Disclaimer: I don't own Digimon
Tales from the Digital Manifest
What fools they all are, thought Dai as he strode through the streets, listening to the music on his headphones and watching the mass of people going through their daily lives, completely oblivious to the world around them. To Dai, he was of the opinion that many of these pedestrians saw the world as revolving around only two things: themselves or those close to them. All else might as well not exist unless it affected them directly.
If only they knew what was really out there, they might think about how utterly dreary and boring their lives really are. There's a whole 'nother world out there, well, actually there's two, but these people just don't know it. How would they react if they suddenly knew that monsters really did exist, and that the Artificial Intelligence that's been long predicted by science fiction novels was responsible for them?
Well, there'd be panic. That's for sure.
Dai thought back to the events that led him to what he was now. Events that gave him a larger understanding of the world around him, and of the ones that existed outside of it.
There are other worlds than these, thought Dai, remembering a line that he once read in a book. He smiled at them. They were quite apt to what he had experienced of late. For the past two years, from the moment that he had received his digivice and partner, Kokuwamon. Even then things hadn't gone the way that he had expected them to go. Not like the Digidestined from the TV show, and not like the Tamers from Japan. Dai remembered his first introduction to the group that he called the Regin. They weren't by any means a single group. Not by a long shot. They were divided into the Aesir, the Vanir, and the Jotun respectively (there were other groups as well, but they were as far as he knew at present, uninvolved in current matters), and they fought each other as often as not. Even allies weren't always loyal to each other or to causes. Regin was just a word that he picked up from an old library book that he used to lump them all together. After all, Regin is a Nordic word that meant the ruling powers.
As for himself, his relationship with the Regin was rather standoffish. He didn't trust them. The old powers, the Regin that ruled that strange Other World that was not the digital and not quite the real world either, had their own game plan, and for some reason their desires and purposes were focused on the digital plane and any human who was associated with the strange device that they called the Mjolner. Dai knew what the Mjolner was. He carried one himself. It was, in fact, his digivice. T-shaped with silver trim, and no other discernable features. No buttons, and yet he was able to make it work with his thoughts and desires alone. Kind of handy when he thought about it, as it cut down on the amount of time it would take to press a button (especially if by some freak accident the button got jammed or something). At any rate, the fact that he had a Mjolner somewhat disturbed him. None of the Regin seemed interested in acquiring it. When he asked why they were so bent on acquiring the others and not his, the only answer that he had gotten was, it's not the one. The way it had been said seemed to denote a more specific meaning, and when Dai had inquired further the Regin had simply brushed him off. It was not for him to know, or to question why, they had told him, and Dai got the message. His was, in effect, to do or die. Period.
And he had done so. Dai had been carrying out his duties since then. Rather odd duties they were, and not at all like the ones that he had thought they would be. He had expected to be like the Digidestined, to have some sort of destiny that meant saving the world, like from the TV show that he watched about a year ago. Only that didn't happen. He thought that he was perhaps more like the Tamers that he had heard so much about since the incident with D-Reaper, but that wasn't the case either. In both instances, the human and the digimon tend to be in a partner relationship where the human acts as the catalyst for the digimon's digivolution. One focused more on keeping the peace between the digital and real world's while the other worked more on human/digimon relationships. For Dai and Kokuwamon they were more or less a combination of both, but with some differences. For one, his knowledge of what was going on was much vaster, and the role that the Regin had employed him in was more as a mercenary/soldier. A Slayer they had called him, and he had taken the title with pride. His and Kokuwamon's main duties were patrolling the digital world, all four quadrants, and policing the steady flow of traffic that was, for some reason, flowing back and forth between the world of the Regin and the digital world. Recently, his most recent activities entailed the tracking down of children and digimon pairs that the Regin had called Keepers, and acquiring their own versions of the Mjolner. It was a job that he took no pleasure in doing. Some of the children fought back, and most that did were left weeping as their partner's were reduced to digital debris. And in the end, it amounted to nothing. The Regin would take the Mjolner's that he had acquired for them and delete them, saying that they are not the One. Whatever that meant. Hearing this, Dai had promptly told them if they could give him a more precise idea of what he was looking for then he wouldn't be wasting their time. Not one of the Regin gave him a response to that. Too high and mighty he thought. And the scary part was, they were. He was just a tool that they could use, and as such they would spare him from whatever it was that they had planned. So long as he remained useful that is.
