Chapter 1: Tragedy and Reform

Ring, Ring!

Kari Kamiya walked pleasantly over the phone. A wide smile was spread across her face in amusement - she had just finished reading a hilarious e-mail from Yolie - and she thought nothing could dampen her day.

"Hello, Kamiya residence, Kari speaking."

"Kari, something's happened," Tai's voice had lost all its normal pizazz and all that remained was pathetic sadness. Kari's happy mood crashed. If anyone had seen her face they'd notice it was drained of color and her eyes contained anxiety for the answers to her next questions.

"What is it, Tai? What's happened?"

Tai didn't respond for a few seconds, he seemed to be carefully thinking about how to world his grave news, "It's Tk. There was an accident."

What? Her mind raced.

"He…he's…" Tai struggled with the words. "When he came out from Basketball practice...he crossed the street and…and…"

"He's alright, right?" She questioned loudly. "He's in the hospital with minor injuries, right—

"Kari," Tai interrupted, "he's gone. He's completely spattered across the road." From Kari's wail Tai knew he had chosen the absolutely worst way to phrase the news. He continued over her shocked sobs, "I'm sorry, Kari, Tk is dead."

How could she not have sensed it? How could she be in such a great mood while he was dying? Kari felt like her head was spinning out of control, the room was getting blurry, and she soon found that she didn't have the strength to stand up. Her knees buckled. There was a loud crash as she hit ground.

"KARI! KARI, ARE YOU THERE?" Tai screamed into the phone; his voice managed to convey several emotions of grief, panic, and worry. "Shit."

He hung up the phone and raced home. He dodged the police officers, the grim assorted body parts lying everywhere, and he ran.

At last he bustled threw the door and skidded to halt before his fainted sister. "Kari, Kari, wake up!" He shook her body furiously his breath coming out in giant heaves.

Slowly her eyes opened, "Tai, I had the most horrific dream; you told me Tk was—

"Kari, it wasn't a dream." Tai stated sadly.

Kari's eyes went wide in shock and sobs shook her body. "I should have known Tai! I should have felt it!"

Tai leaned down, comforting his sister with his mere presence. This was a sad day for all of the digidestineds.

Three weeks later the police still hadn't found the driver. In most other cases there would have been clues such as a broken grill or matching tire tracks, but the police found nothing. There were no witness accounts or video footage to identify any details that had lead to Tk's sudden demise. All they had for evidence of the event was Tk's body was spattered across the road. Investigators had determined that the car must having been going at least 90 MPH in order to cause so much damage to him; his death would have been quick on impact. He wouldn't have even felt the warm sensation of blood soaking his favorite hat. He wouldn't have time to scream as his rib punctured in internal organs. He wouldn't have known what had hit him.

All the digidestineds seemed broken and hope had left their hearts. Davis wept proficiently at the funeral as he lost both a best friend and a rival. However, the two most affected would be the two that loved Tk the most: Matt and Kari.

Matt didn't come to school for two weeks following the incident. The other digidestineds called him often but he chose not to talk in anything other than one worded answers and grunts. He was no doubt blaming himself for this whole ordeal.

On day, Tai had chanced to go over to his house after worrying about his silence. No doubt they had gotten into a heated argument and possibly a physical fight such as those that had often occurred in the digital world. Whatever it was, it had snapped Matt out of his current mood of blaming himself and the following Monday he returned to school. Even if he didn't socialize much at least at school they could look over him.

Kari seemed no better. She cried herself to sleep every night and in school would often break into silent fits of tears. Tai didn't know how to snap her out of it like he had Matt and wished that Gatomon was here. But because she wasn't, he often had to watch over Kari all by himself. When dreaming she would call Tk's name or cry about how she should have sensed it. Sometimes she'd wake up in a heated sweat and Tai would comfort her - this was all he knew how to do.

Kari was walking home from school alone. Normally Tk would be there but for obvious reason he wasn't today. Her camera swung back and forth on her neck. She didn't know why she still carried it; she hadn't been inspired to take any pictures lately.

With one final thump she was incredibly annoyed and unlooped it from her neck, attempting to shove it in her backpack. But during her movements, she accidentally pressed a button and a flash went off taking a picture from behind her. Muttering to herself, Kari waited for the picture to appear so as she could delete it.

Her heart stopped. Her blood seemed to run cold. The picture that appeared on the screen showed Tk standing on the road behind her.

After the initial shock wore off she whipped her head around. Nobody was there. The street was empty.

She looked at her camera, Tk still stood in the picture. His skin paler than usual but his eyes still the beautiful blue filled with hope. Kari looked at the street again, he wasn't there. She must have been going crazy.

It was her mind playing tricks on her, she told herself, but in her heart she didn't believe it to be true. She did have proof anyways - the camera would automatically record the date and time of the picture. In a frenzied motion, she turned herself around in the direction of the high school.

Her feet ran, her hands held the precious camera, and her heart raced. She was moving as fast and softly as humanly possible.

She finally reached the school, just as the last bell rung (the high school got out later than the middle school) and the students rushed out. She quickly spotted the group of digidestineds and ran.

Matt scanned the grounds and quickly noticed a small sweat soaked girl running towards them. He nudged Tai in the ribs and pointed. Tai looked up and was shocked to see Kari sprinting. A second later she skidded to a halt in front of the group.

"Kari, what are you doing here?" Tai asked concerned.

In between huffs and wheezes Kari began, "T—k—I—saw—Tk"

The group stared at her, Tai looked angry, "Kari, this isn't something you joke about! Don't come here and tell some ridiculous story that isn't even plausible!"

