There was no mistaking it. The sparkling light he had found at Guilmon's former hideout was definitely a portal to the digital world. Takato wasn't quite so sure how the portal got there or how long it would stay there, but he knew that this was his only chance to see Guilmon again. To keep his promise.
'But I can't just go running off without telling anyone. I should probably text Rika and Henry and the others...'
He scrolled through the names on his contact list in his phone and briefly wondered if he should inform his parents. Would they support him gong on another crazy adventure again? He thought they deserved a warning at least.
Takato glanced back at the digital gate and hey, was it growing dimmer?
"Well, it's now or never."
The phone was snapped shut and put away after a quick text to his parents and friends. Takato's hand reached for his golden digivice that he still carried around on his belt. Old habits die hard. The small device's weight provided a familiar comfort that gave Takato the courage to run straight at the portal.
"Guilmon, wait for me!"
Time: 5:32 p.m.
To: Mom, Dad, Rika, Henry, Kazu, Jeri, Kenta
Digiportal at park, gone to see guilmon, bbl
The digimon partners of the tamers had split shortly after they had arrived back at the digital world. The group had initially tried to stay together, reasoning that it would be easier for their tamers to find them if they were all together. However, the digital world was a harsh place and it only took less than a day for the first data stream to split up the group by sucking up an unaware Guilmon and Calumon.
The two had survived well on their own though despite their playful nature. Guilmon could handle any rookie-level and even champion-levels. Takato had designed him to be a tough fighter after all. And if all else failed, both had plenty of experience in running for their lives.
Guilmon kept Calumon safe and Calumon kept the both of them entertained.
As for the rest of the digimon, Lopmon returned to her position as gatekeeper while Renamon silently left the group at some point as did Impmon. Guardromon settled down in a village after having played the hero yet again in defending the villagers from a group of rogue digimon with the help of the other tamed digimon. The battle had reignited Cyberdramon's battle urges and the group failed in restraining the digimon from leaving to search for a fight to satisfy his hunger. Terriermon, not one to settle in one place, traveled the digiworld listening in on gossip in hopes of news of their tamers returning. MarineAngemon returned to its friends in the ocean after the group had disintegrated.
The digiworld was a vast place and the group of digimon rarely ran into each other. The world was at peace, there was no need to rally together. So they went their separate ways and enjoyed the peace in their own ways while waiting for the opportunity to return to their tamers.
Peace never lasted long though.
"Zhuqiaomon! My sovereign, please reconsider!" Lopmon, in her digivolved form of Antylamon, begged.
The large holy bird digimon remained as stubborn as ever. "Do you DARE oppose me again Antylamon? Know your place!"
In a display of power, the sovereign raised its wings and let out a flare of red energy. Antylamon bowed and hung her head. She would admit defeat in this battle, but she wouldn't let Zhuqiaomon get his way even if he was her sovereign.
"Calumon!" Antylamon shouted, running swiftly through the landscape of the digital world. She had left for her search days after her argument with Zhuqiaomon. She had to warn Calumon of the danger. What sort of friend would she be if she did not?
She knew she had close to no chance of finding the small digimon but she had to at least try to reach her friend before Zhuqiaomon did. Thankfully, the rest of the devas were temporarily out of commission and Zhuqiaomon himself was still recovering from the battle with the d-reaper. She had a slight head start in this search.
Antylamon wasn't quite sure how long she had been running, but she knew she was getting tired. Her voice was getting hoarse and her energy reserves were low. She was surprised that she was still in her ultimate form. Not because she was dead tired but rather because she expected Zhuqiaomon to have noticed her absence by now. She recalled the last time she had betrayed her sovereign and that painful red beam of light that drained her energy. And now she was off doing it again.
As Suzie would say: 'Siwwy wabbit!'
'Silly indeed.' Antylamon thought to herself. What would she even do when she found Calumon? She couldn't protect the digimon from the sovereign. What could she hope to do? What could she hope to change?
Antylamon's ears twitched at the familiar far away voice. It was a familiar voice...one of the tamers. Had they found a way to return?
With a newfound hope, Antylamon got up and ran towards the direction of the voice that was desperately shouting the name of its friend like Antylamon had been earlier.
