DISCLAIMER: I don't own Digimon, but I do own the OCs introduced in this story (except where stated).
Thanks go out to Crazyeight for beta-reading this chapter, as well as to all my reviewers for reviewing.
On a world scale, Tokyo is definitely a place to be known for the unknown. Be it monsters like Godzilla tearing through the city time and time again in films, or the current Wild One problem currently terrorizing the city more or less daily, if you want to see the paranormal, Tokyo is the place to be.
However, for those not wanting to see (and be scared by) the paranormal, living in Tokyo is a concern. Thankfully, the vast majority of people in this fair city has no knowledge of the threats, and hence feels no unease about them.
The problem is, if the general public were to find out, it would cause mass panic, hysteria even. And so, a secret government agency, previously intended only to monitor the Internet for threats, has had its remit extended, albeit not officially, to cover the wild one problem.
Yamaki frowned. Even if that were their official remit, they were doubtless doing poorly in that regards. They had currently managed to be unsuccessful in a significant number of attempts to prevent the wild ones bioemerging, the process by which these creatures would materialize in the real world. Yuggoth, albeit useful in some cases, struggled with the more complex data patterns they had encountered lately. Yuggoth worked by deleting the Wild One before the paralyzing effect of the Digital Field ended. This had provoked Yamaki to design a new, unapproved program, called the Digital Field Deletion Program, or, as it had begun to be known by him and his two chief operators, Riley Ootori and Tally Onodera, Sweeper.
Sweeper's operation consisted of removing the Digital Field around the Wild One before it could fully form itself in the real world. The intention was that this would destabilize and corrupt the creature, and cause them to break down. However, unlike Yuggoth that was targeted directly onto a point, that is, the Digimon, Sweeper could have unknown environmental effects, something which Riley and Tally had been concerned about.
A small price to pay,' Yamaki thought, a small smirk trying to tug his mouth into a smile. It was to no avail; Yamaki's expression down turned as he looked around at the control room, Riley and Tally continuing to type away as they controlled the threats, or at least, attempted to.
Sweeper was exactly like Yuggoth in one respect. Neither worked. The Wild One the previous day had managed to survive it and reattempt bioemerging. Yamaki scowled, if they were real creatures he'd have caused it a survival instinct, but these things were nothing but mere clumps of data that happened by accident.
"Sir, I've detected a disruption in the network data stream," Tally reported from her workstation, Yamaki turning from his thoughts to face the glowing monitors and those sitting in front of them.
"Origin?" he demanded, his voice vexed and yet still showing command and confidence simultaneously.
"I'm sorry sir, I'm not sure," Tally answered, nervousness joining her tone as she contemplated his reply. Yamaki scowled, turning to face the equipment as Tally silently breathed a sigh of relief, returning to her monitoring duties.
It seemed that others had more success than they did at suppressing the Wild Ones. Two children had acquired the creatures, known to them as Digimon based on the TV series and card game of the same name (which Yamaki had dismissed as but a mere coincidence), and currently seemed to fight alongside them as partners. Worse still, they seemed to be able to track the bioemergences far better, using both a program in the devices they had somehow acquired (and that Yamaki had intended to copy upon previously acquiring the girl's device, a plan unfortunately foiled due to the incompetence of his staff) and the innate ability in the creatures themselves to sense those of their own kind.
Yamaki clicked his lighter as he contemplated the fact that mere children were going out to fight in what was clearly a serious matter. They had so far managed to avoid any major public sightings, but Yamaki knew that it would only be a matter of time before the public knew about it.
He would get rid of these pests that had infected their world, and then he would deal serious repercussions to those children for associating themselves with them. He was not going to have his own agency, a sophisticated high-tech government operation spearheaded by a boss who had worked his way to the top through intelligence and proven skill, be beaten by a couple of children with their little pet Digimon'.
It was time for a new tactic.
"Takatomon!" cheered a child-like voice as a red dinosaur leapt forward from a concrete shack and pushed a child with a mop of brown hair, yellow goggles and blue hooded jacket to the ground, his friend with blue hair and an orange jacket staring on. To an unknowing stranger, it would look like a scene out of a horror movie.
The Creature that Ate Peanut Butter…' Henry thought, smiling at the scene as Takato groaned at the weight on top of him.
"Okay, two things…" he said, his voice strained. "First, get off of me!" he complained, as Guilmon stepped aside.
"Sorry," the saurian apologized, not showing any real regret for his actions, or even knowing that they were wrong.
"Second, can you please stop calling me Takatomon?" Takato continued, getting to his feet and looking down at the creature as its golden eyes stared curiously up into his hazel ones.
"Huh? Why not?" Guilmon asked, tilting his head in confusion.
"Because it's not my name!" Takato complained.
