The day had arrived. Tai, Matt, Sora, Meiko, Joe, Davis, Cody, T.K and Kari, met up with Ken, Izzy, Yolei and Willis with all their respective digimon in the same parkade lab that Izzy had established. However this time, he was putting the finishing touches on a pair of platforms. After activating the programs he needed, Mimi brought him over a bottle of tea and threw in a quick peck on the cheek.
“Here ya go, ya big stud.” She winked.
“Whoa Mimi, you’re cheerful today.” Sora complimented, leaning into Matt.
“Thanks to this big hunk of a guy.” She cooed, blowing him a kiss. Izzy nervously laughed and went right back to work.
“Oh, you got laid didn’tcha?” Tai leaned in with a devious little grin that was abruptly met by Matt’s knuckles on Tai’s head.
“Get your mind outta the gutter!” He scolded.
“Hey, I think it’s great they’re together. Don’t get mad at me just cause you’re striking out.” Tai quipped.
“Tai, you are such an-“ Matt growled.
“If you boys don’t smarten up in the next two seconds, I’ll clobber you both!” Sora chastised, to which both of them immediately straightened up.
“Yes ma’am.” They both submitted.
“Hey Sora, Mimi!” Meiko greeted with Meicoomon at her side.
“Oh Mei-mei!!” Mimi giggled with delight reeling her in for a big hug. “I love it when you come by! Did you get all the amazing pics I got last night!?”
“Yeah, that restaurant looks really nice. By the way, you said Sora designed that dress?”
“Oh yeah!” Sora winked and threw up a peace sign. “I’ve been getting really good at it!”
“I’ve been meaning to ask, Sora.” Kari cut in. “Think you could design one for me too? I’d love to wear something made by you!”
“Absolutely! Swing by the flower shop sometime and we’ll work on a great color palette and get your measurements, we’ll go from there.” Sora agreed. Patamon, Gatomon, Armadillomon and Hawkmon were a little bit away from everyone else. Lopmon and Terriermon were playfully sparring, getting ready for the big day ahead.
“Ready for another adventure?” Patamon playfully asked, dropping into Gatomon’s arms.
“Got that right, handsome!” Gatomon giggled as she answered. Patamon leapt in a stole a good long kiss as the two rubbed noses after. “My cute boy gonna stay by me?”
“Yep yep! T.K already said we’re going together.”
“Ya know, it’s not a date guys.” Armadillomon spoke up.
“Yes, you should be extra careful.” Hawkmon agreed. “We’ll be monitoring things here, and we’re ready to jump in if something goes wrong.”
“Yeah, don’t worry. We’re gonna take it seriously.” Gatomon agreed, however her attention was stolen away by Lopmon all but drop kicking Terriermon. “But maybe not that serious.”
“Sorry bro-bro.” Lopmon tried to apologize, but was immediately scooped up by Terriermon’s ears. “Uah! What are you?”
“Beg for mercy from the terrifying tickle torturer, Terriermon!” He proclaimed, as his ears danced across the sides of Lopmon’s belly. Helplessly laughing, he tried to break free but ultimately gave in.
“I give, I give! I surrender! Hahaha!”
Tai walked over to Davis who seemed to be separating himself from the group a little. Veemon was right next to him, his chest still bandaged up, but all the wounds on his head seemed to have cleared.
“Hey Davis, you good?” Tai called out.
“Oh, hey Tai. Yeah, I’m alright. I’ve just been watching out for this guy here.” Davis explained.
“He’s been really sad lately. I can’t seem to cheer him up. I keep telling him I don’t even remember how I got hurt, but that doesn’t seem to help.” Veemon said, crossing his arms in a huff.
“What’s the last thing you do remember?” Tai kneeled down to speak with him.
“Hmmm.” Veemon thought for a moment. “I guess it was when those shockwaves from the sky started. I remember feeling really shaky inside, and then it all goes dark.”
“I’m just so glad to see you back on your feet, Veemon. We all came to visit you in the hospital. Are you feeling better?” Tai said, scratching Veemon’s head.
“Little sore, but nothing I can’t handle. I’m ready for action!” Veemon proudly touted.
“I told him everything. How I screwed up, that it was my fault he was almost destroyed.”
“Aw come on, not this again!” Veemon interjected. “Davis I care about you. You’re my partner! If I got hurt protecting you, than it was all worth it.”
“Give me that ring.” Tai ordered softly.
“Huh?” They both turned to him.
“Come on, fork it over.” He reinforced. Davis complied, taking his ring off and handing it to Tai. He looked it over for a moment before facing the new crest to Davis. “You see this?”
