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Thread: The Call (Complete)

  1. #1
    Super Moderator TMS's Avatar
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    The Call (Complete)

    ATTENTION: Due to the recent update to With the Will screwing up the formatting on those parts of the story posted prior to the update, and with changes made to the formatting of FanFiction.net making it impossible to paste the same thing to both sites, I recommend to new readers that they read The Call at the latter site. For my old readers, there's a new preface there which may or may not interest you.

    http://www.fanfiction.net/s/7735299/1/The_Call

    EDIT MAY 14, 2014: I've started a forum on fanfiction.net.

    https://www.fanfiction.net/forum/TMS...-Forum/153535/


    [size=14pt]The Call[/size]
    TMS

    [size=12pt]Preface[/size]
    For the past few years there has been no doubt in my mind that I wanted to be a writer of novels and short stories. I believe myself to have a better chance at success than most would have, and, while best-sellerdom is doubtful, I take pride in my work. And when I first decided to write I made myself two promises: I would never stoop to writing either a work of Digimon fan-fiction or a Cthulhu Mythos pastiche. And yet, as you've probably guessed by now, here I am about to perpetrate both in one fell swoop.

    I don't know if I will ever get around to finishing this story. I am notorious for beginning projects and never finishing them, especially ones I won't be getting paid for. So, I figured I'd take this one step at a time, not really adhere to any schedule, and if people liked the first part (I don't feel quite comfortable calling it a chapter), they would tell me so and I would be motivated to add others. I'm not sure at the moment just how long this story will wind up being; I think it's stupid to set out to specifically write a novel when you really have no way of knowing when you'll run out of things to say.

    I'll begin soon, but first I would like to make a note on terminology. I tend to use Japanese names and terms when referring to Digimon, though I make exceptions if there is an Engrish-induced misspelling that needs corrected; for example "Holsmon" to "Horusmon." The only time I use the dub name for a character is when I refer to ShadowSeraphimon (as opposed to BlackSeraphimon), but as I don't think he'll be appearing in this story there will be no need to worry about that.

    This story concerns events beginning in the summer of 2003 in the Adventure universe. Since I'm assuming anyone reading this is already familiar with Digimon, I won't waste much time in-story on exposition. I was inspired to write this story by all the loose ends left by Adventure 02 (I will be revisiting Demon and Dagomon, as well as throwing in some new villains), and the intriguing epilogue to the Original Story, Summer 2003 drama CD: "Afterwards, the world met with even greater trouble. These children, and the others who were chosen in 1999, were shown to be doing very well even 25 years later, but that doesn't mean that they had lived their days in peace all that time."

    [size=12pt]Arc One[/size]

    [size=12pt]1[/size]
    [size=12pt]The Dreams Begin[/size]

    "May the merciful gods, if indeed there be such, guard those hours when no power of the will, or drug that the cunning of man devises, can keep me from the chasm of sleep." H. P. Lovecraft, "Hypnos"

    Half the world lay in darkness, as it always does. The planet rotated eternally, exposing each longitude in turn to the cold black of outer space, and when this happened, the people dwelling on those longitudes slept. Nearly all of these dreamed.

    -----

    At first there was only darkness, and the smell. The smell of salt, and rotting sea creatures. There was no wind to dispel it, and it simply hung in the lightless air. Hikari imagined herself locked in some crypt buried beneath all the oceans of the world.

    After what may have been hours, it dawned on her that she could see again, though the sight of her surroundings, the rotting wooden walls of the houses and the dead gray sky above did nothing to assuage her uneasiness. "Never again," she had promised herself. That was... last October, or November? But, of course, when she had said it then she had been surrounded by those who loved her, who would keep her grounded in one of the two worlds she did not fear. They were not here now. Was it real? Or another dream? She was still dressed in her pajamas. If a dream, all she had to do was struggle, fight against sleep, maybe call out and be heard by someone who could awaken her. If a dream, Tailmon lay in the same room, invisible to the sleeper, but within easy reach of her voice.

    "Tail - mon?" she faltered. There was no response. If she was indeed dreaming, waking up would not be so easy. The dreams had begun again several nights ago, originally merely dark and formless, full of unease but unaccompanied by images or sounds, as they had been back in June of last year. But tonight, she was here again, in this horrible ghost town, hearing the waves of the nearby ocean. The Airdramon had destroyed the place on her first unwilling visit, hadn't it? Why was it standing once more, not even looking as if newly rebuilt, but as ancient and decrepit as ever?

    She didn't want to stay here, but had no real idea of where to go instead. There was the dark, sinister ocean on one side, and what seemed to be unscalable cliffs on the other. And even if she could climb those rock walls, what might or might not lurk in the forbidding forests brooding at their tops? Eventually she decided to head for the beach, planning to follow the shoreline until the cliffs were gone or climbing them was more feasible. And it was as she took the first few steps down the street that a voice spoke.

    "Where are you going, Yagami-san?"

    Hikari whirled, but saw no one. The voice, a male voice, sounded human, not at all like the voices she had been dreading to hear since the dream began, but in this place no unknown sound was welcome. The speaker's words seemed pleasant enough when first heard, but on reflection, she could detect some dark undercurrent behind them, as though they had been a threat rather than an innocent question.

    "Who's there? Where are you?" she asked the empty street.

    "Here and there," the voice replied. "I've wanted to meet you for some time, and now it is my pleasure to welcome you back. You did not appreciate your last welcoming committee, and acted rather unreasonably. I hope this time you will accept our hospitality."

    "I don't want to be here," she said, backing up towards a tall wooden fence nearby. All the while the voice had been talking she had been attempting to determine where it came from, but could not place it. It was just there. She set her back to the fence, scanning the street and the dark windows of the ancient houses. "I want to wake up."

    "Some other time, then. Soon. We will be waiting, and watching." And that's when the hand came from nowhere, reached through the fence, clutched her shoulder, and caused her to start awake in her dark but familiar room. She lay for some time in a cold sweat, unsure if the dream were really over. Sitting up somewhat she could barely discern the furry lump of Tailmon sleeping at the foot of the bed. To think that her partner had been so near, yet so far out of reach, for the duration of the dream - the nightmare.

