Summary: At the brink of war, the Chosen Children put their faith in a new strategy: Defeating the enemy from the inside out, but when the lines between good and evil begin to blur, the inside is the last place you want to be.
Ages: Joe (19), Tai, Matt, and Sora (18), Izzy and Mimi (17), Yolei and Ken (15), Davis, TK, and Kari (14), Cody (11).
June 10, 2005
Izzy wants us all to keep a record of our exploits in the Digital World, so that's the only reason I'm writing this. Not that I don't like writing! I actually dabble with it in my free time, or you know, when I'm not fighting monsters or training.
Anyway as far as exploits go there's not much to say yet. We settled down at Gennai's house in the Digital World a few weeks ago, and everyone's just getting used to it. We all miss our family and friends, but they don't understand our responsibility to defend as Chosen Children especially in a time of war like this. We can't head home until our mission is complete.
I don't remember the last time all twelve of us have been together like this, but it won't last long. Tomorrow a few of us head off to set up different bases. I just hope they let me go; nothing's worse than sitting around feeling useless.
"Matt, please! You have to let me go!"
The older brother continued scooping up his cereal, watching the milk swirl around. "I have to?"
"Yes!" TK leaned across the table practically shoving his neatly folded hands and puppy dog eyes in Matt's face.
Unfortunately, after years of wavering on his knees at the sight, he had become immune to those eyes. "Sorry, Kid. Your ankle's not fully healed." With that, he stood up and brought his empty bowl and spoon to the sink, TK hobbling close behind in what truly was a pathetic sight.
"My ankle's fine!" The younger brother insisted although the aforementioned foot was still suspended well above the ground.
Matt retreated from the sink bumping TK's ankle in the process. TK promptly bent down to grab it and bit his tongue while letting out a grunt of pain. "See that wouldn't hurt if you were fine," Matt said coolly.
TK scooted back until he ran into the island which he then used for support. He had injured (According to Joe, it was a grade two sprain) his ankle a couple weeks ago when a fluke had happened causing him to fall off Pegasusmon at just the right angle to roll his ankle and had been forbidden from doing just about everything ever since.
Joe, Sora, and Tai all entered the kitchen looking more or less ready for what today was going to bring. TK's hopes brightened a bit; admittedly, without his parents around his brother did have some sort of authority over him, but the others deserved some kind of say.
"Hey, can I help set up the new bases?" TK asked in the best innocently sweet voice the fourteen year old could muster. The responses were quicker than expected.
"No," Joe stated firmly while looking over his patient.
"No!" Sora exclaimed shocked at the notion.
"Oh hell no," Tai finalized.
TK resisted the urge to smack his head against the island. "What am I going to do stuck here alone at Gennai's?"
"You won't be alone. You'll be helping Izzy," Sora assured as she snatched the box of cereal Matt had left on the table and went to get herself a bowl.
"But I never know what he's saying," TK grumbled. This was something they could all relate to; only Yolei and Ken could understand Izzy when he went on, what the other chosen liked to call, his Prodigious Rants because they tend to lose him right after that word.
Tai asked Sora to get a bowl for him to as Joe suggested, "I could use some help today too."
"You're not setting up a base?"
He shook his head. "No way, with what we're getting ourselves into, I'll be preparing all of our medical necessities. You should know; you were my first customer."
TK grinned sheepishly as Tai exclaimed, "I thought you were going! Now I have to change the teams around… Cody and Joe were going to set up the base in the west since they could cross the ocean. I guess Kari could take Joe's place since she could fly over the ocean. That means Palmon would have to digivolve to Lillymon, so she could fly, and Mimi could go along with Sora to the south which leaves me, Matt, and Davis to take the north."
"…Wow," Matt uttered.
He headed to exit the kitchen and get ready for the day. "Honestly I didn't know you put that much thought into it."
Over the years Tai had gotten a lot better about strategizing and not rushing into situations. He knew his team well and had worked out a good dynamic. Through everything, the twelve of them really had blended into one team, and now being the only thing each other has, a family.
Patamon's round eyes watched his partner's pencil as it tapped on the desk, his head facedown. "TK?" He tried, "TK!"
The blonde turned his head towards the small creature and smiled slightly. "Yeah, Pata?"
"Are you mad at me?"
TK was slightly confused before realizing he meant his ankle. "No, of course not; it wasn't your fault. I'm just bored and annoyed because I can't help… and I hate this game." He glared down at the Sudoku puzzle he'd been resting his head on. Various puzzles and riddles were Joe's way of keeping his patient busy, but TK could only focus for so long before his mind drifted to how everyone else was being productive right now.
"You two could help, you know."
They both turned to see Yolei standing in the doorway with a slightly irritated expression. "We're not doing anything technology related, just planning which I'd hope you know a lot about by now."
Yolei led the two to what had been dubbed Izzy's office because it was housing his pineapple laptop and he'd filled the room to the brim with various notes, cables, and wires. They entered to find Izzy and Ken in a heated debate.
"There are plenty of other options," Ken insisted.
Izzy paced back and forth, one hand to his chin. "None as foolproof as this."
"It's not foolproof; it's risky!"
Izzy stopped dead in his tracks. "It's the best chance we've got!"
TK cut in, "What is?" He, Patamon, and Yolei filed in taking seats by Ken at the table. Izzy remained standing as he explained.
"As you all know, the dark side's leader is Beelzemon who's trying to build up the strongest army he can to help him gain control over the Digital World. With how much power our digimon possess, he would never turn down a Chosen Child in his ranks."
