Author's notes: Ye gads. Has it really been two years since my last update? MY apologies. I'd begun to think this last chapter was cursed, since every time I finished and tried to upload it, my computer would get fried and I'd have to start from scratch again. No matter. I think there are still those waiting for closure, and to them I apologise again. And to those people who sent messages urging me to finish, and waited all this time, thank you for your support.

I meant to release this on Christmas day, but I think it works better at the very end of the year/ beginning of the new one. And now, I present...

Digimon Tamers Dark Wing Final Chapter:

Our Final Hope, the Wings of Light!

A huge, monstrous creature stood in the ruins of Tokyo's Shinjuku district, its eyes glowing an ominous red. All around it stood the battered Digimon of the combined forces of the Tamers and Chosen Children. The despair they felt was plain to see on their faces. They all knew that evolution not only gave a Digimon a new form, but also healed all wounds and restored their strength. In their current condition, they were in no shape to fight against a newly-evolved Ultimate.

Ken took a step back, shaking his head. "D-damn...after everything..."

Hikari's shoulders sagged as Miyako fell to her knees. "No," the purple-haired Chosen Child sobbed, feeling tears of exhaustion well up in her eyes despite her efforts to fight them back. Her Jogress partner could only shut her eyes and look away, her pretty face twisted into a grimace.

Gritting his teeth in helpless anger, Daisuke punched the ground. "No way! No way am I gonna lose like this!"

"Tha-that's right!" Imperialdramon said as he pulled himself painfully to his full height. "I'm not finished yet!"

"Heh," Yamato smirked as he looked at Taichi. "Looks like your stubborn personality's rubbing off on that poor kid."

Taichi grinned. "Hey, shouldn't you say my 'never-say-die' personality instead?"

"Aren't they the same?" Omegamon said as he stepped forward to stand by Imperialdramon's side. "But either way, stubborn or never-say-die," The Gray Sword slid out of Omegamon's WarGreymon arm, while the MetalGarurumon arm unveiled the Garuru Cannon, "that's the way we're gonna go!"

"Agreed," Dukemon agreed, using his lance to stand. "I, Dukemon, will not just lie down and die!"

Millenniumon simply glared at the group, then suddenly unleashed a mighty roar. All the group were knocked off their feet and the larger Digimon were forced to their knees. What few windows hadn't been smashed during the battle now shattered and some of the damaged walls and pillars crumbled. "I haven't time to waste on you." A great portal appeared above the Dark God Digimon and he slowly began to rise upwards.

"St-strong!" Iori coughed, spitting out some gravel that had gotten into his mouth. "How can we fight something like that?"

Taichi was the first to his feet. "Something's strange..."

"You felt it too?" Yamato asked as he brushed his hair free of debris.

"What do you mean, Nii-san?" Takeru asked his older brother as he helped Hikari up.

Taichi and Yamato exchanged a glance. "Don't you remember what happened when we first fought with Millenniumon?" Taichi asked. "He took us all out with one hit!"

"Don't tell me he thinks we're not even worth killing," Ruki growled. If it was one thing she hated, it was being underestimated. Even though in this case, it would probably be a good thing.

Takeru shook his head. "No," he disagreed, "that's not it. This is Devimon we're talking about. He tried to kill us in our sleep before. If he thought we were trouble, he'd just out and kill us."

"Unless...!" Ken's head snapped up and he yelled at the others. "He doesn't know how to use his powers properly yet! If he gets away, if learns how to use them, there'll be no stopping him!"

Hirokazu stared at the older boy in disbelief. "Hey, you mean to tell me this guy can actually get stronger?!"

"Not if we can help it!" Daisuke said. "Go get him!"

A cannon formed in Imperialdramon's hands and he aimed it at the still-rising Millenniumon. "Giga Death!" The attack struck home, hitting the evil god in the side. However, to their horror he didn't even flinch. Instead, looked down on them with what was basically a sneer. Without even bothering to counter the attack, he began to vanish into the portal.

Back at the heavily damaged Hypnos building, Justimon rose to his feet. "Devimon," the blue-and-white cyborg growled as he watched Millenniummon enter the portal. "You won't get away so easily!" The jury-rigged Hypnos Cannon fell apart as his cybernetic arm began focusing energy. "Time Unlimited!"
As despair began falling on the Chosen Children and Tamers once more, Millenniumon began groaning as if in pain. "What is this?" The former Dark Messenger looked confused. "What is happening?"

The portal he was disappearing into was warping and twisting, like a piece of laundry billowing in the wind. "What's going on?" Daisuke asked Ken, who was quickly becoming the resident Millenniumon expert.

"I don't know," the long-haired boy prodigy admitted. "It's almost like something's interfering with him."

"Jen, that mean's we've still got a chance!" Saint Galgomon said.

Jenrya nodded, then called out to the others. "Everyone! On my mark, hit him with everything we've got!"

The entire group cheered and prepared to unleash whatever power they had left in an all-or-nothing gamble. Once he saw everyone was ready, Jenrya gave the signal. "Everyone! ATTACK!"

