Disclaimer: I don't own Digimon. Woah, that was short and sweet, huh? Funny thing happened to me on the way to the website today...
Ahem. Yes. Anyway.
When a disruption of reality is caused by Willis and Henry, the Digimon crew are sent hurtling through the multiverse. After numerous adventures in other dimensions, they wind up in the Pokémon world, where they find that their trips have caused the fabric of reality to come undone. The only way to save all the worlds is through the sacrifice of Charlene, Izzy's computer, who plunges herself into the warp and seals it, restoring reality, but destroying herself in the process. And so, those adventures are over... but at Charlene's wake, Jeri's puppet is stolen by a mystery figure. And what familiar faces lurk on the horizon? It's a great jumping on point for new readers as we begin "Reap What You Sow" - my first Tamers-centric arc!
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A darkened room, somewhere. Jeri's puppet lies on a table, with assorted wires latched up to it. They all run back into a computer... and sitting at that computer is a figure, his features obscured by the shadow the room is engulfed in. The figure that stole the puppet. He cracks his knuckles.
Figure: Now, it begins.
The figure picks up two more wires coming from the computer, and fixes them to the keyboard. He taps a few keys and holds his hands down on the keyboard. He concentrates.
For a long moment, nothing happens, but then, the computer begins to shake violently, as the room is filled with a blinding purple light. The figure and the puppet judder, as if the victims of some massive electrical shock... but then, as quickly as it came, the light is gone, and it's as if nothing had happened.
At least, this is how it seems to us.
Figure: Heh... heh-heh... yes... it worked... I can feel it... here... now... heh...
The figure picks up the puppet, sweat beading his forehead.
Figure: Hello in there...
The puppet jerks.
- - -
"LOOK! NO HANDS!"
or "Night of the Puppet!"
"Reap What You Sow" Part One
By Chris McFeely
with a tip of the hat to Andy00/AndyTaft
- - -
Dawn breaks over Shinjuku... and we open on the bedroom of one Jeri Katou, who yawns and stretches. She looks at her bedside table...
...where her puppet is lying.
Jeri: *yawns* ...wonder how that got there? Kazu left before I could get it back from him... must've left it off after I went to sleep... *rubs her eyes*
Jeri gets out of bed and walks out of the room, towards the bathroom.
Jeri's head pops around the doorframe immediately, and she stares at the puppet. It doesn't move.
Jeri: I must be imagining things...
- - -
A few hours later, Jeri walks into the schoolyard. Her puppet rests comfortably on her hand. She sees Takato, Kazu and Kenta across the playground.
Kazu: Heh, heh, I SO totally nailed Mummymon with that major loogie, dude!
Kenta: Huh, huh, yeah, I know, huh, huh.
Takato: Guys, wouldja knock off that goofy laughing? It's creeping me out...
Jeri's puppet appears between Kazu and Kenta's heads.
Puppet: Hi guys!
Kazu & Kenta: WAARGH!
Jeri holds up the puppet and grins.
Kazu: Jeri, don't DO that!
Kenta: That thing is scary!
Jeri: Aw, you boys are silly. There's nothing scary about this little thing. Right, Takato?
Takato: *turns bright red* Uh... yeah... no... nothing scary... daah...
Everyone blinks and looks at the puppet.
Kazu: Heh, heh, dude, it said "ass." Heh, heh.
Kenta: Yeah, huh, huh, dude, I know. Sounds like "ass." Huh, huh.
Jeri: Uh... well... I...
Takato: Guess you... never know what it's gonna say next, huh?
Jeri: Guess not...
Jeri hurries away quickly.
Takato: "Ass," huh... *chews lip* Excuse me for a minute, guys.
Takato goes behind the cafeteria and has a short cry.
- - -
Later in the day, in class...
Miss Asaji: So, you take the value of these angles, and multiply them to get...
Chalk screeches on the chalkboard as Miss Asaji stops and turns round. There's one of those really ominous silences.
Miss Asaji: Who... said... that?
Jeri tries to cram the puppet into her backpack.
Puppet: *muffled* Bitch.
Jeri looks up, to see Miss Asaji standing in front of her desk.
Miss Asaji: I'll take that, Jeri.
Jeri: But I...
Miss Asaji: No buts. And I'll see you after class.
Jeri: But I didn't...
Miss Asaji takes the puppet, and puts it in her desk drawer. She turns back to the chalkboard.
Miss Asaji: Now, as I was saying, you take these angles, and multiply them to get...
Puppet (muffled, inside drawer): Worthless.
Miss Asaji twitches.
Miss Asaji: Jeri...
Takato looks over at Jeri, who's fidgeting nervously, not looking up. A droplet of sweat runs down her forehead.
Takato (thinking): Y'know, I really do like cheese...
