Disclaimer: I don't own Digimon.

Chapter 3

Déjà Vu

03:00 JST

Oh, my head. With a groan, Henry lifted his arm to his forehead. Huh, bandages.

"Good to see your awake," said a familiar voice. Opening his eyes, Henry saw his father.

"Dad?" Looking around, he found himself in a large, dimly lit hospital room. How long was I out? On either side of him he found the unconscious forms of Rika and Ryo. Across the room were Terriermon, Renamon, Monodramon, and Kenta in identical situations; MarineAngemon looking very depressed next to Kenta. "What happened?"

"That's what I'd like to know," said a new voice from the corner. Henry turned to see Yamaki stand up and approach them. "What exactly did happen yesterday?"

"Well..." Henry began, looking down at the foot of his bed. "There was a bioemergence at the park. It was a Phantomon. And it... it..."

"It killed Takato," came Rika's quiet voice, surprising Henry. "Without attacking any of our digimon, it killed him. It then tried to attack me, but Renamon saved me." Henry noticed the lack of expression on his father and Yamaki's faces at this revelation.

"You already knew, didn't you?"

Yamaki nodded once. "We recovered his body when we found you, but we knew nothing of what happened, other than a large and powerful digimon appeared and destroyed Tokyo. I'd like you to tell us."

What? He destroyed all of Tokyo? Have they stopped him yet? No, of course not. Even we had trouble with Megidramon, there's no way conventional weapons can stop him.

"Henry?" Janyuu asked, pulling him from his thoughts.

"Oh, right." He took a moment to collect his thoughts. "After Renamon saved Rika, we snapped out of our shock, and ruthlessly attacked Phantomon. It then digivolved, but it didn't matter. Guilmon digivolved, too, but instead became Megidramon." Shock momentarily appeared on Yamaki's face, but disappeared just as quickly. "Megidramon destroyed Piedmon, then attacked the rest of us. At the end of the fight, it unleashed a wave of energy right next to HiAndromon." It was here that Henry realized something was wrong, and checked the room's occupants again. "Hold on," he asked, "where's Kazu and Guardromon?"

"Your friend Kazu is comatose and in critical condition. As for Guardromon," Yamaki paused, a saddened look appearing on his and Janyuu's faces. "He didn't survive the explosion."

"And our families?" Rika inquired. "Did they survive?"

"I'm sorry, but we've been unable to contact any of our families," Janyuu said sadly.

Oh no, Henry began worrying. Mom, Suzie, Rinchei, Jaa-

"I wouldn't worry to much," said Yamaki reassuringly, as if reading Henry's thoughts. "Most of Japan is without communications, and we know many people made it out of Shinjuku alive. There's still hope. And right now, we cannot afford to lose it."

After a moment of silence, Rika asked "So what's the plan, then?"

"Right now, nothing. Officials in the government have used this to down play Hypnos and the Tamer's usefulness and push for more conventional methods. The Prime Minister was pressured into approving a strategic strike against Megidramon in Gifu. For now, you all need to get some rest and be ready for the worst." Yamaki turned to leave.

"Don't worry," Janyuu said with a reassuring smile on his face, "I'm sure everything will turn out fine." He then followed Yamaki out the door.

He doesn't sound so sure of that, Henry thought.

East of Gifu
06:00 JST

The sun was beginning to rise over the horizon as Taiki Kudo, distinguished general in the Japanese Self Defense Force, looked out over those under his command as they prepared for the coming day's confrontation. Look at them, he thought, eyebrows furrowed. Each one of them expects me to bring them back alive, as I always have. Their all counting on me to help them defeat this monstrosity, and all I can do is help them prolong the inevitable. It wasn't that he wasn't willing to fight a losing battle to defend his country; in fact it was quite the opposite. It was the fact that this battle wasn't a going to be a battle at all, but a slaughter. He had no doubt that most, if not all, those under his command would die today, and all because his superiors were eager to succeed where the tamers had failed.

"General Kudo, sir." Taiki turned to see his subordinate and friend Colonel Zenjiro Tsurugi exiting the command tent behind him. "We have received reports of a large humanoid digimon riding a motorcycle approaching from the south. I believe it to be Beelzemon, sir."

At this, Taiki smiled. Finally some good news. "Then let's go meet him. I'm willing to bet he's here to help." This I can work with. It's still a long shot, but with his help, we will at least have a small chance of surviving this. They took a jeep through the rows of tents, men and women busily moving about them. As he watched them, Taiki could not help but be impressed. He did not expect them to be panicking – after all these were battle hardened soldiers – but in the coming hours they were going to fight a dragon that leveled a city in moments and corrupted the earth where ever it went, and he couldn't find more than a trace of worry on their faces.

Zenjiro brought the jeep to a stop just outside the south entrance. "There he is, sir," he said, pointing at a small dot on the horizon, approaching quickly. The two got out and stood in front of the vehicle, shoulders straight and hands behind their backs. A minute later, the demon lord brought the Behemoth to a screeching halt in front of them, a grim smile on his face.

"I hear ya'll have a dragon problem."

09:42 JST

The skies to the east held an eery red hue as everyone settled into their positions. With Beelzemon's presence, Taiki had decided to divide his forces and position them on the hills to the north and south, providing support for Beelzemon while he fought the beast. At least, that's the plan. To be perfectly honest, Taiki did not like this plan, even if it was his own. The idea of letting someone else do most of the fighting did not sit well with him. But he had a duty to protect his men, and he would do all he could to succeed.

