AN: Sorry that took so long. This has been scraped and restarted over seven times so it should move a bit faster from here on out. Once again I'm messing with Ken's timeline a little and knowledge of what happens in the Brave Tamer, Tag Tamers, and other games would be helpful. Honestly the anime could have explained that a little better and so much of the season would have made more sense. I also want to westernize their parents's names, but haven't been to find them. Any suggestions? Anime timeline starts at the very end of this chapter, early next chapter.
Drawn and Fragmented
Chapter Two: A Viral File
"Ugh, Wormmon I don't feel so good..." Ken was back in Primary Village with Ryo and Tai, as well as the digimon Agumon and Veemon. So far everything had seemed like a dream to him. It seemed like just yesterday his brother had died and ten he gets pulled into this weird world. Wormon was his partner and told him that he was a chosen child, like T.K. and Kari, whom he hoped he would have seen there. They left him as much as Sam did.
"Oh Ken, lay down for now. Ryo'll bring you back home as soon as he and Tai are done talking." Wormmon kept fretting over him, especially after he got so sick from their fight with Milleniummon. Veemon moaned and started crying into Agumon's shoulder.
"What's wrong with him?" The digimon glanced at each other and Agumon started to explain.
"Ken you notice that there's a lot of digimon around? Well some of us were born with a partner, like you and Wormmon and me and Tai. There are a couple of others too, and Veemon here knows he has a partner..." The blue digimon wailed a little louder and blew his nose.
"But he's still not here! I thought Ryo was gunna be my friend!" Ken's neck still ached from whatever hit him but all he really wanted was for Veemon's whining to stop. Agumon was super cool though.
"Ah but didn't you work with Ryo too? Wormmon asked Agumon, not noticing the shocked look on Veemon's face.
"Well yeah but it wasn't too good. The only reason it work at all was because Tai was in danger and he needed me. Veemon really it was all!"
"When am I going to get my partner?!" Ken nudged Wormmon and asked him is all digimon were like that.
"No Ken all digimon are different like people. Some get along and some don't. You're my partner so we're supposed to make each other stronger." Wormmon fussed a little more with the pillows he'd found.
"Agumon has a very deep bond with Tai and can do most anything to make sure he stays safe. Veemon is still looking for his partner and he's not taking it too well." The rest of whatever Wormmon was going to say was drowned out.
"Tai, look, I don't care." Ryo and Tai were heading back to them a little frustrated each. Tai ran his hand threw his hair and sighed, looking comically like Agumon did just a few minutes before.
"All I'm saying is if you could just tell our parents we're okay! Just a little phone call or something'll do. Besides you we've only been able to talk to Ken and Willis and they're too young to make serious phone call like that."
"Then you'll have to wait a little longer! C'mon Ken I'm going to take you home and make sure your better." Ryo was incredibly shaken, more than Ken was. This was his second fight with Milleniummon and he was still essentially, all by himself.
"Oh fine! I bet Izzy'll figure out why we can't leave with you guys. Feel better Ken." Ryo used his Digivice to open the portal from Gennai's house back to Ken's room.
Joe and Kari kept a look out for any wild Digimon trying to make a mess of their work site but it was a remote area and clear of any real hazards. No matter what Ryo had helped fix the past few times and how they saved the Digital World it was still very messed up. It had been ripped apart and into quarters so much that there were some rifts that still weren't closing. That was part of their job- to fix it all. Most digimon avoided those areas, since there was literally nothing to fall out of and it became a one way death trap.
Kari and a bunch of Numemon (they had a complete adoration of her) were pushing boulders and some metal pipes left over from Machinedramon's city and the sewers to the edge of the land. Their digivices would make it all come together and form a real land again. It was tough to fill in all of the rifts with the digital world since it was always growing and changing. Sometimes before they had a chance to fix it, some of the connecting places became a desert and the other half was a forest making it hard to really place together.
"Hey Gatomon why don't you and Kari take a break? You've been over working yourselves too much. Not like this one here." Gommamon was using that 'oh I don't have hands!' excuse to get out of work again. He offered "advice" from the sidelines though.
"Aren't you tired too Joe?"
"Nah, but I think it'll be fun to watch this." Apparently Gatomon had enough of Gommamon's laziness and was now supervising him. Kari took out her terminal messenger and typed a message into it. A small red light lit and bleeped negatively, until she put it down.
"The connections are down again...I haven't heard from Tai for a while. Any luck on yours?"
"Nope. Last I heard Tai, Mimi, Izzy, and Matt were playing some card game with Ryo and a few others."
