"FIX IT! Fix it! Fix it! Fix it!" Taiga Fujimura shouted over and over again as she shook Shirou Emiya back and forth.
"I can't do… anything with you… shaking me like this, Fuji-nee…" Shirou said as he struggled to open up the old computer with a single hand. It was one of those types where all the computer's circuitry was contained inside of the monitor. Something had gone wrong and the computer died earlier that morning, causing Taiga to go into a panic.
"Shirou, I have term grades due in just a few hours! I need that computer working RIGHT NOW!" The childish woman shouted before letting go of Shirou's shirt and collapsing to the ground in what sounded like tears. "Please hurry, my life depends on it."
"The spring semester ended over a week ago. You shouldn't have waited until the last minute like this." Shirou scolded his 'guardian' as he finally managed to open the machine up now that he had both hands and started to eyeball the contents.
"Stop lecturing me and just hurry." Taiga said bitterly as once again her charge treated her like a child by her own charge.
"Yeah yeah, I'm on it." Shirou said as he started to push aside wires with a finger. "If you want to be useful, then go and grab my extra tools from my shed back home. I don't know if I will need them, but I've got a few spare parts in it and I would take me a will to go get them if it turns out…" Before he was even through speaking Taiga had threw open the door and was speeding out. With a sigh of relief at finally getting her out of the room, he started his real examination of the machine. Placing a single hand on the outside of the computer casing he whispered a short phrase. "Trace On."
Shirou clenched his teeth as the familiar sensation of prana racing along one of his fake magic circuits went up his spine with a feeling like molten metal burning his body inside out. This was not the proper way to perform magecraft, but he honestly didn't know any other way. His adopted father had never been willing to teach him much and the man died when Shirou was still very young, Shirou didn't really have the chance to get to know Kiritsugu at all.
When the man passed away, all Kiritsugu left Shirou with was a vague at best understanding of three of the most basic spells, a modest home, and a few words on what it meant to believe in an ideal. Shirou had promised Kiritsugu that he would work towards that ideal, that he would become a true ally of justice, someone who could save everyone. To that end he practiced the little magecraft that had been taught to him, no matter how much it hurt or how useless it might have seemed. Everyday he practiced and every day he used the life that had been given to him to help others as best he could.
It had been described to Shirou as the ability to understand an object. The use of it was simple really, the caster merely had to pass the magical energy from within their own body, prana it was called, into the object they wished to grasp. The ideal form, or 'soul', of the object would imprint itself on the prana and then the caster would draw that prana back into their body and process the information gathered in their own soul. Though simple as it sounded, Shirou still found it hard to do it. He had been hammering away at the single spell for over seven years, starting when he was ten-years-old, and he was starting to get the hang of it, but it still took a few seconds of concentration.
Information filtered into his mind as he grasped Fugi-nee's junky desktop computer, giving him a full blueprint of the machine and all its many flaws. It had been an older model that the school gave away to the teachers when they replaced computers in the lab, and the woman hadn't treated it gently when moving it around, though none of that was the real problem.
"A few capacitors seemed to have been fried. Another power surge victim." Shirou mumbled as he opened up his toolbox and got to work. Power surges had become more and more common recently, breaking all kinds of electronic devices around town. It was one of two things that just about everyone was making small talk about recently, the other being the weather.
While old folks stopping passers by to talk about the weather was nothing new, the weather itself was rather unnerving. All over the globe strange weather phenomenon were occurring; floods in the desert, snow in the summer, tornadoes in places that had never seen them. It was weird, but perhaps even weirder was how casual people were about it, just shrugging their shoulders and continuing on with their daily lives.
Shirou worked quickly and efficiently, removing the parts that couldn't be saved and 'tweaking' the parts that could be scavenged. Shirou knew his way around a computer's motherboard, even if he had no clue how to actually use a computer himself. To be fair, most high schoolers didn't know how to use one any better than he did. To get through school one didn't need to know any more than how to turn one on and open up a word processor. While owning a personal computer was common enough, few people used them very much and those who did only really used it for playing video games. Didn't seem like there was much else to do with a computer if you didn't have a job that required a lot of calculations or writing, unless you liked online shopping.