Takato (thinking): ...and woah, Jeri doesn't look so good.
Puppet (muffled): Glorious chaos...
- - -
After class, Takato waits outside for Jeri. After a while, she walks out with the puppet back on her back.
Takato: Uhm, hi... you okay...?
Jeri: It wasn't me.
Takato pokes the puppet. It doesn't move or say anything.
Takato: ...uh, have you been working really hard lately, or anything?
Jeri: I told you, it wasn't me! It was this thing!
Takato: Uhm... right... sure... okay. Maybe you should go home... get some sleep...
Jeri: *sigh* Okay, Takato. If you think so.
Jeri walks off. The puppet slowly, silently, so that she doesn't even notice, twists around on her hand, and grins evilly at Takato. It's little hand reaches up and points at him, as its other hand makes a cutting motion across its neck.
- - -
Later, in the evening, Jeri is getting ready to go to bed. The puppet sits on her beside table again, motionless. She looks at it, and tilts her head.
Jeri: Maybe Takato WAS right... maybe I have just been working too hard.
The puppet pulls itself up to its full height, leaps at her, and knocks her to the floor. She screams, as it crawls it's way out of her room, and down the hallway.
It bounces down the stairs, and clambers out through the mail slot, lolloping through the night like a beached seal.
- - -
Takato: Hrmn...? Whuzza...?
Takato opens his eyes, to see the puppet looming above him with a butcher knife between it's little hands.
Takato jumps up out of his bed. He spins around. There's no sign of the puppet anywhere. Guilmon looks up at him with bleary eyes from his spot on the floor, having been woken.
Guilmon: What's wrong, Takatomon?
Takato: A-heh. Heh. Must've been dreaming. Silly...
The puppet leaps from the folds of his sheets, the knife pointed at him.
Guilmon: PYRO SPHERE!
The knife is blasted from the puppet's hands and imbeds itself in the wall.
The puppet jumps on Guilmon's head, and lands a rain of soft, felt punches on him.
Guilmon: That tickle.
Takato: Maybe Jeri WAS right...
Takato tugs the knife out of the wall, and points it at the puppet.
Takato: Okay, you... whatever-you-are! Stick 'em up!
Puppet: Glorious CHAOS!
The puppet leaps from Guilmon's head, and out the window. Takato darts to the windowsill, but the puppet is already lost to the night.
Takato: Ooookaaay. That was strange.
- - -
Minutes later, Guilmon and Takato are on the trail of the puppet, with Guilmon sniffing it out.
Guilmon: It go this way!
Takato: That's it, boy! Just keep the scent! We'll take care of it!
Guilmon: It really close...
Puppet: Join the collective!
The puppet lunges from a bush and lands on Takato's face, clinging to it tightly.
Guilmon: I save you, Takatomon!
Guilmon rips the puppet off Takato's face and bites down on it a few times.
Puppet: Hurt! Pain! Bad!
Guilmon throws the puppet to the ground, and it crawls away.
Puppet: Back to the nexus...
Guilmon turns back to Takato.
Guilmon: You okay, Takatomon?
Takato: Wait, Guilmon! Stop it!
Guilmon turns to grab it again... but it's gone.
- - -
Takato: No, Growlmon, wait...!
Growlmon smashes in the Katous' front door. Leomon, who was having a nightcap, screams.
Leomon: Oh, my stars and garters!
Leomon has a heart attack and dies.
Takato: Oh dear.
Growlmon: Scent close, Takatomon! It's in here!
Takato leaps off of Growlmon's back and runs up the stairs.
Takato: Jeri! Jeri, are you okay?
Growlmon stomps around to the other side of the house and peers in through Jeri's window. The girl is curled up in a ball on her bed. Takato enters the room.
Jeri rocks back and forth.
Jeri: Can't sleep. Puppet'll eat me.
The puppet bounds out of the shadows, leaping at Takato.
Puppet: Be one with us!
Takato dodges to the side, and the puppet lands on the ground with a flop.
Puppet: Embrace your destiny!
The puppet leaps again.
Takato holds out a hand and snatches it out of the air.
Growlmon: You got him, Takatomon!
Jeri: It's all happening again...
Takato: No, it's not, Jeri! It's just this dumb puppet... it's okay now!
Jeri looks up, as Takato holds the squirming puppet tight in his hand. He shakes it.
Puppet: Glorious... chaos...
Jeri staggers forward, and collapses in Takato's arms. Takato turns bright red.
Takato: Shut up, you!
- - -
The following day, Takato, Guilmon and Jeri are escorted into the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building, along with Henry, Terriermon and Henry's dad, Janyu. Takato carries a hamster cage with him - containing the puppet. They enter an elevator.
Takato: It's really great of you to help us out with this, sir.