Kari ignored his outburst and shoved the camera into her brother's hands, "Look—he's—right—there"

The group huddled around the camera. There Tk stood, much paler and without his trademark hat, but still the same Tk they knew. "Kari this could have been taken before he…" Sora began.

"I—took—it—by—accident—just—now—look—at—the—date" She gripped her chest while panting.

The group looked in the right hand corner and read April 22, 2:46.

"This isn't logical" An astounded Izzy remarked.

"Is it a ghost?" Joe questioned with disbelief. He realistic and practical mind didn't believe in possible.

"—or is he alive?" Matt remarked with a frown upon his face. He didn't know whether to be happy or sad about the news mostly he was just shocked.

Kari's wheezing hadn't stopped. Her knees gave out on her and she fell on all fours to the ground. Before anyone had time to react or help her up, she vomited at their feet.

It was nearly an hour after Kari had showed the older digidestineds her bizarre and unbelievable finding.. The younger group of digidestineds had been called and rushed over to the Kamiya's apartment.

"Wait, how exactly did it happen?" Izzy asked again and Kari started to explain for what felt like the 100th time.

"I was taking my camera off and trying to shove it into my backpack," Kari demonstrated taking the camera off her neck, "I accidentally pushed a button and the camera took a picture behind me," Kari demonstrated the angle the camera had been held at and took a picture, "Then I waited so I could delete the pic—

Kari gasped holding the camera in front of her face with shaking hands. The others looked with concern as she looked like she might vomit again. Tai jumped to her side and Matt grabbed the camera from her hands. His eyes widened in disbelief. "It can't be…"

Tk was in the center of the camera. Once again, he didn't have his hat and his face showed a slight smile which contradicted him paler and skinnier body than before death. While this was concerning, it didn't mask the strangeness of what was occurring behind him. Most of the screen around him was that of the Kamiya living room, but bordering around Tk was a different setting: a portrait of an angel hanging on a stone wall.

The camera was passed around and while everyone was shocked it was the original six who were the most flabbergasted.

"Behind him that's…that's…." Joe stuttered.

"It's Devimons castle." Matt stated matter-o-factly.

Mimi added, "I could never forget the pretty angel painting, the one Devimon mocked us with."

"Devimon?" Cody questioned and turned towards Matt, "You told me about him once. You said he killed Angemon in front of Tk."

Matt shook his head, "Devimon didn't kill Angemon, Angemon sacrificed himself."

"Wait, wait, wait!" Davis shouted frustrated. "Why would Tk be back there! Isn't he dead!"

Yolie slapped the back of his head, "Shut up Davis."

Ignoring the outburst Tai stood up with enthusiasm, "Let's go find out, let's go to Devimon's Castle atop Infinity Mountain." He looked over towards Kari and Matt; they nodded their heads in agreement.

It had been a long time since they had entered the digital world, they hoped the portal would open. To their dismay it wouldn't.

"What are we suppose to do now?" Davis asked in anger.

"Izzy, Ken, maybe you could figure out a way?" Sora suggested confidently.

The two were already typing on the computer. "There's no recognition of the digital world at all." Izzy said disappointed.

"Wait!" Ken shouted aloud and the others looked at him. "Something's appearing on the screen."

They all huddled around watching as words appeared one letter at a time:

Please don't come to the digital world, it's not safe.

The digidestineds mouths gaped open.

"Is that Tk?" Davis demanded.

"Is he alive?" Mimi asked bluntly.

"Either he is or something supernatural is going on." Izzy answered.

"This doesn't make any sense," Kari sniffled as tears ran down her cheeks, "Why would Tk be doing this to us?"

"Because he's trying to protect us." Matt spoke outright his face turned away from the others, "He's always thought about others safety before his own, sacrificing himself."

"But why the car accident?" Yolie asked.

"Maybe it wasn't a car accident," Izzy hypothesized, "They never found any concrete evidence that it was a car, that's just what everyone assumed."

"But Tk's body?" Joe said unable to dismiss the hard facts.

"We've seen stranger things. Maybe it was just a bunch of data." Cody offered.

"So, someone setup Tk's death? Or did he set it up himself? Or he really is dead? The main question is what's happening to him now. Why all the mystery? Why make us worry?" Tai asked in a slightly broken voice.

The group silenced in thought, suddenly Ken started theorizing, "We know that Tk thinks of others before himself so it's possible he feigned his death in order to deal with some new evil and protect us. But, why chose us his happy face afterwords? Wouldn't that defeat the point of his feigned death? My guess is that his death was set up by someone else. He's been trying to tell us that he's okay and not to worry in those pictures. What he doesn't realize is that his smiling face can't detract from his obvious paleness and loss of weight. If he did, he would realize he's making us worry more."

"But what about the e-mail, why didn't he send one weeks ago? And how does he know we were trying to get to the digital world?" Cody remarked.

Ken didn't seem to have an answer for this. Instead it was Joe that said something, "he's watching us," as an after thought he added, "Or maybe he's sensing us."

"But how—" Tai started, than as the sudden thought hit him, he looked at his sister. "Kari!"

All the digidestineds had their eyes on the tear stroked girl. She looked dazed and responded weekly, "What?"

"We know you guys are bonded by crests and love." Kari looked a little shocked at his forwardness, but Tai paid no attention as he continued. "You said once to me that if you tried you could finish each others sentences almost as if you were reading each others minds. And you have been constantly muttered in your sleep about how you should have sensed it."

More tears ran down her cheeks; she chose not to respond.

Matt walked forward and kneeled in front of her. "Please Kari, tell me he's all right?"

Kari looked at the blond who reminded her so much of Tk; her voice quivered as she began, "He's alive, but he's hurting."

I hope you enjoy the re-edited first chapter.

R & R