Disclaimer: Digimon isn't mine. It's Bandai's it's Toei's, it's Akiyoshi Hongo's, but not mine. I'm just playing with it.
Goggles In the Rainbow
August 1st, 1999
Daisuke refused to believe it at first. It couldn't be, it just wasn't fair! But now, as he followed the ginger-haired boy who served as the leader of his walking group back to the parking lot, he just had to come to terms with the fact that his summer camp was over before it even started.
The other students in his walking group chattered noisily; they were just as scandalized by the cancelation of their school's summer camp. Had the camp been canceled for any old reason, they would have been fairly disappointed and nothing more; but heavy snowfall in the middle of summer? That was unheard of.
Daisuke's friend, Nao, was pouting and crossing his arms at Daisuke's side. "This is stupid," the mousy boy complained in a small, squeaky voice. "Who heard of snow in summer? That's such a dumb reason to cancel summer camp!"
"You said it," grumbled Daisuke, rubbing his arms to warm himself. "Couldn't they just get our parents to bring us coats or somethin'?"
"Mikami Canyon is kinda far from Tokyo," said the tall, stringy second grader who walked next to Nao. "And most of our parents are busy in these hours. They couldn't bring us coats on such a short notice."
"I guess that makes sense," muttered Daisuke, blushing. Kikuji was his good friend too, but he was too intelligent and rational for his own good, and often made Daisuke feel a bit inadequate.
"We probably should've thought of bringing coats to camp just in case, anyway," Kikuji noted. "My dad keeps saying that with all the weird weather in the world this summer, we should carry coats everywhere."
"What do you mean by weird weather, Kikuji?" asked Nao. "Like rain made of chocolate?"
Kikuji shook his head. "Don't be silly, Nao, it's nothing like that. It's normal weather but in the wrong place. Like... my dad was in America for work last week and he says it's freezing there."
Nao raised an eyebrow. "Isn't it freezing there all the time?"
"That's stupid, Nao," blurted Daisuke. "If it's summer here then it's summer everywhere!"
"Right, it should be summer in America too," Kikuji confirmed. "Though I think Australia has winter now."
"No way!" exclaimed Daisuke and Nao, staring at their friend with wide eyes.
Kikuji nodded vehemently. "Yes way! My dad says they go to swim on Christmas, and August is when everything gets cold."
"What an upside-down country," marveled Daisuke. Nao nodded in agreement.
"They're not upside-down, they're down under," said Kikuji, crossing his arms thoughtfully. "But they actually have summer now too, I saw it on the news. Like I said, everywhere has weird weather lately."
"So the snow in camp is like that weird weather too?" asked Nao. "D'you think it's like that for the rest of Japan?"
"It's been really hot in Odaiba, now that ya mention it," said Daisuke.
"But it's always hot in the summer!"
"Not that hot!"
"Maybe Earth is getting warmer?" suggested Kikuji.
"Yeah, but then why did it snow at camp?" challenged Nao.
"Oh, right, I haven't thought of that..."
Daisuke sighed. Stupid snow. He loved snow when it was the right time for snow, in the winter, but right now it just ruined all his plans. This was the first time he got to go to summer camp all on his own; his parents said he was too young last year. That was terribly unfair too, as Jun did get to go camping on her own with her new middle school friends. Daisuke didn't care she was six years his senior; if she gets to go to summer camp, he should be allowed to go too. This year she didn't go anywhere special because of the stress of middle school, and Daisuke thought he would finally get to do something she can't... but now camp was canceled. She's gonna laugh at me for sure, he thought bitterly.
The group leader, a sixth grader named Kotani Kazuki, waved his right hand in the air, displaying his yellow leader wristband. "Alright, Kotani Group, may I have your attention please?" he called to the younger students. They stopped, having arrived at the parking lot. The leader cleared his throat. "Right, so... due to the unfortunate circumstances, we're going to have to say goodbye here, even though we just met each other... what was it, an hour ago?" he laughed, but stopped quickly when he realized no one else was. He forced a cough and pulled out a piece of paper from his pocket. "Okay then... I'll read your names out and you'll be going back to the buses you came with this morning. Starting with... Aiba Hiroya, grade three, bus 5."
