DISCLAIMER: I don't own digimon, but I do own this plot and the entire series unless stated otherwise.
Aftermath of 02
Power To Save The World
Wednesday – 1st January 2003
:. Real World – Unknown
12:13 AM JST
Out the door of the room that they were in, they went, with Taichi carrying Koshiro. In the end, a stretcher was too awkward in the narrow corridors they were in now. Not the first time, Taichi wished that Koushiro was awake. Not just to remove the burden of needing to carry him, though. Rather, it was due to how Taichi would also have much preferred the insights of the boy as well. More often than not, Koushiro's insights were the most helpful compared to the others.
Regardless, Taichi glanced around them at the pure white walls and doors, feeling as though this place looked a lot like some abandoned office building that had been ridiculously well-maintained. There was not a soul present apart from them, giving the place an empty hollow feeling. It felt out of place with the Oji-san. Rather, the Oji-san felt out of place in this empty place, with his warm sincerity and purposeful steps.
He led them into a lift and ushered them in. It was a little small, thus a little crammed. The Oji-san pushed one of the buttons on the lift and stepped outside, gesturing for them to go on without him.
"This is where I leave you." The Oji-san bowed to them as the lift doors closed.
The lift seemed to groan under their weight before starting to ascend. None of them spoke as they watched the numbers on the screen change. From the seventh floor, which they seemed to be on, they ascended to one of the higher levels of the building they were in before the lift dinged and the doors parted again.
Unlike the plain and empty walls of the floors below, however, this floor seemed to assault them with colour that felt as though it could blind them. It was like seeing the full spectrum of colours after living with black and white vision. This floor also doubled as some kind of entrance hall, its ceiling several stories above them, with a chandelier that hung from it laminating the entire 'hall'. The walls were decorated with a wallpaper of rich red and gold, forming intricate patterns. The ground also held a carpet spanning the entire hall with a similar design.
"Did we cross dimensions and somehow landed in some grand mansion?"
Ahead of them, there was a man seated in a couch that was grandeur enough to fit its surroundings, watching what looked like one of the largest televisions Taichi had ever seen.
Seeming to hear them, he turned toward them. "Thank you for the compliment. However, this is no mansion as this is the only hall of which to speak of, as you can see."
Taichi pulled his gaze from the walls and studied the ground level. Indeed, there were no other doors leading out anywhere, and despite the large space, only the centre had been occupied with furnishings, with large comfortable couches and a large glass coffee table in the middle, with the ridiculously large television being perpendicular to the side of the couches. In fact, the hall looked like a warm and inviting living room, albeit a ridiculously large one that wasted too much space. The Oji-san would have fitted into the background perfectly. The man and the lot of them were the only things that were out of place. It was like someone put a normal person's living room into a mansion's entrance hall.
The man's entire attire was completely black, matching his black hair and similarly black eyes. He donned a black leather jacket that was left open to reveal a similar black t-shirt underneath, along with black pants, black fingerless gloves as well as black boots. He was sprawled across the couch with his legs crossed on the coffee table as though he owned the whole place. He did not even remotely fit what Taichi had expected, be it from their situation or this grand hall. He just looked like some kind of high class gangster. The air of arrogance that hung about him, on the other hand, suited both their surroundings and his attire perfectly.
"Still," the man continued, pushing his bangs out of his eyes with a sweep of his hand, "I don't own this place, so I'll pass the compliment on. Come on, take a seat. I'm not going to bite."
His words shook them out of their paralysis. Taichi took the first step forward, slowly followed by the others. The man watched them with what seemed like amusement in his eyes as they slowly seated themselves on the circular couch directly opposite of him. Taichi lowered Koushiro on one end of the couch, while everyone else took seats on the same couch. It was large enough to fit them all with room to spare. Once everyone was seated, the man nodded and offered them refreshments, which was on the transparent coffee table.
No one accepted.