It had been a few hours since he had arrived in the digital world, leaving yet another crater on the surface of the digital world. Takato was just surprised he hadn't broken his back from one of the falls. But there he was, in one piece with digivice in hand and school backpack (minus a few textbooks he left in the park) in less than ideal shape.
Since his arrival, the boy had been constantly yelling his partner's name while following the red arrow on his digivice's screen. How hard would it be to find a red dinosaur in the middle of a desert? He had done it before and he hadn't even needed his digivice the last time.
The tamer wasn't really expecting a response so he was surprised when a big brown blur landed in front of him. He fell over and landed quite painfully on his butt for the second time that day.
It didn't take long for the boy to relize that the blur was not a vicious digimon out to attack him. "Whoa, Antylamon! You scared me!" Takato got up and brushed the digital dirt off his clothes. "It's nice to see a familiar face though. Hey, do you happen to know where Guilmon is?"
"I apologize," Antylamon responded, ears drooping a little. "Guilmon and Calumon were separated from us by a data stream days after we returned to the digital world. I returned to my post as a gatekeeper for zhuqiaomon and haven't seen them since."
"Ah nuts. Well, guess I'll have to do this the old fashion way."
Antylamon cocked her head curiously. "You have a way of finding them?"
Takato briefly waited for the arrow on his digivice to realign itself and started walking the direction that it was pointing towards. The rabbit deva followed. "Yeah, digivices can detect digimon, right? So if I wish really hard to find Guilmon, it'll lead me to him!...I think. That's how I found Guilmon when I first created him"
"Need a lift?"
Antylamon put one of her large hands in front of Takato as an offering. Sending Antylamon a friendly smile, Takato gladly stepped on the hand and was hoisted onto Antylamon's head.
"Thanks, I was getting pretty tired. Falling into the digital world wasn't very fun."
"It sounds...painful. By the way...are Suzie and the others here? How did you get here?"
"Well...I was thinking of Guilmon one day and went to check his usual hideout, just in case he might have came back or something. I found a portal instead but it was sort of dimming so I just jumped through before it closed or something and well...here I am."
Antylamon was silent after Takato's response. She was absorbed in thought, wondering if Takato could change Zhuqiaomon's mind or possibly stop him. They had done it before after all. The digimon's silence began to bother Takato as shifted resting positions nervously on Antylamon's head.
"...hey, Antylamon, you said you returned to being the gatekeeper of the southern gate, right?"
"That is correct."
"Then why are you out here? This doesn't look anywhere close to Zhuqiaomon's palace"
Antylamon remained silent for a few more moments, wondering how to break the news to the human.
"Helloooo? Earth to Antylamon...well, more like Digiworld to Antylamon bu-"
"Huh? What about him?"
"Zhuqiaomon desires to return the Catalyst, Calumon, to its original form as the digital world no longer needs the light of digivolution to be hidden. He believes that it is more dangerous to concentrate the power in the form of a defenseless in-training digimon. But to do this, Calumon will have to be...deleted. Permanently. Calumon has housed the light of digivolution so long that he can no longer exist without it inside of him."
Takato almost dropped his digivice. "B-but Calumon! Zhuqiaomon can't just delete him for that! I mean, he's managed to avoid danger for so long...well, except that one time where Zhuqiaomon himself ordered his capture. It's...It's just not fair."
Antylamon's ears drooped. "I know, but I don't have the power to oppose Zhuqiaomon. He created me after all and he can delete me just as easily."
The tamer patted Antylamon's head softly, briefly reminding the rabbit digimon of Suzie's touch. "Hey, don't worry. Guilmon and I would never let Calumon be deleted. It'll work out."
Antylamon dared to crack a hopeful smile. "Momentai?"
Takato returned the gesture. "Yeah, momentai!"
"Whee! Faster Guilmon, faster! Yeah! Whee...oaaa! Aawww wait, why didya stop?" Calumon's ears retracted to their smallest size to reflect his disappointment in the temporary stop made by the "Guilmon Express." Calumon looked down at Guilmon's face from his position on Guilmon's head and noticed the red dinosaur's slitted eyes. "Uh-oh, is there something dangerous?"
"Yeah, something big." Guilmon responded, letting out a small growl.
