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It hurt more than the Doctor thought anything could hurt - but the reality of the situation had finally set in. K was gone, and in all likelihood, the Renamon he fell in love with would not come back as herself. As his tears finally dried out, the doctor was left with a very hollow feeling, like the giant hole that had just been left in his life. He would have loved to just 'fall back' for a bit, disappear and try to come to terms with everything...
... But right now, his work wasn't done. Leaving the girls in Stingmon's care, Mikemon gave a 'tsk', ear flicking at the sound of another water drip in the depths of Old Terminus. In his right hand was a simple flashlight, and strapped across his back was a thick lead case. Quite honestly, nothing about this seemed to sit right with him. Peeking his light up and to the right - finding himself at the corner of 'Fifth and Ox' - he cut off the power, and sat down on an old, derelict park bench.
Of all the places I thought I'd be the day after... He shook his head, keeping his eyes open. He wasn't followed, he didn't sense any data signal around him - ideal. All he had to do now was wait for his 'guest' to arrive.
It wouldn't take long for them to appear, a flash of white, the flutter of cloth, and with a bounding leap a Sorcermon had perched themselves upon the back of the rickety old bench before sliding down into their seat. Turning off blue eyes onto Mikemon with a look of concern. No answering smiles today as they set their own briefcase into their lap and inclined their head in greeting.
"Doctor Mikemon," 'Argent' spoke unable to mask the worry that left their gaze weighted and heavy as they glanced over the tired cat, taking in the listlessness of his posture, the thousand yard length of his stare.
". . .I brought you some things that might help in an emergency. Also groceries." She murmured tapping her gloved fingers lightly over the case resting in her lap.
It didn't take long for the other party to arrive. Argent: the Sorcermon student-researcher who had a knack for the Dark Area and occasionally attended a seminar or two at Whitewater Medical. For everything except the setting, one could simply see this as a meeting between a doctor and his dear colleague, but the novelty of that cover was far from Mikemon's mind at the moment.
"Argent." Mikemon returned the Sorcermon's nod, setting the lead case off to the side for the moment, blinking as the Sorcermon brought her own case. Dr. Cross got him something? "Groceries - right." It was going to take him a while to get into the swing of things without the fox around. If offered, he'd take that case in hand - and offer his own to the Sorcermon.
"Whatever you do, don't mess with that without gloves on." The cat's warning was sharp, not really keen on reliving what he had just dealt with in the past week. He'd give a sigh, moving to idly open the case, offered to him by Argent, on his lap. "Thanks for everything this last week, by the by. With everything going on... you were about the only one I could bounce ideas off of."
"Since when do I handle anything without gloves?" She asks with a soft laugh, but the emotion behind it was hollow unable to drag up the mirth needed even in jest to give the gesture life. Instead Argent took the case in hand, setting it down on her lap as she drew out an old fashioned pair of handcuffs and clipped the case to herself. Then with her unrestrained hand she reached out and rested it lightly on Mikemon's shoulder giving it a comforting squeeze.
"It was the least I could do," Whether she was referring to him bouncing ideas off of her or getting him groceries one couldn't be sure. However, cracking open the case he would find it to be an infini-store. A rather large one in fact, with lines of vials tucked into elastic along the top of the case. Just glancing over a few of the labels though. . .it was a small fortune in rare drugs, ingredients, and medications. Some of them legal, but incredibly expensive, others far from law-abiding, and more still that couldn't be gotten on any market black or white.
The infini-store section of the case though was filled with bags, and bags, and bags of groceries. Many pre-made meals that merely needed to be chucked in a slow cooker or stuck in a microwave. Easy things that didn't require much effort and could be cooked by Mikemon or anyone of his kittens.
"I've got eyes on the village. If/when she shows we'll be ready. When that happens. . .well I've got two tickets for an all expense paid cruise on stand-by."
"... Alright, point taken, but you know what I'm getting at." Mikemon's own chuckle muffled out into a sigh, looking on as the Sorcermon clasped that case onto her wrist. Seeing that specific action, well, the Doctor couldn't help but think that he might have made some sort of mistake.
Feeling that hand on his shoulder, he snapped back to the present, giving a nod as Argent confirmed his thanks. And looking into the Infini-Store revealed - "What the fuck?" Mikemon swore off the cuff, looking through even the top line of vials. Dangerous fungal spores, ground horn from high level Digimon, and a few other things that he couldn't even picture how the Sorcermon got her hands on them.
