DISCLAIMER: I don't own Digimon, but I do own the original characters introduced in this story and my other stories (except where stated otherwise here or elsewhere by myself).

A/N: Cheers again go to Crazyeight for beta-reading.




By Blazing Chaos


Phase Two

So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish

Part Two


Gallantmon, Renamon, and Calumon finally caught up with the Juggernaut they were chasing, but were so surprised at what they saw in the Kabuki Village that they got swept up into it. Inside the Juggernaut, they came across a huge store of data that threatened to pull the Digimon in, but not Takato. Takato escaped by dreaming in a shot of the Shinjuku Park, but they're fugitives in their own country, and they now have to crawl through the tunnels in the hope of finding Rika. Renamon headed off in the hope of finding Rika at her home, but she'll miss her, as Rika just headed off to Hypnos seeking to clear her name.

WarGreymon, having beaten down Rayleigh with Tai's newfound Angel abilities, had imprisoned him and Falcomon with help from Ken and the others. They were horrified to see Gallantmon and co. be swept into the Juggernaut. Inside Cyberdramon, Milleniummon rebelled, not wanting to die and wanting to take Ryo with him, and in restraining him Rayleigh and Falcomon managed to escape. On the other hand, it's not like they would have much they could do with him anyway. The Demon went back to the real world through the Juggernaut, giving Ryder the realisation that it was their way home and that Takato and Rika are both fine. Even with his brief capture, Rayleigh still seems certain on his plan and whatever he has in store can't be pretty. Ryo ran in the way of Cyberdramon's attacks, but the Digimon didn't hesitate as he'd hoped, taking down Magnamon, GrandisKuwagamon and WarGreymon who flew in the path of the shot as they all seem to faintly recall being Ryo's partner. Rei and Decimamon, Realmon's ultimate form, came to his rescue, but the two Juggernauts colliding overhead still threaten them all.

Mari and Doumon, horrified by what was happening with Milleniummon, the Juggernauts colliding over the village and all the corrupt Digimon running amok, went to find The Priestess and heal her to get the protective shield back. Renardmon tried to use the staff with Taomon's energy, but it didn't work, until Doumon did it instead, focusing on the bond between The Priestess and the girl biomerged inside her, which no-one else had accounted for. It worked, but took a lot of their energy, and The Priestess seemed to have something to warn Mari about. The Priestess quickly flew out and put a stop to all the carnage, restoring the shield, destroying the corrupted Digimon and taking down the berserk Cyberdramon, but the lessons she'd learnt from the Tamers left her with a bad taste in the mouth about killing so easily.

This battle is over, but the war is far from won.

SATURDAY, 14th MAY 2011

Tai Kamiya

"We have to go home."

Ryder's words were a stark contrast to hours before, when they had stumbled to answer the same question. Even so, was it safe? Did they have a plan?

Tai had been paralysed by the same fear, as much as he wanted to return, alone, if needs be. His newfound (and "awesome") Angel abilities only distilled that urge.

Nearby, The Priestess' heels settled into a small crater, her staff lowered slowly as she let loose a deep breath.


Disappointment? Curiosity? No longer did Tai simply assume that all Digimon and all humans shared the same mannerisms. Context was everything: he did not need his ongoing degree in International Politics to learn that. Perhaps one day the Digital World would come under that discipline's wing.

"Ryder, I'm not sure if that's such a good idea," Ken said, rubbing a sore arm as he wandered closer with Wormmon on his shoulder. "Particularly not with our parents and the other non-Tamers: I don't think we could keep them all safe."

"But…" Ryder tailed off, before falling silent. Tai glanced to the Leader of the Angels, curious as to what had caused such a climb down. The boy seemed lost in thought. It wasn't a rare sight from him – far from it – but it was certainly a radical change in tone.

"Why not?" Davis protested. All those who had fought Cyberdramon had gathered, while the beast's Tamer knelt a few metres away, nursing his defeated partner. "We're wanted at home, and we're stuck here. The only way things are going to change is if we go back."

"Why don't we just leave the parents here Tai?" Agumon asked.

As he erred, it hit Tai that everyone was looking to him now - even Ryder, who suggested the idea. He knew he had become the 'leader' of these lost souls, but hell, this was a lot of pressure. For once he couldn't even just count on people to pull through with help from their Digimon: not everyone had one, and they didn't have a big enough team to protect everyone. But…

"Who knows how long it will be before we get a chance to get them back?"

"Assuming we even find a way to get them home," Ryder said cynically, yet it sounded forced. Just what was in his mind? "If you all die…and if Rayleigh does something to me…they'll be stuck here. And forgetting all that, how are we ever going to clear our names?"

"Wait, I thought you wanted us all to go back?" Donmon peered up to his partner.

"Yeah, but I hadn't considered how everyone might die very quickly." This seemed like quite the oversight from the normally-thoughtful boy. "Though…when we were fighting, Rayleigh kept alluding to these plans of his." He scratched his chin. "I think they might affect the whole world…regardless of whether we're there or not. I mean, we'd be under threat, but if we don't…hmm… You know what, I think I should at least go, I'm immortal and so I'd have the best chance of taking Rayleigh down."

"Or becoming his eternal prisoner," Ken said. Tai watched as his eyes kept flicking to the prone boy behind him, not a word coming from Ryo, and certainly not from Hopmon.

"It's worth a try. I might escape."

"You're immortal, not super-human," Donmon dismissed. He seemed to be really against Ryder's plans, a strange contrast considering they usually seemed completely in tune.

"You know I didn't mean that…" he trailed off, leading Donmon to grimace, although why so Tai hadn't a clue.

"You're not going alone!" Davis insisted. "I've put my life on the line before and I'll do it again."

"Yeah, and the way I am right now I think I actually get stronger when I do," Tai nodded. The insanity and sheer danger of it all whispered from the back of his mind. Every battle he used this, he was still taking a big risk. Milleniummon…Cyberdramon – whatever – that beast had cut him down to size even with his powers. Being the Fifth Angel was not going to make him super-human either.

"But…well, I guess it's your decision Tai," Ryder conceded. "Everyone's counting on you, Fifth."

Dammit. All eyes on him again. He instinctively looked away.

And then he looked to a different away. And another. And then, just to be certain, to one more. An army of humans and Digimon were now peeking out of the woodwork and stepping like does across to the uncertain safety of the outdoors.

All of them were at risk whether they went or not. That even included the village residents, presuming the Juggernaut continued to loom beyond the shield, although they could protect themselves somewhat better now that The Priestess had returned to her all-powerful self. And all this was forgetting the improvised health centre he had seen at the dojo, with plenty of vulnerable people and Digimon hurt by the battles, and even less able to defend themselves than the rest of them.

"While we could use your help to rebuild," said holy one began. "My fear for Harmony and for your world means that I believe you should act to save it. Plus you'd only all get in the way, as usual." Multiple personalities? A pretender of being posh? Tai still couldn't nail down precisely what was happening with this particular Digimon. Maybe it had something to do with the girl inside her?

Speaking of which… "With everyone rushing off home, is anyone even going to save them?" In the chaos of it all, he found it hard to even raise the effort himself, not least because they had wreaked far more carnage and actual deaths by simply coming here than the simple (and alive) kidnaps had all those years ago.

Horribly humbling.

They were all at risk, but were they also all powerful? So many humans fighting, so much good they could show. Whatever they did, Rayleigh would portray their Digimon as a threat, but what if they made it clear they weren't? God only knew how – he would have to fly by the strap of his goggles, just like old times. Abandoning the parents and other non-Tamers here was not an option, he had decided that. Not going wasn't an option either: they would be stuck here forever without another chance like the Juggernaut for an en masse return, which was also exactly what they needed to make their case. Probably.

So much uncertainty here.

"All of you. Gather everyone and their stuff together. We're going home."

All nodded, even Ken. Whoever had decided that he had leadership skills clearly had never seen the worry in Tai's mind.

"We also need to get Izzy to send Matt and the others a message. Otherwise they'll be stuck here too."

"Got it," Agumon saluted, smiling even amidst the wrecked village. The half dozen Tamers and Digimon went off to spread the news, Tai being able to watch as it spread. He paused upon the sight of Sora and Kari safe and sound and walking towards him, equally-weary partners in tow.


But still…

Tai's eyes drifted to Ryo. He still held Hopmon close, even as he began to walk away. Dammit, whatever happened in the past, whatever was happening now, Tai was going to help.


Kazu Shioda

Did she trust him now? Had sleeping helped?

"Geez, so much for losing that morning taste in the mouth here," he sighed, licking his lips as he clambered to his feet from the makeshift campsite. Some of the beds were already empty, most notably Ayaka's. She had to be off walking: she wouldn't be stupid enough to run away.

Miki was awake, but she was avoiding his gaze where she lay on her sheets. It wasn't even worth trying. If she wouldn't listen to Kenta, she sure as hell wouldn't listen to Kazu. Speaking of whom, where was Kenta?

Silence. Near enough.

Further enough.

Actually. Quite far from it. Very far from it, as far away from silence as a loud rumbling and thumping was.

"Wow…entrance…" Kazu mumbled, looking up at the newcomer from his large, draconic feet.

"Can't a mon sleep without thumpy McThumperson landing nearby," Impmon groaned, wiping his eyes as he sat up.

VictoryGreymon snorted, his arms crossed. "There are more important things going on right now than sleep."

"I beg to differ," Mimi moaned, yawning as she too sat up.

"Speak for yourself: some of us have been working all night," TyrantKabuterimon differed, and as if to prove his point he dropped a pile of clean bricks. Where they had got them from, god only knew. That said, the town was already looking a bit better than yesterday, even if it was just due to some of the streets being cleared of debris. Kazu felt pangs of guilt when he realised just how many exhausted and injured Digimon must've been working through the night to do so.

"Puts these lousy beds in perspective."

"I've got something too, if you all want to come in 'ere," Datamon peeked out of the nearby, mostly-ruined transmission station. Had he been working too?