"Oh…well, what is your name?" Guilmon asked. Takato groaned, scratching his head. "Huh…" Guilmon answered, before attempting to reproduce Takato's groan. "Rahaahaah…that's a funny name…" he answered, smiling.
"My name is Takato!" Takato insisted.
"Oh…" the creature answered. "Since when?"
"Since ever!" Takato insisted, Guilmon looking curiously back at his Tamer.
"Oh" he answered again.
"Well, you two get along like a house on fire," Henry interrupted, breaking the silence that had descended. "What's gotten into you today anyway Takato?" he asked, his tone inquisitive.
"Huh, what do you mean?" Takato asked, looking to his friend as he patted Guilmon's head.
"You're normally a lot more tolerant of Guilmon's actions like that. Well, at least in the time I've been watching you, you have been" Henry explained.
Takato frowned. "Sorry, just been thinking about this whole Rika and Renamon business all day."
"Oh…" Henry answered, nodding. "Yeah, it's concerning me too."
"I mean, I'm not saying I don't enjoy the extra battles," Takato began, invoking a frown from Henry at his enjoyment of killing (mostly) innocent creatures. Takato paused, before continuing. "But…what happens when something comes along that's too powerful for me and Guilmon to deal with?" he asked. Henry frowned.
"Yeah, you guys do go well together, in battle at least…well, when you're not trying to kill each other, or having a squabble at least" Henry noted.
"Hey, she starts most of the fights!" Takato complained.
Henry frowned, noting Takato's child-like attitude. He didn't blame the kid for it, they were children after all, but he was dealing with things way beyond what most children had to deal with. He was facing dangers far worse than simply falling down the stairs' or getting into a fight at school', these truly were matters of life and death, and yet Takato somehow always approached things with an optimistic edge. The kid was hard to keep unhappy for long.
Rika seemed to approach battles without a care for the life and death implications, but in a far different way to Takato. She always seemed to be confident that she'd come out on top. Henry sighed; it would inevitably lead to her downfall, if the pair of them didn't learn to work together. That was, if Rika ever became a Tamer again.
Henry knew he had little influence on the events as they unfolded. Rika, for starters, wouldn't listen to him, and Takato didn't take his words seriously enough. He silently wished that he had his own partner, but knew that that would simply complicate matters further, as he inevitably would have to become involved in killing other Digimon.
He also knew that, with Rika having declared her hatred of Digimon and disowning of Renamon, there was only one actual Tamer remaining in Tokyo.
Henry shivered. The thought left him with an odd unease. He wasn't sure why, Takato was his friend, but banking the whole city and it's populace on him felt far too risky. Takato seemed to need someone to follow in his attempts to become better, someone to advise him, be it Henry himself with the card game, or Rika with the real thing. Takato was definitely going to make a major mistake if he was left unchecked; it was inevitable, particularly with his clumsiness. And a mistake in this situation could mean innocent lives lost. Takato would have to learn to take things more seriously.
"Henry?" the boy asked, trying to get his friend's attention. Henry looked to him, pulling out from staring on into space and frowning.
"Sorry, I was just thinking about everything."
"Okay…hey, what time is it?" Takato asked, cocking his head.
Henry glanced to his watch, before back to his friend. "Thirty-five past four, why?"
"Aw nuts, I've got to go help at the bakery…five minutes ago…" Takato answered, preparing to leave, pausing to look at the blue-haired boy. "You can stay and talk to Guilmon if you want?" he suggested.
Henry shook his head. "Sorry, I've got Martial Arts practice to attend to…" he answered, turning himself to head the other way, before turning back to the dinosaur and his Tamer. "Bye Guilmon, see ya Takato…" he said, walking away.
"Okay, I'll see you later!" Takato called, as Henry walked away. "Bye Guilmon," he said to his partner as he turned.
"Bye Takato," the saurian replied.
A smile crept onto Takato's face, as he turned back to his partner. "Hey, you got it right this time!"
"Oh…did I?" Guilmon asked innocently, poking his mouth with one of his claws.
"What did I get right? I can't remember," Guilmon whinedTakato groaning in response. Would Guilmon ever get this right?
Yamaki stared at the buildings of the school, frowning as his lighter clicked. The last time he'd been here, he'd been unaware of its significance besides simply being a bioemergence site. But now, from his research into those children, he'd found out that one of the children with Digimon attended here, Takato Matsuki. He had contemplated simply having the boy arrested, but that would be far too public for his liking. Too many people would know.
His research had turned up another interesting fact, that about the other boy he had seen when observing the battle the previous day. The boy, identified as Henry Wong, appeared to have no Digimon, and hence seemed like far less of an important figure in all of these matters. However, it turned out that his father did have some significance. His father, Janyuu Wong, was one of the Monster Makers; the group that had created the Digimon in the first place back in the 1980s.
