Digimon Tamers: The Colony
So I haven't really written a fanfic in a long time and this story is my third story overall and my first Digimon story.
I remember reading some scholars and journalists' writings about the cyberpunk genre and the influence that the Matrix had over future cyberpunk works. If you read any of the notes from the Tamers' writers, you would find that some of the show's concepts regarding artificial intelligence and cyberpunk's role in philosophy was inspired by the Wachowski Brothers' "The Matrix" which in turn was partially inspired by the novel "Neuromancer".
Although I explore some of these concepts in my fanfic, I also attempted to use the concepts from "the Matrix" that the Digimon Tamers show did not touch upon. One notable thing about The Matrix was that despite its human characters who would frequently manipulate phenomena in a "virtual world", they were also refugees and lived with other human refugees in a post-apocalyptic, space western-type society, and so that is why my story also focuses on this "colony" concept.
Since Digimon Tamers was notable for having a darker tone than its predecessors (and the fact that I have lately been trying to get into "Neon Genesis Evangelion"), I attempted to make the story dark as well (I don't know if I have succeeded, but I hope so). I guess that this would be considered more of a deconstruction of the characters' motives and of the premise that the series created. I do warn you though; this story may turn out to be a long one. But it may just seem that way to me because this is the longest I have written for fanfiction.
If you actually read this author's note and ignored its extreme geekiness, than I thank you. I hope you enjoy this story!
Part I: Back to the Beginning
Takato sat at his desk while staring out the window of his classroom. It was the last day of high school and all he could think about were two things: when was the next time he could talk to Jeri, and how he was going to spend the next few months before University classes began? He smiled once he realized that it was sort of a miracle that he was accepted anyway. He never really took his class work or his exams that seriously. Of course, he was more serious about school than say, his friend Kazu was, but it was still nothing compared to his best friend Henry Wong. Not a semester went by where Takato's parents would not constantly compare Takato's grades or exam scores to Henry's. It did not take Henry much effort to achieve in school, but when it came time for exams, he would guarantee his parents that he would study as much as possible. Takato suspected that Henry did this so that his parents would have no reason to limit his computing in his down time.
Takato admired his hazy reflection in the window. He had grown much in the past six years. His trademark goggles no longer rested on his head and he learned to focus his attention on more relevant things than digimon. He had accepted the fact that he would never see Guilmon again just as Henry and Rika had accepted the fact that their digimon would never return. Perhaps a few years ago, he would spend days in his room mourning, but he soon realized that there was no point in crying. He had a normal life now and he had grown accustomed to it.
"And now class, school is over. Have a good summer and make smart decisions."
The students stayed in class a little bit after the bell to fulfill their school's annual traditions for seniors to uphold; to thank their instructor for the year of instruction as well as handing out keep sakes to classmates."
"Here is your gift," said a girl who sat next to Takato, "And here is Jeri's gift. Please tell her that I said hello."
"Um. Sure," replied Takato hesitantly.
The eighteen year old stared at the two neatly wrapped boxes and thanked the girl for her kindness. He gave a gift to a student, thanked the teacher, and grabbed his book bag and left the class.
Outside of the school, Takato waited for Henry before they both left.
"Two gifts, Takato?" asked Henry in an impressed tone.
"Not all to myself. One is for Jeri."
"Can I come to visit her the next time you go?"
"Sure," said Takato, "Visit anytime you like; she is your friend too."
Henry hesitated and then answered Takato in a matter-of-fact tone.
"That may be true, but she is your girlfriend. You should spend as much time alone with her as you can."
Takato held his head down and stared at the pebbles that he kicked while walking.
"It doesn't matter. It's not like she's going anywhere anytime soon."
Henry stopped walking and grabbed his companion's shoulder.
"Hey! Don't talk like that. She could get better, you know. You're talking about her like she's dead and buried."
Henry let go of Takato and the two teenagers continued walking.
"You're right I guess. How about this: we stop to pick up Rika at her school and we all go to see Jeri?"
Jeri sat in her hospital bed while she worked on her small project. With a blue marker, she was busy drawing the eyes on a sock that encased her hand. She knew that it did not really matter if she were to ever finish the puppet. The nurses were given explicit instructions to confiscate any objects that had "puppetry potential." This situation reminded her of a book that she read when she was younger. It was a book about a girl who had a strong attachment to her notebook. She would do every thing with that notebook; write down observations about others, quickly jot down ideas for stories and jokes. But one day, her parents and teachers began prohibiting her to keep a notebook. They said that it was a distraction from her studies.
Jeri flexed her hand to see how the eyes and mouth looked on the sock. Using the puppet, she began to imitate the voice of her doctor and her stepmother and her father.
"Her verbal skills are poor. You should have alerted your practitioner about this fixation of hers. After what happened at her school, it is becoming quite clear why she feels the need to communicate to others through it."
"But doctor, how were we supposed to know that this would cause her outburst at school? She is just a creative girl. She just expresses herself differently. She always did this even before the incident at school."
