Well...I think it's been over two moths. I have a bit of an explanation, but I'll wait 'til the end of the chapter to give it to you.

-Chapter 7: Pain-

No one was allowed near the bank. Yellow tape with the words "Do Not Enter" spanned the entire area, cutting off the entire street. Most of the businesses around the bank were shut down, and several black Interpol cars lined the perimeter, with men in black suits and wearing black sunglasses walking around, talking to each other. Forensic scientists had been called in during the day, though no one knew why. The only answer anyone got when they asked about the situation was "Interpol is investigating and cannot reveal details at the moment."

When night came around, however, the cars cleared off for the most part. The G-men continued their patrols, but there were far fewer than during the day, and if they could believe their eyes, most of them were asleep in their cars. Kari, Davis and Ken watched them from a dark alley across from the bank. They were all three dressed in black, from the tops of their heads to the bottoms of their feet. Ken looked through a pair of binoculars at the cars.

"What's up? Can we get past?" Kari asked.

"It looks clear from here, but these don't have night vision, so I'd wait for Gatomon to get back," Ken replied, lowering the binoculars. He also shifted the strap of his shoulder bag, which contained a tablet computer that Izzy gave them.

Kari looked from him to Davis, who was leaning against the wall of a building, staring at a piece of broken glass on the ground. He'd come back earlier—after the whole "digimon terrorist" thing had happened. He got to watch re-runs playing all over the TV, though nobody had actually caught the gunfire or blasts on camera. In fact, this was all of their first times seeing the building after everything went down.

On top of that, Davis got to tell everyone a trifecta of terrible stories. First, he got attacked by TK's attacker the night before—news that came with its own baggage, such as a warning that he was going to attack every one of them, as well as implied knowledge of the future; combined with that was the dislocated shoulder, the effects of which he was still suffering. Second came the news that Gennai was hiding information from them. Not only did he leave Davis and Veemon alone after denying them information about his attacker, but Davis had apparently found a photo on Gennai's wall, buried behind others, that pictured said attacker. The group passed it around at their mini-meeting once he returned, and everyone got a look at both him and the name written on its back: Jacob. Their enemy had a name. Jacob.

And third on the list of bad news was that of an attack. Two digimon apparently took on Davis and another digidestined: Tommy, who was attempting to visit Gennai. They took out one of the two, and sent the other running, but not before half of Gennai's house went up in flames.

Things were not going well for Davis.

And now he was staring at a piece of glass which was, itself, a reminder of something even more horrible. He pursed his lips as he stared at the glass, and Kari could swear he was on the brink of breaking down entirely. She wanted to reach out a hand to comfort him. She wanted to tell him it was all going to be okay. But that would be allowing him his breakdown, and right now they needed to keep level heads.

"Hey, Davis," she said, and he broke his gaze and looked to her. "You going to be okay?"

"Yeah," he said. "My shoulder's not too bad right now, I'll be able to handle myself."

Not what she was talking about, but she let it go. Somehow, she thought he understood what she was asking, and had given an affirmative without giving away his…fragility.

A moment later, Gatomon dropped from one of the buildings above them, landing with nary a sound. She'd been the only digimon they brought along, since she would be able to scout ahead without being noticed.

"You're back," Ken said. "Good."

"What did you see?" Kari asked.

"There's two agents smoking behind the bank. The rest are asleep. If we go now, and don't make too much noise, we should be able to get in quick without anyone noticing," she replied, her ears twisting to each member of the crew before her eyes met their own.

"Good," Ken said, sheathing the binoculars in a leather case on his hip, "then let's get in there."

The four crouched and strode across the parking lot as fast as they could while keeping silent and avoiding any street lights (of which there were few). Within a minute, they were up the stairs and inside the building, stepping around glass and bloodstains. All the bodies had been moved, but everything was still riddled with dust, glass and blood. Little triangular, numbered signs littered the ground, sitting over spent shell casings or blood stains. Their goals were near the back of the building, behind the counters. The only sounds in the entire room were those of their footsteps. Without too much effort, they reached the counter and slid behind it. There, a line of five computers sat waiting for their tellers. Ken reached into his shoulder bag and pulled out the tablet, booting it up and plugging in a two-ended USB cable. While it loaded, he went to each computer and started them with gloved fingers. Luckily, the power to this area hadn't been shut off. Each computer loaded, and by the time the first one was done, he was ready.

