No response yet, but I'm hopeful. Here's chapter 2.
Second Coming: Providence
Chapter Two: Merger
TK sighed happily as he signed the last paper. At last, all the paperwork needed for him to transfer to Odaiba Elementary had been completely finalized. All he had to do was drop them off at the main office tomorrow. Then he’d finally get to see the others again! Well, Mimi was still living it up in America and Matt had told him on occasion that Joe was practically a ghost due to all the studying he did. But it seemed worth it at the rate ol’ reliable was tearing through his exams and advancing in medical school.
He counted on Tai to have wild hair and a soccer ball just as much as he counted on Izzy to have a laptop glued to his fingers. And since his band hadn’t gone on tour yet, TK could finally see one his brother’s concerts in person. As for Sora... The blonde could feel a small smirk tugging at his mouth and his cheeks heat up at the thought of the older Digidestined in one of those frilly schoolgirl uniforms. TK shook his head at himself. I guess I haven’t completely gotten over that stupid crush...
Vowing to never let Matt or Tai know of it, TK turned his thoughts to the girl he still considered his best friend. He hadn’t seen Kari in so long… They wrote each other often enough but it wasn’t the same as a good old fashion hug. With any luck they might even have a couple of the same classes together. Life was gonna be so sweet...
A sudden sense of guilt settled upon the Chosen Child. It wasn’t as though Setagaya was a bad place to live, honest. The people were as kind there as anywhere else in the world. He had even heard whispers of some of his closer friends throwing him a going away party, which was more than he deserved, apparently. He’d be sure to find the time to write them once he was settled in Odaiba.
With another sigh, this one more tiresome, TK sealed the envelope and placed it on his desk. A sudden throbbing ensued in his head, and the boy released a frustrated breath of air. He massaged his temples in a futile attempt to stop the pain. TK had been having headaches all day and it was getting really old really fast. Like before, his vision grew black, until he could no longer see anything. Then a vivid flash of gold entered his retinas. The bright light faded until his vision returned to normal. It seemed that every time whatever it was happened, it took a bit more out of him.
TK, suddenly feeling out of breath, yawned. Was it just him or did his eyelids suddenly have lead weights on them? Only a little past six in the evening and he was beat. Maybe he was coming down with something. The boy trudged over to his bed, practically collapsing on the soft surface.
Sleep came easily enough, but conscious-less bliss did not await him. Instead, the boy was treated to his own private glimpse of hell on earth. TK turned and twisted, an intense frown marring his face. Dark and deformed figures lurked in his dream. Godforsaken images of some horrible state of war. He saw a lot of people he had never met before. But some of them he most definitely recognized as older and grittier versions of his brother and friends.
With shuddering, hollow breaths, the blonde awoke eyes wide as sweat of terror soaked his bed linens. A low pinging sound echoed through his room, and TK froze for a moment. He slowly sat upright and creaked his neck to look at the source of the noise. An older boy was sitting at his desk, strongly resembling... someone from the dream. The pale moonlight spilling from the window made it much easier to discern the visitor’s features than the reflection from a pool of blood.
The figure had broad, masculine shoulders built up by years of struggle and exerting oneself. Cream-colored robes cloaked the imposing figure, somehow looking familiar. Something metallic and golden was strapped to their wrist, TK noted. Sunglasses with a jagged frame around the ears and yellow lenses shielded his eyes. Blonde hair darker and longer than his own was cropped atop his head in spiked strands that defied gravity; only two bangs hung over his shades. What struck TK the most was that in those unruly blonde locks were a pair of goggles that looked very familiar.
The pinging noise was coming from the stranger’s dexterous hands flipping an octagonal object like a coin. It took TK a moment to realize what it was.
The other blonde abruptly halted his tossing, snatching the tool out of midair and peering at it with a forlorn expression. Then he snorted in amusement. “I’d almost forgotten how dinky these things were.”
TK set his feet on the floor, facing the intruder. “And I suppose you have something better?” he asked in a sardonic tone. Even though he was slightly alarmed by their presence, the boy couldn’t find it in himself to feel threatened. “You’re the guy from the dream... Am I still asleep?” TK asked himself.
“It’s more like you’re about to wake up to a nightmare, really,” the young man responded gruffly. “But maybe when all is said and done, it will seem like a bad dream. Hopefully.”
TK opened and closed his mouth a few times before shaking his head, completely bewildered. “Hold up, hold up,” he finally said with a raised hand. “What are you talking about, exactly? What are these messed up dreams all about? Who the hell are you?”