“Yeah, it’s the crest of Tenacity.”
“The Davis that I know made mistakes, but he knew that when the time came he would always be front and center. Never backing down, never afraid of a challenge and would never abandon a friend in need. Is that you, or am I looking at the guy who quits when he blows it?”
“No, I’m here. I’m ready!” Davis lightly argued.
“I get it; you’ve had a lot of bad hands dealt to you lately. Lost your shot with Kari, almost lost Veemon, and now he’s going up against primal digimon that could do some serious damage. I need to know that the Davis I could trust with my life is here today, because I really do believe in that Davis. Whatever he puts his mind to, he accomplishes, whatever challenges comes he faces it; and I have faith in him.” Tai spoke to rouse up his friend’s spirit. Matt couldn’t help but smile overhearing the conversation along with Ken and Wormmon. The two approached and Ken put a hand on Davis’s shoulder.
“Come on, we can do this together. We’re a team you and me, right?” Davis just smiled, wiping a tear away and nodded to Ken. Davis took Tai’s hand with a tight squeeze.
“You can count on me Tai, I’ll give it everything I got and after that, I’ll give it even more!” Davis cheered.
“Awesome, good to see you back.” Tai approved with a nod, relinquishing the ring.
Shortly after Davis’s pep talk. Gennai and Dorumon arrived and Gennai took his time handing out the new communicators with everyone. They were more or less a microburst earpiece. Dorumon for the first time looked a little nervous and out of place as Matt and Tai walked over and stood over the purple digimon.
“How’s it feel being in the lair of the enemy?” Matt taunted lightly.
“You better remember we have a truce going.”
“Course. Least you’ve been willing to help with this.” Tai waved off with a quick smile. Izzy finished the final touches on the machine, and gave a quick nod of approval to Tai. “Alright, let’s all gather up.” Everyone began to circle around with Tai and Izzy taking to the center. “Our plan has two phases to it, Izzy will explain the first phase, I got the second.”
“Right, thanks Tai.” Izzy cleared his throat. “We can confirm now that the digital echoes following us around are in fact our digimon. However, from what I’ve discerned from the prophecy Gennai gave me, the world of data is about to go through a reconfiguration. It seems the breaches from the digital and Primal Worlds have destabilized it. Which means when we go in, it could be highly unpredictable what to expect. We’ll each have five minutes to retrieve our digimon. You have to convince them to merge their consciousness data with your own. Once you’re out, remain on the platform and with Azulongmon’s spheres that Gennai gave us, we can separate your consciousness from there’s and place it in the sphere.”
“The digital barrier I’ve erected around Izzy’s building won’t hold for long, hence the short window for this to be successful.” Gennai explained. “Homeostasis will know if we’re extracting that much data from the world of data if we’re not swift enough.”
“Exactly. Tai?” Izzy opened the floor to him.
“Right. Once we have their consciousness data, we make our move on the vault in the digital world. Dorumon has agreed to be our guide to it, and can shadow cloak us to the door. Once there, Gennai will let me, Izzy, Willis, T.K and Kari inside. Izzy and Willis will work together to collect all the digimon’s physical data and move it to Izzy’s server. Once inside, Terriermon, Lopmon, Gatomon and Patamon can extract them from the server back here. Once they’re out of the server, and we’re all back, we’ll erect another digital barrier, that’s when we’ll reinstill their consciousness data and that should do it.” Tai finished.
“So where do we come in?” Davis questioned.
“When Meiko and Meicoomon go to meet with Homeostasis and Hackmon. I want Imperialdramon to come knocking at the door, It’s a big enough threat to merit Jesmon responding, and that’ll keep him blind to what we’re doing in the vault. Yolei, Cody, we need you to stay behind and monitor with everyone else. Just in case something goes wrong, or Jesmon shows, it’ll be only you between him, the rest of our team and our digimon till we get back.” Tai explained.
“Ken, Davis, don’t engage Jesmon unless absolutely necessary. He’s a dangerous threat with a vast array of powers that could overwhelm Imperialdramon.” Izzy reinforced. “Just do what you do best Davis, and give him some serious lip service.” He chuckled.
“No problem! I’ve been meaning to give that dog another piece of my mind.” Davis proudly stated.
“One more thing. Before you instill the consciousness data into your digimon. Make sure the rings are on both their physical beings and ourselves. If they’re not, and they become conscious once more, the protocol will reactivate and rip them away.” Izzy warned. “I’ll remind us again when it’s time.”
“Right, don’t wanna mess that up.” Matt agreed.