"So, what? You just run the program and plug it in?" Davis asked.

"That's the idea. Izzy said that it'll be able to tell if a computer's been used to access the digital world. If it has, we should be able to figure out where these digi-saurs came from, so we can get there ourselves," Ken plugged the USB cable into the bank computer and accessed a program on the tablet. The screen turned black and white code scanned by for about ten seconds. At the end of the code, the words NO ACCESS informed them that this computer hadn't been used. Ken disconnected and shut off the bank PC before moving onto the next. More code, and another NO access. He followed the same procedure and moved to the third. The code flew by on the screen, and after ten seconds, the words ACCESS: FIND LOCATION? lit up at the end.

"Paydirt," Ken smiled. He brought up the keyboard and hit Y. More code flew by.

A metal-on-metal sound made them all freeze in their celebration. A second sound followed it—the sound of a striking wheel on a lighter—and a moment after that, they all heard,

"Find anything interesting back there?" The voice was male, probably someone in their mid-thirties. "I sure hope so, because our guys haven't been able to find a damn thing."

Footsteps—and the sound of breaking glass underfoot. Whoever this guy was, he wasn't concerned with the crime scene.

"Honestly," he said. "I thought you'd get here sooner. But I guess "look before you leap" is famous for a reason, isn't it? Then again, people also say "he that is over-cautious will accomplish little." If you guys had taken a little less time seeing the sights and a little more trying to get inside," he stopped talking for a moment, and the sounds of others walking reached Kari's ears. "Then we probably wouldn't have spotted you standing in that alley."

Kari looked to Ken, Davis and Gatomon. Everyone wore the same look, Oh shit.

"I expect you're damn close to getting everything you need from those computers. Am I right?"

None of them responded.

"Look, kiddies. None of you needs to get hurt here. Give yourselves up, and we can probably work something out."

"What do we do?" Davis whispered. "There's no way out except the front door."

"Wrong," Ken said, a smirk on his lips. He unplugged the tablet from the bank computer, the program unfinished.

"What are you doing?" Davis asked. "We won't get a location."

"You're right. But we'll get to keep our lives. Get out your digivices."

Kari already had hers in-hand. Davis followed and before long, all of them were aiming their devices at the tablet screen.


"Damn! Get them!" The man shouted.

"—Open!" The screen turned bright white, and Kari felt herself begin to fall forward, into the little computer. As her vision turned white, the sounds of gunfire filled the air.

The palace…was just as he remembered it. Over a thousand years had passed since he'd looked upon these doors. His memory of them, in fact, felt more like a far-off dream than an actual memory. He reached a hand out toward the heavy, rune-laden wood of the doors. He felt the place where he'd pounded his fist against them so long ago. He jerked back as if stung, biting his lip. Why was he here? He hadn't come to see his daughter for over a thousand years, and now that he finally arrived here—literally on her doorstep—he had nothing but questions for her. Questions about Jacob.

What kind of father was he? Leaving her here so long ago, and never seeing her again? He was some kind of monster.

She had to come here—it's the way things are supposed to be. She has the gift.

Gift? No. It was not a gift. Cliché as the phrase might be, Elle had been cursed. A curse that not only harmed Jacob, but forced her into this place.

No. I forced her here. I could have kept her home—kept the gift a secret.

So what right did he have to come here now?

None, he thought. I have no right…but I must know. Jacob has done something—discovered something that has forced him to attack the digidestined, and this is the only place I can find the out what he discovered. Elle is the only one who can tell me.

And with that, he pounded on the door, so similar to his poundings a millennium ago. A moment later, as it had before, the door slid open and revealed a hunched old digimon. She had gray hair pulled back in a bun and bangs that fell over her eyes.

"Lord Watcher," she said, "you have returned."

Gennai could not speak. The force of the memory was too much. He had to place a hand on the door so as not to lose his balance as he relived that night. Yggdrasil, how she'd screamed.

Screamed for him to stop.

Screamed to go home.


"You are here to see the Scribe, then?"

Gennai came back to reality—back to the present.

"Yes," he managed, though his voice cracked as he spoke. The frail old digimon stepped back and put out a hand, welcoming Gennai into the cathedral. He stepped inside for the first time.

