If You Only Knew- Chapter 1 [A Digimon Tamers Story]

Created by giffey105 on Thursday, June 23, 2011

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Chapter 1: Ventriloquist…Me? —Present Day

I bit my lip and fingered the pencil in my hands, gazing forward, but in a way not gazing forward. I gave the impression there was something I was truly looking at, but in reality, I was roaming in never-never land. My eyes trailed downward to the what at first glance would seem like blank page, but at a second glance, faint pencil lines could be made out. If I were to be caught and this drawing to be seen, something unmentionable would happen…again.

Because there was always special treatment for the person that drew in outmost detail the math teacher hanging herself.

I let out a sigh, turning my attention back to the suckiness that is Algebra class. Slope-intercept, what the heck? Whoever invented that must be both social-lifeless and single. And for anyone that actually understands it…well, they have too much time to think as well. I looked at the chalk board in slight mystification. It’s like this stuff isn’t supposed to make sense…

Flipping to a new page in my notebook, I began to doodle absent-mindedly, my eyes falling off everything around me to the paper a few inches away from my elbow. My chin was propped up on my palm as a look of lack of inspiration was written into the features of my face. I needed a new topic, something different. Maybe a change of scenery or somethin’…

My thoughts were abruptly interrupted by the instant feeling that I was being watched. I didn’t move my eyes, knowing eye contact was something my instincts and past experience warned me of. A little sign rang up in my mind, She’s got a gaze that can kill. Don’t look at the eyes. Think of excuse, think of excuse…

As I had already knew, my teacher’s gaze was on me, because her voice instantly rang out, showing no hint of compassion, “Shirai, is there something you would like to share with the class?” That was the question that always fell from her lips, I knew it when after the third time of being caught. Most people would have thought I would have learned my lesson by now.

All I could truly say to that was that I was stubborn. Irritably stubborn.

I smiled slightly, lifting my eyes up slowly, but never reaching her face. “Actually, yes, but I don’t think you’d take kindly to it,” I answered quickly. “So…if you want, you can throw it away before students decide to riot and make copies of it.” Before she could reply, I turned the page back to the one that’d probably get me in more trouble than usual and ripped it out.

I grabbed my books, walked to the front of the room, and handed the teacher the paper. Before she could look at, I darted out of the room, shouting back, “Nice class today, Teach! See ya tomorrow!” After my words, the bell rang, signifying dismissal.

I slowed to a walk when I turned the corner, heading to my locker. My text books held under my arm, I flipped through the pages of my sketchbook. My topics were all the same, too cliché for my likings. My thinking during class was right, I needed to find new scenery. Even though my family moved like there was no tomorrow, I had not found something that truly inspired me.

Although I lived in France, a place I’d be lucky to live in according to tourists, it never really appealed to me. Japan is where I truly felt like I belonged, where I was born and all of my descendants had lived. I would be there now, too, if my parents didn’t drag me everywhere so fast I couldn’t adjust because of job transfers. Sometimes I wished I could just pick a spot and just drop everything, just so I could stay there.

I opened my locker and in an instant, I was toppled over onto my back. “Gah, Salamon, what the heck are you doing here?! I told you, you have to stay at home!” I snapped in a hoarse whisper. I glared at the small, dog-like creature standing on my chest.

“And I told you I wasn’t going to listen!” she replied back, smiling in a smug manner. “You gotta pay more attention, Rai!” Her cerulean blue eyes stared into mine, holding a bit of triumph in them, a typical thing to see in her gaze.

I let out a moan while knocking Salamon off of me and beginning to pick up my scattered books. “You have to obey me here. You’re a Digimon, you can’t just go wherever you please. If someone finds you, they may take you away and dissect you and use your remains to create a whole army of Digimon of mass destruction. And then it truly would be the apocalypse.” I eyed my small friend in slight humor as she stared back with a matching expression.

“Then all of the Digimon, being much more intelligent then you humans, would rebel and take all of humanity as our slaves. We make you buff our shoes and wax our Mercedes.” She looked up at me as I got back onto my feet and shoved all of my books in my locker.

I pulled out my pack and slammed my locker shut, putting a padlock on it. As Salamon hopped onto my shoulder and then onto my head, I smirked and questioned, “Okay, one, Digimon don’t wear shoes, and two, how could you afford a Mercedes?”

Pushing through the crowds of other students, who gave me mixed expressions, I heard Salamon reply, “You expect me to think of everything?”

