Disclaimer: I don't own Digimon, The X-Files, or their characters. They rightfully belong to Chris Carter and Toei.
The Digi-Files: Egos and Icons
Everyone woke up with a start when they heard the loud crunching of rocks underneath the ship's hull.
Everyone quickly dressed and ran out of their rooms and dashed to the bow for a better look.
"What's going on here?" Scully asked loudly.
"If I didn't know any better, we seem to be heading towards those mountains." Tai then pointed to the jagged peaks that were slowly getting larger.
"Can't we change course?"
"It's too late, we're already on the foothills, so any change of direction would surely damage the ship even further!" explained Izzy. "I must admit, this place seems oddly familiar."
"Izzy, you remember the sludge signs, right?" asked Tentomon.
"You don't mean..."
"Turn back now!" Izzy started to yell frantically. He gestured wildly to the deck, but it seemed that no one could see or hear him.
It was too late. The ground began to crumble beneath the front of the ship. The ship began to tilt forward, and all ten humans and the eight digimon fell into the gaping maw below from the deck.
They looked up in time to see that with some last minute steering, the ship backed up from the hole and the crumbling rock.
Then they were lost to the vast darkness.
Izzy's eyes opened as he realized that he hadn't yet hit rock bottom.
"Tentomon?" Izzy called out. His voice echoed into the darkness.
"I'm right here Izzy! Well, somewhere around here," Tentomon's nervous voice echoed.
"Oh, worry about yourself and your digimon, but what about the rest of us?" Tai remarks.
Soon, everyone started shouting and talking at once, making their presence in the void known.
"Everyone stop and shut up! Do any of you hear something?" asked Scully. "It sounds like someone's talking."
Everyone stopped their chattering and heard a faint voice. It sounded distant, yet coming from all directions.
"... E... F... G... H... I..."
"Someone's reciting the alphabet!" exclaimed TK.
"Boy, I thought people in the Digiworld knew their basics in school," said Matt.
"Whoever they are, we can probably ask for their help," said Sora.
"I don't think that would be a good idea," replied Izzy. "I've been here before, and believe me, you won't find much help around here. I can only guess who is reciting that, but I wish I was wrong."
The voice suddenly stopped its recitation. "Why are you all cluttering my universe?" it asked dully. The voice was oddly familiar.
"Excuse me?" asked Patamon. "We're not clutter! We're digimon and people!"
"It does not matter, you're still just a waste of space." The voice lacked emotion, only talking monotone.
"Show yourself! Maybe you're just clutter too!" cried Agumon.
It seemed like a light was turned on, but it was only pin-points of light. The little starts illuminated the outer space like setting around them. Little planets and asteroids dotted the sky in the distance.
A purplish glow alerted them to look at the thin crescent moon that was emitting the glow. They saw a silhouette floating in the centre of the almost moon.
"I am not clutter. I am at one with this universe. You are all trespassers and should remove yourselves."
"How can we remove ourselves if we have no way out?" Tai shot back.
"That is none of my concern."
"Some help you are."
"I do grant all of you a choice. Stay here and learn my ways, or you shall be vaporized."
"Some choice," muttered Matt.
Izzy had enough of this run around. "I know who you are!" he yelled to the figure.
"And who would I be?"
The purplish glow intensified, revealing Izzy's copy. He looked exactly the same, except for the vacant quality in his eyes, just like when he lost his curiosity to Vademon. "You're correct, as usual."
"I'd hate to say something during an inappropriate time like this, but, you're nothing like me."
"You're quite wrong. I am the new and improved you. Indifference is the key to success, I always say. Does that sound familiar?"
"So you're the apathetic version of myself? Why would you do this?!"
"You, or I, did not want to be bothered with the burden of curiosity. Too much information to take in, too much to know, and it's too much of a bother to interact with others. Ignorance is bliss."
"I gave up my thirst for knowledge because I was desperate to live! I didn't want to fall down a bottomless pit forever!"
"But deep down inside, a small part of you enjoyed it, and look at what it has become. I guess I should give you all your prize now. Imminent destruction." He carelessly and lazily waved his hand, and many asteroids came hurtling at them in all directions.
"Tentomon! I need Megakabuterimon!" cried Izzy.
"Everyone! We're gonna need some help here too!" Matt yelled.
The asteroids were coming dangerously close, but the transformations from each of the digimon happened just in time.
All of them sprung into action, blocking and reducing the space junk to chunks of rock.
The bored looking copy of Izzy waved his hand again. "It seems that I need some assistance."
A large Kabuterimon suddenly came flying at them. There pretty much wasn't any difference between the two Kabuterimon's floating in the artificial universe.
The difference wasn't obvious, but the copy was much more menacing, if it was possible for a Kabuterimon to be even scarier than it already was.
