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Dark Sage
2nd March 2007, 04:01 AM
Good morning. Or whatever time it is where you are.

I’d like to welcome you to my latest Yu-Gi-Oh project. I don’t know if I can top Dark Messiah, but this story ties a lot of loose ends, and does something I wanted to do for a long time.

Anyway, let’s take a moment to reveal the game mechanics that this fanfic will follow, in regard to dueling.

Simply put, the duels will follow real-life rules almost to the letter. My biggest change from previous stories is, Monsters cannot be Normal Summoned in face-up Defense Position.

Of course, I will use anime-only cards, Japanese-only cards, and cards from my previous stories, as well as a few created by my partner in crime, Master of Paradox. Some anime rules will be in play, such as the anime effect of Card of Sanctity. However, not everyone will use that card. It will only be used rarely. The hero characters do not use it. (Okay, I’ll only use it when I truly have to. That card is a cop-out if everyone uses it.)

Also, some cards are illegal in this world, but some that are illegal in ours aren’t. You’ll have to see for yourself. (Raigeki is still illegal, for example. Monster Reborn is not.) Also, some cards that are common in our world are much rarer in this one.

For anyone who was turned off by my using the Orichalcos in the last fanfic, I assure you, it is not in this one. In fact, the general plot of this story does not compare to any storyline in any anime season. There is a tournament, but it will get much more interesting eventually.

A note on the timeline.

My original trilogy began thirty-five years after the original series was supposed to end. The trilogy itself lasted three years. This fic takes place nineteen years after that. If we assume that the original series ended in 1996, that puts the year of this fic at 2053. We will assume that the events of “Yu-Gi-Oh GX” have all taken place (in fact, one chapter will reference them in a big way). The only event in the anime that occurred differently in this world is the Ceremonial Duel between Yugi and Atem (it did not occur, due to reasons that are explained in the opening monologue).

To avoid explaining things, I know that Disk technology has likely advanced even since the GX era. However, for practical purposes the physical design has not. Assume that characters use Disks that resemble those used in GX. Maybe a bit more streamlined. (It’s very hard to change the device’s appearance even further, even if internal improvements have been made. You still need the tray and the discard slot.) As for how other technology has improved, you’ll see more advances as they show themselves.

If you want to brush up on the trilogy, go to fanfiction.net, where my stories are there to read under the penname Cyber Commander.

I’d also like to explain something I never got around to explaining. When I named Kaiba’s nephew Siegfried, the character of Ziegfried Von Schroder had not even come close to being introduced. I realize that Mokuba would likely not have given his son a name that was similar to that of one of his big brother’s enemies, but by the time Ziegfried was introduced, I was stuck with it. The reason I personally named him Siegfried, as Master of Paradox no doubt knows, is because it is a name associated with a dragon in Norse Mythology. The only reason, storywise, I can give as to why Siegfried got his name is, it was his mother’s idea.

One final thing. I’m going try hard to avoid themes that everyone has displayed a dislike for. I solemnly swear that no duelist in this fic will use an Amazon or Dark Scorpion Deck. (I can’t say for certain whether on not Don Zaloog will show up at all – he’s used in a great deal more situations than with his four pals.) As for Cyber Dragons, they’ll only show up once, but my lips are sealed as to in what regard. (Small secret – I cannot stand that card, and the only reason one of the main characters in my last fic used them is because he needed a substitute for Blue-Eyes.) I’ll try to be as creative as I can. In fact, one of the goals of this fic was to use themes I didn’t use in “Dark Messiah”.

Oh, and before I forget…

I do not own any rights to the Yu-Gi-Oh! TGC, OCG, anime, or manga, which are registered trademarks of Konami. I am an independent author not affiliated with Konami, and I am not an employee or representative of them.

You likely knew that, but I have to say it anyway.

Read, review, and have fun.



You know how the story goes…

You know how a young boy named Yugi Mouto was given a strange gift – a puzzle made of complex, interlocking pieces, and how after years of work, he put it together. He found that with the Millennium Puzzle came a stranger gift… The spirit of a five-thousand year old Pharaoh who would become his protector… his partner… his friend…

You know how he became skilled at the game of Duel Monsters, and along with his friends, saved the world from dangerous threats, many times over. Dangerous demons and madmen, using his cards and his Heart to overcome them.

When all of it seemed over, there was nothing more to do. An ally told him of a way that a ritual could be performed to release the Pharaoh from the Puzzle so that he’d be free…

…and that is where realities split…

You see, in the myriad worlds of the cosmos, there exist many different realities; in many of them, the occupants are the same. However, their lives and their fates sometimes differ.

In the one you are familiar with, Yugi faced the Pharaoh in a Ceremonial Duel; in order to be set free, the Pharaoh had to know something that the strongest men must know – defeat. Yugi triumphed, and the Pharaoh was allowed to leave the world. The Millennium Items were buried forever, and for a short time, the world earned a respite from evil…

But in another reality, something much different happened…

In this reality, before the ritual could even occur, it was interrupted. Everyone present was taken to a peaceful place, where a beautiful angel who called herself Shanalla told them that she could not allow the ritual to take place. Not yet. She foresaw a dangerous threat in the future, where the Pharaoh’s skills would be needed once more.

But it was so far in the future, that Yugi himself would not be able to handle it. Shanalla predicted that Yugi would sire a son, and that the task would fall to him.

Shanalla left them with one promise. Sometime after this threat was dealt with, the ritual would be done. She gave her word.

And then she left everyone with no memories of what had transpired.

Eventually, Yugi grew up, and put his Puzzle away, while the Pharaoh slept in hibernation. He married, and did indeed have a son – Yugi Mouto Jr. When the son got older, Yugi gave him the Puzzle, and when he got older still, odd things started to happen.

The daughter of Maximillion Pegasus sought revenge on Yugi for turning her father’s life into misery, and thought to do it by killing Yugi’s son. During her mad trap, the Pharaoh awoke, and guided him through it. With his allies, including his father’s best friend’s daughter and the nephew of his father’s old rival, he defeated her… and then saved her soul when Death itself tried to devour her.

A year after that, a madman sought to free the demon-god Set by imprisoning New York, seeking to use Yugi and his friends as fuel. Once again, they triumphed, and the evil was vanquished.

Finally, the threat that Shanalla spoke of arose. A fallen angel named Saurius sought to find and destroy a sacred artifact called the Mandate of Heaven, to bring doom to the world. Yugi and his friends fought him valiantly, and endured the death of their friend before the demon was defeated.

It is now nineteen years after that fateful summer when Duelatopia first opened. Yugi Mouto Jr. – now rarely calling himself “Junior” – never knew of any way to release the Pharaoh. Two years after Duelatopia, he married, and quickly, he sired a child of his own…

But this time, fate would prove a rascal…

The third generation of the Moutos, and thus the fate of the Pharaoh… would fall to a daughter…




”Your move…”

Get ready to meet the challenge,
See your foes throw the gauntlet down;
Set your sights to new horizons,
Turn your hopes towards reaching the crown…

Each card… you draw…
Makes you… a little bit better…
Each time… you win…
Is one more step up the ladder!

It’s a whole new generation!
It’s a new legacy to be made!
Just believe in yourself,
And remember one thing:
The duel’s never over until…
The last card is played!

Get ready to climb the rankings,
Face beasts and show no fear;
Make moves with careful choices,
Turn your goal from far to near.

Each duel… You start…
Is a new thrill to discover!
If you… fall down…
Just get back up, and recover!

It’s a whole new generation!
It’s a new legacy to be made!
Just believe in yourself,
And remember one thing:
The duel’s never over until…
The last card is played!

No, the duel’s never over until…
The last card is played…




YU-GI-OH!




Third Generation



The Legend of the Sorcerer Kings



It was 4:30 in the afternoon, on the boardwalk of the Domino City amusement park.

The young and the young at heart were about. Laughing, playing…

…dueling…

A young teenage girl stood, carefully considering the situation.

She was dressed in black, in a midriff (navel exposed, but not indecently) and black jeans, and had black hair cut short. She had sky blue eyes and dimples.

A Duel Disk was on her left arm – the latest model, recently delivered by KaibaCorp.

In front of her was Vampire Lady (1,550/1,550) waiting for her to give a command. Her opponent, twenty feet in front of her, had only a facedown Monster.

She couldn’t believe the scores… She had 2,500 left, and her opponent only had 1,000. This was the closest she had ever come…

She made her draw…

“You’re in trouble now!” she announced. “I sacrifice Vampire Lady, for Vampire Lord!”

Vampire Lady vanished, and the older, male vampire appeared in a dark shadow. (2,000/1,500)

“Attack the facedown Monster!” she shouted. “Children of the night!”

Vampire Lord lifted his cloak, and a swarm of bats shot at the facedown card. Blast Magician appeared on the card, and was blown away.

She fit a card into her Disk, and a facedown card appeared behind Vampire Lord.

“Won’t be long now, Yumi…” she said with a smile.

“We’ll see, Chelsea…” said her opponent.

Her opponent drew a card.

She played it, and Pot of Greed appeared on the field. She drew two cards.

She played a card, and Magician’s Valkyria appeared to face Vampire Lord. (1,600/1,800)

“Huh?” said Chelsea.

“Now I play Magical Dimension,” continued her opponent. “Meaning I can sacrifice her to summon Dark Magician Girl…”

Valkyria vanished, and the Dark Magician’s cute, buxom apprentice appeared. (2,000/1,700)

“And then, your Monster… goes boom!”

Vampire Lord exploded!

“Fine!” laughed Chelsea. “Attack me! I dare you! You can’t finish me off with her, and he’ll be back next turn!”

“Oh?” asked her opponent.

A card appeared behind Dark Magician Girl…

Rush Recklessly…

Chelsea sighed as Dark Magician Girl flew at her…

Well, at least it was the closest she had ever come…

She cringed in pain as Dark Magician Girl cast her dark spell at her.

She almost fell over, but then someone caught her from behind.

“You okay?” said a voice.

The voice belonged to a boy her age, with black hair wearing a black leather jacket. He had a Disk on too.

“I’m okay Ren, I’m okay…” said Chelsea. “Not the first time it happened, you know.”

She slowly removed the card from her Spell/Trap Zone.

So close… It had been her own Rush Recklessly…

Chelsea’s opponent walked up.

The girl had flowing blonde hair, deep violet eyes, and was dressed in a halter, jean jacket, and a short skirt. Around her neck was a shiny golden pendant shaped like an inverted pyramid with an eye on the front.

“That’s enough practice for one day, guys,” she said.

“We both lost, Yumi,” said Ren. “You’re unbeatable.”

“Please,” said Yumi. “I’m the only one who can beat you two. You both have powerful decks.”

She put her arms around them.

“The three of us are going to take Duelatopia by storm. The names Yumi Mouto, Ren Marris, and Chelsea Ramset are going to be household names in the dueling world. The Three Musketeers.”

“Three Musketeers…” muttered Ren. “There were four. How come everyone always forgets about D'Artagnan?”

“Heh…” chuckled Yumi. “Yeah, it wouldn’t have been much of a story without him. Now who’s up for pizza and root beer?”

They both grinned.



* * * * * * * * * *


The pizza parlor at the amusement park had recently added a new feature – a TV screen as big as a movie screen. It was currently set to cartoons. As the three of them waited for dinner, the patrons were getting restless.

“Okay, okay…” said a waitress, grabbing a remote. “I’ll change the channel…”

She flipped a switch, and the familiar logo of KaibaCorp TV flashed on the screen, along with the usual music.

“Hi!” said a young reporter. “This is Mandy Malone. We’re here at Kaibaland, where a rare treat has just appeared…”

The cheering of children followed that remark.

“Hey Yumi…” said Ren, “it’s your favorite opponent…”

Yumi looked at the screen.

It was true… Favorite opponent whose ass she liked to kick.

The eighteen-year-old girl had vaguely Chinese features, tanned skin, and long, chestnut hair down to her waist. She was also dressed in a midriff, with blue jeans.

Samantha Arachne, daughter of Sheena Arachne, the head of KaibaCorp. Her father was supposedly Siegfried Kaiba, who was killed shortly after she was conceived…

It seemed that the heirs of the Moutos and the Kaibas would be rivals forever…

Samantha (“Sam” to most) seemed to be always changing decks. As Yumi’s grandfather would say, she hadn’t found one that came from her heart yet. She had promised on a permanent one for Duelatopia, but it had not been seen yet. Yumi wondered about it as Sam faced her opponent, a younger kid with a t-shirt and dungarees, with a baseball cap on backwards.

Yumi frowned. Didn’t anyone who didn’t actually play baseball ever wear a baseball cap the way it was made to be worn anymore?

“The question on everyone’s mind is,” said the reporter, “will the secret of Samantha’s new deck be revealed? This reporter is hoping so.”

A lot of duelists are hoping so too, thought Yumi. Including this one. I just know I’m going to have to face it sooner or later.

The two duelists were shuffling each others decks.

“Ready to have your butt kicked from here to Bombay, Sam?” asked the boy, as they loaded their decks.

“Please, Nick,” said Sam, as her Disk activated. “The day I’m beaten by the likes of you is the day I eat my deck.”

They both drew five cards.

“Game on!” they both said at once.



(Sam: 8,000) -------------------- (Nick: 8,000)


“All right!” said Nick, drawing his first card. “For my first brilliant move, I’ll place this in Defense Mode.”

He played a card, and a facedown Monster appeared.

“That’s all for now.”

“I’ve seen better opening moves from preschoolers,” said Sam, making her first draw.

She looked over her hand.

“I always say, the best defense is an aggressive offense,” she said. “I summon Luster Dragon in Attack Mode.”

She played a card, and a huge sapphire appeared in front of her. It shattered, revealing a slim Dragon made entirely of blue gemstones. Its eyes were pools of blue right that cast a soft glow. (1,900/1,600)



http://www.ideal808.com/images/mfc-058.jpg


“Nope,” said Yumi, with a shrug. “I’ve seen this deck before.”

She leaned her head on her hand. She really knew this deck. Sam had thought she could emulate Seto Kaiba by using Dragons… She even started calling herself the Dragon Queen after this deck proved mildly successful. And then Yumi showed her what Buster Blader was capable of.

Thus, the Dragon Queen was dethroned, and Sam started looking again. This girl was determined to find the perfect deck… And hints dropped to everyone were showing that she had recently found it.

“And now I’m going to use that aggressive offense,” said Sam, “by wiping out your defense! Luster Dragon… Attack! Sapphire flash blast!”

Luster Dragon spread its wings and gave a cry. Then it exhaled a blast of blue fire. The Monster that appeared on Nick’s card was a young woman dressed like a green beret, complete with blacking under her eyes, with feathered wings on her back. (1,200/1,900)

She shielded herself with her arm, and the fire was deflected.

She gave a mean look at Sam, as if to say, “I dare you”.

“Sorry, Sam,” said Nick, “but Command Angel’s Defense was just as strong as your Dragon’s so called aggressive offense. Better luck next time.”

Sam looked at her hand.

“I’ll set this facedown,” she said, fitting a card into her Disk, “and take a break for now.”

A facedown card appeared.

Nick drew a card.

“I summon Hysteric Fairy in Attack Mode,” he said.

A slim figure in a blue formal suit and glasses with feathered wings, carrying a book with an ankh on it appeared as he played the card. Its gender could best be described as… androgynous. It adjusted its spectacles and gave a fussy look. (1,800/1,000)



http://www.ideal808.com/images/db1_en238.jpg


“You call that a Monster?” asked Sam, sarcastically. “It looks like my old algebra teacher!”

“I’ll also shift Command Angel to Attack Mode,” said Nick, “and she grants all Fairies on my side of the field 400 more Attack Points. So, stand up!”

Command Angel stepped up and pulled a golden machine gun from her back. Hysteric Fairy rose to 2,200 Attack, and Command Angel herself rose to 1,600.

“Okay, that might be a problem…” muttered Sam.

“Hysteric Fairy, attack the Dragon!” shouted Nick.

Hysteric Fairy adjusted its glasses, and fired a beam of light from them, blasting the Dragon to shards.

“And since you’re defenseless,” said Nick, “Command Angel, attack Sam directly!”

Command Angel grit her teeth and aimed the machine gun. Sam winced as she fired six rounds into her torso.



(S: 6,200) -------------------- (N: 8,000)


“Man, Sam just got nailed,” said Ren.

“Watch,” said Yumi. “She’ll come back. I know she will.”

Sam caught her breath and made her draw.

“I play Premature Burial,” she said, placing a card in her Disk. “I’m sure you know how it works. I merely give up 800 Life Points, and my Dragon returns.”

She played the card, and as her Life Points dipped, Luster Dragon crawled out of the ground.

“Now I sacrifice him…” she continued, “for his big brother… Luster Dragon #2.”

The Dragon turned into a huge emerald. It shattered, revealing a larger, fiercer-looking Dragon with green scales. Its glowing green eyes again glowed with soft light. (2,400/1,400)



http://www.ideal808.com/images/lod-0501.jpg


“Attack the Command Angel!” she shouted. “Emerald flame!”

Luster Dragon roared, and then breathed green fire. Command Angel screamed as she was engulfed in it. She shattered.



(S: 5,400) -------------------- (N: 7,200)


Hysteric Fairy dropped back to 1,800 Attack.

“That’s enough for one turn,” said Sam.

Nick drew a card, and looked over his hand.

“I’ll move Hysteric Fairy to Defense Mode,” he said, “and set another Monster in Defense Mode.”

Hysteric Fairy shielded itself, and a facedown card and Monster appeared.

Sam made her draw.

“Not the wisest choice,” she said. “First, I summon Element Dragon.”

In a flash of light, a medium-sized Dragon with orange scales and a mane of fur around its neck appeared. (1,500/1,200)



http://www.ideal808.com/images/sod-en0231.jpg


“Next, I’ll activate my facedown card, a little thing called Dragon’s Rage.”

Her Trap Card lifted.



Continued…

Dark Sage
2nd March 2007, 04:05 AM
Continued from last post:



“Now, due to this powerful Continuous Trap, all my Dragons can hurt you even when your Monsters are in Defense Mode, as if all of them were Equipped with Fairy Meteor Crush.”

“That’s… not good…” muttered Nick.

“But wait…” said Sam. “There’s more. When there’s a Wind Monster on the field, like my Luster Dragon is right now, my Element Dragon gets to attack again if it kills one Monster first.

“So… Element Dragon attack the facedown Monster! Incendiary breeze!”

Element Dragon breathed a cloud of fire, and Nick cringed as his Monster was blown up.



http://www.ideal808.com/images/ysd-jp011.jpg


“You destroyed my Skelengel,” said Nick. “So now I get to draw one card.”

He made a draw.

“Big deal…” said Sam. “It can attack twice, remember? Element Dragon, attack the Hysteric Fairy!”

Element Dragon breathed its lethal cloud again, and Hysteric Fairy was blown to shards.

“Luster Dragon, attack Nick directly!”

Luster Dragon shot its emerald flame forward, and Nick screamed as an inferno of green fire erupted around him.



(S: 5,400) -------------------- (N: 2,700)


“Looks like Sam has this in the bag,” said Chelsea.

“Where’s our pizza?” sighed Yumi. “Are they going to Italy to get the mozzarella?”

“You’re gonna pay for that…” muttered Nick.

He drew a card and considered his hand.

“So what pathetic move are you going to make now, Nick?” asked Samantha.

“How’s this for pathetic?” he asked, opening his Field Slot. “I play The Sanctuary in the Sky.”

Everyone took notice, as the whole arena was enveloped in light. The floor became a mass of clouds, and an ancient, stone temple rose behind Nick. It was topped by a spire holding a glowing orb. Soft light glowed from the whole structure.

“Okay…” muttered Sam, nervously. “Nice place…”

Meanwhile, the pizza had come. The three friends took a slice.

“So what does this mean?” asked Chelsea, sprinkling parmesan on hers.

“By itself, Sam can’t hurt him by attacking his Fairies,” said Yumi, “but if he combined it with other cards…”

“Now, let’s get serious,” continued Nick. “I summon Warrior of Zera.”

A stern-faced Warrior in armor with a sword, wearing a horned helmet appeared. (1,600/1,600)



http://www.ideal808.com/images/ast-0021.jpg


“Case in point…” muttered Yumi.

“But he won’t be here long,” he continued, taking another card. “This Warrior is a man with a dual nature, who constantly struggles between good and evil… And when in the blessed realm of the Sanctuary, a powerful transformation can take place…”

Warrior of Zera became shrouded in light, and a great transformation started to occur. A more imposing figure appeared, in silvery armor with huge, feathered wings on his back with a helmet. A long scarf covered his mouth and swept behind him in the unseen wind. He held a gleaming broadsword in his hand that shone with pure light. He radiated an air of authority that was impossible to ignore. (2,800/2,300)



http://www.ideal808.com/images/ast-034.jpg


“Meet the ace of my deck…” said Nick. “Archlord Zerato!”

“Impressive…” muttered Sam.

Yumi was watching intently. Her father had used that guy in his duel against Saurius so many years ago… He had been instrumental to victory…

“Here’s something that’s even more impressive,” said Nick. “I’m going to discard my Dunames Dark Witch…”

He discarded one of his cards.

“And say sayonara to your Monsters!”

The spire of the Sanctuary glowed, and blasted a lightning bolt, vaporizing Luster Dragon and Element Dragon.

“You’re wide open!” shouted Nick. “Zerato, attack! Holy sword!”

Zerato flew at Sam with his blade, and she was helpless to do anything but take it. She screamed and toppled over.

“Wow…” said Ren. “This is exciting.”

“Mmm…” said Yumi, with her mouth full. “Exciting…”

And if Sam is humiliated on live television right before her debut in Duelatopia, she thought, it’s gonna be so much fun rubbing her nose in it…



(S: 2,600) -------------------- (N: 2,700)


Yumi eagerly watched. One more attack and Sam would be defeated… All Nick would need was another Light Monster…

Nick played two of his three remaining cards, and two facedown cards appeared.

“Your move,” he said. “One more blow like that, and you’re history.”

Sam drew a card.

“I play… Graceful Charity…” she said.

She played the card, and an angelic form appeared over her. The angel’s feathers fell on her deck, and she drew three cards.

“Now I can draw three cards, so long as I toss two…”

She looked at the cards in her hand.

She discarded Masked Dragon and Divine Dragon Ragnarok.

“Now I summon Cave Dragon,” she said, playing a card.

A hulking, elderly Dragon with no wings appeared in front of her. It yawned, and looked at its opponent with tired-looking eyes. (2,000/100)



http://www.ideal808.com/images/lod-040.jpg


“He may look tough,” she said, “but he’s actually a shiftless, lazy slob who can’t do much on his own. You see, he can’t attack unless I have another Dragon on the field.

“So, I’ll also place three cards facedown, and end my turn.”

Three facedown cards appeared.

Nick drew. He looked at the two cards in his hand.

“Problem?” asked Sam. “Don’t have the right card to discard, huh?”

“Actually, no, I don’t,” said Nick. “So I’ll just have to get one.”

A facedown card lifted.

“I activate Beckoning Light. Here’s how it works. First I toss all the cards in my hand.”

He discarded his two cards, a Mudora and an Agido.

“Then, I can recover one Light Attribute Monster from my Graveyard for each card that I tossed…”

Two cards came out of his discard slot.

“…like Hysteric Fairy and Dunames Dark Witch.

“First, just in case, I’ll summon Dunames Dark Witch…”

He played the card, and a pretty female Fairy in a red dress and metallic wings appeared. (1,800/1,050)



http://www.ideal808.com/images/tp8-en004.jpg


“Now I’ll discard Hysteric Fairy, and activate Zerato’s effect!”

He discarded the card. The spire of the Sanctuary started to glow.

“Not so fast!” shouted Sam. “I chain two of my facedown cards. First, Rush Recklessly.”

One of her cards lifted.

“It increases Cave Dragon’s Attack Score by 700 points, to 2,700. Next, I’ll activate Burst Breath!”

Another card lifted.

“Now, I can sacrifice my Cave Dragon, and all Monsters with lower Defense Scores than his Attack Score go down in flames!”

A blast of green flame shot out of Cave Dragon’s mouth, and both Zerato and Dunames Dark Witch cringed against it before they shattered. Then Cave Dragon shattered.

“Aw, shoot…” muttered Nick.

“Finally,” said Sam, “my last card activates…”

Her last facedown card lifted, showing another Quickplay.

“Super Rejuvenation,” she said. “Now, for each Dragon that I sacrificed this round, I get to draw one card.”

She made a draw and looked at it.

“You have no cards left, so I’ll move…” said Sam, drawing again.

She looked at the new card.

“You like Light Monsters? Here’s a good one for you. I summon Mirage Dragon.”

She played the card, and a beam of light fell from above. A wispy Dragon that seemed made out of pure light appeared. (1,600/600)



http://www.ideal808.com/images/rds-en0271.jpg


“In case you think that facedown card will block this attack, forget it. He’ll prevent you from activating it. Mirage Dragon, attack with spectrum blast!”

Mirage Dragon breathed a blast of multicolored light, and Nick shielded himself as it hit him.



(S: 2,600) -------------------- (N: 1,100)


“Not bad…” he said, panting for breath.

He drew a card.

“But you aren’t out of the woods yet… I play my Pot of Greed.”

He played the card, and the green, smiling jug appeared in front of him, and gave an evil cackle.

“Now I draw two cards…”

He looked at them.

“And now I’ll activate my facedown card… Light of Judgment.”

His facedown card lifted, and storm clouds appeared over the Sanctuary.

“Now, since the Sanctuary is on the field, by discarding one Light Monster, like my Absorbing Kid From The Sky…”

He discarded a card.

“I can either destroy one card on your side of the field, or one card in your hand. So… Mirage Dragon dies!”

Lightning struck, and Mirage Dragon was atomized.

“Good grief…” muttered Chelsea. “If that other card in his hand is a Monster, he can attack her and bring her down to dangerous numbers.”

“Well, Zerato is a NOMI,” replied Yumi. “He can’t summon him from the Graveyard.

“You know, I often wondered just what ‘NOMI’ stands for. I’ve never gotten a straight answer from anyone.”

“I’ll place my last card in Defense Mode, and end my turn,” said Nick.

A facedown Monster appeared.

Sam drew a card.

“My patience has paid off, Nick,” she said. “First, I summon Lord of Dragons to the field.”

She played the card, and the draconic Spellcaster dressed in black with a claw-like helmet appeared. (1,200/1,100)



http://www.ideal808.com/images/bpt-004.jpg


“Now I play… Dragon’s Mirror!”

“Dragon’s Mirror?” asked Nick. “What’s that?”

“A mirror that’s sure to give you bad luck,” said Sam, “whether you break it or not. It’s a Polymerization substitute. Now I can remove Fusion Material Monsters on the field and in my Graveyard from play to summon the Fusion Monster, so long as it’s a Dragon.

“So, I’ll fuse together Lord of Dragons and the Divine Dragon Ragnarok in my Graveyard…”

A large mirror with a golden frame appeared on the field. Ragnarok appeared beside the Spellcaster, and both of them were drawn into the mirror...

Then the mirror cracked, and smoke started to pour out of it…

“…and say hello to King Dragun.”

The smoke formed into an impressive creature. It was a serpentine Dragon, centaurian in general outline, whose upper body resembled that of Lord of Dragons, only more majestic. His lower body was bulky and serpentine. A mane that resembled more a cloud of mist than hair surrounded his neck. He gripped a staff resembling the Flute of Summoning Dragons, and he radiated a dark aura. (2,400/1,100)



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“King Dragun, attack!” she shouted. “Flaming scourge!”

King Dragun breathed white-hot flames from his maw, and an explosion burst on the facedown card.

Sam cringed as pain coursed through her…

“What happened?” she gasped.

She looked…

Where her target had been was a small creature, resembling a dollop of whipped cream. It had two big eyes, and above them was a smile that was upside down. It grinned at Sam. (300/500)



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“What in blazes?” asked Ren. “Is that a Monster or a dessert soufflé?”

“Don’t estimate Marshmallon,” said Yumi, between chews. “It’s powerful. Since Sam attacked it while it was facedown, she lost 1,000 Life Points. And it can’t be destroyed in battle. Not to mention the fact that it’s a Fairy, so the Sanctuary keeps Nick from losing Life Points from that Dragon’s Rage.

“This is a big handicap for Sam, because this deck is mostly slash and burn. She’s already used her Burst Breath.”



(S: 1,600) -------------------- (N: 1,100)


“My move now…” said Nick.

He drew a card.

“Perfect…” he said, looking at it. “I don’t know if you’d ever hit a guy with glasses on Sam, but now you don’t have a choice, I play Marshmallon Glasses.”

He played the card.

“So long as this card is on the field with Marshmallon, you’re only allowed to attack him. So I have lots of time to summon something to bring tall, dark, and gruesome there down!”

“We’ll see…” said Sam, drawing.

“This duel is over…” she said. “It will be a cold day in Hades before my Monsters are brought to a halt by some little cream puff.”

“And just what are you gonna do?” asked Nick. “Summon whatever Dragon you want. Marshmallon can’t be destroyed.”

“Only in battle,” replied Sam. “I just drew this Spell Card. It’s called Dragon’s Gunfire.

“See, I can only activate it when I have at least one Dragon on the field. Then I have to make a choice. I can either inflict 800 points of direct damage to you, or destroy a Monster with 800 Defense Points or less.

“And since your Marshmallon only has 500 Defense Points, I can fry it up like a Baked Alaska.”

“What’s a Baked Alaska?” asked Ren.

“Don’t you guys know anything about gourmet desserts?” asked Yumi. “Let’s just say it’s the only ice cream dish that you serve hot.”

King Dragun blew a stream of flames, striking Marshmallon. The little Fairy was burned up and reduced to ashes.

“You’re next,” said Sam. “King Dragun, attack directly!”

King Dragun blasted another gout of super-hot flames. Nick screamed and was propelled backwards as it hit him.



(S: 1,600) -------------------- (N: 0)


The clouds of the Sanctuary and Sam’s Monster slowly vanished.

As Yumi, Ren, and Chelsea watched, a boy about Sam’s age ran up and hugged her. He was handsome, with shaggy-long hair.

It seemed Sam had a boyfriend now, and now Yumi was a little jealous.

Mandy Malone came up to Sam.

“Congratulations, Ms. Arachne on another victory,” she said. “Care to give anyone a hint on this new deck you’ve been working on?”

“Well,” said Sam, “it will be unveiled in Duelatopia in two weeks. Anyone with internet access merely has to look up my name to see me use it.

“And there’s one girl out there I can’t wait to show it to.

“I’m not naming any names, of course, but she has a bad hair style, and wears a tacky piece of jewelry. Of course, I can’t blame her for the first part. It seems her whole family has been hated by beauticians. Although I doubt her maternal grandfather ever even went to one. Heck, I doubt he even ever used a comb.

“If you’re out there, listen up… This tournament, the Consort of Ha Des is going to drag you into the Underworld and throw you into the Pit of Fire!”

Her boyfriend hugged her lovingly, and they walked away from the reporter.

“Uhm…” said Mandy. “Strong words, and a powerful prediction of things to come. I guess the gauntlet has officially been thrown. Now this…”

“My Puzzle is NOT tacky!” shouted Yumi. “She has some nerve!”

She knew that Sam had been waiting for this tournament… She had been eligible to compete in the last two Duelatopia tournaments – you only had to be sixteen – but she had turned the offers down both times, saying she wouldn’t until she could win by beating Yugi Mouto’s heir… Not the most subtle hint…

“Relax, Yumi,” said Ren. “She’s all bark and no bite.”

“Yes, relax…” said a gentle voice in her head.

Yumi calmed down a little.

“We can’t let insults distract us, Yumi,” said the voice. “Things are coming to a headway…”

Yumi sighed and took out her deck.

She took out Dark Magician Girl and looked at her…

She put her deck back.

“Check please…” she said.

Behind Yumi, a spectral form appeared…

It was a tall woman, who seemed young in terms of age, but a definite aura of experience was present. She wore a white business suit that was spotlessly clean, and sunglasses over her eyes. Her hair was platinum blonde, and down to her waist.

No one seemed to see her as she walked up behind Yumi. She removed the sunglasses, and her eyes were green… Deep, sea green that you could lose yourself in.

She smiled sweetly and placed her hand on Yumi’s head affectionately.

Yumi felt strange at that point. It was a sensation of warmth… A gentle feeling…

The strange woman replaced the sunglasses and slowly faded away…



COMMAND ANGEL (Monster Card)

Card Specs
Type: Fairy/Effect
Attribute: Fire
Level: 4
ATK: 1,200
DEF: 1,900
Card Description: When this card is face-up on your side of the field, all Fairy-Type Monsters on your side of the field gain 400 ATK for as long as this card is face-up on your side of the field.

Note: “Command Angel” was first used by Tristan in the original anime episode “Mechanical Mayhem”. All creative credit goes to the writers of that episode.



MARSHMALLON (Monster Card)

Card Specs
Type: Fairy/Effect
Attribute: Light
Level: 3
ATK: 300
DEF: 500
Card Description: The user of the Monster that attacks this Monster while it is in facedown Defense Position takes 1,000 points of direct damage after battle damage is applied. This card is not destroyed as a result of battle (damage calculation still applies).



MARSHMALLON GLASSES (Spell Card)

Continuous Spell

Image: A pair of eyeglasses with a picture of Marshmallon in each lens.

Card Description: When this card and “Marshmallon” are on your side of the field, your opponent cannot attack any Monster except “Marshmallon”.

Note: “Marshmallon” and “Marshmallon Glasses” are Japanese cards that have not yet been released in the United States. They were both used by Little Yugi during the original anime series Pharaoh’s Memory Arc.



Ren: I’m so psyched, Chelsea! We’re going to Duelatopia!

Chelsea: Just like our parents did all those years ago. I can’t contain myself…

Yumi: Yeah guys, I know we should be excited but…

…somehow, the turmoil inside me is strong, and a friend of mine is feeling it too.

But don’t let me distract you. Review your decks, review your strategies, and get ready…

Next chapter is Chapter One, “A New Beginning; A New Starting Point”.

Dark Sage
2nd March 2007, 04:08 AM
CHAPTER ONE



A New Beginning;



A New Starting Point



Sheena Arachne walked down the spotlessly clean halls of the tech building, located far away on the island that many called Duelatopia.

She was a tall, slim, and striking woman, even at the age of thirty-eight…

Some would call her life amazing…

Her mother had been abandoned by her true father after she had been conceived. Hope came when her mother was taken in by another man, but it was dashed to pieces when both her mother and foster father were killed in an accident. She had spent the first nineteen years of her life in near-poverty, first in an orphanage, and then working demeaning jobs… Flipping burgers, bagging groceries, and at worst, scrubbing floors. Only the occasional boon from winning at Duel Monsters enabled her and her younger sister the occasional luxury. It seemed she and her sister had a bleak future…

…until she met Siegfried Kaiba.

He had been looking for special duelists for the first Duelatopia tournament. Eliminators. Duelists who used psyche-out warfare and sinister threats as well as skill to crush anyone who looked for a shortcut. Sheena’s big break came when Siegfried saw potential in her…

She joined the Eliminators, becoming the spider-savant known as Shelob, and the best one he had. Having a four-armed, half-spider-half-human woman as your opponent who was threatening to devour you could unnerve anyone. Not to mention the fact that her Insect Deck was incredibly well-built. She even got a chance to duel Yugi Mouto Jr., but he couldn’t be scared, and he beat her.

But it became more serious. She and her employer were falling in love.

She didn’t expect to carry his child so soon, but it happened, as Duelatopia entered the end phase. And sadly, a crisis struck which he didn’t survive.

Siegfried would not abandon her, even in death. The bulk of his estate and KaibaCorp itself was willed to her, and she did her best to accept the responsibility. Even while raising his daughter.

From rags to riches… She was now the most powerful figure in the gaming world.

And as she entered the computer room, she intended this tournament to be safe and fun for all.

“Waylan,” she said, walking to the head computer technician.

“Uh, yes, Miss Arachne,” said the thin, bespectacled man.

He was visibly nervous. He had been for a week now.

“Has the main computer been checked this morning for online intrusions?” she asked.

“Yes, twice…” answered Waylan. “But I assure you…”

“Mr. Smalls…” she said sternly. “In the history of KaibaCorp, tournament guest lists tend to be hacked into. The Rare Hunters did so in Battle City, causing the legitimate guests all sorts of grief. Ziegfried Von Schroder did so during the Grand Prix in an attempt to literally destroy KaibaCorp by destroying its complete computer system.

“It will not happen again. Capish?”

“Miss Arachne…” he said. “I studied computer programming for eight years. I graduated at the top of my class at Harvard…

“I installed firewalls and anti-viral programs that the government would envy, and a few tricks of my own.

“The only one who could hack into that guest list is… Well, is me.”

“Make sure…” said Sheena, turning to leave.

As Waylan sat back at his console, he picked up a cell phone, and nervously dialed a number.

“Hello?” he said into it. “Is this… uhm, John Smith?”

“It is,” said a voice. “Talk to me.”

“I got your file in my personal e-mail last night,” said Waylan with a sigh. “It has been done.”

“Excellent,” said the voice. “Is it secure?”

“Yes,” said Waylan. “Get this… The new names will be on what I call a ‘shadow list’. They will identifiable as legit tournament guests if anyone checks their badges, but their names will not be on the official list. Miss Arachne will not see any names on the list that she didn’t approve, and thus won’t get suspicious.”

“Excellent,” said the voice. “Now, I’m going to make you an offer…

“I’m willing to increase the payment to three million, if you remove three names from the official list.”

“Oh?” asked Waylan, taking a pen. “Who?”

“Write this down,” said the voice. “Yumi Mouto, Ren Marris, and Chelsea Ramset. They must be…”

“Hold on!” said Waylan, in a frightened whisper. “No way, Jose. That would get me caught for sure.”

“What makes you so certain?” asked the voice.

“What makes me so certain?” he replied. “Their parents are close friends of Miss Arachne! They’d want to know why if those kids were turned away from the boat, and she’d find out I did it, and…”

“Mr. Smalls,” said the voice, “I thought you needed money.”

“I do!” he whispered. “And they only pay you twelve cents an hour in prison!”

“Four million dollars?” offered the voice.

“You know…” said Waylan, in an annoyed tone, “I’m beginning to think this whole thing was a bad idea, so you can keep the one million. I’m going to delete those names I already added…”

He reached for the mouse.

“Wait…” said the voice.

Waylan paused.

“Very well… You needn’t remove anyone. Just keep the first part of the deal, and the money will be in your account in the morning.”

“Enjoy the tournament…” muttered Waylan.

He hung up.

In a dark room somewhere in Europe, a figure put down a phone.

“Ah, well,” he said with a shrug. “Not as much as I’d hoped, but more than I expected… I guess there’s nothing wrong with a little… competition.

“Very soon, the conclusion to a great amount of work will finally come to fruition…”



* * * * * * * * * *


Chelsea sat on the unmade bed in her messy room, slowly going over her cards.

She had the problem right now that all duelists had when they wanted to add a card to their decks – what to take out to make room.

She sighed.

“Eenie, meanie, minie, moe,” she muttered, “catch a Monster by the toe, if it stinks then… let it go…”

Eventually, she picked up her Despair From The Dark. She supposed it was the one that had seen the least amount of use… She put it aside…

Then she picked up the new card and grinned. Her father had designed it with her in mind… She’d be the first duelist in the world to use it…

She heard a low moan coming from the wall to her left…

She turned, and saw a spectral, aged knight, clad in pitted and broken armor, with a full beard. He moaned again.

“Hi, Sir Percival,” she said.

The phantom sighed.

“You know, milady,” he said, “when I was your age, I’d have been scared out of my wits if I ever saw a ghost…”

“Dunno…” said Chelsea. “I guess these days, kids are just harder to scare. Probably due to movies and television. So what have you been up to?”

“Oh, just looking for…” he started. “Uhm… Well… That… thing I’m always looking for, you know…”

Chelsea frowned.

She had been seeing undead spirits for a long time, and Sir Percival was one of the most complicated. He was always looking for something, but he didn’t know what. He was certain he’d know it when he saw it.

Chelsea knew a little about how ghosts worked… She realized that Percival would likely be able to rest in peace once he found whatever it was he was looking for. But without a single clue, she couldn’t help him.

“Working on that odd card came of yours?” asked Percival. “I was always more a fan of straight poker myself…”

He looked over her shoulder.

“Humph… Vampires, eh? Never liked such folk… They considered themselves the aristocrats of the supernatural, but in reality, all they ever became were a bunch of snobs. I feel a little sorry for them, though… They were wiped out in the Great War…”

“Great War?” asked Chelsea.

“A secret conflict…” said Percival, ominously. “No one knows who started it, no one knows the cause, but a war of sorts occurred between the race of vampires and humanity. Clearly, humanity was the victor… Vampires are all but extinct, now… Not one has been seen for centuries…”

Chelsea looked at the special card.

“Well, they have their uses…” replied Chelsea. “And they fit well. For someone like me, using this deck… This Vampire/Immortal Deck… It just seems to fit…

“Duelatopia had better watch out…”



* * * * * * * * * *


Five streets over, in his room in another house, Ren looked through his deck…

Then he removed a card, and picked another one up.

“Dad’s best card…” he muttered. “The one that he took to Hell and back, literally… It’s mine now…”

He sighed and shuffled it into his deck. His dad always seemed to be away on business. This precious card had come via certified mail. But it was the clincher that he needed.

At that moment, two small hands covered his eyes.

“Guess who?” laughed a childish voice.

“Connie?” said Ren, annoyed. “Don’t you know how to knock?”

He turned around, and lifted up his kid sister, a ten-year-old with a dimpled face and black pigtails.

“Ren, why can’t I come too?” she asked. “I can duel…”

“Connie, you have to be at least sixteen,” said Ren. “Besides, you’re too young to duel using a Disk. You don’t know what it’s like to take a direct attack. It can be painful even for me sometimes…

“Now, one more year, and we’ll sign you up for Duelist Camp… You’ll get your first experience there…”

Connie crossed her arms in a sulk.

Ren picked up the card he had removed from his deck.

“Here…” he said, handing it to her. “A new card always cheers me up when I’m feeling down…”

She took the card and looked at it.

“Getsu Fuhma?” she asked.

She read the card text.

“I don’t need a third one,” said Ren. “And Getsu Fuhma has a special power… She drives away evil creatures and night terrors. Keep that card with you, and you’ll always be safe…”

Connie smiled slightly.

“And be sure to check the Duelatopia website every day and look up my name,” he said. “You can see every duel I’m in. It’s gonna be great…”



* * * * * * * * * *


In a penthouse apartment on the upscale part of town, Samantha Arachne looked over the cards in her Dragon Deck.

Des Volstgalph… Spear Dragon… Even Tyrant Dragon…

Then she put the deck in a metal deck case and put it on a shelf, right next to four other deck cases, holding her other decks. Warriors, Beasts, Fire, and RFG.

None of them had ever met her calling. They all had their weaknesses as well.

Take the Warrior Deck. Its major weakness was, it only had four Traps, three of which were Royal Decree. Disabling all Traps seemed like a good idea at the time, but it had problems. Not being able to defend yourself with them could put you in a bad situation. There was only one way to disable your opponent’s use of Traps and still use them yourself, and that was to combo Jinzo with Amplifier. And THAT was more dangerous than using Jinzo alone. One Mystical Space Typhoon would take out both Jinzo and your so-called advantage.

She sat on her bed and picked up a sixth deck.

She smiled.

She hadn’t used this deck against a live opponent yet – only against the virtual ones in Kaibaland. But this deck had filled a spot that had previously been empty… It had struck a cord with her…

This… this deck was truly hers…



* * * * * * * * * *


The famous game store that had been opened by Solomon Mouto was still the property of the Mouto family. But these days, the apartment over it was rented out, and the staff of the actual store simply worked for the family.

The Moutos themselves could afford better, especially after Yumi’s father had won a great deal of money in the first tournament, and had emceed the tournaments afterwards for the summers of his college education, which paid a considerable salary.

Right now, Yumi was making the last adjustments to her deck, sitting in her bedroom – much neater than Chelsea’s – in the apartment in uptown Domino that her family called home.

Her father was also away on business – the life of an archaeologist was one that required a great deal of travel – but he always managed to keep in contact. Her mother was home more often, but the field of pediatric medicine always kept her busy.

Yumi looked at one card in her deck. The Dark Magician.

This had always been her father and grandfather’s favorite card… And to her, he was the “main man” of her deck…

But as she looked at another card, something drew her closer…

She looked at Dark Magician Girl.

She slowly shuffled the deck, and placed it on her desk.

Then a spectral hand reached for it and picked it up.

“It’s a powerful deck, Yumi,” said the strong voice of the Pharaoh. “And far more organized than anything your parents or grandparents ever used. I should know.”

“I hope it’s good enough…” said Yumi. “Maybe it needs more Spell Cards…”

The Pharaoh chuckled.

“I had this discussion with your grandfather right before Battle City,” he replied.

He paused.

“Those were dark times… Days of madmen and tyrants… And cursed cards…”

“Someone is getting tense…” said Yumi with a grin. “I know this whole deal hasn’t been easy for you… Me being a girl, and you having to adjust. But there’s something else, isn’t there?”

The Pharaoh paused.

“Come on…” said Yumi. “I had a hard time accepting the fact that you were there while I was in the shower, but I learned to accept it after a while. You can tell me.”

The spirit sat down.

“It’s complicated, Yumi…” he said. “For years, my memories have been suppressed, waiting for the time when… Something happened.

“I think that the ‘something’ is going to happen soon. It can happen at any time.”

He paused.

“And every time I look at you, little pieces of my memory start to come back… It’s as if I knew you in some form or another… At a different time…”

Yumi grinned.

“Hey…” she said with a chuckle. “Maybe when you were Pharaoh, I was some slave girl you had…”

The Pharaoh shook his head…

“I suppose it might be possible…” he muttered. “Although I’d like to think if I ever kept slaves, I had a benign reason for doing so…”

Yumi’s expression turned serious.

“Uh, yeah…” she muttered. “Anyway…”

She placed her deck into a holder on her belt.

“We’re going to make some history… I’m going to go right to the top…

“Some might call me the Princess of Games… But I won’t call myself Queen until I deserve it.”



* * * * * * * * * *


It was a sunny morning on the third day of July, when the three friends met outside of Yumi’s apartment building.

Ren carried his guitar strapped to his back. His dad had at first disapproved of his desire to play the instrument, remembering how it was Remi’s hobby, but he eventually gave in, and Ren’s music was enough to lift anyone’s spirits.

Chelsea carried a satchel full of photography equipment, reminiscent of the one her dad always carried when he was her age. She intended to take pictures of every opportunity she could find, and maybe start a book that would be a best-seller among the dueling world, like her dad’s had been.

The instructions they were given told them to be at Domino Pier at eleven, so they had plenty of time.

“So,” said Yumi, “anyone up for bagels and juice before we…”

She was startled as a large stretch limo stopped in front of them. It was one of the most expensive models, driving on air jets that hovered over the ground, rather than tread on it.

The chauffer stepped out.

“Ms. Mouto?” he said. “The young lady inside would like to offer you and your companions a ride.”

“Oh, she would, would she?” asked Yumi, annoyed.

She knew who was in the limo already.

The chauffer opened the door, and sure enough, Samantha was sitting there. The boy who had been with her at Kaibaland was next to her.

“Why am I not surprised?” asked Yumi.

“Thought you might enjoy riding to the Pier in style,” said Sam. “Trust me Yumi… I’m only nasty when you’re my opponent…”

The three of them got in, and sat opposite the two older teenagers.

The car started up.

“Where are my manners?” continued Sam. “This is Erik Matell.”

“Uh, hi…” said Erik. “Nice to meet you all.”

He seems nice enough… thought Chelsea, but what does he see in her?

“Why are you even going by boat, Sam?” asked Ren. “Is KaibaCorp’s private jet in the shop?”

Sam shook her head.

“Mom insisted that once I get to the Pier,” she replied, “my special treatment ends. In this tournament, I’m just like you.”

She looked at Ren and Chelsea.

“I kind of wonder how you two got invited,” she asked. “Being related to important folks doesn’t cut it…”

“See here…” started Ren.

Yumi raised her hand.

“Ren and Chelsea came in second and third place, respectively, in the Tokyo National Tournament,” she replied. “The one the two of us had to skip.

“And what about your boyfriend, Sam? What did he do that was so special?”

“Well, I…” started Erik.

“Erik won the Kaiba Dome Intermediate Division Tournament,” replied Sam. “And he’s fully capable of going far in a major tournament.”

“Pray that the two of you never have to duel each other,” said Chelsea, with a smirk.

Sam looked a little surprised.

“Uh, apple strudel?” she asked nervously, holding up a plate of pastries.

Yumi took one.

“So, Sam…” she asked, “any chance you can spill the beans on the big secret behind the Coliseum this year? I heard your mom’s put some incredible money on the holographic systems in that place.”

Sam was quiet for a minute.

“Well, you didn’t hear this from me…” she muttered, “but the arena will change with each duel in the finals. The Coliseum will create seven whole worlds to serve as battlegrounds. All I know are the names…

“In the quarter-finals, the arenas are called The Fiery Perdition of Gehenna, The Savage Wilderness of the Beastlands, The Olympian Glades of Arborea, and The Tarterian Depths of Carceri…

“In the semi-finals, the two arenas will be The Clockwork Nirvana of Mechanus and The Ever-Shifting Chaos of Limbo…

“And finally, for whoever makes it to the finals, the arena will be The Mounting Heavens of Celestia.”

“Interesting…” said Chelsea.

“Need I remind you,” continued Sam, “that the finals are going to be broadcast worldwide. Someone will bask in glory for all the world to see…

“And others will be humiliated…”

She smirked at Yumi.

“I just hope you all remembered those badges that came with the invitations…”

“You mean these?” asked Ren, holding something up.

It was an octagonal brooch made of glass, colored orange.

“What do they do exactly?”

“You’ll find out…” said Sam. “Just don’t lose them…”

The limo pulled up to the Pier.

“Looks like we’re here…” said Sam. “See you three in Duelatopia. But remember, the next time we meet, we’re rivals!”

“I can hardly wait…” muttered Yumi, as they got out. “And you’re gonna be a riot there with that zit on your forehead.”

“WHAT?” screamed Sam. “NO! I can’t be getting a zit! Not now!”

She scrambled and looked for a mirror.

“Easy, Sam, easy…” said Erik. “She’s just pulling your chain… You’re skin is totally smooth…”

Sam took some deep breaths.

“You aren’t just saying that, are you?” she asked.

“I’d never lie to you, baby…” he replied.

He kissed her on the forehead.

“I’d love to teach her a lesson…” he said with a growl.

“Please, baby…” muttered Sam, kissing him back. “You wouldn’t stand a chance. I’m gonna be the one to bring her down. You’ll just have to watch…”



Continued…

Dark Sage
2nd March 2007, 04:09 AM
Continued from last post:



A sizable crowd had formed in front of the large luxury liner several hours later. All the duelists in this part of the world had come to Domino to take this boat to Duelatopia, and a similar liner would be leaving from America at the same time. Another had already left Europe. Duelatopia was going to be bigger than ever.

“Okay…” said Chelsea, looking through her bag. “I have my cameras, extra batteries, twenty rolls of normal film, five rolls of high-speed film…”

“Chelsea, don’t worry…” said Ren, “they sell film there at every store. You’ll have everything you need to make your dad proud.”

As everyone waited to board, a man stepped up on a pedestal. He was wearing full armor, like the kind seen in science fiction movies, his face completely concealed by a helmet.

Yumi knew these men. The Duelatopian Centurions, the peacekeepers of the tournament. They were among the best trained security forces in the world, with skills that rivaled some government agencies.

“Greetings, everybody,” he said through an amplifier in his helmet. “You may call me Sergeant McAlmer, and I will be in charge of your welfare for the transport portion of this endeavor.

“Now, the goal of this tournament is to have fun. Nonetheless, we have a few guidelines.

“When you check into your cabins, you’ll find several things. A guide to the facilities, and a guidebook to Duelatopia itself. As you might expect, it has a lot to offer.

“We’ve also provided the latest rules for dueling set by Industrial Illusions. Lists of Forbidden and Limited cards are with the package. Make sure your decks are all tournament legal, because cheating is not tolerated.

“A buffet lunch is going to be served in the cafeteria at one, and dinner is at seven. Our ETA for arrival is four PM tomorrow afternoon.

“If you want to hone your skills by dueling, we have a designated arenas below deck. But no dueling using Disks elsewhere. Trust me, when you get to Duelatopia, you’ll be able to duel anytime, anywhere.

“Now that that’s out of the way, everyone line up, and your tickets will be scanned, and your Disks will be registered.

“And no shoving! Our insurance doesn’t cover you until you’re actually on the boat.”



* * * * * * * * * *


With organization that could best be compared to an old episode of The Keystone Cops, the passengers finally all made it on board just fifteen minutes behind schedule.

Yumi had to admire the ones in charge. They had a great deal of patience.

Chelsea was amazed at what was offered at the buffet. She had heard Yumi’s grandparents talk of the boat to Duelist Kingdom, where food wasn’t even served and they had to sleep on the floor.

Sheena Arachne knew how to treat her guests.

As Chelsea reached for the hot wings, she felt a familiar chill behind her.

“’Ello, Chelsea old girl,” said a voice with a high British accent.

Chelsea frowned, and turned to see the tall, thin phantom wearing the trappings of a harlequin.

Of all the local ghosts in Domino, Figlio was the most annoying. Rumor was he was once a nobleman’s jester who was killed after poking fun at the wrong person. Being dead apparently didn’t teach him a lesson. When this guy was around, he simply never shut up.

“Why are you here, Figlio?” she asked. “Get tired of haunting the mall?”

“Well, yes…” he replied. “But word spread around among all the local ghosts about this… Uhm, event you’re going to, and since you can see us, a few of us… Well, we decided to tag along to watch.”

Chelsea held her head.

“Define ‘a few of you’,” she growled.

“Oh, three… four…” he replied. “Uhm… twenty-two…”

Chelsea held her head again.

“Lovely…” she said. “I’ve got my own fan club… The problem is, they’re all a bunch of restless spirits!”

She quickly piled food on her plate.

“Oh, come on!” protested Figlio. “We have feelings too, you know!”

Chelsea didn’t answer.

She simply marched right through him, towards the table where Yumi and Ren were.

“Ooh, I hate that!” moaned Figlio.

He vanished.

Chelsea sat down at the table.

“Yumi…” said Ren, who was nervously stirring a chicken tender in sauce. “I can’t help but think that something bad is waiting on that island…”

Yumi sighed.

“Okay, folks,” she said, “let’s all cover the possibilities…

“First, the Millennium Items. The Scales are with Jade’s family, and she’d never hurt us.

“The Key, Rod, and Ring are with Shadi, and he hasn’t even shown his face in years.

“The Eye and Necklace are also in good hands. Dad knows who has them, and she’s a friend.

“That only leaves the Puzzle. It’s with me, and we know we can trust it.

“Anastasia is dead, and her soul was redeemed. She isn’t a threat.

“Remi and Set are still banished, and they likely will never come back.

“Saurius was obliterated, having lost a Shadow Game to holders of all seven of the Items, so he’ll never threaten the world again. And the Mandate of Heaven was given to the higher powers. Dad assumes it was transformed into a state that cannot be stolen or destroyed.

“So guys… There’s nothing left that can come after us. No Millennium Items, no more holy artifacts, no Shadow Games. We’re safe.”

There was a long pause.

Yumi munched on a breadstick…

She was a little worried herself, especially after her talks with the Pharaoh…

But she simply didn’t know what could threaten them this time…

Ren was the first to say it.

“You realize,” he said, “that if we all go to the top, we might have to duel each other. And not for fun like we usually do. It will be for real.”

They paused.

“Then it will be a duel of honor and integrity,” said Yumi. “Let’s make an agreement – we won’t disclose to each other anything about our updated decks that we don’t learn on our own. No one will have an advantage against each other.”

“Agreed,” both of them said.

Yumi paused.

“Even so…” she said. “Let’s try not to get into any duels without anyone for support. The sure way to defeat a group is with the Divide and Conquer strategy…”

It was true. Her grandparents had been the victims of such a trick a few times in the past. They had made the mistake of keeping to themselves in Battle City. If the two of them had stayed together, a lot of dangerous situations that they had fought alone would have been avoided…

Arkana…

Lumis and Umbra…

Not to mention the two of them being forced into a deathmatch with one of them brainwashed. It would have been avoided if Joey had had someone other than Tea to fight off the Rare Hunters in the first place.

Ever since her father had formed a group of his own, he remembered this… He tried his hardest never to let the group fall apart, lest one of them be caught alone…

It could lead to disaster.



* * * * * * * * * *


Ren walked into the dueling arena below deck.

He looked, and saw a duelist with a Blowback Dragon facing one with Gear Golem the Moving Fortress.

The duelist with Blowback Dragon drew a card. He was a short youth wearing a sweatshirt with a hood, baggy jeans, and a red bandana.

“Go!” he shouted. “Triple toss!”

Three golden coins dropped down in front of Blowback Dragon. They started to spin.

One stopped: Heads.

The second stopped: Tails.

The third: Heads

Gear Golem the Moving Fortress exploded.

“Attack directly!” shouted the youth. “Flaming forge!”

Blowback Dragon’s chest opened, and flame shot out. The youth’s opponent was knocked over.

Guess he won, thought Ren. Hope I don’t have to duel him…

As Ren watched, the youth motioned, and an older teenager went up to him. He was dressed in full “punk” ensemble, with a rainbow Mohawk and leather jacket.

The youth whispered something to the punk, and they looked at Ren.

“Aw, don’t worry, he’s harmless,” said the punk.

Ren made a sideways glance.

I heard that… he thought. They don’t know I did, but I did…

This could be trouble…



* * * * * * * * * *


Yumi was on the upper deck, looking out over the ocean.

The moon cast a soft glow on the sea.

The strange woman was standing behind her. Yumi tensed a little…

She turned around. Nothing was there…

The Pharaoh appeared beside her.

“You felt it too, huh?” she asked.

He nodded.

“It’s strange, Yumi…” he said. “This… familiar presence… I’ve been feeling it ever since I’ve known you. But it’s gotten stronger of late.”

“Is it bad?” asked Yumi.

“I don’t think so…” he replied. “But it might not be good either.”

“You think maybe some other restless spirit is hovering over my shoulder?” she asked.

The woman chuckled a little at that.

Yumi turned again, but again, she saw nothing.

Yumi took a deck out of a deck holder on her belt…

This wasn’t her regular deck, but her second deck.

She looked at it longingly.

This deck had been the product of three generations of work by the Mouto family. He grandfather had started working on it right after he had won Pegasus’s Duelist Kingdom, and he, her father, and herself had worked on it since. As of last week, it was done at last…

Three generations of work, and it was finally done…

“Yugi…” said the Pharaoh, “I know it’s tempting, but let’s hold off on that. We haven’t used it in a single duel, it’s completely untested, and in a tournament like this, we can’t afford to use a trial deck.”

“I guess you’re right,” said Yumi, returning it to the holder.

The woman reached over and gently stroked Yumi’s hair. She yawned.

“Look at the time…” she muttered. “We’re gonna be fighting jet lag tomorrow… Best get some shut eye…”

She turned and walked back to the cabins.



* * * * * * * * * *


Duelatopia.

In the Marshal Islands of the Central Pacific, this place had history dating back thousands of years…

Magical energy had long risen from its core, and when man was just becoming civilized, the powers of Heaven had chosen it as a location to hide a sacred artifact called the Mandate of Heaven. It was Earth’s defense against the armies of Hell, what prevented the infernal forces from making a full-scale invasion. With it in place, they simply couldn’t. Their numbers on Earth were severely limited.

In recent years, it had become threatened, so they entrusted a group of mortals to guard it… Chosen Ones who would give their lives to protect it from evil…

And one of them was Seto Kaiba.

To help protect it, he came out of retirement. He bought the entire island with his own funds.

And when he learned the nature of the threat that was posed, he devoted the bulk of KaibaCorp’s resources to one project – the building of a grandiose dueling resort that would be called Duelatopia.

Kaiba was willing to die before he gave information to the ones who wanted the Mandate… And sadly, he did indeed have to make that sacrifice. But before he breathed his last, he passed the secret and the mantle to his nephew, and chosen heir, Siegfried.

Siegfried presided over the first Duelatopia tournament as a mysterious armored ruler called the Master of Games, knowing that his ally would have to end the threat. And sadly, he gave his life to protect the Mandate as well. But the deaths of Seto and Siegfried were not in vain. The demon was defeated, and the Mandate was saved.

And now… Duelatopia lived on, a monument to dueling, and a memorial to two martyrs. In the past nineteen years, it had grown, in size and in splendor…

The three friends watched as it appeared over the horizon. The spires of shining buildings grew from the center, the largest of which was the holographic tower, a giant antenna that could generate the holograms for hundreds of Duel Disks at once.

Getting closer, they saw beaches and boardwalks, and other buildings. Duelatopia would be like the typical resort city, if not for the competition that the guests engaged in. It was far evolved from Pegasus’s Duelist Kingdom, where guests would have to sleep out under the stars and bring their own food. Here, it was a city with hotels and restaurants that would treat the guests well.

It wasn’t only a tournament… It was a vacation, in every sense of the word.



* * * * * * * * * *


Three boats were disembarking when Yumi, Chelsea, and Ren walked down onto the docks. Ren knew of this area… His dad had dueled Orin Tsunami here, at the gateway to Duelatopia.

But this time, a change had been made. The tower where the Master of Games had once welcomed their parents was gone. Would anyone be there to greet them?

A squad of Centurions stood in front of the ample crowd. Everyone knew enough to wait.

And then a huge, fiery dragon appeared in front of the crowd. It roared and spewed flame into the air.

“That’s Tyrant Dragon!” shouted Chelsea.

Then they noticed that a woman was perched on the Dragon’s head. It lowered its head to the ground, and she stepped off.

“Greetings, my friends,” she said, “I’m Sheena Arachne. And welcome to what promises to be a competition like none other. Duelatopia has been upgraded with a few new surprises, and the next six days are going to be a test of survival for all of you. Three hundred duelists are here, only eight will make it to the final rounds.

“The whole city is your arena. Duels can take place anytime, anywhere. Every public place has a spot where a duel can happen – just ask whoever is in charge.

“Now then, you might be wondering about those badges you all have. Do NOT lose them! You’re helpless without them.

“First of all, they are what links you to the trust fund that each duelist has been given. Each of you has four hundred dollars put aside that can be spent anywhere.”

“Four hundred?” said Ren, amazed. “Wait… how much is that in yen?”

“Now, you might wonder,” said Sheena, “is KaibaCorp crazy? Giving away $120,000? Don’t worry, we make more than ten times that in one hour.

“When you want to use your fund, scan the badge like a credit card, scanning it at one of our stores or restaurants. This fund is irredeemable elsewhere, so be sure to use it. On the other hand, once it’s all gone, you’ll have to use your own finances.

“Now, you get ahead in this competition as you’d expect… By dueling! The badges are Orange now, and change color with each victory or defeat. If you lose at Orange, you fall to Red… Lose then, and it will fade to Black, and then, I’m afraid you’re out. Still, you may stay and enjoy our hospitality and attractions, the least of which will be the finals, which everyone will be invited to free of charge.

“If you ever want to have an unofficial duel, for fun, you and your opponent can temporarily turn off the badge by turning the small switch in the back, and it will remain off for one hour. But a duel cannot take place if one duelist’s badge is on and another’s is off.

“Win an official duel, and you can progress to Yellow, then Green, Blue, Violet, Silver, and finally Gold.

“However, if you’re at Silver, you can’t just find someone with Red status to get an easy advance to Gold. In order for you to advance, your opponent can be no lower than one rank below you. This rule has been in effect for the past six years to make sure that the higher ranking guests don’t seek out the lower ones. If you win a duel against someone with too low a rank, you will not advance, and he will not be downgraded. However, if you win a duel against a duelist who is a much higher rank than you, you will indeed be upgraded, and your opponent will be downgraded.

“Again, this rule is in effect to make sure that the stronger duelists do not seek out the less strong.

“The first eight duelists to reach Gold will be given a spot in the finals. If you miss the finals, keep dueling! If you reach Gold anyway, you’ll get a consolation prize, a grab bag of great cards.

“Now, there are two types of employees in Duelatopia you should know about. The first are the legendary Eliminators. I trust you’ve heard stories about these folks… Tread cautiously if you locate one of them. If you can defeat them, you will be upgraded one level, as always. In addition, you’ll get one or more incredibly rare cards, and get one other priceless gift. I cannot elaborate on that. But if you lose, you will be disqualified. Also, you may be punished, depending on the Eliminator’s whims.

“Again, tread with caution. These duelists are without mercy or compassion. They are trained not to win, but to make sure their opponents lose.

“The other employee is a new addition that we call a Bonus. These folks could be any employee you see in Duelatopia. A store owner, bellhop, ice cream man… They might approach you with a challenge, and the reward is the same as a standard duel – one upgrade for winning, but no downgrade for losing. You might also be able to make some small wager in the process.

“After six days, the finals will be held. The winner will receive the grand prize of five million American dollars.”

Murmurs broke out among the crowd.

“How much is that in yen?” asked Ren.

“And also…” continued Sheena. “A special prize. The winner gets one request. Anything he or she wants that KaibaCorp’s deep pockets can provide. The sky’s the limit for the one who goes all the way.

“Now that I’ve explained the good stuff, some ground rules…”

She paused.

“You’ve already met the Centurions, and they exist to keep the peace. Three things are absolutely not allowed in this city – fighting, stealing, and cheating. Do not think you are in the clear merely because you don’t see a man in armor. Several of them work undercover. And if you think you can tamper with a Disk so that illegal cards will work on it, guess again. That has been attempted many times in the past, and the perpetrators have always regretted it. Using an older model won’t work either. That’s another trick that many have tried and no-one has gotten away with. No matter what is done to a Disk, no matter what model is used, we can detect what cards are used, I assure you.

“Now that that’s out of the way…

“Dueling commences at seven AM tomorrow morning. The gates of the city await!”

She climbed back on the Dragon’s back, and it vanished in a burst of flame.

The gates opened, and everyone started moving towards them.

“Slowly!” warned one of the Centurions. “No one is going to get hurt…”

“What hotel are we in?” asked Chelsea.

“According to this, Camelot,” said Yumi. “The guidebook says it’s the second-best hotel.”

“Mmm, Sam probably has the best…” sighed Ren.



* * * * * * * * * *


Camelot was well-named. The lavish hotel (all the hotels were lavish) seemed to have the underlying theme of three of the Mouto family’s signature Monsters – Queen’s Knight, King’s Knight, and Jack’s Knight.

Fighting jet lag, most of the guests of Duelatopia ate light that evening, and tried to sleep early.

And once asleep, they dreamed…

One night remains before the tournament officially begins on Duelatopia. Sleep well, rest well everybody. Because when morning comes, you’ll need all your strength to fight your way towards the top!


Chelsea: Well, it was a long trip, but I’m ready to get started.

Yumi: So am I. I just have to find an opponent…

Ren: Hey, Yumi… That guy in the cowboy hat looks like he’s checking you out.

Chelsea: Heh… Wonder what sort of deck a cowboy plays?

Yumi: Maybe we should find out. There’s no time like the present.

Next time, “The First Duel! Princess of Games!”

Ren: I could sure use some popcorn for this…

Shuppet Master
2nd March 2007, 09:19 AM
Well, needless to say, I'm quite impressed, Brian. Your final Yu-Gi-Oh fanfic started off with a bang.

Prologue: I really enjoyed seeing Samantha, she was everything I expected her to be and more. The way she taunted Yumi on TV and how Yumi was enjoying it when Samantha was being dropped in life points reminded me sort of the relationship between Chazz and Syrus. :D

Chapter 1: It is stuff like this that makes me feel proud to have created characters like Sheena, even if the stories don't fly high enough. :) I liked Sir Percival, Connie, and the whole talk between Yumi and the Pharoah. (Wasn't Yumi the name of Fran's childhood friend?)

I like the changes to Duelatopia. Keep it up! :D

Hinoryu
2nd March 2007, 06:10 PM
Hmm. I'm hooked already, I think.

Yumi, for some reason, irritates me slightly, but I think it's just my bias against Mutous in general, so putting that aside, she seems an interesting character. Mentioning that she 'had to get used to Atemu being in there while she showered' amused me.

I like Chelsea. I admit freely to enjoying the characters who can see the ghost-type people, and rather than helping them, just get harassed. It's a form of comedy that is used far too rarely.

Ren, I haven't been able to form an opinion of yet, but he seems okay.

Sam is probably my favorite character so far. She seems half-goofball, half-serious, and Kaiba's probably rolling in his grave that his heir seems to have not inherited his badassery.

For the Duelatopia tournament thing itself... It's honestly just like your others so far. "Here's your cash, here's your island, go wail on each other 'til you're ranked high enough." However, I'm sure it'll get twisted to hell (figuratively, not literally, this time) soon enough.

I'll refrain from comment on the mysterious villain until we actually know more about him.

Inferno_Dragon
2nd March 2007, 08:12 PM
This fanfic is interesting. It has twists and turns ... but I can't say anymore because even though I have read Dark Sage's fanfics, you never know what to expect.

Neo Arkadia
2nd March 2007, 09:02 PM
Long time lurking reader on FF.N and recent lurker here at PM. Great story so far. For the sake of critical reviews, stuff I liked and disliked.

Pros:
- Chelsea has fantastic potential. A vampire/immortal deck is rather unprecidented for a major character who isn't Camula or Dark Marik/Dark Malik. Great nod to the canon explaination of the near extinction of the vampires.

- Ren I'm curious about, as we got hints as to Yumi, Sam, and Chelsea's characters, but not much to base what Ren's about, other than he has a guitar and likes to be in the know with his currency exchange rates.

- From the previews and hints made, your major villain for Sorcerer Kings has the potential to be a great villain, and something that's *never* been done in the fandom as far as I know. Only time will tell.

- Love how Ren keeps asking "How much is that in Yen?". Not something that should be used constantly, unless you plan to, but a great quip where it was used, regardless.

- As Hinoryu said, Sam is a great mixture of her great-uncle's awesome with a silliness only more normal childhoods bring.

Cons:
- What are people with non-Japanese names, ignoring the Arachnes, doing in Japan? Not a biggy, just... I'm picky. Though, Yumi's friends having English names are understandable, due to the wealth of the three families from their rampant escapades in tournaments in the past.

- Not so much a con, but curious, what were the European Ghosts tagging along with Chelsea doing in Japan? Or is this a plot point you're saving? It's a great angle with the ghosts, just curious.

- Zerato and Sanctuary seems a little overdone, but it refrences the end of Mandate in a neat way, so it honestly balances out in the end.

Random Commentary:
- I am curious, what *kind* of deck WOULD a Cowboy use? I have a few ideas, but I'll end up being surprised in the end.

- The Kaibas and even those related to the Kaibas without the Kaiba name, poor guys, they can't ever seem to have a tournament without somebody hacking into their tournament or using it for some dastardly scheme in the end.

- Trial deck? Hmm. Few ideas what that could be. But politeness to the author suggests I not say what it is until after it's revealled.

I am excited to see this fic, and love to see your work. Hope I haven't been too rude.

ssj4supernerd
3rd March 2007, 06:08 AM
Nice. I like how Yumi's a bit more...arrogant than the previous mains, which is good. One thing: Didn't you say, at the end of The Mandate of Heaven, Yugi Jr. became Master of Games?

Dark Sage
3rd March 2007, 08:04 PM
Since you are a new reader, I will address your concerns.


- Chelsea has fantastic potential. A vampire/immortal deck is rather unprecidented for a major character who isn't Camula or Dark Marik/Dark Malik. Great nod to the canon explaination of the near extinction of the vampires.

Yes, I'm having a lot of fun with Chelsea. I tried to break the mold with her on what a heroine duelist should use.


- Ren I'm curious about, as we got hints as to Yumi, Sam, and Chelsea's characters, but not much to base what Ren's about, other than he has a guitar and likes to be in the know with his currency exchange rates.

Sorry I didn't introduce more of Ren, but he'll develop further as the fic progresses. I won't say much now, but he'll have a character of his own.


- From the previews and hints made, your major villain for Sorcerer Kings has the potential to be a great villain, and something that's *never* been done in the fandom as far as I know. Only time will tell.

Mmm. I did a lot of work on this villain. More I can't say. I'll keep quiet until he appears, which will happen gradually.


- Love how Ren keeps asking "How much is that in Yen?". Not something that should be used constantly, unless you plan to, but a great quip where it was used, regardless.

Don't worry, I don't intend to use that joke again.


- As Hinoryu said, Sam is a great mixture of her great-uncle's awesome with a silliness only more normal childhoods bring.

Combining your remark with Hinoryu, you'll all see just how much of a badass Sam can be. Trust me, she still has Kaiba's blood in her, and it will show.



- What are people with non-Japanese names, ignoring the Arachnes, doing in Japan? Not a biggy, just... I'm picky. Though, Yumi's friends having English names are understandable, due to the wealth of the three families from their rampant escapades in tournaments in the past.

I have a good reason - I can't remember Japanese names very well. Basically, I used English-sounding names so I could write better and not get them mixed up.


- Not so much a con, but curious, what were the European Ghosts tagging along with Chelsea doing in Japan? Or is this a plot point you're saving? It's a great angle with the ghosts, just curious.

Chelsea's "fan club" will include ghosts of all nationalities, including a few Japanese ones. Why they've all been drawn to Japan depends on the individual ghost. Chelsea knows that no ghost wants to be on Earth - being one is a curse, and they can be complicated.


- Zerato and Sanctuary seems a little overdone, but it refrences the end of Mandate in a neat way, so it honestly balances out in the end.

I know, but it was just there for an introduction. Zerato certainly won't appear again.



- I am curious, what *kind* of deck WOULD a Cowboy use? I have a few ideas, but I'll end up being surprised in the end.

Wait for next chapter. You're sure to be surprised.



- The Kaibas and even those related to the Kaibas without the Kaiba name, poor guys, they can't ever seem to have a tournament without somebody hacking into their tournament or using it for some dastardly scheme in the end.

Well, Kaiba himself was to blame the first time. He let the Rare Hunters into Battle City on purpose. I can say right now, Sheena will not be as tolerant.



- Trial deck? Hmm. Few ideas what that could be. But politeness to the author suggests I not say what it is until after it's revealled.

Tie me down and torture me with branding irons if you want. This is one secret that you will NEVER get out of me.

Keep reading.

- DS

starjake
6th March 2007, 04:59 PM
Tie me down and torture me with branding irons if you want. This is one secret that you will NEVER get out of me.

Keep reading.

Perhaps this is just a personal nitpick of mine, but every time you say something like that (which is pretty often, I find), it makes me want to read the story less, not more.

Onto the story itself...your goadings aside, I want to continue reading. You've definitely made several distinct characters (I'm thinking of Samantha and Yumi in particular; you've also differentiated Chelsea and Ren with their little quirks). I was wondering how you were going to incorperate the Kaiba/Moto rivalry; having a Moto without a Kaiba to be his/her rival just seems...incomplete. Kudos.

I see you borrowed from the Amanda Jikarn character from Dark Messiah by not having Samantha use a Deck that 'fits' her; not a bad thing to borrow. It's still possible to win without your 'own' Deck (as Amanda, Samantha, and my own real-life experiences have proven). I wonder what this new deck, oce it finally rears its head, will be like - obviously she can't use Seto's infamous trio, but perhaps some of his other cards will have woven their way into her Deck...or perhaps her mother's love of Insects will have influenced her decision. I suppose only time - and more chapters - will tell.

I'm still a little wary though; I've been reading through some of your old fics, and they all have one thing in common: they start out great and tend to grow a bit stale as time passes. The fact that this story seems to have started off the same way as your others have worries me further; I dearly hope that this fic breaks tradition. I'm looking forward to another slew of villains, heroes (hopefully all with different personalities...), and interesting deck themes and duels.

Until next chapter, this is StarJake, signing off.

Dark Sage
8th March 2007, 07:24 AM
A small note:

In this chapter, a duelist uses two copies of a card that, as of the last Forbidden/Limited list, is Limited.

The outline for this chapter was written before I knew about this. Anyway, in a reality where Pot of Greed and Monster Reborn are legal, it isn’t much of a stretch for this card to be Semi-Limited or not Limited at all. Besides, cards come on and off the list with increasing frequency. So no one bring it up if you notice it.




CHAPTER TWO



The First Duel!



Princess of Games!



Dreams are fickle things. They come and go, and they are fleeting in our waking hours…

For the dreamers that night, everyone in Duelatopia who dreamed them dreamed of glory. Visions from their fantasies played out in their heads.

In a hotel down the street, Samantha Arachne dreamed of wandering through the dark caves of the Underworld, clothed in a dark dress and a golden crown. Vicious demons crawled from the shadows; she pointed, and they all fell on their knees before her…

In the adjoining room, Erik Matell dreamed of the French Revolution. Cannons blasted, muskets blazed… Soldiers marched to battle…

Chelsea Ramset dreamed herself in a creepy castle, dressed in an Elizabethan era dress. She held a mallet in one hand and a wooden stake in the other… A golden cross was around her neck, and a garlic chain was tied to her belt. She looked around nervously at the shadows…

Ren Marris dreamed of flying, but not via his own power. He dreamt he rode a winged dragon as a mount, soaring over the countryside. He felt the wind in his face, and the rush of air around him…

And as for Yumi…

She dreamed herself in the days of ancient Egypt, witnessing the original contests that had inspired Duel Monsters.

All seemed to be quiet…

And it was for now…

In another hotel on the strip, in the penthouse suite (available only by special request, and not for free), one man didn’t dream. He couldn’t, because he did not sleep. A side effect of something he had been doing to himself for years.

He hated doing it, because the unnatural insomnia made him bitter and cold. He could be friendly and courteous to others if he wanted to be, but it would always be an act. He wanted to stop doing what he did to himself, and if his plans worked, he could. Then he’d be free to sleep again… And he could freely dream…

As he looked out onto the island, two teenagers, one boy and one girl, stood behind him. They were still able to sleep, and they would shortly. But a few last-minute details had to be discussed first.

“Is everyone out there?” asked the man, turning towards them.

“Uh huh,” said the boy. “Everyone’s ready to start looking. It’s gonna be just like a big scavenger hunt.”

“Mmm…” said the man, rubbing his chin. “But to start a scavenger hunt, one needs a list… And finding one before our ‘friends’ do will be the first step.”



* * * * * * * * * *


It was six-thirty AM the next day, the first day of the competition.

In the very center of Duelatopia, not far from each other, were two huge buildings. Both were off limits to guests – one would open its doors eventually, but the other was for staff only.

The one that would open was the grand Coliseum where the finals would be held. A small army of Centurions patrolled the outskirts, making sure that its secrets remained hidden for now.

But even more of these soldiers patrolled the other building, which no guest would ever enter. The enormous holographic projection tower, the power source for every duel that would take place on the island, loomed over the skyline.

Inside, amid monitors and mainframes walked a woman who looked to be in her early forties. Dr. Cassandra Chang, D.Eng (Doctor of Engineering) had been with Duelatopia from day one, and had no intention of slowing down just yet. She had been here since four AM, and was going to make certain that the Tower started transmitting at seven.

Not one second later. Come Hell or high water.

A technician came up to her.

“That was the last dry run,” he said. “We’re all set to go. There’s no chance of an error.”

“There’s always some chance…” replied Chang. “A wise man once said, the only absolute in life is that there are no absolutes.”

“Okay…” said the technician, nervously. “There’s about a 0.01% chance of an error.”

Chang looked at the clock, which read six thirty-three and forty seconds.

She typed something into the mainframe, and took a key from around her neck. She fit the key into a slot.

When the clock ticked to six thirty-four, she turned the key, and the numbers 26:00:00 appeared on the screen.

A countdown began, right down to the tenths of the seconds…



* * * * * * * * * *


Ren yawned.

“I know you wanted to get an early start, Yumi…” he said, as he looked over the outdoor café that was in front of the hotel, “but this is pretty early…”

Yumi sipped her orange juice.

“It’s in my blood, I guess,” she said. “In Battle City, grandpa’s duel with that cheating Rare Hunter was the first duel of the tournament. It was quite a duel… See…”

“We saw the tape, Yumi,” chuckled Chelsea. “Your grandpa was quite the duelist. I guess that whole Heart of the Cards thing wasn’t just fluff…”

Yumi sighed. She took out her deck.

“I dunno, guys…” she said. “I don’t share his sentiments exactly on that point… I mean, faith is a good part of it, sure…

“But there are other factors as well… Skill, strategy, smarts, good deck construction… Knowing what card to use at what time… And a little luck never hurt anyway.”

She looked at Dark Magician Girl again.

“And my dad always told me to remember a key rule about dueling… It’s never over until the last card is played! In other words, don’t give up.

“You know, sometimes I’ve considered adding a second Dark Magician to this deck to increase her potential… But… It isn’t her powers that make me want to keep her… It’s something deeper.

“You ever get so close to a card that it stands out? Something that makes you favor it among all others?”

“Well…” said Ren, looking at his own deck, “right now, it’s hard to say…”

“Howdy folks,” said a voice.

They looked up, and saw that the greeting had come from a young man, about nineteen or so. He was dressed in a leather duster and jeans, and a white cowboy hat. A Duel Disk was on his arm.

“You’re Yumi Mouto, right?” he asked, tipping his hat.

“I am, and you are?” she replied.

“Hector Dupree,” he replied. “Call me Heck, everyone does. And ah must say, as far as your family is concerned, ah’m a big fan.”

He sat down.

“Really?” said Yumi. “So the Moutos are well known even in Texas…”

“Montana, actually,” said Heck. “Ah gotta tell ya, in that place, when you mind cattle for your folks, bein’ a duelist is hard. Not many places to get cards, and even fewer places to compete. But look at me, ah was able to win what tournaments ah got into. Won last year in Kaibaland Seattle’s West Coast Tournament.”

Yumi smirked a little. She had never been to Kaibaland Seattle, but she knew about it. Until it opened five years ago, Seattle was known for two things – Starbucks and the Space Needle. The new addition was quite welcome.

“I guess you need something to do when you have to watch a group of cows,” replied Yumi.

“Herd,” corrected Heck.

“What?” asked Yumi.

“It’s herd,” said Heck. “Herd of cows.”

“Well, sure I’ve heard of cows!” laughed Yumi. “Hasn’t everyone?”

Ren and Chelsea laughed.

“Eh, ah walked right into that one…” muttered Heck.

He looked at her.

“You are feisty…” he said. “Ah gotta wonder if you’re as good as your folks were…”

“Is that a challenge?” asked Yumi, with a sinister grin.

Heck sighed.

He took off his glove and then tapped Yumi on the cheek with it.

“You’re on!” she said with a laugh. “Let it be known that it is now ten minutes to seven…”



* * * * * * * * * *


As the clock slowly inched towards seven, Yumi and Heck stood with their backs to each other, shuffling.

“So, what sort of deck does a cowboy use?” asked Ren.

“Dunno…” muttered Chelsea. “Beasts? Frankly, I have no clue…”

Yumi and Heck stared at each other…



* * * * * * * * * *


In the Tower, the countdown read 01:02:43.

Then 00:32:19…

Finally, it hit 00:00:00, and the zeroes turned blue.

”Holographic projection tower operational,” said a computerized voice. ”Now transmitting.”



* * * * * * * * * *


Yumi and Heck loaded their decks into their Disks, and with a whir, the crescent trays extended.

“Game on!” they both said at once.

The Puzzle around Yumi neck started to glow, and in a blinding flash of light, a change started to occur… After a few seconds, she had grown about half a head, and appeared a little older, with sharper features, longer, fuller hair, and a more serious expression.

“All right…” she said, in a deeper, huskier voice. “I’ll let you make the first move. I wouldn’t want to hog the spotlight, after all…”



(Yumi: 8,000) -------------------- (Heck: 8,000)


“All right, little lady…” said Heck, drawing his first card. “Let’s see what we have here…”

He looked over the cards in his hand.

“Think ah’ll place this in Defense Mode, and that will be my turn for now.”

He placed a card on his Disk, and a hidden Monster appeared.

Yumi drew one card, and looked over her own hand.

Not the worst… she thought. But not the best either… But I can fix that…

She chose a card from her hand.

“I play my Graceful Charity,” she said, playing the card.

In an aura of light, a lovely angel appeared above her. Her feathers fell on Yumi’s deck, and she drew three cards.

Yumi looked over the eight cards in her hand. Then she discarded two of them.

“I summon my Magician’s Valkyria in Attack Mode,” she said.

In a flash of light, a tall, female figure appeared. She looked like Dark Magician Girl at first glance, but was brunette instead of blonde, and had a fancier dress, hat, and scepter.

She looked at Heck, and her eyes narrowed… (1,600/1,800)



http://www.ideal808.com/images/jump-en009.jpg


“Valkyria, attack!” she shouted. “Light beam blast!”

Valkyria gave a stern look and cast an eldritch spell. She shot a blast of pure light at the facedown card…

A young man in a white toga with feathered wings appeared crouching on the card. He was blown to pixilated remains.



http://www.ideal808.com/images/mrl-088.jpg


“Uh oh…” muttered Ren.

“Heh…” said Heck, taking his deck. “Thanks a bunch, Yumi. When Shining Angel bites the dust in a battle, ah get to bring out any Light Monster from my deck that ah want, so long as it has 1,500 Attack Points or less.”

He looked through his deck.

“Now let’s see… ah think Y-Dragon Head should do…”

He placed a card on his Disk, and a red, shiny Machine that looked like a dragon with large wings and a beak materialized in a flash of light. (1,500/1,600)



http://www.ideal808.com/images/dp2-en0061.jpg


“Terrific…” said Ren. “I think now we know what kind of deck he’s playing…”

Yumi looked at her cards.

She fit a card into her Disk, and a facedown card appeared.

“That’s all I can do,” she said. “It’s your move…”

Heck drew a card.

“First, ah’ll play a Spell Card,” he said. “It’s called Frontline Base…”

He played a card, showing the image of a dark knight riding a flying dragon.

“Don’t you have one of those in your deck?” asked Chelsea.

“Yeah…” answered Ren. “It’s a Continuous Spell that will let him Special Summon a low-level Union Monster from his hand every round. And now I’m really sure I know how his deck works…”

“Now another Spell Card,” continued Heck, placing another card in his Disk. “Soul Absorption. This neat accessory gives me five Cs worth of Life Points every time a card is removed from play. And with my deck, that happens rather often.

“Next, I summon X-Head Cannon…”

He played a card, and a blue robot with a helmet-like head, clawed arms, twin lasers on its shoulders, and no legs materialized. (1,800/1,500)



http://www.ideal808.com/images/dp2-en005.jpg


“And finally, thanks to Frontline Base, I can summon Z-Metal Tank.”

A third Machine materialized, this one a yellow caterpillar tank with one optic lens, thick treads, and no arms. (1,500/1,300)



http://www.ideal808.com/images/dp2-en007.jpg


“And now…” he said with a grin, “ah’ll bring them all together!”

Y-Dragon Head folded its wings and fused to the top of Z-Metal Tank with a whir and a clank. Then X-Head Cannon changed shape and bonded to the top of both of them, shooting steam from where they connected.

“Forming the XYZ-Dragon Cannon,” he said.

(2,800/2,600)



http://www.ideal808.com/images/dp2-en014.jpg


Yumi stepped back nervously… Magician’s Valkyria looked a little nervous as well.

Then three globes of golden light flew into Heck, and he glowed.

“And since ah removed three cards from play to summon it,” he said, “ah get a boost from Soul Absorption.”

He held up another card. It was a Sangan.

“And its ability is pretty nifty too,” he continued. “Ah just gotta ditch one card and ah can send one card on the field packing.”

He discarded the Sangan, and Magician’s Valkyria was blasted into bits.

“You’re wide open!” he shouted. “XYZ, attack her directly! De-fission lasers!”

The Machine aimed its guns…

“Watch out Yumi!” screamed Ren and Chelsea.

With a roar, the Machine blasted its cannons. Yumi shielded herself and grit her teeth as an explosion ripped through her…



(Y: 5,200) -------------------- (H: 9,500)


“Good lord!” shouted Ren.

“She just got nailed!” shouted Chelsea.

Yumi gasped for breath and staggered a bit…

“Gee, Yumi…” said Heck, “ah’m kinda disappointed… ah’m guessing that the apple sorta fell pretty far from the tree this time, if you know what ah mean…”

“Oh, don’t worry…” said Yumi, with a grin. “I think I’m just about ready to get my second wind…

“And as my grandpa used to say… When I see a powerful Monster… I get excited…”

She drew a card.

She looked over the ones in her hand.

This might work… she thought, but it’s going to take a lot of luck and perfect timing…

And I think I might know what he’ll likely do next…

She took Blast Magician from her hand.

“I set one Monster in Defense Mode, and toss one card facedown,” she said.

The facedown Monster appeared, and a facedown cards appeared next to the first.

“End turn…” she said.

Heck drew a card. He looked at it.

“Ah play… Pot of Greed…” he said.

He played the card, and the jar appeared in front of him.

He drew two cards.

“Next, ah play D.D. Treasure.”

He played a Spell Card, bearing the image of D.D. Warrior Lady opening a chest with a golden glow illuminating her face.

“And what does that do?” asked Yumi.

“Ah gotta play this during my Standby Phase,” he answered. “But at my End Phase, ah get to draw one card for each of my cards that ah removed from play this turn. So long as they were on the field when they were removed.

“Ready for more? Well, ah got more. Ah summon V-Tiger Jet.”

He played the card, and a Machine that looked like a cross between a jet plane and a robotic tiger appeared in a flash. (1,600/1,800)



http://www.ideal808.com/images/dp2-en001.jpg


“And now, thanks to Frontline Base, ah can summon W-Wing Catapult!”

He played his last card, and a blue, double-engine jet plane appeared. (1,300/1,500)



http://www.ideal808.com/images/dp2-en008.jpg


“He has the whole set!” exclaimed Ren.

“And now…” said Heck, “ah bring them together…”

V-Tiger Jet and W-Wing Catapult soared into the sky and combined in a flash of light, fusing into a larger Machine that was a combination of both.

“Meet my VW-Tiger Catapult,” he continued. (2,000/2,100)



http://www.ideal808.com/images/dp2-en016.jpg


“And now… Let’s take it even higher… The sky’s the limit!”

The two Machines in front of him burst into their component pieces…

Slowly, they all started to fuse together into a new shape…

…taking form into a giant, thirty-foot-tall robot that looked like a combination of all five Machines. It had weapons all over its thick, multicolored armor, and a grim expression on its face.

“It’s the VWXYZ-Dragon Catapult Cannon! The V-through-Z!”

(3,000/2,800)



http://www.ideal808.com/images/dp2-en017.jpg


“Impressed?”

“Frankly, no…” replied Yumi. “Where I come from, you really can’t turn on the TV or go to the movies without seeing a giant robot mecha every now and then… We pretty much invented the concept.”

Four more orbs of energy flew into Heck.

“Funny…” he said. “Don’t forget, I removed four more cards from play to create it, so I get two more Gs from Soul Absorption.”



(Yumi: 5,200) -------------------- (Heck: 11,500)


“Good grief!” shouted Chelsea. “As if he needed any more Life Points?”

“I think Yumi’s got bigger problems,” said Ren, nervously.

“Ah’m about to get 500 more,” said Heck. “Because now, due to one of V-to-Z’s effects, it can remove one of your cards from play.”

Yumi’s facedown Monster vanished.

“And now…” commanded Heck, “attack Yumi directly!”

VWXYZ’s weapons glowed.

“Hold it right there!” shouted Yumi.

One of her facedown cards lifted. It showed the image of a dark hero with a demonic mask flying out of a portal.

“Huh? A Trap?” said Heck, startled. “What is it?”

“It’s called A Hero Emerges,” said Yumi. “Now you have to choose a card from my hand. If it’s a Spell or Trap, it goes to the Graveyard. But if it’s a Monster, I get to Special Summon it right now.”

She held up her hand of cards, which currently consisted of three cards.

“All right, all right…” muttered Heck. “Far left…”

“Well…” said Yumi, taking the card. “You chose the main man himself!”

She placed the card on her Disk, and Dark Magician appeared, kneeling in Defense Mode. (2,500/2,100)

“Heh, heh…” chuckled Heck. “Your family’s signature Monster, huh? Well, you saved yourself some Life Points, but not all… Because my Cannon can switch the battle position of the Monster it attacks. So ah’ll switch your Magician to Attack Mode.”

Dark Magician stood up…

A grin appeared on his face, and Yumi grinned wickedly.

The Cannon prepared to fire…

“That’s just what I wanted you to do, Heck,” she said, as her other facedown card lifted. “Activate… Rush Recklessly!

“It gives 700 Attack Points to one Monster on the field, and I think I’ll give them to Dark Magician!”

Dark Magician glowed, and his Attack Score rose to 3,200…

The Cannon fired, and Dark Magician swatted the beam aside with his staff. The VWYZ Dragon Catapult Cannon sparked and explosions erupted all over its hull. Finally, it collapsed, and exploded into a burst of hot debris.

Heck shielded himself from the fiery scrap…

“Well, dagnabbit…” he said.



(Y: 5,200) -------------------- (H: 11,800)



* * * * * * * * * * *


Among the spectators who had gathered to watch, a figure was taking notes.

So… thought the figure, the apple hasn’t fallen too far after all…

I was wondering when Dark Magician would show up…

The figure looked at the two names that were already written on the notebook:

Obnoxious Celtic Guardian and Beta the Magnet Warrior.

The figure smirked as Dark Magician was written under then. That guy was pretty obvious…



Continued…

Dark Sage
8th March 2007, 07:27 AM
Continued from last post:



Dark Magician glared at Heck…



http://www.ideal808.com/images/bpt-001.jpg


“Well, ain’t that a fine how’d you do…” muttered Heck. “Anyway, my D.D. Treasure activates now… Since ah removed four cards from play that round, ah get four draws…”

He drew four cards.

“Which means your turn is over,” said Yumi, “so it’s my move…”

She drew a card.

“First, I summon Skilled Dark Magician,” she said, playing a card.

In a shadowy aura, a Spellcaster in a bulky black robe and a flat-topped skullcap, with three disks on his collar, holding a staff appeared. (1,900/1,700)



http://www.ideal808.com/images/mfc-0651.jpg


“Next…” she continued, “I play the Spell Card, Dedication Through Light And Darkness.”

She played the card, and dark tendrils emerged from it, enveloping Dark Magician.

“It lets me sacrifice my Dark Magician for someone better… the Dark Magician of Chaos!”

In a flash, the powerful chaos mage stepped out of the shadows. (2,800/2,600)



http://www.ideal808.com/images/ioc_065_1st.jpg


“And just by summoning him,” she continued, “I get to reclaim one Spell Card from my Graveyard.”

A card slipped out of her discard slot. She looked at it for a minute.

“And then…” she said, taking her last card, “I’ll play Monster Reborn, to bring back an old friend…”

She played the card, and the glowing ankh appeared. Dark Magician appeared on it. (2,500/2,100)

Heck gulped.

Yumi grinned.

“Skilled Dark Magician…” she said, “you’re up first. Attack directly!”

Skilled Dark Magician cast a powerful spell, and Heck staggered back as it hit him.

“Dark Magician of Chaos, scepter strike!”

The stronger mage spun his staff, and fired a more lethal spell, and Heck howled.

“Dark Magician… dark… magic… attack!”

Dark Magician cast his powerful incantation, and Heck fell on one knee. His hat fell off his head.



(Y: 5,200) -------------------- (H: 4,600)


“Whoa, that was intense!” shouted Chelsea.

“After an assault like that,” said Ren, “I’d wager his ten-gallon hat is feeling five gallons flat.”

“The apple fell far from the tree, huh?” asked Yumi.

Heck panted for breath.

He chuckled, and picked up his hat.

“Okay…” he muttered, putting it back on. “Guess you are pretty good… Well, ah like a challenge ah can sink my teeth into. No pain, no gain, ah always say…”

“Well, I’ll place this facedown, and end my turn,” said Yumi, fitting her card into her Disk.

Heck drew a card.

“That’s Rush Recklessly again, right?” he asked. “Ah ain’t dumb, Yumi…”

Yumi just glared at him.

He looked at what he had drawn.

“Okey-dokey…” he said. “Ah play this… Dimension Fusion. It might cost me two Gs, but now ah can bring back a bunch of Monsters that were removed from play.”

He played the card, and in five bursts of light, X-Head Cannon (1,800/1,500), Y-Dragon Head (1,500/1,600), Z-Metal Tank (1500/1,300), V-Tiger Jet (1,600/1,800), and W-Wing Catapult (1,300/1,500) reappeared.

“You’re forgetting,” said Yumi, “I also get to summon anything of mine that’s been removed from play. So I summon Blast Magician in Defense Mode.”

A mage in fiery red robes holding a scythe-like staff appeared. He crouched in defense. (1,400/1,700)



http://www.ideal808.com/images/fet_en020.jpg


“Fine,” said Heck. “Now I’ll remove them from play to summon the bigger Machines again…”

The Machines combined, forming a second XYZ-Dragon Cannon (2,800/2,600) and a second VW-Tiger Catapult (2,000/2,100).

“Now I’ll combine the bigger ones into my biggest one again!”

The two of them shattered into pieces, and combined into the VWXYZ-Dragon Catapult Cannon again. (3,000/2,800)

“This is getting out of hand…” said Chelsea.

“And don’t forget…” said Heck, “Ah just removed seven cards from play again, and Soul Absorption is still there, so ah get back what I lost, plus 1,500 more…”



(Y: 5,200) -------------------- (H: 6,600)


“Now, I’ll Normal Summon a second X-Head Cannon…”

He played the card, and another of the tier-one Machines appeared. (1,800/1,500)

“Now ah’ll use my big gun’s effect to remove Dark Magician of Chaos from play…”

Dark Magician of Chaos vanished.

“You can activate Rush Recklessly if you want,” said Heck, “my Cannon can shift him into Defense Mode when you try it.

“Attack Dark Magician!”

The guns fired, and Dark Magician was blown to bits.

“Eh?” he asked. “No Rush Recklessly?”

“Nope,” said Yumi.

Heck shrugged.

“Now, X-Head Cannon, attack Blast Magician!”

X-Head Cannon fired, and Blast Magician was blown away.

“That’s all for me for now, so ah’ll turn it over ta you,” he said.



(Y: 4,700) -------------------- (H: 7,100)


“I don’t get it,” said Chelsea. “He should have removed Dark Magician from play.”

“Maybe he was planning to use another Dimension Fusion,” said Ren. “He realized that Dark Magician of Chaos would be removed from play either way by his own effect, so he didn’t want to give Yumi any more to summon.”

“True,” said Chelsea, “but he forgot all about Skilled Dark Magician…”

Ren looked, and saw that all three of the disks on Skilled Dark Magician’s collar were glowing.

“Oh yeah…” said Ren.

Yumi drew a card.

“I play my own Pot of Greed…” she said.

She played the card, and the evil-looking jar appeared in front of her. She drew two cards and it shattered.

She looked at the two cards.

“Now, since more than enough Spell Cards have been played, I’ll sacrifice Skilled Dark Magician to revive Dark Magician from my Graveyard.”

Skilled Dark Magician vanished in a burst of darkness, and Dark Magician appeared again. (2,500/2,100)

“Next I’ll summon… Injection Fairy Lily!”

She played the card, and a cute-looking nurse with wings holding a huge syringe appeared. (400/1,500)



http://www.ideal808.com/images/lod-1001.jpg


“Hell-ooo!” she said with a big smile and a wave.

“Now, by paying 2,000 Life Points,” said Yumi, “I can raise her Attack Points by 3,000!”

Lily laughed, and rose to 3,400 Attack.

“Lily, take down that oversized scrap heap! Stabbing syringe strike!”

“Say ah!” laughed Lily.

The Spellcaster flew forward and hurled her syringe. The giant robot exploded in a second fiery blast.

“Dark Magician!” shouted Yumi. “Attack X-Head Cannon! Dark magic attack!”

Dark Magician fired a blast, and the Machine exploded.

“I end my turn,” she finally said.



(Y: 2,700) -------------------- (H: 6,400)


She looked at her last card. Then she looked at her facedown card.

Next round, I’ll have the best ending to my first duel that I could hope for, she thought.

Heck nervously drew.

He looked at his cards.

“First, ah’ll place a card facedown…” he said.

He fit a card into his Disk and a facedown card appeared.

“Now ah play a powerful Spell Card. It’s called Dimensional Destruction Cannon – STU…”

He fit the card into his Disk.

“Uhm, that stands for Super Thunder Unit, by the way.”

“I never heard of that card…” said Ren.

“It’s simple…” said Heck. “It lets me ignore the Special Summoning requirements for V-through-Z and Special Summon it from the Graveyard, so long as I Equip it with this card…”

In a flash of light, the VWXYZ-Dragon Catapult Cannon reappeared, and a HUGE cannon appeared on its left arm. (3,000/2,800)

“Of course…” continued Heck, “it loses it regular effects. But it gains a good new one – a trampling effect.