I shrugged. “Pretty much.” I paid no mind to all those around me. They found it normal that I had something propped on my head. But usually, it was your normal paper sailor hat decorated with my newest drawing inspiration. Besides, with Salamon’s looks, she could pass for a dog any day. And no one knew whether or not I could sew stuffed animals.

She snorted. “Rai, you really expect too much from me. I don’t normally find a reason behind wearing shoes, I just slip ‘em on and drive away in my Mercedes.” I heard her stifle a small laugh. “Not much to it, really.” If I could see her expression right then, I knew I’d see her grinning her little puppy-like smile.

“If you say so…” I trailed off, pushing the school doors open and walking down the steps to the sidewalk. “By the way, where do you keep this Mercedes of which you’re speaking?”

I had never given that much thought to why Salamon had entered my life a few years back, I just dealt with her ever-sarcastic presence and enjoyed the ride of life she gave. I figured no one should really know about her life here, just for my danger-proneness probably making it all go bad. And it’d probably end up with me falling down a couple flights of steps. That’s how it always was. Salamon dragging me into something utterly demeaning and then I get my butt whipped by something that most likely could have been avoided.

This had all led to my “grand idea” of Salamon always bunking in my bed room. It wasn’t exactly the best decision ever, since this little bundle of joy had an intention span lower than anything I could think of. So I either came home to a room completely demolished because she conveniently decided it was a good idea to and I quote, “Look through all my stuff”, or I come home to no Salamon at all because she thought it was a pleasant thought to go on a little excursion.

So most of the time it was because of my little Digimon for my constant bad luck, as I dare call it. Even though I enjoyed her company, sure, but when Salamon was thrown into the mix, I felt that Fate had it in for me. Because I was most certainly sure that I wouldn’t be where I am now if she hadn’t been around to “broaden my horizons” as she called it.

And I’ll openly admit that she had indeed rubbed off on me. I’m a fate-tempter, which was probably why it hated me so much. Because no, I don’t stick my head in the noose so someone else can run free; I just stick my head in to see what will happen. And for all this, I had my dear friend Salamon to give my thanks.

But I wasn’t nearly as bad at it as she was. That was the only good thing, because at least one of us still had the little voice in your head that tells you, ‘er…is that the best idea? Now just be a good little person and put the crowbar down before you swing and hit the wrong thing.’

Walking down the sidewalk, I could see my house as soon as I turned the corner, just across the next street. It was neither my idea that I lived so close to school, nor was it that I lived in France. My father had one of those jobs were you were forced to transfer quite a bit, and thus, in just a little time, I saw more places than most people see in a lifetime. And they would be envious of this life; I’d be envious of theirs.

Salamon laughed, talking about whatever it was. “And so I said, ‘buddy, where’djya get that rubber ducky?’”

I was pretty much half-listening to Salamon, as usual. And as usual, I had no idea where she picked up whatever she was talking about. It just happened some days. I’d come back from school one day and she’d be speaking Cantonese. I assumed it was from TV, but then she’d be singing some of the latest music only a few seconds later. Her newest favorite was Dirty Little Secret by All-American Rejects, taking pretty much every given moment to mention some of the lyrics.

“Rai! Rai! Rai! Rai! Are you listening?! Rai! Rai! Rai! Rai!”

“Yes, Salamon, I’m all ears,” I mumbled, recognizing this as her attention-getting exclamation. She’d just say my name over and over again, cutting in with some other remark.

I could tell by her smug tone she was smirking triumphantly now. “Okay, so what do you think of this blonde joke? After class one day, the teacher goes up to the blonde and asks, ‘what do you think is farther: Florida or the moon?’ and the blonde just laughs and replies, ‘heeelllo, can you see Florida?!’” Salamon almost fell of my head in laughter at her own, lame joke. “Hey, Rai, by the way, what’s Florida?”

I let out a sigh, this being a typical concept. My Digimon tells me a joke and then asks me what it’s about. Personally, I thought that rather defeated the purpose. “Florida is a place in the United States. It’s shaped like a panhandle,” I replied quickly, speeding up to a jog as I crossed the street. My eyes darted every which way, scanning for anything approaching. Caution always filled me in times like these, for anything fast-moving and sudden.

“I forget. Have we ever been to America?” Salamon hopped onto my shoulder, ready to go into my single-strapped backpack, knowing that if my parents saw her, namely my mom, we’d be forced to leave for the irrational thought that there were too many stray dogs in France.

