TK couldn't believe what he and the one person he had once loathed the most had just done. Taking down an enemy like the one that now stood besides him was one thing, but never had TK defied an adult at the magnitude that had just been exhibited before. However, he was not about to argue with the high strung emperor who, at the slightest sound, would spin around and for some reason unknown to TK, reach for the unloaded gun. TK himself was also extremely jumpy, knowing for a fact that the one person who he was forced to follow had not one inkling of where he was going. Ken, being directed on pure instinct, rounded a corner, but immediately ran back out and grabbed TK before he could get through. TK went to yell at him for touching him, but then herd footsteps and realized why Ken, who had barely shown emotion the whole time they were walking, looked so startled. Both digidestined cautiously looked around the corner and saw two security guards talking, walkie-talkies on their belts.
"So I say-" The guard said, but at that moment, the walkie-talkie crackled.
"All units, be on alert for two young boy around age eleven. You have orders to do whatever is necessary to detain them, but there are strict orders not to harm them. Over." The communicator said.
"Unit eight copies. We'll be on the look out." The guard said and they both turned down another hall. Both boys quietly crossed the hall to the other side of the opening and did not look back. After a few minutes of observant silence, Ken deiced to break it.
"Oh... uh, by the way, that was a satisfactory job of singing back there to distract the guard." Ken mumbled. TK's eye's widened in surprise. Was Ken, the evil digimon emperor actually complimenting him.
"Thanks, I guess." TK said slowly, not sure what to think. "I'm actually pretty bad at singing, my brother is the real music talent in the family, but because of him everyone thinks I'm good at that stuff too."
To his surprise, Ken gave him a half smile.
"You mean you aren't the dumb blond rock star your brother is?" Ken said sarcastically. He knew too well what it was like to be in someone's shadow. TK's face scrunched up in annoyance at the "dumb blond" statement.
"You're the one to talk about stereotypes." TK said. "Everyone thinks your so great just because you're a genius and an athlete, but you're really Hitler." TK paused and reconsidered as Ken grew angry at the comparison. "Well, I guess you're not completely evil. I mean I am in your debt."
Now it was Ken's turn to look surprised.
"You freed me from them. You could have just left me, but you didn't. Thank you." TK said sincerely. Amazingly enough, Ken laughed slightly.
"A debt?" Don't be stupid, I'll tell you when you're in my debt." Ken said.
TK opened his mouth to ask what he meant, but at that moment, a guard decided to walk down their hall. All three made eye contact before the guard registered in his mind who the boy's were.
"Hey!" The guard said loudly. Ken and TK immediately ran for the end of the hall, Ken was in the lead. The emperor reached the intersection at the end and took a right. He started to run down it, but then he heard a yell ring through the corridors.
"Ken! HELP ME!" TK shouted from the other hall.
It turned out that Ken was much faster than the digidestined of hope and had instantly put a lot of distance between him and his enemy without realizing it. The guard, though unable to catch up with the Tamachi genius, was able to grab TK's arm and twist it around to his back in a painful lock.
"OW, OW, OW! Let up, will ya?" TK said angrily to the adult. The guard, not bothering to answer, started to grab his walkie-talkie but TK, though unable to move very well, shot up his arm and soundly whacked the communicator out of the guards hand. The guard, now angry, grabbed TK's other arm, twisted it around behind him and started to drag him away without saying a word. But then there was a sound and both TK and the guard looked up to see Ken standing in front of them with the gun pointed at the guard's head.
"Release him." Ken said simply.
"I don't think so." The guard said, narrowing his eyes to see if the gun was loaded. However, Ken had expertly hidden any indication of whether it was or not.
"Release him now or I'll shoot." Ken said, not backing down.
"Kid, that gun's not even loaded. And don't think that your little Kung Fu tricks are going to work on me like they did on the other guy." The guard said with the same stubbornness as Ken.
"How do you know it's not loaded?" Ken said calmly. To his satisfaction, Ken saw a slight glimmer of fear in the guards eyes. "You see, I know you can't hurt me. However I can." Ken used his thumb to pull the hammer of the gun back and it locked with a click. "I'm only going to say this once. Let... him...go."
The guard looked at the young ruler for a tense minute, then opened his hands, freeing TK. TK walked quickly toward Ken and they both started for the end of the hall, Ken walking backward to make sure the gun was still pointed at the guard. As soon as they turned to the right, they immediately started to run.
