Tai's House, Kamakura, Japan
21st December 2075
"Kari?" He wheezed, placing his palm on his sister's knee.
She rubbed his withered hand and then placed it back onto the bed. "Don't strain yourself."
Tai shook his head, swallowing hard. "Kari." He coughed heavily.
Kari reached over and rubbed him on the back firmly. "Tai, please, the world needs you to get over this silly flu."
He laughed, leaning back in the bed and looking up at the roof. Tai smiled and she could only assume he was remembering something. "Kari, I'm old."
"You don't say; me too!" She laughed a little and then he joined in.
"What I mean is—"
Kari shook her head and whispered, "Tai, please don't."
"Kari…" Reaching over, he placed his hand on hers as the tears trickled down her cheeks. "You're not working, are you?"
Looking up, she traced her eyes over his pale blue pyjamas. She chuckled a little and rubbed his hand. "You know I'm not."
Coughing, he reached over onto the wooden table by his bed and pulled open the drawer. Shakily reaching in, he withdrew a piece of paper and placed it in her lap. "Sign it."
"Tai, what?" Scanning the paper up and down rapidly, she opened her mouth, trying to form words. She glanced at him briefly, and asked, "What is this, Tai?"
"You'll make me proud."
The tears glistening in his eyes started to make her well up too. "Tai, don't talk like that. This— this isn't—"
He smiled, like he always did. "Sign the paper, don't make me." He coughed. "All the stuff I did for you—it's only fair." The warm look in his brown eyes convinced her to hear out the request.
Kari read over the paper and noted words like: 'power transfer'; 'immediate effect'; 'politician'. Sniffling, she looked him in the eyes. "Are you sure this is what you want?"
Tai breathed deeply, smiling fondly. "I want to play football with my sister, but I need you to sign this for me, Kari. After this, it's official."
Looking at the paper, she sniffed and then giggled. "I don't have a pen."
"There's one on the bedside." Exhaling, he closed his eyes. "Table."
Kari picked up the black pen and brought it to the paper, hovering over the area she had to sign. "Tai—"
"Remember when you and Agumon robbed that vending machine?" Tai chuckled, his eyes still closed.
Kari laughed a little. "I remember you getting your spit all over my whistle."
Tai moved the breathing mask from his mouth and coughed into his hand before replacing it. He held the hand in front of his face for a second, seemingly waiting for another cough, and then showed her it. "It's good spit."
They both laughed loudly, remembering the moments they'd shared together. The birthday's, the Christmases; he was even there for the birth of her children. "Tai…"
"Sign the contract or I'll unleash my grandchildren on you." He opened his eyes and winked.
"There's still time—"
Grabbing hold of his hand, she squeezed it gently and smiled. "There's still time for us to play football, Tai."
Tai opened his eyes, and looked at her for a few seconds before he started laughing.
"I'm serious," she insisted. Standing up, she walked over to the corner of the small bedroom and reached for the tattered black and white football that was on a wooden chair.
"I'm too old for this," he protested, laughing.
"Nonsense." As she bent down, she knocked a photo frame over on the table next to the chair. Sighing, she picked it up but froze when she saw the photo inside. "You—" Kari smiled, a tear of happiness rolling down her cheek, and picked up the photo. Wiping the dust off the glass, she walked back over with it in hand.
She placed the photo onto his bed and propped it up so he could see without sitting up. "You kept the photo… all this time and you still have it."
Tai looked over at the photo and a grin spread across his face. Groaning, he pushed himself up and picked up the photo. "Of course I have it." He rubbed his thumb over the glass, his eyes glistening with the memories. "Whenever I worry about something I look at this photo and." He grinned. "And it reminds me that I've fought much worse odds in the past and won."
"You'll win again, Tai." Kari gave him a stern glare. "Promise me."
"Kari, do you know the difference between courage and bravery?" An IV line swung idly by the bed, dripping fluid onto the floor.
She sighed and brushed down her ruffled pink dress; she wasn't in the mood for him to act like a big brother right now. "I'm not an idiot, Tai—"
"Bravery is when you act because of instinct. Your body moves and the mind catches up later. Courage is different because you know there's a risk and you're terrified—" Swallowing, he continued. "But you do what you have to do because otherwise people get hurt."
