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Thread: (Digimon) Second Coming: Providence

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    Default (Digimon) Second Coming: Providence

    The chapter in its original form was too long, and needed to be broken into two posts. The original, uncensored version can be found in the following link, on ff.net. If there is interest, I will post the remaining chapters, and discuss the story here. Here is the link:

    http://www.fanfiction.net/s/4435514/...ing_Providence

    Enjoy!

    Second Coming: Providence

    Chapter One: A Glimmer of Hope

    “SALVATION CANNON!”

    For one brief moment in history, the world of the Dark Ocean was completely illuminated. The dull blacks and grays of the twisted world were obliterated. The light had no recognizable color, but it was blinding none-the-less.

    Takeru Takaishi raised his good arm to shield himself from the flying beach debris, the wind howling against his ears. It was an arduous task for the child of Hope, already suffering from exhaustion, blood loss, and various broken bones. But he stood his ground as best he could, planting his feet into the soft soil as he struggled to catch sight of the combatants. He had to see it... he had to see that ******* get deleted.

    A stray log thwarted the Digidestined’s efforts to stand. TK cursed as it crashed into his already sprained shoulder, causing him to lose his footing. The winds easily swept him up, drowning out any screams he may have emitted as they sent him crashing into the cliff. Rubble piled over TK’s form as he found himself growing weaker by the second.

    His eyes became glassy as he drifted in and out of consciousness. Between this realm and the next.

    No! He vehemently rejected the thought of death. I can’t... die... yet!

    Coming back to his senses, TK realized he was regaining his sight. He peeked through the cracks between the rocks to see that the light was withering. Taking deep breaths, he pushed the stones off of him. Blinking rapidly, TK took the moment to survey his surroundings.

    His eyes first came upon the motionless form of Neo Saiba, currently missing his head. Silently wishing he had the time to search for the head to keep as a trophy, he rose shakily to his feet. He looked frantically for the only other human on the battlefield.

    There in heap of tattered blacks and reds lay Takato Matsuki. His chest was rising and falling weakly, breaths coming in weak gasps... but he was still alive. TK didn’t have the time to fully heal him when Neo impaled his lung, but it would keep him from choking on his own blood until he could get sufficient treatment. The spinning in his vision was stopping; he was becoming numb to all pain. As his breathing calmed, the Chosen Child looked to the last of downed combatants.

    The Brave Shield lay in shattered fragments on the sandy beach. Every piece of his armor was battered, his flesh just plain butchered. Even the Dramon Destroyers had been broken off and cast into the sea. He had battled fiercely against the remains of Daemon’s evil forces, particularly in his final battle against Daemon’s advisor, Barbamon, who struck him down. He could only hope that there was enough time to pay his respects after viewing the result of the battle.

    He looked up into the darkly hued sky. The light was completely receding to the source now, allowing him to confirm his greatest hopes and fears simultaneously. It was a sight that brought more than deja vu to TK. Floating high in the sky as their forms dissipated from bottom to top, was Daemon, the self-proclaimed overlord of all existence, and Paladinmon, the DNA Digivolved form of his and Takato’s partners.

    Unlike when this exact event occurred between Devimon and Angemon almost a decade ago, there was no maniacal laughter. The Demon Lord Digimon stared in horror at his body, realizing his Super Ultimate Digivolution had failed him. Daemon wailed chillingly as agony in its purest form made itself known to him. His data was not simply dissipating… that attack was completely decomposing him. He would not be reborn into the Digital World; his data would not be reformed. This was truly the end for him. All his planning… all his plotting... all of his forces... had failed him.

    Good riddance.

    Paladinmon watched passively as the virus was deleted, just as inexplicably calm as Angemon had been when he first died. If one could see through his helmet, they would note his expression was one of complete acceptance. It was the look one attained when they became completely at peace with their place in the world.

    Takeru watched with horror as Paladinmon dissipated, but his subconscious listened with extreme vindictive pleasure as Daemon howled with pain unimaginable. After one final cry, Daemon became completely engulfed in the colorless, divine energy, erased from existence like an unwanted email.

    Seeing that his mission was complete, Paladinmon sighed, stopping his struggle to hold what was left of his Super Ultimate form. His body was enveloped in that same colorless light as he De-Digivolved, splitting into two small Digieggs. One was deep blue with a golden, holy symbol on it, the other a dark crimson with a black hazard symbol. With nothing to support them, the two eggs plummeted towards the dark ocean. TK knew that he had to act quickly.

    Move dammit! He commanded his weakened body. The Crest of Hope glowed faintly on his chest, his eyes glinting red as he struggled to fly. Love.

    He hovered an inch or two off the ground, pushing the wind beneath his feet. It was a fraction of what he was usually capable of, but it would have to be enough. Using every last bit of Digisoul he had left, Takeru jetted forward, flying over the deadly waters bellow. Large ripples were created as he flew with desperation. The Digieggs descended through the air quickly. Too quickly!

    I’m not going to make it! That simple thought of despair caused him to waver, almost sinking into the water as the glow of the Crest of Hope faded. No! No, I will make it. I will! With renewed vitality, TK continued forward. He flexed his arms, wincing as his broken humerus objected. He stopped directly under the path of the falling Digieggs, throwing his arms up to create a small gust to halt their decent. He caught them gently, handling them with great care. Sighing, his eyes began to glow grey as he stepped onto the water, creating a small wave to ride back to shore.

    Once there, TK staggered to Takato’s prone form. Setting the Digieggs down, he sat the other boy up by his shoulders, placing him against a large stone. Takato said nothing, still unconscious. TK placed the Digieggs into Takato’s crooked arms. Standing upright, he took a moment to look down at the sight. It struck him now that it was finally over.

    The war had ended.

    Takeru was on his last legs. It would only be moments before he blacked out, possibly to never wake again. But he had to bid farewell to an old friend first. He stumbled his way over to BlackWarGreymon. Once there, he collapsed to his knees, panting. He was vaguely aware that he was kneeling in the dark fluids BlackWarGreymon excreted from injuries.

    The Mega had shallowed breathing. TK knew that the control spire Digimon didn’t have long. As if sensing the presence of the Child of Hope, the Virus type opened its golden eyes weakly, turning them to Takeru.

