Standard Disclaimer: I…DO NOT OWN…DIGIMOOOOOOOON! (smashes his guitar into the wall)

Author's Notes: Well, we're at the last chapter of the Comeback Tour. I have to say that this story has been a bit of a challenge in terms of plotlines; juggling them, making sure the characters get their time in the spotlight…that's why I've got a little surprise in store for people at the end of this chapter. What is it? Well…read and find out. ;)

Also, by the time you read this, 9/11 will have come and gone. Five years since the day the direction of this country changed.

A moment of silence for the lost.

And after that, a big 'hooah' for our troops; after all, control of the Iraqi armed forces has been fully handed over to the Iraqis! Progress keeps on going.

Anyhow, let us start.

Begin!

xxxx

Chapter 11: Odaiba, Tokyo's Violet Blossom

xxxx

/Soccer Field, Tamachi School, Tamachi, Tokyo, Friday, June 3rd, 2:19 PM/

Jonathon Motoyama, Principal of the Odaiba School, sighed.

Right now, in the middle of the soccer field, a number of tents were arranged on the green grass, housing refugees from Odaiba. Free space throughout Tokyo – school yards, parks, and the like – was taken up by tents housing refugees, with hotels throughout the city holding a number of the more well-off refugees. Many people had actually moved into different districts, or out of Tokyo entirely.

He couldn't blame them.

Odaiba had been destroyed twice in the span of less than a year. The first time around, it had been rebuilt in a flash, as though nothing had happened.

This time though…

The principal sighed as he stared at the Tamachi school; inside, all of the students were taking the final tests – delayed by the tremendous destruction of last week – of the year. He was grateful that Tamachi School allowed them the space to conclude the year's test…but even so, there was a good chance that the permanent records at Odaiba School were ruined; if that was the case, most, if not all, of the students would have to be held back a year (and THAT wouldn't be nice).

This is all troublesome…

"Ow. Ow. Ow. Ow. Ow. Ow."

Motoyama turned around to see Saya Hakashi walking towards him, her face etched into an expression of pain. "You okay?"

"I've had to walk a lot. My feet aren't used to that…because my 2005 Toyota Solara was slashed to pieces!" moaned the teacher. (At the same time, at the rebuilding site in Odaiba, Dietz sneezed.)

Prinicipal Motoyama chuckled. "It's nice to see you can make a fuss about that considering everything that's happened."

Mrs. Hakashi frowned as she gazed in the direction of Odaiba. "Well…I try not to think about it."

Jonathon Motoyama nodded; that was certainly understandable. "I understand…but still, it's a horrible thing. This is the second time in about seven months that Odaiba's been subject to a conflict involving Digimon…" He briefly glanced upward at the slumbering Betamon atop his head. It had been a miracle that the little guy was alive at all (thank goodness he had been swimming through Tokyo Bay that day to relax; he had practically missed the entire Odaiba conflict with the King). "It's only going to get tougher on those who have partners…"

"But it was Digimon who helped put an end to this crisis." The female teacher pointed up at the Great Journey, situated directly above Odaiba. "That can't be ignored."

A concerned look came to the principal's face. "About that…the Magna Warrior and the Angel of Hope…" He smiled sadly. "I don't think those boys thought that through too well."

Mrs. Hakashi smirked. "I know…they want to help and that's fine…but what are the odds that they've forgotten the costume contest by now?"

It was true; Davis and TK, for the last few months or so, had been fighting as the Magna Warrior and the Bronze Angel/Angel of Hope, alongside the White Angel/Angel of Light. The fact that more students hadn't made the connection yet was sheer coincidence (or luck on Davis and TK's part).

"Should we tell them…?" asked Motoyama.

Saya Hakashi sighed. "Well…they fight for us. They certainly have strange powers that I can't hope to comprehend…the fact that they use those powers for our sake is heartening. I vote for not letting their identities be known."

"Same here…but one of the students will say something one day."

Saya Hakashi didn't respond to the principal's words.

xxxx

/Sky Above Tokyo, 2:45 PM/

Everything looked so small from such heights.

That was a thought that always came to BlackWargreymon when he took to the air. His power was great…but the sensation of flight seemed to solidify that reality. The reality that he was a mighty warrior, capable of many things. His power was destructive…yet at the same time, he had used it to protect.

To protect that small, man-made island in the middle of Tokyo Bay…that island called Odaiba…

"Why haven't we returned to the Digital World yet?" asked BlackWargreymon.

"…no particular reason. I just felt like coming to my old home for a little while…"

Hmm. BlackWargreymon turned his gaze at the massive purple airship hovering above Odaiba, helping to administer the rebuilding process. The battle destroyed so much, and yet the humans continue on…that place was already destroyed once before. The black Mega frowned. "Why do humans fight so hard to protect one certain place?"

Sitting in his arms was Oikawa; the man stared down at the city in silence, his face in an odd look of contemplation. They strive to live, despite the horrors they endure. He brought a hand up to his chest, feeling at the scar beneath the fabric of his clothing. Just like me…I live, despite the horrors I've endured…and also despite the horrors I've inflicted…

BlackWargreymon glanced at his partner. The man known as Yukio Oikawa was troubled and psychologically scarred. His quest for repentance might never end.

But somehow…he still found the strength to go on.

That kind of strength…is worthwhile. BlackWargreymon would've smiled, had he felt inclined to. Humans…such a mystery. Weak and strong at once…

In a way, BlackWargreymon was always fighting. He was fighting his inability to fully grasp human behavior. What persuaded humans to fight on, even in near-death situations? Why would they back away during a small conflict, while a life-or-death struggle would produce not one single coward? Why did their partners feel so compelled to protect them?

BlackWargreymon had once thought it was because humans, though physically weak, were strong in other ways…perhaps strong from a mental point of view.

But now he had to reevaluate his thoughts. Witnessing those Digidestined humans fight was one thing…but what of the others? Those girls, rushing to the aid of the one called Ken Ichijouji? Those motorcycle-riding boys, freeing three female Digidestined from confinement? Those policemen, frail and mortal as any other human, yet charging into battle against a superior foe?

They didn't have partners.

And yet…

One day, I will figure it out, thought BlackWargreymon. I vow to myself that I WILL figure it out. I was on the very edge of grasping the truth once before…I must find it again.

That time he had nearly stumbled upon the truth of why Digimon and human partners fight on…had been when he had saved the life of Davis from SkullSatamon, taking a fatal blow that had killed him. It was a memory of his past life…but it was as clear as day.

xxxx

/BlackWargreymon's Flashback/

BlackWargreymon felt a tad…dizzy.

He looked down at his gut; the scepter had run through him. As SkullSatamon pulled the scepter out, BlackWargreymon saw black blood ooze out of the wound. I should be feeling pain…so why does it feel so…painless?

Even as a cold numbness enveloped his body, BlackWargreymon felt…serenity.

There was a strange satisfaction running through his veins…even though he was dying, he felt at peace. Is this why they fight to protect those weaker than them? To feel this feeling…?

As he slowly slumped to his knees, BlackWargreymon's mind squelched that train of thought. No…there's more to it…I just know there is…but will I ever find out? A wry grin came to his face as he thought about it. Maybe I'll understand…after I'm reborn…will I even be reborn?

As his body began the process of deletion, his yellow eyes caught a glimpse of Davis'.

In those eyes, BlackWargreymon saw shock, confusion…and sorrow. Do I see sadness in those eyes…?

Then he thought no more.

/End Flashback/

xxxx

It honestly still bewildered him why he bothered saving the boy. What had made him choose to sacrifice himself? What?

I will find out one day…

The thoughts of Davis brought another one to mind. His partner. "Remember that valley full of Veemon? That the boy's partner supposedly came from?"

"Yes?"

"I want to…find out something."

Oikawa arched an eyebrow at BlackWargreymon's request.

xxxx

/Outside Tamachi School, Tamachi, Tokyo, 3:14 PM/

Ken Ichijouji aand Joe Kido sweatdropped as Yolei Inoue walked out of the school and fell to her knees. "Um…"

"Tests…are…a…pain…"

The Rocket and the medical student – both having no need to do final tests, for they weren't students of Odaiba School – looked up as the rest of the Digidestined and the Teenage Wolves – along with the other Odaiba students – filtered out of the school. Daichi grimaced as he fell to his rump. "Meh. Those tests are annoying."

"At least you didn't have a problem with cramming," dizzily said Mimi.

"You wouldn't have had to cram if you hadn't been such King fanbrats last week," grumbled Akira.

POW!

Akira's face was now on the ground. Yolei grumbled, "And you don't have to call us 'fanbrats'."

"Uh, how is telling the truth equate to getting knocked on the head?" remarked Davis. He quietly slinked away under her subsequent glare.

Takashi Koudo hid behind Yutaka Chuu, trembling at the sight of Yolei. Why do we have to run into so many scary girls?

Joe looked over at the Tamachi soccer field, noting that their Digimon were volunteering by delivering drinks and snacks to the various tents. "It's nice that Gomamon's found something to do with his time."

"I still don't get how Impmon hasn't made a ruckus yet," wondered Daichi.

"Two words: Gatomon Guard," giggled Kari. However, one couldn't remove the hint of sadness in her eyes; people in tents. Japanese people living as refugees in their own city. It was utterly flabbergasting.

She just wished that her home would be left alone.

TK looked at her eyes and said, "Don't worry Kari. Odaiba will be rebuilt, and we'll all go home." Eventually.

"Yeah! And in the mean time, just have some of this!" Davis reached into his pocket and pulled out his favorite candy bar: Chocolate Explosion. "It's reaaaaal good!"

He peeled open the wrapper.

"MIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIINE!"

uh oh. Davis looked upward to see Veemon diving from the roof.

SMASH!

Davis had barely dodged to the side in time to avoid Veemon's dive. His head was now embedded into the cement…which wasn't a problem, considering how hard his skull was.

In a flash, Veemon was on his feet. "MINE!"

CHOMP.

"AAAAAAAH!"

Everyone sweatdropped at the sight of Davis rolling around on the ground, Veemon's mouth attached to his hand. Tai fidgeted with his blue baseball cap, muttering, "Oy vey…"

A hand suddenly plucked the cap off of his head. Tai moaned as he turned to Sora, who held the item in question. "Can I please have my hat back?"

"Your hair looks good that way Tai," said Sora with a smile.

Tai groaned. "I'd normally say 'thank you'…but this is my HAIR. My trademark! It'll take months for it to grow back! And that laser makes it look someone just sliced a whole chunk of it off!"

Sora looked at Tai's hair thoughtfully. Then she reached into her backpack and pulled out a pair of scissors; she always brought them (you know, arts and crafts? That kind of thing.). Even though today was final exams…but you know, why take them out?

Meh, whatever. Back to the story!

Sora reached up to Tai's hair and started snipping. "Hold still."

"But-"

"I'm trimming it."