Janyu: Think nothing of it. If something that used to be connected to the D-Reaper is becoming active again, then I think it warrants my attention.
Henry: Wise man once say, papa, don't preach.
Janyu: I'm sure he did, son. I'm sure he did.
Takato and Jeri look at each other and back at Henry, as Terriermon rolls his eyes.
The elevator arrives at the designated floor, and the doors open on the Hypnos core. Yamaki looks up.
Yamaki: Ah, Janyu. I received your message, and...
Yamaki sees Guilmon and Terriermon.
Yamaki: ...what are those DIGITAL FREAKS doing here?! KILL! CRUSH! EXTERMINATE!
Riley: Did you take your pills today, dear?
Yamaki: I don't need those damn things. I'm fine.
Riley: The doctor says you should take them.
Yamaki: The doctor is your BROTHER!
Riley: So I get a family discount! Don't start this again! You NEVER liked my family!
Yamaki: They don't like ME, either!
Riley: You didn't even make the EFFORT!
Janyu and co. sweatdrop, and shuffle past Yamaki and Riley, who continue to yell at each other, into an adjoining room.
Janyu: We had the chance to call in an expert on this one... got his number from the studio. Mr. Vader was a bit of a mess... I hear he's being laid off now that Disney's in charge.
Janyu: Indeed. But, anyway, meet our expert:
Janyu gestures at a doorway on the other side of the room.
Izzy steps through the door. Tentomon flits in after him.
Takato faints, and the hamster cage falls to the ground. The puppet inside roars in defiance.
Izzy picks up the cage, as Tentomon hides behind his leg.
Janyu: I already gave you the briefing on the D-Reaper from beforehand. Do you think it's possible that it may be regenerating itself through the very thing that it used to begin its attack on Earth in the first place?
Izzy: It's a highly plausible scenario. I'll need to examine this specimen.
Puppet: Dissect! Eviscerate! Carve! Slash!
Terriermon: Moumontai, little guy.
Janyu: We'll need some restraints...
A little later, Izzy tugs on some rubber gloves, and picks up a small probe as Janyu and Takato bind the puppet down onto an examination table.
Henry: Confucius say, he's now got strings to hold him down, he doesn't laugh, he only frowns.
Janyu: I'll bet he did, son. I'll bet he did.
Takato: Uh... yeeeah.
Izzy readies the probe.
Jeri: I'm surprised you're here, Izzy... after the fu-
Jeri stops herself as Izzy looks up.
Jeri: I'm sorry...
Izzy: That's okay. I needed something to take my mind off of it all... I miss her, you know?
Jeri: I know the feeling.
Tentomon: I suggested bowling, but oh, no, WE have to go and examine a genocidal puppet. Don't know why I bother...
Jeri steps back as Izzy moves forward with the probe. The puppet snarls.
Jeri: I'm scared...
Guilmon: No be scared, Jeri! Takato make everything right!
Terriermon: Yeah! Moumontai!
Izzy: Not exactly a sound scientific variable, but advisable nonetheless.
Tentomon: What he said.
Izzy taps the probe, and slides it inside the puppet.
Izzy taps a couple of keys on the computer that the probe is connected to.
Izzy: Hmn... curious... yes... on the sub-atomic level, the probe is detecting traces of some peculiar, unidentifiable substance... bearing a structural resemblance to... red jell-o...
Tentomon: Cantaloupe flavour jell-o?
Janyu: The D-Reaper! Microscopic traces of its matter must have remained behind in Jeri's puppet all along... dormant... but... why did they become active again?
Izzy: I'm attempting to discern that now... switching probe to energy-signature trace...
The probe buzzes.
Izzy: Most intriguing. The probe is picking up a truly bizarre energy signature within the puppet... it's wild, unstable... not smooth and directed, focused on one goal, like the D-Reaper program was before, if your files are correct.
The puppet jerks, and one of the cables holding it down snaps. Takato grabs it's arm and tries to hold it down, as it snaps the other cable, and Janyu seizes the other side of it. It bucks about in their grip. Takato struggles to hold on.
Takato: It's... getting... stronger?
Janyu: Hold on!
Izzy: Just a few more seconds... the signal's becoming clearer... we might be able to learn more if we can study it...
Jeri: Don't let go!
Guilmon: Oh, noooo!
The puppet wrenches itself free from their hands, throwing them to the ground, and hauls itself up. The probe clatters to the ground, and shatters. The signal disappears from the computer.
Puppet: YOU ARE MINE - -
The puppet launches itself from the table, directly towards Izzy.
Puppet: - - FOREVER!!
- - -
TO BE CONTINUED!
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Whu-oh! That ain't good! Tune in next time for:
"THE BIG COMEBACK SPECIAL!"
Featuring the D-Reaper's rise to power - and the return of the one villain you never thought you'd see again!
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