The Way They Were
They were losing. Not sorta losing. Not kinda not doing well. They were officially losing.
It had all started when they'd had gotten an urgent e-mail from Tentamon. It seemed that strange digimon had been sighted and were heading to where Shogungekomon lived with his Gekomon and Otamamon subjects. They destroyed everything in their path. The digidestined, even though BlackWarGreymon was gone and no one had seen either Mummymon or Arukenimon for quite sometime, still had obligations to the Digital World and had gone to help. They went just beyond a ridge, half a mile from the town. It was there that they engaged the enemy.
There were at least fifty of them, probably more. Huge, insect creatures that resembled giant ants. At first, the digidestined had been reluctant to attack any of the digimon, especially Cody. Then the unknown digimon took the digidestined off guard and attacked. That's when everything took a turn for the worst. The home team was severely outnumbered. Whenever one of the creatures were taken out, two more took its place. Slowly and surely, the ants successfully pushed the digimon and digidestined backwards toward the town.
That wasn't the only problem. Takeru 'TK' Takaishi was out for the count. He hadn't gotten out of the way of an enemy attack fast enough. The ants had spat out some kind of sticky, poisonous acid, that had hid TK directly in the chest. He was now lying behind an outcropping of rocks with Agnemon hovering protectively overhead. The others didn't want to admit it but they weren't even sure if the boy was dead or alive.
For one of the few times in Daisuke 'Davis' Motomiya's life, he was considering backing down and retreating. But retreat to where? In a poor move on the digidestine's part, they were surrounded.
In the middle of the battlefield, the worn out digimon reverted back to their less powerful forms.
Now they had officially lost. The digidestined ran out to their digimon and began to half carry, half drag their partners backwards. The ants, no longer meeting resistance, surged forward. It would have been time to run, if they weren't surrounded. Davis couldn't believe he was about to do what he was about to do.
"Davis, what are you doing?!" Miyako 'Yolei' Inoune screamed through gasping breathes as she pulled Hawkmon out of harms way. "This is no time to undress! You're sneakers can't save us, no matter how stinky they are!"
But it wasn't the sneaker Davis was interested in but his smelly sock, his white, smelly sock. Being alive prisoners were better than being dead corpses or, at least, Davis hoped so.
He looked to the others for input or criticism or ideas. Anything. Hakari 'Kari' Kamiya smiled sadly. Ken Ichijouji nodded in silent agreement. Iori 'Cody' Hida stared down at the ground, embarrassed, knowing their was no other course of action but not liking it on bit. Yolei still didn't get the purpose of the sock.
Just as Davis was about to raise the sock over his head, their saviors came.
Garurumon came first, on feet of lightening, with Yamato 'Matt' Ishida crouched forward on his back for aerodynamics, the wind tangling his blond hair. "Howling Blaster!"
Behind them lumbered Greymon, Taichi 'Tai' Kamiya perched on his shoulder. Tai jumped down just before Greymon tilted back his head and issued forth his attack. "Nova Blast!"
Jyou 'Joe' Kido and Mimi Tachikawa weren't with their digimon. They stood a ways off, out of the way. Ikkakumon's Harpoon Torpedo herded the ants into larger groups, where Togemon needle sprayed them. It only took one needle per ant.
Of all the digidestined, it was Sora Takenouchi and Koushiro 'Izzy' Izumi who were in the most danger of getting hit by friendly fire. Sora sat on Birdramon's left talon and whenever a "Metior Wing!" was let loose, the fireballs were so close to Sora that they made her sweat. She could feel their heat against her face. Izzy sat just behind Kabuterimon's head, using the pressure of his palms against Kabuterimon's exoskeleton to keep his balance. The electric current in the air made Izzy's hair stand on end. Sometimes the electrified bolts passed within inches of Izzy's skin and one had even singed his shirt.
