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Carrie looked at the twisted version of her safe haven, the once luscious green field with dandelions and mysterious rock formations had been torn to shreds, the digital world's most beautiful location had been reduced to mounds of dirt, torn up patches of grass and dead flowers, the "Shrine" to gotsumon lay in a crumbled heap... even moreso than when she last visited. A grave marker sat in the center of the field, and holes like trenches or remains from explosive hits were laid out randomly like the field had become a novelty sports course where they used live hand-grenades instead of golf balls. Her d-tector sounded but Carrie ignored it, looking ready to cry.
"Wh-what happened? I-it was so p-p-perfect!" Her stutter started up again. "M-miles of unspoiled land, picnics and c-c-cloud watching a-and who would d-d-do this?" She was legitimately upset, her one safe haven, her one point to look towards in the digital world was gone. The digital world must have been at war again. Gotsumon said, solemnly. I told you, war is inevitable in this world. It's always shifting and figures are always and falling from power, new factions, new kingdoms and figure heads... "Why here? Why fight here? Why war here?!" She said, tears finally rolling from her eyes. "It was perfect, it was so perfect!" It's better for them to fight here than in the city or in the villages, risking the lives of completely innocent digimon for your own petty feuds. Gotsumon said, trying to assure her this was a good thing.
For something that Amelie thought as a more complex and testing ordeal, traveling to the Digital World had been... surprisingly easy? She wasn't sure why she had set the ceiling of this small trip all too high, maybe. Likewise with the first city they arrived to; excepting the presence of digimons pretty much everywhere, it was... pretty normal?
Maybe she had freaked out for nothing; maybe this place was actually safer than the human world? As interesting as that notion was, she knew better than to judge a book by its cover. Danger could be lurking at every turn, and she didn't have much in the way of defense.
Or... did she? Every now and then, a lazy left hand would feel the D-Tector on her jacket's pocket. The brunette knew she could spirit evolve if needed, but... was that even a good idea? Well, probably way better than dying anyway, even if she preferred to just not do it.
And by the looks of it, it seemed that Amy wouldn't have to. Catherine seemed to be completely desolated at... some ruined field? This probably was the place she talked about before. Maybe this would be offensive, so she refrained from saying it, but she didn't think this was that big of a deal? At least not big enough for her new acquaintance to cry about it.
So, instead of being a rude bitch, Amelie patted her classmate in the back. "There, there. It's okay. We can find you another favorite place. I'm sure there's plenty of this world to see." Fact was that it was pretty huge, and plains like these were probably a dime a dozen. "Sides... your digivice has been beeping incessantly for at least ten minutes. Maybe it's trying to tell you something? You should check it out."
Carrie took some deep breaths, listening to both her friend's advice. She was overreacting, this wasn't too bad. The sky was still pretty, the grass would grow back, the graves... well, not much she could do for the graves, those are kind of set there until the bodies go away. Digimon don't leave bodies. They'll probably set up a memorial or something. Death really isn't that big a deal unless it's some big war... well, to us at least. You humans die by hitting your heads on rocks, it's kinda funny to think about really. Those three black and white cuties on TV who keep hitting each other with pies and poking their eyes seem to be immune though... "The Three Stooges?" She asked, confused at Gotsumon's rambling. "No, those guys are dead too, they died of cancer in the 70's or 80's or something." That's not very funny. Gotsumon said, solemnly.
It clicked in Carrie's mind that she still had company and turned to look at Amelie. "Uh, right, the beeping!" She took it out, watching the arrow on the digivice. It jogged her memories of first meeting Gotsumon in this very field. Now would probably be a good time to explain everything to her. "OK... um... uh, this um... this is a D-Tector... it's called that because it does exactly that. It detects uh... spirits, I think they're called. Those spirits are the uh... souls of important Digimon from the world's history... I think? Once you find them they uh... lend you their power because uh apparently you're a human that's their reincarnation or something? I don't know, gotsumon tried to explain it to me and she's uh..." Carrie paused. Well, if the girl was willing to follow her to the digital world after the sink incident she might be willing to listen to her other issues.
"She may or may not just be a voice in my head. I don't know, the pills don't seem to work on her and therapy uh... doesn't um... I don't think therapy works if some of my hallucinations are real, I think... I mean, this place is real, right? Anyways, she was the reason I was talking about those three american guys... well, six of them, Gotsumon says two guys played Shemp."