“Last point of order.” Izzy said in a rather somber note. “Tai and I have discussed this and have come to a sort of understanding. Once we get our digimon back, so long as it’s safe, we can have the rest of today with them. Tomorrow, they all have to come back here and for as long as tolerable, and remain in the server for protection. From there, I can start to work on Agumon and Gabumon’s rings to ensure they’re ready to fully digivolve into either their bond forms, or Omnimon to combat the impending invasion. Once Homeostasis sees the benefit of having you guys back, perhaps it’ll give us the leverage we need to reinstate the other digi-destined.”
“Alright.” Sora submitted. “It’s something at least.”
“Yeah, way better than what we have right now!” Mimi agreed.
“To be honest, I feel a lot better knowing you’re looking after Gomamon.” Joe confessed. “I know that whatever you find to keep him here, will work for good.” He smiled.
“Well, why don’t we all spend a little time together today again? I’d love to have a nice little dinner in the park with you guys and all our digimon again.” Sora suggested.
“Wow! That sounds like a great idea!” Yolei agreed. “I can bring food from my mom’s store!”
“Palmon and I could whip up deserts!” Mimi giggled.
“Better bring seconds and thirds, with Agumon back we’ll be lucky if any of us eat.” Tai laughed.
“Izzy, not to interrupt but we need to move, now.” Gennai stated.
“Right! Tai, you and Matt first, onto the platforms.” Izzy instructed.
“Got it.” Matt agreed, stepping on.
“Humph, try not to die in there you two. Yet at least.” Dorumon scoffed crossing his arms.
“Worry about yourself.” Kari swiftly retorted. As Tai was taken into the world of data, he found himself surrounded by the same white void. However this time, the strings of zeros and ones were zipping by at a more rapid pace. Audible cracks could be heard up above him, almost like lightning, and for a moment he even saw past the veil and could see Willis looking over Izzy’s shoulder in the real world.
“Whoa.” Tai looked around but had trouble spotting anything. “Agumon!” He cried out. “Matt! Gabumon! Can anyone hear me!?”
“Tai!” Agumon called out, running toward him. Tai smiled and rushed for him as Agumon leapt into his arms and held him tight. “Hey Tai! Did you remember the food this time?” He chuckled.
“You nut job.” Tai smiled, rubbing his cheek against his. “No, I’m here to bring you home. Well, at least start to.”
“Huh? How?” Agumon asked. Tai took hold of Agumon’s claws and smiled.
“You trust me, right?”
“Of course I do Tai, I love you!” Agumon laughed aloud.
“I love ya too little guy. Listen, Izzy said if you join with me, we can pull you out. After that, we’re gonna go retrieve your physical data and bring you back.” Tai explained.
“Hmm? My what?” Agumon asked, perplexed by the suggestion.
“It’s why you haven’t been eating or sleeping. It’s only your consciousness here. Somehow, you gotta join with mine and I can pull you out.”
“Uh, ok so how do we do that?” Agumon eagerly asked.
“Well, I got a hunch.” Tai smiled, poking Agumon’s heart. “You see the crest on my heart, right?”
“Yeah.” Agumon nodded. Tai scooped him back up and squeezed him tight, pressing his chest against Agumon’s.
“I remember. When we digivolved into our bond of bravery. I could feel your heart in my chest.” Tai whispered.
“Right, and I could feel yours in mine!” Agumon exclaimed.
“Focus on that feeling. That moment where we fought together as one. Seeing every attack coming together, our thoughts and feelings shared in one mind, every move we made as one, because in that moment, we were one.”
“We were one.”
“We are one.” Tai breathed.
“We are one.” Agumon sighed. After just a few seconds, Agumon’s body began to resonate. Slowly but surely he was falling in to Tai’s body. “Wow, it’s warm.” Agumon said as he became fully merged with his partner. Tai could feel a strange wealth of power within him, for a few moments it was a struggle to control the intense sensation, like he himself was attempting to digivolve. As he opened his eyes, Agumon no longer stood before him, but knew exactly where he was. He could feel it pounding in his own chest, two hearts were beating as one. He examined his hands for a while, unaware that the light to bring him back began to envelope him. He didn’t know it himself yet, but the normal brown eyes he had all his life, had been replaced by the same shade of green as Agumon’s.
Matt descended down in a similar fashion. However upon looking around he couldn’t catch a break in the veil like Tai had seen. Still over head, crackles of light flashed, as tears in the world seemed to be forming in the distance. He gave it no more than a seconds attention before calling out.
“Gabumon!!” He called out at the top of his lungs. Grunting he began to search, though he never needed to walk he could hardly tell which direction he was going. “Gabumon, can you hear me!?”
