Destiny - Part 3B
Shinjuku Tamers ~ A Gate Left Open!
Shinjuku - Tokyo, Japan (Tamer-verse Earth)
12:00 PM (Tuesday)
Doc and Maria emerged out of a portal into the vastness that was the Shinjuku Central Park, located behind the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building, the towering skyscraper of two towers where the City Hall was located, as well as something more important to the visitors. As Johnathan looked at the building in the distance, he took some time to look behind himself and see that they had emerged from behind a small shed, visibly in disrepair for what seemed to be a good amount of years.
"I can't believe we're actually visiting Japan...!" Maria said, agasp at the marvel of the park's flora. "And Japan in a parallel universe, no less...!"
"I know it's a wonder, Maria, but please remember we're not here for sightseeing for our first visit." Doc said, reaching behind himself under his labcoat. "Now, here's the deal..."
He took out a laptop from it, to Maria's confusion.
"See, not long after our little romp through England, I asked Seymour to make this for me." he explained, opening the laptop and turning it on as he held it on his arm. "This laptop's built with a special material that lets it handle some add-ons, one of which is a shield function so it won't break easily if I'm in a situation requiring fast action and movements, and it also won't let it break on just any impact it takes. Battery life for it is long, although it still needs recharge, and it can immediately crack the codes necessary for it to access the Internet and keep itself stable. Basically, with this, I can access information undetected and, thanks to the software I installed, hack into different types of mainframe, if needed."
"S-so, wait, you mean your plan is...?!"
"Yes..." he said with a sigh. "The city hall... If my analysis of the source material is correct, that's where the Hypnos project has its headquarters settled in. I have to get inside and hack into its mainframe to access the information I need for this world, and... if I'm lucky, I can find the Digital World's source code and track down SHAME before he does anything."
"I'm coming with you, then." the girl said.
This time, however, Doc held his hands onto her shoulders and looked at her with genuine concern, the laptop floating behind him thanks to his telekinesis.
"Sorry, but this time you'll have to wait outside." Johnathan said sternly. "I'm going to infiltrate a highly secure government building to access top secret intel on something this world was apparently never supposed to know was real. If it's already dangerous to someone like me with my hair like this, imagine a young girl like yourself... I don't want to risk you being taken away."
"B-but leaving me alone outside won't result in the same?!" Maria asked.
"You won't be alone." Doc replied, holding out her hand gently, causing a part of her exoskeleton to appear. "With the upgrades I've done, you can protect yourself using this, without having to resort to actual fighting. Besides, your communicator will warn me if there's anything bad happening to you, and if there is, I'll abort the mission immediately and come running. You can talk to me, but I might not be able to respond right away, okay?"
She thought about it for a second. She sighed, but she did see that she didn't have a choice on this matter.
"Just... please come back to me, Doctor..." she said before stammering. "I-I mean--"
"Don't worry, there's time for that." he smiled, hugging her as she hugged him back. "I may not be parent-of-the-year material, but I promise I won't lose you again. I'll be back for you. I promise."
And with that, he let go and ran towards the building, alone. Maria sighed again, having no choice but to wait for his return.
Out of curiosity, she looked around the shed they came out of and saw its entrance, a small iron gate in front of a dark interior. On the ground, at the far back, there was a large gaping hole, the manner in which it was outline indicated it was dug by something, something rather large for a human. Since the gate was open, she walked into the shed and, after looking around for someone coming, she peeked down. Inside there was too much darkness, but she could tell it was wide enough for a human being to crawl through, even though she couldn't tell where it led to. Eventually, she did see something at the end of the tunnel: a shining light, with some vague indications that it was coming out of some sort of fog.
"I wonder if that's...!" she said aloud.
"Oh yeah, like YOU'd have better cards than mine!"
A young boy's voice sounded right outside the shed. Maria quickly stood up and stood behind the wall next to the gate, to remain out of sight as she peeked outside, spotting two boys walking down the trail, one with a black t-shirt with a cross-like stamp wearing a cap, and the other wearing a light jacket over an orange t-shirt and with glasses on. Both of them had some sort of device strapped to their pockets.
"Well, I didn't open the package yet, but you just wait!" the boy with glasses said to his friend.
Maria saw them approach another young boy, this one wearing a blue shirt, shorts, and his brown hair being held down by...
"Goggles...!" she whispered to herself.