After Aiba came "Ebisu Seiji, grade five", followed by "Ogata Michiko, grade four". When Kotani called for "Kikuchi Jiroo, grade two", Kikuji waved to Daisuke and Nao as he walked over to bus 6. The boys waved back miserably, even though they knew full well they will rejoin their friend soon.
Two more students were called upon and sent to their buses, and then, "Takaishi Takeru, grade two, bus 8."
Daisuke raised an eyebrow. A second grader named Takaishi Takeru? In their school? Daisuke had to admit that he wasn't entirely familiar with everyone in his grade, but he knew for sure none of his classmates were named Takeru, and was pretty sure there were no Takerus in the other class. He looked at Nao, but the other boy shrugged; he didn't know about a Takeru either.
Kotani hummed. "Takaishi... right, Fujiyama-sensei told me he was with another group. Something about his brother..."
"Is he even from our school...?" Daisuke wondered. Nao was about to answer, but Kotani called out for "Shiota Naoyuki, grade two", and Nao winced. He gave Daisuke an apologetic look and ran off to join Kikuji at bus 6.
Daisuke grumbled. Sometimes, he hated being a Motomiya, always last on the student list.
August 2nd, 1999
Although missing out on summer camp sucked (and, like he thought, Jun mocked him for it), Daisuke couldn't really complain. As compensation, he got a strawberry popsicle, his mother cooked his favorite dish, and his father promised to take him to the new Palette Town theme park that weekend for some father-son bonding. He thought about suggesting that they buy him a real pro football as well, but last time he tried something like that they scolded him for being greedy and told him to wait for his birthday, so he didn't bother asking. Even without the football, he thought it was a pretty sweet deal.
By morning the following day, Daisuke didn't feel bad about summer camp at all. Summer vacation was summer vacation; as long as he didn't have to do any schoolwork, he was happy. He decided to make himself comfortable in the living room, right in front of the television, with all the snacks he could find in the kitchen. He didn't even bother to change out of his pajamas.
Jun was a different story, and while he enjoyed his morning watching anime and game shows, she was slaving over her summer homework. He didn't see her at all until noon, when she walked out of her room looking sour. She furrowed her eyebrows at Daisuke, who was in the middle of guzzling down a bag of potato chips. "Put that away," she demanded. "You won't have any room left for lunch."
Daisuke stuck his tongue out in disgust. "I don't wanna eat your lunch, you always make the rice all watery!" he complained.
"Well, too bad, stupid," said Jun, huffing. "Mom said I have to make lunch for the both of us and you're going to eat it whether you like it or not!"
"No I'm not," Daisuke insisted.
Jun growled. "Fine. I hope you choke on these chips."
Daisuke's eyes narrowed. "I'm telling mom you're bullying me."
His sister smirked. "And I'm telling mom you ate snacks all day instead of eating your lunch."
"No!" cried Daisuke, standing up on the couch. "You wouldn't!"
"Oh, I would," Jun said with a deceiving grin. "If you won't eat your lunch, that is."
Daisuke stared at her for a moment, then slid back into a sitting position and pushed his bag of chips aside, defeated. Jun nodded, pleased, and headed to the kitchen.
"Stupid big sister," Daisuke grumbled under his breath. He looked back at the television screen, where a special news bulletin started airing. Figuring that it was boring and changing the channel would be much better, Daisuke reached for the remote control. However, when he turned back to the screen, he saw an image of Tokyo Tower, with its top leaning sideways like it had somehow begun melting. "Whoa!" he uttered, dropping the remote and leaning forward in interest.
"Indeed, it is an odd scene. About half an hour ago, the top of Tokyo Tower began bending. So far, no explanation has been provided as to why it has happened. It can be assumed that the cause is not the odd weather. Although the temperatures in Tokyo have risen to at least ten degrees above the seasonal average, 41 degrees Celsius is not enough to harm a structure like Tokyo Tower."
At that point, Jun returned to the living room. "There, the rice is on the stove, it should be ready in a bit. Hey, what's that, a movie?" she asked, pointing at the television.
Daisuke shook his head. "It's not a movie, it's real! Tokyo Tower's all meltin'!"
