Second Coming

Chapter One: A Glimmer of Hope

"SALVATION CANNON!"

For one brief moment in history, the world of the Dark Ocean was completely illuminated. The dull blacks and grays of the twisted world were obliterated. The light had no recognizable color, but it was blinding none the less.

Takeru Takaishi raised his good arm to shield himself from the flying beach debris, the wind howling against his ears. It was an arduous task for the child of Hope; already suffering from exhaustion, blood loss, and various broken bones. But he stood his ground as best he could, planting his feet into the soft soil as he struggled to catch sight of the combatants. He had to see it... he had to see that bastard get deleted.

A stray log thwarted the Digidestined's efforts to stand. TK cursed as it crashed into his already sprained shoulder, causing him to lose his footing. The winds easily swept him up, drowning out any screams he may have emitted, sending him crashing into the cliff. Rubble piled over TK's form as he found himself growing weaker by the second.

His eyes became glassy as he drifted in and out of consciousness. Between this realm and the next.

No! he vehemently rejected the thought of death. I can't... die... yet!

Coming back to his senses, TK realized he was regaining his sight. He peeked through the cracks between the rocks to see that the light was withering. Taking deep breaths, he pushed the stones off of him. Blinking rapidly, TK took the moment to survey his surroundings.

His eyes first came upon the motionless form of Neo Saiba, currently missing his head. Silently wishing he had the time to search for the head to keep as a trophy, he rose shakily to his feet. He looked frantically for the only other human on the battlefield.

There in heap of tattered blacks and reds lie Takato Matsuki. His chest was rising and falling weakly, breaths coming in weak gasps... but he was still alive. TK didn't have the time to fully heal him when Neo impaled his lung, but it would keep him from choking on his own blood until he could get sufficient treatment. The spinning in his vision was stopping; he was becoming numb to all pain. As his breathing calmed, the Chosen Child looked to the last of downed combatants.

The Brave Shield lay in shattered fragments on the sandy beach. Every piece of his armor was battered, his flesh just plain butchered. Even the Dramon Destroyers had been broken off and cast into the sea. He had battled fiercely against the remains of Daemon's evil forces, particularly in his final battle against Daemon's admiral and advisor, Barbamon, who struck him down. He could only hope that there was enough time to pay his respects after viewing the result of the battle.

He looked up into the darkly hued sky. The light was completely receding to the source now, allowing him to confirm his greatest hopes and fears simultaneously. It was a sight that brought more than deja vu to TK. Floating high in the sky as their forms dissipated from bottom to top, was Daemon, the self-proclaimed overlord of all existence, and Paladinmon, the DNA Digivolved form of his and Takato's partners.

Unlike when this exact event occurred between Devimon and Angemon almost a decade ago, there was no maniacal laughter. The Demon Lord Digimon stared in horror at his body, realizing his Super Ultimate Digivolution had failed him. Daemon wailed chillingly as agony in it's purest form made itself known to him. His data was not simply dissipating..t hat attack was completely decomposing him. He would not be reborn into the Digital World, his data would not be reformed. This was truly the end for him. All his planning.. all his plotting... all of his forces... had failed him.

Good riddance.

Paladinmon watched passively as the virus was deleted, just as inexplicably calm as Angemon had been when he first died. If one could see through his helmet, they would note his expression was one of complete acceptance. It was the look one attained when they became completely at peace with their place in the world.

Takeru watched with horror as Paladinmon dissipated, but his subconscious listened with extreme vindictive pleasure as Daemon howled with pain unimaginable. After one final cry, Daemon became completely engulfed in the colorless, divine energy, erased from existence like an unwanted email.

Seeing that his mission was complete, Paladinmon sighed, stopping his struggle to hold what was left of his Super Ultimate form. His body was enveloped in that same colorless light as he De-Digivolved, splitting into two small Digieggs. One was deep blue with a golden, holy symbol on it. The other a dark crimson with a black hazard symbol. With nothing to support them, the two eggs plummeted towards the dark ocean. TK knew that he had to act quickly.

Move dammit! he commanded his weakened body. The Crest of Hope glowed faintly on his chest, his eyes glinting red as he struggled to fly. Love.

He hovered an inch or two off the ground, pushing the wind beneath his feet. It was a fraction of what he was usually capable of, but it would have to be enough. Using every last bit of Digisoul he had left, Takeru jetted forward, flying over the deadly waters bellow. Large ripples were created as he flew with desperation. The Digieggs descended through the air quickly. Too quickly!

I'm not gonna make it! That simple thought of despair caused him to waver, almost sinking into the water as the glow of the Crest of Hope faded. No! No, I will make it. I will! With renewed strength, TK continued forward. He flexed his arms, wincing as his broken humerus objected. He stopped directly under the path of the falling Digieggs, throwing his arms up to create a small gust to halt their decent. He caught them gently, handling them with great care. Sighing, his eyes began to glow grey as he stepped onto the water, creating a small wave to ride back to shore.

Once there, TK staggered to Takato's prone form. Setting the Digieggs down, he set the other boy up by his shoulders, placing him against a large stone. Takato said nothing, still unconscious. TK placed the Digieggs into Takato's crooked arms. Standing upright, he took a moment to look down at the sight. It struck him now that it was finally over.

The war had ended.

Takeru was on his last legs. It would only be moments before he blacked out, possibly to never wake again. But he had to bid farewell to an old friend first. He stumbled his way over to BlackWarGreymon. Once there, he collapsed to his knees, panting. He was vaguely aware that he was kneeling in the dark fluids BlackWarGreyMon excreted from injuries.

The Mega had shallowed breathing. TK knew that the control spire Digimon didn't have long. As if sensing the presence of the child of Hope, the Virus type opened it's golden eyes weakly, turning them to Takeru.

"Is it done?" BlackWarGreymon asked in a strained voice.

"Yes. Paladinmon destroyed him." His voice was deeper now, as one would expect form the sixteen year old leader of the Virus Busters.

"Good." The Virus Digimon laughed his dark laughter for a moment. Even though he had heard it many times before in the echoes of their battles, and even as subdued as it now was... it was still bone chilling to TK. BlackWarGreymon was quiet for a moment, contemplating. After a few more moments of silence, he spoke up. "What of the hamster and the glutton?"

