A/N: Welcome to chapter three of Anchors & Oceans! Sorry it's taken a while. I got a job and then school started! And it's just been chaotic! Just like this chapter! Thanks for your wonderful reviews!
Anchors & Oceans
Chapter Three: Darkness Has a Voice
Cries of the child of Light's name echoed across the beach. The bearer of Hope felt broken and useless. He had let Kari fade away. He let the darkness take her. Just as he had a little over a year ago when he'd refused to deal with her. He walked away. He didn't help her, when he should have. He clenched the box in his pocket so tightly he thought his hand would crush it. He was supposed to be Kari's anchor and he let her drift away.
He ran into the cold ocean water as if it would take him to where Kari was, but it did nothing of the sort. The waves just crashed up on him, threatening to knock him over.
The Digi Destined heard T.K's yells and rushed over, abandoning the fire. Davis and Ken got there first, skidding to a stop in the sand by their friend. "What happened?" Davis asked, urgently.
Ken had a strange feeling just seconds before T.K started screaming Kari's name, as if a dark force was near and trying to penetrate a wall. That wall, must have been a wall Kari had put up to keep out those who weren't welcome, like the powers of darkness. Somehow, they'd knocked her wall down. How? Kari had become strong. Ken had thought that the both of them were now immune to the powers of darkness. Now they were back with renewed strength? Thoughts of worry invaded his mind.
"They took Kari!" T.K yelled. Hysteria was taking over. He wanted Kari back on this beach with him. She wasn't safe. He wanted her to be in his arms, where she belonged. Davis and Ken stepped forward and dragged him out of the water. T.K thrashed against them. He needed to go after Kari. If only he knew how…
"Who is they?" Mimi asked, watching T.K with concerned eyes.
Tai pushed his way to the front of everyone, hearing what T.K said and taking it like a dagger to the heart. "Again?" He breathed. He'd heard of what had happened to Kari. She had told him about it after it all happened. They had sat in his bedroom eating cookies and milk while she shared this dark story of hers. Tai only wished he could have been there for her.
"Again," T.K replied, his voice breaking. Ken and Davis were still holding his arms.
Yolei fidgeted uncomfortably, standing beside Mimi. She knew where Kari had been taken and by what. She'd been there with Ken and Kari and it was one of the worst things she'd ever experienced. The darkness had its ways of getting to you and making you feel like nothing; like you were useless and didn't matter. It took your fears and multiplied them. It overtook you once you were unable to sustain it any longer. Kari was one of its favorite prisoners. She looked over at Ken, wondering what was running through his head at the moment. Surely he was scared. The place he feared the most was back again and had took Kari. Did that mean that soon Ken would be taken away as well?
"Look," Joe began. "Let's be rational about this. T.K, please explain what happened. What did you see?"
"That's just it, Joe. I didn't see anything!" T.K said, breaking free from Davis and Ken. The expression on her face and how she told him to make it stop wouldn't leave his mind. "She was in front of me one minute and the next, she wasn't. She wasn't herself. The darkness was seeping over her and she was trying to fight it, but she couldn't." He willed away the tears that threatened to fall. "And I should have saved her. I should have done something. That damn darkness won't leave her alone!"
"It's not your fault. The darkness was too strong, it overpowered the guard Kari had up." Ken told T.K, finally speaking up. His eyes were on the sand. "I could feel it. I could feel the darkness coming. I just tried to ignore it. I tried to push it away as a feeling that had no meaning. But it did…"
"What does it want with her?!" Tai shouted. "Kari practically radiates light. It can't take her away!"
"Tai," Izzy started. "Darkness can get to anybody. We're all susceptible to it. Some more than others. Kari tends to keep things inside, so she doesn't hurt others. The darkness feeds off of that."
"Kari and I talked about this. She told me she was going to be more open about how she felt. That she knew it was for the best to tell others how she was feeling. She promised," Tai told Izzy, staring at him coldly, straight in the eyes. "Kari doesn't break promises."
"That's not what I'm saying. I just think that we need to take a step back and try to figure out how to get Kari back, instead of standing here giving into hysteria!" Izzy retaliated, raising his voice a bit. Sometimes that was necessary with Tai; to get through his thick skull.
Cody nodded, agreeing. "Izzy's right. This has happened before and we've gotten Kari back. We can do it again."
Sora put a hand on Tai's shoulder, trying to comfort him. She was lost for words on what to say that would possibly ease his worry. She was staring over at Matt, who hadn't said a word. He hadn't made any sort of move to try and help T.K cope with this. He just stood there like stone, watching everybody.
T.K pulled the tiny box out of his pocket and whipped it into the sand. He stumbled, sprinting away from everybody. Matt didn't follow and Sora bit her lip, knowing somebody had to go talk to T.K. Yet, she felt she needed to stay with Tai, who wasn't very responsive.
Mimi watched T.K run off and looked over at Matt, as if expecting him to do something. When he didn't, she marched right over to him. "Yamato!" She scolded. "Go talk to your brother." But there was something different about Matt. Something in his eyes. You had to look deep to see it, but there was a strange emptiness about them. "Matt?" Mimi didn't understand what was going on. There was chaos all around her. The perfect beach day was ruined.