Kari pondered the thought for a moment. "But there's so much peace at the moment, Tai. I'm glad you turned that knucklehead football brain into something useful, but I just wish—"
"You don't need more time." He grabbed hold of her hand and placed the photo of the group at the end of their first adventure back onto the bed. "No one needs more time; time is precious so use it rather than waste it asking for more. You remember mum telling us about the people who wasted their lives asking for more wishes from the genie?"
Raising her finger to her nose to stem the flow as tears welled up in her eyes, she nodded. "I remember."
"Don't waste your life, Kari."
Kari gasped. "Is Agumon—?"
Tai half-smiled. "He's with Gennai. Kari, do you remember when we used to do prank calls?"
Kari giggled. "Your accents were great."
Tai nodded, clearly remembering. He took off the breathing mask, putting it next to him on the bed. "I've got an idea. Let's prank call 119."
"Emergency services?" Kari chuckled. "We can't do that, it's wrong. And besides, I don't even remember how to do a prank call."
"It's easy; I'll tell you what to say. Us old people need to have a little fun now and then."
Kari gripped onto the soft fabric of her dress. "Tai, please—"
Tai picked up the phone and typed in the number; he held the phone out to her and nodded. "It's ringing."
Kari timidly took the phone, watching the twinkle in his eyes. "Tai…"
"Ask them—" He coughed vehemently, covering his mouth with his hand but this time he didn't show her, wiping it onto the white sheets. "Ask them why they hung up on you and then start crying."
"Tai—" She heard the sound of the operator on the other side and saw a smile spread across Tai's face as he closed his eyes.
Standing up, she looked away from Tai's bed. "Why—? Why did you—?" She began to sob, falling onto a chair, she tried to support herself, but the wooden chair caved and she dropped onto her knees as it clattered onto the floor. She covered her mouth and tried to get the tears to come out but the pain she felt was stopping them. Behind her, she could hear silence. Not a single breath.
Kari dropped the phone, too weak to hold onto it, but the speaker turned on as it hit the ground.
"Madam, we don't have time for prank calls. Frankly, you should know better at your age."
Wailing, she shivered as the reality hit her and the tears finally began to spill. "He's dead."
Izzy's underground Lab, Texas, America
21st December 2100
The alarms rang in her ears as she looked between Izzy and the metal door at the other end of the long room. "Izzy, what do we do?" she yelled above the sound of people banging on the door.
"Just one more minute!" he insisted, tapping away on the huge master computer behind her.
"What is it you're doing again?" The large metal room allowed their voices to echo.
"I'm making a safe haven in the Digital World. After that, we've done our bit, Kari. They won't be able to hurt the Digimon."
Kari turned back, tracing her eyes over the large pillar that made up the computer. Izzy was tapping away at the keyboard that jutted out of the bottom while the screen above his head showed a string of characters in green on a black background. "But Tai said—"
Izzy tapped a single key and then spun around. His fiery red hair was now grey and his features had withered with time. He'd grown a lot since their first trip to the Digital World, but he was still kind of short. Walking over the metal flooring slowly, he placed his hands on her wrinkled arms. "You did a wonderful job, Kari. The world just wasn't ready for Digimon yet."
She glanced back at the door over her shoulder as the banging grew louder. "But—"
Izzy turned her head back gently, smiling. His suit was torn and covered in dirt and his eyes betrayed the fear he was feeling but not showing. "It's just us now, Kari, we did everything we could."
Kari looked up at his stern expression. He was right. She had spent the last twenty five years of her life working hard to ensure that the two worlds could get along; however, as they had found out when Sora was killed on live television, that wasn't possible. The man she had given her position to, Jared Piston, was the head of the people who wanted to recolonize the Digital World with humans. She had failed.
Izzy pulled her close to his chest and she felt water dripping onto her head. Was he crying? "Izzy?"
He sniffed. "I'm glad you were the eighth Digidestined."
He eventually moved away from her, pulling the purple shawl back around her shoulders, and smiled. "Run, there's a Digital Portal open to the safe haven in that storeroom." He pointed at one of the many single metal doors around the room while placing a key in her hand.
Kari felt sick. She couldn't leave him and she certainly couldn't move fast enough to escape. "I'm far too old to be running, Izzy."
Izzy laughed, a tear dropping from his chin onto her black shoes. "And I'm far too old to do favours for your idiot older brother, but look where we are." He looked at her, his eyes shaking and his lip trembling.
