Kiraa: Anyone that's been 'round us for a while would have at least heard of our old digimon fic in passing. Yeah it's old, the first ever epic we plotted.
Keiji: I plotted, you threw in things as you saw fit.
Kiraa: Details, details. Anyway, this is it. The monstrosity, the work that started us on serious fanfiction writing, the story that gave Keiji her name...
Kiraa: ...and the tale that cemented my existance as Keiji's imaginary voice.
Keiji: Gay imaginary voice.
Kiraa: Yup, good times, good times.
Keiji: Right. Moving along, this story is based at the very end of season two. The only thing that makes it Alternate Universe is the fact that the epilogue episode is disregarded. So basically, this story is set a short time after the defeat of Armageddemon and will develop from there into a different future then the one shown in the epilogue. That's about all you need to know in advance for the story.
Kiraa: Yup, that's pretty much it except for pairings which will not be revealed due to plot reasons. Remember folks we love reviews, comments, and crits, they're good for the ego. So if you have the time please don't forget to drop us a line or two.

Disclaimer: Stari Zmaj does not own Digimon. Digimon is copyrighted to Toei, Bandai, and all the other companies and people that have stocks and ownership of the brand and merchandise. This story is purely a fanmade work and is not used to make any sort of monetary gain.

The most likely way for the world to be destroyed, most experts agree, is by accident. That's where we come in; we're computer professionals. We cause accidents.
Nathaniel Borenstein (1957 - )

Set Free

"Well, what do you think?"

Two men stood in a small room, at the back of the small technology museum. Between them was a glass case, ready and waiting to be carted out, taken off its wheels, and put out for display. Beneath the glass was an extremely archaic looking machine. Hundreds of switches, tubes, and rods, comprised the black mass, managing to look like a science fiction city in miniature. The thing was longer then it was wide, and on one of its short wide sides the glass panel had a handle.

The dark haired man that had spoken pulled on this handle, revealing that the glass could be opened on small hinges at this point, allowing a person access to the data entry pad of the ancient looking computer. "2000 relays, 22 bit word length, and a max 10 Hz clock frequency; she's a real beauty."

This first man was dark haired, of Asian descent, and only just starting to bald. His partner was younger, blond, and blue eyed, matched the contrived stereotype of Germans that has survived world war two even with his overly large glasses. Unlike his Asian partner, however, he didn't seem all that impressed by the machine before him.

"I don't see the big deal. The Deutsches Museum has a replica just like this one. You said you had something NEW to show me." The German's accent was extremely thick as he spoke the Japanese words slowly and carefully so as not to make a mistake in pronunciation.

"But this IS new. Well, it's old, but it's something people haven't seen for a long time." The Japanese man validated excitedly, gesturing at the machine before them. "This isn't just any old Z3 replica. It's THE Z3. Konrad Zeus' original wonder machine. The worlds first full automatic, program functioning computer. The machine that defined computers."

The elder Asian professor was obviously getting carried away by his own excitement, but the German didn't mind. He himself was quite intrigued now, and the exuberance was contagious. "But the original Z3 was destroyed during the bombing of Berlin." The youth countered, though by the tone of his voice it could easily be guessed that he was hoping for the Japanese man to prove this fact false. He wasn't disappointed.

"Not so, not so." The Japanese answered. Turning away from the machine to another table set against the nearby back wall. Rifling through the papers that were piled up there he produced a bundled of stapled papers describing the machines origins. He handed these papers to the youth, who quickly began to leaf through them, following the computers trail backwards from this small technology museum to a connoisseur of modern treasures.

"It appears that the machine was merely damaged, placed in an unlabeled box by some rushing workers, and shipped off to safe storage in Switzerland. Considering the kind of pressure Berlin was under at the time, it's no big surprise then in all the chaos it just got forgotten. The storage area that it was kept in was being cleaned out to make room for new materials when the box and its contents were found. I tell you, after that it was quite a struggle to get our hands on the machine. We had to pay many many yen to acquire it. Once it arrived here we took the liberty of repairing it."

The Japanese man took a deep breath, he'd been holding off on that particular necessity of biology during his excited story telling. "I called you here to be witness to our first successful test run."

The youth by then had finished going through the papers and now looked upon his elder with a critical eye. "Why me instead of some of your higher standing colleagues?"