    “Is it done?” BlackWarGreymon asked in a strained voice.

    “Yes. Paladinmon destroyed him.” His voice was deeper now, as one would expect form the sixteen-year-old leader of the Virus Busters.

    “Good.” The Virus Digimon laughed his dark laughter for a moment. Even though he had heard it many times before in the echoes of their battles, and even as subdued as it now was... it was still bone chilling to TK. BlackWarGreymon was quiet for a moment, contemplating. After a few more moments of silence, he spoke up. “What of the hamster and the glutton?”

    Takeru gave a ghost of a smile. “Reverted back to Digieggs, but still alive.”

    The Mega nodded slightly, what little armor remained on his head creaking. He jerked, coughing up some black substance. “I don’t have much time left… I’m dying soon.”

    He looked down at his faithful ally sadly. “Yes... I’m sorry.”

    “Don’t be,” he said, sounding significantly stronger in voice. “In this second life I have gained true purpose. Once he has hatched... tell the hamster I thank him for resurrecting me. Tell my story to any who ask to hear it: both the benevolence and the misdeeds. Leave none of my actions concealed, and let me be judged accordingly.”

    TK laid a hand on the Mega’s spiked shoulder. “You’ve done great work, BlackWarGreymon. We couldn’t have done this without your help. You’re beyond judgement now.” The Digidestined grinned humorlessly. “And on Patamon’s behalf, thanks a lot lizard-lips.”

    BlackWarGreymon chuckled lightly as his eyes glazed. “You’re welcome... rodent.” With that, his head tilted and his breathing stopped. The Digimon made from one hundred control spires burst into a black cloud of corrupted data.

    The Digidestined watched with a range of emotions, the most notable of which was surprise. Unlike all the other Digimon made from control spires, BlackWarGreymon had dissipated in data instead of simply falling apart. That meant he would be reborn in Primary Village... whenever it was rebuilt.

    He sighed once more as he stood. TK started making his way over the black sand towards Takato before he froze, his injuries catching up to him. His eyes rolled back into his head as he crumpled forward. Darkness claimed him.

    Takeru’s eyes snapped open the moment he regained consciousness. Virus Busters rule number one: never be caught without your Digivice, as long as you have it, you and your partner may survive. He looked to see it lying on a dresser, its gold and white design glinting from the lamp.

    Virus Busters rule number two: always know the whereabouts of your Digimon partner. Lifting his upper body, TK looked to his left, brightening as he saw a blue Digiegg resting peacefully on a pillow near his head.

    Virus Busters rule number three: always be aware of your surroundings. TK only had to glance out of a window and see a school of fish swim by to confirm he was in Gennai’s house.

    Now all he needed to know was how he got here, and where was Takato.

    He picked up the scent of baking. A lot of baking. He sighed in relief. Takato’s okay... but how did we get here? He was certainly in no shape to carry me. TK threw the covers off of him, feeling his left arm and ribs to be wrapped in bandages but otherwise fine. I’m almost completely healed... How long have I been out?

    Sighing, TK sat in an upright position, noting he was wearing Gennai’s robes and underclothes. Having not worn anything but his usual green uniform for a number of years, TK was reasonably uncomfortable.

    But it was just as well. He was tired. Tired of being marked as the Digidestined of Hope when there was none. Tired of being the leader of the Virus Busters when he had just gotten all but two of them killed. He rummaged through his hair, feeling the goggles still strapped to his head. He sighed again, not for the first time wandering how they would have handled it. Not a day went by that he didn’t wish Tai or Davis were around to succeed where he failed. He was no leader.

    Sure, he had been something of a go-to-guy, a second-in-command even. But those situations weren’t marginally as dangerous as the terror Daemon and his army presented. It hadn’t been a ‘hey there are those Digidestined on that cliff, let’s go attack them’ sort of thing. It had been a God-dammed war.

    But hey… who would have thought that Daemon had been building his forces after Ken sent him into the Dark Ocean? That he had followed the same rift that Ryo had between this Digital World and the other? That he would find the D-Reaper program and adapt it to himself? Who would have thought that he would have raised Hell’s army practically overnight?

    No ****ing one, apparently.

    It was quite an interesting story if one wasn’t too scarred to hear it. It began long before even the original Digidestined had been summoned to battle evil. The original Digital World, the one in which TK and his late friends had their adventures, was becoming massively overpopulated by Digimon. Yggdrasil, the closest thing the Digimon had to a God, sought to remedy the situation by creating another Digital World where there would be enough space for Digimon to continue growing.

    It succeeded, copying only the bodies of the four Sovereigns and a small number of other Digimon into the second Digital World, while taking almost half of the Digimon in the original DigiWorld with them, erasing all of their memories of the original Digital World. Thus creating enough space for all to thrive.

    But this act left Yggdrasil far too weak for a return trip back to the original DigiWorld or even to close the rift that connected both Digital Worlds. Without the strength to maintain its form, whatever the hell it had been, Yggdrasil broke down, reformatting into the creatures known as DigiGnomes and a Digimon known as Calumon, the greatest source of Digivolution in the second Digital World.

    Digital life did not recycle the same in the second DigiWorld as it had in the original. The data belonging to defeated Digimon, instead of reformatting in a safe haven such as Primary Village, was simply up for grabs. It was a crude but effective way to keep the population under control. But it also meant that any Digimon within the second Digital World could upload the data of another.

    Apparently, Yggdrasil had created contingency plans of Digidestined coming to the original DigiWorld in case they were ever needed. The ‘God’ did not have time nor power to relay this message to the Digimon Sovereigns of the second Digital World, which lead to a parallel Real World. This lead to a single DigiGnome finding and implanting the thoughts and programs of Digimon into the mind of Shibumi, one of the ‘Monster Makers’ of the parallel Earth that the Tamers hailed from.

    That one DigiGnome must have been the strongest incarnation of Yggdrasil, because it relayed visions of the Adventure Digidestined and the hardships they faced, up until they destroyed Armageddemon. Shibumi had not only started the program to ‘make up’ Digimon, but had also written the ‘storyline’ for the ‘television series’ of the parallel Earth. None of which he ever got credit for. This was all in accordance to Yggdrasil’s plans to bring the Tamers into the second Digital World. The only thing the ‘God’ had not anticipated was the creation of the D-Reaper program.

