Hey there, this here is a sequel to "Atlas".

-N

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"No, sorry, I don't own Digimon."

- Everyone, including myself

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Oh God—

When Takato felt the powerful blow to his stomach, he was certain he hadn't made it—that he hadn't escaped the collapsing underground structure. He even thought he was blinded—but only thought it for the panicked instant when he forgot he'd squeezed his eyes shut. He didn't dare open them, however, until the next blow hit him in his already-wounded leg. He instinctively wanted to shout at the pain, but was winded from the first hit. What he saw, though, was that he was falling, and his mind managed to register quite cogently that the falling would be over in less then a second.

Shi—

Takato did manage to let out an 'oof' when he landed, immediately followed by the landing of two relatively thick branches he realized he just fell through. Just his luck, he supposed. Actually, the ground he landed on was grass, for which he was grateful.

By the time her hit the ground, he barely remembered what was going on. It took him a few seconds to piece together what happened, but he soon did.

Who the hell would make a portal up there?

He ignored the fact that he knew quite well who had opened the portal. Granted, he had little idea what he was doing, and was quite comfortable placing the blame with the portal generator's owner, instead. The seconds—hell, the whole damn day leading up to his present sitquation had been hectic—he really wished he hadn't been so disoriented that he'd been able to identify that he was falling a little sooner.

This whole time, Takato hadn't lifted his head from the ground. The most he'd managed was to roll it to one side so that he could continue breathing—which, at the time, he almost considered not doing for the amount of effort it required. He found himself staring at a forest. The trees looked peculiar, the branches bending at odd angles down then up.

Digital World?

Takato hurt everywhere, and he was tired. But he knew that that wasn't a very reassuring combination of feelings, and knew enough to know that he had to stay awake. He tried moving his right arm. With considerable concentration he managed to notice his fingers were moving.

Good sign.

He lay there for what felt like hours—but was probably minutes—gathering his strength. When he felt he could, Takato pushed himself up off the ground. It felt like he was doing a push-up with a small family standing on his back, but he gritted his teeth and pushed through it.

Takato realized when he raised his chest from the ground, however, that he simply didn't have the strength to stay that way. But he knew he couldn't just lie there. He had to get back home. Back to his friends. Back to Jeri.

Upon the thought, Takato felt he had the energy. He pushed himself into a sitting position, and couldn't hold back the scream when the weight of his body clashed with his obviously broken leg. He felt his eyes instinctively well up with tears at the sudden stab of pain. He gritted his teeth and pushed himself backwards, as his leg dragged along the ground reluctantly. He eventually found his back against a tree.

Takato had been hurt in the digital world before, but the pain had never been this real. The notion that something wasn't right was the last thing he remembered before he passed out.

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Glad to have gotten that out of the way. I've got three characters to introduce, and I want to do it slowly so they're at least a little memorable. At least Takato's alive. Hurray!

-N