The infini-store, on the other hand, held a lot more sensible things, as well as what looked like enough cooking to handle for a month. And really, that was what he needed: he gave a soft smile at that warm sight, carefully closing the case in front of him. His ear flicked as Cassandra mentioned the village.
"... S-sure. I'd give it two to three weeks, I guess." Just how much had Argent got through? And she even had a cruise lined up? "... Can't tell if that's supposed to be for me and you or me and... well, her." It wouldn't be K, Mikemon was mostly certain at this point. "Still, thank you for all of this. I hope you didn't stretch your resources too thin to put this together."
"Pleasantries aside," Mikemon closed his case, opening a small, quick portal to set it down in his locked office, "I suppose we should probably get out of the middle of nowhere before we actually take a look at that." He gave a nod, right towards that lead-lined case.
"I'm owed a lot of favors Mikemon. A lot of favors and I keep collecting more. I've never been one to sit idle and what good is resources if you can't use them to help those you care about?" She muses offering him a small tentative smile. Nodding in agreement when it came to getting her brother and the case off the street as she opens a portal just big enough for the two of them and steps through.
Mikemon would recognize Team Metal Drives base, but not the room he was in. It was a large, thick, high security room with observation window and numerous lab equipment that had been moved into it. Once the portal had closed safely behind them only then did Cas unlock the case from her wrist and let her disguise drop. Revealing the tall, by Mikemon's standards, but relatively petite form of a female Baalmon.
"I actually have a digital cruise, a cabin for a two weeks in the northern mountains, two tickets to Australia, and an exclusive private digital volcanic hotspring spa resort lined up and at the ready. I wasn't sure which you'd prefer, but I tried to pick isolated difficult to track locations where you could be left alone if you wished." Cas explained as she set the lead case down on one of the metal tables before turning to her brother and kneeling low scooped Mikemon up into an all encompassing hug.
"You're my family. I love you. I'm so sorry we couldn't stop this." She murmured rubbing a steady hand up and down the cats back refusing to let go until he did. More then willing to hold him for as long as he needed.
"Well, you're ruthlessly efficient, I'll give you that much." Mikemon gave a sigh, taking a moment to shake his head. He hadn't exactly been silent before about how he felt about Cassandra getting this deep into the darker end of the Digital World, but it seemed that the other doctor thrived well enough in it. "But I get what you mean, I've had to cash in quite a few of mine this week."
That aside, it didn't take the two long to slip through that portal, Mikemon blinking as his eyes adjusted to the well-lit room. This had to be their base, but was this a new room? "Interesting - surprised you managed to get something this sterile out of this hole in the wall. Though I guess this would have been the back-alley doctor's office before you guys took over?"
He was just guessing, turning away as the Sorcermon's disguise dropped to that of a Baalmon, turning back once the other doctor stood to her full height. And, wow, she really went all out on that expedition, didn't see? A cruise, something up north, even a trip to Australia. A bit overwhelmed, he almost didn't realize he was scooped up, until those arms were already tightly hugging around him. It took a moment, but he returned the hug himself, a 'tsk' escaping his fangs.
"Trust me... I turned over every rock I could to see if there was another way around it. Tch..." He held into that hug for a few minutes, before finally motioning to be set down - the cat taking a minute longer to bring his focus up.
"That said... you've chosen quite the solution for this." He set his eyes on the case on the table. "You sure this is how you want to handle things?"
"This is where they kept Breach when they were trying to turn him into a bomb. It's the most secure heavily warded room we have in the entire base as well as one of the most sterile. You could stick a raging demon lord in here and you'd only get a low ping in Tenebrous on advanced scanners that know what they're looking for. Past that you're invisible to Terminus and anything above." She explained only releasing Mikemon once she was certain he'd had enough though she kept her hands resting lightly on his shoulders her eyes gentle. Even tugging him forward lightly as she pulled down her scarf to place a light kiss on his forehead.
"I had a few ideas, but. . .honestly all of my solutions to save her were worse then the warriors death she would have faced." Cas murmured finally standing once more as she strode over to the case. Pausing to stare down at it for a long silent moment in contemplation.
"Same with all the solutions I could think of in terms of dealing with Wisemon. Every choice only put off the inevitable. If we didn't deal with it one day it would be your children's problem or their childrens, or their children's children. Ending each time with the evil sealed, and locked away time and time again in a continuous vicious cycle of dread, hatred, and fear. The only way I know to destroy a villain is to make them no longer a villain." She spoke carefully cracking the case as dark light spilled from within. The scent of virus data caustic and heavy filling the room as Cas pulled on a pair of welding gloves and grabbed some tongs. Using those to open the case fully to reveal the totem nestled within the box.
