DISCLAIMER: I don't own Digimon, but I do own the OCs introduced in this story and later stories (except where stated).
And so the fifth book arrives, after a short confusing glimpse of the future in "Acts of War", an Extra Dimensions story, that I presume most of you have read.
Unlike the previous books, this one will be set completely within Tokyo (probably, unless I seriously change my plans), and will also virtually all be within the same day, making it an interesting book to write. No time zones and faraway locations to bother with (which, despite being interesting, after doing it four books in a row gets tiresome, although it is by no means not returning), and a nice mix of talk and action, with some surprises to boot. This will also be slightly darker in tone than previous books, particularly if I can pull off some of the events I have planned correctly.
Thanks to all those that have reviewed up to now, by the way, as well as my many readers.
And so, on with the tale, after an age update (some Tamers have had their birthdays between these two books):
Kari, TK, Yolei – 15
Takato, Rika, Kazu, Davis, Henry, Kazu, Ryo, Jeri, Ken – 16
Mimi – 18
Tai, Sora, Matt, Izzy, Joe – 19
Ai and Mako – 5
Suzie – 10
Cody, Kristy – 11
WARNING: DO NOT READ ON IF YOU HAVE NOT READ BOOKS ONE TO FOUR AND THEIR ASSOCIATED EXTRA DIMENSIONS STORIES FIRST, THERE IS A MASSIVE SPOILER A SHORT WAY DOWN THIS CHAPTER THAT WILL RUIN THE FIRST FEW BOOKS FOR ANYONE NEW. FIND THE OTHER BOOKS VIA MY PROFILE. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED.
BOOK 5 – DEMONS
Her Uncomfortable Truth
Shinjuku General Hospital
3rd July 2010
Rika's eyes faded as they glazed over, Dr Imai watching as the realisation swept over her. She seemed to shiver, hairs on her skin standing on end. Dr Imai looked on with concern at her reaction, as she sat for an entire minute without speaking, and, unbeknownst to Dr Imai, but noticed by Harmony, without even thinking as the shock swept over her.
When she finally spoke, her voice sounded broken, hoarse and weak, her forcing the question through to ask.
"Are…are you sure?" she asked.
Dr Imai nodded. "I ran the test several times…you're about five weeks pregnant…" she replied.
Rika blinked, her blank expression continuing.
"I understand that this may be surprising news to you?" Dr Imai asked. Rika nodded subtly, mouth still hung slightly open where it had been for a while. "Do you wish to talk to someone?"
"No…" Rika replied quickly, before backing her reaction up with an explanation. "I just…want a chance to think about things…"
"Do you want me to leave the room?"
"No…please, don't go…" Rika told her. Dr Imai noticed the sheer contrast between this girl and the one she had occasionally seen during battles on the television. That Rika seemed to be determined, confident, and independent. This Rika seemed hesitant, vulnerable and lonely.
Rika lay her head down on the pillow, looking at the white ceiling above, seeing random shapes cross her vision.
'Rika?'Harmony asked, caution in her voice.
'What?' Rika replied.
'Are you okay?'
'What do you think?' Rika replied spitefully.
Rika finally began to put coherent thoughts together, as she tried to get her head around what she had been told. 'Okay…so I'm pregnant…it's definitely Takato's…I'm 16 and still in school…I'm also an active Digimon Tamer…and part of a God…what the hell do I do?'
Rika sat up, looking into the doctor's eyes.
"What do I do?" she asked quietly.
"That is up to you I'm afraid…" the doctor replied, her voice a mix of care and concern for the girl in front of her.
Rika sighed, staring into blank air again.
"Don't answer if you don't feel comfortable with it, but, do you know who the father is?" the doctor asked.
Rika nodded. "Yeah, I do…" she replied, still quietly.
"Are you going to tell him?"