"Now, you're in my debt." Ken said.
He pulled the trigger of the gun. Being unloaded, the hammer simply flew forward and came back into place with a snap. TK nodded, but decided that using any air for conversation would be a waste, since he already had trouble keeping up with Ichijouji. After turning down two more hallways in the maze called Hypnos, TK spotted something that looked very helpful. He pointed and Ken nodded.
"Stairs! We have to go up. Remember how Henry had said that the Juggernaut thing would be at the top of the tower." Ken said.
"I hope you know what you're doing." TK said, breathing heavily. The got to the door that lead to the stairs. Ken gripped the handle and started to open it. However, it immediately slammed back into place in front of the emperors face. Both digidestined looked up to see four guards surrounding them. Being so preoccupied, the digidestined didn't realize that the guards had found them. One of the guard had his hand on the door.
"Going somewhere?" He said. Ken looked quickly around for an exit. It seems that the guard that they had encountered had warned his colleagues that the boys were armed, because now two of the guards had real loaded guns pointed at the digidestined's heads. TK and Ken started to put their hands up, but fate had other plans.
"Terrier tornado!" They all heard faintly before the door to the stairs burst open, knocking the guard who was holding it to the ground. A small green tornado came and knocked over the other guards like bowling pins before they could move. TK and Ken looked into the door as Terriermon stopped spinning and smiled at them. Henry was up the stairs a little, scowling a bit.
"Come on! We've got to go!" Henry said and beckoned the boys to follow him. The group of four (including Terriermon) ran up the stairs and slammed the first door open. The landscape had totally changed from endless hallways to large conference rooms with offices and cubicles in between. Suddenly, one of the offices opened and three pairs of hands grabbed the boys and they closed the door. The hands went immediately to the boys mouths and covered them to keep from yelling.
"Quiet or you'll get us all caught." A familiar voice came from one of the people who grabbed them. Ken ripped the hand away from his mouth.
"Mitsuo?!" Ken whispered and turned around to look at the physicist. The others turned around and also saw Shin and Janyuu Wong.
"Dad! What's going on?" Henry exclaimed. Janyuu looked at the two SOU 3 members, but it was Shin who gave the answer.
"We need to get you out of here. Yamaki's gone insane and will kill you. However, the only reason Wong's here is because he insisted on watching over us to keep you safe." Shin said, obviously annoyed.
"Then we need to get to the juggernaut; in the observation deck."
"We know. The question is, how?" Mitsuo said. However, before anyone could answer, there was a loud knock at the door.
"Is anyone in there?" An authoritative voice said from the other side. Mitsuo signaled for everyone to hide and opened the door.
"I'm busy, so this better be good." Mitsuo said, trying to seem very annoyed and masking his anxiety to the guard in front of him.
"The anomalies that you brought have escaped. Be on the look out, we have guards posted at all entrances so they may try to hide in one of the offices." The officer said, not bothering to look in Mitsuo's office. Mitsuo was well known for his friendship with Yamaki, and would seem unlikely that he would be doing what he was doing. Mitsuo nodded at the guard and quickly closed the door.
"Well, we know that Hypnos is going to be impossible to get into. You better have a plan, Yamamoto." Janyuu said.
"Why don't we just find an air duct or something!" Ken said all of the sudden. Then he grasped his shoulder. The pain was getting worse as time went on. TK looked sympathetically at his enemy. He too was trying his best to not show the pain he was in, but was failing miserably.
"No can do. All air is pumped from high up on the roof. Yamaki had made sure that no one, including his own men, could get to the observation room without clearance. I guess he thought American spy's or someone would come and steal the equipment. He's a bit paranoid." Mitsuo said. There was a thoughtful silence as everybody became quiet in disappointment. Then Shin snapped his fingers, making everyone jump.
"The kid!" Shin exclaimed. Everyone looked at him like he was insane.
"Who?" Mitsuo said.
"You know, the kid. The new elec-e that just got assigned to us. He had kept babbling on about how he had done repairs on observation equipment wiring. If there's one person who knows an alternative way into Hypnos, it's him." Shin said. Mitsuo blinked in confusion, then realized who Shin was talking about.