It was a hooded robed figure, it's face obscured and impervious to sight, carved from what looked like the blackest obsidian to have ever been hewn from the heart of volcanic rock. The stone seeming to swallow the light itself as Cassandra lifted it from the case with her tongs and carried it across the room to a tall cylindrical machine big enough to fit a tall human-sized digimon within which the totem became suspended as soon as the Doctor placed it within, a force field springing up around it.
"Emma and I designed this. It was made to contained a D-reaper core. . .if I ever managed to pull one from a nest. However it'll do just as well for our purposes now." She explained eyeing the floating totem with an unreadable expression.
"Explains how they were able to keep that whole mess down here in Terminus..." The cat let a 'tsk' out, but let the topic slide away as quickly as it came. Released from that hug, the cat gave a nod to Cross' assessment.
There were alternatives, but none that would have left K as the same person, and each with an incredible amount of risk and breaking several moral codes. And even the cat's initial idea in what to do with Wisemon's data didn't pass Cassandra's muster - what fate would have been wrought on whatever spirit wielder this totem would have been destined for? What if someone touched it by accident, and was overwhelmed with the sorcerer's malicious will? That sheer evil would persist.
And the only way to solve it was to make it no longer evil. That case was cracked, and that wicked totem was exposed to the room. Cassandra spoke casually, explaining as she took a grip around the totem - but Mikemon wasn't listening. The very instant that case was opened, the cat's fur stood on end, his pupils narrowing to pinpricks, focused right on that accursed totem.
Fangs bared. Claws tensed. Muscles taut. The data signal of a demon lord rippling right over his frame. The doctor's expression turned from calm to feral, simply even in the presence of that data signal - he tensed his claws into fists, forcing himself to stand back, until that totem would finally be behind the barrier.
That he was able to compose himself at all was probably a small miracle.
Perhaps it said something about Dr. Cross that she was so inured to data signals both holy and vile that she didn't even flinch. Instead she simply went through the safety protocols upping the shields around the containment as she started the scanning process to get a better look at the totems full data schematic. So intent on getting the thing locked down she didn't even notice something was wrong until a spike of Demon Lord data sparked across her senses causing her to half turn to blink those three crimson eyes at Mikemon.
"My apologies. I wasn't sure I could open the case inside the containment without complications. If I'd know..." She trailed off with a grimace fishing for an EV disk as she offered it out to him. "This is set to a comfortable temperature, but will give you some protection and muffle things." She explained, the disks infinitely useful as makeshift hazmat suits when needed.
"Do you want a detailed explanation of the process I have planned or. . .would you prefer ignorance and bliss?" Cas asked gently, "While I'd welcome your assistance I know this is hard for you. I can manage on my own if it's too much." She assured him not wanting to push her brother. Not so soon after everything had happened.
Honestly, it was questionable if it was remotely close to approach the smaller doctor at the moment. His stance was clearly in 'attack' mode, the feline blinking slowly as that disc was offered to him. He seemed to hesitate - and with a long, drawn out breath, he took the device in his hand, activating it, that veil of data quickly surrounding his frame.
One more deep breath. Then another. He was soon smoothing out the fur over his arms, giving a sigh as he nodded towards the doctor. "Part of its the data signal. Part of it's my own bias in what this data did to my family. Don't worry, though - I'll keep myself composed for this." The doctor gave a nod, his sister-in-spirit asking if he was good for this. Good to assist.
"... I'm too far invested in this to sway away from the specifics. I'll see this through to the end - its about the only way I'll settle it inside my own head." He regained his resolve, nodding to Cassandra, looking over to that device. "Though I am familiar with it - or at least an earlier draft of it. It acts as a dialysis machine to vastly oversimplify it, but what exactly are you separating away from the totem's data?"
"That. . .? No." She answered with a simple shake of her head eyeing the device the totem floated in as she wet her dry lips tasting blood and unsure how to polite reveal it's purpose. "That's a cage. While it's initially hooked up the the cities power supply it's designed to feed off of the energy of whatever is inside it to power itself. It's. . .well it's made to hold the worst the D-reaper can throw at us," Cas murmured leaving out that the worst was herself.
