused for a moment, as if in reflection, then continued. "But that's why I've arranged your resurrection."
"Huh?" said Demidevimon.
"In another year and a half, we will have gathered our forces up again and we will be ready to make another attempt at conquest. We will be returning to Earth. In the meantime, we need to take a few precautions. We want the Digidestined children out of the way. We don't have a lot of energy to resurrect many digimon, but we decided that you were clever enough to orchestrate the children's destruction. And, since you're only at the Rookie level, you didn't expend too much energy."
"Hold it," said Demidevimon. "And let me know if I've got this right: You want me to take out eight kids, all by myself, when Myotismon and all the other virus digimon in the Digiworld couldn't do it?"
"They are without their digimon partners now, for one thing. For another, you will get some assistance later. If you help us, you will be greatly rewarded for your efforts when we cross into Earth's dimension."
"And what if I tell you to choke on a Poyomon?" Demidevimon asked.
"We are coming regardless of your help or not. And when we arrive and find you, the one that didn't assist us when we most needed you . . . well, you don't want to be snack food again, do you?"
Demidevimon started to sweat. No, he didn't want to be snack food again.
"What do you want me to do?" he asked.
"Glad you decided to help out," the voice said. "My companions and I are leaving the details up to you, but here are a few things we require . . ."
And Demidevimon listened to the voice for another hour, balancing awkwardly on one foot as the sun went down and darkness settled onto the city.
The next morning, Tai got up and made breakfast. It was good to be on vacation again. Now he had the chance to sleep in. His parents were both out and Kari was getting dressed, so he decided to make some scrambled eggs.
"Good morning, Tai," Kari said, rubbing her eyes, still a bit tired.
"Hey, little sister," Tai said. "What do you have planned today?"
"Nothing, really," she said. "I thought I'd just sit back and watch a little TV. What about you?"
"Soccer. What else?" He grinned. He played just about every day now. Sora and Izzy would be there too.
"Are you sure you don't want to come along?" he asked.
"Thanks, but I'll be fine. When are you leaving?"
"Right after breakfast," he said, setting down a plate of eggs.
As he left that morning for the field, soccer ball under his arm, he was in high spirits. And why shouldn't he be? He was young, talented, and a national hero. He and the other Digidestined had returned home to heroes' welcomes. They'd all been given medals of honor and on TV and the whole country, not to mention the world, had stood up and applauded them as brave warriors who had saved the planet.
Eventually it had died down. The chaos, the clamor, the frantic way people fussed over the brave little kids from Japan that had stopped an onslaught of bloodthirsty monsters . . . they were all glad when it died down. Now they were right back where they started from: In school, with their parents, and still the best of friends.
He only wished Agumon was there with him.
He paused a minute on the street, his spirits momentarily darkened, but he let it pass and continued on toward the field.
It was a brisk autumn day, but still seasonable warm, and he didn't even need a jacket.
Suddenly, for some odd reason, he felt a chill. He looked up and saw a strange, black bird flying high overhead. Or was it a bird? A bat, perhaps? But why would a bat be flying during the day?
"Come on, move it kid!" someone said behind him. Tai realized that he had been standing at the crosswalk and the walk sign had flashed on.
"Uh, sorry," he said absently to the man. He wasn't sure what he saw, but he figured it couldn't have been important anyway, so he hurried on.
Kari was in the bathroom, about to brush her teeth when she heard the crash of glass and the thump of something small and heavy on the floor.
She ran into the living room and saw the hole in the sliding glass door and black, round lump on the floor. As she came closer, she recognized who the black thing was.
She gasped and took a few steps back, but stopped when she realized that Demidevimon wasn't moving. She was afraid to come near him, but she was also afraid to leave him there. He looked hurt and she hated to not help someone in need, even if they were an evil digimon.
"What would the others do?" she asked herself. Tai would have told her to stay away from him, to be careful. Then again, when Mimi and Joe had found Ogremon in the Digiworld last year, they had helped him and he had proved a true ally.
In the end, she went to Demidevimon to help him, believing that he was too hurt to be a threat to anybody.
As she knelt down and touched his head, he twitched. She drew her hand back in momentary surprise, but then put her hand back and turned him over onto his back.
Demidevimon opened his eyes dimly and asked in a small voice, "Where am I?"
"You don't know?" asked Kari.
"No," he said. "Should I?"
He had a bump on his head and the leathery mask he wore constantly was torn by the glass. Kari began to think he really didn't remember. Still, she wanted to check.
"But you know who I am, don't you?" she asked cautiously.
"No," he said, squinting at her. Then his eyes bulged. "Wait a minute. I . . . I can't seem to remember my name, either."
He stood up, looked around in a panic, then seemed to get dizzy and fell back to the floor.
"Do you know who I am?" he looked up at her with frightened eyes.
"Yes," she said. "But let's get you taken care of first. Then I can tell you some things."
"Kari, I'm home!" Tai called as he walked in the door. He walked past the kitchen and into the living room where he froze.