“M-m-Matt?” A voice stammered over the mists. Matt aimed right for it and found Gabumon curled up in a near fetal position.
“Gabumon! It’s me, you ok!?” Matt rushed over to pick him up and hold him tight.
“Those cracks are really starting to make me nervous.” He said from the nook of Matt’s shoulder.
“It’s ok. I got you. Don’t need to be afraid anymore.”
“Matt, can I ask a favor?”
“Huh, sure. You name it.” He whispered.
“Can I hear you play your harmonica? It always calms me down.”
“Heh, I wish.” He said, bringing Gabumon to meet him face to face. “The harmonica’s back with my body. But guess what, you’re coming back with me. Quite literally I might add.” Matt tipped his head.
“Oh? You guys came up with a plan?” Gabumon leaned in a little closer.
“Course. You really think I’m gonna abandon the best friend I ever had here in this place?” He quickly laughed, brushing his hand over Gabumon’s cheek.
“You dork, it’s you!” Matt squeezed him tight. “Tai’s a great friend, but I love you. I’ll never leave you alone again.”
“Oh Matt.” Gabumon moaned as another crack shot across the sky. “Whoa!” Matt squeezed him a little tighter.
“Gabumon. You gotta join with me ok? We gotta merge together to get outta here. We’re both only here in spirit.” Matt explained.
“How is that possible?” Gabumon questioned.
“You trust me?”
“Of course I do my friend. It’s just, how am I supposed to merge into you. Last time I checked you didn’t have a memory card slot in that hair.” Gabumon teased, playing with Matt’s hair.
“Hey, no fussing with the hair-do.” Matt chuckled. “It’s like when we play in a band, we gotta get in the rhythm.”
“That song, I always play. You know it?” Matt asked, placing Gabumon’s head back to his shoulder.
“Yeah, how can I forget it? I love it.” He sighed, closing his eyes.
“Start humming it, I’ll join you.” Matt suggested. Without a second thought, Gabumon started humming the opening bars to the song. Matt joined in and the all the world around them seem to quiet to hear the song. With the song reaching its climax, Matt could feel Gabumon sinking into him, the same strange rush of strength flowing into him, but still the two kept humming the song. As it finally finished. Matt opened his eyes, placing his hands on his lap. Gabumon was no longer in front of him, and in his heart he could feel the song carrying on. It was strangely euphoric, as the light to pull him back wrapped around him.
The world of data receded before them and once again darkness washed over their eyes. However, Tai found himself being shaken awake by Izzy.
“Tai, you there!?”
“Matt, come on, say something.” Sora urged, trying to rock him awake. As Tai grunted and opened his eyes, Izzy was caught off guard by new green hue they had taken and stepped back.
“Izzy take it easy.” Tai moaned, starting to stand himself up.
“Tai! Your, your eyes!” Izzy noted.
“I don’t know about my eyes.” Tai scratched his head. “But I have a weird craving right now, for well. Everything.”
“Ha! That’s Agumon in there alright!” Izzy triumphantly shouted. Matt awoke and shared in Tai’s eye color change, along with a few strands of blue hair.
“Agumon got out too? That’s a relief.” Matt said rubbing his head.
“Sora, clear the platform. Tai and Agumon, Matt and Gabumon. Here!” Izzy urgently handed them both the spheres.
“Oh right, I’m supposed to hold it to my heart, right?” Tai fumbled with the question.
“Feels like I’m missing something.” Matt said rubbing the front of his head.
“Matt, Gabumon focus. Place the sphere close to your hearts and hold them there.” Izzy reinforced. “I know you guys feel confused, your minds are fighting for control, just stay with us.”
“Ok.” They both agreed.
“Izzy look at this!” Willis said, pointing to the second display. “I’m trying to get their consciousness data isolated so we don’t pull the wrong one out but it’s impossible right now! They’re aligned so closely, they don’t wanna leave.”
“Tai, Matt, concentrate on the sphere, try to remember it’s you in control. Stay focused!” Izzy instructed.
“It’s me in. Control.” Tai closed his eyes. “Agumon, I asked you to trust me. I know it’s scary, but go into the sphere. I’ve got you. We’ll get you home soon.”
“Gabumon.” Matt said to himself. “You have to let me take control. I know you feel scared, I feel everything your feeling. I promise you I won’t let you down. Have faith in me.”
“It’s working! Izzy they’re isolated!” Willis announced.
