Disclaimer: I don't own Digimon.
Uncertain Destiny: Chapter 4
I hate carnivals. I don't really know why. Maybe it's because when I was a little kid, my folks, who had taken a vacation to America and brought me and my brother along went and visited a circus. I was too young to clearly remember what had happened, but what I do recall was that the clowns scared me pretty bad, and a lama tried to eat my shoe. After nine years of not joining in on those kinds of festivities…willingly…I thought that I had gotten over it.
Before I knew it, I had one more reason to hate festivals.
"This…is officially…disgusting," groaned Minoru Akagi, grimacing as he tried not to breathe through his nose while he emptied a trash barrel into a large plastic bag. Minoru cringed as something…pink, sludge like, and extremely odorous spilled out the sides and landed by his feet.
"Ahhh…quit your griping," replied Impmon as he scribbled something down busily on a pad of paper with a pencil. "At least you got the job, didn't ya?"
"That's not very comforting," mumbled Minoru as he picked up a shovel that he had leaned up on a tent pole behind him. "This job still stinks! Literally!"
"You know…you're not sounding very grateful to have a job," piped in a long eared, white and green furred, diminutive creature with black, button-like eyes from next to Minoru as he held up the trash bag with his ears and tiny paws to receive the pink colored sludge. "Times have been getting to be pretty tough lately, and I know some 'mon who would be grateful to have a few digi-dollars to spend for their meals."
Impmon nodded, agreeing with their long eared comrade before looking at the brown haired human boy. "Yeah. And aren't you the one who said that you needed to get to the Terminus so that you could get home? Traveling between domains isn't exactly a cheap and easy trip you know. Digi dollars don't grow on trees…"
"They do in Verdani," said the long eared digimon, but Impmon ignored him.
"…And my own financial resources aren't going to last us forever. And besides, not every mon out there is going to be as generous as I am."
"Yeah…you're a real philanthropist," muttered the long eared digimon sarcastically. This time Impmon turned to him with a glare.
"Let me just remind you Terriermon that I'm your boss here…"
"Hey! Take it easy why don't ya? I'm sorry, okay? Sheesh! You can be about as prickly as the Togemon that taught us in school, and you don't even have her needles! What's your deal?"
Impmon scowled and crossed his arms.
"My deal is that we're in the work world now Terriermon. We're not playing here. Datamon is expecting us to work and get our jobs done, and that pretty much means doing it without any backtalk, or did you not read your contract when you signed it? And that was a rhetorical question by the way so don't bother answering it." Impmon looked down at his pad of paper, quickly doing a count. "Okay… It looks like you guys are almost wrapped up here, so I'm going to go see Datamon and have him see if he's got any more jobs for you."
"Great," muttered the long eared digimon again. "I'll bet that we're going to get the Monochromon stalls…"
"Keep talking like that and you will," shot back Impmon as he turned and began to stride away. "Now hurry up with your job and go see Datamon in about half an hour! I've got to go make some rounds after this so I won't be able to baby-sit you two! Later!"
Minoru watched the little, impish digimon saunter away before shaking his head.
"Hey," spoke up the digimon that Impmon had called Terriermon after seeing the boy's motion. "Humon. You okay?"
Minoru frowned and glared at the nametag that had been stitched onto the pair of suspender pants that he had been made to wear upon his accepting of his new job. He had been quite adamant in telling both Datamon and Impmon about what his name was, and yet for some reason that hadn't stopped them from sowing the stupid thing on. Impmon's misinterpretation of his species name had stuck with him now, for good or ill.
This is really not turning out to be a good day, grumbled Minoru.
"I'm…fine I guess," said Minoru as he tied the trash bag back together and hefted it over his shoulders while Terriermon grabbed the shovel with his long ears, surprising him once more with how strong the little digimon was for his size. "About as fine as any human being can be when they're stuck in a weird nightmare world where giant insects and flaming birds fly around, imps walk up to you and give you charity, and dogs look like rabbits."
Terriermon cocked an eyebrow in confusion.
"What's a rabbit?"
"Never mind," sighed Minoru. "I'm just not having a good day, that's all."
Terriermon shrugged his shoulders.
"Wish that I could do something to help, other then what I'm doing already that is. Not for nothing, but I'm paid to do this, so I don't think that my efforts are really all that big on the scale of helpfulness. Plus, you're bigger then me."
Minoru gave a small smile as the pair began to trudge onwards, looking for the next garbage can to empty.