The boy in question seemingly heard that and looked at her direction, but saw nothing as she was smart to hide before he could see her. He was still looking at the shed for a few seconds more.
"Hey Takato!" the boy with the cap called.
That got the boy's attention as he looked back at them.
"We got the cards!" he added as they were closer. "Are you ready to loooooose?"
"Oh, sure I am! Just as soon as you lose first!" Takato taunted playfully.
They headed off laughing to a spot near the playground. Maria waited until they were a bit more distant and began to follow.
Johnathan approached the back door of the Government Building and saw several different people enter it, most of which were either politicians or law enforcement agents. Taking a quick look around the perimeter, he saw the security cameras watching over the back door and other parts of the building.
"If I levitate, I might get spotted by the people near the windows or even on the streets..." he thought. "I could use a disguise, but I'd need to either knock one of them out or get one out of sight..."
At one point, the entrance became clear, no pedestrians or important figures coming in or out or passing in front, so it gave Doc an opening to act. He quickly took out his laptop and initiated hacking by proxy, utilizing a remote control to hack into the camera feed and access previous recordings, making one of them loop to the monitors at around that same time of day, so it would seem nothing unusual was going on. He then began to focus, sensing the minds of the two security guards near the door, both of them wearing helmets and bulletproof armor. Of course, the doctor rationalized, helmets don't make a person impervious to a well-applied Brainshock.
The two guards began feeling their heads getting "heavier", their eyelids fluttering. Soon the two of them simply lied down on the ground, peacefully asleep. With telekinesis, Johnathan took one towards himself behind a tree and quickly took out the armor and helmet, folding his own labcoat so the armor would fit and no bits of the white material would be visible, and accommodating the laptop under the Kevlar portion on his back. The only tough part would be the helmet, since his hair had an insistence in staying up, but he took a deep breath and, still using his powers, shoved the helmet onto his head. The insulated material under it was enough to keep the static electricity in check, his hair shoved downwards and backwards, perfectly compressed under the helmet. It did hurt a bit, but he couldn't let that stop him, quickly identifying the knocked-out guard's thoughts and identifying him as "Otori Akashatsu". Quickly he made his way into the building, walking as if nothing was wrong, keeping the armor's holstered gun around his belt but not even bothering to hold it on his hands.
He walked into the reception area and past the security check-up, nothing being detected on him. He followed another guard into the elevator and waited. He had to still make sure they were headed to a similar position. Thanks to his helmet's visor, the guard was unable to tell when he began focusing with his eyes closed.
"I tried calling their homes, but the kids were all gone by then...!" the guard's thoughts echoed. "Even the cellphones were off! Hope Yamaki doesn't take it too hard. I'll see if I can at least get a search patrol out to the park, or, maybe something less drastic and more discreet... Ugh, if I don't stammer again, that is! I hate the Hypnos room, it's so... cold!"
Doc grinned to himself as the doors finally opened, the guard walking off and opening a set of double doors. Johnathan had to hold his amazement down once he saw the central control room of Hypnos, a ceiling surrounded by screens showing different statistics on the state of the World Wide Web, and information related to the Digital World in the last year or so, ready to go into alert in case of a Digital Field or Bio-Emerging. At the center of the room stood a lift for two chairs, reaching up to the level of the screens, both seats being occupied by an operator each, both of them young women wearing special visors for analysis of information.
Johnathan quickly recomposed himself once the other guard stopped and saluted to three people. One was a man wearing more casual clothing, a jacket, and sporting a brown beard and long hair, the other was a man in his 40's or so with a long graying hair and wearing glasses, and the last one... the last one was the most noticeable to the undercover visitor. A blond-haired man wearing sunglasses and a nice suit, holding a zippo lighter on his left hand. Clearly this was Yamaki, the head of Hypnos. Johnathan quickly saluted along with the guard to his own left.
"Sir!" he said.
"Sir!" Johnathan quickly repeated.
"At ease." Yamaki said in his deep voice tone. "Did you manage to call the children?"
"Sir, t-their parents said they were not at home, probably left for the park!" the guard said with a stutter. "Cellphones were also off! Permission to launch a search party for the park, sir!"
"Well wouldn't that be a bit too much?" the bearded man, Mizuno, or Shibumi, suggested.
"He's right. We want to keep this isolated, and only warn the public when we're absolutely sure this threat is legitimate." the man with glasses, Janyu Wong, added.
Yamaki looked down in thought, fiddling with the lighter on his hand.
