"Tai, get down

Yesterday When the War Began, Chapter 6:

**Disclaimers: I don't own Digimon, and never will. This fic was produced entirely for entertainment purposes, and no infringement on copyright was intended. This fic will never be sold.

**Author's note: Kay, first thing. Only one reviewer got the quote (Veranda Whitney, if you're reading this, CONGRATS!!). The quote was indeed "War brings sorrow... but we must fight to keep our loved ones from sorrow...". (If you have no idea what I'm talking about, read the previous chapter, and you'll understand). TK's quote was taken from the mouth of Quatre Raberba Winner, from the mecha series "Gundam Wing".

Second. I have to thank all my reviewers. I'm not going to list them out, since I'm afraid I'll miss someone, but you know who you are. Thanks a lot for the feedback. Your reviews are what keeps me going.

Lastly, this is the last chapter that's going to be posted for awhile. In fact, this will be the last edition of "Yesterday When the War Began." The continuation of this storyline will be continued in another saga, the title of which is yet to be decided. Just look for something from me. Don't be expecting that for another 2 or 3 weeks at least (exams and Christmas vacation).

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"Horn Buster!" The huge electric beam shot from MegaKabuterimon's horn. The big spider turned, brought up all of his limbs and blocked the shot. For a moment, a huge explosion lit up the countryside, and an obscuring dust cloud hid Diaboromon from view.

Recklessly, MegaKabuterimon flew right into the dust cloud, horn extended. His fists out at his side ready to gouge and tear, he plunged headlong into the dust, blind, as he sought out his enemy.

He found nothing.

"What!?"

"Web Wrecker."

The big, beetle digimon was smashed in the back from above with the explosive attack. Roaring in pain, he spiralled awkwardly down until he hit the ground hard. Izzy shielded his eyes as MegaKabuterimon carved a crater in the countryside. "MegaKabuterimon!" Izzy ran after his digimon, his laptop forgotten for an instant. Once he got there, he was greeted with a coughing Tentomon crawling out of the smoking crater.

The rookie looked at Izzy apologetically. "I'm sorry, Izzy."

Izzy hugged his digimon fondly. "Don't be." The red-haired boy looked up. "No offense, but you wouldn't have been able to keep up with them anyway."

Tentomon looked up as well, following Izzy's gaze, and gasped. Tai and Sora were similarly mesmerized by the spectacle. For some reason though, Izzy tore his gaze away from the fight, and began to type on his computer. "Don't have much time…" he muttered to himself.

WarGreymon and Garudamon were fighting together, dodging and maneuvering blindingly fast through the air. Diaboromon was also holding his own, twisting and turning through all three axes at once. The three of them were streaks of burning light that blazed fiery paths across the sky. Huge clashes and spectacular explosions lit up the countryside as the three waged their epic battle in the starry backdrop. There was something frighteningly beautiful about the scene, beautiful that was, if this had been anything other than a fight for the future of Earth.

"Wing Blade!" Garudamon crouched, and launched her attack at Diaboromon. The spider twisted, miraculously avoiding the attack, and the phoenix of flames shot harmlessly off into the star-studded sky. Garudamon, seeing him off balance, came in to press the attack.

Although the big bird-type digimon was all but a blur to human eyes, Diaboromon saw her coming as well. Swinging its limbs, he suddenly revealed a new attack. "Cable Crusher." Thick, black cables sprouted from its side, and swung towards Garudamon. Taken by surprise, the ultimate was smashed several times across the face before she managed to veer off. Flipping over to help absorb the blows, she flew off into the sky. The cables followed her, and Garudamon twisted and dodged in the air, rolling upside down desperately as she tried to avoid the tracking cables. Diaboromon snarled viciously. Garudamon was his, and he knew it.

A whistling sound in his ears suddenly warned him of another danger. Again, twisting itss limbs, it rolled out of the way in midair, even as WarGreymon dived and slashed down with his gauntlets. The razor-sharp claws severed the cables, but Diaboromon himself wasn't hurt.

