Disclaimer: There are a lot of things that I don't own in this chapter.
Out of Body, Out of Mind
Chapter: 7/ Thickening Plot
A blonde haired boy staggered over a sandy dune and looked out over an expansive desert that stretched for miles in all directions. His shoulders sagged as the intense heat from the burning sun above and the scorching ground below hit him and his legs shook from the effort of keeping his body vertical. With a dejected sigh the boy reached behind him, brushing aside his long, red colored coat and brought out a canteen. As he unscrewed the top he furrowed his brow, continuing to survey the landscape. Taking in the stark land that forever remained far more parched than his mouth could ever be a poem came to him
What are the roots that clutch, what branches grow
Out of this stony rubbish? Son of man,
You cannot say, or guess, for you know only
A heap of broken images, where the sun beats,
And the dead tree gives no shelter, the cricket no relief,
And the dry stone no sound of water.
"T.S. Eliot sure had it right didn't he?" Murmured the boy half to himself as he raised the canteen to his mouth and bent his head backwards, fully expecting a rush of water to settle the dust in his mouth. Unfortunately for him all he was greeted with was a mouthful of the last thing he ever wanted to taste. Sand.
Spewing the dry, tasteless sand out and spitting angrily the boy glared at the canteen, a not-so-quiet suspicion entering his mind and blazing just as hotly as the sun that hung in the sky above him.
Of all the things he could have done for retaliation it had to be this? And here of all places? Good God! So much for 'Wine in the Desert'. Never should have let him see that story…
"Um…are you okay?" Asked a voice full of concern from behind the boy. Sighing in irritation the boy proceeded to pour out his canteen onto the ever-so sandy ground.
"You know something…you're such a jerk," he told the voice. "I mean, seriously. I go out of my way to give you a good place, a good home, a friendship, heck, even food even though you don't need it and this is how you repay me? Okay. So I accidently spilled your hot fudge Sunday but that's still no reason to…" turning around the boy blinked in surprise at his apparent lack of company as he noticed that in spite of what he had heard there was no one around him. Scratching his head the blonde haired boy looked around him in confusion.
A metallic, human hand suddenly burst forth from the ground beneath the boy, spraying sand in every direction before latching onto his leg as a forlorn, and slightly muffled voice called out from behind it.
The boy's surprised scream was all the answer the armored hand received for the next five seconds.
"Sorry?" The boy grunted as he dug into the desert with a shovel and threw sand on an ever growing pile behind him. "Sorry just isn't going to cut it this time, pal. You somehow disposed of my water, while we're in the middle of a burning desert and then you happened to sink because all of this sand couldn't support your colossal weight. While I'm one for ironies and feel well within my rights to say that karma bit you in your steel-plated ass for this one I can easily say that you've messed things up for the both of us. Thanks pal. Thanks a lot. Shall we commence going insane from dehydration and die horrible deaths now?"
Metal flashed in the noonday sun as an armored helm with two green eyes looked out at him.
"Um…technically you're the one who'd end up dying."
"Fine. But at least you'll be stuck here afterwards, rusting in the sun for all eternity. Oh, and I'll haunting you for the duration so that pretty much makes you a cursed set of armor as well."
Metal creaked as the head turned to look down at the ground, a hurt look in its eyes.
"I said I was sorry…"
The boy sighed and he shoved the shovel back downwards, grunting as he began to heave up another helping of sand.
"I know. I heard you the first time, but it still doesn't change anything. You're stuck and I have no water…"
"Can't you just summon more?" Asked the knight-like head turning back up towards the boy. "I mean, you are an author."
The boy stared at the helm with a befuddled look on his face for a moment before he slung the shovel over his shoulder and burst into a fit of inappropriate laughter rather reminiscent of a cliché super-villain, only with a lighter, more sarcastic edge to it.
"Oh come on Knightmon," said the boy to his comrade as he wiped at his eyes, trying desperately to hold back the laughter. "Where would the fun be in that? I mean…summon water? Seriously. If I summoned water we wouldn't have come up with all that good banter. We at least need to have some good memories from our experiences."
The helmet that the boy had addressed as Knightmon groaned and shifted slightly in the sand.
"You have really weird ideas for what counts as 'fun' Nee-san."
"Oh knock it off," replied Nee-san. "At least allow me this moment to pretend that I'm actually a part of a story. It helps the mood you know and sets the atmosphere. It's why we trekked all the way out here."
"I thought it was because you had that stupid bet with Arc22 where you said you could go a week without using your author abilities."
"Well…that too, but my point stands. At any rate I have what it takes to be a regular character as well as an author, and nothing that Arc22 says is going to stop me."
"Arc22 doesn't think that you'll last twenty four hours, let alone a week without using your author abilities."
Nee-san placed his hands on his hips and gave his partner a sardonic look.
"And you're actually thinking he's right? And how can we create stories without using our author abilities anyway? Answer me that!"
