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
A silent figure moved through the darkened forest. It was alerted by the sound of tapping keys and the dark figure looked up to see a boy with a computer perched in a tree.
The figure narrowed its eyes and the boy and decided that it would be best to take an alternate route around the edge of the clearing.
It pushed a leaf frond away from its face and saw the sleeping forms huddled around the dying fire. It looked at them with contempt and turned away in disgust.
The figure then dashed away from the camp and into the wilderness.
Izzy's head bobbed as he fought to stay awake. But, he finally closed his eyes, and when he opened them, he found himself almost leaning forward to meet the ground.
His mind was jolted awake and he wildly flapped his arms around in an effort to balance himself back onto the thick branch. Fortunately, he grabbed onto the branch and was stable again.
He looked beside himself to see the sleeping heap that was Tentomon.
"Glad to know that my life threatening situation didn't wake you up," Izzy said sarcastically.
Tentomon blinked his eyes open, yawned, and stretched out his wings and arms.
"Sorry Izzy, I just had the most wonderful dream! I living in a tree, and guess what? No termites! At least you're safe now."
"Yeah, I guess. Well, I think we should get down from here and see how the others are doing."
Izzy picked up his laptop, which was on his other side, and slid it into his back pack. He stepped into a foot hold and gripped a handhold and started to climb down the tree.
He was excited to explain his theories to his friends, and he was confident that they would find it quite plausible. He also hoped that it would impress Agent Mulder so that they may engage in further discussions about the new threat.
As Izzy neared the camp, he could hear the sounds of everyone beginning to get up and greet the day. He stepped through the bushes to find all of them sitting and talking around the now restarted fire as they looked around for their breakfast.
"Good morning everyone!" Izzy greeted them all.
Everyone acknowledged him and sleepily greeted him back.
Izzy plopped down beside Mimi, and she happily handed him his portion of breakfast. They both sat on a log far away from the others.
Matt looked up and saw the two sitting together.
"Hey, what is this? The 'We Met Our Evil Clones Club'?" Matt commented.
"Aw... Don't feel so left out Matt! At least we belong to the "Beautiful People Club'!" chirped Mimi.
Matt blushed, but quickly turned his attention to scarfing down his meal.
"Hey! I'm feeling left out. What about me? What club do Mimi and I belong to?" asked Joe.
"Whiners Anonymous," suggested Tai.
"Hey!" cried the two of them.
"As for me, I belong to 'Soccer Studs'."
"More like the 'Egomaniacs Association'," Sora shot back in defense for the rest of her friends.
"Kari and I, we both have a membership for 'The Hope and Light Foundation'!" yelled TK.
"Yeah! We only have two members, and you have to be under ten years old to get in!" Kari added.
The children happily burst out laughing and continued to tease each other about which clubs they should belong to.
The only two adults present smirked at the children's antics, but tried to look serious. Failing to hide their smiles, they just kept shoveling food in their mouths so that the kids wouldn't notice their grins.
"Hey! I know one thing that all of us belong to!" cried TK.
"What?" the rest of the kids chorused.
"'People Who Had Weird Stuff Happen To Them Club'!"
"Oh yeah!" they all agreed and burst into cheery chatter.
Scully cleared her throat. Like a rowdy classroom being caught by the teacher, all activity stopped and the children looked back at the stern agent.
"Kids, I think that we should wrap up and get on our way. The sooner we get to the bottom of this, the sooner we get out of here and back home."
Joe fidgeted with the edge of his shirt. "Well, it's been a while since we've been here, and we all miss this place and our friends. We know that we should get busy, but we're trying to make the most of things before we go back. Who knows? It might be years before we even get to meet each other again."
"Actually," started Izzy, "I agree with 'mom' over there."
The two agents grinned openly.
"Let's just stay here a few minutes longer and then we'll get going. I just came up with a new theory on why we saw those different digimon."
"That's pretty easy, it's because a good digimon went bad when it digivolved," said Matt.
"Well, I checked the evil digimon that we saw from our doubles, and they pretty much register under the same name. That scrawny little Palmon was still a Palmon, nonetheless."
"That sickly little thing just like my Palmon! I think not!" protested Mimi.
"I'm afraid so. I think that the corruption in the digivolving process is accumulated with each level. I hope you have a few minutes to spare so I can explain to you my theory."