Agnemon, feeling a victory was at hand, temporally left TK's side to join Birdramon and Kabuterimon in the sky. Against the seven original digimon, the already weakened ants didn't stand a chance. They were reduced to digital dust and the field was littered with the tiny particles of data.
"Do you know what kind of digimon these were?" Yolei asked, looking down at Hawkmon. All the digimon shook their heads, no.
"I don't think they're digimon." Ken said, bending down to touch the digidust. "Digimon are usually reverted immediately. I'm not even sure if these creatures were even alive."
Cody breathed a sigh of relief. He hated to destroy living creatures, even if it was in self-defense. Davis didn't have an opinion. He was too busy getting his sock and shoe back on before anyone noticed they were missing and remember what he had been planning to do.
Now that the danger had passed, Agnemon reverted back to Patamon and crawled back to TK. Matt, Kari, Gatomon and Joe were already gathered around.
"Is he alright?" Patamon wanted to know, though he already knew the answer. TK was only semi conscious. His eyes were open but hung, unfocused, in his eye sockets.
"I don't know." Joe admitted, wrapping TK up in his jacket, "I'm not a doctor."
Matt took TK's hand and squeezed it. "It'll be okay. We'll get you some medical help soon."
To Matt's utmost relief, TK squeezed back. "Is it over?"
"It's over." Matt assured and, just as the words were out of his mouth, someone let out a cry of surprise.
"Or not." Izzy pointed out to the field, where the pieces of demolished digimon were moving towards an epicenter. They were forming a huge mound, which was slowly morphing into some sort of creature.
It took all of two seconds for the digimon and digidestined alike to realize they'd better get the flaming heck outta there. The digimon were nearly spent. TK desperately needed a hospitable. If they returned to the town, they could set up a barricade, replenish their strength, get medical attention and call in reinforcements.
"Let's get out of here." Sora told Birdramon, stopping only to get Cody and Armadillomon settled on the other talon. Matt picked up TK and slumped him over Garurumon's back then got up himself. Kabuterimon swooped down to pick up Davis, Ken, Veemon and Wormmon. Joe scrambled up on to Ikkakumon's head. Mimi took one of Togemon's gloved hands and Yolei and Hawkmon claimed the other. Tai was already on Greymon's shoulder, when he risked a look at the newly formed creature. It truly was terrifying.
To start off, it was huge. Taller than a three story building. And it looked like it had been constructed by several arguing architects who couldn't made up their minds. It stood on three feet. Two were taloned, with curved claws, but the center, with a simple paw for a foot, seemed purely for balance. It's torso came up, like a birds, only jagged scales. It had no wing, but powerful, gorilla arms, made of pure muscle. It's back was a hot, blood red colour and in place of fur or feather was nine-inch spikes. He wasn't going to be attacked from behind. In regards to the head, there was no front or back. It had four mouths, one for every direction, and each looked like it had been chopped off a different creature. One was a beak, another a snout, another human, and the final one had a snake's tongue that hissed in and out. A row of eyes encircling it's brow, each eye was the same evil black and dominating red in colour. It had no nose nor any kind of hair. Just wrinkled, black skin and hundreds of live snakes for hair.
"Kimeramon." Ken gapped, in fear. Of course, this wasn't the monster the Digimon Emperor, namely Ken, had created but it came a little too close for comfort.
Then Tai began to think. (Not that he had never thought before, no matter how likely that may sound.) This doesn't make sense. He wasn't a genius, like Izzy or Ken, but he wasn't stupid. How could those pieces of broken digimon make up a monster that huge? Answer: The monster was hollow.
"Don't run!" Tai screamed, "Turn and fight."
"Turn and what?!"
"You've got to be kidding."
"We can't beat that thing!"
"How do we know unless we try!" Tai jumped down. "I'm betting that thing is hollow. Greymon, go!"
That's all it took. It was blown up, sending digital data every which way, and almost immediately began to reassemble itself, this time as a humanoid figure, part robot, part something else. It once again began to advance.