Despite their exhaustion, all the Digimon present used their ultimate attacks, blasting Millenniumon with all the strength they had. Missiles, beams, spirits, waves and hearts all struck the dark Ultimate. Millenniumon cried out in what was unmistakably pain, then vanished into the warped portal.

"We did it!" Daisuke cheered. He clapped Ken on the shoulder. "Ichijouji! Great job!"

Ken stumbled from the clap, but grinned. "No, this was a group effort."

"It's too soon to celebrate," rasped a tired-sounding voice. Oikawa appeared, flanked by Arukenimon and Mummymon. Black WarGreymon landed behind the group. "Look."

On a nearby building, a badly cracked giant television screen had come to life and was displaying a desolate landscape. Slowly, Millenniumon came into view. Smoking and singed, the Dark God Digimon's eyes burned red with hatred. "All in vain," he said simply.

Inside the Hypnos base, Yamaki slammed his hands down on a nearby console. "Reika! Megumi! Track that signal!" he barked at the two operators. "If we can find its source, we can help send Takato-kun and the others there!"

"But, sir, how do we do that?" Megumi asked. "We don't have the Ark anymore!"

"One problem at a time!" Yamaki snapped. "First we need to know where he is. Knowing Takato-kun and the others, they'll probably figure out their own way there. We'll just do what we can!"

Reika nodded and smiled reassuringly at Megumi, and when she was sure she wasn't being watched smiled ever so slightly at Yamaki. This was when he was at his best, when all seemed lost. No matter what, Yamaki would find a way through. In that sense, he and the Tamers were kindred spirits.

"Found it!" Megumi looked over her shoulder as she spoke, just missing the slightly flustered look both Yamaki and Reika had when they realised they'd been eyeing each other instead of doing their jobs. "There's a data trail leading into the Digital World!"

"Takato-kun, do you hear me?" Reika's voice came over the headset Takato wore, drawing the young Tamer's attention away from Millenniumon's taunting.


"Takato-kun, listen! We managed to track that Digimon to somewhere in the Digital World! It's not too late to go after him!"

"But how do we follow him?" Takato asked. "We don't have Grani, or the Ark..."

"Takato, look over there!" Dukemon whispered urgently. Moving his head, the Ultimate showed his partner what he had noticed. Almost imperceptible in the air was a slight shimmering, like a mirage.

"Is that...?"

Dukemon nodded. "Millenniumon's portal hasn't closed properly yet. If we move fast..."

Swallowing nervously, Takato mustered his courage. "Alright, let's do it!"

"Right!" Dukemon suddenly ran forward, and before any of the others could stop him the knight had leapt into the barely visible portal.

"Takato?!" "Takato-kun?!" "Dukemon!" A chorus of surprised cries rang out as the assembled heroes watched Dukemon vanish seemingly into thin air.

On the giant screen, Millenniumon laughed cruelly. "Predictable child. Let's see how you like being lost in time!"

Inside the portal, Dukemon found himself flying through a multi-coloured tunnel of light. Both he and Takato could see distorted images in the tunnel's walls, images of previous battles, heroic victories and devastating defeats. Once or twice, they thought they could make out Ryo in some of the images. In others, they could see WarGreymon and MetalGarurumon battling a skinny humanoid Digimon with long whip-like arms.

As Takato and Dukemon continued through the tunnel of time, it suddenly began to twist and warp as though gripped by giant hands. "Wha-what's going on?"

Dukemon came to a realisation. "This was a trap!"

The Tamers and Chosen Children could only watch in horror as Dukemon and Takato were seemingly trapped in Millenniumon's time tunnel. "Takato-kun!" Juri cried out fearfully.

Takeru snarled, surprising the ones closest to him. "Damn Devimon!" The youth's face was twisted into such a mask of hatred that even Yamato was shocked. "I knew he'd pull off a dirty trick like this!"

"Takeru-kun...?" Hikari whispered tentatively, almost like she was afraid to draw his attention.

"We'll handle this," Oikawa said. "It's about time for us to go anyway."

Iori looked up to his father's old friend. "Go? What do you mean, Oikawa-san?"

Mummymon sniffed. "We're not supposed to be around anyway. Guess we should be going, huh?"

"Hmph." Archnemon snorted at the other Perfect's casual tone. "You make it seem like dying's no big deal."

BlackWarGreymon said nothing, but held out his hands. A glowing blue orb appeared, and when he caught sight of it Omegamon gave a start. "Taichi! That's...!"

Taichi recognised it too. "That's one of Qinglongmon's Digicores!"

Oikawa held up his hand, a similar orb appearing in his palm. "Even though the Holy Beasts aren't a match for Millenniumon, their power should be enough to cause him some trouble."

Iori grasped onto Oikawa's trenchcoat. "Oikawa-san! Don't!"