"What?!" Jun cried in shock. She plopped onto the couch next to Daisuke. "Wow, that's just insane!"
"None of the visitors in Tokyo Tower were harmed in the incident. All the visitors at the observation deck evacuated of their own decision moments before the top of the tower was harmed. According to eyewitness reports, monsters have been seen fighting each other..."
"Monsters?!" Daisuke and Jun exclaimed.
"This is just weird," said Jun. "Ever since you came back from camp they've been talking about weird monsters attacking all over the place! Did you bring them with you or what?"
"H-hey, I didn't know 'bout any monsters!" cried Daisuke, raising his arms defensively.
Jun rolled her eyes. "I'm kidding, stupid," she said, lightly swatting the back of Daisuke's head. "I'm just saying that it's a really weird coincidence." She stood up and straightened her skirt. "I don't even have time for this kind of drama... I'm going to check on the rice."
"Alright..." Daisuke mumbled, looking at her walk back to the kitchen. He turned his attention back to the television, where the news reporter on the scene was interviewing a eyewitnesses who hysterically described the monsters.
"T-this one monster, it was like a gigantic human, but his face... oh, it was like a skull!!!"
"That monster radiated this intense heat! Oh, it was awful!"
"Before I ran away, there was another monster, a gigantic fiery bird, only it had fangs..."
It seemed to Daisuke like the eyewitnesses really believed they saw those monsters on top of Tokyo Tower... they didn't all become crazy all of a sudden, right? But, Daisuke's parents always told him that monsters don't really exist... does that mean they were wrong?
Daisuke managed to survive Jun's awful lunch and made up for it by eating a lot of chocolate biscuits afterwards. During dinner, he stuffed himself with mom's food (even though his tummy ached a bit, he assumed it was Jun's cooking's fault) and listened intently as the subject of the monsters came up. Both his parents approached the subject with some amusement and a healthy dose of disbelief.
"I never thought they would ever start using imaginary creatures as an excuse for bad construction," said Daisuke's father.
"I think the heat is getting to everyone's heads," said Daisuke's mother. "Monsters, really!
"To their credit, it IS a rather creative defense," Daisuke's father said with a chuckle.
Hearing his parents saying with such confidence that it wasn't monsters made Daisuke feel much better. If mom and dad are really sure there're no monsters, then there're definitely no monsters, he thought.
Just before he went to bed, under which there were definitely no monsters because monsters weren't real, Daisuke received a phone call from Nao. "The football club has practice tomorrow morning and Yoshi-niisan said you and me and Kikuji can come and watch!" his friend announced, the excitement in his voice quite clear even over the phone. "He feels bad 'cause we missed out on summer camp so he said we can watch the older kids play."
Daisuke eagerly confirmed his arrival, elated. Nao's older brother Yoshi (short for Naoyoshi – for some reason, each and every one of Nao's four siblings had 'Nao' in their names) was the captain of their school's football team, so he definitely had the authority to invite them over. Daisuke, Nao and Kikuji thought he was quite amazing, since he was a very good goalie and much nicer than all the other older brothers they knew.
Daisuke went to bed with a grin on his face, thinking that even without summer camp, this vacation is turning out pretty well.
August 3rd, 1999
Just ten minutes after his Tamagotchi alarm clock woke him up, Daisuke was already at the football pitch in school, breathing heavily and trying to finish the last of a buttered toast his mother forced him to take before he left home. Swallowing the last of his toast with great difficulty, he limped over to Nao and Kikuji, who were already waiting for him at the bleachers by the players' gym bags.
"You didn't have to run, Daisuke," Nao said sympathetically.
"Yeah, it's really hot today," said Kikuji. "And my parents said it's very humid."
"Don't worry... s'okay," huffed Daisuke, and wearily sat between the two of them. "It's really foggy today too..."
"Probably just some morning fog," said Kikuji with a shake of his head. "But I think it's not going to stop the team from playing."
Daisuke looked at the middle of the pitch, where ten older children – the team's regulars, Daisuke realized – gathered around their coach, Ebisawa-sensei. Nao's tall, messy-haired brother was the only one wearing a uniform, and kept tugging at his goalie gloves in discomfort. As Ebisawa talked, two of the fifth graders on the team – a boy named Kenji who always bragged about being the 'Akita of Odaiba' and the only girl on the team, who always wore a blue hat – were whispering about something to each other. Daisuke guessed that they were talking about the final fifth grader on the team, a boy with wild brown hair and rather cool goggles who was missing from the lineup today.