“So Yumi… I know that Lily can destroy it again, but if she does, it’s gonna cost you 2,000 more Life Points, and only cost me 400.

“V-through-Z…”

The giant cannon started to glow and take in energy…

“…attack Dark Magician!”

“Not so fast!” shouted Yumi.

Her facedown card lifted.

“I activate… Magical Dimension. Now since I have at least one Spellcaster on the field, I can sacrifice a Monster, such as Lily…”

Lily vanished.

“AND, I get to summon a Spellcaster from my hand… Come on out, Dark Magician Girl!”

In a flash of light, the young, nubile apprentice of Dark Magician appeared. She turned towards Dark Magician and they nodded to each other. (2,000/1,700)



http://www.ideal808.com/images/mfc_000_1st.jpg


“That’s what it was?” exclaimed Heck.

“Yep,” replied Yumi. “I put this in my Graveyard when I used Graceful Charity, and was able to get it back with my chaos mage’s effect.

“And as another effect of Magical Dimension, now I get to destroy one Monster,” she continued. “So say goodbye to your Cannon!”

The huge Cannon exploded again, reduced to shards of metal.

Heck grunted. He placed another card on his Disk, and a facedown Monster appeared.

Yumi drew a card.

Hmm… she thought, looking at the Trap Card.

“Ah activate this,” said Heck, as his Trap lifted. “It’s called Greed Pact. Now we both draw once.”

Yumi looked at him funny. She drew another card, and he drew one.

He grinned as he looked at the card.

Limiter Remover. All he needed was the right card to go with this…

“Ah always say, you can never have too much draw power in your deck,” he said.

Yumi placed the Trap Card in her Disk, and it appeared in front of her.

“Dark Magician…” she commanded, “attack the facedown Monster! Dark magic attack!”

Dark Magician cast his spell. Z-Metal Tank appeared on the card, and exploded.

“Dark Magician Girl, dark burning attack!”

Dark Magician Girl flew up to Heck. He cringed as she cast her own spell, striking him with black magic.



(Y: 2,700) -------------------- (H: 4,400)


“Yumi’s ahead on Monsters…” said Ren. “But Heck’s ahead on points. Anything could happen…”

“All right Yumi…” he muttered. “Ah guess it all comes down to one draw…”

He drew a card.

“Yes!” he laughed. “Ah knew my luck wouldn’t desert me!”

He played a card.

“Ah play my second Dimension Fusion! Now…”

Then, he was startled when the card shattered.

“What?” he said.

Then he noticed that Yumi had activated a Trap Card…

Spell Shield Type-8.

“Want to know how I was able to do that?” asked Yumi. “Well, I hate to say this, but… well… it was your fault. Your Greed Pact let me draw my Polymerization card, a Spell Card that I could discard to activate this, leaving you with nothing. And 2,000 Life Points less.”

Heck bowed his head.

“Then finish it…” he said.

“Right!” said Yumi, drawing a card. “Dark Magician, finish him off!”

Dark Magician cast his powerful spell, and Heck tumbled backwards…



(Y: 2,700) -------------------- (H: 0)



* * * * * * * * * *


In the main nerve center of Duelatopia (the “bridge”), Sheena Arachne watched the myriad of screens where duels were in progress.

“Close-up on screen two,” she said. “And five…”

“Miss Arachne?” said a worker manning a screen. “We have confirmation of the first victory… A duel won by Miss Yumi Mouto.”

Sheena smirked.

“Doesn’t surprise me,” she said. “She has a lot of her father in her.”



* * * * * * * * * *


Yumi grinned as she looked at her badge.

It slowly changed hue, from Orange, to Yellow.

The Pharaoh appeared next to her.

“We’re off to a good beginning, Yumi,” he said. “And so far, nothing sinister has loomed in front of us.”

“Indeed,” she said. “Hi five.”

They raised their hands, and exchanged a slap, which was rather hard, seeing as he was immaterial.

Yumi walked up to Ren and Chelsea.

“Well guys,” she said, “I’m going to take a break for a while. I’ll leave the next ones we come across to you two… but we’ll try to get a good lead in for the first day.”

As they left, the shadowy figure looked at the cards written in the notebook.

They were cards that you would assume a Mouto would use, but most of them, she hadn’t. The figure grinned, and then turned and walked away.

As the three friends wandered towards the heart of Duelatopia, Heck got up…

“Hey, pardners!” he shouted. “Wait up!”



* * * * * * * * * *


In a dimly lit room, a young woman sat at a table.

She was a dark beauty, with flowing raven hair, dressed in garments that suggested the old gypsies of East Europe.

She spread a deck of cards on a table, and then shuffled them. These weren’t Duel Monster cards, but the cards of the Tarot… older than Duel Monsters by many centuries. Some folks believed that Pegasus was inspired as much by the Tarot as he was by the Egyptians when creating Duel Monsters, but that could neither be confirmed or denied.

She rubbed her chin. She slowly lifted the top card off the deck and turned it over.

Its image depicted a young woman on a golden throne, dressed in a white toga and wearing a laurel crown. She held a scepter in one hand, and an orb in the other.

“The High Priestess…” she said. “The divine feminine. A holder of secrets and potential deep inside.

“Certainly, this is Yumi, but more remains to be revealed. Her potential is there, but it remains to be unlocked. And if what my ally says is true, that will happen soon.”



* * * * * * * * * *


Not far away, Sam was facing her own opponent.

She only had two facedown cards on her side, and her opponent had two Monsters that the first generation of her rival’s family liked to use – Alpha the Magnet Warrior and Beta the Magnet Warrior.

She stared him down as he drew a card.

“I’ve got you now, Samantha!” he shouted. “I summon Gamma the Magnet Warrior…”

The third Magnet Warrior appeared.

“…and then I sacrifice all three of them to summon Valkyrion the Magna Warrior!”

The three robots broke into pieces, and then fused into one giant Monster.

“Go ahead…” dared Sam. “Knock yourself out…”

“Attack directly!” shouted her opponent.

Valkyrion flew towards Sam, its sword held high…

Both of Sam’s facedown cards lifted, revealing a Ring of Destruction and a Ring of Defense.

The explosion blew Sam’s opponent off his feet, knocking him senseless.

“Uhm, you know…” said Sam with a grin, “to most people, that’s usually a figure of speech…”

Erik ran up and kissed her.

“You won, you won, you won!” he cheered.

“Yep,” she said, looking at her badge. “One down, five to go…

“You take the next one… I can’t hog all the fun…”



* * * * * * * * * *


“So why are you following us, Heck?” asked Chelsea.

“Hey, ah’m at Red now,” said Heck. “One more loss and ah’m history. So ah don’t want to get back on the saddle so quick…

“Maybe ah’ll just watch you guys for a while before trying again… Take a little break…

“After all, ah don’t want to get bumped out on the first day.”

Chelsea felt a strange chill in the air… She assumed one of her “fan club” was near…

She didn’t notice the small group of punk duelists watching her from behind the building down the block.


Having won her first victory, Yumi advances to Yellow status. Unbeknownst to her, Sam is also at Yellow, but their paths have yet to cross again. Likely, it’s only a matter of time.



D.D. TREASURE (Spell Card)

Normal Spell

Image: D.D. Warrior Lady opening a treasure chest, with golden light from it illuminating her face.

Card Description: You may only play this card during your Standby Phase. During the End Phase of the same turn, draw one card for every card on your side of the field that was removed from play during this turn.



DIMENSIONAL DESTRUCTION CANNON – STU (Spell Card)

Equip Spell

Image: The VWXYZ-Dragon Catapult Cannon with a huge, glowing cannon on its arm.

Card Description: Select one “VWXYZ-Dragon Catapult Cannon” in your Graveyard. Special Summon it to your side of the field, disregarding its summoning requirements, and Equip it with this card. If this card leaves the field, the Equipped Monster is destroyed. The Equipped Monster’s effects are negated. When the Equipped Monster attacks with an ATK higher than the DEF of your opponent’s Defense Position Monster, inflict the difference as battle damage to your opponent’s Life Points.

Note: “Dimensional Destruction Cannon – STU” was first used by Chazz in a third-season episode of “Yu-Gi-Oh GX”. All creative credit goes to the writers of that episode.



GREED PACT (Trap Card)

Normal Trap

Image: Two hands in front of the Pot of Greed, handing cards towards each other.

Card Description: Both players draw one card from their respective decks.

Note: “Greed Pact” was first used by Aster in the “Yu-Gi-Oh GX” episode “Ultimate Destiny”. Creative credit goes to the writers of that episode.



Ren: Watching that got my blood flowing! Now I’m ready to take this place by storm!

Chelsea: Hey guys, there’s a duel over there… And that duelist looks… pretty tough.

Ren: I’m not afraid of tough! Let me at ‘em! My cards are just waiting to burst out and fight!

Chelsea: Take it easy. We’ll see. Coming next: “Shadow Warriors; A Curious Duel”.

Yumi: As Ren’s destiny starts to begin where his father’s left off.

Chelsea: And who was that weird fortuneteller anyway?

Yumi: Somehow, I feel she’s the least of our worries…

Shuppet Master
8th March 2007, 08:18 AM
I really enjoyed that chapter. I was a bit surprised to see the cowboy using an V-to-Z machine deck. Anyways, I knew Yumi would win. :)

Montana, huh? My sister moved there last year with her husband.

Great work, Brian, keep it up.

Inferno_Dragon
8th March 2007, 11:29 AM
A Cowboy using Machines huh? I thought we should see the Deck we saw in Mandate of Heaven. I mean that's what I thought of a Cowboy Deck. But once again, you threw a curveball and surprised us. I can't wait for the next chapter.

Hinoryu
8th March 2007, 12:19 PM
Since I use a VtoZ deck on occasion, or at least I did before my hard drive died out on me, I enjoyed this duel a lot. Seeing the Super Thunder Unit card appear made me laugh. And for some odd reason, Heck kept reminding me of Jim Crocodile Cook. Probably, it was the hat.

Also, let's see. Dragons in Ren's dream, and a Frontline Base in his deck. I'm gonna guess Ren's running Dark Sword the Dragon Knight, a la Manjoume in the newest GX episode. Though, since a cowboy with VtoZ came out of left field, I fully expect to be surprised by Ren's deck.

jkBAKURA
8th March 2007, 04:13 PM
Hello again, sorry I'm late. The story is just getting started, so there isn't much to say yet.

Good first duel of the story. Like Mandate, you seem to have started off with Machines, though I don't think you've used an exclusive V-Z deck before. Your plan to use new themes has indeed begun.

I do have to say that my biggest worry with this story is that Yumi's deck will turn out as a rehash of Stan's from TYD. This chapter didn't do much to put me at ease, though Lilly is a nice addition. Too early to tell anyway.

While Chelsea and Yui's deck have had their themes confirmed, Ren we don't have locked. It's going to be interesting to see.

Darn, there just isn't a lot to talk about yet. Maybe next week will fix that.

Mega Horny
8th March 2007, 08:59 PM
Interesting Premise -- I really liked it. Yugi's and his friends' kids' kids going to a tournament on a tropical island to duel in a Kaiba's tournament that has been secretly infiltrated by a seemingly innocent (and I use that term loosely) man Hell-bent on conquering the world. Sounds kinda like something out of Yugioh 3.0: Next of Kin. But I'm probably just imagining myself, Next of Kin was a horrendous fic.

Neo Arkadia
8th March 2007, 09:26 PM
A few nibbles about the story's villain. The use of V to Z and use of Super Thunder Unit. Good times I do share jkBakura's fears about Yumi's deck, but I expect we'll see the differences between Yumi and Stan's deck besides Lily (I forget if she was in TYD) eventually, so no biggie.

And Hector "Heck" Dupree, at least a short term recurring character, looks to be fun. Though his last name kept making me think of Scott Dupre from Yu-Gi-Oh! R.

And I see, that most likely, our villain, somewhat like the ever amusing and wicked Shadow Queen, is doing his research on the main crew before striking.

Fun stuff. And I also like the use of the Tarot and the Yu-Gi-Oh! GX-esque previews.

Next chapter sounds quite interesting.

starjake
8th March 2007, 09:53 PM
Well, Chazz would certainly enjoy Hector's deck choice. Yumi's deck does indeed seem to be a re-hash of Stan's, but judging an entire deck off of a single duel is not wise. And her deck does seem to be much more Spellcaster-focused than those of her ancestors (although, truth be told, Yugi's deck - Little Yugi - had almost nothing to do with Spellcasters; it was a Toy/Leveling deck, and the only Spellcaster cards were Silent Magician and Magician's Circle). I suppose only time will tell.

Until next chapter, then, this is StarJake, signing off.

Dark Sage
9th March 2007, 02:42 AM
Yumi's deck is Spellcaster Beatdown. It's far more organized than anything any of her relatives ever had - they never seemed to have any real theme at all when you looked at the whole picture.

Yumi's deck does have a few things in common with Stan's, yes, but she does have a few things he didn't, and she doesn't have a few things he had.

With all of the major characters, I made an actual deck list AND side deck list which I will only change if they get new cards (which they likely will). I should also add that each of their decks is standard-size: forty cards.

You'll see more of Yumi's deck in upcoming duels. But for next chapter, it's Ren's turn.

Dark Sage
14th March 2007, 05:31 AM
CHAPTER THREE



Shadow Warriors;



A Curious Duel



With Heck following them, mostly unwanted, the three of them delved further into the city. Chelsea had her camera out, and snapped photos of the landmarks and buildings with giddy interests.

Duels were happening all around them, but no opportunities were opening up yet. They’d just have to wait.

Eventually, they came within sight of a large courtyard in front of a huge building that seemed to be a library of some sort. Two sets of stairs led up to the cathedral-like building, on which was a mural depicting the robed Winged Beast known as Spirit of the Books.

“Hey, I know that building…” said Yumi. “I saw it on tape… It was where my mom dueled Clover.”

“Clover?” asked Heck. “Weird name…”

“She was a harlequin who played a Toon Deck,” answered Yumi. “She beat mom silly before she could make a comeback.”

“It’ll make a great photo shoot!” said Chelsea.

They all ran up to the courtyard…

…and they were surprised to see a duel in progress, or rather, one ending. A duelist screamed as a savage creature whom they couldn’t identify pounced and tackled him.

He fell to the floor, shivering, as the holograms vanished.

“Meow,” said a sultry female voice. “That’s what you get for making fun of my outfit, honey.”

They paused.

“I should have warned you,” said the voice, “corner a cat, get scratched.”

They all turned and looked at the victor… And they were surprised.

She was a tall woman with perfect curves, wearing a bodysuit made of black leather, the chest open to reveal a good deal of cleavage. She also wore a black domino mask, and some sort of headpiece with cat-like ears attached. A long, cat-like tail (hopefully part of the costume) grew out of her spine and lurked quietly behind her, and the ensemble was topped with black, fingerless gloves.

Her badge was hooked to her belt, and had just turned to Yellow.

She eyed Yumi and company, and then removed a water bottle from her belt and sipped from it.

“Does Batman know that Catwoman is loose?” asked Yumi.

“Cute,” said the strange woman, removing her cards from her Disk and reshuffling.

She grinned.

“I’m Felicia…”

Chelsea rubbed her chin.

“Felicia Summers?” she asked. “Sergeant Felicia Summers?”

“You’ve heard of me?” asked Felicia with a grin.

“Yeah, Chelsea, you’ve heard of her?” asked Yumi.

“Uh huh…” said Chelsea. “I saw this on some news magazine show. It’s a strange story. About five years ago, the U.S. Army started working on some sort of super soldier project, and she volunteered for a DNA splicing experiment. She had her genes spliced with those of… a mountain lion, I think…”

“It was a lynx, actually,” corrected Felicia.

“Yeah…” said Chelsea. “Anyway, it made her stronger and more agile… But the problem was, it messed with her mind. She started to think she was one.”

“Oh, please…” laughed Felicia. “You exaggerate…”

Then she started to lick the back of her hand.

The onlookers stepped backwards.

“Guys… she’s nuts!” whispered Yumi.

“Say what you will,” said Felicia, “but I got a medical discharge with full benefits, and a fortune from the contract I signed when I agreed to be a test subject. And if I was to become a predator…”

She shuffled her deck again and placed it in her Disk.

“…being a duelist helped a good deal. So who wants to be my next prey? Anyone?”

She purred, and her eyes narrowed…

“Don’t look at me…” said Heck. “Ah try to stay away from women who’re weirder than ah am.”

“I gotta duel this one!” shouted Ren.

Everyone looked at Ren.

Felicia looked at him closely.

“You sure?” she said, in a seductive tone. “I warn you, I only play with real men… No children allowed.”

“Oh, you’ve got it…” said Ren, shuffling his deck. “Gimme all you got.”

“Purr-fect!” said Felicia with a grin. “Consider Felicia Summers… curious!”

She grinned widely at Ren.

Ren stepped back nervously at that last remark…

She had fangs…

He removed his guitar from around his back.

“Chelsea, why don’t you hold on to this for now…” he said, handing it to her.

He knew that carrying the guitar during a duel was a good way to break it, especially if the duel got nasty.

And he had a feeling that this one would.



* * * * * * * * * *


The shadowy observer was watching from the shadows with a notebook again.

Hmmm, thought the observer. Ren’s father used a deck based on the Dark Scorpions… a truly difficult strategy to master. It will be interesting to see if Ren has adopted the same.



* * * * * * * * * *


Ren and Felicia stood apart from each other and eyed each other.

“So…” said Ren, “have you eaten?”

“Are you asking me out?” asked Felicia with a laugh.

“I don’t date outside my genus,” replied Ren.

They drew five cards from their decks.

“Game on!” they both said at once.



(Ren: 8,000) -------------------- (Felicia: 8,000)


“I like to consider myself a gentleman,” said Ren, “so ladies first… Even if the lady in question has claws…”

Felicia grinned, and drew a sixth card.

She looked over her hand.

Looks like he had bad luck when this black cat crossed his path… she thought.

She took a card from her hand.

“I play my Graceful Charity Spell Card,” she said, holding it up.

In a flash of light, an angel in a long, white gown appeared over her. Feathers fell from her wings and fell on her deck.

“I’m sure you know how this works…” she continued. “I can draw three cards, so long as I toss two…”

She made three draws, and looked over her hand.

She grinned, and slipped two cards into her discard slot.

“And now…” she exclaimed, “I summon my Panther Warrior in Attack Mode!”

With a roar, a humanoid cat-man in decorated armor holding a shield and a scimitar appeared. It snarled at Ren. (2,000/1,600)



http://www.ideal808.com/images/ct2_en006.jpg


“Lovely…” said Yumi. “My mom used that card. It isn’t easy to use. Felicia must be pretty good.”

“I’m done for now,” said Felicia. “You’d best not waste my time, because like I said, I only play with real men…

“My cats don’t like the taste of wimps.”

She grinned again, again flashing those white, pointed teeth…

Chelsea grunted a little and crossed her arms.

Ren glared at her as he drew.

Nuts… he thought, looking at his hand. No way I can take that guy down on my first turn. Better defend…

He placed a card on his Disk, and a facedown Monster appeared.

I’m more or less safe for now… he thought. Panther Warrior can’t attack unless she sacrifices another Monster, so she can’t attack me directly unless she’s willing to sacrifice a Monster with more than 1,500 Attack Points.

He waved his arm to signal the end of his turn.

“I know what you’re thinking…” said Felicia, drawing a card, “and you’re wrong… very wrong…”

She added the card to her hand.

“First, I play my Stray Lambs,” she said, playing a Spell Card. “This card lets me conjure up two Lamb Tokens.”

With two wisps of light, two smiling, white lambs with small horns appeared next to Panther Warrior. (0/0 x2)

“Next…” she continued, “I’ll give my Panther Warrior an Equip Spell… It’s called Path to Destiny.”

She played the card, and a strange Spell Card appeared behind Panther Warrior. It depicted two Samurai about to ambush each other from behind opposite ends of the corner of a building.

“Now…” she said with a grin, “I’ll give up one Lamb Token so my Panther can attack… And thanks to Path to Destiny, he can go right past your Monster and go right for you!”

One of the two lambs vanished.

“Hey, wait a minute…” said Ren.

Panther Warrior roared again, and slashed his scimitar downward, and a blade of energy slammed into Ren. He hollered and fell down on one knee.



(R: 6,000) -------------------- (F: 8,000)


“Ooh…” he moaned.

Felicia purred.

“My cats just love to play…” she said.

She fit another card into her Disk.

“I’ll place this facedown, and I’m done for now…”

A facedown card appeared.

“He’d better do something…” said Chelsea, “or she’ll just do that again on her next turn.”

“Well…” said Heck, “if he were smart, he’d take out that Lamb Token. Without it, Panther Warrior would just be dead weight.”

Ren drew a card.

Yeah, that’s what I’d do if I were smart… he thought.

He looked at the card.

But it would only be a temporary solution. I can get rid of the big problem right now…

“I switch my facedown Monster to Attack Mode,” he shouted. “Reveal… Dark Blade!”

The card flipped up, and a tall, dark Warrior appeared. He was clad from head to toe in black, steel armor that was studded with sharp spikes, and wore a black cape with red lining. He held two razor-sharp scimitars. (1,800/1,500)



http://www.ideal808.com/images/mfc-007.jpg


“Heh, heh…” chuckled Felicia. “Dramatic, yes… But Panther Warrior has 200 more Attack Points.”

“Not for long…” said Ren, taking another card. “Next, I summon… Pitch-Dark Dragon.”

He played the card, and a new Monster arose in a dark shadow. It was small (for a Dragon), about ten feet tall, with black scales, wings, and a head that was a cross between a reptile and a wolf. (900/600)



http://www.ideal808.com/images/mfc-008.jpg


“Big deal,” said Felicia. “He’s only half as strong as your Warrior.”

“It is a big deal,” said Ren. “Pitch-Dark Dragon is a very close friend of Dark Blade. You see, this guy is a Union Monster, that can Equip to Dark Blade just like an Equip Spell.”

Pitch-Dark Dragon crouched down, and Dark Blade leapt up, landing on his back perfectly. The Dragon reared up with his rider and roared.

“Whoo-wee!” shouted Heck. “Never saw anyone do a bareback mount that good!”

“And when riding Pitch-Dark Dragon,” continued Ren, “Dark Blade gets a trampling effect. He also gets a little bonus… of 400 points, for both attacking and defending.”

(2,200/1,900)

“All right, Dark Blade, take to the air!”

Pitch-Dark Dragon flapped his wings, and soared upwards with his rider.

“Attack Panther Warrior! Dragon dive-bomb!”

The duo swooped into the Beast-Warrior, and an explosion rocked Felicia’s side of the field. She shielded herself…



(R: 6,000) -------------------- (F: 7,800)


“So much for him,” said Ren, as Dark Blade and his mount alighted back on his side.

“True…” said Felicia, with a smile, “but thanks to my Trap Card, he leaves behind a parting gift…”

Her Trap Card lifted, showing the image of Panther Warrior on his knees, holding a broken sword, and glowing with a soft light.

“It’s called Miracle Moment,” she said. “I can only activate it when Panther Warrior is destroyed when he’s Equipped with Path to Destiny.

“And it lets me summon someone new from my deck…”

She whipped out her deck and shuffled through the cards with the speed of a blackjack dealer…

“Come on out, Bronze Warrior!”

In a flash of light, a tall figure emerged. It looked like a shaman of some sort, with tan skin, a bald head, and blacking under his eyes. He wore a cape and a colorful battle kilt. He held a double-bladed dagger in each hand. He uttered a war cry, and twirled the daggers dramatically. (500/1,800)

“Only 500 Attack Points?” asked Ren. “What’s the point?”

“Lots…” said Felicia, placing her deck back. “Is that your turn?”

Ren looked at the other cards in his hand.

“Yeah, I… guess so…” he muttered.

Better watch out… he thought. Low Attack Score usually means powerful effect.

“Then it’s my draw!” she exclaimed.

She drew. She looked at the Spell Card.

I’ll save this for later… she thought.

“Now, as for the point…” she said, taking her deck. “There are actually two points, each of which happen when Bronze Warrior is in Attack Mode. First, during each Standby Phase, I can take any Beast-Warrior from my deck that I want and add it to my hand…”

She spread her cards out and looked over them before choosing one.

“…like Nekogal #2 here.”

She put her deck back.

“And now I’ll sacrifice my other Lamb Token to summon her.”

The token vanished, and a tall, feline woman with claws, a tail, and whiskers, dressed in a violet bikini appeared. She crouched, as if ready to pounce. (1,900/2,000)



http://www.ideal808.com/images/tp7-en020.jpg


“And then there’s the second point,” she continued. “So long as he’s in Attack Mode, he gives all Beast-Warriors on my side of the field 400 more Attack Points.”

Bronze Warrior glowed, and Nekogal rose to (2,300/2,000)

“Not good…” muttered Ren.

“Nekogal…” commanded Felicia, “attack his Dark Blade! Cat scratch!”

Nekogal bore her fangs and pounced! She swiped with her claws, and Dark Blade leapt from Pitch-Dark Dragon…

The Dragon exploded, and Dark Blade rolled out of the way.



(R: 5,900) -------------------- (F: 7,800)


Dark Blade lifted himself up and glared at Nekogal. (1,800/1,500)

“What?” said Felicia. “He survived?”

“Now that there wasn’t a bad dismount either,” said Heck.

“Don’t you know how Union Monsters work?” asked Ren. “If a Monster is attacked while Equipped with one, only one of them bites the dust.”

Felicia hissed.

“Fine!” she scowled. “I’ll get him next time.”

Ren drew a card.

“Not gonna happen…” he said. “I’m going to sacrifice my Dark Blade for someone better… A catty lady of my own…”

Dark Blade vanished in a burst of shadowy energy.

“Come on out, Penumbral Soldier Lady!”

A far more attractive Warrior appeared. It was a lovely, leggy female, dressed in silver armor designed to form a midriff and shorts, gauntlets, boots, and a headband. She held a longsword in her right hand, and a very large shield in her left, on which was painted a crescent moon design. (2,100/1,400)



http://www.ideal808.com/images/sod-en0331.jpg


“Purr…” muttered Felicia. “She can’t beat Nekogal…”

“She could if your booster were dead!” laughed Ren. “Penumbral Soldier Lady, attack the Bronze Warrior! Shadow sword!”

Penumbral Soldier Lady leapt up, and her sword glowed with shadowy energy. She made a quick slice with her blade. Bronze Warrior howled, and then burst into triangles.



(R: 5,900) -------------------- (F: 6,200)



* * * * * * * * * *


Hmm… thought the onlooker, taking down notes.

It seems that Ren has rejected the Dark Scorpions in favor of a broader variety of Warriors of the Dark Attribute. A very unique theme to say the least.

I hope this duel continues for a bit longer… I’m anxious to see what else he has…

I wonder… Is his father’s prize card in his possession? It would certainly fit…



* * * * * * * * * *


Nekogal returned to her base Attack of 1,900.

“It’s your move, Felicia,” said Ren.

Felicia drew a card.

“First I’ll move Nekogal into Defense Mode…” she said.

Nekogal knelt down and shielded herself.

“Next…” she said, taking a new card, “I play Silent Doom. Now I can choose one Normal Monster from my Graveyard, and Special Summon it in Defense Mode.”

“Too bad you don’t have any in there,” replied Ren. “The only Monsters in your Graveyard are Panther Warrior and Bronze Warrior.”

“I played Graceful Charity, remember?” answered Felicia, playing the card. “So I have someone who fits the bill. I summon Nekogal #2’s little sister… Nekogal #1.”

A new Monster appeared on the field. She looked similar to the first Nekogal, but a little younger, and wearing a green bikini. She shielded herself in defense. (1,100/900)



http://www.ideal808.com/images/tp6-en018.jpg


“Now I’ll set another Monster in Defense Mode, and end my turn,” she continued.

A facedown Monster appeared.

Ren looked at his hand.

I have Penumbral Soldier Lady on the field, he thought, but nothing else in my hand is a Monster. Still, if I draw one that I can summon, I can take out both Nekogals – that new one has a weak Defense that almost all my Monsters can beat.

He drew a card.

Well, not the best, he thought, but he’ll do…

“I summon Chthonian Soldier in Attack Mode,” he said.

He played the card, and a new Warrior appeared in a shadowy aura. It was a hulking fighter, dressed in dull, black armor and a helmet, with a fierce scowl on his face and jagged teeth. He held a nasty, serrated sword. (1,200/1,400)



http://www.ideal808.com/images/een-en010.jpg


“Well, that sure don’t look friendly…” muttered Heck.

“There’s a story behind the Chthonian Soldiers…” answered Yumi. “Let’s just say, it’s complicated…”

“Chthonian Soldier, kill Nekogal #1!” shouted Ren. “Berserker blade!”

The Soldier swung his weapon and Nekogal #1 was blown to pieces.

“Penumbral Soldier Lady, your turn!” he shouted. “Take out Nekogal #2!”

The woman Warrior slashed at Nekogal, and she was smashed to bits.

“That will do it for my turn…” said Ren. “So now what?”

Felicia drew a card.

She smiled at Ren.

“Uh oh…” said Chelsea. “Now she’s grinning like a Cheshire Cat!”

“Indeed…” chuckled Felicia. “Let’s get busy. I Flip-Summon my facedown Monster. Presenting… Dark Cat With White Tail!”

The card flipped face up, and a small creature leapt up. It was a… dark cat with a white tail. (800/500)



http://www.ideal808.com/images/yugioh-dr1-en138.jpg


“And it has a potent effect,” she continued. “When it’s flipped, two of your Monsters and one of mine return to our hands. So I’ll take it back, and you’ll take back your two Warriors.”

Penumbral Soldier Lady and Chthonian Soldier vanished. Then Dark Cat With White Tail vanished. The cards appeared in their hands.

“No…” gasped Chelsea. “He’s defenseless…”

“You got it…” purred Felicia. “Next, I’ll summon my Rescue Cat…”

She played a new card, and the Monster that appeared hardly looked formidable. It was a white, sweet-looking kitten wearing a hardhat on its head and a whistle around its neck. It meowed softly. (300/100)



http://www.ideal808.com/images/yugioh_fet_en_033_1.jpg


Ren gave her the eye.

“You’re gonna attack me with THAT?” he asked, almost laughing.

“No, silly,” said Felicia, “I’m going to use her effect. Do your thing, sweetie!”

Rescue Cat bore its claws, and burrowed into the ground…



Continued…

Dark Sage
14th March 2007, 05:35 AM
Continued from last post:



“See, by sending Rescue Cat to the Graveyard, I can Special Summon two Beasts from my deck. They have to be Level Three or less, but that’s all I need right now.

“So let’s bring out Catnipped Kitty, and another Nekogal #1.”

Two new Monsters burst out the pit dug by Rescue Cat. The first was the familiar Nekogal #1. (1,100/900) The second Monster was a kitten that looked even more adorable than Rescue Cat, with purple fur covered with odd symbols. (0/500)



http://www.ideal808.com/images/tp6-en018.jpghttp://www.ideal808.com/images/yugioh_fet_en_013_1.jpg


“What good are they?” asked Ren.

“They have their uses,” said Felicia. “But as a side effect of Rescue Cat, they’d be destroyed when I ended my turn. However, before that happens…”

She took a Spell Card from her hand.

“That’s a Ritual Card!” shouted Ren, stepping back.

“If there’s one thing ah’ve learned as a duelist,” said Heck, “it’s that Ritual Monsters are never good news…”

“That’s right!” laughed Felicia. “One that can bring out the King of Beasts. My War Lion Ritual! And it requires seven levels worth of Monsters as sacrifices. So now, I’ll sacrifice Nekogal #1, Catnipped Kitty, and Dark Cat With White Tail, to bring forth the mighty Super War Lion!”

Dark Cat appeared on the field, and then a fire consumed all three of the Monsters. The fire started to take shape, turning… catlike…

And then it formed into a large lion, with huge claws and fangs. Saliva dripped from its jaws… (2,300/2,100)



http://www.ideal808.com/images/p2_05.jpg


“Attack Ren directly!” shouted Felicia. “Predator pounce!”

Super War Lion roared, and leapt at Ren. Everyone gasped as it tackled him and raked its claws into his chest.



(R: 3,600) -------------------- (F: 6,200)


Ren got up and shook, half from pain and half from fear.

“Honey, give it up,” cooed Felicia. “This isn’t even my strongest Monster…”

“Fat chance…” said Ren.

He drew a card.

I might have a chance now… he thought.

“I place one card facedown…” he said.

He fit a card into his Disk, and a facedown card appeared.

“Now I play… Magical Mallet. Now I can take any of the cards in my hand, reshuffle them into my deck, and draw the same number. And I’m gonna do that with all six of them.”

He placed his hand in his deck, reshuffled, and then drew six new cards.

Much better… he thought, looking at them.

“Time to really take things a step up,” he said. “I summon one of my favorites… Meet Getsu Fuhma!”

He threw the card on his Disk, and in a shower of lotus flowers, a lovely female Warrior appeared. She had flowing red hair, and wore a black, Japanese battle dress. She held a glowing blue katana. (1,700/1,200)



http://www.ideal808.com/images/ioc-0891.jpg


“Humph…” said Felicia. “She’ll be just more fun to feed to my Lion.”

“I don’t think so,” said Ren. “They say a Warrior is defined by the weapon she carries, so I Equip Getsu Fuhma with this… The Fusion Sword Murasame Blade.”

As he played the card, Getsu Fuhma’s sword vanished, and was replaced by a much more elaborate sword. (2,500/1,200)

Felicia hissed again…

“Getsu Fuhma, attack her Super War Lion!” shouted Ren. “Blade of Vengeance!”

Getsu Fuhma leapt up, and cleaved the huge Beast down the middle with her sword. The pieces were blasted into pixels.



(R: 3,600) -------------------- (F: 6,000)


Ren stared at Felicia.

“Your move…” he said.

Felicia drew a card.

“I play my Pot of Greed…” she said, playing it. “Now I’ll draw two cards…”

She made two draws.

“…both of which I’ll use… First, I’ll activate Premature Burial. I only have to give up 800 Life Points, and I get to bring back a Monster from my Graveyard.

“And I’ll bring back the other one I discarded when I played Graceful Charity. The Trojan Horse.”

The ground cracked, and burst open. A large, wooden horse emerged. It neighed, and bucked on its hind legs. (1,600/1,200)



http://www.ideal808.com/images/sod-en0291.jpg


“And now I’ll sacrifice it…” she continued. “And in case you didn’t know, when it’s sacrificed for an Earth Attribute Monster, it counts as two Monsters.”

The Trojan Horse vanished.

“So I summon… Nekogal #3.”

A new Beast-Warrior appeared. She looked similar to the previous two Nekogals, but her bikini was fiery red, and her claws were sharper. (2,300/2,500)

“Is that all?” asked Ren. “I activate my Trap Card…”

His facedown card lifted. It showed the image of three soldiers hiding below a ledge in the foreground while another fought a dragon in the background.

“It’s called Hidden Soldiers, and I can activate it as soon as you Normal Summon a Monster. Now I can Special Summon a low-level Dark Monster from my hand. And I’ve got one who’s so Dark, the word ‘Dark’ is in his name.

“I summon Zombyra the Dark.”

In a flash of energy, a dark vortex appeared, and a costumed superhero with a cape and a skull-like mask flew out. (2,100/500)



http://www.ideal808.com/images/lon-074.jpg


Yumi looked surprised. She took her deck, and looked through it until she found her A Hero Emerges card.

Well, she thought, I guess now I know who the hero is…

“It doesn’t matter…” said Felicia. “Because Nekogal #3 has a special ability. She gains 400 more Attack Points for every Monster in my Graveyard who happens to be named Nekogal. And I have three!”

Nekogal #3 glowed with energy… (3,500/2,500)

“I think this is her strongest Monster…” muttered Chelsea.

“Go!” shouted Felicia. “Devour Getsu Fuhma!”

Nekogal pounced, and made a swipe with her claws. Getsu Fuhma let out a cry, and then shattered.



(R: 2,600) -------------------- (F: 5,200)


Ren paused, and looked at his hand…

The Fiend Megacyber, his second Pitch-Dark Dragon, and his second Dark Blade.

He drew one card.

“I play my Pot of Greed,” he said, playing the card. “Now I draw twice…”

He drew twice, and looked at the cards.

He thought for a minute…

He placed a card in his Disk, and a facedown card appeared.

“That’s all for my turn…” he said.

“REN!” screamed Chelsea. “You forgot to switch your Monster to Defense Mode!”

“He’s crazy!” shouted Heck.

Is he? thought Yumi.

“It’s his own fault,” said Felicia, drawing a card. “And he’s a fool…

“Time for someone new. I summon The All-Seeing White Tiger in Attack Mode.”

She played the card, and a large, white, Bengal tiger appeared next to Nekogal. (1,300/500)



http://www.ideal808.com/images/psv-0931.jpg


“Nekogal, attack Zombyra the Dark!” she cried.

“I activate Rush Recklessly!” shouted Ren, as his facedown card lifted. “It gives Zombyra 700 more Attack Points.”

Zombyra rose to an Attack of 2,800.

“But not enough…” said Felicia, with a grin.

Nekogal leapt forward, and with one swipe, blasted Zombyra to shards.

“Tiger… attack him directly!”

The All-Seeing White Tiger let out a roar, and pounced, digging its claws into Ren’s chest. He toppled over and fell on his behind.



(R: 600) -------------------- (F: 5,200)


He slowly got up, with sweat pouring down his face.

“Am I fool, Felicia?” he asked. “Notice that I’m still standing…”

There was a long pause.

“Now I get it…” muttered Chelsea. “Zombyra the Dark had only 500 Defense Points. If he hadn’t been in Attack Mode with that Rush Recklessly, Felicia would have been able to destroy him with her Tiger, and then attack directly with Nekogal. Ren would have lost the duel.”

“Exactly,” said Yumi. “Ren is thinking on his feet.”

“Yeah, but he’s gonna need quite a good draw to get outta this…” replied Heck.

“It’s your move, honey,” said Felicia. “At least try to go out with some dignity…”

Ren looked at his deck.

Okay… he thought. Come on… Baby needs a new Duel Disk…

He drew a card.

YES!

He flipped open his Field Slot.

“I play… Mystic Plasma Zone!” he shouted, placing a card inside.

With a wave of energy, a shadowy dome of darkness covered the whole field.

“In this aura of absolute darkness,” he explained, “all Dark Monsters gain 500 Attack Points, at the cost of 400 Defense Points.

“And now, since you have two Monsters on the field and I have none, I can Special Summon this guy… I call forth my Fiend Megacyber!”

With a roar, a tall, hulking figure in bronze armor wearing a full helmet with blades on his gauntlets rose up, and struck a pose. (2,200/1,200) –> (2,700/800)



http://www.ideal808.com/images/psv-100.jpg


“Big deal…” said Felicia. “Even with that bonus, he still falls short of being able to defeat Nekogal…”

“I’m not done,” said Ren, holding up three more cards. “Remember when I combined Dark Blade and Pitch-Dark Dragon as a Union? Well, there’s another way to combine those two Monsters…

“I’ll show you… I use Polymerization, to fuse my second Dark Blade and my second Pitch-Dark Dragon.”

The Warrior and the Dragon appeared on the field. The Polymerization card appeared behind them, and they swirled into a dark vortex…

And then, Dark Blade flew out, flying on Pitch-Dark Dragon once again. (2,200/1,500) –> (2,700/1,100)



http://www.ideal808.com/images/rds_en035.jpg


“Still not enough,” said Felicia.

“We’ll see about that,” said Ren. “Go, Dark Blade the Dragon Knight! Attack The All-Seeing White Tiger with mounted joust!”

Dark Blade flew forward on his steed, and slashed with his sword, blasting the Tiger to bits.

“And now we get to the best part,” said Ren. “When Dark Blade the Dragon Knight inflicts damage to your Life Points, I get to remove up to three Monsters in your Graveyard from play. So I’ll remove the three Nekogals who are powering up Nekogal #3.”

Nekogal #3 glowed with a dark aura, and was reduced to her base Attack of 2,300.

“Still my turn…” said Ren. “Fiend Megacyber, attack Nekogal #3! Mega-blades!”

The Fiend Megacyber held his gauntlets forward, and they flashed with light. He rushed forward and slashed at Nekogal with his blades. The Beast-Warrior screeched and shattered into bits.



(R: 600) -------------------- (F: 3,400)


“Whoa…” said Chelsea.

“Well, it ain’t over till it’s over…” said Yumi.

“Your move…” said Ren.

Felicia paused. She slowly drew a card.

She placed it on her Disk, and a facedown Monster appeared.

“Not much else to do, huh?” asked Ren.

He drew a card.

“I play The Warrior Returning Alive,” he said, holding up the card. “Now I get to take one Warrior from my Graveyard, and add it to my hand.

“And I choose Zombyra the Dark, who I’m summoning now.”

In a dark vortex, Zombyra reappeared, more determined than ever. (2,100/500) –> (2,600/100)

“Zombyra…” ordered Ren, “attack with super-powered punch!”

The dark hero flew forward. Panther Warrior appeared on the card; Zombyra socked it, and it shattered into shards.

Zombyra’s Attack fell to 2,400, but he barely seemed to care.

“NOW it’s over…” said Yumi.

Felicia bowed her head…

“And now…” continued Ren. “Dark Blade the Dragon Knight, Fiend Megacyber, attack directly!”

The two Monsters rushed at Felicia, and she screamed as she was stabbed by two blades.

She fell on her back.

“Guess they don’t always land on their feet…” said Ren with a smile.



(R: 600) -------------------- (F: 0)


His three Monsters vanished, and the uncanny darkness faded away.

He looked at his badge. It slowly changed hue, to Yellow.

Felicia slowly got up.

“Need a hand?” asked Ren.

“Meow,” said Felicia, as he helped her up.

She looked at her own badge.

“Looks like I’m back where I started… But no biggie… I have eight lives left, and maybe we’ll meet again…

“Think I’ll go take a little catnap before I hit the streets again.

“And Ren… You’re pretty good. Trust me… We’re gonna duel again…”

And then she sped off with a series of mighty leaps.

“And he’ll beat you again!” shouted Chelsea, after her.



* * * * * * * * * *


Interesting… thought the observer.

Ren’s deck is well designed, and handles his odd strategy as best as it can. I think he is one whom we can expect a lot from.

Our only variable left to study is Chelsea. I have to wonder how the daughter of Peter Ramset has developed her own strategy. It should be interesting to say the least…

The figure faded into the shadows…



* * * * * * * * * *


The group was taking it easy on a park bench. Ren was sipping orange juice he had gotten from a vendor.

He took out his deck.

“Maybe now I can tell you that story behind the Chthonian Soldiers that Yumi mentioned…” he said.

“Forget them!” laughed Heck. “Ah wanna hear about that cool superhero you’ve got!”

“Zombyra the Dark?” asked Ren, looking through his deck.

He found the card.

“Actually, his story and that of the Chthonians is linked.

“See, a long time ago, a demon lord named Dark Master Zorc decided to extend his influence in the realm of mortals. He decided he needed an army.

“He told his fiendish sorcerers to start creating demonic warriors, ones that were relentless, merciless, and durable.

“The sorcerers created the Chthonians as grunts – foot soldiers who were loyal and disposable… Not very smart.

“They also created a squad of elite fighters. Ones who were stronger and smarter. Zombyra was one of them.

“But the sorcerer who created him did something different. He cast a hex on the newly created warrior that gave Zombyra emotions.

“Why did he do it? Well… He was kind of… funny that way.

“Zombyra served Zorc loyally for a long time, drawing on his master’s energy to fuel his dark power. But there was something different. You see, having emotions is a dangerous thing for someone in Zombyra’s line of work. He started to have a conscience. He started to have feelings. He began to be able to tell right from wrong. What Zorc was making him do, it was very wrong.

“Finally, one day, Zombyra killed an innocent man at Zorc’s order. He felt remorse… and anger… He deserted his master forever, swearing that he’d only use his abilities for good from that point on.

“The story doesn’t say what happened to that funny sorcerer.

“Anyway, without Zorc’s dark power, Zombyra would get weaker. This is illustrated by the fact that he loses 200 Attack Points after each attack he makes. Also, for his betrayal, Zorc cursed him so that he could never strike his true enemy. This is illustrated by the fact that he can’t make direct attacks.

“Still, he’s a welcome addition to my deck of Dark Warriors.”

“Well, I hope I get to duel soon,” said Chelsea.

“You get the next one, Chelsea, we promise,” said Yumi. “We want to see all the improvements you’ve made to your deck anyway.”



* * * * * * * * * *


“So do we!” laughed someone, who was watching with binoculars.

From a safe distance, the two punks who Ren had seen on the boat were watching. The older one (the one with the rainbow-colored Mohawk) was keeping an eye on the group, while the younger one (the one who had won the duel with the Blowback Dragon) was nearby. Another member was with their group – a girl who seemed about the same age as the second boy, dressed in similar punk attire.

“So what now, boss?” asked the younger teenager, in an accent that was clearly Australian.

“Well,” said the older punk, “the best bet is to try to get her away from the bigger group. But with all those Centurions snooping around, simply grabbing her is a big no-no.”

He handed him a small slip of paper.

“Use this,” he said. “It will make a good chip for a wager. Once you outduel her, I’ll take it from there.”

“It’s as good as done, mate…” said the boy. “She won’t know what hit her…”



* * * * * * * * * *


The strange fortuneteller sat at her table, pondering.

“Clearly, Yumi does not face the upcoming battle alone,” she said. “But what are the roles of her two companions?

“What of Ren?”

She lifted the top card off her deck and turned it over.

The image was that of a young man in colorful clothes, wandering towards the edge of a ravine under a starry sky. A small dog was at his feet, and he held an oaken quarterstaff over his shoulder.

“The Fool…” she muttered. “The sign of a true maverick, a wanderer and a thrill seeker with an eccentric lust for life.

“Ren is the energetic part of the team… Likely, he will be the part that will find light in the gloom. And his role in the conflict to come might well be that of one to provide morale…”

With his first victory, Ren advances to Yellow Status. And it seems a challenge is waiting for Chelsea too. It soon may be three for three, and it isn’t even time for lunch yet!




NEKOGAL #3 (Monster Card)

Card Specs
Type: Beast-Warrior/Effect
Attribute: Earth
Level: 7
ATK: 2,300
DEF: 2,500
Card Description: This card gains 400 ATK for every Monster in your Graveyard with the word “Nekogal” in its name.

Note: “Nekogal #3” was created by Shuppet Master for his “Sister of Anansi” fic. Creative credit goes to him.



BRONZE WARRIOR (Monster Card)

Card Specs
Type: Warrior/Effect
Attribute: Earth
Level: 4
ATK: 500
DEF: 1,800
Card Description: During your Standby Phase that this card is on your side of the field in Attack Position, you may search your deck for one Beast-Warrior-Type Monster and add it to your hand. If this card is on the field in Attack Position, increase the ATK of all Beast-Warrior Type Monsters on your side of the field by 400.



PATH TO DESTINY (Spell Card)

Equip Spell

Image: Two Samurai about to ambush each other from behind the corners of a building.

Card Description: This card can be Equipped to a Beast-Warrior-Type Monster. The Equipped Monster may attack your opponent directly.



MIRACLE MOMENT (Trap Card)

Normal Trap

Image: Panther Warrior on his knees holding a broken sword, glowing with soft light.

Card Description: You can activate this card when a “Panther Warrior” on your side of the field that is Equipped with “Path to Destiny” is destroyed as a result of battle and sent to the Graveyard. Special Summon one “Bronze Warrior” from your hand or deck.

Note: “Bronze Warrior”, “Path to Destiny”, and “Miracle Moment” were used by Atticus in the “Yu-Gi-Oh GX” episode “Pop Goes the Duel”. Creative credit goes to the writers of that episode.



SILENT DOOM (Spell Card)

Normal Spell

Image: A hand with a glowing orb in the palm.

Card Description: Select one Normal Monster in your Graveyard and Special Summon it in face-up Defense Position. The battle position of this Monster cannot be switched, except with a card effect.

Note: “Silent Doom” is a Japanese card that has not yet been released in the United States.



Chelsea: I smell something, guys… Something like a pretty foul body odor…

Ren: Hey, I showered good this morning!

Chelsea: It isn’t you, Ren. I think I recognize this stench. I have a feeling this nice morning might turn unpleasant.

Yumi: Maybe, maybe not. Coming up next, “The Dark Lady; Supernatural Deck”.

As the legacy of Peter Ramset is unleashed.

Inferno_Dragon
14th March 2007, 11:45 AM
This duel kinds of reminds me of Katnappe's ... I mean Kate Serias from Yu-Gi-Oh Junior: Sister of Anansi. So Ren's deck is based on more dark warriors than the Dark Scorpions. Interesting, but I am more interested in the adverseries that are following our heroes. So we get to see what deck the descendant of Peter Ramset uses.

Good chapter! Keep up the good work!

jkBAKURA
14th March 2007, 12:07 PM
OK, not even five chapters into the story, and we're just getting silly. So much so, that I'm not even going to elaborate.

And just a thought, but why is the cat person instantly drawn to a Cat deck? There doesn't always have to be some occupational reason for a deck theme.

I've seen a High School wrestling champion who prefered Spellcasters, a precher's kid with a Raviel deck, and a video game computer nerd weilding Insects. Sometimes people just like a theme.

OK, this is. not meant as an attack, or even a complaint. It's just an observation that although there may be subtle preferences that influence a deck type, it doesn't have to be their whole life.

With that aside and looking at the chapter itself, I liked it. Several Cats such as Tiger Axe or Sleeping Lion were left out, but most of them aren't playable anyway. (Leo Wizard for example)

I liked the flavor of Dark Guys in armor with swords. It looks like a theme that will not get old quickly unlike, I fear, Yumi's might. That said, Zombyra felt oddly out of place. Maybe it's just cause he was featured so prominantly in Balance, but for some reason I found his appearance distracting.

So far though, between this and Mandate, it looks like you're using the same picture out of the coloring book, just different markers. Especially since we're essencially in the same location, different deck themes just aren't going to hold my attention if there's no story hook to keep me reading.

You have a good start, but I'm sorry there's just nothing new yet to make the story stand out.

Here's Hoping, JKB

Hinoryu
14th March 2007, 01:59 PM
Hm. I gotta say, that cat deck seemed a lot more functional than my build of the same theme. I could never make it work; but then, I never included the Nekogals. They always looked more like insects than cats to me anyway.

That said, the whole cat fixation was... eh. It was okay, at first, but you sort of drove it into the ground by the end. By the time you got to the 'catnap' part, I was thankful that the barrage of cat puns was over. Cat people don't have to run a cat deck. For example, in my current side project, I have a cat-related person who runs Harpies.

As to Ren's deck, I'm just thinking 'booyah, I was right'. Well, sort of. A Dark Warrior deck should be fun to see in later chapters. Though we didn't get to hear the story behind the Hell Soldiers, I bet it'll be a fun one.

All in all, though, a good chapter. Can't wait for the next.

Shuppet Master
14th March 2007, 03:59 PM
Katnappe was my idea, back when I liked Xiaolin Showdown, but Brian wanted to run with it. Hopefully we get to see her in the finals.

When I heard her name, I was expecting her with a mane of blue hair(yes, I was reminded of that Felicia from Darkstalkers - due to an unholy Sailor Moon author called Oscar; don't ask about his work), but this was really nice. Great way of employing the Captain America background in there. Poor C.A., he will be mourned. :(

What is it with you and exposed breasts anyways, Jason? First Shelob and now this! (Laughs a bit, then is glad not to be a girl. [just joking, Brian!])

Anyways, the whole deck theme was my idea, guys. I apologize for starting it. I'm sure that your point is well-taken, guys. I want to play an Elemental Hero deck, but I'm not a brave person myself. I think it was because I wanted to be a hero, but didn't want to risk my own life. Call it wish fulfillment.

Loved Ren's deck. Ren was the only character I didn't elaborate on in my story, but this was the sort of deck I had envisioned for him - Dark Warriors like his dad, but no Dark Scorpions.

Neo Arkadia
14th March 2007, 05:30 PM
Well, I personally liked the chapter as far as the flow goes. It had a nice opening, a nice duel, it was nice that a card backstory was explained after a duel instead of during for once, and I'm enjoying the fortuneteller usage.

Though, if I remember, the Fool also has the possible meaning of infinite potential.

Felicia Summers, she was a curious character. Personally, I'd say that her name, nor her jokes, nor her deck, not the getup were problems. It just struck me as one of those "A little too much at once" issues.

Though as to the woman with cat getup and cat deck thing, she might just use the deck because it's expected. If she duels for a living, it would make sense. Pro Duelists in GX are notorious for emphasizing gimmicks, names, and deck themes (Matrie'd/Sommelier Parker, Mathematica, Howard X Miller, etc.). If she duels professionally, it could be a requirement for her job.

Though, I do like that Felicia might come back eventually. She has the potential to be a very interesting wild card later on.

As far as the decks go:

Felicia: Interesting reuse of Atticus's cards combined with a generic cat deck. Wimpy Aggro, I guess. Worked well for what was needed. And very very cool use of Rescue Cat outside of a OTK.

Ren: Since he's not limited to his father's deck type of Dark Scorpions and instead mostly relies on Dark Warriors and Dark Blade's Dark Dragons, Ren has the potential to not burn out, as jk said.

As for next chapter... My only comment: "When something stinks, it's usually the Butz."

starjake
14th March 2007, 05:47 PM
it looks like you're using the same picture out of the coloring book, just different markers.

I love metaphor.

And this is a metaphor I'm forced to agree with. It's not that you've picked a bad picture to color...it's just sort of blah. Samantha seems to be the only character with any depth; everyone else seems rather one-dimensional. Ren is HAPPY, Yumi is The Leader Of The Group, and Chelsea...well, we haven't focused in on Chelsea yet, so I'll try and hold any thoughts I have on her. Then there's the setting; I have to keep reminding myself where this story is taking place. You have a tendency of mentioning the setting once and then ignoring it. Just because mortal peril is not involved does not mean your chapters should lack intensity.

Don't get me wrong; I don't think you're doing a bad job...I just don't think you're doing a good one, either.

Dark Sage
14th March 2007, 08:24 PM
I'll make a few replies (and I will say that it is good to see so many people replying).

Felicia may have seemed a bit silly. However, she will serve a much more serious purpose later on. Also, I may never have specifically said that she was a pro, but if she is, yes, if Kabukid and Mathematica are any indication, the gimmic comes with the job description.

I never heard of this notorious author named Oscar. The name Felicia came from a member of Spider-Man's supporting cast named Felicia Hardy, the Black Cat. The name Felicia sounds like "feline" anyway.

I will work on the setting some more. There will be some vivid imagery whenever a duel happens where supernatural forces are involved in this fic. And trust me, Duelatopia has gotten bigger in nineteen years.

As for characters, there will be more development. I'm glad folks like Sam so much - I worked on her a lot.

Until next time...

- DS

Mega Horny
14th March 2007, 09:02 PM
Well...Ren's deck didn't seem very organized, In my humble (A word which I use strongly) opinion, but I thought using the Nekogals was nice (especially using Nekogal #3 to combo with them.) How menacing. You might as well throw a Morinphen and maybe a Mystical Sheep #2.


until next time....
Next time? The time is now, and right now it's....

POP POP POP POP POP POP POP POP POP POP
Ten O' Clock, Bitch!

starjake
14th March 2007, 09:31 PM
As for characters, there will be more development.

I'll reply to that quote with another.


You keep saying that, but you don't say how.

Granted, it was infinitely more funny when he said it (it's Nathan Lane; what can I say?), but the point still stands. You say that 'things will get better' rather frequently...and they do, it just takes forty chapters for it to happen. As Mega Horny said, the time is now (although that might not have been the intended use of his reference).

Mega Horny
15th March 2007, 09:13 AM
That's exactly what I mean, actually. Your beginnings and endings are always lovely -- I only wish that one duel against the lackey using the umpteenth DES frog deck or whatever... could be a bit more 'spiced-up.'

Shuppet Master
15th March 2007, 02:33 PM
I never heard of this notorious author named Oscar.

Thank goodness. Trust me, you don't want to read his stories. Let's just say his characters are sexual freaks and engage in love acts with cats. *shudders* I hope I didn't put any nightmarish images in your head.

starjake
15th March 2007, 03:28 PM
I must congratulate you, SM...it takes quite a lot to disturb me, but you've accomplished the job admirably...

*sits in corner and cries*

Dark Sage
20th March 2007, 07:05 AM
CHAPTER FOUR



The Dark Lady



Supernatural Deck



A short time later, the group was still on the bench… All except for Chelsea, who was trying hard to take a good picture of a nearby statue that depicted Kanan the Swordmistress.

Ren was strumming on his guitar, and singing a very old tune:



Trailer for sale or rent,
Rooms to let... fifty cents.
No phone, no pool, no pets,
I ain't got no cigarettes…
Ah, but… two hours of pushin' broom,
Buys an eight by twelve four-bit room.
I'm a man of means by no means…
King of the road.


“Y’know…” said Heck, “most people think Montana is a dull state, but we got our perks. Take Glacier National Park.

“It ain’t no Yellowstone or Yosemite, but it’s a great place if you like fishing, hiking, cross-country skiing, and other stuff that’ll get your blood flowing.

“An’ it’s got wildlife everywhere. A shutterbug like her would be in Heaven.

“In fact, ah was up there once, fishing for river trout, when a big, black bear came up, not a hundred feet away from me, to do some fishing of his own…”

“Weren’t you scared?” asked Ren.

“Scared?” asked Heck, almost laughing. “Pal, ah’m a duelist, ah’ve taken blows from things much scarier than some old bear. Besides, there’s a rule you have to remember about bears… If you don’t bother them, they won’t bother you. That, and always secure your food where they can’t get it.

“Anyway, ah caught two trout that day… He caught about five by the time ah decided to leave. Ah guess natural instinct is better than any old pole…”

They looked, and saw someone walk towards Chelsea.

“Uh oh…” said Ren.

He recognized that guy.

Chelsea had finally gotten the right angle for her picture when she was interrupted.

“G’day,” said a voice.

She put the camera down and looked at him.

“Did you say good day?” she asked, suspiciously.

“Naw, I said ‘g’day’, but close enough,” said the speaker.

It was the youth from the ship, the one with the sweatshirt, baggy jeans, and red bandana. His Disk registered Yellow already.

“Do I know you?” she asked, suspiciously.

“Naw,” he said, “but we have a friend in common…”

Yumi, Ren, and Heck walked up.

“Somehow I think that the word ‘friend’ doesn’t define him,” said Chelsea. “At least where I’m standing…”

“I’d love ta introduce you,” said the youth. “In fact, I wanna duel you, and make a little side wager. If I win, you come to see him – without them.”

He pointed to Yumi and Ren.

“Why would I make such a dumb bet?” asked Chelsea.

“I’ll ante up this,” said the youth. “I… uh… won it from the first loser I beat.”

He held up something that looked like a coupon.

“Free dinner at the Sizzling Sirloin?” asked Chelsea.

“Good for parties up to five,” said the youth. “It’s a steakhouse right in the middle of the Restaurant District. Interested?”

Chelsea paused…

“You’re working for Edan, aren’t you?” she asked, narrowing her eyes.

“I ain’t gonna confirm or deny that,” he replied.

“Edan?” asked Yumi. “Who the heck is Edan?”

“Tell you later,” answered Chelsea.

She hesitated. The thought of treating Ren and Yumi to a steakhouse and not having to use her trust fund was tempting… And even if she lost, she knew who this guy wanted her to meet – and it would be the same thing all over again…

“Chelsea, be careful…” said Ren.

“I’m being careful,” replied Chelsea. “Okay, I’ll take that bet… Uh, do you even have a name?”

“Mick…” said the youth.

This’ll be like takin’ candy from a joey… he thought.



* * * * * * * * * *


The shadowy onlooker watched once again, concealed between two buildings surrounding the courtyard.

Hmm…

Peter Ramset used an Archfiend Deck, a difficult strategy to master…

It will be refreshing to see whether his daughter has adopted the same strategy, or whether she has chosen something entirely different.

Will Chelsea seek to imitate her parent, or be an individual? We’ll soon find out…



* * * * * * * * * *


Chelsea stood apart from Mick and shuffled her deck. She glanced up at the large mural of Spirit of the Books on the building behind him. She often wondered if that Monster had a story behind it… Some sort of scholar in the world where Duel Monsters lived?

As she was doing so, a wisp appeared next to her, and a phantom appeared. It was a young woman, dressed in Geisha-style clothing of the feudal era of Japan.

“Lady Akemi?” whispered Chelsea. “You came too?”

The ghost nodded.

“I was bored, so I came to watch,” replied Akemi. “I think this should be interesting…”

“I warn you…” said Chelsea, “I can’t give you the play-by-play on how every rule works.”

“Oh, don’t worry…” said Akemi. “I’ve been researching this little game of yours for a while…”

Chelsea gave her a strange look.

“Chelsea, I’ve been haunting the Domino Library ever since it became a library,” said the Geisha. “I don’t have much to do but read.”

“You gonna talk to yourself all day, or are we gonna duel?” asked Mick.

Chelsea’s Disk activated.

“Bring it…” she said.

Mick’s Disk activated.

“Game on!” they both said.



(Chelsea: 8,000) -------------------- (Mick: 8,000)


“I insist, you go first…” said Mick.

“You’re too kind,” said Chelsea sarcastically, drawing her first card.

She looked over her opening hand.

“To start…” she said, “I’ll summon Vampire Lady in Attack Mode.”

She played the card, and with a haunting female laugh, a female vampire with green skin and hair, wearing a purple robe appeared. She smiled, revealing small fangs. (1,550/1,550)



http://www.ideal808.com/images/ast-0131.jpg


“Be careful, because she’s hungry,” she said. “That’s all for my move…”

“Heh, heh…” said Mick, drawing a card. “Too bad…”

He opened his Field Slot.

“I play Mystic Plasma Zone.”

He played the card, and the same uncanny darkness that Ren had created covered the field like a dark fog.

“You gotta be kidding!” laughed Chelsea. “You do know that my Vampire Lady is a Dark Monster, right?”

Vampire Lady grinned, bearing fangs, and her stats changed to (2,050/1,150).

“All part of my plan…” said Mick, taking another card. “Now I’m gonna teach you how ta say ‘ouch’ in Australian!”

“Oh, please…” replied Chelsea, putting her hand on her hip. “I happen to know that that the Australian word for ‘ouch’ is also ‘ouch’. Furthermore…”

“I summon Drillago in Attack Mode!” interrupted Mick.

He played the card, and a weird Machine appeared. It looked like it was made entirely out of sharp drills and screws. (1,600/1,100) –> (2,100/700)



http://www.ideal808.com/images/ioc-0261.jpg


“What is THAT?” shouted Ren.

“It’s trouble…” answered Yumi.

“This guy not only looks cool,” said Mick, “but he can attack you directly if the only cards on your side of the field are Monsters with 1,600 Attack Points or more. And since I upped your vampire’s Attack Points, that’s all good.

“So… open wide!”

Drillago’s drills started to spin, and it flew forward. Chelsea screamed as it jammed its weapons into her chest.

Akemi caught her as she fell over…

“Thanks…” muttered Chelsea.

“Thanks?” said Mick, grinning. “What, you want me ta do that again?”

“These demons aren’t real, are they?” asked Akemi, getting scared.

“They’re illusions…” whispered Chelsea. “Phantasms… So no, not really. The pain they cause comes from the Disks. It’s rather hard to explain…”



(C: 5,900) -------------------- (M: 8,000)


Chelsea looked at her foe.

“Such a pretty smile…” she said, with a growl. “It’d be a shame if I knocked out some teeth…”

She drew a card.

Widespread Ruin… she thought. Might come in handy… But I can take out his demented drill now…

“I sacrifice Vampire Lady…” she said.

Vampire Lady vanished in a burst of shadow…

“To summon my Vampire Lord!”

In another burst of shadow, an older, male vampire appeared, dressed in an exotic costume and a cape. His eyes glowed with sinister light, and he smiled, also revealing fangs. (2,000/1,500) –> (2,500/1,100)



http://www.ideal808.com/images/drc_000_1st.jpg


“Attack his Drillago!” she shouted. “Children of the night!”

Vampire Lord lifted his cloak, and a swarm of bats flew forward. Drillago sparked and exploded into scrap.

“And when Vampire Lord preys on a Monster, he preys on your deck too,” continued Chelsea. “I’m telling you to discard a Spell Card from it.”

Mick lifted an eyebrow.

He took his deck and leafed through it until he found a Polymerization card.

Don’t really need this… he thought, discarding it, since I’ve already got my other one in my hand…

“Continuing my turn…” said Chelsea, “I’ll place this facedown…”

She fit a card into her Disk, and a facedown card appeared.

“And next, I’ll play my Book of Life Spell Card. It’s called the Book of Life because it gives life to creatures that didn’t have any to begin with. Of course, to give life to such creatures, you have to take some away, so I’m removing your Drillago from play to bring back Vampire Lady. Don’t want to mess with that thing again…”

Mick grunted as she played the card and Drillago fell out of his discard slot.

Vampire Lady reappeared next to Vampire Lord in a burst of energy. (1,550/1,550) –> (2,050/1,150)

“Bet you’re sorry you played that Field Spell now,” she said. “It’s your move…”



(C: 5,900) -------------------- (M: 7,600)


“She’s got him good!” laughed Ren. “He’s pushed into a corner!”

“Quiet…” said Yumi. “What do you want to do, jinx it?”

Mick drew a card.

“First let’s clear the air,” he said. “I play Heavy Storm.”

He played the card, and a fierce wind erupted around the arena. Chelsea braced herself, and Akemi held her kimono down. The darkness of Mystic Plasma Zone blew away, and Chelsea’s Trap Card lifted up and shattered.

“Widespread Ruin?” said Mick with a smirk. “Glad I got rid of it. Next I play Nightmare’s Steelcage.”

The ground erupted around Chelsea, Akemi, and the two vampires, and an iron cage studded with spikes formed, trapping them inside.

“This is creepy…” muttered Akemi.

“Don’t worry…” said Chelsea. “He can’t attack me any more than I can attack him… For two of my turns…”

“I can’t attack, sure,” said Mick, who apparently had overheard, “but I still can hurt you by summoning this – another Machine called Bowganian.”

He played a card, and a smallish Machine appeared. It was spherical, with its body shaped like a big eye. It had two mechanical arms one of which gripped a metal crossbow. (1,300/1,000)



http://www.ideal808.com/images/ioc-029.jpg


“Cage or no cage, each time I start my turn, this thing will shoot 600 off of your Life Points.

“Next, I’ll play a Continuous Spell Card,” he said. “It’s called Dark Mechanic.”

A Spell Card appeared on his side of the field. It showed an ominous picture of a fiendish creature dressed as a mechanic, holding a wrench and wearing a tool belt.

“And what does that do?” asked Chelsea.

“Let’s just say…” said Mick, “that if you destroy any of my Machines, there’ll be consequences.

“I’ll end my turn at that.”

“Ah’ve seen a deck like this before…” said Heck. “He likely has all Machines of the Dark Attribute. The guy ah saw who used it called it an Infernal Technology Deck.”

“Swell…” muttered Ren. “I hope she can bust free before he manages to summon that Blowback Dragon… That thing is hard to stop.”

Chelsea drew a card.

“I summon Soul-Absorbing Bone Tower,” she said.

With a rumble, a tall column of bones and skulls rose out of the ground behind her. (400/1,500)



http://www.ideal808.com/images/ast-011.jpg


“It may not be the strongest Monster,” she said, “but it can’t be attacked so long as I have at least one other Zombie on my side of the field. And that will be all for me.”

The cage rusted over and started to chip.

“Then I draw!” said Mick with a laugh. “And Bowganian’s effect activates!”

Bowganian pointed its crossbow and shot a metal arrow at Chelsea. It turned into energy, flew right through the cage, and struck her in the chest. She gasped and doubled over in pain.



(C: 5,300) -------------------- (M: 7,600)


“Next, I’ll move it to Defense Mode…” he said.

Bowganian backed up and pointed the crossbow upward.

“And then I’ll summon one of my most useful Monsters. It’s called a Cyber Esper.”

He played a card, and a new Machine appeared. It looked like a thin, metallic, humanoid wasp of some sort, with four blade-like wings. Its shoulders were shrugged, and it bowed its head downwards. (1,200/1,800)



http://www.ideal808.com/images/cdip-en0051.jpg


“Most useful?” said Chelsea. “It has 1,200 lousy Attack Points.”

“Maybe so…” said Mick, “but Attack Points ain’t everything.

“By the way, your friend over there wasn’t entirely right… This guy is a Fire Monster. But he still does the job…

“That’s enough for my turn for now…”

Chelsea drew again.

“Hold it,” said Mick. “So long as Cyber Esper is on the field, I get to see any card you draw. Now ain’t that useful?”

Chelsea growled and showed it to him. It was Monster Reincarnation.

“I’ll move my Soul-Absorbing Bone Tower to Defense Mode, just in case…” she said.

It was hard to see any difference in the Tower’s position, since it was a tower of bones, but it was now defending.

“And I’ll place this card facedown too…”

She fit a card into her Disk, and it appeared behind her Monsters.

She waved her hand. The Steelcage rusted over completely, and then shattered to bits.

“All right,” said Mick, drawing. “Time to take out your Vampire Lord. But first…”

Bowganian fired another shot, and Chelsea screamed.

“Now I play… Megamorph. And I’ll Equip it to your Vampire Lord.”

He played the card, and Vampire Lord held his chest and grimaced, as if in pain.

“Since I happen to have more Life Points than you,” continued Mick, “it cuts his Attack Points in half.”

Vampire Lord fell to an Attack of 1,000.

“Next…” he said. “I’ll summon my Card Trooper.”

With a series of beeps and whistles, a much cuter Machine rolled up in front of Mick. It looked like a cross between Robby the Robot and a toy tank, with two cannons, with wheels for locomotion. (400/400)



http://www.ideal808.com/images/dp03-en009.jpg


Chelsea raised an eyebrow.



Continued…

Dark Sage
20th March 2007, 07:08 AM
Continued from last post:



“Now I activate its effect,” said Mick, reaching for his deck. “By discarding up to three cards from the top of my deck, for one turn only, it gains 500 Attack Points for each.”

He took three cards off the top of his deck and looked at them.

He discarded a Battle Footballer, Rare Metalmorph, and Limiter Removal. Card Trooper rose to an Attack of 1,900.

“Attack her Vampire Lord!” he shouted. “Cosmic cannons!”

Card Trooper beeped and whirred. Then it blasted its guns, and Vampire Lord groaned before he was blown to pieces.



(C: 3,800) -------------------- (M: 7,600)


“Well…” said Mick with a chuckle. “My turn is over, so Card Trooper’s Attack Score goes back to 400. So, what are you gonna do now?”

Chelsea angrily drew a card…

She frowned again and turned it towards him.

“Ooh, Mirage of Nightmare…” said Mick. “Think it will do you any good?”

“Did you forget about this?” asked Chelsea, holding up Monster Reincarnation.

She played the card, and an ankh appeared on the field that looked somewhat like the one on Monster Reborn, but different.

“Now, I’ll toss one card…”

She slipped one card into her discard slot.

“…and Vampire Lord returns to my hand.”

A card came out of it.

“Now I’ll sacrifice Vampire Lady to summon him again.”

Vampire Lady vanished in a wave of shadow, and Vampire Lord reappeared. (2,000/1,500)

“Vampire Lord… Destroy his Bowganian!”

Vampire Lord shot forth his flurry of bats, and the Machine sparked and exploded.

“I was getting sick of that thing…” she muttered. “Next, I place one card facedown, and activate Mirage of Nightmare.”

She played the cards. A facedown card appeared, followed by the Spell Card.

“I end my turn…”

Mick grimaced and drew a card.

“Now my Mirage of Nightmare activates!” exclaimed Chelsea. “I get to draw until I have four cards…”

She made four draws.

“Take a look,” she said, turning them towards him. “You may be able to see them, but you can’t stop me from using them.”

They were Vampire Genesis, Blood Sucker, Call of the Mummy, and Ryu Kokki.

“On a side note,” she continued, “I’d also have to discard four cards when I started my turn. But now I activate Emergency Provisions, to get rid of the Mirage card before that becomes an issue. And I gain 1,000 Life Points to boot.”

One of her facedown cards lifted, and a huge mouth appeared and swallowed the Mirage card.

“You are one lucky bitch,” said Mick. “Still my turn… I move Cyber Esper and Card Trooper into Defense Mode…”

Cyber Esper knelt and shielded itself, and Card Trooper shielded itself with its cannon-arms.



(C: 4,800) -------------------- (M: 7,600)


“Your move, Goth-girl.”

“Don’t call me that…” said Chelsea, drawing a card.

“And this will be the last time,” she said, as she turned it towards him.

Another Vampire Lady… he thought. Pathetic…

Chelsea looked over the five cards in her hand.

“I remove Vampire Lord from play, to summon the Vampire Genesis!” she shouted.

Vampire Lord faded away, and in a burst of darkness, a huge creature rose up. He was a hulking, fiendish thing, ten feet tall and muscular, wearing a spiked harness and a thick cape studded with spikes. His large mouth had tusks, and its eyes glowed with a light that looked like burning embers. (3,000/2,100)



http://www.ideal808.com/images/sd2-en001.jpg


“And since I just Special Summoned a Zombie,” continued Chelsea, “the effect of Soul-Absorbing Bone Tower activates, and you lose the top two cards off your deck.”

The skulls on the Tower glowed with sinister light. Mick frowned and took the two cards off his deck.

Blimey! he thought. My Jinzo and Hex Sealed Fusion! She’s gonna pay for that…

He discarded them.

“Vampire Genesis, attack Cyber Esper!” shouted Chelsea. “Crimson shroud!”

Vampire Genesis burst into a cloud of blood-red vapor, and blew forward, blowing the Machine to atoms.

“Your move…” said Chelsea, as the vampire reformed on her side of the field.

Mick drew a card.

“I play my Pot of Greed,” he said, playing the card.

The wicked jar appeared, and he made two draws.

He smiled.

“My patience has paid off…” he said with a sinister grin. “I use Polymerization, to fuse together Barrel Dragon and Blowback Dragon!”

Two huge Machines made of dark metal appeared on the field… They were both drawn into a dark vortex…



http://www.itstimetoduel.com/cardpictures/MRD-EN126.jpghttp://www.itstimetoduel.com/cardpictures/LOB-EN059.jpghttp://www.itstimetoduel.com/cardpictures/AST-022.jpg


“Oh no…” muttered Ren. “He can combine those into…”

“That’s right, mates!” laughed Mick, as the two Machines combined. “The incredible Gatling Dragon!”

With a whir and a rumble, a huge Machine on large wheels rolled onto the arena. It was hulking, standing ten feet tall, with an armored hull made of black plating, with three laser cannons on thick tentacles. It hummed a scary, menacing sound… (2,600/1,200)



http://www.ideal808.com/images/yugioh-fet-en-035.jpg


“Man, if he gets more than one head with that thing’s effect,” said Ren, “Chelsea is in big trouble…”

“You do realize…” said Chelsea, “that if you run out of Monsters on my side of the field to destroy, it’s gonna have to destroy yours…”

“What do ya think my Card Trooper is for?” asked Mick. “There’s no way I can’t come out on top!

“Go! Triple toss!”

Three lights shot up, and then three coins fell to the ground. They started to spin…

The first one… Heads.

The second one… Heads.

The third one… Heads.

“Ah, well…” said Mick with a smirk. “At least I’ll be able to…”

“Go, Trap Card!” shouted Chelsea, as her Trap Card lifted. “Interdimensional Matter Transporter!”

A weird-looking device resembling a metal, futuristic Christmas tree appeared on her side. It shot out a beam of light, and Vampire Genesis vanished.

“Wh… what happened to him?” asked Mick. “When did you set that?”

“My Trap removed him from play until the End Phase,” said Chelsea, with a grin. “And as for your second question, I set it on the turn after you played Cyber Esper, so it was already in my hand, and you never saw me draw it.

“Well now… Your Gatling Dragon must destroy three Monsters, but Vampire Genesis is no longer a valid option.”

Mick seethed with anger…

Soul-Absorbing Bone Tower shattered to bits, then Mick’s Card Trooper was also blown to pieces, and finally, Gatling Dragon itself exploded in a fiery conflagration.

“Ugh…” he said. “Well… When Card Trooper is destroyed, I get to draw one card…”

He made a draw. He added the card to his hand.

“I end my turn…” he muttered.

The Interdimensional Matter Transporter glowed, and Vampire Genesis returned.

Chelsea drew one card. She looked at it for a minute.

“I summon… Blood Sucker!” she exclaimed.

In an explosion of dark energy, a bat-like humanoid with red skin and horns, with claws, talons, and wing-like protrusions on its arms appeared. (1,300/1,500)



http://www.ideal808.com/images/yugioh_premium_pack_8_pp8_jp004.jpg


“Now I attack directly with Vampire Genesis!”

Mick screamed as the crimson shroud flew into him, propelling him backwards.

He staggered up and held his head…

“Blood Sucker, you too…” said Chelsea. “Claw rend!”

Blood Sucker slashed at Mick with both his claws, and he screamed in pain.

“And when Blood Sucker damages your Life Points,” continued Chelsea, “you lose the top card from your deck.”

Mick took the top card from his deck. He growled when he realized what it was. He discarded it.

“Good show, Chelsea,” said Lady Akemi.

She took a fan out of her kimono and started to fan herself.

“Now finish him good. This uncultured rake is starting to get on my nerves.”

“Will do,” said Chelsea. “It’s your move, Mick…”



(C: 4,800) -------------------- (M: 3,300)


Mick drew a card.

“Heh, heh, heh…” he chuckled. “You are as good as E…”

He stopped short.

“Uh, forget I said that…” he quickly said.

“Now it’s time to show you what my Dark Mechanic can do…”

The card started to burn with black fire…

“See, every time one of my Machines was sent to the Graveyard, it gained one counter. Now I can remove it from play, and then Special Summon a Machine from my hand or deck that has an equal or less number of counters.

“Eight of my Machines have been sent to the Graveyard since I played it… But I’m only going to summon a Level Seven Machine… My best Monster…”

The Spell Card vanished.

A huge form started to materialize onto the field, burning with golden fire...

“Meet Emes the Infinity!” he shouted.

The creature that appeared on the field was both big and intimidating. It was built to resemble a creature in golden armor, with a serpentine, metal trunk in place of legs. It had four arms, holding a huge sword, a shield, a scepter, and a spear. (2,500/2,000)



http://www.ideal808.com/images/dbt-en001.jpg


“That guy can’t beat Vampire Genesis…” said Chelsea.

“Can he now?” asked Mick. “Well, maybe not yet. Emes, attack her Blood Sucker! Divine blade!”

Emes the Infinity charged forward, slashing at Blood Sucker with its sword. The Zombie was smashed to pieces.

“And by the way,” chuckled Mick. “Whenever he kills a Monster, Emes gains 700 Attack Points. So now he’s strong enough.”

Emes grew to an Attack of 3,200.

“I’ll end my turn there…”



(C: 3,600) -------------------- (M: 3,300)


Chelsea nervously drew.

“I move Vampire Genesis to Defense Mode…” she said with a gulp.

The huge Vampire knelt in Defense.

“Then I’ll set another Monster in Defense Mode…”

She played a card, and a facedown Monster appeared.

“Then I’ll set this facedown…”

She fit a card into her Disk, and a facedown card appeared.

“I can’t do anything else…”

Mick drew a card. He looked at it for a second.

“Emes, destroy her Vampire Genesis!” he shouted.

Emes slithered forward, and slashed with its sword. Vampire Genesis howled, and then exploded.

“And once again, he gets stronger…”

(3,900/2,000)

“Does that thing have a limit?” asked Heck.

“Unfortunately, no…” answered Yumi. “Hence the term ‘Infinity’.”

“Don’t worry…” said Ren, nervously. “Chelsea will think of something…”

Chelsea’s hand shook as she drew a card.

“Come on, Chelsea,” muttered Ren, “think of something…”

Chelsea placed another card on her Disk, and another Monster appeared in Defense Mode.

She glared at him.

“I take it that means you want me to move…” said Mick.

He drew a card.

Then he laughed.

“I play the Spell Card, Double Attack!” he exclaimed. “Now I just have to discard a Monster who’s a higher Level than Emes, like my Perfect Machine King here…”

He discarded his last card.

“And Emes gets to attack twice! Emes, attack the Monster on the left!”

Emes charged. A werewolf wearing ragged trousers with broken shackles on his wrists appeared on the card. Emes’s sword struck it, and it was blown to bits.

“That was my Zombie Werewolf!” shouted Chelsea. “And when he’s destroyed in battle, I get to summon another one from my deck, with 500 more Attack Points. So I’ll put him in Defense Mode.”

In a burst of shadow, another Zombie Werewolf appeared, crouching in defense. (1,700/1,200)

“Big deal,” said Mick. “Emes, destroy the second one!”

Emes slashed with his sword, and the second Werewolf was destroyed.

“Close…” said Chelsea, “but I have three in my deck.”

In another burst of energy, a third Werewolf appeared, also in defense. (2,200/1,200)

Emes grew to an Attack of 5,300.

“You’re stalling, and it isn’t gonna help…” said Mick. “It’s your move.”

Chelsea drew.

Oh no! she thought, in panic. I have nothing to summon at all! Just my Ryu Kokki… Whether it’s him or Vampire Lady defending won’t make a difference against that thing… And if I sacrifice one of them to summon him in Defense Mode, he’d know which Monster has the higher Defense…

If he draws something that can beat a 1,200 Defense, I’ll be left defenseless! If Edan’s toadies are this good, how much better has he gotten?

“I have to pass…” she muttered.

“Don’t give up, Chelsea!” shouted Ren. “Do what Yumi would do!”

Do what Yumi would do? thought Chelsea. If I were Yumi, I’d have already drawn a card that would have saved me. My facedown card is only a bluff… This may be the last round I can defend…

Mick drew a card.

“Well, Chelsea…” he said, “It’s been fun, but this duel is over. I just drew Big Bang Shot!”

He showed her the card.

“And I’ll Equip it to Emes. It not only raises his Attack by 400, but it gives him a trampling effect to boot.”

Emes the Infinity roared, and rose to at Attack of 5,700…

Chelsea’s eyes opened wide.

My facedown card! she thought. Now it CAN save me!

“I activate my facedown card!” she shouted. “Go, Dust Tornado!”

Her Trap Card lifted, and a tornado flew across the field, and blasted the Big Bang Shot card to pieces.

“You obviously know…” said Chelsea, “that when Big Bang Shot is destroyed, the Monster it was Equipped to is removed from play…”

Emes the Infinity faded into a blur, and disappeared.

“Wha… buh… guh…” gasped Mick. “How… No one’s ever beaten it before…”

Ren and Yumi started to cheer.

“First time for everything…” laughed Chelsea. “And now, it’s my move!”

“I flip my facedown Monster into Attack Mode,” she said. “My second Vampire Lady.”

The card flipped up, and Vampire Lady appeared. (1,550/1,550)

“And then… I move Zombie Werewolf to Attack Mode too…”

Zombie Werewolf stood up, and howled…

“Ho boy…” muttered Mick. “This is gonna hurt…”

“Zombie Werewolf,” she ordered, “you’re up first. Terror claw!”

The werewolf flew forward and slashed at Mick with its talon.

Mick teetered, dizzy…

“Vampire Lady…” said Chelsea, “finish him off. Lunch time.”

Vampire Lady vanished, and Mick looked startled…

He was more startled as the vampire gently embraced him from behind. He tried to break free, but he was frozen in place…

Then Vampire Lady plunged her fangs into his jugular, and he moaned. His remaining Life Points started to fall…

“That’s it…” said Chelsea. “Drink up and savor it.”

Mick fell to his knees as Vampire Lady drank her fill. Finally, he fell to the ground with his face in the dirt as the vampire simply smiled.



(C: 3,600) -------------------- (M: 0)


“So, you won?” asked Akemi.

“Uh huh,” said Chelsea. “I love ending a duel with her. She always brings the end with a good show.”

The two Zombies slowly vanished.

She checked her badge, which was now at Yellow.

“Way to go, Chelsea!” shouted Ren, as Chelsea walked up to Mick.

Chelsea yanked the coupon away from Mick, who was just getting up.

“Next time Edan wants to deal with me,” she said through her teeth, “tell him he can come himself!”

Mick gave an ashamed look, and then ran off.

Chelsea looked at her friends.

“Come to think of it, it is lunch time,” she said. “How about some hamburgers?”



Continued…

Dark Sage
20th March 2007, 07:13 AM
Continued from last post:



Well… thought the onlooker.

Chelsea has clearly decided not to build a deck of Fiends, but to instead go with a different creature of darkness – Zombies. The reason for the shift, I’m not sure, but she clearly has a reason.

She’s also a powerful woman who won’t be dominated, not by this Edan fellow or by anyone else. She’ll be someone to look out for, for certain…

Anyway…

The onlooker put the notebook in a dufflebag and took out a Duel Disk.

I can’t waste time here forever…

And then the spy turned and left, heading deeper into Duelatopia… Undoubtedly in search of a challenge.



* * * * * * * * * *


A short time later, the four of them were at a small, open-air restaurant called Hamburger Recipe. The place was dominated by a large mural of Hungry Burger, and the menu offered a great deal of finger-food. The burgers were big and had all the trimmings.

“So…” said Yumi, watching Chelsea pour ketchup on hers, “just who is this Edan character?”

Chelsea took a bite out of her hamburger and slowly chewed.

“Ever hear of underground dueling?” she asked.

“I know about those things…” said Ren. “Secret nightclubs in the slums of the cities, where brutal, painful duels are held for the patrons’ amusement. They’re little more than cockfights.”

“Edan is one of the participants,” answered Chelsea, “and he’s survived a long time in those places with his Rock Deck, but ever since he saw me, he’s had a demented crush on me.

“Of course, the reason he’s into underground dueling is because he’s not a nice guy. He was admitted to the Pro League, but he got kicked out after his first match.

“I was told about it. His opponent had only 1,000 Life Points left, and Edan was in the position to make a direct attack with his Granmarg and win.

“But he got an idea that he thought would make a true showstopper. He played Double Attack, discarding his Megarock Dragon so that Granmarg could attack twice, even though that was completely unnecessary.

“Instead of getting the cheers he expected, he was booed out of the arena. He had forgotten that this wasn’t professional wrestling. The ones in charge threw him out of the Pro League for such a cruel move.

“Underground dueling suited him better. In places like that, it pays to be brutal. Frankly, I don’t know why he’s here. I’m guessing he and that guy I just dueled used forged papers or something to get invited.

“He’s been trying to bring me into his fold for a long time, offering tempting wagers… But I’ve beaten him time and time again. Last time he tried using the Megarock Dragon, and I was even able to beat that. Blew it to pieces with my Widespread Ruin. He’s notorious for running right into Trap Cards. That’s his weakness.

“He’s never going to learn that you can’t force a woman to love you, no matter how hard you try…

“And now, thanks to him, we have dinner for free tonight!”

“Well…” said Heck, tossing his napkin and soda cup in the trash, “ah think ah’ll be leaving you guys. Ah’ve watched for long enough.”

“You sure you’re ready to try again, Heck?” asked Yumi. “You only have one more chance…”

“Ah can’t avoid it forever,” he replied. “Who knows… Maybe we’ll all meet up again before this is out.

“So ah’ll be seeing you around…”

He got up and strode off.



* * * * * * * * * *


The fortuneteller sat at her table. In front of her was The High Priestess in the center of the table, and The Fool to the left.

“Two members of the conflict have been revealed,” she said. “But there are more… What of Chelsea, I wonder?”

She took a card off her deck and turned it over, setting it to the right of The High Priestess.

It was a bizarre card. A beautiful maiden, dressed in a white dress, held a lion firmly around the neck with one arm, and held its mouth closed with the other. Despite her purity and fragile appearance, she was dominating this beast.

“Yes, The Strength…” said the fortuneteller. “A sign of unshakeable will that cannot be broken. Whatever enemy approaches, he will find Chelsea a difficult foe to dominate…”

She looked at the deck.

“More remains to be seen… But not just yet…”



* * * * * * * * * *


In another part of Duelatopia…

Two duelists stood apart. One was a twenty-year-old man with glasses and a short beard (no moustache), wearing a sweater and casual pants.

The other duelist was a sixteen-year-old with a boyish face, and golden-blonde hair. His arms were slightly muscular, and he wore a sweatshirt and jeans.

Both of them were at Orange status.

“You don’t know what you’re getting into, Nicholas was it?” said the older man. “I’ll have you begging for mercy in less than three rounds!”

“I came here to duel…” muttered the youth, in a clear British accent. “Not to listen to hot air.”

“Well, duel then,” said the older duelist. “Try not to embarrass yourself.”

The scores both set to 8,000, and Nicholas drew a sixth card.

“I’ll start by playing Pot of Greed…” he said.

He played the card, and drew twice.

“Now I set a Monster in Defense Mode, and I’ll take a break for now.”

A facedown Monster appeared.

The older duelist drew.

“I’ll place a Monster in Defense Mode as well…” he said, setting a card.

Another facedown Monster appeared.

“And now, I play Dimensional Fissure.”

As he played the card, the air behind him tore open, and a dark void opened up.

“Now, any Monster that would normally go to the Graveyards in removed from play.

“Your move again.”

Nicholas made a draw.

“First,” he said, “I’ll place three cards facedown on the field…”

He played three cards, and three facedown cards appeared.

“Next…” he said, “I’ll sacrifice my facedown Monster to summon Total Defense Shogun.”

He played the card, and the facedown card vanished, replaced by a burly Warrior in armor and a cape, holding a huge sword. (1,550/2,500)



http://www.ideal808.com/images/ct1-en001.jpg


“And when Shogun is summoned,” he continued, “he automatically moves into Defense Mode.”

Total Defense Shogun knelt in Defense.

“I could attack with him, despite him being in Defense Mode, but I think I’ll wait. It’s your move…”

The older duelist drew.

“Heh, heh…” he said. “First, I play Graceful Charity. I draw three cards, and discard two…”

He drew three cards, and looked them over. Then he pocketed two of them (clearly they were Monsters).

“Next…” he continued. “I flip-summon my Magician of Faith.”

The set Monster on the field rose up in Attack Mode, revealing the ponytailed Spellcaster in a tunic, holding a staff topped with a crescent moon. (300/400)



http://www.ideal808.com/images/db1-en163.jpg


“I’ll use her effect to get Graceful Charity back…” he continued. “Then I play it again.”

He played the card, drew three cards, and pocketed two.

“Is this bloody combo of yours gonna take much longer?” asked Nicholas.

“Quiet!” he replied. “Never saw anyone so anxious to lose… And now I play… Dimension Fusion. I’ll pay 2,000 Life Points to summon the four Monsters I removed from play.”

In flashes of light, four Monsters appeared on his side of the field: Two Marauding Captains (1,200/400 x2), one D.D. Assailant (1,700/1,600), and one Command Knight (1,200/1,900).



http://www.itstimetoduel.com/cardpictures/LOD-EN018.jpghttp://www.itstimetoduel.com/cardpictures/CT1-EN003.jpghttp://www.itstimetoduel.com/cardpictures/DBT-EN002.jpg


“I get to bring back a Monster too…” said Nicholas. “Earthbound Spirit, in Defense Mode.”

A ghoulish creature made of soil crept partially out of the earth in front of Nicholas. (500/2,000)



http://www.ideal808.com/images/lon-055.jpg


“Whatever…” said his opponent, “Finally, since I haven’t Normal Summoned I’ll sacrifice Magician of Faith to summon Freed the Matchless General!”

He switched cards on his Disk. The Spellcaster vanished, and General Freed appeared. (2,300/1,700)



http://www.ideal808.com/images/db2-en137.jpg


“I’d say I was impressed,” said Nicholas, “but frankly, I am not…”

“Oh?” said the duelist. “Let me explain a few things. Since I have two Marauding Captains on the field…”

“I know, a Captain Lock,” interrupted Nicholas. “I’m not dumb. And your Command Knight raises all their Attack Scores by 400. I’m still not impressed.”

“I’ll impress you…” said the duelist. “Freed, attack his Total Defense Shogun!”

Freed leapt at the Shogun.

“I activate The Reliable Guardian,” said Nicholas, as one of his facedown cards lifted. “It increases my Shogun’s already-formidable Defense by 700 for one round.”

The Shogun swatted Freed aside with a backhand, and the General fell backwards.

The duelist growled.

“D.D. Assailant, destroy Earthbound Spirit!”

Assailant slashed with her sword, destroying the Fiend.

He looked at another card in his hand.

Bottomless Trap Hole.

He fit it into his Disk, and it appeared facedown.

“So now what?” asked the duelist.

Nicholas drew.

He gave his opponent a sinister look.

“I play my own Graceful Charity…” he said.

He drew three cards, and then pocketed two of them.

“And now, I activate my other two facedown cards…”

Two minutes later, a scream echoed across that part of Duelatopia…

The overconfident duelist was lying on his back with his cards scattered, shivering and babbling incoherently. Nicholas shuffled his deck, his badge now at Yellow.

“I can’t envy the nightmares you’re gonna have tonight…” he said. “But try to get some sleep anyway…”

He turned and walked away.



* * * * * * * * * * *


Half an hour later, in yet another part of the city…

Two other duelists were facing each other. One was a twenty-year-old with black hair dyed with green streaks.

The other was a sixteen-year-old girl with honey-blonde hair tied in two long braids. She wore clothing that was simple, but seemed outdated.

Again, both of them were at Orange.

“Want a piece of this, Olga?” said the man.

“Just duel…” said the girl, again in an accent that was British. “I have no time for frivolities.”

The scores each set to 8,000. The older duelist drew a card.

“I start by playing… Card Destruction!” he said. “Now we must both fold our hands and draw new ones.”

Olga shrugged, and discarded her hand, and then drew five new cards.

“Next, I play the Field Spell Luminous Spark, which grants all Light Monsters 500 Attack Points in exchange for 400 Defense.”

He played the card, and a bright light surrounded the field.

“Now I summon, The Creator Incarnate.”

He played the card, and a tall man in golden armor and a helmet appeared. (1,600/1,500) –> (2,100/1,100)



http://www.ideal808.com/images/rds-en0061.jpg


“And now I sacrifice him… To Special Summon… The Creator!”

The Creator Incarnate vanished, and a giant monolith of a being made of bronze appeared. It seemed made of gleaming metal, and had a huge disk on its back. (2,300/3,000) –> (2,800/2,600)



http://www.ideal808.com/images/een-ense2.jpg


“And now I discard one card to active its ability, and Special Summon Hyozanryu from my Graveyard.”

He discarded a card, and the huge, diamond Dragon appeared and roared. (2,100/2,800) –> (2,600/2,400)



http://www.ideal808.com/images/mrl-0751.jpg


“Heh, heh…” he said. “And next round I can summon someone who’s just as powerful. Your move…”

Olga drew a card.

“Two powerful Monsters in one turn, huh?” she asked. “Not bad, but I’ve seen better…

“I play this Spell Card…”

One minute later, another scream echoed over Duelatopia…

Olga’s opponent lay shaking on the ground, just as Nicholas’s opponent had. Olga shuffled her deck, and looked at her badge, which was now Yellow.

“Don’t think I’m harmless because I’m soft and cuddly!” she said with a smile.

She walked away.

Yumi, Ren, and Chelsea now have one victory apiece. But it seems some competition looms over the horizon. What lies ahead? What will the future hold?



ZOMBIE WEREWOLF (Monster Card)

Card Specs

Type: Zombie/Effect
Attribute: Dark
Level: 4
ATK: 1,200
DEF: 1,200

Card Description: When this card is destroyed as a result of battle and sent to the Graveyard, Special Summon one “Zombie Werewolf” from your hand or deck. The Special Summoned Monster’s base ATK becomes 500 more than the one that was destroyed to activate this effect.

Note: “Zombie Werewolf” was first used by Camula in the multi-part “Yu-Gi-Oh GX” episode “Field of Screams”. Creative credit goes to the writers of that episode.



BLOOD SUCKER (Monster Card)

Card Specs

Type: Zombie/Effect
Attribute: Dark
Level: 4
ATK: 1,300
DEF: 1,500

Card Description: When this card damages your opponent’s Life Points as a result of battle, your opponent discards the top card from his deck.

Note: “Blood Sucker” is a Japanese card that has not yet been released in the United States.



DARK MECHANIC (Spell Card)

Continuous Spell

Image: A fiend dressed as a mechanic, holding a wrench and standing in a junkyard.

Card Description: Whenever one of your Machine-Type Monsters is sent to the Graveyard, put one Summon Counter on this card. During your Main Phase, you may remove this card from play, and Special Summon a Machine-Type Monster from your deck whose Level is equal to or less than the number of Summon Counters on this card. If you use this effect, you may not Normal Summon, Flip-Summon, or Special Summon another Monster during the same turn.



Ren: Duelatopia… What wonders do you have that are waiting for us to unlock?

Chelsea: It’s a city of a thousand treasures. So many things to find if you know where to look… So Yumi, ready to give it another go?

Yumi: You bet! I’m getting right back into the thick of things!

Ren: Next chapter, “Magic versus Mesozoic; Miracle Jurassic”. Tell me, Yumi, did your grandpa ever duel Rex Raptor?

Yumi: Not the one you’re thinking of… But I have a feeling this will be more challenging…

Shuppet Master
20th March 2007, 11:14 AM
Looks like Yumi's going up against a Dino deck next chapter. I wonder if Tyranno Hassleberry will be mentioned. (Sorry if I spoiled anything, Brian. You don't have to confirm it.)

Loved seeing Chelsea duel, and those two incomplete duels where the opponents screamed as they lost interested me. I'm also curious about those two duelists, Nicholas and Olga. I have a feeling I know who their parents are, but that's just a wild guess. (Again, Brian, don't publicly confirm it.)

Great chapter, and I loved seeing that spirit, Lady Akemi.

jkBAKURA
20th March 2007, 12:32 PM
Ok, I think I just figured out something while reading this chapter. I like Vampire decks, and I don't know why.

True not everything we've seen so far is Vampire related. Some examples being the Bone tower and the Werewolves. I just hope that you don't focus too hard on the Deck Destruction aspect. That was more Nathen's field of expertise.

On that note, if Chelsea has the card I think she does, that Matter Transporter is going to be used to combo with it quite a bit.

As for the opponent, you used a nice mix of machines that weren't used in your previous stories. (and there have been quite a few machines) The character didn't feel as artificial as the opponents up to this point.

As for the opponents, the second teaser reminds me of another one-turn shutout from the anime, and I'm almost positive Olga is carrying the same theme. (it's the name that gives it away)

For Nicholas, we know it has something to do with removing things from the game, but that two card combo... I'm going to be kicking myself when it shows up I know it.

I can safely say that Ren and Chelsea's chapters will be fun reads. Yumi's first duel fell flat, but here's a chance to spice things up.

See you next week for the Mesazoic Monsters vs. Mighty Magicians, Triassic Terrors vs. Talented Tricksters, Cretacious Carnivores vs. Cunning Casters, Jurassic Giants vs...

*KLONK!*

Hinoryu
20th March 2007, 04:50 PM
Pretty good, I enjoyed it. I admit a terrible bias for the monsters that just won't stay dead, and Vampire Lord is top of the list. Great seeing him used.

So a couple villains already made their appearance, and a third who will likely show was mentioned too. I enjoyed the mention of the underground dueling; I hope it shows up at some point.

On a fairly hypocritical note, between Black Magician of Chaos and and Vampire Genesis, I can't help but think you've brought out the characters' trump cards just a bit too early. I know I'm very guilty of it, but it's still a concern.

Dark Sage
20th March 2007, 04:55 PM
Vampire Genesis is NOT Chelsea's trump. She has a monster that is even stronger. What is it? Just wait and see...

starjake
20th March 2007, 05:49 PM
Hmm...a Zombie that stronger than Vampire Genesis? Must be made-up; no Zombie has a higher ATK, and its Summon and effect are both easier to accomplish than those of the only monster who comes close (Fushioh Richie). Sounds frighteningly like a 'surprise-just-for-the-sake-of-surprise' sort of thing. Must all decks have a trump card?

That aside, this was a fun chapter. Dark Machines vs. Dark Zombies...just be careful (as someone mentioned) that this doesn't turn into a re-hash of Nathan. Your characterization of Chelsea was good also; I could definitely see her exemplifying Strength. The villain was your typical one-off villain (I can't even remember his name), but that's not really an issue this early in the story.

Wizards vs. Dinos...this ought to be fun. I wonder what Dark Magician would like when used with Fossil Fusion...

Dark Sage
20th March 2007, 05:56 PM
Spellcasters and Fossil Fusion? I'm pretty sure Jim has at least three (one for each time period) as he likely has a Fossil Fusion Monster for every occasion, and I could likely think up one...