    That single miscalculation lead to the near destruction of both Digital Worlds and Real Worlds alike. Daemon had found the rift the connecting the two Digital Worlds, searching for methods of gaining strength. Unfortunately, Daemon had found this portal only a few months after the D-Reaper had waged war on the second Digital World and destroyed over half of it.

    Impressed in a way only a psychopath could be, he and his followers had blended in stealthily, searching for what had caused such destruction. Inevitably, Daemon had found the D-Reaper program and adapted it to himself, giving him a frightening boost in power, and the ability to upload some of his own data and power to his disciples. The Demon Lord then fought and killed the four still-weakened Digimon Sovereign, uploading their data.

    That had truly marked the beginning of the end. With more power than any Digimon before him, the evil ******* waged war against three unsuspecting worlds. The Daemon Corps were no longer a small band of Ultimate level Digimon; among their ranks were Mega-levels and plenty of them.

    The parallel Earth had been far too easy for them to conquer. With so few Tamers to stand against them, and the complete uselessness of modern weaponry against the Digimon, the Daemon Corps had almost completely taken over Takato’s world. But ultimately, thanks to the Adventure Digidestined, they failed.

    Things had been far more complicated in the Adventurer’s Real World. Not necessarily better, just more complicated. With so many more Digidestined in this world, the battles were far grander.

    They had been disorganized at first. It was just about every Digidestined and Digimon partner for themselves. Daemon was merciless and unrelenting, fully using that to his advantage by ordering the slaughter of straggling Digidestined one by one. But Davis had managed to rally them all together in the Digital World, forming a massive army known as the Digidestined Alliance.

    The governments of the world were of little to no help. Barbamon was a cunning *******. The first thing he had done when attacking their world was destroy the United Nations headquarters. By destroying the center of unity that a large portion of the modernized world held, the Daemon Corps were able to capture a large number of cities that the Digidestined couldn’t defend. Some nations even turned on one another, blaming other countries for the destruction. Divide and conquer, as they say.

    They fought valiantly, every one of them, but it was a losing battle. With so many Mega Digimon to combat, only a handful of the Digidestined were able to actually make a difference in the battles. Imperialdramon, WarGreymon and MetalGarurumon were the only Digimon they had that could stand up to the strongest of the Daemon Corps. But there was one other Digimon who proved able to defeat Daemon’s Mega-level henchmen.

    MagnaAngemon. While not a Mega level, he was still as strong as WarGreymon and MetalGarurumon. This was the reason that TK, along with his brother Matt, Tai, Davis and Ken lead ‘platoons’ whenever they were not stationed in their home base. This was largely because of the primary need to protect groups from the evil Mega Digimon. At least long enough for backup to arrive, in TK’s case.

    Davis and Tai wanted to focus the attention of the army on being able to destroy all the Mega Digimon first, theorizing that the virus army would fall apart without them. But their primary concern was protecting as many people as they could. They realized that they either needed more numbers, more Mega Digimon on their side, or, preferably, both. With little other choice, they turned to the Harmonious Ones for help.

    The four Mega Digimon, still weakened from being sealed for so long, decided that they could open a portal into the second Digital World and search for help there. Of course, nothing was that simple. Their strength was limited to send four beings: two Digidestined and their partners.

    TK had volunteered for the mission, stating that, while he and MagnaAngemon could hold off the Daemon Corps, they were not key players like the Mega-levels. Kari then volunteered, reasoning that she and TK worked well together. As a testament to his maturity as a leader, and as a person in general, Davis did not shout an objection or try to knock off TK’s hat. He considered the reasoning for a moment before nodding, telling them to be careful.

    That mission had not... ended... well. But after a grueling trek through the Daemon controlled world, the two Digidestined had managed to find the Tamers. After stunned silence, and several explanations of their quest, the Tamers became convinced that by attacking with the Digidestined, the attacks on their world would cease. Most of the Tamers had gone to fight with them, but Kazu, Kenta, Suzie and a number of other Tamers stayed behind to continue the battle on their front.

    The Child of Hope and the Tamers returned to the original Digital World to find their theory correct. While the Daemon Corps had not completely withdrawn from the parallel Real World, all Mega and most Ultimate level Digimon returned to the first Digital World to wage war. That had made things significantly less demanding for the parallel Earth; winning more struggles than before with less numbers.

    With their forces fully assembled, they began to turn the tide of the war. Battle after battle after battle, they were victorious, taking back cities and reuniting countries. Naturally, there were some hefty losses, but on a war scale they were outweighed by victories. It seemed inevitable that they were going to be triumphant.

    If only things had been that simple...

    During all that time, during their victories and defeats in those two and a half years of war, Daemon had not been resting. He was reformatting the massive amount of data he had acquired during his conquest of the second Digital World. Taking on a new form, he had Digivolved to the Super Ultimate level, something they hadn’t even known existed.

    He had shown himself to the entire army as they gathered. With a simple flick of his wing, Daemon had killed off forty Digidestined and their Ultimate level partners. Experienced in the art of war and knowing when to run, Davis ordered a full retreat. Daemon had no intention of allowing them to escape. He was planning on finishing the Digidestined once and for all.

    So few had survived that attack. That massacre. It had taken the sacrifice of four Digidestined and Imperialdramon Paladin Mode fighting with all of his strength to allow them to escape. Were it not for the Demon Lord’s inexperience in fighting in his newly acquired form, he would have to destroyed them all. As it was, Imperialdramon had been able to revert Daemon back to his Mega form at the cost of his life.

    With their leaders and most powerful ally’s defeated, the Digidestined had been forced to run for sometime. Divided, they fell one by one. TK had tried to lead what was left of their army as best he could, but he was no Davis or Tai. Rallying a group of people into a powered frenzy in those circumstances wouldn’t have been easy for anyone, and for TK, it had been nearly impossible.

    Nearly.

    Desperate and with dwindling numbers, Takeru methodically rebuilt what was left of the Digidestined. He formed rules, battle plans and escape strategies, renaming them the Virus Busters. He turned to the Sovereign, imploring them to each contribute a portion of their power if the worlds were to survive. With only seven of them left, and two able to reach Mega level, it would not have taken much of the Sovereigns’ power. For the Digimon unable to go to Mega, each of the Harmonious Ones had given a Chosen Child or Tamer their own power core... except for TK. Azulongmon had been more than a little reluctant to render to TK the Sphere of Hope.