It was at times like this that Dai would feel more than a little bit uncomfortable with his job title.
Dai stopped in his tracks and looked up at the sky.
To think that before this world came to be, there was another. Formless, chaotic. And then people came, shaping that world with their hopes and dreams, and their nightmares. Now we live in a technological era that forgets that other world even exists, and yet, ironically, gave rise to a new one that shares so many similarities with the older world. The world of the gods. The thing that I don't get, is why the Regin are so interested in the digital world. They've have command over so much, and held it for so long, that another world can't possibly concern them. Can it?
Dai shrugged. Nothing was what he thought things would be. Instead of being a Digidestined he became a ruthless marauder, going after kids who were just like him, despite the fact that they were all from other worlds? Other quadrants? And for what? Some goal that the higher powers wouldn't even share with him?
After two years, Dai Akamatsu was starting to get a little disillusioned with what he had believed to be his destiny.
And then there was of course, the girl named Raven. As usual, the Regin never told him why he was supposed to keep an ear close to the ground for any news about a person with that peculiar name. He assumed that she was a keeper, like all the other children that he had encountered in the past, and he had no reason to suppose otherwise. For some reason though the Regin held this girl in higher regard. He had 'overheard' one of the powers refer to her as the Pure Born, whatever that meant. Dai wasn't a fan for weird and fancy titles that separated people from others as though they were special in some way that stood out. An ironic bias, coming from him, since he took pride in his title of Slayer.
Dai turned his thoughts away from the Regin for the time being, and thought about the strange digimental that he had picked up in the digital world after his fight with the Manticore. He was almost positive that it was the digi-egg of Darkness, but he had never seen an image of it before so he couldn't be sure. But… and this is a big but… when you work your way down the list, from Courage all the way down to Kindness, what else was left? From the TV show to the CD drama, all the other Digi-eggs were accounted for except for that of Darkness. By the process of elimination Darkness was the only one left, unless there were other attributes that had yet to be found. There were always possibilities.
Dai frowned. He was sure that if the Regin ever found out about his discovery they would be furious. They hadn't liked it when he had held out on them in the past, and this would be no exception. Oddly enough though, Dai found that he just didn't care anymore. He'd still do his job, but for some reason he felt that it was important to keep this little item away from the grasping hands of the Regin. Enough said.
Dai resumed his walk, only to pause as he suddenly realized that the world around him was… different. The light around him seemed to have dimmed, becoming almost dreamlike in appearance. The people around him continued on their way, undisturbed by what was occurring in their little corner of the multiverse, though their faces now held a faraway and removed look to them. Dai recognized what this meant. One of the Regin was contacting him.
"We have work for you."
When do you never? And I might've guessed at that too. It's not like you ever call just to socialize…
Whatever. The way things have been I think that I deserve a little insolence every now and then. Now, what's the job this time? Another Monster hunt, or am I looking for another kid with a Mjolner?
"The former actually. And this time we have two. In the digital world. They don't have what we need, but they are a piece to the puzzle. They are among the closest to the One. They will provide the answers that we seek. Retrieve their Mjolners for us and deliver them to the Jotun stronghold of Utgard."
"Is there a problem with these instructions?"
Hmmm? No. No problem at all. Just give me their coordinates and I'll be there."I have a better idea…"
The light of the dreamlike world began to intensify, and Dai had to shield his eyes to prevent himself from going blind. In the real world, the light never existed. The only sign that something had happened though was when the boy named Dai vanished into thin air, becoming almost shadowlike in appearance before leaving existence as the world knew it.