"But-!"

"Just shut up Tai," said Matt with a grin.

Tai leered at Matt as Sora began trimming. "Hmph."

"Ooh, that reminds me!" exclaimed Mimi. Her eyes turned towards Izzy. "Your laptop's gone, isn't it?"

The Child of Knowledge casually shrugged. "Oh well."

"Oh well? OH WELL? That was your PINEAPPLE LAPTOP! It's like, your OWN trademark!" roared Tai.

Kari lightly tapped Tai on the nose. "Hold still. Or Sora might accidentally cut your ear off."

Tai froze. "I'll be good."

"In any case, although my laptop was destroyed, I had backups of my hard drive. I managed to get them from the ruins of my apartment – and my room, thankfully, was relatively undamaged – so once I get a new laptop, I'll be just fine," replied the Child of Knowledge.

"How many backups?" asked Yolei out of curiosity.

Izzy pulled off his bulky backpack and unzipped it. "They're in here."

There were about 500 CD cases neatly packed together inside his backpack.

Everyone sweatdropped. Izzy blinked. "What? I had lots of data."

Akira and Daichi just smacked their foreheads. They simultaneously thought, These people are absolutely nuts.

"There we go!" cheered Sora as she looked at her handiwork. Tai's hair was now a bit shorter, but arranged into a somewhat orderly arrangement of spikes; not as even as Davis', but less messy than his old hairstyle. "I think it'll grow on you."

"I can't wait for it to grow PERIOD," moaned Tai. "Thanks anyway." It certainly beats having her hit me, thought Tai with a smile, his mind going back to the day the King had brainwashed her. But man…she has a hard punch!

"YOU'RE ALL FORGETTING ME!" roared Davis, Veemon's mouth still physically attached to his hand.

Cody simply watched, his mind elsewhere at the moment. The Japanese government, before sealing Odaiba off for repairs, had allowed the citizenry to go back in and retrieve any personal items. Cody, Anna, and Armadillomon had managed to retrieve all of his grandfather's kendo titles and belongings; but the dojo itself was a loss.

Grandpa…

Cody Hida frowned. He would have to find some way of continuing the teaching of his students until the dojo could be rebuilt. But he couldn't think of one. And he had a meeting with his students in the Tamachi school's gymnasium today; a meeting arranged the day after KingEtemon's defeat, so as to give his students time to get there. Hmm…

"SOMEBODY GET VEEMON OFF MY HAND!"

Ken Ichijouji watched the proceedings with fondness. To think that, no more than a year ago, he was their sworn enemy. As the Digimon Emperor, he had been consumed by darkness…but they had shown him the light. Despite the rather chaotic nature of the group, they were like family now. A family with their own individual quirks and habits…but a family, nonetheless.

It was almost depressing that he lived so far away from them all. "…"

A shadow fell over them.

"Boy."

Everyone stopped and looked up at the hovering figure in the air. It was none other than BlackWargreymon, with Oikawa sitting on his right shoulder. "You, the one with the Veemon."

Davis suddenly stopped wiggling his arm, allowing his partner to finally unclamp his mouth and devour the rest of the chocolate bar. "What?"

"It concerns your partner's home."

Veemon blinked confusedly. "Uh…wasn't our house destroyed Davish?"

BlackWargreymon scowled. "Not that place. I'm talking about your home before you met your partner."

A wave of surprise and shock went through the Digidestined; Veemon had had a home before being sealed under the Digiegg of Courage? And those two had found it?

BlackWargreyon descended further, holding out his arm towards Davis and Veemon. "Come."

Davis felt a brief twinge of suspicion. But it quickly faded when he remembered that BlackWargreymon had once sacrificed his life for him. He's not a bad guy. "Okay…" He looked towards Veemon." Are you ready?"

Veemon was already on BlackWargreymon's left shoulder. A happy smile adorned his face; it was as though he thought he was going on a field trip. "Well, let's go Davish!"

Davis Inoue smiled. Man…if I just discovered what Veemon just discovered…how the heck does he pull off being so light-hearted? "Well, in that case…" He clambered onto BlackWargreymon's arm. "We'll be back later guys."

BlackWargreymon immediately took off before anyone else could say anything. Tai looked at them taking off and asked, "So…should we count that as an abduction?"

"Har har," said Matt. "Nice joke."

Akira Youhei stared up at the black Mega, his mind becoming slightly distant; he patted at his pocket, which held the check Takeo Koimoto had given. The check his DAD had given him.

He still hadn't shown it to his mom. After all, he didn't quite know what to say to her. She was his mother, abandoned by his deadbeat father…apparently.

But a check for 3,000 dollars?

A check that, if he deduced Takeo's words right…was sent regularly?

What was going on?

Ah screw it. Akira grunted as he stomped off towards the tents on the soccer field, heading for the one where he and his mother had holed up in for the duration. The waiting was just too much of a hassle to deal with; he'd get it over with now, and to heck with the consequences!

He ran a hand through his long, swept-back brown hair before pulling open a tent flap and ducking inside.

Sitting there on a small cot was a relatively small, frail woman. She wore some rather pedestrian clothes; worn-out jeans, a gray T-shirt, and a blue denim jacket with a hole in the elbow. Her long brown hair went down to her hips; it was uncombed and littered with dust, seeing as how she hadn't been able to take a shower since Odaiba fell. Her orange eyes were hidden by the newspaper she held in her hands; the cigarette that hung limply from her lips was also hidden by the newspaper (don't drop it! THERE'LL BE A FIRE!). Her face was rather weary-looking, considering the ordeal everyone had gone through…but there was a hidden softness as well. She looked old beyond her years, but that was only due to her unkempt appearance and the lack of sleep she'd had over the last few days.

Beside her on the cot were some old clothes and a big black briefcase; it was a briefcase that she had had for years…yet he never saw her use it.

Akira waved his hand in front of her eyes.

No response.

He snapped his fingers.

No response.

He plucked the cigarette from her mouth.

SLAM!

Akira now found himself on the ground, his arm pinned behind his back and his mother sitting on him. The cigarette was back in her mouth. "You know better than that boy," muttered Kayoko, her voice sounding rather unenthusiastic.

"Well, I've got your attention," grumbled Akira. He quickly pulled the check out of his pocket and held the check in front of her face. "Explain."

Kayoko looked at it quietly. Then she muttered, "Huh. I was wondering why the check didn't come last week."

"So there's been MORE," growled Akira, his frustration growing by the moment. "Where's the rest?"

Kayoko pointed at the briefcase.

Moments later, Akira was fumbling with the locks; Kayoko said nothing as he opened the clasps. She figured that it was probably a good time for him to know anyway.

Upon opening the briefcase, Akira Youhei felt as though he had been hit as hard as his drums.

Cash. Lots of it.

"I always cash those checks in when I get them. Since Takeo has them written in the name of a close friend of his, it doesn't draw any suspicion from any of his political opponents that try to snoop around."

Akira glared at his mother, who he was suddenly starting to trust less and less. "How long?"

Kayoko cupped a hand around her chin, thinking back. "Hmm…one check a month since you were…5…and six months old. And the value of the payments increased once he became Prime Minister…so about…252,000 dollars."

The Teenage Wolf stared out of shock. Over two hundred grand? In CASH? From his old man? "What…what…" He could barely keep himself from shouting. "WHAT IS THIS…?"

Kayoko Youhei sighed as she sat back on the cot, lying down. Her orange eyes seemed to glow under the dull glow of her lit cigarette. "Well…I have to say, I sent several letters to Takeo after our little 'encounter'…he went back to politics, I had to raise you on my own…life was tough, sure…" Kayoko smirked. "I tended to use colorful language."

Akira forced himself to be silent; he suddenly found himself wishing for a cigarette. Although the other Wolves knew that he was the son of the Prime Minister…they didn't know the circumstances behind it (the 'Love Hotel', to be blunt).

"I actually got a reply." She reached into the briefcase and pulled out a small letter. "Read."

Akira grabbed it and glared the letter.

xxxx

Kayoko,

My apologies. I did not mean to burden you. However, my current station prevents me from coming to see you.

I will instead compensate. Payment every month. That should be enough to help you with your son. I would like to help on a more personal level. But for the time being, he will be your son, not ours. Perhaps when everything's done with, we can start anew.

Raise him well.

Regards, Your Son's Father

xxxx

"So he's been sending you checks every month, eh? Child support payments?" Akira glared at his mother. "With that kind of cash, you wouldn't even have to work as hard as you do. We'd have an even EASIER life."

"I've been saving it up."

Akira stomped his foot. "But WHY! Why hide it!"

Kayoko let a small cloud of smoke drift from her mouth. "For one thing, I didn't want you to get complacent…after all, you'd be a good deal less well off, in my opinion. The only time I ever drew money out was when the rent prove too large for my regular income."

Akira Youhei scowled as his perceptions kept getting hammered by cold hard punches from reality. His mother…had hid this? He had thought his father to always be a total jerk and a waste of a human being for abandoning them…but he had been sending them money…?

Akira growled as he bit back at the questions he really wanted to ask. Instead, he asked something else. "Why…did he say that he couldn't come?"

"…are you an idiot?

Akira glared at his mom.

Kayoko continued. "THINK. You have a brain. What do you think would happen if it were revealed that a politician with the visibility and clout of the Prime Minister position actually had an illegitimate child? Can you imagine what would happen?"

Akira growled as he forced himself to think. His dad was a politician.

Politicians were known for playing political games, compromising, and backstabbing.

Scandals of all shapes and sizes were a common factor in the political field.

DISCOVERING those scandals…was a big deal.

If a scandal involving a certain politician was discovered…then the entire political party he was affiliated with would be put under investigation by their opponents. Other scandals might come to light, bringing even more investigations. The policies of the politician and his party would come under scrutiny…and might even be discredited. Maybe so far as to be…mocked.

So what would happen if Takeo Koimoto – a big pusher for Digimon rights – was discovered to have an illegitimate son?

Akira scowled. He understood now. "I see…"

Kayoko sighed, exhaling more smoke. "I don't worry about it too much…besides, your attempts at trying to get us more money led to you forming that band. And that worked out well…didn't it?"

it did, didn't it? Akira was silent as he thought back to how the Teenage Wolves had started. They had helped to make him into a better person. They actually helped him kick his smoking habit, to boot. "Yeah…I guess so."

"In any case, I'm looking forward to the time Takeo retires." An odd, slightly sad smile came to her face. Was she regretting that she had hid this from him? It sure looked like it. "I suppose that he could just be a jerk who's doing this out of a sense of duty and honor…but if he's actually a nice guy…then things will certainly look up after that, won't they?"

Akira Youhei sat down beside his mom on the cot. She was certainly wise beyond her years, that she was. Though he was still a bit miffed that she had hidden something like this from him…he could understand.

