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Dark Sage
8th July 2005, 11:46 AM
Greetings duelists and anime fans!

You might remember me from my “Yu-Gi-Oh Junior” fanfics.

Now, welcome to “Yu-Gi-Oh! The Thousand-Year Door”.

First, some words on the rules of the game in this fanfic.

Most of the rules of the actual game are in effect. Duelists start out at 8,000 Life Points. One sacrifice is needed to normal summon a Monster of five or six stars, two for more stars than that.

Unlike my other fics, players do NOT lose Life Points when a Monster is destroyed via a means other than battle (in most cases).

Like the anime, Fusion Monsters have to wait a turn before attacking. Ritual Monsters require both a Ritual Magic Card and a Monster Card. Some anime effects are in play as well – others are not. You’ll just have to see.

Take, for example, the effect of “Card of Sanctity”. This fic will be using the more powerful anime effect, which allows each player to draw until they have six cards in their hands. The real card is much less powerful – its effect is as follows: You discard your hand and all cards you have on the field, and then draw two cards. As you can tell, this is situational at best, and worthless at worst. However, we’ll be using the anime version.

Also, a little word on the setting. This takes place in the same universe as the anime, but appearances by anime characters will be minimal. The time is shortly after the Doma Arc.

Also, like my previous fic, this fic is rated PG-13. However, it is not due to religious connotations.

And I’ve added a new feature that wasn’t in my previous fics. See if you can notice it.

Also, I am asking all readers to review! Reviews slacked off recently in my last fanfic, and I ask you, don’t be shy.

With that in mind…

Let’s begin!












[size=3]
Yu-Gi-Oh!


The Thousand-Year Door



[color=blue]By Brian “Venusaur” Corvello





[size=3]PROLOGUE





The years haven’t been kind to me. And I’ve got the wrinkles to show it. I should have even more. I’ve lived a lot of years.

Who am I? My name isn’t important yet. Maybe you’ll find out later. But I’ve got a lot of stories to tell.

Here’s an interesting one… Let me tell you the story of The Thousand-Year Door…

See, five thousand years ago, Egyptian kings and nobles played a deadly competition, drawing on a mysterious place called the Shadow Realm. They used powerful magic and ferocious beasts to strike down their enemies. These Shadow Games got so dangerous, they threatened to turn into a war that would rip the world apart!

And it would have – were it not for a brave Pharaoh. He crafted the seven powerful Millennium Items, to halt the Shadow Games, and end the evil practice once and for all.

At least, that was what they were supposed to do… Things don’t always go as planned.

You see, over the aeons, unsavory folk have tried to use Shadow magic on their own – some more successfully than others.

A little over one thousand years ago, someone became very successful. Her name is forgotten, maybe even to herself. Let’s refer to her by what she calls herself now – the Shadow Queen.

Her origins are unclear – some say that she was as much demon as she was human. Her powers over sorcery were unmatched, and she had used foul rituals and unholy bargains to make herself practically immortal.

The Shadow Queen’s goal was world domination, and she wielded the might of powerful Shadow Games. Using magic and monsters from the forbidden Realm, she would leave foes groveling at her feet, begging for mercy.

And they got none from her. She wouldn’t kill them either. The fate she had for her enemies was far worse. She constructed an extradimensional prison which she called The Graveyard, and would simply banish her defeated foes there. With her enemies safely entombed, they were out of the way, and her empire grew.

This went on for years. More kingdoms were conquered, their rulers becoming buried in The Graveyard and their subjects cowering under the merciless Shadow Queen.

Eventually, she built herself a grand palace of her own, situated on an island in the middle of the Atlantic. Built into the side of a mountain, this fortress was the stuff of nightmares to anybody who visited. She ruled from this dark Palace of Shadows, where howls of demons and fell creatures echoed throughout the chambers.

Of course, thoughts of rebellion were on the minds of all the countries whom she had enslaved. But what were they to do? Who could stand up to this tyrant who had defeated the most powerful warriors already?

It was then that three saviors appeared from three corners of the globe. Some say they were gathered together by a mysterious wizard whose identity was known only to them. These three heroes knew the ways of Shadow themselves, and boldly went to confront the Shadow Queen. Confront her they did – in her own Palace.

The battle was long and hard. For days, the evil queen clashed with the three heroes. Monsters were summoned from portals and were blasted to oblivion by each other.

Finally, the Shadow Queen fell. Defeated.

But for all their might, the heroes could not kill the Shadow Queen. She was far too powerful. Instead, they managed to cast a powerful spell that would turn her grand palace into a magical prison.

Having done that, they left, leaving the Shadow Queen sealed behind the grand doors of her palace, a captive of it, hopefully for eternity.

It is said that on an island somewhere in the mid-Atlantic, you can find a huge door built into a mountainside. This is The Thousand-Year Door. Behind it lies the Shadow Queen’s prison, where she will hopefully remain.

Hopefully.

But as I said, things do not always go as planned.

For one thousand years, the immortal Shadow Queen has one thought on her mind – escape. Through her servants, who are not as imprisoned as she is, she has become active in the outside world, gaining information, and adjusting to the modern era. And now, after ten centuries, she has found an escape clause in the spell that holds her prisoner.

It reads as follows: If she or servants working for her can defeat the blood heirs of her three jailers in a fair fight, she will be freed.

And she will escape to start her reign of terror once more.

Now, after years of planning, her goal is within reach.

Her prey is within sight.

Anyway, that’s my story. Call it a tall tale if you want, but I’m sticking to it.

Oh, by the way…

Do you like to play Duel Monsters?



[B]* * * * * * * * * *


New York City.

Madison Square Garden.

Right now, it was hosting the Big Apple Duel Monsters Tournament.

Final round.

On one side was a boy named Stanley Mason. He wore a jean jacket and blue jeans, and a Yankees cap on backwards. His long brown hair was tied in a short ponytail.

He had 2,000 Life Points remaining, and on his side was Blast Magician. (1,400/1,700)

On the other side was a boy names Patrick Malta; he had 1,500 Life Points remaining, and his side was clear.

However, it was his turn.

“Make your move, Pat,” smiled Stan. “Send out another one of your Machines so I can junk it!”

“Yeah, I’m moving!” growled Patrick.

He drew a card from his Disk.

“I play my Pot of Greed!” he announced, plugging a card into a slot.

The evil jar appeared in front of him, and two cards popped out of the lid.

He made two draws.

“My Blast Magician thanks you,” smiled Stan.

“Huh?” said Patrick.

He looked, and saw that Blast Magician was absorbing the energy from the Magic Card!

He glared.

“I’ll place this Monster facedown in Defense and end my turn,” he said.

Stan drew.

Monster Reborn.

Don’t really need this now, he thought.

“I summon Skilled Dark Magician in Attack Mode!” he shouted.

He placed the card down, and the shadowy magician in bulky black robes appeared, carrying his steel staff. (1,900/1,700)

“Blast Magician,” he ordered, “attack his facedown Monster with blast attack!”

Blast Magician raised his sickle-ended blade, and it burned with fire! He shot forth a stream of flames at the facedown card!

“Ha!” laughed Patrick. “Always be wary of facedown cards, Stan!”

A Cyber Jar appeared on the card!

“NO!” yelled Stan.

Blast Magician and Skilled Dark Magician were sucked into the Jar, and it exploded.

“Now then,” smiled Patrick, “we both have to make five draws, and summon all the four-star or less Monsters we draw!”

“I know the rules!” growled Stan.

He made the draws.

“I summon Battle Footballer, and Cyber Commander, both in Defense Mode!” announced Patrick.

He set the cards down. First, an android in a football jersey and helmet appeared, crouching as if ready to receive a play. (1,000/2,100) Then a cyborg soldier in army fatigues, and a gas mask, with a rocket launcher on his shoulder, holding a rifle appeared. He knelt in Defense. (750/700)

Stan looked at the cards he had drawn. He had only one Monster he could summon – Apprentice Magician. His other four cards were Dark Magician Girl, The Sage’s Stone, Polymerization, and Miracle Restoring.

But a plan started to form…

“And I summon a Monster facedown in Defense,” he announced. “That will end my turn.”

“Great,” said Patrick, drawing.

He looked at his card.

“I sacrifice my Cyber Commander to summon my Machine King!” he exclaimed, putting a card down.

Cyber Commander burst into pixels, and a tall form arose. It was a huge robot covered with lights, gears, pistons, and gewgaws. (2,200/2,000)



http://www.itstimetoduel.com/cardpictures/DL4-001.jpg


“This mean Machine gains 100 extra Attack points for every Machine on the field,” he laughed, “including itself!”

(2,400/2,000)

“Now,” he said, “Machine King, blast his facedown Monster with photon beam!”

Machine King blasted a beam of energy out of its chest!

A female wizard in purple robes carrying a wooden staff appeared on the card. She cringed and was vaporized.

“You just killed my Apprentice Magician,” smiled Stan. “And when she’s destroyed in battle, I get to search my deck for a Spellcaster of two stars or less, and summon it in facedown Defense Mode!”

He took his deck and leafed through it until her got what he wanted. He placed it down on his Disk, and the facedown card appeared.

“Now I’ll just shuffle my deck…” he said.

He shuffled.

“And is that your turn?”

“Yeah,” grinned Patrick. “As if your Magician of Faith will do you much good…”

Stan drew.

“This isn’t my Magician of Faith,” smiled Stan. “Would you like to see who it is?”

He hit a command, and the facedown Monster flipped into Attack Mode. It was a gnarled old wizard in colorful robes, leaning on a large staff. (450/600)

“It’s my Old Vindictive Magician!” smiled Stan. “And when he’s flipped, he destroys one opposing Monster! Old Vindictive Magician, destroy his Battle Footballer!”

Old Vindictive Magician chanted a spell, and strange symbols appeared in the air. He thrust his staff forward, and black magic shot out, vaporizing Battle Footballer.

Machine King’s Attack went down to 2,300.

“You fool!” gloated Patrick. “You could have destroyed Machine King!”

“I have other plans for him,” smiled Stan. “Because now I sacrifice my Old Vindictive Magician for Dark Magician Girl!”

Old Vindictive Magician vanished, and beautiful music started playing. The gorgeous female sorceress appeared in a flurry of hearts. She smiled sweetly. (2,000/1,700)

“Nice try, Stan,” chuckled Patrick, “but your magical fairy isn’t strong enough!”

“Yes, she isn’t…” said Stan, ominously.

He took a card from his hand.

“So I’ll use this Magic Card,” he continued. “The Sage’s Stone!”

He threw it into a slot. A diamond appeared in the air, and Dark Magician Girl took hold of it. A light shone on the entire area…

“What does THAT do?” sputtered Patrick in fear.

“It let’s Dark Magician Girl summon her master from my hand or deck!” smiled Stan.

“Master? You don’t mean…” stuttered Stan.

Stan removed a card from his deck and threw it down on his deck.

:”That’s right,” he said. “Meet Dark Magician!”

The light coalesced into darkness, and the mighty Dark Magician appeared beside his protégé! (2,500/2,100)



http://www.itstimetoduel.com/cardpictures/BPT-007.jpghttp://www.itstimetoduel.com/cardpictures/MFC-000.jpg


“Dark Magician,” yelled Stan, “destroy Machine King with dark magic attack!”

Dark Magician aimed his staff and fired, blowing Machine King into scrap!

“Now, Dark Magician Girl, blow him a kiss!” he yelled, “with a direct attack!”

Dark Magician Girl giggled. She leapt up into the air and fired with her scepter! Patrick screamed and fell over, and his Life Points fell to zero.

The referee came up and held Stan’s hand up in the air.

“The winner of the Big Apple Duel Monsters Tournament is… Stanley Mason!” he proclaimed.

The crowd cheered.



* * * * * * * * * *


“Hmm…” said a voice.

In a dark room, a figure was seated on a throne, watching the action.

“You certainly have skill, Stanley,” said the figure. “Perfect strategy, perfect timing, good deck construction, the right amount of luck…

“And not just any duelist can properly wield the power of Dark Magician. My first spouse would commend you…

“…posthumously.

“Well, enjoy your award money while you can. As dark as your sorcerers are, things are going to get darker…”

Dark Sage
8th July 2005, 11:49 AM
Boston.

The Civics Center.

Currently hosting the Annual Massachusetts Regional Duel Monsters Tournament.

Final round.

On one side was a boy named Thomas Ghelding. He had an Unshaven Angler (1,500/1,600) on his side of the field, and one card facedown. The Monster was a frightening thing – a fishlike creature with teeth the size of knives.

But his opponent wasn’t frightened. She was an absolutely gorgeous teenage girl. She had long, wavy blond hair, wore a red halter top, and a white leather jacket and miniskirt. Her name was Francesca Benedict.

Her side consisted of Amazoness Fighter (1,500/1,300), and Amazoness Paladin (1,700/300), whose Attack had been upped to 1,900 due to the presence of two Amazons.

Both of her Paladins wore skimpy clothing, but they clearly meant business. The muscular Fighter wore a blue bikini top and skirt, and had her hair was tied in a ponytail. The Paladin wore a white bikini top, skirt, and tattered cape, along with a gold tiara, and held a sword.

Francesca had 2,000 Life Points left, Tom had 4,900. Although she was losing, she was keeping cool.

And it was her turn.

“You think your little fish with the big bad teeth scares me, honey?” she mocked. “My Paladin could scale and gut it without half trying!”

“Yeah?” chuckled Tom. “Well why don’t you attack it and see what happens!”

Francesca looked at his facedown card.

My Life Points are low enough as it is… she thought. I can’t risk it…

“I end my turn,” she said.

She fell for my bluff! thought Tom.

He looked at his hand.

And I have almost all I need to finish her!

He drew.

“I play… Card of Sanctity!” he exclaimed.

He plugged it into his Disk. A bright blue light shone in the air above them.

“Now we both must draw until we have six cards in our hand!”

They both made their draws.

Yes! he thought.

“Now, I play Swords of Revealing Light!” he exclaimed.

He plugged the card into his slot, and a cage of swords rained down upon Francesca!

“That will keep you occupied for three turns!” he smiled.

“Big deal!” growled Francesca.

“And to finish my turn,” he said, “I summon Whirlwind Prodigy in Attack Mode!”

He put the card down, and a whirlwind appeared on his side of the field. A young boy in brown clothing surrounded by wind and a swarm of birds and bats formed out of the whirlwind. (1,500/1,600)

“All right,” said Francesca, drawing.

She smiled.

Mirror Force! This will shake him up.

“I’ll place a card facedown,” she said, plugging it into her slot.

The facedown card appeared.

“And now I’ll summon Amazoness Tiger!”

She placed another card on her Disk, and a fierce tigress appeared next to her two Amazons. (1,100/1,500)

“Not only does this lovable creature give my Paladin even more power…” smiled Francesca.

Amazoness Paladin’s Attack went up to 2,000.

“…but the Tiger gains 400 Attack points for every Amazon on the field, including herself!”

(2,200/1,500)

“Also, you can’t attack any Amazon except for her. Two more rounds, and you’re tiger chow.”

“We’ll see,” said Tom, drawing.

“For now I sacrifice my Unshaven Angler to summon the mighty Suijin!” he exclaimed.

He switched cards, and Unshaven Angler vanished. In its place rose a huge, watery creature with a demonic face and two powerful claws! A Japanese symbol was situated above its face. (2,500/2,400)

“WHAT?” gasped Francesca. “Wait… You cheated! You have to sacrifice two Monsters to summon Suijin!”

“Do I?” explained Tom. “When I use Unshaven Angler as a sacrifice, it counts as two Monsters so long as I use it to summon a Water Monster, such as Suijin! So my move was perfectly legal!”

Francesca frowned.

“So…” she said. “Aren’t you going to attack?”

“Not yet,” he smiled. “I can’t ignore your facedown card, and I can’t risk losing Suijin right now. So I end my turn.”

Francesca drew. She was getting nervous.

“I summon Amazoness Blowpiper in Defense Mode,” she exclaimed.

Another Warrior woman, this one armed with a blowgun, appeared. She wore her hair short, and wore a green bikini and leather boots with skull-like kneecaps. She sat in Defense. (800/1,500)

The Paladin’s Attack rose to 2,100, and the Tiger’s rose to 2,700.

“Now my Tiger is stronger than your water elemental!” exclaimed Francesca.

“True,” agreed Tom, “but if she attacks it, its special power will reduce her Attack Score to zero for that attack! And you’re still a prisoner of my Swords…”

“I know! I end my turn,” she responded.

“Lovely,” he said, drawing. “Now, remember that effect that Unshaven Angler had? Well Whirlwind Prodigy has the same effect, but it works for Wind Monsters! So I sacrifice him to summon… Kazejin!”

Whirlwind Prodigy vanished, and in his place appeared a bulky green creature with no head, another Japanese symbol on its front, and two large claws. (2,400/2,200)

Francesca didn’t like this. She could see where it was going…

“You’re move, darling,” said Tom.

“Don’t call me darling…” she growled, drawing.

“I pass this turn,” she said.

The Swords vanished.

“Excellent,” said Tom. “And now I play…”

He revealed the card to her.

“Graceful Charity!”

He plugged it into his Disk.

“I won’t insult you by telling you what this card does…” he said.

He drew three cards, added them to his hand. He quickly discarded two other cards.

“Now,” he smiled, “I’ll reveal my facedown card…”

He hit a button on his Disk, and the Trap Card revealed itself.

Call of the Haunted.

“You’re going to revive a Monster you just discarded!” gasped Francesca.

“Heh, heh,” chuckled Tom. “Did you figure that out yourself, or did somebody give you a strategy guide? Yep, that’s just what I’m doing… So meet Sanga of the Thunder!”

A huge green and gold torso with two huge claws and a Japanese symbol on the front with electricity sparkling all over it appeared next to the other two deities, and lightning struck! (2,600/2,200)

No! thought Francesca in fear. He managed to summon the whole Trinity!

“Now I’ll blow away your Trap Card, with Mystical Space Typhoon!” he exclaimed, throwing a card into a slot.

Dark winds whipped around the field, and Francesca’s Mirror Force was shattered!

“Now,” chuckled Tom, “I fuse all three of these elementals to form one of the mightiest beasts in the Duel Monsters universe!”

He slapped a card down on his Disk, and the arena darkened, and thunder started to roll. Suijin, Kazejin, and Sanga of the Thunder swirled into orbs of multicolored energy…

…and they transformed into a creature standing nearly twelve feet tall! It looked like a combination of all three deities, with huge clawed hands. It let out a bellowing roar! Some children in the audience screamed!

“Bow down before... the unstoppable Gate Guardian!” shouted Tom.

(3,750/3,400)



http://www.itstimetoduel.com/cardpictures/MRD-EN000.jpg


“Heh, heh,” laughed Tom. “I seem to remember you saying that I could only attack your Tiger. Well, no problem! Gate Guardian, attack her Tiger with dark storm of fury!”

Thunder and lightning flashed, and the three Amazons screamed as their pet was blown to atoms!

Francesca shielded herself from the blast, as her Life Points fell to 950.

“Not much left you can do,” mocked Tom, “except move your Amazons to Defense Mode and let me pick them off…”

Ooh, thought Francesca, This best be a good draw…

She drew.

She looked at the card.

“Well, Tom,” she said, “I must say I’m impressed. You must be quite a duelist to be able to summon a Monster like Gate Guardian. That’s the sort of power that my Amazons respect!”

“Why thank you,” smiled Tom.

“Too bad they have to destroy you now…” said Francesca, softly.

“They can’t!” yelled Tom. “Nothing you have can be that powerful!”

“Want a bet?” grinned Francesca. “First I have to activate my Blowpiper’s effect…”

Amazoness Blowpiper loaded a dart into her weapon and put it to her lips. She fired, hitting Gate Guardian in the chest with the dart! It roared!

“What’s the point?” sneered Tom.

“My Blowpiper’s poison dart can, once during my Standby Phase, lower any enemy Monster’s Attack points by 500 for the turn,” she responded.

“Big whoop!” he laughed. “So he has an Attack of 3,250 for this turn…”

“Now I’ll move her to Attack Mode,” continued Francesca.

She turned the card, and Amazoness Blowpiper stood up.



http://www.itstimetoduel.com/cardpictures/MFC-062.jpg


“And now I play a Magic Card,” she said. “Amazoness Spellcaster!”

She placed the card in her Disk, and an old female witchdoctor appeared behind Amazoness Blowpiper. She started chanting. The Blowpiper’s eyes glowed, and Gate Guardian glowed red. Energy flowed between them.

“What’s happening?” gasped Tom.

“Amazoness Spellcaster swaps the original Attack Score of one of my Amazons with that of an opposing Monster for the duration of the turn!” exclaimed Francesca. So now, Amazoness Blowpiper has an Attack of 3,750, while Gate Guardian has an Attack of 800, minus the 500 it just lost!”

“WHAT?” shouted Tom. “That gives it only 300 Attack points!”

“Exactly!” smiled Francesca. “So now that your ‘unstoppable’ Monster is basically a wimp, Amazoness Blowpiper, Attack that behemoth!”

Amazoness Blowpiper leapt forward, and delivered a savage kick to the great beast! It exploded in a burst of elemental energy!

Tom stared in disbelief as his Life Points tumbled to 1,450.

“Ugh…” he moaned. “I lost 3,450 Life Points…”

“You’re about to lose more,” smiled Francesca.

Tom looked up in fear at the other two Amazons on her side of the field…

“Tell you what,” said Francesca, “I’ll let YOU decide which one of these gals I’ll attack you with.”

“Uh…” stammered Tom.

“Come on,” smiled Francesca. “The Paladin or the Fighter? Fifteen seconds…”

The Amazons smiled.

Tom didn’t like the look of that Paladin’s sword…

“The… Fighter…” he stuttered, closing his eyes.

“Eh, suit yourself,” said Francesca, “but that was a poor choice. Amazoness Fighter, finish him off!”

Amazoness Fighter charged up and delivered a savage kick to Tom’s groin with her knee! He screamed and fell over.

A lot of people in the crowd cringed.

“That had to hurt…” muttered Francesca.

But truthfully, she always loved seeing that.

The referee came up and held Francesca’s arm in the air.

“The winner of the Annual Massachusetts Regional Duel Monsters Tournament is… Francesca Benedict!” he announced.

The crowd cheered.



* * * * * * * * * *


In the dark throne room, the dark figure watched.

The figure chuckled.

“Impressive, Francesca,” said the figure. “Your female army is potent… No wonder the dueling circuit calls you The Femme Fatale. You are a woman I can certainly admire…

“A shame, actually. In another place, at another time, we could have made great allies…”

The figure shook its head and sighed.

“But alas, that cannot be so. I’m sorry things must happen the way they must. I’ll tell you now, what will happen to you is nothing personal…”


Continued...

Dark Sage
8th July 2005, 11:50 AM
Continued from last post:


Orlando, Florida.

The Disney World resort.

Currently hosting the Florida Regional Duel Monsters Tournament.

Final round.

On one side was a young girl wearing pigtails in her raven hair and an black dress. Her name was Ronda Belvins. She had Regenerating Mummy on her side of the field, its rotting form dripping holographic ichor all over her side. (1,800/1,500) She had 4,800 Life Points remaining.

On the other side of the field was a tall, muscular youth with short blond hair, dressed in a white tank top and a black leather vest and jeans. His name was Andy Markova. He had Masked Dragon on his side of the field in Defense Mode, and the reddish Dragon in an iron mask looked rather worried… (1,400/1,100)

Andy’s Life Points were at 2,400. He was losing, but in the midst of a duel, fear was unknown to him.

And it was Ronda’s turn.

“Regenerating Mummy,” she ordered, “Attack his Dragon with rotting blast!”

The Mummy shot forth a wave of pestilence, and the Dragon was disintegrated.

“I think that was your last Masked Dragon,” she chuckled.

“But its effect still lets me summon this,” sneered Andy, reaching for his deck. “Troop Dragon in Defense Mode!”

He put a card down, and three small Dragon-men holding swords appeared, crouching in Defense. (700/800)

Ronda growled. “Your move,” she pouted.

Andy drew.

“Now you’re in trouble, Rhoda,” he chuckled. “I sacrifice my Troop Dragon to summon Luster Dragon #2!”

The Dragon soldiers vanished in a gust of wind, and a huge emerald appeared. It burst, and a giant Dragon made of emerald gems appeared. (2,400/1,400)

“Luster Dragon,” demanded Andy, “rot that Mummy with emerald flash blast!”

Luster Dragon shot forth a blast of green light, and Regenerating Mummy was blasted into shards of rotting flesh!

Ronda cringed as her Life Points fell to 4,200.

“Make your move,” gloated Andy. “My Dragon is hungry!”

Ronda drew.

She grinned with her perfect white teeth.

“First,” she said, putting a card down, “I’ll play Monster Reborn, to bring back my Vampire Lord!”

A large coffin appeared on the field, and a creepy vampire with pale hair in a dark cloak stepped out of it. (2,000/1,500)

“Ugh!” snarled Andy in disgust. “I thought I took care of that creepy thing!”

He paused.

“Besides, he’s no match for my Luster Dragon…”

“He may not be strong enough,” smiled Ronda, “but I can now remove him from play to summon an even stronger vampire! Vampire Lord, I banish you!”

Vampire Lord was obliterated.

“And having done so,” she continued, “I can summon Vampire Genesis!”

A dark shadow appeared on the field, and a huge, muscular creature appeared. Resembling a cross between a Zombie and a Fiend, it had purple skin, a demonic face, and wore a spiked harness and a thick cape with spikes protruding from the edges of it! (3,000/2,100)



http://www.itstimetoduel.com/cardpictures/SD2-EN001.jpg


“And I’m activating his effect right now!” she laughed. “By discarding one Zombie from my hand, I can special summon a Zombie with fewer level stars from my Graveyard! So I’ll discard my Dark Dust Spirit…”

She discarded the card.

“And Andy, meet Vampire Lady… again!”

Another coffin appeared on the field, and a beautiful female vampire in a purple dress with green skin and an evil smile stepped out of it. (1,550/1,550)

“Now, Vampire Genesis, shatter his Luster Dragon with Wrath of the Undead attack!”

Vampire Genesis threw back his arms, and shot forth a wave of unholy energy! Luster Dragon was blown into green pixels!

Andy’s Life Points fell to 1,800.

“Vampire Lady,” she laughed, “attack Andy directly, with vampire’s kiss!”

Vampire Lady made a motion as if to blow Andy a kiss, and a wave of dark energy shot forward from her mouth! Andy cringed and fell to his knees.

His Life Points were now at 250.

“Ugh,” he groaned. “Actually, that was better than a lot of my dates…”

“You know what happens now,” giggled Ronda. “You have to discard a card from your deck! I think… a Trap Card!”

Andy got up and skimmed through his deck. He took out Burst Breath and discarded it.

Then he reshuffled it and put it back in.

“Make your move,” she said sweetly.

He looked at his hand.

I have one of the cards I need for my killer combo, that would get me out of this, he thought, but it isn’t much good without the other two…

He drew.

“I play Graceful Charity!” he said, placing the card into the slot.

He drew three cards and looked at them.

His eyes narrowed.

He made two discards.

“Watch this…” he started.

“I summon Red-Eyes Black Chick in Attack Mode!” he announced.

He put a card down. A small red egg appeared in front of him, and it slowly hatched. A tiny Dragon’s head poked out and chirped. (800/500)

“You gotta be kidding…” laughed Ronda.

“I’m not half done!” exclaimed Andy. “When I summon this little guy to field, I can immediately sacrifice him for… Red Eyes Black Dragon!”

He put another card down, and the small hatchling started to grow, until it grew into full-grown adult Dragon size! (2,400/2,000)



http://www.itstimetoduel.com/cardpictures/DB1-EN126.jpg


“Red-Eyes Black Dragon?” exclaimed Ronda. “Where’d you get a card that rare?”

“That’s quite an interesting story,” smiled Andy. “Remind me to tell you some time.”

“Yeah, well, fat lot of good it’ll do you,” chuckled Ronda. “He’s hardly a match for Vampire Genesis!”

“I’m still not done!” exclaimed Andy. “As rare as this card is, I have an even rarer one! When Red-Eyes Black Dragon is on the field, I can immediately sacrifice it for a beast called Red-Eyes Darkness Dragon!”

He put another card down, and Red-Eyes grew even bigger, becoming even darker and becoming more fiendish! His eyes glowed with a feral red light! (2,400/2,000)

“That’s an improvement?” asked Ronda.

“Red-Eyes Darkness Dragon gains 300 extra Attack Points for every Dragon in my Graveyard!” exclaimed Andy. “And counting the two Dragons I used to create it, there are twelve of them!”

(6,000/2,000)

“Red-Eyes Darkness Dragon, attack Vampire Genesis with dark inferno blast!”

The Dragon belched forth a blast of dark fire, and Vampire Genesis was incinerated! Ronda screamed, as her Life Points fell to 1,200.

“Okay,” smiled Andy, taking his last card. “I’ll place a card facedown, and that will be all for my turn.”

Ronda shivered as she drew…

“Disappointed with your draw, Ronda?” mocked Andy.

Ronda turned the card on her disk.

“I’ll shift Vampire Lady into Defense Mode,” she said, “and that will be all.”

Vampire Lady knelt.

“You lose, Ronda,” grinned Andy, drawing.

“Huh?” she said, shaking.

“I activate the Trap Card, Dragon’s Rage!” shouted Andy, as his Trap lifted. “This card gives all my Dragons the ability to damage your Life Points even when your Monsters are in Defense Mode!

“Now, Red-Eyes Darkness Dragon, destroy her Vampire Lady and the rest of her Life Points!”

Red-Eyes blasted forth its dark flames, and Vampire Lady screamed. She was blown out of existence, and Ronda was thrown backwards from the blast! Her Life Points fell to zero.

The referee came up.

“And the winner of the Regional Duel Monsters Tournament is… Andy Markova!” he announced.

The crowd cheered.

A weight was lifted off Andy shoulders, as the “tough-guy” persona faded.

Phew, he thought. Wonder if there’s still time to go on Space Mountain today?



* * * * * * * * * *


As usual, someone was watching in a dark room.

“Ugh,” said the figure in disgust. “Dragons. Vile, unpleasant, dirty, smelly, disgusting creatures. Of all the Monsters they threw at me, I hated them the worst. It took me a year for the burns alone to heal…

“You think you’re so special because your Monsters are so powerful, don’t you Andy? Well, there are stronger things. Nothing is indestructible. I should know.

“You’ll learn it the hard way…”

At that point, a light flashed.

“Enter,” said the figure.

Another figure entered and knelt.

“All the preparations have been made, sire,” he said. “The invitations are on their way, and Monster Island is ready to receive the guests.”

“Has everything been double-checked?” asked the figure on the throne.

“Yes,” was the reply.

“Then do a triple-check,” commanded the figure. “Everything must be perfect.

“After all, I’ve spent years preparing for this, and I won’t tolerate imperfections…”

The figure rose off the throne, and lifted an object off of an ornate table…

A Duel Disk.

“Soon,” muttered the figure, “it will all be over…”

She turned back to her monitors.

“I feel sorry for them, I truly do…”

She slid the Disk onto her arm.

“But it’s either them… or me…”




[B][color=gold]Coming up next:

Introductions have been made, now we get serious.

Stan, Francesca, and Andy get letters that lead them on a journey to a strange locale that promises a friendly competition and a free vacation, but when they get their, odd things start already. Be here for Act One, and Chapter One, “Doorway to Destiny”, coming soon.

Dark Sage
8th July 2005, 12:11 PM
[B]You may have heard of a guy called Yugi Mouto. The greatest Duel Monsters duelist in the world. Most people would agree to that point. (Well, except maybe Seto Kaiba…)

He’s made a lot of achievements – he won the Duelist Kingdom tournament, and the Battle City tournament.

I’ve won quite a few tournaments too, but of course, they were all chump change compared to what he’s done.

Who am I? Well, um…

I’m his apprentice…

Well, truthfully, not really. We’ve never really met, but I like to call myself that. He inspired me to use his two favorite Monsters to create a Spellcaster-themed deck. And I hope to meet him someday…

But the important thing is, I’ve finally been invited to a major tournament myself. And should I go far in it, my dream of meeting my idol may become closer to reality.

My name is Stanley Mason, and I’m sixteen years old.

And it’s time to take the Battle Ox by the horns.


[size=3][b]
YU-GI-OH!

The Thousand-Year Door

ACT ONE



CHAPTER ONE


Doorway to Destiny



Miami.

Sunday evening.

Andy was still feeling sick as he got home, carrying his luggage in one hand, and his tournament trophy in the other.

He had learned one important lesson about Disney World:

It was as follows:

If you’re going to ride the Whirling Tea Cups, don’t eat until [I]after you do so.

“’Happiest Place on Earth’, they say,” he grumbled, “more like the noisiest, most nauseating, most sugary, and most overrated.”

As he walked in, his kid sister was parked in front of the television, and the distinctive sound of old Loony Tunes cartoons were on.

“A burglar could waltz in here and steal everything we own,” he mumbled, “and if cartoons were on, you wouldn’t notice.”

“I would so if he took the TV,” she mused. “Hi, big brother… You won again, huh?”

“Yeah,” replied Andy, “and I wish you’d have come to watch me!”

“I already told you,” she shuddered, “Duel Monsters scare me…”

Andy sighed. This all went back to the time she watched him compete in his first tournament. He had taken a direct attack from a Dark Necrofear, and the blow had knocked him down for a few seconds. Trisha had been freaked out by it – she had honestly believed that the Fiend was real, and was going to kill him. He ended up winning the duel, but after that, Trisha refused to watch him duel, no matter how much he assured her that he could take it.

He guessed he couldn’t blame her. His sister cared for him a lot. But he wished she would shake this fear of scary Monsters…

He looked in disgust at the sight of Bugs Bunny blowing up Yosemite Sam with a cannon.

“Trisha,” he moaned, “did you know that when some of these cartoons were made, our grandparents were in grade school?”

“You should watch,” suggested Trisha. “They’re funny.”

“Much as I love the sight of anvils being dropped on people’s heads, I think I’ll pass,” sighed Andy sarcastically.

“Suit yourself,” answered Trisha. “Mom and dad are working tonight at some special meeting, so they left money for pizza, and your mail is on the counter. There was a weird letter yesterday, by the way.”

“Weird?” asked Andy.

“Yeah,” she replied. “Is pepperoni okay?”

“Uh, sure,” he answered.

He went to the counter.

His mail consisted of a copy of Dueling Today a letter from his pen pal, and…

He held up a strange envelope. It was larger than normal, had a lot of postage, and was made of golden paper. The front had his address, and a strange return address:

[b]
Sydney Meyers
Rogueport
Monster Island

Even stranger was the way it was sealed. The envelope was sealed with wax, and stamped with a signet ring that had a design like a strange eye on it.

Curious, he broke the seal and opened it.

Inside were four things – a letter, a train ticket, and two strange cards. They were the size and shape of Duel Monsters cards, but they seemed strangely made of crystal – or… something. They had the images of golden stars on the center.

He read the letter:

[b]Dear Mr. Markova,

Congratulations on winning your latest tournament! I shake you warmly by the hand! I am writing to offer you the chance of a lifetime – to compete in one of the greatest of tournaments that the free world can offer.

I am one of the members of a council who heads Monster Island, a new community located in the south Atlantic. Though we have yet to obtain an official UN charter, we are a populous territory who have decided to open our shores for a great Duel Monsters tournament, where great duelists such as yourselves can compete for fame, prizes, and glory like none other.

To compete, you need only your Disk, your deck, and your skill!

Enclosed you will find a train ticket for a train to Annapolis. A special ship will be leaving from Chesapeake Bay on July 1st at noon. The instructions on the back of this letter will tell you how to get there. Simply show the two Crystal Cards that I have enclosed to the attendants, and you will be granted free passage. Do not lose these Cards. More info will be given about them upon your arrival.

I hope to see you soon. Do not miss this opportunity to duel like you never have before in our island paradise!


Sincerely,


Miss Sidney Meyers

Council of Monster Island

Andy took the strange letter to his room and read it several times.

A community called “Monster Island”? he thought. They must take Duel Monsters seriously!

He took out his Disk and looked at his favorite cards.

Heh, why not? he thought. I’ve got nothing to lose, and so much to gain!

He took his Disk out his duffle bag.

“Disk,” he said, “you and I are going places!”

Of course, it never occurred to him that this letter had to have been sent before he had actually won the tournament…



* * * * * * * * * *


Boston

3PM, the following day.

Two girls were walking out of class of Paul Revere High School, with books in their arms.

“So Fran,” perked one of the girls, “wanna stop at the mall?”

”I’d love to Cindy,” sighed Francesca, “but the algebra final exam is coming up on Wednesday, and I need to study.”

“Why bother studying?” frowned Cindy. “You know you’re gonna ace it!”

“Only an idiot gets too sure of herself,” replied Francesca. “Besides…”

“Oh Fran…” called a voice.

“Uh oh,” groaned Francesca, “egotist at two o’clock…”

A boy in a football jersey came up.

“Hey Fran, I…” he started.

“The name is Francesca, Steven,” growled Francesca. “Only my friends are allowed to call me Fran. Not dopes who mistakenly believe that they’re God’s gift to women…”

“Heh, heh,” smiled Steven. “Resistance – nice.”

“I know what you want, Steve,” frowned Francesca. “And you know the rules – I won’t go out with you unless you can beat me in Duel Monsters.”

“Well, I’m taking you up on that offer!” exclaimed Steve.

He pulled a deck out of his pocket.

“I’ve got a killer deck now!”

Francesca sighed.

“Fine,” she replied, pulling her deck out of her belt (she was never without it). “I have a half hour to kill. There’s a table over there. But if I win, you have to mow my parents’ lawn tomorrow!”

“You’re on!” he smiled.



* * * * * * * * * *


Ten minutes later.

“There any reason you’re hiding behind a nothing but a Wall of Revealing Light and a Mask of Restrict?” asked Francesca as she drew from her deck.

“You’ll see,” smiled Steve.

“I place a card facedown,” she said, placing it behind her five Monsters. “It’s your turn.”

Steve drew a card.

“I activate Dust Tornado!” shouted Francesca. “It destroys your Wall!”

Doesn’t matter laughed Steve, discarding it.

He placed a card down.

“I play Card Destruction!”

Francesca shrugged. She discarded her hand and drew a new hand, as did Steve.

“Now I play my facedown card,” he continued, “The Warrior Returning Alive!”

He took a card from his discard pile.

“Then,” he continued, picking up his discard pile, “I remove one Light and one Dark Monster from play to summon Black Luster Soldier, Envoy of the Beginning!”

He threw the card on the table.

“How long did you have to beg your dad before he bought you that?” frowned Francesca.

“Cute,” smiled Steve, “he’ll win the duel for me!”

“Now he’ll attack your Amazoness Paladin and your Amazoness Fighter!”

Francesca smiled and discarded the two cards.

“Anything else?” she asked.

“No, your move.”

“Fine,” she said, drawing.

“I play Monster Reborn, to bring the Paladin back,” she said.

She recovered the Paladin and replaced the card.

“Then I summon Amazoness Tiger,” she continued.

She put another card down.

“With five Amazons on my side, her Attack is 3,100, just enough to destroy your Soldier,” she smiled, “so she’ll attack…”

Steve gasped.

“And seeing as your Life Points are now 4,900, the combined Attack of my four other ladies is more than enough to finish you off.”

The crowd gathering around them cheered.

“Really, Steven,” she mused, gathering her cards, “if you ever want to be a true duelist, you have to learn better strategy. Had we been dueling with Disks, losing 4,900 Life Points from direct attacks would have seriously hurt you. That Envoy was powerful, but nothing in this game is indestructible.”

Steve was dumbfounded.

“Be at my parents’ house at four tomorrow, and bring your own refreshment,” she snickered, walking away.

“Do I have to?” moaned Steve.

“Steve,” frowned Francesca, “In Duel Monsters, wagers are sacred. You must honor them. If you don’t, you’ll never be a true duelist.”



* * * * * * * * * *


“Hi daddy!” she exclaimed, as she walked onto her patio.

She kissed him on the cheek. Her father was doing what he loved doing – barbecuing.

“Hi Fran,” he smiled. “I’m trying something new tonight – mesquite ribs.”

“Good news,” grinned Francesca. “I found someone who’ll mow the lawn tomorrow – for free.”

Her father frowned. He knew about the dueling wagers she had often made.

“You got a letter on the counter,” he sighed.

Fran went inside and looked at the letter, a similar one to the one Andy had gotten.

She read the letter.

Wow, she thought. The opportunity of a lifetime!

After all, I’ve got nothing to lose, and so much to gain…

“Daddy?” she called, walking back out. “Remember when you said I could have anything you could afford for my birthday?”



* * * * * * * * * *


New York City.

The same day.

4 PM.

At a public library, Stan was playing a tabletop duel with his girlfriend. She was new at this, but he never went easy on anybody…

Especially with the bet she had made…

“Okay…” said Colette, drawing. “A Legendary Ocean lets me summon Terrorking Salmon with no sacrifice…”

She put a card down.

“And I’ll attack that facedown card!”

Stan lifted the card, and smiled.

“Sorry,” he smiled, but you activated Magician of Faith’s special effect, which lets me recover one Magic Card from my Graveyard, and I’m getting back the one you made me discard with your Delinquent Duo!”

He skimmed through his discard pile and retrieved a card.

“My turn?” he asked.

“Go ahead honey,” she smiled.

He drew.

“Now you’re gonna see the combo that won me Saturday’s tournament!” he exclaimed. “First I flip summon my Old Vindictive Magician!”

He flipped the card.

“…which destroys one opposing Monster, so goodbye Terrorking Salmon!”

Colette moaned as she discarded the card.

“Now,” he continued, “I’ll sacrifice Old Vindictive Magician for Dark Magician Girl…”

He switched cards on the table. Colette gasped in surprise.

“…AND, I’ll use the Magic Card, the Sage’s Stone, to summon Dark Magician!”

He leafed through his deck and took his prize card out, placing it beside Dark Magician Girl.

“Now I attack, and say bye-bye to your Life Points!” he laughed.

“Oh…” moaned Colette.

Stan slowly gathered his cards.

“You lost,” he grinned evilly. “Now you must pay the price…”

Colette sighed. Then she walked up to him…

She held his head in her hands and gave him a big, deep kiss on the lips.

After thirty seconds, she let go, and Stan caught his breath.

“Think about that the next time you make dumb wagers,” he gasped.

“How on earth did you get Dark Magician and Dark Magician Girl?” pouted Colette. “I thought only Yugi Mouto had those two!”

Stan chuckled. “They are rare cards,” he answered, “but they aren’t unique. Yugi inspired me – I like to think that I’m his… apprentice.

“You know, as he would say, a card like Dark Magician is special. With most cards in a deck, the duelist chooses them when he builds the deck… but in some cases, a Monster chooses him. That’s the case with Dark Magician…

“See, it was strange how I got this card, and many of the rare cards in my deck. I had a rich, snobbish great uncle named Julius Taft Mason who my family barely even knew. When he died, we didn’t expect to be mentioned in his will. And I certainly didn’t expect an old codger like him to have any Duel Monsters cards. But to my surprise, he left me a bunch of rare cards when he died, including the two Magicians. He left no explanation, but his will did have a requirement – that I use them to become a great duelist. So I built a deck, eventually got a Disk, and the rest is history.”

“So why are you playing for kisses when you could do so much more?” asked Colette. “Surely, there must be an even bigger tournament out there than the Big Apple Tournament.”

“Maybe,” replied Stanley. “But I’ll just have to wait until I’m invited to one…”



* * * * * * * * * *


The subway ride home was short and aggravating.

At his Manhattan townhouse, he smelled pasta sauce cooking.

“Mom, I’m home!” he exclaimed, entering the kitchen.

“Hi dear,” she answered. “You got a letter.”

Stan looked strangely at the letter. He took it to his room and opened it.

He read the letter, one almost identical to the one Andy and Francesca had gotten.

A light sparkled in his eyes.

He took out an old family album and opened to a specific page. A picture of a fat, frumpish man in an outdated business suit with a huge moustache was there.

“Uncle Julius,” he smiled, “I’m finally going to meet your demands… I may not know why you gave me those cards or why you wanted me to become a great duelist, but this tournament will make me one!

“After all, I’ve got nothing to lose, and so much to gain.”

He ran out of his room.

“Mom!” he shouted. “Hey mom!”



* * * * * * * * * *


For each of the three teenagers, it had taken a great deal of persuasion and promising, but eventually, permission was granted. One of the perks of being straight-A students with no discipline problems was that your parents trusted you. And after Francesca promised exactly fifty times not to let any boys touch her, her father consented. (Even then, he insisted she take a canister of mace with her).

School ended on a high note. Grades came in, and celebrations started. But for three teens at three cities on the East Coast, preparations were made.

On June 30th, Stan, Francesca, and Andy packed up everything they could carry, along with their trusty Duel Disks. They stowed their decks in their belts, along with the strange Crystal Cards, and head for the train stations.

They each had a boat to catch.


Continued...

Dark Sage
8th July 2005, 12:20 PM
Annapolis, Maryland.

Chesapeake Bay harbor.

The right boat had not been hard to find – it was huge, after all.

Stan looked around. There must have been every major duelist in America gathered here. No one he knew, but plenty of competition.

He sighed. He wondered when they would begin boarding.

A man mounted a platform and went up to a microphone. He had a doughy face, and wore sunglasses and a microphone.

“Is this thing on?” he asked, speaking into. “Oh, uh, I suppose it is…”

Everyone chuckled.

“Hello everybody,” he said.

It was clear he had a bad case of stage fright.

“I’m Hector Jacobs – call me Heck, everyone does – and I’m part of Monster Island’s council.

“Anyway, I’ll be running things until we arrive at our destination at 8 AM tomorrow. As you all board, be sure to show your two Crystal Cards to the attendant and sign your names.

“Now, accommodations aren’t perfect, but they’re the best we have. We have eight common rooms, five for men, three for women, which should be what is needed. Now I notice some of you already have your Disks strapped on – let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Please no Disk dueling while on the ship. Our insurance doesn’t cover you there. Feel free to talk, trade, or… whatever…

“When we take off, cold sandwiches, snacks, and drinks will be served free in the galley… hamburgers, chicken, and hot dogs will be served for dinner at six o’clock… uh, Easter Standard Time, that is. Monster Island is on Atlantic Daylight Time, which is… two hours later than now. I hope no one has trouble with jet lag.

“Anyway, there’s no time like the present, so everyone try to do this orderly…”

Everyone started to rush up to the entrance.

“Wait!” he gasped. “I said orderly!”



* * * * * * * * * *


After a half an hour, all the guests were on board. “Heck” was the last one on.

“I’m getting too old for this,” he moaned, as he went to the bridge.

When he got there, a radio phone rang.

He answered it.

“Jacobs here,” he stated.

“Hello Heck,” said a voice. “Just checking in…”

“Your excellence!” he gasped. “Uh… we’re about to shove off…”

“Yes,” hissed the voice. “Are our three special invitees on board?”

“Uh…” stuttered Heck, looking at the signatures on his clipboard. “Let me see here…”

He scanned the list.

“Yeah, they’re here.”

“Excellent,” was the response.

“So what else do you want me to do?” he asked.

“Exactly what you’re supposed to do,” said the voice. “Keep the guests comfortable and happy. If any harm befalls them on this trip, even so much as seasickness, you’ll answer to me personally…”

Heck gulped.



* * * * * * * * * *


Slowly, the boat pulled out of the harbor…

The common room that Andy had been assigned to was crowded. He sat on a bunk, while going over his cards. He watched as two others were in the middle of a trade.

“Airknight Parshath?” asked the boy. “I dunno… Mazera DeVille is worth more than that…”

“Um,” said the other. “Throw in Scapegoat?”

“Well, I could always use another one of those…” answered the first. “Okay, deal.”

They swapped cards.

Andy sighed. He could never trade away any of the cards in his deck. The Dragons he used were like his children – they weren’t for sale. Not for any price.

He looked at his Red Eyes Black Dragon card.

“Well, that’s a rare card,” said a voice over him.

He looked up, and saw Stan standing over him.

“Sorry,” answered Andy, “but I’m not trading it.”

“Didn’t expect you to,” replied Stan. “I know what cards like that mean to a duelist.”

He skimmed though his deck.

“I have quite a few rare cards myself.”

He held up his Dark Magician.

“Wow,” smiled Andy. “That’s mega-rare!”

He put his deck back in his case.

“Well, I’m going down to get a bite. Maybe we’ll see each other later. Ciao.”

Well, thought Stan, there’s one guy who I can tell will be hard to beat…



* * * * * * * * * *


In the cafeteria, the food seemed a tad limited. But at least it was free.

While in line, Andy couldn’t help but look at the duelist who was next to him, who happened to be Francesca.

He sighed as he looked at her.

Francesca turned and noticed him. She frowned.

“Buddy, if you’re going to hit on me,” she warned, “three people already tried in the past hour, and they regretted it.”

“What?” gasped Andy. “Oh, I wasn’t going to hit on you! The way my luck is with women, you’d likely have rejected me anyway.

“Besides, I’m not someone who thinks a gorgeous woman can’t have a brain…

“Even though you are gorgeous…”

He grinned a weak grin.

Francesca paused.

She smiled. Finally there was someone who wasn’t trying to get into her pants…

“The name’s Francesca,” she responded. “You can call me Fran if you want. Are you any good with your cards?”

“Well, I should hope so…” answered Andy.

“Well, maybe once this tournament starts we can meet up again,” smiled Fran. “Maybe we can even duel – then you can show me for yourself…”

She smiled sweetly, and walked to a table.

Why do you get so flustered around women? thought Andy. You can stand up to The Masked Beast with no sweat, but girls make you quake in your boots. Maybe I should see a psychiatrist about this…



* * * * * * * * * *


Afternoon turned to evening.

As the boat moved on, Stan was on the upper deck, watching the sunset.

He skimmed through his cards, and looked at his more powerful Monsters.

Dark Magician of Chaos, he thought, Chaos Command Magician, Mind On Air, Buster Blader…

He took out another.

“Ooh, Dark Magician Girl!” cried a voice behind him.

He looked up and saw Francesca.

“I’ve heard about her!” exclaimed Francesca. “Where did you get such a great Monster?”

“Long story,” sighed Stan. “Do you play Spellcasters?”

“Naw,” answered Francesca, “but Dark Magician Girl is a lot like the Monsters in my deck – and like me. She’s a woman who’s tough, independent, and doesn’t take any crap from anyone!”

Francesca chuckled.

“Some lowlife slapped me on the ass the other day and got a black eye for it. Any of my Monsters would have killed him if he did that to them! I think Dark Magician Girl is the same way…”

“Well, you’re probably right,” sighed Stan. “She’s an independent woman, even though her dress is a little… revealing. There is only one man she takes orders from…”

He skimmed through his deck and lifted up his Dark Magician.

“This guy,” he continued. “He taught her everything she knows, and she’ll follow him everywhere. And she’ll avenge him if he falls – when Dark Magician is defeated, she becomes stronger. And I have another strong female in my deck…”

He showed her another card. It was a frightening woman with green skin, black hair, a slick black leotard, and a smoky glass dome in place of the upper part of her head.

“Yeek!” gasped Francesca. “Who’s that?”

“Her name is Mind On Air,” smiled Stan. “And she may not look powerful, but she has a secret power…

“But I think I’ll keep it secret for now…”

He shuffled his deck.

“Okay,” smiled Francesca. “Maybe we’ll meet again.”

She turned to leave.

“Wait!” shouted Stan, “I didn’t get your…”

She was gone.

“…name…” sighed Stan.

He shrugged.



* * * * * * * * * *


Sleeping in a common room with thirty other people is difficult, but anyone can sleep if they’re exhausted.

As several scores of duelists slept, a vision of the ship appeared in a crystal ball in a dark room. Two slender hands with long, elegant, fingernails with black polish caressed the surface.

“That’s it,” purred a female voice. “Come to my domain. Sleep now, for soon a new type of sleep will await you…”

The dark figure glanced over her shoulder and looked at six figures watching her.

“Have patience, everyone,” she assured. “Soon you’ll have all the action you can crave…”



* * * * * * * * * *


At 6 AM (Atlantic Daylight Time), and announcement spoke over the loudspeakers.

“Attention,” spoke Heck’s voice. “Breakfast is now being served in the cafeteria. We will be reaching our destination, the town of Rogueport on Monster Island, in approximately two hours.”

Well, thought Stan, Best grab some breakfast before we see this place…



* * * * * * * * * *


Eventually, Stan walked up to the upper deck with his dufflebag in his hand. He looked out towards their destination…

And then he saw it for the first time.

Monster Island.

At first, the large island only had one remarkable feature – a huge mountain in the center. Then he started to make out several other features as they got closer. Forests, plains, valleys, strange structures…

He had heard of Maximillion Pegasus’s Duelist Kingdom – but it had nothing on this place. This looked like it was almost the size of Manhattan itself! Clearly, Monster Island was nearly its own country. He suddenly had a thought – he might have to do a lot of walking during this tournament.

Fortunately, he had brought new sneakers.



* * * * * * * * * *


The ship eventually docked in a large harbor. Several ships were already docked there – they seemed to be merchant ships, bring in supplies to the town that the harbor was a part of.

As for the town itself, it was easily identifiable. From the ship, everyone could see a wooden archway with the following sign:



ROGUEPORT


“Rogueport?” muttered Stan. “That sounds familiar…”

“Okay everybody!” shouted Heck. “Everybody disembark in an orderly manner! Once you are off the ship, follow me to the town square, where the director of this tournament will debrief you! I repeat, an orderly manner!”

Everyone started to scurry off the ship.

“This is NOT an orderly manner!” cried Heck.



* * * * * * * * * *


Nonetheless, getting to the town square was a simple matter.

Stan looked around. All the buildings were old fashioned and made of wood. The street had cobblestones.

He looked around and saw some of the locals. Their dress suggested Elizabethan England. They seemed pretty cheery at the sight of the outsiders – likely they were expecting this duelist invasion.

The most intimidating sight in the town square was something in the center of it – a large gallows with a single noose. Some people started to murmur…

Then a woman stepped onto the gallows. She wore a black business suit and glasses, and wore her blonde hair in a bun.

“Okay folks, quiet down!” she called out in a demanding voice. “Don’t worry, there won’t be any hangings today! I’m sure you’re very eager to get started. My name is Miss Sydney Meyers, part of the council of Monster Island, and head director for this tournament.

“Anyway, I have a question for all you kids… Who here has played the video game called Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door?”

Several duelists in the crowd raised their hands.

“Good,” she continued. “For those who have, this tournament will seem like reminiscing. You may have seen the large mountain in the center of the Island. In the side of the mountain is something we call The Thousand-Year Door…”

More murmurs broke out among the crowd.

“What’s behind the Thousand-Year Door?” she smirked. “Does the Shadow Queen wait inside for you? That’s a secret, but I will tell you that the goal of this tournament is to gain access to the Thousand-Year Door. And only eight duelists can do so.

“Now, Mario had to find seven Crystal Stars in order to gain access to his Thousand-Year Door – you only need one to be allowed to enter, but getting one is hard to say the least.

“I’ll explain carefully. I hope you all have those two strange cards made of crystal that were included with your invitation. These cards are your life as a duelist! Do NOT lose them!

“Or at least try not to…”

She smiled.

“See, like all tournaments, you get ahead by dueling your competition. When you win a duel, you get to claim one Crystal Card from your defeated opponent. If you lose them all, I’m afraid you’ll have to leave.

“Win seven Crystal Cards, and you’ll be eligible to claim a Crystal Star. Insert the cards into your Disk, in any way, and it will lead you to the location of one of the eight Stars. Of course, getting it even then is far from easy. That’s a secret I can’t tell you about.

For the lucky few who get the Stars, head for the Thousand-Year Door. Once you get in, new rules regarding dueling will be implemented.”

New rules? thought Stan. What kind of new rules?

“I’m afraid I can’t tell you what those new rules are,” continued Sydney, “but most of you won’t have to worry about that anyway.

“Now, I hope you all didn’t load yourselves down with supplies, because that’s taken care of. Monster Island has several small towns like Rogueport here, where food and other basic amenities will be supplied for free to anyone wearing a Duel Disk. You’ll find the population friendly and eager to help, so long as you don’t abuse them. Rogueport is special case, however – it is a neutral territory where dueling is not allowed. After all, we wouldn’t want you all plowing into each other the minute I stop talking.

“Rogueport has five roads leading out of it. Four of them lead to towns, while the north road leads directly to the Thousand-Year Door. I advise you to steer clear of that one for now. If you don’t have a Crystal Star… well, we can’t guarantee your safety if you go near it.

“Anyway, good luck to all of you. Let the dueling commence!”

She stepped down from the gallows, and quickly walked away, vanishing into a side street.

The crowd muttered for a minute, and then started to disperse.

Well, thought Stan, Might as well get started…

He whipped out his Duel Disk and strapped it onto his arm. He took his deck out of his case and shuffled it. Then he loaded it into the deck tray.

“Monster Island,” he shouted, “look out!”



* * * * * * * * * *


Ten minutes later, he was stepping out of a store, looking at a map he had gotten.

“Petalburg… Twilight Town… Keelhaul Key…” he pondered. “Man, whoever designed this place played too many video games!”

And then, a man in a dark cloak bowled into him, knocking them both over!

“Oh, I’m s-s-s-sorry,” stuttered the man. “My f-f-fault!”

He got up and took off.

Well that was unpleasant, thought Stan.

Then he looked down.

Several Duel Monsters cards were spilled on the ground.

“Hey, mister!” he screamed, picking them up. “You dropped your cards! You dropped your cards!”

He looked around, but the cloaked man had vanished.

“Nuts,” said Stan.

Getting curious, he looked through the dropped cards.



http://www.itstimetoduel.com/cardpictures/AST-057.jpg


He frowned. Almost all of them were weak Monsters with no effects.

Mokey Mokey? he thought. Skull Servant? Kozaky? Petite Dragon? Goblin Calligrapher? The only deck these would be good in would be one of those that uses Triangle Power or Thousand Energy and that other card… What’s it called? The Law of Normal?

He continued to leaf through them. Then he saw a Magic Card among them, one called…

”Sweet Treat”? he thought. Never heard of this one…

He read the description.

“HOLY…” he shouted.

“This is mega-powerful!” he gasped. “It must be worth a fortune! Whoever that guy was is gonna panic! I’ve gotta find him!”



* * * * * * * * * *


For the next half hour, he questioned several of the locals. Eventually, a woman gave him some info:

“A chap in a black cloak?” she answered. “Yes, I just saw him. He took the road to Petalburg.”

“Uh, thanks,” answered Stan. “Then that’s where I’m going.”

He looked at the Sweet Treat card.

A great temptation came over him.

“I will give this back to him when I find him,” he muttered. “But I’m sure he won’t mind me using it until then.”

He shuffled the card into his deck.

“So,” he said, “off to Petalburg… and a challenge or two along the way!”



[color=gold]Bet you want to know just what “Sweet Treat” does. Well, you’ll have to wait until next chapter to find out.

And speaking of next chapter…

The preliminaries are over – time for the duels!

On the road to Petalburg, Stan finds his first challenge, meeting someone with a strange connection to a memorable character from the anime! Don’t miss “Everything’s Relative” coming up soon.

Dark Sage
8th July 2005, 12:25 PM
[color=green]I’ve been on Monster Island for forty-five minutes, and already I’ve found my first challenge.

And she’s no rookie either. This cute, ponytailed, spectacled girl can duel pretty well. And while she seemed friendly on the outside, her style of dueling is as ruthless as most of my opponents.

That I can handle, but there’s something I can’t shake about her… Something familiar… I’m almost certain that this kid is hiding a secret that she doesn’t want me to know about…

And before this duel is over, I’m going to figure out what it is, whatever it is…



[B][size=3]
CHAPTER TWO



Everything’s Relative



After leaving Rogueport, the road to Petalburg was clearly laid out.

The long dirt road wandered through peaceful meadows full of daisies and fruit trees, with a babbling brook here and there. It was a peaceful and serene environment.

Stan looked at his map. Apparently he was in Petal Meadows, a mile and a half from Petalburg.

He wondered where his competitors were. He’d have liked to get at least one duel in before stopping at another town.

Humph, he thought. Likely everyone who went this way are already at Petalburg. I spent so much time trying to track down that guy who dropped those cards. Sigh, that’s me, Mr. Good Samaritan…

Then he noticed the sound of somebody humming. It was coming from off the trail.

Curious, he followed the sound.

About one hundred yards off the path, underneath a tree, a young girl, about fourteen years old or so, was on her knees, looking at something on the ground. She had light green hair tied in a ponytail, and wore silver-rimmed glasses. She also wore green overalls and a blue shirt. A Duel Disk was on her arm.

She seemed to be examining something on the ground with a magnifying glass.

“Strange,” she muttered. “It… looks like some variety of mantis… But I’ve never seen this particular species before… Strange coloring, misshaped mandibles…”

“Ahem,” said Stan.

The girl looked up.

“Oh, uh, hullo,” she smiled. “Heading to Petalburg?”

“Yeah,” acknowledged Stan. “I guess you had the same idea.”

“Mmm,” she nodded, “but I thought I’d take in the local wildlife first… get the basic gist of this island…”

“I take it you’re a competitor and not a native…” stated Stan.

“Um, yes,” answered the girl, raising her Disk, “but I haven’t found anyone to duel yet…”

Stan grinned.

“Well,” he smiled, raising his, “maybe I can give you a chance!”

The girl giggled and stood up.

“I warn you,” she grinned. “I’m quite good…”

“We’ll see,” said Stan. “Oh, where are my manners… My name is Stan… Stanley Mason.”

“I’m Wanda,” replied the girl.

“Uh yeah,” said Stan.

He looked at her strangely.

“Do you have a last name?” he asked.

Wanda’s eyes shifted nervously.

“Um, no,” she stammered. “I don’t have a last name… I’m kinda like Cher…”

Stan looked at her again.

Kind of like Cher? he thought. Is this girl hiding something?

There’s something awfully familiar about this kid… I can’t quite put my finger on it, but something is really familiar…

“Well,” he asked, “do you accept my challenge?”

“You’re on!” she smiled.

“Then it’s time to duel!” smiled Stan. “As they say…”



* * * * * * * * * *


As Stan and Wanda stood five meters apart, Stan noticed something: They had drawn an audience.

And it wasn’t a human audience.

It seemed a great deal of the wildlife had gathered to watch them. Several deer, dozens of rabbits, a few foxes, a wolf or two, and one large bear had formed around them, keeping a safe distance. Eagles, hawks, and a few owls perched in the nearby trees.

This was strange – wolves, foxes, and birds of prey preyed on rabbits, and wolves often preyed on deer. What made carnivores and herbivores call a truce to watch them? And since when were animals interested in Duel Monsters anyway? For as long as he could remember, animals were frightened of these kind of things.

He nervously shuffled his deck.

“Ready Stan?” smiled Wanda, loading her deck.

“Ready!” announced Stan. “See my hat?”

He slowly turned his baseball hat, so that the brim was behind his head.

“I turn my hat backwards, and it’s like a switch! Activate holo-imagers!”

With twin bursts of steam, the holo-imagers shot out of his Disk and set up on either side of him. The twin halves of the Disk snapped into place. Wanda repeated the trick.

The Life Point Counters set to 8,000 apiece.

“Since I challenged you, you may go first,” said Stan.

Wanda giggled and made her first draw.

“For my first move,” she smiled, “I’ll place this Monster facedown in Defense.”

She placed the card down on her Disk, and the card appeared in front of her.

“And, that’s my turn.”

Stan made his first draw.

Humph, he thought. Mediocre at best. Well, this guy isn’t half bad…

“I’ll summon a Spellcaster known as The Illusory Gentleman, in Attack Mode!” he stated.

He put a card down, and a tall creature appeared out of the shadows. He wore a fancy orange and black suit with a cape, and carried a knobbed cane. His expressionless face had one glaring eye. (1,500/1,600)



http://www.itstimetoduel.com/cardpictures/LOD-EN053.jpg


“Gentleman,” ordered Stan, “attack with dark illusion!”

The Illusory Gentleman raised his staff and shot forth a blast of multicolored light...

A spherical creature with three eyes, three claws, and a toothy mouth appeared on the card, and was vaporized.

“Huh?” said Stan. “Sangan?”

“Uh huh!” smiled Wanda. “So now I get to take a Monster with low Attack power from my deck!”

A card slipped out of Wanda’s deck, and floated into her hand.

“Eh?” she mused. “Well that’s a neat trick…”

Stan was surprised to say the least. The Duel Disks weren’t that advanced. How did it even know which one she wanted?

He looked at his own Disk, and shrugged.

“Now it’s my turn,” said Wanda, drawing, “and I’ll summon the mighty Neo-Bug!”

She put a card down, and a frightening form appeared. It looked like a huge cross between a scorpion and a dragonfly, with huge pincers, mandibles, and droning wings, covered with a blue exoskeleton! (1,800/1,700)

Stan didn’t know what to feel – shock that she had played an Insect Monster, or worry that this particular Insect was stronger than his Monster…

“Neo-Bug,” commanded Wanda, “attack The Illusory Gentleman with neo-bite!”

Neo-Bug flew forward, and clasped The Illusory Gentleman with its mandibles! He gasped, and burst into pixels!

Stan’s Life Points fell to 7,700.

“I’ll set a card facedown and end my turn,” commented Wanda, setting a card down.

The card appeared behind her Neo-Bug.

Stan drew.

“I’m activating a Trap!” smiled Wanda, tapping her Disk. “DNA Surgery!”

The Trap Card lifted, and a giant double-helix appeared in the middle of the field!

“That lets you change the Type of all Monsters summoned to any Type you desire!” exclaimed Stan.

“Exactly!” smiled Wanda. “And I desire Insects!”

“What’s the point?” asked Stan.

“You’ll see soon enough,” giggled Wanda.

Stan placed a card down.

“I summon Skilled Dark Magician in Attack Mode!” he stated.

A sorcerer in a bulky robe and a flat-topped hat appeared, clutching a long, steel staff. (1,900/1,700)

Then his eyes turned compound, he grew antennae, and his hands turned to claws.

“Eww,” grunted Stan. “Skilled Dark Magician, attack her Neo-Bug with dark magic blast!”

The Magician aimed his staff, and blasted the Neo-Bug into bug juice!

Wanda’s Life Points fell to 7,900.

“Your bug just went splat,” smiled Stan.

“That’s okay,” smiled Wanda, “now the real fun can begin!”

She drew. She added the card to her hand.

She put another card down.

“I summon Prickle Fairy in Defense Mode!” she exclaimed.

A large plant sprouted out of the ground, and it shaped into a pretty plant-like woman covered with thorny vines, dressed in a purple dress. She grinned at Stan. (300/2,000)



http://www.itstimetoduel.com/cardpictures/IOC-077.jpg


“Prickle Fairy?” asked Stan. “What does she do?”

“So long as she’s on the field,” smiled Wanda, “none of my Insects can be attacked. And since my DNA Surgery card makes Prickle Fairy herself an Insect, you can’t attack her either!”

Nuts, thought Stan. I’ve gotta destroy that Trap Card!

“It’s your move,” smiled Wanda.

Stan drew. He looked at the card.

Pixie Knight, he thought. Not the best time for her, but I might as well put her on the field…

“I summon Pixie Knight in Attack Mode,” he stated.

He put a card down, and a pretty female Spellcaster with a blue suit, a witch’s hat, and gossamer wings appeared, carrying a dagger strapped to her side. (1,300/200)

And then, she too developed compound eyes, antennae, and claws.

“Your move,” he sighed.

Man, that Trap not only is a nuisance, he thought, it’s making my Monsters ugly!

Wanda drew.

“Now I’ll play Anti-Aircraft Flower, in Defense Mode!” she exclaimed.

She put another card down, and a new plant sprouted. This one looked like it was a cross between an orchid and a television satellite antennae. (0/1,700)

“And remember,” she explained, “since my Trap Card makes this Monster an Insect too, my Prickle Fairy protects it!”

“Your move,” she giggled.

Stan was confused. He drew.

“Um, I pass this turn,” he said.

Wanda grinned with her pure white teeth as she drew.

“Now I can strike!” she smiled. “I summon… Cockroach Knight!”

She put down a card, and a beetle-like insect-man in armor with a sword appeared. (800/900)

“Now let me explain the special effect of Anti-Aircraft Flower,” she started. “I can sacrifice an Insect Monster, and it can attack you directly for 800 points of damage to your Life Points! So Cockroach Knight, buh-bye…”

Cockroach Knight was consumed in an aura of energy that flowed into the Flower. The Flower took aim at Stan.

“FIRE!” shouted Wanda.

Anti-Aircraft Flower shot forth a blast of energy, striking Stan and sending him staggering back! His Life Points fell to 6,900.

“Oh, and by the way,” giggled Wanda.

Her deck glowed, as a card reformed on the top of it.

“When Cockroach Knight is sent to the Graveyard, it returns to the top of my deck, allowing me to keep sacrificing it!”

“Lovely,” groaned Stan. “Well, it’s my turn…”

He drew.

Well that’s useful, he thought.

“I summon Blast Magician in Attack Mode!” he exclaimed, placing a card down.

A bonfire appeared on his side of the field, and a tall figure stepped out. He looked sort of like Dark Magician, but was dressed in scarlet, and carried a staff with a scythe-like blade at the end. His eyes glowed with fiery light.



http://www.itstimetoduel.com/cardpictures/FET-EN020.jpg


And then he was transformed, just as his comrades were.

“Impressive,” smiled Wanda.

“I end my turn,” smirked Stan.

Wanda drew.

“I summon Cockroach Knight again!” she yelled.

She put the card down, and the Insect reappeared. Again, it was absorbed into the Flower.

“FIRE!” yelled Wanda.

The Flower blasted Stan again, knocking him down and lowering his Life Points to 6,100.



* * * * * * * * * *


On a hill overlooking the knoll, someone was watching the battle with binoculars.

That guy I saw on the ship is in trouble, thought Francesca. Too bad. It would be embarrassing to be beaten by a bunch of bugs…

She sighed as she remembered a tough opponent who used an Insect deck with DNA Surgery. She didn’t use Prickle Fairy, but she used Insect Barrier to keep her Amazons from attacking, and then summoned Insect Queen to pound away at her. Fortunately, after her opponent had four Insect Tokens, she managed to win using an Amazoness Archers Trap, which forced the Queen and three remaining Tokens to Attack her two Amazoness Swords Women, dealing her opponent 5,800 points of damage in one turn and winning the duel.

Now, she couldn’t help but wonder how this would turn out…

If Stan lost, perhaps she’d challenge Wanda herself…



* * * * * * * * * *


Stan drew.

“I play my Pot of Greed!” he exclaimed.

He fit the card into the slot, and the grinning jar appeared before him.

“Now,” he started.

A phantom hand reached out of the Pot of Greed and took two cards from the top of his deck. It handed them to him.

“Uh, thanks…” muttered Stan, taking them.

Boy, that was weird, he thought, as the Pot vanished.

Then energy flowed into Blast Magician and Skilled Dark Magician. Blast Magician’s blade burned with fire, and Skilled Dark Magician’s staff turned from steel to copper.

“Now to utilize Blast Magician’s special effect!” smiled Stan.

“Effect?” asked Wanda.

“Yes!” grinned Stan. “For each Magic Card that is played, he gains a Spell Counter that can destroy 700 Attack Points worth of Monsters! And since your Prickle Fairy has only 300 Attack Points, I only need to expend the Spell Counter he just got. So, Blast Magician, blast that Prickle Fairy!”

Blast Magician’s scythe blazed with fire, and he shot flames forward! Prickle Fairy screamed as she caught on fire, and was burned up! She was reduced to cinders!

“Now, Skilled Dark Magician, attack her Anti-Aircraft Flower!”

Skilled Dark Magician aimed, and fired his dark spell! The Flower exploded.

“Pixie Knight, attack her Life Points directly with pixie dust!”

Pixie Knight raised her arms, and shot forth a blast of sparkling dust, which slammed into Wanda! She staggered back, and her Life Points fell to 6,600.

“Blast Magician, your turn! Attack her with blast attack!”

Blast Magician shot forth a stream of fire, and Wanda screamed as it hit her! Her Life Points fell to 5,200.

“Well Wanda,” smiled Stan. “I end my turn. But what are you going to do? All you can do is draw your Cockroach Knight.”

“Then I’ll have to get rid of him,” grumbled Wanda, getting up.



Continued...

Dark Sage
8th July 2005, 12:28 PM
“Then I’ll have to get rid of him,” grumbled Wanda, getting up.

She drew.

“I place one card facedown,” she said, slipping a card into a slot.

A card appeared in front of her.

“Then I’ll summon Cockroach Knight to the field,” she continued.

She put the card down, and Cockroach Knight returned a third time.

“Now, a Magic Card,” she said. “Dark Core!”

She slid a card into a slot, and a huge black hole appeared over her head!

“I simply have to discard one card from my hand…” she explained.

She made a discard.

“…and this removes Cockroach Knight from play!”

Cockroach Knight was sucked into the black hole, which snapped shut.

Stan’s two Magicians absorbed the energy from the Magic Card again, and Skilled Dark Magician’s staff glowed silver.

“Now another Magic Card,” she smiled. “Card of Sanctity!”

She plugged it into a slot, and a bright blue glow flashed over their heads.

“Now we must draw until we each hold six cards!” she giggled.

Stan frowned. That was far more of a benefit for her than it was for him. But now his two Magicians absorbed even more energy, and Skilled Dark Magician’s staff glowed golden.

Wanda made her draws and looked at the cards.

“Out of those cards, I’ll play my Dian Keto the Cure Master card,” she stated.

She placed a card into a slot, and the graceful form of Dian Keto materialized behind her. He gestured over his crystal ball, and sparking motes fell upon Wanda. Her Life Points rose to 6,200.

“Now I’ll place another card facedown and end my turn,” she finished.

She slid another card into a slot, and it appeared.

Now she had two facedown cards in front of her – and no Monsters.

Stan was suspicious… He drew.

Monster Reborn.

I’ll save this, he thought.

“Well,” he smirked, “now that more than three Magic Cards have been played…”

A card slipped out of his deck and floated into his hand.

“Um,” he stuttered, “as I was saying, now that more than three Magic Cards have been played, I can sacrifice my Skilled Dark Magician for Dark Magician!”

He switched cards on his Disk.

“But just in case one of those cards is a Mirror Force, I’ll summon him in Defense Mode.”

Skilled Dark Magician vanished, and Dark Magician appeared, kneeling and holding his staff across his lap. Huge moth wings grew out of his back and antennae sprouted from his forehead, but he didn’t seem to care. (2,500/2,100)

“Now, Blast Magician, attack her again with blast magic!”

Blast Magician’s blade burned with flame, and he shot forth a blast of fire!

“Activate… Waboku!” yelled Wanda.

Her Trap Card lifted, and three blue-robed priestesses sprang up. The stream of fire was halted.

“Humph,” grunted Stan. “Fine. I end my turn.”

Wanda drew.

Hmm, she thought. I have all the cards in my hand for a perfect combination. But first I have to get rid of his Blast Magician…

“I summon my Insect Knight!” she grinned, placing a card down.

A tall, humanoid mantis with a brown exoskeleton holding a jagged sword and a shield appeared! It clicked its mandibles menacingly! (1,900/1,500)



http://www.itstimetoduel.com/cardpictures/FET-EN004.jpg


“Insect Knight,” laughed Wanda, “attack his Blast Magician with your mandiblade!”

Insect Knight spread its wings and flew forward! It struck Blast Magician with his sword, and the Spellcaster-turned-Insect groaned, and then burst into flames.

Stan’s Life Points fell to 5,700.

“Your move,” smiled Wanda, sweetly.


Now why did she do that? wondered Stan. She knows that Insect Knight is no match for Dark Magician.

He drew.

Magic Formula, he thought. This Equip can raise a Spellcaster’s Attack by 500 points, but until I find a way to get rid of her Trap, my Monsters aren’t Spellcasters!

“I shift my Dark Magician into Attack Mode!” he exclaimed.

He turned the card, and Dark Magician rose to his feet.

“Dark Magician, attack Insect Knight! Dark magic attack!”

Dark Magician aimed his staff, and fired, blowing Insect Knight into pieces!

“Now, Pixie Knight, attack her Life points directly!”

Wanda braced herself as Pixie Knight shot forth her stream of dust. She grunted and staggered back again.

Sweat ran down her face as her Life Points fell to 4,300.

“Well,” smiled Stan, “I’m in the lead.”

“Not for long,” chuckled Wanda, drawing.

She put a card down.

“I summon… Petite Moth, in Defense Mode!” she exclaimed.

A tiny silkworm appeared on her side. (300/200)

“And now,” she said, fitting a card into a slot, “I’ll Equip it with the mighty Cocoon of Evolution!”

Petite Moth began to spin strands of silk, and within seconds, it had formed a gigantic maroon pupa, ten feet tall and five feet wide, glistening with slime! (0/2,000)

“Over the next six of my turns,” smiled Wanda, “my weak Moth will evolve into a mighty creature known as Perfectly Ultimate Great Moth, and once it hatches, I’ll be unstoppable!

“And to make sure…”

She reached for another card.

“Wait a minute…” interrupted Stan.

He looked at Wanda.

“This is all familiar…” he pondered. “The Insects, and now the Cocoon of Evolution…”

He paused again. Wanda started to sweat.

“This is Weevil Underwood’s signature move!” he exclaimed.

Wanda now dropped her cheery attitude. She started to look angry.

“I don’t know what you’re talking about!” she shouted, nervously. “I don’t know any Weevil Underwood!”

“Are you sure?” asked Stan, accusingly. “You even have the same hair color…”

“Don’t insult me!” shouted Wanda. “I’m a far better duelist than my sleazy bro…”

She clasped her hand over her mouth.

“Is there something you want to tell me?” asked Stan.

“Okay, I’ll admit it,” croaked Wanda. “That rotten Weevil Underwood… is my brother…”

Stan paused.

“So?” he asked.

“SO?” exclaimed Wanda. “That dung beetle is a curse on my family! He got to the top of the dueling circuit by cheating his way there! He couldn’t duel fair if his life depended on it!

“Just a few months ago, he teamed up with a monstrous organization and practically sold his soul in a mad vendetta against Yugi Mouto. It was too much for me... When he recovered, I screamed at him and said I would never speak to him again… And I won’t either!”

“If you hate him so much,” asked Stan, “why do you play an Insect deck like his?”

“My parents are both etymologists,” explained Wanda. “Some of the best in the world. They – and I – are fascinated by insect life. Do you know that the insect class contains more species than that of all other classes combined? And more are being discovered each week! My folks are certain that somehow, insects can help mankind…

“Who knows? Somewhere in the rain forests of Brazil, there may be an unknown species whose saliva could be made into a vaccine for AIDS or a cure for cancer! With the insect world, you never know!

“But that lousy Weevil only cared about one aspect of insects – how much people were afraid of them! How much people dreaded the stings of bees and wasps! That’s why he made a deck of Insect Monsters! He perverted my parents’ love of them! But I’ll show him! I’ll become an even better Insect duelist, and teach people the true wonders of insects!”

She stopped to catch her breath…

“Wanda,” smiled Stan, “you’re getting upset for nothing. Weevil’s sins aren’t your fault. A wise man once said, you can choose your friends, but you can’t choose your relatives. You already are a better duelist that Weevil – you’ve played a perfectly fair duel thus far…”

He smiled.

“But I’m afraid you’re fooling yourself. My Dark Magician can destroy your Cocoon with one mighty blow.”

Wanda smiled.

Good, she’s smiling, thought Stan. Maybe I’ve made her feel better.

“That’s what you think,” smiled Wanda. “My turn isn’t over yet… And I have a way of protecting it that my dumb brother never thought of!”

She fit a card into a slot.

“Because now I’m Equipping my Cocoon with Heart of Clear Water!”

And aura surrounded the Cocoon, and it turned from maroon color to light blue.

“Huh?” asked Stan.

“Let me explain,” stated Wanda. “Heart of Clear Water can only be Equipped to a Monster with less than 1,300 Attack points – my Cocoon has zero. Now my Cocoon can’t be destroyed by attacking it. Damage calculation would still apply, but since it’s in Defense Mode, that hardly matters.

“And anyway it’s your turn now.”

Stan furrowed his brow. He drew.

Me and my big mouth, he thought.

He looked at the card.

What am I worried about? he thought. That Cocoon’s got nothing on my Heavy Storm! Since Cocoon of Evolution is considered an Equip Card the way it is, this will destroy it and her DNA Surgery, leaving her with nothing but Petite Moth! I’ll have her cold!

He threw it into a slot.

“I activate Heavy Storm!” he shouted.

The card revealed itself, and winds started to whip up around the field!

Wanda smiled.

“I knew you’d try something like that,” she giggled. “So I placed a particularly deadly Trap to stop you. Activate… Judgment of Anubis!”

He facedown card lifted, and a frightening spectral wolf appeared in the air!

“What?” gasped Stan.

“Judgment of Anubis activates whenever you attempt to destroy one or more Magic or Trap cards!” laughed Wanda. “It not only foils the attempt, but it destroys one of your Monsters, and deducts the Monster’s total Attack Score from your Life Points! I may have to discard a card to make it work…”

She discarded one of her cards.

“…but it’s worth it! Anubis, destroy!”

The wolf howled, and Dark Magician cringed. He was blown to bits!

The animals who were watching shuddered as the wolf spirit faded away.

“Tell me,” smiled Wanda, “would Weevil have thought of that?”

Stan’s Life Points fell all the way to 3,200.

“Ugh,” groaned Stan. “I’ll switch Pixie Knight to Defense Mode, and end my turn.”

He turned the card, and Pixie Knight shyly hid behind her wings.



* * * * * * * * * *


Meanwhile, Francesca was still watching.

Wow, she thought, This kid can really duel. And if that Moth actually hatches, it’s gonna take a miracle to keep that guy from losing.

I really feel sorry for that kid. He didn’t seem to be that bad a guy. But, that’s the way it goes sometimes…

In Duel Monsters, it’s kill or be killed. You learn that from day one.



* * * * * * * * * *


Wanda drew.

“I’ll place a card facedown,” she said, “and then I’ll summon my second Neo-Bug!”

She placed the cards into her Disk. The facedown card appeared, and then another Neo-Bug materialized! (1,800/1,700)

“Neo-Bug,” she commanded, “destroy his Pixie Knight!”

Neo-Bug flew forward, and clasped its mandibles around Pixie Knight! She screamed and burst.

“Super,” sneered Stan. “But since you destroyed my Pixie Knight, you activated her effect. Namely, you have choose one Magic Card from my Graveyard to return to the top of my deck!”

“Oh,” muttered Wanda.

She thought for a minute.

“Uh, Pot of Greed,” she mused.

A card flew out of Stan’s discard slot, and slid onto the top of his deck.

[I]Weird, thought Stan again.

“Your move again,” sighed Wanda.

Stan drew the card.

“I’m activating my Trap!” giggled Wanda.

Her facedown Card lifted.

“Pyro Clock of Destiny!”

An ancient clock made of metal with hieroglyphics for numbers and a fiery hand appeared over her head.

“What does that do?” gasped Stan.

“Simple,” smiled Wanda. “Pyro Clock of Destiny moves us forward one full round into the future!”

“That means your Cocoon will hatch one round early!” gasped Stan.

“You got it!” giggled Wanda. “I can’t fool you!”

Stan cringed.

“I’ll play the Pot of Greed,” he said.

He put the card down, and again the jar appeared. Again, the phantom arm reached for his deck and handed him two cards.

Stan looked at them. His eyes opened wide!

That weird card I found… he thought. Might as well give it a test run…

“First I’ll place a Monster facedown in Defense,” he said, placing a card on his Disk.

The hidden Monster appeared.

“Now I play this Magic Card,” he continued. “Sweet Treat!”

He slid the card into a slot.

“Sweet Treat?” asked Wanda. “I’ve… never heard of that one…”

“Truthfully,” shrugged Stan, “it’s rather new to me too…”

The card revealed itself, and a form flied out of it. It was a smiling gingerbread man holding a pink dice!

“Now,” explained Stan, “this dice is going to go for a roll, the result will multiply by 1,000, and the total will be added to my Life Points!”

Wanda gasped.

The gingerbread man tossed the dice… It skipped and rolled…

It landed on a three!

“Not bad,” smiled Stan.

His life Points rose up to 6,200.

“Now, because I played that powerful card, I have to end my turn,” he explained. “So go ahead.”

Wanda frowned and drew.

“I summon another Insect Knight!” she shouted.

She put a card down, and a clone of the first Insect Knight appeared, waving his sword! (1,900/1,800)

“Go my mantis warrior!” she cheered. “Attack his facedown card!”

Insect Knight charged…

A sorcerer in a white robe and a cowl appeared on the card. He raised his staff, and parried the blow. (1,700/1,900)

“Sorry,” smiled Stan, as the Spellcaster started to mutate, “but that was Skilled White Magician, and with his Defense at 1,900, that battle was a draw.”

“Fine,” frowned Wanda. “I’ll place this card facedown and end my turn.”

She placed a card into a slot, and it appeared behind her three Monsters.

Stan drew. He saw that the Cocoon of Evolution was shivering.

Two more turns before that thing hatches… he thought.

He looked at the card he had drawn.

Dust Tornado… he thought. It’s worth a shot…

“I’ll place this card facedown, and end my turn,” he said.

The facedown card appeared.

Wanda smirked. She drew.

“I activate Dust Tornado!” shouted Stan.

The Trap Card lifted.

“Say goodbye to your Cocoon!”

“NEVER!” shouted Wanda.

She hit her own Disk, and her own Trap Card lifted.

“I activate Seven Tools of the Bandit!” she yelled.

A giant jackknife flew forward and stabbed into Stan’s Trap Card, smashing it to pieces!

“That may have cost me 1,000 Life Points,” she giggled, as her Life Points fell to 3,300, “but it’s a price I’m willing to pay to protect my Cocoon.”

Stan growled.

“Well, you certainly can’t blame me for trying,” he frowned.

Wanda looked at her card.

“Now I’ll play my own Pot of Greed!” she smiled.

She placed the card into her slot, and the jar appeared on her side of the field. Just like it had for Stan, the ghostly arm reached out, and handed her two cards from her deck.

She giggled as she took them.

“Hmm, nothing good,” she said with a sly smile. “That’s all for me this turn.”

Stan drew.

“I summon Mystical Elf in Defense Mode…” he slowly said, placing a card down.

The peaceful, blue-skinned elf appeared, kneeling and folding her hands, chanting her musical spell. The transformation the Trap cursed her with wasn’t as hideous as the previous ones – she grew butterfly wings and graceful antennae. (800/2,000)

“That’s my turn,” sighed Stan. “So let’s see the big guy already!”

Wanda drew.

“Heh, heh,” she chuckled. “As you wish!”

The Cocoon of Evolution shook more than ever… It started to rip apart…

Wanda placed a card down on her Disk…



* * * * * * * * * *


Ooh, here it comes, thought Francesca. I really feel sorry for that guy… but I don’t know if anything can stop Mothra there…



* * * * * * * * * *


Stan gazed in awe at the enormous creature in front of him.



http://www.itstimetoduel.com/cardpictures/TSC-001.jpg


Comparing Perfectly Ultimate Great Moth to Mothra wasn’t much of a stretch. This creature wasn’t nearly as big, but it looked just as mean and threatening. And while it wasn’t as big, it was certainly big. Measuring it in his head, Stan guessed it was about ten feet long with a forty-foot wingspan.

(3,500/3,000)

The animals who were serving as spectators drew back in fear.

But Stan chuckled slightly…

“What’s so funny?” exclaimed Wanda.

“Whenever I see a powerful Monster,” smiled Stan, “I get excited!”


Continued...

Dark Sage
8th July 2005, 12:30 PM
Continued from last post...



“Get excited over this,” chuckled Wanda, placing a Magic card into a slot. “I activate Destroy Defense!”

The Magic Card lifted up, and Stan’s two Monsters stood up into Attack Mode!

“Now you can’t defend for three of your turns!” smiled Wanda, “but I figure I’ll have finished you off by then!”

Stan gulped.

“Now my Great Moth,” she yelled, “attack his Mystical Elf with hurricane blast!”

Perfectly Ultimate Great Moth waved its mighty wings, and a blast of wind almost knocked Stan down! Mystical Elf was vaporized!

His Life Points plunged to 3,500.

“Neo-Bug,” she commanded, “attack his Skilled White Magician!”

Neo-Bug flew forward and grasped the mage with his mandibles, crushing him! Skilled White Magician burst into pixels!

Stan’s Life Points fell to 3,400.

“Insect Knight, attack him directly!” shouted Wanda.

The mantis knight flew forward and smote Stan with his blade, sending him falling backwards!

Stan groaned and got up. His Life Point counter was at 1,500.

I’m in trouble, he thought. If I have to take a direct attack from that Moth, it’ll likely blow me halfway to Oz!

He looked at his hand.

Very little to go on here…

“Give it up!” mocked Wanda. “No one have ever defeated the fully evolved Perfectly Ultimate Great Moth!”

“I can name two people who have,” corrected Stan. “Yugi Mouto and Joey Wheeler.”

“Look,” pouted Wanda, “if my dumb brother had all three of the Egyptian God Cards in his deck, I’d wager he’d still manage to lose!”

“Maybe so,” replied Stan, “but one of the reasons that Yugi and Joey defeated him was that they didn’t give up – and I won’t either! I didn’t come halfway across the ocean to throw in the towel in the first duel!”

He drew.

“I play… Graceful Charity!” he shouted, placing the card into a slot.

A beautiful angel materialized in a beam of light, and flew into his deck…

Then she flew out, and handed him three cards.

“Uh, thanks,” he said.

Then she put her hand on her hip and motioned with her hand.

Oh, right, he thought. I have to discard two… Well, I can do without these… So do I just give them to her?

He handed the cards to the angel and she took them. She flew into his discard slot.

Stan shrugged. This was certainly unusual.

He looked at the three cards he had drawn.

He looked at the situation in front of him.

“First, I’ll place a card facedown,” he stated.

He threw a card into a slot, and it appeared in front of him.

He took another card from his hand.

“Now let me show you a little trick,” he smiled. “I’ll play Monster Reborn, to bring back my Dark Magician!”

He placed the card into a slot, and Dark Magician returned. (2,500/2,100)

“And now a second Magic Card,” he continued, throwing another card into a slot. “A powerful spell called Dedication Through Light And Darkness!”

A card flew out of his deck and he caught it. He placed it on his Disk. Dark energy coursed around Dark Magician…

“This Magic Card lets me sacrifice Dark Magician to summon the powerful Dark Magician of Chaos!” he exclaimed.

An even darker Spellcaster with black skin, an exotic headdress, and a foreboding costume appeared, brandishing a glowing scepter! Dark insectile wings sprouted from his back, and his costume transformed into a sleek and still-magnificent exoskeleton. (2,800/2,600)



http://www.itstimetoduel.com/cardpictures/IOC-065.jpg


“Also,” said Stan, “by summoning him, I’m able to retrieve one Magic Card from my Graveyard…”

A card flew out of his discard slot, and he caught it.

“And I choose Monster Reborn! To bring back Dark Magician again!”

He threw the card into the slot, and Dark Magician arose again!

“A nifty trick when you want to get two powerful Monsters on the field at once,” smiled Stan. “Dark Magician of Chaos, attack her Insect Knight with chaos scepter blast!”

Dark Magician of Chaos spun his staff and slammed it to the ground! Insect Knight was blown into nothing!

Wanda cringed from the blow.

“Dark Magician, destroy her Neo-Bug!” shouted Stan.

Dark Magician cast forth his dark spell, and Neo-Bug was eradicated!

Wanda’s Life Points fell to 1,800.

“Nice try, Stan,” she laughed, “but I’m afraid that neither of them are any match for my BIG bug!”

“We’ll see,” smiled Stan. “I end my turn.”

Wanda drew.

“Perfectly Ultimate Great Moth,” she commanded, “attack his Dark Magician of Chaos with your hurricane blast!”

The Moth flapped its horrible wings…

“Did you forget about my facedown card?” chuckled Stan.

“WHAT?” gasped Wanda, as it lifted. “A Trap? What is it?”

Perfectly Ultimate Great Moth froze in place!

A Spellbinding Circle!

“Not only have I frozen your big bug,” smiled Stan, “but I’ve reduced his Attack power by 700 points!”

Wanda chuckled.

“Big deal!” she laughed. “That makes his Attack score equal to your Dark Magician of Chaos! You attack, and all you’ll get is a draw.

“But in case you do that anyway, I’ll summon a Monster facedown in Defense Mode and end my turn.”

She placed a card down, and a hidden Monster appeared.

Just try it Stan, she thought. My Man-Eater Bug will make sure your next move is your last!

Stan chuckled as he drew.

“Sorry, Wanda, but I’ve had a card in my hand for some time in case you tried that. I play Nobleman of Crossout!”

He slammed a card into a slot, and an armored knight with a sword appeared. He stabbed into the facedown card! The giant Bug appeared and shattered!

Wanda gasped.

“A Man-Eater,” sighed Stan. “What Insect deck would be complete without a couple of them lurking around in it?”

“And I won’t give you the satisfaction of seeing me suicide my Magician against your Moth either,” he said, taking the card he had just drawn.

He placed it down.

“For now, I summon Breaker the Magical Warrior!”

A tall wizard in red robes and a peaked cowl which only revealed glowing eyes appeared. He carried a glowing sword and a shield. (1,600/1,000)

“Breaker’s power lets him ‘break’ one Magic or Trap Card,” explained Stan. “Breaker, destroy her DNA Surgery!”

Breaker swung his sword forward, and the Trap Card smashed to bits!

The three Monsters on his side of the field transformed back to their proper forms.

“What good will that do you?” stuttered Wanda, nervously.

“Because,” replied Stan, “now that my Dark Magician of Chaos is no longer an Insect, I can Equip him with this…”

He fit a card into a slot.

“Magic Formula!”

A large spellbook appeared in front of Dark Magician of Chaos, and he read it…

“This Equip card raises his Attack power by 500 points!”

Dark Magician of Chaos closed the book and stashed it under his arm. (3,300/2,600)

“Now,” commanded Stan, “attack her Moth with chaos scepter blast!”

Dark Magician of Chaos slammed his staff to the ground, and Perfectly Ultimate Great Moth was engulfed in black flames! It shrieked and exploded!

Wanda could only stare as her Life Points fell to 1,200.

“Now,” shouted Stan, “Dark Magician, finish her off! Dark magic attack!”

Dark Magician thrust his staff forward and fired! Wanda screamed as her Life Points were depleted.



* * * * * * * * * *


On the hillside overlooking the scene, Francesca gulped.

Uh, she thought. Maybe I won’t challenge that guy… at least not yet… Maybe eventually, but why rush?

Heck, I really wouldn’t want that Magician to blast me like that…

She shivered. She wasn’t afraid of a challenge, but she did have common sense. Anyone who could defeat a Monster as powerful as Perfectly Ultimate Great Moth was someone to avoid.

Well, best get going to Petalburg… And see if I can find someone else.



* * * * * * * * * *


The wildlife that had been watching the duel slowly started to wander away. Stan was glad for that at least. They were making him nervous.

Wanda was on the ground holding her head. Stan offered her his hand.

“Oh,” she groaned. “Your team packs a punch!”

“I do my best,” shrugged Stan.

“Well,” sighed Wanda, “I guess I owe you something…”

She handed him one of her Crystal Cards.

“Thank you,” said Stan, taking it. “But you’re still in the running. And I think you’ll have no problem proving that you’re better than your brother.”

She nodded.

“Well, why don’t you go on to Petalburg,” she mused.

She noticed a large dragonfly flutter by.

“Me, I’m going to stay here for an hour or so, and keep checking out the insect life. The ecosystem of this island is like nothing I’ve seen before – so strange…”

“Well, good luck,” replied Stan.

He walked off, and eyed his new card.

Four more to go, he thought. Hopefully, the rest won’t be as hard as that…



* * * * * * * * * *


Stan and Francesca didn’t know it, but another viewer had been watching the duel from another angle, using powerful binoculars and a listening device it see and hear all the action.

He was a short, chubby man, in a strange outfit. He wore a black shirt with a white “X” on the torso, white gloves and purple pants. He wore a short purple cape. He also wore a purple cowl that had horn-like protrusions coming out of the temples, and he wore thick glasses. He also had a thick, red beard.

He put the binoculars down, and took a cell phone out of his pocket. He dialed a number.

“Talk to me,” hissed a voice over the phone.

“Your excellence,” said the man, “this is Lord Crump reporting… you might be interested in knowing that one of those brats you told me to watch – Stanley Mason I believe – has won his first duel…”

“How did he do?” was the response.

“Uh, pretty good…” muttered Crump. “He actually defeated a Perfectly Ultimate Great Moth… but the thing is…”

He paused.

“Yes?” asked the voice.

“It seems he found the Sweat Treat card…” stammered Crump.

There was a long pause.

“That is indeed a concern,” replied the voice. “But don’t concern yourself with it. Continue your surveillance of the three youngsters. If I need you to do anything else, I’ll contact you.”

“You know,” suggested Crump, “if you want I could…”

“NO!” shouted the voice. “Not yet at least. Whenever I give you a job that’s the least bit complex, you mess up and we get the short end of it!”

What? thought Crump. Why I oughta…

“Now do as you’re told,” said the voice.

The phone hung up.

In a dark chamber somewhere else, a figure brooded.

So, Stanley found the Sweet Treat card… she thought. I was wondering what happened to that accursed thing…

Ah well, Sweet Treat is the least powerful of them. And some of them are safely in the hands of my servants, while the others won’t be hard to find. I needn’t worry too much.

For now, I’ll just watch, and see what unfolds.

But before the day is over, hopefully at least one of my prey will be done away with…

She turned and looked upon six forms who were watching behind her.

She smiled.



DESTROY DEFENSE

Card Specs

Type: Magic
Attribute: –
Level: –
ATK: –
DEF: –

Card Description: Image of a sword shattering a shield. After this card is played, your opponent’s Monsters are shifted into Attack Mode (any flip-effects apply). Your opponent cannot set any Monster in Defense Mode for three of his turns.

Note: “Destroy Defense” first appeared in “Legacy of the Duelist”.



MAGIC FORMULA

Card Specs

Type: Magic/Equip
Attribute: –
Level: –
ATK: –
DEF: –

Card Description: Image of an ancient Spellbook. This card can be Equipped to any SPELLCASTER-Type Monster. Increase the ATK of the Equipped Monster by 500 points.

Note: “Magic Formula” was used several times in the anime, originally by Yugi in “The Dark Spirit Revealed”.



SWEET TREAT

Card Specs

Type: Magic
Attribute: –
Level: –
ATK: –
DEF: –

Card Description: Image of a gingerbread man holding a pink dice. You can only activate this card during your first Main Phase. Roll one dice. Multiply the result by 1,000 and increase your Life Points by the result. After using this card, you must end your turn.



[color=green]Coming up next:

Being a very attractive young woman, Francesca learned a long time ago that her life would be full of boys who were little more than jerks with one thing on their minds. And as a duelist, nothing brings her more joy than using her Monsters to teach such mashers a painful lesson.

Coming up next, she dishes out such a lesson, in a chapter called “Unbreakable,” coming soon.

Dark Sage
8th July 2005, 12:33 PM
[color=orange]A lot of girls my age would consider it a blessing to have a gorgeous body and have boys fighting over them. Well, it’s sort of a blessing – but it’s sort of a curse too.

Ever since I’ve hit puberty, I’ve been plagued by chauvinistic jerks with hormones coming out of their ears who thought that my looks meant that I was a cheap bimbo and an easy score. All of them were sorely mistaken. I got brains to go with these looks. And I don’t take kindly to people who try to take advantage of me. I’ve been catcalled, pinched, and slapped numerous times – and each time, the idiot responsible got the painful lesson that I wasn’t as cheap as he thought.

I guess that’s why, when I became a duelist, I chose Amazons as the focus of my deck. The Amazons are tough ladies, and they don’t take any crap from anyone. Any men who’d dare to pinch one of them would die… painfully.

And as fate would have it, my first Monster Island challenge is one of those creeps who thought I was an easy score…

…and he’s going to learn his lesson the hard way.



[size=3]
CHAPTER THREE



Unbreakable



It was now 11 AM.

Francesca was half a mile from Petalburg (give or take), and she decided to take in the serene beauty of Petal Meadows.

Lying on her back in the grassy knoll with her leather jacket, duffel bag, and Duel Disk off to the side, she watched as the rolling clouds went past her. Butterflies fluttered past her, and little white bunnies hopped by.

So beautiful, she thought. What an idyllic place this island is…

She sighed.

Got to be careful, she thought. Can’t get so relaxed that I fall into a coma!

Her tummy rumbled.

Darn, she thought. I have to get to Petalburg soon. I haven’t eaten since breakfast on the ship, and all I have in my pack are candy bars and cookies!

Then a shadow fell across her face.

She looked, and saw a boy about sixteen years old standing over her. He was muscular, but not overly so, with a plain white T-shirt and jeans. His hair was blonde and cut into a crew cut.

“Man, someone call Heaven,” he exclaimed, “there’s an angel loose!”

Francesca frowned.

“Uh, pal, hold it right there for a minute…” she said.

She sat up, turned her back to him, and pulled a notebook out of her duffle. She picked up a pen and skimmed through it.

“Here we are,” she mumbled, “the ’Someone call Heaven, there’s an angel loose,’ one…”

She made a checkmark.

“Congratulations, buddy,” she smiled, not turning around, “you are the fiftieth person to use that pickup line on me!”

He drew back.

“And it was just as unsuccessful as the other forty-nine times…” she muttered.

“Heh, heh,” he chuckled. “I like a girl with a sense of humor…”

“I have a sense of humor,” she replied, “but not around dogs like you.”

“Come on babe,” he said, putting his arm on her shoulder, “doesn’t this place give you any ideas about…”

“Take it off, or I’ll break it off!” threatened Francesca.

He shakily removed his hand.

“And if you call me ‘babe’ one more time, you’re limping to Petalburg…” she growled.

She stared at him.

“You are totally beneath me…” she scowled.

“Funny,” he smiled. “That’s where I’d love to be…”

She gave him a look that was half shock and half disgust.

She noticed the Duel Disk on his arm.

Hmm, maybe this sleaze can get me off to a good start, she thought. I’ll just give him an offer he’d not likely refuse…

She stood up.

“I see you’re a duelist,” she noted.

“Are you challenging me, princess?” he laughed.

“Don’t call me princess either!” she snapped. “And yeah, I am. And I’ll make it worth your while…”

She smirked.

“How so?” he asked.

“I’ll give you a bargain that few men in your position can resist – if I’m defeated, I’ll give you the deepest, longest French kiss you’ve ever received.”

His eyes opened wide.

“But if you lose,” she smiled, “I get your Crystal Card and your rarest card. You know how they used to play card games – players would ante up cards…”

Francesca smiled. She had made this wager against more similar stakes several times, and she had never once had to give out a kiss. Few duelists knew how much trouble they were in until they had seen her in action.

The youth thought to himself.

This babe is nuts, she thought. Even if I lose, I have three more copies of what I can claim is my “rarest card” in my folder! And I won’t lose – time to duel and steal a kiss…

“It’s a bet!” smiled the youth. “Shuffle and prepare to pucker up! By the way, you can call me Jackson – Stonewall Jackson.”

Francesca stared at him with a weird look..

“You named yourself after a Confederate General?” she asked offhand.

“Well Jackson’s my real name,” he replied, “I am from Georgia, and as for why I took the name… Well, just wait and see!”

“Fine,” replied Francesca, slipping on her Disk. “The name’s Francesca. And you want to know how Stonewall Jackson died? He was accidentally fired upon by his own troops, had his arm amputated as a result, and died in pain in a hospital bed. Not quite the end a true military man dreams of…

“And I can assure you… You’ll die just as shamefully…”


[B]
* * * * * * * * * *


At that moment, Stan walked over the hill.

He looked down upon the two duelists.

Huh, he thought. It’s that girl I met on the boat – the one who liked my Dark Magician Girl so much.

He sat down.

Well, maybe watching this can’t hurt… It’s still early…

He took a small bag of potato chips out of his bag and looked down upon the field.



* * * * * * * * * *


Francesca looked over her shoulder as she shuffled.

Seems someone else is interested in me, she thought. Oh well… If he tries something after this, I’ll take care of him too…

She raised her Disk in the air.

“Activate holo-imagers!” she shouted.

The imagers burst out, and set themselves up ten feet to either side of herself. Her Disk snapped into place.

Jackson activated his own Disk, and it snapped into place.

“LET’S DUEL!” they both shouted.

They both made their draws.

Crud, thought Francesca, looking at her cards. I think I just won the award for world’s worst opening hand!

“Why don’t you go first, Jackson?” she stated.

“My pleasure!” he chuckled, making his first draw.

He looked at his card.

“I’ll summon this Monster facedown in Defense and end my turn,” he stated, placing a card down.

Sneaky, thought Francesca, drawing. She looked at her hand again.

Not much to go on, she thought. Best go for broke…

“I summon… Amazoness Chain Master, in Attack Mode!” she shouted.

She put her card down, and a tall form appeared. It was a slightly muscular woman with long blonde hair, dressed in a bikini and boots made from fur. She held a long chain tipped with a nasty spiked grapple. (1,500/1,300)



http://a248.e.akamai.net/f/248/5462/2h/everythingpokemon.safeshopper.com/images/bm0rwkrc.jpg


“Whoa,” said Jackson. “That’s a decent set of paint cans…”

“I wouldn’t insult Chain Master,” smiled Francesca. “She has a distinctive job among the Amazon tribe – executing prisoners! And she loves her job…

“Chain Wielder, attack his facedown Monster with chain rend!”