"This though," She added cheerfully as she picked up a pair of gloves and pressed a few buttons on them, small thin blades made of energy ejecting from the fingertips in a mockery of her own claws and Mikemon's threads, "This is what we'll use using since we can't handle the totem directly." She explained offering a pair of the gloves to him.
"The human mind is in and of itself basically a digital pattern where memories are formed due to neural connections woven within that pattern. A digimon's data functions similar. Basically we're going to go through and break the bonds between various memories and the data it's connected too. Leaving just pure data, no memories, no associations, a blank slate." Cassandra spoke laying out the plan before them.
"Then we take that data and my donated data and weave it together and form a shell as the data integrates itself and forms around the core becoming a new being made up of both Wisemon and myself with Wisemon's core. It's. . ." She trails off cheeks coloring a dark purple with an embarrassed blush.
"I am told it's functionally how new digimon are born only without the integration happening within the framework of the digital world and the egg appearing in the village. The forcefield will ensure that." Cas murmurs with a soft cough.
"The new being while possessing Wisemon's core and half of Wisemon's data will not in fact be Wisemon. The chance of them remembering their memories is slim and should it happen while traumatic the emotional connections between the memories and the core will have been severed. It will have been a different life, a different digimon." She explained eyes raking over the various equipment until her gaze settled on the suspended totem a small frown lingering on her lips.
"Unfortunately sifting through and breaking the neural connections. . .well it likely won't be pleasant. Since it's only a totem, a core if you will, it'll be easier then what I did with Hunter, but we'll have front row seats to what went on within the mind of a mad man."
"... Tch." Cassandra was messing with something like that? At a glance, he could picture it: horrible interrogation methods, forced data integration, the likes - the tool the doctor was mentioning was one much more suited for torture than anything else. As the actual tool, Mikemon's head tilted at the sight of that foreign glove.
One made for short range incisions? It didn't take long for Dr. Cross to get to the point: her intention was to perform the totem equivalent of brain surgery, and forcibly remove the Wisemon's memories from the data within - attempting to leave the data behind blank. At that, the doctor gave a blink - looking right from her to the totem - then back to the doctor.
"That... um... sounds pretty risky."
Really, the doctor was just trying to wrap his head around it. She was basically talking about breaking neural connections and packets to try and alter the data within, then patching out her differences with extra data. "First of all, any application of excess force outside of a specific range would instantly destroy the totem - and put the full egg back in the Village of Beginnings. As it is, you're talking about several hours of prolonged and continued focus."
He bit his lip. "I'm not saying its impossible. Of course, I'll be here to spot and keep you within an acceptable range. Even so, even if we are as meticulous as possible... don't be surprised if the end product still has some of the sorcerer's latent memories."
"The worry of losing the data to the village is why we have the containment unit, but I understand." Cas murmured turning to stare at the floating totem with a frown.
"You can't ever truly erase who you once were. Not completely. I know perfection is impossible and the road before me in this is hard, but that doesn't mean it is not worth it." She admitted as she found herself wondering not for the first time what her life might have been like had she not run those punks off of that decrepit dumpster that day.
"The gloves will keep us relatively separated from the data as we manipulate it and allow for more precise application of work, but that is all. Everything else is effort, time, and skill. A lot of time and skill. I doubt tampering with the memories of a mad man will be. . .pleasant." Cas explained as she pulled a hair tie from her pocket, binding her locks back and away from her face as she grabbed a medical mask and sweatband.
"But I've always been rather proactive when it came to tackling problems. Better this then waiting around for that totem to possess someone and come to kill us in our sleep."
Right. Mikemon adjusted his EV disk, taking a few moments to test his eyesight, narrowing his pupils between blinks to test his ability to see data. He slowly pushed that pessimistic side to the back of his head, simply taking Cassandra's words at face value.
Perfection was impossible. But it was still worth it.
If it were anyone but Dr. Cross, Mikemon might have left on the spot. But for her, for the scientist that saw him through so much of this, the cat kept his attention forward. Cross tied her hair behind her head, and Mikemon drew his crystal, ready to peer deep into the confines of that totem's data. "If its anything worse than what I've seen as a Demon Lord... you know what, fuck me, it probably is worse." He gave a sigh, nodding as his 'partner in crime' finished her preparations.
And heck, he'd even manage a chuckle.
"You mean kill me in my sleep. There's no evidence this Wisemon knows anything about you in particular: most Digimon underestimate humans." Especially in his era. But to that, he'd give a smile.
"But that just makes you perfect for the role. On your mark, then."