He reached out to Mimi suddenly and seized her wrist. "I had to do it!" He screamed, in a voice that was indeed his own, but not his words. Insanity coated his voice like a thick layer of frosting on a cake. "I had to kill her! She was out of control!" His grip on her wrist tightened and Mimi cried out.
"Mimi!" Yolei yelped. Ken grabbed onto her hand and squeezed it tightly, letting Joe and Izzy leap into action, trying to pry Matt off of Mimi.
"Matt, what are you talking about?" Mimi asked him, fear in her eyes.
"Matt, stop talking crazy. Let go of Mimi!" Joe said, his voice rising an octave higher than usual.
"Nobody understands!" Matt cried, pulling on Mimi's arm and then shoving her to the ground. Mimi looked up at him, afraid to move. "I loved her. That's why I did it. Somebody needed to save the Digital World!"
Tai and Sora were in awe, not sure of what the hell was going on. They stood there, unable to move as Joe asked Mimi if she was alright and Izzy and Cody tried to calm Matt down.
Yolei looked down at Ken's hand in hers and bit her lip, unsure of what to say or do in this moment. The chaos was unavoidable and closing in around them. What was going on with Matt? Had he gone mad? She desperately searched for an explanation when Ken spoke.
"He's possessed." Ken said blankly, no flicker of emotion on his face.
"By what?" Joe questioned.
Before Ken answered, Matt started laughing maniacally, pushing Cody and Izzy away from him.
"What is going on?" Tai practically demanded at Matt and whatever it was that was possessing him. He took a step forward. "I want my sister back now!" But he got no reply, just more hysteric laughter. Sora reached out for Tai and pulled him back, a look of concern spreading across her features all over again.
And then as soon as it began, it was over. Matt fell crumpled to the sand and sighs of relief were heard all around as the Digi-Destined tried to comprehend what had just happened. Some of them were lost in thought, standing completely still. Others knelt down beside Matt, trying to wake him.
Davis, however, was backing away from the situation, not wanting to even think about what he'd just witnessed. He concentrated on the blonde boy, sitting by the fire with his head between his knees and his hands clenching handfuls of his hair.
The tiny little box that contained the necklace meant for Kari had landed in front of Davis' feet. He had picked it up and was holding it delicately in his hands and found himself wandering over to where T.K was. He was worried about Kari as well. Everybody was, but he couldn't imagine what it was like for Tai or T.K. Davis knew T.K held strong feelings for Kari. Feelings that Davis was sure Kari probably would return, if the two would get around to it. He imagined that whatever was inside the box was T.K's way of trying to tell her how he felt. Although it stung to know that the girl Davis held a spot in his heart for, yearned for the blonde, Davis wasn't heartless. He may be dimwitted and headstrong, but he did know when it was time to bury his own feelings and help someone else out. He rushed after his friend and sat down beside him on the log. The fire was smoking and close to being completely extinguished.
Davis nudged T.K lightly. "You dropped something," He told him, softly. He held out the box and as T.K sat up, his eyes landed on the box again. The box that would never be in Kari's hand that contained the necklace that might never make it around Kari's neck. She had disappeared and what if he couldn't bring her back this time? He thought all of that had been done with. That the darkness had no reason to come after Kari anymore and that Kari was well protected; that she shielded herself. Doubt filled his mind as he took the box from Davis and stuffed it into his backpack. It wasn't supposed to happen like this.
Davis found himself lost for words and not wanting to make T.K upset. He basically just sat there in silence, digging his toes into the sand and listening to the arguments and such that were taking place among the other Digi-Destined. "Whatever it was," He began, staring up at the sky. "I'm sure she would have loved it." He offered a weak smile which T.K found impossible to return.
"Something weird is going on," T.K said, as if not acknowledging what Davis had said at all, although he had heard it. He knew how much it must of pained Davis to say that to him and he appreciated it, but he didn't want to get into that just now.
Davis nodded, agreeing. "I know. Something's happened with Matt. The others thought he was possessed by something or someone for a minute there. Nobody knows how to go about finding Kari or what danger there is. It's a mess."
"That's what bothers me the most. We can't just find Kari. It's not that simple. The Darkness can take her places we can't get to, unless we're invited. But I don't think we're on the guest list." T.K said, numbly and then his eyes flickered over to the others. "Is Matt alright?"
"I believe he's back to normal, yes." Davis said. He paused as he dug through his mind for something to say. "How did you get to Kari last time?"
"I don't know exactly…" T.K answered, hesitantly. He shifted on the log, hanging his head. "It was like she summoned me or something. It was…like nothing I've ever experienced. She was calling for me and I was able to get there because of her."
"Then why isn't she calling you now? Why can't she bring you there? You think she'd want help." Davis was completely baffled. It made no sense that they couldn't find Kari if all it took was for her to summon T.K. She would in a heart beat. So, why wasn't she?
"Look, Davis. I don't know." T.K ran a hand through his hair and got to his feet, slowly and uncertainly. "I suppose I should check on Matt." He shuffled over in their direction, with Davis not too far behind. Matt was sitting in the sand seeming to be awfully confused as the others relayed what had happened to him, the things he had said and done. Matt was in shock, having no memory of the minute or two at all.