Matt climbed up and wandered over, while Jun looked curiously at the short Digimon who she still struggled to believe was her partner. "What is it?"

Datamon grinned. "A message."

"From the others?"

"Seems it."

"Ace," Kazu took a step forward, but someone grasped his shoulder, holding him back.

"Wait." Most of the others walked on into the transmission room, averting their eyes quickly after curious glances back to him and the source of the interruption.

"Are you kidding? This is what I've been waiting…" He paused as he peeked back, catching Ayaka's eyes, just about the only ones that could stop him right now.

Kenta slouched past, pretending he hadn't seen her intervention and looking like the world had ended while he'd been sleeping.

"I talked to him," Ayaka said a little too fast, glancing to the shorter boy and back. She lowered her voice, paying a sidelong glance to their other mutual friend, whose head was now covered in sheets, blocking out the world. "He tried to talk to Miki. I did too. She just keeps talking about bad dreams she's having. She throws up at the slightest bit of blood normally."

"I know. She's my friend too."

Ayaka gave a note of uncertainty.

"Are we friends?" he forced the question upon her. He'd given up on trying for more.

"I spoke to someone last night."


"Someone…strange…" Another sidelong glance, a searching one, given up quickly. "But they made me think…"

"Think what?"

"And decide…"


Kazu's cheeks burst with pain all of a sudden, the move too fast for him to anticipate it. He rushed his hand to grasp it, and opened his mouth to complain, but where Ayaka was holding his other hand, she grasped it tight, a passionate and angry look in her eyes. Maybe that pain wasn't actually so bad after all…

"From now on…if this is really going to work…truth. I may not be a Tamer but I am your girlfriend and you're the guy who lies a thousand times a day. Be honest to me, at least. Okay?"

"Uh…" He mumbled, dumbfounded. "Okay. Just quit slapping me."

"Good," she pecked him on the lips, and began to walk to the transmission station.

Kazu placed a hand on his cheek. "Geez, slap slap kiss kiss alright…" It was a step back from where they'd been the day before, but it was something.

Heck, why was it something? Who had she spoken to? Who had the power to change the mind of an Ayaka scorned?

His eyes began to search too, an unnerving feeling creeping up his back. He wanted to count his blessings on this one. He really did.

Matt wandered out of the transmission station, grasping a piece of paper. "We have a way home!"

Miki emerged from her blankets, looking on the outside just like the mess she must've been inside.

"But I don't think you're going to like it," Matt added, more quietly.

Mari Flynn

It was destroyed.

She had heard people describe places as 'wrecked' after intercourse, but this was far and beyond what they ever could've meant. Where a beautifully-built ceiling once ran from crafted thatch to elegant beam intact, splinters, dust and holes had ruined the perfection. The floor was cracked, while the cupboards had been smashed open by whatever had made that rather large hole in the wall.

Thank Christ their bags were still intact, along with their even more precious contents. She knelt down, opening hers and drawing forth a photo frame and diary. She gazed at one, peering at its details, and then she looked at the frame, glancing it over ever-so-briefly before returning it to the bag. It wasn't cracked.

"I guess everything has its time," DarkRenamon said, phasing in.

"This place didn't deserve it this much," Mari sighed, glancing up at the cracked rafters. "I didn't even know you were sneaking up on me," she added, drawing a small box forth too, prying it open to ensure its contents were still intact. "Our new Angel is a lot more useful than me, but at least I can give him his necklace." She reached for the fourth one, but paused, recalling what Ryder had said. As she took the fifth in her hand, she frowned. Had Tai mentioned it to him? Mari felt it in herself that she was the Second, maybe Tai was the same?

Or maybe this was yet another thing Ryder never quite explained his knowledge of.

Maybe this was proof?

She dismissed the notion, more out of want than of knowledge, shoving the pendant and its chain down into her pocket and standing up.

"We may not have that bond, Mari, but we aren't weak. I thought we proved that today?"

"I guess we saved a biomerge, but we needed help even then, and we still can't do it ourselves. We're still low on the food chain here…" She noticed DarkRenamon's sad expression. Maybe she was too hard on the fox about all this? "But…I want to thank you for your help."

"It's fine, it's what partners are for. I still believe we played no small role in saving as much of this place as we could," the Digimon said, peering at the beams. Her movements were slower and more laboured than usual, jarring as she came up against a sore spot in her limbs. "Now, I have to go off to deal with something."

"Would you let me know what even if we were psychic?"

"It's just personal things. Tying up loose ends."


Ryo Akiyama

"I'm fine." He was fine, wasn't he?

Of course he wasn't.

"Look Ryo, I'm not trying to be rude but you need help with this. I know we needed your help the last time we faced Milleniummon, and I know we tricked you but…"

"This is nothing to do with that!" It had everything to do with that. God, Ryo felt angry. He was never this outwardly angry. He clung tightly to the unconscious Hopmon.

"Tai." Kari's tone was more soothing, harder to be angry at. "What is this whole business about? What happened?"

"It's a long story," Tai said. To Ryo, this was the understatement of the century.

"Oh…but…whatever it is…you don't have to face this alone, Ryo," Kari said.

"It's better if I face this alone!" Milleniummon would only hurt them otherwise. He hurt everyone Ryo met, and by the looks of the battle he still was, only more directly. But saying that out loud probably wasn't helping his case: snapping at Kari even less. "Look, I can't explain, I just have a lot of issues from the past still to deal with. And I will deal with them. Sorry for being rude." He held back his anger, although why he was unleashing it on the trio in front of him rather than the beast causing all this was beyond him.

Tai opened his mouth, but Sora put her hand out to stop him. "Ryo, please talk to someone about this. I know you want to deal with it all yourself, but a lot of people got hurt this time."

"Sora's right, he caused enough damage this time and he wasn't even doing all that much," said Tai. "We're here to help if you need it, but I think we're going to have to stage an inter…"

"Ryo." Another new voice, this time from behind him. Surprisingly, this one didn't make him want to leap up, unleash his anger and cry that he had to (and could) deal with this alone. In place of the caring tones of Kari or Sora, or the hardline brotherly negotiation from Tai, there were reasoned, measured words, the voice of a boy honed on elocution lessons.

Kari went to speak, but Tai shook his head, and the trio walked away without saying a word, although Ryo heard a trailing "so you're an Angel, huh?" from Sora once they reached a certain distance.

"Is Hopmon okay?" Ken asked, gesturing down. Wormmon wearily crawled by his feet.

"I hope so," Ryo said. "Are you okay, Wormmon? Thank you for protecting me out there."

"I'll be fine." The bug nodded respectfully. "Any time. It's what friends are for."

"Ryo, my legs are aching, can we?" Ken gestured to a nearby damaged house step. Ken sat beside him, the three merely watching the broken village around them as Hopmon slept quietly beside Ryo.

The teen's head fell between his own knees, and he prayed to be able to scream.

"He's back, isn't he?" Ken said.

"Of course he is." Ryo's voice was muffled, before he raised his head again to look his old friend in the eye. "At the worst possible time. He did all this just to cheat death, what's going to happen when he actually wants to achieve something?"

"But The Priestess managed to take him down, isn't that a good sign?"

"Milleniummon is a trickster and he's far more powerful than that. He played her like he plays everyone. He wasn't beaten: he chose to die down when he saw the village was protected again."

"Very good."

Ryo leapt to his feet, swearing that the world had just tilted off-kilter.

"You seem frightened, my Tamer."

"Fuck off."

"Ryo, I…" Ken stood up behind him, and Ryo looked back to eyes as big as saucers. Ryo gestured to his own head and they only became wider.

"Oh, and give my regards to Ken. He really used the Dark Spore to its full potential."

"Don't you dare hurt him!"

"Oh, no, I have far too much…investment in him. A Dark Spore costs a lot, after all."

Keep it secret? Not from Ken. "Ken, it's Milleniummon. He's talking about your dark spore."

"What about it?" Ken reached for the back of his neck worryingly.

"Don't worry, he has unfortunately vandalised most of its use. I would say Owikawa was a far better tool, but he fell foul of Kindness like Ken here in the end. Such a shame."

"You're fine…I think," Ryo reassured his friend. He doubted it'd do much. "So what do you want from us?"

"From you: a partner. As always."

"And the whole of time and space?"

"Can wait. But would you not love to govern it all? To save your friend here from his brother's death, from his chaotic downfall into madness? To prevent the sheer tragedy of the poor girls practically eaten alive by The Priestess' minions from this very same village? To prevent your betrayal?"

"Those things happened! They define us!"

"You could change it. Change history. Perhaps you are wrong not to, Ryo. All those deaths…once you were impotent to stop them, but now, with me, every death is another mark on your name. Casual causal genocide. All I need to prevent it is your support. I am only acting for good here."

"You never mean good."

"It seems I shall have to convince you otherwise. I know your mind too well: you have been closed off to reason. Perhaps if you hadn't fallen foul to creatures like Agumon, Veemon and our very own Wormmon here, I might have been able to convince you of better, and, who knows, perhaps you could have convinced me to be…nicer. I have been betrayed too, you know."

"Forget the sob story," Ryo continued. Ken stared on, seeing only Ryo's angered expressions. "And what about Monodramon?"

"He is below a creature."

"What are you playing at? Why do you even need me?"

"You are my other half. Not romantically, of course…such a human emotion. I see far deeper. And besides, you know about our arrangement."

"I'd throw myself in front of a bus to stop you."

"But you wouldn't be successful."

"You nearly killed me. Don't pretend you had it all planned."

"I couldn't be honest and say anything else."

"Goodbye, Milleniummon. It's been nice talking."

"You do ill to ignore me and even more ill to be sarcastic, Ryo."

Ryo began to walk forward, away from Ken, ignoring his calls and ignoring Milleniummon's voice.

"You know I've been waiting for you, all your life."

Just keep walking, focus on walking, focus on holding Hopmon until he wakes up. He could do this.

"You can never ignore me."

He was a Tamer, a normal Tamer. He didn't have to worry about Milleniummon.