And let me clarify...

Chelsea's trump (which is made up) is much weaker than Genesis as far as base ATK goes. It's power depends a lot on when and how it is used. It also has very strict summoning requirements, which can be hard to do, given its own effect.

Sound strange? Well, it will show up in her next duel.

And don't worry, Chelsea will be nothing like Nathan. To her, deck destruction is only a bonus that she gets from using Vampires. She doesn't desire to win by decking her opponent out.

Inferno_Dragon
20th March 2007, 09:10 PM
Zombies vs Machines huh ... quite a interesting duel. It seems like two of the Yu-Gi-Oh Junior Saga descendents are using decks different from their parents.




“All part of my plan…” said Mick, taking another card. “Now I’m gonna teach you how ta say ‘ouch’ in Australian!”

“Oh, please…” replied Chelsea, putting her hand on her hip. “I happen to know that that the Australian word for ‘ouch’ is also ‘ouch’. Furthermore…”



I love this quote, it so reminds me of a scene for KND Operation Z.E.R.O. I can't wait until I see Spellcaster against Dinos. Keep up the good work, Dark Sage.

Mystic_clown
23rd March 2007, 06:50 PM
Ok, let's see now.

First of all, the VWXYZ deck was pretty interesting, which is more than what I can say for Yumi's, which is pretty much a copy of Stan's deck, with a few tweaks.

I can certainly say Felicia didn't really grow on me. I can't see her paying any important role in the future, though I am a bit curious as to how everyone knows what's going on with the military and stuff, you'd think stuff like that would be TOP SECRET. Quite a broad theme for Ren's deck, dark worriers. Although, Zombire's back story didn't work for me (mainly because I've read the manga).

Now, what to say about Chelsea and Mick. Well, the decks were interesting, I'll give you that (although, we've seen Chelsea's deck before). Mick's was very interesting. Nice use of some neglected machines. Although, apart from that, Mick wasn't anything special.

I'm getting the feeling this Eden will be pretty much your average cookie-cutter villian. and I'm getting a sinking feeling I know what Chelsea's trump card is.

Hmm, let's see how this story unfolds.

starjake
23rd March 2007, 07:37 PM
I'm getting a sinking feeling I know what Chelsea's trump card is.

We all know Dark Sage wants to say it, so I'll spare him the trouble: Chelsea's trump is made-up. No one knows what it is because it came purely from Dark Sage's imagination. We're going to have to 'keep reading' to find out what it is (I figured I'd spare him the trouble of saying that, too).

Hinoryu
23rd March 2007, 09:09 PM
We all know Dark Sage wants to say it, so I'll spare him the trouble: Chelsea's trump is made-up. No one knows what it is because it came purely from Dark Sage's imagination. We're going to have to 'keep reading' to find out what it is (I figured I'd spare him the trouble of saying that, too).

However, he does reuse some made-up cards, and so I have a definate hunch on the trump, assuming it's one that's been used before.

Mystic_clown
23rd March 2007, 09:29 PM
That's what I meant. It's probably a made up card he's used before.

Master of Paradox
23rd March 2007, 10:38 PM
I won't spoil it outright, but I will say this about Chelsea's trump: you have seen it in Dark Messiah. At the time he used it, he basically telegraphed when it would be seen again.

And Mystic_Clown: Zombyra's backstory as seen in this story was originally made up for "Tilting the Balance". I made up something new because I did not like the manga version (and I hated those chapters).

Mystic_clown
23rd March 2007, 10:50 PM
hmm, I guess you're right. Zombyre's backstory ws a bit cheesy in the manga wasn't it?

As for Chelsea's trump card...I knew it, I just knew it would be that card.

Anyway, glad to see that maybe you'll review this as well.

Shuppet Master
23rd March 2007, 10:53 PM
I happen to own the manga of Shonen Jump where the kid tells about Zombyra's backstory and I happened to like it. Guess because I'm a romantic sucker. :)

Hinoryu
24th March 2007, 01:45 AM
Ah, then with Master of Paradox's hints, I'm sure I have it right.

Also, I enjoyed the Zombire chapters. Partially because I'm just a terrible comic book nerd, but mainly because the Dark Yuugi setting people on fire was just awesome.

Mystic_clown
24th March 2007, 01:59 AM
Yep, now that was cool. Dark Yuugi can be down right evil sometimes.

starjake
24th March 2007, 03:37 PM
Hmm...not for the first time, and definitely not for the last, I sit corrected.

However, for now, I am more interested in seeing what new tricks Yumi has up her magical sleeve. I'm wondering if Dark Magician of Chaos is not her strongest monster...I can think of a Spellcaster that would be most interesting to see used, and one that I could imagine Yumi using, especially given who her parents are...

Dark Sage
24th March 2007, 03:43 PM
I'll reply to all these comments.

One, yes, you've seen Chelsea's trump before, but I hope to present it in a different way once it appears.

Two, yes, Yumi has a couple of cards that are more powerful than Dark Magician of Chaos. However, she will not use them for quite a while. One of them she can't use unless she swaps a few cards from her side deck, and the other she simply won't get a chance to use until the time is right.

Three, Ren has a lot of surprises as well. You haven't seen his trump yet, I believe.

Like I said, these kids won't run out of tricks easy. Keep reading, and you'll see them all.

Dark Sage
26th March 2007, 02:56 AM
CHAPTER FIVE



Magic Versus Mesozoic;



Miracle Jurassic



As Yumi, Ren, and Chelsea wandered farther into the city, restaurants and shops gave way to larger buildings.

“I think we’re in the Museum District…” said Ren, looking at the map.

They were indeed, due to the structure that was visible from every part of this district. Construction of it was supposedly just completed, but sadly, it would not be open to guests until winter break.

It loomed over the skyline – a life-size and very real replica of Clock Tower Prison, the infamous Field Spell used by the famous pro-duelist Aster Phoenix, who was now long since retired. The clock tower itself currently worked, and supposedly, when it opened, it would hold many new, colorful attractions, including a wax museum and a supernatural lore archive.

Yumi would have loved to go there if it were open. But this was still the Museum District, and she always liked museums. It ran in the family.

“What do they have here?” she asked.

“Well, let’s see…” said Ren. “The technology museum, the art museum, the planetarium, the Egyptian exhibit…”

Yumi paused to see the Pharaoh standing behind her.

“Maybe later, Yumi,” he said. “I’ve seen plenty of those…”

Yumi nodded.

“The Kaiba Memorial Library…” continued Ren.

“That’s where his Dragons are, right?” asked Chelsea.

Yumi nodded.

“Some other time,” she said.

“Oh, look…” said Ren, pointing.

They looked up, and saw a large building with the entrance flanked by statues of velociraptors.

“The Duelatopia Museum of Natural History,” said Ren. “Just opened this year…”

They looked at each other.

“Why not?” said Yumi. “Who doesn’t love looking at dinosaur fossils?”

“You said it,” replied Ren. “For creatures that have been extinct for millions of years, dinosaurs are pretty popular.”

They walked towards the building.



* * * * * * * * * *


The entrance hall of the museum was huge, and dominated by a very large exhibit. It was a nearly complete skeleton of a triceratops, bigger than any that they had seen before.

Chelsea looked at the sign in front: No eating; No drinking; No horseplay; No flash photography.

Typical rules for a museum. She quickly put her ordinary camera in her case, and switched to the one holding high-speed film.

Yumi read the plaque next to the triceratops.

“Ironhorns…” she read. “Discovered in North Dakota in 2030, by Maurice Leason, both the biggest and most complete triceratops fossil known.”

“He looks like a mean one…” muttered Chelsea. “I’ll bet if some T-Rex were causing trouble, he’d charge at the guy like an offensive linebacker, and jam those horns right into the big guy’s gut.”

“Not likely…” said a voice from behind.

They turned. The voice belonged to a man who was about forty, dressed in a grey formal suit. He held a derby hat by his side. He had hair that seemed to be going prematurely grey, and a bushy mustache.

“The triceratops could never have charged at an enemy like a modern rhino could have,” said the man, in an accent that seemed British. “If it did, its horns would break. If, as you say, it were threatened by a T-Rex or other large predator, its strategy would more likely be to stand its ground, like a defensive football player would, to use your analogy, and let the enemy run itself into its horns.”

“How do you know?” asked Chelsea.

“Well, I…” started the man.

“Hey!” shouted Ren. “I know you! You’re Marlon Farnsworth!”

“Ah heh…” chuckled the man. “You saw me in National Geographic, I assume…”

“Who is this guy?” asked Chelsea.

“He’s a big… what are they called?” asked Ren. “Pale… Platea…

“Paleontologist…” said the man.

“Right,” said Ren. “Three months ago, he headed a group that discovered a complete stegosaurus skeleton.”

“Truthfully, it was only just under 98% complete,” said Marlon. “But I do like to be noticed for my work.”

“So why are you in Duelatopia, Mr. Farnsworth?” asked Yumi.

“Call me Marlon,” he replied. “And I was invited…”

He held up a badge, which was already at Green.

“One must have hobbies, don’t you know,” he said. “And since I discovered Duel Monsters, I took to it like I was a natural.”

“So, Green already…” said Yumi with a grin.

She saw the Pharaoh appear beside her. He nodded.

“Care to try for Blue?”

Marlon looked at her.

“You’re Wheeler’s daughter, aren’t you?” he asked.

Yumi nodded.

“Well, jolly good…” he said. “I accept your challenge… But you’ll find me a great deal harder than your grandfather found that upstart Rex Raptor.”

“Wouldn’t have it any other way…” said Yumi.

She chuckled.

“Rex Raptor… He was a sad story… Came in second in the Japanese nationals behind Weevil Underwood, but once he got to Duelist Kingdom, he sank like a stone.”

“Well, his style was primitive,” said Chelsea. “It had the subtlety of a wrecking ball. Problem is, he relied too much on powerful Monsters, and had very few Spells or Traps. You can’t expect to win simply by charging at the enemy.”

“Exactly,” said Marlon. “And let me tell you, since his time, Dinosaur cards have improved by leaps and bounds… After all… Paleontology is a science…”



* * * * * * * * * *


As Yumi and company walked outside with Marlon, they didn’t know that Nicholas was watching from a safe distance with a pair of binoculars.

Olga walked up to him with two hot dogs that she had gotten from a nearby vendor.

“I specifically told him to put the sauerkraut on and then the mustard,” she said, handing him one. “I hope you’re bloody happy, Mr. Frankfurter Connoisseur.”

Nicholas took it.

“I might be happier in a minute,” he said. “Looks like the Mouto kid is going to duel again.

“She’s awfully cute… Wonder if she’d be interested in a different type of one-on-one?”

Olga took out a pair of opera glasses and looked.

“Where have I seen that guy before?” she asked.

A shadow fell across them…

“His name is Farnsworth,” said the owner of the shadow. “A paleontologist from Liverpool and a duelist who naturally specializes in Dinosaur Monsters.

“Let’s watch closely. The more we can discover about young Yumi and her two henchmen, the better…”

The two teenagers nodded, and continued to look.



* * * * * * * * * *


“So…” asked Yumi. “What’s it like these days in Great Britain?”

“It rains a lot…” answered Marlon. “And the people I have to associate with there are uppity snobs. Plus, the only thing there that’s worth eating is the fish and chips, which would taste a whole lot better if they didn’t serve it wrapped in newspaper. Some traditions we could do without.

“That’s one of the main reasons I got into paleontology… It gives me plenty of excuses to leave home.

“And how’s your neck of the woods?”

“Well, uh, we can’t complain…” muttered Yumi.

Their Disks activated, and they each drew five cards.

The Puzzle glowed, and in a flash of light, the change overtook Yumi.

Her eyes narrowed.

“Game on!” they both said at once.

“Good show…” said Marlon.



(Yumi: 8,000) -------------------- (Marlon: 8,000)


“All right…” said Yumi, drawing a sixth card. “And opening moves don’t get any better than this… I summon my Skilled Dark Magician.”

In an aura of dark energy, the black cloaked mage appeared, holding his staff. (1,900/1,700)



http://www.ideal808.com/images/mfc-0651.jpg


“That will do for now…” she said.

“I see…” said Marlon, drawing a card.

He looked over the cards in his hand, and then chose one.

“I think I’ll go on the defensive for now…” he said.

He placed a card on his Disk, and a facedown Monster appeared.

“That will be all for my move.”

Yumi drew a card.

“Gemini Elf in Attack Mode,” she said.

In a flash of light, two elf twins, one blonde and dressed in blue, and one brunette and dressed in purple, appeared, holding hands. (1,900/900)



http://www.ideal808.com/images/ioc-se1.jpg


“Two Monsters with 1,900 Attack Points?” said Ren. “Marlon better hope his facedown card is a good one…”

Yumi considered.

It’s rather obvious that he’s using Dinosaurs… she thought, and I don’t know of any with Flip-Effects, and not many with strong Defense. Most of them are just heavy on offense. Could it be that he had a bad hand?

Then she paused.

She had once heard of a duelist who had used special Fusion Monsters that were related to Dinosaurs… They were fused with a Spell called Fossil Fusion. Maybe he wasn’t using standard Dinosaurs at all…

She had to be careful…

“Gemini Elf, attack!” she shouted. “Dual magic!”

The two elves raised their free hands and shot twin lightning bolts…

And then they screamed as a backlash knocked them over.

The two elves looked up as Yumi looked where the card had been…

Right now, there was a nest of sorts, and hovering over it was an ovoid sphere, that seemed to be made of crystal or even diamond, only a foot or so across. It glowed with silvery light. (0/2,000)



http://www.ideal808.com/images/potd-en021.jpg


“What the…” said Ren.

“It’s a Dinosaur, believe it or not,” said Marlon. “It’s called a Miracle Jurassic Egg, and it’s more than just a defensive wall.

“I’d love to tell you what it does, but that’s a secret that I can’t reveal right now… But I will shortly.”

Yumi looked at her hand.

I’d better find a way to scramble that egg before he does… she thought. All it will take is three Spell Cards played between the two of us, and I’ll be able to swap Skilled Dark Magician for the real Dark Magician, and he’ll take it out with no problem…

“I’ll place a card facedown, and end my turn…” she said.

A facedown card appeared.



(Y: 7,900) -------------------- (M: 8,000)


Marlon drew a card.

“I summon one of my favorites,” he said. “Black Stego…”

A new Monster appeared on the field. It was… well, it was a stegosaurus. That was the best way to describe it. (1,200/2,000)



http://www.ideal808.com/images/potd-en019.jpg


“Why’d he do that?” asked Chelsea. “That guy doesn’t even come close to being able to beat Yumi’s two Spellcasters.”

“Next…” continued Marlon, “I Special Summon Gilasaurus.”

He played the card, and a small Dinosaur the size of a horse with sharp teeth and claws appeared. It glared at Yumi’s forces with reptilian eyes, and grinned a toothy smile. (1,400/400)



http://www.ideal808.com/images/lon-071.jpg


“Normally, that would let you Special Summon a Monster from your Graveyard,” he said, “but I don’t believe you have anything there.

“And I’m not done… Next, since that was a Special Summon, I’ll summon two more of them from my deck, by playing Inferno Reckless Summon.”

He played the Spell Card, and two more Gilasaurs appeared, one to each side of the first.

“You’re kidding, right?” asked Yumi. “You do realize, that lets me summon all copies of a Monster I have on my side of the field?”

She placed two cards on her Disk, and two more Skilled Dark Magicians appeared. (1,900/1,700 x2)

“And another thing...” she added. “Since that was a Spell Card, the one that was already on the field gets a counter.”

The first Disk on one of the Magicians’ collar lit up.

“Jolly good…” said Marlon. “I’ll place one card facedown, and that’s enough for my turn…”

He fit a card into his Disk, and a facedown card appeared.



* * * * * * * * * *


“What in blazes?” asked Nicholas. “Yumi’s Monsters are all stronger than his… You’d think he wants his Monsters to be destroyed.”

“That’s because he does Nicholas,” said the shadowy form behind him and Olga. “Farnsworth’s strategy may look odd on the surface, but there is a definite purpose behind it. Continue watching, and you will see…”



* * * * * * * * * *


Yumi drew one card.

“All right!” she shouted. “Gemini Elf, take out one Gilasaurus!”

The twin elves blasted lightning bolts, and one of the smaller Dinosaurs exploded. Marlon cringed.

“And now let’s pause…” said Yumi, with a grin. “Since I just attacked with a Spellcaster, I can activate this…”

Her facedown card lifted.

“It’s a Trap called Magician’s Circle,” she said. “Now, both duelists are allowed to Special Summon a Spellcaster from their decks that has an Attack Score of 2,000 or less.”

“Well, uhm, er…” said Marlon, looking at his deck. “Afraid I don’t have one…”

“Well I have a good one,” said Yumi, taking a card from her deck. “Come on out, Dark Magician Girl!”

In a display of hearts and stars, Dark Magician Girl flew onto the field. She made a small pirouette and smiled sweetly. (2,000/1,700)



http://www.ideal808.com/images/mfc_000.jpg


“Now let’s continue…” said Yumi. “You two… Destroy his other two Gilasaurs!”

Two Skilled Dark Magicians fired blasts of dark magic, and the remaining two Gilasaurs exploded.

“Dark Magician Girl, attack his Black Stego!”

Dark Magician Girl laughed, and cast her spell at the larger Dinosaur… There was a burst of flame and smoke…

But when it cleared, Black Stego was still there, and crouching in Defense Mode.

“Forgot to mention…” said Marlon. “When Black Stego is attacked while in Attack Mode, where he’s weak, he can quickly shift to Defense Mode, where he’s strong. So that battle was a draw.”

Yumi paused.

“Guess I’ll place this facedown, and end my turn…” she said, placing a card in her Disk.

“Uh, Ren…” muttered Chelsea. “Is it my imagination, or is that Miracle Jurassic Egg glowing even brighter now?”

“Either you have a good imagination,” he said, “or yes. I noticed it too.”



(Y: 7,900) -------------------- (M: 6,500)


Marlon made a draw.

“I play Mystical Space Typhoon,” he said, “to destroy your facedown card.”

He played the card, and the cyclone tore across the field, shattering Yumi’s Spell Shield Type-8.

The second disk on the first Skilled Dark Magician’s collar glowed, and one on each of the other two did as well.

“Good grief!” groaned Ren. “If this guy trying to get Yumi to summon her Dark Magician?”

“I’m worried…” muttered Chelsea. “Either he’s very stupid, or very clever…”

Marlon placed a card in his Disk.

“I’ll place another card facedown, and turn it over to you…” he said.

Yumi drew a card.

That’s it… she said.

“Okay, Marlon…” she said. “I play my Pot of Greed.”

She played the card, and the sinister jar appeared. She made two draws.

“And now that my first Skilled Dark Magician has absorbed the energy from three Spell Cards, I can sacrifice him, to summon the main man from my deck!”

The Spellcaster vanished, and the Dark Magician appeared. He and Dark Magician Girl grinned at each other. (2,500/2,100)



http://www.ideal808.com/images/bpt-001.jpg


“Well, Marlon…” said Yumi, “I guess we’re not gonna see what that Miracle Jurassic Egg can do after all. Dark Magician, smash his Miracle Jurassic Egg! Dark magic attack!”

“Hold it right there, old girl!” shouted Marlon.

One of his facedown cards lifted, showing the image of Marauding Captain confronting Despair From The Dark.

“I activate Staunch Defender. Now, all your attacks this round must be directed to the Monster I choose, and I choose my Black Stego.”

Dark Magician paused. He turned his staff away from the Egg, and pointed at Black Stego. He cast his spell, and the Dinosaur was blasted to pieces.

“Nice save…” said Yumi. “But what now?”

“Now…” said Marlon, “I finally reveal the secret of my Miracle Jurassic Egg…”

He drew a card.

“You see, Yumi,” he said, adding it to his hand. “Every time one of my Dinosaurs went to the Graveyard, it gained power, in the form of two counters. And now… I can sacrifice it, to Special Summon from my deck any Dinosaur whose Level is equal to or less than the number of counters it has.”

“Wait a second…” said Ren. “Four Dinosaurs, two counters from each… Great Caesar’s ghost! That means he can summon a Level Eight Monster!”

“Indeed!” said Marlon, taking a card from his deck. “So, I bid farewell to the Miracle Jurassic Egg…”

The Egg glowed with blinding light, and then shattered into shards of light…

“And I summon… Ultimate Tyranno!”

With a roar, a huge, shadowy form rose up in front of Marlon. Standing twenty feet tall, it looked like it was part Dinosaur and part Fiend, with bony spurs covering its armored body, and incredibly sharp claws and teeth.

It bellowed a roar that shook the whole courtyard… (3,000/2,200)



http://www.ideal808.com/images/potd-en020.jpg


“Three… thousand… Attack Points?” said Yumi, nervously.

“That thing could stand up to Kaiba’s Dragon…” muttered Chelsea.

“Not only that,” replied Marlon, “it also has the ability to attack every Monster on your side of the field at once.”

Yumi gulped.

“Uhm, Yumi…” said Marlon, taking a card from his hand. “I know you think this can’t get any worse, but… see… Summoning this thing with my Egg’s effect was a Special Summon…

“And I still can Normal Summon a Monster. Like my Sabersaurus.”

He played a card, and a new Dinosaur appeared. This one looked similar to a triceratops, but even fiercer, with sword-like blades all over its body, and razor sharp horns. (1,900/500)



http://www.ideal808.com/images/potd-en002.jpg


“All right!” shouted Marlon. “Ultimate Tyranno, attack! Primal rage!”

The next minute was a massacre. The huge Dinosaur went for Dark Magician first, biting him in half. Then it snapped up both Skilled Dark Magicians and then Gemini Elf.

Finally, Dark Magician Girl was swallowed whole.

Yumi bowed her head.

“I’m sorry…” she whispered.



Continued…

Dark Sage
26th March 2007, 02:57 AM
Continued from last post:



She glared at her opponent.

“Yumi…” said Marlon. “Remember when I said that triceratops didn’t charge? Well this isn’t a triceratops. Same family, maybe, but different species entirely.

“Sabersaurus, attack her directly!”

Clearly it wasn’t a triceratops, because it charged at Yumi like a rhino. Yumi hollered as it jammed its horns into her torso and she was thrown back ten feet.



(Y: 1,500) -------------------- (M: 6,500)


“Eh…” muttered Marlon. “I must have counted wrong… I should have left you with only 1,200 left.”

“No, you didn’t count wrong…” muttered Yumi, getting up.

She staggered to her feet.

“The instant it destroyed Dark Magician, Dark Magician Girl gained 300 more Attack Points, so I have more to work with…

“So, anything else?”

Marlon looked at the last card in his hand.

“No…” he said.



* * * * * * * * * *


“HA, HA, HA, HA!” laughed the man standing behind Nicholas and Olga. “I have got to look this up on the internet tonight… I have GOT to see that again…”

“What?” asked Nicholas. “Yumi getting clobbered? I didn’t think it was very funny…”

“Not that…” he replied. “I just love seeing that bimbo of hers die…”

There was a pause.

“Dark Magician Girl?” asked Olga.

The man clenched his fist.

“I loathe that harlot…” he muttered. “With her low-cut dress and come-hither smile… I can’t get enough of thinking of ways to kill that Monster in a duel…”

“What did she ever do to you?” asked Nicholas.

“Well, it’s… complicated,” he replied. “But keep this in mind… She’s the key to beating Yumi. She has some sort of connection to that card.”

“Why?” asked Olga. “Is it worth something?”

The man sighed. He took a card out of the folds of his clothing.

“See this?” he asked. “This is a Meteo the Matchless that was given to the semi-finalists in the 2040 Duel Monsters European Invitational. It is ‘worth something’, at least as far as money is concerned.

“But to Yumi, that card is something you cannot put a price on…”



* * * * * * * * * *


Yumi drew a card.

This might help… she thought.

“I play my Graceful Charity!” she exclaimed.

Her deck glowed, and she drew three cards.

All right, she thought, looking at them. Now I might have a chance…

She discarded two cards.

“I place a Monster in Defense Mode, and toss three cards facedown,” she said.

A facedown Monster appeared, and three facedown cards followed.

“Your move…” she said.

Marlon drew a card.

Hmm, Black Tyranno… he thought. That would need two sacrifices, and sacrificing Ultimate Tyranno would be folly…

“Ultimate Tyranno, attack!” he ordered.

The huge Dinosaur charged.

“Go!” shouted Yumi, as her Trap Card lifted. “Mirror Force!”

A blast of light covered the arena, and Marlon’s two Monsters were blasted to atoms.

“Heh, heh, heh…” chuckled Marlon. “Jolly good, Yumi… But I also have a Trap Card…”

His facedown card lifted, showing the image of four workers digging up a dinosaur skeleton.

“Fossil Excavation,” he said. “I simply need to discard one card, and one of my Dinosaurs comes back.”

He discarded his Black Tyranno.

The ground burst open, and a swarm of bones burst out. They all pieced together, forming into a T-Rex skeleton…

Then, in a flash of energy, the skeleton transformed into Ultimate Tyranno.

“Of course…” said Marlon, “a Monster revived by this Trap loses its effect, but given that it can be as much a hindrance as a help in this case, that may be a good thing.

“Now, Ultimate Tyranno, continue your attack!”

The Dinosaur charged. Magician of Faith appeared on the card, and was swallowed whole.

“Thanks,” said Yumi. “Now I get to retrieve one Spell Card from my Graveyard…”

A card slipped out of her discard slot. She added it to her hand.

“Now… It’s my move…”

She drew a card.

She grinned.

“Well, Marlon…” she said. “I honestly don’t know if Rex Raptor ever had a problem with this next guy, but he sure did a job on his pal Weevil Underwood.”

Marlon paused.

“Wait…” he said. “I remember hearing something about that… A Spellcaster Monster whose name made Underwood tremble with fear after he had taken a beating from it in a duel with Yugi. What was it again?

“Wait, don’t tell me… Oh, it’s on the tip of my tongue!”

“I’ll show you…” said Yumi. “I summon Breaker the Magical Warrior.”

In a shadow aura, a mysterious figure appeared. It was a man in red and gold armor, with a cape and pointed helmet that covered all of his face except for glowing blue eyes. He held a longsword in his right hand, and a diamond-shaped shield with a blue gem in the center in his left. (1,600/1,000) –> (1,900/1,000)



http://www.ideal808.com/images/mc2-en002.jpg


“Ah, yes,” said Marlon. “That’s the rascal…”

“Yeah, well…” said Yumi, “Breaker is a guy with an identity crisis. He’s a Spellcaster, and that can never change, but people call him a Warrior, and he tries to act like one, wearing armor and carrying a sword and shield. Frankly, there are times when he doesn’t know what he is…

“But he does know what he’s good at doing. See, when he’s summoned, he gets a counter that boosts his Attack Score by 300. And by expending that counter, he can destroy one Spell or Trap Card.

“So, he’s gonna do that to destroy your Fossil Excavation.”

Breaker held up his shield, and the gem glowed. His Attack fell down to 1,600, and the Trap shattered.

Ultimate Tyranno roared, and then turned back into bones. They fell to the ground in a clatter and turned to dust.

“Ashes to ashes, dust to dust,” said Yumi. “Breaker, attack directly with breaking blade!”

Breaker the Magical Warrior leapt at Marlon with his sword held high. Marlon cringed as the Spellcaster slashed at him with the weapon.



(Y: 1,500) -------------------- (M: 4,900)


“Ergh…” muttered Marlon. “Jolly good, old girl… This is turning into quite an unusual challenge…”

He drew a card.

“I’ll place this in Defense Mode, and that will be all for my turn…”

A facedown Monster appeared.

“Your move…”

Is that another Miracle Jurassic Egg? thought Yumi, as she drew a card. I don’t want to go though that whole process again…

She looked at the card she had gotten back with Magician of Faith. It was sure to be a surprise, because she hadn’t used it yet. She had discarded it with Graceful Charity.

She looked at the card she had just drawn.

She opened her Field Slot and placed a card in it.

“I play Mausoleum of the Emperor!” she shouted.

Darkness shrouded the field…

Two ominous temples rose behind each of them, their doors flanked by flaming braziers. The two duelists were on platforms at each end, separated by a bridge over a dark pit that held mysterious shapes.

“What in the name of…” asked Marlon.

“Creepy, isn’t it?” asked Yumi. “And just to make it even scarier, down below us lurks the Terracotta Army, a collection of hundreds of ancient statues. Both duelists can use these artifacts as sacrifices to summon Monsters, if he or she merely pays 1,000 Life Points for each of them.

“So I’ll pay 1,000 Life Points…”

A stone statue of a warrior in shogun armor holding a sword floated up to her side of the field. It vanished into pixels.

“And I’ll summon Chaos Command Magician.”

A new Spellcaster appeared. This one was dressed in a glossy black robe, with a wide-brimmed hat, and carried a fancy staff. (2,400/1,900)



http://www.ideal808.com/images/mfc-0681.jpg


“Attack his facedown Monster!” she shouted. “Chaos Magic!”

Chaos Command Magician shot a blast of multicolored, burning lights. A dinosaur appeared on the facedown card with a flat, rounded snout. It was blasted to pieces.



http://www.ideal808.com/images/ioc-074.jpg


“Heh, heh…” chuckled Marlon. “Sorry old girl, that was my Hyper Hammerhead. So it looks like that 1,000 Life Points you spent was a big waste…”

“Oh?” asked Yumi. “How so?”

Marlon paused. He looked at the field.

“Wait a bloody minute…” he said. “It was supposed to return your Monster to your hand! Why didn’t it?”

“Because, Chaos Command Magician is immune to Monster effects that target,” interrupted Ren. “Didn’t you know that?”

Marlon paused.

“Oh…” he said. “Yeah, it… kind of slipped my mind…”

“Breaker, attack directly!” shouted Yumi.

“Not again…” muttered Marlon.

He shielded himself as Breaker slashed with his sword.



* * * * * * * * * *


“Eh, lucky…” muttered Nicholas.

“Don’t give me that,” said Olga. “You were pretty lucky in your first duel from what I heard.”

“Well, that jerk needed to be taken down a peg,” said Nicholas. “Idiot was so certain his brilliant Warrior/RFG strategy could never be defeated, thought he was better than everybody… Guys like that drive me barmy.”

“Well make sure you don’t turn into one yourself,” said the man behind them. “And speaking of which, those first duels were sufficient test runs for your actual decks, but until I say otherwise, use your more… believable ones from now on. We don’t want to scare the Dickens out of everyone on this island, nor do we want to attract undue attention.”

They nodded, and turned back to watch.



* * * * * * * * * *



(Y: 500) -------------------- (M: 3,300)


Marlon considered the situation and the one card left in his hand.

I still have a few heavy hitters in my deck, he thought, and summoning them would be all the easier thanks to this Field Spell. And she has only 500 Life Points left…

But two facedown cards…

He drew.

“I play… Pot of Greed…” he said.

He made two draws.

He grinned.

“Okay, Yumi…” he said. “I’ll use the effect of this Field myself, and pay 1,000 Life Points…”

A statue floated up to his side. It disintegrated.

“And I summon… Dark Driceratops!”

A creature that appeared to be part triceratops and part bird appeared, covered with colorful feathers. (2,400/1,500)



http://www.ideal808.com/images/ioc-0731.jpg


“Next I play… Dinostomp! Now I can destroy one of your Spell or Trap Cards.”

He played the Spell Card, and Dark Driceratops stomped its foot down, and a shockwave tore forth, heading towards the facedown card on the right…

“Chain!” shouted Yumi, as it lifted up. “Rush Recklessly! Now Breaker’s Attack Score goes up by 700 points!”

The Spell Card shattered, and Breaker rose to an Attack of 2,300.

Marlon frowned…

“Dark Driceratops…” he said, “attack Breaker! Sonic screech!”

Dark Driceratops let out a wave of earsplitting sound from its beak, and Breaker shattered.

“Before you end your turn,” said Yumi, “I’ll activate my other Trap…”

Her other facedown card lifted.

“Life-Absorbing Machine. We’ll get to that in a minute.”

“Jolly good…” said Marlon. “My turn is over now.”



(Y: 400) -------------------- (M: 2,300)


“Then I draw one card,” said Yumi, drawing. “And thanks to Life-Absorbing Machine, I gain back half of what I paid last turn…”

The card glowed, and her Life Points went up slightly.



(Y: 900) -------------------- (M: 2,300)


“And that gives me just enough,” she said, fitting a card into her Disk. “I play Premature Burial.”

She glowed as her Life Points dipped, and Dark Magician crawled out of the ground. (2,500/2,100)

“Attack his Dark Driceratops! Dark magic attack!”

Dark Magician cast his dark spell, and Dark Driceratops exploded into a burst of pixels.

“By Jove…” said Marlon.

“Chaos Command Magician…” said Yumi, “attack directly!”

Marlon shielded himself as the chaos mage shot his blast, and he staggered back under it.

Marlon gasped for breath…



(Y: 100) -------------------- (M: 0)


“Wow…” said Ren. “I haven’t seen a duel that close since… I haven’t seen a duel that close!”

As the holograms faded away, the Pharaoh appeared behind Yumi. She looked at her badge, which was now Green.

“Good work,” he said. “The first day, and already you’re two duels ahead.”

“Just promise me you’ll always be there… partner!” she said.

“Well…” said Marlon. “That was invigorating, I must say… I dare say I’d best try harder.”

“You didn’t do too bad,” said Chelsea. “That was closer to beating Yumi than I ever came.

“Say, we didn’t see much of the museum before you showed up. Why don’t you show us around? We’ve got some time to kill…”

“I’d be delighted…” said Marlon with a chuckle.



* * * * * * * * * *


Nicholas and Olga had gone their separate ways, and their strange benefactor was back in the penthouse suite of the hotel, sending text messages on a cell phone.

“There,” he said, as the last one was sent. “Soon they’ll all be out looking.”

He looked at a special projector on the other side of the room and smirked.

“Guess I can kill time for an hour…” he said.

He activated a Duel Disk on his arm, and then hit a remote. The projector activated, and Dark Magician Girl appeared from out of it.

He played a card on his Disk, and Mobius the Frost Monarch appeared.

“Attack!” he shouted.

Mobius shot a blast of ice, and Dark Magician Girl screamed before she was frozen and then shattered into shards.

This was his hobby – having that projector summon Dark Magician Girl, and then using Monsters, Spells, or Traps to kill her.

After all, she had cost him a great treasure.

He fit a card into his Disk and a facedown card appeared.

He hit the remote again, and she appeared again.

He triggered the Trap, and she screamed again as she was bound to a Nightmare Wheel.

He watched as the Wheel turned, and tears appeared in her eyes.

Finally, he placed a card on his Disk, and a Luster Dragon appeared. He gave the command, and she was blown away again.

He never got tired of this.



* * * * * * * * * *


Yumi felt a strange chill… Something unpleasant was happening…

“And this fellah,” said Marlon, “was the herbivore known as the Pachycephalosaurus. Not many fossils exist. You might be interested in knowing that his name means ‘thick-headed lizard’.”

As Chelsea went to take a picture of the large skeleton, they all looked at it, especially the skull, which was abnormally large and rounded.

“Bet folks called him a bonehead a lot,” said Ren.

“An interesting analogy,” said Marlon. “His very thick skull could be used for both defensive and offensive purposes.”

“Uhm, yeah…” muttered Yumi, nervously.

“Say, Marlon, some people say these days that dinosaurs were smarter than we think they were. Do you think there’s any truth to that?”

“Well, from what we know,” said Marlon, “they had very small brains… But even if they were smarter than what we originally assumed, I doubt we could have expected the type of smarts we have seen in popular media…”



* * * * * * * * * *


Meanwhile, Mick and two others were watching the outside of the museum.

“Aw, are they ever going to come out of there?” whined Mick.

“Why?” asked the older boy, who was rather mad at him. “What do you care?”

“Please?” asked Mick. “Just let me duel her again…”

“No,” said the older boy. “For three reasons. One, you’re an idiot. Two, she has a side deck, and she likely has plenty of ways to counter or destroy your Monsters in it. Think of what would have happened if that Trap Card had been Magic Cylinder instead of Dust Tornado.

“Third, you’re an idiot.”

“Hey, stop calling my brother an idiot!” shouted the third member of the group.

The speaker was a young girl wearing similar punk ensemble.

“Oh?” asked the punk. “I was planning on using that coupon, thank you very much!”

“Deal with it,” said the girl. “When Chelsea comes out, I’m gonna duel her, and this time it will be personal… She messes with my family, she messes with me!”

Winning her second victory, Yumi advances to Green status. But a potential enemy might loom ahead, and it seems he isn’t one to lurk hidden like most of her family’s enemies. Danger may lie ahead… What will happen next?



DINOSTOMP (Spell Card)

Quickplay Spell

Image: A dinosaur’s foot crashing down on the underbrush.

Card Description: You can activate this card when you have at least one Dinosaur Type Monster face-up on your side of the field. Destroy one Spell or Trap Card on the field.

Note: “Dinostomp” was first used by Hasselberry in the “Yu-Gi-Oh GX” episode “Camaraderie Contest”. All creative credit goes to the writers of that episode.



Chelsea: Hey, guys… I hate to bring this up, but there’s a stale smell in the air again…

Ren: Think Mick is back for revenge?

Chelsea: No… It’s a similar smell, but different. And it’s just as nasty…

Yumi: It figures… The three of us formed a team, so Mick likely had the same idea with another group…

Coming next, “Chelsea’s Round Two! Electric Boogaloo!”

Ren: Think we’ll see that “special” card you’ve been hinting at?

Chelsea: You never know…

ssj4supernerd
26th March 2007, 06:38 AM
I'm had the feeling I was reading the Mandate when I readed the preview. With the nasty(Kanasta, remember?) I hope we're not gonna see the Mandate, because if we want to read that, it's in the Archives.


The duel was also pretty short, but cool. Dinosaurs are way underused, so it's nice to see someone who can work with 'em.

Inferno_Dragon
26th March 2007, 10:24 AM
Interesting duel, Marlon's Dino Deck is different than what Hasselberry or Rex would use but it still fits the bill. So we see more enemies. And what is going to happen in the next chapter? The title is confusing. Well I guess I will have to wait.

Keep up the Good Work, DS.

Shuppet Master
26th March 2007, 10:46 AM
Nice to see a dino duelist who isn't some Rex Raptor or Tyranno Hassleberry knock-off. And it makes sense for a palentologist to play dinos. :)

Anyways, the duel was pretty short, but it was razor-close. I have never seen a duel that close in your stories, Brian. Keep up the good work.

Looks like Mick's sister is gunning for Chelsea this time. Can't wait to see what her deck is. Of course, Chelsea's going to trash it completely. :D

jkBAKURA
26th March 2007, 01:45 PM
Hmm...

This chapter might have been a bit more effective if I hadn't just read several other fic chapters recently involving Rex Raptor. As others have pointed out though, this is a duelist vastly different from he or Kanzan

(why I'm repeating it then, I have no idea)

I will say that there were several combos that would prove vastly effective in the real game. With dinosaur becoming more of a standard theme rather then obscure one with all of the recent support, it was a good decision to leave the duel short, sweet, and to the point.

Still, a series of duels just for the sake of advancing status, with no plot twists or fun character interactions. Truth be told, your trio seems more like a set of roommates. I'm not feeling the connection of being friends for years that I got from the original trilogy.

Or maybe I've just read so many fics recently, I'm numb to a fine addition when I see it.

No dumb set of rhymes this review.

In fact, I don't even have a good closer for this post.

Hinoryu
26th March 2007, 06:25 PM
First, one thing. Yugioh fanfiction always, ALWAYS needs more dinosaurs. Unless they're in the hands of Dinosaur Ryuuzaki or Tyranno Kenzan-esque characters. Don't get me wrong, I like both characters, but if I want to watch those two, I'd watch the show. So yes, I enjoyed the duel immensely.

Beyond that, I don't actually have much to say, except for one thing:


Great Caesar’s ghost!

... I'm sorry, but as a hopeless, hopeless comic book nerd, all I could think was Clark Kent's boss at the Daily Planet. "Great Caeser's Ghost, _______!!!" issue after issue... It's almost nostalgic.

Dark Sage
26th March 2007, 06:48 PM
If you love comics so much, you should have remembered that his name is Perry White, Hinoryu. And yes, Lois and Clark's boss is my favorite supporting character in the Superman mythos, next to Lois herself.

When I was designing a Dinosaur Duelist, I also wanted someone who was different than Kenzan or Ryuuzaki (or Jim, for that matter), and I thought I might go with a guy who was more educated and formal, a true paleontologist (I know, Jim fits that profession, but he doesn't take it serious enough). I think I got a good character with Marlon.

Rest assured, this is not the last you will see of him.

Hinoryu
26th March 2007, 08:28 PM
If you love comics so much, you should have remembered that his name is Perry White, Hinoryu. And yes, Lois and Clark's boss is my favorite supporting character in the Superman mythos, next to Lois herself.

I did, in fact, however I wasn't sure if anyone else would know who I meant if I just gave a name. (However, I still maintain that Spiderman could kick Supes' butt in a fight.)

Anyways, can't wait to see him duel again. I'm more of a fan of Dragons than Dinosaurs (and it really, really shows in my fics sometimes) but they still need more love.

Shuppet Master
31st March 2007, 08:41 PM
Man, what a lot of venom! (Brian, maybe you can PM me with the details.)

Mega Horny, I agree with you that Crab Turtle wasn't the best idea for Maria's soul card. However, I think Brian wanted to have that ritual monster show up because nobody uses it. And it's no wonder - it wasn't really popular when it first came out, and it's not popular now due to all the better rituals like Zorc out there. Everyone wants to see Daedulus because BIG FRACKING SEA SERPENT WITH JAWS OF STEEL > CYCLOPS CRAB WITH A TURTLE SHELL.

Anyways, that's all my opinion, okay? Don't kill me. :(

starjake
31st March 2007, 09:27 PM
As usual, I'm the last to hear about these kinds of things (I'm rather used to it by now), but still...my, my, Brian, you certainly seem to have dug yourself a rather deep grave. I have no idea about what exactly you said, but it seems almost like reverse-plagarism. I may not have ever met Blademaster (Dave, is it?) or even talked to him that much, but he is a fellow writer who doesn't seem to have wronged anyone, as well as a fellow human being, and thus I consider him a friend; wronging my friends is a dire mistake, Brian.

You made a comment in one of your replies to VD that I think applies in this context as well.


You do NOT mess with someone's Deck!

Well, you do NOT mess with someone's writing, either! You don't even respond to someone asking you if they can honor your work by creating something based off of it, but when they do go ahead with it, you try to bully them into doing it your way anyway? I know you're ten or more years older than most of this board's members, but you're not a mod, and you're in no position of power over us.

I suppose my sentiments can be expressed best in two simple words: Lay off!

Hinoryu
31st March 2007, 09:54 PM
I admit my ignorance on all parts of the side here. As such, I will not take one side or the other. However, I will say: Isn't this the topic for Sorcerer Kings, not bickering over a discontinued fic?

Dark Sage
31st March 2007, 10:20 PM
Okay, let me explain why Dave cancelled 3.0. He says it was because of me. I find it hard to believe. I sent him ONE PM stating why I didn't like it. Only one.

Let me explain.

First, he did not ask for permission to use my setting. I should have ended it when it began, but I thought it couldn't hurt. That was my mistake.

I soon saw chapters with tons of ruling mistakes in almost every paragraph. To make it worse, when these mistakes were pointed out, he pleaded "artistic license" so that he wouldn't be held responsible.

One of his characters broke one of the most sacred rules from my fic. At the end of "Mandate", Yugi decreed that no-one was EVER to use the three Blue-Eyes cards again. It was done out of respect for Kaiba and Siegfried, who were martyrs. I saw Tori, and saw him as a blasphemer.

Chapters appeared with the most ridiculous situations. A deck based on food is okay. The one he had was plain dumb.

Finally, my user character appeared, and the chapter had more mistakes than any chapter to date. I doubted that Dave did any research at all.

It soon became clear to me that this fic was making mine look bad. So when he asked for advice, I replied with ONE, only one PM stating my views, and the complaints I had.

That's all.

I didn't force him to do anything.

Furthermore, if I hear any more about how Maria should have used Daedalus, I'll throw a tantrum! Everyone expected it, so I went for the unexpected!

Second, Breaker is a Spellcaster, and Yumi plays a Spellcaster Deck. And it's a very cheap card too, with the structure deck coming out.

There, I've said my peace. Now let's get on with our lives.

The_Missing_Link
31st March 2007, 10:37 PM
I admit my ignorance on all parts of the side here. As such, I will not take one side or the other. However, I will say: Isn't this the topic for Sorcerer Kings, not bickering over a discontinued fic?

Believe me, his last fic hosted a worse argument so this is nothing



It soon became clear to me that this fic was making mine look bad.

You thought his fic was making yours look bad? If that's the case, then it sort of depends on whether people are reading both fics. Yu-Gi-Oh wise, I only read stuff by you and Paradox so I can't think badly of your fic if I don't read Dave's


Anyway, back on topic. Dinosaurs are cool. That's all

mr_pikachu
31st March 2007, 10:42 PM
...A few words.

First of all, Mega Horny, if you have a problem with a post, please tell one of the mods rather than incite a flame war. This would've been much easier to handle had the situation not escalated from Dark Sage's original post in this thread. Yes, you posted to "stick up for your buddy," but all it did was fan the flames. If you think that someone launched an attack that requires some manner of defense, then that's called flaming. In that instance, please let one of us handle it. Dealing with such things is our job.

Blademaster, I'm going to assume you'll see this post one way or another, whether you still read this fic or someone tells you about it. Asking for permission to use someone else's work in your fic has its risks. You obviously want to keep the original writer happy so that you can borrow again in the future if you have a good idea for doing so. At the same time, you certainly want to maintain some manner of originality with your fic. It's a shame that the project came to this, but maybe it'll serve as a lesson for the future.

Dark Sage, frankly, your post here was wholly unnecessary. For one thing, yes, it was harsher than it needed to be. (I've read it, so I can say that for myself.) Since none of us know exactly what happened in the PMs, maybe your story was more accurate than Blademaster's. I really don't know, but given the aggresive tone of the message, I honestly don't care. If you had something to say to Blademaster, it probably could've been done over PM. Either way, if you let people make spin-off fics, they're really not yours any more, so how they use your material is up to them. Furthermore, even if a response to Blademaster's post was warranted, it should've been done in that thread. Taking it to this thread is sort of like talking behind his back. And nobody likes that.

Everyone else, don't join in the fight whenever a flame war rears its ugly head. It does nothing more than irritate everyone, including the people who have to figure out what to do after the fact. Either don't get involved or inform a moderator of the situation.

Moving on...

For the time being, I'm going to delete Mega Horny's post. I'm doing that because Dark Sage deleted his own, so the response now has no visible basis. Next, for the time being, I don't want to see another word about this. If you have something to say to us or to the people involved, do it by PM. Don't start a flame war.

To be frank, I just woke up, so I'm rather upset that this is my "wake-up call." As such, I'm tempted to just start tossing infactions left and right. But since I know I'm angry right now, I'm not going to do a thing in that regard. That doesn't mean that this is just going to pass, however; any penalties for posts already made will be decided from a thorough discussion with the other mods. Of course, if someone does bring the issue back, don't expect me to hesitate. Just leave it alone. Feel free to post about the fic, but not about this.

That's all for now.

Dark Sage
1st April 2007, 02:55 AM
Moving right along...

It's time for a new chapter.




CHAPTER SIX



Chelsea’s Round Two!



Electric Boogaloo!



It was four-fifteen in the afternoon – as clearly shown by the hands on Clock Tower Prison – when the group left the museum.

“Hey, Marlon,” said Yumi, “we’re going to head for the Restaurant District. Chelsea won us a free meal at some steakhouse. Care to join us?”

“Well, that does sound delightful,” said Marlon, “but sadly, I must decline… I already made dinner plans that I really can’t cancel. But the tournament is young… perhaps…”

“HEY! BITCH!” shouted a voice.

There was dead silence as everyone turned to where the shout had come from…

It came from a girl whose attire either suggested “punk” or “Goth”; it was hard to tell which. Her hair was short and raven-black, with a magenta streak. Her clothing was mostly leather, and included wristbands, a belt, and a collar studded with metal studs. Bandanas were wrapped around her wrists and thighs.

Her jacket held a badge that was at Green, and she wore a Duel Disk.

“And to think I had to convince my mom for two weeks that wearing a midriff wouldn’t attract undue attention…” said Yumi. “Did you call me a bitch?”

“No,” said the girl, “even though you likely are one. I called her a bitch.”

She pointed to Chelsea.

Chelsea stared at her.

“I never start a fight without due cause…” she said through her teeth. “What did I ever do to you?”

“You humiliated my brother!” shouted the girl. “No one has the right to do what you did to his best Monster. Whenever he summons Emes, people cower before it!”

Chelsea grinned.

“So, the guy had a sister…” she chuckled. “And it seems like I really was the first one ever to beat that ugly four-armed abomination…”

“You had no right!” shouted the girl.

“I did, and I enjoyed doing it,” said Chelsea. “And if you’re thinking of doing anything about it, look over there…”

She pointed, and the girl looked.

A Centurion had been watching the whole time, and he clearly didn’t like what he was seeing. He crossed his arms and glared at the girl.

The girl calmed down a little…

“All right then…” she said. “I’ll defend him and his best card the proper way…”

She raised her Disk.

“Chelsea, old girl…” muttered Marlon. “The local constabulary is right there. If you simply said no, she couldn’t do anything about it. Trust me, anyone who has defied the Centurions has regretted doing so.”

“Don’t worry yourself Marlon…” said Chelsea with a slight smile. “This is another member of Edan’s group, and so far, the only thing I’ve ever gotten out of them is a big laugh.”

She turned to the girl.

“So, you are?” she asked.

“Michelle,” was the reply.

“So, let me guess… Amazons?”

“No…” answered Michelle, bluntly.

Chelsea frowned.

“Uhm… Fiends?”

“Let’s just say my theme is something that takes a lot of folks by surprise,” said Michelle.

They stood apart and shuffled.



* * * * * * * * * *


In the penthouse apartment, the strange man had long since grown bored of killing the same Duel Monster over and over and again (maybe he did get tired of it on occasion). Right now he was going over a set of decks.

He had only had one official duel today, using his most powerful deck. But as he had warned Nicholas and Olga, using it again wouldn’t be wise until things really started to heat up. No need in attracting undue attention.

And he had more than one deck. In fact, he had several. Which one he used depended on what mood he was in.

He was making a few changes right now. Some of these decks had a few cards in common (none of them actually used that Meteo the Matchless card – that one he just kept as a souvenir) and they had a few similarities between them…

Finally, he placed all of them in a special belt with leather pouches and strapped it on.

He picked up his Duel Disk and got up. He needed some action while he was waiting for his employees to find out anything interesting…



* * * * * * * * * *


Chelsea and Michelle looked each other in the face as the two Disks activated.

The Centurion still watched from a distance, clearly ready to intervene in case a real fight started.

They quickly drew five cards apiece.

“Game on!” they shouted.



(Chelsea: 8,000) -------------------- (Michelle: 8,000)


“By the way, Chelsea…” said Michelle, “in case you’re wondering, Mick was exaggerating when he said that Emes had never been defeated. I defeated it several times when I dueled him. He may have had a better Monster… But I’m by far the better duelist!”

“I’m so scared…” said Chelsea, sarcastically, drawing a sixth card. “Bring it!”

All right! she thought, looking at her cards. I couldn’t have asked for a better first hand.

“Enjoying yourself?” asked a familiar voice next to her.

Chelsea turned and frowned. It was Figlio.

“Figlio, please…” muttered Chelsea. “I’m in the middle of something here, and I’m not in the mood for the same old bad jokes.”

“You wound me,” said Figlio. “I wouldn’t hassle you with them…”

“Good…” said Chelsea.

“I have all new bad jokes,” he said.

She closed her eyes in anger.

“If I lose because of you…” she snarled, “I putting your name in The Urn…”

Figlio bowed his head.

“I’ll be good…” he whined.

“The Urn” was something Chelsea had gotten from an occult store after she had been bothered one time too many by spirits who were just too nasty. She supposedly had to write their names on slips of paper and place them in the clay pottery, and they’d be forbidden from ever coming near her. She was surprised when it actually worked. Usually, the threat of losing a human they could confide in was enough to stop a ghost from being obnoxious, although she had to make good on the threat several times when scolding didn’t work.

“Now where was I?” she asked, looking at the cards. “Oh yes… I place two cards facedown, and summon Zombie Werewolf in Attack Mode.”

Two facedown cards appeared, and the vicious werewolf materialized in front of her. He howled, as if at the moon. (1,200/1,200)

“That’s all for now…”

“Not a bad start…” muttered Marlon. “Although her choice of Monsters is rather… odd…”

“Her dad used Archfiends…” said Ren. “She’s just keeping with the sinister tradition of her family.”

“Although…” said Yumi, “she did say that she had a Monster in her deck who’s sort of a vampire slayer.”

Marlon looked at her.

“A vampire slayer?” he asked. “Like Van Helsing? Never heard of anything like that…”

“She’s never given its name…” answered Ren. “We think it’s an incredibly rare card. Maybe even one that has yet to be distributed… Her dad is a card designer for Industrial Illusions.”

Meanwhile, Michelle was choosing a card.

“I place one card facedown and a Monster in Defense Mode…” she said.

A facedown card and a facedown Monster appeared.

“Attack me,” she said with a grin. “I dare you…”

“Oh, I dare all right…” said Chelsea, drawing a card.

“I summon Vampire Lady!”

She played the card, and the sultry female vampire appeared. (1,550/1,550)



http://www.ideal808.com/images/ast-0131.jpg


Vampire Lady and Zombie Werewolf turned to each other and nodded.

“Vampire Lady, attack her facedown Monster!” shouted Chelsea.

Vampire Lady’s eyes glowed. She flew forward. An odd creature appeared kneeling on the card. It looked like a tall, thin man colored orange whose body was… a battery?

Vampire Lady slashed with her claw, and it shattered.

“What was that?” asked Ren.

“Uhm, I believe it was one of those Batteryman chaps,” said Marlon. “First time I’ve seen one, though…”

“A Batteryman AA, to be specific!” said Michelle with a grin.

“What are you smiling about?” asked Chelsea. “You just lost your Monster, and I have another one. Zombie Werewolf, attack Michelle directly! Terror claw!”

Zombie Werewolf sprang up and slashed at Michelle’s chest with his claw. She grunted and staggered backwards.



(C: 8,000) -------------------- (M: 6,800)


“Guess she’s more of a cat person,” chuckled Figlio.

“Not bad…” said Michelle. “But now I’m going to show you just how much of a bitch I’m capable of being!”

She drew a card.

“First I play Graceful Charity…” she said, holding up the card. “You know how it works, I’m sure…”

She drew three cards.

And I know just who to toss… she thought, discarding two cards.

“Now I play the Spell Card, Battery Charger…” she said.

As she played the card, a bulky machine resembling an electric generator crackling with energy rose up behind her.

“Now, by paying only 500 Life Points, I can Special Summon a Batteryman from my Graveyard, and unlike Premature Burial, this card isn’t an Equip, so there’s no lifeline for you to destroy.”

Batteryman AA appeared, now in full light. It was a cute-looking robot with oversized hands and legs, and the battery that made up its torso had the number 3 on it. Its eyes flashed, and electricity sparked from its hands. (0/0)



http://www.ideal808.com/images/tlm-en030.jpg


“Big deal…” said Chelsea. “It has zero Attack Points.”

“Not quite…” replied Michelle. “For each Batteryman AA I have in the same Mode, they each gain 1,000 points for the corresponding score, so long as all of them stay in the same Mode.”

(1,000/0)

“Still not…” started Chelsea.

“Enough?” asked Michelle. “How about this? I play Inferno Reckless Summon!”

She played the card, and two more Batterymen AA appeared on her side of the field. They all crackled with electricity…

(3,000/0 x3)

“She summoned three Monsters with 3,000 Attack Points each in one turn?” gasped Ren in disbelief.

“Don’t forget…” said Chelsea, taking her deck. “Inferno Reckless Summon works for me too…”

She placed two cards on her Disk, and two more Vampire Ladies appeared. (1,550/1,550 x2)

“Good!” laughed Michelle. “I’ll have all the more fun killing them! But I’ll get to them in a second. First, I’ll reveal my facedown card…”

Her facedown card flipped up.

“It’s a Trap called Solar Ray, and it zaps you for 600 points of damage for every Light Monster I’ve got.”

A beam of light shot out of the card and struck Chelsea. She screamed in pain.

“Now I’ll make one of my Batterymen even stronger,” continued Michelle, by Equipping him with this… Chthonian Alliance.”

She played the card, and the Batteryman in the center glowed with dark energy.

“It gives him 800 more Attack Points for every Monster on the field who has the same name as he does. Do the math.”

(4,600/0)

“Now go! Attack her vamps!”

Electricity sparked from the three Batterymen…

“I activate Widespread Ruin!” shouted Chelsea, as her own Trap Card lifted. “Now your strongest Monster, meaning your Equipped Batteryman, is about to short-circuit!”

The Equipped Batteryman exploded in a blast of light.

Chelsea paused to catch her breath.

“And without him, the other two lose 1,000 Attack Points…”

Michelle sneered.

“I can still fricassee two of your Zombies!” she shouted. “You… kill her Vampire Lady!”

One of two remaining Batterymen shot bolts of lightning, and the Vampire Lady on the right screamed as she was electrocuted and then reduced to dust.

“Better than a wooden stake,” chuckled Michelle. “You… Attack her Werewolf!”

The last Batteryman shot his bolts of lightning, and Zombie Werewolf howled before he exploded.

“Bad idea…” said Chelsea. “When Zombie Werewolf is destroyed in battle, I get to summon a new one, with 500 more Attack Points.”

A new Zombie Werewolf appeared, and howled angrily. (1,700/1,200)

Michelle looked nervously…

“I haven’t Normal Summoned yet,” she said, “so I’ll place a Monster in Defense Mode, and take a break.”

A facedown Monster appeared.



(C: 4,950) -------------------- (M: 6,300)


“Uh, I’m not very familiar with this game…” muttered Figlio, “but it seems to me that you’re losing…”

“Brilliant deduction, Holmes,” muttered Chelsea.

“Holmes?” asked Figlio. “Who’s that?”

Chelsea sighed.

“Look,” she said, “when we get back to Domino, talk to Lady Akemi. You need to read more…”

She drew a card.

She played it, and the Pot of Greed appeared in front of her with a chuckle.

“I’ll take two, for starters…” she said, drawing two cards.

She gave them a look.

“Then I’ll sacrifice one Vampire Lady for Vampire Lord.”

One of the female vampires vanished in an aura of shadow, and the stronger, male one appeared. (2,000/1,500)



http://www.ideal808.com/images/drc_000_1st.jpg


“A fat lot of good he’ll do you,” said Michelle. “He and my Batterymen are equally matched.”

“Not for long…” said Chelsea. “Zombie Werewolf, attack the Batteryman on the left!”

Zombie Werewolf howled…

“What in blazes?” asked Marlon. “That’s suicide!”

“Watch…” said Yumi.

Zombie Werewolf charged the Batteryman, and it threw a punch, shocking the Werewolf and blowing him to bits.

“It cost me 300 Life Points,” said Chelsea, “but I have three Werewolves in my deck, and now I can summon the third one, and he’ll be even stronger.”

A third Zombie Werewolf appeared, and howled. (2,200/1,200)

“And my Battle Phase continues…” said Chelsea. “Zombie Werewolf, take out that Batteryman!”

The Werewolf lunged at the Batteryman, and this time the Zombie was too strong for it. With a slash of a claw, the Thunder Monster shattered.

The last Batteryman fell to an Attack of 1,000.

“Vampire Lord, take out the last one! Children of the night!”

Vampire Lord grinned evilly, and a swarm of bats flew at the Batteryman. It exploded into pieces.

“Now I activate his effect,” said Chelsea. “I’ll declare Spell Card.”

Michelle smirked and looked through her deck, as if she had been expecting that.

She took a certain Spell Card and discarded it.

“One Monster left…” said Chelsea. “Vampire Lady, attack!”

Vampire Lady flew towards the facedown Monster…

Magician of Faith appeared on the card, and shattered under a swipe of her claw.

“Uh… oh…” muttered Ren.

“Heh, heh…” chuckled Chelsea. “Now I can reclaim one Spell Card from my Graveyard, and I believe I’ll choose the incredibly powerful one that I discarded due to your Lord’s effect.”

She took a card from her discard slot.

“Thanks for your help…” she said, adding it to her hand. “This was buried so deep in my deck, I don’t know if I ever would have gotten to it otherwise.”

She showed her the card. It was a frightening-looking card that showed the picture of a fat devil sitting at a table laden with foodstuffs. The card’s name was Hunger For Power.

“I’d love to explain how it works, but hopefully, we’ll get to it later…” said Michelle with a wicked grin.

Chelsea looked at her hand.

She fit a card into her Disk, and a facedown card appeared next to the other one.

“Your move…” she muttered.



(C: 4,650) -------------------- (M: 5,100)


“Looks like Michelle played the old girl like a grand piano,” said Marlon.

“Yes,” said Yumi. “Vampire Lord seems like a great Monster on the surface, but he does have a weakness. You can tell your opponent to discard a Spell, Trap, or Monster, but he gets to choose which one.

“And cards are much easier to recover from the Graveyard than from your deck. That makes it a problem.

“Only an idiot uses his ability to make his opponent discard a Monster. An opponent would discard a strong one, and any number of cards could Special Summon it to the field.

“Trap Cards are difficult to recover from the grave, but declaring Traps might only help an opponent thin his deck by getting rid of cards that would be worthless against Vampire Lord. What does Chelsea care if Michelle uses Mirror Force or Torrential Tribute? Vampire Lord will just come back on her next turn.

“Spells are the safest option, but as you saw, even that has perils.”

Michelle drew a card.

“I play the Spell Card, Rechargeable Battery,” she said, playing a card. “Now, I get to draw once for each Batteryman in my Graveyard, at the cost of skipping my Battle Phase for this turn. But, I can’t draw more than the hand size limit would allow. So, since I have two other cards in my hand, now I get to draw four cards…”

“Whaddaya mean four cards?” shouted Chelsea. “You only have three Batterymen in there!”

“Wrong,” said Michelle. “I played Graceful Charity. The cards I discarded were a Batteryman C and a Batteryman D. Three types of Batterymen, each one with a cool effect.”

She made four draws, and looked at her hand.

“I’ll place this facedown, and end my turn,” she said.

A facedown card appeared.

“No Monsters at all?” asked Chelsea. “You’re up to something…”

She drew a card.

“I activate… Thunder of Ruler!” shouted Michelle.

Her facedown card flipped up, and an imposing man in gold armor appeared. He shot a volley of lightning bolts from his fingertips, and Chelsea grit her teeth in shock and her hair almost stood on end.

“Afraid that this turn, your Battle Phase is skipped…” said Michelle with a grin.

“No kidding…” said Chelsea, with a frown, as she tucked the card she had drawn into her hand. “In that case, I’ll pass for this turn. I do hope you aren’t a one-shot wonder.”

“Oh, I’m not…” said Michelle, drawing a sixth card.

She looked at it.

“Once again…” she said, “I play Battery Charger.”

She played the card, and the strange machine rose up behind her again.

“But this time, I think I’ll leave my Batterymen AA where they are, and summon my Batteryman C in Attack Mode.”

A new cute robot appeared on the field. It was shorter and stouter than the Batterymen AA, colored blue, with a big D on its torso. Electricity danced around it. (0/0)



http://www.ideal808.com/images/crv_en030.jpg


“Next…” continued Michelle, “I’ll play a second Inferno Reckless Summon.”

She played the Spell Card, and two more Batterymen C appeared on her side of the field. (0/0 x2)

“Now you’re being foolish…” said Chelsea, taking her deck. “I’ll use that effect to summon my other Vampire Lord.”

She placed a card on her deck, and a second Vampire Lord appeared next to the first. (2,000/1,500)

“I’m hardly done…” said Michelle. “Next I’ll summon this lady in Attack Mode… Meet Nanobreaker.”

She played a card, and a tall figure appeared in a beam of light. It was a coldly beautiful female android, with long, dark hair, dressed in silvery armor, holding a broad, wavy sword that glowed with colored lights. (1,600/1,800)



http://www.ideal808.com/images/een-en018.jpg


Michelle grinned.

“Now, I doubt Machines like Nanobreaker run on batteries,” she said, “at least ones you buy at the drug store. But Machine Monsters just love Batterymen C, because for each one on the field, they get 500 points added to the Score of whatever Mode the Batterymen are in.”

The Batterymen sparked with electricity, and Nanobreaker grinned with glee as it flowed into her. She rose to an Attack of 3,100.

“And if you think my Batterymen will be easy pickings because they have zero Attack Points, think again…”

She fit a card into her Disk.

“I’m Equipping one of them with United We Stand.”

“That card…” muttered Ren. “It…”

“It raises the Equipped Monster’s Attack Score by 800 for every Monster she has on the field,” said Yumi. “And she has four. Not a good situation for Chelsea…”

The central Batteryman sparked with energy, and rose to (3,200/0).

“All right!” shouted Michelle. “Nanobreaker, attack her Vampire Lord on the left! Nano-blade!”

Nanobreaker lifted her sword and leapt towards the vampire.

“Sorry, Michelle, I had a Trap ready!” shouted Chelsea. “I activate Red Ghost Moon!”

One of her two Traps lifted, and a sinister, red harvest moon appeared behind her, to the sound of haunting laughter. Nanobreaker’s eyes appeared glazed over, and she stumbled back in confusion.

“Now, I simply need to discard one Zombie from my hand,” said Chelsea, “like my Soul-Absorbing Bone Tower…”

She discarded the card.

“And not only is your attack negated, but this Battle Phase ends now, and Nanobreaker’s Attack Score gets added to my Life Points.”

Red dust fell from the Red Ghost Moon onto Chelsea, and she glowed with eerie light. Figlio shuddered in fear.

“Who’d have thought a ghost could get frightened?” asked Chelsea.

“I may be a ghost…” said Figlio, “but I don’t associate with more horrific ones.”

“Not bad,” said Marlon. “Not bad at all. That was quite a turnaround.”

“It sure surprised me,” said Ren. “She’s clearly been working on her deck.”

Michelle looked at the rest of her hand.

“I’ll place a card facedown, and end my turn…” she said.

She slipped it into her Disk, and a facedown card appeared.



(C: 7,750) -------------------- (M: 4,600)



Continued…

Dark Sage
1st April 2007, 03:02 AM
Continued from last post:



Chelsea drew a card.

Ryu Kokki… she thought.

She looked over the field.

I got an idea… she thought. First, I’ll sacrifice Vampire Lady to summon this guy. Then, I’ll attack one of her unequipped Batterymen with one of my Vampire Lords, which will bring the Equipped one down to 2,600 Attack Points. Then I’ll attack that other unequipped one with another Vampire Lord, leaving her with 600 Life Points. Then I’ll attack the Equipped one with Ryu Kokki, and this duel will be over…

She paused.

All unless that facedown card is a Trap that would wipe out my side. But if it is, I still have my last facedown card to buffer some of the damage.

She played a card.

“I sacrifice Vampire Lady for Ryu Kokki!” she shouted.

Vampire Lady vanished in a cloud of shadows, and a huge form rose out of the ground with a great rumbling. It was a hulking behemoth, as broad as it was tall, made entirely of bones and skulls, with an evil face. It let out a sinister chuckle. (2,400/2,000)



http://www.ideal808.com/images/ioc-090.jpg


“Vampire Lord, attack the unequipped Batteryman!” she shouted.

Vampire Lord raised his cape, and the swarm of bats shot forward…

“I activate… Negate Attack!” shouted Michelle.

Her Trap Card flipped up, and the bats were absorbed into a vortex of energy.

“Your attack has been stopped before it could begin,” laughed Michelle. “And now you can’t attack again this round.”

Chelsea grimaced.

“Okay…” she muttered. “I’ll move my Zombie Werewolf and my other Vampire Lord to Defense Mode, and end my turn.”

The second Vampire Lord knelt and covered himself with his cape, and the Werewolf knelt down and shielded himself.

Michelle drew a card.

Hmm, my third Battery Charger… she thought. Think I’ll save it…

“Nanobreaker, attack the Vampire Lord in Attack Mode!” she shouted.

Nanobreaker leapt, and with one swipe of her blade, cut the vampire down. He shattered into triangles.

“Batteryman, attack Ryu Kokki!” she shouted. “Battery blast!”

The Equipped Batteryman fired lightning bolts, and the Bone Dragon Ogre shattered into bone fragments.



(C: 5,750) -------------------- (M: 4,600)


“I’m still winning…” muttered Chelsea.

“Not for long…” laughed Michelle. “Your move…”

Chelsea drew.

“Ergh, I have to pass!” she shouted.

Michelle drew a card.

She smirked and added it to her hand.

“Go! Destroy her Zombies!”

Nanobreaker slashed with her sword, and cleaved Zombie Werewolf in two. Batteryman C shot bolts of lightning and incinerated the other Vampire Lord.

“Chelsea’s really getting schooled…” muttered Ren.

“Let’s just hope her next draw is something good,” said Yumi. “She has nothing left except that facedown card, and if it were something that could have protected her, she’d have used it already.”

Chelsea slowly drew a card.

She smirked.

“I activate my facedown card, Call of the Haunted!” she shouted.

The facedown card flipped up, and an elaborate, mahogany coffin rose onto the field. It opened with a creak, and Vampire Lord stepped out, his eyes glowing red.

“Now I remove him from play…” continued Chelsea, “to Special Summon Vampire Genesis!”

The vampire vanished, and the hulking, terrible vampire deity appeared with a great roar. (3,000/2,100)



http://www.ideal808.com/images/sd2-en001.jpg


“Three grand?” shouted Michelle.

“Soon to be more,” said Chelsea, playing a card. “Next I play Rush Recklessly, upping his Attack to 3,700 for one round.

“Now… Attack the Equipped Batteryman C! Crimson shroud!”

Vampire Genesis burst into a cloud of red mist, and shot forward. The Batteryman exploded into a burst of light.



(C: 5,750) -------------------- (M: 4,100)


“Huh?” asked Ren. “Why didn’t she attack one of the ones with zero Attack Points? Michelle would have lost 3,700 Life Points.”

“Mmm, yes…” said Marlon, “but she still would have had 900 Life Points left. And if Michelle had summoned even one more Monster, the Equipped Batteryman would have grown back to 3,200 Attack Points. Chelsea would have lost Vampire Genesis, and would have taken a direct attack by Nanobreaker. So she made a smarter move.”

Michelle just looked at Chelsea.

She drew a card.

“I’ll move all three of my Monsters to Defense Mode…” she said.

The two Batterymen C and Nanobreaker knelt in Defense.

“And since my two Batterymen are now in Defense Mode, Nanobreaker gains 1,000 Defense Points.

(1,600/2,800)

“So I see…” said Chelsea, drawing a card.

“I summon Vampire Bat in Attack Mode,” she exclaimed.

She played the card, and a swarm of bats flew overhead. They flew together, forming into one giant bat. (800/800)

“When Vampire Bat is on the field,” said Chelsea, “all Zombies gain 200 Attack Points.”

Vampire Genesis rose to 3,200 Attack, and Vampire Bat itself rose to 1,000.

“Vampire Bat, attack another Batteryman! Nightmare scourge!”

The bat split into a swarm of bats again, and flew at the Batteryman. It exploded like the first one did.

“Vampire Genesis, attack Nanobreaker!”

Vampire Genesis’s crimson shroud flew forward. Nanobreaker tried to shield herself, but she fell over and exploded into bits.

“Your move, Michelle,” said Chelsea. “Only one Batteryman left…”

Michelle grit her teeth and drew a card…

And then she smiled.

“This doesn’t look good…” muttered Figlio.

“No…” said Chelsea. “You think?”

Michelle took two cards from her hand.

“I play my final Battery Charger,” she said, “and bring back one Batteryman AA.”

The strange machine rose again, and the orange Batteryman appeared once again. (0/0)



(C: 5,750) -------------------- (M: 3,600)


“Now then…” she continued, “it’s time to show you what my Hunger For Power card can do. Listen up, because this gets kind of complicated…

“It’s sort of like the opposite of Cost Down. I choose one Monster in my hand. The Level of that Monster is increased by two for one round. In exchange for that, if I summon it in the same round, it gains 500 Attack Points.”

She played the card.

“Thus, the Level Five Monster I’m holding now becomes a Level Seven Monster.”

“Why the heck would she…” started Yumi.

She paused.

“Oh… no…” she said.

“What…” asked Ren. “It seems like an uneven tradeoff to me…”

“No…” said Yumi. “Given the nature of Michelle’s deck, that card is a tremendous benefit…”

“So now…” said Michelle. “I sacrifice Batteryman AA and Batteryman C…”

The two Batterymen vanished into orbs of light…

“To summon my Super Electromagnetic Voltech Dragon!”

A huge creature appeared over the field. It resembled a dragon or a dinosaur in outline, but it was made of sparkplugs, switches, circuits, and other electric paraphernalia. Its eyes were two glowing red blinking lights, and its claws were metal and razor sharp.

It roared a bellow that sounded metallic and feral at the same time. (2,400/1,000)



http://www.ideal808.com/images/eoj_en031.jpg


“Let me explain how this big guy works,” said Michelle. “If you summon him by sacrificing a Batteryman, he gains one of three effects, based on which type of Batteryman you sacrifice.

“And since I increased his Level to Seven, I was able to sacrifice two different Batterymen, and get two effects!

“First, Batteryman C gives him a trampling effect.

“Second, Batteryman AA gives him 1,000 extra Attack Points.

“And due to the effect of Hunger For Power, he gains 500 additional Attack Points!”

(3,900/1,000)

“It’s been swell…” said Michelle. “Super Electromagnetic Voltech Dragon, destroy Vampire Genesis with electric blast!”

The Dragon shot a blast of pure electricity from its jaws, and Vampire Genesis was blown to bits.

“NO!” screamed Ren. “That was her best Monster!”



(C: 4,850) -------------------- (M: 3,600)


“Make your move,” ordered Michelle.

Chelsea drew.

There it is… she thought, looking at the card. MY card. The card dad made for me…

She looked at her hand, then she looked at Vampire Bat.

Oh, but I can’t use it now…

“I pass for this turn…” she muttered.

Michelle drew a card.

“I play Pot of Greed…” she said.

The jar appeared, and she drew twice.

“Next, I’ll play Monster Reborn, to bring back Nanobreaker…” she said.

She played the card, and the golden ankh appeared in the air. Nanobreaker stepped out, and her eyes glowed. (1,600/1,800)

Then she opened her Field Slot.

“Next, I’ll play the Field Spell, Luminous Spark, to make my Dragon even stronger.”

She fit the card in the slot, and a bright light fell over the field. The Dragon grew to (4,400/600)

“You’re through!” shouted Michelle. “Nanobreaker, destroy her Bat!”

Nanobreaker swung with her sword, and Vampire Bat scattered into its component bats…

But then they flew back together and reformed.

“Huh?” asked Michelle.

“Vampire Bat has another ability,” said Chelsea, slipping a card into her discard slot. “At any time it would be destroyed, I can discard another one from my hand or deck to negate the destruction. And I have two in my deck.”

Michelle frowned.

“So you survive one more round,” she said. “Super Electromagnetic Voltech Dragon, attack!”

The Dragon breathed it electric blast, and the Bat was vaporized.



(C: 850) -------------------- (M: 3,600)


“No Monsters left, Chelsea,” she said, “so make your last move.”

This will be the last move all right, said Chelsea, drawing a card, and it will end in her defeat…

She played a Spell Card.

“I play Call of the Mummy,” she said. “Now, so long as I have no Monsters on my side of the field, I can Special Summon a Zombie to my side of the field, no matter how powerful it is.”

The sky began to darken…

“And I choose to summon my most powerful card… A woman who’s both a vampire and a vampire slayer… My father’s latest creation… Come forward, Penelope, Lady of the Night!”

In an aura of mist, a beautiful woman stepped onto the field. She was clothed in a white gown, with a golden cross around her neck. Her skin was milky white, her eyes were sky blue, and her long hair was raven-black and billowy. She held a staff in her hand that was topped with a golden crescent moon with a red orb inside.

Her eyes narrowed as she looked at Michelle. (1,000/200)

“What the…” muttered Michelle, in shock. “She… she kinda looks like you! Only older… and scarier…”

Chelsea nodded.

“There’s a legend behind her, which I’ll only share with friends. But before you underestimate her for being weak, listen closely. She can’t be Normal Summoned – I have to find a way to Special Summon her somehow. But when she is summoned, she has two potent abilities. First, when she’s summoned, all Spells and Traps on the field are destroyed.

The Luminous Spark and Call of the Mummy cards shattered.

“Second, as a vampire slayer, she gains power from undead who have perished. So for every Zombie-Type Monster in my Graveyard, she gains 400 Attack Points.”

“Each one?” gasped Yumi.

“I kinda lost count…” muttered Ren. “HOW many Zombies are in her Graveyard right now?”

“Let’s see…” muttered Marlon. “Three Vampire Ladies, three Zombie Werewolves, two Vampire Lords… Oh wait, she removed one of those from play…”

“I’ll make it easy for you,” said Chelsea. “There are twelve Zombies in my Graveyard right now, making Penelope’s Attack Score… Well, you said you were good at math…”

(5,800/200)

“No… way…” muttered Michelle.

“Hey, it was your own fault…” said Chelsea. “Your own strategy did you in. Need I remind you, you played Inferno Reckless Summon twice?”

Michelle growled.

“Fine!” she shouted. “Attack my Dragon. I’ll still have Life Points left, and I can still turn it around!”

Chelsea shook her head.

“Your Dragon isn’t my target,” she said. “There’s another Monster on your side of the field that I can attack…”

Michelle looked…

“ARGH!” she shouted. “Nanobreaker is in Attack Mode!”

“With far fewer Attack Points, I might add…” said Chelsea. “Penelope, attack Nanobreaker! Light of vengeance!”

What could best be described as a personal lightning storm erupted around Penelope, and a blast of pure light shot at the android. Nanobreaker exploded, and Michelle was propelled backwards.



(C: 850) -------------------- (M: 0)


“Is it over?” asked Figlio, who was cowering.

Penelope and the Dragon vanished.

“Yeah…” said Chelsea, “why don’t you watch Ren duel next time? His Monsters aren’t as scary.”

She looked at her badge, which was now at Green.

She walked up to Michelle.

“Go tell Edan that if you and your brother are the best he can throw at me, he’s in big trouble. Until he decides to face me in person, I’m through dealing with his goons.”

Michelle scrambled to her feet and ran away in fear.

The Centurion who had been watching nodded to Chelsea, and then he turned and walked off.

Ren and Yumi ran up to her with Marlon in tow.

“So, Chelsea…” said Ren. “You said there was a legend behind her that you would share with friends…”

Chelsea looked at the card.

“Yeah…” she said. “A very strange one…”



* * * * * * * * * *


The minute hand on Clock Tower Prison reached the top, and five loud chimes rang out.

The duelists were sitting on a park bench as Chelsea looked at the card.

“About three years after my folks got married,” she said, “when I was only two, they went on vacation in France, my mom’s home country, and she was browsing in the Library of the Port-Royal Society in Paris, a place where they keep a lot of old books. She was drawn to one old tome, which was written in Frankish, one of the old languages of the country. Mom had taken an elective in old languages, and she was able to read it with little difficulty.

“She found that it was a collection of tales of the supernatural, or so it seemed. Strangely, however, she couldn’t tell whether this book was fiction… or history.

“In it, she found the story of Penelope. Now, according to this source, this young maiden who lived in the sixteenth century was connected to the church somehow… Perhaps she was an initiate at a convent, or maybe she was a priestess from some splinter group who allowed such things.

“Anyway, the story told of a terrible night when a savage vampire ambushed her, and fed on her blood, draining her dry. She didn’t survive, sadly, and woke the next night, cursed with vampirism herself. And before long, she heard the monster calling to her, telling her to join him.

“Usually, that’s how it goes… A vampire’s victim becomes his slave. But Penelope was able to resist the callings. She covered her ears with her hands and ran to the nearest place of worship. Only there were the monster’s calls deafened by the hallowed ground.

“How she resisted, no one is sure. Some say that her faith was so great, her soul was able to fight off the darkness that tried to infect it, unlike most vampires. But she didn’t know what to do.

“She did the only thing she could do… She prayed…

“And eventually, someone answered. A beautiful form came out of the darkness and touched her. The form had bad news… It could not restore her to what she once was. The dead could not be restored to life. But it told her that the seed of evil that was planted inside her could be purged if she was willing to fight the unholy spawn with all her strength. Penelope said yes, and she had a very good reason for doing so... She had nothing left to lose.

“The being told her how to do it, and she left the church, and was immediately beset by the calling again. She fashioned a makeshift wooden stake and found a mallet, and followed its voice. She took the monster by surprise… and silenced the voice.

“It was only the beginning. By night, she hunted for vampires and similar creatures. At every dawn, she dug herself a makeshift grave in the earth and slept, safe from the sun which was now a danger. The common folk saw her now and again. Sometimes her quarry had valuables that had been stolen from victims. She had no use for them, so she gave them to the impoverished. The common folk regarded her as a savior, and called her by many names, among them, The Lady of the Night, seeing as that was the only time they saw her.

“It’s unclear how long this went on… It might have been ten years, it might have been a century. But eventually, she fell asleep, and some say a hand from Heaven took her out of her grave and lifted her into the afterlife.

“Anyway, this story seemed captivating. Mom photocopied it, and she tried to find information on the author with research, but without success. Internet search engines came up with nothing. She started to believe that the book was written by some lower-class author who had actually spoken to Penelope. Sort of like a forerunner to Interview With the Vampire, to make a comparison.

“When she told my dad, he got the idea to immortalize Penelope in card form… Slowly at first, but it eventually took shape. This version I have was approved after about thirty versions were turned down.

“And since that book had no illustrations and no physical description of Penelope… Well, it was my dad’s gift to me…”

“Heh, heh, heh,” said Marlon. “A smashing good story indeed. Although I dare say the book your mum found may well have been a book of children’s bedtime stories…”

“You never know…” said Chelsea, as she shuffled the card back into her deck.

“Ah, well,” said Marlon. “It’s been swell hanging out with you three, but I must be going… Perhaps we’ll meet again.”

“Bye!” they all said, as he got up and left.

“So…” said Yumi, looking at her watch. “It’s five-fifteen… Should we find the Sizzling Sirloin?”

With two victories under her belt, Chelsea moves up to Green, and the group may have worked up an appetite. But Day One is far from over – in fact, it may be just starting!



VAMPIRE BAT (Monster Card)

Card Specs
Type: Zombie/Effect
Attribute: Dark
Level: 3
ATK: 800
DEF: 800

Card Description: When this card is face-up on your side of the field, increase the ATK of all Zombie-Type Monsters on the field by 200. If this card would be destroyed, you may discard one “Vampire Bat” from your hand or deck to negate the destruction. (Damage calculation still applies, if applicable.)



RED GHOST MOON (Trap Card)

Normal Trap

Image: A stone bridge leading up to an ominous red harvest moon.

Card Description: You can activate this card when your opponent declares an attack. Discard one Zombie-Type Monster from your hand. Negate the attack and end the current Battle Phase. The Attack Points of the attacking Monster are then added to your Life Points.

Note: “Vampire Bat” and “Red Ghost Moon” were first used by Camula in the multi-part “Yu-Gi-Oh GX” episode “Field of Screams”. Creative credit goes to the writers of that episode.



PENELOPE, THE LADY OF THE NIGHT (Monster Card)

Card Specs
Type: Zombie/Effect
Attribute: Light
Level: 7
ATK: 1,000
DEF: 200

Card Description: This card cannot be Normal Summoned or set. When this card is Special Summoned successfully, destroy all Spell and Trap Cards on the field. Increase the ATK of this card by 400 for every Zombie-Type Monster in your Graveyard.

Note: “Penelope, the Lady of the Night” first appeared in “Yu-Gi-Oh! Dark Messiah”.



RECHARGEABLE BATTERY (Spell Card)

Normal Spell

Image: A Batteryman AA hooking itself up to a generator with cables.

Card Description: Draw one card for every “Batteryman” Monster in your Graveyard. You must stop drawing cards when your hand size reaches the current hand size limit. You cannot conduct your Battle Phase on the turn you use this card.



HUNGER FOR POWER (Spell Card)

Normal Spell

Image: A fat devil sitting at a table laden with foodstuffs.

Card Description: Choose one Monster Card in your hand. The Level of the chosen card is increased by two for the remainder of the turn. If you summon the chosen card during this turn, increase its ATK by 500.

Note: “Hunger For Power” was created by fanfiction.net author Angel of Blades. Used with permission.



Ren: You know, Hunger For Power was an interesting card, but now I’m just plain hungry.

Chelsea: Don’t worry, we’ll be at the restaurant before you know it.

Yumi: But I doubt the food will truly be free. Mick had an evil look in his eye…

Coming up next, “Steakhouse Scuffle! Royal Shadow Warrior”.

Chelsea: And maybe we’ll get to see your trump card Ren.

Yumi: And Sam and Erik might show up too.

Ren: Think we’ll get to see them duel?

Yumi: You never know…

Hinoryu
1st April 2007, 03:55 AM
Penelope. Once I found out Genesis wasn't the trump, it was pretty obvious. But still, a nice triumphant return, despite the incredible fanfare it got.

Though Batterymen... While I do enjoy the batterymen, I'm just gonna say it's bad timing for me. I'm sure most can guess why.

jkBAKURA
1st April 2007, 07:18 AM
Congratulations on the best chapter of the story so far. Not only was the duel excelently crafted, but the diolouge and situations felt a whole lot more natural this time around.

I think the story has finally hit its stride.

Shame we didn't see Batteryman D, but then again there was really no place it would have been very useful.

As for Penelope, a fine addition, but I can't think pf many more ways that Chelsea would have to actually summon it.

As for next chapter, the description left me with a bit to be curious about, but I suppose wondering excessively isn't going to do any good.

Great job again.

Mega Horny
1st April 2007, 08:33 AM
I'm gonna have to post one more time here. For the record, Brian, Breaker was originally a promotional Secret Rare, and even now still costs a fair amount. Chaos Sorcerer is a common.

And Kudos Brian, the last chapter was very good.


mr_pika EDIT: The reasons for this edit have been disclosed via PM. Do not edit this post again.

Mystic_clown
3rd April 2007, 12:54 AM
I knew it. I knew hte instant I heard that Chelsea's trump card would be made up, I knew it was Penelope. I am a bit curious what you're going to do with her deck now that you've revealed her trump card (and it's only her second duel in the fic).

First of all, let me just say, it's good to see the Batterymen again. Those guys don't get enough love in fanfiction.

Hmm, although, I'm getting a bad feeling about Eden and his crew. Mick seemed a bit flat, Eden sounds the same and even though Michelle's motive for duelling Chelsea makes her a bit more sympathetic, she still seems to be a bitch for really no reason.

This tends to be a weakpoint in your fics, a number of your villians come out a bit flat (there are a few exceptions of course). let's hope you improve on that as the fic progresses.

Dark Sage
3rd April 2007, 01:04 AM
MC, Michelle has a good reason for being a bitch - as an underground duelist, she benefits from having such a reputation.

Also, Edan and his group are small fries compared to the real villains, who will appear in full light around Chapter 11. These guys are little more than thugs - the true bad guys have more behind them.

Eric, yes, Penelope is hard to summon. Her own effect would do her in if you summoned her with Premature Burial or Call of the Haunted. However, aside from Call of the Mummy, Chelsea has two other ways to do it. You'll see what I mean in future chapters. And MC, Chelsea has a few more surprises in her deck as well.

Keep reading.

Shuppet Master
3rd April 2007, 10:25 AM
I was hoping for one of the Belmonts. (Laughs) But anyways, it's impressive you transferred one of your Cards of Virtue to this fic and made it a normal card. Is that story a real legend, because I'm intrigued by it if you used it twice. :)

Great chapter. So Edan's group is using technology decks, huh? First machines, then Batterymen. (The character of my story uses Batterymen C himself, but to power up some of his machines. That's all I am saying.)

And now Mick is attacking one of Chelsea's friends? That's low. Keep up the good work, Brian.

Inferno_Dragon
3rd April 2007, 11:13 AM
Interesting chapter with the Batteryman and Super Electromagnetic Voltech Dragon. But what surprises me in that you used Penelope in this fanfic. I would have never thought that would be used outside of Dark Messiah. But it is nice to see an old face although I don't know why Penelope would be consider a vampire slayer.

Keep up the good work, DS!

Dark Sage
7th April 2007, 07:54 AM
CHAPTER SEVEN



Steakhouse Scuffle!



Royal Shadow Warrior



The Restaurant District was conveniently located only a stone’s throw from the Hotel Strip, and consisted of a strip loaded with eateries of all shapes and sizes. Not every restaurant in Duelatopia was here – a few classy places were in parts of the city that fit their themes, and fast food places and street vendors were present everywhere – but here was the place to go when you needed a variety.

A few well-known chains had opened in Duelatopia over the years. The Olive Garden had a spot, as did TJI Fridays. Pizza Hut was here, and it would even deliver to guests. But there were enough unique establishments to please any palates. Here a Chinese place, there a Thai place.

And eventually the small group saw their goal – a large place called The Sizzling Sirloin. It was a big sit-down place, as they could see from the outside, and even from a distance they could smell the delicious aromas of charbroiled beef and grilled onions. It was clear that dinner was about to be served.

Yumi, Chelsea, and Ren walked in, and were met by a surprise. Sitting on a couch in the entrance hall were Sam and Erik.

“Sam!” said Yumi, in surprise.

The two rivals looked at each other in silence for a few seconds. Yumi noticed that both Sam and Erik were at the same spot she was, Green, as indicated by their badges. Sam slowly looked at the three of them, smirking a little when she saw that Ren was behind.

“Don’t tell me they won’t let you in?” asked Yumi.

“Coming here was Erik’s idea,” said Sam. “The waitress said that there’s a ten-minute wait for a table. This is a popular spot.”

She smirked.

“As long as you’re all here, want to make it a party of five? Separate checks, of course.”

“We’ll pay for all of us,” said Chelsea. “I beat a guy, and he gave me this.”

She showed her the coupon and Sam looked closely at it.

“Really?” she asked. “I do hope one of you is ready to work up an appetite…”

“What do you mean?” asked Chelsea.

“Show that to the waitress when she gets here, and she’ll tell you,” said Sam. “But in the future, be wary of any so-called coupons that have gold stars in the upper left corners. My mom told me about them.”

Chelsea looked at the coupon. There were three gold stars there.

“Uh…” said Chelsea. “Do all of these… coupons have three?”

“No,” said Sam. “Three means second-hardest. Four is hardest.”

“Hardest what?” demanded Yumi.

“Hey, y’all!” said a voice.

The voice came from a young woman in a short skirt and a halter top with the restaurant’s logo – clearly she was a waitress. She had blonde hair tied in a ponytail and deep green eyes.

“I’m Mary Jane, and I’ll be your waitress,” she said. “Party of three?”

“Depends…” said Chelsea. “Can you tell us what the deal is with this?”

Mary Jane looked at the coupon and then grinned.

“Well,” she said with a chuckle, “I was wondering when one’a those would show up. This should be fun…”

“What?” asked Ren.

“The coupon doesn’t guarantee a free meal, per say,” said Mary Jane. “That’s an invitation… to one of the Bonuses.”

There was a pause. They remembered what Sheena had said about the Bonuses of Duelatopia:

These folks could be any employee you see in Duelatopia. A store owner, bellhop, ice cream man… They might approach you with a challenge, and the reward is the same as a standard duel – one upgrade for winning, but no downgrade for losing. You might also be able to make some small wager in the process.

“So if one of y’all want, we can whet your appetites with a duel,” she continued. “If you lose, no harm, no foul, but you aren’t eating here without paying. Win, and you get upgraded, and your order is on the house.”

“Don’t look at the two of us,” said Sam. “It’s your coupon.”

Chelsea sighed.

“I’ve dueled enough for one day…” she said.

“I might be able to…” said Ren, glancing at the menu on the wall. “The thought of a free porterhouse is hard to turn down.”

He turned to Mary Jane.

“Who would I be dueling?”

“You’re looking at her!” laughed Mary Jane.

Ren looked at her. Then he chuckled.

“A sweet thing like you? Yeah, I think I could handle it…”

Mary Jane turned around.

“Hey, Luke!” she shouted. “Clear off the podium! We’re gonna have a dinner show!”

Lovely, thought Ren. I get to duel in front of a packed house… Ah well… It was bound to happen sooner or later…



* * * * * * * * * *


The podium, as she called it, was a circular, upraised, wooden stage with the proper dimensions for a dueling ring. As Ren shuffled his deck, his group was seated at a large table nearby.

“I don’t think this will take long…” said Ren, “but… uh… don’t order the best stuff on the menu until it looks like I’m winning.”

“We wouldn’t think of it, Ren,” said Chelsea. “Now knock ‘em dead.”

Ren stepped up to face Mary Jane, who had her own Duel Disk set.

“Ready, hon?” she asked. “I should warn you, the cards in my deck are rather… Unorthodox…”

“So you have a unique strategy,” said Ren. “That’s actually good. If there’s one thing a serious duelist hates it’s jerks who show no creativity and build decks that are cookie cutter.”

“That’s for sure,” said Sam. “Mom won’t invite anyone who uses cookie cutter decks. Those people give dueling a bad name. No one will ever win glory on this island with such a deck.”

“Well then…” said Mary Jane, as her Disk activated, “as they say in my business…”

She drew five cards.

“Dinner is served!”



(Ren: 8,000) -------------------- (Mary Jane: 8,000)


Ren drew his sixth card.

“I’ll start out by playing Graceful Charity…” he said, holding the card aloft.

In a sparkle of light, the lovely angel appeared, and her feathers fell on his deck. He drew three cards.

He looked over his hand, and then made two discards.

“Next I’ll summon one of my favorites,” he said. “Come on out, Getsu Fuhma!”

He threw the card on his Disk, and in a shower of petals, the lovely, red-headed, female ronin appeared, holding aloft her katana. (1,700/1,200)



http://www.ideal808.com/images/ioc-0891.jpg


Several whistles and catcalls came from the audience. Getsu Fuhma looked rather annoyed…

“Ignore them…” muttered Ren.

Then he spoke up.

“That’s enough to start…”

“All right!” said Mary Jane energetically.

She drew her first card.

“First I’ll set a Monster in Defense Mode, and a card facedown…”

A facedown card, and a facedown Monster appeared.

“And then I play a Continuous Spell Card. Soup’s on, hon!”

She placed the card in her Disk, and with a rumbling, a huge device rose up behind her. It was basically a giant iron cauldron with a fire burning under it, with a huge ladle inside. Steam was coming out of whatever was cooking inside the immense crockery. The smells of cooked meats and spices wafted from it.

“What is that?” asked Sam.

“Well, uhm…” muttered Erik. “I think it’s supposed to be a very big pot of soup…”

“Brilliant deduction,” said Mary Jane. “It’s called a Curry Pot, and for as long as it’s on the field, any Monster that would normally go to the Graveyards is removed from play.

“It does something else, but we’ll get into that later. For now, my turn is over, so I’ll leave it to you to bring out the next course.”

“You got it!” said Ren, drawing.

What’s she playing? thought Yumi. If this is some sort of RFG Deck, it’s a weird one…

Ren looked at the card.

Wow, he thought, I haven’t gotten a chance to use this guy yet!

“Chew on this!” he shouted. “I summon Double Pinaska!”

A new Warrior leapt onto the podium with a somersault. He had Spanish features, slick hair, and a slim moustache. He was dressed in leather pantaloons and a vest, and he had two sharp rapiers which he twirled dramatically. (1,500/1,500)

“All right!” he said, “Getsu Fuhma, attack her facedown Monster! Blade of Vengeance!”

Getsu Fuhma charged, and an odd Monster appeared on Mary Jane’s card. It looked like… Some sort of orange tuber with arms and legs, and a green, leafy plume on top, with arms and legs. It was crouching in defense.

Getsu Fuhma slashed with her sword, and it was blown into pieces.

“Uh, were my eyes deceiving me, or was that a carrot?” asked Ren.

“It was a Carrotman,” said Mary Jane, nodding. “Low in calories, high in vitamin A.”

She turned her head as the pieces of her Monster flew up and landed in the Curry Pot.

And all’s going according to plan, she thought. All I need to do now… Is brace myself…

“I don’t know what’s up…” said Ren, “but now you’re wide open! Double Pinaska, attack Mary Jane directly! Double slash!”

The Spaniard leapt up and did a somersault again, and when he came down, he made two slashes across Mary Jane’s torso. She gasped and fell on her behind. Everyone in the audience cheered.

“Getting nailed is the hardest part of dueling…” muttered Sam.

“Lucky for Mary Jane, she fell on her softest part,” chuckled Erik.



(R: 8,000) -------------------- (M J: 6,500)


“I’ll place this facedown and end my turn…” said Ren, fitting a card into his Disk.

A facedown card appeared behind his two Warriors.

“All right,” said Mary Jane, drawing a new card.

She looked at it, and then chose another.

“I summon another Monster, this time in Attack Mode. Don’t cry, it’s only Onionman!”

She played the card, and another strange Monster appeared. This one was definitely an onion, standing five feet tall, again with arms and legs. (1,200/1,200)

“Good grief, are all your Monsters edible?” asked Ren. “I wouldn’t mind if a few weren’t vegetables, but…”

“I admit that this onion looks rather bland…” said Mary Jane. “That’s why no good chef is ever far from his spice rack.

“I play the Spell Card, Mixed Spice – Garam Masala.”

She played the card.

“Say WHAT?” asked Ren.

“If you want to know what Garam Masala is, let’s just say that it’s a seasoning that only serious cooks use. And this Spell lets me search my deck for three similar Spells, and add them to my hand…”

She took her deck and looked through it, quickly taking three cards.

“Now I play one of them,” she said. “It’s called Spell Spice – Red Pepper.”

As she played the card, a cloud of red dust covered the field, and Getsu Fuhma started to cough…

“What’s wrong?” asked Ren, getting nervous.

“She must not be a fan of spicy food,” said Mary Jane. “This Spell Card deducts 300 Attack Points from one of your Monsters for one round.”

Getsu Fuhma fell to an Attack of 1,400.

Then they noticed that Onionman was burning with flames.

“And what do you know?” continued Mary Jane. “Those 300 points go right to MY Monster!”

Onionman rose to an Attack of 1,500.

“Want more?” asked Mary Jane. “I always say, there’s no such thing as too much seasoning. I’ll play a second Spell Spice – Red Pepper!”

She played the card, and Getsu Fuhma fell to 1,100, while Onionman rose to 1,800.

“That should do…” said Mary Jane. “Onionman, attack Getsu Fuhma with bulb basher!”

Onionman flew at the ronin, fist-first…

“Double Pinaska, defend!” shouted Ren.

There was a loud WHACK! and Onionman fell backwards, landing on its back.

When everyone looked, Double Pinaska was holding Getsu Fuhma in a gentle embrace and glaring at Onionman with a look of anger…

“How…” asked Mary Jane.

“Didn’t tell you about Double Pinaska’s ability,” said Ren. “It’s a powerful ability that I can use once per duel. When I choose to use it, I can negate one attack, no matter what the target, no matter how powerful it is.”

Mary Jane looked at her other cards.

“In that case…” she said, “I’ll play this. It’s called Spell Spice – Cinnamon.”

She played the card, and sparkling brown dust fell on Onionman.

“It moves my Monster to Defense Mode.”

Onionman knelt in Defense.

“Oh no you don’t!” laughed Ren, as his facedown card lifted. “I activate Final Attack Orders. Now any Monster in face-up Defense Mode is moved to Attack Mode and kept there.”

Onionman stood back up.

Mary Jane looked at her hand again.

“Very well…” she said. “I’ll place another card facedown, and my turn is over…”

A facedown card appeared.

Onionman’s Attack fell back down to 1,200, and Getsu Fuhma’s rose back to 1,700.

“About time,” said Ren, drawing a card.

“Sam, I thought you said three stars was second-hardest,” said Chelsea. “She’s hardly giving Ren a challenge, and her cards are barely better than stuff you’d find in a starter pack.”

“Are you calling me a liar?” asked Sam. “I was told that three stars is second-highest.”

“I dunno…” said Yumi. “I’m getting some pretty ominous vibes from that Curry Pot up there… Something tells me it’s hiding a secret, and Mary Jane is waiting for the right time to let it loose.”

Mary Jane looked at her and smirked.

Ren added his card to his hand.

“I’ll sacrifice Double Pinaska…”

Double Pinaska faded away into mist.

“…and summon Penumbral Soldier Lady!”

In an aura of darkness, the gorgeous, armored Warrior of Darkness appeared, holding her sword and shield. (2,100/1,400)



http://www.ideal808.com/images/sod-en0331.jpg


“Getsu Fuhma, chop up that onion!” he shouted.