Swinging around, WarGreymon turned and slashed viciously at the upside down spider right beside him. Diaboromon didn't have a chance, caught off balance and upside down as he was. The Mega landed a solid blow, his gauntlet connecting with a vicious crack, and the big spider tumbled out of the sky. Dust and debris flew into the air as he ploughed a path through the forest. For a moment he was obscured from view, downed and helpless.

Both WarGreymon and Garudamon took advantage of that moment. There was no need to coordinate. Months of fighting side by side in the digiworld enabled them to read each other's moves perfectly. Quickly taking up positions above the cloud, they fired downwards with all they had.

Tremendous explosions lit up the forest again, and for a moment, the camp was as light as day. Without even bothering to call out the names of their attacks anymore, both digimon hurled them down as fast as they could. Their combined attacks rocked the ground for miles around. Tai, Izzy, Sora and Tentomon were forced to seek refuge behind the huge oak they had been hiding beside.

Finally, both digimon were forced to stop. Panting, they stared hard into the cloud. Had they done enough? For a moment, total silence reigned.

Tai strained to see into the dust cloud. "Did they do it? Is he gone?"

"Cable Crusher"

Dark cables suddenly shot out from the dust cloud. Both digimon were caught flatfooted, and in the blink of an eye, they had been captured. Cables held their arms and legs securely. Garudamon and WarGreymon struggled vainly against their bonds as the cloud cleared.

Apparently, Diaboromon was very much alive.

Izzy gaped. "But…but that's impossible!! Nothing can take a pounding like that and survive!"

Sora, who had never fought Diaboromon before, could only stare at the unfolding spectacle before her.

Diaboromon snarled, his mouth curling into a hideous grin. "Web Wrecker!!", he exclaimed as he launched his attack.

Helpless, both digimon took the full brunt of the blast. A blinding ball of fire exploded in the night sky, and WarGreymon and Garudamon roared in pain as they were blasted from the restraining cables. Even before they had hit the ground, their bodies were already glowing, and they were suddenly back to their in-training forms again.

"Koromon!!" Tai screamed.

"Yokomon!!" Sora echoed.

Both of them sprinted towards their digimon. Izzy and Tentomon followed, though Izzy was still typing furiously on his computer. Somehow, the auburn-haired boy managed to run and keep working at the same time.

The digimon didn't look good. Their breathing was shallow, and their eyes were closed in pain. Tai picked Koromon up, and looked around, wide-eyed. Diaboromon's grating laugh filled his ears as he winded up for another attack. All of their digimon were down. They were helpless.

Wildly, Tai whirled around, looking for something, anything that might help. Tentomon was still too weak to digivolve, and Izzy was still typing furiously on his damned computer. What could be so important at a time like this?

"Prodigious!!!", Izzy suddenly exclaimed.

A second later, Diaboromon struck out with his cable crusher.

Time seemed to slow.

Tai could see the deadly cable-tip approaching in slow motion. Somehow, the seconds had turned into hours. All he could hear was his own heartbeat pounding in his ears. He didn't try to dodge. What was the point? It wasn't as if Diaboromon was going to miss if he did.

"Tai, get down!!" Izzy tackled him and Sora down to the ground. Time snapped back to its normal pace. Tai hit the ground hard, and the bone-jarring impact knocked the breath out of him. His head banged against a sharp rock, and his goggles slipped off his head and clattered to the ground, but Tai was too winded to notice. The cable shot by overhead, missing by mere feet and crashing into a stand of trees, shattering them instantly.

"Izzy, what are you…"

Fiercely, the auburn-haired boy clamped a hand around Tai's mouth. Grabbing Tai and Sora's arms, Izzy began to drag them away from the scene. Tai, out of confusion if nothing else, allowed himself to be lead away from the scene. What was the matter, they were going to die within the next few seconds anyway…

"Cable Crusher"

Tai cringed and closed his eyes, expecting the cable to cut him in half. Instead, he heard the crash of it shattering another stand of trees at least 50 meters behind him. Startled, he opened his eyes again. Diaboromon looked distinctly confused, striking out in random directions with his cable crusher and howling with frustration. "Izzy, what did you…"

Izzy clamped a hand over Tai's mouth and twisted his face so he had to look into his own. Fiercely, he mouthed the word Quiet, and pulled on his arm. Sora and Tai exchanged puzzled glances. What was happening? He glanced over at Izzy's laptop, which was now strapped to his back. Although the cover was closed, the lights along the side were flashing like crazy. What had Izzy done with his laptop?

