+cloudy with a chance of kaisers+

So it always was between us: fight, fight, fight... and then the awkwardness that followed. We were so ashamed of it, really. Our being heroes, that was.

Yeah? Oh, hey... I almost forgot.

I'm Daisuke.

How silly of me. Ken says that it's good to start a story with a strong and gripping opener, kind of mysterious, but to proceed quickly to clarity. Like names, details...things like that. And so, like he says, I'm going to point out the narrator is me, and I'm Daisuke. Neat.

And yet I'm probably jumping the gun a bit, because now that I've mentioned Ken, it will be fair to assume that everything about Ken's devilish Kaiser past is exactly that: the past.

Oooh, how I wish!

Miyako's reading this over my shoulder, and she wonders if I sidetrack much. My first paragraph held "excellent promise," but then it "dissolves into unexplained nonsense." I'm writing her words at her dictation, but under duress and while protesting...it's MY story, after all, and who is she to butt in? But she's bribing me, or blackmailing me... something like that.... the details of which I will NOT be discussing in this particular document.

So I will explain the first paragraph, with Ken's clarity. Here goes:

(like, if it isn't obvious already... I think it's obvious!)

The "we" that were always fighting were all of us next-gen Digidestined. We fought with Ken a lot in those days, but for most of us (not TK and Kari, but the rest) we were new to this hero stuff, and so every time we knocked over a spire, we were ashamed. I mean, who were we to be marked out by destiny? Ken says that destiny is inscrutable, and if I understood what that meant I'd probably agree. I just think that destiny is creepy, even when it means that you get a cool Digimon partner like Veemon and the chance to save a whole world.

Veemon. He's the coolest! I mean, not just in general terms, but honestly, could there be a more awesome Digimon? He's funny, and he has really great Digievolutions. Ah... now Miyako is sending email telling everyone that I think that I'm better then they are. But that's not true.

If anything, I think I'm worse. Veemon makes up for a lot of what I lack, I guess.

Grrr.. now Miyako is making the little "weeping violins" sign with her fingers, rubbing them mock-tragically. Why am I letting her read this as I type, you ask? Well, it was either her computer, or Jun's. So I have to endure her... oh, no...now she's butting in again....

MIYAKO HERE: DON'T BE FOOLED BY DAISUKE'S POOR-ME ACT. HE'S SUCH A WANKER.

!!!!! That's so unfair! Miyako, don't think I won't delete that out later!!!!

Back to the story.

Ken is my friend now...obviously, since I'm quoting his advice. But back in those olden days, it was a lot different.

Control spires were just a part of his evil plans. He had the dark spiral thing going on, and he went out of his way to personally piss off Tai by stealing Agumon, a totally uncool thing to do. But then, Ken's always been a geek with loser tendencies. Sad, but true. Geeks do ridiculous things sometimes to get attention. Miyako calls it "overcompensation."

Miyako asks me if I really, really meant to call Ken a loser, especially since we are such good friends now and that I like him so much.

Yes, I really did mean it. But more on that later.

What was the worse part of it all? That deep in our hearts, all of us Digidestined kinda admired Ken for his Kaiser act, kinda envied him his pose as Emperor. We went there every day and had to work. It was like holding down a second job or something. But Ken... he got to move to the Digital World, and it was all like play for him. 24/7, 100% pure entertainment. Of course, later on he saw the error of his ways, but not before teaching the rest of us a terrible, beneficial lesson.

Ignorance IS bliss.

Look at Takeru. I mean, really. He was with the original guys when they were sucked into the Digital World, without having a single sense of what was going on, or if they would ever see home again. And every other day it was some horrific battle, with no chance of getting to watch Toonami or eat pizza as a reward for a Job Well Done. Campfires and survival skills? Blah, blah, blah.... that's just nastiness and I dare anyone to say anything different. And yet... knowing nothing of what was going on around them, and not knowing if things would turn out okay in the end... Takeru now counts those days as among the happiest in his life.

So Ken had his ignorance too. But like everything else about him, he took control of his lack of knowledge and forged something completely different out of it.

When Ken decided to camp out in the digital World, he did it with style.

More importantly, he did it by choice. And he knew that he could always come home if the going got tough, and could do it as the tragic run-away genius. Oh, his story had so much potential, no matter if he won or lost the war. And we all knew that.