Takeru gave a ghost of a smile. "Reverted back to Digieggs, but still alive."

The Mega nodded slightly, what little armor remained on his head creaking. He jerked, coughing up some black substance. "I don't have much time left.. I'm dying soon."

He looked down at his faithful ally sadly. "Yes.. I'm sorry."

"Don't be," he said, sounding significantly stronger in voice. "In this second life I have gained true purpose. Once he has hatched... tell the hamster I thank him for resurrecting me. Tell my story to any who ask to hear it; both the benevolence and the misdeeds. Leave none of my actions concealed, and let me be judged accordingly."

TK laid a hand on the Mega's spiked shoulder. "You've done great work, BlackWarGreymon. We couldn't have done this without your help. You're beyond judgement now." The Digidestined grinned humorlessly. "And on Patamon's behalf, thanks a lot lizard-lips."

BlackWarGreymon chuckled lightly as his eyes glazed. "You're welcome... rodent." With that, his head tilted and his breathing stopped. The Digimon made from one hundred control spires burst into a black cloud of corrupted data.

The Digidestined watched with a range of emotions, the most notable of which was surprise. Unlike all the other Digimon made from control spires, BlackWarGreymon had dissipated in data instead of simply falling apart. That meant he would be reborn in primary village... whenever it was rebuilt.

He sighed once more as he stood. TK started making his way over the black sand towards Takato before he froze, his injuries catching up to him. His eyes rolled back into his head as he crumpled forward. Darkness claimed him.

Takeru's eyes snapped open the moment he regained consciousness. Virus Busters rule number one: never be caught without your Digivice; as long as you have it, you and your partner may survive. He looked to see it lying on a dresser, its gold and white design glinting from the lamp.

Virus Busters rule number two: always know the whereabouts of your Digimon partner. Lifting his upper body, TK looked from to his left, brightening as he saw a blue Digiegg resting peacefully on a pillow near his head.

Virus Busters rule number three: always be aware of your surroundings. TK only had to glance out of a window and see a school of fish swim by to confirm he was in Gennai's house.

Now all he needed to know was how he got here, and where was Takato.

He picked up the scent of baking. A lot of baking. He sighed in relief. Takato's okay... but how did we get here? He was certainly in no shape to carry me. TK threw the covers off of him, feeling his left arm and ribs to be wrapped in bandages but otherwise fine. I'm almost completely healed.. How long have I been out?

Sighing, TK sat in an upright position, noting he was wearing Gennai's robes and underclothes. Having not worn anything but his usual green uniform for a number of years, TK was reasonably uncomfortable.

But it was just as well. He was tired. Tired of being marked as the Digidestined of Hope when there was none. Tired of being the leader of the Virus Busters when he had just gotten all but two of them killed. He rummaged through his hair, feeling the goggles still strapped to his head. He sighed again, not for the first time wandering how they would have handled it. Not a day went by that he didn't wish Tai or Davis were around to succeed where he failed. He was no leader.

Sure, he had been something of a goto guy, a second-in-command even. But those situations weren't marginally as dangerous as the terror Daemon and his army presented. It hadn't been a 'hey there are those Digidestined on that cliff, let's go attack them' sort of thing. It had been a Goddam war.

But hey.. .who would have thought that Daemon had been building his forces after Ken sent him into the Dark Ocean? That he had followed the same rift that Ryo had between this Digital World and the other? That he would find the D-Reaper program and adapt it to himself to allow him to upload the data of other Digimon and increase his strength? Who would have thought that he would have raised Hell's army practically overnight?

No fucking one, apparently.

It was quite an interesting story if one wasn't too scarred to hear it. It began long before even the original Digidestined had been summoned to battle evil. The original Digital World, the one in which TK and his late friends had their adventures, was becoming massively overpopulated by Digimon. Yggdrasil, the closest thing the Digimon had to a God, sought to remedy the situation by creating another Digital World where there would be enough space for Digimon to continue growing.

It succeeded, copying only the bodies of the four Sovereign and a small number of other Digimon into the second Digital World, while taking almost half of the Digimon in the original DigiWorld with them, erasing all of their memories of the original Digital World. Thus creating enough space for all to thrive.

But this act left Yggdrasil far too weak for a return trip back to the original DigiWorld or even to close the rift that connected both Digital Worlds. Without the strength to maintain its form, whatever the hell it had been, Yggdrasil broke down, reformatting into the creatures known as DigiGnomes and a Digimon known as Calumon, the source of Digivolution in the second Digital World.

Apparently, Yggdrasil had created contingency plans of Digidestined coming to the original DigiWorld in case they were ever needed. The 'God' did not have time nor power to relay this message to the Digimon Sovereign of the second Digital World, which lead to a parallel Real World. This lead to a single DigiGnome finding and implanting the thoughts and programs of Digimon into the mind of Shibumi, one of the 'Monster Makers' of the parallel Earth that the Tamers hailed from.

That one DigiGnome must have been the strongest incarnation of Yggdrasil, because it relayed visions of the Adventure Digidestined and the hardships they faced, up until they destroyed Armageddemon. Shibumi had not only started the program to 'make up' Digimon, but had also written the 'storyline' for the 'television series' of the parallel Earth. None of which he ever got credit for. This was all in accordance to Yggdrasil's plans to bring the Tamers into the second Digital World. The only thing the 'God' had not anticipated was the creation of the D-Reaper program.

That single miscalculation lead to the near destruction of both Digital Worlds and Real Worlds alike. Daemon had found the rift the connecting the two Digital Worlds, searching for methods of gaining strength. Unfortunately, Daemon had found this portal only a few months after the D-Reaper had waged war on the second Digital World and destroyed over half of it.

Impressed in a way only a psychopath could be, he and his followers had blended in stealthily, searching for what had caused such destruction. Inevitably, Daemon had found the D-Reaper program and adapted it to himself, giving him the frightening ability to upload the data of his defeated opponents in synergy with the fact that Digimon became more powerful after every victory. Having gained this power, the Demon Lord then fought and killed the still weakened Digimon Sovereign, uploading their data.

