A Question of Time
-by Ajora Fravashi

-Disclaimer - I do not own Digimon, nor am I in any way linked to Bandai or Toei.
-Note: I wrote this skit back in December of 2004, after doing some translation work for Tag Tamers, and let it rot on LJ for years. I was doing some clean-up on the journal to collect my drabbles, and thought I'd share this alone. Apologies for the Japanese. Translation notes at the end. Also, the choromon is a personal addition to the game, because I enjoy beating Millenniumon with a clone of him. And Jogress works a bit differently in the games.

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Life was going fairly well in the Digital World, if one would consider being split in two just because one overly powerful being had unresolved issues with the Chosen Child who defeated him a few months ago "well." And it wasn't even a real Chosen Child: the kid had been plucked out of the real world because he was naive enough to reach out and grab the digivice other kids avoided. His mother had said not to accept candy from strangers, but she didn't mention anything about strange devices popping out of a computer screen. He had since been smacked around by various and sundry evil digimon, firmly reminded at every opportunity that he didn't have a real digimon partner, and he never did have much socialization time with the real Chosen Children. They just thanked him for saving them and ran. But, he did enjoy it in the Digital World, even if most of what he did was training up other digimon to help him fight Millenniumon. After all, everyone said Millenniumon was evil, so they had to be right. They were right about him not having a real digimon partner too, which isn't entirely true, but that's another tale for another time.

Akiyama Ryo sat crosslegged in front of the Reload Machine, his attention fixed on his friend's image on the screen. "Hey Ken, what's the hold up?"

Ken's brow furrowed in slight irritation at the question. "I don't understand. I'm supposed to take nine keys to the door to Millenniumon's world, but I don't know what those nine keys are. Did he tell you anything when you fought him?"

"That he cannot be beaten by one power, that I'm the key to his power... Wait, no, scratch that. That I won't be able to dissolve the key to his power. And the door will never open. So it's probably on your end. What'd he say to you?"

"Nothing helpful. He just insulted me, said I'd never beat him in a hundred years and left." Ken's scowl darkened at the memory. No one had ever called him "kisama," and he was less than pleased with it.

"Really?" Ryo blinked blankly at that. Despite the New Year's Eve encounter with Millenniumon, his more recent encounters were almost respectful. Well, if you could call chuckling in his presence and spouting typical videogame villian dialogue before running off (instead of actually finishing him off like Millenniumon was more than capable of at the time) "respectful." His last encounter with Millenniumon in the Moon-Server was just weird, especially when his adversary was, uh, tittering like that. There wasn't a better word for that odd breathy laugh. And, well, "omae ga watashi no chikara no kagi" had nearly alarmed him until it was followed up with "o tokanu ga giri" far too many seconds later. "He wasn't so bad to me..."

The younger boy simply shot him a look that suggested Ken knew something he didn't. "That doesn't excuse the fact that he has always been rude to me, Ryo-san. And I'll have you know that I've been finding pieces of a strange digimental in the Moon-Server on my side of the world."

"Oh? Is it a new one?"

"Kentarumon says they're pieces of the Digimental of Desire. I think Millenniumon meant for our positions to be switched, which would at least partially explain why he was annoyed when he first saw me."

Ryo's expression was one of complete befuddlement. "Why does it matter who's on either half of the Digital World?"

"Ryo-san, think about it. Diablomon was a lure to bring you here. Millenniumon's behavior to you is completely different from his behavior to me, and he insults me one minute before turning to be more respectable to you the next." Ken watched him for a minute, then gave a resigned sigh. "Never mind, I'll tell you when you're older."

Though he wanted to press on the matter, Ryo figured it would probably be better to drop the issue. He liked Ken, but there were times when he just couldn't figure out what Ken was implying and this was one of them. "Well, while you're trying to figure it out, can I drop off this choromon? Ninety-two jogresses and he still hasn't evolved past Megadramon. I know you like Wormmon, but the choromon can at least evolve past Adult. I bet all he needs are a few more jogresses and he'll be able to hit Ultimate."

"It took Seraphimon and Holydramon just seventy or so jogresses to reach Ultimate level. What are you trying to manage with the choromon and why won't he evolve past Perfect?"

The pseudo-Chosen Child looked down at the choromon currently cuddling up to him. "You know, I'm not sure. I just jogressed a deltamon and mugendramon together, and Digitamamon started acting weird and wouldn't tell me exactly what the egg would hatch into. But he's a good fighter, so I don't mind it too much. I bet he'll be great once he makes it to Ultimate."

Ken glanced suspiciously at the choromon, who seemed to glare back with those beady red eyes. "I'll do my best, Ryo-san. Send him over and I'll take him with me on the next trip into the Moon-Server."

The choromon struggled for a bit as Ryo attempted to place him in the Reload Machine's in-box. Ryo was bigger, though, and he calmed once he felt a couple of fingers stroking his back reassuringly. The near- constant spark at the end of his tail glowed in contentment, and Ryo took that moment to slip the choromon out of his hands and into the box. The send button was hit before the choromon knew what happened.

A moment passed before the choromon materialized on Ken's half of the Digital World. Ken glanced quickly at the choromon before Ryo started speaking again, then returned his attention to the monitor.

"Oh, and could you stick a digimental on him? He keeps wanting to evolve to Chimeramon without it, and I'd rather he didn't. Good luck figuring out the keys!"

Ken stared as the screen flickered off, unable to say anything. A chimeramon? With a mugendramon somewhere in the choromon's ridiculously long list of jogresses? He felt rather ill as the choromon glared evilly at him and huddled into a corner of the in-box. With his luck, the little bastard would probably evolve to another millenniumon if given any more jogresses and hate him as much as the real Millenniumon did. And this just added to the burden of trying to find the keys to access the door Millenniumon was hiding behind. Piccolomon said that they were just waiting for Ken to find the keys, not Ryo.

Maybe, someday, it would be enough to make him crack. The fact that he was already contemplating yelling at Ryo for offloading the choromon onto him made him wonder if it was easier being a villian. All he'd have to do was try taking over the world, challenge the hero and make convenient exits, and hide behind an impenetrable door. But for now, he'd have to take the bratty little choromon with him to try and find the keys to Millenniumon's world.

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Translation note 1: "Kisama" is a very rude form of "you," dripping with disgust and probably equivalent to the dub version of the Kaiser's "insect."

TN2: "Omae ga watashi no chikara no kagi," standing alone as it did in Tag Tamers, translates to "You are the key of my power." Millenniumon added "o tokanu ga giri" far too long later, which changes the sentence to "You will never be able to dissolve the key to my power."