Well, at least she had realized that this was overreacting. And was talking to herself; the young woman was just slightly unhinged, wasn't she? For a couple moments, the brunette just stared awkwardly at her companion as she spoke about the three stooges and their untimely deaths.
At least she eventually took notice of the fact that she had company. And that her digivice was beeping like mad; it was probably due to a spirit being nearby? If that was the case, Amelie wasn't sure on the effects that those could have on Catherine's psyche. And... she didn't think that was that big of a deal, anyway. What was the worst that could happen? And even if the worst happened, would she really mind?
The answer to those questions made her nod to the young woman's explanation. "So, pretty big fish that just refused to die, huh? That sounds like interesting! And... you're supposed to hunt for them like you were using a metal detector or something? Isn't that a bit... old-fashioned? I'm sure you could find some method that'd make things way quicker, and easier while we're at it."
Oh wait. This was getting interesting. Her classmate actually was... batshit crazy? That made her all the more interesting, and kinda justified some of the strange stuff that had happened around her as of late. Gazing at her for a second, she just nodded. "What's wrong with that, though? I mean, besides the fact of real and imaginary voices mingling up can lead to some confusion, I don't see the problem?" Maybe she was being insensitive? Probably. "If anything, at least now you have her to tell you which voices are real and which are not... even if her tastes in comedy are a bit outdated. Why don't you show her some of the new stuff? Actual color TV, even. Some of the newer shows are quite good."
That probably was for another time, however. "So... are we getting that spirit-thingy or not? I don't think we came here to talk about the three stooges." Her gaze went directly towards the Catherine's D-Tector. "So... shall we?"
"Big fish?" She asked, confused by the metaphor. "I haven't done this in a while, so maybe there's something to make the search easier but I don't know anything about it." She huffed at her friend's odd approach to her schizophrenia. "It is a problem, I-I never get a moment of silence, th-the whole time voices are giving you nonsensical statements when you're trying to concentrate, you-you can't tell if people are trying to talk to you, i-if you're actually alone, when you're trying to sleep you have to try to ignore them but how do you ignore someone inside your head? The only reason I CAN sleep is because I let gotsumon take over at night, and I've barely been able to avoid having my parents walk in on her watching some late night TV or youtube or whatever for the past two years! What happens when they do show up and find a rock monster in my place, Amelie? What happens then?"
She took a deep breath, moderately upset at the whole situation. "...Yeah, yeah... I suppose it'll get gotsumon off my back to have someone else to talk too..." She began to follow her D-Tector, stopping and turning, moving around the area in great confusion.
The whole situation was slightly confusing, at least to Amelie. Maybe it was in part due to them not actually getting together all that well, or maybe it was because she was looking at the bright side of her classmate's condition? What could she say, empathy wasn't exactly her strong suit.
Shrugging at the words her classmate said, she didn't seem to back out from her statement. "Would you have preferred to get pity instead?" Even despite her casual stance about it, her opinion was serious. She knew she could've been rougher, but this probably wasn't worth it. "As ignorant as I am of your situation, I'd say you can lead a relatively normal life despite your condition. Weird digital monsters notwithstanding, of course."
Maybe she was being too indifferent? Probably, even if this kind of situations always managed to aggravate her slightly. "In fact, I couldn't even tell you from the rest of the students back at uni, stuttering and obvious difference in looks notwithstanding. I'm sure you've dealt with this awesomely thus far, so... you shouldn't be afraid of what the future holds? Just roll with the punches."
That last question probably was probably among the most ridiculous things she had ever heard in her life, in all honesty. For a second, the brunette couldn't help but to glare at Catherine for a second. "Complaining about sleeping or a digimon being found out on twenty seventeen? Are you serious? I mean, if you have trouble sleeping, you can just go to a doctor, get some sleep medication prescribed and then fall down like a log on your bed. You don't have to risk being discovered or anything of the sort when you can just use a pill." While Amy wasn't an expert on the topic, she knew that some sleeping medication was perfectly compatible with psychotropic medication. "Drowning in a glass of water never did anyone any good, you know? You should be searching for solutions, not panicking."
A reaction like that one was probably something unneeded, and while the brunette pretty much hadn't lost her cool, maybe she had been too harsh with her peer. "Don't get me wrong, I'm just trying to help. I just tend to be... too direct, I guess? Let's just find that thing."
With any luck, they'd stumble into the spirit soon enough. Had this small journey even been a good idea? She wasn't sure about it anymore, but as long as Catherine advanced, she'd do the same.