That had truly marked the beginning of the end. With more power than any Digimon before him, the evil bastard waged war against three unsuspecting worlds. The Daemon Corps were no longer a small band of Ultimate level Digimon; among their ranks were Megas and plenty of them.

The parallel Earth had been far too easy for them to conquer. With so few Tamers to stand against them, and the complete uselessness of modern weaponry against the Digimon, the Daemon Corps had almost completely taken over Takato's world. But ultimately, thanks to the Adventure Digidestined, they failed.

Things had been far more complicated in the Adventurer's Real World. Not necessarily better, just more complicated. With so many more Digidestined in this world, the battles were far more grand.

They had been disorganized at first. Just about every Digidestined and Digimon partner for themselves. Daemon was merciless and unrelenting, fully using that to his advantage by ordering the slaughter of straggling Digidestined one by one. But Davis had managed to rally them all together in the Digital World, forming a massive army known as the Digidestined Alliance.

The governments of the world were of little to no help. Barbamon was a cunning bastard. The first thing he had done when attacking their world was destroy the United Nations headquarters. By destroying the center of unity that a large portion of the modernized world held, the Daemon Corps were able to capture a large number cities that the Digidestined couldn't defend. Some nations even turned on one another, blaming other countries for the destruction. Divide and conquer, as they say.

They fought valiantly, every one of them, but it was a losing battle. With so many Mega Digimon to combat, only a handful of the Digidestined were able to actually make a difference in the battles. Imperialdramon, WarGreymon and MetalGarurumon were the only Digimon they had that could stand up to the strongest of the Daemon Corps. But there was one other Digimon who proved able to defeat Daemon's Mega level henchmen.

MagnaAngemon. While not a Mega level, he was still as strong as WarGreymon and MetalGarurumon. This was the reason that TK, along with his brother Matt, Tai, Davis and Ken lead 'platoons' whenever they were not stationed in their home base. This was largely because of the primary need to protect groups from the evil Mega Digimon. At least long enough for backup to arrive, in TK's case.

Davis and Tai wanted to focus the attention of the army on being able to destroy all the Mega Digimon first, theorizing that the virus army would fall apart without them. But their primary concern was protecting as many people as they could. They realized that they either needed more numbers, more Mega Digimon on their side, or, preferably, both. With little other choice, they turned to the Harmonious One's for help.

The four Megas, still weakened from being sealed for so long, decided that they could open a portal into the second Digital World and search for help there. Of course, nothing was that simple. Their strength was limited to send four beings: two Digidestined and their partners.

TK had volunteered for the mission, stating that, while he and MagnaAngemon could hold off the Daemon Corps, they were not key players like the Megas. Kari then volunteered, reasoning that she and TK worked well together. As a testament to his maturity as a leader, and as a person in general, Davis did not shout an objection or try to knock off TK's hat. He considered the reasoning for a moment before nodding, telling them to be careful.

That mission had not... ended... well. But after a grueling trek through the Daemon controlled world, the two Digidestined had managed to find the Tamers. After stunned silence, and several explanations of their quest, the Tamers became convinced that by attacking with the Digidestined, the attacks on their world would cease. Most of the Tamers had gone to fight with them, but Kazu, Kenta, Suzie and a number of other Tamers stayed behind to continue the battle on their front. Many DigiGnomes had given their lives for them to return.

The child of Hope and the Tamers returned to the original Digital World to find their theory correct. While the Daemon Corps had not completely withdrawn from the parallel Real World, all Mega and most Ultimate level Digimon returned to the first Digital World to wage war. That had made things significantly less demanding for the parallel Earth; winning more struggles than before with less numbers.

With their forces fully assembled, they began to turn the tide of the war. Battle after battle after battle, they were victorious, taking back cities and reuniting countries. Naturally, there were some hefty losses, but on a war scale they were outweighed by victories. It seemed inevitable that they were going to be triumphant.

If only things had been that simple...

During all that time, during their victories and defeats in those years of war, Daemon had not been resting. He was reformatting the massive amount of data he had acquired during his conquest of the second Digital World. Taking on a new form, he had Digivolved to the Super Ultimate level, something they hadn't even known existed.

He had shown himself to the entire army as they gathered. With a simple flick of his wing, Daemon had killed off forty Digidestined and their Ultimate level partners. Experienced in the art of war and knowing when to run, Davis ordered a full retreat. Daemon had no intention of allowing them to escape. He was planning on finishing the Digidestined once and for all.

So few had survived that attack. That massacre. It had taken the sacrifice of four Digidestined and Imperialdramon Paladin Mode fighting with all of his strength to allow them to escape. Were it not for the Demon Lord's inexperience in fighting in his newly acquired form, he would have to destroyed them all. As it was, Imperialdramon had been able to revert Daemon back to his Mega form at the cost of his life.

With their leaders and most powerful ally's defeated, the Digidestined had been forced to run for sometime. Divided, they fell one by one. TK had tried to lead what was left of their army as best he could, but he was no Davis or Tai. Rallying a group of people into a powered frenzy in those circumstances wouldn't have been easy for anyone, and for TK... it had been nearly impossible.

Nearly.

Desperate and with dwindling numbers, Takeru methodically rebuilt what was left of the Digidestined. He formed rules, battle plans and escape strategies, renaming them the Virus Busters. He turned to the Sovereign, imploring them to each contribute a portion of their power if the worlds were to survive. With only seven of them left, and two able to reach Mega level, it would not have taken much of the Sovereigns power. For the Digimon unable to go to Mega, each of the Harmonious Ones had given a Chosen Child or Tamer their own power core... except for TK. Azulongmon had been more than a little reluctant to render to TK the Sphere of Hope.

Takeru's eyes narrowed dangerously. Now he knew why and he was going to give that judgmental son of a bitch a piece of his mind. He stood suddenly, only to quickly sit back down as his ribs cracked. Ugh. After I'm feeling better.

Sighing, he threw on some of Gennai's old boots and made his way to the kitchen, the scent of baking becoming much heavier with every step. He could hear the sound of furious munching and the occasional swearing. He smirked slightly. So that was who saved them.