“Activating!” In a rush of orange light from Tai’s heart and blue from Matt’s the spheres changed from their clear color to the one matching their partner’s crests. Matt and Tai fell to their knees, holding the spheres tightly in their hands. Opening their eyes, they had reverted back to their normal eye color, a change noted directly by Joe.
“All clear.” Joe smiled giving the thumbs up. “Come on guys, you need a little rest after that.” Sora guided Matt off the platform while Meiko and Joe guided Tai.
“So it worked?” Sora asked.
“Yeah.” Tai nodded. “Who’s going in next, they might need some pointers.”
“Sora and I will go next.” Izzy stated. “Tai, any advice?”
“I was able to merge with him by focusing on our heartbeats. It was something we felt when we digivolved into our bond forms.”
“It’s funny.” Matt said.
“Gabumon and I hummed the song I liked playing on the harmonica. Once it was done, I knew he was with me.” Matt smiled, gazing at the sphere. “Don’t worry buddy, I got you.”
“That makes perfect sense!” Izzy exclaimed. “Something to harmonize with. Sora, can you think of anything?”
“Yeah, Biyomon and I used to sing working in the flower shop together.” Sora smiled.
“Tentomon and I used to practice a little Tai-chi in the lounge on friday mornings. It was a great team building workout and seeing him try to do it was always a riot.” Izzy smiled.
“Great, I’ll just keep telling Gomamon bad jokes.” Joe laughed.
“There’s so many for me and Palmon to choose from. Oh I’ll pick the first one that comes to mind when I see her again!” Mimi cooed.
“Ken, take over my station. Willis, you ready?” Izzy asked.
“Yeah, let’s do it.”
After rounding out the last of the spheres, Gennai brought down the digital barrier and Izzy killed the machine. All six of them after having gone through could feel some serious fatigue setting in.
“Jeez, I feel like I hit way too many bottles.” Tai moaned while Meiko stroked his back.
“Mmf. My head.” Sora moaned, rubbing it while gazing at the pink sphere.
“I could use a good night’s sleep, and another day after that.” Mimi threw in.
“This is what it’s like after a 20 hour ER run. I’m used to it, but it’s still awful.”
“Guys, we gotta focus up.” Izzy moaned, finding his feet.
“Yeah, we have a meeting to get to, and Tai, you and Izzy have a mission to finish.” Meiko advised, helping him to his feet and dusting him off.
“Right, no rest for the wicked.” Tai smiled.
“You’re wicked now?” Meicoomon asked.
“Nah, just the headache, but I’ll manage.” Tai smiled turning back to Izzy who was helping Mimi to her feet. “You ready?”
“Yeah, as I’ll ever be. I just hope I can get all of Tentomon’s one-liners out of my head before we get there.” Izzy smiled.
“Matt, you good?” Tai asked, helping him and Sora to their feet. Matt stopped rubbing his head long enough to respond.
“Yeah, I’m fine. Just be careful Tai, we’re really counting on you.”
“I’m all over it.”
“Don’t worry so much bro.” T.K smiled, patting Matt’s back. “He’ll have us backing him up.”
“We’ll getcha there and back in one piece.” Kari smiled.
“Right. Dorumon, you’re up. Gennai, ready to meet us at the vault?”
“I have to check in with Homeostasis, but yes, I will meet you there when you arrive, don’t worry. T.K, Kari, be very careful. Dorumon, I don’t think I need to remind you to keep your word. Protect the digi-destined or we’ll be short handed against the Primal Digimon, and that could spell even your doom.”
“I’m ordered by my king to assist you as you request. Until he says otherwise, I have no reason to betray that.” Dorumon stated.
“Good, cause we’ll be watching you.” Kari cautioned. Willis began typing away, generating two separate portals from the platform. Kari, Tai, Meiko, Izzy and Willis all set their bands for the return portal and nodded to one another.
“Everyone knows their roles.” Tai announced one more time. “Let’s bring them home.” He said leaping through the portal.
Meiko and Meicoomon arrived not too far from the village where they had first found the area Homeostasis had been residing. This time outside the well was Hackmon, greeting them with a nod.
“Where is Tai?” He asked.
“Tai’s not feeling too well. Most of what we’re here to discuss I can handle. I did bring this.” Meiko said, showcasing a small USB drive. “It’s the preemptive code to seal off the fractal portals we expect to occur when the Primal Digimon attack next. This should help stop quite a lot of the champion portals, and definitely block out any rookies. Izzy and Willis have ours up and running. We figured you’d want a copy.” Meiko said, offering the drive to Hackmon who took it with the biggest smile he could make.
