Chapter 27: Taichi's Guilt
*1st January 2007*
All eleven original Chosen Children assembled by Taichi's bedside. As his crest implied, Taichi gave them courage despite Daisuke reference as despair. Taichi was the reason why all of them would still meet up even if it was just this day every year, the anniversary of the day he fell into coma. As long as he was still around, the group would be able to gather and remain strong.
"Sorry, I'm coming in too. No, I don't need first aid. Nurse Jane you are becoming prettier over the year." A voice was heard from a distance. Daisuke did a facepalm. It had to be him. He did not usually come for the January meeting but why today.
"Hi, everyone!" Wallace waved as soon as the door slid open. He was surprised that all of them were actually expecting him.
"You're too loud." Wormmon explained.
"Really? I'm sorry." Wallace blushed scratching his cheek.
"You look battered." Daisuke noticed some scratches on his faces and arms. He must have been to the Digital World. "You should have asked me and Ken along."
"I had some trouble but it's worth it." Wallace said with a smile but his face turned dead serious right after. "Remember where Daisuke found the last Digimental? I went there today."
"Ichijouji, I found that." Wallace placed a Digiegg on the table surrounded by the rest of the Chosen Children.
"This is?" Ken was surprised. "You don't mean?" Wallace nodded in response.
"It's never born during these four years." Wallace added. "I was afraid actually. It had been four years. I thought he must be lurking somewhere plotting against the Digital World." Wallace admitted.
"I can't believe you will say you are afraid." Koushirou joked.
"I'm afraid of spirit to be exact but I have to get past one to get the Digiegg. He had done a good job really to be guarding the Digiegg until our arrival." Wallace said quietly turning to Taichi who had been asleep.
"Who knows even though he is physically here, his spirit went to the Digital World to perform his role."
Everyone looked on solemnly.
"If this is the case, will Oniichan be able to come back if you had taken the Digiegg from him?" Hikari asked breaking the silence.
"I don't know." Wallace replied. "I'm here because I know you will be here." Daisuke punched him on his head in response for flirting. He would act as Hikari's elder brother on Taichi's behalf now.
"More importantly, I needed Ken's help to seal this Digiegg as I can't do this alone. Demon is as expected too powerful to be seal with just my Digivice alone." Wallace cried out as Daisuke pulled his head up by his hair to face Hikari. Wallace would give out an order if needed be as the acting leader of the Chosen Children of the world should Hikari stopped him. He sent Daisuke and the younger Chosen Children to the field so that he could speak to her.
Daisuke and the rest shifted backwards to give way for Ken and Wallace out in the field. Agumon, Wormmon, V-mon and Wallace's partner were prepared to evolve should anything go amiss. By right, they should do it in the Digital World but Wallace insisted of performing the sealing ceremony here.
"Could it be?" Takeru wondered.
"What do you think?" Iori asked. Their group was sent downstairs to assist Ken and Wallace while the elder group was up in the room.
"Wallace isn't confident that the two of them together could do this." He looked up to the window where Taichi's room was.
"Why do they still need my Oniichan's help? Haven't they caused him enough harm?" Hikari shook her head in tears after coming down from her brother's room after a while. She blamed Ken for her brother's predicament all these years.
"I want to protect Oniichan like he always did for me!" Tears started to stream down Hikari's cheek. Takeru took her into his arms to comfort her.
"It's going to be fine." Takeru said hopefully. He did not have much confidence. Daisuke had decided that in order to prevent further harm caused by Demon to any of their friends, they needed to put him away no matter what.
Yamato helped Taichi to sit up on the hospital bed having his head leaned on his shoulder. Koushirou was writing up a programme to reactivate his Digivice. Since he laid in coma, the programme on his Digivice of gate opening and Agumon's evolution were diverted to Wallace and Ken respectively.
More importantly, they were not to attract attention from the medical personnel when came to Taichi's real-time condition, so some programming was needed while they remove him from the life support.