"Of course…" Rika replied. Dr Imai was thankful to see some confidence in her voice; it implied that she was still in a relationship with whoever the father was. "Eventually…" Rika added. "I've just got to get my head round things first…"
"Well, if you do decide to have the child, then I will be your Doctor throughout the pregnancy, if you wish…"
Rika smiled bravely; glad to know that she had some support. "Thanks…" she replied quietly.
Dr Imai passed her a card. "It's got my number written on it, if you ever need anyone to talk to, simply call it…" she said smiling, as Rika took the card thankfully. "I suggest that you get some rest, you did get injured regardless…" she added.
Rika nodded, as she stood up off the bed. "Thanks…" she told the doctor, her expression and behaviour still well out-of-the-ordinary, her face mostly blank. She walked to the door.
"Good luck…" the doctor told her. Rika smiled weakly and nodded, leaving the room.
Takato smiled thankfully to see Rika arriving back at the waiting room, although was slightly curious as to the considerable amount of time she spent in the room, given that it was only minor injuries by their standards, himself having received similar injuries in the past and simply being able to walk them off, given that they were normally in the hospital-free Digital World when it occurred. He decided not to ask so as not to create an awkward situation, and stood up to greet her, Rumiko doing likewise. Seiko and Kristy stayed seated, and Renamon stood against a nearby wall silently, panning her head to watch her Tamer arrive. Guilmon and Kudamon watched with curiosity, as Calumon floated up onto Rika's head cheerfully.
"Everything okay?" Takato asked, after a quick embrace with Rika, which she seemed to resist oddly. She seemed shaken for some reason, but he decided not to ask right now, saving it for a time later when it would be more private.
"Yeah…" she replied, her voice weak and lacking the normal confidence with which she did things.
"Thank goodness…" Rumiko told her.
"What do you want to do now then?" Takato asked.
"I…I just want to get some bed rest if you don't mind…" Rika replied. Seiko cocked an eyebrow at her granddaughter's unusual behaviour, but decided to leave it for the time being.
"Sure…" Takato replied, his voice now unconfident as well, unsure how to deal with Rika's strange mood swing.
"Are you okay?" Calumon asked, optimistic as ever, peering over the top of Rika's head.
"I'm fine…" Rika replied, irritancy in her voice. "Just tired…that's all…" she replied, walking past her partners and Takato, Renamon quickly following as Calumon leapt off her red hair and onto the ground, curiosity crossing his features.
"What's wrong with Rika?" Guilmon asked.
"I'm not sure boy…" Takato replied. "I'll try and talk to her…"
"Can you take her and Kristy home? I've got to go food shopping or it'll be my daughter's poisonous dinners again" Seiko asked, chuckling.
"Hey!" Rumiko complained.
"Sure, I'll take them home, don't worry about it…" Takato told the older woman humbly and reassuringly.
"Thanks…and I presume you're going back to work dear?" she added, turning to Rumiko.
"Yes, I left in the middle of a photo shoot…" the blonde replied.
Kristy stood up. "Let's get moving, or my sister will be miles away by the time we find her…" Kristy said to Takato glumly. Takato nodded, as he was followed by Guilmon, Kristy and Kudamon out of the hospital, Calumon having as usual, vanished, either to terrorise the nurses, or to make them amazed at how cute he was. Seiko and Rumiko went in different directions to him and Kristy, as they came to a standstill.
"We lost her…" Takato complained. Renamon appeared out of thin air, cancelling her perception filter and scaring Takato, but not the eleven year old next to him.
"Hey Renamon, do you know where Rika went?" Kristy asked. Renamon nodded, and gestured for them to follow.
Hurrying slightly, they soon caught up with the redhead, although by her slow pace and distracted nature, it was clear their haste was unneeded.
"Rika, are you sure you're…" Takato began.
"I'm fine!" Rika insisted, breaking out of her distraction as they headed towards the Nonaka household. Takato frowned, Rika was acting very strangely, and he wanted to find out what was wrong, but she wasn't helping.