We knew that if we defeated the Kaiser, we could never defeat Ken. The best we could hope for would be to change him. And what kind of victory is that?

Of course, Ken's reign was all very totalitarian (or whatever). It was bad, evil, and wrong. Lord of the Flies, Heart of Darkness kind of wrong. Ken got in touch with his inner savage, and damn, did he like it or what?

And it was sexy on him. Miyako says so. And...if I may whisper it as well... I say so too.

Miyako is laughing uncontrollably over that one. She says that my gayness is so non-closeted that I might as well be wearing a sign that says "eat me."

Okay.

Miyako officially sucks.

Um...losing contrl...

MIYAKO: DAISUKE IS JUST JEALOUS OF MY LONG LEGS AND NATURAL BREASTS.

Ick, ick, ick! SO, not true. Whatever my flaws, I refuse to stoop to crossdressing. But to make peace, I will say that Miyako is pretty, and I'm sure I'd love to kiss her if the whole concept didn't just make me want to hurl this instant.

Getting back to Ken and his inner savage. Like, you can totally tell the difference between civilized Ken and his more... raw... self. There are similarities, of course. Both of them like to wear a lot of clothes, layers and layers of the stuff. It keeps him pale and it keeps him inaccessible. Ken the Kaiser is just as proud of being a smartie as Ken the Genius, putting maybe a little too much stock in mad-scientist inventions, like the dark spirals or Kimeramon or a Better Soccer Playbook.

Kimeramon. Ah, a legend born of a conundrum wrapped in an enigma. And super ugly, I will have you know. Ken had no proper sense of beauty, just utility, when creating his master Agent of Doom. But I don't want to talk about that. I was talking about Ken.

Can you tell, I like talking about Ken?

MIYAKO: UH-HUH.

Mmm...

Ken.... (just to piss Miyako off, I'm looking all dreamy and kissy faced, even though my relationship with Ken hasn't passed beyond the "having an Understanding" phase)

MIYAKO: IT'S NOT EVEN THAT FAR.

Um.

Okay, so we are just Jogress partners, nothing more. He doesn't know even a whisper of what I feel. Because then he'd have to be confronted with thoughts like these:

I liked the Kaiser. I liked the look of him. I liked Ken's rages, his Angry face, his "gotta have tea and laugh insanely" face, everything. Even his voice sounded different to me. So confident, so slightly insane.

Who were we to know that the insanity was just an act? To my pleasure, I've discovered that under Ken's mask of psychosis there was a truly fragile and insecure soul. He needs therapy. He needs medications. He needs lots and lots of specialized counciling.

Instead, he got me.

I'm not sure I can handle that responsibility, not seeing as how I'm such a dirty git that I'd almost love to see him regress a little bit, just so that I can see him wear that tight spandex Kaiser-outfit of his, the one with the stripes and the cape and the whip. Very decadent. I could say more about the peculiar beauty that Ken possessed, but with Miyako greedily reading over my shoulder and threatening to email the details to Hikari, I will SO refrain from doing that.

Let's just say, Ken is my serious and total reason for existing, at this point. Without him, I'm not only diminished, I'm... what's the word?

Okay, I just looked it up. Annihilated. Totally destroyed.

So yeah... we all defeated the Kaizer, and I became his thrall (another dictionary word). If not in hard, cold reality, then in my imagination. I wasn't exactly obsessed, but...

MIYAKO: OBSESSED IS AN EXCELLENT WORD FOR IT

Shut Up!

...preoccupied. I was most clearly preoccupied by him. It's not just his beauty that gets me. We were at war. He was commander and dictator, but later became a childlike boy. I can't emphasize that last point enough. After losing the whole Kaiser gig, it was really like he seemed so young, as if the years between when he first got his Digivice and then had never happened. Like his brother had just died. It was weird... he honestly mourned his brother all over again, as if the intervening years had failed to create any necessary distance.

For those of us who are closer to Ken, most think that Ken was only able to really come to grips with Osamu's death once he had "let go of a persona that he had adopted to psychically protect him from having to recognize that death." (I'm quoting Iori here. I memorized his words because they seemed so interesting at the time, and because I believed them). I used to believe this was true.

No longer.

What I do believe is a private thing, and I won't be talking about it here.

MIYAKO: AW.... DAMN.

That felt good!