Matt could see where this was going. They could keep destroying in but it would keep reassembling itself. TK didn't have that kind of time.
"I'm going to town!" Matt yelled out.
Tai understood. "Go, the rest of us can handle this thing."
Matt didn't need anymore incouragment to get himself and TK out of there.
But this time the robot wasn't phased. It's densely packed body protected it and anchored it. The others joined in.
And all of them working together, managed to force the creature to its knees, barely.
The robot looked at the digidestined and a cruel smile spread over its emotionless face. It's upper limbs, you couldn't really call them arms, came together and began to glow, spreading throughout its whole.
Tai's attitude did a 180-degree turn. He didn't like that smile. "Run!" But it was too late.
It happened so fast, with everything in slow motion. Everyone, digimon and digidestined, saw the purple hue gather around the robotic body. They saw the hue gather in strength and intensity and they saw it explode outward. But they couldn't act or get away before the purplish haze washed over them. It blew them backward with it's power.
Then it was gone, along with the robotic creature, and the digidestined lay in a heap with their digimon, who'd been forced to revert back to their rookie forms due to the shock of the blast. But other than that, everything looked fine. The digimon and digidestined looked at each other, confused.
"C'mon Agumon, let's get back to town." Tai said, echoing everyone's thoughts.
They began to plod back and were a bit shocked to see Garurumon and Matt standing on the ridge, apparently waiting. When the others got there, they saw why.
"What happened here?" Someone asked shakily.
Matt shrugged. He didn't know.
The town wasn't there. Or, at least, it wasn't whole. The town lay in ruin. Part of it had been burned to the ground.
"Did those - did that creature do all this?" Mimi asked in disbelief.
"I can't see how. They were all busy with us."
"Maybe there were more."
"It doesn't matter." Mimi said, already jogging towards the ruins. She had a special place in her heart for the Gekomon and Otamamon. The others really had no choice but to follow.
The town looked worse close up. It was totally abandoned and had been for a long time. The cobbler streets had been torn up and never repaired. Window panes had been shattered and never replaced. Garden's were over run by weeds. Some of the plants had choked and died, while others grew wild.
They took TK to Shogungekomon's palace, which was empty like every where else, and lay him down on the floor of the throne room.
"We have to find food and some help." Tai said, "We should split up into groups. Who stays? Who goes?"
"I'm staying with TK." Matt stated, right off the bat.
"I should stay. I have a little first-aid." Joe spoke up, "And so should Cody."
Cody sighed. He disliked being left out or left behind just because he was the youngest. "I'm old enough to go."
"I didn't mean that." Joe explained, "But if it was necessary Patamon and Armadillomn could digivolve and then DNA digivolve."
"Then it's agreed. Matt, Gabumon, Joe, Gomamon, Cody, Armadillomon and Patamon will stay with TK. The rest of us can look for food, helpful digimon and a TV to get us home."
After leaving the palace, the twenty digidestined and digimon, despite their numbers, stuck close together, to the extent of stepping on each other's toes. As they walked over the crumbled cobbler, no one challenged them. Yet that wasn't as reassuring as it should have been. There was a sense of ill omen in the air. Faintly, and maybe this was in their imaginations, the Earth shifted beneath their feet. And from somewhere eyes peered. The digidestined and digimon couldn't control the shivers that ran up and down their spines, as deja vu hit. Davis and Yolei, Veemon and Hawkmon were reminded of the time when the Digimon Emperor, so different from the friend they now knew as Ken, had watched their every move on his monitors. But the older digidestined were brought back to an even darker chapter in digital history. It was the worst for Kari, who could remember both times visibly.
They said little, as they passed by the ruins. They only opened their mouths to question what could possibly do this kind of damage but no one answered. It wasn't that they didn't know. There were possibilities but those possibilities were many and terrifying. Best not to think of them until it was absolutely necessary.
They walked into a garden, ate as much as they could and filled their pockets and purses to the max, for the others back at the palace.