"Iori-kun," the pale and weary-looking man said, gently removing Iori's hand from his coat, "I was sent here by the Holy Beasts to help against Devimon and the others. They can't leave the Digital World, so we came instead." He knelt before the boy, proudly noting that even though his eyes were beginning to glisten he held his gaze. "If we stay here too long, the Holy Beasts themselves will be affected and that could cause trouble in the Digital World. I'm glad I could meet you again, but now it's time for us to leave."

To his credit, Iori refused to cry and nodded grimly. Oikawa smiled at the son of his old friend, then stood up. "Ready?" he asked the trio behind him. BlackWarGreymon, Archnemon and Mummymon nodded and held up their orbs. "Then let's go." The four began to glow, then burst into multi-coloured butterflies. "Goodbye, Iori-kun." The butterflies then flew up into the portal, leaving Iori to be comforted by his friends.

Dukemon sped as fast as he could through the twisting tunnel, but was rapidly becoming disoriented by the warped nature of the passage. "There has to be a way out of here!" Takato said, urging his friend and partner onwards.

"No good!" Dukemon replied as the tunnel twisted rather violently and struck him hard enough to send him spinning. "It's getting hard to tell left from right!"

All of a sudden, Dukemon and Takato found their sight obscured by countless... "Butterflies?!" Sure enough the colourful insects swarmed through the tunnel, seemingly using their own bodies to buttress it and slow its destruction. "What's going on?" Takato wondered aloud.

Dukemon could only stare. "I wish I knew."

"Dukemon, this way!" Dukemon looked around and caught sight of a huge dog-like Digimon. Its black form stood out amongst the colourful wall of butterflies.

"Dobermon?" Takato and Dukemon said in unison.

Dobermon nodded. "In this place, I can have form for a short while! But we've no time to talk, you have to leave here before this time tunnel collapses!" The Adult turned and began running through the tunnel, the butterflies beginning to fade and the images on the walls underneath now distorted by cracks as it began to collapse. "Hurry!"

"Alright!" Dukemon quickly flew after Dobermon down the tunnel. A light slowly became visible ahead.

"There! Go through, hurry!" Dobermon himself began to slow as he urged the Holy Knight forward.

As they passed him, Takato called out. "Dobermon! what about you?"

"I no longer belong in your world," the great dog replied. "But tell Alice that I was glad to have the chance to see her again. Goodbye, and good luck!"

As they vanished into the portal, Takato called back, "Goodbye, Dobermon! Thank you!"

Once they were gone, Dobermon watched as the light faded and the tunnel of time collapsed around him. "Tamer, Dukemon...the rest is up to you."

Dukemon flew out of the portal and smashed into the ground hard. He skidded through the dirt before finally coming to a halt face-first. Groaning, he pushed himself up. "Takato, you okay?"

"Y-yeah," the youth replied as he tried to keep his head from swimming. "Did we make it?"

"I guess so." Dukemon shook his head to clear it, then looked around. "Where are we?"

"The Plains of Time," answered a voice from behind. As Dukemon turned to see who had spoken, he was backhanded viciously and sent flying once again. Stunned, the battered knight could only watch as Millenniumon stalked towards him, malice in the Evil God Digimon's eyes. "This is where the original Millenniumon faced Akiyama Ryo twice, and was beaten twice." He spread his arms, his mouth twisted into what vaguely resembled a smile. "What better place to ascend and take his place?" As he continued to speak, he circled around Dukemon like a vulture around particularly juicy carrion. "You may not be as great a hero as Ryo, but you'll do." He stopped walking and met Dukemon's glare. "And now, you may die."

Dukemon willed his shield and lance into his hands as he leapt to his feet, even as Millenniumon vanished. The Dark God reappeared on a floating platform. "Attack!" From behind the evil god stepped the Dark Digimon the Tamers and Chosen Children had only just defeated sans Demon.

"This is not good," Takato moaned as the Dark Masters leapt off the platform, followed by the Demon Corps and Metal Etemon.

As he watched his revived comrades engage the hopelessly outnumbered Dukemon, the former Devimon allowed himself a silent laugh. Upon his ascension, he had felt a strange power around the Tamers and Chosen Children. He realised some force was helping them from behind the scenes and knew he had to force it into the open. His first attempt, luring one of the group into his time tunnel, had failed thanks to the interference of the Holy Beasts' agents. But he was confident that the sight of this lone hero being battered to death by the Dark Digimon would force the mysterious entity to act.

And if the Tamer Digimon and his human friend's deaths caused his old enemies the Chosen Children any pain, that was a bonus.

Mugen Dramon swung his tail like a massive flail and struck at the Holy Knight Digimon, who blocked it with his shield. Takato and Dukemon cried out in pain as the force of the blow drove them back, their injuries causing them no end of difficulty.

Mugen Dramon moved aside, and Pinnochimon followed up the attack by smashing Dukemon's shield with his hammer. "Bullet Hammer!" The hammer's head exploded, shattering the shield and sending the heroic Ultimate flying backwards. He hit the ground hard, actually bouncing a couple of times before coming to a halt flat on his back.