The entire structure was voluminous. Huge gothic walls rose up to incredible heights, ending in fantastic, arched architecture that held up an incredibly large ceiling. Huge windows let in beams of light, illuminating the insides. Twelve gargantuan pillars helped to hold up the ceiling, stretching from expansive marble floors. Along the walls, below the windows, sat shelves—thousands of scrolls lined the shelves, stacked atop each other. The wooden shelving extended into the palace thirty feet on either side, and at least twenty feet up. Gennai stood in awe. Long tables lined the center of the room, where several digimon sat, "reading" from the scrolls. Gennai knew that none of them actually contained words. Each one would contain a strange picture—or several strung together. Each one was a story, and for a thousand years digimon had come here to try and decipher those stories—to discover whether the events portrayed within them had already come to pass, or were yet to happen. For each scroll was a prophecy, an event. None truly knew whether they were events that would come to pass or events that had already occurred, not even the Scribe.

Not even Elle.

Except someone thought they'd cracked the code.

Jacob thought he'd cracked the code.

The old digimon led Gennai past the tables to the back of the hall, where only one person sat.

A girl. Young—she appeared to be somewhere in her late 'teen years. Long brown hair flowed in waves from her crown, falling across her shoulders and framing a somewhat-round face with beautiful, perfect lips, a small nose and small blue eyes. She sat eating a meal composed of fruits, vegetables and berries.

If she were blonde, then she'd look just like her mother—all but for the eyes. She had Gennai's eyes. She looked up as he approached and gazed at him for a bit before returning to her food. She hadn't the slightest idea who he was. He could see it in her eyes—or rather, he couldn't see it. There was no recognition. He was just one of the immortals. For a moment he wondered if she even knew that her father was the Watcher.

"Elvierre, my lady Scribe. You have a visitor," the digimon said.

Elle smiled, "Thank you, Baba." The old digimon bowed and stepped away to monitor the scroll-readers.

Gennai tried to say hello, but his throat didn't work.

Elle saved him the trouble, "Hello. I expect you're another of Jake's friends?"

Gennai sat down and looked at the table. He found it much easier to talk to the table than his long-lost daughter who hadn't a clue in hell who he was. "Actually," he said, "I came here to ask you about him."

"Really," a voice behind Gennai said. It was male, and just deep enough to be the voice of a boy of seventeen or eighteen. But its speaker was far beyond that. He was over a thousand years old—the same age, in fact, as Elle.

"Jake!" Elle cried, a smile lighting on her face. "This man just asked about you."

Gennai turned around, his breath caught in his chest. The young man behind him had a hawkish nose and high cheekbones. His jaw line flowed into a strong, pointed chin. Long platinum hair fell around his face, a bit falling in front of his right eye. The eyes themselves were a beautiful, shining green, yet their expression was one of outright contempt and fury.

"So I heard, Elle," Jacob said, looking down at Gennai. He must have shifted inside. "Then maybe, since he's asking about me, he should go straight to the source. What do you think, father?"

Kari tumbled out of the TV and fell on her face, dirt and grass scraping against her forehead and cheek. With a moan, she pushed herself up onto her knees and wiped the dirt away from her eye before surveying her surroundings. Everything was dark, but she could see that they'd arrived at the forest that housed what was left of Gennai's cottage. She figured it would be a perfect place for them to regroup before returning to the real world. She shook off the shock of the entry and looked around at her companions. She counted them by instinct. Gatomon, Davis…

She looked again, standing and surveying all around the TV. Gatomon and Davis. Just Gatomon and Davis.

Ken didn't make it through.

Suddenly, the gunfire Kari heard before she went through seemed very real and very frightening. Gatomon sat up and began cleaning herself. Davis let out a heavy moan and rolled onto his left side, curling his legs up into his stomach. She remembered, then, his dislocated shoulder. She rushed beside him and helped him up into a sitting position. He held his right arm tight against his torso and groaned,

"Damn thing's never going to heal right if we keep this up."

"Is there anything I can do?" Kari asked.

"Did you bring an ice pack or some Icy-Hot?"

"No," she said, knowing that he already knew the answer, and was just being a smartass.

"Then I guess we're out of luck. Help me to my feet, though?" He requested. She took his left arm and helped him stand. He glanced over at her for a moment, blinked as if confused, then asked, "Wait. Why did you help me?"

