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Thread: Heroic Potential [Yugioh! Fic]

  1. #26
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    Great fic! I've already told you this actually, but it needs to be said again. A lot of Yu-Gi-Oh fics tend to be more shipping and/or card game unrelated for my tastes, but this is good. And bonus points for Shadow Ghoul appearances even if they are minor. The only real problem I've seen is that you called Vampire Lord a woman when it's a guy, but that's rather minor. Can I be put on the PM list?

  2. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kissmygrass96 View Post
    Great fic! I've already told you this actually, but it needs to be said again. A lot of Yu-Gi-Oh fics tend to be more shipping and/or card game unrelated for my tastes, but this is good. And bonus points for Shadow Ghoul appearances even if they are minor. The only real problem I've seen is that you called Vampire Lord a woman when it's a guy, but that's rather minor. Can I be put on the PM list?
    I've always made that mistake with monster genders, which is why I try to keep them as ambigious as possible, even for the obvious one like Black Luster Soldier.

    Thanks again. You're added to the list.
    Tamer's Archives
    A Pokemon fic. Chapter 4 is up [1/25/11]

    Heroic Potential
    A Yugioh! fic. Chapter 20 is up [12/14/13]
    ~Back from the dead!~
    No knowledge of the game is required to enjoy this fic!

  3. #28
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    Great Fic, add me to the PM list when you can !


    Credit to pkmnfn for the brillant banner
    I have claimed the King of Slow
    Slowking!

  4. #29
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    Chapter Fourteen

    “I summon Sacred Phoenix of Nephthys,” Josh said, laying the holographic card down, “and thanks to my Spark of Life card, we both take 300 damage.”

    Dave wagged a finger. “Nope. Spark of Life only works when a FIRE monster is Special Summoned. You Normal Summoned Nephthys, so nothing happens.”

    “Oh… right.”

    Josh bit his lip, scraping off a small piece of bread. Their cards took up most of the kitchen table, leaving just enough room for a cup and a plate of crumbs beside either deck. Josh scuffed his feet against the stone-tiled floor, tracing the outline its design with his big toe. His move, if it had been done correctly, would’ve been the first time he managed to effectively use a combo. But for now it was a silly mistake, having no impact on the course of the game.

    “Anyway, I’ll have it attack your face-down monster.”

    Dave flipped the lone horizontal card. “Obnoxious Celtic Guard, since Nephthys has more than 1900 ATK, it stays on the field.”

    Josh grumbled, though not out of discouragement. “Okay, your turn.”

    “Right,” Dave lifted a card from his deck, then placed a Spell Card below his Obnoxious Celtic Guard. “I activate Black Luster Ritual, allowing me to send Obnoxious Celtic Guard and the Gearfried the Iron Knight in my hand to summon Black Luster Soldier.”

    Josh watched him move his cards to the discard pile, trying to calculate a counter-strategy. Dave replaced Obnoxious Celtic Guard with the blue-bordered card, then pointed to Josh’s monster. “Black Luster Soldier attacks Sacred Phoenix of Nephthys.”

    Josh paused to examine the field. He looked to the two face-down cards he had before him, then to Dave’s watchful eyes, then to his hand. After a few moments of hesitation, he fanned his cards together.

    “I’m stuck.”

    Dave put down his cards and held out a hand to Josh. “Here, let me see.”

    Josh presented the cards, then flipped over all of the cards on the table. While Dave fumbled with them, Josh began to zone out.

    Those dreams he’d been having the past few nights were starting to get to him. Especially the one where he saw Dave dueling in a circle of fire. All he could do was shout, but that never did anything.

    He glanced back up at his friend, who was attentively analyzing the cards on the table. It was strange. He felt like they were still in danger even though they were clearly safe in their own kitchen. All that was left of yesterday’s incident was the throbbing pain from his bruises, serving as proof that he was still alive.

    As a reminder that he was still mortal.

    “Here we go,” Dave said; Josh returned his attention to the table. Dave touched a finger to two of the three cards Josh had face-down. One was a Spell Card, the other was a Trap. “First you activate this card to destroy your own Nephthys and gain some Life Points, then you activate this card to destroy my monsters and bring it back. Although you won’t be able to attack with it next turn, you’ll have destroyed my best monster and Spark of Life will inflict damage this time.”

    Josh scratched his head. “Uh, okay, I think I get it.” He softly rested his knuckles against the table. “I dunno if I’m gonna remember that later, though.”

    Dave picked his cards up again. “Don’t worry, this is a good combo. You could even activate it during your turn if your opponent has a lot of monsters out. Then, if you didn’t Normal Summon yet, you can attack directly with that monster.”

    Josh pointed to Dave’s hand. “But what if you destroy it with one of your Traps?”

    Dave smiled, presenting the Mirror Force he had face-down. “Remember, if Nephthys is destroyed by a card effect, it’ll come back anyway and destroy all Spell and Trap cards in the process. That’s the key factor to the card, so just base your combos around that and you should be set.”

    For a moment, Josh thought he understood, but his bruises reminded him of something else. “Yeah, but I dunno if I’m gonna remember that if I end up in a situation against a thug like Jonathan again.” He shrugged, collecting his cards together. Dave did the same. “I don’t know how you were so calm against that psycho receptionist, especially when the entire cafeteria was staring at you like that.”

    “I wouldn’t be so hard on yourself,” Dave said. “You did really well considering that was your first real duel, and the fact that you didn’t have a functioning deck yet.”

    “I guess.” He looked toward the window, saw the curtains ripple in the wind. “But what if I freeze up again? We’re talking about an entire stadium’s worth of people while I only had two people watching. If that happens while I’m held at gunpoint…” Josh dropped his gaze. “I dunno if I can handle the pressure.”

    Dave handed Josh his Card Analyzer. “Well, you shouldn’t need to worry about that. You’re practicing with me and, once you learn how to use your deck properly, you should be able to handle any opponent that comes your way. Besides, you can always update your deck so it adapts to new situations. I mean, even though the tournament’s over, I’ve made changes based on the opponents I’ve fought there.”

    Josh held the PDA weakly. “You know you’re not the best at motivational speeches, right?”

    Dave laughed, plopping his hat over his brown hair. “I know.” He glanced at the clock hanging above the refrigerator. “Twenty to twelve. We should head to KaibaCorp now.”

    “Yeah,” Josh slipped on his Duel Disk, tightening the strap as he got up.

    Dave nodded. “Let’s go.”


    ~*~*~*~


    Kaiba glowered at the information flowing on his Card Analyzer. He stood in front of a glass wall; his reflection smeared by a glare streaking across it.

    This doesn’t make sense, Kaiba thought. No matter how many times I run the numbers through, the duel still falls in his favor. Adam could’ve won, and yet for some reason he took a dive instead.

    He snapped the deck-box section open; slid out a Blue-Eyes White Dragon.

    No one should be able to defeat the Blue-Eyes White Dragon except Yugi. That Dave kid only managed to do so because that bitchy psychopath decided to get her germs all over my cards. He strained his hand; his fingers pressed harder against the cardboard. He must have cheated somehow, that has to be it. There’s no other explanation...

    “Seto.”

    Kaiba, awakened from his daydream, pocketed his Card Analyzer before his brother could notice it. “Mokuba, have the finalists arrived?”

    “Not yet,” Mokuba said, shaking his black mop of hair. “Dave just called and said that he and his friend will be here in a few minutes.”

    Kaiba’s voice deepened. “And what about Adam?” He spat the name.

    “I haven’t heard from him.” Mokuba, noticing his brother’s apparent anger, stepped forward with sympathy. “I kinda hope he doesn’t show. What about you?”

    To Mokuba’s mild confusion, Kaiba turned back to his reflection. The glare was still there.

    “He better show.”

    “Right this way, gentleman.”

    A door opened; followed by the entry of the two college students. The first one, Dave, lifted his cap a bit by the rim, as if to get a better view, while the second one, Josh, stumbled behind, dragging his feet.

    So, the finalists are here. Kaiba stared at the door, waiting. Instead it shut, to his disappointment.

    “So this is Kaiba Corp,” Josh said, unconsciously gripping his sweatshirt zipper.

    “Enjoy the view while you can,” Kaiba said with little enthusiasm. “Once the testing ends this will probably be the last time you set foot in this room.” He turned his back to the wall, pulling his Card Analyzer out of his pocket. After clicking it into his Duel Disk, Kaiba glanced over his shoulder. “Got it?”

    Josh gulped, nodded.

    Kaiba looked away. “Good.”

    Unsure what to do next, Josh whispered to Dave, “And I thought Jonathan was violent.”

    Dave leaned closer to him, cupping his mouth. “At least Kaiba isn’t trying to kill you.”

    He thinks THAT’S violent? Kaiba thought, smirking. He should have seen what I did to that security room.

    In somber happiness, Kaiba sent his gazed down at his Duel Disk. He slid his finger across the top of his deck, swiping out the top three cards, revealing them to himself. Three Blue-Eyes White Dragons glimmered in a holographic light.

    If I ever see my dragons in the hands of another scumbag like that bitch receptionist, I’ll send him through hell and back. He slid the cards back to their rightful spot, in his deck. Then no one will touch them aga–

    The sound of a turning doorknob broke his train of thought. Kaiba turned, looking past both guests, who also gazed in the same direction.

    The door opened.

    “Sorry I’m late,” Adam said, closing the door behind him.

    A moment of tension swept the room.

    Josh looked from Dave, who seemed anxious to start the tests, to Kaiba, who, along with his brother, only glared at Adam. He followed their gaze, observing the silent man in gray and black. Strangely enough, Josh noticed, he wore the exact same clothes he wore yesterday.

    Then again, I don’t exactly have the biggest wardrobe either. He glanced down at his fiery red sweatshirt. His favorite sweatshirt. The one that became filthy from falling a thousand times during his duel yesterday.

    “Alright,” Mokuba said, breaking the silence. He walked over to the finalists, handing them three booster packs each. “We’re gonna start the testing in a sec. But first, we have to go over the rules.”

    “Rules?” Dave asked, accepting his booster packs.

    Mokuba nodded. “This testing isn’t just going to be an ordinary duel. It’s gonna be a Tag Duel – a dueling style that, until now, was only seen in unofficial play at best.”

    “Oh, I see.” Dave started to open his packs, when Josh nudged him.

    “Uh, Dave,” Josh said. “What’s a Tag Duel?”

    “Exactly what it sounds like,” he answered. “It’s when two players duel as a team against two other players.”

    “That’s right,” Mobuka interjected. “But since Tag Duels were only done casually, no official rules were ever laid down. Until the president of Industrial Illusions –” Josh guessed that was the company that made the game “– decided to create cards specifically for Tag Duels only.”

    “Strange,” Adam said, sifting through the new cards. “So these cards are only good when dueling with a partner, huh?”

    “Yep.” Mokuba nodded. “In a normal duel, they’d be totally worthless.”

    “So.” Adam took out his deck, swapping some cards with the ones he just obtained. “You said there were new rules?”

    “Oh, right.” Mokuba coughed. “First, instead of starting out with 8000 Life Points, each player will have 4000 Life Points.”

    Makes sense, Josh thought. Then again, hardly anything about this game made sense.

    “To make sure that no one scores a direct attack unfairly, everyone has to wait a full round before anyone can declare an attack. Other than that, it’s basically a normal duel, just with more players to worry about. If you happen to lose, you’re eliminated from the duel, but your partner will keep playing normally.”

    “So then it becomes two vs. one?” Dave asked. The challenge intrigued him.

    “Yeah.” Mokuba started motioning for the duelists to follow to a doorway nearby. “And, not only that, but every card your partner used is still accounted for. Field, Graveyard, banished cards – pretty much everything except for their hand and deck.”

    Adam grinned. “I like this so far.”

    Mokuba opened the door, allowing both duelists to enter. As they did, several overhead lights flashed on, illuminating a pale room with two triangular machines fused into the wall.

    “You’ll be dueling these two Duelbots to test the cards,” Mokuba said. “Careful, ‘cause they’re pretty tough.” He closed the door, leaving the two to quietly walk to their posts.

    Mokuba returned to his brother, who stood next to a window looking into the large pale room. Josh walked to it, avoiding eye contact with the duo. He didn’t feel comfortable around Kaiba. But then again, he didn’t feel comfortable at all ever since he slammed his back.

    The two machines whirred, powering on with an abrupt thump. Levers lifted them, driving them closer to their human opponents.

    “INITIATE DUEL MODE. DRAW FIVE CARDS.”

    Dave swung his Duel Disk platform’s together, slipping out a few cards from his deck and fanning them out in one motion. He looked at both of the Duelbots, watching the backs of ten cards flash along their screens. Then, he turned to Adam, who had already dug himself into his hand.

    From the observation window, Kaiba and Mokuba watched them together, with Josh standing in opposite the corner. Mokuba stepped aside, pulled out a Card Analyzer which filled with flowing numbers.

    “All duel functions are normal. Beta testing is going to begin. You guys ready?”

    Josh saw both duelists nod from afar.

    Mokuba walked closer to Kaiba, then pressed a button at the bottom of the windowsill. “Alright, here we go.”

    While Mokuba finished entering some final commands, Kaiba stared at both duelists intently. First, Dave; the duelist who found a weak point in Kaiba’s deck, and took advantage of it so he could come out on top. Of course, that wouldn’t have happened if Kaiba had dueled instead – the receptionist had gotten way too cocky.

    Then, there was Adam. A punk who came out of nowhere. He breezed his way through the tournament, only to disappear once a crisis broke out. Kaiba glared at him. Adam brushed the red strand of hair away from his nose, then looked back at the computer terminals before him. For a brief second, Kaiba thought he saw a streak of sweat slip down the side of his face.

    At that moment it hit him.

    Was he the cause?

    [Dave LP: (4000)] [Adam LP: (4000)]
    Vs.
    [CompA LP: (4000)] [CompB LP: (4000)]

    “TURN START. DRAW CARD,” the leftmost machine droned in a female voice. A sixth card flashed onto its screen, only for two to fade away almost immediately. “SET SPELL/TRAP CARD, THEN SUMMON MONSTER – TRUSTING SEATURTLE.”

    A cartoonish turtle-shell dropped from the ceiling, spinning as it fell. Then, the turtle gleefully slid its head and limbs out of its shell. (1000/100)

    “TURN END.”

    Josh leaned his face against the window. If the whole duel is this monotone I’m gonna go insane. He darted his eyes toward the two brothers to find Kaiba staring at him. Suddenly self-conscience, Josh backed away from the window.

    Even after Mokuba had returned his attention to the duel, Kaiba continued to stare at Josh, watching the college student rub his face. Something’s off about him, but what is it?

    On the duel floor, Adam stepped forward. “Alright, my draw.”

    With another card added to his collection, Adam withdrew into his hand, analyzing his options. Dave, figuring it would be a while before his turn started, decided to do the same.

    His hand was excellent. Not only did he have both Black Luster Soldier and Black Luster Ritual, but also had Gearfried the Iron Knight and Obnoxious Celtic Guard; two monsters he could use for the Ritual Summon. Then, he could Normal Summon his final card – Black Luster Warrior – and Synchro Summon them together to get Black Luster General out on his first turn. And that wasn’t even taking any new cards into consideration! Since no one was allowed to attack until a full round has been completed, he could use Black Luster General’s destruction effect without any drawbacks. Maybe he could even give Adam an opportunity for a direct attack!

    Dave smiled. Nothing can ruin this.

    At last, Adam called out, “I activate Card Destruction.”

    With a startled jerk, Dave turned to Adam, audibly expressing his displeasure. He looked to the Duelbots; both of their ‘hand screens’ emptied, then refilled themselves one by one. Overcome with disappointment, Dave reluctantly discarded what was probably the best hand he had ever drawn.

    “I’ll use Pot of Greed to draw two more cards, and then summon Fallen Hero Avian from my Graveyard.” He held a hand up to the ceiling. “Rise!”

    A gust of wind swirled around Adam, forming a small twister that guided a green streak of light out of his Duel Disk. The light transformed, and the humanoid monster gracefully hovered above, its shadow falling onto the tiny turtle. (1000/1000)

    “Then I finish by playing one card face-down.”

    The card replicated itself by Adam’s feet, and the computer ahead of Dave began beeping and buzzing.

    “TURN START. DRAW CARD,” a masculine, robotic voice said. “SUMMON TRUSTING DRAGON IN ATTACK POSITION.”

    In a small bundle of flames, a dragon with babyish-looking eyes rose. It unfolded its wings, happy to be alive. (1700/1200)

    Josh allowed himself an innocent smile. That thing’s adorable. How could such a lifeless robot use such fun-filled cards. With his peripheral vision, he could see Kaiba roll his eyes.

    That monster doesn’t look too hard to beat. Adam should be able to take care of it before I get my second turn. Dave looked to the Draining Shield in his hand, then looked at Adam. Still, I need to send a message to him. Maybe if I protect his cards he’ll realize that we need to work together.

    “EFFECT APPLIED – TRUSTING SEATURTLE.”

    “Huh?” Dave looked at the leftmost robot in confusion.

    Adam remained unmoved.

    “TRUSTING SEATURTLE GIVES 400 ATK AND DEF TO ALL MONSTERS PARTNER CONTROLS.”

    The tiny sea turtle, after hopping twice, released a flurry of bubbles out of its mouth, which drifted towards the second computer’s field. Upon seeing the bubbles, Trusting Dragon reached for them with an outstretched claw, then cradled it in childish wonder. (1700 --> 2100/1200 --> 1600)

    “SET TWO SPELL/TRAP CARDS. TURN END.”

    Dave frowned. While it hadn’t grown that much stronger, it was still strong enough to be a threat. I need to get a Black Luster Soldier out, then we can claim control. With renewed determination, he drew. “I summon Black Luster Warrior!”

    The youthful warrior leaped out of its card hologram, nearly dropping its sword in the process. (1600/1000)

    He took out his Draining Shield, poised to play it. “I’ll set one card face-down.” He slid it in, then looked to his partner.

    Adam waited patiently.

    Dave turned back to his artificial opponents. “I end my turn.”

    “TURN START,” the feminine robot rang out almost immediately, alarming Josh slightly. “DRAW CARD.”

    Josh recomposed himself. His shoulder still hurt. He touched it to ease the pain, but that only caused his eye to twitch.

    Kaiba, suspicious of Josh’s strange behavior, examined him again. His sweatshirt seemed dirty and he looked like he was about to fall over.

    That kid looks a little beat up, Kaiba thought. He remembered seeing him at the tournament; he was the kid who gave that cheesy friendship speech before Dave made his final move. But there was something different about him this time.

    Then he saw the kid’s Duel Disk – a tiny piece of the platform had chipped off, probably from scrapping against the ground. He duels too. That’s strange, he didn’t have a Duel Disk when we were at the KaibaDome. Trying to take his mind off him, Kaiba looked back through the window, where he saw the first Duelbot summon a cartoony warrior that looked like it came straight out of one of Pegasus’s fairytales.

    “TRUSTING SOLDIER ATTACKS FALLEN HERO AVAIN.”

    As it was told, the cartoon warrior rushed at the airborne hero, preparing to jump.

    “No you don’t!” Dave yelled, pressing a button. “I activate Draining Shield to negate your attack and heal my Life Points!”

    Just as the warrior kicked off, a glowing blue shield materialized by Avian’s feet, creating a forcefield around it. When the warrior swiped its sword at the barrier, sparkles flew off, which gently showered Dave’s part of the room. [Dave LP: (4000 --> 5500)]

    Adam turned to Dave, nodded with somber appreciation.

    Dave nodded back. Looks like he got the message.

    “ACTIVATE EFFECT OF TRUSTING DRAGON.”

    Both humans perked up, turned to the robot. The cartoon dragon flexed its wings, stretching its body with an adorable roar. It looked to the female-voiced robot, then triumphantly banged its claws against the ground.

    Adam held his Duel Disk close. “What in the?”

    “EACH TURN AN ATTACK MAY BE DECLARED BY TRUSTING DRAGON EVEN IF IT IS ON PARTNER’S SIDE OF FIELD.”

    Dave, shocked, watched the dragon angle its body as flames ignited in its mouth, then traced the attack’s path with his eyes. At the other end, Adam gritted his teeth.

    “TRUSTING DRAGON ATTACKS FALLEN HERO AVAIN.”

    Trusting Dragon flung its head back, swinging it forward to propel a fireball at Adam’s monster. Avain brought its wings together to block, only to set its feathers ablaze, eventually searing its entire body before Adam’s eyes.

    Dave felt the warmth of the flames fluttering on his skin. So that’s the key to these ‘Trusting’ cards – they enable both players to use them regardless of who actually controls them. He looked to each of his opponents’ monsters, counted three. So each turn we’ll have to worry about twice the amount of monsters as usual.

    “ACTIVATE QUICK-PLAY SPELL CARD – FOUL PLAY,” the male robot droned; in response, a card rose behind the dragon. “WHEN ACTIVATED, BOTH OPPONENTS TAKE DAMAGE FROM ATTACK.”

    Adam and Dave simultaneously looked to each other, then to their Card Analyzers, where they saw their Life Points fall. [Dave LP: (5500 --> 4400)] [Adam LP: (4000 --> 2900)]

    “TRUSTING SEATURTLE ATTACKS PLAYER ADAM PRINCE DIRECTLY.”

    Trusting Seaturtle withdrew into its shell with glee, and rammed straight into Adam’s stomach. While the turtle rolled back to its post, Adam bent over, groaning. [Adam LP: (2900 --> 1900)]

    Kaiba smirked.

    “SET ONE SPELL/TRAP CARD. END TURN.”

    Dammit. Dave glanced over his hand. We need better tactics.

    Adam slowly stood up straight, weakly clutching onto his deck. “I’m not gonna lose to a machine. My draw.” He slid out a card, pointing to his face-down, which rose on cue. “I activate Fine, so I discard two cards.” He held his Duel Disk parallel to his chest; a card shot out. “Rise – Fallen Hero Clayman!”

    The metal floor gave way to a large, jagged boulder that shot out of the ground. Without warning, it burst open, and the bulky hero stood in its place, boldly holding up its fists as rubble rained down. (800/2000)

    Kaiba grunted. So the mighty Adam is on the defensive now. That figures. He cast his gaze onto Dave, then on the monsters in front of both of them. Even a cheater can’t handle two opponents at once. And Dave, clearly, doesn’t cheat. At least he has morals. Kaiba stared at Adam as the duelist played another card down.

    “Then I activate Result Scoreboard.”

    A green-bordered card rose, depicting a football stadium scoreboard with various numbers and lights dotted across it.

    Adam stepped forward. “This card affects each of us depending on the number of Life Points we each have.”

    Dave intently observed the card as Adam explained. Wait, each of us?

    Adam pointed to hologram. “The player in ‘last’ gains 3000 Life Points, the player in ‘first’ loses 1000 Life Points, and everyone else draws one card.”

    Soaking in this information, Dave looked to his Card Analyzer. His muscles tightened. Wait a minute…!

    From above, a football plowed downward into Dave, sending a barrage of confetti flying in every direction. Dave clutched the rim of his hat to keep his composure steady. [Dave LP: (4400 --> 3400)] Meanwhile, Adam held out his Duel Disk-equipped arm, allowing the colorful pieces of paper to shower it. [Adam LP: (1900 --> 4900)] On the opposite side of the field, the two robots whirred, and the image of another brown-backed card appeared on their hand monitors.

    The last of the confetti fell, and Adam, content with his move, put a hand near his hip. “Turn end.”

    Dave grumbled, glaring at Adam as he shook confetti off his clothes. So much for teamwork…

    What the hell was that? Josh thought. It’s like he didn’t care that Dave took the hit.

    Not only that, Kaiba thought, also glaring at Adam, but he gave his opponents an advantage by giving them an extra draw. That was a reckless and selfish move.

    “TURN START! DRAW CARD!”

    Just as the image of a new card appeared on the masculine robot, another immediately faded away.

    “SUMMON TRUSTING ELF IN ATTACK POSITION.”

    A small elf cartwheeled into position; somehow its green hat stayed in place the entire time. (900/300) When the elf saw the bubbles overhead, it reached up and grabbed one, partaking in the same wonder the dragon had a turn earlier. (900 --> 1300/300 --> 700)

    “NEW EFFECT IS APPLIED,” the robot droned. “THE ATK AND DEF OF TRUSTING ELF INCREASES BY 200 FOR EACH ‘TRUSTING’ MONSTER ON THE FIELD.”

    The elf released the bubble from its grip, allowing it to drift around its comrades. They each eyed the bubble, watching it float past them, grinning as it encircled its owner. (1300 --> 2100/700 --> 1500)

    Dave clenched his teeth. Dammit. Now they have four monsters compared to our two.

    The elf then sent its gaze in Dave’s direction, smirking at the young warrior in front of him.

    “TRUSTING ELF ATTACKS BLACK LUSTER WARRIOR.”

    Trusting Elf tumbled towards Dave’s monster at unrealistic speeds, leaving a trail of dust in its wake.

    Black Luster Warrior lifted its sword, gripping it with both hands.

    Make that one.

    “I activate my Trap!”

    Dave, as well as the three onlookers, turned in awe as Adam’s face-down card rose. They all thought the same thing.

