EPISODE 11 - YOUR FUTURE

"Hikaru!" Hikaru turned to see Kenta and Chigusa ran towards him. He widened his eyes in shock before his face broke into mouth splitting grin.

"Guys!" He waved at them back.

"Both of you were awesome just now!" Misuzu spoke with enthusiasm. Tomoya gave them a nod with a slight smile.

"Gee. Thanks guys." Kenta blushed while Chigusa ducked his head shyly. Hikaru opened his mouth to speak before he snapped it back shut. He elbowed Kenta beside him and pointed to some distance away.

"Uncle?" Kenta muttered, bemused. Misuzu whirled behind and saw her father walked sedately towards them.

Chigusa took Hikaru and Kenta arms to stand a few feet away. Taro fly and settled himself inside Chigusa breast pocket. He sighed in relieved. It felt good to relax his legs.

An uncomfortable silence stretched among the father and daughter. At long last, Seiichiro opened his mouth.

"I'm sorry." He spoke in remorse. "I focused so much on my work and before I knew it, I had neglected you." He sighed and turned his head to the side, too guilty to look at his daughter. "The outcome… it can't be undone."

Misuzu gave a shy smile. "But… you fought, didn't you?" Seiichiro snapped his head to look at his daughter in shock. "Father, you fought for me." She spoke in conviction.

"Misuzu…"

"Thank you."

Both of them hesitated for only a second before they engulfed each other in crushing embrace.

"Aww, so sweet." Jack crooned.

Taro smiled at the scene. The peace had been broken by Hikaru's voice.

"Hey, look!" He pointed to the school front.

Taro turned and saw some people came marching in. A few of them he recognized from the temporary hosts of the kaiju and aliens. He frowned at their determined stride.

"Alright! The barrier has been broken!" Chigusa squealed, making Taro started. With everything that happened, he had forgotten about their imprisonment.

All of them walked happily towards the newcomers. "All these people…" Hikaru spoke with a grin.

"They are the graduates of this school." The teens turned to see Hotsuma and Principle Shirai headed towards them. "Isn't that so, Principal Shirai?" Taro frowned at Hotsuma grip on the principle arm. The priest shook his head slightly at Taro's gaze.

"Yes." She looked in daze at everyone. "But, why are they here?"

"All of a sudden, we couldn't see the school and we're all worried!"

"Seems that everyone's fine!"

"This is our precious school!"

"Everyone…" Shirai was moved by everyone concern. "You all still feel this way…"

"Ah! We have cellphone reaction!" Chigusa showed her phone to Kenta.

"Seriously?" Kenta quickly got his phone out.

"Thank goodness you're fine."

Hikaru turned before his eyes widened. "You're…"

"I'm now a volunteer, and I help clean up the town's trash."

"When Sempai was still studying here, he said he want to be a botanist and plant many flowers around the town!"

"That faces look familiar." Qiv mumbled.

"Both of them were the trash dumping humans that we saw earlier." Zoffy replied.

"I've decided to go around the world on my bike. I thought I should let you know."

"I've become a fashion designer and I'm currently studying. And the school…"

"Is that so!" Kenta interjected happily.

"Thank goodness everything's over now." Taro looked on with a grin.

"Everyone looks so happy!" Hikaru added with a matching grin. His eyes sparkled with the joy everyone projecting.

"Alright then, everyone. Let's go!" Kakki spoke over everybody joy. "We can finally leave this place!" He walked with a bounce on his steps.

"Alright! Let's head over to a convenience store then!"

Taro smiled at the humans exuberance. All of them were walking and chatting excitedly among themselves when Taro felt a sudden chill assaulted his body. At the same time, Seiichiro suddenly slumped to the ground.

"Father?!" Misuzu shrieked.

"What the hell?!" Mebius jumped.

"It was supposed to be happy ending for everyone." Zero widened his eyes in shock.