"Other people?!" Joe looked down at Kari, being one of the tallest of the Digidestend and wondered if she would get any bigger. Sure they had grown some since they first came here and 'fixed' their little problem, but since then they'd stayed pretty much the same. Or at least they thought they did. The Digiworld was such a big place with so many pieces just flying around that sometimes it would be weeks or months before they saw each other and the internet connection would go down sometimes, depending on where you were. It was like the time Tai left all over again. Part of the reason they kept staying in pairs was so that somebody will always be with you.
Bad things happened when you were alone in some parts of the Digiworld. Like where the barriers and other worlds started to phase in.
"Relax not like us. Izzy doesn't even think that they're real and just make believe. Willis is there too so Izzy's got someone to talk to. It's Sora and T.K. I'm worried about. Haven't heard from them in ages." Sora and T.K. had taken a round at finding where the Dark Ocean was hiding. Not everybody was able to see it, like Tai and Mimi, so only a few could go at a time for there. He and Kari had just finished looking for it in the lower quarter but that didn't mean that the whole place was clear.
Kari drank some of the river water and passed him the cup they had. Veggiemon's diner had been kind enough to let them borrow a couple of useful things. There were still pieces of random technology floating around as if it made sense.
"...Hey Kari, do you ever regret getting stuck here again?"
"Not even a little. I mean we all agreed that we wanted to come back at some point and I miss my family and everything, but this is right, you know. It was only for a couple of months but the time without Gatomon just seemed so empty and lonely like I was losing a best friend. Plus...now we can all be together again!" Joe looked through the trees over head at the blue sky and realized that Kari was very right.
Mimi would be across the world, and most of them would be High Schoolers going crazy over tests and applications for their future. Here life wasn't exactly sedate but there was something very casual about it. Strange digimon often come to them with problems that they feel obligated to solve and none of them ever really said no.
Getting used to normal life was difficult. They'd spent months of times wandering around and living with these monsters that people were the strange looking ones. Not to mention what had been months to them were only a few minutes to other people.
"Joe do you want me to cut your hair soon? It's growing past your collar." Joe ran his hand through it and realized it was getting pretty long. His dad would call him some long haired hippie but...dad wasn't exactly there, was he?
"Nah, but thanks. I think I'm going to try for a different look. Hey Gommamon, don't feed your fish to Gatomon as a bribe!" Somehow Joe felt like something was going to happen. He'd just made his first radical decision against what his father really wanted- he'd be in trouble for it soon enough.
Matt sat at the edge of the window with an old guitar he'd found in a van somewhere along the edge of the desert they'd fought Etamon in (he was trying to pretend that it wasn't one of the monkey's), watching the others fret around. They were down to the last few rounds of the tournament with only him and Tai to go since Ryo had beaten the other three down already. He couldn't bring himself to really worry about the game since they didn't even know what it was for. They had all just gotten a rare e-mail saying that they had been invited and that they should all come. Gabumon was trying to work the harmonica around his muzzle, providing some back up to the strings.
"Hey why aren't you so worried ?" Agumon was sitting over with Tai trying to figure out all the possible card maneuvers he could do and soundly beat Ryo. They had an odd sort of friendship ever since they met about a year ago. It didn't have the rocky start that his and Tai's had but there was defiantly a strain of something there, like they could never completely agree on anything.
"What's the worry for Gabumon? It's not like something major is going on around here."
"Unless your with Izzy you mean." It wasn't exactly major, but Izzy was speaking a mile a minute, boring the two around him. Willis normally liked to talk to him but being drilled over the same questions and how he got here was obviously getting to the kid. If T.K. or Kari were here he'd at least have someone his own age to play with. Or Ken, who was talking to Ryo through some sort of real time connection.
Matt wasn't sure how Izzy wasn't salivating over that or how Gennai got him to let it go.
"Say..uh, Mimi..." Like the rest of them, Izzy had grown up and shot an inch or two above Mimi, something that took getting used to. He stumbled over his words.
"You weren't really serious when you asked Ryo out...right?" Mimi looked uncaring and brushed her bangs, looking out of the window.
"Hmm, maybe. He's pretty cute and a real take charge kind of guy and very good humored to. What girl wouldn't try to snag a date from him." Matt smiled and started plucking the strings to some sort of showdown music he'd heard from western movies. Watching Izzy and Mimi dance around each other was worth paying for.
She'd been making subtle hints that the genius never picked up on while Izzy had all but put a pineapple sticker on her. There was a bet going around over who would say something first and confess instead of just instigating.
Or maybe they had said something. Izzy's arm was getting a little cozy around her shoulders and she looked just to used to keeping herself between Izzy and his laptop. It was adorable watching them- not that he would ever admit it, ever. Just sort of like puppies.