    He’s actually helping?

    “Negate Attack!”

    Just as Black Luster Warrior lowered its sword to block, the elf miraculously tumbled into a warphole which spat it back out in the other direction. Unaware of this turn of events, the elf uncurled its body, and dizzily stood up. Dave sent a puzzled look to his partner. Adam answered with a cold smile, only to transform it into a frown seconds later. He returned his attention to the robot, whose voice boomed out as if nothing happened.

    “TURN END.”

    “My draw.” Dave couldn’t help but wonder. Was Adam really willing to work as a team? Or, is he just keeping him in the game long enough to take them both down himself?

    Either way, he thought, already deciding what to play. If we want to win we’ll have to cover each other’s weak points. Adam’s good at deflecting blows, but he can’t do this. He placed a card onto his Duel Disk vertically.

    A small boulder, reaching about Dave’s waist in height, rose from the floor, serving as protection for the warrior that hopped down from the ceiling, falling into a crouching position. The warrior’s helmet and armor each had Black Luster Soldier’s signature colors, and its binoculars glittered under the room’s lighting. (900/500)

    What’s this? Kaiba admired the crouched monster. A new Black Luster card?

    Josh smiled softly. So that must one of the ‘updates’ Dave was talking about.

    “When my Black Luster Scout is summoned, two Black Luster Counters are placed on it.”

    The binocular’s lenses shone, glowing with a dark-blue glare skimming across the glass. (Counters: 2)

    “And, with its effect, I can remove one of them to check one of your Set cards. And I’ll do this twice!”

    The scout stood up slightly, still keeping most of its body out-of-view from its opponents’ monsters. Taking its binoculars to its eyes, it gazed over at the opposite field, causing the dark-blue tint of the lenses to disappear.

    On the far left, near the seaturtle, the binoculars exposed one of the face-down cards to be a Trap Card, featuring a warrior linked to a dragon by shackles and chains. On the other side, closest to the elf, a Spell Card was revealed, and Dave recognized the festive wok in its picture.

    Mystic Wok. That card shouldn’t be a problem. But the other one… I’ve never seen that card before. He checked his Card Analyzer to look it over.

    “Card Analyzer activated… Searching for card data… Data Found:

    Chained Destiny
    ****ap]
    Pay 700 Life Points. Select 2 monsters on the field. If one of those monsters is destroyed, destroy the other monster. This effect lasts until the End Phase of the turn it was activated.”

    Chained Destiny. He looked back to the brown card laying on CompA’s field. That card can easily take out any card we have. But, knowing computers, they’ll probably activate it immediately, so I better spring the trap before it can harm us later.

    Dave tugged a card out of his hand, flipping it over. “I equip my Black Luster Warrior with Black Luster Sword!”

    As Black Luster Warrior’s sword dematerialized, a new sword formed itself around its fingertips. It cradled the blue handle in its hand, and the five gems lit up. (Counters: 5); (1600 --> 2600/1000)

    Dave observed each of the four cartoon monsters carefully before speaking again. Just in case they don’t activate it, I better take down the strongest monster they have.

    He looked over both of the first robot’s monsters, but realized that they were too weak to be any threat. Then, he looked to the dragon and the elf. He had to pick one of them.

    Let’s see. If I attack Trusting Elf, I’ll be able to get rid of a monster whose power can potentially increase by 2000, assuming they somehow flood the field with Trusting cards. He bit his lip. But then again, that’s very unlikely. Besides, if I take out Dragon, Elf’s power will drop.

    “Black Luster Warrior.” The warrior, as if caught slacking, tightened its grip on its new sword and assumed a serious expression. “Destroy that Trusting Dragon!”

    Grasping tightly onto its new blade, the warrior charged at the dragon, determined to slay its head.

    “TRUSTING DRAGON EFFECT IS APPLIED.”

    Dave broke out in a cold sweat. I forgot about its second effect! How could I be so stupid!

    “TRUSTING DRAGON ENABLES ITS CONTROLLER TO ACTIVATE SET SPELL/TRAP CARDS CONTROLLED BY PARTNER. ACTIVATE CHAINED DESTINY!”

    “ACTIVATE OTHER FACE-DOWN CARD,” the feminine robot droned. “FRIENDLY LOAN. WHEN PARTNER ACTIVATES A CARD THAT REQUIRES A COST, FRIENDLY LOAN’S CONTROLLER CAN PAY IT INSTEAD.” The robot paused. “700 LIFE POINTS PAID FOR COST.” [CompA LP: (4000 --> 3300)]

    “CHAINED DESTINY TARGETS TWO MONSTERS ON FIELD. IF ONE IS DESTROYED, THE OTHER IS DESTROYED.”

    Two streaks of chains shot out, one end wrapping around Black Luster Warrior’s ankle. The other end, to Dave’s surprise, ensnared the feminine robot’s Trusting Soldier. When the chains finished binding each monster, the center piece flung out, revealing that they were attached by one long chain.

    Black Luster Warrior continued its assault, hurling its sword through the air, swinging it at the dragon’s wing. Although it sliced straight through, the dragon appeared unaffected by the hit. [CompB LP: (4000 --> 3500)]

    “What in the,” Josh whispered. He twitched a bit when he remembered the pain in his shoulder, and rolled it back to stretch.

    Out of the corner of his eye, Kaiba saw him squirm uncomfortably, but immediately turned back to the duel. That kid is hiding something.

    “ACTIVATE TRUSTING SOLDIER’S EFFECT.”

    Dave’s eyes widened. Adam coughed, which reflexively caused Dave to turn to him.

    Adam… knew this would happen?

    “WHEN A ‘TRUSTING’ MONSTER WOULD BE DESTROYED, TRUSTING SOLDIER DESTROYS ITSELF INSTEAD.”

    In a prideful manner, Trusting Soldier dove in front of Trusting Dragon as Black Luster Warrior swung its blade. Trusting Dragon gasped once it saw its ally fall, clanking against the ground with a theatrical scream. [CompB LP: (4000 --> 3500)]

    Trusting Elf, saddened by the loss of its friend, shed a tear. (2100 --> 1900/1500 --> 1300)

    Dave glowered at the elf. At least something was accomplished. A face-down card appeared behind his Scout. “I end my turn.”

    “TURN START. DRAW CARD.”

    Josh grunted. Okay, I’m sick of the monotone voices already!

    “SUMMON TRUSTING PETBIRD IN DEFENSE POSITION.”

    A birdcage comedically crashed onto the floor, causing the tiny yellow bird inside to flutter around, panic-stricken. To prevent itself from getting hit by the bars, the bird perched on the tiny swing near the roof of the cage. (1000/400)

    Seeing the bird struggle made Trusting Elf chuckle. It wiped away its tears, strengthened by joy. (1900 --> 2100/1300 --> 1500)

    “TRUSTING ELF CAN DECLARE ATTACK EVEN WHILE ON PARTNER’S FIELD.”

    The elf stepped up; Dave frowned. I can’t let it destroy any of our cards. He put a finger on his face-down card, closed his eyes.

    “TRUSTING ELF ATTACKS FALLEN HERO CLAYMAN.”

    Adam grinned. “Clayman’s effe–”

    “I activate my face-down card!” Dave yelled. “No Entry!!”

    Adam, confused, watched a parade of police officers march out of the Trap Card, creating a blockade between the elf and his Fallen Hero. They appeared to chastise each of the cartoon animals, forcing them to kneel before they stormed back where they came from.

    A little unnecessary, since Adam’s monster could’ve stopped the attack by itself. But then again, it did save Adam a monster he might need later. That, Kaiba smirked, and it took a much-deserved blow at his ego.

    “SET ONE SPELL/TRAP CARD. TURN END.”

    Adam lightly slid out a card from his deck. “My turn, then,” he said quietly. He took a second to look at his drawn card, then threw it down. “I activate Double Grave Ceremony.”

    Two tombstones, one on each side of Adam, burst out of the ground, slowing rising as rubble rolled off them. They came to a halt, and Adam held his Duel Disk over his head.

    “This allows me to summon an extra ‘Fallen’ monster each turn. So rise – Fallen Hero Avian!”

    A small twister swirled from the red slot, and the winged hero spiraled out, extending its wings as it landed. (1000/1000)

    “Now,” Adam kept his arm up as he spoke. He eyed the rugged monster with intent. “I’ll sacrifice my Fallen Hero Clayman to summon the Fallen Flame Swordsman!”

    Clayman stood up, pumping its fists, which somehow caused it to light on fire. In its place, the red horn-helmeted warrior appeared, channeling the remaining flames into the tip of its sword. (1800/1600)

    “I’ve been saving this card for a while.” Adam lowered his arm; its shadow slipped off his face, onto his torso. “Time for a Synchro Summon.”

    Right, Dave thought, eying Avian. That monster’s a Tuner. So a Level Three Tuner with a Level Five non-Tuner… He recalled Adam’s last duel, where he summoned Fallen Red-Eyes Black Dragon.

    Wait a minute. He turned to Adam, who solemnly stared at his two monsters.

    Kaiba crossed his arms with interest. Last time he summoned a Level Seven monster, but this time he has the materials for a Level Eight.

    Josh stepped closer to the glass, resting his hand on the windowsill. What’s he summoning?

    “I tune my two Fallen monsters in order to summon the most powerful creature in my deck, stronger than any other.” He turned his gaze, aiming it to his right.

    At first, Dave thought he was staring at him, but then he realized that he wasn’t – he was staring at the wall, through the window.

    At Kaiba.

    Kaiba glared back at Adam’s eyes, annoyed anger building with each passing second. He was about to yell over the intercom to continue when Adam looked away.

    Avain kicked off the ground, gently hovering over Fallen Flame Swordsman as light as a feather. Slowly descending, Avain converted into three pale rings, which surrounded the swordsman in a transparent cylinder. For a moment nothing happened, but then the swordsman’s body turned blue, and its form changed to five bright stars. A beam of light shot up and struck the ceiling, resulting in the formation of dozens of storm clouds. For a brief second, Dave could’ve sworn he saw static charge across the skyline.

    Josh looked to each person in a jagged, confused pattern. Adam, Kaiba, Mokuba, Dave – all who kept their gazes transfixed on the swirling blue clouds above. Dave’s clothes rippled with the dark wind; he held his hat to prevent it from being blown away.

    A muffled roar could be heard, slowly becoming louder as the clouds separated. A hole opened up in the sky, and a blue streak of lightning shot down with another ear-splitting growl.

    “Synchro Summon!” Adam held out his arms to the heavens. “Fallen Blue-Eyes White Dragon!”

    “What the hell!” Kaiba uncrossed his arms, slamming both hands onto the windowsill, causing it to bend slightly. “How is that possible!?”

    Mokuba tried to speak to him, but Kaiba didn’t respond.

    Josh’s heart pounded against his chest – any pain he felt before could not compare to the shock he felt now. Kaiba glared the clouds, cursing at them with his eyes. Mokuba, tugging on his brother’s arm, continued to stare at that same spot.

    Dave, through the lightning and wind, saw the terrifying blue creature floating in a majestic aura, and, at that moment, he knew it was true.

    The Fallen Blue-Eyes White Dragon was real.


    ~*~*~*~


    Card Analyzer activated…
    Accessing Card Database… Searching for Card Data …
    … Data Found:


    Black Luster Scout
    ***
    [Dark]
    [Warrior/Effect]
    (900/500)
    When this card is summoned, place 2 Black Luster Counters on this card(max.10). By removing 1 Black Luster Counter, look at one face-down card on your opponent’s side of the field and return it to its original position (effects are not activated as this time). By removing 2 Black Luster Counters, pick up the top card on your opponent’s deck, look at it, and return it to its original position. Your opponent cannot look at the card.


    Friendly Loan
    ****ap]
    Activate during a Tag Duel when your partner is about to pay a cost. You pay that cost instead. Then, draw 1 card.


    Trusting Soldier
    ****
    [Earth]
    [Warrior/Effect]
    (1500/1000)
    During a Tag Duel, this monster can be used for battle by both its controller and their partner. Also, if a monster on your partner’s side of field would be destroyed, you may destroy this card instead. During a Normal Duel, this card is treated as a Normal Monster and the previous effects are ignored.
    Tamer's Archives
    A Pokemon fic. Chapter 4 is up [1/25/11]

    Heroic Potential
    A Yugioh! fic. Chapter 20 is up [12/14/13]
    ~Back from the dead!~
    No knowledge of the game is required to enjoy this fic!

  5. #30
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    I'm glad you decided to continue this fanfic, I love it. Now I want to see Kaiba destroy that guy. Haha!
    † I am a Christian and proud of it! Copy and paste this if you are too.†



    Christianity is a Relationship with our true God, Jesus. It's not a Religion. Copy and paste If you agree

    Registeel is mine, yay!

    Adventure of Adventureness & Awesome of Awesomeness: Smashing the 4th wall into gazillion pieces since 2010. - Sig too long, so Mod a cropped it

  6. #31
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        Spoiler:- Author's Note:



    Chapter Fifteen


    The swirling clouds dispersed gradually, seemingly blending into the ceiling as the newly summoned dragon descended. Its great size cast a shadow over its master, Adam, as well as Dave, who stood next to him alongside his Black Luster Scout (900/500). The scout lightly grasped the rock it hid behind, dropping its jaw upon seeing the great winged beast.

    Josh couldn’t believe his eyes. No one could. Even though he and the Kaiba brothers were safely behind the observation window, they couldn’t escape the terrifying roar the powerful dragon emitted. If its two opponents weren’t robots, they probably would’ve cowered away.

    As the winds died down, Dave regained his composure. “Is… that really…”

    A subtle grin passed over Adam’s jawline. “Yes.” He looked up, relishing the moment. “The Fallen Blue-Eyes White Dragon!” (3000/2500)

    Kaiba slammed his hands against the windowsill, causing it to dent slightly. Mokuba tried to restrain him, but his brother’s rage intensified.

    “Who the hell does that bastard think he is?” Kaiba growled. “Summoning a cheap Blue-Eyes rip-off in my presence!” He thrust his shoulder, knocking Mokuba’s hand away in the process. “Get him outta here! This scumbag overstayed his welcome a long time ago.”

    Mokuba sighed. “We can’t Seto.” He waited a moment for his brother to respond. Kaiba did so by exhaling heavily through his nose. “We promised Pegasus that we’d finish testing his cards, and we haven’t gathered enough data to give a decent report.”

    “Fine.” Kaiba turned to Josh (who had been silently cowering in the corner since Kaiba began his outburst), eying him with scorn, then tossed his hateful gaze through the window, at Adam.

    Speaking of Pegasus, Mokuba thought. Why would he make a new Blue-Eyes monster without even telling Seto? He knows how he feels about them, so why keep it a secret?

    Dave watched the dragon hover over its owner, fanning its wings as if to protect him. It growled at the Duelbots scornfully. Despite the dramatic emphasis, Adam gave no indication that he noticed others’ reactions. Instead, he kept his cold gaze on his opponents, pointing to a now-risen Trap Card before him.

    “Go, Ring of Destruction. Destroy the Fallen Blue-Eyes White Dragon!”

    “What!” Kaiba shouted, with the same surge of rage as before. Everyone shared similar reactions, watching the tire form around the dragon’s neck with the same awe. The tire ignited, and exploded before Dave could even process what had happened, covering the entire room in a veil of smoke.

    [Dave LP: (3400 --> 400)] [Adam LP: (4900 --> 1900)]
    Vs.
    [CompA LP: (3300 --> 300)] [CompB: (3500 --> 500)]

    Josh’s eyes searched the room, trying to find any sign of the players. At last, Dave’s faint silhouette made its way into view, slowly followed by his robotic opponents.

    Kaiba and Mokuba watched in wonder, waiting patiently for the remained of the smoke to clear. As expected, Adam reemerged, unchanged by the blast. But that’s not what caught their attention – as the final wisp vaporized, the dragon flexed its wings, ridding itself of the destroyed tire. It descended, shielding its master once again.

    “That can’t be,” Josh whispered. Mokuba nodded in agreement.

    Adam, seemingly aware of their question, answered. “Thanks to Fallen Blue-Eyes’ special ability, it can’t be destroyed by card effects.”

    Dave raised an eyebrow. “But if that’s the case then our Life Points shouldn’t have gone down.” He presented his Duel Disk in annoyed manner.

    Adam didn’t even look. “Fallen Blue-Eyes acts as if it were destroyed, but doesn’t leave the field as a result.”

    Dave let out a huff. Selfish bastard, you just took a huge piece of my Life Points away. All for a flashy play!

    “Now, Blue-Eyes, attack their Trusting Dragon!”

    Kaiba glowered at Adam. No one commands a Blue-Eyes except me!

    The Fallen Blue-Eyes spat out a blast of energy. Waves of pale blue light rippled its way across the air, building momentum until it obliterated the unsuspected dragon.

    “ACTIVATE TRAP CARD,” the female robot yelled. “ENCHANTED JAVELIN INCREASES LIFE POINTS BY ATTACKING MONSTER’S ATK.” [CompA LP: (300 --> 3300)]

    “ACTIVATE QUICK-PLAY SPELL CARD,” its male counterpart said. “MYSTIC WOK TRIBUTES TRUSTING ELF TO INCREASE LIFE POINTS BY ATK VALUE.”

    A bowl of soup materialized over the elf, boiling it to bits. [CompB LP: (500 --> 2600)] The bowl simultaneously deteriorated with the beam pouring over it. Within seconds, nothing remained except a large black stain on the floor.

    Dammit, Dave thought. Both of our opponents recovered more than half of their original Life Points within one turn. He glared at the ‘400’ that lit up his meter. Meanwhile, I’m struggling just to stay in the game.

    “To finish things off, I’ll activate Hand Unity, which lets both me and Dave use cards in each other’s hands.”

    Dave rolled his eyes. Holographic cards emitted out of his Card Analyzer, showing the cards in Adam’s hand. And vice versa.

    “With that, my turn ends.”

    About time. Mokuba looked up at his brother, who kept his stiff stance since the smoke cleared.

    “TURN START. DRAW CARD.”

    Josh uneasily gritted his teeth. This is getting a bit too tense. He fumbled with his sweatshirt zipper to calm himself. If everyone keeps getting angry at each other like this, losing a duel is gonna be the least of their worries.

    “SUMMON TRUSTING CHANTER.”

    From the ashes, a mystical man rose, gleefully dancing off the dust and tipping its tophat out of respect. Trusting Seaturtle’s bubbles made their way towards it, which the chanter scooped up under its cap. (1300 --> 1700/900 --> 1300)

    “SET ONE FACE-DOWN SPELL/TRAP CARD. TURN END.”

    Back to me. Dave drew indignantly. Perfect. He looked upward at the dragon towering over the other monsters, demanding respect from them. If he’s gonna be greedy about this duel, then I’ll make him share.

    “I activate Trusted Ally.” The Fallen Blue-Eyes White Dragon rose slightly, drifting away from Adam and in between himself and Dave, much to Adam’s surprise. Dave gave a satisfied smirk. “With this, either one of us can use Fallen Blue-Eyes.” Without looking away, he played another card.

    Black Luster Guard took its position beside Black Luster Scout, lifting its rectangular shield defensively. (200/1800) The shield’s four gems lit up, and almost immediately three of them went out. Instead, the three orbs of light floated beside the duo of monsters, creating three more replicas of Black Luster Guard, leaving just one gem glowing on the original’s shield. (200/1800) [x3]

    Dave looked at the tiny card holograms hovering below him. He pressed one of them, and the same card lit up in Adam’s hand.

    Adam considered this, then nodded in apparent reluctance.

    Good, Dave thought at the notion. He turned to his robotic opponents. “I switch my Black Luster Scout to Attack Mode and then activate Creature Swap!”

    Adam slid the card in his Duel Disk.

    Dave continued; the card rose on his own side of the field. “With this, I’ll give you my Black Luster Scout in exchange for any monster you have.”

    The two computers whirred. Each of them replaced their hand screens with loading bars and droned, “PROCESSING OPTIONS…”

    Josh rolled his eyes. I hate these kinds of machines. Why can’t they be like those giant fighting robots you see in those cartoons? Those things were cool at least. I remember one them had arrows tha–

    “PROCESS COMPLETE,” CompA said. “CHANGING CONTROL OF TRUSTING SEATURTLE.”

    Small whirlpools gathered underneath the two monsters, sucking them up, only to spit them out in opposite locations. Without the turtle to generate the bubbles, they all popped, leaving the young Trusting Chanter alone to pout. (1700 --> 1300/1300 --> 900)

    “And since Trusting Seaturtle is under my control now, Adam’s Fallen Blue-Eyes White Dragon gains its benefit!”

    “ACTIVATE TRAP CARD – DISTRUSTFUL INTENTIONS!” The designated card showed a Trusting Chanter monster crossing its two fingers behind its back. “WHEN OPPONENT CONTROLS A TRUSTING MONSTER, THIS UNIT CAN TRIBUTE ONE MONSTER TO NEGATE THAT MONSTER’S EFFECTS.”

    The chanter clapped its hands together and began to mumble an incantation. Before long, the chanter and the seaturtle became enveloped in the same red aura, draining the turtle of all of its strength. Unable to handle the strain of the spell, Trusting Chanter fell over with a hint of vengeance in its smirk.

    Dave shut his mouth indifferently. “No matter, Fallen Blue-Eyes White Dragon.”

    The dragon perked its head up. Adam sent his gaze downcast, away from Kaiba.

    “Attack Black Luster Scout! White Lightning Attack!”

    A low growl emitted from the dragon as it opened its mouth, gathering energy in a swirling sphere. Rearing its head back slightly, the dragon swung its neck forward, propelling the blast at the kneeling scout. It exploded in blue flames before it could even react.

    Josh watched as the light glared the window in front of him. Nice shot. That took a huge chunk of that robot’s Life Points too.

    Once the smoke cleared, a Trap Card appeared in place of the now-obliterated warrior.

    “ACTIVATE TRAP – SHARED PAIN. ALL DAMAGE IS HALVED AND SHARED WITH PARTNER.”

    [Dave LP: (400)] [Adam LP: (1900)]
    Vs.
    [(CompA LP: 3300 --> 2250)] [(CompB LP: 2600 --> 1550)]

    Dave adjusted his hat. “That’s fine. My turn’s over.” He gazed up at the Blue-Eyes White Dragon standing over him.

    Adam turned to his partner, a look of silent jealously smear across his face. Kaiba saw this brief expression, laughed at it internally.

    You don’t deserve to wield a Blue-Eyes, Adam. He tightened his grip on the windowsill. Dave knows that.

    “TURN START. DRAW CARD.” The card appeared on the machine’s monitor for a mere second before flashing away. “SUMMON LOVEY-DOVEY BOY IN ATTACK POSITION.”

    A young, chubby boy waddled onto the field, unaware of the tall and powerful monsters surrounding it. It wore its blue cap slightly to the side, and its shirt barely fit over its massive stomach. (1200/1000)

    “SET THREE SPELL/TRAP CARDS FACE-DOWN. TURN END.”

    “My draw, then,” Adam said. Glaring at the oblivious boy, he barked a command. “Fallen Blue-Eyes White Dragon, attack Lovey-Dovey Boy!”

    The Blue-Eyes White Dragon charged up another energy blast, which was subsequently shot at the unsuspecting boy.

    Kaiba frowned.

    “ACTIVATE TRAP CARD, SHIFT.”

    Adam perked his eyebrows up.

    Kaiba smirked. That’s what you get.

    “CHANGING ATTACK TARGET TO TRUSTING PETBIRD TO AVOID DAMAGE.”

    As if it were on a conveyer belt, the bird cage slid in front of the young boy, which was incinerated on impact. Despite the charred feathers fluttering through the air, the boy gave no indication that he saw what happened.

    “In that case…” Adam looked down at his hand, then, dissatisfied, he glanced at the tiny holograms hovering nearby.

    He may understand the concept of strategy, but without skill all of his moves go to waste. Kaiba glanced at Dave, who was observing the field. Dave shouldn’t have lost against his joke of a duelist.

    “Dave,” Adam said. Dave reluctantly met his gaze. “Is it alright if I use this card?” He pointed to the leftmost card.

    Dave swept his gaze at it. Reinforcements? What the hell does he expect to do with that?

    “Sure, whatever.”

    “Alright,” Adam said. “I’ll set one card face-down and end my turn.”

    Dave slid it into his Duel Disk, and the face-down card appeared by Adam’s feet.

    Kaiba pulled his hands away from the window. Hmph, figures a cheapstake would mooch off a superior duelist.

    Josh winced slightly. He could tell Kaiba was still angered, but not exactly why. Besides, his shoulder hurt too much.

    “TURN START. DRAW CARD.”

    Dave awaited the next threat patiently, yet eagerly. He was surprised, though, when it came from the other end of the field – the one that held Lovey-Dovey Boy.

    “ACTIVATE TRAP CARD, PROPOSAL. ALLY ADDS ONE ‘ENGAGEMENT RING’ CARD TO HIS/HER HAND AND PROPOSAL EQUIPS TO LOVEY-DOVEY BOY.”

    A new card flashed onto the male-speaking computer’s monitor.