    Takeru’s eyes narrowed dangerously. Now he knew why, and he was going to give that judgmental son of a ***** a piece of his mind. He stood suddenly, only to quickly sit back down as his ribs cracked. Ugh. After I’m feeling better.

    Sighing, he threw on some of Gennai’s old boots and made his way to the kitchen, the scent of baking becoming much heavier with every step. He could hear the sound of furious munching and the occasional swearing. He smirked slightly. So that was who saved them.

    TK slid open the door to see Takato wearing the same robes as himself, with his pink ‘Kiss the Cook’ apron and baking in blurred motions. Beelzemon sat on the matted floor, griping about there being no chairs and spiked combat boots not going well with Japanese styled housing as he viciously bit into the bread.

    He sighed again, something he had been doing more and more of during the years. Baking was Takato’s productive way of remembering his parents, repressing painful memories of a world without them. Beelzemon never powered down from his Mega form after he had lost his Tamers. The red bandana they gave to him was worn, like his own goggles, but tied as tightly as ever around his arm. He mostly spent all of his time randomly picking battles against Daemon’s forces, riding through the DigiWorld on his Behemoth motorcycle.

    They both turned to him as he entered the room.

    Before either TK or Takato could speak, Beelzemon greeted him in his usual friendly manner. “So youse finally decided to wake up, you lazy bum?” his voice carrying the usual heavy New York accent.

    “Nice to see you too,” TK answered in deadpan.

    “You’re damn right it’s good to see me again! What would your sorry carcasses have done if I hadn’t swung by? You’d still be bleedin’ to death on that damn beach, that’s what!” He shrugged his shoulders in what seemed to be a sympathetic gesture. “Honestly, youse humans. Never lookin’ before you leap. You owe Behemoth a good scrubbin’ by the way; all that damn sand...”

    TK scratched his head, face still expressionless. “Well I hadn’t planned on things getting so bloody. Still, being attacked on two fronts made them weak enough for us to get by. If you and the other Digimon had come with us instead, their forces wouldn’t have been divided enough to penetrate. At least not without using too much energy.”

    The Virus devil gave a mock salute. “Whatever youse say Admiral Takeru. Probably right though. If I’d known where youse two was really headed, I would have tagged along.” He punched his palm. “Man, what I wouldn’t give to have seen that ******* deleted.”

    Takato cut in as Beelzemon groaned. “So how are you feeling, TK?”

    “I could ask you the same thing,” he answered quickly. “You were in much worse condition.”

    “You can thank the Sovereign for that,” Beelzemon answered as he snacked on a muffin, not noticing their darkening gazes. “They sent that Sorcerymon to heal youse two. Seeing as to how you’re both still kickin’, I’d guess he did ok.”

    Takato scoffed. “I guess we have something to be thankful to the Sovereign for... for a change.”

    Beelzemon blinked his three eyes. “What?”

    TK answered calmly. “Let’s just say we discovered an… unsavory truth about the Harmonious Ones. More importantly, how long have I been unconscious? And what’s the status of the Real and Digital Worlds?”

    Beelzemon leaned back against the wall, crossing his arms. “First, tell me what happened to Daemon. I want details, dammit!”

    TK walked to the stove as he began to boil some water. “You know, I could find out about everything from, well, just about anyone. But I’m the only eye witness to Daemon’s death.” While not entirely true, Patamon was still egged, and since Guilmon wasn’t scarfing down massive amounts of bread at the moment, TK assumed the same for him.

    The Virus Mega sighed, yielding to the thinly veiled threat. “Fine, ya grimy little punk. Youse will be glad to note that all of the Daemon Corps are dead. I guess it happened when the ******* died. And youse been a lump for a good two weeks now. Anyhow, your Real World and DigiWorld is all safe now, and I assume the same for ours,” he turned to Takato with the last statement.

    With a nod, TK accepted. “Good, good.” He then went on to describe the battle he and Takato waged against the world of the Dark Ocean.

    Beelzemon whistled. “‘Salvation Cannon’ huh? Sounds killer. Well good riddance to the *******.” He stood, grabbing a rough handful of baked goods as he prepared to leave. “Well, I’d love to stick around but some of us got work to do. Tell pineapple-head and Patamon I said,” he snapped his fingers, giving a double thumbs-up. “Aaay.”

    Takato sweat dropped. “That’s never gonna catch on...”

    “Yeah it will! Later chumps.” He was gone in a matter of moments.

    TK sat quietly, sipping on his cooling tea. Takato ate a muffin in silence, opting to drink coffee instead. They just ate inaudibly for what seemed to stretch into hours. It was their way of silently thanking one another for the support they gave each other in battle.

    Takato finally spoke up. “I want to check on my world. Make sure everything is taken care of.”

    “...”

    “TK?”

    “It’ll take both of us to open a portal.”

    “Right,” he agreed, standing and pulling out his D-Ultima. The Harmonious Ones constructed these special Digivices for the Virus Busters to use. Similar with one another in design and function, but unique to each of the seven members, these powerful devices performed almost all the functions of the D-3s, D-Terminals, and the D-Arcs... and so much more.

    Takato’s was shaped like a crimson dragon’s head, a blood-red fang-like design pattern running down the sides of both white grips. The end of the dragon’s mouth, located at the bottom of the Digivice, held a slot for Card Slashing/Digi-Modifying. In the center of the D-Ultima was the same hazard symbol from Guilmon’s chest, a square screen in the middle of it. To top it off, literally, was a horn like antenna. A clip on the back allowed it to be clipped similarly to the D-Arc, or strapped to the wrist. In a circle around that clip was the Digicode from his second D-Arc.

    Wordlessly, TK mirrored Takato’s actions. His D-Ultima was a near duplicate of the hilt of MagnaAngemon’s Excalibur, complete with a metallic wrist strap. The angelic runes held the tales of all his past battles and adventures. Two wing-like protrusions were located on the sides, along with two antenna shaped like the wings on Seraphimon’s helmet. The Sphere of Hope was contained where MagnaAngemon’s center gem would have been; taking the shape of a golden jewel that projected a viewing window when necessary.