He couldn't help but smile. "Well…you never know. We'll just have to wait and see."

xxxx

/Grid-01J, Valley of the Veemon, 5:30 PM/

Oikawa and BlackWargreymon had originally come to Tokyo through the old computer in Warehouse #7. Since it had been destroyed, they had to go through a computer at an Internet Café in Shinjuku (much to the surprise and shock of the customers; it's not often two humans and two Digimon suddenly disappear through a computer.). Due to the lack of a control program to choose what sector to go to, they had ended up in 01-000-ALPHA (it was the site of where the Emperor's old base fell…and which became UmbraDevimon's base later on).

After over two hours of flying…

Davis and Veemon gaped at the sight. "Whoa…"

Veemon. Lots and lots of Veemon. Along with them were Chibomon and Demiveemon as well.

There were a lot of Veedramon as well, smaller versions of AeroVeedramon, sans the red wings, and with white skin replacing the bone-colored flesh.

And, of course, there was AeroVeedramon.

With the exception of the winged Ultimate, all of their eyes were yellow.

"Ooh…" mumbled Veemon, his red eyes looking at the massive crowd. "That's a lot of me!"

"So the Chosen One is here, eh?" AeroVeedramon looked down at Davis' partner, a look of joy in his eyes. "It's been many years since the Guardian Beasts took you away from the V-Clan. It brings us great honor to have you back!"

Veedramon? AeroVeedramon? Those aren't what Veemon digivolve to, thought Davis with a confused look on his face. He briefly felt for the Crest of Miracles embedded in his chest. Is it because of this? Or maybe me?

Veemon looked at his fellow Digimon in silence.

Then he asked, "Uh…do you have any food?"

Seconds later, a mound of the purple fruit that Oikawa had had once before was dropped in front of Veemon by two Veedramon. AeroVeedramon boastfully roared, "Enjoy!"

"WOOO!" Veemon dove into the mound, chomping away.

A number of Veedramon sweatdropped. This was the Chosen One?

BlackWargreymon noted their looks. Fools. They do not know his true strength.

It seemed AeroVeedramon was thinking along the same lines. "Chosen One."

Veemon paused in his hungry rampage. "Hmm?"

"Could you show us…how strong you are? How strong your link with your partner has made you?"

BlackWargreymon's eyes narrowed. Link with your partner?

Veemon glanced back at Davis. "Well Davish? Can I show off?"

"What do you mean? OF COURSE!" Those were the magic words for the confident, cocky Davis Inoue. He pulled out his D-3. "Digivolve!"

Veemon digivolve to……XVmon!

"Oooooh!" The excitement of the V-Clan was palpable; they had never, in their entire history, had a Veemon digivolve into anything other than a Veedramon.

AeroVeedramon looked on in silence. Less bulky than a Veedramon…more nimble…smaller…and capable of flight. Interesting. "Your Ultimate form?"

Davis grinned as the Crest of Miracles began to glow. "Show them what you've got XVmon!"

XVmon digivolve to……Paildramon!

"Aaaaaah!" The V-Clan, as a whole, was in awe; the winged Ultimate clad in armor of gold was a sight to behold.

AeroVeedramon blinked. Such power emanating from him…how would I fare if I went one-on-one against him? "…can you digivolve any further?"

Paildramon grinned. "Just watch!"

Paildramon……Mega-Digivolve to……Imperialdramon!

"Wooooah!" exclaimed the entire V-Clan. The massive, four-legged dragon that stood before them was both intimidating and awe-inspiring.

AeroVeedramon paled. So he can achieve the Mega level? Unfathomable…no wonder he was chosen to be this boy's partner.

Then, to the Ultimate's shock, Imperialdramon grinned. "And that's not all."

Imperialdramon……Mode-Change to……Fighter Mode!

"……" The bipedal being that now towered over them brought utter silence to the V-Clan. The tales of the Chosen One's departure from their land had been told through years…they had always spoken of how his link with a Digidestined would bring about great power from within him. Never would they have imagined it to be this great.

AeroVeedramon's jaw dropped. Un…believable…he's something else…entirely…

Imperialdramon grinned as he pointed his arm into the air. "Now for a light show! POSITRON LASER!"

The V-Clan stared in silence and in rapture as the blue-and-red laser soared into the sky, splitting the clouds and bringing light to the atmosphere.

AeroVeedramon gulped. Never in all of my years…

BlackWargreymon stared at Imperialdramon in silence. Then he gazed at Davis Inoue. "Hmm." The black Mega had long wondered about the link between partners…and why Digimon who had partners tended to be stronger than all others.

Why is that? How does the link between partners make a Digimon stronger? Even powerful Digimon like UmbraDevimon and Piedmon fell before the might of the Digidestined…how does that link make one strong?

He still didn't understand…but he intended to find out.

"Fancy light show!"

"Trying to shoot someone down with that thing?"

Everyone gazed upward to see none other than the Guardian Beast Xuanwumon descending on a cloud of black mist. Davis blinked at the sight. …is that turtle flying?

"So, it seems that you've reunited with your folk, eh?" asked the left turtlehead.

"You're not going to start crying are you?" asked the right snakehead with an annoyed look in his eyes.

Imperialdramon blinked. "Why would I want to do that?"

Xuanwumon chuckled. "Oh, nothing…" The turtlehead turned to Oikawa and BlackWargreymon. "Gennai would like to speak to you as soon as possible. I'll give you a lift there to save time." The snakehead, at the same time, spoke to Davis. "Also, Gennai wants you to have Izzy come to his house in sector 11-000-IOTA and meet him. He says it has to do with computers or something like that."

Davis blinked. "Uh…okay?"

BlackWargreymon frowned. "Why must we meet that old man again?"

"It's fine BlackWargreymon," muttered Oikawa. "Let's just go."

The Mega snorted as he grabbed Oikawa and ascended towards Xuanwumon. The black Digimon glanced once more at Imperialdramon. Such power you have…what is the key to that power?

BlackWargreymon kept his thoughts to himself as he and Oikawa disappeared within Xuanwumon's black mist. In seconds, they were gone.

Davis and Imperialdramon blinked. "Huh."

"Boy."

Davis turned around to stare at AeroVeedramon. "Yeah?"

The Ultimate smiled. "It is because of you that the Chosen One is strong…will you do us of the V-Clan a favor and remain strong?"

Davis Inoue couldn't help but grin. No wonder Veemon was such a great partner; he came from a clan of good guys! "You don't even have to ask!"

xxxx

/Gymnasium, Tamachi School, Tamachi, 6:00 PM/

Cody Hida looked at his students quietly. All of them were gathered there, inside the Tamachi school's gym. Even Komei Nobunaga and his partner Musyamon were there. Beside Cody was Sentinelmon.

Sentinelmon's purpose would be made clear in a moment.

"Everyone…the old dojo was wrecked by the chaos wrought on Odaiba. So for the time being, until repairs are complete, classes will be suspended. I will expect you to at least keep practicing on your own…" Cody's green eyes lowered. His grandfather's dojo – the last thing that he had owned – was gone now.

Demolished.

Only a few items were salvageable. Namely, the Kendo gear, some shinai…but most importantly, his grandfather's titles. Of the most prominence was a document that certified Daniel Hida as a Judan.

But still…it was a terrible loss.

His hand clenched tightly. He would not give up now. He would endure. Just like everyone else.

"Musyamon, please step forward."

The Champion had a rough idea of what was coming next. Without saying anything, he stepped forward and drew his blade.

Cody calmly merged with Sentinelmon (causing most of his students to gape and secretly wish that they had partners as well). The Double Armored Champion held his blade tightly, in the traditional style of Kendo. "Come."

Musyamon charged.

CLANG!

Musyamon's blade clattered onto the ground. (Sentinelmon's) blade was at his throat.

"!" Musyamon's eyes were wide.

"With our physical strength equal, the result of the match is clear. My strength may not be great physically," muttered (Sentinelmon). Cody spoke quietly…determinedly. "But I am strong in other ways. I have trained hard, and I am training others to attain the skills I've attained through hard work. This is something I hope you realize." (Sentinelmon) turned away, knowing – somehow – that Musyamon was smiling. "I'm going to Odaiba with some friends…to help rebuild. Once the dojo's rebuilt, I'll give notice to you all."

(Sentinelmon) started walking away, leaving his students behind. There was no way he could continue Kendo lessons right now…not when everything was in such disarray…

"Sempai."

(Sentinelmon) turned around.

And he stared.

All of his students were standing there, looking at him with looks of resolve.

Komei was the first to speak. "It would be…unfitting if the students let the instructor do all the work."

They all bowed. Even Musyamon. "Let us help you rebuild!"

(Sentinelmon) blinked at the sight.

Heh. Looks like they're willing to stick with ya, eh 'sempai'?

…apparently so.

All the while, standing at the far end of the gym, Ken stood there.

And he watched.

And he felt…detached.

The others – the Digidestined, the Teenage Wolves – all lived in Odaiba. So they were all hit the hardest by this whole incident.

But his home…was still standing.

He was glad, of course…but it still didn't erase the fact that he was separated from this crisis, in a way. It irritated him.

He wanted to help. Even his father, Kazuma, was in Odaiba right now, working with the reconstruction team.

Ken Ichijouji sighed as his desire became clear. But I can't do that…that's…selfish of me.

How odd that the thing that the Rocket suddenly wanted most was the one thing that he couldn't have.

A life in Odaiba.

A life near the Digidestined. Near his friends. Near Yolei.

But did he really think that he could just uproot his parents to move just for his sake?

No. He couldn't ask that.

The Child of Kindness grimaced as his fists clenched. He forced himself to turn away-

BOOF.

"Urk!" Ken fell back on his rear; he had walked right into the muscular form of the 8'6" Elitemon, Futa Ishisamee. The golden Mega looked down at Ken quietly as the boy said, "Sorry…"

The partner of Hiroaki Ishida handed a paper to Ken. "Here."

The Rocket blinked. "Hmm?"

"The Grand Praetor," Futa briefly snorted; he obviously still didn't like dealing with members of the Forbidden/Transcendent City Digimon. "Asked me to deliver this to each Digidestined that lives in Odaiba, as well as the Teenage Wolves and the one known as Daichi Etsuya."

Ken frowned as Futa walked away. Saying nothing, the Child of Kindness looked at the paper and began reading.

His eyes widened. His pupils dilated. His jaw dropped.

His lips…contorted into a smile.

This is…!

Any faith he had in the Japanese government – which he was rather indifferent to, seeing as how he wasn't TOO politically minded – suddenly quintupled. Especially in the Prime Minister.

To think that Prime Minister Koimoto…could pull this off…

It didn't surprise him that the Japanese government knew of the Digidestined's identities. Given how often they fought to protect Tokyo from rogue Digimon, the government would undoubtedly want to find out. Also, considering their close links to America – which, in turn, had a VERY close link to the Transcendent City – further information on them would've been available.