Amazoness Chain Master lifted her weapon and twirled it over her head! She charged…

Then a huge shape appeared on the facedown card. It was a huge, rough, humanoid statue, holding two swords on its back. It slugged the Amazon and sent her falling on her behind. (1,300/2,000)

“Heh, heh,” smiled Jackson. “My Giant Soldier of Stone was a bit too much for your Amazon to handle!”

Francesca’s Life Points fell to 7,500.

“Okay, you win round one,” frowned Francesca. “But there’s more where she came from…”

“My move now…” said Jackson, drawing. “I’ll summon another Monster in Defense Mode, and I’ll even show you what it is…”

He placed a card down.

“Stone Statue of the Aztecs!” he exclaimed.

Another huge statue crashed down, this one a giant head with two large hands, made of unhewn rock. (300/2,000)



http://www.itstimetoduel.com/cardpictures/AST-014.jpg


“And that’s my turn,” he grinned.

“You know buddy,” frowned Francesca, “they called General Thomas Jonathan Jackson by the nickname ‘Stonewall’ Jackson because he was brave and always faced his enemies, not because he was always hiding behind defensive barriers like you are right now! Besides, you can’t win this duel by just defending…”

“My strategy will come to light soon,” smiled Jackson. “In the meantime, it’s your turn…”

Francesca drew.

She put a card down.

“I summon Amazoness Paladin, in Attack Mode,” she proclaimed.

Another Warrior-woman appeared – this one wore a white bikini top, short skirt, and tattered cape, along with a golden tiara. She held a long sword. (1,700/300)



http://www.itstimetoduel.com/cardpictures/MFC-059.jpg


“Amazoness Paladin is the general of the Amazon army,” explained Francesca, “and she gains support from her troops – so for every Amazon on the field, she gains 100 extra Attack Points. So now she gains 200 extra!”

(1,900/300)

“Humph, she’s still not strong enough to break my defenses,” frowned Jackson.

“Not yet,” smiled Francesca.



* * * * * * * * * *


Amazons, huh? thought Stan. Interesting. No wonder she liked my Dark Magician Girl so much.

I’ve heard that these Warriors can be quite powerful if used the right way… Maybe now I’ll get a lesson in Amazon Culture 101…



* * * * * * * * * *


Jackson drew.

“Hmmm,” he said.

“I’ll summon a second Giant Soldier of Stone,” he said, placing a card down.

Another Giant Soldier materialized. (1,300/2,000)

“But he won’t be staying for long,” he continued, placing a Magic Card into a slot, “because I play Mystik Wok!”

A huge Chinese wok appeared on his side of the field, and the Giant Soldier of Stone appeared in it. Flames appeared underneath it.

“With my Wok,” he explained, “I can sacrifice this Monster and gain Life Points equal to its Attack or Defense Score, so I’ll gain its Defense Score!”

The Giant Soldier vanished into steam, and Jackson glowed. His Life Points shot up to 10,000.

“Peachy,” snarled Francesca.

“And it’s your move,” he grinned.

Francesca drew.

Damn, she thought. Nothing to summon at all! I’m having the worst luck.

“I’ll pass this turn,” she frowned.

“Oo-kay,” said Jackson, drawing.

He chuckled as he looked at his card.

He threw it into a slot.

“I play the deadly Meteor of Destruction!” he shouted.

The clouds overhead darkened. They opened, and a ball of flame came hurtling to earth. Francesca screamed as it crashed into her!

Her Life Points fell to 6,500.

“Feeling the heat yet, babe?” he asked.

“I’ve felt worse,” she scowled.

“Well, your move,” he said.

So that’s his game, she thought. Hide behind defenses and strike with Magic Cards. Talk about cowardly…

She drew again.

Eh, Dramatic Rescue, she thought, looking at it. This might be useful…

“I’ll place a card facedown and end my turn,” she announced, fitting it into a slot.

The facedown card appeared behind her two Amazons.

Jackson drew.

He smiled a smile that Francesca did NOT like.

“Now you’ll see the cornerstone of my strategy,” he grinned. “I play a Magic Card… the powerful Wave-Motion Cannon!”

He threw the card into the slot, and the card appeared… then it transformed into a large, fat cannon, covered with strange gewgaws.



http://www.itstimetoduel.com/cardpictures/MFC-040.jpg


“Let me explain how this card works,” smiled Jackson, “every round it stays on the field, it will gain power. When I order it to fire, it will blast you for damage equal to 1,000 times the number of Standby Phases that it remained!”

“You really think you can keep it around for seven more of your turns without me getting past your defenses?” asked Francesca, raising an eyebrow.

“We’ll see,” replied Jackson. “It’s your move…”

Francesca made a draw.

Still no Monsters… The card was Waboku.

Well, might as well put this on the field, she thought.

“I’ll place a card facedown and end my turn,” she sighed, fitting it into a slot.

The facedown card appeared next to the other one.

“Go ahead,” she muttered.

Jackson drew.

Energy flowed into the Wave-Motion Cannon, and it started to glow slightly.

“Heh, heh,” he smiled, “Now I’ll sacrifice my Giant Soldier of Stone for an even stronger defense…”

He put a card down, and Giant Solder of Stone vanished into pixels.

“Millennium Shield, in Defense Mode!” he shouted.

A huge shield appeared, made of metal, colored red and gold, and with the Eye of Horus on the front. (00/3,000)



http://www.itstimetoduel.com/cardpictures/MP1-001.jpg


“This ancient magical artifact has been known to keep whole armies at bay!” he grinned. “Just try to get past it!”


Continued...

Dark Sage
8th July 2005, 12:37 PM
Stan didn’t know the stakes that Francesca had placed, but he couldn’t help but feel sorry for the duelist he was watching right now.

He remembered an early duel of his – one that he lost, in which his opponent blasted him with a Wave-Motion Cannon. It was a very unpleasant experience to say the least.

Come on, he thought, You’ve got to find some way around those fortresses he’s put up…



* * * * * * * * * *


Francesca growled. The thought of her having to pay up if she lost disgusted her…

She drew.

Finally, she thought.

“I summon Amazoness Swords Woman, in Attack Mode!” she yelled.

A new Amazon appeared, this one even fiercer than the last two. She had wild red hair, and wore a blue bikini and leather boots, each part of her clothing decorated with what appeared to be the fangs of a large, carnivorous animal. She bore a huge sword that seemed too large for her to wield in one hand – but she did anyway. (1,500/1,600)



http://www.itstimetoduel.com/cardpictures/MFC-061.jpg


Amazoness Paladin’s Attack went up to 2,000.

“You think that scares me?” laughed Jackson.

“We’ll see,” smiled Francesca. “Amazoness Swords Woman, attack his Millennium Shield with great sword slash!”

Amazoness Swords Woman raised her blade and charged forward. She screamed a war cry and struck the huge shield!

Then she was propelled backwards and landed on her rump.

“Ha, ha!” cackled Jackson, as Swords Woman got up. “Are you trying to lose on purpose? You just lost 1,500 Life Points!”

“Guess again!” grinned Francesca.

Then Jackson noticed that his own Life Point counter was falling – it fell to 8,500.

“WHAT?” he shouted. “I lost Life Points?”

“Uh huh,” giggled Francesca. “All thanks to Amazoness Swords Woman’s special effect. See, any damage involving a battle with her is deducted from my opponent’s Life Points, not from mine!

“And seeing as I doubt you have any Monsters in your deck that are actually capable of attacking, I think I’ve got you in the perfect lock!

“Make your move.”

Jackson growled. He drew. The Wave-Motion Cannon powered up again…

“I’ll play my Pot of Greed,” he grunted.

He placed the card in a slot, and the colorful pot appeared. Like Stan had seen, a spectral arm reached out, took two cards from his deck, and handed them to him.

“Well that’s a nifty trick,” he mused. “I’ll place a card facedown and end my turn.”

He fit a card into a slot, and it appeared behind his walls.

Francesca drew.

Now this is more like it! she thought.

“I summon Amazoness Fighter in Attack Mode!” she exclaimed.

She put the card down, and a fourth Amazon materialized. She was the most muscular of the four; her black hair was tied back in a ponytail, she wore a blue bikini top and loincloth, and two belts strapped around her abdomen. (1,500/1,300)

“Okay, that’s… different…” stuttered Jackson.

“And don’t forget,” smiled Francesca, “this means my Paladin now has an Attack Score of 2,100!”

“Paladin, demolish his Stone Statue of the Aztecs!” she yelled.

Amazoness Paladin raised her sword and leapt forward! She swung, blasting the Stone Statue into pebbles!

“Amazoness Swords Woman, strike his Shield again!” she shouted.

Swords Woman swung her sword dramatically and again charged, striking the shield. She toppled over again, but Jackson’s Life Points fell to 6,000.

“It’s your move…” she smiled.

What am I going to do? he thought. On this round, my Cannon will power up to a three thousand-point intensity… but it needs to last four more of my turns in order to finish her! At the rate she’s going, she only needs four more of her turns to bring my Life Points down to zero – it will be one round too late for me!

He drew, and his cannon absorbed more energy. Steam started to issue forth from it.

“I play Reload!” he exclaimed.

He threw the card into a slot, and an ancient shotgun appeared in front of him. The reloading lever clicked, and it vanished.

He took his deck and placed his five cards into it. Then he reshuffled and plugged the deck back in. Then he drew five more cards.

He smiled.

“You wanted my rarest card?” he asked. “Well, you won’t get it, but I will show it to you…”

He put a card down.

“Gear Golem the Moving Fortress in Defense Mode!” he exclaimed.

A huge, bulky, metal thing landed next to the Millennium Shield. It was a giant Machine made of gears and wheels, studded with spikes. (800/2,200)



http://www.itstimetoduel.com/cardpictures/AST-018.jpg


“With 2,200 Defense Points, your Paladin couldn’t crack it even if you had five Amazons on the field!” exclaimed Jackson. “And my turn is just starting…”

He fit a card into a slot.

“I’ll place another card facedown,” he said.

A facedown card appeared next to his other one.

“And now,” he grinned, “since you liked this so much the first time, I’ll play another Meteor of Destruction!”

He threw a card into a slot. The clouds darkened again, and another ball of flame plummeted down. Francesca screamed bloody murder as it slammed into her.

She fell to her knees. Her Life Points fell to 5,500.

“That’s it, Fran,” smiled Jackson. “On your knees, just like I like my women!”

“I was wrong when I said you were a dog, Jackson,” growled Francesca. “You’re a pig, plain and simple! Are you done?”

“Not yet,” he replied. “I’ll also play Dian Keto the Cure Master!”

He threw another card into a slot, and the kindly god of healing appeared behind him. He glowed again, and his Life Points went up to 7,000.

“It’s your move…” he stated.



* * * * * * * * * *


Man, she’s really in trouble now, thought Stan.

That cannon is already at the three-thousand point mark; it’s halfway strong enough to finish her!

And I’m liking this Jackson guy less and less. I really hope there isn’t anything on the line other than their Crystal Cards.



* * * * * * * * * *


Unbeknownst to Stan, a lot was on the line for Francesca – her dignity and self respect, for one thing.

If she lost, she couldn’t go back on her word. She had said it herself. In Duel Monsters, wagers are sacred. If she tried to weasel out of this one, she’d be no better than this lout…

She sighed.

Well, if she lost, she’d take her punishment like a grown woman… Even though it meant disobeying her father…

She drew.

It seemed her bad luck was there again. It was only Amazoness Spellcaster.

“Swords Woman,” she ordered, “attack his Shield again!”

Amazoness Swords Woman lifted her weapon.

“I activate… Waboku!” shouted Jackson.

One of his Trap Cards lifted, and Amazoness Swords Woman was halted by three priestesses dressed in blue robes.

Francesca spat out a cuss word under her breath.

“You look beautiful when you’re angry,” chuckled Jackson. “My move now?”

“Go on…” snarled Francesca.

“I’ll draw,” said Jackson, drawing.

He looked at the card.

His Cannon absorbed even more energy. Steam shot out of it, and a sound like a boiling teakettle began to come from the contraption.

“Think I’ll pass this turn,” he smiled.

Francesca drew.

Yes! she thought.

“The weather is about to get nippy,” she smiled. “I play my Heavy Storm card!”

She threw it into her slot.

“Say goodbye to your Cannon!” she laughed.

Fierce winds started to blow over the field…

“I don’t think so…” smiled Jackson.

He discarded the card in his hand.

His Trap Card lifted.

“I activate Magic Jammer!”

A magical circle appeared on the ground, and smoke poured from it. Francesca’s Magic Card disintegrated, and the winds subsided.

“DAMN!” shouted Francesca.

She pointed towards the Shield.

“Swords Woman, attack AGAIN!”

Swords Woman took the sword in both hands and slammed it against the Millennium Shield. She was thrown back again, and landed on her back.

Jackson’s Life Points fell to 5,500.

“You’re torturing your own Monster for no reason!” gloated Jackson. “She’ll never deplete my Life Points in time now! Why don’t you just give up?”

“Never!” shouted Francesca. “Make your move…”

“Why do they always want to do things the hard way…” sighed Jackson, drawing.

He smiled as he looked at his card.

His Cannon drew in more energy, and started to rattle like crazy. It looked like it was going to burst at any minute!

“Heh, heh,” he chuckled.

“I’ll play another Dian Keto the Cure Master card,” he said, placing the card into a slot.

Dian Keto appeared behind him again, and cast his healing spell, raising Jackson’s Life Points to 6,500.

“Now my Cannon has stored five-thousand points worth of energy!” he proclaimed. “On my next turn, I’ll order it to fire, and I’ll win this duel… And we’ll see how good a kisser you really are…

“I end my turn.”

Francesca smiled.

And then she chuckled softly.

“What’s so funny?” asked Jackson.

“Don’t you know the effects of your own Monsters?” she laughed. “You could have won the duel right there!”

“What?” asked Jackson in surprise. “How?”

“I’m talking about Gear Golem’s effect, moron,” answered Francesca. “It has another use other than a defensive wall. If you had switched it into Attack Mode, you could have spent 800 Life Points to attack me directly with it. Then you could have ordered your Cannon to fire, and I would have lost!

“It’s little mistakes like this that separate the professionals and the amateurs.”

Jackson looked dumbfounded.

And then a look of anger crossed his face.

“Yeah, well I’ll win on my next turn, so it makes no difference!” he shouted.

Francesca looked at her deck.

He didn’t know it, she thought, but I was lying to make him angry. My Waboku was still on the field…

But even so, Waboku can’t block that cannon’s blast. If there’s a card in this deck that can stop him, I have to draw it NOW.

It all rides on this draw…

She drew.

“I play… Card Destruction!” she shouted, throwing a card into a slot.

“Now, we must discard all of the cards in our hands and draw an equal number!” she exclaimed.

She discarded her ample hand and made the draws.

Her eyes opened wide.

“Meet the Amazon tribe’s loyal pet and guardian!” she exclaimed. “I summon… Amazoness Tiger!”

She put the card down, and a fierce tigress on a spiked leash appeared! She roared! (1,100/1,500)



http://www.itstimetoduel.com/cardpictures/MFC-063.jpg


“First of all, this brings my Paladin’s Attack to 2,200,” she explained. “Also, Amazoness Tiger gains 400 Attack Points for every Amazon on the field, herself included, giving her an Attack Score of 3,100!”

“Impressive,” smiled Jackson. “But still not enough to destroy both my defenses…”

“I’m not done!” smiled Francesca.

She flicked open her Field slot and placed a card into it.

“I play Gaia Power!” she exclaimed.

The whole area around them started to change. Lovely trees with emerald leaves and thick trunks sprouted up, changing the playing field into a small forest.

“Gaia Power has two effects that benefit me right now,” smiled Francesca. “First, it raises the Attack of all Earth Monsters on the field, like my Amazons, by 500 points!”

Amazoness Tiger’s Attack rose to 3,600, Amazoness Paladin’s to 2,700, and the other three Amazons to 2,000 each.

“Second,” continued Francesca, “Gaia Power also decreases the Defense of all Earth Monsters, like your two fortresses, by 400 points!”

Millennium Shield’s Defense dropped to 2,600, while Gear Golem the Moving Fortress dropped to 1,800.

“NO!” screamed Jackson.

“Yes!” shouted Francesca. “Amazoness Paladin, shatter his Millennium Shield!”

Amazoness Paladin raised her sword, and leapt forward, slamming it against the giant Shield. It started to crack, and then fell apart!

“Amazoness Swords Woman, attack his Gear Golem!” yelled Francesca.

Swords Woman shouted a war cry again, and brought her sword down on Gear Golem. The machine exploded into a pile of junk, and the residue vanished.

“Well,” smiled Francesca. “Nothing left to hide behind…”

Jackson started to sweat.

“Amazoness Tiger, attack directly with Maul of the Great Cat!” ordered Francesca.

Amazoness Tiger leapt forth and roared, raking her claws on Jackson’s chest! He screamed and staggered backwards.

His Life Points plummeted to 2,900.

“Ooh,” he moaned.

“Amazoness Fighter,” yelled Francesca, “attack him with savage kick!”

The Fighter ran up and savagely kneed Jackson in the groin! He shrieked and fell over.



Continued…

Dark Sage
8th July 2005, 12:41 PM
Continued from last post...


His Life Points were now at 900.

He slowly got to his feet. He looked nervously at Amazoness Chain Master…

“Jackson,” smiled Fran, “maybe if you were to get on your knees, Amazoness Chain Master would grant you a merciful death…”

Jackson started to sweat more than ever.

He slowly got on his knees.

Amazoness Chain Master looked at him in disgust.

“I was lying, Jackson…” smirked Francesca, pointing.

Chain Master pulled her chain taunt and walked up to him.

“…the Amazons hate folks who grovel. I tricked you into kneeling so she could do her job easier. I told you that she was the tribe’s executioner, remember?”

“What?” gasped Jackson. “No…”

“The enemy has been taken prisoner by the Amazons,” smiled Francesca, sweetly, “and now it’s time for him to be dealt with, as are all fools who challenge the Amazons.”

She grinned.

“Amazoness Chain Master…” said Francesca, “string him up!”

She stabbed her thumb down. Chain Master wrapped her chain around Jackson’s neck and then put her knee against his back. She smiled as she slowly started to choke him…

And his Life Points slowly fell to zero…

The holo-imagers shut down, and Francesca’s Amazons vanished. Jackson fell on his face, gasping for breath.

“Well,” smiled Francesca, “I believe you owe me a Crystal Card and your Gear Golem card…”

Jackson scowled… But he knew the rules. He took a Crystal Card out of his pocket and the Monster Card from his discard pile.

“This isn’t over, you slut!” he cursed. “I’ll get even, you hear!”

And then he started to limp away.

“Yeah, yeah,” sighed Francesca. “Whatever.”



* * * * * * * * * *


Gear Golem the Moving Fortress was a powerful card, but it didn’t really have a place in Francesca’s deck. She took her binder out of her duffle and carefully placed it inside.

As she closed it, she spoke up.

“He’s gone. You can come down now.”

Stan slowly descended the hill.

“How long did you know I was there?” he asked.

“Since I started the duel,” she answered. “By the way, I saw you duel that kid with the green pigtails – impressive. I didn’t think anyone could defeat a Perfectly Ultimate Great Moth.”

“You’re pretty impressive yourself,” he replied. “Francesca, wasn’t it? My name’s Stan.”

He extended his hand.

They shook.

“Well,” said Francesca, “it seems you’re no rookie and neither am I… And we both have three Crystal Cards. Maybe now is a chance for one of us to get a fourth!”

“I was thinking the same thing,” smiled Stan.

“Then let’s have a more honorable duel than that last lout,” smiled Fran.

The two of them shuffled their decks and then backed up away from each other…

But just as they were about to activate their Disks, a strange sensation came over the both of them…

Wait… thought Stan. This is… wrong. I don’t know why, but it’s just… wrong…

Strange, thought Francesca. Suddenly I don’t want to duel him anymore… For some reason… it just wouldn’t be right…

“Um, Francesca…” started Stan.

“Please, call me Fran,” answered Francesca.

“Right, Fran,” he replied. “We’ve both just dueled, it’s getting close to noon, and we’re both hungry… We should try to get to Petalburg soon…”

“Yeah,” sighed Fran. “I had the same idea. Maybe we can do this some other time.”

She paused.

“Still,” she continued. “It’s rather lonely on this road – how about we stay together for at least awhile? That is, if I can trust you…”

“Hey, I’m already accounted for,” assured Stan. “I’ve got a girlfriend back home who I could never leave.

“Although I must say, if I didn’t, I’d love to ask you out for the proverbial dinner and a movie – if such a thing isn’t too much of a cliché… I mean, you’re perfect – smart, beautiful, witty… Not to mention a great duelist.”

Francesca giggled.

“Strange,” she laughed. “I’m so used to hearing fake flattery that I’ve forgotten how good it is when it’s real. Well, we’ve got half a mile to walk…”



* * * * * * * * * *


It was fifteen minutes into the hike when Stan noticed something around Francesca’s neck.

No, he thought. It can’t be…

“Uh, Fran?” he asked.

“Yeah?”

“I couldn’t help but notice your pendant…” he stated.

“Oh, this thing?” asked Francesca.

She looked at the pendant around her neck. It was a strange object attached to a golden chain. The pendant itself was a square with flared edges, made from black crystal. Etched on it were three star-symbols in an upside-down triangle pattern, whose outlines had been colored yellow with some sort of paint.

“Pretty little piece of jewelry,” she said. “My grandmother gave it to me – she said her grandmother gave it to her, and that she got it from her grandmother and… well, you get the idea. She told me it would bring me good luck in any competition, so I always wear it while I’m dueling.”

Stan looked like he had seen a ghost.

“What’s wrong?” asked Francesca.

“Um…” said Stan. “Well, you see…”

He reached under his shirt and pulled something out.

It was a pendant that looked almost exactly like Francesca’s pendant. The only difference was, the paint that outlined the stars on his were blue.

“This is kind of a family heirloom too,” muttered Stan. “My grandfather gave it to me, his grandfather gave it him… and so on. When grandpa gave it to me, he told me the same thing – that it would grant me luck in any competition. So I duel with it too…”

The two duelists looked at each other for a minute.

“I’m placing this somewhere between ‘incredible coincidence’ and ‘chance of fate’,” she muttered.

“Yeah, this is creepy,” replied Stan.

They didn’t speak until they were within sights of Petalburg.



* * * * * * * * * *


In a room illuminated by hundreds of candelabras and a dozen chandeliers, equipped with candles made of black wax, each lit by a flickering flame, a throne made out of violet crystal stood on a pedestal.

In front of the throne was a huge globe, mounted on a setting that resembled a wicked claw. In the globe, an image of Stan and Francesca approaching Petalburg was being viewed.

Sitting on the throne was a woman who was beautiful in a sinister way. She wore an exotic black dress that was somewhat old-fashioned, low-cut and revealing a good deal of cleavage. It was sort of the type of thing that you’d imagine sexy female vampires in movies wearing. She also wore golden bracelets, a necklace set with emeralds (likely equal in value to a luxury car), and a golden crown set with a single large diamond.

As for the woman herself, she was coldly beautiful. Her skin was flawless and porcelain-white, and her waist-length hair was golden blonde. Her eyes shone with a silver light. If she had pupils at all, the light hid them.

She pondered…

“So,” she mused. “Stan and Francesca have met. It was inevitable. And they’ll likely meet up with Andy within the hour as well.

“They duel well… This should prove an interesting endeavor…”

She leaned back on her throne and clapped her hands.

“Children!” she called, cheerily.

Magical energy started to flow around the chamber, and six orbs of energy flew into the room. The first was pure white; the second, blue; the third was fiery red; the fourth was murky brown; the fifth was dark green; and the last was inky black.

Laughter erupted in the room, and the six orbs flew about in a random pattern…

The woman’s face sank, and she leaned on her hand. The laughter continued…

“I’ve created six gas molecules…” she sighed.

She stood up.

“All right, enough!” she yelled.

The orbs halted, and positioned themselves in front of her. Slowly, they grew, and took form.

After a few seconds, they transformed into six teenagers, four boys and two girls. They were dressed in exotic clothing, and carried Duel Disks on their arms.

“Okay,” asked the woman, “just how many sodas did you all drink before I called you in here?”

“Uh, one?” muttered the girl who looked to be the youngest.

“One?” said the boy next to her. “Try four!”

“You had just as many!” she snapped back.

“I didn’t also eat three donuts!”

“QUIET!” shouted the woman.

They stopped.

“First of all,” she stated, “the average can of soda contains just under an ounce of sugar in it. At your average of nine per day, as I know you are, that’s nearly half a pound of sugar on beverages alone!”

The six youngsters bowed their heads.

“Not to mention that the caffeine is going to stunt your growth good!” she continued. “The last thing I need at this point are six children who are hyperactive! You get like that, it’s a sure way to make mistakes!”

“Yes, mom,” they all moaned at once.

“Now then,” she said, sitting back down. “Melissa… Kurtis… Tyson… Leopold… Maria… Vladimir… Listen carefully…

“I’ve been training each of you for this project ever since you were old enough to read and understand the writing on the cards. Now the time has finally come. Everything depends on your success.

“If you succeed, I assure you, the rewards will be incredible…

“If you mess up, I promise you, you won’t like it!”

They all shuddered.

“Now get out there and make mom proud,” she smiled.

They all turned and walked out of the chamber.

“Ugh,” said one of the boys. “She has some nerve yelling at us for drinking so much caffeine when she drank eight cups of coffee this morning…”

“I heard that…” snarled their mother’s voice from the chamber behind them.

The six of them drew back in fear. Then they transformed into orbs of light again and sped down the hall.



* * * * * * * * * *


One hour later…

In the center of the island was a huge mountain. And set into the mountain were a set of double doors – twenty feet high, and ten feet wide. They were covered in ancient runes that no human linguist could decipher, and strange depictions.

There was something else written on it too, but age and attempts to remove it had rendered it invisible to everyone except the most magically sensitive.

If you were sensitive enough, you would see this message, written ten times in ten different languages:

[B][color=red]There is no treasure here. There is no glory to be sought here. All that lies beyond these doors is death and incredible evil. If you value your life, do not proceed.

At this moment, someone was behind them.

“The coast is clear,” said a voice.

With a creaking noise, the huge doors slowly swung open. The six teenagers walked out into the open air.

The doors closed once again.

“Well,” hissed one of the boys (clearly the oldest), “the three of them are in Petalburg… I do not think attacking en masse would be a good idea…”

“Guess we should draw straws,” suggested another one of the boys.

“Aye,” said one of the girls. “I be got it covered…”

She drew a fancy cutlass from her hip, and with one swipe, chopped off a bunch of reeds that were growing nearby.

She picked up six of them, and broke one in half. Then she closed her fist around them, leaving the tops sticking out.

“Shortest straw wins,” she said.

They all reached for a straw… and as it turned out, the other girl got the short one.

“Super!” she exclaimed. “Like, I win!”

“Terrific,” sighed another one of the boys. “Our kid sister gets the first crack.”

“You think I can’t handle it?” she giggled. “I’m like totally gonna bury them! I’ve even got a totally killer idea on how to do it!”

She turned to one who had commented.

“Leopold,” she beamed. “I’m gonna need that special card that mom told you to hang on to!”

“What?” grumbled Leopold.

He took a card out of his belt.

“Are you sure, Melissa?” he asked. “Mom warned us against using this card…”

“Duh, I’m not gonna duel with it!” laughed Melissa. “I’m like totally gonna use it as bait. Once that bimbo hears about this card, she’ll like never be able to resist coming to get it!”

She snatched the card.

“Buh-bye, folks!” she laughed.

She melted into a globe of pure light and sped over the horizon.

One of the other boys turned to Leopold.

“Betcha she gets her little ass kicked good,” he stated.

“I’d take that bet, but I don’t like losing,” was the reply.

The stage was set… and in another part of Monster Island, another duel was in progress…

And it wasn’t a very friendly one…



[color=orange]Coming up next:

Stan and Francesca, meet Andy! And Andy finds his first challenge, a mysterious person who’s deck packs one of the most dreaded creatures in the game! (Anybody who plays the game can attest to that.) Plus, learn more about what Melissa is plotting. Don’t miss “On the Village Green”, coming soon…

Dark Sage
8th July 2005, 01:11 PM
[color=red]My name is Andy Markova…

…and I love Dragons.

Who wouldn’t? Dragons are fantastic creatures, who have been the stars of mainstream fantasy since fantasy existed. In many books and movies, Dragons have been depicted as incredibly powerful creatures who could lay waste to cities. J.R.R. Tolkien, known by some as the Father of Modern Fantasy, knew that well when he wrote The Hobbit[I].

[color=red]When I decided to get into dueling, I decided on Dragons as my theme. I built a deck of cards that has rarely ever failed me…

Heck, I even managed to obtain Red Eyes Black Dragon, the trademark card of the famous Joey Wheeler! Explaining how I got that card – and two other Monsters that make it stronger – would be an adventure in itself.

Now I’m on Monster Island, and I’m ready to set my Dragons free to prey on the competition.

It’s going to be quite a show…



[B][size=4]
CHAPTER FOUR



On The Village Green



Stan and Francesca were finally within sight of Petalburg. The meadow gave way to lovely cottages colored in pastel colors. A babbling brook spanned by a wooden bridge stood as the border between the peaceful meadows and the beautiful town.

As they walked onto the bridge, Francesca nudged Stan’s shoulder.

“Hey Stan, look at that…” she mentioned.

She pointed ahead to a hilltop to the north.

They both looked, and saw a dark, foreboding castle on the hill, about a mile away. It seemed out of place in this peaceful area.

“Strange…” muttered Stan. “Well, maybe… maybe we can check it out later… Let’s see if we can get some lunch first.”

They walked into the town, and the citizens took notice of them. They were cheery folk, all dressed in old fashioned clothing that looked spotlessly clean. It seemed that this was Monster Island’s version of Petticoat Junction.

“Uh, hi,” said Stan, waving. “Hello. Any place where a couple of duelists can grab a bite to eat?”

A rosy-cheeked young woman with pigtails came up.

“The inn is right over there!” she smiled. “And by order of the council, everything is complimentary for tournament guests!”

“Gee, thanks,” smiled Stan.

“I’m Betty, by the way,” she smiled.

The girl followed at a short distance as they made their way to the inn. Stan didn’t exactly know why, but he didn’t want to alienate himself. Be as nice to your hosts as you would be nice to your guests. That’s what his parents always used to tell him.

As he entered the inn, where wooden tables were set up in a large common room, someone was already there, sipping soda pop.

Andy noticed the two of them immediately.

Hey, he thought. Didn’t I see those two on the ship?

A serving maid came up to Stan and Francesca with menus.

“Hi, ya’all,” she grinned. “What can I get you?”

They looked at the menu.

“Hmm, the Reuben looks nice,” said Francesca. “And I’ll have French fries with that.”

“Yeah, and I’ll have the grilled chicken sandwich with cheese,” said Stan. “Hold the mayo. I’ll have a side of fries as well.”

“Right away!” smiled the waitress.

As she left, Andy came up to their table.

“Hi,” he stammered. “Uh, mind if I join you guys? We, um, met on the boat…”

“Oh yeah,” said Stan, recognizing him. “The guy with the Red Eyes. Pull up a seat. I’m Stan…”

“I’m Francesca,” responded Fran.

“Glad to… meet you,” answered Andy. “Oh! You can call me Andy! So how goes Monster Island so far?”

“Great!” smiled Francesca. “We’ve each got three Crystal Cards so far!”

“Aw, I still haven’t found anyone to duel,” muttered Andy. “But I’m sure to find one here…”

“There’s still time today,” assured Francesca. “Besides I… uh…”

Then she noticed something.

She looked hard at Andy’s neck.

“Um, Andy?” she asked.

“Yeah?”

“Can you show me that necklace of yours for a minute?”

Andy shrugged, as if wondering why she asked. He lifted up the pendant around his neck…

It looked exactly the same as Stan and Francesca’s pendants, except that the three stars were outlined with red coloring.

“Okay,” muttered Stan, “this is creepy…”

“What?” asked Andy.

Stan and Francesca lifted up their pendants.

“Let me guess,” said Stan, “that thing is a family heirloom, and your grandfather said it would bring you good luck when you competed…”

“Why yes…” gasped Andy. “How did you…”

Stan paused for a minute.

“All three of us have three antique pendants that our grandparents gave us for the same purpose,” he mused. “And look at the colors – yellow, blue, and red. The three primary colors. There has to be some sort of connection between these three things.”

“Maybe there’s a connection between us…” stuttered Andy.

“That’s not as farfetched as it sounds,” muttered Francesca.

She lifted her Disk.

“Everyone, at the count of three, draw the top card from your Disk…”

“Why?” asked Stan.

“Just do it!” ordered Francesca.

They all raised their Disks.

“One… two… three!” she said.

They all whipped off a card.

They showed them to each other – and they gasped.



http://www.itstimetoduel.com/cardpictures/SDY-030.jpg


They had each drawn Monster Reborn.

Everyone used this Magic Card… but they had drawn it at the same time. What were the chances?

They all felt a tingling deep in their hearts…

As they slowly shuffled their decks again, the food came to the table. They were too shocked to do much more than eat slowly…



* * * * * * * * * *


“What do you suppose it means?” sighed Andy, as they got up from the table. “Is it some weird trick of fate?”

“It can’t be a coincidence!” exclaimed Stan. “Somehow, by some means, we’ve met for a reason… But I don’t know what the reason is…”

“Maybe that’s why when I tried to duel you, something in my head wouldn’t let me!” he said to Francesca.

“Something wasn’t letting me either…” replied Francesca. “Something strange is…”

And then there was a sound like a noisy motorcycle erupting from outside, followed by panicked yells from the townsfolk.

They opened the door, and what sounded like a noisy motorcycle was indeed a noisy motorcycle, one that was giving off a great deal of exhaust. It skidded to a halt, destroying a bed of flowers next to Betty in the process.

Betty bent down and broke into tears. “The azaleas I just planted…” she sobbed, kneeling over them.

Andy, Stan, and Francesca looked as the biker took off her – yes her – helmet. It was a woman about nineteen years old, with long dark hair, wearing a revealing outfit. It consisted of a black, leather bikini top covered by a black leather jacket, black hot pants and leather boots. A pair of handcuffs was hanging from her belt. She had tattoos of thorny roses on her arms. A Duel Disk was strapped to her side.

The biker chick glared at Betty.

“Crybaby,” she scowled. She lifted her boot and shoved the poor girl over in the forehead.

At that point, a change came over Andy. This happened every so often. He was usually shy and meek, but at times like this, when a challenge was presented, that personality gave way to a much braver and confident one…

“HEY!” he shouted, running up to the scene. “Didn’t anyone ever tell you what happens to folks who pick on people weaker than them?”

The biker girl smiled.

“Who’s gonna stop me, cutie?” she grinned. “You?”

“I don’t know how you managed to get a motorcycle on the boat over here…” started Andy.

“There are ways to do everything,” smiled the biker, “so long as you know what palms to grease!”

By this time, Stan and Francesca were helping the sobbing Betty to her feet.

“You got a name, by the way?” asked Andy.

“Call me what my gang calls me,” smiled the girl. “Poison.”

“Well, Poison, I see you’re a duelist…”

“That’s right,” smiled Poison, “and I already have three Crystal Cards. My first opponent was no challenge whatsoever!”

“Well,” said Andy, shuffling his deck, “I’ll give you a chance to get a fourth, so long as you accept another wager. If I win, you get on your bike and leave Petalburg for good.”

Poison smiled.

She walked up to Andy.

“Okay,” she grinned. “But if I win, you have to…”

She whispered something into Andy’s ear. His eyes opened wide.

He gave a look of disgust…

“Deal?” asked Poison.

“Okay, fine,” snarled Andy. “The village green over there will make a suitable arena.”

Stan, Francesca, and Betty came up to him.

“What did she whisper to you?” asked Stan.

“Trust me, you don’t want to know…” snarled Andy.



* * * * * * * * * *


Poor Betty had been traumatized by losing her flower garden, but now she seemed happier.

“I can’t believe I’m finally gonna see a duel!” she squeaked. “I’ve been waiting months for this!”

“Really?” smiled Stan. “Well, I can tell you, they can get quite intense…”

“Well, let’s hope that Andy knows what he’s doing,” sighed Francesca.

Andy and Poison stood five meters apart, and loaded their decks.

“I hope you’re ready, Andy,” smiled Poison. “My deck has one of the most dreaded forces ever to grace the face of Duel Monsters!”

“Yeah, right, sure,” shrugged Andy. “Whatever…”

He lifted his Disk, and the holo-imagers shot out. The two sides snapped together.

Poison did the same.

The Life Point counters set to 8,000 apiece.

Andy’s eyes narrowed.

“It’s time to duel,” he whispered. “As they say…”

“Uh, is it just me,” muttered Francesca, “or is Andy putting on a whole different personality than when we met him?”

“He must take this serious…” answered Stan.

“I’ll start off this show,” said Poison, making her first draw.

Perfect! she thought. My secret weapon right in my first hand! But I’m going to need some help from this loser to bring it out…

“For my first move,” she stated, “I’ll place a Monster facedown in Defense Mode, and that will be all…”

She put the card down, and a facedown card appeared in front of her.

Well, that’s unusual, thought Andy, drawing.

Heh, this will do…

“I summon… Cave Dragon in Attack Mode!” he exclaimed.

He put a card down, and a huge form appeared. It was a bulky, fat, green-scaled Dragon with no wings, large horns growing from its temples, and spikes on its shoulders and tail. It exuded an aura of both strength and sluggishness at the same time. (2,000/100)



http://www.itstimetoduel.com/cardpictures/LOD-EN040.jpg


“Eep!” shrieked Poison.

She paused.

“Well,” she said, calming down, “are you going to attack, or aren’t you?”

“I can’t,” answered Andy. “Cave Dragon is strong for a four-star Monster, but it has limitations. It can’t be summoned if another Monster is on the field, and it can’t attack unless another Dragon is on the field. So I’m ending my turn.”

Hmm, thought Francesca. Andy just took a risk there… If Poison sacrifices her facedown Monster for a stronger one, he might be in trouble…

Poison drew. She put a card down.

“Okay,” she said. “I’m summoning Headless Knight in Attack Mode…”

Misty fog started to cover her side of the field.

“I don’t see any Headless Knight…” frowned Andy.

“That’s because he’s a phantom,” smiled Poison. “He hides in the shadows until the time is right to show himself…”

A ghostly shadow appeared in the fog.

“Ah, here he comes…”

A haunting laughter echoed through the fog as the creature stepped out. It was a man in ornate golden armor, carrying a shield and a sword, with – naturally – no head. (1,450/1,700)



http://www.itstimetoduel.com/cardpictures/LON-EN054.jpg


“EEK!” shrieked Betty. “That guy is spooky!”

“Don’t worry, Betty,” assured Stan. “He may look spooky, but he’s hardly a threat…”

“Are you scared yet?” grinned Poison.

“Scared of that?” laughed Andy. “This ain’t Sleepy Hollow, and I ain’t Ichabod Crane!”

“Fine,” smiled Poison. “I’ll place a card facedown, and that will end my turn.”

She placed a card into a slot, and it appeared behind her facedown Monster.

“Then I’ll draw,” said Andy.

“I’m activating a Trap!” laughed Poison.

She hit her Disk, and her facedown card lifted. It showed a frightening picture of Dark Master Zorc casting a fiery spell on maidens who were fleeing from him.

“Zorc’s Revenge!” cackled Poison.

“And what does this Trap Card do, exactly?” scowled Andy.

“Oh, you’ll see!” laughed Poison.

Andy looked at the card he had just drawn.

Spear Dragon.

Time to show her how it’s done, he thought.

“I summon Spear Dragon in Attack Mode!” he shouted, placing a card down.

A small, winged Dragon with a long beak appeared, hovering next to Cave Dragon. (1,900/00)

“Now,” ordered Andy, “Cave Dragon, attack her Headless Knight with noxious breath!”

Cave Dragon opened its great maw and shot forth a blast of poisonous gas. Headless Knight moaned, and was blasted into pixels.

Poison’s Life Points fell down to 7,450.

“Yay!” shouted Betty. “No more Headless Knight!”

“Seems your Knight just lost a lot more than his head!” laughed Andy.

“Don’t celebrate yet,” smiled Poison.

Her Zorc’s Revenge card started to glow, and suddenly, dark flames erupted around Andy! He screamed as they burned, and his Life Points fell to 7,500.

“My Continuous Trap will deduct 500 Life Points from you any time you destroy one of my Fiends!” smiled Poison. “Clever, isn’t it?”

Andy snarled.

“Spear Dragon,” he commanded, “attack her defensive Monster with cyclone blast!”

Spear Dragon shot a whirlwind from its mouth towards the hidden Monster. A strange creature appeared on the card. It was purple, green, and glossy black, and resembled a colorful fiendish head. On its forehead was a beautiful woman’s head, and trailing behind it were long tendrils. Two long arms ending in claws sprouted from its sides, and a very long, ridged tail trailed behind it. (2,000/800)



http://www.itstimetoduel.com/cardpictures/LON-EN013.jpg


Spear Dragon’s blast blew it to pieces. Poison’s Life Points fell down to 6,350.

“Nuvia the Wicked?” questioned Andy. “You actually tried to use Nuvia the Wicked? That’s the most useless Monster there is!”

“Have you forgotten that Nuvia is a Fiend?” smiled Poison.

Andy screamed as the dark flames blazed around him again. His Life Points fell to 7,000.

He gasped.

“I end my turn,” he snarled.


Continued...

Dark Sage
8th July 2005, 01:13 PM
Continued from last post:

Spear Dragon folded its wings, and switched into Defense Mode.

Poison drew.

“I summon Earthbound Spirit in Defense Mode,” she said, putting a card down.

The ground in front of her rumbled, and a frightening form that looked like a man made of dirt with a sunken face crawled halfway out of the ground. (500/2,000)

“And it’s your move,” smiled Poison.

Huh? thought Andy. She obviously saw that Spear Dragon switched to Defense after it attacked, and it has zero Defense Points… but she didn’t even TRY to destroy it? Something’s up…

He drew.

Her loss…

“Now,” smiled Andy, “I’ll sacrifice my Spear Dragon to summon Luster Dragon #2!”

He switched cards, and Spear Dragon vanished. A huge emerald appeared, and then it burst, forming into a huge, emerald Dragon with beautiful, sparkling wings! (2,400/1,400)

This may cost me some Life Points, he thought, but it will cost her more!

“Luster Dragon,” ordered Andy, “erode her Earthbound Spirit with emerald flash blast!”

Luster Dragon threw back its head, and shot forth a blast of green energy, blowing Earthbound Spirit into an explosion of soil!

“Yike…” gulped Poison.

The Zorc’s Revenge card glowed, and Andy was burned by the black flames again! His Life Points fell to 6,500.

“And now that that’s done,” snarled Andy, “you have nothing to protect you from my Cave Dragon! Cave Dragon, attack her Life Points directly!”

Cave Dragon belched forth his venomous gust, and Poison screamed, tumbling backwards!

She groaned and got up. Her Life Points had been reduced to 4,350.

“Yay!” shouted Betty. “Andy is winning!”

“I dunno…” muttered Francesca. “This all seems a little TOO easy…”

“Yeah…” said Stan. “If she’s losing, then why is Poison smiling?”

Indeed, she was smiling. Smiling a wicked smile.

“Is that your move?” she grinned.

“Yes,” grinned Stan. “You’re down to almost half your Life Points, and I doubt you can summon anything that will stand up to my two Dragons…”

“Want a bet?” grinned Poison.

She drew.

She placed a card on her Disk.

A spooky, dim glow pervaded the whole arena.

“You did just what I wanted, handsome!” she grinned. “I had one of my most powerful creatures ready to go, but before she could make her grand appearance, three of my Fiends had to die first!”

Images of Headless Knight, Nuvia the Wicked, and Earthbound Spirit floated from her Disk and positioned over her head.

“So, I’ll simply remove them from play…” she chuckled.

The three images burst.

“And now I’ll summon a force of the most incredible evil that the dueling world has ever seen!”

A ghostly shape emitted from her Disk, and turned into a column of dark fire…

A sinister shape appeared within the fire. It was a vaguely female form with a bald head, pointed ears, blue skin, and evil-looking eyes. She wore a metal brassiere and kilt.

“Meet… [B]DARK NECROFEAR!” exclaimed Poison.

(2,200/2,800)



http://www.itstimetoduel.com/cardpictures/LON-EN065.jpg


“I should have known…” gulped Andy.

“Yeesh!” stammered Betty. “That Monster is creeping me out!”

“It gets worse,” sighed Stan. “Dark Necrofear is incredibly dangerous. One little slip and Andy could be in trouble…”

“Dark Necrofear,” commanded Poison, “attack his Cave Dragon with doom gaze!”

Dark Necrofear opened her evil eyes and blasted a burst of black energy! Cave Dragon roared, and exploded!

Andy’s Life Points fell to 6,300.

“It’s your move,” smiled Poison. “So, are you going to attack? Your Luster Dragon is stronger than my Dark Necrofear…”

“Fat chance!” sneered Andy, drawing.

He looked at his card.

“I know what Dark Necrofear’s effect is. If she’s destroyed, her ghost possesses one of my Monsters! And I’m not about to fall for that…”

He looked at the card he had just drawn.

“So first, I’m going to play Stamping Destruction!” he shouted, throwing the Magic Card into a slot.

The Magic Card revealed itself, and Luster Dragon slammed its foot into the ground, sending forth a shockwave! The Zorc’s Revenge card smashed to bits, and Poison fell down on her behind!

“This Magic Card not only destroys one of your Magic or Trap Cards,” explained Andy, “but it deals you 500 points of damage!”

Poison sneered as her Life Points fell to 3,850.

“Now, just to make sure you don’t send Dark Necrofear after my Dragon in a kamikaze strike,” he continued, “I’ll switch Luster Dragon into Defense Mode…”

He turned his card, and Luster Dragon folded its wings.

“And now, I’ll summon Masked Dragon, also in Defense Mode.”

He placed a card down, and a small, silver and red metallic dragon wearing a metal mask appeared. He also folded his wings. (1,400/1,100)

“Well,” smiled Poison. “Guess we’re going to have to do this the old fashioned way…”

She slid a card into a slot.

“I’ll play Tribute to the Doomed!” she exclaimed.

She discarded a card. A wave of mummy wrappings surrounded Luster Dragon and wrapped it up. Then a huge hand grabbed it and dragged it underground.

“EEK!” shrieked Betty.

“Calm down…” comforted Francesca.

“Now I summon…” started Poison.

She put a card down.

“…Malice Doll of Demise!”

A cackling laugh echoed over the field, and a demented wooden puppet holding a huge axe materialized next to Dark Necrofear. (1,600/1,700)

“Ugh,” gasped Francesca. “I didn’t know Pinocchio had an evil twin…”

“Malice Doll of Demise,” ordered Poison, “attack his Masked Dragon!”

The puppet cackled and flew forward, swinging his axe and lopping off the Dragon’s head.

“Nice try,” smiled Andy, “but you won’t be getting a free shot…”

A card flew out of his deck and he caught it.

“When Masked Dragon is destroyed in battle, I get to special summon one Dragon of 1,500 Attack Points or less from my hand or deck, so I’ll summon a second Masked Dragon!”

He placed the card down, and a clone of the first Masked Dragon appeared. (1,400/1,100)

“You made a big mistake using your Tribute to the Doomed on my Luster Dragon instead of the Masked Dragon,” smiled Andy. “Or your own Dark Necrofear, for that matter…”

Poison was clearly angry.

“Dark Necrofear, destroy the second Masked Dragon!” she commanded.

Dark Necrofear opened her eyes, and blasted the second masked Dragon out of existence.

Another card slipped out of Andy’s Disk.

“Clever, but I had three of them in my deck,” he smiled.

He put the card down, and a third Masked Dragon materialized. (1,400/1,100)

“Make your move,” growled Poison.

Andy drew.

Humph, he thought. This guy has just the same Attack as Dark Necrofear, but he isn’t immune to her effect – maybe I’ll save him for later…

He put a card down.

“I’ll summon Troop Dragon in Defense Mode,” he said.

Three tall Dragon-men with lizard-like heads and wings, carrying swords and wearing armor appeared. They knelt in defense. (700/800)

“Pathetic,” growled Poison, drawing.

She put a card down.

“I’ll summon my Grand Tiki Elder in Attack Mode!” she proclaimed.

She put a card down, and a fiendish witch doctor wearing a hideous tiki mask appeared in a cloud of shadows! (1,500/800)

“Now my Tiki,” she shouted, “obliterate his Troop Dragon with Tiki curse!”

Grand Tiki Elder moaned and chanted a dark spell, and Troop Dragon was eradicated!

“Nice try,” smiled Andy, “but when Troop Dragon is destroyed, I get to special summon another Troop Dragon!”

Another card flew out of his Disk, and he caught it. He put it down on his Disk, and another three Dragon soldiers arose in Defense. (700/800)

Poison cringed. “Malice Doll of Demise, take out the second Troop Dragon!”

The evil doll flew forward, and with one swipe, slashed the three dragons in twain!

Another card flew out of Andy’s deck, and he reached for it. He slapped it down on his disk, and a third Troop Dragon appeared! (700/800)

“Okay, I’m getting annoyed!” yelled Poison. “Dark Necrofear, wipe out the last one!”

Dark Necrofear glared with her doom gaze, and the third Troop Dragon was blasted to dust.

“Andy managed to put up quite a wall!” mentioned Stan.

“But it’s almost down…” muttered Francesca.

Stan drew.

Crud, he thought.

He looked at his hand.

Can’t risk bringing this guy out yet. This is going to hurt.

“I’ll pass this turn,” he said.

Poison grinned wickedly.

“Now I just have to destroy your last Masked Dragon,” she smiled. “Grand Tiki Elder, obliterate it!”

The Tiki cast forth its curse, and Masked Dragon was disintegrated.

“You’re forgetting that I can still use his effect to summon a Dragon with low Attack!” stated Andy.

A new card flew out of his deck.

“So I summon The Dragon Dwelling in the Cave in Defense Mode!”

He put the card down, and a huge, blue-skinned, rocky dragon with a bored expression formed on the field. (1,300/2,000)

Poison put her hand on her forehead.

“Does THAT have the ability to summon anything?” she asked.

“NO,” answered Andy.

“Good,” growled Poison. “Dark Necrofear, attack his last line of Defense!”

Dark Necrofear gazed, and The Dragon Dwelling in the Cave smashed to pieces.

“Now, Malice Doll of Demise, attack his Life Points directly!”

The demented puppet cackled and flew towards Andy, slashing at him with its axe! Andy gasped and fell over.

Betty shrieked.

Andy’s Life Points fell to 4,700.

“Summon anything you like, honey,” laughed Poison. “You’ll never defeat Dark Necrofear!”

Andy got up. He drew…

His eyes opened wide at the card!

“I play the Magic Card… Snatch Steal!” he shouted.

The Magic Card revealed itself, and a shifty-eyed bandit leapt out of it. He turned his head to and fro, and then grabbed hold of Dark Necrofear! She shrieked as she was pulled over to Andy’s side!

“What?” gasped Poison. “No! You’re going to sacrifice Dark Necrofear!”

“That’s right!” grinned Andy. “One of the easiest and safest ways to get rid of her! Since sacrificing isn’t destroying her, doing this doesn’t enact her lethal effect!

“So, I sacrifice your Dark Necrofear…”

He put a card down, and both Dark Necrofear and the bandit holding her faded away…

“And I summon a mighty Dragon who’s as deadly as his name… Des Volstgalph!"

An enormous Dragon arose, with dirty brown skin, think scales, and large wings. It stood upright and had wicked claws and a scorpion-like tail. (2,200/1,700)

“Now, Des Volstgalph, destroy that demented puppet with sandstorm blast!”

Des Volstgalph shot forth a stream of hot sand from its jaws, eroding the puppet into dust!

“I’m afraid you not only lost 600 Life Points from your Doll’s destruction,” smiled Andy, “but when Des Volstgalph destroys one of your Monsters, you lose an additional 500 Life Points!”

Poison’s Life Points fell to 2,750.

She snarled.

“It’s your move,” smiled Andy.

“Wow!” shouted Francesca. “Andy is on a roll!”

“And he got rid of that creepy Dark Necrofear!” cheered Betty.

Poison drew.

Well, he’s better than I suspected, thought Poison. But he hasn’t won yet…

“I’ll play my Pot of Greed,” she said, slipping a card into a slot.

The Pot appeared before her, and once again, a spectral arm reached out, and took two cards off the top of her deck. It handed them to her.

She looked at them. She made a slight smirk.

“I’ll place one card facedown,” she said, sliding a card into a slot.

The facedown card appeared in front of her.

“Now,” she said. “I’ll summon Melchid the Four-Face Beast in Defense Mode.”

She put a card down, and a spherical creature with four masks circling its body appeared. (1,500/1,200)

“I’ll also move Grand Tiki Elder into Defense Mode, and end my turn.”

She turned the card, and the Tiki shielded itself with its arms.

Hmm… thought Andy. Might be a Trap… but I can’t risk her getting a chance to summon something nasty…

He drew.

Polymerization? Not very good now…

“Des Volstgalph, destroy that creepy Tiki!” he shouted.

Des Volstgalph shot forth his sandy breath, and Grand Tiki Elder was thrown back and eroded into particles.

Poison’s Life Points slipped to 2,250.

“So what are you going to do now?” asked Andy, sarcastically.

Poison drew.

“Nothing,” she said. “I’ll pass this turn.”

Andy drew.

It was a strange Monster called Divine Dragon Ragnarok.

This will be good for later, he thought.

“Des Volstgalph, attack!” he shouted.

The Dragon prepared to fire…

“I activate… Shadow Spell!” shouted Poison.

Des Volstgalph roared as a mass of chains sprouted up, binding his arms, legs and neck. His Attack Points went down to 1,500.

“Shoot!” yelled Andy.

“Crud,” moaned Stan. “Now he’s in trouble…”

“My move I guess,” smiled Poison, drawing.

She placed a card in a slot.

“As now I play Mystik Wok!” she exclaimed.

A huge Wok appeared on her side of the field, and Melchid floated into it.

By sacrificing Melchid, I gain his Attack Score in Life Points!” laughed Poison.

Melchid turned into green smoke, and Poison inhaled it.

“Ahh!” she said, as her Life Points went up to 3,750.

Andy noticed that Des Volstgalph’s Attack went up to 1,700. Its other effect raised its Attack by 200 for each Magic Card played for the duration of the round. Not that it really would help…

“Dumb,” said Andy. “Now you’ve got nothing to protect yourself with!”

“Do I?” grinned Poison. “My strategy revolves around summoning Dark Necrofear… Do you really think I only had ONE Dark Necrofear in my deck? Actually, I have three!”

She placed a card down, and the same spooky aura surrounded the field.

Images of Melchid the Four-Face Beast, Grand Tiki Elder, and Malice Doll of Demise floated over her head.

“So I’ll remove three more Fiends from play…” she laughed.

The three Fiends shattered.

“…and my second Dark Necrofear arises!”

The dark pillar of flame appeared, and a second Dark Necrofear appeared, just as sinister as the first. (2,200/2,800)

“Not again…” shuddered Betty.

“Now,” she ordered, “obliterate Des Volstgalph with doom gaze!”

Dark Necrofear cast forth her lethal gaze, and Des Volstgalph burst into an explosion of sand.


Continued…

Dark Sage
8th July 2005, 01:18 PM
Continued from last post:


Andy’s Life Points fell to 4,200.

“Uh, Francesca,” muttered Stan, “does this mean Andy is in trouble?”

“I dunno,” said Francesca. “I’ve managed to defeat one Dark Necrofear a few times, but I never had to deal with two! That Fiend gives female Monsters a bad name…”

Andy looked at his hand.

One card could make this perfect, he thought. Just have to draw it…

He closed his eyes, and drew.

He stared at Poison.

“I summon a mighty Spellcaster known among dragonkind as… Lord of Dragons!” he shouted.

He placed a card down, and an imposing wizard appeared. He was dressed in black, with a cape, and wore a Dragon’s skull as a helmet. (1,200/1,100)

“And now,” continued Andy, “I use Polymerization…”

He slid the card into a slot.

“To fuse him together with a mighty creature called Divine Dragon Ragnarok!”

A large Dragon with a wise, aged face that seemed to be made of gaseous mist appeared on the field.

A portal opened up, and Lord of Dragons and Divine Dragon Ragnarok were drawn inside!



http://www.itstimetoduel.com/cardpictures/SDK-041.jpghttp://www.itstimetoduel.com/cardpictures/LOB-EN059.jpghttp://www.itstimetoduel.com/cardpictures/FET-EN002.jpg


“Bonded together, they form a creature of unparalleled might, a powerful force known as… King Dragun!

A huge form flew out of the portal. It was a large Chinese Dragon with a snaky body, golden scales, and a wise looking head that seemed to be surrounded by gaseous mist. His eyes glowed like golden orbs. (2,400/1,100)



http://www.itstimetoduel.com/cardpictures/FET-EN036.jpg


“Since Fusion Monsters can’t attack on the round that they’re summoned,” continued Andy, “I’ll just set a card down, and end my turn.”

He placed a card into a slot, and it materialized behind Kind Dragun.

“King Dragun?” said Andy, puzzled. “Francesca, have you ever heard of this guy?”

“Frankly no,” answered Francesca. “He… seems to be stronger than Dark Necrofear, but Andy is an idiot if he attacks!”

“I don’t know what your game is, Andy,” said Poison, drawing.

She looked at her card.

“So I’ll summon Witty Phantom in Defense Mode, and end my turn.”

She put a card down, and the gentleman Fiend in a purple tuxedo and derby appeared, kneeling in Defense. (1,400/1,300)

Andy chuckled as he drew.

“King Dragun,” he shouted, “attack Dark Necrofear with divine wrath!”

King Dragun roared! He breathed forth a blast of black flames at his foe! Dark Necrofear screamed, and was incinerated!

Poison’s Life Points fell to 3,550… and she cackled, as the lights around the arena dimmed.

“That was the stupidest move I’ve ever seen!” she laughed. “You must be asking to lose!”

A ghostly shape started to float towards King Dragun.

“Dark Necrofear,” commanded Poison, “take possession of King Dragun!”

The ghostly shape closed in on King Dragun… Stan, Francesca, and Betty bit their lips.

And then King Dragun let out a bellowing roar! The ghost cringed back in fear, and fled for safety!

“What?” stammered Poison. “Buh… My Dark Necrofear couldn’t possess it!”

“Yes!” smiled Andy. “Let me explain to you one of King Dragun’s potent effects! He’s immune to any Magic Cards, Trap Cards, or Monster Effects that specifically target, as are any Dragons that fight alongside him! Since Dark Necrofear’s effect is a targeting effect, her spirit simply cannot possess him!

“And since I have no other Monsters for her to possess, and she can’t possess your own Monster, she has to go to your Graveyard and STAY there!”

The ghostly phantom screamed, and then burst into pixels.

“Yes!” cheered Francesca.

“Hooray!” yelled Betty.

“Make your move,” smiled Andy.

Poison shakily drew.

And then she laughed. She laughed out loud.

“You may have defeated Dark Necrofear,” she laughed, “but I had another powerful Monster waiting in the wings!”

She threw a card down on her Disk.

“I sacrifice my Witty Phantom to summon Dark Ruler Ha Des!” she exclaimed.

Witty Phantom vanished, and a huge form arose. It was a hulking fiend in demonic royal garments, accented with a skull on the front and a crown with curved horns. He clutched a wine glass in one of his claws. (2,450/1,600)



http://www.itstimetoduel.com/cardpictures/LOD-EN001.jpg


“No,” squealed Betty. “That’s even scarier than Dark Necrofear…”

“As you can see,” laughed Poison, “this big guy’s Attack Score is just strong enough to defeat your Dragon! Face it, you’re history!

“Dark Ruler, attack King Dragun with Stygian blast!”

Dark Ruler Ha Des raised his arm, and shot forth a beam of blackness at King Dragun…

King Dragun fired his dark flames to meet the blast…

A huge explosion ensued!

Everyone turned away, and when they looked, the clothes of Dark Ruler Ha Des had been torn to shreds, and he was slowly disintegrating…

He vanished.

“WHAT?” shouted Poison. “HOW?”

Her Life Points fell to 2,600.

“Did you remember the facedown card I set?” chuckled Andy.

He pointed to it. It bore a picture of a red and gold dragon blasting a cornfield with flames.

“It’s a Quickplay Magic Card called Scorching Ruin!” he exclaimed. “This card can be activated during either Battle Phase, and raises the Attack of any Dragon by 1,000 points! It’s sort of like a Dragon’s version of Rush Recklessly, but better!”

He pointed to her.

“Now finish your move…”

Poison frantically searched over her cards…

There’s nothing I can do! she thought, in panic. I’m totally pinned down!

She bowed her head.

“I take it that means you end your turn,” smirked Andy.

He drew.

“This will do nicely,” he thought. “I summon Warrior Dai Grepher in Attack Mode!”

He put the card down, and a tall, handsome Warrior arose; he was muscular, and wore black, form-fitting armor and a headband. He carried a large greatsword. (1,700/1,600)

“Warrior Dai Grepher,” shouted Andy, “attack her directly with your steel sword!”

Grepher charged forward and slashed at Poison! She gasped and fell to her knees. Her Life Points fell to 900.

“King Dragun, finish her off!” commanded Andy. “Divine wrath!”

King Dragun bore over Poison… She cowered in fear…

He blew his flames all over her, and she let out a bloodcurdling scream!

“Yay, he won, he won!” shouted Betty.

“Boy, he’s good,” noted Francesca.

“Indeed,” agreed Stan.

The holo-imagers shut down. Poison was lying flat on her back with a pain-induced grimace on her face.

“All right you bimbo,” sneered Andy. “You owe me a Crystal Card, AND you have to get on your bike and leave this town for good. Now fork it over and amscray.”

Poison was beside herself with fury. She got up and threw a Crystal Card in Andy’s face. Then, without a word, she headed for her bike.

Within five minutes, she was gone, the sound of her motorcycle fading in the direction of Rogueport.

A large weight lifted off Andy’s shoulder.

“Phew!” he said.



* * * * * * * * * *


“So,” asked Francesca, as they continued to tour the village, “you think you could tell us what would have happened to you if you had lost?”

Andy made a face.

“Let’s just say it’s something that would have scarred me for a good long time,” he sighed.

“Your deck is pretty powerful,” commented Stan, “but I do have a question: Why did you put Warrior Dai Grepher in it? He’s not a Dragon…”

“Well,” shrugged Andy, “he may not be, but he can be used with a Dragon for a pretty useful combination. Maybe you’ll see eventually.”

“You know folks,” muttered Francesca, fingering her pendant, “like it or not, there’s something that’s connecting us. These things aren’t sold in just any souvenir shop…”

“Indeed,” agreed Andy. “And there are three stars on each of them…”

“Yes,” mumbled Stan. “Maybe we should stay together for at least a while – watch each other’s backs. After all, they say that unity is a powerful force…”

“Don’t my Amazons know it,” smiled Francesca. “So, partners?”

She held her hand out.

“Partners!” they said, putting their hands together.

“So,” asked Stan, “where do we go from here?”

“I dunno,” muttered Andy. “Did any of you see that spooky old castle on the way into town?”

“Yeah,” said Fran, with a shudder. “It gave me the creeps. It seemed awfully out of place in Petal Meadows.”

“So, you want to know about Hooktail Castle, do you?” chuckled a woman’s voice.

They turned around and saw a figure seated in a chair. It was a woman draped in a brown cloak and cowl that covered her face.

“I can tell you a few words about Hooktail Castle,” she said offhand. “Although I must warn you, the story is one that sends a lot of folk to dangerous ends…”

“We aren’t scared,” answered Stan.

“That might change,” chuckled the woman. “See, one thousand years ago, this area was terrorized by a wicked dragon named Hooktail. She was a powerful beast, stronger than any Duel Monster. And she preyed upon the people who lived in this town like a wolf among sheep.”

She chuckled.

“Being a dragon, maidens were her favorite food,” she continued. “But eventually, such fare was her undoing. A warrior maiden from another land carrying a powerful sword confronted her in her castle, and slew her, ending the threat.

“The warrior and her companions looted Hooktail’s treasure, but it was said that there was a powerful artifact in that place that they missed – one that remains there to this day.

“Listen closely. It is said that where Hooktail’s bones lie, a guardian protects her final treasure, and only one who is skilled with Earth Monsters can defeat the guardian and claim this powerful relic.”

She chuckled.

“Wow,” said Francesca, in wonder.

She took out her deck and leafed through it.

“Skilled with Earth Monsters, huh?” she mused. “All of the Amazons are Earth Monsters! I should have no problem getting that treasure!”

“Fran, are you sure?” asked Stan. “It might be dangerous…”

“Relax,” smiled Francesca. “The people who are running this tournament probably put things like this in as extras – sort of like secret bonus levels to video games! That treasure might help us out a great deal!”

“Old timer,” she asked the woman, “how do we get to Hooktail Castle?”

“Just follow the dirt path up the hill to the north of town,” answered the woman, “and you’ll be led right to it.”

“Come on guys!” urged Francesca, “it’s only three o’clock!”

The woman watched as they hurried off…

And then she got up, and threw the cloak off.

She wasn’t old at all. Underneath was a young girl, about age fourteen. She had long, platinum blonde hair, and wore a silver halter top and shorts made out of spandex with no shoes. A Duel Disk was strapped to her arm. A wicked smile crossed her face.

“Hee, hee,” she giggled. “Like, they totally fell for it! Now to get there before they do, and once I do, that bimbo Francesca will be the first complete loser on this island!”

She spread her arms and transformed into a globe of shining light.

And then she flew quickly over the hills to Hooktail Castle.

Across the street, Lord Crump was watching.

He punched a number into his cell phone.

“Your excellence?” he said.

“What is it, Crump?” sighed the response.

“I think Melissa is up to something,” answered Crump. “She’s trying to lure your… guests to old Hooktail Castle.”

“Hooktail Castle?” answered the speaker. “Interesting.”

“Do you want me to follow them?” asked Crump.

“No Crump, I will view this myself,” was the response. “You just take a break for a while.”

“Uh, sure,” muttered Crump, “I can do that…”



* * * * * * * * * *


In her dark chamber, Melissa’s mother turned off her cell phone.

Hooktail Castle… she thought. I never maintained that old pile of stones after that… brat defeated Hooktail…

So, Melissa, what are you planning?

She waved her arm, and the large crystal ball in front of her came to life. An image of Stan, Andy, and Francesca walking up a hill on a dirt path appeared in it.

We’ll soon see…



ZORC’S REVENGE

Card Specs

Type: Trap/Continuous
Attribute: –
Level: –
ATK: –
DEF: –

Card Description: Image of Dark Master Zorc casting a fiery spell at maidens who are fleeing from him in terror. When a FIEND-Type monster on your side of the field is destroyed and sent to the Graveyard, inflict 500 points of damage to your opponent's Life Points.



SCORCHING RUIN

Card Specs

Type: Magic/Quickplay
Attribute: –
Level: –
ATK: –
DEF: –

Card Description: Image of red and gold dragon burning a cornfield with fiery breath. Increase one face-up DRAGON-type Monster's ATK by 1,000 points until the end of the turn this card is activated.



DES VOLSTGALPH

Card Specs

Type: Dragon/Effect
Attribute: Earth
Level: 6
ATK: 2,200
DEF: 1,700

Card Description: This powerful Dragon is said to make its lair beneath the desert sands. Increase the ATK of this Monster by 200 for each Magic Card played during a turn until the end phase of the turn. Also, when this Monster destroys an opponent’s Monster, inflict 500 points of direct damage to your opponent’s Life Points.

Note: “Des Volstgalph” is a promotional Japanese card that has not yet been released in the United States. It was first used by Yugi in the anime episode “Merger of the Big Five (Part 2)”.



[B][I]Coming up next:

The team is complete, but danger now lurks around the corner.

When the team reaches the dreaded Hooktail Castle, Melissa springs her trap, and Francesca is trapped in a duel where she faces a legendary Monster with incredible powers! Don’t miss “Some Light on the Subject”, coming soon…

Dark Sage
8th July 2005, 01:24 PM
[B][I]You ever have one of those really weird days?

One of those days where you enter a big tournament, get in your first win, and then partner up with two guys who seem to have a strange connection to you?

And then it gets even weirder? Someone directs you to a spooky castle, you start to see strange visions, you fight living Duel Monsters, you find the corpse of an ancient beast, and then a fourteen-year-old exhibitionist with magical powers forces you to duel her?

You ever have one of those days?

No? Didn’t think so.

But that’s the type of day I’m having right now…



[B][size=3]
CHAPTER FIVE



Some Light on the Subject



The grassy meadow gave way to briars and weeds, as the intimidating form of Hooktail Castle got closer and closer. Strange black birds circled overhead – the small group could not identify them, but they couldn’t shake the feeling that they were scavengers, waiting for the three teenagers to die so that their remains could be feasted on…

Francesca kept feeling flushed. Dizziness started to overtake her as they climbed the last hill.

“Guys,” asked Francesca, “can we stop and rest for a minute?”

“Sure, Fran,” said Andy.

They stopped, and Francesca sat down.

She closed her eyes…

Suddenly, a vision came to her – it was as if she was dreaming, but she was still wide awake.

She saw a female warrior wandering through a dark dungeon. She almost recognized her clothing – it was similar to Amazoness Paladin. But Francesca couldn’t see her face.

The warrior raised her sword, and carefully opened a door…

And then a shock came to Francesca’s closed eyes, as a horrible form appeared. The warrior had entered a huge, circular chamber adorned with torches and draconic gargoyles. Looming above the heroine was a great beast, a huge dragon with rust-red scales, huge claws, blunt teeth, and a great snout! It had small wings (proportionately), and strangest of all, the back of its head was adorned with what seemed to be four short ponytails.

As Francesca watched the vision, a great battle ensued! The dragon breathed searing flame at the young warrior and tried to stomp her flat, but she could not be touched! How long the fight lasted, it was impossible to tell… Finally, the heroine plunged her sword into the monster’s heart, and it crashed to the floor, dead…

The heroine turned and wiped the sweat off her brow. Francesca clearly saw her face…

No… thought Francesca, in horror. Her face… That warrior… She’s… ME!

“Hello, Francesca?” called Stan’s voice. “Earth to Francesca?”

She opened her eyes.

“Something wrong?” asked Andy.

“No,” sighed Francesca, getting up. “I was just… daydreaming…”

“Come on,” said Stan, “we’re almost there…”

As they trudged up the hill, Francesca’s mind was going a mile per minute.

What did that vision mean? she thought in confusion. Why did I see myself as one of my own Monsters… fighting a dragon? It has to mean something…


[B]
* * * * * * * * * *


Whoever built Hooktail Castle was a pretty good architect, but he built it with a sinister theme. It was made from blue stone, and strange towers and buttresses loomed overhead. In front of the team was a huge, skull-shaped wall with a drawbridge where the mandible would be.

“Welcome to Castle Grayskull,” muttered Stan.

“Well how do we get in?” pondered Andy.

Then, the drawbridge slowly lowered! The three youngsters backed out of the way as it crashed down.

“Someone must be expecting us,” sighed Francesca. “Well, let’s go in… this was my idea anyway…”


[B]
* * * * * * * * * *


The dark lady was sitting on her throne, watching the three progress through her viewing globe.

She got up.

“Keep going, you fools,” she chuckled. “You’re running right into my daughter’s trap…”

She went over to a fireplace where a violet flame was burning.

“But before you get there, maybe I’ll give you a little warm up…”

She took a deck of cards out of her dress and leafed through them.

“Hmm, Zombie Warrior should fit the locale…” she mused.

She tossed the card into the flames, and they blazed, turning from violet to green…

Strange energy spouted out of the mountain in the center of the island and darted towards Hooktail Castle…


[B]
* * * * * * * * * *


Stan, Andy, and Francesca got their first look inside Hooktail Castle. They were in a long hallway, lit by flickering torches.

Carefully, they started down the hallway.

“Hey guys,” muttered Andy, looking at a tapestry, “think this is supposed to be Hooktail?”

They all turned and looked at the aged tapestry, depicting a fierce dragon flying over Petal Meadows.

Francesca gulped. It was the same dragon in her vision!

“Let’s keep going…” she stammered.

They came to a doorway at the end of the hall.

Francesca slowly pushed it open…

“EEWW!” she exclaimed.

They looked into the huge chamber beyond, and saw that it was a virtual cemetery. Skeletons littered the ground, all of them carrying swords, shields, and wearing pieces of armor.

A very large doorway was across on the other side.

“You think these were… Hooktail’s victims?” gulped Stan.

“Don’t be ridiculous!” snapped Francesca, angrily. “There was no real Hooktail! This castle is all a big hoax. Now let’s find that ‘treasure’, whatever it is.”

She sighed.

“Ten to one, once I defeat some guy who works for Meyers, I’ll get some rare Duel Monsters card that works with Earth Monsters. It shouldn’t be too hard. And I’m betting this guy uses Dragon Monsters or… something…”

They started to cross the chamber…

And then the bones started to rattle…

“Huh?” said Stan, startled.

Before their unbelieving eyes, the skeletons started to move! They got to their feet, and raised their swords!

“So now what?” asked Stan. “This was your idea…”

“Just follow my lead…” whispered Francesca.

She screamed, and ran out the large archway!

“Works for me!” exclaimed Andy.

The two of them followed her, running from the creatures. Unfortunately, the creatures ran after them!

They ran down the hallway, with the bony creatures in pursuit. They entered a large, round room…

…with no exits!

“Sheesh, for things with no leg muscles, they’re coming fast!” shouted Andy. “Now what?”

The creatures started to enter the room…

“Hold it…” snarled Stan, turning to face them.

“What?” stammered Francesca.

“These things are Zombie Warriors,” said Stan with a smile. “They’re Duel Monsters! So we just have to summon something to fight them!”

“Huh… it couldn’t hurt…” answered Andy.

The three teenagers lifted their Disks, and flipped them into position. They drew the top cards from their decks.

The Zombie Warriors howled! (1,200/900)

“I summon… Skilled Dark Magician!” shouted Stan, placing a card down on his Disk.

The bulky-robed Dark Spellcaster materialized, waving his staff. (1,900/1,700)

“I summon… Masked Dragon!” yelled Andy.

He threw his card down, and the metallic Dragon with an iron mask on his face appeared next to Skilled Dark Magician. (1,400/1,100)

“And I summon… Amazoness Fighter!” shouted Francesca, throwing a card down.

The muscular female warrior appeared, and cracked her knuckles. (1,500/1,300)



http://www.itstimetoduel.com/cardpictures/MFC-065.jpghttp://www.itstimetoduel.com/cardpictures/SOD-EN026.jpghttp://www.itstimetoduel.com/cardpictures/MFC-060.jpg


The three Monsters faced the horde of Zombies…

“GO!” shouted their masters.

Skilled Dark Magician twirled his staff and fired a beam of dark magic at a group of the creatures, blasting them into pixels!

Masked Dragon breathed a fiery cloud at another group, and they were incinerated!

Amazoness Fighter leapt, and plunged into the midst of the third group! She slammed her fists into the bony Zombies, blowing them away!

Within minutes, the Zombie Warriors were gone, and the three victors stood above a parched floor.

Amazoness Fighter and Skilled Dark Magician shook hands. Then they patted Masked Dragon on the head – it growled happily.

“Gee,” muttered Stan, “we make a pretty good team.”

“Our Monsters seem to think so,” smiled Andy.

As the three creatures vanished, the team noticed that the room that formerly had no exit had one now. A spiral staircase (which had not been there before) was in the corner of the room.

Francesca shrugged.

“Let’s go,” she said, reshuffling her deck. “This game is getting fun!”


[B]
* * * * * * * * * *


In her dark chamber, the one who had created the Zombie Warriors sulked.

“Well that was a bust,” she growled. “I didn’t scare them at all!”

She stared at them as they ascended the staircase.

“Fun, huh?” she snarled. “We’ll see just how much fun you’re having after this is over, Francesca…”


[B]
* * * * * * * * * *


“Man, the Catskills have nothing on these stairs,” groaned Francesca.

They reached the top of the spiral stairway, and entered another long hallway, one with windows on either side. They looked out, and saw that they were several hundred feet up. The sun was starting to set. They walked down the hallway with Francesca in the lead, past fading paintings, torn tapestries, and burning torches.

They came up to a huge, ornate door, with an image of a frightening dragon’s face on it.

“Man, we’ll never open that,” sighed Stan.

The door slowly swung open, outward.

“Looks like we don’t have to,” stated Andy.

They walked into a huge chamber…

And drew back in fear!

In the center of the chamber was something that was beyond belief. An enormous skeleton, about a hundred feet long and ten feet high, was sprawled in the center. It was obvious what the creature used to be… It had clearly been a dragon at one time, one that had been bigger than any Duel Monster Dragon that they had ever personally witnessed.

“I… think we found Hooktail…” gasped Andy.

“Apparently, she was real…” gulped Stan. “And if that thing comes to life, I don’t know if any of our Monsters will be able to defeat it!”

“Calm down, people,” stuttered Francesca. “I’m sure this is all fake…”

But she was even more scared than they were. She recognized this room – it was the chamber in her vision, where the warrior who looked like her fought that dragon…

They looked around. A door was on the opposite side of the chamber.

They slowly started to make their way towards it…

Then a girlish giggle started to fill the air…

The three teens looked up, as an orb of bright light appeared in the air. It flew towards Francesca, and started flying in circles around her!

Then it flew away from her, and hovered in the air…

And then it grew into a man-shaped form.

The young girl, about age fourteen, stood before them, wearing a low-cut, silver halter top and shorts made of spandex and no shoes. She ran her fingers though her platinum blonde hair that fell to her waist.

“Hell-o!” she giggled.

Francesca frowned.

“Didn’t your mother ever tell you that girls your age shouldn’t dress like that?” she commented.

“Hee, hee,” chuckled the girl. “My mom is very liberal. You should see how she dresses!”

Her eyes glowed with white light.

“I’m the host of Hooktail Castle, and this is as far as you’re gonna get on Monster Island, Francesca!” she giggled.

A Duel Disk appeared on her arm with a flash of light.

“You’re spooking me out, kid,” sneered Stan.

“Then I’m, like, totally doing my job!” said Melissa with a girlish laugh. “I’m not the average duelist… I’m one of a group of siblings that works under the ruler of this island…”

“Ruler?” asked Andy. “I thought Monster Island was ruled by a council.”

“Hee, hee,” chuckled Melissa. “True, but not even most of them know who really runs this place! As for my little group, we are known as, drum roll please…”

Her eyes glowed again.

“…The Shadow Spawn!”

“Shadow Spawn?” gasped Stan.

“Allow me to totally introduce myself,” said the girl. “My name is Melissa, the Shadow Spawn of Light! I knew you’d come here once you heard about a treasure that only someone who could use Earth Monsters could snag!”

“So the treasure story was a lie?” snarled Francesca, angrily.

“Like, no!” laughed Melissa. “I do a lot of bad things, but I do NOT lie! I bluff and play nasty tricks, and tell dumb jokes sometimes, but I don’t lie…”

She pointed to the door behind her.

“The treasure is in there,” she announced with a grin. “If you beat me in this duel – which you won’t – you’re free to take it!”

“I won’t have any trouble defeating an airhead like you,” growled Francesca.

“You are totally out of whack,” laughed Melissa. “I may be the youngest of the Shadow Spawn, but I’ve been learning how to duel since before I was old enough to trick-or-treat!

“And might I add, once I outduel you, you’ll be stricken with a punishment too horrible for words!”

Francesca’s eyebrow lifted.

“Explain yourself…” she growled.

“I don’t want to worry you…” assured Melissa.

“Fran,” said Andy with caution in his voice, “this chick is weird. Maybe we should just turn around and…”

The door they had gone through slammed shut behind them.

“You’ll find escaping is like totally impossible!” laughed Melissa. “Now let’s get started… And we’re going to be dueling in the perfect place!”

She pointed at Francesca, and a glow of light surrounded her. Before Francesca knew it, she was lifted up off the floor!

Francesca tried to struggle, but it was no use. She was pulled up over Hooktail’s skeleton, and then set down on the back of his vertebrae!

Then Melissa appeared, standing between Hooktail’s clavicles.

“Like, original, ain’t it?” she chuckled.

“You want to duel on top of a dragon’s moldering corpse?” sneered Francesca. “That is… ghoulish…”

“Hey, I don’t hear old Hooktail complaining!” laughed Melissa. “Now let’s start this!”

“Whatever you say…” snarled Francesca.

“Come on, Fran!” shouted Andy. “You can beat her!”

“Yeah!” shouted Stan. “Just have faith in yourself, and she won’t stand a chance!”

Francesca lifted her Disk, and the holo-imagers shot out, alighting themselves on Hooktail’s pelvic bones. Melissa activated her own Disk, and her imagers alighted on the dragon’s clavicles.

The Disks snapped into place.

“Like, it’s time to duel!” laughed Melissa.

They inserted their decks, and the Life Point counters set to 8,000 each.



Continued...

Dark Sage
8th July 2005, 01:26 PM
Continued from last post:


In her dark throne room, Melissa’s mother was watching the proceedings, and she wasn’t exactly happy.

“Well, Melissa,” she growled, “thanks to your big blabbermouth, now they know one of the secrets of how this island works…

“So you’d better not fail…

“Now that they’re no longer totally in the dark, I can’t let them survive that much longer. We have to take them out fast.

“So don’t even think about losing…”



* * * * * * * * * *


Meanwhile, a lot of things were going through Francesca’s head as she drew her first hand.

In the last ten minutes, her skepticism had shrunk a great deal.

Either this kid’s special effects skills were taught to her by Industrial Light and Magic, she thought, or she’s using REAL magic. I’ve got to be careful…

She looked at her hand.

Hmm, not too shabby… she thought.

“I’ll make the first move,” chuckled Melissa, drawing her first card.

She looked at it.

Excellent, she thought.

“I’ll start by playing my Pot of Greed,” she said, placing a card into a slot.

The jar appeared in front of her, and it handed her two cards from her deck.

“What better card to start things off, considering where we are?” she asked. “Like, dragons are greedy creatures, what with all the treasure they’ve got!”

She placed a card down on her Disk.

“Now, I’ll summon Spirit of the Harp in Defense Mode!” she giggled.

A light shone from above, and a beautiful woman in a golden robe appeared, holding a large, golden harp. (800/2,000)



http://www.itstimetoduel.com/cardpictures/LOB-EN078.jpg


“Hmm!” noted Stan.

“Well, she said she was the Shadow Spawn of Light,” muttered Andy, “and that is a Light Monster…”

“And now,” continued Melissa, “I’ll play Card Destruction!”

She threw the Magic Card into the slot, and it appeared.

“No!” gasped Francesca.

“Now we’ll have to discard our hands and start afresh!” laughed Melissa.

Francesca growled. She discarded her five cards and drew another five.

“Your move now,” said Melissa with a big grin.

Francesca drew.

“I’ll summon a Warrior known as Amazon Archer, in Attack Mode!” exclaimed Francesca.

She placed a card down, and a slim woman appeared. She had short hair, and wore a brown halter top, jacket, and shirt. She carried a quiver of arrows on her back and held a bow. She drew an arrow and fitted it into her weapon. (1,400/1,000)



http://www.itstimetoduel.com/cardpictures/LON-EN032.jpg


“My Archer may not be able to pierce your defense, but soon I’ll have someone who can!” threatened Francesca.

“Ooh, I’m so scared!” mocked Melissa.

She drew.

“I’ll place one card facedown on the field,” she quipped.

She fitted a card into a slot.

“And now I’ll play this Magic Card,” she continued. “Card of Safe Return!”

She fitted another card into a slot, and it revealed itself in front of her.

“Card of Safe Return?” asked Andy. “What does that do?”

“It’s a very situational Continuous Magic Card,” replied Stan. “It will let Melissa draw one card whenever she Special Summons a Monster from her Graveyard… But I don’t see what her strategy is…”

“Now I’ll turn it over to you,” said Melissa with a smirk.

Francesca drew. She grimaced.

“Don’t like what you’ve got in your hand, Fran?” smiled Melissa. “Well maybe I an help… I’m activating a Trap!”

Her facedown card lifted. It showed the image of three cards on fire.

“Multiple Destruction!” she laughed.

“What does that do?” asked Francesca.

“It’s the Trap version of a Morphing Jar!” giggled Melissa. “Now we both have to discard our hands, and draw five new cards!”

Francesca growled again.

“Of course, a card this powerful totally has a drawback,” chuckled Francesca. “The duelist using it has to pay 200 Life Points for every card she discards!”

She discarded her three cards, and her Life Points fell to 7,400. Then she drew five more.

Francesca discarded her hand and drew five more cards.

All she’s done so far is summon one Monster, play one useless Magic Card, and pitch cards into her Graveyard, she thought. What is she up to?

She took a card from her hand.

“I summon Amazoness Fighter in Attack Mode!” she stated, placing it down.

The beefy Warrior woman appeared. She flexed and glared at Spirit of the Harp. (1,500/1,300)

“Make your move, Shadow-spore,” mocked Francesca.

“It’s Shadow SPAWN, ignoramus!” pouted Melissa. “And I’ll move all right…”

She drew.

“This will do nicely!” she exclaimed.

She added the card to her hand, and then chose another one. She opened her Field slot.

“I hope you brought your sunglasses, Francesca!” she laughed. “I play the Field Magic Card… Luminous Spark!”

She fit the card into the slot, and suddenly, and intense light flooded the whole chamber!

“Ah! Too bright! Too bright!” gasped Stan.

“This Field Card raises the Attack Score of all Light Monsters by 500 points!” laughed Melissa.

“It also lowers their Defense by 400!” stated Francesca, “and your Spirit of the Harp is in Defense Mode!”

Spirit of the Harp’s stats changed to (1,300/1,600)

“Oops!” shrugged Melissa.

“Oops is right…” smiled Francesca.

She drew.

“Now I summon… Amazoness Paladin!” she shouted.

She put her card down, and the caped, sword-wielding Amazon leapt out with a war cry! (1,700/300) –> (2,000/300)

“Now, Amazoness Paladin, attack her Spirit of the Harp with Amazon blade!”

Amazoness Paladin charged across Hooktail’s vertebrae, and slashed through Spirit of the Harp! The Fairy screamed and burst into pixels.

“And now,” yelled Francesca, “you have nothing to protect yourself from my other two Amazons! Amazoness Fighter, attack her Life Points directly with savage kick!”

Amazoness Fighter ran forward and slammed her knee into Melissa’s gut!

Stan, Andy, and Francesca gazed in shock. Melissa didn’t even flinch!

But her Life Points did fall to 5,900.

Francesca was dumbfounded for a minute. But she regained her composure.

“Amazon Archer, attack her with arrow of the Amazons!” she ordered.

Amazon Archer raised her bow, and the arrow burned with energy! She fired, and it struck Melissa in the chest!

Again, Melissa didn’t seem to feel a thing as her Life Points fell to 4,500.

“Hee, hee,” she giggled. “Your Amazons are like, a bunch of wimps! They barely made me blink!”


[B]
* * * * * * * * * *


In her dark chamber, Melissa’s parent was watching and chuckling.

Very clever Melissa, she thought. You chose your choice of an arena admirably…

Francesca doesn’t know it, but fighting atop of Hooktail’s bones gives you an advantage that she doesn’t have. Hooktail may have been a dismal failure to me as a pet and bodyguard, but she was still powerful…

So powerful, that even her thousand-year-old skeleton still contains traces of my power within, enough to continue her job as a bodyguard. And anyone in contact with it can draw upon the power if they know how...

So long as anyone with my blood stays close enough to her corpse, it is difficult for physical harm or pain to befall her. It may not help Melissa as far as actual dueling is concerned, but it will keep her from being worn out…

It’s not cheating so long as the rules of the duel aren’t tampered with…


[B]
* * * * * * * * * *


“For someone who’s lost almost half her Life Points, Melissa sure seems to be in a very cheery mood,” said Stan, suspiciously.

“Like, totally!” said Melissa with a devilish grin. “Thing is, I wanted your friend to kill my Spirit of the Harp – she was just in the way! Now my true strategy can be, like, unveiled!”

She drew.

She took a card from her hand.

“First, I’ll summon a Warrior known as The Creator Incarnate!” she laughed.

She put a card down, and a tall form appeared. It was a knight in glowing, golden, ceremonial armor, holding a shining blade. (1,600/1,500) –> (2,100/1,100)



http://www.itstimetoduel.com/cardpictures/RDS-EN006.jpg


“No!” gasped Andy. “That Warrior is more powerful than any of Francesca’s Amazons!”

“True!” smiled Melissa. “I could use The Creator Incarnate to destroy Francesca’s wimpy Warriors… However, I have another plan for him!

“You see, when I summon The Creator Incarnate to the field, I can instantly sacrifice him for a MUCH more powerful Monster, one that will spell your friend’s doom! So, Creator Incarnate, buh-bye…”

She put down another card, and The Creator Incarnate vanished into sparkles.

“…I sacrifice you to summon… [B]THE CREATOR!”

A much brighter light shone on Melissa’s side of the field, so bright it was almost blinding. A huge form, almost twenty feet tall arose on Hooktail’s shoulders, resembling a hulking giant made of golden metal, with powerful arms, and a strange disk on his back inscribed with ancient runes. He glowed with unearthly light!

(2,300/3,000) –> (2,800/2,600)



http://www.itstimetoduel.com/cardpictures/RDS-EN005.jpg


“YAAH!” yelled Stan.

“What is THAT thing?” shouted Andy.

Francesca gulped.

An aura of white hot flames started to surround Melissa. She laughed.

“Hee, hee,” she giggled. “The Creator is a divine being who was born in the flames that created the world! And its power is, like, unbeatable!”

She calmed down, and the flames around her subsided.

“Allow me to explain how this totally cool Monster works,” she said with a calm look. “Once per round, by discarding one card from my hand, I can use his ability to Special Summon any Monster from my Graveyard!”

“That’s why you dumped so many cards into it!” gasped Francesca. “So you’d have powerful creatures that you could summon without making sacrifices!”

“Bingo!” laughed Melissa. “And thanks to my Card of Safe Return, which lets me draw a card whenever I Special Summon a Monster from my Graveyard, I’ll always have something to discard!”

“Stan…” gulped Andy, “Melissa’s in trouble…”

“Now, I’ll activate its effect right now,” smiled Melissa, “and discard one card…”

She slid a card into her discard slot.

“Creator, do your stuff!” she shouted.

The Creator raised its arm, and a bolt of lighting struck the bony playing field. A tall form arose… It was a man dressed in fancy armor that was pure white, with green flared outcroppings over his arms and shoulders and puffy yellow trousers. An odd ring with runes on it was on his back. His face was slate grey, his eyes glowing red, and he wore a simple crown with a red gem set into it.

“I summon Zaborg the Thunder Monarch!” laughed Melissa.

(2,400/1,000) –> (2,900/600)



http://www.itstimetoduel.com/cardpictures/AST-023.jpg


“No!” gasped Andy. “That guy can automatically destroy one Monster when he’s summoned!”

Melissa chuckled.

“Sadly, that’s only the case when he’s Normal Summoned,” she shrugged. “Since I Special Summoned him, I don’t get to use his effect. But nonetheless, he’s more powerful than anything I’d wager your friend has in her deck!”

Card of Safe Return glowed, and a card flew off the top of Melissa’s deck. She caught it.

“Now, Zaborg,” grinned Melissa, “attack her Amazon Archer with royal thunder!”

Zaborg raised his hands to the heavens, and lightning flashed! A lightning bolt struck Amazon Archer and she screamed! She burst into fragments.

Francesca’s Life Points fell to 6,500 as the other two Amazons cowered in fear… Amazoness Paladin’s Attack fell to 1,900.

“Creator!” yelled Melissa, “attack her Paladin with divine lightning!”

Lighting flashed all over the giant’s metal hide! He raised his arms, and lightning struck the Paladin! She was obliterated!

Francesca’s Life Points fell to 5,600.

“Easy come… easy go…” smiled Melissa.


[B]
* * * * * * * * * *


The unseen viewer was watching the battle with delight.

“Only a few more rounds,” she said in eager anticipation, “and my plans will be one third complete…

“And once this is over, the rest of the job will be incredibly easy. Once Stan and Andy see what happens to Francesca once she loses, they’ll be shaken and demoralized…

“Easy pickings…

“It’s all going according to plan…”


[B]
* * * * * * * * * *


“You think I didn’t, like, know about your Fighter’s special ability?” laughed Melissa. “I knew if I attacked her, I’d have done squat to your Life Points! So make your move so I can totally finish you!”

“I’m not out of this yet, Melissa!” cursed Francesca.

“Francesca!” yelled Stan. “Don’t give up!” have faith in yourself!”

Francesca drew.

Amazoness Blowpiper… she thought, looking at the card. Great, I draw the weakest Monster I have!

“I’ll place this Monster facedown in Defense Mode and end my turn,” she said, placing a card down.

“Sneaky,” chuckled Melissa. “But I truly doubt that that’s something with a powerful flip-effect!”

She drew.

“Time for The Creator to… create again!” she chuckled, discarding a card.

The Creator gestured, and lightning struck the other side of him. A huge Dragon, seemingly made of diamond, with two horns on its head and one protruding from its snout appeared in a flash!

“Meet the mighty Hyozanryu!” shouted Melissa.

(2,100/2,800) –> (2,600/2,400)



http://www.itstimetoduel.com/cardpictures/SKE-011.jpg


The Dragon hungrily eyed Francesca…

“This big guy isn’t nearly as bad as old Hooktail was,” said Melissa with an evil grin, “but it does the job!”

Card of Safe Return glowed, and another card flew out of Melissa’s deck.

She pointed her finger.

“Hyozanryu, attack her facedown Monster with diamond ray blast!” she yelled.

Hyozanryu reared back its head and shot forth a beam of pure light from its jaws! Amazoness Blowpiper appeared on the card, and cringed before she was incinerated.

“Zaborg, your turn!” laughed Melissa. “Destroy her Fighter!”

Lightning erupted in Zaborg’s hands and he shot his bolts forward! Amazoness Fighter was blown away.

“Now for the fun part…” chuckled Melissa. “Creator, attack Francesca directly! Divine lightning!”

The Creator raised his hands, and lightning flashed…

This… is gonna hurt… thought Francesca.

The lightning thundered into her, and seemingly through her! She landed sprawled on the left side of the pelvis!

“FRAN!” screamed Andy.

Her Life Points plummeted to 2,800.

I was right, she thought, opening her eyes. That… hurt…



Continued…

Dark Sage
8th July 2005, 01:31 PM
Continued from last post:



“You gonna keep give up, or do you want more of that?” laughed Melissa.

Francesca slowly rose to her feet…

“Okay, fine, whatever,” sighed Melissa. “Then make your last move.”

Francesca looked at the three powerful Monsters in front of her, and then at her hand.

Crud… she thought. I’ve got no-one who could stand up to these goliaths….

Fact is, there’s only one Monster in my deck that could possibly help… And I had to discard her when she played Card Destruction!

Maybe I should give up…

She slowly moved her hand towards her deck…

Melissa’s eyes glittered…

Francesca’s hand closed into a fist.

NO! she thought. I’m not going to give this brat the satisfaction! If I go down, I’m going down with honor!

She quickly drew her card.

She looked at it.

And she smirked.

“Well?” sighed Melissa.

“Melissa,” said Francesca, with a look of confidence, “I can read you pretty well… I think I know what your biggest dream in life is…”

“Huh?” said Melissa, somewhat annoyed. “Puh-lease, Fran, you know zero about me!”

“Oh?” chuckled Francesca. “You said you were the Shadow Spawn of Light…”

“And proud of it!” exclaimed Melissa.

“Then you obviously know that the three rarest cards in the world are Light Monsters…” replied Francesca.

Melissa looked shocked. And then she smiled.

“Heh, heh, you hit the nail on the head, Francesca,” she affirmed. “Seto Kaiba owns the cards I dream of owning… the three legendary Blue-Eyes White Dragon cards!

“And let me let you in on a little secret… Those cards will be mine eventually. Mom has promised, once me and my siblings take care of you and your friends…”

She pointed to Stan and Andy, who drew back in surprise.

“…that she’ll let me set a little trap for Kaiba. And once I destroy him, those three magnificent Light Monsters will be in my deck!

“They belong there… He totally doesn’t deserve them! Only a true master of Light deserves to own the Blue-Eyes!”

“Well, it’s funny you should mention that,” stated Francesca. “I have a similar dream – I dream of challenging the mighty Seto Kaiba as well. Why, you ask?

“Because… I have a weapon that would make him tremble!”

She showed her the card she had just drawn.

Monster Reborn.

“What good will THAT do?” laughed Francesca. “Nothing you can bring back from your Graveyard is strong enough to defeat any of my three Monsters!”

“I’m going to have to disagree with you on that, Melissa,” smiled Francesca. “You’re forgetting that in order to dump so many cards into your Graveyard at the start of this duel, you had to also make me dump a great deal of them!”

“Really?” chuckled Melissa. “So what’s this big, bad Monster that you’re going to summon with that card?”

“I’ll show you…” was the response.

Francesca fit the card into the slot.

“Arise,” she said. “Arise great Penumbral Soldier Lady!”

The card appeared, and a tall female form appeared. It was a blonde-haired woman, wearing an armored midriff and a skirt and metal boots and gauntlets. She carried a long sword with a hilt shaped like a crescent moon, and a huge shield, which also had a crescent moon symbol on it. (2,100/1,400)



http://www.itstimetoduel.com/cardpictures/SOD-EN033.jpg


“Wow…” muttered Stan.

“She’s beautiful…” gasped Andy.

“Hee, hee,” chuckled Melissa. “How is she supposed to defeat my titans? Her Attack power is weaker than all of them!”

Penumbral Solder Lady gave a mean look to Melissa and her three Monsters.

“In most cases,” replied Francesca, “the term ‘darkness’ means ‘the absence of light’. But in Penumbral Soldier Lady’s case, it also means the negation of it!

“Like I said, this Warrior could destroy a Blue-Eyes White Dragon with one swipe of her mighty blade! That’s because whenever she battles a Light Monster, she is assumed to have an extra 1,000 Attack Points!”

Melissa stopped short.

“Wait…” she said. “That makes… 3,100? No fair!”

“Penumbral Soldier Lady,” shouted Francesca, “attack The Creator with Sword of Shadows!”

Penumbral Soldier Lady raised her sword, and The Creator drew back in fright! The Warrior leapt into the air, and brought her blade down on the titan, cleaving it in twain! She leapt back, as it burst in an explosion of brightly-lit flames!

“All right!” shouted Stan.

“Way to go!” yelled Andy.

Melissa’s Life Points fell to 4,200.

For the first time all duel, Melissa looked scared.

The… The Creator can’t be Special Summoned from the Graveyard! she thought, in panic. I can’t bring it back!

“So much for that,” smiled Francesca. “Now it’s your turn, and unless you have a Light Monster that has more than 3,100 Attack Points, you’ll never defeat my Soldier Lady!”

“There are other ways to get rid of a Monster!” snarled Melissa.

“Maybe so,” frowned Francesca, “but I’m willing to bet your strategy relies so much on The Creator that without it, you’re nothing!”

“We’ll see!” snarled Melissa.

She drew.

“All right…” she said. “I’ll move Zaborg and Hyozanryu to Defense Mode…”

She turned the cards. Zaborg knelt, and Hyozanryu folded its wings.

“And now I’ll put this Monster facedown in Defense Mode,” she continued.

She put a card down on her Disk, and a concealed Monster appeared.

“Your move,” she snarled.

Francesca drew.

She chuckled and showed Melissa the card.

Pot of Greed.

“Just what I needed,” she said, placing it into the slot.

The jar handed her two more cards, and she looked at them.

“Now I summon…” she exclaimed, “Amazoness Priestess, in Attack Mode!”

She put the card down, and a strange Amazon appeared. She was a tall woman, with black hair tied in a long braid. She wore a leather bikini top and a long, white skirt, along with a necklace made of teeth. She held in her hands a wooden staff topped with a green crystal. (1,500/1,500)

“Huh?” gasped Melissa.

“Meet the spiritual leader of the Amazon tribe!” explained Francesca. “Amazoness Priestess can call upon the souls of her fallen sisters for aid in battle! In game terms, for every Amazon in my Graveyard, she gains 100 Attack Points!

“And in addition to the ones you destroyed, when you used Card Destruction and Multiple Destruction, you made my discard one Chain-Wielder, one Tiger, and another Fighter. That’s seven Amazons total, giving her an Attack Score of 2,200!”

The crystal on Amazoness Priestess’s staff glowed, and her Attack went up.

“Now, Penumbral Soldier Lady,” continued Francesca, “attack Zaborg the Thunder Monarch!”

The Dark Warrior leapt up into the air, and made a swipe with her blade! Zaborg groaned, and shattered into pixels.

“All right, Amazoness Priestess, attack her facedown Monster with spiritual magic attack!”

Amazoness Priestess thrust her staff forward and fired a beam of green energy…

A female Spellcaster in a fancy, purple outfit with her hair tied in a ponytail, holding a staff topped with a crescent moon appeared on the card. She cringed and was blown to pieces.

“Magician of Faith?” gasped Francesca.

“Uh huh…” said Melissa, with a nod.

A light shot out of Melissa’s discard slot and formed into a card. She took it, and added it to her hand.

“Is that your turn?” asked Melissa.

“Actually, no,” answered Francesca, choosing a card.

She fit a Magic Card into a slot.

“I play… Recruitment Drive!” she exclaimed.

A card revealed itself. It was a strange card, showing Amazoness Paladin shaking hands with Dark Magician Girl, while Amazoness Fighter stood in the background.

“Huh?” asked Stan. “What does that do?”

“Yeah, like what?” asked Melissa.

“I case you didn’t notice, Melissa,” said Francesca, “all members of the Amazon tribe are female…”

“Duh…” said Melissa, rolling his eyes.

“And also, in order to keep their special powers, they all must remain chaste and innocent, untouched by men… virgins, if you will,” she continued. “So that means they never bear children. No one is ever born an Amazon.

“Thus, there’s only one way for them to replenish their numbers – recruitment!”

Penumbral Soldier Lady started to glow with a strange light.

“Recruitment Drive can only be played and maintained while a true Amazon is on the field… but so long as it remains, all female Monsters on my side are considered Amazons.”

“So your Soldier Lady is an Amazon now,” sneered Melissa. “How will that help you?”

“In lots of ways,” answered Francesca. “I’ll end my turn.”

“So…” asked Andy. “Exactly HOW does turning Penumbral Soldier Lady into an Amazon help?”

“We’ll just have to see…” shrugged Stan.

Melissa drew.

“Perfect,” she smiled. “Take this… Swords of Revealing Light!”

She threw a card into a slot, and a wall of Swords rained down upon Francesca.

“You’re only trying to stall, Melissa, and it won’t work…” muttered Francesca.

“We’ll find out,” smiled Melissa. “In the meantime, I’ll play the card I recovered with the Magician…”

She fit the card into a slot.

“Emergency Provisions! I’ll use this to destroy my Card of Safe Return and my Luminous Spark, and in exchange, receive 2,000 Life Points!”

A huge mouth appeared and devoured the two cards. The blinding light subsided, Hyozanryu’s stats returned to (2,100/2,800), and Melissa’s Life Points went up to 6,200.

“Now I’m way ahead of you!” mocked Melissa. “Make your move!”

Emergency Provisions, thought Francesca, drawing. I have that card…

She looked at her card.

“I’ll summon my second Amazoness Paladin!” she exclaimed, slapping a card down.

Another Amazoness Paladin, seemingly a twin of the first, appeared next to Amazoness Priestess. She smiled at Penumbral Soldier Lady. (1,700/300)

“And thanks to my Recruitment Drive card,” smiled Francesca, “Penumbral Soldier Lady is considered an Amazon, so the Paladin gains the benefit of having three Amazons on the field!”

(2,000/300)

“Well there’s a use for it…” noted Stan.

“Big, fat, hairy deal!” scowled Melissa.

“Make your move,” sighed Francesca. “I’m going to spank you when this is over…”

“I’d like to see you try it!” snarled Melissa, drawing.

She frowned as she looked at her card.

“I’ll pass this turn,” she growled.

“Good,” said Francesca, drawing.

“I’ll place these two cards facedown on the field,” she stated, fitting two cards into slots.

The two cards materialized next to her Recruitment Drive card.

“That ends my turn,” she smiled. “Two turns to go…”

Melissa drew. Her eyes perked.

“I’ll place this card facedown on the field,” she said softly, “and that will be all for me…”

Francesca drew.

“I play… Card of Sanctity!” she exclaimed, throwing a card into a slot.

The card revealed itself, and a bright glow illuminated above the huge skeleton.

“Now, we can draw until we hold six cards in our hands,” she said, drawing.

Perfect, she thought.

“I’ll place this card facedown as well, and end my turn,” she stated.

A third facedown card appeared.

The Swords of Revealing Light disappeared.

“But on my next round, I’ll be free to attack, so watch out!”

“Indeed,” quipped Melissa, drawing.

“Eh,” she shrugged, “I’ll pass this round too…”

“She passes?” gasped Andy. “She knows that Dragon is no match for Penumbral Soldier Lady – she’s gonna get creamed!”

“She’s up to something…” mused Stan.

Wait! he thought. Her facedown card!

“Right!” exclaimed Francesca, drawing.

I’ll save this, she thought, looking at the Monster Card.

“Penumbral Soldier Lady!” she ordered. “Attack Hyozanryu!”

Penumbral Soldier Lady raised her sword and leapt to attack…

“You fell for it like the big idiot I knew you were!” laughed Melissa.

Her facedown card lifted.

“Activate… Nightmare Wheel!”