"I'm not saying anything for or against your bet with Arc22, Nee-san. Frankly though I think the whole thing is rather immature and stupid…"
"With that attitude you can just stay there," said Nee-san in a deadpan tone.
"Oh, come on!" Exclaimed Knightmon. "You can't just leave me here! It gets cold out here at night and super-hot during the day! My armor will crack and I'll…"
"Don't be such a baby," laughed Nee-san as he raised one arm. "You know I'm just joking. Can you move your arms?"
Knightmon huffed irritably. "A little bit. Why? What's your plan?"
Digging through his coat pocket the boy brought out a deck of digimon cards and began sorting through them.
"Still trying to work out the details. I just wanted to know what your degree of mobility was before I tried anything. Now lessee…" Nee-san glanced at his forearm. "Gadget activate."
A rectangular, mechanical object materialized on the boy's forearm, stretching from his wrist all the way to his elbow. Nee-san nodded in satisfaction while Knightmon just stared at him incredulously.
"Gadget?" Knightmon scoffed in disbelief. "Is that what you're calling your digivice now?"
"It was either that or the Device. I just thought that Gadget had a nice round sound to it that I liked. Besides; Device was already taken." Nee-san fanned through his cards once more and pulled out one, smirking slightly as he prepared to slash it.
Before he could do anything a loud crack of thunder resounded upon the air. Spinning Nee-san traced the sky, looking for the source of the noise.
Okay, I'm reasonably sure that I didn't plan for that to happen. At least not until I was actually ready and had the characters all picked out. So who…?
Nee-san saw a number of figures come tumbling straight out of the sky. Gravity, the ever present mistress that it was saw to it that their direction took them on a beeline course for the ground at breakneck speed with intention to splatter.
"Those aren't the characters who are supposed to be here," Nee-san murmured to himself. "I haven't even gotten back any responses from anyone so who could…"
Nee-san snapped out of his reverie and dashed forward.
"Ah! Right! Let's go make like heroes, Knightmon!"
"NEE-SAN! I'M STILL STUCK!"
"Oops," replied the boy sheepishly as the falling figures plowed into a massive sand dune, kicking up a cloud of dust from the force of their impact.
Sampson stood in front of the viewing window, his shade covered eyes focused on the orange colored dinosaur who was strapped down securely. Next to him, Yoshino and Lalamon stood, quietly awaiting their superior's response to their report.
"So…that's his story?"
"That's it sir," said Yoshino. "I have to admit that it's more than a little bit strange to and even I have trouble believing it, but don't you think that there should at least be some kind of investigation before we send Raptor-1 back to the digital world."
"Do you have any reason to believe that its story can be authenticated?"
"Well…not particularly. But Raptor-1 was acting rather peculiar even for a Renegade. He claimed to be a human child by the name of Takato Matsuki, and he seemed pretty convinced about it. Even mentioned a number of people and places that he couldn't possibly have known about if he actually was the digimon that we've had contained here."
"Hmmm…" Sampson stroked the edge of his chin. On his shoulder, the small, ferret-like creature looked up at him.
"Could there be a chance that a human child somehow switched minds with Raptor-1?"
"Impossible to say at this moment, but based on Yoshino's testimony it's a possibility that we're going to have to consider. Tell Miki and Megumi to run a system-wide diagnostic on all internal sensors and log any and all abnormal readings that they find. Also have them look into any recent police reports about children acting strange around the area of…Shinjuku was it?"
"Yes sir. Do you want me to patrol around there as well?"
"Negative. Stay here for the time being and guard Raptor-1. We may have to interrogate him for more information regarding his 'human' identity. I'm also interested in learning more about this 'Hypnos' agency that he told you about."
"Do you think that there could be an additional agency?"
Sampson did not answer the girl, instead merely choosing to observe their captive digimon a few moments longer before turning and walking off at a brisk pace towards the observation room's exit.
"Let me know when Raptor-1 awakens."
Sampson closed the door behind him with a dull click, leaving Yoshi and Lalamon to stare at it for a few moments with curious expressions on their faces.
"Do you think something's wrong?" Asked Lalamon in her sing-song voice. Yoshi pressed her thumb and forefinger against her chin in imitation of their superior and frowned.
"I don't know Lalamon," answered Yoshi with a frown. "But one thing's for sure, whatever it is that's going on we're likely to get our answers from our friend here once he wakes up."
Turning back towards the observation window Yoshi grimaced as she heard a loud snore being emitted by the large, orange dinosaur as he continued to sleep the day away.
"Sheesh. He sure is a heavy sleeper, isn't he?"
"I guess that he really needs it after the day that he's been through."
"Hmmph. It wouldn't be that way if he didn't up and decide to escape like that."
"Yoshi. I'm sure he was just frightened by his surroundings. How would you react if you suddenly woke up in a strange place like this?"
"I guess, but," Yoshi's frown softened as she looked at the sleeping dinosaur, "I don't remember you acting that way when you first came to the real world."
"I'm used to my digimon form. If what he said is true, waking up in a digimon form must have been quite a surprising experience."