    “WHEN EQUIPPED TO LOVEY-DOVEY BOY,” the female-speaking computer continued, “IT IS ALSO TREATED AS A LOVEY-DOVEY BOY MONSTER.”

    “SUMMON MONSTER – LOVEY-DOVEY GIRL IN ATTACK POSITION.”

    A young girl, equally as chubby as Lovey-Dovey Boy, waddled out of its card, tripping over the ground moments later. (1000/500) It sat up, rubbed its head, then saw the young boy standing on the opposite end of the room.

    “EFFECTS APPLIED – LOVEY-DOVEY GIRL GAINS 500 ATK AND DEF FOR EACH LOVEY-DOVEY BOY ON FIELD. LOVEY-DOVEY BOY GAINS 500 ATK AND DEF FOR EACH LOVEY-DOVEY GIRL ON FIELD.”

    The two humanoid monsters gaped at each other; both of their jaws dropped immediately. Pinks hearts replaced their eyes as they gazed into the others’, mesmerized by their attraction. Lovey-Dovey Girl nervously looked away, staring at the ground, face blushing beet-red. (1000 --> 2000/500 --> 1500) Meanwhile, Lovey-Dovey Boy did the same, only it managed to mask its infatuation better. (1200 --> 1700/1000 --> 1500)

    Josh and Mokuba groaned.

    “This is too weird,” Mokuba said.

    “Yeah,” Josh said. It’s ironic that the most emotional monsters I’ve ever seen are being played by mindless robots.

    “ACTIVATE EQUIP SPELL CARD,” the machine droned. “ENGAGEMENT RING.”

    Yep, like I said, Josh thought, watching the ring materialize in the young boy’s hand. Mindless robots.

    Lovey-Dovey Boy approached Lovey-Dovey Girl, who seemed to shy away. The male monster took the female monster’s hand, putting the ring onto her finger. Warmness felt between the two monsters was clear.

    “WHILE EQUIPPED TO LOVEY-DOVEY GIRL, ENGAGEMENT RING IS TREATED AS AN ADDITIONAL LOVEY-DOVEY GIRL, FURTHER RAISING LOVEY-DOVEY BOY’S ATK AND DEF VALUES.” (1700 --> 2200/1500 --> 2000) “ACTIVATE SPELL CARD, DOUBLE FUSION.”

    Lovey-Dovey Boy cradled its hand into Lovey-Dovey Girl’s, as if it were promising to never let go.

    Could this be any cheesier? Dave thought.

    “FUSING LOVEY-DOVEY GIRL WITH LOVEY-DOVEY GIRL, AND THEN FUSING LOVEY-DOVEY BOY WITH LOVEY-DOVEY BOY.”

    In a flash of light, both Lovey-Dovey monsters seemed to grow before everyone’s eyes. They became taller, more mature, aging as the aura around them slowly faded. Lovey-Dovey Girl was dressed a wedding gown, her face veiled by a thin piece of fabric. (2000/1500) Lovey-Dovey Boy wore a tuxedo; the grin held had signified his commitment to the relationship. (2200/1700)

    “LOVEY-DOVEY BRIDE AND LOVEY-DOVEY GROOM ARE REQUIRED FOR ACTIVATION OF NEXT SPELL CARD, WEDDING DAY.” The cards in the machine’s hand monitor vanished one by one. “BY DISCARDING HAND, THIS UNIT CAN BANISH BOTH LOVEY-DOVEY BRIDE AND LOVEY-DOVEY GROOM TO SPECIAL SUMMON LOVEY-DOVEY WIFE AND LOVEY-DOVEY HUSBAND, RESPECTIVELY.”

    The duo became engulfed in light again, this time, instead of growing or aging, they simply wore normal clothes, the kind you would see on a casual day. Lovey-Dovey Wife held its husband’s hand with confidence (3000/2500), while Lovey-Dovey Husband did the same with its wife (3200/2700).

    So we saw three stages of a relationship in about five seconds. Josh laughed, remembering his high school friends. That’s a new record.

    “LOVEY-DOVEY HUSBAND ATTACKS FALLEN BLUE-EYES WHITE DRAGON.”

    Prompted by its wife, the husband leapt up, intending to punch the dragon using the momentum from its fall. Preparing to counterattack, the Blue-Eyes White Dragon raised its head and opened its mouth, revealing its vicious fangs. Adam gritted his teeth.

    Hmph. Figures Adam can’t protect his own monsters properly. Kaiba crossed his arms.

    “I activate my face-down card.” Adam pressed a button, and the card Dave set down raised. “Reinforcements increases Fallen Blue-Eyes White Dragon’s ATK by 500 for the rest of the round.”

    Kaiba grunted, slammed his fist against the windowsill again. Upon hitting it, the glass shook, causing Josh to look in his direction.

    The Blue-Eyes White Dragon shot out a blast of pale-blue energy, thrusting its head forward to propel it faster. (3000 --> 3500/2500) Lovey-Dovey Husband punched the beam; energy rippled around its fist, causing wavy streams to fly aimlessly off its knuckles. Realizing it wouldn’t be able to fight through the stream of energy, Lovey-Dovey Husband pushed itself back, landing beside its wife, who promptly hugged it. [CompA LP: (2250 --> 2100)] [CompB LP: (1150 --> 1400)]

    Josh spoke up. “Wait, why wasn’t it destroyed?”

    “LOVEY-DOVEY HUSBAND’S EFFECT: CANNOT BE DESTROYED BY BATTLE AS LONG AS LOVEY-DOVEY WIFE EXISTS ON FIELD.”

    That figures, Dave thought.

    “LOVEY-DOVEY WIFE ATTACKS TRUSTING SEATURTLE.”

    With help from its husband, Lovey-Dovey Wife swung itself at the turtle sleeping on Dave’s side of the field, startling it awake with its heel. As the wife leapt back, the turtle shattered with a squeal.

    “TURN END.”

    Dave grabbed the rim of his hat, pulled it down slightly. “Alright then.” He drew, flipping it over to see.

    He smiled.

    “Here we go,” Dave said. Proudly, he thrust the drawn card at his opponents. “I activate Black Luster Ritual!”

    The four guards kneeling before him ceremonially stood up, casting their shields aside, knowing there was no purpose for them now. They clapped their hands together, miraculously becoming enveloped in blue flames that quickly spread across Dave’s entire corner of the room.

    “Ritual Summon – Black Luster Soldier!”

    Dave pointed a commanding finger forward, and, from the flames flailing behind him, the Black Luster Soldier flew out of hiding. It landed a few feet ahead of its master, its armor glimmering against the embers surrounding them. (3000/2500)

    “There we go,” Josh whispered to himself.

    Taking a moment to observe the field, Dave relaxed his hand, brought it closer to his face. The computer closest to him had both Lovey-Dovey monsters on its side of the field, and the one near Adam had nothing. If he struck that one now, it would be down for the count, even with Shared Pain splitting the damage.

    It was his time to shine.

    Determinedly, Dave pointed at the defenseless Duelbot. “Black Luster Soldier, attack Duelbot Model A directly!”

    Black Luster Soldier lifted its sword and shield, keeping them near its chest as it charged at the computer.

    “ACTIVATE LOVEY-DOVEY HUSBAND’S EFFECT: WHEN BOTH LOVEY-DOVEY WIFE AND LOVEY-LOVEY HUSBAND EXIST ON FIELD, CONTROL OF EITHER MONSTER CAN BE EXCHANGED BETWEEN PARTNERS AT WILL.”

    Dave’s eyes widened. “What!?”

    Once Black Luster Soldier moved to stab the computer, Lovey-Dovey Husband jumped in the way, expertly striking at the soldier’s wrist with its palm. The impact caused the soldier’s grip to weaken, and the sword merely slipped out of its grasp. Seeing an opportunity, Lovey-Dovey Husband punched Black Luster Soldier square in the jaw, knocking it all the way into the back wall, where it shattered into thousands of blue fragments.

    Dave stared back the shards, watching them rain onto the floor. [Dave LP: (400 --> 200)] Without any cards out to protect him, Dave could only pray as he said, “I end my turn.”

    “TURN START,” the computer droned, for what Dave knew would be the final time. “DRAW CARD.”

    He half expected another move to be made first, but instead, the husband crackled its knuckles as the computer’s voice rang out again.

    “LOVEY-DOVEY HUSBAND ATTACKS PLAYER DAVE LITENUR DIRECTLY.”

    The husband jumped up, flying high over Dave. Its figure obscured the lights overhead, causing its body to become overshadowed in darkness. But Dave could still see its eyes – the eyes that said “This is it.”

    Dave closed his own eyes, gritted his teeth.

    “Go, Magical Arm Shield!”

    In the nick of time, another figure flew in front of Dave, intercepting the attack and taking the blow for him. Neither he nor the monster attacking him knew what it was until Lovey-Dovey Husband’s punch already crossed the monster’s face.

    Lovey-Dovey Wife screeched in pain, tears flowing out of its eyes as it was thrown onto the ground. Lovey-Dovey Husband ran over and grasped its hand, begging forgiveness, but it was too late. The damage had been done.

    Dave stared back up at the device. He recognized from his duel with Peter – it takes an opponent’s monster and has the attacking monster battle it instead. His eyes trailed the spring attached to the two plates, leading him back to its source.

    Adam.

    Dave gaped at him, almost thanked him, but Adam’s voice cut him off.

    “Since I used Magical Arm Shield to take control of that monster, I take the damage and Dave’s Life Points remain unharmed.” [Adam LP: (1900 --> 1700)]

    “ABSENCE OF LOVEY-DOVEY WIFE DETECTED. LOVEY-DOVEY HUSBAND’S ATK AND DEF VALUES BECOME HALF THEIR ORIGINAL VALUE.” (3200 --> 1600/3000 --> 1500) “TURN END.”

    “Time to end this.” Adam drew. “First I’ll revive my Fallen Koumori Dragon!”

    With a quick spark and burst, the purple dragon flared out of nowhere, dragging its claws against the ground. (1500/1200)

    “With Double Grave Ceremony out, I’m able to summon another Fallen, so I’ll offer my Koumori Dragon to bring out the Fallen Summoned Skull!”

    Blue static trickled along the edges of the two tombstones, eventually sparking out and electrifying Fallen Koumori Dragon. The dragon’s body deformed, regenerating into a boastful demon with a horned skull. (2500/1200) Its wings served as a conductor, absorbing the electricity into its muscular figure.

    Adam opened a slot in the side of his Duel Disk. “Normally I’d be done summoning my Fallen cards, but with Fallen Nation I can summon a monster one more time.” He slid the card in.

    From behind the darkly-clothed teen, a flagpole rose out of the ground, marking the half-way point between the two tombstones. Then flag fluttered high above both the Fallen Blue-Eyes and the Fallen Summoned Skull, who appeared empowered by it even though neither monster acted any differently.

    “Not only do I get an extra summon, my Fallen monsters also gain 500 ATK and DEF.”

    [Fallen Blue-Eyes White Dragon (3000 --> 3500/2500 --> 3000)]
    [Fallen Summoned Skull (2500 --> 3000/1200 --> 1700)]

    “It’s about time I got to that summoning.” Adam raised his arm. “Return to my side, Fallen Koumori Dragon!”

    Another small flare burst off the ground, and the purple dragon roared beside the two taller monsters. It felt as the monster had never left. (1500 --> 2000/1200 --> 1700)

    “And now that Lovey-Dovey Wife isn’t there to power up Lovey-Dovey Husband, it’s weak enough for Fallen Koumori Dragon to take it out!”

    At that moment Dave realized Adam’s thought process. He didn’t activate Magical Arm Shield to protect him – he only did it to get an obstacle out of the way. He didn’t care if Dave lost at all; it was just a tactical strategy to come out on top!

    Dave tensely curled his fingers together. How could I have been so stupid?

    “Koumori Dragon – attack!”

    Despite the loud roar preceding the dragon’s assault, Lovey-Dovey Husband continued to blankly gaze at the ground where its wife once laid. It didn’t even react as its body became engulfed in flames, leaving no trace of it left behind. [CompA LP: (2100 --> 1350)] [CompB LP: (1400 --> 650)]

    Josh erected his stance, observing the field. Now the Duelbots have no monsters out. He quickly turned to the two monsters at the opposite end of the room. This is it.

    Kaiba scratched his nails into the windowsill as Adam lifted a commanding hand.

    “Fallen Summoned Skull–”

    He might’ve won now, Kaiba thought, but he only did so by mooching off of Dave.

    “Fallen Blue-Eyes White Dragon–”

    Even then, he only got this far because of his low-life ways. He watched both monsters aim their attacks at the computers; one focused on each.

    “Attack their Life Points directly!”

    The dragon and demon unleashed an array of light; a pale energy beam trailed towards the center of the computers with three streaks of lightning spiraling around it. Dave, Josh and Mokuba squinted from its brightness.

    None of it matters, only a snot-nosed piece of scum could manage to turn such a powerful card into a worthless pile of trash.

    Kaiba turned away. A bright flash poured into the room, forcing Mokuba and Josh to shield their eyes. While this happened, Kaiba took the Card Analyzer from Mokuba’s hand, and looked to it.

    Data Analysis 100% Complete.

    He serves no purpose to me now.

    The lights dimmed.

    [Dave LP: (200)] [Adam LP: (1700)]
    Vs.
    [CompA LP: (1350 -->--> 0)] [CompB LP: (650 -->--> 0)]

    Dave rubbed his eyes. His sight still blurred from the blinding intensity of that attack. He could hear Adam walking towards the exit, heard a door shut, and it was only when Kaiba started screaming that he started to regain his sight.

    “Who the hell do you think you are?!” Kaiba grabbed Adam by the collar. Adam drooped his head, uninterested. “I’m the only one who’s allowed use the Blue-Eyes White Dragon! Got that?” He threw Adam aside.

    Adam stumbled a bit, banged into the wall. He failed to react, though, and simply dusted his shoulder instead.

    Dave walked into the room now, joining Josh and Mokuba. They all stared at Adam, who approached Kaiba again.

    Kaiba just glowered at him.

    Adam slid his deck out, then started to sift through it. “Fine.” With a sharp flick, Adam tossed a card Kaiba’s way.

    Reflexively, Kaiba snatched it inches from his face. By the time everyone realized what happened, Adam was already at the exit.

    “See ya around.”

    The door shut, and every ounce of tension within the room faded.

    Kaiba brought the card to eye level, hatred searing through his stare. It took a few raced heartbeats before he noticed the others again.

    He addressed Dave and Josh somberly. “I think you’ve overstayed your welcome.”

    The two nodded sincerely, quietly heading for the door. Once they left, Mokuba hurried to his brother’s side.

    “Are you okay?”

    “I’m fine.” Kaiba held up the card again. A Synchro Monster Card featuring a pale blue dragon.

    His blue dragon.

    Wordlessly, Kaiba walked back to the window, peering into the testing room. Now the room was unused, the overhead lights shut off, preventing from gazing further into it. Although, the darkness was not what he was looking for.

    The glare on the window had returned.

    Tapping his brother’s arm, Mokuba motioned for the Card Analyzer. “We got the results we need?”

    Silence answered him. Kaiba continued to gaze at the glare, thinking.

    “Yes.” He held up the Card Analyzer, placing the Synchro Monster, Fallen Blue-Eyes White Dragon, inside its compartment. “I think it’s time I had a chat with Pegasus.”


    ~*~*~*~


    Card Analyzer activated…
    Accessing Card Database… Searching for Card Data …
    … Data Found:


    Fallen Blue-Eyes White Dragon
    ********
    [Light]
    [Dragon/Synchro/Tuner]
    (3000/2500)
    1 Tuner monster + 1 or more “Fallen” monsters
    Synchro Material Monsters used to Synchro Summon this card are removed from play. This card can Special Summon itself from the Graveyard after it is Synchro Summoned by offering 2 monsters on your side of the field as a Tribute. You can only Special Summon 1 “Fallen” monster this way per turn. If a non-“Fallen” monster exists in your Graveyard, you may not Special Summon this card this way. This card’s name is also treated as “Blue-Eyes White Dragon”. This card can only be destroyed as a result of battle. However, card effects can continue as if this card was destroyed.


    Result Scoreboard
    [Spell]
    Activate this card only in a Tag Duel when at least 1 player has a different amount of Life Points than the others. The player(s) with the lowest Life Points gains 3000 Life Points. The player(s) with the highest Life Points lose 1000 Life Points. All remaining players draw 1 card.


    Shared Pain
    ****ap/Continuous]
    This card can only be activated during a Tag Duel. When you or your partner takes damage, you can activate this card's effect to have both you and your partner take half the damage each instead.
    [Credit to darthvader5666 on Pojo for the creation of this card]
    Last edited by SerenadeSP; 11th July 2012 at 4:00 AM.
    Tamer's Archives
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  7. #32
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    I started playing Yu-Gi-Oh! again recently after a gap of three years - what a lot of change in that time - I am still enjoying the game though, despite having to start from scratch once more - you, alongside a duel I had yesterday, have inspired me to start my own Yu-Gi-Oh Fic. And can you add me to the PM list? :S

  8. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by Krazy95 View Post
    I started playing Yu-Gi-Oh! again recently after a gap of three years - what a lot of change in that time - I am still enjoying the game though, despite having to start from scratch once more - you, alongside a duel I had yesterday, have inspired me to start my own Yu-Gi-Oh Fic. And can you add me to the PM list? :S
    Thanks! It's always a good thing to draw inspiration from something, and I'm glad my fic helped spark that inspiration. Good luck with it, and consider yourself added!
    Tamer's Archives
    A Pokemon fic. Chapter 4 is up [1/25/11]

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    A Yugioh! fic. Chapter 20 is up [12/14/13]
    ~Back from the dead!~
    No knowledge of the game is required to enjoy this fic!

  9. #34
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    Chapter Sixteen


    Air stood still outside Kaiba Corp, indicated by the motionless clouds that sat comfortably in the sky. The noon light started to shift as the hour progressed, casting a subtle shadow onto the city below. The roofs of the towers remained untouched by the creeping darkness, though some were taller than others, and a few of the smaller buildings couldn’t escape the dominance of those above it. Kaiba Corp Tower stood tallest, leaving only its base affected by the shade.

    On the ground floor, few people stood near Kaiba Corp Tower, though the occasional person did walk past on the way to the center of town. The traffic, although still in view, kept its flow away from the building, leaving it alone to observe those around it. Lunch break had just ended, and many of Kaiba Corps employees were now returning to work. As one of them entered, Dave barged through the double-doors leading outside; Josh followed soon after.

    “Well, I don’t really see what the big deal was,” Josh said, chasing Dave down the short set of stairs. “So Adam summoned a monster Kaiba owns, how is that something to get angry about?”

    “It wasn’t just that.” Dave spat, without turning to look at him. He tensed his shoulders, clutched a fist. “He was so arrogant! You saw how he played out there – he didn’t care if I lost at all! He just wanted to be a show-off like he did at the arena.”

    Josh took a gentle step closer. “Look Dav–”

    “I’ll see ya later, Josh,” Dave said with a wave. He dismissively swept his arm to the side, grumbling to himself as he walked away.

    Josh stood still for a moment, watching him leave. He still couldn’t figure out what was wrong. Sure, Adam did act rudely to Kaiba on his way out, but Kaiba wasn’t exactly the friendliest person he ever met. Josh lifted his hood over his hair, casting a shadow over his forehead. The sun loomed over the city streets, overseeing all of its activities. It gave Josh a sense of heavenly guidance, and, yet, he still felt uneasy…

    “So, I guess I’m not exactly mister popular.”

    Alarmed, Josh defensively spun around to see Adam leaning against a building, with arms crossed. Josh blinked. He didn’t know what to say.

    Adam nodded in acknowledgement; the strand of red hair fluttered against his nose.

    “Don’t worry about it. I got used to it, anyway.” He pushed himself off the wall, scraped some dirt off his shoulder.

    Josh looked at Adam’s Duel Disk while he did this, focusing on his Card Analyzer. On its screen, he saw the image of an old-fashioned lock. He looked to his own Card Analyzer, and saw no such image, only his own name and a picture of Sacred Phoenix of Nephthys in the center. Some cards are expensive, that was true, but why would he feel the need to secure his deck while it was attached to his arm?

    “Adam,” Josh said aloud, slowing trailing his eyes back to him. “Dave was angry because he thought you were being selfish and arrogant in your playing. Kaiba, as far as I know, is always like that, so I’d take it with a grain of salt–”

    “Another grain of salt,” Adam muttered. He sighed. “Add that to the mountain already there.”

    Josh paused.

    Adam looked back toward Kaiba Corp Tower; subconsciously, Josh did the same. The tall building gave a sense of authority over the others, as if it were a king scolding his servants.

    “I know my place in the world, there’s no reason for me to change it. I don’t care if anyone likes me. That’s not why I’m here.”

    Adam hung his head subtly. Josh ventured.

    “Then… why are you here, Adam?”

    Adam didn’t move. He just stood there, motionlessly, like a statue that been molded in place.

    Finally, he turned; shy determination flashed in his pupils.

    “Let’s duel.”

    “What?”

    Adam held up his arm, swinging his Duel Disk with him.

    “Let’s duel. You have a deck now, so you’re a duelist. A duelist duels.”

    Where was he going with this?

    “But I’ve only really dueled once in my life.” Josh peered at his Disk in shame. “There’s no way my deck can take on your Fallen monsters. They’re too strong.”

    “No, they’re not.” Adam pressed a button, his deck ejected out. He caught it in his free hand. “They’re only strong because I make them strong.”

    Adam approached him silently, taking quiet steps, matching the tempo of Josh’s heartbeat. To Josh’s surprise, Adam held out the deck to him.

    “Take it.”

    In a baffled gesture, Josh straightened his neck. He must have misheard.

    “Uh, what?”

    “Take it.” Adam shoved the deck into his chest. “You want to duel with a ‘strong’ deck? Then I’ll duel with your ‘weak’ deck.”

    That’s all he wanted? What a strange offer – though, Josh could tell he wanted to prove something.

    “O-okay.”

    Josh sheepishly accepted the deck, before ejecting his own. Adam took it reverently, shuffling with care.

    Adam’s never even seen my deck. How does he expect to win?

    Josh slid Adam’s deck into his Card Analyzer, then pressed the ‘auto-shuffle’ button. It was a weird feeling, using another’s cards; it didn’t seem right. But it was a request from someone who had helped him so much in the past.

    What did he have to lose?

    [Josh LP: (8000)] [Adam LP: (8000)]

    “I’ll go first,” Adam said, picking up the top card of his – er, Josh’s deck. His eyes swiftly read through each word written on Josh’s cards, like they had instructions to defeat him.

    I should probably do that too, Josh thought, holding up the strangely shiny cards.

    Although Adam had never seen Josh’s deck, Josh couldn’t say the same – he learned a few of Adam’s strategies just from watching those duels during the tournament, and even just now during the testing. The main focus was to dump monsters into the Graveyard so he could revive them later. So, with this Card Destruction card he had, Josh remembered, he could toss the rest of his hand away so he could draw new cards. He’d hit two birds with one stone.

    Adam, I think you underestimated your own deck, Josh thought, glancing over the orange bordered cards.

    “I activate Pot of Greed,” Adam said. “This lets me draw two cards. Next I’ll play Tremendous Fire.”

    “Huh?”

    Just as Josh lifted his head, a wave of fire surged over him, temporarily flooding the street with the holographic flames. [Josh LP: (8000 --> 7000)]

    Adam, also struck by the flames, shooed them away by lifting another card from his hand. [Adam LP: (8000 --> 7500)] The firestorm seemingly evaporated, leaving no trace that it ever occurred.

    “Next I’ll use this – A Feather of the Phoenix.” A green bordered card materialized before him, featuring a glowing red feather. “With it, I discard a card to return another card from Graveyard back to the top of my deck.”

    He shoved a card into the red slot upside-down, causing Josh to wonder what he threw out. Almost instantly, Pot of Greed came back out, which Adam quietly put on top of the rest of his cards.

    “Now, my final Spell Card – Spark of Life.”

    Josh watched in amazement as the card materialized. It featured an orange, newborn chick hatching from a golden egg, with Sacred Phoenix of Nephthys in the background, watching over it. He remembered that it was hard to use – a FIRE monster needed to be revived for it to work.

    “And, now I end my turn.”

    Josh blinked. That was it? He only had one card out, and that card was useless by itself. Josh reached for his deck to draw, when the port from Adam’s Graveyard started to glow.

    “During the End Phase, Manticore of Darkness activates,” Adam said emotionlessly. “Whenever it’s sent to the Graveyard, I can discard any one of the three ‘Beast’-typed monsters to Special Summon it.”

    Adam flipped over his chosen card – Josh’s eyes nearly bugged out when he saw it.

    “So I’ll send the Sacred Phoenix of Nephthys!”

    What? Josh’s jaw fell slightly ajar. But that’s the best card in my deck!

    Adam lifted his Duel Disk as a red beam shot out of it. “Rise – Manticore of Darkness!”

    In a twister of fire, a bipedal beast slammed into the ground. Its muscular body and lion-like head intimidated Josh a bit, but he didn’t realize how fearsome it looked until it spread its angelic blue wings and whipped its scorpion-like tail in his face. (2300/1000)

    Josh gulped. How could I forget about something like that!