Even more medication to add to her collection? That was her idea? She didn't even justify that with a response. She was already taking anti-hallucinogens, anti-depressants, anti-stuttering medicine, headache pills, she couldn't take a freaking vitamin water without risking a horrible chemical death. Just throw pills on it, it'll be perfectly fine! Just like her therapist and her parents, temporary solutions to permanent problems...
She followed the beeping of the D-tector, frowning as she wandered past graves and tore up clumps of grass. The greenery was slowly retaking the area, and it made her feel a lot less worried about wandering it, although she did do her best to avoid stepping on the grave markers. Eventually, her D-tector was beeping as loudly and violently as it could, but looking around she didn't see anything out of the ordinary. Just more grass and dirt.
"It's down." Gotsumon said through Carrie's mouth. "Down?" Carrie responded. "Yeah, I've got a sixth sense for these things... kinda have to, I suppose. Come on, gimme control for a few, I can dig." Carrie turned to look at Amelie for a second opinion.
As tense as the situation was between the two young women, they seemingly had arrived to... a truce of sorts? Well, Catherine didn't look to be all that happy about her own outburst but hadn't said anything in response either. This could either mean two things, and while Amelie pondered about their meanings for a second, she decided in the end that it wasn't worth her time; she couldn't care less about anger, after all.
Following her classmate's lead, they eventually stumbled right into... a nondescript place? That probably could mean two things; either what they were looking for was up high or down below. Second notion was confirmed pretty readily by Gotsumon's voice.
For a second, she thought about the implications of this small journey, and how well could it go if it implied a stony being digging through the ground. In the end, it was probably not her decision? Even if hers was if she'd follow or not, of course. "Not gonna stop the stone lady if she wants to dig down, to be honest. Question is... are you sure you wanna do it? You're the only one who can decide about this kind of things. Otherwise, you risk regretting what you're about to do."
In all honesty, the brunette didn't know about the extent of how annoying a digimon voice in your head could be; Catherine did, and she was the one who was going to get... another. Passing out the decision to her could be seen as an act of irresponsibility, or even... nah. She was probably overthinking things.
"Well, have you had a digimon?" She asked. "Well, no, probably not, given this is your first trip, sorry, question answered itself. But IF you had a digimon, would it be better to keep the one you have in order to get more uh... comfortable with it or would you get a new one? Because I've been with gotsumon for 2 years a-"
"Shut up and digivolve!" Gotsumon said, stir-crazy from the two years of isolation. "This is a big moment for both of us Gotsumon! What if they're just as bad as you, or worse? I'm not comfortable in your body as it is, I'll probably get stuck with a giant boulder next, or another stupid rock monster! I need to think and talk about this!" "What metal do you you think your spirit is, Tin Foil? Because you're weak and probably taste funny." "That's just childish!"
"Better a child than a grump! Give me your arm and I'll do it myself!" Carrie's arm began reaching for the digivice, and she tried to fight it. As her two arms wrestled over the item, Carrie tried to look to her new friend to help... again.
Giving it a considerate thought made Amelie reach to one conclusion. This whole digimon issue was... super complicated, and that was a generous observation, probably. The whole thing could be pretty much described as a huge mess.
"Wait. Wait a sec there." Now, this was probably something she shouldn't be asking but. "Do you mean your digivice-thingy didn't come up with one of those funny-looking totems already? Because mine did. And it hasn't spoken a word to me yet."
Keeping on with this small conversation would be lovely, but it seemed like the lady with the rough voice had a different opinion; less talking, more acting. Normally, she'd agree with that notion, but right now... it didn't look like the brunette's peer had made her mind yet. The whole ordeal would probably not finish well, unless...
With a quick movement in between the fighting hands, the teenager would just try to snatch the device, and if she was successful, she'd hold it near her, making sure it was away from Catherine's reach. "You know, even despite how rude this Gotsumon lady is, you're kinda being wishy-washy about this whole deal. Have you truly decided if you want to search for this spirit? Because giving her false hopes is probably among the cruelest things you can do. Period."
It would probably take her while, but she wouldn't hand the device back until she had arrived to a solid decision. "I have the whole day, so just think it through."
Carrie and Gotsumon both stop wrestling and looked up at Amelie... then looked at each-other. Given they were in the same body though, Amelie would only see Carrie going cross-eyed. "Wait." Carrie said, confused. "You already have your spirit?" Gotsumon asked, eyes turning back to Amelie. "And you've never been to the digital world?" "And you've never digivolved?" "Or fought anyone?" "Or even felt the power that came out of it?"