A conniving glint appeared in the Japanese's eyes at the question. "Why simple. Just imagine the boost your career will gain if people heard you 'helped' in this en devour. They'll be hailing you as a new messiah when you return to Germany. And of course, you would not forget to be ever so thankful and friendly to your companions oversees who helped in this accomplishment."

At this the German smiled, the game was too easy. The museum had probably had to bargain itself to acquire an item of such value. The financial support of another major museum was not just beneficial, but more then likely necessary for this one to remain open. Besides, who was he too complain when fame was being handed to him on a silver platter? "I would never forget my dear friends in Japan." he said holding his hand out.

After the two shook hands and sealed the somewhat inappropriate deal, they both looked towards the machine in question. Suddenly the 'scheming' vibe vanished from the air. Both men were now quite excited to see the computer up and working, to people of their profession it was like meeting Adam or Eve.

A flick of power switch, and the machine came to life with a sputter. At first it looked like it was going to fail, but then the rattle turned into a hum which sounded eerily like angels singing to the two professionals that observed the machine with delight. "Now let's test if it'll still accept programming." The Japanese man said, retrieving a punch film stock from the paper cluttered table, and putting it in place on the computer.

This too proved to be a complete success, as the computer eagerly began running the film stock, and the archaic form of data, through its old system. So fascinated were the two men that they did not notice the light above them give an odd flicker.

The back room the two were in had no windows. But outside the room the sky had been dark for many hours. Although weather forecaster had predicted it to be a quite night lightning had suddenly begun to slash the dark blue canvas of the sky. The lightning seemed to leave odd after images in its wake. If anybody had been observing the even carefully they would have noted that these afterimages seemed to show a birds eye view of lakes, streams, tree, mountains, and the occasional town or city. They might have also noted that all the lightning seemed to be aiming outward from a center point, a center point that existed right above the technology museum.

Back within the small room, the first sign the two professors had of their danger was an electronic hum that did not belong to the machine who's output they were now looking over with glee. They turned around to see that the laptop that had thus far gone unnoticed on the back table, half buried under papers as it was, was now booting up. "Huh, thought I'd turned it off." The Japanese man shrugged and turned back to the older computer before him. Really, it was an old laptop acting up, nothing to be worried about there.

"Somethings wrong." The German frowned down at the archaic machine. He didn't know quite what, the computer had expanded the entirety of the film but was winding it back as it should have. In fact, the machine seemed to have eaten it, which was quite bad. If there was a blockage of some sort somewhere in the machine it would be quite difficult to get at the damaged area and repair them.

"Indeed, let's see." The Japanese put his hand in the glass case, though what he had intended to do became moot as within the next three seconds a series of events conspired to leave him without those precious limbs.

In the first second the lights in the room shut off, causing both men to stall, for another second. In second three the old Z3 machine exploded. It wasn't a lights and flame kind of explosion. Instead it was a wave of ripping pressure and heat that destroyed the Japanese's hands, threw both men against the wall of the small room, and then pincushioned them with half melted shrapnel from the glass case. Neither man was conscious by second four, thus neither saw the light bulb of the single hanging lamp in the room also explode just as it turned back on. Nor did they see that the light continued to flicker in the lamp, even though it no longer possessed a light bulb to sustain it.

Nobody was there to see the black, ember eyed shape emerge from the ruined wreck of the Z3, twitching, curling, and spasming in pain. It's red eyes fixated on the laptop that had, through some design of fate, avoided being damaged by the shrapnel, force, and heat of the explosion. Laberously the shape clawed through the air, dissapearing into the electronic appliance. The laptop beeped for a while then, as various programs were checked over. Finally the machine connected to, and uploaded a program, to the Internet before exploding itself. This time in the classic flame meaning of the term. The wooden paper strewn table easily caught flame, filling the room with thick suffocating smoke.

As if the fire had an intelligence of its own, it sent sparks flying, sparks that eventually landed on the Z3 and eagerly began to consume anything flammable that was left of the machine. The inflammable material was melted. By the time the fire alarms went off both the German and Japanese were dead from a combination of blood loss, trauma damage from the force and heat of the explosion, and suffocation due to a small room with no exits for the black smoke.

No evidence remained of what had caused the accident, except for a near non-existent digital trail that nobody knew to search for.