The man shrugged and poured a cup of steaming tea for himself from one of the expensive looking pots, taking a sip from it while they all stared at him. Despite looking like a gangster, the way he sipped his tea hinted that appearances were deceiving. He seemed unaffected by their stares and took another sip while his black eyes studied them. Sora and Joe looked away when his gaze met them, but Taichi and Yamato kept held their eyes. The man then put down his cup and leaned back on his couch, spreading his arms wide as the couch sunk under his weight.
"So?" he asked.
"Don't you have anything else to say? Some question you want to ask?"
Almost immediately, questions burst into his mind and Taichi voiced them in one long string. "Why did you kidnap us? What is this place? Who are you? Where are we? What's going on? What have you done with my sister?"
The man shook his head and gestured for him to calm down with one flick of his hand. Taichi did so. After all, the last question tumbled out without him expecting it, surprising even him, the one who asked it. Now, Taichi realised his worry for his little sister. Have they done anything to her? Despite having been reassured previously by his conversation with the others just now that the other kids were probably safe, he now realised he was still worried. After all, how sure could they be that his sister and the others were not involved in this as well?
The others stared at him for a moment before turning their attention to the man before them, who had lowered his eyes and was now stroking his chin thoughtfully.
"Well, let me answer your questions one at the time, shall I? In return, I want you to answer a few questions of mine. Of course, I hope that you are as truthful to me as I will be to you. Is that a deal?"
The man looked up to face him. Frowning, Taichi considered glancing toward the others for a consultation. However, Taichi felt as though this were a match that he would lose should he turn away from the man's eyes. Thus, Taichi thought to himself for a moment, pondering the pros and cons of this situation before his worry for his sister filled his mind completely, leaving him unable to think of anything else.
Then, someone clamped a hand on his shoulder and Taichi glanced to his side to find Yamato nodding to him in encouragement. On the other side of him, Taichi felt Sora pet his forearm and Joe petting his back. Thus, Taichi took a deep breath, turning back to the man before nodding solemnly.
The man nodded in return. "Alright then, let me start with my introduction. My name is Yoshio Omori. That name probably doesn't mean anything to you, so perhaps it would be better if I said that I am the head of Naichō, Japan's very own intelligence agency. Well, you can say it is a sub-group of the Japanese Self-Defence Force, though that would be a bit far-fetched."
Taichi had heard of Naichō every now and then, but he did not actually know what was it they did, unlike those English movies with the FBI and CIA and all that.
"Well, regardless, let us move on. First of all, let me explain the situation to you in a way that you understand." The man, Yoshio Omori, gestured toward the television and Taichi realised that it was a rerun of a popular anime that was on air when he was a kid. There was currently a fight scene showing between the protagonist and some enemy that he no longer remembered the name of. However, the image was flickering every now and then, indicative of what had struck their computers not too long ago. The anime showing at all was, on the other hand, proof that Japan's power grid was back online from whatever it was that had brought it down.
"Now," the man continued. "If you are wondering why this is airing at all instead of some news story about the event which happened a few hours ago, let me explain."
Before he elaborated further, the man leaned forward, picked up a remote from the coffee table and switched the television shut. The moment the sounds of the battle had stopped emitting from the television, a suffocating silence filled the empty hall. Taichi realised that he had preferred the atmosphere with the television on, even if what was airing was just some old anime.
When the man started speaking again, his voice echoed in the empty halls, making the impact of the words all the more powerful.
"Let's just say that the world is in shock and, perhaps even fear. No, fear is right. The world is afraid, very much so. No one was prepared for this. Imagine. You were living your life as you normally did. Then, without any warning, the world changed on you and shattered the illusion of the life you were living. The sky had changed. The world had gone dark. The sun was blotted out. The moon was no longer there. The lights that mankind worked so hard to keep bright had disappeared. The world had descended into utter darkness. What had appeared was a sky that was strange and foreign. Monsters dwell in that world. You know it. You could see their shadows. They were coming. You felt it in your heart. Whether you believed in a religion or not, you knew that this was the Armageddon."
The man paused again, much like how a good story teller would when approaching the climax of the story, with only the out of place sounds of the anime in the background that completely contrasted with the 'story' that the man told. The suffocating silence returned, except this time, it was filled with an uncomfortable tension as well. Taichi and the others did not speak, only held their breath as one as none of them dared to break the tension. It was due to this that when the man finally broke the tension with his words again, his words gained even more power over them.