Ken was searching for answers, looking deep in thought. He had felt something when the darkness was near. Had Matt as well? "Matt, did you feel odd or anything before Kari was taken away? Could you sense something?"
Matt considered the question for a moment and then simply shook his head. "I didn't feel as if something was taking me over, if that's what you mean. I didn't know the darkness was coming. Was it the darkness that took over me?"
"I'm not sure. It could be," Ken racked his brain, trying to connect everything. But so far, none of the pieces of the puzzle were fitting together. He was becoming frustrated.
"It's happened before," Sora interjected. "In the Digital World. It happened to Matt and then myself." Ken cocked an eyebrow, giving Sora his full attention. He nodded, as if to say, 'Go on.' "Matt was dealing with some…personal issues and he went off on his own, leaving the group. The darkness inside of him ended up creating this horrible cave that he could not get out of until he faced the darkness and proved it wrong. I had a similar encounter. I had been putting to much pressure on myself, whereas Matt had been thinking very lowly of himself as a person and a brother."
Matt winced as she told the story, remembering that day and how he had felt so detached from T.K, the others, and himself. He remembered how Gabumon had managed to help him and how he knew just how much he needed his Digimon partner from then on. Gabumon was his friend. He felt tears prick his eyes and willed them away, embarrassed. "But Sora, how could this have happened again? I'm more confident in myself than ever." He felt the lie roll off of his tongue and knew that he was no where near at his personal best. He'd been too worried about his band lately that he had neglected everything and anything else. He wasn't sure about anything anymore. He wasn't sure what would happen if he didn't have music and if he didn't have his band. Without them, he felt as if he was nothing. And that was how the darkness got to him, wasn't it?
"Can we stop analyzing this?!" Tai cut in, angrily. "It's getting us nowhere. The point is, I'm going to be going home without my sister and that's not going to go over well with me parents. We need to figure something out. Izzy, you're the intelligent one, come up with some genius plan. Where's Gennai when you need him anyway? Isn't it about time he provides us with some useful information?" He crossed his arms.
Izzy sighed. "Tai, it's not that easy."
The wheels in Ken's mind were turning as he opened his mouth to talk once more. "I believe that something was taking advantage of Matt's weakness to use him as a host. Someone or something wanted to talk to us. And by what they said, I'm not exactly sure what they were trying to let us know."
"They said that they had to kill her. That she was out of control…" Yolei said in a soft voice that faded off.
"Was it some sort of sick way of apologizing for killing Kari?" Davis wondered out loud. Tai nearly strangled him.
"He couldn't be talking about Kari! Why would they kill her? Kari is not out of control. She's fine. That message made no sense." Tai was babbling now, worried about his sister and if Davis had been right. Surely, he wasn't. He wasn't right often, but this could be that one time when Davis was right. There's a first time for everything.
"Maybe so. Maybe it didn't make any sense to us now, but whatever that was wanted us to know something. Something about how they killed someone. They seemed to be defending themselves, as if the person needed to be put out of their misery or something." Izzy observed.
T.K tried to take it all in. Kari wasn't dead. She couldn't be. The darkness wouldn't just take her away to kill her. No, not at all. The darkness was using her for something as they normally did. "It wasn't the darkness that possessed Matt." He said, finally joining the conversation. He was sure of it, although he didn't know exactly what it had been either.
Kari wondered how much time had passed since she had left T.K and the others back on the beach, worried and wondering what could have happened to her. She imagined Tai's brotherly instincts kicking in and demanding that they find her. She tried calling for her brother. She had tried calling for T.K. Hell, she'd even tried calling for Davis. She was trying to keep positive, trying to light the Dark Ocean with her optimism. Unfortunately, it was seeping away and Kari's light was flickering out.
She was laying on a lawn chair. One of those old looking ones that is tattered and seems as if it would fall apart. She was looking out into a black ocean and feeling the breeze sweep her hair into her face. She shuddered, all warmth gone. No sunshine. No hope. She peered at the restraints that held her to the lawn chair, wanting to scream and shout until her throat went raw and numb. Although, she didn't waste her breath, because she knew that nobody would hear her cries.
Hikari, That same chilling voice whispered in the wind once more. Hikari… Her eyes darted in all directions, frantically. She did not know how she had even become held down by restraints. In the blink of an eye, it seemed as if she missed an hour of her time here. It seemed as if time was moving to fast for her to keep track of. Her mind was racing, as she tried to figure out what was going on and what the darkness wanted. This was paradise in the form of hell. Hikari, you must finish what she failed to. And then Kari felt the lawn chair, shaking and rattling beneath her. She could feel the darkness all around her, closing in and cutting off her air supply. All she could breathe in was this rancid air. All she knew now were these cloudy skies and colorless water and sand. Her scream got caught in her throat. Finish what she started…
A/N: Shorter chapter than my others, but oh well. I thought this was the right place to end it! I love reviews! Let me know what you think!Right now there is just minor couple hints. But as the story goes on, you'll see them form more clearly. (: Thanks for reading!