Everyone got up from their spots and gathered in close to listen to what Izzy had to say.
They listened with rapt attention as he compared the process to the food chain, the same thing that he had told Tentomon last night.
When he finished, they all stared at him, impressed. It was pretty far fetched, but it seemed to make some kind of strange sense.
"Wow Izzy!" Mimi clapped her hands together. "I thought it would sound really boring and complicated, but I can understand it just fine! Maybe I should start paying attention in science class from now on."
"I think I got it from dear old dad here." Izzy hitched a thumb in Mulder's direction, and everyone sniggered.
"Now I remember why I had to disown you! It's because you had a smart mouth!"
"And he got it from you," Scully added.
Mulder shook his fists at the boy and his partner in mock anger.
Everyone now burst out laughing again.
Matt got up and dusted the dirt off his pants. "Well, I think we should be heading out now."
"I think there's a village quite close to where we are," said Gabumon.
"Okay, to the village then!" Mimi exclaimed, and she dramatically pointed a finger in the direction ahead of her.
"Uh, Mimi," started Joe, "the village is that way, behind you."
Mimi spun around to see that the others were all pointing in the opposite direction. She blushed profusely. "Heh heh. My mistake!"
"We all make mistakes!" Joe comforted as he gathered the things in his supply bag. He then securely strapped it onto his shoulder and got up. "Let's go."
They all nodded and started to march.
The motley little group wandered around the forest, but couldn't shake the feeling that they were being watched.
"Call me paranoid, but I think something's following us," said Joe.
"Aw Joe! Don't be such a worry wart!" Tai casually waved his hand as if to bat away the comment.
"Yeah, I mean, it's broad daylight, we're all together, and we have the digimon with us. I don't think that they'd do anything to us right now," said Sora.
"C'mon Joe! Relax!" cried Kari. "We're out in the wilderness, getting some fresh air. Enjoy it."
"Yeah!" agreed Mimi. She sped up to march in front of the line, swinging her arms enthusiastically. "Usually, I like to sing whenever I feel a bit down. So sing along everyone! Over the hills and through the woods-"
"To grandmother's house we go!" shouted everyone from behind her.
"Well, I was going to say, 'To where ever it is we'll go!' instead." Mimi turned around as she closed her eyes and stuck out her tongue playfully.
"I guess you're right, since we have no particular idea as to where we're going," said Izzy.
Biyomon fluttered above them through the thick undergrowth and settled down before Sora.
"I see a little building straight ahead!" the little bird reported.
"Well, you heard her," said Mulder. "Straight ahead it is. We might actually find some rest there."
Everyone picked up the pace and with much more gusto since they were looking forward to having some time to rest at the building.
Soon, the forest growth began to thin out, and they stepped out to find a small wooden building in front of them. It oddly seemed familiar.
"Oh please, do not tell me that this place is not what I think it is," muttered Joe.
"Okay, it's not what you think it is!" replied Gomamon.
"But it is the place that I think it is!"
"Then why did you ask for me to lie to you?"
"I just thought that it was the appropriate thing to say at a time like this."
"Well, before you say anything about it, let's take a look around and see if you're right," said Scully. She unholstered her gun from underneath her trench coat and showed it to the children.
Her partner, Mulder, followed her actions, taking his gun out too.
Both of them rounded the corner slowly, with their weapons held out and ready for what might be awaiting them on the other side. They peeked ahead as they made the bend, and motioned for the children and digimon to follow.
Dropping their guard, the agents put their weapons back in their hiding places.
They tip-toed behind them and found themselves in front of the building. They looked ahead to find a swinging saloon type doors, and above the doors was a large sign saying that it was a restaurant.
Joe groaned outwardly, this time, with Matt, Gomamon, and Gabumon joining in.
"Okay, so this place doesn't really excite you," commented TK.
"Thank you, Mr. Obvious," remarked Kari.
"So I take it that you're not too fond of this place," said Tai.
"Yeah, this was where we were made dishwashers, busboys, cooks, and overall, slaves to Digitamamon and Veggiemon," explained Matt.
"Let's hope that it's under new management!" piped Mimi. "Who knows? They might actually have some chili cheese dogs and root beer! Yum, yum!"