I cast my eyes to the side slightly, catching sight of her bright blue eyes before turning back to the sidewalk before me. “Quite frankly, I honestly don’t remember. Maybe New York, who knows?” I shoved my hands into my pockets.

And now, because of my words, came another one of Salamon’s genius remarks. “New York? Where’s the old one? And why’d they get rid of it?” Dude, you really got to watch the Travel Channel more often. Stop watching Disney and get educated for once.

I shook my head in slight annoyance. “Salamon, you really are something, aren’t you? Why can’t you be like normal Digimon and just remain in the video games, anime, or cards?” I fingered what was attached to one of my belt loops, cold metal against my fingers.

“Rai, if you hadn’t noticed, I’m not normal.” I could hear her emotionless voice muffled from speaking through the material of my backpack. At least she knew the drill well enough to not be spotted by anyone or anything.

“Oh, please excuse my ignorance.” I rolled my eyes, an action that agreed with my sarcastic statement. I let out a small grunt as I walked up the porch steps and opened the front door to my house, dragging my feet almost the entire way. I was rather irritated with this repetitive process. The walk to my house happened every day; sometimes I thought the conversations were exactly the same too.

The house setup never changed, despite every time we’ve moved, my mom tried to keep the furniture layout the same. So when I opened the door, I was confronted with the living room, walls painted a light tan.

I could see my mom from where I was standing. As usual, she was standing in front of the stove cooking. My guess it was some specialty of France, or at least sounded like it was. Our main dishes consisted primarily of French fries or French toast. Honestly, I didn’t know what was worse: The food or my mom’s creativity.

I was about to head upstairs to my room when my mom’s voice emerged from the kitchen, “Oh, you’re home, Shirai—” You don’t have to tell me that. “—How was school? I know you’re not fluent in French yet, but classes are okay, right?”

I dropped my backpack to the floor, hearing a ‘guh!’ kind of noise emerge from Salamon, and walked into the kitchen. I boosted myself onto the counter, banging the back of my head on the above cabinet in the process. Rubbing the area I was hit, I replied, “Yeah, sure. It’s just fine, Mom—” I dared not mention that I did rude sketches of the teacher every day in Algebra class. “—I just…haven’t really adjusted quite yet.” I decided now was as good as a time as any to pop out my proposition. “Hey, by the way, since break’s coming up, by any chance, can I fly to Japan to see my cous? It’s been so long since I’ve seen him.” Truly, this was the only excuse that came to mind when finding a way to Japan. And probably the only one she’d actually consider.

She began to ponder for a moment, thinking about my request with a substantial amount of silence. She was fully aware of how many times I’ve flown, but it was probably the idea of me falling back into my Japanese-speaking habit, and forgetting all of what little French I knew. Well, it wasn’t like I really cared in the first place. I knew just enough to get by and as long as I got my three meals a day, I was just fine.

Before my mom could give her answer, I ran out of the room and grabbing my backpack, headed upstairs, calling down, “I’m gonna e-mail him! I’ll book a flight for Friday morning, capiche? Write me a note for my teach for my absence!” I knew full-well that my mom would have an…ehem… “discussion” with me after dinner, discussing all of the *cough cough*… “necessities” of traveling on a plane alone and what to do in Japan, yadda yadda yadda.

I locked my bedroom door behind me and threw my backpack onto my bed, hearing another groan emerge from Salamon. I pulled out a chair and sat down, saying, “You can come out now, Salamon. No evil mother with a broom to whack you with.” I grinned as I turned on my computer, the screen lighting up and humming quietly as it booted up.

The little dog Digimon poked out, an annoyed look plastered onto her face. “How long exactly was that sock in there? It smells kinda…rotten…no wonder you complained your lunch tastes weird every day. After being left in there till lunch, I’m surprised none of it has ever grown mold.” She changed her expression to a look of disgust.

“You don’t really wanna know where that even came from…” I spun around in my swivel chair and faced the computer. Placing my hands on the keyboard, I typed in my password, accessing my personal settings. From there, as I waited anxiously for my internet to connect, I opened up a scan I found on the web. With my index finger, I pointed to it, tapping on the screen lightly. “Okay, this is the main reason we’re going to Japan.”

Salamon took a moment to take in the scan, a scan of a newspaper clipping. “You want to see Shinjuku covered with red Jell-o?” she questioned. “Because if you provide the Jell-o, I can make Paris the same way if you want.”

