*Not-very-standard Disclaimer: The day I own the rights to
Digimon's creatures and characters is the day I can stop writing this stupid
disclaimer. Til then, I'm trapped by red tape.*
The peaceful bliss of sleep was
rudely broken by the electronic screech of an alarm clock. Kari Kamiya moaned
and brought her had down clumsily on the snooze button, silencing the
tormenting buzzer. She rolled over and tried to fall asleep. Unfortunately, the
sensation of being poked pulled her back to the world.
Kari." Gatomon shook her partner's shoulder. "Get up."
Kari looked at Gatomon over her
shoulder. "Let me sleep. I thought cats loved to snooze."
Gatomon gave her a dubious look.
"Digimon don't snooze like cats do, and your Mom will bring the house down if
you sleep through the whole day."
Kari nodded and forced herself to
get up. "Okay, okay. Party pooper." She pressed hand to her head. "Ohhh…"
Gatomon look shifted to that of
concern, "Are you okay?"
Kari nodded, "Yeah, my head just
hurts a little. I didn't get a very good sleep."
Kari rolled out of bed and walked
towards her closet. "I was really restless, I'm not sure why. Something just
didn't feel right." She stopped to look herself in the mirror. It had been over
7 years since the defeat of MaloMyotismon and the restoration of peace to the
Digital World. Kari was now 18 years old and had just begun her third and final
year of High School. She hadn't changed much from the young 11 year-old who had
help to save two worlds, although some would argue that she'd grown even more
attractive. While her body had grown over time, her face had remained basically
the same, with the exception that she had allowed the back of her hair to grow
down to just above her shoulders.
Kari took out her school uniform,
the same kind that Sora had once worn when she had been in High School. Tai,
Sora, and the other older Digidestined were now off at college, as was Yolei.
It felt strange to live in her family's apartment with Tai gone, but there were
times when Kari enjoyed the having her parents to herself. She glanced over at
her desk where she saw a picture of the older Digidestined gathered together
before they all went off to college. Tai was in the middle with a goofy
expression on his face. Kari hoped Tai would come visit soon.
Returning her mind to the present,
Kari quickly showered and dressed, then went into the kitchen with Gatomon.
Kari's mother was already cooking breakfast. "Good morning, Kari, Gatomon."
"Morning, Mom." Kari sat down at the
table with Gatomon. One of the few good things that had resulted from
MaloMyotismon's appearance was the revelation of Digimon to the families of the
Digidestined. Kari had finally been able to spend time with Gatomon without
having to hide her from Kari's parents. Tai had also been able to bring Agumon
home to stay. After a small period of adjustment, Kari's parents had accepted
both Gatomon and Agumon as members of the family. The same was true for the
other families of the Digidestined. Last Kari had heard, Agumon had become the
unofficial mascot for Tai's college.
Mrs. Kamiya brought Kari a plate of
eggs, and some tuna for Gatomon. "Hurry up, or you'll be late." Kari nodded and
devoured her meal. She thanked her mother and picked up her schoolwork case.
Gatomon jumped into Kari's arms and they headed out the door.
* * * * * * * *
Kari walked along at a steady pace,
enjoying the summer weather. The streets were filled to overflowing with people
and cars, as usual. She heard a few voices in the crowd. "Look, that girl has a
Digimon." "Oh, how cute!" "I want one too." Kari smiled. Digimon were slowly
becoming a part of everyday life. Eventually, everyone would have a Digimon
The transition wasn't easy, however.
Several times Kari or another Digidestined had been forced to send a rampaging
Digimon back to the Digital World because he, she, or it was unable to cope
with being in the real world. Kari had also heard horror stories of people
abandoning unwanted Digimon, which hurt the Digimon in a way that people
couldn't understand. Other humans were downright opposed to the very existence
of Digimon. It would be a long, long time before true harmony would exist
between humans and Digimon. Kari sometimes wondered if she'd live long enough
to see that peace achieved.
Shaking the depressing thoughts out
of her mind, Kari looked towards the bay area, and stopped dead in her tracks.
The bay water was pitch black. "What?" Kari blinked.
