Esyra sighed and sat down in what was left of the lobby. In the past two days, she has been immersed already in plans with most of Team Tamers on what they were going to do next...plans for a new Tamer's Rest, plans for a new beginning. Anything to keep her mind off of that missing Partner...
But there are still times where in between all the work, she remembers, and on this particular day, as she came to sit beside the cumbersome crystal that still needs a proper pedestal, she tried to find something to distract herself with...only to remember now that without her partner, she also no longer has that laptop or music player that was stored in the digivice. Frustrated, she groaned, quite unlike her usual self to do.
From outside of the lobby area, through a fallen wall, Takeo, still sifting through the remains of Tamers Rest, noticed Esyra sigh and act strange. He felt it strange to see her wandering around. The sight of her meandering around the building wasn't strange before. But she had out cold for several weeks, and had awoken to such destruction, pain, and suffering. And ever since Evelyn…
Takeo shook his head.
"Get rid of the bad thoughts.....Ah!" He pulled out a mobile game system from the rubble. It wasn't his, but it was salvageable nonetheless. Turning the power button on.....success! He put the tiny device in his Digivice, and began to walk toward Esyra. He put on a fake smile, and asked a question. It was so natural, he'd done it tons of times before. Yet...now it seemed....
"Can I get you a cup of coffee, Miss Esyra?"
Startled, she looked up and gave a dry laugh. "Sometimes it's better to just drop the mask, Takeo. But it's much appreciated. Coffee would be nice right now..."
His smile, though wilted, became real with an influx of memories. "Believe me, I'd like some, too. Too bad there's nothing left of the cafe...." His voice trailed off...as did his body. He looked outside. The giant shimmering hexagonal pattern greeted his vision. He turned back to Esyra, pointing towards the barrier. "So...how did this....thing....work again?"
In the background, no one noticed as Kaguya was scuffling in and out of the Tamers rest carrying small items and putting them in piles outside on the grass. She looked like a mess, but no one else had seen her yet.
As everyone worked at their respective tasks Razor lumbered in, battered and bruised. He looked incredibly shaken. After days of being missing after the disastrous battle Razor had finally returned home. Though he arrived alone.
Being wary and constantly on the lookout for familiar faces that hadn't shown up in a long time, she had an intake of breath and immediately stood up. "What happened to you?" She wished she had better words to say; perhaps a better question to ask. But nothing summed it up like such a simple but weighted question.
Razor smiled with a single tear crossing his cheek "You should see the other guy..." his words were strained and harsh, while his gaze was locked on his hands.
This upset Esyra even more. She was never given too much detail as to everything that happened before, but she knew enough to know that this was probably another bad experience to add to the weight in his heart. She felt hot tears roll down her own cheeks, but said nothing and kept her hands folded tightly in front of her gown.
Takeo also felt the shock wash over him, and could only manage a raspy “I’m sorry.” As he mused in his mind on how he never really got to say goodbye to any of the ones they’ve lost.
Razor looked away and took a deep breath, he was exposing quite a tender side. However, he didn't want to dive too deep in his personal problems. "Uuuh....nice…bubble?"
The sudden shift of topics was so swift, (and vague,) Takeo almost lost his balance. He tried brightening things up a bit. "I almost want to ask for some context...but I do want to know about this…‘bubble...’" He quickly turned to Esyra, who was silently crying. "If...that's alright with you, of course." he hastily added.
Ashamed to be crying in the first place, she had lowered her head and was trying to conceal her expression. However, the sudden change of topic threw her off as much as Takeo was. Her shoulders trembled as she chuckled. "Okay, yes...I suppose I should explain this...'bubble.'" She laughed a bit. "Of course you would call it a bubble..."
"It was a last minute thing...it's designed to only let the current people that were in a certain radius of me when it was created, in and out. Any other soul? Not allowed. It's quite flawed in many ways though...I need to re-code it...but I don't even know where to start."
“Then how did Razor get in?" A simple question, from the goggled one.
Slightly befuddled, as he didn’t pay much attention to it before, Razor muttered: "I bypassed the bubble..?"