"C'mon we lost already so lets enjoy some of the city together. Hey, with me not with your computer!"
"But Mimi if I just figure out which cards Ryo might use I can help Tai-"
"Tai! Tell Izzy to leave this stupid card game alone." Tai roared while grabbing his head and rolling on the floor.
"Argh! Why can't we just do this the old fashioned way?!" Palmon and Tentomon snickered and help Tai back up.
"Because this is supposed to be a friendly card game. Pixiemon even came back for this one and we don't want to get on his bad side again." Why were they here? If those other tamers were just fakes like Izzy said there should be no need for any of the digidestend to be involved with this. Then again, Gennai had always been odd when doing things with Ryo, like there was some sort of a difference between him and the rest of them.
Gabumon waved his paw over Matt's face.
"Matt, we've got to go play the last rounds." Matt sighed and put the guitar down. Before he shut the lights off he heard one of the strings break.
He hoped that wasn't a sign of something.
Ken was watching the end of the card tournament from his bed, the one without a loft on it. That had been gone since Sam died.
"Oh Ken, please get better we can't loose you too." When did his mom come in? She looked very sad.
"Ken stop the game honey." She took the mouse out of his hand and turned off the computer screen making the room seem extra dark. Ken saw the bright after images from the screen and only started realizing how much his eyes were burning. He was still sick from the Milleniumon battle. Ryo would be so disappointed and Sam would have been right.
"B-but mom I have to help Ryo…" The game had ended well mostly because he kept coming up with ideas for Ryo's cards until they lied to him. Once Ryo found out the truth he stopped addressing the computer and looked like he was going crazy. Then he just disappeared.
Ken had to help find him! Tai was the only other one helping but even he was starting to give up.
"Son no!" He felt his dad slap his hand away and push him into bed.
"You need to rest now and think of your mother. We've already lost one of our boys, we don't want to loose another one Ken. I promise you can play your game as much as you want once you get better. We'll even invite those friends of yours over." He was mad. Later on he'd realize a better term would be 'furious' but for now he was just mad.
Kari had been gone for almost two years now, along with T.K. and they were just noticing that he didn't have any friends! They were supposed to be his friends but they left and never came back. He went to the Digiworld and came back, why couldn't they?! It was all so much easier after Sam went away because Ken went to a hard school and it took his mind off of everything. But now even his school work was too easy and he still had to find Ryo.
And just where was Wormmon?! Was he still hiding underneath he bed?
Even though he'd seen his mother shut it off the computer turned back on but it wasn't a normal screen. It looked like something from the Digital World. Maybe it was Ryo or somebody trying to talk to him!
"Ken don't go in there it's not safe!" Wormmon had scurried out of the safety of his bed and jumped between himself and the computer. Ken was ready to go with his terminal and digivice in hand, even though the pajamas would be a problem.
"Oh so your finally coming out!"
"Don't be so angry I'm just trying to help you…"
"Well, well then help me by getting to the digital world!" Wormmon tried to stop him again but Ken kicked his friend in the stomach and opened the portal anyway, even though his body felt so heavy and knew he shouldn't have hurt his friend like that.
The world dissolved around him and someone was talking to him but he couldn't really remember any of the words. He felt scared for the first time in a long while.
"Wormmon? I'm sorry, I'm sorry stop with the joke!" The first thing he noticed was a fog all around. Even besides that everything was grey and…a beach?
"Wormmon?" His neck started hurting again but only in that one spot. Maybe. Maybe if he put the digivice in the water like the voice was telling him to it would go away. And then he could find Ryo.
Out of nowhere his terminal started beeping, showing that he had two hundred and four missed messages, mostly from Kari and T.K. and a few other names listed. Tai's appeared a few times as well. That anger he felt before was back and the pain went away a little bit more. They were all playing a joke on him?
"WHY DID YOU ALL LEAVE ME!" The voice was right. Ken put his digivice into the dark water and watched it change shape and color. The voice was gone.
"I can do whatever I want now." Before leaving (he realized his new digivice could open the gate whenever he wanted) he took out his terminal and chuck it a far as he could through into the water. Ryo was the only one that really cared about him- made sure he was okay even when he wanted to go home and got scared. He was going back to the Digiworld and he was going to find his friend and no one was going to tell him otherwise.
But first he needed to get stronger.
"T.K. let's go a little lower!" They were flying on the backs of Birddmon over one of the worst parts of the dig world. According to what some of their friends had said behind the wall of fire in this area was where the Dark Masters came from. It only too one good look to realize that it was an area nearly wide open to the Dark Ocean. You could even see all of the colors start to fade as they went deeper in.