“Who am I?” the older boy repeated rhetorically. He removed his sunglasses to reveal a pair of weary blue eyes that were crisp around the edges. “I think you have some idea but...” A familiar yellow symbol resembling a keyhole glowed at the center of his chest. “Three guesses.”
Again the young boy seemed at a lost for words, gapping much like a fish out of water. “How?” he decided to ask.
Takeru chuckled bitterly at the irony. He had asked himself that question so many times it hurt. Now he was literally asking himself, and it didn’t seem to sting at all. Maybe that’s because I won’t just be dwelling on mistakes for once.
The older boy cleared his throat. “It’s extraordinarily complicated, actually. But the gist of things is, basically, I’m you from several years into the future. I don’t think I need to mention that things in my world... didn’t turn out very well.”
TK shook his head, looking the faintest bit nauseous. “I do have a question, though,” he said, peering at the worn headgear resting in those blonde locks. “You’re me, so why are you wearing Tai’s goggles?”
Takeru glanced upward before sighing. “The reason one wears these goggles cannot be explained, only felt. Only known. And, well, they are sort of a memento, a homage even, to those who wore them before me.”
“‘Those who wore them’, as in plural?” Now that he thought about it, one of the images he had thought were of Tai did look a little different. He just hadn’t the time or focus to rummage through them.
“Yeah, there was another guy that passed them onto me,” Takeru informed with the tiniest of grins. “He’ll be a bit of a jerk at first, but I think you’ll like him. About the goggles though; all of that aside, the leader usually does have a pair.”
TK’s blue eyes widened. “So... you actually become the leader at one point?”
“Became the leader,” his future self corrected. “Things are not going to be the same this time around,” he said with grave certainty. A haggard sigh escaped him. “Sad to say there probably weren’t any better choices at the time. TK, the person I had become... was the only one who could have lead a ‘victory’, hollow as it was.” TK could hear traces of a detached shame in his older self’s tone, and wondered exactly what he had done to feel such a way of his actions.
With a jolt, something occurred to the younger blonde. TK stood, asking, “What abut Patamon? What happened to him?”
“Relax,” Takeru said, also standing, clamping his rugged hands onto the boy’s shoulders. TK blinked at the impressive height at which his future self stood. “Patamon made it through everything, of course. He was reverted to a Digiegg in the end,” he said, frowning as the boy before him flinched, “but certainly still alive. I brought his Digiegg back with me, actually.”
“Oh,” he said, calming. “That makes about as much sense as everything else, I guess.” He glanced around the room. “So, where is it? Don’t you have it with you?”
“What, Patamon’s egg? Well...”
With hushed breathing, the small Rookie peered through the bushes as another patrol of enslaved Digimon passed by. Their glowing red eyes, strong with mindless pursuit, scanned the area. Even though it was dark, and he was pretty good at hide and seek, Patamon was worried he would still be found.
Being predominately white and orange did little to add to his stealth in the greenery. But it wasn’t his color scheme that revealed him. No, it was the omnipresent, inconveniently placed twig, always present whenever the good guy was trying to hide, that foiled him.
One of the hunters, a Snimon, rounded on the noise. The not-so-jolly green giant reared back its metallic forearms. “Twin Sickles!” the Insect type shouted. With a double slash, an X-shaped blast of violet energy was launched at Patamon. The Rookie yelped and rolled out of the way. He looked back at the decimated tree and gulped. He really wished TK or Agumon were here.
But they weren’t. He was separated from the others and would have to fend for himself. Patamon flapped his wings and took the air. He drew in a deep breath, his body expanding in size. “Boom Bubble! Pah!” Patamon shot a blast of condensed air that rippled as it hit Snimon directly in the face. The opposing Champion merely hissed as if it were hit by an unpleasantly rough gust of wind.
I should really eat some anchovies and onions. That might put him down, Patamon thought to himself with a scowl.
Snimon made to attack again. Patamon braced himself, preparing to dodge. “Twin- eh?” Snimon halted its strike as a strange sparkle from the dense forest caught his eye. Suddenly, a golden beam of light shot out from the dense woodland and collided with his chest. The mantis was bowled over and sent skidding along the ground. A deep trench trailed behind him before the top of his head impacted with the base of a tree. Snimon slumped, appearing thoroughly knocked-the-hell-out.
Patamon, a little slack jawed, glanced back and forth between his downed adversary and the spot where the light came from. At the thought of more Digimon Emperor slaves approaching, Patamon quickly flew to the still fading glow. Whoever had done that... whatever it had been, was now his new best friend.
Next to TK and Gatomon, of course.
The light had completely receded before the bat-pig could locate the source. He came to a tree that he could have sworn was where the illumination had been. He circled it from top to bottom several times but found nothing.