It was here that Agumon stood on tippy-toe and whispered to Tai. "We're being followed."
Tai gave a nod so small that it couldn't be detected from any length of distance. He had figured as much. Trying to look inconspicuous, Tai bent down to pick up a head of lettuce, no less than a foot from where Palamon had injected her roots and was soaking up important nutrients. As Tai plucked the vegetable up, he whispered something quickly into what he hoped was near Palamon's ear. Then they were off again.
They found the TV just where they had left it but were disappointed to find the screen shattered and the set obviously broken.
Izzy crouched down to see if there was any possibility at all of getting it operational again. Sadly, Izzy sighed. He was good at fixing things but to make a TV from scratch? That would take near forever.
Palamon, who hadn't been paying much attention to Izzy's mutterings, decided to go into action. "Poison Ivy!" By the time she'd shouted out the words, she'd already shot out her finger vines and had ensnared the unfortunate stalker in the clutches of leaves and vines.
"Oh, Palamon, "Mimi cried out, as she ran to the captive. "Don't choke him. It's only a poor Gekomon."
Though Palamon did not let go completely, she did loosen her grip considerably.
Gently, Mimi lifted the Gekomon into her lap. At first, the Gekomon was scared but passive and didn't try to get away. It looked up at Mimi with it's big, round eyes and asked, "Is your name Mimi?"
Mimi smiled. It was always nice to be remembered. "Yes."
The Gekomon went ballistic and not in a happy way. He started to fight Palamon's and Mimi's grips on him, all the while screaming, "Ghosts! Spirits! Ghosts!" He was terrified.
It took a lot of pleading and soothing to get him to shut up. Finally, he shut his mouth but still looked warily at Mimi.
"We're not ghosts." Mimi assured, extending a finger, "We're real. We're alive."
Tentatively, Gekomon reached out, pinched Mimi's finger and quickly drew his hand back.
"See? Real flesh and blood. See?"
Meanwhile, Sora was getting impatient. Since she and Biyo weren't exactly doing anything and it seemed a while before they'd be able to get any information out of the little Geko, Sora slipped away with Biyomon and decided to climb up to the top of the town's wall. If the others needed either of them, they'd still be within shouting distance.
"Can you tell us why you thought we were ghosts?"
Barely audible, Gekomon whispered, "Because the digidestined were destroyed, years ago."
"Well, it couldn't be us. We're still here."
"Can you tell me what destroyed the digidestined?"
Gekomon, paranoid, looked over his shoulder, as if expecting a bunch of evil digimon to come jumping out of the surrounding buildings and shadow. Hesitantly, Gekomon opened his mouth to speak.
Just then Sora called down from the top of the wall. "Tai, you'd better get up here."
It wasn't a question or even a suggestion. It was a full-blown order and Tai hit the stairs at a run, with Agumon hot on his heels. As his time as the digidestine's leader, he'd taught himself to hear what was hidden in others voices. Now he was scared by what he had heard in Sora's voice. Someone else might have heard the calm, cool, fake exterior. Tai heard that she was on the verge of panic, near hysterics, almost terror stricken.
"Sora, what... oh, God."
Kari who, worried, had followed her brother, could only gasp.
The digimon seemed to have been struck dumb.
Davis, who'd follow Kari to Hell and back, was the only one to speak. "Cool mountain."
"Please tell me that's not what I think that is." Biyomon pleaded but no one could comfort her. It was truly there, a huge mountain, spiraled with cities, forests, water and some dark, depressing land of darkness.
"How did we miss it?" Tai wondered aloud. Again, no answer.
"Tai, I'm scared." Agumon said openly, knowing this was no time for masks.
"So am I." Tai replied.
Everyone's nervousness was rubbing off on Davis and Veemon and they, for once, kept quite.
"Tai," Sora started, stopped and, after taking a deep breath to relax her nerves, started again, "Tai, do you have your telescope?"
"Take it out and see what's moving this way."
