Chapter 1 – This Sounds Familiar
SATURDAY – 2:30 PM
"But it's true, you gotta believe me. Guys, I'm not kidding – Digimon are real! I saw them; Digimon; real ones fighting right in front of me. Two of them were going after each other, it was incredible. It was raining, it-"
Takato's description of the dream he had last night was abruptly interrupted by Kazu's hand.
"And then your eyes opened and you were back in bed like nothing had ever happened." he said, with a hint of sarcasm.
"You saw them fighting on the bed!?" asked Kenta, Kazu's usual opponent when it came to the card game.
"No!" Takato began, then shoved Kazu's arm away.
"This was not a dream! I'm not making it up! Numb…my hands…they were numb from the rain. It was so cold."
Kazu began snickering.
"Hey…maybe, you made your own cold puddle."
"That's some dream." interjected Kenta.
"More like a bedwetting nightmare!" Kazu said, breaking out in laughter. Takato's face turned several shades redder.
"I did not wet the bed!" he yelled.
"Maybe he froze his hands wiping his baby tears!"
"Poor mister sleepyhead, made his own waterbed!" Kazu chanted.
The two of them jumped down from the hut and ran away laughing.
"I can't tell you guys anything!" Takato yelled after them, then sat against the wall, alone.
"It was real. I saw 'em. And her…who was that girl? What a Tamer. Wait a sec…"
Takato opened his tin of cards; on top of his collection lay his newly acquired Digivice.
"Her Digivice – it's the same. Mine is exactly the same. Wha-?"
The white and red-spotted egg on the screen flashed three times, and then vanished.
"Hey – where'd it go?" Takato asked, beginning to fiddle around with the buttons.
"It's a good thing I don't have any real pets; I can't even keep track of a digital one."
As he scrolled past screen after screen, a hologram was projected out of the screen – a circle, and a red arrow ran around the inside edges of it.
"Is that…a compass?"
The way the arrow was darting left and right, he guessed this particular compass didn't point north. The changes in direction became slower and fewer until finally, the arrow settled for pointing towards the west, towards downtown Shinjuku.
Takato made up his mind to follow the compass' given direction and see if it led to his egg.
"I'll show them; I'll show everybody – Digimon are real, and I'm gonna prove it!"
He put his tin of cards into his backpack, and ran string through the top of his Digivice, which he put around his neck. He jumped down from the hut and began his trek towards downtown.
Rika Nonaka leaned against a concrete wall, underneath a highway overpass, tapping her foot and nodding her head to her music. She looked as if she was the only one there; to her, the bustling crowds and afternoon rush hour were nothing. Out of the corner of her eye, she noticed a white beacon of light erupt into the sky.
20 MINUTES LATER
Takato made his way through the moderate crowds on the sidewalk, relieved at the simplicity of his Digivice's compass. After all, he didn't want to walk in circles and be here all evening.
A white beam shot up from somewhere in the cityscape, which immediately caught Takato's attention. Whether anyone else noticed it, he wasn't sure, but he was confident his Digivice was guiding him toward it.
One of the interesting features of the compass was that it didn't just focus on a center point; it took his surroundings into accounts as well. He came to an alley that broke off to the right, and the compass directed him down that way. He came to a short drop between two buildings, where he shimmied down a pipe. A few turns later, it seemed that the only way to proceed was through a concrete crawlspace, which looked less than appealing.
"Ew, gross," Takato said to himself, but nonetheless began to crawl through.
"I don't even want to know what that smell is."
As he neared the exit, he hand met with a rat, which gave out a sharp squeak. It caught him completely by surprise, and he knocked his head on the very low ceiling of the crawlspace.
After the small pack of rats scattered out, Takato followed, coming out on a catwalk. He had arrived at an under-construction water treatment plant. He walked to the railing and looked down at the clearing, some equipment scattered about. The white beam was emanating from the center. He looked down at his Digivice. Four pulsing red arrows pointed in towards the center. He was here.
"This is it. He's all mine!"
Takato slowly made his way down the flight of steel stairs, never taking his eyes off the pillar of light, which rings of blue energy were now pulsing out of.
He reached the bottom of the stairs, and noticed that a black void had formed at the base of the beacon, which suddenly ceased, and fog exploded out of the void. Takato held on to the railing to prevent himself from getting knocked off his feet.
"What an entrance" he said to himself, then peered into the parting fog.
"Well, is it?" he asked, catching a silhouette of a round object where the fog had exploded outward.
The fog began to dissipate, and there, in the center of the clearing, was a rather large, white, red-spotted egg.
"That is it! Oh, wow!" Takato exclaimed.
Barely able to contain his excitement, Takato ran over to the center of the clearing, and knelt down next to the egg. Carefully placing his hands on both sides of it, he picked it up and examined it.
Yep, this was it – exactly how it looked when it was on his Digivice's screen, except less pixilated this time.
'What am I supposed to do?' Takato wondered.
He remembered Ms. Asaji recently gave a lesson on eggs. She emphasized that first and foremost, the mother does everything she can to make sure the egg stays warm and relatively protected from the elements.
'Might as well start there.' Takato thought to himself. He carefully set the egg back down on the ground, and then removed his hoody, leaving only his white T-shirt he wore underneath. He then scooped the egg up with one arm, and wrapped his hoody around it, insulating it as best he could.
"Now to get it home" Takato said, getting to his feet, his Digivice hanging from his neck and Digivice in his arms.
It wasn't all that difficult getting back to the bakery. His trek had already taken him halfway home, and no one noticed or cared what he had within his hoody. But still, the entire way home, he felt that every pair of eyes bore lasers into him, wondering what he had in his arms. He made it home and went through the side door.
"Mom! Dad! I'm home!" he greeted as he removed his shoes at the door.
"Hey kiddo. You're home awfully late." his dad remarked.
"Dinner's almost ready." his mom said.
"Great. I'll be right back down." Takato replied, running up the stairs to his room. He slid open the door, and walked in. He went to the center of the room, where the floor was the warmest from the heater, and set the wrapped up egg gently down.
"I'll be back soon" he said to his unborn partner, then left, closing the door behind him.
As he ate dinner, he couldn't get his mind off the egg sitting up in his room.
'I wonder if it's really Guilmon in there.'
How could it not be? The egg looked like it did on the Digivice's screen, which appeared right after it scanned his drawings and stats of his ideal partner. He ate rather quickly, wanting to get back upstairs to it.
"You're hungry tonight, Takato. What were you up to today?" his dad asked.
"Just played cards with Kazu and Kenta. We stopped playing when we started to lose our daylight. Just didn't really have much of a lunch today, anyway."
Not completely true, but his journey downtown this afternoon had given him an appetite. Finishing what was on his plate, he got up, thanked his mom for dinner, and ran up to his room.
"He seems to be in a hurry." Mei, his mom, said.
"He's just at that age where he always has something on his mind." Takahiro told her.
Takato slid open his bedroom door, laid eyes on his hoody, and immediately stopped in his tracks.
The egg was partially uncovered, and it was visibly vibrating.
Takato rushed over to the center of the room and knelt down in front of his egg. His anticipation growing, he slowly placed his hands on it to feel the vibrating.
When both his hands made contact with the egg, the shell began to crack. Takato took his hands off the egg and backed away slightly. The vibrating stopped, but the cracks began to expand, and split off into separate directions. Takato's heart raced.
With the shell cracked all around, and top to bottom, the hoody flopped to the ground around it, and piece by piece, the egg hatched, and Takato looked at his very own Digimon for the first time…