"Do you think that goggle boy who always plays is sick or something?" Kikuji asked.
"No way!" Nao exclaimed. "Yoshi-niisan says this kid never misses practice! His name is Yagami or Yagumo..." he looked thoughtful for a moment, and then nodded. "Yagami, it's definitely Yagami. He has a sister in our grade, from class 1. You know, the girl who's always sick?"
Daisuke raised an eyebrow, wondering why Nao knows so much about a girl who isn't even in their class. He wasn't terribly interested in girls and he figured everyone else should be just as disinterested as he was.
Meanwhile on the pitch, Ebisawa-sensei said something to Yoshi, who immediately ran off into school. "That's why I don't wanna be captain when I'm on the team," said Nao, sticking his tongue out. "Yoshi-niisan always has to bring the cones and balls from the storage room because he's captain."
"But he also gets to lead everyone," Kikuji said with a smile. "He gets to say what they should do and how, and everyone trusts him. I don't even mind living in a storage room on a bed of dust if that means I'll get to be captain."
Daisuke and Nao laughed. "You're such a weird guy, Kikuji," commented Daisuke.
"I just really look forward to being on the team!" Kikuji replied defensively. "Don't you guys feel the same?"
Daisuke and Nao looked at each other for a second and smiled sheepishly. They couldn't wait until they could join the team in the fourth grade either.
Suddenly, they heard a scream. The regulars, who were on the way to the bleachers to get their bags, stopped on their tracks and looked at each other, alarmed. "What the heck was that?" Kenji asked, sounding panicked.
"It sounded like Yoshi!" the only girl on the team exclaimed.
Nao stood up abruptly. "She's right, it did sound like my brother!" he said. "Where did it come from?!"
There was another scream, louder and clearer, and this time Daisuke was sure it was Yoshi too. Kikuji stood up as well and pointed at the school building. "It's coming from there, I'm sure of it!" he cried.
Sure enough, they saw Yoshi running out of the school building, screaming "help, help me!" over and over. Soon, they realized that he was running from many footballs that flew after him in the air at a great speed.
"What the... footballs aren't supposed to do that!" Ebisawa-sensei cried. He was shaking visibly, barely managing not to drop his clipboard.
The girl's eyes widened. "No, it can't be..." she murmured.
When Yoshi reached the group, short of breath and looking absolutely terrified, Nao ran up to him and hugged him tightly. The balls stopped in midair right in front of the team. For a second, everyone just stared at the floating balls cautiously. Suddenly, the balls fell to the ground, flying through the air very quickly as if some invisible force had thrown them. Everything was chaotic as the children ran away screaming, trying to avoid the balls that fell to the ground like little black-and-white meteorites. One ball just barely missed Daisuke's head. When the balls finally stopped falling, Daisuke felt like he had been running for an entire day. As he caught his breath, he looked up, and felt his heart sink.
There were about two dozen of them floating above the pitch. They all had the same round black eyes and wore the same tattered white robes, and each of them had a large, gaping mouth with protruding sharp teeth.
And they were not supposed to be there because monsters don't exist. Or at least, that's what Daisuke repeated in his head.
Without warning, the ghosts swooped down and started capturing everyone. Nao wailed as two of the ghosts separated him from his brother. Three ghosts were needed to overpower the terrified Ebisawa-sensei. The girl with the blue hat was kicking and shouting and calling the ghosts 'Bakemon' as two of them held her down. Because of her powerful struggle, her hat fell off her head. However, her attempt to resist her captors was futile, and they lifted her off the ground with no difficulty and started carrying her away.
Daisuke turned around, wanting to run away. I'll go back home, he thought, and the monsters won't be there, and mom and dad will be there and protect me 'cause they said monsters don't exist...
But when he turned, he was faced with the soulless black eyes and toothy grin of a very real ghost.