Clenching her fists, she whispered, "I'm sorry about—"
Izzy shook his head. "She died peacefully in the end."
She could tell by the tone of his voice he only half believed what he was saying. Kari nodded, looking over to the door and then back at him as he turned back to the computer. "I'm going."
Izzy's voice quivered as he spoke. "I'll hold them off as long as it takes, Kari. Stay safe."
Walking across the room as fast as she could, she tried to keep her balance. She missed the days of her youth when it would have been easy to run into this room and leave. A body shaking explosion broke her train of thought and she just about managed to lean onto the door as her eardrums reverberated perpetually in her head.
Opening the door without waiting too long, she walked through and turned back to see a bullet fly into Izzy's chest. He looked over at her as he fell to the ground; the life left his eyes and he whispered something. It was impossible to read his lips in all this commotion, so she closed the door and looked over to the glowing computer screen at the back of the room.
Using the shelves stacked with boxes to support herself, she made her way over. Raising the old cracked pink Digivice in her right hand, she pointed it at the screen and it began to glow. She sniffled, gripping onto the fabric of her long black dress. "I'm sorry, everyone." Holding it steady, she said, "Digiportal o—"
Izzy's underground Lab, Texas, America
21st December 2100
That was all Kari ever managed to say before the bullet tore into her brain. Her frail body hit the ground and was cold in minutes. Walking down past her body, a man with brown hair and a handlebar moustache smiled. He knelt down beside her body and plucked the Digivice from her hands. "I think maybe you signed over your position to the wrong person, what about you?" He laughed, remembering the moment he had convinced her to do it. The acting lessons in college had certainly paid off. Standing up, he nodded to the men clad in army uniform grouped around the door. "Take the body and burn it."
As the body was taken away, he walked over to the screen, perplexed as to why the light had dimmed. Holding up the Digivice, he repeated the words mostly everyone knew. "Digiportal open." There wasn't a glimmer of activity. All his hard work to save the expanding population, had it been for naught?
"Sir, come in here," a voice called from the main room.
He sighed and walked back outside to see a news story playing on the big screen at the centre of the room. On it, the female reporter was sat with an empty chair to her left and was talking.
"-Widespread reports of people's Digimon partners being absorbed into the nearest computer. Some people have tried to counter this by hiding their partner, but it appears the Digimon no longer recognise their former companions. At the time of a crisis like this, we look to our reporter in the sky—"
Cursing, he slammed his fist on the dashboard and the screen fizzed. "Did they turn off the connection?"
"I don't know, sir. Perhaps, because she was the last Digidestined—"
Jared cursed loudly. "A thorn in our side until the very end, the damn Digimon lovers will regret this."
Over the next four hundred or so years, war ravaged Earth and the Digital World. With the Digivices turned off and the connection broken after Kari's death, all humans were ejected back into the human world and vice versa for the Digimon. Two hundred years in and the American-British alliance had allowed them to conquer the rest of the world. However, the corrupt government was slowly tearing their home apart and they began to search for ways to colonize the Digital World again. Some Digimon broke through around the same time as the humans succeeded—still set on domination—and the war began anew.
However, there was a different side to the break through. New Digidestined were born, their bodies now connected directly to the Digital World. When these new saviours slept, they became the Digimon of their dreams. These pseudo Digimon were quickly weaponized by the human forces to fight against the Digimon, whom were winning the war, until one of those new Digidestined deleted their own real partner permanently. This severed the connection again and the war slowly ended as the two worlds were separated once more. The people who had risen up to political power during the original Digidestined's time were thrown out and a new order began. They created the Royal Independent Military (RIM)—a force independent of both countries and set on solving the crime that was quickly growing. However, the Digital World hasn't given up on the connection yet.
Downtown – Sector Two, Sabhailte, England
21st June 2565
"Hey, come back here!" Leaping over the trashcan that was launched at him, he held up his Taser gun but it was too late. They had disappeared. He turned and saw his partner pointing at something in the alley behind him. "What is it, Paul?"
He walked back down and looked into the alley to see a small sky blue ball with large eyes and a mouth full of sharp teeth. It was feasting on a lump of discarded meat from Evan's Eatery next door. "Is that…?"
His partner seemed sure now, withdrawing his RIM pager. "Yes, that's a Digimon."