Tai did as he was told and, after a moment of looking, put the telescope away.
"Was it them?"
Tai couldn't get the word to form on his lips, so he just nodded. And they ran.
They ran like the wind. they ran down the stairs so fast that it was more like jumping, sometimes skipping as many as four or five steps at a time. They didn't seem to mind the odds that they could end up tumbling down. In fact, I'd doubt they'd have minded at all, if it got them down faster.
They had to stop at the bottom, to catch their breaths and survey what had transpired in the few minutes they'd been up on the wall. Palamon was trying to comfort Mimi, who was still sitting in the dirt, sobbing silently. The Gekomon was nowhere to be seen. Tentamon, Ken, Yolei and Izzy were in a huddle, in the middle of some heavy debate. Hawkmon and Wormmon, feeling somewhat awkward and out of place, stood a few feet away.
Sora crouched down next to her friend. "Mimi, where's Gekomon?"
"Oh, he ran." She replied, between tears. "I told him to, for his own safety. He wouldn't have been safe with us. Do you know what he told me, before he left? He told me that it was the Dark Masters who destroyed us. It's like some bad dream. Oh Sora, it's starting all over again."
Meanwhile, Davis and Veemon were eavesdropping on the 'smart squad'. Ken was speaking. "...but his theory never said anything about going back in time-"
"Well, apparently he was never in the Digital World." Yolei hastily interrupted, "Anything can happen here."
Davis turned to the two left out digimon. "What's going on?"
"I believe," Hawkmon stated, in his best British accent, "they are discussing the finer points of time travel."
"Ahh." Davis said with a nod and turned back to the debate.
Izzy was speaking, "I have to agree with Yolei-" but was rudely interrupted by Tai.
"Sorry, but we have to go. The Dark Masters are coming. I don't know what's going on or how it's happening. But we do have to go back to the palace and warn the others. We can debate later."
Having said his bit, he turned and started to jog back to the palace. The others quickly followed. Their leader had spoken.
Cody sat with Armadillomon on the floor of the palace throne room and watched TK intensely. Patamon lay snuggled close to TK's head. Cody watched as TK's chest rose and fell with each breath and Cody found himself faced with a dilemma. Should he tell Matt and Joe that TK was having trouble breathing.
Joe, Gomamon and Gabumon were sitting, talking in hushed voices. Matt was pacing furiously and, even though he wasn't yelling, it sounded like it in the near silence of the great hall.
No, Cody decided, I won't tell. I don't want to get Matt any more angry than he already is and, besides, there's nothing anyone could do about it.
After a few more labored breathes from TK and some more paces from Matt, Cody found himself wishing the others would get back soon. He was worried. As if on cue, the others raced in. Tai, Agumon, Sora, Biyomon, Kari and Gatomon looked scared. Davis, Veemon, Hawkmon and Wormmon were confused and that made them nervous and irritated, especially Davis. The rest were in some sort of argument that didn't make sense to Cody in the least.
Tai and Sora went over to Joe and Matt and were about to spill some bad news but Davis interrupted, "What's a Dark Master?"
Before he and Davis were taken aside by Kari, Cody had seen a flash of hatred in Matt's eye. Then Sora put a restraining hand on Matt's shoulder and, after Matt blinked, the hatred was gone. But it still scared Cody. He'd only seen that look on one person before, TK, and he hoped he never saw it again.
"Years ago, four years ago to be exact, us digidestined battled four evil digimon." Kari started, and the new digimon gathered with Davis and Cody to here they story. Ken and Yolei, however, were too deep in debate to notice. "They took over the DigiWorld, changed it to their own liking." Kari paused a moment, remembering things only she remembered, before going on. "It took nearly everything we had to get rid of them. And now, somehow, they're back."
"Izzy," Tai said, just as Kari finished speaking. He'd had just told the other about the broken TV and the strange mountain. It had rendered everyone too stunned too comment. "What's going on here?"