Daisuke had never been to Tokyo Big Sight before. Being a second grader, he wasn't really the target audience for the conventions that were held there. He never imagined that his first time at the place would involve him being held hostage.
It seemed like every resident of Odaiba was there. Men and women, children and adults, salarymen and housewives. He recognized many of his neighbors, classmates and teachers scattered about, all looking worried and frightened. With good reason, too; there were many ghosts guarding the entire floor, more than Daisuke could count.
The moment the ghosts dropped them off (literally) on the floor, the children scattered, despite Ebisawa-sensei's pleas that they stay together. Everyone was scared and eager to find their families, looking for some comfort. Daisuke immediately set off to look for his parents as well. Since pretty much everyone in Odaiba was in Tokyo Big Sight, he thought his parents could be around too.
Indeed, it didn't take him long to find them, along with Jun, sitting on a bench and looking incredibly miserable. They were delighted to see him, and his mother hugged him so tightly that he thought he might pop. Apparently, the ghosts broke into their apartment and brought them here, and the same thing happened to most of their neighbors. Daisuke's father mumbled something about needing a new door, and Daisuke's mother scolded him, saying it's not the time to think about that.
"You didn't know monsters exist?" asked Daisuke, trying not to sound as if he was accusing his parents of lying. His parents would never lie to him. He hoped.
"Oh, Daisuke, we thought... we thought we knew they didn't exist," said Daisuke's father, and stroked his son's frizzy burgundy hair. "My father never met a monster, and neither did his father, and his father's father... monsters were always just stories."
"Guess they're not stories anymore," Jun mumbled, resting her head in their mother's lap.
"No, I suppose they're not," said Daisuke's father, rubbing his temple.
"I'm sure everything will be okay," said Daisuke's mother. "You'll see."
She didn't sound very convincing.
Daisuke winced as one of the ghosts passed over him and shook his head fiercely. Thinking about the monsters wasn't making him feel better at all. To distract himself, he sought his friends and the soccer team members with his eyes. He spotted Kikuji with his parents, discussing something with them animatedly, and saw Nao and his older brother engaging in the biggest group hug between siblings he had ever seen. He found Ebisawa-sensei standing by the escalator with a woman who was holding a baby in a pink romper suit. It occurred to him that they might be his family, but he decided that they couldn't be his wife and daughter because teachers don't have families. The girl from the soccer team - who didn't have her hat anymore - was talking with another girl, who didn't even have time to change out of her frilly pink pajamas, and some kid under a blanket. For some reason, they didn't seem very worried.
Eventually, Daisuke got bored of looking for people and resolved to sit at the foot of the bench his family sat on and try to list all the Tamagotchi he knew. He managed to count thirty before a small group of hostages (and three costumed mascots) ran next to him, making their way to the main exit while smacking the ghosts away with fists and metal pipes. He spotted the girl from the soccer team and her friend in pajamas running along. Suddenly, he understood what they were doing, and beamed.
"Mom, Dad, Jun!" he exclaimed, turning to his family. "They're savin' us! C'mon!"
But Daisuke was running ahead, joining hundreds of people who understood the same thing and made a mad dash towards the exit. Ahead, he heard some odd chanting coming from a stereo system, which seemed to drive the ghosts around them away. He didn't stop running until they were outside.
Daisuke felt relieved for a very short time. Just when he thought he was monster-free forever, he saw a gigantic black tyrannosaurus coming their way. At the sight of the dinosaur, he did the first thing he could think of.
He ran away.
He ran to the opposite direction, as far away as he could, and hid on the other side of the building. He collapsed, breathing heavily and trying his best not to cry.
Stupid coward Daisuke, he berated himself, choking back tears. Stupid coward who can't face a stupid monster because he's not brave enough.
The ghosts arrived just moments later and apprehended him once again. He went with them without a struggle.
Instead of taking him back to the entrance hall, the ghosts took him to a higher part of the Big Sight. There was a large group of children there; it seemed that they had picked out every elementary school age child in Odaiba. Daisuke was willing to bet that Nao and his siblings and Kikuji and everyone from the soccer team was there, though the only person he could spot from his location at the back of the group was the girl with the frilly pink pajamas.
