A/N: Buenos Noches, or Buenos Dias, Amigos! I am Tajeri Lynn, the Extremo Luchadore, and you've been warped into the novella that is "Takato Wong", based on characters from Digimon Tamers 03. Immerse yourself into a Digimon adventure like no other, because in Takato's world, Anarchy Rulz the streets of Japan and someone's got to be found Guilty As Charged.
Tamers comes to you from the popular Digidome under Fox Kids, Saban, and of course, Toei Animation. Let's get digi with it, senors and senoritas!
Note: This story is set a decade after the ending of the Digimon Tamers. So almost everyone has their digimon back. Ain't that dandy?
Phase A: Another Wong
I know what you'd say.
But your ears aren't playing tricks on you.
You should call me by that my name now…
If 10 whole years is what you can call "now"….
Some say only I can still tell the difference between baking soda and baking powder.
Others would say I still had hair as brown as the sugar on my dad's sweet breads.
And still, there are those who say my smile's just the kind of thing to keep them up and going for days on end.
But there's one thing that's not still there anymore.
I'm not a Matsuda.
I'm a Wong now.
There was this earthquake that tore through Shinjuku, not long after I found the Digital World again…The high school had been revised the summer before, and I was saved. But the bakery…the Matsuda bakery….I know you can finish the rest of that story, because I just can't.
Why didn't I end up living around Kai, you ask? Talk about your bad luck, and I mean really, really bad luck. My speedy cousin and his family were visiting the bakery that very same day. So there I was in the school hallway, silent of the news that they all had to go away, and I never even got to say goodbye to them. It was strange, but for once, I didn't cry, not a tear through all this time. I don't know why…Maybe it was because I had seen too many friends go away, real or not, and maybe this didn't feel abrupt, but rather…expected… I never got to see their faces ever again; I was told I shouldn't, and maybe that's how it must be. To me, they'll never really be gone. Just as I had seen Guilmon disappear and then come back, I know somewhere my family has found a place far from me, but someday I may meet them again. Okay, so maybe that's crazy talk, but we can dream, can't we?
My parents had no other family above them, so Henry's dad Janyuu suggested taking me into the rest of the family, the Wong family. Janyuu knew me very well and valued every bit of me, and his wife, my new mom (but not too new mom), agreed with the adoption. It's quite a spiffy little group to hang around. Janyuu continues to work at Hypnos, alongside Mr. Yamaki. Hypnos' key job as of late is mapping the Digital World, since it had been slowly growing back pixel by pixel over these years. Now I know how Henry feels being around his dad; Janyuu's busy as a bee, and I don't know how much coffee he drinks, but it's enough that we can't see him for whole days.
Oh, did I say "we"? I'm sorry, I meant Henry, Susie and the rest. Kind of strange, but I'm around Janyuu more, because, believe it or not, I'm working at Hypnos now. Janyuu noticed that I was a great artist, and he wanted me to design all this stuff that we could use for the Digital World, you know, transports and all that, like Grani. Is that spelled with two Ns or one?
Henry and Susie are of course the closest of the step-siblings in my life. I learned their Chinese names are "Zenrya Lee" and "Shuichon", so I try to address them that way too. Henry doesn't like his real name; too long, he says. He thought about calling himself "Zen Lee", but "Henry" it was. Henry finds it icky that I'm his step-brother, if not the ONLY brother he has. It's definitely not the same as being the only boy in the house, and that goes for him and me both. Susie doesn't mind me at all. She thinks I'm ready to play with her and bake something for her sweet tooth. Then again, why not? I always do those for her.
The rest of the family, I've grown used to, though the older sisters have mostly left to try their luck in the States, so I keep forgetting their names. Mrs. Wong is a cool mom. She doesn't worry too much about the family, knowing the Digital World and everything. Of course, she's not like my real mom. Sometimes her lack of worrying troubles me. That's what happens when you're born with a mom who just loves to keep you on a leash of sorts.
Guilmon's not with me right now. He can't stay here in the real world, not after the incident with the D-Reaper. The Juggernaut program deevolved him, and his body feels the real world is alien and must always go back to the world he belonged to. Not that Guilmon is harmed by the real world, but it's too bad that he has to disappear just as we're beginning to have a good time. It's like he's a ghost. Good thing is, he's growing stronger and more used to my world, and that means he can stay longer than ever, for about an hour, at this time. My other buddies go through the same thing. Except Henry. Gee, there's an exception to every rule, is there?
Terriermon and Calumon are far luckier; they can thrive in the real world as much as they want to. Janyuu discovered Terriermon had developed a peculiar resistance to the deevolution; it was growing inside of him since the Juggernaut program was installed into him, and so he was Terriermon before all the other digimon could revert to their normal level. Terriermon's about the noisiest person in the real world again. (Except for Janyuu. Can you believe how loudly he snores after typing away on a computer program? Yamaki has to keep yelling at him because Janyuu rests his face on the keyboard, and the programs get so close to overload.)