    “Now, Spark of Life activates!”

    The designated card took a reddish glow, which replicated itself around the Manticore in the form of an aura. Manticore of Darkness twirled around, shooting a swirl of fire at both players, who shielded themselves with their disks.

    [Josh LP: (7000 --> 6700)] [Adam LP: (7500 --> 7200)]

    Josh batted the remaining wisps away. “Okay, I take it back. Maybe my deck isn’t as weak as I thought.”

    Adam smiled briefly.

    “My draw.” Alright, so first I have to discard them. “I activate Card Destruction!”

    Without waiting for an explanation, Adam shoved his hand into the red-slot, only to replenish it soon after. Noticing this, Josh did the same, looking over the new Spell Cards he drew, without ever noticing the look of satisfaction of his opponent’s face.

    Adam’s eyes shone with dark eagerness.

    Now to bring them back, Josh thought.

    “I activate this!” A separate slot on Josh’s Duel Disk folded open; he slapped the Field Spell Card down.

    A flagpole drove its way out of the ground, rising until it was twice the size of both players.

    “And, now, with Fallen Nation out, I can Special Summon two Fallen monsters each turn!”

    As two coffins soothingly seeped through the sidewalk, Adam apparently receded into his thoughts. He kept his attention on the flag fluttering overhead, blocking his view of the sun, denying him of the light that it gave.

    He sighed again, reluctantly returning his attention to the holograms before him.

    The coffins’ tops burst open, where two monsters flung themselves out. Both of them were extremely familiar to Adam, since he used them all the time. In fact, they were the exact same monster – the Fallen Headless Knight. While one of them knelt (1450/1700), the other boastfully parried its sword at the opposing monster. (1450/1700)

    “And, now, for some basic math,” Josh said. Truthfully, this was the only part of the game he actually understood. “First, Fallen Nation gives my monsters 500 ATK and DEF each.”

    [Fallen Headless Knight (1) (1450 --> 1950/1700 --> 2200)]
    [Fallen Headless Knight (2) (1450 --> 1950/1700 --> 2200)]

    “Then,” Josh held up his two index fingers, pointing one at each knight. “Fallen Headless Knight’s effect kicks in. When it’s in Attack Position, other Fallen monsters gains 400 DEF. And, while it’s in Defense Position, Fallen monsters gain 400 ATK. So, basically, my two monsters power each other up.”

    [Fallen Headless Knight (1) (1950 --> 2350/2200 --> 2600)]
    [Fallen Headless Knight (2) (1950 --> 2350/2200 --> 2600)]

    Adam smiled. “That was a pretty advanced combo for someone who just started yesterday.”

    Josh grinned bashfully. “Well, I gotta start somewhere.”

    Adam nodded. “Continue.”

    “Right – Fallen Headless Knight! Attack!”

    Holding its blade high, Fallen Headless Knight strode towards the winged-demon, its armor clanking against the ground with each heavy step. Manticore of Darkness evaded two slashes by jumping in the air, but a final slash caught its tail and leg, causing it to slam back onto the ground. Quickly seizing the opportunity, the knight pinned Manticore of Darkness down by its wings and impaled directly into its chest. [Adam LP: (7200 --> 7150)]

    “Alright!” Josh shouted, fist-pumping.

    Adam smirked. “Good job. But don’t think I’m done yet.”

    “Of course not,” Josh said. “I end my tur–”

    “Since it’s your End Phase, Manticore of Darkness activates.” Adam lifted a card out of his hand, presenting it to Josh. Once again, Josh’s jaw dropped. “By sending another Manticore of Darkness to the Graveyard, I can revive the one you just destroyed!”

    As soon as the Duel Disk sucked up Adam’s card, flames shot out of the slot, spiraling father until the lion’s head emerged. With a roar, the beast slashed the flames away, and slammed its claws against the concrete. (2300/1000) Manticore of Darkness stood back up, fire still searing at its claws. It looked good as new – as if it had never suffered a single wound.

    After taking a second to process this, Josh smiled. “No problem, Fallen Headless Knight’s strong enough to take it out.”

    “That’s not what I was going for.”

    Before Josh could ask, the Spell Card behind Manticore of Darkness lit up, igniting a ring of fire around the bipedal beast.

    Adam lifted his arm, point towards the sky in declaration. “Spark of Life activates!”

    Manticore of Darkness spun around, twirling the fire with it, causing it to expand with each rotation. Both duelists were struck, and, just as before, Josh recoiled while Adam remained unmoved.

    [Josh LP: (6700 --> 6400)] [Adam LP: (7150 --> 6850)]

    Josh shook off the wisps covering his sweatshirt, which vaporized with the motion. “Ugh, yeah, I forgot about that. Oh well, I’ll make sure I destroy it next tur–”

    “And I activate the second Manticore of Darkness’ effect,” Adam said, ejecting the declared card from his Duel Disk. “Now I’ll send the Manticore of Darkness on the field and replace it with the one in my Graveyard.”

    Josh nearly leapt back. “What!?”

    “Go!”

    Manticore of Darkness burst into flames; consuming Adam’s entire side of the field before extinguishing, only for the same monster to reappear in its place. Then, the monster summoned a ring of fire, which it threw at both players.

    Adam repeated this pattern continuously, shouting “again” with each round. It was only after the third round that Josh realized there was no hope left – the game had already been predetermined after just the first turn. All he could do was dodge the flames as they came at him; his Life Points dwindling with each blast.

    [Josh LP: (0)] [Adam LP: (450)]

    “And that’s game,” Adam said. The holograms disintegrated that same instant.

    Josh had fallen to his knees, shaken from both amazement and disappointment. When Adam approached him, he stood up, taking out his opponent’s deck. They then proceeded to trade them.

    “I can’t believe such a strong combo is in my deck,” Josh said, staring at the stack of cards in his hand. It was as if he had never held it before in his life.

    “Exactly.” Adam slid his deck back into its proper slot.

    Josh looked him in the eye. “I get it now. It’s not the cards that win duels, it’s the player.”

    “That’s right,” Adam said, turning his back to him. “Many people try to mimic stronger players by taking their ideas, but only the original owner of that deck can tap into its true potential.”

    It’s true potential, Josh thought. He drew the top card, revealing his Sacred Phoenix of Nephthys. Oh wait.

    “Hey Adam,” he said, catching Adam’s attention as he started to walk away.

    “Yeah?”

    “I was wondering,” Josh held up the card, “why did you toss this card away? It’s easily one of the best cards in my deck.”

    Adam averted his gaze, sent it downcast; towards the cracked pavement beneath him. Then, he returned it to the path in front of him, away from Josh.

    “I didn’t see any use for it.”

    That answer surprised Josh.

    “What do you mean?” He asked, stepping forward. At the same time, Adam started to leave again.

    “I couldn’t use it for what I wanted to do.” Adam kept walking, but slowed his pace so Josh still stayed within earshot. “Even if a deck has one unified focus, it should always have back-up plans in case that focus fails. Otherwise, the entire deck becomes disabled.”

    Josh stopped following him. He absorbed the words, watching Adam drift away step by step.

    Then, Adam stopped.

    “Like I said, only the original owner can tap into a deck’s true potential.” He turned, eying Josh again. “Catch ya ‘round.” He waved goodbye, and continued towards the city.

    Josh watched him disappear into a crowd in the distance, then stared back up at the Kaiba Corp building.

    I get it now. Josh fanned out his deck, examining each individual card with new eyes. This is my deck. If I want to ever become as good as Adam or Dave I need to stop complaining and start coming up with a style of my own.

    His mind involuntarily flashed back to the tournament – specifically the duel in the cafeteria, where he had chased the receptionist across the room. Dave defeated her, and then Kaiba told him:

    “We both know that if this deck was in my hands that the duel would’ve ended differently.”

    …and Dave agreed. Josh realized that all real duelists must understand this concept, even if those exact words never crossed their minds. Only Adam could properly use the Fallen monsters, only Dave could use his Black Luster Soldiers, only Kaiba could use the Blue-Eyes White Dragons.

    And only he could use the Sacred Phoenix of Nephthys.


    ~*~*~*~


    Inside Kaiba Corp’s main office, Seto Kaiba sat behind his desk, flipping his laptop open. After connecting his Card Analyzer to the monitor with a wire and entering in a few commands, a load bar featuring a stupid dancing rabbit filled both screens. He leaned back in his chair, weaving his fingers together and propping up his head.

    No one deserves to have a Blue-Eyes White Dragon except me. Kaiba took the Card Analyzer off the desk, snapping open the compartment that contained his Extra Deck. A thin pile of about ten cards came out, which he fanned out in front of him. Nine purple bordered cards.

    One silver.

    A moment later the rabbit’s dancing ceased, and it goofily shoved a picture frame at Kaiba. The frame outlined the edges of the screen, and Pegasus’s long pale-blue hair soon covered its image.

    “Why hello Kaiba-boy.” Pegasus chuckled, raising his half-full wine glass. “I’m guessing the testing went without any troub–”

    “What the hell is this!” Kaiba snatched up the silver card, shoving it at the monitor. “Why the hell would you create another Blue-Eyes White Dragon card without giving it directly to me?!”

    Pegasus took a sip, then placed the glass off screen. “Now now Kaiba-boy, just because you are the self-proclaimed owner of the Blue-Eyes White Dragons doesn’t mean you actually are.” He brushed his hair over his shoulder; it still covered his left eye, though.

    “That’s not the point, Pegasus.” Kaiba slammed his fist on the counter. “I’ve worked my entire life to get those cards, and knowing that scumbag duelist owns–”

    “Relax. That Fallen Blue-Eyes White Dragon card is at such a high rarity that you’d have to be a billionaire to get your hands on it.” Pegasus winked. “Too bad you’re only a millionaire.”

    Kaiba growled.

    “Besides, you have it now, so what difference does it make? What? I can’t make any more Blue-Eyes card ‘cause Kaiba-boy doesn’t wanna share?”

    The sound of Kaiba slamming his hands on the table made Pegasus flinch. A couple of cards he had laid out flew into the air. Kaiba stood up, unintentionally pushing his chair a few feet back. “If it means letting the power of the Blue-Eyes White Dragon get into the hands of a scumbag named Adam Prince then no! The fact that I didn’t even know about this card says more than enough!”

    Pegasus took another sip to recover, then spoke with gentle words. “Hmm. Adam Prince, you say? I’ve had plenty of bidders for that card, but I can’t say I’ve heard that name before.”

    Kaiba blinked, staring at his vein-lined hand. Then… how?

    “If you’re done with your little ragefest, it’s time to get down to business.” Pegasus glanced at something off screen. “Ah, looks like the Tag-Duel card results went well. I’ll alert production immediately.”

    He turned to the side again, looking there for a few seconds, as if suspicious of eavesdroppers. Then, he leaned closer to the screen, whispering. “Now, about that hacker.”

    Kaiba lifted his eyes upward. Though his face remained hardened, his eyes were softened by curiosity. He turned to the fallen chain behind him, glancing at the half dozen cards lying on the ground. Pegasus’s voice called him back to the computer.

    “As you know, late last week an unknown networker hacked into our database, and my vacation was ruined.” He flung his some of his hair back; it gracefully fell onto his shoulder blade. “I mean, talk about inopportune timing. I was just starting to enjoy myself too.” When he saw Kaiba roll his eyes, Pegasus recomposed himself. “Anyway, I had my team scan the systems immediately to try to kick it out.”

    Kaiba lifted the chair, returning its rightful place by the desk. He sat. “So, how far into the security did this ‘hacker’ manage to breech?

    Pegasus had taken a sip of wine while Kaiba spoke. He set the glass down; the liquid within it danced along its edges, attempting to escape. “Pretty far. It was as if the security system never existed. We had to reinstall the whole thing, and then poof. Gone again.”

    A considering finger touched Kaiba’s chin. “Were any secure files accessed or removed?”

    “No, none.” Pegasus flipped his hair again. “Surprisingly, files were added.”

    “Added?” Kaiba asked, intrigued.

    “Yes, nothing was corrupted or damaged or anything. Just disabled. I can view them just fine, but any attempts to alter them are completely ineffective. As of right now, they’ve made no changes to any previously existing files.” Pegasus angled himself away from the screen again. The sounds of typing keys snuck through the speaker. “And, most importantly, we found this.”

    A small window opened on Kaiba’s screen, covering the left side of Pegasus’s torso. It appeared to be formatted like an E-mail, only the sending options were corrupted, rending them unusable.

    Leaning closer, Kaiba read:

    Hello Pegasus,

    Took a little bit to access this system. A little shy of two hours, I’d say, maybe less. Don’t bother repairing the security; we’ll just delete it again the next time we access your database. Truthfully, we’ve been able to do so for quite some time. You see, we’re in the middle of a business operation that is destined for greatness, and we feel that your system is an essential part of this process. We felt, however, that you wouldn’t willingly give it to us, so we decided to seize it by force.

    Don’t be alarmed, we’ll give it back soon. We just need to hang onto it until our project reaches its final stages, then your precious Duel Monsters Server is all yours. But we’re not a greedy group; you’ll still be able to look through all of your core files to make sure they’re all safe and sound. Just… we took the liberty of adding a touch of our own.

    As of right now we have several of our accomplices lurking among the city streets, particularly in Domino City, where Kaiba Corp’s main server is stationed. Specifically the Duel Disk server. We feel that his company will also be of great use to us, and, in due time, I’m sure you and Kaiba will agree. As of right now, we have a couple of Duel Disks that we customized to work in our favor. One day you’ll thank us, and we’ll gladly be able to say your technology helped revolutionize the game you created as well as the state of the world as we know it.

    Hope we didn’t interrupt your vacation.

    Regards,

    The Deck Hackers


    Kaiba leaned back a bit, shifting his gaze back toward Pegasus, who had patiently stared at him the entire time.

    “Looks like we have a little fan club.” Kaiba cupped his hands together.

    “They appear to be more than that.” Pegasus finished off his wine, nervously placing the glass off screen. As he pulled his hand away, Kaiba heard a clang and then a crash. Looking at the floor next to him, Pegasus cursed.

    Standing up, Kaiba placed his hands near either side of the monitor. “Well, if it’s a fight they want, then it’s a fight they’ll get. I’ll be over first thing tomorrow to assess the damages.”

    “Hang on!” Pegasus barked. “We need to address the situation as a whole, not just the individual pieces. Do you want to risk having everything you’ve worked for stolen right out from under your nose!?”

    “Not like it’s never happened before.” Kaiba said, eying the Blue-Eyes Ultimate Dragon card still on the counter. He took a breath. “I’ll have Mokuba and my security team take care of things here. As of right now, your company is in jeopardy, while mine is not. If we want to make any progress in this, we’ll have to act immediately. In the meantime, I’ll have the local authorities arrest anyone with illegal or suspicious hardware.”

    Pegasus huffed, then winked. “I gotta say Kaiba-boy, it’s not like you to help out a rival company so willingly.”

    “Who said I was?” he asked curtly. “Why wait for the bugs to crawl towards me when I can squash them at the nest?”

    Pegasus nodded. He bent down to pick up the broken fragments; Kaiba shut off the computer, ending their session.

    Mokuba stood behind the door on the other end of the room, his hands grasping onto its frame. When Kaiba stopped speaking, he entered, approaching the desk. Kaiba knelt down to pick up his fallen cards.

    “I’ll assume that I don’t need to repeat myself.”

    Mokuba shook his head. He knelt down as well, helping his brother. “So, how long are you gonna be gone?”

    “I don’t know Mokuba.” He stood up, accepting the cards Mokuba handed to him. “Depending on how carefully these ‘Deck Hackers’ are covering their tracks, I’ll need to continuously run through Pegasus’s systems to catch the virus and crack their locks.” He walked back over to the desk. “After that, it’s only a matter of tracing the signal back to the source.”

    “But what about the city? Pegasus made it sound like these thugs were duelists. What if we need you to teach them a lesson?”

    “Call Yugi and inform him about only what he needs to know in order to get his job done.”

    Kaiba nearly gathered the cards he left on the counter when Mokuba grabbed his arm. “We can’t, Seto. Yugi and his friends are away for the next two months. We just got this postcard from them yesterday.”

    Mokuba reached into his pocket, then showed the postcard to Kaiba. Upon sighting Joey Wheeler, he winced involuntarily.

    “So,” Mokuba started, “who are we gonna call now?”

    Kaiba looked back to the desk. They needed someone who would be able to take on tough opponents amidst any potential danger. Naturally, he was up for the task, but his duties limited him. Yugi was out of the question. There was really no one lef…

    Wait… A memory flashed into Kaiba’s eyes; his pupils widened, then shrunk upon his sudden realization.

    With a brisk turn, Kaiba slipped the cards off his desk, sifting through them quickly. Then his eyes fell upon the one he needed. The Blue-Eyes Ultimate Dragon.

    No one has the power to summon this card besides me, and in my hands this card is unstoppable. And yet, Yugi managed to take its power and created something even stronger.

    Kaiba turned towards the window. While his head tilted towards the streets below, his sight seemed to be drawn inward.

    He was the only one ever to do so, until –

    “Seto?” Mokuba walked up next to him. “Did you hear me?”

    Kaiba’s mouth formed into a grave, thin line. “Yes.”

    Gently taking his brother’s shoulder, he motioned for them to leave. As they walked, Mokuba saw Kaiba slide two cards into his Extra Deck slot. He recognized both. One with purple borders, another with silver.

    Kaiba grasped the door’s handle, swinging it open in a quick burst.

    “He may be the only other duelist we can trust.”


    ~*~*~*~


    Card Analyzer activated…

    Accessing Card Database… Searching for Card Data …

    … Data Found:


    Spark of Life
    [Spell/Continuous]
    Every time a FIRE monster is Special Summoned from the Graveyard, inflict 300 points of damage to you and your opponent.


    Distrustful Intentions
    ****ap]
    Activate only when your opponent controls a “Trusting” monster. Tribute 1 monster you control. Negate that monster’s effects as long as your opponent controls that monster.


    Proposal
    ****ap]
    Activate only if you have a “Lovey-Dovey Boy” or “Lovey-Dovey Groom” on your side of the field. Select 1 of the above monsters and activate the appropriate effect:
    -“Lovey-Dovey Boy”: Add 1 “Engagement Ring” from your Deck (or your partner’s Deck if in a Tag Duel) to your hand (or your partner’s hand). Then this card is treated as an Equip Spell Card and is equipped to the selected monster. The equipped monster is treated as two “Lovey-Dovey Boy” cards.
    -“Lovey-Dovey Groom”: This card is treated as a Continuous Trap Card. The selected monster cannot be destroyed in battle as long as a “Lovey-Dovey Bride” is on your side of the field. If “Lovey-Dovey Bride” is removed from the field, destroy the selected monster and this card.
    Tamer's Archives
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  10. #35
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    This just gets better and better. I can't figure out if Adam is a good guy or a bad guy. Can't wait for the next chapter!
    † I am a Christian and proud of it! Copy and paste this if you are too.†



    Christianity is a Relationship with our true God, Jesus. It's not a Religion. Copy and paste If you agree

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  11. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by UltimatePokemonExpert View Post
    This just gets better and better. I can't figure out if Adam is a good guy or a bad guy. Can't wait for the next chapter!
    Haha, thanks. Adam was meant to be a mysterious character, and I'm having fun writing everyone else's rage towards him.

    Not sure when I'm gonna post Chapter Seventeen yet; the next few chapters tie together with it very tightly, so I wanna make sure those are at least somewhat postable before I start the next sequence.
    Tamer's Archives
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    No knowledge of the game is required to enjoy this fic!

  12. #37
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    Chapter Seventeen


    Nearly a day had passed since either Josh or Dave had seen Adam, and Dave wanted to keep it that way. Despite Josh’s explanation (which he admitted was a poor one), Dave refused to believe Adam was a good person deep down. The arrogance and indirect insults to him and his idol were more than he could take. Instead of continuing that conversation, they just called it a night.

    With the beta tests behind now them, Josh and Dave decided to pay a visit in Grandpa’s shop the following morning. At least, Dave did. Josh could’ve done without it, but it felt that he owed Dave for continuing that annoying conversation. Dave leaned against the counter, propping himself up with his forearms as Grandpa told his tale. Josh, on the other hand, stood to the side with his arms crossed. He occasionally glanced at the old man but mostly kept his gaze on the display of cards and knick-knacks on the walls.

    “And that’s how I escaped the tomb unharmed!”

    Grandpa gave a hearty laugh, gripping his overalls and tearing up from joy. Josh simply stared at him, confused and uninterested. He twisted to see Dave, who had given his full attention to Grandpa’s story.

    “That’s amazing! So that’s how you found Yugi’s Millenium Puzzle?”

    “Yep!” Grandpa winked. Taking a box of cards off the counter, he sighed. “But that was when I was young and adventurous. Now I’m old and have gas problems.” He laughed again.

    Josh stepped away.

    “That’s so awesome,” Dave said, gesturing towards the box. Grandpa handed it to him. “Any new cards in here?”

    “Nope, that’s the bargain bin.” Grandpa whirled around, snatching another box from a shelf behind him. “Here.” He placed it on the counter.

    “Thanks.” Dave opened it up and began to search through it. Josh slowly inched for the door.

    “Looking for anything specific there, lad?”

    Dave nodded. “In the final round of the tournament, I used Pot of Greed against this guy, Adam. But he somehow managed to empty my deck in one move and I lost the duel because of it.”

    A flash of excitement lit up in the old man’s pupils. “I have just the card!” Ripping the box out of Dave’s hands, he shoved his hand inside, pulling out a Spell Card. “There ya go!”

    Dave accepted it. “Pot of Avarice.”

    “Yep,” Grandpa said. “That card shuffles five monsters from your Graveyard back into your Deck before you draw, so you’ll never have to worry about decking out again.”

    The teen smiled. “It’s perfect, thanks!”

    “No problem.” Grandpa moved over to the cashier register and typed in some numbers. “That’ll be fifteen dollars.”

    Josh tripped on a crack in the floor, slamming into a cardboard-cutout of a Duel Monster. Scrambling to pick it up, he rebalanced it, then raced over to their conversation.

    “Fifteen dollars?! For one card!?”

    “Sold.” Dave pulled out his wallet.

    Josh smacked the wallet away, which promptly fell onto the floor. “You gotta be kidding me!”

    “That’s not too bad,” Dave said, bending down to get it. “That Dragon Master Knight card cost me fifty bucks, and that was with a coupon and a discount.”

    Josh threw his hands into the air. “That’s a rip-off!” His friend seemed unfazed.

    “If you’re so worried about prices, how ‘bout you sift through the bargain bin?” Dave slid the box his way.

    Josh sighed. “If you insist.” He spread some cards out with his fingers.

    There was a strange variety of cards in it, too. It was mostly Spells and Traps, but there were a few monsters in there, although they had pretty low ATK and DEF scores. All of their images looked cool to him, too; an Egyptian-looking man in one, a soldier standing under a bunch flying monsters in another, but the pictures didn’t matter much. What did matter was their effects, and how they could help his deck.

    “We’ve got an excellent deal for them, too.” Grandpa smiled widely, lifting up two fingers. “They’re fifty cents apiece, or three for two dollars!”

    Josh stopped what he was doing, processing what Grandpa just said.

    “Just ‘cause they’re cheap doesn’t mean they’re not good,” Dave said, noticing his friend’s hesitation. “Sometimes the best combos are made from the weakest cards. Here, I’ll get you some too. My treat.” He reached a hand in as well.

    “Dave… that’s not wh–”

    “These three look good.” He took out three Spell Cards, fanning them out to Grandpa.

    “Alright, that’s two dollars.”

    Cash was exchanged before Josh even blinked.

    “Thanks again, Mr. Muto!” Dave said, turning to leave. Josh hastily followed.

    “No problem boys!” Grandpa waved. “Oh, and call me Gran–”

    Josh closed the door behind him.

    “Here ya go.” Dave handed the cards to Josh.

    Josh frowned, reluctantly taking them. “You didn’t have to.”

    “Don’t worry about it. I bought them for their names, mostly.”

    This confused Josh. He looked at them more closely.

    “Yu-Jo Friendship, Unity, and Angel’s Floating Feather.” Josh raised an eyebrow, looking back to Dave. “Uh… what?”

    “You don’t get it, do you?” Dave adjusted his hat before pointing to each one individually. “Yu-Jo Friendship is us. When I see this card, I always think about how we meet in our freshman year of high school, and how far our friendship has gone since then. To me, Unity represents how you always had my back when I was in trouble, and vice-versa.” Dave smiled softly. “I dunno, I after seeing these cards so often in Grandpa’s shop I got more meaning out of them than most people would. You’re really the only friend from high school that I still keep in regular contact with, and I’m glad that nothing has separated us. I hope it stays that way in the future.”

    Josh smiled too. Sappiness wasn’t usually in Dave’s nature. “I get ya. But what does this last one mean?”

    A gentle breeze huffed through the air, causing their clothes to ripple with the wind. Josh turned to the trees; leaves floated with the updraft, being carried far beyond the branches they came from. Though they were long separated from their original trees, the leaves flew together along the invisible stream of gust. Continuing to swivel gracefully across the street, they flied higher and higher until the sun hid them in its widespread light.