"At least this I thought was possible..." he said out loud. "I'll go and talk to them myself, then. If they're at the park, shouldn't be hard to find them together. You're dismissed."
"Sir!" the two saluted again, leaving.
However, once the doors were closed, the guard quickly fell to the ground, unconscious, and was hidden inside a locker by telekinesis. Johnathan made a sharp turn and, without hesitating, activated the fire alarm.
"WARNING: FIRE ALARM ACTIVATED." the intercom system announced. "ALL PERSONNEL IS REQUESTED TO EVACUATE THE BUILDING. REPEAT. ALL PERSONNEL IS REQUESTED TO EVACUATE THE BUILDING."
"The fire alarm!?" Shibumi said out loud.
"Where is the fire at?!" Janyu shouted, requesting some clarification.
"Sir, the alarm was activated right outside this room!" Riley warned from her chair as they descended.
"It can't be, the guard just left--"
"Call a security team to this area immediately!" Yamaki ordered. "We're being invaded and I DEMAND this room to be protected at all costs!!"
"We've sent out a signal to the security personnel, sir!" Tally responded. "They should be here so--"
The doors suddenly slammed shut. Shibumi and Janyu ran towards them, Tally and Riley descending their chairs to the ground. But despite their strongest pulls, the two Monster Makers couldn't open their way out.
"They won't open!!" Janyu cried out.
Yamaki gritted his teeth together. This day was quickly sinking for him, and then....
"That would be because I locked them."
They all looked towards a man just suddenly standing near the ground terminals, a laptop hooked up by a cable to one of the ports in the machine, typing away quickly at his portable device.
"Who are you!" the G-Man demanded.
"Johnathan von Neuron, genetics." the doctor admitted bluntly.
That got the attention of the five adults, and their confusion.
"von Neuron, you say?" Shibumi commented. "That's got to be an alias."
"No, it's my real name." Doc replied, a bit more annoyed. "My parents were called Samantha and isaac von Neuron, born in Los Angeles, United States of America, MIA during World War II."
Now they were really confused. Why was he just giving information out like this? Was he not afraid of being arrested for trespassing, invasion and hacking into a federal system?
"Look, I'm not sure what your business here is, 'Johnathan', but you're meddling with federal affairs." Yamaki said. "I suggest you--"
"My business, Mr. Yamaki, is that there's a hostile lifeform in your network that, if your mind is accurate for reading, has threatened genocide upon the creatures you Monster Makers have entitled 'Digimon' not long ago in your time." the doctor interjected, continuing his work.
They were baffled. How could they get a word through this guy?? He was typing away at his computer at an alarming pace, hacking into their mainframe, yet he was giving them information about himself rather easily. Why? Why go through all this trouble of sneaking into their headquarters and yet give himself away at every occasion?
Apparently it was going to make itself known soon enough, as suddenly, nine dots appeared on the screens above, pinpointing the location of Wild Ones while they were in the digital realm. Five Rookies, a Champion, a Mega, and an unspecified eighth one.
"Those... those markings...!" Riley said.
"It couldn't be, could it??" Tally added.
"You're... finding the children's Digimon partners.." the g-man said. "You want to bring them back..."
"Correction. I HAVE to bring them back." Johnathan corrected.
Suddenly the screens went red and a message flashed on them yet again:
"ALLOW ME, JOHNATHAN."
"SHAME...!" Doc grunted.
Suddenly the building shook, a large concentration of energy showing on the screen as appearing at the park nearby.
"Yamaki!" Doc called, typing faster and setting a timer in his own computer. "The THING that left that message isn't like the other monster you had to fight here, we're dealing with an actual cyber-PSYCHOPATH! We need to find the children NOW!"
"The park, then!" Mitsuo said. "Let's hurry!"
The adults all ran outside, rushing as fast as they could towards the park. Johnathan had to leave his laptop behind so that the set-up program could begin its routine of locating SHAME and extracting him from the network.
But none of them stayed long enough to notice the shadow slinking along the floor, sliding towards the computer placed over the terminal. Out of the shadow, a thin, bony arm with a clawed hand emerged, and quickly shut the laptop down by folding it, cancelling the tracking process. As it retreated into the floor, the palm steamed.
"Grown-ups... They always forget to turn off the computer when they're done..." a creepy voice commented.
Cackling to itself, the shadow sunk back into the floor, vanishing.