It seemed that they were all waiting for something at the front of the group. Every once in a while, he could hear the voice of a young female saying "no" or "it's not him", and weeping children constantly came from the front of the group to another spot at the corner of the hall. He tried to stand on the tips of his toes, but he was one of the youngest and as such, one of the shortest, so he couldn't see beyond all the heads.
Finally, he got a glimpse of the source of the feminine voice when a burly sixth grader crouched to calm down a sobbing child. To Daisuke's surprise, it was just a little white cat who looked a lot like a stuffed toy, with huge ears and green gloves with claws at the end. He didn't quite know what to think of the little cat; for one thing, he was surprised that such an adult voice would come out of such a small creature. Was she like the ghosts and the dinosaur? She sure didn't look like a monster. Was she even working with them, or did they hold her hostage like they held him?
Then he noticed her expression. She was sad. No, worried... maybe both? Daisuke supposed it could be possible. Seeing this, he decided that whatever the cat was, she was definitely not on the bad monsters' side. If she were on her side, she would have been deviously happy. But she seemed just as lost as he was.
"You understand, don't you?"
Daisuke stiffened. It was a new voice that echoed lightly in the hall, a deep, masculine one that sounded regal and absolutely frightening all the same. It seemed to come from behind the cat, but there was nothing there... and suddenly, there was something there, a dark, spiral-shaped cloud that appeared out of nowhere. Many of the children took a step back in alarm; the crouching sixth grader fell back in shock. The cat looked back, looking like she knew what was coming and didn't like it.
A figured appeared from the darkness, spiraling into existence. It was a tall blond man, much taller than a human, with oddly colored skin, wearing a regal blue outfit with many bat-like accessories and markings and a long cape with a tall collar. His blue eyes looked at them coldly from behind a red bat-winged half mask, and his mouth twisted into a cruel smile. One with teeth far too sharp for him to be anything but a vampire.
"If you lie to me, I will kill all of these children!" the vampire announced. It seemed like he was perfectly delighted with the prospect of killing them.
A few kids started crying. The cat turned away from the vampire and lowered her head, shaking visibly. Daisuke looked at her with wide eyes (that weren't watery at all, of course not) and thought:
Please don't lie.
Being a young child, Daisuke had a terrible concept of time, and what may have been a few minutes felt like hours. Of course, when you're in the same room as a vampire who is threatening to kill you if a little plush cat will lie to him about something or other, you'd feel like time is crawling too.
Daisuke started hoping it would be his turn to go in front already. He was tired of waiting and just wanted the cat to say "that's not him" and let him be. He knew he wasn't who they were searching for. After all, he has never met this vampire and certainly never did anything that would annoy him. Unless this was his punishment for eating too much candy... but that was a ridiculous thought.
At that moment, Daisuke was filled with sympathy for the unfortunate child the vampire was looking for. If the vampire was willing to kidnap the innocent population of an entire island and kill children who did nothing to him for no good reason, the kid he was looking for was toast.
Suddenly, a small creature swooped over to the vampire from one of the overhead windows. It looked like a little ball with giant yellow eyes, crow legs and bat wings that were far too big for its tiny body. "Vamdemon-sama!" it cried, sounding very excited.
"What is it?" the vampire asked coldly.
"We've found the eighth child," said the small creature, flapping its wings and grinning.
"What?" the vampire gasped.
The cat seemed shocked as well. Her big ears drooped, and she looked absolutely miserable.
The vampire, however, smiled with satisfaction. He turned to the cat and said, "did you hear that, Tailmon?" The cat straightened up and snarled, glaring at the vampire.
"All right," said the vampire. "Now that I know, I no longer have any use for this place."
Daisuke felt his heart performing a freefall into his pants. But she didn't lie, he thought desperately. The cat didn't lie, he can't do it, he can't kill us!!!
"What should I do with these brats?" the batlike creature asked, eyeing the children.
Vamdemon answered the creature, but Daisuke couldn't hear. Now he chooses the time to speak quietly... He scanned the hall, looking for possible ways out. He's not going to stay behind and just let this vampire eat him... he's braver than that! He has to be!
But he never had a chance to run. A strange fog filled the air, and the children started dropping to the floor, one by one, fast asleep. Daisuke barely had time to register this before the enchanted sleep took him over as well.