Here... a deep voice echoed from within the tree. Patamon dubiously glanced left and right, a little unsure he hadn’t imagined that. It was a rather stressful day. Tentatively, he reached his paw out to the trunk, instantly recognizing it as a false bottom when his limb fazed through it.
He crawled into the hideout-tree, eyes widening at the sight. Before him was a Digiegg of royal blue color, with sacred markings in gold on the front. An almost foreboding sense of power exuded from thw small object. This is what had saved him? A Digiegg?
“What the-” The holy emblem began to glow, cutting him of. The center of the symbol shot out a ray of golden light that hit Patamon in the forehead.
“Whoa, hey! Come on with that!” Patamon shouted as he swatted in front of his face. When the light stopped blinding him, Patamon opened his eyes to see...
That he was not even remotely in the same location. He stood atop a mountain surrounded by clouds, which brought Patamon a sense of tranquility. He suddenly felt at ease, fulfilled even. As though laying eyes on this place was something he had needed all his life. It was at this moment that he noticed another presence standing not too far away from him.
A towering figure stood opposite of Patamon. Sleek armor of blue and silver with intricate, gold designs covered the figure from top to bottom. He wore the Crest of Hope proudly in the center of his chest. A golden tapestry written in angelic, scarlet runes covered the front of his waist downward. It was a most impressive sight, even without the ten golden wings protruding from his back.
Perhaps Patamon wasn’t seeing correctly, but it looked like the figure had Gatomon’s Tail Ring on his left ring finger.
I feel like I’ve seen him before...
“Hello, Patamon,” the armored Digimon greeted cordially, a metallic undertone resonating in his voice.
“Hello,” Patamon drawled carefully. This was turning into one weird day. Even for him!
Several moments passed as the Mega considered his once-self. Had he always been that pudgy? Shoving those thoughts, he spoke. “I am here to make you an offer, Patamon.”
“An offer?” the bat-pig asked, arching his left wing slightly.
“Yes,” he confirmed with a nod. “Should you accept, I will afford the entirety of my power and wisdom unto you,” the Seraphim Digimon proposed grandly.
“All of... your power?” Patamon again repeated, though in awe instead of suspicion. He could, just from speaking with him, tell that this being had phenomenal, earth-shattering power. It radiated off of him in waves, just as it did with his friends in their Mega forms, if not more so. That was a lot of power.
“Do you think that would be enough to beat the Digimon Emperor?” he asked, tilting his head.
The armored angel stared at him for a moment before chuckling kindly at the Rookie’s naivete. The sound was of clashing sabers and shooting stars. Seraphimon shook his helmeted head, raising his right arm and curling a gloved hand into a fist. Thunder sounded as a golden Excalibur shot from the forearm scabbard. The blade held a majestic glow as it hummed softly.
Patamon eyed the blade in almost childlike wonder and revere.
“With a single swipe of this blade, I could do away with the ‘Emperor’ and his forces. Not that I would,” he amended, sheathing the sword. “Allies you can fully trust are hard to come by.”
“Ally? Him, the Digimon Emperor who enslaves Digimon to do his bidding?” Patamon asked with downright disbelief.
“He is merely a confused and angry boy,” the Mega said dismissively. “Though it will be a pleasure to slap some sense into him.” He shook his head again. “But there are far more powerful enemies that lie ahead. One of whom is undoubtedly several times more powerful than all four Dark Masters combined.”
Mouth slightly agape, Patamon blinked. “You want me to defeat an enemy like that? W-why would you come to me instead of someone else, like Agumon? He’s strong.” Patamon glanced down miserably. “And I’m... not.”
“Agumon is indeed powerful,” Seraphimon agreed with a slight nod. “And I know you look up to him. Literally. But even he has his limits. For you, however, such confines do not exist; your power can grow almost infinitely. And I will help with that, should you allow it. I know concretely that you and your human partner are only ones who can defeat this adversary.”
“You know TK?” the Mammal Digimon asked in a slightly defensive tone; Bonds between humans and Digimon were a personal thing, after all.
Beneath his helmet, Seraphimon frowned slightly in thought. Did he know TK any longer? This TK, who remained untouched by the horrors of war? “I know your partner,” he replied. “You will be meeting him again very soon, actually.”
“How do you know that? How do you know all of these things?” Patamon asked with wide eyes.
The larger Digimon thought carefully about how to respond. “I have... seen... the future. A future. One in which this terrible enemy destroys everything you love.” Patamon noticed as the powerful figure briefly stroked the ring on his finger. “You lacked the what was needed, and gained it too late. In the end, the battle was won. But you lost everything else.”