"Hey! Kari!" Kari snapped her head
to the right and saw a figure running towards her. Davis Motomiya waved as he
ran up to her along with Veemon. Kari looked back at the bay area. The water
had returned to his normal blue hue. I
must be more tired than I thought. Kari nodded. For a moment she had feared
that the Dark Ocean had returned, but it had been years since that terrible
place had bothered her. She barely even thought about it since they'd sealed
Daemon away. There was no reason to start worrying now.
turned toward Davis. "Good morning." Davis hadn't changed much over the years
either. He was still energetic and a little reckless, and he always had the
same enthusiastic look in his eyes. He'd stopped wearing Tai's goggles a while
ago, yet he had held onto them as a treasured item. According to Davis, Tai's
goggles were hung right on Davis' bedpost. Davis' hair was still stylized in a
spiky afro. He wore his school uniform with the green jacket unbuttoned and no
tie, just as Kari's brother had when he was in High School. Probably the
biggest change for Davis was that he had dropped his silly crush on her long
ago, and now they were just close friends.
Kari and Davis were the only
Digidestined going to school together. TK had moved away due to his mother's
job. Even though Kari missed him, she felt a little comfort when she received
his e-mails, which came on a weekly basis. Ken had gone to a high school closer
to his home on the other side of town and Cody was still in Junior High.
Davis frowned, "You okay? You look
like you just saw a ghost."
Kari nodded, "I'm fine. I just
didn't get enough sleep last night." The two of them headed down the street,
talking all the way.
They reached their high school in no
time. A few heads turned their way the instant Kari and Davis set foot on
campus. Kari was one of the most popular girls in school, and Davis was a star
player on the soccer team. Boys watched Kari with more than a little interest,
and girls fawned over Davis. Popularity
has its perks.
Kari and Davis stopped by the stairs
leading to the school roof. . Veemon and Gatomon bade them goodbye and ran up
the steps. "See you at lunch."
The presence of Digimon in society had forced the
school system to adopt new policies. Because teachers saw Digimon as a
potential distraction, every school had adopted a "no-Digimon in the classroom"
policy. However, an amendment had been added to the rule after some pushing
from Digimon supporters. Since Digimon suffered from crippling loneliness when
separated from their partners in the human world, the school rules clearly
stated that Digimon were allowed to remain on school grounds, but could not
enter the classrooms while school was in session. That meant that Digimon could
wait outside the school for their partners. An unofficial rule was that Digimon
couldn't hang out by the windows either, since that would also distract the students.
"Well," Davis turned to face Kari.
"Ready for another 'fun-filled day?'" He gave a slight roll of the eyes.
Kari smiled, "You'd rather take on a
horde of evil Digimon rather than face one day of school." One thing that never
changed about Davis was the poor grades he received.
Davis nodded as he held the door
open for Kari, "You ain't kiddin'."
* * * * * * * *
Chemistry class trudged by at its
usual monotonous pace. Kari and her friends were gathered around a lab table,
working on their latest assignment. Kari was reading the book to her friends
while they mixed the chemicals. This was the only class that Kari didn't share
with Davis, which was probably good because Kari had heard stories from people
of how many times Davis had nearly blown apart the lab in an experiment. Kari
still laughed at the time Davis had apparently set his hair on fire.
Fortunately for Davis, his hair grew back very quickly.
Kari read the lines carefully so as
not to give confusing directions. The last thing she needed was to wind up like
Yolei or Davis when they tried a lab experiment. Suddenly, the book pages began
to blur slightly. Kari began to feel a little light-headed and stumbled
backwards into one of her friends.
Kari's friend, Kay Joshu, asked,
"Kari? Are you okay?"
Kari regained her footing. "Um…
y-yeah, these chemicals must be getting to me." Why did her skin feel so warm?
Kari went to the sink and turned it on to splash some water on her face.
Pitch-black water gushed from the faucet. Kari let out a slight shriek and
Everyone in the classroom turned to
look at her. The teacher spoke up, "Kari, is something the matter?"
Kari looked back at the faucet. The
water was crystal clear. Her skin began to feel even hotter, and the room
seemed to be glowing. "Sir?" Kari looked at the teacher, "May I please go to
the nurse's office?" But her teacher didn't reply. He just stared at her with a
Kari looked around. Everyone was staring at her with
wide eyes. "What? What is it?" Kari's head began to hurt even more, and her
body felt like it was on fire. Somebody
help me! The room began to glow all around her, but Kari's consciousness
was sinking into darkness.
* * * * * * * *
"Kari… Kari…" Kari's eyes fluttered open to reveal a
darkened room. The bed she was lying on was soft and cool, but Kari's skin
still burned slightly. She looked to her right and saw her parents sitting next
to her. Davis was also there, standing farther back. Kari could tell that the
room was pure white, even though the lights were turned off.
Kari's mother let out a relieved sigh, "Kari, I'm so
glad you're awake."
Kari's mouth felt like a desert. "Mom? Dad? Where am
I?" Her voice sounded like a frog.