"I suppose you're right," said Yoshi, waving one hand in the air in a dismissive fashion. "But that's assuming that he actually is a human trapped in a digimon's body. Still, I guess it's best to give him the benefit of the doubt for the time being. It's the commander's call. He wants Raptor-1 under observation so that's what we're going to do. I wonder how long it will be before we get the scientists here to look him over."
The pair was quiet for a few moments before Lalamon spoke up again.
"You know…the commander didn't say anything about the boy that Raptor-1 got into a fight with."
"Hmmm… Maybe the commander has a lot on his mind right now. Besides, I erased his memory after all. I doubt that he'll be a problem after this."
Marcus grunted as he was thrown to the ground and a pair of rough hands forcibly began to place handcuffs around his wrists.
"Hey! Watch the material!" He shouted as he strained against the strength of his assailants. "Come on! What's this all about?! I didn't even do anything! You can't just go arresting people in the middle of the street for no reason!"
"That's where you're wrong, kid," said the police officer who was trying to hold Marcus down while his partner cuffed him. "We do have good reason to arrest you. We have several eyewitness accounts of you assaulting people."
"Oh. Those guys?" Laughed Marcus as he heaved his body upwards only to be thrown back down against the pavement. "Listen. Those guys were on my turf! You can't blame a guy for defending his territory, and besides they started it. What was I supposed to do? Run away?"
"Defending yourself isn't a crime, but if you actually had something to worry about in your defense you wouldn't have tried to escape from us anyway. You know what we call that, right? Resisting arrest. Last I checked that's a criminal offense."
"Yeah? Well offense this!" With a sudden surge of strength Marcus strained his wrists against the handcuffs. An orange aura flared around his fists and with a quick snap of his wrists the chain connecting the handcuffs flew off, throwing them and one of the officers clear from his body. The other policeman, stunned by this sudden display of power staggered to his feet and backed off. With a harsh gasp of air Marcus got to his feet and glowered at the officer.
"Is that all you've got? C'mon! I'm barely working up a sweat he…wha…?"
Marcus blinked as he noticed that his hand had what appeared to be an orange flame surrounding it. A flame that, strangely enough, did not burn at all.
What's going on here?
Snapping his eyes back up, Marcus barely had enough time to register that the police officer that he had been facing down with earlier was now charging towards him with his knight stick raised, clearly intending to knock him out. Before the officer could even bring his weapon onto the desired skull, a green colored energy arrow struck the weapon, sheering it in half and sending its end toppling uselessly to the ground. Blinking in surprise both males turned to look towards the alleyway that the blast had come from. A single, solitary foot of green scales and three claws stepped out of the shadows before being joined by another. Continuing to move forward the shadows parted to reveal a turtle-shelled creature with a strange, yellow ball stuck in a hole in his chest and what appeared to be a military helmet strapped around its head, obscuring its vision. For some reason though when Marcus saw the creature he had the distinct feeling that the obstruction did not hinder it in the least.
At the same time, a faint feeling of déjà vu tickled his mind, and the orange flame around his fist pulsed in time with it.
"My apologies officer," said a clear, distinct, elderly voice from the alley. "But I have a need for this boy here, and you happen to be in the way. Kamemon?"
A smile began to grow across the turtle creature's face and he took another step forwards. As though the movement was a trigger the police officer choked and took another involuntary step backwards, his instincts clearly screaming at him to flee. There was just something about it that called to him visions of a nightmare that he had seen back from when he was but a young child, and although he hadn't thought about it in years, the dream had been traumatic enough for him where every so often it clung to him whenever he happened to see so much as a sign of a turtle. Cold sweat dripped down the officer's face and he jerked his vision over to his fallen partner, who was just now starting to come to with a groan.
The shock of seeing such a strangely realistic creature that looked so much like his nightmares of old proved to be far too much for him. The officer's eyes rolled up into his head and he promptly collapsed to the curb, twitching slightly.
"I see that the police force has been lowering the bar lately," commented the elderly voice from the shadows. Turning his gaze away from the turtle creature Marcus Daemon glared at the alley and raised his fists, this time unmindful of the burning flame that glowed around them.
"Hey! Who are you? Show yourself?!"
"My, my. Quite the impatient tone to be taking with someone who just saved you from being placed in prison…"
"I don't need help mister, now step out of there right now or I'll…"
"No need to threaten," said the voice as its owner took a step forward. Marcus frowned upon seeing the man. At first glance he didn't look all that impressive. A long, gray mustache, a balding head, and a slightly stooped physique that was obviously past its prime, not to mention the rather ridiculous looking Hawaiian T-Shirt that he wore. He hardly looked like the sort of person who would command the bizarre creature that he was standing next to. Yet, there he was, plain as day.
"So impatient," continued the man calmly. "And always ready to settle things with your fists. But then, that's what I would expect from the son of…Spencer Daemon."
The world suddenly seemed to stop for the street fighter named Marcus and the flame around his hands was abruptly snuffed out.