Hey, there. I'm DC Zero. I haven't written a lot, and with good reason - the first time I wrote fanfiction it sucked mightily. I think I've gotten better since then, though. Maybe - I'll let you decide if I'm any good or not.

This is a story that's been kicking around my hard drive for around four years now. I'm finally going to start putting it up so I can push myself to get it finished. My intent is to post a chapter a week - let's see how well I remember to do that.

Quick summary of the story (yes, it's vague, but I don't want to give away too much of the good stuff yet):

Five humans, each with their own odd traits, living fairly normal lives. Five digimon, each a seasoned war hero, their most cherished ability stripped from them. None of them knew what to expect when they finally met, and none of them were prepared for what happened when they did. But none of that matters now...all that matters is that they represent the final hope against a formidable foe, and that within their actions lies the fate of two worlds that can no longer remain isolated.

Important Disclaimers

[DISCLAIMER #1]

The following story is based off of the concept of Digimon, which is not owned by myself or anyone associated with me. I do not now, and will not at any time, make claim of ownership of the concept of Digimon, nor any official Digimon character or associated object, nor any other copyrighted work referenced within this story. I do make claim of ownership of all novel characters and scenarios, and request that they not be used without my express permission.

[DISCLAIMER #2]

The following story involves fictional characters in a fictional setting. Any similarity to any real or fictional person or place is entirely coincidental.

[DISCLAIMER #3]

This story contains the following, which may not be suitable for all audiences:

-Textual depictions of violent acts, which may at times be quite graphic

-Mild to moderate offensive language

-Some adult themes

For these reasons, this story has been given, at the Author's discretion, a rating of T. If you are not of a proper age to read this story or are offended by any of the content within, it is your duty to avoid or to stop reading it. I have no capacity to control your actions and therefore cannot be responsible for any offense you take to this story.

All right, procedural stuff is out of the way. Let's get this thing on the road. Here's a little bit of an appetizer before moving into the bulk of the story. Unlike this instance, I'm gonna try to keep the pre-chapter chat short most of the time - most of my notes will be at the end. That generally means if you're looking for a response to a review or something, it'll be at the bottom.

Okay, on with it!

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Prologue: Individuality

Reyn Kessilik always liked fire.

Actually, "liked" was an understatement. He was fascinated by it. Even he wasn't sure why, but the dancing of the flames, the heat they gave off, all of it enraptured him.

His enthusiasm wasn't shared by his parents. That might have been because they worried that the fascination was unhealthy. Or maybe it was the fact that their house had burned down a dozen years ago. Compounded with the fact that Reyn had been trapped in the blaze. His parents had tried to get him out, but failed when the floor under their feet had given way, sending them to the floor below and leaving the crib, lit from falling embers, on its own.

Anyone who had seen the crib would have been sure Reyn would die. He suffered not even a single burn. Doctors called it a miracle; every square inch of cloth in the crib was ablaze when Reyn was finally rescued by a daring firefighter, and by all rights he should have been incinerated.

His parents thought the fire would traumatize Reyn. It seemed to do the opposite. He had slept through the fire, but somehow could visualize every aspect of it in the house. He talked about it with reverence, with awe.

Reyn had not been in a blaze that large since. He focused on smaller-scale pyro-phenomena. He was quite aware of the destructive ability of fire, and he was always careful.

He had never been burned. He did find this odd; he could remember dozens of times when he probably should have been. But his skin remained unmarred by any flame, or indeed any source of heat, even the sun. Perhaps this only added to his attraction. He would leave welding torches on just to watch them burn, or to cut through metal with the hot flame. If he got a hold of a matchbook, he would delight in lighting the matches, one by one, over an extended period of time, savoring the magnificent flames. Bonfires, fireworks, torches, candles, whether larger or smaller, they all pulled him in, like a moth to light, to the majesty, the energy, the sheer power of fire.

He didn't care that his behavior was unusual. Some with the same interest might not recognize that others don't share it, but Reyn was well aware of it. For that reason, he was quiet about his fascination, unless asked. They might not understand. But they wouldn't have to. After all, it was his fascination.

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It had taken Iris Conover a long time to understand why her parents told her to stay away from electrical outlets. It wasn't until fifth grade that she saw a video in class about electricity, and how it could damage a person's body. She was amazed to learn this. After all, she had been shocked numerous times, and yet it hadn't been painful; in fact, she found it pleasant. And she had never been harmed by it, not even a bit.

Electricity appealed to her. Would that one asked her about it, she could regale you with all sorts of facts about electricity and electrical appliances. Her knowledge of electricity and circuitry was unsurpassed among those her age, and many who were older than her. Some people called her obsessed, but they were jealous, and she knew it.

She liked to watch electricians work with downed power lines. She knew that that was the job for her, the kind of work that she would be perfect for. The electricians she talked to seemed to be nervous around downed lines; she wouldn't be. After all, they'd never hurt her before. If not that, there was always repair work. She would be a whiz, always successful with repairing electrical problems.

She didn't know what it was about electricity that was so interesting to her. She didn't bother wondering about it, though, because she wouldn't be able to find the answer like that. Besides, it wasn't important to know why. Did anyone wonder why Mozart was such a good musician? Of course not. Why should they?

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The tornado whirled and twisted, sending debris flying everywhere. With winds powerful enough to tear houses from their foundations, it was a deadly force of nature. Skylar Jascalt sat in a chair, watching it. It wasn't going to harm him; it was only a television program.