Clearly in pain, Dukemon tried to rise but Piemon cruely landed on the fallen hero's chest. The cracks on his breastplate broke open as the Dark Master smiled evilly at the cry of pain that escaped both Digimon and Tamer. "Does it hurt, little boy?" He drew a huge white cloth. "Let me make it all better!"

"Don't do us any favours!" Dukemon hissed, willing his lance Gram into his hand. "Royal Saber!" He thrust the weapon at the harlequin, who dodged it effortlessly by hopping off his chest. Taking advantage of the respite, Dukemon leapt to his feet. He discarded the remains of his shattered shield and went into a battle pose.

The Dark Masters and Demon Corps members laughed at his bravado. "You still wanna play?" Pinnochimon taunted as he hefted his oversized hammer over his shoulder.

"Takato, this doesn't look good," Dukemon whispered to his Tamer.

Inside him, Takato gasped for breath. "Y-yeah...but we've got to keep trying." The young boy steeled himself. "The others are probably trying to think of a way to help us. We've got to hold out 'til then!"

"Takato-kun!" Juri called out tearfully. She looked around at the others, who looked just as worried for their friend as she did. "Isn't there anything we can do?" She looked over to the always-reliable Jenrya. "Lee-kun! Can't you think of anything?" When a pained look was her only answer, she turned to her Tamer role model. "Ruki! Please! There has to be something we can do! Otherwise, Takato-kun will be..."

"I know that!" Ruki snapped, still trying to think of a way to help her friend. "That freaking coward," the redhead growled in frustration. "Running away to a place where he's got back-up, then acting so big when Takato's all alone..."

"He's not all alone!" Daisuke said earnestly. "We're with him in spirit!"

"That's not gonna do him much good if he's getting the crud kicked out of him," Hirokazu complained, practically hopping from anxiety.

"If only it was like that time with Diablomon!" Taichi smacked one fist into his hand. "Then we could send Takato our strength!"

"There is a way..." All eyes fell on Ken as he stood, his chin cupped in the palm of his hand. "If...if I could open a portal like the one we used to banish Demon..."

"We could pull off that move we used on Diablomon!" Daisuke finished, clapping his hands.

"You mean the Omega Blade?" Taichi said, understanding his 'successor'. "That might work! You remember, right, Yamato?"

The blonde Chosen Child nodded, his arms folded over his chest. "It healed ImperialDramon up completely, and powered him up too. If we can pull that off..."

"If, if, if!" Takeru said, clenching his fists. "Let's try it!"

Hikari turned to the others. "Everyone, let's go for it!"

"Ken-kun, we're counting on you," Jenrya said, placing a hand on the older boy's shoulder. "We'll do what we can to help."

"Alright." Ken stepped away from the group. He held up his black D3 and aimed it at the sky. He shut his eyes, trying to focus. A beam shot out the device. It continued into the sky for a short distance. At the end, it spread into a whirling portal. "Th-there!"

"Omegamon!" Yamato and Taichi called to their partner. "Lend him your strength!"

The white Holy Knight nodded. Putting his hands together, he vanished into a swirling pillar of light. Agumon and Gabumon appeared out of the pillar, landing in the arms of their partners. The energy flowed into the portal like a river of light.

"Do you think it'll work?" Iori asked Takeru.

"It had better. This is our last hope..." Takeru's eyes were narrowed, longing to join in the fight against the being that had caused his hatred of darkness.

"Look over there!" Daisuke said, pointing at the giant television screen. Behind the battle-scarred knight, a swirling black portal appeared. As they watched, a silver light began shining out of the portal and enveloped Dukemon.

"H-huh? What's this?" Dukemon stared as his hands as he was covered by the light. "I feel..."

"Warm..." Takato finished for his partner, his eyes shut as he felt warmth spread through his body. The exhaustion he'd been feeling vanished and he felt completely refreshed. "Dukemon...the others! I knew it! They're helping just as I said!"

Dukemon nodded as he felt his shattered shield reform in his hand. "Takato! My strength is returning! Now we've got a chance!"

The Dark Masters and Demon Corps recoiled from the blinding light, until Mugen Dramon's optics adjusted and he moved into the attack. "Mugen Cannon!" To his surprise, the shots from his cannon were deflected by the light. Quickly changing tactics, he then fired on the ground under Dukemon's feet.

As he calculated, his attack made Dukemon lose his footing and disrupt whatever power transfer was going on. "Well done, Mugen Dramon!" Piemon laughed as he pointed his blade at the dragon knight. "Attack!"

The Dark Masters and Demon Corps charged at the newly-restored Dukemon, who turned to face them head on. "Ultimate Stream!" Metal Seadramon fired at the crimson knight, who slashed at the beam with his lance. To the serpent's surprise, his own attack was reflected back at him. With a cry of pain, he was driven to the ground. Before he could even make sense of what had happened, Dukemon was there in front of him with his blade held high. With one downward slash, the Dark Master of the seas was cleft in two.