TK slid open the door to see Takato wearing the same robes as himself, with his pink 'kiss the cook' apron and baking in blurred motions. Beelzemon sat on the matted floor, griping about there being no chairs and spiked combat boots not going well with Japanese styled housing as he viciously bit into the bread.

He sighed again, something he had been doing more and more of during the years. Baking was Takato's productive way of remembering his parents, repressing painful memories of a world without them. Beelzemon never powered down from his Mega form after he had lost his Tamers. The red bandana they gave to him was worn, like his own goggles, but tied as tightly as ever around his arm. He mostly spent all of his time randomly picking battles against Daemon's forces, riding through the DigiWorld on his Behemoth motorcycle.

They both turned to him as he entered the room.

Before either TK or Takato could speak, Beelzemon greeted him in his usual friendly manner. "So youse finally decided to wake up, you lazy bum?" his voice carrying the usual heavy New York accent.

"Nice to see you too." TK answered in a deadpan voice.

"You're damn right it's good to see me again! What would your sorry carcases have done if I hadn't swung by? You'd still be bleedin' to death on that damn beach, that's what!" He shrugged his shoulders in what seemed to be a sympathetic gesture. "Honestly, youse humans. Never lookin' before you leap. You owe Behemoth a good scrubbin' by the way; all that damn sand..."

TK scratched his head, face still expressionless. "Well I hadn't planned on things getting so bloody. Still, being attacked on two fronts made them weak enough for us to get by. If you and the other Digimon had come with us instead, their forces wouldn't have been divided enough to penetrate. At least not without using too much energy."

The Virus devil gave a mock salute. "Whatever youse say Admiral Takeru. Probably right though. If I'd known where youse two was really headed, I would have tagged along." He punched his palm. "Man, what I wouldn't give to have seen that asshole deleted."

Takato cut in as Beelzemon groaned. "So how are you feeling TK?"

"I could ask you the same thing," he answered quickly. "You were in much worse condition."

"You can thank the Sovereign for that," Beelzemon answered as he snacked on a muffin, not noticing their darkening gazes, "they sent that Sorcerymon to heal youse two. Seeing as to how you're both still kickin', I'd guess he did ok."

Takato scoffed. "I guess we have something to be thankful to the Sovereign for... for a change."

Beelzemon blinked his three eyes. "What?"

TK answered calmly. "Let's just say we discovered an... unsavory truth about the Harmonious Ones. More importantly, how long have I been unconscious? And what's the status of the Real and Digital Worlds?"

Beelzemon leaned back against the wall, crossing his arms. "First, tell me what happened to Daemon. I want details dammit!"

TK walked to the stove as he began to boil some water. "You know, I could find out about everything from, well, just about anyone. But I'm the only eye witness to Daemon's death." While not entirely true, Patamon was still egged, and since Guilmon wasn't scarfing down massive amounts of bread at the moment, TK assumed the same for him.

The Virus Mega sighed, yielding to the thinly veiled threat. "Fine ya grimy little punk. Youse will be glad to note that all of the Daemon Corps are dead. I guess it happened when the bastard died. And youse been a lump for a good two weeks now. Anyhow, your Real World and DigiWorld is all safe now, and I assume the same for ours." he turned to Takato with the last statement.

With a nod, TK accepted. "Good, good." He then went on to describe the battle he and Takato waged against the world of the Dark Ocean.

Beelzemon whistled. "'Salvation Cannon' huh? Sounds killer. Well good riddance to the bastard." He stood, grabbing a rough handful of baked goods as he prepared to leave. "Well, I'd love to stick around but some of us got work to do. Tell pineapple-head and Patamon I said," he snapped his fingers, giving a double thumbs-up. "Aaay."

Takato sweat dropped. "That's never gonna catch on..."

"Yeah it will! Later chumps." He was gone in a matter of moments.

TK sat quietly, sipping on his cooling tea. Takato ate a muffin in silence, opting to drink coffee instead. They just ate inaudibly for what seemed to stretch into hours. It was their way of silently thanking one another for the support they gave each other in battle.

Takato finally spoke up. "I want to check on my world. Make sure everything is taken care of."

"..."

"TK?"

"It'll take both of us to open a portal."

"Right," he agreed, standing and pulling out his D-Ultima. The Harmonious Ones constructed these special Digivices for the Virus Busters to use; similar with one another in design and function but unique to each of the seven members. This powerful device performed almost all the functions of the D-3s, D-Terminals, and the D-Arcs... and so much more.

Takato's was shaped like a crimson dragon's head, a blood-red fang-like design pattern running down the sides of both white grips. The end of the dragons mouth, located at the bottom of the Digivice, held a slot for Card Slashing/Digi-Modifying. In the center of the D-Ultima was the same hazard symbol from Guilmon's chest, a square screen in the middle of it. To top it off, literally, was a horn like antenna. A clip on the back allowed it to be clipped similarly to the D-Arc, or strapped to the wrist. In a circle around that clip was the Digi-code from his second D-Arc.

Wordlessly, TK mirrored Takato's actions. His D-Ultima was a near duplicate of the hilt of MagnaAngemon's Excalibur, complete with a metallic wrist strap. The angelic runes held the tales of all his past battles and adventures. Two wing like protrusions were located on the sides, along with two antenna shaped like the wings on Seraphimon's helmet. The Sphere of Hope was contained where MagnaAngemon's center gem wold have been, taking the shape of a golden jewel that projected a viewing window when necessary.

They each left to grab their Digieggs, unwilling to leave them unprotected. They meet outside the stairs of Gennai's house to get the best reception possible. Once there, TK just stared at Takato.

"What? What is it?" the Tamer asked.

TK shook his head. "Nothing, it's just.. Are you really going to greet the forces of your world in an apron? A pink apron."

Takato flushed in embarrassment, scratching his head. "Oh, uh, hold on for a second." he said in a rush as he shoved Guilmon's egg into his arms. A few minutes later he emerged wearing only the robes. "Okay," he said taking back the egg, "let's do it."