    She fought the urge to awaken the feline Digimon, or even to walk through the apartment to Taichi's room. She still didn't know for sure if there was a true problem, or only coincidence. If it happened again, she would let them know. It was a long while before she fell asleep once more.

    -----

    Some distance away in Tamachi, another of the Chosen Children was spending a restless night as well. Ken could not stay asleep. Whenever he would close his eyes, visions of the past would play themselves out in his head.

    He would see the Digimon he had dreamed of the night before Demon had attacked, similar to Chimeramon, but darker, larger, more powerful. He would see the gray, terrible ocean, hear its waves, and awake with a feeling as though he were being watched. After a few seconds the sensation would fade, and within minutes he was lost once more in dreams, resuming the guise of the Kaiser - torturing, hating, secretly fearing. Through all this he did not wake Wormmon, who slept peacefully at his side, but spent the night alone, hoping that the dreams would pass and the past leave him be once more.

    But the dreams did not pass until sometime after three in the morning. It was then that he woke once more, and the illusion of being observed did not fade as it had before. Eventually the feeling grew so strong that Ken propped himself up on his elbow and looked out into the darkness of the room. Wormmon felt his partner's movement and stirred at last.

    "Ken-chan?"

    Ken didn't answer. He thought he could see something, a darker patch of shadow in the lightless room. Wormmon followed the boy's eyes and tensed his body.

    "Ken, there's someone..."

    "Hello. Hello," a soft, chuckling voice said from the dark, and the pair in the bed could see the glint of teeth, and the unusual twinkle of dark eyes. A tall, grinning man stood in the corner of the bedroom, near the desk with the computer on it. "It's so good to see you, Ichijouji-kun! How are you liking our little toy?" The man held up a small object, and Ken's pulse quickened when he recognized it as his Digivice. Don't worry," the stranger continued, "you can keep it a while longer. I'm interested to see what use you'll put it to next. "Catch!" With a laugh and a flick of his wrist the man threw the D-3 as though he were skipping a stone. Ken threw up his arm as the machine flew past him and struck the wall.

    The boy and the Digimon could not have taken their eyes from the man for more than a second, but by the time Ken had the D-3 in his hand and had turned back to face the rest of the room, the stranger had vanished. Had Wormmon not seen and heard the same things, Ken may have dismissed the entire experience as just another nightmare.

    Neither of them slept for the remainder of the night.

    -----

    Though Hikari and Ken had the worst of it that night, none of the twelve Chosen Children who had protected the world from the powers of darkness made it through the night wholly undisturbed. Takeru and Miyako dreamed of hearing waves and a familiar voice crying for help. Yamato and Sora had formless visions of wandering through endless mazes of blackness. Even Daisuke, who had never been prone to nightmares, awoke the next morning feeling restless and uneasy.

    Nor were the twelve the only ones with odd dreams and fears that night. The world continued to turn, and everywhere darkness went, nightmare followed.
    Last edited by TMS; 04-09-2016 at 10:42 PM.
    MY PROJECTS
    Published books: Odd Lodgings and The Silent Garden & Darker Places
    Digimon Fan Fiction: The Call
    Card Games: Digimon Tactics and Twilight (NOT Stephanie Myers-related) [both in-progress]
    Questions or comments? Hit me up at #wtw on irc.rizon.net

  2. #2
    I come from the net viperzerof-2's Avatar
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    Re: The Call

    oh i did like it. you seem to be good at creating a spoky feel to it. I really did feel like i was seeing ep 13

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    Re: The Call

    If this were a book, I'd say it's too riveting to put down. I can see the plot getting really good, too! I hope we see more parts of this here at some point, TMS

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    Re: The Call

    Two comments mean another "chapter." I'll probably keep them all short like this and the previous one, just so I can put them out faster. Writing fan fiction is harder than I thought it would be, since besides the usual considerations you have to worry if the characters would really act like you have them act. Anyway, here you go.

    [size=12pt]2[/size]
    [size=12pt]Correlation[/size]

    "A weird bunch of cuttings, all told, and I can at this date scarcely envisage the callous rationalism with which I set them aside." - H. P. Lovecraft, "The Call of Cthulhu"

    By the time Daisuke, Takeru, Hikari, Miyako and Iori awakened the next morning, Ken had sent a message to each of their D-Terminals, informing them that they needed to talk but without giving any details. Takeru volunteered his apartment as the place to meet. There were two reasons for this, one being that since three of the six lived in that same building it would be more convenient, the other being that if his mother asked what they discussing she would at least be the parent perhaps most acclimated to unusual phenomena.

    Since the events in December, Natsuko had been in high demand as a reporter who had been connected so closely with both the 1999 and 2002 Digimon incidents. She, along with Sora's father Haruhiko, had taken to serving as mediators between the Chosen Children and the media, protecting the kids from publicity. "Digimon critics" was what the public had gotten used to calling them. It turned out that she had things to do away from home that day, and the kids' meeting remained private.

    As might be expected, Ken was the last to arrive. The others had to content themselves with idle speculation until he got there, while Chibimon, Poromon, and Upamon focused on Miyako's obligatory snack selection. None of the children felt particularly vibrant, however, and conversation was unusually sparse. Hikari was especially subdued. She had gotten up that way, and Tailmon was worried, gazing at her partner with sad, wondering eyes.

    Finally the doorbell rang again and Takeru left the room, returning with Ichijouji Ken, holding Wormmon, in tow.

    "Something strange happened last night," Ken began without preamble. Hikari straightened suddenly as though pricked. "There was a man in my room. He talked to me about my Digivice, called it his toy, and asked me how I liked it. Then he just disappeared."

    "It was really sudden," Wormmon joined in, "He was there one second and gone the next."

    "Was he... human?" Takeru asked. Ken gave a slight nod.

    "He seemed to be. I don't know if I should be worried or not. When I saw him holding my Digivice I thought he was going to take it, but he said..."

    "What?" Daisuke asked.

    "He said I could keep it a while longer."

    "Eh!?" Miyako interjected, "As though he would come for it later?"

    "How did he get into your apartment?" Iori asked.

    "I don't know," Ken replied. "He might have come in through the door under my bunk, but that wouldn't explain how he got up to my balcony." He paused. "It reminded me of the first time I saw Arachnemon. He was standing in the same place she was, by the computer. Maybe," his eyes widened, "maybe he came through the computer? From the Digital World?"