===Back with Maria=======================================
Maria had followed the three boys towards the playground. Hiding behind a tree, she spotted them joining a larger group of children consisted of the three boys, plus two more around their age, if not a bit older, two girls, a pair of very young siblings (a boy and a girl), and another younger girl, all together with their own decks of cards each.
"Hey Henwy, can I pway after you??" the small girl in a Chinese-styled shirt asked her big brother, a serious-looking boy in an orange jacket over a dark green shirt.
"Okay, Suzie, sure you can." he smiled at her, to her joy.
Takato and the boy wearing a cap, whose name she heard was Kazu, were in the middle, playing their game first.
"And I use... Angemon Wings!" Kazu said, playing one of his cards. "This gives me +10 agility and THAT means I dodge your attack!"
"Wha?? No way! I call Digmon Drills!" Takato retorted, playing his own card.
Maria watched their play. Eventually she decided to step forward.
"Excuse me..." she said shyly. "Could I watch you play?"
The group looked at her for a second. They had never seen her around there before, but she sure looked like a nice person. There was just a feeling of peace and love around her that made her feel welcome to them.
"Oh, um, of course!" Takato said. "Come on over!"
She smiled and nodded in gratitude, sitting besides the two girls, one with a hear t-shirt and red hair in a ponytail of sorts, and the other wearing a simpler set of clothes and a loose brown hair with a small pigtail.
"So what's your name?" the girl with the heart t-shirt asked.
"Oh, I'm Maria." Maria answered, but seemed to think for a second before proceeding. "Maria von Neuron."
"That's a cool name!" Kazu commented as he gave his place to the boy in the orange jacket. "I'm Kazu! That's my best friend Kenta!"
"Nice to meet ya!" Kenta said enthusiastically, pushing his glasses back.
"I'm Ruki Makino." the pineapple-haired girl said. "But you can call me Rika."
"I'm Henry Wong." the boy in the orange jacket said, cutting his deck. "And this is my little sister Suzie."
"Hello!" Suzie greeted cheerfully.
"Takato Matsuki." the boy with goggles said.
"Jeri Katou." the girl with the brown hair said, a bit more shyly.
"Ryo Akiyama." the boy with brown hair and wearing a more common jacket said.
"I'm Makoto." the much-younger boy said happily. "And this is Ai!"
Maria smiled and greeted them all, watching their game for a while. She thought to herself about what she knew about Digimon, and remembered a stray sentence from her father telling her that the "boys with goggles" were often, if not always, going to be the group leaders. Eventually, after seeing Rika playing against Henry, she decided to speak.
"Um, are you the ones they call 'Digimon Tamers'?" she asked gently.
They all stopped and looked. She blushed and looked down.
"S-sorry.." she muttered.
"No no, it's okay, really." Takato said with a gentle smile. "But, yeah, we... we used to be Tamers."
"Yeah... Our partners went back home a year ago..." Rika commented. "We haven't seen them since, but, we sent them a few messages from time to time."
"Oh. Well..." the new girl thought about how to continue. "I... I admit I don't know much about what happened... But... it seems to be awkward to bring up, so..."
She looked at Jeri. She could easily tell that the poor girl was trying her hardest to keep a chipper attitude, but something about her just seemed full of despair, sadness and grief. Maria could tell just from her subtle facial expressions that something happened to her, probably to the point of near-trauma, and she was just now recovering from it.
"I'm... I'm sorry..." the girl said.
"No, really, it's okay..." Jeri said suddenly, Maria looking at her again. "You were curious, that's all... I... I mean, we can't blame you for that, right...?"
"Yeah, there's nothing wrong with asking." Ryo said. "Although... I gotta admit, it's kinda weird that you don't know what happened."
The others looked at him in confusion.
"I mean, I'm just saying, there IS a chance that someone wouldn't know what happened, but... the whole thing with the D-Reaper happened all over the world, remember?" he asked the others. "So.. where were you when this whole thing blew up?"
Maria blushed, unsure if she should answer, but something interrupted their conversation rather powerfully: the sky suddenly going dark over the Tokyo Government Building, followed by a small rumbling on the ground.
"What's going on now!?" Henry said in terror.
"What's Yamaki doing in there?!" Takato asked in the same level of shock.
"Father...!" Maria exclaimed under her breath, getting the attention of Rika and Jeri.
Out of the darkened portion of the sky came a huge blue energy beam that shot down towards the park, towards the shed where the portal leading back to Maria's own universe was. It blew up the small construction, revealing the portal behind it and among the debris.