The Digimon Emperor would've viewed this as an attempt to try and reveal their identities to the public, to humiliate or discredit them.

But he did not exist anymore.

Ken Ichijouji, the Child of Kindness, saw this as repayment.

He had to go get his mom, Keiko…and then he'd have to speak with the principals of both the Tamachi school and the Odaiba school…

Because, if his parents agreed on this…

"Heh…I might actually move to Odaiba…"

Ken's comment to himself as he walked out of the gym was heard by a few females.

Coincidentally, they were Rocketeers.

Which was why they quickly scampered off to inform Tatsuki Tamashiro and the rest of the dreaded fangirl legion.

As for Futa…

xxxx

/Top Observatory, Tokyo Tower, Shiba Park, 6:24 PM/

Futa Ishisamee scaled the side of the massive tower, coming up the observatory at the top in silence. When he scaled the protective rails, his four mandibles clicked together. "They've all been delivered."

Hiroaki Ishida.

Joshua Kido and DemiDevimon.

Teela Yamaki and Lopmon.

Miranda Akiyama and Hagurumon.

Natsuko Ishida.

The Original Digidestined, plus one.

"Good," remarked Hiroaki as he stared at the paper that had been delivered to all of the Digidestined…plus the Teenage Wolves…plus their close friend Daichi Etsuya…and finally, plus their families. "I have to say, it's nice that the Japanese government will be constructing a whole building just for us."

Teela was frowning as she read the paper again. "I don't like it. It smells…rotten."

"I have to agree with you there," remarked Joshua. "However, considering the fact that our children have single-handedly been saving this city from disaster, I would wager that the Japanese government is willing to make some concessions to us. Even for the Teenage Wolves and this 'Daichi' fellow, whoever he is."

"Daichi Etsuya is a close friend of the Digidestined, particularly with Davis," remarked Futa. "He has been helping the Digidestined quite often. Whenever rogue Digimon battle with this city's protectors, they are bound to get media coverage. Their faces are bound to show up on television. After that, it would be simple to match those faces with a name."

Joshua chuckled. "I suppose so…the government can prove to be incompetent more often than not…but when it comes to seeking information about people…they sure don't hesitate."

"Which is why I don't like this," repeated Teela, her fingers messing with her long, raven hair. "It's like they're trying to buy us off with a new home. My home wasn't destroyed, so I have no interest in pursuing this offer. Same with Miranda."

The quiet Akiyama muttered, "Well…I might consider. After all, it's only me and Hagurumon…"

Teela frowned. "I just don't want we Digidestined being reduced to mere weapons."

"We understand your point quite clearly," said Hagurumon in a matter-of-fact tone. "We Digimon are quite powerful when we digivolve to our Champion and Ultimate levels. Our Mega forms, to be blunt, would obliterate nearly any military force."

"Exactly." Teela angrily turned to face her fellow Digidestined. "I know none of you are stupid. As Digimon become more integrated with human society, we'll eventually end up witnessing Digimon being used as tools of war…and this…I just feel like this is just an attempt at weakening us to the point where we become nothing more than dogs of the military."

The point just remained there. Nothing else could be added to her point. After all, it was quite valid; given the nature of humans, it wouldn't take long for a madman to try and utilize the power of a Digimon for his own foul purposes (the fact that it hadn't yet happened was nothing short of a miracle). In the end, nations would begin creating their own Digimon forces…and – with their powers far exceeding that of humans – the world would thus descend into chaos.

"Then all we'd need to do…is to make sure it doesn't happen."

Everyone turned toward Natsuko. She continued on without stopping. "I mean…look at our children. Remember the end of the Odaiba War? Where they were offered a chance to meet the President of the United States? They declined."

DemiDevimon snorted. "Still can't believe they didn't take the chance to meet a big shot like that. I mean, that's just the STUPIDEST thing I've ever-"

POW!

"Please continue," muttered Futa, cracking his knuckles as he stared at the new bump on DemiDevimon's head.

"They declined because they were tired, and wanted to rest," finished Natsuko.

Miranda slightly smiled. "I see…"

"See what?" asked Teela with a frown. "What's your point?"

Natsuko's eyes twinkled as she thought of her two sons. "Our children…they are the ones who will shape the future…they're the ones who will serve as the example to the world." She accepted the fact that her children would continue to get into dangerous situations. It was what they chose to do. Why?

Because they had the power. The power to defeat any enemy that came their way as long as they were united. The power to make a difference…and, most importantly, the power to change the way people thought.

"Because most people have the desire to aim for the sky…and when they see our children in that sky, showing that humans and Digimon can coexist…" She turned towards Odaiba, looking at the ruined district and the purple airship hovering over it. "Then they'll try to reach just as high."

Hiroaki smiled at his wife. "Very eloquently put."

"I certainly like it!" cheered Lopmon.

"Thank you. I just want to have a home again. That's all." Natsuko couldn't help but blush slightly; she had kind of gone off on a bit of a tangent there. "But what I wanted to say was this…if the government IS trying to buy us over, and they try and ask us to fight under their banner in the future…then we'll just say no."

"Funny, I always thought that when a woman said 'no', she meant 'yes'," cracked DemiDevimon.

Considering the fact that DemiDevimon had wings, Teela had no problem with chucking the little Rookie off of the tower.

And if he hadn't had wings…well, she probably would've done so anyway.

xxxx

/11-000-IOTA, Gennai's House, 7:01 PM/

"And that's all there is to say."

"I see…so tell me Oikawa…do you think it was worth it?"

Yukio Oikawa stared listlessly at the old man known as Gennai. They were both sitting in his computer room; BlackWargreymon was standing to the side, his arms crossed. Ever since they had been taken there by Xuanwumon, the last member of the Order had inquired as to what had happened in the battle at Odaiba. Needless to say, some of the details surprised him (Etemon had Mega-Digivolved into an even more powerful form? How…interesting.). However, it had progressed in a manner he was rather accustomed to; Digidestined rise to the occasion, villain initially overwhelms them, Digidestined discover new powers, Digidestined fully unite, villain goes boom.

The total damage, however, was rather troubling. They'll be in for a rather hectic rebuilding process…

Oikawa still hadn't answered.

"Well?"

Finally, the pale man said, "It hurt…to see a repeat of what I had caused last time…but at least this time…I was fighting against what I had done. If that makes any sense."

"Mm-hmm." Gennai turned towards BlackWargreymon. "And you?"

"…well…" BlackWargreymon happily sneered as he sharpened the claws on his gauntlets. "I certainly enjoyed myself."

Gennai sweatdropped.

"I don't quite understand why you sent me," muttered the black-haired man, his purple trench coat still caked with the dust of Odaiba. "I'm…such an imperfect being compared to those children. I'm downright ugly…and putrid…when compared to those children. When compared to the Digidestined that my friend Hiroki was a part of…I am nothing. Even those who were not Digidestined tried to fight…I was not needed there."

Gennai frowned at Oikawa. "You beat up on yourself too much."

"Do I not deserve it?"

Gennai grimaced at the bitter tone in Oikawa's voice. The man was being far too pessimistic for his own good. "What I'm saying is that your actions…your deeds…ARE repentance. And the destiny you have is leading you on the path to redemption."

Oikawa snorted. "What destiny? What destiny could someone like me have?" He was nothing. He hadn't even done that much in the previous battle…all he could do was travel around the Digital World now for the rest of his days, working to try and erase the sins that were too heavy for him to ever bear.

Gennai promptly delivered a smack in the face to Oikawa…figuratively speaking of course. It was a smack delivered with words. "Yukio Oikawa…your destiny is unique amongst Digidestined. You have no crest, but your purpose is defined in its purposelessness. You are He Whose Destiny is Not Yet Destined."

The pale man blinked at these words. What?

BlackWargreymon's eyes narrowed. A destiny that isn't destined? What is he talking about?

"A destiny that isn't carved into stone…that fits you perfectly," remarked Gennai. "Drifting from place to place, never stopping, doing all you can to repent…doing what must be done to make up for your sins…coming at the right time, coming at the darkest hour of the Digidestined…that is who you are." Gennai nearly felt like opening his eyes to stare at Oikawa. "You are like the sword that remains in the sheath until the last moment."

The scarred man considered the notion. He had often considered himself a drifter…perhaps an old-fashioned rurouni; a wanderer…but all too often, he thought very little of who he was. He always thought that his destiny was destined to end in failure…not only because of his sins…but because of the fact that he had no idea why he was doing anything at all.

But to hear that his destiny was to have no destiny? To hear that it was literally open-ended, not bound into stone? That was strangely refreshing to him.

Why?

Because it helped him realize that if his destiny wasn't concrete…then his repentance, no matter how much he loathed himself, was still in reach.

Oikawa smiled. "Let's go BlackWargreymon. I want to get back on our journey."

The black Mega arched an eyebrow; that had been quite a swift change in demeanor. Humans. That was really all that could be said, actually; humans were such a conundrum, a box of mystery that was not only locked, but the key to that lock was also inside the box.

In that way, they were more complex than Digimon.

But that also made understanding them…a challenge.

And BlackWargreymon never backed down from a challenge.

The Mega smirked as he followed his partner out of the room. The two ignored a certain redhead as he walked in. "Oops, pardon me." Izzy Izumi looked back at the two – curiosity briefly in his eyes – before turning to Gennai. "When Davis came back, he told me that you had something to ask."

"Yes I did," said Gennai, stretching his old arms. "Oikawa filled me in about the battle, but I'd like to hear your account. Take as long as you need."

And so Izzy filled him in as well, filling I some details that Oikawa was unaware of, such as the bridge evacuation and other aspects of the fight. "Also, when speaking with the others after the battle ended, I inquired about the new powers that Davis, Yolei, and Cody seemed to exhibit."

Gennai nodded. "Oikawa only gave me a few details about that. Appearances and what they did…can you be more specific?"

"Yes I can," replied the Child of Knowledge. "Halsemon was able to utilize a new technique called the 'Shield of Aegis', which was able to reflect any attack launched at it. It was certainly strong enough to handle KingEtemon's attacks…though its exact durability is unknown. I think Yolei said it was activated when she saw that Ken was about to be killed."

Ah. Love. How poetic. "And?"

Izzy continued on. "Well, Cody said that Armadillomon 'Double Armor Digivolved' into a creature called Sentinelmon; it was Armadillomon with the power of the Digieggs of Knowledge and Reliability. Not only that, but Cody was capable of physically merging with Sentinelmon, able to fight with his own skills…which is pretty deadly when you consider his skill at Kendo. As for why he managed to unlock it…it was because he recognized his own weakness."

Gennai frowned. Interesting…well, Cody IS the Child of Humility…I can hardly think of a more able person able to symbolize both knowledge and reliability at once. Both knowledge and reliability…beat into his noggin by his grandfather's teachings. The old man smiled. "They say that the smartest and most reliable of men are those who don't make a big show of how smart or reliable they are…and Davis?"