    The baby Digimon had stopped their munching, and Upamon spoke up, saying, "But isn't it only children who can go to the Digital World, dagyaa?"

    "Arachnemon looked like a human grownup, but she was really a Digimon," Iori said, looking thoughtful.

    "But this man looked normal," Ken said. "He wasn't wearing strange clothes and didn't have odd features like she did."

    "Do you think he could be a new enemy?" Takeru wondered.

    "If he's going to try and take Ken's Digivice, he has to be, right?" Daisuke said, looking around for confirmation, though he received no response.

    "Well, he can't be working for Vamdemon," Patamon said. "He's gone for good. And who else is there?"

    "I can think of one," Ken answered. The others gave him their attention. "Demon," he said. "We didn't destroy him. What if he got out of the -"

    "Dark Ocean." All turned and looked at Hikari. She was staring down at her feet, a far-away look in her eyes. She spoke no other word. Takeru felt a sudden chill. They had not considered, when they had locked Demon in the Dark World, what would happen if he ever freed himself. He had gone with a laugh, as though there were no doubt in his mind that one day he would be free again.

    And wasn't there another possibility? Demon himself had mentioned a name, when he first saw the Dark Gate open. Oikawa had repeated it. The ruler of the Dark Ocean. Dagomon. Takeru had asked Vamdemon, before they recognized him, if he were a follower of Dagomon. Those three instances had been the only times the name had ever been uttered. Takeru wondered if any of the others even remembered it.

    Hikari did. The Hangyomon, or rather, the things that looked like Hangyomon, had told her of their god, but had not mentioned His name. Demon had supplied that information. She had no proof that Dagomon and the god of the Dark World's denizens were one and the same, but her instincts told her so. She did not know what Dagomon was. A Digimon? His name would suggest it, but after seeing the true forms of the pseudo-Hangyomon... The word was not so much a name for her as it was a symbol for all that was dark, unknown, frightening.

    "Hikari..." Tailmon breathed, more concerned than ever. There was a long silence.

    "What should we do?" Miyako asked at last. No one had a ready answer. There didn't seem to be much of anything to do.

    "Maybe we should ask Gennai about it?" Daisuke said.

    "That's actually not a bad idea," Takeru replied. "If anyone would know of something strange happening in the Digital World, Gennai would. We can have Koushiro-san get in touch with him today." He turned to Ken. "Are you going to be okay at your place?"

    "As long as I'm with him, he will be," Wormmon answered for his partner. Ken nodded.

    "I'll be fine," he agreed.

    -----

    "There they are," Hiraga reported, watching as the children exited the apartment complex. "Ichijouji and two others, a boy and a girl. Looks like they're all headed in the same direction." He paused to see if any orders were forthcoming. "Want me to follow them?" he asked finally.

    "That won't be necessary," came the reply. Hikari would have recognized the second voice as the calm but eerily intense tones from her dream of the previous night. "The first phase of the plan involves the Digital World. We can always find their addresses later should trouble arise." The cell phone went dead.

    "Guess this means I'm off for the day," Hiraga said, grinning. Spying on kids a few hours a day won't be so bad for what these nuts pay me, he thought. Makes me wonder what kind of reimbursement I can get for more direct stuff.
    MY PROJECTS
    Published books: Odd Lodgings and The Silent Garden & Darker Places
    Digimon Fan Fiction: The Call
    Card Games: Digimon Tactics and Twilight (NOT Stephanie Myers-related) [both in-progress]
    Questions or comments? Hit me up at #wtw on irc.rizon.net

  5. #5
    Super Moderator TMS's Avatar
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    Re: The Call (Part 2 Up)

    I'm spending a lot of time looking back through the videos to see how certain people use honorifics when referring to someone else, another thing I hadn't thought of. Anyway, here's part 3. Hope you like it.

    [size=12pt]3[/size]
    [size=12pt]Further Discussion[/size]

    "I have often wondered if all the objects of the professor's questioning felt as puzzled as did this fraction." - H. P. Lovecraft, "The Call of Cthulhu"

    Miyako and Iori walked together from Takeru's eighth floor apartment to the elevator.

    "Did you notice anything strange about Hikari-chan?" Miyako asked her junior. Iori nodded.

    "Maybe a little, but I think all of us were a little startled by what Ichijouji-san said. I'm worried that he may be right about Demon. The last time we were only able to seal him away, not destroy him."

    "Yeah, but we were able to beat Armagemon back in March. Maybe Imperialdramon would be able to beat Demon now," Miyako replied, hoping to convince herself of the thought's plausibility. "By the way, I think I had a dream about Hikari-chan last night. I can't remember what it was, though."

    Iori looked up at her with questioning eyes.

    "What?" she asked.

    "It's nothing," Iori said. "It's just that... I had some bad dreams last night for the first time in a while." Actually, it had been just one dream repeated interminably. He had watched his father die. From the perspective of the killer.

    "I don't think mine were very good either," Miyako said. "I wish I could remember what they were about."

    -----

    Daisuke had invited Ken to spend the day at his apartment, so they said goodbye to Hikari and Tailmon at the elevator and headed for the Motomiya residence. The girl entered her apartment, carrying the Digimon. Taichi walked out of his room just as she was removing her shoes.

    "So what was it about?" he asked. Taichi had not gone to the meeting simply because he had not been invited, but he now expected to be filled in.

    There was someone in Ichijouji-kun's room last night," she said, hoping that would be the end of it. She loved her brother, and he deserved to know, but she did not feel like talking at the moment. That wasn't the end of it, of course. Taichi wanted to hear the details, and so she obediently shared them, with interjections and clarifications from Tailmon.

    "Is... everything okay, Hikari?" he asked when she was finished. He didn't expect to get a straight answer. He knew Hikari, and she was not one to vocalize her problems, but he wanted her to know that he noticed, and was willing to listen.

    "I'm just... tired," she said. "I didn't sleep well last night." And she went to her bedroom. Once the door was closed, Tailmon decided to try her luck at uncovering the problem. Taichi was Hikari's brother, and they were as close as siblings could get, but some things were easier to say to one's partner.

    "Hikari, what is the problem? I can see something's been bothering you all day." There was silence in the room for a few moments. Hikari sighed.