The younger, red-haired boy pulled insistently on Tai's arm, and this time, he followed willingly. Izzy apparently knew what he was doing. Tai still had no idea what he had just managed to pull off, but it was working. Diaboromon was howling with frustration as he launched random attacks into the dark forest. None of them even came near Tai and his group.

Izzy led them a far way off before finally stopping. The whole time, Diaboromon seemed to just let them go. It was if he couldn't see them all of a sudden. The moment they were clear, Tai rounded on Izzy. "What the hell did you do back there?"

Izzy and Sora collapsed on the ground, shaking violently with the close-call they had. Tai noticed that he himself was also trembling rather badly. Adrenaline, he decided shakily. "Well?"

Izzy held up his hand for a moment, pleading Tai for some time. The brown-haired boy sat down as well, grateful to be off his feet. They had suddenly felt too shaky to support him. He ran his fingers through his hair and found out he had lost his goggles. Damn this whole war. I loved those goggles!

It was several minutes later before Izzy was ready to respond. He took a deep breath, and calmed his nerves somewhat, then began. "You remember Piximon?"

Sora looked at him strangely. "How could we forget? He gave his life up so we could escape from the Dark Masters."

Izzy nodded. "Don't you guys remember what his strength was? His specialty was…" He arched an eyebrow.

Realization dawned on Tai. "Digital barriers."

"You used a digital barrier!? Where'd you get one?" Sora was incredulous.

Digital barriers were "barriers" or forcefields that warped light in such a way to provide an illusion. Piximon had been a digimon that had been especially adept at using such barriers. They could be used for attack, for defense, but their best function was for illusion.

Piximon had used barriers to conceal his little home. Anyone looking from the outside would have thought it was an empty stretch of desert, while in fact, behind the barrier, there had been Piximon's home and training center. Barriers could be set up around people to render them invisible to outside eyes, so while people inside could still see out, people outside could not see in.

Izzy nodded. Apparently his friends still remembered what a digital barrier was. Good, then he wouldn't have to explain it. "That's right. A digital barrier. That's why Diaboromon couldn't see us." A small smile appeared on his face. "Did you see that look on his face? What I wouldn't give for a camera."

None of the others smiled at the feeble attempt at a joke. "Izzy, when did you learn how to use digital barriers? Did Piximon teach you?" Tai asked.

Izzy shook his head. "I learned how to use them back when Myotismon was still searching for the Kari. You remember how he put up the fog barrier and started rounding up everyone into the convention center?"

Sora nodded. She had been one of those captured.

"Well, you weren't there at the time, but when some Bakemon came for me, Gennai warned me through e-mail. As a way to protect myself, he gave me a digital barrier to use. I managed to download it just in time, and I put it up. It worked like a charm. Bakemon came into our house and ransacked it, but they didn't see my mother, my father or me."

* note to the digimon illiterate: Gennai is an old advisor of the digidestined, and that he really did send a digital barrier to Izzy to protect him from the Bakemon.

"So," Tai mused, "that barrier's been sitting in your computer for all this time."

Izzy nodded. "It's not something that you'd just delete. I figured it might come in handy later." He looked back at the ruined campsite. "And did it ever."

Tai gave Izzy a reproachful look. "Why didn't you tell me earlier? We could've used something like that."

Izzy looked abashed. "Well…I kind of forgot about it. It was kind of a miracle that I remembered it at all. That's why it took me so long to find it, because I didn't remember which folder I'd put it in. And then, I had to set it up all over again."

Tai sighed and got back up. "Come on, we've got to keep moving. We're still too close to the campsite, and we can't stay here. Digital barrier or not, I'd feel better if we put some distance between ourselves and Diaboromon."