"Not everything will end with happy ending, my son." Seven corrected. He looked towards Ultra Father. "Do you think this is it?"

Ultra Father nodded his head. "The end is near. Taro's going to face the final curtain."

Around them, the humans collapsed one by one to the ground. Taro looked in disbelieved at the scene. Chigusa turned around and the sight that greeted the shrunken warrior made his blood ran cold. Shirai was gripping a Dark Spark with her bare hand.

"This is…"

"What the…"

"Impossible!"

Everyone gaped at the memory. They couldn't believe their eyes. Who ever thought the motherly and always smiling principal could be corrupted.

Her emotionless gaze swept at them coldly. Taro got a feeling that she was smirking with her gaze lingered on him a moment longer than everyone else.

"Principal Shirai!" Hikaru exclaimed in shock.

Shirai suddenly snapped from whatever state that she was in before. She looked in shock at the Dark Spark. She backed away from them in fear while gripping it with both of her hands. Her eyes roamed wildly at her surrounding. Taro could see wisp of purple energy emitted from the dark artifact.

"It still… isn't… over…?!" Hotsuma yelled, making Taro whipped his head towards the priest.

"What?" He hissed in shock. The priest swayed and keeled over.

"Grandfather!" Hikaru sprinted towards his grandfather.

Shirai suddenly yelled and snapped her gaze towards the sky. Taro got a glimpse of red eyes from the principal.

"Dark Lugiel!"

"She's the host for Dark Lugiel? Who would ever thought?" Ultra Mother mused.

"It's perfect. Don't you see it, Mother? She can manipulate from the background with no one the wise. Brilliant. Cruel but brilliant." Ace nodded in understanding. He winced when his head had been bobbed by Ultraman.

"No admiring your enemy." Ultraman admonished. Ace chuckled sheepishly at the mild reprimand.

She screamed and to everyone's shock, managed to activate the Dark Spark. The ground rumbled when an unfamiliar alien emerged. It rose slowly from his kneeling position and turned to stare at the humans below.

Taro widened his eyes in recognition. "That dark giant is him. From the war. I remember him now. Everything that has happened is because of him!"

"My name is Lugiel. Dark Lugiel." The alien rumbled. "Oh humans, you're such a foolish creatures. By my power, your time shall cease."

Lugiel kicked the school. The still conscious teenagers screamed in fright.

"Stop it!" Hikaru screamed. With determination he summoned Ginga. The Ultra Warrior didn't have time to fully materialized before Lugiel kicked him. He fell down on a mountain, dazed. He tried to get up before Lugiel planted his foot on the warrior's face.

"Ultraman Ginga, I've been waiting for this. Now that I've awakened from my long slumber, it's time for you to be destroyed."

"What?" Taro murmured. "He knows Ginga? That's mean that Ginga was there. During the war." A beeping sound that he knew very well making him looked at the downed warrior quickly."He's hit the time limit already?!"

"If only I could use Jean-Nine…" Tomoya looked with regret at his Gunpad before he too slumped to the ground.

"Tomoya-kun!" Misuzu rushed forward to the comatose teenager.

Taro gritted his teeth in anger. Lugiel was abusing Ginga. He kicked, punched and even throw him to the ground. He unleashed his energy attack. Ginga managed to kneel and erected a barrier but even a green warrior knew that the barrier was as strong as a bubble. True to his prediction, the barrier lasted for seconds only before it disintegrated. Lugiel proceeded his attack by targeting the school.

"The school…" Kenta spoke numbly. "Our school…" He slumped to the ground.

"Kenta!" Misuzu yelled.

"It's being destroyed…" Chigusa said. "Everything's… being…" She too, slumped to the ground. Taro was thankful that she didn't fall on him.

"No." Misuzu whispered, horrified. She looked with a blank gaze at everyone.

"Misuzu!" Taro yelled. Misuzu blinked and she quickly scooped Taro. She held him in shaking hands.