Calumon frowned. This didn't sound too good. "Should we hide?"
"It's too late for hide-and-go-seek, Catalyst." A voice boomed from the darkening skies.
"Zhuqiaomon!" Guilmon called out, still growling.
"Uh-oh, Zhuqiaomon?" Calumon responded, shrinking behind Guilmon's back. "This is not good...not good at all."
The dark skies parted to reveal the giant holy bird digimon looking down on the significantly smaller digimon. "Your time as a digimon is up Catalyst. You must return to your original form."
"Aww, but I don't wanna. Being a digimon is really fun..." Calumon replied. The small digimon sent his most pitiful cutest puppy eyed look towards Zhuqiaomon but the sovereign was unaffected.
"Yeah, I like Calumon as my friend!" Guilmon added. Calumon jumped into Guilmon's arms.
"I like being Guilmon's friend too!"
"ENOUGH! Your petty friendship is of no importance. Your existence is a danger to the digital world. If a digimon were to delete you and load your data, the light of digivolution could be lost! The digital world would cease to evolve and adapt. You must return to your original form! It is not your choice to make, I will not let a risk like you go on any longer."
"But I would never let anyone hurt Calumon!" Guilmon stubbornly argued. Calumon just whimpered and curled up as much as possible in Guilmon's arms. He didn't want to stop being a digimon, but he also didn't want to be a danger to the digital world.
"I SAID ENOUGH! BLAZING HELIX!"
Zhuqiaomon shot a swirl of fire from his mouth at the duo but months in the digital world with battle-hungry digimon had kept Guilmon's reflexes sharp enough to dodge the attack and launch a fireball of his own. Sadly, his was not nearly as powerful as Zhuqiaomon's. He was only a rookie after all.
'If only Takato were here...'
"This is bad! Bad bad bad!" Calumon moaned. The small digimon put his small hands to his head. Because of him, Guilmon was in danger! There was no way they could beat a mega. He didn't want to put his friend in danger! Calumon wiggled out of Guilmon's arm and tried to fly away from his friend. Zhuqiaomon only wanted him, the Catalyst, not Guilmon. So if he could just attract the sovereign's attention, Guilmon could flee!
"Run Guilmon!" Calumon made quick shooing motions at his confused friend while he tried to float away as fast as he could from an impending fireball. "He won't catch us! We're the quickest duo in the whole digital woooah!" Zhuqiaomon shot another fireball over Calumon's head.
"Phew, that was close..."
Just when Calumon was rejoicing over his last close call, Zhuqiaomon had sent an even larger stream of fire at the young digimon. Calumon saw the attack and knew he couldn't flee so he did the next best thing. He closed his eyes and wondered how it would feel to be toasted.
But the attack never hit. Calumon felt the heat from the fire and heard the crackling of the flames, but didn't feel burn't at all. He peaked open an eye, only to gasp at Guilmon's form taking the brunt of the attack.
The rookie fell down shortly after, small streams of data escaping from parts of his body. Guilmon looked at his own body and gave Calumon a sad smile. He knew he was in no shape to protect Calumon anymore. He could barely move.
Calumon flew to Guilmon's side, shaking him gently. "Guilmon! Get up! We hafta run ya silly! We hafta-"
Guilmon's eyes widened as he saw Calumon being deleted in front of his eyes. Now it was the small digimon's turn to give Guilmon a sad smile. "Thanks for being my friend Guilmon...I have to go now though."
With that said, Calumon burst into millions of lights that began to disperse and float throughout the digital world. Guilmon looked at the sight of his friend in despair. This was now the second friend he had lost.
"Calumon! CALUMON!" Guilmon struggled to get up, reaching for the escaping particles of light that were just beyond his grasp. "Don't leave me! I don't want to be alone...please...Calumon! Takato!"
Zhuqiaomon looked at the sight with a look of apathy. His task was done. This was for the betterment of the digital world. What was one small digimon in comparison to his entire realm and its inhabitants? He did not understand why the red digimon was so upset. It was in the best interest of every digimon that the Catalyst was returned to its original form where it would be free from further danger. But the despair in the digimon's face was so prominent that he almost felt pity for the creature.