Greymon, Garurumon, Birdramon, Togemon, Ikkakumon, and the two angels threw out their attacks to get rid of the space debris. The children and agents were clustered to a clear space and directed the battle from there.
"Izzy, we have to get out of here!" yelled Tai. "Where's the exit to this place?"
"If I remember, we have to make our own way out!"
"What do you mean?" asked Joe.
"You'll see. Kabuterimon! Digivolve to the next level and get us out of here!"
Soon, Megakabuterimon was occupying most of the battlefield. He quickly grabbed the children and agents with his four arms, and with his large and extremely hard shell, flew upward until he burst out of the mountainside.
With the new exit before them, the other digimon found their way out. All of them scrambled to get away as fast as they can.
They got away too quickly for the copies to even know what was going on.
Izzy looked around at the floating bits of rock around him, and the stunned form of his Tentomon floating among it.
"I guess I should have used a planet instead of mere asteroids. Don't you agree Tentomon?" Izzy asked, bored.
"Yes," it buzzed dazedly.
Izzy then calmly pulled a laptop from his backpack. His fingers flew over the keys as he contacted Datamon.
"Sir, the Digidestined escaped. Should I go after them?"
"Hmm... Another lone failure. At least you're smart enough to know what to do. No, do not track them down. Let them move on to the next one. I'll give you the order to regroup as our last effort."
Datamon then abruptly logged off, leaving copy Izzy with a static filled screen.
The exhausted digimon touched down in a nearby forest and reverted to their normal selves. They had lost sight of the Gekomon's cruise ship and thought better to not go off and find them; plus, they didn't want to draw the Gekomon and Otamamon into another senseless conflict.
Time was of the essence for them all. The children had school, the agents had their work.
Izzy sat on a log, on the edge of a clearing, with his Pineapple before his lap and stared at the screen.
"Another double..." murmured Izzy as he looked up from the different files displayed on his computer screen.
"Any luck there, kid?" asked Scully. She approached him and sat down beside him on the log.
Izzy shook his head slowly. "No ma'am. My efforts have been fruitless. Their digimon are nothing like I've seen. No matter what I check, there are slight differences between the digimon, some more obvious than others, but still, they're registered as the same type."
She leaned in closer to peer at the screen. She saw the picture of the evil Togemon beside Mimi's Togemon. Both of them were labeled with the same name. "Anything that would explain this?"
"When we were taken on a whirlwind tour by the entities, they explained that the digivolving process could be corrupted." He typed up a chart of Skullgreymon and Wargreymon from Greymon. "But the process would create a different digimon altogether! Not a slight variance." Izzy then slammed his laptop shut in frustration.
"I learned that I can't trust what I know and what can be solved by science. Some things can be deceiving and these things have to be explained by theories, no matter how far-fetched they seem." Scully glanced at Mulder helping the other children tend to a fire.
Izzy followed her gaze. "I take it that you learned this from someone? A certain partner, perhaps?"
Scully looked away and back at Izzy. "Mulder, he's a very good friend. He helped me through a lot of difficult times and taught me a few lessons. His motto is, 'I want to believe.'"
"I'm quite glad that he's very open-minded about these kinds of things. To tell you the truth, I first thought that the Digiworld was some kind of alien experiment and that we were abducted for research purposes. Looking back, I seem to have been quite out of my head with that theory." Izzy looked up to see Scully smirk a bit. He then looked back down. "Now I prefer the analytical side of things in my thirst for knowledge."
The red-head smiled softly. "You almost seem like you could be my child, if I were with Mulder," Scully said. "That is, if I could still bear children. You're just like the two of us."
Izzy looked up in surprise and he blinked quickly. "I am?"
"Yes." She softly looked in his eyes. "You're always spewing out your theories and ideas, like Mulder. Yet you like to analyze and get down to the facts of things, like me. But like the two us, we're both looking for knowledge, the truth."
Izzy blushed slightly. "Thank you. I feel somewhat comforted." He then knitted his brow and mulled over something. "I wish my parents really were like you two."
"Your adoptive parents?"
"No, not them; my real parents. I did say I was adopted wasn't I? Anyways, if my parents were like you two, it would explain a lot of things about me, my genetics, my personality. All I know was that my father was a brilliant man, yet he was a distant relative of my adoptive parents. My mother, well, I don't remember anything at all about her."
Scully felt sorry for the boy. He did have a supportive family, and yet, he still seemed a bit lost. He did have his friends to keep him grounded, and that was what was important. It was like he was surrounded by his own tribe, his surrogate family.
Alone, she felt lost, too. But she had Mulder around to stand by her, and she, in turn, stood by him. There were many trying times, when things just threatened to spill over between them, but their friendship came through intact. Maybe scathed and tattered at times, but it could be mended; and because of those times, they grew closer together.