“Thank you, Meiko. We promise to put this to good use, please come inside.” He gestured, tapping the ground a pathway with a hidden stairwell arose and Hackmon lead the way down.
Tai and his team arrived at the coliseum. The same one where Greymon had dark-digivolved. Much to his surprise not a lot had changed. The soccer nets were still there, the stands were empty and the scoreboard was fully repaired.
“So this is where the path is?” Tai asked.
“Yeah, we just gotta find it.” Dorumon sniffed around.
“Find it, I thought you said you knew where it was?” Kari quickly cut in.
“Dorumon, with all due respect, we don’t have that much time. Do you know the way there or not?” Izzy spoke up as well.
“Will you two digi-dorks hold your horsemons, I know what I’m doing.” Dorumon sniped back. “Oh!” he rushed over to the net. Tapping on a few of the stones, he tripped one sending the net down on him, trapping himself inside.
“Oh way to go.” Willis moaned.
“That was intentional.” Dorumon corrected. Tapping the ground a black square resonated. “That’s it. Tai, get under the other net, hit the largest block with your foot as hard as you can!”
“Got it.” Tai rushed in and just like before, the other net came down. As it did, he stomped on the largest square tile and it shimmered with light. Both nets sent a stream of light toward the center, one dark and one white. Everyone backed up as they formed a circle and eventually spiraled down into a stairwell. “Ha, it worked!” Dorumon teleported to Tai and grabbed hold of him and teleported him back to the group. “Thanks, great job Dorumon.”
“Sure. Now for this part.” Dorumon shook out his fur. “Gather near me, and try not to stray too far.”
“Ok.” Everyone agreed.
“Cloak of shadows!” He cried out, spinning with his tail a black mist began to envelope them before forming a sphere around Dorumon. “Come.” He gestured toward the stairs. Staying as close as possible behind Dorumon, they started down the darkened steps and in to a metal chamber lined with a concrete floor. The main passage was fairly narrow but fed into a larger area with three hallways you could venture. Dorumon held to the left keeping to a steady pace.
“I can’t get anything on these ruins.” Izzy said quietly.
“You likely won’t. Homeostasis keeps their traps shut about this place, nothing written, only known.” Dorumon explained. “Sides, my cloak is probably cutting off any signal for your device.”
“I researched your techniques.” Izzy inquired. “This cloak of yours isn’t one of them.”
“No, it’s not. I was taught it by the master. Sometimes you just need to do recon and well. A purple beast like me stands out in a crowd.” He said.
“Why do you serve King Drasil?” T.K asked.
“Because annoying humans keep asking questions when I’m trying to focus on where to go.” He quipped back.
“Funny.” T.K brushed off.
“Guys, relax. Dorumon, where to next?” Tai asked as they approached a five way split in the path. Dorumon raised his nose and took a good long whiff. Terriermon and Lopmon joined in, along with Gatomon.
“What are you smelling for?” Terriermon asked.
“There’s always that hint of oil from the infinite lanterns. You wouldn’t know the smell.”
“Infinite lanterns?” Patamon asked.
“The lamps within its chambers that burn forever with blue flame. The oil never wears out, but gives a distinct aroma. My master uses similar ones, I couldn’t forget it if I tried.” Dorumon took another good whiff and aimed toward the second door on the right. “Ahh, there you are.” He smiled taking the lead once more. “Wait.”
“I hear it too.” Lopmon spoke up.
“Digimon?” Patamon questioned.
“Yeah.” Within moments, a pair of Dokugamon were scaling the walls and ceiling above. Dorumon looked to the group and gestured toward the door. Passing through they carried on, unnoticed by the giant spider digimon and followed the hallway. However upon crossing into one of the rooms, a Bakumon had wandered through the wall and into the sphere. It blinked at the group of them as Dorumon smiled.
“Bunny Blast!” Terriermon shouted.
“Blazing Ice!” Lopmon fired.
“Metal Shot!” Dorumon joined in sending a flaming metal sphere into the ghostly digimon. It was enough to blow Bakumon against the wall and knock him out. “Move, swiftly now!” They landed in a room with a giant electrified wall. Sparks of which were shimmering across it.
“Oh great, this again.” Tai stammered.
“Lovely.” Izzy sighed. “Yeah I know Tai, you had trouble with this at Etemon’s pyramid.”
“Well you’re going to hate this one more.” Dorumon spoke up, taking to the head of the group. “This one moves.”
“It moves!?” Willis and Izzy exclaimed. Dorumon suddenly leapt through, vanishing past the wall.
“I can hear the opening, it’s pretty wide. Gatomon, you’ve got big ears, can you hear the difference in the current as well?”