"He's not going to believe any of us switched sides!" Yolei interrupted.
"Precisely," he continued, "unless they didn't switch sides of their own accord. That's where Ken comes in. We convince Beelzemon and his crew that Ken's dark spore has reactivated. They'll take him in with no clue that he's a double agent feeding us information and sabotaging their plans."
"What if he figures Ken out?" Yolei asked with a worried expression.
"Not to worry, we'll be in constant contact with him. If anything goes wrong, the rest of us can be there in a minute."
Ken crinkled his nose and trained his eyes on the table. "I still don't believe this'll work."
Izzy raised an eyebrow. Normally Ken had faith in all of Izzy's ideas with good reason considering all the jams they had gotten them out of. He faced TK. "What do you think?"
The blonde didn't answer for several moments as he thought over the plan. If anyone even had a chance of infiltrating the enemy's army it was Ken but not if he was going to be so against it. It made perfect sense to him, and they needed to act fast before their situation escalated into an all out war. TK shrugged and admitted, "Someone on the inside may be our only chance."
"Seems you're out numbered, Ken," Izzy said matter-of-factly.
Ken stood up suddenly, a stone cold look on his face. "Fine, I'll do it." As he walked out, TK noticed something the others didn't: the downright terrified look in Ken's eyes.
Joe looked over his notes. "Well your ankle is coming along nicely. I think you'll be up and running again in a couple of days."
"Great!" TK exclaimed as he hopped off the side of the 'hospital bed.' He had to admit Joe had set up an impressive area for his medical supplies. The Chosen Children were in good hands.
"So how's Ken?" Joe asked casually as he returned his supplies to their designated spots.
TK's mood instantly darkened. "Oh, he's alright. Kind of nervous about the plan, but we've been working with him. I'm sure he'll be ready when it's time."
Joe stuck his head in a cupboard. "I know I could never do what he's doing. Just looking at Beelzemon gives me the creeps!"
TK smirked. "Looking at Numemon gives you the creeps."
Joe acted unamused at the comment and continued, "The point is with all those evil digimon around it'll be tough. With Beelzemon calling the shots and Lilithmon close by, he better watch his back."
"One of the seven Demon Lords like Beelze-OUCH!"
"What?" TK asked alarmed.
Joe brought his head out from inside the cupboard. "I pricked my finger with a needle."
TK started backing towards the door to the small room. "Y-you brought needles? As in f-for shots?"
The older boy raised an eyebrow. "You can't be serious? You sprain your ankle a few weeks ago and don't bat an eyelash, but you think of shots, and you panic?"
TK shrugged. "I don't like the suspense when you're waiting for a shot."
Joe shook his head in disapproval. "Suspense is nothing compared to actual pain."
For how intelligent Izzy was, it was unbelievable how little he knew about people. The redhead's voice came through the D-terminal loud and clear. "Are you ready?"
Ken gulped, and his voice cracked as he confirmed, "Yes."
A melancholy smile dawned TK as he watched his friend fumble around with his equipment and supplies as he shoved it all into his backpack. The idea was to make it look like Ken had been surviving on his own, like he had turned on his team weeks ago. Today he would confront Kari and Cody (who were returning from setting up their base) in front of Beelzemon to show his betrayal.
Izzy recapped through the D-terminal, "We've been preparing for weeks, so you know the drill. Circle around Kari and Cody, so you won't appear like you're coming from Gennai's house then put on a show, Stingmon will use a few attacks, you say a few words, one of Beelzemon's spies will surely be watching and contact him, finally you convince him to let you join up with him."
"That's simple enough," TK assured trying to wipe away Ken's scared stiff expression.
If anything, Ken had become more nervous. He nodded to TK but dropped his digivice in the process. TK picked it up and handed it to him. "You need to relax. I'm positive everything will be fine."
Ken took the digivice but didn't respond, so TK continued, "I know it might scare you being so close to Beelzemon, but they won't hurt you if you're on their side, and you'll have Wormmon to protect you."
"I'm not afraid of them!" Ken raged. TK was taken aback, and the raven-haired boy looked quite sheepish. He reached over and shut off his D-terminal, so Izzy wouldn't hear him. His voice dropped to a whisper TK strained to hear. "I'm afraid of me."
TK cocked his head now thoroughly confused. "But why?"
"I-it's just that…" Ken's fist tightened as he bowed his head. "Going back into the darkness even if… I don't trust myself enough to tempt myself with the darkness. Being on the inside so close to power and corruption, who knows what'll happen."
"I do," TK insisted. "You're not the same person, Ken. You won't fall for that again. You have friends now who I know you wouldn't turn on."
Ken shook his bowed head. "You don't understand. I don't know that. I… the spore… the past-"
"Won't happen again!" TK finished more persistently. "Come on, Ken. You can do this. We're counting on you!"
"Well don't!" Ken shouted bringing his head up for TK to find his eyes filled with unshed tears. "Stop having so much faith in me! You just don't get it! The dark side could pull the holiest of creatures down, so what chance do I have!"
TK's eyes were full of sympathy. "Ken-"
"Don't," he insisted, "Just-just please I can't do this. I knew I couldn't and now…" He angrily rubbed his eyes to get out all the tears caused by his bottled up feelings.
TK couldn't stand seeing one of his friends in this state. He had to do something to help.
"Ken, listen…give me your backpack."
I hope I made it clear what TK taking the backpack means... Thanks for reading! Reviews are appreciated!