"Humans!" Misuzu turned around to face Lugiel. He stood dispassionately around the wreckage. "Thanks to you all, I have been revived. Stained dark by fear and despair that minus energy shall be my food!"

"Minus energy? That's his aim?" Jack asked, disbelieved.

"What is minus energy?" Qiv questioned.

"It's a form of dark energy. It can be created from negative emotions like hate, greed and jealousy." Ultra Mother explained.

"Just like what we saw from his memories." Zoffy nodded at Qiv's conclusion.

Principal Shirai screamed. The power still leached from her body. Ginga struggled to get to his knees.

"My power…" Hikaru panted. "It's slipping away from me."

Misuzu ran to stand in front of the kneeling warrior. "Get up! Get up, Hikaru-kun! Please!" She yelled. She swayed before she too slumped to the ground. Taro grunted as his body hit the hard ground.

"Misuzu, wake up!" He screamed although he knew that it was futile.

"Misuzu!" Hikaru couldn't shake the feeling of horror that invaded him as he saw his friend fell in front of his eyes. He slowly and painstaking tried to get up. His action didn't go unnoticed by Dark Lugiel.

"It's useless, Ginga." Lugiel scoffed as he turned around. He unleashed his attack and it collided to the warrior's back. Hikaru screamed and fell sideways. His Ultra Timer stopped blinking and his eyes gone dark.

"No." Taro whispered in horror. "Ginga! Hikaru!"

"Oh shit." Ace cursed. He paced anxiously.

"Is he dead?" Qiv asked timidly.

"No no. It's hard to kill us. We are a being made of light, so only light can resurrect us. Unless we had been turned to light particles, it is almost impossible to kill us." Ultraman explained.

"If Ginga was incapacitated, how did he defeated Dark Lugiel?"

Everyone shut their mouth. Without a word, they turned to look at the memories again.

"Hear me now, Ultraman Taro." Taro startled and glared towards the alien. He shivered at the look he was given but he refused to be the first to turned his eyes away.

"You pathetic doll." Taro clenched his hands tightly at the insult. "I've absorbed all the despair of the humans here. Next, I'll stop the time for all the humans on this planet!" The alien raised the Dark Spark to the sky and a swirling vortex appeared. Even from the ground, Taro could feel the darkness tried to take him in.

"Why..?" He whispered. "Tell me, Father, Mother!"

Ultra Father and Ultra Mother both shuddered at the sheer agony their son was projecting.

"Why am I the only one who has retained my sentience?! Is it just to bear witness to this cruel end?!" He panted. "Being unable to do anything when everything is about to be destroyed. Why?!" He screamed.

Without warning, Ultra Father image appeared beside him in dazzling light.

Everyone gasped. They swiveled to see their bewildered superior.

"I don't have any memory of this." He sounded so out of sort that it threw them out of the loop.

"That's because you're an Ultraman!" Ultra Father voice boomed.

"Turn the hopes of people into power… and fight!" Ultra Mother encouraged.

"I also don't know anything about this." Ultra Mother supplied at the questioning looks.

"The hopes of the people…" Taro trailed off. He gasped and turned around when he heard someone sing. It was quickly became a chain before everyone were singing the same tune.

"What song is this? I feel… warm." Taro touched his chest lightly. He raised his head and saw the vortex started disappearing.

"Wha- what?!" Dark Lugiel yelled in shock. He lowered his hand and looked to the scattered humans below him.

"I won't let you use me any further! Not my heart, not those of my students!" Shirai screamed, prompted Taro to look at her.

"Yes! Resist him!" He shouted.

Shirai hugged the Dark Spark tightly to herself. Taro looked on in awe when the Dark Spark turned white.

"Principal Shirai! I always knew you were a strong person!" Hotsuma's voice bordered on admiration.

"Shut up, shut up, shut up! You pathetic humans!" Lugiel sounded crazed. His body shuddered angrily before he managed to reign in his emotion. "I have no need of your darkness. I've been completely revived already!"