Stan and Andy gasped. A giant, fiendish wheel, studded with spikes appeared. Penumbral Soldier Lady shrieked as a set of chains grabbed her and she was chained to it!

“Heh, heh,” cackled Melissa. “I’ve not only captured your Soldier and rendered her helpless, but you’ll lose 500 Life Points every one of my turns!”

Francesca smiled.

“Guess again…” she smirked. “There are benefits to being an Amazon…”

She hit a button on her Disk, and one of her Trap Cards lifted.

“I activate Dramatic Rescue!” she shouted.

Penumbral Solder Lady transformed into a ball of dark energy, and then flew into Francesca’s Disk. The Nightmare Wheel vanished, and Francesca removed her card.

“What?” gasped Melissa.

“Dramatic Rescue can, as the name suggests, rescue any Amazon from any card effect,” explained Francesca. “It also lets me summon another Monster to the field…”

She placed a card down.

“So say hello to my Beautiful Headhuntress, in Attack Mode!”

A tall, beautiful woman appeared. She was wearing a fancy, blue kimono, and had blue hair tied back in an exotic hairstyle. She carried a large, sharp, executioner’s cleaver. (1,600/800)



http://www.itstimetoduel.com/cardpictures/TP2-011.jpg


“Eek!” squeaked Andy.

“Come on, Andy,” sighed Stan. “Your Dragons are scarier that that.”

“And because Recruitment Drive works on her too,” continued Francesca, “Amazoness Paladin retains her high score.

“Make your move.”

“Heh, heh,” chuckled Melissa.

She laughed out loud.

“You seem to have totally made a major error, Francesca!” she stated.

She drew.

“I’ll switch Hyozanryu back into Attack Mode!” she laughed.

She turned the card, and Hyozanryu reared up into attack formation.

“Now,” she continued, “I’ll use this to give it a boost – Elf’s Light!”

She threw a card into a slot, and a glowing fairy with a magic wand appeared above Hyozanryu. Its stats changed. (2,500/2,600)

“Hyozanryu,” she commanded, “attack Beautiful Headhuntress with diamond ray blast!”

Hyozanryu roared, and blasted forth its beam of light at Beautiful Headhuntress.

“I activate… Waboku!” shouted Francesca.

Another one of her Trap Cards lifted, and three women in blue cloaks rose to block the blast.

“ARRGHH!” screamed Melissa.

“Didn’t go quite the way you planned, did it?” smirked Francesca.

“Just move!” shouted Melissa.

“Gladly!” smiled Francesca, drawing.

“First,” she said, “I’ll sacrifice Beautiful Headhuntress to summon Penumbral Lady Soldier back to the field!”

Beautiful Headhuntress vanished, and Penumbral Lady Soldier returned. (2,100/1,400)

“Now my Soldier,” shouted Francesca, “slay her Dragon with Sword of Shadows!”

Penumbral Lady Soldier leapt into the air, and with one swift stroke, beheaded Hyozanryu!

Melissa’s Life Points fell to 5,500.

“Now, Amazoness Paladin, attack Melissa directly with Amazon blade!”

Amazoness Paladin ran up the bony surface and smote Melissa with her sword! This time, Melissa cringed a little. Apparently, there was only so much she could take.

Her Life Points fell to 3,500

“And now,” continued Francesca, “Amazoness Priestess, attack her with spiritual magic attack!”

Amazoness Priestess aimed her staff, and the tip glowed. She shot forth a beam of green energy, and as it hit Melissa, this time the Shadow Spawn actually screamed.

Her Life Points fell to 1,300.

“Make your move…” growled Francesca.

Melissa shakily drew.

She looked at the card.

She looked at Francesca and grinned.

“Oh, I’ll move – and you’ll lose!”

She placed a card down.


Continued...

Dark Sage
8th July 2005, 01:32 PM
“First I’ll summon Maiden of the Moonlight in Attack Mode,” she chuckled.

A beautiful woman in a long white gown with gorgeous, feathered wings materialized in a beam of soft light. (1,500/1,300)

“And now,” cackled Melissa, “I’ll play this Magic Card… the dreaded Lightning Vortex!”

She slid a card into a slot, and lighting started to erupt over the ceiling!

“All I have to do is discard one card,” she smiled, “and I’ll wipe out all of your Monsters!”

She discarded a card…

“No…” gasped Stan.

“Hold on,” interrupted Francesca. “Did you forget about my last facedown card?”

She hit a button, and her facedown card lifted.

“Activate… Magic Jammer!” she exclaimed.

“What? Magic Jammer?” gasped Melissa.

Francesca discarded one of her cards.

“That’s right,” she said with a big grin. “That means your Lightning Vortex fails!”

The Lightning Vortex card shattered, and the lightning stopped.

“NOOO!” yelled Melissa.

“Oh yes,” said Francesca, with a look of triumph, “and now to finish this!”

She whipped out a card.

“Penumbral Soldier Lady,” she commanded, “destroy her Maiden of the Moonlight and the rest of her Life Points!”

Penumbral Soldier Lady leapt across Hooktail’s backbone, and brought her sword down on the Maiden, blowing her into pixels!

Melissa’s Life Points fell to zero.

“No…” sobbed Melissa. “I… I lost…”

“You bet you did!” laughed Andy.

Melissa fell to her knees… She started to fade away…

“Don’t think you’ve won!” she cursed. “I was only the first! My siblings will bury you! You’re gonna… totally… be…”

She vanished.

Stan and Andy went up to the huge skeleton.

“Here Francesca,” urged Andy. “Let me help you down…”

As they were helping Francesca off the huge relic, a shadowy shape started to appear in the air. They looked up, as it slowly started to take shape…

They gazed at the shadow…

Before their eyes, it formed into a coldly beautiful woman in an exotic, revealing dress. She had flowing blonde hair, and wore an emerald necklace and a golden crown set with a single, large diamond.

Her eyes glowed white as she gazed at them.

“Eek…” gasped Andy.

“Hello, young ones,” she hissed in an intimidating voice. “Congratulations for defeating my daughter, although she was the least skilled of my children – you’ll find the others much more formidable.”

“Who are you?” gasped Stan. “And what do you want?”

“Allow me to introduce myself,” chuckled the woman. “I am the Shadow Queen. And as for what I want, I’ll keep some secrets to myself for the time being. But let’s just say, I’ve been waiting for you three for years!”

She chuckled.

“Good luck with the rest of the tournament,” she winked. “You’re going to need all the luck you can get!”

She laughed, and vanished.

“Well, that was…” started Andy.

“…spooky,” said Stan.

“She didn’t scare me!” exclaimed Francesca.

She turned to the door.

“Now that I’ve earned that treasure, I’m taking it!”

She went to the door, and opened it.

It was a small closet with a pedestal inside. On it was a Duel Monsters card.

Francesca carefully took it while her friends looked at it.

“It’s called ‘Earth Tremor’,” she said.

They read the description.

“Wow, this is powerful!” she exclaimed, “and it will work great in my deck!”

“Yeah,” muttered Stan, in awe.

Francesca sighed.

“You know people,” she said, looking around, “it’s getting late, we’re tired… Why don’t we spend the night here – camp out, sort of?”

Stan paused.

“You want to sleep in an ancient castle under the bones of a monstrous beast?” he asked.

He shrugged.

“Works for me…”



* * * * * * * * * *


Melissa came to in a vast cavern, one with no apparent exits…

She shivered… She knew this place…

“Melissa…” hissed her mother’s voice.

She looked up, and saw the Shadow Queen standing in front of her, carrying a Duel Disk.

“Mom, please!” begged Melissa. “I tried my best! How was I supposed to know she had… that Warrior?”

“Don’t make excuses, Melissa,” scolded her mother. “You should have tried harder.”

She frowned.

“And not only did you let Francesca beat you, you lost the Earth Tremor card!”

“Uh… What’s so important about that card?” asked Melissa. “It’s powerful, but…”

“Let’s just say that it was something I’d rather NOT have let Francesca get her dirty mitts on!” scolded the Queen. “Instead of helping me, you’ve impaired me immensely.

“Melissa, you are a big disappointment…”

She took six cards out of her dress. Melissa gulped.

The Shadow Queen held them out with their backs to Melissa.

“Now choose one, Melissa,” she growled.

Melissa groaned.

“Uh… second one to the left…” she squeaked in fear.

The Shadow Queen took the card and looked at it.

“Looks like you’re getting off relatively easy,” she grumbled, placing it into her Disk.

Dark energy flowed from the Disk.

“Nightmare Steel Cage!” she exclaimed.

Melissa gasped, as flames erupted around her, and a steel, dome-shaped cage studded with spikes formed around her.

She moaned.

“Now you sit there and think about this for a while!” scolded the Shadow Queen.

She turned to leave, and vanished.

“Oy,” croaked Melissa, leaning her head on her hands. “Hairdressing school is looking pretty good right about now…”


[B]
* * * * * * * * * *


Andy knew there were perks to having once been a boy scout.

Like being able to build a fire easily.

As they sat in Hooktail’s chamber, making s’mores, he spoke up.

“Man, Francesca,” he mused. “I thought you were dead meat for a while. Getting that Monster Reborn when you did was certainly a lucky draw…”

“Well…” sighed Francesca.

“To a true duelist, it has nothing to do with luck,” stated Stan. “It has to do with Heart…”

“Heart?” asked Andy.

“The Heart of the Cards…” muttered Stan. “Something my… ‘mentor’ speaks about quite often. See, if a duelist is dedicated and true, and he believes in himself and has faith in his deck, if he truly pure in his goals and his desires, his deck will come through for him, and he will defeat those who’s Heart is weak. I’m not one to judge, but Melissa had very little Heart – Francesca’s was much better than hers.”

There was a long silence for a few minutes.

“Know this,” stated Stan. “Always have faith, always respect your cards, and they’ll come through for you when the situation is bleak…”

There was a pause.

“Well,” said Andy with a shrug. “Who’s up for some scary stories?”

Francesca chuckled.

“I don’t know about scary, but I know a good story,” she said. “It all involves a Monster I keep in my side deck as a little… reminder of what the Amazons stand for…”

She took a card out of her side deck and showed it to them. It was a Warrior called The Unfriendly Amazon.

“Wow,” exclaimed Stan. “A 2,000 Attack for a four-star Monster? Why don’t you use her?”

“Because she has a drawback,” answered Francesca. “See, in order to keep her on the field, you have to sacrifice another Monster every round. And despite her name, she’s NOT an Amazon.

“Not anymore, at least.

“Let me tell you the legend of The Unfriendly Amazon…

“Long ago, the Amazon tribe had a member whose name and title are forgotten now. She wasn’t nearly as strong as the others – she was more or less the brains of the group. But she didn’t like having that position. She longed to be as mighty as her sisters, if not mightier.

“But no matter how much she trained and practiced, she couldn’t become as strong. It seemed she would always be the little sister among the tribe…

“Her dream became an obsession… And finally, against her better judgment, she found a way to contact a vile Fiend from the underworld. Exactly who this creature was is open to debate. Some say it was Dark Ruler Ha Des, others say it was Dark Master Zorc. But in any case, the Fiend said he would gladly grant the Amazon great strength – but stated that it would come with a price. She didn’t care…

“In her next battle, the Amazon found that her strength had indeed been doubled. She tore through her foes with reckless fury, and nothing could stop her.

“But soon, a downside of this power started to manifest. She now lacked the concepts of mercy and fair play. When a foe threw down his weapons and surrendered, she killed him anyway. When an enemy turned and ran, she stabbed him in the back.

“Eventually, this particularly violent Amazon who refused to follow the rules of war was becoming notorious among all people who knew of the Amazons, and her sisters were starting to take notice. None of the Amazons were exactly angels, but now they were being given a bad name, and people were starting to lose respect for them. Allies threatened to break off their alliances, and more enemies were made.

“The Amazoness Queen tried to discipline the rogue, but she only got more violent. When there wasn’t a battle to be fought, she went looking for one.

“At one crucial time, the Amazon attacked an innocent village and started killing everyone in sight. Two of her sisters came and tried to restrain her… only to be killed themselves.

“Now with a murderer on her hands, the Amazoness Queen had no choice. She had the killer hunted down, and brought to her in chains. Although her crimes were unforgivable, the tribe had no death penalty for their own members. The Amazon was still one of them, and they couldn’t condemn her die shamefully. Instead, the Amazoness Queen stripped her of all her powers as an Amazon, and banished her from the tribe forever.

“And furthermore, although she was clearly evil, it was taboo to call a fellow Amazon by that term. Calling an Amazon, even a former one, by the term ‘evil’, was like a blasphemy. So from that point on, the exile was known by the tribe as simply ‘The Unfriendly Amazon’.

“No one knew what became of The Unfriendly Amazon… To the Amazon tribe, she represented what happens when one seeks power that one shouldn’t tamper with – and that’s why I carry this card with me. It reminds me to know my limits…”

Stan shrugged.

“Quite a story,” he mused. “Well, I’ve got a story so scary, you might have trouble sleeping…”


[B]
* * * * * * * * * *


Watching with some amusement through her crystal ball was the Shadow Queen.

“Yes, it was quite an amusing story, Francesca,” she chuckled.

She walked over to her enchanted fireplace.

“And maybe I can use your story to my advantage. Your next opponent will be quite eager to defeat you…”

She drew a card from a deck, and tossed it into the violet flames. They blazed green.

“Come forth…” she commanded.

Two glowing eyes appeared in the flames…



[B]MULTIPLE DESTRUCTION

Card Specs

Type: Trap
Attribute: –
Level: –
ATK: –
DEF: –

Card Description: Image of three cards on fire. Both players discard their current hands and draw five new cards. The owner of this card pays 200 Life Points for every card he or she discards due to this card’s effect.

Note: This version of “Multiple Destruction” is a fanfiction version of a card used by Bakura in the anime episode “Showdown in the Shadows”. Nearly all creative credit goes to the writers of that episode.



AMAZONESS PRIESTESS

Card Specs

Type: Spellcaster/Effect
Attribute: Earth
Level: 4
ATK: 1,500
DEF: 1,500

Card Description: The spiritual leader of her tribe, this young woman can call upon the souls of her fallen sisters for aid. Increase the ATK of this Monster by 100 for every Monster in your Graveyard with the word “Amazoness” in its name, or is named “Amazon Archer”.



RECRUITMENT DRIVE

Card Specs

Type: Magic/Continuous
Attribute: –
Level: –
ATK: –
DEF: –

Card Description: Image of Dark Magician Girl shaking hands with Amazoness Paladin with Amazoness Fighter watching in the background. If there are no Monsters who originally had the word “Amazoness” in their name, or who are named “Amazon Archer” on your side of the field, destroy this card. So long as this card is in effect, all female Monsters on your side of the field are considered to have the word “Amazoness” in their name so long as they remain on the field.



[B][I]The adventure in Hooktail Castle is not done… Nor is poor Francesca out of trouble yet.

It starts with a nightmare, and leads to the strangest duel of her life! And wait until you see who her opponent is! Don’t miss an explosive chapter that I had to call “Unfriendly Fire”, coming soon!

Dark Sage
8th July 2005, 01:44 PM
[B][I]This tournament is getting weirder by the minute.

When someone in the village mentioned a dragon named Hooktail and a treasure in his castle, I was skeptical. I figured it was nothing more than something that the tournament heads put in as an extra, like a secret level to a video game…

But Melissa was not the average duelist. I have a feeling she was quite serious when she said I would “be stricken with a punishment too horrible for words” if I lost my duel to her. And it seems that there truly is a “Shadow Queen” of sorts lurking around this island.

And judging by the looks of the duelist who’s facing me right now…

Well, let’s just say that my skepticism is very quickly fading…



[B][size=3]
CHAPTER SIX



Unfriendly Fire



In the dark Palace of Shadows, a form knelt before the Shadow Queen…

“So,” said the Queen, “I take it you know what you’re doing?”

“I’ve calibrated my attack strategy, milady,” answered the kneeling figure. “Little Francesca won’t stand a chance.”

“Good,” said the Shadow Queen, with a pleasant smile, “but don’t get too sure of yourself. There is one thing you should look out for…”

She paused.

“I know one aspect of your strategy,” she continued. “You are not, repeat, NOT to try to use Francesca’s own cards against her. If you try, it could be… bad.”

“Bad?” asked the figure. “How so?”

“Trust me,” warned the Queen. “Bad. Now go, and don’t disappoint me.”

The figure rose and left.

The Shadow Queen went to her viewing globe, and saw the three teenagers sleeping. Her eyes focused on Francesca.

“So young…” she purred, “so pure and innocent…”

She paused.

“Maybe before my servant gets there, I’ll shake her up a bit…”

She picked up a deck of cards, and leafed through them. She looked at a card.

Dreamsprite.

She tossed the card into her fireplace, and the flames blazed green.

A girlish giggle filled the room, and the cute plant-fairy flew out of the flames.

“Go, my Dreamsprite!” ordered the Shadow Queen. “Give Francesca a taste of your nocturnal naughtiness!”

Dreamsprite giggled, and vanished into sparkling mist…


[B]
* * * * * * * * * *


Next to the ancient bones of Hooktail, Stan, Andy, and Francesca slept. The chamber was surprisingly warm and cozy. Outside, the clouds passed by a full moon…

A shimmering appeared over Francesca, and Dreamsprite appeared…

The Duel Monster giggled, and raised her hand. She sprinkled sparkling dust over Fran’s face.

Francesca winced in her sleep… Her dreams started to turn strange…


[B]
* * * * * * * * * *


She dreamt that she was in a rocky valley surrounded by foreboding mountains. She was dueling, and her opponent was one of the best there was – Seto Kaiba!

Thunder flashed…

“Blue-Eyes White Dragon!” ordered Kaiba, “annihilate her Fighter with white lighting!”

The mighty Dragon shot forth its blast; Amazoness Fighter screamed and was blown to atoms!

“I’m not out of this yet, Kaiba!” cursed Francesca.

She drew.

“Time to slay your Dragon!” she shouted, as lighting flashed again. “I sacrifice my Amazoness Swords Woman to summon Penumbral Soldier Lady!”

She put the card on her Disk, and her Swords Woman vanished. The beautiful Warrior of darkness leapt up, ready to attack!

“Now, attack his Dragon with Sword of Shadows!” she yelled.

Penumbral Soldier Lady leapt up and cleaved the huge Dragon down the middle! It roared and burst into a blast of pixels!

“Hmm, impressive…” said Kaiba, “but this duel is far from over…”

He drew a card.

“I’ll play my Pot of Greed!” he announced, placing it into a slot.

He drew two more cards.

“Now I’ll play Monster Reborn, to bring back the Blue-Eyes you just destroyed!”

He played the card, and the huge dragon reappeared, and bellowed!

“Humph, I’ll just kill it again…” sneered Francesca.

“I don’t think so…” said Kaiba with a smirk, taking three cards from his hand. “Because now, I play Polymerization, to fuse this Blue-Eyes with the other two in my hand!”

He played the cards, and two more Blue-Eyes White Dragons appeared! They swirled into a vortex, and the immense form of Blue-Eyes Ultimate Dragon arose!

“Your Penumbral Soldier Lady is strong against creatures of Light, but she’s not strong enough to defeat one this powerful!”

Penumbral Soldier Lady drew back in fear…

“Now my Dragon,” shouted Kaiba, “destroy her Soldier with neuron blast!”

The Dragon’s three mouths roared, and shot forth three lethal streams, blasting Penumbral Soldier Lady to nothing!

Francesca shivered in fright…

“Make your move…” mocked Kaiba.

There’s got to be something I can do… thought Francesca in fear.

She drew…

And her cards turned to dust!

“NO!” she shouted in panic.

“Since you seem incapable of making a move, I’ll make mine…” said Kaiba, drawing.

He looked at the card.

“Well,” he smiled, “I could blast you with this Dragon, but I’ve got a better idea… I play… De-Fusion!”

Blue-Eyes Ultimate Dragon swirled into a pool of light.

“This separates my Dragon into its three component Dragons,” he continued, “each one with 3,000 Attack Points aimed directly at you!”

The three Blue-Eyes glared at Francesca.

“NO, PLEASE!” begged Francesca. “That’s overkill!”

“Bah, you deserve it for having the gall to challenge me!” scoffed Kaiba. “Now my Dragons, attack her directly!”

Francesca screamed as the three blasts of white lightning thundered towards her…


[B]
* * * * * * * * * *


As Francesca woke up with a start, Dreamsprite giggled and vanished.

Francesca held her head.

I guess it’s true what they say, she thought, Whoever is in charge of dreams won’t let you die in them… Maybe I should get more experience before actually trying to find Kaiba…

She looked at Stan and Andy who were sleeping.

Ah, I’ll never get back to sleep, she said. Maybe I’ll go for a walk…

An inner voice made her look at her Disk. She shrugged and picked it up.

She walked out the doorway into the long hall that led to the chamber. She stared to wander down.

Then she saw a door on the side of the hallway.

Huh? she thought. Didn’t notice that before…

She opened it. She looked down at a dark stairway going down.

“Francesca…” whispered a voice from the darkness. “Francesca…”

“Okay,” said Francesca, straitening her jeans, “whoever is down there wants to see me… Far be it from me to disappoint him…”

She walked down the stairs…


[B]
* * * * * * * * * *


Stan got up, still half asleep.

“Andy?” he muttered.

“Yeah?” moaned Andy.

“Did you hear that?” he asked.

“No,” responded Andy.

“Eh, me neither,” replied Stan.

They went back to sleep.


[B]
* * * * * * * * * *


Francesca reached the bottom of the stairway and entered a creepy hallway, filled with dust and cobwebs. Suits of armor carrying halberds flanked the walls.

“That’s it Francesca,” beckoned the voice, which was now clearly feminine. “Just follow my voice…”

Francesca walked down the hallway, and it soon ended at a door.

She was surprised when she looked at it. The door was painted with a violent scene, depicting her Amazon Warriors fighting some fiendish creatures that she couldn’t identify. And the Amazons were clearly losing. Many of them were being mercilessly tortured to death by the beasts. Fran frowned.

“If this is your idea of an attempt to demoralize me, spooky,” she angrily said, opening the door, “you’re doing a lousy job…”

She looked inside the door, and entered a large, circular room. Weapons racks full of swords, axes, and maces lined the walls, and shields hung above them.

“Huh, no one here…” she muttered.

“Oh, that’s where you’re wrong…” chuckled a voice.

A tall female figure materialized at the other end of room…

Francesca gasped. She recognized the female Warrior in front of her well. The black, graying hair tied in a long braid with a headband; the shoulder guards studded with spikes; the black, tight-fitting shirt, elbow-length gloves, long breechcloth, and knee-high boots; not to mention the sword slung at her side…



http://www.itstimetoduel.com/cardpictures/LON-EN031.jpg


The Unfriendly Amazon locked eyes with Francesca and smiled a slight smile.

“Hello, child,” she said with an evil smile. “I’ve been waiting a long time for this…”

Francesca slowly reached for her deck…

“If you’re thinking of conjuring a Duel Monster to attack me with, forget it,” snapped the Amazon. “I’m different than those Zombie Warriors – I can’t be destroyed that way.”

Francesca gulped.

“And now I have you right where I want you, Francesca,” she continued. “By destroying you, I’ll finally have my revenge against the ones who ruined my life… namely your pathetic Amazons!”

“What?” asked Francesca in fear. “You’re going to kill me?”

“Not outright,” replied the Amazon. “That wouldn’t be fair. Before I can do away with you, we have to do things the usual way… if you’re not too scared…”

She raised her arm, and a Duel Disk appeared on it.

“Me? Duel you?” asked Francesca, now very scared.

The Unfriendly Amazon nodded.

“Unless you just want me to make it quick,” she said with a smile, fingering her sword.

Francesca looked around.

I could try to make a run for it, but I doubt I could outrun her, she thought. If my own story is true, she’s deadlier than most Amazons… I have to try to beat her…

“Okay,” said Francesca with a shudder, “I’ll take you on…”

“You’re a fool,” said the Amazon with a wicked smile. “The quick way would have been less painful! And less humiliating. No human can duel better than an actual Duel Monster! And once I’ve defeated you, my revenge will be complete, and my master will reward me well!”

“Master?” asked Francesca. “Who’s your…”

“None of your business!” interrupted The Unfriendly Amazon. “It’s time to duel!”

The holo-imagers shot out, and the Disks flipped into position.

The Life Point counters set to 8,000 apiece, and they drew their first hands.

“Since it’s only fair,” said the Amazon, “I’ll let you go first.”

“Gladly,” smiled Francesca.

She drew.

Not bad… she thought.

“I’ll summon… Amazoness Paladin!” she shouted.

She placed her card down, and the fierce Amazon general appeared in Attack Mode! (1,700/300) –> (1,800/300)

“That will do for now,” she said.

“Bringing out your big guns early, I see,” commented the Amazon. “Well she won’t help you…”

She drew.

“I summon a creature known as Jirai Gumo in Attack Mode!” she announced.

She put the card down, and a frightening creature appeared. It was a huge spider with slobbering jaws and scythe-like claws on its front legs! (2,200/100)



http://www.itstimetoduel.com/cardpictures/MRD-EN089.jpg


“And that will end my turn,” she said.

Hmmm, thought Francesca. She didn’t attack… and for good reason. If she attacks with that Monster, there’s a fifty percent chance that she’ll lose half her Life Points… but why even have such a Monster in her deck?

She put a card down.

“I summon Amazoness Swords Woman in Attack Mode!” she announced.

The furious female Warrior holding her huge sword appeared. (1,500/1,600)

She sneered at The Unfriendly Amazon.

“She seems to remember you!” chuckled Francesca.

“Yes…” said the Amazon with a scowl. “I hated her… She was the one who argued the loudest for my exile…”

“Well, thanks to her, my Paladin now has an Attack of 1,900!” stated Francesca, “and it’s your move!”

The Amazon drew.

“I’ll summon this Monster in Attack Mode,” she said, putting a card down. “The mighty Giant Orc!”

A huge form appeared next to Jirai Gumo. It was a hulking ogre with white skin, a bald head, and sharp teeth. It carried a club made from a huge femur. (2,200/0)



http://www.itstimetoduel.com/cardpictures/MFC-012.jpg


Francesca gasped.

“But I’m not ready to attack yet,” stated the Amazon. “Make your move…”

Now why didn’t she attack? thought Francesca. I know Giant Orc has to shift into Defense Mode after it attacks, but losing it would be a small price to pay for destroying my Amazoness Paladin…

She drew.

Hey! It’s that card I won from Melissa! Think I’ll take it for a test run…

She added it to her hand.

“First, I’ll summon my Amazoness Blowpiper!” she announced.

She placed a card down, and the slim Warrior carrying her blowpipe appeared. (800/1,500)

“And now I’ll play this Magic Card… Earth Tremor!”

She played the card, and it revealed itself, showing a village shaking under an earthquake.

“Earth Tremor?” asked the Amazon. “What does that do?”

“To activate this card, I first have to sacrifice an Earth Monster,” smiled Francesca. “So, I’ll sacrifice my Blowpiper…”

Amazoness Blowpiper smirked at The Unfriendly Amazon, and then she vanished.

“And now…” smiled Francesca.

The chamber started to rumble…

“The power of the card creates a tremor on your side of the field, and you take damage equal to 500 Life Points times the star level of your most powerful Monster! Since your highest level Monster – actually both of them – has four stars, you lose 2,000 Life Points!”

The Unfriendly Amazon was thrown off her feet by the tremor, and she landed on her rump!

Her Life Points fell to 6,000.

Ooh! she thought. Where’d she get a card that powerful? No matter… I’ll have the last laugh in the end…



Continued…

Dark Sage
8th July 2005, 01:46 PM
Continued from last post:



Up in Hooktail’s chamber, Stan actually woke up.

“Andy, wake up,” he said, nudging him.

“Huh?” asked Andy.

“You remember that thing we didn’t hear?” asked Stan, suspiciously.

“Yeah, what about it?” replied Andy.

“Well I’m not hearing it again, and I don’t like it…” answered Stan.

Andy turned around.

“Stan, Francesca’s gone!” he exclaimed.

“Okay,” said Stan, looking around, “let’s not panic… She couldn’t have gone far…”

“She might be in trouble,” muttered Andy. “I knew sleeping in this place was a bad idea…”



* * * * * * * * * *


“It’s your move, murderer,” mocked Fran.

“How dare you…” cursed the Amazon, drawing.

She looked at her card.

“I choose to pass for this turn,” she said.

“Okay,” smiled Fran, drawing.

She grinned as she looked at her card.

“All right!” she laughed. “I summon the mighty Command Knight in Attack Mode!”

She threw a card on her Disk, and a fiery bonfire appeared. A beautiful woman stepped out of it, with long, strawberry blonde hair, dressed in brown ceremonial armor with a cape, and a fur cap with feathers. She drew a golden sword. (1,200/1,900)



http://www.itstimetoduel.com/cardpictures/CT1-EN003.jpg


“This lady may not be an Amazon, but she’s a big help to them,” explained Francesca, “because so long as she’s on the field, all of my Warriors gain 400 Attack Points!”

Amazoness Paladin’s Attack rose to 2,300, Amazoness Swords Woman’s rose to 1,900, and Command Knight herself’s rose to 1,600.

“Amazoness Paladin, attack her Giant Orc with blade of the Amazons!”

Amazoness Paladin leapt into the air, and slashed though Giant Orc! The ogre gasped, and burst into fragments.

The Unfriendly Amazon’s Life Points fell to 5,900. She sneered.

“Having fun, Francesca?” she asked with a smug grin.

“Naw…” said Francesca, sarcastically. “I’m having a terrible time kicking your ass!”

“Well it’s my move now,” said the Amazon.

She drew.

“I’ll place two cards facedown on the field,” she said, fitting two cards into slots. “And that will end my turn.”

Francesca drew.

“Heh, heh,” she chuckled, adding it to her hand. “Get ready, cause here it comes!

“Amazoness Paladin, take down her Jirai Gumo!”

Amazoness Paladin leapt into the air, and buried her sword in the huge spider’s thorax! The creature squealed and then burst!

“Now, Amazoness Swords Woman and Command Knight, attack the exile’s Life Points… directly!”

Amazoness Swords Woman lifted her huge blade and charged! She struck The Unfriendly Amazon, sending her staggering back!

Command Knight’s sword burned with fire, and she smote her foe! The Amazon fell over.

The Unfriendly Amazon’s Life Points were reduced to 2,300.

“This has to be the easiest duel I’ve ever had!” laughed Francesca. “I’ve taken you down to almost a quarter of your Life Points, and I still have all of mine!”

Foolish girl… thought the Amazon. Can’t you see that I’ve LET you get ahead?

She got up.

“My move now, Francesca,” she announced.

She drew.

This will do nicely she thought.

“I’ll place one card facedown,” she stated, fitting a card into a slot.

The card appeared next to her other two.

“And then I’ll summon a Warrior known to comic book fans as Zombyra the Dark, in Attack Mode!”

She put the card down, and a dark-looking superhero in a black costume with a cape and a skull-like mask appeared, striking a heroic pose. (2,100/500)



http://www.itstimetoduel.com/cardpictures/LON-EN074.jpg


“Is that all?” laughed Francesca. “Maybe criminals would be frightened of Zombyra, but he doesn’t scare me!”

“You’re so sure of yourself?” said the Amazon, coldly.

“Lemme do the math for you,” said Francesca, with a smile, “once my Paladin destroys Zombyra, my Swords Woman and Command Knight will attack, bringing you down to…”

She made a quick calculation.

“…negative 1,400 Life Points!”

“Make your move…” snarled The Unfriendly Amazon, as if she didn’t care.

Her finger caressed a button on her Disk…

Francesca drew.

She chuckled as she looked at the card.

“Well,” she laughed, “I’m gonna end this with the biggest bang ever! Ready for the big finish? I summon Amazoness Tiger, in Attack Mode!”

She put her card down. The fierce Tigress appeared and roared! (1,100/1,500) –> (2,300/1,500)

“Now…” started Francesca.

“I activate a Trap!” shouted The Unfriendly Amazon.

One of her facedown cards lifted, showing Dark Ruler Hades suffering from some painful curse…

“Activate Skill Drain!” she yelled.

“Skill Drain?” gasped Francesca, startled. “What the heck is that?”

“A very powerful Trap,” answered the Amazon with a smile. “I have to pay 1,000 Life Points to activate it…”

Her Life Points fell to 1,300.

“But so long as this Continuous Trap is on the field, all Effect Monsters lose their effects!”

“NO!” gasped Francesca in horror. “Without their effects… my Amazons are…”

“…weaklings!” interrupted The Unfriendly Amazon with an evil grin.

Amazoness Paladin’s Attack Score dropped to 1,700, Swords Woman’s dropped to 1,500, Command Knight’s dropped to 1,200, while the Tiger’s dropped to 1,100.

“On the other hand,” smiled the Amazon. “Zombyra the Dark actually benefits! Without his effects, he no longer loses Attack Points after he attacks!”

Francesca was stunned.

“I’ll shift my Paladin, Swords Woman, and Command Knight to Defense Mode…” she grunted, turning the cards.


[B]
* * * * * * * * * *


Meanwhile…

“Hey Stan,” noted Andy, “where do you think this leads?”

Stan looked down the dark staircase.

“I don’t know,” he answered, “but I have a feeling Francesca went down there…”

“It looks kind of scary…” muttered Andy, shivering.

“This from a guy who stood up to two Dark Necrofears…” said Stan.

He paused.

“Hold on… Necrofears? Or just Necrofear? What’s the plural of Dark Necrofear?”

“Who cares?” shuddered Andy.

“We have to go down there,” sighed Stan. “Francesca might be in danger.

“Frankly… I have a bad feeling about this…”

“Okay…” said Andy with a shiver.

They descended the staircase…



Continued…


Continued from last post:



“Before you end your turn,” stated The Unfriendly Amazon, “I’ll activate my other Trap Card…”

Another of her facedown cards lifted.

“Solemn Wishes!” she exclaimed. “This Trap will restore my Life Points by 500 whenever I draw for any reason!”

“Clever…” snarled Francesca.

“Now it’s my turn…” chuckled the Amazon, drawing.

A shower of gold fell upon her, and her Life Points went up to 1,800.

“Now I’ll summon the mighty Flash Assailant in Attack Mode!” she exclaimed.

She put a card down, and a fiendish-looking pirate with a skullcap and an eyepatch, dressed in a red scarf and green pants and carrying a dagger appeared. (2,000/2,000)



http://www.itstimetoduel.com/cardpictures/SRL-EN082.jpg


“Normally, this Monster would lose 400 Attack and Defense Points for every card in my hand, but my Skill Drain card removes that handicap!

“And if you thought switching your Monsters into Defense Mode kept your Life Points safe, think again…”

She hit a button on her Disk, and her final facedown card lifted.

“I activate Meteorain!”

“No!” gasped Francesca. “That lets you damage my Life Points even when my Monsters are in Defense Mode!”

“Correct!” grinned the Amazon. “And in case you didn’t notice, your Paladin only has 300 Defense Points!

“Flash Assailant, attack Amazoness Paladin with flash dagger attack!”

Flash Assailant grinned and leapt forward, slashing through Amazoness Paladin! She screamed and vanished.

Francesca’s Life Points took a dive to 6,300.

“Zombyra,” continued the Amazon, “attack her Tiger with super-powered punch attack!”

Zombyra the Dark flew forward, and slugged Amazoness Tiger, blasting her out of existence!

Francesca’s Life Points fell to 5,300.

“Has it sunk in yet, Francesca?” asked the Amazon. “The Duel Monsters world is full of creatures like me… four-star Monsters who sought greater power and achieved it. But in order to stay four-star, we had to pay terrible costs! It’s called the Four-Star Curse, for lack of a better term. People like Zombyra, Flash Assailant, Nuvia the Wicked, Susa Soldier… There are lots of them! Because of this, we’re all practical exiles, our cards nothing but trade-bait!

“Skill Drain is a blessing to us! And my deck is loaded with those who suffer the Four-Star Curse – my Trap Card sets them free!”

“You must feel so proud…” said Francesca, sarcastically. “Maybe you can start a rebellion… lead an uprising for Monsters who suffer because they have to take penalties for being powerful and four-starred!”

“The thought did cross my mind,” sneered the Amazon. “Now make your move.”

Francesca drew a card.

“I have to pass this turn…” she said meekly.

“Your funeral…” chuckled the Amazon.

She drew, and her Life Points went up to 2,300.

“Now I’ll play the Magic Card… Full House!” she laughed.

“Full House?” gasped Francesca. “What does that do?”

The Unfriendly Amazon plugged it into a slot, and the image of a hand appeared, and produced a hand of cards.

“Full House is a rare and powerful card that let’s me draw until I hold a full hand of six cards!” answered the Amazon. “It’s like Card of Sanctity, except I don’t have to share the effect with you!”

Three cards flew out of her deck, and she took them.

“And since I just drew, I gain another 500 Life Points from Solemn Wishes!” she continued. “Not that I need more Life Points to defeat you, but it can’t hurt!”

Her Life Points went up to 2,800.

“Now I’ll summon Dark Elf in Attack Mode!” she exclaimed.

She threw a card down, and a sinister looking elf with black hair in a dark robe and a golden tiara. (2,000/800)



http://www.itstimetoduel.com/cardpictures/MRD-EN113.jpg


“And thanks to my Trap Card,” continued the Amazon, “I don’t need to spend Life Points for her to attack!”

“Enough with the Skill Drain card!” cursed Francesca. “I get it!”

“Then get this,” smiled the Amazon. “Flash Assailant, destroy her Command Knight!”

Flash Assailant ran forward and cut down Command Knight! The Warrior collapsed and vanished in a burst of flame.

“Dark Elf, attack that lousy Swords Woman with dark elven magic!”

Dark Elf cackled, and blasted forth a beam of black magic, obliterating Amazoness Swords Woman!

“Zombyra the Dark, attack Francesca directly!”

Zombyra flew forward and slammed his fist into Francesca’s gut! She gasped and fell over!

Her Life Points fell to 3,200.

“How’d you do THAT?” gasped Francesca, cringing. “Zombyra can’t attack directly!”

“The Skill Drain card removes ALL his effects, remember?” said the Amazon, coldly.

Then The Unfriendly Amazon cackled.

“Heh, heh,” she chuckled. “I don’t mean to laugh at you, Fran, but next round, you’re finished! Nothing you can summon can defeat my army of creatures now that I’ve stripped them of their handicaps!”

“Fran!” shouted a voice. “Fran!”

At that moment, Stan and Andy ran into the room.

“Guys?” said Francesca, turning around.

“Fran?” questioned Stan. “And you’re dueling… The Unfriendly Amazon?”

“Well, isn’t this sweet!” exclaimed the Amazon. “Your friends are here just in time to witness your demise!”

“Stan, this is bad!” exclaimed Andy. “That Amazon has Skill Drain on the field! All of Francesca’s Monsters are hindered by that card… and those three Monsters she’s facing are strengthened by it!”

“Don’t I know it…” moaned Francesca.

“Francesca!” shouted Stan. “Don’t give up! Have faith in yourself, and you CAN defeat this creature!”

Francesca looked at her hand.

I have two cards that could make a combo that could help, she thought, but I need a third!

She reached for her deck.

Okay, remember what Stan said… have faith in yourself, and believe in the Heart of the Cards…

She drew. She looked at the card.

“Okay, witch,” she said with a grin. “Time to take control of this duel!”

“How do you intend to do that?” chuckled the Amazon.

“I’ll show you…” frowned Francesca. “First I’ll play Monster Reborn, to bring back Amazoness Paladin!”

She threw the card into a slot, and the powerful Paladin returned. (1,700/300)

“Bah, I’ll just destroy her again!” laughed the Amazon.

“Let me finish!” snapped Francesca. “I’ll also summon this Warrior… A fierce fighter by the name of Warrior Dai Grepher!”

She placed the card on her Disk, and a powerful male warrior appeared. He was dressed in black leather armor, wore a headband, and carried a large greatsword. (1,700/1,600)

“Huh?” quipped Stan. “Why does she have him in her deck?”

“And now,” said Francesca, “I’ll bring them together… with Polymerization!”

She threw a card into a slot, and the two Warriors were drawn into a vortex…



http://www.itstimetoduel.com/cardpictures/MFC-059.jpghttp://www.itstimetoduel.com/cardpictures/LOB-EN059.jpghttp://www.itstimetoduel.com/cardpictures/LOD-EN020.jpg


“Fused together,” continued Francesca, “they form a mighty Warrior known and feared as… [B]AMAZONESS QUEEN!”

A tall, powerful female form leapt out of the vortex. She was wearing an armored one-piece that didn’t hide her voluptuous figure; she also wore a large red cape, a golden crown and a gorgeous necklace. She bore two razor-sharp scimitars. (2,500/1,400)



Continued…

Dark Sage
8th July 2005, 01:49 PM
Continued from last post:


“NO!” screamed The Unfriendly Amazon. “Not her! Not her!”

“Yes, the one who banished you right?” answered Francesca. “Well she doesn’t care about your Skill Drain, because she doesn’t need an effect to be powerful!

“Since I can’t attack with her this turn, I’m ending my turn now…”

The Amazon shook as she drew. The shower of gold fell upon her, and her Life Points went up to 3,300.

“I’ll…” she stuttered, “I’ll move all my Monsters into Defense Mode and end my turn…”

Dark Elf, Flash Assailant, and Zombyra the Dark all knelt in Defense.

“Good,” smiled Francesca, drawing. “Amazoness Queen, take out Zombyra the Dark with your royal slash attack!”

Amazoness Queen raised her two scimitars and leapt forward, slicing Zombyra in twain! He burst into dark pixels!

“Go, Fran!” yelled Andy.

“Your move,” smiled Francesca.

The Amazon drew. Her Life Points went up to 3,800.

She looked at her hand.

I have one card that I could use to crush Francesca now… she thought, but I need two others!

“I’ll pass this turn…” she snarled.

“Good,” smiled Francesca, drawing. “Amazoness Queen, attack her Flash Assailant!”

Amazoness Queen pounced, and swiped at the pirate! Flash Assailant moaned, and burst into fragments.

“Your move again,” sighed Francesca.

The Amazon started to sweat. She drew, and her Life Points went up to 4,300.

The second card I need! she thought. Now all I need is the right Monster Card… Fortunately, my deck has three copies of it…

“I pass again…” she said.

“Okay…” said Francesca, drawing.

She placed a card down on her Disk.

“I summon Amazoness Fighter in Attack Mode!” she shouted.

The bulky female Warrior materialized and flexed her muscles. (1,500/1,300)

The two Amazons looked at each other, and nodded.

“She may not have her effect,” exclaimed Francesca, “but she’s strong enough to take down your Elf! Amazoness Fighter, destroy Dark Elf with savage kick!”

Amazoness Fighter leapt forward and slammed her knee into Dark Elf! The Spellcaster toppled over and vanished.

“Amazoness Queen, attack The Unfriendly Amazon directly!” shouted Francesca.

Amazoness Queen leapt up with her twin swords and slashed at The Unfriendly Amazon! The evil Warrior fell over.

Her Life Points fell to 1,800.

Amazoness Queen shook her head in disappointment, and walked back to Francesca’s side.

“Yes!” cheered Stan.

“You go, girl!” yelled Andy.

“Had enough?” asked Francesca.

“Never!” snarled the Amazon, getting up.

She drew, and her Life Points went up to 2,300.

She looked at the card.

Yes! she thought with glee. Now I have her just where I want her!

She grinned at Francesca as she took a card from her hand.

“First I’ll summon Goblin Attack Force in Attack Mode!” she exclaimed.

She put a card down, and a team of four goblin fighters armed with clubs materialized. (2,300/0)



http://www.itstimetoduel.com/cardpictures/PSV-EN094.jpg


“You think I’m scared of that?” chuckled Francesca. “Amazoness Queen is still stronger!”

“I’m not done!” laughed the Amazon.

She fit a card into her Disk…

A Magic Card lifted up, showing the image of Magician of Faith on a hillside, casting a spell over a mass of impoverished peasants.

“I play Gift of Magician of Faith!” she exclaimed.

“Huh? What does that do?” asked Francesca.

“Yeah, what?” asked Andy.

“Simple,” replied the Amazon. “I name one Magic Card that you have in your Graveyard, and you return it to your hand… and I’m naming your Earth Tremor card!”

A light shone in Francesca’s discard slot, and a ball of light shot out of it. It floated towards her hand, and formed into the card.

“What good will that do you?” she asked.

“Simple…” grinned the Amazon, wickedly.

She selected another card.

“I also play… Exchange!”

Francesca gasped as the card revealed itself.

“You know the rules, Francesca,” smiled the Amazon. “Now kindly hand over your Earth Tremor card…”

Francesca hung her head. She walked over to her foe and held out her hand.

“Thank you!” laughed the Amazon, snatching the card.

She held out her own hand.

“Now pick any card you like!”

“Oh, Heavy Storm will do!” snarled Francesca, snatching a card.

She went back to her position.

I’ve lost… she thought. Amazoness Queen is a seven-star Monster… once she plays that card, I’ll lose 3,500 Life Points… and I only have 3,200 left!

“Fran, how many stars does your Queen have?” asked Andy, somewhat frightened.

Fran didn’t answer.

“Quite a powerful card…” chuckled the Amazon, looking at it. “I think I’ll keep this once I’ve destroyed you!”

She placed it into a slot.

“Now, I’ll sacrifice my Goblins…” she cackled.

Goblin Attack Force vanished.

“…and prepare to lose!”

She laughed out loud.

There was a long pause.

“Well?” said the Unfriendly Amazon.

Strangely, there was no earthquake.

Nothing happened at all!

“WHAT?” gasped the Amazon. “You should have lost 3,500 Life Points! It… it didn’t work!”

Francesca was slowly taking this in.

“I don’t know why it didn’t work,” she growled, “but I’m not complaining! Finish your move!”

The Unfriendly Amazon started to sweat heavily… she looked at the cards in her hand…

“Uh…” she said. “I’ll… I’ll place three cards facedown and end my turn!”

She placed the last cards in her hand into slots, and they appeared next to her Skill Drain and Solemn Wishes.

“What a shame,” smiled Francesca, drawing. “Did you forget about the card I just took from you?”

The Amazon turned white…

“I play Heavy Storm!” yelled Francesca, slamming it into a slot.

A fierce wind blew across the field. First the Skill Drain blew away, then the Solemn Wishes. Then the two other cards, revealed to be two more Skill Drain cards and a Seven Tools of the Bandit, blew away.

“Humph, only bluffs,” shrugged Francesca. “Amazoness Queen, finish her off!”

Amazoness Queen charged across the room, and made two slashes at the Amazon with her swords! The Unfriendly Amazon screamed as her Life Points fell to zero.

“No!” she moaned, falling to her knees. “I lost…”

“That’s right,” frowned Francesca, walking up to her. “You fell before Amazoness Queen, just like you did the first time…”

She bent down and reached for her foe’s discard slot.

“And by the way,” growled Francesca.

She removed the cards from it.

“…I’m taking back my card!”

“Great job, Fran!” shouted Andy.

“So,” muttered Stan, “what do we do with her?”

They saw that The Unfriendly Amazon was now a pitiful wreck, sobbing on the ground…

And then a dark portal opened behind her, and she was drawn through it.

“That was odd…” said Andy.

“Odd or not,” questioned Stan, “we have a lot to think about… who sent that creature after Francesca? And why didn’t the Earth Tremor card work when she used it?”

“I don’t know,” sighed Francesca.

She looked at the card.

“Maybe this is more than just… a card…”



* * * * * * * * * *


In a dark room in the Palace of Shadows, The Unfriendly Amazon was crouching on the floor.

The Shadow Queen was in front of her, in wild fury. She had a Duel Disk on her left arm, and a scepter in her right hand.

“Idiot!” shouted the Queen, clubbing the Amazon with her scepter. “Imbecile! Moron!”

“Mercy, please!” begged the Amazon. “Don’t hit me again!”

“What did I tell you before you left?” yelled the Queen. “What did I tell you? I specifically told you NOT to use Francesca’s own cards against her! BUT YOU TRIED TO ANYWAY!”

“It was my only option!” pleaded the Amazon.

“Why didn’t you just attack her Fighter with Goblin Attack Force?” demanded the Queen.

“Her Amazoness Queen would have destroyed it!” protested the Amazon.

“Really?” stated the Shadow Queen. “See what you would have drawn on your next turn…”

The Unfriendly Amazon shakily drew a card from her deck.

She showed it to her master…

“Snatch Steal, I see,” scowled the Shadow Queen. “If you had listened to me, you would have won!”

“But why didn’t the Earth Tremor card work?” asked the Amazon.

“Fool!” shouted the Queen, clubbing her again. “Earth Tremor is no average card! Not everyone can wield its power! Certainly not you!”

She hit the Amazon again.

“Mercy, please…” begged the Amazon.

“Mercy?” said the Queen with a frown.

She flipped her Disk into position.

“You should have thought of that before disobeying me…”

She picked a card from her deck and looked at it.

Grave Arm.

“What are you going to do?” gulped the Amazon.

“You’re a Duel Monster,” said the Shadow Queen with a scowl on her face, “you’ve been defeated, so you’re going where all defeated Duel Monsters go…”

She threw the card into a slot.

“I banish you to The Graveyard!”

The floor underneath The Unfriendly Amazon started to churn, and then a huge, gruesome claw broke up and grabbed her!

“NO!” she screamed.

The Shadow Queen remained stone-faced as the Amazon was pulled under…


[B]
* * * * * * * * * *


Back at Hooktail Castle, the three youths tried hard to get some sleep for the remainder of the night…

Eventually, morning dawned on Monster Island…

But when Francesca watched her friends wake up, she couldn’t help but feel spooked by the whole encounter.

Sure, she had won, and she had been spared whatever horrid fate The Unfriendly Amazon had been planning. As far as the tournament went, it was an unsanctioned duel which she had been forced into…

But deep down, she felt she didn’t deserve to win. She wouldn’t have – if the Earth Tremor card had worked for her opponent.

What had gone wrong? Had the Amazon read the card’s instructions wrong? No… she looked at the card over and over. Her opponent had done just what the instructions had required.

So why had this powerful card decided to play favorites?

As the sun started to rise, the skepticism in Francesca’s heart was fading to nothing…


[B]FULL HOUSE

Card Specs

Type: Magic
Attribute: –
Level: –
ATK: –
DEF: –

Card Description: Image of a hand holding a hand of cards. Draw until you hold six cards in your hand.

Note: This card first appeared in “City of Souls”.



GIFT OF MAGICIAN OF FAITH (Magic Card)

Card Specs

Type: Magic
Attribute: –
Level: –
ATK: –
DEF: –

Card Description: Image of Magician of Faith on a hilltop casting a spell upon a group of impoverished peasants. Chose one Magic Card in your opponent’s Graveyard. Your opponent returns the card to his hand.


AMAZONESS QUEEN (Monster Card)

Card Specs

Type: Warrior/Fusion
Attribute: Earth
Level: 7
ATK: 2,500
DEF: 1,700

Card Description: Amazoness Paladin + Warrior Dai Grepher.

This fierce warrior is the ruler of the Amazon Tribe. She rewards anyone brave enough to challenge her with a quick death.


EARTH TREMOR

Card Specs

Type: Magic
Attribute: –
Level: –
ATK: –
DEF: –

Card Description: Image of a village shaking under an earthquake. To activate this card, offer one EARTH Monster on your side of the field as Tribute. For every level star of the face-up opposing Monster on the field with the most level stars, inflict 500 points of direct damage to your opponent’s Life Points.



[B][I]Why didn’t the Earth Tremor card work when The Unfriendly Amazon tried to use it? That question will go unanswered for now.

Coming up next, Francesca is going to take a well-deserved break. The trio of heroes enters the windy Boggly Woods, where Andy comes face-to-face with our first user character! It’s going to be “A Devil of a Time”, coming soon…

Dark Sage
8th July 2005, 02:18 PM
[B]After all that happened in Hooktail Castle, this change of scenery is nice. It is a bit more surreal than Petal Meadows… this whole island is somewhat surreal, but at least there aren’t any creepy creatures prowling about.

I’ve got three Crystal Cards now, and I’m about to try for a fourth. My next opponent isn’t as nasty as Poison, nor have we made any nasty stakes, but I don’t think he’s going to try any less to win.

But like I said, after encountering living Duel Monsters, a more normal duel should put me back on track…

I just hope it goes as planned…




[size=3]CHAPTER SEVEN



A Devil of a Time



At seven AM the next day, at dining hall in the Palace of Shadows, the sole occupant was halfway through breakfast.

Only the Shadow Queen and her children were allowed to eat here, but currently five of the children were out making plans, and the sixth was… grounded, for lack of a better term. The Shadow Queen was alone this morning. She really had no need to eat, but doing so gave her pleasure…

After all, creature comforts and pleasures of the flesh were among the things that had kept her sane for the past thousand years.

She was quite upset at what had happened in the past twenty-four hours. The Unfriendly Amazon had failed because she had [I]deliberately disobeyed her warning. Even worse, her daughter had been defeated – her child failing was an insult to her, and even though she was angry at Melissa, she was angrier at Francesca.

And even worse, she had lost the Earth Tremor card. She had gone to great lengths to find that accursed thing, and now Francesca had it…

Her rage had been subsided a little when she sent the Amazon to The Graveyard… she always loved doing that. But she and her servants would have to work harder now.

She picked up a cell phone and hit a speed-dial number.

A sleepy voice answered.

“Yeah?” it asked.

“Crump!” demanded the Queen. “Wake up and listen!”

“Y-your excellence!” stammered Crump. “I’m awake! I’m awake!”

“Good, now get your fat butt in gear and head over to Boggly Woods. Those three brats should be there within the hour. If one of them gets into a duel, I want detailed notes!”

“Um, begging her majesty’s pardon,” asked Crump, “but what should I do if they catch me spying on them?”

“I don’t know, tell them you’re with the Wonky Circus or something!” answered the Queen. “But if I had any idea that you gave them information…”

“Please,” answered Crump. “I am…”

He paused.

“…LORD CRUMP!” he announced. “I’m tougher than steel! I wouldn’t tell them anything even if they tortured me!”

“That’s good to hear, Crump…” started the Queen. “Now…”

“They could burn me with pokers, they could hang me by my thumbs, they could tie me to an army anthill and cover me with molasses, they could…”

“All right!” shouted the Queen. “A little TMI there, Crump. Now go do what you’re told!”

“Right!” answered Crump. “I’ll…”

The Shadow Queen hung up.

“A million henchmen in this world, and I get Tweedle-Dee the wonder-dummy,” she sighed. “How does Sir Grodus even put up with him?”

The phone rang again. She picked it up.

“Talk to me,” she said.

The voice that answered was soft and billowy.

“Mom,” he said, “I’m at The Great Tree. I’d like to volunteer to duel one of those brats to make up for Melissa’s defeat.”

“Really, Kurtis?” answered the Queen. “So who did you have in mind?”

“I was thinking Stan,” answered Kurtis. “I have a strategy that should be able to defeat his pathetic mages.”

“Well, it’s your decision…” sighed the Queen. “Just don’t make the same mistakes Melissa made and get too overconfident. And while you’re at The Great Tree, keep something in mind…”

“Yes?” he asked.

“I have a feeling that something might be there that I want. Now listen closely…”


[B]
* * * * * * * * * *


Two hours later.

Stan, Francesca, and Andy had gathered supplies, and left Petalburg behind. Walking west of Petalburg, the grassy and peaceful Petal Meadows slowly but surely had begun to change.

The first thing they noticed was a change in the weather. The wind picked up, and brisk breezes blew about them. Then the grass started to become taller, and then turned stark white. Finally, the trees grew bigger and more numerous, slowly changing into a sparse forest of oaks and elms.

“So where are we now?” asked Francesca.

Stan looked at the map.

“Boggly Woods,” he said. “Apparently we’re about two miles from a town that’s called simply… The Great Tree?”

“An odd name for a town…” muttered Andy. “Who lives in it, chipmunks?”

Stan sighed.

“Whoever designed this island was a big fan of that Paper Mario game…” he said.

He paused.

“Or was he?” he muttered.

“What do you mean?” asked Francesca.

“Call me crazy,” answered Stan, “but that version of Hooktail’s Castle we saw is much older than the video game. And…

“Well, let’s put all doubts aside for just a minute, and say that that skeleton was real, and that Hooktail was indeed real…”

He expected an objection from Fran, but she was silent. The vision she saw was still fresh in her mind.

“Anyway,” continued Stan, “that would mean that this island wasn’t modeled after a video game…

“But rather vice-versa…”

They all paused.

“Creepy…” moaned Andy. “I always knew that big corporations like Nintendo were powerful, but…”

He paused again.

“This is all so strange, Duel Monsters coming to life, one of them actually dueling… this is no ordinary tournament…”

Stan changed the subject.

“Say, Francesca,” he asked, “I have a question about one of your Monsters…”

“Shoot,” she replied.

“Isn’t it kind of strange that Amazoness Queen is a fusion of an Amazon and a male Warrior?”

Francesca chuckled.

“Let’s take a break and sit down,” she said.

They all sat down in a grassy clearing.

“Let me tell you the story of General Malsa the Wise…” she started.

“More stories of the Amazons?” said Andy, perking up. “This should be interesting.”

“A long time ago,” continued Francesca, “the Amazons didn’t really have a Queen – their ruler was their general – the current Paladin of the group. And an exceptional Paladin for her time was one named Malsa.

“Malsa was one of the strongest, wisest, and some say most beautiful Amazons who ever lived, and she was not only a powerful fighter, but she was skilled in sorcery as well… she dared look into the future at one point…

“And she saw that two generation into the future, a deadly crisis would befall her tribe, one which she knew only someone with her skills could overcome.

“But how was she to help with such a crisis? By the time it occurred, she would likely be too old to hold a sword… She decided that she needed one with her blood to meet this threat.

“As I’ve already said, marriage is forbidden among the Amazons – so Malsa did the only thing she could. She told the shocked members of her tribe that she was abdicating her position. She gave up her status as an Amazon, chose a successor for the role of Paladin, and left…

“…left to find a suitor.

“And eventually she found one. His name is not remembered, but he was a great warrior who had the power to command dragons. Some say that he was also the father of Warrior Dai Grepher via another woman. Whether there was any true love involved isn’t clear – but Malsa and the warrior embraced, and she conceived a baby girl.

“And soon, Malsa went back to her tribe, but only for a day. She gave the infant to her former companions, telling them to raise the child in the Amazon tradition. She left, and was never seen again. Some say she went back to the child’s father, while others say she lived the rest of her life in isolation, studying philosophy.

“The child grew fast, and became strong quickly. By the time she was eight, she could out-wrestle the strongest Amazon, and defeat the most skilled with a sword.

“And when Malsa’s successor retired, the tribe decided to change their tradition. The child was named Queen of the Amazons… Amazoness Queen.

“As Malsa had prophesied, a crisis eventually came, and her daughter led the tribe to victory in overcoming it – and the Amazons prospered under her rule.

“Now, the spirits of a Paladin and a mighty controller of Dragons are what are needed to call Amazoness Queen to the field of battle – only Warriors that represent the powers of her parents can summon her forward.”

“Interesting…” quipped Andy. “And Amazon and a master of Dragons… Well…”

He looked at Francesca…

They heard a rustling in the bushes ahead.

They turned to face whatever was coming…

“OW!” shouted a voice.

They all ran towards the cry, and saw a young man who had fallen, his foot stuck in the ground.

“Damn prairie dog burrow,” he cursed.

“Here, pal, let me help,” said Stan, lending his hand.

“Thanks,” said the young man, getting up.

They looked at him as he brushed himself off. He was older than they were, about nineteen. He had long brown hair and hazel eyes. His apparel was somewhat remarkable – he wore a black shirt and pants… and a purple cape.

He also carried a Duel Disk on his arm.

“Not the best way to make an entrance, I’m sure,” he sighed. “Can you folks help me? I’m looking for Petalburg, and I seem to have gotten lost…”

“Oh, it’s about three miles back that way,” said Francesca, pointing behind her.

“Thanks,” he replied. “I’m Ryo, by the way…”

He paused.

“I see you’re contestants…”

“Uh huh,” said Francesca, “we’ve both got three Cards each so far…”

“Really?” asked Ryo, with a smile.

He reached into his pocket and took out something…

He had four.

“I’m impressed,” said Francesca.

“Anyone care to go one-on-one?” asked Ryo.

“Not me,” sighed Francesca. “I did so much dueling yesterday, I’m tired out…”

“So you won two duels and then lost one?” asked Ryo.

“No I…” started Francesca.

“Long story,” mumbled Stan. “Don’t ask. Anyway, um, Andy, and I are up for it…”

He turned to Andy.

“Shoot you for it?” he suggested.

Andy lifted up his fist.

They shook.

Stan’s fist stayed closed, rock. Andy’s opened, paper.

“You win,” shrugged Stan. “Francesca and I will just… watch.”

“Okay,” sighed Andy, “I’ll take you on…”

His eyes closed.

“But I warn you,” he said, opening them with a smirk, “the Monsters in my deck play rough!”

“So do mine…” said Ryo with a devious grin.


[B]
* * * * * * * * * *


Several hundred feet away, sitting on the branch of a large tree, was Lord Crump, watching the scene with a video camera equipped with a special microphone.

Heh, heh, he thought. I’ve got the best seats in the house. And now I can record every move Andy makes… pretty soon, I’ll have the whole contents of those three brats’ decks listed!

And then the Grodus and the Queen will be so proud of me, and then maybe they’ll buy me that fancy motorcycle I’ve been looking at…

Then a small face poked into the way of the video camera.

“Huh?” said Crump, as he noticed the creature. “Shoo, scram, get away!”

He tossed the squirrel off.

I hate squirrels, he mused. Crazy, germ-infested creatures. Say…

He looked down.

…wonder how I’m gonna get down from here…


[B]
* * * * * * * * * *


“All right Ryo,” said Andy.

He thrust his arm forward, and his Disk flipped into position.

“I’m game if you are!”

Ryo’s Disk activated. The scores set to 8,000.

“DUEL!” they announced.

They drew their five cards.

Heh, heh, thought Ryo, looking at his hand. There it is, the deadly Crush Card!

He looked at a Monster in his hand.

And I have what I need to trigger it too. This might be a nasty way to win… but the Monsters in my deck would certainly approve…

“You can go first, Andy,” he said, smugly.

I don’t like the look on his face, thought Andy, making his first draw.

He looked at the card.

“I’ll start this off by playing my Pot of Greed!” he announced, placing the card in a slot.

The smiling jar appeared in front of him. As usual, a spectral hand reached out and handed him two cards from his deck.

“Uh, Stan,” muttered Francesca, “you ever stop to wonder just how our Disks are doing things like that?”

“If I dwell on it too much, I think I might lose my mind…” sighed Stan.

“Now then,” continued Andy, putting a card into a slot, “Stan, you wanted to know why I had Warrior Dai Grepher in my deck? Well here’s your answer! I play Polymerization to fuse together Spirit Ryu and my Warrior!”

The Polymerization card appeared; then a strange creature that looked like a wise dragon’s head with a jewel on its forehead and a pair of draconic wings, bound together by a band of glowing energy appeared. Next to it, the mighty Warrior Dai Grepher appeared.



http://www.itstimetoduel.com/cardpictures/LOD-EN036.jpghttp://www.itstimetoduel.com/cardpictures/LOB-EN059.jpghttp://www.itstimetoduel.com/cardpictures/LOD-EN020.jpg


A vortex opened, and the Dragon and Warrior were drawn into it.

“Fused together,” continued Andy, “they form a creature that’s half-Dragon, half-Warrior, all-unstoppable-fighting-machine known and feared by the name of… [B]Ryu Senshi!

A tall humanoid leapt out of the vortex. His armor was more scant than Warrior Dai Grepher’s showing off bulging muscles. He had scaly purple shoulder guards and a helmet shaped like a dragon’s head with a reptilian sail, along with a mask covering his mouth. His large sword glowed brightly. (2,000/1,200)



http://www.itstimetoduel.com/cardpictures/LOD-EN019.jpg


“Impressive…” said Ryo.



Continued…

Dark Sage
8th July 2005, 02:21 PM
Continued from last post:



“Now let’s see what you’ve got,” dared Andy.

He may have been able to summon a powerful Monster on his first move, thought Ryo, but my Crush Card will destroy it and every powerful Monster in his deck!

He drew.

“I’ll place a card facedown,” he said, placing a card into a slot.

The card appeared on his side of the field.

“And then I’ll summon Meda Bat, in Attack Mode!” he exclaimed.

He placed a card down on his Disk, and a very small Monster appeared. It looked like a big eyeball with horns, wings, claws, and a long tail. (800/400)



http://www.itstimetoduel.com/cardpictures/LOB-EN083.jpg


“And I’ll end my turn,” he said.

I really don’t expect him to fall for it, thought Ryo, but if he doesn’t attack my Meda Bat, I’ll just have it attack his Monster!

Francesca’s eyes opened wide as Andy drew.

Andy, no! she screamed in her head. Don’t attack that thing!

Andy smirked as he added the card to his hand.

He put a card facedown, he thought, and then summoned a really weak Monster that happens to be Dark in Attack Mode… could his plan be any more obvious?

He looked at Ryu Senshi.

Well, he’s in for a surprise!

“Ryu Senshi!” he commanded, “attack his Meda Bat with dragon soulsword!”

Ryu Senshi lifted his sword and stuck a pose… the image of a fierce, flaming dragon appeared behind him!

“NOOO!” screamed Francesca.

The Warrior chopped the tiny Fiend in half.

“HA!” laughed Ryo, as his Life Points fell to 6,800. “I can’t believe you actually fell for it!”

He hit his Disk.

“Activate Crush Card!”

The card lifted.

“I don’t think so…” said Andy with a grin.

Ryu Senshi’s sword blazed with flames, and he swung it forward! The Crush Card was incinerated!

“What?” gasped Ryo. “Your Monster can destroy Traps?”

Andy’s Life Points dropped to 7,000.

“Not all of them,” said Andy with a smile. “But so long as I’m willing to pay 1,000 Life Points, Ryu Senshi can negate the activation of any Normal Trap and destroy it. It’s a lot to pay, but my deck is safe.

“And before you embarrass yourself, Ryu Senshi is also immune to all Magic Cards that target, so don’t bother trying.

“I’ll end my turn there.”

“Okay, heart, resume beating…” gasped Francesca.

Okay, that was a bust, thought Ryo, making a draw. Well, if his Warrior can destroy Traps and is resistant to Magic, I’ll just have to resort to a cruder method…

He put a card down.

“I summon the mighty Giant Orc in Attack Mode!” he shouted.

A roar bellowed over the field, and the huge, hulking ogre appeared, lifting his bone club! (2,200/0)

“Giant Orc,” commanded Ryo, “attack Ryu Senshi with bone club bash!”

The huge Orc bore down on Ryu Senshi and clobbered him over the head with his club! The Warrior fell to the ground and vanished.

Andy’s Life Points fell to 6,800.

“That will end my turn…” smiled Ryo.

His Orc backed up and knelt into Defense Mode.

Andy drew.

“You might think that was clever, Ryo,” he commented, “but it’s not really a good idea to use Giant Orc against someone who plays a Dragon Deck… or Goblin Attack Force, for that matter…”

“What do you mean?” asked Ryo.

Andy placed a card down.

“Because both of those Monsters have too dangerous a handicap when there’s a chance that THIS guy will show up! I summon Spear Dragon!”

The pterodactyl-like Dragon with a long beak materialized, and screeched!



http://www.itstimetoduel.com/cardpictures/LOD-EN035.jpg


“AWK!” shouted Ryo. “That Dragon can damage my Life Points even when my Monster is in Defense Mode!”

“Exactly,” smiled Andy, “as if its Defense Score was an Attack Score. And your Giant Orc’s Defense Score is… zero. Spear Dragon, attack Giant Orc with cyclone blast!”

Spear Dragon blasted forth a powerful whirlwind from its beak, and Giant Orc was blown to pieces!

Ryo’s Life Points fell to 4,900.

Watching in the tree was Crump, with a grimace on his face.

Humph, he thought, Andy is doing good… too good if you ask me. He’s ahead by almost two-thousand Life Points…

Ah, what am I worried about? I could probably beat him any day of the week…

…if the Queen would give me a chance, that is. Humph, she thinks I’ll mess up – she thinks I can’t duel just because stupid Melissa beat me when she was ten. Well, I’d like to see Melissa try it now…

Then a squirrel crawled up onto his leg.

“What?” he said, startled. “I told you to get lost!”

He shoved the squirrel off his leg and it scattered.

Nutty rats, he thought.


[B]
* * * * * * * * * *


“Go, Andy!” yelled Francesca. “You’ve got him on the ropes!”

“It’s my move now!” exclaimed Ryo.

He made a draw.

“Perfect!” he stated.

He placed a card down.

“I summon an infernal general known as Archfiend Soldier!” he exclaimed.

A dark flame erupted on the field, and a form stepped out of it. The creature was tall and muscular, had claws, ram-like horns, and a face that would make even a mother scream. It was draped in a billowing cloak, and held a nasty sword. (1,900/1,500)



http://www.itstimetoduel.com/cardpictures/DCR-057.jpg


“Holy guacamole!” exclaimed Francesca. “That thing is… ugly!”

“Now my Archfiend,” commanded Ryo, “attack his Spear Dragon with dark sword or Perdition!”

Archfiend Soldier’s blade burned with black fire, and he flew forward, slicing Spear Dragon in two!

“Well, it’s safe to say now that Ryo plays a Fiend Deck…” muttered Andy.

“Oh no…” gasped Francesca. “Andy might have to deal with Dark Necrofear again!”

“Dark Necrofear?” said Ryo, raising an eyebrow.

He rubbed his chin.

“An interesting concept, but no,” he said. “There’s no Dark Necrofear in my deck. However, I assure you that I have a Monster that is just as deadly!”

“I don’t like the sound of that…” muttered Francesca.

“Your move now,” smiled Ryo.

Andy drew.

“Time to get rid of your Archfiend,” he smiled. “I summon Masked Dragon in Attack Mode!”

He put the card down, and the red and silver metallic Dragon wearing a mask appeared. (1,400/1,100)

“That’s not nearly strong enough!” laughed Ryo.

“By himself, no,” smiled Andy, “but I can use the Magic Card Scorching Ruin!”

He threw a card into a slot.

“This card raises the Attack of any Dragon by 1,000 points for one round!”

Masked Dragon’s Attack Score rose to 2,400!

“Masked Dragon, attack his Archfiend with incendiary cloud!”

Masked Dragon shot forth a cloud of burning vapor, and Archfiend Soldier was burned up!

Ryo’s Life points fell to 4,400.

“Heh, heh,” he chuckled. “HA, HA, HA, HA, HA!”

“What’s so funny?” sneered Andy. “In case you didn’t notice, you’re losing!”

“Nothing is funny!” laughed Ryo. “I’m laughing because I’m so pleased! The first two opponents I beat were complete pushovers! I hate it when I win by a shutout!

“Now I finally have my first real challenge, and it feels great!”

“Glad I could help…” muttered Andy. “Most people tend not to like it when I’m kicking their keister, but… Your move…”

“Well, at least that guy’s a good sport…” said Francesca with a shrug.

Ryo drew.

He looked at the card strangely.

“I’ll place a Monster facedown in Defense and end my turn,” he said.

He placed the card down, and a hidden Monster appeared.

Andy drew.

He gave the facedown card a long look.

Hmmm, he thought. He plays a Fiend Deck, so logic would indicate that this Monster is a Night Assailant… the Fiend version of Man-Eater Bug…

He looked at his hand.

I don’t have my Nobleman of Crossout now, so I’ll just have to summon my Troop Dragon and then attack, and it will be forced to destroy either Masked Dragon or Troop Dragon, neither of which is an unbearable loss…

He put a card down.

“Troop Dragon in Defense Mode!” he exclaimed.

He put a card down, and three scaly dragon-men with swords and armor appeared. (700/800)

“Masked Dragon,” he ordered, “attack that Night Assailant!”

Masked Dragon breathed forth its fiery cloud…

“Um, Andy…” remarked Ryo, offhand, “good guess, but this isn’t a Night Assailant…”

A strange object appeared on the card…

“No!” gasped Andy. “A Cyber Jar!”

A fierce suction drew Masked Dragon and Troop Dragon into the metal pod, and it exploded!

“Now then,” said Ryo, “we each draw five cards, and summon whatever Monsters we can…”

“Yeah, I know…” muttered Andy.

Andy made five draws.

“Okay,” he said. “I’ll summon The Dragon Dwelling in the Cave in Defense Mode, and these two in Attack Mode… Divine Dragon Ragnarok, and Twin-Headed Behemoth!”

He put the cards down. First a huge, stony dragon with a sleepy expression appeared, and curled up into a ball. (1,300/2,000). Then a wise-looking Chinese dragon made of smoky mist appeared. (1,500/1,000). Finally, a fearsome-looking beast with two serpentine heads materialized and roared from each head! (1,500/1,200)



http://www.itstimetoduel.com/cardpictures/LOD-EN037.jpghttp://www.itstimetoduel.com/cardpictures/FET-EN002.jpghttp://www.itstimetoduel.com/cardpictures/LOD-EN063.jpg


“Very nice, Andy,” smiled Ryo, “but my three are better… I summon Opticlops, La Jinn the Mystical Genie of the Lamp, and the mighty Goblin King!”

He put the three cards down. First a hulking giant with bulging muscles and a single eye materialized. (1,800/1,700). Then a small oil lamp appeared. Green smoke bellowed from it, which formed into a large genie with a skullcap and long moustache. He gave out a throaty chuckle. (1,800/1,000)

Finally, a strange Monster formed on the field. It was a small creature that looked like a bald-headed, green-skinned fiend in royal robes and a crown. He sat on an ornate throne. (0/0)



http://www.itstimetoduel.com/cardpictures/LOD-EN009.jpghttp://www.itstimetoduel.com/cardpictures/SDK-026.jpghttp://www.itstimetoduel.com/cardpictures/AST-031.jpg


“Mighty?” questioned Andy, raising an eyebrow. “He has zero Attack Points, and zero Defense Points!”

He knew, however, that there had to be more to it than that.

“By himself, that would be true, but looks can deceive,” started Ryo. “Let me explain how Goblin King works – his Attack and Defense is 1,000 for each Fiend on the field other than himself.”

(2,000/2,000)

“And he has another effect too,” continued Ryo. “So long as I have at least one other Fiend on my side of the field, he can’t be attacked!”

“Uh, Stan,” mumbled Francesca. “I think Andy’s in trouble…”

“Now it’s my draw…” said Ryo.

He drew, and added the card to his hand.

He opened his Field slot.

“I play Yami!” he exclaimed, throwing the card into the slot. “Now watch, as darkness shrouds the entire field!”

A billowing shadow emitted from behind him, and then covered their whole area!

“Fiends find strength in Darkness,” smiled Ryo, “so their Attack and Defense is boosted by 200 points!”

Opticlops’s stats went up to (2,000/1,900), La Jinn’s went up to (2,000/1,200), and Goblin King’s went up to (2,200/2,200).

“Okay…” muttered Francesca, “now he’s really in trouble…”

“Scared yet?” chuckled Ryo.

“I’m not scared of the dark, Ryo!” snarled Andy.

“That will soon change,” said Ryo with a look of determination. “Opticlops, attack Divine Dragon Ragnarok with fiendish gaze!”

Opticlops fired a beam of energy from its eye, and blew Ragnarok into vapor!

“La Jinn, attack Twin-Headed Behemoth with mystical magic!”

La Jinn chuckled again and cast forth a sparkling spell, blowing Twin-Headed Behemoth away.

“Goblin King, attack The Dragon Dwelling in the Cave with dark curse!”

Goblin King lifted a bejeweled scepter and fired a beam of dark energy, blowing Twin-Headed Behemoth into particles.

Andy’s Life Points were down to 6,000…

But he grinned.

“What are you so happy about?” asked Ryo. “You have no Monsters left!”

“Maybe you don’t know about Twin-Headed Behemoth’s special effect,” answered Andy. “When it’s destroyed, it makes a quick comeback!”

Twin-Headed Behemoth reformed in its previous location. (1,000/1,200)



Continued…

Dark Sage
8th July 2005, 02:24 PM
Continued from last post:



Lord Crump continued to watch. Fortunately for him, his camera came with a night-vision lens.

Interesting, he thought. Andy is in trouble now… unless he can summon something powerful, he’s in for a lot of damage on Ryo’s next turn. Wonder what… eh?

He looked down. Now two squirrels were crawling onto his leg.

“SCRAM!” he shouted.

The squirrels squeaked in fear, and scurried away.

What is it with these vermin, do they think I have peanuts in my pockets?

Andy drew his card.

“Okay, he said, “Yami or no Yami, I can still defeat you…”

He switched cards on his Disk.

“I sacrifice my Twin-Headed Behemoth to summon Luster Dragon #2, in Attack Mode!”

Twin-Headed Behemoth formed into a huge emerald, and the emerald shattered, revealing a beautiful Dragon made entirely out of the precious stone! (2,400/1,400)



http://www.itstimetoduel.com/cardpictures/LOD-EN050.jpg


“Luster Dragon,” shouted Andy, “attack his Opticlops with emerald flash blast!”

Luster Dragon shot forth a beam of pure, green light, and it incinerated Opticlops.

Ryo’s Life Points fell to 4,000. Also, Goblin King’s stats fell down to (1,200/1,200)

“Your move…” grinned Andy.

“All right!” cheered Francesca. “Andy won’t stay down for long!”

Ryo drew.

He chuckled, and added the card to his hand.

“Okay,” he said, turning two of his cards. “I’m moving La Jinn and Goblin King to Defense Mode…”

La Jinn crossed his arms, and Goblin King rested his scepter on his lap.

“Then I’ll summon Wretched Ghost of the Attic in Defense Mode,” he continued.

He put a card down, and a small creature appeared. It looked similar to Kuriboh, but with shaggier hair, and glowing blue eyes. (550/400) –> (750/600)

Goblin King’s stats went back up to (2,200/2,200)

“And I’ll finish,” he said, “by playing a Magic Card that’s just as rare as my Crush Card… Altar of Mists!”

He slid a card into a slot, and the card appeared on the field. It depicted an outdoor stone altar surrounded by a misty haze.

“Altar of Mists?” gasped Andy. “I’ve… never heard of that one…”

“Altar of Mists is a very powerful card,” answered Ryo. “After it’s been on the field for three of your turns, I’ll be able to add any Ritual Magic Card in my deck to my hand!”

“Ooh!” gasped Francesca. “Ritual Monsters are trouble!”

“You call that powerful?” chuckled Andy. “You’d be better off with Manju of the Ten-Thousand Hands. How can you be so sure I won’t destroy that card before the three turns are up?”

“You can’t!” stated Ryo with a smirk. “Altar of Mists has a mighty defensive property – it can’t be destroyed by card effects! Even I can’t destroy it if I wanted to! If I were to play Heavy Storm, it would be the only card left standing!”

Andy paused.

“Okay, that is pretty impressive,” he agreed. “But don’t forget, you also need the right Monster Card…”

“Um, touché…” said Ryo with a shrug.

But secretly, he grinned slightly, looking at the Monster Card in his hand.

“I end my turn,” he said.

Andy drew.

“I summon Gray Wing, in Attack Mode!” he exclaimed.

He threw a card down, and a gray, lizard-like Dragon with wings resembling those of a dragonfly appeared. (1,300/700)



http://www.itstimetoduel.com/cardpictures/LOD-EN041.jpg


“Humph, that’s weak,” said Ryo, waving his hand.

“He may not be the strongest Monster Attack-wise, but he’s useful in this situation,” explained Andy.

“First, Luster Dragon, get rid of that genie!”

Luster Dragon fired forth his breath, and blasted La Jinn! The Mystical Genie of the Lamp groaned and burst into particles.

Goblin King’s stats fell to (1,200/1,200)

“Now that I’ve done that,” grinned Andy, choosing a card, “I can discard one card from my hand, in order to let Gray Wing attack… twice!”

He discarded his Dragon’s Bead card.

“Gray Wing,” he shouted. “Attack Wretched Ghost of the Attack and Goblin King with your tornado blast!”

Gray Wing screeched, and blasted forth two cyclones of air! Wretched Ghost of the Attack shattered, and then Goblin King covered his ears… he and his throne burst!

“That takes care of all your Monsters,” smiled Andy. “Now make your move.”

“All right,” urged Stan. “At this rate, Andy might win before that Altar of Mists even kicks in!”

Ryo drew.

“I’ll place one card facedown on the field,” he said.

He slid a card into a slot, and it appeared in front of him.

“And now I’ll play this Monster in Defense Mode… Glasya, Duchess of Desire!”

He put the card down, and a remarkable female fiend appeared. She was a dark beauty, who had horns, batlike wings, a forked tail, and long, raven tresses, and was dressed in a skimpy black leather outfit. She smiled sweetly at Andy and waved. (800/2,000) –> (1,000/2,200)

“Isn’t she a beauty?” asked Ryo.

“I dunno,” muttered Andy. “Kinda depends on your definition of ‘beautiful’, really.”

“Well that’s my turn,” said Ryo.

Andy drew.

“Luster Dragon,” he shouted, “attack Glasya!”

No! screamed a voice in his head.

It was too late to reconsider his move. Luster Dragon shot forth his attack.

“You activated my Trap!” laughed Ryo. “Activate Sakuretsu Armor!”

His Trap card lifted, and a shimmering wall appeared around Glasya. The blast was deflected, and Luster Dragon #2 was blown to pieces.

“Urgh,” muttered Andy. “I’ll end my turn by switching Gray Wing to Defense Mode.”

He turned his card, and Gray Wing folded its wings.

Ryo drew.

“Heh, heh,” he said. “You thought you were safe by putting your Monster in Defense Mode? I beg to differ. I summon… Shadowslayer!”

He put a card down, and a tall creature leapt out of the shadows. It was a dark assassin dressed in tight-fitting green and blue, with a katana strapped to his back. His head was a bestial looking skull. (1,400/200) –> (1,600/400)



http://www.itstimetoduel.com/cardpictures/FET-EN024.jpg


“When the only Monsters you have on the field are in Defense Mode,” explained Ryo, “Shadowslayer can leap right over them and go right for your Life Points!”

“What?” gasped Francesca. “No!”

“Shadowslayer,” ordered Ryo, “attack Andy’s Life Points directly with shadow blade!”

Shadowslayer drew his katana, and held it out dramatically in front of him. He leapt right over Gray Wing and slashed at Andy! Andy cringed and stumbled backwards.

His Life Points fell down to 4,400.

“Your move…” said Ryo with a smirk.

Ugh, thought Andy, sweating. Can’t let that Shadowslayer get off another hit…

He drew.

This will cost me a couple of Life Points, but it will keep that thing from attacking directly…

“I summon my second Masked Dragon in Attack Mode,” he grunted, putting a card down.

A second Masked Dragon, an apparent twin of the first, appeared. (1,400/1,100)

“Now your Shadowslayer can’t attack me directly!” he mocked.

Ryo laughed.

“He doesn’t need too!” he laughed. “Tell me Andy, how well can you count?”

“Uh, Stan,” asked Francesca, “what’s he up to?”

“No…” gasped Stan. “It’s been three rounds since he activated Altar of Mists…”

“That’s right!” exclaimed Ryo, as his Magic Card started to glow.

Then it vanished into mist.

A card flew out of his deck, and he caught it.

“And now I have the means to summon my mightiest creature!” he laughed. “A Ritual known as Curse of the Masked Beast!”

A fiendish altar appeared, flanked by two fiery violet torches…

“And as for your statement about me needing the right Monster Card,” he continued, “well, I had it in my hand when I first played Altar of Mists.”

No… thought Andy, sweating. I’ve dealt with this before…

“So, now,” continued Ryo, “I’ll offer as sacrifice both Glasya and Shadowslayer…”

The two Fiends leapt up, and landed on the torches. They were consumed by the flames, and then the whole altar was consumed…

“And I summon… The Masked Beast!”

A hideous form trudged out of the flames. It was centaur-like in shape, with a lower body that was half-insect and half-slug with two clawed legs. Its upper body was muscular and covered with horny protrusions, and an eyeless mask was bonded to its face. It carried a wicked club. (3,200/1,800) –> (3,400/2,000)



http://www.itstimetoduel.com/cardpictures/LON-EN001.jpg


“Now, Masked Beast, attack his Masked Dragon!”

The Masked Beast charged forward, and smote Masked Dragon with its club, obliterating it!

Andy’s Life Points fell to 2,400…


[B]
* * * * * * * * * *


Well, Andy’s got his work cut out for him, thought Crump. Defeating a Monster that powerful, especially when it has Field advantage, is no easy feat…

And if Andy loses, all the better – he’ll be easy pickings once we decide to…

He turned around. He saw four squirrels watching him.

“Oh, that did it,” he said.

He took a device out of his pocket and aimed it at the squirrels. They screamed and ran away as they were hit by an electric shock.

“One more time and I’m making squirrel pot-pie, you scum-ridden vermin!” he threatened.

“Now where was I…?”

“Man,” gasped Francesca, “he lost 2,000 Life Points in one blow… he’ll never stop that thing!”

However, Andy was still looking positive.

“You may be in the lead,” he sneered, “but when Masked Dragon is destroyed, I get to special summon another Dragon with 1,500 Attack Points or less!”

A card flew out of his Disk.

“So I’ll summon my third Masked Dragon in Defense Mode!”

He put the card down, and another Masked Dragon appeared, folding its wings. (1,400/1,100).

“Then it’s your move,” dared Ryo.

Andy drew.

“I play Stamping Destruction!” he shouted, throwing a card into a slot.

Masked Dragon stamped his foot, and a shockwave blasted towards Ryo, knocking him down!

The darkness vanished.

“What?” he gasped.

The Masked Beast’s stats returned to (3,200/1,800).

“Stamping Destruction destroys one Magic or Trap Card, so I used it to destroy Yami,” explained Andy, “and it also causes you to lose 500 Life Points!”

Ryo’s Life Points fell to 3,500.

“So now it’s your move,”

Ryo drew. He looked at the card.

“I’ll shift my Masked Beast into Defense Mode,” he said, turning the card.

Stan, Francesca, and Andy looked on with a confused expression as The Masked Beast crouched and shielded itself.

“Confused?” asked Ryo. “The point behind this extremely odd strategy will come to light on my next turn. In the meantime, it’s your turn.”

He started to look nervous.

What in the world is he thinking? thought Andy, drawing. The Masked Beast is tops in Attack, but he isn’t exactly the King of Defense...

Unfortunately, I have nothing that can beat it…

“I’ll pass this turn,” he said.

But the card I just drew might help later…

Ryo drew.

“Okay,” he said, “I play… Curse of Fiend!”

He slid the card into a slot, and a card bearing an image of a sinister altar appeared.

“This Magic Card switches the battle positions of all Monsters on the field,” he said in a sinister voice, “meaning that all Monsters currently on the field are shifted into Attack Mode!”

Andy and his two friends gasped as Masked Dragon, Gray Wing, and The Masked Beast leapt into Attack Mode!

“No!” gasped Francesca.

“Now my Masked Beast,” shouted Ryo, “destroy his Gray Wing!”

Andy looked on in horror, as the huge Fiend closed in on Grey Wing and smashed it apart with its club!

“No…” sobbed Francesca. “He lost…”

“No, wait…” said Stan.

They looked. It wasn’t over yet.

Andy still had 500 Life Points left…

“Must have… misjudged the math…” gasped Francesca.

“This is almost over,” said Ryo with a smile, “so make your move…”



Continued…

Dark Sage
8th July 2005, 02:29 PM
Continued from last post:



“Man, this is sweet!” laughed Crump. “Andy’s going to be flattened in just a few…”

He heard a chittering next to him.

“Didn’t I warn you stupid squirrels to…” he started.

He turned around…

…and saw at least three dozen angry squirrels looking at him.

“Uh…” he stuttered, inching over, “about that ‘scum-ridden vermin’ crack…”

Then the squirrels were on him! The furiously clawed and bit at him!

“GET OFF!” he shouted. “Get off, get off, get off!”

He started to lose his balance…

The squirrels gave a shove, and he fell to ground with a crash.

Ooh… he thought, lying on the ground. Well, at least now I don’t have to worry about how to get down…

He sat up.

Where did that video camera go?

Then the video camera hit him on the head, and knocked him out.



* * * * * * * * * *


“Did you hear something?” asked Francesca.

“Eh, probably the wind,” answered Stan with a shrug.

Andy drew his next card.

He looked at his card and then spoke up.

“Well, Ryo,” he said, “your Masked Beast is impressive… he has a lot of Attack Points…

“But Attack Points aren’t everything, you know…”

“What do you mean?” asked Ryo.

“You just think about that…” said Andy, smugly.

He took two cards from his hand.

“As I first place one card facedown…”

He set a card facedown.

“And then summon Luster Dragon #1 in Attack Mode…”

He put the card down. A huge sapphire appeared over the field, and it burst, revealing a beautiful Dragon with a hide made of blue gems. (1,900/1,700)



http://www.itstimetoduel.com/cardpictures/TP5-EN004.jpg


“That will end my turn,” he said with a grin.

Ryo looked at him suspiciously.

Humph, he thought. This is the most obvious Trap I’ve ever seen…

He drew.

Lesser Fiend… Hmmm…

“Sorry Andy, but I’m not falling for it,” he said. “Since I can’t destroy your Trap, I’m going to pass this turn.”

“Heh, heh,” chuckled Andy, drawing, “actually, with this Trap, it didn’t exactly matter if you chose to attack or not!”

He chose a card from his hand.

“But before I set it off, I’ll play this number… Dragon’s Gunfire!”

He threw a Magic Card into a slot.

“This card lets one of my Dragons hit you for 800 points of direct damage!” he exclaimed.

Luster Dragon shot forth a blast of blue energy, striking Ryo! He staggered back, and his Life Points fell to 2,700.

“And now,” said Andy, “I’ll activate the Trap… Burst Breath!”

The Trap Card lifted.

“Burst Breath?” gasped Ryo. “What the sam-hill is that?”

“To activate this powerful card, I have to sacrifice one Dragon on the field,” explained Andy, “and in exchange, all Monsters on the field with a Defense Score equal to or lower than the sacrificed Dragon’s Attack Score are destroyed! So, I’ll sacrifice Luster Dragon!”

“No!” gasped Ryo. “The Masked Beast’s Defense is only 1,800!”

“Bingo!” exclaimed Andy. “Luster Dragon, use your Burst Breath!”

Luster Dragon roared, and rose over the field! It exhaled an enormous gout of energy, covering the whole field with blue flames!

When the flames subsided, every Monster on the field had been wiped out.

“Unfortunately, to do that, I also had to destroy my Masked Dragon,” sighed Andy, “so now I’ll summon Koumori Dragon in Defense Mode.”

He put a card down, and a small, purple-scaled dragon with large wings and a fiendish face appeared. It folded its wings. (1,500/1,200)

“And I end my turn,” he said.

“Why didn’t Andy attack with that guy?” asked Francesca.

“Because he’s smart,” replied Stan. “It would have injured Ryo, but it wouldn’t have come near enough to win the duel – and with only 500 Life Points left, Andy can’t afford to put a Monster that weak in Attack Mode.

“But at least he got rid of The Masked Beast…”

Ryo drew.

“I’ll play my Pot of Greed,” he announced.

He placed the card into a slot, and the jar handed him two cards.

He looked at his hand.

Nothing I can summon without making a sacrifice… he thought. But if I make a big risk, then maybe a little help from Andy can let me summon something powerful… Let’s hope he goes for the card that he’ll think will help him…

He slid a Magic Card into a slot.

“I play Dark Designator!” he announced.

“What does that do?” asked Francesca.

“It’s a tricky card,” answered Stan. “Ryo names a Monster Card, and if Andy has it in his deck, he has to add it to his hand.”

“How will that help Ryo?”

“It can’t by itself, but it’s useful in combos…”

“The card I name is… Cave Dragon,” said Ryo.

Andy’s eyes narrowed.

A card slid out of his deck and flew to his hand.

“How did you know I had that Monster?” he asked.

“Lucky guess,” shrugged Ryo.

He took another card from his hand.

“And now I play… Exchange!”

“Well, this is… unexpected…” muttered Stan.

“He’s pulling the same trick that The Unfriendly Amazon pulled on me!” exclaimed Fran, as Andy walked up to Ryo. “Well, sort of…”

“Yeah, but what the heck is Ryo going to do with Cave Dragon?” asked Stan, puzzled.

“All right,” said Andy, walking up, “I guess you wanted the Cave Dragon…”

“Thank you,” said Ryo, taking it.

He held out his hand.

“Now take any card you like,” he said with a grin.

Inside, he was incredibly nervous.

If he takes one of the two cards I need to pull this off, I’m finished! he thought. Come on… Go for the one that’s the most tempting…

“I’ll take your Question card,” said Andy, taking it.

Ryo grinned broadly inside.

He took the bait! he thought. He’ll never win if he uses that card – I know exactly what the answer to the Question is!

“My friend makes a good point,” noted Andy, as he walked back to his position. “I don’t see how Cave Dragon is going to help you – that Monster can’t attack unless another Dragon is on your side of the field, and I don’t think you have any in your deck…”

Ryo chuckled.

“For shame, Andy,” he scolded. “You don’t know one of the secrets that lurks within one of your own Monsters!”

“What?” gasped Andy in surprise. “Cave Dragon has a secret ability?”

“Yes, but he needs a little help from one of my Monsters,” explained Ryo.

He slid a Magic Card into a slot.

“I’m using Polymerization to fuse your Cave Dragon with my Lesser Fiend!”

Cave Dragon appeared in front of him, and then a tall demon with four arms and a yellow hide, wearing a kilt appeared next to it. The Polymerization card transformed into a vortex, and the two Monsters were drawn inside!



http://www.itstimetoduel.com/cardpictures/LOD-EN040.jpghttp://www.itstimetoduel.com/cardpictures/LOB-EN059.jpghttp://www.itstimetoduel.com/cardpictures/LOD-EN003.jpg


“Now watch and learn,” said Ryo, as the portal became surrounded by a ring of fire. “By fusing these two creatures together, I can create a great Dragon of the underworld with fiendish blood, known as… [B]Fiend Skull Dragon!”

A huge creature stepped out of the portal. It was a tall creature that could best be described as a combination between Dragon and Fiend. It stood upright on two spindly legs and had four clawed arms. It had huge, batlike wings, and a serpentine head with fiendish jaws! (2,000/1,200)



http://www.itstimetoduel.com/cardpictures/LOD-EN039.jpg


Fiend Skull Dragon roared with rage!

“Things just got very complicated…” muttered Stan.

“Okay,” muttered Andy. “I don’t know what to feel – impressed that I’ve learned something new about one of my Monsters, or disgust that the ‘something new’ is something that hideous…”

“Well let me explain how Fiend Skull Dragon works,” explained Ryo. “First of all, so long as it’s on the field, all Flip-Effects are negated. Second, it’s immune to Trap Cards that specifically target. So no using Magic Cylinder to protect yourself!

“But I can’t attack with it this round, so make your move…”

Andy whipped out a card.

“I play… Graceful Charity!” he remarked.

He plugged the card into his Disk, and the beautiful angel flew out. She flew into his deck, and then handed him three cards.

He looked at the cards, added them to his hand, and then handed her two. She flew into his discard slot.

Let’s hope he goofs up, he thought.

He slid a card into a slot.

“I’ll play the card I took from you…” he announced. “Question!”

His Dragon moved aside as the card appeared, and a large form materialized on the field. It was a large, colorful podium with a question mark in middle, a red light on one side, and a green light on the other. An emcee in a colorful costume and a top hat sat behind it.

“I trust you know how your own Magic Card works?” asked Andy.

“Heh, heh,” chuckled Ryo. “Yeah, I know. I have to guess which Monster is the first at the bottom of your discard pile… If I guess wrong, you get to Special Summon it, and if I guess right, it’s removed from play…”

He chuckled again.

“But I knew you’d choose that card when I played Exchange, and I already know the answer to the Question!”

Stan and Francesca gulped. Andy stared at him.

“The answer is… Ryu Senshi!”

Andy gave him a look.

“Is that your final answer?” he asked.

“Yes,” said Ryo, folding his arms. “Final answer.”

Then emcee hit a button on his console…

And then a loud “BUZZ!” sounded, the red light lit up, and the word “Wrong” took the place of the question mark.

“What?” exclaimed Ryo. “Wrong? You didn’t discard anything before he was destroyed!”

“It was a close guess, Ryo,” said Andy, with a grin, “but you forgot one important aspect of Ryu Senshi…

“Namely, he’s a Fusion Monster!”

“Aw, crud!” shouted Ryo. “That means you discarded two other Monsters in order to summon him!”

“Exactly!” exclaimed Andy.

The emcee and his podium vanished, and a Monster appeared.

“Now for the correct answer… meet Spirit Ryu!”

The odd Dragon appeared in front of Andy. (1,000/1,000)

“Heh, heh, you had me worried there for a minute,” chuckled Ryo. “That Monster is far too weak to take down Fiend Skull Dragon…”

“Oh, is it now?” asked Andy, turning a card. “I’m switching Koumori Dragon to Attack Mode!”

Koumori Dragon reared up to attack position.

“You’re actually going to attack?” gasped Ryo.

“In a word, yes,” said Andy. “Spirit Ryu, attack Fiend Skull Dragon with sonic flash attack!”

A ball of energy formed in Spirit Ryu’s jaws…

“You fool!” laughed Ryo. “You’ll lose!”

“No I won’t!” laughed Andy. “Due to Spirit Ryu’s effect! When it attacks, it gains 1,000 Attack Points for every Dragon I discard from my hand, and thanks to Graceful Charity, I have three!”

He threw the rest of his hand into his discard slot, and images of Tyrant Dragon, Troop Dragon, and Red Eyes Black Chick appeared behind him. Spirit Ryu’s Attack shot up to 4,000!

The Dragon’s sonic blast shot forth, and Fiend Skull Dragon roared as it was torn apart!

Ryo gulped as his Life Points fell to 700.

“Now, Koumori Dragon, attack him directly and finish this!” yelled Andy.

Koumori Dragon shot forth a blast of flame, striking Ryo dead center! He fell to the ground, and his Life Points fell to zero.

“All right!” cheered Stan.

“Way to go!” laughed Francesca.

Andy sighed.

Okay, he thought. Deep breaths now…



* * * * * * * * * *


“Well,” sighed Ryo, handing over a Crystal Card, “I guess I owe you this…”

Andy took it and frowned.

“Um, you owe me something else, too,” he mentioned.

“Huh?” asked Ryo. “Oh, right…”

He took the Cave Dragon card from his discard pile and handed it over. Andy handed over the Question card.

“Well,” said Ryo, “I’ve got to get to Petalburg… And the tournament is still young. Who knows? We might meet again…”

“One thing,” asked Andy. “Fiend Skull Dragon… is it a Fiend or a Dragon?”

“Oh, it’s a Dragon,” answered Ryo. “Unlike Black Skull Dragon. And like Cave Dragon, it’s a Wind Monster. If you play other Fusions besides Ryu Senshi, you might want to look into getting a Lesser Fiend…”

“Hmm,” muttered Andy. “Maybe I will look into that…”

“Well,” said Francesca, “let’s head to The Great Tree and see what’s there…”


[B]
* * * * * * * * * *


Lord Crump lay on the ground. He saw stars.

Ugh, he thought. My mother wanted me to be a dentist… I didn’t listen…

I think if I ever write the story of my life, I’ll leave this part out…

A shadow appeared over him.

The figure picked up the video camera and removed the tape.

“Can’t l-l-let you have th-th-this,” said the figure, breaking the tape in half.

The figure looked around.

“Now to f-f-find them before they get t-t-to the Tree,” he said. “An explan-n-nation is long overdue…”



[B]ALTAR OF MISTS

Card Specs

Type: Magic/Continuous
Attribute: –
Level: –
ATK: –
DEF: –

Card Description: Image of an outdoor altar surrounded by cloudy mist. This card cannot be destroyed by card effects. On your third Standby Phase after playing this card, destroy this card and remove it from play, and then search your deck for one Ritual Magic Card and add it to your hand.

Note: “Altar of Mists” was used by The Big Five in the multi-part anime episode “Merger of the Big Five”. All creative credit goes to the writers of that episode.



GLASYA, DUCHESS OF DESIRE

Card Specs

Type: Fiend
Attribute: Dark
Level: 4
ATK: 800
DEF: 2,000

Card Description: This attractive female noble of Pandemonium delights in seducing mortals and consuming their souls. (Although this Monster has no real Effect, she is considered an Archfiend for all related purposes.)

Note: “Glasya, Duchess of Desire” first appeared in “The Mandate of Heaven”



[B][I]In case you were wondering who the odd, shadowy character who’s in need of speech therapy is, you’ll have to wait until next chapter.

Speaking of which…

Coming up next, our team takes a short break from dueling, to learn some of the mysteries surrounding them and the island they are visiting. But are they believable? Two new major characters are introduced (one malignant, one benign), and some new additions to our heroes decks are made. It all comes in a chapter called “Information, Please”, coming soon…

Dark Sage
8th July 2005, 02:40 PM
[I][B]Sigh…

I’ve lived on this island for practically as long as I can remember… And always in secrecy.

If the Shadow Queen knew I was here, she’d make it a point to root me out. I wouldn’t be safe. Fortunately, she doesn’t know I’m here. She likely doesn’t know I’m still alive.

My only friends on this island are the Monsters in my dueling deck… In particular, seven odd Monsters, the likes of which no-one has ever seen before… at least in card form.

Today I must break my silence. I must take the risk of being discovered. Because now there is finally the chance that the Queen’s evil will be extinguished… forever…

I must confront them… I must make three new friends…

…and in doing so, I must part with seven old ones…




[size=3][B]CHAPTER EIGHT



Information, Please



It was one hour after Andy’s duel with Ryo…

And the team was trudging through the tall, pale grass under the large trees.

Stan was speaking out a list:

“Rum Raisin…” he muttered. “French Raspberry Cheesecake… Banilla Minty Ripple… Chocolate-Chip Cookie Dough.”

He paused. Francesca held her head.

“Wait a second…” mused Stan, “that’s only forty-one… Must have missed one. Aw, I’ll start again. Vanilla… Chocolate… Strawberry…”

“OKAY, ENOUGH!” shouted Francesca.

Stan drew back in fright, as did Andy.

“No more talking about ice cream flavors!” she yelled. “I’m gaining weight just listening to you!”

“Okay, okay…” squeaked Stan. “No more ice cream…”

“Sheesh!” exclaimed Francesca.

Andy went up to Stan.

“You know,” he said, meekly, “I’m starting to like her…”

Stan gave him a weird look.


[B]
* * * * * * * * * *


In the Palace of Shadow, the mistress of the complex rubbed her chin.

She silently leafed through her deck, and chose a card from it.

She tossed the card into her fireplace, and the flames burned green…

This should be fun, to watch, she thought.


[B]
* * * * * * * * * *


“We’re almost to The Great Tree,” said Stan. “We should be seeing it soon…”

“Good,” replied Andy. “Then we can…”

The ground started to tremble…

And then three huge forms erupted out of the ground! They were huge, hideous rose bushes, each with a pod bearing razor-sharp teeth! (1,200/900)



http://www.itstimetoduel.com/cardpictures/LOB-EN114.jpg


“Yike!” shouted Andy. “What are those?”

“Darkworld Thorns,” sneered Francesca. “Nasty…”

“How do we get by three huge man-eating plants?” gasped Stan.

Francesca flipped her Disk into position.

“Slash and burn…” she replied.

Her allies activated their Disks, and they drew the top cards from their decks…

“Go, Amazoness Swords Woman!” shouted Fran, slapping a card down.

The sword-wielding Amazon appeared, swinging her huge blade! (1,500/1,600)

“Blast Magician, go!” yelled Stan, throwing a card down.

The fiery sorcerer appeared in a burst of flame, holding his bladed staff! (1,400/1,700)

Andy threw his card on his Disk.

“Go, Koumori Dragon!” he exclaimed.

The small winged, purple Dragon appeared. (1,500/1,200)



http://www.itstimetoduel.com/cardpictures/MFC-061.jpghttp://www.itstimetoduel.com/cardpictures/FET-EN020.jpghttp://www.itstimetoduel.com/cardpictures/SDK-006.jpg


The three Monsters stood between their masters and the ugly plants. The Darkworld Thorns roared!

Amazoness Swords Woman leapt up, and chopped the pod clean off one of the wicked plants! The creature shattered into pixels!

Blast Magician aimed his staff and it burned with flames! He shot forth a stream of fire and the second Darkworld Thorns was immolated before vanishing!

Koumori Dragon shot forth a cone of flames from its jowls! The third Darkworld Thorns shrieked, and exploded.

The three victors turned to the duelists and smiled. They vanished.

The duelists sighed, and shuffled the cards back into their decks.

Then they heard clapping coming from in front of them.

“Well done, y-y-youngsters,” said a voice. “W-w-well done!”

They all looked, as a strange old man came into view.

He was tall, and lanky, with a thin face. He wore glasses that were so thick, you couldn’t see his eyes, and he had a long nose. His clothing was very loud and outdated – it looked like something out of the nineteenth century. Most remarkable was his hair. It was pure white, and incredibly frizzy.

He also wore a Duel Disk on his arm.

“Who is this guy?” whispered Stan to Andy.

“What’s with the hair?” answered Andy. “He looks like he stuck his finger in an outlet!”

“N-n-nice work handling those Thorns,” said the man with a smile. “I’m afraid the h-h-hazards on this island are g-g-going to get more challenging…”

They gave him “the eye.”


[B]
* * * * * * * * * *


An instant before the odd man appeared, the Shadow Queen was watching through her viewing globe…

But then, it went dark.

“Huh?” she said in surprise. “What on earth…?”

She got up and pounded on it.

“What’s wrong with this damn thing?” she shouted. “This is the third time this month I’ve had problems with it!”