Getsu swung with her sword, slicing the vegetable into slices. The pieces flew up and fell into the Curry Pot.

“I activate a Trap Card!” shouted Mary Jane, as one of her facedown cards lifted. “It’s called Counter Spice – Cumin. Since one of my Monsters was destroyed, I can Special Summon another from my hand. So meet Potatoman!”

A new vegetable Monster leapt out. This one… well, it was a potato, again with arms and legs. (900/800)

“I say potato, you say po-tat-o…”

“Now you’re talking…” said Ren with a smile. “I love potatoes. And I especially love them when they’re turned into French fries! Penumbral Soldier Lady, cut up that tater!”

Penumbral Soldier Lady charged forward and brought her sword down on Potatoman, smashing it to pieces. Once again, the pieces flew up and fell into the Curry Pot.



(R: 8,000) -------------------- (M J: 4,800)


“So what’s next?” said Ren with a grin. “You gonna bring out Hungry Burger?”

“No way,” said Mary Jane, with a wicked smile. “Hamburgers are only on the lunch menu. And I have something far more tantalizing. And you’ve helped me bring it out.

“You see, now that carrots, onions, and potatoes have been added to the mix, I can activate Curry Pot’s true effect…

“The time for soup, salad, and appetizers is past. The main course is about to begin. Start hoping you’ll last until dessert…”

“I knew it…” muttered Yumi.

“First…” said Mary Jane, “all Monsters remaining on the field are now removed from play…”

Ren stepped back in shock as Getsu Fuhma and Penumbral Soldier Lady exploded into gibbets of light.

“HEY!” he shouted.

“And then…” continued Mary Jane, taking a card from her deck, “I get to summon this…”

As she put the card on her Disk, the Curry Pot began to boil and then overflow…

And then, a huge creature leapt out of it, and landed on the podium with a crash. It was ten feet tall, with white armor decorated by garlands of roots and tubers, and a helmet that resembled a gravy boat. Its feet were clawed, and it held a huge spoon in its right hand and carried some sort of beverage cooler in its left. Its eyes glowed with evil light. (0/0)

“Meet my Curry Fiend Roux,” said Mary Jane. “Don’t try serving him with ketchup… He prefers the taste of blood!”

“Okay…” muttered Ren. “Zero attack points… I’m guessing this is one of those Monsters that gains Attack Points based on some sort of condition…”

“Indeed…” said Mary Jane. “For every Monster that has been removed from play, he gains 300 Attack Points. And for every card with the word ‘Spice’ in its name in my Graveyard, he gains 200 more.

“Do the math…”

“Math was never my strong point…” muttered Sam.

Erik counted on his fingers.

“Six Monsters…” he muttered. “Five spices… It all adds up to 2,800!”

“That’s as strong as my Dark Magician of Chaos!” shouted Yumi.

Ren sneered. He fit a card into his Disk.

“All right!” he said. “I’ll place this facedown, and that will be my turn…”

A facedown card appeared.

He started to sweat. He remembered one time he had dueled Yumi and had taken a direct attack from Dark Magician of Chaos. Yumi had apologized to him for a straight three hours afterwards before he spoke again, it had been so painful…

Mary Jane drew a card.

I’ll save this for when I need it… she thought, looking at it.

“Curry Fiend Roux…” she ordered, “attack Ren directly! Montezuma’s revenge!”

As the huge Fiend lumbered forward, Ren looked at his facedown card.

Okay, decision time… he thought. If I spring my Trap, I’ll lose less Life Points… But then, my chances of beating this thing go from slim to almost nonexistent.

Well, like my dad said… Sometimes you gotta fall down before you can get back up.

Curry Fiend Roux swung its spoon, and hurled a mass of soup, and the soup turned into fire. Ren screamed as it struck him, and fell down on one knee.



(R: 5,200) -------------------- (M J: 4,800)


He gasped for breath.

“Ow…” he muttered.

He glared at his foe.

“I’m not beaten yet, MJ,” he said, “You know what the strangest thing about food is?”

“What’s that?” asked Mary Jane.

“One minute it may be haute cuisine…” said Ren, standing up, “but the instant you put it in the sink, it becomes garbage.

“And that’s what I’m going to do your big lug over there!”

“Yumi,” asked Sam. “Out of curiosity, does Ren have another Getsu Fuhma in his deck?”

“I’m not sure,” replied Yumi. “We all agreed not to ask each other about the exact compositions of our decks in case we ever had to duel each other. Why do you ask?”

“Well, seeing as that big thing is a Fiend,” she said, “she’s someone who might be kinda useful to have right now…”

She’s right, thought Ren. Any Fiend that Getsu Fuhma battles is automatically destroyed. She’d be killed too, but at least I’d solve the immediate problem…

I do have a second one… But she could be at the bottom of my deck for all I know…

He drew a card.


Continued…

Dark Sage
7th April 2007, 07:56 AM
Continued from last post:


“I play… Pot of Greed,” he said, playing it.

The laughing jar appeared in the air, and he drew two cards.

My father’s best card… he thought, looking at one of them.

He looked at his other cards and did a quick calculation.

But even if I used everything here…

He looked at Mary Jane.

“Question…” he said.

“Yes?” she answered.

“What Attribute is your Curry Fiend Roux?”

“Heh, heh…” chuckled Mary Jane. “He’s an Earth Monster, unlike most Fiends. Uhm… Why do you ask?”

Ren grinned.

“That’s all I wanted to know!” he said with a laugh.

His Trap Card lifted up.

“I activate my facedown Call of the Haunted!”

“What good will that do you?” asked Mary Jane. “All your Monsters were removed from play.”

“Not all of them,” replied Ren. “I played Graceful Charity on my first turn, before you even played Curry Pot, remember? One card I discarded was a Monster.”

The floor cracked, and Chthonian Soldier burst out of the ground. (1,200/1,400)



http://www.ideal808.com/images/een-en0101.jpg


“Now I play… Frontline Base,” he said, playing a Spell Card. “Now I can Special Summon a Monster from my hand, so long as it’s a Union Monster… As long as it’s Level Four or less, of course. And I choose to summon Pitch-Dark Dragon.”

He played a card from his hand, and the small, Dark Dragon appeared. (900/600)



http://www.ideal808.com/images/mfc-008.jpg


“And now… I sacrifice both of them…”

Chthonian Soldier and Pitch-Dark Dragon vanished…

“A double sacrifice?” exclaimed Yumi. “Can it be…”

The arena darkened, and a sliver of a crescent moon appeared above. Stepping out of the darkness was a powerful-looking woman with ebony-black skin, silvery hair, and glowing, silver eyes. She wore silvery armor, a cape that looked like the night sky, and a silvery crown set with a single white diamond. In each hand was a scimitar shaped like a crescent moon.

“Good lord…” said Yumi. “The Crescent Moon Queen!”

The Queen raised her scimitars menacingly at Curry Fiend Roux… (2,600/1,700)

“Heh, heh,” chuckled Mary Jane. “Impressive, but I see two things wrong with that. First, my Curry Fiend was stronger to start out with, and second, now you’ve removed two more Monsters from play, making him even stronger.”

Curry Fiend Roux glowed… (3,400/0)

“Oh really?” asked Ren. “Well I’m not done. I Equip her with Fusion Sword Murasame Blade.”

He played the card, and the Queen’s scimitars vanished, and were replaced by a much more impressive katana. (3,400/1,700)

Mary Jane stepped back in shock.

“They’ll destroy each other!” she gasped.

“No they won’t,” said Ren, taking his last card.

His Field Slot opened, and he placed it inside.

“I play Mystic Plasma Zone!”

An aura of darkness covered the field, and Crescent Moon Queen grinned. She rose to (3,900/1,300)

“And by the way…” said Ren. “My Queen has the ability to attack… twice! Crescent Moon Queen, attack Curry Fiend Roux!”

Crescent Moon Queen leapt up, and brought her blade down on the huge Fiend. Its eyes bugged out, and then it exploded in a fiery blast.

“And now…” continued Ren. “Attack directly!”

Mary Jane screamed bloody murder as the Warrior’s sword slammed into her like a hammer and she fell on her back.

“How does that taste?” asked Ren.



(R: 5,200) -------------------- (M J: 400)


“Of course,” said Ren, “my Queen has one weakness. She has to move into Defense Mode after attacking twice.”

Sweat beaded on the Queen’s face, and she knelt in Defense Mode…

“But thanks to my Final Attack Orders, she can gain her second wind right away, and move right back to Attack Mode.”

The Queen stood back up.

“It’s your move…” said Ren.

Mary Jane slowly got up. She took some deep breaths, and then drew a card.

“I play… Pot of Greed…” she said, playing it.

She drew two cards.

“All right…” she muttered, “plan B. First I’ll play Emergency Provisions to sacrifice my facedown card, which has been sitting here useless the whole time…”

She played the card, and the Trap Card – revealed to be Judgment of Anubis – lifted up and vanished.

“Now I’ll play this…” she said, playing a Spell Card. “It’s called Spell Spice –Garlic!”

“Garlic?” said Ren. “Don’t like the sound of that…”

“To play this card, I have to pay half my Life Points, and destroy the Curry Pot…” continued Mary Jane.

The Curry Pot shattered into shards.

“But in return,” she continued, “I get to bring Carrotman, Onionman, and Potatoman back.”

In three bursts of light, the anthropomorphic carrot (800/900), onion (1,200/1,200), and potato (900/800) reappeared.

“Go ahead!” laughed Ren. “I’m not afraid of them!”

“Did I mention that my Spell Card also gives them the ability to attack directly this round?” asked Mary Jane.

Ren stepped back…

“No, you didn’t…” he said, nervously.

“Carrotman, tuber thrash!” she shouted.

Carrotman leapt up, ignoring the Queen, and socked Ren in the face.

“Onionman, bulb basher!”

Onionman charged, and hit him in the stomach.

“Potatoman, spud spinner!”

Potatoman spun like a top, and slammed into Ren, knocking him over.

“I’m not gonna take this sitting down…” growled Ren.

He tried to get up, but stumbled.

“Okay, I’ll take it sitting down, but I won’t like it…”

Crescent Moon Queen gave him a look of concern. He slowly got to his feet…

Mary Jane placed her last card in her Disk, and a facedown card appeared.



(R: 2,300) -------------------- (M J: 700)


“And mom always told me that veggies were good for me,” said Chelsea.

“Those three are mostly starch,” replied Sam. “Not many vitamins, except for the carrot…”

“This isn’t funny, people,” said Yumi. “Ren has nothing except his Queen. No other cards in his hand, and no other ones on the field except Frontline Base and Final Attack Orders. If that facedown card is something that can destroy the Queen, those oversized salad ingredients might finish him off…”

She’s right… thought Ren. My next draw had best be a good one…

He drew a card.

“Hey, Mary Jane,” he said, “know what I like about this game? The duel isn’t over until the last card is played!

“I play Bait Doll! This forces you to trigger that Trap now!”

Mary Jane gasped as her Trap, revealed to be a Mirror Force, lifted up.

“I thought so,” said Ren. “And since I didn’t declare an attack yet, it’s wasted.”

The Trap shattered.

“Crescent Moon Queen, attack the Carrotman! Chowtime!”

The Queen leapt up, and sliced the veggie down the middle.

Everyone cheered as Mary Jane fell to her knees…



(R: 2,300) -------------------- (M J: 0)


“I believe that means dinner is on the house for our group…” said Ren.

“Yes…” moaned Mary Jane. “And it will… be my pleasure to serve you…”

Ren smiled as he looked at his badge, which had just been upgraded to Green…



* * * * * * * * * *


While they were waiting for the food, the two groups swapped stories of the duelists they had encountered on the first day.

“You’re kidding,” said Sam. “A Batteryman Deck?”

“More formidable than it seems,” replied Chelsea.

Mary Jane came up to the table with a huge tray of food.

“Here we are,” she said. “Sirloin and mashed potatoes…”

She handed it to Yumi.

“Prime rib and fries…”

She handed it to Chelsea.

“Surf ‘n turf…”

She gave it to Sam.

“Roast beef and corn on the cob…”

She gave it to Erik.

“And for the breadwinner, our best porterhouse with a fully loaded potato and onion rings.”

She smiled as she gave it to Ren.

“You earned it hon,” she said. “I hope you’re hungry. Call me if you need anything else.”

“So, Sam,” said Yumi, “how did you do on day one?”

“Well, the first guy was easy,” answered Sam. “He played a Magnet Warrior Deck. I beat him senseless before he knew what hit him.

“The next guy was harder. He claimed he was a West Point cadet on furlough. He played an Army Deck.”

“Army Deck?” asked Chelsea.

“Let me put it this way,” she replied. “His kill-card was Air Fortress Ziggurat.”

“Grandpa told me about that one…” muttered Yumi. “He didn’t face it, but Seto Kaiba told him about it. It’s a giant, flying nightmare…”

“Whatever did you do?” asked Ren.

“Well…” said Sam. “I’d rather not reveal the secrets of my deck…”

“Oh come on…” said Yumi. “I heard that threat you made at Kaibaland. You called yourself the Consort of Ha Des. Admit it – you play a Fiend Deck.”

“Maybe,” muttered Sam.

“So how did you do, Erik?” asked Ren.

Erik took a bite and grinned.

“My first duel was easy too,” he answered. “I went up against someone who used a Human Wave Deck. Nothing I couldn’t handle.

“The big trouble came next… The guy used two Manticores.”

“Manticores of Darkness?” asked Chelsea. “Ho boy… Those things give Beast-Warriors a bad name. They just refuse to die.”

“I was able to beat them,” said Erik. “They’re easy to beat once you have a strong Monster or two of your own on the field. The guy kept sacrificing Monsters to regenerate them, but I kept killing them again and again, until he had no Monsters left to sacrifice, and he couldn’t bring them back again. Then he was in trouble, with no Monsters to summon, and me able to plow into him.”

“Good for you,” said Chelsea.

“So…” said Yumi, between bites, “I have to wonder, where do we go from here?”

“It’s just starting,” said Sam. “And you and I are going to duel eventually, I guarantee it!”

Sam didn’t know that a young man with fiery red hair was eyeing her from a table across the room…

As soon as her party ordered dessert, he was going to make a challenge, and he was intending to leave her on the floor writhing in pain…

Winning his second victory and a free meal to boot, Ren advances to Green. The day isn’t over yet, and more duels may be in the works before our heroes decide to turn in to sleep!



CARROTMAN (Monster Card)

Card Specs
Type: Plant
Attribute: Earth
Level: 3
ATK: 800
DEF: 900

Flavor Text: An odd species of creature believed to be created from common tubers tainted by fiendish magic.



POTATOMAN (Monster Card)

Card Specs
Type: Plant
Attribute: Earth
Level: 3
ATK: 900
DEF: 800

Flavor Text: This weird plant is believed to be related to the Mystic Tomato. It refuses to believe it is only a potato.



ONIONMAN (Monster Card)

Card Specs
Type: Plant
Attribute: Earth
Level: 3
ATK: 1,200
DEF: 1,200

Flavor Text: Though not the most formidable monster, this plant has been known to bring tears to folks’ eyes.



CURRY FIEND ROUX (Monster Card)

Card Specs
Type: Fiend/Effect
Attribute: Earth
Level: 4
ATK: 0
DEF: 0

Card Description: This card cannot be Normal Summoned or set. This card cannot be Special Summoned except via the effect of “Curry Pot.” For each card in your Graveyard with the word “Spice” in its name, increase the ATK of this card by 200. For each Monster that has been removed from play by each player, increase the ATK of this card by 300.



COUNTER SPICE – CUMIN (Trap Card)

Normal Trap

Image: A spice shaker full of yellow spice, glowing with energy.

Card Description: You can activate this card when one of your Monsters is destroyed. Special Summon a Level Four or lower Monster from your hand in Attack Position.



CURRY POT (Spell Card)

Continuous Spell

Image: A large pot of bubbling soup.

Card Description: When this card is face-up on the field, whenever a Monster would be sent to either Graveyard, remove it from play. When one “Carrotman”, one “Potatoman”, and one “Onionman” are removed from play by this effect, remove all Monsters on the field from play, and Special Summon one “Curry Fiend Roux” from your hand or deck.



SPELL SPICE – RED PEPPER (Spell Card)

Normal Spell

Image: A red pepper, glowing with energy in front of a spice shaker.

Card Description: Increase the ATK of one Monster on your side of the field by 300 for one round. You may then decrease the ATK of a Monster on your opponent’s side of the field by 300 for one round.



SPELL SPICE – CINNAMON (Spell Card)

Normal Spell

Image: A cinnamon stick, glowing with energy.

Card Description: Shift one Monster on your side of the field to Defense Position. You may then shift one of your opponent’s Monsters to Attack Position.



MIXED SPICE – GARAM MASALA (Spell Card)

Normal Spell

Image: A spice shaker with a green top full of brown spice.

Card Description: Search your deck for three cards with the words “Spell Spice” in them and add them to your hand. Then, shuffle your deck.

Note: The proceeding nine cards were first used by Don Simon in the “Yu-Gi-Oh GX” episode “Curry Worries”. Creative credit goes to the writers of that episode.



SPELL SPICE – GARLIC (Spell Card)

Normal Spell

Image: A clove of garlic glowing with green energy.

Card Description: You can activate this card if a “Curry Fiend Roux” on your side of the field has been destroyed. Pay half your Life Points and destroy one “Curry Pot” on your side of the field. Special Summon one “Carrotman”, one “Potatoman”, and one “Onionman” that has been removed from play in Attack Position. Monsters Special Summoned by this card may attack your opponent directly on the round they are Special Summoned.



DOUBLE PINASKA (Monster Card)

Card Specs
Type: Warrior/Effect
Attribute: Dark
Level: 4
ATK: 1,500
DEF: 1,500

Card Description: When this card is face-up on your side of the field, you can negate one attack made by your opponent. This effect can only be used once per duel.

Note: “Double Pinaska” first appeared in “Legacy of the Duelist”.



CRESCENT MOON QUEEN (Monster Card)

Card Specs
Type: Warrior/Effect
Attribute: Dark
Level: 7
ATK: 2,600
DEF: 1,700

Card Description: This card can attack twice in the same Battle Phase. If this card attacks twice in the same Battle Phase, move it to face-up Defense Position at the end of the Battle Phase.

Note: “Crescent Moon Queen” first appeared in “City of Souls”.



Chelsea: Sam, don’t look now, but that guy is looking at you really strange.

Sam: Aw, maybe he just wants an autograph.

Yumi: I don’t think he’s a fan, Sam. I think he’s more intent on handing you your head.

Coming up next, “Heir of Kaiba! Evil versus Medieval!”

As Samantha’s destiny begins to unfold.

Ren: So, we’re finally gonna get to see Sam duel? With her actual deck?

Chelsea: Sure looks like it… So be here!

Shuppet Master
7th April 2007, 12:26 PM
Being a fan of the Food Network, it was a pleasant surprise to see that infamous Curry Deck of Ra's headmaster rear its ugly head. And we all knew the Queen would show up in Ren's deck. Great job, Brian!

Brian told me about Sam's deck, but I promised not to spoil it to you people, so you're going to have to sweat it out for now. Mwa ha ha... :D

Inferno_Dragon
7th April 2007, 12:42 PM
Interesting Duel, it is sort of like a Elimanator duel but it is not. It does sort of remind me of Jackie's Duel against Mary in Legacy of the Duelist. Except this duel involves the Food Deck used by the headmaster of Ra in Yu-Gi-Oh GX.

So we get to see Sam Duel, this is going to be interesting! Keep up the good work, DS!

Hinoryu
7th April 2007, 07:46 PM
Sadly, I'm going to say I'm not very impressed by the duel. Curry Mask's deck wasn't original at all, it was a food-themed version of Amnael's deck. Curry Pot is the same as Alchemic Kettle - Chaos Distill, and you remove monsters to power up Roux just like the Golden Homonculus or the Helios series.

Also, the chapter was incredibly short. It took me a total of five minutes to read, though I admit I read faster than most people. The duel was... ten turns, by my count? Short duels aren't necessarily bad, but this one just sort of... flopped, in my opinion. Though this may make me a hypocrite.

Fiend deck for Samantha? For the heir of Kaiba, it must be more complicated than that. It seems to be in the Kaiba blood to act like a mad scientist and make everything as overcomplicated as possible. Especially given Shuppet Master's comments. So I shall eagerly await the next chapter.

Mystic_clown
9th April 2007, 04:04 AM
Hmmm, I'm going to have to agrre with Hinoryu on this one. Curry Mask's deck never really caught my attention to begin with, and when Mary Jane played Curry Pot, I knew what was coming.

Hmm, I'm not sure why, but Sam just doesn't sit right with me. I don't know why, but there's something about her I don't like. Though, I am curious as to what deck she's using, now that Yugi Jr had the balls to make her family's card illegal (I know it was out of respect for Siegfreid, but come on, she's his daughter!). I hope it's not a dragon deck though. It would be nice to see someone not use a similar deck to their ancestor.

Shuppet Master
9th April 2007, 08:22 AM
Even if Blue Eyes White Dragon wasn't banned in this story, the only copies of that card are sealed in thick glass. Samantha isn't likely to be able to use them any time soon.

EDIT: Off the beaten topic, Dark Sage did a marvelous job with Chelsea. I created her for "Sister of Anansi" as a sort of vision for Diane of her future, and Brian turned her into something really awesome. Brian's addition of that quirk makes Chelsea remind me of that girl from the old comedy "Beetlejuice", the daughter of that family that bought the couple's house when they drowned. She could see the ghosts and nobody else could. Chelsea would probably send old Beetlejuice to the Shadow Realm if he tried anything with her. :)

Dark Sage
9th April 2007, 01:17 PM
Don't worry, Sam's deck is nothing at all like her great uncle's.

Yes... (Grins) I fondly remember that gem of a movie, Beetlejuice (still a good movie to rent if you're in the mood for some laughs), and I'm pretty sure that if old Beetlejuice ever crossed Chelsea, he'd regret it.

jkBAKURA
9th April 2007, 10:54 PM
Unique, very unique.

I have to say that you've progressed much with the story telling in the past few chapters. The character interactions are more natural, and are fun to experience.

More plot information is slowly being revealed, and we're getting more detailed glimpses into the story's world. I love it when a story seems more like a mental movie then reading from a textbook.

As for the Duel. Curry has been used sparingly enough that it was a fun read. The tough part of using a Show created theme is striving not to copy the episode outright, either by expanding the theme, (the Garlic was a nice touch, but I've noticed you seem to like bringing in only one new card. Darkchild and Nergal coming to mind) or using it differently.

With Summoning Combo stradagies however, a person is somewhat limited. Anyone using Aincent Dragon can see it soming a mile away, and you have to go through the motions to summon the thing. Same with Roux (which, before I forget, is actually a Fire monster)

Still, you managed to keep the duel flowing in a way that was both familiar, and had me curious for more.

I have to admit though that the natural limitations left little new territory explored for Ren. The Queen we were all expecting from the start, but with a long story to go, maybe it's better to reveal only a little at a time.

No Dragons? Aww. You really haven't done a fic without them if I remember correct. I admit I'm a bit disappointed. Sigfried's duels were my favorites in the original trilogy. *smack* OK, bakura, we're on different characters now, snap out of it. Oh man, I've got to stop thinking of them as extentions of their ancestors. That's what they're trying to get away from after all.

What was I talking about? Oh yeah. I guess you aren't waiting til Later to unveil Sam's true colors. I'd hold off and wait for later, but I'm sure curiosity will get the better of me. See you Friday.

Dark Sage
13th April 2007, 12:03 AM
CHAPTER EIGHT



Heir of Kaiba!



Evil Versus Medieval!



“You know, you two…” muttered Yumi. “Just because the restaurant is footing the bill doesn’t mean you both had to order the biggest dessert they had.”

“Yeah, Chelsea…” said Ren. “You aren’t gonna be able to fit into that midriff if you keep packing away ice cream.”

“Ignore him, Chelsea,” said Sam. “This may be a tournament, but we’re also on vacation, and everyone knows that diets start after the vacation. Besides, since Ren was willing to duel to get us a meal for free, we might as well make the most of it.

“Speaking of which…”

She looked at Ren.

“This goes against my better judgment, but I was impressed. You have some good cards. Where did you ever get that Queen?”

Ren paused.

“Just before my dad and your dad were caught up in that crisis that sealed New York in Shadow energy all those years ago, he bought it at the convention that was supposed to start the New York City Regional.”

He took the card out and looked at it.

“It’s a very rare card… I think about fifteen confirmed copies exist.”

Mary Jane came up to the table with a tray.

“Here we are people…” she said. “Peach pie with vanilla ice cream…”

She handed it to Yumi.

“Chocolate mousse cake…”

She gave it to Ren.

“Napoleon pastry…”

She handed it to Erik.

“And for the two who seemingly don’t care about calories, Mobius’s Delight! A brownie topped with four kinds of ice cream, nuts, hot fudge, caramel, shaved coconut, a cherry, and a mint leaf.”

She placed the huge sundaes in front of Sam and Chelsea.

“Here’s some advice…” she added. “Get your boyfriends to help with them.”

Chelsea looked at Ren.

“He’s not my…” she started.

“She’s not my…” said Ren at same time.

They stopped.

Chelsea sighed, and went to the sundae.

As Sam started to spoon the ice cream into her mouth, someone leaned his hand on the table next to her.

“Excuse me…” she said, annoyed, “this is a private gathering…”

“Samantha Arachne,” said the interloper. “Remember me?”

Sam looked up.

It was a young man about her age, with fiery red hair that looked unkempt. His eyes were hidden behind sunglasses with black rims. He wore a hooded sweatshirt, jeans, and sneakers, all of which had seen better days. From the look of things, the wear and rips were there for effect.

Sam looked at him for a second before answering.

“No,” she said, offhand.

Chelsea chuckled.

“No?” he replied. “You humiliated me last month at Kaibaland!”

“Do you realize how little that narrows it down?” asked Sam, not looking up from her ice cream.

The boy growled.

“Tucker Trevane,” he said.

Sam paused.

“Oh yeah…” she said. “I’d never forget a name that dumb… You were that guy on vacation from California with the Hand Control Deck and an ego the size of Taiwan.”

“I remember too…” said Erik with a chuckle. “Sam’s Royal Decree made you powerless. Your three precious Don Zaloogs didn’t stand a chance.”

“Yeah, well, I have a better deck now…” said Tucker. “And I’m gonna pound you into the floor with it!”

Sam took a big spoonful of ice cream.

“You request a duel here, fellah, not demand one,” she said. “But I’ll duel you anyway… Once we’re finished with dessert. Until then, you’ll wait far away from this table.”

She paused.

“Get lost until I say we’re done!”

Tucker was startled by that last part. He backed away.

Once he had gone to another part of the restaurant, Sam raised her hand and said, “Waitress?”

Mary Jane came up.

“I gotta duel someone in a few minutes,” she said. “Can we use the podium?”

“Sure thing,” said Mary Jane. “That’s what it’s there for.”

So… thought Yumi. Now I get to see what her true deck can do…

It’s about time…



* * * * * * * * * *


When nothing remained but the melted remains of ice cream and fudge, Sam stepped onto the platform and faced Tucker.

“I warn you,” she said with a sly grin. “You may have changed your deck, but I have as well. And in case you think I’m anti-Trap this time, think again!”

“I’m not surprised…” said Tucker. “I’m going to make you wash down that ice cream by eating the floor!”

“Words, words,” muttered Sam. “I’ll believe it when I see it…”

The two Disks activated.

“Game on!” they both said.



(Sam: 8,000) -------------------- (Tucker: 8,000)


“Ladies first…” said Tucker, drawing five cards.

“I’ll go first anyway,” said Sam with a grin, drawing six.

She looked over her hand.

“I summon the Malice Doll of Demise to the field,” she said.

She played the card, and a sinister-looking wooden puppet holding a large axe appeared and cackled. (1,600/1,700)



http://www.ideal808.com/images/sod-en0181.jpg


“Who’d have thought Pinocchio had an evil twin?” asked Ren.

“Quiet,” said Yumi, who was watching.

“Then I’ll follow up with a Spell Card,” continued Sam. “The fiendish Ectoplasmer.”

She fit a card into her Disk, and a Continuous Spell Card appeared.

“This card requires each player to sacrifice one of their Monsters at the end of their turns,” she explained. “Then, the very soul of that Monster is transformed into something called ectoplasm, which blasts away their opponent’s Life Points equal to half the sacrificed Monster’s Attack Score.

“All right, pal… I’m ending my turn now…”

She stabbed her thumb down. Malice Doll of Demise slumped over, and a ghostly form flew out of it, flying towards Tucker and striking him in the chest. He grunted and staggered back.



(S: 8,000) -------------------- (T: 7,200)


Ergh… thought Tucker. That felt like the cold chill I had the last time I had the flu!

“Okay Sam…” he said, drawing a card. “You want to play dirty? I notice that last move left you defenseless.”

He fit two cards into his Disk.

“I toss two cards facedown…”

Two facedown cards materialized.

“Next, I toss this guy out in Attack Mode. Ancient Gear Soldier!”

In a cloud of dust, a rickety metal robot made of gears and pistons with a machine gun for a right hand rose up. It stared at Sam with cold, emotionless eyes. (1,300/1,300)



http://www.ideal808.com/images/tlm-en008.jpg


“You’re playing an Ancient Gear Deck?” asked Sam in surprise.

“I prefer to call it a Medieval Shadow Deck,” said Tucker. “And now I’ll call you the target. Attack her directly!”

Cartridges flew from Ancient Gear Soldier’s gun as it fired a burst of hot lead, and Sam cried out in pain as the bullets stabbed into her torso.

The audience cheered.

Lovely… thought Sam, holding her chest. He’s already the crowd favorite… But not for long…

“Now I’ll end my turn…” said Tucker. “And I’ll use your own Ectoplasmer against you!”

Most people would say that Machines didn’t have souls to take. Nonetheless, Ancient Gear Soldier collapsed into a pile of metal, and a shadowy form flew into Sam, sending her staggering backward.



(S: 6,050) -------------------- (T: 7,200)


“Man, she just got hurt bad!” shouted Chelsea.

“No, she’s all right…” said Yumi. “I’ve heard of this combo…”

“Your move, Sam…” said Tucker, with a grin, crossing his arms.

Attack me… he thought. They say that what doesn’t kill you only makes you stronger… If you attack me, I won’t be dead yet, and I’ll certainly be stronger…

He looked at his facedown cards.

“I draw one card,” said Sam, drawing. “And just like magic…”

A dark flame appeared on her side of the field, and Malice Doll of Demise appeared again with a cackling laugh. (1,600/1,700)

“WHAT?” gasped Tucker. “But how?”

“When this Monster is sent to the Graveyard by the effect of a Continuous Spell Card,” explained Sam, “he’s resurrected on the next turn. That means I can keep sacrificing him to Ectoplasmer, again and again. He doesn’t mind! In fact, he rather enjoys it.

“But you… If you want to go on the offensive at all, you’ll keep wasting your Monsters and leaving yourself wide open.

“Now let’s summon someone new…” she said, placing a card on her Disk. “Since we’re in a restaurant, I’ll summon the gourmet of the Underworld. I summon The Bistro Butcher.”

She played a card, and a tall Fiend appeared. He was a diabolical-looking creature with blue skin and pointed ears, dressed in a chef’s outfit, with a hook in place of his right hand, and holding a cleaver in his left. He let out a laugh that suggested madness. (1,800/1,000)



http://www.ideal808.com/images/db2-en063.jpg


Tucker gulped.

“Butcher, attack him directly!” shouted Sam. “Ginsu cut!”

The Bistro Butcher leapt up, and made a slash at Tucker that started at his forehead and followed through all the way down to his mid-section. Tucker gasped and fell on one knee.

The crowd cheered again, even louder than before.

“Oh yeah?” he said, sweating. “Well, since you attacked me with that guy, I get to draw two cards…”

He made two draws.

“You could have two-hundred,” said Sam. “I don’t care. Malice Doll of Demise, you attack too. Cleaver heaver!”

The Doll laughed and hurled its axe at Tucker. He screamed and fell over.

His sunglasses fell off his face. He snarled as he picked them up.



(S: 6,050) -------------------- (T: 3,800)


“Aw, does that hurt?” asked Sam. “Why don’t you let one of my Monsters kiss it and make it worse?”

“I’ll pass…” muttered Tucker, getting up, “But I will use it to my advantage… I’m full of surprises, Samantha…”

One of his facedown cards lifted up.

“Like this one!” he shouted. “The Trap Card, Damage Condenser.”

A sparking, glowing, electric generator rose up behind him.

“Now, I just need to trash one of my cards…” he said.

He made a discard.

“…and I can Special Summon from my deck any Monster, so long as its Attack Score isn’t more than the amount of damage I just took from your Doll’s attack.

“And it doesn’t have to be low-Level. It could even be a Level Five Monster… Like my Ancient Gear Engineer.”

A new Monster appeared on the field in another burst of dust. It looked similar to Ancient Gear Soldier, only a little bigger, with a drill for a right hand and a clamp for the left. Its drill spun wildly. (1,500/1,500)



http://www.ideal808.com/images/sd10-en003.jpg


“A Level Five Monster with only 1,500 Attack Points?” said Chelsea. “Its effect must be pretty spectacular…”

Sam looked at the new Machine, which she had honestly never seen before. And that was saying a lot.

“Uh, yeah…” she said.

She looked at her cards.

If that guy is anything like other Ancient Gear Monsters, she thought, Traps are worthless against it during the Battle Phase…

She took the card she had just drawn from her hand.

But here’s a Trap I can use before he even reaches the Battle Phase.

She fit it into her Disk.

“I place a card facedown,” she said, as it appeared. “And I end my turn, activating Ectoplasmer again.”

A facedown card appeared. Then, Malice Doll of Demise slumped down again, and the ghostly spirit flew forward, striking Tucker again.



(S: 6,050) -------------------- (T: 3,000)


“Yes!” yelled Erik. “Keep going, baby, you’re doing great!”

“I hate to admit it,” said Chelsea, “but Sam is doing great. She’s making this guy look like a rank amateur.”

Soon to change… thought Tucker, as he drew.

He looked at the card.

“I activate… Shadow Spell!” shouted Sam.

Her Trap Card lifted, and a mass of chains burst up and bound Ancient Gear Engineer.

“Now your Engineer is trapped, and he’ll…”

The Machine threw up its arms, and the chains broke into pieces.

“…snap… them… like… dental… floss...” muttered Sam.

“Sorry, Samantha,” said Tucker, “but Trap Cards that target are worthless against this guy. How do you like that… baby?”

“Anyone except Erik who calls me that gets a knuckle massage…” growled Sam.

Tucker gulped.

“Now where was I…” he said. “Oh, yes…

“I activate Call of the Haunted…”

His other facedown card lifted, and Ancient Gear Soldier climbed out of the ground in a burst of dirt and dust. (1,300/1,300)

“Now I’ll sacrifice him…” continued Tucker, “for someone better…”

Ancient Gear Soldier vanished.

“My Ancient Gear Beast!”

In a flash, a robotic wolf, again made of pistons and gears, with razor-sharp claws and teeth, appeared on the field. It howled. (2,000/2,000)



http://www.ideal808.com/images/tlm-en007.jpg


“And I’ll just keep going…” he said, playing a card. “I’ll Equip my Engineer with Ancient Gear Tank.”

A large form materialized on the field. It looked like a cross between a motorcycle and a metal go-cart, with a cannon in front.

Ancient Gear Engineer climbed on board. A metal blast-shield with a small slit for a window covered it.

“The new wheels give him 600 more Attack Points.”

(2,100/1,500)

“That… isn’t good…” said Ren.

“All right!” shouted Tucker. “Ancient Gear Engineer, attack The Bistro Butcher! Diesel-powered overdrive!”

The Tank sped forward, and blasted its cannon, blowing the Fiend into an explosion of pixels.

“And Ancient Gear Engineer has another great effect,” said Tucker with a grin. “When he destroys a Monster, he can destroy one of your Spells or Traps. So say goodbye to your Ectoplasmer!”

The Tank shot another blast, blowing the Ectoplasmer card to bits.

“That isn’t good either…” said Ren.

“And Sam’s in big trouble,” added Chelsea. “She’s has nothing to protect herself from Ancient Gear Beast…”

“You got that right,” said Tucker with a grin. “Attack her directly, my Beast! Piston pounce!”

Ancient Gear Beast snarled. It ran towards Sam.

“Nothing to protect myself?” she shouted, throwing a card into her discard slot. “I think not!”

All of a sudden, a swarm of small, furry creatures appeared between Sam and the Beast, blocking its attack. It waved its paws and tried to swat them away, but they exploded, sending it skidding back.

There was a pause…

“HA, HA, HA, HA, HA, HA!” laughed Yumi.

“What’s so funny?” asked Sam, annoyed.

“Oh, it’s rich…” said Yumi with a chuckle. “I just find it hilarious that anyone who fancies herself the heir to the Kaiba name would have a Kuriboh in her deck!”

Sam stared at her.

“One…” she said, “I’m not my great uncle. Two, in case you haven’t noticed yet, I play a Fiend Deck, and Kuriboh is a very useful Fiend. Don’t deny it, Yumi. Your family certainly wouldn’t.”

Yumi sighed. She wouldn’t, even though a Kuriboh had never made its way into her own deck…

“All right, I’m ending my turn,” said Tucker. “Let’s see what you’ve got.”



(S: 5,750) -------------------- (T: 3,000)


“I draw…” said Sam.

She looked at the card and grinned.

“And I just drew the star of my deck!

“You may have destroyed Ectoplasmer, but my Doll’s effect is still valid, so he comes back one last time…”

Again, Malice Doll of Demise appeared in a dark aura. (1,600/1,700)

“And now I sacrifice him…” continued Sam.

The Doll vanished and Sam held up a card.

“Come forth, mighty Lord of the Underworld…” she said.

Lightning flashed, which was strange, since they were indoors.

“I summon… Dark Ruler Ha Des!”

A black bonfire appeared on the field, and a monstrous, hulking form appeared. It was an eight-foot-tall Fiend with scaly green skin, dressed in royal clothing, with a vest with a skull-like design, wearing a cross between a helmet and a golden crown. He clutched in his left claw a goblet holding some sort of liquid that emitted a smoky mist.

A dead pause fell over the patrons of the restaurant.

It was indeed the dreaded ruler of Fiends, Dark Ruler Ha Des. (2,450/1,600)



http://www.ideal808.com/images/lod_001.jpg


“Wow…” said Ren. “What a Monster…”

“What’s wrong?” asked Sam, as Tucker stepped back. “Does my consort scare you? I don’t blame you… He tends to have that effect on some people…

“Ha Des… Take care of that Ancient Gear Engineer, would you? Stygian blast!”

The Dark Ruler closed his fist around his wine goblet, and it shattered. Then he pointed, and a blast of dark flames shot from his fingertips, blowing the Engineer and his Tank to scrap.

“Not bad…” growled Tucker. “But when Ancient Gear Tank gets junked, you lose 600 Life Points.”

“Huh?” said Sam, as the ground started to smoke beneath her.

She screamed as an explosion erupted around her.



(S: 5,150) -------------------- (T: 2,650)


She glared at him.

“Your move…” she said.

Tucker made a draw.

“I move Ancient Gear Beast to Defense Mode,” he said. “Sit!”

The Machine sat on its hind legs.

“And I’ll place another Monster in Defense Mode too.”

A facedown Monster appeared.

“That’s it for me…”

Sam drew.

She looked at the Trap Card.

“I’ll place this facedown…” she said, fitting it in her Disk.

As it appeared on the field, she chose another card from her hand.

“And so long as Ha Des is here, I’ll summon one of his most loyal servants. I summon Opticlops.”

She played the card, and another Fiend appeared. It was a large, muscular ogre, with one eye and a horn on its head. (1,800/1,700)



http://www.ideal808.com/images/lod-0091.jpg


“Not bad…” said Ren. “But Archfiend Soldier would have been a little better.”

“I never said I didn’t have one, Ren,” said Sam, annoyed. “Opticlops, attack his facedown Monster. Horn ram.”

Opticlops charged at the facedown Monster. Another Ancient Gear Soldier appeared on the card. The Fiend struck it with its horn, and it was smashed to pieces.

“Ha Des, reduce his Beast to slag. Attack!”

The Dark Ruler fired his Stygian Blast, and Ancient Gear Beast exploded into hot metal and shrapnel.

“Your move…” said Sam.

Darn… thought Tucker. If I don’t get a good draw, that abomination will attack me next turn!



Continued…

Dark Sage
13th April 2007, 12:06 AM
Continued from last post:



He drew a card.

He grinned.

“Well Sam…” he said with a smirk. “It’s time for me to bring out the star of my deck.”

He showed her the card.

“Ancient Gear Golem?” asked Sam.

“Yeah…” said Tucker. “Only problem is, he needs two sacrifices, and I’m a little short on them right now. Oh well…”

He played a Spell Card.

“…guess I’ll have to use my Ancient Gear Factory!”

He played the card, and with a rumble, an enormous contraption started to rise behind him…

When they saw it in full light, it appeared to be a giant chamber, with a conveyor belt in the front, and a carousel of some sort on top covered with blue stars.

“Here’s how it works…” said Tucker.

The contraption hummed, and steam poured out of it. Mechanical shovels started to load scrap metal onto the conveyor belt, which delivered it to the inside of the chamber.

“If I want to summon a high-level Ancient Gear Monster, I can do so without sacrificing Monsters on the field, so long as I sacrifice Ancient Gear Monsters in my Graveyard, and their combined Levels equal at least twice that of the Monster I want to summon.”

“Hold on…” said Erik. “The two Soldiers were both Level Four… The Engineer was Level Five… The Beast was Level Six…”

“AND, I tossed a Level Two Ancient Gear to play Damage Condenser,” added Tucker. “So I have the prerequisite sixteen levels, and can save one Soldier for later if I need it.”

The stars on the carousel turned from blue to gold, until all of them were lit up.

“And now…” said Tucker. “Let’s all have a hand for the master of disaster… the Ancient Gear Golem!”

The chamber opened, and a giant, metal titan walked out. Like the previous Ancient Gears, it was made of cogs, pistons, and camshafts, but its rickety look was only there at first glance. Looking at it for more than a second, you saw its true aura of strength. (3,000/3,000)



http://www.ideal808.com/images/tlm-en006.jpg


“How do you like that, Samantha?” asked Tucker. “He’s just as strong as your dad’s dumb Dragons.”

Sam growled…

“All right!” he shouted. “Ancient Gear Golem… Attack the Dark Ruler Ha Des, with mechanized melee!”

“Hold it right…” started Sam, as the Golem lunged forward.

Then she stopped.

Oh, great… she thought. I forgot… Since he’s attacking with that thing, I can’t use my Trap Card!

Ancient Gear Golem slugged Ha Des with his fist, and he groaned before he burst into dark particles.

“Heh, heh…” chuckled Tucker. “So much for him… Your move…”



(S: 4,600) -------------------- (T: 2,650)


“You’ll pay for that…” growled Sam, drawing.

She looked at the card.

“I’ll place one card facedown, and end my turn,” she said.

Another facedown card appeared.

“Why didn’t she move Opticlops to Defense Mode?” asked Ren, nervously.

“Because she knows that would have made it worse,” answered Yumi. “Ancient Gear Golem has a trampling effect.”

Tucker drew a card.

Hmmm… he thought.

He added it to his hand.

“Ancient Gear Golem, attack!”

The Golem threw its fist, smashing Opticlops flat.



(S: 3,400) -------------------- (T: 2,650)


We’re in a restaurant full of people… thought Sam. I’m the owner’s daughter… I can’t lose here… I’d be humiliated!

She drew a card.

“All right, Tucker,” she said. “I play Pot of Greed…”

She played the card, and the wicked looking jar appeared in front of her. She drew two cards, and it burst into pixels.

She looked at them and grinned.

“And now, my friends, it’s time for Dark Ruler Ha Des to make his return… Like I always say, you can’t keep a good Monster down for long.”

“You’re bluffing…” said Tucker. “I happen to know that he can’t be Special Summoned from the Graveyard. I’m no idiot.”

“I didn’t intend to,” said Sam.

She played a card.

“I play Monster Reincarnation,” she said.

The strange-looking ankh, looking somewhat like the one for Monster Reborn, appeared on the field.

“Now, by tossing one card,” she said, discarding a card, “I can bring the Dark Ruler back to my hand.”

The card slipped out of her discard slot, and she took it.

“Next, I activate Call of the Haunted.”

One of her two Trap Cards lifted, and a stone coffin appeared on the field. It opened, and The Bistro Butcher stepped out. (1,800/1,000)

“Now I’ll sacrifice him…” she continued, “to summon Dark Ruler Ha Des again.”

The Bucher vanished, and Ha Des reappeared, looking slightly irked. (2,450/1,600)

“Big deal!” said Tucker. “He’s still weaker than my Golem.”

“We’ll see about that,” said Sam. “Ha Des, attack his Golem!”

Ha Des prepared to fire his blast…

“Has Sam gone nuts?” shouted Ren.

“Naw,” said Yumi, “I think she knows what she’s doing.”

“Now I activate…” said Sam, “the powerful Bark of Dark Ruler!”

Her other Trap Card lifted. Ha Des howled and an aura of black flames surrounded Ancient Gear Golem.

“This fiendish spell requires the caster to sacrifice some of his life force,” said Sam, “but no-one ever said using the magic of Fiends would be easy. So I pay as much of my Life Points as I want, and for this battle only, the Monster my Fiend is battling loses the same amount of Attack and Defense Points.

Sam glowed with a dark aura…

“So I’ll give up 600 Life Points, which weakens your scrap heap just enough for Ha Des to trash it.”

Ancient Gear Golem fell to an Attack of 2,400, and Ha Des fired his blast. Explosions rocked over the Ancient Gear Golem’s armor, and it collapsed into a pile of junk.



(S: 2,800) -------------------- (T: 2,600)


“Your move…” said Sam.

Tucker growled… He drew.

He threw a card on his Disk, and a facedown Monster appeared. He waved his hand.

Sam drew a card.

Hmm… she thought.

“I’ll set a Monster in Defense Mode…” she said.

She put the card on her Disk, and a facedown Monster materialized.

“Ha Des, attack…”

Ha Des fired his blast. An Ancient Gear appeared on the card, and was vaporized.

“This is starting to get pathetic, Tucker,” she said. “Why don’t you just give up? Ancient Gear Golem is gone, and you can’t bring it back. It can’t be Special Summoned at all.”

Tucker drew a card.

He grinned.

“Maybe not…” he said. “But I can still bring it back…”

He played the card he had just drawn.

“…with a little thing called Ancient Gear Workshop. This works just like Monster Reincarnation for Ancient Gear Monsters, but I don’t have to discard a thing.”

The Ancient Gear Golem slipped out of his discard slot, and he took it.

“Well what about sacrifices?” said Sam. “You still need them, and now you don’t have enough Monsters left in your Graveyard to use another Factory.”

“Heh, heh…” chuckled Tucker. “Samantha, when you play a deck that uses a Monster like Ancient Gear Golem, you have to find ways to get around the little problem of needing two sacrifices. There are so many ways to summon it quicker, even I can’t use them all.

“For example… I play the Spell Card, Magnet Circle LV 2. This card allows me to Special Summon a Machine from my hand, so long as its Level is no more than… well, two. So I Special Summon Ancient Gear Cannon.”

He played the card, and a large cannon, again made of gears and pistons, appeared on the field. (500/500)



http://www.ideal808.com/images/soi-en009.jpg


“Next…” he said, playing another Spell Card, “since my Cannon only has 500 Attack Points, I can play Machine Duplication. This lets me Special Summon two more Cannons from my deck.”

Two other Machines, identical to the first, appeared.

“Now I sacrifice two of them… Ancient Gear Golem, return!”

Two of the Cannons vanished, and the huge Golem reappeared. (3,000/3,000)

“Go!” he shouted. “Attack her Dark Ruler again!”

Ancient Gear Golem lunged forward, and slugged Ha Des again. He shattered into shards.

“And I’m not done with you…” continued Tucker. “I activate the effect of the Cannon I didn’t sacrifice. I can sacrifice it now, to blow away 500 more of your Life Points.

“Fire! And aim for her gut.”

With a blast, a cannonball shot from the Cannon, striking Sam in the belly and sending her falling to her knees.

The Cannon shattered. Sam winced in pain, holding her stomach.



(S: 1,750) -------------------- (T: 2,600)


“So…” said Tucker with a grin. “What are you gonna do now? Feel like throwing up? Please do… It will make victory all the sweeter.”

Sam slowly got up.

“I really remember you now…” she muttered. “The reason you played a Hand Control Deck was because you were so sadistic and liked seeing your opponents helpless. You haven’t changed. The method may be different, but it’s the same flavor…

“Like chocolate ice cream and chocolate cookies. Two desserts, both of them chocolate. Your deck is different, but you haven’t changed at all.”

She drew a card. She smirked when she saw what it was.

“What am I gonna do? Easy. I’m gonna send your Golem to the junkyard again.”

She played a card.

“I play Silent Doom!” she shouted. “Now I can raise a Normal Monster from my Graveyard in Defense Mode.”

Opticlops appeared, crouching in defense. (1,800/1,700)

“Now then…” she continued. “Let’s bring back the big guy again…”

“And how do you intend to do that?” asked Tucker. “You have only one card left in your hand. Even if it’s another Monster Reincarnation, you have nothing to discard to use it.”

“I didn’t say it was,” said Sam. “I can’t recover Ha Des from the Graveyard this time…

…but…”

She showed him the card.

“…my deck has two copies of his card! After all, I’m his consort.

“So I sacrifice Opticlops, to summon him… Third time’s the charm…”

Opticlops vanished. Dark Ruler Ha Des appeared again, and this time, he was mad. (2,450/1,600)

“Need I remind you that my Golem is still stronger?” asked Tucker. “And I don’t see any facedown cards that could be a second Bark of Dark Ruler…”

“I don’t need one,” said Sam. “I have… this!”

She pointed to her facedown Monster.

“I flip it into Attack Mode. Reveal… Winged Minion!”

The card flipped, and a small form flew out. It was a nasty imp the size of an infant, with bat-like wings and a lamprey-like mouth, dressed only in a ragged pair of shorts. (700/700)



http://www.ideal808.com/images/lod-005.jpg


“See, it’s called that because it has wings, and… uh, it’s a minion…” said Sam. “And this guy is a Fiend’s best friend, because by sacrificing it, I can increase the Attack and Defense of any Fiend by 700 points.”

Winged Minion perched on Ha Des’s shoulder, and then vanished into mist. Dark Ruler Ha Des grew to (3,150/2,300)

“This is exactly how I beat a guy who was using Air Fortress Ziggurat,” she said. “Now, Ha Des… destroy his Golem!”

Dark Ruler Ha Des fired an even more intense blast of dark flames, and the huge Golem exploded. Debris rained down on the podium.



(S: 1,750) -------------------- (T: 2,450)


Everyone cheered again.

“And with that…” said Sam. “I end my turn.”

Tucker nervously drew a card.

“I place a Monster in Defense Mode…” he said, placing it on his Disk. “That’s all I can do…”

A facedown Monster appeared.

“Well…” said Sam. “Seems all I need now is the right Monster, and this duel will be a wrap…”

She drew a card.

“That’s the one,” she said. “I summon Gil Garth.”

She played the card, and a creature that looked like a mechanical warrior covered with barbs and spikes, hunched over and holding a huge scimitar, appeared. (1,800/1,000)



http://www.ideal808.com/images/le4_004.jpg


“Don’t let his appearance fool you,” said Sam. “He may look like as much a Machine as your guys, but he’s all Fiend.

“Gil Garth, attack his facedown Monster.”

Gil Garth flew forward, and a Heavy Mech Support Platform appeared on the card. With one swipe of his sword, Gil Garth smashed it to bits.

“Ha Des…” said Sam. “Attack directly and end this!”

Ha Des fired the most intense blast yet, and Tucker screamed. He fell backwards and stumbled off the podium.



(S: 1,750) -------------------- (T: 0)


Everyone in the restaurant applauded.

“Thank you…” said Sam.

She looked at her badge, which was now at Blue.

Not bad for the first day… she thought.

“You didn’t do too bad…” she said to Tucker. “But maybe you should try a less challenging game… Like Tiddly Winks.”

She chuckled, and stepped off the podium.



* * * * * * * * * *


The strange fortuneteller looked at the three cards on her table.

In the middle was The High Priestess. To the right of her was The Fool. And to her left was The Strength.

“The circle is almost complete,” she said. “Only a few more variables remain to be revealed.”

She took the card off the top of the deck, and placed it underneath the first three cards, under the border between The Strength and The High Priestess.

The card showed a man in a flowing, purple robe, holding a wand up high in his left hand, and holding a sword in his right. In front of him was a table, on which was a golden goblet and a sphere with a pentagram drawn on it.

“The Magician,” she said. “Certainly, this represents young Samantha, a young woman with confidence who seeks new opportunities and new beginnings… Such as starting a new legacy for the Kaiba name by becoming the Queen of Games.

“One variable still remains for now, but I feel it will be revealed shortly.”



* * * * * * * * * *


Fifteen minutes later, the group was outside the restaurant, as the sun was starting to set.

“I can’t believe what a big crybaby that guy was,” said Chelsea.

“Who can blame him?” asked Erik. “His best Monster was trashed twice in the same duel.”

“So Sam…” asked Ren, “why the sudden respect for Ha Des?”

“Well…” said Sam, “Ha Des is a guy with a lot of power, a lot of influence… he’s rich…”

“In Greek myth, Hades was the god of wealth, as well as the god of the dead,” added Chelsea.

“True,” said Sam, nodding. “He rules an empire, he likely owns shares of stock in every major company in the place where Duel Monsters live… Maybe he just reminded me of my dad and my great uncle.

“They weren’t evil, of course, but Ha Des was the closest thing I could find to a billionaire CEO.”

“So, uhm, Sam…” said Ren, nervously. “You wouldn’t happen to have a Crush Card in your deck, would you?”

Sam glared at him.

Then she smirked.

“Oh, please,” she said. “My great uncle’s dumb viruses hurt him more often than they helped him.”

“Ain’t it the truth…” muttered Erik.

“Besides,” continued Sam, “that card and the related Traps aren’t nearly as powerful as they used to be.”

“So…” said Chelsea, “speaking of wealth, I guess we’re all thinking the same thing… What we’d do if we won the tournament. Five million is a lot of money.

“I looked it up by the way, Ren. It’s roughly six-hundred million Yen, give or take.”

Ren let out a low whistle.

“Hey…” said Yumi. “I’m gonna have college tuition to pay for in a few years, and my folks’ money isn’t gonna last forever.”

“I know what you mean, in a way,” said Sam. “Just once I’d like to have some money that didn’t come out of the trust fund that I was given. I know it sounds crazy, but I want money that I got myself.”

There was a pause.

“What about the big prize?” asked Ren. “The request? The wish?”

They all looked at each other.

“Know what I’d wish for?” asked Erik, holding Sam close.

He looked into her eyes.

“I’d wish for them to build us a romantic villa on the French Riviera, just for the two of us, our own little castle where I could…”

Before he could finish, Sam kissed him on the lips.

Yumi, Ren, and Chelsea watched. Ren looked at his watch and counted the seconds.

“We might have a new record here, people,” he said.

Sam let go, and blushed.

“Our hotel is right next to yours,” said Sam. “We’ll walk there.”

They couldn’t have known that Nicholas was watching.

In fact, he had been at a table nearby all during Ren’s duel and Sam’s duel. He had already reported what he had seen about Ren’s strategy…

He turned on a cell phone and spoke into it.

“Yes?” said the voice. “Did any of them duel again?”

“No…” he replied, “but get this… They’re paling around with Arachne’s daughter.”

“Arachne’s daughter…” said the voice. “An interesting concept. I don’t know whether it will benefit us or trouble us.

“Keep watching them until they get to their hotels. We need all the information we can garner.”

“Gotcha,” he replied.

Defeating a lout who was out for revenge, Sam manages three victories in the first day alone, bringing her up to Blue. Is there more to come in this first day of the tournament? We will see…



GIL GARTH (Monster Card)

Card Specs
Type: Fiend
Attribute: Dark
Level: 4
ATK: 1,800
DEF: 1,000

Flavor Text: An extermination machine protected by iron armor. Without mercy, he'll attack with his giant katana.

Note: “Gil Garth” is a Japanese card that has not yet been released in the United States.



Chelsea: It seems Sam is a pretty good duelist. She may be a worthy opponent.

Ren: Yeah, but I still don’t see what Erik sees in her. What attracted him to someone like that?

Yumi: I don’t know folks. Likely no-one knows, least of all Sam.

But we’ll soon see just how dedicated a boyfriend he is, because a challenge is one thing, an insult is another.

Coming up next, “Battle of Honor! Big Things in Small Packages”.

Chelsea: Erik’s gonna duel now?

Ren: Big things in small packages? I don’t get it…

Hinoryu
13th April 2007, 12:20 AM
Well, after that one little line, I'll be quite surprised if Ren and Chelsea haven't hooked up by the end of the story.

Also, for what it's worth, I recall "Medieval Shadow" actually being a mistranslation of what Chronos titled his deck... I can't quite recall what it should be. "Darkness of Medieval Times"... A pun on "Darkness" and the "dark ages", I believe.

That said, that was fairly amusing. Sam doesn't seem to follow Kaiba's advice about not making a deck focused on one big monster. So far all we've seen is her trying to get Ha Des out as big and often as possible. But that's likely to change, I'm sure.

Also, as a friend pointed out, Tucker's design reminds me of Axel. Not that that's a bad thing, it just screamed at me to make "Card Break" jokes about it.

All in all, a decent chapter. Next one should be good, as I wasn't expecting Erik to really play any role.

Dark Sage
13th April 2007, 12:26 AM
Oh, don't worry. Erik will play a major role. Just give him a little time. And wait until you see his deck theme.

And don't worry, there's more to Sam's deck than just Ha Des. In fact, I believe the next time she duels, Ha Des will not show up at all.

As for that so-called rule of Kaiba's... It came from a guy with three Blue-Eyes White Dragons in his deck, so it lost a little of its impact.

Just keep reading, and I might surprise you.

Hinoryu
13th April 2007, 12:41 AM
For Erik's deck theme, judging from the next title, I'm guessing Moke Moke or at least some form of Zerg Rush. However, that could be his opponent.

And, for Kaiba's line... okay, I concede this. Did Kaiba ever have a whole duel without summoning Blue Eyes? Even in the Toei series?

Neo Arkadia
13th April 2007, 12:47 AM
Not a bad chapter per say, but I personally saw it more of a nessecary evil than anything. And yeah. Tucker did strike me of Axel.

The Ha Des esque Deck was a nice touch, but Tucker's deck struck me as a little dry. Not your fault so much as Ancient Gear decks anymore are a dime a dozen. Or at least pop up once during a story. (Again, this is a fault of following a variety of stories on a cornacupia of sites.)

Also, Kaiba's Hypocracy goes *well* beyond Blue Eyes White Dragon. Packing your deck with nothing but supposedly 1500+ ATK monsters sans Saggi during Duelist Kingdom. Abusing Obelisk during Battle City ad nausem. Abusing Critias ad nauseum during Doma/Dartz.

Kaiba... *long* history of hypocracy.

I have an idea about the "Big Things" and "Small Packages" bit. Hoping it's wrong though.

Mystic_clown
13th April 2007, 01:21 AM
Hmm, Tucker more reminded my of Reno than Axel, but then again, the two are fairly similar. Unfortunately though, he seemed a little dull and a bit flat.

Hmm, I don't get how the Crush card did more damage to Kaiba. From what I know, it only damaged him once, and that was when Pegasus used it against him.

I like the fiend deck, then again, that may be because Forte's using one similar to it in "Six Avatars" Hmm, I'm not sure what, but something about Sam puts me off a bit. I'm not sure what.

Hmm, I'm curious to see what happens with Erik's duel.

Hinoryu
13th April 2007, 01:22 AM
Hmm, I don't get how the Crush card did more damage to Kaiba. From what I know, it only damaged him once, and that was when Pegasus used it against him.

Battle City finals, vs. Isis.

Mystic_clown
13th April 2007, 01:51 AM
Hmm, true. But still, that card is bloody dangerous.

jkBAKURA
13th April 2007, 10:47 AM
I read the chapter barely awake, but I liked what I saw.

It may have been a risk with the fans to have your Kaiba equivalent play such a drasticly different theme then her predecessors. (then again, did any of the main three characters ever really have a theme?)

I know some people may be thinking "groan, I've seen ten-thousand fiend decks already." For me at least, the chapter didn't seem to fall flat.

The fact that the duel was a little shorter actually worked to your advantage, because it didn't overload us with combos we've seen several times. That's not a complaint, as the duel still felt long enough to be satisfying.

As for the opponent, I kind of liked the pure Ancient Gear twist. Kyle and Sol both used hybrids, and it set apart the character from both of them.

One thing I've taken notice of is the restraint when it comes to the one-liners from the viewers of the duel, as well as in the story itself. It shows growth. Humor has it's place, and you're picking out the places to make, me at least, smile instead of roll my eyes.

All in all, after a rocky start, the pace that you've now set is working.

As for the next chapter, it certainly looks like a Low Level deck, but from whom? The pattern indicates Erik, and if so, it's a unique choice. If that's so, I hope he's used sparingly, but I'll try not to pass judgement until I see the chapter for myself.

Keep up the good work, and please, don't wait too long to include the first plot twist. I look forward to what these characters will do when confronted with the unexpected.

P.S. I absolutely loved the moment with the Kuriboh. It made me smile to no end. The irony was tangeble. Yumi's reaction was icing of the cake.
Trust me, if the moment wasn't so long, I'd have siged it by now.

Shuppet Master
13th April 2007, 11:54 PM
So it seems the niece of my Sister of Anansi protagonist plays a sorta generic fiend deck focusing on the Dark Ruler as her true deck. Well, it makes sense - her mother played a similar sinister theme(Insect), so it's understandable. Kudos for not trying to mimic Seto Kaiba in any way.

And yeah, Dark Ruler does seem to be the CEO of Duel Monsters. I recall the Central Shadow Realm having Ha Des be a crime lord of some sort...

Nice touch with Erik saying what he'd do with the prize money. Very romantic.

We get to see Erik duel next, eh? I've wondered what his deck is. He wouldn't just be in the tournament just as a cheerleader, we know he has dueled. By the way, are we ever going to find out how Sam met him?

Inferno_Dragon
14th April 2007, 11:54 AM
Interesting duel, well only Sam's part. True, there is a lot of fiend decks out there but her fiend deck is special. And the fact that she is doing something different from Seto or Siegfied really counts up to something. As for Tucker's deck, it is true. Ancient Gear Decks have been used many times and his deck was nothing special but it was a good try anyways.

Keep up the good work, DS!

Dark Sage
19th April 2007, 01:32 AM
CHAPTER NINE



Battle of Honor!



Big Things in Small Packages



“I think everyone’s had enough dueling for one day…” said Yumi.

“You’re telling me…” said Chelsea. “I’m exhausted. I just want to go back to my hotel and order a movie. I think The DaVinci Code is available tonight.”

“Don’t forget folks,” said Sam, with a sinister grin, “I’m one ahead of all of you.”

They looked around. Some people had not gotten tired of dueling…

Yumi and Sam saw a few of their families’ Monsters being played in the duels around them. Yumi and Sam watched as a Summoned Skull struck down a Vorse Raider…

They turned to each other and shrugged.

“Hey, beautiful!” said a voice behind Sam.

Before Sam could question this, she felt a hand slap her across the behind.

Sam was shocked for a minute.

She turned around in rage. Only Erik was allowed to touch her there…

The stray hand belonged to a teenager who looked about eighteen, wearing a leather jacket that was likely custom made, and designer jeans. His blonde hair had a great deal of spray in it, and he wore so much cologne that she felt like retching.

Sam was about to say something, when Erik stepped between them, a look of fury on his face.

“Did you just do what I think you did, pal?” he asked.

“And what if I did?” asked the teenager, taking an item out of his pocket that looked like a switchblade.

“Erik…” said Sam, nervously.

“I dare you…” started Erik.

The punk flicked the button on the device…

It wasn’t a real switchblade… It was one of those novelty combs made to look like one.

He started to comb his hair with it. Erik frowned. Obviously, this was one of those guys who cared more for his hair than any other part of himself.

“You need to lay off the caffeine, bro,” he said, casually palming the comb. “What do you care if I slap some bitch?”

Erik snatched the comb, and then quickly, broke it in half.

The punk looked dumbfounded as he dropped the pieces to the ground.

“Slapping her made me angry,” said Erik. “Calling her a bitch makes me want to inflict bodily harm.”

“So what are you gonna do?” asked the punk. “Slug me? I dare ya! I double dare ya!”

“I’m not a thug, buddy, ah…” started Erik. “Do you have a name?”

“Leroy,” said the thug. “Leroy Brown. Duel King of Chicago!”

Erik gave him a weird look.

“Leroy Brown…” he said. “And I suppose you think you’re the baddest man in the whole damn town?”

“That’s right,” said the thug, with a grin. “And I’m going to the top in this tournament.”

“Please…” said Erik. “That can’t be your real name. That’s likely just some egotistical…”

The thug took out his wallet and took something out of it – an Illinois driver’s license. He stuck it in front of Erik’s face.

Erik just looked at it for a minute.

“Okay, so it is your real name…” he said with a shrug. “Your folks must have either been big fans of Jim Croce or people with issues.”

“That’s nothing,” replied the thug. “I have a friend whose folks named him Lee Harvey, when his last name was Oswald. They were anarchists – hated the government.

“They’re both in jail now… Long story… And as for my name, I kinda like it.”

“A name’s splendor or lack thereof has nothing to do with your attitude,” said Erik, angrily. “Getting back to what we were saying, I’m not letting you get away with insulting my girlfriend, nor am I gonna slug you…

“Me and Sam have a little arrangement. She’ll duel anyone who challenges her, but anyone who insults her has to deal with me!

“So we’re dueling, and if I win, you apologize to Sam.

“Unless you’re scared…”

“Scared?” laughed Leroy. “Of you? Ha! To prove I’m not scared, I’ll up the ante… Loser forks over his rarest card, ala Battle City.”

“Erik, no!” shouted Sam.

Her voice fell to a whisper.

“You saved for two months to get… that card…”

“Don’t worry, Sam…” said Erik. “I’m gonna teach this guy a lesson…

“And remind him what happened to Leroy Brown at the end of that song… I’m sure he remembers…

“Well, the two men took to fightin’,
And when then pulled them from the floor,
Leroy looked like a jigsaw puzzle
With a couple of pieces gone.”

“Loser…” muttered Leroy



* * * * * * * * * *


Erik and Leroy stood apart, shuffling their decks.

“You sure know how to pick ‘em, Sam,” said Yumi. “Does he have a brother?”

Sam shook her head.

“I don’t know what I ever did to deserve such loyalty…” she replied. “I met him when he was just a bad duelist with a deck full of trash cards, trying to get into the hobby. He needed advice, I helped him… And… well, something clicked…”

“So what sort of deck does Erik have anyway?” asked Ren.

“Just wait…” said Sam. “You’ll see…”



(Erik: 8,000) -------------------- (Leroy: 8,000)


“Game on!” said Leroy, drawing five cards. “To show you I’m not all bad, I’ll let you move first. Prepare to lose!”

“As if…” said Erik, making his first draw. “Only thing I’m gonna lose is my lunch… I can smell that cheap aftershave from here…”

Leroy gave him a dirty look.

Erik chose a card from his hand.

“Well, to start off…” he said, “I’ll have this defend me.”

He placed a card on his Disk, and a facedown Monster appeared.

“That’ll do for now…”

“Ooh, sneaky!” said Leroy, making a draw. “Well, you don’t scare me…

“I summon my Marauding Captain…”

He played the card, and an aged veteran in armor and a cape, with a scar on his face, holding two swords, appeared on the field. (1,200/400)



http://www.ideal808.com/images/lod_018.jpg


“And just by summoning him…” he continued. “I can summon another Monster from my hand. So long as it’s Level Four or less, of course. Like my Warrior Dai Grepher.”

Marauding Captain gave a whistle. Leroy played another card, and another Warrior, this one in black leather armor and a headband, carrying a broadsword, marched out. (1,700/1,600)



http://www.ideal808.com/images/lod-020.jpg


“Seems like a basic Warrior Deck…” said Yumi. “Not the most creative, but quite effective…”

“Want more?” asked Leroy. “I’ll make Marauding Captain stronger, by Equipping him with Lightning Blade.”

He played a card, and one of the Captain’s swords vanished, to be replaced by a shorter one, sparking with electricity. (2,000/400)

“AND,” he continued, “I’ll Equip Grepher with Divine Sword Phoenix Blade!”

Grepher’s Sword vanished, and was replaced by a slimmer sword with a golden hilt shaped like a bird. (2,000/1,600)

“Two Monsters with 2,000 Attack Points on his first turn?” said Chelsea with a gasp. “This guy doesn’t fool around…”

“Not bad…” said Erik, crossing his arms. “But keep one thing in mind… The power of a warrior is not defined by a weapon, but by the one holding the weapon.”

“Where’d you hear weird stuff like that?” asked Leroy, with a strange look.

“Oh, I’ve studied many classic philosophers and wise men from all ages of civilization…” replied Erik. “However, that one I found in a fortune cookie.”

“Whatever…” said Leroy. “All right, guys, let’s show him how it’s done! Marauding Captain, attack that facedown Monster!”

The Warrior flew forward. A huge rodent appeared on the card, and with one swipe of a sword, it was smashed to bits.



http://www.ideal808.com/images/db1-en045.jpg


“A Giant Rat?” asked Leroy.

“Uh huh,” said Erik, taking his deck. “And you likely know that when it’s destroyed, I get to summon an Earth Monster from my deck that has 1,500 Attack Points or less.

“Now let’s see… Since Giant Rat itself fits the bill, I think I’ll summon another one.”

He played the card, and another huge rodent appeared in Attack Mode. (1,400/1,450)

“I’m not scared of rats,” said Leroy. “My dad’s an exterminator… he kills them for a living. Let me demonstrate. Grepher, stomp that Rat!”

Warrior Dai Grepher swung his sword, and the Rat was blown to pieces.

“Thank you…” said Erik. “Now I can start my true strategy… I use the same effect, to Special Summon… my Toy Soldier!”

Music that sounded like the first few bars from “The William Tell Overture” sounded over the arena…

In a burst of energy, a small humanoid figure appeared. It was… a toy soldier, one seemingly made of wood, dressed in a Revolution-era uniform with a tall hat and a fancy coat. He carried a musket that was apparently a pop-gun. His face consisted solely of two dots for eyes and a slit for a mouth. He pointed the musket forward, as if he was preparing to fire. (800/300)

“Heh, heh, heh…” said Chelsea. “That’s adorable!”

“Don’t underestimate Erik’s Monsters,” warned Sam. “He may be cute, but he can be lethal if used right.”

Leroy looked at the last two cards in his hand.

“Eh, make your move…” he said. “As if that pipsqueak worried me…”



(E: 7,400) -------------------- (L: 8,000)


“Then I draw…” said Erik, drawing a card.

“And then, Toy Soldier’s effect activates. Namely, if he’s on my side of the field during my Standby Phase, two of his little friends come out to join him.”

The Toy Soldier produced a small bugle and played a rousing tune on it. In two bursts of energy, two more Toy Soldiers appeared next to him. (800/300 x2)

“Give me a break!” shouted Leroy. “This ain’t no Nutcracker Suite, and I’m not the Rat King! Those Lilliputians don’t scare me.”

“Next,” said Erik, “I’ll place three of my cards facedown, and turn it over to you.”

He fit three cards into his Disk, and they appeared, one behind each Toy Soldier.

Leroy looked at the field for a minute, and then drew a card.

“I activate Gravity Bind!” exclaimed Erik, as one of his Traps lifted. “Now all Monsters that are Level Four or higher can’t attack.”

“Oh, is that so?” asked Leroy with a laugh. “Well I got news for you… Marauding Captain is Level Three…”

There was a pause.

“Uhm… I knew that…” muttered Erik.

“Yeah, yeah…” said Leroy. “But since I don’t intend on keeping him around any longer, I’ll get rid of your Gravity Bind anyway…”

He held up a Spell Card.

“Go, Mystical Space Typhoon!”

He played the card, and the cyclone shot forth, shattering the Gravity Bind.

“Great…” muttered Ren. “His Soldiers are sitting ducks.”

“Now then…” said Leroy, “I’ll sacrifice both of my Monsters…”

Marauding Captain and Warrior Dai Grepher vanished…

“A double-sacrifice!” gasped Ren. “He’s getting serious!”

“To summon my best card…” continued Leroy. “The incredible Gilford the Legend!”

With a roar, a huge Warrior in black armor and a cape arose. He had flowing red hair, wore a mask over his eyes, and carried a giant sword. He raised it menacingly. (2,600/2,000)



http://www.ideal808.com/images/sd5-en001.jpg


“Whoa!” shouted Erik. “He’s a big one, isn’t he?”

“Yes, and just by summoning him…” continued Leroy, “I can Equip him with every Equip Card in my Graveyard, meaning that Lightning Blade and Divine Sword Phoenix Blade both go to him.”

The two swords appeared, and were absorbed into Gilford’s blade. (3,700/2,000)

“Not bad,” said Erik. “Your Monster is awfully good with swords… can he handle cannons?”

“Wha? Cannons?” asked Leroy in surprise.

One of Erik’s facedown cards lifted.

“Toy Cannon, to be precise…” he said. “You see, I knew you might have had Mystical Space Typhoon. The Gravity Bind was a decoy, to draw your attention away from the more important Traps.”

A cannon appeared beside the Toy Soldiers, manned by two other Toy Soldiers. One of them quickly loaded a cannonball into it, and then the other rammed it down with a pole.

“What’s happening?” asked Leroy, nervously.

“I’ll show you,” said Erik with a grin. “Ready… Aim…”

One of the Soldiers lit the fuse…

“FIRE!”

The Toy Soldiers all covered their ears with their hands, and the cannon blasted in a burst of flame and smoke, hitting Gilford in the chest with the projectile. He groaned and tumbled over, flooring Leroy on the way down.

“Ugh…” he muttered. “I know one toy I’m not getting for my little sister this Christmas.”

“Well you just lost 400 Life Points from that impact,” said Erik, “and it moved your Monster to Defense Mode. And I’m not done… Funny that you called my Soldiers Lilliputians…”

His last Trap Card lifted.

“I activate Gulliver Chain!”

A mass of chains erupted from the ground around Gilford, and he roared as they grabbed hold of him. He struggled, but to no avail; they tied him up and secured him to the ground.

“What did you do?” shouted Leroy.

“Rendered your best Monster helpless,” said Erik. “If you move him back into Attack Mode, those chains will tear him to pieces.”

Leroy snarled.

“Well…” said Yumi with a grin. “Handsome, loyal, and a pretty good duelist to boot. You sure know how to pick em, Sam.”

“Yeah…” said Chelsea. “But how will Erik get at his Life Points now? Gilford has 2,000 Defense Points, and those Soldiers only have 800 Attack Points apiece.”

“I’ll show you…” said Erik. “I believe… It’s my move!”



(E: 7,400) -------------------- (L: 7,600)


He drew a card.

“You ever hear the old saying, Leroy,” said Erik, “that ‘Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the Earth’?”

“Maybe so…” replied Leroy, “but until they do, the strong will be here to push them around!”

“We’ll see…” said Erik.

“Next I play this…” he said, holding up a Spell Card, “it’s called Forced March. It lets my Soldiers go right past that big lug and get to you.

“Ever see old Laurel and Hardy movies? Well we’re about reenact one… Babes in Toyland, otherwise known as…

“March of the Wooden Soldiers!”

The Toy Soldiers started to march forward.

“Go! Go! Go! Go! Go!” shouted Erik, as they advanced on Leroy.

Leroy took a step back…

And then the three Soldiers fell to their knees, panting for breath. Their Attack Scores dropped to 400 apiece.

“HA!” laughed Leroy. “They look too pooped to attack a Barbie doll!”

“Yeah?” asked Erik. “That’s what this other Spell Card is for…”

He played another card.

“It’s called Fife and Drum Corp.”

Music started to play, and a parade of Toy Soldiers playing drums and flutes appeared, playing a rousing tune. Everyone recognized the familiar tune: “When Johnny Comes Marching Home”.

“Oh, this is priceless!” said Chelsea with a laugh.

“There’s nothing like a rousing tune to inspire someone,” said Erik. “And I’ll prove it… This Spell will give my Soldiers on the field their second wind, doubling their Attack Scores…”

The Toy Soldiers got up, and their Attack Scores went back up to 800 apiece. They aimed their muskets…

“Uh oh…” said Leroy.

With three blasts, three corklike projectiles struck the punk, hitting him in the chest, stomach, and left shin.

He fell to his knees and winced in pain.

“Ouch…” muttered Ren. “I felt that from here.”



(E: 7,400) -------------------- (L: 5,200)


“All right Erik…” grumbled Leroy, as he slowly got up. “I’m not about to be beaten, and if I ever am beaten, it sure as Hell ain’t gonna be by a bunch of third-rate wimps!”

“If my Monsters are third-rate wimps, Leroy,” replied Erik, crossing his arms, “it certainly doesn’t say much for your skills as a duelist, seeing as I’m beating you.”

Leroy glared at him.

He drew a card.

“See this?” he said, showing him the card, which was Pot of Greed. “It’s called a real man’s card, and I’m playing it now.”

The Pot appeared on his side of the field, and he drew two cards.

“Perfect…” he said, looking at them. “I don’t need Gilford right now, not when I have this guy… I summon the Armed Samurai Ben Kei!”

He played the card, and a battle-worn Warrior with a quiver of weapons on his back and a cowl over his head, dressed in ragged armor appeared on the field. He held a large naginata by his side. (500/800)



http://www.ideal808.com/images/yugioh_fet_en_023_1.jpg


“And you called my Soldiers wimps?” asked Erik. “That guy is even weaker.”

“Forget what kinds of cards I’ve been using?” asked Leroy. “Now I play two more Equips… Big Bang Shot and Fusion Sword Murasame Blade.”

He fit them into his Disk. The first Equip didn’t seem to do much, but the second replaced Ben Kei’s spear with a long, sharp katana. (1,700/800)

“And guess what?” he continued. “Ben Kei gets an extra attack for every Equip he has!”

“Great…” said Ren. “That means he can wipe out all three of Erik’s Soldiers…”

“Not only that…” added Chelsea, “with Big Bang Shot Equipped to him, Erik can’t protect himself by defending.”

“You got it,” said Leroy. “Ben Kei, go! One!”

Ben Kei swung his sword, smashing one of the Soldiers to pieces.

“Two!”

He swung again, smashing the second one.

“Third time’s the charm…”

With a third mighty blow, Ben Kei destroyed the last Soldier. Erik cringed.



(E: 4,700) -------------------- (L: 5,200)


“So…” said Leroy, with a smirk. “What do you say now?”

“I say…” said Erik, “it’s my move…”

He drew a card.

“I play the Equip Spell, Symbol of Heritage,” he said. “Since I have three of the same Monster in my Graveyard, this card lets me summon one of them back.”

He fit the card into his Disk, and an odd variation on the more common ankh symbol appeared on his side of the field. A Toy Soldier appeared in a flash of light. (800/300)

“Now, I play a Spell Card called Crowning of the Emperor! I sacrifice my Toy Soldier…”

He played the card, and the Soldier held his gun to his side and saluted before he vanished in a burst of energy.

“And I summon a guy whom toys revere as their king. I’m not talking about Santa Claus, I’m talking about the Toy Emperor!”

In a flash, an imposing form appeared on the field. It was another toy soldier, but this one was dressed in an officer’s uniform, again suggesting Revolution-era, his coat covered with medals, and wearing a flamboyant hat. He carried a long saber, and was mounted on a wooden horse. His eyes were narrow, and his mouth was carved into a frown – clearly, he didn’t look too friendly. (2,300/800)

“Ho boy…” muttered Leroy.

“Eh…” said Chelsea. “On the other hand, who needs to defend?”

“Now Leroy…” said Erik. “Let me tell you a few things about Emperors… Throughout history, most of them have been fat, lazy slobs who liked being waited on, and never did an honest day’s work in their lives. And when their nations were at war, they hid like cowards in their palaces where it was safe.

“The Toy Emperor isn’t like that. In battle, he’s on the front line, leading his troops, and charging at the enemy with his sword drawn.

“And the lesson you can learn from that is…”

He paused.

“Well, there’s one in there somewhere, but I kinda forget what it is.

“Anyway, Toy Emperor, attack the Armed Samurai Ben Kei with imperial charge!”

Toy Emperor galloped forward on his mount, and clashed swords with Ben Kai. Then the Samurai’s sword flew from his hand, and the Emperor’s stabbed him in the chest. Armed Samurai Ben Kei burst into triangles.

“Toy Emperor has a special effect, by the way…” said Erik, taking his deck. “When he slays a Monster in battle, I get to take any Trap Card from my deck and add it to my hand.”

He leafed through his deck and took a card.

Mirror Force should do… he thought.

He smirked as he remembered his duel with that guy who used the Manticores. Toy Emperor had played an essential part of winning. He had both Curse of Anubis and Zero Gravity in his deck. So the first thing he did was take down one Manticore with Toy Emperor and Rush Recklessly, and use his effect to search for Zero Gravity. On his opponent’s next turn he triggered it, and on his turn, he destroyed both Manticores, and searched for Curse of Anubis. He triggered THAT on his opponent’s NEXT turn, and on his turn, he was able to destroy the annoying Beast-Warriors for the last time.

“And my turn isn’t over…” he said. “First, I think I’ll set it facedown…”

He fit the card into his Disk, and it appeared.

“Next,” he continued, “I have just enough Monsters in my Graveyard to play… Pot of Avarice. It’s an even better card than your so-called ‘real man’s’ card if I use it at the right time, because before I draw twice, I get to return five Monsters to my deck from my Graveyard.”

He played his last card. A goofy, pink satire of the Pot of Greed appeared in front of him. All three Toy Soldiers and his two Giant Rats slipped out of his discard slot. He combined them with his deck, reshuffled, and then drew two cards.

He looked at them.

“And since I haven’t Normal Summoned for this turn yet,” he finally said, “I’ll set a Monster in Defense Mode.”

He played the card, and a facedown Monster appeared.



(E: 4,700) -------------------- (L: 4,600)


“Erik is doing good, isn’t he?” asked Sam.

“Yes, but he may have made an error,” added Yumi. “He had Toy Emperor attack Ben Kei, when what he should have done was attack Gilford. I mean, what if Gilford gets free? He’s far more dangerous.”

Leroy drew a card and smirked.

“What indeed…” he said evilly. “What if Gilford gets free? Maybe we should find out! I play Heavy Storm!”

He held up the card, and a fierce wind erupted over the field. The Mirror Force lifted up and shattered, and then Erik’s Gulliver Chain shattered as well. Gilford threw up his hands in rage, and snapped the chains like spaghetti.

“Now, I’ll move him back to Attack Mode…” said Leroy.

Gilford stood up, and lifted his sword…

“Of course…” said Leroy, “since I played Heavy Storm, I had to destroy those two Equips he had. But no matter… I can get one of them back. I’ll simply remove Marauding Captain and Ben Kei from play…”

He took the two cards from his discard slot and placed them in his jacket.

“And that activates the effect of my Divine Sword Phoenix Blade, returning it to my hand.”

He took the Spell Card from the slot.

“Now I’ll just Equip it to Gilford again…”

The sword was absorbed into Gilford’s Sword, and he rose to an Attack of 2,900.

“And Gilford, pay that toy back for the humiliation! Attack!”

Gilford the Legend roared, and slammed his blade down on Toy Emperor. Erik shielded himself as an explosion rocked his field.



(E: 4,100) -------------------- (L: 4,600)


Erik growled.

He drew a card.



Continued…

Dark Sage
19th April 2007, 01:35 AM
Continued from last post:



“I’ll place this in Defense Mode, and end my turn…” he said.

A facedown Monster appeared.

“Aw, what’s wrong?” said Leroy, drawing a card. “Mad because your sorry excuses for Monsters are gone? You know, if you keep breaking your toys, your mommy isn’t gonna buy you any new ones!”

Erik glared at him.

Leroy played a Spell Card.

“I play Fairy of the Spring,” he said. “A sissy name, I know, but very useful. Now I can take an Equip Card from my Graveyard and add it to my hand. Only catch is, I have to wait until next turn to use it.”

He took a card from his discard slot.

He looked at the Fusion Sword card.

“Now, Gilford… Destroy the Monster on the left!”

Gilford swung his sword down…

Leroy was shocked to see that it was another Giant Rat. It was blown to pieces.

“No way!” he shouted. “You had three of them?”

“Yes,” said Erik. “I have a LOT of Monsters in my deck that they could summon. But it could be one of the first two that I put back in my deck with Pot of Avarice… who knows?

“And since I also put back all three Toy Soldiers… Guess who’s back…”

A Toy Soldier appeared again. (800/300)

“Fine…” said Leroy. “Even if you use that two-card trick again, you won’t beat me. Do you even have a Monster this powerful?”

Erik drew.

“Yes I do…” he said with a smile. “And I just drew him!

“First, I’ll activate Toy Soldier’s effect, to summon the other two.”

In two bursts of energy, the other two Toy Soldiers appeared.

“Next, I’ll play Premature Burial, to bring back my Toy Emperor.”

He played the card, and Toy Emperor reappeared, rising out of the ground. (2,300/800)

“Hold on!” shouted Leroy. “I thought that guy was a NOMI!”

“No he isn’t,” replied Erik. “Did I ever say he was? There’s just a Spell Card that can summon him with a shortcut.

“Now where was I?

“Oh yeah… I’ll flip-summon my facedown Monster… My Magician of Faith.”

His card flipped, and the petite, ponytailed Spellcaster in her tunic carrying her staff topped with a crescent moon appeared. (300/400)

“I’ll use her effect, getting back my Fife and Drum Corp…”

The Spell Card slipped out of his discard slot.

“Sorry, Erik, but I saw the text on that card,” said Leroy. “It only works on Monsters whose Attack Score is 1,000 or less. You can’t defeat Gilford with it.”

“Want to see my rarest card?” asked Erik, waving his last card. “This guy is a Level Seven Monster, but due to one of his effects, I can summon him with one sacrifice if the Monster I’m sacrificing has the word ‘Toy’ in its name.

“This toy isn’t recommended for children younger than seven.

“I sacrifice one Toy Soldier…”

A Toy Soldier vanished.

“To summon… my best card… Possessing twenty-four points of articulation, made in the USA, batteries not included… the Toy Dragon!”

In an explosion of energy, a huge creature appeared on Erik’s side of the field. It was shaped like a dragon, and seemingly built out of colored, plastic blocks. It’s eyes glowed red, and it stood on its hind legs, bearing its claws. (2,300/2,000)

“It still can’t beat Gilford!” shouted Leroy.

“Oh no?” asked Erik. “It has another special effect. It gains 400 more Attack Points for every Monster I have on the field with the word ‘Toy’ in its name, other than itself. And I have three more.”

Toy Dragon glowed, and rose to an Attack of 3,500.

“No…” gulped Leroy.

“Now…” said Erik, “I play Fife and Drum Corp again!”

He played the card, and the marching band appeared again. The two remaining Toy Soldiers rose to 1,600 Attack, and Magician of Faith rose to 600 Attack.

“Toy Dragon…” commanded Erik, “attack Gilford the Legend! Shooting star shower!”

Toy Dragon breathed out a blast of sparkling, glowing motes in a concentrated steam. Gilford groaned, and then burst in an explosion of pixels.

“My best Monster…” moaned Leroy. “Beaten by something… made of Legos…”

“Toy Soldiers, Toy Emperor…” said Erik, “attack directly!”

The three toys charged forward. The Soldiers fired their muskets, and the Emperor slashed with his blade. Leroy fell flat on his face.



(E: 3,300) -------------------- (L: 0)


Yumi’s group started to cheer.

“On your feet, Duel King of Chicago,” said Erik, walking up to him. “You owe me that card, and you owe Sam an apology.”

“And what if I don’t?” said Leroy with a scowl.

Erik looked at him.

“Then I’ll tell everyone I meet on this island that I beat you, and then I’ll show them the cards I used to do so. Then I’ll tell them where to look on the internet to see it. Your reputation as a duelist will plummet, Mr. Leroy Brown…”

Leroy gave a look of horror…

He slowly walked up to Sam.

“Works every time…” said Erik with a smug smile.

“I… sincerely… apologize for slapping you…” muttered Leroy.

“Now the card…” said Erik.

Leroy’s hand shook as he gave him the Gilford the Legend card.

“Remember this the next time you want to treat a woman with disrespect,” said Erik. “Now leave…”

Leroy started walking away.

“Faster!” shouted Erik.

Leroy ran, and was out of sight the next minute.

Erik looked at his badge, which was now at Blue.

Sam ran up and hugged him.

“My hero!” she shouted.

“Yeah…” he said. “Now what the heck am I gonna do with a Gilford the Legend?”

“Don’t worry, sweetie,” she replied. “I know a place on Duelatopia where you can trade cards. You can find something that better suits your deck.”

Yumi came up to them.

“Uhm, Erik…” she said, “congratulations, but…

“Uhm, why toys?”

Erik looked at her and smirked.

“Why not?” he answered.

Behind a nearby building, Leroy Brown seethed in anger.

He placed a cigarette in his mouth and took a lighter from his pocket.

Then he opened his side deck, and took out a second Gilford the Legend card.

That was humiliating… he thought.

He flicked the lighter and lit the cigarette. Then he looked at the Fusion Sword card.

One round… All I needed was one round, damn it, and he would have been stronger than that Dragon…

No-one humiliates Bad Leroy Brown and gets away with it…

But I’ll stay away from him for now… Once I get high in the rankings, I’m sending his toys to the discount bin…



* * * * * * * * * *


The fortuneteller looked at the four cards on the table.

She slowly revealed the top card on her deck, and placed it next to The Magician.

She smiled when she saw what it was. The image bore a nude man and a woman, embracing in a lush Garden of Eden.

“The Lovers,” she said. “The meaning could not be clearer. Erik’s purpose in this tournament is both to woo and protect his beloved. Regardless of what drew him to her in the first place, his loyalty to her is great.

“Still, that does not mean Erik will follow blindly. I feel he has a major role to play in what is about to happen…”

She picked up The High Priestess.

“My ally is about to meet with the one who is at the center of this group. I must prepare…”

She took her deck of Tarot cards and shuffled them into a full deck. She placed it on the center of the table.

Her eyes glowed with violet light, and the Tarot deck glowed. The cards reduced in size, and the design on the backs changed.

Her eyes turned back to normal, and the glowing stopped. Where the Tarot deck had been was now a deck of forty Duel Monsters cards.

She picked it up, and looked through it.

She nodded.

She reached under the table, and placed a second Tarot deck on the table. This one wasn’t as powerful as the other one, but then, she didn’t intend to do a serious reading with it.

She got up, and walked towards the back room.



* * * * * * * * * *


It was nine o’clock.

Yumi was sitting on her bed in her nightgown, quite tired from the events of the first day. She was speaking on the phone, having just received a call from home.

“Yeah, dad,” she said, twirling the cord with her finger. “It’s been eventful. Lots of dueling, lots of sights. No problems yet, I’m glad to say…”

“Just be careful,” said the voice of her father. “Don’t do anything I wouldn’t do.”

Yumi giggled.

“You wagered your soul in a duel against a demon from Hell,” she said with a grin.

“I stand corrected,” he replied. “Just be careful. Try not to play the hero. It may be tempting, but Arachne has a practical army ready to handle problems.

“Sleep tight. Your mother and I will e-mail you. And we’ll watch your duels on the website.”

Yumi hung up and yawned. She took the Puzzle off from around her neck.

She wondered what she would wish for if she won the tournament. She wasn’t greedy… When her father had won, he had made a selfless wish – for KaibaCorp to pay for the weddings of Ren and Chelsea’s parents, enabling them to have the weddings of their dreams…

There was a knock on the door.

Yumi raised an eyebrow.

Who could that be? She hadn’t ordered room service or asked for fresh linens…

If a Mouto received a surprise guest, it was usually bad news.

She picked up her Duel Disk and slipped it on. If the visitor meant her harm, it would make an effective club.

She held the knob for a second, and then threw the door open.

“Take it easy, child,” said the visitor. “You are quite tense.”

Yumi looked at the strange old woman. She looked about seventy or so, with a worn face and grey hair. She wore an old shawl over an old, red dress, and her left eye was covered by an eyepatch.

The lack of an eye seemed to be the only debilitating thing that age had done to her. No trace of arthritis was in her hands, and she stood up straight, although she was only about as tall as Yumi. Her teeth were still white and intact.

“Who are you?” asked Yumi.

“My name is Maria, child,” said the old woman. “I’m someone with an… interest in this resort…”

“You can’t be a duelist…” said Yumi. “You look about as old as my grandparents.”

“Heh, heh…” laughed Maria. “I was once quite a duelist, Yumi. As you say, I am as old as your grandparents, and like them, I was a contestant in Battle City. I won six locator cards too… But sadly, when I won the sixth, it was too late… Eight finalists had already been chosen.

“To think, if the Evil Spirit who had possessed Bakura was not so underhanded in getting there, I might have been on that blimp…”

“You should be glad you missed it,” said Yumi. “Terrible things happened during the finals. You might have met the same fate as Mai…”

Maria chuckled.

“I knew all about the God Cards, Yumi…” she replied. “And I had a card… an incredibly rare card… I could have used it to destroy Slifer, Obelisk, OR Ra! It didn’t matter which…”

Yumi gave her a strange look.

“Spells and Traps couldn’t destroy them…” she muttered.

“Aha…” said Maria. “I knew that. This card, this anti-God card, would attack the target indirectly. It was an Equip Spell, that would make any Warrior-Type Monster, even one as weak as Joey Wheeler’s Swordsman of Landstar, powerful enough to defeat an Egyptian God Monster… If it was used right.”

Yumi stared at her.

“This card…” she muttered. “Do you have it with you?”

Maria paused.

She looked down the corridor to her right, and then to her left.

“You bet I have it with me…” she replied, taking a card out of her dress.

Yumi’s eyes flashed with excitement. The thought of seeing such a card…

“One condition…” said Maria, lifting a finger. “I’ll show it to you, but keep quiet about this. This card is incredibly rare, and if folks knew I had it…”

“My lips are sealed,” said Yumi.

Maria handed her the card, and Yumi looked at it. The name of the card was Divine Mallet Mjölnir. She understood the name. Mjölnir was the name of Thor’s hammer, which could destroy anything.

She read the description on the card.

She was amazed. It had a hefty price, but it could theoretically work… The Warrior Equipped with this card could indeed destroy any of the Egyptian God Monsters…

It wasn’t foolproof, though. The duelist using it would have to find some way to protect said Monster from Slifer’s second set of jaws, or Obelisk’s mighty Fist of Fate, or Ra’s Phoenix Mode. But other than that…

She handed the card back.

“What do you want, Maria?” asked Yumi.

“I needed to tell you Yumi, that evil is indeed afoot on this island,” said Maria. “Just what the nature of this evil is, I can’t say for certain yet. But it will come for you and your friends eventually.

“And you cannot avoid it, for defeating it is the key to winning freedom for your spiritual guide.”

Yumi was puzzled. Then Maria took a business card from her dress.

“This belongs to an ally of mine,” she said. “Why not pay her a visit? She can open your eyes much wider, let you see things that you were once blind to.”

Yumi looked at the card:



Madame Cassandra

Fortunes told! Futures revealed!

Open 9PM to 3AM


Underneath that was an address.

“Strange hours for a business,” said Yumi.

“Her most powerful abilities only work at night,” said Maria. “I must leave you now… I’m certain we will meet again.”

She turned and walked away.

Yumi looked at the card.

And she did notice four stars in the upper left corner.

She tossed it on her bedside table and crawled into bed.

“Fortunetellers,” she muttered. “That’s a laugh…”

She turned off the light, but she found it very hard to sleep…

After watching what appeared to be the final duel of the day, a mysterious woman comes out of the shadows. What does she want? What does this mean? And who is this strange ally she is speaking of? Day One may not quite be over just yet…



TOY SOLDIER (Monster Card)

Card Specs

Type: Warrior/Effect
Attribute: Earth
Level: 3
ATK: 800
DEF: 300

Card Description: If this card is on your side of the field during your Standby Phase, you may Special Summon up to two “Toy Soldiers” from your hand or deck.



TOY EMPEROR (Monster Card)

Card Specs

Type: Warrior/Effect
Attribute: Earth
Level: 6
ATK: 2,300
DEF: 800

Card Description: When this card destroys an opposing Monster as a result of battle and sends it to the Graveyard, search your deck for one Trap Card and add it to your hand.



TOY CANNON (Trap Card)

Normal Trap

Image: A toy, Revolution-era cannon manned by Toy Soldiers.

Card Description: Shift one opposing Monster into Defense Position. Inflict 400 points of damage to your opponent’s Life Points.



GULLIVER CHAIN (Trap Card)

Continuous Trap

Image: A group of Toy Soldiers amid a tangle of chains.

Card Description: You can activate this card when the battle position of an opposing Monster switches. Place that Monster in face-up Defense Position. If that Monster switches to Attack Position while this card is in play, destroy the Monster and this card.



FORCED MARCH (Spell Card)

Normal Spell

Image: A squad of exhausted Toy Soldiers marching up a staircase.

Card Description: During the turn you activate this card, the ATK of the Monsters on your side of the field is halved, and they may attack your opponent directly.



FIFE AND DRUM CORP (Spell Card)

Normal Spell

Image: A parade of Toy Soldiers with drums and fifes.

Card Description: During the turn you activate this card, the ATK of all Monsters on your side of the field whose ATK is 1,000 or less is doubled.



CROWNING OF THE EMPEROR (Spell Card)

Normal Spell

Image: An elaborate crown, with a spotlight on it.

Card Description: Offer one “Toy Soldier” on your side of the field as a Tribute. Special Summon one “Toy Emperor” from your deck.

Note: The proceeding seven cards were first used by Bonaparte in the “Yu-Gi-Oh GX” episode “Dormitory Demolition”. Creative credit goes to the writers of that episode. (Also, this version of “Toy Soldier” is a different version than the one used by Little Yugi in “Yu-Gi-Oh R”.)



TOY DRAGON (Monster Card)

Card Specs

Type: Dragon/Effect
Attribute: Light
Level: 7
ATK: 2,300
DEF: 2,000

Card Description: This card can be Normal Summoned with one Tribute if the Monster you use as a Tribute has the word “Toy” in its name. This card gains 400 points to its ATK for every Monster on your side of the field with the word “Toy” in its name, excluding this one.



Yumi: Wish I could sleep… Something odd is in the air…

Ren: I won two duels today and a free dinner to boot… I should be happy, so why can’t I sleep?

Chelsea: The spirits seem restless tonight… What is going on?

Cassandra: Not sleeping well, children? Worry not… I will make it better…

Coming up next, “Vision of Things to Come; Yumi versus the Deck of Fate”.

As the wheels of destiny start to turn on Duelatopia…

Hinoryu
19th April 2007, 04:04 AM
I'm thoroughly impressed. Erik has quickly jumped the ranks to become my favorite character; a dragon, albeit a lego one, showed up; you used Napoleon's deck amazingly well; and you even appealed the the mythology geek in me with Mjiollnir.

All in all, best chapter yet. Toys beating down the classic Equip Spam deck. A classic.

Shuppet Master
19th April 2007, 11:38 AM
So it was Napoleon's toy soldier deck, huh? I should have known you were going to use that deck. :) And it looks like Leroy is going to be a recurring villian. Nice work, Brian. I can't really say anything more.

jkBAKURA
19th April 2007, 12:30 PM
Chivalrous, likable, a sense of humor, and a deck theme that's a blast to read about... Are you sure that it's a good idea to keep this guy a minor character?

This was the most entertaining chapter I've read in a while. True, none of the menuvers were particularly unique on either side, but the sheer lunacy of the situation was great.

I have to wonder if Erik is packing some of Little Yugi's cards from Yu-Gi-Oh R.

Toy Dragon didn't do much for me. Maybe it was the visual, and maybe it was the cfact it was a dragon. Having a trump card be a custom creation is always a risk. It works if it's pulled off well in the first appearance, and this one felt a bit flat.

Next chapter is something that will keep me up at night waiting for if it is indeed what I think it is.

I can clean my apartment while I wait

Dark Sage
19th April 2007, 01:00 PM
Erik has many cards other than what you've seen here. Whether any of them will be Little Yugi's cards, you'll just have to wait and see. And Erik will play an important role - just how important, I'm not going to say.

As for next chapter, yeah, it's probably what you think it is. Come back on Wednesday, and you'll see the whole thing.