TK nodded, smirking slightly. As Rika used to say, no matter how tough he got, Takato was just a goof. They both held their D-Ultimas to the same point in the air. As one they called out, "Digi-Port open!" From thin air came a vortex in the space time continuum. But it was not a 'normal' Digi-Port; this one was strictly for communicating, unable to travel to the parallel Earth unless in the second DigiWorld. These portals also happened to be extremely bright.

Takato placed his red goggles on, his old blue ones ruined in their early battles. Takeru reached into his robes and pulled out a pair of shades with dark yellow lenses and a crooked, zigzag frame around the ears. Not to long after forming, the portal showed a startled G-man with blonde hair and dark sunglasses.

"Takato!? Takeru!?" The man's eyebrows became visible above his glasses, a clear look of surprise on his face. He calmed, saying, "We haven't heard from you for so long," expressionlessly.

"Uh, hey Yamaki." Takato said, glancing at the silently ominous TK. "I know I'm a few years past deadline, but we have something to report."

Yamaki glanced at their forms, noting their drastic changes in appearance. "Those must be Digieggs... and you're both limped." The man flicked his lighter for a moment. "You've come from a battle recently. I suppose that has something to do with the destruction of the Daemon Corps?"

"Yes." TK confirmed dully. "We've called to affirm the successful destruction of Daemon, as well as the Daemon Corps in World One and DigiWorld One. By what you've just told us, Daemon's army has been destroyed in your world as well."

Yamaki adjusted his dark glasses. "That is correct. At first we suspected it was some kind of trap. They just started to dissolve, like the D-Reaper's agents."

Takato nodded. "Makes sense. We've learned that Daemon uploaded some of his data to his cronies. Since this was after he uploaded the D-Reaper program to himself, they were all connected to him." Whether they knew it or not Takato thought privately. He wondered if Daemon informed his subordinates of that nasty little surprise. Or if he himself had been aware of it. Oh well.

"I see." Yamaki muttered, satisfied with the report. It quailed so many suspicions. "Well, as the liaison between our world's governments and the Virus Busters, I formally congratulate you on your victory."

And TK lost it.

"Victory!?" TK whispered hoarsely, his face and tone redefining the word sneer. "Everyone and everything we've ever given a damn about is dead or ruin. Four worlds have forever been scarred by near oblivion at the hands of the fucking Anti-Christ!" The child of Hope leveled the shocked government agent with a deadly glare beneath his shades. "Does that sound like a victory to you?"

Yamaki simply stood, haunted eyes shielded by his sunglasses. "I.. I knew you had suffered casualties but... all the others..."

"What others?" TK asked lividly. "Yamaki. We're the last."

"Yeah." Takato sighed dejectedly. "Two years ago, when TK called and told you we were now the Virus Busters, Daemon had just attacked us. By that time," Takato's head slumped, "there were only seven of us left. You probably noticed that you couldn't reach any of us a recently. The rift that connected the two Digital Worlds, the one that allowed you to contact us, was... closed. Without that rift constantly pulling in our messages to one another, the Daemon Corps could easily sense when we made, or attempted to make contact. We had to go dark."

The G-man flicked his lighter vigorously. "I see your reasoning. But... there were hundreds of you before you reformed into a small group. How could Daemon have defeated so many?"

TK just stood silently, having no further use for speaking. That left Takato to answer.

He cleared his throat. "You see, Yamaki, Daemon reached a new level of Digivolution: Super Ultimate. He killed off most of us when he attacked that day. In order to beat him, we had to become stronger than ever. And that... that took time." So much time...

"A level beyond Mega," Yamaki repeated in shocked awe. "I didn't even know such a thing existed."

"It doesn't." Takato said mistakenly. "I mean it does but it didn't before."

"And so you managed to reach that level of power in order to defeat Daemon." Yamaki almost gaped. "Incredible. You two don't disappoint."

"Yes." TK contradicted flatly. "We do."

Yamaki cleared his throat, feeling uncomfortable. "So.. Takato," he turned to the young man, "when will you be returning to our world? My superiors will want to discuss the security of our world with you when they hear you're alive."

Takato simply blinked. An unseen gestured. Then he gave a sad smile, shaking his head. "Yamaki I... I'm not coming back. There's nothing left for me there."

"...Takato, we need you back."

"I can do good for everyone by staying in this Digital World. No powerful enemies will come there looking for revenge or anything. And here, I can stop real threats before they start."

The man drew in a shuddering breath. "Takato, I implore you, please return to your home world."

"I am home." he answered with much finality.

"Dammit you selfish clod," Yamaki snapped, losing his cool,"think about Suzie! Do you want her to be the last Tamer on Earth? Do you really want all the burden to be buried on an eleven year old girl!?"

Managing to resist the urge to scoff, Takato merely grunted in frustration. "Don't try to play me, Yamaki. I know neither you or Mr. Wong would let that happen. Besides, Henry made a Tamer manual for just this occasion. It's hidden near the Digi-Port where I used to hide Guilmon." His face softened then. "And... give the Wong family my condolences."

Yamaki sighed, rubbing his forehead. "And there's nothing I can do to change your mind?"

"No."

Yamaki squirmed uncomfortably. "I feel like, I don't know, I should say something more. I guess... goodbye and good luck." He saluted them. "Thank you for everything."

Takato returned it. "Same here." He nudged the immobile TK, probably cracking a few ribs.

Sighing, TK mechanically gave a salute. "Your assistance was very appreciated." he said in complete monotone.

Yamaki dropped his salute. "All right then. Could you, maybe, get this thing out of my office?" he gestured to the portal.

Takato grinned slightly. "Sure thing. Later, Yamaki."

The portal between dimensions closed an instant later.

Adventurer and Tamer stood quietly for a moment as they removed their shades.

"Now what?" Takato asked.

TK turned on his heel and began walking in the opposite direction of the house under the sea. "I've got questions. Only the Dragon of the East can provide the answers." He stopped, turning back to Takato. "If you don't think you're up for it.."

He sighed. "Let's go. There's no stopping you now anyway."