    "I dreamed last night," she said at last. With that, all the pieces fell into place.

    "About the Dark World," her Digimon finished for her. Hikari nodded dejectedly.

    "It's the first time I've seen it since last year. I heard someone talking to me."

    "Someone... You think this might be connected to what happened to Ken?"

    "I don't know." There was another silence. "Tailmon... am I weak? I thought that all this was over, but... it won't leave me alone. I'm afraid that I -"

    "Stop," Tailmon interjected. "You are not weak. You are one of the strongest people I know. We should tell the others. Much of our strength comes from our friends."

    The girl was silent for several moments, but then managed a wan but sweet smile.

    "Thank you, Tailmon. I'll tell them."

    -----

    Upon reaching the Motomiya apartment, Daisuke and Ken were first greeted not by any human, but instead by Caprimon. The furry, helmeted Digimon had been part of the household since late in the spring, one of four partners who appeared simultaneously for siblings of the Chosen Children. Motomiya Jun, Inoue Momoe and Chizuru, and Kido Shuu had been drawn through their respective computers into the Digital World, where they were introduced to their new partners.

    That day had been exciting in more ways than one. Not long after the arrival of the four in the Digital World, an earthquake had struck the area. This had been odd in itself, more so when the coincidence of the new partners was considered. Earthquakes were not unknown in the Digital World, but they were fairly rare, especially in the region the humans had found themselves.

    Daisuke and the others had entered the Digital World to rescue their new teammates, and as the tremor had been minor, there hadn't been any casualties, but the strange seismic activity in the Digital World had continued off and on ever since.

    Several days before Ken had called the meeting about the intruder in his apartment, a massive earthquake had struck. The damage was again minimal because the epicenter had been far out in the ocean, but almost the entire Digital World had felt the shaking. Neither Gennai nor Koushiro could account for the increasing number of seismic disturbances, and the problem had been weighing somewhat on the minds of the Chosen.

    Caprimon was looking rather miffed and dejected. Jun had gone out, leaving her sleeping partner behind. If one had not noticed the Digimon's expression, they would still know of its bad mood from the whining sound produced by the cones on her helmet. Daisuke was usually good with baby Digimon, but Caprimon tended to get on his nerves, possibly just because she was his sister's partner, certainly because of that sound. Upset was Caprimon's usual state of mind.

    "Oh, you"re back," she began. "Did you bring anything to eat?"

    "Not really," Daisuke answered. "Just get something out of the fridge."

    "I can't open the fridge!" she reminded him. He looked at Ken with an apologetic shrug and went to the kitchen to get something for her to eat. There followed a few minutes of arguing as Caprimon refused to decide on any one food, but eventually her hunger won out and she didn't send him back to the fridge with his latest offering. The children and their partners headed for Daisuke's room and closed the door, though they could hear the whine of Caprimon's helmet grow shriller as they did so.

    "Sorry about that," Daisuke said. "She's almost as bad as my sister."

    "I don't mind," Ken replied.

    "That's really strange, what happened to you last night," the other continued. "What did that guy look like?"

    "I couldn't really see him clearly, just his smile and eyes, but I know he was tall. I don't think I could pick him out from a crowd, though maybe if I heard his voice I would recognize him." It was the voice that Ken chiefly remembered. It had been overflowing with a sort of dark humor, as if the man were laughing at some secret so terrible only he would find amusement in it. It was a ridiculous thought, but Ken couldn't rid himself of it.

    Daisuke smiled, and clapped his friend on the shoulder. "Don't worry about it! We'll figure this out. And if there's bad guys to take on - there's no one more likely to beat them than us."

    Which was very true, Ken knew.
    MY PROJECTS
    Published books: Odd Lodgings and The Silent Garden & Darker Places
    Digimon Fan Fiction: The Call
    Card Games: Digimon Tactics and Twilight (NOT Stephanie Myers-related) [both in-progress]
    Questions or comments? Hit me up at #wtw on irc.rizon.net

  6. #6
    Super Moderator TMS's Avatar
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    Re: The Call (Part 3 Up)

    I must apologize profusely for the lateness of this update. My laziness is powerful and nigh-incurable. Hopefully there will be no more long breaks between parts. Thank you for your patience. Hope you like it okay.

    [size=12pt]4[/size]
    [size=12pt]Arkham[/size]

    "He was in the changeless, legend-haunted city of Arkham, with its clustering gambrel roofs that sway and sag over attics where witches hid from the King's men in the dark, olden years of the Province." - H. P. Lovecraft, "The Dreams in the Witch-House"

    Koushiro sat back at his computer, waiting for Gennai's reply to his chat request. He had received Takeru's message mere minutes ago, and had been quick to act. While he waited, he thought back to the incidents of 2002. So much had happened before then that when Daisuke and the others joined the group there had been a good deal to catch them up on. Not only were there the 1999 adventures, but all the incidents that occurred in the three year period afterward: the struggles with Diablomon and Millenniumon.

    Millenniumon. That was what was really bothering him. Ken had still not been reminded of the role he had played in defeating the villain, or of Ryo, whom he had been such close friends with but now could barely remember. There had been a good deal of forgetfulness all around. When the Digimon Kaiser had first appeared, the veterans of 1999 had never suspected his identity, despite knowing what had happened in August of 2000.

    They had lost track of Ken by then, had fallen out of touch. Part of that was a result of Ken's growing introversion since Ryo's disappearance. Koushiro felt... well, he felt guilty. Maybe that was why none of them had reminded him. They should have been there for him, and made sure that he was alright, but they didn't, and the Kaiser had been born.

    The beeping of Koushiro's computer recalled him back to the present. Gennai had responded.

    Gennai: Hello, Koushiro. What can I help you with?

    Koushiro typed back, recounting what he had heard at second hand about Ken's nocturnal visitor, and asking if there had been anything odder than usual happening in the Digital World.

    Gennai: If I had heard of anything strange, I would have told you all immediately. Currently there has been nothing happening out of place besides the earthquakes which we have been investigating.

    Koushiro thought this over, giving Gennai time to add,

    Gennai: Keep me up to date with what is happening in your world. Rest assured that I will do the same.

    Koushiro: Yes, of course, Gennai-san.