"Because I'm your friend," she replied, not sure if she should be confused or angry.

"No. I mean, why didn't Ken help me?" he looked around, still hugging his arm to his chest. His eyes searched the field around them, and around the TV, but he came up as empty as Kari had mere moments ago. He looked to her, his eyes a bit wide,

"Where's Ken?"

"I…don't know," she said. "I think he might have gotten left behind."

Davis just stared at her for a good five seconds. She could see the wheels turning in his head, processing everything. Then, "We have to go back."

"Davis, we can't."

"Bullshit we can't. Get your digivice. Gatomon, we're going back!"

"Davis, no!" Kari grabbed his arm as he began raising the d-3 toward the TV. His muscles flexed beneath her hand. "Davis, I heard gunfire before we went through."

"No shit, Kari! Why in the hell do you think we're going back? I am not about to let Ken get shot because we decided to pull some dumbass stunt!" He jerked away from her and aimed the digivice at the TV.


"No!" Kari shouted. She lunged forward and grabbed his right shoulder, gripping tight with her fingers. Davis let out a loud scream of pain and dropped the digivice, his left hand jumping to free his shoulder from her grip. She let go and he stumbled away, nearly doubled over in pain.

"Son of a bitch, Kari!" He shouted. Gatomon ceased cleaning herself and glanced through the night at the two humans, her eyes wide. "Why? Why would you do that?"

"To keep you from getting killed, idiot!" She shouted.

He growled a bit through his teeth, attempting to curse away the pain. Kari continued before he could get a chance to rebut,

"Don't you get it? Gunfire, Davis! As in bullets. As in flying metal projectiles that kill people. And you don't have Veemon."

"You have Gatomon!" He shouted back, going for his digivice on the ground. She kicked it away and stood in front of him. He glared at her, his brow furrowed and his mouth downturned in anger. "And a digivice! And a fucking crest! I think Angewomon can handle a few guns, Kari."

"But what about us? Jesus. Think, Davis! We go back through and then what? We don't exactly have all the space in the world behind that desk, do we? There's nowhere for us to hide out of harm's way when the lead starts flying and Angewomon starts taking care of them. We go through, Davis, chances are that we get shot." Kari berated. Davis turned around and began walking away. Kari waited for him to stop and turn back, but he didn't. He just trudged on toward the forest. Kari looked to Gatomon, who was already walking after him. Kari jogged toward him, slowing to meet his stride when she caught up. He didn't say anything, and his face never changed as she glanced over every minute or so. If he'd been on the brink earlier, before they entered the bank, she didn't know where he was now. His lips were pursed, his brow wrinkled, and his eyes hard, staring ahead at the dark forest. His hands went from open to a closed fist over and over again, as if he had to move every part of his body, not just his legs.

What was he thinking?

She knew...she was thinking the same thing.

What if Ken's Dead? And if he is, what does that mean?

He probably wanted to punch her—knock her out and rush back through the TV. She didn't blame him. She almost wanted him to do it.

But that wasn't an option. They'd fucked up, but that didn't give them an excuse to do it again by rushing back in like idiots. She knew it was her responsibility—as the one with the digimon in this situation—to protect him; even from himself.

They passed into the forest, onto a well-worn path leading through the trees, yet still mostly under the canopy. About a hundred feet onto the path, Davis turned and walked into the woods. Kari followed. Where was he going?

Maybe twenty feet off the path, he found a tree and leaned against it, sliding down until his knees nearly touched his chest. His face had changed. His lips were still pursed, his brow still tense, but instead of manly stoicism or anger, they exuded fear and melancholy. His eyes were no longer hard, but darted from place to place, as if he were searching for something impossible to find. He wrapped his arms around his knees and she saw the first tears begin to fall. Davis wasn't a blubbering, heaving crier. He was quiet, shaking a bit but, otherwise, if it were raining you probably couldn't tell the tears from raindrops.

She knelt in front of him and took his hands. He looked up at her, opened his mouth and croaked out,

"What…if he's…dead?" Each word was a struggle.