"Now you're making me feel guilty about complaining, seeing as how we're both stuck in the same hole here."
Though why I should feel bad when I'm only dreaming all of this is beyond me…
Terriermon giggled like a little child.
"Well then no worries, right? If we're both in the same hole we'll help each other out! This way, we don't have to worry so much about helping each other just because it's 'our job'!"
"I suppose," said Minoru. "Though I don't see why you feel so compelled to help me."
"That's just how I am. Impmon always used to call me the 'straight arrow' back when we went to 'Ms. Togemon's School for Rookies' back in Serenity Village. He always made fun of me for that, but I think that I've rubbed off on him seeing as how he helped you Humon."
Minoru resisted the urge to sigh at the digimon's use of his 'name'.
"So you know Impmon, huh?"
"Sure! Weren't you listening when he hooked you and me up? We've known each other for years!"
"I only got the quick, edited version though," said Minoru. "But then again it's not exactly my place to pry or anything…"
"Nah! You're not prying. I'd be curious too if I were you, meeting up with Impmon the way you did. It's not often that I hear about him being charitable, especially for one of his species. Usually when he does stuff it's so that someone can owe him something later, but this has got to be the first time I've seen him help someone and cash in a dept to do it. He wasn't exactly a bad mon when I grew up with him, but he tended to have motives to everyone else. Plus he had a mischievous streak to him."
"You sound like you know him better then that though."
Terriermon snorted and adjusted the little workers cap that sat on his head and checked his overalls uniform.
"I know him pretty well, but he doesn't always let me in. Plus it's been about a year since I've last seen him. He's never exactly been close to anybody, but I tended to be one of the closest… well me and a Floramon that grew up in the same village as us. Anyway, I always saw him as one of those who had an inner, good nature that he'd get embarrassed about admitting having. I remember that Floramon liked that part of him a lot. She wasn't too happy when he didn't return home that one year. He just dropped out of sight. This is the first time that I've seen him since."
"So what about you?" Asked Terriermon with a happy grin on his face. "Where are you from if I may I ask?"
Minoru paused to collect himself before answering.
"A long ways away," he said finally. "In fact, I don't think that I could really give an answer. I've never been to…this part of the world before. It's kinda complicated. One moment I was somewhere else, back home that is, and the next I woke up in the middle of a path that led here with no memory of how I got here."
"Hmmm…" Terriermon tapped one tiny hand on the bottom of his chin as he furrowed his brow in concentration. "I wonder if you were caught up in a data stream. Back when I went to Togemon's school she told us about how they happened all the time. But I thought that the Seraphim fixed that when he came to power and established the Servers."
Minoru looked at the little dog-bunny-thing creature with amazement.
For a dream, this dream sure has a lot of history and important figures that I don't know anything about. Seraphim? Isn't that a type of angel? Wonder why Terriermon here refers to it in the singular.
Minoru shrugged it off mentally, not feeling as though there was any importance to the matter. There was enough about this Digital World that confused him. The reality of this place, this dream continued to confound him to no end despite the fact that everything that he saw and encountered was anything but the reality that he had grown accustomed to during his twelve years of existence. None of it added up, and too much of it felt like a children's cartoon.
Robots that have witty comebacks and talk snidely to customers? Helpful imps? This is like a demented, warped version of an Alice in Wonderland story! Any second now I'll be hearing the Queen of Hearts showing up, screaming 'off with his head' or something…
"OFF WITH HIS HEAD!"
Minoru's eyes widened in shock as he spun around, only to relax as his gaze turned into a glower as he saw a strange, hamster like creature with an orange dinosaur playing with what looked like a pair of hand dolls at one of the festival's play attractions.
"Agumon and Patamon's doing the QueenChessmon routine again," chuckled Terriermon as he adjusted his cap. "I love it when they do the guillotine scene. Always gets the little In-Training's laughing when the sock puppets go to pieces. I think the PawnChessmon revolt is after this one. Too bad we can't stick around for that."
"Yeah," said Minoru, his voice a smooth monotone from his near scare, one eye twitching visibly though Terriermon was too busy laughing at the act in front of them to pay any notice. "Too bad."
"Anyway," continued Terriermon as he shifted the shovel held in his ears carefully. "I think that we've got only one more trash receptacle in this area remaining, and then after we get rid of the trash bag we can go see Datamon for further instructio…"
Terriermon was interrupted by the sound of a loud crash followed by a tent suddenly and inexplicably flying through the air before returning to earth. Loud, intense roars and the sound of stamping feet filled the air. Terriermon dropped his shovel in surprise.