"But this interest of hers surfaced after her mother's death, am I correct? I'm beginning to believe that something else happened to her to trigger the behavior. The death may have caused her to use this coping mechanism, but that was only the tip of the iceberg. Whatever her condition is, it was definitely exacerbated by some traumatic event, and the trauma is what caused her to lash out in class. It is for her best interest to learn how to express herself without it."
"But she was never this difficult! Then, something happened and she got worse. Her performance at school suffered. She would only talk to anyone outside of her family or friends with that puppet. Some days, she wouldn't even talk! I don't know what happened because she won't tell us anything. Even with the treatment, the school still won't take her back anyway. They say she is too much of a hazard for the other students. We are lucky that no one is pressing charges."
"Ms. Katou," addressed a nurse. Jeri quickly hid the sock underneath her covers.
The woman entered the room with three other young people. "You have visitors."
Jeri exited the bed and walked up to Takato, Henry, and Rika to give them hugs. The nurse left the room.
"Great to see you guys! How was your last day of school?"
"It was great," said Takato, "Here is a gift that Sakura gave you."
"Oh, that's nice. Where are Kazu and Kenta?"
Takato began unwrapping his gift,
"Kazu left earlier today to begin work at his uncle's business in Kyoto. Kenta was accepted to a university in England, so he left yesterday so that he could have a few months to adjust to the new environment."
"Oh. Well what about you, Rika? How is everything going with Ryo?"
"Well," shrugged Rika, "this week must have been the week where everything decided to crash down on us three. Kazu and Kenta are gone and Ryo and I broke up yesterday."
"Oh wow." Exclaimed Jeri, "You guys were together for almost as long as Takato and I have been together."
"Yup. Sure have."
"Oh well," replied Jeri in a sing-song tone, "On the bright side, you won't have to put up with him. He was kind of arrogant."
Henry and Takato did a facepalm. For some reason, Jeri never quite grasped the concept of "inappropriate timing."
"Um…thank you?" said Rika awkwardly. She never really thought of Ryo as arrogant despite the fact that they had grown apart over the recent years.
Henry eyed Takato's gift and chuckled.
"I guess a couple of years ago, you would still be interested in that, huh, Takato?"
The teen stared at the gift. It was a small deck of Digimon cards wrapped in the trademark decorative foil.
"Yeah. After the whole D-Reaper thing, the preoccupation with the merchandise definitely faded. Not to mention the fact that it's not really a popular franchise anymore so I'm kind of surprised that they still sell these."
"Why do you think that she gave them to you?"
"We went to the same middle school and she always knew me as 'The Digimon Kid' because I was so obsessed. It was kind of a weird nickname, but it was sweet."
"I don't have to worry about this Sakura, do I?" asked Jeri possessively.
"Of course not." Laughed Takato, "She gave you a gift too. What is it?"
"It's a notebook!" shouted Jeri, "Isn't it cute?"
The three teens stood up and gathered their things.
"Its been a few hours," stated Takato, "We really have to get going, but I'll see you first thing next time."
"But, the hospital is closed to visitors tomorrow!" pouted Jeri pathetically, "I won't be able to see you until Monday."
"I know, Jeri. But I promise to be right with you first thing on Monday and the rest of the days of the week."
"That's right! It's summer vacation."
"Yup. That's right. I will be able to visit you a lot more okay?"
Jeri hugged him and watched as the trio left the hospital room.
The three teens were hanging out in Henry's room. Takato played a game of Digimon cards with Rika while Henry sat at his computer.
"Ha! I won." Shouted Takato, "I, Takato Matsuki have beaten the digimon queen herself, Rika Nonaka at a card game!"
"Do you know how incredibly dorky that sounds?" chided Rika, "You should have been able to beat me with no problem at all. I haven't played in years. I'm just rusty is all."
Takato began to admire Rika just as he had been admiring himself earlier that day in school. She had grown into a much more social person, albeit, while still being somewhat reserved. As usual, she was wearing her hair down and was adjusting to wearing more fashionable clothes. Years ago, she compromised with her mom that she did not want to enter into the modeling business like her mother, however every once in a while, she would take fashion advice from her.
"Whatever," chirruped Takato, "Hey Henry, what are you doing?"
Henry was busy writing script for a program on his desktop. After a short pause he realized that someone had just said something to him.
"I'm sorry. You asked what I was doing?"
Takato nodded. Henry was quite an obsessive person. It was pretty easy for him to lose sense of his surroundings once he became engrossed in a project. Knowing this fact, Takato began to suspect that Henry momentarily forgot that Takato and Rika were in the room this whole time.
"Well, you know how Terriermon entered this world from the Digimon computer game?"
Takato and Rika both nodded. It was a very strange method of arrival, but then again, nothing was quite normal about Guilmon's or Renamon's appearances either.
"Well, I sort of found the source code for the game and the D-power. Right now, I'm trying to create another program by using these as references. Ideally, my program would act as a sort of search engine for the Digiworld."
"That sounds like a pretty difficult task." Stated Takato.
"It is, but my D-power was pretty helpful. I figured that it had some sort of signature for Terriermon and I plan on using that in the search fields."