'She's crazier than usual…'
Takato mentally nodded unsurely. 'I'm not sure, she's acting strangely…it's odd…what's wrong with her?'
'That time of the month?'
Takato sighed. 'She was acting her normal self this morning, what the hell happened in the Doctor's surgery?'
'Takato, I know it's really strange for me to say this, but maybe you should just mind your own business.'
'I don't normally buy all that touchy-feely crap, but if something's bugging her, you just have to wait until she feels comfortable to tell you. Rika of all people isn't the type to just tell people easily if something is bugging her, and it surprises me that you of all people haven't realised that.'
'Good, now shut the hell up so I can go back to sleep…'
Hypnos, Floor 29, Tokyo Metropolitan Building
Riley sighed and leaned back in her seat, looking over her coloured control panel, with its incredible combination of buttons that changed based on context that required skill to operate effectively, and quickly, providing them job security for as long as Hypnos existed. Yamaki sat below, and Tally in the opposite chair, as the tedium of the day resumed after the earlier attack. Rika had been reported to be fine, and it seemed that they were in for another uneventful day. Riley absent-mindedly scrolled through the information, checking everything was as it should be.
"It's been so quiet recently…" Tally complained. Riley nodded, apart from the attack the day before and an attack two weeks ago, bioemerges had been extremely limited. Normally there would be at least one a week, but lately it had been so incredibly quiet. It gave them - rather in most cases the Monster Makers who had become like Hypnos' programming team - a chance to work on various programs, refining them and improving them, but it still felt strange that the quantity of bioemerges had cut back all of a sudden.
'Ever since the battle with Yggdrasil, all our systems have been gathering dust…what's going on in the Digital World?' Riley thought. "Sir…" she called out.
Yamaki clicked his lighter, and looked up at his current girlfriend, although he would never use that term to describe their relationship. "Yes Riley?" he asked.
"Sir, do you think it is worth running a scan on the Digital World?" she asked.
"I am curious as to the infrequency of bioemerges lately sir," she replied, their relationship not leading to the dropping of terms of politeness and hierarchy from speech.
"Same, it seems really strange that we've gone from multiple ones a week to a situation where one a fortnight is likely…" Tally added.
Yamaki nodded. "Okay then, go ahead, run the scan and report back with your findings…"
Riley nodded. "Thank you sir…"
She began to type away on the keyboard, figures flashing up on the wrap-around screens as she did so.
Rika, continuing her blank nature, turned the key in the lock and opened the front gate to her home, Kristy standing curiously behind alongside a nervous Takato. The gate swung open and they crossed the short distance to the front door, which she opened, entering the house. She slipped off her shoes, before walking down the hallway along the side of their home. Takato and Kristy looked to each other in confusion as Renamon decided to follow the redhead. Takato swiftly followed herself, Guilmon about to follow.
"Guilmon, do you want to play tag in the yard?" she asked. Guilmon nodded, concern for his partner and Rika in his tone as he spoke.
"Sure…" the dino replied.
"Kudamon, are you going to play?" Kristy asked. Kudamon thought about it for a second. "Come on, you never play…"
Kudamon sighed. "Okay then…" he replied. Kristy smiled.
"Good…" she said, as they stepped out into the back yard.
"Rika, are you okay?" Takato asked, opening the door to her room gently. He noticed Rika lying on top of her futon, and Renamon standing silently against the wall nearby, looking at her Tamer, eyes running deep with concern. Renamon glanced to Takato, a move which Rika didn't do at the same time.
"Yes…" Rika replied, still staring at the ceiling.
"You don't seem okay…" Takato said, sliding the door closed gently and looking down at Rika.
"I'm fine…" Rika insisted.
Takato sighed, and sat on the floor, remembering Chaos' words of earlier. He resisted continuing to pursue the subject, and decided to talk about something else.
"That was the first bioemergence in two weeks…" he noted. Rika nodded glumly, looking over and noticing that he had changed the subject.