She frowned. "As I've said...it was a last minute thing, and it's flawed...Almost buggy…I’m lucky it worked when it did."
Takeo just sighed and facepalmed. "Hax. Of course. I forgot who I was talking to. Shows how tired I am."
Trying to shrug things off and perhaps bring the conversation further into the matter of the bubble, Razor tried to straighten up a little to shake off the gloom, but stepped back and accidentally bumped into Kaguya.
"Gyaaah!" She stumbled and fell face first on the ground, dropping everything she was carrying. She just looked at Razor with the saddest face she could possibly imagine and sniffled.
"Oh god..." Razor quickly dropped down to his knees and ruffled her hair "are you ok? I didn't see you there..."
"Noooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo........" She sniffled again as her eyes began to tear up. "I don't want to go home!"
Breaking away from the topic they were about to address, everyone turned to Kaguya to hear her story and comfort the young girl. Perhaps the ‘bubble’ can be worried about later.
The next day, Esyra huffed as she stood in front of a cracked mirror. Everything was pretty much falling here and breaking there. The majority of the tamers had gone off back to their respective homes or roamed off to find their own solutions to the hell that they all rode through, and those who stayed were helping to reconstruct.
“What’s wrong, mom?”
Still completely unused to the presence of Bit and Byte, her heart skipped a beat but she tried not to show it. Turning around, she faced the two rascals and knelt in front of them. “Everything that can go wrong has already gone wrong. The only thing to do now is to make it better.”
The two digimon looked at each other, and back up at her. Byte asked: “What’s going to happen to us?”
Esyra blinked. What was going to happen to them? “What do you mean? Is something supposed to happen?”
“No, well, we don’t know. Are we…supposed to be here? What do we do? Where are we supposed to go? As digimon…what should we do…?” Byte elaborated.
Esyra felt like she was hit in the chest. Did digimon have existential crisis? Or was she reading too much into the questions? “You don’t have to be anywhere but with me. I can’t let you out of my sight anymore anyway. Like it or not, you’re going to be my responsibility. Whatever catastrophes that brought you two about, you’re what I have left in this rubble of data. As for what we’re supposed to do now? Rebuild, and secure the future. I don’t know how you two are going to function, since you won’t grow like normal children I know of, but we’re going to figure this out.” She patted each child on the head. “Now, Miss Magnhild would like some help from you two today, as part of the agreement to make up for taking her bike.”
The two tensed up a little. After having a little taste of “Madam Mag’s” power, they’ve learned that there were forces to be feared. “Y-yes mam….” They stammered and went off reluctantly to find Magnhild.
Making her way back to the crystal, Esyra sighed. “Time to get to work…I don’t have any more time left to sit around and mope…” She began to pull out streams of data from the crystal, inspecting the network that was supposed to be the basis of her shield.
“So, that’s the core?”
She continued to inspect that code without bothering to look up. By the time she did, it was a little too late for her to say “Wait!” before he reach forward at the code. The data stream shocked him.
“Ow!” He glared at the data from behind his shades. “Firewall?”
“Not quite…you just don’t have access. But it probably needs a real firewall.”
“And I’m guessing this is you trying to fix the bugs so I don’t bypass your little bubble anymore?”
“No, I need to get this program fixed as soon as possible.” She frowned and continued to pick at the code. She’s noticed that since losing her Seraph form, she also lost the in-built interface she had with the headgear ports she used to jack into programs and fix them without physically touching the code. This form is really starting to feel disadvantageous.
“Hey, look, there’s no big rush here.” Razor tried to pull her away from it.
“No, there isn’t. This place is in pieces already. Stop making a big deal out of an area that’s getting torn down.”
“I NEED to get this done. It’s the only thing that can make sure we’re all safe in the future—“
“And the future isn’t NOW.” He forcefully pulled her back, and in anger she attempted to grab for her halo to retaliate, but had to stop when he moved to wrap his arms about her waist in order to pick her up, and completely displaced her by walking her out of the broken lobby.
After being set back on her feet, she looked at him coldly. “Fine. What is it?”