Leo Harris shook his head and also withdrew his pager. "I thought-"
"The connection has been re-opened, notify Commander Neehman. I'll radio in some back-up; these things are meant to be dangerous."
Leo typed in a code and sent it to the Commander. Looking up, he saw the creature's big bug-like eyes staring at them. "It's only little…" He crept into the alley slowly. "It's probably harmless."
The creature abruptly bounced into the air and released a stream of bubbles.
Jumping back, Leo yelled, "What on earth?" He saw Paul make the chase as the creature began bouncing away and did the same. If they brought this in, it could mean a big promotion.
RIM Commander Office, A hidden island between America and England
21st June 2565
Remus Neehman looked over the reports for the previous day. A reformed United Kingdom was slowly becoming more and more prosperous and crime was finally going down. Perhaps, one day soon, America would follow and then the two superpowers would give up control of some of the countries they ruled. The shiny metal pager on his desk beeped and broke his train of thought.
Curiously, he picked it up. No one ever sent a message to this pager. Remus looked at the code while trying to remember what it meant. "Seven, four, six…" He picked up the code book from the edge of his desk and flicked it open, scanning through the pages. "There." He gasped, dropping the pager and staggering back. "It can't be." The book fell from his shaking hand and clattered onto the floor.
The intercom beeped as he tried to regain composure. "Sir, your four o' clock is here."
Shaking his head, he calmed down a little. "I'm a little busy, Angela."
"Hey, you can't—! He's coming in anyway, sir. He said he has your permission?"
Remus looked at the metal door at the end of his office as it swung open. The room was pretty long, but even from where he was stood he could tell that his four o' clock appointment wasn't quite normal. "May I ask what your business is? I'm a little busy." Usually he only tended to meet with government officials.
The mystery man chuckled as he walked forwards slowly. "Certainly, I'm here to solve that little Digimon problem that just cropped up in Sabhailte."
"How? How did you—?"
The strange man chortled and patted his belly.
As he came closer, he almost didn't look human. He was wearing a pristine white lab coat and brown trousers but his face looked strange. "Trust me, I can help you. Give me a chance and if I'm successful then I'm hired; if not then you fire me. What do you lose?"
The strange intruder slowly stopped at the front of the desk and Remus worked out what was different. The man stood before him wasn't quite a man and he wasn't wearing trousers, or any clothes other than his lab coat. He looked similar to an ape. He had a furry body but dark skinned hairless palms, feet, face and belly. "I'm terribly sorry. The name's Simyan. Professor Simyan."
"What are you?" Remus managed to stammer.
Simyan chortled again as Remus cowered behind his desk, reaching for the panic button. "Oh this?" He lifted his arm and tugged at the hair. "Sadly, it was a science experiment gone a bit wrong. However, I do ask that you judge a book not by its cover." He withdrew a beige file from his lab coat and tossed it onto the desk. "But by its contents."
Remus looked up at the strange ape-man briefly before glancing at the file. Five letters were bolded on the front. R- O- D- A- F. "What is it?" Remus picked up the file and moved back from the desk a little to read it.
"It is a proposal for a subsection of your military forces, which will be solely focussed and trained to combat Digimon. The Retrieval of Digidestined Auxiliary Force." Simyan ran his fingers through the messy brown hair on his head, pushing it back. "It's quite the riveting read, if I do say so myself."
Remus skimmed through it and then put it back on the desk. "Give me one good reason not to press my panic button."
"Other than your security guards are sleeping and your receptionist has gone on her lunch?" Simyan looked up, seemingly pondering the thought. "The code on your pager denotes that a Digimon has broken through, correct?" Simyan waited for an answer but Remus refused to give one. This man—or beast—knew too much already. "You don't have to answer; I read that code book the other day. My memory never falters." Remus felt his face drop and a smirk spread across the ape's face. "Now, I know that Sabhailte is currently in danger and your officers aren't equipped to deal with the threat. I can give some of those officers information that will allow them to prevent the inevitable anarchy."
Remus's interest was piqued. If this ape-man already knew so much, what harm was it to trust him? If he was wrong, it would be easy to kill him and dispose of the body. If not, perhaps this RODAF idea—whatever it was—wasn't such a bad one. "You have one day; I'll fly you out to meet the two best men I have on the street." Remus held up a set of plane keys. "I presume you know how to fly too?"