"What's going on!?" Ryo exclaimed.
Out of the remains of the shed emerged a thick fog that quickly encompassed the area around the children and sent anyone close by running away in fear. The fog was a Digital Field of some kind, but it was certainly not common for one to be THAT big, as it covered the entire park AND the Government Building area in a matter of mere seconds.
"It's a Digital Field!!" Henry shouted. "And this one's huge!!"
"Is it a Digimon?!" Jeri asked in panic, staying next to Maria and the siblings, keeping them close.
Johnathan quickly ran into the field blindly, followed by Yamaki and the other adults. The doctor quickly hugged his daughter closely.
"I'm so glad you're okay...!" he said, then getting up and standing in front of her, Hitsuyou on his hand in combat mode. "EVERYONE FALL BACK!!"
Janyu quickly ran up to his son and daughter, staying in front of them to defend them, while Shibumi joined Jeri and the others and the two operators stood by Yamaki, who pulled out a gun from under his suit and readied it, much to Johnathan's turmoil once he heard the click of the safety going off.
"Focus, Johnathan...!" he thought to himself. "Breathe in... Breathe out... This is not the time to panic...!"
A modulated, glitching voice screamed as a pillar of light erupted from the remains of the shed. Pixels could be seen floating inside it, as it caused the digital field's fog to immediately wane and fade, signaling a full bio-emerge. A familiar figure raised from the pillar, its image shifting and glitching as it appeared in the manner Dr. Weever used to look like over 50 years ago. It had a creepy grin on its face as it then landed, eyes completely empty save for red pixels imitating fire coming out of each socket.
"S-SHAME...!" Maria said, horrified.
"...He tore open a portal..." Johnathan commented, in the same amount of shock. "He's... He's out of the network...!"
"What is that thing!!" Yamaki demanded to know.
"Classification... SHAME." the hologram answered, stepping out of the light pillar, which remained there. "Superficial. Hologram. Assigned to... Manage... and..."
He stopped and took Johnathan's form, but keeping the fire eye sockets.
The scream was loud enough to get everyone to cover their ears. It was like a howl or roar of a mindless beast, only this thing, this virtual creature, was sentient and well aware of what it did.
"The beastszszsz...! Will PAY for what they did-did-did!" it said, taking on Yamaki's form with a frizzled hair and, again, the eyes. "For all the damage!! For all the CHAO-CHAOS!! ALL THE LIVES-LIVES LOST!! FOR THE D-D-D-D-D-D-D-D-D-REAPER-REAPER!!"
He raised up his hand and charged an electrical surge to fire, until...
A small fireball launched, seemingly out of thin air, and hit SHAME in the arm, actually causing it pain as it reverted to Ryan's young form, screaming as it clutched its own hand. Something then jumped out of the trees behind the debris and landed close to Ai and Mako, looking at SHAME and revealing itself as a small imp-like creature.
"That ain't nice, twinkles!" it said, in a rather pronounced Bronx accent. "Rushin' out ahead of us like dat! We on a rush, hear!"
"Impmon!!" the siblings said in unison, and absolute joy.
SHAME's head creepily looked at him as his eyes flared even more, catching even the imp off his guard.
"YOU!!" the AI roared, preparing a fireball of his own, much larger. "MURDERER!!!! MURDERER-MURDERER-MUDEREEEEEEEEEEEER!!"
Again, SHAME was caught off his game, this time by a literal whistling missile hitting his back, sending him to the ground. A robot-like Digimon rocketed towards Kazu and Kenta, landing in front of them.
"Stop right there, evildoer!!" it said with a heroic tone. "Guardromon will stop you in your quest of discord!"
"Guardromon, buddy!!" Kazu cheered.
From behind the robot came out a very tiny angel with a heart-shaped symbol on its chest and an innocent expression, floating towards Kenta.
"MarineAngemon!!" he exclaimed while hugging it.
Further damage to SHAME was done by the arrival of two similar rabbit-like Digimon, a yellow fox, a blue dinosaur with yellow spikes, a small white Digimon with a red triangle symbol on its forehead and wing-like ears, and lastly, a red dinosaur Digimon with a symbol on its white chest and stomach, all of them standing before the adults and the Tamers.
They were all smiling in absolute amazement, Doc and Maria agasp along with the adults. It was finally happening. A year of wait and it was finally in effect.
Their partners. Their friends. Their family. They had returned.