Dai blinked away the bright spots in his eyes and took a look around. Next to him stood his partner, Kokuwamon, confused as to how they got to… wherever they were.
"Dai?" Asked the mechanical insect. The boy nodded.
"Got a job to do, Kokuwamon."
Dai nodded. Kokuwamon sighed.
"I really wish that they chose a less startling method. I preferred the way things used to run. You know, where they just told us what the job was and we went to wherever it was that they wanted us to go on our own."
"Yeah, well. I think that what they want is just to good a chance for them if they don't want to rely on our usual method of transportation. In any case, we're looking for something specific…"
"Anything to do with those two kids and three digimon that are off in the distance there?"
Dai looked ahead and after a brief consultation with his digivice, nodded.
"More kids with Mjolner's, I take it?" Asked Kokuwamon.
Kokuwamon sighed. "I'm starting to get tired of having to fight them. Why are we fighting them Dai? The Regin never tell us…"
"Don't I know it," said Dai. "But they're pretty bent on us taking them this time around, so I figure that it must be important. You ready?"
"Aren't I always?"
Dai pulled out his digivice. "Then let's do it! Digivolve NOW!"
A sphere of data surrounded Kokuwamon as words involuntarily came out of his mouth.
"KOKUWAMON, DIGIVOLVE TOOO…"
Jane walked across a wide-open desert, the light of the digital representation of the earth illuminating the night shrouded landscape. A voice spoke to her that at first sounded like the Druid, but then the voice shifted from male to female, soft-spoken, yet full of terrible secrets and sorrowful wisdom.
"Pure Born. Welcome…"
Jane looked around her, finding no source of the voice, or of her partner, Munnimon either.
"Who's there?" She asked the empty night. Another voice spoke up, this one also female, but different.
"We are the weavers of life and fate. We are the Weird Sisters…"
"You're telling me," said Jane sarcastically. Three voices laughed lightly at this.
"We are the Norns. We bid you welcome to our abode…"
"… However poor it may be."
Jane took another look around. "You live here?"
"What you see, is not its true manifestation, but rather how we will it to be at the moment. Why will become apparent shortly. Watch…"
Jane did indeed watch. The sands of the desert shifted, taking on many forms, each one being destroyed and reformed almost as soon as they were created. Beings and creatures of all shapes and sizes appeared, only to rejoin the desert. Jane couldn't help but feel as though she were watching history pass before her eyes.
"Payment made," spoke one of the sisters as the sand rose up once again, taking shape once more. "The Druid has fulfilled his mission. The old world is crumbling." the sand shifted once more, solidifying into the shape of two human boys and two reptilian creatures at their sides. One was quadruped and smaller than the other, while the larger of the two had a mane of hair protruding from its scalp. The images didn't disappear this time, and Jane took a moment to look them over, and gasped as she recognized them as the kids that she had been searching for.
"The old world is crumbling," continued one of the sisters. "And these two will stand at its center. They are chained by, and chains of destiny. Your chains, and they linked to you through them. They are the keepers of the Child's Eye though they know it not. Through them, as well as you, the One can be found."
"The One? What do you mean?" Asked Jane, perplexed. "And what's this Child's Eye thing that you're prattling on about?"
"The Originator of the Mjolners. The Perfect Dreamer. Of anything else, we are forbidden to say. We are sorry."
"Somehow, I might've guessed that you couldn't tell me more."
There followed a brief chuckle from one of the sisters. Jane turned her attention to the images of the two boys, and her eyes widened as she saw darkness seem to settle over one of them. A boy that she knew well, having memorized his face before he disappeared. If it weren't for the bland color of the sand she would have noted the deep, dark, greenness of his eyes, the darkness of his brown, slightly bushy hair, and his slightly tanned skin.
"No…" Jane whispered. "What's happening to him?"
"A shadow of things to come. It won't harm him in the long run, but it will serve to strengthen him. You must be their guide if they are to survive."