Simyan smirked. "Unfortunately not, but I have a pilot in mind."
Downtown – Sector Two, Sabhailte, England
21st June 2565
Simyan climbed out of the helicopter, looking at the two men stood shaking before him. "I presume you two lost the Digimon?" It was to be expected.
They kept their guns pointed at him. "Who- What are you?"
"Your commander told you, didn't he? I'm Professor Simyan." He gestured to the cockpit as a middle-aged man with red hair clambered out, pointing a rifle at one of them and his handgun at the other. "And this is my associate, Casper Fergusson." Simyan reached and slowly touched the end of their two guns. "We've all got toys." He pushed them down slightly, and winked. "So, we can play cowboys, or we can go catch a Digimon and make Mr Neehman proud. It's up to you which you prefer."
They looked at each other and then all three males slowly lowered their weapons. "Brilliant." Simyan withdrew a black box from his pocket and tapped the screen. "The Digimon is nearby."
One of them moved next to him, trying to grab the box. "What's that?"
Simyan slapped his hand. "We look with our eyes, Paul McGreggor." He smirked as he saw the man's confusion. It was always fun to do this. "I know both of your names, and the rest of your lives too; it was only smart to brush up on you two before I met you."
Simyan pointed straight down the street at the raised roundabout. "There it is."
Leo moved to run but Simyan thumped him in the shoulder, sending him onto the ground. "What the hell?" Leo hissed through the pain. The officer was clearly shocked by Simyan's strength, yet again it was to be expected. Normal scientists didn't usually have much time for the gym.
Simyan walked forwards slowly, pocketing the black box and withdrawing a net. "We do things my way, boys. Success is seized quickest using the best thought out plan of action."
Paul helped his partner up and kept his eyes on Simyan. He seemed cautious but angry, stepping towards Simyan slightly. "You can't just hit a member of the RIM."
Simyan laughed a little but tried to keep quiet. "A member of RODAF can do as they please. They are not bound by this world's laws."
They looked between each other and then Leo stood forwards. "What is RODAF?"
"Something you're welcome to join if you have a good aim with that Taser gun of yours."
Leo looked over the Taser with confusion. "Shouldn't I shoot it with my handgun?"
Simyan shrugged. "If you would prefer to anger the Digimon, causing it to Digivolve, be my guest."
Paul placed his hand on Leo's shoulder and shook his head. "I heard about that Digivolve stuff. It was the reason they had to use pseudo Digimon in the Valiant War."
Leo growled, walking closer to the roundabout. "Fine, I'll shoot it with this." He held up the Taser gun while looking back at them. Leo turned back to the roundabout and gritted his teeth. "This better work."
"If you hit it exactly, it will. However, if you clip the Digimon or miss we'll be in trouble. So, try not to screw it up." Simyan patted him on the shoulder. "No pressure." He moved backwards as Leo aimed.
Paul smiled confidently. "He's the best in RIM; with his shooting skills and my knack for solving crimes we're a great team—"
"I'll cut you off there, Paul." Casper patted him on the shoulder, a cigarette hanging from his lip. "He's young; he's got a long way to go."
With a buzzing of electricity, they all turned to see Leo grinning as he ran towards the roundabout. "Quickly, Casper." Simyan handed him the net and Casper ran over. The older male managed to toss the net over and heave it, and the contents, onto his back before Leo could get a clean shot with his handgun.
"What gives?" Leo asked, gritting his teeth as he pointed his gun at Casper.
"We capture Digimon and return them to their world, Mr Harris." Simyan walked over slowly but paused as the device in his pocket bleeped.
"Put it down, kiddo." Casper tossed his cigarette into the air, flicked a switch on Leo's gun with uncanny agility and then caught the cigarette as the cartridge fell out.
"There's one in the chamber." Leo locked eyes with the older man.
"You need at least two to scare me, kiddo." He laughed, finishing the rest of the cigarette in one long drag before tossing it to the ground, and walked back over to Simyan. The sound of Leo grumbling was mixed with Casper's slow footsteps across the road.
Paul looked over Simyan's shoulder as the ape-man watched the black box. "Another Digimon?"
"Not quite, we need to move." Simyan burst off into a run that rivalled a cheetah, leaving the others in the dust. He paused up ahead and checked the box again. Looking back at the others, he beckoned. "Do not fall behind. The dark is a scary place."