Inferno_Dragon
19th April 2007, 08:31 PM
Erik Deck was awesome. I mean at this point, you have used bits and pieces of Napeleon's deck from Yu-Gi-Oh GX and now you use all of it. Well, all that we know of. And that Toy Dragon is awesome.

As for Leroy's deck, it was a pretty bland Warrior Deck but I bet it gets better later on. Knowing you, you probably we find a way to spice it up.

Keep up the good work, DS!

Shuppet Master
19th April 2007, 09:02 PM
Come back on Wednesday

What a coincinkidink! That day is the exact day I'm going to get my copies of Pokemon Diamond and Pearl! (I would get in two days, but my folks are leaving town and I have no transport until they get back on Wednesday.)

Sorry if this was not relevant to the thread. :(

Mystic_clown
19th April 2007, 10:41 PM
Hmm, I'm not sure about this chapter. I never really liked Napoleon's deck and I'm a bit curious how you're going to use it later on, since you used pretty much all the tricks in this chapter.

As for Leroy, well, his deck came off as a little bland and so did he actually. He doesn't seem to different from Mick or Michael. He just seems like some punk.

Why am I getting a bad feeling this will have something to do with the Light of Ruin? Maybe it's because we're going through the Society of Light arc over here and there's the tarot card woman in your story.

goldenzigzagoon
20th April 2007, 11:03 AM
I really liked this chapter. The Toy Soldier deck was something you usually don't see in fan fics, so it was fun reading this. I'm not sure how you could come up with more cards for a Toy Soldier deck, but Erik did say that he had a lot of Earth cards with less than 1500 attack points, and so far, there's only been 6 of them.

Dark Sage
25th April 2007, 12:54 AM
CHAPTER TEN



Vision of Things to Come



Yumi versus the Deck of Fate



Yumi was tossing and turning in her sleep.

She envisioned herself in the grand Coliseum, after being declared the winner of the tournament…

“I wish…” she muttered. “I wish… I wish…”

Her eyes snapped open.

She hit the pillow with her fist.

“I wish I could get some sleep!” she shouted.

She looked at the clock. It was ten-thirty PM.

“Blasted jet lag…” she muttered. “Or maybe I just ate too much at that restaurant…”

She lay on her back for a few minutes…

She turned on the bedside light.

Her hand fell on that strange business card. She looked at it again.



Madame Cassandra

Fortunes told! Futures revealed!

Open 9PM to 3AM


“So…” she said. “It’s some crazy fortuneteller… Dad warned me about fortunetellers…”

He had indeed. The one time her grandfather had trusted a fortuneteller, it turned out to be Bandit Keith in disguise, who had been turned into a puppet by Marik. The enslaved Keith swiped the Puzzle and forced him to duel, without the Pharaoh to help him. Yugi likely would have won anyway, but before he could, Keith broke free, went nuts from having his mind controlled, and started a fire in the building. Yugi had been lucky to get out alive.

That was the elder Yugi Mouto’s first encounter with Marik, actually. Fortunately, it was also the last anyone ever saw of Keith. If Yumi’s grandparents had to guess, he likely died after an overdose of some sort…

Still, Marik was an old man now, his Rod in Shadi’s possession. Likely this fortuneteller was nothing more than some charlatan psychic who read palms for people’s amusement…

There was no sleep in her tonight… So it was a choice of either checking this out or renting a movie on the hotel’s pay channel.

She looked at the movie list.

She had seen all of them at least twice each.

Quickly, she got up and got dressed. An inner voice told her to take her Disk – maybe another night owl was out, and he’d want to duel. You never knew.



* * * * * * * * * *


Clock Tower Prison was visible in the distance from where she was. It slowly inched towards eleven o’clock.

The building was a strange one. It looked like it would be hard to miss. But Yumi had passed this spot twice the previous day, and had not noticed it.

Above the door was a sign that looked similar to the Shadow of Eyes card – two sinister-looking female eyes. Under them were the words “Madame Cassandra, Fortuneteller Extraordinaire”.

Yumi sighed and went in. As she closed the door, she heard the ominous tolling of the clock tower.

She was immediately met by the smell of incense and saffron. The dim room was illuminated by dozens of candles. Old and strange artifacts were around, reminiscent of the New Age – dream catchers hung from the walls, strange statuettes made of wood or wax hung on shelves, and weird items that she couldn’t even identify hung as ornaments.

A table with a green tablecloth was at the center of the room. A deck of cards was placed in the center.

Yumi looked at them. They weren’t Duel Monsters cards. Duel Monsters cards were smaller, and had a different design on the backs…

She looked towards a doorway where a curtain of beaded strings served as the door.

Someone was coming!

A young woman, who seemed to be about age twenty-five or so, pushed the beads aside. She was a raven-haired beauty, dressed in the attire of the classic European gypsies. Her eyes were deep green, and almost hypnotic.

“May I help you?” she asked.

“No! I was just leaving!” cried Yumi, turning towards the door.

“Stay!” shouted the woman.

Yumi froze…

“Don’t be afraid, Yumi…” said the woman, “I don’t bite…”

“How did you… know my name?” asked Yumi.

“Madame Cassandra knows many things,” said the woman, sitting at the table. “Things that are not revealed to just anyone…

“In my visions, I have seen a myriad of realms and realities, where bizarre and unpleasant things happen that you could not imagine. If you saw some of these things, you’d be appalled…

“Have a seat…”

Yumi slowly sat down, shivering at the sight of those eyes.

Cassandra took the odd deck of cards, and spread it on the table in a jumbled mess.

“I know your concern, Yumi,” she said. “You fear that evil is coming, and like your parents and grandparents before you, you must stop it. Perhaps I can help.”

She arranged the cards back into a deck, and shuffled them.

“Cut,” she said.

Yumi cut the cards, noticing that it was a small deck – about half the size of a dueling deck.

“Yes, Yumi,” said Cassandra. “Only twenty-two cards. A deck for a more serious reading would use a deck that had seventy-eight, but I have something better in mind after this is done.”

She combined the cards. Then she took four cards off the deck, one by one, and placed them on the table facedown.

“Let’s see what the cards of the Tarot reveal to us,” she said.

She turned the first card over.

“It is the card that represents you, Yumi,” she said. “The High Priestess. The divine feminine, and a guardian of secrets. You are the holder of divine power, and possess great potential.”

Yumi didn’t know what to say. Cassandra reached for the second card.

It bore the image of a man in a red robe and a golden helmet, seated on a throne holding an orb and a staff.

“The Hierophant,” she said. “It represents a partner, a counsel, a spiritual guide. Someone who stands by you with advice…”

Yumi looked to her right, and saw the Pharaoh standing there. He was listening intently, with his arms crossed.

“Continue…” said Yumi.

Cassandra reached for the third card.

“Oh my…” she said.

The card was a frightening picture of a castle being struck by lightning.

“The Tower…” mumbled Cassandra. “The symbol of destruction and failure… I fear that this means something bad lurks in your future…”

“What?” gasped Yumi.

“Perhaps the last card will give some insight,” replied Cassandra.

She flipped it around.

It was an odd picture. It showed the image of a group of people kneeling before a fiery, angelic figure on a wasteland.

“Yes, this is a positive card,” said Cassandra. “Judgment. It symbolizes rebirth, and rewards for past efforts…

“But it has another meaning… The need to make a final choice, and accept a new life…”

She returned the cards to the deck.

“Of course, Yumi, like I said, that wasn’t a serious reading. I have something for you that will let me see more.

“I practice a special form of fortunetelling that few others do – I call it Duelomancy…”

“What is…” started Yumi.

Cassandra’s eyes started to glow with purple light. Yumi froze in fear. She felt like running away screaming, but she was rooted to the spot.

Before she could do anything, Cassandra snapped her fingers, and the walls of the room melted away…



* * * * * * * * * *


Yumi looked around.

She was standing in a dark place, with fog covering the ground. She looked up, and to her sides and above, all she could see was darkness.

Uncanny darkness…

“Yumi,” said the voice of the Pharaoh. “We’re somewhere else. This Cassandra is either a master of FX, or has strange powers. She may be dangerous. We must be on guard.”

Cassandra appeared in front of Yumi, twenty paces away.

Her eyes shimmered…

“Here is how Duelomancy works, Yumi,” she said. “A battle of Duel Monsters must take place. Consider me a Bonus of Duelatopia.

“Say no, and I’ll simply return you safely to your bed. Accept, and we will duel. If you win, you will be upgraded to Blue, and my eyes will open to your future better than ever.

“Lose, and nothing…”

Yumi paused.

“Okay…” she said. “I accept. But… You don’t even have a Disk.”

“I don’t use a Disk,” answered Cassandra. “I duel using far more primeval methods…”

She lifted her arms, and a table with a white cloth on it appeared out of the mist. A deck was on the right-hand side.

“Please…” said Yumi. “There’s likely a holographic generator under that table, right?”

“You are awfully skeptical for someone who has the spirit of a five-thousand year old pharaoh living inside her,” replied Cassandra.

Yumi stared at her. She gulped.

“So…” she said, nervously. “Is this some sort of Shadow Game?”

“No,” replied Cassandra. “A Shadow Game creates Monsters from a dimension of darkness and evil. Sorcerers call it Tenebreos, although some know it as the Shadow Realm. It is a void of madness and entropy that connects both to our dimension and to Hell itself.

“This game will be more benign. It will conjure our beasts from a realm of pure thought. The Astral Plane is what most call it. It is, simply put, a Game of the Mind.

“But don’t worry, Yumi… I’m not trying to take your soul. That is what I’m hoping to prevent in the future.”

“Okay…” said Yumi. “I can live with that…”

The Puzzle glowed, and in a flash of light, the change overtook her.

“Game on!” she said, as her Disk activated.

“Let the Game of the Mind commence,” said Cassandra.



(Yumi: 8,000) -------------------- (Cassandra: 8,000)


Yumi drew five cards from her deck and looked at them. Cassandra, however, took five cards off the top of her deck, one by one, and placed them in front of her, facedown.

“Uh…” said Yumi, “you know, it helps if you look at them…”

“Not always…” replied Cassandra. “You may make the first move…”

“All right!” said Yumi, drawing a card.

Perfect! she thought. I got Mirror Force on my first draw!

“I place one card facedown,” she said, placing it in her Disk, “and then summon Magician’s Valkyria.”

The facedown card appeared, and then Valkyria appeared, brandishing her staff. (1,600/1,800)



http://www.ideal808.com/images/jump-en009.jpg


“That will do for my first move…” said Yumi.

Cassandra took a sixth card from her deck, and placed it next to the others.

“Let’s see,” she said, choosing a card. “I’ll start with a Spell Card… It’s called Vision.”

She set the card down, and the air rippled behind her with colors of pink and purple. A pair of evil-looking hypnotic eyes appeared in the colors, glaring menacingly at Yumi.

Both Yumi and Valkyria drew back in fear.

“Don’t be afraid…” said Cassandra. “It can’t hurt you… yet!

“This card lets me reveal the top card of my deck, and show it to you…”

She took the card.

“Mmm-hmm,” she said. “It is a Monster that represents something your spiritual guide has longed for, for many years.”

She showed her the card.

“It is called Arcana Force XI: Justice.”

“So now what?” asked Yumi.

“Now,” said Cassandra, placing it in her deck, “I shuffle this card into my deck, and if it is played during the course of the duel, you lose 1,000 Life Points.”

“In that case,” said Yumi, walking up to her, “just to make sure, I’m going to cut it.”

“Go right ahead,” said Cassandra, pushing the deck towards her. “As a prophet, I have been called a liar and a twister of truths several times, but I assure you, that is only the case with con artists who seek to make money from the gullible. You notice I didn’t ask you for a dime.”

Yumi looked at her. Then she started to vigorously shuffle.

“Still think I would resort to cheating?” asked Cassandra. “You need to have more trust in people, Yumi.”

Yumi placed the deck back on the table, and went back to her position.

“Continuing my turn…” said Cassandra, “I will summon…”

She placed a card before her.

“Arcana Force 0: The Fool!”

In a flash of light, a tall figure appeared in front of her. It looked like a collection of golden spheres, arranged in the shape of a humanoid body. Where the head would be was a dramatic mask of comedy, and over that was a cavalier hat with a feathered plume. It let out a loud cackle. (1,000/1,000)

“And what’s he gonna do?” asked Yumi.

“Watch,” said Cassandra.

A card appeared over The Fool’s head. It was the card Cassandra had played to summon it. Then it started to rotate clockwise.

“That card is going to spin until you tell it to stop,” said Cassandra. “If it lands upright, I can destroy one of your Spell or Trap Cards. But if it lands inverted, you can destroy one of my Spell or Trap Cards.”

“Fifty-fifty chance, huh?” asked Yumi. “Okay… Stop!”

The card slowly came to a halt…

It was right-side-up.

“Darn…” said Yumi.

The Fool’s “eyes” glowed, and Yumi’s Trap Card was blown to pieces.

“Don’t worry, Yumi,” said the Pharaoh. “Valkyria is still stronger than that thing.”

Yumi nodded.

“My move comes to a close,” said Cassandra, “so it’s time for you to see what fate has dealt you.”

Yumi drew a card.

“I’ll place another card facedown…” she said.

She fit it into her Disk, and a facedown card appeared.

“Valkyria… Attack The Fool!”

Valkyria blasted a beam of magical energy, striking the creature. It didn’t shatter into triangles, but burst into globules of light, which dissipated.

“Weird…” muttered Yumi. “Uh… I’ll end my turn.”



(Y: 8,000) -------------------- (C: 7,400)


Cassandra drew a card.

“I play Pot of Charity,” she said, placing a card on the table. “Now, I will remove one Light Monster in my grave from play, in order to draw three times. Naturally, I will remove The Fool.”

She moved the card out of her discard pile, and then took three cards from her deck, placing them with the others.

“Next, I’ll place a facedown card of my own…”

She placed a card on the table, and a facedown card appeared.

“Then I will summon Arcana Force VII: The Chariot.”

She played the card, and a creature appeared that was even stranger than The Fool. It looked like a saucer-shaped mechanism with eyes all around its center; underneath it were two weapons that looked like hoses, and on top was a group of hands pointing up. (1,700/1,700)

“Okay…” muttered Yumi. “You know, this would make a good movie… You could call it War of the Weirds.”

“And once again…” said Cassandra, disregarding the remark.

The Chariot’s card appeared above it and started to spin.

“Are all your Monsters like this?” asked Yumi.

“Of course,” said Cassandra. “And this one is more powerful. If it lands upright, I gain control of any Monster it destroys in battle. But if it lands inverted, you gain control of it if it is destroyed in battle.”

“Ergh…” muttered Yumi. “Stop!”

The card slowed…

It stopped… and was upside down.

“HA!” laughed Yumi. “Looks like you lost that toss!”

“Perhaps…” said Cassandra. “But it still has more Attack Points than your Spellcaster.

“Attack her Magician’s Valkyria. Master blast.”

The Chariot flew forward and shot a blast of pure light from its hoses…

“I activate Rush Recklessly!” shouted Yumi.

Her facedown card lifted, and Valkyria shot up to an Attack of 2,300. She cast her spell, and The Chariot’s blast backfired. It exploded.

Then, with a ripple of light, The Chariot appeared next to Magician’s Valkyria.

Then the card appeared above it, and started to spin again.

“Now I get to tell it when to stop…” said Cassandra.

She paused.

“Stop right there!” she exclaimed.

The card stopped, and was upside-down again.

Then Cassandra actually laughed.

“Yumi…” she said with a chuckle. “If I had a dollar for the number of times this crazy Monster has done this… in my last duel, it changed owners four times before it stayed dead!”

“Yeah, I guess it is kinda funny…” said Yumi, drawing a card.



(Y: 8,000) -------------------- (C: 6,800)


“And thanks for the Monster, by the way…

“I sacrifice Magician’s Valkyria and The Chariot, to summon Dark Magician of Chaos!”

The two Monsters shattered, and the mighty chaos mage arose, twirling his staff. (2,800/2,600)



http://www.ideal808.com/images/ioc_065_1st.jpg


“Now I get one Spell Card back from my Graveyard back…”

Rush Recklessly slipped out of her discard slot, and she took it.

“Next… I play Monster Reborn to bring back Valkyria.”

She played the card, and the ankh appeared. Valkyria stepped forward. (1,600/1,800)

“Now, Valkyria…” ordered Yumi, “attack Cassandra directly!”

Valkyria fired her blast, and Cassandra cringed as it hit her.

“Dark Magician of Chaos, you too. Scepter strike.”

The sorcerer twirled his staff, and fired a lethal beam of black magic. Cassandra cried out in pain and fell backwards.

“So…” said Yumi. “Did you predict that that would happen? I’ll place a card facedown, and end my turn.”

A facedown card appeared behind the two Spellcasters.



(Y: 8,000) -------------------- (C: 2,400)


And to think I was scared of her… thought Yumi. This is just another duel… And not a very hard one at that.

Cassandra slowly got up and returned to her table. Her eyes glowed again. Yumi fidgeted…

She drew a card, and placed it with the others.

She played a card.

“I summon Arcana Force I: The Magician,” she said.

She played the card, and a thin, almost gaunt figure with two glowing eyes and nothing else on its featureless face, spindly limbs, and dressed in a colorful – if gaudy – outfit appeared in front of her. (1,100/1,100)

“That’s weak…” said Yumi.

“We’ll see…” said Cassandra. “This might seem familiar to you…”

The card appeared above The Magician, and started to spin.

“If it lands upright,” said Cassandra, “then during a round that a Spell Card is played, its Attack Score doubles. But if it lands inverted, then any round that a Spell Card is played, it gives you 500 Life Points.”

Okay, calm down… thought Yumi. All she’s doing is playing a very exotic Gamble Deck…

“Stop!” she shouted.

The card stopped.

It landed upright.

Oh well… thought Yumi. When it tries to attack Valkyria, I’ll trigger my Rush Recklessly, and even double Attack Points won’t be enough.

“Continuing my turn…” said Cassandra. “I play this Spell Card…”

A Spell Card appeared above her. It was an ominous card bearing the image of several swords embedded in the ground under a sky with a crescent moon.

“Suit of Swords X,” she said, as the card began to spin. “If this card lands upright, all of your Monsters are destroyed. If it lands inverted, all of mine are destroyed.”

Yumi drew back nervously...

She tried to keep calm. If she won this toss, she’d win the duel…

“Stop!” she shouted.

The Suit of Swords X card slowly came to a stop…

Yumi groaned when it stopped in an upright position.

A shower of swords fell on her side of the field, piercing Magician’s Valkyria and Dark Magician of Chaos and blasting them to shards.

“Next, I activate my Trap Card,” continued Cassandra, as her facedown card lifted. “Ace of Wand.”

The card bore the image of a wand with a glowing green tip, and once again, it began to spin.

“Now what?” shouted Yumi.

“Now,” replied Cassandra, “if it lands upright, you gain Life Points equal to the combined Attack Scores of the Monsters that were just destroyed. Inverted, and you lose that much.”

“Wait…” said Yumi. “You mean inverted is bad for me this time?”

Cassandra didn’t answer…

Yumi started to sweat… That was 4,400 Life Points!

“You hesitate?” asked Cassandra. “The wheels of fate lie in your hands…”

Yumi grit her teeth.

“Stop!” she shouted.

The Trap Card stopped. Yumi groaned again when she saw that it was upside-down.

A beam of energy shot from the card and struck Yumi. She screamed in pain.

“Don’t forget…” said Cassandra, “since I played a Spell Card, the Attack Score of The Magician is doubled, to 2,200.

“Attack Yumi directly. Spheroid stream.”

The Magician formed a ball of pure energy, and hurled it, striking Yumi in the chest. She fell over and winced in pain.

“My turn ends, so its Attack Score returns to 1,100,” said Cassandra. “It is your move…”



(Y: 1,400) -------------------- (C: 2,400)


Good grief… thought Yumi, getting up. I was winning this duel a minute ago, and now…

“That’s right, Yumi…” said Cassandra, as if she had said it out loud. “You ever hear the saying that there are no absolutes in life? The only absolute there is, is the one that says there are no absolutes.

“You thought victory was in your grasp, but I turned it around quickly. Fortunes can change, and one’s advantage can fluctuate with but a single incident. A small change can cause a domino effect that can result in big changes, which result in even bigger ones…

“And I believe it was you who told your companions…

“The duel is not over… until the last card is played!”

Yumi looked at her… She shivered…

She drew a card.

“I play…” she started.

Then she stopped. She looked at The Magician.

Oh, right… she thought. If I play a Spell Card, its Attack Score doubles. Better wait…

She returned it to her hand, and placed a card on her Disk.

“I summon Skilled Dark Magician,” she said.

She played the card, and the robed mage appeared. (1,900/1,700)



http://www.ideal808.com/images/mfc-0651.jpg


“Attack her sorry excuse for a magician!” she shouted angrily.

Skilled Dark Magician fired his black magic, and The Magician burst in globules of light.



(Y: 1,400) -------------------- (C: 1,600)


“I’ll end my turn there, Cassandra,” she said. “So what next?”

Cassandra drew a card.

“I play… Pot of Greed…” she said.

She placed a card on her table, and a much more familiar card appeared. She took two cards.

“My Skilled Dark Magician thanks you,” said Yumi with a grin, as one of the Spellcaster’s three collar-disks lit up.

“We’ll see…” said Cassandra, taking another Spell Card. “I’ll play a new Spell Card…”

She played the card, and an odd Spell Card appeared. It bore the image of a hand reaching for two Tarot cards.

“Selection of Fate,” said Cassandra. “It’s quite simple… You choose a card from my hand, and if it’s a Monster, I get to Special Summon it.”

Yumi’s eyes narrowed.

“So, it’s like a Spell version of A Hero Emerges?” she asked.

Cassandra just looked at her. Yumi walked up to the table.

“Yumi!” said the Pharaoh’s voice. “Be very careful. She likely played that card because one of those cards is something powerful.”

“You don’t think I know that?” asked Yumi.

She nervously stood in front of Cassandra and looked at the four cards on the table that consisted of her hand. How she was able to play without looking at them, she had no idea.

Her hand moved to one…

Then she reconsidered and moved to another.

“That one…” she said.

Cassandra sighed, and flipped over the card.

Yumi drew back in fear…

It was Arcana Force XI: Justice.

The evil eyes of the Vision card appeared behind Cassandra again, and Yumi screamed as they bored into her…



(Y: 400) -------------------- (C: 1,600)



Continued…

Dark Sage
25th April 2007, 12:58 AM
Continued from last post:



Then she drew back in horror, as a huge form appeared in front of her. It was the female figure of Justice, ten feet tall, apparently made of metal, holding a sword in its right hand and a set of scales in its left. It pointed its sword menacingly at Yumi. (2,100/2,100)

“Calm down, Yumi,” said Cassandra. “As always, this may work to your benefit…”

The card appeared above Justice’s head, and started to spin.

“If this card lands upright, then when Justice is destroyed, you lose 2,000 Life Points. But if it lands inverted, when it’s destroyed, I’ll lose 2,000 Life Points.”

Yumi started to sweat…

“STOP!” she shouted.

The card stopped.

To her horror, it landed right side up.

“Very well,” said Cassandra. “Justice, destroy her Skilled Dark Magician.”

Justice raised its sword…

Yumi backed up… She was about to trigger her facedown card.

No! she thought. My facedown card is Rush Recklessly… But if Justice is destroyed, I lose!

Justice slammed its sword down, smashing Skilled Dark Magician to bits.



(Y: 200) -------------------- (C: 1,600)


Yumi fell to her knees…

She just realized something…

She had lost.

I can’t win… she thought. I have no cards in my deck that can reduce her Life Points without attacking – my deck wasn’t designed for such things. And if I destroy that Monster… I lose…

I’ve lost…

“The turn is still mine, Yumi…” said Cassandra, taking another card, “and all is not as hopeless as you may think.

“I Equip Justice with this… It’s a special Equip Spell called Spirit Self.”

She played the card. Justice glowed with golden light.

“Now let me explain. I now name any Monster I can think of. If that Monster is not in your hand or deck right now, I lose 2,000 Life Points.

“If it is, you have three of your turns to summon it. If you can’t, all copies of it are removed from play.

“But if you can, then for as long as it’s on the field, the effect of the Equipped Monster – that would be Justice – is negated.”

“So…” muttered Yumi. “You’re going to name a Monster, and if I summon it in three rounds, it’s safe to destroy that thing?”

“Exactly,” said Cassandra. “The Monster I name is Dark Magician Girl.”

Yumi paused.

“Well, she’s in my deck,” said Yumi. “But why help me?”

“As a test, Yumi,” said Cassandra. “The name of the card is Spirit Self. Each duelist has a card in his or her deck that lies closer to the duelist than any other. It is the true Spirit Self.

“I believe that Dark Magician Girl is yours. If she is, she will come to your aid. If not, your future is one that I simply cannot tell.

“With that Yumi, my turn comes to its conclusion. Your three turns start now.”

Yumi drew a card.

It wasn’t Dark Magician Girl. It was only someone who might help her stall.

“I place a card facedown…” she said, “and a Monster in Defense Mode.”

She played two cards, and the facedown cards appeared.

“That’s all I can do…” she muttered.

Cassandra made a draw.

Then she played a card.

“I play the Spell Card, Cup of Ace,” she said.

A Spell Card appeared above her, showing the image of a golden goblet against a cloudy sky. It started to spin.

“Again?” shouted Yumi.

“Calm yourself, Yumi,” said Cassandra. “In the Minor Arcana, Cups are almost always positive. But who will it be positive for? If this lands upright, I get to draw two cards. If it lands inverted, you get to draw two cards.”

Yumi grit her teeth.

I’m having awful luck with this… she thought.

“Stop that card!” she shouted.

The card stopped.

She almost cheered when she saw it had landed upside-down.

She quickly drew two cards, and looked at them.

Still no Dark Magician Girl! she thought. Darn, where are you hiding?

“Continuing my turn,” stated Cassandra, playing a Spell Card, “I play Reverse Reborn. This lets me Special Summon one of my Arcana Force Monsters from my Graveyard so long as I Equip it with this card. The drawback is, it automatically gets its inverted effect.”

She played the card. The Chariot appeared in a burst of light. (1,700/1,700)

“Chariot…” said Cassandra, “attack her facedown Monster…”

The Chariot flew forward, blasting its lethal beam…

Blast Magician appeared crouching on the card. (1,400/1,700) The blasts were deflected.



http://www.ideal808.com/images/fet_en020.jpg


“Clever…” said Cassandra. “Justice, destroy him.”

Justice flew forward, and slashed with her sword, smashing Blast Magician to pieces.

“It’s your move…” she said. “Two rounds left.”

Yumi nervously drew.

Well, maybe this will work… she thought.

“I play Double Spell,” she said, playing a card. “Now, I’ll discard my Dedication Through Light and Darkness…”

She discarded the card.

“…to duplicate the Pot of Charity in your Graveyard, and remove my Magician’s Valkyria from play to do so.”

Valkyria’s card slipped out of her discard slot, and she tucked it into her shirt.

She drew three cards.

She made a face as she looked at them.

Still not there… she thought. I’ve failed again…

She placed a card on her Disk, and a facedown Monster appeared.

“Your move…” she said nervously.

Cassandra drew a card, and immediately played it.

“I summon Arcana Force IV,” she said, “The Emperor.”

As she played the card, and an explosion of energy erupted on Cassandra’s side of the field. A frightening figure materialized. It was a semi-humanoid creature, made out of black metal (apparently), with a skull-like face, long, mechanical claws, and metallic, batlike wings on the back. It had no legs, instead hovering over the ground on some type of mechanism. Its eyes glowed red. (1,400/1,400)

“I’m sure you know how this works…” said Cassandra, as the card appeared and started to turn.

Yumi started to sweat.

“Okay, stop!” she shouted.

She growled as the card stopped on the upright position.

“That means that it grants all Monsters on my side of the field with the words ‘Arcana Force’ in their names 500 more Attack Points,” explained Cassandra.

At that point, Justice grew to an Attack of 2,600, The Chariot grew to 2,200, and The Emperor itself grew to 1,900.

“Emperor…” said Cassandra. “Attack her facedown Monster.”

The Emperor reached forward with four clawed tentacles towards the facedown card. A female mage in blue clothing and blonde hair holding a staff appeared on the card. With four swipes of claws, she shattered.



http://www.ideal808.com/images/mfc-066.jpg


“I’m not dead yet,” said Yumi. “That was an Apprentice Magician, and when she’s destroyed, I get to take a Spellcaster who’s Level Two or less from my deck and set it in Defense Mode.”

She looked through her deck.

“So let’s see… I think I’ll set my other Apprentice Magician.”

A new facedown Monster appeared.

“Clever,” said Cassandra. “But do you have a third one? Chariot, attack.”

The Chariot blasted its guns, and the second Apprentice Magician was blown away.

“No I don’t,” said Yumi, taking her deck, “but I do have a Magician of Faith.”

A third facedown Monster appeared.

“Justice, attack,” said Cassandra.

Justice slammed down with her sword. Magician of Faith appeared on the card, and was smashed to bits.



http://www.ideal808.com/images/mrd-036.jpg


“I’ll use her effect to get back my Monster Reborn,” said Yumi, taking a card from her discard slot.

“So be it,” said Cassandra. “I end my turn, and this is your last chance. If you fail this time, the only card that can save you will be gone, and on my next turn, I will finish you off with this…”

She picked up the last card on her table, and showed it to Yumi…

Yumi gulped. It was a Level Eight Monster with 3,100 Attack Points called Arcana Force XXI: The World.

“I have just enough Monsters to sacrifice to summon it and still keep Justice,” said Cassandra, “and In case you’re wondering, it won’t matter whether its card lands upright or inverted. You’ll be smashed flat either way.”

Yumi looked at her deck.

She paused… She closed her eyes…

She quickly drew a card.

She grinned when she saw it.

“Do you know how scared you made me for a second?” she said to it with a nervous whisper.

Her facedown card lifted.

“I activate Call of the Haunted!” she shouted.

A figure burst out of the ground. It was Blast Magician. (1,400/1,700)

“Now…” she continued, “I sacrifice him… Blast Magician, step aside and make room for… You guessed it… Dark Magician Girl!”

He vanished, and in a flurry of colors and hearts, Dark Magician Girl flew onto the field. (2,000/1,700)



http://www.ideal808.com/images/mfc_000_1st.jpg


“How fortunate…” said Cassandra. “So Justice’s effect is now rendered invalid, and the duel continues… But there is one variable you overlooked. Even if you destroy The Emperor, Justice will remain one hundred Attack Points stronger than her.”

“I’m not done…” said Yumi, taking two cards from her hand. “Next, I play Monster Reborn, to bring back Skilled Dark Magician…”

She played the card, and the ankh appeared on the field. Skilled Dark Magician appeared on it. (1,900/1,700)

“And then…” she said, “I play The Sage’s Stone, to summon the main man from my deck!”

She played the card, and Dark Magician Girl’s staff glowed. Dark Magician appeared in a flash of light. (2,500/2,100)



http://www.ideal808.com/images/bpt-001.jpg


“And like you said,” continued Yumi, “since I summoned the Monster you named, Justice’s effect is invalid.

“Dark Magician Girl, attack The Emperor! Dark burning attack!”

Dark Magician Girl fired a bolt from her scepter, and The Emperor exploded into pixels.

“And without him,” she added, “your other two Monsters return to their original levels.”

Justice fell to 2,100 Attack, and The Chariot fell to 1,700.

“Dark Magician… Attack Justice! Dark magic attack!”

Dark Magician cast his mighty spell, and the large creature cringed before exploding into particles. Cassandra shielded herself.

“Skilled Dark Magician, destroy The Chariot!”

Skilled Dark Magician fired a blast, and The Chariot burst into flames before bursting into fragments.



(Y: 200) -------------------- (C: 900)


“And I didn’t forget what happens when The Chariot is destroyed when in its inverted position,” said Yumi. “It’s Special Summoned to my side of the field…”

The Chariot appeared on Yumi’s side.

“And that means this duel is over. Chariot, attack…”

“Hold it, Yumi,” interrupted Cassandra. “You’re forgetting something.”

“What?” said Yumi.

Cassandra pointed. The card appeared above The Chariot, and started to spin.

“I still have to stop it to determine it’s effect, Yumi…” she said.

“Oh, what difference does it make?” asked Yumi. “You haven’t got a single card to protect yourself. Whether it lands upright OR inverted, I’ll attack with it and you’ll lose!”

“True,” said Cassandra, “victory is yours as far as this duel is concerned…

“But you forget the point of this duel, and you forget that The Chariot is not just a Monster Card, it is also a Tarot card. If I am to see your future correctly, I must know where it will land before you deliver the final strike.

“You came this far, Yumi… Don’t ruin it now…”

Yumi sighed, and then looked at her.

Cassandra looked up.

“Stop,” she said.

The card stopped…

It was in the upright position.

Cassandra smiled.

“Chariot, attack directly!” shouted Yumi. “Master blast!”

The Chariot blasted its guns, hitting Cassandra and knocking her over.



(Y: 200) -------------------- (C: 0)


The Monsters vanished…

Yumi walked up to the table as Cassandra got up.

She noticed that her badge was now at Blue.

“So…” she asked. “What does my future hold?”

Cassandra shuffled her deck.

Her eyes glowed again.

“It holds a great struggle, Yumi,” said Cassandra, “but the final rounds of the duel showed much.

“Dark Magician Girl represents you. Dark Magician represents your spiritual guide, the same counsel that was represented by The Hierophant.

“Allies will aid you in this conflict. They were represented by the Monsters that protected you while Dark Magician Girl struggled to come to your aid.

“And you may even find an ally from the most unlikely of places. That is what The Chariot represents. In this duel, my Monster came to your side, not once, but twice, and an ally may come to you from where you don’t expect.

“However, since The Chariot was upright before the last attack, I can assure that the help he or she gives you will be genuine.”

She showed her the Justice card.

“Follow the signs. Do not resist. Trust your insights, not your impulses. It will lead you to victory in the end…

“…and you will find the way to set the Pharaoh free…

“Find Justice…”

She smiled.

“Pleasant dreams…”

Then her eyes glowed again, with fiery light, and the whole room started to blur. Yumi felt she was falling asleep quickly. She tried to stay awake, but it was no use…

The next minute, she was back in her hotel room, sleeping soundly under the covers.

Sitting next to her on the bed was the strange woman who had been shadowing her. She removed her sunglasses and looked at Yumi.

Slowly, she placed her hand on the sleeping girl’s forehead, and Yumi smiled in her sleep.

The strange woman replaced the sunglasses, and then vanished.

After a spooky duel in a strange place, Yumi finally gets to sleep soundly, wiser for the experience. Day One is officially over. What will Day Two bring?

And to everyone reading… Want to see more of Cassandra? Let me know!



ARCANA FORCE I: THE MAGICIAN (Monster Card)

Card Specs

Type: Fairy/Effect
Attribute: Light
Level: 4
ATK: 1,100
DEF: 1,100

Card Description: Toss one coin when this card is Normal Summoned, Flip-Summoned, or Special Summoned. Depending on the result of the toss, acquire one of the following effects:

Heads: During a round where at least one Spell Card is played, double this card’s base ATK until the End Phase of the turn.

Tails: During a round where at least one Spell Card is played, increase your opponent’s Life Points by 500.



ARCANA FORCE VII: THE CHARIOT (Monster Card)

Card Specs

Type: Fairy/Effect
Attribute: Light
Level: 4
ATK: 1,700
DEF: 1,700

Card Description: Toss one coin when this card is Normal Summoned, Flip-Summoned, or Special Summoned. Depending on the result of the toss, acquire one of the following effects:

Heads: When this card destroys an opposing Monster as a result of battle and sends it to the Graveyard, the controller of this card Special Summons the destroyed Monster to his/her side of the field.

Tails: When this Monster is destroyed as a result of battle and sent to the
Graveyard, the controller of the Monster that destroyed it Special Summons this Monster to his/her side of the field.



ARCANA FORCE IV: THE EMPEROR (Monster Card)

Card Specs

Type: Fairy/Effect
Attribute: Light
Level: 4
ATK: 1,400
DEF: 1,400

Card Description: Toss one coin when this card is Normal Summoned, Flip-Summoned, or Special Summoned. Depending on the result of the toss, acquire one of the following effects:

Heads: Increase the ATK of all “Arcana Force” Monsters on your side of the field by 500.

Tails: Decrease the ATK of all “Arcana Force” Monsters on your side of the field by 500.



VISION (Spell Card)

Normal Spell

Image: A pair of evil-looking, hypnotic eyes surrounded by waves of red and purple.

Card Description: Pick up the top card on your deck and show it to your opponent. Then, shuffle that card into your deck. If you play that card during the course of the duel, your opponent loses 1,000 Life Points. This effect does not reoccur if a second copy of the same card is played.



SUIT OF SWORDS X (Spell Card)

Normal Spell

Image: Ten swords driven into the ground, under a crescent moon.

Card Description: Toss one coin when this card is played. If the result is heads, destroy all Monsters on your opponent’s side of the field. If the result is tails, destroy all Monsters on your side of the field.



SELECTION OF FATE (Spell Card)

Normal Spell

Image: Two facedown tarot cards with a hand reaching towards them.

Card Description: Your opponent chooses one card in your hand at random. If the chosen card is a Monster Card that can be Normal Summoned, Special Summon it to your side of the field.



CUP OF ACE (Spell Card)

Normal Spell

Image: A golden goblet against a cloudy sky.

Card Description: Toss one coin when this card is played. If the result is heads, draw two cards from your deck. If the result is tails, your opponent draws two cards from his/her deck.



REVERSE REBORN (Spell Card)

Equip Spell

Image: The face of Arcana Force I: The Magician, on a background composed of grey and black shapes.

Card Description: Select one “Arcana Force” Monster in your Graveyard. Special Summon the selected Monster in Attack Position and Equip it with this card. The Equipped Monster acquires its “Tails” effect. If this card is removed from the field, destroy the Equipped Monster.



ACE OF WAND (Trap Card)

Normal Trap

Image: A wand with a glowing green orb on the end.

Card Description: You can activate this card when one or more Monsters are destroyed outside of battle. Toss one coin. If the result is heads, the owner(s) of the destroyed Monster(s) gain Life Points equal to their destroyed Monster(s) combined ATK. If the result is tails, the owner(s) of the destroyed Monster(s) lose Life Points equal to their destroyed Monster(s) combined ATK.

Note: The proceeding nine cards were all used by Sartorious at various times in the second season of “Yu-Gi-Oh GX”. Creative credit goes to the writers of the episodes.



ARCANA FORCE 0: THE FOOL (Monster Card)

Card Specs

Type: Fairy/Effect
Attribute: Light
Level: 3
ATK: 1,000
DEF: 1,000

Card Description: Toss one coin when this card is Normal Summoned, Flip-Summoned, or Special Summoned. Depending on the result of the toss, acquire one of the following effects:

Heads: You can destroy one of your opponent’s Spell or Trap Cards.

Tails: Your opponent can destroy one of your Spell or Trap Cards.



ARCANA FORCE XI – JUSTICE (Monster Card)

Card Specs

Type: Fairy/Effect
Attribute: Light
Level: 6
ATK: 2,100
DEF: 2,100

Card Description: Toss one coin when this card is Normal Summoned, Flip-Summoned, or Special Summoned. Depending on the result of the toss, acquire one of the following effects:

Heads: When this card is destroyed, your opponent loses 2,000 Life Points.

Tails: When this card is destroyed, you lose 2,000 Life Points.



SPIRIT SELF (Spell Card)

Equip Spell

Image: A female gypsy meditating, while a spiritual form resembling her floats above her.

Card Description: This card can only be Equipped to an “Arcana Force” Monster. When this card is played, state the name of one Monster that can be Normal Summoned. If no copies of that Monster are in your opponent’s hand or deck, inflict 2,000 points of damage to your Life Points and destroy this card. If the named Monster is in your opponent’s hand or deck, if he/she does not summon it by the end of his third End Phase after this card is played, remove all copies of the named Monster in his/her hand and deck from play, and destroy this card. If he/she summons it by his/her third End Phase, the Monster Equipped with this card loses its effect for as long as this card is Equipped and the named Monster remains on the field.



POT OF CHARITY (Spell Card)

Normal Spell

Image: A ceramic vase with a peaceful face on the front.

Card Description: Remove one LIGHT Monster in your Graveyard from play. Draw three cards from your deck.

Note: “Pot of Charity” was created by Shuppet Master for his fic “Sister of Anansi”. Creative credit goes to him.



Ren: If Day One was that intense, I can’t wait for Day Two! Bring it on!

Chelsea: My army of the undead is ready to go.

Yumi: Patience people… I think we should just watch this duel that’s about to start for now…

Coming up next, “Rasputin Appears! Ice Age Chill”.

Something is rotten in the state of Duelatopia…

jkBAKURA
25th April 2007, 07:04 AM
I love the Arcana Force theme. I think it's one of the best and most original deck theme ideas that GX ever came up with. (which really isn't saying much come to think of it.)

The chapter in itself was fairly standard. we've seen vague warning episodes that pique our interest in the anime as well. In fact, I'm reminded of "Prophesy of Shadows" way back when in "City of Souls"

Not a whole lot to mention, because this chapter deals more with the future then the present, and as such, I'll be more able to intelligently comment when the events predicted end up coming to pass.

As for the duel itself, it was obviously a friendly match. I liked it, but didn't feel the rush I got from watching the series. Maybe I'm just so used to the heart pounding live-or-die matches of Saiou...

But in either case, I look forward to more, as I said, I'm a die hard fan of the theme.

Perfect Chaos
25th April 2007, 03:00 PM
Hey, haven't reviewed here in a while. Just been busy with end of the semester, so finals are bugging me pretty badly.

I never saw any of Season 2 for GX (because I don't have cable at my apartment over at uni), so I never got to see the Arcana Force cards used in the show.

However, I have to agree with jk that they really are one of the most original deck themes I've ever seen. The names are cool and the concept for each card seems a bit too balanced (if that's even possible lol).

The duel itself, while having no mal-intent, was still fun to watch, thanks again to usage of the Arcana Force cards. I, for one, would not mind at all seeing Cassandra at all for a repeat.

See you next chapter

-Sean

Shuppet Master
25th April 2007, 04:55 PM
This was a really intense chapter. The way the duel swung back and forth between who would win was pretty interesting. It kept an aura of fear without the threat of death or worse.

Keep up the good work, Brian. ^_^

Hinoryu
25th April 2007, 05:15 PM
Posting reviews when I see an update around 3 am is generally not a good idea, so I'll post my thoughts now.

The Arcana Force deck. While I love the cards, considering a lot of them have the Alien of Light on them, I'm not entirely sure they're 'real' cards. Perhaps cards the Wave of Light created. But I digress, they're very good.

Arcana Force 0 - The Fool. I always thought the Arcana Force needed a Fool, but I don't agree with the way his effect works, honestly. The Tarot cards are supposedly the journey of the Fool, so I would have made an effect to represent that. However, it served its purpose well.

A minor note, I believe it would be simply 'Duelmancy', without an 'o'.

All in all, though, I enjoyed it. Next chapter involves an Ice deck, it seems? That should be interesting to see.

Dark Sage
25th April 2007, 05:22 PM
Hinoryu -

Yes, it is possible that the Wave of Light created Sartorious's cards. If that is the case, it may also be possible that years later, another powerful force, like the source of Cassandra's powers in the Astral Plane (as she says), created its own, more benign version of the same cards.

Not to give anything away on what Cassandra is, or her origins yet. Let's just say that she is not the typical psychic that you call using a psychic hotline.

Inferno_Dragon
25th April 2007, 10:11 PM
I haven't seen all of the Society of Light series so I have only seen half of what the Arcane Force Deck can do but it is one of the most interesting decks out there. It also fits that Cassandra uses it in a duel.

Wait a second, I knew that name was familiar ... it is the name of Professor Trelawny's great great grandmother in the Harry Potter Series. We never see her but she is mentioned in one chapter.

As for Cassandra, I would like to see more of her in this fanfic. She is a pretty interesting lady.

Keep up the good work, DS!

Dark Sage
1st May 2007, 06:27 AM
Before this chapter debuts, I’d like to say some words.

This chapter debuts a major character, who has a religious belief that is more common than many might think – he has none. In fact, he openly rejects such beliefs. If he worships anything, it knowledge. He has a reason, but I must keep that a secret for now.

Thus, a disclaimer.

This character is NOT, by any means, meant to represent all people who have atheistic, agnostic, or humanistic beliefs. I’m not such a person myself (I won’t tell you what faith I belong to) but I have friends who are, and they are decent people, even if I disagree with them on that matter. Just because you don’t follow any religion doesn’t mean you can’t be a decent person.

If you choose not to follow any religion, please do not be offended by this character. I did not design him to illustrate my own views to the contrary, or my disapproval towards such attitudes.

Now that I’ve taken care of that unpleasant business…




CHAPTER ELEVEN



Rasputin Appears!



Ice Age Chill



It was seven AM, the morning of Day Two.

Sheena Arachne walked onto the bridge, holding a cup of coffee.

“What’s the status so far?” she asked a technician.

“Two hundred and eleven guests are still in the running,” he answered. “So far, seven guests are at Blue status, but none beyond that.

“You might be interested in knowing… One of the guests at Blue is Ms. Mouto, and another is your daughter.”

Sheena smirked.

“It doesn’t surprise me…” she said. “Keep me informed of any changes…”



* * * * * * * * * *


Ren, Chelsea, and Yumi were sitting at an open-air café eating croissants and orange juice, while Yumi related her spooky duel with the fortuneteller last night. Ren looked in an Industrial Illusions catalogue.

“So…” he said, pouring through the ‘A’ section, “you said the names of these Monsters all started with ‘Arcana Force’?”

“That’s what I said,” replied Yumi.

“Well…” said Ren, looking at a page, “this catalogue was released this May, and I can’t find them in here anywhere. They must have been custom cards of some sort… This Cassandra woman clearly wasn’t your typical duelist.”

“That’s not entirely new to me, Ren,” muttered Yumi. “Most fortunetellers are just charlatans who want to make money… This one, though… I think her powers were real…”

She looked out onto the street.

“Somewhere in this big city, something is lurking, waiting to strike, and I have a feeling we’re gonna be caught in the middle of it…”

“So...” replied Ren. “Do we go looking for it, or do we wait for it to walk right up to us?”

There was a long pause.

“Hey,” said Chelsea, “is that Marlon?”

They looked over, and saw Marlon at the next table, talking to a slightly younger man. He was holding a small object in his hands.

“It seems… Egyptian in nature…” said Marlon, looking at the small disk, “and was likely an amulet of some sort, although the chain is long gone. Most of the hieroglyphs are strange to me, but the symbol in the center is clearly the Eye of Wdjat… A very popular symbol of magic, I believe…”

Yumi perked up. Marlon had found something with the Eye of Wdjat on it?

She glanced at her Puzzle.

Yumi got up, but before she could go over, three figures approached Marlon’s table.

Two of them were Nicholas and Olga, even though Yumi and her group hadn’t seen them yet…

The third was a man who seemed to be around forty. He was dressed in an outfit that resembled a smoking jacket, made of expensive material, with designer slacks and loafers. Most remarkably, his face sported a full black beard, long, but neatly trimmed and combed, with ample hair on his head.

“Marlon Farnsworth, I presume?” said the strange man.

He had one of those strange accents that made it impossible to tell where he was from.

“I am…” said Marlon. “And you are?”

“Well, my full name is Rasputin Arthur Graham Carlisle Lamont the 3rd,” said the man, holding out his hand. “Simply call me Rasputin, it’s much easier to remember…”

“I see…” muttered Marlon. “Not the most… respectable name…”

“Mmm, yes…” said Rasputin with a shrug. “It was the name of a Russian advisor to the Czar who was a bit of a scoundrel, but, eh, you can’t exactly choose your names…

“I knew a man who actually changed his family name. He thought the name Gore would have been bad for business… He was a butcher…

“I’ve considered changing mine… but it takes money that I’d rather spend elsewhere…

“Oh, where are my manners? These are my two protégés… Nicholas, and Olga.”

He pointed to the two teenagers. The two of them nervously waved.

“So what can I do for you mister… ah, Rasputin?” replied Marlon.

“I couldn’t help but take interest in that amulet you found,” said Rasputin, looking at the strange artifact. “You see, Mr. Farnsworth, like you, I’m an archaeologist of sorts, but I tend to study old cultures rather than old fossils. I travel a lot… Most recently, I’ve been operating out of Copenhagen…”

“Really?” asked Marlon, perking up. “I’ve been to Copenhagen. The Arken Museum of Modern Art is quite a place.”

“Indeed,” said Rasputin. “May I ask where you found that?”

“Believe it or not, I found it in a pile of coal,” said Marlon. “It caught my eye as I passed by this morning.”

Yumi rubbed her chin as she watched this…

She saw the Pharaoh watching next to her.

“Marlon…” said Rasputin, “mind if I call you Marlon?”

“Not at all,” he replied.

“I collect such artifacts,” said Rasputin. “If we had met elsewhere I might offer a decent check for it… But since we’re both guests of this tournament, what would you say to a duel with a wager?”

“I’m listening…” replied Marlon.

Rasputin took a card out of his jacket.

“I’m willing to ante this up against that amulet. It’s quite rare…”

Marlon stared at it. Yumi tried to look, but she couldn’t see it.

“I say…” muttered Marlon. “That IS quite rare!”

He looked at the amulet.

“I suppose I might even enjoy it,” he said. “Jolly good then…”

As he stood up, Nicholas and Olga went over to where Yumi’s group was sitting.

“Mind if we join you?” asked Nicholas. “His duels are always interesting to watch…”

“Perhaps…” said Yumi.

The Pharaoh looked at her and shook his head.

But I can’t shake the feeling that something is rotten in the state of Denmark… she thought.



* * * * * * * * * *


Marlon and Rasputin faced each other on the street beside the café. Their Disks activated.

“Game on!” they both said at once.



(Marlon: 8,000) -------------------- (Rasputin: 8,000)


“All right old boy…” said Marlon, drawing his first card.

He looked over his first hand.

“To start, I’ll place two cards facedown, and one Monster in Defense Mode…”

Two facedown cards and a facedown Monster appeared.

“Ho boy…” said Chelsea. “Looks like he’s gonna play the same trick he used on you, Yumi.”

“Well, let’s see what we have here,” said Rasputin, drawing his first card.

He took one of them.

“I play the Spell Card, Nobleman of Crossout.”

He played the card, and an effeminate knight in armor with a sword appeared. He stabbed into the facedown Monster, and it shattered.

“Good grief!” shouted Ren.

“So much for that strategy,” said Chelsea.

“Next…” continued Rasputin, “I’ll summon my Ice Knight.”

He played a card, and a knight in bulky armor that was seemingly made of entirely of ice and a cape made of white fur, carrying a sword made of dull metal appeared. (1,300/1,200)

“This Monster gains 400 Attack Points for every Aqua-Type Monster on the field,” he explained. “And that includes himself, incidentally.”

Ice Knight rose to an Attack of 1,700.

“Well, let’s see…” he said. “I could attack… But those facedown cards are a concern, so I think I’ll just end my turn.”

“Suit yourself…” said Marlon, drawing a card.

He looked at it.

“I summon my Sabersaurus to the field!” he exclaimed.

With a rumbling, the huge armored Dinosaur appeared, and roared. (1,900/500)



http://www.ideal808.com/images/potd-en002.jpg


“Crush his Ice Knight!” he shouted. “Tusk trample!”

Sabersaurus charged, and smashed Ice Knight into little pieces. Rasputin cringed…



(M: 8,000) -------------------- (R: 7,800)


“Not bad…” said Rasputin, drawing a card. “Easy come, easy go I guess… But it’s far from over…”

He played a card.

“I play Premature Burial. I simply have to relinquish 800 Life Points, and my Ice Knight returns.”

The ground cracked, and Ice Knight rose out of the ground. (1,300/1,200) –> (1,700/1,200)

“And next…” he continued, “I sacrifice him to summon forth his master… Farwell, my Ice Knight…”

Ice Knight shattered into shards of crystal…

“I summon Mobius the Frost Monarch!”

A chilling wind seemed to blow over the whole field, as a huge form, best described as a fifteen-foot-tall giant sculpted out of ice wearing a purple cape rose behind Rasputin. His cape fluttered in the chilling wind that surrounded him. (2,400/1,000)



http://www.ideal808.com/images/sod-en0221.jpg


“And simply by summoning him,” continued Rasputin, “I can destroy your two facedown cards.”

Mobius breathed a blast of freezing vapor. Marlon’s two facedown cards lifted up, revealed to be Fossil Excavation and Widespread Ruin. They froze solid, and then shattered.

“I’m hardly done…” said Rasputin. “Next, I play a Spell Card… Called Mobius’s Palace.”

He fit the card into his Disk, and with a rumble, a huge palace made of ice crystal rose up behind him, glimmering in the morning light. The whole arena started to ice over.

“A powerful Spell Card,” he said. “It can only exist so long as Mobius is on the field, but when it does, all Beasts, Beast-Warriors, Winged Beasts, Plants, and Dinosaurs lose 500 Attack Points.”

Sabersaurus groaned, and fell to an Attack of 1,400.

“Now Mobius, attack!” shouted Rasputin. “Blizzard blight!”

Mobius breathed forth a cone of chilling frost, and Sabersaurus was frozen solid in a block of ice. It shattered into little pieces.



(M: 7,000) -------------------- (R: 7,000)


Ren turned to Olga.

“Your dad sure can duel,” he said. “He…”

“Rasputin’s not my dad,” Olga quickly said.

“Oh… uh… okay…” muttered Ren.

Rasputin fit a card into his Disk, and a facedown card appeared.

“That will do it for my turn…” he said.

Marlon drew a card. He looked at it.

“My Trap Card activates,” exclaimed Rasputin, as his facedown card lifted. “It’s called Mobius’s Glacier. This card needs Mobius’s Palace to exist, but it further inconveniences the Monsters the first card effects. Those Monsters can’t attack, and can’t be set in Defense Mode.”

“This is not a coincidence, Yumi,” said the Pharaoh. “Rasputin’s deck is specially designed to counter a deck like Marlon’s. He must want that artifact pretty badly…

“The question is… why?”

“Well, let’s see what we can do about that,” said Marlon. “I play… Pot of Greed.”

He played the card, and then drew twice.

“Since I can’t defend, I’ll go on the offensive,” he said. “I summon Balloon Lizard.”

He played the card, and a large creature appeared, floating in the air. It resembled an alligator, but its torso was spherical and bloated, similar to… a balloon. (500/1,900)



http://www.ideal808.com/images/ioc-072.jpg


“Interesting…” said Rasputin. “But all for naught. I’ll destroy it before its effect becomes a serious issue.”

“I wasn’t intending to use its effect,” said Marlon, taking a card from his hand. “Let me share with you a common theory among paleontologists. Most folks say that dinosaurs were an evolutionary step up from common lizards, who were in turn a step up from amphibians. In a sense, ordinary cold-blooded reptiles evolved into dinosaurs, who many believe were warm-blooded, more like birds.

“This Spell Card is called Ultra Evolution Pill. What it does is speed up the evolutionary process. So if I used it on a Reptile, like this one, it might turn into a Dinosaur, now wouldn’t it?”

He played the card.

“So I use it to sacrifice my Balloon Lizard…”

The Reptile vanished in a burst of energy.

“To summon Black Tyranno from my hand!”

A huge, carnivorous Dinosaur, standing bipedal with dark skin arose, and gave a primal roar. (2,600/1,800)



http://www.ideal808.com/images/ioc-0751.jpg


Then the ice froze it to the ground, and its Attack fell to 2,100.

“I’ll place this facedown,” said Marlon, placing a card in his Disk, “and end my turn.”

Rasputin drew a card.

“I summon my second Ice Knight,” he said.

Another Ice Knight appeared. (1,300/1,200)

“And then,” he said, “I bring back the first with the power of Monster Reborn.”

He played the card, and the ankh appeared. Another Ice Knight materialized.

“And with three Aquas on the field,” he said, “they both have 2,500 Attack Points.

“Mobius, attack the Black Tyranno!”

“Hold it right there, old sport,” said Marlon. “I had a Trap ready…”

His facedown card lifted.

“Zero Gravity,” he said. “Now all Monsters on the field switch Modes.”

Mobius and the two Ice Knights crouched in Defense Mode, as did Black Tyranno, but the Dinosaur was quickly moved back into Attack Mode by the Glacier.

“Fine…” said Rasputin. “I end my turn then. You still can’t attack…”

Marlon drew.

“Oh, I can’t can I?” he said. “I play the Spell Card, Shield Crush!”

He played the card.

“Now I can destroy one Monster who’s in Defense Mode. Time to break the ice, so to speak. I target Mobius!”

A beam of energy shot from the card, and Mobius groaned as cracks started to appear all over him. He shattered into little pieces of ice.

“Mobius…” moaned Rasputin. “Smashed into pieces… like common cocktail ice…”

“That means his Palace goes too…” said Marlon.

The Palace blew into pieces, and Black Tyranno rose to its normal 2,600 Attack.

“…and like a chain reaction, that means the Glacier is gone as well.”

The Trap Card shattered, and the ice trapping Black Tyranno melted.

“And since the only cards you now have on the field are Monsters in Defense Mode,” continued Marlon, “Black Tyranno not only can attack now, he can do so directly!”

Black Tyranno charged, causing the ground to tremble, and stomped with its mighty foot.

Rasputin groaned and held his head…

“Ugh…” he said. “That was… unpleasant…”



(M: 7,000) -------------------- (R: 4,400)


“I’ll place a card facedown and end my turn,” said Marlon, fitting his last card into his Disk. “It’s your move…”

Rasputin drew one card. He gave it an odd look.

He placed it in his Disk, and a facedown card appeared.

“Your move…” he said.

Marlon drew a card.

“Well…” he said. “With that facedown card there, Black Tyranno can’t attack directly, but I can still take care of your Knights.”

His facedown card lifted.

“I activate Call of the Haunted.”

The ground rumbled, and Sabersaurus clawed its way out of the ground. (1,900/500)

“Both of you…” he ordered. “Take down his Ice Knights!”

Sabersaurus charged, and smashed one of the Ice Knights to pieces. Black Tyranno charged and stomped the other one flat.

“Thank you…” said Rasputin, with a sinister smirk. “As a paleontologist, you surely know about another theory, Marlon… About how a catastrophic event caused the extinction of the dinosaurs, like, say perhaps, a meteorite crashing to Earth…”

“Well, yes, that’s a very common theory, but…” replied Marlon.

Then his eyes opened wide.

“Wait… Your facedown card…”

“Yes…” said Rasputin, as his facedown card lifted. “It’s the one I wagered, and I can activate it since I have fewer Life Points than you do…

“Jurassic Impact!”

The sky turned red, and a swarm of fireballs fell from above.

“Hit the dirt!” shouted Ren.

Everyone gasped in horror, as the meteorites crashed onto the arena, the two Dinosaurs howled, and were blown to atoms.

It wasn’t over yet. The whole arena had been turned to a volcanic wasteland, covered with molten lava.

“This is a hologram, right?” asked Ren, nervously.

“The cataclysm it causes not only kills all Monsters on the field,” said Rasputin, “but the owners of the destroyed Monsters lose 1,000 Life Points for each. Plus, the arena becomes so inhospitable to life that no Monsters can be summoned or set for one of each of our turns.”

“Fine…” muttered Marlon. “I’m ending this turn…”



(M: 5,000) -------------------- (R: 4,400)


“Then I draw…” said Rasputin.

He looked at the card he had drawn.

“Pass…” he said.

Marlon drew. He shook his head as he looked at the card.

“I pass as well…” he said.

“I guess there isn’t much they could do…” said Chelsea. “Without being able to summon… That was a powerful Trap. No wonder Marlon accepted the wager.”

The lava cooled, and became a rocky surface again.

Rasputin drew again.

“Well…” he said. “I can summon again, but to summon this lass, I need to remove Mobius from play.”

The card fell out of his discard slot, and he placed it inside his jacket.

“So I summon Tara the Ice Princess.”

He placed the card on his Disk, and a coldly beautiful princess with icy skin and hair, dressed in a skimpy fur bikini and white fur cloak appeared. A chilling wind blew around her. She didn’t seem at all like she was dressed for cold weather, but she was an Ice Princess... maybe that was the whole point. (2,000/800)

“And by the way,” said Rasputin, “she has the same ability as Mobius, but she can use it every round.

“Attack directly!”

Tara blew a chilling gust at Marlon. He shielded himself, but shivered under the intense cold…



(M: 3,000) -------------------- (R: 4,400)


“I say…” said Marlon. “When this is over, I might need some brandy to ward off this chill…”



Continued…

Dark Sage
1st May 2007, 06:29 AM
Continued from last post:



“She can destroy two Spell or Trap Cards every turn?” asked Ren. “There has to be a catch…”

“Yes, there is a catch,” said Nicholas. “That effect is not optional. Rasputin must use her ability to destroy two cards if any are on the field, even if that means destroying his own. If Marlon doesn’t use any, she can be a handicap.”

“It’s your move,” said Rasputin.

Marlon drew a card.

He looked at the three cards in his hand.

He placed one of them on his Disk, and a facedown Monster appeared.

“That’s it for my turn,” he said.

Rasputin made a draw. He scowled. Clearly he was disappointed.

“Tara, attack,” he said.

Tara blew her freezing mist. A winged cherub appeared on the card, and froze solid before it was blasted to shards.

“You just flipped my Skelengel, old bean,” said Marlon. “Now I get to make one draw…”

He drew a card.

“That’s all I can do…” muttered Rasputin.

I have to win… he thought. The Jurassic Impact card means nothing, but I must have that talisman…

Marlon made a draw.

He grinned.

“Okay, old chap…” he said. “First, I Special Summon Gilasaurus…”

Gilasaurus appeared, bearing its claws. (1,400/400)



http://www.ideal808.com/images/lon-071.jpg


“I use its effect to raise Ice Knight from the Graveyard,” replied Rasputin.

Ice Knight appeared again.

“And don’t forget his ability. Now there are two Aquas on the field.”

(1,300/1,200) –> (2,100/1,200)

“I didn’t forget,” said Marlon. “Next, I play Inferno Reckless Summon, to summon my other two Gilasaurs.”

He played the card. Two more of the small Dinosaurs appeared.

“You’re only hurting yourself,” said Rasputin, with a laugh.

Two more Ice Knights appeared on his side of the field. Each of them grew to (2,900/1,200)

“And now…” said Marlon, “I sacrifice two Gilasaurs, to summon my best Monster! I summon Super Conductor Tyranno!”

Two of the small Dinosaurs vanished, and a Dinosaur just as big as Ultimate Tyranno loomed above the field. It seemed as much metal as it was flesh, and an electric aura emitted fiercely around it. In let out an unearthly roar. (3,300/1,400)



http://www.ideal808.com/images/sd09-en001.jpg


“3,300 Attack Points?” shouted Rasputin. “Surely, you’ve got to be kidding…”

“No joke,” said Marlon, “and that means it’s curtains for your Ice Princess! And don’t call me Shirley. Attack! Electric rage!”

Super Conductor Tyranno fired a blast of pure electricity. Tara the Ice Princess screamed before she was reduced to ashes.

“Well…” said Marlon, “with one less Aqua on the field, the Attack Score of your Ice Knights fall to 2,500…”

He looked at the last card in his hand.

With Dark Driceratops in reserve, he thought, and one more Gilasaurus on the field to sacrifice, next round, this duel will be mine.



(M: 3,000) -------------------- (R: 3,100)


“Your move…” he said.

Everyone watched as Rasputin drew a card.

“Heh, heh…” he chuckled.

“You’ve been a challenging opponent, Marlon… But this duel is over…”

He fit the card into his Disk.

“I Equip one Ice Knight with Chthonian Alliance. Now he gains 800 more Attack Points for each Monster on the field with the same name. You’re pretty smart… You can add it up…”

The Equipped Ice Knight glowed with a dark, fiery aura…

(4,100/1,200)

“Good Jove…” said Marlon.

“Stronger Ice Knight…” said Rasputin, “destroy his Super Conductor Tyranno! Cold blade!”

The Ice Knight leapt up, and slashed at the huge Dinosaur with his sword. It roared, and exploded into a blast of furious pyrotechnics.

“You…” continued Rasputin, “destroy the final Gilasaurus.”

With one swipe of his blade, the second Ice Knight cleaved the Gilasaurus in half.

“Third time’s the charm,” said Rasputin. “Attack directly!”

The third Ice Knight leapt up and slammed his blade into Marlon. He toppled over and fell on his back.



(M: 0) -------------------- (R: 3,100)


Marlon sat up, and held his head.

“Ugh…” he said, getting up. “Well, it was rather close at least…”

He stood up.

“Ah, well… A deal’s a deal… This thing was only a curiosity anyway…”

He handed the amulet to Rasputin.

“Thank you…” said Rasputin, with a glimmer in his eye. “I assure you, I’ll make good use of it.”

He held out his hand. The two men shook.

Marlon looked at his hand strangely…

Olga and Nicholas stood up as Rasputin approached the table. He turned towards Yumi.

“Ah,” he said, “young Yumi Mouto… I’ve heard good things about you… I’ll be watching your progress very closely…”

Yumi didn’t respond. She didn’t like how he had said that.

Nicholas passed by Yumi.

He quickly slipped a small piece of paper into her hand.

“This is my cell phone number…” he whispered. “If you ever want to have lunch or dinner or something… Call me, okay?”

“Nicholas, get over here!” shouted Rasputin.

Yumi looked dumbfounded…

Yumi looked at Marlon, who was shaking his hand as if it were numb.

“You all right, Marlon?” asked Yumi.

“Oh, I’m quite all right, Ms. Mouto…” said Marlon. “Darn arthritis must be acting up again…”

When the three were walking away from the table, Nicholas spoke up as Rasputin looked at the odd talisman.

“That was foolish,” said Nicholas. “If you hadn’t drawn Chthonian Alliance, you could have lost a very valuable card!”

“Heh, heh…” chuckled Rasputin. “I would gladly have wagered the entire deck!”

He held the talisman up to the sun.

“Clearly, the old fogy didn’t realize just what he had…”

Yumi heard that. No one knew she had, but she had.

“Ren, Chelsea…” she said. “I’ll meet you in the lobby of the hotel in an hour. I have something I need to do. Until then… just enjoy yourselves.”



* * * * * * * * * *


“So are we going to use it?” asked Nicholas.

Rasputin studied it closely.

He took a leather strap out of his pocket, and strung it through the hole where a chain would have gone. Then he tied the strap together.

“None of them have revealed themselves yet in a way that this talisman can determine,” he said, placing it around his neck. “But we have a means, and they don’t. They don’t even know about them yet, most likely. We can be patient.

“You two… Go, duel… I’ll take care of things if something happens…”

Olga and Nicholas went off on their separate ways.



* * * * * * * * * *


In her hotel room, Yumi logged on to the computer that was provided.

“Let’s see what we can find out about you, Mr. Arthur Graham Carlisle Lamont the 3rd,” she said. “There can’t be that many people with a name like yours in the dueling world…”

She logged onto the “Who’s Who in Duel Monsters” site.

A file came up.

“Yeah, that’s him…” she said, looking at the picture. “Winner of last year’s Kaibaland London Duel Monsters Cup, I see… Not the best picture…

“Won using a Fire Deck? So why use ice now?”

She looked at some vital stats. His citizenship listed him as a legal resident of the Czech Republic.

“Yeah, right…” said Yumi. “If that’s a Czech name, then I’m Italian…”

She looked at the date of birth. It seemed to confirm that he was forty-two years old, but there was an asterisk next to it.

She checked the footnote. It said: “Could not be validated. Birth certificate could not be located.”

Yumi’s eyes narrowed.

Marital Status: Single

Known Relatives: None

Clearly, Olga and Nicholas were not his true children. Was he their legal guardian? Not many teenagers would hang around with someone his age unless he was their guardian or they were his love slaves, and if they were the latter, he wouldn’t have brought them to a place so public.

He checked for occupation. It said “CEO of Raxxon Importing”.

Yumi thought for a minute. She had heard of Raxxon Importing… It was a shipping firm in Europe that imported chemicals… very rare ones. Not the type you could buy at the corner drug store. As far as she knew, it was legit…

…but it had nothing to do with archaeology.

She looked at other information.

He was known to speak at least seven languages, known to have an I.Q. of 190 at last testing, interests included science, chemistry, art, and ancient cultures.

Well, that might have explained the archaeology.

She sighed.

He was hiding something. What did that strange talisman do?



* * * * * * * * * *


Yumi and her friends may have been up with the sun, but Sam had slept later. She had plenty of time to reach Gold, being at Blue, and she was going to meet Erik for a breakfast buffet.

She was just getting out of the shower, when she heard a knock on her door.

“Oh…” she moaned, reaching for a bathrobe, “one minute!”

She quickly put on the robe, and went to the door.

Standing there was the same old woman whom Yumi had met last night. Sam flinched a little at the sight of her.

“Forgive the intrusion, Ms. Arachne,” she said. “I am Maria, someone who has an interest in you and your friends…”

“If you want an autograph, this is a bad time…” said Sam.

“No…” said Maria, “I simply came to ask a small favor…”

She held up a letter, that was sealed with wax.

“Your friend Yumi will be exiting her hotel when you walk past it. Simply give her this letter when you see her. If I tried to deliver it myself…

“Well, let’s just say that some unscrupulous people are looking for this letter, and I’d be no match for them. But you…”

Sam gave her a dirty look.

“You’re telling me that this letter has info that could get me mugged,” she said, “and you want me to deliver it? By the way, Yumi is NOT a friend!”

“It is in your best interest to do so, Sam,” said Maria. “An evil tide heads for this island, and your part in it cannot be avoided. As much as you two are rivals, you must become allies, however shaky that alliance may be.

“Do this, and at a later date, I will repay you with vital information when you need it…”

“Oh, fine!” snapped Sam, grabbing the letter. “I’ll do it. But don’t think I’m gonna play hero if this place is overrun by weirdoes again. I’m not my father…”

“I wouldn’t think of it…” said Maria.

She turned and walked away…

Sam looked at the letter.

If I was smart, I’d toss this, and forget this ever happened, she thought.

If I was smart, I’d go as far away from Yumi as possible right now…

She paused for a second, and then reached for a pair of fresh underwear.

If I was smart… I would have chosen a less violent hobby…



* * * * * * * * * *


“Yumi,” said the Pharaoh, “I can tell when something is magical, and I didn’t detect even a trace of magic from that amulet.”

“Are you certain?” she asked.

“Almost positive,” he replied. “For all we know, it could have been nothing more than a toy belonging to a girl your age several millennia ago.”

“I really doubt that this guy would duel for the ancient equivalent of a friendship bracelet…” muttered Yumi.

She sighed as she sat back in the chair.

She couldn’t discern anything more from the internet. Whoever Rasputin was, her computer couldn’t tell her.

She shrugged her shoulders.

“Maybe I was wrong about this guy…” she muttered. “Maybe he’s just an eccentric businessman from Copenhagen who collects old junk…”

Her Puzzle glowed.

“Yumi!” shouted the Pharaoh. “I feel it!”

“Feel what?” asked Yumi, nervously.

“The presence,” he said. “It’s been here ever since I’ve known you… But it’s much stronger now! It’s coming…”

Yumi got up…

And she was startled to see her…

In front of her was the strange, phantom woman. Yumi had seen glimpses of this in dreams and daydreams since she was a toddler… A woman with waist-length, platinum hair, dressed in a white business suit, wearing dark sunglasses…

Yumi stared at her.

“Hello, Yumi,” she said in a gentle voice. “I’ve finally been given permission to let you see me, because I must. Things are entering a phase, and you need my help.”

“Who are you?” asked Yumi, nervously.

The woman removed her sunglasses, revealing big, beautiful, sea-green eyes.

“I’m Anastasia Pegasus,” she said. “Your father knew me…”

Yumi drew back in fear…

After witnessing a strange duel with an odd wager, the situation for Yumi gets stranger still as Anastasia appears from the Great Beyond. Why is she here? And what threats are posed by this new duelist with an interest in Yumi?



ICE KNIGHT (Monster Card)

Card Specs

Type: Aqua/Effect
Attribute: Water
Level: 4
ATK: 1,300
DEF: 1,200

Card Description: For each Aqua-Type Monster face-up on the field, increase the ATK of this card by 400.



MOBIUS’S PALACE (Spell Card)

Continuous Spell

Image: A beautiful palace made of ice crystals.

Card Description: If there is no “Mobius the Frost Monarch” face-up on your side of the field, destroy this card. Decrease the ATK and DEF of all face-up Beast, Beast-Warrior, Winged Beast, Plant, and Dinosaur Monsters on the field by 500.



MOBIUS’S GLACIER (Trap Card)

Continuous Trap

Image: A menagerie of rural Monsters frozen in an icy tundra.

Card Description: If there is no “Mobius’s Palace” face-up on your side of the field, destroy this card. All face-up Beast, Beast-Warrior, Winged Beast, Plant, and Dinosaur Monsters on the field are switched to Attack Position and cannot be set or summoned in Defense Position. The above-named Monster Types cannot attack.

Note: “Ice Knight”, “Mobius’s Palace”, and “Mobius’s Glacier” were used by Frost in the “Yu-Gi-Oh GX” multi-part episode “Taken By Storm”. Creative credit goes to the writers of that episode.



TARA THE ICE PRINCESS (Monster Card)

Card Specs

Type: Aqua/Effect
Attribute: Water
Level: 6
ATK: 2,000
DEF: 800

Card Description: This card cannot be Normal Summoned or set. This card can only be Special Summoned by removing one “Mobius the Frost Monarch” in your Graveyard from play. Each of your Standby Phases that this card is face-up on your side of the field, destroy two Spell or Trap Cards on the field (this effect is not optional).



JURASIC IMPACT (Trap Card)

Normal Trap

Image: A meteorite falling to Earth from orbit.

Card Description: You can activate this card when your Life Points are less than those of your opponent. Destroy all Monsters on the field. Each player loses 1,000 Life Points for each of his/her Monsters that are destroyed by this effect. Each player cannot Normal Summon, set, or Special Summon a Monster for one of his full turns after this card has been played.

Note: “Jurassic Impact” was first mentioned by Hasselberry in the “Yu-Gi-Oh GX” episode “Camaraderie Contest”, and first used by him in “Taken By Storm (Part Two)”. Creative credit goes to the writers of that episode.



Ren: Uh, Chelsea? What do you think Yumi is doing?

Chelsea: Dunno… Must be important.

Ren: Maybe she’s found out something important…

Cassandra: That she has, young ones, and it will decide the path she will take to her destiny!

Coming up next, “Legend of the Sorcerer Kings; The Pathway Revealed!”

And don’t worry… Sam will get a chance to get some things done too.

jkBAKURA
1st May 2007, 07:35 AM
I have to give it to you, the few Ice decks I've seen in fanfiction were slathered with custom cards. Anime creations aside, you managed to get away with only one.

Speaking of which, did you really think the reference to Miss Lupinski would go unnoticed? *chuckle*

Anyhow, while Rasputin's name isn't my favorite, it's obvious he has some bigger part to play in all of this. The plot unraveling seems to be in full swing now, and it's got me coming back for more.

Interesting choice to feature one of the minor characters. A rather nice touch actually.

At first thought I was sure the talisman in question was the Millenium Ring, but that obviously would have tripped Yami's senses. I'll have to wqait, as usual.

As for the disclaimer, I didn't even notice a character who qualifies, at least not mentioned outright. Better safe then sorry I suppose.

Until Monday, JKB

Shuppet Master
1st May 2007, 09:33 AM
Again, I can't tell you what Brian told me, but I knew about this whole thing.

Nice introduction of...a new character, Brian. And interesting he would use the same deck that ice guy used against Tyranno in Season 2 of GX. I wasn't surprised that Marlon lost the wager.

Yumi should be concerned after what she went through last night!

And OMFG, Anastasia returns? I was surprised! Keep it up, Brian. :)

Inferno_Dragon
1st May 2007, 02:08 PM
So the Rasputin first uses a Fire Deck, but now uses a Ice Deck. Hmmmm ... kinds of reminds me of Robert Frost's Poem "Fire and Ice."

But the return of Anastasia Pegasus? What could she be doing here? We know that she warned Yugi Junior and Mary of what was happening during the events of Duelatopia ... is she doing the same for Yumi?

Keep up the excellent work, DS.

Dark Sage
1st May 2007, 02:13 PM
I should have described that amulet in more detail. It is the size of a fist, and made of stone, unlike the Millennium Ring, which is much larger, and made of gold.

As for what Anastasia is doing here, we'll find out next chapter. Stay tuned.

Neo Arkadia
1st May 2007, 03:46 PM
I think I have a very rough idea of where you're going with Rasputin's plans from the various comments you've posted on the fic about him, and his collecting of artifacts, but let's leave the philosophing to the philosophers, eh?

The Amulet could of used more description, admittedly, but it was fine. Figured it wasn't a Millenium Item.

And so the lovely Anstasia Pegasus makes her comeback for the always appreciated exhibition of plot that is likely to happen next chapter.

The duel was a rather nice back and forth and showed the best of a potential Ice theme and a slightly generic Dinosaur deck. But it was done well regardless and gave off a rather fresh feeling.

And I'm guessing Rasputin's multiple decks is a case of the ol' Shadow Queen syndrome, so to speak.

Over all, a good chapter that moved the plot forward (Which it slightly has needed for a while, but good none the less), though admittedly, Rasputin's name was just a wee bit much. But it's nothing that's going to distract or detract from the story, in my opinion.

Hinoryu
1st May 2007, 05:02 PM
First things first:

The so-called 'Amulet' made me think of the Dark Item Juudai had when he faced the Seven Stars, the one that negated Carmulla's.

Rasputin intrigues me. Ark may have an idea of Rasputin's ideas, but I don't have enough information yet to be sure.

The duel seemed sorta bland. It was just Koorimaru against Kenzan, without their partners. However, the advances in plot made up for it entirely.

I'll wait and watch what happens next.

Mystic_clown
3rd May 2007, 12:52 AM
Everyone always see Rasputin for all the bad things he's done, and yet seem to ignore all the good his done.

Hmm, he's from Denmark, yet he has a Russian name. I'm quite curious as to what this artifact can do. I'm not sure which sides he's on, but I'm looking forward to more.

Is it just me, or does this fic take a lot of decks from GX? I was never much a fan of it, but anyway.

Oakbark
6th May 2007, 06:28 AM
Reveal – facedown card, Returning Reader!!

Hey Dark Sage, you might remember me from previous stories, as it was I who created the Dark Magician Girl + Dryad fusion “Sorceress of Conflict”, along with the background story. Which reminds me, might it make an appearance in Yumi’s deck?

**

Firstly, I’ll start with a few comments on what I’ve seen so far:

Yumi seems to possess an almost arrogant (less goody goody) persona than her predecessors, which is quite appealing. There is more depth to her at any rate when she isn’t as clean-cut as earlier Muotos. I like the way you’ve feminised her deck with the likes of Fairy Lily and Gemini Elf to distinguish it from earlier variations.

Chelsea is very interesting too, her Vampire deck is awesome (my favourite kind to duel with myself) – surprised some Pyramid Turtles haven’t turned up! Her ghost whisperer abilities are sure to add intrigue and interest. I’ve also noticed her attraction to Ren, especially during the Felicia duel (she seemed slightly jealous).

Ren reminds me of Joey in so many ways, and that wisecracking, outgoing image has stuck throughout these beginning chapters. I look forward to seeing how he will fit in along the way, being the most dominant male character of the group.

Sam is brilliant, there’s something about her attitude, her duelling, etc that everyone reading has picked up on – a great character.

Felicia’s cat-themed deck was great – I’d love to see more decks based around new themes like this one and similar to (was it Bo’s?) sheep/lamb deck in the previous fic.

I like Erik too, there's something about him that i've warmed too - hopefully he's going to be as prominent as Sam in later chapters.

**

Next, I’m going to talk about stuff I haven’t been too impressed with – a bit of constructive criticism if you will.

Firstly, let me start with this – you can write amazing duels, with excellent pictures and stats to keep readers informed right the way through. I enjoy reading them. However, I think all your main readers know that you have become accomplished at this. You can write a duel scene and write it well – that’s sorted. I think you should focus more on storyline, dialogue and character building.

To be honest, I know precious little about Yumi, Chelsea or Ren. Yumi likes duelling and is an accomplished duelist. That’s it. I don’t know why she decided to go pro in duelling, I don’t know her likes or dislikes, and I don’t know how deep her connection is with the Pharaoh. All I know is that she duels and is of a more serious personality than her father. Don’t get me wrong – I want to know these things, but I don’t.

Honestly, I feel like I’ve been thrown in the deep end. Is Yumi supposed to be a replica of her father? I mean, why does she duel professionally? Does she get on well with her father? I assume her entire life isn’t just one duel after another? Granted, Yumi and co. will spend Duelatopia duelling a lot (that’s why they’re there), but why is she so 2D? If you spent more time building on the main characters’ personalities and quirks and interests, it would translate into much more powerful and meaningful duels. Sam is by far the best character so far, because she’s being fleshed out as a human. She’s not just a ready-made duellist.

I have so much more I want to talk about, but I don’t want to write an essay on it in your fic. That’s rude. But if you’d like a constructive outlook on the fic, let me know by PM and we can chat. You have a good fic – make it more than just good, make it great!!

Damien.

Shuppet Master
6th May 2007, 11:51 AM
Hey Dark Sage, you might remember me from previous stories, as it was I who created the Dark Magician Girl + Dryad fusion “Sorceress of Conflict”, along with the background story.

Wow, you were the maker of that fusion? I used it in my own story, "Sister of Anansi", when Giselle used it against that guy with the Chaos monsters. You took a useless Normal monster and made it useable. :)

I must say that your concerns are basically the same as many other critics of Brian's stories - lots of blood and thunder duel action, not enough character development. But then a lot could be said for the writers of Yu-Gi-Oh GX, they didn't give much character to Syrus, Zane, or anyone except Jaden, which gets a lot of people's goats. I would have wanted the writers to use Season 3 to develop Alexis, Syrus, and some others, but then they go and...well, I won't spoil what happens to poor Sy. :(

Needless to say, let me put my two cents in.

First cent: You can't expect miracles. It took the writers of anime like Pokemon and Yu-Gi-Oh several arcs to get their characters developed, and what with Ash ditching his team every time he enters a new land and just focusing on Pikachu, loyal fans have stopped being loyal. But you can't blame the writer(s) for trying.

Second cent: That's not to say I disagree with you. I myself enjoyed the duels more than the other scenes, which is why I had trouble with Sister of Anansi - I can't write a filler scene worth a crap without a lot of work - but I do like to see scenes where characters do wacky hijinx(like in Hinoryu's fic) or have deep thoughts about their lives(like Gerald does in Paradox's Tilting the Balance), and that is why I liked Tilting the Balance a bit more - Gerald's life and family are revealed over time.

Oakbark
6th May 2007, 02:29 PM
SM: Hey cool, i really didn't get to read the end of Sister of Anansi, i've been away from these forums for what seems like forever! But by chance the urge took me to return, and all this super writing is making my writing nerves tingle!

Ya, i used to play the YGO Worldwide Edition GBA game, and Dryad struck me as a character that resembled Dark Magician girl minus the groovy spellcaster get-up. The story just created itself in my mind, and luckily Brian used it when i told him about it. I love making up cards or making complementary ones! (Let's hope the Sorceress is properly credited to me - i'm sure she was!)

I have sent a PM to Brian stating my perspective, it's just he has so much potential with this installment, i don't want to see the talent wasted!! GX isn't a patch on these stories.

And yes, the duels are spectacular, such time, effort and flow.

(I'll have to go back and read SOA when i get the chance. Uni is just finishing so i'll get to it in my spare time then!)

Damien.

Dark Sage
7th May 2007, 05:17 AM
CHAPTER TWELVE



Legend of the Sorcerer Kings



The Pathway Revealed!



Yumi stood staring at the phantom in silence for a minute or two.

She remembered her worst duel ever, which she had faced when she was first learning how to use a Disk. Her opponent had Machine King, Mechanicalchaser, and Cyber Phoenix. All she had was Beta the Magnet Warrior in Defense Mode. Her opponent wanted her to lose badly, so he played Limiter Removal and attacked her Magnet Warrior with the Phoenix and attacked directly with the other two Monsters.

That’s the bad part about a duel. If you can’t stop a direct attack, you can’t run and hide. All you can do is take it.

And now, no matter how much she wanted to run, she knew she couldn’t.

Finally, she got enough courage to speak.

“Yeah…” she finally said. “My dad knew you… You tried to kill him…”

Anastasia’s head drooped.

“Yes, Yumi, I did,” she said, sadly. “But that was so long ago… I deserved to burn in Hell…

“And you know, I was prepared to all along. I didn’t tell him this, but I had kept cyanide in my private quarters. If I had succeeded in killing him, the next thing I would have done would have been to swallow it, and then tell the devil to do his worst. I had been prepared for damnation ever since I… killed my father…

“But… your father… he saved me, gave me a second chance…”

“So I heard,” said Yumi. “He told me you were rehabilitated and reformed.

“So how long have you been spying on me?”

Anastasia smiled.

“Yumi…” she said. “I haven’t been spying on you. I’ve been watching you because it’s my job. I’ve been with you all your life, since the day you took your first breath and made your first cry. And I expect to stay until you die, at which point I’ll lead you to Heaven.

“I’m your guardian angel.”

Yumi gave a look of shock.

“I know it’s hard to believe,” said Anastasia. “No wings at the moment… This isn’t even my true form. You see now what I looked like when I was alive. When I was allowed into Heaven, I got a new body that’s far more beautiful. Maybe I’ll be allowed to show it to you eventually.

“But I can explain. Sit down…”

Yumi sat down on the bed, and the phantom sat beside her.

“You may think that in Heaven, the blessed souls just bask in the light of eternal bliss,” said Anastasia, “maybe listening to angelic choirs and sampling nectar and ambrosia. But in reality, it isn’t truly like that. Heaven is a journey of sorts. Each soul seeks perfection. They seek to master the secrets of the universe and the ways of all things. After years, often centuries, they grow in power, rising among the ranks of celestial hosts.

“The most ambitious souls seek to join the Archlords, and if someone told them that he wanted to join them, they wouldn’t laugh at him – they’d encourage him, and tell him to try his hardest to do so. Angels of higher ranks always encourage the lower ones.

“The ultimate goal of every soul in Heaven is to achieve Glorious Union, where we become one with the Almighty, and ultimate perfection is achieved. It might take me thousands of years, but I have faith that I will achieve it someday.”

She paused.

“All of us take different paths towards our goal. I wanted to be someone’s guardian angel so much… To help someone after hurting so many in my life. So, in earthly terms, I went to a sort of… well, sort of a night school, if you will, and studied to be one, and I eventually got certification.

“When I found out that your mother had conceived you, I practically begged the ones in charge to let me take you as my first assignment. It would be my way of repaying your father. Everyone admitted it was an odd request, but there was no risk… I wasn’t evil any more.

“So I got the assignment. I was there when you were born… When your father was holding your mother’s hand when she was in the pains of labor, I was holding the other one, whispering as many gentle assurances as he was. I’ve been watching over you ever since. I’ve been your conscience, and your protector…

“Have you ever wanted to do something that seems easy, but you decide against it because of a nagging feeling that you might get hurt? I give you that nagging feeling, because I don’t want you hurt. And when you’re faced with a moral choice, I always try to urge you towards the right one.

“Because… If you ever fell into evil like I did, I’d have to leave you… Just like my guardian angel left me…”

“Really?” muttered Yumi.

Anastasia nodded.

“He had no choice…” she replied. “After the first murder, it was pretty much a certainty that I could no longer be saved, so he left. You can’t guide an evil soul. But… Once I actually did get into Heaven, he was there to greet me again with hugs and congratulations. He said it didn’t happen often, but he was glad that it did.”

Yumi was hanging on to every word.

“So why show yourself to me now?” she asked.

“To help you, and him…” said Anastasia, pointing to the Puzzle. “I can help you set him free.

“Unfortunately, the plan reached a snag… Rasputin.

“I knew him well in my former life. He was a member of the board of directors of Industrial Illusions when I was only a little girl… before my dad fired him…”

“Your dad knew him?” asked Yumi. “When you were a little girl? Just how old is he?”

Anastasia sighed.

“Older than you may think,” she replied.



* * * * * * * * * *


Sam trudged out of her hotel, angrily.

Who did this Maria think she was, a messenger? She had half a mind to throw the letter in a garbage can, and more than half a mind to break the seal and read it to see what the whole issue was.

She looked at the wax-stamped seal. Maybe she’d do just that…

Then she felt a chill… Did a cloud suddenly cover the sun?

Before she knew it, a tall form was standing in front of her…

It was a dark figure, dressed in a black cloak, his eyes obscured by the hood. He wore a Duel Disk on his arm.

Sam backed up and looked around. No Centurions in sight.

“And where do you think you’re going?” said the cloaked man.

“To breakfast, as if it’s any of your business,” said Sam, annoyed.

“It is,” said the man. “You’d best hand over that letter, if you want to live until lunch.”

Sam sneered. Who did this jerk think he was threatening?

She looked at the letter. She didn’t like Yumi, but deep inside, she knew that giving up this letter to this guy would be bad. On the other hand, he’d likely pester her until she did.

She noticed a badge tied to his belt, indicating Green status, one level below her.

“I see you’re a duelist,” she said.

“Of course,” said the man.

“Do you have a name?” she asked.

“My name is my own,” said the man, “and I don’t share it. I’m a member of a group that works towards a cause bigger than you could imagine. We call ourselves… The League of Ascension.”

“And that’s supposed to impress me?” asked Sam crossing her arms. “You seem like nothing more than Rare Hunter wannabes.”

He scowled.

“You can’t begin to comprehend the goals that the League of Ascension is trying to achieve!” he exclaimed.

“Maybe not…” said Sam, “and I’m betting they don’t tell grunts like you much about them either.”

He gave another angry scowl. It was as if Sam had hit that one right on the head.

“Tell you what,” said Sam, stuffing the letter in her pocket. “Buddy… I’ll guess I should just call you an Ascender, huh?”

“Yes, that is the right term,” he replied.

“Weird…” she muttered. “Makes you sound like some mountain climber… Anyway, you want the letter so badly, I’ll duel you for it. But I’m upping the ante…

“The winner can punish the loser however he or she desires.”

The Ascender paused at this…

Then he noticed that the one he was facing was a young and attractive eighteen-year-old…

“Heh, heh…” he chuckled. “Very well… It’s a bet…”

Sam stepped back, and her Disk activated. Her opponent activated his own.

“Game on!” they both said at once.



* * * * * * * * * *


“From what I know, Yumi,” said Anastasia, “Rasputin was born in Austria around the mid 1700th Century. He was born into wealth and nobility, when such things truly mattered in that part of the world.

“You see Yumi, his big problem is, he doesn’t acknowledge any power greater than mankind. He might have once, but that time was long ago. Call him an atheist, and he’d take it as a compliment. He has no use for religion, thinking that anyone with such beliefs is deluded. Only the power of the mortal mind matters. If he worships anything, it is knowledge.

“It wasn’t that he never believed in higher powers. On the contrary, he’s always willing to listen to theories that they exist… But he thinks that if they do exist, they’re all frauds and meddlers. Powerful, maybe, but he doesn’t believe their power gives them any authority. He doesn’t believe they have a right to interfere in the affairs of mankind. He has often asked why we were never given a chance to vote for their system, saying that it was forced upon us like some dictatorship.

“In his opinion, only mankind itself can control their affairs, and the so-called gods have no place in it.

“To Rasputin, humanity doesn’t need God. And he’d laugh at you if you said it was a blasphemy. He’s heard that hundreds of times. To him, the very word ‘blasphemy’ has no meaning, because there’s nothing you can offend that you have to respect.”

“That’s awful…” muttered Yumi.

Anastasia nodded.

“Several people have told him he would be smote from above by lightning for some of the things he has said,” replied Anastasia, “and he never gets tired of visiting those people to tell them that he’s still around.

“Now, several such men harbor a secret – they fear death. With no faith in the higher powers, they think nothing waits for the deceased except oblivion. They think nothing exists beyond the grave but dust.

“Now, this particular view isn’t exactly uncommon, of course. The world has always been full of agnostics and unbelievers. But Rasputin was different in that he actually did something about it. Determined never to face oblivion, he turned to alchemy, eventually developing a sort of… potion, for lack of a better term, that would stop him from aging if he took it regularly. He calls it an immortality serum. He’s been taking it all these years, never growing older because of it.

“It has side effects, of course. He no longer sleeps, and the unnatural insomnia has affected him, having to be awake constantly. He needs much less food than most men, having to eat only one meal a day… But he drinks five martinis a day, a habit he’s had for the past three centuries. Whether it affects him or not, I don’t know. The potion has also rendered him sterile, unable to ever sire children. Despite all this, he considers these drawbacks small prices to pay in order to cheat the Reaper.

“But the potion doesn’t truly make him immortal. It can’t last forever. Originally, he only had to take it every five years to keep from growing older. Now he must do so once a month. And the ingredients, which were rare to begin with, keep getting scarcer. Soon, he won’t be able to make it, his true age will catch up to him, and he’ll be ashes. His time is almost up, and the fear of his mortality is becoming more and more prevalent.

“He’s tried to find other ways to become immortal. To that end, he’s become a big figure in the European underworld. Recently, he’s become active in the world of Duel Monsters, forming a crime syndicate to achieve goals in that area.

“And he even faced your grandfather in one attempt.”

“My grandfather?” said Yumi, shocked.

Anastasia nodded.

“Shortly after the KaibaCorp Grand Prix,” she continued, “your great aunt Serenity’s eyesight began to fail. Your grandfather Joey panicked, thinking that the surgery that had restored it was becoming undone.

“From out of nowhere, Rasputin appeared, and claimed he had a formula that would restore it again. I know now that he had caused the deterioration in the first place. Likely with a poison that he had bribed some restaurant employee to put in her food.”

Yumi clenched her fists.

“Rasputin said he would only give up the formula if Yugi dueled him and wagered the three Egyptian God Cards against it. His goal was to find the secret of immortality from them. With no choice, Yugi agreed.

“The duel went slowly at first, with Rasputin only playing wall Monsters. Eventually, Yugi summoned Valkyrion, and destroyed one of his four defenses.

“Then Rasputin drew a key to his strategy – the same card that Kaiba had used to attempt to take Slifer from Yugi in Battle City.”

“I’ve heard of that card,” said Yumi. “Lullaby of Obedience. It lets you pay 1,000 Life Points to name a Monster that’s Level Eight or more, and if your opponent has it in his deck, you get to take it.”

“Yes,” said Anastasia. “Not only did he believe he would use it to win the duel, but to prove to everyone, himself included, that he could control a god, and thus prove his superiority over them.

“Rasputin carefully considered his options, as he always did. He knew that he probably wouldn’t be able to control Ra until he deciphered the Heretic Code on the card. Also, he realized that once he played that Spell Card, he’d have two cards left in his hand, so if he summoned Slifer, it wouldn’t be strong enough to defeat Valkyrion.

“So he played it and named Obelisk. Once he had it, he sacrificed his three Monsters to summon it.

“At that point, he realized that he might have made a grievous error. As much as he denied the significance of the gods, Obelisk’s power was incredible, and was straining even to his incredible will. He was clearly NOT a person that had been chosen to wield such power. Nonetheless, he mustered the strength to order an attack, and destroyed Valkyrion.

“But then Yugi activated his facedown Soul Rope, and Special Summoned Obnoxious Celtic Guardian. On his turn, he sacrificed him for Dark Magician Girl, and played the Sage’s Stone to summon Dark Magician. He placed a facedown card, and told Rasputin to make his move.

“The only clear thing at this point about Rasputin was that he wasn’t thinking clearly. In a mind full of fog, he thought it was a bluff – Traps didn’t work on God Cards, after all. So he ordered an attack on Dark Magician… And Yugi activated a Trap that he had never used before then. Covering Fire. It added Dark Magician Girl’s Attack Score to Dark Magician’s, for a total of 4,500, enough to destroy Obelisk. It took Rasputin totally by surprise.

“Rasputin couldn’t do anything else. He lost on Yugi’s next turn. Joey threatened to break his legs unless he honored his side of the bargain, so he had no choice. Rasputin has always been a coward when threatened by actual violence. Like I said, he fears dying, and his potion does not make him impervious to harm – only ageless.

“I give you a fair warning, Yumi… Ever since then, Rasputin has blamed Dark Magician Girl for losing that duel, and ruining his chance of obtaining the God Cards. He hates her. Of course, he’s only using her as a scapegoat. He had only himself to blame.”

Yumi paused.

“Why did your dad fire him?” she asked.

Anastasia paused.

“Like I said, he wasn’t just an employee,” she replied. “He was on the board of directors. And he held a lot of power in the company.

“I was certain that he was plotting to seize control of Industrial Illusions… But, heh, I was eight years old at the time, so if I could figure that out, dad likely could, right?

“Anyway, there was no danger of dad losing his position as president of Industrial Illusions. As Seto Kaiba would tell you, in business, the magic number is 51%. Own 51% of a company’s stock, and you own the company.

“My dad was always on the safe side. He kept his personal share of the company stock at over 75%, and if it ever went lower than that, he’d quickly move to correct it. Most of the other board members were loyal to him anyway…

“As to why Rasputin was fired…”

She shivered.

“Did your grandmother ever tell you about…” she said, nervously, “the temple? The one in his castle on Duelist Kingdom where he did… unholy rituals in shadow magic when he was wearing that awful Eye?”

Yumi shivered.

“Yeah…” she muttered. “She, Tristan, and Bakura caught him in the act by accident.”

“He showed it to me once,” muttered Anastasia. “He wanted to warn me never to succumb to evil like he did… A lot of good it did…

”After he lost his powers he kept meaning to have that place sealed up. But he kept procrastinating. In the meantime, he kept using the island as a resort and vacation spot, both for himself and his employees.

“Rasputin conned his way into a trip there just so he could break into that place and try to learn the secrets of Shadow Games. But dad’s security caught him in the act. Dad realized beyond a doubt that Rasputin was a dangerous man, and since trespassing in an off-limits area was grounds for dismissal, he fired him at once.

“Fortunately, it made him stop procrastinating, and seal up that awful temple for good.”



* * * * * * * * * *




(Sam: 8,000) -------------------- (Ascender: 8,000)


“I can’t believe you’re actually going though with this!” said the Ascender.

“Blah, blah, blah,” said Sam. “Let’s just get this over with…”

She drew her first card.

“I summon Gil Garth to the field,” she said.

She played the card, and the robotic, armored Fiend appeared, brandishing his scimitar. (1,800/1,000)



http://www.ideal808.com/images/le4_004.jpg


“Now let’s see what you’ve got.”

“Indeed…” said the Ascender.

He drew a card.

“I place a Monster in Defense Mode, and one card facedown,” he said.

Two facedown cards appeared, perpendicular to each other.

Standard opening move… thought Sam. Keeping your strategy secret…

She made a draw.

“I summon Archfiend Soldier,” she replied.

In a burst of black flames, a hideous demon with mauve skin and ram-like horns, wearing a flowing cloak and holding a nasty sword appeared.

It snarled, and glared at the Ascender… (1,900/1,500)



http://www.ideal808.com/images/dcr-057.jpg


“Archfiend Soldier…” she shouted. “Attack his facedown Monster! Sword of Perdition!”

The Soldier flew forward…

“I activate my Trap,” said the Ascender, as his Trap Card lifted. “A powerful Trap Card called Waboku. It reduces the damage me or any of my Monsters would have received this turn to zero…

“But… the battle still occurs, so it still flips up…”

Archfiend Soldier’s sword came down on the card, and an evil-looking treasure chest appeared on the card. The Soldier’s sword was blocked by a dome of shimmering energy. (100/1,000)



http://www.ideal808.com/images/sod-en0091.jpg


“It’s called a Dark Mimic LV 1,” said the Ascender. “And due to its effect, I get to draw one card.”

He made a draw.

Sam looked at her cards.

“I can’t do anything else,” she said. “Your move.”

“Then I draw…” he said, drawing a card. “And I activate my Dark Mimic’s effect, sacrificing its Level One form, for Dark Mimic LV 3, in Defense Mode.”

The chest grew, and became even more fiendish. (1,000/1,000)



http://www.ideal808.com/images/sod-en010_1u.jpg


“I’ll place one card facedown, and end my turn,” he said.

A new facedown card appeared.

Sam drew a new card.

If I destroy his new Dark Mimic, she thought, he’ll get to draw two more cards. But then again, I can’t just do nothing…

“Gil Garth, attack his Dark Mimic!” she shouted.

Gil Garth flew forward, and slashed at the chest with his blade, slicing it in half like it were made of rubber foam. The pieces melted into goo.

“Thank you…” said the Ascender, drawing twice.

“Archfiend Soldier, attack…” started Sam.

“I activate… Threatening Roar!” shouted the Ascender.

His facedown card lifted, and a bellowing roar sent the two Fiends cowering.