Silence ruled them for several moments. Only the slight shift in wind around them had the bravery not to adhere to it.
Patamon’s troubled eyes shifted from the earth beneath them and the clouds surrounding them several times. Finally, he looked at the Digimon before him. “This future... You lived it, didn’t you?”
The Seraphim Digimon hesitated for a moment. “Yes,” he answered truthfully.
The bat-pig sniffed lightly, hot moisture gathering in his eyes. “You’re me... aren’t you?” he asked in a shaky voice.
Patamon covered his eyes with his wings and lie down on the ground. “This can’t be happening. This cannot be happening,” he whimpered. “We fought too hard for it to end like that. It’s no... It’s not fair!”
Seraphimon could not help but wonder at the fact that the exact sentiment had passed through his mind, almost word-for-word. He gathered his wits, reminding himself to tell Patamon that there was still hope, and that the symbol on his armored chest did mean something.
“It happened. In my time,” he gently reminded the bat-pig. “You have a chance now, to alter the fate of the Digidestined and the Digital World. You have a chance now to attain a different outcome. You have hope.”
It seemed that the words fell on deaf ears, at least at first. Then, Patamon removed his wings from shielding his closed eyes. He drew himself up to his rather unimpressive height, neck craned to look up at the angel. His eyes opened, and they were not the same. The look was not the same.
It was no longer that of awe or fear. Patamon’s were the eyes of one prepared for any selfless sacrifice his commitment required. They were eyes laden with the strength to not only confront, but embrace any burden.
His were eyes the world was not yet ready to see.
“I accept your offer,” Patamon announced with a devoted voice. “No matter what the price. We. Will. Protect.” he vowed. “Tell me what I have to do.”
A thin but pleased smile graced the angel’s hidden face. “Yes. Yes we will.” Seraphimon gathered his thoughts. “This will be a difficult trial for you, however. It may take some time to fully assimilate my power. In order for that to happen, you must master the numerous forms I have acquired. Such a task would usually take several years for any one Digimon. But if the worlds are to survive, you must do it by no later then this time next year.”
Blue eyes widened slightly. Was this some sick cosmic joke? He had always been the slowest to reach any new level. It was like a messed up celestial running gag. Heck, Agumon and Gabumon reached Mega before he even hit Ultimate.
“What if I don’t master all of the Digivolutions in time? What if I fail?” the Rookie asked desperately, terrified by the consequences.
Patamon could almost feel the armored Digimon give a bemused grin beneath his helmet. “I know you can do it Patamon... for you have done it before.” Those encouraging words caused said rodent to slowly return the smile. “An opponent of this magnitude is far more powerful than any you have ever encountered. I can help you face the threat, but only if you are ready.” As his speech ended, Seraphimon became enveloped in the same golden light from before.
Again Patamon shut his eyes, but not because the light blinded him; he relished in its warm glow. The light empowered him, flooding him with strength the likes of which he had never felt before. Strength that would now be his to wield. When Patamon opened his eyes, they flashed from baby-blue to pure gold.
Determined not to let his prey escape, Snimon hacked through anything in his path. This left a large section of the forest looking as though a possessed lumberjack had trail-blazed through it. He was determined to spear that little rodent, and perhaps gain the favor of his master in the process. Just as he was about to butcher more vegetative life forms, a familiar pathetic voice called out to him.
“Looking for me?” Patamon asked rhetorically from a branch, his small arms cross. Snimon rounded on him, incensed by both the casualty with which the rat spoke, and the shade of gold in his eyes. It reminded him of that insufferable sucker punch he received.
Snimon charged the tree with an angry hiss. He lowered his sickled arm and raised it sharply when he was within range. Patamon flipped to under the tree branch and kicked off of it, the blade coming within centimeters of vertically severing him in two.
Patamon paid it no mind as he curled himself into a perfect ball and rolled straight to Snimon’s multiple feet. Unwinding, he raked his now very sharp ear against Insect’s leg, causing a light gash to appear. He probably could have taken the thing clean off, but this was an innocent Digimon, after all.
With another hiss, this one of pain, the Snimon took to the skies to give himself enough space to attack. “Twin Sickle!” The blade-shaped shockwave shot out toward the Rookie once more. Patamon rolled underneath the attack and jumped, inflating himself. “Boom Bubble! Pah!” Leaves rustled and the wind howled as the compact air-missile launched from his mouth.
The bat-pig winced as it connected with the mantis’ thorax, causing the blade at its left arm to bend with an unhealthy slant. He had been aiming for that damnable ring, but in his exhaustion from the fusion, his vision blurred. There was little time to end this before his body shut down, much like a computer needing to restart after new software was installed.