Leo picked up the cartridge and slipped it back into his gun. "Like I'm afraid of the dark."
Paul pointed in the direction everyone was running. "Are you afraid of ghosts?"
Leo saw a white light radiating into sky. It was a thin beam already, shrinking all the while. "No, but I am afraid of that."
Central – Sector One, Sabhailte, England
21st June 2565
Simyan stopped as he reached the house where the slender light was emanating from. "A new Digidestined already…" He looked to the left to see a large black bird with golden tipped feathers circling in the sky. "And their Reprieve takes the form of Lithemon, interesting." He bounded into the air and gripped onto the windowsill from one of the second floor bedrooms. Swinging himself up, he withdrew a blob of white gum and slipped it into the window's lock. He waited a few seconds before he twisted it and pulled the window open.
He glanced down at the bed to see a girl with long brown hair and a serene expression. Scrutinizing the toy filled bedroom, he eventually spotted a notebook with a name embossed on the front. "Faye?" he whispered as he touched her arm gently. It would be a shock waking up to Simyan for anyone but he needed to get her out of here quickly. "Faye." He pushed harder and she groaned, waking up slowly.
"He wants to marry me, mum, I need more time." She opened her big brown eyes but immediately leapt up and backed into the corner.
Peering out the window, Simyan saw the oversized Lithemon had vanished. It was definitely this girl. He looked back over at her as she calmed down, moving closer curiously. "Faye, you need to go to sleep again. This is just a dream." Simyan leapt back out of the window and closed it behind himself. He bounded onto the roof, spotting his comrades arrival. Waving to them, he withdrew a walkie-talkie. "Casper, you all need to watch the sky. If a big black bird appears then we definitely have the right girl."
He waited for Faye to finally settle down, listening closely in the darkness as her breathing became shallow. His keen hearing could just barely make out her breath now; she had to be asleep or at least pretending. "Keep an eye out," Simyan whispered as he slipped back down and through the window. Inside, she appeared to be asleep and Lithemon had definitely vanished when he woke her. He spoke softly into the radio. "Anything?"
The reply crackled in his ear. "Nothing, I think something's wrong."
Simyan pondered it for a moment. "Perhaps the connection never recovered. With such a damaged connection only a single Reprieve is possible." He checked his phone and selected the calendar. "June the twenty first. It appears that the solstice is still the time when this connection develops easiest." Picking her up gently, he leapt back out of the window, landing softly on the ground.
Leo pointed his gun. "Who's the girl? You can't kidnap civilians."
Simyan sighed. He wasn't entirely sure this 'act first, think second' guy was cut out for RODAF. "She is a chosen one. In time, she will receive a Digital partner."
Paul stammered, "B- but-"
"I thought it too, Mister McGreggor. However, it seems the Digital World has established one last connection with the human population. In the interest of keeping that connection alive, I plan to look after this girl and raise her at our new base."
Leo looked to Paul and then back at Simyan. "Base?"
Paul raised an eyebrow. "Ours?"
Simyan smirked as he saw their increased interest. "Casper will be flying us there now. He financed the construction until the RIM was ready to take over. An island in the sky – Home Base."
Home Base, Somewhere between the UK and America
29th May 2575
Simyan looked over the new head of RODAF. Unfortunately, RIM had decided that Simyan's duties should be solely focussed on combatting Digimon and the administration and day to day running should be done by someone else. The man chosen for the job, Charles Kayran, was an obviously dangerous man. It was baffling that he had ever been hired but Simyan resolved that he would keep an eye on him. Kayran's short blond hair flapped about in the breeze as he spoke to a grey-haired Remus Neehman.
Simyan walked over slowly and listened to the conversation while approaching.
"-So, it is with great pleasure that I bestow upon you this position."
Kayran smirked, glancing briefly at Simyan. "The pleasure's mine."
"Remus, it's been a while." Simyan held out a hand as he stopped.
Remus laughed and shook it. "I'm sorry I'm adding someone new to your family, but times change, Simyan."
"It's no matter, I'm sure we'll get on." Simyan looked at the cold, army-instilled look in Kayran's eyes and knew that was a lie. "Leave him with me; I'll show him his office."
Kayran smiled a toothy grin. It was as false as the rest of him. "An office? For me? You shouldn't have." He chuckled. It sounded like someone being held at gunpoint and forced to laugh.
