A/N: I just realise when starting this chapter that there's a gap in my plan here. Sort of. No chapter titles or chapter summaries, but I know the three main things I have to address in this stretch of chapters. I also don't know how this chapter ended up the way it did: it kind of just wrote itself, so Kari and Terukazu are going to have to wait for the next chapter. :D
And it just occurred to me that Hawkmon and Biyomon are both birds. Which is the other part of the title…which changed three times (but I'm not telling the other two because they might pop up later anyway). Enjoy!
Ooh, one more thing. I have a shiny thread on the Digital Connections Forum ( topic/22352/108349325/1/) (just add the main fanfiction URL bit, from "htt..." to "...et") where you can discuss anything you like about Crests of Origin. Including poking me for updates.
Crests of Origin
Chapter 14 – Little Sister, Little Brother
Tai felt strange, carrying his sister's Digivice and crest. But Kari had all but begged him to take them away from her once he'd gotten back from school, and he'd done as she asked. Later, when he came for bed with both items still in his pockets, she begged them far away again, and he'd resigned himself to sleeping on the couch before Gatomon volunteered to stay in the living room with them.
Kari looked somewhat at ease once the door was closed on them, but not entirely. Her face was still flushed and her eyes were shadowed with black. The weight that slipped off her shoulders was entirely transparent though, and Tai hoped he was simply imagining it – like he was imagining how thin and frail she looked. She had enough strength to whack him with her pillow after he'd commented on her pyjamas after all.
'What's with the digivice and crest?' he asked. 'Why want them away from you?'
Kari snuggled back into her blankets, fiddling with the edge. 'I don't, really,' she confessed. 'I feel almost naked without them, but…those nightmares…they went away when I didn't have them.'
He blinked. 'At home,' Kari elaborated. 'When mum tossed my school clothes into the laundry basket after I got into my pyjamas and my bag was still hanging at my desk.' She closed her eyes, but kept talking. 'But they started again, and I woke up to find my D-3 here again.'
'So you managed to get some sleep before that?' Tai checked; his sister did sound a little better than she had that morning.
'Mmm…think so. But…' Her forehead creased as she frowned, and she opened her eyes again. 'Tai? Why do I feel like I'm someone else in those dreams?'
He had no answer to that, and all he could do was hope his sister was right and having the digivice and crest away from her would allow her to get some decent rest – and a reprieve from her confusing dreams.
For her part, Kari closed her eyes again and listened to her brother get ready for bed. There was something at the back of her mind, some feeling that she'd forgotten to tell Tai something she'd learnt, something important, but it wasn't coming to her. 'You'll be going to Izzy's tomorrow,' she said finally, in a sleepy voice. 'Right?'
'Yep.' Tai patted her hair and tucked her blankets in before climbing to the upper bunk.
'So it feels like she's in the shoes of another human…possibly another Digidestined.' Izzy, like other intellectual challenges, was most curious as to the details – and Tai didn't have very many of those to offer.
He also didn't have a lot of patience when it came to his baby sister.
'Relax.' Izzy looked up from his computer screen. 'I'm not about to go interview Kari.'
'Good.' Tai leaned back against the bed. 'You really need to get more chairs for this place.'
'You should bring your own chairs,' Izzy counted, typing away, 'as they'll just be in the way when you guys aren't here. But what else has Kari said?'
'Nothing.' Tai frowned a little. 'And she was still sleeping when I left for school this morning.'
'Understandable,' Izzy nodded, 'since it sounds like the best sleep she's gotten all week.'
Tai frowned a little harder at that. 'They're not nightmares,' he said, sure of that fact. 'Kari always wakes up screaming and in a sweat, and Gatomon would have known as well. Gatomon doesn't know any more than I do.'
'Hmm…' Izzy chewed the inside of his cheek, a nervous habit he'd picked up from…somewhere. He wasn't sure where exactly, or when. 'And this started before Kari found her crest?'
'I think so,' Tai nodded, 'except they've definitely gotten worse since. She didn't look like she was losing sleep before. Or her sanity. She called me "little brother" yesterday, half asleep.'