“Why are you getting so aggressive over this?” Razor sighed as a headache built. He did NOT have the heart to deal with this after all that’s happened already. They’ve all cut their losses. Now was not the time to lose their sanity along with it.
But she did. In all her rage, she grabbed the two rings generated from her halo, and threw it forward, angled hard at the ground. Earth exploded several yards in front of them, and as the rings returned to her, she snatched them out of the air and tossed them far and hard into the ground, opening the scar more and more.
“I.AM.SICK.OF.THIS.” She screamed. “I’ve lost my cool with this. I never asked for any of this. I never asked to be shocked in a computer lab. I never asked to be reborn. I never asked to gain all of this just have it be taken away. What is this world we live in? Why, of all the things that could have happened, I was chosen with this gift only to suffer? Given a life after I die, given the chance to leave the world only to sacrifice my dreams, given the power to protect only after I lost what was important?”
She stopped her rampage at the earth, but her anger didn’t quell.
“What if there were a life where I just died and never came back? What if there was a life where no one had to die? What if Evy and I never came here? Would we have been happier then? I’ve realized in the past few days, that a lot of today still didn’t grant my wish of the past. Every path has to be so complex, no universal possibility seems to satisfy me anymore. All I wanted…was to stop suffering the same stakes from the life I had before. I wanted freedom…but even in all my belief that I was superior to being blind, I walked on naively and forgot that chaos never changes.”
“You know…” Razor scratched his head after listening to her entire rant. “With all this bubble theory stuff…” She huffed in amusement, as she was familiar with the bubble theory he spoke of, “If you really want to solve all that pent up anger at the complexity of choices…I’d say go with this:”
He raised his hand high and pointed to the sky, announcing: “Occam’s Razor. The simplest solution is often the best. You’re overthinking it, Sy.” He grinned.
She couldn’t help but just slump to the ground. “How absurd.” But she was grinning. And he knew it. “The simplest solution, huh…?”
She looked up at the sky, forlorn. And he walked towards her crater as she thought. “I suppose the simplest solution…is, what if everyone’s potential could have been displayed this tournament? What if everyone could have the chance to experience EVERY aspect of what happened around them…? Every event, and every possibility? If we could just give everyone the ability to have more than that one path…”
“You’re making simple into not-so-simple again, milady.”
“But isn’t simplicity just breaking it down?” She got back up and turned around to face him. “Refine that shield, make a network. Only people I have registered to my network can go through the shield. And outside of the shield, if people believe that they can do anything…then danger is but another thing to conquer.” She stepped closer. “You’ve been in this world longer than I have. Tell me...do you believe this is the end?”
He laughed. After all that he went through, losing so much, just like her…partner after partner, friend after friend. He supposed it was bittersweet that she had to remind him of the same things his own mind had to force him to never forget. “I’ve fought through so much. When I look at you, I still see a lost girl who believes she can conquer the world, but have yet to see so much. You fool so many with that cold and calculating front, but in the end, you know just as well as I do that we have to keep fighting to get what we want.”
“Not everyone has to fight a war to learn a moral…but only real experience drives it home…” She replied.
He looks back at all he had done before. Fighting from one end of the world to another, just to recover a friend, to save a partner, to bring back another flag of triumph through the pain. “Then I believe it’s time I put this to better use.” He held out his hand, and a crest appeared above his palm. “I’ll help you. It’s not going to get done today, but I’ll get that bubble of yours tuned up, and then…use this.”
“I’m going to take this, and I’m giving it away.”
“Wait, what do you—“
“Versatility. You know, this crest here was fake when it was first given to me. But guess what I did with it? I grew into it. I became it to define it, and it became real. And this same power? Let me give it to everyone else then. The Digital World isn’t all that limited.” Closing his hand, the crest no longer displayed, but having seen it, Esyra can still feel it, and she knew now what part of him made him who he is now.
“This is how we’re going to solve your worries, Sy. We’re going to give everyone the ability to go beyond simple boundaries of one kind of evolution. The power is theirs to wield as they see fit.”
For a while, she was lost for words, and broke her gaze from his to reflect on what they were about to do. At last, she replied softly: “Then let us play god just this once. The power lies in the possibilities.”