"Then, out of nowhere, a light appeared. And then two. And three. And more and more of it appeared. You heaved a sigh of relief. You knew that God had come to save you. And then, you realise that those were not angels being sent to protect you, but children, who ascending into that dangerous world. And then, the Armageddon ended. The world was still here. But, those children did not come back."
The man paused again, and suddenly, his gaze sharpened, as though he were now awake and no longer telling a bedtime story, but preparing to have a perfectly serious discussion now.
"Now, tell me. How would you feel knowing that children had saved the world and adults who are supposed to protect these children could do nothing about it?"
Taichi finally snapped out of a trance the man had somehow put him into, and he realised that the others had fallen into it as well. It took him a second to actually register all the words that the man had said and string them together into something his brain could understand.
"Let me, as an adult, answer that question for you. You would feel utterly useless. And yet, you would not dare do anything about it. Who knows when it might come back? The world has brushed so close to the Armageddon, barely getting away. And then, out of nowhere, you find that the children that were supposedly sacrificed to save the world had reappeared once again. If the children came back, you think, does that mean that the Armageddon also has a chance of happening once again? Now, tell me. What will you do knowing this chance existed?"
The man smiled.
"Let me tell you. I would gather these children and find out whatever they know, as well as how to prevent this from happening ever again. Particularly when you realise that it has happened before. This phenomenon. And, in order to do that, we need to control the power that stopped the Armageddon. And that is: You."
A chill went up Taichi's spine at that word and he opened his mouth to speak. However, it was dry, and no words came out. He realised just how true those words were. To someone who did not know about the Digital World, would it not be very traumatising to see this phenomenon?
"Well, think about it children. Would any reporter in the world want to report about the Armageddon? Reporters don't like to report about the things that affects them too greatly. And there is not a single person in this world who was not affected by this event. So, of course it makes sense for there to be no one who dares to report about this. Well, of course, there are always exceptions. However, the god-fearing would worry about incurring god's wrath and they will pressure those that are not to not do so."
The man's words made perfect sense. Taichi felt that all they had been worried about was far too small. They had been worried about whether the existence of the Digital World had been discovered. Taichi doubted that any of them ever actually thought of the possibility of MaloMyotismon's attack being considered the Armageddon by the world.
"Of course, this is just one of the many probable reasons that an adult might think of. Others might think of other things, such as aliens, for example. Well, I'm sure the status quo will change sooner or later, for better or worse. Humans are very adaptable creatures, no? They'll accept this and move on. But, in order to accept it, they must control it. That is the way of humans. Which brings us back to the topic of you."
His gaze focused on them. Or rather, to Taichi alone.
"So, tell me, Taichi Kamiya. What is this power you control that can stop the Armageddon itself? And what," the man took out a very familiar item and leaned forward, holding it closer for them to see, "is this?"
In his hand, Yoshio Omori held a Digivice.
Taichi was tongue tied. He could not say anything, for no words came to mind. His mind was just a complete blank. He was not even sure he had registered everything the man had just said in that overly long speech. Beside him, Yamato spoke up, saving him.
"You haven't actually answered Taichi's question, you know," Yamato spoke coolly, as though he were completely unaffected by the words Yoshio Omori had said. Without a doubt, this was one of the times he was grateful to have Yamato has a friend.
The man sat up straight and leaned back into his chair. "Oh really? I thought I had already answered the first question of 'Why did we kidnap you'. Well, then let me put it in more simple terms," he said in a tone that suggested he was lecturing stubborn children. "Basically, the five of you appear to be the oldest of all the children that 'Ascended'. And, your case is also special in that you are the only group that had five Ascend from the same location. Other countries, like Hong Kong, had about three Ascend at the same time, but your case is the only special case of five. Add to the fact that you are the oldest, and would most people not assume that you are clearly the ones with the most power among all the other Ascended?