It would be a delicious touch of irony if Henry were to be harmed by his father's creation. Perhaps that would make the man see the implications of his project.
Shoes tapped concrete as a girl crossed the distance between her front gate and her home's front door via the wide paving stones laid out as a path. She paused upon reaching the front of the house, turning to glance around the garden and its walls. She frowned as she saw nothing.
"I knew she wasn't coming back. All that partner stuff is nonsense…like she ever really cared about me," she commented, her voice downed and with faint tinges of sadness that even she was unaware of. "No matter what she says," she insisted, stepping around the side to look upon the pond overlooked by her room. "If she really cared, she'd be here," she added, a faint sense of longing embedded within her harsher tones. "She was just using me…" she added, as her gaze as cast down to the grass, a saddened sigh escaping her.
Yamaki had only just stepped but three paces through the door when Tally spoke up, although she wasn't speaking to him in particular. "A wild one…" she noted, before glancing to his glare, and moving into the standard routine. "Tracer set to monitor progress."
Henry walked along the path through the park, taking a leisurely stroll to his lessons. Despite his rather prompt exit, he had little reason to hurry. He supposed he could've stayed and talked to Guilmon, but he doubted any serious conversation would result, and the dinosaur was somewhat unpredictable. He didn't want to have to endure being pounced on like Takato did on a daily basis; it looked painful enough for him.
Despite all of that, Henry still felt longings for wanting a partner. Not a partner identical to Renamon or Guilmon (and certainly not like Calumon or Impmon), but a partner to call his own, and to be friends with. Sure, he'd have to fight in battles, but he hoped that would be negated by everything that happened away from the battlefield. Takato looked so cheerful with Guilmon, and it seemed to have helped his confidence too. Henry hadn't paid much attention to Takato before the day Guilmon escaped in the park, but from what he had seen of (and heard about) him, he tended to be somewhat withdrawn with no proper friends. He also seemed to have a habit of saying the wrong thing in the wrong way. Once the normal friendship groups had been established in any class, any newcomers (or people left out) would always find it hard to fit in. Takato's class was somewhat notorious both for its homework-heavy teacher and unruly pupils, and this seemed to have stunted Takato further.
It was a shame really; Takato was a nice kid once Henry had gotten to know him. Sure, he could be a dreamer sometimes, but he seemed to have kindness towards most people. Henry knew that he himself couldn't have put up with Rika if he were in Takato's position. Still, he'd like to be in a position similar to Takato at least.
A plume of white fog in the distance interrupted his musings, as he stopped.
Maybe he'd find at least something of interest from it. Something told him to stop and run away, but another tinge in his mind told him that he could find a partner in it. Later on, he'd reflect on how stupid he'd been.
A burst like a geyser shot upwards, as three shadows burst from it, looking eagerly about at their new world, a baseball pitch. Their bodies were small, and bipedal, with a dull red tint to their skin. Two small dark gray and white ears came out of holes in their dark-grey head armour, similar to the mace-like shoulder armour. Their body ended in a tail-like abdomen, a small spike tip poking from the bottom. Wings vibrated as they flew forwards, pausing when their path was blocked by a yellow vixen appearing out of nowhere.
The closest of the group growled, racing forward towards the vixen and hitting…nothing. It paused, turning as it saw the Kitsune again nearby.
"Things not what they seem?" the fox taunted.
"Renamon…" Rika murmured quietly, panic settling into her voice, as she ran up to the fence around the pitch.
"Huh? What's wrong?" Calumon asked, as always never being far from a battle in progress as he leapt from a bush.
Renamon turned to face one of the approaching Digimon, appearing unaware of another one creeping up behind her, getting closer and closer as it prepared its attack.
A swift movement of the tail threw this particular one away, before she slashed forwards at the threat she could see; slicing through its tiny body and it broke apart into data.
"One down…easy…" she noted, as another drew silently up behind her.
She turned her head upon hearing a noise, but was too late to stop the stinger as it embedded itself in her leg, sending poison into her system as her eyes widened.
"Where'd that come from?" she asked, promptly pulling it out but being too late to avoid herself collapsing to her knees with a groan, as the predators moved closer to her. She clenched her fist, feeling the pain resound through her as she placed her other hand on the floor to avoid collapsing completely. "Rika…where are you?" she asked, looking aside, before frowning.
What was she thinking? Why would Rika, a self-declared hater of all Digimon who despised Renamon so, ever come for her? More to the point, why did Renamon want the girl to come to her rescue? She was far more powerful than that; she didn't need Rika in order to win this battle.
'I have to do this alone…'
Henry cocked an eyebrow at seeing the girl simply standing there staring into the mist. What was she doing? Calumon looked curiously up at her from next to her shoe. Why wasn't she joining the fight?