"We'll have to find out about this place ourselves." Sora then took a breath and stepped through the doors, pushing the swinging doors out of her way. She took another stride to miss getting hit by the doors on their way back.
Unfortunately, they swung back in Tai's face.
"OW! MY NOSE!" cried Tai. He staggered back inside, clutching his nose, and the rest of his face flushed red.
"Sorry about that Tai."
"Try not to make a dramatic western entrance when I'm right behind you." He rubbed his sore proboscis.
The rest of the group entered the restaurant and giggled at the comical scene. Then they stopped and looked around the deserted restaurant.
Until a tall, strange, white robed figure stood in front of them. The hood was drawn up, concealing their hair, but their face was perfectly visible. Not exactly their real face, but more like a smiling face mask, like the one the Bakemon wore during their cannibalistic ceremony.
"Now, time for some service," said Mulder. "Excuse me! Sir, or ma'am, we'd like a table please."
It waved its arm at them, the long sleeve hanging off and over the hand, motioning for them to follow.
The Digidestined, digimon, and agents were seated at a large round table, and two other robed figures stepped up to serve them.
They quickly moved over them, setting the table cloth down, passing the dishes and silverware around.
Before even ordering anything, the robed costumers set down covered plates in front of each person. Then, they went around the table, lifting the covers and revealing the food underneath.
Everyone looked down at the roasted mushrooms on their plates.
"Mushrooms. They look edible enough," analyzed Scully. She picked up a fork and picked at her meal.
Tai and Agumon each picked up a mushroom and started sniffing at it.
"They smell familiar," they both said.
Sora, Biyomon, Patamon, and TK shoved their plates away from them.
The others looked at their friends in puzzlement. Why didn't they want to eat?
Sora noticed their looks. "Don't eat them."
"Are they poisonous?" asked Mulder.
"You could say. They're the mushrooms of forgetfulness," explained Agumon.
Upon hearing the explanation, everyone followed suit and pushed their plates away, or promptly spit out their bite of the mushrooms.
Joe stood up angrily and threw his napkin down on the table. "Why would they do this to us?! I demand satisfaction! I wanna see the manager!"
The three creepy-looking masked figures glided over to their table.
"That's better. What kind of restaurant are you running here?! You nearly served us some bad mushrooms! I think I should give the health inspector a call!"
The masks on each of the figures started to crack down the down the middle.
The Digidestined, digimon, and agents got up and started to back away. The agents took out their guns and held them out, aimed steady at the three figures.
The rest of their costumes started to crack away, like they were shells covering what was underneath. The then pieces broke away, sending shrapnel out in all directions.
Standing before them were Matt, Sora, and Joe! Well copies of them, with the imposter digimon propped up on their shoulders.
The digimon hopped off their counterparts' shoulders and took on a fighting stance.
Everyone eyed the doubles carefully. Of course, they knew now that the only difference between them and the counterfeits were their eyes. As usual, their eyes were pupil less, vacant, and devoid of life.
As for the digimon, they did have a ruthless like quality to them.
Gabumon's horn seemed a lot more like a knife and his coat seemed a bit more ragged and worn.
Biyomon's feathers were ruffled, her talons were a lot more sharper, and the shackle around her leg had a chain attached to it.
Gomamon's mohawk stuck out much more and the claws on his flippers stuck out menacingly.
"Things would have gone better if you fools ate everything off your plate like good little Chosen Children," hissed the Joe counterpart.
"Unfortunately, it seems that we'll have to eliminate you all," said "Matt" detachedly.
"What fun," said "Sora" roughly.
"Digivolve!" both sides cried out.
Soon, two sets of three digimon were ready to do battle.
A more feral and savage wolf-like Garurumon against the true Garurumon lunged at each other, snarling, biting, and scratching.
Birdramon found herself up against another one of her kind, except this one had broken shackles attached to her dangerous talons. And it looked like a giant ravenous raven.
Ikkakumon fired a Harpoon Torpedo at its double. This Ikkakumon had a sheet of jagged ice covering the back of its shaggy coat of fur, and an icicle instead of a horn on its forehead.
"C'mon Garurumon! You can do it with your Howling Blaster!" cried Matt.
"Ikkakumon, take him out! Try a simultaneous attack!" suggested Joe.
Birdramon screeched as the chains from the shackles lashed against her.