The world now wants your power. While Japan is no exception, you are in our territory. We initially did not want to make a move on you, and to observe you further, but the actions of other countries has forced our hand. In a way, you could say we were protecting you."
"So, that wasn't you?" Yamato asked with an eyebrow raised.
"Of course not. If it were, Aragawa would not have brought you here to talk to me and we would not be sipping tea in comfort, would we? Well, even if it is just me doing the latter," the man said as he picked up his cup of tea.
Taichi considered a moment and concluded that it was probably the name of the Oji-san. Finishing that train of thought, Taichi considered the rest of Yoshio Omori's words. Indeed, they did make sense. Why else would they be here, 'chatting' with the self-proclaimed head of Naichō, Japan's intelligence agency?
"Well, we gave you what we could to counter the effects of the tranquilizer we presumed the forces used, but I suppose that your friend over there took one too many shots, to still be sleeping now."
Taichi glanced to Koushiro, who was indeed still sound asleep. The events from before felt unreal, as though it were all one big dream, now that he thought back on it. The tension that had been built up while they were waiting had completely evaporated. Even Yamato, the cautious one, was relaxing.
"So, where are we?" Taichi blurted out before he could think his words over.
"Well, that's simple. You are in the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building, the tallest building in Tokyo. Of course, it won't be so anymore in a few years, but who's counting?"
Taichi blinked in surprise at the man's reply. Taichi most definitely did not expect him to reveal this information so readily. From the looks of the others by his side, they did not either. Of course, there was the matter of whether or not he was actually telling the truth, but he seemed completely open with them, and Taichi had nothing else to fall back on regardless. He had no choice but to accept the answer.
Yoshio Omori must have seen their scepticism, because he chuckled.
"Well, if you don't believe me, you can check out the observation deck later. I'm sure none of you have ever done so before so late in the night, correct?" He said friendlily.
"Does that mean you are letting us go?" Sora asked, blinking at his statement.
"You were never held back in the first place," Omori casually replied, waving his hand at the lift doors. "We had already pushed back those that were after you, and they are gone for now. However, would you mind hearing me out?"
He glanced at the others and they glanced back at each other. As one, they nodded.
"Well, we don't actually know when other countries might try to do something to you lot, or what they might do, so, can I ask that you let yourselves be put under our protection?"
Taichi's eyes widened and then he blinked.
However, before he could say anything, Omori held up his hand.
"Wait, hear me out. We will let you live your lives as per normal, and will try our very best not to interfere too much into your lives. We will protect you from the shadows and keep make sure that other countries don't do anything with you, and your families. In exchange, can you cooperate with us?"
Taichi was about to rebuke, but Omori shook his head as he stood up, indicating he was not done.
"We will not ask you to give us your power or anything like that. All we ask is that you cooperate with us in helping us understand your power. I know this will be hard for you to answer immediately. I won't ask you for an answer now. We will let you go back to your homes and think over it for a while. Is that acceptable for you?"
Taichi thought about Omori's words carefully. Did he have a choice? This was no longer something that he and the older group could handle alone. They were suffering a threat that came from an unknown source, something that they could not rely on their own strength and that of their partners to defeat, because these were still humans. They could not use their partners to attack humans, for it would go against everything they had worked for. Furthermore, Omori had brought up the need to protect their families as well. If he declined...
Hikari had grown up, but she was still his little sister. That fact did not change. While he was sure that he could prevent himself from being attacked again by always having Agumon by his side, ready to protect him, he did not want to bring a life of needing to be constantly on guard to Hikari again. One time had been enough. She had already gone through it in the Digital World the first time. She did not need to go through it again, in the home she loved so much.
Taichi looked up.
There was no other choice to make.
The things he had to protect.
Hikari's way of life.
And Hikari herself.
He could not do this alone.
Looking around, he saw resolve in the eyes of the others as well. They too, understood what Omori had told them.
While they had already made their decision, there was still one member who had not made that choice. Until then, they would not answer. If they would answer, they would answer together.
As the first generation Chosen Children.
They would make this choice that would affect all the Chosen Children in the world today and all those that would come in the future.