"But Tai, what about the meeting?" Sora asked, her crimson eyes meeting Tai's hazel ones.

Tai clenched his jaw tightly. The meeting. "There's nothing we can do about that. Diaboromon's too powerful, and we can't afford to stay in this area any longer."

Sora gazed back, not defiantly, but with a hint of worry in her eyes. "Tai, we won't get another chance to meet up with the rest of them anymore. You know as well as I do that finding the others without communications would be impossible, particularly with Diaboromon breathing down our necks. We could be split up for good"

"But Tai's right," Izzy said quietly. "He's not going to let us go so easily. In under an hour, this whole place will probably be swarming with patrols, which means we've got to be long gone by then. We'll just have to trust that the others are all right. In the future, we'll meet up with them again. In the meantime, it's better to be split up than dead."

Sora nodded resignedly. Then she stood up abruptly, holding Yokomon in her arms. "So where to now, fearless leader?" slipping into the affectionate nickname that Tai sometimes went by.

Tai didn't say anything, lost in thought. Sora and Izzy looked at him curiously. "Tai? I said…" Sora began.

"I heard you Sora."

"Then what are you thinking about?"

Tai was silent for a while, then…

"Izzy, where does Willis live?"

Izzy was startled by the sudden change in subject. "In New York, America. Why?"

Tai frowned in thought. "That kid knows something. Something we don't, and I have the feeling that it's important." He looked around at his group. "I think it's worth checking up on."

Izzy frowned. "Are you suggesting we go all the way to America?"

Sora stared at the two of them. "What are you talking about?" Sora said impatiently. "Who's Willis?"

"Guys, hear me out. Diaboromon knows we're here. It would be too dangerous to even remain in Japan, much less find the others. The range of our digivices are too limited. With all the patrols all over Japan, finding anyone would be next to impossible." Tai looked around the group, looking for support. "Willis knows something important. Didn't he say something about how "this was all my fault"? We can't defeat Diaboromon as we are. We just saw that. We've thrown our best at him, and we've still gotten beaten." Tai paused. The words sounded sour in his mouth, but he wasn't too proud to admit when he was beaten. "We need some help."

"But Tai, what makes you think looking for Willis will be any easier than looking for the others?" Tentomon asked.

"We already know he lives in New York. That narrows it down a lot. In America, there won't be nearly as many Diaboromon, since they're apparently focusing on Japan, searching for us."

A moment of silence fell over the group as they thought it over.

"Another thing," Sora added quietly. "I still don't know who Willis is, but Mimi is still in America." She glanced over at Tai. "We have to go get her anyway."

Tai looked around. Sora didn't look happy about it, but she had apparently accepted the logic Tai had laid out. Izzy was still sitting with his back against a tree, eyes closed. Suddenly, the auburn-haired kid opened his eyes again, and looked at the others.

"Tai, you're our leader. It's your decision. Whatever you decide, we'll follow you. Do we go or not?"

The brown-haired boy looked at the small group under his command. The others gazed back, and he saw the trust in their eyes. At a single word, this band of brothers and sisters would follow him wherever he went, to the ends of both worlds and back. He smiled.

"Let's go to America."

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Joe panted as he rested with his hands on his knees. Pushing his glasses back up his nose, he doggedly set off again up the trail.

The battle last night had been tough. Although MetalGarurumon and Zudomon had managed to break through the line in the end, they had spent the remainder of the night dodging the remaining patrols as the Diaboromon scrambled to surround them again. Matt had pushed them at an incredible pace all throughout the night, as they desperately tried to avoid being caught in another dragnet.

Joe sighed as he skirted around a fallen tree. Dawn was breaking over the horizon, and they were now fairly close to the camp. Almost home free. In a few minutes, he would see the others again…

"Joe!! Get up here!!" Matt's voice sounded shrill, almost frantic. At the sound, Joe sprinted the rest of the way up the small hill, his exhaustion forgotten. Gomamon followed right behind him.

Once he crested the hill, he drew in his breath sharply. No…this can't be happening.