"Well, we haven't exactly figured everything out."
"Whatever you got will have to do."
Tai sounds tired, Cody noted.
"Spill it, in a language we can understand please."
"Okay, here goes." And the computer genius started to explain in the simplest terms possible, "We believe the creature we were battling somehow managed to travel back in time. From what Gekomon told us, we assume the period of time the creature traveled to was the Dark Masters era. It was in this time period that the time traveler succeeded in changing history and somehow caused our deaths. The only reason we are unaffected is that when the time traveler left this time it created a sub time bubble, which we were caught in. We are, in effect, unaffected by the time travellers changes, just as it is unaffected by its own changes."
"Fascinating, Izzy. How do we fix it?"
"I was getting to that. We can follow the time traveler's trail though time. We can go back in time. However, not all of us will be able to go back."
"Well, it's like this. Everything in the universe, even atoms, are slightly, slightly different from one another. It's a rule of the universe. If two perfectly identical atoms, say one from the present and one from the past, came into contact with each other, that natural, universal rule would be broken and a paradox would occur. This paradox could implode the universe. Or explode it. I'm not sure. Either way, I don't want to find out. So, the only ones who can go back in time, without the threat of destroying the universe, are Davis, Yolei, Cody, Ken, Veemon, Hawkmon, Armadillomon and Wormmon because they weren't in the DigiWorld at the time in question and have no chance of bumping into their counterparts."
"How will they get home?" Sora wanted to know.
"We'll just back track through the time traveler's time tunnel, the same way we came." Yolei spoke up, "It'll be easy to do with my D-Terminal. They're just like mini computers"
"Are you sure?"
"Are you sure you want to do this? You'd be going back into a dangerous time."
The newer digimon and digidestined looked at each other and gave a nod. Yes, they were sure.
"Okay, Joe, you and Matt can carry TK. If he-"
"I'm staying with TK, right here."
"You can't be serious."
"Izzy, I'm not really into this sci-fi-time-travel-thing, so get me if I'm wrong. If they change things in the past, this future doesn't happen."
"If it succeeds" Izzy stressed the word succeed.
"Izzy, I'd hate to say it but if this doesn't succeed, we haven't got a chance. Our digimon can't even go to ultimate."
Tai sighed. "I don't mean to sound cold, but if you don't want to come, I can't make you. I can't make TK come either."
"We're staying with Matt and TK." Gabumon spoke up and Patamon nodded.
"I know. Good luck." Matt and Tai shook hands. Matt hugged Sora and Mimi and then kissed both Kari and Yolei on the cheek. "For Good luck" He explained.
Then they left. Matt, Gabumon and Patamon watched their friends leave and said nothing to each other. They sat around TK, keeping a silent vigil, waiting.
Matt had never been a patient person and, even now, he couldn't keep still. He was either gently rubbing TK's flushed cheek, or squeezing Gabumon's paw for support or mumbling song lyrics under his breath.
They waited in silence until they heard a horribly familiar voice, "TK. TK. TK. Come out, come out, wherever you are."
Matt sucked a breath in through his teeth. Puppetmon and he knew they were here.
Despite the severity of the situation, Matt could find a sliver of irony in it. Puppetmon, the one Dark Master who Matt detested more that Piedmon, the one who had almost succeeded in breaking up the group, the one who had tried to take TK from Matt, the one who'd made Matt lose faith in himself, the only one Matt truly hated was going to be the one to finish Matt, and with him Patamon, Gabumon and TK, off.
Matt considered dragging TK behind the throne, for protection but decided it wasn't worth the effort or noise that could reveal their position sooner. When Puppetmon came, they would not be hiding.
But Puppetmon never entered the palace, let alone the throne room. He circled the building, calling them out to play and, when they didn't come out, called them nasty names. Then, when be became bored of that, began to attack the palace itself, "Puppet Pummel!"