"Duh. I kind of figured on that," said Jane, rolling her eyes. "I have every intention of bringing them home in one piece."
"We shall see," said another of the voices, one that hadn't spoken up until now, and no more was said from any of the sisters. The world around Jane darkened even more and Jane felt herself drift away.
Jane awoke slowly to the warm glow and crackle of a fire. Lifting herself up onto one elbow, Jane felt strong arms push her back down.
"Wha…? Who…?" Blinking her eyes Jane found herself staring into the steel blue eyes of a deeply tanned boy. A warm, comforting smile was on his face as he made her settle back down.
"Hold on there. You've been through a lot. Here." the boy handed her a cup filled with water, and she took it gratefully. As she drank it, she took a moment to look at the boy. A memory clicked, and suddenly Jane felt a little anger spark in her.
"Hey! I remember you! You're the one who…"
The boy laughed. "Glad that you remember me. My name's Ryo, and I saved your life, though for some reason I get the feeling that you're not to happy about it."
"Idiot," Jane growled. "You weren't saving my life. I was trying to get information when you came along…"
"Information? Since when does gathering information involve getting your arm slit open?"
"You just don't… understand…" Jane trailed off as she felt unconsciousness start to claim her once again. Seeing this, Ryo sighed and took the cup away from the girl before carefully helping her fall back onto the ground, readjusting the blanket that he had covering her before returning to his place by the fire, next to his partner Cyberdramon. Looking at the small, bird digimon that had accompanied the girl he decided to strike up a conversation.
"So," he began. "You want to tell me what's going on now?"
The digimon, who had identified herself as Munnimon, shook her head.
"I'm sorry. But I'd rather that it be Jane who tells the tale. She understands it better than I do."
Ryo sighed. "Don't suppose that you could just give me your take on it though…"
"Well, can't blame a fella for trying."
Next to Ryo, Cyberdramon growled, but did nothing as his partner glanced at him. Ryo picked up the digivice that he had found on the girl and looked it over carefully, wondering why it was such a different model from the ones that he's seen so far.
What's the digital world got going on this time? The Legendary Tamer wondered.
"Double Scissor Claw!" Shouted the Okuwamon as it smashed a claw into the giant saurian and sent it hurling back a few paces where it landed with a heavy crash and a groan. A human child ran up to it, fear plainly painted on his face.
"TERRADRAMON!" The boy shouted. "YOU OKAY?"
"Rrrgh…" the dinosaur growled as it struggled to get back to its feet. The boy looked over at the Okuwamon. It advanced towards them with deadly intent, claws raised into the air as it readied to slash at them.
Suddenly a blinding flash of energy smashed into the giant insect, and it turned its attention to the offending attacker. A large, centaur shaped creature aimed its hand at the Okuwamon, a mechanical device extending from its palm as it charged up for another blast. The Okuwamon leapt towards it with frightening speed and slashed with its claws.
"Double Scissor Claw!"
The centaur creature screamed as the claws tore through his body, and he burst into shards of data that floated in the air briefly before being pulled into the Okuwamon's body. Off to the side, there was a roar of rage as a quadruped reptile rushed towards Okuwamon, needle like spines firing from hidden compartments underneath its scales. The spines bounced off of Okuwamon's body with no effect to show for their efforts.
A short distance away, the boy named Dai Akamatsu watched the battle rage, and he brought up his digivice, checking out each of the digimon's stats as it encountered them.
Special Attacks: Claw Slash, Inferno Blast, Fission Burst
Special Attacks: Diamond Claw, Scale Blaze
Dai didn't even bother calling up the stats of the last digimon, a Centarumon. He had seen enough of them in the past, and knew their abilities inside and out. Not that it mattered now, since it no longer posed a threat to…
Some movement caught Dai's eyes and he turned just in time to see a lion like warrior emerge over the crest of a hill, drawing its sword before leaping into the battle, drawing back a fist and unleashing a blast of energy resembling a lion's face.
"Fist of the Beast King!" Shouted the newcomer, and Dai gaped in recognition.