"Davis said that when he personally confronted KingEtemon, he became so mad that he ignored any possibilities of losing to him. He just charged right in, saying that he would bring him down with the help of his friends. He then utilized the Digieggs of Courage and Friendship in a procedure called 'Mega Armor Energizing'. It would seem that he utilized the two in conjunction with the Holy Armor of Miracles, supplementing and even increasing his power."

Gennai nodded, thinking back to his conversation with Azulongmon after Shurimon's battle against Ninjamon, Taijamon, and Genjamon.

xxxx

/Gennai's Flashback/

"So…what do you think?"

"…for once Azulongmon, I am at a loss." Gennai was honest; he was completely and utterly stumped. "Shurimon never exhibited such a power. Where did it come from?"

"Well, I never quite got to finish my little Q&A session with the Digidestined after the bout with UmbraDevimon. I wanted to tell them more about the Digieggs, but they were needed in the Real World."

Gennai turned his attention to the Guardian Beast's face. "Then start by telling me."

Azulongmon chuckled. "Although Baithumon, Xuanwumon, Zhuqiaomon, and I all used our Digicores to create new Crests after Shaun's arrival in order to compensate for the new danger, we went back to the old Digieggs we created and imbued them with special powers. The Digieggs of Miracles, Light, Hope, and Wisdom became the Holy Armors: battle-suits that Davis, Kari, TK, and Shaun could call upon at will, with a special ability for each one to boot; Davis could absorb power, Kari was a bane to darkness, TK could rejuvenate Digimon, and Shaun possessed telepathic abilities. HOWEVER," A glint came to the Guardian's eyes. "It wasn't just those four."

"You imbued the Digieggs of Courage, Friendship, Love, Sincerity, Knowledge, and Reliability with special abilities as well…" muttered Gennai.

"Correct. Nothing on part with the Holy Armors; they had to be on a smaller scale. However, they were potent powers nonetheless…powers that could be unlocked during periods of emotional duress where both partners realize the virtue of the Digiegg in question. For Shurimon and Yolei, it was Sincerity…and his special power was the Mirror Eye, the ability to see the truth behind truths…in other words, his perception is heightened to an incredible degree, and he can mimic techniques of other Digimon." The Blue Dragon chuckled again. "It's quite fitting, considering sincerity is basically another word for honesty…or the ability to tell the truth."

Gennai nodded as he processed this new information. "Yes…what of the other Digieggs? What are their abilities?"

"They will be revealed if the time comes. All I can say is that Courage and Friendship are different than the other four…in the meantime, I must be off. So long."

/End Flashback/

xxxx

Hmm. Azulongmon was right…Love gave a new ability to Halsemon. Reliability and Knowledge combined with Armadillomon to give Cody the strength to fully use his skills…but Courage and Friendship merely act as power boosters for Miracles. Considering that Davis is the Child of Miracles though, I can't complain. "I see. That's good to know." He glanced at his computer, seeing the information being added as they spoke; he had set up a microphone to record their voices and save the data in a simple document format. As a precaution, this information was also being upload to a backup database in the basement; at the first sight of a ping from an unknown host (no doubt looking to crack their way into the hard drive), the backups would disconnect from the main computer, ensuring that they wouldn't be hit by any hacking attempts. "I was also made aware of a rift opening up in the sky?"

Izzy blinked. "Oh yeah! It happened when Angewomon's super-charged attack skewered and destroyed KingEtemon and his Dark Network. I hypothesize that this was because of a tremendous flux of energy and power that resulted in a brief tearing between barriers. Siara told us that it was a 'Dream Dimension'…"

"That is correct," replied Gennai with a nod. "Existing parallel to the Digital World is an alternate dimension that has existed for an unknown amount of time. The idea behind the whole thing – and to properly explain it would require me breaking the laws of physics – is that the energy of human dreams and nightmares gathers in this dimension. This dimension then – through a process that would make your head explode, in all probability – interacts with missing and broken pieces of data. This gave rise to the Digital World, which was split by Huanglongmon into a light world and a dark world. Dreams manifest here…while nightmares manifest in the Dark World."

The Child of Knowledge blanched as he fully allowed this information to filter through his mind. So…humans are actually responsible for creating Digimon…in more ways than one. He wondered if any of his dreams had created a Digimon. What about nightmares, though?

That opened up some possibilities that he dared not to pursue.

Shaking the chills away, Izzy asked, "Is…there a reason you wanted to see me Gennai?"

Gennai nodded. "Yes, actually. I-"

The computer started beeping a tinny-sounding warning siren. Gennai grimaced. "Hold on…" He turned back toward his computer; wires emerged from his forearms, merging with the computer circuitry as his fingers dashed along the keyboard. His frustration became more and more apparent. "…mmm…rrr…curses…darn it!" Gennai exhaled forcefully. "All the data I just recorded…copied and taken away…and still no clue as to who's behind it…"

Izzy Izumi looked at the old man, a frown on his face. To see the old man act so angry…was uncharacteristic. "What was that? Did someone just hack into your computer?"

The old man nodded. "You see Izzy…for the past couple of months…someone has been hacking into my computer. Downloading information that was privy to the Order. Information detailing many secrets about the Digital World and its origins…profiles on the Digidestined and the Order, statistics on Digimon, data on the Dream Dimension…so much…so much that could be so horribly abused if it fell into the wrong hands...that's why you're here."

Izzy felt oddly uncomfortable now. "Uh…what are you saying Gennai? What am I here for?"

"I'm old boy," admitted the old man, looking frailer than he had ever looked before. "I…I'm not as good as I used to be. I'm not as nimble. I've been outwitted and outfoxed so many times by this hacker that I'm going nuts! I can no longer use my abilities to their fullest! I, a member of the Order tasked with protecting the Digital World, am failing!"

The Child of Knowledge was shocked into silence. He had never seen Gennai look so…vulnerable. "Gennai…"

The old man's gaze suddenly hardened. "That's why I want you to take my place."

The Digidestined paled. "What?"

"You can decline if you want; I have no intention of forcing you to do this against your will. But know this; if this information gets into the wrong hands…I fear the worst…" The old man flexed his fingers, feeling the aches and pains of a long life. "I can't just let this continue."

The Child of Knowledge couldn't say anything. At all.

But in the end…he could only say one thing.

"I'll do it."

Gennai nodded, feeling relieved. "Very well…for the next couple of months, I'll be teaching you everything I know…and the process won't be easy either. You will be carrying on the mantle of the Order, and I have to prepare you for it."

Izzy Izumi grimaced; that was a low blow. "I guess so…but…what about home?"

"I will send a message detailing why you're here and how long you'll be away…but we can't waste any time."

"Tentomon?"

"The procedure…isn't pretty."

The Child of Knowledge grimaced, already feeling the pain of homesickness set in. Heck, what about Tentomon? He was going to be downright SAD.

But Izzy couldn't let that put him down. No way.

He had a responsibility to uphold.

The responsibility…of a Digidestined.

And like it or not, he had to bear it.

"Okay Gennai."

The old man nodded as he gazed at his computer monitor, which now seemed ominous with its tremendous size. "Then let's begin…" It's time for me to pass on my knowledge to the young…

xxxx

/Rainbow Bridge, Shinagawa, 8:45 PM/

"GET YOUR SOUP AND SANDWICHES HERE! COST: ONE DOLLAR!"

"Digitamamon."

"Eh, sorry bout' that boss. Cost: ONE PENNY!"

"…"

"Bah…fine, it's FREE!"

Noboru Watsuki sighed; apparently, Digitamamon had never heard of 'charity during a crisis' before. At least Goro Gyusalamee was still around to deal with any hecklers.

Gathered at the end of the bridge, Noboru had set up the establishment to pass out Digitamamon's food and any other supplies he could round up. Several people happened to be there right now.

Keibu (Inspector) Walter Macarthur.

Junsa-bucho Ezekiel Ackerson.

Junsa-bucho Miyuki Shinako.

Junsa-bucho Himuro Minamoto.

Junsa-cho Ilene Isadora.

Grand Praetor Guard Wolfgang Dietz.

Dietz sipped some water before saying, "So you guys had some kind of get-together after I left?"

"If by 'get-together', you mean 'went to the bar', then yes," replied Miyuki.

Dietz fake-scowled. "You all suck."

Walter Macarthur sweatdropped. "I see you haven't changed much." He hadn't been around for the action like the others had; in a way, it was almost upsetting. He had been in the thick of things during the Odaiba War, and he knew how morale improved when the highest-ranking officer was right by you in the trenches.

"Except I've become a super kung-fu swordsman with mad skillz!" And yes, he had a 'zzz' sound at the end. Just roll with it.

Ilene sighed. "You know, you could be a bit more restrained."

Dietz grinned. "Why should I? We kicked butt and saved the day."

"And all of Odaiba was leveled," wryly said Ackerson. He had a dry taste in his mouth…and not just because of the sandwiches. "It seems that since Digimon have been introduced into society…things have just gotten more and more hectic."

"Aw, you can't say that!" protested Dietz. "Those guys fought hard and prevented more damage from being done! You know what that's like? It's like a guy shoots a thief inside his own house, and his wife calls the cops on him!"

Himuro smiled. "Oh, I remember that case…that was a hoot. Media had a heyday with the fact that a citizen owned a gun when he shouldn't have."

"Conveniently forgetting that he was an ex-cop," replied Miyuki.

Dietz grinned as he sipped some of the warm miso soup. He didn't care that his red armor made him look out of place compared to the police officers in blue and the Inspector in a brown coat. It was just like old times.

But he would have to leave inevitably.

So he would enjoy their time together while it lasted. Deep down, he knew they were thinking the same.

In the meantime, Dietz would be content with nostalgia. "Okay guys, remember when I ran down that panty thief and when I tried to take back what he stole, it looked like I had stolen the panties at first glance? And it turned out to be Ilene's and Miyuki's? And they arrived on the scene EXACTLY when the thief let go, leaving me with the stolen goods?" The exuberant man rubbed his cheek. "Man, I swear I still feel pain there sometimes…"

Miyuki and Ilene flushed madly upon remembering that story. Himuro and Macarthur sweatdropped. Ackerson merely slapped his forehead. No tact…whatsoever…

But then again, he couldn't imagine Dietz in any other way.

xxxx

/Ruins of Odaiba, Saturday, June 4th, 8:32 AM/

Inside his tent, Takeo Koimoto looked at the massive blueprints out of worry. The Transcendent City Digimon had indeed constructed a masterful plan to rebuild the city. A plan that would turn Odaiba…into something grand.

But still…it would take a lot of time. Even with the physical aid of the Transcendent City Digimon and the financial aid coming in from America and the rest of the world – charity due to the attack on Odaiba – it would still take time. Less time than usual…but perhaps half a year, at the least.

The Prime Minister sighed. Things were going to get hectic.