Calumon's obviously come back because he's the evolution brought to life. Some of that evolution power in him has also resisted the deevolution process. He's running around somewhere, but at night, he comes back.
So that's how it's been. I'm supposed to be twenty, but sometimes I feel like I haven't really grown. I still have Guilmon to talk to, but as it was, he couldn't stay here in the real world. Ever since the D-Reaper was destroyed, things moved much faster than I wanted them to. In fact sometimes, these thoughts are the only things that can slow down, but like any slow thing, they can get interrupted by the fast and the-
"Takato, you're being very quiet. We almost forgot you were one of us," piped up Janyuu with a smile. He lifted up a chopstick to munch down on some dim sun.
"Oh, sorry! I….was having some thoughts, you know. Heh, heh," chuckled Takato, rising his eyes off his plate.
"Some thoughts? Seemed like a lot of thoughts, Takato. You were as still as ice," added in Terriermon, who was on a chair on level to the dinner table thanks to some boxes. The mammal digimon carried a takeout box from a local Chinese bistro, and chopsticks as tall as his head.
"You still miss Guilmon, don't you?" questioned Henry, ever watchful of his old friend.
"Yeah, you know, I do. That, and working on Hypnos. My mind feels like it's on meltdown."
"Now, now, Takato," said Janyuu, "Meltdown is the last word this family needs to hear."
"Yeah!" said Terriermon. "I mean, didn't Henry's dad melt down that meat loaf he said he could make?"
"Ah yes, Terriermon," Mrs. Wong replied, as she held up another plate. "Thankfully, Janyuu swears he will never cook again and just leave the cooking to the expert, yours truly. Right, honey?"
"Uhm…That wasn't in the correct context, Terriermon……But you already know that, don't you?"
"Hey, when table talk is cold, you've got to turn up the heat!" said Terriermon, gobbling one of those chickens roasted in cashew sauce. "So, Takato," he rambled, spitting a few tiny pieces out of his mouth, "How is the Hypnos thing going along? And when will everybody else get to go?"
"Well, we've covered the Western Hemisphere of the Digital World," said Takato, looking up to the ceiling to recover his memories. "So that's one down, three more to go. But Terriermon, I can't speed up the process for our other friends. No one could."
"What? It's been 9 years already, and believe me, I don't want to stay single for long."
"What are you talking about? Exactly who do you want to be with, Terriermon?" queried Henry.
"I'm just saying I want more digimon around where people like you live, Henry. The possibilities could be endless."
"That is very true, Terriermon," spoke Janyuu, who was wiping his mouth clean with a napkin. "But the limits of the digimon have yet to be ascertained. Takato and I are trying our very best to keep the situation up. I've been contacting the rest of the crew around, but you know them. They've got more important things to do than being your matchmaker."
"That's right," said Takato, clearing up the plate with a spoon. (Of course, it was his idea to bring spoons to the Wongs.) "And Yamaki, what about him? Can he keep up with his condition? He's not feeling well…"
"Since last year? No doubt," said Henry. "Sometimes he forgets I'm supposed to be my father's son. Does he still manage Hypnos?"
"Yeah, though he's not in his prime…" Takato nervously scooped the spoon over around the plate, as if in nervousness. "Yamaki refuses to resign, against the wishes of everyone working in Hypnos. Good thing he has Reika with him. Once in a while, Reika has to represent for Yamaki when talking with his superiors, who at least trust her."
"Janyuu, you should speak up to Yamaki about this. Many of your friends at Hypnos have come over to our home, asking for your help in removing Yamaki. It's not like he's a bad person, but if he's suffering, he must go," Mrs. Wong suggested, taking a little time to clean up her glasses.
"No, dear," Janyuu replied. "It wouldn't be right to deny Yamaki his choice. Reika respects his independence, and so should we. He's done many mistakes, but we are here to correct them so he can correct himself. My colleagues haven't quite forgiven Yamaki from his days supervising the Juggernaut. They say he deserved his illness, whatever it is."
"Can't we at least find out what's ticking him?" Takato frowned.
"I'm sorry, Takato, my son, but he believes he has the right treatment, and quite frankly, so does his wife."
"Momentie, Takato…" said Terriermon. "Mr. Yamaki's a tough one, one who'd never say die. Henry should be like that more often. Right, Henry?"
Henry scratched his head uneasily. "Well, Terriermon, I'm more like the person who believes I'm only human."
"Only human? That's not fun, Henry. I'm only digimon, and I don't think I'm not tough."