    And so they were left with nothing. Koushiro didn't have the heart to tell the others of the disappointment just yet. He was still sitting at the computer an hour later when the familiar beep told him of another incoming message. It was Gennai again.

    Gennai: I spoke too soon. Bring up the Digital World map.

    Koushiro did so, and stood up suddenly, almost knocking his chair over. The entire screen was a white grid, as it should have been, but it was flawed. A single square had turned black.

    "This is... impossible. It can't mean..." But with a few clicks of the mouse his suspicions were confirmed.

    Koushiro: Gennai-san, a Dark Tower? But how?

    Gennai: It appeared mere minutes ago in a town called Arkham. Let the other Chosen Children know and have them see what is happening.

    Koushiro assured him he would do so immediately. He fished his D-Terminal out of his pocket, then thought of something and turned back to the computer.

    Koushiro: Gennai-san, you will be looking into this yourself, correct?

    Gennai: Yes, of course, but right now you must hurry and contact the others.

    The D-Terminal flew open, and Koushiro began to type.

    -----

    The town of Arkham had an architectural style the Chosen Children had not previously seen in the Digital World. It was somewhat farther to the west than the region of the Digital World their battles with the Kaiser and Arachnemon had taken them to. The gambrel-roofed buildings huddled together in the midst of a valley, surrounded by hills and woods and watered by a nearby river.

    It was to this river that the eyes of the children and their partners were drawn as the Digimon raced towards the town in their Armor-level forms, Ken holding Wormmon as he rode behind Daisuke on Lighdramon. At a bend in the river where the distance between banks widened, a small island sat in the midst of the current. It was from this island that the black obelisk, unmistakably a Dark Tower, rose into the sky, which was darkening with gray clouds.

    So it's true, Ken thought grimly, unconsciously echoing the thoughts of all his friends. The last time any of them had seen a Dark Tower was back in February, when Pukumon had brought one to the human world on Valentine's Day, almost half a year ago. Ken wondered where the Digimon had gotten it from. They must have missed it somewhere in the vastness of the Digital World, but they had not missed this. This was new.

    Oikawa had said that the Dark Towers had originated in Dagomon's ocean. Ken could believe that. In his days as the Kaiser, his mobile base had manufactured the evil structures, and the base itself had certainly been powered by the powers of the Dark World. Ken thought back to the meeting earlier that day. He had suggested the possibility of Demon's return from that ocean. And -

    A sudden chill ran through him. Dagomon's ocean was not just the source of the Dark Towers. It was where he had gotten his Digivice, the first D-3. The black, the Demonic Digivice. He heard again the mocking voice from last night. How are you liking our little toy?

    He pushed it from his mind. That line of thinking could wait until later. Right now their job was to take down that tower.

    As the Chosen approached, they began to notice that there were shapes surrounding the tower. Some hovered in the air, while others stood in a circle around it on the island. In a moment they were able to make them out better. All belonged to the same species of Digimon, one that the children had never seen before. They were humanoid in outline, the higher ones they could see were sitting on levitating broomsticks, and all wore red with pointed, wide-brimmed hats.

    "Witchmon," Tailmon said, belatedly recognizing them from a description given to her long ago by the much lamented Wizarmon. The team halted indecisively at and above the riverbank, watching the red-clad crowd, who were all facing in their direction. It looked as though they had taken up defensive positions about the Dark Tower, yet there were no Evil Rings attached to them.

    As the two groups watched and waited, another levitating Witchmon slid into view from behind the tower, this one wearing black. She raised an abnormally large gloved hand as if in greeting.

    "Chosen Children and pets!" she laughed. "Welcome to Arkham. We had not thought you should arrive so soon."

    "Out of the way!" Daisuke shouted. "We're here to take the tower down!"

    The Digimon in black let out a cackle. "I know! And we are here to make sure you don't."

    "Why?" Ken yelled up at her. "Who do you work for?"

    "That's none of your business. Or maybe it is, but I won't tell you anyway. So, will you turn around and go home?" The Witchmon scanned the resolute faces before her and laughed again. "I didn't think so. In that case..." She raised her hand once more, this time joined by all of her companions, and the clouds began to darken above her. The Chosen Digimon started forward again, Lighdramon leaping from the riverbank to the island.

    Just as they began to pass over the water, the black-clad Witchmon commenced the attack.

    "Poison Storm!" She brought her hand down in front of her, and out of the black clouds a heavy rain began to fall. A bright green rain. The Chosen and their Digimon were caught full in the midst of it. And it burned. Where the drops fell on the fur of the Digimon, steam began to rise, and they cried out as the acidic substance ate into their skin. The poison had no affect on non-living material, and their clothing protected the children from the worst of it, but wherever it struck their bare skin or hair they too suffered sharp pains.

    The Digimon, though in pain, were not too horribly hurt, and as they heard the cries of their partners their first concern became getting the children out of the burning rain. This was easily accomplished for most of them, but not for Lighdramon, who could not retreat mid-jump. He cleared the river, but was in too much pain to manage a perfect landing, and hit the ground shoulder first, throwing him onto his side and spilling Daisuke, Ken, and Wormmon from his back. There was no rain here, and he rose quickly, looking at the grinning Witchmon who ringed the Dark Tower in front of him.

    Again the leader of the defenders shook with laughter. "I was expecting my most powerful spell merely to open the fight, not to end it!"

    "This isn't the end," Lighdramon grunted. She looked down at him.

    "It is for you."

    The standing Witchmon raised their hands.
    MY PROJECTS
    Published books: Odd Lodgings and The Silent Garden & Darker Places
    Digimon Fan Fiction: The Call
    Card Games: Digimon Tactics and Twilight (NOT Stephanie Myers-related) [both in-progress]
    Questions or comments? Hit me up at #wtw on irc.rizon.net

  7. #7
    Super Moderator TMS's Avatar
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    Re: The Call (Part 4 Up)

    See, that wasn't too long. I'm going to try to update every other day or so, though the weekends are usually too busy to do much writing during.