He was a boy, a normal human boy, and he didn't have to worry about Milleniummon.

He was…

"I'm always right behind you."

Hand on shoulder.

Ryo tensed up, turning and relaxing only slightly once he saw his oldest friend.

"Ryo, are we safe?"

"I doubt it."

"Oh, how dramatic."


Given that stepping into the chamber at all for someone like her was always an absurdly rare privilege, stepping without permission beggared believe. As much as she resented the ostentation and decadence of the village, and the way it had rejected her outright, she couldn't help but forget the traditions that were her birthright, values endlessly pervading her senses and invisibly controlling her.

Renardmon and The Priestess were scanning the chamber with their eyes, inspecting the fallen debris from the ceiling where it had been hit, fortunately none of the pieces landing in the beautiful fountain. Renardmon tried to pick up a few bits, but both looked as tired as DarkRenamon felt.

"DarkRenamon!" Renardmon exclaimed upon seeing her. A little piece of DarkRenamon cheered, recalling those days of that silly crush she had once upon a time.

"Thank you." The Priestess bowed. Even with her resentment of tradition, this felt utterly alien. No-one ever bowed to her, short of, on occasions, Rika's grandmother. "Without you two, I wouldn't still be here."

"It's nothing." DarkRenamon tried to be modest.

"I just wanted to save you," Renardmon said, practically shrugging it off. Did he simply fear saying it? All this tension.

Dammit. If they wouldn't… "Um…are you two a couple or something?"

"Excuse me?" The Priestess said, turning to face DarkRenamon and tilting her head. "What do you mean?"

"Uh…as with Takato and Rika, or Renamon and Guilmon, or any couple? Love…and all that…jazz…" Had she misjudged something?

"Well…we do…couple? Is that what you call it?" Renardmon said. The Priestess was too busy cringing at at the mention of the two couples, which she still assumed were some disgusting product of Chaos' manipulations. "Sex, right? I mean, we have before. The Priestess does what she wants."

"Oh. So you have been together, but you two aren't…together?"

"Sorry, I'm confused. How are we meant to be together? What does a couple…do?" The Priestess mumbled. "Is this something to do with that Digimon patch?"

She hadn't been expecting this. Moral dissonance from her own kind. Was she being the odd one now? She wanted to groan in confusion. She'd practically become human – not that that was a bad thing, of course, but she felt her head worsening beyond the effects of tiredness alone. Had she forgotten what living here was like that must? "I don't know. It's just…I think we Digimon can…like each other like that."

"Oh, of course I like him." The Priestess laughed. "Are you kidding me, he's hilarious! Look at those ears, the soppy moron. Oh…ooh…does that mean I love him? Is that what it means?"

"Not exactly."

"I'm confused, aren't they the same thing? Like and love? I like and…uh…couple with lots of the Renamon and Renardmon here…and some I wouldn't approach in a million years, which is good because I don't live that long. I just know Renardmon better because we're old friends. Does that mean I love him? Do I love the others?"

"I don't know." DarkRenamon shook her head. This was all too private, all too confusing and all too tiring to handle right now. "Never mind, it's not important."

"Then why did you ask?" Renardmon said.

"You two seemed close. And I was hoping you might give some advice. I have two Digimon who seem to like me."

"Sorry," The Priestess shrugged. "I watch a lot from here of the human world, but I still don't understand it all."

"I see. Also…I have another motive…Renardmon, I used to have a bit of an…um…'liking' for you."

"Me?" Renardmon pointed at himself. "Really?"

"Yeah…I mean, you were always with her and the other Renamon, and you seemed just really…good. I always just watched from far away though: I wasn't successful at anything here, it's not like I could approach you, I just wasn't valuable enough."

"Hello? I'm male! We're barely valued at all here. Stop complaining. You're far from bottom of the heap."

"Personally, I think this system works well," The Priestess said. She crossed her arms, mocking a royal tone. "I would hope that you would all agree with me."

"Of course, your Holiness." Renardmon bowed, yet nothing in his speech or pose seemed at all serious. "Really though…me?"

"I don't any more…but, yeah," DarkRenamon wished he would drop it. She had failed to explain anything before, and then it didn't really involve her.

"I wish I'd known who you were then."

"Oh." That was emotionally crippling. DarkRenamon tried not to show it, but Renardmon's quick pickup made it clear she had failed.

"I mean, you seem pretty cool now. You've seen the human world for real. I wish I could do that."

"Oh…thanks. I suppose it is quite impressive."

"Oh Renardmon, you are silly." The Priestess sighed. "Speaking of the real world…I don't suppose we'll see Renamon again anytime soon, if at all. So…could you pass a message to her from me? Pretty please." Back to that childish Renamon. Would she ever 'grow up'? Would they ever want her to? Would she have a choice?

"Sure." Yet DarkRenamon was somewhat worried about what she was about to be privy to. She didn't want to get in the middle of something so personal. God only knew how Renamon would react. She had detected plenty of the animosity from her cousin-in-kind towards The Priestess in her time here.

"Could you tell her that I'm sorry? And that I want to see her again. And…that I always hope we'll be friends. And that she can bring the others again too, if you wants. And…I think that's everything."

DarkRenamon nodded. "I will." She looked to Renardmon. "Do you have a message?"

"I…just miss her. She went out into the big wide world and became so huge. Even though I was able to help today, I still feel so small…as small as said you did before you went to the real world, DarkRenamon. But…I want to thank her and all of you for coming here, and apologise for offending her before. I want to see her again one day too."

"Aw…that's sweet," DarkRenamon smiled, yet still felt like an intruder. She envied their trio and knew she could never be a part of it, even when it missed its third member. They had grown up together, and they had all wound up differently in life, but they were still closer to each other than to any other of their species. "Renamon, you suddenly make more sense."

"Thank you for telling me about this 'liking' thing. I think you're insane to…I think she's insane if she likes me too…but even so, Priestess, my ears are not weird!"

"They are."

"Well, anyway, I hope that's helped with the crushing feeling of insignificance a little," Renardmon bowed.

"Any time. Thank you for providing me even more of a crushing feeling of insignificance," she said back, feeling like she was seeing him eye to eye for the first time.

The Priestess looked between them, irritated. Before DarkRenamon could react, she found a hand at the back of her head, forcing her forward into his face.

"Just kiss her, dammit!" The Priestess insisted. This was a creature to whom love was such a different thing to what DarkRenamon had become accustomed to.

Breaking free, and avoiding much more than a peck, DarkRenamon looked up to see as scary smile as you would expect from an all-powerful shaman with authority over a place like this. Still, that little DarkRenamon in the back of her mind was quietly satisfied that something worthwhile had come from this hellish trip.

"Dammit. Don't blush. They won't understand it even if you do."

Dammit. If only Terriermon and MiniDonmon had seen this. Maybe that would've put them off her. Or at least grow up about it all.

Who was she kidding?

"Sorry," he apologised, bowing lightly. "Thanks Priestess."

"You're welcome, lover," she played with the word, tossing it across the tip of her tongue and laughing.

Rika Nonaka

She had never flown so fast. Remarkably, she kept her hat on, even as she smashed the glass with a wing. Thank Harmony. And Goddramon help them if anyone saw them do it.

Rolling through the window, she landed on her back on the Hypnos carpet, just outside the control room. She lay still, holding back her breathing in the desperate hope no-one would come to find out about the noise. Yet, the building seemed almost completely silent, as if it had been abandoned for many years, even though the lights were on and suggesting much life in the vicinity.

Getting to her feet, she let her wings retract, and began to brush glass off her shoulders and sides. This clothing really wasn't ideal. She dropped the hat from the window, glad for it to be gone, yet while doing so couldn't help but mourn throwing it away on her mother's behalf.

It had served its purpose. Leaving it in an accessible place would've meant anyone passing would know someone had been by – apart from the smashed window, of course – and they could probably find out who from DNA or CCTV images of her in it. Keeping it on meant wearing it any longer than she had to. That was her excuse, at least.

A hand ran through her dirty orange hair, the dye of too poor a quality to go out easily or stay in well. The beautiful Tokyo day outside seemed to mock her still, but where she was heading didn't care for the weather outside.

Turning, she walked towards the doors of the Hypnos control room, feeling like she was truly entering the heart of enemy territory. The very old days of Hypnos or the terror of Rayleigh's earlier reign just didn't compare.

The darkness quickly enveloped her when she entered the space. There had to be some way in here to transmit a message, at least to the people that mattered, and could pass it on. Twitter? Huge expensive specialist government computers could do 140 characters, right?

"Yeah, and I'm sure 'I'm alive' will save my life here." Sighing, she glancing down at her clothes. She really didn't want to die in something with this big a cleavage. Or anything, for that matter, chosen by her mother.

"The computers seem to be idling."

"Looks like there was a battle and a half here. Even that chair is broken."

"If you go to that one at the side, I'll help all I can to guide you through trying to start it up."

"You do computers?"


"You hit me as too…organic?"

"Billions of years of Godhood and you don't expect me to understand a simple computer?"


"Fine. Just press the power button."

"Which one's that?"

"I don't know, the one with the zero on it."

"Isn't that 'off'?"

"There's not a standby button, is there?"

"I doubt it."

"Then a five or something, whatever."

She pressed the 'on' power button and the computers flicked into life, lighting up the room.

Rika put her glasses on, trying to ignore the horrendous colours coming from where the panoramic screen above had been hit by bullets and read around it. System errors, major faults, everything but a blue screen of death.

"Ugh, this is impossible," Rika sighed, giving up on looking up and instead looking at her cracked computer monitor. It was inset into one of the machines around the wall of the chamber.

"Is that a message?"

"A lot of messages."