"Yeah…" she replied, lacking interest in what he was saying. Takato sighed, listening to the girl and the dino play outside, along with cries for Kudamon to join in the game of tag they were playing more than he was, and calls to avoid falling in the pond. The cheerfulness contrasted greatly with what Takato saw as an unjustified negativism in the air inside Rika's bedroom, or at least something along those lines. He moved towards Rika, still confused as to what had happened between just over an hour ago, when they sat calmly in the park, her on his lap with his arms around her waist, pausing only to complain about Kristy, and now, Rika being distant and Takato being left completely unsure of what he should do. Even Renamon had no idea what to do, simply watching as Takato moved to sit next to Rika, the later still lying on the futon. He smiled to her, and she smiled back, an obviously fake smile to him, hiding her real emotions, before she closed her eyes.
The sounds of outside continued, including the sound of Kudamon and Guilmon running into each other, and Kristy telling the dino to get off the ferret before he was squashed flat as a pancake. Takato stood up, and walked to the door, sliding it open to get a look, and in the process not eliciting more than a sideways glance from Rika, who still didn't move from her position on top of the futon. She opened her eyes, looking back to the ceiling again.
"Are you okay?" Takato asked.
"Yes, I told you I'm fine!" Rika insisted, sitting up, now vexed, before her anger subsided. Takato and Kristy looked back to her, Kristy now standing outside the room with Guilmon and Kudamon.
"Um…I was talking to Kudamon…" Takato said nervously.
"Fine…" Rika replied, still slightly irritated, as she began listening to their conversation from behind them.
"I am fine thank you…" Kudamon replied, politely as ever.
"This garden is too small, Guilmon's going to squash someone soon…" Kristy said to Takato. "I wanna go to the park…"
"You want me to come with, don't you?" Takato asked, cottoning on to what Kristy was implying.
"Yeah, after what happened this morning…plus, I want Guilmon to play too, and I can't remember how to get back to where you live to return him…"
"Hey, I'm not an object!" Guilmon complained.
"You squash like an object…" Kudamon noted, maturely and calmly despite the arrogant nature of what he said, as Guilmon moaned in complaint. Takato turned to face Rika, who was still sitting up watching his dialogue with Kristy and the Digimon.
"Do you mind if I go take Kristy to the park?" Takato asked nervously.
"Go ahead…" Rika replied monotonously. Takato sighed.
"Thanks…" Kristy said to her sister, as she dragged Takato away, Guilmon and Kudamon following, the former Digimon pausing only to take a quick glance to his lover, who nodded in response.
Rika sighed, and looked up at the ceiling, placing her hand on her still-flat stomach. Renamon sighed, completely unsure how to approach this situation without getting the same response that Takato got in his attempts, as she heard the front door to the home close.
It was going to be one of those days.
Tokyo Metropolitan Building
Despite the sheer power of the computers that Hypnos had to hand, power that most video gamers would wet themselves over the concept of, it still took a full twenty minutes to complete the scan of the now vast Digital World, due to it consisting now of all four former quadrants.
The scan itself was harmless, it simply involved reading every piece of data, creating a record, and sorting those records into categories of data, such as Digimon, landscape, buildings, Digital Gnomes and Unknown, the last category of which was normally mostly empty. The scan also created a map of the Digital World, which thanks to the increased size of it, took up most of the screen, or had to be displayed at a low zoom level.
The scan, despite its quick running time and lack of effect on Hypnos' monitoring duties, was rarely used, ranging from once a month to once every six months, Hypnos' duties normally only concerned with the real world, and the bioemergences into it.
"The scan is complete sir…" Tally told Yamaki.
"Bring up the data…" he ordered. The doors slid open, and Yamaki turned and frowned to see one of the random assistants of Hypnos', looking like he was staring into the face of a lion.