Kari opened her own mouth…then closed it. What could she say? What if he was dead? What did that mean? She didn't know. She didn't say anything. She didn't tell him it was all going to be okay. She didn't lie. Why had they gone to that damn bank? Why had they not taken their digimon? She bit her lower lip as she felt her cheeks begin to warm. Her vision wavered a bit as tears welled in her own eyes.

What if Ken was dead?

Kari, unlike Davis, was an awful crier. Ever since she was a kid, she would heave and howl like a baby. She gripped Davis' hands tighter as she shook with sobs, her entire body wracked with the act. Her head fell and she pressed her forehead against their clasped hands, her muscles tense. She bit her lower lip again, trying to hold back more wailing sobs, but she couldn't. Davis leaned forward, and she felt his own forehead rest against the crown of her head as he cried with her.

Kari didn't know if it was a moment of weakness or a moment of strength. Whichever kind of moment it was, in that moment she leaned up, and so did he. Their eyes never met, but their lips did. Kari didn't know how long they kissed, and she didn't care. She simply closed her eyes, let the tears fall, and let herself kiss and be kissed. It wasn't until TK's face flashed in her mind that she jerked back, falling to her elbows and said, in tandem with Davis as they stared at each other with grief-sober eyes,

"Oh, shit."

"Father?" Elle asked. Gennai didn't look to see if she was confused or angry. He was too busy staring at his son. Jake stared back, his eyes narrow. Near a thousand years, and still he couldn't forgive.

Then again, neither could Gennai.

"Father?" This time, her tone was a bit higher, a bit darker.

Angry. She was definitely angry. He tore his eyes from his son to Elle. Fire burned in her eyes and she bared her teeth, standing. Her food was forgotten.

"Father!" She screamed at him. "How dare you show yourself here?"

"I—" he tried, but couldn't speak. There was definite recognition in her eyes, and it mixed beautifully with the fury.

"Get out!" She shouted, pointing toward the door.

"Elle, I—"

"You don't have the right to say my name!" She swept her plate off the table and it shattered on the floor. Gennai stood up, gathering what strength he could as well as gathering himself to his full height.

It wasn't much taller than either Jacob or Elle.

"Fine," he said. His voice quavered, but at least he was speaking. "I will take my leave, Lady Scribe. But first, I would like to speak with my son."

"You will not—" Elle's voice rose as she prepared to berate him, but Jacob raised a hand and she silenced.

"Do not worry about it, Elle. I will speak to him outside." He moved that hand in a gesture toward the great doors at the front of the palace.

Gennai walked away, his daughter's eyes burning a hole in the back of his skull as he went. Jacob snapped his fingers as he followed, and an Angemon emerged from behind a shelf of scrolls to follow them. Gennai still remembered the day they discovered that Jake had a digimon partner. It wasn't long after that he left. It was like a walk-of-shame, his slow trek to the front of the building. The old digimon that Elle had called Baba opened the door to let him out. The moonlight shone in full glory upon them as the doors closed.

"So what questions do you have?" Jacob asked. Gennai turned to face him, and was again struck by his face, and his eyes. It was like the past rushing up to meet him. Memories, both good and bad, threatened to overrun his mind. He forced them away, pushing forth, instead, the task at hand.


"There are very few people, in any world, which I allow to speak my birth-name. You are not one of them," he said. It stung like a slap in the face. How had he alienated them so, that they would harbor such hatred toward him?

"Fine," said Gennai. "The abysium. Where did you get it?"

"Ah. So he did go to you. I had wondered how his angemon would survive."

"So, you read his survival in a scroll?" Gennai asked.

Jacob smiled, "Indeed I did. And to answer the first question, I retrieved the abysium from an abandoned castle somewhere on Server. I believe it belonged to a digimon named Myotismon at some point. Lucky for me, your 'digidestined' were willing enough to get rid of him so that I could get what I needed."

"But how were you able to handle it? It would take the power of a crest to keep from infecting yourself. For that matter," Gennai gestured to the armored Angemon standing behind Jacob, "how does he wield it without endangering himself?"

"He's able to wield it because of the gold digizoid armor, and the noqual stones set into it. As for myself—" The island shook, as if struck by some massive object. Gennai almost lost his balance, and Angemon steadied Jacob with a hand on the boy's shoulder.

The water just off-shore began to shift, moving in a circular motion very slowly. As time passed, it picked up and birthed a whirlpool.

"What in the world?" Gennai asked.