“I can try.” She said, slowly approaching the wall. “Hmm.” She pondered for a moment. Focusing she could hear the hum of the current wane for about eight seconds then recharge. “Yeah, it goes down for about eight seconds.” She announced.
“Ok, Gatomon, let us know when to pass.” Kari stated.
“Three at a time, human and digimon alike. If you try to do more, it’ll flare up.” Dorumon warned.
“Kari, T.K, Izzy, you guys first.” Gatomon waved. Closing her eyes she waited for the gap. “Go!” She called out. All three ran through and made it safely. “Willis, Terriermon, Lopmon, you’re next.”
“Got it.” Terriermon smiled.
“Get it!” Lopmon posed.
“Know it!” Lopmon and Terriermon giggled.
“Good grief.” Willis chuckled. “You guys are too adorable.”
“Now!” Gatomon called out. Willis leapt through with his digimon in tow. Tai and Patamon were up, and Tai couldn’t help but feel a little nervous. However slapping his cheeks and shaking out his arms he riled himself up. “Go!” Gatomon called out, as Patamon, Tai and herself leapt through.
“Phew. Hate those walls.” Tai sighed in relief.
“Big baby.” Dorumon mocked with a smile.
“Hey, Tai has every right to-“ Izzy tried to speak up but Tai just shook his head.
“I’m doing what you call, teasing. But it’s fun to make you humans squirm. Come on, we aren’t far.” Dorumon carried on, leading the way.
Meiko was taken down to the same room they had arrived in when they last met with Homeostasis and King Drasil. The blue lamps ablaze, lighting the room along with a glass cage filled this time with seven new digi-eggs.
“Oh.” Meiko breathed noting the digi-eggs and turned to Meicoomon. “I guess more friends are on the way.”
“Yes and no. Seven more digi-destined have been identified. Two in Venezuela, one in Peru, three in Moscow and one in Kyoto.” Hackmon explained.
“Neat.” Meiko smiled. “Always nice to see new beginnings.”
“I couldn’t agree more.” A more feminine voice spoke out. Meiko turned to see that Hackmon’s eyes were aglow with the same light that Kari’s took when she was possessed by Homeostasis. “Meiko, it’s nice to see you again. How’s your training with Meicoomon progressing?”
“It’s going great! We’ve been practicing some great breathing exercises, not only have they been helping Mei, I use them after work to relax, they work wonders!” Meiko smiled.
“I’m glad to hear that. I felt a shudder of Meicoomon returning to her Saltation form not long ago. I worried for a moment that she may have had a slip.” Homeostasis explained.
“Oh, I should mention. She can control that form now. Would you like a demonstration?” Meiko offered.
“I’m up for it!” Meicoomon said, easing herself from Meiko’s arms.
“Certainly. Just be careful.” Meiko closed her eyes along with Meicoomon and the two took three long drawn out breaths. After the third, Meiko whispered.
“Go.” And in a flash she slid to her Saltation form. Floating in the air before Homeostasis and Hackmon they were taken by surprise.
“My goodness! There’s darkness emanating from her but it’s, incredibly stable.” Homeostasis complimented.
“It’s like what Patamon tells me, it’s pretty easy to figure it out, once you’ve figured it out.” Meicoomon chuckled. “Though I don’t really like this form that much, my fur feels all funny. It needs grooming.” She said, reverting to her normal form. “That’s better!” She cheered.
“Great job Mei!” Meiko praised, picking her up and kissing her head.
“I’m ecstatic to see such progress is being made, and Meiko you’ve been growing stronger too, I can sense it.”
“Thank you. Well, pleasure aside perhaps we should get down to business.” Meiko suggested.
“Agreed.” Homeostasis bowed.
Dorumon and Tai lead the way down a large and long corridor, the length of which seemed to feed like a never ending ramp lit only with meekly shimmering torches that fed into an inky black darkness. After scaling down quite a few steps and rounding a fairly narrow bend that fed to another extended ramp downward they reached the end. They were stopped at a giant iron split door, lined with several crests and a mix of digi-code.
“I may serve the dark, but I’m still one of the royal knights. This should work.” Dorumon stated, pressing his head against a triangular ingress to the right of the door. Three audible clunks rang out, echoing down the hall as the doors slowly swung open.
“Tai, this is Ken. We’re ready to start the distraction on your order.” Ken spoke over the communicator.
“Right, hold for my signal.” Tai answered back, holding a finger to his ear. “Ken and Davis are in position, which means Meiko must be meeting with Homeostasis.”
“Dorumon.” Izzy spoke up. “How much further to the vault.”