TK nodded and continued his route. In their condition, it took them a few hours to reach the edge of the shore. Once there, TK whistled loudly. After a few moments of what seemed to be nothing happening, the waters began to bubble. A large, red serpentine creature emerged from the ocean surface.

"MegaSeadramon," TK called out in what was intended to be a congenial voice, "would you please spare some time and take us to File Island?"

The Ultimate looked at them for a moment before nodding silently, swimming closer to the shore so they could hop on. They smiled gratefully before jumping onto the creature's neck. That was singularly the most consistent pleasantry of the DigiWorld.

You could always get a ride.

Going at top speed, they arrived in two hours. MegaSeadramon let the two Chosen Children onto land.

"Thanks MegaSeadramon." TK said as he landed. "I'll be sure to bring you a snack the next time we meet." The Ultimate nodded before shooting up into the air and diving into the ocean.

"Talk about a mon of few words." Takato muttered. He turned to see TK already walking away. "Hey, wait up!"

They stopped to rest a few hours later. It happened to be the same lake where Gabumon had first Digivolved to defeat Seadramon. TK sat, quietly meditating with his back to the surrounding woods. Takato sprawled out on the ground, thinking. Both held their eggs protectively.

The child of Hope began to fidget as his felt his second-in-command give him curious glances. "What?" he snapped, turning his head to give a look bordering on anger.

Takato looked away. "Sorry. Didn't mean to stare."

"No," he shook his head, "I'm sorry. I shouldn't have snapped like that. What's bothering you?"

The other boy seemed apprehensive. "I'm just wondering... how exactly are you going to approach the situation?"

"Bluntly." TK answered, er, bluntly.

"With Daemon finally defeated, you shouldn't go starting a war with the Sovereign." Takato advised sagely. "I'm just saying a little tact won't kill you." Takato could practically feel TK's eyes roll toward him.

"I will not act on anger. But I'd like to ask, how do you feel about it?"

"Seriously? For them to judge you like that is nothing short of a heinous crime." Takato said forcefully.

"I was feeling a bit anxious." TK nodded. "I'll keep my cool. By the way, we may have to climb Infinity Mountain."

Takato gaped. "Climb the mountain? In the condition we're in!? Are you freaking kidding me?"

"No. But it's unlikely." He stood. "Let's move out."

Soon enough they were at the foot of the mountain, where they had first battled Devimon. Faint tears and cracks could still be seen where Black Gears had poured from.

TK looked around. "Damn. No sign of them. I thought for sure they'd be waiting for us to get here."

"What, you were expecting them to be following your every movement?" Takato laughed slightly.

"..."

He blinked. "Oh."

Just then, both of their Digieggs began to glow: Patamon's a bright gold, Guilmon's crimson. Two bright lights emitted from the eggs and shot into the sky like a beacon. The sky began to shift colors between gold, amber, and ruby-red.

"Weird." Takato muttered. "Even for these guys." He looked to the Digieggs as their glows began to fade. TK silently agreed. The sky settled back into what was considered normal in this realm.

"Ooookay." Takato said slowly. "What was the light show for?"

As if to answer his question, four herculean presences made themselves known. One flew from the east. Another ran across the water from the west. The third swam from the north. The fourth flew from the south.

Hovering powerfully above Infinity Mountain was the Dragon of the East, Azulongmon, and the Phoenix of the South, Zhuqiaomon. The two headed Tortoise of the North, Ebonwumon, lodged it's self (selves?) onto the beach. The Tiger of the West, Baihumon, jumped from the water and landed with the assassin's grace a tiger possessed.

The Harmonious Ones glanced about, looking for the source of the beacon. "What is this?" Zhuqiaomon demanded. The Sovereign turned to Azulongmon. "Some pitiful excuse for a reunion?"

"Nice to see you're as magnanimous as ever." Azulongmon quipped. "But no, I did not summon forth the beacons of light." His four eyes landed on the two Digidestined. "But I have some clue as to who did." He directed the tip of his horn towards them.

"Ah," one of Ebonwumon's heads spoke, "that be explaining it."

Baihumon remained silent as he watched, resting his massive paws on the island.

Zhuqiaomon, figuring he'd be here for a while, landed on the island. "So then, it was you who summoned us? What is it? We're very busy with the restoration of our world."

It still surprised Takato that the Zhuqiaomon of this world was less... temperamental, than the one of his DigiWorld had been.

TK just stared coldly at the Sovereign. "There would be no need to rebuild if you hadn't allowed darkness to claim your world in the first place."

Takato smacked his forehead. So much for tact.

"What is the meaning of this, human!?" The phoenix's red aura burned to life. "We Sovereign did not allow the dark forces anything!"

"That is correct young one." Azulongmon stated calmly. "We have taken every precaution possible to preserve the nature of our world."

"Did you?" TK's voice becoming colder than Frigimon's Subzero Ice Punch. "Did you really? Can you honestly say that you each did as much as possible to help the Digidestined? When you still hold five of the Crest Spheres. No, I think not."

"Then you know." Baihumon stated more than asked.

The other Sovereign seemed to catch on to the meaning of TK's accusations, and the severity they held.

"I know everything." TK continued, voice becoming an arctic chill. "I know that you four were the partners of the original Digidestined who defeated Apocalymon. I know that Daemon was the fifth member of your team. I also happen to know that before Daemon became the evil monstrosity he had been... he was once a Seraphimon."

Azulongmon sighed, accepting that TK and Takato now knew the truth they had concealed for so long. "It's all true. Daemon was not just the fifth member, but our leader. Together with our former partners we defeated Apocalymon. But then he... changed."

"He was the greatest of us at one time." the White Tiger said. "But he fell from grace, becoming a Fallen Angel Digimon. This was sometime after our human partners had departed for their world. Together, we managed to defeat Daemon and seal him away."

Ebonwumon spoke next. "Ai, boyo. But things weren't that simple. Once we were sealed by the Dark Masters, Daemon was set free. With so much chaos and the Dark Masters running a muck, he was like a kid in a candy store."

"A really twisted kid in a candy store." his second head nodded.

"None of that matters to me." the child of Hope said flatly. His eyes moved to Azulongmon. "You held out on us because you thought Patamon would end up the same way as Daemon."