Daisuke woke up to darkness and the sound of children crying and exclaiming "it's dark!" and "turn on the lights!". By the time he managed to remember who he was, where he was and why he was laying on the carpeted floor, one of the older children found the electric switches and the hall was bathed with light.
The first thing Daisuke noticed was that it was already dark outside. The second was that the vampire was gone. So were the cat, and the batlike creature, and all the ghosts. It was only the children of Odaiba now.
"Look at that!" cried an older girl, pointing at the large paneled window. "Look at the sky!"
Daisuke was among the first to scurry off to the window, and got a very good view of the peculiar sight; there was another world in the sky. Between strips of clear night sky there were strips of trees and mountains and rivers and lakes. And they were all upside down.
"That's so weird," muttered Kikuji, surprising Daisuke. The stringy boy stood right next to Daisuke without him ever noticing. They were quickly joined by Nao and all four of his siblings, who were just as astonished by the sight.
"What do you think that is, Yoshi-nii?" Nao asked his older brother.
"Wish I knew, Nao," mumbled Yoshi, scratching his head. "It's just plain freaky, that's what it is."
"Maybe it's the vampire's world," suggested Daisuke. "Maybe... maybe he and the ghosts and everything came from there, and they're tryin' to take over. Uh, or somethin'," he added a bit apologetically as he noticed the others looking at him, dumbfounded.
Finally, Kikuji shrugged and said, "considering everything that happened today, that sounds easy to believe." Nao, Yoshi and their younger brothers nodded, and Daisuke sighed in relief.
Daisuke turned his gaze back to the weird sky outside. He wondered if it meant the vampire won. He felt bad for the 'eighth child', whoever he was. If the vampire won, that probably meant the 'eighth child' was eaten alive.
Then, something happened that made his jaw drop. In the distance, a huge column of multicolored light shot to the sky. It must have included every color of the rainbow, and maybe even a few colors that weren't in it.
"That's not one of the vampire's powers, is it?" Nao asked hesitantly. "'Cause rainbows are all nice and girly. And the vampire wasn't."
"If it were the vampire, it'd be a column of darkness, wouldn't it," said Kikuji. "I think these are the good guys."
"Who're the good guys, though?" asked Daisuke. Kikuji shrugged.
Daisuke thought of the 'eighth child'. Maybe, if the rainbow was the good guys' rainbow, that meant that vampire was defeated. Which would mean that the 'eighth child' was still okay. And that he was a good guy. Suddenly, Daisuke wished he could be the 'eighth child'. He didn't feel particularly brave at the moment... and the 'eighth child' must have been brave.
Within a few minutes, small figures appeared in the rainbow light. It appeared that they were ascending from the ground, and they were all quite small... Daisuke quickly realized that they were children. The children who beat the bad guys, thought Daisuke, grinning. And one of them is the 'eighth child'!
He couldn't recognize any of them, nor could he tell exactly how old they were. One of them had a dress and a giant hat, so she was definitely a girl, but the others wore pants and seemed to have shorter hair, so he automatically assumed that they were all boys. One of them caught his attention; it was a wild-haired boy wearing a pair of goggles.
Yagami. The name echoed in his head. Was it really him? The guy from the soccer club?
The children floated up until they disappeared in the sky, and the column disappeared with them. Daisuke waited with bated breath, wondering what's going to happen now.
After a few minutes' wait, the sky began to change. In the other world, the water began to crumble and disappear into blackness. Daisuke squished his nose against the window, desperately trying to get a closer look.
"Does that mean the good guys are winning?" asked Nao in astonishment.
"I hope so," mumbled Kikuji.
A few more minutes, and the forests disappeared the same way as the water did. Then the mountains disappeared. Finally, there was only one spot of the other world left in the dark sky. While the real sky was clear, the spot was much darker and full of tiny stars and oddly-colored fog.
"It looks like somewhere far off in the universe," said Kikuji, mesmerized by the sight.
"So that thing in there's a planet, right?" Daisuke asked, pointing at the glass, as a giant, dark polygon appeared in the spot.
Kikuji's eyes widened. "No way, planets are round, not... what kind of shape is this, anyway?" he wondered. For once, he was baffled.