She sighed.

“I wish there was tech support you could call for magical artifacts…” she muttered.

She took out her cell phone and dialed.

“Uh, hullo?” answered a voice.

“CRUMP!” she shouted. “Are you still watching those kids?”

“Um, yeah, sure…” was the response.

He was lying. Right now he was sitting down, nursing a bad headache.

“Don’t let them out of your sight!” shouted the Queen. “I’ve got a crystal ball to fix!”

Crump shuddered in fear as she hung up.

Man, he thought, if I don’t find those kids, she’s gonna blow her top… right before she blows mine!

He hurried off in the direction of The Great Tree.


[B]
* * * * * * * * * *


This guy looks like a character from some Disney animated movie! thought Stan.

“H-h-hello young ones,” said the man. “Stanley, Anthony, Francesca…”

“You know our names?” asked Andy.

“I know m-m-much about you,” he replied. “I have for a long time. You may c-c-call me Merlee.”

“Yeah, well Merlin…” started Francesca.

“M-M-Merlee,” he corrected.

“Whatever,” replied Francesca. “You know, I have an uncle who could help with that problem…”

“Wh-wh-what p-p-problem?” he asked.

They all looked at him.

“Never mind…” she sighed, nervously.

“I see you’re a duelist,” said Stan with a smile.

“Oh, um, that,” answered Merlee, looking at his Disk. “Well, y-y-yes, from time to time. But I d-d-don’t have time to duel right now. I need to have a few w-w-words with the three of you.”

Andy stared at him.

“Look, who are you, where are you from, and what business do you have with us?” he asked.

“Um, to t-t-take your questions in order,” answered Merlee, “I consider myself an intellectual, I’ve l-l-lived on this island for as long as I can remember, and I think I h-h-have a LOT of business with you.”

“You’re a native, huh?” asked Francesca. “Any family?”

She chuckled.

“Is there a Mrs. Merlee?” she asked, trying hard not to laugh.

“I was m-m-married once before,” answered Merlee. “Sadly, old Bernice p-p-passed away a while back…”

Francesca felt like she had been kicked in the gut.

“Oh, I’m so sorry!” she cried.

“It’s okay,” assured Merlee. “All f-f-folks die eventually. The only tragedies are those who d-d-die before they are supposed to.

“And as I said,” he continued, “I have b-b-business to speak with you about, about w-w-why you all are h-h-here…

“B-b-because frankly, your lives are in d-d-danger.”

They drew back.

“Come on!” said Stan. “This is just a tournament! We…”

“Th-th-this is more than just a t-t-tournament, folks,” said Merlee. “Your coming h-h-here was all an elaborate trap…

“…set up by the Shadow Queen.”

“That spook we saw in Hooktail Castle?” asked Francesca. “What about her?”

“Have a seat?” asked Merlee. “This might t-t-take a while.”

He waved his arms, and four large mushrooms sprouted out of the ground – large enough to serve as chairs. Not knowing what else to do, Stan, Francesca, and Andy sat down.

“Tea and scones, f-f-folks?” he asked.

Another, larger mushroom, the size of a table, sprouted, and a silver tray with a teakettle and cups and a plate of scones appeared on it.

“Uh, thanks,” said Andy, in wonder.

Weird, he thought, as they reached for the pot.

“I guess it’s best to start at the beginning,” started Merlee. “One thousand years ago, the Shadow Queen was your average evil sorceress – thing was, she knew powers that set her apart from most evil sorceresses. She knew how to manipulate the Shadow Realm.”

“Hey Fran,” whispered Andy, “notice he isn’t stuttering right now?”

“Shadow Games were played much like Duel Monsters is today,” continued Merlee, “except that there were no holograms involved. The Monsters and the Magic was all very real…”

The three teenagers opened their eyes wide.

“The Queen got stronger, making deals with demons and other infernal beings,” continued Merlee, “eventually gaining power that made her immortal. She set sights on her goal – world domination. From this very island, her demonic forces of Shadow marched forth, intent on conquering everything in their path.

“Resistance wasn’t much. A few people in those days knew the skills she had, but not as well as she did. She never lost a Shadow Game. Her foes were defeated, one by one, and she started to build an empire…

“…an empire of enslaved nations…

“Eventually, with her vanity and ego at its peak, she decided her humble castle was too small, and she decided to construct a grander palace, located on this island, her capital. She would use her wealth – mostly stolen – to build her new Palace of Shadows inside the island’s central mountain. Mountains were symbolic to her – they were steadfast, indomitable, and just as immortal as she was.

“And to any fools who would try to come uninvited or – heavens forbid – invade her Palace, the place would have a clever defensive property. You see, doors and the like meant nothing for the Shadow Queen and most of her followers – they knew how to slip in-between dimensions and travel anywhere in the blink of an eye. The Queen could travel to virtually any place in her empire in a moment… sort of like they do on Star Trek.”

He chuckled for a minute, and then continued.

“So in terms of physical entrances, the Palace of Shadows would only have one. The grand doorway built into the side of the mountain was the only way in – or out – for those who lacked the power that the Shadow Queen or her servants had. And it was heavily guarded and fortified.

“Anyway, in the years after the Palace was completed, the Queen’s mad reign continued. More kingdoms were subjugated, more people enslaved… Her evil empire grew.

“But this would not go unchallenged forever…”

He paused once again.

“H-h-how’s the tea, folks?” he asked.

Tastes like warm milk… thought Stan.

“Um, good,” answered Stan. “Please, go on. This is getting good.”

Truthfully, he thought this guy was more than a little eccentric – after all, his history classes never mentioned anything like this – but this was getting good.

“Eventually,” continued Merlee, “three saviors appeared. It’s unclear how they met, or who brought them together. Their names are forgotten – folks just call them the Three Heroes now.

“It would be wrong to put them in any sort of order, because they didn’t have a leader among the three of them. But one of them was a sorcerer of great skill. His powers of dark magic were said to be second only to that of the Shadow Queen herself. His powerful spells could lay waste to an army with one mighty blast…”



Continued…

Dark Sage
8th July 2005, 02:42 PM
Continued from last post…



Stan paused at this. He looked at his Disk, and then slowly drew the top card off…

He looked at it…



http://www.itstimetoduel.com/cardpictures/BPT-007.jpg


He slowly put it back in his deck…

“Another one of them was a female warrior of incredible beauty and skill,” continued Merlee. “It was said that no other fighter in the world, male or female, could defeat her in any physical contest. All who challenged her soon found themselves overwhelmed, and groveling at her feet…”

Francesca paused.

She drew the top card from her own deck and looked at it…



http://www.itstimetoduel.com/cardpictures/MFC-059.jpg


She slowly put the card back.

“The third member of the group was the strangest,” said Merlee, with an odd expression. “Legend says that his mother was a princess, and his father was a wise dragon who could take the form of a human. Whether this was true or not is not known, but while most folks were frightened of dragons, this warrior was the master of them. The fierce beasts bowed before him, and did whatever he said, eagerly coming to his aid.”

A sensation came over Andy…

He slowly drew the top card from his own deck. He gazed at it…



http://www.itstimetoduel.com/cardpictures/SDK-041.jpg


Dumbfounded, he put the card back.

“The important thing was,” said Merlee, “each of Three Heroes knew how to control Shadow Games themselves – but they each knew that, by themselves, even they were no match for the Shadow Queen. So they decided not to make the mistakes that others who challenged her had made. First, they would not do so alone. They gathered together for the mutual goal.

“Second, they would strike by surprise, and gain further support. They invaded this island, and rallied thoughts of rebellion in the Queen’s own capital. They gained information, and allies.

“When they thought they were ready, they stormed the Palace of Shadows, easily breaking through the defenses placed on the doorway.

“Most would think that invading the Shadow Queen’s home was suicide, and that no-one would dare try it. But the Heroes had one thing for their advantage – it was the last thing she was expecting as well. She never saw them coming.

“Still, the heroes knew that this would be the fight of their lives…

“Legends say that when the Heroes confronted the Queen, a shadowy fog eclipsed the sun, moon, and stars, and darkness fell all over the world! For the next three days, no light shone upon the Earth, as humanity’s would-be saviors clashed in the deepest recesses of the Palace of Shadows…

“After three days of fighting, the Three Heroes were exhausted, their small band of Companions given their all, and the Queen still had power to spare. A powerful spell cast by the evil tyrant brought them to their knees… It seemed that this attempt at rebellion would end the same way all others had: in failure…

“Now, I’m not truly one to believe in miracles, but at that moment, something happened. All over the world, in the uncanny darkness, the people in the Queen’s empire felt that their saviors were about to lose. They didn’t want that to happen…

“So at that time, the voices of a million people all gave their support. From every corner of the globe, their cheers and ovation came…

“And in the den of evil, they heard. With the spirits of thousands behind them, the Heroes found their power returning. They got up, and they fought on… And this time, the Shadow Queen’s powers could barely scratch them.

“It was too much for the Queen to take. She didn’t have a chance this time. She was fighting the will of too many. The willpower of a million oppressed people can bring even the most powerful of tyrants to their knees.

“With most of her power drained, she fell before their feet. It was finally over.

“The Three Heroes knew that justice had to be done – they quickly decided to execute their prisoner. But they soon found that they couldn’t. The Shadow Queen had lost most of her powers, but she was still immortal. She couldn’t be killed. But they knew simple imprisonment wouldn’t be enough. They couldn’t take the risk that she’d escape…

“So, they decided to use a prison that was more secure than any they knew – the Palace of Shadow. They cast a powerful curse on the Queen, which would forbid her from ever leaving her grand castle. She’d be a prisoner of it… forever.”

He paused.

“Really?” asked Francesca with a chuckle. “Quite a story… Ever think about expanding on it a little… making it into a book?”

“I’m not finished,” said Merlee.

“Oh, there’s more?” chuckled Andy.

“Unfortunately, yes,” said Merlee. “The Queen never took kindly to her confinement, and certainly didn’t accept it. She’d do anything to escape – commit any crime or any immoral act. She recovered some of her power after awhile, and eventually developed powers aimed at communicating with the outside. She gained special minions, and she urged them to research the curse that held her prisoner. Eventually, she found that there was one means to escape…

“It stated that if she or anyone who served her, willingly or not, could defeat the blood heirs of the Three Heroes in a fair contest, then the curse would be broken.

“Thus, she began gaining more minions… the greatest of which are now her children, the Shadow Spawn…”

“Huh?” asked Francesca. “Like Melissa claimed to be?”

“Melissa is the youngest, my friend,” sighed Merlee, “ and the least powerful. Nineteen years ago, the Queen embarked on a grand scheme to create six of the most loyal servants. She looked for a mate… and she attracted one. He was an evil practitioner of dark magic, the mirror image of one of the Heroes who defeated her.

“He was a fool to fall for her charms. No sooner did she find that she was carrying his child, she banished him to The Graveyard…”

The eyes of the three teens opened at this.


“Graveyard?” asked Francesca.

“Yes, I should have mentioned that,” answered Merlee. “It’s sort of a dimensional prison where she banishes enemies and failed servants. A proper description doesn’t exist because those who go there rarely come back.

“Anyway, nine months after this, Vladimir was born, and the Queen started again. Her next mate wasn’t even human… he was a marid, a spirit from a dimension of water. Once he had served his purpose, she banished him as well, and nine months after that, a daughter was born… Maria.

“She was barely done. She next seduced another elemental spirit, this one a dao, a spirit of earth and rock. Once she got what she had wanted, she disposed of him, and after nine months, Leopold was born…

“Her next task was one of the hardest. Her target was an efreeti, a demonic spirit from a realm of eternal fire. Normally, efreet despise humans, so the Queen had to use powerful magic to make him her slave. Soon she was carrying another child, and she imprisoned the father. A son named Tyson was the result.

“The next task was even harder. She would attempt the same with an air spirit called a djinni. This was harder because djinn are noble creatures and aren’t susceptible to mind control. The Queen had to use lies and disguises to get him to succumb. She succeeded, and the unfortunate creature was her next victim. Her fifth child was born soon after, a son named Kurtis.

“Finally, we come to Melissa, someone whom the Queen regarded as the biggest challenge and a grand experiment. Her choice of a father was a divine being… an angel if you will…”

Francesca looked at him in shock, but Merlee continued.

“His name was Galadriel, and the Queen knew that convincing an angel to surrender to her charms would be the hardest task of all. But somehow, she managed to do so. You’ll be happy to know that Galadriel came to his senses and escaped before the Queen could get her claw on him, but he knew well enough never to return.”

Merlee sighed.

“Funny, I at one time thought there was hope for Melissa. I thought that the child of an angel might have at least some goodness in her. I approached her when she was ten, and tried to convince her to leave her mother… But I failed. Too much evil blood exists within her


“Now, Melissa is fourteen, her siblings are older, and they are their mother’s eager pupils. All of them are eager to help her escape…”

“Hang on, Merlee,” interrupted Francesca. “If this Shadow Queen can’t leave her Palace… Call me crazy, but someone calling herself the Shadow Queen was in Hooktail Castle…”

Merlee chuckled.

“A s-s-simple spell that most w-w-wizards know,” he stuttered. “Watch. First you have to s-s-see a place, like that grove over there…”

He pointed.

“Or v-v-view it live though a c-c-camera, or a magical viewing device, l-l-like a crystal ball.

“Now, projectamentos!”

As he said the words, an image of himself, just as he was in front of them, appeared in the grove.

He waved, and the image waved.

“S-s-see?” he and the image said in unison. “An illusion. A ‘projected image’. I’m over here, but you also see and h-h-hear me over there. Th-th-the Queen does this when she w-w-wants to appear in person outside her Palace. S-s-so long as she doesn’t p-p-pick up anything or let anyone touch her, it’s a cl-cl-clever ruse.”

The image vanished.

“All right,” sighed Stan, “it’s a clever story, and all these special effects are… effective. But what does this all have to do with us?”

“Isn’t it obvious?” said Merlee, sipping his tea.

He paused.

“The Shadow Queen wishes to defeat you in Duel Monsters, the only ‘fair’ way she can think of, because you are the blood heirs of the Three Heroes.”

Stan, Francesca, and Andy looked at each other for a second.

And then they laughed out loud!

“Right,” chuckled Stan. “Like my great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great grandfather was the master of dark magic!”

“And mine was half-dragon,” laughed Andy. “You’re really reaching here!”

“Gramps, I have to admit, your story might make a great movie,” giggled Francesca, “but if my ancestor was some sort of Xena, I think I’d know about it!”

Merlee paused.

“Explain th-th-those,” he said.

He pointed to the pendants around their necks.

“The Three Heroes m-m-made them as a symbol of the bond between them, and when you c-c-came here, they led you to each other.

“Destiny h-h-has brought you together again, and y-y-you must finish what your ancestors st-st-started. The Queen doesn’t know the downside of her escape clause – if you d-d-defeat her, she’ll finally die.”

“Heh,” said Francesca, with a smirk. “Not that we’d do this, but who’s to stop us from taking the next boat off this island?”

“Imp-p-possible,” replied Merlee. “She c-c-controls the ships leaving and entering this island. She won’t let a sh-sh-ship leave if you’re on it.

“Believe me or not, you have no choice but to defeat her. And if you want more proof, there’s your Earth Tremor card, and Stan’s Sweet Treat card.

“Do you want to know why Earth Tremor didn’t work when The Unfriendly Amazon tried to use it on you?”

“Offhand, yes,” said Francesca, with a frown. “That did cross my mind…”

“When the Three Heroes set out on their quest, they created eight powerful spells, weapons that called upon the good side of Shadow. They used these spells in their journey.

“Once their task was done, they inscribed these spells on scrolls. They remained locked up in vaults, until the present day. A powerful wizard transferred their power into eight Duel Monsters cards. The Enchanted Cards, that’s the best term for them. Sweet Treat and Earth Tremor are among the least powerful.

“But only the forces of good are allowed to use these cards. Evil beings cannot harness their power.”

Andy looked at him curiously.

“Where are the other six?” he asked.

“Scattered,” said Merlee. “The Queen’s s-s-servants have some of them, and she’s looking for the others. Look for th-th-them, and they’ll help you in your quest.”

Stan looked annoyed.

“Look buddy,” he snapped. “I don’t recall signing up for any ‘quest’!”

“I’m with Stan,” said Francesca. “Even if your story is true, which I doubt, we’re not superheroes…”

“Yeah, and just because I’m good with Dragons doesn’t make me Seto Kaiba,” grumbled Andy. “Why don’t you get him and Yugi Mouto to do this?”

“They can’t be d-d-depended on for everything,” sighed Merlee.

He paused.

“You are sk-sk-skeptics now, but hopefully in time, you will see the tr-tr-truth.”

He took something out of his pocket.

He sighed.

“B-b-before I go, I have s-s-some gifts for you…”

“Gifts?” said Stan, raising an eyebrow.

“You s-s-see,” said Merlee, “there’s a p-p-part of the story I left out. “The Three Heroes w-w-weren’t alone in their struggle…”

He shifted through a set of cards.

“Along their j-j-journey, a group of cr-cr-creatures joined them… seven in all. Sidekicks, cohorts… most of all, companions. They w-w-were called the Seven Companions. Once the Queen was defeated, the Heroes immortalized their images in f-f-fine art…

“Eventually, the C-c-companions died, as everyone does, but art lasts forever, and the s-s-same wizard who created the Enchanted Cards created special Monster Cards in th-th-their images.

“He told me… that their spirits live within them…”

He placed the cards on the mushroom table.

“Divvy them among y-y-yourselves, and add them to your decks. You might not believe in your d-d-destiny yet…”

They all gave him strange looks.

“But these Monsters are p-p-powerful nonetheless. Just take c-c-care of them… they’re like ch-ch-children to me.”

Then he turned around, and walked away.

“W-w-we’ll meet again s-s-soon,” he said.

And then he vanished.

Stan, Francesca, and Andy looked at the seven Monster Cards…



Continued…

Dark Sage
8th July 2005, 02:44 PM
Continued from last post:



One thousand feet away, Lord Crump was watching through binoculars.

Holy, good gravy! he thought. Did that guy say his name was Merlee?

He shuddered.

He picked up his cell phone and started to dial a number.

I gotta tell the Queen this…

Then he closed the cell phone in fright.

NO! If the Queen finds out, she’ll blow her blood vessels! And then she’ll get mad… And when she gets mad…

He shuddered.

Ooh, I’ve gotta do something…

He paused.

I know, I’ll go tell Sir Grodus. He’ll know what to do!

He rushed towards a clearing where a vehicle resembling a rusty, land-bound jet-ski was parked.

He got on the seat.

Let’s hope this piece of junk doesn’t break down between here and Rogueport, he cursed, as he started it up.


[B]
* * * * * * * * * *


The three teenagers looked at the Monster Cards in front of them.

“They are powerful, I’ll say that,” said Francesca, “and only two require a sacrifice…”

“Maybe I should take the two Spellcasters,” said Stan. “My deck revolves around them.”

Andy looked at one of them.

“Well I can’t use that one,” he said, “because it needs another Warrior or Spellcaster to work… Why don’t you take it Francesca? And that Fairy, she might fit in your deck.”

“And you?” asked Fran.

Andy looked at two of them.

“Well, no Dragons, but these two will work in a deck that does a lot of damage,” he said, taking them.

One card was left on the table.

“So who gets the odd one?” he continued.

Francesca paused.

“Everyone shuffle their decks,” she said.

They all shuffled.

“Now,” she said, “everyone draw the top card. Whoever gets the Monster with the lowest Attack Score gets it.”

“Sounds fair to me,” said Andy.

He drew.

“Eh, Masked Dragon,” he said, “1,400 Attack.”

Francesca drew.

“I beat that!” she chuckled. “Command Knight, 1,200 Attack!”

Stan drew.

“Sorry Fran,” he said.

He showed her the card: Mind On Air.

“Only 1,000 Attack,” he said.

“You win,” sighed Francesca.

Stan took the card, and they shuffled the new cards into their decks.

“So, our forbearers were Jedi Knights of the Old Republic…” chuckled Stan.

“Yeah,” giggled Andy. “Say, Francesca, maybe yours was that ‘warrior maiden’ that slew Hooktail!”

Francesca stopped short.

“Francesca?” asked Andy. “Something wrong?”

“Are you making fun of me?” she snapped.

“No!” gulped Andy. “Honest Francesca, no… I’m scared of you…”

“Whatever,” sighed Francesca. “I think that guy’s brain was a little broken. Come on, we have a Great Tree to find, and a tournament to win…”


[B]
* * * * * * * * * *


Among the members of Monster Island’s ruling council, Sir Grodus was one of the… stranger ones.

Why was he strange? Well, there was his appearance for one thing…

His head was a blue, cybernetic contraption that resembled a globe with computerized lights flashing in it, along with a pair of spectacles that looked like mirrors.

He also liked wearing fancy wizard’s robes, and carried a scary-looking scepter topped with an orb that resembled his cranium.

Still, he was such a frequent sight in Rogueport, that the people there were more or less used to his presence…

Not that they liked him being there. He was downright rude to anyone he dealt with, and some people swore that they saw him casting evil spells at people who got him angry.

But right now, he was at a phone booth, and his intentions weren’t very sinister….

…ordering lunch.

“Hello?” he said into the receiver. “Sir Grodus. Um, I think I’m in the computer… Yeah, I’ll hold…”

He waited.

“Yeah,” he said. “I’d like a large thick-crust with pepperoni, beef topping, mushrooms, and extra cheese…

“What? No, I don’t want anchovies on it! No, I don’t care if they are special this week! Those salty things give me gas!

“Huh? No, that’s it. Bring it to the phone booth by the gallows.”

He hung up.

I’d eat at the Palace, he thought, but that place is getting on my nerves. If I have to sit through another lecture on the new dueling system that they might be implementing…I mean, what the heck is wrong with normal Duel Monsters?

“Sir Grodus!” yelled a voice.

“Huh, Crump?” he said, turning his head.

A sound like a noisy muffler roared over the street as Crump drove up in his vehicle. He parked it, and smoke poured out of the engine.

“Crump, turn that accursed thing off!” ordered Grodus. “You’re getting soot on my robe!”

“Sir Grodus, sir,” started Crump, “I gotta tell you…”

Grodus grabbed him.

“And when was the last time you washed this beard?” asked Grodus. “You’ve got stuff growing in it!”

“Look, Sir Grodus,” said Crump, in near panic, “I had to tell someone, and I didn’t think telling her majesty would be a very good idea…”

Grodus rolled his eyes.

“Crump, rate this from one to ten, ten meaning inevitable defeat,” he sighed.

“Um, twelve?” shuddered Crump.

“Well that’s good to…” started Grodus.

He stopped short.

”Twelve?”

“Look, you know those kids she told me to spy on?” asked Crump. “Well, I saw them talking to a guy…”

He stopped.

“…who said his name was Merlee…” he squeaked.

“MERLEE?” shouted Grodus.

He grabbed Crump.

“Crump, have you been eating paste again?” he scolded.

“Um, yes…” stuttered Crump. “Yes I have. But I know what I heard! This guy said he was Merlee.”

“That’s impossible, Crump, and you know it!” yelled Grodus. “There’s no way that he could still be alive!”

“Well, maybe it was a different Melee,” suggested Crump, “although you have to admit, ‘Merlee’ isn’t exactly a popular name. I mean, who would name their kid that? Well, then again, someone chose Whoopi Goldberg’s name…”

Grodus put his hand on his head…

“What?” asked Crump.

Grodus clubbed him with his scepter.

“Goldberg’s name is a stage name, soufflé-brain!” he shouted.

Crump held his head.

“Sheesh, actresses never use their real names these days…”

He thought for a minute.

“Look, what did this guy look like?” he asked.

“Well, he was kind of… um… uh…” started Crump.

“Here,” said Grodus.

He pulled a notepad and a pencil out of his robe.

“Draw a picture.”

“Well let’s see,” said Crump. “He had eyes like… this; and hair like… this; and a nose kind of like… this…”

He looked at the drawing.

“Hmmm…”

He reached in his pocket.

“Aw heck with it,” he said, “here’s a Polaroid I took.”

“OOH!” grunted Grodus.

He snatched it.

“Crump, is your sole purpose on this planet to drive me crazy?” he yelled.

“I kinda figured you were already crazy…” said Crump, under his breath.

“WHAT WAS THAT?” yelled Grodus.

“I said I was sorry for being so lazy,” said Crump, quickly.

Grodus looked at the snapshot.

“That matches the description…” he said, with a quiver in his voice.

He held his head.

“When the Queen finds out about this, she’s going to be even angrier than she usually is…”

“So what do we do?” asked Crump.

“We keep quiet about it!” shouted Grodus, crumpling the photo. “If the stories about Merlee are true, he’s even more powerful than I am! And the last thing we need is the Queen telling us to look for him!”

Someone nudged him on his shoulder.

“WHAT?” shouted Grodus, turning around.

“Uh, pizza for Sir Grodus,” said the man behind him.

“Oh, right,” said Grodus, taking a wallet out of his robe.

“And by the way,” said the delivery boy, “someone across the street told me to tell you that she’s getting a big laugh out the two of you screaming at each other.”

Grodus stared at him.

He snatched the pizza.

“Just for that,” he growled, “you get no gratuity.”

His scepter glowed.

“Now beat it!”

A flash of lightning hit the delivery boy in the feet, and he ran in terror.

Grodus turned to Crump.

“Look Crump, we’re going to have to…”

Crump’s cell phone went off.

“Oh, geeze…” he said, looking at the number.

He answered it.

“Crump?” said the Queen’s voice.

“Your excellence?” stuttered Crump. “Listen, if you want to know why I’m not…”

“Shut up, Crump!” ordered the Queen. “My son is going to meet the brats at The Great Tree, so stay out of his way. Go to Rogueport or something until I tell you otherwise.”

She hung up.

“Well, that went well,” gasped Crump, wiping sweat off his forehead.

“Yeah,” said Grodus, opening the pizza box. “Now remember to…”

He paused.

“HEY! I told them NO ANCHOVIES!”


[B]
* * * * * * * * * *


At that moment, Stan, Francesca, and Andy were walking through Boggly Woods…

Which suddenly gave way to a gigantic clearing.

There, in the middle of the gigantic clearing, was the biggest, most majestic tree that they had ever seen.

It was the size of a small skyscraper, with branches that seemed to spread for a mile in all directions. And like a building, it had windows of various shapes in its immense trunk. Clearly, the town was built inside the enormous tree.

“Whoa…” said Andy in awe.

“How did they even… do that?” gasped Stan.

As they walked towards the gargantuan plant, someone watched from one of the highest windows.

He looked at a card depicting a vicious, yet beautiful, female Monster.

“Come to me, Stan,” he said, in a billowy voice. “My pets are hungry… and soon their talons will tear into your flesh and rip you to pieces!”



[B][I]You’re probably wondering about the details of the Monster Cards that our team received; well, the talents of one of them will be revealed next chapter.

And speaking of which…

If you thought Melissa was a deadly foe, you’ll soon see that she was only the tip of the iceberg of this demented family. Next chapter, her older brother takes on Stan in the boughs of The Great Tree, in a Chapter I call “Winds of Change”, coming soon…

Dark Sage
8th July 2005, 05:30 PM
[B]I’ve dueled my share of people whom I didn’t exactly like…

Poor sports, sore losers, jerks who were a little too insulting (“trash talk” is okay, insults are a different thing entirely), and worst of all, cheaters.

But this nut who I’m about to face has to be the worst one yet. The underhanded way he got me to duel him has got to be the most cowardly act I’ve ever seen.

You know, I doubt the story that Merlee told us about us being the descendants of some legendary heroes who brought down this “Shadow Queen” have any basis in fact…

But right now, a small part of me wishes it were true. If this is the way the Shadow Queen operates, I’d be proud that any member of my family brought her down.

So now I just have to bring down this windbag…




[B][size=3]CHAPTER NINE



Winds of Change



The ground floor of The Great Tree was a large, circular cul-de-sac, surrounded by buildings. The large door to the outside was huge and made of colored glass.

The cul-de-sac was empty right now, except for a young man with a moustache in a sweater and slacks.

He was sweating heavily…

“Ivan…” whispered a voice.

He sighed.

“Ivan…” repeated the voice.

“What?” gasped the man.

“They’re coming, Ivan,” said the voice. “You know what to do…”

“Look,” said the man, “I don’t think…”

“You aren’t supposed to think!” scolded the voice. “Now do what I told you to do, and I assure you no one will get hurt.”

“What are you going to do to them?” he asked.

“I told you not to think about it,” warned the voice. “Now, are you positively certain that item I described isn’t here?”

Ivan paused for a minute.

“Answer me, Punio!” demanded the voice.

“I’ve told you three times already,” he snarled back, “I don’t own ANY Duel Monsters cards!”

There was a long pause.

“So you say,” said the voice, which was now full of suspicion. “Well, we’ll sit down and talk about this further after I’ve taken care of Stan…”

The voice was silent.

Ivan sneered.

[I]The Shadow Queen and her flunkies could tear this place apart, and they’ll never find it, he thought. I can only pray that Stan can blow this lunatic away…


[B]
* * * * * * * * * *


Stan, Francesca, and Andy went up to the huge stained glass doors.

A sign was next to the door:



[B][size=3]Welcome To The Great Tree

No Vagrants

No Littering

No Beavers


“Eh,” they all said, with a shrug.

Stan went up to the door and rang the bell.

The doors slowly swung open.

The walked in, and gazed upon the huge cul-de-sac.

“Wow,” said Francesca, in awe. “It’s like a town inside a cave… a cave made of wood!”

“Uh, how do you do!” said a voice.

Ivan rushed up to them.

“Welcome!” he said.

He quickly shook their hands.

“Uh, hi…” stammered Andy.

“The name’s Ivan Punio, and I am the mayor of this humble burg,” he quickly said. “Welcome to The Great Tree… contestants…”

“Uh, thanks…” said Stan. “Does… everyone get this warm welcome?”

“Uh,” stammered Ivan, “only the tournament contestants… But hey, we love everyone!”

He chuckled nervously.

“Are you all right?” asked Francesca.

“Me?” stammered Ivan. “Never better! Look, uh…”

His eyes darted back and forth.

“Look,” he said, “my sister and I were going to have lunch… We’d be honored if you’d join us…”

Stan’s eyes narrowed.

“One…” he said, putting his finger up.

He motioned to Francesca and Andy. They got into a huddle.

“Guys, do you get the impression that Punio here is hiding something?” he whispered.

“Yeah,” muttered Francesca, “I smell something funny – and I don’t mean the cheap aftershave he’s wearing.”

“Guys, maybe we should leave,” said Andy with a shiver. “How far is it to the next town?”

Stan opened the map and looked at it.

Ivan bit his lip.

“Aw geeze,” he said. “Petalburg is closest. In the other direction there’s something called ‘Twilight Town’, but that’s some distance away…”

He read the map a little.

“There’s something here I haven’t been able to figure out,” he continued. “There’s a note that says that outside the forest you can gain ‘passage’ to a place called ‘Glitzville’, but you need permission from a council member to go there…”

“Which we don’t have…” sighed Andy.

Francesca sighed.

“People,” she suggested. “I know we didn’t sign up to be heroes, and we don’t really have to make a full-time job out of it…”

“What are you suggesting?” asked Stan.

“If something is wrong here, maybe we could, you know, lend a hand?”

She grinned a nervous grin.

“Fran, you don’t actually believe that dumb story, do you?” asked Stan.

“NO!” shouted Francesca. “But…”

She paused.

“Well, how bad can this be?” she shrugged.

“Oh, fine,” groaned Stan. “I just hope this guy isn’t going to sic another living Duel Monster on us…”

They turned to Ivan.

“Sure, Ivan, we’d love to join you,” said Stan, smiling.

“Great,” panted Ivan. “We’ll take the elevator to the top level.”


[B]
* * * * * * * * * *


Riding up to the top of The Great Tree was an experience.

The inside of the huge tree was hollow, and divided into several levels, built on to of each other; each level was built onto the inside, around the trunk. From the edge of one level, you could see all the ones below.

Riding the glass elevator to the top level, the three partners could see buildings full of townsfolk, mostly young people dressed in casual clothes.

And they all watched as the elevator went up.

Stan sighed.

I’ve seen week-old fish that smelled better than this, he thought.

He looked at his deck and shuffled it.

Well, in case it’s fish…

The elevator stopped at the highest level. Ivan led them out.

“Um, this way,” he said. “Our best buildings are on the top floor, as is the best restaurant…”

“I suppose it’s on you?” asked Francesca.

“Um…” muttered Ivan.

As they approached a building, a young woman met them at the door. She was a sweet-looking young woman with her blonde hair tied in braids.

And she looked scared.

“Ivan…” she said.

“Don’t worry,” he whispered. “They’ll handle it…”

Stan drew back.

He could tell that Ivan had purposely said that loud enough for him to hear it.

“Well, let’s eat, huh?” he said with a forced laugh.

They went into the restaurant, where a long table had been set up…

And as soon as they entered, a wind began to blow…

“Ivan,” asked Stan, “is it usual for it to be this windy… indoors?”

“Not usually…” he said in fear.

A chuckling laughter cackled over the room. The voice sounded like the low moan of a midnight storm…

“Okay,” demanded Stan, “I’ve had enough of these shenanigans… SHOW YOURSELF!”

“As you wish,” whispered a billowy voice.

A small whirlwind appeared at the head of the table, and a figure appeared, sitting on the chair…

He was bizarre in appearance. He looked about fifteen, or maybe a little younger.
His skin was pale, and his hair was thick and snowy white. He was dressed entirely in wool, colored white and blue.

“Who are you?” demanded Stan.

The youth chuckled, and put his arms on the table…

Everyone drew back in fright! Instead of fingers, he had talons, like those of some bird of prey!

Stan stood back up.

“It’s impolite to put your elbows on the table!” he scowled.

“Funny,” said the youth, softly. “You can call me Kurtis. I believe you met my sister, Melissa…”

“Yeah, and I kicked her ass good!” snapped Melissa.

“Well she was the baby of the family,” whispered Kurtis, with a grin. “I’m the Shadow Spawn of Wind…”

He pointed at Stan.

“And as soon as this meal is over, Stan, you’re going to be dueling for the last time…”

“Oh, geeze,” gasped Ivan, mopping his brow with a handkerchief. “Kids, forgive me… He’s been holding this town hostage since eight this morning… He said if I didn’t bring you up here…”

“Calm down,” said Stan.

He turned to Kurtis.

“Look you Freddy Krueger wannabe,” he said, “it’s going to take a lot more than a bad manicure for you to force me to duel you…”

Kurtis chuckled. The wind started to pick up in the room.

“There’s much more to me than these talons,” he said softly. “Melissa’s powers were nothing compared to mine. You folks take air for granted – life giving air that you breathe… You can’t imagine how deadly it can be when harnessed in just the right way!”

He pointed at Ivan’s sister… She screamed as a transparent bubble surrounded her!

“What?” gasped Stan.

“Petuni!” shouted Ivan.

Kurtis chuckled. He lifted his hand, and she was raised off the floor.

“Now Stan,” he said, “if you don’t cooperate, I could contract that bubble and smash her flat…”

He paused and rubbed his chin.

“No, better yet, I could just remove all the air inside it! Have you ever seen a human explode in a vacuum? It’s quite a remarkable sight…”

Rage filled Stan’s eyes.

“What are you?” he asked. “Besides a bully, I mean?”

“I’m someone with incredible power,” answered Kurtis.

“No you aren’t,” scowled Stan. “Attacking someone who’s defenseless… What you are is a coward!”

Kurtis growled.

“I’ll duel you if that’s what it will take to get you to leave,” said Stan. “Just let her go, now!”

“Your wish… is my command…” said Kurtis with a grin.

He waved his arm, and the bubble vanished. Petuni screamed and fell to the ground.

Ivan ran up to her. Stan was beside himself.

“Make that bully, coward, and sadist,” he growled.

“Well,” said Kurtis, softly, “let’s eat, shall we? You wouldn’t want to duel on an empty stomach…”

“I’d rather get this over with…” said Stan with a scowl.

“I didn’t go through all this trouble paying for this meal to let it go to waste!” shouted Kurtis, angrily.

He calmed down.

“Besides, a condemned man is always allowed a last meal…”


[B]
* * * * * * * * * *


Stan and his two friends would have liked to say that they enjoyed the linguini with clams that was served, but it’s hard to enjoy anything when your host is a lunatic with claws for hands. Fortunately, Kurtis didn’t say much during the meal.

When the plates were cleared away, the Shadow Spawn wiped his mouth with a napkin, and spoke up.

“Ivan, Petuni!” he ordered. “Show them to the observation deck! I’ll be there shortly.”

“Yes… sir,” said Ivan.

Ivan went over to the three of them.

“Ivan,” whispered Stan, as the mayor led them out of the room. “Have you ever seen this guy duel?”

“Sadly, no,” muttered Ivan. “I don’t know anything about his deck, but he must use Wind Monsters…”

“A lot of Dragons are Wind Monsters,” mentioned Andy.

“Good luck,” said Ivan. “The whole town is behind you…”

He opened the elevator, and they got in.

They rode up, one more level, and got out…

…onto open air.

They were standing on a platform at the very top of The Great Tree. They could see for miles from where they were standing on this wide observation deck, and the wind whipped around them.

Kurtis’s evil laugh echoed across the sky…

The whirlwind appeared again, and he appeared across from Stan.

“Well Stan,” he whispered, “this is where it begins. Once you fall, my mother will be one step closer to seeing the open sky!”

What? thought Stan. This guy is selling the same story that Merlee told us!

He looked at Andy and Francesca.

Either they’re both deluded, or we’ve got some serious thinking to do.

“Now then…” whispered Kurtis. “We’re one-thousand feet above the ground… If the chill and harsh breeze is too much for you, you aren’t much of a duelist…”

He waved his hand, and an eagle, hawk, and falcon flew out of the sky and alighted on his left arm. The three birds of prey melted into light, and formed into a slivery Duel Disk.

“Very pretty,” said Stan, “Now let’s see if you’re anything more than a lot of hot air!”

The two Duel Disks activated, and swung into position.

The Life Point counters set to 8,000 apiece.

They each drew five cards.

“DUEL!” they both said at once.



Continued…

Dark Sage
8th July 2005, 05:45 PM
Continued from last post:



The wind whistled through the air, surrounding them like it had a mind of it’s own…

“I’ll start this out…” said Kurtis.

He made his first draw.

“And I see my deck has the wind at my back! I’ll summon this Monster in Attack Mode… Go, Birdface!”

He threw a card down, and a tall Winged Beast appeared. It had the head, legs, and wings of a golden eagle, and wore a blue breastplate. (1,600/1,600)



http://www.itstimetoduel.com/cardpictures/PGD-005.jpg


“That will do for now,” he whispered.

“Birdface?” questioned Francesca. “Come ON! Stan has plenty of Monsters stronger than THAT!”

“You tell me,” said Andy with a shrug. “I haven’t seen him duel yet…”

Come on Stan, thought Kurtis, take the bait…

Stan made a draw.

Hmmm, he thought, looking at his card.

“I’ll play Graceful Charity!” he announced.

He plugged his card into a slot, and the beautiful angel appeared.

She flew into his deck and flew out with three cards. He took them.

“Now, I’ll just get rid of these…” he said, handing her two of them.

She took the cards and flew into his discard slot.

“…and now I’ll summon… Skilled White Magician!”

He put the card down, and a Spellcaster in a white robe and skullcap, carrying a long scepter topped with an orb appeared. (1,700/1,900)



http://www.itstimetoduel.com/cardpictures/MFC-064.jpg


“Go!” shouted Stan. “Attack his Birdface with white magic attack!”

Skilled White Magician twirled his staff and fired a beam of bright energy! Birdface squawked, and exploded.

Kurtis smiled, as his Life Points went down to 7,900.

“Why thank you, Stan,” he whispered, “that’s just what I wanted you to do…”

A card flew out of his deck, and he caught it.

He added it to his hand.

“When Birdface is sent to the Card Graveyard, I can add a specific Monster to my hand from my deck!”

Stan’s eyes opened.

“Define ‘specific Monster’,” he growled.

“You’ll just have to wait,” said Kurtis softly. “Is that your turn?”

“Yes,” muttered Stan.

“Then I’ll draw…” whispered Kurtis.

He drew and looked at his card.

“And now I’ll summon… Flying Kamakiri #1, in Attack Mode!”

He put a card down, and a frightening form appeared. It was a huge mantis with a green exoskeleton, and large wings! (1,400/900)



http://www.itstimetoduel.com/cardpictures/SRL-EN091.jpg


“What the?” said Francesca. “What’s he up to? That bug may be scary, but it’s clear that it’s weaker that Skilled White Magician!”

Andy thought for a minute.

“Kurtis must be up to something…” he muttered.

Stan drew.

Monster Reborn, he thought. I’ll save this until I need it.

He looked at the Kamakiri.

I have a bad feeling that attacking that Insect might be a bad idea… he thought. But if I attack, I could hit him for a direct attack… if I don’t attack, he could sacrifice it for a stronger Monster…

The proverbial Rock and the Hard Place…

He put a card down on his Disk.

“I summon The Illusory Gentleman in Attack Mode!”

He put his card down, and the one-eyed Spellcaster in his colorful costume appeared. (1,500/1,600)

“Skilled White Magician, destroy his Kamakiri!” shouted Stan.

Skilled White Magician cast his spell of Light again, and he blasted the mantis into bug juice!

Kurtis laughed, as his Life Points fell to 7,600.

“Thank you again!” he exclaimed. “Flying Kamakiri #1 has an even better effect than Birdface, Stan!”

Well Stan, thought Stan, you’ve really put your foot in it…

Another card flew out of Kurtis’s deck.

“Now I can take any Wind Monster with an Attack Score of 1,500 or less from my deck, and summon it to the field!” laughed Kurtis.

The card alighted on his Disk, and a form appeared.

“So let’s have a warm welcome,” whispered Kurtis. “Making her first appearance in The Great Tree, the lovely yet lethal… Harpie Lady 1!”

The creature that now loomed before Stan was a Harpie Lady all right. This version of Mai Valentine’s signature Monster wore a purple bodysuit, had long, red hair, and emerald green wings. Her feet and hands ended in sharp talons. (1,300/1,400)



http://www.itstimetoduel.com/cardpictures/RDS-EN017.jpg


“I’m not impressed!” snarled Stan. “It’s still my turn, and my Illusory Gentleman is stronger than she is!”

“Is she now?” smiled Kurtis.

Harpie Lady 1’s Attack Score went up to 1,600.

“You didn’t take Harpie Lady 1’s effect into mind!” chuckled Kurtis. “She raises the Attack Score of all Wind Monsters on the Field by 300 points, including her own!”

“Fine,” said Stan. “Then I’ll end my turn. My Skilled White Magician will get her on my next turn!”

“I don’t think so…” whispered Kurtis.

He drew.

“First I’ll summon this Monster I got from Birdface,” he said, “Harpie Lady 3!”

He slapped a card down, and another Harpie Lady appeared. This one was similar to the first, but had blue hair, worn up and spiky. (1,300/1,400) –> (1,600/1,400)



http://www.itstimetoduel.com/cardpictures/RDS-EN019.jpg


“Now I’ll play the Magic Card… Terraforming!” he whispered, slipping a card into a slot.

“Oh no,” groaned Andy, “that lets him add any Field Magic Card from his deck to his hand!”

Another card flew out of his deck and added to his hand.

“Now,” he said, flicking open his Field slot, “prepare to witness the last Field you’ll ever witness… the majestic Castle of Clouds!”

He fit the card into the slot and it snapped into place. The results were dramatic.

Winds blew across the field, and the area around them was transformed into a great sea of fluffy clouds in a sapphire sky. A gorgeous palace of blue gems rose behind Kurtis.

“Lovely, isn’t it?” he said, softly. “You know, mom says my dad was a noble in a realm such as this… before she eighty-sixed him.”

He shrugged.

“These things happen…”

Stan gritted his teeth.

“You fiend…” he growled. “You don’t even care what became of your poor father?”

“From what I know,” answered Kurtis, “my father was a do-gooding meddler who would have gotten in my mom’s way. But when I win this duel, maybe you’ll get a chance to meet him…”

“You monster!” shouted Petuni. “What kind of…”

“SILENCE!” shouted Kurtis.

Thunder rolled, and a lightning bolt struck at her feet. She shrieked and held onto Ivan.

“Now where were we?” he asked. “Oh yes… Castle of Clouds has two potent effects on Wind Monsters. First, it raises their Attack Score by 300 points.”

Harpie Lady 1 and Harpie Lady 3 both rose to 1,900 Attack.

“Second,” continued Kurtis, “it gives them all a trampling effect similar to a Fairy’s Meteor Crush! So you can’t hide in Defense Mode!”

“Harpie Lady 1, take down his Skilled White Magician!” ordered Kurtis.

The first Harpie flew forward and raked her talons across the mage! He fell over and burst.

“Harpie Lady 3, your turn! Destroy his Illusory Gentleman!”

The second Harpie dive-bombed The Illusory Gentleman, and tore him to pixels.

Stan’s Life Points fell to 7,500.

“Your move,” said Kurtis, with a smile.

Stan smiled.

And then he chuckled.

“What’s so funny?” sneered Kurtis.

“Oh, nothing,” answered Stan. “I just thought Harpie decks were for…”

He paused.

“…girls?” said Kurtis with a scowl, tapping his foot.

“You said it, I didn’t!” laughed Stan.

“Well, you’re partially right,” sighed Kurtis. “One of the reasons I chose Harpies as my weapon of choice was due to admiration for a famous duelist…”

He sighed again.

“A beauty named Mai Valentine. I’ve admired her from afar for such a long time… and some day, once my mother my siblings and I leave this island, we’ll finally meet…”

“…and then what?” interrupted Francesca. “One, she’s too old for you, two, I doubt she goes for boys with talons, and three, she can do better!”

Kurtis frowned.

“Will you make your move already Stan?” he demanded.

This guy is nuts, thought Stan, drawing, and the worst part is, I must be some brand of pistachio myself! I’m almost starting to believe Merlee’s story! Why else is this guy speaking so much having to beat me so his mother can escape?

He looked at the card.

“I’ll summon Mystical Elf in Defense Mode…” he announced, putting a card down.

He placed the card down, and the peaceful, meditative elf appeared, kneeling in prayer. (800/2,000)



http://www.itstimetoduel.com/cardpictures/SDY-001.jpg


“That won’t help you for long,” quipped Kurtis.

“She will for a while,” replied Stan. “I end my turn. Now make your move.”

Kurtis drew.

He looked at the Ritual Monster Card he had drawn.

I’ll use this if I need it, he thought.

“Actually, I choose to end my turn without making any move,” he said.

“Well, suit yourself,” said Stan.

He drew.

Well that’s useful, he thought.

“I’ll play my Pot of Greed,” he announced, placing the card into a slot.

The smiling Jar appeared, and handed him two cards.

He looked at the cards…

And his eyes opened wide!

It’s one of the Monsters that Merlee gave us! he thought, looking at one of them.

His eyes squinted.

I don’t know if this gal was truly a friend of my ancestor, he thought, but there’s no harm in using her…

“Okay, Kurtis,” he said, “I’ll summon this Monster in Defense Mode… Meet Goombella the Scholar!”

He threw a card down, a flash lit up in front of him…

And a weird Monster appeared. It looked like, in shape, a two-foot tall mushroom with eyes and legs. Its mouth had two upward pointing fangs, and on the top of its head was a long, blonde ponytail. It wore a red necktie, and a strange visor with a circular lens in the center. (500/2,000)

Now, it was a strange thing. Stan (and Francesca, and Andy), always felt a sensation when they summoned a Monster. Who wouldn’t feel a thrill upon seeing their Monsters spring off the cards and come to life?

But with this Monster, there was something additional. Stan felt it… And by watching him, Andy and Francesca felt it too. There was a powerful aura coming from this Monster directed at them…

It was an aura of friendship. It was almost as if they were greeting an old friend that they all hadn’t seen for a long time, and were delighted to see again.

But this was lost on Kurtis…

“HA, HA, HA, HA, HA, HA!” cackled Kurtis. “You expect me to be afraid of some oversized pizza topping?”

Goombella made an angry face at him…

“Don’t insult Goombella!” snarled Stan. “She an intellectual who can help me make decisions, and help the outcome of my actions. Just by summoning her, I get to activate her powerful effect! It’s a little thing… called ‘Tattle’!”

“Tattle?” said Kurtis, in confusion.

Goombella hopped up, and landed on Stan’s shoulders!

“Case in point,” said Stan, “I get to look at the top four cards in my deck…”

Four cards flew out from the top of Stan’s deck, and positioned themselves in front of him.

“…and then I get to put then back in any order I desire!”

Goombella whispered something in Stan’s ear. He gave her an “A-OK” sign. The four cards rearranged themselves, and then flew back to the deck.

Goombella hopped back down into position.

“Now it’s your move,” said Stan.

Kurtis drew.

He looked at the Monster Card.

This I’ll save for later, he thought.

“I’ll pass again…” he said.

“Ooh, he’s planning something!” cried Petuni.

“There, there,” said Ivan, comforting her. “I’m certain Stan can defeat this fiend…”

“He’d better,” sighed Francesca.

Stan drew.

He added the card to his hand.

“First,” he said, “I’ll shore up my defenses, and I’ll sacrifice Mystical Elf for Neo Aqua Madoor, in Defense Mode!”

Mystical Elf vanished, and a tall form arose. It was an icy sorcerer in a brown suit, with white hair and pale skin, with a veil over the lower part of his face. (1,200/3,000)



http://www.itstimetoduel.com/cardpictures/SOD-EN002.jpg


“You’ll never crack this defense!” threatened Stan, taking the card he had just drawn. “And now I’ll play my Sweet Treat card!”

He threw the card into the slot.

“Sweet Treat?” exclaimed Kurtis. “My mom’s been looking for that!”

The gingerbread man appeared with his dice, and tossed it…

It skipped and rolled…

And landed on the six!

“YES!” shouted Stan. “That means I gain 6,000 Life Points!”

“WHAT?” screamed Kurtis.

Stan’s Life Points shot up to 13,500.

“Yay!” cheered Petuni. “Stan just got a great lead!”

“Well,” sighed Kurtis, “this will just make it more of a challenge.”

“Now I have to end my turn,” stated Stan, “so do your worst!”

Kurtis drew.

“My worst, eh?” he exclaimed.

He threw a card down.

“I summon my Cyber Harpie Lady in Attack Mode!”



Continued…

Dark Sage
8th July 2005, 05:47 PM
Continued from last post:



Another Harpie materialized beside the other two, this one with flowing red hair, and wearing exotic black armor. She bore a glowing whip in her claw. (1,800/1,300)



http://www.itstimetoduel.com/cardpictures/SP1-EN001.jpg


“And don’t forget,” whispered Kurtis, “she gains a bonus from Harpie Lady 1, and Castle of Clouds!”

(2,400/1,300)

“Cyber Harpie,” ordered Kurtis, “wipe out his mushroom!”

Cyber Harpie Lady flew forward and cracked her whip! Goombella shrieked and shattered into pixels.

Francesca and Andy gasped. It was as if someone had driven a dagger into them…

And Stan was just as upset…

His Life Points fell to 13,100.

“You’ll pay for that, Kurtis,” he snarled.

“Just send me the bill,” whispered Kurtis. “Now make your move…”

Storm clouds began to appear over Castle of Clouds. Neo Aqua Madoor looked up in worry…

Stan drew.

Just as I planned, he thought, looking at it, The Sage’s Stone. And thanks to Goombella, my next draw will be Dark Magician Girl.

Once I draw her, I’ll summon her by sacrificing my Madoor, and then use this to summon Dark Magician! Then this duel is as good as won!

“I’ll pass this turn,” he said, adding the card to his hand.

“Fine,” whispered Kurtis, drawing.

“I’ll play a Pot of Greed of my own…” he said.

He fit a card into a slot, and the Pot of Greed handed him two more cards.

He looked at them. He grinned a sinister grin…

“I’ll summon Whirlwind Prodigy in Attack Mode!” he exclaimed, placing a card down.

A windstorm blew across the field, and a young boy dressed in brown appeared next to the Harpies. He was surrounded by buffeting winds, and strange birds and bats flew about him. (1,500/1,600) –> (2,100/1,600)



http://www.itstimetoduel.com/cardpictures/FET-EN030.jpg


“Eek!” shrieked Francesca. “Stan, watch out! That Monster…!”

“Quiet Francesca!” shouted Kurtis. “It’s against the rules to shout out help!”

Francesca bowed her head.

Kurtis took the other card.

“I’ll place a card facedown, and that will end my turn,” he announced.

He fit a card in a slot, and it appeared behind his Monsters.

“Well,” said Stan with a smile, “I don’t know what secret your Whirlwind Prodigy is hiding, but I’ll destroy him before you can do anything with him!”

He reached for his deck…

“Not so fast, Stan!” shouted Kurtis.

His Trap Card lifted.

“What? A Trap?” gasped Stan.

“Activate… Time Seal!” laughed Kurtis.

“Ack!” gasped Stan. “That stops me from drawing any cards!”

“Exactly,” said Kurtis, with a smile.

“All right,” said Stan, taking a card from his hand. “I’ll place this card facedown, and end my turn.”

He set the card, and it appeared behind Neo Aqua Madoor.

Kurtis chuckled evilly as he drew his next card.

“Now I can really take a bite out of your Life Points,” he said in his soft voice. “You see, when I sacrifice Whirlwind Prodigy, he counts as two Monsters, so long as I sacrifice him to summon a Wind Monster…”

He switched cards on his Disk. Whirlwind Prodigy vanished.

And a huge explosion lit up the sky of Castle of Clouds!

A huge Dragon with maroon-colored scales, bat-like wings, a golden leash around its neck, and a bejeweled tiara formed out of the explosion. It roared a bellowing roar! (2,000/2,500)



http://www.itstimetoduel.com/cardpictures/FMR-002.jpg


“What is THAT?” gasped Stan.

“Harpie’s Pet Dragon,” answered Kurtis, “the Harpies’ loyal companion, servant, and bodyguard. She may not look like much by herself, but she gains 300 Attack points for each Harpie on the field… plus another 300 due to Harpie Lady 1’s effect, plus and additional 300 from Castle of Clouds!”

(3,500/2,500)

“No!” gasped Petuni. “I can’t watch!”

She buried her head in Ivan’s arms.

“Harpie’s Pet Dragon,” ordered Kurtis, “melt his Neo Aqua Madoor!”

The huge Dragon belched forth a stream of flame, and Neo Aqua Madoor was blasted into vapor!

Stan’s Life Points fell to 12,600.

“Now my beautiful Harpies,” shouted Kurtis, “attack him directly!”

The three Harpies screeched and flew into formation… Stan gulped…

Harpie Lady 1 clawed at him with her arm talons! Harpie Lady 3 raked with her foot talons! And Cyber Harpie Lady lashed with her whip!

Stan fell over and winced in pain. His Life Points plummeted to 6,600.

“STAN!” gasped Andy. “Are you okay?”

“Define ‘okay’,” moaned Stan.

He dragged himself to his feet.

“Still haven’t figured out that it’s hopeless?” chuckled Kurtis. “Please. You’re suffering for no reason. Why don’t you just give up and save yourself the embarrassment?”

“Kurtis,” said Stan with a snarl, “do you know what it will take for me to surrender to a bully like you?”

“I dunno,” sighed Kurtis with a smirk. “Would Hell have to freeze over?”

“Not only would Hell have to freeze over,” growled Stan, “but the Devil would have to start giving free sleigh rides!”

He drew.

He took another card from his hand.

Maybe this will be even better, he thought.

“I play… Monster Reborn!” he exclaimed. “To bring back Goombella!”

He played the Magic Card, and Goombella reappeared. (500/2,000)

She hopped on his shoulders again.

“You know what that means,” said Stan, with a smile. “Her Tattle kicks in again!”

The top four cards flew off of the top of his deck, and appeared before him. he consulted with Goombella again, and the cards rearranged. They flew back to the top of his deck.

Goombella hopped back to the floor.

“Now,” he continued, “I’ll sacrifice Goombella to summon Dark Magician Girl!”

Goombella winked, and then vanished. A flurry of hearts filled Stan’s side of the field, and the sexy, buxom sorceress flew into view. (2,000/1,700)

“Now,” said Stan, taking a card from his hand, “I play The Sage’s Stone!”

He fit the card into a slot, and a gemstone appeared in the air. Dark Magician Girl caught it, and it glowed.

A card flew out of Stan’s deck, and alighted on his Disk…

The mighty Dark Magician appeared! (2,500/2,100)

The two Magicians nodded to each other.

Kurtis drew back…

But then he regained his composure.

Clever, Stan, he thought, but you haven’t won yet…

“Before I attack,” continued Stan, “I’ll activate my facedown card…”

His card lifted.

“Gift of the Mystical Elf!”

The card glowed, and a huge vision of Mystical Elf appeared behind him.

“This Trap Card increases my Life Points by 300 for each Monster on the field, and I count six!”

His Life Points went up to 8,400.

“Dark Magician Girl, attack Harpie Lady 1!” commanded Stan.

Dark Magician Girl leapt up into the air, and fired her scepter! Harpie Lady 1 screamed and burst!

Kurtis’s Life Points fell to 7,500.

“With her out of the way,” said Stan, “Your two other Harpies lose 300 Attack Points, and your Dragon loses 600!”

Harpie Lady 3’s Attack score fell to 1,600, Cyber Harpie Lady’s fell to 2,100, and Harpie’s Pet Dragon’s fell to 2,900.

“Your point being?” chuckled Kurtis.

Stan ignored the wisecrack.

“Dark Magician, attack his Cyber Harpie Lady with dark magic attack!”

Dark Magician spun his staff, and fired, blowing Cyber Harpie away!

Kurtis’s Life Points fell to 7,100.

“And now your Dragon gets even weaker,” mocked Stan.

The Dragon’s Attack Score fell to 2,600.

“Are you quite done?” asked Kurtis.

“Yes,” said Stan.

Kurtis drew.

“Harpie’s Pet Dragon,” he ordered, “attack Dark Magician!”

“What?” said Stan, in shock.

The Dragon exhaled her flame, and Dark Magician was incinerated.

Stan’s Life Points fell to 8,300.

“That was a stupid move, Kurtis!” exclaimed Stan. “By sending Dark Magician to the Graveyard, Dark Magician Girl’s Attack Score is increased by 300!”

“So?” asked Kurtis with a yawn.

“So?” said Stan. “Once she destroys your last Harpie, their Attack Scores will be equal, and we’ll have a standoff!”

“Well by all means, try,” mocked Kurtis in a whisper. “I end my turn.”

“Ha, ha!” laughed Francesca. “Kurtis you jerk! You forgot to move your Harpie into Defense Mode!”

“Um… oops?” said Kurtis, with a shrug.

“Oops is right!” exclaimed Stan, drawing.

He looked at the Monster Card. He added it to his hand.

“Dark Magician Girl,” he ordered, “attack Harpie Lady 3!”

Dark Magician Girl cast forth her dark spell; Harpie Lady 3 screamed and was blown away.

Kurtis’s Life Points fell to 6,400.

“Well, so much for your Harpies,” said Stan with a smile.

“So you say,” whispered Kurtis. “Well, take a look at your Dark Magician Girl…”

“Huh?” said Stan.

Dark Magician Girl gasped… And then she froze into a statue!

“WHAT?” shouted Stan. “My Dark Magician Girl! She turned to stone!”

“That’s right!” chuckled Kurtis. “All due to Harpie Lady 3’s curse! You see, any Monster that battles her can’t attack for two of your turns! So until then, Dark Magician Girl’s only use to you is as a big doorstop!”

He laughed again.

“You are one nasty kid, do you know that?” growled Francesca.

Kurtis chuckled.

“You know Fran,” he said, “this is getting fun. Maybe once I finish your pal here, I’ll take care of you next! Won’t my mom be pleased…”

“Wait!” shouted Ivan. “That wasn’t part of the deal!”

“QUIET!” yelled Kurtis.

He held out his hand, and a fierce gust of wind blew Ivan over. Petuni ran to help him up.

“Some people will believe in anything,” sighed Kurtis. “Deals, bargains… the Tooth Fairy. He should be glad I’m not going to blow this whole tree over once I’m done… Maybe I will anyway…”

Stan stared at him.

“Make… your… move…” he growled.

Kurtis drew.

“I chose to pass again this turn,” he said, adding the card to his hand.

“You’re up to something,” snarled Stan, making his own draw.

He looked at the Trap Card.

“So I’ll place this card facedown, and that will end my turn.”

He fit the card into a slot, and it appeared behind the petrified Dark Magician Girl.

Kurtis drew.

“Heh, heh,” he chuckled. “Well, it’s time to make a move that will blow you over!”

He put a card down on his Disk.

“I summon… Sonic Bird!” he exclaimed.

A sound like a jet engine erupted over the field, and a large eagle wearing a jetpack and aviator’s goggles flew into view. (1,400/1,000) –> (1,700/1,000)

“By summoning this little guy, I can…” he started.

“I know!” interrupted Stan. “He lets you add a Ritual Magic Card to your hand from your deck!”

“Smart,” mumbled Kurtis.

A glowing card flew out of his deck, and he caught it.

“See this?” he said, softly, showing it to Stan. “It’s a Ritual called Chant of the Harpies!”

“Chant of the Harpies?” said Stan, in wonder. “I’ve… never heard of that one…”

“This Harpie Lady accessory is so rare, that not even Mai Valentine knows about it!” chuckled Kurtis, plugging it into his Disk. “But when I finally meet her, I’ll give her this card and the Monster Card – she’ll be sure to accept me then!”

“That seems unlikely…” scowled Stan.

Kurtis ignored him…

A strange altar decorated with birdlike totems and fetishes appeared on his side of the field. Then the three Harpie Lady Sisters appeared over it, and started chanting in a musical song.

“To complete this ceremony, I’ll sacrifice my Harpie Girl, and Sonic Bird itself…” said Kurtis.

Sonic Bird hopped up on the altar, and then a cute, young Harpie in a black outfit with pink wings appeared on it…

The two Monsters vanished into sparkles, and then the chanting Harpies vanished. Kurtis put a card down on his Disk.

“…and I’ll summon… Calypso the Harpie Queen!

An intense light shone over Castle of Clouds, and a tall form alighted on the altar. She looked like a Harpie Lady, but more beautiful than the others, with long, golden hair, platinum armor, and metallic wings. She was decked in gold jewelry and a crown. (1,900/1,900) –> (2,200/1,900)

“Okay, impressive…” stuttered Stan.

“Your about to be more impressed,” chuckled Kurtis. “When Calypso is summoned, her effect activates!”

Calypso started to sing a lovely song, and three forms started to appear next to her.

“What’s happening?” asked Stan. “What is she… YAAAAHH!”

Before Stan’s unbelieving eyes, Harpie Lady 1, Harpie Lady 3, and Cyber Harpie Lady reappeared!

“Calypso can resurrect up to three of her subjects from the Graveyard!” laughed Kurtis. “With my army in front of me, I truly have the wind beneath my wings!”

(1,300/1,400) –> (1,900/1,400), (1,300/1,400) –> (1,900/1,400), (1,800/1,300) –> (2,400/1,300)

Calypso’s Attack Score went up to 2,500, while that of Harpie’s Pet Dragon went back up to 3,500!

“No…” cried Francesca.

Blue fire burned in Kurtis’s eyes.

“It may be a little late, but here’s a tip, Stan,” he chuckled, “next time you go out in stormy weather, bring a poncho! Not that there’s going to be a next time! Calypso, attack his Dark Magician Girl with Harpie’s windstorm!”

Miniature whirlwinds encircled Calypso’s hands, and she shot forth a blast of air.

“Not so fast!” shouted Stan. “I activate Magic Cylinder!”

His Trap Card lifted, and two Cylinders appeared in front of him. The windstorm blasted into one of them, and blasted out the other, slamming into Kurtis, knocking him over!

“Ow…” he cursed.

His Life Points fell to 3,900.

“Fine,” he whispered, getting up. “I’m adaptable. But you’re just delaying the inevitable. Harpie’s Pet Dragon, you attack that bitch!”

The Dragon exhaled a furious gout of flame, and Dark Magician Girl was incinerated!

Stan’s Life Points fell to 7,100.

“Now my Harpies,” said Kurtis, evilly, “prey…”

The three Harpies screeched and flew at Stan! They savagely tore at him and lashed at him with the whip!

Stan fell over, as his Life Points plummeted to 900.

“You might as well stay down,” he heard Kurtis’s soft voice say as he felt himself losing consciousness. “Forgive me for making such a crude remark, but you… blew it!”


[B]
* * * * * * * * * *


Someone was nudging Stan’s face.

“Stan, get up!” said a young, female voice he had never heard before.

He groggily got up…

And saw himself face-to-face with Goombella.

“Goombella?” he groaned.

“I’d help you up,” she answered, “but as you can see, I have no arms.”

Her voice was tough and sassy… and maybe a little bossy.

“How can you be here?” he asked. “You’re in my Graveyard…”

“Come on now, Stan!” she urged. “You of all people should know that Duel Monsters are immortal! And I’m different than most – I’m attached to you in ways you can’t imagine!

“You have to keep fighting! You can’t let Kurtis win! Once he defeats you, Francesca and Andy won’t last long… And if the Shadow Queen escapes…

“…the world is in jeopardy…”

“Oh, please…” groaned Stan. “Not that crazy story again…”

Goombella gave him an angry look.

And then she jumped up and stomped on his head!

“OW!” shouted Stan. “Why’d you do that?”

“I’m trying to drive some sense into you, lead-head!” shouted Goombella. “Stan, you deny it now, but do you know what I think? I think you and your two friends are just too afraid to admit it!

“And besides, you said you were going to teach Kurtis a lesson because you hated bullies… You want to know something?

“There was a reason I joined your forefather – because he saved ME from a bully. One that, it turned out, was working for the Shadow Queen, even though we didn’t know it at the time. People who pick on others who are weaker than them are scum. So show him how it’s done!”

“How?” moaned Stan. “He has five powerful Monsters on the field, and I have a clear side… and very little in my hand…”

“True,” said Goombella, “but thanks to me, you know what your next two draws will be…”

She smirked.

“Think about it!”

She nudged him again with her foot.

“Now get up, and go get ‘em! Don’t let your friends and the people of The Great Tree down!

“You may not WANT to play the hero, but you’re gonna HAVE to!”

She gave him a kick.

“Because frankly, you have no choice…”


[B]
* * * * * * * * * *


Stan woke up.

He slowly picked up his cards. He got up to his feet.

“Humph,” sighed Kurtis. “For a minute there, I thought I might be able to win by forfeit…”

“This isn’t over yet, Kurtis…” snarled Stan.

“Still trying to win?” sighed Kurtis.

The three Harpies and their Queen chuckled evilly, and their pet growled.

“We’ll see,” said Stan, drawing.

He added the card to his hand, and took another card from his hand.

“I’ve had it with your sadistic attitude, you big bag of wind,” he said, “so I’m willing to take a major risk to defeat you…”

He put a card down.

“I’m summoning Blast Magician, in Attack Mode!”

A flame erupted in front of him, and the fiery Spellcaster appeared, brandishing his sickle-ended staff. (1,400/1,700)

“That’s weak!” mocked Kurtis.

“Maybe so,” replied Stan, taking the card he had just drawn, “but I’m also playing this…”

He fit a card into a slot.

“Swords of Revealing Light!”


Continued…

Dark Sage
8th July 2005, 05:48 PM
Continued from last post:



A shower of Swords rained from the heavens and crashed down upon Kurtis’s side. The Harpies and their Dragon drew back in surprise.

“And that’s my turn,” he said with a grin.

“Great!” exclaimed Andy. “Now Stan has three turns to figure out a way out of this!”

Kurtis frowned as he drew a card.

“Fine,” he said. “If that’s your game, I’ll just pass this turn…

“But you’re taking a big risk here, Stan. If I managed to draw something that would destroy your Swords, only one attack would win me this duel!”

“True,” said Stan, nodding, “but you’d have won anyway if I hadn’t. So faced with a serious risk or certain defeat, I’d rather take the serious risk.”

“Touché,” said Kurtis, with a shrug.

Stan drew.

He took another card from his hand and fit it into a slot.

“Now I’ll play this,” he said. “Premature Burial!”

His Life Points fell to 100.

“I’ll use it to revive my Dark Magician!”

The card appeared on the field, and the clouds below parted. Dark Magician crawled out. (2,500/2,100)

“Is Stan out of his skull?” gasped Petuni. “How can he win with only 100 Life Points left?”

“I guess he figured he had nothing left to lose…” said Francesca, with a shrug. “100 isn’t all that less than 900 in perspective…”

“And now,” continued Stan, “I’ll use this!”

He played the Magic Card he had just drawn.

“Dedication Through Light And Darkness!”

A card flew out of his Disk, and he caught it.

“Now I can sacrifice Dark Magician for an even stronger Spellcaster!” he exclaimed.

He switched cards, and Dark Magician and the Premature Burial card vanished.

“Dark Magician of Chaos, come forth!”

The powerful sorcerer appeared, holding his glowing scepter! (2,800/2,600)

“NO!” shouted Kurtis. “You managed to summon a very powerful Monster!”

“Yes, and that’s just part one of my genius plan!” exclaimed Stan. “You see, when Dark Magician of Chaos is summoned, I get to retrieve one Magic Card from my Graveyard… And I’m going to use that ability to retrieve one that I discarded when I used Graceful Charity on my first turn!”

An orb of light shot out of his discard slot, and it formed into a card. He caught it, and placed it into a slot.

“It’s a Magic Card called… Scroll of Bewitchment!”

“Scroll of Bewitchment?” said Kurtis, sounding confused. “What does that do?”

“Simple,” replied Stan. “It’s an Equip Card that lets me change a Monster’s Attribute. So I’ll use it to change Dark Magician of Chaos’s Attribute from Dark… to Wind!”

A long scroll of parchment appeared, surrounding Dark Magician of Chaos in its reams. It vanished, and his raiment turned sky blue.

“What good will THAT do you?” asked Kurtis, even more confused.

“Isn’t it obvious?” said Stan with a smile.

Kurtis stared for a minute…

Then it sunk in.

“AWK!” he gasped. “If he’s a Wind Monster, then he gets the boost from my Castle of Clouds!”

“AND the bonus from Harpie Lady 1,” said Stan with a grin, “so thanks a bunch!”

Harpie Lady 1 gasped!

Dark Magician of Chaos soared up to 3,400 Attack!

“But I won’t be using him just yet,” continued Stan. “Now we get to part three of my brilliant strategy!”

“Part three?” gasped Kurtis.

“Yes!” exclaimed Stan. “Namely, my Blast Magician! I’ve played four magic cards since I summoned him – that gives him the ability to destroy a Monster with up to 2,800 Attack Points!

“And since I learn from my mistakes… Blast Magician, destroy Harpie Lady 3!”

Blast Magician’s staff blazed with flames! They shot forward, and Harpie Lady 3 screamed as she was engulfed in fire! Within seconds, she was reduced to ashes.

“Now, Dark Magician of…” started Stan, “or should I say, Wind Magician of Chaos, attack Harpie Lady 1 with chaos scepter blast!”

The chaos mage twirled his staff and slammed it to the ground! A fierce tornado shot forth, and shot towards Harpie Lady 1! She screamed and was torn apart!

“Yes, go Stan!” shouted Andy.

“Put that bully in his place!” yelled Francesca.

“Finish him off, Stan!” cheered Petuni.

Cyber Harpie Lady’s Attack fell to 2,100, Calypso’s fell to 2,200, and that of Harpie’s Pet Dragon fell all the way to 2,600. Dark Magician of Chaos dropped to 3,100 Attack, but he was still the strongest Monster on the field.

And Kurtis’s Life Points plummeted to 2,300.

“And by the way,” mentioned Stan, “Harpie Lady 1 isn’t just gone, she’s staying gone, because any Monster destroyed by my chaos magician is removed from play.

“Make your move…”

Kurtis looked at his hand…

Curses… he thought. I just have to draw something to destroy his Swords… Heavy Storm, Mystical Space Typhoon, either one will do…

He drew.

Another Castle of Clouds? he thought, in panic. Talk about worthless!

Sweat started to bead on his face.

I can’t risk taking any more damage until I think of something… he thought.

His hand shook.

He turned the cards on his Disk.

“I’m switching Cyber Harpie Lady, Calypso, and my Dragon to Defense Mode,” he said, nervously.

Calypso and the Harpie shielded themselves with their wings, as did their Dragon.

“It’s your move…” he snarled.

“Heh, heh…” chuckled Stan. “HA, HA, HA, HA, HA, HA!”

“What’s so funny?” shouted Stan.

“Kurtis, you made the dumbest mistake yet,” replied Stan. “Namely, you panicked. And in doing so, you made a sloppy move – you forgot all about the second effect of your own powerful Field Card!”

“Huh?” said Kurtis.

He paused.

“NOOO!” he shouted. “Wind Monsters have a trampling effect when it’s active!”

“Right!” said Stan, with a smirk. “And every one of your Monsters has a lower Defense Score than their Attack Score right now!”

He drew.

“Now, I’ll sacrifice my Blast Magician for my mighty Chaos Command Magician!” he shouted, switching cards.

Blast Magician vanished in a bright light, and a sorcerer in a glossy black robe, cape, and hat with sharp edges, carrying a staff appeared. (2,400/1,900)



http://www.itstimetoduel.com/cardpictures/MFC-068.jpg


“Chaos Command Magician, attack his Cyber Harpie with chaos magic!” he shouted.

Chaos Command Magician aimed his staff, and shot forth a wave of rainbow-colored light. Cyber Harpie screamed, and was consumed by the radiance.

“Now my chaos mage, attack his Dragon!”

Dark Magician of Chaos fired his wind magic at the immense Dragon and she roared! She was blown into pixels.

Kurtis gasped, as his Life Points fell to 1,600.

“Your move now…” dared Stan.

“No…” moaned Kurtis drawing.

“Got to be… something I can… do…”

He looked at his cards…

But there wasn’t anything.

There was a long pause.

“Well?” asked Stan. “Are you going to move or aren’t you?”

“No,” said Kurtis with an angry scowl. “Make your last attack… You win this round. But mark my words… this is far from over…”

Stan just glared at him as he drew.

“Chaos Command Magician, attack Calypso!” shouted Stan.

The Spellcaster cast forth his bright spell, and Calypso the Harpie Queen was obliterated.

“Now, Dark Magician of Chaos, attack him directly, and wipe out the rest of his Life Points!”

Dark Magician of Chaos shot forth his windy spell, and Kurtis screamed! He fell to his knees…

As Kurtis’s Life Points fell to zero, he transformed into a cloudy mass. A sigh like a gentle breeze was heard, and he dissipated.

The Castle of Clouds vanished, as did Stan’s two Monsters.

Stan took a card out of his discard slot.

Thanks Goombella, he thought. Merlee’s story is a little farfetched… But maybe I’ll think about it some more…

Francesca and Andy ran up to hug him.

“Oh, Stan,” said Ivan. He wiped his brow again. “How can we thank you?”

“Well, you can start by…” started Stan.

“Wait…” started Ivan. “I know exactly how I can thank you... come with me…”



* * * * * * * * * *


Fifteen minutes later, on a lower level, Ivan, Petuni, and the three teenagers were in a museum filled with antique clocks.

“Um, Ivan,” said Francesca, “we appreciate the tour of your Museum of Historic Timepieces, but I think Stan was hoping for a more material reward…”

“This isn’t just a museum,” said Ivan, “this is a vault!”

He went up to a very old grandfather clock.

“Kurtis wanted something else when he was here,” said Ivan, “something I was trusted with. I lied, and told him I didn’t know what he was talking about… And I wouldn’t have given it to him if he had burned the whole town down!

“It’s been waiting here until someone showed up to oppose thugs like him… And certainly, it will be safer with you…”

He started to turn the hands on the clock.

“Seven-fifteen left,” he said, “nine-thirty right, one o’clock left.”

A clicking was heard, and the grandfather clock moved aside. In a small, hidden alcove was a podium…

…on which was a Duel Monsters card.

Ivan handed it to Stan.

“Here, take it,” he said. “It’s a powerful card – you can use it well.”

Stan looked at it, as Andy and Francesca crowded around.

It was a Magic Card called “Clock Out”.

“Well, that is remarkable,” said Stan.

“And please,” said Ivan, “stay as our guests at least until tomorrow morning – we’ll put you up in our finest lodgings.”

“Works for me,” said Francesca with a shrug.


[B]
* * * * * * * * * *


In a dark place, Kurtis came to his senses.

He turned and saw Melissa trapped in the Nightmare Steel Cage… with a girlish grin on her face.

“Ha, ha, you messed up, windbag,” chuckled Melissa.

“Yeah? So did you, lighthead!” scowled Kurtis.

“Melissa, you’re in enough trouble already,” said a sinister voice from in front of them.

The Shadow Queen walked out of the darkness, frowning like a thunderstorm. Kurtis shivered…

“Uh, mom…” he stuttered.

“On your feet, Kurtis!” she demanded.

Kurtis got up.

“What have you got to say for yourself?” she said, angrily.

“Uh,” said Kurtis, sweating. “Will begging and groveling help?”

“No,” she answered.

“That’s what I figured…” muttered Kurtis.

“This is getting out of hand,” grumbled the Shadow Queen, flicking her Disk into position. “First Melissa goofs up, and now you… It won’t be long before those three start to figure the situation out…”

She took five cards out of her dress.

“Now choose a card, Kurtis, and make it quick!”

“Uh…” said Kurtis.

Sweat started to pour down his face.

“C’mon,” said the Queen. “If you don’t choose one in one minute, I’m going to let your sister decide.”

Melissa grinned broadly at him.

“No!” shouted Kurtis.

He shakily pointed his finger.

“The one in the middle…” he stammered.

“Fine,” said the Queen, taking it.

She slid it into her Disk.

“Spellbinding Circle!” she exclaimed.

Kurtis screamed, as a shimmering pentagram formed around him and he froze in place.

The Queen put the cards away and turned to leave.

“Bad choice,” chuckled his sister.

“Can it, Melissa!” snapped Kurtis (as best he could, seeing as he couldn’t move his mouth).

As the Shadow Queen exited the chamber, thoughts were on her mind.

Kurtis may have failed, she thought, but I did manage to gain one thing…

…knowledge.

That wretched Stanley used a Monster Card that was a dead wringer for that accursed Goomba that aided my enemies a millennium ago. Clearly, Maximillion Pegasus did not design this card – and I’d be a fool to think that this is the only Monster card of its type that those three brats have.

Clearly, those meddling Seven Companions have been reborn in the form of cards…

The only question is… How did those kids get them?



[B]CASTLE OF CLOUDS

Card Specs

Type: Magic/Field
Attribute: –
Level: –
ATK: –
DEF: –

Card Description: Image of a majestic palace of blue gems amid a sea of fluffy clouds. When this card is active, increase the ATK of all WIND Monsters on the field by 300. When a WIND Monster attacks a Defense Position Monster who’s DEF is lower than the attacking Monster’s ATK, inflict Life Point damage to the attacked Monster’s controller equal to the difference between the Attacking Monster’s ATK and the attacked Monster’s DEF.



CHANT OF THE HARPIES

Card Specs

Type: Magic/Ritual
Attribute: –
Level: –
ATK: –
DEF: –

Card Description: Image of three Harpie Ladies dancing over a stone altar decorated with a bird-like motif. This card is used to ritual summon “Calypso the Harpie Queen”. You must also offer Monsters whose total Level Stars equal six or more from the field or your hand.



CALYPSO THE HARPIE QUEEN

Card Specs

Type: Winged Beast/Ritual/Effect
Attribute: Wind
Level: 6
ATK: 1,900
DEF: 1,900

Card Description: This powerful avian being is the queen, goddess – and some say mother – of the three Harpie Lady Sisters. She has the power to revive her daughters should they perish. This card can only be ritual summoned with the Ritual Magic Card “Chant of the Harpies”. You must also offer Monsters whose total Level Stars equal six or more from the field or your hand. When this Monster is successfully ritual summoned, you can special summon up to three “Harpie Lady” cards to the field from your Graveyard in Attack or Defense Mode.

Note: “Chant of the Harpies” and “Calypso the Harpie Queen” first appeared in “The Mandate of Heaven”



GOOMBELLA THE SCHOLAR

Card Specs

Type: Spellcaster/Effect
Attribute: Earth
Level: 4
ATK: 500
DEF: 2,000

Card Description: The first member of the Seven Companions, there was very little this smart – and sassy – little Goomba could not figure out. When this Monster is Normal Summoned, Flip-Summoned, or Special Summoned, look at the four cards on the top of your deck, and replace them in any order.



[B][I]Coming up next:

You may have liked Kurtis’s Field Magic Card Castle of Clouds, but coming up next, our team is invited to a castle among the clouds! Namely… Glitzville!

And once there, the team barely has time to take in the sights, when Francesca is ambushed by a strange character who forces her to duel for incredible stakes. Oh, and Merlee might show up again too. Don’t miss a chapter I call “Strike of the Assassin”, coming soon.

Dark Sage
8th July 2005, 05:51 PM
[B]You ever hear of a Monster named Jowgen the Spiritualist? He’s weak, but he can destroy any Special Summoned Monster.

These days, folks use him in decks called “Last Turn Decks”. The idea is to purposely bring your Life Points down to 1,000 or less, summon Jowgen, and activate the Trap called Last Turn. If you pull it off, you win automatically, because Jowgen’s ability prevents your opponent from summoning anything.

Unfortunately, no-one seems to realize anymore that Jowgen is so useful for his original purpose – destroying Special Summoned Monsters. And some of the deadliest Monsters these days are Special Summoned. Take Black Luster Soldier – Envoy of the Beginning, for instance. Dark Necrofear is another example. And so is every Fusion and Ritual Monster.

Why am I bringing this up, you ask?

Because I’m dueling for my life…

And Jowgen the Spiritualist would be a great card to have in my deck right now…



[B]
[size=3]CHAPTER TEN



Strike of the Assassin



At six AM the next morning, Lord Crump crawled out of bed.

[I]Ooh, he thought, clutching his stomach, that’s the last time I order the spicy bouillabaisse…

The cell phone by his bed rang.

Now what? he thought.

He answered it.

“Crump,” said the Queen’s voice. “I have an assignment for you that’s going to make you very happy…”

“That seems doubtful…” muttered Crump.

“What was that?” asked the Queen.

“Nothing,” sighed Crump. “I was clearing my throat. So what do I have to do?”

“I want you to go to Glitzville,” answered the Queen.

Crump perked up with excitement.

“Glitzville?” he exclaimed. “I haven’t been there in ages!”

“Don’t get too excited,” warned the Queen. “This will be strictly business. Show your I.D. to the conductor at the blimp port for the 10 AM shuttle, and you’ll be let on board. I’ll give you further instructions once you’re there.

“Now move it!”

She hung up.

“Wow!” exclaimed Crump. “She hasn’t let me go there since the… um… popcorn incident. Not that that was really my fault…

“Better hustle…”


[B]
* * * * * * * * * *


Half an hour earlier, Stan was in the middle of a nightmare…

He was dreaming he was running though a mountainous valley, being chased by three ravenous Harpie Ladies…

He stumbled and fell. They shrieked with glee and swooped down on him…

Just before they had their claws on him, he felt Andy shaking him awake.

“Ugh…” moaned Stan. “Thanks…”

“Thanks for waking you up?” asked Andy.

“No, long story…” muttered Stan. “What time is it?”

“Six,” replied Andy. “Petuni called me and told us someone wants to meet us for an early breakfast – something important, she said.”

Stan sighed.

“Well,” he said, “if it’s another ambush, you take care of it.”

“Funny,” sighed Andy. “I kind of wish that jerk didn’t disappear… I could have used those Field Cards for my deck…”

“Ah, whatcha gonna do?” sighed Stan. “First dibs on the shower…”


[B]
* * * * * * * * * *


It was the same restaurant where they had met Kurtis, but this time it wasn’t as threatening. For one, the place was crowded. For another, the atmosphere was much nicer.

Ivan Punio led the three teens to a rounded table that was laden with muffins, bagels and croissants. Sitting there was a familiar face. A woman in a business suit with glasses and her hair tied in a bun…

“Wha?” said Francesca, quizzically. “Sydney Meyers?”

“Hi kids!” she said with a wave. “Sorry to get you up so early, but I’m on a busy schedule… Council work, you know… Sit down!”

They sat down.

“Anyway,” she continued, “I can’t thank you enough for saving The Great Tree from that… thug. We are so sorry if the Shadow Queen’s goons are giving you trouble…”

“Excuse me for asking, Ms. Meyers,” accused Stan, “but I seem to remember you making a joke about the Shadow Queen ‘waiting for us’ behind The Thousand Year Door when you briefed us…”

“Yes, well,” said Meyers, nervously, pulling at her collar, “the fact is… mistakes have been made, and the true Shadow Queen is apparently trying to disrupt the tournament. But don’t worry, we’ll handle her. If she’s gotten into The Thousand Year Door, we’ll root her out…”

They all looked at her.

“Anyway,” she continued (nervously again), “to show our appreciation for saving The Great Tree… Punio, give them the envelope…”

Ivan placed an envelope on the table.

“…you may have heard of a place called ‘Glitzville’ that contestants need the permission of a Council member to go to – well, consider this your permission! The next blimp leaves at ten this morning…”

“Blimp?” asked Andy. “Where is this place, on a cloud?”

“Actually, yes…” stuttered Meyers.

They drew back in surprise.

“A marvel of technology,” she continued. “They built a small amusement center in the sky, and the main attraction is the Glitz Pit, a sporting arena. And I assure you, only the best contestants will be there today… You like a challenge don’t you?”

Francesca took the pass out of the envelope and looked at it.

“Well,” she said, “eat up and get to the blimp station, and happy dueling! I’ve got to be going…”

She got up and hurried off.

Francesca picked up a muffin and started to butter it.

“So what are we waiting for?” asked Stan.

“I dunno,” sighed Francesca. “With all that’s happening, this may be a trap…”

“Yeah,” shuddered Andy. “I don’t know about that Meyers woman. For all we know, she could be the Shadow Queen in disguise. She even looks a little like her.”

“Oh come on,” said Stan, “that’s ridiculous…”

“What do you mean, ridiculous?” snapped Andy.

“Look,” answered Stan, “Meyers wears glasses, and the Shadow Queen doesn’t, so…”

“Oh, Stan come on!” said Andy, rolling his eyes.

“Well, the Queen doesn’t look like the type who’d wear contact lenses!” protested Stan.

“Still,” said Francesca, “an arena in the clouds… It is tempting… And judging from the map, it’s either this or we take a long trek to… ‘Twilight Town’…”

They all looked at each other.

“Glitzville,” they all said at once.


[B]
* * * * * * * * * *


After bidding Ivan and Petuni goodbye, the trio packed up their Disks, decks, and belongings, and headed in the directions they gave them. It wasn’t long before the trees and tall grasses of Boggly Woods started to thin.

Eventually, a sign with the words “Blimp Port” written on it appeared on the roadside, and they quickly went in that direction.

They saw it from a long distance away. A zeppelin the size of the Goodyear Blimp was parked outside a small building. And it seemed that they were not the only ones waiting to board. A line was forming outside the building.

Sheesh, thought Francesca. Day three of the tournament, and already the Council is making use of their executive rights.

They got into line behind someone. He turned and noticed them.

They didn’t know who it was, but he knew who they were…

He turned away from them.

Act natural Crump, he thought, act natural…

He remembered that he had chewing gum in his pocket. He reached in to get it.

As he took the gum, he was startled by Francesca’s voice.

“Hey, pal!” she said.

“ACK!” shouted Crump. “Don’t!”

“Uh, buddy,” she said. “Your wallet fell out of your pocket when you took that gum out…”

Crump looked down.

“Oh,” he said. “I knew that…”

He picked up his wallet.

“Uh, better go use the bathroom,” he said.

He ran towards the men’s room.

“Hey!” shouted Francesca. “You’ll lose your place in line!”

“S’okay!” he shouted back. “I like waiting in line!”

The three of them turned to each other.

“Weirdo,” said Stan.

“Speaking of weird…” muttered Andy.

They all turned and saw who had gotten into line behind them.

A chill came over them when they saw her.

Her Disk indicated her as a duelist, but her fashion sense was… creepy.

She wore a black leotard with long sleeves, and wore a midnight blue cloak with a hood, as well as boots that were the same color. Her hair was dark, and her complexion was pale.

They looked at her for a minute.

“It’s impolite to stare!” she snapped.

“Sorry,” they all said at once.

Who ordered Goth? thought Stan.

Crump watched them from a distance.

Think I’ll just wait here for the boarding call, he thought.


[B]
* * * * * * * * *


Ever since the Hindenburg disaster of 1921, passenger zeppelins had been pretty much taboo, and blimps in general were uncommon. There wasn’t much danger anymore – blimps weren’t filled with volatile hydrogen anymore, making them much safer. Still, airplanes were faster and safer yet, so there was no need for passenger zeppelins to make a comeback.

Still, this particular blimp seemed rather nice – the seats in the cabin were all first class-style, and the windows were huge.

As Stan, Andy, and Francesca took their seats, they saw the odd Goth girl sitting across from them.

They knew it was impolite to stare, but this duelist was creeping them out.

“Welcome passengers,” said a voice over a loudspeaker. “We will be departing shortly. We will arrive in Glitzville after only a half-hour flight. Enjoy your time there.”

The engines whirred to life, and the huge blimp started to take off…


[B]
* * * * * * * * * *


The Shadow Queen watched from her throne room. She rubbed her chin…

She took her cell phone out of her dress.

“Crump?” she said into it.

“Oh, your excellence,” was the response. “I’m on the blimp…”

“Well before you get airsick, listen up,” she responded. “When you get there, there’s an incredibly probable chance that one of those kids is going to be challenged, and a duel will take place. You know what to do…”

“Of course,” said Crump. “And maybe then I can…”

“Forget it Crump!” snapped the Queen. “I saw you run in fear when they saw you. You may talk tough, but you’re never going to be anything more than a coward! And I don’t need a duelist who’s likely to panic in the middle of a duel!”

“Hey!” protested Crump. “I might have gotten nervous, but…”

“Quiet!” she snapped. “And hay is for horses!”

She hung up.

She closed her eyes and concentrated.

Lotus, are you there? she said in her mind.

There was a pause.

Yes, responded a slow, feminine voice. You were right about Glitzville, master – it is a great place to duel. I already have four Crystal Cards…

Yes, that’s all well and good, relayed the Queen, but enough warm-up duels. Your true target will soon be there. You know the plan. Succeed, and you’ll be richly rewarded…

And I’m sure you know the price for failure…


[B]
* * * * * * * * * *


“Ladies and gentlemen,” said the pilot, “if you look to your right, you’ll be able to see our destination clearly.”

Everyone looked out the window. It was an awe-inspiring sight – Glitzville was like a miniature Las Vegas, built on top of a cloud-like base, floating in mid-air! Neon lights of all the colors of the rainbow flashed from the buildings. Certainly, this was the entertainment center of Monster Island…

Eventually, the blimp landed on a large landing pad near the edge of the floating island, and the passengers disembarked.

“Well,” said Andy, in wonder, “what should we do first?”


[B]
* * * * * * * * * *


The nerve of that witch, thought Crump, as he followed the three kids. I’m not a coward!

He paused.

I mean, so I ran and hid in the broom closet and didn’t come out for three hours last month when I saw Melissa summon that Ritual Monster… what was it called? Reshef the Dark Being? That doesn’t make me a coward…

He paused.

And, sure, maybe I fainted the week before that when I saw Tyson use that crazy Field card of his, but does that make me a coward?

He paused again.

Aw, who am I kidding? he thought, holding his head. I’m a disgrace…

Meanwhile, the subjects he was supposed to be watching were wandering pretty far ahead of him.

In front of them was a large arch shaped like a rainbow. At the bases of the rainbow were two statues that looked like ball and chains with faces that had googly eyes and sharp teeth. (Fans of the Mario games could identify these as depictions of “Chain Chomps”.)

“This place is loud in more ways than one,” grumbled Francesca.

“I dunno,” muttered Andy, “it seems pretty hip.”

“I’m just worried,” answered Francesca. “Places like this tend to attract weirdoes…”

They passed a guy with clothing that was even louder than the décor.

“Hey babe,” he said to Francesca, “hows about a kiss?”

“Drop dead,” snarled Francesca.

“Aw c’mon,” he said, walking up.

Suddenly, he grabbed Francesca from behind…

…and forced a kiss!

Francesca forced him away with rage in her eyes…

“Uh oh…” said Stan and Andy at once.

Francesca cracked her knuckles…


[B]
* * * * * * * * * *


Two minutes and twenty-seven seconds later…

“Wow, Fran,” exclaimed Stan, “I can’t believe that shiner you gave that guy!”

“Yeah,” gasped Andy. “And that was the most atomic atomic wedgie I’ve ever seen!”

“Yeah,” muttered Francesca. “I can’t believe that guy wore briefs. What a loser.”

“Remind me to stay on your good side,” gasped Andy, as they approached a hot dog stand.

“Any of you duelists care for one of Glitzville’s famous franks?” asked the vendor. “They’re extra-spicy!”

They couldn’t say no to that.

“Sure,” said Francesca. “I take it everything’s still free for contestants…”

“Yep, here ya go,” he chuckled, handing them three hot dogs.

On a rooftop, a figure watched…

It loaded a dart into a blowgun, and took aim…


[B]
* * * * * * * * * *


“I have to admit, buddy,” commented Francesca, “these are pretty spicy.”

She never saw it coming…

She was halfway through the hot dog when a sharp pain hit her in the right buttock!

She yelped!

“ALL RIGHT!” she shouted. “Where’s the guy who just got tired of breathing?”

“Uh, Francesca…” said Stan, nervously. “Stand still…”

He reached down, and slowly extracted the dart.

“Ow…” groaned Francesca.

“Francesca,” muttered Stan, “when someone attacks someone with a dart, ninety percent of the time, the dart has been poisoned with something…”

“What are you talking about?” muttered Francesca, rubbing her butt. “I don’t feel any…”

She held her head.

“Come to think of it…”

A sudden flushed feeling appeared over her. She started to turn pale…

She looked at her arms…

Before the horror of her two friends, her skin started to change from its normal flesh color to sapphire blue!

“Oh… my… God…” she said looking at her hands.

“If you laugh,” said Andy to Stan, “I’ll kill you before she does!”

Francesca ran up to a reflective mirror on the side of the building next to vendor’s stand.

“ACK!” she screamed. “I look like… like Mystical Elf!”

“I wasn’t going to say it unless you did,” muttered Stan. “Francesca, we have to get you to a doctor, fast!”


Continued…

Dark Sage
8th July 2005, 05:53 PM
Continued from last post:


“A doctor’s not going to help, Stan,” laughed a voice.

A cackle filled the air, and a figure leapt into view.

It was a female whom they assumed was about their age. They could only assume. She was dressed in black Ninja clothing, with a loose black jumpsuit, hood, and veil. She even had a katana sword strapped to her back – and she had a Duel Disk on her left arm.

“Hello Francesca…” she said in a sinister voice.

“Who are you?” demanded Francesca. “Did you do this?”

“Why yes,” said the Ninja, “and blue coloring to skin is only the first effect of the poison made from blue lotus extract.”

She pointed to Francesca.

“You now have three hours to live…” she chuckled.

Francesca drew back, partially in fear, and partially in rage…

“Give me the antidote, you bitch…” she ordered. “That is, if there is an antidote…”

“There is,” chuckled the girl, “but unfortunately for you, I’m not too keen on sharing. You may be good at punching out boys who can’t keep their hands to themselves, Francesca, but can you defeat a master of Ninjitsu?”

“She’s got a point, Fran,” muttered Andy. “You try to force her to do anything, she’ll likely pound you flat…”

“But I’m willing to make a deal,” said the girl, reaching into her jumpsuit.

She took out a set of Crystal Cards and a small vial.

“I have four Cards, and I know you have three. If you win, you get one of my Cards and the antidote. If I win, I take one of your Cards and leave you to die.”

Francesca stared at her.

“Did I mention that if you don’t agree within the next ten seconds, I’ll smash this on the ground?” she said, holding the vial out.

“Okay!” shouted Francesca. “I guess I don’t have a choice. But who are you anyway?”

“A Ninja never reveals her true identity to an enemy,” said the girl. “But for purposes of identification, you may call me… Lotus.”


[B]
* * * * * * * * * *


By this time a sizable crowd had gathered, forming a circle around the two duelists.

On one side, Lord Crump was watching.

So this was the duel she had arranged, he thought, taking a notepad out of his duffle. Awfully clever – but I don’t recall her employing any Ninja assassin named Lotus. Who exactly is this kid?

On another side, the dark girl with the cloak and cowl was watching. She surveyed the situation.

Seems a Mystical Elf is about to take on a female Strike Ninja, she thought. Well, might as well take in some dueling sights before doing some myself…

She noticed a wealthy-looking man standing next to her.

With the skill of a pro, she reached over and picked the wallet out of his pocket.

She edged over to another part of the crowd.

And being among so many rich snobs is a great opportunity! she thought.

She removed the cash from the wallet and tossed the wallet itself into a trash bin.


[B]
* * * * * * * * * *


“Just one question,” asked Francesca to her opponent, more than a little pissed. “Why force me to duel under such stakes?”

“I’m an assassin,” answered Lotus. “It’s what I do.”

Assassin? thought Stan. Is she working for someone?

The Disks activated.

The Life Points set to 8,000 apiece…

“HATASHIAI!” shouted Lotus.

They drew their hands.

“I’ll start,” said Lotus, drawing her first hand.

She looked at her hand.

And from my hand, it seems the Dark spirits of Ninjitsu already show me blessing … she thought.

“I’ll summon this Warrior in Attack Mode,” she said. “Arise, Ninja Commander Ikusa!”

She put a card down, and a shadow appeared on her side of the field…

A Ninja Warrior dressed in a green jumpsuit with a sword slung across his back and a crescent moon on his cowl appeared. (700/700)

“Give me a break,” said Francesca with a small chuckle. “That guy’s weak!”

“We’ll soon see…” said Lotus.

A card flew out of her Disk, and she placed it down.

A sound like a gong sounded, and Ninja Commander Ikusa faded into blur. Another shape formed out of him… another Ninja, this one similar to him, but dressed in blue. (400/400)

“Heh, heh,” chuckled Lotus. “When I summon Ikusa in Attack Mode, I can Special Summon his partner, Ninja Soldier Katana!”

“Please, that’s even weaker!” mocked Fran.

“Well, that will do for my move,” responded Lotus.

“Stan,” whispered Andy. “Why would Lotus put weak Monsters in Attack Mode?”

“I’d at first say she’s playing a Gravity Bind deck,” answered Stan, “but there’s clearly no Gravity Bind…”

Francesca drew.

Only one Monster, she thought, but she’s more than enough…

“Let me show you a real Warrior,” she said. “I summon Amazoness Fighter!”

She threw a card down, and the muscular Amazon leapt into view! (1,500/1,300)




http://www.itstimetoduel.com/cardpictures/MFC-060.jpg


“Attack her Ninja Soldier!” she shouted.

Amazoness Fighter leapt up and did a flip! She delivered a savage drop-kick to Ninja Solder Katana, blasting him into pixels!

Lotus’s Life Points fell to 6,900.

“Pathetic,” mocked Francesca.

You say so now… thought Lotus.

“Well, make your move,” dared Francesca.

“I will,” said Lotus, drawing.

She placed a card down.

“I’ll summon a second Ikusa in Attack Mode,” she said.

A twin of the first Ninja Commander Ikusa appeared out of the shadows. (700/700)

And then the gong sounded again, and a second Katana appeared. (400/400)

“You may be strong in body, but not in mind,” sneered Francesca. “Don’t you know any other moves?”

“Will this do?” asked Lotus. “I’m also laying a card facedown.”

She placed a card into a slot, and it materialized behind the three Ninja.

“What did I tell you?” said Stan. “Gravity Bind.”

“Make your move,” said Lotus with a gleam in her eye.

Francesca drew.

“I’m activating my Trap Card!” exclaimed Lotus.

The card lifted.

To Stan surprise, it was not Gravity Bind…

Rather, it was a Trap with the image of two goofy looking Monsters on it.

“I activate Taunt!” shouted Lotus.

One of the two Ninja Commanders glared at Amazoness Fighter and made a beckoning gesture…

“What’s the point?” asked Francesca.

“Simple,” explained Lotus. “Any attacks you make this round must first be made towards this Monster.”

Ninja Commander Ikusa continued to taunt his foe…

Francesca looked at her cards.

Nothing at all to summon now, she thought, but Fighter is more than enough…

“I don’t know what your game is,” snarled Francesca, “but if you want me to destroy your Commander, I’ll be happy to oblige! Amazoness Fighter, attack!”

Amazoness Fighter leapt into the air again, and kicked Ninja Commander Ikusa to pieces!

Lotus’s Life Points fell to 6,100.

“You’ve already lost nearly 2,000 Life Points,” laughed Francesca. “Frankly, I’d say your dueling stinks!”

“Francesca’s right,” sighed Stan. “This is a little too easy…”

Andy’s brow furrowed with worry.

“Andy…” he said. “You know, when you think something is too good to be true, it usually is…”

Lotus chuckled as she drew.

“Actually Francesca,” she said, “you forgot one important thing…”

She paused.

“Namely, that I’m an assassin… And a classic trick that any assassin knows is to lead prey into a false sense of security, so that they let their guard down and don’t see the fatal blow coming until it’s too late…

“You see, I have a powerful Monster, but to summon him, I first had to send one Ninja Soldier and one Ninja Commander to my Graveyard, and then remove both from play!”

She switched cards on her Disk.

“Now I’ll sacrifice my other Ninja Soldier to summon Ninja Master Shogun!” she shouted.

One Ninja Soldier Katana faded into shadows. A pair of scrolls with kanji script written on them formed out of the ground, and a frightening Monster emerged. He was a Warrior dressed in a red, decorative gi, with long white hair, and a scary red Japanese mask. A sword was slung across his back. (1,600/1,600)

“Okay…” stuttered Francesca. “That’s… impressive…”

“It’s about to get more impressive,” said Lotus.

Two cards flew out of her Disk. She caught them and threw them down.

“By summoning Shogun, I’m able to Special Summon two other Ninja Warriors of three stars or less from my deck. So I summon Ninja Commando Kabuki, AND Lady Ninja Yae!”

Two forms flipped into view from behind Lotus. The first was a Ninja in a white mask, blue pants, and a purple vest. Like the others, a sword was slung across his back. (700/700)

The second was a female ninja. She wore a tight-fitting purple suit, a red scarf, and had long, green hair. She was armed with a long dagger. (1,100/200)



http://www.itstimetoduel.com/cardpictures/AST-030.jpg


“But wait, there’s more!” laughed Lotus.

Another card flew out of her deck.

“When Kabuki is summoned, I can Special Summon a Ninja with two stars or less!”

She threw the card down.

“So I summon Kunoichi Ayame the Ninja Girl!”

A shower of lotus flowers fell upon the field, and a young teenage girl in a maroon gi with a veil and her black hair in a ponytail appeared. (300/300)

“Holy…” shouted Stan. “She managed to summon four Monsters in one move!”

“And that’s trouble…” gulped Andy.

“Still think my dueling stinks?” asked Lotus.

Francesca was too startled to answer that.

“Ninja Master Shogun!” shouted Lotus, “attack Amazoness Fighter! Kasai raishuu!”

Shogun breathed a savage gout of flames from his mouth, and Amazoness Fighter was incinerated!

Okay, that’s not good… thought Francesca, looking at the other Ninja.

“Now,” ordered Lotus. “Ikusa, Kabuki, Yae, Kunoichi… all of you attack her directly with shuriken swarm!”

The four other Ninja leapt into the air! What looked like a hundred bladed throwing stars flew at Francesca! She screamed as they hit her!

She landed on her behind.

Her Life Points tumbled to 5,200 as Lotus cackled.

“Bet you’d feel sore from THAT in the morning!” she laughed. “Good thing for you, you won’t be seeing another morning!”

“Are you quite done?” snarled Francesca, getting up.

“Almost,” said Lotus, selecting a card.

“I’ll place this facedown, and then you can make your move.”

She put a card in a slot, and it appeared behind her army.


[B]
* * * * * * * * * *


Wow, thought Lord Crump, who is this kid? She’s good!

I hope the Queen introduces her soon – I’d love to meet her…

Meanwhile, the Goth girl was more than a little upset.

Humph, she thought, assassins… They give people like me a bad name… As if our name wasn’t bad enough without the help of hired guns…

Come on Francesca, take down these stupid Ninja…


[B]
* * * * * * * * * *


Inside Lotus’s head, a conversation was taking place.

Everything is going according to plan, my master, she communicated.

Excellent, responded the Shadow Queen. Just remember the last part of the plan – be sure to show Francesca who you are once you are victorious. I am certain she would be eager to know who it was who destroyed her…

Francesca looked at her hand, and then at her deck.

This next draw better be someone who can defeat that Ninja Master, she thought, otherwise, she’ll just do that again!

She drew.

“Alright Lotus!” she shouted. “It’s go time!”

She threw a card down.

“I summon Amazoness Paladin in Attack Mode!”

The powerful, sword mistress appeared, furiously holding aloft her weapon! (1,700/300) –> (1,800/300)

“All right!” shouted Andy. “Hot dogs on me!”

“Amazoness Paladin, attack Ninja Master Shogun!” shouted Francesca.

The Paladin flew towards her foe with her sword.

“I activate…” exclaimed Lotus, “Ninjitsu Art of Decoy!”

The Trap Card lifted. As Amazoness Paladin closed in, Shogun vanished, and a wooden scarecrow appeared in his place. Amazoness Paladin smashed it to bits.