"Unfortunately, we'll probably need his help. I'll check his vital regularly while he's off the life support. We have to stop this procedure if his body can't take it. I heard from my dad that he isn't doing well at all. His heart had been failing due to the injury he received from Demon's assault." Jou explained.
"We can do it as long as we are together. We're with him." Mimi spoke up. Mimi did not expect that the last meeting in end of 2002 would be the last time she saw Taichi up and healthy.
"Taichi, fight!" Mimi whispered to his ears.
"Yes, we're all waiting for you." Sora encouraged him.
"Come back to us." Yamato added.
"Taichi-kun is really too lazy." Jou commented to earn a kick from Mimi. "I'm just trying to brighten up the mood." Jou whined.
"Stop it. You guys." Koushirou looked up from his laptop. "We're going to be thrown out by his parents if we mess up here. It wasn't easy for them to get over the ordeal and let us see Taichi considering how badly their son was hurt by Digimon incident."
And so Jou and Yamato wheeled his unconscious friend out to the field. Sora put on extra sweater for Taichi so that he would not feel so cold during the winter. Mimi was talking to Taichi to egg him on. Daisuke helped to hold Taichi's hand to have him hold his Digivice after putting a pair of glove over his hands. His hands felt cold to Daisuke. He must be freezing out in the field.
"I sure hope this is the first and the last." Daisuke spoke softly as he looked up to Taichi worriedly. They were just lucky that as it was the day today, his parents would not be here this early to give his friends some space to talk to Taichi. Having too many people in his room was also not allowed but Dr. Kido granted them the permission just for the day.
This was the first time; the Chosen Children other than Daisuke got to see how the sealing of Digiegg infected by darkness worked.
Ken began to chant something to start up the sealing ceremony. The Digiegg started to glow in darkness. That was why Wallace could not do this alone. It was reacting too much.
"Hang in there!" Wallace advised Ken to hold on to his D3 tight while holding up on his own Digivice. The Digivice on Taichi's hand was shaking really hard too. Daisuke had to tighten the grip.
"Taichi-san, hang in there! We cannot afford to let him hatch here." Daisuke spoke to his ear.
"I'll be with you! Don't give up! Yamato added worriedly when he saw him sweating profusely.
"His heart rate is accelerating too quickly." Jou read. "At this rate he'll crash."
"Taichi-san was fighting his own darkness." Koushirou realized. "He has no confidence in himself."
"Taichi, remember you're not alone. I'm your partner." Agumon ran over recalling what Taichi was troubled about when they were travelling around after the World Tour four years ago.
*25 December 2002*
Takeru had left with the rest in Imperialdramon. Taichi had apologised to Takeru for what he had done to Patamon with Diaboromon. He decided to leave the group for a while to clear his head.
"I'm sorry, Agumon." Taichi apologized to Agumon for his weakness of distrusting his friends. He had doubts as a Chosen Child himself. Whether was it an obligation or was it that he really wanted to do it. He had no confidence in blending in into their group.
Taichi sat down at the ledge of a fountain sighing. He was tasked to contact the Chosen Children of Europe when he joined the Chosen Children. He felt uneasy as he did not have the memory to share his experience with them as one of the eight famous Chosen Children. He did not dare to trouble Koushirou, Yamato and the rest about it to tell him about his experience.
Nevertheless, he would still perform his role as a Chosen Child. He thought he chose to do it. Not as an obligation. An encounter with Daisuke that day made him rethink his idea once again.
That day, Tamachi where Ken resided in was under attack by a lost Digimon. Not just Tamachi, but all over the world.
He was worrying while running to Koushirou's place with Hikari, Tailmon and Agumon when he spotted Daisuke standing at the other side on the road hesitating about something.
"What are you doing, Daisuke-kun? Hurry up!" Taichi called out to him. Daisuke looked down worriedly. He decided to spell out his intention anyway.
"I'm going to Tamachi." Daisuke said.