    They each left to grab their Digieggs, unwilling to leave them unprotected. They meet outside the stairs of Gennai’s house to get the best reception possible. Once there, TK just stared at Takato.

    “What? What is it?” the Tamer asked.

    TK shook his head. “Nothing, it’s just... Are you really going to greet the forces of your world in an apron? A pink apron?”

    Takato flushed in embarrassment, scratching his head. “Oh, uh, hold on for a second,” he said in a rush as he shoved Guilmon’s egg into his arms. A few minutes later he emerged wearing only the robes. “Okay,” he said taking back the egg, “let’s do it.”
    P: 0174 6392 1824 (Battle)
    Name: M

    SS: 1248 3772 6205 (Trade)
    Name: Mack

  2. #2
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    Apr 2008
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    (Second half of Chapter 1)

    TK nodded, smirking slightly. As Rika used to say, no matter how tough he got, Takato was just a goof. They both held their D-Ultimas to the same point in the air. As one they called out, “Digiport open!” From thin air came a vortex in the space-time continuum. But it was not a ‘normal’ Digiport; this one was strictly for communicating, unable to travel to the parallel Earth unless in the second DigiWorld. These portals also happened to be extremely bright.

    Takato placed his red goggles on, his old blue ones ruined in their early battles. Takeru reached into his robes and pulled out a pair of shades with dark yellow lenses and a crooked, zigzag frame around the ears. Not too long after forming, the portal showed a startled G-man with blonde hair and dark sunglasses.

    “Takato!? Takeru!?” The man’s eyebrows became visible above his glasses, a clear look of surprise on his face. He calmed, saying, “We haven’t heard from you for so long,” expressionlessly.

    “Uh, hey Yamaki,” Takato said, glancing at the silently ominous TK. “I know I’m a few years past deadline, but we have something to report.”

    Yamaki glanced at their forms, noting their drastic changes in appearance. “Those must be Digieggs... and you’re both limped.” The man flicked his lighter for a moment. “You’ve come from a battle recently. I suppose that has something to do with the destruction of the Daemon Corps?”

    “Yes,” TK confirmed dully. “We’ve called to affirm the successful destruction of Daemon, as well as the Daemon Corps in World One and DigiWorld One. By what you’ve just told us, Daemon’s army has been destroyed in your world as well.”

    Yamaki adjusted his dark glasses. “That is correct. At first we suspected it was some kind of trap. They just started to dissolve, like the D-Reaper’s agents.”

    Takato nodded. “Makes sense. We’ve learned that Daemon uploaded some of his data to his cronies. Since this was after he uploaded the D-Reaper program to himself, they were all connected to him.” Whether they knew it or not Takato thought privately. He wondered if Daemon informed his subordinates of that nasty little surprise. Or if he himself had been aware of it. Oh well.

    “I see,” Yamaki muttered, satisfied with the report. It quailed so many suspicions. “Well, as the liaison between our world’s governments and the Virus Busters, I formally congratulate you on your victory.”

    And TK lost it.

    “Victory!?” TK whispered hoarsely, his face and tone redefining the word sneer. “Everyone and everything we’ve ever given a damn about is dead or ruin. Four worlds have forever been scarred by near oblivion at the hands of the ****ing Anti-Christ!” The child of Hope leveled the shocked government agent with a deadly glare beneath his shades. “Does that sound like a victory to you?”

    Yamaki simply stood, haunted eyes shielded by his sunglasses. “I... I knew you had suffered casualties but... all the others...”

    “What others?” TK asked lividly. “Yamaki. We’re the last.”

    “Yeah,” Takato sighed out dejectedly. “Two years ago, when TK called and told you we were now the Virus Busters, Daemon had just attacked us. By that time,” Takato’s head slumped, “there were only seven of us left. You probably noticed that you couldn’t reach any of us after that. The rift that connected the two Digital Worlds, the one that allowed you to contact us, was... closed. Without that rift constantly pulling in our messages to one another, the Daemon Corps could easily sense when we made, or attempted to make contact. We had to go dark.”

    The G-man flicked his lighter vigorously. “I see your reasoning. But... there were hundreds of you before you reformed into a small group. How could Daemon have defeated so many?”

    TK just stood silently, having no further use for speaking. That left Takato to answer.

    He cleared his throat. “You see, Yamaki, Daemon reached a new level of Digivolution: Super Ultimate. He killed off most of us when he attacked that day. In order to beat him, we had to become stronger than ever. And that... that took time.” So much time...

    “A level beyond Mega,” Yamaki repeated in shocked awe. “I didn’t even know such a thing existed.”

    “It doesn’t,” Takato said mistakenly. “I mean it does but it didn’t before.”

    “And so you managed to reach that level of power in order to defeat Daemon.” Yamaki almost gaped. “Incredible. You two don’t disappoint.”

    “Yes,” TK contradicted flatly. “We do.”

    Yamaki cleared his throat, feeling uncomfortable. “So… Takato,” he turned to the young man, “when will you be returning to our world? My superiors will want to discuss the security of our world with you when they hear you’re alive.”

    Takato simply blinked. An unseen gestured. Then he gave a sad smile, shaking his head. “Yamaki I... I’m not coming back. There’s nothing left for me there.”

    “...Takato, we need you back.”

    “I can do good for everyone by staying in this Digital World. No powerful enemies will come there looking for revenge or anything. And here, I can stop real threats before they start.”

    The man drew in a shuddering breath. “Takato, I implore you, please return to your home world.”

    “I am home,” he answered with much finality.

    “Dammit you selfish clod,” Yamaki snapped, losing his cool, “think about Suzie! Do you want her to be the last Tamer on Earth? Do you really want all the burden to be buried on an eleven year old girl!?”

    Managing to resist the urge to scoff, Takato merely grunted in frustration. “Don’t try to play me, Yamaki. I know neither you nor Mr. Wong would let that happen. Besides, Henry made a Tamer manual for just this occasion.” His face softened then. “And… give the Wong family my condolences.”

    Yamaki sighed, rubbing his forehead. “And there’s nothing I can do to change your mind?”