Piemon leapt forwards and slashed at him with his sword, only for Dukemon to block it with his lance. Clenching his fist, the heroic Ultimate delivered a powerful punch to the Dark Master with his shield arm before he could recover from the shock. From behind, Pinnochimon sprang at the crimson knight and swung his hammer. Dukemon's shield blocked the attack, and a quick blast from the Digital Hazard symbol knocked Pinnochimon away.

"Collapse!" Mugen Dramon disassembled and began firing on Dukemon from all directions, forcing the heroic Digimon to cross his arms.

"Get out of the way!" Takato yelled as he felt energy gathering into Dukemon's left hand. "Final Elysian!"

Dukemon fired a shining green beam out of his shield, but even though he vaporised part of the Dark Master the other components continued to circle around, firing on him mercilessly. "Victory is impossible. Fall!"

"That's my line," Dukemon retorted as he wrapped his cloak around him.

The move surprised Mugen Dramon. "You cannot defeat me. My Digicore is hidden among my parts!"

"Then we'll just take all your parts down!" Takato told the Dark Master. "Dukemon!"

"Elysian Field!" Dukemon fired into his cloak, turning the cloth green with energy. With a flourish he whirled around and around, sending wave after wave of the Final Elysian's energy in every direction like the ripples on a river's surface.

Mugen Dramon's parts were battered by the waves and slowed considerably. "Now, the finish!" Takato yelled as Dukemon raised his lance high.

"Royal Saber!" A huge beam emerged from the Royal Knight Digimon's lance, which he then dragged through the air. One by one, Mugen Dramon's components were disintegrated by the follow up attack until finally the beam found the piece containing the Dark Master's Digicore. The beam sliced through the Chrome Digizoid armour, penetrating his Digicore. The mechanical dragon's eyes went dark as his parts began falling from the sky, shattering into data on impact.

"Way to go, Takato!" Hirokazu cheered.

"Go for it!" Kenta added with numerous chirps from Marine Angemon.

Shuichon waved her hands excitedly. "Takato! Dukemon! You're so cool!"

"Do it!" Taichi yelled.

Yamato called out as well, hoping his voice would reach Takato and Dukemon. "Now! With Courage and Friendship!"

"DIEEEEE!" shrieked Skull Satamon as he and Lady Devimon flew at Dukemon, while Marine Devimon leapt high into the air and dived down.

For a split second, an image of Omegamon was super-imposed over Dukemon, and then the crimson knight smashed his fists into the ground. "Double Torrent!" The ground burst open as two shining streams, one flaming red and the other an icy blue, erupted from the Ultimate's fists. Skull Satamon and Lady Devimon, who'd paused with surprise when the image of Omegamon appeared, tried to evade the attack by flying higher but the twin streams simply followed them into the air. With a agonised cry, Lady Devimon was consumed by the flames while Skull Satamon only managed a small choke before being frozen solid.

As the frozen Perfect hit the ground and shattered into pieces, Marine Devimon brought both fists down, intending to cave in Dukemon's head. "Dukemon, above!" Takato warned.

Reacting quickly, Dukemon looked up. "Cocyutus Breath!" From the 'vents' in the knight's faceplate came a freezing burst of air. Marine Devimon was held aloft for a split-second, then blown away. Crashing into the ground, the Demon Corps member cursed as he held out his arms and shook of the frost that had formed on him.

"Guilty Black!" The undersea Perfect fired blobs of corrosive black liquid at Dukemon, who brought his hands together.

Marine Devimon's attack was vaporised when a huge ball of energy appeared in the hero's hands and was struck by the blobs. "Gaia Force!" Hurling the ball at Marine Devimon, Dukemon was suddenly knocked aside by a blast from Piemon even as the last of the Demon Corps members vanished in a huge explosion.

Dukemon hit the ground, but leapt back to his feet just in time to avoid Pinnochimon's follow up attack. He thrust at the wooden boy Digimon, and impaled him on his lance. Even as Pinnochimon began to disintegrate, Dukemon suddenly found himself under attack by Metal Etemon. "Heavy Monkick!" Dukemon moved to block the powerful jumpkick with his shield, but was then blindsided by a cry of, "Bloody Stream!" and a jolt of crimson lightning. When the Ultimate was forced to his knees, a smirking Vamdemon appeared over him and viciously kicked the still-disintegrating Pinnochimon. The blow managed to knock Gram out of Dukemon's grip, and the sadistic vampire kicked out again, this time catching the hero in the side of the head.

"There's still too many of them!" Kenta wailed as Dukemon fell from Vamdemon's kick.

"Even with Omegamon's power, it's still not enough?" Taichi smacked his fist into his palm. "Kuso!"

Daisuke grinned. "Then if Omegamon's not enough, how about Imperialdramon?" He looked over to his Jogress partner Ken. "How about it?"

Ken nodded weakly, but then began to fall over before Hirokazu and Takeru managed to catch him. "S-sorry, Daisuke. I don't have the strength to open a new portal..."

Ruki frowned at this new predicament, but then spoke into her headset. Sakuyamon attempted to ask her what she was planning, but the redhead shushed her. "Hypnos, Hypnos, can you hear me?"