"Prime Minister Koimoto."

Takeo turned as the Grand Praetor walked into the tent; the Prime Minister had been adamant about being on the site to help lead reconstruction. It was to serve as an example to the rest of Japan that the government was on top of things. "Yes?"

"You might want to come see this."

Takeo Koimoto frowned as he followed Nola Kusulumee out of the tent…but when he came out, his eyes widened with shock.

Streaming towards Odaiba…were Digimon. And humans.

Not just the Digidestined – sans Izzy – either. But other humans as well.

Leading the pack was Imperialdramon: Fighter Mode; atop his shoulder was none other than Davis the Magna Warrior.

"It would seem that the citizens of Japan wish to help rebuild this place," remarked Nola with a smile.

For the first time since KingEtemon's attack…Takeo Koimoto felt a glimmer of hope rise from within. The Grand Praetor had chosen his words well.

Citizens of Japan…human and Digimon alike.

"Yes…I suppose so." The Prime Minister grinned. Things were most certainly looking up.

Speaking of Imperialdramon, he looked at Odaiba and said, "Well, we've got lots of work to do!"

"Imperialdramon?"

The massive Mega glanced at his partner. "Yeah?"

Davis frowned as he recalled the Valley of the Veemon and the V-Clan. Why hadn't Veemon protested when they had to leave? "Are you upset about not remembering them?"

The bipedal Digimon shrugged. "Not sure. I mean, I can't remember my life before being sealed under the Digiegg of Courage, so I wouldn't know."

"…I see." Davis felt a pang of sadness. That had to be awful. Not remembering what life was like at your old home? Not remembering your old family? The Child of Miracles cringed at the thought of forgetting the Motomiya name. Never. Never never never. His partner, despite his happy face, had to be hurting inside. He had to. "Are you…angry?"

Imperialdramon looked at Davis as if he had just sprouted a talking pimple. "What are you talking about? Discovering my family just gives me another reason to be happy! Why would I be upset?"

And just like that, Davis was proven wrong.

The Child of Miracles couldn't help but laugh. Geez…how the heck does he stay so dang happy?

Such happiness – a happiness that would not die – was a miracle in and of itself. "Well…no reason I guess."

Imperialdramon smiled. "Then let's get to work!"

"Yeah!" yelled Davis as he took to the air.

xxxx

And so…time passed…

We now turn…to August…of 2005…

xxxx

/Odaiba Control Room, Central Control Tower, Odaiba, Friday, August 16th, 1:00 PM/

Within the top of Odaiba's tallest building was a massive room that monitored and regulated all of the functions of the city, from the self-sufficient plasma reactor (nearly limitless energy? Bonus!) to the timing of the trains. It was deep within the basement of the Central Control Tower, which now stood in the center of the district. Multiple monitors, all interconnected with the computer network that would run the district, glowing amidst the white lights of the purple expanse.

Amidst the halls of purple metal and glowing circuitry, Prime Minister Takeo Koimoto frowned as he looked at the translucent monitor. The technicians from the Transcendent City were busy trying to utilize and turn on the automated computer network that would help regulate everything in the district…but it was proving to be an arduous task.

Nola Kusulumee stared at the monitor as the technicians worked, grimacing all the while. "This city is rebuilt. All that needs to be put in place is this computer control system; people are getting tired of living outside of Odaiba."

"We're trying our best Grand Praetor," grumbled a black Elitemon, his mandibles clicking together out of frustration. "But the system is enormously complex; more so than that of the Transcendent City. This city is built with many human elements, so it's more difficult to fix the bugs in the programming."

The Elitemon, the Grand Praetor, and the Prime Minister were so fixated on the main monitor, they didn't notice a flash of light on the monitor on the wall behind them.

Suddenly, a voice asked, "Pardon me."

They all turned around.

They paled as wires snaked out of the boy's – yes, BOY – hands, interfacing with the control system beneath the monitor. The boy's eyes seemed to twinkle as the monitor suddenly became alight with information and data readouts, performing trillions upon trillions of calculations per second.

Suddenly, the lights all turned on.

The Elitemon technician blinked at the reports coming in on the screens around him. "Power is online. Everything is operational…!"

Takeo Koimoto stared at the boy in awe.

"No need to thank me. I've already memorized the schematics to this building, so I'll show myself out." With that said, the boy walked away.

The Digimon – plus one human – stared at him in silence.

Finally, Nola said, "Well…it seems our task here is done."

"Indeed it does," muttered Takeo Koimoto, a small smile on his face. "Perhaps it's time to open Odaiba to the public now…"

xxxx

The boy calmly stepped down the steps of the Observation Deck, facing eastward as the sun rose over the horizon. His profile was completely visible; medium build, khaki pants, green shirt, black trench coat, blue tennis shoes, red hair…and the Crest of Knowledge, dangling over his shirt. Resting in his left arm was a silver laptop: one last gift from Gennai, with a hard drive of twenty petabytes (and that is a LOT of space).

Looking down, Izzy Izumi smiled. "Boy. They've sure done a lot of work in two months. Prodigious!"

Odaiba…was brand new.

Not only that…but it was BIG.

The Central Control Tower – the veritable nerve center of the district – was gigantic, stretching over 2,500 feet in the air and possessing a base with a diameter of 500 feet, a circumference of roughly 1,571 feet, and an area of around 196,350 square feet (if you couldn't tell, I'm a math major). This easily made the conical tower – its sides sloping upward at an 84.289406885-degree angle (and that kids is why trigonometry is important. Sine and cosine for the win!) – the tallest manmade (or should I say 'monmade'?) structure of any kind in the world. Affixed to the top of the structure were a number of antennae and satellite dishes; after all, the Central Control Tower served another purpose as well. In essence, it was also the reincarnation of Fuji Television Station. Not only that, but deep at its base was the plasma reactor that powered the whole district with energy. It was a marvel of engineering, and a testament to the work of the Transcendent City.

The actual island of Odaiba itself was drastically altered as well; where all of Odaiba had once been based, it solely existed now as a docking point for ships and a storage area for wares and cargo. Not only that, but it served to hold and support the base of the Central Control Tower; Rainbow Bridge now led straight to a lifting platform affixed straight to the tower, which would lift vehicles and people up like an elevator. So where did all the homes go? The malls? The stores? The amusement park?

About 1,000 feet up, platforms jutted out from the sides of the control tower. Three rectangular platforms – each one with a base of roughly 314 feet and a length of 1,000 feet – jutted out from the tower surface, supported by gigantic struts that stretched down into the waters of Tokyo Bay and to the base of the Tower. These three platforms, each with an area of around 314,000 square feet, served different purposes.

Platform 1: Recreational Sector – Parks, Pallete Town (complete with a new Ferris wheel), amusement parks, and arcades. There was also a domed area that was separated into 12 different sections; within time, the cherry blossom trees within would grow to the point where – with proper environment and climate control provided by the dome – visitors would be able to see cherry blossom trees all year.

Platform 2: Business Sector – The majority of businesses from before were located on this platform; there were also a lot of vacant lots to allow for future construction. Bars, restaurants, hotels, malls, and stores could be found here. Also, Odaiba University had been rebuilt here as well.

Platform 3: Living Sector – All homes were located here. Apartments, condominiums, houses, and the like. Also, since the majority of people lived here, there were multiple marketplaces and restaurants, along with a few hotels; there was also a green parkland on this platform, upon which the Odaiba School had been built.

Each platform was interconnected by highways that spanned along the side of the Central Control Tower; not only that, but the Observation Deck that Izzy stood on could be reached via elevators that traveled up the side of the tower.

The Central Control Tower was made of purple metal, as were the platforms; most of the buildings were constructed in the same style as the rest of Tokyo, with a few exceptions here and there. It was a unique and wondrous fusion of Japan and Transcendent City.

Izzy looked down at Rainbow Bridge; people were waiting on the other side in the Shinagawa district, waiting for Odaiba to be reopened. Well, looks like everyone's ready to come back home.

He remembered the paper Futa had handed him before leaving to 'train' with Gennai. It spoke of a building that would house the Digidestined, their families, and – as a bonus – the families of Daichi Etsuya and the Teenage Wolves.

It was a 16-story building entitled Destiny Haven.

The Child of Knowledge quietly recalled the schematics he had analyzed when linking up with the Central Control Tower's main computer system. He knew where that building was.

Well, better get going.

Izzy Izumi smiled as he stepped into one of the pod-shaped elevators. Things were looking up.

xxxx

/Outside Destiny Haven, Platform 3, Odaiba, 1:35 PM/

It was like a horde of people.

The Inoue Family: Davis, Jun, Yolei, Mantarou, Momoe, Chizuru, Sasuke, Subaru Veemon, and Hawkmon.

The Hida Family: Cody, Anna, and Armadillomon.

The Ichijouji Family: Ken, Kazuma, and Wormmon.

The Kamiya Family: Tai, Kari, Susumu, Yuuko, Agumon, and Gatomon.

The Takenouchi Family: Sora, Haruhiko, Toshiko, and Biyomon.

The Tachikawa Family: Mimi, Keisuke, Satoe, and Palmon.

The Izumi Family: Masami, Yoshie, and Tentomon.

The Kido Family: Joe, Jim, Joshua, Gomamon, and DemiDevimon.

The Akiyama Family (if you could call it that): Miranda and Hagurumon.

The Ishida Family: Matt, TK, Hiroaki, Natsuko, Gabumon, and Patamon.

The Etsuya Family: Daichi, Seta, Yumi, and Impmon.

The Koudo Family: Takashi, Mr. Koudo, and Mrs. Koudo.

The Chuu Family: Yutaka, Mr. Chuu, and Mrs. Chuu.

The Youhei Family: Akira and Kayoko.

And no, Yutaka and Takashi's parents will not get names or descriptions until I focus on them. So don't ask.

"Ooh…" muttered the Digimon as they gazed up at the 16-story building, its purple surface glimmering in the light of the morning sun. It was quite large too; square-shaped all the way up, with a diameter of 200 feet.

That was the equivalent of 40,000 square feet per floor.

Each family would have a LOT of living space, seeing as how there would be one family per floor.

"OOH!" Veemon charged at the front doors, planting his face onto the glass. "It's the convenience store! And there's FOOD."

Every single Digimon was looking in.

Everyone sweatdropped. Seta glanced at his son and asked, "Do they always have such a big appetite?"

Daichi stared at his dad as if he'd asked if the Earth was round. "We live with Impmon, remember?"

"Oh yeah."

Cody briefly recalled the blueprints; they had mentioned a dojo on the second floor. So I'll be able to continue teaching. Excellent.

"I have to say that it's nice that the government picked up the tab for us," said Sasuke with a grin. "Not only building us a new – and BIGGER – place, but restocking the store and putting in new furniture to boot!"