The man gulped, he had been told to report the news to Yamaki, since he was the youngest member of the team downstairs, and hence made to do all the menial tasks that no-one older would even think of doing. Yamaki was known to be an imposing boss, making relatively pleasant conversation only with his top level operatives, namely Riley and Tally, and the Monster Makers, namely Tao, AKA Janyuu Wong, Dolphin, AKA Rob McCoy, Curly, AKA Rai Aishuwarya, Babel and Daisy, whom's real names the man was yet to learn, and of course, Shibumi, AKA Gorou Mizuno, who seemed to be one of the few kind people in this department, despite his dreamer nature leading to much confusion in the man about Shibumi's ideas. The man coughed nervously, before preparing to begin to speak.
"What is it?" Yamaki asked irritated.
The man coughed nervously. "Well…sir…you see…"
"If it is not important to the Digital Monster situation then go away…"
"A building collapsed in Tokyo…" the man replied, nervously still.
"Is it traceable to a Digimon?" Yamaki asked.
"We haven't tried yet…"
"Then go away and find out, we do not have the time to mess around with whatever is in the news today!" Yamaki shouted.
"Yes sir…" the man replied nervously, turning and leaving via the sliding doors as quickly as his feet would take him.
"The incompetence…" Yamaki scowled to himself.
He turned his attention back to his operatives and the wrap-around screen, now displaying a series of figures and data in labels with arrows pointing to a map of the Digital World, all moving dynamically as they scrolled through them.
"Anything of interest?" he asked.
"Still looking sir…" Tally asserted, slightly peeved that she was expected to somehow analyse such high quantities of data in such a quick time.
"World size is basically same as in last check…" Riley quoted soon after, analysing the data.
"Natural increases of complications of data in world due to natural entropy of internet…" Tally added.
After a few moments, Riley made a sound of surprise, as she began to flick through the data.
"What is it?" Yamaki asked.
"One second…" Riley replied, voice having more than a hint of agitation. "Just checking something…"
Yamaki frowned, and clicked his lighter. Despite kicking the habit associated with the device years ago, it had become a signal of his stress, and the clicking was something that drove Riley and Tally mad every day until they got used to it. The clicking accompanied tedium or tension, and exactly which was normally hard to tell unless you knew the current situation.
"Tally, bring up the data for number of Digimon on a graph, using the previous sets of results as well…" Riley told her colleague, who nodded.
Yamaki looked up at the data, as it formed. It was a graph, plotted with the results for the past year of each time they had run the scan. Up until five weeks prior, it zigzagged up and down only slightly, every fall met by an increase in the rate of new Digimon, every rise met by a decrease in the rate of new Digimon.
However, suddenly and seemingly for no reason at all, at five weeks the quantity tailed off, sloping downwards all of a sudden over the past two sets of results, including the latest set collected that day.
"What's going on?" Yamaki asked. "The number of Digimon is…decreasing?"
"It would explain the decreased rate of bioemergence…" Tally noted.
"What is causing it though?" Yamaki asked.
"That's a good question…" Riley replied.
"Any sign of the D-Reaper?" Tally asked. Riley shook her head.
"No, it seems like a natural decrease. The number of Digimon naturally decreases as they kill each other and load data, but the creation rate has fallen to zero. The Digital World is in terminal extinction" Riley explained, a concerned tone in her voice.
"Call Janyuu and his son, along with the Monster Makers, immediately, this is something that will be of importance to them" Yamaki ordered.
"Doing so…" Riley replied, dialling the first number of several, the Monster Makers inevitably having to postpone their weekend plans. 'I hope they have some idea what is going on…'
TO BE CONTINUED…
And so we begin with another story, the sub-plot and main plot taking form (guess which one is which). A mix of emotional stuff with Rika in this chapter with the technical details of Hypnos' operation. Please review.
Will Rika tell anyone, let alone Takato? When Takato does inevitably find out, how will he react? What is wrong with the Digital World, and can they prevent it?
Find out in 'Her Confession', Chapter Two of Dimensions Book Five: Demons.