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Conversations of the Watchtower

By, Nicole Silverwolf

"Friendship is the hardest thing in the world to explain. It's not something you learn in school. But if you haven't learned the meaning of friendship, then you really haven't learned anything."

-Muhammad Ali

The sun was slowly setting, turning the previously blue sky into a riot of reds, yellows, and oranges. It was quiet--not the ominous quiet that accompanied a coming thunderstorm--rather the late summer, lazy afternoon quiet that lulled one to sleep and made one think that nothing was wrong in the world. The temperature was perfect, warm enough for thin pants and shirts but cool enough so that neither seemed inappropriate. The slightest of winds blew, enough to ruffle the unruly hairs that escaped or rather refused to confine themselves to the lone occupant's strictly controlled and held pony tail.

Stretched out and leaning against the ramparts that made up the roof he soaked up the warmth and last rays of the dying day. A simple, thick, light brown linen robe was cinched at the waist, while a sword lay idle at his side. Thin and well balanced, it suited its owner well. Slightly curved, thin steel, hilt carved with the sign of his order it was his trusted and most favored possession and something he never went anywhere without. At that moment it looked covered in blood though it was just a trick of the falling light. He struck a dramatic pose, silhouetted by the bright reds and oranges and staring intently out over his home.

But this particular beauty was lost on the man as he sat so eclipsed by the beauty that surrounded him. His eyes skittered over the Digiworld that spread at his feet. Greens and blues stood out in a faded watercolor styled wash. Infinity Mountain, still with its snow covering even this late in the year, stood out proudly among the forest that lay around it. The wide oceans reflected the sunset in reverse and seemed calm except for the rare Whamon or Gesomon who would break the surface once in a while.

"Soon this will be nothing but a memory...strange but I never saw it like that until now," a young Gennai mused as he surveyed his home for as long as he could remember it. Born into and raised in the traditions of the Watchtower order, his life was dedicated to watching over and protecting the Digiworld. And he would want it no other way. He loved his life, the adventure, the wonder, and the joy he got from doing something he loved so dearly.

Besides the fact that he could never consider being anything else. His family had wielded these swords since the beginning days and he was not about to break a tradition that was still thriving.

But there were times--like now--when his thoughts turned to darker days and to the danger that would soon be coming to his friends and family, both in the order and in the forests, deserts, seas and cities of the Digiworld.

Though he was not formally called a 'seer' of the future, he was gifted so to speak with flashes of it in his dreams. Mostly images and a few words sometimes. Of children from another world...the parallel world known as Earth and of their importance to the survival of his home. Much as he wanted to believe that he would be able to protect the Digiworld from whatever might threaten it he knew now that he was not destined to be its savior (or saviors as the case would have it). He had learned of his position in the grand scheme of things through these dreams as well.

A new life as the eccentric watch-over, guide, and all around wealth of knowledge about the Digiworld and in particular the legendary, and often thought mythical Digi-destined. But never to stand in the towers again, or to be know as a member of the order. That would soon be no more. A new phase in life as his friend Piximon would say. Not an end but a beginning. He was quite wise for a digimon. Wiser than many. But still Gennai was aware enough to know that he would miss the life he had always known. It was comfortable and safe and he admitted to being a little scared about what was to come.

So absorbed in what he was doing, he did not hear the approaching footsteps or notice the man behind him until his reviere was broken by a tap on the shoulder. Starting, his small eyes widened giving him the appearance of a little child with his hand in the cookie jar. The look held for only a moment as the stranger was met by the wide and inviting grin of his childhood best friend.

"Saheeb, my friend; you scared the digi out of me!" he chided lightly and gestured to the open space beside him. The man took the seat willingly, stretching out before settling down onto his elbows that held him up in a lounge like position.

There wasn't much that differentiated the two sitting there. As far as clothing went at least. They both wore the long robes of the order and the simple swords that served as their only weapons. Surprisingly they were both light and well-built/honed for fighting. But that was about as far as the similarities would ever go.

Gennai, with his light skin, sandy light brown hair hair, and bright blue eyes looked even lighter when compared to the others brown colored skin, dark black hair and deep nearly black brown eyes. The order of the Watchtower was not a religious one and each member was free to follow their own religious traditions so long as they did not interfere very much with their duties to the Digiworld. It was the reason that most of Saheeb's hair was actually obscured and hidden by a tightly wrapped turban, as was customary for men of his faith.