'Little brother?' Izzy repeated, looking interested, ceasing his typing a moment. 'It would be interesting if we can profile this person.'
'Hang on.' Tai sat up straight. 'You're saying she's actually possessed?'
'Not at all,' Izzy said hurriedly. 'I'm just saying it might help us discover the source of her dreams.'
Tai slumped a little and sighed. 'Another thing to add to our list. Did we ever work out that digivice?'
'We found the complete data of two Phantomon and several other Digimon,' Izzy explained, 'but the data of those other Digimon were so badly corrupted, Ken couldn't match them up perfectly with the data in his database.'
'He still has that?' Tai was surprised; he assumed it was on the base that had been blasted into smithereens.
'It was on his computer originally.' Izzy shrugged; he hadn't really thought otherwise. A good computer guy always kept back-ups anyway. 'Apart from that, there was a map that Yolei's trying to match up to the current Digital World one, and some records we can't seem to crack. I've even emailed Willis, and all we know for sure is that it's not a digimon.'
'And why didn't you guys update us?' Tai asked.
'What's to update?' Izzy returned. 'We haven't found anything new since last time.'
Which was true, now that Tai thought about it. 'Right, sorry.'
'Don't worry about it.' Izzy turned long enough to offer a small smile before returning to his document. 'So you don't know anything else?'
Tai shook his head. 'I doubt Kari does either; she told me earlier she can't really remember those dreams.'
'Hmm…' Izzy hummed again, minimising the file and returning to the Digital World gate on his computer. It was still on closed, since even though Kari's digivice was in the room with them, Kari herself was not. 'This isn't a whole lot to go on, but I might find something examining her crest and digivice. Shouldn't be as complicated as the one we found in the Digital World anyway.'
'Thanks,' said Tai gratefully, handing the two items over. 'And I know they'll be in safe hands with you.'
Izzy nodded. 'You can count on me.' He was about to add something more, but his mother knocked on the door at that time. 'Izzy, Yolei, TK and Cody are here for you!'
'Thanks Mum,' Izzy called as the three announced came in with their digimon partners, Cody carrying a plate of what looked like his mother's brownies. He offered them to the two boys, both of whom gratefully took one.
'Thanks,' Izzy said. 'I always love your mother's brownies.'
'Tai?' TK looked oddly at him. 'You're not coming down with something, are you?'
Tai shook his head. 'Just a little worried about Kari,' he mumbled.
'I got ya.' TK plopped down, Patamon readjusting. 'Are we expecting anyone else?'
'Matt and Sora,' Izzy said. 'Matt said he could make it after all.'
TK nodded. That meant his brother managed to reschedule his band practise to later that night. 'And Ken?'
'Meeting us there,' Izzy replied. 'And Davis managed to convince his parents that this is important, which it is, so he'll be catching up to us a little later.' He didn't sound too surprised; he knew Davis' parents weren't unreasonable after all, and the Digital World ban was more in relation to their leisure picnics and minor scuffles than anything else. And Davis discovered that for himself when he'd buckled down and asked.
'Okay.' Yolei polished off her brownie. 'So what's the attack plan?'
Izzy pulled up a map of the Digital World on his computer. 'I've marked the places we older children found our crests,' he explained. 'Unfortunately, since we didn't find TK's crest there, I don't know how much of a help it'll be, but it's a starting point.'
They nodded; a starting point was better than nothing after all.
Izzy pointed to an area of the Server Desert. 'Mimi's crest,' he explained. 'Though Mimi's at some sort of camp at the moment and won't be back until next week.' He pointed at another area of the desert. 'Piximon's house, where mine and Matt's crests were.' Another area still, where the younger children also remembered finding a Destiny Stone. 'Joe's crest.' And a Koromon village. 'Tai's crest.'
'What about Sora's?' Cody asked.
'Datamon was the one to find that one,' Izzy admitted, 'so we don't know.'
'And we're not about to go looking for him,' Sora's voice said from the other side of the door, before she opened it to admit herself, Matt, their digimon and the orphan Koromon. 'He's turned into permanent scrap metal.'