I crossed my arms, smiling slightly. “I’m sure you could.” I zoomed into the scan to read the Japanese text. “But this here is a part of a newspaper from the D-Reaper catastrophe a few weeks back. It was said to have come because of Digimon’s appearances. And so, it got me thinking—” Salamon cut me off.

“Thinking? That must be a new concept for you. How’s that working out?” she questioned smugly, grinning at me in a taunting manner. This was a usual thing, finding something to mock me with in my own words.

I ignored her remark as I continued on unfazed, “It seems like all of the Digimon were coming from, or the dubbed word ‘Bio-Emerging’ there in Japan, so it appears that everything was in a way…centered around the Tokyo area. And since you’re here, I figured it had to be for a specific reason. And with my heritage in Japan, in that very area, it only made sense to try to figure things out.” I clicked on the E-Mail Outlook Express icon before turning to face my Digimon. “To find the soul reason you’re here, besides to annoy me.”

Salamon shook her head to my remark. “No, no. Annoying you’s just a hobby. It’s what I do in my spare time.” I’d hate to know what takes up all that other time. Probably a plot to take over the world or something.

I turned my attention to my computer, placing my hand on the mouse. “Whatever,” I mumbled in reply, sorting through all of the useless e-mails I had and deleting them. I then clicked on the ‘New Message’ button and began to type.

The plane flight was rather dull, the movie being pathetic, the air on the plane smelling… rather weird, like most other planes I had been on, and the food being almost as uncreative as my mom’s. I was actually glad to get off into the crowded airport to find my cousin. He’d called me to set up where to meet him. He said he’d be standing outside the restaurant just next to the airport, right out the front doors. Probably wanted to eat first chance he got. Typical.

I had retrieved my bag at baggage claim (I couldn’t recall how I managed to fit everything in such a tiny bag with my mom making me pack more than extra) and then exited the airport. Immediately I took in the sweet Japan air I had always remembered while unzipping my bag just a crack for my probably already suffocated Digimon to get some air. I could hear some gasping noises, an overreaction on Salamon’s part that signified she was really grateful I didn’t forget about her.

I spotted the restaurant almost instantly and I trotted down the sidewalk toward it. I could make out two figures in standing in front of it, one of them I immediately recognized. So before I increased my pace to a sprint, I warned my Digimon, “Okay, you’re lucky you’re here right now. So keep up the excellence that this is actually working and when people are around, keep your trap shut and stay out of sight.” I glanced at her for a split second before picking up speed.

One figure, the one I recognized, noticed me approaching. He turned my way, smiling the dorky smile I could easily remember from years back. “Shirai! Hey!” he yelled, now beginning to humiliate himself by waving both of his arms in the air.

Hey, I could care less how much he embarrassed himself on a daily basis, because it couldn’t compare to me. “Bonjour, Tomato! Long time no see!” I yelled back, deciding to wave back. When I had gotten to him, instead of giving a greeting-I-haven’t-seen-you-in-a-very-long-time-have-you-gotten-taller? kind of hug, I stopped short.

“It’s Takato! Haven’t I told you that a million times already?” he questioned, somewhat annoyed with the nickname I had given him a long time ago. But I could see pleasure of seeing me in his red wine-colored eyes.

I grinned at him, shrugging slightly. “Potato, pototo, tomato, Takato. Same difference,” I replied back. Then, before I could say any more, curiosity got the best of me. I snatched the blue-lensed goggles off of my cousin’s head. “Hey, fancy headwear, Tomato.” I snapped them over my own eyes. “Yeah, pretty slick, buddy.”

The second person, a girl with brown hair, one little clump put into a tiny little pigtail, and a green and yellow summer dress, looked at Takato before asking him, “Uh, Takato, who is this?” Her voice was light and rather carefree.

He used this chance to grab his goggles back, placing them back on his head, and then answered, “This is my cousin, Shirai. She apparently—” He pretty much spat out that word. “—wanted to come visit, get off of school, you know. That stuff.” His voice was rather flat, almost annoyed, I could hear. Wasn’t the warm welcome I was hoping for. “So…uh, Shirai Matsuki, Jeri Katou. Jeri Katou, Shirai Matsuki.” Dude, why’djya add last names too?

Jeri smiled brightly. “Nice to meet you, Shirai!” She seemed overly excited in this concept. “So do you come from far away? You have a slightly different accent.”