“What?” gasped Francesca.

Shogun reappeared, and Lotus’s Life Points slipped to 5,900.

Lotus chuckled.

“Ever hear of Obnoxious Celtic Guardian?” she asked. “He can resist attacks? The same applies to any Ninja that’s under the protection of this Continuous Trap Card. So long as it remains, Shogun can’t be destroyed in battle!”

“Maybe so,” sneered Francesca, “but now you can’t attack me again.”

“That remains to be seen,” answered Lotus. “My move…”

She drew.

And then she laughed wickedly.

“Now I’m going to take you down slowly and painfully!” she mocked, adding it to her hand.

She turned four of the cards on her Disk.

“First,” she said, “I’ll shift my four lesser Ninja to Defense Mode…”

Ikusa, Kabuki, Yae, and Kunoichi all knelt in Defense.

“Now,” she continued. “I’ll Equip Ninja Master Shogun with my most powerful Magic Card… Great Kite of Ninja!”

She fit a card into a slot, and a huge, square kite, colored red and blue appeared in the sky. It swooped down, carrying Shogun into the air!

Shogun chuckled as he looked down upon the crowd.

“Let me explain how this works,” chuckled Lotus. “First, it renders Shogun immune to attacks, Magic Cards, and Monster effects.

“Second, I can use him to bypass your Monsters and attack directly, so long as I sacrifice another Monster first!”

“So,” she said in triumph, “I’ll sacrifice my Ninja Girl…”

Kunoichi Ayame vanished into pixels…

“…and Shogun, ATTACK! Ikazuchi gekido!”

Thunder flashed in the sky, and Ninja Master Shogun blasted forth a bolt of lightning, striking Francesca dead center! She screamed and fell over.

Her Life Points fell to 3,600.

As she looked up, Lotus took another card from her hand.

“I’ll end by summoning Armed Ninja in Defense Mode,” she announced.

She placed a card down, and a Ninja garbed in black with a blue mask and a horned, golden circlet, carrying a staff with a curved blade appeared. (300/300)



http://www.itstimetoduel.com/cardpictures/LOB-EN106.jpg


“So now what?” gasped Andy.

“I don’t know,” muttered Stan. “Unless Fran has an extraordinary amount of luck on this draw, she won’t be able to wipe out more than two of Lotus’s lesser Ninja, leaving Lotus with the ability to simply repeat the trick again on her next turn…

“And don’t forget, a lot of Lotus’s Monsters let her Special Summon more Monsters – I don’t think she has to worry about running out…”

Francesca slowly drew.

“I play Card Destruction!” she announced, fitting a card into a slot.

“Now we both have to discard both our hands and draw an equal number!”

“Whatever,” said Lotus. “It won’t help you…”

Francesca discarded her six cards, and drew another six.

One of the cards caught her eye.


Continued…

Dark Sage
8th July 2005, 05:56 PM
Continued from last post:


It’s one of the cards I got from Merlee! she thought. This is just what I need!

She took a card from her hand.

“Okay, you Kung-Fu B-movie reject,” she said, “I’ll first place a card facedown…”

She fit a card into a slot, and it appeared.

“Then,” she continued, “I’ll play Monster Reborn!”

She inserted another card, and Amazoness Fighter reappeared. (1,500/1,300)

“But she won’t be staying for long,” said Francesca, with a smile. “Now I’ll sacrifice Amazoness Fighter to summon one of the newest additions to my deck!”

She threw a card down… Amazoness Fighter vanished in a sparkling mist…

“I summon… Madame Flurrie of the Fog!”

A purple mist appeared over the field, which formed into a cloud… And the cloud took shape…

The creature that appeared before Francesca could best be described as a cross between a purple cloud and an opera diva. The well-endowed female Monster had dimples and a broad smile, wearing rouge and a great deal of lipstick. Her hair was neatly styled, and she wore a pearl necklace. She had no legs, her lower body trailing off into vapor. (1,800/1,000)

Just like they had when Stan had summoned Goombella, Francesca, Stan, and Andy felt an aura coming from this Monster – the same aura of friendship that they couldn’t explain…

“Heh, heh, heh,” laughed Lotus. “You expect me to be afraid of Aretha Franklin there?”

Flurrie gave her a dirty look.

“Don’t insult Flurrie,” warned Francesca, “because she has a powerful effect, one that I’m activating right now…”

“I thought I told you that my Ninja Master is now immune to Monster effects,” laughed Lotus.

“True,” agreed Francesca, taking two cards, “but that’s not who I’m aiming for! I simply have to discard two cards…”

She discarded two cards.

“…and Flurrie, use your merciless Gale Force!”

Madame Flurrie took a deep breath, and blew forth a blast of wind! Armed Ninja, Ninja Commander Ikusa, Lady Ninja Yae, and Ninja Commando Kabuki all staggered against the windstorm…

And eventually they lost, and were thrown back! They shattered into shards!

“Like it?” said Francesca with a smile. “By discarding two cards, Flurrie’s powerful lungs can destroy all opposing Monsters! It wasn’t enough to reach your Ninja Master, but it made my job easier. I can only have Flurrie do that once per duel, and if I chose to have her do so, she can’t actually attack on the same round…

“But my Amazoness Paladin can, and I have a theory about your Great Kite of Ninja…

“Amazoness Paladin, attack Lotus’s Life Points directly!”

Amazoness Paladin charged, and slashed at Lotus with her sword! The Ninja gasped and fell over.

Her Life Points fell to 4,100.

“Just as I thought,” said Francesca with a grin. “While he’s on that Kite, he can’t defend you from a direct attack!”

“All right!” shouted Andy. “Go Fran!”

“So now what are you going to do?” asked Fran. “If you summon something and sacrifice it to let your Ninja Master attack, I’ll still be standing, and then my Paladin, Flurrie, and whatever I summon next will have a free shot at your Life Points! If you summon something to defend yourself, I’ll likely destroy it easily.

“Either way, Ninja girl, you’re trapped.

“I end my turn…”

She crossed her arms.

Even if she does have her Ninja Master attack, it won’t do any good, thanks to my Waboku card… thought Francesca.

Lotus slowly drew.

She looked at the card.

“I’ll place a card facedown,” she said, “and that will end my turn.”

Huh? thought Francesca. She didn’t do either? What’s her game?

She drew.

Mystical Space Typhoon? That will work…

“I’m activating my Trap!” shouted Lotus.

Her Trap Card lifted.

“I activate Ninjitsu Art of Transformation!”



http://www.itstimetoduel.com/cardpictures/AST-052.jpg


The Great Kite of Ninja shattered and Ninja Master Shogun landed on the ground. Then the Ninjitsu Art of Decoy shattered.

Mystical energy surrounded Shogun…

“What’s happening?” exclaimed Francesca.

“The Ninja can call upon the spirits of nature for great power!” exclaimed Lotus.

She chuckled.

“In game terms, this Trap lets me sacrifice any Ninja Monster for a Beast, Winged Beast, or Insect from my hand or deck with level stars up to three more than the sacrificed Monster’s star level. And Ninja Master Shogun has five stars!”

“EEK!” shouted Andy. “That means the Monster she’s about to summon could be as powerful as eight stars!”

Lotus deftly threw a card down on her Disk…

Ninja Master Shogun melted into a blob of magical light. It grew, and grew, and grew! It started to take shape…

And then, standing before Francesca was an enormous beetle with a exoskeleton that seemed to be made of steel!

“Meet my [B]Metal Armored Bug!” laughed Lotus.

(2,800/1,500)



http://www.itstimetoduel.com/cardpictures/AST-005.jpg


“Uh…” said Francesca.

She looked at her hand. Sweat poured down her face.

“I uh, end my turn…”

“FRAN!” yelled Andy. “You forgot to move your Monsters into Defense Mode!”

“HA, HA!” laughed Lotus, drawing. “Sloppy move Francesca!”

She pointed.

“Attack her Madame Flurrie, my Metal Armored Bug!”

Metal Armored Bug scurried forward…

“I activate Waboku!” shouted Francesca.

Her Trap Card lifted, and the three priestesses garbed in blue cloaks appeared to halt the Bug’s advance.

“Pathetic…” said Lotus. “I’ll end by placing one card facedown.”

She placed a card down, and it appeared in front of her.

“Well, make your move…”

My Destroy Defense card will make shifting to Defense Mode a pointless endeavor, she thought.

Francesca drew.

Amazoness Chain Master? she thought, looking at it. She’s no help…

She started to feel dizzy. She held her head…

Darn, she thought. This poison must be starting to make me feel flushed… How can I beat that thing if I can’t even think straight…

She closed her eyes…


[B]
* * * * * * * * * *


“Francesca?” said a husky voice. “Francesca? Come on, baby, get up…”

Francesca felt someone nudging her.

She opened her eyes, and she was in a cloudy place.

And she saw that the person who was nudging her was none other than Madame Flurrie.

“Come on, honey,” she said. “This isn’t over yet.”

“Flurrie?” gasped Francesca. “You can talk?”

“As well as you can darlin’, and I though I needed to,” replied Flurrie. “I figure you’re ready to give up. And I’m not gonna let you!”

“But it seems so hopeless…” mused Francesca. “I already discarded my Amazoness Spellcaster Magic Card… I didn’t figure I would need it. And I can’t use your effect again… I have very little that can help now…”

“So you’re going to give up and let that assassin win?” asked Flurrie. “Let her go back to her employer and get her reward after she mocks you? That’s not something that the first ones I worked with would have done.

“You’re right in your suspicion, you know. That warrior in your vision who looked like you, the one who killed Hooktail – you’re her descendant.”

Francesca just stared at her.

“I hadn’t joined the Three Heroes at that time,” continued Flurrie. “It was really odd how I came to join them – a group of rascals had stolen this…”

She pointed to her necklace.

“…and then they got it back for me. So I decided to tag along.”

She chuckled.

“A lot of it was because I had sort of a crush on Andy’s ancestor!” she laughed. “Anyway, even when things got frightening and intense, I stuck by them…

“…and we got stronger as a team.”

“The story is true?” asked Francesca, somewhat astonished.

“You can keep denying it and let it torture you, or you can accept it and become stronger. You have divine blood. And you can use it to defeat this second rate assassin!”

“But how?” asked Francesca. “That Insect is tougher than almost anything I have!”

“Do what your ancestor did and use your brain, baby,” said Flurrie. “The answer is right in front of your face!”

Right in front of my face? thought Francesca.


[B]
* * * * * * * * * *


Francesca opened her eyes.

“Well, are you going to move, or aren’t you?” asked Lotus.

“Give me a minute!” snapped Francesca.

She studied her hand, and then the field.

Wait a second… she thought.

She noticed something…

Lotus’s Ninjitsu Art of Transformation card had not left the field.

She noticed that the card had an infinity sign in the upper-right corner.

It’s a Continuous Trap, she thought.

She paused.

Is that big bug somehow tied to that Trap Card? What would happen if I got rid of the Trap?

She took a card from her hand.

Let’s find out…

“I summon Amazoness Chain Master in Attack Mode!” she shouted, throwing a card down.

The female warrior with her spiked chain appeared. (1,500/1,300)

Amazoness Paladin’s Attack went up to 1,900.

“What?” said Lotus in surprise. “Attack Mode?”

“And now,” said Francesca, throwing a card into a slot, “I play Mystical Space Typhoon.”

The card revealed itself.

“Now to blow away your Ninjitsu Art of Transformation!” she yelled.

The cyclone blew forward, and smashed the Trap Card to pieces.

Then Metal Armored Bug screamed!

It shattered into shards.

“I thought so,” said Francesca with a smile. “A Monster that’s ‘transformed’ with your Trap Card depends on that Continuous Trap. Destroy the Trap Card, and destroy the Monster!”

Lotus drew back in fear…

“Now to finish this!” shouted Francesca. “Amazoness Paladin, attack directly with blade of the Amazons!”

Amazoness Paladin flew forth and struck Lotus with her sword! Lotus stumbled back, and her Life Points fell to 2,200.

“Amazoness Chain Master, attack with chain rend!”

Chain Master swung her weapon above her head, and hurled it forward, sending the barbed end into Lotus’s gut! She screamed and fell over.

She slowly rose to her feet. Her Life Points fell to 700.

“And finally,” yelled Francesca, “Madame Flurrie, blow her over with Gale Force!”

Madame Flurrie took a breath, and blasted forth her powerful gust! Lotus lost her balance and toppled over.

She lay sprawled on the ground, and her Life Points fell to zero.

The crowd cheered.

“All right, Francesca!” shouted Andy. “You go, girl!”

Francesca walked up to Lotus.

“You lost, and a deal’s a deal,” she said. “Hand over the antidote now!”

A look of fear crossed Lotus’s eyes.

The Queen… she thought. Once she gets her hands on me…

She took the antidote out of her jumpsuit, closing her fist around it.

If I simply smash this on the ground and let her perish, maybe I’ll be forgiven…

Then somebody else grabbed her arm!

Francesca looked shocked.

“Merlee?” she said.

It was indeed Merlee. And he forced the vial out of Lotus’s hand.

“N-n-not so fast, Yumi,” he said.

He handed the vial to Francesca.

“Drink it quickly Francesca,” he said, trying to restrain the Ninja.

“Yumi?” asked Francesca, uncorking the vial.

The Ninja tried to struggle, but Merlee was too strong for her. As Francesca drank the contents of the vial, Merlee removed the veil and hood from her head.

Francesca was shocked!

“YUMI?” she exclaimed.

Underneath the mask was a young Asian girl with long black hair.

“You know this kid?” asked Stan.

“YES!” shouted Francesca. “We’ve been friends since kindergarten! Yumi, why on earth…”

“I’ll explain in a m-m-minute,” said Merlee.

She stared into Yumi’s eyes. His eyes started to glow…

”Powers of Light,” he said, ”Shine through, and dispel the cloud of Darkness…”

Yumi got up, and held her head.

She started quivering in fear…

“Merlee, why did Yumi attack me?” asked Francesca. “How did she get here? And how did she learn to duel so good?”

“I’ll answer the s-s-second question first,” said Merlee. “The Shadow Queen thought it w-w-would be… fun if you died believing a close friend had b-b-betrayed you. So when you l-l-left for Monster Island, she had Yumi kidnapped, and hypnotized her. That’s how s-s-she convinced her she was someone else, and t-t-taught her to duel like a pro.”

“Wait a second!” exclaimed Stan. “I may not be an expert on hypnosis, but I know that you can’t be hypnotized against your will…”

Merlee chuckled.

“By that s-s-same theory,” he said, “Kurtis c-c-can’t control air and w-w-wind, but he was able to anyway…”

“Fran…” sobbed Yumi, “I’m… I’m sorry…”

She got up in panic.

“And you gotta help me!” she screamed. “The Queen said if I couldn’t beat you she’d bury me in The Graveyard! When she finds out…”

“C-c-calm down dear…” said Merlee, putting her hand on her shoulder. “The Queen can only do that to servants or d-d-defeated foes. You aren’t her s-s-servant anymore. S-s-so if you simply r-r-refrain from any more dueling, she won’t be able to t-t-touch you.”

Yumi sighed.

“Thanks,” she sighed.

She took a Crystal Card out of her outfit.

“But this was an official tournament duel,” she sighed, “so I owe you this.”

She handed Francesca the card.

“Thanks Yumi,” said Francesca. “Apology accepted.”

So now I have four, she thought. Three more to go…

Then she noticed something.

“Um, Merlee?” she asked. “Why isn’t my skin turning back to normal?”

“The blue c-c-color will last for about twenty-four hours, unfortunately,” sighed Merlee.

Francesca held her head.

“Looks like the Queen managed to get one last shot at you,” groaned Stan.


[B]
* * * * * * * * * *


Crump was watching intently.

His cell phone rang.

Before he could even say “Hello,” the Queen’s voice shouted at him.

“CRUMP!” she shouted. “I hope you were watching…”

“Yes!” protested Crump, nervously. “Yes I was… That was a good duelist you sent after Francesca – she almost won…”

“Yeah, well, I seem to have lost my control over her!” shouted the Queen. “Who broke the spell?”

“Uhm, you didn’t see?” asked Crump, getting nervous.

“NO! My stupid crystal ball went on the blink right after Francesca’s Monster struck the last blow.”

“Uhm,” said Crump.

Think, Crump, think… he thought, nervously.

“It was nobody I saw,” he lied. “Maybe the shock from that direct attack blew her back to her senses…”

There was a pause.

“That might be possible, actually,” pouted the Queen.

Another pause.

“Look, keep watching those kids, and keep tabs on anything they do.”

“Sure,” said Crump, “I can do that…”

“I have another plan in mind that might be entertaining,” said the Queen. “Listen carefully.”

As Crump listened on the phone, the girl in the cloak slipped up behind him and plucked the wallet out of his pocket.

As the great P.T. Barnum once said, she thought, removing the cash, there’s a sucker born every minute.

She dropped the wallet and snuck away.


Continued…

Dark Sage
8th July 2005, 05:57 PM
Continued from last post:


It took three hot dogs to get Yumi to calm down.

“T-t-take heart, child,” said Merlee, “she’s enspelled people far stronger than y-y-you.”

“I could have killed my best friend…” she moaned.

“Yeah,” muttered Stan, “that was pretty low…”

“It’s like I s-s-said,” said Merlee. “She’ll do anything to escape. Commit any crime, or any immoral act…”

After a long pause, Stan spoke up.

“Folks,” he said, “maybe we should start listening to this guy a bit more… This is heavier than we thought. What do you think Andy?”

He looked around.

“Andy?”

Andy was a hundred feet ahead of them, looking at a sign.

“What’s the scoop, Andy?” he asked.

“Look at this, guys?” he said, pointing to the sign.

They read.



[B]WELCOME CONTESTANTS!

Great opportunity for great duelists!

Fame and fortune, and a grand prize

awaits any contestant who

can outduel the Glitz Pit’s reigning champion!


[color=orange]Register at the Pit and ask for Jolene


“What do you say guys?” said Andy. “Maybe this could be a great opportunity!”

They turned to Merlee.

“Actually, it sounds like a great opportunity,” he said. “The Glitz Pit is a great way to earn a reputation on Monster Island…”

“Well I’m not appearing in public with blue skin,” moaned Francesca. “One of you do it.”

Stan and Andy looked at each other.

They raised their fists and shook.

Andy’s stayed closed, rock. Stan’s fingers jutted open, scissors.

“Darn…” sighed Stan.

“Well,” said Andy. “Let’s go check this out!”



* * * * * * * * * *


The Glitz Pit.

One hour later.

Before the tournament had started, this arena was a haven for boxing and wrestling exhibitions.

That was changed when the tournament was announced. The arena floor had been converted into a dueling ring.

The woman in charge of this large structure was in her office right now. She was a woman about thirty years old or so, with blonde hair down to her waist, who wore a red business suit. She also had a habit of wearing sunglasses, even indoors on cloudy days.

Right now she was killing time with a crossword puzzle.

Let’s see, she thought. Seven letter word for “goddess of wisdom”, starting with M…

She paused.

I’ll go back to it…

The beeper on her desk speaker beeped.

“Miss Jolene,” said a voice. “Some folks to see you. It’s about the notice you posted.”

“Really?” she responded. “Send them in.”

She put the puzzle in her desk and waited.

After a few minutes, Stan, Andy, and Yumi walked in. (Francesca insisted on waiting outside, as did Merlee for some reason.)

“Come on in,” said Jolene. “So, which one of you is interested?”

“Uhm…” stuttered Andy.

He paused, nervously.

“That would be me,” he stammered. “The name’s Andy Markova.”

“Well,” said Jolene, with a sly smile, “the Glitz Pit takes its contenders seriously. Let’s take a look at the deck…”

“Well, uhm…” said Andy, reluctantly.

“Come on,” sighed Jolene. “You won’t be dueling me, and I don’t give out favors to the one you will be.”

Andy sighed and handed her his deck.

“Interesting,” said Jolene, leafing through the cards. “Interesting… Ooh, that’s rare… never saw that one…”

She handed it back.

“Well,” she said, walking to a closet, “I think you’ll be able to put on quite a show…”

She removed a tall box from the closet.

“The match will start at four,” she said, handing it to him. “Here’s your costume.”

“Costume?” said Andy, nervously.

“Sure!” commented Jolene. “If you’re going to lose, you might as well do it in style! Anyway, my assistant will show you to the dressing room.”

Andy sighed.

“I’m gonna regret this,” he muttered under his breath.


[B]
* * * * * * * * * *


As soon as the three had left, Jolene’s phone rang.

“Y’ello,” she said, answering it.

“Hello, Jolene…” said a sinister voice.

“Y-your excellence…” she stammered.

“Shut up and listen, Jolene,” ordered the voice. “I heard you had a contender for your little offer…”

“Well, the offer was your idea!” protested Jolene.

“Yes,” said the voice, “and since I’m funding your little event, there’s going to be a little change in the fight card…”

“WHAT?” shouted Jolene. “What do you mean? I can’t…”

“You’ll do as I say!” ordered the voice. “Give the champion the day off; my son is taking over.”

“But… ma’am…” she protested.

“NO BUTS!” shouted the response. “He’ll be there in an hour.”

The phone hung up.

“Curse you,” muttered Jolene.

“Fine,” she sneered, “I’ll change the fight card if you want…”

She went up to a light fixture in the wall, and twisted it.

A secret door in the wall swung open.

“But you didn’t tell me what prize I have to give away if your brat loses. And if he does, Andy is getting a special prize!”

She walked into the secret door.


[B]
* * * * * * * * * *


One hour later…

Andy felt somewhat self-conscious as he looked at himself in the mirror…

…and saw himself wearing the black spandex suit with a cape and a skull-like helmet.

“Truthfully guys,” he asked, “how do I look?”

“Truthfully?” commented Stan. “Like Lord of Dragons.”

“I look ridiculous…” muttered Andy. “As much as I like Lord of Dragons, I never expected to start dressing like him…”

“I think you look cute,” giggled Francesca.

”I don’t want to look cute!” shouted Andy.

“Hey,” sighed Stan, “you have to make sacrifices for stardom.”

At that point, Merlee walked in.

“You still here?” grumbled Andy.

“Cool it guys,” snapped Francesca, “he saved Yumi.”

“Everyone m-m-mind if I speak to Andy in p-p-private?” asked Merlee.

“Sure, Merl,” said Francesca. “We’ll just go and see if we can get good seats…”

She, Stan, and Yumi left the room.

“Andy,” said Merlee, sitting down, “I h-h-have a feeling this is g-g-going to be a t-t-tough duel for you…”

“I can handle it,” replied Andy.

“Well…” muttered Merlee. “M-m-mind if I take a look at y-y-your deck first?”

“Geesh,” moaned Andy. “Why does everyone have such an interest in my cards?”

Nonetheless, he felt he could trust Merlee, so he took the deck out of his Disk tray and handed it to Merlee.

“Yes, yes, y-y-yes,” said Merlee, looking over them. “Quite a few powerful c-c-cards…”

He looked at one in particular.

“Tyrant Dragon?” he asked.

“Um, yeah,” answered Andy. “That’s my most powerful Monster… Aside from Red Eyes Darkness Dragon.”

“Indeed,” said Merlee with a frown.

He took a card out of his coat.

“Tyrant Dragon is qu-qu-quite powerful,” he agreed, “but for this particular duel, I’d s-s-suggest replacing it w-w-with this guy.”

He handed Andy a card.

Andy looked at the card and gave him a strange look.

“Well?” said Merlee.

“Uh, Merlee,” he said, “not to offend, but that’s a pretty dumb suggestion…”

“H-h-how come?” asked Merlee.

“One,” explained Andy, “this Monster isn’t as powerful as Tyrant Dragon, two, its effect isn’t as useful, and three, although it’s a Dragon, it isn’t meant to be used in Dragon Decks!”

“Those are all g-g-good points,” replied Merlee, “b-b-but I have a feeling that you’ll find more use for this one in th-th-this particular duel than Tyrant Dragon.

“Anyway, that card is p-p-pretty rare, so be sure to r-r-return it later.”

He got up and left the room.

Andy looked at the card, and he looked at Tyrant Dragon.

He’s nuts! he thought. How can this guy be better in ANY way than Tyrant Dragon?

A pit of doubt started to form deep inside him…


[B]
* * * * * * * * * *


Outside the Glitz Pit, a bonfire erupted on the street! Everyone around it fled in terror!

Someone stepped out of the flames.

“Well, the Glitz Pit!” he exclaimed.

He chuckled. He took a deck of cards out of his pocket.

“I don’t want to get caught in a rant here, but right now, I feel more confident than Ruth Ginsberg about to enter an ‘ugliest woman in the U.S. Government’ contest! Watch out Andy…”



[B]NINJA COMANDER IKUSA (Monster Card)

Card Specs

Type: Warrior/Effect
Attribute: Dark
Level: 3
ATK: 700
DEF: 700

Card Description: This stealthy fighter is a master of the Ninjitsu technique known as “multiplicity.” If this Monster is Normal Summoned in Attack Mode, you can special summon one “Ninja Soldier Katana” from your hand or deck in face up Attack Mode.



NINJA SOLDIER KATANA (Monster Card)

Card Specs

Type: Warrior
Attribute: Dark
Level: 2
ATK: 400
DEF: 400

Card Description: This assassin is a longtime partner of Ninja Commander Ikusa, and is seldom far behind him.



NINJA MASTER SHOGUN (Monster Card)

Card Specs

Type: Warrior/Effect
Attribute: Dark
Level: 5
ATK: 1,600
DEF: 1,600

Card Description: It is said that no-one has ever seen this master assassin coming until it was too late. This Monster cannot be Special Summoned. This Monster can only be Tribute Summoned by first removing one “Ninja Commander Ikusa” and one “Ninja Soldier Katana” in your Graveyard from play. When this Monster is successfully Tribute Summoned, you can Special Summon up to two Monsters with the word “Ninja” in their name who have three stars or less from you hand or deck.



NINJA COMMANDO KABUKI (Monster Card)

Card Specs

Type: Warrior/Effect
Attribute: Dark
Level: 3
ATK: 700
DEF: 700

Card Description: This sly assassin is believed to be second in command to the Ninja Master. When this Monster is Normal Summoned, Flip Summoned, or Special Summoned, you can Special Summon one Monster with the word “Ninja” in its name with two stars or less from your hand or deck.



KUNOICHI AYAME THE NINJA GIRL (Monster Card)

Card Specs

Type: Warrior
Attribute: Dark
Level: 1
ATK: 300
DEF: 300

Card Description: The youngest of the Ninja clan, this teenage assassin’s skill is limited, but she is believed to have potential.



GREAT KITE OF NINJA (Magic Card)

Card Specs

Type: Magic/Equip
Attribute: –
Level: –
ATK: –
DEF: –

Card Description: Image of a huge, square, red and blue kite. This card can be Equipped to any Monster with the word “Ninja” in its name. A Monster Equipped with this card cannot be attacked by an opposing Monster, is immune to all Magic Cards (except this one), and is immune to Monster effects. Also, you may attack your opponent’s Life Points directly with the Equipped Monster if you offer another Monster on your side of the field as a Tribute. If the Monster Equipped with this card is the only Monster on your side of the field, your opponent may attack your Life Points directly.


Note: The above six cards were used by Jean-Claude Magnum in the anime episode “Lights, Camera, Duel!”. All creative credit goes to the writers of that episode.



MADAME FLURRIE OF THE FOG (Monster Card)

Card Specs

Type: Fairy/Effect
Attribute: Wind
Level: 5
ATK: 1,800
DEF: 1,000

Card Description: It is said that this glamorous wind spirit developed a crush on one of the Three Heroes, and decided to follow him as one of the Seven Companions. When this Monster is face up on the field, you can discard two cards to destroy all face-up opposing Monsters. If you choose to use this effect, this Monster cannot attack during the same turn. This Monster’s effect can only be used once during the duel.



[B][I]I’ll bet I caught a lot of you by surprise with Lotus/Yumi’s “intentions”. You likely thought she was just as evil as the rest of the Queen’s servants, didn’t you?

You probably want to know who the creepy girl in the cloak is. She isn’t a user character, but you’ll certainly be seeing more of her.

Anyway, next chapter, Andy duels before a capacity crowd, and his foe is as mean as they come. Don’t miss “Clash in the Coliseum”, coming soon…

Dark Sage
8th July 2005, 06:06 PM
[B]From the dawn of time, fire has been both a friend and an enemy of mankind… Folks learned that quickly.

On one side of the coin, it is a useful tool. It can provide light, keep you warm, cook food that would be otherwise inedible, and keep dangerous creatures at bay…

But on the other side, it can be a deadly hazard that can burn and destroy anything in its path if left unchecked. Wounds caused by fire do not heal easily, and lands ravaged by fire take many years to recover.

Let me tell you… When your mother tells you not to play with matches, [I]listen to her.

Fire has become increasing popular in Duel Monsters in recent years. Powerful decks have been created meaning to take advantage of this Attribute.

Right now, I’m in front of a sold-out crowd, facing a guy who uses such a deck…

Unfortunately, he’s far from the average duelist. This guy seems to have been born of Fire…

With a capital F.

Well, no problem. Stan and Francesca already handled two members of this guy’s family… It’s my turn now…




[B][size=3]CHAPTER ELEVEN



Clash in the Coliseum



Andy’s watch read fifteen minutes to four.

“Well,” he said to himself, “Jolene said her assistant would be here in five minutes…

“So I’m either going to go out there and win, or make an absolute fool out of myself…”


[B]
* * * * * * * * * *


In her office, Jolene was biting her nails.

“Geeze, Jolene,” said a voice, “you look more jumpy than a virgin at a prison rodeo!”

“Must you make fun of me?” groaned Jolene. “It isn’t professional!”

“No, but it’s fun!” laughed the voice. “You just do your job, and I assure you, no one will get hurt.”

An assistant walked in.

“Ms. Jolene, are we ready to start?” he asked.

“I’m doomed…” she moaned.

“Huh?” he asked.

“Doomed,” she repeated. “Once this whole tournament is over, she’ll just lock me up like she did my brother…”

“Not that it’s my position to give advice,” he answered, “but why don’t you just leave Monster Island?”

“I wouldn’t get far,” stammered Jolene. “She’d find me. There isn’t a redcap, waitress, cab driver, or hotel bellboy in existence who wouldn’t be happy to tell her where I am…”

“How come?” he asked.

“I undertip…” she replied.


[B]
* * * * * * * * * *


In ringside seats, Francesca and Yumi were sitting, watching the coliseum fill up. Stan was at the concession stand, and Merlee… well, he was nowhere to be seen.

The arena was pretty big – not as big as, say, Madison Square Garden, but it was a decent-sized place. And it seemed like a large crowd was turning out.

Francesca inspected the ring itself, if you could call it that. It was circular, and about one hundred feet in diameter, bordered by holographic imaging projectors. Clearly, this was state of the art…

Stan came back, carrying a tray of refreshments.

“Okay,” he said. “I hope I’ve got enough…”

“Andy should take down this guy pretty fast,” said Francesca with a smile. “Say, anyone have any idea who he’s fighting?”

“I’ve been in Glitzville for a while,” answered Yumi. “Some folks mentioned that the Glitz Pit’s reigning champion is a guy who calls himself ‘Rawk Hawk’. But I don’t know much about him…”

At that moment, the lights dimmed, and the spotlight fell on the ring.

Jolene appeared in the center of the ring.

“Welcome ladies and gentlemen!” she shouted. “And welcome to what promises to be an exciting and thrilling contest!

“Let’s give it up for our challenger! Presenting… from Florida, the Sunshine State, MARKOVA THE LORD OF DRAGONS!”

Ho boy, thought Andy.

He walked up onto the ring, and to his surprise, a good many people cheered.

“And his opponent, a native of Monster Island…” she started.

She cringed.

“May I present, TYSON THE LEGENDARY FLAME LORD!”

Andy perked up a little at this. He looked towards the other side of the arena for his opponent…

And saw, in the dim light, to glowing red eyes appear in the entrance…

As the spotlight fell on the entrance, a young boy about fifteen or so walked towards the ring…

He certainly wasn’t dressed like Legendary Flame Lord…

This kid was strange, no question about it. He had hazel eyes and coal-black hair. His skin was deeply tanned, and his features suggested those of a native of Hawaii. He was somewhat muscular, and apparently, he liked to show his muscles. He wore a red vest, and a pair of leather trousers.

Then Andy noticed something… As this guy was walking up to the ring, his footsteps were leaving scorching footprints in the carpet!

Jolene groaned.

“Heh, heh,” laughed Tyson. “Glad to be here, Jolene, but I’m afraid I can’t promise you an ‘exciting and thrilling contest’. This duel is gonna be over faster than Luke Perry’s movie career!”

That did it. The nervousness was flushed out of Andy’s mind… And his determination began to take over.

“Really?” he snapped back. “If your dueling is as bad as your jokes, I have nothing to worry about!”

Tyson motioned for him to come forward. Andy did so.

“Heh, heh,” whispered Tyson. “You’re obviously as clueless as the typical ‘Dungeons & Dragons’ fan…”

“What’s wrong with ‘Dungeons & Dragons’?” snapped Andy.

Tyson ignored him and continued.

“…but you obviously don’t know who you’re dealing with!” he chuckled. “Want a hint?”

He stared at Andy…

A ball of flame appeared in his hand…

“I’m one of the Shadow Spawn!” he exclaimed. “Tyson’s the name, master of Fire! Your two pals may have defeated my brother and sister, but I’m hotter than Emeril Lagasse’s spicy Cajun shrimp! And once I outduel you…

“Well, you’ll be sorry…”

“You can’t force me to duel you, Tyson…” growled Andy.

Tyson’s eyes glowed red.

“Aw, Andy, you wouldn’t want to disappoint all your fans, would you?” he asked.

He paused. His hand lit on fire again.

“Besides,” he whispered, “if you refuse, I can set fire to this arena… Do you know what would happen if five-hundred people started to panic in a crowded auditorium?”

Andy’s eyes narrowed.

“Fine,” he sneered. “You want a duel, you’ve got one.”

“Great,” smiled Tyson out loud. “Then prepare to burn! I can defeat chumps like you faster than Willard Scott can clean out an all-you-can-eat buffet!”

Flames enshrouded his left arm, and a shimmering, bronze Duel Disk appeared on it…


[B]
* * * * * * * * * *


“Who is this guy?” asked Stan.

“Wait…” muttered Francesca, “did he say his name was Tyson?”

“Yeah…”

“Merlee said that one of the Shadow Spawn’s name’s was Tyson…” muttered Francesca.

“Shadow Spawn?” cried Yumi, shivering. “I saw them… briefly in the Palace. They were creepy!”

“You’re telling us!” exclaimed Stan. “We’ve got to hope Andy can handle this guy…”


[B]
* * * * * * * * * *


As usual, the Disks flipped into place, and the scores set to 8,000 apiece.

“It’s time to duel, as they’re so fond of saying…” chuckled Tyson. “I’ll start this show…”

He made his first hand.

This is too easy… he thought. Andy will be more outclassed than Mike Tyson was against Evander Holyfield!

“Okay Andy,” he said, “I’m playing Graceful Charity!”

He plugged the card into his Disk, and the beautiful angel appeared in front of him. She handed him three cards.

“Now, seeing as you can’t stop me,” he continued, “there’s not much harm in showing you one of the cards I’m discarding…”

He flipped one Monster Card towards Andy.

“Marie the Fallen One?” asked Andy.

“Uh huh,” replied Tyson.

He handed it and another card to the angel, and she flew into his discard slot.

“And so long as she’s in my Graveyard, I gain 200 Life Points per round!”

“Next,” he continued, “I’ll place this card facedown…”

He slid a card into a slot, and it appeared in front of him.

“And then,” he continued, “I’ll summon my Fire Princess, in Attack Mode!”

He put a card down, and a beautiful woman dressed in a flowing red gown carrying a wooden staff appeared. (1,300/1,500)



http://www.itstimetoduel.com/cardpictures/LON-EN034.jpg


“That will do for now,” he said with a grin.

Hmph, thought Andy, drawing a card. Classic Fire Princess strategy. Every time his Life Points go up, mine will go down… So that facedown card is clearly a Trap…

He looked at his hand.

But I’ve got to try anyway…

He put a card down.

“I’ll summon Twin-Headed Behemoth in Attack Mode!” he shouted.

The huge, grey, two-headed Dragon appeared in front of him. (1,500/1,300)

“Twin-Headed Behemoth,” he shouted, “attack his Fire Princess with double flame blast!”

Behemoth opened its two jaws and shot out two blasts of fire…

“You’re more stupid than the guy who greenlighted National Treasure!” laughed Tyson. “I activate Magic Cylinder!”

His Trap Card lifted, and the two Cylinders appeared in the air. The flames flew into one of the Cylinders, and then shot out of the other striking Andy!

His Life Points fell to 6,500. The crowd gasped.

“Fine,” snarled Andy. “I end my turn. But at least I made you use up your Trap…”

I’m not too worried about that… thought Tyson, looking at his hand.

“Now,” he said, “I draw one card…”

He drew.

“…meaning my Life Points rise…”

His Life Points went up to 8,200.

“…which means my Fire Princess can do her work!”

Fire Princess aimed her staff, and shot a blast of flame at Andy! He staggered back, and his Life Points fell to 6,000.

“And now,” smiled Tyson, “if you think my Fire Princess is hot stuff, I’ll raise the temperature even more, by summoning her brother…”

He put a card down.

“…a guy called Fire Prince!”

A flame appeared next to Fire Princess, and a new Monster appeared. He was a young man dressed in fiery red royal raiment, and his hair was cherry red. He carried a scepter topped with a red ruby. (1,500/1,300)

“And that’s my move,” he chuckled.

Odd, thought Andy.

He drew.

His eyes opened at the sight of the card!

It’s one of those cards Merlee gave us! he thought.

He looked at the two Pyros in front of him.

If my hunch about his Fire Prince is right, I’ll be able to do some serious damage to his Life Points…

He put a card down.

“I summon this Monster in Attack Mode…” he exclaimed. “Allow me to introduce… Koops the Bashful!”

A small form leapt up onto the field. The creature looked, for all intents and purposes, like a turtle walking on his hind legs, with long arms. He had a sullen look on his face, and a bandage covering his nose. (1,800/500)

Stan and Francesca got up.

Again, there was that feeling. The feeling like they were seeing an old friend that they hadn’t seen for a long time…

Clearly, these special cards were much more than mere cards…

“A turtle?” questioned Tyson.

“Uh huh,” answered Andy. “Okay, Koops, show that teenage mutant what a full grown turtle can do! Attack his Fire Prince with Power Shell!”

“NO!” shouted Tyson.

Koops retracted into his shell, and then shot forward like a missile! He plowed into Fire Prince, and blasted him into pixels!

“Ack…” gasped Tyson.

Then he noticed that Koops was starting to spin wildly…

“If you think that was impressive,” continued Andy, “Koops, now attack his Fire Princess!”

Koops darted past Tyson, and then plowed into Fire Princess from behind, blasting her to shards!

“Your Monster can attack twice?” gasped Tyson.

“Yes,” said Andy, as Koops leapt back to his side and emerged from his shell. “In return for that special move, he can’t attack on my next turn…

“But let’s not forget about my Twin-Headed Behemoth!”

Tyson drew back in fear…

“Behemoth, attack his Life Points directly!”

Twin-Headed Behemoth blasted forth its fire, striking Tyson! He shielded himself as he was engulfed in the inferno!

The crowd let out an uproar!

Tyson’s Life Points stood at 5,900.

“How’d you like that, flame-brain?” laughed Andy.

“I absolutely love it!” laughed Tyson. “In case you didn’t catch it the first time, I’m the Shadow Spawn of Fire!”

Fran gasped.

“Well, that clinches it…” muttered Stan.

“At least Andy is slightly ahead…” muttered Yumi.

“Not for long…” sighed Francesca.

Tyson drew, and his Life Points went up to 6,100.

“Okay,” he said, “I place one card facedown, and end my turn…”

A card appeared in front of him.

Andy looked at him strangely.

“No Monsters?” he asked.

Tyson starred at him.

Andy drew.

“Sorry, firebug, but I’m not falling for it…” he said.

“So you aren’t going to attack?” asked Tyson.

“Not only am I not going to attack,” said Andy, “but I’m shifting both my Monsters into Defense Mode…”

He turned his cards. Twin-Headed Behemoth folded its wings, and Koops knelt in a defensive stance.

“And now I’ll summon The Dragon Dwelling in the Cave in Defense Mode,” he continued.

He placed a card down, and the large, sleepy Dragon appeared. (1,300/2,000)

“That will end my turn,” he said.

Tyson chuckled. He drew, and his Life Points went up to 6,300.

“I knew it,” he laughed. “You’re more gullible than the jury that acquitted O.J. Simpson!”

“Will you cut it out?” said Andy, annoyed. “You may think you’re as witty as Dennis Miller, but you’re not!”

“Too bad!” laughed Tyson. “I reveal my facedown card – it’s a Trap called Level Conversion Lab!”

The card lifted. It showed a scientist in the foreground of a space-age laboratory in front of a creature inside a glass cylinder, hooked up to wires.

“Huh?” questioned Andy. “I’ve never heard of Level Conversion Lab…”

“Let me explain to you how this complex Trap Card works,” said Tyson. “First, I have to show you a Monster Card from my hand… And I chose this one…”

He presented a card.

“A mighty Warrior of flame known as Fire Queen!”

Fire Queen? thought Andy, puzzled. Who’s that? Fire Princess’s mom?

“Now comes the fun part…” said Tyson, with a smile.

A silvery dice flew out of the Trap Card.

“This dice is going to roll,” explained Tyson. “If it lands on a one, I have to discard the Fire Queen. If it lands on any other number, then that’s Fire Queen’s star level until the end of my current turn!

“You might be interested in knowing, by the way, that Fire Queen is normally an eight-star Monster…”

Francesca gasped!

“No!” she shouted. “That Monster normally needs two sacrifices to summon, but when that dice changes its star level…”

“Tyson has a flat fifty-percent chance of being able to summon it with no sacrifice…” muttered Stan.

The dice fell to the floor… It skipped and rolled…

And it came up… a four!

The crowd gasped.

“Talk about luck,” chuckled Tyson. “I should think about going to Vegas when I get older…”

He threw the card down, and a bonfire erupted on his side of the field. A tall, buxom woman wearing a shiny, strapless leotard colored gold, golden boots and gloves, and a golden crown set with a fire opal stepped out of the blaze. Her eyes burned with fire, and her skin was richly tanned. She held a blazing sword in her hand. (2,500/2,000)

“Heh, heh,” smiled Tyson. “My Queen… Even if you could destroy her, and I doubt you can, my opponent takes any damage resulting from a battle with her! And she has another ability…”

A card slipped out of his deck and he took it.

He placed it on the Disk.


Continued…

Dark Sage
8th July 2005, 06:08 PM
Continued From Last Post:


“When she’s summoned, I get to summon another Monster… the even stronger Fire King!”

And even larger bonfire appeared, and a muscular form appeared out of it. It was a powerful Warrior wearing bronze armor and a decorative crown set with several fire opals. His eyes burned with flame as well, and he had a flaming beard. He also carried a blazing sword. (3,000/2,500)

“But wait!” shouted Tyson, “there’s more!”

“More?” groaned Andy.

Another card flew out of Tyson’s deck.

“When Fire King is summoned,” he continued, “I get to add a specific Field Card to my hand!”

“What, Molten Destruction?” sneered Andy.

Tyson laughed out loud.

“No…” he chuckled. “This is better than Molten Destruction…”

He opened his Field slot and fit the card in. The slot snapped shut.

“Watch,” laughed Tyson, “as the ring is transformed into a fiery realm known as… VOLCANO PALACE!”

Everyone gasped, and an aura covered the arena. The “sky” became smoky and red, and the floor turned into a lava-choked wasteland. Geysers of magma shot up all around them! Finally, a sinister palace of shining obsidian rose into view behind Tyson…

“Ah!” exclaimed Tyson. “My ultimate three-card-combo! Reminds me of where I grew up…”

“You grew up in a volcano?” asked Andy snidely.

“Actually, yes,” chuckled Tyson. “Mom sent me to live on Hawaii for the first few years of my life. But let me explain the benefits of this card…

“First, all Fire Monsters gain 500 points to both their Attack and Defense!”

Fire Queen’s stats rose to (3,000/2,500), while Fire King’s rose to (3,500/3,000)

“Second,” continued Tyson, “whenever a Fire Monster is destroyed by any means other than an attack, the owner gains Life Points equal to its original Attack! So a Mirror Force, assuming you have one, will only help me!”

He laughed.

“Now, my Queen,” he laughed, “wipe out his turtle with royal flames!”

Fire Queen laughed, and swung her sword forward! A wave of fire shot forward, and Koops was incinerated.

Andy closed his eyes.

Sorry Koops… he thought. I promise you, I won’t let this bastard win…

“Fire King…” yelled Tyson, “destroy his Behemoth with imperial blast!”

Fire King waved his fiery blade forward, and Twin-Headed Behemoth burst!

Andy frowned.

“Twin-Headed Behemoth, return!” he shouted.

The two-headed Dragon reappeared where it had been destroyed. (1,000/1,200)

“Neat trick,” chuckled Tyson. “Ah well… I end my turn… But I doubt even any of your double-sacrifice Monsters can defeat my monarchs! You’re in worse shape than Johnny Knoxville would be at any network other than MTV!”

“He isn’t in the best shape there any more either!” snarled Andy, drawing.

Not much I can do now, but defend… he thought.

He placed a card down.

“I summon Masked Dragon in Defense Mode!” he shouted.

He threw a card down, and the metallic rust-red Dragon wearing a mask appeared, folding its wings.

“And thanks to your own Field Card,” continued Andy, “he gets a bonus!”

(1,400/1,100) –> (1,900/1,600)

“Big deal!” laughed Tyson. “It isn’t nearly enough. And that bonus will only help me…”

“Say what?” asked Andy.

“You’ll see,” said Tyson. “Is that your turn?”

“Yeah, go ahead…”

Tyson drew, and his Life Points went up to 6,500.

“Now,” said Tyson, “let me explain another benefit I now have…”

“Another one?” exclaimed Andy in surprise.

“Yes!” laughed Tyson. “When Fire King is on the field with Volcano Palace, then once per round, I get to summon one of these!”

A small flame appeared, and a fiery teenager wearing a page’s outfit appeared. (500/500) –> (1,000/1,000)

“It’s a token called a Fire Servant,” chuckled Tyson. “And don’t let his low scores fool you. So long as Volcano Palace exists, he can’t be destroyed via battle… AND, and damage involving a battle with him is inflicted on you instead of me!”

“Eep!” shrieked Francesca. “This is the perfect three-card-combo!”

“And he’s in trouble…” sighed Stan.

“Fire Queen,” commanded Tyson, “burn up his Twin-Headed Behemoth!”

Fire Queen laughed and shot flame from her sword, blasting the Dragon away a second time!

“Fire King, roast his Dragon Dwelling in the Cave!”

Fire King shot forth his own flame, and the Dragon was blown apart.

“Fire Servant, attack his Masked Dragon, and take a chunk out of his Life Points!”

Flames appeared in Fire Servants hands, and he shot the flame forward, striking Masked Dragon! Masked Dragon roared in pain, and Andy’s Life Points fell to 5,400.

“Your move,” snickered Tyson. “And just so you know, next round I’ll add another Fire Servant to the field!”

Andy drew.

This will protect me for one round, at least… he thought.

“I summon this in Defense Mode!” he shouted. “Troop Dragon!”

He placed the card down, and the trio of winged draconic warriors appeared, kneeling in Defense. (700/800)



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“That’s all for me this round,” he snarled.

“Please,” said Tyson, “you have about as much a chance as Rick Lazio did against Hillary Clinton. Why keep it up?”

He drew. His Life Points went up to 6,700.

Another Fire Servant appeared on his side of the field. (500/500) –> (1,000/1,000)

“Fire Queen,” commanded Tyson, “wipe out his Masked Dragon!”

Fire Queen blasted forth her flame, and Masked Dragon was incinerated.

“Nice,” said Andy.

A card flew out of his deck.

“Too bad you don’t know about Masked Dragon’s effect. When he’s destroyed in battle, I can Special Summon another Dragon with a low Attack Score…”

He put the card down.

“So I’ll summon another Masked Dragon in Defense Mode!”

A new Masked Dragon appeared!

“Cute,” sneered Tyson. “Fire King, destroy his second Masked Dragon!”

Fire King shot forth his blazing fire, and the second Masked Dragon exploded!

Another card flew out of Andy’s deck. He placed it down…

A third Masked Dragon appeared!

“You think you’re so smart?” scoffed Tyson. “Fire Servant number one, attack his Troop Dragon!”

The first Fire Servant cast his fiery spell, and the small Dragons were blown away.

Again, a card flew out of Andy’s deck.

“Nice try,” said Andy, with a grin, “but Troop Dragon has a similar ability. When one Troop Dragon is destroyed, I can summon another!”

He placed the card down, and a new Troop Dragon appeared.

Tyson growled.

“You!” he shouted, pointing to his second Fire Servant. “Destroy his second Troop Dragon!”

The second Fire Servant obliterated the Troop Dragon.

Andy put a card down, and his third Troop Dragon appeared.

Francesca sighed.

“Andy managed to put up quite a wall,” she groaned, but next round, “it’s going to come tumbling down…”

“There’s got to be something he can do…” muttered Stan.

“My move now!” exclaimed Andy.

He drew.

“And I play… Reload!” he exclaimed.

He put the card in a slot.

His Disk flew out of the holder, and then the five cards in his hand floated into it. Then the deck reshuffled itself in mid-air, and placed itself back in its holder. Finally, five new cards flew out of the deck and Andy caught them.

Let’s see, thought Andy, I’ve got two Trap Cards, two Magic Cards, and one Mon…

He stopped short.

Hey… he thought. This is that Monster that Merlee convinced me to put in my deck before the duel…

He paused.

Maybe this guy IS a little better than Tyrant Dragon in this situation… I think I have all the cards I need for one big combo!

But Merlee and I are having a long talk after this is over…

“Okay, Tyson,” said Andy, in a threatening tone, “I’m placing three cards facedown on the field…”

He threw the cards into slots, and they appeared in front of him.

“…and that will end my turn.”

Tyson drew.

His Life Points went up to 6,900.

And then, a third Fire Servant appeared. (500/500) –> (1,000/1,000)

“You think that scares me?” laughed Tyson. “I already told you, if one of those Traps destroys one of my Monsters, I’ll just get stronger!

“And to prove I’m not scared of you, I’m sending my strongest Monster to attack first! Fire King…”

“I activate my first facedown card!” interrupted Andy. “Reveal Threatening Roar!”

The Trap Card lifted, and a huge beast with horns and purple fur appeared behind Andy. It bellowed, and Tyson’s five Monsters drew back in fright! They cowered close to him, quivering.

“My Trap Card has made your forces too frightened to attack this round,” stated Andy, “meaning that my Monsters are safe.”

“For now…” sneered Tyson. “But not for long. I end my turn.”

Andy drew, and added the card to his hand.

“Okay, Tyson,” he said, “your Volcano Palace is a nice place, but frankly, I’m sick of it…”

He fit a card into a slot.

“…so I’m destroying it with Mystical Space Typhoon!”

A whirlwind erupted around the field, and Volcano Palace disintegrated, the lava evaporating and the Palace itself crumbling into dust. The ring returned to normal.

Fire King’s stats returned to (3,000/2,500), Fire Queen’s returned to (2,500/2,000), and the stats of each Fire Servant returned to (500/500).

“Bah!” shouted Tyson. “Big deal! My King and Queen are still stronger than anything you’re likely to summon!”

“We’ll see about that,” said Andy, taking a card from his hand. “Because now I sacrifice my Masked Dragon AND my Troop Dragon…”

His two Monsters vanished, and he placed a card down…

“To summon a beast whose name is feared in the mystical Orient as… YAMATA DRAGON!

A bellowing roar shook the field, and an immense form arose behind Andy. The Dragon didn’t seem to have a body… It looked like eight ugly, snake-like, Dragon heads, colored tan with reptilian eyes! Smoke poured from its eight jaws! (2,600/3,100)



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The crowd gasped… And then they cheered!

“Francesca?” said Stan, puzzled. “Why on earth would Andy put that in his deck? Yamata Dragon is powerful… but it isn’t for a standard Dragon Deck…”

“Uh…” stammered Francesca. “I… don’t know…”

“HA, HA, HA, HA, HA!” laughed Tyson. “What a dope! I haven’t seen a move that dumb since they elected the dead guy Senator of Missouri!”

“Why is it dumb?” asked Andy.

“Duh!” laughed Tyson. “In case you didn’t know, Yamata Dragon is a Spirit Monster! You may be able to destroy my Queen with it, but after that, its card will return to your hand, and my Fire King will smash you!”

“That’s not what I have planned at all,” said Andy with a grin.

Another of his facedown cards lifted.

“I activate another Trap… Burst Breath!”

“Huh?” said Tyson, in surprise.

“By offering my Yamata Dragon as a sacrifice, all Monsters on the field with a Defense Score equal to or lower than its Attack Score are destroyed! And in case you didn’t notice, all of your Monsters’ Defense Scores are lower than 2,600!”

“WHAT?” shouted Tyson. “NO!”

“Yamata Dragon,” ordered Andy, “wipe out his Fire freaks! Burst Breath!”

Yamata Dragon roared, and blew flame from its eight mouths, and the whole field erupted in an inferno! Five screams filled the air!

When the smoke cleared, Fire King, Fire Queen, the three Fire Servants, and Yamata Dragon itself had been eradicated.

The crowd rose to their feet and cheered!

Tyson stood with his mouth agape.

“And I’m not done yet, Tyson,” said Andy. “I activate my last facedown card…”

The card lifted.

“It’s a Quickplay Magic Card called Super Rejuvenation. This lets me draw one card for each Dragon that I sacrificed during this round, and I sacrificed three – two to summon Yamata Dragon, and the Yamata Dragon itself to activate my Trap.”

Three cards flew out of his deck, and he caught them.

“So make your move…” he said.

“In case you didn’t realize this,” said Tyson, “you may have destroyed my whole side, but your side is clear now as well.”

“I’m used to taking risks,” sneered Andy. “Now move…”

Tyson sneered as he drew. His Life Points went up to 7,100.

He growled as he looked at his hand.

I could summon this… he thought. Or this… but if Andy managed to destroy one of them, I might not be able to summon my ultimate beast!

He sighed.

“I’ll place a Monster facedown in Defense, and that will be all for me…” he said.

The hidden Monster appeared.

“Do your worst,” said Tyson with a smile.

Andy drew.

“My worst you say?” said Andy with a grin. “Fine…”

He put a card down.

“First I’ll summon Luster Dragon #1 in Attack Mode!”

A shimmering light fell on the field, and the beautiful sapphire Dragon appeared. (1,900/1,600)

“Now,” continued Andy. “I’m discarding my Thunder Dragon…”

He threw a card into his discard slot.

Two cards flew out of his deck.

“This lets me draw the other two Thunder Dragons from my deck! Know why? Because now I can play Polymerization to fuse them both together!”

He threw a card into a slot. Two green, scaly lizards with draconic features and lightning crackling all over them appeared on the field.



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A portal behind them opened and drew the two Thunder Dragons in.

“Thunder Dragons exist only to be fused together,” said Andy, “alone, they’re pathetic for five star Monsters. But when I fuse them, I’m able to summon something incredibly powerful…”

A huge form lumbered out of the portal.

“Say hello to [B]Twin-Headed Thunder Dragon!

Coming out of the portal was an immense two-headed lizard with orange skin and a long horn on one of its snouts! (2,800/2,100)



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The crowd cheered again!

“I may not be able to attack with it this round,” said Andy, “but my Luster Dragon can attack! Luster Dragon, take out his facedown Monster with sapphire flash blast!”

Luster Dragon shot forth a beam of blue energy from its jaws…

And a huge statue made of burnt wood appeared on the card. The blast bounced off of it. (100/2,100)



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Andy’s Life Points fell to 5,200.

“Sorry, Andy,” chuckled Tyson, “but you attacked my Charcoal Inpachi! A little too much for your Luster Dragon!”

“Fine,” said Andy, “I’ll place a card facedown, and end my turn.”

A facedown card appeared behind his two Monsters.

Tyson drew, and his Life Points went up to 7,300.

Darn, he thought. Still don’t have all the cards I need…

“I’ll summon Molten Zombie in Defense Mode!” he shouted.

He threw a card down, and a hulking creature made of molten lava appeared, shielding itself with its gloppy arms. (1,600/400)

“Go ahead and attack,” dared Tyson. “My creatures are in Defense Mode, so it makes little difference!”

“That’s where you’re wrong,” said Andy.

He made a draw.

“I activate my Trap Card…” he said. “Dragon’s Rage!”

His Trap lifted.

“This Trap lets all of my Dragons trample your Monsters and hurt you even when they’re in Defense Mode!” exclaimed Andy. “It doesn’t affect my Twin-Headed Thunder Dragon, since it’s technically a Thunder Monster, but my Luster Dragon is all Dragon!

“Twin-Headed Thunder Dragon, barbecue his Inpachi with double lightning blast!”

Twin-Headed Thunder Dragons twin mouths shot forth bolts of lightning, blasting Charcoal Inpachi to dust!

“Luster Dragon, wipe out his Molten Zombie!”

Luster Dragon shot forth his blast, and Molten Zombie exploded in a burst of lava!

Tyson was thrown back, and his Life Points fell to 5,800.


Continued…

Dark Sage
8th July 2005, 06:10 PM
Continued From Last Post:


“Ergh…” said Tyson, getting up.

“Make your move…” dared Andy.

Tyson drew. His Life Points went up to 6,000.

Now I have all three of the required creatures! he thought. But without the right Magic Card, I don’t dare summon one…

He put a card down.

“I summon Blazing Inpachi in Attack Mode!” he shouted.

A second Inpachi arose, this one blazing with fire. (1,850/0)



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“Make your move,” he said, sweating.

Andy drew.

“Time to take control of this duel,” he said. “Luster Dragon, destroy his Inpachi!”

Luster Dragon shot forth his lethal breath, blowing Blazing Inpachi into an explosion of burning sticks!

“Now my Thunder Dragon, attack him directly!”

The lizard’s two mouths shot forth their thunderous breath! Tyson screamed, and was thrown backwards!

His Life Points plummeted to 3,150. The crowd went nuts!

“YES!” shouted Francesca. “Andy’s going to win! He’s going to win!”

“Your move, Shadow Spawn…” dared Andy.

Tyson slowly drew. His Life Points went up to 3,350.

“Heh, heh,” he chuckled. “HA, HA, HA, HA!”

“Now what?” groaned Andy.

“I just drew the card that will win the match for me!” exclaimed Tyson.

He showed him the card…

Polymerization.

“Really?” said Andy. “And just what two Monsters do you intend to fuse together?”

“Not two,” chuckled Tyson. “Three!”

“THREE?” exclaimed Andy.

“What on earth?” gasped Francesca. “A fusion of three Monsters?”

“They’re rare,” muttered Stan, “but Kaiba’s Blue-Eyes Ultimate Dragon is not the only one…”

Fire appeared in Tyson’s eyes.

“I’m using this card,” he hissed, “to fuse together Darkfire Soldier #1, Spirit of Flames, and Darkfire Soldier #2!”

The three fiery Monsters appeared on the field…



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The Polymerization card appeared behind the three fiery Monsters and sucked them into it!

A fierce blaze appeared on Tyson’s side of the field!

“And now,” laughed Tyson, “come forth my Volcano Assassin!”

A fiery Ninja in crimson clothing, carrying a blazing katana leapt forth! (?/?)

“What?” said Andy, puzzled.

“Let me explain,” chuckled Tyson. “The Attack and Defense Points for Volcano Assassin are the combined Attack and Defense points, respectively, that the Monsters used to create him currently had! That’s a number you can’t argue with!”

(5,100/3,150)

“Plus,” continued Tyson, “during each of my Battle Phases, his Attack Score will go up by another 300!”

The creature’s Attack Score went up to 5,400!

“And he’s immune to Trap Cards that target, too, by the way,” he chuckled.

“Since I can’t attack with him yet, I’ll simply end my turn…”

“No!” gasped Francesca. “He’ll never beat that thing…”

“Calm down…” muttered Stan. “At least Andy has a round to prepare…”

Andy started to sweat as he drew his next card.

What am I gonna do? he thought. None of these cards can help me now…

“I’ll shift both my Monsters into Defense Mode and end my turn,” he said.

Both of his Dragons curled up into Defense.

“Heh, heh,” chuckled Tyson. “Took the bait just like I thought!”

He drew, and his Life Points went up to 3,550.

“I didn’t tell you about Volcano Assassin’s last effect!” he laughed. “He has the same trampling effect that your Dragons do under the influence of Dragon’s Rage!”

Andy gasped.

“Face it Andy,” said Tyson, evilly, “you’re more doomed than the careers of Timothy McVeigh’s defense team! Volcano Assassin, slay his Luster Dragon with volcanic katana!”

Volcano Assassin ran his finger along his blade, and the flames blazed! He leapt forward, his Attack went up to 5,700, and he smote Luster Dragon! A fierce explosion blew Andy backwards!

As Andy’s Life Points plummeted to 1,100, he felt himself passing out…


[B]
* * * * * * * * * *


Andy was in a dark place… Fires were burning around him…

He shivered in fear…

“No…” he pleaded. “Keep them away… I can’t…”

He shivered again.

“Help…” he begged.

“Andy, please!” urged a voice. “You can’t panic now…”

Andy’s eyes adjusted to the dim light, and he saw a form in front of him…

To his surprise, it was Koops.

“K… Koops?” he said, shaking. “What…?”

“Andy, you have to get back up and fight!” begged Koops. “You haven’t lost yet!”

Andy didn’t get up.

“I may have well have,” he moaned. “That Monster is too powerful. And I’ve pretty much lost my façade… right now… I’m scared…”

Koops sighed.

“Is that a reason not to try?” he said. “Let me tell you something that your ancestor told me, Andy…

“He told me that true courage is when you’re scared, but you try anyway. You’re only a coward if you give up.

“You see, when I first met your ancestor and his two friends, my home was being ravaged by Hooktail… I was scared to death of Hooktail! I had good reason to – my dad had gone to fight her once, and had never returned…

“But I decided to join the Three Heroes when they went to fight her, not only because I wanted to avenge my dad, but because…”

He paused.

“Well, uhm…”

“Yes?” asked Andy.

“Well, I had a girlfriend and I wanted to do something to impress her,” sighed Koops, blushing. “But anyway, when I went with them to confront Hooktail, I was scared stiff… but we beat her!

“And even though I was scared for the rest of the time I with them, from that point up until the time we confronted the Shadow Queen, I never thought of running away to hide! I remembered what your ancestor said – I’d never be a coward so long as I kept trying!

“You have to keep trying too! You have to defeat this guy so the Queen can’t return!”

“But how can I defeat a creature with over 5,000 Attack Points?” asked Andy.

“You have a Monster that’s stronger…” suggested Koops.

“My trump card?” replied Andy.

He lifted up his hand, and looked at his cards…

“But I need one more card to summon it!” exclaimed Andy. “For all I know, it could be at the bottom of my deck!”

“Have faith, Andy,” pleaded Koops. “I may be in your Graveyard at the moment, but I’ll still be standing behind you…”


[B]
* * * * * * * * * *


Andy pulled himself up off the ground…

“Amazing,” laughed Tyson. “Are you still trying to win? Don’t you know when you’re outclassed?”

“I’m not gonna lose…” growled Andy. “A friend of mine just told me I shouldn’t be afraid of you, and you know what? It will take a long time before I’m afraid of a jerk who makes bad metaphors!”

He deftly drew out a card.

“And my card is Pot of Greed!” he exclaimed, throwing it into the slot.

The colorful jar appeared, and the spectral arm handed him two more cards from his deck.

Andy looked at them. And then he looked at Tyson.

“I truly feel sorry for you Tyson,” he said. “You’re about to suffer a loss more embarrassing than the Yankees had when the Red Sox beat them in the 2004 American League Championship Series!”

“HA!” laughed Tyson. “I’ll have to remember to write that one down. That would be a good one… If it were anything more than a bluff!”

“No bluff, Tyson,” snarled Andy. “First I’ll move my Twin-Headed Thunder Dragon back to Attack Mode!”

The two-headed lizard reared up and roared!

“Then,” he said, placing a card down, “I summon Red Eyes Black Chick in Attack Mode!”

A small egg appeared on the field, and a little hatchling Dragon crawled out of it. (800/500)

“Don’t make me laugh!” chuckled Tyson. “That runt isn’t worth my Assassin dulling his sword on!”

“Really?” said Andy. “Well wait until you see its effect. I can instantly sacrifice it for this…”

He put a card down, and Red Eyes Black Chick began to grow, quickly evolving into full-grown Dragon-size! The fiendish Dragon’s eyes blazed, and it glared at Tyson!

“Meet my Red Eyes Black Dragon!” shouted Andy.

(2,400/2,000)

“Red Eyes?” exclaimed Yumi. “Where the heck did Andy get a card that rare?”

“I dunno!” gasped Francesca. “This is new to me!”

Tyson chuckled.

“I must admit, that’s impressive,” he said, “but even your Red Eyes is hardly a match for my Volcano Assassin… And I know that it has no effect.”

“True,” said Andy, “your Assassin is more than twice as strong as my Dragon…”

He put a third card down.

“…so now I’ll sacrifice him to Special Summon a beast called Red Eyes Darkness Dragon!”

Darkness grew over the field, and Red Eyes grew darker and more fiendish. His eyes burned with diabolical fire and he growled… (2,400/2,000)



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“How do you like my three-card-combo?” mocked Andy. “When summoned at the right time, Red Eyes Darkness Dragon is practically unbeatable, because he gains 300 extra attack points for every Dragon in my Graveyard!”

“Um, I lost count…” muttered Yumi. “How many Dragons does he have in his Graveyard?”

“Let’s see…” said Francesca. “The Thunder Dragons aren’t Dragons, so…”

She counted off…

“Counting Red Eyes Black Chick and Red Eyes Black Dragon, twelve!”

“With twelve Dragons in my Graveyard,” announced Andy, “I’ve got a number you really can’t argue with!”

The Dragon howled in bloodlust as the spirits of Dragons flew from Andy’s Disk and were absorbed into the creature’s form! His Attack Score skyrocketed!

(6,000/2,000)

Tyson gulped…

“So, Tyson,” chuckled Andy, “run out of clever metaphors?”

Tyson was sweating heavily…

“Red Eyes, wipe out Volcano Assassin with your diabolic fire blast!”

Red Eyes Darkness Dragon shot forth a searing blast of dark flame, burning Volcano Assassin into smoke!

Tyson’s Life Points fell to 3,450.

“And now…” shouted Andy. “Twin-Headed Thunder Dragon, attack his Life Points directly!”

The two headed Dragon shot lightning from his twin mouths, and Tyson screamed!

As his Life Points fell to 655, the crowd gave a standing ovation!

“Now I’ll place this card facedown, and end my turn,” he said, placing a card into a slot.

The card appeared behind his two Monsters.

“Make your move…” dared Andy.

Tyson shakily drew, and his Life Points went up to 855.

He looked at the card.

“I’ll play my own Pot of Greed!” he exclaimed!

The jar handed him two cards.

Tyson looked at them…

Rush Recklessly, and Monster Reborn.

Huh… he thought. I could use these to bring back my Volcano Assassin and attack his Thunder Dragon… and I’d win… but his facedown card… It’s likely something to protect himself… Volcano Assassin is immune to most Traps… but not all of them…

What if it’s a Mirror Force? What if it’s Negate Attack? Hallowed Life Barrier?

A light shone in his eye…

Hey… he thought. I got an idea…

“I’ll place a card facedown,” he said, fitting the card into a slot, “and then I’ll play Monster Reborn!”

Andy drew back…

“I’ll bring back my Fire Queen in Defense Mode!” he exclaimed.

Fire Queen reappeared, and knelt in Defense. (2,500/2,000)

“That ends my turn,” he sneered.

He brought back his Queen and not his Assassin? thought Andy. Something’s not right…

He drew.

He thought for a minute…

Of course…

“Twin-Headed Thunder Dragon,” he commanded, “attack his Fire Queen!”

Lightning sparked in the two-headed Dragon’s mouth…

“I’m activating my facedown card!” laughed Tyson. “Go, Rush Recklessly!”

The card lifted.

“What good will that do you?” asked Andy. “Your Monster is in Defense Mode!”

“Exactly!” laughed Tyson. “I tricked you! I’m using Rush Recklessly to increase the Attack of YOUR Twin-Headed Thunder Dragon to 3,600! You forgot Fire Queen’s effect! Any damage involving a battle with her is taken by YOU, not ME!

“And since my Queen is in Defense Mode, and your Dragon’s Rage Trap is still in effect, when you destroy her, you’ll take 1,600 points of damage and lose!”

Tyson cackled, and the crowd gasped, as Fire Queen was blown apart.

Andy held his head in his hand.

“Sniff, sniff…” he sobbed.



Continued…

Dark Sage
8th July 2005, 06:11 PM
Continued From Last Post:



“Heh, heh,” he chuckled. “HA, HA, HA, HA, HA, HA!”

“What?” said Tyson, shocked.

Andy’s Life Points were untouched.

“Idiot,” said Andy. “I didn’t forget about your Queen’s special ability! But you forgot that Twin-Headed Thunder Dragon isn’t really a Dragon, so Dragon’s Rage doesn’t affect it! So a battle involving it and your Queen in Defense Mode does no damage at all!”

Tyson turned white.

“But a direct attack from my Darkness Dragon will sure do a lot!” he laughed.

“NO!” screamed Tyson.

“Diabolic fire blast!” screamed Andy.

Tyson screamed bloody murder as he was engulfed in dark flames. He fell to the ground.

As his Life Points were depleted, the crowd’s applause was deafening.

“And by the way, Tyson,” said Andy, taking a card out of his Disk, “you were probably wondering about my facedown card?”

He showed it to him.

“It was The Dragon’s Bead, a Trap that protects Dragons from other Traps. It wouldn’t have protected my Thunder Dragon from your Volcano Assassin, so if you had brought him back, well, you’d have won. But too bad.”

“Curse you…” moaned Tyson. “You may have extinguished me for now… but this isn’t over… my flame will relight!”

And he vanished in a burst of fire and smoke!

Jolene came up and raised Andy’s hand into the air.

“And the winner is… Markova the Dragon Master!” she exclaimed.

“Good job, Andy…” she whispered.



* * * * * * * * * *


One hour later…

The crowd was dispersing, and Andy was in Jolene’s office, with his three friends behind him.

“That was quite a match, Markova,” she commented.

“Yeah,” sighed Andy, “now there was something about a prize?”

“Of course,” said Jolene, removing something from her desk, “but on one condition…”

She handed him a colorful card.

“You didn’t get this from me…” she whispered.

“Huh?” said Andy, looking at the card.

He read the description. It was a Quickplay Magic Card called “Power Lift”.

Man, that’s powerful, thought Andy. This has got to be another Enchanted Card!

He looked at Jolene strangely.

“Sure,” he said. “My lips are sealed…”

At that point, Merlee walked in.

“Andy,” he said. “Congratulations on w-w-winning your match.”

“YOU!” shouted Andy. “I want a word with you!”

“Y-y-yes?” said Merlee.

“What can you do, see the future?” asked Andy, angrily.

“Uh, n-n-no,” answered Merlee, “I’m not that p-p-powerful.”

“Well…” said Andy. “Strange… Somehow, you knew I’d need to use a Dragon with over 2,500 Attack in combination with Burst Breath. The only Dragon I had who was that strong was Tyrant Dragon, but I can’t use Burst Breath with him, because Traps don’t effect him, including my own! That’s why you told me to replace him with Yamata Dragon!”

“Well…” said Merlee.

“Look, Merl,” demanded Andy, taking the Yamata Dragon out of his deck, “we appreciate you giving us those special Monster Cards, but we don’t need you fighting all our battles for us! I could have handled that jerk on my own!

“So you can take this dumb Spirit Monster and get lost! We can deal with our problems without you holding our hands!”

He threw the Yamata Dragon at him.

Merlee sighed and left the office.

Maybe he’s right, thought Merlee. I can’t help them every step of the way. But they can’t do this alone… Eventually, they’ll welcome my aid…

“Don’t you think you were a little hard on him, Andy?” asked Francesca. “He broke the spell over Yumi, you know…”

“Yeah, well, I don’t like being dependent on someone…” sighed Andy. “Come on, let’s get a cheeseburger.”


[B]
* * * * * * * * * *


Tyson appeared in a dark cavern…

And he gasped, as he saw Melissa and Kurtis, held prisoner by two magical devices.

“Tyson…” said a sinister voice.

Tyson cringed in fear as his mother stepped out of the shadows.

“Mom, it wasn’t my fault!” begged Tyson.

“Then who’s fault was it?” she scolded. “Mine? You had a Horn of Heaven Trap in your hand, and you didn’t even set it! You could have used that to stop him from summoning his Red Eyes Darkness Dragon!”

“But…” stammered Tyson. “To use that Trap, I’d have had to sacrifice a Monster, and…”

“…and with your great ego, you were so proud of your mighty Volcano Assassin, that you couldn’t bear to sacrifice him!” shouted the Shadow Queen. “That was stupid, Tyson!”

“Well, um…” gasped Tyson.

The Queen frowned and took four cards out of her dress.

“Please, no!” begged Tyson.

“Stop whining!” shouted the Queen. “You know the rules. Just pray you don’t choose Tribute to the Doomed!”

Tyson turned pale…

“Come on Tyson…” snarled his mother. “Decide, or I’ll decide, and you won’t like what I decide…”

“Uh… the one on the far left…” stammered Tyson, covering his eyes.

The Queen chuckled and slid the card into her Disk.

“I was joking, Tyson,” she said with a grin, “there’s no Tribute to the Doomed. I might still have use for you later, after all but until then… Shadow Spell!”

A mass of iron chains sprang up around Tyson! He screamed as he was hog-tied and forced to the ground!

“Humph,” said the Queen, turning to leave.

She pulled a cell phone out of her dress…


[B]
* * * * * * * * * *


The sun was going down, and outside the Glitz Pit, Jolene took out her ringing cell phone.

“What?” she snapped. “Look, it’s far from my fault that Tyson lost!”

She paused.

“What?” she said, nervously. “No, I didn’t give Andy any ‘Enchanted Cards’, I have no idea what you’re talking about!”

She paused.

“Fine!” she yelled. “Watch me as close as you want! I don’t care! What are you going to do, put me with my brother?”

Another pause.

“Yeah, I know, but I don’t have to like doing it, do you hear me!”

She hung up.

She sadly took out her wallet and looked at a picture.

Ooh, Mush… she said to herself. I wish I knew what you were going through…

A tear fell down her face.

If anyone can defeat that witch and save you, Andy can… Hopefully that card I gave him will be enough…

She was so distracted, she didn’t see the girl in the dark cloak sneak up behind her.

The girl reached into her pocket, and swiped her golden pocket watch.

She hid the watch in her cloak, and vanished into the shadows.

This tournament is sure making me a profit, she thought, but all the money in world won’t get me into the Thousand Year Door…

Filching Crystal Cards would be a little TOO underhanded… Stick always told me, don’t steal something when it’s more of a challenge to earn it yourself…

So, time to find a challenger…

She looked around…

And her eyes fell on four teens exiting a restaurant…



[B]FIRE PRINCE (Monster Card)

Card Specs

Type: Pyro/Effect
Attribute: Fire
Level: 4
ATK: 1,500
DEF: 1,300

Card Description:The older brother of Fire Princess, this heir to the throne of the Land of Fire protects his sister from harm. As long as this card remains face-up on the field, your opponent cannot select a face-up "Fire Princess" on your side of the field as a target of an attack.



FIRE QUEEN (Monster Card)

Card Specs

Type: Warrior/Effect
Attribute: Fire
Level: 8
ATK: 2,500
DEF: 2,000

Card Description: This fiery monarch is the consort of the one who rules over the Land of Fire, and is never far from his side. Only one "Fire Queen" may be face-up on your side of the field at any time. Inflict any damage you receive from a battle involving this card to your opponent's Life Points instead of your own. When this card is Normal Summoned successfully, you can Special Summon one "Fire King" from your hand or deck to the field.



FIRE KING (Monster Card)

Card Specs

Type: Warrior/Effect
Attribute: Fire
Level: 8
ATK: 3,000
DEF: 2,500

Card Description: The ruler of the Land of Fire, this sovereign controls one of the most deadly elements of nature. Only one "Fire King" may be face-up on your side of the field at any time. When this card is successfully Normal Summoned, Flip Summoned, or Special Summoned, add one "Volcano Palace" from your deck to your hand. If "Volcano Palace" is face-up on the field with this card, special summon one "Fire Servant Token" (Pyro/Fire/2 stars/ATK 500/DEF 500) in Attack Mode to your side of the field during each of your Standby Phases. As long as this card and "Volcano Palace" remain face-up on the field, "Fire Servant Tokens" are not destroyed as a result of battle, and any damage you would receive from a battle involving these Tokens is inflicted to your opponent's Life Points instead of your own.



VOLCANO ASSASSIN (Monster Card)

Card Specs

Type: Warrior/Fusion/Effect
Attribute: Fire
Level: 10
ATK: ?
DEF: ?

Card Description: Darkfire Soldier #1 + Darkfire Soldier #2 + Spirit of Flames

This fiery assassin uses the raw power of a volcano to kill his targets. This Monster can only be Fusion Summoned, and only by the above Fusion-material Monsters. The ATK and DEF of this Monster are equal to the combined current ATK and DEF (respectively) of the Monsters used to fusion summon it. This card is unaffected by Trap Cards that directly target. During each of your Battle Phases, increase the ATK of this card by 300 points (this ATK increase remains in effect as long as this card remains face-up on the field). If this card attacks a Defense Position monster on your opponent's side of the field with an ATK that is higher than the DEF of your opponent's monster, inflict the difference as Battle Damage to your opponent's Life Points.



VOLANO PALACE (Magic Card)

Card Specs

Type: Magic/Field
Attribute: –
Level: –
ATK: –
DEF: –

Card Description: This citadel of obsidian is the capital of the Land of Fire, where all creatures of flame eventually go. Increase the ATK and DEF of all Fire monsters by 500 points. If a Fire monster is destroyed by the effect of a Magic Card, Trap Card, or Monster Effect, increase the Life Points of the owner by an amount equal to the destroyed Monster's original ATK.



KOOPS THE BASHFUL (Monster Card)

Card Specs

Type: Reptile/Effect
Attribute: Water
Level: 4
ATK: 1,800
DEF: 500

Card Description: It was said that this shy Koopa aided the Three Heroes to impress a female Koopa, and soon became one of their strongest assets. This Monster can attack more than one opposing Monster on your opponent’s side of the field. If this Monster attacks more than one Monster on your turn, it cannot attack on your next turn. This Monster cannot attack your opponent’s Life Points directly after destroying any opposing Monsters.



[B][I]Coming up next:

You’re probably all wondering about the creepy girl in the cloak who just stole Jolene’s watch. Well, why don’t I tell you her name:

RAVEN!

Who is Raven? What is the story behind this sly pickpocket? Find out next chapter, when she challenges Stan in a chapter called “Honor Among Thieves”, coming soon.

Dark Sage
8th July 2005, 06:15 PM
[B]A wise man once said, crime doesn’t pay.

He wasn’t really a very wise man, when you look at the big picture.

Sure, police tend to catch criminals, but for each one they catch, many more slip through the cracks. Crime can indeed pay if you’re good at it. Criminals in history have gotten wealth… power… in one case, even the Presidency. (He was eventually caught, but he never had to answer to his crimes.)

Stories tell of some criminals who justify their actions – Robin Hood for example. His victims were bigger crooks than he was, and his spoils went to charity. Many stories are told that romanticize the life of the bandit, highwayman, or pirate… (I sometimes like to watch an anime show about pirates called “One Piece”; it isn’t the best anime, but it’s decent.)

I’m not sure what to make of my current opponent. She’s certainly a criminal, but is she selfish… or simply misunderstood?

One thing’s for sure…

Her deck packs a wallop…




[size=3][B]CHAPTER TWELVE



Honor Among Thieves



The sun was going down, and the bright lights of Glitzville were lighting up the streets as the four teens walked out of the restaurant.

“So,” muttered Francesca, “we’ve taken care of three of the Shadow Spawn…”

“Leaving three more…” added Andy.

“We can take them,” said Stan, confidently. “I think we can do it so long as we stay together…”

He leafed through his deck and removed the three special Monster Cards he had.

“Maybe there’s some truth in Merlee’s story, you know,” he said. “Maybe we are the descendents of some greater powers…”

He expected Andy and Francesca to object, but they didn’t. The words from Flurrie and Koops still echoed in their minds.

Stan shuffled the cards back into his deck.

“So, who’s up for some ice cream?” he asked.

“Good idea,” said a voice. “A man always told me that the best dishes are served cold…”

They paused, and saw the creepy girl in the black cowled cloak in front of them. Her cape whipped in the wind, revealing a curved figure in a tight black leotard.

“Look,” said Stan, narrowing his eyes, “I’m getting enough of this, spook-girl! Who are you, and what do you want?”

The girl chuckled.

“My real name is something that I keep secret,” she said. “Aside from me, only my parents know it – that is, if they’re still alive. You may call me Raven…”

Stan’s eyes narrowed again.

“As for what I want,” she continued, “I want what every contestant wants – to duel and gain another Crystal Card. I have three already…”

“Really?” said Andy, suspiciously. “No other strings attached?”

“I’m not a vampire!” she chuckled. “But it wouldn’t be sporting to duel you or Francesca, Andy – I’ve seen what’s in both of your decks…”

She pointed to Stan.

“So how about it Stan? Care to match wits with the Princess of Thieves?”

[I]Princess of the Thieves? thought Stan. This is seriously weird.

“I’m not scared of you,” muttered Stan. “I’ll take you on…”

“Perfect,” said Raven with a smile.

She took her deck and began to shuffle.


[B]
* * * * * * * * * *


A hundred yards away, Crump was watching.

Interesting, he thought. Stan looks like he’s about to have the gauntlet thrown in his face.

That’s quite an odd opponent he’s got. Maybe I should keep a close eye on this… It might be useful later…


[B]
* * * * * * * * * *


“I have to warn you,” said Raven, with a smile, “my particular deck strategy is one that has rarely been perfected… however, my win-loss ratio is well over 90-10!”

“I like those odds,” chuckled Stan.

“What kind of a deck do you think she has?” asked Andy. “Spellcasters?”

“Zombies?” pondered Yumi.

“My bet is some strange type of Fiends…” suggested Francesca. “Man, we’ve seen a lot of those…”

The holo-imagers shot out, and the Disks flipped into position.

The scores set to 8,000.

“It’s time to duel!” laughed Raven, as she drew her first hand. “The first move is yours!”

“Awfully nice of you,” said Stan, drawing his first card.

He looked at it.

“And I’ll summon my Illusory Gentleman, in Attack Mode!”

He threw the card down, and the colorfully dressed Dark Spellcaster with his beady eye appeared, brandishing his staff. (1,500/1,600)

“Now it’s your move, spook,” he said.

“The name’s Raven!” she snarled, drawing a card.

Not bad, she thought.

She fit a card into a slot.

“I’ll place one card facedown,” she announced.

A card appeared in front of her.

“And then I’ll uproot this,” she said, placing another card down. “Mystic Tomato, in Defense Mode!”

A huge tomato-o-lantern with a lolling tongue appeared in front of her, and made a goofy face. (1,400/1,100)



http://www.itstimetoduel.com/cardpictures/TP4-015.jpg


“Your move…” she said with a smile.

Andy drew.

I know that thing’s effect, he thought. If it’s destroyed in battle, she gets to summon a Dark Monster with an Attack Score of 1,500 or less from her deck…

He considered his options.

I don’t have any other way to get rid of it, and if I don’t attack, she might sacrifice it for something powerful… Well, this guy should be able to handle whatever low-Attack Monster she summons…

“I summon Skilled White Magician in Attack Mode!” he shouted.

He threw the card down, and the sorcerer of Light appeared, holding his gleaming staff. (1,700/1,900)

“Illusory Gentleman, squash her tomater with dark illusion!”

The Illusory Gentleman thrust forth his staff, and blasted a steam of colored lights, reducing Mystic Tomato to pulp!

“Heh, heh…” chuckled Raven. “Impressive…”

A card flew out of her deck. She placed it on her Disk.

“I summon Dark Scorpion Chick the Yellow in Attack Mode!”

A form materialized in front of her. It was a teenage boy wearing black leather – a black top and red pants, as well as a red headband. He had blonde, wavy hair, and carried a wooden mallet. (1,000/1,000)



http://www.itstimetoduel.com/cardpictures/DCR-026.jpg


Stan drew back.

“A Dark Scorpion?” he mused.


[B]
* * * * * * * * * *


Well, this is odd… thought Crump.

I truly doubt that Chick the Yellow is the only Dark Scorpion in Raven’s deck… but she’ll have a hard time ahead of her…

After all, the strongest member of the Dark Scorpions has only 1,800 Attack Points, and Stan has Monsters far stronger than that…


[B]
* * * * * * * * * *


“I don’t know what your game is, Raven…” said Stan.

“Maybe my strategy is too complex for your simple mind,” commented Raven with a sneer.

“In case you didn’t notice,” explained Stan, “my Skilled White Magician has 700 more Attack Points than Chick there…”

Raven was silent, but Chick grinned at Skilled White Magician, daring him to attack…

That facedown card worries me, thought Stan, but I could get ahead if I took a risk…

“Skilled White Magician,” ordered Stan, “attack Chick the Yellow!”

Skilled White Magician aimed his staff.

“Not quite, Stan!” laughed Raven. “I activate my Trap!”

He card lifted.

“Great Escape!”

Chick the Yellow pulled a grappling hook and rope from his belt and threw it upward! He yanked himself out of the way of the Spellcaster’s blast!

“Surprised?” asked Raven. “The Dark Scorpions are the best thieves in the world, Stan – they always have a few tricks to keep themselves away from the law. This Trap protects one of them from attacks for one round.”

Chick leapt back onto the field.

“Ugh, I end my turn…” grunted Stan.

“Don’t worry, Stan!” called Andy. “Both your Monsters are still stronger than that weakling!”

Raven drew.

“Chick may be too weak,” she said, “but he’s only the first of a team that will destroy you! I sacrifice Chick the Yellow for his powerful teammate, Dark Scorpion Gorg the Strong!”

Chick the Yellow vanished into the shadows, and a larger form emerged. The new Warrior was dressed in the same outfit, but was far more muscular, with a bald head. He carried a heavy mace in his hands. (1,800/1,500)



http://www.itstimetoduel.com/cardpictures/DCR-060.jpg


“Eek!” stammered Stan.

“Gorg, attack his Skilled White Magician with Scorpion Crush!”

Gorg hollered, and charged forward, clobbering Skilled White Magician with his mace – not to mention to pieces.

Stan’s Life Points fell to 7,900.

“And that’s not all!” exclaimed Raven. “Now I get to enact one of Gorg’s effects… and I’ll enact the one which sends one of your cards from the field to the top of your deck!”

The Illusory Gentleman vanished, and his card flew off of Stan’s Disk and onto the top of his deck.

“Now it’s your move, flyboy…” she dared.

Stan drew, getting The Illusory Gentleman again.

Not many options… he thought.

“I’ll summon my Illusory Gentleman again, this time in Defense Mode,” he said, “and that will end my turn.”

He put the card down, and the Spellcaster appeared again.

“I see you’re running out of moves, Stan,” said Raven with a smile, “but a good thief always has plenty!”

She drew.

She put a card down on her Disk.

“You met the strength of the Dark Scorpions,” she exclaimed, “now meet the heart! I summon Dark Scorpion Meanae the Thorn!”

Another Warrior arose. A lovely, leggy female appeared, dressed in the same leather outfit. She had long, black hair, had tattoos on her arms, and carried a bullwhip. (1,000/1,800)



http://www.itstimetoduel.com/cardpictures/DCR-061.jpg


“Gorg, wipe out his Illusory Gentleman!” shouted Raven.

Gorg charged forward, and made short work of The Illusory Gentleman.

“Meanae, attack him directly! Scorpion lash attack!”

Meanae yelped with glee and leapt into the air… she vanished in a blur…

“Huh?” said Stan, looking around.

“STAN! Behind you!” screamed Francesca.

Too late. Meanae appeared behind Stan and lashed him across the buttocks with her whip! Stan screamed!

His Life Points fell to 6,900.

Meanae gave a cruel laugh, and leapt back to Raven’s side.

“Are all your Monsters so cruel, that they have to humiliate me?” growled Stan.

“Stan,” scolded Raven, “the Dark Scorpions learned a long time ago that fate dealt them a bad hand – that’s why they had to become thieves in the first place. Enemies aren’t worthy of their respect – to them, respect has to be earned. It’s a cruel world, and there are few people you can trust…

“But they watch out for each other. For instance, since Meanae damaged your Life Points, I get to add another Dark Scorpion to my hand from either my deck or Graveyard…”

A dark orb flew out of her discard slot and transformed into a card. She took it.

“I’ll retrieve Chick and save him for later. Any questions?”

“Yeah, I have one,” stated Stan. “Why exactly did you decide to base a deck on the Dark Scorpions, of all themes?”

“Well, not that it’s any of your business,” responded Raven, “but I grew up in Madripor.”

Stan, his three friends, and everyone watching gasped.

“You can’t be serious!” gulped Andy.

“That county has been on the U.S. embargo list for decades!” shouted Francesca.

“Yes, due to human rights violations that the ruling class don’t care about,” sneered Raven. “In Madripor, there are two kinds of citizens – the very rich, and the very poor. The rich upper class are a group of spoiled rotten snobs who never earned a red cent of the wealth they have, and they only rule the county by default. They treat the poor like animals, hardly caring about their welfare. It’s a common sight for one of the lower class to drop dead in the streets and a member of the upper class to walk right over him!

“I was born into that lower class… And when I was ten, my parents left me out on the streets, because they couldn’t afford to feed me! I suppose I can’t really blame them…

“I thought I was doomed… but after starving and shivering for two nights, I was saved by a ragtag man in with a quarterstaff who called himself Stick. He offered me a chance to survive – and also wreck revenge against the upper class that had put folks like me in my position. I eagerly accepted…

“You see, Stick was the leader of a gang of young thieves who struck back against the corrupt establishment of Madripor. He reasoned that most of the rich didn’t deserve the wealth they had, so if you could take it from them, you should try. He trained me and a great deal of others in burglary, pilfering, pickpocketing, anything to filch wealth from anyone who had too much – and I soon became one of his best.”

She chuckled.

“Stick loved calling me ‘The Princess of Thieves’. I was pretty much his heir!”

She paused.

“You know the expression ‘Honor Among Thieves’, Stan?” she continued. “We lived by that term. We had to watch each other’s backs. In Madripor, thieves were hanged, and trials were nonexistent. I was arrested nine times – once I came so close to execution that I saw the gallows that had been prepared for me. But each time my family got me out before it could be done. And I repaid the favor many times – I took part in rescue missions every week, it seemed.

“Eventually, my family raised enough money to bribe a merchant vessel to take us away from Madripor and take us to the States. It was there that I discovered Duel Monsters… and in doing so, I found the Dark Scorpions. They so much reminded me of my own family – the way they were a team that stood by each other… a group of thieves who dared to challenge the establishment.

“So now, stealing from spoiled snobs is just a secondary hobby… dueling is my life.”

She paused again.

“And I believe it’s your turn.”

Stan didn’t know what to think. Raven was a criminal… but she made a good point. Who were worse criminals? Those who stole, or those who horded wealth like the world owed it to them and neglected those who truly needed it?

But he still had to try to win. He drew.

“Try to get past this,” he dared. “I summon Mystical Elf in Defense Mode…”

He set a card down, and the peaceful, blue-skinned elf appeared, kneeling. (800/2,000)

“Humph,” chuckled Raven. “She kind of looks like your friend there…”

Francesca gave her a dirty look. Stan ignored her.

Stick had taught her how to survive in a corrupt country, but he hadn’t taught her many manners…

“I’ll also place this card facedown,” he said, placing a card into a slot. “Make your move.”

Raven drew.

Hmm, she thought. I can’t break that Elf’s Defense yet, and he likely intends to sacrifice her for something stronger…

Fortunately, I can buy myself some time…

She put a card down on her Disk.

“I’ll summon back an old friend,” she said. “You remember Chick the Yellow, don’t you?”

Chick the Yellow reappeared, holding his hammer. (1,000/1,000)

“And now,” she said, fitting a card into a slot, “I play Swords of Revealing Light!”

A rain of Swords crashed down upon Stan!

“Clever,” grunted Stan. “But you activated my Trap…”

His card lifted. A card showing a Grecian emperor in a toga holding a scroll and holding his right arm in a commanding manner appeared.

“I activate An Eye For An Eye!” he exclaimed.

To Raven’s surprise, a cage of Swords surrounded her!



Continued…

Dark Sage
8th July 2005, 06:23 PM
Continued From Last Post:



“Surprise!” shouted Stan. “My Trap Card can be activated whenever a Normal Trap or Normal Magic Card is played that doesn’t have a trigger. You may have kept me from attacking for three turns, but now you have to suffer the same restriction for three of your turns!”

“Okay, one point for you,” snarled Raven, “but the Swords around me will wear off before yours do, in case you didn’t know. So make your move.”

Stan drew.

Now that’s just what I need! he thought.

“I’m summoning this little spitfire in Defense Mode!” he exclaimed, putting a card down.

A shower of pixie dust fell upon his side, and a small form appeared in a burst of light. It was a little girl with blonde hair tied in long, pink braids. She wore a white robe with arcane symbols on the front, and carried a slender scepter topped with a shining orb. (1,200/0)

“Meet White Magician Pikeru!” chuckled Stan.



http://www.itstimetoduel.com/cardpictures/AST-033.jpg


“How cute…” muttered Raven.

“I’m not done yet!” exclaimed Stan, choosing a card from his hand. “With Pikeru on the field, I can play a special Magic Card…

“You see, not many people know this, but Pikeru has a sister. Word hasn’t gotten out, because she rarely talks about her. Pikeru practices magic of Light, but her sister practices magic of Darkness. The sisters despise each other, each thinking that the other chose to study the wrong craft…

“But they can’t deny, in the end, that they are blood-related, and if the cause is great enough, one will come to the other’s aid…

“So I play the Magic Card… Sibling Rivalry!”

He threw a card into a slot. A card flew out of his deck.

“Sibling Rivalry can be played when one of the sisters is on the field, and let’s me Special Summon the other one… Thus, I summon Ebon Magician Curran in Defense Mode.”

A dark shadow formed next to Pikeru, and another young girl stepped out. She had long, dirty-blonde hair, and wore a black, fancy dress and a hood with “bunny ears”. She carried a leather switch in her hands. (1,200/0)




http://www.ideal808.com/images/crv-jp031.jpg


Pikeru and Curran gave each other dirty looks, and then turned to face Raven.

“Oh, they’re both adorable!” cried Yumi.

“True…” pondered Andy. “But this is… odd. I know what Pikeru does, but what secrets does Curran have inside her?”

“Your move, Raven…” said Stan, with a snide look.

Raven drew. She looked at the card.

Pikeru can increase his Life Points, she thought. and the more Monsters both of us have on the field, the more he gets… And I don’t even know what Curran does…

Playing this gal might be risky, but she may put me up for the perfect way to strike back once these Swords are gone…

She put a card down.

“I summon…” she announced, “Dark Scorpion Shanna the Quick, in Attack Mode!”

A new Dark Warrior appeared. This one was a teenage girl, wearing the same outfit as the rest of the Scorpions. She had short, black hair, and carried two long daggers. (1,300/500)

“Huh?” said Stan, in astonishment. “I’ve… I’ve never heard of a member of the Scorpions called Shanna the Quick…”

“She was a later recruit,” said Raven, with a smile. “And this is a rare card. Wait until you see her special talents!

“Your move…”

“Then I draw,” said Stan, “and now the two sisters can get to work!”

White Magician Pikeru waved her scepter and chanted.

“First,” said Stan, “Pikeru’s white magic increases my Life Points by 400 for every Monster on the field, and there are seven of them!”

Stan’s Life Points went up to 9,700!

Then, Ebon Magician Curran swung her switch over her head and chanted a different spell…

“Second,” explained Stan, “Curran’s black magic strikes you directly, blasting away 300 of your Life Points for each Monster on the field!”

Raven gasped! Curran swung her switch forward, and a beam of dark magic plowed into Raven, knocking her down!

Her Life Points fell to 5,900.

“And I think I’ll just pass for this turn,” he concluded.

“Whoa!” shouted Andy. “Talk about a combo!”

“Too bad those two hate each other,” commented Francesca, “they make a great team.”

Raven got up and drew.

“I’ll play my Pot of Greed…” she stated, placing a card into a slot.

“But don’t get the wrong idea,” she warned, as the jar handed her two cards. “I was never greedy – the folks who we stole from were much more avaricious than any of us…”

She looked at the two cards.

“I’ll pass as well,” she said.

The Swords of Revealing Light around her vanished.

Stan drew.

“Pikeru, Curran…” he said, “GO!”

Pikeru chanted again, and Stan glowed. His Life Points shot up to 12,500!

Curran cast her dark spell… Raven braced herself as the energy slammed into her! Her Life Points fell to 3,800.

“And now,” continued Stan, “I’ll sacrifice Mystical Elf for Dark Magician Girl!”

He switched cards, and lovely music started playing. Mystical Elf vanished, and the lovely female wizard spun out of the ground, brandishing her scepter! (2,000/1,700)



http://www.itstimetoduel.com/cardpictures/MFC-000.jpg


“My turn is over, which means your Swords are gone,” said Stan, as the Swords around him faded, “and Dark Magician Girl is stronger than any of your Dark Scorpions…”

“Not for long…” snickered Raven.

She drew.

“Let’s narrow the gap,” she said. “And this Magic Card should do the trick…”

She showed it to him.

“It’s a powerful card called Seventh Inning.”

“Seventh Inning?” quizzed Stan. “What kind of a card is that?”

Raven placed it into a slot, and the card appeared, showing a picture of an umpire behind a home plate. The umpire appeared on the field, and held out seven fingers.

“You know how in baseball games, when the seventh inning comes around, the teams are given a few minutes to rest and get their second wind? This card lets both duelists do just that.

“Seventh Inning can only be played when I’m behind in Life Points. It takes the difference in our Life Points, divides it in half, and adds that to both our scores. Do the math.”

Stan did a quick calculation.

“That’s nuts,” he mocked. “You’ll gain 4,350 Life Points, but so will I!”

“It doesn’t work that way,” said Raven, with a smile. “Simply resting can never make you stronger than your full strength. In game terms, this card can’t increase your Life Points beyond the starting point – so as it stands, this Magic Card won’t benefit you at all!”

Raven’s Life Points went up to 8,000!

“Now that my Life Points are restored,” continued Raven, “I’ll start working on yours…”

She placed a Monster Card down on her last slot.

“I summon Dark Scorpion Tornas the Joker!” she announced.

Yet another Warrior appeared. He looked even younger than Chick the Yellow, and while he was dressed in the same outfit as his teammates, the outfit was torn and ragged. He had unkempt hair and a dirty face. (300/300)

“Ha, ha!” laughed Stan. “That’s the weakest one I’ve ever… Wait… you summoned that guy in Attack Mode…”

“Uh huh…” stated Raven. “Tornas, attack Dark Magician Girl!”

Tornas stretched out his arms and made a flying leap at Dark Magician Girl! She gasped in surprise…

Then she lifted her staff and blew him to pieces.

“Are you nuts?” gasped Andy, who was wondering if Raven had lost her mind.

Raven smiled as her Life Points fell to 6,300.

“No,” said Raven with a grin. “You see, when Tornas the Joker is destroyed in battle, all other Dark Scorpions on the field have their Attack Scores increased to 3,000 for the remainder of the turn!”

Gorg, Meanae, Chick, and Shanna glowed with a dark aura, as their Attack Scores skyrocketed!

“Chick!” shouted Raven, “wipe out Pikeru with Scorpion smash!”

Chick lifted his hammer and slammed it into White Magician Pikeru, blasting her into particles.

“Meanae, obliterate Curran with Scorpion lash!”

Meanae lashed her whip forward, and Ebon Magician Curran screamed. She was blown apart.

“Gorg, attack Dark Magician Girl with Scorpion crush!”

Gorg slammed his mace into Dark Magician Girl’s gut, and she groaned. She fell to floor and shattered into pixels.

Stan’s Life Points fell to 11,150.

“And by the way, Stan…” continued Raven.

Gorg snatched the card off the top of Stan’s deck.

“HEY!” yelled Stan.

“I’m enacting Gorg’s other effect now,” she said, “enabling me to make you discard the top card from your deck when he damages your Life Points.”

She paused, and took a card from her hand (it was another Mystic Tomato).

“Now then,” she said, “now that you have no Monsters to defend yourself, I can activate Shanna’s special ability…”

She threw the card into her discard slot.

“By discarding one Monster Card, Shanna can attack three times in one round!”

“NO!” screamed Stan.

“Oh… my… God…” gasped Francesca.

“Shanna, attack him directly!” shouted Raven.

Shanna leapt up and made a slash at Stan!

“Again!” shouted Raven.

Shanna laughed and made another slash!

“One more time!” yelled Raven.

Shanna made a quick stab, knocking Stan down!

Stan’s Life Points sank like a stone, falling all the way to 2,500.

Stan took some deep breaths… he slowly pulled himself to his feet.

“Wow…” said Raven. “I’ve never done that before without reducing an opponent’s Life Points to zero. You just took 9,000 Life Points worth of direct attacks in one blow… what are you made of?”

“I’m starting…” gasped Stan, “to wonder that… myself…”

“Then make your move…” dared Raven. “I could have finished you off, you know…”

“Say what?” croaked Stan.

“If I had attacked Dark Magician Girl with Gorg first, I’d have gotten rid of another one of your Monsters – but hitting you for 12,000 points of direct damage would have been too much, so I decided to wait before winning.”

“How thoughtful…” groaned Stan.

The Dark Scorpions’ Attack Scores returned to normal.

“Give me… a minute…” gasped Stan.

Slowly, he drew. He couldn’t believe he was still standing – what was he made of?

“I’ll place… a card facedown…” he stuttered.

He fit the card into a slot, and it appeared.

“And then I’ll play my own Swords of Revealing Light!”

He threw another card into a slot, and the cage of Swords crashed down on Raven again!

“Not again…” sighed Raven.

She frowned.

“Fine,” she said. “I’ll just draw, and pass this turn.”

Stan made a draw.

“All right,” he said. “I play Monster Reborn!”

He threw the card into a slot, and Dark Magician Girl reappeared.

“Guess who’s back?” he sneered.

(2,000/1,700)

“Crud…” sighed Raven.

“Now,” he said, “I reveal my Trap Card… a little thing called Gift of the Mystical Elf!”

The Trap lifted, and the huge image of Mystical Elf appeared behind him.

“This raises my Life Points by 300 for every Monster on the field – that’s 1,500 extra Life Points!”

His Life Points went up to 4,000.

“Bet you’re sorry you didn’t finish me when you had the chance!” exclaimed Stan.

“That’s what I get for being such a softy…” said Raven, sarcastically.

“Now, Dark Magician Girl, attack Shanna!” shouted Stan.

Dark Magician Girl aimed her scepter at Shanna and fired! Shanna the Quick screamed, and was blown to pieces.

“One down…” muttered Stan. “And it’s your move…”

Raven’s Life Points fell to 5,600.

Raven drew.

She turned the cards on her Disk.

“I’m moving all my Monsters to Defense Mode,” she stated.

Chick, Gorg, and Meanae knelt.

“And that will be all,” she said.

“Good,” said Stan.

He drew.

Now this is more like it! he thought.

“I summon my Gemini Elf!” he exclaimed.

He put a card down, and two twin elves in blue and purple with their arms around each other appeared. (1,900/900)



http://www.itstimetoduel.com/cardpictures/LON-EN000.jpg


“Gemini Elf!” he ordered. “Wipe out Gorg the Strong with dual magic attack!”

The elves raised their free hands, and shot bolts of lightning at Gorg. He groaned, and burst into dark shards.

“Dark Magician Girl, attack Chick the Yellow!” he shouted.

Dark Magician Girl spun her staff, and blew Chick away.

“Your move…” said Stan, with a smile.

Raven drew.

Terrific… she thought, looking at the card. Where was this when I needed it?

“I have to pass this turn…” she moaned.

The Swords vanished.

Stan drew.

“Now to seriously take you down!” he exclaimed. “I summon Pixie Knight in Attack Mode!”

He put the card down, and a pretty female pixie in a green and blue suit and a witch’s hat with gossamer wings appeared. (1,300/200)



http://www.itstimetoduel.com/cardpictures/MFC-070.jpg


“Gemini Elf, take care of Meanae the Thorn!” ordered Stan.

The elves cast forth their lightning, and Meanae gasped. She fell and vanished.

“Now, Pixie Knight, attack Raven’s Life Points directly with pixie dust!”

Pixie Knight giggled, and shot forth a stream of sparkling dust! Raven shielded herself against the wave of energy, and her Life Points fell to 4,300.

“Dark Magician Girl, attack her directly with dark magic blast!”

Dark Magician Girl cheered and leapt into the air! She cast her dark spell, striking Raven dead center! Raven screamed and fell over.

Her life Points fell to 2,300.

“Yes!” shouted Andy. “Now Stan is winning!”

“He’s got this duel cold!” exclaimed Francesca.

“It’s your move, Raven…” dared Stan.

“I’ll draw one card…” said Raven, drawing.

She looked at the card, and smiled.

“Time to meet another member of the gang, Stan!” she exclaimed. “I summon Dark Scorpion Fandral the Dashing in Attack Mode!”