Feeling compelled to defend his actions, the Dragon of the East continued. "It is not that simple, TK. Your Crest, that of Hope, is different from the others. In order to be fully operative, it must be in complete harmony with the others; for it is composed of elements from the other seven Crests. Without them to balance you... I did not think you would be able to handle it without corrupting your partner's data."

Takato ground is teeth. "Well obviously you were wrong, seeing that TK mastered the Sphere of Hope when the others were dead... because of you."

"...I have come to realize that perhaps my decision to keep the Sphere of Hope from Takeru was not the best. But please," the Sovereign requested, "try to understand our reasoning. Without the child of Light to help balance you, and the dire experiences you've undergone, we believed that you having that power would result in the darkest of Digivolutions."

"The creation of another Daemon was unacceptable." Zhuqiaomon clarified. "As you know, when we first decided to bring humans back into the Digital World, we each chose two Digimon to battle the forces of evil. We each implored Azulongmon to reconsider his choice of Patamon. But he did not waver. We did manage to convince him not to give you the Sphere of Hope."

"And we know how marvelously that turned out." Takato muttered.

Ignoring the human, Zhuqiaomon continued. "We are just as much to blame for the outcome as Azulongmon."

TK's cold demeanor did not falter in the slightest. "For you to underestimate Patamon in such a gross manner... after everything he gave... the sacrifices he's made. Even if I had been the most evil human to ever live... you should have had faith that Patamon would be strong enough to keep us both from falling into darkness."

"You are correct TK." Azulongmon admitted. "We were mistaken. But now is not the time for such things. We have something of far greater importance to discuss."

Baihumon continued. "Because of the imbalances that Daemon and his army has created, the Digital World is beginning to come apart."

"It does not end there." the Phoenix of the South continued. "All of reality is unraveling itself."

The image of the rainbow on the computer screen imploding on itself came into TK's head. "So all of existence in going to be destroyed because of a massive and irreversible imbalance? Fan-fucking-tastic."

Takato fell to one knee. "Then it's over. All that fighting... for nothing. No matter what we did... no matter what we do... it's all going to end." he ended in a horrified whispered.

"No." Ebonwumon corrected. "There is a way to reverse the process."

TK quirked an eyebrow. "And that is.."

"Our creator." the four Mega Digimon uttered in unison.

"..I thought Yggdrasil created the four of you." Takato said confusedly.

"Indirectly, yes. Yggdrasil directly created the Digimon who sired us. He has slept for thousands of years in the center of the Digital World." the White Tiger answered.

TK looked down at the soil. "And File Island is the center of the DigiWorld. But if you're creator is asleep, how do you intend to wake him?"

Zhuqiaomon took off into the air. "By combining all of our energy, our creator will awaken. I'm not certain what he will do but... he will set things right."

The Harmonious Ones were soon gathered in a diamond-formation on the water, facing one another with their backs to their respective territory. Powerful auras enveloped their bodies as they began to channel energy. TK and Takato watched from the shore.

Their auras expanded, enveloping their entire bodies as they shot forward. They met above the water, swirling together as one. Then, the mass of energy shot into the depths of the ocean, straight to the center of the Digital World.

The Island began to shake violently. In fact, the entire Digital World was trembling from the reawakening of this ancient being. Massive tidal waves formed as something appeared from the ocean depths.

The two humans found it difficult to stand and hold the Digieggs at once, but they managed. A colossal landmass emerged rom the waters. It was light brownish-yellow in color, and seemed to be covered in thorns and prickles. The land was somewhat shaped like a giant bridge, easily ranging from File Island to the Server Continent. Six large spikes, three on each side, protruding on the sides.

"Whoa." Takato said in awe. "So... the creator is going appear on this bridge?"

TK's eyes widened. "No. Because it is the bridge." he realized.

The start of the 'bridge' began to lift up, revealing a massive, gaping maw. A pair of red eyes opened. Then another. And another. All six of them set on the two petrified Chosen Children.

Takeru Takaishi has seen some sights in his time. He once witnessed the a poo-wielding Numemon shove it's waste into the eyes of a Daemon Corps Mega level and live. But this.. Was it even a Digimon? It was not huge. It was positively gargantuan.

But, in the years of war, he had learned to keep a cool head, so he did not tremble. Takato, on the other hand, was a bundle nerves.

Holycrapholycrapholycrapholycrap!

Then it spoke, in a deep booming voice that likely echoed throughout the entire realm. Just as the Sovereign, it's mouth remained still. "I am Fanglongmon, creator of the Four Sovereign. I have watched you for some time Takeru Takaishi."

"I... I thought you were sleeping down there." He almost quivered.

"I have seen you in my dreams; visions of your journey. Your losses... your pain... I have seen them."

Well that's not the least bit disturbing. "Yes, well... Zhuqiaomon said you'd fix the imbalance Daemon created."

"I do have the means to do such a thing, but it is a last resort. My Tai Chitechnique will separate both light and dark of this world, and erase all existence. The DigiWorld will start anew and the balance will be restored."

More than reasonably, the Tamer was upset. "Erase all existence! That defeats the purpose of every sacrifice any Digidestined ever made!" He shook with fury. "It's a disgrace to their very memory!" TK silently agreed.

Either Fanglongmon nodded or the island was bobbing up an down. "There is another way. MyYellow Circletechnique allows me to create portals between realities. This could potentially create an imbalance even greater than the one that exists. But with it.. I could send you... to any time and place that you wish."

TK lost his composure. His jaw trembled as his mouth hung opened. Takato stared ahead at the Mega Digimon that could pass as his own landmass, as if not comprehending what he just said.

"T-t-t." TK failed to form any coherent words.

"To travel back... and see our loved ones again?" Takato asked in little more than a whisper. He gave a longing look in no particular direction, gently palming the Digiegg, thinking of how happy it would make Guilmon. "You can do that?"

"I can. But if I do, you must be able to stop the destruction that the Daemon Corps will inflict on the worlds. If you fail, all existence will unravel itself."

Takato continued. "How far back could you send us?"