Subaru sighed at her husband's exuberance. "EVERYONE in Odaiba got new things to go with their homes." She recalled the process utilized by the government; due to all of the extra funds that normally would've gone into reconstruction (you know, considering the Digimon that constituted most of the reconstruction team worked for free) and the enormous amount of charity donations from around the world, the Japanese government had no qualms (well, not as much as they normally WOULD have) about paying the Odaiba populace for new furniture and appliances. With a limit of 5,000 dollars per person, they would be given a catalogue. They would then check off any appliances or furniture they desired (refrigerators, air conditioning, freezers, sinks, and a bathroom were already included in each house) before handing the catalogue back in. Essentially, it meant a lot of people were able to get a computer, but at the expense of a sofa or a chair. But it sure made a lot of people happy.

Despite the destruction of Odaiba, it had been rebuilt into something…else. Something grand. Something…otherworldly.

It was exciting.

Well, except for three.

Masami, Yoshie, and Tentomon. It wouldn't be exciting without Izzy.

"Oh man," buzzed the little Rookie, his bulbous green eyes filled with fright. "Where's Izzy? I miss him!"

"Gennai said he'd be gone for a couple of months," said Yolei, recalling the message Gennai had sent to everyone's D-Terminal in June. "I wonder what they're doing?"

"He didn't say," said Mimi.

Masami frowned, his silence saying plenty. Izzy was not his son by birth…but he was still his son. And he was downright MIFFED that his son had essentially been whisked away without warning.

Still…considering the nature of being a Digidestined…he was not as angry as he might have been. It didn't make it any less frustrating though.

"Well, I hope he comes back soon," grumbled Matt. "It just won't be complete without him!"

"After all, 11 needs to have 1 added to have 12 Digidestined."

Everyone turned around to see an astonishing sight: Izzy Izumi.

"IZZY!"

Tentomon barreled him over, blubbering, "Oh how I missed you Izzy! My dear friend! You've been gone so long that I felt making my own cocoon and hibernating to pass the time but I couldn't do that so I-"

Izzy sweatdropped. "Tentomon, calm down! It's okay though…I missed you too." As he held his partner, his eyes gazed at his parents. "Mom…Dad…sorry I've been gone for the summer…but there was something I needed to do."

Silence.

Then Yoshie Izumi smiled as she embraced her son with her lone right arm. "It doesn't matter…you're home now."

"That's all that matters," said Masami, realizing that his frustration had dissipated the moment Izzy had returned. He couldn't stay mad at his son (now Gennai, on the other hand…).

Izzy smiled warmly. "Yeah…it does."

Home.

Home had been rebuilt.

That was something that made Kari Kamiya smile as bright as the light of her Crest. "Well everyone…should we settle in?"

Unfortunately, that triggered an instantaneous reaction amongst the Inoue children, sans Chizuru.

"I CALL MY OWN ROOM!"

Davis, Yolei, Mantarou, Momoe, and Jun charged at the front door, trying to force their way in.

Everyone sweatdropped. Hawkmon raised a finger, asking, "Umm…hasn't all the furniture been moved in already? So haven't their rooms been predetermined…?"

"Ssh! Let them have their fun!" shushed Sasuke and Mimi simultaneously.

Everyone facefaulted.

Meanwhile…

A teenager with slick orange hair and eyes of cold black peered out of a nearby alley, which was actually clean (no surprise, considering it's brand new). Seiji Waya scowled as he stared at the massive group. "Look at them…their stupid monsters help destroy the city, and they're acting as if nothing happened."

"Man Waya, you need to calm down," muttered Saito as he did a head count of his gang. "They helped out. I've gotta give em' that much." He was a bit miffed that they had to leave the bikes behind in Shinagawa for the time being…but it'd give him to memorize Odaiba's new layout. To find all of the hiding spots. To discover all of the shortcuts. "Let's just start browsing around."

As Saito turned around with his gang, Seiji Waya felt a rising swell of hatred emerge as he looked at the older Digidestined, their partners…and DemiDevimon in particular.

As he turned away, he immediately wondered why.

xxxx

/Oval Office, West Wing, White House, Washington D.C., United States of America, Saturday, August 17th, 1:00 AM/

"To conclude my speech, I have to say that what has transpired here is an act of monumental and epoch-making proportions. Digimon have shown themselves to be not only sentient creatures…but they have shown themselves to be just as human as we are. One of their own, like a criminal with a terrible weapon, had wrought a horrible injustice upon us…but Digimon were the ones who brought that villain down. Digimon were the ones who helped us rebuild. It gives me credence to say that they are just like humans in that they have the capacity for both good and evil."

"Nice point," muttered President Jonathon Yates, his shirt rather ruffled. He was watching a live broadcast of Prime Minister Takeo Koimoto's speech, translated via CNN. "Equating Digimon with humans because of their actions in respond to evil…quite fitting, wouldn't you say?"

"I agree," said the Prophet of Reality, the frail and downright alien-looking being staring at the television; his floating throne hovered in midair as he said, "It reminds me of your speech last year, after the Odaiba War ended."

President Yates nodded. "That's right; someone else of high political status is, basically, agreeing with my words. This will give the Digimon rights movement more legitimacy."

Reality nodded, his leathery brown skin etched with wrinkles. "That district…Odaiba…it has changed much."

"No surprise; it always seems to be the epicenter of these Digimon battles."

"Because that is where the Digidestined live."

"True." Yates sighed; the debate over Digimon was the number-one issue in politics the world over. This matter concerning Odaiba would only help Digimon in the long run. "I suppose I should congratulate you and your fellows on the success of Odaiba's reconstruction."

The Prophet of Reality replied, "Gratitude can be saved for later. We should instead focus on the 'now', with the Prime Minister's push for Digimon citizenship in Japan, I suppose it's time for you to consider your own options."

The President of the United States smiled sadly. "I suppose so…I just hope we won't need a digital version of Martin Luther King…"

"So it is with great pleasure and honor that I ask the Japanese government to recognize these Digimon…as people, deserving of their own rights. Deserving of the protection of the law. Progress means to go forward…if we are to progress as Odaiba has within the last few months…then we need to start acting. Digimon destroyed Odaiba…but Digimon rebuilt it into something greater. This district is now Tokyo's Violet Blossom, a testament to the generosity and grace of these mighty and unfamiliar beings. A Digimon…is like a Digiman…in the sense that he warrants the considerations and dignity of a fellow human being." Takeo Koimoto smiled as he spoke. "Now…with all this in mind…let us move forward into a new age."

xxxx

/Soccer Field, Odaiba School, Platform 3, Odaiba, Monday, August 19th, 3:21 PM/

From the air, a Legend of Zelda fan would've cried "TRIFORCE!"

After all, Odaiba School had been rebuilt as a triad; three triangular sections conjoined together, leaving a triangular space open in the middle. The triangles – each five-stories high – were split according to grades: 1-4 for Elementary. 5-8 for Middle. 9-12 for High. The center triangle was where lunch was held; the open space could also be covered by a retractable roof in case of adverse weather conditions.

However, our attention turns to the rest of the school grounds; sitting adjacent to a rectangular purple building – the new gymnasium and auditorium – was a soccer field.

Tai Kamiya smiled as he kicked the ball up and down; his hair had grown back slightly…but it was nowhere near where it once was. Despite that, he couldn't help but feel happy. After all…

"Sora, catch!"

The ball went towards a familiar red-haired girl, her body covered in the same red and white uniform of the Odaiba Overlords. She casually caught the ball with her foot, kicking it up into the air before bouncing it up and down off of her head.

"Nice one Sora!" cheered Tai. "I'm glad you switched back the soccer team instead of sticking with tennis; we haven't been on the same team since we were in fifth grade!"

"And we always won against the High School team, didn't we?" replied Sora with a smile as she let the ball drop onto her foot.

"Now we're back together as…" Tai karate-chopped the air. "THE FIERY OVERLORD DUO!"

Sora blinked.

Tai frowned. "You don't remember the nickname?"

Sora sweatdropped.

Tai facefaulted. "So harsh…"

Sora giggled at her boyfriend's goofiness. "Don't worry Tai. We'll just have to remind everyone."

"Yeah. We'll show Davis a thing or two," replied the Child of Courage as he stared at the Middle School team's bench. Davis was just standing there, talking to another player that they couldn't see at this angle. "Last year, the first game ended in a tie…the second one ended in Davis' favor…I barely pulled out ahead in the third one…and he won in the fourth game as well." Tai clenched his fists, smiling. "Time for some payback!" What better way to start the new school year than kicking butt?

It was a new year. Tai, Sora, Matt, Izzy, Mimi, Akira, Takashi, and Yutaka were now 17-year old seniors, in their final year of high school. Yolei had moved on up into high school as a 9th grade, 14-year old freshman. Davis, TK, Kari, Ken, and Daichi were now 13 in 8th grade, their final year in middle school. Cody, now at the age of 10, was in fifth grade. Jun and Momoe had both graduated, and were now attending Odaiba University. Joe was off at Tokyo University, going for his PhD in Medicine. Jim was still at Odaiba University, now in his junior year.

Time had passed…but they were all still bonded together.

Tai smiled wickedly. "Nothing's going to stop us this time. Nothing!"

As if hearing Tai speak, Davis turned around; a big smile on his face. "Oh Taiiiii…"

The former goggle-boy frowned. …something tells me I overlooked something.

Davis stepped aside. "You forgot our newest playeeeeeer…"

Tai Kamiya's jaw fell to the ground as Ken Ichijouji smirked at him. NOOOOO! I FORGOT THAT KEN GOES TO OUR SCHOOL NOW!

The bleachers were filled with students, eager to see this first match-up…after all, the Rocket was on their team! The Digidestined were also in full force, save for Matt, who was with the Teenage Wolves at a makeshift stand near the edge of the field. Everyone was cheering loud and with pride.

However, one section of the crowd was rather…boisterous.

"GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO ROCKET!"

The Female Rocketeers cheered on; the high schoolers were clad in the standard uniform for the school.

Davis jaw dropped as he exclaimed, "THEY FOLLOWED YOU HERE?"

Ken sweatdropped. Those are some…loyal fans…

Atop the school roof, Wizardmon sweatdropped. "I wonder why she was chosen to be my partner…?"

"Why was Kari chosen as my partner?" jokingly replied Gatomon.

"Good point."

Gatomon sighed, a smile on her face; not only had Odaiba been rebuilt, but her old friend had been reborn. Truly, fate was smiling for a change. "So, how are things with her?"

Wizardmon shrugged. "Tatsuki is fine…but I just wish I could've come here at a more convenient time. After all, I arrived here during a gigantic battle, for goodness' sake. It's just…unsettling."

"Your introduction wasn't long, to be sure."

Wizardmon laughed. "True…but I suppose we have all the time to catch up now, don't we?"

The feline smiled, relishing the fact that her old friend was reborn. It was good to have friends.