DACE ALERT: High level of activity in the United Kingdom. [Digital Activity and Control Executive (UK), 3 minute(s) ago]

SDCO ALERT: System Down. [Special Digital Control Organisation, 3 minute(s) ago]

CDMA ALERT: High level of activity on the Chinese coast (including Hong Kong and Macau) and spreading to other regions. [Chinese Digital Mitigation Administration, 2 minute(s) ago]

EUDIS ALERT: High level of activity from all broad monitoring stations, repeated by reports from national monitoring bodies. [European Union Digital Intervention System, 2 minute(s) ago]

ANZCADA ALERT: [Australia and New Zealand Combined Administration For Digital Activity, 1 minute(s) ago]


She did. Codes, nicknames, even just simple emails from colleagues, and what even looked like intercepted mail. Hypnos really wasn't a squeaky-clean government agency. What on earth were they all talking about? Furthermore, how did you use an operating system like this? It was like nothing she had seen.

"The passwords are probably all still just 'password' though," she mused. Her mother's email was something she would never look at again. She could never truly look at her mother the same way again either, for that matter.

"Can we reply to all?"

Before Rika could reply to the (frankly quite appealing) suggestion, however, the broken screens blared with klaxons and light.


"I've got a bad feeling about this," she said. "An incoming bioemergence…two…huge ones! No, wait…"

Jeff Newman

"Jesus Christ," Elgar's hands rushed to his nose. "You little s…arrest him already!"

Michael seethed with anger, yet Jeff still was having trouble believing what he just witnessed. The pair, Digimon in tow, had come up the stairs, in with just one angry comment Michael had hit Elgar Stark in the face, the same high-level government official who could probably erase them from all record.

Even the boy himself seemed increasingly surprised at his own actions, although the growling of Betamon alongside him (a strange sight from such a friendly-looking Digimon) echoed the anger they all felt.

"You can hardly talk after destroying all that life," 'Daisy' cried, grappling at her handcuffs. Seeing it, Coronamon leapt up and across the room, breaking the end attached to the chair easily with a fist.

"Stop that!" Elgar cried, raising his hands. His agents did nothing, looking frightened and confused by what was happening. So much for the FBI. So much for any organisation outside SDCO in dealing with Digimon.

"How about…?" Christopher Newton, aka 'Babel', stood up, broken handcuff still attached to his arm at one end. "You go and tell the government that Rayleigh is not innocent in all this, and that we are trying to protect this city and the whole damn world!"

"Rayleigh has been manipulating everyone. I can't believe this is the whole of his plans," agreed Rai. "Could you…?" she asked, putting her arm down to a beaming Coronamon, and a moment later she was freed from both ends of the handcuffs. "Thank you," she nodded, turning back to the bank of computers. "It's still dead…we need power…I need to know what Rayleigh has been doing."

"We need a phone…let's see…that's odd, the signal's down," Babel wondered, taking out his top-of-the-line Android phone, although the extent to which it was modified left it rather difficult for Jeff to see what model. "Usually it's perfect here."

"Are you listening? I order you all to stop now! Arrest them! That is an order. They were involved in an international assassination," Elgar shouted louder and louder, the official red in the face by now.

"What evidence do you have for that?" Lindsay barked.

"Sir, the security risk is far too great and there could be casualties," his agent seemed wary. Was it honest? Or was he having a genuine emotion against what he was being ordered to do?

"I…for Christ's sake, stop growling at me! How did you survive anyway, you piece of crap?" he barked down to the fish-like Digimon near him.

"With help from Michael!"

"I saw it," Jeff said to all in the room. "A burst mode…it gave them a huge swelling of power so they could overwhelm the Yuggoth blast. And that's not all…show them your Digivices…"

Willis reached for his pocket, pulling out his remodelled device to gasps from the Monster Makers. "They were almost deleted, and then it changed. I think…I think it's because we wanted to save them. I'm not sure how it worked though." The group couldn't seem to settle on whether to look at Willis' or Michael's outstretched palms. Geeks in a candy store.

Babel raised a hand, gesturing to them. "Don't you see Elgar? This is how Digimon are…there's no conspiracy, no massive plan for murder…it's kids with friends. Rai is right, Rayleigh has been pulling strings across the world here. I don't know how, but everyone is being blind to the truth."

"Until we know the details, I have been ordered to make arrests of individuals connected with the Tamers. Those are my orders."

"Then break them," Lindsay cried. "Order the power back on in this building and we might actually have a hope of doing something. Knowing how these things go from experience, we could be saving the whole world."

"Not soon though; I'm feeling tired," Betamon sighed. "My head hurts."

"What's up?"

"Willis…mine does too…"

"Maybe you two should take your Digimon home and rest. You've all been through a lot of hell," Jeff suggested, purposefully glancing across to Elgar, who amazingly did not make a noise in response. Although, he did make quite a big move towards doing so, his mouth opening ready for his officious nonsense to spill out. "We'll deal with this."

"But I want to…"

"Michael," Willis warned. "I think we're pushing our luck."

Michael glanced to him and nodded. "I guess we had better contact the other Project Replica Tamers…they're going to be heartbroken after what happened."

"All those deaths," Jeff nodded, making sure that Mr Stark heard clearly. "I hope this will all be fully investigated, arrests or no arrests."

"I can assure you there will be arrests. But these children…they may go home, they are under surveillance. But they must go without the Digimon – we don't know what they'll do. And that boy still needs to be charged with assault."

"Yeah, sure," Michael said, a strongly sarcastic tone in his voice as he and Betamon simply walked out the room. "Come on Willis," he added, Coronamon following his Tamer out and towards the lift bank. They knew their way out. He noticed Willis glance back as he left, and nodded to reassure the boy. He would take care of everything.

"Come back! Come back, all of you!" Elgar cried, but Jeff raised a hand.

"Don't you think you've caused enough damage here today?"

Mr Stark went to speak, but he was interrupted by another, more worried voice.

"Guys…you are all going to want to take a look at this…" Rai called from the window. "And you might just want to turn on the power again…"

Rei Matsuki

Rei unconsciously moved to her feet as she watched Ryder wander up to the doorway of the dojo, but forced herself down again. It was far too many years too soon, and hopefully it was so many years that would never happen in quite the same way.

A good soldier, reporting for duty.

"How are they all?" Ryder asked, gesturing around at the various patients of the dojo hospital: DarkBiyomon, Fumiko, Cody's grandfather, and a rather large number of injured locals being brought in for treatment by Taomon and, where they could, Fumiko and Joe. Some were tired, others distressed. This day wouldn't be forgotten fast.

"Recovering. Cody's grandfather is looking the worst, but I reckon he'll be better off with all the resources back home."

"I believe that he came to the Digital World with an illness that this world exacerbated. Even so…with his condition as it is, I doubt simply going home will cure it. I want him to get to a hospital," Fumiko explained.

"Then we'll take him to a hospital," Ryder said.

"Where we'll be arrested." Rumiko stood up.

"Arrested is better than dead," said Cody, yet he still sounded uncomfortable with the idea.

"Rayleigh would prefer the latter," MiniDonmon said, frowning.

"We just have to hope for a sympathetic Doctor, and that Rayleigh hasn't used Infiltration on too many people. Maybe he's spreading it through the broadcasts?" Ryder suggested.

"If he could do that, what would've stopped him simply brainwashing everyone from the start?" Rei said. She knew that she knew too much, everything she said she had to lie about. Yet, at times like this, she felt like she knew so little. Her whole life had been an orchestrated mix of silences, perhaps on purpose, so she never knew about the past. If only these people knew the suffering that she could prevent: that she would prevent.

"She's right," said Seiko. "He must go after those in power and convince them to convince the masses to hate us."

"But why don't they notice?" Rumiko asked. "I just don't understand it. People aren't idiots."

"How much proof do you have that World War Two happened?" Rei asked.

Realmon nudged her partner. "Uh, Rei, we've been there."

"Ssshh. Okay, how about how much proof that…oh, I don't know, that power plant at Fukushima has been a danger lately?"

"It's been all over the news, and people have been there. I felt the earthquake. We all saw the pictures," Rumiko said, frowning at the memory.

"Exactly. A huge event, a huge emotional reaction, huge outpourings of support. Not a single voice went against the relief efforts. But just imagine none of that matters. Have you personally witnessed anything?"

"Only a few plates smashed by the quake. Fortunately our good china was okay. It didn't do as much damage in Tokyo."

Rei nodded. "The victors write history. He who controls the media controls what you see, what you hear, what you know. Now, the earthquake is a bit of an extreme example, and no-one could keep that up for any real length of time, but that wasn't what Rayleigh needed, is it Ryder?"

The teen frowned. "The right word in the right ear can start a war, persecute a minority, lead to chants for death. All Rayleigh needed was an event, and after that he could infiltrate as high a position as he could: Acting Prime Minister. Anyone he meets who contests and has power, he uses infiltrate on to maintain the lie," Ryder said, before his confidence dropped into confusion. "But there's what I don't get. People will notice the gaps: Digital Watch first of all, then Twitter, Facebook, blogs, phones, maybe even newspapers – it's harder to maintain 'the line' these days than back in the days of the Cold War, so what does he want?"

"Surely he can't even legally be Prime Minister, at least not for any length of time?" Fumiko wondered. "He's not even Japanese. Wait…how did he become Chief Cabinet Secretary? And why hadn't I thought of that before?" She scratched her head with her other, unbroken hand.

"It's like a perception filter, but it doesn't need one," Rei explained. "People just don't ask. We all just assume that someone else knows what's going on. How many times have you just walked on past people arguing in the street?"

"Many. I'm usually on my phone, or in a taxi," Rumiko blushed apologetically.

"People have got to be asking questions now though," Ryder scratched his head. "Rayleigh cannot keep this up. And I just don't know how he's going to change the values of the world, like he said he would. This is why I want to get back to the real world, I get the feeling we're on the cusp of something and we're all missing it, and if we don't hurry it'll be too late."

"Is it safe?" Rumiko asked. "Is Rika safe? Will baby Rey be safe?" she gestured to the child in Seiko's arms. Rei was glad to be rid of her. She had had to be overly careful about it all for far too long.

"I don't know," Ryder was forced to concede.