"Lugiel!" Taro interjected. "What are you trying to destroy? What are you trying to steal?" Taro mocked him. He smirked when he saw his words almost gotten to the alien. Almost.

"Humans will rise to the occasion! They always will, no matter the situation!" He teleported. He hovered in front of Lugiel to stare him down.

"Ultramen aren't here to save the humans! We're here to combine our powers with the humans, and to fight together!" He affirmed.

"What?" Lugiel looked in shocked at his surrounding. Everyone held a white Ginga Spark on their hands. "This… It's impossible!" He hissed. He took a step back, didn't know what to do in that situation.

"My irreplaceable friends!" Taro declared. His voice rang loudly across the school. "Come, and fight alongside me!"

Taro felt a surge of energy hitting his foot where the mark was. He closed his eyes and relished the feel of power that ran through him as one by one the Ginga Spark touched his foot. A blinding light engulfed him and he knew what's going to happen next.

"Taro!"

"Yes!"

Everyone yelled, delighted by the turn of event. Ultra Father let out a sigh. His shoulder slumped in relieved. He had been tensed from the moment Dark Lugiel revealed himself. He had been startled when he felt a hand gripped him. He turned to his side and saw his wife looked at him happily.

"Thank God everything turn out alright at the end."

"Yes. Thank God." He couldn't shake the feeling that the worst was yet to come. His gaze met Zoffy a few paces away from him. The leader of the Ultra Brothers sported the same expression as him. He shook his head discretely.

"So that's how he managed to turn back to his physical form. Kinda dramatic don't you think?" Seven remarked. The older ultras were quite subdued with their joy.

"Who cares as long as Master Taro managed to turn back." Mebius shrugged his shoulder, forgetting for a moment that he was replying to his superior. "Go get him, Master Taro!" He hollered and punched his hand to the sky, to the amusement of everyone present.

Taro did a mid flip and tackled down the alien. He took a protective stance on front of Ginga.

"Taro!"

He glanced to his back when he heard Hikaru astonished cries. He nodded slightly and ran forward to attack Lugiel.

"He didn't attack Lugiel seriously." Ultraman remarked.

"Yes, you're right. I wonder why." Ace nodded.

"Storium Ray!"

Taro unleashed his signature attack at the same time Lugiel released his. It collided in the middle, showering them with colourful sparks. Taro's stance didn't falter a bit even though they were exchanging attacks longer than normal.

"I'll not lose!" Taro spoke unexpectedly. "I understand now!" He turned towards Ginga without pausing his attack. "Ginga. You're an Ultraman from the future, aren't you? That's why you chose Hikaru!"

A gasp sounded from the teenager. "Hikaru. Your forward-looking attitude is hope itself!" He stopped his attack just to erect a barrier. "Take this!" He flung his hand full of energy straight to Ginga Ultra Timer.

"What the hell?" Zero looked stumped at Taro's action. "Why did he gave his energy like that? He's still fighting. Why didn't he wait until after he defeated Lugiel?"

"But he didn't defeat Lugiel. Ginga did." Jack intervened slowly. The truth downed on them. Ultra Father sat down and took his comatose son to his lap while Ultra Mother gripped her son's hand.

They watched in horror as Lugiel increased the intensity of his attack. It broke through the barrier and hit his Ultra Timer. Taro gasped and his knees buckled a bit but he didn't relent on giving Ginga his energy.

"Hikaru!" Taro panted. His voice shook in pain. "Grab hold of the future!"

The last voice he heard was Hikaru screaming his name before the pain became too much and he blacked out.

"No!" Ultra Mother wailed as she saw her son died in front of her eyes. Her husband gripped her shoulder and made her leaned her body to him. His body shook in grief.

"Otouto." Ace whispered. He didn't realize he had fell to his knees. The only thing he aware was Zoffy's hand on his shoulder. He couldn't stop from replaying his little brother's pain-filled voice on his mind.