On the benches, Daichi grumbled. "Stupid girls. Why'd they go through the trouble of transferring for one guy?"

Yolei shrugged as she tugged at her new, standard high school uniform; a green fuku with a blue ribbon and a knee-length skirt. "Fangirls." Man, this thing is itchy.

"And now ladies and gentlemen," Wormmon's distinctive voice echoed over the field; like at Tamachi, he was now the announcer for the Odaiba games. "Prepare for a stirring performance in the First Quarterly Middle School-High School Game! Featuring the Teenage Wolves for a half time performance and live commentary. Now Rocket, go and kick butt!"

All of the high school players, sans Sora, roared, "BIASED!"

Davis Inoue grinned as he lined up at left halfback. "Ready Ken?"

Ken Ichijouji smiled as he lined up at right halfback. "You bet."

Sora Takenouchi frowned as she lined up at left halfback. "Be strong Tai!"

Tai Kamiya whimpered as he lined up at right halfback. "We're doomed…"

The whistle blew.

What followed…was a relatively sound, 7-2 thrashing in favor of the Middle School students.

And yet, throughout it all, the Digidestined and their friends couldn't help but smile. No matter how things changed in the Real World…some things would always stay the same.

This was the way things should be.

And all the while, one child wearing goggles was watching the game. He was new at this school, having transferred from Shinjuku with two of his friends. Beside him was a red, reptilian Digimon.

The Digimon asked, "Takatomon, what are they doing?"

"They're playing soccer Guilmon!"

"…what does it have to do with socks?"

"Gah, just watch."

"Okay!"

And that, my dear readers, is all you're getting. So nyeh.

xxxx

/Rooftop, Destiny Haven, Platform 3, Odaiba, 4:00 PM/

As the soccer game continued on, a couple watched on from afar, standing atop the Digidestined's apartment complex. The top of the roof held a small garden of flowers, maintained daily by Miranda…who really didn't have much else to do, besides tend to her garden and work at the Fuji TV Station.

Natsuko Ishida sighed. "It all looks so different…"

Hiroaki Ishida replied, "And yet the people…are still the same." His eyes caught a glimpse of gold leaping from rooftop to rooftop; Futa was still doing his regular patrol of the district. Just as before. "Time has progressed…but some things still last…"

"I…hope that our marriage will last this time," muttered Natsuko, a hidden fear dwindling within her heart. She dreaded the possibility that something might go wrong again…would their children survive another divorce?

She couldn't bear the thought of it.

As if knowing that she wanted comfort, Hiroaki's muscular arms wrapped around her. "We'll meet any challenge head-on…because we have friends…and because we have our sons."

Natsuko smiled as she grasped at her husband's rough arms. "Yes…"

Silence drifted between them, the sound of a bustling Odaiba and a rocking-and-rolling Teenage Wolves band lingering in the background.

It was the perfect time for an innocent question.

"Our honeymoon won't have any Elvis impersonators, will there?"

At that, Hiroaki couldn't help but laugh.

Life was good…and after such tremendous hardship, things were finally looking up for the people of Odaiba, both human and Digimon alike.

xxxx

Meanwhile…an entire ocean away…somewhere in Maryland…

xxxx

In a dim room filled with computer monitors, Mr. Bishop asked, "So are the repairs complete?"

"Yes sir," replied a technician as a small computer screen showed the image of a black wire. "All links to the Digimon known as KingEtemon have been deleted. The Dark Network is now fully under our control; any and all firewalls and trap programs within the data have been erased."

"Good…" Mr. Bishop smiled. "Both parts of Phase Two are a success then?"

"Sir?"

The man chuckled, his form barely visible; amidst the black uniform, all one could see was a hair full of thinning black hair and shades. A smirk coated his clean-shaven face, which showed evidence of a man in his 40s who had been on the job for a very long time. "Part of Phase Two was, obviously, to obtain a sample of the Dark Network from Etemon. The foreign data from Digital Limbo managed to alter his code enough so as to enable him to change into an even more powerful form…but in the end, it was inconsequential. The second part…was a direct result of KingEtemon's attack."

The men and Digimon in the room were silent, letting Mr. Bishop continue on. "The return of KingEtemon was timed with the Grand Praetor's diplomatic visit to Japan…there was no doubt that he and the other Digimon would try and fight back. This would inevitably result in a big PR gain for Digimon as a whole, despite short-term losses after the destruction of the district. But as you know, Odaiba was rebuilt…and then some. Public opinion of Digimon is higher than ever before…and that high public opinion is going to be needed if we're to complete this project. Because the American people will have to be 'comfortable' with what we have in mind."

The man calmly turned towards a Vademon who was operating two computers at the same time. "Have you fully categorized the data from Gennai's computer?"

"Yes. It has all been labeled, documented, backed up, and stored."

Mr. Bishop smiled. "Excellent. That information was quite…illuminating." It was unfortunate that, earlier in the month, their access to the old man's databases had suddenly been blocked off; any further attempts they had made had been warded off by a firewall program unlike any they had ever encountered before. Despite that, all of the info they had attained was quite eye-catching.

Information about the Order and its founding. A full, detailed account of the Digidestined's journey in the Digital World. Details on the digivices, tags, and crests. Profiles on Digidestined and Digimon. And – the most interesting of all – the time-traveling powers of XeedMilleniummon and the tale of a boy named Shaun Kamiya.

Time travel was interesting, but Project Echelon had no interest in tampering with it. If they controlled someone with powers like XeedMilleniummon…maybe. But without such a medium, they would leave it alone.

They would only focus on more…attainable goals.

Mr. Bishop turned towards a black Elitemon. "How about Phase Three? Is it underway?"

"Yes sir," mumbled the Ultimate as he clacked his mandibles together. "We have begun splicing the necessary data, and our programmers are working on it as we speak." He pressed some keys, and an image appeared on the main monitor.

A red, upside-down triangle. Three smaller black triangles around it, one on each side. And the letters DR in white.

"Phase Three – Project Digital Reaper – is fully underway."

Mr. Bishop smiled. "Excellent." He turned towards the screen, his fist clenched. You won't be able to hide…not from our D-Reaper…and once we find you, we'll commence Phase Four…and then everything will be in place.

The future was certainly looking bright for the members of Project Echelon.

xxxx

THE END

xxxx

Author's Notes: Well, it's finally over. In my longest Digimon chapter since Revision. You can just tell we're about to enter a new era of Zero 2. Anyhow, it seems that Project Echelon was responsible for hacking Gennai's computer, and unleashing Etemon for the purpose of obtaining the Dark Network for some seemingly darker purpose…and now they're creating the infamous D-Reaper from season 3? And we get our first glimpse at Takato and Guilmon! I'm such a tease.

Now tell me you aren't psyched.

In any case, during the course of the Comeback Tour, something occurred to me.

Zero 2 is TOO. FREAKIN'. BIG.

It can been seen just from this story alone and how many subplots and themes I had to juggle!

Digidestined vs. KingEtemon (The main conflict)

Teenage Wolves vs. The King (Coming together as a group – a pack – to blow away the competition)

Oikawa and BlackWargreymon (Repentance and the quest for understanding)

Gennai and Izzy (Growing old and passing on a legacy to a new generation)

Odaiba's destruction and rebuilding (Enduring a crisis and becoming stronger)

Kayoko, Akira, and Takeo (Awkward family situations)

Natsuko and Hiroaki get married (Importance of family)

The V-Clan (Discovering your origins)

Female Rocketeers (Devotion)

Saito's Gang (Fulfilling a debt and, in Waya's case, foreshadowing)

Takeo's push for Digimon rights (Civil rights movement)

Project Echelon (A new threat on the horizon…?)

You see? It's big. The whole has become infinitely greater than the sum of its parts. It can't be fit in just one story anymore.

That's why I'm beginning a new story.

Zero 2: Side Stories

It is as advertised; short stories, oneshots, drabbles, minifics, and even small arcs. BlackWargreymon and Oikawa's journey through the Digital World? Check. What Izzy went through with Gennai? You bet. Tales of Dietz and the other police from before Revision? Absolutely.

This way, I can elaborate on some mundane details – like who Mr. and Mrs. Chuu are – without wasting valuable story time. It will be updated randomly, and it will focus on multiple characters; it's true that I've focused on Davis a lot over other characters (he's my favorite after all), but he's also gone through the most changes up to a certain point (becoming the leader of the New Digidestined, turning into Darkheart and everything that came from that, dealing with becoming an Inoue, etcetera). But this is a Digimon story; not a Davis story. So I shall do my best to bring light to other characters.

Anyhow, there you have it. The Comeback Tour is over, and we are about 1/4th of the way through the whole Zero 2 saga.

Yep, we've still got a long way to go.

Anyhow, time for the regular question session!

Favorite Chapter (More than one can be listed. Personally? I liked Live and Learn.)

Favorite Humor Piece (Veemon mauling Davis for the chocolate. Hands down. More than one humorous scene can be listed.)

Favorite New Power (Mega Armor Energize, Double Armor Digivolve, or Shield of Aegis?)

Favorite Teenage Wolf (Yutaka, Takashi, or Akira?)

Favorite Part of the KingEtemon Battle (Any part can be listed.)

Favorite Twist (The return of Dietz? Izzy obtaining Gennai's powers? Ken transferring to Odaiba School? List them here!)

And now…for a quarterly questionnaire! These questions apply to ALL of Zero 2.

Favorite Story (For me…it's Revision.)

Favorite Chapter (The one chapter you wanted to read over and over again.)

Favorite Villain (List your favorite villain. More than one can be listed. For me…Darkheart.)

Favorite New Digimon (Aetherdramon, Goliamon, the Forbidden City Digimon…list em'!)

Favorite Original Character (More than one can be listed. I'm quite partial to Shaun, for obvious reasons. But I do like Akira and Daichi, as well.)

Favorite Laugh-Out-Loud Moment (The moment that made you laugh the most in the series. For me…nothing can quite compare to the Weirdest. Dream. Ever. :3 )

Favorite Battle (More than one can be listed. I honestly don't think I've outdone the Kari vs. Darkheart battle yet; it was so dramatic, powerful, and intense. Back-and-forth, with a surprise at the end. A classic good vs. evil battle.)

Favorite Canon Character (What characters from the original show do you think I've done justice to?)

Favorite Canon Re-Imagining (What new take on canon characters do you like the most? Oikawa's role? BlackWargreymon's? Izzy's? List them here!)

Story You're Looking Forward To Most (Tamers? Crisis on Infinite Digiworlds? Shadows of the Light? List em'.)

Favorite Twist (The moment that made you go 'HUH?' more than any other. More than one can be listed.)

Absolute Favorite Moment (The one moment in the series that stuck with you like none other. Only one please. For me…it's Shaun's revelations in episode 38 of Revision.)

And there you have it. Please take the time to answer! Now onto Crisis on Infinite Digiworlds!

See you later, and please review!