"What?" Taichi felt uncomfortable. He wanted to go and help Ken but with the Dark Tower up there, he could not do much. Agumon could not evolve anyway.
"Tamachi is where Ichijouji… where Ken lives." Daisuke said what was on Taichi's mind. "I have to go and help him."
"But Tamachi is not the only place in trouble. People all over the world are in danger." Taichi thought perhaps going to Koushirou's place to discuss on a plan would be a better solution.
"But Ken is an important friend." Daisuke blurted out. Taichi realized he was right. He had no right to stop him. He would have done it for Ken too as he saw him as his younger brother.
He was glad that Ken had found his place within the group but for him, he wondered if he would be able to. They saw him as an old friend they knew all about but he could not see the same towards them. Taichi's heart ached. He began to regret for his choice of giving up his memories. In the first place, he should not have trusted Diaboromon who he saw him as his "only" friend. Taichi thought he was over that and could move on but the truth was he was lying to himself.
Agumon rubbed Taichi's back as he cried over it.
"Taichi, no matter what happen, we're partners. We'll always be friends. We will create new memories together." Agumon consoled his regretful partner.
After that, Taichi and Agumon took on a battle against BlackWarGreymon to stop him from killing Oikawa in order to have him remove the Dark Seed from the children. BlackWarGreymon gave a condition that he would have Taichi as his partner in exchange in order to live a stupid life like theirs in his perspective which caused a surge of jealousy in him. That must be the same feeling Wormmon had towards him when he approached Ken To be his partner. WarGreymon swore that he would protect Taichi at all cost but in the end he still failed lost to a stroke of fate.
*1st January 2007*
"Taichi…" Agumon cried rubbing his back to sooth him. Daisuke realized Taichi began to relax. Tears were seen forming on his eyes.
"Taichi-san?" He called his name slowly. "Come on." Daisuke encouraged.
"Is he crying?" Mimi asked carefully. She was tearing up herself.
"Yes, he is." Sora was already crying herself.
"Hang in there, Oniichan!" Hikari kneeled before his wheelchair and held his other free hand to support him with Takeru placing his hands on her shoulder
"Taichi-san, please. Everyone is behind you, you can't give up now." Miyako raised her voice. Iori could only watch on in tears.
"We're your friends. We can do this together." Yamato urged. With that, Taichi's Digivice glowed up nicely. Daisuke could feel the warmth from him.
"That's right. He's doing great." Koushirou wiped off a single tear from the corner of his eyes.
Jou smiled in excitement as the Digiegg which shook vigorously began to fade away and disappeared.
"Sealing complete." Ken said as he closed his eyes and took a deep breath. He was bewildered. Did they just complete their mission to seal Demon's Digiegg?
"Ken-chan, you guys did it!" Wormmon reassured his partner.
"How's Taichi-san?' He asked urgently. Wallace had already run to his side. All of them had noticed a single tear sliding down his cheek.
"He's responding to us, isn't it?" Wallace told Koushirou and the rest excitedly. They did not quite want to believe it.
"As long as we don't give up on him, he'll wake up. He can hear us." Wallace had been Taichi's friend for the past six years even if he did not acknowledge it. He had never wanted to give up on him even when he turned against them. Perhaps, he would never be his close friend as his previous role as the "guardian" had already created a rift between them due to Taichi's sensitiveness on his purpose of making friends with him. Wallace had been using Taichi to assist his own group while keeping the fact from him.
Hikari hugged her brother who became relaxed and continued to sleep on peacefully while the rest prepared to take him back to his room.
Daisuke was feeling proud of Taichi. He had done what he could. Perhaps, he would never be a pillar like Taichi who could bring a team together. But he would continue to work hard for he was still the leader of the strongest version of his team.
*6th March 2007*
Daisuke was grinning from ear to ear after returning from the "Annual General Meeting". Miyako and Iori heaved a sigh of relief. Taichi in the other world was really something else. Their team practically did not go through what they had been through.