"I think mum must be back in the real world – we saw Takato dragged there – but it's just a hunch," Rei suggested. "I don't think we have much choice though: if Rayleigh can reach us here, he'll just come back, and bring more forces. This village is in danger thanks to us. We have to stop what is happening, and the Juggernaut is our only way of getting back. If he went through, it's safe."

"Unless you fix your time device," Ryder said to her, aside.

"Are you kidding? It's in a million pieces and it'd never take all of us."

"It was worth a shot."

"Yeah, well, I am only going to mess with time once."

"So we don't escape like this?"

"Can't say."

"Well you're a wonderful help."

Rei grimaced, even as she knew he was joking. "You can talk. We both know what you can do."

"Do we?" He turned to her, raising an eyebrow. "Care to explain? You could save me a lot of trouble."

"No shortcuts."

"Hey, I told you about your prophecy."

She hushed her voice and insisted it was "Rika's prophecy. That's why we have to find her."

"Is this another habit of humanity?" asked a deeper voice from nearby. Rei glanced around to Taijimon, raising an eyebrow as the whole group in the hospital, ill or in perfect health, presided over a virtually indecipherable conversation. "Ignoring the issue at hand and talking the most dreadful nonsense."

"He's right." Ryder glanced to his shoulder. "MiniDonmon, we have other people to hunt down and take to an almost certain death. Let's go."

"You really aren't helping the situation," Realmon scolded, Ryder shooting a salute before leaving.

He was in a good mood. This was a bad thing. Something was up. That expression was far too frightening.

But it would have to wait, as a nudge or two in the back caused her to twist round and face a new person. Then she looked down a foot or two to see a redhead with a ferret around her neck.


"Can we talk?"

She nodded, taking her aunt's hand and guiding her out through the dojo entrance, her eyes locked on the shrinking figure of Ryder. MiniDonmon clipped him around the head. Just what was he saying? What was he thinking? That scary face was all too familiar. What did he have planned?

"I know I'm an Angel."

She nodded absent-mindedly, before the words were rerouted from the Takato portion of her brain and into Rika's more focused and aggravated heritage. "What?"

"The Ninth?" Kristy asked, raising her necklace in front of her, pendant gently swinging below. A circle sat upon the tip of a tall triangle, looking as much like a trophy as it did the number it signified. "No-one seems to want to mention it. Only Kudamon listens to me."

"Kristy…you shouldn't know. Not now. I shouldn't even be talking to you about it."

"So I have powers?"

"This is a hunch, but you haven't used anything yet? You or Kudamon? Haven't noticed anything strange?"


"I have not noticed anything. Am I meant to have?" Kudamon said.

"I remember when you knew everything," Realmon said. Rei shot her a glare.

"Not helping."

"Everyone is really distracted," Kristy said, with a sigh. "Mum and grandma keep talking about Rika being gone. She comes back, right? Please tell me my sister comes back."

"I can't say." She hoped none of them would remember her words about neither of them being there on that fateful day in the future. She hoped that none of them were keeping that close an eye on her. Those that probably were, Henry and Ryder, were borderline-insane anyway, and she knew enough about Ryder to throw him off the scent as much as possible.


God she looked sad. Rei had to be strong, be strong, don't do anything, don't…

Rei crouched down to her aunt. Grasping the pendant from her hand, she held it in front of the girl. "You are going to be really important someday. You're an Angel, and that's really special, but don't let it ruin your life now."

"But I really wanna. Look at Tai, I saw him fight off Ravemon, he was amazing! And Ryder always moves back time and Mari…synchronizes things."

Poor Mari. The girl who was still forming, still not quite the force she would become, and still playing second fiddle in a number of orchestras.

"And I just know that Henry will be awesome too. And you, you're even better than sis and Takato!" Kristy exclaimed.

Rei smiled, but it was fake. Some memories couldn't be erased. She knew she wasn't better. Kristy couldn't have known, but she had done worse than anyone else here. So much worse. Things she never wanted to do again, atrocities of such a primal nature as to go against sense itself. She knew that one day she would have to repeat her actions, and one day she would pay for them. She could feel her own threads of destiny, tightening around her neck like a noose.

Groaning. Moaning. Ugh'ing. Gritting. Pulling of hair, pinching of arms, a cacophony of random noises.

"I…just…have…to…wake…up…" Kristy's strained her voice.

"Stop it. You'll pull something,"


"I think you should listen to Rei, Kristy," Kudamon warned. "Henry destroyed a city when he awoke. We do not want to run that risk."

"But I know who I am! How can I not be awake?"

"Because being an Angel is about more than just knowing you are one: it's about coming to terms with what makes you who you are. I'm a bit different because of my parents, but no Angel is complete or stays complete without getting to the heart of what makes them them. Mari still hasn't gathered up her ability to command and control space; Ryder can only roughly control time; Henry knows he's an Angel but doesn't yet have real contact with what that knowledge means. Only Tai seems to be reaching it, but he's still afraid, Milleniummon took him down even with the power that's meant to make that impossible. Everyone goes through their tests."

"So what's my test? Can I start it now? I don't want to wait for everyone else to wake up!"

Rei frowned. "It will happen. I know it will. I've seen it happen." That was a mistake. If Kristy was older, perhaps she would've figured it out here, perhaps she would've known that this could only mean it was years away, those years in the future when Rey would grow up and be aware of what was happening. While Kristy beamed, Kudamon looked dour. He had worked it out.

Rei gave a brave smile, and Kristy gave one back.

"Hey," said a new voice from behind. "Glad you're both still in one piece."

"Second, perfect timing," Rei said, turning around as Mari arrived, alone.

"I have a name," she said, uneasily. Across her shoulders sat bag straps, across her lips ran fear and through her brow ran anxiety about the coming hours. Yet, still, in her voice there were reassuring pangs of hope, hope for home. Rei realised she had been travelling too long to sympathise with the promise of 'home': her last 'permanent' abode was probably gone now, for good.

"But it's so much more dramatic."

"Fine…but for the love of God do not give Ryder more ammo. You sound like him already, and I do not want you to start giving him ideas for during…never mind."

"Penny for your thoughts?"

"For once, intercourse that isn't your business," Mari said, snarkily.

"Rei, what's…?"

"Not now," the two older girls said together.

"So how ready is everyone? I saw Ryder just now and he was heading off to round everyone up," Rei asked.

"They're ready enough, but shaken. This Juggernaut had better go home. And yeah, I saw him…he's happy." Mari paused.


"I don't like it. He's too happy. Why? What's causing it?"

"Good, it's not just me noticing. Has he said anything?"

"…nope." Meaning yes. "Not recently." Meaning pillow talk. Or pillow fights. "I just reckon he's on one of his upswings." Meaning he had stumbled across an idea which was like crack to him. Whatever the case, Rei had the feeling she wasn't being told about something. Wasn't the time traveller meant to know everything?

"I see. Listen, do you have the box of necklaces?"

"Yeah, it's in the 'pack," she shifted the bag on her shoulder slightly. "Why?"

Matt Ishida

Even with the pleasant meadow restored, the edge of Bolton was still rather windy, with not a tree in sight to prevent its gusts. Yet it was heaven compared to the day before, not a horde member to be seen, and the gold scratched dish poking from atop the ravaged town had a certain beauty to it. They gazed out from beneath it, looking to the Juggernaut in the far distance.

"Do you think it's safe?" Palmon asked the question on Matt's mind, as he felt the uneasy weight of their lives on his shoulders. He had to be like Tai. He had to be brave. But did everyone else have to be? Even with the notification from the other group that all was fine, could he trust them on this?

Jaarin held her sister close, against the little girl's wishes, yet both were transfixed on the sight of the Juggernaut looming in the distance. Their way home?

Matt gritted his teeth. The message could just as easily have been from Rayleigh.

Rayleigh, the Demon. The idea had crossed his mind once before. If only he'd listened to it. But it would have to wait, for first they had a bigger demon to face, and one which could rip them to shreds if they had misjudged it.

"Does it matter? It's a way back to Ai and Mako!" Impmon exclaimed. "I've been through nearly being deleted before for them: it's worth it."

Clearly they had not shared enough stories in their time here, but this wasn't the time to ask. After all, Matt had plenty of his own to share, not least all that time he spent in the internet, most of it before Facebook had even been invented!

"It seemed dangerous. As much as we tried to warn Digimon of its approach, it keeps changing course," Dianamon sighed. "But, if you know better… For what it's worth, I think it'll be safe."

"Based on what?" TyrantKabuterimon asked, concerned.

"I'm putting my life on it."

"Are you losing your mind?" the metalloid bug exclaimed.

"I will too." VictoryGreymon stepped forward, clenching a fist.

"Clearly you all are."

"What do you mean?" Matt asked the trio of the Cult of Victory.

"Whatever this is, it is damaging the whole Digital World and, if what you said is correct, it's coming from reality. I need to save my world."

"After all you Tamers have done, I want to save you too," Dianamon said. Matt raised an eyebrow. Maybe their humanity had rubbed off on some of the Digimon.

"You're crazy…but fine…" TyrantKabuterimon conceded. "I'm in…sane."

"Are you coming, Datamon?" Jun asked. The robot glanced back to his town, the gathered Digimon peering over the assembled humans and partners curiously. Plenty held building materials. That feeling of guilt in Matt's stomach began to grow again.

"Of course. I want to see the real world you've spoken so much about. There must be many great brews there."

"Woo! We are going to be amazing partners in the real world, we'll…"

"Sorry to rain on your parade," Ayaka interrupted. "But I think we still need to repair here. We've caused so much damage," Ayaka objected, surprising words from a girl who previously simply wanted to hurry home and get out of this nightmare. Between the lines, Matt knew she didn't mean "we", she meant "I", but no-one wanted her to get lynched. Not least Kazu, who gripped her hand. Just how had they made up, anyhow? Kenta and Miki certainly hadn't. What magic pixies' dust had the boy sprinkled, and could he borrow some to save his love life?

"Go," Wizardmon said, pushing his staff into the now-hardened ground beneath the grass. "Go and solve your own problems, just as we all did before you arrived."