Kari's father said, "You're in the hospital,
sweetie. You passed out at school. How do you feel?"
Kari's mother began to stand up to get a glass, but
Davis had already gotten it and handed it to her. Kari's mother thanked him
quietly and held the glass up to Kari's lips. Cool water cascaded down her
throat as Kari sipped. Her body began to cool slightly, and her head no longer
hurt. Kari looked over at the clock on the wall. Her eyes widened, "I've been
out for six hours?"
Kari's mother nodded, "We were terrified. The
doctors said that you'd suffered from some kind of heat stroke, but they
couldn't understand why. You have a small fever, but you should be feeling
better in no time."
Kari's mind drifted back to the lab. She remembered
how hot she had felt, and how the room had glowed. She was at a loss as to how
she had become sick so suddenly. Kari looked over at Davis. He looked like he
needed to speak to her badly. Kari asked, "Mom, Dad, could I speak with Davis
for a minute?"
Mr. Kamiya looked surprised, and Mrs. Kamiya looked
slightly horrified. "A-alright. But not for too long; you need your rest." They
stood up and walked towards the door. Mrs. Kamiya shot Davis a look that would
have frightened a Bakemon. She always became overprotective whenever Kari was
Kari called to her parents, "Mom, Dad, please don't
tell Tai about this."
Her father stopped, "But, Kari, Tai would want to
know what had happened to you. I'm sure he'd come down right away."
Kari shook her head slightly, "No. I don't want him
have to leave college because of me. I'm fine, so please don't tell him."
Kari's parents looked even more concerned, but nodded and exited the room.
Davis picked up a large backpack leaning against the
wall and sat down next to Kari. He held her hand. "You really had a scared for
a while. I'm glad you're feeling better."
Kari smiled, "Thank you. You stayed with me all this
Davis nodded, "I came as soon as I got out of
school. I figured you'd like to see handsome face when you woke up." He put on
a proud smile.
Kari giggled. She couldn't resist teasing him on
that one. "Sorry, Davis, but you're no Prince Charming." Despite the momentary
lapse in his pride, Davis smiled.
"Hey, I brought someone else to see you." He placed
the backpack on his lap and lifted the hood. A white head with long ears popped
out and took a deep gasp of breath.
Gatomon glared at Davis, "You just had
to put me in with your
sweaty gym-socks, didn't you?"
Davis shrugged, "Just be glad you had some
cushioning and that I didn't bring Veemon along. It's not easy to sneak a Digimon
into places like this, you know." Digimon weren't allowed in hospitals because
some people were afraid of new digital diseases. Separate Digimon hospitals
were being built in the city, even though Digimon anatomy was still under
study. Since a Digimon's body dissolved into data when they died, it was
impossible to study them internally. X-Rays and CAT-scans were the only means
of studying volunteer Digimon. The Digidestined knew that there was no threat
of disease, however, because Kari had been the only member of the team to ever
fall ill in the Digital World, and that had been a relapse of the fever that
had forced her to stay at home in the real world that fateful summer. Humans
were in no danger of disease from Digimon.
Kari smiled, "Gatomon."
Gatomon forgot about Davis and hopped down to Kari's
side. "Kari, I'm so glad you're okay. I don't know what I'd do if anything
happened to you."
Kari let go of Davis' hand and scratched Gatomon
behind the ear. "I'll be fine. Don't worry. I just wish I understood why I
passed out in chem. today."
Davis spoke up hesitantly. "Kari, do you remember
anything about what happened just before you passed out?"
Kari frowned, "My skin felt hot, and I was dizzy.
The room became so bright I could have sworn the walls were glowing."
Davis' shoulders slumped. "Um… Kari?"
"I talked to Kay about what happened. She said that you started to glow."
There was a long silence. Finally, Kari found her
voice. "I-I what?"
Davis repeated slowly, "You glowed. Your friends
were all shocked. They said that you glowed bright white and nearly blinded
them. I think they were exaggerating about the blind part." Davis tried to pass
that last line off as a joke, but the worried tone in his voice foiled his
Gatomon said, "It sounds just like when we fought
Kari nodded, "Yes, but… but… H-how can my powers be
starting up now? They haven't worked since we defeated the Dark Masters." No.
That wasn't true. Kari's power had manifested once before, when she had been
pulled into the Dark Ocean. She looked at Gatomon and Davis. "Just before I
passed out, I turned on a faucet and I thought that black water came out of he
Davis face fell. "It can't be the Dark Ocean. It
can't. We sealed that place up seven years ago!"