She put the card down, and a slim Warrior appeared. He wore the usual outfit, and had long, blonde hair tied in a ponytail, and wore a black domino mask. He carried a long rapier. He made a fancy thrust with the rapier. (1,500/800)

“And now,” continued Raven, “I’ll Equip him with a Dark Scorpion’s second favorite weapon – the Dark Scorpion Shiv!”

She fit a card into a slot, and a long knife appeared in Fandral’s left hand.

“This Equip raises the Attack Score of any Dark Scorpion by 700 points, so now he’s stronger than any of your fairies! Fandral, attack Dark Magician Girl with Scorpion’s blade!”

Fandral leapt forward and thrust with his rapier, stabbing Dark Magician Girl in the belly! She gave a cry, and shattered.

Stan’s Life Points fell to 3,800.

“And also,” said Raven, “now Fandral’s effect comes into… well, effect. When he destroys an enemy Monster, I gain Life Points equal to 300 times the fallen enemy’s star level. Since Dark Magician Girl is a six-star Monster, that means I gain 1,800.”

Her Life Points went up to 4,100.

“This is crazy!” shouted Andy. “They just keep bringing their Life Points up again and again!”

“Someone has to give soon…” muttered Francesca.



Continued…

Dark Sage
8th July 2005, 06:25 PM
Continued From Last Post:



Stan drew. He looked at the card strangely.

“I’ll place a card facedown, and that will end my turn,” he sighed.

He fit a card into a slot, and it appeared behind his two Monsters.

“Stan!” screamed Yumi. “You forgot to move your Monsters into Defense Mode!”

“Heh, heh,” chuckled Raven, “it’s his own fault.”

She put a card down.

“First I’ll summon Cliff the Trap Remover in Attack Mode,” she stated.

Another member of the Dark Scorpions appeared. The same outfit was present, and this one had slightly long, dirty blonde hair, and carried a dagger. (1,200/1,000)



http://www.itstimetoduel.com/cardpictures/MFC-078.jpg


“Fandral,” shouted Raven, “attack his Gemini Elf!”

Fandral leapt up and closed in on Gemini Elf…

“Not so fast!” shouted Stan. “I activate Spellbinding Circle!”

His Trap lifted, and Fandral was caught in the magical pentagram! His Attack Score fell to 1,500.

“What? No!” shouted Raven. “You kept your two Monsters in Attack Mode on purpose, didn’t you?”

“Uh huh,” said Stan, nodding.

“I admit, I am impressed,” said Raven. “It takes a lot to trick a trickster. But I’ll just have to try harder. It’s your move.”

Stan drew.

Double Spell, he thought. I know I can use this against her somehow, but how? Trouble is, I don’t have another Magic Card to activate it!

“Gemini Elf, wipe out Fandral!” he shouted.

Gemini Elf blasted their lightning blots, and Fandral the Dashing was no more.

“Pixie Knight, attack Cliff the Trap Remover!”

Pixie Knight shot forth her sparkling dust. Cliff gasped, and vanished.

Raven’s Life Points stood at 3,600.

“Your move again,” chuckled Stan.

Raven drew.

“I’ll play Card of Sanctity!” she announced.

She fit the card into a slot.

“Now we have to…” she started.

“I know what it does…” said Stan, “and you helped me a great deal.”

They each drew until they had six cards. Stan grimaced. Double Spell was still the only Magic Card in his hand!

But he had drawn a powerful Monster…

“Time to, as we thieves say, ‘take you to the cleaners’, Stan!” laughed Raven.

“First I’ll summon the fearless leader of the Dark Scorpion Gang…”

She put a card down.

“Meet Don Zaloog!”

One more Warrior materialized. The bandit in front of Stan was slightly muscular, and his uniform was covered with pouches and a bandolier. He wore a patch over his right eye, and his hair was platinum blonde. He held a rapier in one hand, and a long dagger in the other. (1,400/1,500)



http://www.itstimetoduel.com/cardpictures/PGD-029.jpg


“You’d think their leader would be a little stronger…” muttered Andy.

“Hey, don’t knock it, pal!” shouted Raven. “To me, this Warrior represents my mentor Stick, a thief who’s brave and daring, and not afraid to tear the establishment down.

“And I’m not done yet. I’m equipping Don Zaloog with a powerful card – also my rarest card. Scorpion’s Sting!”

She placed a card into a slot. Don’s weapons vanished, and two long blades appeared attached to his wrists.

“To play this card, I have to spend 2,000 Life Points…” chuckled Raven.

Her Life Points fell to 1,600.

“But it’s worth the price, because it raises any member of the Dark Scorpion’s Attack by his or her original Defense.”

Don Zaloog’s Attack rose to 2,900.

“Now, Don Zaloog, destroy his Pixie Knight!”

Don Zaloog leapt forward, and stabbed his blades into Pixie Knight! She screamed and burst!

Stan’s Life Points fell to 2,200.

“And one more thing, Stan,” she said.

Don Zaloog reached out and snatched a card from Stan’s hand!

“HEY!” shouted Stan.

Don threw it into the discard pile.

“When Don damages your Life Points, I can make you discard one card from your hand,” explained Raven.

“Clever,” said Stan, with a smile, “but now that you’ve destroyed my Pixie Knight, you have to chose a Magic Card from my Graveyard for me to put at the top of my deck!”

Raven laughed out loud.

“Silly,” she chuckled. “I knew all about Pixie Knight’s effect. So I choose your Sibling Rivalry card!”

“Oh no!” gasped Francesca.

A glowing orb shot out of Stan’s discard pile, and it transformed into a card, which was placed on the top of his deck.

“Both Pikeru and Curran are in your Graveyard,” laughed Raven, “and I truly doubt you have more than one Pikeru and Curran in your deck! So by choosing that card, I’m more or less making you skip your draw phase, because what you’re about to draw is useless!”

“Oh, is it now?” asked Stan, drawing.

He looked at the Sibling Rivalry card.

“Don’t be so sure,” he said, taking another card from his hand.

He fit it into his Disk.

“I play… Double Spell!” he exclaimed. “Now I just need to discard one other Magic Card…”

He discarded Sibling Rivalry.

“…and now I can duplicate the effects of any Magic Card in your Graveyard. I choose your Pot of Greed!”

The Pot of Greed appeared on his side of the field, and handed him two more cards.

Sweet! he thought. I couldn’t have asked for better!

“I play Premature Burial!” he exclaimed. “To bring back Pixie Knight!”

He fit the card into the slot. His Life Points fell to 1,400, and Pixie Knight reappeared.

“And now,” said Stan, placing a card on his Disk, “I sacrifice both her and Gemini Elf to summon Dark Magician!”

His friends cheered, as the two Spellcasters vanished, and Dark Magician arose.

“Nice,” said Raven with a smile. “But even he isn’t strong enough.”

“He will be once I use this Equip,” exclaimed Stan, taking the other card he had drawn.

He fit it into a slot.

“Magic Formula! This raises his Attack Score by 500 points!”

And ancient book appeared in front of Dark Magician, and his Attack went up to 3,000.

“Now, Dark Magician,” yelled Stan. “Dark magic attack!”

Dark Magician spun his staff, and blew Don Zaloog away.

Raven’s Life Points fell to 1,500…

But she was smiling…

“Heh, heh…” she chuckled. “Sucker. You didn’t know about the other effect of my incredibly powerful Equip Card…”

“Other effect?” gasped Stan.

“Yes,” giggled Raven. “When a Monster Equipped with it is destroyed in battle, the attacker loses Attack Points equal to half of the Monster’s original Attack Score. Since Don Zaloog’s original Attack was 1,400, your Dark Magician loses 700 Attack Points!”

Dark Magician cringed, and his Attack fell to 2,300.

“Ugh, make your move,” said Stan.

“I will,” said Raven, drawing.

She grinned a wicked grin.

“Time to finish you off!” she laughed. She fit a card into her Disk.

“I’ll play Monster Reborn!”

Gorg the Strong materialized on the ankh, holding his mace. (1,800/1,000)

“Look familiar?” mocked Raven. “And now I’ll Equip him with my second Dark Scorpion Shiv!”

She fit another card into a slot, and Gorg’s mace vanished, replaced by the long dagger. His Attack Score went up to 2,500.

“Now then,” continued Raven. “I’ll play the Magic Card… Spell Reproduction!”

She fit the card into the slot.

“I may have to discard two other Magic Cards to play this card, but since it lets me play Monster Reborn again, that’s a small price to pay!”

She discarded the rest of her hand, and the ankh appeared again; Don Zaloog reappeared! (1,400/1,500)

Stan gulped…

“Gorg,” laughed Raven, “attack Dark Magician!”

Gorg leapt forward and stabbed his dagger into the Spellcaster! Dark Magician groaned and shattered.

“Don Zaloog!” laughed Raven. “Attack Stan directly with Sting of the Scorpions!”

Don Zaloog leapt into the air and did a flip. He drove his dagger into Stan, and he fell.

Francesca, Andy, and Yumi gasped.

Stan had lost…



* * * * * * * * * *


Two hundred feet away, Lord Crump was watching.

So… he thought. There is a weakness…

He took out his cell phone…


[B]
* * * * * * * * * *


Stan pulled himself to a sitting position, and saw Raven standing over him.

“Well,” she said with a smirk, “the Dark Scorpions have won the day, and it’s time to seize the spoils…”

Stan grimaced and removed one of his three Crystal Cards from his jacket.

There was nothing he could do… Raven had won fair and square…

“It’s unprofessional to gloat, Raven…” he sneered.

Raven snatched it.

“Well,” she said, “to each his own. I’d love to stay and chat, but I need my beauty sleep. Maybe we’ll see each other again – I’d love to take any of you down.”

She turned tail and vanished into the shadows.

Stan bowed his head.

“Hey, bro…” said Andy, coming up to him, “don’t let her get you down… you’ll get it back…”

“I hope so, Andy…” muttered Stan.

Inside, he was worried…

He was back to where he started, with two Crystal Cards…

And he wondered what would happen if he lost them all, especially after what Merlee had said.

Would the Queen be given some sort of special power if he could no longer compete?

He had to get back on the horse soon…

But for now, Raven wasn’t the only one who needed sleep…


[B]
* * * * * * * * * *


Deep within the Palace of Shadow, the Shadow Queen chuckled to herself.

“Interesting,” she said. “Stan has taken the bitter taste of defeat. Perhaps I should focus on him next…

“And should my next child fail, this Raven is an interesting duelist. She might make a useful pawn… knowingly or not.

“I’ll have to watch her progress very closely…”



[B]AN EYE FOR AN EYE (Trap Card)

Card Specs

Type: Trap/Counter
Attribute: –
Level: –
ATK: –
DEF: –

Card Description: Image of a Grecian emperor on a podium with his right hand outstretched and a scroll in his left hand. You can activate this Trap when your opponent activates a Normal Magic Card or Normal Trap Card that does not require a trigger or specific condition. Apply the effect of the card as if you had activated it as well.



SIBLING RIVALRY

Card Specs

Type: Magic
Attribute: –
Level: –
ATK: –
DEF: –

Card Description: Image of a shocked White Magician Pikeru looking into a mirror and seeing an angry Ebon Magician Curran in the image. You can activate this card when you have either “White Magician Pikeru” or “Ebon Magician Curran” (but not both) face up on your side of the field. If you have “White Magician Pikeru” on your side of the field, Special Summon one “Ebon Magician Curran” from your hand or deck. If you have “Ebon Magician Curran” on your side of the field, Special Summon one “White Magician Pikeru” from your hand or deck.



SEVENTH INNING

Card Specs

Type: Magic
Attribute: –
Level: –
ATK: –
DEF: –

Card Description: Image of a baseball umpire holding up seven fingers. You can activate this card when your Life Points are less than that of your opponent’s. Take the difference in your two scores, divide the result by half, and add the total to both players’ Life Points. Life Point scores cannot be raised more than the score either player started with at the beginning of the duel by using this card.

Note: “Seventh Inning” was created by Starjake for his fanfic “Yu-Gi-Oh: Virtual Disaster”. All creative credit goes to him.



GREAT ESCAPE

Card Specs

Type: Trap
Attribute: –
Level: –
ATK: –
DEF: –

Card Description: Image of a laughing Meanae the Thorn escaping from angry guards with a grappling hook while carrying a sack of loot. You can activate this card when an opponent declares an attack on one of your Monsters that has the words “Dark Scorpion” in its name, or is named “Don Zaloog” or “Cliff the Trap Remover”. The attack is negated, and the targeted Monster cannot be targeted by attacks for the rest of the round.



DARK SCORPION SHIV

Card Specs

Type: Magic/Equip
Attribute: –
Level: –
ATK: –
DEF: –

Card Description: Image of a long dagger held by a hand wearing a black glove. This card can be equipped to any Monster that has the words “Dark Scorpion” in its name, or is named “Don Zaloog” or “Cliff the Trap Remover”. Increase the ATK of the Equipped Monster by 700.



SCORPION’S STING (Magic Card)

Card Specs

Type: Magic/Equip
Attribute: –
Level: –
ATK: –
DEF: –

Card Description: Image of Don Zaloog with long blades attached to his wrists. Pay 2,000 Life Points to activate this card. This card can be Equipped to any Monster with “Dark Scorpion” in its name, or is named “Don Zaloog” or “Cliff the Trap Remover”. Increase the Equipped Monster’s ATK by its original DEF. Also, if the Equipped Monster is destroyed in battle, decrease the ATK of the Monster that destroyed it by half of the original ATK of the destroyed Monster.



DARK SCORPION FANDRAL THE DASHING

Card Specs

Type: Warrior/Effect
Attribute: Dark
Level: 4
ATK: 1,500
DEF: 800

Card Description: This swashbuckler extraordinaire joined the Dark Scorpions out of dreams of glory. When this Monster destroys an opposing Monster in battle and sends it to the Graveyard, multiply the star level of the destroyed Monster by 300 and add the result to your Life Points.



DARK SCORPION SHANNA THE QUICK

Card Specs

Type: Warrior/Effect
Attribute: Dark
Level: 4
ATK: 1,300
DEF: 500

Card Description: The younger sister of Meanae the Thorn, this young teenager joined the Dark Scorpions out of lust for wealth. If you discard one Monster Card from your hand, this Monster can attack three times in one Battle Phase.



DARK SCORPION TORNAS THE JOKER

Card Specs

Type: Warrior/Effect
Attribute: Dark
Level: 3
ATK: 300
DEF: 300

Card Description: An urchin whom the Dark Scorpions rescued, this youngster follows his heroes faithfully – some would say blindly. When this Monster is destroyed in battle, all Monsters on your side of the field with “Dark Scorpion” in their names, or who are named “Don Zaloog” or “Cliff the Trap Remover”, have their ATK increased to 3,000 until the end phase of the current turn.



[B][I]Coming up next:

The team leaves Glitzville, and find themselves exploring a locale that wasn’t in the video game! (However, a place with the same name was in one relatively recent game in the Mario universe that didn’t star Mario, and no, I’m not talking about “Luigi’s Mansion”.)

Francesca duels one of our user characters, a fellow who uses Monsters whom Yugi loves to use! Don’t miss a chapter that I call “Polar Opposites”, coming soon.

Dark Sage
8th July 2005, 06:27 PM
Well, it took a lot of work, but all twelve chapters of my fanfic are fixed, and up - again.

Tune in on Sunday for the next new chapter, starring a new user character!

And coming soon - a poll!

Coming soon...

- Dark Sage

jkBAKURA
8th July 2005, 09:06 PM
Polor Opposites?! GOT to be the magnet warriors. Maybe some of the new ones from GX as well. Looking forward to this one. Don't see it much.

Pokemasterkatie
9th July 2005, 01:44 PM
Relatively recent...didn't star Mario, but considered a Mario game...You can tell I'm thinking hard about this one!:) Is it...Yoshi's Island(from the sequel, not the original Mario World)? Do remakes count? But I do agree that the Magnet Warriors will be the theme of Francesca's opponent.

How convient that this chapter came out around the same time as the newest GX episode(with the Dark Scorpions!)! ^_^ Raven's an interesting character(though I see the resembelance to another female with the same name. ;)); and certainly a tough duelist. I admit the first time I saw the Curran card, I mistook her for Fire Princess.:p I need to study up on the Monsters more often...^_^;

ssj4supernerd
9th July 2005, 01:45 PM
Wait a second...Polar Opposites...Yugi has actually quite a few Warriors in his deck and a Spellcaster and Warriors are Polar Opposites....or Fiends??*goes to think further*

The Blue Avenger
9th July 2005, 01:49 PM
Relatively recent...didn't star Mario, but considered a Mario game...You can tell I'm thinking hard about this one!:) Is it...Yoshi's Island(from the sequel, not the original Mario World)?


I'm wondering if it's not from a WarioWare game. Diamond City, anyone? Maybe Club Sugar? The Hawt House? Crygor's lab? Diamond Elementary? ...Now that I think about it, maybe not.

Zcade0
9th July 2005, 04:19 PM
Cool chapter. It can't be a yoshi game they have baby mario.

The Blue Avenger
9th July 2005, 06:15 PM
Cool chapter. It can't be a yoshi game they have baby mario.


Not all Yoshi games have Baby Mario. Yoshi's Story didn't. And besides, I don't think a game with Yoshi running around with Baby Mario on his back can accurately be described as 'starring Mario.'

EDIT: Reread this post, realized I sounded like a jerk, so I apologize.

Dark Sage
10th July 2005, 07:51 AM
Well, of all those who tried to guess what the game was, The Ble Avenger came the closest. The location that the heroes will explore next was named after a location in Wario World.

But anyway, it's time for a new chapter, and I would like to thank The Blue Avenger for his contribution of the user character who co-stars here.

Enjoy.


- Dark Sage

Dark Sage
10th July 2005, 07:54 AM
[B][I]Being Yugi Mouto’s apprentice…

(Well, I like to call myself that, at least…)

…I’ve studied him in detail. I’ve watched footage of his duels, and I know his strategies… and his deck. And something strikes me as odd.

He has a favorite card – Dark Magician – and he has a couple of other Spellcasters and cards that support this powerful Monster. But in reality, his deck doesn’t have much of a theme.

He has Warriors, Fiends, a few Beasts… a mishmash, basically. A lot of his Monsters are practical and have some kind of effect – others are just powerful.

Three of his Monsters bear especial remark. They aren’t all too great by themselves, but put them together and add a special fourth one… And you’ve got what might be his most powerful Monster.

Now I’m watching Francesca face a guy who’s built a whole deck around these guys… And he’s sure done a clever job of it…




[size=3][B]CHAPTER THIRTEEN



Polar Opposites



Stan didn’t usually mind losing a duel, but after all the strange things that had happened lately, the fact that he could lose had made him, nervous.

As he slept, he dreamed he was in a dark cave…

He heard clicking noises and looked down… A swarm of black scorpions were scurrying towards him!

He gasped and ran in the other direction, but a form blocked his path…

“Where do you think you’re going?” said Raven with an evil smile.

“Raven, please…” he gasped.

Raven chuckled.

“This is our territory, Stan,” she said, “and no-one passes through without paying the toll…”

She waved her hand, and the Monsters from her deck appeared, surrounding him: Don, Cliff, Meanae, Gorg, Chick, Shanna, Fandral, and even Tornas grinned at him, and raised their weapons…

“Raven, please!” begged Stan, sweating. “Call them off!”

“Sure!” chuckled Raven. “Just hand over your deck of cards, and we’ll let you off with just a few bruises… Otherwise…”

The Dark Scorpions chuckled…

Stan looked down, but his deck wasn’t there.

“I… don’t have it…” he gasped.

“Well then,” said Raven with a smile, “the gang and I are just going to have to have a little fun…”

Her eyes glowed red, as did those of the eight Warriors… They closed in on him…



[B]* * * * * * * * * *


Stan gasped as he woke up.

He sat up in bed and then flopped back down.

Note to self… he thought. Dueling weirdoes is dangerous…

He looked at the two Crystal Cards on his bedside table.

I only have two left… he thought. If I lose them all, there’s no telling what will happen… If the next opponent is as tough as she was… How will I recover?



[B]* * * * * * * * * *


Francesca woke up the next morning, and to her great relief, her skin was back to its healthy pink color.

As she got dressed, she was a lot more determined than ever.

“All right!” she said, throwing her Duel Disk on. “Look out Shadow Queen, Francesca Benedict is willing to take on anything you throw at her!”



[B]* * * * * * * * * *


In the Palace of Shadow, the Queen chuckled.

Oh, Francesca, she thought, don’t you know the old saying? Be careful what you wish for, you just might get it!

She changed the scene on her viewing globe.

Best check up on the rest of the kids…

She waved her hand.

“Leopold!” she shouted.

“Yes mother?” said a voice.

“Those three punks will be headed your way by this evening,” said the Queen, “so you’ve got next dibs.”

“Don’t worry about it,” chuckled Leopold. “I’ve made plans – I’ve double-checked my strategy. I calculate I have at least a 90% chance of defeating Stan!”

“Well plan harder!” scolded the Queen. “Because if you screw up like Melissa, Kurtis, and Tyson did, there’s a definite 100% chance that you’ll end up like them!”

“Well, maybe triple-checking wouldn’t hurt…” gulped Leopold.

The Queen waved her hand.

“Maria, where are you?” she asked.

“I be in the grotto, mum,” said a sinister female voice. “It would be might cozy here if the bloomin’ ghost ye locked up in here didn’t keep threatenin’ me…”

“Never mind his threats,” answered the Queen. “He knows what the consequences will be if he hurts you. I want you in Keelhaul Key when and if they get there.”

“Aye,” said Maria. “I’ve been assemblin’ a group ta handle them, and… uh… can I borrow The Sea Witch?”

The Shadow Queen groaned…

“Oh, all right!” she shouted. “But I don’t want to see so much as a scratch on it when you’re done!”

She waved her hand again.

“Vladimir!” she called.

“I’m here mother,” said a low voice.

“Good,” said the Queen. “Listen closely, after your two siblings are done, I’m counting on you to swoop in and finish off whoever is left. You’re the best, and I expect you to do me proud.”

“Humph,” said Vladimir. “I could take them all out now and save you the trouble.”

“Wait a while,” said the Queen. “If Leopold and/or Maria succeed, whoever is left will be incredibly demoralized… your job will be much easier. You need intimidation, confidence, and the skill to back them up on your side. If any is lacking, you will fail…”

She gave a stern look, and the globe went dark.



[B]* * * * * * * * * *


Stan was still a little morose as he, Francesca, and Andy waited in line to get on the blimp. Yumi was with them, but she would be staying in Glitzville.

“Are you sure you won’t come, Yumi?” asked Fran.

“Positive,” said Yumi. “I’d just get in the way – and who knows whether or not the Queen will try to hypnotize me again? And she might come after me too, and put you in danger. I’m safer if I just stay in Glitzville, far among the clouds, until you say it’s safe.”

Andy came up.

“Be careful, Yumi,” he warned. “Don’t accept any challenges for duels. You never know if the Queen will try to get revenge… And you know what she does to defeated enemies…”

He shivered.

“Don’t worry, Andy,” urged Yumi. “Even if they force me to, I can still duel pretty well… And if I am forced and defeated…”

She bowed her head.

“If that happens,” promised Francesca, “we’ll find a way to rescue you. The Graveyard can’t be escape proof…”

“ALL ABOARD!” shouted the pilot.

“Bye!” shouted Yumi.



[B]* * * * * * * * * *


As the three took their seats on the blimp, Stan sighed.

“Ready to get that card back?” asked Andy.

“Maybe I’ll wait a while,” sighed Stan. “I’m still a little sore from taking three 3,000-point direct attacks in a row!”

“Point taken…” muttered Andy.

”Attention passengers,” said the pilot. ”We will be reaching our destination, the Wonky Circus, in half an hour. Enjoy your flight.”

“The Wonky Circus?” asked Francesca. “Where’s that?”



[B]* * * * * * * * * *


They realized what “that” was as soon as the blimp landed, because it landed right in the middle of it.

A huge carnival was around them, and it was a busy day. Children were running about, and the place was awash with performers – clowns, jugglers, stilt-walkers, and fire-eaters. A large roller coaster, Ferris wheel, and tilt-a-whirl were set up in front of them, and various games and vendors were set up.

“Looks like a fun place,” said Francesca, with a smile.

“I hate carnivals…” muttered Andy. “I’ve always been afraid of clowns…”

“Afraid of clowns?” said Stan, strangely.

“I know it sounds dumb,” muttered Andy. “A sixteen-year-old like me, afraid of clowns…”

“Don’t sweat it,” said Fran with a smile, putting her arm on his shoulder. “You can get over your fear of clowns – just like I got over my fear of Elvis impersonators.”

They gave her a strange look.

“What?” she said.



[B]* * * * * * * * * *


Andy wasn’t the only one here who had an aversion to clowns…

Lord Crump didn’t like them much either. He wasn’t exactly afraid of them… but he hated them with a passion.

As he followed the kids, he passed by a female clown who was handing out free samples of cookies.

“Hello!” she said, sweetly. “Care to try our triple fudge macadamia nut crunch?”

Crump seethed…

He reached into his pocket and pulled out a small pistol…

“Huh?” she said.

ZAAAP!

The clown fell over with her costume scorched.

“You could have just said ‘no’!” she cried.

Heh, heh… chuckled Crump to himself as he walked away. That’s one clown who’s frowning on the outside AND the inside…



* * * * * * * * * *


The three kids passed by a booth.

The podium sign said: [B]MARV THE MAD MAGICIAN

On the podium was a clown (they assumed it was Marv), dressed in a purple tuxedo and top hat. He wore blue face paint, had blue clown hair, and a pencil-thin moustache and short goatee. He wore a domino mask over his eyes.

“Attention!” he shouted. “Guys and gals, gals and guys! Come right up and feast your eyes!”

He turned towards a small item covered by a handkerchief.

“I’m one for words, or so they say, so look what you could win today!”

He whipped the handkerchief off, and people watching took notice.

Two Monster Cards were there – they were called “Silent Magician Lv 4” and “Silent Magician Lv 8”.

“I found these cards in old Japan… and you can win them if you can!”

“I dunno…” said a girl up front. “They look… weird…”

“You may have heard the saying, lass, that looks can be deceiving!” he replied. “Try these Monsters in your deck, and then you’ll be believing!”

He called out.

“I’ll offer them, I’ll say out loud, but first we need a larger crowd!”

Stan looked at the cards.

He scratched his chin… They did seem quite useful… if the effect could be pulled off…

After about fifteen minutes, a sizeable crowd had indeed appeared.

Marv slipped a Dueling Disk onto his arm. It flicked into place.

“Here’s the rules, ladies and gentlemen!” he announced. “The first person to answer the question I’ll ask correctly will be the winner! But first, we need to show it to you!”

He placed a Monster Card on his Disk.

“I’ll summon… Berserk Gorilla!”

A furious gorilla with flame pouring out of its nostrils came into view. (2,000/1,000)



http://www.itstimetoduel.com/cardpictures/IOC-013.jpg


“And now, stage two!” he continued.

He drew a second card.

“I’ll sacrifice Berserk Gorilla for a Fiend called Great Maju Garzett!”

He switched cards, and the Gorilla shattered; a hairy, horned demon in violet armor arose! (0/0)



http://www.itstimetoduel.com/cardpictures/DCR-063.jpg


“Due to Great Maju Garzett’s effect,” he continued, “it’s Attack Score is twice the original Attack Score of the Monster I sacrificed to summon it!”

(4,000/0)

He drew a third card.

“And now, I add this…” he exclaimed, placing a card into a slot. “Axe of Despair!”

A huge, ugly axe appeared in Great Maju Garzett’s hand.

(5,000/0)

“Five-thousand Attack?” gasped a boy. “I don’t want to duel this guy!”

“Now,” said Marv, drawing, “answer my question and to my prize be lead, if it isn’t already in over your head!”

He held up the card he had just drawn.

“This is another Great Maju Garzett card!” he exclaimed. “If I were to sacrifice my first Maju for the second, what, what pray tell, would its Attack Score be?”

A lot of folks raised their hands.

“Okay,” said Marv. “You, you, you, and then you…”

Stan cringed… He was third…

“Easy…” said the boy who was first. “He would have 10,000.”

“Ooh, sorry…” said Marv. “It isn’t that simple…”

The girl who was second paused. Apparently that had been her answer…

“I know!” she said. “The Equip Card doesn’t count… So it’s 8,000!”

“Sorry, that’s not it either…” said Marv, shaking his head.

He paused.

“It’s not as easy as it appears; think, you’ll find the answer nears…”

“I know the answer…” said Stan.

“Yes?” said Marv. “You were next…”

“Great Maju Garzett’s Attack Score is twice the original Attack Score of the sacrificed Monster,” explained Stan. “It’s original Attack is zero, and two times zero is zero…

“So the answer is… zero.”

Marv smiled.

“Well, let’s see if you were right…” he said.

He switched cards on his Disk. The first Great Maju Garzett shattered, and was replaced by another…

(0/0)

“We have a winner!” shouted Marv.

“All right Stan!” cheered Andy.


Continued...

Dark Sage
10th July 2005, 07:56 AM
Continued from last post:



Stan looked closely at the two cards he had won. They looked like sorcerers in space age clothing. The Lv. 4 one was a child, while the Lv. 8 one was an adult.

These Monsters would be hard to pull off, but if he managed it…

“Okay, I got cotton candy!” laughed Andy. “Fran, you want pink, blue, or green?”

“Either one except the blue,” chuckled Francesca.

As they started walking through the midway, Francesca spoke up.

“Carnivals are nice,” she said, “but I’m ready to start dueling again…”

“Make me an offer…” said a voice to their left.

They turned…

They saw a boy about their age, standing about six feet tall. He was odd, both in clothing and appearance. He wore jeans and a blue t-shirt, but his most distinguishing feature were his tinted green glasses that seemed to take up most of his face. He had long shaggy hair that seemed to droop over them. He also wore large headphones – apparently they weren’t on – and metallic boots that had small wheels printed on them.

His Disk indicated that he was a duelist.

“My Monsters and I are always looking for a challenge, if it’s valid,” he said.

Francesca giggled.

“I hope your dueling is better than your fashion sense…” she chuckled.

“You don’t like my clothes?” he asked. “They’re camp!”

“Camp?” asked Stan.

“You know, the tragically ludicrous, the ludicrously tragic?” he said.

He reached into his pocket.

“But the guys in my deck aren’t exactly camp – they tend to leave others in tears! And I’ve got four Crystal Cards to prove it!”

He showed them.

Fran took out hers.

“Join the club!” she said with a grin.

“Great!” he said. “I’ll take ya on. The name’s Jeff… Jeff Azure…”

He pulled a deck out and began to shuffle.

“Now lets…” he started.

His hand slipped, and he spilled the cards on the ground!

“Oops…” he mumbled. “Folks, it’s gonna be a minute…”

“No problems here…” muttered Andy. “Fran could whip this wimp in her sleep.”

“Don’t be so sure,” answered Stan. “He has four, meaning he’s won at least twice already… Don’t forget, Andy, some people are completely different when a duel starts – you of all people should know that…”



[B]* * * * * * * * * *


The word of a duel challenge spread within seconds, and before the two contenders knew it, children and adolescents swarmed into a crowd around them, many of them with parents. They had almost forgotten how amazed the natives of Monster Island were at actual dueling.

As usual, Lord Crump watched from a distance.

Humph, one of the twerps got into a challenge, he thought. Well, let’s see where this leads. Maybe if I’m lucky I can see her fall flat on her face!

Francesca raised her arm, and the holo-imagers shot out of her Disk. Jeff did the same with his. They snapped into place.

“DUEL!” they both shouted.

They drew their first five cards.

Ergh… thought Francesca. Off to a slow start again…

“Why don’t you go first, Jeff?” she suggested.

“Gee, thanks…” he said, making his first draw.

He looked at the card…

Then he flicked his Field slot open and slid a card into it.

“I play my Wasteland card!” he exclaimed.

The slot slapped shut.

“Now watch,” he continued, “as this carnival ground becomes a barren desert!”

The field around them became cracked, parched, and sandy. Haze filled the air.

“Uh oh…” whispered Andy to Stan. “I think I know what kind of deck Jeff has…”

“Yeah…” muttered Stan. “Zombies. They gain power in a Wasteland… but why that card and not Mystic Plasma Zone? Most Zombies are Dark…”

Andy shrugged.

“I’ll also place one card facedown,” continued Jeff, fitting a card into a slot, “and that will end my turn…”

“Huh?” quipped Francesca. “No Monster? What’s your game?”

“You think I’m going to tell you my strategy?” asked Jeff.

Francesca drew.

I can’t risk attacking, she thought, but I’d better summon something of my own… hope that card isn’t a Torrential Tribute…

Jeff smirked slightly.

Go on, Fran… he thought.

Francesca put a card down.

“I summon Amazon Archer in Attack Mode!” she exclaimed.

The short-haired Amazon wearing a halter, jacket, and miniskirt, armed with a bow and arrow appeared. (1,400/1,000)



http://www.itstimetoduel.com/cardpictures/LON-EN032.jpg


Aw, nuts! thought Jeff. I can’t spring my Trap on HER!

“And that’s all for my turn,” said Francesca.

Phew, thought Jeff, drawing.

He looked at the card.

“I’ll place a Monster facedown in Defense, and end my turn,” he said.

He placed a card down, and a hidden Monster appeared.

Fran drew.

Andy screamed inside his head.

Fran, don’t! he thought. Don’t attack! That Monster is a Pyramid Turtle!

Fran slipped a card into a slot.

“I play Scapegoat!” she exclaimed.

Four fluffy sheep appeared on her side on the field.

“Now to activate my Archer’s special ability!” she laughed. “By sacrificing two Monsters, she can hit you directly for 1,200 points of damage! And I’ve got enough ammo for two shots!”

“WHAT?” shouted Jeff.

“Fire one!” shouted Francesca.

Two Scapegoats vanished, and Amazon Archer loaded an arrow into her bow. She fired, hitting Jeff in the chest!

His Life Points fell to 6,800.

“Fire two!” yelled Fran.

The other two Scapegoats vanished, and Amazon Archer fired again! Jeff fell over.

His Life Points were at 5,600.

The crowd clapped.

“And she’s not done with you yet Jeff!” exclaimed Francesca. “Archer, attack his facedown mystery Monster!”

NOOO! screamed Andy in his head.

Amazon Archer fired…

And a spherical critter with three eyes, three claws, and a toothy mouth appeared on the card. The arrow struck it, and it burst.

“Huh, Sangan?” asked Fran.

“Yes!” said Jeff with a smile. “And you know what that means…”

A card slipped out of his deck, and he caught it.

“This isn’t good, Stan,” whispered Andy. “Jeff obviously used Sangan to search for a Pyramid Turtle… and if Fran destroys that, Jeff could summon Zombies like Ryu Kokki, Patrician of Darkness, or even Vampire Lord. I should know… I almost lost to a Zombie duelist right before I came here…”

Jeff drew.

“I’ll summon this in Attack Mode…” he said.

He put a card down.

“Here it comes…” muttered Andy.

A blocky humanoid form appeared. It looked like a shiny, silver robot, carrying a sword and a shield, with a crested helmet that had the image of a magnet on it.



http://www.itstimetoduel.com/cardpictures/DOR-001.jpg


“Meet Alpha the Magnet Warrior!” exclaimed Jeff. “And thanks to my Wasteland Field, he gets a little bonus!”

(1,400/1,700) –> (1,600/1,900)

“Hold the phone…” said Andy, startled. “Jeff isn’t using Zombies! He’s using Rocks! They gain a bonus from Wasteland too!”

“But why use Wasteland and not Gaia Power?” asked Stan.

“Because Earth is one of the most common Attributes on Duel Monsters,” replied Andy. “If he used that, he’d help a lot of his opponents…”

“Alpha!” exclaimed Jeff. “Attack her Archer with magnetic sword!”

Alpha closed in on Amazon Archer… She tried to shield herself with her bow, but he shattered it, and then ran her through. She groaned and vanished.

Fran’s Life Points fell to 7,800.

“Cool,” said Jeff. “Alpha is truly grade-A!”

“Yeah?” snarled Francesca, “well even with that bonus, he’s still pretty weak, and I can take him down…”

She drew and added the card to her hand.

Amazoness Paladin will take care of that oversized refrigerator ornament, she thought.

She put a card down.

“I summon Amazoness Paladin in Attack Mode!” she announced.

Amazoness Paladin appeared, holding her sword aloft! (1,700/300) –> (1,800/300)

“Did you forget about my Trap Card?” asked Jeff, smiling.

His card lifted.

“I activate Bottomless Trap Hole!”

A pit appeared underneath Amazoness Paladin’s feet… She screamed as she was sucked into it!

“Wh-what happened?” stuttered Francesca.

“Bottomless Trap Hole can only be activated when a Monster with 1,500 Attack Points or more is summoned,” explained Jeff, “so I couldn’t use it on your Archer. But your Paladin… Well, I don’t envy her, because the pit delivered her to the realm of nightmares called the Different Dimension – I hope she doesn’t get scared easily, because she won’t come back until your next duel…”

“Funny…” snarled Francesca.

She looked at her cards.

“I can’t do anything else, make your move!”

“Nuts!” cried Stan. “She’s wide open for an attack!”

Jeff drew.

“Time to go up the alphabet,” he quipped. “I summon Beta the Magnet Warrior in Attack Mode!”

He put a card down, and a new Magnet Warrior appeared. This one was a cute, yellow robot with magnets for hands and huge horns shaped like a magnet on his head. (1,700/1,600) –> (1,900/1,800)



http://www.itstimetoduel.com/cardpictures/DOR-002.jpg


“It’s not just Rocks…” muttered Andy. “Jeff’s strategy seems to rely completely on the Magnet Warriors!”

“Alpha,” shouted Jeff, “attack Francesca directly with magnetic blade!”

Alpha closed in on Fran. She shrieked as his sword hit her!

Her Life Points fell to 6,200.

“Your turn, Beta!” yelled Jeff. “Attack with magnetic pulse!”

Beta raised his arms and fired a blast of electromagnetic energy! Francesca gasped and fell over.

Her Life Points sank to 4,300.

“I’m in the lead, princess,” chuckled Jeff.

“We’ll see about that,” groaned Francesca.

I’m in trouble, she thought. Most of my Monsters depend on help from others for strength, and most will be wiped out by his Warriors before I can get more than one on the field!

She drew.

Hey… Amazoness Archers!

If I set this Trap and he attacks while I have an Amazon on the field, all of his Monsters will lose 500 Attack Points and will be forced to attack! The perfect way to clear his field!

“I’ll set a card facedown,” she announced, fitting it into a slot.

It appeared in front of her.

“And now, Amazoness Fighter in Attack Mode!”

She placed a card down, and the bulky female Warrior with her huge muscles appeared. (1,500/1,300)

“That will end my turn,” she announced.

Heh, heh, chuckled Jeff. I’m not that gullible Fran. I dueled someone who had an Amazon deck once before… And she beat me.

I have a good idea what that Trap is, and I don’t make the same mistake twice…

He drew. He smirked.

“I summon this guy in Defense Mode,” he said. “Avatar of the Pot!”

He put a card down, and green smoke issued forth from his Disk. A muscular, green genie wearing a kilt appeared. His head looked similar to the Pot of Greed. (1,200/1,300) –> (1,400/1,500)



http://www.itstimetoduel.com/cardpictures/AST-016.jpg


“Huh?” asked Francesca. “Who’s that?”

“See this?” said Jeff, showing her another card.

It was Pot of Greed.

“Not many people know that this incredibly common Magic Card is also a Monster – and he’s this guy. And by summoning the Monster, I can discard the Magic Card…”

He slid Pot of Greed into his discard slot.

“…and then draw three cards, rather than two.”

Avatar of the Pot gave a throaty chuckle and cast a spell. Dust churned, and three cards flew out of Jeff’s deck. He caught them.

He looked at them.

“Now I’ll place one card facedown, and that will end my turn,” he said, fitting a card into a slot.

A card appeared behind his three Monsters.

“You aren’t going to attack?” asked Francesca.

“Nope,” said Jeff, with a shrug.

Darn, thought Francesca, drawing, he didn’t fall for it…

“I’ll play Graceful Charity!” she said, placing the card into a slot.

The angel flew from her Disk, and handed her three cards.

Ooh, yeah… thought Fran.

She handed her a Dramatic Rescue and her Recruitment Drive card, and the Angel flew into her discard slot.

Francesca took one of the cards.



Continued...

Dark Sage
10th July 2005, 07:59 AM
Continued from last post:



“Jeff,” she stated, “you ever hear the stories about the Twelve Labors of Hercules?”

“Um…” muttered Jeff. “I used to watch that show with Kevin Sorbo on it when I was a kid…”

“Then let me explain, because that show had nothing to do with actual myth,” said Francesca, with a smile. “Early in his career, Hercules was driven mad by his enemy Hera, and in his rage, he killed his first wife and children. Although this crime was not truly his fault, he was made to atone for it, by serving his nephew Eurystheus, a cowardly monarch who hated Hercules, mainly because he was jealous of him. Eurystheus forced the hero to perform Twelve Labors, tasks so difficult that most would think they were impossible…

“It’s the Ninth Labor that interests me the most – for that Labor, Hercules had to retrieve a magical girdle worn by Hippolyta… the Queen of the Amazons!”

“Right,” said Jeff. “Interesting. Does this story have any relevance to our duel?”

Francesca fit a Magic Card into a slot.

“I’m Equipping my Amazoness Fighter with this,” she laughed, “The Girdle of Hippolyta!”

Amazoness Fighter glowed, and a large belt made of gold appeared around her waist!

“This Equip Card raises the Attack of any Amazon by 800 points!” exclaimed Fran.

Amazoness Fighter’s Attack rose to 2,300!

“And that’s not all!” laughed Fran. “I’m also summoning… Command Knight!”

She threw a card down, and the beautiful female Warrior appeared in a burst of fire! (1,200/1,900)

Her own attack rose to 1,600, and the Fighter’s rose to 2,700!

“YES!” shouted Stan. “She’s turning this fight around!”

“Now, Amazoness Fighter,” yelled Francesca, “smash Beta the Magnet Warrior!”

Amazoness Fighter flew forward.

“Close, but no banana, Fran!” shouted Jeff.

He hit his Disk and his facedown card lifted.

“Activate Shadow Spell!”

“AWK!” yelled Francesca. She watched in horror as six chains burst out of the ground and seized Amazoness Fighter’s wrists, ankles, and waist.

She struggled to get free, but she was held fast. Her Attack Score fell to 2,000.

Fran sneered.

“Command Knight!” she screamed. “Destroy his Avatar!”

Command Knight’s blade burned with fire, and she flew forth, striking Avatar of the Pot! He groaned and was reduced to dust.

“Feel better?” asked Jeff.

“A little…” grumbled Francesca.

He still can’t destroy my Fighter, she thought. If I can stall long enough to destroy his Shadow Spell…

“My move…” said Jeff.

He drew. He chuckled.

“Time to bring out the star of my deck!” he exclaimed. “First, I’ll summon Gamma the Magnet Warrior!”

He put a card down, and a third Magnet Warrior appeared. This one was pink, blockier, had large fists, feet, and wings, and a big “S” on its chest. (1,500/1,800) –> (1,700/2,000)

“And now,” said Jeff, with a sparkle in his eyes, “I activate their special ability!”

He placed a card down.

The three Magnet Warriors lifted off the air, and all of them separated into pieces…

“I simply sacrifice all three of them…” he said.

The pieces started to fit together…

“…and I can summon one of the greatest Monsters the dueling world has ever seen!”

A huge form crashed down, a giant Magnet Warrior that seemed to be made of parts of all three of the lesser ones. Some of the smaller kids screamed, while others cheered.

“Meet VALKYRION THE MAGNA WARRIOR!” shouted Jeff.

(3,500/3,850) –> (3,700/4,050)



http://www.itstimetoduel.com/cardpictures/SDD-001.jpg


“Impressive, ain’t it?” asked Jeff.

“Depends on your point of view…” gulped Fran.

“Well,” sighed Jeff, “sorry about this, Amazoness Fighter…”

Amazoness Fighter shook in fear…

“…it isn’t nice to strike a lady who’s chained up, but… Valkyrion, attack with magnetic pulse blade!”

The Magna Warrior flew forward, and obliterated Amazoness Fighter.

“Good thing for you,” said Jeff, “her effect prevents you from taking damage…”

“My draw now…” stuttered Francesca.

What am I going to do? she thought, adding the card to her hand. I don’t have my Amazoness Spellcaster, and the only Monsters I have in my hand are nowhere CLOSE to being able to beat that thing!

“I’ll place a card facedown on the field,” she said, placing the card she had just drawn.

The card materialized.

“Then I’ll summon Amazoness Chain Master in Defense Mode,” she continued, placing a card down sideways.

The Chain Master appeared, and knelt in defense. (1,500/1,300) –> (1,900/1,300)

“And now I’ll move Command Knight to Defense Mode as well,” she said, turning the card.

Command Knight knelt.

“And that’s my move.”

Jeff drew.

“I play Card of Sanctity!” he shouted, placing a card into a slot.

A blue flash lit up the sky!

He drew three cards, and Francesca drew four.

“Heh, heh…” chuckled Jeff. “It’s time to finish you with my ultimate combo!”

He slid a card into a slot.

“But first I’ll clear away your Monsters…”

He discarded one of his cards…

“…with Lightning Vortex!”

“NO!” screamed Andy, as the Magic Card revealed. Lightning started to flash in the sky…

“Not so fast, Jeff!” shouted Fran.

She discarded one of her own cards.

“I’ll quell your storm with Magic Jammer!”

Her Trap Card lifted, and the lightning subsided.

“Ah well,” sighed Jeff. “Your Monsters are safe for the moment… I can still play my ultimate combo!”

He reached for a card.

“One question before you play your ‘ultimate combo’ Jeff,” asked Francesca. “I’m curious… Magnet Warriors, Valkyrion, Avatar of the Pot, Lightning Vortex… your deck is packed with rare cards! How did you build such a deck?”

“It wasn’t easy, I’ll tell you that!” answered Jeff. “I’ll say that every card I owned was earned through hard work!”

He paused.

“I grew up landlocked in a very small town – telling you the name would be pointless, because the chances that you’ve heard of it are infinitesimally small. My family lived thirty miles from the nearest shopping mall – and the town had no pizza delivery places, or McED’s.

“I learned about Duel Monsters over the internet, and even though I had few means to get cards, I resigned to build a deck, no matter how long it took. So whenever my town got visitors, I asked them if they were acquainted with the game, and if they were, I bargained and traded for cards, making a collection bit by bit… It took two years to get a good theme.

“And when I got it, I left to find challenges. And I found them…

“And once I get to the Thousand Year Door, the biggest challenge of all will start!”

He paused.

“It’s still my turn, and you’re gonna see my ultimate combo now!”

He tapped his Disk.

“First, I activate Valkyrion’s special ability! By sacrificing him, I can bring the three Magnet Warriors back from the Graveyard!”

Valkyrion vanished, and the three Magnet Warriors reappeared.

“Next,” continued Jeff, placing a card into a slot, “I play Monster Reborn, to bring back the Valkyrion that I just sacrificed!”

The holy ankh appeared, and Valkyrion materialized next to the three lesser Warriors. Francesca gulped.

Jeff placed a card down on his Disk.

“Finally,” stated Jeff, “I’ll sacrifice the three Magnet Warriors again… to summon a second Valkyrion!”

The three Warriors flew to pieces again, and formed into another giant Magna Warrior! (3,500/3,850) –> (3,700/4,050)

“TWO Valkyrions?” exclaimed Stan. “Oh, man, Fran is doomed.”

“Valkyrion #1!” shouted Jeff, “attack her Chain Master!”

The first Valkyrion flew forward, striking Chain Master with his sword and cutting her in half!

“Valkyrion #2, attack Command Knight!”

The second Magna Warrior flew forward, and struck Command Knight. She burst into flames.

“Your move, Fran,” said Jeff with a smile. “But next round, I’ll be able to attack you directly… and it won’t be pleasant…”

Francesca’s hand shivered as she drew…

She looked at the card.

“I play my own Pot of Greed!” she announced, playing the card.

The Pot appeared, and handed her two cards.

Hmm, she thought, looking at them. This might work… if I’m lucky…

“Okay Jeff,” she said, sounding more confident. “I’ll summon my second Amazoness Paladin in Defense Mode.”

She placed a card down, and another Paladin appeared, kneeling in Defense. (1,700/300) –> (1,800/300)

“Then I’ll place two cards facedown, and that will end my turn.”

She threw the cards into slots, and they appeared behind Amazoness Paladin.

“Heh, heh,” chuckled Jeff. “I’m not stupid, Fran. “I’m not about to risk both my Magna Warriors, and I don’t have to.”

He drew.

“On the off chance that one of those cards is a Mirror Force, I’ll move one of my Valkyrions to Defense Mode…”

He turned a card, and one of his Magna Warriors knelt.

“Now, my other Valkyrion, ATTACK!”

Valkyrion flew forward.

“That’s just what I wanted you to do,” chuckled Fran. “By attacking, you activated both of my Traps!”

Her cards lifted.

“First, Waboku, stopping your Valkyrion dead in his tracks!”

The three robed priestesses appeared, halting Valkyrion’s advance.

“Second,” continued Francesca, “you activated a little number called A Hero Emerges!”

The card lifted, showing an image of Zombyra the Dark flying out of a portal.

Fran’s four cards floated out of her hands, and lined up in front of her face.

“Let me explain how this works, Jeff,” she said. “You have to choose one card from my hand. If it’s a Monster Card, I get to summon it right now. If it’s a Magic or Trap Card, I have to discard it.”

“All right…” muttered Jeff. “Uhm…”

He looked at the cards.

“The one on the far right,” he said.

“Really?” said Francesca, with a smile.

The card flipped around.

It was Penumbral Soldier Lady.

“Too bad,” she chuckled.

The card placed itself on her Disk, and Penumbral Soldier Lady appeared, holding her sword aloft! (2,100/1,400)

“So how it that going to help you?” asked Jeff. “She can’t beat my Magna Warriors…”

“Well it’s my turn now,” said Fran, drawing.

She looked at the card.

“First I’ll summon my second Amazoness Fighter in Attack Mode!” she exclaimed.

She put a card down, and another Amazoness Fighter appeared. (1,500/1,300)

Amazoness Paladin’s Attack went up to 1,900.

“Now I’ll shift my Paladin into Attack Mode…” she continued.

She turned the card, and Paladin got up, ready to attack.

“And now…” said Francesca, grinning.

She took a card from her hand. She fit it into a slot…

“…I’ll Equip my Paladin with Burning Soul Sword!”

Amazoness Paladin’s normal sword vanished, and was replaced by a much larger blade, made of red metal and shaped in a way that resembled fire. She held it menacingly…

“Burning Soul Sword?” asked Jeff. “What the heck is that?”

“Allow me to explain,” said Francesca with a smile. “To Equip a Warrior with Burning Soul Sword, I have to sacrifice another Monster – and then, the Warrior holding the Sword has its Attack Score increased by the Attack Score of the sacrificed Monster!

“So, I’m sacrificing my Penumbral Soldier Lady!”

Penumbral Soldier Lady vanished into flames, and the flames flowed into the Burning Soul Sword! Amazoness Paladin’s skin and clothing turned metallic and golden, and her Attack Score rose to 4,000!

“Amazoness Paladin,” shouted Francesca, “attack his Valkyrion with flaming soul!”

Amazoness Paladin let out an ear-splitting war-cry, and charged at Valkyrion! She sliced the Magna Warrior in twain, and he shattered!

Jeff’s Life Points fell to 5,300.

Everyone in the crowd applauded!

“YES!” shouted Andy.

“GO! GO!” cheered Stan.

For the first time all duel, Jeff looked worried. He drew.

“I’ll summon a second Gamma the Magnet Warrior in Defense Mode,” he said, placing a card down.

Another Gamma appeared, and knelt. (1,500/1,800) –> (1,700/2,000)

“You might be able to destroy him,” he dared, “but your Paladin is still 51 points too weak to crack my other Valkyrion’s Defense Score.”

Francesca drew.

“Is he now?” she said, snidely.

She put a card down.

“I summon Amazoness Priestess in Attack Mode!”

The beautiful female Spellcaster wearing her long skirt and leather bikini top, carrying her staff topped with a crystal appeared. (1,500/1,500)

“Because I have three Amazons in my Graveyard,” said Francesca, “her Attack rises to 1,800 – and since she’s now on the field, my Paladin gains another 100 Attack Points!”

Jeff gasped!

“Paladin, take out the other one!” shouted Francesca.

Amazoness Paladin charged forth, and struck down the second Valkyrion.

I’ve got to stall until I get the right card… thought Jeff.



Continued...

Dark Sage
10th July 2005, 08:07 AM
Continued from last post:



He drew.

This isn’t it!

“I’ll summon a second Beta in Defense Mode!” he muttered, putting a card down.

Another Beta appeared, kneeling in Defense. (1,700/1,600) –> (1,900/1,800)

Fran drew.

“Paladin, destroy Gamma!” she exclaimed.

The super-Paladin leapt forth and smashed Gamma to bits.

“This is getting boring…” muttered Fran.

Jeff drew again.

“Boring?” he said with a smile. “Well, it’s about to get hotter. You may not know this, but Valkyrion isn’t the only secret that the three Magnet Warriors hold inside them…

“I’ll shift Beta into Attack Mode…” he said, turning the card.

Beta moved into Attack position.

“Then I’ll summon my second Alpha in Attack Mode!”

He put a card down, and another Alpha the Magnet Warrior appeared. (1,400/1,700) –> (1,600/1,900)

“Then,” he said, placing a card into a slot, “I’ll play Premature Burial, bringing back one of my Valkyrions!”

His Life Points fell to 4,500, and Valkyrion rose out of the ground. (3,500/3,850) –> (3,700/4,050)

“And now I’ll activate his special ability, reviving three more Magnet Warriors!”

Valkyrion and the Premature Burial vanished, and another Alpha, Beta, and Gamma appeared. Now, five Magnet Warriors faced Francesca.

Jeff slid a card into a slot.

“Now I’ll combine them again in a different way…” he said. “I play… Polymerization!”

The card appeared on the field, and a vortex opened. Alpha, Beta, and Gamma were sucked into the portal!

“What the…” gasped Stan. “They have a Fusion too?”

A large shape stepped out of the portal. It looked like a muscular, metal, bald creature with seamless, golden skin.

“Presenting,” exclaimed Jeff, “MAGNET WARRIOR OMEGA!”

(2,200/2,800) –> (2,400/3,000)

“That’s weak for a Fusion of three Monsters!” commented Francesca.

“True,” agreed Jeff. “But he has a powerful effect – just by being summoned, he destroys the most powerful opposing Monster on the field!”

Amazoness Paladin screamed, and burst into pixels!

“Now, Beta,” ordered Jeff, “attack her Amazoness Fighter!”

Beta shot forth his magnetic pulse, and Amazoness Fighter was blown to shards.

Amazoness Priestess’s Attack Score rose to 2,000, but she looked frightened…

“I may not be able to attack with Omega this round,” chuckled Jeff, but next round, you are toast!”

“Make your move…”

Fran paused for a minute…

Then she suddenly remembered something…

She drew. She looked at the very beautiful Monster on the card she had drawn.

I’ll save this, she thought.

“I pass,” she said, “there’s nothing I can do…”

“Then I draw…” said Jeff.

He drew and looked at the card.

“I’ll summon my third and final Gamma in Attack Mode!” he exclaimed.

He put the card down, and yet another Gamma appeared. (1,500/1,800) –> (1,700/2,000)

NO! thought Francesca. If he summons a third Valkyrion, I’m finished!

“Now,” said Jeff with a grin, “Alpha, Beta, Gamma, and Omega are all ready to finish you off! Magnet Warrior Omega, attack her Priestess with polar wave blast!”

Omega’s hands crackled with electricity…

“Hold it, pal!” shouted Francesca. “You forgot all about the Trap Card I set after I summoned my first Amazoness Fighter!”

The card that had been lying on the field unused during the whole duel started to lift…

“Activate Amazoness Archers!”

A squad of female archers appeared and fired a blizzard of arrows at the five Magnet Warriors!

“Heh, heh,” laughed Francesca, “now, their Attack Scores will all be reduced by 500…”

Omega dropped to 1,900 Attack, Alpha dropped to 1,100, Beta to 1,400, and Gamma to 1,200.

“AND…” continued Francesca, “the poison will infuriate them and force them to attack!”

The five Monsters flew at Amazoness Priestess! She fired five blasts from her staff, and blew them all to dust!

Jeff gasped, as his Life Points fell to 2,100.

The crowd let out a rousing cheer!

Jeff sighed.

“Fine,” he said. “Then just finish it and be done with it…”

Francesca drew.

“You don’t get off that easy Jeff!” she said with a smile. “You tried to finish me with mega-powerful Monsters… So I’m going to finish you with one!”

“Huh?” stammered Jeff.

Fran fit a card into her slot.

“I’ll play Monster Reborn, to bring back Amazoness Fighter!” she exclaimed.

The card revealed itself, and Amazoness Fighter appeared on the ankh.

“Now,” said Francesca, with a great look of triumph, “I’ll sacrifice her and Amazoness Priestess…”

Light struck her two Amazons, and they were consumed…

“To summon the mightiest creature in my deck!”

Lights fell down from the heavens, and beautiful music started playing…

“What on earth has she summoned?” gasped Andy.

“I don’t think ‘on Earth’ is the correct term…” whispered Stan.

A huge, female form floated down. The gorgeous female was dressed in a silvery gown, had golden feathered wings, and an aura of light surrounded her that shone with holy power…



http://www.itstimetoduel.com/cardpictures/IOC-087.jpg


“Let’s have a warm Monster Island welcome,” exclaimed Francesca, “for Guardian Angel Joan!”

(2,800/2,000)

“No way…” said an onlooker.

“She has a…” gasped another.

Jeff gaped.

“Joan is one of the most powerful female Monsters in existence!” proclaimed Francesca. “The Amazon tribe worships her as their goddess!”

“Fancy that…” gulped Jeff.

“Go, Joan!” shouted Francesca. “Finish him off with searing light of Heaven attack!”

Guardian Angel Joan formed a ball of pure light in her hands, and hurled it at Jeff! He screamed, and fell over.

The duel was over.



[B]* * * * * * * * * *


Wow, Guardian Angel Joan! thought Crump, getting excited.

Well, I’ve got plenty of information on Francesca… these notes should be more than enough to…

“That’s him!” shouted a female voice behind him. “He’s the one!”

Before Crump could turn around, a strong arm grabbed him!

He was staring in the face of a six-foot-five man who looked like he was all muscle. Tattoos covered his powerful biceps – and he was furious.

Behind him was the clown-girl who he had shot.

“He’s the one who zapped me!” she cried.

“Uh…” stuttered Crump.

The muscleman lifted him off the ground to eye-level.

“Why did youse hurt my wife?” he snarled.

“Your wife?” squeaked Crump, in panic. “Well I uh… um… buh…”

He paused.

“I uh… temporary insanity?”

The angry husband carried him towards the back of a tent…

“Look…” stuttered Crump, “can’t we just discuss this like mature adults?”

Angry sounds of punches being landed and cries of pain came from behind the tent, terminating in a loud crash.

The muscleman came out and went up to his wife.

“He won’t bother you no more,” he assured her.



[B]* * * * * * * * * *


“Well, you won,” said Jeff, resigned. “So you deserve this…”

He handed over one of his Crystal Cards.

“But I’m not going to give up!” he exclaimed. “I’m going to keep going – and I’m going to reach the Thousand Year Door yet!”

“That’s the spirit!” said Francesca, giving a thumbs up. “Hope to see you again!”

So now I have five, she thought, adding the card to her other four. I’m getting there…

The crowd had wandered away, and the carnival had gotten back to the usual business.

“So Fran,” chuckled Andy, “tell me… were you really once afraid of Elvis impersonators?”

“Just the ones who imitated the ‘older Elvis’,” she responded. “They creeped me out. So, maybe we should think about leaving this dumb place…”



[B]* * * * * * * * * *


Unbeknownst to any of them, Crump (who was right now lying unconscious in a garbage can) wasn’t the only one who had been watching them.

The performer who had called himself Marv the Mad Magician had also taken an interest in Francesca.

That girl… she thought. Can she be…

He walked into a tent. Inside was a painting on the wall…

It showed a female warrior bravely fending off a horde of shadowy demons – the heroine in the painting seemed to be a light in a sea of darkness…

And she looked just like Francesca.

Yes… thought Marv. She is the one… The prophesies were true!

He pulled out a deck, and took out a card.

This Francesca… he thought. She must be the one whom I’m supposed to give this to. Well, not give it to. My father told me that this thing can’t be given as a gift… it can only be won.

Well then… It’s time for Marv the Mad Magician to put on a show…



THE GIRDLE OF HIPPOLYTA

Card Specs

Type: Magic/Equip
Attribute: –
Level: –
ATK: –
DEF: –

Card Description: Image of a golden belt etched with runes. This card can be Equipped to any Monster with the word “Amazoness” in its name, or who is named “Amazon Archer”. Increase the ATK of the Equipped Monster by 800.



BURNING SOUL SWORD (Magic Card)

Card Specs

Type: Magic/Equip
Attribute: –
Level: –
ATK: –
DEF: –

Card Description: Image of a fancy sword in a bonfire. You can equip this card to any WARRIOR-Type Monster. Offer one face-up Monster on your side of the field (other than the equipped Monster) as a Tribute, and increase the ATK of the Equipped Monster by the original ATK of the Monster used as Tribute.


Note: “Burning Soul Sword” was first used by Joey in the anime episode “Courtroom Chaos (Part Two)”. All creative credit goes to the creators of that episode.


MAGNET WARRIOR OMEGA (Monster Card)

Card Specs

Type: Rock/Fusion/Effect
Attribute: Earth
Level: 7
ATK: 2,200
DEF: 2,800

Card Description: Alpha the Magnet Warrior + Beta the Magnet Warrior + Gamma the Magnet Warrior

This Monster can only be summoned via Fusion by using the above named Fusion Material Monsters. When this Monster is successfully summoned, destroy the opposing face-up Monster with the highest ATK.



[I][color=blue]Before you ask, “Silent Magician Lv. 4” and “Silent Magician Lv. 8” are real cards which will be included with the upcoming Yu-Gi-Oh! video game “Nightmare Troubadour”. If the game isn’t out by the time Stan actually uses them, you’ll see what they do when he does.

Coming up next…

Francesca barely has time to relax after her duel with Jeff, when she is challenged by Marv the Mad Magician! And his strategy may be something she’ll have trouble with! And what secrets is he hiding?

Also, if you think Amazoness Priestess was cool, Francesca has another never-before-seen Amazon in her deck who’s even cooler! Who is she, you may ask?

Find out both answers, in “Battle in the Big Top”, coming soon…

Dark Sage
10th July 2005, 08:35 AM
Before I sign off, I'd like to say that I have restored Shuppet Master's fanfic, "Yu-Gi-Oh Junior: Sister of Anansi" to its former status. I'd like to recommend his work, being a spinoff of my work. It isn't half bad.

- Dark Sage

Master of Paradox
10th July 2005, 10:47 AM
First of all, a minor spelling nitpick. When Jeff says, "I resigned to build a deck...", the word "resigned" should probably have been "resolved".

Other than that, this is a much better step up from the last couple of chapters. It helps tremendously that Jeff isn't nearly as annoying as Tyson or Raven were - in fact, his history reminds me a little of myself, now that I think about it. And the use of Magnet Warriors as the heart of a deck theme is a new one to me.

In addition, Crump once again provided a genuinely amusing bit of comic relief. And given that we all hate clowns...

Two problems, though. First of all, Francesca went out-of-character near the end, unless she was always sadistic. She seems to have played Guardian Angel Joan for no reason other than to publicly humiliate Jeff ("You're not getting off that easy"? What did the poor guy do to her?).

Secondly, counting the next chapter, this makes twice we've had Francesca duel twice in a row. At this rate, we'll all be sick of the Amazons before Act 2 (much like we were all sick of the Archfiends by the end of "Mandate of Heaven").

Other than those relatively minor complaints, this was a good chapter, and a definite upshot from the previous two. I'm looking forward to future chapters.

Pokemasterkatie
10th July 2005, 10:48 AM
Yikes; Guardian Angel Joan! She can be deadly when used in the right deck, as Yugi Jr. can tell you.;) BTW, did anyone else get the strange urge to play Earthbound with all the Greek letters running around(I have a ROM myself...)?:p

The Magnet Warriors aren't the only monsters in this chapter whom Yugi's used...(MAJOR ANIME SPOILERS AHEAD!)
S
P
O
I
L
E
R
S:
Yugi-chan(not the Pharoah) will be using the Silent Magician cards in the final arc of the series. Fits his personality quite well, don't you think?:)

starjake
10th July 2005, 12:44 PM
The Magnet Warriors, hmm? How interesting...when played right, they can be deadly, and Valkyrion has stats up there with Gate Guardian and Perfectly Ultimate Great Moth!

I have no idea what Marv's deck could be. Spellcasters? Too easy...plus, Stan's already got that area covered. Clown Control? Maybe...who knows?

I await the next chapter!

Shuppet Master
10th July 2005, 12:56 PM
First off, Brian, Paradox is right, don't give all the duels to Fran. Even though she's my favorite of the characters(Andy's my second because I love dragon cards), you should give some screen time to Andy and Stan too.

Wario World, huh? That was the shortest Wario game I've ever played. I'm not into games based on Mario's twisted twin, but Warioware is very popular. :D

And I have a feeling I know what card Marv the Magician is going to give Fran after she wins. Oops, I mean, IF she wins. :)

Nice work, keep it up. That nightmare Stan had sort of made his loss even more devastating.

Dark Sage
10th July 2005, 01:22 PM
Don't worry people, after the next chapter, Fran will not duel again until Chapter Nineteen (and even then it will be a special duel). The others will get their fair share.

- DS

The Blue Avenger
10th July 2005, 04:43 PM
Hehe, cool. I loved this chapter for obvious reasons, but even if this wasn't my user character, I still would have enjoyed it. Francesca's fear of Elvis impersonators... heh, I can understand that. Marv's knowledge test at the beginning was interesting as well - I bet he uses Fairies (wasn't there a magician named Marvin in Pokemon that used Exeggcute?).

But yeah, you nailed the character to a tee. Strangely enough, even though I wasn't trying to model the character after myself, 'tragically' does pretty much describe how I dress. X_x The new Magnet card was cool, and certainly not what I would have expected.

Looking forward to the next chapter!

Zcade0
10th July 2005, 06:28 PM
Ya his name was marvin methinks He hypnotized ash... :mad:

Seeing the cards he used earlier for the contest maybe he has cards with effects that change their attacks (lame theroy sorry)

(p.s. blue avenger it s'ok I only played 2 yoshi games and they both had baby mario)

Mystic_clown
10th July 2005, 08:28 PM
Nice chapter dude. Yeah, I think Marv's deck would either be filled with spellcasters or fairies. Wait a moment. Since he's a magician, maybe his deck is mainly built up of magic cards (kinda like Mai's during Duelist Kingdom). I'll be waiting for the next one *waits patiently*

Shuppet Master
11th July 2005, 09:19 AM
Yes, I remember Marvin the Magician frmo the first series of Pokemon. He helped Ash's Charmander burn a clan of Exeggutor and then Ash's Charmander evolved into the unruly Charmeleon, which was sad because Charmeleon is a cool-looking Pokemon; they should have givien it more screentime before evolving it.. Not to say that Charizard's not cool. :wink:

Pokemasterkatie
11th July 2005, 02:26 PM
Uh guys, his name was MELVIN.^_^; And I agree wholeheartedly with Shuppet Master--Ash's Charmeleon should've been given a little more screentime before evolving. Oh well; that's the way the cookie crumbles sometimes, especially if the Pokémon responsible for Charmeleon's breathtaking evolution is the previously thought extinct carnivore Aerodactyl(who was ready to separate the main character's head from his body;))!

Zcade0
11th July 2005, 04:15 PM
Sorry I haven't seen that one in a while

The magic card thing sounds cool and it's possible also .....

Dark Sage
11th July 2005, 04:30 PM
[B][I]Deep in the Palace of Shadow, an infamous villain lurks, waiting to prey on one of the Shadow Queen’s three foes. Once he was human, but his evil scheme left him a bodiless phantom, and his only salvation is to steal the body of another…

Who is this fiend? He’s one of five… And which of the five is up to you!



[B]THE BIG FIVE



If you work for a living, you probably don’t like your boss.

But what you probably don’t realize is, your boss probably doesn’t like his boss; and that guy likely doesn’t like his boss. Nearly everyone has a boss whom he doesn’t like…

Unless you’re a guy like Seto Kaiba. As the Chief Executive Officer of his own company, he’s the top of the ladder, and doesn’t answer to anybody…

Not that he doesn’t have problems in KaibaCorp. His biggest problem, company-wise, was his original board of directors.

Better known as the Big Five.

See, the Big Five never liked their boss, for various reasons. They plotted to take over the company, first by allying themselves with Pegasus. But that plan failed when Yugi defeated Pegasus.

When a furious Kaiba found out about their betrayal, the Big Five had another plan – they tricked Kaiba into testing his virtual reality pod, which they had booby trapped. But Yugi, Joey, Mai, and Mokuba came to his rescue, and when the Big Five entered the Virtual World themselves, taking the form of the five-headed Mythic Dragon, Yugi and Kaiba defeated them, trapping their minds in cyberspace.

But that wasn’t the end of them. The Big Five came back in a big way, teaming up with Noah, the true son of their former boss Gozaburo Kaiba. Having spent so long in cyberspace, the corporate tycoons’ true bodies had been destroyed – but Noah promised them that they could defeat Yugi, Seto, and their allies in Duel Monsters (using a special system called a Deckmaster system) they could seize the bodies of their fallen foes. So a trap was set, and Yugi, Kaiba, Joey, Tea, Tristan, Duke, and Serenity were drawn into a Virtual Nightmare…

Where dueling like never before occurred…

To better understand the Big Five, let’s take a look at them individually…


[U]Gansley: The former vice president of KaibaCorp, Gansley was NOT the type of boss you’d ever want to work for. He was a corrupt tycoon who knew every sleazy business trick in the book. He started from the bottom, but not honestly. He proudly told Yugi that the first business he owned was a distributor of frozen lemonade that started with one lemonade stand – which he stole from a neighbor.

More than likely, Gansley backstabbed a lot of people to get to the top. He valued power among everything, and thought that it could gain him anything. If someone got in his way, he could easily crush them.

He also thought of those lower than him as expendable. As a top executive, he had a very large workforce; so he thought nothing of firing an employee who had outlived his usefulness. In his opinion, there were always more where they came from. This was reflected by his choice of Deckmaster, Deepsea Warrior, whose ability required destroying his own Monsters to damage his opponent.

Being the ambitious man that he was, Gansley chose to challenge Yugi himself, and he gave the King of Games a serious run for his money… But like most of Yugi’s opponents, he underestimated him. Yugi taught Gansley a lesson that businessmen should know (but Gansley apparently didn’t) – don’t disregard the small folk, because they can topple men in power. Yugi proved this by combining his weak Kuriboh with a Magic Card called Rainbow Blessing, which completely ruined Gansley’s strategy and defeated him.



[U]Krump: Of all the Big Five, Krump, former head of accounting for KaibaCorp, almost had somewhat of a justification for his rage against Seto Kaiba. As a child, Krump was an only child, and his parents were unloving and neglectful. To occupy himself, he spent his time counting things… and as a result, became a whiz at math. One day, while counting books on the shelf, he found a book about penguins, and discovered, to his surprise, that mated penguins shared a close family system that was rare in animals (male and female penguins, for example, take turns keeping eggs warm). He grew up loving these Antarctic birds, and he dreamed of a career that would combine his love of them with his love of math.

When he climbed to the top of the accounting department of KaibaCorp, he thought of an idea that he believed would triple their profits – a penguin theme park. However, Kaiba shot down the idea, saying it had nothing to do with games. Thus, Krump’s anger is somewhat justified – but his means of expressing it were not.

In Noah’s Virtual Nightmare, Krump naturally took the form of Nightmare Penguin, and most of Monsters were penguins. He also had a lot of cards dealing with cold and snow. Noah assigned him to challenge Tea, and Krump eagerly accepted (if you watch the Japanese version, Krump was a downright pervert who made a lot of indecent remarks).

However, Krump made a crucial error. Being an accountant, he thought that facts, figures, and probability were the keys to winning a duel. He was wrong… Duel Monsters is more than that. In the end, Tea’s Heart proved far stronger than his, and she defeated him soundly.


[U]Johnson: Johnson was the legal expert of KaibaCorp, and he was the type of lawyer who symbolized the very reason that most people don’t like lawyers. Although he had never lost a case in his career, he rarely deserved to win. He’d use any method, no matter how sleazy, underhanded – or illegal – to make a jury agree with him.

Johnson chose to challenge Joey, and naturally took the form of Judge Man as a Deckmaster. Johnson chose Joey as a victim because he knew that Wheeler used a lot of cards that involved risk and luck – and Johnson knew how to use the virtual technology to control dice rolls and coin tosses. Why not cheat? He had done so in courts several times.

Due to his ability to tamper with every risk Joey made, Johnson probably would have defeated Joey if it weren’t for one thing – Noah would not tolerate cheating. Noah could not prove himself superior to Seto if his henchmen were as much scoundrels as he thought Seto to be. Noah interrupted the duel, and was about to end it in Joey’s favor. However, Joey offered to let Johnson continue, so long as he didn’t cheat any longer – this puzzled Noah, but he agreed. (Apparently, Joey didn’t like the idea of a duel victory being given to him for free.)

Joey played one final card that involved a gamble, and in doing so, defeated Johnson at his own game – tricking him into believing that a bluff was the truth. Unlike most trials that Johnson attended, fair play prevailed in this one.



[U]Nezbitt: When Gozaburo Kaiba ran KaibaCorp, it was a military company. Nezbitt, the head of research and development, loved his work back then – designing and building weapons of war was his greatest joy.

But Seto would have none of his adoptive father’s legacy. While he loved dueling, he hated true weapons, and turned KaibaCorp into a more benign gaming company. Once he did that, he destroyed all the weapons Gozaburo had created – as well as Nezbitt’s research lab. He told Nezbitt that if he couldn’t adjust, he could find a new job.

Anger grew in Nezbitt. He tried to adjust, programming video games and other recreational software… and hating every minute of it. He was only too happy to try to bring Kaiba down, in hopes that KaibaCorp could be restored to what it once was.

Nezbitt took the form of a Machine Monster called Robotic Knight, and that wasn’t the only way he was like a machine – he seemingly had no soul. He purposely targeted Duke, Tristan, and Serenity, because he knew they were amateurs in dueling and would be easily defeated. But he had one quality that machines don’t have – machines know no fear, and like most bullies, he was a coward. He intentionally tried to take out Serenity first, hoping to pick off the weakest first. (Noah didn’t like Nezbitt much – he called him a “scared little man”.)

Fortunately, Nezbitt didn’t understand things like friendship and loyalty too well. Just when he was about to deliver the killing blow to Serenity, Tristan sacrificed his Deckmaster to protect her, purposely losing.

Fortunately, Tristan’s noble sacrifice was not in vain. Serenity gained a boost of confidence from it, and eventually remembered the crash course in dueling that Tristan had given her when he was taking her to Battle City. With that faith and knowledge, she managed to summon the powerful St. Joan. Then, thanks to the Monster and Trap Card that Tristan had left behind (which Duke activated with his own Deckmaster’s ability), St. Joan became just strong enough to wipe out Nezbitt, sparing Serenity and Duke from Tristan’s fate.



[U]Leichter: Acting as the leader of the Big Five, Leichter’s hatred for Seto Kaiba knew no bounds. As Gozaburo’s right-hand man he thought he was next in line to take over KaibaCorp when Gozaburo retired. (He was likely wrong.)

When Gozaburo finished educating his adoptive son, he decided to test him. He gave him a small fortune in money (the equivalent of ten million U.S. dollars) as a loan. Seto would have one year to turn it into one-hundred million – if he managed to do so, he would earn the right to be Gozaburo’s son. Leichter was the only one allowed to help him.

Seto was crafty, and didn’t need one year – with a clever plan, he accomplished it in one day. Leichter felt that he deserved most of the credit, but in truth, it was almost all Seto’s idea. As far as Seto was concerned, Leichter was only good for doing what he was told to do.

When Noah recruited them, Leichter insisted on dueling Kaiba himself, and used one of the most deadly Deckmasters – Jinzo! His deck was both Beatdown and Control, with such deadly Monsters as Satellite Cannon and Injection Fairy Lily. However, Leichter forgot one important thing about dueling – unless your name is Yugi Mouto, challenging Seto Kaiba is a good way to lose.


What happened to the Big Five? Using Tristan’s stolen body (they thought), all five of them dueled Yugi and Joey. Using a combination of all five of their decks, starting with double the normal amount of Life Points, having use of five Deckmasters, and even being able to summon the Five God Dragon, they thought they were unstoppable…

They weren’t. They lost.

In the end, Noah was so disgusted with them that he shoved them out of his sight for good, throwing them each into a separate corner of his virtual world. Presumably, when the virtual world was destroyed, they were destroyed forever.



Now, you may ask, what does this have to do with our story? Well, in Act Two, the evil Shadow Queen will use a ritual that will bring back one of the Big Five to duel one of the heroes… but only one…

Which one will it be?

All registered members who read this fic, I’m asking you to vote! Even if you don’t normally respond, vote anyway!

And if you’re lucky, you might find your favorite virtual villain going up against Stan, Andy, or Francesca in the future.

This poll will run until August 10th – you have thirty days to decide.

Don’t delay…


- Dark Sage

The_Missing_Link
11th July 2005, 08:00 PM
I'm voting for Leichter cause I thought he was a very interesting character. I liked his deck a lot and why not revive the leader himself? I thought the others were boring and Shuppet Master is using Krump's descendent in his fic so we're seeing most of the same deck


btw, when is fic set? Is it way before Yugi Jr. or close to it?

Dark Sage
11th July 2005, 08:13 PM
As I said before the first chapter, this story is set shortly after the Doma Arc. So it is long before the events of Yu-Gi-Oh Junior.

Shuppet Master
11th July 2005, 09:22 PM
I'm voting for Johnson because Johnson was probably my favorite of the five(and he dueled Joey, which was a plus). Johnson was a guy who loved to cheat and bend the rules for his benefit. He even defied Noah a bit by screwing around with the rules so that all of Joey's cards came up snake-eyes. Anyone who can make Noah PO'ed enough to pop up and threaten to terminate the duel was interesting in my book.

And his law puns were classic. :D

Dark Sage
12th July 2005, 01:13 PM
Well, I was getting restless, so I thought I'd submit the next chapter.

Before you start asking questions abouts Marv's deck and how it fits into the anime world, remember that A) this story is not necessarily in the same world as my earlier fics, and B) there is more to Marv than meets the eye.

With that in mind, enjoy!

- Dark Sage

Dark Sage
12th July 2005, 01:17 PM
[I][color=pink]When you start a duel, you have to analyze your enemy… Duelists usually have themes, and by learning them, you can attempt to think up strategies to counter them.

The only problem comes when you encounter strange themes that you’ve never seen before. “Strange” doesn’t mean “ineffective”. In fact, the more unusual something is, the more deadly it likely is.

It’s human nature to fear the unusual.

The guy I’m facing right now – he has a theme that is used by a famous duelist. But it isn’t a very popular theme. So basically, I’m a Stranger in a Strange Land…

Or should I say a Strange World?




[size=3]CHAPTER FOURTEEN



Battle in the Big Top



It was eleven AM, still early.

In the middle of the Wonky Circus, the three teenagers were sitting on a bench, looking at a map.

“So where to now?” asked Francesca.

“Well, I guess the closest place to go to now is… Twilight Town…” muttered Stan.

“Well, I’m not scared just because it has a creepy name,” stated Andy. “And we promise, Stan, the next duelist we meet is yours.”

“Well, we’ll just have to…” started Stan.

Then a cloud of purple smoke started to appear in front of them.

“Wha…?” said Stan, startled.

A coughing was heard, and Marv the Mad Magician appeared from out of the cloud.

“Oof!” he choked. “I wish they’d invent smokeless magic! Hello folks!”

“Uh, hi…” said Stan. “Thanks for the cards by the way.”

“You earned them, sport!” laughed Marv. “But now I have an offer for Francesca!”

“ME?” asked Francesca, surprised.

“Yessir!” exclaimed Marv. “I’m putting on an exhibition duel in the big top in fifteen minutes, but my assistant quit. The ingrate… I want you to take his place…”

He paused.

“Win, and you’ll win a card even rarer and more powerful than those cards that Stan won!”

“Uh…” muttered Fran. “Why me?”

“I saw you duel that guy with the Magnet Warriors,” he replied. “I think it would make a good show…”

She looked at him strangely.

“Give me a minute…” she said.

She, Stan, and Andy went into a huddle.

“This might be risky, Fran,” warned Andy. “This guy might be working for the Shadow Queen for all we know…”

“And he’s pretty weird…” muttered Stan. “And don’t forget, we saw him summon a Monster with 5,000 Attack…”

“Yeah, but he drew those cards on purpose,” reminded Francesca. “A rare and powerful card… it’s tempting…”

She turned to Marv.

“Two questions,” she stated.

“Shoot,” answered Marv.

“First, what is this card?”

“Can’t tell you that,” answered Marv. “But trust me, it’s something that would add firepower to practically ANY deck.”

Francesca rubbed her chin.

“Second,” she asked, “what happens if I lose?”

“Then you’ll only get a smaller consolation prize for your efforts,” answered Marv. “And that one I can show you…”

He pulled a card out of his coat…

It was a Monster Card called Sacred Phoenix of Nephthys.

Fran was shocked. She had heard of Sacred Phoenix of Nephthys; it didn’t exactly fit her deck, and she wasn’t exactly sure of what it did, but she did know that it was incredibly rare.

If this was the consolation prize, what on earth would she get if she won?

“Okay, Marv, you’re on!” she said with a grin.

“Great!” he exclaimed. “We’re on in ten minutes… its showtime!”



* * * * * * * * * *


Meanwhile, the Shadow Queen was beside herself with anger. Her crystal ball had gone on the blink again shortly after Francesca’s duel with Jeff.

“OOH!” she cursed as she pounded on it.

She sighed.

“Is there some higher force at work?”

She picked up her cell phone and dialed Crump’s number.

A message was the response: [B]”The extension you have dialed is no longer in service. Please make sure you have dialed correctly.”

“What the…?” she said in surprise.

She dialed another number.

“Yes my liege?” said a voice.

“Sir Grodus,” said the Queen. “I need you to find Crump – I have the feeling he’s gotten into trouble again. Those kids might have even discovered him. He was last at the Wonky Circus.”

“Right away, my liege,” answered Grodus. “What should I do with him when I find him?”

“Find out what the problem is, report to me, and THEN I’ll decide what to do with him!” she replied.

“If those kids have forced anything out of that coward, he’s going to be sorry he was ever born!”


[B]
* * * * * * * * * *


Wow, thought Stan, as he sat back in a seat, déjà vu…

The main circus tent of the Wonky Circus was loaded with kids, most of them with their parents. It was a much different arena than the Glitz Pit – jugglers and clowns were providing the entertainment at the moment, as was the case in any circus.

“So,” mentioned Andy. “What sort of deck does a clown use?”

Stan thought for a minute.

“I have absolutely no idea, Andy,” he replied. “There are a lot of Monsters with a comical theme, but you really can’t expect to put them all together in a deck and have success with it…”

A ringmaster mounted a podium with a bullhorn.

“Ladies and gentlemen!” he shouted. “Children of all ages! We now present a special treat, courtesy of the tournament going on amidst Monster Island!

“Presenting, the baron of buffoonery, Marv the Mad Magician!”

Marv appeared, and the crown cheered.

“And his opponent for this special exhibition duel, a contestant who already has five Crystal Cards to her name, Francesca Benedict!”

Francesca walked up to the podium, as did Marv, and the crowd cheered again. The ringmaster hopped down.

Marv produced a deck, and placed it on the podium.

“Well Fran,” he stated, “let’s shuffle and cut!”

He started to shuffle his deck like a blackjack dealer.

“Marv, you could damage your cards that way…” warned Fran.

“Hee, hee,” chuckled Marv. “Don’t worry… I’m used to shuffling like this.”

He loaded the deck into his Disk.

“Let the show begin!” he announced.

The podium sank into the floor, and the two backed up…

The holo-imagers shot out, and the Disks snapped into position.

“It’s time to duel, as everyone is so fond of saying!” laughed Marv. “The first move goes to our guest…”

Fran drew her six cards.

Amazing! she thought. This is the best opening draw I’ve had in weeks!

She put a card down.

“I’ll summon Amazoness Paladin in Attack Mode!” she shouted.

The general of the Amazons appeared, brandishing her sword. (1,700/300) –> (1,800/300)

“And now I’ll place this facedown,” she continued.

She slid a card into a slot, and a facedown card appeared.

As soon as he attacks, my Amazoness Archers Trap will clear the field of whatever he summons… she thought.

Marv drew.

“Well, well…” he said. “Prepare Francesca…”

He held his hands up high.

“Prepare to enter a whole new world of dueling… a world of chaos… a world of mystical, magical mayhem!”

He threw a Magic Card into a slot…

BOING! WHIZ! POW!

[B]”A world of Toons!” he shouted.



http://www.itstimetoduel.com/cardpictures/SDP-024.jpg


A large green book appeared above the field, and opened, like a spooky children’s popup book. Magical energy coursed from it…

“Toon World?” gasped Francesca. “What the heck is that?”

“An important card in my deck,” chuckled Marv. “I’ve always admired Maximillion Pegasus… the creator of this game. So I decided to create a deck just like his!

“Playing this card costs me 1,000 Life Points…”

His Life Points fell to 7,000.

“…but it’s worth it, because now the creatures in my deck can achieve their full power!”

“This… doesn’t look good…” muttered Andy.

Marv placed a card down.

“Now I summon… Toon Gemini Elf in Attack Mode!”

Toon World slammed shut, and eldritch energy flowed from its covers! It opened again, and two sinister looking elves that seemed to be made of watercolor paint leapt out. (1,900/900)



http://www.itstimetoduel.com/cardpictures/DL6-EN001.jpg


“What on earth?” exclaimed Andy.

“They look kind of like my own Gemini Elf…” muttered Stan. “But creepier!”

Fran didn’t like the look of this creature…

“So,” she said nervously. “Are you going to attack, or what?”

“Can’t,” said Marv, with a shrug.

“What do you mean, ‘can’t’?” asked Francesca in surprise.

“Most Toon Monsters can’t attack on the same round in which they’re summoned,” explained Marv. “They’re rather powerful, so it’s a trade-off…”

He grinned.

“So make your move…”

Francesca’s hand shook as she drew. She really didn’t like the look of those elves…

She looked at the card. She added it to her hand.

“I’ll summon Amazoness Swords Woman in Attack Mode,” she said, placing another card down.

The scantly-clad Warrior-woman holding her huge sword appeared. A lot of catcalls came from the audience. (1,500/1,600)

Amazoness Paladin’s Attack went up to 1,900.

“That’s my turn,” she said.

My Amazoness Archers Trap is still on the field, she thought. It should be enough…

Marv drew.

“Get ready,” he said with a grin, “because here comes another resident of Toon World!”

He put a card down, and Toon World closed again. A flurry of ribbons and flowers spewed out…

“I summon Toon Masked Sorcerer in Attack Mode!” he exclaimed.

A twisted parody of Masked Sorcerer leapt out of the book. He had a big grin, and flowers in his clownish hair. (900/1,400)

“Now, Toon Gemini Elf… ATTACK!” he shouted.

The two elves locked elbows and leapt into the air…

“I activate… Amazoness Archers!” shouted Fran.

Her Trap lifted, and a squad of female fighters armed with bows appeared, peppering the two Toons with arrows!

“Now both of your Toons will lose 500 Attack Points,” she smiled, “and both will be forced to attack!”

“As you wish…” said Marv with a grin. “But with Toons, I don’t have to target your two Amazons…”

The Toon elves spun around in midair, and then kicked Francesca in the chest! She gasped and fell back.

The elves cackled as her Life Points fell to 6,600.

“How’d you do THAT?” exclaimed Fran. “I had Monsters on the field!”

“Toons don’t care about that!” laughed Marv. “They love twisting the rules! And my elves have an additional effect!”

Toon Gemini Elf laughed, and then snatched a card out Francesca’s hand! They stuffed it into her discard slot.

“And now…” continued Marv, “thanks to your Trap Card…”

Toon Masked Sorcerer chuckled a throaty laugh and cast forth a multicolored beam of energy, bypassing the two Amazons and striking Fran in the chest! Her Life Points fell further, to 6,200.

“And when he damages your Life Points, I get to draw one card…” said Marv, drawing.

The crowd cheered.

“Heh, heh, cartoons are so violent these days…” he chuckled.

“All right!” said one boy.

“Those Toons rock!” said another.

“I was right…” groaned Andy. “This isn’t good…”


[B]
* * * * * * * * * *


Grodus appeared in a beam of light in the middle of the Wonky Circus.

“All right Crump,” he muttered. “Where the heck are you… I know you’re around here somewhere…”

He heard a groan coming from behind a tent.

“That’s him,” sighed Grodus. “He sounds like that every time the Queen punishes him – and she’s going to do it again if he doesn’t have a damn good reason for this…”

He walked to the back of the tent and saw the henchman stuffed inside a garbage can, beaten to a pulp.

“CRUMP!” he shouted. “You mind telling me what happened here?”

Crump slowly started to come to…

“Ah heh, heh…” he muttered. “Um, this will make you laugh…”


[B]
* * * * * * * * * *


“My move now…” grunted Francesca.

She looked at her card.

“I summon my Amazoness Chain Master in Attack Mode!” she shouted.

She threw a card down, and the wild, white-haired Amazon with her bladed chain appeared. (1,500/1,300)



http://a248.e.akamai.net/f/248/5462/2h/everythingpokemon.safeshopper.com/images/bm0rwkrc.jpg


Amazoness Paladin’s Attack Score went up to 2,000.

“Time to send your cartoons back to the sketchpad!” she shouted. “Amazoness Paladin, attack Toon Gemini Elf!”

Amazoness Paladin raised her sword. The two elves screamed and tried to run, but she was too fast. With one swipe of her sword, they burst into a splatter of paint.

Marv grimaced. His Life Points fell to 6,900.

“Amazoness Swords Woman, take down his other Toon!” yelled Francesca.

Swords Woman raised her blade, and lashed out at Toon Masked Sorcerer! He burst into pieces… His guttural laugh echoed over the field before they disintegrated.

Marv’s Life Points fell to 6,300. He stepped back nervously…

“Amazoness Chain Master, attack his Life Points directly!”

Chain Master swung her chain, and hurled it forward, striking the Mad Magician! He gasped, and staggered back, his Life Points falling to 4,800.

The crowd cheered again.

“Hmm,” said Marv, picking up his hat. “Not bad. But this duel is far from over…”

“It’s your move, Toon-head,” muttered Fran.

Marv drew.

“I’ll play an old standard…” he chuckled, “Pot of Greed!”

He played the card, and the jar handed him two more cards.

“Well, this will work,” he said with a grin. “I’ll first play two cards facedown…”

He threw two cards into slots. Two cards appeared in front of him.

“…and now,” he continued, “I’ll summon Toon Goblin Attack Force, in Attack Mode!”



Continued...

Dark Sage
12th July 2005, 01:23 PM
Continued from last post:


He threw the card down, and more magical energy flew from Toon World. A green mist floated down, and small troop of goofy looking goblins holding big clubs appeared. They giggled wickedly. (2,300/0)



http://a248.e.akamai.net/f/248/5462/2h/everythingpokemon.safeshopper.com/images/b60wuug2.jpg


“And that will end my turn,” he said with a grin.

Francesca gulped…

If those Toon Goblins are anything like the other Toons, they’re gonna hit me for 2,300 points of damage on his next turn! she thought. I’d best draw something good…

She drew.

Well, talk about luck… she thought.

“Okay Marv…” she announced.

“Hold up, Fran!” he announced. “I’m activating both my facedown cards! First, Scapegoat!”

His first card lifted, and four fluffy, multicolored sheep appeared in front of him.

“Next,” he continued, “Gift of the Mystical Elf!”

His Trap Card lifted, and energy flowed from the four sheep, the Goblins and the three Amazons. His Life Points rose to 6,800.

“Oo-kay…” muttered Fran.

She placed a card into a slot.

“I’m Equipping my Paladin with The Girdle of Hippolyta!”

The golden belt appeared around Amazoness Paladin’s waist, and her Attack Score rose to 2,800.

Marv gasped.

“Paladin, take out his Goblins!” shouted Francesca.

Amazoness Paladin leapt into the air and Toon Goblin Attack Force screamed! She landed, and they blew to pieces!

Marv’s Life Points fell to 6,300.

“Swords Woman, Chain Master, take out two of his sheep!”

The two Amazons raised their weapons, and slashed at the little sheep. Two of them were vaporized.

The crowd cheered yet again!

“All right!” yelled a girl in back of Stan. “Her Amazons are kicking A!”

“Don’t you know it…” said Stan, with a smile.

Marv made a draw.

“Okay, girl…” he said. “First I’ll place this card facedown…”

He placed a card in a slot, and it appeared behind the goats.

“And you know there’s a funny thing about Toons – most of them aren’t Normal Summoned. They’re Special Summoned…”

“Your point being?” asked Francesca.

“The point is, since they’re Special Summoned, I can use Scapegoats as sacrifices to summon them!”

Fran gasped.

These Toons are full of surprises… she thought.

“So, I’ll sacrifice one Scapegoat,” he continued.

He put a card down and a sheep vanished.

“And I’ll summon one of my rarest Toons…”

Toon World started to glow with dark energy, and a girlish giggle ws heard. The book opened, and a form was spat out. It looked like a little girl dressed in a Halloween costume… Depicting Dark Magician Girl! (2,000/1,700)

No! thought Stan. A Toon Dark Magician Girl? How could they?



http://www.yugiohetc.com/images/toon%20black%20magician%20girl.jpg


“And guess what, Fran?” chuckled Marv. “This Toon doesn’t have to wait a turn before she can attack! But rather than have her attack you… Toon Dark Magician Girl, attack her Chain Master!”

Toon Dark Magician Girl waved her staff and fired and blast of what appeared to be streamers and confetti! Amazoness Chain Master gasped, and was consumed by it!

The Toon giggled madly. Francesca’s Life Points fell to 5,700. Also, Amazoness Paladin’s Attack went down to 2,700.

Francesca gave him a look.

“Sorry, Marv, but I’m on to you,” she said. “You wanted me to waste 1,500 Life Points to use her ability to take a Monster from your hand, right? Well I’m not going to do that – your Monsters are Toons, and I’m not even certain how to use them…”

“Well then,” said Marv with a shrug, your loss.

Secretly, however, Francesca had hit the nail on the head. Toons couldn’t attack an opponent directly if the opponent had Toons of his own on the field. And right now, the only Toon he had in his hand was pretty weak…

This girl is pretty smart, he thought. I can only hope she wins. I’m not allowed to throw this fight – the prize has to be earned. But if she is worthy, it will bring us one step closer…

…to ending the nightmare.


[B]
* * * * * * * * * *


“So,” said Grodus, angrily, “you zapped someone because you thought she was ‘annoying’, and then her husband found you and beat you up? Crump, what am I going to do with you?”

“How was I supposed to know she had a husband who weighed two-hundred pounds?” pleaded Crump.

“I wouldn’t want to be in your shoes when the Queen hears about this…” muttered Grodus.

“Wait!” begged Crump. “I’ve got good information…”

He fished his notebook out of the garbage can. It was somewhat dirty, but still in good shape.

“Here!” he exclaimed. “All the information you could need about Francesca! She’s got a lot of powerful cards!”

Grodus took it and looked through it.

“A Hero Emerges…” he read, “Burning Soul Sword… The Girdle of Hippolyta… Guardian Angel Joan?”

He drew back in surprise.

“This IS pretty useful!” he exclaimed.

He looked at Crump.

“Well…” he said. “This is worth something I guess… If you promise not to do anything else stupid, I’ll just tell the Queen that your cell phone got broken or something…”

“Uh, what’s the catch?” asked Crump.

“The catch is you have to take a shower, pal!” demanded Grodus.

“Right…” muttered Crump. “I’m on it.”

“And once you’re done with that, start following those brats again,” ordered Grodus. “They’re still in this circus, but they might leave soon.

“DON’T mess up again!”

He vanished.


[B]
* * * * * * * * * *


“It’s my draw, Marv!” exclaimed Fran.

She drew.

“Activate… Dust Tornado!” shouted the Mad Magician.

His Trap Card lifted, and a gust blew over the field. The Girdle on Amazoness Paladin’s waist crumbled.

Her Attack went back down to 1,900.

Francesca grimaced… but then she saw the card she had just drawn.

“I sacrifice my Swords Woman to summon Penumbral Soldier Lady!” she exclaimed.

She switched cards on her Disk, and Swords Woman shattered. Penumbral Soldier Lady arose. (2,100/1,400)

“Go!” yelled Francesca. “Take out that goofy Magician Girl!”

Penumbral Soldier Lady charged and struck Toon Dark Magician Girl! The Toon gasped and shattered into pixels.

Marv’s Life Points fell to 6,200.

“Paladin, destroy his last Scapegoat!” ordered Francesca.

Amazoness Paladin charged forward and cleaved the last sheep in half!

“Your move,” she said. “So what will you pull out of your bag of tricks now?”

Marv drew.

“What now, you ask?” he chuckled. “I’ll play this Magic Card! A little thing called Toon Table of Contents!”

He threw the card into a slot.

“What is that?” asked Francesca in surprise.

Toon World spun around and its pages flew. It stopped – naturally – on the table of contents. A card spat out, and Marv caught it.

“A useful card that lets me search my deck for any Toon-related card I please!” replied Marv.

“And now,” he said, fitting another card into a slot, “I’ll play Monster Reborn! To bring back my Toon Masked Sorcerer!”

The goofy Spellcaster reappeared. (900/1,400)

“And then,” said Marv, with a wicked grin, “I’ll sacrifice him to bring out my strongest Toon…”

He switched cards on his Disk…

Toon World opened again, and Toon Masked Sorcerer flew inside. The book slammed shut, and bolts of lightning flew from it…

Two claws appeared from inside the book, and it slowly opened. A huge form arose… the most frightening Toon yet. It seemed to be a bony demon of some sort, with horns and a skull-like face twisted in a hideous smile!

It looked at Francesca and made a hideously goofy face!

“Meet my [B]Toon Summoned Skull!” laughed Marv.

(2,500/1,200)



http://www.itstimetoduel.com/cardpictures/SDP-021.jpg


Stan gazed in amazement.

“That is the most hideous thing I have ever seen,” he said. “And coming from a duelist, that is saying a lot…”

“Good grief…” muttered Andy. “How is Fran gonna beat that thing?”

“Make your move, sunshine,” chuckled Marv.

Toon Summoned Skull grinned an evil grin.

Francesca’s hand shook as she drew.

She looked at Penumbral Soldier Lady…

Darn, she thought. You know, I really should look into getting one of those Scroll of Bewitchment cards that Stan has… if I could turn an opposing Monster into a Light Monster, she could take down almost anything…

“Uh…” she muttered, “I pass this turn…”

“FRANCESCA!” yelled Stan as the crowd gasped.

“As you wish, said Marv, drawing. “You know, this big guy comes with a handicap – I have to pay 500 Life Points for him to attack – but it’s a price I’m more than willing to pay! Toon Summoned Skull, attack her Life Points directly with lightning strike!”

His Life Points slipped to 5,700, and Toon Summoned Skull powered up. It shot forth a blast of powerful lightning bolts! Francesca screamed as they hit her!

As her Life Points fell to 3,200, she took gasping deep breaths…

“Are you done?” she sneered.

“Uh huh,” he said. “Your move…”

Fran reached for her deck.

This had better be something good, or he’ll just do that again! she thought.

She drew.

Her eyes narrowed.

“I’ll place a card facedown,” she said, “and end my turn…”

She fit a card into a slot, and it appeared behind her.

Marv drew.

Excellent, he thought. I have the three cards now that I can use later – if I need to… But for now…

“Toon Skull…” he ordered, “attack again!”

The Toon powered up its lightning…

“Not so fast!” responded Francesca. “I activate Waboku!”

Her Trap Card lifted, and the three priestesses appeared. The lightning bolts fizzled.

Marv frowned as his Life Points sank to 5,200.

“Well then,” he said, “I guess it’s your move…”

Fran drew.

“All right!” she shouted.

She placed a card on her Disk.

“I sacrifice my Amazoness Paladin…”

Paladin vanished.

“AND my Penumbral Soldier Lady…”

The Warrior of shadows vanished.

“To summon the almighty… Guardian Angel Joan!”

Beams of light cascaded down into the tent, and heavenly music started playing. The immense, lovely form of Joan descended on her golden wings! (2,800/2,000)

Toon Summoned Skull cringed in fear, but the audience in the tent was excited. They let out a cheer!

“Joan!” shouted Francesca. “Destroy that abomination with searing light of Heaven attack!”

A globe of light appeared in Joan’s hands, and she blasted it forward, vaporizing the demented Toon!

Marv’s Life Points fell to 4,900.

“And I’ve done more than just destroy your Monster,” said Fran with a grin. “When Guardian Angel Joan destroys an enemy Monster, I gain Life Points equal to the original Attack Score of the destroyed Monster… So I just gained 2,500 Life Points!”

Her Life Points rose to 5,700.

“Make your move,” she dared.

Marv drew…

“Take THIS,” he exclaimed. “Swords of Revealing Light!”

He threw a card into a slot, and the glowing Swords rained down on Francesca!

“Super…” she said.

“And now,” said Marv, taking another card, “I’m going to play a Magic Card – in fact, it’s the very card that you’re trying to win, Francesca…”

“Huh?” stated Francesca. “What is it?”

On one side, she was excited that she was going to see it – but on the other side, she was worried – it was likely powerful…

“I play a card called… Art Attack!” shouted Marv.

He fit the card into a slot, and the card appeared. It was a strange image, resembling a painting with Dark Magician Girl sitting as the Mona Lisa would.

“What does it do?” asked Francesca.

“I won’t say yet,” explained Marv. “In order for it to work, it has to remain on the field for three of your turns.

“Anyway, I end my turn.”

Fran drew.

Can’t attack with these Swords in the way, she thought, but I can still summon…

“I’ll summon my second Amazoness Swords Woman in Attack Mode!” she announced.

She put the card down, and another Swords Woman appeared.

“Make your move,” she said, nervously.

Marv drew.

“First,” he said, “I’ll play Dian Keto the Cure Master,” he stated.

He fit a card into a slot, and the god of healing appeared over him. His Life Points went up to 5,900.

“Now,” he continued, “I’ll summon Toon Mermaid in Attack Mode!”

He put a card down, and Toon World glowed again. A large clamshell with eyes on it emerged, and it slowly opened. A comical mermaid with a green hair and a sweet smile holding a bow and arrow appeared from inside it. (1,400/1,500)



http://www.itstimetoduel.com/cardpictures/SDP-023.jpg


Crud, another Toon… thought Fran.

She drew.

“I’ll have to pass this turn,” she sighed.

Marv drew.

“Okay, sunshine,” he said, “I’ll first place two cards facedown…”

He threw two cards into slots, and they materialized next to the Art Attack card.

“And now,” he said, “I’ll summon another Toon Gemini Elf in Attack Mode!”

He put his last card down, and the sinister Toon elves leapt out of Toon World! (1,900/900)

“And I’m not done yet!” he laughed. “Toon Mermaid, attack her Life Points directly!”

Marv’s Life Points fell to 4,400 as Toon Mermaid drew back her bow. She giggled, as she fired, striking Fran in the chest. She gasped and fell backwards.

Her life Points fell to 4,300.

She grunted as she struggled to stand.

“My move now…” she sneered.

Man, I’m taking a beating… she thought. Why did I agree to this?

She drew.

“I play Pot of Greed!” she announced.

She played the card, and the jar handed her two cards.

Mystical Space Typhoon and Mirror Force.

She looked at the field.

I could destroy that Art Attack card… she thought. Whatever it’s supposed to do, it’s going to do after I end my turn…

But wait… his facedown cards… What if one of them is something that can stop me from attacking? What if he can destroy my Mirror Force? Ooh, I don’t want those Toons to attack me again!

She looked up at Toon World.

This will be a risk, she thought. But I’m going to bring the curtain down on this blasted cartoon!

She threw the card into a slot.

“I play Mystical Space Typhoon!” she shouted. “Say goodbye to your Toon World!”

The cyclone whipped over the field, and Toon World was blasted into pieces! Toon Mermaid and Toon Gemini Elf screamed, and they shattered into pixels!

“Now, just in case,” muttered Fran.

She fit her Mirror Force card into a slot.

“I’ll place this card facedown, and that will end my turn.”

The Swords vanished.

“Hee, hee,” chuckled Marv, drawing. “The time has arrived…”

The Art Attack card began to glow.

“My Art Attack card can be unleashed!” exclaimed Marv. “Certainly, you’d agree that Duel Monster cards are works of art…

“And when the power of Art Attack is unleashed, I can Special Summon four Monsters from my deck with an Attack Score of 2,000 or less!”

Four cards flew out of his deck and he caught them.

“And by the way, these guys aren’t Toons,” he added. “I put them in my deck to form a lethal combination with Art Attack!”

He put a card down.



Continued...

Dark Sage
12th July 2005, 01:27 PM
Continued...



“First, Water Omotics!"