    “No.”

    Yamaki squirmed uncomfortably. “I feel like, I don’t know, I should say something more. I guess... goodbye and good luck.” He saluted them. “Thank you for everything.”

    Takato returned it. “Same here.” He nudged the immobile TK, probably cracking a few ribs.

    Sighing, TK mechanically gave a salute. “Your assistance was very appreciated,” he said in complete monotone.

    Yamaki dropped his salute. “All right then. Could you, maybe, get this thing out of my office?” he gestured to the portal.

    Takato grinned slightly. “Sure thing. Later, Yamaki.”

    The portal between dimensions closed an instant later.

    Adventurer and Tamer stood quietly for a moment as they removed their shades.

    “Now what?” Takato asked. Before, there had always been an immediate objective to address. But now...

    TK turned on his heel and began walking in the opposite direction of the house under the sea. “I’ve got questions. Only the Dragon of the East can provide the answers.” He stopped, turning back to Takato. “If you don’t think you’re up for it...”

    He sighed. “Let’s go. There’s no stopping you now anyway.”

    TK nodded and continued his route. In their condition, it took them a few hours to reach the edge of the shore. Once there, TK whistled loudly. After a few moments of what seemed to be nothing happening, the waters began to bubble. A large, red, serpentine creature emerged from the ocean surface.

    “MegaSeadramon,” TK called out in what was intended to be a congenial voice, “would you please spare some time and take us to File Island?”

    The Ultimate looked at them for a moment before nodding silently, swimming closer to the shore so they could hop on. They smiled gratefully before jumping onto the creature’s neck. That was singularly the most consistent pleasantry of the DigiWorld.

    You could always get a ride.

    Going at top speed, they arrived in two hours. MegaSeadramon let the two Chosen Children onto land.

    “Thanks MegaSeadramon,” TK said as he landed. “I’ll be sure to bring you a snack the next time we meet.” The Ultimate nodded before shooting up into the air and diving into the ocean.

    “Talk about a mon of few words,” Takato muttered. He turned to see TK already walking away. “Hey, wait up!”

    They stopped to rest a few hours later. It happened to be the same lake where Gabumon had first Digivolved to defeat Seadramon. TK sat, quietly meditating with his back to the surrounding woods. Takato sprawled out on the ground, thinking. Both held their eggs protectively.

    The Child of Hope began to fidget as his felt his second-in-command give him curious glances. “What?” he snapped, turning his head to give a look bordering on anger.

    Takato looked away. “Sorry. Didn’t mean to stare.”

    “No,” he shook his head, “I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have snapped like that. What’s bothering you?”

    The other boy seemed apprehensive. “I’m just wondering... how exactly are you going to approach the situation?”

    “Bluntly.” TK answered, er, bluntly.

    “With Daemon finally dead, you shouldn’t go starting a war with the Sovereign,” Takato advised sagely. “I’m just saying a little tact won’t kill you.” Takato could practically feel TK’s eyes roll toward him.

    “I will not act on anger. But I’d like to ask, how do you feel about it?”

    “Seriously? For them to judge you like that is nothing short of a heinous crime,” Takato said forcefully.

    “I was feeling a bit anxious.” TK nodded. “I’ll keep my cool. By the way, we may have to climb Infinity Mountain.”

    Takato gaped. “Climb the mountain? In the condition we’re in!? Are you freaking kidding me?”

    “No. But it’s unlikely.” He stood. “Let’s move out.”

    Soon enough they were at the foot of the mountain, where they had first battled Devimon. Faint tears and cracks could still be seen where Black Gears had poured from.

    TK looked around. “Damn. No sign of them. I thought for sure they’d be waiting for us to get here.”

    “What, you were expecting them to be following your every movement?” Takato laughed slightly.

    “...”

    He blinked. “Oh.”

    Just then, both of their Digieggs began to glow: Patamon’s a bright gold, Guilmon’s crimson. The two bright lights emitting from the eggs shot into the sky like beacons. The sky began to shift colors between gold, amber, and ruby-red.

    “Weird,” Takato muttered. “Even for these guys.” He looked to the Digieggs as their glows began to fade. TK silently agreed. The sky settled back into what was considered normal in this realm.

    “Ooookay,” Takato said slowly. “What was the light show for?”

    As if to answer his question, four herculean presences made themselves known. One flew from the east. Another ran across the water from the west. The third swam from the north. The fourth flew from the south.

    Hovering powerfully above Infinity Mountain was the Dragon of the East, Azulongmon, and the Phoenix of the South, Zhuqiaomon. The two-headed Tortoise of the North, Ebonwumon, lodged itself (selves?) onto the beach. The Tiger of the West, Baihumon, jumped from the water and landed with the assassin’s grace a tiger possessed.

    The Harmonious Ones glanced about, looking for the source of the beacon. “What is this?” Zhuqiaomon demanded. The Sovereign turned to Azulongmon. “Some pitiful excuse for a reunion?”

    “Nice to see you’re as magnanimous as ever,” Azulongmon quipped. “But no, I did not summon forth the beacons of light.” His four eyes landed on the two Digidestined. “But I have some clue as to who did,” he directed the tip of his horn towards them.

    “Ah,” one of Ebonwumon’s heads spoke, “that be explaining it.”

    Baihumon remained silent as he watched, resting his massive paws on the island.

    Zhuqiaomon, figuring he’d be here for a while, landed on the island. “So then, it was you who summoned us? What is it? We’re very busy with the restoration of our world.”

    It still surprised Takato that the Zhuqiaomon of this world was less... temperamental, than the one of his DigiWorld had been.

    TK just stared coldly at the Sovereign. “There would be no need to rebuild if you hadn’t allowed darkness to claim your world in the first place.”

    Takato smacked his forehead. So much for tact.

    “What is the meaning of this, human!?” The phoenix’s red aura burned to life. “We Sovereign did not allow the dark forces anything!”

    “That is correct young one.” Azulongmon stated calmly. “We have taken every precaution possible to preserve the nature of our world.”

    “Did you?” TK asked, voice becoming colder than Frigimon’s Subzero Ice Punch. “Did you really? Can you honestly say that you each did as much as possible to help the Digidestined, when you still hold five of the Crest Spheres? No, I think not.”