    [size=12pt]5[/size]
    [size=12pt]The Sabbat[/size]

    "He heard the hushed Arkham whispers about Keziah's persistent presence in the old house and the narrow streets, about the irregular human tooth-marks left on certain sleepers in that and other houses, about the childish cries heard near May-Eve, and Hallowmass, about the stench often noted in the old house's attic just after those seasons, and about the small, furry, sharp-toothed thing which haunted the moldering structure and the town and nuzzled people curiously in the black hours before dawn..." - H. P. Lovecraft, "The Dreams in the Witch-House"

    "Baluluna Gale!" Blades of wind swept towards Lighdramon, who positioned himself between Daisuke and the others so as to take the brunt of the attack. Ken reached for his Digivice. Theoretically, the Dark Tower may not be working, which would allow Wormmon to evolve. But no, there was no reaction from the little machine. The tower was operational.

    The remainder of the Chosen watched what was happening from across the river.

    "We have to do something, Horusmon," Miyako said.

    "Red Sun!" Twin beams leapt from Horusmon's eyes toward the tower, but as they passed through the neon rain their light began to fade, and before reaching the other side of the storm had disappeared entirely.

    On the island, Ken looked up and watched the attack fail. So long as the poisonous storm continued they would be on their own. He glanced back at the lead Witchmon. She had not moved since the rain began. Her arm still stretched in front of her, unwavering.

    "Maybe... Lighdramon, aim for the one in black!" The floating red Witchmon heard and tried to maneuver their broomsticks to intercept the attack, but who can move faster than lightning?

    "Blue Thunder!" The bolts of energy struck the leader with full force. Her arm gave a convulsive spasm, and the rain immediately began to slacken. Seeing their chance, the other Chosen Digimon flew forward once more, unleashing their attacks at various red Witchmon, with the exception of Pegasmon, who shot directly upwards and spread his wings wide.

    "Shooting Star!" The Dark Tower was showered with meteorites. The projectiles pounded into its ebon surface, some passing directly through. The tower shattered, its rubble raining down on the grounded Witchmon, who threw up their oversized hands to shield their heads.

    "No!" the black witch groaned. The downed Witchmon got slowly to their feet. "We will retreat," the leader announced.

    "Not until we have some answers," Takeru corrected her.

    "You aren't leaving, dagyaa," said Digmon.

    "Why are you defending the Dark Tower?" Iori asked. There were some snickers among the red-clad Witchmon, almost drowned out by the black witch's now familiar cackle. The Chosen tensed, wary of some other nasty trick the Witchmon might have up their sleeves.

    "You could not force it from me through torture," the lead Witchmon answered. "And I know well you don't have the stomach for that. The Dark One has come, and the day of your destruction approaches. Until next time, brats and pets! Aquari Pressure!"

    "Aquari Pressure!" the others echoed, raising their hands. The air was suddenly filled with water, as if the river had leapt up and exploded in an attempt to engulf the world. Nothing could be seen amidst the blinding spray, and by the time it had dispersed there were only the ruins of the Dark Tower and the Chosen Children and Digimon, gazing around them for signs of the enemy. But the Witchmon were gone.

    "Partners," Lighdramon growled.

    Daisuke looked at him, not understanding. "Huh?"

    "We're not pets. We're partners."

    -----

    Several minutes later the children and their partners were seated in one of Arkham's old buildings. It was apparently meant to be a restaurant, but no one was there to attend them. Even after the fight was over, Arkham remained silent. Its inhabitants were not in hiding, as some of the visitors had guessed. They were simply gone. Everything sat in its usual place, and the town looked as though it had been inhabited as recently as yesterday, but the citizens were all gone, as if at the appearance of the Dark Tower they had fled and left all their belongings behind.

    The Chosen Digimon were in the process of recovering their strength, meaning they were eating what they had found in storage. They had reverted to their Child level forms, with the usual exception of Tailmon.

    Everyone felt a little dejected. A few of the children still had hands and heads mildly stinging from the poisonous rain, but that wasn't the reason for their mood. They had destroyed the Dark Tower, but done nothing to address the real problem, whatever it might be.

    "This sucks," said Daisuke. "At least last time we knew who we were fighting."

    "That Dark Tower was working," Ken said to no one in particular. "Wormmon couldn't evolve." He thought for a moment. "My D-3 was what made the original towers work, but after I stopped being the Kaiser they stopped functioning. Arachnemon and Pukumon were able to bring them back online somehow."

    "Maybe," Takeru said, "the towers work when anyone is near them who wants them to work. Maybe the darkness in the hearts of some Digimon is enough to activate them."

    "That might be true," Miyako agreed, "but it doesn't tell us what's going on. We don't know where the Dark Tower came from, or why those Digimon wanted to protect it."

    Ken tightened his grip on his Digivice and looked down, only to meet Wormmon's gaze. He mustered a slight smile to ease his partner's worry.

    At the same time, Hikari gave Tailmon a little squeeze. The little Digimon understood. It was time to tell them.

    "I'm not sure if this will help," Hikari began, then stopped as their eyes turned towards her. After a moment she resumed. "Last night I had a dream. About the Dark Ocean."

    Takeru and Miyako gave little starts, as though they had just remembered something.

    "So did I!" Ken exclaimed.

    "What did you dream, Ken-kun?" Hikari asked, glad to share everyone's attention.

    "Well... not much. I was just standing on the beach, looking out at the water. What about you, Hikari-san?"

    "I was back in the town from the first time I went there."

    "But wasn't that town destroyed?" Takeru asked. He had done that, in a way, drawing the Airdramon's fire.

    "It was, but I was there anyway. A man talked to me, but I didn't see anyone. He said he wanted to welcome me back." She shivered. Ken looked at her intently.

    "What did he sound like?" he asked.

    "He... He spoke softly, and calmly, but he seemed threatening in a way." She searched for a better description, shook her head. "It was a dark voice," was all she could think to add.

    Ken thought about his visitor of the previous night. That might be a description of his voice, but if Ken were the one describing it the first thing he would have mentioned was that underlying sense of black humor. Maybe they were not the same person, then.

    Takeru spoke up, asking, "Has there been anything else, Hikari-chan? Just the dream? You haven't started to disappear?"

    She nodded.

    "That's all," Tailmon said. "I've been with her ever since, and nothing strange has happened."

    Iori broke the long silence that followed.

    "I had a bad dream last night," he said.

    "So did I," said Takeru.