Megumi picked up Ruki's signal instantly. "Yes, Ruki-chan? I hear you loud and clear!"

Ruki winced at the '-chan', but let it slide just this once. "Can you still pick up Takato's trail?"

"Hold on..." Megumi's hands quickly flew over her console as Yamaki and Reika wondered what Ruki had planned. "Here we go. It's not much, but it's there!"

"Good, that's all we need. Can you try to force the portal back open?"

Despite the fact Ruki couldn't see her, Megumi shook her head. "Sorry, but the Shaggai System is completely fried. We can trace Takato's trail, but that's about it."

"Wait a moment." Reika checked her console. "I might be possible to send a jolt of energy to force the portal open for a few seconds."

"But?" Yamaki asked, expecting some sort of catch.

"We'll probably disable whatever systems we have left."

Yamaki considered this for a moment. If he gave the go-ahead, millions of dollars worth of equipment would probably be overloaded beyond repair. On the other hand, if he didn't and Takato lost, it wouldn't matter. It didn't take him long to make the decision. "Do it. I'll assume full responsibility."

"I just hope it doesn't come out of your paycheck," Megumi quipped before a glare from Yamaki made her squeak and get back to work.

"Ruki, this is Yamaki. We're going to send a charge through. This will be the last bit of energy we have, so make those few seconds count!"

"Got it!" Ruki quickly explained the situation to the others and they rallied before what was left of the portal. As if still trying to help, the butterflies created from Oikawa and his cohorts milled around and marked the vortex. "Okay, everyone ready?"

Daisuke and the other Chosen Children held up their D3s. Taichi and Yamato likewise held up their Digivices. The screens on their assorted devices began to shine. "Ready!"

"This'll be like that time with D-Reaper," Ruki told Sakuyamon. "We'll send Takato all our strength."

Sakuyamon nodded in agreement and steeled herself. "I'm ready, Ruki."

"Ruki!" Jen called from within Saint Galgomon. "All set here too!"

"Hurry!" Juri cried from where she was keeping an eye on Takato's valiant but increasingly futile attempts to fight off the Dark Digimon. "I don't think Dukemon can take much more!"

"Okay, do it!" Ruki barked into her headset.

Megumi winced from the barked command, but quickly complied. Working with Reika, she rerouted whatever energy was left and channelled it into the sensors that had tracked Takato's trail. "Charge complete!" she reported.

Reika took aim at the portal. "Target in sight. All preparations complete!"

Yamaki nodded grimly. "Fire!"

As promised, the portal suddenly split open and the butterflies scattered. "Now!" Taichi ordered, aiming his Digivice at the warp. As beams of light erupted from the D3s and Digivices, the Chosen Digimon began devolving as their power was shifted to Takato and Dukemon.

"Us too, Renamon!" "Terriermon, give it all we've got!" Channeling their energy, both Sakuyamon and Saint Galgomon glowed and sent twin streams of light, one blue and the other green, into the portal along with all the other energy. When the glow receded, Renamon and Terriermon stood beside their human partners. Now completely exhausted and the portal fading permanently from sight, the Tamers and Chosen Children turned their attention back to the giant TV screen.

More than one of them silently mouthed prayers that their efforts would be enough.

Once again, a portal appeared in the air. Millenniumon raised his hand to seal it and prevent Dukemon from being restored once again, but found that he was unable to close the portal. "Again!" he cursed internally. "Whatever this entity is, it's interfering again!" Frustrated, he could only watch as a veritable kaledioscope of colours emerged from the warp and engulfed Dukemon, knocking away the Dark Digimon.

As before, Dukemon felt strength flowing into him. This time, however, both he and Takato could hear the wishes of their friends, urging them not to yield. The light around the Holy Knight took a crimson hue as he felt himself change. Floating into the air, his cape melted away and his previously white armour became red as the sunset sky. Eight golden wings burst out of his back, blinding the villians and forcing even Millenniumon to look away. "Dukemon...Crimson Mode!"

"Crimson Mode or whatever, it makes no difference!" Vamdemon howled as he summoned his Night Raiders and launched them at Dukemon.

The winged knight's fist began to glow with holy energy. "Heaven Knuckle!" A huge fist of light tore through the Night Raiders, consuming the shocked Perfect before he could even comprehend what had happened. His wings spread, the empowered Holy Knight turned his attention to Piemon and Metal Etemon, the only survivng Dark Digimon. "Moon Shooter!" Out of a Digicore on his forearm, Dukemon fired a spike of energy that impaled the simian Ultimate, obliterating him instantly. He then swooped down towards Piemon.

"Trump Sword!" The clown hurled a wave of blades at the hero, but Dukemon summoned forth a sword of pure light and cut them down.

"Invincible Sword!" With a single slash, Piemon was no more. Using his momentum, Dukemon then flew up to face Millenniumon. "It's over!" The knight said confidently as he pointed his blade at the Dark God. "I, Dukemon, am more than a match for you now!"