"So that's why…" Ultraman trailed off.

"He never told me anything. He always said that there's nothing worth mentioning every time I asked him about his experience there." Mebius spoke numbly. His mentor, the only person that he admired and aspired to be, died. He knew he ought to be crying but his body was too numb to care.

"But- but he's here! How can he died if he's still alive here?!" Qiv stammered. Her eyes widened in confusion. She looked alternatively between the memories Taro and the present one.

"It's hard to kill us. As long as there was sun to recharge our energy, we can't die. But that's not to say that we will not feel the pain of dying." Seven answered solemnly.

"So that's means that he would be restored to life again. Right?" Qiv spoke with hope tinging her voice.

"Yes. But you can never comprehend the agony of suddenly jerking back to the land of living when you have prepared to let everything go." Zoffy spoke in grave tone. Almost everyone there shuddered hearing that.

Taro gasped. His frame shook in remembrance pain. "No, no." He groaned, willing his body to stop shaking. He felt rather than heard thundering footsteps coming towards him. Someone touched him, making him screamed and arched his body in protest.

"Sorry, sorry!" A guilty cry pierced his hearing. There's a buzz of voices from above him but he didn't care to know. The only thing that consumed his mind was pain- all encompassing pain. He took a deep breath and willed his body to stop shaking.

"Fine. I'm fine." He spoke in hoarse voice. After the last vestige of pain went away, he focused his sight to see Hikaru was hovering above him. He looked at him with concern bleeding from his eyes.

"Hikaru…" He cleared his throat.

"Are you okay now, Taro?" The teen whispered. He nodded his head jerkily.

"Yeah. What happened?"

"I totally defeat Dark Lugiel!" Hikaru crowed happily. He grinned, making Taro smiled in return.

"Good job, Hikaru. Although I cannot help but wonder why there is a blank in my memories…"He trailed off at the flinch from the teen in front of him.

"Hikaru?" Taro prodded.

"You sacrificed yourself from me. You give me your power. Dark Lugiel attacked you because you try to save me."

A searing pain, someone screaming and utter whiteness flashed his mind for a second.

"Oh that."

"Oh that? I saw you died in front of my eyes and the only words you said is oh that?" The teen exploded. Taro blinked and widened his eyes in dawning recognition.

"I'm sorry for scaring you, Hikaru but I didn't regret the action that I had taken. I will gladly lay my life a thousand times if it means that I can save a life."

"But why? You didn't have to do that. You can easily defeated Dark Lugiel by yourself. Why give your power to me?"

"Because the fate of Ginga and Dark Lugiel entertwined with each other. I should never try to interfere lest something worse could happen."

"You didn't know that." Hikaru backpedaled.

"Trust me. If you have lived as long as I am, you will know what destiny that must be fulfilled and what destiny that must be stop." He spoke in solemn tone, making the teen gulped nervously in front of him.

"So, you okay now, right?" Hikaru tentatively asked, making Taro chuckled at his apprehensiveness. He teleported himself and sat down on Hikaru's shoulder with a grunt.

"Yes, I am."

"Hikaru! Taro!"

Both of them turned respectively at the sound of their name. Taro gave a fond smile while Hikaru waved enthusiastically at the teenagers who were running towards them.

"Guys!"

"You guys okay?" Kenta spoke with a pant.

"Yeah. Did you see my fight? Ginga was awesome." Hikaru high-fived Kenta.

"Don't forget. Taro was awesome too." Chigusa clapped her hands with a grin.

"No, it's nothing." Taro shook his head.

"Don't be too humble Taro. You totally beat the alien just now before Ginga take over." Misuzu smiled.

"Guys."

They turned to look at Tomoya who pointed at their back with wide eyed expression. They whirled around and paled at the sight of orbs who were slowly floating to the sky.

"Please don't tell me that they have to fight again." Zoffy frowned.

"No. Look at the orbs closely. Isn't it looks like… Spark Dolls?" Ace furrowed his brow.