"If you're talking about Matsuko..." Shin nodded readily. "Then the answer is no. In fact, I'm not getting anyone else from the team involved. So you're just-" Mitsuo said.
"Wait, who's Matsuko?" Henry interrupted.
"Our electrical engineer. He's younger than the rest of us (which is why he's called Kid) and, though annoying, knows Hypnos inside and out. He can show us a way out of here. He's the only one." Shin said, staring holes into Mitsuo.
"It's going to take a lot of persuading to get Matsuko to do anything outside what he's been assigned. The man is a bigger brown nose than Yamaki when it comes to obeying top officials." Mitsuo said. Then he sighed and nodded at Shin. "Fine, let's go. But if anything happens to the elec-e, I'm putting the blame on you. Lead the way."
"No, no, no." The 25 year old electrical engineer said to Shin as he moved boxes of tools to different spots in the empty generator room next to the laboratory. "I am not going against Mr. Yamaki's direct orders. Besides, don't you have something better to do than try to get your butt kicked out of Hypnos?"
"Matsuko, do you realize who these kids are?" Shin said. Matsuko glanced at the three boys next to Shin for a second. Janyuu was standing behind them all.
"Just because the anomalies take human shapes, doesn't mean they're human. And don't touch that!" Matsuko said
He walked over and swiftly grabbed a tool that looked like tweezers on a stick from TK's hand. He had picked it off the counter to look at it while Shin and Matsuko were arguing. Matsuko quickly put the tool in one of the boxes.
"That's used to test the output of electrical systems. It creates an electrical field and if you go near one of the prongs, your hand will be numb for a week. Now if you'll excuse me..." Matsuko started to head for the exit, but Mitsuo, who had been outside, came and blocked the exit. Matsuko backed up a bit. Shin may not have been able to do anything to Matsuko for resisting, but Mitsuo could.
"Just do it, Matsuko. We don't have much time." Mitsuo said. Matsuko's face twitched.
"Mr. Yamamoto, sir. I am sorry, but I simply cannot." Matsuko said, knowing fully well that Mitsuo was a much higher ranking officer than him. "If we get caught, I'll get fired, and I can't afford that right now."
"These children are going to die. You know a different way into Hypnos, so tell us." Mitsuo persisted. Matsuko hesitated.
"But if I get caught, I'll get fired." Matsuko repeated. Mitsuo had to use all his will power to keep from rolling his eyes.
"No, if we get caught, I get fired. Then you get fired. Or, I could fire you right now. So what will it be, the risk, or the sure thing?" Mitsuo said. Matsuko hesitated again as he thought. Then he sighed.
The group of four adults and three children walked deeper into the generator room until they came to a large panel with a number board next to it. Matsuko punched in four numbers and jerked open the panel.
"This is the main circuitry that leads to the huge generator that sits in the middle of the observation deck. There's a row of rungs that act as a ladder. If you climb up that, there's a panel that will lead right into the control room. However, someone needs to open the panel from inside the observation deck." Matsuko said. Ken crawled in first and looked up. On three of the four walls, there was wires of all sides hanging down, going into holes at the bottom that obviously led to computers and other things of that sort. On the fourth wall was the rungs.
"Thank you, Matsuko." Mitsuo said as TK and Henry climbed in. They all started to climb soundlessly. Matsuko shrugged.
"You're welcome. And... good luck." Matsuko said slowly. Then he speedily walked away. Janyuu replaced the panel and the three men started for the observation deck.
"This kind of feels like a James Bond film, doesn't it?" TK said, trying to lighten the mood. Ken snorted.
"You actually watch that American junk? What happened to watching good classic Japanese movies?" Ken said.
"It's British, first of all. And watching Japanese movies stopped when we started exporting our cartoons." TK said. Then, out of the blue, he gasped and grabbed his head with his hand.
"What's the matter?!" Henry said. He carefully looked up, trying not to jostle Terriermon who had been sitting in his shoulder the whole time.
"The disintegration of our bodies is getting faster." Ken said. He looked up. "There's the panel. Let's get this over with."
Mitsuo sliced his security clearance card through the machine. He was the only one who had it. The light on the side became green and the door slid open. Mitsuo, Janyuu and Shin walked in. Fortunately, Yamaki wasn't in the room at that moment, but Riley and Tally were.