"I think not!" The cannons on Millenniumon's shell moved into firing position. "Dimension Destroyer!" The twin beams from the cannons spiralled together, forming one highly potent beam that slammed into Dukemon's Invincible Sword.

The Crimson Knight felt himself being pushed back by the attack, despite trying his hardest to push his way through.

"Hey, are you serious?" Daisuke howled. "Even after everything, he still can't beat Millenniumon?"

"No!" Juri cried out angrily. "Takato-kun will win! He won't lose, not to Millenniumon, not to anyone!" She cupped her hands around her mouth and screamed with all her might. "Takato-kun! FIGHT! Don't give up! I believe in you!"

Seconds later, the others joined in, hoping their cries would reach their friends.

"Katou-san?" Takato could've sworn he heard Juri's voice. "That's right," he said to himself. "Katou-san and the others have done all they can to help us. We can't let them down, Dukemon!"

"Of course!" the knight replied through gritted teeth. "All their strength is flowing through me...there's no way I'll lose to this guy!" His breastplate split open, revealing a shining white light. There was a brief flash, where Imperialdramon was superimposed over Dukemon. "GIGA DEATH!"

The light blasted its way through Millenniumon's Dimension Destroyer and struck the evil god, driving him back. "NOW!" Takato yelled.

Letting lose a savage war-cry, Dukemon Crimson Mode dived at the surprised Ultimate. "Invincible Sword!" he roared, slashing Millenniumon across the face and drawing a cry of pain. "Omega Sword!" In his other hand emerged the blade Imperialdramon Paladin Mode had wielded against Armaggemon and with it he struck again at the former Dark Messenger. This second blow sent Millenniumon falling back even further. "And now the finish!"

Together, both Dukemon and Takato willed a great spear of light into the knight's hands. "QUO VADIS!"

The spear pierced the Dark Digimon's very core and felled him. He attempted to rise again, but then collapsed and exploded.

Ken's eyes widened in horror. "Those are Dark Seeds!"

"What?!" Takeru and the others remembered the effects of the Seeds well. "Watch out!" "Get out of the way!"

Takato didn't know what the purple lights coming from Millenniumon's corpse were, but he knew they couldn't be good. But before any action was necessary, they suddenly flew upwards into the sky like dust into a huge vaccum cleaner. Looking up, a gasp escaped him. Hovering high in the air was a monstrous being. It looked like it was simply a pair of heads and a pair of legs, orbited by rings of Digital Code. The Dark Seeds were being absorbed into the rings.

"Who are you?" Dukemon demanded, summoning both Invincible and Omega Swords into his hands.

The terrible beast simply laughed. "Someone who will be far more difficult to defeat than that pathetic upstart." The creature nodded at the knight. "I commend you for your courage, Matsuda Takato and Dukemon. That was a magnificent victory."

Both Tamer and Digimon remained silent, ready for battle. "Such distrust," chuckled the unknown. "Were I as I once was, I'd be insulted." The great beast slowly began to fade away. "Luckily for you, I have evolved beyond such pettiness. I reward your courage, Tamer and Digimon. May we never meet on opposite sides." A blinding flash forced both Takato and Dukemon to close their eyes.

When they could open their eyes, they found themselves back in Shinjuku. Takato could feel his mouth drop. All the damage was gone. It was as though the fierce battles fought here never took place. But down below, he could make out his friends all cheering. "Let's head back, Dukemon," he said.

"No argument here," the knight replied as he swooped back down. As soon as he landed, he vanished in a flash of light and in his place stood Takato and Guilmon once more.

"Takato-kun!" Takato turned to see who had called him, only to be met by Juri throwing her arms around him and hugging him tightly. "Are you alright? I was so scared!"

More than a little flustered, Takato returned the hug. "Sorry," he said. "And thanks. I heard you, even while we were fighting."

"I knew you would," Juri whispered as she tightened her grip as though afraid he'd vanish if she let go. "I'm so glad to see you're safe."

"Same here," Takato replied. "I'm glad you and everyone's okay too."

Meanwhile, on the Hypnos Building...

"Evolved beyond such pettiness, huh?" Monodramon asked Justimon as the heroic Ultimate surveyed the restored city.

"Oh, shut up."

Monodramon laughed, then noticed Ryo begin to stir. "Uh-oh. Ryo's waking up. Quick! We've got to Jogress back into Cyberdramon!"

When Ryo woke up, he noticed he wasn't dead. And that the Hypnos building was in one piece. "What happened?" he wondered aloud.

Cyberdramon snorted. "We won."

"A miracle," Megumi whispered in awe as she checked the systems. "Everything's been restored! Even Shaggai...and all the damaged buildings...!"

Reika confirmed it on her own console. "All hostile Digital reactions are gone." She looked over to Yamaki. "It's over."

The black-clad blonde nodded. "Yeah..." Then, to the surprise of both operators, he smiled. "And my salary won't be cut."

As Megumi blinked and turned back to her console, trying to comprehend that Yamaki, of all people, had cracked a joke, the Hypnos commander walked over to Reika. "And since that means I can afford it..." He handed her his silver cigarette lighter. When all he got in return was a puzzled look, he added, "Go on, open it."