A flash of light erupted and revealed a pretty water fairy with flowing purple hair wearing a scaly blue swimsuit. She carried a earthen jug. (1,400/1,200)

"Next, Fireyarou!"

Marv threw down another card next to Water Omotics’s and a flash of light revealed a flaming teenager wearing shorts with bronze skin. (1,300/1,000)

"Harpie’s Brother!"

Marv slapped down another card and a flash revealed a tall, gangly, man with wild hair, a scarf over his face, and large wings. He wore a brown shirt and pants. (1,800/600)

"And finally, Celtic Guardian!"

Marv threw down his final Monster and an armored elf in a cape holding a longsword sprang up. (1,400/1,200)



http://www.itstimetoduel.com/cardpictures/MRD-EN021.jpghttp://www.itstimetoduel.com/cardpictures/LOB-EN085.jpg

http://www.itstimetoduel.com/cardpictures/SDJ-011.jpghttp://www.itstimetoduel.com/cardpictures/SDY-009.jpg


“Oh, come ON,” muttered Francesca. “Guardian Angel Joan will take them down one by one…”

“Not while I have my two Trap Cards!” exclaimed Marv.

One of his cards lifted.

“I activate… Fuh-Rin-Ka-Zan!

The image of a grim, kneeing Samurai appeared on the field.



http://www.itstimetoduel.com/cardpictures/RDS-EN055.jpg


“Let me explain how this powerful, complex, harder-to-pull-off than-a-childproof-cap-on-a-medicine-bottle Trap works,” explained Marv. “To activate it need a Monster of Water, Fire, Wind, and Earth on the field – and now, the conditions are perfect! Water Omotics is Water, Fireyarou is Fire, Harpie’s Brother is Wind, and Celtic Guardian is Earth!”

“So what does it do?” asked Fran, nervously.

“I can activate one of four effects,” answered Marv. “I can draw two cards, make you discard two cards, destroy all your Monsters, or destroy all your Magic and Trap Cards!”

Francesca gulped.

“And I think I’ll use the effect that lets me draw two cards!” he exclaimed.

The Samurai vanished, and two cards flew out of his deck.

“Fool,” sneered Francesca. “You could have destroyed Joan!”

“I will!” laughed Marv. “Thanks to my other Trap! I activate Elemental Burst!”

His other Trap Card lifted.

“This Trap also works when I have Monsters of those four Attributes on the field!” he exclaimed. “And now, I can sacrifice all four of them to wipe out every Monster, Magic Card and Trap Card you have on the field!”

The four Monsters screamed a battle cry and leapt up to attack! They formed into orbs of multicolored energy!

A huge explosion blasted on Francesca’s side, knocking her backwards!

When she looked up, Marv’s four Monsters were gone, but so was Joan, Amazoness Swords Woman, and her facedown Trap Card.

The crowd cheered again. It was hard to see who was on who’s side.

“And it’s still my turn,” laughed Marv. “I’ll set a Monster facedown, and that will be all.”

He placed a Monster Card on his Disk, and the facedown card appeared.

Francesca was burning with fury. She drew…

“I’ll summon Amazoness Fighter in Attack Mode!” she shouted.

She threw the card down, and the muscular Warrior-woman appeared. (1,500/1,300)

“Attack his facedown Monster!” she commanded.

The Fighter charged…

A figure appeared on the card…



http://www.itstimetoduel.com/cardpictures/SDJ-017.jpg


“EEK!” gasped Francesca, as the Magician of Faith was blasted apart.

“You know what this means,” chuckled Marv.

“You get to retrieve a Magic Card from your Graveyard…” mumbled Fran.

An orb of light shot out of Marv’s discard slot, and it formed into a card.

“I’ll give ya one clue as to what it is!” he laughed, showing her the Toon World card.

“Fine, make your move,” snarled Fran.

Marv made a draw.

“Perfect!” he said. “First, I’ll play my old reliable Toon World again!”

He threw the card into a slot, and BOING! WHIZ! POW! Toon World appeared over the field again.

His Life Point were deducted to 3,900.

“Now I’ll summon my third Toon Gemini Elf!” he exclaimed.

Toon World glowed with energy, and the sinister elves leapt out. (1,900/900)

“And finally, one card facedown.”

He fit his last card into a slot, and it appeared behind the elves.

“That’s my turn,” he sniggered.

Nuts… thought Francesca.

She drew.

“I play Card Destruction!” she exclaimed, throwing a card into a slot.

Marv shrugged. Fran discarded her hand and drew and equal number.

Francesca looked strangely at one of the Monster Cards in her hand.

Hey… she thought, I’d almost forgotten that this gal was in my deck… Maybe I can use her for this…

She put a card down.

“I summon this Warrior in Attack Mode… Amazoness Snake Charmer!”

A new Amazoness appeared. She had long green hair held by a headband, wore a bikini and boots made of snakeskin, and wore jewelry made from fangs. Most remarkable, a huge python curled around her legs and waist, its head supported by her right hand. (1,300/1,000)

A lot of the folks in the audience gasped in fright. Marv was among them – he never liked snakes…

“Uh…” he said. “I’ve never seen THAT one before…”

He regained his composure.

“But she’s too weak to take down my elves!”

“That’s what you think!” said Francesca with a grin. Amazoness Snake Charmer has a very potent ability!

“But before I get to that, I’ll play a Magic Card…”

She placed a card into a slot.

“Rallying Cry!”

“Rallying Cry?” asked Marv. “What does that do?”

“To play Rallying Cry, I have to have two Amazons on the field, and pay 500 of my Life Points…”

Her Life Points fell to 3,800.

“And in return, I can Special Summon any one Amazon from my hand! So I’ll summon my second Amazoness Paladin!”

She threw a card down, and another Amazoness Paladin appeared! She nodded to her two comrades and turned to face their enemy. (1,700/300) –> (2,000/300)

“Now we get to Amazoness Snake Charmer’s special effect!” she announced. “See, by spending my Life Points, I can raise her Attack Score by the same amount for one turn!

“So, I’ll spend 700 of my Life Points…”

Her Life Points fell to 3,100, and Snake Charmer’s Attack rose to 2,000.

“Snake Charmer,” she ordered, “attack her elves with constrictor crush!”

Amazoness Snake Charmer pointed, and her python slithered forward… Toon Gemini Elf screamed, but the snake grabbed them, and wrapped itself around them! They groaned as it squeezed…

Finally, they burst into pixels. Marv’s Life Points fell to 3,800.

“Now, Paladin, Fighter, attack his Life Points directly!

Marv gasped and cowered. Paladin slashed at him with his sword, and Fighter delivered a great kick!

His Life Points plummeted all the way to 300.

The crowd cheered wildly!

“I don’t get it,” muttered Stan. “If Francesca had spent 300 more Life Points, she would have won…”

“She must have been worried about the facedown card,” noted Andy. “If it was something deadly, like a Mirror Force, she might have been worse off.”

Marv grunted and drew.

“Hee, hee,” he snickered.

“I play… Card of Sanctity!” he shouted.

He plugged the card into a slot, and the blue flash lit up the big top.

“He actually drew Card of Sanctity?” exclaimed Andy. “How lucky can you get?”

Stan pondered this.

“The Heart is strong with this one…” he muttered.

They each drew until they had six cards.

“First,” stated Marv, “I’ll activate my facedown card… Call of the Haunted!”

The Trap Card lifted, and electricity coursed from Toon World again!

The hideous Toon Summoned Skull arose from the pages once more. (2,500/1,200)

“Interesting,” muttered Francesca. “Did you forget that you have to pay 500 Life Points to make that thing attack? You don’t have enough left!”

“Good point,” shrugged Marv. “I’ll also place this card facedown. “It’s your move.”

He slid a card into a slot, and it appeared in front of him.

I already have a strategy in mind, he thought, looking at his cards. She’ll obviously try to use her Snake Charmer’s ability to bring down the Toon Skull… but to do so, she’ll have to bring her Life Points down to 1,800.

And when she tries to attack, my Negate Attack will block the attack!

Then, my second Dian Keto will raise my Life Points to 1,300… and ZAP! One attack and this duel is over.

A pity – I guess I had the wrong person.

Francesca drew.

“I summon Command Knight!” she shouted, placing a card down.

The beautiful Warrior in ceremonial armor appeared with her blazing sword. (1,200/1,900)

Paladin’s Attack went up to 2,400, Fighter’s went up to 1,900, Snake Charmer’s went up to 1,700, and Command Knight’s herself went up to 1,600.

“And now,” said Francesca. “I play the Magic Card… Recruitment Drive!”

She placed the card into a slot, and it appeared.

“This card gives Command Knight the status of an Amazon, meaning that my Paladin’s Attack Points go up to 2,500!

“I hate to send one of my Monsters on a kamikaze strike, but I will win this duel! Amazoness Paladin, attack the Skull!”

Amazoness Paladin leapt at Toon Summoned Skull…

“NO!” shouted Marv. “Activate Negate Attack!”

The Trap Card lifted, and Paladin’s attack was blocked.

“Fine,” said Francesca. “I end my turn.”

“Well this duel isn’t over yet!” yelled Marv.

He drew.

“I play my second Dian Keto the Cure Master!” he exclaimed, throwing a card into a slot.

The deity appeared behind him, and his Life Points went up to 1,300.

“Now I’ll summon another Toon Mermaid in Defense Mode!” he shouted.

He threw a card down, and the cartoonish mermaid appeared, shyly hiding in her shell. (1,400/1,500)

“Now, Toon Summoned Skull, destroy her Snake Charmer with lightning strike!”

His Life Points fell to 800. The Toon Skull blasted forth his thunderbolts, and Snake Charmer screamed. She and her snake blasted into pixels.

Francesca’s Life Points fell to 2,300. Paladin’s Attack Score dropped to 2,400.

“Are you quite done?” asked Francesca.

Marv searched his hand.

“Erg, yes…” he said.

“All right!” exclaimed Francesca, drawing. “I’ll summon Amazoness Blowpiper in Attack Mode!”

She threw a card down, and the teenage savage armed with a blowgun appeared. (800/1,500)



http://www.itstimetoduel.com/cardpictures/MFC-062.jpg


Amazoness Paladin’s Attack Score went back up to 2,500.

“I must admit Marv, it was close…” said Francesca. “If I didn’t have Blowpiper in my hand, you’d have won…

“So let’s try this again! Amazoness Paladin, attack his Toon Summoned Skull!”

Amazoness Paladin leapt at Toon Summoned Skull, who gasped. It formed a ball of lightning around its fist, and threw a punch to meet her sword… There was a huge explosion…

When the smoke died down, both of them had been wiped out…

“Command Knight!” shouted Francesca, “attack his Mermaid!”

Command Knight’s sword blazed with fire, and she charged Toon Mermaid! The Toon screamed as she was struck, and vanished in a burst of steam.

“Now, Amazoness Blowpiper, finish him off!”

Amazoness Blowpiper leapt into the air and delivered a kick to the Mad Magician’s chest! He fell over, and his Life Points fell to zero.

The crowd gave a standing ovation.

“Yeah, Fran!” shouted Andy. “You rock!”

Marv got up…

“Well…” he said, catching his breath. “I must say Francesca… that was one of the best duels I ever had…”

He took the Art Attack card out of his discard pile. It seemed to glow as he held it.

“This card is special, Francesca,” he stated. “Use it wisely…”

His voice sank to a whisper.

“Because I know now, you were destined to use it…”

Francesca stared at the new card in her hand.

It was another Enchanted Card… she was sure of it…

All this must have been a test… and she passed.

So now what?



* * * * * * * * * *


Fifteen minutes later, the three teens were leaving the carnival grounds.

“So, Twilight Town next?” asked Andy.

“Yep,” said Francesca. “And like we promised, Stan, the next duelist is yours…”

“Yeah…” muttered Stan. “Peachy…”

I just hope he isn’t as tough as Raven, he thought. I’m still sore from yesterday…

The started down the road, towards Twilight Town…

Unseen, Lord Crump followed behind…


[B]
* * * * * * * * * *


About a half mile away from them, a duel was in process…

One of the duelists – her name was Sally – had one of the deadliest Monsters of all in front of her – Black Luster Soldier, Envoy of the Beginning!

“Go!” she shouted. “Obliterate his facedown Monster with chaos blade!”

The Soldier slammed his sword down, and her opponent’s Monster was vaporized.

“Why don’t you just give up?” she mocked. “No matter what you summon, my Soldier can erase it!”

“Not if what I summon has more Attack Points…” warned her opponent.

“Yeah, right,” she said, rolling her eyes. “Like I’m really going to let you keep something on the field long enough to make enough sacrifices…”

Her opponent drew.

“Who ever said I needed a sacrifice?” he said.

He placed a card down on his Disk…

A frightening Monster arose…

“What?” gasped Sally. “No! HOW?”

“ATTACK!” shouted her opponent.

A wave of energy shot forward, and Black Luster Soldier was reduced to ashes!

Sally watched in horror as her Life Points plummeted to zero…

“I win…” said her opponent. “But good game.”



[B]AMAZONESS SNAKE CHARMER

Card Specs

Type: Warrior/Effect
Attribute: Earth
Level: 4
ATK: 1,300
DEF: 1,000

Card Description: This young woman has learned the secrets of commanding reptiles. During your Battle Phase, you may spend up to 2,000 of your Life Points to raise the ATK of this Monster by the same amount. This effect lasts until the End Phase of your turn.



RALLYING CRY

Card Specs

Type: Magic/Quickplay
Attribute: –
Level: –
ATK: –
DEF: –

Card Description: Image of Amazoness Paladin blowing a large horn. You can activate this card when you have at least two Monsters on your side of the field that have the word “Amazoness” in their name, or who are named “Amazon Archer”. Pay 500 Life Points. Special Summon one Monster from your hand that has the word “Amazoness” in its name, or who is named “Amazon Archer”.



ART ATTACK

Card Specs

Type: Magic/Continuous
Attribute: –
Level: –
ATK: –
DEF: –

Card Description: Image of a painting of Dark Magician Girl, sitting in the pose of the Mona Lisa against a similar background. On your third standby phase after this card has been activated, Special Summon up to four Monsters, each with an ATK of 2,000 or less, from your hand or deck. Then destroy this card and remove it from play.



[B][I]Fran is going to take a break for a while. In the meantime...

What sort of Monster can be Normal Summoned with no sacrifice that could destroy Black Luster Soldier, Envoy of the Beginning AND devastate and opponent’s Life Points in one shot? I’ll tell you right now – it is NOT a made-up card!

Stan comes face to face with this complex Monster’s master in the next chapter – a duelist who’s also a user character. See the premier of his other Enchanted Card, and also one of his other Companions!

I’m not going to reveal the name of this chapter, because it might give away the surprise. But be here for it… very soon…

Zcade0
12th July 2005, 02:10 PM
Cool chapter. The toon world theme was interesting. Apperently I was reading this as you were wrighting it because at the 2nd to last post there was just a continued. :biggrin: again awsome chapter

starjake
12th July 2005, 04:02 PM
Hmm...the only kind of monster I know of that could possibly wipe out the ever-so-popular Bacon Lettuce Soldier would be a monster that can modify its own ATK. Prime examples would be King of the Skull Servants (who increases its ATK based on the number of Skull Servants and other Kings in the Graveyard) and Muka Muka (who increases its ATK based on the number of cards in its owner's hand). There may also be other cards on the field that increase ATK, such as Gaia Power or The A. Forces; I guess we don't have enough information at the moment. There has to be an effect involved, though; currently, the highest ATK a non-Tribute monster has is 2400 (belonging to Armor Exe), which isn't quite enough to obliterate Black Luster Soldier.

As for the chapter...how coincidental this Toon duel comes out so soon after my Toon chapter? There was on error though, involving Waboku. Waboku does NOT - I repeat, does NOT - negate attacks (that job is already filled by a rather cleverly named card called Negate Attack). Waboku, negates damage done to your monsters and Life Points during the turn it's activated. Therefore, when Marvin activated Waboku, what should've happened was that, since Toon Summoned Skull and Amazoness Paladin had the same ATK, he battle damage to Toon Summoned Skull would've been negated, but the battle damage done to Amazoness Paladin would not. Translation: Amazoness Paladin would have been destroyed, and Toon Summoned Skull would not. Don't worry; Waboku is a tricky card to understand, but those are the rules. You could correct the problem by substituting Waboku with the above-mentioned cleverly-named card.

Other than that, I saw no mistakes. Nice duel! And I can't wait to see this new creature, not mention this new creature's master!

I await the next chapter!

Pokemasterkatie
12th July 2005, 07:56 PM
At first, I thought maybe it would be Injection Fairy Lily, but Dark Sage said intimidating and scary, not cute and kawaii! It's also the home stretch in this duel, so I found a monster in Lost Milennium that would fit the situation perfectly. I'm not telling who the monster is, but I think the theme may be a Rock deck(even though we just had a chapter with the Magnet Warriors).

Master of Paradox
12th July 2005, 09:10 PM
This was a quick and to-the-point chapter, which is something I do like to see now and again. Toon World duels are hard to keep original nowadays, but you managed to get this one functioning well enough... and other than that, I can't think of a whole lot to say. On the plus side, I can't find anything wrong with the chapter, either, so it's a karmic balance.

Art Attack's effect is a lot different than I thought it would be, but I suppose it makes some sort of sense, and I can see how it would benefit an Amazoness deck.

As for the mystery man at the chapter's end... I ran up and down the Lost Millennium list, and I have no clue what the last poster was talking about. Unless... I'd best not say it either.

Looking forward to the next chapter.

Loupeitak
13th July 2005, 01:10 AM
OH! OMG! I DECIDE TO POST!!!

Dude, i've been reading everything, just didnt post lol.

Anyway i loved them chapter but i cant say every chapter which i didnt coment lol.

Oh and Venusaur, u changed ur name to Dark Sage woot. lol

ssj4supernerd
13th July 2005, 03:50 AM
Nice chapter.What I liked was that you kept it original and made Toon Summoned Skull the strongest,not the Blue-Eyes Toon Dragon.

I have no idea what the monster could be.I'll check it later.

Dark Sage
13th July 2005, 08:02 AM
Supernerd,

Marv is a special duelist, but he isn't THAT special. In the anime world, I believe, Blue-Eyes Toon Dragon is a unique card, and Pegasus has it. That's why Marv didn't have one in his deck.

jkBAKURA
13th July 2005, 11:52 AM
OK, Now I'm curious. He did say normal summonable, but he didn't say level 4. I'd go with Ultimate Obediant Fiend, and knowing the talent of Dark Sage he just might find a way to do it. Blast Sphere also comes to mind. Oh well, guess I'll have to wait and find out. Nice duel, I love toon chapters. What's not to like about 'em?

starjake
13th July 2005, 12:02 PM
Um...he said Normal Summonable with no Tribue. Ultimate Obedient Fiend is a 10-star monster, and therefore requires two Tributes.

So, that can't be it.

jkBAKURA
13th July 2005, 12:18 PM
My bet is on Blast Sphere then.

starjake
13th July 2005, 02:55 PM
Gonna have to disagree with you there as well.

Blast Sphere
Fire/Machine/4 stars/ATK 1400/DEF 1400
If your opponent attacks this face-down Defense Position card, equip this card to your opponent's monster (damage calculation is ignored). During your opponent's next Standby Phase, destroy the equipped monster and inflict damage to your opponent's Life Points equal to the ATK of the equipped monster.

As you can see, Blast Sphere would not be able to destroy Black Luster Soldier by attacking; BLS would have to attack it in order for the effect to activate.

So, it can't be that either. I wish Dark Sage would hurry up and post the next chapter; we're running out of ideas!

Shuppet Master
13th July 2005, 08:51 PM
Be patient, Brian can't work on all his fics at once. Even if he had all his chapters at hand, he'd have to scan them for errors, and that's thirty or so chapters! :biggrin:

opaltiger
13th July 2005, 11:52 PM
Hmm, I was thinking Ultimate Obedient too, but no sacrifices? Has to be something that has a base low attack, I think. But still big and scary. XD

Mystic_clown
14th July 2005, 12:39 AM
Nice chapter Brian. Hmm, who could the mysterious duelist be? *starts praying its his user character*

jkBAKURA
14th July 2005, 01:06 AM
I've GOT it!!! Unfortunately I'm sworn to play dumb until the chapter is up. Genius Dark Sage, pure genius. I'll let you know if I got it right.

Perfect Chaos
14th July 2005, 09:03 AM
That was a great chapter you posted Dark Sage, Toons was the last deck-type that I would've expected, but when I really thought about it, it actually fit Marv's personality (I got the feeling that he was a bit similar to Pegasus, always plotting something sneaky)

I look forward to your next chapter

ssj4supernerd
14th July 2005, 11:40 AM
Supernerd,

Marv is a special duelist, but he isn't THAT special. In the anime world, I believe, Blue-Eyes Toon Dragon is a unique card, and Pegasus has it. That's why Marv didn't have one in his deck.
Yeah,but it's like you said,it's a sort of Elswhere universe,who knows what could have happenned to the Blue-Eyes Toon Dragon ey ;)

Mystic_clown
14th July 2005, 07:42 PM
Wait a minute *thinks* isn't there only one Toon World card in existance. I remember when Pegasus was dueling Kaiba and Yugi said the card was never put into circulation. So, how could Marv get a hold of one if there is only one Toon World?

Dark Sage
14th July 2005, 07:47 PM
Mystic Clown,

Did you see the movie? In it, Pegasus used a Toon World card that worked much more like the normal Toon World card (the one that premered in "Champion vs. Creator" turned normal Monsters into Toons and made them invincible, while the one in the movie required Toon Monsters and a Life Point payment, and they weren't invincible, like the real card). So I assume an actual Toon World card was made for circulation that was less powerful than the one that was used in the first season.

Mystic_clown
14th July 2005, 08:15 PM
Yeah I did see the movie. Perhaps you're right. Sorry.

Master of Paradox
14th July 2005, 09:00 PM
I note that in "Deja Duel", Alastor disguised as Pegasus is also using a "real" version of Toon World. Presumably enough exist for DOMA to have gotten hold of one.

ssj4supernerd
15th July 2005, 03:59 AM
Yup,and Clover from the Mandate Of Heaven also had a Toon World card

Dark Sage
16th July 2005, 06:56 AM
Well everyone, it's time to bring out the new chapter - and reveal the big secret...

And I'd like to that Silencer for the contribution of the user character in this chapter.

So without further ado...

Dark Sage
16th July 2005, 06:58 AM
[B][I]I don’t exactly envy Monsters (mine and my opponents’) who are destroyed or otherwise discarded. But at least I can take comfort in knowing that the Graveyard where they spend the rest of the duel is a pretty peaceful place.

At least, that’s usually the case…

Something different happens to Monsters who are removed from play – Chaos, that’s what it’s called. According to Duel Monsters lore, they wind up in a place called the Different Dimension. Not much is known about this strange place – I suppose some creatures like D.D. Warrior Lady are happy there, but to most… Well, most duelists assume it’s a hideous realm of absolute chaos where prisoners are slowly consumed by their worst nightmares. Recovering Monsters from the place isn’t easy, and the ways of doing so are costly.

And the funny part is, not all cards that involve Chaos involve banishing your opponents’ Monsters to the Different Dimension. In fact, that’s the less likely scenario. To obtain a lot of powerful effects and summon some powerful Monsters, you have to send some of your own Monsters there…

You know, I always wondered who the ruler of the Different Dimension was…

From the look of things, I just might find out…




[B][size=3]CHAPTER FIFTEEN



Chaos Reigns!



“Sheesh, what time is it?” asked Andy.

“One PM…” pondered Francesca, looking at her watch.

“Then why is it already dark out?” exclaimed Andy.

The path they were on was a wide dirt road, and it was indeed dark – and by dark, they didn’t mean overcast. Shortly after they had left the Wonky Circus, it was as if the land had been plunged into an eternal twilight. Stars twinkled overhead, and wispy clouds passed by them. The sun was still in the sky, but it was dark, and gave off no more light than a dim moon. The three of them often looked at it, and it didn’t hurt their eyes at all.

Even worse, the landscape was spooky. They were traveling through a sparse forest full of dead trees that seemed to reach down on them with menacing branches.

“Next stop,” muttered Stan, “the Wicked Witch of the West’s castle…”

“That might not be too far off,” sighed Andy. “Maybe the Shadow Queen’s power is stronger here… this area might be some sort of focal point for her magic…”


[B]
* * * * * * * * * *


The Shadow Queen was watching them of course, and that remark made her smile.

“Foolish Andy,” she laughed. “This whole island is a focal point of my power! You want to see another demonstration?”

She picked up a deck, and withdrew a card.

“This one will do nicely…” she chuckled.

She walked over to the fireplace and hurled it into the flames.

As the flames turned violet, a cackling laughter was heard.

“Go!” she shouted. “Give them the scare of their lives!”

A dark form flew out of the mountain.


[B]
* * * * * * * * * *


As the three teens walked on, it suddenly got misty and darker…

Suddenly a cackling laugh was heard, and a huge, sinister shadow with glowing red eyes and wicked claws arose in front of them! (2,800/3,000)



http://www.itstimetoduel.com/cardpictures/DCR-023.jpg


“That’s Despair From The Dark!” screamed Francesca.

“Hey, no fair!” shouted Andy. “How are we going to take out that?”

Stan backed up… He flicked his Disk into position.

“Okay, Queen…” he growled, “if you’re gonna fight dirty, then so am I!”

He took a card from his deck, and placed a card down on it…

A facedown Monster appeared between them and the Zombie.

“Whatever you do guys…” he whispered, “stay behind my facedown Monster. If my hunch is right, it will have to destroy it before it can attack us…”

“But then what?” gasped Andy.

Despair From The Dark cackled. It raised his claws, and shot forth a beam of pure blackness…

An old, grizzled mage in colorful clothing appeared on the card. He thrust his staff forward and cast forth a dark spell.

Despair From The Dark screamed! Both it and the Spellcaster burst into pixels.

Stan chuckled.

“Old Vindictive Magician,” he said, shuffling the card back into his deck. “The Spellcaster version of Man-Eater Bug.”

“And you were upset because you lost one duel,” sighed Francesca. “Stan, if you can take down the baddest Zombie in the game, you can beat anyone.”

“Well,” sighed Stan. “These goons the Queen is throwing at us is one thing, but…”

“Excuse me folks,” said a voice from up ahead. “Did I hear screaming?”

They looked, and a boy who looked about a year older than they were walked up from ahead of them. He had long blonde hair and piercing blue eyes. He wore an AC/DC t-shirt, and a plain pair of jeans – as well as a Duel Disk.

“Screaming?” answered Francesca. “Well… uhm… You likely wouldn’t believe us if we told you.”

“Try me,” he chuckled. “I’ve seen a lot in my time.”

His accent was unmistakably Germanic.

“Well,” muttered Andy. “Would you believe a living Despair From The Dark ambushed us and attacked us?”

The duelist paused.

“Well,” he mused. “Given these surroundings, that might not be surprising. This Monster Island is a strange place from what I’ve seen…”

He reached into his pocket.

“But I’ve coped fast… I already have five Crystal Cards.”

“You must be good,” responded Stan.

“I don’t like to brag,” he answered. “The name is Drake, by the way…”

He paused.

“It’s a bit of a way to Twilight Town,” he muttered. “Care to talk?”

“Sure,” said Francesca, sitting down. “So what do your parents do for a living?”

“Uh…” said Drake, sadly. “They’re dead…”

“Oh, I’m so sorry!” gasped Francesca, realizing she’d put her foot in her mouth again.

“Quite all right,” sighed Drake. “I never knew them, and in a way, having to go without them made me a great duelist…

“See, up until I was ten, I was sort of a nerd, and bullies used to pick on me mercilessly… But then I turned eleven, and one day something snapped in me. I started to fight back, and I didn’t do half bad.

“They never bothered me again, and I got respect from then on…”

He reached into a pouch on his side.

“And one day, someone gave me this card…”

He showed them a Duel Monsters card – it was Axe Raider.

“He told me I was just as brave as Axe Raider for standing up to people like those bullies. I looked into Duel Monsters, and I put together a truly… unique deck. It made me the regional champion of Benelux.

“Benelux?” asked Francesca.

“It’s a term that means Belgium, Holland, and Luxemburg combined,” answered Stan.

“So,” said Drake with a smile, “anybody care to spar? I’m in the mood for another challenge, so long as it’s a worthy one.”

“We told you the next one was yours, Stan,” urged Andy.

“Yeah Stan, go for it!” exclaimed Francesca.

Stan bowed his head for a second.

The champion of Benelux… he thought. I dunno… This guy might be tougher than Raven was…

”Go for it Stan!” cried a voice in his head.

He looked up in surprise.

It sounded like a young, female voice, one which he had never heard before.

”Who are you?” he responded.

”You’ll meet me soon,” was the reply. ”Now don’t wimp out like I always did… you have to get your third card back! I believe in you!”

Stan got up and shuffled his deck.

“Okay Drake,” he said, “it’s go time!”


[B]
* * * * * * * * * *


As usual, Crump was watching their every move. This time he was lying down on top of a large rock.

Hee, hee, he thought. Wow, Stan is dueling again…

He spoke aloud.

“Betcha five bucks he falls flat on his face again!” he dared.

Then he noticed that he had made that challenge to an owl perched on a nearby tree.

“Whoo?” hooted the owl.

“Uh, never mind…” he mumbled.

Wish it was a raven, he thought. If it was, it might have something valuable that I could bet for… oh well…


[B]
* * * * * * * * * *


There were no ravens where Crump was perched, but the two duelists – and Fran and Andy – soon saw that the trees around them had become full of them, and owls, and crows, and bats.

“We seem to have drawn a bit of a crowd…” muttered Drake.

“Yeah…” mumbled Stan. “Well, let’s not let them distract us…”

The Disks flipped into position, and the scores set to 8,000 apiece.

“DUEL!” they both said.

Come on, Stan! thought Andy. You’ve got to win this one!

They each drew five cards.

“You make the first move, Stan,” said Drake with a smile.

“Certainly,” said Stan, making his first draw.

He looked at his card.

“I summon White Magician Pikeru, in Attack Mode!” he exclaimed.

He set a card down, and the cute child Spellcaster in her white dress carrying her scepter appeared. (1,200/0)



http://www.itstimetoduel.com/cardpictures/AST-033.jpg


Pikeru looked around at her surroundings. She shuddered in fright…

“Look at that poor thing!” exclaimed Francesca. “She’s scared to death!”

“All right,” muttered Stan, “I’ll play one card facedown, and that will end my turn.”

He threw a card into a slot, and it materialized behind Pikeru.

Magic Cylinder will protect her for at least one round, he thought.

Drake drew one card.

“I’ll play this Magic Card,” he stated. “Gather Your Mind!”

He threw the card into a slot.

“Huh?” asked Stan. “What’s that?”

“Gather Your Mind let’s me add another Gather Your Mind card to my hand,” explained Drake. “And it let’s me shuffle my deck.”

He shuffled his deck, and replaced it.

“Uh, I don’t get it…” mused Stan.

“You’ll see soon,” said Drake. “Now I’ll place a Monster facedown in Defense Mode, and that will be all.”

He set a Monster Card down, and a hidden Monster appeared.

Stan drew.

Sweet! he thought.

“First,” he said, “due to Pikeru, I gain 400 Life Points for each Monster on the field.”

Pikeru raised her glowing staff, and Stan’s Life Points rose to 8,800.

“Now,” he continued. “I play Nobleman of Crossout!”

He threw a card into a slot, and a knight with a sword appeared over the facedown card! He stabbed into it!

A shadowy, cloaked assassin holding a dagger appeared… He gasped and shattered.

“Heh,” chuckled Stan. “A Night Assailant, huh?”

Two cards slipped out of Drake’s deck.

“And it looks like you had three of them!” he laughed.

“Uh huh…” muttered Drake, slipping them into the special slot in his Disk for the Removed From Play pile.

But inside, he was smiling…

“Pikeru,” shouted Stan, “attack directly with sparkle blast!”

Pikeru waved her scepter and fired a blast of shining stars! Drake grunted as they hit him, and his Life Points fell to 6,800.

“Okay,” he gasped, “you win round one… My move now…”

“Yes!” cheered Andy. “Stan is winning already!”

“Go Stan!” yelled Francesca.

Drake looked at his card.

“I summon Peten the Dark Clown in Defense Mode,” he said, placing a card on his Disk.

A goofy, foppish harlequin appeared, wearing a cavalier hat with a plume. His makeup was white with black streaks on each side, and his costume was green, blue, and yellow. He knelt in defense. (500/1,200)



http://www.itstimetoduel.com/cardpictures/EP1-EN005.jpg


“Ugh…” moaned Andy. “More clowns… I hate clowns…”

“And I’ll also play the second Gather Your Mind card,” he said, placing it into a slot.

He retrieved a third Gather Your Mind from his deck, and shuffled again.

“That’s my turn,” said Drake. “And your little pixie’s Attack is too weak to break through my clown’s Defense!”

Stan drew.

“She’ll be strong enough in a minute,” he said with a smile. “But first I’ll take a boost from Pikeru…”

Pikeru held her staff aloft and it glowed again. Stan’s Life Points went up to 9,600.

“Now, I’ll summon Neo the Magic Swordsman in Attack Mode!”

He put a card down, and a young, blonde-haired man wearing a fancy tunic and carrying a glowing sword. (1,700/1,000)



http://www.itstimetoduel.com/cardpictures/SDY-035.jpg


“Keanu Reeves this ain’t!” exclaimed Stan. “And now I’ll give Pikeru a boost…”

He fit a card into a slot.

“I play Magic Formula!”

An ancient tome appeared in front of White Magician Pikeru. She quizzically looked at it, and her Attack went up to 1,700.

“Pikeru!” shouted Stan, “attack the Dark Clown!”

Pikeru shot forth her sparkling stars, and Peten was blown away.

“Nice try, Stan…” said Drake with a grin.

A card flew out of his deck.

“But when Peten the Dark Clown is destroyed, I can remove it from play, and then summon another one!”

He placed the card down on his Disk, and a second Peten appeared.



Continued...

Dark Sage
16th July 2005, 07:02 AM
Continued from last post:


Stan grimaced.

“Neo!” he shouted. “Attack the second one with sword of light!”

Neo ran his hand over his blade, and mystic runes appeared over it. The sword shone with light, and he charged, striking the second Peten down.

Another card flew out of Drake’s deck.

“Again, nice try,” he said. “But I have a third one.”

He put another card down, and yet another Peten appeared. He made a raspberry at Stan.

“All right…” sighed Stan. “I end my turn…”

Drake drew.

“I’ll summon this in Defense Mode…” he stated.

He placed a card down.

A weird portal opened, and a weirder Machine flew out. It looked like a metal sphere with a strange, red eye on its front and two spindly mechanical arms on its sides. (800/1,200)

“Meet D.D. Scout Plane!” exclaimed Drake.



http://www.itstimetoduel.com/cardpictures/IOC-012.jpg


“That’s enough for my turn,” commented Drake.

D.D. Scout Plane? thought Stan. Ooh, Monsters with the letters D.D. in front of their names are never good news! If I attack that thing, it might remove one of my Monsters from play!

He drew.

Pikeru raised her staff again, and his Life Points went up to 11,200.

Still, he thought, I could damage his Life Points good if I took a risk…

He put a card down.

“I summon Blast Magician in Attack Mode!” he shouted.

The fiery mage with his sickle-bladed staff and red robes appeared. (1,400/1,700).

Here goes… he thought.

“Neo! Attack his D.D. Scout Plane!”

Neo’s sword glowed and he leapt up, bringing his blade down on the strange machine. It exploded into bits!

Stan waited for a few seconds.

Everyone’s still here? he thought. Odd… what kind of effect did it have?

He shrugged.

“Blast Magician, destroy the last Peten with blast attack!”

Flames erupted on Blast Magician’s staff, and he swung them forward, burning the third Peten up!

“Pikeru, attack directly!”

“Not again!” shouted Drake as Pikeru’s stars slammed into him.

He gasped, as his Life Points fell down to 5,100.

“Yes!” shouted Andy. “I knew Stan would get his groove back!”


[B]
* * * * * * * * * *


Crump frowned.

“This guy was the champion of Benelux?” he mumbled. “Do all the duelist there stink?”

“Whoo,” hooted the owl.

“Quiet,” said Crump. “This guy isn’t even putting up a fight – he hasn’t even summoned anything in Attack Mode yet…”

“Whoo?” said the owl.

“Quiet,” repeated Crump.

He thought for a minute.

“Unless…” he muttered.

“Maybe Drake’s strategy is something other than a simple frontal assault…”


[B]
* * * * * * * * * *


Drake drew.

“Stan, you are a worthy opponent…” he said with a smirk.

“But now I get deadly serious…”

He fit a card into a slot.

“I’m going to blow away your facedown card with Mystical Space Typhoon!”

The wind whipped across the field, and the Magic Cylinder card shattered!

“Eek…” muttered Stan.

Drake put a card down.

“Now meet one of my stronger Monsters,” said Drake with a smile. “I summon the powerful Chaosrider Gustaph!”

A sound like a noisy motorcycle erupted above the forest, and a portal opened. A biker dressed in green and brown punk-like attire and a horned helmet driving a shiny red and silver motorcycle sped out, and skidded to a halt. (1,400/1,500)



http://www.itstimetoduel.com/cardpictures/IOC-018.jpg


“Heh,” chuckled Stan. “That may look intimidating, but he’s weak!”

“Not for long!” said Drake with a smirk.

Two cards flew out of his discard slot.

“I can remove up to two Magic Cards from play, and increase Gustaph’s Attack Score by 300 for each! So I’ll remove my two Gather Your Mind cards…”

He slid the two cards into his removal slot, and Gustaph’s Attack went up to 2,000!

“Now, Gustaph, attack Pikeru with smoke exhaust attack!”

Gustaph revved up his cycle and blasted a cloud of exhaust at Pikeru! She screamed and was consumed by it!

Stan’s Life Points slipped to 10,900.

“Oh, and that bonus to his Attack won’t wear off until the End Phase of your next turn,” added Drake. “So I end my turn…”

Stan grumbled. He drew.

“Then I’ll pass this turn,” he said.

Gustaph’s Attack fell back to 1,400.

Drake drew.

“I’ll play Graceful Charity!” he announced.

He fit the card into a slot, and the beautiful angel flew out of his deck. She handed him three cards.

He quickly handed her two of them (one was his last Gather Your Mind).

He took a card from his hand.

“Now I’ll play this Magic Card,” he exclaimed, fitting it into a slot, “The Cheerful Coffin!”

A tall undertaker in a stovepipe hat appeared in front of him, and hefted a large coffin in his hands.

“This lets me discard three Monster Cards to my Graveyard,” explained Drake. “So…”

He took three more cards from his hand, and tossed them into the air. The undertaker opened the coffin and caught them in it. Then the coffin shrank down to miniscule size, and he tossed it into Drake’s discard slot.

“Now then,” continued Drake, “I’ll summon Bazoo the Soul Eater!”

He placed a card down, and a large form appeared. It looked like a hulking mandrill ape with purple fur and powerful arms. It clutched a large fruit in its hands. (1,600/900)



http://www.itstimetoduel.com/cardpictures/LON-EN064.jpg


Aw no, thought Stan. I know what that thing can do…

“And now,” exclaimed Drake, “I can remove three Monsters from my Graveyard from play to bring his Attack Score up by 300 for each! So I’ll remove the third Peten, the D.D. Scout Plane, and a second D.D. Scout Plane that I just discarded!”

Three cards flew out of his discard slot, and he moved them to his removal slot. Bazoo’s Attack went up to 2,500!

“And I’m not done!” he laughed. “I’ll also remove The Cheerful Coffin and Graceful Charity from play to power up Gustaph again!”

Two more cards flew out of his discard slot, and he discarded them into his removal slot. Gustaph went back up to 2,000 Attack.

“Now, Bazoo, attack his Blast Magician with breath of souls!”

Bazoo opened his jaws and blasted forth a beam of energy, blowing Blast Magician into gibbets!

“Ugh…” groaned Stan, holding his nose. “Banana breath!”

“Gustaph!” yelled Drake. “Attack Neo!”

Gustaph shot forth his exhaust, and Neo was obliterated.

Stan’s Life Points fell to 9,500.

“But wait!” exclaimed Drake. “There’s more!”

“More?” moaned Stan.

Two cards flew out of Drake’s removal slot, and placed themselves down on his Disk.

“Whenever a D.D. Scout Plane is removed from play for any reason,” explained Drake, “it’s Special Summoned to the field during the End Phase in Attack Mode!”

Another portal opened, and two of the weird Machines flew out. (800/1,200)

“Well, I think that’s enough for my turn…” he concluded.

“Don’t worry, Stan!” shouted Francesca. “You’re still way ahead of him.”

She turned to Andy.

“Drake sure seems to have a weird deck…” she mentioned.

“Yeah…” muttered Andy. “Chaos…”

“Chaos?” asked Fran.

“Call me crazy,” said Andy, “but a lot of Drake’s strategy seems to revolve around removing his own cards from play…

“There might be a nasty surprise in store for Stan… but I can’t quite put my finger on it…”

“One of the Envoys, maybe?” asked Fran.

“He’d need a Light Monster for that, and he hasn’t summoned one yet…” muttered Andy. “At least, I don’t think any of his Monsters are Light…”

“My turn…” said Stan.

Well, he thought. Time to go for broke…

“I’ll place one card facedown…” he stated.

He placed a card into a slot, and it appeared.

“Then,” he said, “I’ll summon Skilled Dark Magician in Attack Mode!”

He threw the card down, and the dark-robed sorcerer appeared out of the shadows. (1,900/1,700)



http://www.itstimetoduel.com/cardpictures/MFC-065.jpg


“Now I’ll play… Pot of Greed!” he announced.

He fit the card into the slot, and the smiling jar handed him two cards.

Skilled Dark Magician raised his staff, and energy flowed into it… The steel of his staff changed color to copper.

“Now, Skilled Dark Magician, attack one of those Machines with black magic blast!”

Skilled Dark Magician cast a dark spell, and one of the two D.D. Scout Planes exploded!

Drake’s Life Points fell to 4,000.

“And that’s my move…” said Stan, with a grin.

Drake considered as he drew.

Hmph! he thought. I have enough Monsters to remove from play to power Bazoo enough up enough to take out that Magician… And then my other Scout Plane and Gustaph could put some hurt on his Life Points…

But Stan is no idiot… He wouldn’t have done that unless that facedown card was something nasty… And my Life Points are way behind his…

He looked at his card.

Well, this will help…

He turned the cards on his Disk.

“I’m shifting all three of my Monsters to Defense Mode,” he said.

D. D. Scout Plane backed up, Bazoo shielded itself, and Gustaph turned his motorcycle sideways…

“HA!” laughed Stan. “I was hoping you’d do that! I was bluffing!”

He hit his Disk, and his Trap Card lifted.

“I activate my Pitch Black Power Stone!”

A black sphere with three glowing lights in a triangular pattern rose above his head.

“What does THAT do?” asked Drake.

“It’s a storage container that holds three spell counters,” explained Stan. “During each of my turns, I can transfer one of its spell counters to any of my Monsters that uses spell counters! Monsters like… Skilled Dark Magician!”

Drake frowned.

“I play this Magic Card,” he stated, placing it into a slot. “Soul Absorption!”

A frightening card appeared on his side of the field. It looked like a body having blue energy sucked out of it by demonic skulls.

Skilled Dark Magician absorbed more energy, and his staff glowed silver.

“Soul Absorption?” asked Stan. “What’s that?”

“You’ll find out soon,” said Drake. “For now, I summon D.D. Trainer in Defense Mode.

He put the card down, and yet another portal opened. A hideous creature emerged, looking like a cross between a slug, centipede, and beaver, with slimy orange and yellow skin. A bald, sinister-looking goblin was riding the thing. (100/2,000)



http://www.itstimetoduel.com/cardpictures/DCR-055.jpg


“Man, is that thing ugly!” remarked Andy.

“Mmm,” agreed Francesca. “Clearly, all of Drake’s Monsters are out of the ordinary…”

Stan drew.

“I’ll transfer one charge from my Pitch Black Power Stone to my Skilled Dark Magician…” he stated.

One of the bright orbs from the Stone flowed into the Magician, and his staff glowed golden.

A card flew out of Stan’s deck.

“Now, I can sacrifice him to Special Summon… Dark Magician!”

Skilled Dark Magician vanished, and the genuine article appeared! (2,500/2,100)

“And that’s not all…” continued Stan. “I’ll also summon my Skilled WHITE Magician!”

He placed another card down, and the Light counterpart to Skilled Dark Magician appeared! (1,700/1,900)

“All right!” shouted Stan. “Skilled White Magician, attack Bazoo the Soul Eater!”

Skilled White Magician thrust his staff forward and cast a spell of burning light! Bazoo howled and burst into pixels!

“Dark Magician, attack Chaosrider Gustaph!”

Dark Magician made a dramatic swing with his staff and fired! Gustaph screamed, and then he and his motorcycle were blown apart.

“That’s all for my turn…” said Stan with a smile.

I’ve got this cold! he thought. I can’t lose!

He paused.

Wait… I can’t think like that… That got me in trouble last time…

“It’s your move Drake,” he said.

Drake drew a card.

“I’ll play my Pot of Greed…” he stated, fitting a card into a slot.

The pot handed him two more cards.

Skilled White Magician absorbed the energy… His staff glowed copper.

“Ah, perfect!” he exclaimed. “I summon Banisher of the Light in Defense Mode!”

He put a card down. A tall priest in a blue and mustard-yellow robe appeared, holding a hand out. (100/2,000)



http://www.itstimetoduel.com/cardpictures/SRL-EN078.jpg


“And that will end my move,” he stated.

Err, I don’t like that… thought Stan, drawing. But I don’t like his D.D. Trainer even more…

He looked at his card.

“I’ll transfer a charge from my Stone to my Skilled White Magician!” he stated.

Another orb from the Pitch Black Power Stone shot forward and flew into Skilled White Magician. His staff glowed silver.

“Dark Magician, attack his D.D. Trainer!”

Dark Magician aimed his staff, and fired, blowing the goblin and his hideous mount to pieces!

“Skilled White Magician, attack his Scout Plane!”

Skilled White Magician fired his bright magic from his staff, and the Machine exploded.

“Heh, heh,” chuckled Drake. “Thank you. You see Stan, thanks to my Banisher of the Light, all cards that are destroyed or discarded while he’s on the field are removed from play…

“And that means my Soul Absorption can now get to work! It heals me of 500 points of damage whenever one of our cards is removed from play!”

His Life Points went up to 5,000.

“What’s more,” he said, “since D.D. Scout Plane was removed from play…”

“You get to Special Summon it back during the End Phase…” growled Stan.

“Exactly!” stated Drake.

“Fine,” said Stan. “I end my turn.”

A portal opened, and the D.D. Scout Plane flew out.



Continued...

Dark Sage
16th July 2005, 07:09 AM
Continued from last post:


Drake drew.

“I’ll shift my Scout Plane into Defense Mode,” he stated, turning the card, “and also summon a Monster facedown in Defense Mode.”

He threw a card down, and a hidden Monster appeared.

“It’s your move…”

Stan drew.

“I’ll transfer the last charge of my Stone to my Skilled White Magician!” he exclaimed.”

The final charge flew out of the Stone, and the Stone crumbled. Skilled White Magician’s staff glowed golden.

“Heh, heh,” laughed Drake. “You just discarded your Trap Card, meaning my Banisher of the Light removed it from play, meaning I gain another 500 Life Points!”

His Life Points went up to 5,500.

A card flew out of Stan’s deck.

“Your Banisher won’t be staying for long,” he said. “I can now sacrifice Skilled White Magician to summon Buster Blader!”

He switched cards on his Disk, and Skilled White Magician vanished; a huge figure in blue armor holding a giant sword appeared! (2,600/2,300)



http://www.itstimetoduel.com/cardpictures/PSV-EN050.jpg


“Buster Blader?” said Francesca in surprise. “That’s not a Spellcaster…”

“Yeah, but…” pondered Andy.

He paused. He knew why Stan had that card in his deck – it made a nasty combo with Dark Magician. He respected Stan, but he had to admit, he hated Buster Blader, and the combo it made with Dark Magician – once one of his opponents got one or the other on the field, he’d be hard pressed to win…

Buster Blader and Dark Magician looked at each other and nodded.

“I also summon my Gemini Elf in Attack Mode!” shouted Stan.

He put another card down, and the two twin elves appeared.

“Buster Blader!” he shouted, “attack his Banisher of the Light with blade buster attack!”

Buster Blader leapt forward and struck, blasting Banisher of the Light into bright pixels!

“Now, Gemini Elf, attack his facedown Monster!”

The two elves raised their arms, and shot forth two bolts of lightning… A figure appeared on the card…



http://www.itstimetoduel.com/cardpictures/DBT-EN002.jpg


“WHAT?” shouted Stan, as the Warrior was blown apart.

“Your elves just destroyed my D.D. Assailant!” laughed Drake. “And when she’s destroyed, both her and the Monster who destroyed her are removed from play!”

A dark hole opened above the field… Gemini Elf screamed, and they were sucked into it!

“And that means I gain 1,000 more Life Points!” he chuckled.

His Life Points went up to 6,500.

Stan growled.

“Dark Magician, destroy his D.D. Scout Plane!” he shouted.

Dark Magician aimed his staff, and he blew the Machine away again!

“Make your move…” he growled.

Drake drew.

“I’ll summon D.D. Warrior Lady in Attack Mode!” he shouted.

He threw a card down, and a beautiful woman dressed in armor, a glowing sword appeared. (1,500/1,600)



http://www.itstimetoduel.com/cardpictures/DCR-027.jpg


Aw, crud! exclaimed Stan.

“D.D. Warrior Lady,” yelled Drake, “attack his Dark Magician!”

D.D. Warrior Lady lifted her sword and charged…

Dark Magician gasped and blasted with his staff, blowing her into pixels…

And then a portal opened up again… Dark Magician was sucked through it.

“Heh, heh,” said Drake with a smile. “When D. D. Warrior Lady battles a Monster, I can remove both from play, and while I lost 900 Life Points from that kamikaze strike…”

His Life Points fell to 5,600.

“…thanks to my Soul Absorption, I gain back 1,000 more!”

His Life Points went up to 6,600.

“Now I’ll place this card facedown, and end my turn,” he said, placing his last card into the slot.

The card appeared in front of him.

Stan drew.

That facedown card worries me, he thought, But I could get a big lead if I took a risk…

“I summon Mystical Elf in Defense Mode,” he said, placing a card down.

The holy elf appeared, kneeling and chanting her mantra. (800/2,000)

“Now, Buster Blader, attack!”

“I activate Magic Cylinder!” shouted Drake.

The two Cylinders appeared in mid air. Stan gasped as energy flowed from his Buster Blader into one of them and shot out the other, striking him and knocking him over.

His Life Points fell to 7,000.

“Okay,” he said, “I end my turn. But you have no cards in your hand, and nothing on your side of the field except your Soul Absorption card. I doubt you can summon anything that can defeat Buster Blader.”

“I draw one card…” said Drake, drawing.

“Heh, heh,” he chuckled. “HA, HA, HA, HA, HA, HA!”

“What’s so funny?” asked Stan.

“Ever wonder who the ruler of the Different Dimension is Stan?” he asked. “I hold that creature in my hand… And it’s plenty strong enough to defeat your Blader!”

“Yeah?” asked Stan. “How are you going to summon it without a sacrifice?”

“It isn’t a Monster you need a sacrifice for!” chuckled Drake. “In fact, this Monster is only three stars! But I assure, when used the right way, it’s strong enough to defeat almost anything!”

He chuckled.

“I could even defeat the famed Egyptian God Cards if I was lucky…

“In fact, the creature I hold is the centerpiece of my deck, the reason I hold the title of Champion of Benelux…”

“Show me…” demanded Stan. “What the heck sort of mega-powerful three-star Monster are you going to summon?”

“I’ll show you…” said Drake.

He put a card down…

A portal of flames opened, and a hideous creature emerged. It was hard to describe. It’s demonic features suggested that it was a Fiend, but it wasn’t humanoid – more bestial in shape. It had a typical fiendish face, a red exoskeleton, two huge claws, and huge, dragon-like wings.

The abomination roared!

“Meet the star of my deck… GREN MAJU DA EIZA!

(?/?)



http://www.itstimetoduel.com/cardpictures/IOC-024.jpg


“What the heck is that?” muttered Francesca.

“It… can’t be good…” gasped Andy.

“Allow me to explain how this lovable beast works,” explained Drake. “It’s Attack and Defense Score is 400 for every one of my cards that has been removed from play. And in case you lost count, there have been thirteen!

“Do the math…”

Francesca did a quick calculation.

“Oh… my… God…” she gasped. “It has an Attack Score of 5,200!”

“Of course…” gulped Andy. “That’s why his whole deck revolved around sending cards out of play… It’s all done to power up a Monster who’s scores depend on cards being removed from play!”

“Exactly!” yelled Drake. “Gren Maju, attack his Buster Blader with chaos flames!”

Gren Maju Da Eiza blasted forth a stream of fire, incinerating Buster Blader!

Stan’s Life Points fell to 4,400.

“Your move…” chuckled Drake, crossing his arms.



[B]* * * * * * * * * *


“Gren Maju Dai Eiza?” muttered Crump. “What the sam hill is that?”

“Whoo?” hooted the owl.

“Who is right,” muttered Crump. “I’ve never seen it either. But whatever it is, it sure is powerful.

“Heh, heh, Stan is going to be fricasseed by that thing, and he’ll sink deeper into the hole! Won’t the Queen be pleased…”



[B]* * * * * * * * * *


Stan gulped, and drew a card.

His eyes popped out as he looked at it.

It’s one of the cards Merlee gave us! he thought. And this one might be even better than Goombella!

“Here’s my move, Drake,” he said. “I’ll summon this gal in Attack Mode…”

He set a card down…

“Say hello… to VIVIAN THE SHADOW SIREN!”

A man-sized form appeared out of the shadows. It was cute, ghost-like creature with purple skin and no legs, her lower body tapering off into a ghostly tendril. Her eyes were hidden by a swirl of pink hair, and more of her pink hair was worn long down her back. She wore a red and white striped witch’s hat and white gloves, and had a big smile. (1,800/1,000)

Again, the feeling came over Stan, Andy, and Francesca… The feeling of love from this creature, as if they had known her before and were seeing her for the first time in a long time…

“That’s really cute, Stan,” chuckled Drake. “But your ‘Shadow Siren’ can’t hold a candle to my Chaos Fiend!”

“We’ll see,” said Stan with a smile. “I end my turn.”

Drake drew, and thought carefully.

He summoned that creature in Attack Mode… he thought. But why? Could she have some special power that could block my Maju’s attack?

Well, I’ll best find out…

“Maju, attack that… What did he call it? Shadow Siren!”

Flames appeared in Maju’s jaws…

“I don’t think so, Drake,” said Stan.

He discarded a card from his hand.

Vivian vanished into the shadows, and the blast hit bare ground!

“Where’d she go?” stammered Drake.

Vivian reappeared out of the shadows.

“It’s called Vivian’s Veil, Drake,” said Stan, with a smile. “So long as Vivian is on the field and I’m willing and able to discard a card, my Monsters are attack-proof! By discarding a card, she can protect one Monster from an attack, including herself!”

“Fine,” scowled Drake. “But you can’t discard forever. Make your move.”

Stan drew.

“I place a card facedown, and that will be all for me…” he said.

He fit a card into a slot, and it appeared in front of him.

Drake drew.

Hmm… he thought. Maybe Stan won’t be so anxious to protect his Mystical Elf, seeing as she’s in Defense Mode…

“Gren Maju, attack his Mystical Elf!” he commanded.

Maju shot forth his flames.

“I activate Spellbinding Circle!” shouted Stan.

His Trap Card lifted, and Gren Maju Dai Eiza was trapped in the pentagram! Its Attack fell down to 4,500.

“Big deal,” growled Drake. “You’ll still never destroy it. Make your move.”

Stan drew.

“I’ll place another card facedown,” he stated, fitting it into a slot.

A new facedown card appeared behind his Monsters.

“Make your move.”

Drake drew.

Well, this will be useful… he thought.

“I activate Dust Tornado!” shouted Stan.

His Trap Card lifted, and the Soul Absorption card was blown apart!

Damn! thought Drake. Best make the most of it…

“I play this Magic Card…” he said.

He showed it to Stan…

“Soul Release?” gasped Stan, sweating.

“Yes,” said Drake, offhand, placing it into his Disk. “I’ll use it on my own Graveyard, removing my Mystical Space Typhoon, Pot of Greed, Chaosrider Gustaph, Bazoo the Soul Eater, and Banisher of the Light. This brings the total scores of Gren Maju Dai Eiza all the way up to 7,200!

Stan gulped, as Maju’s Attack and Defense went up.

“But since I can’t destroy your Spellbinding Circle now, I’ll end my turn,” he continued.

Stan shakily drew. He knew that he had to draw something good. Vivian could protect his Monsters, but not forever…

“I summon Ebon Magician Curran in Attack Mode!” he shouted.

He threw a card down, and the cute young sorceress in a dark dress appeared, holding her switch. (1,200/0)

“And that’s all for my move,” he said.

Drake drew.

“Heh, heh,” he said, looking at the card. “I play Heavy Storm!”

He threw the card into a slot, and a fierce wind whipped about the field, shattering the Spellbinding Circle! Gren Maju Dai Eiza reared up and roared…

“Maju!” shouted Drake, “attack Curran!”

The Fiend blew his blast of flame at Curran…

Stan discarded another card.

“Vivian, protect Curran with your Veil!” he shouted.

Vivian grabbed ahold of Curran and pulled her into the shadows. The blast harmlessly dissipated.

“Fine,” said Drake. “I end my turn. But soon you’ll have little left to discard…”

Stan drew.

Huh? he thought. Using this might be risky… but it might buy me some time…

He slid a card into a slot.

“Okay, Drake,” he said, “First, Curran’s effect kicks in…”

Curran chanted and swung her switch. She blasted a wave of dark energy at Drake, and he staggered back. His Life Points fell to 5,400.

“Now,” continued Stan, “I’m playing Clock Out!”

A sound like a chime rang out, and a large grandfather clock appeared on the field. It’s face had one hand, and the numbers one through six on it.

“Clock Out?” muttered Drake. “I’ve never heard of that…”

“Clock Out is a risky card,” responded Stan. “First I have to pay 1,000 Life Points…”

His Life Points fell to 3,400.

The hand on the clock started to spin.

“Then, whatever number the hand on this clock lands on, you can’t make an attack for that many of your turns!”

Drake gasped!

The hand slowed…

And landed on the three!



Continued...

Dark Sage
16th July 2005, 07:12 AM
“Yes!” exclaimed Andy. “Now Drake’s Fiend can’t attack for three of his turns!”

Darn, thought Stan. I’d have been better off with Swords of Revealing Light!

“I end my turn,” concluded Stan. “Now let’s see what you’ve got.”

Drake drew.

“What have I got?” he asked. “I’ll show you. One Gren Maju Dai Eiza was good, but two are even better!”

He threw a card down, and a second Gren Maju Dai Eiza appeared in a burst of flame! (7,200/7,200)

“And just so you know,” he said, “I have a third one waiting in my deck…”

He chuckled.

“I end my turn. Two turns to go…”

The clock ticked down to the two.

Stan sweated as he drew.

Yes! he thought.

Curran cast her spell again and zapped Drake again! His Life Points fell to 3,900.

“I play… Snatch Steal!” he shouted.

He played the card, and the shifty bandit leapt out.

The bandit leapt onto the back of one the Gren Maju Dai Eiza, and the creature flew over to Stan’s side.

“Heh, heh, heh…” chuckled Drake. “I suppose you’re planning to send that Maju in a suicide strike against the first one to destroy them both…”

“You got it!” said Stan with a smile.

“Well take a closer look…” chuckled Drake.

Stan looked down…

The Attack and Defense Scores of the Monster he had stolen were only 1,200!

“You obviously didn’t know the ruling on Gren Maju Dai Eiza,” said Drake with a grin. “It’s Attack and Defense is 400 times the number of cards that the controller has had removed from play. Since you’ve only had three removed from play, it’s much weaker while on your side!”

Stan stood dumbfounded.

“So now,” chuckled Drake, “you’ll just have to keep it until your Clock Out wears off, and I’ll gain 1,000 Life Points per turn!”

Stan noticed a card in his hand.

“No I won’t,” he said, placing a card on his Disk. “I’ll sacrifice it to summon Dark Magician Girl!”

Gren Maju Dai Eiza vanished, and the gorgeous female sorceress spun out of the ground brandishing her staff. (2,000/1,700)

“All right!” exclaimed Francesca. “One down!”

“That ends my turn,” said Stan, “make your move.”

Drake drew.

“Sorry, Stan,” he said, “but Curran has to go…”

He threw a Magic Card into a slot and discarded another card.

“So I’m playing Dark Core!”

A black hole appeared above the field. Ebon Magician Curran shrieked as she was sucked into it!

“What?” asked Stan. “Why didn’t you use it to get rid of Vivian?”

“Because, you still have two turns to act,” responded Drake. “If I left Curran on the field that long, you could have summoned more Monsters, and she might have finished me.

“So make your move. I’ll draw my third Gren Maju Dai Eiza soon enough, I’m certain of it…”

The clock clicked down to the one.

Stan drew.

Negate Attack… he thought. This can help, but not forever… And I can’t use Vivian’s power forever either…

He shivered at the sight of the fiend in front of him…

He closed his eyes…



[B]* * * * * * * * * *


When he opened them, he found himself in a spooky place. It was dark – mysterious. A place where his nightmares seemed to come from.

“No…” he gasped. “Help…”

“Stan!” cried a voice. “Snap out of it!”

Stan knew that voice. It was the same voice in his head that had urged him to accept Drake’s challenge.

A form appeared from out of the shadows.

“Vivian?” he said, surprised. “What’s going on?”

“I had to talk to you Stan,” she said. “You looked like you were about to give up…”

“I might as well,” muttered Stan. “His Monster is too powerful…”

Vivian sighed.

“Stan, you want me to tell you a secret?” she asked. “Don’t tell anybody…”

She paused.

“Before I joined up with your ancestor, I worked with my two sisters, and we worked for the Shadow Queen. We even fought the Three Heroes early on…

“They walloped us good that time…”

She sighed.

“Thing was, my sisters were big bullies – I was the youngest. They always tortured me – and when they made a mistake, they blamed me for it. But I didn’t dare stand up for myself… because I thought they were too powerful!

“But eventually, that all changed. You ancestor… he took pity on me. He did something nice for me, and I decided to tag along. Working for him was much better than working for the Queen…

“And eventually, I helped him face my sisters again… and I helped him beat them! It was the most gratifying experience of my life!

“He helped me gain the courage to stand up to them, and I found out that they weren’t as powerful as I had feared…”

She paused again.

“That was long ago,” she continued, “but the Queen is a threat again. You must defeat her, and you must win this duel to get to the Thousand Year Door. Now do it like you mean it. Gren Maju Dai Eiza may be tough, but you know the old saying…

“The bigger they are, the harder they fall…

“We’re all counting on you…”



[B]* * * * * * * * * *


Stan came back to awareness.

“Okay, Drake,” he said, “I’m placing this card facedown, and ending my turn!”

He threw the card into the slot, and the card appeared before him.

Drake drew.

“I’ll pass and let your Clock Out expire,” he said.

The hand clicked to the twelve o’clock position and vanished.

Stan drew.

He looked at the card strangely.

“I’ll place a Monster facedown in Defense, and end my turn,” he stated.

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

Drake drew a card.

“HA!” he shouted. “I summon my third Gren Maju Dai Eiza!”

He threw a card down, and another of the Chaos Fiends appeared. (7,200/7,200)

“You have only three cards in your hand now,” laughed Drake, “and you’ll need to discard two of them to save your Shadow Siren now! Maju #1, attack Vivian with chaos flames!”

The first Gren Maju Dai Eiza shot forth his fiery breath.

“I activate Negate Attack!” yelled Stan.

His Trap Card lifted, and the flames were swallowed by a vortex.

“Humph, fine,” grunted Drake. “I end my turn. But this is almost over.”

Stan drew.

All right! he thought.

“I’m afraid it is over!” he exclaimed. “First I’ll shift my Mystical Elf into Attack Mode…”

Mystical Elf got up and unfolded her hands.

“Huh?” asked Drake.

“Now I’ll shift my facedown Monster into Attack Mode!” he continued.

The card spun around, and a grizzled old witch doctor in colorful clothes carrying a large staff appeared. (450/600)



http://www.itstimetoduel.com/cardpictures/MFC-067.jpg


“Old Vindictive Magician?” gasped Drake.

“That’s right!” exclaimed Stan.

Old Vindictive Magician waved his staff, and vaporized one of the Chaos Fiends!

“It isn’t over!” cursed Drake.

“Afraid it is,” said Stan with a smile. “Because now I play the card I just drew… Double Spell!”

He fit it into a slot.

“What good will that do you?” asked Drake. “I removed all my Magic Cards in my Graveyard from play.”

“Not all of them!” remarked Stan, discarding his Sage’s Stone. “I’m using this card to duplicate your Dark Core!”

He placed the card into a slot, and discarded another card, and the black hole opened above the field again, sucking the last Gren Maju Dai Eiza into it with a roar!

“Aw… shoot my monkey…” gasped Drake.

“Mystical Elf!” shouted Stan. “Attack with mystical magic!”

Mystical Elf held her palms forward and shot forth a blast of light. Drake staggered back, and his Life Points fell to 3,100.

“Dark Magician Girl, dark magic blast!”

Dark Magician Girl cheered and leapt up into the air, blasting Drake with her dark magic. Drake shuddered as it tore through him. His Life Points fell to 1,100.

“Now, Vivian!” yelled Andy. “Finish him off with your Fiery Jinx!”

Vivian raised her hands, and shot waves of flame from them! Drake screamed as he was hit and his Life Points fell to zero.

“Yes!” shouted Andy, hi-fiving Fran. “He won!”



[B]* * * * * * * * * *


“Unfortunate,” muttered Crump. “It seems Stan got lucky…”

“Whoo…” hooted the owl.

“Hmm, that Vivian creature he has is pretty powerful,” he remarked, looking at his notes. “So is that Clock Out card. These three kids are packing pretty strange cards…”

He paused.

“Maybe I should get to Twilight Town and look up these cards in their internet café – I’m sure the Queen wouldn’t mind me doing a bit of research…”

He hopped off the rock and headed in the direction that the teens had been headed.

“Whoo?” said the owl.



[B]* * * * * * * * * *


“Well, you won,” sighed Drake. “So I owe you this…”

He handed over one of his Crystal Cards.

“You deserve it – I’ve never had a duel like that!”

“Thank you,” said Stan.

“So,” said Drake, “you headed towards Twilight Town? If you are, I’ll walk with you…”

“Sure,” said Stan with a shrug. “From the look of things, there’s strength in numbers around here…”

They walked off into the everlasting Twilight…

Half a mile ahead, the dark burg of Twilight Town awaited…




CLOCK OUT

Card Specs

Type: Magic
Attribute: –
Level: –
ATK: –
DEF: –

Card Description: Image of a large clock tower being blasted apart by lightning. Pay 1,000 Life Points to activate this card. Roll one dice. For a number of your opponent’s turns equal to the number on the dice, your opponent cannot declare an attack.



VIVIAN THE SHADOW SIREN

Card Specs

Type: Spellcaster/Effect
Attribute: Dark
Level: 4
ATK: 1,800
DEF: 1,000

Card Description: It is said that this shy creature once opposed the Three Heroes as a servant of the Shadow Queen, but joined their cause after they showed an act of kindness. When this Monster is face-up on the field, you can discard one card from your hand to negate an attack on one of your face-up Monsters.



[B][I]Coming up next…

Another user character, belonging to someone we’re all quite familiar with, rears his head, and he packs a deck that mirrors a popular anime character! What horrors are in store for Andy in the creepy burg of Twilight Town? Find out in a chapter that I call “Dweller in Darkness”, coming soon.

Master of Paradox
16th July 2005, 09:07 AM
Well, I was fooled. Remind me not to go assuming anymore.

Good chapter, although again there's not much to say on the plot, since that was left relatively empty. It's quite odd, seeing a full-blown D.D. deck without any made-ups in it - but I suppose given the overall number of cards supporting it nowadays, that's not impossible. And both Clock Out and Vivian did about what I thought they'd do.

Have you ever noticed how many of your characters are regional champions of wherever, by the way? Not a complaint, just a comment.

Overall, a decent chapter. Looking forward to the next.

Pokemasterkatie
16th July 2005, 09:38 AM
Whoa...there's a new one(seriously; I've never heard of this monster)! BTW, I WAS thinking of Megarock Dragon, DS.:) I'm pleased Andy knows why Stan put Buster Blader in his deck, although getting Dark Paladin out is still no easy task! Andy must have been defeated by it once before...

And Vivian, arguably the cutest female in a Mario game(eat your heart out, Peach!)...and the most controversial, as she was a male in the Japanese version!:o Veil(and the Clock Out card as well) was nicely translated in Duel Monsters terms, as this did the exact same thing in the game.:)

Perfect Chaos
16th July 2005, 11:58 AM
That was a great chapter Dark Sage. Another very creative deck theme that kept us on the edge of our seats (at least for me it did). Drake certainly showed why he was the Champion of Benelux, with his all original "Chaos" deck. I didn't expect that it was possible to make a full-out D.D. deck either, but I guess it's possible

Clock Out and Vivian would both make great cards in Stall deck. Keep up the good work Dark Sage

-sean

Shuppet Master
16th July 2005, 12:30 PM
Once again, your characters teach the valuable life lesson - NEVER use a card which you think could be used against you, as cards exist to steal the cards(like the real life Double Spell or your fictional Dark Scorpion Pilfer). Both of those Gran Maju were powerful, but were no match for a Old Vindictive and Dark Core. :)

Interesting character name, Silencer. One of my characters was called Drake, but he was a dragon duelist like Andy. And as for every user-character being a champion, well, my user character isn't. ;)

I was thinking of Megarock too, D.S. Great job.

jkBAKURA
16th July 2005, 12:48 PM
Well, I feel humbled. I was thinking Tyrano-Infinity. I've seen my share of fiction with D.D decks, and even played several myself, but somehow you managed to get several combos all into one match. Unfortunately I don't know enough about Thousand-Year-Door to make a legitimate judgement on the custom cards, but everyone else sems to like them so I'll jump on that bandwagon. Looking foreward to an update as always, JKB

Dark Sage
16th July 2005, 01:16 PM
So many questions to address.

Silencer wanted his user character to be the regional champion of Benelux. I admit that a lot of the characters in these fics are regional champions, but that is one of the reasons they are invited to major tournaments. There won't be many more of these big wheels in the future.

I'll admit that Vivian is indeed cuter than Peach, but I had no idea that she was a male character in the Japanese version. You learn something new every day, I guess.

Has Andy ever been defeated by a Buster Blader? Possibly. This fact may well be a foreshadowing.

For everyone who I took by surprise, sorry to disappoint. However, Tyranno Infinity will appear eventually (as will a lot more Cybernetic Revolution cards). You'll just have to wait and see.

- Dark Sage

Zcade0
16th July 2005, 01:24 PM
Exellent chapter Dark Sage I really like the dark dragon deck but what about the D.D. Dragon? Anyway I fought a D.D. Deck and it was bloody hard even though they didn't use the the one monster (can't remember how 2 spell it).

Shuppet Master
16th July 2005, 05:47 PM
Tyrano-Infinity? Must be another Cybernetic Revolution card! :D

BTW, on the subject of my story(don't pelt me with Mystic Tomatoes for doing this), I wanted to put up a special duel chapter to celebrate the release of the sixth Harry Potter book(which I've started to read), but it's not finished yet. :( I plan on having the next chapter out today. ;)

Silencer
16th July 2005, 06:32 PM
Cool, coming back from vacation and saying your character in the fic, just plain cool. And I would like to thank the people that found my deck intresting. When I play fun games I use this deck and it's really fun to use.

Also my character name is just the name I would have when I was American I guess, so nothing special. And making my character the champion of the Benelux I put some focus on my country and I'm proud of it ;)

starjake
17th July 2005, 10:46 AM
Wow! Quite an interesting deck theme, I must say. And Gren Maju is a Fire monster, which makes it extra cool!

I hope the next duel is just as interesting as this one. I await the next chapter!

Dark Sage
19th July 2005, 09:29 AM
It's time for a new chapter!

And with it, the debut of a new user character!

So, I'd like to thank Perfect Chaos for his contribution of this very interesting character.

Let the battle of Twilight Town begin!

Dark Sage
19th July 2005, 09:32 AM
[I][B]I watched the Battle City duels on tapes a while back. I watch everything that has to do with Yugi Mouto. It was an exciting contest, but…

Unfortunately, a dark force tried to ruin it. Villains led by a demon infiltrated the competition in an attempt at world domination.

Each of these scoundrels had a separate theme, like most duelists do. And some of them stood out more than others.

I doubt that the guy who’s dueling Andy right now has any sinister motives, but…

…well, I can’t quite put my finger on it…

…but his strategy seems awfully familiar.

Not to mention scary…




[B][size=3]CHAPTER SIXTEEN



Dweller in Darkness



As the three friends and their new companion approached the buildings of the dark town, the first thing they noticed surrounding it were orchards full of trees, which were loaded with scrumptious-looking peaches!

It was amazing that peach trees could flourish in an area with so little light.

They were hungry, and it was tempting to pick some of the luscious fruits – but they stopped, thinking the trees likely belonged to someone.

They entered the town, which was full of wooden buildings with a surreal theme. The townsfolk all turned to acknowledge their arrival. They all looked odd, wrapped in patchwork clothing and shawls, their skin somewhat pale. Obviously, this was due to the fact that they didn’t get any sun.

Stan looked at his watch – two PM.

At the same time, from somewhere in the distance, a loud spooky chime rang out… and then a second one. They seemed to echo over the town…

“What was THAT?” exclaimed Francesca.

A townsfolk walked up to them.

“That was the Creepy Steeple,” he muttered. “It lies deep in the woods beyond the town, and ever hour on the hour, it rings out the time in its haunting tone. People say it’s haunted, and an evil creature lives up there…”

He shrugged.

“No one is brave enough to go there, so we just learn to live with it.”

Drake shrugged.

“Is there anywhere we can get a bite to eat here?” he asked.

The man pointed.

“The Twilight Tavern,” he said. “Try the cold peach soup. Our town is famous for its twilight peaches.”

They walked into the inn, which wasn’t very crowded. At a table, they saw a teenager, about seventeen years old, slowly sipping a glass of soda. He looked somewhat lonely in his dark corner of the tavern. A Duel Disk was on the table in front of him.

The four teenagers went up to him.

“Mind if we join you?” asked Stan. “You looked pretty lonely…”

He sighed.

“Sure, you can join me,” he said, glumly. “But usually, I just prefer to be alone. I’m not exactly a ‘people person’…”

They got a good look at him. He was about six-foot-one, and had a slightly muscular build. His skin was deep tan, and he had black, spiky hair and hazel eyes. He had a light/medium mustache-goatee combination growing. He wore a silver hoop earring on his left and ear black fingerless gloves on both hands. His dress consisted of a black tank top with a gray button-up collared shirt, but left unbuttoned, with faded baggy black jeans and black sneakers.

“You can call me Sean,” he sighed. “Sean Kishore.”

“You know,” said Andy, “you kind of have to be a ‘people person’ if you want to get anywhere on the dueling circuit.”

“I can duel with the best of them…” said Sean.

He smiled a slight smile, as if it hurt his face to smile.

“I’ll even prove it…” he said.

“Sure!” exclaimed Andy. “I’ll take you on…”

He reached into his pocket.

“I have four Crystal Cards…”

Sean again made that painful smile. He took out a set of Crystal Cards from his own pocket.

“Five?” said Andy in surprise.

“I must warn you,” said Sean, putting them back, “most people who face my Occult Deck are often so frightened afterwards that they have nightmares for days!”

Andy paused.

“Occult Deck?” he asked.

A waitress came up.

“What can I get you all?” she asked.

“Let’s eat first,” muttered Andy, “we’ll duel after lunch…”



[B]* * * * * * * * * *


Two buildings over was an internet café, and sitting at one of the computers was Lord Crump.

If there was one thing he WAS good at, it was computers, and he could surf the net with relative ease.

Okay, he thought. The website is easy enough to get to…

He typed in www.industrialillusions.com

The website for the company that owned the copyright for Duel Monsters came up.

There, he thought. Now, all I need to do is search their database for these weird cards that I’ve seen those kids use, and I should get some answers…

He slowly sipped his cappuccino.



[B]* * * * * * * * * *


Andy and Sean stood twenty feet apart in the middle of town square. As usual, the townsfolk gathered to watch.

“Francesca,” whispered Stan, “what the heck is an Occult Deck?”

“I have no idea, Stan!” she answered. “I’d assume Zombies or Fiends, but it has to have some sort of extra kick to it if he calls it an… ‘Occult Deck’…”

“Ready Sean?” asked Andy.

“Ready,” answered the youth. “Prepare to be assaulted by my spiritual forces!”

The change came over Andy.

“You’ll have to get past my Dragons first!” he exclaimed. “Activate!”

The holo-imagers shot out of his Disk, and the Disk snapped into position.

Sean did the same with his. They drew their first hands, and the Life Point counters set to 8,000 apiece.

“LET’S DUEL!” they both shouted.

Andy looked at his hand.

Not too shabby… he thought.

Sean looked at his.

Hmm… he thought. Already what I need to bring out my strategy… but first I need to set it up…

“You may make the first move,” he told Andy.

“Thanks,” said Andy, drawing. “And I’ll summon Cave Dragon in Attack Mode!”

He put the card down, and the fat, sluggish dragon appeared on the field in front of him. (2,000/100)

“Eek!” squeaked Sean.

“That will end my turn,” said Andy.

Sean drew, and considered his options.

“All right,” he said. “I summon Archfiend Soldier in Defense Mode…”

He placed a card down, and the infernal soldier appeared, and knelt in Defense. (1,900/1,500)

“That’s all for my turn…” he said with a grimace.

Francesca frowned. “More Fiends,” she sighed. “Can’t Andy ever catch a break?”

Andy drew and smiled.

“I summon Luster Dragon #1 in Attack Mode!” he exclaimed.

He put the card down, and a huge sapphire appeared over the field. It burst, and the beautiful dragon with blue gemstone skin appeared. (1,900/1,600)

“Luster Dragon,” he commanded, “attack his Archfiend with sapphire flash blast!”

Luster Dragon shot forth a beam of bright blue energy and it vaporized Archfiend Soldier!

“Cave Dragon, attack him directly!”

Cave Dragon belched forth a cloud of gas! Sean screamed as he staggered back.

His Life Points fell to 6,000.

“Wow,” muttered Drake. “And only on his second turn!”

“My turn now…” muttered Sean, drawing.

He placed a card down.

“I’ll summon The Gross Ghost of Fled Dreams in Defense Mode.”

A bed with a sleeper on it appeared, and then a hideous, skeletal phantom carrying a sword and shield floated out of the sleeper’s body. It covered itself with the shield. (1,300/1,800)



http://www.itstimetoduel.com/cardpictures/LON-EN053.jpg


“What the?” asked Andy. “THAT was the best you could come up with?”

“Pretty much…” sighed Sean.

Andy drew.

“Luster Dragon, attack his Ghost!” shouted Andy.

Luster Dragon shot forth his breath weapon and The Gross Ghost of Fled Dreams was annihilated.

“Cave Dragon, attack directly again!” shouted Andy.

Cave Dragon belched forth his gaseous breath, and Sean screamed.

His Life Points fell to 4,000.

“Make your move,” said Andy with a grin.

“Shesh, this is too easy!” remarked Drake as Sean drew.

“That’s what I’m worried about,” muttered Fran. “When something seems too good to be true, it usually is…”

Sean placed a card down.

“I summon Earthbound Spirit in Defense Mode!” he exclaimed.

A rumbling was heard, and a figure made of dirt and mud pulled itself partially out of the ground. (500/2,000)



http://www.itstimetoduel.com/cardpictures/LON-EN055.jpg


“As you can see,” stated Sean, “it’s Defense is too high for either of your Dragons. I end my turn.”

Andy drew.

“Not for long…” he said with a smile. “I sacrifice my Luster Dragon #1 to summon Luster Dragon #2!”

His first Luster Dragon faded away, and a huge emerald appeared. It shattered, and the huge dragon with green gem-colored skin emerged! (2,400/1,400)

“Crud…” muttered Sean.

“Luster Dragon, attack his Spirit with emerald flash blast!” shouted Andy.

The new Luster Dragon shot forth a beam of green energy, and Earthbound Spirit was blasted into an explosion of soil.

“Now, Cave Dragon, let’s do this again!”

Cave Dragon shot forth his lethal breath, blasting Sean’s Life Points down to 2,000.

Sean gasped to catch his breath… And then he chuckled…

“Are you done?” he asked.

“Yes,” said Andy. “So make your last move.”

“It will be far from my last!” exclaimed Sean.

He drew… And then he placed a card on his Disk.

“I’ll remove Archfiend Soldier, The Gross Ghost of Fled Dreams, and Earthbound Spirit from play…” he said.

An eerie glow pervaded his disk, and a green light flowed out of it.

“Uh… oh…” muttered Francesca.

“…and I summon… DARK NECROFEAR!” he shouted.

Just like in Andy’s duel with Poison, the bald, female Fiend wearing a skirt, an iron brassier, and leather knee-high boots appeared, shrouded in an aura of black flames. Her eyes glowed with hellish energy. (2,200/2,800)



http://www.itstimetoduel.com/cardpictures/LON-EN065.jpg


“Ugh…” moaned Andy. “Not again…”



[B]* * * * * * * * * *


This is nuts… thought Crump, finishing his third cappuccino.

There’s not even a reference to Monster Cards called “Madame Flurrie of the Fog”, “Koops the Bashful”, and “Vivian the Shadow Siren”! And this “Clock Out” card is totally unknown too!

Could they be fake cards? No, that’s impossible – the Queen’s magic prevents counterfeit cards from working in this tournament…

Unless…

He shuddered…

Unless these cards were created by someone with magic even greater than the Shadow Queen!

A chill came over him.

“Another cappuccino,” he asked the bartender.



[B]* * * * * * * * * *


Andy sighed.

“Dark Necrofear…” he muttered. “Don’t people these days know anything original?”

Sean scowled.

“DON’T insult my Monster!” he demanded. “She saved me from living a life of misery!”

“Huh?” asked Andy. “How did that Fiend save you?”

Sean clenched his fist.

“I never knew my mom,” he said, glumly. “She died giving birth to me. After her death, my dad was never the same, and he drank too much. He didn’t abuse me or my brother, but we were more or less ignored. My brother V.J. tried his best to raise me, but a brother is a poor substitute for true parents.

“The drinking eventually became too much for my dad… He died two years ago… V.J. started to support both of us after earning his Master’s Degree.

“But it still didn’t change the fact that if it weren’t for me, both of my parents would still be alive…”

“Oh, please, Sean!” protested Andy. “You can’t blame yourself for your mother dying in childbirth and your father’s depression.”

Sean paused and continued.

“Maybe…” he said. “Maybe not. But one day in school, I found a bag full of valuable things that a kid had deserted. I turned it into the office – there was no identification, and no one claimed it after thirty days, so they gave it to me. Among the stuff was a single Duel Monsters card – Dark Necrofear. Thus, she was the first card I ever owned. I decided to build a deck and duel in my parents’ memory, hoping to make them proud…”

He paused again.

“And it’s still my turn, by the way! Dark Necrofear…”

He pointed.

“Attack his Luster Dragon!”

Everyone gasped, as Dark Necrofear opened her evil eyes and shot forth a beam of blackness! Luster Dragon shot forth a counter-attack, and the Fiend was incinerated.

Sean’s Life Points fell to 1,800.

“Fine,” growled Andy. “Happy?”

Sean smiled, and crossed his arms…

A few tense seconds passed.

To Andy’s surprise, there was no sign that Dark Necrofear had possessed one of his Monsters! Both of his Dragons had not moved.

“What’s going on?” asked Andy. “Dark Necrofear’s effect isn’t optional, and even if it was…”

“You’re wrong,” said Sean, with a grin. “You see, I know a lot about Dark Necrofear, and I know that her normal effect isn’t the only secret that she holds inside her…”

He chose a card from his hand and flicked open his Field Slot.

“You see, by forfeiting Dark Necrofear’s normal effect, I can play this…”

He slid a card into a slot, and it closed.

Suddenly, a shadowy cloud of darkness covered the field! And it didn’t stop there… sinister eyes, fanged mouths, and even worse, fanged mouths with sinister eyes inside them, appeared in the sky! Finally, an evil-looking palace appeared behind Sean.

Some of the onlookers screamed…

“Behold the malevolent force of… [B]Dark Sanctuary!” exclaimed Sean.

“Uh, Stan…” muttered Francesca, sweating. “You ever hear of this?”

“Um…” said Stan with a shudder. “It looks kind of familiar… but I can’t remember from where…”

“Where are we Sean?” demanded Andy. “Is this… is this where Dark Necrofear is from?”

“Maybe…” said Sean with a shrug.

“Just what does this Dark Sanctuary of yours do?” he asked.

“That’s for me to know, and you to find out,” responded Sean. “But I’m afraid it’s still my turn…”

He placed a Magic Card into a slot.

“I play The Dark Door!” he exclaimed as the card appeared.

“The Dark Door?” said Drake in surprise. “What the heck is that?”

“So long as that Continuous Magic Card is in place,” answered Stan, “both of them are limited to only one attack per round.”

“Now, one card facedown, and that will end my turn,” said Sean.

He placed another card into a slot, and it materialized in front of him.

Andy drew.

“I may only be allowed one attack per round,” he said, “but you have no Monsters on the field! One will be more than enough!”

“Do say,” answered Sean.

“Well, just in case your facedown card is a Mirror Force,” replied Stan, “I’m moving Cave Dragon to Defense Mode…”

He turned the card, and Cave Dragon curled up into a ball.

“Now, Luster Dragon, attack!”

Luster Dragon prepared to fire its breath weapon…

Suddenly, it gasped! A ghostly phantom flew out of its back and into Andy’s chest!

Andy felt like the chill of the grave had pervaded him…


Continued...

Dark Sage
19th July 2005, 09:36 AM
Continued from last post:


“Wh-what happened?” he gasped.

“Your Luster Dragon was possessed by the Ghost of Dark Sanctuary, that’s what happened!” chuckled Sean.

“What?” gulped Andy.

“That’s one of the benefits of Dark Sanctuary,” said Sean with a smile. “During each of your Standby Phases, I can choose one of your Monsters to possess with an invisible specter. If you choose to attack with the possessed Monster, the attack is negated, and you lose Life Points equal to half of the Monster’s Attack Score…”

Andy’s Life Points dropped to 6,800.

“And what’s more,” continued Sean, “any Life Points you lose as a result of this get added to mine!”

Sean’s Life Points rose to 3,000.

Andy was shocked. This was a strategy unlike any he had ever seen before…

“Fine, he gulped. “I end my turn…”

Sean drew.

“Very well,” he said. “I play my Pot of Greed…”

He fit the card into a slot, and the wicked jar handed him two cards.

“Now I’ll summon… Headless Knight!”

A haunting laugh echoed over the field, and the knight in golden armor with a shield and sword – and no head – burst out of the ground. (1,450/1,700)



http://www.itstimetoduel.com/cardpictures/LON-EN054.jpg


“But it won’t be staying long,” he continued. “Begone!”

Headless Knight shattered into pixels.

“What?” exclaimed Andy. “What did you do?”

“A necessity,” explained Sean. “Dark Sanctuary is so powerful, that I have to sacrifice a Monster during every one of my first Main Phases to keep it in play.”

“Hmm…” muttered Francesca. “I knew there had to be a catch…”

“Now, I’ll place two cards facedown, and end my turn…” continued Sean.

He fit the cards into slots, and they appeared next to his other facedown card.

Andy drew…

“I activate a Trap!” yelled Sean.

One of his cards lifted.

“I activate Sixth Sense!”

The Trap Card showed the frightening image of a scared woman with psychic energy flowing out of her forehead.

“Sixth Sense?” gasped Andy.

“Don’t panic,” chuckled Sean. “This Trap is meant to help me, not hurt you…”

A large black dice appeared, with strange runes indicating the numbers.

“Here’s how it works,” he explained. “I call two numbers, and then the Dice of Fate goes for a roll. If it lands on one of the numbers I called, then I get to draw that many cards. If it lands on any other number, I have to discard that many cards from my deck.

“I call five and six!”

“Well, that makes sense…” muttered Drake.

The Dice of Fate fell… it skipped and rolled…

And it stopped. The number glowed, indicating a five.

“Lucky me…” he chuckled. Five cards flew out of his deck and he caught them.

He looked at them for a moment.

“Well, go on…” he said.

Andy considered.

“I’ll move Cave Dragon back to Attack Mode…” he said, turning the card.

Cave Dragon resumed attack position.

“…but I’m not going to attack until I find a way to do so without risk. I end my turn.”

Sean chuckled again as he drew.

“I’m afraid stalling isn’t going to help,” he said. “First I’ll summon Witch of the Black Forest…”

He put a card down, and a cackling laughter echoed over the field – the wicked witch in her dark robe appeared in front of him. (1,100/1,200)



http://www.itstimetoduel.com/cardpictures/SKE-020.jpg


“…now I’ll sacrifice her to keep Dark Sanctuary!”

Witch of the Black Forest shattered.

A card slipped out of his deck and he took it.

“And as you know, when the Witch is sent to the Graveyard, I get to draw a Monster with low Defense…”

He hit his Disk.

“And now…” he said, “…the countdown begins! I activate Destiny Board!”

His Trap Card lifted…

A spooky shape began to take form in the sky above him. It was a large board, trapezoid in shape. At the top were the numbers 0 through 9, below that were the letters A through Z, and below that were the words “YES” and “NO”. A spectral hand held a triangle with a round glass in the middle.

“What?” said Andy, almost laughing. “You expect me to be scared of a Ouija board?”

“I assure you, Andy,” laughed Sean, “this is no toy board game that you buy at a Toys R Us! This is a real Ouija board that lets me communicate with a powerful demon!”

“Demon?” gulped Andy.

“Yes, and he has a message for you… And here’s the first letter…”

With a sound like nails on a chalkboard, the spectral hand moved the marker until it rested on the F.

A flaming letter F topped by a skull appeared under the Destiny Board. Sean smiled.

“At the end of each of your turns, a new letter will be added to the message, and when all five letters are in place the demon will be summoned… At which time it will attack, destroying you and granting me an automatic win.”

“So I end my turn…”

Andy was trying his hardest not to panic.

Okay, he thought. Attacking is dangerous, but I have to defeat him before that message gets finished…

Either that or destroy the Destiny Board, and I don’t have anything to do that with right now…

He drew.

The Dragon Dwelling in the Cave.

He couldn’t have possessed this guy, because I haven’t summoned him yet… but his Attack Score isn’t really strong enough to make much of a difference…

“I summon The Dragon Dwelling in the Cave in Defense Mode!” he exclaimed.

He put the card down, and the sleepy, rocky Dragon appeared. (1,300/2,000)

Okay, he thought. Cave Dragon, or Luster Dragon? Since Cave Dragon is weaker, he likely didn’t possess it… so…

“Cave Dragon, attack!” he shouted.

Cave Dragon prepared to attack…

“Congratulations, Andy, you didn’t chose the possessed Monster!” laughed Sean. “Not that it will do you any good…”

He tapped his Disk, and his last Trap Card lifted.

“I activate Dark Spirit of the Silent!”

A howling ghost flew out of the Trap Card, flew into Cave Dragon, and then flew into Luster Dragon!

“What’s happening!” shouted Andy.

“Dark Spirit of the Silent not only stops your Monster from attacking, but forces another of your Monsters of my choice to attack! And I choose your Luster Dragon!”

“ARGH!” shouted Andy. “If it’s possessed…”

“Yes, and I’m afraid it is,” said Sean with a grin.

Luster Dragon tried to attack, but once again it gasped, and the Ghost of Dark Sanctuary darted out and flew into Andy. He screamed!

His Life points fell to 5,600, while Sean’s rose to 4,200.

“Man, this guy’s good!” exclaimed Drake.

“Drake…” muttered Francesca. “Just who’s side are you on?”

Drake sighed.

“All I know is, this guy would pound me flat! If I tried to attack with Gren Maju Dai Eiza while it was possessed…”

“You’re telling me!” exclaimed Stan. “Andy is only hurting himself.”

Andy gasped.

“I end my turn,” he said.

A card flew out of Sean’s deck, and he placed it in his Disk.

“Then that means the Destiny Board gets its second letter!” he laughed.

The hand moved the pointer, and it covered the I.

A flaming I topped with a skull appeared to the right of the F.

“F-I…” muttered Andy. “Hey, wait a minute…”

He smiled.

“There’s a flaw in your strategy!”

“A flaw?” asked Sean as he drew.

“Yes,” said Andy with a grin. “Each letter of your Destiny Board is one card!”

“So?” asked Sean, with a shrug.

“SO?” laughed Andy. “You’ve played The Dark Door, silly! A Duel Disk only has room for five Magic and Trap Cards! If you want to keep The Dark Door, you can’t finish the message!”

Stan and Francesca gasped.

Could Sean have actually been that stupid?

But then, Sean laughed out loud.

“Smart, Andy, real smart,” he commented. “Most of my opponents don’t pick up on that. And that usually is a problem when using Destiny Board. However, it isn’t a problem due to the second effect of Dark Sanctuary…”

“SECOND effect?” gasped Andy.

“Yes!” laughed Andy. “It let’s me use the slots on my Monster Zone to play Magic and Trap Cards. Therefore, I can indeed finish the message with The Dark Door in place!”

Andy was dumbfounded.

Where on earth did he get this card? he thought.

“Now that it’s my turn,” he stated, “I’ll summon Sangan…”

The large, spherical Fiend with a toothy mouth and three eyes appeared. (1,000/600)



http://www.itstimetoduel.com/cardpictures/SDJ-019.jpg


“And now, I’ll sacrifice it to keep my Field Card!”

Sangan shattered.

A card slipped out of his deck, and he took it.

“And now I get to draw a Monster with low Attack!” he stated.

“Talk about strategy…” muttered Stan.

“What do you mean?” asked Francesca.

“He obviously used the Witch to search for Sangan,” answered Stan, “thus ensuring that he’d have a Monster to sacrifice for at least two more turns… This guy IS good…”

“It’s your move,” said Sean. “But remember, one of your Monsters is possessed… choose your attack wisely…”

Andy drew…

Masked Dragon.

Still not worth attacking with… he thought.

“I summon Masked Dragon in Defense Mode!” he exclaimed.

He put the card down, and the metallic Dragon wearing a mask appeared, folding its wings. (1,400/1,100)

Now, let’s see, he thought. He doesn’t have another Dark Spirit of the Silent on the field…

If I had to guess, Sean probably possessed the Luster Dragon again… Here goes nothing…

“Cave Dragon, attack!”

Cave Dragon bellowed…

And then it screamed! The ghost shot out of it and flew into Andy again!

“HA, HA, HA!” laughed Sean. “I tricked you, Andy! I knew you’d think I possessed the stronger Monster!”

Andy’s Life Points fell to 4,600, and Sean’s went up to 5,200.

“Come ON Andy!” begged Francesca. “Do something!”

“I can’t,” gasped Andy. “I have to end my turn…”

“In that case…” said Sean with a smile.

A card slipped out of his deck. He took it and placed it in a slot.

The hand on the Destiny Board moved to the N.

The flaming letters spelled F-I-N.

A growling was heard in the sky of Dark Sanctuary. A lot of the onlookers were now more terrified than ever…

“My turn now,” said Sean, drawing. “I’ll summon The Portrait’s Secret!”

He put a card down, and a painting appeared in mid-air. A hideous face and claws emerged from it. (1,200/1,500)



http://www.itstimetoduel.com/cardpictures/LON-EN052.jpg


“And now,” said Sean, “goodbye!”

The Portrait’s Secret shattered.

“Make your move…” he said.

Andy closed his eyes… He drew.

He looked at his card.

He looked at the field.

“Uh, Sean, a question?” he asked.

“What?” answered Sean.

“Where did you get your Dark Sanctuary card?”

“Why do you ask?” asked Sean.

“I’m just curious,” said Andy with a shrug.

“It wasn’t easy,” answered Sean. “Only ten of these cards exist – I had to win it. I entered a tournament in San Francisco called the Paradise Lost Duel Monsters Expo. To enter you needed a deck based on Fiends, and the prize was one of the only ten Dark Sanctuary cards in existence. It wasn’t easy, but I won.”

“You don’t say…” chuckled Stan.

He put a card down on his Disk.

“I summon Troop Dragon in Defense Mode…”

The three Dragon-men armed with swords appeared, kneeling in defense. (700/800)

“And now,” he said, “I’ll play the card I just drew… Stamping Destruction!”

“Huh?” asked Sean. “What does that do?”

“It inflicts 500 Life Points of damage on my opponent, AND destroys one Trap or Magic Card!” answered Andy.

“NO!” shouted Sean. “You’re going to destroy the Destiny Board!”

“Uh uh…” said Andy, shaking his finger.

He threw the card into the slot.

“I’m using it to destroy your whole Dark Sanctuary!”

Luster Dragon stamped his foot down, and a shock wave issued forth! Sean was thrown back, the evil palace behind him was smashed into shards, the eyes and fangs in the sky shattered, and finally, the evil fog dissipated.

The crowd surrounding them cheered.

Sean’s Life Points fell to 4,700.

“And now that I don’t have to worry about your ghost,” chuckled Andy, “Luster Dragon, attack his Life Points directly with emerald flash blast!”

The now angry Luster Dragon roared, and shot forth his energy blast, striking Sean in the chest! He screamed and fell over.

His Life Points fell to 2,300.

Andy waited for Sean to get up.

“And I end my turn…” he said with a grin.

A card slipped out of Sean’s deck. He frowned and took it.

He didn’t have a choice… playing this card was mandatory…

“I’ll play the fourth letter of the Destiny Board…” he scowled.

The hand on the Destiny Board moved to the A, and the fourth letter appeared.

“F-I-N-A…” chuckled Andy. “The word is ‘FINAL’, isn’t it? Unfortunately, with Dark Sanctuary gone, you can’t play more than five Magic and Trap Cards, and since you told me that Dark Sanctuary is an incredibly rare card that most duelists only dream of owning, I don’t think you have more than one in your deck.

“In fact, with all five of the slots in your Magic/Trap Zone full, you now can’t play any Magic or Trap Cards at all – so I’ve practically crippled you!”

“All right, Andy!” shouted Francesca.

“Phew!” said Stan.

Sean snarled as he drew.

He gave a slight smile.

“Maybe you ruined that plan…” he muttered. “But every good duelist knows… Always have a Plan B!”

“Plan B?” asked Andy.

“The next Monster I’m going to summon I have to Special Summon,” explained Sean. “And to do that, I have to remove one Earth Monster in my Graveyard from play…”

He hit a button on his Disk and a card flipped out.

“So I’ll remove my Portrait’s Secret…”

He slid the card into the removal pile.

“And in return for that, I get to summon Gigantes in Attack Mode!”

He placed a card down, and a huge, rocky ogre with red skin and a horn on his head, wearing an iron apron and kilt appeared, armed with a huge tree trunk. (1,900/1,300)



http://www.itstimetoduel.com/cardpictures/IOC-021.jpg


“Huh?” questioned Drake. “What good will that him? It’s not even as strong as Cave Dragon…”

“Gigantes, attack his Cave Dragon!” shouted Sean.

Gigantes raised it tree trunk and charged…

“Fight it off, Cave Dragon!” shouted Andy.

Cave Dragon belched forth its breath, eroding Gigantes into dust!

Sean’s Life Points fell to 2,200…

And then a storm erupted over the field!

“When Gigantes is destroyed in battle,” he explained, “it creates an effect similar to Heavy Storm, which blows away every Magic and Trap Card on the field!”

His Destiny Board and Dark Door cards blew away.

“So now I can play my Magic and Trap cards again,” he said. “I’ll place this card facedown, and end my turn.”

He placed a card into a slot, and it materialized in front of him.


Continued...

Dark Sage
19th July 2005, 09:39 AM
Continued from last post:


“Okay…” muttered Francesca, “Plan B starts…”

Andy drew.

So now what? he thought. That Trap card could be almost anything… but if I take a risk I could win!

“Luster Dragon, ATTACK!” he shouted.

Luster Dragon shot forth his energy beam again…

“Activate Waboku!” shouted Sean.

The Trap Card lifted, and the three priestesses sprang up to block the attack.

“Oo-kay,” muttered Andy. “I’ll end my turn…”

“I draw one card…” said Sean.

“Heh, heh, heh…” he chuckled.

“You want to let me in on the joke?” muttered Andy.

Sean put a card down.

“I summon Manju of the Ten Thousand Hands,” he stated.

A weird creature appeared on his side of the field. It had bright silver skin, and aside from its head, it was apparently made of hands. (1,400/1,000)

“Oh no…” muttered Andy. “That let’s you search your deck for any Ritual Magic or Monster Card!”

A card flew out of Sean’s deck.

“Exactly,” he affirmed. “And the card I just drew was the Monster!”

He held the card up.

“The card I’m using is a powerful Ritual called Contract With The Dark Master!”

He slid the card into the slot.

“Now, to complete this ceremony, I offer Kycoo the Ghost Destroyer and Manju himself…”

He placed a card down. A tall man in priestly garb with a bald head and a mask covering half his face appeared, clutching a string of prayer beads.

Then he and Manju stood back to back, and a mass of wiry ribbons sprouted from the ground. They started to entwine the two Monsters…



http://www.itstimetoduel.com/cardpictures/LON-EN062.jpghttp://www.itstimetoduel.com/cardpictures/DCR-087.jpghttp://www.itstimetoduel.com/cardpictures/IOC-088.jpg


“This is really creepy…” muttered Francesca.

The two Monsters were covered in a large cocoon… it started to swell…

And then it burst! A huge, shadowy form arose…

It was a huge cross between a Fiend and a Zombie with slimy hair and thick muscles. He had huge wings and claws the size of daggers!

“Meet [B]Dark Master Zorc!” exclaimed Sean.

(2,700/1,500)



http://www.itstimetoduel.com/cardpictures/DCR-082.jpg


“Guys!” whispered Drake. “I remember this creature! A duelist defeated me with him – after I had summoned two Gren Maju Dai Eiza!”

“How on earth did he do THAT?” gasped Francesca.

“You’ll see…” moaned Drake.

“Let me explain how Zorc works,” chuckled Sean.

A black dice appeared in the air.

“Every turn, I can roll this dice… If it lands on a 3, 4, or 5, he can destroy one of your Monsters – a 1 or 2, and he can destroy ALL of your Monsters!”

“And a 6?” asked Andy, nervously.

“Then all of my Monsters are destroyed,” shrugged Sean. “But you must admit the odds are in my favor…”

The dice rolled…

It landed on a three!

“Dark Master Zorc, wipe out his Luster Dragon!” commanded Sean.

The Fiend shot forth a blast of dark energy, and Luster Dragon was blown into shards!

“And now,” laughed Sean, “attack his Cave Dragon with unholy blight!”

The Dark Master shot forth a blast of unholy energy, blowing Cave Dragon away!

Andy’s Life Points fell to 3,900.

“Your move…” chuckled Sean.

What am I going to do? thought Andy as he drew. Nothing in my hand can beat that abomination – only one Monster in my whole deck is able to defeat him…

Unless I draw my special card…

“I summon Koumori Dragon in Defense Mode,” he said, placing a card down.

Koumori Dragon appeared, and folded its wings.

“That’s all I can do…” he muttered.

Sean drew.

Hmm, he thought.

“I’ll place one card facedown,” he said.

He fit a card into a slot, and it appeared.

“Now I play Monster Reborn,” he stated, placing a card into a slot, “bringing back my Headless Knight!”

The holy ankh appeared, and Headless Knight appeared with a laugh.

“And now,” laughed Sean, “I’ll sacrifice my Knight…”

Headless Knight shattered, and he put a card down.

“…to summon a beast known as The End of Anubis!”

A dark creature arose next to Dark Master Zorc. It was a ghostly Fiend that looked like a scarecrow made of rotted straw. (2,500/0)



http://www.itstimetoduel.com/cardpictures/AST-000.jpg


A lot of the onlookers were now even more scared than they were when Dark Sanctuary was on the field. Sean’s Monsters weren’t just Fiends – they were Fiends from the darkest depths of the Underworld.

“Before you embarrass yourself by trying,” noted Sean, “you should know that when The End of Anubis is on the field, all card effects that involve the Graveyards simply don’t work!

“Now, dance, my dice!”

Dark Master Zorc waved his hand, and the dice rolled again…

It came up a five!

“Zorc, wipe out his Dragon Dwelling in the Cave!”

Zorc blasted his unholy beam, and The Dragon Dwelling in the Cave was eradicated.

“Now, attack his Troop Dragon!”

Zorc fired his black beam, and Troop Dragon was blown to bits!

Andy pulled a card from his Disk and placed it down.

Another Troop Dragon arose.

“Nice try,” he said. “But when Troop Dragon is destroyed in battle, I can summon another one!”

“Well then,” chuckled Sean, “we’ll just have to take them down one at a time. End of Anubis, destroy the second one!”

The End of Anubis formed a ball of blackness in its hands, and held it over its head. It hurled it, blowing the second Troop Dragon away.

Andy pulled the third Troop Dragon from his deck and summoned it to the field.

“That ends my turn,” said Sean.

Andy drew.

He looked at his card.

“I’ll place a card facedown, and that will be all,” he said.

Sean drew.

He looked at his hand.