Yoshio Omori smiled, and then walked over, putting the Digivice he held into Taichi's hands.
"Well, now that we have that settled, would you like to see the view I promised you?"
"Nice work," a voice said from the shadows. The shadows cast by the surrounding buildings' light on the unlit observation deck of the Tokyo Metropolitan Towers was deep enough that the face of the voice was completely hidden.
The lights were not turned on in the first place due to how it allowed one to fully appreciate the view provided by the surroundings.
Yoshio Omori was now alone in that room with the owner of the voice.
"Thanks. How did I do?"
"Not bad," the voice said, sounding amused.
Yoshio chuckled himself, feeling himself relax completely, even though he knew better than to do so.
Still, today has been a long day. Surely, letting my guard down today is fine, right? Yoshio thought, and as a reflex, his mental guard attempted to go alert again, before it deflated like a balloon with a hole in it due to his exhaustion. He had exhausted his mental reserves completely dealing with the dedicate situation regarding those children, code named Ascended, which fitted, somewhat. He had to ensure that they would cooperate, and the best way to do so was to earn their trust.
Thus, he had no more energy left to deal with the owner of the voice.
While he was the head of Naichō, Naichō was not an organisation like any of the other 'spy type' organisations. Their total numbers were less than 200, and most of them were actually people who were 'on loan' from other organisations that made up the Japanese forces, meaning that an order from their original organisations would supersede any order from the head of Naichō himself. Of all the 200 or so people in Naichō, there were only a small core group of about ten people who were on a permanent post in Naichō, him inclusive, and they made up the core operatives. However, these 'operatives' would not fit the archetype of what was perceived as agents of an intelligence agency. Contrary to what most of the world is shown through American and British spy shows, Naichō's operatives worked in the information sector. There were practically no 'hands-on' agents, or field operatives, in Naichō at all. None of them were trained in doing interrogations, negotiations, field work and so on, as one would expect a spy to be able to. In fact, Yoshio doubted half of them had even held a gun before, let alone any have proficiency with it. This was why most other countries did not regard Naichō as a threat, nor held any respect for it at all. Everything the outside world knew of Naichō was some corrupt and inefficient organisation that had resorted to requiring manpower from other organisations in Japan.
However, Naichō knew that this was to its advantage. After all, one does not see coming what one does not expect. Naichō thus could pull a decisive strike at an enemy without the enemy ever suspecting it. How will Naichō pull that off, one might ask. It was simple, really. There was one thing they were very good at that made up for everything else.
Their field of expertise was the vast world known as the Internet. That was where they specialised, and that was their sole expertise. In fact, that was the entire purpose of Naichō. What the 'operatives' of Naichō did was collect information from all other countries. That's why in order to even qualify to be part of Naichō, one had to be proficient in Japanese and at least one other language. They collected all kinds of information, from the most useless junk to the smallest of leaks from one of the hundreds of other organisations out there. Everything that other organisations knew, Naichō would know, from piecing together the small leaks that occurred everywhere into one large picture. Anything that was digitised, Naichō could find. In the new age of the Internet, this was their strongest trump card. Of course, Naichō kept everything to itself.
And, this was where the owner of the voice came in.
Naichō was absurdly powerful because of the sheer amount of information it held, and due to that, it had to be watched carefully. Even if, or perhaps because, it reported directly to the Prime Minister himself, there were a few organisations in Japan that knew of Naichō's true nature and kept a close eye on it. Of course, they had their own reasons for doing so, such as finding out even a little of what Naichō knew. The owner of the voice was one of these people, chosen to keep an eye on the head of Naichō himself.
One would ask, why in the first place would Naichō keep everything to itself and as a result need to go through so much trouble?
Naichō was made such that it would be able to warn Japan should any threat be headed its way early. However, they also had to keep a low profile. Thus, if they were to spread their information to everyone, that would be like walking down the street naked with a sign saying "I have found a way to sneak into your backyard and steal whatever I want". Naichō would much rather the other organisations remain unaware of their own open backdoors, allowing Naichō to slip in and collect information whenever it needed to.