    “Then you know,” Baihumon stated more than asked.

    The other Sovereign seemed to catch on to the meaning of TK’s accusations, and the severity they held.

    “I know everything,” TK continued, voice becoming an arctic chill. “I know that you four were the partners of the original Digidestined who defeated Apocalymon. I know that Daemon was the fifth member of your team. I also happen to know that before Daemon became the evil monstrosity he had been... he was once a Seraphimon.”

    Azulongmon sighed, accepting that TK and Takato now knew the truth they had concealed for so long. “It’s all true. Daemon was not just the fifth member, but also our leader. Together with our former partners we defeated Apocalymon. But then he... changed.”

    “He was the greatest of us at one time,” the North Tiger said. “But he fell from grace, becoming a Fallen Angel Digimon. This was sometime after our human partners had departed for their world. Together, we managed to defeat Daemon and seal him away.”

    Ebonwumon spoke next. “Ai, boyo. But things weren’t that simple. Once the Dark Masters sealed us, Daemon was set free. With so much chaos and the Dark Masters running a muck, he was like a kid in a candy store.”

    “A really twisted kid in a candy store,” his second head nodded.

    “None of that matters to me,” the Child of Hope said flatly. His eyes moved to Azulongmon. “You held out on us because you thought Patamon would end up the same way as Daemon.”

    Feeling compelled to defend his actions, the Dragon of the East continued. “It is not that simple, TK. Your Crest, that of Hope, is different from the others. In order to be fully operative, it must be in complete harmony with the others, for it is composed of elements from the other seven Crests. Without them to balance you... I did not think you would be able to handle it without corrupting your partner’s data.”

    Takato ground is teeth. “Well obviously you were wrong, seeing that TK mastered the Sphere of Hope when the others were dead... because of you.”

    “...I have come to realize that perhaps my decision to keep the Sphere of Hope from Takeru was not the best. But please,” the Sovereign requested, “Try to understand our reasoning. Without the Child of Light to help balance you, and the dire experiences you’ve undergone, we believed that you having that power would result in the darkest of Digivolutions.”

    “The creation of another Daemon was an unacceptable possibility,” Zhuqiaomon clarified. “As you know, when we first decided to bring humans back into the Digital World, we each chose two Digimon to battle the forces of evil. We each implored Azulongmon to reconsider his choice of Patamon. But he did not waver. We did manage to convince him not to give you the Sphere of Hope.”

    “And we know how marvelously that turned out,” Takato muttered disdainfully.

    Ignoring the human, Zhuqiaomon continued. “We are just as much to blame for the outcome as Azulongmon.”

    TK’s cold demeanor did not falter in the slightest. “For you to underestimate Patamon in such a gross manner... after everything he gave... the sacrifices he’s made. Even if I had been the most evil human to ever live... you should have had faith that Patamon would be strong enough to keep us both from falling into darkness.”

    “You are correct TK,” Azulongmon admitted. “We were mistaken. But now is not the time for such things. We have something of far greater importance to discuss.”

    Baihumon continued. “Because of the imbalances that Daemon and his army has created, the Digital World is beginning to come apart.”

    “It does not end there,” the Phoenix of the South continued. “All of reality is unraveling itself.”

    The image of the rainbow on the computer screen imploding on itself came into TK’s head. “So all of existence in going to be destroyed because of a massive and irreversible imbalance? Fan-****ing-tastic.”

    Takato fell to one knee. “Then it’s over. All that fighting... for nothing. No matter what we did... no matter what we do... it’s all going to end,” he ended in a horrified whispered.

    “No.” Ebonwumon corrected. “There is a way to reverse the process.”

    TK quirked an eyebrow. “And that is…?”

    “Our creator.” the four Mega Digimon uttered in unison.

    “…I thought Yggdrasil created the four of you,” Takato said confusedly.

    “Indirectly, yes. Yggdrasil created the Digimon who sired us. He has slept for thousands of years in the center of the Digital World,” the North Tiger answered.

    TK looked down at the soil. “And File Island is the center of the DigiWorld. But if you’re creator has been asleep all this time, how do you intend to wake him?”

    Zhuqiaomon took off into the air. “By combining all of our energy, our creator will awaken. I’m not certain what he will do, but... he will set things right.”

    The Harmonious Ones were soon gathered in a diamond-formation on the water, facing one another with their backs to their respective territory. Powerful auras enveloped their bodies as they began to channel energy. TK and Takato watched from the shore.

    Their auras expanded, enveloping their entire bodies as they shot forward. They met above the water, swirling together as one. Then, the mass of energy shot into the depths of the ocean, straight to the center of the Digital World.

    The Island began to shake violently. In fact, the entire Digital World was trembling from the reawakening of this ancient being. Massive tidal waves formed as something appeared from the ocean depths.

    The two humans found it difficult to stand and hold the Digieggs at once, but they managed. A colossal landmass emerged from the waters. It was light brownish-yellow in color, and seemed to be covered in thorns and prickles. The land was somewhat shaped like a giant bridge, easily ranging from File Island to the Server Continent, six large spikes, three on each side, protruded from the sides.

    “Whoa.” Takato said in awe. “So... the creator is going appear on this bridge?”

    TK’s eyes widened. “No. Because it is the bridge,” he realized.

    The start of the ‘bridge’ began to lift up, revealing a massive, gaping maw. A pair of red eyes opened. Then another. And another. All six of them set on the two petrified Chosen Children.

    Takeru Takaishi has seen some sights in his time. He once witnessed a poo-wielding Numemon shove its waste into the eyes of a Daemon Corps Mega-level and live. But this... Was it even a Digimon? It was not huge. It was positively gargantuan.

    But, in the years of war, he had learned to keep a cool head, so he did not tremble. Takato, on the other hand, was a bundle nerves.

    Holycrapholycrapholycrapholycrap!

    Then it spoke, in a deep booming voice that likely echoed throughout the entire realm. Just as the Sovereign, its mouth remained still. “I am Fanglongmon, creator of the Four Sovereign. I have watched you for some time, Takeru Takaishi.”

    “I... I thought you were sleeping down there.” He almost quivered.

    “I have seen you in my dreams; visions of your journey. Your losses... your pain... I have seen them.”