"I know that one," said Yoshi. "It's a dodecahedron." He pronounced every syllable separately, trying not to stumble over the long word. "It's a polygon with twelve flat faces."
"But Yoshi-nii, I dunno what's a 'porigon'," said Nao, blushing.
"And I dunno why this 'porigon' has claws and a creepy guy in a cape on top!" added Daisuke.
Just as suddenly as the claws and the caped man appeared, they retracted into the dodecahedron, and the whole thing shrunk and expanded again into a giant ball of energy. Suddenly, the outline of a cube made of light appeared and encased it, and they shrunk again... and with a flash of light, there were gone.
As was the darkness. Daisuke covered his eyes with one arm as the light of an early sunset flooded his eyes at once. He pulled away from the windows and turned to the room, rubbing his hurting eyes fervently. When he lowered his arm and his eyes readjusted to the new light settings, the door to the hall opened and adults started streaming in.
Including his parents and older sister.
Elated, Daisuke ran over to his family, and they welcomed him with open arms for a big hug. Daisuke was never so happy to see them, especially not Jun, but after all he's been through, he was just so glad to have them back. He even cried a little. But that's because everyone else was crying, not because he was a wimp or anything.
And yet, there remained that nagging feeling that wouldn't go away... that he wasn't as brave as he could have been.
Daisuke's parents and Jun didn't see much of the fight. They were too busy trying to find him, and then trying to open the hall's doors. Apparently, the children were locked in, so Daisuke's plan of escape wouldn't have worked very well even if he had the time to execute it.
Daisuke and his father's visit to Palette Town was canceled, seeing how half of it was destroyed by... whatever it was. No one actually knew what it was that trampled and annihilated over half of Odaiba. It was considered a lucky thing that everyone was in Big Sight, and as such, there were no casualties.
As annoyed as Daisuke was by the cancelation of the promised father-son outing, he was more annoyed by the fact that everyone started to forget. The whole Big Sight fiasco was attributed to a grand scale terrorist attack by an unknown organization, and everyone seemed to accept it. Everyone forgot that the 'terrorists' could fly, and their leader was a vampire who appeared from clouds of darkness. And the darkness was an eclipse, apparently. That was all very well, Daisuke thought, but what about the upside-down trees in the sky and the clawed doohickey with the person on top? Everyone ignored that. And when Daisuke tried to talk to people about it, they dismissed it as the effects of a post-traumatic disorder, whatever that was.
But Daisuke remembered. He was the only one. And he remembered the kids in the column of rainbow light, too. The 'eighth child' and his friends... one of which was the wild-haired boy with the goggles. Was he really Yagami from the soccer club? Daisuke didn't know anyone else with goggles. Maybe Yagami was the 'eighth child'? Whether he was Yagami or not, and whether he was the 'eighth child' or not, the goggle boy was definitely brave. He went to the other world in the sky and made it disappear... he was definitely as brave as the 'eighth child', if not more.
I wish I could be as brave as the boy with the goggles, Daisuke thought. So that I could beat the bad guys! Next time, I want to be brave like him, so I could save my family and friends!
Secretly, he also thought that, if Yagami also had goggles and was a regular on the soccer team in the fifth grade... maybe goggles make you brave AND good at soccer. You never know.
Eventually, even Daisuke's memories of the event faded. But the conclusion remained. Goggles are courage and friendship. The courage to stand up to the fight, the friendship between you and those you long to protect. Ever since that day, Daisuke wanted nothing more than to be that courageous and friendly person the goggles represent.
He wanted to become a goggle boy.
Notes: Hah, funny that I'm publishing this a day after the ten year anniversary of Digimon Adventure 02. This fic is part of a planned trilogy. I want to write about Iori and Miyako's first time seeing Digimon too, and I have the stories pretty much laid out... just need to write them!
Daisuke's friends are OCs, but their looks were based on two members of Odaiba Elementary's soccer club that were shown in 02 episode 8.
Daisuke's love for Tamagotchi? That's canon. In one episode Daisuke is shown playing a Tamagotchi video game, so I decided to play with that a little. This connection is no surprise, seeing as Tamagotchi was the forefather of the Digimon virtual pets.