Most wondered how they had become such great friends. For they were polar opposites in interests and opinions. At least it seemed like that with the way they debated and carried on at meals. But in actuality, the banter was light and playful. They were both stubborn willed and not easily dissuaded from their particular point of view. While some viewed the arguing as futile and only serving as an example of how they could not possibly be friends they did not see beyond the surface. The bickering was part of a routine, developed long ago and held onto far longer as a child might to a favorite toy.

Gennai was the consummate computer whiz, skilled in almost anything technical and gifted with a strange yet not always funny sense of humor. And while Saheeb had been born and raised in the Digiworld he could not despise computers more. A doctor and philosopher, Saheeb felt far more at home among creatures and books than among circuits and wires. He was grateful for the advances in technology that helped him to be a better doctor...but he still could not see the beauty in a piece of metal and electrical currents that his friend could.

"Gennai my friend, it's rare to see you out of the workshops and away from the motherboard. What's the matter...did they kick you out for the afternoon?" he waggled his large eyebrows teasingly.

Slitted eyes and eyebrows raised in barely controlled bemusement cut across to look at the young man sitting there. "I'll have you know Saheeb that I like coming outside on days like this." And under his breath he muttered something unintelligible--obviously an addendum to what was being said, but too quiet to be understood.

"What?" the other asked, a slow smile spreading across his face, as he was suspicious of what the other was going to say. He had an inkling but he wanted to hear it from his friend. Such admissions from 'the-all-knowing-Gennai' were rare and priceless.

"I said," he bit out embarrassed,"yes they made me leave. Said I was monopolizing all their equipment or some such nonsense. Gonna make something of it?" he grinned like a Cheshire cat and Saheeb returned said grin conspiratorially.

"I would never dream of it Gennai," he said in his most innocent voice. His smile belied the nature of his words. For a long moment they seemed to be fighting a war of wills, waiting for the other to back down. But the contest was soon over as neither won; they burst out in laughter in the same instant.

A comfortable silence descended on the two after a few minutes of hearty laughter. The silence was not the uncomfortable one that came with awkwardness, rather the simple one that came with a lifetime of friendship. These two did not need to fill every moment with chatter. So both watched over the land for a moment, each soley dedicated to doing so, lost in thought.

Saheeb believed he knew Gennai well. Having spent his entire life as a friend of the man, he certainly hoped so. So when the young man's eyes shifted from their sparkling usual self and sharpened into a mournful and determined glare he took notice.

"Something is wrong Gennai. I have known you for too long," he voiced his thoughts quietly. His tone was inviting and a little challenging. Gennai was a person who didn't always share his feelings on a subject that was of great importance to him. And whatever it was had been enough to bring him out of the workshop. Not much made him part with that place. He spent a lot of time in Digiworld proper like Saheeb (he had not lied about his love of the outdoors), but for him to be idle--not even with his palmtop pineApple computer--was rare. All this convinced him of the troubled nature of one watchtower member and good friend.

"I dreamed again."

Saheeb nodded slightly but did not speak. Obviously his friend would share when he was ready. He had had a feeling it was about that. The future while prophesized in the books he read were just that...prophesies. They might not come true and one could convince themselves that they were nothing more than stories. And the same could be said of these dreams that were plaguing his friend. But somehow he could not shake the foreboding feeling that his friend spoke with. Gennai was a cynical as the next person...yet he believed these dreams. They must have been very powerful ones to illicit such fervert belief.

"It was about what's to come. What's to happen to all of us. The future."

"The future is not written in stone Gennai."

"No, but perhaps this is. I have the same dreams Saheeb! Every night the details don't change. They never change!" He didn't seem angry, more like he was frustrated, confused and tired of trying to figure it all out.

Saheeb sat still. Usually this would be the point that Gennai stopped. Even when pressed he never spoke about these dreams, to him his most trusted friend and never to another single member of the tower. He had told Piximon...and no one else. But something was different about tonight.

He continued.

In a quiet voice he spoke, not stopping and knowing that Saheeb would not interrupt.

"I see them in my dreams. The Digi-destined. They're children Saheeb, all younger than we were when we started training for the order! And they're so innocent. They don't know that they are meant to fight for their future and for the future of our worlds. The eggs, tags, and crests we've been told to take care of...they are the chosen digimon who are meant for these eight children."

He paused and raked a hand through his hair and looked up at the stars. For guidance perhaps for something to focus on more than likely.

"We are the last."

Saheeb who had sat still and was attempting to absorb the shock of what he was hearing kept silent no longer.

"We are the last what?"