Shirou vaguely remembered some of these people talking about some game called 'Half-Life' that had just come out in America. The name stuck with him because of the science reference, but he really didn't know anything about it. It was supposed to be a big deal for some reason but Shirou just didn't get it, the same way he didn't get the whole Pokemon thing that had appeared out of nowhere earlier that year and caused a big fuss. The year 1998 was looking to be a good year for video games… apparently.
Within ten minutes Shirou was putting the last piece back into place. Closing the machine back up, Shirou plugged the computer's power and internet cables back in and pressed the power button.
He was actually surprised when nothing happened.
"Huh, I could have sworn I put it back together right." Shirou mumbled as he placed a hand onto the computer and prepared to use another Structural Grasp.
A bolt of white-hot pain shot up Shirou's spine and his hand became rooted to the computer as if he was being electrocuted. Information beyond his understanding hammered at his mind, filling his world with indescribable colors while at the same time making his mind go blank. The computer was there, he could grasp it, but so was something else, something beyond his comprehension, something that had grabbed a hold of him the moment he allowed his conscience to touch the device. As his whole world stared to go white a vision formed in his mind.
A creature, some kind of white tiger with four piercing red eyes glaring from behind a stripped blue mask. A thunderous aura emanated from it as twelve golden orbs spun slowly about its body.
"FOUND YOU!" A voice like thunder boomed inside of Shirou's skull.
The feeling stopped and Shirou finally managed to pull his hand away from the computer, jump backwards and collapsing onto the ground. His mind throbbed and his thought he was going to throw up, but he managed to push himself back up into a sitting position as his vision started to comeback to him.
The computer was going crazy, random multicolored windows popping up on the monitor as a sound like nails on a chalk board screeched at maximum volume. Shirou could only stare as the computer screen seemed to bend outwards as if someone was using the whole to blow a bubble. A perfectly round sphere of light exited the monitor a flouted in the air in front of Shirou. Finally, the light bubble burst out, and a small blue object fell to the ground.
Shirou looked down at the small object, unsure what to do. The computer was still going haywire. In the back of his mind, he couldn't help but wonder what Taiga would think when she got home. He couldn't let her see something like this. His father had always warned him never to let anyone know about the more supernatural world, and while Shirou didn't have a clue what was going on, he knew it wasn't natural.
In a moment of what most might call retardation he reached forward and grabbed the small blue object and performed another Structural Grasp, hoping that this time it wouldn't fry his brain. What the object was and what it did was beyond Shirou, and it seemed like the thing had no history at all, having just come into existence, but a list of materials was made known to him.
Blue Digizoid… What the world was Blue Digizoid?
Whatever it was, it was several times sturdier than any metal that Shirou had ever come across and seemed to have a mystical quality all of its own. It absorbed and channeled Shirou prana with next to no resistance at all.
The device, or whatever it was, looked like one of those tamagotchi things, though it had an antenna coming out of the side of it, implying that the object was supposed to send or receive signals. Some circuit like parts were inside of the devices outer shell, but it was far more complex than any computer Shirou had ever come across. The transistors used in its creation were barely one hundredth the size of those used in modern day computer chips.
Looking up from the… thing in his hand back to the computer monitor, Shirou saw that the screen was still going crazy, but that a message was left on top of the rest of the colorful mess. In a oddly normal pop up window was a simple one line message, just four short words.
"Will you save them? Y/N."
Save. The word jumped out at Shirou and his face hardened. He didn't know what was going on, but it didn't matter. If he could save people, he would do anything.
Without a need for prompting, the message changed.
"Use the digivice."
Shirou looked down at the device in his hand as it began to heat up and give off light. Somehow feeling what needed to be done, he lifted it up and pointed it at the computer. The monitor from the computer gave off a blinding light, and Shirou felt his world being pulled out from under him.
It was time for his journey to becoming a hero to begin.
That dreaded part of the year is almost over; the one month I have to spend with my family. Soon I will be able to write without them judging and making fun of me. One good thing that came out of it was that my relatives were playing one of the Digimon games and got me interested in writing for it, as there just aren't enough good ones... there is only one good one as far as I can tell.
Shirou is 17 (much older than the other digidestines) and the year is 1998 (so Google wouldn't have been founded for another four months and people think gameboys that have color are the next big thing), the Summer just before the Holy Grail War.
And people wonder why Shirou didn't care about technology, it was still shit back then.