Simyan nodded to Remus as the RIM commander walked over to his helicopter on the nearby helipad.
Waiting until he was out of earshot before looking back at Kayran, Simyan breathed deeply. He had to play this carefully; Kayran was a risky man. "The office complex is this way." Simyan walked towards the nearest building. Turning on the voice recorder in his pocket, he whispered, "Note to self: do not allow Kayran's actions to fall under the radar."
Lower Office Block, Home Base
1st January 2579
Kayran looked up at the large screen, smirking. "And the spores will be capable of inciting insanity, and eventually death, in a Digimon?"
The scientist on his right nodded sheepishly, their glasses almost falling off their long nose. "Y— Yes, s— s— sir."
"Excellent and you know if you tell Simyan what will happen to you?"
The gulp was so loud it made Kayran smile with pleasure. "I die?"
"Indeed." He patted the scientist on the head and turned around to face one of the new recruits to RODAF.
It was the bright young spark, Bella DeLouge. Her curvaceous body, long blonde hair and twinkling blue eyes were her greatest disguise. He had hired especially for her cunning, vicious killing record. She didn't have a Digimon partner, but that played to his favour. "Bella, I need you all to begin squashing the resistance against us. If you cannot handle it alone you may take the others. I want it gone ASAP or you're gone, capisce?"
"Certainly, Lord Kayran." She withdrew one of her two signature katanas, licking the cold blade. She holstered it quickly and then pursed her lips. "Still sharp. Where do you want me?"
"Downtown Sabhailte, Sector three."
Debriefing Room, Home Base
12th March 2593
"Four years with us already, eh, King?" Casper asked. The grey moustache of his mentor wiggled about as he smiled proudly.
"So, me and Moonmon can come with you guys today?" King asked, looking up at the older man and grinning.
"Ask Leo, I'm not in charge today." Casper patted his belly and leaned in close, his usual cigarette breath mixed with strong alcohol. "I've had a few too many to drink." He winked and then started laughing.
King looked to the middle-aged man with shaggy blond hair. Leo half-smiled, shining his gun, and pointed to Faye. "Sorry, kiddo."
King looked hopefully to Faye; if it wasn't her then he might as well give up. "Well?"
The big eyed brunette looked down slightly. Despite the fact King was only twelve, he was nearly her height. "If you feel up to it, me and Uliosmon are happy to have you along."
The small white cloud next to her with half-open eyes narrowed them further. "Faye, be careful." His tone was light but chiding. Faye did have a habit of being too trusting.
"It's fine, Uliosmon. Isn't it, King?" She laughed and ruffled King's short black locks.
King nodded eagerly as Paul placed a hand on his shoulder. "Yeah, we'll be fine."
Downtown – Sector Three (Abandoned Warehouse), Sabhailte, England
25th December 2595
Faye's death that day continued to haunt King for the rest of his life and the next few were probably some of the worst. Bella DeLouge died shortly afterwards in a fire, leaving an all-male team behind. Paul took the next hit; he sacrificed himself after Parricidium caught them in a trap. King hadn't known Paul as well as some of the others, but watching Leo become a shadow of himself was enough of a tribute to the brave fallen RODAF agent. Uliosmon slowly became insane and ended up storming the base of one of the key members of the resistance against RODAF. They never saw the—usually cautious—Digimon again.
Perhaps, though, Leo's death was the most painful King had felt. Maybe it was because he was the latest on a heap of pain, or maybe because Leo saved him. King wasn't sure exactly what made him feel the way he did, but when he watched Leo stand and fight against a small army he felt a mix of emotions. There was the pride in one of his mentors, the shame he felt for leaving when he was told, and the sadness and anger that lingered afterwards.
"King, are you okay?" Casper asked quietly as they sat watching the meeting of the resistance group Future Fighters from the rafters.
King shook his head, regaining his focus. "I'm fine; Moonmon?"
His partner, the little blue cat nodded. "I'm good as long as I'm with you, King."
"I miss them too, son, but we are getting some new recruits soon. I feel it in my bones." He patted King lightly on the back. "We got that new pilot last year, remember?"
King laughed quietly. "Thanks, Casper. I promise neither of us will die."
Casper smiled lightly. "Focus on the mission first." He pointed below but the meeting had paused.