    Readjusting his hat again, Dave said, “You’ll figure it out eventually.”


    ~*~*~*~


    Very few cars were on the road today; only the sounds of birds, wind, and footsteps ever reached the duo’s ears. They kept close together, consciously keeping an eye out for suspicious activity. There appeared to be none so far – just random bypassers heading in the opposite direction, going about their own business without even acknowledging the two. While Josh glanced across the street, Dave searched through his deck as they walked.

    “So, Mokuba said we had to hunt down the Deck Hackers ourselves?” Josh asked.

    Dave smirked. “I thought you didn’t want to duel ‘guys with guns’ anymore.”

    Sweat shot from Josh’s hairline. “Of course not!” He laughed nervously. “By [i]we, I meant you.”

    “I’m just kidding.” Dave fanned his deck back together. “Besides, if Kaiba wants me to actively search for them, things must be serious.” He shoved his deck into its slot. “That guy doesn’t mess around.”

    “Yeah, I know.” Josh’s voice faltered, recalling Kaiba’s threats.

    Dave’s seeking eyes surveyed ahead. “We just need to keep an eye out for trouble.”

    They continued along the sidewalk for a bit, with the occasionally car passing them by. It was a quiet day. Disappointingly quiet. No signs of hostility presented themselves, and while they were grateful for that, they did hope to serve their purpose soon.

    After all, Josh thought, if we have to deal with these guys anyway, I’d rather do it sooner than later.

    Manic laughter, followed by gasps and cries, echoed from ahead. The duo had gotten their wish.

    They faced each other, nodding in agreement before running toward the noise.

    Approaching a crowd gathered around a side street, Dave and Josh could just barely see a duel; on the side farther away from them a man, who appeared to be in his late twenties, held up his hand of five cards, fanning them at his monsters. They were all Machine-types – a floating blue humanoid machine with two cannons mounted on its shoulders, a red dragon-like robot with a sparkling sheen, and a yellow tank-like machine that glared dully with its one green eye. They pushed closer to the center, trying to get a better view. Unable to see any other cards out besides those three, they brought their attention on the side closest to them.

    The man’s opponent, a young teenage kid, cowered silently at the machines, his card-wielding fingers shaking uncontrollably. Dave saw two face-down cards beside a Continuous Spell Card (which he couldn’t see clearly due to the height of the person in front of him), and, in front of them, two monsters that hid face-down.

    “From the look on your face, I can guess you know what’s gonna happen next!” The man shouted. “As you should. Now get ready!”

    Finally reaching the center of the circle, Josh could see both duelists more clearly. The man had his brown hair slicked back, and the residual hair gel created a glare off his pointed bangs. A crooked smile sat on his face as he stared down the young kid opposite him. He wore a yellow shirt that seemed slightly torn, as if he had been slashed by some kind of sharp weapon. His hat was remarkably similar to Dave’s – perhaps it was even the same one. The kid stepped back, apparentl…

    Wait a sec.

    Josh examined him more closely. Despite having his back turned, he felt that he recognized this kid. He had just seen him once, but couldn’t place where.

    Suddenly, it clicked. The tournament! Josh thought. He was the first duelist I ever faced! Josh stepped closer, worriment increasing.

    “Now I’ll combine my X-Cannon Head, Y-Dragon Cannon, and Z-Metal Tank to form the unstoppable XYZ-Dragon Cannon!”

    The three robots scrambled their positions – the humanoid robot connected to the top of the dragon robot, which, in turn, connected to the tank underneath it – until they formed a totem pole of mechanical warfare. (2800/2600) Charging cannons reflected in the boy’s pupils. Unconsciously, crowd members backed up, pushing closer to the sidewalks. Dave watched them, surprised at their apparent fear.

    What exactly is going on here?

    “Alrighty!” the man shouted, cocking his Disk parallel to his head. “I’ll discard all five cards in my hand to destroy that Vengeful Bog Spirit, along with those other four face-down cards you have!”

    XYZ-Dragon Cannon reconfigured its weapons, aiming one at each card on the field. As the two shoulder-cannons unleashed their blasts, the dragon-head spewed out a pink beam, and the tank shot another two missiles from its sides. They all released simultaneously; blue orbs emitted out of each cannon, connecting together into an ‘X’.

    Each explosion followed the other, starting from the front row and quickly ripping its way to the back. The boy shielded his eyes, protecting them from the smoke it created.

    “Now for the grand finale!” The man laughed. “Blow him away!”

    As if awaiting the command, the war machine fired the same five shots at the teenager, releasing them simultaneously. Blue orbs emitted out each cannon, connecting them together into an ‘X’-shape that followed the missiles and beams and smoke until they made impact. Just one blast knocked the boy onto his back, with the others throwing him further into the crowd. [Kid LP: (600 --> 0)] His hat fell to the ground beside him, covered in a thin layer of soot.

    Collective gasps could be heard from everyone around them. Josh felt something slam into his arm. Another boy brushed past him to consult the fallen duelist. This boy’s orange shirt was wrinkled and dusted. He had some scratches and bruises on him, too, but those seemed to be slightly more settled than the one dueling now. Not even a moment later, Josh recognized this second boy as the duelist who helped teach him the game.

    The boy placed his hand under the other’s head, carefully trying to lift him up. “Timmy! Are you alright?”

    He nodded weakly, frowned. “Matt… I’m sorry. I couldn’t win.”

    “That’s right you couldn’t.”

    Miraculously, the man loomed over the two teenagers, tripping Matt and grabbing Timmy by the collar. He tugged Timmy off the ground, clutching onto the Duel Disk equipped to his arm.

    “And, as you promised, I’ll be taking your deck, and keeping your brother’s!”

    In one seamless motion, he kicked Timmy in the stomach and snatched the deck from the Card Analyzer. Timmy held his gut, curling his knees closer to his torso. The man twisted around, aimlessly shouting as he started to leave.

    “Haha! That’s another win for the Deck Hackers! And we got not one, but two decks!”

    Deck Hackers! That was all the permission Dave needed. He burst forward, shoving others aside without effort, and grasped onto the hacker’s shoulder. Digging his fingers into the hacker’s collar bone, Dave used all his strength to toss him to the ground.

    The hacker fell to his knees, scraping his hands against the pavement. “What in the…!” he mumbled angrily, glancing over to see Dave activating his Duel Disk.

    “Deck Hacker or not, no one gets away with bullying kids.” He flicked the rim of his hat upward, revealing the sparkling anger in his green eyes. “I’ll duel you and win their decks back!”

    “Hey, isn’t that kid a finalist from Kaiba’s tournament?” a male voice asked.

    “Yeah!” a female one responded. “He beat that crazy psycho who stole his deck. It was amazing!”

    Soft murmuring voices repeated similar questions.

    The hacker dusted himself off, overhearing these conversations. “So, it’s true? You’re the one who defeated my accomplice.”

    Dave, expression grimly stern, nodded.

    Pondering, the hacker snapped his fingers continuously. When he reached a conclusion, he snapped them again, this time causing his Duel Disk to activate. “Alright, but you’ll have to relinquish your deck like the others if you lose.” He whipped his tongue like a serpent’s.

    “I wouldn’t have it any other way,” Dave retorted.

    Both players pulled their cards, hiding their mouths behind the cardboard fans. Josh bent down to the two teens, helping them to their feet. They acknowledged him with reverence; he guessed that they recognized him the same way he recognized them. Acting as a guardian to the two brothers, Josh brought them back within the safety of the crowd.

    “It’s okay, Dave’ll win for you guys,” he said, touching their backs with his fingertips.

    “I dunno,” Timmy said, groaning a bit. “I thought I was winning at first but then…” he sent his gaze downcast.

    Matt continued for him. “He’s too good. Dave might’ve beaten that crazy lady, but this guy is a completely different story.”

    Josh gazed back at Dave, whose face remained unchanged since the challenge had been made. Observing the faces of those around him, he noticed a hint of fright hidden in each of their eyes, as if aware of a dangerous force that couldn’t be seen.

    Dave, be careful man, Josh thought, keeping the two teens close.

    I can’t let this guy get away with this, Dave thought.

    He gazed at the deck that brought him so far – the deck he spent a third of his life constructing. To think it could belong in the hands of another was sickening. He couldn’t let that happen.

    He wouldn’t.

    The hacker slipped out a sixth card, cracking a twisted grin at him.

    Dave gritted his teeth. Here we go.

    [Dave LP: (8000)] [Deck Hacker LP: (8000)]

    “Since I’m hosting the show – I’ll go first!” The hacker said. “First up I’ll play a monster face-down, then end my turn.”

    A brown-backed card flashed before him.

    Josh turned to Timmy. “So far this doesn’t seem so tough.”

    Timmy shook his head. “Just wait. He’s got a card so powerful that once it’s played the game is basically guaranteed to be over.”

    “My move.” Dave drew. He glanced at the drawn card, then considered a strategy that would end the duel quickly. If that kid’s right, I can’t let this drag out for too long. “I summon Dark Blade in Attack Mode!”

    The spike-armored warrior burst out of a vortex of shadows, swiping its two Arabian blades towards the sky. (1800/1500)

    “Now – attack his monster!”

    Dark Blade pranced at the brown card; its feet moving so quickly that they appeared to be dancing. The warrior stabbed both blades into the card simultaneously, revealing the blue, chandelier-like monster, whose own flames seared its body. (550/400) Dark Blade ripped its swords away, shredding the monster into three even pieces.

    A Normal Monster? Dave thought. Why would he have such a weak Normal Monster in his deck?

    “I place one card face-down and end.” Dave gripped onto his hat, readjusted it.

    “Alright then.” The hacker smiled. “My move.” He picked up a new card, added it to his hand, then played another card all in one motion. “I’ll play another face-down monster and end my turn.”

    Again? Josh thought, surveying the crowd. They all watched on solemnly, almost knowingly. Something’s not right.

    “In that case.” Dave slapped a card onto his Duel Disk. “I summon Black Luster Knight!”

    The young knight leaped out of its card hologram, unsheathing its sword, landing beside its ally. Its gauntlet lit up with golden streaks and its black cape rippled in the wind. (1400/1000; Counters: 2)

    “Black Luster Knight, wipe out his monster. Sword Penetration!”

    Black Luster Knight dashed at the hidden monster, swiping its blade, knocking its hiding spot away. The once hidden monster – a small rat with its skeleton exposed (400/200) – cowered in fear as the knight moved in for a lethal blow.

    Another weak monster. Dave shook the thought off. No, I can’t let that distract me. I have to end this now!

    “Dark Blade –” he pointed at the grinning thief – “direct attack!”

    Dark Blade dove in; holding its two swords high above its shoulders. When it came close to its prey, it lowered them, slashing at the hacker’s chest, leaving a mark resembling an ‘X’. [Deck Hacker LP: (8000 --> 6200)] The hacker sagged his shoulders, shrugged off his pain.

    “I end my turn,” Dave said firmly.

    “Fine with me,” the hacker grinned.

    Dave scowled. What the hell is he planning?

    “I activate Enchanting Fitting Room,” he said. A red shower curtain draped around the duelist, hung over him by a floating gold ring. “All I have to do is pay 800 Life Points –” [Deck Hacker LP: (6200 --> 5400)] “– and then I can pick up the top four cards of my deck.” The hacker fanned out four cards, presenting them to Dave. “And if any of them are Level 3 or lower Normal Monsters, I can Special Summon them to the field.”

    “And if they’re not?” Dave spat.

    “Then they return to my deck and I shuffle it. But that won’t be necessary.” The hacker flipped the cards over. “’Cause all four of them fit the requirements!”

    The crowd watched on as the curtain closed; consuming the hacker in its veil. When it opened again, four monsters sat crouching towards the ground. From left to right, Dave saw a large grasshopper with large red eyes (500/700), an opened book with arms and legs (650/500), a green puddle that had a head shaped like a frog (700/500), and a worn jar that contained a blackened creature with one sinister eye and a crooked smile (400/200). Beside them, another card appeared, lying horizontally next to them.

    “I set another monster face-down, then I’ll play another card and end my turn.” A final brown-backed card flashed by his feet, only this one lied vertically.

    “My draw,” Dave said. I just gotta keep slicing at his Life Points before he reveals his true strategy. He mused, analyzing his options. This card should do the trick. “I activate Unarmed Assault!”

    The Spell Card reappeared beside Dave, behind his two warriors. The image depicted Black Luster Soldier leaping off a cliff, simultaneously hurling its sword towards an airborne Blue-Eyes White Dragon.

    The hacker laughed. “Ah, interesting card there. But what’s it do?”

    “Shut up and I’ll show you.” That silenced his opponent. Dave continued; the crowd took a breath. “With this card I can remove any number of Black Luster Counters from cards I control and convert them into 200 points of damage each.”

    Black Luster Knight lifted its arms; the glowing streaks on its gauntlets vanished, leaving the armor a dulled blue. The streaks swirled throughout the air, circling the two duelists.

    “So I’ll take my Black Luster Knight’s two counters and convert it into damage!” Dave held out his arm. “Attack!”

    The swirling streaks spiraled around the field more rapidly, as if charging up with momentum. Soon they became solid yellow lines, both of them met at Dave’s side and surged towards the hacker, smashing straight into his stomach. [Deck Hacker LP: (5400 --> 5000)] The hacker bent forward, exhaled forcibly.

    “Not bad.” He erected his stance. “But good luck getting through to me with my wall of monsters out.”

    “Then let me change that – Black Luster Knight, attack!”

    The knight, quickly composing itself on command, lurched its body forward, holding its sword parallel to its chest. The grasshopper gazed obliviously at the oncoming monster, only aware of its malicious intent once its blade split its head in between its two red eyes.

    The hacker brushed off his shoulder. “So what? That’s only one monster; I can always bring out another one.”

    “Make that two monsters. Dark Blade – attack!”

    Dark Blade crossed its swords together, uncrossing them as it drew near the brown, jar-like monster. The once happy grin on its face reverted to a contorted frown; its eye seemed to lurch out as its body exploded into a pile of rubble.

    “And with that, I end my turn –”

    “And with that, I activate this!” The hacker extended his arm towards the sky; his face-down card followed. “Human-Wave Tactics!”

    Crap. Dave clenched his teeth.

    “At the end of every turn, when my Level two or lower Normal Monster are destroyed in combat, I can replace them with an equal number of Level two or lower Normal Monsters.” The hacker grinned, held out his arms, presenting his new creatures. “So say hello to Ojama Green and Ojama Yellow!”

    Two small humanoid monsters appeared on either side of the hacker’s field. On the left, a green monster with one huge yellow eye grinned madly, flapping around its long, drool-covered tongue and showing off its red spandex. (0/1000) Meanwhile, on the right, the yellow monster twirled its eyes around, since they were connected to two tentacle-like body parts in its eyesockets, licking its big red lips…

    … and showing off its red spandex. (0/1000)

    Josh covered the younger teens’ eyes. “Well, that’s just creepy.”

    “Now it’s my move.” He drew, smiled. “And now it’s your move!” He chuckled.

    Dave raised an eyebrow. Something’s definitely wrong here. “I’ll activate my face-down card.” The purple-bordered card rose, unleashing a black crossbow that latched onto Dark Blade’s arm.

    The hacker raised an eyebrow. “Nice gear.”

    Dave ignored him. “When Ebon Arrow is activated, it allows me to pick one monster I control and decreases its ATK by 500 until the end of the turn.” (1800 --> 1300/1500)

    Why would he deliberately weaken his own monster? Josh wondered, then immediately caught on.

    There’s more to it.

    “Now, Dark Blade, attack with Nightwing Arrow!”

    Dark Blade pulled onto the crossbow’s strings, and a black-tipped arrow instantly materialized in a whirlwind of shadows. It turned, carefully pointing at Ojama Yellow with its entire arm.

    “And, you should know,” Dave said, “when a monster equipped with Ebon Arrow attacks a Defense Position monster, you still take damage.”

    The hacker frowned.

    Dave swung his arm. “Fire!”

    Dark Blade released its grip, launching the arrow across the pavement, piercing through both Ojama Yellow’s large mouth, and the hacker’s left arm.

    “Gah!” The hacker shouted, reeling his head back. [Deck Hacker LP: (5000 --> 4700)] He returned his gaze at Dave, with one eye closed. “All that trouble for so little damage?”

    A dark mist shrouded the hacker, working its way around his wound.

    “Hey, what gives?” He tried swatting it away, failed.

    Dave smirked. “I forgot to mention Ebon Arrow’s last effect. It takes the DEF value of your destroyed monster and inflicts it as damage.”

    “Wha?” The mist whipped around him, constricting his limbs like tightening ropes. [Deck Hacker LP: (4700 --> 3700)]

    “Now, Black Luster Knight, take out another monster.” Dave touched the rim of his hat. “Sword Penetration!”

    Eagerly, the young knight sliced its sword at the living book, tearing it in half from its binding.

    “That’s my turn.”

    “And now I’ll bring out two more monsters with my Human-Wave Tactics card.”

    Another black, humanoid monster took the field, flexing its chest and arms, as well as showing off its red spandex. (0/1000) Next to it, a purplish-black plant sprouted, rose up and gazed darkly at its opponent. (300/400)

    “My draw, then.” The hacker picked up his top card, his pupils shone with glee. “Gahahaha!” He laughed, swinging his arm to the side, bringing his Duel Disk with it. “It’s all over! I activate Bartering of Kings!”

    The crowd gasped, turning to each other to voice their concerns. Soon the commotion became uproar, and though he tried, Dave couldn’t ignore it any longer. He gritted his teeth, adjusting his camouflage hat again.

    “No!” Timmy shouted. Josh turned, anxious. “That’s the card he beat me with!”

    It must be an Illegal card, Dave thought. Just like the one Jonathan used against Josh.

    “When Bartering of Kings is played, both players switch everything besides their fields and hands.”

    Realization struck Dave, widening his stare. No! He looked to his deck. The crowd did the same – it seemed as if thousands of eyes were staring at it, longing to hang onto it for him, but knew they simply couldn’t.

    “That’s right.” The hacker put his hand to his own deck, pulled it out of its slot. “Now hand it over.” He casually strode past his wall of monsters.

    Dave remained frozen in place. The images of every card in his deck flashed before his eyes. Luster Dragon, Sworn into the Army, Black Luster Soldier…

    Now they would be used against him.

    “Hand it over,” the hacker repeated, holding out his own deck in exchange.

    Josh put a hand on the trembling teenager’s shoulders. So this is how he won with so many weak monsters. He furrowed his brow. He knows that nearly any deck can take it out, so when he trades decks he has a clear advantage over his opponent. Josh turned his gaze to the faces of the young teens.

    Their eyes exposed their fear.

    Back on the field, Dave silently swapped decks with the hacker, sulking as he shoved his new deck into his Duel Disk. His stare hid under his hat, but Josh could tell he felt that he had already lost.

    Everyone had.

    With the stealth of a ninja, the hacker returned to his original spot. “Hope you like your new toys, ‘cause I’ll certainly like mine! Gahaahaha!”

    Dave shot his glance to his hand. These last five cards were all that stayed with him. He had to make the most out of them.

    The hacker threw another card down. “How ‘bout we start out fresh? I activate Card Destruction!”

    A dead heartbeat slammed against Dave’s chest.

    No, Josh thought. That means…

    “We each discard our hands and replace them with new cards from our decks.” He fanned out his three drawn cards. No, Dave’s cards.

    His old cards.

    “Now let’s see what we have here...” the hacker mused.

    Meanwhile, Dave looked down at his own hand. All Normal Monsters; none of their ATKs even broke 1000.

    I’m screwed.

    “Ah, this looks like a fine choice!” The hacker said, smacking his tongue. “Black Luster Ritual!”

    “What!” Josh shouted, stepped forward, unconsciously pushing both teenagers aside. The crowd grew unsteady, backed up.

    Blue flames burned around the hacker’s monsters in a perfect circle, slowly expanding until it consumed each monster one by one. None of them moved; they knew their purpose had been fulfilled. Now the hacker’s real plan would begin.

    “Emerge, my Black Luster Soldier!” The hacker yelled, holding out his arms toward the sky. The flames flew upward, surging into the air with dramatic flair. Dave felt the heat, saw the light blue glow against his camouflage clothes. Then, the light faded.

    And the Black Luster Soldier stood with its sword poised at his throat.


    ~*~*~*~


    Card Analyzer activated…

    Accessing Card Database… Searching for Card Data …

    … Data Found:


    Reorganized Resourcesp
    ****ap]
    When this card is activated, take all Black Luster Counters on the field and place them on this card. (Cards that would be destroyed at this time are not destroyed) Place any amount of Black Luster Counters on any card that can have Black Luster Counters on them. (If the maximum amount of Black Luster Counters is not specified on the card, the maximum is 20)


    Unarmed Assault
    [Spell]
    This card can only be activated if there is at least 1 Black Luster Counters on the field. Remove up to 10 Black Luster Counters from the field. Inflict 200 points of damage to your opponent’s Life Points for every Black Luster Counter that was removed.


    Trusting Chanter
    ***
    [Dark]
    [Spellcaster/Effect]
    (1300/900)
    During a Tag Duel, this monster can be used for battle by both its controller and their partner. Also, they can activate Spell cards from each other’s side of the field. During a Normal Duel, this card is treated as a Normal Monster and the previous effects are ignored.
    Tamer's Archives
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  13. #38
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    Wow, didn't see that coming. Please tell me you have a plan for Dave to beat that guy.
    † I am a Christian and proud of it! Copy and paste this if you are too.†



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  14. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by UltimatePokemonExpert View Post
    Wow, didn't see that coming. Please tell me you have a plan for Dave to beat that guy.
    I'll post the next chapter soon so you can find out. :P
    Tamer's Archives
    A Pokemon fic. Chapter 4 is up [1/25/11]

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    No knowledge of the game is required to enjoy this fic!

  15. #40
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    Chapter Eighteen


    Josh kept himself composed, even as those around him started to break down in silent panic. They had seen at least two other duelists fall to this fiendish Deck Hacker, and now it seemed they were about to see another one. Josh swept his eyes along the field again, noticing, in his peripheral vision, that Timmy and Matthew both shuddered uncontrollably.

    Although the Deck Hacker managed to take away Dave’s cards and replace them with near-useless ones, Dave still had two monsters out – Dark Blade (1800/1500) and Black Luster Knight (1400/1000). But even those with poor sight could see that Dave was afraid. Especially now, with his Black Luster Soldier standing against him. (3000/2500) The soldier’s cold, merciless stare magnified its threat; it raised its sword high, causing light to gleam off it.

    Dave gulped; sweat dripped off his hair. The hacker smirked, returning his hand near his waist.

    “Now – attack his Black Luster Knight!”

    Black Luster Soldier lifted its blade; light flashed across it as it had been raised, glimmering into everyone’s eyes. The soldier leapt upward, rapidly descending towards its young apprentice, where it sliced the warrior’s arm off. The warrior fell over, coughing up blood, dying upon hitting the ground.

    Dave watched in silence. [Dave LP: (8000 --> 6400)]

    Josh tried to speak out to him; his astonishment blocked his words. This can’t be happening...

    “I’ll set one card face-down and end my turn.”

    Dave reluctantly picked up the top card of his deck. He felt better when he saw it was a Trap, but that didn’t help much.

    Every duel I’ve ever fought and I’ve never had to battle my own monster. Dave kept his stare on his opponent – his former ally. I can’t believe this…

    He sifted through his cards, knowing that it didn’t matter what he chose to do.

    Nothing could save him now.

    “I’ll place one monster face-down.” A brown card materialized next to Dark Blade, who knelt immediately after, crossing its two swords in front of its face. “And I switch my Dark Blade to Defense Mode.” (1800/1500)

    The hacker laughed. “That all you got, punk?”

    Dave’s voice faltered in his throat. He caught himself before he spoke again.

    “I’ll set another card face-down and end my turn.” He slid the Trap Card into his Duel Disk, then gazed at his feet, reflexively darting his eyes back to the soldier. I can’t let them know I’ve given up already.

    But the crowd already knew.

    “My draw,” the hacker said, ripping out a new card. He glanced at it, smiled. “Ah, look at we have here!” He flipped it over, revealing a Spell Card that depicted a document floating in a kaleidoscope-patterned space.

    Dave grimaced.

    “When I draw Will of Clairvoyance, I can declare one card name. Then, I pick up the top card of my deck. If it’s the card I declared, then I get to add it to my hand.” He held his fingers on top of his deck, thinking. “Let’s see. Will of Clairvoyance is an Equip Spell Card, so what kind of card would work well with an Equip Spell Card.”

    There’s no way he’s gonna guess this right, Josh thought. He’s never even seen Dave’s deck before! How is he gonna know what to pick? From looking around the crowd, he saw that they seemed to agree.

    It doesn’t matter if he knows what to pick, Dave thought angrily. He just needs to choose a card that can help him take me down. If he gets it right, then he’s just lucky. Though, judging from the last few turns, it didn’t matter anymore.

    “Release Restraint Wave sounds good right about now.”

    Panic found its way into Dave’s chest. I have that card in my deck!

    The hacker drew, flipped it over for all to see.