"Zhuqiaomon..." Guilmon growled and willed his body to get up. "You'll pay for this! You'll pay!"
In an area not too far away, Takato's digivice began to beep wildly as the hazard symbol flashed onto the screen. "...well this isn't good."
The glowing lights seemed to halt their dispersal and began to concentrate near Guilmon. The lights soon transformed into a red fire that consumed Guilmon and grew as the friendly red dinosaur warp digivolved to his mega form.
"W...what is this?" Zhuqiaomon asked, staring at Megidramon in horror. He could sense a dangerous power in the new digimon standing before him.
'You'll pay! You'll pay!' Rage was the only thing that Guilmon, now Megidramon, could think and feel at the moment. Megidramon used his newfound wings to take flight tackle Zhuqiaomon from the skys onto the ground. The surprised sovereign struggled against its attacker but was his efforts were met with a Meggido Flame to the face.
"Arggg! This...this was not supposed to happen! This was for the good of the digital world!" The phoenix sovereign looked at Megidramon in despair during his final. It was a monster he had created from his actions. His fault. The knowledge of this made his defeat all the worse. In seconds, the sovereign burst into data and was soon loaded by Megidramon, but the defeat of its enemy did not satisfy the dragon digimon quite yet. His anger, his rage, they continued to burn just as fiercely as before.
Takato and Antylamon arrived just soon enough to witness Megidramon load Zhuqiaomon's data.
"Zhuqiaomon!" Lopmon shouted in despair in response to seeing her master being deleted by the monstrous dragon creature. She didn't even notice Takato jumping off her head and running towards it.
"Guilmon! Guilmon, is that you? GUILMON!"
Megidramon turned his attention towards Takato. In the back of his mind, the human seems familiar. So familiar. But he was beyond rational thought now. He only felt a need to destroy, to fill that hollow sensation in his chest. Megidramon let out a roar of anger, rage, despair, and every other negative emotion Guilmon had felt when his friend was deleted before his eyes. The hazard symbol on Megidramon's chest began to flash violently and the ground began to splinter.
This did not deter Takato though. He heard the pain in Megidramon's roar and could feel it in his heart through the odd connection he had with his partner. "I'm coming for you boy!" He said with a steely determination in his eyes. Takato managed to avoid falling into any crevices before reaching the base of Megidramon's tail and climbing up that as well.
"Guilmon, it's okay! I'm here!"
Megidramon only responded with another loud roar.
"Guilmon, it's Takato! Remember? You used to think I was a digimon and called me Takatomon. You were always a bit silly but good at heart."
Takato began to climb Megidramon's tail as the dragon digimon began to thrash apart and attack the surrounding landscape.
"Please...I know you're angry right now but attacking rocks won't solve anything Guilmon! Don't let your rage consume you, you're too good for that. Please Guilmon, PLEASE!"
Megidramon only continued to thrash violently. Takato held on tightly to Megidramon's tail, disappointed that his words were unable to reach his friend. He wasn't quite sure what he'd do now to stop Megidramon from destroying the digital world right after they had just saved it. "Ah nuts, I guess it's time for plan B, whatever that is."
"Takato! Watch out!" Antylamon yelled, coming back to her senses. She didn't dare approach the raging Megidramon, but she could at least warn Takato of random vortexes coming down from the sky.
"...is this plan B?" Takato wondered to himself as the Vortex began to engulf Megidramon and himself.
"Could destroying the destiny stone be my destiny?" BlackWarGreymon asked himself as he watched the vortex created from the destruction of the destiny stone. The large mega was about to walk away but paused when he sensed a large power coming from the vortex.
"W-what is this power?"
A/N: Aaaand that's the first chapter. This plot bunny has been driving me mad so here I am writing it out. Fun stuff.
Firstly, I'm a horrible updater so...yeaah. It's summer though, so maybe you can have some hope. Once I'm in college though...lol.
Secondly, I'm possibly looking for a beta/someone I can poke to help me do research for this fic who is well versed in the digimon anime as I don't feel like rewatching the whole first/second season. I would just ask you random questions about the digi-universe and double check the fic for any plot holes or something. Send me a message or leave a review if you are interested!
Thirdly, feedback is appreciated!