"Hey, what are you doing here?" Riley demanded. Instead of answering, the men went to one of the large computers. Janyuu knelt down to a bottom panel while Shin and Mitsuo worked on one of the computers. "You aren't authorized to use those programs!"
"Watch me." Mitsuo said and quickly brought up a simulation of the Juggernaut. He connected the palm pilot like device he was using before to the computer and looked intensely at the screen. Then he signaled to shin and Shin started to type on another keyboard furiously.
"He's opening the Juggernaut program." Tally informed Riley. Riley quickly pressed a button on her keyboard.
"Yamaki, sir, you better get dow-" Riley started to say, but the intercom light that usually becomes green when she uses it turned off. Riley looked down at the two SOU 3 members angrily.
"Oops." Shin said insincerely. In the course of accessing the Juggernaut program, he cut off Riley and Tally's communication system, on purpose, of course. While The SOU 3 members were doing that, Janyuu looked at a piece of paper and typed in the numbers into the side number board. There was a click and Janyuu was able to easily remove the bottom panel. He helped the two digidestined and his son get out.
"Those are the anomalies! You have a good explanation, Mitsuo, before I sound the alarm." Riley said.
"No, I shut that off too. You forget, I helped build half these programs we're using." Shin said. Then he had a sudden outburst. "Damn it! Locked, I can't override the security fire wall. We need the access codes and we need them fast in order to open the Juggernaut."
Janyuu looked up at Riley, who seemed to be much relieved.
"You have the code's, don't you? Help us, Riley." Janyuu said to the young women. She sent a cold glare to Janyuu.
"What do you want the Juggernaut program for anyway? Trying to help the digital anomalies commit suicide?" Riley said.
"No, they need to get back to where they came from, or else they're going to die." Mitsuo said. Riley and Tally may not have been able to see each other, but their expressions were the same. Confusion.
"They're just kids, Riley. Don't you have more moral than Yamaki? You'll never hear from me like this again. But you have to do this." Janyuu said. Riley looked tensly at Janyuu for a moment, then at the digidestined and sighed.
"I know I'm going to regret this." Riley said. Then she pressed another button on her keyboard. "Voice print: Riley Onaba. Access Juggernaut program 256A."
"Thank you." Janyuu said. Riley only nodded.
"Any specific power level?" Riley asked.
"Yes, try power level 23.8." Janyuu resounded. Riley started to type.
"No, the level is to high." Mitsuo said. He looked at his screen again. "Make the level 20.67. Do it!"
And Riley did. The Juggernaut program was engaged and started on it's climb to the specified power level. She then laid back so that it looked like she had done nothing, which was good because Yamaki and some of security had opened the door at that moment.
"Riley, Tally, close this program at once." Yamaki demanded.
"They can't do that sir. I put it override lock. Until it does it's job, these two ladies can't do a thing and neither can you." Shin bluffed. Yamaki's gaze wandered over to the two people next to his chief scientist.
"The anomalies! Get them!" Yamaki ordered. The security guards ran for the two boys.
"Get to the Juggernaut! Terriermon and I will hold them off as long as possible." Henry said. Ken and TK started running toward the bright blue column of energy that was the Juggernaut.
"No, it's too early, you could be destroyed." Mitsuo cried. However, no one heard. The security guards split up into two groups, one going for the two boys and the other went for the three employees of Hypnos.
"Terrier Tornado." Terriermon said and started knocking down guards. However, Yamaki was ready. He whipped out a device that Henry immediately recognized. Henry took out a card.
"Digi-modify! Hyper speed activate!" Henry said as he a sliced a card through his digivice. Terriermon was still barely able to get out of the way as Yamaki fired the Data paralyzer.
"Get back here, freak's!" One of the guards said as Ken and TK ran.
"The Juggernaut is at 16 percent." Tally reported.
Henry slashed a shield card as the guards, fed up, started to fire at the digimon.
The two digidestined ran faster.
Terriermon did another tornado attack.
Ken felt someone grab at his leg and he fell. A guard was holding it, smiling.
Ken used his other foot and kicked the guard on his hand and ran for the Juggernaut. By the time Tally said the 20.67, the digidestined were almost in the Juggernaut. The two enemies started to walk into it. The others looked at what was happening. TK and Ken turned around.
