I know these are a bit sporadic at the moment, so I’ve started announcing release dates on my Mastodon if that’s helpful. Once I catch up to the official releases, I’ll go back to a normal schedule. Make sure you always support the official release. If you’ve been enjoying this project, make sure you like, comment, follow, and share this with your friends. Thank you all who have stuck with me this far. It means a lot!
The street lights come on as an ambulance zips through the campus streets. Its sirens echo as the. Flashing red lights bounce off large windows. The few cars out move over as the ambulance flies past. Leon lays unresponsive on the metal gurney. The sensors hooked to his arm indicate a steady heartbeat. His vitals are low but within normal levels. He lays unresponsive as the EMT flashes lights in his eyes. Around him, wires and tubes clank on hollow metal as the ambulance jerks through the city streets. The sirens sound muffled over the hum of the engine and the crackling of the radio.
Professor Ryusenji arrives at the hospital shortly after Leon does. He sits in the waiting room while the doctors run their tests. A couple of hours pass when a doctor finally calls him.
“It’s an odd one. Vitals are normal, there are no signs of trauma or drug use. This isn’t a reaction to any of his medication. We can’t determine the cause of his coma at this time, but we’re running more tests.”
“That’s unfortunate…” Ryusenji says sadly.
“I am sorry.” The doctor says warmly. “You can go see him now if you want. Talk to him. He’ll appreciate that.”
Ryusenji shakes the doctor’s hand and walks into Leon’s room. Leon lays peacefully in bed. Sensors monitor his vitals, and a drip slowly keeps him hydrated. The professor watches over his student for a moment before taking the seat closest to his bed.
He was still in his office when received Eiji’s frantic phone call. Eiji’s erratic explanation left him with many unanswered questions, but there wasn’t time for answers. It was Ryusenji who called the ambulance and let the paramedics into Leon’s apartments. It was Ryusenji who now sat as Leon’s only visitor.
The room was quiet except for the rhythmic chiming of the EKG. The chart at the end of Leon’s bed indicated an unknown cause for Leon’s coma, but Ryusenji knew better. Leon had pushed himself too far in his mindlink. He went over the L line, and now he is DMIA. Nothing was bringing Leon back to consciousness. His mind was lost. Scattered across the Digital world like pieces of junk data.
“Did you ever meet Yueling, Leon?” the professor finally makes out. His voice shakes a bit. He leans back in the chair, watching Leon’s peaceful expression. He would have to tell the police everything, and Leon being American complicated things.
Rysuenji sighs, “This is quite a mess…”He picks up the Digimon Linker that sits on the bedside table and puts it back on Leon’s wrist. “I’m afraid you knew too many lies,” he says softly to Leon.
Ryusenji watches the mounds of Leon’s vitals move across the monitor, and listens to the beeps in silence.
Eiji sits alone in his dark tiny apartment curled up in his bed. He stares blankly into space as a mix of dread and shame creeps into his consciousness.
“He’s not coming back…” Eiji says flatly. He can still see Kazuchimon disappearing into the vortex. No one has ever returned from the void. No one has recovered from DMIA. Eiji left Leon to die.
“It’s all my fault..” Tears well up in his eyes. An ugly truth gets stuck in his throat. “I…I killed Leon…” The truth hits him like a punch in the gut. The room starts to spin. He stumbles off his bed and rushes to the bathroom. His empty stomach aches as he vomits only bile and stomach acid into a dirty toilet. He sits against the wall with a bitter taste in his mouth.
“Your readings are a mess Eiji,” Loogamon chimes in from his perch on the bed. Loogamon’s wounds have healed. It was as if the fight had never happened.
“I can’t do this anymore,” Eiji says weakly. He takes the Digimon Linker off his wrist and looks over it pensively.
“Hey careful with that!” Loogamon barks.
“Code crackers, hackers, mindlinks…digivolutions…none of this matters.” Eiji pauses to stare at the ceiling. “It’s all my fault…I pushed you too hard. I put you in danger, and now Leon is gone!” Eiji lets the Digimon Linker fall into the floor. “This isn’t what I wanted…” his voice trails off.
The linker beeps as its face comes to life with a notification. It’s a text from Tartarus. It reads:
Excellent work. You’re a hero!”
Eiji scoffs. He doesn’t feel like a hero. Guilt begins to choke at Eiji. “It should have been me….” The room starts to spin again. Eiji lurches over to vomit.
“Are you sick or something? What’s causing you to vomit?” Loogamon jumps down from the bed and makes its way to the doorway.
Eiji wipes vomit from the corners of his mouth. “Guilt,” he answers flatly, sitting back against the wall.
“He was my friend Logamon…My best friend and now…Now he’s gone and it’s all my fault.” Tears start falling down his cheeks.
The two sit in silence for a while. Eiji’s quiet sobs echo off the tile.
“Hey Eiji,” Loogamon finally says. “I just remembered something.”
“What?” Eiji asks hoarsely.
“That box Pulsemon gave me, the one we thought was a virus. It was just a present.”
“Really?” Eiji looks up at the wolf.
Loogamon’s expression saddens for a moment. It nods slowly. “He left a note. It said ‘Lets hang out again sometime mutt.’ Stupid fairy…”
Another somber silence washes over them.
“I think I know why I went beserk when I digivoled into Hallogarmon.”
“I wanted to fight Pulsemon so badly. I wanted to be better than them. I didn’t want them to look down on me anymore. So when I digivolved and went feral, it was because you didn’t feel the same way.”
Eiji sits in silence and stares at the wolf. Leon’s voice rings in his head. The memory of his guilt sends his head into the toilet. Eiji sits back. This time he can’t hold his tears back. He cries hard into his arm.
“Do you want to save your friend Eiji?”
“Of course I do! It’s my fault!” Eiji yells, looking up.
“I want to save Pulsemon too,” Loogamon says solemnly. “We’ll save them Eiji. Even if it means facing down an army Royal Knights!”