I was actually taken back a little by how well she could hear a difference in accents. To most, it was barely noticeable, since I always spoke Japanese, aside from in school, so it was my native tongue. “Yeah, I live in France currently. My family moves a lot, ‘cause of job transfers, but I was born in Japan. Moving so much is a pain in the butt, so I decided to come back to Shinjuku for some R & R.” Letting a small, mostly contented smile appear on my face, I cocked my head slightly to one side. “And by the way, call me Rai.”

Suddenly, Salamon poked her head out of my bag, beaming wide. “Hiii! And you can call me Salamon!” she exclaimed energetically.

“Oh crap…” I shoved her back in my back and zipped it back shut in just about a second. I immediately aligned myself and straightened my posture, grinning cheesily. “Did I mention I was a ventriloquist?” Well, that could have gone better. My response wasn’t so great, either…

Takato and Jeri seemed to perk up at this. “Was that a Digimon?” my cousin asked in mostly disbelief. I didn’t think he really believed what he thought he saw, or what he was actually saying for that matter.

I felt panic begin to rise in the back of my throat and a ball of uneasiness settle in my stomach. This was a point of no return. “Uh…no?” I was mentally crossing my fingers that they would take my words and walk away with them. But it was Takato I was thinking about: did things ever happen with that kid the way you want them to? Answer: heck no.

Jeri seemed like the time to poke until you gave in, kinda just circle around you beginning, ‘can I see?! Can I see?! Can I see?!’ Well, sadly, I was correct, as she then questioned, “Well, can we see it? If it’s not a Digimon, you’d let uuuss!” She clasped her hands together, making big, creepy eyes that could scare just about anyone. And I was in that majority.

“Dude, you’re making eyes. Stop making eyes!” When Jeri complied, I continued, looking around slightly, “Okay, you guys have people you’re not friends with? Because I just realized now that Tomato makes loudmouth friends.”

Takato crossed his arms, sending me a look of annoyance in his crimson eyes. “I’m standing right here,” he grumbled, more or less to himself. And I could see he noticed the small smile on my face that clearly said ‘yeah, I know you’re here. It’s just the fact that I could care less that makes all the difference.’ But then he suddenly took into true effect the meaning of my words. “Wait, we can’t leave just yet. The reason I wanted to meet here is so we can eat!” Food. Doesn’t that just figure.

I was tempted to facepalm, but I actually realized I was somewhat hungry myself. So going and getting a bite from a restaurant only like two yards away wasn’t really all that horrible. “Alright, then.” I grinned, pumping my fist. “No more French fries, bread, or toast! Betchya I’m gonna eat the most! At my haste, people’ll stare! But since when did I really care?!” I couldn’t help but laugh slightly at my rhyme, despite how corny it was.

Jeri, despite the immaturity in my words, laughed. “You sound just like Calumon!” she exclaimed, grinning. But immediately, for whatever reason, she caught herself and gasped, clasping her hands over her mouth. “I mean—” She cut herself off, turning to Takato.

I eyed her warily. “Who? You said ‘mon’…does that mean…?” I trailed off, going into thought. Had they been associated with the Digimon that appeared here weeks back? No, it’s impossible. Takato doesn’t have the intention span of a Tamer and Jeri…no, she’s just not cut out for it…Dude, I think about this way too hard…

Suddenly, Takato brightened up, his goofy grin back on his face. As Jeri opened the door of the restaurant, he lead me in, his hands on my shoulders and steering me inside. “C’mon, Rai, you think too much. Why don’t we go in for a nice meal and get your mind off of everything we’re not telling you—I mean, stuff. Take your mind off of stuff.” Takato, you’re a terrible liar.

I dismissed the thought, already concluding there was something that he didn’t want to mention. “Okay, if you say so…” But I didn’t really have a problem with throwing those thoughts to the back of my mind when the aromas of good Japanese cooking filled me. It actually wasn’t the crap you could buy in a box that you microwave for two minutes. It was actual, authentic Japanese food. The only thing I could say was, “YES! Thank God for Japan!”

We sat down, ordered, and when the food came, I couldn’t stop myself from drooling a bit. Although how unruly that really was, I actually found a way to ignore the drool. Solution: Get rid of the food. That was a simple task. Between me and “accidentally” dropping some of my food into my bag, the meal was nothing more than a single raisin. And honestly, it could have been, because quite frankly, I missed raisins as well.