Naichō's abilities had its own flaws. They may know a lot, but they do not know everything. Organisations aware of Naichō were careful with how they handled their information. That was why even Yoshio knew next nothing about the owner of the voice, apart from the fact that he was being watched and what the owner told him.
"A penny for your thoughts?"
He turned away from the skyline and glanced toward the owner of the voice, for just a brief moment, and immediately regretted his mistake.
The owner of the voice had stepped into the light and her concerned eyes were now in full view.
He quickly turned back to face the window again, but it was already too late. The concern in her eyes had been burned into his eyes. It was times like this that caused him to wonder if she truly cared for his well-being or this was all an act to get him to lower his guard.
"Nothing really. Just thinking about the situation in general," he said, his tone softening unconsciously.
The worst part was, there was no way he could ever confirm his doubts. After all, she never took advantage of any of the times he let his guard down doing anything, be it to get closer to him or to pry more information out of him, giving him the impression that she was truly worried about just his welfare. Yet, he could not get the first words she ever said to him out of his head.
"... I am your new assistant, no arguments allowed. I have been sent by a certain organisation to ensure that you don't go rogue. If you do, I will have no choice but to kill you. Please take good care of me!"
In the end, no organisation would send someone who could not get the job done. However, he could not find any hint of the organisation which she supposedly worked for. And would she not do her job better by not telling him what she did? There was always the possibility that it was all a trick for her to secure the job of being his assistant, for whatever reason. The pay was higher, for one.
Who am I kidding? That's just my wishful thinking.
He glanced at her once again to find her looking out the window as well, her expression serene.
Honestly, he should have just locked her up or something from the very beginning and gotten another assistant. It was unfortunate that in the time he had taken to debate what to do regarding the situation, she had proven far too useful for him to do anymore and he had grown too reliant on her.
A blatant 'spy' spying on the person who was in charge of Japan's 'spy' organisation and I can't toss her out. The irony.
"Well, let's get going. We can't stand here watching the view forever, even if that's what I want to do. There's work to be done."
She nodded enthusiastically and took out her PDA, before starting to list down all the tasks that he had yet to perform in the 'high priority' list, most of them involving more researching into who were the other Ascended children and the backgrounds of the ones he had just talked to.
"... Also, please don't forget to check out the data collected by inFiltrate. Its sorting is almost done."
Yoshio Omori nodded and glanced one more time at the landscape.
"The power to save the world, huh? I wonder what other countries think of it."
Hi everyone. It has been a year already since I last published a story. I don't think a simple sorry will be enough anymore. But, an explanation is in order. I am sad to say that I was stuck with a writer's block, made all the more worse due to the fact that this year is the year I am taking my A Level examinations, which is an important (you can say the most important) examinatino in my life.
Well, I wish I could attribute it all to stress, but part of it was laziness as well. I just couldn't find the motivation to sit down and write again, when watching anime a much simpler to relieve stress. That, and playing Weiss Schwarz.
Since I took so long to release this chapter, let me reveal some trivia about it:
This is the third version of Chapter 8.
Yoshio Omori has undergone multiple changes in personality, with the final being the person he is now. He was once a magnificent bastard.
The assistant was only added in this version of the chapter.
The Armageddon thing came from To Aru Majutsu no Index, which served as inspiration for me to finish this chapter up once and for all.
It was very difficult to find a suitable name for the virus and I only decided on one that I thought appropriate in this version of the chapter.
This is the first chapter in a long time that had not been beta read by anyone, so please help spot mistakes.
It is 4 days short of being exactly 1 year after the last update of this story.
I ask for the forgiveness of everyone. I hope to make it up by giving you all a good story. I cannot promise anything anymore, only that I will never stop updating my stories. Ever. Short of meeting God early. I hope that it is enough to assure everyone that this story will go on.
And, I'll just say this to start: I knew that there would be a sixth season of Digimon. Look forward to it being integrated into the timeline as well some time in the distant future.
NOTE: I have also changed my penname from Digi9346 to Vylantze. This will be the last chapter released under the name of Digi9346.