The whole palace shook and pieces of plaster rained down. Matt could see what Puppetmon was up to. This palace hadn't been built to stand earthquakes or wooden puppets come to life with really big mallets. Puppetmon wouldn't have to step foot inside the palace to get rid of the digidestined and digimon that were taken refuge there. He'd just bring the whole palace down on top of them.
"Puppet Pummel! Puppet Pummel!"
There was no time. No time to run. Not time to find a safe haven. No time to even digivolve, to fight.
Matt looked up and saw the last sight of his life, the roof and upper stories of the palace crashing down on him.
The others ran all the way up the hill to the ridge, where they had first witnessed the ruined town, and turned just in time to watch in horror as the palace, the center point of the whole town, collapsed in on itself.
Mimi started to sob quietly, as Palamon hugged her leg. The other digimon and digidestined looked on, stoned faced or in disbelief.
"Izzy," the name came through clenched lips, holding back tears and wails of pain.
"If this time travel thingy works and everything gets fixed, none of this will happen, right?"
"I hope so."
Tai nodded stiffly, "I'm staying. You with me Agumon?"
"If Mimi stays, so do I."
"Me and Biyo are staying, right?"
"I'd have it no other way."
"What about us, Joe?"
"We're standing our ground."
"We're staying, too. Right, Gatomon?"
"Tai! You heard Izzy. I can't go back in time with the others. I want to fight with you."
"I know, Kari, but if the Dark Masters get passed us, we'll need Nefertimon to back up Kabuterimon. Okay?"
"Okay, Tai." Kari sighed.
Tai hugged his sister, knowing full well that if Davis and the others failed, he'd never see her again. There was no way that four champions could win against four megas. They were just buying time.
"I love you, Tai."
"I love you, too. Now go, before the Dark Masters come."
As Davis, Izzy, Cody, Kari, Yolei, Ken, Veemon, Armadillomon and Gatomon ran, Tentamon and Hawkmon flew and Wormmon rode in Ken's arms, they heard the digimon behind them digivolving.
"Agumon digivolve to Greymon!"
"Biyomon digivolve to Birdramon!"
"Palamon digivolve to Togemon!"
"Gomamon digivolve to Ikkakumon!"
They raced to the spot where the time traveler (as they now referred to the creature) had disappeared.
"Kari, digiterminal." Izzy ordered.
Kari handed it over without a word and Izzy began to start typing away.
They couldn't see the others, since they were obscured from view by a large pile of rocks, but they could hear the fight commence. It wouldn't be long now.
"You'd better digivolve," Kari whispered to Tentamon and Gatomon, "but stay hidden. We don't want to let them know we're here until the last moment."
The two digimon nodded and, as quietly as possible, digivolved.
"Tentamon digivolve to Kabuterimon."
"Gatomon armour digivolve to Nefertimon."
Just then, Izzy managed to open the time tunnel and quietly ushered Cody, Armadillonmon, Ken and Wormmon and Veemon into it. Davis was about to pass through, when Izzy hissed, "Wait, Davis. Your goggles are Tai's. That might cause problems."
"Oh, yeah. I guess I don't want to blow up the universe." He took off the goggles and handed them to Kari.
"I'll keep them safe for you." She promised and, on impulse, gave Davis a peck on the cheek.
Yolei rolled her eyes and pushed the momentarily stunned boy through the portal. Hawkmon quickly followed.
"Yolei, I have a bit of last minute advice."
"First, you're heading back to a particularly volatile time in history. Be careful. Second, try not to interact with anyone or anything. You're being there can change history, just like the time traveler, for better or for worse."
From beyond the mountain of rocks came silence. The battle was over.
"You'd better go. You know how to get back?"
Yolei nodded, hugged Kari and walked backward into the tunnel. Izzy watched her disappear, shut down the tunnel and handed the D-terminal back to Kari. It was up to Yolei and the others now.
"Ready to face the music?"
He wasn't but Izzy nodded anyway.
Together they stepped out and fought to their deaths.
To be continued...