"Yeah, you're right. It is Spark Dolls. So that's means that we all are going home." Seven's eyes lit up. He glanced at everyone and they shared his joy. Ace and Jack sported a very blinding grins matching the sun itself. Zoffy was more reserved. An upturned of the corner of his lips showing everyone how pleased he was with the outcome.

"Thank God it was over." He heard Ultraman mumbled beside him.

"Yeah." He chuckled at Mebius and Zero's antics. They were jumping with fists on the air, forgetting that they were in a room full of their superiors. Qiv took a step back, too spook with the younger warriors attitude.

"I hope Taro can survive this."

"What do you mean?" Seven spoke in alarmed. He turned to his nii-san beside him only to see the older of the two chuckling while tilting his head to where their superiors sat.

"I don't think Ultra Father is going to let Taro out of his sight for quite some time. Not to mention that Ultra Mother is sure to mollycoddle Taro from now on."

Seven looked to where Ultra Father and Ultra Mother sat. They were speaking lowly to themselves while fussing over Taro, checking his body to see if he had any concealed injury.

Seven laughed. "Yeah, you're right. We will have our hands full with one very cranky baby brother soon."

"No. It's alright. It's just the Spark Dolls." Taro smiled.

"What do you mean?" Hikaru glanced to his shoulder.

"It means that my I'm going home."

Hikaru quickly wrenched Taro from his shoulder and faced him. "You will be gone?" He said in shock.

Taro opened his mouth to speak before his body shimmered. He gave a small smile to the teen. "Hikaru, it's time for us to part ways."

"Seems like it." There was bright sheen of moisture under Hikaru's eyes. He sniffled. "Thanks Taro." His voice was shaky, making Taro smiled sadly at the teen.

"Yes, you've done well. I'm glad to have met you all." He turned to see the others. Chigusa was crying while Kenta patted her back with a suspiciously red nose. Tomoya looked on solemnly with a nod. Misuzu looked at him with a wobbling smile.

"Goodbye!" Taro's form turned to orb and floated gracefully to the skies. He turned to see the teenagers one last time.

"You all are very remarkable humans. I hope to see you all again. Someday." He whispered before he let his buildup energy to propel him to his home planet.

"Too fast! Too fast!" He yelled when he realized he was going too fast. He widened his eyes when he saw the ground was coming to meet him in alarming speed. He put his arms in front of his body and braced for impact.

He rolled a few times before his back met a solid structure. He groaned and looked to his surrounding with a wince. There was some very tearful reunion around him. A few of the ultras were embracing their loved ones with a cry. Taro shifted his weight to get up before a sharp pain from his lower back made him lied down slowly again.

"Okay. Let's not do that again." He hissed while his body shook with the pain. He blinked slowly when he realized some very blurry figures were running towards him. He squinted his eyes before his sight cleared enough to see Jack and Ultraman rushed to his side. He chuckled breathlessly.

"Nii-san tachi. Please take good care of me. I'm going to take a nap." He blinked blearily before he closed his eyes.

"He almost gave us a heart attack with that stunt." Jack shook his head. "We arrived first and on our way to search for anyone familiar before we spotted him lying on the ground. He tried to get up before he collapsed back to the ground and passed out."

"Yeah. We rushed him to the hospital and you know the rest." Ultraman continued. Silence descended in the room.

"I found out about the marking."

Everyone whirled around and look at 80 in surprise. The latter paused mid-step and blinked.

"Is something the matter?"

"How did you get in?" Ultraman demanded.

"From the door." He answered with perplexed frown. His gaze traveled to everyone there before his eyes widened.

"What happened to Taro!"

That exclamation snapped everyone out of their shock. Ultra Father swiftly carried his son and rushed outside, followed by his wife. The others followed them with haste.

"Woah. Wait a second." 80 stopped Zero. "What happened? What did I miss?"

"You are not going to believe this."