He had seen tornadoes in real life. Having lived in the Midwestern United States for several years, he had had ample opportunity for exposure. Everyone there had; it was called Tornado Alley for a reason, and that reason wasn't because it was an actual alley.

He tried to imagine what it would be like to be within a tornado. To feel the cyclone surround him, be buffeted by winds that could be upwards of 200 MPH, feel it lift and carry him to some distant area. He wasn't expecting Oz, just another place on Earth.

The closest Skylar had been to that kind of experience was a wind tunnel his father had taken him to once. He recalled standing inside, being pushed by the strong wind, though only a quarter the speed of a good tornado. He remembered clicking off the restraints provided, standing freely into the gale, feeling the pressure but not being knocked over. His father had scolded him, but later admitted that he was impressed by Skylar's courage and how he had stayed upright the entire time.

Countless books about wind, atmosphere, and the like lined the shelves of his room. He had been into it for as long as he could remember. It wasn't a passion shared by many people, certainly not anyone he knew, but others were still impressed at the breadth of his learning, not to mention how he could make it sound simple enough that anyone could understand it.

The program ended. Skylar popped in a video tape of footage he had recorded on his own of a tornado near his old house a few years ago. He sat and watched, and again wondered what it would be like to experience it from the angle he dreamed about.

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There are few rooms as messy as the one people would walk into if they walked into his room. However, that wasn't the only unique aspect about the mess; its contents were something to behold, as well: tools, parts for repair, bits of this and that metal, hydraulics and pneumatics, chips, and dozens of other bits and pieces.

Machines were of great interest to Isaac Wherrels, and he was already quite sound at repairing them. However, he had greater aspirations than just ordinary machines.

Robots. Perhaps your standard remote-controlled bot, maybe one that moved more independently, created for specific tasks. Any kind of robot caught Isaac's attention. He had, in fact, built several himself, some for display, some for the sake of building them, and even a few that he had used in those robot battle competitions.

He had built a couple for testing, as well; testing different schematics he was trying out, hoping that me might be able to integrate them into his dream designs. He hoped to build robots with fluid motion, robots that moved like any organic animal. That was a difficult task, and he was still a ways away from achieving that goal, though perhaps closer than many others.

However, this wasn't quite yet up to his ultimate goal. His ultimate goal, the one that he dreamt about all the time, was to build a robot that could think for itself, have free will, decide between right and wrong. He wanted to build a robot that was sentient. This robot would incorporate all his best work into it, including the fluid-motion systems he was working on.

His ultimate goal would require heavy knowledge of computer programming, another thing Isaac was good at, though he didn't think he was quite good enough for the task he was working towards. However, he wasn't going to rush it. He had plenty of time to build robots, test systems, go over programs. Rushing led to sub-par performance; that was another thing he knew about robots. The ones that were given time and care performed best.

Perhaps the same could be said about humans.

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While his parents were in bed, sound asleep, Derek Katran was out walking the streets. Sometimes he would stay out an hour, sometimes it would be all night.

It was his time.

It had begun when he was very young. Most babies have trouble sleeping at night; however, it never got better for Derek. He refused to sleep at night, but was always tired at mid-afternoon. When his parents tried to get him on a regular schedule, he managed to adapt, but always seemed cranky. Soon, he began to revert back to a late afternoon schedule, getting up earlier and earlier. His parents became distracted, and soon, they gave up trying to control their son's sleeping schedule, though they maintained their eternal disapproval.

He loved to take walks during the night. He especially loved the dark places where no streetlights shined, where he could be alone with his thoughts, bothered by nothing. He could spend hours watching the stars above, and the darkness around the stars.

He was a loner. This was partly by nature, partly by choice, and partly because not many people were out at night, and those who were were generally doing a job that required them to be. So he didn't socialize much. Almost all his social contact was at school. He rarely extended friendships farther than that; for one thing, he was always sleeping after school, and they were always sleeping before.

No one ever bothered him as he walked. Those who thought he was a target soon learned otherwise; the night was his realm, and those that dared cross him would be punished by it. Malevolent figures never targeted him, knowing that success would elude them; in fact, perhaps his closest connections were to those same criminals, though he would never allow himself to follow in their footsteps.

The streets were quiet. He liked quiet. Darkness and quiet went together well. As he walked, his thoughts wandered, as usual.

It was his time.

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Five humans, all with certain peculiarities. Each with their own interests and dreams.

On the matter of dreams, all five had very odd recurring ones. They dreamed an odd world with fantastic creatures, dreams so vivid they felt almost real. They didn't happen every night, but still quite often.

They were friends, perhaps because of their similarities, maybe more because of their differences. Some friendships were close; others were not quite so much. But their knowledge and tolerance of each others' peculiarities brought them together.

They had no way of knowing that they were about to be pulled into an experience beyond that which they had ever imagined.

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Bleah. I'm not entirely enamored of this prologue, but I felt I had to give some kind of introduction to the critical characters. The writing's kinda overblown in this, but it won't stay that way, I promise.

Also, I often see fanfiction writers begging for or demanding reviews and such. I'm not gonna do that. Of course, I'm not going to turn down reviews, but neither am I going to hinge my next chapter on hitting some arbitrary number. So review if you feel like it. Be honest with me - what am I doing right, what am I doing wrong, and so forth. I appreciate the feedback, and I promise I won't get snippy unless you're clearly just being a pill. Thanks!