"You sure don't sound like you're tough", chuckled Mrs. Wong. "Why don't we move on to stuff besides Yamaki…like how Henry is doing with college, hmm?"
"Ah, mom," began Henry, "you know, it's the usual. Biology's lot tougher than it seems. Ah, wait a minute, the final's two days from now! Once I start eating dinner, everything I learn goes out on one ear! Gee…so I better go read right now, else I won't pass the class. Um, thanks for the dinner, mom. Got to study."
"Your welcome, dear", said Mrs. Wong, as Henry disappeared from the dining room table, and then ascended the wooden staircase.
"Hewwo, everybody!" a buoyant voice came from the door.
"Shuichon?" called Takato, whose train of thought over Hynos was broken by his step-sister. He never wanted to call her a step-sister. That phrase sounded like he was supposed to step all over her.
"Hewwo, daddy! Hewwo, mommy! Hewwo Takato!" The 17-year old teenager, now donning long pigtails and a more womanly voice, hugged Takato, who chuckled at his step-parents as they mused themselves at the sight. And then, a daily convention of hers, Shuichon constricted Terriermon. "Hewwo, TERRIERMON!"
Terriermon's face turned as blue as the night sky outside. "Heh-ro, Shooshie," he managed to speak. As she let go, the little digimon had spirally eyes, for he was short of breath. " Oooh… 'Love hurts' is an understatement!"
"Where's Henwy? I want to say 'Hewwo' to him too!"
Janyuu smiled. "Better not greet your big brother tonight, Susie. He's up at his room, hoping to get an A in his final."
"Please, do have yourself a seat," said Mrs. Wong, bringing a fresh plate where Henry once sat. "I don't suppose you bought something to eat while out shopping?"
"Uh-uhn," concurred Shuichon, as she leapt herself onto the empty seat. "Hewwo, Takato!"
Takato was opening up some fortune cookies, which had convenient message tags like "You will find fortune half full", or "You will find fortune half empty", or "Reggie, will you marry me?" That read, talk with Susie was definitely loads more involving. "Ah, hello, Susie! You missed me?"
"Missed you? I missed you sho vewily much, just like daddy!" she said as she took spoonfuls of everything on her plate.
"Well, that's because daddy and I have been working with several tasks in the big computer room, bringing back Lopmon among our agenda, of course."
"You've shaid that for sho long," Susie pouted impatiently while readying her chopsticks. "When will Lopmon come back?" The fact that Henry had Terriermon around with him further ached her hopes of having her own digimon back.
"Soon enough. Hypnos is kind of running low on manpower, so our progress has kind of slowed. Don't worry about me, I'm moving fast, moving at the speed of might! Whoosh!" Takato zoomed a free hand across the table. Susie always loved these little spectacles.
"Yay, Takato! Takato never steps out of a promise, right?"
"Never for you or anyone else", Takato replied.
"Speaking of manpower," said Janyuu, "Takato, while you were working, Yamaki enlisted a new technical assistant into the Hypnos base. I conducted an interview with the woman, and she is apparently quite knowledgeable about mathematical formulas that could help us reform the Digital World, at least the most basic aspects of it. She will also attend to surveying the real world for any major digital activity, since Reika must look after Yamaki. You should meet the assistant, since she will need to observe your data to sustain the project."
"Hey, who knows, Takato?" jumped up Terriermon, straightening his back after feeling the wrathful joy of Henry's little sister. "Who knows? You could wind up having a nice time with the chick. Hey, why are they called chicks, anyway? They don't even have beaks…"
"Um, Okay, Mr. Wong, I mean, dad," Takato said, hoping not to make a case out of Terriermon's words. He turned back to his stepsister. "You see, Susie? It's not going to be so hard handling the line between the Digital World and the real world. This new person will be helpful, but you're going to have to wait just some more."
"Oh…Waiting…" Susie frowned, pausing her consistent munches of food.
Should've said that the other way around… "Um, uh, Susie, you know what? I've got half a day off tomorrow, and I've got tickets for the day show of CCW, Crazed Combat Wrestling. Want to go?"
"Shuwe!" Susie laughed, her eyes lit back with amusment.
Terriermon jumped onto Takato's shoulder in excitement. "I want to go too, Takato! I want to be the one who gets to give a chair to a wrestler!"
"I don't know…the last time you did that, you ruined the homicidal, genocidal guy's championship streak! And you threw it at his head, you know!"
"So? I'm short! Can you blame me? More importantly, can I go?"
"You'll get your answer tomorrow."
"Yay!" said Susie. "Terriermon will go!"
Takato sighed deeply as Terriermon yelled out to him, "KNEW IT!"
How often does Susie have to read my mind, the Wong thought over himself.
To Be Continued….