“This door leads to the anti-chamber, before it is the spiral stairwell. It’s quite long but, I would say, maybe a ten minute walk at most.” Dorumon said.
“Ken, we need ten minutes. Hold till then.”
“Not much further now.” T.K smiled, holding Kari’s hand. She let a quick smile escape. Walking down the stairs, their crests were engraved in stone, lining the walls. They carried on down the spiral concrete stairwell lit by blue torches until they happened across Kari’s crest. Smiling she let her hand run across it and it began to resonate.
“Whoa.” Kari paused for a moment.
“Huh, guess these carvings react when we touch them.” T.K pondered. Kari however found herself entranced, and after a moment her mind seemed to fade from where she was. Light encircled her and as it spread outward a whole new world seemed to appear. A stunning bright light was right before her, looking back she could see the earth and above, she could see the digital world. Beneath her feet was the primal world in all its enormity, with the gaps between them flooded with billions of stars. Kari felt nervous, floating where she was until a silhouette of a man appeared before her. The form regressed to a child like size and as it came into vision she knew the face right away.
“T.K?” She asked softly. The figure before her looked just like T.K as a child. The same big green hat and hoody and brown shorts. But the boy just smiled, shaking his head. “Oh, who are you?” Closing his eyes he carried on smiling and tipped his head.
“The light inside of me, is for everyone!” Kari heard her own child like voice call out.
“The light?” Kari pondered for a moment. “Oh, you’re the Kernel!” Kari exclaimed. The boy laughed and gave her a thumbs up. Once more the world around her changed, and it was though they were walking through time as they arrived behind Tai, Matt, Sora, Izzy, Mimi, Joe, T.K and herself in their younger forms as they walked down the highway back on Spiral Mountain. Phasing once more to Davis, Yolei, Cody, herself and T.K working on rebuilding primary village just a few years later. Then once more with everyone sat under the bridge before their spa day as teenagers with Meiko. “Are you, trying to say you’ve been walking with me this whole time?”
The Kernel nodded, taking her hand and bringing her back to the world they had started in. “Please, can I ask a favor?” The Kernel smiled and nodded once more. “There has to be a way to stop our digimon from being recalled. Can you save them?”
“Save.” A soft voice whisked over her. “Preserve. Life. Renew. Restore. Fate. Hope. Light.”
“I don’t understand.” Kari moaned.
“Things are in motion.” The voice spoke once more. “The path is lit. Guide the way. In your heart is the light.”
“What is this light?”
“Hope.” He whispered, touching her chest and igniting her crest as the gentle voices returned. “Bonds of courage, love, loyalty, friendship, knowledge, fate, sincerity, kindness, tenacity, life, reliability, honesty. Cannot be shattered. Strength within. Hope will light the way. The light inside you is strong!” The voices spoke, whisking across her ears.
“Hope will light the way.” Kari smiled. “T.K and I. That’s why I feel so connected to him. We’ve been falling in love and our crests are closely connected.” The Kernel gave its usual warm smile and nodded. “Is there anything more you can tell me?”
“Oh yeah.” The Kernel spoke in the same voice T.K had as a child. “Can you try to save Leomon this time? I always feel sad when he gets beat up.”
“Oh, yeah. No kidding.” Kari laughed alongside him. In a flash she returned to reality with T.K tapping her shoulder.
“Hey, you alright? You dazed out there for a sec.” T.K asked.
“Huh?” Kari looked around, they were still in the stairwell and Dorumon had stopped.
“Would you hurry it up!” Dorumon called back.
“Kari, you ok?” Tai asked, calling back to her.
“Yeah, I’m alright.” She smiled, clinging to T.K. “Let’s go, sorry for the hold up.”
Landing at the bottom of the stairs, they entered a massive circular stone chamber with columns circling around it. Each one of the columns spanned to the roof and four blue lanterns burned on each to light the room. Ahead was a smaller door, with a singular handprint in the middle of it.
“This is it.” Dorumon stated, turning back to the group. “Within this vault lies the data of all future and fallen digimon. Some awaiting rebirth, while others are stored for future use.”
“How do we get inside?” Tai asked.
“You’ll need Gennai. Only he can open the door to a physical being.” Dorumon answered.
“Don’t worry.” Gennai announced, teleporting before them. “We’re ready to move.” As he spoke, the group could hear faintly above them the shaking from a large explosion. “That would be Imperialdramon attacking. We have to go, now!” Gennai said, placing his hand on the door. A ring of light spanned over it and the doors slowly began to open. Gennai teleported away right afterward, giving a quick nod to Tai.