    "Me too," Miyako said. "What about you, Daisuke?"

    Daisuke looked a little confused.

    "I don't think so, but... maybe there was something." He shrugged apologetically.

    Everyone thought in silence a while, searching for some way to connect all the puzzle pieces, but none of them were able to find it.

    -----

    The woods west of Arkham were dense and dark. A good many Digimon had gone into that forest and never come out, so that these days the place was generally shunned. And yet as the sun began to set that day, and the shadows grew thick among the trees, a fire began to burn in the forest's midst. Around it stood the coven of Witchmon. The black-wearing leader stood over the fire, moving her hands in esoteric motions over the flames. It was somewhat early to perform the ceremony, but she figured that it was dark enough, and the message urgent enough to be delivered as soon as possible.

    Another of the Witchmon stepped forward, carrying something small, white, and squeaking tightly clutched in her hands. The leader, finished with her maneuvering, reached out and grasped what the other held. She lifted it aloft above the fire, the glow of which revealed it to be a terrified YukimiBotamon.

    A dark shape detached itself from the gloom, covered the distance to the fire almost instantly and leaped up toward the squirming Baby Digimon. "Cat Punch!" Sharp claws tore through the small white body, which vanished in a cloud of data. The attacker landed next to the fire, a veritable twin to Tailmon, but with night-black fur.

    The black Witchmon waited, gazing into the dark beyond the range of the fire's glow. Eventually she caught a glimpse of something, a pair of eyes reflecting the firelight. There was a flash of teeth below them as the thing in the dark grinned. The Witchmon bowed deeply, avoiding that chilling smile.

    "They destroyed the Dark Tower," the lead Witchmon said.

    A chuckle answered her. "Yes, I am well aware!"

    "I cannot express -"

    "There is no need to. I knew you weren't up to it. This was... a trial run, let's say."

    Witchmon said nothing. The man laughed at her apparent discomfort.

    "This has only begun. Now, I suppose you want your new orders?"
    MY PROJECTS
    Published books: Odd Lodgings and The Silent Garden & Darker Places
    Digimon Fan Fiction: The Call
    Card Games: Digimon Tactics and Twilight (NOT Stephanie Myers-related) [both in-progress]
    Questions or comments? Hit me up at #wtw on irc.rizon.net

  8. #8
    I come from the net Jay Ukyou's Avatar
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    Re: The Call (Part 5 Up)

    Really nice story so far. I really like how you've mixed in the Cthulhu references without making it take over the Digimon mythos. Everything still follows the rules and timeline of Digimon Adventure, but we get to see a possible take on how the Cthulhu stories might have worked under those rules.

    "Dreams in the Witch-House" is my absolute favorite Lovecraft story, so I'm glad to see it featured prominently. In particular, I found its descriptions of magical ideas as following strange properties of science, of non-Euclidean geometry and such, to be very intriguing, and I'd love to see that get worked into the narrative here... possibly by one of the more science-minded characters. I wonder if Gennai or Koushirou will become a kind of Lovecraft protagonist in this story?

    Also, because I just read this and it needs some hype, I must commend your opening pseudochapter with Hikari and Ken. It is a great example of how to tie expository description into the actual action of a scene and it just flows so naturally that it really drew me into the story. Big thumbs up there.

    The only 'complaint' so far would be a minor nitpick about the line "the Black digivice, the first D-3". Since you seem to have put the entirety of the WS games into the canon (good call, by the way), this would technically mean that Ryou was the first one to get a D-3, even if it wasn't technically 'his' and he was simply using it to evolve future-partner-of-Daisuke, V-mon. Of course, that's possibly just a detail you chose to change since it makes no sense for there to be D-3s in Tag Tamers if anime-Ken doesn't get his Black D-3 until after D-1 Tamers.

    Not a complaint, but an observation - I notice some inconsistency in the 'voice' of some of the characters. Some of them seem to be stuck in their dub personas while others feel like you've been watching the subs all day. In particular, Tailmon, Wormmon, Taichi, and Ken seem to talk like their dub-selves, while Miyako and Armadimon feel strictly Japan-based.

    At any rate, I'm really looking forward to what you come up with next. Especially the little asides here and there that start pointing the ending of zero-two towards its epilogue and the other supplemental materials that occur after the main story ends. Just really nice nods to continuity there.
    Bat-Guilmon's utility belt is mostly full of bread.

  9. #9
    Super Moderator TMS's Avatar
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    Re: The Call (Part 5 Up)

    Well, I'm very glad you like it so well. I consider Digimon to take place in the same multiverse as the Cthulhu Mythos, since Miskatonic University exists in Digimon Tamers. As for Ryo having the first D-3, that was a mistake on my part. I haven't played the game, though I know the general storyline, and I always thought that the D-3 design originated in the Dagomon's ocean. Too late to change it now, but thanks for letting me know.

    I was wondering about inconsistency of the voices, but I was more worried about the characters sounding like someone other than themselves, original or dub. I was introduced to Digimon originally with the dub, and I've seen the first three seasons dubbed. However, I only watch the originals now, and haven't seen the dub in quite a while, so hopefully that will keep my "slipping" on that count to a minimum.
    MY PROJECTS
    Published books: Odd Lodgings and The Silent Garden & Darker Places
    Digimon Fan Fiction: The Call
    Card Games: Digimon Tactics and Twilight (NOT Stephanie Myers-related) [both in-progress]
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  10. #10
    Super Moderator TMS's Avatar
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    Re: The Call (Part 5 Up)

    [size=12pt]6[/size]
    [size=12pt]The Second Night[/size]

    "Death is merciful, for there is no return therefrom, but with him who has come back out of the nethermost chambers of night, haggard and knowing, peace rests nevermore." - H. P. Lovecraft, "Hypnos"

    Koushiro sat in his habitual chair in front of his laptop. Gennai had had nothing to report. The Arkham Dark Tower had appeared without any warning whatsoever, though there had been a sudden distortion of the Digital World when it came suddenly into being. He likewise had no idea of where the inhabitants of Arkham had gone, once Koushiro had relayed the news of their disappearance from Iori's email.