He suddenly found himself engulfed in a hug as well when Reika did as bidden and a beautiful diamond ring dropped into the palm of her hand.

The next day, it was time to exchange farewells. The younger Tamers were starting to cry, having wanted to get to know the Chosen Children and their partners better. The Chosen Digimon were trying to cheer them up, but being well acquainted with tearful farewells quickly realised it was better to simply let them get their crying out of the way.

The Chosen Children stood in front of the portal that would take them back home. Daisuke looked up to Taichi, who smiled and nodded. Returning the nod, Daisuke stepped forward and extended a hand to Takato. "Takato, everyone," he said, "thanks for all your help. If not for you, we might've lost our friends." V-mon and Guilmon likewise shook paws solemnly.

Takato shook his head. "Same here. If you didn't appear when you did, Devimon and the rest might have won."

Daisuke grinned. "No way. You would've beaten them somehow."

Yamato sighed. "Takato-kun," he said, drawing the Tamer's attention. "Even though you wear goggles, try not to pick up that kind of baseless optimism, huh?" The guitar player smirked. "I'd hate to think that another poor kid's fallen victim to Taichi's thick headedness."

"Hey, hey, Yamato!" Taichi mock-glared. "Are you implying something?"

"Now what would give you that idea?"

Ken laughed with the others, but his gaze lingered on Ryo. The older boy noticed. "Ken," he said, startling the boy.

"Y-yes, Ryo-san?"

Ryo smiled. "Don't worry. I'm sure your Ryo's still trying to get back home."

Ken returned the smile. "I'm sure of it too. He'll definitely come back someday."

Ruki crossed her arms and rolled her eyes. "And if he's anything like this guy, he'll probably start bragging."

"Ruki!" The scandalised outrage in Ryo's voice only made Ruki sniff in mock-disgust. "I don't brag!"

"No, you get Hirokazu and Kenta to do it for you." All eyes stared at Renamon. Jenrya in particular could scarcely believe his ears. The attention got to the fox Digimon, who sheepishly noted, "Ruki thinks so, and I can believe it."

"Taichi-san!" An unfamiliar voice came over Taichi's Digivice.

"Izumi? Is that you?"

"Yes, it's me. We managed to make the connection on this side. You can come home now." There was a brief hush, as if someone was whispering to him. "Er...and Sora-san wants to know if Yamato is alright." There was another brief hush. "And the others too, of course."

"Of course," Taichi grinned wickedly, taking undisguised delight at how red the normally stoic Yamato's face was.

"L-let's get going!" Yamato said, turning around and walking towards the portal. Gabumon chuckled to himself as he followed his partner. The pair paused at the entry to the portal. "Thanks for everything!" Yamato called, waving at the Tamers before disappearing into the vortex.

The other Chosen Children and their Digimon partners followed his lead and began walking into the portal, calling out final farewells as they vanished. Finally, only Daisuke was left. "Hey," he said, addressing Takato. "Remember, the ones with goggles have to be the coolest!"

Takato laughed. "I'll remember!" With a final wave, Daisuke and V-Mon followed the others home and the portal faded from sight.

"Hm..." Ryo mused as the Tamers began to walk back for a well-deserved rest. "I guess I should pick up some goggles then."

"Why's that?" Jenrya asked even as Ruki frantically signaled him not to say anything.

"Like Daisuke said, the ones with goggles are the coolest," the Legendary Tamer grinned. "And seeing as how I am the Legendary Tamer..."

"See?" Ruki said to the others. "What'd I tell you? An ego the size of the Digital World."

"And you wouldn't have him any other way, right, Ruki?" Juri asked teasingly.

Ruki frowned. "Be careful," she warned darkly. "Next thing you know, Takato'll let being the saviour of the world get to his head and start acting like Ryo."

Juri laughed and shook her head. "No, he won't," she said confidently as she ran up and took Takato's hand in her's. "I won't let him."

Takato blushed as the others began cat-calling and cheering. Squeezing Juri's hand, the boy looked up at the new day sky. Looking back to his first love and meeting her gaze, he gave her the biggest smile he could. "Who's up for breakfast at the bakery?"

A cheer erupted from the group as they took off for the Matsuda bakery, Guilmon in the lead. Giggling, Juri somehow managed to maintain her grip on Takato's hand as they joined the others in their mad dash through the sunlight. Takato allowed a laugh to escape him. Sure, things had been tough, but as before they'd stuck together and gotten through. And now, with the girl he fought so hard for at his side, he knew things could only get better...



Author's note: And there we have it. Once again, I must apologise to all those people who eagerly waited for the conclusion to this little epic all this time. Alas, unlike J.K. Rowling I don't write for a living so I no longer had as much time to work on my writings as I'd like to. But enough making excuses.

I hope you've enjoyed my little story. Perhaps someday I'll go back and make the corrections I wanted to do, but for now I believe the best thing I can say is: Everyone, thank you for all your support!