    Well that’s not the least bit disturbing. “Yes, well... Zhuqiaomon said you’d fix the imbalance Daemon created.”

    “I do have the means to do such a thing, but it is a last resort. My Tai Chi technique will separate both light and dark of this world, and erase all existence. The DigiWorld will start anew and the balance will be restored.”

    More than reasonably, the Tamer was upset. “Erase all existence! That defeats the purpose of every sacrifice any Digidestined ever made!” He shook with fury. “It’s a disgrace to their very memory!” TK silently agreed.

    Either Fanglongmon nodded or the island was bobbing up and down. “There is another way. My Yellow Circle technique allows me to create portals between realities. This could potentially create an imbalance even greater than the one that exists. But with it... I could send you... to any time and place that you wish.”

    TK lost his composure. His jaw trembled as his mouth hung opened. Takato stared ahead at the Mega Digimon that could pass as his own landmass, as if not comprehending what he just said.

    “T-t-t.” TK failed to form any coherent words.

    “To travel back... and see our loved ones again?” Takato asked in little more than a whisper. He gave a longing look in no particular direction, gently palming his Digiegg, thinking of how happy it would make Guilmon. “You can do that?”

    “I can. But if I do, you must be able to stop the destruction that the Daemon Corps will inflict on the worlds. If you fail, all existence will unravel itself.”

    Takato continued. “How far back could you send us?”

    “You may return to any time that you wish, and I can send you each to your own worlds. However, you must both return to the same time. Whether or not I use Tai Chi or Yellow Circle,” he bowed his massive head, “I leave to you.”

    Slowly, a smile found its way to the Tamer’s face. He turned to TK. “Did you hear that? This is the opportunity of a lifetime! TK we could… TK?”

    “We..time..back...could..go...” he stammered illogically.

    Takato instantly became worried. I haven’t seen him like this since Kari died... “TK!” he shook him by the shoulder with his free hand. “TK snap out of it!” The blonde didn’t respond, simply staring blankly into the sky. Sighing, Takato reared his hand back and delivered two powerful slaps to TK’s face.

    The blonde stumbled but came to his senses. He blinked. “Sorry about that. I just…”

    “Yeah.”

    “So,” he said, standing up straight, “this is really happening? A second chance? We could go back and save them all?”

    Takato nodded, his eyes misty at the thought. “Fanglongmon will let us decide when to go. I mean, which when to go to. I mean, ah you know what I mean!” He was deliriously happy.

    A chance to do things over... to make things right. At that moment, TK steeled himself. This time I can succeed where I failed. He envisioned all of his friends together, relaxing in the DigiWorld as he danced on Daemon’s grave. It was a nice thought.

    “So all that’s left is to decide the time at which we should return,” TK stated.

    “Right.” Takato nodded. “So... which when do you think we should go back to?”

    TK crossed his arms, balancing the egg. “I considered just going back to when we first entered the Digital World and killing all of our enemies starting with Devimon. But..”

    “But if you fought all the battles, they wouldn’t become strong on their own. And if anything happened to you, they would be crippled,” Takato finished

    “Right. And the fact that we have to return to the same time...” He turned to the God Beast Digimon. “Fanglongmon, do all the worlds run parallel to each other in time?”

    “Yes.” the Mega confirmed. “After Apocalymon was defeated the second time, all known worlds became parallel in time. Therefore, events of this Digital World and its Real World and events of the second Digital World and its Real World happen in unison.”

    TK made a contemplative noise. “Can you tell me... exactly... at the time the D-3s were first unlocked from the Digiegg of Courage... what was happening on Earth Two?” Takato glanced at TK before focusing on the Mega. What was the crafty blonde planning now?

    “At that moment, an ancient power that had long since remained dormant was finally tapped into.” Fanglongmon’s booming voice answered. “Takato Matsuki first harnessed the forbidden element of Digital Hazard and used it to form his Digimon partner.”

    “I see.” Takeru took a deep breath and thought quietly to himself. Images and flashes of memories raced through his mind. “One month,” he announced quietly, almost to himself. Eight pairs of red eyes fixed themselves on TK.

    “Huh?” Takato asked. Fanglongmon peered at the contemplating child before him.

    “I will need... a one month reprieve. Thirty days before I reunited with the others. That is how far back I need to be sent.” TK clarified. “That will give us both enough time to make any preparations needed.”

    “So... you want to go back after your first adventure finished, but just before your second began... one month before Guilmon’s egg hatched?” Takato asked, catching on to the idea.

    “Right,” TK answered as he further explained. “ I believe that time period was the critical junction for us. Any further back would be pointless, but any more forward might be too late. It’s the perfect time. Agreed?”

    The Tamer nodded devoutly “I once vowed that I would follow your lead, Takeru, and I will.”

    After a moment, TK nodded as well. “Understood.”

    Takato gave a bemused smile. “So I guess this is goodbye.”

    TK nodded once more. “For now. Take care of yourself, Commander.”

    “Same to you, Admiral.”

    The blonde smiled slightly before turning to the Sovereign maker. “We’ve decided. Please send us back one month before the D-3's were released and Guilmon was born.”

    “As you wish.” Fanglongmon granted. “Farewell Digidestined. And good luck. Yellow Circle!” Two golden orbs of light surrounded the two Digidestined, one on each side. They began to rotate around them at increasing speed.

    “Thank-you Fanglongmon.” TK bowed, which Takato mimicked.

    “Thank-you for this opportunity,” Takato said.

    “The fate of existence rests with you and the decisions you make. I always felt the Harmonious Ones chose wisely when they selected you and you’re friends as Digidestined. Do prove me correct.” The ground beneath them turned into a yellow vortex and pulled them in.

    And just like that, Adventurer and Tamer, Takeru Takaishi and Takato Matsuki, were gone. Vanished to the past for a chance at a brighter future.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    4

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    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...”

    (Digimon)

    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.

    (Digimon)

    “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.

    “...Yes.”

    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.

    “I’m ready.”

    (Digimon)

    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.

    (Digimon)

    “...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.”

    “I see…”

    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.

    Protect.

    Fight.

    Kill.

    “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)
    Name: M

    SS: 1248 3772 6205 (Trade)
    Name: Mack

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