"I'm sorry for all the bad things we brought," Suzie pleaded, but Wizardmon simply huffed, clearly not accustomed to the idea of providing kids with kinder words.

Suzie opened her mouth, but Jaarin tapped her on the head and shook her own. Matt looked down to Gabumon, the Digimon frowning and raising a hand to the elder wizard of the town of Bolton. "Good luck."


Ryder Stevens

She practically grabbed him by the scruff of the neck as he passed, giving him the impression he was a four year old again and not over six foot. He didn't even have to wonder who it was, yet that glimpse of grey hair made him certain.

"Why are you so happy?" The Priestess said, once she had pulled him into the nearest house. There was something quite odd about seeing her in such a mundane surrounding, particularly such a damaged one, far from the grandeur of her palace or the beauty of the village grounds.

"You pulled me aside to ask that?"

"You've been a wreck for ages. I reserve the right to enquire what visitors in my domain are up to."

"Hey, I'm on your side, I don't know why he's so happy either." MiniDonmon shrugged, fluttering over to sit on the shaman woman's shoulder.

"Yes you do! And you hit me when I said. Priestess, do you promise to be more mature?"

"Was it because he was being him again?" The Priestess asked MiniDonmon. The bat nodded and sighed. "Then I make no promises."

"Fine: I feel like I'm right on the cusp of working this whole mystery out. We're about to go back to the real world so everything is about to change. What Rayleigh said has got to be a test to see if I'm thinking reality through – what else could changing values mean other than fixing the world and waking up? And we beat off those corrupt bits – tumours, eh? That took me a while to work out..."

He paused a moment. His head was remarkably painless. Were they listening, or despairing?

"Plus, Milleniummon is fighting back like an idea that just won't die, and I have had some pretty big ideas. Then, I've got Mari acting as my ball and chain back to reality here while Ivy keeps talking through from the reality outside. I've got MiniDonmon alongside to fight with me, and you've been giving me advice like a predictor – but I know everything, because this is my dream. There's stakes, I taste battle looming, and I am going to fight for my life with all the courage that that memory of Tai from the TV show brings with it. Whatever's trying to kill me in this coma, I am about to kill. Plus, I increasingly hear a beeping…noise…"

"A beeping?" The Priestess wondered, before Ryder slapped himself in the side of his head.

Ignore it. Ignore it. For now. Until he was ready.

"Speed up, speed up…"


"Just ignore it. That's just…a hint. Hospital beeps. Yeah. Slowing down. Like they do…all the time. Yay." "As I was saying…Natsuki is here, and she's basically Ivy in disguise…"

"Ryder, she isn't, honest. She's just some girl you kidnapped and messed around with." MiniDonmon sighed in despair.

"Sounds like you're no better than me," The Priestess said.

"I was saving her life!" Ryder said.


"I…didn't mess her up."

"Wait, is this the weird blonde girl who all the Renamon keep saying keeps stepping away from them when they go anywhere near her?"

"…definitely not, she's the other one."

"Thought so."

"Whatever, fine, be clever, but you know it's not the same, I can fix what I did, I didn't eat her like you all did…and…" He paused, seeing The Priestess' head sink. "I shouldn't have said that last bit, huh?"

"No," The Priestess said morosely, her hand moving to her chest. "I didn't eat her. I biomerged with her…I made her life better," she insisted. "I thought I did. We all make mistakes. These last few days have taught me that more than anything."

"My mistake is easier to fix," Ryder said judgementally. "Sorry, harsh…wait, no, actually, I don't care, figments, again, all just trying to distract me…" He put his hands on the sides of his head. No more distractions!

"I thought we convinced you this all was real? For my sake? For Mari's sake?" MiniDonmon wondered, pleaded?

"But then I joined up all the…dots…" Ryder's mood had died, killed by guilt, as usual. "Look, I just want to know what's really going on here."

"Even if it means you lose me?"

"But I won't, you're my partner in reality!"

"The same me? Even if I'm not real, what about all we fought through? I'm real in here, I feel real. I'm sure The Priestess feels the same. Mari would, all of us do. Why do we have to die just for you? How could you be so selfish?"


"You will have to make an impossible choice," The Priestess said, ominously.

"I know I will, I've…"

"No," The Priestess shook her head. "It's a prophecy."

"A prophecy?" Ryder stumbled back, humbled into crouching in front of the tall shaman fox. She peered out through her mask down at him, a teacher talking to a child.

"You must confront the King in his Castle."

"The King? Wait…Rayleigh…that's it, that's it exactly!"

"Quiet, Pandora," The Priestess reminded him of the other prophecies surrounding him. So many, so worryingly many, and each promising more pain than the last. At least if he did end the world, 'she' wouldn't die. "Your impossible decision…it will hurt anyone you are with. And their pain will tear them apart."


"Even me?" MiniDonmon wondered. "Even his partner?"

"I do not know."


"Well, that's a mood killer." Ryder ran a hand through his hair, before resting his palm on his forehead and trying to think straight. "I need a plan." Forget the dreams and the deaths, forget the heart monitor he swore he could hear, forget all of that. This had to be his reality for now. He simply had no choice, certainly if he didn't want to hurt people. "Incidentally, do you have anything more on Mari?"

She shook her head. "She's still an enigma. I would want to talk to her about it, but I fear she is at the heart of it all and doing so would upset these fragile prophecies. Better the devil you know."

"I just wish I understood all this. But…I think I'm starting to get a plan…"

"A plan?" MiniDonmon wondered.

"It'll become clear. First, do you hear that? It sounds like a bit of a gathering…"

"Hmm?" MiniDonmon chirped, before he fluttered away to the door, and glanced out. "It looks like everyone's at the base of the temple. Something's happening, but don't ask what."

"Then let's go…"

"Wait," The Priestess said, interrupting. "Ryder." She took a step forward, right as Ryder turned back again to face her. Before he could think, he was surprised to find a pair of lips planted on his briefly. He expected to feel a tongue, to have to push back and then ponder a while down the line about the fact that he had kissed a living, breathing Digimon (excepting all those pranks that DarkRenamon had played on him and MiniDonmon which made for awkward mornings, gazing up into his partner's eyes). But instead it was formal, specific, prompt, a peck. "Goodbye."

"Oh…okay…" he felt a bit dumbfounded.

"That is how you humans say goodbye, right? It seems far too…stoic, for me. I thought goodbyes were about affection."

"They are, but…"

"Did I do it wrong? Some places I see in the real world they kiss each cheek, should I do that?"

"In England we just awkwardly hug or shake…wait…goodbye? You said, goodbye?"

The Priestess nodded, becoming far more formal. Was she covering her real sadness? "I do not think we will see each other again for a while. I will watch your prophecies, but yes, I think this may be goodbye, at least for now. Please do not get yourself killed. There have been too many deaths today."

"I'm the guy who can't die, don't worry. Just stay safe yourself: you're powerful but you're not invincible, and I don't want to see either of you die." Presuming they were real. Presuming the girl inside could hear him.

"I will ensure it," she placed her hand on her stomach again. "Ryder, your number will come one day. I do not believe that anything truly lasts forever. Death is an essential facet of life."

"You said that really formally, like a real Priestess," he said, yet there was no charm to his voice, no optimism. Only fear, fear of what this Digimon could foretell and could know, and fear of how real life would play to fit the predictions. Humour was just a distraction.

"Aw, thanks." She was back to her younger voice again, letting out a brief smile. He gestured over his shoulder.


Natsuki Takara

"You're so slow!" Rei exclaimed once the boy finally wandered up to the amassed group, and pushed him forward. "Come on, you do it, you're First!"

"I don't get why we have to do this now," Ryder called back to his time travelling friend, looking over the vast group (spread between with many bags), with teachers, parents and the injured looking up at him in a variety of conditions and with 57 varieties of tutting at his slowness.

"For morale, or whatever, just do it, it's important!"

Natsuki scrutinised everything. She saw everything from her position close to the front beside Jeri and Henry, who were her only option right now as she ran from everyone else. Henry was a pain to be around with his current mood, however, and the mere sight of what was happening had made him still dourer. Just what did Jeri see in him?

Ryder clambered up to stand behind Tai, who sat on a temple step a dozen or so from the bottom. They gazed out upon a huge group of humans and Digimon, watching with emotions from wonder to boredom to fear.

"Tai, are you ready?"

"I could've just put it on, I don't think we have time for this."

"Look, Rei is just being picky, relax, it's some timey-wimey thing and it'll probably make sense someday. Besides, I'm pretty sure she could kick our arses if we don't play along," Ryder said, before raising his voice. "Tai, I want to welcome you to…wait…"

"What's up?" Tai glanced up. Natsuki cringed. How unprofessional were they? So much for some elaborate fighting force: the Angels were a laughing stock.

"Psst…Rei…which Angel is he?"

"Fifth. Wait, shouldn't he already know?" Rei answered.

"And so we create another time loop," Ryder said, sighing. Could he feel it? "To hell with it…Tai, as the First Angel of Time, I want to welcome you to the Angels as the Fifth Angel of Courage," he said, awkwardly fastening the fifth necklace around the older boy's neck. Two intersecting golden triangles formed a '5' which glittered in the restored sunlight of the dome, free from the chaos outside of The Priestess' shield. "And I also want to thank you for saving my skin back there."

No matter how chaotic it was, the group did, mostly, look remarkably proud, not least Sora, who no sooner had the necklace been put on was heading up the stairs to put an arm around the young man and ruffle his hair.

"Home can't come soon enough," Natsuki muttered to herself, flicking her long blonde hair. She continued to ignore the nagging feeling imploring her to stay with them all. She knew all too well where it had come from.

Tai Kamiya

"If you need help, just call," Tai said, enthusiastically and miming. An array of computer equipment lay about nearby, as Izzy and Shibumi taught a Renardmon and a DarkRenardmon how to use them. Looking like a strange version of a powerpoint presentation, the Mokumon kept switching shapes to 'demonstrate'. Base camp, Digital World. Insert text here… Lorem ipsum. Clippy.