“Afraid you can’t attack me any more this turn,” he said.

Sam growled. This was getting frustrating…

“Then it’s your turn,” she said.

“Then I draw…” he said.

He drew a card.

“Now the real fun starts!” he said with a laugh.

“First, I play the Spell Card, Level Limit Area B,” he said, placing a card in his Disk. “This moves all Monsters that are Level Four or greater to Defense Mode.”

Gil Garth and Archfiend Soldier knelt in Defense Mode.

“Then I place… three cards facedown.”

He fit three cards into his Disk, and three facedown cards appeared.

“Next I play… Wave-Motion Cannon!”

He played the card, and a trapdoor on his side of the field opened. A large, fat cannon covered with tubes and gizmos rose out of it on a lift.

“When I decide to fire this, it will deal you 1,000 points of damage for every one of my Standby Phases that it was on the field.

“Next, a Monster in Defense Mode…”

He set a card, and a facedown Monster appeared.

“And finally…” he said, “the coup de grace…

“I sacrifice your two Monsters to summon the Lava Golem!”

Sam looked shocked as her two Monsters were consumed in fire…

And then, an iron cage formed around her, made only the more shocking by the fact that it was fastened around the neck of a gigantic, formless beast made of molten lava. (3,000/2,500)



http://www.ideal808.com/images/IOC-SE4.jpg


“Heh, heh…” said the Ascender. “Your move…”

Lovely… thought Sam. A Burn Deck…

Also known as The True Coward’s Deck…



* * * * * * * * * *


“So what does this all have to do with me, Anastasia?” asked Yumi.

She noticed that the Pharaoh was beside her, listening closely.

“Let me tell you another story, Yumi,” said Anastasia. “Five thousand years ago, there were a group of eight individuals known as the Sorcerer Kings. Of course, the word ‘King’ is sort of a misnomer, because a few of them were women.”

Yumi looked at the Pharaoh.

“Yes, I heard of them,” he said. “But all that was known about them is that they were powerful magicians.”

“Anyway,” said Anastasia, “the Sorcerer Kings had beliefs not unlike Rasputin’s, and believed that humans could obtain powers that only the gods could harness through mortal magic. And they tried to obtain it.

“Each of them had a… sympathetic object that was the key to their power. Collectively, these items are called the Shadow Charms. Only the Sorcerer Kings themselves could use them to their fullest potential, but in another’s hands they had powerful abilities.

“One day, all the Sorcerer Kings disappeared. The most popular theory is that they had challenged the gods for ultimate power, and failed, and that to this day are being punished in some divine prison.

“But over the ages, the Shadow Charms have shown up in the hands of others. Very rarely has anyone had more than one at one time. And it is said that if anyone collected all eight, he or she would have ultimate power… Godlike power.

“Rasputin wants that power. He’d truly be immortal. And he wouldn’t stop there. He’d be able to do pretty much whatever he wanted.

“But Yumi… The Shadow Charms could also be offered as a sacrifice to perform the ritual… The ritual that would restore the Pharaoh’s memories and let him leave this world!”

Yumi paused.

“Where are they?” she asked, anxiously.

“Here…” said Anastasia. “The original Archlords hid the Mandate on this island because it was a well of powerful magic. Eldritch magic seeps from the core of this island, as it does in other places around the globe… like Stonehenge, for example. Over the years, when owners of the Charms died or somehow got rid of them, they eventually all hid themselves on this island!

“They know that someone wants to claim them now… And they’ll show themselves when the time is right. You must find them before Rasputin does, because each Charm only recognizes one owner at a time.

“And if one of them is ever claimed… It can never be stolen or sold or even given away… It can only be won…

“Rasputin is already ahead of you. That talisman he won is a device that can locate the Shadow Charms once they make their presence known. Fortunately…

“I’m not too bad at locating them myself…”



Continued…

Dark Sage
7th May 2007, 05:19 AM
Continued from last post:



“You’re going to have to draw a card sooner or later!” laughed the Ascender.

Okay, let’s go over the situation… thought Sam.

I’ve got a Lava Golem on my side of the field, that’s gonna cost me 1,000 Life Points per turn… I can’t attack with it due to his Level Limit card, and even if I could, I have a feeling one of his other Traps would make that a bad idea.

He has Wave-Motion Cannon on his side of the field, which will get more dangerous with each of his turns.

My answer…

She quickly drew a card.

Bring it on.

She cringed as the cage around her glowed red-hot.



(S: 7,000) -------------------- (A: 8,000)


“I activate Mask of Restrict!” shouted the Ascender, as a Trap Card lifted. “Now that Golem is staying there.”

Sam growled.

Typical… she thought.

“I play my Graceful Charity Spell Card,” she said, holding the card up.

“Now I draw three times…”

She made three draws.

She gave an evil grin…

She discarded Pot of Avarice and Kuriboh.

“I’ll place this facedown…” she said, “and that will be all…”

A facedown card appeared.

The Ascender drew a card. The Wave-Motion Cannon glowed with energy.

“I flip my facedown Monster into Attack Mode,” he said. “Reveal… Des Koala!”

A large koala appeared, ready to pounce. (1,100/1,800)



http://www.ideal808.com/images/mfc-077.jpg


“Now you lose 400 Life Points for each card in your hand. And I see six!”

Sam shrieked as she was struck by six bolts of lightning.



(S: 4,600) -------------------- (A: 8,000)


“Won’t be long now…” he said. “I set a new Monster in Defense Mode, and end my turn.”

A new facedown Monster appeared.

Sam drew a card. She cringed again.

“I activate my facedown card,” she shouted. “Dust Tornado! Say bye-bye to your Wave-Motion Cannon!”

Her facedown card lifted.

“No,” said the Ascender. “I activate Solemn Judgment.”

One of his facedown cards lifted.

“It costs me half my Life Points, but your Trap is negated.”

Sam’s Trap shattered.



(S: 3,600) -------------------- (A: 4,000)


Then Sam burst out laughing.

“What?” asked the Ascender. “What’s so funny?”

“I knew you’d do that,” she said with a wicked smile. “Cowards like you who play Burn Decks think your opponents will never reach you, so what difference does it make if you cut your Life Points in half?”

“Shut up!” shouted the Ascender. “I am by no means a coward!”

“Yes you are!” snapped Sam. “You’re afraid to actually attack, hiding behind Spells and Traps, and letting them do your opponent in. You’re afraid to take risks, and God forbid ever take an attack.

“But you’re going to have to face it now, because I knew you had Solemn Judgment set, and that Dust Tornado was only a decoy to fool you into wasting it. Since I’m almost certain that your last facedown card is either Magic Cylinder or Dimension Wall, you’re now helpless to stop me from playing this…

“Heavy Storm!”

She played the card, and the Ascender watched in horror as the wind tore across the field and almost every part of his strategy – Wave-Motion Cannon, Level Limit Area B, Mask of Restrict, and Magic Cylinder (because that indeed was what it was) – was blown to pieces.

“How in the world…” he gasped. “You… you couldn’t have…”

“You snooze, you lose,” said Sam. “And I’m just starting. Now let’s get rid of this overgrown, ugly excuse for a Fiend. I sacrifice it for Lesser Fiend.”

She played the card, and in a swirl of red energy, Lava Golem vanished, and was replaced by a hulking, pale-skinned demon with four-arms. It growled and clenched its four fists. (2,100/1,000)



http://www.ideal808.com/images/lod-003.jpg


“No…” moaned the Ascender.

“I really don’t know why he’s called a ‘lesser’ Fiend,” said Sam. “He looks pretty tough to me.

“But even so, he’s not staying. Next I play the Spell Card… Metamorphosis. Now I can sacrifice my Lesser Fiend to summon a Monster from my Fusion Deck who’s the same Level. And I think I’ll summon my Fiend Skull Dragon.”

Lesser Fiend vanished in a burst of energy, and a ferocious Dragon appeared. It stood upright, also had four arms, and huge, leathery wings. (2,000/1,200)



http://www.ideal808.com/images/lod-039.jpg


“Technically, he isn’t a Fiend,” said Sam. “But he’s close. Fiend Skull Dragon, attack his facedown Monster! Vile wind!”

Fiend Skull Dragon breathed forth a blast of black smoke. Another Des Koala appeared on the card and let out a loud shriek. It shattered into bits.

“Ha!” laughed the Ascender. “Now you’re gonna get it…”

“Hmm…” said Sam, shaking her head. “I don’t seem to have lost any Life Points. Wonder why?

“Oh, I know why… Fiend Skull Dragon negates the flip-effects of any Monster he destroys.

“Now I’ll place one card facedown…”

A facedown card appeared behind Fiend Skull Dragon.

“I’m done with my turn, so I’ll turn it back to you.”

The Ascender’s hand shook as he drew.



* * * * * * * * * *


Yumi slipped her Duel Disk on her arm.

“The League of Ascension…” she muttered. “I get it… As in ascend to a higher state, as in equal to the gods. This is Battle City all over again…

“What about those two teenagers with him? Nicholas and Olga?”

Anastasia shook her head.

“Those two are a mystery,” she said. “He is their legal guardian, but I’m not sure what their purpose is. The best guess is, he adopted them because he wanted heirs because he can’t sire children of his own. But since his goal is to live forever, it doesn’t make much sense. Perhaps he’s promised them something when he gets ultimate power. At any rate, they’re his chief henchmen, acting as his eyes and ears when he can’t. And both of them are top-rate duelists.”

Yumi sighed.

“I guess this isn’t as bad as a demon trying to invade the Earth…”she said. “But I’ll try my hardest… I’ll get these Shadow Charms. And I’m sure Ren and Chelsea will help too…

“Although frankly, I don’t know how I’m gonna explain this to them. Can you show yourself to them?”

Anastasia shook her head.

“In this reality, humans normally can’t see angels,” she said. “If it weren’t for this special case, you wouldn’t have seen me until you died and I had to lead you to the afterlife. I might be able to show myself to them eventually… It’s hard to say.”

“Well, I’ll think of something…” said Yumi.



* * * * * * * * * *


The Ascender looked at the card he had drawn.

Another Lava Golem. All he needed was another good Trap Card and for her to summon another Monster, and he could still win.

“I shift my first Des Koala into Defense Mode…” he said.

Des Koala shielded itself in defense.

“Then I place a card facedown.”

He placed his other card in his Disk, and another facedown card appeared.

“That’s all for now.”

Sam made a draw.

“I activate my facedown card!” shouted the Ascender. “Secret Barrel!”

His Trap lifted, and another trapdoor opened in the ground. A large cannon rose out of it.

“This weapon blasts you for 200 points for every card on your side of the field and in your hand – I see six total.”

The cannon blasted a beam of energy, and Sam screamed as it hit her.



(S: 2,400) -------------------- (A: 4,000)


“You just made me mad…” she said, taking a card from her hand.

“I play Confiscation! I give up 1,000 Life Points, and you give up the last card in your hand.”

The Ascender gasped as the Lava Golem in his hand vanished.

“Another Lava Golem?” asked Sam. “Good…

“Now I activate… Call of the Haunted.”

Her facedown card lifted, and a stone coffin rose out of the ground. It opened, and Archfiend Soldier stepped out of it. (1,900/1,500)

“Send that Des Koala back to Australia!” shouted Sam. “Sword of Perdition!”

Archfiend Soldier roared in rage. He made one swipe with his blade, and Des Koala shattered into pixels.

“Fiend Skull Dragon…”

“No! Don’t!” screamed the Ascender.

“Attack directly!” yelled Sam.

The Dragon breathed forth its foul breath, and the Ascender screamed, falling to his knees.

“Just as I thought…” said Sam. “You really don’t like being hurt, don’t you? Get used to it.

“I’ll place a card facedown, and that ends my turn… Do your worst.”

She fit a card into her Disk, and a facedown card appeared.



(S: 1,400) -------------------- (A: 2,000)


The Ascender sweat heavily as he drew a card.

“All right…” he muttered. “I play… Pot of Greed.”

He played the card, and the evil jar appeared. He drew twice.

His eyes lit up…

Looks like Lady Luck is smiling on me! he thought. I just drew Ring of Destruction and Barrel Behind the Door!

I simply have to set both, and as soon as she draws… Boom… Her Monster explodes, she loses 2,000 Life Points, and my second Trap redirects the damage I would have taken to her…

I’ve won!

He fit the two cards into his Disk, and two facedown cards appeared.

He glared at Sam.

Sam drew a card…

“I activate Ring of Destruction!” he shouted.

His Trap Card lifted.

The familiar ring of grenades appeared around Fiend Skull Dragon’s neck.

Sam was about to trigger her Trap…

Then she stopped.

Why bother? she thought.

Fiend Skull Dragon wasn’t impressed. It simply tore the Ring off and tossed the pieces aside.

“WHAT?” shouted the Ascender. “HOW?”

“I didn’t mention his other effect,” said Sam. “Trap Cards that target… They don’t work on him.”

The Ascender’s eyes widened in fear…

“I have a pretty good idea what that other Trap is,” said Sam, “so…

“Fiend Skull Dragon, attack him directly!”

The Ascender screamed again, as the vile wind tore into him.



(S: 1,400) -------------------- (A: 0)


The Monsters vanished. Sam walked up to him as she looked at her Badge.

“Thanks for helping me reach Violet, by the way,” she said.

“You lucked out…” he sneered. “I’d have won if I had used it on your Archfiend Soldier.”

Sam paused, and then took the card out of her Spell/Trap Zone and looked at it.

Seven Tools of the Bandit.

She smirked.

“Yep, I lucked out,” she said with a shrug. “But since I did, you lost. And we had a deal, remember?”

There was loud WHACK! followed by a scream as Sam’s foot hit her target squarely, and the Ascender fell to his knees, wincing in pain. Sam started to walk away.

“Sam! Sam!” shouted Erik’s voice.

Erik ran up.

“What happened?” he said, panting for breath.

“We have to find Yumi…” said Sam. “And then we gotta call my mom. As various characters in Star Wars have said, I’ve got a bad feeling about this.”

When they were out of sight, the Ascender pulled a cell phone out of his cloak and hit the speed dial.

“Boss?” he moaned, talking into it. “Things didn’t quite go as planned…”

In his penthouse suite, Rasputin listened. He scowled.

Then he hung up.

“I should have known better than to send that guy to deal with Arachne’s kid…” he said. “He’s the stupidest duelist I have…

“Better call someone more competent…”

He looked at a list on his computer, one that came from his flash drive.

“For this job, I need someone who’s relentless, and vicious… one who will ignore any pleas for mercy and not listen to any bribes. One who won’t be sidetracked by penny-ante wagers…

“I need…”

He looked at one name.

“…her… The one who is as relentless as the Field Spell she commands…”

He dialed a number.

“Holly?” he said, when it was answered. “Listen closely. I have a very important job and it can’t be botched…

“Succeed, and you’ll get a bonus. And you’ll be allowed to keep one of the Charms until we get all of them…”

He chuckled as the one on the other end replied.

“Yes, thought you’d like that…”



* * * * * * * * * *


Yumi walked down to the lobby of the hotel, and saw Chelsea and Ren waiting. Ren was playing a tune on the guitar that was beautiful, but rather empty. He could play music, but when it came to composing it, he had yet to really find his inspiration.

“Hey, Yumi,” said Chelsea. “What’s new?”

Yumi looked over her shoulder and saw Anastasia standing there.

“Lots…” she said. “This is gonna be hard to explain guys, but…”

At that moment, Sam marched into the lobby, an angry look on her face.

“May I help you?” asked the doorman.

“NO!” shouted Sam, rudely, as she strode up to Yumi.

She stared her rival in the face, and held up the letter.

“I had to face a Lava Golem to get this to you…” she said with a growl, “so please never say I don’t do you any favors… I don’t know what trouble is about to start on this island, but I’m pretty sure it’s all your fault.”

Yumi took the letter and looked at it. She broke the seal with her finger, and slowly opened it.

She read the handwritten letter.


Dear Princess of Games,

By now, someone should have contacted you about what your goal is. My interference must be small, and infrequent, but I will help when I can.

I know where you can find a Shadow Charm that has revealed itself, but its power is so great, that only an attempt to locate it specifically will find it. Thus, Rasputin’s talisman did not alert him, and whatever force is helping you likely could not either. But my ally and I were smarter.

Go to the beach where the barbecue pit with the mural of Battle Steer is. An old chest lies half buried in the sand next to the building. Open it, and you will find the Crown of Souls.

Be careful. Rasputin will stop at nothing to get it before you do. And if you must fight for it… May the powers of Good stand beside you.

Sincerely,

Maria


“The Crown of Souls…” muttered Anastasia. “The Charm crafted by Machius the Wise, the noblest of the Sorcerer Kings. What it does isn’t known, but its power is said to be great…”

Yumi paused.

“Guys, come on!” she shouted. “We gotta find this Crown!”

Ren and Chelsea looked at each other with a confused look. Then they followed Yumi as she ran out of the hotel.

Sam put her hand on her hip.

“Hey you guys!” she shouted. “Wait for us! No way you’re leaving us out of this!”

She grabbed Erik’s arm and ran after them.

They didn’t know that another figure in a cloak was watching them…



* * * * * * * * * *


The five teenagers ran down the beach, where several guests who weren’t in the dueling mood at the moment were sunning themselves.

“You gonna tell us what this is all about, Yumi?” asked Chelsea. “If I knew we were going to go to the beach, I would have brought my swimsuit.”

“No time to swim,” said Yumi. “Let’s just say that things just got more complicated.”

The barbecue pit they were looking for came into view. It wasn’t open, seeing as no-one bought chicken and ribs at nine in the morning, so they could look without any distractions.

“Spread out…” said Yumi. “Look for a chest…”

Everyone started to circle the stand.

“Found it!” shouted Ren.

They all ran to where he was, and saw an old wooden chest half-buried in the sand.

“Gimme a hand, Ren…” said Yumi, gripping it.

They both pulled, and yanked it free from the sand.

They saw that it was closed with a rusty padlock.

Yumi looked around.

Her eyes fell on a crowbar on the ground.

“How lucky can you get?” she said with a laugh, as she picked it up.

She jammed the crowbar between the lock and the lock’s bar, and with one heave, it snapped.

Yumi dropped the crowbar and was about to open the chest…

“Yumi, watch out!” shouted Erik.

Fortunately, Erik had been watching in case some hidden guardian of the chest showed up. And he saw the cloaked figure just as it lunged for Yumi.

But the figure was fast. It tackled Yumi to the ground.

“Thanks for finding the Crown,” it said, in a female voice. “I’ll take it from here!”

“Another one of those League of Ascension goons?” said Sam. “Guess they’re equal opportunity employers.”

“Get off of her!” shouted Ren.

The Ascender took a small flask out of her cloak, and hurled it, sending up a cloud of green smoke. Everyone except her and Yumi started coughing.

The Ascender proceeded to try to pin Yumi… Only to get a fist in the face. Yumi forced her off of her, and the two struggled.

“You can have it over my dead body…” sneered Yumi through her teeth.

“Okay…” said the Ascender, angrily. “I can arrange that…”

The sky started to darken… clouds started to gather…

“No…” screamed Anastasia. “Not this!”

Lightning flashed…

Yumi and the Ascender slowly let go of each other…

They stared at each other in silence…

The chest opened, and the artifact rose out. It was a golden crown, the golden band made to look like the wearer would be wearing two golden snakes. The snakes’ mouths met in the front, where a single ruby was set.

The Crown of Souls started to glow as darkness covered the beach…

“It’s started…” muttered Anastasia. “Only one thing can happen now…

“Good luck, Yumi…”


To be continued…



Ren: What’s happening? Who turned off the sun?

Chelsea: Look at Yumi… She isn’t blinking… Something’s happened to her…

Sam: What the devil is going on? What is this place?

Anastasia: The Shadow Charm has no owner yet, and when that is the case, fighting over it can only mean one thing…

Coming up next, “Yami no Oujou! Yumi’s Challenge”.

Heaven help us…

Mystic_clown
7th May 2007, 06:59 AM
For starters, let me just say, I'm kinda pissed about you refering to the Burn deck as a cowards deck. I play one -_-

Now that that's out of the way, I would have liked to see Samantha get here butt kicked. Something about her just irritates me.

Shadow Charms eh? another reference to GX. I'm curious as to what this field card Rasputin refered to is.

jkBAKURA
7th May 2007, 12:46 PM
There's no way I can go into detail without crossing the lines of general politeness.

I've decided to drop out as a reader and discontinue my reviews. After this chapter, I find no reason to continue to the conclusion.

This decision is not because of the disclaimer last chapter, nor any moral issues present.

I want to make this clear that I do NOT consider this a "bad" fic.

It's just one that I no longer have an interest in.

I wish you luck, I'm sure the finished fic will be very well recieved by others, but you're just going to finish this one wothout me.

I'm sorry Dark Sage,

Regrettfully, JKB

Shuppet Master
7th May 2007, 01:08 PM
Actually, the Shadow Charms thing was based on another cartoon which I won't tell you about because I'm sure Brian wants to tell you later. ;)

And seeing Sam get her butt kicked is fine as long as there is no wager - remember that Sam wagered the loser getting punished by the loser, and let's just be glad Sam didn't lose that duel.

So the first Shadow Game begins. This is going to be intense.

Hinoryu
7th May 2007, 05:21 PM
Just a bit of pickiness, you called Yuugi Yumi at some point in Anastasia's story.

Beyond that... Well, I share Rasputin's views for the most part there, so he should be interesting.

Sam is not fond of burn decks, I see. While I'm not fond of them myself, I do see the benefit of using them. I wouldn't go so far as to call them a coward's deck like she did, but.

Next chapter... Yami no Oujou. 闇の往生 or 闇の王城... Submission of Darkness or Royal Castle of Darkness. Judging from the mentioned field spell, I'll assume the latter.

I look foward to the next chapter.

Neo Arkadia
7th May 2007, 07:46 PM
Chapter felt a little thin and a bit slow, but that might be from me trying to do a lot of stuff at once when I was reading it. Anastasia appears again, apparently this time in a minor advisory role for this fic.

And with the dinner that is the exposition of Rasputin and his master plan (I knew it was going to involve item collecting.), we get a little show in the form of Sam's Legacy of Darkness themed Fiend deck VS the Ascender's generic dime a dozen burn deck (Reminded me of Camel Control myself).

Though, the end of the chapter has me wanting to scream "GON YI TEMPAI!" for some reason.

And I think what Shuppet and Sage are refrencing with the Crown of Souls. But not saying as to be polite.

Oakbark
8th May 2007, 07:59 AM
Hey, nice chapter, for the first time i'm actively awaiting another chapter, there's a reason to read on!

I'm not sure why jkBakura would up and leave without saying why - if the story is missing something - say what! Dark Sage would (i'm sure) be more than happy to hear your thoughts. After all, he wants a good reader as much as you want a good story.

More of the same please, DS, i want to see wall to wall action. If the pace slacks off and we go back to Yumi wins a fight - Ren wins a fight - Chelsea wins a fight in sequence, i might be tempted to join JKBakura. This chapter is making me want to see more - don't dissappoint please!!!

Damien.

Dark Sage
8th May 2007, 11:14 AM
Oakbark,

jkBakura spoke to me, and his reasons for leaving I will not divulge. I do not agree with them, and I will not be dealing with him any more.

And as for your own concerns... While many chapters will deal with Yumi, Ren, and Chelsea, there will be other, special chapters dealing with Sam, Erik, and some additional characters. Even the villains will be given chapters of their own at times. Most of the chapters will have duels, but I'll try to keep it exciting, and make each one unique.

- DS

Dark Sage
12th May 2007, 04:19 PM
I know it's a little early. But since I left on a cliffhanger last time, I thought I'd post this turning-point chapter now, rather than 3AM in the morning.

Get a soda, because this is the longest chapter of this fic yet.




CHAPTER THIRTEEN



Yami no Oujou!



Yumi’s Challenge



Duelatopia…

In the City of a Thousand Wonders, action was happening all over the place. Monsters were at battle in dozens of locations.

In the middle of the Restaurant District, a boy with slick, black hair and a jean jacket was dueling a younger boy with brown hair and more fashionable clothes. The boy in the jean jacket had 1,700 Life Points remaining and Armed Dragon LV 5 (2,400/1,700) on his side. The other boy had 3,500 Life Points remaining and had Soul Tiger in Defense Mode (0/2,100) and Berserk Gorilla (2,000/1,000) in Attack Mode.

“Your Trap Card may have gotten you out of that last attack,” said the boy with the Dragon, “but next turn will be different. Make your move.”

“Well, let’s see here…” said the other boy, drawing and adjusting his glasses.

“All right! I sacrifice Soul Tiger and Berserk Gorilla to summon Big Koala!”

The two Beasts vanished, and a huge koala appeared, towering over the Dragon. (2,700/2,000)

“Get that Dragon!” he ordered. “Take down from down under!”

Big Koala charged on all fours, and tackled Armed Dragon, blowing it away. The first boy cringed as his Life Points fell to 1,400.

“I’m not done yet…” he said, drawing a card.

“I play… Pot of Greed…”

He made two draws.

“Perfect,” he said. “I play Level Modulation. First, I get to be generous. You get to draw two cards.”

His opponent made two draws.

“Then I get to summon my Dragon back from the Graveyard.”

Armed Dragon LV 5 appeared again.

“And I’m not done. Next I play… Level Up! This lets me instantly evolve him into Armed Dragon LV 7.”

In a flash of light, the Dragon transformed into an even bigger, nastier one. (2,800/1,000)

“Now I activate his ability…” he continued. “I’ll toss Invader of Darkness from my hand, and since it has 2,900 Attack Points, my Dragon can wipe out your big teddy bear.”

He discarded the card. Armed Dragon shot out a blast of energy disks, eradicating Big Koala.

“Now, attack directly!”

His opponent was thrown from his feet as the huge claw crashed down.

The duelist slowly got up as his Life Points fell to 700.

“All right, my move…” he muttered, drawing a card. “And koalas aren’t bears, for your information…”

He smiled when he saw what it was.

“Thanks for the two free cards,” he said, playing a Spell Card. “I play Silent Doom. Now I can summon one Normal Monster from my Graveyard in Defense Mode. Guess who it is.”

Big Koala appeared, crouching in Defense.

“Now I play… Polymerization. I’ll fuse Big Koala with Des Kangaroo to summon the Master of Oz!”

A short, scrappy kangaroo appeared on the field. Then the two Monsters swirled together…

…forming a titan even bigger than the Dragon. It was a huge koala with green fur, wearing boxing gloves, a purple jacket, and red sneakers. (4,200/3,700)

“WAIT a minute!” shouted his opponent.

“Attack!” shouted the duelist. “Ayer’s rock uppercut!”

Master of Oz clobbered the Dragon, blasting it and its owner’s Life Points to nothing…



* * * * * * * * * *


Outside the Museum of Natural History, Heck had finally gotten the courage to make another challenge.

Right now, he had 2,200 Life Points remaining, and had VW-Tiger Catapult (2,000/2,100) on his side of the field. Unfortunately, he couldn’t attack with it. His opponent, who had 2,400 Life Points remaining, had a Continuous Spell Card called “A” Cell Breeding Device on his side of the field, which let him put an A-Counter on one Monster each turn. He also had a Monster called an Alien Psychic that prevented Monsters with A-Counters from attacking. (200/100)

His opponent drew a card.

“I use my Breeding Device…” he said, “to give your Catapult a second A-Counter…”

A hideous slug flew forward, and attached itself to VW.

“Then, I sacrifice Alien Psychic….”

Alien Psychic vanished…

“To summon Alien Mother!”

In an explosion of energy, a hideous creature appeared on his side of the field. It (she?) was reptilian, with an armored carapace, four arms, and razor-sharp claws, teeth, and talons. (2,300/1,500)

“Well that ain’t pretty…” said Heck. “And that ain’t ugly… That is pretty ugly!”

“Make jokes if you want…” said his opponent. “But when an Alien battles a Monster with A-Counters, that Monster loses 300 Attack Points for each one.

“Alien Mother… Attack his Tiger Catapult! Bite from beyond!”

Alien Mother rushed the Machine, grabbed it, and sank its teeth into its armor. The Machine sparked and exploded.

Heck shielded himself as his Life Points fell to 1,300.

“However,” he continued, “since your Machine can’t be summoned from the Graveyard, I can’t use Alien Mother’s effect.”

“Your move… You lose next turn, unless you can do something with two cards.”

Heck drew a card.

“Ah play Pot of Greed,” he said. “So now ah have three.”

He made two draws.

“Heh, heh…” he said.

He played a Spell Card.

“Ah play… Different Dimension Hangar!

“Here’s how it works. Ah get to remove up to three Union Monsters in my deck from play…”

He looked through his deck and chose two cards.

“And ah’m gonna do that with Y-Dragon Head, and Z-Metal Tank. Next, ah summon X-Head Cannon…”

He played the card, and the blue, cannon-toting Machine appeared. (1,800/1,500)

“Now, since the two Union Monsters ah just removed from play are ones that can be Equipped to X-Head Cannon,” he continued, “my Spell Card lets me summon them to the field…”

A glowing portal opened in mid-air, and Y-Dragon Head flew out (1,500/1,600), followed by Z-Metal Tank (1,500/1,300).

“Now… Combine…”

The three Machines merged, changing shape, and the XYZ-Dragon Cannon loomed over the field. (2,800/2,600)

His opponent gulped.

Heck discarded his last card, and Alien Mother screamed before it was atomized.

“Attack directly!” shouted Heck. “De-fission blasters!”

The Machine opened fire. Heck’s opponent was thrown back by the impact as his Life Points hit zero.

As the holograms vanished, Heck looked at his badge, which had been restored to Orange.

“Okey-dokey…” he said.



* * * * * * * * * *


On the beach not far from the barbecue pit where Yumi and her group had been (but strangely, were not right now), Felicia was in a tough spot.

She had her Super War Lion (2,300/2,100) on the field, but only 800 Life Points left.

Her opponent had Neo Aqua Madoor on the field in Defense Mode (1,200/3,000), and a strange device that was the result of a dangerous Continuous Trap: Type Zero Magic Crusher. He had 2,000 Life Points remaining.

“My move!” he said, drawing a card.

He grinned.

“And I discard my Gather Your Mind to activate the effect of my Magic Crusher!”

He discarded the card. The Type Zero Magic Crusher glowed. It shot a blast of energy at Felicia, and she winced in pain as it hit her. Her Life Points fell to 300.

“All I need to do is draw one more Spell Card on my next turn, and this duel is mine,” he said.

“Not if I can help it,” she said, drawing a card.

She smiled.

“I summon Rescue Cat.”

She played the card, and the sweet-looking kitten appeared. (300/100)

“Now I activate her effect. By sending her to the Graveyard, I can Special Summon two Beasts that are Level Three or less. Go, cutie!”

Rescue Cat burrowed into the sand, and The All-Seeing White Tiger (1,300/500) and Catnipped Kitty (0/500) appeared.

“And what are they gonna do?” asked her opponent with a laugh.

“Take down your defense,” answered Felicia.

“I’d like to see them try it,” he replied.

“Do you know what Catnipped Kitty can do?” asked Felicia. “Once per turn, she can reduce the Defense Score of one Monster to zero.”

Catnipped Kitty meowed, and blew a kiss to Neo Aqua Madoor. He blushed, and fell to (1,200/0).

“All-Seeing White Tiger… attack!” shouted Felicia.

The Tiger pounced, and Neo Aqua Madoor shattered into shards of ice.

“Super War Lion, attack directly!”

The lion pounced, and the duelist screamed as it tackled him.

Felicia grinned as she looked at his prone foe.

“Mmm…” she said, looking at her badge. “Felicia Summers is back on the prowl…”



* * * * * * * * * *


Cassandra sat at her table, shuffling the Tarot deck. (Cassandra never slept for a full eight hours at a time. She had learned how to divide her sleep pattern into short naps that she took frequently, and was thus able to get an ample amount of rest and still be active almost any time. She was willing to teach others how to do this “trick”, but it was hard.)

The deck she was shuffling now had a full seventy-eight cards. She needed more insight this time.

She took a card and placed it on the table.

The High Priestess. The card that represented Yumi.

She slowly drew another card. It was a simple picture of an arm coming out of a cloud, holding a large sword.

“The Ace of Swords…” she said. “Yumi’s mind is awakening to new challenges, as it should be. One cannot stay rooted in old habits with what is about to occur.

“I sense that the first one is starting and that Yumi is involved. The next card should show me the most likely outcome…”

She drew a card, and looked at it…



* * * * * * * * * *


Where were Yumi and her friends?

Yumi was staring down the Ascender, and they were standing on a grim parody of the pleasant beach. The beach they were now on was rocky, covered with grey sand, with angry waves crashing into the shore. Overhead, angry black clouds were overcast. Not a trace of Duelatopia was in sight.

Ren, Chelsea, Sam, and Erik watched in fear from a nearby rock…

Then they noticed Anastasia standing by them, with a look of worry on her face.

“You!” shouted Ren. “Who are you? Did you bring us here? Where are we? What is this?”

Anastasia looked surprised.

“You can see me?” she asked.

They nodded.

“Well, I’ll let Yumi tell you if she survives…” she muttered.

“If she survives?” shouted Chelsea. “Where are we? What’s happening?”

“I’ll… try to explain…” said Anastasia. “We’re most likely in the Sorcerer Kings’ domain. Another dimension of sorts. Where exactly, I don’t know. And as for what’s about to happen, it’s what has happened in history whenever two warriors have reached a stalemate over a Shadow Charm that had no owner…

“This is called the Yami no Oujou… One of the deadliest types of Shadow Games…

“In ages past, these contests would consist of battles of swords and incantations. But since both of them are duelists, the rules have adjusted, and Duel Monsters will suffice…”

“Then if Yumi loses, she loses her soul?” asked Ren.

Anastasia shook her head.

“It’s simpler,” said Anastasia. “The term ‘Yami no Oujou’ can be translated to ‘Death of Darkness’. Maybe a more appropriate description of this is death from darkness. This game is played for keeps. Whoever loses… well, the loser usually dies…”

The four youths shuddered.

“Couldn’t one of them just forfeit?” asked Chelsea.

“It won’t happen…” replied Anastasia. “That has never happened once in the history of these particular Shadow Games. Some people think that the atmosphere affects the mind, and makes both combatants unwilling to surrender. Every time an ally has begged someone to simply give the Charm to his opponent, he’s found his pleas completely ignored…”

“Yumi!” screamed Sam. “You’d better live through this! I haven’t gotten a chance to beat you yet!”

Yumi either didn’t hear her rival or didn’t care.

“Yumi…” said the voice of the Pharaoh, “you realize we’re in this deep…”

“Mmm…” she replied. “Any idea who’s running this?”

“I have no idea,” he responded. “Whatever beings are in charge, their power is far beyond anything I’ve ever encountered. Even Zork pales in comparison. Perhaps the rumors of the Sorcerer Kings’ demise were blown out of proportion.”

Yumi finally spoke to her opponent.

“You work for Rasputin don’t you?” she asked. “So who are you?”

The Ascender lowered her hood, revealing an olive complexion and flowing, red hair.

“You may call me Holly,” she said. “I was once the national champion of Greece, before I lost that title. I found that becoming a duelist assassin paid more than tournaments.

“As for who my boss is, I won’t confirm or deny anything. All I’ll say is, he’ll pay a great deal once he learns that I’ve done away with you. I’m gonna bury you at sea!”

“Don’t count on it…” said Yumi.

Then a powerful voice spoke out of the clouds.

”Yumi, Holly,” it said. ”Listen closely. A battle of Duel Monsters will suffice, but to make it more challenging, a house rule is being added.”

“House rule?” said Erik. “He can do that?”

“These beings are not bound by any rules set by Industrial Illusions,” said Anastasia. “They can basically do whatever they want.”

”Here is the rule,” said the being. ”I call it Danger Zone, because the arena will have an abundance of Trap Cards, and we all know how dangerous they can be.

“It works as follows: Every time each of you end your turns, a Trap Card, chosen at random, will be placed on your side of the field, provided you have room for one. The Trap could be almost any one that you’d find useful. I assure you, you won’t get something that you’d find completely worthless. Backfire, for example, is only a possibility if you have at least one Fire Monster.

“The only two Traps that are not allowed in this duel are Royal Decree and Chain Burst. If either of you have one of them in your decks, I guarantee you’ll never draw it. Jinzo is forbidden as well. No card that permanently nullifies or limits the ability to use Traps now exists in your decks if you had any to begin with. One-use cards that counter other Traps, like Seven Tools of the Bandit, are still legit.

“One more thing. Whenever one of these special Traps leaves the field in any way, they are, in a sense, removed from play. Thus, you cannot recover them with Mask of Darkness or something similar. However, if it is a Trap that must be destroyed to activate, it still counts as being sent to the Graveyard if it is destroyed.

“Now begin. Honor goes to Holly.”

The two Disks activated.

“He’s giving the first turn to Holly?” shouted Ren. “Just like that? No fair!”

“I’m afraid that in a Yami no Oujou,” said Anastasia, “the decision of the official is final.”



(Yumi: 8,000) -------------------- (Holly: 8,000)


“Game on!” shouted both the duelists.

Holly made her first draw.

“Let’s see now, what first…” she said, looking over her hand. “Think I’ll summon my Giant Red Seasnake.”

She played the card, and in a burst of energy, a giant, eel-like serpent appeared, with sharp teeth and red scales. It hovered in the air in front of Holly, and hissed menacingly. (1,800/800)



http://www.ideal808.com/images/tp4_007.jpg


“Next, I’ll place one card facedown.”

She fit a card into her Disk, and a facedown card appeared.

“That will do for now. I end my turn.”

With a shimmer of light, another facedown card appeared on her side of the field. But instead of the usual color, it was solid gold.

“Interesting…” she said with a smile.

“Lovely…” muttered Sam.

“What?” asked Ren.

“Giant Red Seasnake…” replied Sam. “Sure, it isn’t very special in terms of stats, but that card is incredibly rare. It was made back when Level Four beatsticks were rare and expensive, and unlike most, it was never reprinted as a more common version. So even today, that one is still rare and expensive.

“Holly could well have more rare and powerful cards than she knows what to do with…”

“All right, Holly…” said Yumi. “I draw!”

She drew a card.

“And I will too, thanks to the nice Trap I was just given,” said Holly.

The Trap Card lifted, and an image similar to the Pot of Greed, but red and more spherical, appeared.

“Jar of Greed,” she said, making a draw. “Now I get one card.”

“But you lose one Monster,” replied Yumi. “I summon Skilled Dark Magician.”

She played the card, and the black-robed mage appeared. (1,900/1,700)



http://www.ideal808.com/images/mfc-0651.jpg


Then the Spellcaster turned towards her. Yumi was startled as she heard him speak.

“Fear not, Yumi,” he said. “I and the rest of your companions will aid you in this dangerous game.”

“You can talk?” whispered Yumi.

“In this realm we can all reach our full potential,” he replied.

“Okay then!” she shouted. “Turn that eel into unagi! Black magic blast!”

“With pleasure,” he replied.

He fired a burst of black magic, and the Giant Red Seasnake exploded.



(Y: 8,000) -------------------- (H: 7,900)


“That will be my turn,” said Yumi.

One of the golden Traps appeared on her side.

Hmmm… thought Yumi. Now how does this one work again? Not many duelists use it…

Oh yeah…

Holly drew a card.

“Well what do you know?” she said, showing Yumi the card. “I just drew Warrior of Atlantis.

“But don’t worry, I don’t intend to summon him…”

She slipped the card into her Graveyard slot.

“See, by sending him to the grave, I get to take a certain Spell Card from my deck.”

She took her deck and looked through it, choosing a card.

Her Field Slot opened.

“And now I’ll use it,” she said. “Time to swamp this beach. I play… A Legendary Ocean!”

A huge tidal wave appeared behind her. Yumi braced herself, as it crashed into the beach…

Before she knew it, they were both knee-deep in sea-water, and a beautiful sea palace had appeared behind Holly.

“A Water Deck…” said Anastasia. “Challenging… if used right…”

“Nice, isn’t it?” asked Holly. “And in this place, all Water Monsters gain 200 points, for both attacking and defending.

“It also downgrades their Levels by one, letting me summon a Level Five Monster with no sacrifice…

“Like this one… the Orca Mega-Fortress of Darkness!”

As she placed the card on her Disk, and bubbles appeared in front of her…

And then a huge creature broke surface.

Everyone here had seen killer whales before. Environmentalists were glad to say that, in recent years, they had grown much more numerous, and were taken off the endangered list a decade ago. However, this one was much different than any they had seen. It was much bigger than the typical specimen, and most killer whales didn’t have cannons, turrets, and huge cranes on their backs. (2,100/1,200) –> (2,300/1,400)



http://www.ideal808.com/images/ioc-0841.jpg


“I activate my own Trap!” shouted Yumi.

Her facedown card lifted, showing a sinister Invader of Darkness pointing a finger.

“It’s called Penalty Game! and I can use it when you have exactly four cards in your hand, like right now. Now I can choose one of two effects…

“And I’m going to choose the one that makes you skip your next Draw Phase.”

Holly scowled at her.

“Fine…” she said. “Your Skilled Dark Magician is still the catch of the day! And if there’s one thing I love more than a duel, it’s a fish-fry.

“Attack! Killer whale cannon!”

“Sorry…” said Yumi to the Spellcaster.

Orca Mega-Fortress of Darkness opened its mouth, and a huge cannon blasted, blowing Skilled Dark Magician to particles.



(Y: 7,600) -------------------- (H: 7,900)


“You’re gonna regret that…” said Yumi.

“Man…” said Sam. “The Ascender I faced was a klutz who used a Burn Deck. This one seems a great deal more competent. I guess they come from all walks of life in dueling.”

“I’ll place another card facedown, and end my turn,” said Holly.

Another facedown card appeared.

Then, in a flash of light, another golden card appeared.


Continued…

Dark Sage
12th May 2007, 04:25 PM
Continued from last post:



“Okay…” said Yumi. “Now I’ll…”

“Hold it one minute!” shouted Holly.

Her golden Trap lifted.

“Time Seal?” shouted Yumi “Of all the dirty…”

“What’s good for the goose is good for the gander,” said Holly, with a smirk.

Yumi growled, and looked at the cards that she already had.

What am I worried about? she thought. I have Mirror Force right here. Man, now why didn’t I set it one turn ago?

Because I wasn’t expecting a huge killer whale-slash-air craft carrier combination, that’s why… Ah well, I’ll give her a big surprise.

“I place a Monster in Defense Mode, and one card facedown,” she said.

A facedown card and a facedown Monster appeared.

She nodded, and a new golden Trap appeared on her side.

“All right,” said Holly. “I’ll skip my Draw Phase…

“And then I’ll activate the Trap I put down earlier. It’s called Cursed Waters LV 3.”

The Trap lifted. It showed the picture of a bird’s eye view of a ship in clear waters approaching an underwater plateau shaped like the number three.

“Okay…” said Yumi. “Interesting name… But what does it do?”

The water below Holly started to bubble again.

“It lets me summon Monsters from my hand,” said Holly, “whose combined Levels add up to… well, three.

“So I’ll summon Torpedo Fish and Cannonball Spear Shellfish.”

She played two cards. Two small Monsters broke surface in front of her. The first Monster looked like a streamlined shark shaped like a torpedo. (1,000/1,000) –> (1,200/1,200) The other looked like a mollusk with a pointed, spiral shell. (1,000/1,000) –> (1,200/1,200)



http://www.ideal808.com/images/ioc-082.jpghttp://www.ideal808.com/images/ioc-085.jpg


Anastasia took off her glasses.

“This Holly is no rookie!” she said in surprise. “Normally, the combined Level of those two Monsters would equal five… But thanks to her Field Spell, they meet the requirements of her Trap Card perfectly!”

“Now to show you the trick I can do with these Monsters and my Fortress,” said Holly. “By sacrificing my Torpedo Fish, I can destroy one Monster.”

Torpedo Fish vanished. Then the Fortress fired a blast, and Torpedo Fish shot towards Yumi’s side of the field, blowing away her facedown Blast Magician.

“Next…” continued Holly, “by doing the same thing with my Cannonball Spear Shellfish, I can wipe out one of your Spell or Trap Cards. And I think I’ll do that to the one you set yourself.”

The Shellfish vanished, and it was fired from the Fortress. Mirror Force was blown to shards.

“You’re wide open!” shouted Holly. “Orca Mega-Fortress, attack!”

“I can’t watch…” said Ren, as the huge whale aimed its gun.

“I activate… Mask of Weakness!” shouted Yumi.

Her golden Trap lifted, and a purple tiki mask attached to the huge whale.

“This weakens your Monster by 700 points for one round,” said Yumi, as the Orca’s Attack fell to 1,600. “Its attack will still go through, but it won’t hurt me as much…”

Then she screamed as the cannon’s blast hit her.

“I was wrong…” she gasped. “That did hurt pretty badly…”



(Y: 6,000) -------------------- (H: 7,900)


Can’t get too cocky… thought Yumi. I can’t forget… If I lose… I’m finished…

“And that’s all…” said Holly, with a laugh.

A golden Trap appeared on her side of the field.

Hmm… she thought. Think I’ll save that…

Yumi drew a card.

She looked at it and made a slight smirk.

She placed three cards in her Disk, and two facedown cards and a facedown Monster appeared.

“That will do for me,” she said.

Another of the golden Traps appeared.

Then she smirked again.

Holly drew a card.

“I activate my Trap,” said Yumi, as the golden Trap lifted.

It was an ominous image of a robed spellcaster casting a spell inside a barrier.

A dark fog started to cover the field, hanging over the water like some evil mist…

“What’s going on?” asked Holly.

Thunder rolled again…

“It’s a powerful Continuous Trap called Curse of Darkness,” replied Yumi. “Now, if you want to use any Spell Cards, they’ll cost you 1,000 Life Points apiece.”

“That is a powerful Trap!” exclaimed Erik.

“Yes, but a risky one,” said Anastasia. “It affects Yumi as well, so she has to be careful.”

Holly looked at her hand.

“Orca Mega-Fortress…” she said. “Attack!”

“You triggered another Trap!” shouted Yumi, as a Trap she had set herself lifted. “A Hero Emerges!

“Now you have to choose a card from my hand, and if it’s a Monster, I get to summon it.”

Holly’s eyes opened wide.

“You have only one card in your hand!” she exclaimed.

“Perfect!” laughed Chelsea. “Now she’s stuck with that one!”

“And the one in my hand is a good one…” said Yumi, throwing it on her Disk. “Chaos Command Magician!”

In a burst of light, the glossy-robed mage appeared. (2,400/1,900)



http://www.ideal808.com/images/mfc-0681.jpg


Chaos Command Magician gave her a thumb’s up.

“We’ll support you to the end, Yumi,” he said.

Holly snarled.

“Okay, fine…” she said. “I can’t stop you from taking out my Fortress next round… But I can still destroy your other Monster…

“Orca, continue your attack!”

The Fortress blasted its cannon…

A grizzled old witch-doctor in colorful clothes appeared on the card.



http://www.ideal808.com/images/mfc-067.jpg


“That’s Old Vindictive Magician!” shouted Holly.

The Spellcaster was blasted to bits.

“Bingo,” said Yumi. “And since you flipped him, your Monster is toast.”

Orca Mega-Fortress of Darkness howled, and then exploded in a fiery blast.

“You sunk my battleship!” whined Holly, as debris rained down on her side.

“That’s it Yumi!” shouted Ren. “Beat this chick, and we’ll all have fish and chips for lunch!”

“I hope so…” muttered Erik. “Sam and I had to skip breakfast to hang out with you guys.”

“The fastest way to a man’s heart is through his stomach…” growled Sam, “especially if you punch him there! Now keep quiet! You do realize that if Yumi dies, my mom is going to have to explain this to hers?”

Holly growled. She waved her hand, and a second golden card appeared next to the first one.

Yumi drew a card.

“I summon Magician’s Valkyria,” she said.

She threw the card on her Disk, and Valkyria appeared, and gave Holly a mean look.



http://www.ideal808.com/images/jump-en009.jpg


“Chaos Command Magician, attack directly!” ordered Yumi. “Chaos magic!”

“No problem,” he said.

The mage fired a blast of colored energy from his staff, and Holly strained under it.

“Valkyria, you too,” she said.

Valkyria leapt up.

“Take this!” she shouted. “Light beam blast!”

She pointed her staff and fired, striking Holly squarely.

Holly held her head…



(Y: 6,000) -------------------- (H: 3,900)


“That’s all for my turn,” said Yumi, as another of the golden cards appeared in front of her.

I have to do something, thought Holly, looking at her hand, or it’s curtains for me…

She drew a card.

She grinned an evil grin…

“Okay, Yumi, time for some serious pain. I’m going to start by using both of the Trap Cards that our host gave me.

“First, I use this one, Pikeru’s Circle of Enchantment…”

The Trap lifted, and White Magician Pikeru appeared over Holly. She calmly cast a spell and an aura of light surrounded Holly.

“What it does is prevent me from losing Life Points from card effects for this turn. So I can use Spell Cards without worrying about your Curse of Darkness.

“Now that it’s safe to use them, I’ll get rid of it. I play Mystical Space Typhoon.”

She played the card, and a cyclone tore across the sea, shattering the Curse of Darkness card. The fog dissipated and faded away.

“Next, I activate Soul Resurrection…”

Her other Trap lifted.

“This lets me take one Normal Monster from my Graveyard, and Special Summon it to the field in Defense Mode. So Giant Red Seasnake, welcome back.”

The Seasnake appeared again, curling up in its coils. (1,800/800) –> (2,000/1,000)

“I’m only half done…” continued Holly. “I play another Spell Card. This one is called… Big Wave, Small Wave. Here’s how it works. I have to destroy all the Water Monsters I have on the field, but then I get to Special Summon an equal number from my hand.”

She played the card, and Giant Red Seasnake shattered.

“And the Monster I’m summoning is…” said Holly, “Hydrogeddon!”

A burst of muddy water erupted out of the ocean in front of Holly, and a strange creature rose out of the sea. It looked like a large quadruped, made of boiling, bubbling mud. (1,600/1,000) –> (1,800/1,200)



http://www.ideal808.com/images/een-en013.jpg


“Hydrogeddon,” she ordered, “drown Magician’s Valkyria!”

Hydrogeddon blasted a gush of water from its mouth at the Spellcaster.

“I activate Rush Recklessly!” shouted Yumi, as one of her facedown cards lifted.

Valkyria rose to an Attack of 2,300.

“Oh, whatever shall I do?” moaned Holly.

She grinned an evil grin, and then held up a card.

“I know… I’ll play MY Rush Recklessly!”

Hydrogeddon shot up to 2,500. Valkyria screamed as she was engulfed in the blast of water, and then she was gone.



(Y: 5,800) -------------------- (H: 3,900)


“And I’m far from done…” said Holly. “When Hydrogeddon crushes an enemy Monster, I get to summon another one.”

Another burst of muddy water shot up, and a second Hydrogeddon broke surface.

“Continuing…” she said. “Since I haven’t Normal Summoned yet, I’ll summon Oxygeddon.”

She played another card, and a wispy creature that looked like a pterodactyl made of green gas appeared, hovering over the two Hydrogeddons. (1,800/800)



http://www.ideal808.com/images/een-en014.jpg


“Technically, this isn’t a Water Monster, but it works for me… I’ll show you why…”

She took the last card in her hand.

“A chemistry lesson. What do you get when you combine two hydrogen atoms with one oxygen atom?”

“You get water,” said Yumi. “Duh.”

“Exactly…” said Holly. “So I play the Spell Card, Bonding H2O, and sacrifice my three Monsters, to summon Water Dragon.”

The three Monsters burst into globules of energy, and then, a huge form erupted out of the Legendary Ocean. It was a giant sea serpent, made entirely of water, with a dragon’s head, and no limbs. It looked at Yumi with glowing green eyes. (2,800/2,600) –> (3,000/2,800)



http://www.ideal808.com/images/een-en0151.jpg


“I’ll end my turn there,” she said.

One of the golden traps appeared on her side of the field.

“Guys...” muttered Sam, “I really hate to sound like some Patty Pessimist, but I’ve seen that thing used before, and it’s really bad news…”

“What can it do?” asked Ren, looking at the huge creature.

“Well,” answered Sam, “even if Yumi somehow destroys it, that might make things even worse.”

Yumi drew one card.

“I move Chaos Command Magician to Defense Mode, and that will be all,” she said.

Chaos Command Magician crouched in defense.

“Sorry Yumi…” he said. “Good luck from this point…”

“Thanks,” she said.

One of the Trap Cards appeared on her side of the field.

She smirked.

Holly drew a card. She smiled when she saw what it was.

“I activate Dust Tornado!” shouted Yumi, as it lifted up. “Say goodbye to that Trap Card!”

The Tornado shot forward, and the golden card shattered.

“Heh, heh…” chuckled Holly. “You took the bait! That Trap was a special one called Dark Coffin. It had to be destroyed for it to be activated.

“Now you have to make a choice, Yumi… You can either destroy one of your Monsters, or discard one card from your hand.

“So, Yumi… What’s it gonna be?”

Yumi grit her teeth.

She discarded her last card.

“Now, let’s continue…” said Holly. “I summon my favorite Monster. Meet Mermaid Knight.”

She played the card, and a new Monster appeared. It was a lovely, but powerful-looking mermaid, somewhat resembling a more mature, adult version of Ariel, holding a shield and sword. Armor covered the lower half of her body. She gave an angry look at Yumi and her Monster. (1,500/700) –> (1,700/900)



http://www.ideal808.com/images/dr2-en137.jpg


Yumi looked at Mermaid Knight. It was easy to see why she was Holly’s favorite Monster… She kind of looked like Holly herself…

“Water Dragon… destroy Chaos Command Magician! Tidal surge!”

Water Dragon blasted a mighty blast of water from its maw, and Chaos Command Magician was washed away.

“Now my Mermaid can attack you…” she continued. “And due to my Ocean, she can do so twice!”

Mermaid Knight flew forward, and Yumi screamed as she slashed at her with a downward stroke.

Then she screamed again as it was followed by an upward stroke.

Yumi fell to her knees.

“So this is what… a Shadow Game… feels like…” she muttered.



(Y: 2,400) -------------------- (H: 3,900)


“Good lord…” muttered Ren. “This can’t be happening…”

“She has no cards in her hand…” gasped Chelsea. “She’s gonna need a miracle draw…”

“I’ll end my turn there,” said Holly, with a laugh.

A new golden Trap appeared on her side of the field.

Yumi got up. She took some deep breaths…

She drew a card.

Darn! she thought, looking at it. Apprentice Magician, no offense, but you were NOT the card I wanted right now!

“I activate the Trap I got,” said Holly. “Sixth Sense!”

The Trap lifted, showing a frightened woman with psychic energy coming out of her head.

“Sixth Sense?” asked Sam. “What the heck is that?”

“Sixth Sense is a very rare and very powerful Trap,” replied Anastasia. “In fact, it goes on and off the Forbidden List frequently, and was just made legal again with the last list. Holly names two numbers between one and six, and then a die is rolled. If the result is one of the numbers she named, she draws that many cards. Any other number, and she loses that many cards from her deck.”

“Oh, this is the most unfair duel I have EVER seen!” shouted Ren.

“I’d be really dumb to name any numbers except five and six,” said Holly, “so let’s go!”

A golden die appeared in the air, and rolled, bouncing on the waves…

Everyone gasped as it came up five.

Holly grinned and made five draws.

Yumi placed her card on her Disk, and the facedown Monster appeared.

She bowed her head.

“YUMI!” screamed Ren.

Yumi looked as the golden Trap started to materialize...

If there’s a Heart of the Cards, it seems to have deserted me… she thought. This Trap I’m getting is my only chance… If it can’t block an attack… All I’m doing is stalling for one more round…

She stared at it for a minute.

Then she faced her opponent.

Holly drew a card.

She looked at her hand.

Let’s see here… she thought. Another Ocean, another Bonding H2O, Pot of Avarice, Dust Tornado, Exchange, Spiral Serpent… Nothing I can use here…

Ah well… As if it matters…

“Mermaid Knight…” she ordered. “Attack her Monster! Sword of the sea!”

Mermaid Knight flew forward with an evil grin, and Apprentice Magician appeared on the card before she was cut down.

“I use her effect,” said Yumi, “to set another Apprentice Magician.”

Another facedown Monster appeared.

Holly frowned.

“Again!” she shouted.

Mermaid Knight cut down the second one.

A third facedown Monster appeared.

“Water Dragon, attack!” she screamed.

Water Dragon roared… It breathed out its breath weapon…

Yumi gestured, and her Trap lifted.

“HUH?” shouted Holly. “Draining Shield? WAIT!”

It was too late. An invisible shield formed around Yumi, and the blast plowed into it. Energy flowed into her and she glowed with an aura of light…



(Y: 5,400) -------------------- (H: 3,900)


Yumi slowly looked up.

“Thank you…” she said. “I feel much better now.”

“Big deal!” shouted Holly. “So you got lucky that turn. I’ll get you next turn!

“I’ll place this facedown, and end my turn.”

She fit a card into her Disk, and a facedown card appeared.

Then, another golden Trap Card appeared on Holly’s side.

She’s right, thought Yumi, looking at her facedown Monster. I don’t have a Monster in my deck that’s strong enough to destroy her Water Dragon without help. And even if I could, I’d have three Monsters to deal with instead of one.

She drew a card.

“I play… Pot of Greed!” she shouted.

“How lucky can you get?” muttered Holly.

“Lucky?” said Yumi. “You’ve been the one with all the luck so far. And I think you’ve used it up, and the tide of luck is about to swing to me…”

She drew twice.

She looked at them and smiled.

“I Flip-Summon my Magician of Faith,” she said.

The card flipped, and Magician of Faith appeared where the card was. (300/400)



http://www.ideal808.com/images/mrd-036.jpg


Yumi retrieved a card from her Graveyard. She held up Pot of Greed.

“Now if you don’t mind…” she said, “I’d like to play it again!”

The jar appeared in front of her again with an evil cackle, and she drew twice again.

She looked at the four cards.

“Okay, Yumi,” said Magician of Faith. “Use what you have, and bring down that abomination!”

“Right…” said Yumi. “Now… I play Magical Dimension!

“I sacrifice Magician of Faith…”

The Spellcaster vanished.

“…to summon Dark Magician of Chaos!”

In an aura of pure darkness, Dark Magician of Chaos appeared. (2,800/2,600)



Continued…

Dark Sage
12th May 2007, 04:29 PM
Continued from last post:




http://www.ideal808.com/images/ioc_065_1st.jpg


“Now, I could destroy one of your Monsters, but if I did, I couldn’t use his ability to get a Spell Card back. For some reason, it’s a ‘miss the timing’ thing.

“So I’ll forfeit that effect to get a Spell Card back from my Graveyard.”

“Pot of Greed again, right?” asked Holly, in an annoyed tone.

“No, actually,” said Yumi, as she took another card from her discard slot. “This time, I’m choosing Rush Recklessly.

“And now I’m playing it!”

She held up the card, Dark Magician of Chaos rose to an attack of 3,500.

“Dark Magician of Chaos, attack Water Dragon! Scepter strike!”

The chaos mage leapt into the air, and cast a spell of burning black magic. Water Dragon bellowed and was blown into a great splatter.



(Y: 5,400) -------------------- (H: 3,400)


“Oh yeah?” said Holly. “Well, when Water Dragon bites the big one, I get to summon the three Monsters that I sacrificed to summon it…”

“Not this time you don’t,” replied Yumi. “That’s only the case if it goes to your Graveyard. And Dark Magician of Chaos removes from play any Monster that he destroys.”

Holly paused, dumbfounded.

“I’ll end my turn now,” said Yumi. “The tide of this duel is turning…”

One of the golden traps appeared on her side of the field.

Holly angrily drew a card.

“First thing’s first, Yumi,” she said. “I don’t like the help you’ve been getting.

“So say goodbye to that Trap. I activate my own Dust Tornado!”

Her own Trap Card lifted up, and the Tornado tore across the field, shattering the golden card.

Yumi grinned as a spooky mist formed on her side of the field.

“I was hoping you’d do that,” she said.

A frightening-looking creature, resembling a cross between a golden serpent and a bug wearing a tutan crown rose on Yumi’s side of the field, and shielded itself in Defense Mode. (1,000/1,000)

“What is THAT?” asked Holly.

“Dark Coffin isn’t the only Trap that has to be destroyed to be activated,” said Yumi. “The Trap you destroyed was called Statue of the Wicked. When it’s destroyed, I get a Wicked Token like this one.”

Holly grit her teeth.

“I play Pot of Avarice!” she shouted.

Both Hydrogeddons, Oxygeddon, Giant Red Seasnake, and Orca Mega Fortress of Darkness slipped out of her discard slot. She added them to her deck, reshuffled, and made two draws.

“I move Mermaid Knight to Defense Mode, and set another Monster in Defense Mode.” she said.

A facedown Monster appeared. Mermaid Knight sat on her tail, and folded her arms over her chest.

A new Trap appeared on Holly’s side of the field.

Yumi drew a card.

Huh… she thought. Haven’t gotten a chance to use him yet.

“Meet the newest addition to my deck,” she said. “I summon Kycoo the Ghost Destroyer.”

She played the card, and in a shadowy aura, a man in a monk’s outfit, holding a string of prayer beads appeared. He was bald, and the left half of his face was hideously scarred. (1,800/700)



http://www.ideal808.com/images/lon-0621.jpg


“Hmm…” said Anastasia. “Never expected a Mouto to use that guy, but it makes sense when you think about it.”

“Dark Magician of Chaos…” ordered Yumi, “kill her Mermaid Knight!”

The Chaos Mage fired a blast. Mermaid Knight screamed as she was torn apart by it.

Holly screamed too… a bloodcurdling scream. She fell over on her back.

“Holly seems to have taken that loss pretty hard,” said Erik.

“Well, I’m no stranger to Shadow Games, and…” started Anastasia, “and…”

They all looked at her. She laughed nervously.

“Anyway,” she continued, “you heard what she said… That was her favorite card. In every duelist’s deck, there is a card that stands out, a card that is closer to the duelist than any other card. It’s the card that represents the duelist.

“In a Shadow Game, if that card is destroyed, it can be quite a shock to the system. And due to the effect of Dark Magician of Chaos, Mermaid Knight didn’t just die, she was removed from play… She was eradicated. It struck Holly like a hammer to the skull.”

Holly slowly got up, with sweat pouring down her face. She gathered her cards.

“I’m not done with you yet…” said Yumi. “Kycoo, attack her facedown Monster! Spell of banishment!”

“Take this, heathen!” shouted Kycoo.

He waved his hand, and lightning flashed, striking the facedown card. A large grizzly bear appeared on the card, and shattered.



http://www.ideal808.com/images/db1_en053.jpg


“That was… a Mother Grizzly…” muttered Holly. “Now I can Special Summon a Water Monster that has 1,500 Attack Points or less. So I summon Amphibious Bugroth MK-3.”

A Machine of some sort, looking like a submarine with two clawed arms and two turrets of some sort on top, rose out of the water in front of her. It made a series of beeps and clicks, and a light appeared in its windows. (1,500/1,300) –> (1,700/1,500)



http://www.ideal808.com/images/dr2-en082.jpg


Yumi looked at the Machine.

“I end my turn…” she said.

A new golden Trap appeared in front of her.

Holly drew a card. She looked at it closely.

“I’ll place one of my own cards facedown…” she said.

A normal facedown card appeared next to the two golden ones.

“Then a Monster in Defense Mode…”

A facedown Monster appeared.

“And I forgot to mention,” she continued, “in ocean terrain, my Bugroth can bypass your Monsters and attack you directly.

“Bugroth, attack Yumi directly! Lock-on torpedoes!”

Two hatches on the Amphibious Bugroth’s underside opened, and two torpedoes fell into the water. They launched, and shot towards Yumi, exploding on impact. Yumi struggled to keep standing…



(Y: 3,700) -------------------- (H: 3,400)


“Yumi!” exclaimed Dark Magician of Chaos.

“I’m all right…” she replied.

“Two more rounds,” said Holly, “and you’re finished.

A third facedown golden card appeared next to the other ones.

Yumi angrily drew.

She looked at it.

“Dark Magician of Chaos, attack the Amphibious Bugroth MK-3!”

The Spellcaster prepared to fire…

“I activate… Tornado Wall!” shouted Holly.

Her own Trap Card lifted, and a wall of waterspouts sprang up. The submarine was blown to pieces, but Holly didn’t seem to care.

“So long as this Continuous Trap is active,” she said, “the very ocean itself will protect me. Any damage you would inflict to my Life Points is reduced to zero.”

Yumi’s eyes narrowed. Dark Magician of Chaos looked at her.

“Sorry Yumi…” said the chaos mage. “She’s right. It’s weakening my magic. I never figured I’d ever have to blast through water…”

“Don’t worry, we’ll think of something,” replied Yumi.

“Kycoo, attack her facedown Monster!”

Kycoo started to chant.

“I activate another Trap,” said Holly.

One of her golden cards lifted. It bore the image of Freed the Matchless General looking over a map on a table.

“It’s called A Feint Plan. Now you aren’t allowed to attack my facedown Monsters for this turn.”

Kycoo stopped dead in his tracks. He turned to Yumi and shrugged.

Yumi glared at her.

“I end my turn,” she said to Holly.

Another gold card appeared on her side.

Holly drew a card.

She played a card, and the Pot of Greed appeared on her side of the field. She made two draws.

She grinned.

“I Flip-Summon my Don Turtle,” she said.

Her facedown Monster flipped into Attack Mode, and a weird creature appeared where the card had been. It looked like a big, colorful turtle shell with two eyes peering out of it. (1,100/1,200) –> (1,300/1,400)



http://www.ideal808.com/images/ioc-071.jpg


“And when Don Turtle is summoned,” she continued, “I can Special Summon any other Don Turtles I have in my hand, and I just happen to have another one right here.”

She placed another card on her Disk, and a second Don Turtle appeared.

“Now… I sacrifice both my Turtles…”

The two Don Turtles shattered into pixels…

“Wait a second!” shouted Sam. “Two sacrifices? Her Field Spell already downgrades her Monsters’ Levels by one… That means…”

“…that whatever she’s summoning is stronger than Level Seven…” muttered Chelsea.

“I summon the true King of the Sea…” exclaimed Holly. “A creature whose appearance has meant watery doom to every coastal town that has seen it… The unstoppable Spiral Serpent!”

The Legendary Ocean was still for a minute…

And then, waves started to crash. A giant fin broke surface, followed by another one…

The rest of the creature slowly emerged, looking too big to be real. It was a sea serpent twice the size of the palace behind Holly, with a thick body connected to a long, snaky neck that held a head with a mouth full of shark-like teeth the size of swords. (2,900/2,900) –> (3,100/3,100)



http://www.ideal808.com/images/ston-en0031.jpg
.

“God help her…” muttered Ren.

“He’d better…” gasped Sam, “because I don’t know what else can…”

“Now…” said Holly. “I activate… Rising Energy!”

Another golden Trap lifted.

“Now, I just gotta trash one of my cards, and Spiral Serpent gains 1,500 Attack Points.”

She tossed her other Bonding H2O, and Spiral Serpent glowed, and rose to an Attack of 4,600.

“Forty-six hundred?” shouted Chelsea. “That’s overkill!”

“Spiral Serpent,” ordered Holly, “attack Kycoo the Ghost Destroyer with Spiral Wave!”

Spiral Serpent bellowed a roar that seemed to shake all of creation. It blasted a cyclone of water from its massive jowls, and Yumi was thrown off her feet as Kycoo the Ghost Destroyer was obliterated.



(Y: 900) -------------------- (H: 3,400)


“Dumb,” said Chelsea. “She could have attacked Dark Magician of Chaos.”

“It doesn’t really matter what Monster Yumi has,” said Anastasia. “Yumi can’t damage her Life Points so long as that Trap Card is on the field, and she likely can’t summon anything stronger than Spiral Serpent. She aimed for the target that would cost Yumi more Life Points.”

“I’m not done,” said Holly, playing a card. “I play… Exchange!”

As the card appeared, Yumi raised an eyebrow.

“Okay, fine…” muttered Yumi, “come here…”

Holly grinned, and walked over.

“You first, I insist…” said Holly, showing the four cards in her hand.

Yumi gave a look of shock. One of the cards in Holly’s hand was Creature Swap.

She slowly took it…

Why? thought Yumi, looking at the card.

She slowly revealed the three cards in her own hand.

“Eh… Not much good here…” muttered Holly. “Your Dark Magician is tempting, but…”

She took Gemini Elf.

“This should do…”

She walked back to her position.

Yumi took the bait, hook, line, and sinker! she thought. She’ll obviously use that Creature Swap to take control of my Serpent in exchange for that Wicked Token…

She turned and looked at Yumi.

And it will be the last thing she ever does. The Trap Card I received on my last turn is a powerful one called Trojan Blast. Once she tries to take my Monster from me, it will activate, blowing the Serpent to pieces, and dealing her 3,100 points of damage.

“My turn is over,” she said. “Make your move.”

One more golden facedown card appeared on her side of the field.

Yumi looked at her deck, then at the cards in her hand, and then at the last golden Trap Card she had been given. Then she looked at the Wicked Token.

Okay, it’s crunch time, she thought. She deliberately took the only Monster I could summon with no sacrifice. And I’m running out of options. If I don’t get a good draw, this duel will be over very shortly…

She drew a card.

It was Graceful Charity.

She looked at the cards in her hand again.

Okay… thought Yumi. Here goes… something…

“I play Graceful Charity!” she shouted.

“I activate another Trap,” said Holly, as her most recent gold card flipped up. “Magic Drain. Unless another card in your hand is a Spell Card that you can discard, you won’t be getting any more cards. And since I saw your hand, I know you don’t have any…”

Yumi grinned.

“Don’t have any?” asked Yumi. “Did you forget about THIS?”

She showed her the Creature Swap.

She quickly discarded it, and the Trap Card shattered.

The beautiful angel appeared, and she drew three new cards. She quickly made two discards.

“What?” shouted Holly. “But… what… You were supposed to…”

“Oh, come on…” said Yumi. “Did you actually believe I would fall for something so obvious, Holly? You must think I’m really stupid. That last Trap Card is probably Remove Brainwashing, which you would have waited to trigger until after I destroyed the Monster you got from me using it.”

Holly growled…

“And because you made the mistake of thinking I was stupid,” continued Yumi, “this duel is over.”

“I play Mystical Space Typhoon.”

She played the card, and a ferocious cyclone tore across the field. A Legendary Ocean receded, its palace crumbling to dust, and Tornado Wall went with it.

“Now, I sacrifice my Wicked Token for Dark Magician Girl,” she continued.

The Wicked Token vanished, and Dark Magician Girl appeared in a flurry of hearts. (2,000/1,700)



http://www.ideal808.com/images/mfc_000_1st.jpg


She didn’t say anything. She merely smiled and winked at Yumi.

“And she gains a little bonus, since Dark Magician is in my Graveyard,” she continued.

(2,300/1,700)

“Since when?” shouted Holly.

“Since I just put him there using Graceful Charity,” replied Yumi, as she fit her last card into her Disk. “Next… I play Premature Burial. Chaos Command Magician, welcome back.”

Chaos Command Magician reappeared in a burst of energy. (2,400/1,900)

“Big deal,” said Holly. “None of your Spellcasters are strong enough to beat my Spiral Serpent.”

Yumi glared at her…

Her final golden Trap Card lifted.

“Reinforcements?” gasped Holly.

“Yes,” said Yumi. “It gives 500 extra Attack Points to any one Monster on the field, and I think I’ll give them to Dark Magician of Chaos.”

Dark Magician of Chaos glowed, and his Attack Score went up to 3,300.

“Dark Magician of Chaos… Attack the Spiral Serpent! Scepter Strike!”

The Chaos Mage fired a mighty blast at the much bigger Monster, a David shooting at an immense Goliath. Thunder flashed, and the Spiral Serpent roared in agony as the magical energy erupted over its body.

Finally, it exploded into shards.

“Chaos Command Magician, attack directly! Chaos magic!”

Chaos Command Magician blasted his beam of multicolored light and Holly shrieked as an explosion centered on her.

“Dark Magician Girl…”

Yumi paused…

“Attack…”

She paused again.

She looked at Holly for a few seconds.

Then she looked at the sky…

She realized where she was.

The gravity of what she was about to do slowly set in. Attacking would mean her opponent’s death…

She also realized that her opponent hadn’t started this battle… Neither of them had.

She had gotten so caught up in the duel, she hadn’t really thought about it until now…

What was the point of this duel? Why was it demanded to decide who would own a Shadow Charm? Was it to prove who was worthy?

Or… did some demented creature do it for his own entertainment?

It didn’t matter… She knew she had to do it…

“Hesitating?” asked Holly. “You don’t have the guts, do you? Heh… I would have seen you dead in a minute, Yumi…”

Yumi paused again.

“I have to win, Holly…” she said, slowly. “But I don’t blame you for this… I blame Rasputin. He did nothing to stop you from doing this, and did nothing to save you…

“And from this point on, I’m going to make it my goal to bring him down. God knows how much more blood he has on his hands.

“Forgive me if you can…

“Dark Magician Girl… Dark burning attack!”

Dark Magician Girl cast her spell, and Holly screamed as the whole world seemed to come undone…



(Y: 100) -------------------- (H: 0)


Yumi’s head drooped…



* * * * * * * * * *


The next thing everyone knew, they were back on the beach next to the barbecue pit. The prone form of Yumi’s opponent was lying in the sand twenty feet away.

Erik rushed to the Ascender, and Yumi noticed that there was something on her head. She lifted it off, and saw that it was the Crown of Souls.

“Well…” said Ren, coming up to her. “You, uhm, you won…”

“Yeah…” muttered Yumi, sadly. “I hope it was worth what I had to do…”

“People!” screamed Erik, who was in the process of ripping open Holly’s shirt. “Good news, bad news. Good news is, she still has a pulse. Bad news is, she’s losing it fast. Start looking for a Centurion while I do what I can.”

He quickly started to apply CPR to the fallen Ascender.

“Erik is CPR certified?” asked Yumi, as they started to look.

“Yeah, uhm,” said Sam, “it just never came up in casual conversation… ‘Hi, this is my boyfriend, and he knows CPR’…”



* * * * * * * * * *


Cassandra placed the card she had drawn on the table underneath The High Priestess and the Ace of Swords.

The card was upside-down. If you were to turn it around so that you could look at it properly, you’d see a valiant knight on a horse carrying a wand in a laurel wreath, while onlookers cheered for him.

“Interesting,” said Cassandra. “The Six of Wands represents victory, and Yumi was indeed victorious…

“But the card is inverted…

“Victory is far from complete. Many more struggles lie ahead.”



* * * * * * * * * *


One hour later…

A man sat in Rasputin’s suite, listening on a cell phone.

He was a hulking man, with a sloping forehead that made him look sort of like a Neanderthal, and a nose that had clearly been broken sometime in the past. He wore an expensive black Italian suit that was clearly custom tailored (he didn’t buy it himself – Rasputin had commissioned it).

Everyone called him Louis. He didn’t bother with his last name any more. He had once been a penny-ante legbreaker for the European mob before Rasputin offered him much more money for a job as a personal bodyguard.

That was his title, anyway. In truth, Louis was a combination of bodyguard, manservant, and gofer. If one were to compare him to a Duel Monster, the best one to compare him to would be a Giant Orc – very strong, very loyal, but not very bright.

He listened into the phone.

“Okay, I’ll tell him…” he said, “but he ain’t gonna like it…”

Rasputin walked in.

“Uhm, boss?” said Louis. “Bad news… Holly lost… The Mouto kid… She got the Crown.”

“Holly lost…” muttered Rasputin. “Well, is she dead?”

“Nope,” said Louis. “She’s in the hospital.”

Rasputin scratched his head nervously…

“Well…” he muttered. “If that’s the case, she’s likely in a coma full of nightmares. In her case she’s dreaming about drowning in waters full of the Monsters in her deck…

“If she ever wakes up… Which isn’t likely… She’ll realize that turning coat on me would be even more dangerous than any Yami no Oujou. And that’s the best thing about sadists… They hate the thought of being hurt themselves. We have nothing to worry about…”

“Uh, but Yumi has the Crown…” muttered Louis.

“I stand corrected…” growled Rasputin.

He thought for a minute.

“Give me the phone.”

“Who you gonna call?” asked Louis.

“Someone to throw terror into them,” said Rasputin. “But I won’t target Yumi just yet… After all, I’m not some vulture who goes after wounded prey.

“I know someone who’s just aching to challenge Ren…

“Someone whom his father was well acquainted with…”

Having won the dreaded Yami no Oujou, Yumi claims the Crown of Souls for her own. One Shadow Charm down, and seven yet to come, but the rest will likely come just as hard. What new dangers lie in wait?



DIFFERENT DIMENSION HANGAR (Spell Card)

Continuous Spell

Image: A spaceship flying out of a glowing portal.

Card Description: Select up to three Union Monsters from your deck that are Level Four or less and remove them from play. If you Normal Summon, Flip-Summon, or Special Summon a Monster to your side of the field and that Monster can be Equipped with one or more of the Union Monsters that was removed from play by this card, Special Summon the Union Monsters that you removed from play with this card’s effect that the summoned Monster can be Equipped with. Union Monsters Special Summoned with this effect cannot attack, and cannot be offered as a Tribute.

Note: “Different Dimension Hangar” was first used by Chazz in a third season episode of “Yu-Gi-Oh GX”. Creative credit goes to the writers of that episode.



CURSED WATERS LV 3 (Trap Card)

Normal Trap

Image: A bird’s eye view of a ship in clear waters approaching an underwater plateau shaped like the number three.

Card Description: You can only activate this card when “Umi” is active on the field. Normal Summon Monsters from your hand whose combined Levels equal three. This counts as your Normal Summon for the turn.

Note: “Cursed Waters LV 3” was first used by Anacis in the “Yu-Gi-Oh GX” episode “Get Yarr Game On!” Creative credit goes to the writers of that episode.



Sam: Enough with this madness! I don’t know about all of you, but I’ve got a tournament to win!

Yumi: It’s far from over Sam. In fact, I’d say it’s just starting. And we’re all in it deep.

Ren: Yeah… And I had the strangest feeling right now… You know what they say? Like someone walking over your grave?

Yumi: Maybe someone did.

Coming up next, “Shadows From a Generation Ago; Duel of Darkness”.

As the wheels of the plot start to turn…

Hinoryu
12th May 2007, 05:08 PM
Impressive. It's always kind of interesting to see the same deck using a different strategy than what you're used to... Holly and Stephen use almost the same deck, but Holly goes for straight beatdown while Stephen aims for field control. Pretty nice.

Aside from that, it was fairly good. Gave the plot a nice kick, made me laugh a couple times, and set up a new battle system. If I had to register a complaint, though, it'd just be a language nitpick- For 'Death of Darkness' you should probably have gone for the more straightforward "Yami no Shinu". However, it still works, Oujou just makes it sound more... I don't know what the word is. Flowery? The Japanese equivalent of Ye Olde Englishe?

Keep writing, I look forward to the next chapter.

Shuppet Master
12th May 2007, 07:23 PM
Probably that was what Brian was going for, who said the Sorcerer Kings weren't nobles? :D

Great duel, Brian. That house rule about getting random traps is pretty nifty. While Yumi didn't guess right on Holly's plot, she did dethrone her plans. But honestly, Holly? What sort of Grecian name is that? Well, no point in complaining, it's already stuck.

Anyways, keep up the good work, Brian.

goldenzigzagoon
12th May 2007, 07:26 PM
Good chapter, as always. The idea of getting a trpa card at the end of your turn was a good original twist, though you could have just did that so your characters could still play traps when there were no cards in their hand, like how Yumi was for a few turns.

Oakbark
13th May 2007, 10:14 AM
Oooh i love it, an excellent twist to the usual duel. Quite a lot of action in that duel, and sometimes it was hard to keep up with all the extra traps going down, but overall it was great! More of this please.

I don't think the inclusion of Felicia and Heck's progress was appropriate in this chapter, they took away from the action a bit by being included at the start. They might have been better if left until next chapter. But that's only a minor point, and perhaps you need them to have clawed back up the ladder by next chapter.

There's a lot of characters all grouped together at the same time, perhaps a bit of separation might spice things up later on? When too many onlookers are present, it reduces their capacity to say anything relevant or personal (a la Yu-gi-oh when Tea, Joey, Tristan, Duke, Mai etc are onlookers). A bit of divide-and-conquer might be fun!

Holly's deck was cool, interesting water deck without overloading it with popular cards. Liked Kycoo the ghost destroyer as well.

More of the same please, loving it, can't wait to see the next shadow game and it's "house rule"!

Damien.

Mystic_clown
14th May 2007, 07:37 PM
Hmm, an interesting duel, each player getting a trap at the end of their turn. Very nice twist indeed. I'd have to agree with Oakbark, did we really have to hear about Heck and Felicia? It seemed a bit out of place in this chapter.

It would have been interesting to see Holly die and how it effects Yumi (but if she's anything like her father, it wouldn't do a thing, considering the number of people that died in "City of Souls")

At first I had thought that Holly's deck was based on Sea Serpants, but it just mainly focused on the water Attribute. Speaking of Holly, I must agree with Shuppet, what sort of name for a villian is Holly? Also, we were kind of expecting more from her character, judging by how evil Rasputin made her appear in the last chapter. A bit of a disspointment.

Also, one final note. Is it just me, or does every monster the heroes duel count as an abomination in their eyes?

jkBAKURA
15th May 2007, 10:35 AM
It took a long conversation, lots of reassurances, and just a twinge of guilt, but I've decided to give this one more shot. I may have made my call one chapter too soon.

I'll start with the cons, but believe me, I have some pros to outweigh it.

Personally, I don't mind some of the throwaway scenes. If everything is just plot and dueling without a little fluff to round out the world, it makes for a quite rigid read. My suggestion though, is to use a single sentence or throwaway line to make us think back to the moment. It seemed a little too... "in your face" for a chapter not revolving around the characters. Good concept, but could have been executed better.

Personally, I believe a name is a name, and it's at the author's descression. Rowling herself said that she wouldn't have picked the name Hermione is she had known that it would cause so much confusion. In fact, I bet you chose the name Holly just because it wasn't threatening, making a seemingly harmless thing a real threat, causing audience discomfort somewhat. I got a little bit of that, but it wasn't obvious. Or, I may be over analysing.

As for the duel itself, yes A Legendary Ocean is standard, but in the fiction I've read, the Orca appears very little, and it's the first time I've seen Spiral Serpant. As far as Water duels go, you definately gave a slightly different flavor, and for that I give you points.

One thing I do encourage you to think about it the posibility of stretching things out, and taking your time, especially in life-or-death moments, which probably will occur several times in the story. The ones that caught my attention were the monster attacks. "A cannon blast from its mouth" is too vague for me to sense any real danger or tension.

Sometimes, one sentence of description isn't enough to make the heart pound. You have the perfect picture of what you see happening, but we don't have that unless you can bring it out. Maybe in the early chapters it's fine, but for later when it's really nessicary, it might be something to keep in mind.

The addition of the House Rules are what's really convincing me to put an eye back on the story. It's definately a new mechanic all it's own, unrelated to any known rule variations.

I will admit though, that without context, the voice from above wasn't threatening or ominous. In fact, I laughed. If you plan for it to return, please give us an explination, otherwise it makes me think there's a crack in the fourth wall.

I'm still hesitant, as the plotline now revealed wtill looks like a Gym Quest from the pokemon games. If it's just moving from one treasure to the other, it might get monotonous quickly. I don't want the unfortunate thinning that happened in late Dark Massiah to happen again.

Some people plan duels first, and plan the plot around them. In my next project, I planned the story first, and the duels where appropriate, and unfortunately had to leave several stratagies on the cutting room floor. That's my choice though, and if you want to make the duels your priority, it's your choice, your style, and quite frankly, none of my business.

All in all, it's still a little rough in becoming its own story, but with the devotion you've shown to the project, I think we have potential.

Potential is a good place to start.

Dark Sage
18th May 2007, 05:33 AM
CHAPTER FOURTEEN



Shadows From a Generation Ago



Duel of Darkness



Sheena Arachne sat in her large office, massaging her temples.

The happenings of the last hour had given her quite a headache.

A device on her desk buzzed.

“Enter,” she said, hitting a button.

A man in a business suit walked in.

“How’s the patient?” she asked.

“In critical condition, but stable now,” he answered. “The doctors can’t tell when, if ever, she’ll come out of the coma.”

Sheena swung her chair so it was facing the window.

“If she does soon, she’ll have some explaining to do,” she replied. “I checked her badge… Although it recognized her as a tournament guest, complete with a trust fund, when I looked for her name on the official list, it wasn’t there.

“And according to my daughter, she’s only one of a group… Of some band of outlaws. These thugs are up to who-knows-what, and stealing company money in the process.”

“They must have constructed a sort of phantom guest list to enter the tournament,” said the aid, “so they could be unnoticed.”

Sheena nodded.

“When I find Smalls, he’s going to have a lot to answer for,” she said. “But he isn’t at his station right now… I checked.

“But the Centurions are looking for him right now, and he won’t get far…”

She picked up her phone.

She didn’t know it, but Smalls had quickly heard that one of the Ascenders had been apprehended. Fearing for himself, he had fled Duelatopia on the next available boat…

…and unfortunately, that left a lot of secrets in the system that only he could remove.



* * * * * * * * * *


Hundreds of miles away from Duelatopia, at the Marris residence in Domino City, Ren’s kid sister and her friend Sally were engaged in a tabletop duel.

Sally’s deck had a clear theme, one of Fiend-Type Monsters, even though it had more Monsters than most decks had. Connie’s deck had a better Monster-Spell-Trap ratio, but her theme was very vague. It was basically only made up of Dark Monsters that she found interesting. She would have to go a long way before she constructed a proper deck.

Right now, she had Mechanicalchaser on the field, and her opponent had Newdoria.

Sally drew a card.

“Hee, hee…” she chuckled. “I’ll sacrifice Newdoria…”

She placed the card in the discard pile.

“…and bring out Summoned Skull!”

She threw the card down on the table.

“So now I can scrap your Machine!”

Connie sighed, and discarded Mechanicalchaser.

She was down to 1,450 Life Points now, and Sally had 1,800. She looked at her hand.

Vorse Raider, Ebon Magician Curran, and Scapegoat…

She drew a card.

Her eyes perked up…

It was the card her big brother had given her.

“I place a facedown card, and a Monster in Defense Mode,” she said, setting two cards. “Your move.”

Sally made a draw.

“I attack your facedown Monster with Summoned Skull!” she laughed.

Connie made a sinister smirk, and held up the card.

“Bad idea,” she said. “Any Fiend who battles Getsu Fuhma dies.”

“No way…” said Sally.

“It’s like my brother said…” said Connie. “She has a special power… She drives away evil creatures and night terrors.”

Sally sulked.

“My move now…” said Connie.

She drew, and then placed Vorse Raider on the table.

“I attack directly. You lose.”

In her mind, she saw Vorse Raider slamming his axe into Sally. How she wished she could use a Disk and make the Monsters real…

Sally sighed, and gathered her cards.

“This is getting boring…” she muttered. “I wish we were in Duelatopia.”

“Hey…” said Connie. “Let’s see if my brother has dueled again since last time!”

She rushed to the computer on her desk, and sat down. She quickly logged onto the Duelatopia website…



* * * * * * * * * *


“Okay, mom… okay,” said Sam.

“Bad news,” she said, putting away her cell phone. “Holly’s condition has stabilized.”

“Why is that bad news?” asked Yumi.

“Because she might survive,” growled Chelsea. “She didn’t deserve us being a bunch of goody-two-shoes. From what we saw, Yumi, she not only intended to kill you, she was enjoying it.”

Yumi shook her head.

“My family has a history with such people,” she said. “Give Holly slack. Consider her side…”

“Consider her side?” asked Chelsea. “Are you saying something gives her permission to be cruel?”

“Maybe something happened to her when she was a kid, Chelsea,” suggested Yumi. “Maybe she was beaten… abused…

“…or raped…”

Everyone gave a look of fear…

“You see, people,” continued Yumi, “her attitude isn’t justified, and if she ever wakes up, she should pay for her crimes. But no-one is ever born that way. If my grandparents learned one thing about dealing with guys like her, it’s that everybody has a story…

“And the story of someone like Holly is usually a tragic one.”

There was a long pause.

Yumi frowned as she looked at her badge. The Yami no Oujou had not upgraded her status, even though she had won. She guessed that the powers in charge didn’t care about the tournament.

She and her two friends were now in a busy section of Duelatopia, and Sam and Erik were not ready to leave them yet.

“Uhm… it’s a cool hat, Yumi,” said Ren, looking at the Crown of Souls. “Do you know what it can do?”

“So far, nothing except look expensive,” said Yumi, touching it. “But it does look kinda good on me… I think I’ll leave it on for now.”

Then they heard a familiar tune…

It was Ren’s cell phone. It had to be. Who else’s cell phone played the refrain from “American Pie”?

“Now who could that be?” asked Ren, answering it.

“Hello?” he said, putting it to his ear.

“Hello, Reginald,” said a voice that seemed both sinister and gentle at the same time.

Ren seethed with anger. He hated being called Reginald. It was his true name, sure, but it was geeky…

“Who is this?” he asked, angrily.

“Not someone you know, but someone you likely heard about,” said the voice. “I knew your father, and I found him to be rather pathetic as a duelist…”

Ren was now very angry.

“I’m making you a challenge,” said the voice. “If you want to prove that all members of the Marris family aren’t incompetent, well, see the building to your right?”

Ren looked at the tall building, a very tall shopping center.

“I’m on the roof right now,” said the voice. “Meet me up there if you dare…”

He hung up.

“Oh, I dare all right…” said Ren.

“What was that all about?” asked Yumi.

Ren quickly shuffled his deck.

“Someone just got on my bad side,” said Ren, placing it back in his Disk, “and he’s gonna pay. Come on!”

He rushed into the building, and everyone followed.



* * * * * * * * * * *


They reached the top of the very tall building and looked around. The top was made up of a glass roof, situated above a four-hundred-foot drop down the center of the building, which was made up of several floors made up of landings.

The Pharaoh appeared beside Yumi.

“An ominous place for a duel,” he said. “This is similar to setting where Lumis and Umbra lured your grandfather and Seto Kaiba to so many years ago.”

Ren looked around.

“Where are you?” he shouted.

A tall figure walked out from behind a vent. Ren raised an eyebrow…

He wasn’t a normal duelist, that was for sure. His clothing resembled armor, colored black and silver. On his head was a cross between a mask and a helmet that was egg-shaped, which was black on the right side and bronze on the left.

“Hello, Reginald,” he said, crossing his arms. “I think you know who I am…”

Ren’s eyes narrowed.

“Yeah…” he muttered. “You’re the Phantom Duelist, or someone who looks just like him. Nineteen years ago, he defeated my father… By using Masked Beast Des Guardius to turn Crescent Moon Queen against him.

“Hard to tell since you’re wearing a mask, but… You don’t seem to have aged a day…”

“Hmm,” said the Phantom. “True. Could be I’m the original Phantom’s son. Or his apprentice.

“Or maybe I know of some method to keep myself from aging, and I’m the same man who faced your father all those years ago. Wouldn’t that be creepy?

“It hardly matters… For all intents and purposes, I’m the Phantom now, and unless you are a coward, you will face me in a duel!”

“Ren…” muttered Chelsea. “This might not be a good idea… I mean, just look at him!”

“Calm down…” said Ren. “I saw the videotape of that duel. I know this guy’s deck. There’s no way he could surprise me. And I’m not afraid of any Mask Deck.”

Fool… thought the Phantom. Do you really think I’d be stupid enough to use the same deck?

“All right, Phantom,” he said. “I’m going to pay you back for what you did to my dad… With interest!”

He lifted his Disk.

“You’ll find that much easier said than done…” replied the masked man.

The two Disks activated.

“Game on!” they both said.



(Ren: 8,000) -------------------- (Phantom: 8,000)



* * * * * * * * * *


Connie typed in Ren’s name, and his face appeared on the screen.

A flash appeared on the screen.

“Duel in progress?” she squeaked in surprise. “We can see it live!”

A video came up on the screen, and Connie and Sally saw Ren facing the Phantom Duelist.

“Who’s that?” asked Sally. “He looks pretty tough…”

“Aw, he’s nothing my big brother can’t handle…” replied Connie.



* * * * * * * * * *


“All right, Phantom…” said Ren, drawing a first card. “Prepare to have that mask knocked off your head…”

He looked at his hand.

“For starters, I summon Double Pinaska in Attack Mode.”

He played the card, and the machete-wielding Spaniard appeared, twirling his weapons. (1,500/1,500)

“That’s enough for now.”

“Not bad…” said the Phantom, as he drew his first card, “but I can do better.”

He chose a card from his hand.

“I summon… Picador Fiend.”

He played the card, and a creeping shadow appeared on the field. From out of the shadow, a horrific creature emerged. It was a skeletal figure, wearing an evil, grinning mask, with skulls mounted on its shoulders and large leathery wings. It rode a demonic horse that was gaunt and hairless, with ram-like horns. (1,600/0)

“Good lord…” muttered Sam. “I’ve never seen that before…”

“Great…” said Yumi. “This from someone who plays a Fiend Deck…”

“Picador…” ordered the Phantom, “attack his foolish Spaniard with mortal smite!”

Picador Fiend’s eyes, the eyes of its mount, and the eyes on its skull-like shoulder-guards glowed green. It shot a wave of intense, green flames at Double Pinaska…

“Pinaska, defect!” shouted Ren.

Double Pinaska crossed his machetes, and caught the blast, knocking it away.

“So…” said the Phantom. “His effect let him survive. Oh well… He can only do that once…

“I’ll place one card facedown, and then my move is over.”

A facedown card materialized.

Ren drew a card.

“Heh, heh…” he chuckled. “I summon Dark Blade in Attack Mode.”

He threw the card on his Disk, and the black-armored Warrior appeared. (1,800/1,500)



http://www.ideal808.com/images/mfc-007.jpg


The Phantom’s eye narrowed.

“Time to take out the trash…” said Ren. “Dark Blade, attack his Picador Fiend!”

Dark Blade made two slashes with his blades. Picador Fiend was thrown from its mount, and then shattered into pixels. Then the mount shattered.

“Double Pinaska, attack directly! Double slash!”

Double Pinaska twirled his weapons and leapt up, bringing them down on the Phantom Duelist. He staggered backwards.



(R: 8,000) -------------------- (P: 6,300)


The Phantom caught his breath.

“Having fun, Reginald?” he asked.

“Naw…” said Ren, sarcastically. “I’m having a terrible time kicking your ass! Your move, loser.”

The Phantom just stared at him as he drew.

“Loser…” he said. “I’ll show you who’s a loser…

“I play my… Pot of Greed.”

He played the card, and the evil jar appeared. He drew two cards.

“Now to set the stage that will seal your fate…” he said, as his Field Slot opened.

He placed a card in the slot and it closed.

“I play… Dark Arena!”

An aura of uncanny darkness covered the whole field. Then, structures of diabolic design rose up around them, and cheering from an audience echoed over them. It looked sort of like…

“A… bullfighting ring?” asked Ren.

“Yes…” said the Phantom. “And you’re the bull.”

Ren looked up. The cheering was coming from an audience consisting of demonic creatures…

“According to legend,” said the Phantom, “one pastime that demons have is to kill mortals in gladiatorial matches that are similar to mortal bullfights. As you might expect, like a bullfight, the bull has no chance.

“One of those reasons is, in this arena, it’s so dark, most Monsters can’t see where they’re going. All Monsters in Attack Mode must attack when they are able to. However, unless a Monster has the word ‘Fiend’ in its name, you can’t choose the target – I can choose it for you.”

“Now…

“I raise my Picador Fiend from the Graveyard with Call of the Haunted!”

His facedown card lifted, and Picador Fiend appeared out of the darkness. Its eyes and the eyes of its mount glowed even fiercer in the uncanny gloom. (1,600/0)

“And by the way…” he continued, “in Dark Arena, his power grows. He gains the ability to attack directly.”

Picador Fiend blasted its evil smite, and Ren hollered as it hit him. The fiendish spectators cheered.



(R: 6,400) -------------------- (P: 6,300)


“Hey…” he muttered. “That… hurt!”



* * * * * * * * * *


Connie and Sally gasped in fear.

“He… he isn’t really hurt, is he?” asked Sally.

“Uh…” muttered Connie. “I… Well… He… He told me it was rough…

“Ren, come on, beat this guy…”



* * * * * * * * * *


“Continuing my turn,” said the Phantom, “I now bring out the true star of Dark Arena… I play the Spell Card, Ritual of the Matador!”

A gory fountain appeared on the field as he played the card.

“And I sacrifice my Beast of Talwar from my hand to do so. Arise.”



http://www.ideal808.com/images/psv-1031.jpg


Beast of Talwar appeared on the field and vanished. In its place rose a tall, gaunt Fiend, with dark skin, claws, talons, and huge, red, leathery wings. Its eyes glowed with minute pinpoints. (0/0)

“Zero attack points and zero defense points?” asked Ren.

The Pharaoh gave a worried look.

“This looks bad, Yumi,” he said. “Usually a Monster with no Attack and Defense is hiding some dangerous secret. I learned that firsthand from Pegasus when he summoned Relinquished.”

“Your move…” said the Phantom.

“I’ll move, all right…” muttered Ren, drawing a card.

It was Crescent Moon Queen. His best card.

Time for a little payback… he thought.

“I sacrifice Double Pinaska and Dark Blade to summon Crescent Moon Queen!” he shouted.

His two Warriors vanished, and the powerful Queen appeared on the field. (2,600/1,700)

When she saw the Phantom, she gave a look best described as absolute fury…

“Oh, look…” he said. “She remembers me… Hello Queen, so good to see you again. How long has it been? A month? A year? A millennium? It seems so long…

“Did I ever tell you how much fun it was forcing you to attack Clive?”

She grit her teeth…

“Queen… Attack!” shouted Ren.

Crescent Moon Queen charged forward.

“Face her, my Matador!” shouted the Phantom.

Crescent Moon Queen charged at Matador Fiend with her blades… The Matador’s eyes glowed more brightly in the gloom, and its fanged mouth opened in anticipation…

Then a beam of energy shot from the Matador’s eyes, and the Queen screamed. She exploded into pixels.

“I believe,” said the Phantom, “the correct word to say in such a case is… Ole.”

The demonic crowd cheered with delight.

“What?” asked Ren. “But… How?”

“Heh, heh,” chuckled the Phantom. “I didn’t mention… To make up for its nonexistent Attack and Defense, Matador Fiend has a lethal ability. The battle damage it receives from an attacking Monster is reduced to zero, and any Monster that attacks it… dies.

“Guess you found that out the hard way.”

Ren scowled.

“It’s still my move, Phantom!” he shouted.

He took three cards from his hand.

“First, I place a card facedown…”

He fit a card in his Disk, and a facedown card appeared.

“Next, I play the Spell Card, Frontline Base…”

The Spell Card appeared on his side of the field.

“Now I can Special Summon one Union Monster from my hand. So I summon Pitch-Dark Dragon in Defense Mode.”

He placed the card on his Disk, and the Dragon appeared, folding its wings. (900/600)



http://www.ideal808.com/images/mfc-008.jpg


“All right, that’s all I can do…” he muttered.

“You’re grasping at straws, Reginald,” said the Phantom, drawing a card.

He looked at it.

“Your Pitch-Dark Dragon is hardly a threat to me at all. But then again, better safe than sorry… So I’m getting rid of it…”

He placed a card on his Disk.

“I summon Banderillo Fiend.”

A new Fiend appeared in a burst of darkness. It was a creature that combined the worst aspects of a bat and a snake, with a sharp, pointed head, and a demonic face on its torso. (900/900)

“And just by summoning it, I can destroy one Monster.”

The new creature glowed with an aura of fiery, purple energy. Pitch-Dark Dragon burst into shards.

“Be glad I can’t attack with it this round,” he continued. “But my Picador still can. Picador Fiend, attack directly with mortal smite!”

The Picador blasted his unholy energy, and Ren fell to his knees, sweat forming on his brow.



(R: 4,800) -------------------- (P: 6,300)


“I don’t even know what a Banderillo is,” muttered Erik.

“They’re weapons used in a bullfight,” said Sam. “My mom took me to one during our vacation to Europe. They’re small spears that they jab into the bulls to weaken them so that the matadors can kill them easier.

“I found the spectacle barbaric, to say the least… Like this guy said, the bull has no chance…”

“People, show some support!” shouted Chelsea. “Ren is in big trouble, and I don’t know how he’s going to get out of this!”

On the contrary, thought Yumi, I know exactly how he can get out of this. He simply has to draw it.

Ren slowly drew a card.

He smirked.

“I summon Getsu Fuhma in Attack Mode!” he shouted.