Well, nothing I can summon without a Tribute, he thought. But Zorc and The End of Anubis should be enough…But just in case…

He looked at his facedown card.

Just in case I land on a six, my Dice Re-Roll card will make sure Zorc gets a second chance…

“Go, my dice!” he shouted.

The dice skipped and bounced.

And it landed… on the one!

“NOOOO!” screamed Francesca.

Zorc cast a mighty spell, and Koumori Dragon, Masked Dragon, and Troop Dragon were all blown to pieces!

“HA, HA, HA!” laughed Sean. “Now, once I attack, you lose!”

“I’m not finished yet, Sean!” shouted Andy.

His Trap Card lifted.

“Activate Threatening Roar!”

A huge beast appeared behind him, and let out a gigantic bellow! Dark Master Zorc and The End of Anubis cringed in fright!

“No Monster can bear the terror of Threatening Roar,” warned Andy, “not even your Dark Master. They won’t be able to attack me this round!”

“Then I end my turn,” said Sean. “But what are you going to do? You’ll never keep a Monster long enough on the field to summon anything strong enough to defeat either of my Monsters!”

“We’ll see…” muttered Andy.

He drew.

“And I play… Reload!” he shouted, throwing it into a slot.

Hi deck flew out of its tray, and he tossed his four cards into the air. The cards flew into the deck, and the deck shuffled…

It inserted back into the tray, and four more cards flew out.

Andy looked at them. Then he looked at Sean.

“Sean,” he mused. “In all of the time I’ve been dueling, you’ve given me the best duel yet… But I’m afraid it’s time to end this…”

“Huh?” said Sean.

“I summon Lord of Dragons!” shouted Andy.

He placed the card down, and the caped Spellcaster with his helmet made from a dragon’s skull appeared. (1,200/1,100)

“With him on the field, I can play this card,” said Andy, placing a card into a slot. “The Flute of Dragon Summoning!”

A golden flute shaped like a dragon appeared, and Lord of Dragons grabbed it. He put it to his lips, and played a haunting melody…

“What’s the point?” asked Sean.

“By using The Flute of Dragon Summoning, I can Special Summon any two dragons from my hand!” answered Andy.

“So first, meet Des Volstgalph!”

He put a card down, and the huge, earthen dragon with sandy skin and sharp ridges appeared. (2,200/1,700)

“And also… Tyrant Dragon!”

He placed his last card on the Disk, and a HUGE Dragon appeared! It was easily twice the size of Luster Dragon #2, and it had teeth like spears, claws like swords, and armor plating that looked like bronze! Steam poured from its jaws! (2,900/2,500)



http://www.itstimetoduel.com/cardpictures/SDK-041.jpg



http://a248.e.akamai.net/f/248/5462/2h/everythingpokemon.safeshopper.com/images/bb0rkx16.jpg



http://www.itstimetoduel.com/cardpictures/LOD-EN034.jpg


“YAAAH!” yelled Sean.

His two Fiends looked pretty frightened as well…

“And there’s something you should know about Tyrant Dragon,” said Andy with a smile. “If it destroys one Monster, it can attack a second!

“Tyrant Dragon, attack both his Fiends with imperial inferno!”

Tyrant Dragon blasted forth an inferno of fire, and Dark Master Zorc was reduced to cinders! Then it blasted forth another burst of flame, wiping out The End of Anubis!

Sean stared in disbelief as his Life Points fell to 1,600.

“Des Volstgalph, finish him!” yelled Andy.

Des Volstgalph shot forth a stream of wind and sand, knocking Sean over.

His Life Points hit zero…

It was over.

The crowd cheered.



[B]* * * * * * * * * *


”YES ANDY!” yelled Fran. “That was your best duel ever!”

She ran up and hugged him, much to his surprise.

“Oh, Andy…” she sighed.

“Uh, yeah, Fran… great…” he muttered.

He put his arms around her.

Hey, this isn’t so bad, he thought. Maybe I’m starting to mellow…

“Ah-HEM!” muttered Sean, who was just getting up.

“Oh, sorry,” said Andy. “Are you all right?”

“I’ll be fine,” groaned Sean. “You’re a clever duelist! And a lucky one!”

“As my friend here would say, luck has very little to do with it,” answered Andy.

“Well,” muttered Sean, taking out one of his Crystal Cards.

He handed it to Andy.

“I guess I have to give you this. But I’m going to get it back… And Dark Necrofear and I are going to get to the Thousand Year Door eventually – just you wait!”

“We’ll hope to see you there,” said Andy shaking his hand. “Come on, we’ll get you a peach cobbler…

The bell from the Creepy Steeple chimed again, this time ringing three.

“Humph, someone should do something about that,” muttered Stan.



[B]* * * * * * * * * *


Lord Crump exited the internet café, sipping his fifth cappuccino, when he almost bumped into somebody.

“You should cut down on the coffee, Crump,” said the visitor. “Coffee habits tend to lower your life expectancy by ten percent…”

“Go to Hell,” muttered Crump.

And then he looked up, and dropped the coffee cup.

“Leopold?” he gasped. “Don’t hurt me, please!”

“I’m not going to hurt you Crump,” chuckled Leopold. “I need to protect you so you can watch me finish off Stan. I’d like to have someone besides his bratty friends witness my triumph…”

He placed a small ring in Crump’s hand.

“Wear that, and whatever you do, don’t take it off until I tell you to. Otherwise, you’re going to regret it."

“Y-Yes sir,” stammered Crump.

“I’m dueling Stan in one hour,” replied Leopold, “whether he wants to or not…”



DARK SANCTUARY (Magic Card)

Card Specs

Type: Magic/Field
Attribute: –
Level: –
ATK: –
DEF: –

Card Description: Image of an evil palace surrounded by hideous eyes and fanged mouths. You can only play this card if one “Dark Necrofear” on your side of the field is destroyed. If you chose to use this card, the effect of “Dark Necrofear” is negated and it is sent to the Graveyard. If you do not sacrifice a Monster during the first Main Phase of each of your turns, this card is destroyed. This card is destroyed if there is no “Dark Necrofear” in your Graveyard. So long as this card is in effect, you can play Magic and Trap cards in Monster Zone spaces as well as your Magic/Trap Zone spaces. Also, one per turn, before your opponent's Battle Phase, you may secretly choose one Monster on your opponent's side of the field. If the chosen Monster attacks, negate the attack and subtract half of the chosen Monster's current ATK from your opponent's Life Points and add them to your own Life Points. This effect is nullified if this card is destroyed.

Note: “Dark Sanctuary” was used by Bakura in “The Dark Spirit Revealed”. All creative credit goes to the writers of that episode.



SIXTH SENSE (Trap Card)

Card Specs

Type: Trap
Attribute: –
Level: –
ATK: –
DEF: –

Card Description: Image of a frightened woman with psychic energy emitting from her forehead. Announce two numbers between 1 and 6. Your opponent then rolls a dice once. If the result is either of the two numbers that you announced, draw cards from your deck equal to the number rolled. If the result is different from either of the two numbers you announced, discard cards from your deck equal to the number rolled.

Note: “Sixth Sense” is a Japanese card that has not yet been released in the United States. (And probably won’t be, seeing as it is on the Japanese banned list.)



[I][B]Leopold, the Shadow Spawn of Earth, challenges Stan with an odd deck theme that few real-world duelists have ever mastered! Carnage is about to fly in the creepy burg of Twilight Town, as the fourth member of this demented family takes to the arena. And see the debut of the last of Stan’s Companions! It’s all coming up in a chapter that I call… um, well, I won’t reveal the name of the chapter – that would ruin the surprise. Don’t miss it!

Master of Paradox
19th July 2005, 10:53 AM
With a chapter title like "Dweller in the Darkness", it had to be the Bonz deck or the Bakura deck. The latter is seen so rarely that any attempt to use it is appreciated. What makes it all the better is that this was a good attempt.

I note, however, that an old problem of yours has come up - namely, why did Andy not know a thing about most of the cards Sean played? I know this is the show universe, where many cards are less well-known than in ours, but you think he'd have a clue how, say, the Destiny Board worked - or at least what word it spelled.

Other than that quibble, this was a very fun chapter. It's almost like having Bakura duel again (something that happened far too rarely in the show, for my opinion).

I note that during the last couple of paragraphs, you slip into an odd typo - while Sean and Andy are talking, you call both of them "Andy".

Looking forward to the next chapter, and hoping it's what I think it will be.

The_Missing_Link
19th July 2005, 11:06 AM
Good chapter as always, but I noticed something in all the battle chapters you write


“Eek!” squeaked Sean.

I see that everywhere and it makes most of the characters who say it sound uncharacterisitic. Just another quibble of mine


btw, when are we going to see the new Pokemonese chapter up? You started that a while ago and finished two Yu-Gi-Oh fics in the meantime

Zcade0
19th July 2005, 12:01 PM
Good chapter but you called Sean andy once.. and I agree when are you getting another chapter of pokemonese up? That is my favorite fic in this entire website.

starjake
19th July 2005, 12:10 PM
Great chapter! I agree with Master of Paradox: Barkura's Deck is not seen nearly enough. If only more fics would use his infamous Occult Deck...(hint, hint)

I like the developing relationship between Andy and Fran as well. It adds a lot to the fic.

The errors I saw have already been pointed out, so I won't bother repeating the other posters.

An Earth Deck that few real-world duelists have mastered...this is a toughie, even harder then the Gren Maju deck. I have no idea what it is. Unless...no, it couldn't be! Could it? I guess I'll have to wait until Chapter 17!

I await the next chapter!

Dark Sage
19th July 2005, 12:13 PM
Yeah, I know. "Pokemonese" has been going slow since its inception.

But fear not, I am working on the next chapter, and it will be up in a matter of days.

- Dark Sage

Perfect Chaos
19th July 2005, 02:14 PM
That....was....AWESOME

Wow, first time I ever had a character of mine in a fanfic, and I'm really glad that he managed to put up the fight that he did (I didn't even think the deck I made would be that good). Many thanks Dark Sage

I guess the atmosphere did fit the whole deck style and also a bit of my character's personality. Everyone has mentioned pretty much what I wanted to say in the above posts so I'll leave it at that

See you for Chapter 17

Mystic_clown
20th July 2005, 07:45 AM
Great Chapter dude! Although I did expect Zork to have more attack points (since he's a big deal in the series), but MAN, that effect of his kicks ass! On another note, is it okay with you if I could make some alterations to my user character? (nothing much, just altering his appearance a bit). Hmm, I wonder what monster Leapold would have. I can't think of any strong rock monsters.

Shuppet Master
20th July 2005, 05:28 PM
Really awesome chapter, and the occultish deck is simply Bakura, down to the Dark Sanctuary and Destiny Board. :cool2:

Mystic_Clown, I'm sure Brian will let you edit the appearance of your character a bit, as long as you turn in the revised character. I'm going to change the background and interests of my character, revamping it to something else. I can't tell you guys what it's about, though.

And Brian, when is that quiz going to be held? I don't want to end up being screwed and miss it. ;)

(Plug: To everyone, Chapter 26 of Anansi will be up tomorrow, I promise.)

EDIT: Oops: I meant Yami Bakura, sorry. :redface:

Pokemasterkatie
20th July 2005, 07:06 PM
Don't you mean Thief/Yami Bakura--We never saw Ryo's deck in the animé(well, we kinda did, but it's still pretty evil for Bakura-chan)...and he's too pure-hearted to think up a deck theme like that! But the Occult deck still rocks, cause Yami B.'s kickàss like that.:p

Just a couple of things I want to point out--The descriptions for Des Volstgaph and Tyrant Dragon should be switched(or just Andy's introductions). Also, Sixth Sense has been released in English...I think. I'll have to check the Lost Millennium list again.

Dark Sage
20th July 2005, 07:19 PM
S.M. The quiz will be held once all of the user characters have appeared, which will be after Chapter 31. It's a long time from now, but be patient.

Katie: Sixth Sense was never released in the U.S. You must be thinking of Pikeru's Second Sight. And please do not call Yugi or Bakura "chan". That is a Japanese suffix used with a young child's name, NOT a teenager's. A teenager like Yugi would think you were insulting him if you called him "Yugi-Chan"

Mystic_clown
21st July 2005, 08:06 PM
Katie: Sixth Sense was never released in the U.S. You must be thinking of Pikeru's Second Sight. And please do not call Yugi or Bakura "chan". That is a Japanese suffix used with a young child's name, NOT a teenager's. A teenager like Yugi would think you were insulting him if you called him "Yugi-Chan"


Well, I really can't blame you if you called Yugi (not Yami) "chan". I mean, he's so short anyone would probably mistake him for a kid!

Dark Sage
21st July 2005, 09:19 PM
Funny this should be brought up.

In the Manga version of Duelist Kingdom, Mai was watching Yugi's duel with Weevil, and she called Yugi "Yugi-Chan", after saying she doubted that he could beat Weevil. Tea got incredibly upset at the remark, saying something like "Yugi's not a kid!"

We all know how stuck up Mai was at that point, so making a remark like that seemed to fit her.

Mystic_clown
21st July 2005, 10:56 PM
lol. Aint it the truth?

Dark Sage
23rd July 2005, 10:06 AM
Well folks, it's time for a new chapter.

But before I get started, I'd like to recommend everyone to read Master of Paradox's "Shadow Realm: Fifteen"

Unlike most Yu-Gi-Oh fics, this fic takes place in the Shadow Realm itself - but in a place very far from the Temple of the Legendary Dragons where Yugi visited. This takes place in the dirtier, busier area, where monsters actually work and live. And a sinister plot threatens to tear it apart.

And the unlikely hero of this story is a monster named Fifteen, who happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time:



http://www.itstimetoduel.com/cardpictures/LOB-EN072.jpg


So after you read this fic, check it out. You won't be sorry.

- Dark Sage

Dark Sage
23rd July 2005, 10:08 AM
[I][B]You ever notice how popular dinosaurs are these days? They’re pretty popular for animals have been extinct for eons.

Everywhere you go, you see dinosaur movies, dinosaur toys, dinosaur posters, and even little dinosaur stickers on bananas! I’ve always loved dinosaurs myself… I can’t count all the times I’ve gone to New York’s Museum of Natural History to see all the huge dinosaur skeletons and fossils.

Why then, has the Dinosaur Type been more or less neglected in Duel Monsters? The Type is very rare, and few of the Monsters are useful. The only famous duelist I heard of who used them was a former regional champion named Rex Raptor, and it all went downhill for him after he was beaten by Joey Wheeler in Duelist Kingdom. (He tried to make a comeback in Battle City, but he didn’t last one round – I forget the name of the guy who did him in.)

Maybe the flaw in Rex’s strategy was that he relied too much on brute force and didn’t pack enough Effect Monsters – he might have also done better if he had used better Trap and Magic Cards…

Right now, I’m facing a guy who probably learned from Rex’s mistakes…

He’d be the one to make Dinosaur Monsters popular – if he wasn’t as much a predator as they were...




[size=3][B]CHAPTER SEVENTEEN



Prehistoric Duelasaurus



Stan looked at the three Crystal Cards in his hand.

It was a start, but Andy and Francesca both had five apiece. He’d have to work hard if he hoped to catch up to them.

He looked at his watch – 3:55 PM.

Then he looked at what Andy and Francesca were looking at from the bench they were sitting at. Drake and Sean were facing each other.

“So Sean,” said Drake with a smile. “You sure you want to take me on? Don’t forget, I saw most of your deck, and you’ve seen none of mine…”

“You’ve seen most, but not all,” answered Sean. “And just because you know my strategy doesn’t mean you’ll win…”

Heh, heh, thought Drake. I know just how to beat this guy. I have a feeling he needs Dark Necrofear in his Graveyard to keep that Dark Sanctuary active… So… remove her from play, and BAM! No more Dark Sanctuary!

Meanwhile, Sean was thinking to himself.

What he doesn’t realize is there’s more to my deck than Dark Sanctuary and Destiny Board. And Dark Necrofear has secrets inside her that even Andy didn’t learn about. Not to mention that her usual effect is still pretty powerful.

“Okay, Sean, I accept your challenge!” exclaimed Drake.

The toll from the Creepy Steeple tolled four.

“Confounded clock,” muttered Sean.

“All right then,” exclaimed Drake.

He raised his Disk.

“Activate…”

Then lightning started to flash in the sky!

“Oh, don’t tell me it’s going to rain!” shouted Sean.

Then, sounds of the townsfolk screaming were heard!

And then, bolts of lightning hit Sean and Drake! They screamed!

“GUYS!” shouted Stan.

And then there was silence… But all was not well.

The two duelists standing before them – they had been turned to stone!

Stan, Andy, and Francesca gasped. They got up.

“Sean… Drake…” gulped Andy. “What in the name of…”

“It isn’t just them, Andy,” said a frightened Francesca.

They all looked around…

The same evil spell had afflicted the entire town! Everywhere they looked, the townsfolk had been frozen into stone statues.

“What happened to everybody?” asked Stan.

“And why weren’t we effected?” shuddered Francesca.

“I believe I can answer that question,” said a voice around them.

The ground began to tremble, and a form rose out of the earthen soil. It slowly took a man-shaped form…

They were looking at a boy who seemed to be about their age. His jeans, shirt, and jacket were all earthen brown in color, but incredibly clean (strange, seeing how he had just emerged from the ground). He had neatly cut brown hair, and chocolate brown eyes, and was wearing glasses.

“Greetings folks,” he said, calmly. “Leopold’s the name… Shadow Spawn of Earth, and the intellectual among my siblings. I’m twice as smart as any of the other Shadow Spawn!”

“I take it you did this?” snarled Stan.

“Really, Stan, I figured there was only about a one percent chance you wouldn’t figure that out. It’s only common sense…”

“Change them back, or I’ll…” growled Stan, clenching his fists.

“Please, Stan,” warned Leopold, “I’m much more refined than a thug like you, and I hate resorting to fisticuffs. If you so much as lay a finger on me, I’ll cause every statue here to shatter. I can, and I have in the past.”

Something about his tone told them that he wasn’t bluffing.

“What do you want?” muttered Stan.

“To duel you, of course,” said Leopold. “And I estimate that there’s a 95% chance that you’ll accept, because if you refuse, the population of Twilight Town will remain oversized paperweights forever.”

Stan growled.

“Of course, I have much more experience than you, so I estimate your chances of beating me are about 10%. The only duels I’ve ever lost are to my mother, who has never lost, and to my other siblings, in which cases I’ve won roughly 50% of the time.”

“Your mother lost once,” chuckled Francesca. “To the Three Heroes.”

That seemed to make Leopold angry. The earth trembled a little.

“That’s a touchy subject Francesca, and I recommend you don’t bring it up again!” he snapped.

“Okay!” squeaked Francesca in fear.

“So anyway,” continued Leopold, “if you accept my challenge, meet my in the peach orchard in fifteen minutes. Don’t be late.”

He walked off in the direction of the peach orchard.

“What are we going to do?” asked Andy, in panic.

Stan looked at Sean and Drake.

He shuffled his deck.

“I beat Kurtis,” he said, “and I can beat this guy too. I’ll give him the duel of his life…”



[B]* * * * * * * * * *


In the largest peach tree, Lord Crump was perched, watching as Leopold entered the wide open space in the center of the field.

This is perfect, he thought. If anyone can beat Stan for good, Leopold can. He’s even better than Kurtis is…

And once he manages to summon his trump card, Stan won’t stand a chance!

He plucked a peach from the tree and took a bite.

Delicious, he thought. These will be better than popcorn!



[B]* * * * * * * * * *


Stan and his two friends entered the orchard to find Leopold waiting. The Shadow Spawn carried a Duel Disk that strangely seemed to be made of stone.

“I knew you’d come,” said Leopold.

“Can it, bub,” growled Stan. “You wanted a duel, you’ve got one. Just promise to release the people of this town once I’ve beaten you!”

“Of course,” agreed Leopold. “I’m a man of my word. Now why don’t your friends sit over there?”

He pointed to the huge peach tree, the one where Crump was hiding in the branches. Andy and Francesca sat by the huge trunk.

“Okay, Leo…” started Stan.

“Leopold!” corrected Leopold.

“Whatever!” snapped Stan. “I’m gonna take you out in two and two!”

“Then get ready,” dared Leopold. “I’m going to take you back to the Stone Age!”

They raised their Disks, and the holo-imagers shot out, and the sides snapped together. The Life Point counters set to 8,000, and they each drew their first hands.

“I’ll start,” said Leopold, drawing his first card. “After all, whoever goes first wins.”

“I suppose you have the numbers to back that up too?” asked Stan.

Leopold smirked, and placed a card down.

“I’ll place one card facedown on the field…” he said, fitting it into a slot.

The card materialized in front of him.

“…and then I’ll summon Mammoth Graveyard in Attack Mode!”

He threw a card down, and the huge skeleton of a mastodon reared up in front of him. (1,200/800)



http://www.itstimetoduel.com/cardpictures/LOB-EN009.jpg


“Scared yet, Stan?” he said with a grin.

Stan laughed out loud.

“Scared of THAT?” he chuckled. “Don’t make me laugh! I can take down that pile of bones without half trying.”

“Well then,” said Leopold. “It’s your move…”

Stan drew.

“Heh, heh, I’m activating my Trap!” cackled Leopold.

His card lifted.

“Fearful Earthbound!”

The ground around Stan’s feet started to stir, and then several sharp objects burst up around him!

He was standing in the middle of a giant mouth with huge fangs!

“Eek!” shrieked Francesca.

“Uh…” stammered Stan, looking at it nervously. “So what does this Fearful Earthbound do, exactly?”

“Nothing yet,” answered Leopold, “but finish your move.”

Stan nervously looked at the hologram below him.

It’s a set of jaws, he thought, so logic states that they’re going to bite when… something happens. Question is, what?

I’ll have to worry about it later…

He put a card down.

“I summon The Illusory Gentleman in Attack Mode!” he shouted.

He placed the card down, and the colorful Spellcaster with the single eye appeared, brandishing his cane. (1,500/1,600)

“Gentleman, attack his Mammoth with dark illusion!”

The Illusory Gentleman shot forth his colorful spell, blasting Mammoth Graveyard into pixels!

Leopold’s Life Points fell slightly to 7,700, but he chuckled…

The set of jaws surrounding Stan started to tremble…

And then they snapped shut around him! He screamed!

“STAN!” screamed Andy.

The jaws retracted, and Stan fell on his rump. His Life Points fell to 7,500.

“I figured there was a 90% chance you wouldn’t be able to resist attacking my weak Mammoth Graveyard,” stated Leopold, “so I set Fearful Earthbound. This Continuous Trap will chew off 500 of your Life Points each time you declare an attack!”

“Do tell,” said Stan sarcastically.

“Any other moves you’d like to make?” asked Leopold.

“No,” growled Stan. “It’s your move.”

“Fine,” said Leopold. “First I’ll summon a beast known as Two-Headed King Rex in Attack Mode!”

He placed a card down, and a huge Dinosaur with mauve scales, wings, and two heads, each one with three horns, appeared in front of him. (1,600/1,200)

“Next,” continued Leopold, putting a card down, “I’ll summon Gilasaurus, also in Attack Mode!”

A fierce looking raptor, with brown skin and claws the size of daggers appeared next to Two-Headed King Rex. (1,400/400)



http://www.itstimetoduel.com/cardpictures/TP2-025.jpghttp://www.itstimetoduel.com/cardpictures/LON-EN071.jpg


“Hey, time out! No fair!” shouted Stan. “You can’t just summon two Monsters at once!”

“You dare accuse me of cheating?” sneered Leopold. “Gilasaurus can be considered a Special Summon. In order to do that, I have to give you the option of Special Summoning a Monster from your Graveyard.”

Stan gave him a look.

“I have NO Monsters in my Graveyard!” he protested.

“Then that’s too bad,” said Leopold, with a shrug. “Sorry, but those are the rules.”

He pointed.

“Two-Headed King Rex, attack his Gentleman with twin-jawed bite!”

The two-headed Dinosaur roared and lumbered over to the terrified Spellcaster and grabbed him in both of its jaws, tearing him in two!

“Gilasaurus, attack directly with raptor’s claw!”

The smaller Dinosaur charged over and swiped at Stan with its mighty claw, knocking him over.

Stan’s Life Points fell to 6,000.

Leopold chuckled.

“You don’t stand a chance Stan,” he said. “In fact, you have about as much chance for survival as the true Dinosaurs did…”

“Namely, zero percent.”

“Keep yakking, dino-boy,” growled Stan. “I’m going to make you and your Monsters just as extinct as the real dinosaurs are…”



[B]* * * * * * * * * *


Meanwhile, Crump was enjoying every minute of it.

Ah, this is the life, he said, plucking another peach. A great show and fresh fruit to go with it. And the best part is, I don’t even have to waste time taking notes for this one!

All I have to do is sit back, and enjoy the show…



[B]* * * * * * * * * *


Okay, thought Stan, looking at Fearful Earthbound. Attacking will just hurt me, but not attacking will be even worse. There has to be something I can do…

He drew.

Well what do you know? he thought.

“I summon Goombella the Scholar in Defense Mode!” he exclaimed, putting a card down.

“One of his Companion cards!” said Francesca, excitedly.

Goombella appeared in front of him with a laugh. (500/2,000)

“Now Goombella, use your Tattle!” shouted Stan.

Goombella hopped onto Stan’s shoulders, and the top four cards in his deck floated out. Stan and Goombella looked at them…

Goombella whispered in his ear. Stan rearranged them, and they floated back onto his deck.

Goombella hopped back down in front of Stan.

Enjoy that Monster Card now, Stan, thought Leopold, because once I defeat you, all of your special cards will be with my mother, where they belong!

“It’s your move, Leopold,” stated Stan.

Leopold drew.

“I’ll sacrifice my Gilasaurus for the stronger Sword Arm of Dragon!” he stated, switching cards on his Disk.

Gilasaurus vanished, and a large, yellow, striped Dinosaur with a tail that was topped with a blade appeared in its place. (1,750/2,030)

“That will end my turn,” he said.

“That’s weak for a Tribute Monster!” mocked Stan. “A lot of my four-stars could take it out!”

“Then why don’t you?” asked Leopold.

Stan drew, knowing exactly what he was drawing.

“I play Mystical Space Typhoon, blowing away your Trap Card!” he shouted.

He threw the card into a slot, and the cyclone ripped across the field. Fearful Earthbound was reduced to dust.

“Again, you’ve done exactly what I expected you to do,” stated Leopold, adjusting his glasses. “I calculated that there was a 95% chance you would destroy that Trap the first chance you got. And now that you’ve used up your Mystical Space Typhoon, you’ll find it harder to destroy more of my Magic and Trap Cards.”

“We’ll see,” said Stan, taking a card from his hand. “I’ll summon Mystical Elf in Defense Mode.

He put the card down, and the peaceful elf appeared, chanting her holy spell. (800/2,000)

“Make your move,” said Stan.

Leopold drew.

Hmm, not bad… he thought.

He fit a card into a slot.

“I play Nightmare Steel Cage!” he shouted.

Flames erupted around Stan, and Goombella gasped in fright. The flames transformed into iron bars that formed into a dome-like cage, studded with spikes.

“That will keep you from attacking for two of your turns,” chuckled Leopold.

“Aw, geeze,” muttered Francesca. “That’s not good…”

“Well, it’s not… bad…” answered Andy.

“Huh?” asked Francesca.

“Well, just as the Nightmare Steel Cage prevents Stan from attacking, Leopold can’t attack either. And Stan can still sacrifice his weaker Monsters for stronger ones. Of course, Leopold can do the same…”

And apparently, Leopold wasn’t done.

“I sacrifice my Two-Headed King Rex for Megazowler!” he exclaimed. “In Attack Mode!”

He put a card down, and Two-Headed King Rex was consumed. A huge Dinosaur resembling a mean-looking triceratops with orange scales and thick plates appeared. (1,800/2,000)

“It’s your move, Stan,” he stated.

And if he was smart, I already know what card he put second in his deck when he used Goombella’s ability, he thought.

Stan drew. He showed Leopold the card.

“I’m playing my Pot of Greed, Leopold,” he said, snidely.

He plugged the card into a slot, and the jar appeared, handing him two more cards.

“You know, you could use this card yourself,” chuckled Stan, adding the cards to his hand, “because you have only one card left!”

“Actually,” said Leopold, adjusting his glasses again, “thanks to you playing that card, there’s a chance I might be able to increase the size of my hand exponentially right now!”

“Say what?” asked Stan.

Leopold’s facedown Trap Card lifted.

“I activate… Gamble!”


Continued...

Dark Sage
23rd July 2005, 10:12 AM
Continued from last post:


A shiny golden coin fell from the heavens, and he caught it.

“Gamble?” asked Stan. “What does that do?”

“I can only play this card when you have six or more cards in your hand, and I have two or less. I flip the Coin of Chance… if I call it right, I get to draw until I have five cards. If I call it wrong, I skip my next turn.”

“You sure that coin doesn’t have two heads?” accused Stan.

“Will you stop accusing me of cheating?” snapped Leopold.

Just to show him, he revealed the two sides of the coin. One was heads, and one was tails.

“You’re taking a big risk,” muttered Stan.

“True,” agreed Leopold. “In any coin flip, the chances of calling it correctly are always a flat 50%... but I’m feeling mighty lucky today…”

He tossed the coin.

“It’s… heads!” he shouted.

The coin flipped through the air. He let it hit the ground…

Stan looked down and groaned. It was indeed heads.

Leopold chuckled. “Lucky me,” he said.

Four cards flew out of his deck, and he caught them.

“It’s still my turn, Leopold!” shouted Stan, looking at the two cards he had just drawn. “And I’ll sacrifice Goombella to summon Chaos Command Magician!”

Goombella gave a wink, and then vanished. The mighty Spellcaster of Light appeared, brandishing his staff! (2,400/1,900)



http://www.itstimetoduel.com/cardpictures/MFC-068.jpg


“And that’s my move,” he said.

He’s in for a rude awakening when this Cage crumbles, he thought.

Leopold drew.

Heh, heh, he thought. Just what I needed…

He put a card on his Disk.

“I summon Balloon Lizard in Defense Mode!” he exclaimed.

A new Monster appeared, and the name “Balloon Lizard” seemed to fit it perfectly. It was a huge lizard, who’s spherical torso seemed to be bloated like a balloon. It had an alligator-like head and a long tail protruding from its sides, and it floated in the air, as if it were full of helium. (500/1,900)



http://www.itstimetoduel.com/cardpictures/IOC-072.jpg


Balloon Lizard thought Stan. Okay, that’s seriously weird…

“My move now,” he said.

He drew, drawing the first card he didn’t know about.

“I sacrifice Mystical Elf to summon Dark Magician Girl!” he shouted.

Mystical Elf shattered into pixels, and Dark Magician Girl appeared, trailing hearts and a beautiful music in her wake! (2,000/1,700)

“And that will end my turn,” stated Stan.

The Nightmare Steel Cage evaporated, like sugar in the rain, as Leopold drew his next card.

“I play Graceful Charity,” he announced.

He played the card, and the angel flew into his deck. It handed him three cards.

“And just because I’m such a nice guy,” added Leopold, “I’ll show you the two cards I’m discarding.”

He flashed two cards in front of him. They were Little D. and Uraby.

“Now I’ll place a card facedown, and that will be all.”

He slid a card into a slot, and it appeared.

Stan looked at the facedown card intently.

Both my Monsters are stronger than both all of his, but he didn’t even shift Sword Arm of Dragon and Megazowler into Defense Mode… something’s up…

He drew.

“I activate… Threatening Roar!” shouted Leopold, as his Trap Card lifted.

A huge beast appeared behind him, and let out an earsplitting roar! Dark Magician Girl and Chaos Command Magician cringed in fright…

“Hey, I have that card!” shouted Andy.

“You think that Dragons are the only creatures who can roar, Andy?” asked Leopold. “Some paleontologists believe that a T-Rex had a roar that could be heard for miles. Anyway, I don’t think your Monsters will be attacking this round, Stan.”

“Fine,” growled Stan. “It’s your move.”



[B]* * * * * * * * * *


From his perch on the tree, Crump almost choked on the piece of fruit he was eating.

Man, he thought. Why did I drink all that coffee? I almost had an accident there!

Ah well, Leopold still has Stan on the ropes. This won’t take much longer…

He absentmindedly took the pit out of the peach he was eating, and dropped it.



[B]* * * * * * * * * *


Francesca felt a twinge of pain as something landed on her head.

She pulled it out of her hair.

A peach pit? she thought.

She slowly looked up…

She quickly looked back down.

She bent over and whispered something in Andy’s ear.

“Huh?” he said.

He slowly looked up as well. Then he quickly looked down.

“We’ll handle it later,” he whispered.



[B]* * * * * * * * * *


Leopold made a draw.

He smiled inwardly.

Well, he thought, I never had much use for the Painful Choice card… and now certainly isn’t the time to start using it…

But now it’s time to give Stan a pretty Painful Choice…

He slid the card into a slot.

“I’m playing this Trap Card facedown,” he said, “and ending my turn.”

“HUH?” said Stan, shocked. “You’re actually telling me it’s a Trap? What kind of rookie does something THAT stupid?”

“First of all, I’m not stupid, Stan,” stated Leopold.

He pointed to his skull.

“I.Q. of 165, genius level…”

He paused.

“And second, I’m telling you it’s a Trap because, since you have nothing on the board that can destroy it right now, there’s no way for you to stop me from triggering it when you start your turn. It’s THAT kind of Trap.”

“You know, Leopold,” shouted Andy, “there are words for people like you… none of which I like to say in front of a lady.”

“Fine!” cursed Stan, “I’m drawing…”

He drew.

“So let’s see what your stupid Trap is already!”

“Activate… Earthshaker!” shouted Leopold, as his Trap lifted.

The ground rumbled, mostly around Dark Magician Girl and Chaos Command Magician.

“This Trap is somewhat complex, so let me explain,” started Leopold. “You have two Monsters on your side of the field, and they’re of different types. One is a creature of Darkness, and one is a creature of Light…

“My Trap will destroy one of them… The only question is… which?”

He gave an evil smile.

“The choice is yours…”

Stan looked at him with an expression of pure hate…

“You’re asking me to choose which one of my own Monsters dies?” he yelled. “That’s cruel, Leopold!”

“This duel can’t resume until you choose, Stan,” chuckled Leopold. “Sorry kid, but those are the breaks…”

Stan looked at Dark Magician Girl and Chaos Command Magician…

Then he looked at the card he had just drawn…

He turned to Chaos Command Magician…

“Forgive me…” he said.

Chaos Command Magician turned to him and nodded.

“I choose my Monster of Light!” shouted Stan.

“Earthshaker, swallow his Chaos Command Magician!” yelled Leopold.

The tremor increased to a full earthquake, and then a fissure opened up, plunging Chaos Command Magician into it.

“Uh, I don’t get it…” muttered Andy. “Stan chose Chaos Command Magician when he was clearly the stronger Monster…”

“I have to agree with your friend there Stan,” said Leopold, quizzically. “Your Chaos Command Magician was stronger, and had a better effect – I calculated that there was an 80% chance you would have chosen Dark Magician Girl.

“I have to ask… why?”

“Because of the card I just drew,” said Andy with a smile. “I needed Dark Magician Girl to activate it!”

He showed him the card.

“The Sage’s Stone?” gasped Leopold. “But… wha… HOW?”

He did a quick calculation in his head.

“Uh, round to the nearest hundredth place…”

Stan tapped his foot.

“There was only about a 3.07% chance you could have drawn that right when you needed it!” he screamed.

“When you have faith in your deck, the odds don’t matter!” exclaimed Stan.

He threw the card into a slot, and a card flew out of his deck.

He threw it on his Disk, and the mighty Dark Magician appeared! (2,500/2,100)

“Dark Magician Girl… Dark Magician…” ordered Stan. “Wipe his Sword Arm of Dragon and his Megazowler with double dark magic attack!”

The two mages put their staffs together and fired a blast of blazing blast magic! The two Dinosaurs howled, and exploded into fragments!

Leopold’s Life Points fell down to 6,750.

“Okay…” snarled Leopold. “But I’m still in the lead… And my deck has quite a few more surprises in store…”

“Bring it on…” snarled Stan.

Leopold drew.

“I’ll place a Monster facedown in Defense,” he said, placing a card on his Disk.

A hidden Monster appeared.

“And also a card facedown,” he said.

He fit a card into a slot, and it materialized.

“Make your move,” he said.

“I will,” said Stan, drawing.

He added the card to his hand.

“Dark Magician Girl destroy his Balloon Lizard!” shouted Stan.

Dark Magician Girl aimed and fired!

As the blast of dark magic shot forward, Leopold smiled.

“Gotcha,” he said with a grin.

As impact was made, a huge explosion ripped across the field! Stan was thrown backwards!

“Ugh…” he groaned.

“You really should have gone for my Balloon Lizard earlier,” laughed Leopold. “For every one of my Standby Phases that it stays on the field, you lose 400 Life Points when it’s destroyed – and it lasted three of those phases.”

Stan’s Life Points fell to 4,800.

“Yeah?” he said, getting up. “It’s still my move!”

He pointed.

“Dark Magician, destroy his last defense!”

Dark Magician fired at the facedown Monster…

A weird object appeared on the card…



http://www.itstimetoduel.com/cardpictures/TP4-002.jpg


It cackled before it was blown to smithereens.

“Gaak!” shouted Stan. “A Morphing Jar? Who did you have to kill to get THAT?”

Leopold grinned.

“On second thought, don’t answer that,” sighed Stan.

The two of them discarded their hands and drew five new cards.

“Well, make your move,” snarled Stan.

“I will,” said Leopold with a glare. “To summon this next Monster, I have to remove one Rock Monster from the game. And since it’s no longer useful, I’ll remove my Morphing Jar…”

His Morphing Jar slipped out of his discard slot, and he fit it into his Remove From Play slot.

“So now I summon The Rock Spirit in Attack Mode,” he stated, putting a card down.

A large, grey-skinned soldier dressed like a Spartan and carrying a rod topped with a ruby materialized on the field. (1,700/1,600)



http://www.itstimetoduel.com/cardpictures/LON-EN069.jpg


“That’s not a Dinosaur…” muttered Francesca.

“Is there a law that says I have to play only Dinosaurs?” pouted Leopold. “Shadow Spawn of EARTH, remember?”

He sighed.

“Make your move, Stan.”

Besides, even with this Monster, Dinosaurs play a large part in my next strategic move. Stan will never see it coming!

Stan drew.

“I know your Rock Spirit’s power, Leopold,” he said. “It gains 300 Attack Points during my Battle Phase. But that still won’t make him strong enough to fend off my Dark Magician!”

No, Stan, don’t! screamed Francesca in his head. His Trap Card!

“Dark Magician…” shouted Stan, “dark magic attack!”

Dark Magician aimed…

“You should have thought of that a while longer, Stan,” chuckled Leopold. “I activate my facedown card…”

A Magic Card lifted, bearing the picture of a scattered pile of bones, over which a group of dinosaur spirits were roaring.

“Terror From The Extinct!” shouted Leopold.

The Dinosaur spirits flew out of the card and encircled Dark Magician and Dark Magician Girl!

“Let me explain,” chuckled Leopold. “This Quickplay Magic card weakens all Monsters on your side of the field by 100 Attack and Defense Points for every Dinosaur in my Graveyard for the remainder of the turn. And counting the three I sent there with my Morphing Jar, there are ten.

“Certainly, Stan, you can handle math as easy as a little subtraction, hmm?”

Stan stood dumbfounded.

“Guess not,” sighed Leopold. “It reduces your Dark Magician’s Attack to 1,500, which is currently 500 lower than The Rock Spirit!

“Rock Spirit, counter attack!”

The Rock Spirit blasted a beam of energy from his rod, blowing Dark Magician away.

Stan’s Life Points fell to 4,300.

“Of course, that means your Dark Magician Girl gains 300 Attack Points, but thanks to my Magic Card, she’s still too weak this turn to take on The Rock Spirit.”

“Fine,” snarled Stan. “I end my turn…”

The Rock Spirit returned to 1,700 Attack, and Dark Magician Girl rose to 2,300 Attack.

Leopold drew.

“Now to take care of her too,” he chuckled. “I’ll sacrifice my Rock Spirit to summon Dark Driceratops!”

The Rock Spirit shattered, and a very strange Dinosaur appeared – and this was the biggest one yet. It looked like a strange cross between triceratops and bird of prey, with feathers, talons, and a hooked beak. (2,400/1,500)



http://www.itstimetoduel.com/cardpictures/IOC-073.jpg


“Whoever it was at Industrial Illusion who thought up this Monster,” pondered Leopold, “obviously believed in the theory that dinosaurs were more closely related to warm-blooded birds than cold-blooded reptiles!”

“Do say…” muttered Stan.

“Dark Driceratops!” shouted Leopold. “Trample his Dark Magician Girl!”

Dark Magician Girl screamed as the huge Dinosaur plowed into her, blowing her into fragments.

Stan’s Life Points fell further, to 4,200.

“Just a word of advice, Stan,” said Leopold. “Putting Monsters into Defense Mode won’t work with this creature. It has an effect just like Andy’s Spear Dragon…”

He chuckled.

“But unlike that pathetic Dragon, this creature has a Defense Score better than zero and doesn’t have to shift into Defense Mode after it attacks!”

Andy got up in a rage.

“You want to come over here and call my Monsters pathetic?” he shouted. “After Stan kicks your ass, I’m going to kick it again!”

“And then I’m going to kick it a third time!” shouted Francesca.

Leopold paused for a minute.

Heh, heh, he thought. Forget what mom said… this is too good to pass up! I’ll defeat all three of them! Then my standing in this family will increase above the others by three hundred percent!



[B]* * * * * * * * * *


In the tree, Crump was working on more of the fruit.

Crump really didn’t know the meaning of the word “moderation”.

This is great! he chuckled. Leopold’s going to blow them ALL away!

And the best part is…

All of a sudden he felt a gurgling noise in his stomach.

Ooh… he thought. I don’t feel too good…

His stomach started making funny noises…



[B]* * * * * * * * * *


Stan put a card into a slot and a card on his Disk.

“I place a card facedown, and summon Gemini Elf in Attack Mode,” he stated.

The two twin elves appeared. They shuddered at the sight of the huge Dinosaur. (1,900/900)

“Heh,” chuckled Leopold. “I guess you’re smarter than I thought, Stan – you obviously realized that my Dark Driceratops would have done more damage to you if it had attacked your elves while they were in Defense Mode…”

“I learn quickly,” grumbled Stan.

“Do you now?” snickered Leopold, drawing.

He looked at the card.

“Well, not the best Monster, but this will do,” he sighed. “I summon Mad Sword Beast in Attack Mode!”

He put the card down, and a large beast that seemed to combine the worst aspects of Dinosaur and rhinoceros appeared, bearing a sharp tusk on its snout. (1,400/1,200)



http://www.itstimetoduel.com/cardpictures/PSV-EN091.jpg



Continued...

Dark Sage
23rd July 2005, 10:15 AM
Contined from last post:


“Dark Driceratops, attack his elves!”

The elves held each other and shrieked in fear as the Monster closed in…

“You know Leo, for a genius, you don’t have much common sense,” said Stan, with a grin.

His Trap card lifted…

It was his Spellbinding Circle!

Leopold gasped as Dark Driceratops fell to 1,700 Attack.

Leopold growled.

“Make your move…” he dared.

“As you wish,” said Stan, drawing. “Gemini Elf, attack his Dark Driceratops!”

Gemini Elf shot forth twin bolts of lightning, reducing the bird-like Dinosaur to ashes.

Leopold’s Life Points fell to 6,550.

“All right!” shouted Leopold. “It’s my move now!”

He drew.

Not bad… he thought.

“You know Stan,” he said, “I love dinosaurs, but they aren’t the only animals that interest me. All forms of prehistoric animals pique my interest…”

He switched cards on his Disk.

“Therefore, I sacrifice my Mad Sword Beast to summon my Big-Tusked Mammoth in Attack Mode!”

Mad Sword Beast shattered, and it seemed a wave of cold, followed by a light snowfall pervaded the area. A huge Beast appeared. It was a giant mastodon with purple fur, and huge tusks! (2,000/1,000)



http://www.itstimetoduel.com/cardpictures/FET-EN015.jpg


“Mammoth, attack his Gemini Elf with blizzard blast!”

Big-Tusked Mammoth let out a trumpet, and shot a cone of frost at the two elves! They were encased in a block of ice… and then shattered!

Stan’s Life Points dipped to 4,100.

“Before you make your next move Stan, let me let you in on Big-Tusked Mammoth’s special effect,” noted Leopold. “So long as he’s on the field, your Monsters are forbidden from attacking on the round in which they are summoned!

“Now you may move.”

Stan drew.

It’s time to take a risk, he thought.

“I summon Silent Magician Lv 4, in Attack Mode,” he said.

He put a card down, and a short character appeared. It looked like a child, wearing a costume that was a combination of a sorcerer’s outfit and an alien’s outfit, colored silver and green with a strange helmet. He carried a short staff. (1,000/1,000)

Leopold laughed.

“That’s weak!” he exclaimed.

“Maybe so,” said Stan. “But he’ll get stronger. In the meantime, I’m playing Clock Out!”

Clock Out? thought Leopold. That’s another card that mom wanted me to confiscate!

“Now,” said Stan, placing it into a slot, “first I have to give up 1,000 of my Life Points…”

His Life Points fell to 3,100

The grandfather clock appeared. The spinner spun…

And this time, Stan was luckier. It landed on the four!

“Now you can’t attack for four of your turns!” exclaimed Stan.

“All right!” shouted Francesca.

“But what exactly does that Silent Magician do, anyway?” asked Andy.

“Make your move,” said Stan with a smile.

Leopold grimaced and drew…

Light flowed into Silent Magician, and his Attack Score grew to 1,500.

“Huh?” said Leopold. “How did your Silent Magician get more Attack Points?”

“Every time you draw a card,” explained Stan, “Silent Magician Lv 4 gains a spell counter, and with each one he gets, he gains 500 Attack Points!”

Leopold’s eyes narrowed. He looked at his cards.

So, that guy gets stronger with each card I draw? I thought. I can live with that…

In fact, with the cards I have now, I already have a plan that carries about an 80% chance of success!

First, I’ll summon this Monster to keep his Silent Magician from attacking…

Then I’ll draw cards until it reaches an astronomical Attack Score…

Then I’ll play this Block Attack card, and Equip it with this Nitro Unit! When I destroy it, Stan will lose a LOT of Life Points!

He switched cards on his Disk.

“I sacrifice my Mammoth to summon The Sandman, in Defense Mode!” he exclaimed.

Big-Tusked Mammoth vanished, and a new creature appeared. The name “Sandman” seemed to describe it perfectly. It was a tall man, seemingly made out of sand. (0/3,000)

“Your move, Stan,” chuckled Leopold. “Just try to get past him.”

The clock ticked down to three.

Stan drew…

Sandman pointed at Silent Magician, and the young Spellcaster bowed his head…

“What?” exclaimed Stan. “He’s asleep?”

“That’s The Sandman’s special effect,” chuckled Leopold. “During your first Main Phase, I can choose one of your Monsters, and that Monster falls asleep, unable to attack for the remainder of the turn!”

“Lovely,” said Stan, sarcastically.

He looked at his card, and smiled.

“I play… Sweat Treat!” he exclaimed.

Ugh, another one? thought Leopold.

Stan played the card, and the cute gingerbread man popped out with its pink dice. He rolled it…

And it came up a four.

“All right!” shouted Andy. “Now Stan gains 4,000 Life Points!”

Stan’s score shot up to 7,100.

“And with that, I end my turn,” said Stan, “but I just made it much harder for you, Leo…”

“It’s LEOPOLD!” shouted his opponent.

And it doesn’t matter, he thought, drawing.

He eyed another Magic Card in his hand.

Once I destroy his Silent Magician and draw my ultimate weapon, he’s finished…

Silent Magician’s Attack went up to 2,000 as Leopold eyed his card.

“I play Pot of Greed,” he stated, plugging the card into a slot.

Stan gasped in surprise as the jar handed him two cards.

“Is this some sort of joke?” he asked, as Silent Magician absorbed more energy. “You do realize that by drawing two more cards, my Silent Magician gains 1,000 more Attack Points?”

Silent Magician went up to 3,000 Attack.

“Yikes!” gasped Andy. “That little tyke is just as strong as Kaiba’s Blue-Eyes White Dragon now!”

“I’m quite aware of that,” stated Leopold, “but my Sandman will just send him to La-La Land again on your next turn. To end, I’ll place a Monster facedown in Defense.”

He set a card, and a hidden Monster appeared.

The clock ticked down to two.

Stan drew, and Silent Magician fell asleep again.

Nothing I can summon without a sacrifice, he thought.

“I’ll pass this turn,” he said.

Leopold drew. Silent Magician went up to 3,500 Attack.

Stan gave a slight smirk.

“First I’ll set a second Monster facedown in Defense Mode,” said Leopold, setting a card.

Another concealed Monster appeared.

“Now I’ll play my Premature Burial card,” he continued, “to bring my Dark Driceratops back from the grave!”

His Life Points fell to 5,750 as he played the card. The ground shook, and Dark Driceratops crawled out of the ground. (2,400/1,500)

“Make your move,” he said with a grin.

“I will,” said Stan, drawing. “Because now that Silent Magician Lv 4 has absorbed five spell counters, I can sacrifice him to summon Silent Magician Lv 8!”

A card flew out of his Disk, and Stan caught it. He switched cards.

Silent Magician Lv 4 glowed. He grew, and within seconds, he had basically transformed into an adult version of his former self.

But The Sandman pointed at him, and he fell asleep as well.

He looked at the card he had just drawn.

I’ll save this guy, he thought.

“That will be all for my turn,” he said.

Leopold drew.

He noticed that this new Silent Magician did not increase in Attack Points.

He smiled a smile that Stan did not like.

“I’ll pass this turn,” he grinned.

The clock clicked to the top, and it vanished.

Stan drew.

He chuckled.

“I summon Blast Magician in Attack Mode!” he exclaimed.

He put the card down, and the fiery Spellcaster appeared in a burst of flame. (1,400/1,700)

“Now, I play… Graceful Charity!” he shouted.

The angel flew out of his deck and handed him three cards. He choose two, and gave them to her to discard.

Blast Magician absorbed the energy from the Magic Card.

“Huh?” asked Leopold.

“Now that my Blast Magician has absorbed the power of one Magic Card,” smiled Stan, “he can now destroy a Monster with 700 Attack Points or less! And your Sandman has zero Attack Points!

“Blast Magician, blast his Sandman!”

Blast Magician shot forth a stream of fire, and The Sandman was blown into dust.

Silent Magician woke up in a start.

“Just as I’d hoped,” chuckled Stan. “With it gone, so is the sleeping spell. So, Silent Magician, destroy his Dark Driceratops with solar blast!”

Silent Magician thrust forth his staff, and shot forth a stream of burning, bright light! Dark Driceratops roared, and was reduced to ashes!

Leopold’s Life Points fell to 4,650.

“Blast Magician, attack… that Monster!”

Blast Magician shot forth a fiery spell at a facedown card, and another Two-Headed King Rex appeared. It also roared and was reduced to ashes.

“Your move, Leopold,” chuckled Stan. “And you have only one Monster left!”

“One will be more than enough!” laughed Leopold.

He drew.

Ah, my trump card! he thought, laughing inside. Think I’ll save it until after I demolish his Silent Magician.

“I reveal my facedown Monster…” said Leopold with a grin.

The card spun around.

“Reveal… The Trojan Horse!”

A huge horse made of wood appeared in front of Leopold. (1,600/1,200)



http://www.itstimetoduel.com/cardpictures/SOD-EN029.jpg


“Be very careful, Stan!” shouted Andy.

“What?” asked Francesca.

“If Leopold sacrifices The Trojan Horse for a Monster of Earth, it counts as two sacrifices!” exclaimed Andy.

Francesca shuddered.

Just like Unshaven Angler and Whirlwind Prodigy! she thought.

“Now it’s time to show you the real King of the Jungle!” shouted Leopold. “I sacrifice The Trojan Horse, to summon Black Tyranno!”

The Trojan Horse shattered, and the biggest Dinosaur of all appeared. It was beyond belief. It was a savage Tyrannosaurus Rex with huge claws, giant teeth, and black scales. It roared in pure bloodlust. (2,600/1,800)



http://www.itstimetoduel.com/cardpictures/IOC-075.jpg


“That’s mighty impressive, Leopold,” said Stan, with a yawn, “but in case you didn’t notice, my Magician is still stronger…”

“Maybe so,” stated Leopold, “but I was forming a strategy the second I found out about your Silent Magician’s ability, one that will make your chance of survival almost zero percent.

“See, unlike you, I don’t act on instinct! I plan ahead! I think with the skills that only a genius can call upon, I…”

“You’re going to fall flat on your face…” muttered Stan.

Leopold growled.

He took a card from his hand.

“Let me show you part one of my strategy!” he shouted. “I’m using this Magic Card on your Silent Magician… Block Attack!”

He threw it into a slot.

“Oh no!” cried Francesca.

Then Silent Magician lifted a finger to his lips, and made a motion, as if to say, “Shhh!”

And he remained in Attack Mode.

“Huh?” said Leopold, surprised. “Why didn’t he shift into Defense Mode?”

“Because he has an effect completely different from his younger counterpart, Leo,” said Stan with a grin. “The only Magic Cards that affect him… are mine!

“Remember when I just said you were going to fall flat on your face? I could see your strategy coming from a mile away – you were intending to defeat Silent Magician by using some combo with that monstrosity and a Magic Card. But you never considered the fact that Silent Magician even had an effect that could resist them.

“So what are you going to do now?”

Leopold ground his teeth.

If that creature is immune to my Magic Cards, he’s immune to Nitro Unit too. he thought. Well then, there’s no way to save Black Tyranno, so I’ll just make the most of it…

“I’m Equipping your Blast Magician with this,” he said, putting a card into a slot. “Nitro Unit!”

Blast Magician gasped, as a strange, mechanical device with wires, batteries, and a tank that said “Nitro” on it was strapped to his back.

“Let me explain,” said Leopold, with a sinister chuckle. “When my Black Tyranno destroys your Blast Magician, in addition to the normal amount of damage you’ll receive, you’ll take damage equal to Blast Magician’s Attack Score!

“Black Tyranno, attack his Blast Magician with predator roar!”

Black Tyranno let out a huge bellow, and Blast Magician staggered…

The Nitro Unit beeped wildly, and Blast Magician exploded, throwing Stan backwards!

His Life Points plummeted to 4,500.



[B]* * * * * * * * * *


In the tree where he was watching Crump was not having a very good time.

He was starting to get very bad pains in his stomach. And he was getting worried.

Ooh, he thought. If I throw up, not only will my cover be blown, but it will be…

…undignified.

I’ve got to get out of here and get some Pepto-Bismol. But how?

He sighed, and took the Duel Disk that was strapped to his back. He took out a card.

Dimensionhole.

Grodus told me to use this only in an emergency… he thought. Well this is an emergency if I ever saw one…

He placed the card in a slot, and a portal opened up beside him. He leapt through, and it closed.



[B]* * * * * * * * * *


Stan got back up, and drew a card.

“Well, well,” he said.

“Ready Leopold? Time to meet and old friend of my family!”

He put a card down.

“I summon Ms. Mowz the Tease Thief in Attack Mode!”

Andy and Francesca smiled as the new Monster appeared. She was a short, semi-humanoid mouse with white fur, red shoes, and a red bandit’s mask. Her long tail was bent in the shape of a heart. (1,200/1,000)

“How adorable…” sneered Leopold, sarcastically.

“Silent Magician, wipe out his Black Tyranno!” shouted Stan.

Silent Magician shot forth his Solar Blast, and Black Tyranno was incinerated.

Leopold’s Life Points fell to 3,750.

“Ms. Mowz, attack him directly with your love slap!” ordered Stan.

“Love slap?” said a shocked Leopold.

Ms. Mowz squealed in delight, and pounced! she slapped at Leopold’s face, and he cursed…

His Life Points fell down to 2,550.

Then the unexpected happened. Ms. Mouse snatched a card out his hand with her mouth!

“HEY!” yelled Leopold. “That’s mine!”

Ms. Mowz scurried back to Stan and handed him the card. Then she gave Stan a smooch on the cheek.

“Heh, thanks Ms. Mowz,” he said, somewhat embarrassed. “Anyway, Leopold, it’s mine now, thanks to Ms. Mowz’s Kiss Thief ability. When she damages your Life Points, I get to take a card at random from your hand, and add it to my own!”

Fine, thought Leopold. So will you use that card Stan? I estimate that there’s a 60% chance you’ll do with it exactly what I planned to do with it!

Stan looked at the card that Ms. Mowz had given him.

“A Soul Release card, eh Leopold?” he laughed, “well, I can put this to good use…”

He plugged it into the slot.

“I’ll use it on your Graveyard, removing your Black Tyranno, Dark Driceratops, Megazowler, Sword Arm of Dragon, and one Two Headed King Rex! Whatever strategies you had in mind that involved using powerful Dinosaurs, I just crippled them!

“And I end my turn.”

Leopold laughed. He laughed out loud.

“Uh, maniacal laughter is never a good sign…” muttered Francesca.

Leopold drew.

“Crippled them, Andy?” he laughed. “Hardly! You did with that card exactly what I intended to do with it! So thank you so much!”


Continued...

Dark Sage
23rd July 2005, 10:18 AM
Continued from last post:


“WHAT?” exclaimed Andy. “Why would you remove your own Monsters from play?”

“I needed to,” chuckled Leopold. “To play the mightiest Monster in my deck!”

He threw a card down.

“I summon the almighty TYRANNO INFINITY!”

Thunder and lightning flashed in the sky, as a Monster even bigger than Black Tyranno arose. It was twice as big, twice as mean-looking, and rainbow-colored energy radiated from its scales! (?/0)



http://www.ideal808.com/images/crv-jp029.jpg


“NOW do I scare you?” chuckled Leopold.

“Yes!” gulped Stan.

“Then allow me to explain how this earth-shattering Monster works,” he explained. “Don’t let the name fool you – any good mathematician will tell you that infinity is only a hypothetical number, and that nothing can truly be infinite. But this creature is powerful. It’s Attack Score is 1,000 for every Dinosaur Monster of mine that has been removed from play. And since you so kindly removed five of them for me…”

(5,000/0)

Andy and Francesca gasped.

“Face it, Stan,” laughed Leopold, “I’m going to bury you here! Perhaps in a million years, some future paleontologists will come across your bones!”

He laughed out loud.

“Now then,” he smiled, “which of your two Monsters should I destroy first? I could easily destroy your mouse…”

Ms. Mowz shivered in fright.

“…but that wouldn’t win me the duel,” sighed Leopold, “and I hate your Silent Magician even more!

“Tyranno Infinity, attack his Silent Magician with infinite primal rage attack!”

Tyranno Infinity blasted forth a beam of pure energy from his jaws, blasting Silent Magician away!

Stan’s Life Points fell to 2,900, and that wasn’t the only effect. He was knocked flat on his back, and had the wind knocked out of him.



* * * * * * * * * *


Stan heard a squeaky voice above him.

“Stan?” it said. “Stan? Get up! Get up you big piece of Roquefort!”

He felt a warm touch, like the muzzle of a friendly dog touching him, and he got up.

Ms. Mowz was standing over him.

“Huh?” he said.

“I’m sorry, Stan,” she lamented. “I stole the wrong card!”

“It wasn’t your fault,” sighed Stan. “But what are we going to do? This is like Drake all over again! He’s too powerful!”

Ms. Mowz giggled.

“It’s simple, you little piece of gorgonzola! If an enemy is stronger than you, you simply have to outsmart him! I know that well…”

“What do you mean?” asked Stan. “And do you have to compare me to cheeses?”

Ms. Mowz chuckled.

“That got on your ancestor’s nerves a lot too,” she laughed. “See, I first met the Three Heroes in Hooktail Castle. I was doing what any good thief did – looking for valuable stuff. I was immediately impressed by their powers – but I didn’t want to join them just yet.

“I snuck around, following them everywhere. I played a lot of tricks on them along the way, and eventually they got used to me…

“Eventually, I asked them to do me a favor that I told them was dangerous. It wasn’t really. I just wanted to know if they’d do something that they thought was dangerous. If they did, I intended to join up with them.

“So they did, and I joined the Companions.

“See, I outsmarted the Three Heroes, and they weren’t the only powerful beings I outsmarted. You have the skills and the cards to take down that so-called genius and his big bad dinosaur…

“Now go knock him dead, my little piece of provolone!”

She gave him a kiss on the cheek…



[B]* * * * * * * * * *


Stan got up, and slowly gathered his cards.

“Make your move,” dared Leopold. “As if it will matter… By the way, your mouse is next…”

Stan looked at his cards.

Dark Magician of Chaos, Mind on Air, Monster Reborn, Pitch Black Power Stone, and…

Double Spell.

He thought for a minute.

A plan was forming. He could win this duel on this turn… if the card he drew was a Magic Card!

He deftly drew…

He looked at the card.

Sibling Rivalry!

“Question, Leopold,” he said with a grin. “Have you ever seen a mouse take down a dinosaur?”

Leopold laughed out loud.

“Stan, that is the biggest bluff I have ever heard!” he laughed.

Stan placed a card in a slot.

“I play Monster Reborn!” he shouted. “I’ll bring back a Monster that you made me discard with your Morphing Jar…”

An imposing form appeared on the card…

It was Buster Blader.

(2,600/2,300)

“Heh, heh, a fat lot of good that will do you!” laughed Leopold. “My Dinosaurs aren’t Dragons!”

Stan ignored him.

“And now I play… Double Spell!” shouted Stan.

He discarded Sibling Rivalry.

“Oh, I’m shaking!” said Leopold, sarcastically. “There’s no Magic Card in my Graveyard that can help you!”

“I beg to differ!” laughed Stan. “I’m using this card to duplicate the effects of the card you tried to use on my Silent Magician!”

Leopold paused…

And then it sank in…

“AUUGH!” he shouted. “That was my Block Attack card!”

“Bingo!” laughed Stan.

Tyranno Infinity curled up into Defense Mode.

“Your Tyranno Infinity may have an overwhelming Attack Score,” stated Stan, “but I noticed that its Defense Score is… zero.

“You know, some people say that Dinosaurs had very small brains. Apparently, this one had NO brain. It could only attack, and couldn’t defend itself at all!”

“Ms. Mowz, attack Tyranno Infinity!”

Leopold screamed as Ms. Mowz darted forward and rammed herself into the gargantuan Dinosaur. It burst into colored shards!

“My best Monster…” sobbed Leopold. “Beaten by a… a… mouse! What were the odds? What were the odds? I’ll never live this down!”

“Ahem…” said Stan, pointing at his Buster Blader.

“Oh, no…” groaned Leopold.

“Buster Blader, finish him off with blade buster attack!”

Buster Blader charged forward and struck Leopold with his mighty sword, knocking him down, and blasting away the rest of his Life Points.

Leopold got up and stared at Stan in hate.

“Curse you Stan!” he shouted. “How dare you humiliate me! I may have lost, but I’ll get even! There’s a 100% chance of that!”

And then he burst into an explosion of dust.



[B]* * * * * * * * * *


Stan, Andy, and Francesca ran back into town, and to their relief, they saw that the townsfolk had recovered.

Mostly.

All of them were sitting down, rubbing their joints.

They noticed Sean and Drake sitting on a bench.

“Are you guys okay?” asked Sean.

“We’ll live,” groaned Drake. “We’re just a little… stiff.”

Sean sighed. “You saved us…” he muttered. “You won the duel…”

“You knew?” asked Stan.

“We all could hear everything,” answered Drake. “It was torture – not being able to move, and hearing that madman and his threats…”

A townsfolk came up to them.

“You saved the whole town…” he said. “How about I treat you all to a nice steak dinner at my restaurant?”

“Sure!” said Stan. “And how about some more of those famous peaches?”

“Uhm, I should warn you,” said the man. “Don’t eat too many of those. Twilight peaches are good, but if you eat to many at once, you could get real sick…”

“Really?” muttered Stan.

“Yeah,” sighed the man. “More than five in one day, and you could get nausea, upset stomach, constipation, indigestion…”

“Well Sean,” muttered Drake, “guess our duel will have to wait until we’re a bit more limber…”

“I’ve got nowhere to go,” shrugged Sean.

Francesca took her Stan aside.

“Stan, I don’t want to worry you but…”

The bell from the Creepy Steeple tolled five.

“Darn that thing,” she sighed. “Anyway, while you were dueling, there was a guy in the tree above us watching the whole thing.”

“Yeah,” said Andy. “I saw him too.”

Stan frowned.

“So, the Shadow Queen has a toady spying on us,” he sighed. “Just great.”


[B]
* * * * * * * * * *


Leopold was unceremoniously dumped in the center of a large cavern.

He looked around, and gasped as he saw Melissa, Kurtis, and Tyson held captive by magical devices.

“So, you blew it too, Mr. Smarty Pants,” sighed Melissa. “What a surprise…”

“Leopold!” shouted a voice from the shadows.

Leopold started sweating as his mother floated into view.

“Leopold, I don’t know what to say to you,” she said. “I’ve seen better strategy from a dueling monkey!”

“But mom, I couldn’t have known…” shuddered Leopold.

“Let me point some things out for you, Leopold,” explained the Shadow Queen, as she flicked her Disk into position. “You knew that your Tyranno Infinity’s greatest weakness was its nonexistent Defense Score. You also knew that Stan had a Double Spell card in his deck…

“And yet, you practically handed victory to him by playing Block Attack on a Monster that you knew nothing about.

“Leopold, you claim to be twice as smart as your siblings. You’re wrong…”

She took a card out of her dress.

“…you’re twice as stupid!”

She threw the card into a slot.

“Nightmare Wheel!” she shouted.

Leopold screamed as chains grabbed his arms and legs and racked him to a hideous metal wheel.

As she turned to leave, she said, “Next time you weigh the percentages, weigh them better!”



[B]FEARFUL EARTHBOUND

Card Specs

Type: Trap/Continuous
Attribute: –
Level: –
ATK: –
DEF: –

Card Description: Image of a warrior surrounded by a set of fearsome jaws. So long as this Trap remains on the field, your opponent loses 500 Life Points each time he declares an attack.

Note: “Fearful Earthbound” was used by Bakura in “Showdown in the Shadows (Part One)”. All creative credit goes to the writers of that episode.



SWORD ARM OF DRAGON

Card Specs

Type: Dinosaur
Attribute: Earth
Level: 6
ATK: 1,750
DEF: 2,030

Card Description: A dinosaur that bristles with sword-like spikes all over. It attacks by recklessly ramming foes.



MEGAZOWLER

Card Specs

Type: Dinosaur
Attribute: Earth
Level: 6
ATK: 1,800
DEF: 2,000

Card Description: A dinosaur with horns protruding from all over its body. As expected, its ramming attacks are very powerful.


Note: “Sword Arm of Dragon” and “Megazowler” were first used by Rex Raptor in “The Dueling Monkey” All creative credit goes to the writers of that episode. (Contrary to rumors, these cards do not even exist in Japan, although they have appeared in video games.)



TERROR FROM THE EXTINCT

Card Specs

Type: Magic/Quickplay
Attribute: –
Level: –
ATK: –
DEF: –

Card Description: Image of a scattered pile of bones, over which a group of dinosaur spirits are roaring. Until the end of the current turn, all face up Monsters on your opponent's field, regardless of position, lose 100 ATK and DEF points for each DINOSAUR-type monster in your Graveyard.

Note: “Terror From The Extinct” was created by Master of Paradox as a result of winning a mini-contest. All credit goes to him.



THE SANDMAN

Card Specs

Type: Fiend/Effect
Attribute: Earth
Level: 6
ATK: 0
DEF: 3,000

Card Description: This vile creature lures victims into an eternal slumber from which they can never awake. When this Monster is face-up on your side of the field, you can choose one Monster on your opponent’s side of the field during each of your opponent’s first Main Phases. So long as this Monster remains on the field, the chosen Monster cannot attack for the remainder of the turn.



MS. MOWZ THE TEASE THIEF

Card Specs

Type: Beast-Warrior/Effect
Attribute: Earth
Level: 4
ATK: 1,200
DEF: 1,000

Card Description: This wily bandit stalked and teased the Three Heroes for some time before finally joining them. When this Monster damages your opponent’s Life Points, you can take one card at random from their hand and add it to yours and use it during the duel. (If cards taken in this manner are sent to the Graveyard, they go to the original owner’s Graveyard.)



[I][B]Coming up next:

Andy is lured to the spooky Creepy Steeple, where a dark assassin waits for him! (And fans of “Paper Mario”, no, it isn’t Doopliss!) Andy will have to face his fears, a deck designed to counter his, and the maddening tolling of the Steeple’s bells… But fortunately, the next Companion will be aiding him!

Don’t miss “For Whom The Bell Tolls”, coming soon.

jkBAKURA
23rd July 2005, 10:31 AM
One chapter too early! Oh well. I haven't seen many Dinosaur decks in the fiction world, and was probably the best written of the ones I have seen. I half expected Guardian Grarl, but that was always more for a guardian deck then Dinos.

Was also the first one I've seen without the Evolution Pill, but that just shows creativity and resourcefulness that some are too lazy to tap into.

Well done as always, and looking foreward like so many to the next chapter. I can only imagine what comes next.

Zcade0
23rd July 2005, 03:55 PM
Exelent chapter. Ms. Mowz seemed to not have as much empasize as the past intros to the companion monsters but still quite interesting.

starjake
23rd July 2005, 04:48 PM
So my guess was correct! That was a duel that Rex would be proud of (if he's even capable of feeling a positive emotion). I like Leopold's character, though we've kind of already seen it in Krump of the Big 5.

Geez, you're not gonna go easy on Andy, are you? He faces off against three Fiend users, someone with the most powerful Fire monsters ever created (heh, heh) and now against someone whose deck is especially tailored to combat Dragons? Talk about no rest for the weary! Let's see how Andy handles all this pressure.

I await the next chapter!

opaltiger
23rd July 2005, 06:03 PM
Aww, I was hoping Stan'd lose. I like it when things like that happen. =P

Okay, you called Stan Andy once, but otherwise it was good in that regard... Although I believe you called that Mammoth thingy a mastodon which was an extinct sloth. Or was it a beaver? One can never remember.

Lastly, I'd say this was Buster Blader/Dark Paladin, but that's too obvious imo...

Mystic_clown
23rd July 2005, 07:33 PM
Nice chapter dude! Man, there's a whole load of dinosaurs I didn't even know existed (if only Rex had a deck like that).

Master of Paradox
23rd July 2005, 07:41 PM
The following is, best as I can recall, the AIM conversation that got me the spot creating Terror From The Extinct:

(Immediately after Dark Sage posted the mini-contest)

Me: Can I just tell you the answer in IM?
Him: Ummm... okay.
Me: "Minerva".
Him: We have a winner.

As Starjake pointed out, Leopold acted a bit too much like Krump. To be honest, out of the Shadow Spawn, the only one I've liked was Kurtis - he played it cool and underemotional, whereas the others were either too hyper (Melissa), endlessly cracking horrible jokes (Tyson) or just plain unoriginal (Leopold).

Interesting, though, to see a Dinosaur/Earth deck that doesn't go crazy with made-ups, aside from the show cards and my Terror. Ms. Mowz, however, was a little too stale, both as a card and a character - and I loathe cheese puns.

To be honest, I only found this chapter to be average. The duel was decent enough, but nothing about it truely stood out - and given that Leopold was trained for this sort of thing, why didn't he know what the Silent Magician LV 4 could do? Do people in your stories never learn about any cards other than their own? That's bothered me for a while now...

Your next chapter shakes me a bit - you see... well, I don't want to spoil anything for LoD...

Shuppet Master
24th July 2005, 02:38 PM
I really enjoyed this chapter. The fourth Shadow Spawn strikes! Oh, and the Crump bit was funny - that's what you get for overindulgence! :D

I was surprised of Leopold. For a second, I envisioned this white-haired Dante clone. (Dante is the hero of tthe Devil May Cry series.) But this was a cool character none the less. And Leopold made the same mistake Shaleen did in Mandate - she used a card which was used against her.

Ouch, Nightmare Wheel is nasty. Something tells me that the last two Spawn are going to get serious punishments if they lose. (I predict Vladimir will be killed, but only because of a plot point I can't spoil. I may be wrong.)

Keep it up, Brian. We're rooting for you!

Mystic_clown
24th July 2005, 07:36 PM
[quote=Shuppet Master ]
I was surprised of Leopold. For a second, I envisioned this white-haired Dante clone. (Dante is the hero of tthe Devil May Cry series.) But this was a cool character none the less.[/quote author]

I was kind of expecting that too to be honest.

Why do I get the feeling one of the remaining two spawn is going to be honourable. In every series there's at least one honourable villian.

Dark Sage
26th July 2005, 09:15 AM
Well it's time for a new chapter, and let me just say, I'm sorry if this chapter is coincdentally similar to a chapter of "Lady of Dragons" which is premiering later this week.

Everyone who plays "Paper Mario" is asked the question, "Who's your favorite sidekick?" Well, I can't really answer that - hanving to chose a favorite would be like having to chose my own child. But the guy who appears in this chapter is a guy who I took a certain shine to, mainly because of his complex backstory.

Fans of the series, you know who I'm talking about.

So, on we go...

Dark Sage
26th July 2005, 09:18 AM
[B][I]Everyone has something that they’re afraid of… I’m no exception.

You heard that I’m afraid of clowns… You know, that’s sort of a common fear. Clowns can be creepy sometimes. The way they act, the way they talk. If nothing else, they’re just downright annoying…

There are tons of reasons to support a fear of clowns. Did you know that the infamous child-killer John Wayne Gacy once worked as a clown?

The media helps the image. Batman’s deadliest enemy – one of the most infamous enemies in comic book history – is a clown, and he’s not the only clown in comics who’s a villain. And strangely, clowns in comics who are heroes are very rare.

And now I’m facing my worst nightmare…

An opponent who’s not only a clown…

But one who has a clever deck that he’s prepared just for me…




[B][size=3]CHAPTER EIGHTEEN



For Whom The Bell Tolls



“Buster Blader, finish him off with blade buster attack!”

As Andy sat outside the Twilight Inn with Francesca at his side, he replayed the last moments of Stan’s duel with Leopold in his head.

He sighed.

“Francesca,” he asked. “Do you remember your first real tournament? I mean, after you first got your Disk.”

“Yeah,” sighed Francesca. “I didn’t do to well… I only got to the second round…”

Andy chuckled.

“I can one-up you on that,” he answered. “I got to the third round in mine…

“But the opponent I faced at that point was pretty good. His deck was nothing special – basic beatdown strategy…

“But boy, did he know how to build a side deck!

“You know how side decks are. If you have one, only fifteen cards are allowed, no more, no less. But his was perfect. He seemed to have stuff in it for every occasion.

“And since he had seen me duel, he rearranged his deck with cards to defeat my strategy. I didn’t stand a chance…”

The bell from the Creepy Steeple tolled seven.

“Blast that thing!” he cursed. “It’s going to be hard to sleep tonight…”

They sighed, and walked into the inn.



[B]* * * * * * * * * *


In the Palace of Shadow, its mistress rubbed her chin as she looked over a special deck.

Hmm, she thought. Not you… not you…

She came to a card.

“Yes…” she hissed. “Perfect…”

She tossed the card into the fireplace, and the violet flames blazed green.

“Arise!” she chanted.

A dark form leapt out of the fireplace, and cackled with laughter.

He took a hat off of his head, and made a polite bow.

“I am your humble servant, my Queen,” he said. “I am ready to do your every bidding…”

“Splendid,” said the Queen with a smile. “I need for you to duel for me…”

“I can duel with the best of them,” grinned the creature. “Just tell me who the victim is…”

The Queen motioned to her viewing globe, and a picture of Andy appeared.

“There,” she said. “I want you to lure him to the Creepy Steeple, and defeat him.”

“It is as good as done, my Queen,” said the creature.

“Not quite,” said the Queen, taking a few cards out of her dress.

“Andy’s deck is difficult to beat, but if you add these cards to your deck, you’ll have an advantage.”

She handed them you him, and he looked at them.

“Dragons, I assume?” he asked.

“Exactly, now get moving.”

“Don’t worry,” he said. “I know the Creepy Steeple well. I can even shake him up a bit before he reaches me!”

He vanished into a dark mist…

Out of the darkness, Sir Grodus appeared.

“Are you sure that nutjob can be trusted?” he asked.

“Not sure,” replied the Queen, sitting down. “I often use my living Duel Monsters as duelist assassins, but this one is a bit more… unstable than the rest…

“Still, given what we know of Andy, he should have a hard time with this guy, especially after the help I just gave him…”



[B]* * * * * * * * * *


A few hours later, Andy was asleep in his bed at the Twilight Inn.

Outside, the Creepy Steeple chimed eleven…

Dreaming, Andy saw it clearly…

The Creepy Steeple. A twisted bell tower dominated in the front by a spooky stained glass window.

“Andy…” said a voice. “Andy… Come here Andy…

“Or are you too scared?”

“Shut up…” mumbled Andy.

“I dare ya…” laughed the voice. “I double dare ya!”

Andy grimaced.

“Chicken…” mocked the voice. “Cluck, cluck, cluck, cluck, cluck…”

Andy woke with a start.

He angrily looked out the window.

The change came over him. The Creepy Steeple had just challenged him…

And he wasn’t going to let it go.

He got up and pulled his clothes on.

“You don’t scare me you blasted bell tower,” he cursed. “Maybe this whole town is too frightened to go near you, but I’m going to find whatever you’re hiding and root you out!”

He picked up his Duel Disk and strapped it onto his arm.

He went down to the common room of the inn, where the innkeeper was snoozing by the desk.

Andy gently shook him awake.

“Huh? Wha?” he sputtered, waking up.

“Which way is it to the Creepy Steeple?” demanded Andy.

“Take the pathway south out of town,” mumbled the man, still half asleep.

And then he woke up with a start.

“WAIT!” he cried. “You aren’t actually going there, are you?”

“In a word, yes,” growled Andy. “The chiming is one thing, but that stupid bell tower just made it personal…”

“But sir, you’ll…”

He couldn’t stop him. Andy was already out the door.



[B]* * * * * * * * * *


The woods south of Twilight Town were little different than the woods approaching Twilight Town. Andy stood ready to draw a card from his Disk should any nightmares pop up and threaten him.

None did, but it was a long walk. Eventually, the ground grew thick and foggy. The trees cast ominous shadows over him.

Eventually, the shadows parted, and he saw his goal…

The Creepy Steeple.

It was a tall, rickety-looking building, surrounded by a rusty gate. The bell tower jutted up over the main building, and a large, round, stained glass window was above the entrance. It resembled some church that had been turned evil by a wicked taint.

Andy went up to the gate and opened it. He boldly went up to the front doors…

And they swung open to greet him.

“Awfully nice of you…” he grumbled.

He walked into a spooky, dark, hallway. Dim light shone from the stained glass window, and pillars supported the ceilings. To each side was another, more colorful stained glass window, depicting a ghostly form…

Andy heard a fluttering above his head…

He looked up, and saw a group of spooky creatures with leather wings about to swoop down on him! (1,000/1,000)



http://www.itstimetoduel.com/cardpictures/PSV-EN058.jpg


“Well,” snarled Andy, drawing a card, “it seems we have a few bats in this belfry!”

He placed a card down on his Disk.

“Go, Luster Dragon!” he shouted.

The large Dragon made of sapphire appeared in a flash! (1,900/1,600)

Luster Dragon roared, and blasted forth his beam of energy, blasting away at the Dark Bats! One by one, they were vaporized.

Eventually, all of the creatures were gone.

Andy removed the card, and placed it back on his deck.

“Is that the best you can do, Shadow Queen?” he said.

He saw a stairway, and started to climb it.

At the top was a large dusty room. A bed was in one corner, a painting was on the wall, and a sword and a shield were in another corner.

A moaning pervaded the room… Three ghostly wisps started floating around Andy, and then floated into the painting, bed, and armaments…

And then they changed, turning into three ghostly shapes!



http://www.itstimetoduel.com/cardpictures/LON-EN052.jpghttp://www.itstimetoduel.com/cardpictures/LON-EN053.jpghttp://www.itstimetoduel.com/cardpictures/LON-EN054.jpg


“Give me a break,” sneered Andy. “It’s going to take more than a bunch of weak ghosts to make me scared!”

He drew the card and summoned Luster Dragon again.

“Take care of those nightmares, Luster Dragon!” he shouted.

Luster Dragon shot forth its breath weapon, blasting away The Portrait’s Secret, The Gross Ghost of Fled Dreams, and Headless Knight.

A door appeared on the wall.

Luster Dragon vanished, and Andy opened it.

A long, spiral stairway led up. Andy started to climb the stairs.



[B]* * * * * * * * * *


After a long ascent, he opened a trap door, and entered the belfry itself. A huge bell was hanging overhead, and weird mirrors were all over the place, as were colored curtains. A strange orange door with a purple question mark was on the far end of the room, and an orange cube the size of a table that was covered with question marks was right under the bell.

“Whoever built this place had to have been crazy…” muttered Andy.

“That reminds me of a funny one…” said a goofy voice.

Andy looked around, but he saw no one.

“There are these two inmates in an insane asylum, see,” continued the voice, “and one day they decide they don’t like being in an asylum. So they decide that they’re going to escape!”

“Where are you?” shouted Andy.

The voice ignored him, and continued the joke.

“Anyway, they make it to the roof of the asylum, and they have to jump ten feet to the next building to complete their escape. The first guy – ah let’s call him Fred – makes the jump easily. But the second guy – let’s call him Sam – won’t jump. See, he’s afraid of falling.

“Then Fred says, ‘Say, I’ve got an idea! I have my flashlight with me! I’ll just shine the light between the building, and you can walk over it and join me!’

“But then Sam says, ‘What do you think I am, crazy?’”

The voice paused to chuckle.

“’You’d turn it off when I was halfway across!’”

“All right,” ordered Stan. “Enough with the bad jokes. Show yourself!”

“Very well…” said the voice.

A figure dropped down from the ceiling. It was a harlequin dressed in a colorful suit, blue, yellow, and green. He had a red cavalier hat with a large violet plume. His face was covered with makeup – white down the middle, and black on either side.



http://www.itstimetoduel.com/cardpictures/EP1-EN005.jpg


Andy was shocked for a minute, but he regained his composure.

“Peten the Dark Clown?” he exclaimed.

“In the flesh,” said Peten, with a grin.

He removed his hat and bowed.

“YOU’RE the big scary monster that’s been tormenting Twilight Town with the Creepy Steeple’s bells?” asked Andy, now annoyed.

“Uh, no,” said Peten. “I’m house sitting for him while he takes a break. But it is rather nice here.”

“Listen clown, I want some answers!” demanded Andy. “And unless you want me to blow you away like I did those ghosts…”

“That won’t work, Andy!” scolded Peten. “Remember The Unfriendly Amazon? I’m just like her. You can’t destroy me with your Monsters…”

Andy paused for a minute to take this in…

“So then you called me up here to duel me?” he asked.

“You read my mind,” chuckled Peten.

He gestured, and a Duel Disk appeared on his arm.

“How’d you do that?” asked Andy.

“DUH!” mocked Peten. “I’m a Spellcaster, in case you didn’t know! Now, let’s shuffle our decks and get this started.”

Peten produced a deck, and placed it on the orange cube. He started to shuffle just like Marv had before his duel with Francesca.

“I’m watching you, Peten!” warned Andy.

“Please,” protested Peten. “Card tricks are strictly for amateurs!”

“Yeah,” said Andy, suspiciously. “Just to make sure, I’ll cut your deck…”

“Go right ahead…” said Peten, taking his hands off of it. “A great duelist once said after all, ‘Always trust your opponent, but only after YOU cut their deck’!”

Andy cut the deck into thirds, and then stacked them together.

“He must have been clever,” he sneered.

They loaded their decks, and the cube sank into the floor.

“Now let’s…” started Peten.

And then, the great bell tolled again! Andy covered his ears as it rang out twelve chimes!

“As I was saying,” continued Peten, “let’s duel!”



[B]* * * * * * * * * *


Twenty minutes earlier…

Francesca rushed into Stan’s room.

“Stan, wake up!” she shouted.

“Ergh, Fran…” he groaned. “You know, I once punched my mother for waking me up in the middle of the night…”

“Oh, I’m sorry!” gasped Fran. “Don’t…”

“I was kidding,” groaned Stan. “What is it?”

“Get out of bed, we have to…”

“I don’t have any pants on!” growled Stan.

“Stay in bed!” shouted Francesca.

Stan sighed.

“Anyway,” continued Fran, “about ten minutes ago I went into Andy’s room…”

“Whatever for?” mumbled Stan.

“Uhm…” muttered Francesca. “No reason…”

“Uh huh,” said Stan with a smile. “Go on…”

“And he was gone!” she exclaimed.

“Gone?” said Stan, getting up.

He hopped out of bed. Francesca covered her eyes, but he was wearing jeans.

“I was kidding about the pants, too,” he chuckled. “Where is he?”

“I asked the innkeeper, and he was scared to death!” stammered Francesca. “He said Andy had gone to the Creepy Steeple – saying that the place had made it… personal.”

“Personal?” asked Stan. “How could a building way out in the woods have insulted him?”

Francesca shook her head.

“We have to find him,” said Stan, pulling his jacket on. “Ten to one says he’s heading into another one of the Queen’s traps…”



[B]* * * * * * * * * *


Peten grinned as he looked at his first hand.

There he is, just as I expected, he thought, as he saw one of the cards the Queen gave him.

Buster Blader!

That fool that Yugi Mouto dueled in Battle City who I quoted – what was his name? Arkana? – he may not have been able to duel very well and didn’t have much respect for Duel Monsters…

The bastard…

…but he did know a good way to rig a deck! Namely, trim the edges of one key card so it’s slightly smaller than all the others. And since I did that with this card, it fell right on top when he cut my deck!

So then, I’ll just wait until he’s used a lot of his Dragons, and when he’s least expecting it… BAM! My secret weapon will be released!

Andy looked at his own hand.

“You make the first move, Peten,” he sneered.

“Gladly Andy,” said Peten with a grin.

He made his first draw.

“I’ll summon Dream Clown in Attack Mode!” he exclaimed.

A tall figure appeared. It was a clown dressed in a yellow tunic, with sleeves colored red and covered with stars. He also wore a foolscap with the same red-with-stars pattern, and a blue cape. He had a big, green nose, and purple hair covering his eyes. (1,200/900)

“Ugh,” moaned Peter, sweating, “another clown…”

“And to keep him safe, I’ll Equip him with this,” said Peten, placing a card into a slot. “Heart of Clear Water!”

A pendant shaped like a crystal in the shape of a skull appeared around Dream Clown’s neck.

“Now it’s your move,” chuckled Peten.

Clever, thought Andy. That Clown can destroy one of my Monsters every time he shifts into Defense Mode… And Heart of Clear Water makes him harder to get rid of…

He drew.

He looked at the card he had just drew, and the Monster in his hand.

Heh, heh, he thought. I knew I wouldn’t regret adding this guy to my deck after I won that card from Jolene!

Andy put a card down.

“I summon Horde Wyrm in Attack Mode!” he exclaimed.

A small dragon, only slightly larger than Baby Dragon, with large wings and scaly green skin appeared in front of him. (800/1,200)

“Huh?” said Peten in surprise.

“Let me explain how this little guy works,” said Andy with a grin. “He can’t attack directly, but when he does manage to damage your Life Points, I get to see your hand, and force you to discard two cards of my choice!”

“HA, HA, HA, HA, HA!” laughed Peten. “That little runt can’t harm me! It’s far weaker than Dream Clown!”

“Not for long!” exclaimed Andy. “I play this Magic Card… Power Lift!”

He placed a card into a slot, and the card appeared. It had the image of Gearfried the Swordmaster surrounded by intense light.

“With this card, I can add any Monster’s Defense Score to its Attack Score, bringing Horde Wyrm’s Attack to 2,000!”

“HUH?” shouted Peten. “Where did you get a card that powerful?”

Andy didn’t answer.

“Horde Wrym, attack his Dream Clown with golden glow blast!”

Horde Wrym breathed out a blast of golden light! Dream Clown screamed as it hit him, and Peten’s Life Points fell to 7,200.

“Now show me your hand,” ordered Peter.

Peten hesitated.

“Show it to me, or you forfeit!” shouted Andy. “Do you want me to show you Horde Wyrm’s card so I can prove those are the rules?”

Peten cringed and turned his hand towards Andy.

“I knew it…” accused Andy. “You had a Buster Blader in your deck, and you rigged your deck so it would be in your first hand!”

“That’s a lie!” shouted Peten. “It was just a lucky draw, that’s all…”

“Well now I’m telling you to discard it and your Monster Reborn!” ordered Andy.

“Ooh,” cursed Peten, discarding them, “I’ll get you yet, Andy!”


Continued

Dark Sage
26th July 2005, 09:20 AM
Continued from last post


“Perhaps,” said Andy. “Because there is a drawback to Power Lift. The Monster I use it on is destroyed at the end of the turn in which I use it. So I’m ending my turn now…”

Horde Wrym shattered into pixels.

“Then it’s my turn,” cursed Peten, drawing.

He looked at the card.

“I’ll place a card facedown,” he said, fitting it into a slot.

The facedown card appeared.

“And since you have nothing to defend yourself with, Dream Clown, attack directly with drunk punch!”

Dream Clown winded up his fist and charged, hitting Andy with an uppercut! He fell over, and his Life Points fell to 6,800.

Ergh, thought Andy. Okay, maybe that wasn’t the best of ideas…

“Make your move,” demanded Peten, angrily.

“Gee,” said Andy, sarcastically, “I thought Clowns were supposed to be jolly!”

He drew.

“Time to say goodbye to your Dream Clown!” he said with a grin. “I summon Koumori Dragon!”

He placed the card down, and the fierce little Dragon with bat-like wings and purple scales appeared. (1,500/1,200)



http://www.itstimetoduel.com/cardpictures/SDK-006.jpg


“And now I play, Stamping Destruction!”

He played the Magic Card, and Koumori Dragon stamped its foot. Peten was thrown backwards, and the Heart of Clear Water shattered.

Peten’s Life Points fell to 6,700.

“Koumori Dragon, cream that clown!” he shouted.

The Dragon shot forth a wave of fire…

But it was halted by a vortex…

Andy looked, and saw that Peten had activated a Negate Attack Trap.

“Close, but no banana, Andy!” laughed Peten.

“Fine, it’s your move,” growled Andy.

Peten drew.

“Well, well, Pot of Greed,” he said, “this should help…”

He played the card, and the Pot handed him two more cards.

He chuckled manically.

“First I’ll shift Dream Clown into Defense Mode…” he said.

He turned his card. Dream Clown knelt.

“…which destroys your Dragon!”

Koumori Dragon burst into shards!

“Now I’ll summon… Crass Clown, in Attack Mode!”

He placed the card down, and a hideous laugh echoed through the belfry. A large ball covered with stars appeared, and a fat creature appeared balancing on it. It was the ugliest clown Andy had ever seen, wearing a green outfit with yellow polka dots, a large pink ruff, and a blue cap. He carried a long staff. (1,350/1,400)

“Crass Clown, attack directly with acrobatic daggers attack!” shouted Peten.

The Clown gave a cackling laugh… Three glowing daggers appeared in his right hand, and he did a handstand with his left hand! He hurled the daggers, striking Andy in the chest!

Andy sweated as his Life Points fell to 5,450.

“One of the many reasons I hate clowns…” he groaned.

“And I’m not done!” laughed Peten. “I’m fusing my two clowns together with Polymerization!”

He played the Magic Card, and the two clowns blurred into colored lights…



http://www.itstimetoduel.com/cardpictures/MRD-EN080.jpghttp://www.itstimetoduel.com/cardpictures/LOB-EN059.jpghttp://www.itstimetoduel.com/cardpictures/MRD-EN078.jpg


The colors formed into a large box with stars on it, and a crank on the side. The crank turned, and loony music started to play.

“Presenting,” laughed Peten, “the fabulous Fiend with the funny name… Bickuribox!”

The box popped open, and an evil looking jack-in-the-box popped out, with a beak, a long red cape, and a blue foolscap. (2,300/2,000)



http://www.itstimetoduel.com/cardpictures/MRD-EN093.jpg


“And I think I’ll end my turn there,” chuckled Peten.

Ho boy, thought Andy, shivering. Coming here was a mistake…




[B]* * * * * * * * * *


Meanwhile, Stan and Francesca had reached the Creepy Steeple.

A voice howled in their heads…

”Turn back…” it moaned. “Turn back…”

“Yeah, fat chance, whoever you are!” snapped Francesca.

They walked up to the front doors…

…only to find them locked.

“We’ll never force those doors down…” muttered Stan.

“We can’t…” said Francesca.

She took some cards out of her deck.

“But if our Monsters are good are blowing away the Queen’s minions, maybe they can also help us storm the Queen’s strongholds. And my Amazons are pretty racked…

“It’s worth a shot…”

She put five cards down on her Disk…

Amazon Archer, Amazoness Fighter, Amazoness Chain Master, Amazoness Swords Woman, and Amazoness Paladin appeared.

“All right troops!” she yelled. “Break that door down!”

The five Amazons sheathed their weapons (except the Fighter, who didn’t carry one), and rammed into the door with their shoulders.

As Francesca as hoped, it started to splinter.

“Keep it up girls!” she urged. “Show that door who’s boss!”

The Warriors rammed into the door again, and it started to give…



[B]* * * * * * * * * *


Andy drew and looked at his cards.

No way I can beat that Fiend-in-a-box, he thought. The only thing I can do is defend…

He put a card down.

“I summon The Dragon Dwelling in the Cave in Defense Mode!” he announced.

He put his card down, and the sleepy, rocky Dragon appeared. (1,300/2,000)

“Make your move,” he sneered.

“Your wish is my command…” chuckled Peten, drawing.

He looked at the Magic Card he had just drawn.

“And you’re gonna get a kick out of this! Bickuribox, attack that Dragon with slash-in-the-box attack!”

Bickuribox cackled! It pulled a large scythe out of its mouth, and stretched forward, slashing the Dragon in half. The two halves shattered!

“And now,” cackled Peten, “I’ll use my Quickplay Magic Card… the powerful De-Fusion!”

He threw the card he had just drawn into a slot, and Bickuribox split into two globs of light.

“This card divides my Fusion Monster into its two component Monsters!” laughed Peten, as Dream Clown and Crass Clown returned. (1,200/900), (1,350/1,400)

“Now my two clowns… get ‘im!”

Andy screamed as Dream Clown slugged him and Crass Clown impaled him with his daggers.

His Life Points fell to 2,900.

“Nyah, nyah!” laughed Peten. “I’m way ahead of you!”

“Not for long,” snarled Andy.

He drew.

“All right Peten,” he said with a smirk. “Time to turn this duel around. I play Monster Reborn, to bring back my Koumori Dragon!”

He fit the card into a slot, and Koumori Dragon reappeared. (1,500/1,200)

“I see,” muttered Peten. “Well, I’m sorry Dream Clown, but I guess this is goodbye…”

“More than you know,” said Andy, with a smirk. “It’s time you met an old family friend…”

He switched cards on his Disk.

“I sacrifice Koumori Dragon to summon Admiral Bobbery the Bomber!”

Koumori Dragon shattered, and a strange creature hopped into view. He was spherical and black with a fuse on top, resembling a cartoon bomb. He wore a sea captain’s hat that was patched on the side, and had a large, white moustache. On his back was a large steering wheel of the type used in old fashioned sailing ships. He had blue shoes. (2,200/1,000)

Like he always felt when he or his friends summoned the Companions from their cards, a great sense of love and friendship seemed to radiate from this Monster. Once again, Andy was greeting an old friend for the first time. He wished Stan and Francesca were her to see him…

But there was a duel to win.

“This little guy is a real blast if you know what I mean!” exclaimed Andy. Bobbery, attack his Dream Clown with Bomb-omb blast!”

The fuse on Bobbery’s head sparked, and the wheel on his back spun! He trotted up to Dream Clown…

And a huge explosion blew Dream Clown to bits!

Bobbery landed back on Andy’s side.

“Your Clown got blowed up!” gloated Andy.

Peten’s Life Points plummeted to 4,700.

“Wha?” gasped Peten. “I lost 2,000 Life Points? I should have only lost 1,000!”

“Thanks to Bobbery’s effect,” explained Andy, “when he damages your Life Points, he does twice the expected damage!

“So what are you going to do now?”



[B]* * * * * * * * * *


“Almost there…” urged Stan.

The Amazons gave one more shove, and the door caved in!

The Amazons stopped and caught their breath, exhausted. Francesca removed the cards, and they vanished.

“They can rest in my deck for now,” she said. “Now let’s find Andy.”

“If he got into a duel,” proposed Stan, “I’d wager that someone lured him to the top of this steeple…”

“Then let’s find some stairs,” said Francesca, determined.



[B]* * * * * * * * * *


“Your Crass Clown is next!” shouted Andy.

“We’ll see about that,” cursed Peten.

He drew.

“Ah heh, heh,” he chuckled. “Heh, heh. HA, HA, HA, HA, HA, HA!”

“What?” asked Andy.

Peten put a card down.

“I summon Dark Rabbit in Attack Mode!” he cackled.

A goofy, cartoonish rabbit with black fur in a black outfit appeared. It looked like some evil caricature of Bugs Bunny. (1,100/1,500)

“Okay,” sighed Andy. “That is just not right…”

“And now I play… Negative Energy!” laughed Peten.

He threw a card into a slot.

“Negative Energy?” gulped Andy. “What the heck is that?”

“It doubles the Attack Score of all Dark Monsters on the field!” laughed Peten. “Too bad you didn’t keep your Koumori Dragon out!”

Andy gazed in horror as Crass Clown grew to an attack of 2,700, while Dark Rabbit grew to 2,200!

“Crass Clown, attack his…” started Peten. “Oh, I forget what he called it, just attack his Monster!”

Crass Clown threw his daggers at Bobbery, and the Bomb-omb exploded.

“Bobbery! NOOO!” shouted Andy.

He was about ready to cry. His Life Points fell to 2,400.

“Ahem…” said Peten.

Andy looked up just in time to see Dark Rabbit sock him in the face!

He fell flat on his back, and his Life Points plummeted to a mere 200.

Peten cackled.

“Don’t you get it, Andy?” laughed Peten. “You’re done! Through! Finished! Adios amigo.”

Andy got up and drew a card.

“You haven’t won yet, you, you…”

He threw a card into a slot.

“…you clown! I play Snatch Steal!”

The sinister robber appeared, and he leapt into Crass Clown! The Fiend floated over to Andy’s side.

“Crass Clown,” ordered Andy, “attack that demented Rabbit!”

Crass Clown cackled, and threw his daggers at Dark Rabbit. The deranged bunny gasped and burst.

Peten’s Life Points fell to 3,700.

“And now I’ll sacrifice your Crass Clown to summon Luster Dragon #2!” shouted Andy.

He placed a card down, and Crass Clown shattered. The huge Dragon made of emerald arose. (2,400/1,400)

“And with that, I end my turn,” said Andy. “Like I said, you haven’t won yet!”

Peten bowed his head, and drew.

“I place one card facedown,” he said, placing the card he had just drawn into a slot.

The facedown card appeared.

“And now I’ll summon Toon Alligator in Defense Mode,” he continued.

He put the card down, and a grinning, comical alligator carrying a stone axe appeared. (800/1,600)



http://www.itstimetoduel.com/cardpictures/SDP-009.jpg


“Humph,” said Andy, “that’s a pathetic Monster if I ever saw one!”

“I end my turn,” growled Peten.

“Fine,” said Andy, drawing.

He looked at the card and smiled.

“I summon Luster Dragon #1, in Attack Mode!” he announced.

He put the card down, and the smaller Luster Dragon appeared alongside the larger one.

“Now…” said Andy.

“I activate my Trap!” shouted Peten.

The Trap lifted.

“A Dragon Capture Jar?” exclaimed Andy.

The sinister jar appeared, and both of Andy’s Dragons shifted into Defense Mode.

“You really didn’t think that Buster Blader was the only anti-Dragon card I put in my deck, didja?” gloated Peten.

“Not really,” sighed Andy.

Actually, the truth is I did, he thought, but this guy is apparently full of tricks…

“Well, make your move, I can’t do anything else.”

Peten drew.

I play Card of Sanctity!” he shouted placing a card into a slot.

A blue flash lit up the interior of the bell.

“Pretty, isn’t it?” asked Peten.

“Why thanks,” said Andy, “I could use some more cards…”

They each drew until they had six cards.

Perfect, thought Peten. this fool’s days are numbered…

He took a card and placed it on his Disk.

“First, I’ll summon Saggi the Dark Clown in Defense Mode,” he said.

A goofy jester in a dark outfit, colorful makeup, and a wide-brimmed hat appeared. He cackled. (600/1,500)



http://www.itstimetoduel.com/cardpictures/MRD-EN066.jpg


“And now I play this Magic Card…” he stated.

He plugged a card into the slot.

“…Different Dimension Capsule!”

An eerie sarcophagus appeared behind him, floating in midair…

“What does… that do?” asked Andy.

“This Magic Card allows me to take any card from my deck, and seal it within the capsule!” exclaimed Peten.

A card floated out of his deck, and the sarcophagus opened. The card flew inside, and it snapped shut.

“And after just two short turns, I’ll be able to retrieve it, and add it to my hand!”

“What did you put in there?” asked Andy, nervously.

“A Magic Card that will seal your doom!” laughed Peten with an evil cackle.

At that point, Stan and Francesca came bounding up the stairs.

“Andy?” yelled Francesca. “ANDY!”

“You’re dueling…” gasped Stan. “Peten the Dark Clown? How?”

“I don’t know,” sighed Andy. “It just seemed to happen.”

“How the heck did you brats get in here?” demanded Peten.

“It takes more than a locked door to keep us from helping our friend!” shouted Stan.

“Uh…” stuttered Peten. “Did you pick the lock or break it down?”

“We didn’t break it down, my Amazons did,” answered Francesca. “And they’d like a word with you later, by the way…”

Peten held his forehead.

Doopliss is going to kill me when he finds his front door smashed in, he thought. And he’s probably going to expect me to pay for it! Well, maybe I can convince the Queen to fix it with a spell or something once I take care of Andy…

“Let’s get on with this duel,” he cursed. “I believe it’s Andy’s turn.”

“Stan, this is bad!” whispered Francesca. “Andy’s only got 200 Life Points left, and that clown has his Monsters pinned with a Dragon Capture Jar!”

“He still has a chance,” whispered Stan. “One good Trap removal card will take care of that thing. I just wish we knew what was in that Capsule…”

Andy drew.

The Dragon’s Bead… he thought. This can’t destroy that Jar, but I might as well put it down…

“I’ll place a card facedown, and that will end my turn,” he said.

The card appeared behind his Monsters.

Peten drew.

“I’ll pass for this turn,” he said with a grin. “Go ahead…”

Andy drew and looked at the new card.

Hmmm… he thought.

“I’ll place another card facedown,” he said.

He placed a card in a slot, and it appeared next to his other one.

“All right, that’s my turn,” he sneered. “So retrieve your big, bad Magic Card and play it already!”

“Oh, I will!” said Peten with a smile.

He drew.

The Different Dimension Capsule opened, and then vanished, leaving only the card. It floated down, and Peten snatched it.

“You may have made me discard my Buster Blader,” he laughed, “but I can easily get him back!”

“What do you mean?” snapped Andy. “I also made you discard Monster Reborn!”

“This isn’t Monster Reborn, but it’s almost as good,” laughed Peten. “Behold… Emblem of Dragon Destroyer!”

He fit the card into a slot.

“EMBLEM OF DRAGON DESTROYER?” said Stan and Francesca both at once.

“What’s that?” asked Stan.

But Andy knew what the card was only too well…



Continued…

Dark Sage
26th July 2005, 09:22 AM
Continued from last post:


“This handy Magic Card lets me add one Buster Blader to my hand from my deck or Graveyard,” laughed Peten.

An orb flew out of his discard pile, and it turned into a card.

“So guess who’s back?” he laughed, showing it to him.

He chuckled as he placed it on his Disk.

“So now, I sacrifice my Toon Alligator and Saggi the Dark Clown…”

The two comical Monsters vanished…

“And… Buster Blader, come forth!”

The intimidating form of Buster Blader arose, holding aloft his mighty sword! (2,600/2,300)



http://www.itstimetoduel.com/cardpictures/PSV-EN050.jpg


“As you likely know, Andy,” chuckled Peten, “this Warrior gains 500 Attack Points for every Dragon that you have on the field and in your Graveyard! And I’ve been keeping track… you have five!”

(5,100/2,300)

“And now,” he started.

“I activate Threatening Roar!” shouted Andy.

His Trap card lifted, and the great beast roared, sending Buster Blader skidding back!

“Heh, heh,” chuckled Peten. “You’re only delaying the inevitable…”

Andy felt dizzy. He clutched his head…



[B]* * * * * * * * * *


Andy was sitting on a deserted beach. An abandoned ship had been left to rot some yards away from him.

He shivered in fright. Tears fell down his face…

“Andy!” snapped a voice that was sharp, raspy, and bossy. “Get on your feet, you young whippersnapper!”

Andy spun around, and saw Admiral Bobbery staring him in the face. He looked somewhat angry.

“How the mighty have fallen,” scolded Bobbery. “The descendent of the man I used to admire more than anyone has been turned into a quivering wreck by a…. a clown!”

“What do you expect me to do?” asked Andy. “This is just like my first tournament… Peten built his deck with the express purpose to defeat mine, just like that first guy did. And now it’s going to happen all over again…”

“Poppycock!” exclaimed Bobbery. “Are you sayin