"Mmm…I'll keep it as a last resort," The Priestess muttered, before her voice became once again stilted. "Thank you for your consideration," she bowed. "You have greater hells to face."

"We're sorry for how much damage we caused," Biyomon said, from Sora's side. The village was already being cleaned up, but there were many repairs to be made.

"In more ways than one," The Priestess mumbled, the trio standing aside from the group as it gathered itself together. "Although it has been interesting learning how you humans live…" she added, stifling a yawn as she perched uneasily on her own feet.

"Even I'm not used to it, and I have to put up with his breath every morning," Agumon said with a cheery, jokey tone. Tai swore he saw Sora nod.

"I feel the same way, Priestess," Tai said, nodding and trying to hold up some decorum.

"But if we ever come back…please make sure we don't get watched while changing again," said Sora.

"Oh? Why? In fact, do not try to explain. You are all very strange and I will never understand you. So familiar, yet so very different," The Priestess mused, placing her hand on her belly. Tai's gaze followed. Not all the humans were going home. "Now go away and save her…I mean, your world. I suspect it may matter to all of us."

Tai put his hand on his chin. "Possibly? I think Rayleigh just wants our world. But we'll let you know."

"A storm is approaching. A vast cataclysm."

A storm? This sounded like a television cliché to Tai – and he knew, he had watched a lot of television. Apparently he'd been on it.

"I'll keep it in mind," Tai nodded, glancing behind to Cody's grandfather and DarkBiyomon. They both lay on improvised stretchers, ill and only partly healed respectively. If a storm was coming, what was this already?

Miki Nakajima

Why had they returned to hell? The thing that had nearly killed all of them now stared down, looming over them, threatening them. Something drew her close to it, tempted her, teased her every atom. Or was that data?

Even in her head, she wanted to go through. Home. Safe from all this. But would she risk death for it?

Would her death be simply covered up? Would her parents ever even find out? Why would anyone choose this terrible life?

Why would anyone want to chance winding up like Chiyo?

"We don't have a choice," Ayaka shouted to her. In Miki's mind, she swore the Juggernaut slipped down from the sky, bending to almost tap them on the shoulder. Was it louder, or was she just noticing it more? "It will be fine!"

She raised a hand to check her ear, yet found herself wanting to vomit as it stretched yet again. Ayaka was talking out of her…

"As mesmerising as this is," Dianamon interrupted. "We don't know how long it will last. Let's go through."

"How do you know it's definitely safe?" Mimi asked, clinging to Lillymon's side.

"She's right, we don't have time for this," Matt shouted, as it seemed to head in their direction, the sand barely moving even as their bodies warped upwards. Glancing over her shoulder, Miki found the town still far out of sight. Was this Juggernaut heading its way?

Something more personal gave her pause, as she caught a glimpse of Kazu, Kenta and Ayaka. Her teeth met without her even noticing. Who could she trust now that even her own friend seemed to have 'joined' them? They had been involved in a murder of a close friend of hers – if they had been guilty, why had they let it be covered up?

"Come on," Matt called, clambering onto Garurumon who strolled forward. Guardromon flew by shortly after, swooping up into the air with Kazu on his back, and Impmon clinging on too.

Someone grabbed Miki's waist, hoisting her into the air. She struggled briefly, before a voice called to her. "It's fine," Ayaka called. "Dianamon's okay, honest." A heart bubble floated by not far away, only to be stretched and contorted so much that it surely should have popped? Glancing up, Miki looked into the eyes of the only female member of this bizarre 'Cult of Victory'.

Even the name she couldn't trust.

But names, soon after, meant very little, as she gained the sharpest headache she ever had felt, and was certain she blacked out.

The Priestess

"I have to discourage this Priestess…and moreover, you need to rest…"

"Oh shush Taomon," The Priestess said. "I'm curious." Her hands peeled back the undergrowth at the edge of their forest, through which only moments before the hordes of Tamers had passed. Outside, she could feel the data of the world warp, but she had to see it, she had to see what it was like, the array of Tamers passing into the sky in the world outside. She wasn't going to be trapped here forever like her forebears, she would one day see the world like Renamon and DarkRenamon, but for now she had to settle for seeing a peek of this while the village was rebuilt.

"I must absolutely discourage this too," Taijimon said, unconvincingly, before doing likewise. The Priestess glanced back briefly, as Taomon showed her first burst of emotion in a long while: a slight look of exasperation to Renardmon as he looked to her for permission. And then did the exact same.

Her eyes peeked through the perception filter into the forest, already feeling dragged slightly. She dug her staff in sharply to the ground behind her. She wasn't going anywhere.

But they were. Up in the sky, Digimon and humans ascended, some screaming, some silent and their bodies limp, others determined and certain. They sank into the top of the Juggernaut and vanished with barely any note of a flash or a bang, like they simply slipped into the village pond on its calmest of days (and before it was half-emptied by the recent battle).

What were they going off to face now? She searched her mind, clung to those prophecies, and feared yet again. The bizarre boy, Ryder, the 'imaginary' girl, Mari, the enthused leader, Tai, the black sheep (or, rather, a black sheep in fox's clothing), DarkRenamon…and somewhere out there her oldest friend, Renamon.

The Juggernaut collapsed, not long after the last figure slipped through. Renardmon gasped in surprise, while Taijimon let out a low, concerned hum. "They ran out of time, it seems."

"Good luck to them," Renardmon wished. Yet The Priestess barely heard…she was off in another world, fantasising, as her hand slipped to her stomach.

Of all the places she would return to one day, it would be there. Her home.

Jaarin Wong

"Well, I'm bored already," said Impmon, his arms crossed.

Jaarin gazed around at their predicament. Far from the dramatic flash of light back to reality she had been expecting, instead she found herself…somewhere.

If anything, it was remarkably similar to the Digital Plane, but…what was happening to it? Specks flooded out of a large dark mass of data nearby, floating in all directions to the horizon, or whatever constituted that in this disarming space. When it met the myriad forms in the space, it simply floated around and continued on, ignoring them entirely.

"Maybe this is what happened to all the Digimon this Juggernaut absorbed?" Datamon pondered, his hand on the closest he had to a chin and his accent pronounced.

"Then why isn't it happening to the rest of us?" Gabumon asked.

"Ugh, I agree with Impmon, this is so frustrating and boring. It's just been one setback after another," Suzie huffed, Jaarin spinning around, although in retrospect she hadn't a clue how she had managed it with nothing to push off of. Lopmon looked worriedly at her partner from the girl's head, as arms crossed and a patience cracked.

And then another one, conspicuous in their silence thus far, did likewise. "I'm so tired of all of this," Miki exploded. "You are meant to be the Tamers, you're meant to solve this stuff! But all you've done is keep secrets about murders, destroy entire towns, mess up again and again…do you ever even think about who you hurt?" Ayaka and Kazu both made moves to comfort her, but were swatted away, while Kenta's head simply drooped, his partner stroking his messy hair. "If you can't even work this out, what's the point of you?"

"Miki, for Christ's sake, this is not the time…" Matt shouted. "We have got to work…"

"Then when is the time, huh, Mr Leader? I don't remember you ever being appointed, I don't remember any of you ever having any official roles, you don't deserve them! I watched you all in the show…I loved you guys…but I never saw the damage you did, I never saw what really happens. And you don't care. You run, you hide, you cover up again and again and again. You don't even stand up for yourselves. You pretend that you can make it work without being professional, hiding behind Hypnos and Yamaki as they do all your busy work and repair so many broken lives. You just keep on saying it's not your fault, it's not your fault, it's not your fault…IT IS ALWAYS YOUR FAULT!"

Silence. No disagreement. No more infighting. Just…silence.

The quietest girl of all of them, the one who always stood in Ayaka's shadow, and here she was, bellowing. As impossible as it was, Jaarin swore she heard an echo on the last words, this eerie plane concurring with the non-Tamer as a tear dropped endlessly through it. She sank, pulling her legs up towards her chest.


"Kazu, I don't think you…"

"Shut up Ayaka, and just look over there!"

"What is it?"

"Yuggoth," Jaarin said, the memories of drawings and diagrams plastered around her apartment vivid in her memory. Three balls, a chain of energy. She never thought she'd see it for real.

"Angry Takato used it with the Ark, ages ago," Suzie added.

"Grani…that takes me back," Kazu said. "What is Hypnos' delete button doing here?"

"Doing what it does best, I would imagine," Dianamon noted, raising her staff ready to fight it off. Behind, Jaarin could see Matt, his head sunk and his body hesitating to make any orders right now.

"Then we'll do what we do best!" VictoryGreymon called, splitting his sword and clipping each side to his arm. They glowed, electricity flickering from them to the tip of his remaining sword, before with a pulse of sheer energy it rocketed outwards, knocking him back with the force. "TRIDENT GAIA!"

Boom. Bigger boom.

Alarmingly big boom.

"See! That could've killed us! It always gets worse!" Miki cried, gesturing at the Digital Plane around the destroyed Yuggoth, falling away like a screensaver into darkness and racing towards them at a frenetic pace. "I just want to go home to the park, and then I want to get as far away from you all as possible before I'm next!"

The tear ripped a tear, quite literally, through the space, and below them a misty image of Shinjuku Park's water fountain beckoned.

Gorou Mizuno

Behind them, the world lit up with the roar of battle as a horde of attacks launched at once on the 'innocent' Yuggoth, coming at it from all directions. Shibumi dived away – or, at least, as much as one could, peering back to see Yuggoth explode.

And then the world behind to cascade away, dragging a number of streams of data down with it.

"We need a better idea!" Tai cried, floating by and trying to stop himself with Agumon's help.

"Wish?" Rei said, her tone distracted.

"Like that is ever going to work!" Natsuki cried, frustrated.

"No, WISH!" Rei shouted, pointing sharply. Shibumi, with the help of the Mokumon becoming oars, began to paddle across to her, and the letters somehow scorched into the Digital Plane itself.

Ever resourceful, that Takato.


"Of course," Izzy clicked. "It's like everything here, we'll get out of this place if we just wish for it."