"...I don't believe you." They both said at the same time, despite controlling the same mouth. "You're pulling our legs." Carrie said, shaking her head. "I-I mean, it's fine if you don't want us to know." "Girls gotta have her privacy, I suppose." Gotsumon agreed. "I mean, Idon't have any secrets since I died, but I was once a young... girl?" "Gotsumon!" "What! Digimon don't have the stuff you humans have to tell each-other apart!" She argued. "That's... nevermind, that's an argument for another time." Carrie turned back to Amelie. "...I could teach you how to Digivolve, I suppose... from what I know of others I'm really just a unique case."
Man, this was weird as heck. Catherine seemed like a good person, but this was getting a bit out of hand, at least for what respected to her. The whole cross-eyed thing, she meant; the questions that came soon enough were easily answered.
A somewhat confused expression ensued, before she began to talk. "I can confirm that I have a spirit, yet never evolved, yes. This... device? came with one; I thought all of them did the same? I can even show you if you wanna, no problem there."
The next questions were decidedly answered by shaking her head. "No, no and nope. Never felt the need to try and use it, so why would I?" For her, that was a valid and perfect reasoning; why would anybody want to turn into a monster if they had the choice of... not doing so? But apparently, her peer seemed to have a way different opinion. A confrontational opinion, while at it.
"Why would I lie to you?" She responded, shrugging. "Truth is I don't know much 'bout turning into a... thing? Not interested in learning how to evolve, either, but thanks for the offering."
This has gotten way off the rails way too quickly, in all honesty. At the moment, Amelie couldn't even. "As interesting as this tangent is, isn't it a bit... off-topic? You still haven't answered me if you have really decided to go down or not. We can talk about my device, the spirits it has and evolving over a cup of tea... later."
"I thought digivolving was one of those things that happened the moment you got- right, sorry, my spirit." A long silence followed as Carrie and Gotsumon argued in her head, her eyes shut and she entered deep, deep thought. She probably hadn't thought like this for a long, long time... not as an insult though, just a general statement, this would be a complicated and life-altering event if she chose to do it.
"...Let Gotsumon dig, but when we find the totem, you take it and hide it away so that I'll only use it when I'm 100% sure I'll need it." Carrie said, opening her eyes. "That way, I don't risk another Gotsumon but I won't be completely powerless if something bad happens."
Common misconceptions and anecdotal evidence seemed to be the order of the day. Amelie wasn't sure about what she was even hearing, but she just went with it what she was told, and a rather long stare at Catherine as she argued with was probably the blunt rock lady. Man, this was as awkward as it could get, and the worst part of it was that the brunette oddly felt like the third wheel in this ensemble.
Why could that be? Heck if she knew, honestly... gazing at the sky for a second as she waited for her peer's eventual judgment, she wondered if this really was the correct place for her and if she had made a good choice by deciding to come here. She was probably exaggerating about it too, given that she could choose to get away; getting back to Terminus and then boarding a Trailmon didn't look like it was too hard.
Before her mind could settle with a concise answer, Catherine talked again, finally reaching a conclusion, and something that seemed more or less... sensible? She could go with that plan, honestly. "That works for me." She said, handing back the D-Tector to her rightful owner. "Guess you gotta... get to work, then?"
Carrie took her d-tector back and ran it across her palm. The usual transformation sequence followed, and in Carrie's place was a rock monster two feet or so shorter than she was. It groaned and tried to roll her neck, but since she didn't have any it really didn't matter. "It feels so good to come out in the sun for once." The rock monster exclaimed, her voice now properly conveyed more like a woman who'd been smoking since she was fifteen than a large frog woman. "And she always locks her bedroom at night so I can't go out and have some fun either. Anyways, now I'm back in control, and I'm pleased ta meetcha." Gotsumon took Amelie's hand and shook it violently. "I'm Gotsumon, you have a brother, perchance? I'm sure Carrie'd appreciate the company. Or I could... but I digress."
She approached a small patch of land, humming to herself and cracking her knuckles, which she also did not have but still produced an audible cracking noise. The rock digimon began digging, tossing aside piles of dirt in record time. "So uh... any chance I could talk you out of taking that totem? It's actually really lonely in her head, you know. She's got dozens of voices in there but they're NEVER interested in listening. It's always "kill the sinners" this and "there's a cat in the yard, there's a cat in the yard" that and they never just wanna talk about men or what they think of Carrie's new hair or if they should start a Pro Wrestling circuit in Japan, just plain infuriating, Amy."