In a shower of lotus petals, the lovely female ronin appeared, holding aloft her katana. (1,700/1,200)



http://www.ideal808.com/images/ioc-0891.jpg


“You never learn, do you?” asked the Phantom.

“Getsu Fuhma, attack!” shouted Ren. “Blade of Vengeance!”

Getsu Fuhma charged into the darkness.

“Face her, my Matador!” shouted the Phantom.

Getsu Fuhma confronted the Matador… It fired its deadly beams…

And then, both Monsters exploded into shards.

The fiendish crowd was silent…

“WHAT?” shouted the Phantom. “What happened?”

“Heh, heh,” said Ren. “I’m full of surprises too, Phantom.

“There’s a legend behind Getsu Fuhma. They say that when she was a little girl, her parents and brothers were all murdered by creatures of darkness. So when she grew up and took up the sword, she swore an oath with her own blood that she would seek out and destroy such creatures, even if doing so meant dying in the attempt.

“In game terms, any Fiend or Zombie that Getsu Fuhma battles is automatically destroyed. And that was still a battle, despite your Matador’s powers.

“So while your Matador reduced the battle damage to zero and destroyed her with its effect, Getsu Fuhma destroyed it with her own effect.

“And now I activate… Call of the Haunted!”

His Trap Card lifted, and a tombstone appeared on his side of the field…

Crescent Moon Queen burst out of the ground. (2,600/1,700)

“This can’t be!” shouted the Phantom.

“Oh, it be all right,” said Ren. “And you be in big trouble. Crescent Moon Queen, destroy his two nightmares!”

The Queen charged, and two slashes of a sword, Picador Fiend and Banderillo Fiend howled. Both of them exploded into shards. The Phantom stepped back nervously...



(R: 4,800) -------------------- (P: 3,600)


Crescent Moon Queen panted in exhaustion, and knelt in Defense Mode.

“I place one card facedown,” said Ren, “and I end my turn…”

A facedown card appeared on his side.

The Phantom gave an angry look, and drew a card.

“I activate my Trap,” said Ren, as his Trap Card lifted. “Final Attack Orders. Now my Queen moves back into Attack Mode.”

The Queen stood up, and glared at the Phantom again.

“It won’t help you,” said the Phantom, looking at the card he had drawn. “I still have another trick up my sleeve.



Continued…

Dark Sage
18th May 2007, 05:41 AM
Continued from last post:



“Like I said, in a bullfight, even if the Matador dies, the bull never leaves the ring alive.”

He played a card, and a Spell Card appeared on the field that bore the image of an angelic form ascending into the clouds.

“Whoa…” said Ren. “Never saw that one before.”

“It’s a Spell called Ritual Foregone,” said the Phantom, “and it works as follows. I pay 1,000 Life Points, and then I am able to Special Summon a Ritual Monster from my hand without the required Ritual Spell Card.”

A second Matador Fiend appeared on his side of the field. (0/0)

“Of course,” he continued, “there is a catch. It can’t attack, and it would be destroyed when I ended my turn. So what’s the point, you may ask?

“I’m going to sacrifice it, to summon a creature that will win the whole duel for me. But don’t take my word for it…”

The Matador vanished, and a new Fiend appeared. This one was female, and dressed in a torn and ragged dress. She wore a white, grinning mask, and had tangled hair. She looked at Ren, and lifted her hands. Large claws sprouted from them. (2,100/1,000)

“Meet Macarena Fiend.”

“She can’t beat my Queen,” said Ren.

“Can she?” asked the Phantom.

Macarena Fiend cackled, and stared at Crescent Moon Queen without blinking. Her eyes glowed red. The Queen gasped, and stared back with a look of horror.

Then, to Ren’s horror, she turned to stone. Macarena Fiend made a slash with her claw, and smashed the statue to pieces.

“What happened?” gasped Ren.

“You Special Summoned her with Call of the Haunted, remember?” replied the Phantom. “So long as Dark Arena stands, Macarena Fiend destroys all Special Summoned Monsters.”

“You mean I can’t Special Summon Monsters?” gasped Ren.

“You can,” said the Phantom, “they just won’t last very long.

“And since you’re now defenseless…

“Macarena Fiend, attack Reginald directly!”

Macarena Fiend slid up to Ren…

WHAM! She landed a kick directly in his crotch.

Ren fell to his knees, wincing in pain, as Macarena Fiend stood over him and laughed and the diabolical spectators cheered again. Black roses were thrown onto the arena floor.

He told himself, he should have known that such a nasty Monster would stoop to such a low attack…



(R: 2,700) -------------------- (P: 2,600)



* * * * * * * * * *


Ren! thought Connie. Oh, please don’t lose! I’d die, I’d die!

She looked at the screen.

“Don’t give up big brother!” she shouted. “You can beat that creep!”



* * * * * * * * * *


“This is brutal,” exclaimed Chelsea. “We have to stop it!”

“We can’t!” interrupted Yumi. “This is an official duel, and if we do anything, Ren loses.”

Ren got to his feet slowly.

Somehow, he felt a warm feeling in his chest, despite the uncanny darkness. Something told him to continue…

“My move…” he muttered.

He drew a card.

He placed it on his Disk, and a facedown Monster appeared.

“Your move…”

“I draw one card…” said the Phantom, drawing.

He placed the card on his Disk.

“And I summon a second Picador Fiend.”

Another Picador, much like the first, appeared out of the gloom. (1,600/0)

“You remember what he can do, right? Picador Fiend, attack directly.”

For the third time, the Picador’s blast hit Ren in the chest, and he howled in pain.

“Macarena Fiend, destroy his facedown Monster.”

Macarena Fiend leveled a kick, and Ren’s second Dark Blade was smashed to pieces.

“Pity…” said the Phantom. “I could have attacked it with Picador and hurt you even worse with my Macarena. Oh well, better safe than sorry…”



(R: 1,100) -------------------- (P: 2,600)


“What’s Ren gonna do?” asked Chelsea. “Can Zombyra stand up to that thing?”

“Sure…” muttered Yumi. “But if he attacked with Zombyra, it would be a draw, and Ren would face a direct attack from the Picador on the next turn. If Ren attacked the Picador with Zombyra, Zombyra would lose 200 Attack Points, and Macarena Fiend would destroy him on the next turn. And don’t forget, Ren can’t choose who his Monsters attack.

“Let’s face it… Without being able to Special Summon, Ren is at a tremendous disadvantage.”

That’s for sure, thought Ren. Even if I drew my second Getsu Fuhma, he’d obviously direct her attack against the Macarena, leaving me defenseless against the Picador on his next turn.

There’s gotta be something I can do… But what? This Dark Arena gives him too much power…

He paused.

That’s it… All his Monsters gain power from this Field Spell… The key to beating him is destroying this blasted Arena… But how…

He drew a card.

“I play… Pot of Greed,” he said, playing the card.

The jar appeared, and he drew twice.

“Perfect,” he said. “Time to end this twisted show…”

His Field Slot opened.

“I play Mystic Plasma Zone!”

The fiends in the audience groaned, as they faded into mist. Dark Arena crumbled, falling into rubble, and a dark fog replaced it.

“Heh, heh…” chuckled the Phantom. “Nice. In case you didn’t notice, all my Monsters are just as Dark as yours. You may have destroyed my Field, but you made my Fiends even stronger.”

Picador Fiend rose to (2,100/0) and Macarena Fiend rose to (2,600/600).

“Oh, did I?” asked Ren. “Well, now that she no longer has Dark Arena, Macarena Fiend can no longer destroy Special Summoned Monsters.

“And since you have two Monsters on the field and I have none, I can Special Summon this guy… The Fiend Megacyber!”

He threw the card on his Disk, and the hulking, cybernetic Warrior appeared. He clenched his fists and growled. (2,200/1,200) –> (2,700/800)



http://www.ideal808.com/images/psv-100.jpg


“Wait a minute!” shouted the Phantom.

“Fiend Megacyber…” ordered Ren. “Attack Picador Fiend with mega-slash!”

The Fiend Megacyber slashed at the Fiend with his blades, and it tumbled from its mount. Both exploded into particles.



(R: 1,100) -------------------- (P: 2,000)


“Your move…” said Ren with a smile.

The Phantom drew a card.

This will not do! he thought, looking at the card. Thanks to that Trap of his, I can’t even move Macarena into Defense Mode!

Even worse, even if I bring back Dark Arena, that Warrior won’t be affected by it… the word ‘Fiend’ is clearly there in its name… As if it matters… Thanks to what I thought was a good plan, I’m reduced to topdecking!

He placed a card on his Disk, and a facedown Monster appeared.

He waved his hand.

Ren drew a card.

Well, I guess I can use him after all, he thought.

“I summon… Zombyra the Dark!” he shouted.

In a burst of energy, a dark portal opened, and Zombyra flew out. (2,100/500) –> (2,600/100)



http://www.ideal808.com/images/db2-en010.jpg


“Megacyber, attack Macarena Fiend!”

Megacyber made a slash across Fiend’s chest with its blade, and she shrieked. She exploded into triangles

“Zombyra, attack his facedown Monster! Super-powered punch attack!”

Zombyra flew at the facedown card, and Manju of the Ten-Thousand Hands appeared on the card. It was blown to pieces.



(R: 1,100) -------------------- (P: 1,900)


Zombyra held his chest, and his Attack Score fell to 2,400.

“So what now, metalhead?”

The Phantom stared at him angrily.

“I don’t like that…” he said with a growl. “I never thought I did, and now I’m sure…”

He drew one card.

He looked at it.

“I summon Dark Elf in Attack Mode,” he said.

With a sinister cackle, a tall woman in a black robe, with pointed ears and black hair, wearing a tiara appeared in front of him. (2,000/800) –> (2,500/400)



http://www.ideal808.com/images/mrd-113.jpg


“Smooth move,” said Yumi. “She’s stronger than Zombyra. But you forgot something… If you attack using her, it will cost you 1,000 Life Points, and you’re low enough as it is.”

“I’m not going to,” said the Phantom. “She’s just going to stall. Your Megacyber can certainly kill her, but Zombyra can’t attack me. Unless you draw a third Monster, I still have a chance to turn this around.”

Ren looked at him.

“I draw one card…” he said.

He looked at it.

“Hmm…” he said.

“Didn’t draw a Monster, did you?” asked the Phantom.

“Not technically, no…” replied Ren. “But I drew a way to bring my best one back…”

He played the card.

“I play The Warrior Returning Alive. Now I can take one Warrior from my Graveyard, and add it to my hand.”

A card slipped out of his discard slot.

“And since Level doesn’t matter, you can probably guess who it is.”

The Phantom’s one eye that was visible widened…

“So now, I sacrifice The Fiend Megacyber and Zombyra the Dark to bring back Crescent Moon Queen one more time…”

The two Warriors vanished, and then the powerful female Warrior appeared, brandishing her blades in fury. (2,600/1,700) –> (3,100/1,300)

“As Sam once said,” said Ren, “you can’t keep a good Monster down for long. Queen, destroy his Dark Elf!”

The Queen charged, and cleaved Dark Elf in two.

“Now, finish him off! Attack directly!”

The Warrior charged towards the masked duelist in rage, and her sword slammed into him with the force of a sledgehammer. The Phantom Duelist flew backwards, striking something with a loud clang.



(R: 1,100) -------------------- (P: 0)


Everyone watching cheered as Crescent Moon Queen turned to Ren and smiled…

…and then she slowly disappeared, along with the darkness of the Field Spell.

Chelsea ran up to Ren and hugged him.

“Oh, if only your dad could have seen that!” she laughed.

“Yeah…” said Ren, somewhat surprised.

He looked at his badge. It was Blue now.

Then both of them noticed that they were hugging each other. They blushed, and slowly let go.

“Okay, Phantom, I want to know…” started Ren.

He stopped.

The Phantom was gone. All that remained where he had been was the dented ventilation duct that he had crashed into.

“Strange…” muttered Yumi. “I have to wonder if there was something about that whole thing that we didn’t know about…”



* * * * * * * * * *


“YAY!” shouted Connie and Sally.

“That’s my brother!” laughed Connie. “And he’s going all the way! I just know it!”



* * * * * * * * * *


One hour later…

Rasputin was sitting at the computer in his hotel suite. Louis was standing next to him, while Olga and Nicholas were sitting on a couch nearby, visibly nervous.

The Phantom was staring at him from behind, but Rasputin wasn’t looking at him.

“You have a lot of nerve coming back here, Phantom,” said Rasputin. “I hire you to duel one kid, and you louse up royally.”

“Rasputin…” said the Phantom, who was somewhat annoyed, “the terms of you hiring me was for me to duel him to scare those kids. You said I would be paid whether I won or lost. My end of the bargain has been fulfilled, and I merely have come to collect my fee.”

“Have you now?” said Rasputin, not turning around. “Phantom, they certainly didn’t look scared to me, and I don’t pay for abysmal failures. It doesn’t make me look good.

“If you think you can force me, think again. Think of the contacts I have, and how dangerous they are. Consider yourself lucky I’m not charging you anything for getting you to this island with the others.

“This conversation is over. Louis, please show the man out.”

Louis moved towards the Phantom…

…only to get a fist in the eye that knocked him out cold.

“It will be a cold day in Hell before some musclebound thug is able to ‘show me out’,” said the Phantom.

Rasputin looked at his bodyguard, and a look of fear crossed his face.

“Will you look at me when you speak to me now, you bastard?” asked the Phantom, grabbing his neck. “It’s only polite, after all…”

Rasputin choked as the Phantom forced him too. Nicholas and Olga dove behind the couch.

“Listen closely, Rasputin…” said the Phantom. “I’m a mercenary with contacts that reach far wider than yours, and if there’s one thing I can’t stand, it’s folks who renege on a deal.

“And I happen to know of many powerful individuals who would pay handsome bounties for proof that you were no longer alive.

“So you will either hand over the promised payment, or I will get restitution from one of them…”

“Olga…” gasped Rasputin. “Get my… checkbook…”

“We agreed on cash!” shouted the Phantom.

“Open the safe!” shouted Rasputin.



* * * * * * * * * *


Ten minutes later…

The Phantom finished counting the stack of Euros.

“It was a pleasure doing business with you,” he said, sarcastically. “If you need me again…

“Well, tell you what, if that happens, I’ll find you…”

He glared at Rasputin and left.

Rasputin slumped in a chair, still shivering. Louis sat in another chair, holding a piece of raw meat on his black eye.

“Don’t get it…” muttered Louis. “How’d he get the drop on me?”

“Because he’s a master of twenty-eight styles of martial arts, and your fighting skills were learned on the streets,” said Olga. “Frankly, I was against hiring him from the start… There are just some folks that can’t be intimidated.”

“Rasputin…” said Nicholas, “she has a point. You have to learn that there are some people you just can’t bully. He wasn’t like my old tutor… or your last secretary… Or the pizza guy! I can’t believe what you did to that poor bloke…”

“Hey!” shouted Rasputin. “When I order a large, half-pepperoni, half-veggie deep dish pizza, I expect to GET a large, half-pepperoni, half-veggie deep dish pizza!”

He picked up the talisman.

“I’ll get revenge eventually,” he said. “On him and all those ‘individuals’ he mentioned that want me dead. Once I have all eight Charms, I’ll be able to move mountains…”

He paused as he looked at it.

“And we’re in luck… Another Charm has revealed itself. A powerful one. The Gale Shield, the Charm crafted by Malnus the Recluse.”

“What does that one do again?” asked Nicholas.

“It’s powerful,” said Rasputin. “It’s a bronze armband. It gives the user partial immortality, making him impervious to physical harm. Except from anyone holding another Charm, that is. If it made him ageless, it would be all we needed, but unfortunately, that isn’t the case.”

He paused.

“Unfortunately, it’s been claimed already… By that crazy cat duelist…”

He paused again.

“Well, a Yami no Oujou isn’t necessary now, but the only way to get it is to win it. Someone has to do so before Yumi and her cohorts find out about it… and/or Felicia realizes that it’s more than a cheap trinket…

“Nicholas… Feel in the mood for a duel?”

Nicholas shrugged.

“Why not?” he said, reaching for his Disk. “It’s better than sitting around here doing nothing…”

“Wait…” said Rasputin. “We might be able to get a bonus along with this…”

He reached into his jacket and pulled out a small flask of green liquid.

“You can NOT be bloody serious,” said Nicholas. “The last time I did that, it took the poor girl six months to recover!”

“Do it,” said Rasputin, handing it to him. “I looked up Felicia’s duel with Ren. We might need a weapon against him later, especially if he’s capable of beating an assassin like the Phantom.

“Trust me, my boy… It will all be worth it in the end…”

Having beaten the Phantom Duelist, Ren gains long-awaited vengeance for his father. But now, Rasputin prepares to make a move that he and his friends remain unaware of. What will happen next?



PICADOR FIEND (Monster Card)

Card Specs

Type: Fiend/Effect
Attribute: Dark
Level: 4
ATK: 1,600
DEF: 0

Card Description: When “Dark Arena” is active on your side of the field, this card can attack your opponent directly.



MATADOR FIEND (Monster Card)

Card Specs

Type: Fiend/Ritual/Effect
Attribute: Dark
Level: 6
ATK: 0
DEF: 0

Card Description: This card is Ritual Summoned with the Ritual Spell Card “Ritual of the Matador”. You must also offer as Tribute from the field or your hand Monsters whose total levels equal six or more. When this card is attacked by another Monster, reduce the battle damage to this card to zero, and destroy the opposing Monster.



BANDERILLO FIEND (Monster Card)

Card Specs

Type: Fiend/Effect
Attribute: Dark
Level: 3
ATK: 900
DEF: 900

Card Description: This card cannot attack on the round it is Normal Summoned, Flip-Summoned, or Special Summoned. When this card is Normal Summoned successfully, destroy one opposing Monster.



DARK ARENA (Spell Card)

Field Spell

Image: A fiendish bullfighting arena shrouded in darkness.

Card Description: When this card is in play, all Monsters in Attack Position must attack whenever they are able to. If a player’s Monster does not have the word “Fiend” in its name, his/her opponent may choose the target of the attack for that Monster.



RITUAL OF THE MATADOR (Spell Card)

Ritual Spell

Image: An altar resembling the interior of a fanged mouth.

Card Description: This card is used to Ritual Summon “Matador Fiend”. You must offer as Tribute from the field or your hand Monsters whose total levels equal six or more.

Note: The proceeding five cards were first used by Titan in the “Yu-Gi-Oh GX” episode “A Reason To Win”. Creative credit goes to the writers of that episode.



MACARENA FIEND (Monster Card)

Card Specs

Type: Fiend/Effect
Attribute: Dark
Level: 6
ATK: 2,100
DEF: 1,000

Card Description: This card cannot be Special Summoned. When this card and “Dark Arena” are both on the field, all Monsters that were Special Summoned are destroyed.



Yumi: Feel good, Ren?

Ren: Well, it was good to beat that creep. I can’t help shake the feeling that Rasputin was hiding behind him somewhere. He’d probably be just the type to send an assassin.

Chelsea: So much about him we don’t know. What about Nicholas and Olga? What do they do? Are they just there for him to have someone to talk to?

Yumi: Maybe we’ll find out…

Coming up next, “Nicholas versus Felicia; Curiouser, and Curiouser”.

The battle is well waged…

Mystic_clown
18th May 2007, 06:39 AM
Yay! first comment on the chapter!

Hmm, is it just me? or did anyone else want to see Phantom win? I don't know why, but I just wanted to see Ren loose.

Yep, the return of Titan's deck. I never really liked it. Something about it just annoys me so much. Cool to see you redeemed Phantom by making him kick Rasputin's butt though.

It will be cool to see Nicholas duel. Let's hope he's as good as you've made him out to be.

jkBAKURA
18th May 2007, 08:58 AM
So Smalls flew the coop huh? I seem to remember that situation not going very well when it happened in Jurassic Park.

Ren is the one character who I haven't quite pinned down yet. This chapter didn't give him anything new, but it was more then made up for considering the opponent. There were enough mysteries throughout to keep me interested.

You were fighting an uphill battle against MoP's "Hell's Own," but then again that pitch black tone was not what you were aiming for. I've seen the Demon Bullfight deck in a few other places, but I have to call this one my favorite. (MoP's chapter while powerful, was a bit too long and graphic to sit in my stomach very well.)

I can see that you've been taking your time. The jokish lines are becoming less obvious, and the detail is being enriched. Even the cutaways to Ren's sister flowed well, and didn't yank me out of the moment like some scenes of yours have in the past.

And I did get a kick out of Macarena Fiend. Who else had a well known one-hit-wonder playing in their head when the monster was summoned?

Nicholas and Olga... I'm almost positive one of them uses Valkyries based on their vague appearance earlier in the story, but for the other one, I draw a blank. As for Felecia, I can't think of a way to streatch out a cat theme into multiple chapters, but I'm jumping to conclusions. You wouldn't have written the chapter if you didn't t least think you had enough bases covered to make it worthwhile.

Here's to hoping Cassandra doesn't stay away too long. I miss her already.

Remember that potential I talked about? I see it being used. It would be fantastic if that continued.

Oakbark
22nd May 2007, 07:04 AM
Again, nice chapter, I like where this story is going.

To be honest, I wasn’t that impressed with Ren’s duel. It was standard enough, and I felt the “glass rooftop” element was a direct copy of the YGO TV series. Plus you didn’t actually use it to any great effect, so the duel’s location was practically irrelevant, which was unfortunate.

As I said, the duel held no surprises, but maybe I’m just psyched up after the “house rule” style of duel, so do not despair, that’s only a minor blip.

The Phantom was quite a good character, I enjoyed him and I hope he’ll be back. For some reason, I felt on his side during the duel. Also, I liked Rasputin’s moment of cowardice – it showed he’s not the all-evil, all-powerful being I expected.

I like the way you’re building up a cast of characters along the way, with reappearances of Felicia, Heck, etc. But as I said before, sometimes a big crowd needs to be broken down to make characters come to life – I’d love to see a split in the large ensemble cast to get more info on the separate characters.

However, like jkBakura, I have noticed your in-duel conversations getting more relevant, more believable, less one-liner-ish. Keep up the good work.

I enjoyed Ren’s sister and her parts of the story – but I do feel like I learned more about her during the duel than Ren. Ren is still a very 2D character in my eyes. Nice Ren & Chelsea moment at the end.

Interesting how Sheena Arachne is just sitting in her control room doing nothing about what happened. If I were her I’d be out on the streets of Dueltopia, questioning Yumi and co. about what happened and getting into the action for the protection of my daughter Sam. I don’t see why she should have a passive role merely because she’s older and not in the “new group”. It doesn’t make sense in reality.

The Pharaoh has really taken a back seat, he doesn’t really say much these days, does he?

Awaiting your next chapter with anticipation, on the one hand I want you to take your time and perfect the next chapter, on the other hand I want you to hurry so I can read on!

Damien.

P.S.: Any competitions coming up?

Mystic_clown
22nd May 2007, 07:28 AM
Interesting how Sheena Arachne is just sitting in her control room doing nothing about what happened. If I were her I’d be out on the streets of Dueltopia, questioning Yumi and co. about what happened and getting into the action for the protection of my daughter Sam. I don’t see why she should have a passive role merely because she’s older and not in the “new group”. It doesn’t make sense in reality.

The Pharaoh has really taken a back seat, he doesn’t really say much these days, does he?

Hmm, I've noticed that. You'd think Sheena would be more protective of her daughter. Not exactly "parent of the year" material.

And yeah, you'd think the Pharaoh would have a bigger role. I mean, when Yugi Aknowledged his existance, he pretty much had as much screen time as him. He's barely appeared at all in this.

Shuppet Master
22nd May 2007, 08:10 AM
Okay, stop that. I'm not trying to be a mini-mod, but you guys need to give Sheena some slack. (Her background was my idea, you know!) I'm sure she's angry and worried about her daughter, but c'mon, she can't just uproot and scour the streets for info. She's got a tournament to oversee! Besides, she knows that those kids aren't babies- they'll handle themselves unless they ask for help. ;)

You DID read where she ordered her Centurions to hunt down the jerkward who created that phantomlist, right?

Great job, Brian. Don't let those people get on your back.

EDIT: I seriously and honestly apologize for anyone I may have offended. Don't take this post personally, okay?

Dark Sage
22nd May 2007, 08:18 AM
I thought I'd butt in a minute here.

You'll eventually see just how hardcore Sheena will be in handling the crisis, and how it pertains to everyone, not just - but including - her daughter. She does indeed want to protect Sam, but she must draw a fine line. She doesn't want to give Sam anything more than any other guests would get. Such treatment would not be fair.

I'm closemouthed as to what Sheena's actions will be, but trust me, she will do more than sit in her office and watch.

Dark Sage
24th May 2007, 03:15 AM
CHAPTER FIFTEEN



Nicholas versus Felicia



Curiouser, and Curiouser



As Nicholas left the penthouse, Cassandra, now again using the smaller deck, had the five cards spread out.

The three cards on top were, from left to right, The Fool, The High Priestess, and The Strength.

Below them were The Magician and The Lovers.

“One side of this conflict is revealed,” she said. “But an opposing force exists…”

She looked at the deck.

“I believe I will find Nicholas with this draw…”

She took the top card.

It was a strange card. It bore the picture of a young man hanging from the bough of a tree by one leg, his other leg crossed to form the shape of a four. His hands hung freely, and coins fell from his pockets.

“I didn’t expect this…” said Cassandra. “The Hangman is the sign of a man in turmoil and inner strife. What confuses you so, Nicholas? What transition have you gone through that troubles your soul?”



* * * * * * * * * *


What indeed?

Half an hour later, Felicia – a woman who would stand out anywhere due to her strange, yet sexy costume – was relaxing with a mocha latte at a sidewalk café. She had been quite active, getting back the rank she had lost from Ren and gaining two more, putting her at Blue.

She looked strangely at the large bracelet on her wrist. She had found it just lying in a trash can, and wondered why anyone would throw it away. Not that she knew what the symbols on it meant…

Nicholas watched her from a distance.

He took a card out of his deck.

Some years ago, a booster pack had included two very strange Traps and a very strange Spell. All three of them were Ultimate Rares in the pack.

But in the whole release, there were only twenty copies of the Monster that you needed to go with them. It was an experiment by Industrial Illusions, to see if anyone would compose a deck with the Monster as its centerpiece. If you did, you’d have quite a powerful deck.

This was one of those incredibly rare Monsters. Rasputin had given it to him, as a reward for his loyalty over the two years since they’d met. His record as a duelist wasn’t perfect, but his record with this deck was.

One thought was on Nicholas’s mind:

Am I a hypocrite?

He had been born to poor parents on the streets of London. And if there was one thing he hated among all else, it was the rich and the aristocracy. Snobs who had everything he could never have, likely never earned any of it, and thought that it was their God-given right to have it. The spoiled rich children gobbling chocolate at the candy store filled him with rage, and the debutantes flaunting their jewelry made him want to commit murder.

Most of all, he despised the monarchy. The King of England got wealth, fame, and prestige, practically for doing nothing. Great Britain’s monarch played no part in government. What did he do to deserve wealth and fame? He was born into it. It was that simple. Nicholas planned to support any Parliament proposal to abolish the monarchy once he became old enough to vote, if one ever came up. Sadly, all such proposals in the past had been defeated.

The clincher came when he was ten years old, and became so poor that he had to beg for handouts. He didn’t even ask the well-dressed fop for one – but the bastard went out of his way to make him feel worse, hitting him with a cane and saying that “his kind” should be rooted out like vermin.

It was as if he wasn’t even a human being… It was the straw that broke the proverbial camel’s back.

Nicholas wanted revenge. He secretly followed that man to his house, and when darkness fell, he forced open a window. He quickly grabbed the most expensive thing he saw, a bejeweled letter opener, and fled before anyone knew he was there.

He was surprised at how easy it had been. He was even more surprised when someone directed him to a place where he could sell it for a handsome price.

He decided what he’d do. If the rich looked down at him, he’d become a thief, and make fools out of them. In his eyes, they deserved it.

And for a while it went well. He quickly turned from an amateur thief to a great thief. He got more daring, burglarizing houses and filching jewelry, cash, and anything that was valuable. He quickly found out how to tell paste jewelry from real jewelry, and soon established quite a stash.

On one of his burglaries, he noticed a strange deck of cards. On a whim, he took it. He looked at the odd cards later, not knowing what they did. Another thief was more informed than he was, and told him about the culture of Duel Monsters…

But for now, that would just be a faraway dream.

It went on until he was fourteen years old…

…at which point he was caught. He guessed he wasn’t too great a thief after all.

As Nicholas lay on the cot in a cell at a police station, he wasn’t worried. The police only had evidence on him for one burglary. He’d do his time in juvie for a few months, and then start over again…

One could imagine his shock when a policeman told him he was free to go. Someone had paid his bail.

His shock turned to panic when he saw who it was. His benefactor was one of his victims, whom he had robbed a week earlier. The only reason he could think of for this man to get him out of jail was to kill him – the bejeweled golden cup he had stolen had been worth a fortune…

But the man, who said his name was Rasputin, told him that he had other plans. No normal thief could have stolen that cup. He saw potential in Nicholas. And he was looking for something special… He wanted a protégé.

Nicholas was faced with a decision: Either join this man whom he had robbed, or refuse him and risk death. Self-preservation won out.

For two years now, Nicholas had lived a better life. Crime was still a part of his life, but it was on a much higher level than simple burglary. Now it was the European underworld. Rasputin had taught him many things, including how to duel. And once he had revealed to him and Olga – his surrogate sister who had joined them at around the same time – the secret of the Shadow Charms, he had said that he would gladly share the power.

He would be immortal…

Nicholas had once hated nobility and aristocrats. Now he was one – an aristocrat of crime.

Maybe he was a hypocrite… But he couldn’t quit, at least not yet. The thought of immortality was appealing…

He looked at Felicia and hit a number on his cell phone.

“Target within sight,” he said.

“Excellent,” said Rasputin’s voice. “Now Nicholas, this task requires excellent skill, flawless timing, and near-perfect concentration. Are you absolutely sure you can do it?”

“Nope,” replied Nicholas.

“Argh!” shouted Rasputin. “Then try your hardest! And don’t forget that… thing.”

Nicholas frowned.

He took the flask of green liquid out of his pocket. He knew that doing this was below even his standards, but he’d make it up in the end.

He quickly swallowed the liquid. He made a face… The stuff tasted like turpentine…

He walked up to Felicia’s table.

“Mind if I join you, kitty?” he asked.

Felicia purred.

“Depends…” she said. “Are you going to challenge me or ask me out?”

“The former,” said Nicholas, placing a binder on the table. “But I have a wager to make that you might find interesting.”

He took a card out of the binder.

“I’ve seen you duel,” he said. “Your deck only needs one card… This one…”

He showed it to her and her eyes opened wide.

“Is that really Bast, the Queen of Cats?” she asked, getting excited.

“Indeed it is,” said Nicholas. “A powerful Beast-Warrior. Here’s my deal. We duel. If you win, you get this card, plus any five cards of your choice from this binder.

“Take a look. They’re all quite rare…”

Felicia opened the binder and started to look through the cards. He wasn’t kidding…

“If I win,” continued Nicholas, “I’ll give you Bast as a consolation… But I want that nice bracelet you’re wearing.”

This guy is nuts! thought Felicia. He’ll give me that card either way? It’s more valuable to a duelist than any silly bracelet…

She purred again…

“I accept,” she said. “But I don’t intend to lose. Since yesterday, my cats have fed well on three duelists, and they’re hungry for another…”

Nicholas returned his true deck to its holder. Then he took another deck out of another holder and started to shuffle.

This deck isn’t quite as powerful as my real one, he said, but it’s powerful enough. And it takes most folks by surprise…



* * * * * * * * * *


“I have to warn you, honey…” said Felicia, as they faced each other in the street. “My cats have been extra frisky lately. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.”

Nicholas smiled calmly as he took five cards off his deck.

“Try not to kill me too bad, kitty…” he said.



(Felicia: 8,000) -------------------- (Nicholas: 8,000)


“Game on!” they both said.

“Ladies first,” said Nicholas. “Chivalry isn’t dead yet, even when the goal with a woman is to kill her.”

“Cute…” said Felicia, drawing her first card.

She looked over her hand.

“And they don’t start out any better than this! I summon Panther Warrior!”

She played the card, and the ferocious panther-man appeared. He roared, and brandished his scimitar. (2,000/1,600)



http://www.ideal808.com/images/ct2_en006.jpg


“Heh… Best get a scratching post for that one,” said Nicholas.

“Your move, hon,” said Felicia, “but he’s coming after you next turn.”

Nicholas drew a card.

“I place a Monster in Defense Mode…” he said, as a facedown Monster appeared. “And that will be all.”

“Not much else you can do,” said Felicia with a grin.

She made another draw.

“I summon Nekogal #1 in Attack Mode…” she said.

In a flash, the younger Nekogal appeared, crouching over and bearing her claws. (1,100/900)



http://www.ideal808.com/images/tp6-en018.jpg


“Next,” said Felicia, opening her Field Slot, “I play the Field Spell Card, Gaia Power…”

As she closed the slot, trees started to sprout all around them, until the street had been transformed into a small forest.

“This handy card increases the Attack Points of all Earth Monsters by 500, at a cost of 400 Defense Points. But who wants to defend?”

Panther Warrior rose to (2,500/1,200), and Nekogal rose to (1,600/500)

“Nekogal, go!” shouted Felicia. “Attack his facedown Monster with cat scratch!”

The cat fairy leapt forward, ready to deliver a slash with her claws. A ceramic jar appeared on the card, and a one-eyed, snaky shadow with a toothy mouth on it appeared. It cackled before Nekogal made a swipe and slashed it to ribbons.



http://www.ideal808.com/images/db2-en104.jpg


“That was a Morphing Jar,” said Nicholas. “And since you flipped it, we now have to toss every card in our hands and then draw five new cards.”

Felicia looked at him. That was helping her more than it was him…

“Whatever you say…” she said, as she discarded her hand.

“But before I draw my five cards,” said Nicholas, discarding his, “I should tell you that one card that I’m discarding is Ojamagic…”

“Oja-who?” asked Felicia.

“Ojamagic,” said Nicholas, as three cards appeared in his hand. “When it goes to the Graveyard, Ojama Green, Ojama Yellow, and Ojama Black come to my hand.”

He drew five additional cards.

“And what are you gonna do with them?” asked Felicia.

“You’ll see…” said Nicholas, looking over his hand.

“Well I’m not done with you!” she shouted. “I sacrifice Nekogal so that Panther Warrior can attack you!”

Nekogal shattered, and Panther Warrior roared...

“Panther Warrior, attack him directly!”

Panther Warrior roared and slashed his sword down. Nicholas groaned as the slash hit him.



(F: 8,000) -------------------- (N: 5,500)


Nicholas took some deep breaths.

“Not bad…” he said. “But it’s my move…”

He drew a card.

“First…” he said, “I summon my Beetron-1 Beetletops in Attack Mode.”

“Beetle-what?” asked Felicia.

A large Machine materialized. As the name suggested, it looked like a big beetle, with wings, a frontal horn, and four legs, but also two tires in its rear. (1,700/1,500)

“And by the way…” continued Nicholas. “Since this happens to be an Earth Monster, it benefits from your Field Spell.”

(2,200/1,100)

“Purr…” said Felicia. “So what? Panther Warrior is still stronger.”

“Not for long,” said Nicholas,” playing a card. “I play my Ojama Ride Spell Card. And it works like this. I first have to toss the three Ojamas…”

He discarded the three cards.

“And in return, I get to Special Summon up to three Machine-Type Union Monsters from my deck in Defense Mode.

“So here comes Beetron-2 Beetle Turbo!”

Another robotic beetle appeared, this one with huge mandibles and a stinger, shielding itself in Defense Mode. (1,500/1,800) –> (2,000/1,400)

“And I’ll follow up with Beetron-3 Spider Base!”

A third robot appeared, this one consisting of two saucer-shaped units on top of each other walking on eight stilt-like legs. (1,000/2,000) –> (1,500/1,600)

“And now to show you the neat trick these things can do. Beetrons… Combine!”

The three Machines whirred and changed shape, fusing together into a much bigger, must nastier-looking Machine. It had wings, claws, a stinger with a huge blade, and a large cannon on its front.

It aimed its cannon at Felicia and her Monster…



* * * * * * * * * *


On the other side of Duelatopia, Heck was speaking to a girl he had met an hour ago.

“So you played high school football?” she asked.

“Yeah…” he said. “Until ah got hurt, you know…”

Then he sneezed.

“Weird…” he said.

He took one of his XYZ-Dragon Cannons out of his fusion deck and looked at it.

“Ah had the strangest feeling that this Monster just figured out a secret that it wants to tell me…”



* * * * * * * * * *


Felicia gulped…

“Meet my Assault Cannon Beetle,” said Nicholas.

(2,400/2,800) –> (2,900/2,400)

“And this thing has a cool effect,” he continued. “It works sort of like Cannon Soldier.”

“Oh?” said Felicia, nervously. “Well you have no Monsters to sacrifice except itself.”

“In a minute, I’ll have three,” said Nicholas, taking a card from his hand. “I play Ojamandala.”

He played a card that had the image of the three Ojamas as figures on a Buddhist painted Mandala.

“So, I give up a thousand Life Points, and I get to summon back my three Ojamas.”

Three small, goofy forms materialized in bursts of colored light. One was green, had one eye, and a lolling tongue. Another was yellow and had eyes on stalks. The third was black, bulky, and had sharp teeth. (0/1,000 x3)



http://www.ideal808.com/images/dcr_056.jpg
http://www.ideal808.com/images/ioc-001.jpghttp://www.ideal808.com/images/ioc-002.jpg


A large claw from Assault Cannon Beetle picked them up, one by one, and loaded them into a chamber.

“And for each one I sacrifice…” he continued, “I can blast away 800 of your Life Points.

“Fire!”

The Assault Cannon Beetle fired three blasts, sending the three Ojamas flying at Felicia. She grunted as she was hit in the stomach, then in the chest, and then in the face.

She held her head in a daze.

“I’m not done,” said Nicholas. “I still have its normal attack to use on your panther.”

Assault Cannon Beetle fired a bolt of burning plasma from its cannon with a huge blast, and Panther Warrior exploded into pixels.



(F: 5,200) -------------------- (N: 4,500)


Felicia closed her eyes tight as smoke rose from the spot where her Monster had been.



Continued…

Dark Sage
24th May 2007, 03:18 AM
Continued from last post:


“I hate Machines…” she said. “I hate bugs… I really hate Machines shaped liked bugs…”

“Sorry I have to be so rough,” said Nicholas, “but this is still a duel… I play to win…”

Felicia hissed, and bore her fangs. Nicholas got a little nervous.

He looked at his three remaining cards, one of which was a Spell called Front Change.

Next turn, he thought, I’ll use this to swap my Assault Cannon for a Machine that will be nearly unstoppable, especially in this Gaia Power Field.

Felicia drew a card.

“You and your Cannon are going to pay…” she said, playing a Spell Card. “I activate the War Lion Ritual!

“Now, I sacrifice Nekogal #2 and my Cat’s Ear Tribe, to summon Super War Lion!”

The two Monsters appeared on the field, and were consumed in a fiery conflagration…

Then the mighty Super War Lion leapt out.



http://www.ideal808.com/images/dc_05.jpg


“And my Field Spell gives him an added boost,” she added.

(2,300/2,100) –> (2,800/1,700)

“A slight error in your calculations,” said Nicholas. “My Assault Cannon Beetle is 100 Attack Points stronger.”

“Not for long,” said Felicia, taking one of the two cards left in her hand. “I play Rush Recklessly!”

She played the card, and Super War Lion roared as its Attack shot up to 3,500.

“Super War Lion, tear that Bug-Bot or Beetle-Bot or whatever it is apart!” shouted Felicia.

Super War Lion pounced, landing squarely on top of the Assault Cannon Beetle. The Machine exploded into hot metal and flaming debris. Nicholas shielded himself from it. Super War Lion roared in bloodlust.



(F: 5,200) -------------------- (N: 3,900)


“Well that’s bloody awful…” muttered Nicholas.

He drew one card.

“Here’s a good card,” he said, revealing it. “Pot of Avarice. Now I first get to take five Monsters from my Graveyard and shuffle them back into my deck. So I’ll do that with the three Ojamas, my Morphing Jar, and a Man Thro-Tro that I discarded when Morphing Jar was flipped.”

The cards slipped out of his discard slot, and he shuffled them into his deck.

“Then I get to draw twice…”

He drew two cards.

“And it seems I get three of those Monsters back. I play… Graceful Charity.”

He played the card, and his deck glowed. He made three draws.

“Now, I’ll discard my Front Change, and a second Ojamagic…”

He discarded two cards.

“…and you know what that means.”

The three Ojama cards appeared in his hand.

“I suppose you’re going to try to summon all three and then play Hurricane,” said Felicia. “Guess again. I’ll never give you three rounds to summon them all.”

“I don’t need three rounds,” said Nicholas. “With the right planning and the right cards, I can summon all three of them in only one round.”

He played a Spell Card, showing the image of a burly biker crackling with electricity.

“It starts with this card… It’s called Desperado Manager. You probably never even heard of it, because no sane duelist would use it, unless he was using the right kind of deck. It’s highly situational.

“It works like this. I draw two cards from my deck, but then I have to place three cards from my hand on the top of my deck.”

Felicia gave a strange look as Nicholas drew two cards and looked at them. Then he took the three Ojama cards and placed them on the top of his deck.

“Next up…” he continued, “another Spell Card. It’s Enchanting Fitting Room.”

“Wait… That card…” said Felicia.

“I pay 800 Life Points,” said Nicholas, playing the card. “Then I look at the top four cards on my deck, and if any of them are Normal Monsters that are Level Three or less, I get to Special Summon them. Anything else is reshuffled back into my deck.”

It was the perfect combo… thought Felicia. He’s knows exactly what the top three cards are…

A curtain appeared on Nicholas’s side of the field, and four cards flew out. Three of them, of course, were the three Ojamas. The other was De-Fusion.

“Well, De-Fusion is certainly not a Monster,” said Nicholas, as the Spell vanished, “but now I get to summon Larry, Moe, and Curly to my side of the field.”

In three bursts of multicolored light, the three Ojamas reappeared in Defense Mode. (0/1,000 x3)

Felicia stepped back nervously…

“And about your assumption that I was going to play Hurricane,” continued Nicholas, taking a card from his hand, “wrong. I have here a deadlier Ojama accessory…

“Ojama Delta Thunder!!”

The sky darkened, and thunder started to roll… The three Ojamas held hands, and leapt into the air. Electricity started to emit from the small creatures…

Then there was a colossal roar of thunder. Felicia screamed as she was struck by lightning.

“What… happened…” she gasped.

“Simple…” said Nicholas, as the three Ojamas alighted back on his side. “You lost 1,500 Life Points, 500 for each card you have on the field and in your hand.”

“Such… power…” she muttered.

“And Thunder has another effect,” said Nicholas, spreading his deck out. “I can take the aforementioned Ojama Delta Hurricane card from my deck, discard it, and its effect activates.”

He discarded a card, and a fierce storm erupted around the field. The trees of Gaia power were uprooted and blown away, and Super War Lion shattered into bits.



(F: 3,700) -------------------- (N: 3,100)


“I’ll get you yet, Nicholas,” said Felicia, drawing a card. “A humorist a few decades ago once said that the biggest difference between men and women was that men think the Three Stooges are funny and women don’t. I see his point.

“I play Pot of Greed.”

The jar appeared in front of her, and she drew two cards.

“Now I’ll play Stray Lambs, and that will do will do for now.”

She played the card, and two Lamb Tokens appeared in puffs of smoke.

Nicholas drew a card.

He carefully considered his hand. Ojama Delta Thunder was an incredibly rare card, and he could never hope to have more than one in his deck. But there was no sense in telling her that.

He fit two cards into his Disk, and two facedown cards appeared.

“Your move…” he said.

Felicia drew a card.

“All right…” she said, “time to lose your gruesome threesome. I summon Lady Panther.”

She played the card, and a new Beast-Warrior appeared in a burst of energy. It was a woman dressed in a toga, with a female panther’s head. She carried a spear with a crescent blade in one hand, and a bronze shield in the other. (1,400/1,100)



http://www.ideal808.com/images/lon-030.jpg


“Now I’ll give her an Equip Spell Card… Infernal Gauntlet!”

She threw the card into her Disk, and a glove that looked like it was made of red goo formed on Lady Panther’s right hand. She snarled and bore her own fangs.

“This Equip lets my Monster make extra attacks, so long as I sacrifice a Monster for each one.

“So… I’ll sacrifice one Lamb Token for one attack. Destroy the green one!”

One of the lambs vanished. Lady Panther rushed at Ojama Green and made a savage thrust, and the small Beast was thrown backwards before shattering.

“Now I’ll sacrifice another Lamb Token for another go,” she said, as the other token vanished. “Take out the yellow one!”

Lady Panther attacked again, eradicating Ojama Yellow.

“I still have her normal attack, and third time’s the charm. Destroy the last one!”

Lady Panther stabbed with her spear, and Ojama Black was blown away.

“You were lucky they were in Defense Mode,” she said. “Seems your luck has run out.”

“No it hasn’t,” said Nicholas. “I activate a Trap Card.”

One of his facedown cards lifted, showing a goofy picture of all three Ojamas stuffed into the same set of shorts.

“Ojama Delta Wear. Since my three Ojamas were destroyed in battle, they come right back.”

The three Ojamas appeared again, in another flash of light. (0/1,000 x3)

“Does this ever end?” moaned Felicia.

Nicholas drew a card.

He smirked. This was what he was waiting for.

“Actually,” he replied, “it’s gonna end on this turn.

“I play Polymerization.”

He played the card, and the three Ojamas merged into a swirl of multicolored light and an explosion of stars…

Then, a giant, egg-shaped creature crashed down on his side of the field. It was pale white, had eyes on stalks, wore trunks similar to the other Ojamas, with a small crown and a short cape. It let out a throaty laugh. (0/3,000)



http://www.ideal808.com/images/sod-en0341.jpg


“That’s Ojama King, right?” asked Felicia. “I’ve heard of him…”

A card slipped out of Nicholas’s deck and he took it.

“Maybe you have…” he said. “But not many people have heard of what I’m summoning next. I play this… Mecha Ojama King Transformation!”

Ojama King rose into the air, and glowed with blinding light…

After a few seconds, a transformation had indeed taken place. It had turned into a large, mechanical version of itself, made of shining metal. It laughed again, with a laugh that was deep and robotic. (0/3,000)

“What in the world…” muttered Felicia.

“As you can see…” said Nicholas, “this guy has exactly the same amount of Attack Points as the regular Ojama King – zero. But he does have the ability to summon an Ojamachine every round.

“What’s an Ojamachine you may ask?”

He placed a card on his Disk.

“This is an Ojamachine. Ojamachine Yellow to be precise.”

The creature that appeared looked like a grinning, robotic version of Ojama Yellow, crouched down on all fours. (0/1,000)

“This is seriously weirding me out…” said Felicia.

“It’s about to get weirder…” replied Nicholas. “This little dorkatron has a neat trick of its own.”

Ojamachine Yellow’s mouth opened wide, and a second Ojamachine Yellow popped out. Then that one’s mouth opened, and third popped out. Then that one’s mouth opened, producing a fourth. (0/1,000 x4)

“See?” said Nicholas. “When it’s summoned, I get to summon a token just like it on every free space I have.

“Now my Trap activates… Solar Ray.”

His other facedown card lifted.

“This Trap blasts away 600 of your Life Points for every Light Monster I have, in other words, five.”

Felicia’s eyes opened wide.

This is gonna sting… she thought.

A beam of light shot out of the Trap Card, and it hit her squarely. She screamed in pain.



(F: 700) -------------------- (N: 3,100)


She gasped for breath.

“I still have… Life Points… left…” she gasped.

“Not for long…” he replied. “Ojamachines… Attack Lady Panther!”

The four Ojamachines grinned even wider, and hopped towards the Beast-Warrior like frogs.

“What are you doing?” shouted Felicia. “They have zero Attack Points!”

The first one leapt at Lady Panther and exploded.

Then Felicia screamed as hot metal debris rained on her.

“True,” said Nicholas. “But when they’re destroyed in battle, my Life Points are safe. You, on the other hand, lose 300 for each one.”

Three more exploded, and Felicia screamed as she was showered in the burning metal. She collapsed on her back and moaned.



(F: 0) -------------------- (N: 3,100)


Nicholas paused.

The Gale Shield on Felicia’s wrist vanished, and then reappeared on his.

“Not bad…” he said, looking at it.

He took Bast, the Queen of Cats out of his pocket and walked up to Felicia, who was still moaning on the ground. He knelt over her.

“You fought well,” he whispered. “I see bright things in your future…”

He playfully tucked the card into her cleavage.

“Keep dueling… That card will make you much stronger… I’ll be back for you soon…”

Then he bent down and kissed her.

Felicia’s eyes opened… And then she closed them. A few wisps of green mist escaped from where their lips met.

Nicholas got up and walked away.

Once he was out of sight, he growled and took out his cell phone.

“Rasputin?” he said angrily, speaking into it. “The Gale Shield is mine… I hope you’re bloody happy…”

“And the pheromone solution?” asked Rasputin.

“It’s been done…” he growled. “Thank you so much for making me feel like a total bastard.”

“You make it sound like you raped her,” replied Rasputin.

“I kinda feel like I did!” said Nicholas, through his teeth. “Isn’t that what a rapist does after all? Make a woman helpless in front of him? Make her ‘his’?”

“Don’t concern yourself,” said Rasputin. “She’ll recover. It wasn’t thrall powder after all…”

“If you even think of ever telling me to use thrall powder…” snapped Nicholas.

“Calm down, Nicholas,” said Rasputin. “That isn’t a concoction that one uses frivolously. If it ever has to be used, and I doubt it will come to that, I will use it personally.

“We’ll keep Felicia under watch. She may yet be of some use to us. If the problem we have escalates, then and only then will we make use of what you did.

“But anyway, you’re at Violet now, right?”

Nicholas looked at his badge.

“Yeah,” he replied.

“Then you’re in good standing…” said Rasputin. “And we have plenty of time. Don’t duel again until I say so. With Yumi possessing the Crown, you and Olga must stay at roughly the same rank as her in case I decide to have either of you challenge her.

“Until that becomes necessary… uhm… well… find something to do.”

“Find something to do, he says,” muttered Nicholas, turning off the cell. “Sure, I’ll grab a beer and a pizza, take in a rugby game…”

He looked around.

“I wonder if Yumi is busy?”

He smirked. He thought of the Jacuzzi in his room, and wondered if Yumi would like to share it…


Continued…

Dark Sage
24th May 2007, 03:22 AM
Continued from last post:



One hour earlier…

The temporary truce between Yumi‘s group and Sam’s group was still in effect, and the group of five were having milkshakes. They had decided to watch a few duels without actually getting involved in them.

From the pair of park benches they were on, they looked at the situation. On one side was a tough-looking kid wearing a gym t-shirt. His side had Battle Footballer in Defense Mode (1,000/2,100), and he had 4,000 Life Points.



http://www.ideal808.com/images/dcr_001.jpg


On the other side was a geeky-looking kid with glasses. He had one Monster on his side of the field – a cartoonish Machine that looked like a steam locomotive. (1,800/1,800) He had 5,000 Life Points remaining.



http://www.ideal808.com/images/crv_en008.jpg


He drew a card.

“I summon Cycroid…” he said.

He played the card, and a cartoonish bicycle with an eye between its handlebars and fists on the handlebars themselves appeared. (800/1,000)



http://www.ideal808.com/images/crv_en001.jpg


“A bicycle?” laughed his opponent. “All it will get is a bad flat!”

“Yeah, yeah, laugh if you want, Norman…” said the smaller duelist, “but now I’m Equipping it with Training Wheels.”

He played the card, and a pair of training wheels appeared on the Cycroid.

“This lets it attack you directly. Go!”

Cycroid’s pedals spun, and it charged at the bigger duelist. He grunted as it slammed into him. His Life Points fell to 3,200.

“Now my Steamroid attacks your Monster,” continued the Vehicroid duelist, “and it gains 500 Attack Points when it makes an attack.”

Steam blew from Steamroid’s stack, and it chugged forward, slamming into Battle Footballer and blowing it to pieces.

“My turn is over,” he said, “and due to Training Wheels, my Cycroid goes away until my next turn.”

Cycroid vanished, along with the Training Wheels card.

The tough-looking kid drew a card.

“Okay, Wendell…” he said. “I play… Pot of Greed.”

He drew two cards.

“And fate is on my side,” he said. “I summon Familiar-Possessed Hiita!”

In a burst of flame, a teenage girl with fiery-red hair wearing a halter, skirt, and cape appeared, holding a staff topped with a red ruby. A large fox with blazing fur was next to her. (1,850/1,500)



http://www.ideal808.com/images/een-en028.jpg


“She’s strong enough to take down your Steamroid,” he continued, “but I’m going to make her stronger… I play the Field Spell, Molten Destruction.”

In an explosion of energy, the city street was turned into a volcanic wasteland. Fiery lava cascaded down slopes where buildings once were.

Hiita’s stats changed to (2,350/1,100)

“Of all the Field Spells in the game…” said Ren, “I hate this one the worst.”

“Worse than that Dark Arena?” asked Chelsea.

“I stand corrected…” he said.

“Hiita, break his toy train!” shouted the duelist.

Hiita twirled her staff, and fired a stream of flames at the Vehicroid. It exploded into scrap.

Wendell cringed as his Life Points fell to 3,950.

“Well, so much for that…” he muttered.

He drew a card. Then he looked at Hiita.

Cycroid reappeared, still Equipped with its Training Wheels.

“I summon Jetroid,” he said.

In a sparkling light, another goofy machine appeared. This one resembled a fighter plane with an angry face, hovering over the ground. (1,200/1,800)



http://www.ideal808.com/images/crv_en011.jpg


“Cycroid, go!” he shouted.

Cycroid sped forward, and slammed into Norman again. He grunted again as his Life Points fell to 2,400.

“I end my turn,” said Wendell, as Cycroid vanished again.

“What the heck is he doing?” asked Erik. “Anyone can see that Hiita is far stronger than that toy plane…”

“Heh, heh…” chuckled Sam. “Not quite… Jetroid may look funny, but it’s incredibly dangerous. If one of those two cards in Wendell’s hand is a Trap Card, he can activate it from his hand as soon as Norman’s Monster attacks it.”

Norman drew a card. Then he looked hard at Jetroid.

“I summon Tenkabito Shien in Attack Mode,” he said.

In another burst of flame, a noble-looking Samurai on a coal-black horse appeared. He was dressed in fine clothing, and held a razor-sharp nodachi. (1,500/1,000) –> (2,000/600)



http://www.ideal808.com/images/soi-en017.jpg


“Looks like Norman is onto him,” said Chelsea. “Shien there is immune to Traps.”

“Shien, attack his Jetroid!” shouted Norman.

Shien galloped forward on his horse, and with one swipe, cut Jetroid cleanly in half. The pieces shattered.

“Hiita… roast him…”

Hiita aimed her staff. Wendell screamed as he was burned by her fiery spell.

“You can stick a fork in that guy,” laughed Sam. “He’s cooked!”

Wendell slowly got up, his Life Points having dropped to 900.

He drew a card. Cycroid appeared on the field again.

“All right!” he exclaimed. “Check out the card I just drew.”

He held up the card, and Yumi and her friends looked up, startled.

It was Power Bond.

“Don’t do it!” screamed Chelsea. “You’re making a mistake!”

“She’s right, you know…” said Norman. “That card has a nasty side effect. Unless the Monster you summon with it has a base Attack Score of at least… Let’s see… 2,200, you’ll lose when you end your turn!

“And, might I add, you have only two other cards in your hand, and one is obviously the Trap you were intending to use… Exactly what do you plan on fusing with that Cycroid?”

“Why, another Cycroid, of course,” said Wendell with a smile. “I use Power Bond to fuse together my two Cycroids, to form my Pair Cycroid.”

A second Cycroid appeared next to the first, and they faded into a blur.

The end result was a larger, two-seated version of Cycroid, with two eyes and a ten-speed wheel. It made a dinging sound as it looked at Norman. (1,600/2,000) –> (3,200/2,000)

“Not even close!” laughed Norman.

“Oh, really?” asked Wendell. “Two words: special ability. If I reduce its Attack Score by 500, it can attack you directly!”

“Hey, hold on!” shouted Norman.

“Attack him directly!” shouted Wendell. “Double cyclone!”

Pair Cycroid flew into the air, glowing with energy. Its attack fell to 2,700…

And then it slammed into Norman, knocking him over. He groaned as his Life Points hit zero.

The three Monsters and the fiery surroundings vanished.

“Next time, stop and think before you call someone a nerd,” said Wendell.

“I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again,” said Yumi. “This game never ceases to amaze me…”

Sam sighed.

“He made a bicycle stronger than one of my dad’s Dragons…” she muttered. “I don’t know whether to laugh or cry…”

“Why don’t one of you offer to duel him?” asked Yumi.

“Uh-uh…” said Chelsea, shivering.

“Not me!” shouted Ren.

Yumi sighed. She certainly wasn’t going to, but it wasn’t due to lack of confidence or courage.

She took off the Crown of Souls and looked at it. That Shadow Game had taken more out of her than she had let them all believe.

According to Anastasia, there were seven more of these things, and she needed them all. Would that mean seven more Shadow Games?

She considered all the variables.

First, her enemy. Rasputin was somewhere in this city. She assumed he was a legitimate tournament guest because he had a badge, but she didn’t even know what hotel he was in.

Not that it mattered. She couldn’t just go there and start leveling accusations. More than likely, he had hired Holly, but there was no proof at all. And Holly couldn’t say anything until she woke up… If she ever did…

At this point she wondered if the coma Holly was in was simply a coma… Or if something horrible was happening to her right now, like what Marik did to poor Mai in Battle City… She shuddered at the thought of it. No one deserved that…

She thought about those two teenagers, Nicholas and Olga.

She frowned, and reached into her pocket.

He had actually given her his phone number. That was something… Was Nicholas going to attack her or ask her out?

She sighed… He was sort of handsome, actually… Such beautiful hair… That rolled-out-of-bed look…

She shook her head and came to her senses.

Then there was Olga. She knew even less about her…

A frightening thought came to her. Were Nicholas and Olga with Rasputin via their free will, or were they slaves? Anastasia said he was an alchemist… Could he have drugged them at some point? Forced them to serve him?

She knew a little bit about the ancient practice of alchemy. Most modern folks confused it with magic, but it wasn’t. It was more or less the science (the term was used loosely – many modern-day scientists didn’t accept it as a real science) of transmuting matter. Simply put, alchemists turned substances into other substances. Since everything that wasn’t energy was made of matter, a true master of alchemy could pretty much do anything to anything.

That was the goal of alchemy… the Philosopher’s Stone. An artifact that could literally do anything. Turn metal into gold, heal any illness, even grant the user true immortality…

Slowly, she came back to awareness.

She thought of a few other factors…

There was Maria. A duelist from her grandparents’ time who was no slouch, with a rare card that could destroy an Egyptian God Monster. But it was strange… Three of her four grandparents were great duelists, and they had never met a duelist named Maria. At least if they had, they had never mentioned her. You’d think if she could defeat the God Cards, she would have sought Yugi Mouto out and challenged him for them, as so many duelists with dreams of glory did in those days…

Come to think of it, that card of hers would have also destroyed the Blue-Eyes Ultimate Dragon pretty easily… So why wasn’t Seto Kaiba ever bothered by a teenage girl who wanted to beat him to prove she could? Kaiba would never have refused a challenge. If anything, he liked crushing gloryhounds who thought he wasn’t as good as he really was.

Yumi had seen the card with her own eyes… But apparently, Maria had never used it for anything.

Then she thought of Maria’s strange ally, Cassandra. She hadn’t revealed anything about her own past. Those Arcana Force Monsters were downright creepy…

Why was she helping? She apparently worked for Arachne… Did that mean that Arachne knew something about this? Or did Sheena not know a few things about her own employees?

She heard a gurgling sound.

She noticed what it was – her stomach.

It was one o’clock, the time she usually had lunch.

She turned to her friends, but they had found something new to watch. Two new duelists were facing off.

“Game on!” they said.

Yumi sighed.

She could wait.

Unbeknownst to Yumi, one of the Shadow Charms has fallen into the hands of her foes, even though the one in personal possession of it has some sort of crush on her. The danger has now increased, and the gap of power has now narrowed. The heroes had best widen it again soon…



OJAMANDALA (Spell Card)

Normal Spell

Image: The three Ojamas as figures on a Buddhist painted Mandala.

Card Description: You may activate this card when you have one “Ojama Green”, one “Ojama Yellow”, and one “Ojama Black” in your Graveyard. Pay 1,000 Life Points. Special Summon the above-named Monsters from your Graveyard.



OJAMA RIDE (Spell Card)

Normal Spell

Image: The three Ojamas riding on the front of a truck.

Card Description: Discard one “Ojama Green”, one “Ojama Yellow”, and one “Ojama Black” from your hand. Special Summon up to three Machine-Type Union Monsters that are Level Four or less from your hand or deck in face-up Defense Position. The battle position of these Monsters cannot switch.



OJAMA DELTA WEAR (Trap Card)

Normal Trap

Image: A goofy picture of the three Ojamas stuffed into the same pair of shorts.

Card Description: You may activate this card during a round that one “Ojama Green”, one “Ojama Yellow”, and one “Ojama Black” on your side of the field are destroyed as a result of battle. Special Summon the above-named Monsters from your Graveyard.



MECHA OJAMA KING TRANSFORMATION (Spell Card)

Normal Spell

Image: The image on this card was never shown.

Card Description: You may add this card to your hand from your deck when you Fusion Summon an “Ojama King”. Offer one “Ojama King” as a Tribute to Special Summon one “Mecha Ojama King” from your hand or deck.



MECHA OJAMA KING (Monster Card)

Card Specs

Type: Machine/Effect
Attribute: Light
Level: 6
ATK: 0
DEF: 3,000

Card Description: This card cannot be Normal Summoned or set. This card can only be Special Summoned via the effect of “Mecha Ojama King Transformation”. Once during each of your turns, you may Special Summon one “Ojamachine Yellow”, one “Ojamachine Green”, or one “Ojamachine Black” from your hand or deck.



OJAMACHINE YELLOW (Monster Card)

Card Specs

Type: Machine/Effect
Attribute: Light
Level: 3
ATK: 0
DEF: 1,000

Card Description: When this card is Normal Summoned, Flip-Summoned, or Special Summoned, Special Summon one “Ojamachine Yellow Token” (Machine/Light/Level 2/0 ATK/1,000 DEF) on every available space in your Monster Zone. Battle Damage to you from a battle involving this card or an “Ojamachine Yellow Token” is reduced to zero. If this card or an “Ojamachine Yellow Token” is destroyed as a result of battle, inflict 300 points of direct damage to your opponent’s Life Points.

Note: The proceeding six cards were first used by Chazz in the “Yu-Gi-Oh GX” episode “Champion or Chazz-Been”. All creative credit goes to the writers of that episode. (It also should be noted that the effects of “Ojamachine Green” and “Ojamachine Black” are unknown.)



BEETRON-1 BEETLETOPS (Monster Card)

Card Specs

Type: Machine
Attribute: Earth
Level: 4
ATK: 1,700
DEF: 1,400

Flavor Text: A high-performance fighting droid. It is able to integrate with other machines for a variety of combat techniques.



BEETRON-2 BEETLE TURBO (Monster Card)

Card Specs

Type: Machine/Union
Attribute: Earth
Level: 4
ATK: 1,500
DEF: 1,800

Card Description: Once per turn, during your Main Phase, if you control this card on your side of the field, you may Equip it to your “Beetron-1 Beetletops” as an Equip Spell Card OR change it back to a Monster in face-up Attack Position. When Equipped to a Monster by this card’s effect, increase the ATK/DEF of that Monster by 400 points. (One Monster can only be Equipped with one Union Monster at a time. If the Monster that this card is Equipped to is destroyed in battle, this card is destroyed instead.)



BEETRON-3 SPIDER BASE (Monster Card)

Card Specs

Type: Machine/Union
Attribute: Earth
Level: 4
ATK: 1,000
DEF: 2,000

Card Description: Once per turn, during your Main Phase, if you control this card on your side of the field, you may Equip it to your “Beetron-1 Beetletops” as an Equip Spell Card OR change it back to a Monster in face-up Attack Position. When Equipped to a Monster by this card’s effect, increase the ATK/DEF of that Monster by 600 points. (One Monster can only be Equipped with one Union Monster at a time. If the Monster that this card is Equipped to is destroyed in battle, this card is destroyed instead.)

Note: The effect of this Monster given here is an assumption, made by comparing it to “Z-Metal Tank”. Its true effect is unknown.



ASSAULT CANNON BEETLE (Monster Card)

Card Specs

Type: Machine/Fusion/Effect
Attribute: Earth
Level: 7
ATK: 2,400
DEF: 2,800

Card Description: Beetron-1 Beetletops + Beetron-2 Beetle Turbo + Beetron-3 Spider Base

This card cannot be Special Summoned except by returning the above-named cards from the field to your deck and reshuffling; then, Special Summon this card from your Fusion Deck. (You do not use “Polymerization”) For each Monster you Tribute on your side of the field, inflict 800 points of damage to your opponent’s Life Points.

Note: “Beetron-1 Beetletops”, “Beetron-2 Beetle Turbo”, “Beetron-3 Spider Base”, and “Assault Cannon Beetle” were first used by Chazz in the “Yu-Gi-Oh GX” episode “Magnetic Personality”. Creative credit goes to the writers of that episode.



DESPERADO MANAGER (Spell Card)

Normal Spell

Image: A burly biker in a leather jacket, his body crackling with electricity.

Card Description: You can activate this card when you have at least one card in your hand other than this card. Draw two cards from your deck. Then, take any three cards from your hand and place them on the top of your deck in any order.



OJAMA DELTA THUNDER!! (Spell Card)

Normal Spell

Image: The three Ojamas holding hands in a triangular pattern in a burst of electricity.

Card Description: You can only activate this card when you have one “Ojama Green”, one “Ojama Yellow”, and one “Ojama Black” face-up on your side of the field. Inflict 500 points of damage to your opponent for each card in your opponent’s hand and on his/her side of the field. Then, you may send one “Ojama Delta Hurricane!!” from your hand or deck to the Graveyard to destroy all cards on your opponent’s side of the field.

Note: “Desperado Manager” and “Ojama Delta Thunder!!” were first used by Chazz in a third season episode of “Yu-Gi-Oh GX”. Creative credit goes to the writers of that episode.



INFERNAL GAUNTLET (Spell Card)

Equip Spell

Image: A warrior with a flaming glove.

Card Description: During your Battle Phase, the Monster Equipped with this card can attack multiple times if you offer as a Tribute one other Monster for every attack it makes before its normal attack(s). The additional attacks this card allows cannot be used to attack your opponent directly.

Note: “Infernal Gauntlet” was first used by Chazz in the two-part “Yu-Gi-Oh GX” episode “Blinded by the Light”. Creative credit goes to the writers of that episode.



TRAINING WHEELS (Spell Card)

Equip Spell

Image: The rear wheel of a bicycle with a pair of training wheels.

Card Description: This card may only be Equipped to “Cycroid”. The Monster Equipped with this card may attack your opponent directly. At the End Phase of a turn in which the Monster Equipped with this card has attacked directly, remove the Equipped Monster and this card from play. On your next Standby Phase, Special Summon the Monster back to your side of the field and Equip it with this card again.



PAIR CYCROID (Monster Card)

Card Specs

Type: Machine/Fusion/Effect
Attribute: Earth
Level: 5
ATK: 1,600
DEF: 2,000

Card Description: Cycroid + Cycroid

This card can attack your opponent directly. In order to attack with this card directly by using its effect, reduce this card’s ATK by 500 until the end of the Battle Phase.

Note: “Training Wheels” and “Pair Cycroid” were first used by Syrus in the “Yu-Gi-Oh GX” episode “Tough Love”. All creative credit goes to the writers of that episode.



Chelsea: Well guys, I don’t know about you, but I’m ready to start dueling again.

Ren: We’re in Duelatopia, Chelsea. Challenges are everywhere.

Yumi: A challenge may be waiting for you Chelsea… But be calm, don’t panic, and remember your skills. What comes next may be hard for you… Your next opponent intends to play rough…

Coming up next: “Terror Tactics; Fighting Fire With Ire!”

This one ain’t gonna be a picnic…

Shuppet Master
24th May 2007, 11:32 AM
Well, that was a nifty chapter and some nice background development on Nicholas. I think we can safely say that he's not connected to Terone. :D

I liked the way he struggles mentally with what Rasputin has his do. I really am beginning to both hate and respect Rasputin. The hate comes from him using nasty alchemic substances for evil purposes. (Something tells me that Felicia is going to invoke a Shadow Game due to that potion used on her.) The respect comes from his amazing powers and sneaky methods.

Something tells me that the relationship between Nicholas and Yumi will surprise us as the story continues. ;)

I can't want to see what happens next, but first, back to some normal dueling.

Mystic_clown
24th May 2007, 05:27 PM
So pretty much, Nicholas is the love child of Raven and Chazz? With a similar past to Raven (being a theif to get back at rich people) and using Chazz's deck (what was that rare card he mentioned before the duel?).

I don't think we've seen anything new with Felicia's deck, although I am curious as to what that new card she got does. Although I was disappointed about there being no shadow game, it still was a pretty good duel.

A few chapters back, Cassandra said Yumi would have an 'unlikely ally'. I think now we're pretty sure as to who that ally is.

One more quick question before I go, from what we know so far, Nicholas pretty much has control over Felicia, which he considers "rape". Does this mean hypnotising someone is considered rape? XD

Dark Sage
24th May 2007, 05:50 PM
I thought someone might compare Nicholas to Raven. But there are two differences, one minor, and one major.

The minor difference is, Raven stole from a society that was truly evil and corrupt. Her actions might have been a little justified (not completely, but a little). Nicholas, on the other hand stole from a society whose only evils existed in his opinion. Likely, many of the people he stole from were honest men. But he wouldn't accept that. At the time, he wrongly thought that all rich people were evil, and that having money made you evil. He was wrong - his opinion was formed by his biased view of the facts. He could have gotten help through legitamite means, but he instead decided to become a criminal. His actions are not justified at all.

The major diference is: Nicholas is a total sell-out.

See, he spent most of his life hating the rich. But when he was offered a better life and given an opportunity to join that group, he accepted. He left the life of lower-class crime and entered the upper-class part of it. Instead of being the Artful Dodger, he's now under the tutlage of someone on Al Capone's level.

He has wealth and comfort now, and he can even say he likes it. Many of us wouldn't blame him, but he's become something he used to hate.

Nicholas wonders if he's a hypocrite, not knowing how right he is.

To answer your question... Well, you don't know yet just what that stuff did to Felicia yet. It may have been more than simple hypnosis. You'll just have to wait until she appears again.

Hinoryu
24th May 2007, 07:04 PM
Perhaps it's just because I'm a huge Manjoume fan, but that duel felt lacking without the Thunder chant at the end. Ichi, Juu, Hyaku, Sen! Though I should probably stop rambling about Japanese GX. Anyway, decent chapter, Nicholas' mental conflict was a nice touch. Conflicted villains are always good to have.

So Nichloas runs a Manjoume - Ojama Union deck. Well, it's going to be hard to write without him coming off as nothing more than a clone of the buzzsaw head, so good luck with that.

And Nicholas, also like Thunder, is represented by The Hanged Man. Stasis, stagnation, not being able to move forward... That has my attention. Keep the surprises coming.

Dark Sage
24th May 2007, 07:09 PM
I'll reply to this post too:

I'm also a big fan of Manjoume, which is why I chose this as Nicholas's second deck. However, I simply couldn't have given Nicholas Jun's catchphrase at the end. After all, the deck may be similar, but there's only one Manjoume Thunder.

Oakbark
28th May 2007, 02:45 AM
Hmm... i didn't understand why the duel for the Shadow Charm wasn't a shadow duel, after all, wasn't that what happened with Yumi and Holly when they battled for it?

Nicholas is a good character, although you do realise that the monarchy has had a Queen of England for the last few decades at least? Nicholas referring to a King of England made me feel like he was living in an historical time. But i've strangely warmed to him. I think he's a troubled kid taken in by the wrong person - a bit like the minions of Dartz in Yugi Sr's time.

I loved the Ojama deck, it was fab, and i'm hoping to see a longer duel with the Vehicroid deck as well. Don't be afraid to use common decks at all DS, provided you give them your extra edge!

Loved that chapter, looking to see more of the same - and better.

Damien.

Mystic_clown
28th May 2007, 04:35 AM
Oakbark: This is set in the future, so most likely, the current monarch is a male (and chances are, the next monarch WILL be a man.)

Hmm, I never really warmed up to Vechroids. Something about them I just don't like (like the Elemental Heroes).

I'm getting a feeling Chelsea's next challanger has something to do with this Eden guy.

Dark Sage
28th May 2007, 09:29 AM
As Clown said, Oakbark, the current heir to the throne of England is Prince Charles. Also, Charles only has sons, no daughters, so the heir after him is also male. Thus, during the time of this story, the monarch of England is almost definately a king.

As for Chelsea's next duel... She will face Edan eventually. Whether it will be next chapter, we'll all have to wait and see.

Dark Sage
30th May 2007, 05:15 AM
CHAPTER SIXTEEN



Terror Tactics



Fighting Fire With Ire!



Rasputin rubbed his forehead as he went over the files on his flash drive.

“Clearly, dealing with that masked lunatic was a mistake,” he muttered. “If I want to scare them, I’m going to need someone more loyal…”

A face came up on the screen.

“Hmm, maybe he’s a little too brutal…”

He stroked his beard.

“…but then again, this isn’t the Good Ship Lollypop… Maybe Yumi will be shaken enough…

“…when she sees poor Chelsea burned on a pyre…”

He took out a cell phone…



* * * * * * * * * *


Ren was quick to remind Yumi of the promise to get fish and chips for lunch if she had won the Yami no Oujou. But Yumi wanted as little reminder of the painful duel as possible. So the five of them settled on a small Mexican place nearby.

Soon, Yumi and Sam were trying to show each other up again, with a very unique challenge…

“I can eat this burrito with two squirts of hot sauce,” said Yumi.

“I can eat my burrito with three squirts of hot sauce,” said Sam, smugly.

“Four squirts,” dared Yumi.

“Five squirts,” replied Sam.

“Six squirts,” said Yumi grinning.

“SEVEN squirts!” dared Sam.

“Eat that burrito,” said Yumi.

“Must they be competitive about everything?” asked Chelsea, watching the spectacle.

Ren didn’t answer. He concentrated on his taco.

They watched as Sam’s eyes bugged out, and then she swallowed her whole beverage in two gulps.

She glared at Yumi.

“You won that bet,” she growled, “but when we duel, you’re gonna lose, so it makes no difference!”

“Wanna duel now?” asked Yumi, with an evil grin. “I warn you, the Monsters in my deck are much spicier than any old beef and cheese burrito!”

“I warn you Yumi,” she replied, getting in her face, “unlike Mexican food, if you bite me, I’ll bite back!”

Chelsea looked up, and noticed someone standing behind her. It was a phantom dressed in expensive, outdated clothing, with long hair tied in a ponytail. He had apparently gotten his own lunch.

“This isn’t bad, Chelsea,” he said. “What is it?”

“A spicy chicken fajita, Dimitri,” she replied. “I’ll admit, they’re weren’t too many of them in Eighteenth Century Leningrad.”

She looked at him and shrugged.

Most folks were a little surprised by the fact that ghosts could eat. They didn’t have to, but they could, despite having no physical bodies and thus no digestive tracts. Exactly what happened to the food once they swallowed it was a mystery – their phantom forms certainly produced no waste.

It didn’t matter much. Most ghosts didn’t anyway, as being dead came with a loss of appetite. But some ghosts, particularly very old-fashioned ones like Dimitri (who had been a nobleman under some Czar when he was alive) were incredibly curious about the modern world, and liked trying every new thing they could.

“Did somebody mention spicy?” said a voice.

The man who said it was a handsome young man with Latino features in clothes that looked expensive, and were apparently custom-tailored. His most remarkable article of clothing was the stylish fedora on his head. He had black hair that had clearly been cut by a professional stylist, and boyish face.

“Heh…” he said. “Where I come from, seven dashes would have been considered downright bland. We tend to put that stuff on everything except ice cream.”

“You like Tabasco sauce?” asked Sam.

“Like it?” asked the youth.

He reached into his pocket and palmed a bottle of hot sauce. He tossed it to Sam, who caught it.

The brand name was Lobo Gourmet Style Salsa.

“Everyone in Mexico and Southwest America knows that that’s the best there is in hot sauce,” said the youth. “And my padre started the company from a wooden shack where his folks lived.”

He chuckled.

“We have more money than the Mexican government now…

“Keep the bottle, por favor… I always give out free samples…”

“And you are?” asked Sam.

“Enrique,” he said. “Enrique Lobo. And I’m also one of the top duelists in Latin America.”

“Care to prove it?” asked Sam.

“Nada, gracious,” he replied. “I’d rather duel her.”

He pointed to Chelsea.

“Me?” asked Chelsea. “Heh… How can I say no? I warn you though…

“My Monsters… They don’t care for sauce. They prefer blood.”

Enrique grinned.

Dimitri put his hand on Chelsea’s shoulder as he swallowed the last of his fajita.

“Chelsea, be careful,” he said. “If there’s one thing I learned while I was alive, it was to be wary of rich merchants.”

Chelsea gave him an odd look.

“Merchants are spoiled fops,” said Dimitri, “and the richer they get, the more they want. I knew one who practically owned the salt trade in Russia. Salt was a precious commodity back then… It was the only way to preserve food. If the Czar did something that he didn’t like, people could go without salt and let their stores rot until he got his way.”

“Believe me, Dimitri,” said Chelsea, “in the world of business, not much has changed since then…”

She got up.

“Let’s duel,” she said.

Enrique smirked.

Then his eyes narrowed.

This is it, Rasputin, he thought. The minute this duel is over, you and my padre are through… And he is never, EVER going to accept a favor from a jerk like you again…



* * * * * * * * * *


“So tell me…” said Chelsea, as she shuffled, “which goes better on nachos… salsa, or jalapeño?”

“Heh, heh,” chuckled Enrique. “Señorita, several men in my country have gone mad trying to answer that question. My opinion is, why choose? They’re both good.”

“Ain’t it the truth?” said Ren. “So what sort of deck do you think the heir to a condiment company uses?”

“I have no idea,” said Yumi. “Mexico doesn’t have all that many duelists. Most of them have to cross the border to find serious competition.”

Si, thought Enrique, loading his deck. But with my padre’s money, and a modern miracle called the internet, my deck is the envy of Latin America.

Hot sauce is good, but if you aren’t used to it, it burns your mouth badly…

And anyone meeting my cards unprepared…

Gets burned…

Chelsea saw that Dimitri was standing behind her, and apparently he was still hungry. He had a taco with him now. She frowned.

Just how did he pay for it, anyway?

“I’d say you’d get the runs, if that were possible…” she muttered.

“Excusa?” asked Enrique.

“Nothing,” said Chelsea.

The two Disks activated.

“Game on!” they both shouted.



(Chelsea: 8,000) -------------------- (Enrique: 8,000)


Enrique tilted his hat slightly. He drew his first card and looked over his hand.

“I’ll start out slowly…” he said.

He placed a card on his Disk, and a facedown Monster appeared.

“That’s it for now…” he said.

“Heh…” said Chelsea. “That wasn’t much…”

She drew a card and looked over her hand. She smirked.

Then she noticed that Dimitri was looking at them closely.

“Do you mind?” whispered Chelsea.

“Sorry,” he replied.

“I activate Call of the Mummy,” she said, playing a Spell Card. “This lets me Special Summon a Zombie, so long as I have no Monsters on the field.

“And I’ll use it to summon Zombie Werewolf.”

In an eerie fog, the vicious werewolf appeared. He glared at Enrique and howled. (1,200/1,200)

“Now I can Normal Summon a Monster…” she said. “And I think I’ll summon a second Zombie Werewolf! Double the pleasure, double the fun!”

With a howl and a burst of darkness, a second wolfman appeared next to the first. (1,200/1,200)

“I know that Día de los Muertos isn’t until November,” she said, “but these guys likely won’t be able to make it to your party then. So…

“Zombie Werewolf number one, attack!”

Zombie Werewolf flew towards the facedown card. The creature that appeared on it looked like a boulder with a face on it, and arms and legs.

The werewolf swiped with his claw, and it was smashed to pieces.

“What was THAT?” asked Chelsea.

“A Galeb Duhr,” replied Enrique. “A spirit of the land. And you activated its Flip-Effect. First, you get to draw once…”

Chelsea gave him a quizzical look. Then she drew one card. She glanced at it, and added it to her hand.

“Then…” he continued, “I get to take a Field Spell from my deck and activate it.”

His Field Slot opened, and he placed a card in it.

“Welcome to… Volcanic Cavern!”

The air turned hot and hazy, and before everyone knew it, they were surrounded by stone walls. Then came the big shock… Everyone was standing on islands of stone in a lake of molten lava. Surrounding them was a huge cavern, with lava pouring into the lake through inlets.

Chelsea looked around nervously.

“Okay…” she said. “Interesting… But I’m not done with you…

“Second Zombie Werewolf, attack him directly!”

The other Zombie Werewolf pounced, and slashed at Enrique with a claw. He grunted and staggered backwards.

“I’ll place this facedown,” said Chelsea, “and that will be my turn.”

A facedown card appeared on her side.

As soon as he tries to attack, she thought, unless the benefit this Field Spell gives his Monsters is immunity to Traps, my Widespread Ruin will blow his Monster to pieces.



(C: 8,000) -------------------- (E: 6,800)


She looked at Dimitri, who was looking very uncomfortable.

“You okay?” she asked.

“I lived in Russia all my life,” he replied. “I prefer the weather on the cold side.”

“My Spanish is a little rusty…” said Erik. “What exactly is Día de los Muertos?”

“The Day of the Dead,” replied Sam. “It’s kind of like Halloween.”

“Tell me, Señorita…” asked Enrique, drawing a card. “Have you ever read Interview With The Vampire?”

“Yes,” said Chelsea. “Yes I have, in fact.”

“Then you might remember something that Louis said about vampires,” continued Enrique. “He said that most of the things that legends stated could weaken or kill them meant nothing in reality. Garlic, mirrors, and even wooden stakes were worthless against real vampires.

“But he did admit that there were a few things that could kill him, like sunlight…

“And also…

“Fire…

“I use the effect of my Field Spell. Every round, a player can add a Fire Monster from his deck to his hand, so long as it’s Level Three or less.

He took a card from his deck.

“And Volcanic Shell is only Level One.”

“What good is a Level One Monster against my Level Four Zombies?” asked Chelsea.

“I’ll show you…” said Enrique, fitting a card into his Disk. “I play a Spell Card, to fire up my Blaze Accelerator!”

The lava erupted in front of him, and a frightening-looking device rose out of the lava. It was a flamethrower of some sort, mounted on a tripod. It glowed with fiery energy.



http://www.ideal808.com/images/fotb-en0401.jpg


“What on earth…” muttered Yumi.

“Blaze Accelerator is a powerful weapon that can reduce the most powerful Monster to ashes,” said Enrique. “But as you see, it’s a gun, and it can’t do anything without ammunition. And the only ammunition it takes is Pyro-Type Monsters that have 500 Attack Points or less.

“So… I’ll send Volcanic Shell to the grave, so it can fire!”

Blaze Accelerator glowed, and then it shot a stream of flames at the first Zombie Werewolf. He howled as he was covered by fire, and then exploded in a fiery burst.

“HEY!” shouted Chelsea. “That’s playing dirty!”

“No, this is,” said Enrique. “I have another Volcanic Shell right here, and I can use this thing more than once per round. I can’t attack on a round that I use it, but I don’t need to!”

The Blaze Accelerator blasted again, hitting the other Zombie Werewolf. He howled, and burst.

“You know…” said Dimitri, “a nobleman who was above me said that guns were a passing fad. He believed that right up to the day he was murdered… By an assassin using a gun.”

“Uh huh…” said Chelsea. “That sounds… Quite ironic…”

“All right…” said Ren. “I knew that this game could get violent at times, but this is a little… What’s the word I’m looking for?”

“I think it’s passed the line from violent into gratuitous violence,” said Yumi.

Enrique placed two cards into his Disk, and two facedown cards appeared.

“Your move,” he said.

Chelsea looked at him funny.

“No Monsters?” she asked. “Are you sure?”

He just glared at her. She drew a card.

“I use the effect of Call of the Mummy,” she said, “to summon Ryu Kokki!”

The lava pool burst in front of her, and the huge Bone Dragon Ogre rose out. (2,400/2,000)



http://www.ideal808.com/images/ioc-090.jpg


“Next…” she said, “I Normal Summon Blood Sucker!”

She played the card, and Blood Sucker appeared, also leaping out of the fiery pit. It screeched. (1,300/1,500)



http://www.ideal808.com/images/yugioh_premium_pack_8_pp8_jp004.jpg


“Good, Chelsea!” shouted Ren. “Way to stack your side!”

“Ryu Kokki… attack him directly!” shouted Chelsea.

Ryu Kokki lumbered towards Enrique.

I’m still protected by Widespread Ruin in case those facedown cards can kill my Monsters, she thought.

“Not so fast, Señorita,” he said. “I activate… Firewall!”

One of his facedown cards lifted, and a wall of flames shot up, blocking Ryu Kokki’s advance.

“What happened?” asked Chelsea.

“Firewall is a powerful Continuous Trap,” answered Enrique, holding up one of the Volcanic Shell cards. “If you try to attack me directly, I merely have to remove a Pyro Monster in my Graveyard from play, and the attack is negated.”

Chelsea looked at him.

“Then I’ll just have to get you to use them up…” she said. “Blood Sucker, you attack him!”

Blood Sucker leapt up and flew at Enrique.

“Firewall, activate!” he shouted.

The wall of flames shot up, and Blood Sucker was thrown backwards.

“You know…” muttered Sam, “now that I see them, I remember reading about these cards somewhere…”

“Oh?” asked Yumi.

“Yeah…” replied Sam. “I think they were used a few decades ago by a guy who was the head student at West Duel Academy…

“What was his name again?

“Oh, he was some guy from Egypt who was known for having absolutely no sense of humor. Erik, you know who I’m talking about… He always wore that vest?”

Erik shrugged.

“Anyway, he used this Volcanic Burn Deck, as he called it, both in school, and later in the Pro League. These cards aren’t exactly common…”

True, thought Enrique, but neither were your own padre’s Dragons, Señorita Arachne! If there was a law against using rare cards, they’d have locked him up before he was half the duelist he was.

He drew a card.

“I pay 500 Life Points to keep Firewall…” he said. “Then I use the effect of my Field Spell…”

He took a card from his deck.

“Now I have my third Volcanic Shell.

“Fire!”

The Blaze Accelerator blasted, hitting Ryu Kokki. It groaned, and then burst into an explosion of flaming skulls.

“You know…” said Chelsea. “The name of this game is Duel Monsters… As in, you’re supposed to fight using Monsters, not just Spells.”

“I do use Monsters…” he said. “There are just other ways to use them besides attacking with them. I’ll give you a sample…”

He placed a card into his Disk.

“First, I play Dark Room of Nightmare.”

As the card appeared, the whole cavern grew dark, and creepy, shadowy shapes appeared on the walls.

“What does that do?” asked Ren.

“It isn’t good…” replied Yumi. “With that card in play, every time Chelsea takes effect damage, she’ll lose 300 extra Life Points.”

“Now…” said Enrique, “I play Soul of Fire…”

A Spell Card appeared on his side of the field.

“I have to let you draw once to play this card,” he said.

“No argument from me,” replied Chelsea, making a draw.

“…but then I get to take a Pyro Monster in my deck,” continued Enrique, “and remove it from play, and you lose Life Points equal to half of its Attack Score…”

He held up a card: Hino-Kagu-Tsuchi.

“This might hurt…”

A roaring column of flame rose in front of Chelsea, and a giant man with flaming hair and fire surrounding its fists stepped out of it…



http://www.ideal808.com/images/db2-en182.jpg


The Spirit socked her in the stomach with its flaming fist, and she shrieked before she fell over.

Then the Dark Room of Nightmare card glowed, and she cringed as a shadowy aura covered her…

“Consider yourself lucky that you don’t have Hino-Kagu-Tsuchi’s effect to deal with,” said Enrique.



(C: 6,300) -------------------- (E: 6,300)


“It’s your move…” he said.

“The score is tied…” said Ren.

“Soon to change…” muttered Yumi.

Chelsea snarled at him as she got up. She drew a card.

Dimitri finished the taco and put his hands on Chelsea’s shoulders.

“Chelsea,” he said. “His Firewall may be a powerful defense, but he can’t use it forever. If you want my advice, just keep slamming into that wall until it comes crashing down.”

“Gotcha,” she replied.

“I play Premature Burial,” she said, playing the card. “Ryu Kokki, welcome back…”

Ryu Kokki burst out of the lava again. (2,400/2,000)



Continued…

Dark Sage
30th May 2007, 05:18 AM
Continued from last post:



“Seems like you’re up the creek without a paddle,” said Chelsea, “because you have only one Pyro Monster left in your Graveyard, and I have two Monsters!

“Blood Sucker, attack!”

Blood Sucker flew at Enrique.

“Firewall, activate!” shouted Enrique.

The wall of flames shot up, and pushed Blood Sucker back.

“Bad choice…” said Chelsea. “Ryu Kokki, get him!”

Ryu Kokki leapt forward.

“Forgot about my other facedown card, did you?” asked Enrique.

His other facedown card activated.

“I activate Burial From a Different Dimension. Now those three Shells I removed from play go back to my grave…

“So my Firewall has something to work with again…”

The wall of flames leapt up again, and Ryu Kokki was thrown backwards.

“Fine!” shouted Chelsea, “I’ll place one card facedown, and activate a nightmare of my own… Mirage of Nightmare.”

The facedown card, and the Mirage card appeared.

“I end my turn… So what are you gonna do now? You have no Shells left, and there can’t be THAT many Pyro-Type Monsters with Attack Scores that low.”



(C: 5,500) -------------------- (E: 6,300)


Enrique drew a card. He smirked.

He showed it to her.

Jigen Bakudan.

“Me and my big mouth…” muttered Chelsea. “My Mirage card activates!”

She quickly drew four cards.

“As does my facedown card… And since it’s obvious you’re never going to attack…”

The Emergency Provisions card appeared, and consumed both Mirage of Nightmare, and the unused Widespread Ruin.

“Never going to attack?” he asked. “Maybe… Maybe not… You may yet regret doing that…

“I’ll pay 500 Life Points to keep Firewall, and I think I’ll use the effect of my Field Spell to get my other Jigen Bakudan.”

He took a card from his deck.

“Fire uno!”

Blaze Accelerator blasted, blowing away Ryu Kokki for the second time.

“Fire dos!”

Again, the flames shot from the Accelerator. Blood Sucker screeched before it was incinerated.



(C: 7,500) -------------------- (E: 5,800)


“All right…” said Chelsea. “My move…”

She drew a card.

She smirked.

“I’ll use Call of the Mummy first…” she said. “And summon Vampire Lord.”

In a burst of shadow, the undead lord appeared. (2,000/1,500)



http://www.ideal808.com/images/sd2-en003.jpg


“Next, I’ll play Book of Life,” she continued. “I’ll remove one of your Jigen Bakudans from play, to bring back Ryu Kokki again…”

Ryu Kokki appeared, for the third time. (2,400/2,000)

“Then, Monster Reborn! Zombie Werewolf, return!”

The ankh appeared on the field, and Zombie Werewolf appeared. (1,200/1,200)

“And finally…” she said, “I’ll Normal Summon Pyramid Turtle.”

She played a card, and in a burst of sand, dust, and grit, a large, brown, sandy turtle with a stone pyramid on its back and an Egyptian crown on its head appeared. (1,200/1,400)



http://www.ideal808.com/images/pgd-026.jpg


“Four Monsters in one turn?” shouted Erik. “This is… wild…”

“Please…” said Enrique, casually. “None of them will get to me.”

“Want to put money on that?” asked Chelsea. “Pyramid Turtle, attack with dust of decay.”

Pyramid Turtle opened its jaws, and breathed a blast of dust and grit at Enrique. Once again, the Firewall sprang up, blocking it.

“Zombie Werewolf, your turn!”

Zombie Werewolf flew at him, and he was thrown back by the wall as well.

“Vampire Lord, attack!”

Vampire Lord lifted his cape, and a swarm of bats shot forward, only to be incinerated by the wall again.

Chelsea grinned.

“Check your Graveyard, amigo…” she said.

“Que?” said Enrique, looking at his Disk.

“Caramba!” he shouted. “I’m out of Pyro Monsters!”

“And I’m out of patience!” shouted Chelsea. “Ryu Kokki, attack him directly! Bone basher!”

Ryu Kokki lumbered forward, and this time, no wall of flames could impede it. Enrique screamed as it clobbered him with its powerful fist.

Everyone cheered as he fell to his knees… His hat fell off and fell to the ground.

Dimitri laughed.

“Wish I could have done that to that greedy salt merchant,” he said with a chuckle.



(C: 7,500) -------------------- (E: 3,400)


“Your move…” said Chelsea. “Next round, my undead army is going straight for you...”

Enrique slowly picked up his hat and replaced it…

His hand shook and sweat as he drew a card. He was nervous now… It was a long time since he had taken a direct attack that strong…

“I pay… 500 Life Points… to keep Firewall…” he said.

“Then… I play… Pot of Greed…”

The laughing jar appeared in front of him. He drew two cards.

Well… he thought, looking at them. Time to bring this duel to the next level…

“I use the effect of my Field Spell,” he said, “to add Volcanic Scattershot to my hand…”

He took his deck, and took a card from it.

“Now…” he said, “I bid adios to my Blaze Accelerator…”

Blaze Accelerator vanished in a ripple of light.

“And I bring forth Tri-Blaze Accelerator!”

With a burst of lava, a new weapon rose in front of him. It was a nastier, bulkier, squat cannon, with three barrels.



http://www.ideal808.com/images/fotb-en0411.jpg


“Let me explain the combo I’m about to use,” he said with a frown. “This weapon is an upgraded version of the basic Blaze Accelerator. Not only can it destroy Monsters, but when it does, their owner of the destroyed Monster loses 500 Life Points.

“And this is the perfect ammunition… The Volcanic Scattershot. It has two effects.

“First, when it goes to the Graveyard, you lose 500 Life Points…

“Second, when I use it to fire my Trident, I can send two more of them from my deck to the Graveyard, and wipe out every Monster on the field in the process.”

“That’s 2,000 Life Points!” shouted Ren.

“No, actually, it’s 3,200…” said Yumi, shaking her head. “Dark Room of Nightmare, remember?”

“CHELSEA!” screamed Ren.

The Tri-Blaze Accelerator fired…

What happened next was hard to watch. First Vampire Lord (clearly Enrique’s target) went up in flames. Then Pyramid Turtle, Zombie Werewolf, and Ryu Kokki were consumed in flames as well. Then, most horribly, Chelsea erupted in fire too. She fell to her knees, and gasped for breath as the fire started to die away.

She couldn’t help but check herself to make sure she wasn’t really burned.

Get a grip, Chelsea… she thought. No matter how realistic it gets, it isn’t real! Keep telling yourself that!

“Feeling the heat yet, Señorita?” laughed Enrique.

“That’s it, pal!” shouted Ren. “Once she’s done with you, I’m gonna deal with you!”

“Not a wise choice…” said Yumi. “You have no luck with fire, Ren. Need I remind you of last year’s attempt to barbecue hamburgers? It took a month for your eyebrows to grow back…”

“I thought we all agreed we’d never speak of that again…” said Ren, speaking out of the side of his mouth.



(C: 4,300) -------------------- (E: 2,900)


“I’ll place this facedown, and let you go,” said Enrique, as a facedown card appeared next to the Trident.

“This is bad…” muttered Ren. “She can’t keep anything on the field for more than a round.”

“Not only that,” said Erik, “he just added three more Pyros to his Graveyard, so that annoying Firewall is a problem again.”

Dimitri helped Chelsea to her feet. Not the first time one of these ghosts had done that.

“Thanks…” she muttered.

Come on… she thought, drawing. My Heavy Storm has gotta be somewhere in this deck…

She looked at the card.

Nuts. I’m just gonna have to take out his defense the hard way…

She gestured, and a dark, mahogany coffin rose out of the lava.

“Que?” said Enrique.

“Fire might be lethal to Lestat and his ilk,” said Chelsea, “but not Vampire Lord. When he’s destroyed by any card effect, he makes a quick recovery.”

The coffin opened, and Vampire Lord emerged. (2,000/1,500)

“Now, I’ll summon my third Zombie Werewolf.”

Yet another Zombie Werewolf appeared, and he looked pissed. (1,200/1,200)

“Both of you, get him!” she shouted.

Vampire Lord and Zombie Werewolf leapt at Enrique, only to be thrown backwards as the Firewall activated twice.

“Coward…” muttered Sam.

Enrique stopped short. His hand trembled…

“Coward, Señorita Arachne?” he said.

He tensed. Clearly he was very angry now.

“Chelsea…” he muttered. “If you have no other moves to make, let me take my turn, so I may show your friend how much of a… coward I truly am!”

Chelsea fit her last card into her Disk, and a facedown card appeared.

“Be my guest,” she said.

“Fine!” shouted Enrique. “I draw!”

He quickly drew a card.

“And I’m sick of paying for this Trap Card, so I’ll destroy it! Begone!”

Everyone gasped as the Firewall card shattered into bits.

“Uh… oh…” said Dimitri. “I think your friend just hit a nerve…”

“You HAD to make him mad…” said Yumi to Sam.

“No more hiding behind a defense,” growled Enrique. “I’m going on offense. I activate a Trap Card…”

His facedown card lifted.

“Forge of Hephaestus!” he exclaimed. “Now, I get to take from my deck or Graveyard, the Monster with the highest Attack Score, and my opponent gets the same benefit.”

Chelsea was shocked to say the least. She took her deck, and leafed through it until she found Vampire Genesis.

“Who’s Hephaestus?” asked Dimitri.

“The god of the forge…” muttered Chelsea.

“Whatever Monster he just pulled…” muttered Ren, “it’s likely his best one…”

“Next…” said Enrique, playing a Spell Card, “I play Blasting Vein. I now have to destroy one Spell or Trap Card on my side of the field. So my Dark Room of Nightmare goes.”

Glowing red cracks appeared over the Spell Card, and it shattered into flaming pieces. The spooky shadows on the walls of the cavern faded.

“In return, I get to draw two cards.”

He made two draws.

“Excellente,” he said. “Now I can summon my ultimate Monster… I destroy Tri-Blaze Accelerator…”

The three-barreled weapon exploded…

“And in return, I can summon a beast born in the fiery, molten core of the Earth…”

The lava around them started to boil uncontrollably. Then, geysers of lava shot up in flaming fountains.

“Hey, about that coward crack…” said Sam, nervously. “I take it back, okay?”

“Too late…” muttered Yumi. “I think this volcano is about to erupt…”

Then, a huge creature, twelve feet tall, burst out of the lava. It was a fiendish, reptilian creature, with huge claws, a tail, a carapace, and a mane of flames where one might expect it to have hair.

It roared in bloodlust… (3,000/1,800)



http://www.ideal808.com/images/fotb-en0081.jpg


“Okay…” said Chelsea, with a nervous grin, “now that guy’s cool!”

“Si…” said Enrique. “You say that my Volcanic Doomfire is ‘cool’. But trust me, things are about to get very HOT!

“Attack her Vampire Lord! Volcanic blast!”

The Volcanic Doomfire blasted a breath weapon that looked, for all practical purposes, like a ten-foot-tall volcano erupting. As the blast hit Vampire Lord, Chelsea was knocked off her feet by a fiery explosion.

When she looked up, she noticed that the explosion had apparently taken Zombie Werewolf with it.

“What?” said Chelsea. “It can attack twice?”

“Nada…” said Enrique. “When it kills one of your Monsters, it kills all of them. And for each one that dies aside from the target, you lose 500 Life Points.

“It has another effect too, by the way… Any of your Monsters in Attack Mode must attack it. Monsters are drawn to this creature like moths to a flame.

“And it’s still my turn…”



(C: 2,800) -------------------- (E: 2,900)


He was smart… thought Chelsea. He could have done more damage by attacking Zombie Werewolf… But he attacked Vampire Lord so his effect wouldn’t activate on my next turn…

“First, I’ll place a card facedown,” said Enrique. “Then, I’ll play another Blaze Accelerator.”

A facedown card appeared, followed by a second of the original Blaze Accelerators.

“And finally, Chelsea…” he said, taking his last card, “I know that the Monster you got with my Forge is Vampire Genesis, a Monster who’s Attack Score is equal to this one. So in case you somehow manage to summon it, I’m prepared…”

He fit a card into his Disk.