Scully wrapped her arm around the boy's shoulder. She then got up and helped Izzy to stand too. "Let's not sit around and waste our time brooding. We should get back with the rest of our friends. They need our help, just like we need theirs."
Both of them got up and joined the children and Mulder, who were cooking some strange concoction over the fire.
Mulder looked up from the fire and waved as he noticed the two approaching red heads.
"C'mon Scully! You have to try this new food! It's actually quite good!"
"Try some fruit!" squeaked Patamon.
TK smiled with violet stained lips and held out a roasted purple cube on a stick. "They're quite yummy!"
"Anything else?" Scully nervously replied.
Izzy graciously took the barbecued food from TK and chewed on it. "Mmm... The food hasn't changed much since our first time here."
Everyone reclined on a log behind each of them. Matt took out his harmonica again and played the "I Got The Blues" tune.
"Cat's land on their feet, but we still gotta eat," sang along Gatomon. She then tossed a striped eggplant shaped vegetable and with a slice of her claws, the individual slices landed with precision on the awaiting skewers. "I got the hungry kitty blues. Oh yeah!"
Everyone clapped and then resumed eating.
"So, what were you two talking about?" Tai nosily inquired.
Sora nudged him. "Tai, don't be rude!"
Tai just shrugged. "Sorry, just curious."
Izzy and Scully looked at each other and smiled.
"We were just talking about my real parents," replied Izzy. "Like, who they were."
"Oh really?" Mimi piped up. "Please, do tell!"
"Mimi, now aren't you being rude?" Joe asked.
"Can you blame a girl for wanting to listen to a bit of gossip?"
"I don't mind telling," said Izzy. "My parents are none other than the Agents Scully and Mulder here."
Mulder shot up straight and nearly choked on his bite of fruit-kabob. "What?!"
Everyone laughed at the expression of bewilderment on his face.
"Not literally Mulder," reassured Scully. "We were just talking about how similar Izzy is to both of us."
"I can see the red hair as the only physically binding trait," Mulder nervously replied.
Izzy tapped his forehead. "Don't forget my demeanor," he added.
"He's intelligent, doesn't mind rattling off a few theories (no matter how off the wall they seem to be), and has a never-ending thirst for knowledge," explained Scully.
The man gave a sigh of relief and laid back to relax.
"I guess I should start calling you son," he said sarcastically. "Why don't we go and toss the ball around and spend some quality time together?"
"Ugh, do not embarrass me in front of my friends!" Izzy replied.
Everyone laughed and continued to rest and relax from today's adventure.
The fire was dying down, and in the clearing, everyone prepared a little pile of leaves and whatnot as a makeshift bed in their corner of the clearing.
"I'll stay up and keep guard, in case another double comes along and finds us," volunteered Tai.
"You know what, Tai? Let me do it. I need to continue my research anyways. You can have my grassy spot for tonight." And Izzy stood up with his laptop tucked under his arm and Tentomon following behind him. He walked past the greenery and perched himself high in a tree.
Tentomon buzzed around Izzy, who was engrossed with typing and reading old files from the Digi-Analyzer.
After a few tense minutes of the clacking of computer keys, Tentomon spoke up.
"So Izzy, what have you found out so far?"
Izzy looked up at his friend, hovering over his shoulder. "I think that these variations of the same digimon have happened because of the corruption of the digivolving process. And I think that the process accumulates with each new level. Kinda like the levels of contamination in a food chain."
"Uh... Okay. Now explain it to those who didn't take biology in school."
"It's quite simple. In the food chain of a hawk, there is a little bit of poison at the bottom of the chain, let's start with seeds. One seed has one drop of poison. The next animal, a mouse, comes along and eats a hundred seeds. So one mouse is contaminated with one hundred drops of poison. And one hawk eats ten mice. So the hawk has-"
"One thousand drops of poison in it!" exclaimed Tentomon. "Wow Izzy! I never thought of it that way!"
"So you see, the signs of corruption are quite small in the lower stages. But, with each level, the darkness accumulates until it changes into a completely different digimon!"
"I never would have thought of something like that by myself! You have to tell the others first thing in the morning."
"Don't worry, I plan to do that. But for now, we should pay attention during our watch."
Both of them sat on the branch and looked around the thick forest below them. Then Tentomon spoke again.
"Izzy, I really like this. Maybe I should find my own tree and make a home out of it. A tall strong oak. Maybe mahogany!"
Izzy chuckled. "Don't forget to invite me to the house warming party, okay?"
To be continued...
Additional Author's Notes: Sorry if I had to tease you guys about the Mulder/Scully relationship during Izzy's pep talk with Scully. I'm not quite familiar with M/S romance, but I am quite familiar with their friendship, or rather NoRoMo. Don't forget to review!