"Same people, different timeline, different fate." Iori pointed out. "There are just too many possibilities."
What they have been through were what was making them strong. In alternate world, there were alternate adventures.
"What will come will come eventually. They had encountered Diaboromon years before us but they had yet to face Demon for the second time. Even so, we would not be able to help them." Miyako exclaimed.
"I wouldn't say so." Ken retorted pulling Daisuke by his uniform collar. "This guy had been a prophet for them all these while."
"I can't. This is just trading of information and I heard something interesting. They said they had faced that Digimon for the second time while we haven't." Daisuke blurted out.
"Chances is…." V-mon asked.
"We'll have to face him again when the time comes." Wormmon finished.
"Do we have the chance of defeating them?" Miyako wondered.
"As long as we don't give up until the end. A Holy Ring filled with everyone's hope will appear resulting in a new mode change." Daisuke opened a can of drink.
"Mode change?" Ken asked looking at V-mon and Wormmon. It had to be them.
"That was why the seniors from the other timeline said they will count on us." Iori pinched his chin when he thought about it.
V-mon was munching a pack of Pocky given by his previous partner happily to be caught by Daisuke by his neck. He had seen what kind of person V-mon's previous partner was. He was jealous of his impressive credential. He was said to be the strongest Tamer after ending up in another world different from his and to even settle down there.
"No one remember his existence here other than me, V-mon and Wormmon. It had to be a miracle that he actually has his own family to stay with there." Ken informed Daisuke. "That could be another possibility of what the Vault could do when he was reconfigured we never knew of."
"But we can no longer explore that, can we?" Daisuke asked. "Ours were destroyed."
"But theirs are not. They haven't even heard of it." Ken remarked. "But we can never tell them. Digital World is not a game. They should treasure their lives."
"I'm sure they will." Miyako said confidently.
Gennai had arrived at Taichi's hospital room and sat beside the sleeping boy. His life had been a mess since he became a Chosen Child. Watching the fogging of his oxygen mask as he took each labored breath; Gennai shook his head in empathy. His condition did not seem good considering that he was hooked up with various tubes which were barely keeping him alive, filtering his blood on behalf of his deteriorating heart.
He had received an order from Qinglongmon and wondered if he should do it. Qinglongmon's order was to free Taichi from his shackle as he had done his part. The 8th Holy Stone was back to its position performing its original role. But not even Gennai could comprehend what Qinglongmon had meant. Negatively speaking, it could be to free him by making him let go from hanging on to his life? Positively, he could be healed and awakened from his coma.
"Eh… Gennai-san. It's unexpected to see you here." Koushirou who just arrived exclaimed. Mimi who happened to be in Japan to attend her cousin's son one month party, came along and greeted him as well.
"Did you come to visit Taichi-san? He'll be very happy to learn about it." Mimi said taking a seat by Taichi's side ruffling his hair giving Taichi a gentle smile when she glanced at his sleeping face.
"Recently, Taichi-san is beginning to react to his surroundings. I believe if we continue to talk to him, stimulate his mind, he will wake up." Koushirou updated in an optimistic tone but turned serious when he noticed the solemn expression from Gennai.
"Is everything okay?" Koushirou asked carefully.
"No, I just wonder if Taichi will like to continue this way, staying alive as though he is dead. Even if he wakes up one day, his life has already changed. He can no longer return to who he was." Gennai held up a crystal Qinglongmon had given him.
"That's a Digicore from Qinglongmon?" Koushirou asked. Gennai nodded. No doubt the light from Qinglongmon would grant the Digimon the power to evolve to their Perfect Form but he was unsure if it would work for human.
"Which means there's a chance that Taichi-san can be healed." Mimi exclaimed excitedly. Her partner Palmon still benefitted from Qinglongmon's light. Palmon was the only Digimon from the original Chosen Children who can achieve Perfect Form other than Agumon.
"There's also the chance that the Digicore can end his life." Gennai informed them.