Patamon blinked as his vision cleared, revealing Snimon charging at him with the good arm raised to strike. Patamon raised his wings to a ninety-degree angle and made to headbutt the oncoming sickle. The collision of their appendages sired a few sparks as Patamon was sent back almost a dozen feet, ears ringing painfully. He looked up and grimaced. Snimon’s other claw was cracked at the two points of impact. He was really gonna owe this guy. Well, he’d just have to take it out of Ken’s hide.
Time to end the fight. Patamon drew in another deep breath and took aim at the staggering Digimon. “Boom Bubble! Pah!” The bomb of air hit the Dark Ring at Snimon’s abdomen, causing the Champion to stumble back a few steps. The menacing device cracked but didn’t break. One more ought to do it, he decided.
“Boom Bubble! Pah!” The last attack shattered the Dark Ring and blew Snimon off his feet and onto his back. Patamon breathed deeply as fatigue settled in. Before turning and heading back to the hideout-tree, he gazed upon the fallen Digimon, eyes once again blue. “Sorry,” he whispered painfully, rueful of the outcome.
Patamon trudged back to the tree. Slumping to the floor, he all but passed out.
“...it’s taken care of. Your Patamon and my Patamon have probably become one; like DNA Digivolving.” Takeru answered.
TK mouthed the new term. “I’ve heard of Warp Digivolving, but never DNA...”
“Hm? Oh yes, that’s before your time... Well not really. Technically you have seen it before, during that debacle with Diaboromon. It’s when two Digimon become one...”
“So, Patamon is going to be taken over by the future Patamon?” he asked quietly. His eyes widened in alarm. “I’m going to be taken over by you?”
The older blonde stared without remorse. “That was the plan, or so I believed. When I was sent back, I thought my mind would inhabit my eleven-year-old body. Instead, I was actually sent back. I hadn’t expected for us to be separate entities.”
“You were gonna take over my body? Just like that?” TK asked with a tone of repulsion.
Takeru merely nodded remorselessly. “Yes. Because I know that you’d do anything to save your friends. Even if it cost you your soul.”
“Yeah, well... you’re right. I would.” TK slumped against the bed. “Alright,” he said in a resigned tone, reaching out his hand. “Go ahead and body snatch me.” The boy looked up as he felt his Digivice being pressed into his palm.
“Easy. That was my original intention, and maybe it was a little messed up. But I suppose some ancient beings have more wisdom than myself... DNA Digivolving isn’t just one being taking over another. It only occurs when both the hearts and minds of two individuals are in complete harmony toward the same goal. If we were to become one, you would have to be willing to fight with me.”
Takeru stared down at his younger self for moment before sighing. “TK, I’m not going to lie to you. This isn’t going to pleasant. At all. I’m pretty messed up. And I’ve done some pretty horrible stuff to achieve my goals. You may not even be able to withstand the kind of experiences I had.” He paused letting that sink in. “But... if you can, if you’re strong enough, I have little doubt that we can save the world. Together. As one.”
TK clenched the Digivice tightly in his hand. White bars lit up on the screen of the device as his Digisoul spiked. He stood to face Takeru “I once promised my brother that I would never give up the fight. If I were to walk away from this because of fear for myself, that would make it nothing but talk. Let’s do this.”
Takeru nodded, feeling alleviated by the determination. He is strong enough. “Once our hearts and minds are in perfect unison, we should be able to merge.”
“Right.” TK drew in a cleansing breath and focused on his goal. He pictured them, all his friends, gathered together for one of their annual reunions, waving to him. The shadows of his enemies, past, present and future, lurked behind them, preparing to strike. There he stood, the only one who could see the evil beings. His voice failed as he tried to call out and warn his friends, his body paralyzed with fear. One by one they were picked off, unaware they were passing from this world to the next until it was too late.
I won’t let this happen... I won’t lose them a second time... After the shadows were finished with the Digidestined, they began to spread outward, consuming everything in this world and any other they could get their hands on. And I won’t watch this anymore!
Suddenly, the Digivice he held so tightly in his hand began to rumble and glow with a yellow sheen. It began to fly towards his older self, whose Digivice was reacting similarly, and he held a steel grasp. There bodies began to fly toward one another and their eyes meet in a mutual understanding.
“I won’t let it happen,” they uttered in unison, as extensions of the same being would. “Not ever again!” And with a vow more solemn than any other in the universe, their two Digivices clashed in an eruption of golden light.
P: 0174 6392 1824 (Battle)
SS: 1248 3772 6205 (Trade)