Yolei and Cody hadn't heard that story, but Sora's expression didn't make them particularly keen to ask. 'So,' Yolei pressed on as Sora and Matt took a brownie each and Cody wrapped the remaining three up for Ken, Davis and Kari. 'We split up and check those areas? Since it was a bit of a waste all of us digging around for TK's crest.'
'It was only the person the crest belonged to whose tag could sense the crest,' Tai nodded. 'Maybe splitting up is the better idea.'
Izzy nodded as well. 'Though we don't know which generation the crests will react to, so we can't cover everything.' He thought a moment. 'Since Joe's not here, Cody and I will go to the well to try and find the Crest of Knowledge. Davis and Matt might as well come with us, just in case both crests are together like they were before.'
The three nodded at that.
'Now…the ideal plan would be for Sora and Yolei to go to the crest of love, but unfortunately we don't know where that is. It might still be worth checking the pyramid, in case it was originally there. Datamon wasn't exactly…mobile.'
Sora nodded at that. Yolei just looked blank.
'Ken can go with you two,' Izzy continued. 'His computer expertise will come in handy if the place is still functional and if there are more layers than what we saw. I told him to bring his laptop just in case.'
'That's Izzy for you,' TK grinned, 'always thinking ahead. So Tai and I will be doing what? I already have my crest.'
'You're dropping off Koromon at the village,' Izzy deadpanned, 'and you might as well take a look at Tai's crest while you're there. It'd be a good experiment anyway. Either way.'
TK looked at Tai, who shrugged. 'Suits me,' he said, though everyone had noticed he'd been a little quieter than usual. Everyone also understood that he was worried about Kari, so nobody mentioned it. 'Mum and Gatomon are keeping an eye on Kari, but she should be up soon anyway.'
Izzy nodded too, saving his files before pulling up the digital gate screen again. 'Who wants the honours?'
They split up before through the gates (it was a little complicated, but they'd worked out how to open gates in separate locations quite close together, time wise, by closing the previously opened one from the Digital World end first), but Izzy must have emailed Ken while talking to the rest of the Digidestined because he and Wormmon were waiting at the TV closest to the pyramid for them with Biyomon. As instructed, Ken had brought his laptop: the one both Yolei and Sora remembered as being the one which had travelled all around Japan and the world on Imperialdramon's back.
'I can't see much,' Ken admitted, 'and I don't know much about this pyramid either. It's a bit of a relic now: there are digimon at the lower levels, but no-one really knows which ones or how many, or even how deep it goes.'
'Izzy said more or less the same.' Yolei didn't look concerned, though Sora did a little. But Biyomon was there, and Ken and Yolei were both smart and strong. Really, she laughed to herself to ease the tension the ghosts from the past brought. The worst she had to worry about was those two admitting their love for each other and turning her into the effective third wheel. Though she doubted that was going to happen; Yolei's crush had tapered off and Ken hadn't, as far as she knew, shown any romantic interest in anybody.
'What's funny?' Yolei asked curiously.
'Nothing,' Sora said with a smile, thinking it best to keep that little laugh to herself. Ken was looking at her as well, but less openly. 'But how are we going to search the pyramid?'
'Top to bottom?' Biyomon suggested. 'Since we don't know how far down it goes, we might as well start with what we know…and what's empty.' The top was exposed to the sky after all, after Etemon and his goons had blasted the roof.
'Top to bottom sounds good to me,' Hawkmon said, agreeing with his fellow bird Digimon.
Wormmon nodded as well, seeing nothing wrong with the plan, though the humans frowned a little in thought.. Ken cracked open his laptop, looking hard at the old schematic Izzy had sent to him. 'We'll be exposed if we start from the top,' he said. 'Anyone flying over could spot us, and it's too much to hope we won't be noticed before making it down into the populated levels.'
They considered that and realised Ken brought up a good point. The digimon blushed.
'Don't worry.' Yolei gave Hawkmon a pat that ruffled his feathers. 'I know you guys are strong and confident, but the less risks, the better. I guess we better start on the ground level and leave the exposed areas till last.' She looked at Sora. 'You've been here before; anything you want to add?'
'I didn't get much time for sightseeing,' Sora said dryly.