"Birdramon!" shouted Sora. "Fight back with your Meteor Wing!"
The digimon obeyed and quickly retaliated with their trademark attacks.
The evil doubles watched the fray with much satisfaction. Things were going quite well for them, they might even win this battle and finish off their lesser halves.
Datamon would reward them handsomely for this.
They smiled smugly as they watched on.
"They're too much! We need help!" cried Joe.
"Tai, we need you and the others!" added Matt.
Tai nodded and pointed at the battle. "Okay guys, you know what to do! Kari, TK, hold back for now, we might need you guys later!"
The rest of the digimon began to transform. And soon, Kabuterimon, Togemon, and Greymon came rushing in.
"Bring in the cavalry!" cried Matt.
Izzy though about the strategies to use against the others. "Guys! We have six, they have three! Double-team each of them!"
The others obeyed, and Greymon helped with the nega-Biyomon; Kabuterimon against evil Ikkakumon; and Togemon with Garurumon.
"Launch a simultaneous attack using your most powerful ones! Now!" instructed Izzy.
All of the attacks came down at once, smiting their targets, and creating a blinding flash of light.
Everyone shielded their eyes.
Then, an explosion rocked the area.
Mulder was the first one to come to his senses. He shook the grogginess from his head and looked around the area.
The area did look like it had been in an explosion, shards of wooden planks and bodies were littered around the clearing to prove it.
He looked across from him to see his partner's unconscious form. He got up as best as he could, despite the pain, and hobbled over to Scully. Gently, he shook her.
"Scully, hey, wake up."
A soft groan was his reply.
"C'mon. We have the fate of another world on our shoulders. We have to help these kids so that way we can all get back to our normal lives."
Scully slowly turned over to face him. "As normal as it can get, considering that our lives are the X-files," Scully managed to croak out.
Mulder gave a small cry of relief and hugged her.
"Hey. Help me up. I gotta see if those kids are okay."
Mulder let go and let Scully's doctor instincts, and skills, go to work.
Scully moved over each of the children's forms and checked over them. She checked their pulses and their pupils.
"The good news is that they're alive. We just gotta wake them up."
Mulder breathed a sigh of relief and was about to wake the children when Scully added:
"Now, for the bad news. I'm not that good with digimon physiology, so we've got to be careful when we find them. If we find them."
Mulder let out a groan and approached Izzy. He started to gently shake the boy until he woke up.
"Huh? I'm awake mom. Just let me recharge my brain for five more minutes."
"It's not your mother."
"Agent Mulder?" Izzy suddenly shot back up. "You're okay!"
"All of us humans are," said Scully from the other side of the wreckage. "I don't know about our monster friends though."
"Care to tell us anything useful, son?"
"Well, they're just worn out from the battle, so let them heal for a while. The process will go better if they have something to eat. And if they're lost, don't worry, they'll find us. They always do."
"And speak of the Devimon, look who's here!" cried Gatomon.
The three conscious humans looked towards the bushes to see eight disheveled in-training digimon.
"We thought we'd save you the effort of forming a search party!" added Agumon.
The other Chosen Children, roused by their friends, slowly got up and started to make their way to their companions.
"Now that we're all up, what do we do now?" asked Mulder.
Izzy sat up and began to think. A long silence settled over the group as all eyes turned to the young computer whiz.
"I got it!"
"What?!" cried everyone at once.
"We keep moving. We cross the lake and make our way back to where this started."
Their expectant eyes turned blank and they sweatdropped.
"And, Mr. Genius, where did this whole mess start?" Joe asked.
"Think about it. Who has the power to create doubles of us?"
Sora's eyes widened as she remembered. "Datamon!"
"Correct. We have to go back to the pyramids. If I remember, they're across the lake and we wind up back in the desert."
"Wait, couldn't we have just gone around this place and avoided this big mess?" questioned Matt.
"We could do that, if we wanted to waste time. A suitable path around the mountains and the lake would take a lot longer than just cutting through. Besides, who'd want to look at sand for the next few days?"
"Well, he's got a point there!" quipped Mimi. "I believe we should take the scenic route! All in favour, say aye!"
"Aye!" cried the rest of the children and raised their hands.
The journey resumed as the group headed for the lake.
To be continued...
Additional Author's Notes: Three doubles for the price of one part! Look out for more in the next part.