Takato and Rika noticed the D-power on Henry's desk and walked over to it. It had a cable linked to its output slot and was connected to Henry's computer. Flashes of blue code streaked the white screen.
"Yours actually works?" asked Rika, "Ever since we came back from the digiworld, ours can only get a screen of static and snow."
"So did mine…at first. But once I started tinkering with it, I could use my computer to navigate its code. The D-power had a sort of block on its interface so I can only use its functions through plugging in commands on my desktop."
"How long did that take?" asked Rika inquisitively.
"Umm…four days." answered Henry. "For the first two days, I sort of forgot to eat. Haha. I was that busy."
Henry tapped his computer screen. His eyes lowered as they focused on the ominous lines of commands and code.
"They're out there. I know it."
Guilmon's ears flared in the darkness of the jungle. He focused his senses on the sounds of an echoing place.
"We're almost there," shouted Guilmon, "I can hear it."
The rest of the digimon followed him through the jungle. It began to rain and the group agreed that the echoing sound that was heard was most likely a nearby cave. Eventually they entered the grotto and Guilmon used pyro sphere to make a fire.
"Is everyone here?" asked Renamon.
Guilmon, Terriermon, Calumon, Impmon, MarineAngemon, Monodramon, and Gaurdromon were all present.
"Good thing we finally digivolved out of those pathetic In-Training forms," sneered Impmon, "With Calumon being a normal digimon and all, it's a lot harder to digivolve than I thought it would be."
"I'm sure if we had our tamers then it would have been a little bit easier." chimed in Renamon.
Impmon shrugged at the suggestion, "Eh. We don't need the humans. We're fine the way we are."
"You don't really mean it, do you, Impmon?" asked Guilmon. His golden eyes began to water once he remembered that he may be spending the rest of his digital life without Takato.
"Sure I do, DinoBoy. We're doin' just fine. All we have to do now is keep fighting and I will some day make it back to the form I was always meant to be: Beelzemon."
"You're unbelievable!" berated Terriermon.
The cave was silent. All of the Digimon focused their attention on the small long eared creature. Impmon arose from his position and stalked over to where the bold digimon was sitting.
"You wanna say that again, you little prick?"
Terriermon stood up and slapped Impmon across the face.
"It was your idea that we start fighting wild digimon to get stronger! You acted like you wanted us to digivolve so we could protect ourselves. You said it would be in our best interest! But all you care about is turning into Beelzemon. It's because of you that Lopmon got killed in that battle. We were only In-trainings and you manipulated us into fighting a champion level."
Impmon rubbed his cheek and growled menacingly.
"I didn't manipulate anybody. I told you that we needed to fight a champion so that way we could get more data from them than we would have if they were a rookie or an in-training. In the Digiworld, everybody has a choice. You either don't fight and you die or you fight and get stronger. The only way you can get stronger is by getting their data. The only way to get their data is by killing. That's the way it works. Your weak tamer may have told you otherwise, but his ideas aren't exactly the way the world works. His human world and our digital world are the same in that respect."
Terriermon dug his heels into the ground.
"Don't you dare talk about Henry!"
Around the room, the digimon were shocked at what they saw.
"Guys, stop!" shouted Guilmon, "this isn't helping."
"He's right," affirmed Renamon, "You need to stop this."
Impmon ignored the both of them and ran up to Terriermon. He jabbed the dog creature in the stomach and pinned him to the ground.
"Now that I have your attention," spat Impmon, "Learn this lesson. I may have liked humans once, but the more time that I spent here, the more that I realized something: humans are worthless. They are creatures that are not worth the souls that they possess. Humans like your tamer spout nice little ideals about peace and unity and all that stuff, but in reality, they're nothin' but a bunch of hypocrites. They talk about how digimon are so savage and I am such a horrible creature for fighting, but guess what? They made us this way. Now I don't know about you, but what type of 'enlightened species' preach all that crap, but then create a world where we are expected to fight and kill for their amusement so they can make money off of it?"
"Stop it!" shouted Terriermon, "Henry didn't know!"
Renamon had stepped in and grabbed Impmon from atop of the smaller creature. In her arms, Impmon still continued his diatribe.
"Oh. 'Henwee didn't know!' That's no excuse. Even if they thought we were just a bunch of sprites on a computer screen fighting in a simulation, they should have KNOWN how wrong it is! Even if they didn't know we were real, their attitude says enough about them. The whole time we were on Earth, I just took everything in and I noticed a few things. If peace was such a huge priority for them, then why were those humans always at war? If we weren't meant to fight, then how come they created us and this entire place just to entertain their kiddies with fighting? They are no better than us because they created us to mirror what they want and what they always struggle for: power and superiority. Now since their rules apply here, you can make a choice to not kill and see how well that goes for you, alright?"
Tears streamed from Terriermon's eyes as he sat his back towards the wall of the cave. He could not leave and expect to survive on his own. He may have been angry with Impmon, but he tried to calm down and think rationally about the situation.
"I think it's time that we tried to sleep," said Gaurdromon.
And without any further arguments, the band of digimon fell asleep.