"EVERYONE!" Tai shouted at the top of his lungs, as, having reoriented himself, he 'swam' as fast as possible towards the letters. "Focus on the park! Shinjuku Park! The water fountain! Don't forget a single detail! NOW!"

Murmurs, mumbles, a thousand voices.

Shibumi turned around, his eyes widening as he beheld a huge portal, torn through the space of the Digital World, and revealing the familiar shape of Shinjuku Park's water fountain, albeit with a bit of a crater in its vicinity.

And another portal.

And mist. Lots of mist.

He felt the hairs on the back of his neck rise. Something was most certainly not right…

Michael Washington

For all their enthusiasm, they stopped running the moment the door opened. They were tempted to a moment earlier. Who couldn't, given what they had before them?

Buildings loomed, or, at least, the closest ones did, hidden amidst a thick fog, the cranes of One World Trade Center vanishing up into it all. Even the road surface at the foot of the steps was hard to make out, and the sky may as well not have existed.

If there was a purgatory, this was it.

"It's a Digital Field," Michael mused. Even if they hadn't seen one directly, with all the videos and images and training they had been given, let alone all that which they saw on the television, they knew how to recognise them.

But this…this was just...

"Uncountable," Willis mumbled, gazing downwards. The numbers counted up, and up, and up, and up, whipping up Michael's stomach into frenzy. Both of their devices were screaming with noise, any individual bleeps lost to the crowd.

Betamon and Coronamon both growled horrendously, but waited, even as a geyser of light burst from the street next to them.

"We have to fight," Michael said, gripping his Digivice Burst.

"Against this many Digimon? We don't even know if we can handle one!"

"Then we'll have to fight harder. Are you ready?"

"Yeah," Coronamon and Betamon barked, and the city street burst into light.

Rika Nonaka

"Damn it!" Rika slammed the terminal with her hands. The two Yuggoth programs she had sent after the largest two patches of bioemergences had been destroyed, and the Digital Plane was going crazy, whatever trace she had of it rapidly dying down to zero.

"The Yuggoth is not a very elaborate program, Rika."

"Well what do we do now then?"

"You take three years of Computer Science at Oxford. Or you could just step away from the leopard."

The voice sent a chill up Rika's spin, before her teeth grated together. The man she would rip to death with her own hands if she could, the man who had ruined her entire life.

"Rayleigh," she growled, her hands glowing as she prepared to attack. Falcomon bent slightly by the Brit's side, preparing to defend his Tamer, presumably to the death. Why on earth would the polite creature follow such a despicable man? "You are going to…"

"Calm down," Rayleigh began, before he raised a sub-machine gun from his side, passing a bandaged leg. "I wasn't really giving you an option, I'm afraid. You're just far too dangerous, even in your fetching disguise."

Rika froze, before taking a cautionary step back and crying "Renamon!"

"Rika?" It was Harmony's voice, loud and clear. Rayleigh sniggered.

"Nowhere nearby, I see. Not that Falcomon would have let her be."

Rika wanted to cry. Alone, facing a barrel ready to plough a bullet straight into her chest. Her mind flashed through the many times her former incarnations had died at a similar fate, not least at the hands of Chaos. She had plenty of life to flash before her eyes, but she was quickly distracted as the metal of the weapon began to glisten with light.

As did everything, for that matter.

"What?" she cried, looking up at the ceiling, the cracked view screens filling with bioemergence points. Every inch of Tokyo was covered, the room turning a sickening blood red as they all locked on.

"Control," Rayleigh began, clicking off the safety. "Alt." Rika took another few steps back, her mind ablaze with Harmony calling on her to move yet her feet frozen to the spot. If she moved, he would still hit her. If she… "Delete."

Her ears filled with gunfire, echoing in the space, yet in space of an overwhelming pain all she heard was the tinkling of glass and shrapnel. She opened her eyes not to her blood, nor to the red of the screens, but to the dull light of emergency lamps in a shot-through control room.

"My plan is coming together, and the last thing I need is any meddling up here."

"Your plan?"

"The Juggernauts are shut down, and the flood gates are open. The world is about to change for good. We will have no need for Gods."

"What have you done?" Rika shrieked, it taking every ounce of self-control not to hurl herself forward, consequences be damned.

"Put everything I need onto my new PDA," he noted, raising his device from his side. He chuckled, before dropping it, crushing it underfoot. "But I'm finished now. All I need from now on is my trusty little wristwatch," he added, raising his arm and tapping its screen. "Or is it?"

For all its dark green trim, all Rika saw was its grey surfaces, their meaning unmistakable even in the dull light left in the room. Her mind exploded with the implications.


"Quiet. Now walk, Harmony. Turn and walk…" he said calmly, as the gun returned to her as a target. "Through those doors, and out onto the landing."

She did as he said, yet all the while thought of ways to escape. Wings? A quick blast of something to the floor. Anything? But for all she could try, she was just a single bullet from leaving Takato alone, Rey without a mother, the world with the vengeance it was crying for. Rayleigh would be a hero.

But he was far from it.

"Such a vandal," Rayleigh tutted, as she reached the window, or, at least, where it had been. Glass crunched under her foot as she came to a stand without even being asked. "Now, Rika, arms out," he ordered, her hair caught by the wind fluttering up, a wind which failed to change the scene before her but did reveal the mixed black and orange shades of her less-dyed hair.

"What is…this?"

"My new world, Harmony. One you brought about. Thank you for creating me, I'll be sure to engrave your name in something one day."

She knew what she was seeing, yet she could barely take it in. Tokyo was practically gone, a thick mist rapidly covering it as geysers exploded from everywhere, pinpricks of light filling it. The odd scream, the odd crunch of car against car, yet above all else a damning silence. The largest Digital Field she had ever seen.

She glanced behind, knowing the inevitable: she wasn't going to learn how all this would turn out. "Rayleigh. You…"

"The Third Demon of Infiltration, Rayleigh Thompson, at your service, with my trusty Falcomon by my side, taking on the world and its troubles from the inside out and earning a nice profit from it too. The Tamers will never deal with this, trapped where they are, and without you to say anything, why would they need to? Even if they do get back, the sheer scale…someone else will need to step in. And I will. Mari's gun is an early model, but the newer weapons…" he whistled. "They will change the way we see Digimon forever. Whether that means eradicating or enslaving them, I don't know, and aside from Falcomon here I hardly care. My age old enemies will die while I rake in Royalties, and most importantly the world will change. People will rethink what they have to hold dear, they will look again to experts and to reason, they will take them seriously."

"Someone will stop you. People always rise up. I believe in them."

"Against the smallest of circumstances. But this isn't just Tokyo, this is worldwide. The very networks that bind you together will tear you apart…it's almost poetic. And amidst it all I'll escape a hero…sure, I'll be cast down from my office, but in public opinion I will be a king. But that's all not really that important to you: you know what happens now. Still…I can't say I enjoy killing, particularly not someone who created what this country should be grateful for."

"And what's that?"

"So long, Harmony and Rika, and thanks for all the fish!"

Rika jumped forward, her wings sweeping out and smashing the nearby panes, clattering against the metal frame.

To fly. To be free. To fight back against all that was happening. To find her daughter. To…


Her shredded wings lost their lift, and gravity did the rest. Her stomach churned from the pain and the vertigo, blood and feathers drifting down around her.


She screamed. The pavement roared towar

Rayleigh Thompson

She had landed.

Even as he smirked, he felt a small measure of worry. Not for the girl sprawled out dead on the pavement far below, and quickly covered, blood and all, by a growing mist. Just one less God, for all he cared. But where was she now? What was death like?

He shuddered. He knew he was covered. He was fine. Everything would be fine. Everything was pulling together. Nothing to fear now. Nothing at all.


"Come, Falcomon. Project Ragnarok is waiting."

Catherine Coleman

A break. A much deserved break. For many, a chance to nip out for a cigarette, or get a coffee, but Catherine was very far from the nearest café, and certainly couldn't pop outside for a fag. Then again, with the sight she was about to behold, who could ever need either?

Her long-honed caffeine habits said differently. Yet, as she floated into the Cupola module, still not quite over the surreal nature of 'flying' like this, she were quickly distracted. The module was fairly recent, and featured six trapezoid windows about a circular one, all currently covered by shutters.

Of all the rooms on the International Space Station, this was her favourite. As she went to raise the shutters, she even ignored the radio chatter. Because, beyond all civilization, there was just something so natural to the sight she now beheld.

Mother Earth.




"Catherine, can you…?"

For there, floating in space, sat the Earth, every land surface covered entirely in the same, monotonous, white fog.

"Ron. Look out the window. I spy a spaceship with a problem…"


A/N: First of all, I'm proud to say Dimensions now has its very own TV Tropes page. This is the happiest day of my life. Please, go on it and be as cynical, amusing, etc. in your tropes as you want. I shall cherish the page like my own child!

I'm well aware of how delayed this part was, so first of all I must apologise so much, university has taken so much of my time and I really don't know how much time I'll have to write for the foreseeable future. I have to do some planning for Phase Three before it comes about, so please bear with me there too. I hope, in any case, that this chapter may have wrapped up a lot of questions and plotlines for you thus far, has at least partly made up for the lack of updates, and has whet your whistles for what is to come. As should this…


The fiery inferno ripped upwards, screams barely heard above the roar of the fire and explosion as the flames engulfed their victims. The flames rapidly raced up the sides of the conjoined towers, licking upwards into the sky as a thunderous roar shook the very foundations of Tokyo itself.

A heart beat.




DarkBiyomon, cradled in the arms of her partner, as the city howled with life.


"Above all else, the government is reassuring citizens not to panic."

"This is the entire world! What do we do?"

"Please Ryder, you have to hear me. You have to wake up," cried Ivy, leaning down by his hospital bedside and wiping away a tear from her eye. It was a futile effort, as more began to pour, her words becoming but a whimper. "Please."

"You wanted a way home, didn't you?"

After the end, everything fell silent. All except for one, long, beep.