"Ah! What the…?"
"Isn't that coming from the tent where all those big, horned dinosaurs are?" He asked nervously. Terriermon's eyes bulged out of their sockets as realization hit him.
"AH! THE MONOCHROMON! Oh man! Datamon's going to blow a gasket when he gets wind of this! Well? Don't just stand there! We've got to do something to stop them before they stampede out of control and trample the whole place! Boy, what a day for Birdramon and Kuwagamon to be out of town! Come on, Humon!"
"Hey! Wait! We're not actually going to…" Minoru halted as Terriermon sped off towards the disturbance, pumping his tiny legs as fast as they could go, which was rather surprising given their size. After a couple seconds of hesitation Minoru chased after him, trying to keep up with the little speed demon. Another tent flew through the air as the sound of a Monochromon roaring angrily echoed throughout the encampment, drowning out the screams of startled and frightened digimon.
This is so stupid, thought Minoru as he hastily dodged a chunk of tent as it came flying in his direction. This is just a dream! Why is this even happening?!
The sound of two heavy bodies colliding together was his only answer as the human boy continued to follow Terriermon through the chaos that had suddenly exploded within the festival grounds.
The red rage of Monochromon wasn't the only one that colored the landscape. A plume of smoke rose in the sky as roaring fires licked at wooden houses. Shards of data particles filled the air as a dark figure walked amongst their charred and burning ruins. Red anger simmered within the figures eyes as he stalked towards an inert form lying in the center of the remains of the town. The form was coughing and shaking badly as the ground crunched beneath the approaching figure's feet. Bladed talons glowed a blood red color in the burning, simmering aura of the flames that surrounded them. Dark blue muscles flexed beneath red armor as the figure came to a stop atop the shaking, helpless creature before him.
Mine! Thought the figure as a memory suddenly flared to life in his mind, a memory that was brought forth by the sight of the round, orange colored, bat winged digimon lying in front of his bladed feet. Patamon…you…he took what was mine! Took it when he had no right to! This was supposed to be my time! My time…with her! Not his! How dare he! How dare he do that?!
The sound of a support beam giving away was heard peripherally, reminding him of the destruction that he had caused; the savagery that he had unleashed when he had returned home and had seen his love…his one and only love with this…this bat pig! Shameful…despicable! The others of the village had tried to stop him when he had lunged at Patamon. They failed of course…died in fact. The ExVeemon adults had put up a good fight, as did she, but they were no match for him. It had seemed as though he had been filled with great strength. With a fire, a rage that went beyond even their paltry attacks. For an instant, he was repulsed by what he had done, but he had been left with no time at all to dwell on it.
Ever since that incident in the cave, the figure thought, his mind feeling strangely fogged, as though smothered by the smoke from the flames that he had caused. I haven't been able to…think…properly…
The orange, bat winged digimon that he had once called his friend stirred beneath him, and then it felt as though the entire world was aflame again. Rage once more ignited in his heart as the figure raised one, clawed gauntlet. A scythe like arm blade reflected the light from the fire as he towered over the Patamon. Patamon looked up, eyes weary. He was too badly hurt and tired to even feel fear now. A shame. He had been saved for last just so that he could look into his eyes for just that very emotion.
"Please…" Patamon whispered. The arm hovered in the air for a moment before descending downwards. There followed a loud, thuck sound and then, orange and white shards of data floated into the air listlessly, becoming invisible against the fire that raged around them.
Now, thought the creature that had once been a Veemon. The fire in his heart feasted on the devastation that he had wrought…all in the name of love, but it was not enough. All that he had known was gone now, because of her, and even though his treasured Gatomon and her treasured Patamon had now paid the price for their misdeeds (and oh how he had taken great satisfaction in seeing Gatomon's blue eyes quake in fear), it still wasn't enough. The fire in his breast burned hotly, and refused to be quenched by just this mere taste of vengeance and fury. Smote the skies with ruin? They were beyond his reach right now, but surely…
The darkened digimon who had been consumed in the darkness of the cave paused as a thought occurred to him.
Yes…I rather like the sound of that.
The demonic digimon chuckled as he flexed his talons and turned, seeking to reorient himself within the flame and smoke filled ruins of the town he had once called home.
I think that it's time to touch off a festivity that no one will soon forget…
It seemed rather…appropriate. A final fire for the dream of a love lost…