Casper withdrew the rifle from his back but paused as he heard footsteps. He turned to the right and saw a soldier and then to the left to see another. "King—"
"We've got intruders!" one announced.
"Casper, do we fight?" King looked about, readying his fists.
"King…" Casper clenched his teeth. "Leave now. You're just a kid and you'll only hold me back."
"But… there's too many. I can't leave you!" King protested, stamping his feet.
"Stop right there!" The soldiers on the rafters had increased twofold.
Casper bent King over and placed a handgun on his back. Pulling the trigger twice he took out the two on the right and used his rifle to take out one of the two on the left. The other was still alive, and appeared to have a Digimon. It looked like a small green dog, possibly crossed with something more angular.
Withdrawing an electric net, he tossed it at them but watched with amazement as the Digimon burst straight through, energy surrounding it as it landed gently in front of him and then pounced for his face. Casper struck it with the butt of his gun, following up with a digitally charged shot from his handgun to finish it off. Spinning his rifle around once, he aimed and fired to mop up the human counterpart of Relecmon.
Breathing a sigh of relief, he looked at King with fury in his eyes. "King, leave now. I've left RODAF from this moment on so you're associating with an enemy by being here."
"B— but." King felt himself become teary. This was awful, how on earth could Casper expect him to leave? "You're my mentor, my friend—"
"RODAF agents don't have friends." He closed his eyes and grabbed King by the scruff of his neck. "Now get out of my life!" Grunting, he launched King through the skylight above them.
King felt heartbroken as he crashed through the glass and landed on the roof outside. Clambering up while being careful not to let the broken glass touch his skin, he moved for the—now open—skylight but suddenly Moonmon flew through, flying over his head. She was hurt. "Did Casper…?" he whispered, his voice cracking as he picked up his semi-conscious partner. Looking at the helicopter and listening to the commotion, he bit his tongue to force a decision while tears trickled down his cheeks. "Dammit!"
He ran to the helicopter, climbing in and slamming the door. "Go!"
Downtown – Sector Three (Abandoned Warehouse), Sabhailte, England
25th December 2595
"That was a harsh way to get rid of your grandson, old man." The voice was clearly laced with malice.
Casper looked over and shook his head, withdrawing a cigarette and placing it into his lips. "You wouldn't understand." He flicked his lighter near the cigarette end, lighting it and taking a long drag.
The man, in a black cloak, which covered most of his body, was barely visible beneath the black top hat and sunglasses. He pushed out his bottom lip, cocking his head to the side and then pulled the trigger of the revolver in his left hand. "Understand this."
Casper expected a rush of pain, he had been shot before so he knew what to expect but instead he saw data pixels in the corner of his eye.
Spotting Moonmon in pain, he tossed the Digimon through the skylight and then moved back away from the man. Moonmon wouldn't have survived another shot from that gun at this close range. "You're the head of Future Fighters?"
"I am; it's a shame the head of RODAF hasn't come to meet me but you were one of the founding members. It seems apt that an organisation as powerful as mine can take out the last founding member." He opened the revolver, placing a single bullet inside. "I won't miss."
Casper laughed. "You need more than one to scare me."
The man smirked. "We'll see. They're all proud until the barrel of a gun is all they can see."
Casper pulled the cigarette away from his lips, exhaling. "The pain we both cause to innocent people is very different; I do it to see the look of joy in a child's eyes when they are able to live safely with a Digimon. What about you?"
"I cause pain to stop the bad guys, the same as any superhero." He flipped the revolver around until it cocked and then pointed it.
Casper smirked. "When you're older, you'll understand. There are more important things in life than right or wrong." Casper closed his eyes and dropped the cigarette.
The bullet pierced his brain and cut off everything in that moment. There was no tunnel of light, only the sleep he had been yearning for.
24th March 2599
She looked up, her eyes wide with amazement. Of course, she was still sceptical of the offer but this was a pretty amazing home. Ahead, she saw a tall black man sat against one of the trees. Walking over curiously, she kept her wits about her. "Do I need to do anything now I'm here?"
He looked up, the shade covering half of his face. "First day?"
"And?" She tensed up.
He stood up, wrapping his arms around her. "Welcome to the family."
I don't own Digimon. The logo and OCs are mine.
A bit of a jumpy first chapter but it is the prologue. If you stuck with it all the way through, please let me know what you thought.