Kari nodded, "I know, I know. But why else would I
start reacting like this?" Davis was at a loss for words. Kari suddenly felt
uneasy. The whole school had probably heard about her glowing by now. How are people going to react? She
suddenly felt afraid.
Gatomon sensed her friend's emotions. "Don't worry,
Kari. I'll protect you from the Dark Ocean. It'll never touch you."
Davis put his hand on Kari's shoulder. "Yeah, don't
worry about the Dark Ocean. I'll call Ken and the others and we'll get TK to
come back here and we'll handle this together. Don't worry. It'll be fine."
Kari shook her head, "It's not just the Dark Ocean.
The whole school probably knows that I started glowing. How do you think people
will react to that?"
Davis gave her a reassuring smile. "They'll be a
little surprised, but then everyone will forget about it. It'll blow over.
They'll probably think that there was something weird in the school water or
Kari shook her head. Ever the optimist. "I don't know. I need to go home and think this
through. Davis, don't tell anyone about this."
Davis looked shocked, "But what about TK and the
others? Don't you want them to know about the Dark Ocean?"
Kari said, "No, not yet. I'm not sure if it really
is the Dark Ocean. I want to make sure before I disrupt everyone's lives."
Davis said, "Kari, they're our friends, they'll be
happy to help."
Kari implored him, "Davis, don't tell a soul, please."
Davis sighed, "All right, all right. I won't say
anything, but I think you're making a mistake." He checked his watch. "I'd
better get going home. My folks will want to know what's happening, and they'll
have my head if I don't do my homework. Gatomon can stay here but you gotta
hide her from the staff or they'll kick her out."
Kari smiled, "Thank you, Davis. I'll see you later."
Davis nodded, "I'll be by tomorrow. Later, Kari,
Gatomon." He stood up and left the room.
* * * * * * * *
The cool night air did nothing to
calm Kari's mind and body as she lay in bed. Hospitals were difficult to stay
in. She hadn't been in one since she had come down with pneumonia. Kari hadn't
mentioned anything about the Dark Ocean to her parents, they wouldn't have
understood anyway. She hadn't mentioned her ability to glow either. That was
one of the few remaining secrets that Kari kept from her parents about her role
as a Digidestined. Kari and Tai had both agreed that their parents didn't need
to know about Kari's special powers.
But now that secret might be exposed
to the whole city instead of just Kari's family. Kari could already envision
her classmates telling their families about how Kari had glowed in the middle
of class. How would people react? Would the be frightened? Confused? Doubtful?
Surely some of the parents and students would dismiss the story as fantasy; but
the students who had been in the chemistry lab with Kari would not. They knew
And what other people thought might
be the least of Kari's concerns. What if the Dark Ocean really had returned? It
had never stopped reaching for Kari, trying to drown her in its dark waves. She
thought she'd overcome its influence when she had visited the beach with Ken
and Yolei, but now she wasn't sure. Kari had never faced the Darkness directly,
she'd only reacted to its intrusions into her life.
What's going to happen to me?
Kari shuddered. I don't want to leave my friends and my family. I want to
stay where I am.
"Kari?" Gatomon broke into Kari's
thoughts. "Are you okay?"
Kari faked a smile, "Yes, I'm fine."
Gatomon's face became stern. "I know
you better than that. You always try and hide what you're feeling! Come on,
Kari, tell me what's bothering you."
Kari looked a little shamed at being
chided by her partner. She should have known better than to try and hide things
from her Digimon partner. Kari had never stopped trying to hide her doubts and
sadness from other people because she still wanted to keep others from being
hurt. But that didn't always feel good. Kari sighed, "I'm scared, Gatomon. On
one side I have my classmates who saw me glow today. I don't know what they'll
do when they see me tomorrow. On the other side I have the Dark Ocean, which is
coming to get me again… I feel like I'm going to be crushed between the two
Gatomon nestled next to Kari. "Don't
be afraid, Kari. I'll protect you no-matter-what. No one's going to touch you
as long as I'm here."
Kari looped an arm around Gatomon
and held her close. "Thank you, Gatomon." Feeling slightly safer, Kari closed
her eyes and slipped into sleep.
Kari faces her classmates and learns who her true friends
are in the next chapter of "The Outcast."
Note: Now that I have finished one chapter of "The Outcast," I'm going to
switch over to "Darkness Reborn." Expect the first chapter to be out relatively
soon. It's my hope that alternating between stories will keep me from losing
interest in both plotlines and encourage me to write faster. In the meantime, feel
free to review my latest work.