But even being so close to the evil presence Sora felt like the was the happiest person in the world. She'd outgrown her helmet but kept her hair cropped short and close to her face. No stupid skirts or formal wear either, just a sweater that matched her (feathers, occasionally). Flying way above the Digiworld was complete freedom and she wasn't going to give it up any time soon.
She and Mimi had talked about in when they first got here. None of the digidestend were really upset with the condition of them being brought back, but they were really seeking it out. As if just before life collapsed in front of them they were all wisked away again. Maybe it was their fault or not, but both of them were very quiet about the matter.
"We could head back now Sora." Even if T.K. had shot up in height he was still a little kid at heart. They all wanted to get this influence out of the Digiworld but some of them couldn't see it. Mimi, Tai, and Izzy thought they were all crazy for a while until they proved it. It was their turn to find where it was creeping in.
"I'll be fine really. It's not going to take over me again so don't worry about me and lets figure out what's going on here." One of the downsides of being in this area was that communication was impossible. And it had been spreading through the entire quadrant. It was a quick fly through before they noticed the color and light starting to come back.
"It's going away. The Dark Ocean doesn't just stay in one spot…" It was like it was being focused in one area.
"I don't know it's never done anything like this before." They lurched a bit and started falling from the sky.
"Sora I don't know what's going on!" Biyomon was trying to get them all to the ground safety after dedigivolving, Patamon flapping his wings to no use. The group landed with a thump in a lush forest .
"What was that about?" T.K. held Patamon in his arms while Sora comforted Biyomon.
"It's not her fault! Can't you guys tell? There is something weird here." Patamon was right about that. The Dark Ocean wasn't in sight anywhere but that same oppressive feeling was around them making them feel so much weaker than normal.
"Ugh they're right. I can barely stay like this." T.K. held up his hand, which was starting to pulse outward. Sora bit her lip and thought of any of their friends who might be in the area. This was getting very serious. Had the Dark Ocean figured out a way to weaken them already?
"What's that?!" Just outside of the brush and trees there was a dark tower.
"We've got to get out of here now and tell the others." They'd never had something like this before. Not even Devimon's control was this foreword and obstructive.
"Ryo are you sure you don't want to go back to your own world? All of your friends are there." He wasn't going to cry. He just finally had enough of all of it.
His friends screwed him over every time and he saw what Ken would become. And all of it was because of the digimon getting ready to hatch in his arms.
But there was an innocent one there too.
"It's for the best." The other world would be easier- no one would know him. Maybe he'd make some friends that would use him just to finish off the monster they couldn't beat.
But at the same time it only made sense why he kept getting involved with Milleniumon.
"ENIAC, I want to leave and make sure he never messes with this world again. Maybe then the real digidestend can keep things right." Real digidestend. Not some pathetic guy who couldn't even figure out who his partner digimon was. They all came together to beat whoever stood in their way. Hell, they nearly died for their digimon's life. He could barely managed to work a kid who wanted nothing but a friend. Maybe that was why everything went to shit after he touched it.
"That will not solve anything Ryo. The roots of his evil are still in this world. If you're sure you don't want too…" The roots were what?
"You may leave but all the damage has been done already. The Dark Ocean is still strong and that evil is still inside of your friend Ken. Even without Milleniumon there are still dangers in the digital world, some with the ability to come back."
On the screen behind him he saw various parts of the digital world- some of them were wrecked, while the digidestend were heading to Gennai's house. Probably wondering how to save the world this time. A whole section suddenly blacked out too, the damaged quarter with the dark spires. Ken had already started.
"I can't help them…but I won't let it get worse. Good-bye."
"DAVIS YOU CAN DO IT!" Yuuko Kamiya knew the soccer drills for this team about as well as the captain did, what with this being her sixth year as a fan and watcher. She knew that some of the parents were slightly creeped out that a random parent would cheer for a child that wans't her own, especially when both of hers were no where to be seen.
Davis gave her a wave after scoring another goal- he'd really grown these past few years but stayed remarkably earnest. He was one of the few people that still asked where Tai and Kari were, mostly because they seemed to be his closets friends for a while. But still, there was something different about him.
Like, how her kids were different.
"Did you see me Mrs. Kamiya?!"
"Yes I did, you were great." His parents were too busy to come to most of his games and it was a shame that someone wasn't there to cheer for him. Sooner or later they'd look back and see what they were missing.
"Hmm, how about you come over sometime this weekend and we'll go get some noodle, okay?" It was… overstepping sometimes and maybe she did miss her kids more than she would ever admit to anybody (they'd ask where they were) but Davis always seem to take it on the surface. Like Tai.