"Thank you for everything. Good bye." TK said and walked into the program. Ken, though he did not say anything, gave a one fingered solute to Henry and they understood. He too walked in and the Juggernaut stopped functioning. There was a large silence. Then Janyuu walked, with his son, up to Yamaki.
"I'll see you in work tomorrow." Janyuu said, then walked away. Yamaki looked up and Mitsuo gave a nervous smile.
"There's no use crying over spilled milk. We've got more important things to worry about. I'll see you tomorrow." Yamaki said and he walked away. Shin and Mitsuo smiled.
*Back to Ken and TK*
It was like going through the eye of a tornado. Ken and TK fell, thin bolts of lighting zapping around and through them. The digivices glowed, green for TK and red for Ken. Then there was a bright flash of light and both boys found themselves on the ground, bumping and rolling to an abrupt stop, back in the clothes they had originally been in. For a few minutes, none of them said anything. They just lay there in shock. Then they picked themselves up.
"Did that really happen?" TK asked, sitting up. Ken also sat up, holding his head.
"Well, if my headache has anything to say about it, then yes. That was real." Ken said. TK looked at him. Then actually started to laugh. "What's so funny."?
"You should see yourself. That whole two day period we were gone, we barely attacked each other. But when we come back, it looks like we've been fighting the whole time." TK said. Ken touched his forehead and looked at the red substance on his fingers.
"I must have hit a rock when we fell." Ken said. "You don't look so great yourself, you know."
TK had a thin cut on his cheek and a very dirty hat on. TK stopped laughing.
"So, I guess we're enemies again." TK said.
"Yup." Ken said. He stood up and brushed himself off. "Have fun trying to find your friends."
He started to walk away. However, he didn't get to far.
"Ichijouji!" A voice growled before Davis jumped on the emperor, making him hit the ground hard again.
"TK!" Kari cried. She and the rest of the digidestined came out of the woods, looking concerned. "Are you alright? You were gone almost an hour."
"Yeah, fine." TK said absent mindedly. He was looking at what Davis was doing. Ken had his chin pressed to the ground and had both his arms twisted behind him while Davis sat on top of him. Wormmon looked ready to use his attack, but the other digimon surrounded him.
"Nice find we have here. I can't wait to get you back to the real world." Davis said to Ken as he made the emperor stand up.
"Gee, thanks for the offer, but I'd rather not." Ken said sarcastically.
"Shut up!" Davis said, twisting Kens arms into his back painfully. "It's over Ichijouji."
"Um, Davis?" TK said, but Davis wasn't listening.
"Maybe we ought to tie you up in the woods somewhere and let the digimon do what they want to you." Davis said.
"Oh, now that's intriguing." Ken said even more sarcastically, if that was possible.
"Davis?" TK said. "Let him go."
Everyone stopped what they were doing and turned to TK.
"W-what?" Davis stammered.
"I don't want to deal with this today. Just let him go." TK said calmly.
Davis, still in disbelief, released his hold on the digimon emperor. Ken walked up to TK with an inquiring look behind his glasses.
"My debt has been repaid. Next time we meet, we're nothing more than enemies." TK explained. Ken gave a small half smile.
"I didn't expect any less from you, digidestined. Maybe, if we ever see eye to eye, we could be friends. Until next time, TK. I bid you farewell. Come on Wormmon." Ken said, and then walked away. As TK watched Ken whistle to his Airdramon, four murderous glares fell upon the digidestined of hope.
"Debt? You just freed the most dangerous being in the digital world. The war could have ended right then! And you let him go for some stupid debt!!!" Davis cried.
"It's more than just a debt! He saved my life, twice." TK said sternly.
"But how? You were only gone an hour." Yolei asked.
"I'll tell you later. Right now, I just want to get home. You're going to have to trust me on this one." TK said.
Davis held up his hands in defeat and stomped back toward the TV. As the others started to follow, TK looked back up to see the Airdramon fly overhead. It wouldn't be until months after the battle with Kimeramon that both would realize that Henry and Takato probably knew exactly what the outcome of every battle that the digidestined fought, but was able to keep it a secret. But right then, all TK could think of was that one phrase that Kazu had slipped out. He and Ken were both digidestined.
"Until next time, digidestined." TK said, then walked away.
A/N: That took a long time to finish. However, it's done. I really hope you liked it. Please review. Thank you.