Jacob didn't respond. Something began rising from the whirlpool. First Gennai saw long, white tentacular arms, then a black-masked head with three eyes and a mouth filled to the brim with sharp teeth. A long, lanky body followed, covered in the same black as the mask. The creature's arms—both the tentacles extending from its back and the arms extending from its shoulders—ended in wide, many-clawed "hands". It looked from Jacob to Gennai and began laughing.

"I come for the Scribe and I find the Watcher as well. The Dark Lord will be pleased." Its voice was thick and muffled, thanks to its teeth and the fact that it apparently used gills instead of lungs.

Jacob stepped forward and put out an arm, "You will go no further! I will not allow you to harm the Scribe."

"You would order me?" The dark creature chuckled. "Laughable." One of its tentacles rose and swung down. Angemon rushed forth, throwing Jake out of the way and summoning his Staff. He blocked the strike just as it came down, but the massive blow forced him to his knees. The hand at the end of the tentacle was near as large as Angemon himself, the creature being at least ten times his size.

Gennai backed away from the beach, finding himself against the building. What in the world was happening? First Jacob attacks the digidestined, then he reveals that he's been working with abysium, and now some dark digimon comes to attack Elle?

The huge digimon lifted his tentacle, but raised both of them for a second strike. Angemon pushed off from his knees and charged the beast, the abysium-laden point of the staff-spear directed at its chest. With one arm, it swatted him aside. He tumbled into the water, creating a huge splash. Threat dealt with, it swung both tentacles toward Jacob. They appeared to hit, and Gennai let out a "No!"

A split-second later, Jacob appeared in front of the doors, as if he'd been there the whole time. He shifted. Yes. Of course. He wouldn't let something like that just happen to him. Of course he shifted.

"You will not harm her!" He shouted.

"You won't stop me," the beast replied. It stepped forward, lumbering out of the water. The island shook with each step. It raised its tentacles, preparing to bash in the doors to the palace. Jacob stood his ground.

"No," he said. "I will stop you."

Then something happened. Something on Jacob's chest began to shine like a star. Gennai stared at it, not quite believing his eyes.

How had he missed it? Had he been so distracted by the fact that Jacob was there to realize that there was a crest around his neck?

"Angemon!" He shouted.

The angel digimon burst out from beneath the waves, and began to shine with the crest.

"Angemon digivolve to…"

A fourth set of wings grew from Angemon's shining body, and the shape of the armor grew and reconfigured, evolving with him. His staff shrank into his hand, and the hilt of a sword grew in its place.


The light faded and he floated behind the beast, coated in gold-and-white armor. He pointed the sword-hilt in his hand toward the tentacled monster and a long, green, translucent blade extended from it, glowing with concentrated energy.

"So you're not done yet," the creature said. It turned back to Jacob, "There's more than one way to defeat a digimon."

One tentacle darted toward Gennai's son. He charged toward him, arms outstretched, and tackled Jacob to the ground.

MagnaAngemon, at the same time, darted forth, blade drawn back, and he cut through the tentacle as if it weren't even there. It continued through the air, propelled by its momentum, but disintegrated into green energy before striking the doors. The beast let out a painful howl and recoiled, taking a few steps back into the water.

"That blade! How did you do that?" It shouted.

MagnaAngemon didn't speak, only raised the blade and charged the dark creature, sword first. He drove it into the beast's skull, and with another reverberating scream, it burst into energy. A moment later, he landed and degenerated back into angemon.

Gennai looked from the digimon to his son beneath him, then to his son's crest, hanging limp around his neck. It was white as snow, and the runes carved into it—

"No." Gennai said.

Jacob shoved his father off him and climbed to his feet.

"No. How did you get that crest, Jacob? That's not possible."

Jacob brushed himself off and looked at Gennai, "Fate demanded it, father." Angemon walked to his partner and, in the blink of an eye, they disappeared.

Gennai tried to say something, if only to break the silence. Instead, he concentrated on the Forge—on Tyron—and prepared to shift. He had to know.

How could Jacob have the crest of Light?