"See you Saturday then!" He ran off, tripping over his untied shoe laces, and face planted on the grass and assured everybody that he was alright. Yuuko stayed around for a while afterwards, promising to make some of her organic brownies for the next fundraiser, just staring out at the water.
Loosing their children had been rough for all of them. They'd formed something of a mom's club, even joined by Sotoe Tachikawa when she came back to the country to visit her family. They had left for New York without Mimi knowing that she would come back when she could. They couldn't exactly put their lives on hold. She and Toshiko had lunches together for years now, not very surprising with how close Tai and Sora were. Nancy joined them later as well as Yoshie. Nancy took it easy. Hiroaki and she were still separated but they got along easy enough when it came to the kids. He and Haruhiko Takenouchi were actually working on a way to get into the Digiworld to get their kids back. Jim even joined them occasionally, making him the butt of their jokes. A young man surrounded by a bunch of older women- it screamed something funny. But his and Joe's dad was angry that his son's apparent rebellion. Like being dragged into another world was Joe's choice.
A few other questions, here and there, were the only reminder that they even had children. Maybe that was something to do with the digital world too?
'Come to think of it, there are other people that remember out children.' It was strange how many people seemed to accept that eight children suddenly vanished and no police were called. Satoe said that for a few months a girl named Yolie kept calling until she finally gave up.
Her cell phone rang. Yuuko answered it but the line was disconnected before she could and there was no return number available. She liked to think that maybe her kids were trying to call her. And sometimes she wished they wouldn't.
If they weren't able to leave or call, or even need to call their mother, what kind of trouble would they be in? Communication to the Digiworld was possible until they left. It just made her worry more, if that was possible after watching them fight in the sky that night.
'They'll be back.'
"Morning Cody." Yolie was rushing around the store, trying to get everything put away and get to school at the same time.
"I'll just be taking a juice this morning- my mom packed my lunch again." She liked hanging out with Cody- finally someone younger then her! Plus he was always needing help in fixing the computer in his apartment a few floor up from her. How they managed to get it to break some many times she'd never get but he was nice enough. And very calm, something that her family wasn't.
"Ah done! Crap, we're going to be late!" She grabbed his hand and pulled them out of the door, ignoring his scream of "I didn't pay yet!"
It was a brand new year and nothing was going to go wrong!
"Hey, watch where you're going!" Cody sighed and started brushing himself off. Yolie was nice but she had a violent temper when needed. It looked like the guy she ran into was the same.
"Well maybe it you weren't running around like a crazy loon YOU wouldn't have run into me!" Before Yolie could say anything else Cody cut in and stood before the older boy.
"My friend is really sorry about that."
"Wha- no I'm not!" The two were glaring at each other with less than an inch between the two of them.
"HEY DAVIS C'MON WE'VE GOT HOMEROOM TOGETHER" One of the soccer players called out from the hallway, abruptly changing the guy's mood. Where there was rage was now a big smile.
Yolie blinked at the conversation being dropped so abruptly.
"Don't worry about it Yolie, we'll probably never run into him again."
"Meh, I guess your right. Oh! Did you hear? It was snowing in Tokyo last night! It's all gone now but there were defiantly flurries."
"Todgemon, we're here." A lizard like digimon with monkey hands turned around and saw Gastromon and Usamon running towards him. It was Kari and T.K. just like he was Tai, but they still went by their digimon names when like this.
"You guys haven't been able to turn back yet either?" It had taken a while after they first came back to get into their human form. It was sort of odd- they really weren't fully human anymore just digimon that could look human if they shifted and tried hard enough. They hadn't had a problem keeping that form until all these dark towers appeared. Agumon and the others were slightly better off even if they couldn't digivolve in the area. It's like they were trapped and weak. Not a good thing.
Usamon bounced over and Patamon following not far behind.
"Nope but Gennai said that you needed some help here?" The entire quarter was a mess and T.K. and Kari took it very personally. Their crests were given up to save the place and now it was being trashed around again.
"The Digieggs that Ryo and Ken put back together are all around here. I'm wondering if they can help with solve this problem. It'd just be easy if we weren't stuck as rookie digimon…."
There was a crashing of trees behind them, and Gastromon moved first.
"Speed Slick!" and spit out some slime in front of her, making the digimon running towards them slip and miss hitting them.
"Guy's I think this is the one that's been causing all the trouble." Todgemon and Agumon nodded at each other before bringing them into a secluded cave.
"He's been calling himself the Digimon Emperor. And he's human."