    Release Restraint Wave.

    “Well, will ya look at that?” He grinned.

    Everyone simultaneously gasped. Timmy and Matt stepped closer to Josh, who touched their shoulders, trying to calm them down. He hated to admit it, but he was impressed.

    Dave brought his Duel Disk to his chest, ignored his opponent, instead stared deeply into the Black Luster Soldier’s pupils.

    Its stare was cold.

    “Alright! Now for some real action! I’ll activate Will of Clairvoyance and equip it to your Dark Blade.”

    A holographic scroll materialized before the crowd’s eyes. Hypnotic lights emitted out of the hacker’s Disk, creating a pathway for the scroll to float through. Dark Blade, caught under the light’s influence, snatched the scroll in a daze.

    “Oh, look at that. Looks like your monster seems a little dizzy.” The hacker chuckled. “Let’s fix that!” He held out the Spell Card. “Release Restraint Wave!”

    Lightning shot from the sky, striking random spots on the street. Crowd members dodged each bolt in fright. Josh shielded the two teenagers near him.

    Dave remained steadfast, glowering at the hacker. Even though the bolts would ultimately strike the scroll, he wondered why the hacker would deliberately scare so many innocent people like this.

    An intimidation technique? Perhaps.

    “And, since it’s your card, you should know what happens when Will of Clairvoyance is destroyed.”

    Dave frowned. “It destroys the equipped monster and returns them both to the top of your deck.”

    The hacker gave a condescending smile. “Correct! Then I’ll be able to take what little of your deck you have left!”

    Dave gritted his teeth. He’s right. With Dark Blade gone he’s turned everything I own against me. All I have now is a bunch of weak monsters.

    Black Luster Soldier stared at the face-down monster at Dave’s feet. He could’ve sworn he saw a hint of evil flicker in its eyes as lightning struck nearby, giving its armor an eerie glare. That monster would be its next prey.

    Then it would go in for the kill.

    At last, the lightning ripped through the sky with an earsplitting boom! and struck Dark Blade directly in the helmet. It reeled its head back, dropping its swords which clanged against the concrete. With its remaining strength, the warrior clutched onto its scroll, but the lightning soon seared it into ashes. Dark Blade flexed out its arms, throwing the electricity off its body and redirecting it into the face-down card behind. Within seconds, the face-down Birthright vaporized.

    The crowd stared at Dark Blade as it tried to steady its balance, but the hypnotic lights began to surround it again. Lifting its hung head, it sent a dizzied glance at the hacker before collapsing onto the floor. The lights overtook its shape, and the wind reverted it back into two cards, sweeping them into the hacker’s hands.

    Dave held his breath as Black Luster Soldier raised its sword.

    “Black Luster Soldier – kill!”

    Obediently, the soldier swooped towards the face-down monster, ripping it in half. The image of a small, green blob appeared before deteriorating into nothing.

    “And that’s my turn!” The hacker said, cackling with mad enthusiasm.

    Josh examined Dave’s adversary, his former friend. The Black Luster Soldier had attacked with no remorse. Truthfully, it was a hologram; it only did what it was programed to do. But from the way Dave was acting, he didn’t seem to feel the same way.

    “I set a face-down card and another monster.” Dave’s movements were slowed by this thoughts. “I end.”

    “Now it’s time for me to end this!” The hacker drew, showing the card without looking. “Will of Clairvoyance!” He condescendingly put his hand on his chin, tapping it. “Gee, I wonder what my next card could be?”

    Dave clenched his teeth, nearly growling.

    “Hmm… oh! I know!” The hacker ripped out the top card, as if he had pulled it out of a hat. “Dark Blade!” He turned it over, confirming his selection to himself. “Will you look at that?”

    “Just get on with it,” Dave said with controlled anger.

    The hacker pouted. “Fine, if you want to be that way.”

    The hacker placed down the card, and Dark Blade reemerged beside Black Luster Soldier, sharing its grave expression. (1800/1500)

    “Dark Blade, attack!”

    Without any hesitation, Dark Blade sliced the face-down card into four triangles, vaporizing them instantly. In their place, a tiny squared angel appeared, separating into four pieces in the same fashion before dying.

    “Now for the fun part – Black Luster Soldier!”

    Black Luster Soldier leapt into the air, sword at the ready.

    Dave reflexively lifted a halting hand.

    “You activated my Trap Card!”

    As Black Luster Soldier made its descent, two more squared angels appeared to intercept the attack. The soldier’s blade sliced through one of them like butter, causing it to explode. It returned to its post as the hacker examined the Trap.

    “The League of Uniform Nomenclature,” he said. “So you used one of my stall tactics to defend yourself. Clever, but not clever enough.” He wagged a finger. “You have nothing on me.”

    Dave positioned himself to draw. “We’ll see about that.”

    “I hope he’s wrong,” Timmy said.

    Josh merely nodded.

    “My draw.” Dave lifted the card out his – er, his opponent’s – deck. Encouragement. He didn’t recognize it. Was it a new card? He read its effect in his head:

    “Select 1 Normal Monster on your side of the field. Discard from your hand 2 monsters whose combined levels are 5 or lower. Increase the selected monster’s ATK and DEF by the combined original ATK and DEF of the discarded monsters.”

    He blinked. There’s no way this card is real. He shook his head. It doesn’t matter. If I use this card I may be able to destroy Black Luster Soldier and be one step closer to bringing it back to my side.

    Dave added the card to his hand, glancing at the remaining ones he held. With Triangle Power, I can boost my Mokey-Mokey’s ATK by 2000, and then Encouragement will boost its ATK beyond 3000 – more than enough to destroy Black Luster Soldier. But… He read over Triangle Power again. No matter what happens I lose my monster.

    Dave lifted his eyes, found both of his monsters staring darkly into them. They acted like they were subdued by a superior force – slaves to a new master. If he didn’t win this duel, they would be bound to his fiendish opponent forever.

    I have no choice.

    “I activate Triangle Power!”

    A small hut of green energy formed around the rectangular energy, granting it temporary strength. (300 --> 2300/100 --> 2100) It flexed its arms, failing to impress the crowd.

    The hacker watched, amused. “So, you’ve become desperate to fight back, huh? Sorry, but when that boost expires so does your monster. Then my Black Luster Soldier –” Dave (and Josh) cringed when he said ‘my’ “– will slice away the rest of your Life Points.”

    Dave stared back at the Black Luster Soldier in front of him. His Black Luster Soldier. The unmoving eyes of the warrior told him exactly what he needed to do.

    “Sorry, but you’re not taking my cards away from me!” Dave slipped a card out of his grip with dignity. “I activate Encouragement!”

    The hacker gasped theatrically. “No! Not that!”

    Dave grinned. “That’s right!” He bent his fingers, positioning the card beside a correct spot on his Duel Disk. “By the end of this turn, the Black Luster Soldier will fall!”

    He slid the card in.

    “Or…” the hacker’s eyes glimmered. “The Black Luster Soldier will stay exactly where it belongs!”

    “What are yo–”

    “Dave!” Josh shouted. Dave turned to him. “Look!” He pointed; others’ watched on.

    Dave’s Duel Disk wisped with static, an unrealistically rainbow glow covered its platforms. He shook it violently, as if his arm had been set ablaze. Just as the static grew more intense, the hologram of a Spell Card appeared, only to dematerialize into ones and zeros. They rose into the air, vaporized; as did any hope of winning this duel.

    Dave glanced at the source of the problem. The Encouragement card ejected from his Duel Disk, searing with smoke.

    “No…”

    The hacker clapped. “It’s okay, boy! You made a good effort!” He crossed his arms, touching a finger to his chin. “It just wasn’t enough.”

    Traumatized pupils faced the hacker. “I don’t understand.” The pupils flared, changing to rage. “What did you do!”

    The hacker merely laughed. “I did nothing. And, well, you did nothing.”

    “What the hell does that mean!” Dave clutched a fist, nearly throwing a tantrum.

    “I don’t get it,” Timmy whispered to his brother. “That guy used that same card against me. That’s how he was able to destroy my monsters before he played that deck-switching card.”

    Josh listened to them, empathizing with his friend. Then why didn’t it work for Dave?

    “Look,” the hacker said. “If you think you can use my cards, then go ahead, use them. That doesn’t mean they’re going to obey you!” He laughed again, a condescending wail.

    Dave held back the urge to punch his opponent. If he did, the Black Luster Soldier would surely stop him.

    “Fine,” Dave spat. “Then change of plans. Mokey-Mokey!” The rectangular angel leapt up, startled by the command. “Destroy Dark Blade!”

    Mokey-Mokey nervously dove at the twin-bladed warrior. After spastically dodging two slashes, Mokey-Mokey slammed into Dark Blade’s torso, somehow sending it flying into the ground. The tiny monster widened its stare, seemingly in awe of its own power. [Deck Hacker LP: (3700 --> 3200)]

    The hacker tossed Dark Blade’s card away uncaringly. “Too bad, you looked so determined to take your favorite card back. I guess better luck next time.”

    Mokey-Mokey attempted to float back to Dave, but the greenish glow overtook its wings, disintegrating them. Drained of its energy, the angel could only allow gravity to drag it down to its death.

    Dave simply gritted his teeth.

    “My turn, then.” The hacker lifted up another card. “Ah, perfect. I activate Black Luster Helmet!”

    Black Luster Soldier’s helmet dematerialized, quickly replacing itself before the warrior’s hair could be seen. Twenty gems sparkled from the sun’s reflection, and ten of them shined due to their own internal source. (Counters: 10)

    “I’m sure you know this card well,” the hacker said, smiling with laughter. “With it, the effects changes based on the number of counters I remove.”

    Dave grimaced. I know exactly what he’s up to.

    “So now I’ll remove four counters –” (Counters: 10 --> 6) “– to add Black Luster Warrior to my hand, and then summon it to the field!”

    The young warrior somberly hopped beside its superior, reverently regarding its new master before drawing its sword. (1600/1000)

    He’s going to pull all my resources to manipulate the field, then finish me with my own Black Luster Soldier.

    Dave looked to the opposing monsters, as if asking for confirmation.

    Glares were his only answer.

    “Black Luster Warrior attack his face-down monster, then Black Luster Soldier’ll go in for a direct strike!”

    Black Luster Warrior dashed ahead, switching its grip on the blade so the handle faced upward. Once it approached the brown card, the warrior lifted the sword with both hands and slammed it down, penetrating the ground in the process. A blue hand wielding a candle – the Candle of Fate – could only twitch as the blade pierced through. The flame on the candle’s wick blew out, and was replaced with a spatter of blood.

    Before Black Luster Warrior could even drew its sword back, a blue blur swept overhead. Black Luster Soldier held its blade high above the crowd, its hair flowing as it fell. Dave couldn’t help but look into its cold, bloodthirsty eyes. The heartache he felt from them was more than he could bare; he didn’t even realize he had been stabbed until the soldier ripped its sword out and jumped away.

    Dave bent forward, clenching his stomach. His eyes bugged out. [Dave LP: (6400 --> 3400)]

    “That’s it for now,” the hacker said. The two Black Luster monsters returned to him, standing on either side. “If my calculations are correct, this is your final turn.” He chuckled. “Hopefully you draw something good.”

    “Shut up,” Dave groaned, wincing as he straightened himself. “My draw.” He slid out a card. The image irked him.

    Pot of Greed.

    While the card itself wasn’t bad, it represented so much more than that. It was the cause of his failure at the most critical moment in his life, crushing his dreams faster than he thought was possible. But, looking over his hand again, he realized nothing else could save him.

    It was the only option.

    Dave held up the card. “I activate Pot of Greed.”

    The hacker laughed. “Ah, just delaying the inevitable huh?”

    Dave ripped out two cards forcefully. The first one was Thousand Energy. Can’t really do much with it right now. All of his hope rested on the second card, Elderly Expectations.

    “Select 1 Normal Monster you control. Increase its ATK and DEF by 2000. The selected monster also is unaffected by card effects during your Battle Phase, except for this card. In addition, if the selected monster’s ATK is higher than the DEF of a Defense Position monster, inflict the difference as Battle Damage to your opponent's Life Points. These effects last for 3 turns.”

    He blinked. This is… unbelievable.

    “C’mon!” the hacker yelled. “Are you gonna play or what? I’m getting impatient!”

    Dave slipped out another card, clearly irritated. “Then I’ll give you exactly what you want. I summon Doron in Attack Mode!”

    A humanoid creature rose up from the concrete. Black fabric wrapped around its body so tightly that it seemed to be fused into its skin. Only a few orange tan-lines showed, and its eyes blended in with its clothes. (900/900)

    “Really? Attack Position? Looks like we’re getting a little desperate here.”

    “Not quite,” Dave said. He presented Thousand Energy. “’Cause this is the turn where Black Luster Soldier falls!”

    The soldier blankly glared at Doron, acknowledging Dave’s words.

    It cracked a malicious grin.

    Dave noticed this – his heart skipped a beat, but he wouldn’t let it break his stride. “With Thousand Energy, Doron gains 1000 ATK points.”

    “But it’ll be destroyed at the end of your turn,” the hacker said.

    Josh held his mouth agape. He stood in the crowd, yet felt separate from them. They were afraid; he felt something different, though he couldn’t put his finger on it.

    If Dave’s plan fails… at last he finally realized what overcame him.

    He wasn’t sure if Dave could win.

    A light red aura surrounded Doron; it flexed as the color darkened and intensified. (900 --> 1900/900)

    “Still not strong enough,” the hacker teased.

    “I know,” Dave barked. “But with this, I’ll be able to take back what’s mine.” He slipped out the Spell Card from the cluster of vanilla cards. “I activate Elderly Expectations!” With a dramatic thrust of his arm, he laid it down.

    The recreated version of the Spell Card appeared; it depicted a bald, old man using his cane to smack a kneeling child. The child seemed to be tearfully yelling out in pain.

    The hacker looked on, pondering. “Hmm, I must admit. You are a very skilled duelist…”

    Dave lifted his chin; his expression changed from anger to confusion.

    “…but you’re also an idiot.” The hacker snapped his fingers with a smirk.

    The Elderly Expectations card erupted in an outburst of static, startling Dave and subconsciously forcing him to jump back. Josh dropped his jaw; the two teenagers drew closer to him. They watched the card explode into data, and, while everyone had their eyes on the rippling numbers, Josh shot a glance back at the hacker.

    “Aren’t you gonna learn?” the hacker said. “I guess only smart people are able to truly understand our power.”

    “What the hell do you mean!” Josh shouted, gathering attention from both the crowd and the duelists. “Why wasn’t Dave able to use your card?!”

    “Simple.” The hacker smiled. “Because it was a card designed by the Deck Hackers, so only a Deck Hacker can use it!” He lifted up his Duel Disk. “Take a look. We’ve hacked our Card Analyzers so they’re able to process the card data. Normally it’d just short out the program and the card would fail since it’s not on the Card Database.” He lowered his Disk. “But thanks to our Master’s special override, we’re able to draw power from a separate server and use our own custom-made cards to defeat our opponents!”

    “That’s insane,” Dave said. He tensed. “You’re cheating!”

    The hacker shrugged. “Cheating, smeating. You’re the idiot who accepted my challenge. Can’t blame me if you blindly walk into a trap.”

    “Trap, smap,” Dave spat. “I won’t give in to someone who has to leech off others to win! Doron – destroy Black Luster Warrior!”

    Doron took two stomping steps toward the warrior before it willingly entered the battle. Raising its blood-stained sword, Black Luster Warrior sliced at Doron, splashing blood as its arm arched. Doron skillfully ducked down and kicked Black Luster Warrior’s leg, causing it to lose its balance and its grip on its sword. Doron stepped back, watching its opponent slam onto the ground. The sword spun through the air; the warrior didn’t even have time to stand up before it was impaled.

    It died by its own hand.

    “Desperate measure, don’t you think?” the Deck Hacker said. [Deck Hacker LP: (3200 --> 2900)] “I mean, look at your monster.”

    Dave complied; Doron returned to its original spot, but now it seemed tired. Kneeling down, it coughed and panted as the red aura slowly corroded its body until nothing remained.

    Josh inhaled quietly, as if ashamed of the act.

    “You fought well, Dave – you lasted far longer than the other two.”

    Timmy and Matt looked to each other, then to Josh.

    Josh looked away, dropping his gaze.

    “But now it’s time to end this.” The hacker drew. “I’ll use Black Luster Helmet’s effect again. Removing four counters allows me to add Black Luster Sword to my hand!” (Counters: 6 --> 2) “I think you know what’s next!”

    Dave trembled as the Black Luster Soldier dropped its old sword to the ground – gladly ridding itself of it – in order to make room for the new, more powerful blade. Heavy hearted, he watched the worn sword shatter into tiny pieces as the Black Luster Sword’s handle started to glow. (Counters: 5) (3000 --> 4000/2500)

    “Any last words?” The hacker laughed.

    Dave turned to those behind him. Their sorrowful gazes seemed to be mourning him; it was as if he had been sentenced to death and they were about to witness his hanging. The gazes remained unchanged even as his eyes swept around the circle. When he turned to Josh, his friend was just staring at the floor.

    Gloomy and distraught, Dave adjusted his camouflage hat. Slowly moving his thumb away from his green eyes, he saw the Black Luster Soldier again. The callous expression the monster held sent chills pulsating through his chest all the way down to his toes.

    “I’m sorry,” he whispered. He dropped his gaze, clutched his fists. “I’m sorry I failed you…”

    “It’s all over,” the hacker shouted. “Black Luster Soldier – end this!”

    The crowd unconsciously gasped together, holding their breath as the soldier started its stride. Each step it took seemed to be in slow motion; each sound echoed crystal clear. Its hair waving in the wind. Rubble scuttering under its feet. Its sword swooping across, cutting through the air. All of these actions occurred within their sight, and yet Dave remained unmoved, accepting the soldier’s final decision.

    The strike returned him to reality; a single blow, slashing clean along his stomach. Cards shot out of his Card Analyzer, fluttering overhead as he flew. He fell onto his back, scraping his arms against the concrete, leaving lines of cuts as he propelled towards the crowd. When he finally stopped, he shouted in agony.

    Not from pain. [Dave LP: (3400 --> 0)]

    Josh lifted his head again, rushing over once he saw Dave on the ground. Matt and Timmy did the same. They helped Dave up; Josh and another bystander braced his arms up against their shoulders, guiding him back to the crowd. Dave looked back at the hacker, who was already regathering his scattered cards, and the Black Luster Soldier. For a fleeting moment, he could’ve sworn he saw tears gathering in the soldier’s eyes before it reverted back into holographic light, disappearing forever.

    Dave let out a wavering breathe.

    “Welp, that’s three decks in one hour,” the hacker said, finally picking up the last fallen card. “The Master will definitely love this!” He stood up, boasting his chest out. “Anyone else wish to challenge the mighty Deck Hackers to save the day?!”

    Silence. The crowd didn’t bother moving; nothing they did could help. They just stood still, hopelessly watching the hacker chuckle in the center of the street. Dave leaned against a building, eyes transfixed on the empty Card Analyzer on his wrist. Josh sympathized; he faced in the hacker’s direction, angrily exhaling through his nose.

    After a few minutes, the hacker spoke again. “No one? I guess I’m done here.” The hacker turned his back to them.

    “I’ll duel.”

    The hacker stopped mid-turn, freezing once the cold voice reached his ears. He spun back, facing this foolish new challenger.

    Everyone stepped aside, allowing the duelist through. At first, the hacker couldn’t see him – he only managed to catch of spot of red as he approached. But then, as more moved away, the duelist came into full view.

    “Adam…” Josh whispered, taken aback. Where did he come from?

    Adam lifted his arm to his gray jacket, switching his Duel Disk on. “Only a coward would brag about stealing another’s deck like you have.”

    The hacker smirked. “What, do you expect an apology? Well sorry – sorry that you’re all a bunch of suckers!”

    “Shut up,” Adam said; his voice as cold as ice. He held the Duel Disk at chest height. “You know the drill. I win, everyone gets their decks back. You win, you get mine as well.”

    The hacker mused momentarily. “You’re on.”

    Dave glared past Josh’s head, just barely getting a glimpse of the hacker. He drew his five cards, and he saw that Adam did the same. Josh heard him grunt, and saw him walk to his side.

    “You think he can win?” Matt asked.

    “Dunno,” Timmy said. “At this point, I’m not sure anyone can beat this guy. The second they switch decks the duel’s basically done.”

    A thought flashed into Josh’s head, sparking like a bolt lightning. Yesterday, after the situation at Kaiba Corp, he remembered meeting Adam. They talked, and then…

    …they dueled with each others’ decks.

    Josh shifted his head, facing Dave. He saw the contempt Dave held against Adam; the duelist’s figure reflected in his eyes. But then he paused, taking a single breathe with closed eyes. Once they opened he saw the reflection again, this time the hatred was replaced by something else. At that moment, Josh knew that Dave agreed:

    As much as Dave didn’t like Adam, he was their only hope.


    ~*~*~*~


    Card Analyzer activated…

    Accessing Card Database… Searching for Card Data …

    … Data Found:


    Foul Play
    [Spell/Quickplay]
    Activate only during a Tag Duel. If you inflict battle damage to one of your opponents, both your opponents take the same amount of damage during this turn only. This does not count for direct attacks.


    Black Luster Helmet
    [Spell/Equip]
    This card can only be equipped to a monster with “Black Luster” in its name. When this card is activated, place 10 Black Luster Counters on this card (max.20). Once per turn you can activate one of the following effects:
    -By removing 5 Black Luster Counters from this card, the equipped monster may not be specifically targeted by your opponent’s Spell, Trap, or monster card’s effects until the end of your opponent’s next End Phase.
    -By removing 4 Black Luster Counters from this card, add a card with “Black Luster” in its name from your deck to your hand. This card cannot be "Black Luster Helmet".
    -By removing 3 Counters from this card, flip 1 face-down card in your opponent’s Spell/Trap Card Zone face-up. If it is a Spell Card, return it to its original position. If it is a Trap Card, destroy it.
    -By removing 2 Black Luster Counters from this card, flip 1 face-down card in your opponent’s Spell/Trap Card Zone face up. If it is a Trap Card, return it to its original position. If it is a Spell Card, destroy it.
    -By removing 1 Black Luster Counter from this card, draw 1 card.
    When there are no more Black Luster Counters on this card, destroy it.


    Will of Clairvoyance
    [Spell/Equip]
    When you draw this card, you can reveal it and declare 1 Card Name then, pick up the top card of your Deck, if the name of that card is the one you declared, add it to your Hand. If this card is destroyed, destroy the equipped monster. When this card and the equipped monster are destroyed, return both cards to the top of your Deck, with the equipped monster below this card.
    [Credit to TheWarriorJoshua on Pojo for the creation of this card]
    Tamer's Archives
    A Pokemon fic. Chapter 4 is up [1/25/11]

    Heroic Potential
    A Yugioh! fic. Chapter 20 is up [12/14/13]
    ~Back from the dead!~
    No knowledge of the game is required to enjoy this fic!

  16. #41
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    Nov 2005
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    Chapter Nineteen



    Soft footsteps echoed in the long hallways, ricocheting across the mansion with subtle enthusiasm. Marble walls reflected the pale light that shone through the tall, crystal-clear windows, casting innocently onto the youthful boy playing near the transparent coffee-table. His long, wavy red hair flowed onto his shoulders, gently separating and shifting as he heaved the heavy, stainless-pale couch cushion. Bracing it against the armrest on the opposite side, he panted, exhausted from the task.

    This was more than the eight-year-old had done in a while.

    Grasping a handful of cards from the table, he excitedly jumped up on the couch, then divided the cards even into two piles, one in each hand. Peering down the cushion he had position just perfectly so, he fanned out the cards and placed them on the top of the armrest.

    One by one, the cards fell, sliding down the cushion to the boy’s joy. Eagerness lit up his eyes as each card slid diagonally towards the floor. This was the most fun he’d had in years.

    As the cards scattered across the polished, tiled floor, the boy leapt off the couch and ran to chase after them. The cards continued to slide; some hitting the walls, others gliding even further across the wide room.

    When some cards started to near the double-doors, the boy leapt off the couch to chase after them. The moment he did, he kicked his foot back, gliding across the floor with his socks like and ice-skater. He let out tiny giggles as he dashed around the cards, scooping some up as he passed.

    The turning of the doorknob caught the boy off guard, causing him to lose his balance. He tried to turn away from the shelf on the far wall, but his socks had already picked up too much momentum, and he was sent slamming onto his chest as his feet crashed into one of its legs. The cards he held flew out of his grasp, scattering across the floor just as the others did just minutes ago.

    The boy lifted his head slowly, dazed. His bangs fluttered near his nose, which he pushed away to see a Spell Card near a broken picture frame. He could see himself in the picture, but the other members were blurred out by the glaring, shattered glass. He groaned, crawling to pick it up, when a black-polished shoe stepped to block his way. The boy’s sight trailed up the figure’s leg, fear fluttering in his heart.

    He knew he was in for it tonight.


    ~*~*~*~


    Adam’s eyes surveyed the crowd, catching a glimpse of each eye that fell upon him. Fearful eyes – eyes that lost hope long ago. The eyes darted away from him, fell onto his opponent. There the fear grew, strengthening exponentially in their pupils.