Takato and Jeri sat across from me. There was an odd tension between them, like some sort of static I could feel just by sitting there. I felt like my presence was obstructing them from normal activities. I knew there was something connecting them, seemingly more than just friendship. But I digress; I was reading far too much into other’s affairs, namely my cousin’s. So in conclusion, I had to stop being like Salamon and quit butting into things best kept secret.

I looked upon Takato, smiling slightly. I was nearly a mirror image to him, the same sandy brown hair, although mine was a bit longer, and the same facial curves and designs. But the only thing that set us apart was our eyes. His were a deep ruby color, like fresh raspberries (forget raisins, I want raspberries!) in the light, and mine, in contrast, were a crystal, icy blue. All of our relatives used to say that when we were littler, our eyes were the only things that were the divine factor in telling us apart. I was just glad no one made that mistake nowadays.

Oh yeah, and the other difference at this particular moment was he had rice stuck to his face. A lot of it. Anymore and he would have a beard. I couldn’t help but laugh at this as I pulled out one of the sketchbooks I brought and a pencil, saying, “Tomato, do me a favor and don’t wipe your face.” I grinned as I began to run the pencil against the blank page quickly and effortlessly. In moments, the shape of Takato’s face began to form on the paper, and then I began to add distinct detail.

After I was completed, I showed my work to those sitting across me. Jeri’s face immediately lit up, and in laughter, she said, “You like to draw? You really are related to Takato!” You didn’t believe me when I said I was? “Takato draws so much, he created his own Digimon that—” She stopped suddenly. She really does have a big mouth. “That, um, almost seemed totally real! He’s just that good!”

I was rather unimpressed. But at least I knew what to get Takato for his birthday: duct tape for when Jeri just won’t shut up. “I’m sure. That kid has an imagination that can kill.” I cast a small look to my cousin, resting my arms on the table, one of them propping up my chin. “And by this point, it probably already has.” I tucked a stray clump of hair behind my ear, deciding to change the subject. “So what’s been happening with you lately? Anything big happen in these last couple of months?” I knew prying would get me nowhere, but hey, it was fun to watch Takato squirm uneasily.

He wiped all of the rice off his face, most of it falling off onto his lap. “Well, you know, just stuff—” Is this different from the stuff I was supposed to take my mind off of? “—I got detention a couple of times, had to write apologies to my teacher, Ms. Asagi, on a weekly basis…that stuff.”

I nodded slowly, not really believing all of this. Well, actually, I did believe the academic things like getting in trouble with the teacher, since I did that all the time, but there was more ‘stuff’ than he claimed and I knew that from a gut feeling. Or maybe it’s nausea from eating too fast…

“Rai, when we get back to my place and you get all settled and stuff—” Is there a time when he doesn’t say ‘stuff’. “—we can go sightseeing and whatever. And I can introduce you to some more of my friends,” Takato stated rather plainly. Although the words themselves held the impression that he was excited, it was actually quite the opposite. He seemed to be drabbling on, like he was trying to make me interested in the things of his daily life. Well, I’d be staying here a while, so it wasn’t like it didn’t make any sense.

I shrugged, feeling rather indifferent. “Okay—” I stopped suddenly in my words, feeling movement in my bag. Is someone getting a little claustrophobic? I was annoyed for the chance Salamon could get caught by being careless. So in order for that movement to cease, I gave my bag a hard thud with a clenched fist. The rustling instantly stopped, so I assumed that either she got the picture or I accidentally knocked her out. “So…do you still have that bakery in Shinjuku?”

Takato nodded with the small, dorky smile he always had. Some said I had the exact same smile too, but something made me doubt that. “Yep. We’ve got our own specialty bread. It’s based on the Digimon I drew up. It’s Guilmon Bread,” he stated, “It made the bakery much busier.”

“Hey, Tomato, by the way,” I began, unzipping my bag a minimal amount to feel if Salamon was still living. “What do you know about the D-Reaper incident? Like, I was just wondering…and stuff, because I knew it happened in Tokyo, so I was just curious.”

He suddenly perked up, trying to compose himself. “Well, you know, my family was ordered to evacuate and so we stayed with Kai for a while…Everything was solved in a pretty short time, actually. But it was a problem that started with a program that just evolved over time. It was used to control the amount of Digi—I mean, data that was on the net.”

I let out a small exhale, knowing that it was time just to get everything straight. “Cous, I have something to show you…but first, you have to answer me this one question: Are you DigiDestined?”

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