The campsite was in ruins. All that was left of it were a series of craters from incredible explosions. Trees had been uprooted and were tossed here and there like matches. Dying fires smoldered among the remains.

Joe turned his head. Trails of devastated forest stretched in all directions, almost as if some huge object had been dragged through the woods and demolished most of it. The buildings were long gone, leveled into unrecognizable rubble. "What…what happened here?"

Matt was already running down the hill to inspect the damage. His mind was slowly filling with a murderous rage. Diaboromon, if they're hurt in any way….

Running around the campsite, he found nothing but debris and rubble. Trees and mountains of twisted rock and metal blocked his way. He couldn't even recognise the landscape. Hills weren't where they were supposed to be, and all the familiar landmarks were gone.

The river, he thought. If they were attacked, that would be the best place to make a stand. Speeding up, he ran round to the river. He was right. If anything, the devastation was even worse there. The entire course of the river had been changed, and 2 huge craters, bigger than all the others, had carved themselves into the landscape. Vaguely, Matt heard Joe scrambling down the slope to follow him, skirting around the mounds of smouldering rubble.

Suddenly, Gabumon pointed. "There Matt, looks like something." Then, the rookie shot off. Matt saw the object too, glinting in the sunlight, and was suddenly filled with dread. Running after his digimon, he beckoned Joe over, then turned back to the object. Please no…

When he reached the object, Gabumon was already there. Sorrowfully, his digimon looked at Matt, and then back at the piece of plastic and cord half-buried in the ground. The blond boy collapsed on his knees, his eyes unable to believe what he saw.

It was Tai's goggles. One of the lenses had been shattered, and the other was coated in grime and mud. Picking up the goggles, Matt inspected it carefully. No doubt about it. It was Tai's. Then he looked closer, and caught his breath. The back of the headband was soaked in blood. Numbly, Matt allowed the goggles to slip from his fingers. They clattered onto the ground.

"Hey, what's so importa…oh s***."

Matt turned to see Joe standing there equally stunned. Gomamon was uncharacteristically speechless, as he too recognised Tai's trademark goggles. Then the blond boy turned back. He can't be gone. He can't be gone. He can't be gone…

Suddenly, something snapped. He slammed both fists down into the hard ground, relishing the pain it brought. The pain fed his rage, as the anger that had been in his mind suddenly exploded into an all-consuming hatred. Throwing his head back, he howled his challenge into the sky, not caring if anyone heard.

"F*** you Diaboromon, I swear on my life that I will hunt you down to the ends of the earth, and I will kill you if it's the last thing I do!!"

Tears streamed down his face unchecked, and Joe stepped back, frightened by the murderous hatred in his friend's voice. Matt was possessed with a killing rage, and Joe was suddenly fervently grateful that he was not Diaboromon.

**Author's note: Since this is the last fic in awhile, I have to address a couple things.

  1. As you can probably deduce, Willis will be coming in soon. The problem is, I don't know his digimon's (Terriermon is his rookie form) stats. I don't know his champion form, and his attacks, rookie and champion level. If anyone knows, would they please tell me in the review? Any interesting tidbits about Willis will also be welcome. What digi-egg does he possess anyway?
  2. I'm already beginning to work out the ending of the fic in my mind. I'm going to hold a poll. Would you like Omnimon (WarGreymon fused with MetalGarurumon, as in the movie), or Seraphimon (MagnaAngemon's Mega) to appear? I may not necessarily follow the results of this poll, the final decision rests with me, but I want to see what you guys think. If I go with Omnimon, expect the fic to focus more on Tai and Matt. If I go with Seraphimon, expect the fic to focus more on TK. (personally, I'm leaning more towards Seraphimon, but we'll see how this plays out). Either way, I'll have to start setting up now, so I need to decide. So what are you waiting for? Vote!
  3. Is anyone interesting in peer editing my fics before I post them? It's a real drag trying to edit your own fics. You miss things that others won't. If anyone's interested, don't tell me in the review, tell my straight by e-mail. My address is posted on my profile.