"You may return to any time that you wish and I can send you each to your own worlds. However, you must both return to the same time. Wether or not I use Tai Chi or Yellow Circle," he bowed his massive head, "I leave to you."

Slowly, a smile found its way to the Tamer's face. He turned to TK. "Did you hear that? This is the opportunity of a lifetime! TK we could.. TK?"

"We..time..back...could..go..." he stammered illogically.

Takato instantly became worried. I haven't seen him like this since Kari died.. "TK!" he shook him by the shoulder with his free hand. "TK snap out of it!" The blonde didn't respond, simply staring blankly into the sky. Sighing, Takato reared his hand back and delivered two powerful slaps to TK's face.

The blonde stumbled but came to his senses. He blinked. "Sorry about that. I just.."

"Yeah."

"So," he said, standing up straight, "this is really happening? A second chance. We could go back and save them all?"

Takato nodded, his eyes misty at the thought. "Fanglongmon will let us decide when to go. I mean, which when to go to. I mean, ah you know what I mean!" He was deliriously happy.

A chance to do things over... to make things right. At that moment, TK steeled himself. This time I can succeed where I failed. He envisioned all of his friends together, relaxing in the DigiWorld as he danced on Daemon's grave. It was a nice thought.

"So all that's left is to decide what time to go back to." TK stated.

"Right." Takato nodded. "So... when do you tink we should go back?"

TK crossed his arms, balancing the egg. "I considered just going back to when we first entered the Digital World and killing all of our enemies starting with Devimon but.."

"But if you fought all the battles, they wouldn't become strong on their own. And if anything happened to you, they would be crippled." Takato finished

"Right. And the fact that we have to return to the same time." He turned to the God Beast Digimon. "Fanglongmon, do all the worlds run parallel to each other in time?"

"Yes." the Mega confirmed. "After Apocalymon was defeated the second time, all known worlds became parallel in time. Therefore, events of this Digital World and it's Real World and events of the second Digital World and it's Real World happen in unison."

TK made a contemplative noise. "Can you tell me.. When Imperialdramon Paladin Mode had destroyed Armageddemon..what was happening on Earth Two?" Takato glanced at TK before focusing on the Mega.

"At that moment, the Tamers had just gotten GranLocomon out of their world and into the second Digital World."

"Then it's settled. Those were the moments when we were at our strongest. We'll go back to that time." TK turned to Takato. "Agreed?"

"Yeah," he nodded, "but we should have plan. What to do when we get back."

"Hm. There are so many things to take into account. The number of Digidestined, who's willing to fight, and, hell, how the Governments will react. Too many things to know right now." He glanced at his D-Ultima. "But as long as we have these, we should be able to stay in contact. So that's the plan, contact each other ASAP."

"Understood." He gave a bemused smile. "So I guess this is goodbye."

TK nodded "For now. Take care of yourself Commander."

"Same to you Admiral."

The blonde smiled slightly before turning to the Sovereign maker. "We've decided. Please take us to the time that Armageddemon and Parasimon were defeated."

"As you wish." Fanglongmon granted. "Farewell Digidestined. And good luck. Yellow Circle!" Two golden orbs of light surrounded the two Digidestined, one on each side. They began to rotate around them at increasing speed.

"Thank-you Fanglongmon." TK bowed, which Takato mimicked.

"Thank-you for this opportunity."

"The fate of existence rests with you and the decisions you make. I always felt the Harmonious Ones chose wisely when they selected you and you're friends as Digidestined. Do prove me correct." The ground beneath them turned into a yellow vortex and pulled them in.

And just like that, Adventurer and Tamer, Takeru Takaishi and Takato Matsuki, were gone. Vanished to the past for a chance at a brighter future.


Slightly blasphemous title, I know.

This is largely the continuation of an unfinished plot hole from the Adventure 02 series. Daemon is just too powerful to ignore the way the series did. Also, I am largely unsatisfied with how the Adventure series ended as I was hoping that, at some point, Patamon would reach his Mega level.

Anyway, on with the elements of the story. First off, I will admit that I am a Takeru fanboy. He is by far my favorite Digidestined of all time. But don't think that this means I will be playing favorites. One reason I set this story after "Revenge of Diaboromon" and "Runaway Locomon" is so that you can think of all cannon events and achievements that the Digidestined have accomplished, and they'll actually have happened in this universe.

I don't know who they are, but your favorite character will be expound upon at some point. If you're looking forward to reading about your favorite character(s) come through and score some major points in the story, you will not be disappointed. An example of my neutrality in my writing is the fact that I made Takato the only Tamer to survive (except Suzie, who was in the parallel Earth). Going strictly by favorites, I would have picked Henry to be the Tamer to return to the past. I chose TK and Takato because I find them to be the most likely to survive a Digital Holocaust.

Moving on, Pairings. You'll notice I was distinctly neutral on the relationships between all the characters. I only have one rule: no Yaoi or Yuri. Despite the swearing a violent deaths in my story, this is still Digimon and it lacked any homosexual suggestions in it's characters. Now, here are some pairings I'm considering:

Takari- Probably the most popular of all Digimon pairings and my personal favorite. A classic really. They have nice chemistry together and are shown to care for one another at a young age. And they say the best romances develop from friendship. However, there are reasonable doubts to the validity of this pairing. As TK is such a nice guy, you would expect him not to try to be more than friends with Kari and not tell her.

Daikari- Hey, with a more mature Davis and TK and Kari being just friends, it could work.

Kenyako- Ths is actually a definite, as it is cannon, but we can still have fun with it.

Taiora or Sorato- ...I really don't feel strongly about either pairing so I'll let you decide.

Izumimi- Izzy and Mimi..I just like it. They're opposites but they go well together.

Jerato- He likes her. She likes him.

Rukato- I can see how this would work out. The tough chick and nerdy guy always go well together. Takato has also shown some interest Rika.

One last thing. Please, if you happen upon this piece of what I hope to be passable literature, review. I'm late in the game with this fic and I know Digimon fandom is dying. So I would like a review and/or helpful suggestion if you've read the story. And please, for the love of all things Digi, if I forget something, throw it in my face so I'll know I got it wrong.

That's all for now.

Later.