"Rika?" he asked, pausing as the girl showed no reaction. "Why are you missing the fight?" he asked, noting how unusual this was for her. Was her tiff with Renamon affecting her that much? She stared on into the fog with a depressed expression on her face. "Where's Renamon, is she in there?" he asked. Rika was acting really out of character for her, normally she'd run into a fight all-guns blazing. Well, not exactly, she did have strategy to her battles, but she still never held off on joining a battle, at least when she had a choice.
"She needs you," Calumon said with concern. Rika continued to show no reaction to their words.
Renamon groaned in pain, unable to move away from the bolts of electricity flying forth from the enemy Digimon as she was thrown into the air.
Rika paused, hearing the sounds of attack cries, electricity and groans of pain from Renamon, as she clutched her D-Arc. This was far too painful to even listen to. She closed her eyes, turning and running, anything to get away from the battle.
"Where are you going?" Calumon asked, hopping after her quickly.
"Rika!" Henry called, wondering what had gotten into the girl. She didn't even try to insult him for showing care. In fact, she hadn't even spoken while Henry had been there. He frowned, as Rika vanished into the depths of the park.
The two predators eagerly floated over their prey, ready for the finishing blow. Renamon lay helpless on the ground, head to the side and groaning in pain. Her mane was ruffled, as was her fur and tail. The two digimon knew that she was going to be easy to take out with but a single attack, as they advanced, getting closer, and closer.
Renamon's eyes shot open, as she leapt to her feet, still feeling pain in her limbs from the poison but fighting past it, as she leapt between the two enemies faster than they could react. Flying through the air, she turned and crossed her arms across her chest, summoning diamond-like shards.
"DIAMOND STORM!" she called, her voice deep and booming, as the diamonds flew forth to collide with the enemies as they turned. They sheltered their faces with their hands, but it was to no avail as the diamonds covered them.
The sounds of explosions heralded their end, as Renamon landed gracefully back on the pitch. She swept her arms, head and legs back as she began to float centimeters off the ground, her prey's data absorbed into her. She couldn't care less what type of Digimon it had been; why would she ever need Rika there simply to analyze it for her? Data was data, and now it was her data.
She had done it. She had destroyed them without Rika's help. She didn't need her help, and she never would again. Nor had she ever in the first place. Rika was but a distraction preventing her from succeeding; this was her true calling.
She frowned, sighing. If this was what she was meant to be doing, why did she feel so empty? There was no one to congratulate her on her victory (although Rika's congratulations were rarely more than a nod or a note on her performance), no one to talk to. The pain from the poison had subsided with the addition of the new data, but she still felt numb. But there was no one to care for her.
'I don't need that,' she thought. Rika never cared for me anyway.'
She strode to the fence as the fog subsided, leaping over and proceeding onwards, until a voice stopped her.
"Renamon. Rika was here, I think she's worried about you."
Renamon turned to see a blue haired boy with an orange jacket. She frowned, she had seen this boy before on occasion, but why was he now trying to speak to her? Her eyes narrowed.
"Who are you?" she inquired.
"I'm Henry, one of Takato's friends…I was at the battle yesterday, remember?" he answered.
"Of course I remember. What do you want?" she asked.
"As I said, Rika was here, and she looked worried."
"Hmm…she is?" Renamon asked, sounding unconvinced.
"Yeah. She didn't even speak; she just looked frozen in fear. And then she ran away…"
"Hmph…I doubt it…" Renamon answered.
"Yeah, but it's the truth," Henry replied, pausing. He noticed Renamon begin to turn, and continued. "Renamon, you and Rika fit together…you should be partners, not enemies."
"Partners?" Renamon asked, disgusted tone in her voice. "Am I supposed to know what that means?" she asked.
"Yeah, you and Rika should be friends and equals…you both know each other's strengths and weaknesses, and you could use them to help each other."
"Rika would never help me."
"Listen, both of you must have had something in common or you'd never have become partners in the first place. It was no coincidence, I'm sure of it" Henry insisted.
Renamon frowned, before looking up. "And what gives you the right to pass judgement on us?!" she asked, passing a glare to Henry. "You do not even have a partner, how can you talk about having one if you don't know what it'd feel like?"
Henry paused, frowning as he looked down to the ground. "I wish I did have a partner…more than anything in the world. That's why I hate seeing the pair of you throw it away like this," he answered sadly. Renamon frowned, turning and walking away, without a word.
Henry frowned. He only hoped that he'd had an impact.
TO BE CONTINUED…
And so, I return to writing this. Expect me to alternate between writing for Dimensions and this.
Anyhow, please review.
Will Rika and Renamon ever get back together? Will Henry ever get a partner? What is Yamaki planning?
Find out in Partners', Chapter Twelve of Deviations.