    Before Adam looked over his hand, he shot a glance at the two college students standing on the sidewalk – Josh and Dave. He could see their eyes shining, knowing he had what they needed. They had hope. But Adam didn’t need their hope.

    That wasn’t what drove him in the first place.

    [Adam LP: (8000)] [Deck Hacker LP: (8000)]

    Adam held up the fanned-collection of cards, spreading them in between his fingers. No Card Destruction, he noted. But if his deck didn’t give him that card, maybe he didn’t need it.

    Still, I need a way to put a monster in the Graveyard.

    He glanced over the cards again, siding past his first four cards. Ah, here we go, he thought. This’ll do.

    “Alrighty! Time to start things off!” the hacker gleefully shouted, sliding out a card. “I’ll set a monster face-down and end my turn!”

    The brown card materialized at the hacker’s feet, casting a small shadow over the concrete.

    Adam drew his card, keeping his attention on the field. Okay, if he had Bartering of the Kings in his hand he would’ve definitely played it immediately to take my deck. He looked up his opponent’s hand, counting. Five cards.

    The hacker yawned theatrically, keeping one eye on Adam, attempting to coax him into thinking faster.

    Adam was unfazed. Judging from his last duel with Dave, his hand is either full of Normal Monsters or he’s waiting to unleash some kind of combo. He took a moment, looking at the drawn Trap Card – Fine. No point in stalling any longer.

    “I activate Tribute to the Doomed.” His voice was flat. “With this, I can discard a card and destroy a monster you control.”

    A Spell Card flashed before him; the second it did, tendrils of pale linen strips shot out, ensnaring the brown card until it was entirely wrapped. Once it was, a decayed purple hand rose up, grasping the mummified card and dragging to the depths below.

    “Fancy,” the hacker said, smiling. “I like you so far.”

    Adam remained quiet. He held up his arm. “Rise – Fallen Hero Burstinatrix!”

    Small embers puffed out the Duel Disk, growing into full, swirling flames. As the tornado of fire cooled, a woman leapt out, dancing onto the ground. Her finned gray helmet widely spread out over her shoulders, and her red tank-top matched the tint of her mask. (1200/800)

    “Ooh, a lady’s man, aren’t we?” The hacker winked, then raised his eyebrows in intrigue. “And a Fallen deck, that’s a rare sight indeed!”

    Adam waved his arm across his torso. “Fallen Hero Burstinatrix – attack him directly!”

    Igniting her hands ablaze, Burstinatrix touched her wrists together in an ‘X’, slashing them through the air, projecting flames at the hacker in one clean shot.

    The hacker yelped, quickly adjusting his hair. [Deck Hacker LP: (8000 --> 6800)]

    “I’ll set two more cards face-down and end my turn,” Adam said, never acknowledging the hacker’s reactions.

    Two cards left in-hand, he thought, gripping them tighter. I need to keep hand advantage in case he manages to plays that illegal card early. He watched his opponent draw, in that stupid, condescending manner. But even if he does, he’ll claim control over my deck.

    “Hey, Dave,” Josh whispered. Dave nodded to say that he heard, but never looked away from the duel. “Adam doesn’t seem to be letting this guy get to him. You think he has a shot, right?”

    Dave shrugged. “Maybe. He’s good, but if they switch decks it’ll become an entirely different game.”

    “What if he beats him before that happens?” Josh asked.

    Dave considered this; the shadow from his cap covering his downcast gaze. Throughout his duel, the hacker managed to stall until the game shifted into his favor. Technically that could’ve been a fluke, but then he also won at least two games before that…

    Dave lifted his gaze, the shadows receding back into his hairline. “No chance.”

    “My turn again, then!” The hacker laughed. “Ah, this is perfect! Enchanting Fitting Room!”

    The red shower curtain appeared over the hacker’s head, rippling from its golden rings with the breeze. [Deck Hacker LP: (6800 --> 6000)]

    “So, let’s see what we got here.” He slid out the top four cards, fanning them. Greed glittered in his eyes. “Perfect! All four get summoned!” He looked to Adam. “And not only that – three of them are Mokey-Mokeys!”

    Dave gritted his teeth. Josh watched Matt and Timmy shudder as the rectangular angels flopped onto the field. (300/200) [x3]

    “And with them joins Doron!”

    The humanoid creature waltzed out its replicated card, the black silk tightly wrapped around its body. (900/500)

    Adam observed it. Wait a minute – Attack Position? His stare focused on the hacker’s hand. The thought struck him like lightning; his stare sharpened. I knew it!

    “Now I’ll activate this – Encouragement!”

    With a storm of static, the Spell Card materialized and, after a few moments of noise and sparks, stabilized into a solid image.

    Josh grimaced; he could feel the others do the same.

    Especially Dave.

    “This allows me to discard two Normal Monsters whose total Levels are equal to or less than five. Then their combined ATK power gets added to Doron’s!”

    He presented the cards – Frog the Jam and Candle of Fate – before sliding them into the Graveyard. A blue-ish green aura subdued Doron, eventually empowering it, turning its once green eyes crimson-red. (900 --> 2200/500 --> 1600)

    Dave let out an audible growl. Josh turned to him, concerned.

    “Now, attack the lovey lady!”

    Doron, grasping the power of the aura in its palm, dashed at its target, preparing a punch. Burstinatrix sidestepped to dodge, kicking at Doron with a flaming foot. Reflexively, Doron shot up his hand, catching the hero’s leg, which caused her to gasp from surprise. At last, Doron drew back its fist, slamming it into the woman’s body, shattering it instantly.

    Adam’s expression barely changed. [Adam LP: (8000 --> 7000)]

    The hacker basked in this small victory, pretending to thank the crowd for their imagined support. “And that’s all for now! But don’t worry – I’ve got plenty more saved for later!”

    “I’m really starting to hate this guy,” Matt said. Josh, Dave, and Timmy nodded.

    Adam lifted a card off his deck. Just what I needed. He held it near the red slot, pressing a button near one of his Spell/Trap cards. “I activate Fine to discard two cards.”

    “Ah, the typical style of a Fallen deck,” the hacker mused. “I gotta tell ya, I’ve actually never seen anyone put one together. You must be pretty rich!”

    A heartbeat lashed at Adam’s chest. He subtly inhaled through his nose.

    “Rise – ” He snapped his arm up; a rugged sphere flung out “ – Fallen Hero Clayman!”

    With that last word, the sphere exploded, expanding into the bulky figure with large, blocky arms. (800/2000)

    “Hey, don’t ignore me here! I’m fascinated with this deck of yours, man!” the hacker, for once, said this somewhat angrily. “You gotta tell me how you managed to get all those cards! That’s a pretty impressive feat – even for a scumbag like me!”

    Adam lowered his eyebrows; frowned. “End turn.”

    “Don’t be like that!” The hacker crossed his arms. “Alright, I’m putting this duel on hold until you tell me how you got all these rare cards!”

    The crowd turned to him, awaiting his answer.

    Adam’s stare remained cold. He crossed his own arms.

    “No.”

    “C’mon!” the hacker shouted, throwing his arms in the air.

    What’s going on? Josh thought. Why’s Adam being so stubborn about this?

    Dave watched Adam’s face, saw the lone stand of red hair resting beside his right eye. Maybe I was right after all, he thought. Is Adam a thief?

    “I don’t got all day here!” The hacker waved his arms around. “It’s just a simple question! What? Need to be Mr. Secretive to impress the ladies?”

    Adam shook his head; the red stand flipped to the opposite side. “You don’t need to know anything about me. Just duel.”

    “Well, now you’ve only piqued my interest further!” the hacker shouted.

    Adam didn’t react.

    “This is so weird,” Timmy said. “At first this guy seemed like such a strong adult, but now he’s acting like an insecure child.”

    Dave and Matt agreed. Josh examined Adam’s stance; he seemed to be closing himself off from the world around him the longer this dragged out.

    “Another grain of salt,” Adam muttered. He sighed. “Add that to the mountain already there.”

    Adam… what kind of mountain are you dealing with?


    The hacker groaned, sighed. “Alright, in that case I’ll ask a simpler question.” He paused, pointing a finger at his opponent. “What’s your name, kid? You can at least tell me that, right?”

    Adam stared at the ground before him. Darkness laid there, cast from the shadow of his Fallen Hero monster. He seemed to be pondering over the question.

    Slowly, almost cautiously, Adam raised his gaze. “…Adam Prince,” he mumbled.

    “There, was that so hard?” the hacker smiled again. “Well, now that that’s out of the way – my draw!” He glanced at it, then put it with the others. “Doron – destroy his Fallen Hero Clayman!”

    Followed by the cheers of its fellow Mokey-Mokey, Doron ran towards the kneeling Clayman, holding its palm near its neck. When it drew close, Doron thrust it forward, but Clayman reacted – just as the power for the aura gathered in Doron’s hand, the bulky hero grasped onto its wrist, stopping the momentum of the attack cold.

    “What th–”

    “Fallen Hero Clayman’s effect,” Adam said. “I’ll banish him to take down your monster! Go – Clay Grapple!”

    As commanded, Clayman snagged Doron’s other arm, lifting it into the air as it stood up. Pulling the monster’s two limbs away from its body, Doron began to groan in submission. Clayman didn’t stop – once it was sure Doron was immobilized, the hero jumped into the air, hugging Doron close, then slammed into the ground with a violent thump.

    Dust gathered from the attack, leaving a digital crack on the floor. But no trace of the two monsters remained.

    “Well,” the hacker said. “That’s a bit of a setback. Oh well, no harm done.”

    “Not quite,” Adam barked. “When Clayman destroys a monster with Clay Grapple, you take 800 damage.”

    “Wha– huh?!” [Deck Hacker LP: (6000 --> 5200)] The hacker shook his head. “Whatever. I can spare to lose a couple of cards. Anyway, I’ll set a monster face-down and end my turn.”

    Adam drew silently.

    “And now he’s back to being the strong adult,” Timmy whispered.

    Matt shook his head. “I don’t get it either.”

    Josh listened to them, pretending to concentrate on the duel.

    I’ve got a small advantage, but his field presence is still incredibly strong. Adam eyed the one face-down card floating by his right foot. No monsters and a single face-down vs. his three weak Normal monsters and another face-down monster. He stared at the brown card. The chances of that monster being a threat are low – he doesn’t seem to carry any Effect Monsters at all. That way, he basically guarantees that his opponent’s monsters will be able to run over all obstacles for him. Meanwhile, he uses his stall and illegal Spell Cards to charge ahead as necessary. He hesitated. Still, that doesn’t mean it can’t be a high-DEF monster.

    In a passing motion, Adam quickly glanced at the hacker’s left hand (the right hand, however, was once again at the hacker’s mouth, indicating his boredom). One card, Adam thought. Okay, chances of a sudden comeback are unlikely, even if he manages to take my deck next turn. He looked at his own hand, noting his most recent card. Let’s see. Graceful Charity’ll give me another opportunity to send my Fallen monsters to the Graveyard, and maybe even give me more ways to take down his line of defenses. He looked at his choices. One other card in hand. Fallen Vorse Raider…

    “Got it,” Adam said aloud.

    The hacker perked his head up, seemingly awakened. “Thank god.”

    “First I’ll activate Graceful Charity, so I draw three cards and discard two.”

    “I think we know how the card works, thank you,” the hacker teased. “Anything else?”

    “Plenty,” Adam said. A card ejected from his Graveyard. “Rise – Fallen Vorse Raider!”

    A card frame materialized in front of him; from it, the behemoth warrior proudly raised its axe as it took its post. (1900/1200)

    “Fallen Vorse Raider – attack his face-down monster!”

    The raider held up its axe so that the two blades were parallel to the ground, then began spinning it rapidly as it ran at the monster.

    “And, since your monster’s in Defense Position, it gets destroyed automatically!”

    Just as the card started to raise itself, Fallen Vorse Raider sliced it to bits, reducing it to mere bits of paper.

    The hacker smirked. “Nice one.”

    “I end,” Adam said, staring at the two cards he held. Fallen Hero Sparkman and Fallen Alligator’s Sword. He furrowed his eyebrows. Not good enough. At this rate I won’t be able to stop his deck fast enough.

    “Alrighty,” the hacker said. “I’ll keep it nice and simple.”

    Another brown-backed card materialized next to the three Mokey-Mokeys.

    “Your turn.” The hacker smiled coyly.

    C’mon Adam, Josh thought. You just need to break through this guy’s defenses and you’ll win!

    “My draw.” Adam looked at the drawn card and, dissatisfied, held up his arm again. “Return to us – Fallen Hero Burstinatrix!”

    Another wisp of fire flung out of Adam’s Duel Disk, expanding until Burstinatrix emerged from the flames. (1200/800)

    “You can guess what’s gonna happen next,” Adam said, pointing ahead. “Fallen Vorse Raider – attack his face-down monster. Fallen Hero Burstinatrix – attack the leftmost Mokey-Mokey!”

    Both monsters leapt from their posts – Burstinatrix hovering slightly above Vorse Raider – as they raced to the other side of the field. The three Mokey-Mokeys scrambled, panicking like small children during a thunder storm. As the raider slashed its axe down, Burstinatrix launched a flame-fueled kick; the force of the slash sent the paper card into the flames, where it, along with one of the rectangular angels, disintegrated into nothing.

    “Go,” Adam snapped.

    “Ah.” The hacker drew. “That might’ve been the fastest turn you’ve had so far,” he scolded. “A face-down card and another set monster should do.”

    “In that case, I’ll speed things up.” Adam drew, pulling up the card vertically before shouting, “Time to bring out one of my favorite monsters!”

    Small thunderclouds gathered overhead, casting a shadow over the playing field. They trickled with static, sporadically giving off light with each zip and spark.

    Josh smiled. Here we go!

    Burstinatrix crossed her arms, jumping into the air.

    “Quite a light show, Mr. Prince,” the hacker mused. “But it’s nothing too impressive.”

    “We’ll see about that. I offer Burstinatrix to summon the mighty electrical fiend.” He gazed up at the sky, bellowing, “Rise – Fallen Summoned Skull!”

    A clap of thunder served as a harbinger for the lightning that showered down; Burstinatrix flew towards it, willingly allowing itself to become bathed in electricity until its body disintegrated into energy. Once it did, the lightning continued towards the floor, striking the spot it once stood. Following a gust of wind, the clouds dispersed, and a muscular demon unfolded its blue wings, howling a powerful roar. (2500/1200)

    “Now that’s something,” the hacker said.

    “You have no idea what you’re in for,” Adam said darkly. A shadow vaguely cast over his eyes, veiling the strand of red hair. “I’m not letting you Deck Hackers get away with attacking innocent people. Especially teenagers.”

    Fallen Summoned Skull and Fallen Vorse Raider lifted their heads; their eyes gave a detached, unforgiving stare.

    Adam dropped his gaze to the ground, allowing the shadow to consume his face.

    Josh watched on; unconsciously, his mouth fell agape.

    “This is what you get.” His words were soft and quiet, yet still clear and stern. Adam lifted his head; the shadow receded. “Attack!”

    Awakened, Fallen Vorse Raider leapt up, slashing at the brown card. In its wake, Fallen Summoned Skull unleashed an array of lightning, trailing towards the one of the two Mokey-Mokeys. It let out a shriek that sent chills through the crowds’ spines.

    “And when Fallen Summoned Skull attacks a Defense Position monster, you take piercing Battle Damage.”

    Josh stepped forward, proudly clutching his fist. “Go Adam!”

    The crowd smiled at Josh’s gestured. Hope seemed to be returning to their gloomy faces.

    “Nice try!”

    Before the lightning reached the tiny angel, a triad of priestesses miraculously appeared. They held up their hands reverently, deflecting the lightning and axe with a mythical force.

    The crowd gasped, dumbfounded.

    Adam peered past the three priestesses, spotting a Trap Card. Argh, how did I overlook that! He clenched his teeth, mentally kicking himself.

    “Sorry, Waboku stops your attack cold.” The three priestesses vanished. “I’m guessing it’s my move.”

    Reluctantly – angrily – Adam nodded.

    “Don’t look so glum.” The hacker smiled enthusiastically again. His grin made Dave cringe. “Another monster, another face-down card, and it’s back to you.”

    The brown card closest to the hacker materialized with a sharp rainbow glare. Josh peered over at it, then turned to Dave. Within a moment of looking into his eyes, Josh could tell that Dave saw the same thing he did. They both looked to Adam, who watched it as well.

    It doesn’t matter, if I don’t act now it could be too late. Holding out his arm, he called, “Rise again – my Fallen Hero Burstinatrix!”

    A pillar of flames burst between the two muscular monsters, extinguishing as Burstinatrix spread its arms. (1200/800) She snapped her fingers, setting her hands ablaze.

    “Ah, lookie there, the lady’s back again.” The hacker raised his arms. “She just doesn’t know when to quit!”

    “Shut it,” Adam scolded him. “I’ll use Fallen Hero Burstinatrix’s effect. By paying 500 Life Points I get to target a monster you control and return it to your hand.” He lifted his index finger accusingly. “So take back your Mokey-Mokey!”

    Burstinatrix pushed its hands out, holding the sphere of fire from above. [Adam LP: (7000 --> 6500)] With a firm thrust, a stream of flames shot out, striking the small angel full-force. As it spastically waved its stubby arms, the creature reformed into a piece of cardboard.

    The hacker caught it. “Hmph.”

    Dave felt a nudge of an elbow. He turned, seeing Josh. “Yeah?”

    “Why do you think he didn’t use that effect before?”

    Dave pondered, then snapped his fingers. “He’s probably trying to conserve his Life Points.”

    Josh nodded. A thought stung him, So, Adam doesn’t think he’s gonna win in time…

    “Now – Fallen Vorse Raider, attack his one of his face-down monsters!”

    The raider leapt up, slamming down onto the face-down card with a mighty heave. It burst into tiny fragments before a breath could be taken.

    “Fallen Summoned Skull – attack his last face-down monster!”

    Fallen Summoned Skull expanded its wings and curled its claws, groaning as electricity rippled around its body. After a couple of seconds of charging, it unleashed a bolt through its horns, growling. The monster on the receiving end rose from its hiding spot – a small grasshopper called Basic Insect. (500/700) It had no time to react before the lightning slammed into it, leaving a scorch mark where the bug once was.

    The hacker stared at the spot, watching a thin string of smoke rise above his head. [Deck Hacker LP: (5200 --> 3400)]

    Upon seeing the numbers drop, Adam regained his confidence. Hmph. Guess that card was a bluff after all. He pressed on.

    “Fallen Hero Burstinatrix – direct attack!”

    Burstinatrix kicked itself off the ground, flipping into a cart-wheel-like motion. Its left foot caught on fire; the flames arched as the woman spun.

    The hacker gazed up from his empty field and, to the crowd’s alarm, laughed maliciously.

    “I’ve got you now!” He ripped out his face-down card, flicking it to the other side. “You fell right into my trap.” The hacker’s eyes scanned those around him without moving his head; his grin widened. “And now they’re gonna pay the price!”

    As the face-down card rose, several neon-purple wires shot out from behind it, smashing into Burstinatrix, forcing it to retreat. Adam watched the wires flail amongst the crowd aimlessly, like an octopus’s limbs. “The hell is this,” he whispered.

    The hacker turned around, addressing the audience. “Now, which of you would like to volunteer!” The crowd didn’t answer; instead, they slowly stepped backwards, trying to avoid the wires. With false dissatisfaction, the hacker faced Adam and shrugged. “Seems like they don’t care much about me.” He grinned again, his pupils flashed. “Let’s change that.”

    In a violent explosion of movements, the wires lashed out from the street, whipping themselves at the crowd. People screamed, others fell onto the ground trying to duck. As this occurred, Adam glowered.

    “You bastard!” he shouted. “This is between me and you! Don’t involve them!”

    The hacker chuckled (somehow, Adam heard him over the loud shouts and whipping sounds of the wires). “Don’t you get it yet, Mr. Prince?” He boasted out his chest. “I’m a Deck Hacker – I can do whatever the hell I want!”

    The declaration seemed to strengthen the wires’ assault; now they began lashing at individuals, wrapping themselves around their limbs and torsos. A young girl yelped, extending a hand to her mother before being forcefully ripped away. A business man failed to evade another set of wires; his briefcase thumped to the ground in the process.

    Josh and Dave defensively held up their arms, hoping to fend off any wires that came towards them. “I don’t believe this!” Josh shouted, “I knew these Deck Hackers were power crazy but this just takes it to a whole new level!”

    Dave ducked as a wire shot near him, grabbing his hat. “We can’t worry about that now – we just have to –”

    “Look out!”

    The two darted their eyes to the side; Timmy, shouting to his brother Matt, pointed to a set of five wires, each launching themselves at him. Matt froze, realizing he had no way out.

    Instinctively, at the last second, Josh lifted Matt up, tossing him to the side. Matt flew into Timmy, knocking them both into neighboring bystanders. Before Dave even knew what happened, the wires ensnared Josh’s wrists. He yanked his arms away but the neon-purple wires proved to be stronger than steel. (How’s that possible? They’re only holograms!) Still, he willed himself to keep trying. More wires came at him, grasping his shins, straining his body until his diaphragm became crushed by yet another. By the time Dave shoved his way through the confusion, Josh had already been whisked away.

    Josh!”

    Suddenly the remaining wires stopped, reeling back into the card where they came from. Josh hovered over the ground, joined by four others. He weakly glanced at their faces – tired and panicked – before looking ahead.

    At Adam.

    “Wha… what is this?” Dave asked. Timmy and Matt stood up, mouths agape.

    The hacker held out his arms, raising them high above his head. “Behold the power of my Spectator Shield!”

    Spectator Shield… Josh glanced among the crowd again; he realized he had been lifted to a higher plane than they were – he could see the tops of their heads, yet was still low enough to see their expressions. Fear, concern, agony; all knowing that they were helpless against the superior power of the Deck Hackers.

    He straightened his head, peering down at Adam again. He saw the duelist glowering, yet he couldn’t tell exactly what he was thinking. Josh gulped. Before the duel started, he thought Adam was the only one capable of helping them.

    But that was before the threat became real.


    ~*~*~*~

    Card Analyzer activated…

    Accessing Card Database… Searching for Card Data …

    … Data Found:


    Fallen Hero Burstinatrix
    ***
    [Fire]
    [Warrior/Tuner]
    (1200/800)
    This card cannot be Normal Summoned or Set. This card can Special Summon itself from the Graveyard. You can only Special Summon 1 “Fallen” monster this way per turn. If a non-“Fallen” monster exists in your Graveyard, you may not Special Summon this card this way. This card’s name is also treated as “Elemental Hero Burstinatrix”. Once per turn, by paying 500 Life Points, you can select 1 monster on the field and return it to its owner’s hand.


    Fallen Vorse Raider
    ****
    [Dark]
    [Beast-Warrior/Effect]
    (1900/1200)
    This card cannot be Normal Summoned or Set. This card can Special Summon itself from the Graveyard. You can only Special Summon 1 “Fallen” monster this way per turn. If a non-“Fallen” monster exists in your Graveyard, you may not Special Summon this card this way. This card’s name is also treated as “Vorse Raider”. When this card attacks a Defense Position monster, destroy it automatically without applying Damage Calculation.


    Trusted Ally
    [Spell/Equip]
    This card can only be activated during a Tag Duel. Equip this card to a monster you or your partner controls. That monster may be used in any instance by either player.
    Tamer's Archives
    A Pokemon fic. Chapter 4 is up [1/25/11]

    Heroic Potential
    A Yugioh! fic. Chapter 20 is up [12/14/13]
    ~Back from the dead!~
    No knowledge of the game is required to enjoy this fic!

  17. #42
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    Default Heroic Potential Yugioh Fic

    I was actually able to reach my planner this morning and be allowed the luxury of being told some of my trips are gone. Of course, when they told me a couple of them were fine before, I suspected that was bs.

    No sign of them filing as of now, so one has to assume they did not. Which only means Cap Source is in charge and likely that JT is holding out on them. Probably gathering "data" from his poll to persuade them. Id suspect the wheels are completely off the bus by the end of the week unless we see a filing so there is a DIP to continue operating expenses.

    Has anyone else heard anything?

  18. #43
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
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    Heading back to Johto
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    Default

    Chapter Twenty


    From the rooftops, a man loomed over the city street like a dark cloud haunting a sunny day. The man’s sharp, black hair fanned over his ears like the tips of feathers, stopping just as they reached his earlobes. He sighed, bored; he could barely make out exactly what was happening in the duel below, but the purple wires flailing at the crowd revealed one thing.

    An illegal Trap Card had been activated.

    Not just an illegal Trap Card, but one this man had designed himself.

    He looked away from the street, gazing at the rooftop parallel to the one he was standing on. On the other side, he could see another one of his accomplices, still analyzing the game below. They had been watching since they received the report: their target was there.

    The man returned his attention to the duel, pulling out a phone and holding it to his ear.

    “It’s Jacob,” he said, pressing the phone against his jet-black hair. “We can confirm that, yes, Adam is indeed the opponent playing against our underling. We should be getting a lock on his Card Analyzer’s signal soon.”