    Deciding that complete openness would be the best policy, the six Chosen who had visited Arkham had told the others of their dreams. The old guard recognized Millenniumon from Ken's descriptions of his nightmares, and tried to remember their own dreams the previous night. Koushiro's dreams had been largely formless, but no less disturbing than those of the others. He had floated along strange angles and sensed rather than seen the worlds those angles connected, worlds light and dark, Digital or not.

    Now night was drawing close once more, and they were apparently no nearer to a solution than they had been since Ken had first told them of his nocturnal visitor. Though few of the Chosen Children had said anything about it, all dreaded a recurrence of the previous night's experiences. Koushiro could only imagine what Hikari must be going through, and Ken - how must Ken feel knowing that his home is just as easily accessible to physical threats as well as dreams?

    How safe were any of the twelve, really? Koushiro did not want to go to sleep. So little had been accomplished. But, there was no other method of investigation open to them at the moment. The enemy would have to make the first move. It was a hard fact to stomach.

    -----

    Similar thoughts were occurring around this time to each of the other Chosen. Their parents had not been told of what was happening; there was worry enough among the children. The burns left by the Witchmon's poison storm had cleared up once they reentered the human world, and would not be noticed by the adults. Ken had thought about spending the night at one of the others' apartments, but didn't like the thought of leaving his parents alone. At the Yagami residence, Taichi said goodnight to his sister with some reluctance. He wanted to believe that dreams, though they may be frightening, could not hurt her, especially with Tailmon right there by her side, but couldn't quite convince himself completely. Nearby, at the apartment complex he shared with Miyako and Takeru, Iori didn't want a repeat of his nightmare either. But the night was inexorable, sleep inevitable.

    -----

    Night fell over Tokyo, and once the last rays of sunlight had failed, the Dark Man took to the streets. Even amid the glare of streetlights a shadow seemed to hang around his features, so that one would have to come very close to see more than the glitter of his eyes and the flash of teeth when he smiled.

    A close inspection would reveal him to be a foreigner, though his exact nationality would be difficult to guess. When the mercenary, Hiraga Ayaki, had been introduced to him not long ago, he had been struck by the man's features and unable to place them. The closest he could come was to imagine that if a figure on an ancient Egyptian wall painting had come to life and clothed himself as a modern man of the world, he would very much resemble this person that Hiraga's employer, Sato Katsu, referred to only as the Dark Man. And yet despite his foreign appearance, the man's Japanese was perfect, idiomatic, without a trace of accent, as though he had lived in the country all his life.

    As he walked along the sidewalks, people approaching him would often cut across the street almost without realizing they did so, and for no reason they could afterward remember. Others, who did not bother to cross the street, or resisted the unusual urge to do so, might pass by him and feel a chill as though they stepped quickly in and out of a freezer. Those who caught his mirthful eye might suddenly feel the beginnings of a headache.

    Eventually he would turn off the main streets and wander through shadowy parks and alleyways, occasionally looking up at a darkened window in an apartment complex, in which a sleeper might start to groan in the throes of nightmare. Last night he had visited Ichijouji Ken while Sato, who had called the Dark Man by name as the powers of darkness mobilized, made his first foray into the dreams of Yagami Hikari.

    Things had begun well. The first Dark Tower had been destroyed, but there would be others. So many others. The forces of evil had gathered in three worlds, ready for the last battle, the final push that would plunge the human world and the Digital World into never-ending darkness. And so the Dark Man strode grinning through the night.

    -----

    Darkness and stench, then the tall wooden fences swam into view. As she had feared, the dream was repeating itself. Hikari stood still this time, waiting to see if the calm, cold voice would return. So far the only sound she heard was the monotonous pounding of the waves on the beach. But then she did hear something else. Footsteps, coming from the other side of a fence. She looked in that direction. Something was moving on the other side of the barrier, on which hung a sign written in Digi-Code, which she could not read.

    The sounds were heavy, wet and measured. Hikari had only heard that sort of sound once before, and knew that no human feet produced it. She backed instinctively away from the fence. As the sounds reached a point directly across from her, the footsteps stopped and a new, softer but no less disgusting sound replaced them. The thing was sniffing. It could smell her.

    She burst into a run then, racing as fast as her feet could carry her down the alley formed by the two fences, looking back once, half expecting to see a black, slippery form pulling itself over the top of one side. Eventually she came to an opening in the left of the two fences, and passed through it so as to be somewhat farther from the source of the sounds. A dilapidated house stood before her, the windows like the empty, staring eyes of dead fish.

    Hikari paused to catch her breath. Like all the other buildings in this horrific town, the house seemed to be deserted. She leaned back against the fence, her heart still pounding fiercely. She focused on the house, looking from one window to the next and seeing no sign of habitation. Soon, however, movement caught her eye as the front door began to swing slowly inward. Too exhausted to run, Hikari watched it open. And a voice spoke from the building's dark interior.

    "I am very pleased you could join us again, Yagami-san," the voice she had expected from the beginning said. "Will you step inside?"

    With an effort she found her own voice.

    "No. I won't stay here."

    "I can't keep you very long anyway," the man replied. "Time passes slower here, but you are only dreaming, and must wake up eventually. But you will be back tomorrow night, and the night after, and finally a day will come where you will come here not asleep but awake."

    "Why won't you leave me alone?" she groaned. "I haven't done anything to you."

    "Not yet. But your powers are the antithesis of ours, and must be... drowned, if you will." As the man spoke Hikari heard the wet, slopping footsteps resume on the other side of the fence. There was more than one pair of feet this time. "I see your bridegrooms have found you. Sure you won't come inside?"

    "No!" She began to panic. There was nowhere to go; her only chance was a desperate appeal to the waking world. "Onii-chan! Tail -"

    -----

    "-mon!" Hikari's eyes opened wide. Tailmon knelt beside her on the bed, one gloved paw shaking the girl insistently.

    "Hikari! Good, you're awake. I've been shaking you for -"

    And that was as far as the Digimon got before Hikari sat up and wrapped her arms around her cat-like partner.

    "Thank you... thank you..." she said through her tears.
    MY PROJECTS
    Published books: Odd Lodgings and The Silent Garden & Darker Places
    Digimon Fan Fiction: The Call
    Card Games: Digimon Tactics and Twilight (NOT Stephanie Myers-related) [both in-progress]
    Questions or comments? Hit me up at #wtw on irc.rizon.net

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