A Leomon? What's a Leomon doing here? I thought that there weren't any other digimon in the area!
Dai didn't have much time to ponder the situation, as he saw the attack crash into one of Okuwamon's claws, freeing the Dracaramon that it held gripped between them. Dai cursed and raised his digivice, scanning the area for any other potential hostiles, confident in his partner's ability to handle three champions at once. One thing was odd though; the two Champions that were still standing after the Centarumon's deletion were abnormally strong against his Ultimate partner. But then, they were both vaccines while Okuwamon was a virus, so they did have type advantage…
Dai grinned as Okuwamon knocked all three Champions to the ground with another Double Scissor Claw attack. Raising its claws once more, he prepared to finish them.
It's over now, thought Dai.
And then one of the digimon, the one that his digivice had identified as Terradramon began to glow, and a data sphere surrounded it. A second later, the sphere shattered and from it emerged a dragon like digimon with a fairly human like appearance, resembling an ExVeemon somewhat in appearance, only orange with broader wings and twin, fanglike blades protruding from the sides of its wrists. Dai pulled up the analyzer program.
Special Attacks: Heart of the Dragon, Dragon Fang, Dragon Fist
Oh no… thought Dai dazedly as the newly digivolved Ultimate tore into Okuwamon, slashing its blades with deadly accuracy and tearing off a chunk of one of Okuwamon's claws. The Okuwamon screamed and fell back underneath the assault, and Mega Terradramon crossed his arms, summoning a sphere of energy in front of him before whipping his arms outward. The sphere burst apart and a beam of raw energy shot outwards, smashing into Okuwamon with tremendous force.
"Heart of the Dragon!"
The beam tore through Okuwamon, sending shards of data in all directions before the massive insect fell to the ground with a heavy crash. It's data destabilized and bled in a massive gush before finally dissipating altogether. Dai fell to his knees in shock as his partner and friend joined the nether realm of the after life.
"No…" Dai whispered in shock, and he let the darkness claim him.
Jane was once again in a dreamlike land; only different from the last one she had been in. This time she was in the depths of a forest rather than the desert wasteland from before. And there was someone else with her. A boy with sandy, light brown hair, a yellow jacket over a green shirt, and calming amber eyes. He had a small smile on his face, and dangling off his shoulder was a digimon that she recognized as a Terriermon, who was giggling like a little child at her.
"Hello," said the boy. "Don't mind me. I'm just a messenger of sorts. Who I am is not important, though if you want you can think of me as a ghost. I represent the Norns, or at least my interests coincide with theirs."
Jane blinked, but nodded. "Go on."
"You're close to the kids that you're looking for, but you won't meet them right now. Don't let that deter you though, 'cause you will find them. And when they'll need you the most."
"Is that all?" Asked Jane, feeling slightly annoyed. "I could have figured that out by myself." The boy shrugged.
"Yeah, I know. The thing is though, that you're looking for them in the wrong place. The signal that you're following is the wrong one. You're actually following an old one that I left recently. Sorry about the mix up. Anyway, you'll find your friends a couple levels up. You know how to get there?"
"Figured. Well, I gotta go now. Be seein' ya."
It was no use. The boy faded away as well as his Terriermon along with him. The little rabbit's smile was the last to vanish, and for some reason Jane was reminded of the Cheshire Cat from Alice in Wonderland. She shivered.
Just what the heck is going on here? She wondered as she felt the dream begin to vanish around her.
Staring up at the globe that hung in the sky of the digital world, a boy and a Terriermon looked at each other and smiled.
"Told ya I could do it," he said.
"I never doubted you for a second," said the Terriermon, smirking. "Well, at least not the second after you pulled it off. Entering people's dreams is a new one for you."
"It helps when you don't technically exist anymore," said the boy with a sad smile. "There are some nice perks to it, but I wish that it were otherwise."
Terriermon looked at his partner sadly as he returned his gaze to the Earth.
A shooting star flew across the night sky.