The sliding glass door that led out onto the balcony was smashed in and glass littered the living room floor.
"Kari!" shouted Tai, seized with fear.
"Quiet!" said Kari as she poked her head from their bedroom.
"What happened?" asked Tai, his voice still raised.
"Keep it down and I'll tell you," Kari said.
"Okay, okay," Tai said, dropping his voice and calming down. "Now, what happened?"
"I'll tell you, but you have to promise not to get too excited, okay?"
"Fine. I promise," Tai said impatiently, wanting her to get to the point.
"Okay," Kari said, taking a deep breath and beginning her story.
There was relative quiet in the apartment building that day. Most people were either at work, or out enjoying the weather, or inside taking it easy. It was so quiet, in fact, that just about every tenant on Tai and Kari's floor heard him suddenly shout, "YOU'RE LETTING WHO SLEEP WHERE?"
"You said you wouldn't get excited," said Kari, wincing.
"When I said that," hissed Tai, not wanting the whole neighborhood to know what was going on, "I didn't think you would tell me that an evil digimon with a lost memory had crashed through our window and that you decided to take care of him and let him sleep in our apartment, not to mention our bedroom!"
"Don't be mad, Tai," Kari said. "After all, he was hurt and he didn't look dangerous to me."
"He's a lot more dangerous than you think, Kari. I've seen what he can do. Before you joined us, he almost split the group up. He's an evil digimon to the core."
"Like Wizardmon?" Kari asked. "Or Pumpkinmon? Or Gotsumon? Or maybe like Gatomon? Or any of those other so-called 'evil' digimon?"
Tai paused. All those were digimon that had worked for Myotismon and had turned out to be some of the most selfless, good-hearted digimon they'd ever known. Now she was challenging whether the same was true of Demidevimon.
"Look," Tai said, his voice softer now, "it's not that I don't think it's possible. But you don't know Demidevimon the way I do. He was dangerous because he was a good liar. I don't think it's safe to trust him."
"Something wrong?" Demidevimon said as he walked into the room. "Oh, you must be Tai, Kari's brother. It's nice to meet you."
"Like you don't remember who I am," Tai said bitterly, narrowing his eyes.
"Tai!" Kari said.
"Listen, I don't want to stay if I'm going to cause a fight," Demidevimon said, his eyes cast downward. "Kari's told me all about what I did, and even though I can't remember any of it, I really don't blame you. You've been nice enough already and I can take care of myself. I'll just fly over to the building across the street and sleep there tonight. I don't think it'll rain anyway." He started to walk back towards the sliding door and prepared to take off.
"Yeah, there's no rain in sight. See ya!" Tai said crossing his arms.
"Tai!" Kari said again, chastizing him. "Demidevimon, don't you worry about us. You just go back to our room and get some decent rest. I'll talk to my brother."
"Okay, if you say so," he said, walking back to the room. Kari shut the door and turned back to Tai.
"Tai, how can you be so mean?" she asked.
"He's playing you for a sap, Kari. He's too dangerous to be trusted."
"Tai, I know you're worried, but I can take care of myself and I don't think he's lying to us. Myotismon is dead and so are the other evil digimon who were trying to kill us. What do you we have to lose?"
Tai was quiet for a minute. "Okay," he said finally. "But one thing: Isn't he supposed to be dead, too?"
Kari thought for a moment. "Well, digimon never really die, after all."
Tai did not look convinced.
"Oh, by the way," she said. "Demidevimon doesn't think we should tell Mom and Dad about him. Can you keep this a secret?"
Tai's frown grew even more tight and his eyes even more angry. He didn't like it. He didn't like the fact that this short, lying freak was staying in his room and was taking advantage of his sister's natural kindness and he really hated the fact that he was making her lie about it. Even so, he believed in trust and, like it or not, he would trust Kari on this one.
Demidevimon pretended to sleep that night. He was hidden in an old toy chest under a blanket. He was silent and he waited for Kari to fall asleep. He could tell by the slow, rhythmic breathing that she was asleep. Tai stayed awake. He could hear his short, heavily drawn breaths and he was fairly certain he was watching the toy chest like a hawk. Demidevimon could see in the dark, but he couldn't move or else he would raise Tai's suspicions. He had to rely on sound alone.
At last, Tai gave in around midnight and fell into a regular breathing pattern. He was asleep.
"At last," Demidevimon thought to himself. His plan was going perfectly. Kari's trusting, generous nature made her the perfect target for a sympathy play. Now that it was night he could do what he had been commanded: Find one of their digivices.
As he climbed out the toy chest silently, he peered about the room, searching for one. He needed to find it quickly. According to his mysterious benefactor, he would be getting some assistance and some new instructions tomorrow.
He looked up at the two kids, sleeping the night away in their bunk beds, and grinned sadistically.
"Within a week," Demidevimon thought to himself, "those brats will be history. Tai, Kari, Sora, Joe, Matt, T.K., Mimi, and Izzy . . . all of those brats will wish they'd never seen a digimon when I'm though with 'em!"
To be continued . . .