This was absolutely crazy. The Digi-destined. They were children! That could not be possible. For all the warriors on the planet of Earth they would choose eight children all under the age of thirteen to fight for their very survival? Surely his friend must be mistaken. The prophesy had never spoken of the ages of the destined, only speaking in vague riddles of the trials they would face, the dangers they would see, and of things that were to come. They were confusing at best--outright ludicrous at worst.

But that seemed to bother Gennai less than what he was preparing to say. Worry warred with curiosity for a moment while the light haired man fought an internal struggle. He decided and continued.

"The Watchtower Order. We are its last generation. A few years from now...something, something evil is going to wipe us out. And I will be the lone survivor. The one who gets away but never comes back. With the eggs, tags and crests. I saw it...a dark no light could penetrate, the dark all darks measure themselves by, it will send thousands upon this place. And wipe us all out. I won't be able to save anyone. I won't save anyone..."

If silence were clearer it would not be possible. The air itself seemed to stop moving. The sounds of digimon and moving trees, the thousands of little things that made up the hearing world were silenced for an eerie drawn out moment.

'I shouldn't have told him,' Gennai repremanded himself. 'I shouldn't have told anyone. This was a mistake yet I can't not tell someone. The future can be shaped, changed. It has to be. I can't let them die...I won't let them die.'

"I shouldn't have told you anything Saheeb. I'm sorry my friend." He looked over to see a slightly distraught looking friend as he stared quietly out over the waters of the Digiworld. "Are you mad?"

"No," he snorted annoyedly, "Are you daft Gennai? It's just that hearing about your death kind of makes you look at the whole Digiworld in an entirely different way y'know? I am not mad though." A slow smile for his worried friend at that until a more sobering set of thoughts washed back over.

"Do you know who this dark being is? Perhaps you have been gifted with these visions so that we can fight them; keep these Digi-destined children from ever having to come here."

"I never see him. Although I am sure that it is male. It could be any one of them. Myotismon has been making a play for power recently, but I won't discount Piedmon and his council of Dark Masters. They are strong, stronger than Myotismon perhaps. And while Myotismon is more eager, he is foolish and apt to anger quickly. Piedmon is one I would be more worried about. He is always looking towards the future, and at the big picture."

"Hmmmm, all worthy opponents and as you say all well capable of plotting and executing this. We will be wary from now on." He smiled his most genuine smile and turned to face him.

"I suppose we will...still I don't think that will be enough. I think this is destined to be." Gennai refused to look at it any other way. Their people were going to die. Their traditions...everything about them. All gone like the digital bytes they were rumored to be. Nothing more than a huge program.

Nothing at all.

"If I am meant to die in this battle you have seen I will go happy."

Gennai whose head had lowered with each dark thought snapped to full attention at that. His eyes turned to a confused and thunderous blue. Had he heard his best friend right? He was happy to know that in a few years he would no longer exist?

"Why?" he asked, amazed that someone would be willing to go to their deaths so well--willingly.

"If I die protecting the world that is my home, in the name and honor of the order than I will have done my duty. I will have done right with my life. As will have you and all of us. Nothing ever happens without a reason Gennai. I believe that this has a reason too."

"I've just told you that you're going to die...how can you accept that!"

"I could die tomorrow Gennai. You do not know the future as a certain. Perhaps I never live to see that fateful day. Perhaps a Seadromon will catch me as I work near the ocean. Things have not changed. We are all mortal and will not live forever in these shells. Only now I will know to treasure these days more. To realize and appreciate their beauty even more. Do you understand that?"

Saheeb sat quietly and regarded the man as he paced, looking down over the Digiworld. He was obviously trying to sort something out in his very logical mind of his. For someone so book smart he seemed to be quite dense about some of the most important things in life.

After some time spent sitting in silence and staring at the stars which now were liberally populating that night's sky Saheeb noted a slight sort of peace descend over Gennai in his circular travels along that particular section of worn stone wall.

A wry smile lit his face and he sat down again as if he had realized his rather melodramatic line of thought. "I know what you mean Saheeb. I mean I think I knew all the time. Maybe I just didn't really accept it. I'm not sure."

A sage and happy nod was the reply.

"You are a far wiser man than me Saheeb." He spoke honestly and met the dark brown with his intense blue.

"Well thank you Gennai, I do believe that was a compliment."

"Well at least when it comes to that philosophy stuff at least. But I will always be the better looking one." He joked warmly and smiled in open teasing fashion. Perhaps tomorrow would be their end but tonight would not and Gennai knew that it was true. They would just have to live each moment to its fullest--as if it were the last.

And the night wore on, and if you listened from below in the Digiworld you could here the two laughing voices of best friends ringing on the wind from their towers far above.


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