Ken's shoulder hurt where the tranquilizer dart hit him. His eyes fluttered open, and he watched a man in a lab coat take a few steps away, holding an empty syringe. Some sort of awakening drug to counteract the tranquilizers, then? He continued to scan the room with his eyes. It was like every interrogation scene in every bad movie ever. A small, dark room with a single light hanging over a table in the center. Ken sat in an uncomfortable metal chair on one side of the table, his arms and legs cuffed to it, and an empty chair sat on the other side. The white-coat-clad man looked at Ken and turned around,

"He's awake."

He exited through a metal door on the far wall, behind the empty chair. No doubt, some sunglasses-wearing agent would take his place, sitting across from Ken to ask some very loaded questions. And, no doubt, national security would be on the line. Ken chuckled to himself.

At least I'm not dead.

He could only vaguely remember what happened. He remembered pointing his d-3 at the tablet and saying "digiport open." He also remembered the sounds of gunfire, a sharp pain in his shoulder, and flying backwards as Davis and Kari escaped into the digital world. He remembered looking over and, instead of a gunshot wound, seeing a small dart embedded in his skin. Things got fuzzy from there, but he remembered shouting and being carried before everything went black.

Whoever these guys were, they definitely weren't cops, or Interpol, or any other organization he'd ever heard of. They knew what was happening when Ken and the others started opening the portal, and shot to capture, not kill.

Sure enough, after a few minutes' time, the door opened and a blonde man walked through. He wore a suit and a pair of sunglasses. His hair was a bit shaggy for an agent, but Ken didn't judge. He sat down across from Ken, pulled out a cigarette and zippo lighter, flipping it open and lighting up before clicking it back closed and taking a long drag. He released the smoke out his nose before taking another breath and beginning.

"Ken Ichijouji," he said.

"Let me stop you there," Ken said. "This is the part where you say 'your file says you're a good kid,' right? Then you list my accomplishments and ask me what I was doing sneaking around the bank?"

"Actually," the man said, "I couldn't care less what kind of kid you are. I don't give two shits whether you're an honor student or a crackhead. Give us the information we want, and we'll let you go. Don't, and we put you away until you cooperate." Ken recognized the voice. It was the same man who had talked to them in the bank.

"Well then," Ken said. "Ask away."

"The attack on that bank. What do you know?"

"Just as much as you, I'd guess. A group of digimon took the place hostage, then blew it up." Ken watched the man as he spoke, to see if there was any kind of reaction at the mention of digimon.

There was none. That confirmed his suspicions. Not only did they know about digimon, but they knew that he knew. Apparently, they had also guessed that he'd figure out that they knew. There was no reaction at all. He just took another drag from the cigarette. As he released the smoke, he said,


"What do you mean, 'and'? I told you what I know." Ken said.

"What were you doing there?"

"Trying to figure out where the digimon came from. You came in, and we tried to flee into the digital world. You opened fire, I didn't make it through. That's the whole story," Ken explained. "Now, can I leave?"

The man took a third drag from his cigarette, put it out on the table, and said, "No. I said 'give us the information we want. Not 'what you've got on-hand.'" Smoke billowed with each word. He stood and turned to the door. "We're done here. Knock him out and ship him off to the box."

"Hey! Hey, you can't do that! I'm a Japanese citizen! This is kidnapping!" He shouted, struggling against his restraints. The 'doctor' from before entered with a big, muscular agent. The blonde agent pulled out his cigarettes and put another in his mouth.

The big man held Ken down while the doctor produced a syringe full of a blue liquid. Ken struggled, but the big man was too strong. The needle pierced his shoulder and the doctor injected the fluid. Immediately, Ken's vision began to fade. He watched as the blonde agent lit his cigarette and left the room, followed by the doctor and the big man. Alone and strapped to a metal chair in a dark room, Ken's vision faded to black.

I have some bad news. No, the story isn't going to end here. I'm still writing it, but certain events in my personal life have put this story on the back burner, and I don't think it's fair for me to string my fans along without letting them know the plan. My plan is to write this story when I can, but I don't plan to post anything else (except for a single new chapter in Sins) until the whole thing (Light, not the whole of War of the Crests) is complete and edited. I don't know when that will be, but I can assure you that it WILL happen. I am still writing, if sparsely, and I will finish this story. I can't NOT finish this story. It's something that's been in my mind since I was young, and it needs to get on paper and out to you.

Because without you, I wouldn't be anything. Peace, my friends. I will be back. Hopefully sooner, rather than later.