Okay, what am I saying here? Ken would laugh at this story. It's not really a story, so much as a memoir. "Ken was bad, and I liked it, and now I'm stuck." I AM stuck... I can't tell him what I feel. Although I can be very certain that Ken is gay (he shows the signs), there's no meaning to that. He doesn't have to love me. He could very well love Takeru. Takeru is not gay, but he plays the line pretty close sometimes, and Ken could easily be charmed by that confidence that I lack and that Ken himself lacks, but that Takeru has always had.

Or Ken could love no one. Why should he? He's only 11. We're just kids and he doesn't need to feel anything in particular.

I'm the horny one, after all.

Ha... Miyako thinks it's interesting that I'm so ready to talk about sex-things but not emotion-things. That's because intimacy is easy but relationships are hard. She would know this, if she ever had one herself!

(now I have to fight to keep her away from the keyboard. She wants to make a long disclaimer now, but I'm not letting her)

I think I did say that I would explain why I think that Ken is a loser. This is a tricky one, and not to be explained away by some trite little nothing non-sequitar about how, "well, he lost his brother... so there!" I don't mean "loser" in that sense. I mean it in the old-fashioned, "he kinda sucks" way.

Why is this? Miyako thinks that this is a shocking revelation. She has even stopped trying to snatch the keyboard from me. Woo-hoo!

It's not simple. It's not easy to say. It would probably kill Ken to hear this. But I really think he missed out on something. When he came over to the "good guys" side, I mean. I said before that the only kind of victory that we could have over the Kaiser would have been to change him. Or rather, to facilitate him changing himself. Well, this is exactly what happened... and yet it was like we had all suspected in our hearts... defeating the Kaiser did NOT mean taking down Ken. But what what we didn't suspect was that we would come to like him, forgive him... even pet him a little. He's so fragile, after all... even Iori learned to be nice to him eventually.

Our victory was no victory.

We looked into the eyes of the Kaiser, and saw ourselves.

What he failed to do was to protect us from this revelation, to see that the only thing that was stopping us from being exactly like he was was our knowledge. And what a pitiful thing that was! I saw it in them all: Hikari, Takeru, Miyako... even Iori, the youngest and most innocent one. We are all Nazis at heart. We are all Kaisers. LOL dramatic I know but true all the same.

Ken was supposed to maintain the Hitler illusion to the bitter end, so that we could continue to believe in our own righteousness, and not have to confront our own inner cowards, our own personal god complex.

This didn't happen right away. We did not have our little throw-down in the desert and suddenly have to come face to face to our own sub rasa badness. And I DON'T mean "badassness." No, I mean the kind of evil that is not a choice, but a weakness. Something that we couldn't help, something that made us no better then the Pol Pots and Gendo Ikaris of this frustrating world.

Our revelations came when Ken joined us. Oh, I know we wanted it... I wanted it most of all. But for him to not only take off the Kaiser's cape, but to take on the role of a hero... well, that just told us how worthless and cheap the title of "hero" actually is.

We were only heroes because destiny made us so. Ken was only the Kaiser for the same reason.

Creepy, huh?

Miyako doesn't know what to say to all this. She's not saying I'm wrong, exactly, but she can't look me in the eyes either. She knows.

Ken was a loser because he took away our innocence: not be being evil, but by becoming good.

I still like him. Hell, I love him. I admit this, even while Miyako is watching each word as I type it. He is really the most phenomenal person I can ever hope to know.

But in some ways, he's like my forbidden fruit. The Tree of Knowledge, kind of thing. And I read somewhere that everyone needs to have something like that in their life, but the thing is... you are not supposed to betake of it. (I'm not sure if "betake" is a word but it expresses my idea as best as I can write it). I did, however. I came to know Ken... not as the Kaiser, but as a friend. And looking into his soul...into the dark parts... there I was.

How do I end this, this meaningless story that refuses to go anywhere? Maybe with a confession.

I'm Daisuke.

I have sinned against the gods and men. AND MIYAKO. ... shut it!

In what I have done, and what I have failed to do.

I'm very, very selfish and needy.

I could have been the Kaiser. It could have been me up there. And maybe it would have been okay, if I got to look good doing it....mm...

But no. That's not right.

I don't know what's right anymore. I don't know what to believe anymore.

Without Ken, I wouldn't believe in anything.

And that's all I wanted to say. Thank you and good night.