“I Equip my Doomfire with Kishido Spirit. Now, it will survive a battle with a Monster who has equal Attack Points.”

Chelsea’s eyes narrowed.

Prepared? she thought. He put a card in his deck so that his best Monster could defeat one of my best?

Is this guy… an assassin?

“My move…” she said.

She drew a card.

She nodded.

“Now, Enrique…” she said. “I’m going to use the effect of your Field Spell.”

“Que?” said Enrique, startled. “You play vampires! All your Monsters are Dark!”

“I have one Fire Monster…” said Chelsea, looking through her deck.

She held up a card.

“It’s called a Pyre Ghost, and at Level Three exactly, I was able to use your Field to pull it.

“Now, I’ll use Call of the Mummy once more, to summon my second Vampire Lord…”

She played the card, and Vampire Lord appeared again. (2,000/1,500)

“Now, I’ll remove him from play, to summon Vampire Genesis.”

Vampire Lord faded away, and Genesis arose, roaring with anger. (3,000/2,100)



http://www.ideal808.com/images/sd2-en001.jpg


“What are you planning?” said Enrique, nervously.

“I’ll show you,” said Chelsea. “I summon Pyre Ghost.”

A flame erupted, this time on Chelsea’s side of the field. The creature that appeared was a phantom made of blazing fire, with a burning skull for a head. (1,200/200)

“Now…” she said, “I activate its effect… I can sacrifice one Zombie, and then raise its Attack Points by that of the Zombie I’m sacrificing. At the end of my turn, it will burn out, but not until after it takes down your Doomfire.

“Because, the Zombie I’m sacrificing… is Vampire Genesis!”

Vampire Genesis shattered into pixels, and Pyre Ghost’s Attack Score rose… (4,200/200)

“Erk!” gulped Enrique. “I’m not out of tricks yet Señorita! I didn’t want to do this, but…

“I activate… Feugo Loco!”

His facedown card lifted.

“Excusa…” he said. “I meant, Wild Fire…”

“Huh?” said Chelsea.

What happened next fit the name of the card perfectly. It seemed that the whole arena erupted into wild, uncontrollable fire.

When Chelsea looked, both Pyre Ghost and Volcanic Doomfire had been wiped out.

“What happened?” asked Chelsea.

“It cost me 500 Life Points and my Blaze Accelerator,” muttered Enrique, “but I destroyed every Monster on the field. And Wild Fire has another effect…”

A flame appeared in front of him, and it transformed into a large, flaming snake with claws. (1,000/1,000)



http://www.ideal808.com/images/fotb-en0391.jpg


“It creates a Wild Fire Token.”

“Indeed…” said Chelsea.

Her own facedown card lifted.

“Call of the Haunted?” gasped Enrique.

“That’s right,” said Chelsea. “There’s someone here who wants a word with you…”

Ryu Kokki burst out of the lava for the umpteenth time, and roared with incredible anger… (2,400/2,000)

“Destroy his Wild Fire Token!” shouted Chelsea.

Ryu Kokki needed no prompting. It lunged forward and grabbed the fiery snake, and then slammed it against the ground, once, twice, and then three times, before it finally shattered into pieces.



(C: 2,800) -------------------- (E: 1,000)


“Your move…” said Chelsea.

Enrique gulped. He drew a card.

“Last chance…” he said. “I play Apollo’s Blessing…”

In a beam of light, an imposing form appeared on the field. It was a blazing chariot, pulled by two fiery horses, ridden by a man in golden armor with a Spartan helmet.

Apollo? thought Chelsea. The god of the sun?

Enrique looked through his deck and took a card out (it was a Monster called Volcanic Blaster). He pocketed it and quickly reshuffled.

Apollo vanished in a burst of fire.

“I just have to… remove one Fire Monster in my deck… from play…” he said, putting it back, “and then I get to make… three draws…”

He drew three cards from his already-thinning deck. The fiery deity vanished.

“Heh, heh…” he said, as he looked at them. “I’m not done yet, Chelsea…”

He played a Spell Card.

“I play my second Burial From a Different Dimension. You remember how that works, right?”

He slipped three cards into his discard slot (two Volcanic Scattershots and the Volcanic Blaster itself).

“What’s the point?” asked Chelsea. “Your Firewall is gone.”



Continued…

Dark Sage
30th May 2007, 05:20 AM
Continued from last post:



“Firewall isn’t the only benefit I get from having Monsters in my Graveyard,” he replied, taking a second card. “Next, Monster Reborn. I’ll summon a Volcanic Scattershot.”

The ankh appeared on the field, and a small Monster appeared. Chelsea finally got a good look at the thing – it was a three-headed lizard made of metal. (500/0)

There’s only one reason he’d summon a Monster that pathetic… she thought. Sacrifice…

“Now,” continued Enrique, “I’ll sacrifice my Scattershot…”

The small Monster vanished.

“Uh, you remember what happens when it goes to the Graveyard, right?”

Chelsea cringed in pain as a fiery aura erupted over her skin.

“Hang in there, Chelsea!” shouted Ren.

“And now,” said Enrique, “I summon Volcanic Hammerer!”

A new Monster leapt out of the magma. This one was bizarre – it looked like a fiery, bipedal dinosaur, with golden, metallic skin, and sharp claws. (2,400/1,500)



http://www.ideal808.com/images/fotb-en0131.jpg


“Lovely…” said Chelsea, almost laughing (despite the burning feeling). “You attack with that, we’ll both have nothing.”

“It doesn’t have to attack to make you sorry,” replied Enrique. “In fact, I can only use its effect if I forfeit its attack. If I do, I can burn off 200 of your Life Points for each Monster in my Graveyard with the word ‘Volcanic’ in its name.”

Chelsea paused.

She started counting on her fingers…

“Five,” he said, before she could finish. “If you can’t stand the heat…”

Volcanic Hammerer breathed a scorching stream of flames, and Chelsea hollered as it hit her.

“…stay out of the molten lava pit!”

Chelsea almost fell over. Luckily, Dimitri caught her.

Enrique looked at his deck.

I’ll be cutting it close, he thought, but if I draw almost any Monster next turn, I can win… Volcanic Slicer, Volcanic Rocket, my other Volcanic Blaster… Anything capable of attacking…



(C: 1,300) -------------------- (E: 1,000)


Chelsea panted for breath…

“So now what?” asked Ren.

“Chelsea has only one chance…” muttered Yumi. “No cards in her hand… If she doesn’t draw a Monster on her next turn, her only chance will be to attack that thing with Ryu Kokki, and hope that he doesn’t draw something that can attack on his turn…”

Chelsea nervously looked at her deck.

She paused.

The duel isn’t over until the last card is played, she thought.

She drew a card.

“Heh…” she said with a smirk. “You know, Enrique… I have to thank you for roasting so many of my Monsters…”

She fit a card into her Disk.

“This might have been a dead draw otherwise.”

A Spell Card appeared on the field, showing the strange variation of the more common ankh.

“Symbol of Heritage?” he asked. “What does that do?”

“I can only use it when I have three of the same Monster in my Graveyard,” said Chelsea. “When I do, it lets me summon one of them.”

In a flash of light, Zombie Werewolf appeared on her side of the field. (1,200/1,200)

“Caramba…” muttered Enrique.

“Ryu Kokki…” ordered Chelsea. “Attack Volcanic Hammerer!”

Ryu Kokki roared. Volcanic Hammerer roared back at it…

The two Monsters raised their fists and rushed towards each other. Both of them punched, and an explosion erupted where the two blows made contact.

When the smoke cleared, both of them had been wiped out.

“Zombie Werewolf…” said Chelsea.

Zombie Werewolf turned to her and nodded.

He leapt up, and delivered a savage slash to Enrique’s chest. He fell to his knees, his hat falling off again.



(C: 1,300) -------------------- (E: 0)


Chelsea gasped for breath. The lava-filled cavern vanished, and so did the Werewolf.

At least I got something for my troubles, she thought, looking at her badge with its new Blue sheen.

“Chelsea!” shouted Ren.

He ran up to her.

“That was brutal,” he said, holding her by the shoulders. “You okay?”

“I’m a little crispy, but nothing serious,” she said.

Enrique was still on his knees. It looked like he was more upset over losing than he should have been.

“You want to tell me what all this was about?” asked Chelsea. “Someone sent you, right? And someone like you wouldn’t be caught dead working for Edan. He never could have paid you enough.”

Enrique stood up and looked around. He placed his hat back on.

He looked towards a coffee shop behind them.

“I’m going for coffee…” he muttered. “Anyone who wants to join me is free to do so…”

He walked towards the shop.

Chelsea looked at Yumi.

They followed him.

“If you need me,” said Dimitri, “I’ll be getting another taco.”

“I won’t need you, Dimitri,” said Chelsea with a sigh.

“I’ll still be getting another taco,” he replied.

He vanished.



* * * * * * * * * *


Enrique was quiet for a long time. He simply sipped black coffee and bowed his head.

He frowned as he looked at the coffee.

“Processed swill…” he muttered. “Can’t begin to compare with the fresh Colombian brew we can get back home…”

“Are you gonna tell us what this is all about, Chico?” asked Sam.

“Sam!” snapped Yumi.

“Don’t bother…” replied Enrique, “frankly, I deserve to be called that…”

He sighed.

“This is completely off the record,” he said, “and if you tell anyone, especially the Centurions, I’ll deny that I ever said it.”

He sighed again.

“My padre… My… father… He’s a very successful businessman… But up until about a year ago, he wasn’t really a very honest one.

“He had a problem with taxes. He just didn’t like to pay them. So he cheated on them whenever he could. He falsified documents, and made false statements that were pretty much perjury, so that he’d rarely owe the Mexican government a thing.

“He knew he’d never get in trouble. In Mexico, when you’re as rich as he is, the government looks the other way. No one would have ever accused him… If they became suspicious, they wouldn’t care…”

He sipped the coffee.

“But then, my padre got too greedy… He started to cheat on the importing tariffs he had to pay the United States government to sell his products there…”

“Ho boy…” said Ren.

“I don’t want to call your dad stupid,” said Erik, “but that was pretty stupid!”

“I agree,” said Enrique. “It was the height of stupidity. He soon found out that all his money and status in Mexico meant nada when dealing with the U.S. Commerce Department… They noticed, they investigated… And he was caught.

“All of a sudden, he turned from respectable businessman to corrupt, white-collar criminal. The Mexican government couldn’t help him; in fact, they decided to help the Commerce Department that he had cheated. If there’s one thing Mexico does NOT do, it’s defy the country that they get their most imports and health aid from! Mexico would be nothing without America. Most of the folks I know back home would hate me for saying that, but they all know that it’s true.

“My dad is facing incredible fines and jail time right now… All he has worked for could be lost…”

He paused to sip the coffee again.

“But we have a way out, one that involves a deal with the devil… Just a month ago, the devil showed up on our door. He came in the shape of a man named Rasputin… A businessman so corrupt, he makes my padre look like the Virgin of Guadalupe.”

Everyone stared at him.

“Rasputin told my father that it will be an easy task to get a judge assigned to his case that was in his pocket, so to speak. The charges will be dismissed in a heartbeat, and the record will be wiped clean.

“But he had a condition…”

He paused again.

“It involved me.

“He knew I had been invited to this tournament. And he wanted me here on his behalf. I’d have to follow a lot of guidelines. I’d duel whoever Rasputin requested, throw a duel if he told me to…

“And worst of all, if I happened to win, my request… the big prize… would be dictated by him…”

“And your dad agreed to this?” asked Yumi.

“NO!” shouted Enrique, angrily. “He would not think of it! He got right in that bastard’s face, and told him he would sooner rot in jail than let his son become some puppet!”

Enrique’s face fell.

“I’m the one who agreed to it,” he said sadly. “My dad made mistakes, he may have committed tax fraud, but… He was my father… I didn’t want him to be ruined…

“I mean… what if it were your father?”

They all paused. He had a point.

“Rasputin said he’d make it easier for me…” he continued. “He could tell me in advance what I’d be facing. That’s why I was prepared for Vampire Genesis. I was ready for Penelope too… I don’t usually use Wild Fire…

“He called me an hour ago… He told me he was changing the deal in my favor. I just had to frighten all of you, and he wouldn’t ask for anything else…”

“Hey, I was… pretty scared…” said Chelsea.

“Right…” muttered Enrique. “All I did was make you angry. My strategy either scares an opponent, or makes him angry. Unfortunately, you were one of the second group.”

Yumi put a hand on his shoulder.

“Enrique…” she said. “See this?”

She pointed at the Crown of Souls.

“It could have been worse… One of his henchmen dueled me for this in a Shadow Game, and she’s in a coma. She may never wake up. More Shadow Games might happen, and he might tell you to take part in one if you keep this up. Think of how your father would feel if you lost one…

“I assure you, Rasputin will get what’s coming to him.

“As for your father, you’d best tell him that the best thing to do would be to tell Rasputin that the deal’s off, and then plead guilty. Believe me, he’s far from the only CEO who’s committed tax evasion. He might even escape jail time, if he just doesn’t make it worse…”

Enrique looked at her.

“I’ll… think about it…” he muttered.

Yumi nodded.

“Let’s go…” she said to everyone.



* * * * * * * * * *


“You still think it’s wise to let him alone?” asked Sam.

“What are we gonna do?” asked Yumi. “Turn him in? It’s our word against his, and we don’t have any proof.”

“Mmm,” muttered Sam. “Maybe we should start wearing wires… I find it hard to feel sorry for rich folks who think they’re above the law and they can cheat on their taxes… History is full of jerks like that… Leona Helmsley, Willie Nelson…”

“Enrique didn’t cheat on them,” said Ren. “His dad did. Enrique is in this mess because his dad screwed up.”

“Do you know that the commissioner of the IRS was once cited for tax evasion?” asked Erik. “It’s true, I heard about this. It happened in 1945. Apparently, this guy won $18,000 in a wager, where he bet that Harry S. Truman would win the Presidential election. In 1945, that was a lot of money… But ironically, he failed to report those winnings when he filed his own taxes.”

“Well, Enrique was pretty much blackmailed anyway,” answered Yumi. “Maybe once we get the big fish, he can…”

Yumi was startled as she saw Anastasia appear in front of her.

“Bad news, Yumi,” she said. “We have been set back. Another Shadow Charm has been claimed… By Nicholas.”

“Nicholas?” replied Yumi. “Rasputin’s henchman? Oh, that guy seems to have some sort of crush on me… This might be bad.”

“Worse than you think,” said Anastasia. “As I said, the only fast way to get a Shadow Charm that belongs to another is to win it. They cannot be stolen or given as gifts, unless the one who wants to give it away goes through the proper ritual.

“And the best way to win one, is to get one yourself, and challenge the owner of another, wagering yours against hers.”

Yumi thought for a minute.

“Maybe…” she said. “Maybe Nicholas wants to duel me right now… Maybe he wants to make such a wager…

“Maybe I can win his Charm… And get an upgrade on my badge to boot!”

“Yumi…” warned Anastasia. “Tread with caution…”

Yumi looked for her cell phone, and then realized she had left it in her hotel room.

“Hey, guys…” said Yumi.

They all looked at her.

“I gotta go back to my hotel. I promised dad I’d call him in fifteen minutes local time. I’ll be back soon.”

“Okay,” said Ren. “See you around.”



* * * * * * * * * *


Nicholas and Olga were in the penthouse suite watching Rasputin go over his private files on his flash drive. Nicholas had gone to Yumi’s hotel room earlier, only to find, to his disappointment, that she wasn’t there. Ah, well. He was sure their paths would cross soon…

“Two attempts to frighten Yumi didn’t work…” he muttered. “So it’s time to face her directly…”

He considered the names on the list.

“No, she’d beat him,” he muttered. “No, too clichéd… Too risky… Too situational… Too ‘Odion’…”

He looked at one file.

“Ah… The perfect assassin…”

He picked up his phone.

“Icarus?” he said as it was answered. “Listen… I’m going to send Yumi Mouto to meet with you in the arboretum. Duel her, and once you win, take the Crown of Souls.

“Sound simple enough?

“Good… Do it right, and you’re getting a raise. I may even let you keep the Crown until we need it.”

He hung up.

“Nicholas,” he said, turning to the teens, “I need you to send Yumi a message. Olga, go and trail her to make sure she gets there.”

“Oui, mon Capitan,” said Olga, as the two saluted.

Olga left, and Nicholas took out his cell phone.

Chelsea has achieved Blue status, but not without a grueling trial by fire. And trouble looms on the horizon as Rasputin begins another attempt, this time not an attempt to frighten, but to take Yumi’s Charm. What is the nature of this plot?



BLASTING VEIN (Spell Card)

Normal Spell

Image: A Duel Monsters card in the middle of a fire.

Card Description: Destroy one Spell or Trap Card on your side of the field. Draw two cards from your deck.

Note: “Blasting Vein” was first used by Axel in the “Yu-Gi-Oh GX” episode “Hanging With Axel (Part Two)”. Creative credit goes to the writers of that episode.



GALEB DUHR (Monster Card)

Card Specs

Type: Rock/Effect
Attribute: Earth
Level: 1
ATK: 0
DEF: 0

Card Description: Flip: Take one Field Spell from your deck and activate it. Your opponent draws one card.



VOLCANIC CAVERN (Spell Card)

Field Spell

Image: A cavern with boiling lava pits.

Card Description: During each player’s Standby Phase, he/she may search his/her deck for a FIRE Monster that is Level Three or less and add it to his/her hand.



FORGE OF HEPHAESTUS (Trap Card)

Normal Trap

Image: A bearded deity pounding a sword into shape on an anvil.

Card Description: Both players select the Monster that has the highest base ATK from their respective decks or Graveyards and add them to their hands.

Note: “Forge of Hephaestus” first appeared in “Thousand Year Door”.



APOLLO’S BLESSING (Spell Card)

Normal Spell

Image: Apollo flying through the sky on his solar chariot.

Card Description: Select one FIRE Monster in your deck and remove it from play. Then, reshuffle your deck, and draw three cards.

Note: “Apollo’s Blessing” was created by Starjake for use in his fic “Virtual Disaster”. Creative credit goes to him.



PYRE GHOST (Monster Card)

Card Specs

Type: Zombie/Effect
Attribute: Fire
Level: 3
ATK: 1,200
DEF: 200

Card Description: When this card is face-up on the field, you can offer one Zombie-Type Monster on your side of the field as a Tribute. Increase the ATK of this card by that of the Tributed Monster. At the End Phase of the turn you use this effect, destroy this card.



Ren: Chelsea, you know, it was kind of strange how Yumi up and left like that…

Chelsea: Maybe she has a hot date with someone!

Sam: I don’t think so. I think she wants to duel someone.

Maria: She will duel, but she must be warned. She faces a trap, and an ambush set by someone possessing a Monster whose power may well be limitless…

Coming up next: “Ambush! The Titan of Light”.

Yumi has the Crown… Now she must work on keeping it…

Neo Arkadia
30th May 2007, 06:05 PM
Honestly, this was a very good solid chapter in my opinion. A bit of a filler, but it seemed to be more moving than some of the plot chapters so far. I suppose it's just that Enrique was such an enjoyable character (And does strike me as the type to come back later possibly, rather than a throwaway.)

Galeb Duhr is a rather funky monster, but I like it. Also, good to see good ol' Forge.

And honestly, I was expecting to see Chelsea use Gouka the Pyre of Malice, until I read the Cavern's exact effect.

Also, I liked Enrique, espically with how he fugged up Wild Fire/Crazy Fire's name. He was honestly a rather sympathetic character, despite a somewhat cliche (But disturbingly realistic at the same time) father. I personally would like to see more of him (I wonder if that's my bias for the Volcanic Burn theme talking.)

Also, I think I know what monster is coming next chapter, but I think it's already been used as a trump card in this fic already (Or maybe I mincing it with another.). But next chapter sounds like a ton of fun.

jkBAKURA
31st May 2007, 01:02 PM
Mixed feelings (as always, I have yet to read a chapter of anyone's YGO fic that was 100% perfect) but unlike some of my opinions earlier, the good far outweighs the bad.

I've decided to stop complaining about the elements already in place. The characters and plot are set, and can't be changed at this point without forcing it. You know those opinions already anyway.

As for the new character, involved, while I felt the Mexican element was layed on just a little too thick, you may have created the most sympathetic character so far, and someone I am eager to follow. To the point that I wonder what the story would be like from his point of view. The backstory was a little cliche, but told in a way that when played just right is a hovk of interest in Enrique.

I truely hope he makes the finals, or even joins the heros in the future.

The new cards were in theme, and fun to watch, though I'm a little iffy on the names, and Pyre Ghost just doesn't seem Chelsea's style for some reason.

It seemed just a smidge too convenient a card to use, especially since she searched for it on the last move when she could have done it far sooner.

Volcanics haven't been piled on in fanfics yet, and Austin hasn't dueled much. Both things worked to your advantage, and made Eneique all the more engaging.

As for the future, I sense a dark shift in tone. We're getting slowly away from the "we can do it" of the previous stories, and the characters are beginning to get fearful that they're in over their heads. That's the point that keeps me hooked. If the cast doesn't feel like they're in danger until the very end... well, let's just say that the fear of losing was one of the things that made the YGO story arcs so addicting, while turning GX to scrap.

Who remembers the utter frustration and realization that came with the final duel of Yugi vs. Pegasus?

I'll be watching from the sidelines as usual.

Shuppet Master
31st May 2007, 08:36 PM
I have some egg on my face after realizing that the little silver button on the front of my laptop controls my wireless connections. :what: So I apologize for coming in late with the review.

Axel Brody is shaping up to be one of my favorite characters. I didn't know he was Egyptian, he looked like a typical Afro-American to me. (shrugs) His deck was one of the scariest decks ever, and seeing a guy like this character play it was super exciting.

I liked the new ghost for ghost whisperer Chelsea to chat with, and you're stating that ghosts could eat food normally, but it wasn't necessary and only done if the ghost desires it. I also liked how Enrique told his story about his dad being corrupt and getting in trouble with the US and how Enrique accepted his offer to be a dueling assassin to save his dad from being locked up and ending up like the others who fell from grace, losing everything they had. Shows how much he cares about his dad despite his awful ways.

Anyways, it looks like Yumi's going to have to get through another stupid dueling assassin to get to Nicholas. It'd be interesting whether the relationship between Yumi and Nicholas develops or dies as time passes.


As for the future, I sense a dark shift in tone. We're getting slowly away from the "we can do it" of the previous stories, and the characters are beginning to get fearful that they're in over their heads. That's the point that keeps me hooked. If the cast doesn't feel like they're in danger until the very end... well, let's just say that the fear of losing was one of the things that made the YGO story arcs so addicting, while turning GX to scrap.

I just finished watching the last "Lord of the Rings" movies, and what you said reminded me of the battle scenes. Many people died there, including some major characters, but if this had been deleted, the whole movies would have bombed. You're right - danger and conflict, maybe even death(or sacrifice), are a vital part of any good adventure story.

(EDIT: God, I hate it when I mess up the grammar.)

Dark Sage
5th June 2007, 07:10 AM
CHAPTER SEVENTEEN



Ambush!



The Titan of Light



Yumi walked into her hotel room. She stopped for a minute to take the chocolate mint that the chambermaid had put on the pillow, and ate it.

Then she picked up her cell phone which was on the bedside table, and turned it on. Sure enough, there was a text message for her. Her parents never used text messages – they called them “unnecessary”.

She shrugged and hit the command to read the message.

It read as followed:


Yumi,

Please meet me in the arboretum for a friendly duel. I desire to meet you on a personal level so much, and this will be the perfect opportunity.

- Nicholas


Yumi frowned…

“Well, he’s asking for it,” she muttered.

“Yumi, wait…” said a voice from the doorway.

Yumi turned towards the door, which she just realized she hadn’t closed.

Maria was standing there.

“You…” said Yumi.

“I had to warn you, Yumi…” said Maria. “Nicholas will not be the one waiting for you at the arboretum. A trap has been set, and an assassin awaits…

“An assassin who holds the power of Slifer the Sky Dragon in his deck!”

Yumi drew back in shock…

Then she calmed a little.

“The Egyptian God Cards… are gone…” she muttered. “Some phoenix consumed them nineteen years ago.”

“Nonetheless,” said Maria, “if Slifer does not exist in this duelist’s deck, a close facsimile of it does. Going there is walking into death…”

She took Divine Mallet Mjölnir from within her dress.

“I’d lend you this…” she said, looking at it, “but it only works in the hands of a Warrior, and your deck has only one, I believe. It would be nearly useless.

“My advice to you is simply not to go.”

“That’s okay…” muttered Yumi. “I’ll think of something.”

Maria stared at her, and then turned to leave.

“Anastasia?” said Yumi.

“Yes?” asked Anastasia softy, as she appeared next to her.

“The God Cards are gone, aren’t they?” asked Yumi, nervously.

“Uhm, well…” muttered Anastasia. “The real ones, yes. But, uhm… I never told anyone this, but when my dad was in charge, Industrial Illusions made copies of them for research purposes, with almost identical powers.

“There was an incident some years ago when one of dad’s card designers stole the copy of The Winged Dragon of Ra… Nasty business… If this is the same thing…

“Oh, this never would have happened if I were still running the company… I meant to destroy the duplicates, but I really didn’t know how to. They had traces of the spirits of the true God Cards in them… I couldn’t simply tear them up…”

She sighed.

“I almost considered… Using the Devil Cards…”

“Devil Cards?” asked Yumi, sitting up straight.

Anastasia nodded.

“Dad was so afraid of the true God Cards, he crafted three incredibly powerful Monsters that he thought could defeat them if they ever raged out of control. They were sort of the anti-God Cards. But these Devil Cards… Fiends of incredible power… They were infused with spirits of pure evil, and they corrupted the souls of whoever tried to use them…

“First there was Wicked God Dreadroot. He was incredibly vicious. Not only did he have 4,000 Attack and Defense Points, but so long as he was on the field, he emitted an aura of terror, and all other Monsters lost half of their Attack and Defense Points.

“Then there was The Devil’s Eraser. It had two powerful abilities – its Attack and Defense was 1,000 for every card on its opponent’s field. And even if it was destroyed, it would take every card on the field to the grave with it…

“But those two were small potatoes compared to The Devil’s Avatar… A creature of pure, shapeless, formless darkness. This thing simply couldn’t be defeated in battle, because its Attack Score was always a single point more than the strongest Monster on the field. Add to that the fact that these cards were, like the God Cards, very resistant to Spells and Traps, and you had something that was nearly impossible to destroy.”

“What… happened to these cards?” asked Yumi, getting scared.

“Someone actually did try to use them against the God Cards,” muttered Anastasia. “And the God Cards won, thank goodness. This was truly a case where they were the lesser of the two evils. I assume the Devil Cards are still locked up in the company vaults…

“But if you have to face Slifer…”

Yumi sat on her bed and thought for a minute…

So many times, her grandpa had told her about the time he had fought Marik’s mind-slave Strings, the first time he had encountered an Egyptian God Card… At that point, Marik’s evil side had not fully blossomed (it would eventually), and he was little more than a manipulator who would not face his foes directly, always dealing with them from the shadows via minions and decoys. Strings was easy prey to the Millennium Rod. He had once been a mime who had gone insane after murdering his parents, so his almost catatonic mind was easy to manipulate, and Marik controlled him like a puppet.

Her grandfather had told her of the fear that both he and the Pharaoh had felt at the sight of the divine beast during that terrible duel… a Monster that seemed almost unstoppable.

He had won, and Slifer had become his, but it had been one of his closest calls.

The strategy that Marik had used in that duel wouldn’t work with modern rules. You needed to pay Life Points to use Revival Jam’s effect now, and Card of Safe Return only let you draw one card with its effect rather than three…

…but there were other strategies that someone using Slifer could use… Her grandfather knew that firsthand.

She didn’t want to walk right into a trap…

…but she wasn’t a coward.

She looked at her suitcase.

She opened it up, and took out a box. It had cards in it.

She had secrets of her own. She never told this to anyone, but she had also been afraid of the God Cards ever since she had been told about them, even though she knew they were gone. And since her grandpa had owned them, she knew their weaknesses, and had developed counter strategies against all of them…

…she never dreamed she would ever actually have to use one…



* * * * * * * * * *


Nicholas’s phone beeped.

He read the text message.

You’re on! it said.

“She’s coming,” he sighed. “But don’t you think Icarus plays a little rough?”

“What do you care?” asked Rasputin.

“I… I don’t want her to be hurt…” muttered Nicholas.

Rasputin looked at him with a cold glare.

“Nicholas…” he said. “We are on the verge of discovering the secret of true immortality! And we are not going to be sidetracked by some teenage girl in a belly-shirt with bad hair!

“Besides, Icarus’s strategy has yet to… kill anybody. And I assure you, once we have the power of all eight Charms, you’ll be able to have any girl you want. Could still be Yumi if you’re still interested. Could be anyone… You could have a whole harem of supermodels if you wanted.

“Just do as you’re told for now.”

He speed-dialed his phone.

“Olga,” he said into it, “has Yumi left yet?”

“Ten-four,” said Olga’s voice. “Mother bird has left the nest.”

“Pardon?” asked Rasputin.

“She left the apartment…” sighed Olga.

Nicholas crossed his arms.

“Supermodels?” he muttered. “I have no interest in girls who are so thin that you can see though them…”



* * * * * * * * * *


Great trees forming an overhanging canopy created a thick forest that made up the huge greenhouse that was Duelatopia’s arboretum. This place was good for picnics, walks, and whenever someone wanted to duel in a different type of atmosphere.

Yumi slowly walked down the pathways, just knowing that someone was watching her…

She finally came to a wide clearing. Her Puzzle glowed, and the change overtook her.

She realized something: She was breaking her own rule, in spades. A duelist with one of the most powerful cards in the game might be waiting, and she was alone, without anyone except her spiritual guide to lend support…

She took a deep breath.

“You might as well come out…” she called. “I know you’re here…”

With a cry, a dark form leapt from the trees…

Yumi looked, and saw a tall form wearing the cloak of an Ascender. He had the strangest tattoo – that of a sunburst, done around his left eye.

“Hello, Ms. Mouto,” he said, lowering his hood and revealing long, full, blonde hair. “Nicholas sends his regrets, but he couldn’t make it. I am Icarus…”

“Icarus…” said Yumi, crossing her arms. “Quite a lofty name… He was the son of Daedalus, whom he shared the gift of flight with… Unfortunately, Icarus became drunk with the power, ignored his father’s warnings, and flew too high, and the sun burned his wings off, causing him to fall to his doom.”

She lifted the Crown of Souls off her head.

“I suppose you want this,” she said. “Well, I don’t see why I have to wager it… You have nothing to ante against it that’s worth as much…”

“Do I?” asked Icarus. “Tell you what… If I lose, I’ll turn myself in to the Centurions. Perhaps then, your problems will be over.”

Yumi looked at him.

“Fine…” she said, slowly.

She placed it back on her head.

Fool… thought Icarus. Even if I have to, which I won’t, I’ll never tell them anything.

His Disk activated…

Yumi couldn’t have noticed that his Disk had special microchips embedded in the casing…

…signs of special programming.

“Game on!” they both shouted at once.



(Yumi: 8,000) -------------------- (Icarus: 8,000)


“Let’s get started!” shouted Icarus. “I draw!”

He dramatically whipped a card off of his Disk.

“And I’ll have this defend me for now.”

He placed a card on his Disk, and a facedown Monster appeared.

“Your move…”

Yumi nervously drew a card.

“Afraid?” asked Icarus. “Think there’s a big surprise waiting? Afraid that my deck is full of the lofty powers that my name suggests?”

Yumi glared at him.

She saw the Pharaoh out of the corner of her eye.

“Yumi,” he said, gently, “I know you’re scared. But take comfort… This may be new to you, but it’s hardly new to me. I’ve beaten God Cards before… I can do it again.

“And with the strategy we have, it will be easier than it was for me the first time…”

Yumi nodded.

She played a card.

“I summon Kycoo the Ghost Destroyer,” she said.

Kycoo appeared in a shadowy aura. (1,800/500)



http://www.ideal808.com/images/lon-0621.jpg


If he does have Slifer, she thought, he needs three sacrifices to summon it. I have to keep him from having that many Monsters on the field…

“Kycoo, attack!” she shouted. “Spell of banishment!”

Kycoo cast his powerful spell, and lightning flashed. Shining Angel appeared on the card, and was blown to pieces.



http://www.ideal808.com/images/mrl-088.jpg


“Thank you…” said Icarus, taking his deck. “Now I can Special Summon any Light Monster from my deck that I want, so long as it has 1,500 Attack Points or less.

“And Level doesn’t matter. It can even be a Level Eight Monster if I want…”

“A Level Eight Monster with less than 1,500 Attack Points?” shouted Yumi. “There’s no Level Eight Light Monster with an Attack Score that low!”

“I beg to differ…” replied Icarus. “I summon The Agent of Plenty – Gaea.”

He placed the card on his Disk, and the figure that appeared was a tall, beautiful, buxom woman in a long, green gown, with long, golden hair, and beautiful, feathered wings. Her wings spread, and a beautiful light fell on her. (0/3,000)

“See?” asked Icarus. “She’s Level Eight. And you can’t get much lower than that.”

“Uhm… That’s… Interesting…” muttered Yumi. “I’ll, uh… end my turn there…”

She’s got to have more to her than the Millennium Shield, thought Yumi. That’s only Level Five…

“Then I draw…” said Icarus, drawing. “And then, due to her effect, Gaea lets me draw one card during my Standby Phase, so long as she’s in Attack Mode.”

The Agent of Plenty glowed and sang an enchanting melody, and Icarus drew again.

“Next…” continued Icarus, “I play Pot of Greed.”

He played the card, and the jug appeared. He drew two cards.

“As you know, playing this card decreases my hand size by one, but then increases it by two, for a net gain of one, bringing my hand size up to eight…”

Yumi started to sweat…

He’s certainly doing what you should do if you use Slifer, thought Yumi, making his hand bigger. But he needs three Monsters, and he only has one.

“Now…” continued Icarus, “I discard two of my cards to the Graveyard in order to summon Candellado the Beast of Light!”

“HUH?” exclaimed Yumi.

Icarus discarded two cards (they were Divine Wrath and Trojan Blast), and then threw another one on his Disk…

A fiery explosion erupted on his side of the field… A flock of birds flew from the trees in fear…

With a roar, a huge creature arose from out of the explosion. It was a Machine of some sort, resembling a two-headed dragon with bronze armor. Its torso was made up of a glowing energy core. It roared in rage. (0/0)

Yumi just stared for a second.

“It doesn’t have a single Attack Point…” she said.

“Not quite…” said Icarus. “Candellado’s Attack and Defense is 1,000 for each card in my hand. Since I have five… Well, see for yourself…”

(5,000/5,000)

“Good lord…” said Yumi. “It is like Slifer!”

“Well, not truly…” replied Icarus. “It lacks Slifer’s ability to blast off 2,000 Attack or Defense Points from any Monster you summon. But this kind of firepower is more than enough to take just about anything down…”



* * * * * * * * * *


On the bridge of Duelatopia, Sheena Arachne watched the screens…

“Uh, Ms. Arachne,” said the voice of one of the technicians. “We just got an alert. Seems someone is using an illegal card.”

“What?” said Sheena in surprise. “Well, this is the first one this tournament… I guess it was only a matter of time. How’s he trying to this time?”

“Same old story…” said the technician, as the duel appeared on the screen. “He’s using a specially programmed Disk to try to fool our sensors.”

Sheena held her head.

“When will they learn?” she mumbled. “When will they learn that they can’t fool us that way?”

She looked at the duel in progress.

“Candellado?” she shouted. “Is he crazy?”

“Apparently,” said the technician. “According to this, his deck has three copies, and none of them were crafted via the proper methods.”

“The fool…” muttered Sheena.

She considered the situation.

“That guy is wearing the same cloak that the girl in the hospital was wearing when she was brought in…” she muttered. “And Yumi Mouto is dueling him… Hmm…”

She thought for a minute.

“Tell the Centurions to close in and hide, and wait for the duel to conclude. If Yumi loses, tell them to disqualify the guy, and arrest him. If Yumi wins, tell them to arrest him anyway.”

“Will do,” said the technician.



* * * * * * * * * *


“Don’t worry, Yumi…” said Icarus, “Kycoo and your Life Points are safe for this turn. Candellado cannot attack on the round he is summoned…”

Candellado growled…

“Good to know…” said Yumi, sweating.

“For now, I will first place a card facedown…” said Icarus.

Candellado shrank to (4,000/4,000) as a facedown card appeared on Icarus’s field.

“And then I play the Continuous Spell Card, Vow of Peace.”

He played another card, and Candellado shrank to (3,000/3,000)

“Vow of Peace?” asked Yumi, looking at the card. “What does that do?”

She looked at the card. Its image was that of the monk on the Messenger of Peace card, kneeling before an altar.

“It’s sort of like Messenger of Peace, Yumi,” he replied, “but unlike that card, it costs me 300 Life Points per round. For as long as it’s in effect, Monsters with a base Attack of 1,500 or more are forbidden to attack.”

“Genius…” muttered Yumi. “That means your Beast can’t attack.”

“Excuse me, I said base Attack,” replied Icarus. “As in, its Attack as written on the card, before any modifications and bonuses. And in case you forgot, its base Attack is zero.

“So it’s free to Attack, but my Agent is safe, unless you’re willing to put a Monster that weak in Attack Mode.

“I end my turn…”

Yumi frowned. She made a draw.

And then she grinned, slightly…

“We can use this card, Yumi,” said the Pharaoh, “It may have one of Slifer’s powers, but it certainly is NOT Slifer, and that means that, unlike God Cards, it isn’t immune to destruction via Spells, Traps, or Monster effects.”

“Then it’s time to bring this beastie down,” she replied.

“I’ll move Kycoo to Defense Mode…” she said out loud.

The Ghost Destroyer knelt in Defense Mode.

“And then set another Monster in Defense Mode.”

A facedown Monster appeared.

“It’s your move…”

“Very well, Yumi,” replied Icarus. “I pay 300 Life Points. And when Candellado is on the field, I also must skip my Draw Phase…”

Gaea glowed and sang her melody.

“…but fortunately, Gaea is here, letting me draw once during my Standby Phase.”

He whipped a card off his Disk, and Candellado rose to a score of (4,000/4,000).

“Now I play… Pot of Charity,” he said, playing the card he had just drawn. “I’ll remove Shining Angel from play to do so…”

Shining Angel slipped out of his discard slot, and he placed it inside his cloak.

“By doing this, I lose one card from my hand, but I then gain three,” he said, drawing three cards, “for a net gain of two, giving my hand a total of six cards.”

Candellado rose to (6,000/6,000).

Icarus looked at the three new cards.

He set one card in his Disk, and a facedown card appeared. Candellado was reduced to (5,000/5,000).

What is he up to? thought Yumi. Why would he intentionally weaken his Monster?

“Candellado, attack Kycoo the Ghost Destroyer! Prism blast!”

Candellado opened its two jaws, and balls of energy formed in them. They both shot out a stream of pure, burning, multicolored light, and the two streams spiraled together into one large beam.

The beam struck Kycoo the Ghost Destroyer, incinerating him a huge explosion.

“So much for him,” said Icarus with a chuckle. “I end my turn.”



(Y: 8,000) -------------------- (I: 7,700)


“Indeed,” said Yumi, drawing a card, “and it’s time for your Beast of Light to go…

“I flip my facedown Monster into Attack Mode… My Old Vindictive Magician!”

Her facedown card flipped up, and the grizzled old witch doctor in colorful clothes appeared. (450/600)



http://www.ideal808.com/images/mfc-067.jpg


“Now I can destroy one Monster,” she said. “Guess you weren’t expecting that…”

“Actually…” said Icarus, “it was exactly what I was expecting…”

One of his two facedown cards lifted, showing a Trap with the image of a luminous being amid the clouds.

“It’s called Silver Spirit Redirection,” he said. “I can use it whenever one of my Monsters is targeted by a Monster effect. It not only renders the effect invalid, but removes the offending Monster from play.

Old Vindictive Magician faced into a blur, and then vanished into thin air.

Man, this guy is good, thought Yumi.

She took a card from her hand.

“I place a Monster in Defense Mode,” she said.

A facedown Monster appeared.

“I end my turn…” growled Yumi.

“What more can you do?” asked Icarus with a laugh. “I pay 300 Life Points for Vow of Peace.”

Gaea sang, and he snatched another card. Candellado rose to (6,000/6,000).

He looked at the card he had just drawn.

“And from now on, this Continuous Spell will be in effect.”

He played a Spell Card. It bore the image of a demon bound with glowing shackles. Candellado fell to (5,000/5,000)

“It’s called Chain Energy.”

Chain Energy? thought Yumi. Wait a minute, I’ve heard of that one… It’s a very old card…

“It’s a card that’s seldom used,” explained Icarus, “because it’s only useful in certain decks. I’ll explain… The effect of this Spell applies to both players. Now, if either of us plays or sets a card, in any way, it will cost us 500 Life Points apiece.

“I don’t need to play many more than I already have… You, on the other hand…

“Now, on to business. Candellado, attack!”

An even more intense blast shot forth, and the cloaked mage on the card exploded in a fiery blast. Yumi braced herself from the impact.



http://www.ideal808.com/images/yugioh-dr1-en120.jpg


“Guess your Skilled Dark Magician couldn’t stand the heat!” laughed Icarus.

Yumi growled.



(Y: 8,000) -------------------- (I: 7,400)


She made a draw.

“I play my own Pot of Greed,” she said, playing a card.

The evil jar appeared in front of her. She cringed as the Chain Energy card glowed, and a jolt of electricity shocked her.

“Oh no you don’t,” said Icarus. “I have a Quickplay that’s been underrated since it was introduced…”

His last facedown card lifted, revealing Spell Card with the image of the Goblin of Greed stealing a Pot of Greed from a store.

“It’s called Jar Robber,” he said with a smirk. “First it negates your Pot of Greed…”

The Pot in front of Yumi exploded.

“Then, I get to draw one card…” he continued.

He drew a card, and Candellado rose to (6,000/6,000).

Yumi frowned again. She placed a card on her Disk, and yet another facedown Monster appeared. She cringed as she was shocked again.



(Y: 7,000) -------------------- (I: 7,400)


“Can it be?” asked Icarus. “My turn? I’ll pay 300 Life Points again…”

Gaea glowed. He whipped a card off his Disk, and Candellado grew to (7,000/7,000)

“Hold it…” said Yumi. “There’s a limit to how many cards a duelist can have in his hand at one time.”

“I know the rules,” said Icarus. “So why don’t we fix that… Your grandfather would remember this card from the time he faced Slifer…”

He placed a card in his Disk, and Candellado fell to (6,000/6,000). He grunted a little as the Chain Energy card glowed.

“It’s called Infinite Cards,” he said. “Now, both duelists can ignore the six-card limit and hold as many cards as he desires.

“By the way, Yumi… Unlike that fool, Marik, I’m well aware that, despite what the name of this card suggests, the number of cards in my hand could not possibly be limitless, and that Candellado’s Attack Score also has a limit. I made certain that my strategy does NOT have the fatal flaw that his did.

“Now, Candellado, attack!”

The Beast of Light fired its blast. Yumi’s second Skilled Dark Magician appeared on the card and was atomized.

The huge Machine growled.

“It’s frustrating, isn’t it, Yumi?” he asked. “Setting your Monsters in Defense Mode is costing you precious Life Points, and I can just blow them to pieces on my turn.”

“You’re really enjoying this, aren’t you?” asked Yumi with a sneer.

“Naturally,” he replied. “So what now, Yumi? You can’t defend forever. Even if you don’t run out of Monsters, that’s quite literally true… My Chain Energy will finish you off before Candellado does.”



(Y: 7,000) -------------------- (I: 6,600)


Yumi looked at the field.

He’s right… she thought. I’ve got to think of something…

I’m not about to lose the Crown… Not after what I did to get it…

Oh… Ren, Chelsea, where are you when I need you?



Continued…

Dark Sage
5th June 2007, 07:14 AM
Continued from last post:



Meanwhile, the aforementioned Ren and Chelsea were wandering around the Museum District again, under the looming shadow of Clock Tower Prison. Sam and Erik had left, claiming to “have more important things to do than hang around twerps”, a comment that had irked them.

“Yumi’s been gone a long time,” said Chelsea. “What do you think she’s doing?”

“Aw, she’s probably pounding some duelist’s face into the dirt right now!” laughed Ren. “And having a ball doing it…”

Then his own cell phone rang.

“Oh, excuse me…” he said.

Hope it isn’t that Phantom jerk again… he thought.

“Hello?” he said, answering it.

He paused.

“KENTA?” he shouted. “What a surprise! Really?”

Another pause.

“Oh really? Yes, of course I meant it…

“You’re where? Great… I’ll meet you there!”

“Who was that?” asked Chelsea, as he hung up. “Who is Kenta?”

“Someone you just gotta meet,” said Ren, “and someone I just gotta duel. Come on… I’ll tell you on the way.”



* * * * * * * * * *


“Why don’t you just give up?” said Icarus. “You can’t win… It’s impossible.”

“Really?” replied Yumi, with an angry glare. “Then I’m lucky. When my grandparents and parents were my age, they often defeated three impossible challenges before they had lunch. And that was on a good day!

“By the way, it’s not impossible… You may think your strategy is foolproof, but it isn’t without weaknesses…”

She smirked.

“See, your deck may not have the flaw that Marik’s had, but it does have another major flaw. You’ve got almost no Monsters. Likely just three copies each of Gaea, Shining Angel, and Candellado. Everything else is geared towards summoning, strengthening, and protecting that four-eyed eyesore. You’re a one-trick pony, and as long as I can set a Monster, you probably won’t be able to attack me. The only way you have to damage me at this point is that Spell Card, which isn’t indestructible, by the way.”

Icarus glanced at his hand.

She wasn’t far off… He did have three other Monsters in his deck, but Sangan, Mask of Darkness, and Magician of Faith weren’t exactly the lords of offensive Monsters.

And they weren’t even in his hand right now. As of right now, the only Monster he had was his second copy of Gaea. His five other cards were Fiend’s Sanctuary, A Feather of the Phoenix, Monster Reincarnation, My Body As A Shield, and a second Infinite Cards.

“Perhaps…” he finally said. “But your luck won’t hold out forever!”

“My move…” said Yumi.

She drew a card.

She quickly placed it on her Disk, and a new facedown Monster appeared.

She groaned again as Chain Energy kicked in.



(Y: 6,500) -------------------- (I: 6,600)


“Your move…” she muttered.

“Man, this is taking too long…” growled Icarus. “I’ll pay 300 Life Points again…”

Gaea sang, and he drew a card. Candellado rose to (7,000/7,000)

“It’s another card you can’t use, I’ll bet,” said Yumi.

Icarus snarled. It was Premature Burial. The only Monster that had been in his Graveyard was the Shining Angel that he had removed from play.

Where’s my Nobleman of Crossout when I need it? he thought.

“It doesn’t matter!” he shouted. “Attack!”

The Beast of Light fired its prism blast. Magician of Faith appeared on the card, and was blown to nothing.

“Thank you…” said Yumi. “I’ll use her effect to get back my Pot of Greed…”

The card slipped out of her discard slot. Icarus growled again.

“Make… your… move…” he muttered.



(Y: 6,500) -------------------- (I: 6,300)


Yumi drew a card.

“I think I’ll save Pot of Greed for later,” she said. “Instead, I’ll play Graceful Charity…”

She played the card, groaning again as she was shocked by the Spell Card, and in a flash of light, the angel appeared. She drew back in fright at the sight of Candellado.

“Easy…” said Yumi, drawing three cards.

“See?” she said, speaking up. “All my cards are quite useful.”

I drew one of my anti-Slifer cards! she thought, looking at them. It will work on this guy too, but… The problem is, I can’t use it right now…

She carefully considered the rest of her cards, and then made two discards. Then she placed a Monster in Defense Mode. She cringed again as the card glowed.



(Y: 5,500) -------------------- (I: 6,300)


“I end my turn,” she said.

Icarus frowned as his Life Points dipped again.

Gaea sang again, and he drew one card. Candellado grew to (8,000/8,000).

“Attack her Monster!” he shouted.

Candellado blasted its breath weapon. Magician’s Valkyria appeared on the card, and was burned to ashes.

“A wise man once said that God doesn’t roll dice, Yumi. Pretty soon, your luck will run out. You’ll run out of Monsters you can defend yourself with, and then it will be all over!”



(Y: 5,500) -------------------- (I: 6,000)


Yumi drew a card.

“I’ll play that Pot of Greed now,” she said. “And you don’t have any facedown cards this time.”

She played the card, cringing again, and drew twice.

She looked them over.

“I throw… four cards facedown,” she said.

She fit four cards into her Disk, and in four flashes of light, four facedown cards appeared. She screamed as a massive jolt of electricity struck her.

“And then…” she said, panting for breath, “since I’m sick of defending, I summon Gemini Elf in Attack Mode.”

She played the card, and the two elf twins appeared. They held each other in fright at the sight of the two-headed Machine. (1,900/900)

Yumi grit her teeth as the Spell Card shocked her again.



http://www.ideal808.com/images/ioc-se1.jpg


“End… turn,” said Yumi.



(Y: 3,000) -------------------- (I: 6,000)


“HA, HA, HA, HA, HA!” laughed Icarus. “Yumi, that may well be the most obvious trap I have ever seen! Did you actually think I would fall for it? I wasn’t chosen to join the Ascenders by being stupid, you know.

“I’ll pay 300 Life Points…”

Gaea sang, and he drew another card, bringing Candellado up to (9,000/9,000)

Ironically, the card was Nobleman of Crossout. He couldn’t use it this turn.

“No attack this turn… I’ll merely set one card facedown, and that will be all. If you want to shift Gemini Elf to Defense Mode, I’ll give you that chance.”

A facedown card appeared, and Candellado fell to (8,000/8,000). He grunted a little as Chain Energy glowed again.

My facedown card is My Body As A Shield, he thought. One of her facedown cards is obviously her Mirror Force, so it will be no problem to negate it. Sure, it will cost 1,500 Life Points, but one attack, and she’ll be wiped out.



(Y: 3,000) -------------------- (I: 5,200)


“I draw…” said Yumi.

She drew a card.

She looked at the powerful Monster…

“Pass…” she said, adding it to her hand.

Icarus looked at her strangely.

His Life Points fell slightly again. Gaea chanted, and he drew another card. Candellado again rose to (9,000/9,000).

“Well, if that’s how it’s gonna be…” he said. “Candellado, destroy Gemini Elf, and win me this duel!”

Candellado roared…

“I activate… A Hero Emerges!” shouted Yumi, as a Trap lifted.

“Say what?” asked Icarus.

Yumi held up her hand of three cards.

“Now you’ve gotta choose a card in my hand,” she said. “If it’s a Monster, I get to Special Summon it.”

“Humph, as if it will matter!” said Icarus with a scowl.

“You have to,” said Yumi. “That’s the rule. So choose.”

“Oh, all right…” muttered Icarus. “For the Crown of Souls, I might as well humor you. The middle card…”

“Ooh…” said Yumi. “You picked a good one…”

She threw the card on her Disk.

“I summon Buster Blader in Attack Mode!”

In a flash of energy, the hulking Warrior in violet armor holding a huge sword appeared with a roar. (2,600/2,300)

Yumi grunted a little as Chain Energy shocked her again.



http://www.ideal808.com/images/bpt-008.jpg


“Oh, ho!” laughed Icarus. “One of your family’s signature cards, huh? Well, since that triggered a replay, I think I’ll kill him instead!

“Candellado, annihilate the Buster Blader!”

Candellado roared again.

“Time to end this!” shouted Yumi. “I activate… Heavy Slump!”

Another facedown card lifted, showing the Goblin of Greed panicking amid falling stock prices.

“Heavy Slump?” shouted Icarus. “What the heck does that do?”

Yumi made a sinister grin.

“It’s your deck’s worst nightmare,” she said. “I can only activate it when you have eight or more cards in your hand. It sends all of those cards back to your deck, and then makes you draw a new hand… of two cards.”

Icarus gasped as all the cards in his hand vanished, and then two cards flew off his Disk. Candellado fell to only (2,000/2,000).

“And by the way…” said Yumi, “this does not trigger a replay, and it’s too late for you to call off your attack. And since you declared the attack, your Vow of Peace can’t do squat. So double-ugly just got a one-way trip to the scrap heap.”

Candellado the Beast of Light shot its prism blast at the Buster Blader, but he leapt over it, and slashed his sword into the thing’s core with a shower of sparks. It roared, and then an explosion of fiery pyrotechnics lit up the whole arboretum.



(Y: 2,500) -------------------- (I: 4,300)


Icarus shielded himself as flaming debris and slag showered around him…

“You… you destroyed it!” he shouted.

“Yep…” said Yumi. “So what are you gonna do now?”

Icarus shivered and looked at the two cards he had just drawn…

They were, ironically, a second Candellado, and a second Gaea. He couldn’t even use them as bluffs.

“I’m not done yet!” he shouted, shaking his fist.

He turned a card on his Disk.

“I move Gaea to Defense Mode.”

The Agent of Plenty knelt in Defense and covered herself with her wings.

“I may not be able to use her effect now,” he continued, “but my Vow of Peace is still in effect, and she has 3,000 Defense Points. You’ll never get to me!”

If I can stall until I draw my Card of Sanctity, I still might have a chance, he thought.

“We will see…” said Yumi. “We will see…”

She drew a card.

“First,” she said, “I summon Blast Magician.”

She played the card, and in a burst of flames, the mage in the red robe and hat with the scythe-like staff appeared. (1,400/1,700) She grunted again as Chain Energy glowed.



http://www.ideal808.com/images/yugioh_fet_en_020_1.jpg


“Now…” she continued, “let’s take care of that annoying card. I play Heavy Storm!”

She held up the card, and a fierce wind blew about the arboretum. She didn’t even flinch as the Spell shocked her again, because she knew it would be the last time. The My Body as a Shield card, Chain Energy, Vow of Peace, Infinite Cards, and Yumi’s own Rush Recklessly and Seven Tools of the Bandit all shattered.

She had it planned out perfectly… thought Icarus, in panic. If I had chosen to attack Gemini Elf anyway, she would have used Rush Recklessly… If my facedown card had been Seven Tools, she would have countered it with her own…

“And now,” said Yumi, “since I just played one Spell Card, Blast Magician gains a counter, and he is now able to destroy one Monster that has 700 Attack Points or fewer.

“And your Agent has zero.

“Blast Magician, blast Gaea!”

Blast Magician twirled his staff, and shot a stream of fire. The Agent of Plenty – Gaea screamed as she was roasted alive. In a few seconds, all that was left was ashes.

“Time to finish this…” said Yumi. “Buster Blader, you first. Direct attack! Buster sword!”

Icarus gulped as Buster Blader leapt towards him. Then he screamed as the sword slashed into him.

“Gemini Elf, finish him off! Dual magic!”

The two elves raised their hands, and shot twin bolts of lightning. Icarus screamed again.



(Y: 1,500) -------------------- (I: 0)


The holograms vanished, and Yumi walked up to Icarus.

“Well, Icarus…” she said, “consider yourself crashed. I’ll be calling the Centurions now.”

Icarus coughed and held his chest.

“You wish…” he said, getting to his feet. “I lied… I’ll be long gone before they get here, and if you think you can stop me…”

He pulled a switchblade out of his robe, and the blade flicked open…

“Oh no you don’t,” shouted a voice. “Ms. Mouto, get away from him!”

Yumi backed up, as three Centurions sprang out of nowhere and tackled the Ascender to the ground. The knife flew from his hand quickly. He tried to struggle, but they were far too strong for him, and quickly cuffed his hands.

A fourth Centurion – obviously the one in authority – walked up.

“All right, Icarus was it?” he said. “If that’s your real name, which I doubt… You’re under arrest for use of illegal cards, not to mention assault with a deadly weapon due to that last stunt.”

“What?” asked Yumi. “Candellado is illegal?”

The Centurion turned to her.

“Yeah, it’s a custom card,” he said. “The original Candellado was a card made by…”

He paused.

“Well, let’s just say it was made by an evil force that you’d never want to mess with. Making copies of this entity’s handiwork without the proper safety measures is not only illegal in tournaments, but a very serious crime otherwise.

“And once we check out his tournament status, we think we can add a few more charges to what we already have.

“Anyway Ms. Mouto, we’re sorry if he caused you any pain. But you won the duel, and due to orders from Ms. Arachne, this will count as an official duel, and your upgrade will stand.”

Yumi smiled and looked at her badge, which was now at Violet.

“I gotta find Ren and Chelsea,” she said, taking out her cell phone. “Wonder where they are?”



* * * * * * * * * *


Meanwhile, Rasputin was sitting in an armchair, sulking. Olga and Nicholas were sitting nearby, while Louis stood next to him.

“Heavy Slump…” he muttered, brooding. “She actually had Heavy Slump in her deck?”

His fist hit the armrest.

“No member of her family, not her parents, nor any of her grandparents, Rebecca Hawkins included, ever had a use for that card. It doesn’t fit a Spellcaster Beatdown strategy at all. There was no way it would ever have benefited her…

“Unless…

“…unless she knew beforehand what she was about to face…”

He paused.

“Icarus’s strategy was sound… He would have won… But no strategy is foolproof, especially if your opponent knows what you’re using…

“There’s only one plausible explanation…

“One member of my organization… Is a traitor…”

There was dead silence in the room.

“It ain’t me, boss,” said Louis.

“I know it ain’t you, Louis!” shouted Rasputin. “You’re too dumb to be a traitor!”

“Uh, thanks…” he replied. “I think…”

“But when I find out who it is…” growled Rasputin, clenching his fist, “he or she will suffer the pain of a thousand deaths…”

There was a long silence again…

“Is this the point where you need a martini?” asked Olga.

“Yes, please,” he replied with a sigh. “Extra dry…”



* * * * * * * * * *


A short time later.

Icarus sat at a table, his hands cuffed, and a Centurion at either side. Sheena stood in front of him.

“Looks like you’ve been thrown in the discard pile, Icarus,” she said. “Your boss did nothing to help you once you lost.”

“Lady…” he replied, “if you’re asking me to fold, you’re going to be waiting a long time.”

“No mourning for Holly?” asked Sheena. “She’s in a coma… She may never wake up.”

“I’m wearing black, aren’t I?” asked Icarus.

Sheena put her hand on her hip.

“Listen, ‘Icarus’,” she said, “or should I said, Michael James Dogson…”

Icarus glared at her at the mention of his real name…

“Seto Kaiba eventually became a great man. The key word there is eventually. At first, he was a man blinded by greed.

“He started Battle City because he wanted all three of the Egyptian God Cards. If he had them, he’d have been the world’s greatest duelist. Since the Rare Hunters had Slifer and Ra, he welcomed them.

“They caused a great deal of trouble. If Kaiba had done what he should have done and had them locked up, so many people wouldn’t have been hurt…

“If you ask me, the reason he lost his duel to Yugi in the finals, ruining his plans entirely, was due in part to divine justice. It was a punishment for his greed and his utter disregard for the safety of others, for practically inviting those criminals.

“Anyway…

“I’m not like Seto Kaiba. I don’t welcome crooks who come to my tournament without being invited. I didn’t start this tournament to get any God Cards or some other greedy purpose like he did at Battle City… I started it so honest duelists could have fun. So you Ascenders will NOT be tolerated as he did with the Rare Hunters. I intend to root you out like the weeds you are.

“First of all, you are not here on the true guest list, meaning that the trust fund we were supplying you with was illegally obtained, making you and your Ascender allies thieves. How much you are costing me I don’t know – it’s exactly four hundred dollars for each one of you that’s out there, and I don’t like it when my money is stolen. If your boss does not pay it, I’ll make sure his individual henchmen will.

“Second, I looked up your name, and it turns out that you are wanted by both Interpol and Scotland Yard for international smuggling and fencing, most likely dealing with Duel Monsters cards. Industrial Illusions is also after you for forging counterfeit cards…

“Speaking of which, we checked the cards in your deck carefully. Many of the apparent rarer ones are counterfeits, not worth the cardboard they’re printed on. Yet, my computers were fooled by them…

“That means that whoever made them knew how KaibaCorp’s holographic technology worked, making that person or someone who worked for him guilty of the very serious crime known as corporate espionage.

“Speaking of which…”

She slammed her hand down on the table.

“Dear God, man, what the Hell were you thinking using Candellado? In case you didn’t know, it is forbidden to duplicate cards made by the Light of Ruin unless you use the proper purification process, and clearly the one who made your slop-job copies didn’t even follow step one of that process.

“The Light of Ruin may have been banished, but it might not be dead… If duelists like you do things like this, using unsafe copies of its cards, it might eventually gather enough strength to return…

“You are in a load of trouble, mister…”

She bent down until her face was next to his. He flinched a little.

“Trust me…” she said, softly, “your life is gonna be a whole lot more pleasant from this point on, if you tell us who hired you…”

Icarus looked down for a minute.

“Lady…” he said, “as miserable as my current situation looks, I’d rather live it out. If I were to rat on my boss, I wouldn’t.

“All I’ll say is, he’s a very powerful individual with connections everywhere, and he does not like employees who snitch. I should know – I saw what happened to the last one who tried to.

“So excuse me if I focus on self-preservation and keep my mouth shut.

“Now, if you don’t mind, I’d like to be shown to my cell. It’s been a long day, after all…”

“All right…” said Sheena, “get him out of here...”

As Icarus was led away, she motioned to a Centurion, an important-looking one wearing a purple sash over his armor.

“Someone is out there,” she said. “Most likely it’s a legitimate tournament guest directing these rogues.

“Give an order to all Centurions on patrol. Anyone wearing a black cloak is to be stopped, and his badge is to be scanned and compared to a list I will compose myself. If he isn’t on it, that person is to be arrested without question, regardless of whatever excuse he gives.

“That one may have been too afraid to snitch, but someone else might. We are going to stop this problem at the source…”

“Yes ma’am,” he replied. “By the way, did you, uh, mean what you said, in that Kaiba losing the finals of Battle City was divine justice?”

Sheena paused before she answered.

“There was a little divine intervention involved…” she replied, “but it wasn’t truly a punishment…

“It was an attempt to cleanse him of both greed and pride… And it wouldn’t be the first time…

“And eventually… It worked…”


Having beaten an Ascender with a dangerous weapon, Yumi has defended her Shadow Charm and advanced to Violet. Now she must rush to lend support to her friend, as he anxiously rushes to a duel he has apparently wanted for a long time. What is the origin behind this long-awaited meeting?



CANDELLADO THE BEAST OF LIGHT (Monster Card)

Card Specs

Type: Machine/Effect
Attribute: Light
Level: 12
ATK: 0
DEF: 0

Card Description: This card cannot be Normal Summoned or set. This card can only be Special Summoned by discarding two cards from your hand to the Graveyard. This card cannot attack on the round it is summoned. When this card is face-up on your side of the field, skip your Draw Phase. This card gains 1,000 points to its ATK and DEF for every card in your hand.

Note: “Candellado the Beast of Light” was first used by the android in the “Yu-Gi-Oh GX” episode “A Greater Porpoise”. Creative credit goes to the writers of that episode.



THE AGENT OF PLENTY – GAEA (Monster Card)

Card Specs

Type: Fairy/Effect
Attribute: Light
Level: 8
ATK: 0
DEF: 3,000

Card Description: During each of your Standby Phases that this card is in Attack Position, draw one card from your deck.



SILVER SPIRIT REDIRECTION (Trap Card)

Counter Trap

Image: A giant, luminous being amid the clouds.

Card Description: You may activate this card when one of your Monsters is targeted by the effect of an opposing Monster. Negate the effect and remove the opposing Monster from play.

Note: “Silver Spirit Redirection” was first used by Sarina in the “Yu-Gi-Oh GX” episode “Mirror, Mirror (Part One)”. Creative credit goes to the writers of that episode.



VOW OF PEACE (Spell Card)

Continuous Spell

Image: The holy man from the “Messenger of Peace” card kneeling before an altar.

Card Description: Neither player can declare attacks with face-up Monsters with base ATKs of 1500 or more. Pay 300 Life Points during each of your Standby Phases. If you do not, destroy this card.



Chelsea: So, Ren, you gonna tell me who we’re running to see?

Ren: Someone I’ve never met in person… But I promised to duel him if I ever did… I knew he’d be here…

Chelsea: You want to run that by me again?

Yumi: Wait up for me guys! I’ve got to see this!

Coming up next, “Invincible Duelist! Ren versus the Dark One”.

It’s gonna be a smash…

Shuppet Master
5th June 2007, 01:49 PM
I forgot all about that duel where Jaden got his Neo-Spacians, so I forgot about the Robot of Light and his light monsters. Thanks for reminding me!

The duel was pretty great, and I wish I could say more, but there's just nothing to say. I'm speechless.

I can't wait to see who this guy Ren is dueling is. Keep it up. :D

Neo Arkadia
5th June 2007, 01:51 PM
Well, the opening of the chapter with Maria struck me as a little goofy, but I suppose nessecary exhibition. Though, I do like the nods to Frantz and the R Side Story in this chapter. On a minor note, Dreadroot, Eraser, and Avatar technically all share the same first name. So it's either be Wicked God or The Devil's for all three. ^^;

Also, Rasputin's "Some Teenage girl in a belly-shirt with bad hair!" comment I found incredibly funny.

Candellado was rather peculiar if fun choice for Icarus's deck. Incidentally, despite Icarus's rather bland strategy towards fueling Candellado, the duel itself was quite rich and entertaining. Though, I did guess Heavy Slump was going to be the Candellado killing card. Also, a rather nice nod to the Wave of Light/Light of Ruin/Dark Light near the end of the chapter.

Though, the end of the chapter, I felt, helped to soldify to what dangerous ends Rasputin is willing to go to achieve his end. So... Kaiba Corp and Rasputin's group both have spies. *Interesting*. And the final nod to Kaiba I felt was in rather good, if not a tad preachy, taste.

Overall, a good chapter.

Now I wonder what's up with this Kenta guy...

Dark Sage
11th June 2007, 04:46 AM
Let's hope more people can review this time than last time...




CHAPTER EIGHTEEN



Invincible Duelist!



Ren versus the Dark One



Cassandra was meditating…

She opened her eyes…

“Still safe…” she whispered. “Still safely locked away…”

She sighed, and looked at her own dueling deck. She looked through the cards.

When Neos had defeated the Light Ruler in Jaden’s final battle with Sartorious, the Light of Ruin had been sealed away…

Making sure it stayed gone was something Jaden couldn’t do. That task fell upon others.

How Cassandra got appointed to the task, and how she did so was complicated to say the least. But being a duelist helped a great deal. After a few years at her task, the source of her precognitive abilities – which was a much more benign source of light – gave her these cards. Sartorious’s evil Tarot Monsters had been reborn as benign creatures who would now work to make sure the Dark Light stayed sealed away.

After all… The Light of Ruin had given most powers of light a bad name.

Cassandra was glad that Icarus’s slop-job copies of Candellado had been confiscated. Without the proper protection, custom copies of cards that the Light had made sent out a beacon, reaching to the Light’s prison, slowly eroding at its chains…

Fortunately, only minute damage had been done by Icarus. He had absolutely no loyalty to the Light. He used the cards because they were powerful, simply put. There was no danger of any new cult starting, or the cards would have been made with the intent to weaken the bindings.

Still…

She’d be on guard… Obviously, these Ascenders schemed carelessly with total disregard for the possible consequences.



* * * * * * * * * *


Yumi ran through the streets of Duelatopia towards the Entertainment District.

According to Chelsea when she had called her, Ren had received a challenge he had been waiting for, and the least she could do was lend support.

She just hoped she could spot them. Duels were happening everywhere.

She passed by just as a Warrior Lady of the Wasteland slammed her sword into one hapless duelist. Yumi always had one thought whenever she saw a direct attack occur in a duel that she wasn’t involved in:

Glad that wasn’t me!

She passed by a few odd sights. In one spot, a duelist was facing an opponent with five multicolored Kuribohs.

She knew that strategy… Her grandfather had used it.

She passed by another duel. A duelist was behind a Neo Aqua Madoor Equipped with a Ring of Magnetism, with a Cannon Soldier right next to it. Yumi slowed down and saw the duelist activate Stray Lambs and fire two shots at his opponent.

She smirked. Her grandmother had used that sort of strategy before changing to a Gain/Burn Deck. Except her Wall Monster was the Millennium Shield.

As she ran on, she thought of that card, the Millennium Shield. Her grandmother had given it to her, and it was now in her second deck, the one she had yet to even test.

She sighed… She didn’t know if she ever would use it at all. Maybe she’d come back here during Christmas vacation when there wasn’t a tournament involved to break it in, and if it was successful, it would be her weapon if she got invited to next year’s tournament.

She ran past a theater and saw Chelsea sitting on a park bench. She was holding Ren’s guitar in front of her.

“Chelsea…” gasped Yumi, panting for breath. “What did I miss?”

“Not much,” said Chelsea, pointing.

Yumi looked. In front of them, Ren and a boy around his age were shuffling each other’s decks.

The other boy didn’t exactly stand out. He had short, neatly cut blonde hair and a boyish face. He wore a white shirt, blue jeans, and a jean jacket that had the sleeves torn off.

“Who is that?” asked Chelsea.

“Kenta,” answered Chelsea. “Daikato Kenta. Apparently, he’s Ren’s pen pal…”

“Ren has a pen pal?” asked Yumi.

“Yeah, he never mentioned him to me either,” replied Chelsea. “But apparently, at some point, they promised to duel each other if they ever met at a tournament where an open challenge could be made.”

“And now is the time…” said Yumi, sitting down. “So is this an official duel?”

“Oh yeah…” answered Chelsea. “You bet. They insisted.”

Yumi thought for a minute…

“Daikato…” she muttered, as she sat down. “Where have I heard that name before?”

She shook her head. She was sure it would come to her soon…

Ren and Kenta stood apart from each other.

“So Kenta…” asked Ren. “Any chance I can get a hint as what’s in this deck of yours you’ve been harping about?”

“Get real, Ren…” answered Kenta. “Remember the deal… We each keep it a secret until we duel.”

“Then now’s the time…” said Ren, as the two Disks activated.

“Game on!” they shouted.



(Ren: 8,000) -------------------- (Kenta: 8,000)


“After you…” said Ren.

“Oh, no,” said Kenta, “I insist, after you…”

Ren paused, and then made his first draw.

Best start out slow… he thought. I haven’t got a clue what his strategy is, but it’s likely an unusual one…

“I summon Chthonian Soldier in Attack Mode,” he said.

He placed a card on his Disk, and in a burst of darkness, the infernal infantryman appeared, holding his wicked blade. (1,200/1,400)



http://www.ideal808.com/images/een-en0101.jpg


“Not bad…” said Kenta.

“Now I’ll place this facedown, for later…” continued Ren.

He fit a card into his Disk, and a facedown card materialized.

“Now let’s see what you’ve got,” he said.

“All right, watch out!” said Kenta, drawing a card.

He looked over his hand.

“I’ll start by setting this in Defense Mode,” he said. “And that’s all for now.”

A facedown Monster appeared, and Kenta smirked slightly.

Ren paused, and drew a card.

My Chthonian isn’t exactly the best Monster Attack-wise… he thought. But I might be able to get in a lead if I took a chance…

“Chthonian Soldier, attack!” he shouted. “Berserker blade!”

The Chthonian charged, swinging his sword…

…and then, his sword was halted by another blade.

Ren looked, and saw a Spirit Reaper kneeling on the card. (300/200)



http://www.ideal808.com/images/sd2-en006.jpg


“Super…” muttered Ren. “Your move…”

That won’t shield him for long, he thought. As soon as I draw Getsu, it’ll be gone.

Kenta drew a card.

“I’ll play this Spell Card…” he said, holding it up. “It’s called Goblin Charlatan.”

As he played the card, a figure materialized in front of him. It was the Goblin of Greed, wearing an expensive-looking Italian suit, with shifty eyes.

Kenta took his deck and spread out the cards.

“When I play this card, I have to take any six cards in my deck, and remove them from play…”

He quickly chose six cards and then handed them to the Goblin, who placed them inside the suit.

“…but in return, I get to add to my hand any one Monster that I want.”

The Goblin handed him a card, and he took it, adding it to his hand. Then the Goblin vanished.

“By the way, if you think I’m planning to use Dimension Fusion, don’t worry. I can’t Special Summon those cards while they remain removed from play.

“Sure, it seems like a rip-off, but it will all come into place soon. I’ll show you right now…”

He chose another card.

“I sacrifice my Spirit Reaper… to summon my Dark Cultist.”

He placed the card on his Disk, and Spirit Reaper faded away. In a shadowy aura, a new Monster appeared. It was a cloaked, hooded figure in black, its face completely concealed behind the hood. Its hands were gaunt, and it drifted off the ground, rather than walked on it. It let out a chilling moan. (1,000/1,000)

“I activate my Trap!” shouted Ren, as his facedown card lifted.

“Hidden Soldiers. Since you summoned a Monster, now I can Special Summon one Dark Monster from my hand, Like Zombyra the Dark.”

In a burst of energy, Zombyra flew out onto the field. (2,100/500)



http://www.ideal808.com/images/lon-074.jpg


“Cool Monster…” said Kenta. “But Dark Cultist also has a cool ability.”

He raised his hand, and six cards appeared in it.

“When it’s summoned, all cards that have been removed from play go to their owners’ Graveyards…”

He discarded the cards.

“I thought he said he couldn’t bring them back,” said Chelsea.

“He said he couldn’t Special Summon them,” corrected Yumi. “That wasn’t a summoning at all.”

“…and even better,” continued Kenta, “for each one sent there this way, Dark Cultist gains 100 more Attack Points.”

Dark Cultist glowed, and rose to (1,600/1,000)

This is interesting… thought Yumi. But I can’t help but think that this Dark Cultist plays a part of some larger strategy…

“Dark Cultist,” said Kenta, “attack the Chthonian Soldier! Dark curse!”

Dark Cultist put its hands together, and formed a ball of crackling, dark energy between them. It hurled a blast of black magic at Chthonian Soldier. The Warrior groaned, and then exploded.

“Uh, Kenta?” said Ren. “You might want to… look up.”

“Huh?” asked Kenta, looking up.

Then he saw that Chthonian Soldier’s sword was flying towards him. He yelped in pain as it hit him.

“You obviously didn’t know…” said Ren, “when Chthonian Soldiers die in battle, they curse the ones who land the killing blows. This is translated by the fact that you lose as many Life Points as I do.”

Actually, I did know… thought Kenta. But I didn’t have any other way to get rid of him…



(R: 7,600) -------------------- (K: 7,600)


“I’ll set a card of my own facedown,” said Kenta, as a facedown card appeared, “and that’s all for my turn.”

Ren drew a card.

He smirked.

“I’ll place another card facedown to start…” he said.

A facedown card appeared behind Zombyra.

“And then…” he continued, “I summon a Warrior whose name is known and feared throughout the East as… Mataza the Zapper!”

With a battle cry, a new Warrior somersaulted onto Ren’s side of the field. It was a dark ronin, with black hair tied in a ponytail, wearing green leather armor. He wore a lethal-looking katana at his side. (1,300/800)



http://www.ideal808.com/images/ioc-0861.jpg


“He’s called the Zapper because he’s very fast. So fast, that he gets two attacks in the same round. But first…

“Zombyra, attack the Dark Cultist! Super-powered punch attack!”

Zombyra leapt forward and clocked the Dark Cultist. It let out another chilling moan, and was blasted into shreds of cloth.

Zombyra moaned a little, as his Attack Score fell to 1,900.

“Mataza…” ordered Ren, “attack directly! Zapping blade!”

Mataza the Zapper leapt up and drew his katana in mid-air…

This is gonna sting… thought Kenta.

He grunted, and stumbled backwards as Mataza slammed his blade into his chest.

“And again!” ordered Ren.

Mataza followed through with another slash, upward, and this time, Kenta screamed. He fell to one knee.



(R: 7,600) -------------------- (K: 4,500)


“Huh…” said Chelsea, putting her hand on her chin. “I was expecting Kenta to put up more of a fight… Ren is going to chew him up and spit him out if this keeps up…”

“I’m worried…” said Yumi. “This looks a little too easy…”

“Your move…” said Ren, crossing his arms.

Kenta took some deep breaths, and got up. He drew a card.

Perfect… he thought, looking at it. Now I have all I need to bring out my star…

He opened his Field Slot and placed a card in it.

“I play… Necrovalley!” he shouted.

In a blur, the city street faded away, and the buildings were replaced by rocky cliff walls, with ominous caves in the sides. Ren and Kenta were now facing each other from opposite sides of a deep canyon.

“What is he up to?” asked Chelsea. “Is he going to use Gravekeepers?”

“Ordinarily, I’d assume he was…” answered Yumi. “But that Goblin Charlatan card and the Dark Cultist didn’t exactly fit into a Gravekeeper theme…”

“Continuing…” said Kenta. “Now I play a Spell Card… Magic Reflector.”

He played the card, and a large, robot spider-like thing appeared on the field.

The card shattered, but the spider remained. It scurried up the cliff wall, and then embedded its legs in the stone.

“See that?” asked Kenta. “That’s a counter, technically. It’s there to protect my Field Spell. If you do anything that would destroy Necrovalley, the counter will be destroyed instead, leaving Necrovalley itself safe. In other words, to take out this Field, you have to destroy it twice.”

“I see…” muttered Ren.

“Now we get to the fun part…” said Kenta, with a sinister grin.

He held aloft a Spell Card.

“I play… Contract With Exodia!”

Yumi stood up in surprise.

“It can’t be…” she muttered.

As Kenta played the Spell Card, the gargantuan form of Exodia the Forbidden One rose behind Kenta, and his eyes glowed with fiery light… Terrible storm clouds formed over Necrovalley, and wind howled.

“You see, Ren…” said Kenta, “the six cards I removed from play and then sent to my Graveyard… One was a second Goblin Charlatan, which I didn’t need anymore… But the other five… They were the five pieces of Exodia the Forbidden One! And since they’re in my Graveyard, I can use this card to summon the Dark One… Arise, Exodia Necross!”

Exodia’s eyes flashed with energy, and fiery beams shot from them. Where they landed, a dark portal opened…

The Forbidden One slowly vanished, and an arm emerged from the portal, followed by a second arm. The rest of the colossal creature slowly emerged. It resembled Exodia at first glance, but its skin was black and dull, and its face was skull-like. It was surrounded by an aura of evil, dark energy. (1,800/0)



http://www.ideal808.com/images/dcr-0201.jpg


Ren sweat nervously.

He actually built a deck designed to summon Necross? he thought. This is… is…

…well, it would be kind of cool, actually, if I wasn’t the one facing it…

He looked at his facedown card.

My facedown card is Rising Energy. When he attacks, I’ll trigger it, and Mataza will gain 1,500 Attack Points for one round. He won’t be able to destroy Necross, but at least he’ll be safe for now.

“Exodia Necross…” ordered Kenta, “attack Mataza the Zapper with your mighty fist!”

Exodia Necross bellowed an inhuman roar, and lunged at Mataza the Zapper…

“I activate… Rising Energy!” shouted Ren, as his Trap Card lifted.

He quickly discarded a card.

“Did you forget I had a facedown card too?” asked Kenta. “I activate Royal Decree.”

His own Trap lifted.

“And so long as this decree is enforced, no Traps are allowed except this one.”

The Rising Energy card shattered.

Necross’s fist struck Mataza, and the ronin was thrown back. He shattered into black shards.



(R: 7,100) -------------------- (K: 4,500)


“This looks bad…” said Chelsea.

“Tell me about it…” said Yumi.

“I don’t know who first proposed that Contract, or who wrote it up, or who got Exodia to agree to it, but the creature that it summons is not one to fool around with.

“You see… Exodia Necross is dead. And I don’t mean undead like your vampires. Simply dead. And since it’s already dead, it’s incredibly hard to destroy. Attacks can’t do it, and neither can Spells or Traps…

“It only has two basic weaknesses. One way is to destroy it with Monster effects, and I don’t even know if Ren has a Monster that fits the bill.

“The other way is to somehow move one or more pieces of Exodia out of the owner’s Graveyard. But as you can see, Kenta thought ahead and made doing that all but impossible. Unless Ren can get rid of Necrovalley, Kenta’s Graveyard is completely off-limits.”

Ren drew a card.

She’s right… he thought, looking at the machine embedded in the cliff wall. And so long as that thing is there, it would take two anti-Spell cards to destroy this Field. And as for Monsters who can destroy other Monsters… Well, if Necross were a Fiend or a Zombie, Getsu Fuhma could do it, but it’s a Spellcaster…

Sure doesn’t look like one, but it is.

“I move Zombyra to Defense Mode…” he said.

Zombyra knelt and shielded himself.

“Next, I summon Dark Squire.”

A new figure appeared on his side of the field. It was a young girl, dressed in the clothing of nobility, with a formal coat and a beret, but while her clothes were fancy, they were all black and grey (300/300)

“Don’t worry, she’s not the attacking type,” said Ren. “In fact, when I summon her, she moves into Defense Mode quickly.”

Dark Squire crouched in Defense Mode.

“That’s all I can do…”

Kenta drew a card.

“In case you didn’t know, Ren,” he said, “Necross gets stronger with each passing round…”

With a creaking, cracking noise, Necross grew slightly, and rose to (2,300/0).

“Now to wipe out your side of the field. This next guy isn’t the strongest Monster, but he’ll do. I summon Plague Wolf.”

The ground on his side of the field cracked, and a small figure burst out. It was rotting, decaying, Zombie wolf, its skin pulled taunt across its bones and its fur falling off. (1,000/1,000)



http://www.ideal808.com/images/fotb-en0651.jpg


“Plague Wolf, attack his Squire! Breath of pestilence!”

The Plague Wolf belched a cloud of black gas from its jowls. Dark Squire coughed, and then was literally decayed alive, rotting before collapsing into dust.

“Looks like she just bit the dust,” said Kenta.

“Eww…” muttered Ren. “Well, Dark Squire has another special ability. When she dies in battle, we each get to draw two cards.”

“You don’t hear me complaining…” said Kenta.

They each drew twice.

“Exodia Necross, your turn,” he continued. “Flatten Zombyra the Dark!”

Necross threw a punch, and Zombyra shattered into pixels.

“Any questions?” asked Kenta.

“Only the obvious,” replied Ren. “Why on earth did you decide to build a deck based on Exodia Necross?”

“Heh, heh, heh…” chuckled Kenta. “That’s quite a story, Ren… But I have nowhere to go…”

He paused.


Continued…

Dark Sage
11th June 2007, 04:48 AM
Continued from last post:


“My mother Genki was a great Pro League duelist… She played a standard Exodia Deck, and she won most of the time…”

“That’s where I heard the name before!” exclaimed Yumi. “Daikato Genki… She was known as the Exodia Empress…”

“Indeed…” said Kenta. “I watched her duel so many times… I was so excited every time she summoned the almighty Exodia and blasted her opponent into next week… The thrill was almost intoxicating.

“Eventually, she retired, and I was overjoyed when she gave her deck to me…

“But the thrill, sadly, didn’t last…

“I soon found that I wasn’t as good at it as she was. I didn’t win nearly as often. And even when I did win, even when I managed to summon Exodia, it seemed so… empty. There was no thrill when I did it. In my hands, Exodia wasn’t the same.

“Then, somebody told me what the problem was. He told me that reason I couldn’t use the deck with as much skill and as much satisfaction was simple – it wasn’t mine. As long as I used my mother’s deck, I was copying someone else. To be a true duelist, I had to find my own calling.

“It made sense… But what was I to do? Sell my mother’s priceless Exodia cards? I could not, would not, should not do such a thing…

“Then it happened… I was browsing in a card store, when I saw it… Exodia Necross. My heart leapt… This was it! A new way to use Exodia!

“The deck took a full year to design and build. Finding all the cards for it was a tedious and arduous task…

“But I succeeded. I created my Exodia Necross Deck! And the thrill is back!”

“Swell…” said Ren. “But, uh… You realize I’m still going to try to beat it…”

“By all means…” said Kenta. “I believe it’s your move.”

Ren looked at the four cards in his hand.

Polymerization, Frontline Base, Final Attack Orders, and Penumbral Soldier Lady.

If this next draw isn’t a Monster I can summon, he thought, I’ll be wide open… Bluffing likely won’t work against something that can’t be killed by Traps.

Not only that, I’ve heard of Plague Wolf… He can double its Attack Score if he’s willing to destroy it at the end of his turn…

He nervously looked at Exodia Necross…

He drew.

Well, that’s halfway there… he thought.

“I play Pot of Greed…” he said, playing the card.

He drew two cards.

He smirked.

“Okay, Kenta…” he said. “First thing’s first… Your canyon is coming down…”

“Oh, come on…” said Kenta. “No one could have been lucky enough to draw Heavy Storm AND Mystical Space Typhoon at the same time!”

“Actually…” said Ren, “I’m gonna do it with only one card.”

“What?” said Kenta. “You can’t!”

“Yes I can,” replied Ren. “Magic Reflector may be powerful, but it has one weakness.

“You see, when it’s used to protect a Field Spell, which is what it’s doing right now, it can NOT prevent the Field’s destruction if a second Field Spell is played.”

“Ren is right…” said Yumi, in surprise. “That thing can’t prevent Necrovalley from being displaced by another Field.”

“So…” said Ren, opening his own Field Slot. “I play Mystic Plasma Zone.”

The cliffs of Necrovalley crumbled to dust, taking the Magic Reflector with them, the ground solidified, and the dark fog, with crackling energy coursing in the sky, covered the arena.

“You’d better hope you can make use of that,” said Kenta. “Because Necross happens to be a Dark Monster.”

Necross rose to (2,800/0), and Plague Wolf rose to (1,500/600)

“He won’t be around much longer,” said Ren, taking the other card he had drawn. “I play Monster Reborn!”

He played the card, and the ankh glowed with golden light in the darkness. Kenta’s discard slot glowed as well…

The disembodied head of Exodia the Forbidden One appeared in front of Ren. (1,000/1,000) –> (1,500/600)

Exodia Necross moaned. Its skin shriveled, and then its left arm fell off and crashed to the ground. Then its right arm followed, then its head. Then what was left of it shattered into pixels.

“Very clever…” muttered Kenta.

“Oh, I’m not done…” said Ren. “I sacrifice this guy…”

Exodia’s head vanished.

“To summon Penumbral Soldier Lady!”

From out of the darkness, the tall, female Warrior appeared, holding her sword and shield. (2,100/1,400) –> (2,600/1,000)



http://www.ideal808.com/images/sod-en0331.jpg


“Attack his Plague Wolf!” shouted Ren. “Sword of shadows!”

Penumbral Soldier Lady charged forward and slashed at Plague Wolf with her blade. It was blown to pieces.



(R: 7,100) -------------------- (K: 3,400)


“Not bad…” muttered Kenta.

He paused for a minute.

“I believe it’s my move…”

He drew a card.

“I’ll place this in Defense Mode, and that will be all.”

A facedown Monster appeared.

Ren drew a card.

Pitch-Dark Dragon. He figured he’d save it for later.

“Penumbral Soldier Lady, attack!”

The Warrior charged again. Sangan appeared on the card, and she cleaved it in half.



http://www.ideal808.com/images/db2-en042.jpg


“I’m sure you know what Sangan’s effect is,” said Kenta, taking his deck.

“Yeah, yeah…” said Ren.

Kenta got what he wanted, and then reshuffled.

“My turn is over, Kenta…” said Ren. “But why don’t you just give up? Your key card has been destroyed, and Exodia Necross is a NOMI, whatever the heck that means.”

Kenta laughed as he made his next draw.

He laughed even harder when he saw what it was.

“Ren, you are so naïve!” he said. “I’m playing a Necross Deck! Do you honestly believe that this deck has only one copy of Necross?”

Ren stared at him.

“Your deck has… two copies of Exodia Necross?” he asked.

“Nope,” replied Kenta. “Three.”

“THREE?” shouted Yumi. “But… Wha… Exodia Necross is even rarer than the pieces of Exodia!”

“Having a mom who had celebrity status in the Pro League helped a great deal,” said Kenta. “And now you’ve foolishly put Exodia’s head back in my Graveyard, and used your only copy of Monster Reborn. Unless you also have Autonomous Action Unit in your deck, you won’t be able to destroy it that way again…

“Speaking of which…

“I play my second copy of Contract With Exodia.”

The storm raged, this one different than last time, given the different Field. A fiery circle appeared, and Exodia Necross appeared again. But this time, it knelt, and crossed its arms in Defense Mode. (1,800/0) –> (2,300/0)

“I’ll put it in Defense Mode for this round,” said Kenta. “But next round, it will be strong enough to kill her, and then… watch out!”

Ren nervously drew a card.

ARGH! Call of the Haunted? he thought. Even if I had something in my Graveyard that could stand up to Necross – and I don’t – I can’t use it. His Royal Decree is still on the field!

He turned the card on his Disk, and Penumbral Soldier Lady knelt in Defense Mode.

“I can’t do anything else…” he muttered.

“Then I draw…” said Kenta, drawing.

Necross rose to (2,800/0)

“I’ll move it into Attack Mode…”

Necross stood up…

“Then I’ll summon the guy I got from Sangan. My Shadow Cultist.”

He played the card, and in another low moan, another cloaked figure appeared. It looked much like Dark Cultist, except with a midnight blue robe. (1,200/800) –> (1,700/400)

Ren gulped.

“By the way…” said Kenta. “When Shadow Cultist is on the field, all Spellcasters on my side of the field except this one are immune to Spells, Traps, and Monster effects that target.

“Get the idea? I have cards in my deck to eliminate both of Necross’s weaknesses.”

Yumi looked at Shadow Cultist.

Interesting… she thought. I should look into that card…

“Shadow Cultist,” ordered Kenta, “attack Penumbral Soldier Lady with shadow flux!”

Shadow Cultist fired a blast of shadowy energy at the Warrior. Penumbral Soldier Lady gasped, and was literally consumed by the darkness.

“Exodia Necross, attack Ren directly!”

“Watch out, Ren!” shouted Chelsea, as Necross lunged for him.

“Sit down!” said Yumi.

Necross slugged Ren in the stomach, and he was thrown backwards. He skidded ten feet across the pavement.

“Ow… ow… ow…” he muttered.



(R: 4,300) -------------------- (K: 3,400)


“Heh, heh…” said Kenta. “Your move…”

Ren slowly got up. He walked back to his position.

He looked at the four cards in his hand again.

Only one guy can do it, he thought. And I have to draw him NOW.

He drew a card.

YES! he thought, looking at it. Lady Luck is truly on my side!

“I play Polymerization!” he shouted. “And I’ll fuse together Dark Blade, and Pitch-Dark Dragon…”



http://www.itstimetoduel.com/cardpictures/MFC-007.jpghttp://www.itstimetoduel.com/cardpictures/LOB-EN059.jpghttp://www.itstimetoduel.com/cardpictures/MFC-008.jpg


The two Monsters appeared on the field, and then swirled into a dark blur.

“Come forth, Dark Blade the Dragon Knight!”

From out of the blur, Dark Blade flew, riding the Pitch-Dark Dragon, his sword held high. (2,200/1,500) –> (2,700/1,100)



http://www.ideal808.com/images/rds_en035.jpg


“Are you kidding?” asked Kenta. “Necross will flatten him.”

“He doesn’t need to mess with Necross,” said Ren. “Dark Blade, attack the Shadow Cultist!”

Dark Blade the Dragon Knight took to the air. He swooped down, and swiped at the Spellcaster with his sword. Shadow Cultist groaned, and burst into an explosion of cloth.



(R: 4,300) -------------------- (K: 2,400)


“And now…” said Ren, “since he inflicted battle damage, I get to remove from play three Monsters in your Graveyard. So, let’s see…”

The images of the Monster Cards in Kenta’s Graveyard appeared in front of him. He quickly touched Exodia the Forbidden One, Left Leg of the Forbidden One, and Right Leg of the Forbidden One, and they vanished.

Exodia Necross groaned again. This time, it turned to stone, and then cracks appeared all over it. It fell into a pile of rubble.

Kenta coughed as dust rose from the pile before it vanished.

“Not bad…” he muttered.

“Your move…” said Ren. “This is getting fun.”

“Indeed…” said Kenta, drawing a card.

“I play… Card of Demise,” he said, playing the card. “Now I get to draw five cards.”

He made five draws.

“Yeah…” said Ren, as five lit candles appeared in front of Kenta, “but after five rounds, you lose your whole hand.”

“I’m thinking more about the immediate future,” said Kenta, looking at the eight cards in his hand. “As for this round, I play Heavy Storm.”

He played the card, and the fierce wind erupted over the field, clearing away the dark fog of the field card, and shattering his own Royal Decree. Dark Blade the Dragon Knight fell to (2,200/1,500).

“Nice…” said Chelsea. “Now Ren can use his Traps again… Although if Kenta somehow summons his third Necross, it might not matter…”

“Next…” said Kenta. “I play my own Monster Reborn.”

The ankh appeared on his side of the field.

“I’ll use it to bring back my Dark Cultist, in Defense Mode.”

Dark Cultist reappeared, now crouching and shielding itself in defense. (1,000/1,000)

“I’m sure you remember how Dark Cultist works, right?” asked Kenta. “All cards that have been removed from play now go back to our Graveyards, and it gains 100 Attack Points for each one.”

Kenta slipped three cards into his discard slot, and Dark Cultist rose to (1,300/1,000)

“Nuts…” said Chelsea. “Now all five pieces of Exodia are in his Graveyard again…”

“I’ll place a second Monster in Defense Mode, and that will end my turn,” said Kenta.

A concealed Monster appeared.

One of the five candles blew out.

Ren made one draw.

He played the card.

“I summon Getsu Fuhma,” he said.

The lovely, redheaded ronin in armor appeared, holding aloft her katana. (1,700/1,200)



http://www.ideal808.com/images/ioc-0891.jpg


“Getsu Fuhma, attack his Dark Cultist!”

Getsu Fuhma made a slash with her blade, and the Spellcaster burst, just like he had before.

“Dark Blade, take out that mystery Monster.”

Dark Blade swooped towards the facedown card.

Magician of Faith appeared kneeling on the card, just seconds before she was blown to pieces.

“Nuts…” muttered Ren, rolling his eyes.

“Thank you…” said Kenta. “Now I get to reclaim one Spell Card from my Graveyard…”

He took a card from his discard slot.

“Give you one guess what it is,” he said, showing him the Contract With Exodia card.

He added it to his hand.

“I have to end my turn,” muttered Ren. “So why stall? Bring out the big guy again…”

Kenta made a draw.

He looked closely at the card.

“I will…” he said. “Let’s play Contract With Exodia once more…”

He played the card, and once again, lightning flashed…

Kenta placed his third and last copy of Exodia Necross on his Disk, and for the third time, Exodia’s evil twin arose. (1,800/0)

“Come on Ren…” muttered Chelsea. “Just once more… You can take it down just once more…”

“Necross…” ordered Kenta, “attack Getsu Fuhma!”

Necross punched with its mighty fist. Getsu cried out in pain as it struck her, and she shattered.



(R: 4,200) -------------------- (K: 2,400)


“I’ll end with this facedown…” said Kenta, placing a card in a slot.

The second candle blew out.

Ren slowly drew a card.

It was The Fiend Megacyber, not someone he could use right now.

He seems to have made a fatal mistake, he thought. Dark Blade the Dragon Knight doesn’t need to destroy a Monster to use his effect… He just has to inflict battle damage. His Attack Score is higher than Necross’s right now, and Kenta will still take battle damage if I attack it…

And then, Necross will be gone again.

“Dark Blade… Attack Exodia Necross!”

Dark Blade flew at Exodia Necross.

“You took the bait!” shouted Kenta. “I activate Rush Recklessly!”

His facedown card lifted.

Ren’s eyes widened as Necross grew to an Attack of 2,500…

It threw a punch, and Dark Blade the Dragon Knight shattered into bits.



(R: 3,900) -------------------- (K: 2,400)


“So Ren…” said Kenta with a smile. “What are you gonna do now?”

Ren placed one of his cards into his Disk, and a facedown card appeared.

“That’s it for me…” he said.

Kenta drew a card. Exodia Necross grew to an Attack of 2,300.

“Well…” he said, “I don’t usually attack with this guy, but…

“I summon Des Feral Imp in Attack Mode.”

He played the card, and a fiendish-looking, reptilian, humanoid creature with sharp claws appeared. (1,600/1,800)



http://www.ideal808.com/images/dcr-014.jpg


“No…” groaned Chelsea. “If both those attacks go through, Ren loses…”

“Necross, attack Ren directly!” ordered Kenta.

“I activate… Call of the Haunted!” shouted Ren.

His Trap Card lifted, and a tombstone rose on his side of the field…

Dark Blade the Dragon Knight burst out of the ground, facing Necross again. (2,200/1,500)

“Oh, you are good!” said Kenta with a laugh. “Necross, attack that Knight.”

Exodia Necross threw his fist, and Dark Blade shattered again.

“Des Feral Imp, you attack directly. Jagged claw.”

The Reptile lunged at Ren and slashed with its talons. He grunted, and staggered backwards.



(R: 2,200) -------------------- (K: 2,400)


“That’s all for my turn,” said Kenta. “I’ll turn it over to you for now…”

The third candle blew out.

Ren drew a card.

This will cost me, he thought, but at least I can take down his Imp…

“I Special Summon The Fiend Megacyber,” he said, playing a card.

In a burst of dark energy, the powerful, cybernetic Warrior arose. (2,200/1,200)



http://www.ideal808.com/images/psv-100.jpg


“Attack his Des Feral Imp!” he shouted. “Mega slash!”

The Megacyber swiped at the Reptile with its talons, and the smaller Monster shattered into bits. Kenta cringed a little.



(R: 2,200) -------------------- (K: 1,800)


“Your move…” said Ren, nervously.

Kenta drew a card. Necross grew to (2,800/0)

Burial From a Different Dimension? he thought, looking at it. Nuts… I was hoping for a Monster…

“Necross, attack his Fiend Megacyber!”

Exodia Necross lunged forward and punched The Fiend Megacyber. It shattered into pieces.



(R: 1,600) -------------------- (K: 1,800)


“So what now, Ren?” he asked. “Next round, it will be strong enough to take down Kaiba’s Blue-Eyes. You’ll never stand up to it.”

The fourth candle went out.

Ren looked at the three cards in his hand, which were Bait Doll, Final Attack Orders, and Frontline Base. Not exactly the most useful cards right now.

He drew.


Continued…

Dark Sage
11th June 2007, 04:51 AM
Continued from last post:


“I play… Graceful Charity!” he said, playing the card.

In a flash of light, the beautiful angel appeared, and her feathers fell on his deck.

Ren drew three cards and looked at them.

One of them was Crescent Moon Queen.

A tear fell out of his eye.

Sorry Queenie… he thought, but I can’t use you this time… You’d be no help. Maybe next time…

He discarded her and Final Attack Orders.

“I play… Double Spell!” he shouted. “Now, I’ll discard my Frontline Base…”

He discarded a card.

“…and I get to use any Spell Card in your Graveyard, Kenta. And the card I choose…

“Monster Reborn!”

The ankh appeared, and the head of Exodia appeared again, floating in mid-air. (1,000/1,000)

Exodia Necross groaned again, and this time burst into pieces of black rubble. Then the rubble vanished.

“Now uhm…” said Ren. “Sheesh, I can’t believe I’m attacking with this… Attack directly!”

The eyes of the disembodied head glowed, and fired two beams of energy, striking Kenta in the chest. He grunted and staggered backwards.

“I’ll end my turn with that,” said Ren. “And I learned my lesson, Kenta… This time, I’m keeping this Monster on the field if I can help it.

“I’ll place this facedown, and end my turn.”

He fit a card into his Disk, and a facedown card appeared in front of him.



(R: 1,600) -------------------- (K: 800)


Kenta nervously drew a card.

He looked at it strangely.

“Are you now?” he said, adding it to his hand. “Sorry, Ren, but I was prepared in case the pieces of Exodia wound up stuck on the field.”

He took a card.

“See this card?” he said. “It’s a Spell Card called Last Day of Witch, and when it’s played, all Spellcasters on the field are destroyed. Fortunately for me, the pieces of Exodia fall into that category.”

He played the card, and the head of Exodia shattered into bits.

“Glad I’m not dueling him…” said Yumi.

Man, this guy is serious! thought Ren. Last Day of Witch isn’t a card you can simply buy at a card store!

Never before have I seen someone put so much dedication into a deck… I’d like to let you win, Kenta, but… The thing is…

I’ve put a lot of dedication into my deck too, and I’m going to try my hardest to win.

“Now…” said Kenta, “I’m going to beat you, Ren, and I’m gonna do it using my backup plan…”

He placed a card on his Disk.

“I summon Prometheus, King of the Shadows.”

A dark fog rose on Kenta’s side of the field, and a tall, fiendish form stepped out of it