Tremors began to pulse through the ground, softly at first, and becoming steadily stronger and more violent as the sky above turned red. This is it, Taiki thought as he watched the grass and plants around him dried out. Over the hill to the east, the form of a large, red and white dragon with a hazard symbol on its chest emerged. The monstrosity descended the hill, and once he reached the bottom, Taiki radioed his troops, "Fire," and tons of bullets and artillery shells blasted the red behemoth. The assault continued for thirty seconds, before the ground beneath Taiki's feet began to glow. Oh shi-

09:46 JST

Damn, Pineapple Head, what the hell happened? Beelzemon thought from his hiding place as he saw the one being he had hoped to never see again at the top of the hill. Ducking back into the fissure the hazard's corruption had created, he readied his guns and waited, eyes closed. He did not have to wait long, as he heard the assault begin shortly after. Here goes nothing, he thought, jumping out of the hole with twin guns aimed at the center of a cloud of smoke and dust. Before he could launch an attack, however, he heard a low growl, and the hills around him suddenly exploded. Shrapnel, body parts, and chunks of dirt fell all around the area. Looking down, Beelzemon saw the horrified expression of General Kudo's disembodied head staring up at him. With a roar, Beelzemon raised his twin shotguns and launched his attack, "Double Impact!"

The bullets flew through the air, true to their target, only to bounce harmlessly off Megidramon's wings folded in front of him. Without hesitation, Beelzemon jumped forward, claws raised. "Darkness Claw," he yelled, and stabbed between the fold in the wings. The dragon grunted in pain and extended his wings, before beating them down and soaring into the sky; energy gathering in his mouth. "Oh no you don't! You're not getting away from me, Pineapple Head!"

Mode Change_

Beelzemon mode change to... Beelzemon Blast Mode!

With a single beat of his newly sprouted wings, Beelzemon gave chase. Aiming the large canon now attached to his arm, he fired a more powerful attack. "Corona Destroyer!"

"Megiddo Flame!" Megidramon countered. The two attacks collided with a fiery explosion, knocking Beelzemon back downward. Before the demon lord could recover, Megidramon flew through the smoke with his claws raised. "Hazard's Slash!" he declared, before they gashed at Beelzemon's chest. The dragon then whipped around and slammed his tail into his foe's damaged body.

Beelzemon crashed into the ground, leaving a sizable depression. Damn, that hurt. He looked up to see the beast he called friend charging another attack. Sorry Ai, Mako. Looks like I may not come back from this one. Beelzemon grimaced. Still, that doesn't mean I'm gonna give up! He charged back into the sky, dodging the large Megiddo Flame and letting it impact the ground now far below him. When he got close enough, he raised his mounted canon and called out "Corona Blaster!" launching three blasts of energy. As Megidramon dodged them, Beelzemon flew in behind with his fist raised. "Fist of the Beast King!" he declared, and pummeled the back of the beast's head with his energy enriched fists.

Megidramon howled in pain, but before he could react, Beelzemon followed up with two "Darkness Claw" attacks and a "Corona Destroyer," all impacting Megidramon's back and sending him careening towards the ground. At the last second, however, the dragon's wings snapped outward, and with blinding speed he charged the demon lord. Ah, shit! Beelzemon tried to avoid the large cannonball that was Megidramon, but it was to late. Megidramon smashed into him with astounding force, sending pain throughout his body and him spiraling through the air.

"Hazard's Slash!" the unholy beast declared, rending Beelzemon several more times. With each cut, Beelzemon unwillingly cried out in pain. Megidramon then slammed his fist into the demon lord's gut, sending him falling to the ground. Data was now visibly leaking from several parts of Beelzemon's body. Megidramon swooped down to hover above the unmoving body, building energy in his mouth.

"Guilmon... buddy..." Beelzemon struggled, reaching upward. "Why...?"

But Megidramon did not react. Instead he finished charging the energy he required, and with a final "Megiddo Flame," Beelzemon burst into a million data fragments.

20:36 JST

Henry walked up the stairs leading to the roof of the hospital – minus Terriermon, who was currently stuffing his face with food – with a frown on his face. After they had received the news about Gifu and the area around it being utterly destroyed with no survivors and no trace of Impmon, Rika had walked off without a word, and no one had seen her since. That was two hours ago. I hope she's up here. I'd rather not search this entire hospital room by room. Opening the door, he spotted her sitting on the edge of the roof, framed by the setting sun, facing the city and looking down at something in her hands. "Hey," he said to alert her of his presence. Her empty hand shot up to her face for a moment. She's been crying, he thought, but decided not to mention it. As he approached her, he realized the object in her hands was a pair of yellow-framed goggles with a cracked lens.

"Why?" she asked him, her voice heavy with sadness and uncertainty. "Seven billion people on the planet, why the hell did Gogglehead have to die?"

Henry leaned against the ledge, facing the opposite direction, and thought for a moment. "I honestly don't know, Rika," he replied, knowing it was not the answer she was looking for but unable to come up with anything else.

"It doesn't make sense," she said, almost as if pleading with the fates themselves, "Takato was the most selfless, caring person I've ever known. How many people are like that? Cause he's the only one I've met!" She was yelling now, not at Henry, but towards the sky. "Why couldn't you take someone else? Anyone else..." she mumbled the last part, "Even me..."

Henry put a hand on her shoulder and looked her in the eyes. "Don't talk like that Rika. I know how you feel, if anyone was so undeserving of death it was Takato, but do you think he'd want you talking like that?"

She looked back down, a slight look of shame on her already saddened face. "Your right, as always." After a moment of silence, a fierce look of determination appeared on her face and she turned around and walked toward the door, tightly clutching the goggles. "Let's go."

"Uh, where to?" he asked, caught of guard by her sudden change in demeanor.

"To find Yamaki," she said, not slowing down. "We need him to get us a ride. Takato wouldn't wait for permission to save people, and neither will I."

A/N: This chapter was a pain to write. I hit one hell of a writer's block, especially on the last part. Sorry if it shows.