    He listened intently as the voice gave its commands.

    “No, the underling is completely unaware. If he uses the wron–” the voice cut him off, apparently asking a question.

    Jacob raised an eyebrow.

    “The crowd?”

    He leaned over the side, surveying the dozens of people surrounding the two players. The voice had asked if he could see two college-aged teenagers; one wearing a camouflage hat and the other wearing a red sweatshirt. The boy wearing the hat was harder to find, since he was hidden amongst a wall of people, but the boy in the red sweatshirt was easy to spot.

    He was one of the victims taken by the Trap.

    “Yes, those two are here. What do they have to do with anything?”

    The answer came almost immediately.

    “I see.” Jacob hesitated, then said, “Alright, I’ll make the necessary preparations.”


    ~*~*~*~


    Adam gazed dryly at the five innocent people hanging above the field. The neon-purple wires gripped them tighter, causing their eyes to wince then widen at the thought that they could potentially fall.

    Josh, among these five, tried to keep his breathing steady. He slowly curled his fingers into a fist as if he were trying to break the wires with his mind. Although he couldn’t move his arms freely, he managed to force them closer to his body so he didn’t feel as exposed. He stared at Adam’s field; three monsters – Fallen Hero Burstinatrix (1200/800), Fallen Vorse Raider (1900/1200), and Fallen Summoned Skull (2500/1200) – all of which looked up at them, pondering whether or not to strike. Josh looked back to Adam, who just stared at the face-down card on the floor. He could see it in Adam’s eyes – he wasn’t sure what to do.

    The wires lowered the five hostages so that they were just a foot off the ground. Adam averted his gaze from the face-down card to his opponent, whose grin was wiser than ever.

    “Judging from the looks on your faces –” the hacker surveyed the crowd once again, “ – I can tell your loving my new Spectator Tokens! (0/?) [x5]”

    “Spectator Tokens?” Dave whispered to himself. He stepped closer; Timmy and Matt helped each other to their feet. They were now directly in front of the duel – a good five feet from Adam’s right side. “What the hell are these Deck Hackers up to?”

    “Wait a second,” Adam said, looking at his Card Analyzer. “This monitor says they have variable DEF.” Adam’s face strained. “What the hell does that mean?”

    “Easy,” the hacker said, waving a hand. “They gain 500 DEF for each Spectator Token out on the field. And since I count five, that means they all have 2500 DEF!” (0/? --> 2500) [x5] “Lucky for you, they’ll get weaker as each one goes down, so don’t worry about holding back!”

    Adam looked at the five hostages again. He sent his gaze downcast, once again on the face-down card. The strand of red hair wavered in front of his eyes.

    “Burstinatrix.”

    Burstinatrix turned to Adam, surprised, and waited for an order.

    “Cancel your attack.” Adam lifted his head. “I end my Battle Phase and move to my Main Phase 2.”

    “Oh, so you’re not going to attack then?” The hacker clapped his hands. “Marvelous! The longer we wait, the sooner I’ll be able to use all those rare Fallen monsters against you!”

    Dave grimaced, looking to his Duel Disk. The empty deckslot matched the void in his chest.

    Adam lowered his wrist. This is ridiculous. I gotta find a way around this wall he’s built. But… He felt the gazes of the hostages pierce through him. I can’t risk attacking innocent people. Adam lifted his wrist again, typing into his Card Analyzer.

    The hacker craned his neck upward, peering past his captives. “Just end your turn. Spectator Shield won’t come up in the Card Database ‘cause it’s the only copy in existence! No one but me owns one, and my superiors made sure that only I would be able to access it!”

    “That doesn’t mean I can’t destroy it,” Adam pressed a final button; the screen shone red. “You haven’t taken my cards yet, so until then I’ll be able to do what I please.”

    Adam brought his hands to his sides, clutching them into fists. He boasted his chest out as Burstinatrix and Vorse Raider began to glow.

    “I tune my Fallen Hero Burstinatrix with my Fallen Vorse Raider in order to Synchro Summon the dragon of ultimate potential!”

    Burstinatrix and Vorse Raider lit up in an undulating aura of red and black light. Seven circles spiraled past them, creating a pathway for the two monsters. As traveled through, their bodies deformed and separated into seven stars, each one connecting to a corresponding circle.

    “Rise – my loyal Fallen Red-Eyes Black Dragon!”

    Fallen Red-Eyes! Josh watched on as a beam explosively blasted through the tunnel of circles, causing a rush of wind to flow over the area. He clutched his fists. He could see the shadow of the black dragon, casting itself over the muscular Fallen Summoned Skull. Then he could hear it – the dragon’s low growl acted as a harbinger of its quick, swooping descent. It landed beside Fallen Summoned Skull, eyes glowing crimson-red. Josh felt his heart beat at a thunderous rate; his hairs stood on end as the dragon’s shriek broke through the sky. (2400/2000)

    The hacker laughed. “How generous. You offer your two weak monsters and send them to the Graveyard just so you can give a stronger monster for me to use later!” His laughter turned into a condescending cackle. “Why thank you!”

    “Not quite,” Adam spat. “Whenever a monster is used for the Synchro Summon of a Fallen monster, they get banished instead.” He took the two cards off his Duel Disk, casting them to the side. “So that means you won’t be able to summon them at all.”

    “I see,” the hacker said. He put a thumb on his chin. “But what about the matter at hand, hmm?” He gestured towards the hostages.

    Adam clenched his teeth. “I… end my turn.”

    “Thought so. My draw. Wonder if it’s Bartering of the Kings!” The hacker held the card to eye level, then frowned. “Well, that’s disappointing.” He shrugged. “I activate Dian Keto the Cure Master, which grants me 1000 extra Life Points.”

    [Adam LP: (6500)] [Deck Hacker LP: (3400 --> 4400)]

    That won’t do much, but if I can’t fix this fast enough, that 1000 Life Points could make a huge difference to this game.

    Adam shook his head. “My turn.” A useless monster – Fallen Flame Swordsman. Why isn’t my deck giving me the cards I need? He looked over his Card Analyzer again, opening a command window. It’s never let me down before, why now?

    The hacker sighed after a minute of Adam scanning through screens.

    Alright, I guess I just have to wait. “I end my turn.”

    “Good.” A face-down card flashed at the hacker’s feet. “Your turn.”

    Josh glanced behind him, turning as far as he could without having the wires tear at his flesh. This game is going so much faster now, but at the same time they’re locked in a complete stand-still. He turned back to Adam, who drew again. Please, please don’t lose. You’ve proven to be so good ‘til now, how is this any different?

    Dave dropped his gaze, gripping his hat as a small breeze crossed the field. Adam’s never faced a Deck Hacker before...

    Adam drew. Damnit, this isn’t working. “I end.”

    “Alrighty,” the hacker said, drawing. He let out an exasperated sigh. “And I end. I swear, this is getting more boring by the minute.”

    Boring?! I’m hanging four feet in the air! Josh thought angrily. This only made him more aware of his situation; nervous sweatdrops glistened on his forehead.

    Adam drew. Spark Blaster, he thought, looking over his hand again. Just one more turn.

    “I end.”

    “Right.” The hacker placed his hand on his deck. “I swear, this better be Bartering.” He drew, held it up. “Nope. But it’ll save some work for later. I activate Raigeki!”

    Sharp streaks of lightning rained down in between the hostages and Adam, frying the two Fallen monsters in a thunderous explosion. Adam’s eyes bulged out involuntarily. Josh and the others gasped at the abruptness of their deaths. Summoned Skull dove to protect the dragon, trying to absorb the lightning with its claws. But the lightning soon overpowered the fiend, and the two monsters disintegrated into dust.

    “Holy shit,” Matt said.

    “This isn’t good,” Timmy said, looking to Dave.

    Dave turned to the hostages again, noticing how terrified everyone seemed.

    Except for Josh.

    Adam allowed his heart to slow before reaching for his deck. He looked to the hostages once more before drawing. He made eye contact with Josh, who seemed to be saying, “I know you have a way out of this.”

    “I guess it’s my turn.” Adam drew.

    “Well?” the hacker asked.

    Adam thought for a moment, glancing at his hand again, before bringing his arms to his side.

    “I end my turn.”

    The crowd audibly expressed their shock.

    “Really? Nothing? You’re certainly not the most interesting person here.” The hacker positioned himself to draw. “My tur–”

    “Hold on,” Adam stated. The red strand raised itself in the wind. “I have seven cards in my hand, so I have to discard one.” He fanned them again, pulling one out with care, then slotting it into his Graveyard.

    “You done yet?”

    Adam nodded.

    “Good.” The hacker drew. “Nope, not it. Guess I have to end.” He sighed. “Ya know, I’m getting kinda bored. Why don’t you just attack these guys so we can get some action here.”

    Everyone tensed. Josh inhaled slowly to calm himself, but the sweat dripping off his nose indicated otherwise.

    “Oh, we’re gonna get some action.”

    The crowd perked up; everyone darted their eyes to Adam, who pulled his next card. Adam lifted his eyes, addressing the hostages.

    “It’s time for me to set you all free!” He shouted, raising his arm. “Rise – Fallen Hero Sparkman!”

    Blue lightning trickled around his Duel Disk’s Life Point meter, shooting out in all directions. The lightning gathered together and hit the ground, washing over Adam like a curtain. It quickly flashed away, and Sparkman took its place. (1600/1400)

    “What the hell do you expect to do with him? He’s not nearly strong enough to take on any of my Spectator Tokens.”

    Timmy and Matt turned to each other.

    “What do you think he’s planning?” Timmy asked.

    “I dunno, but he seems pretty sure of himself.”

    Dave listened to them, never taking his eyes off the Fallen Hero. He better be.

    The hacker laughed. “Go on, try to attack. Not only will you hurt them but you’ll take 900 damage as a result. What a stupid idea!”

    “I never said I was attacking,” Adam stated. “I activate this!” Extending his arm, he presented a Spell. “Spark Blaster!”

    A blue, laser gun materialized around Sparkman’s arm. It grasped onto the gun’s handle, using its electrical powers to charge it.

    “So how much ATK does it gain from that thing?” The hacker asked.

    “None.”

    The hacker raised an eyebrow. “You’re kidding, right?”

    Adam shook his head. “Like I said, I don’t plan on attacking. Instead, I’ll use Spark Blaster’s effect!”

    Sparkman aimed the gun at the neon wires; a whirring noise emitted as static rippled out of its sides. The hostages trembled nervously, trying to avoid getting hit, but their tensions eased when the hero lowered its gun. Clicking the trigger rapidly, three shots burst out in quick succession. Upon striking the wires, static rippled again, spreading all the way up to the hostages.

    “What the hell are yo–”

    “Unfortunately –” Adam continued “– Spark Blaster is only good for three uses. So instead I’ll use my Fallen Hero Sparkman’s special ability!”

    After firing the final shot, the gun shattered, allowing Sparkman to use its newly-freed hand to charge up a ball of electrical energy. Flicking its wrist, Sparkman threw the ball at the wires again, causing them to squirm. The audience gazed up.

    Dave adjusted his cap.

    “Both Spark Blaster and Fallen Hero Sparkman have the same effect – they can change the Battle Position of any monster on the field.” Adam addressed the hacker, “And as you know, when your Spectator Tokens are switched to Attack Position, they’re automatically destroyed!”

    The hacker reacted as if he had been punched in the chest. “How did yo–?!”

    “So that means four of your ‘hostages’ are free!”

    The wires’ strong grip on the hostages loosened, seemingly going from steel to silk as the static raced across each one. They flopped to the ground, dropping the group of people in the process. After recovering from their fall, the four returned to the crowd, consulting their loved ones and peers.

    Josh felt his wires weaken as well, but knew he hadn’t been freed yet. He looked to the crowd – specifically Dave, Matt, and Timmy – before facing Adam.

    Adam made eye contact with him – a look of reluctance shone in his pupils.

    Josh held his breath.

    “How the hell…” the hacker twitched, thrusting his arms back as he screamed. “How the hell did you know my card’s weakness?!”

    Adam trailed his eyes to him, then back to Josh. “With your other four Tokens gone, your last one is weakened by 2000 DEF points.”

    Josh felt the wires shift slightly. He could tell that they had a hard time holding him now. (0/2500 --> 500) That means he can destroy the last token – me – with his Fallen Hero! He slowly smiled. Then he can finally make his counterattack!

    “But as I said, I’m not going to attack an innocent person.”

    Josh’s heart leapt. But if he waits –

    Adam brought his hand to his side. “I end my tur–”

    “Stop!” Josh yelled.

    Everyone – including those celebrating the four hostages’ freedom – abruptly became silent.

    “You can’t wait any longer!” he screamed, “Any moment that freak is gonna draw that card and you’ll whole deck will be used against you!”

    The hacker snickered.

    “But Josh –”

    “No! I’m not gonna let this guy get away with what he’s done! If you lose this duel trying to protect me, I’ll never forgive myself.” Josh shifted his gaze, looking to Fallen Hero Sparkman. “Attack me! Once I’m out of the way he’ll have nothing left!”

    Everyone became silent again. Not even the wind blew as Josh’s final words soaked into their skin. The former hostages quietly admired him – after spending the last few minutes cowering, the notion of taking a hit to save them was bold.

    Adam’s stare dropped to the floor.

    The hacker grinned. “So, I guess that’s a no.” He prepared to draw. “In that case, I’ll –”

    “Alright Josh,” Adam lifted his head again. He made eye contact with Josh once more. “Get ready.”

    Josh furrowed his brow, nodded.

    “Fallen Hero Sparkman –”

    Sparkman lifted its arms, charging up electrical spheres in its hands.

    Josh gulped.

    “– attack his final Spectator Token with Static Shockwave!”

    Sparkman crossed its wrists into an ‘X’, then waved them across his torso. Two streaks of lightning shot upward, jaggedly flying through the air.

    Dave felt his fingers tremble.

    The lightning struck Josh full force, blasting the wires apart in one swift burst. Josh screamed as he fell, closing his eyes tight. He slammed onto the concrete with a thud, static rippling on his motionless body.

    Dave rushed out to the field, closely followed by Matt and Timmy. They flipped him onto his back; Josh limply succumbed.

    “Josh…” Dave whispered.

    “Well, that was stupid,” the hacker said, breaking the silence. “Now, if you’ll allow me to continue.”

    “Ughh…”

    Dave, shocked, jumped to his feet. Josh slowly lifted himself into a sitting position, rubbing his face. “That hurt like hell…”

    “Josh!” Matt and Timmy shouted. The three helped him to his feet.

    The crowd gave gasps of hope. They cheered and whistled for Josh as he stood up.

    “Are you alright?” Dave asked.

    “I’m fine, just a little beat up,” Josh said. The others smiled. As they walked back towards the crowd, Josh faced Adam again. “Don’t let him win.”

    Adam simply watched them go.

    “Enough of this!” the hacker barked, pointing an accusing finger at Adam. “I dunno how you got around my Spectator Shield, but there’s no way in hell you’re gonna get around this.” He held out his drawn card. “Bartering of the Kings!”

    The crowd’s expressions unanimously became grave. Timmy and Matt gasped, while Josh and Dave gritted their teeth.

    I knew it, Josh thought.

    [i]I owe you one, Josh[i/]. Adam ejected his deck from his Duel Disk, somberly stepping towards the center of the field.

    “Now, lemme see that Fallen deck!” the hacker shouted, greedily snatching it away. He tossed his own deck carelessly at Adam, who slotted it in with care.

    Adam walked back behind Sparkman, pressing the auto-shuffle button on his Card Analyzer. This fight would’ve been a lot harder if it wasn’t for you.

    “Alrighty!” the hacker said enthusiastically. “Let’s see what we got here – I activate Card Destruction.”

    Adam glowered.

    “Hope you like my gift, ‘cause I certainly love yours!” the hacker cackled.

    Quietly, Adam fanned his cards together, shoving them into the Graveyard before sliding out six new cards.

    Four weak Normal Monsters, he thought. If this is what I’m getting, then that must mean that this deck must be pretty bad. He faced the crowd again, spotting Josh.

    But I’ll find a way.

    “Ah, wonderful!” the hacker mused, holding the cards with all ten fingers. “These Fallen cards are pure gold! And once I win, they’ll be all mine!” He cackled.

    “Damnit, how the hell did I lose to an idiot like him?” Dave curled his fingers into fists. His veins popped.

    “Easy Dave,” Josh said. “Adam’s got this.”

    “Alrighty!” The hacker lifted up his Duel Disk, scrolling through a new screen on his Card Analyzer. “Let’s see what kind of monsters ya got here.”

    Adam’s lucky that his cards are restricted to the Graveyard, so that Deck Hacker can’t just summoned them as he draws like he did with me. Dave thought, flexing his hands. “Adam’s good but I don’t think he can stop his own deck with the cards he has now. He doesn’t have control over the game anymore.”

    “Let’s hope you’re wrong,” Matt said.

    “Perfect! I’ll summon this thing!” The hacker pressed a button and an armored, bipedal alligator appeared, swinging its blade. “Fallen Alligator’s Sword (1500/1200)!”

    Adam gritted his teeth.

    “But that card’s weaker than Sparkman, what’s he thinking?” Timmy asked Dave.

    “That card probably has an effect.”

    “Two points to the losers in the corner!” the hacker laughed.

    Timmy, Dave, and those around them cringed angrily.

    “When Fallen Alligator’s Sword declares an attack, it gets an additional 500 ATK for the duration of the battle. Now, how ‘bout we put it into use?”

    Fallen Alligator’s Sword pushed off the ground with its heels, hurling itself at Fallen Hero Sparkman. (1500 --> 2000/1200) Sparkman shot out an electrical blast at it, but the bipedal alligator deflected the blast with its sword, never losing its momentum. Soon Fallen Alligator’s Sword flew past the hero, and Sparkman dropped to its knees, shattering into digital fragments.

    Adam covered his eyes with his sleeve as the fragments blew past his face. [Adam LP: (6500 --> 6100)] He pulled his arm away, watching Fallen Alligator’s Sword return to the Deck Hacker’s side (2000 --> 1500/1200).

    “Well well well, looks like I’ve successfully taken all of your Fallen cards away from you.”

    “Like that matters,” Adam spat.

    “Oh please. If you were here for the last three matches you would know by now.” The hacker held up his wrist, pointing to his – Adam’s – deck. “I’ve got everything you ever knew, and now you’re stuck with cards that can hardly function. Face it, there’s no chance that you’re gonna beat your deck with those cards.”

    The crowd grew uneasy, mumbling to each other about the match.

    While they did, Josh receded into his thoughts. No, that’s not right. He shook his head, closing his eyes tightly. “That’s not right at all!”

    Josh stepped out from the crowd, and all eyes fell on him.

    The hacker smirked. “You again?”

    “You don’t know anything about this game,” Josh shouted. “I’ve been playing for a week and even I know that you can’t just take any card and call it your own. Players spend months, even years building their decks, pouring their hearts and souls into it, and that’s something you can’t take away!”

    Dave perked up. That last sentence was said with him in mind.

    “I don’t know Adam very well either, but I know that only he can use that deck that you claim to control, and I know that only he can stop it.” Josh glanced to his side. “Right Adam?”

    Adam nodded. “Exactly.” He faced the hacker again. “But there’s one thing I need to get straight.”

    The hacker raised an eyebrow. “Oh?”

    “I don’t plan on defeating my deck during this duel.”

    The crowd was sent into mumbling confusion again. Even Josh lost some of his intensity with that statement.

    “Bold words, but that’s not how this game works,” the hacker said.

    “No, you’re wrong.” Adam shot an accusing finger his way. “I don’t need to defeat my deck, when my plan is to defeat you!”

    The noisy crowd became silent again.

    “We’ll see. Take your turn.”

    “Gladly.” Adam drew. He stared at the card for a while, then lifted his eyes slowly. “Josh.”

    Josh’s heart jumped. “Yeah?”

    “This one’s for you.” Adam flipped the card with his thumb. “I activate Heart of the Underdog!”

    Heart of the Underdog? Dave stepped out of the crowd, joining Josh.

    The Spell Card materialized on Adam’s right; its imaged featured a normal person as he struggled to walk through the red force pushing him back.

    “Hmph, like that’s gonna do you any good.”

    “I think it will,” Adam said. He turned to Josh again. “With Josh’s heroic heart I’ll defeat you in no time at all.”

    Josh felt his face turn red. It was only now that he realized everyone was staring at him. My… heart?

    “Please, you need to draw a Normal Monster in order to trigger that card’s effect. And that won’t help you anyway. I added that card to make drawing Bartering of the Kings easier for me, now that I already used it Heart of the Underdog is basically worthless.”

    “You may think that now, but I know exactly how I’m going to win this duel.”

    The hacker crossed his arms. “Are ya done yet, Mr. Prince?”

    “Not quite. I activate Vengeful Bog Spirit.”

    A gloomy fog shrouded the field; the crowd stepper slightly closer since the fog obstructed their vision.

    “With this out, a monster has to wait a full turn after its summoning before it can declare an attack. Then I’ll set a monster and end for now.”

    “’Bout time.” The hacker drew. “Alrighty, no more mister nice guy. I’ll revive Fallen Hero Sparkman from the Graveyard!”

    Static gathered into a circular pattern, forming beside Fallen Alligator’s Sword. It served as a vortex for the Fallen Hero to rise through as it absorbed the electricity and unleashed it back into the fog. (1600/1400)

    “Vengeful Bog Spirit may be a good stall card, but it can’t stop my monsters from activating their effects. Sparkman – switch that face-down monster into Attack Position!”

    Willingly, Sparkman raised his arms as a mummy would, shooting out small jolts of lightning from its fingertips. They raced around the perimeter of Adam’s face-down card, forcing it to flip over, uncovering the monster hidden underneath. The monster used its claws to pull its red fabric down, so that only its scrawny arms could be seen. (600/500)

    “Ah, Curtain of the Dark Ones, a personal favorite.” The hacker addressed Fallen Alligator’s Sword. “Tear it apart like a good monster.”

    Fallen Alligator’s Sword nodded, leaping up and slamming its blade down onto the tiny monster (1500 --> 2000/1200). A groan emitted from under the fabric before it faded with a holographic glare.

    Adam poised to draw. [Adam LP: (6100 --> 4700)] “I’m guessing you’re done?”

    “For now, yes.” The hacker smiled. “This shouldn’t take much longer.”

    “We’ll see.” Adam held up the new card, dissatisfied to see it was a Trap. “I’ll set another monster face-down as well as a backrow card and end my turn.”

    “You’re making this too easy.” The hacker pulled out a new card, flipping it over gleefully. “Perfect! Now get even more Fallen cards into the Graveyard! I activate Card Destruction!”

    Adam calmly slotted his cards into the graveyard, drawing three new cards. Good, at least now I’ll have better cards to work with.

    “Ooooh, this one’s a gem. I’ll play Double Grave Ceremony!”

    The declaration broke Adam’s concentration, startling him so much that he nearly dropped his cards. Two tombstones rose on either side of the hacker, gaining an eerie glow that matched with the haunting atmosphere of the fog.

    “Judging from your reaction I can tell that you know this card well.” He gave a wide, condescending smile. “But for those at home who don’t, I’ll gladly explain. With this card out, I can summon an additional ‘Fallen’ monster from my Graveyard each turn. And now, without further ado – I’ll bring back the Fallen Hero Avian I just discarded!”

    Through the fog above, the green winged-hero descended quickly, landing with its palm to the floor. (1000/1000) It stood up, joined by its two comrades.

    “Now we’ll put Double Grave Ceremony to use to revive the all-powerful Fallen Summoned Skull!”

    Adam clenched his jaw.

    Lightning burst out of both tombstones simultaneously, shocking Avian to the point where it no longer had any physical features. Instead of deteriorating, the body expanded, growing stronger and wider until it took the demonic shape of Fallen Summoned Skull. Its pupils glimmered as blue lightning trickled along its biceps. (2500/1200)

    “Lucky for you, the fog prevents it from attacking. Otherwise that’d be a huge dent in your Life Points.” The hacker shrugged. “Either way. Fallen Sparkman – change his monster to Attack Position and Fallen Alligator’s Sword’ll go in for the kill.”

    Sparkman raised its hands again, firing strings of electricity into the face-down card and moving it like a puppet master. The cutesy little angel reluctantly came out of its hiding spot, failing to resist by pulling its tiny wings down. (800/500)

    “Happy Lover? Now that’s desperation! Anyway, attack!”

    Fallen Alligator’s Sword pointed its blade at its target, tossing it at the cowering angel with a flick of its wrist.

    “Not so fast, I activate my Negate Attack Trap Card!”

    Just as Happy Lover ducked down in tears, a portal opened up and swallowed the sword. A moment later, the sword fell from the sky and Fallen Alligator’s Sword caught it without question.

    “Lucky move, but you’ve only delayed the damage, my friend.”

    “Hey, Adam has that card in his deck,” Josh said. “You think he slipped it in somehow?”

    “Nah,” Dave answered. “It’s a common defense card. Given the stall-based nature of the Deck Hacker’s deck, he probably has a bunch of cards just like it.”

    Still, Dave thought, the fact that Adam drew a card he was familiar with during a crucial turn must count for something.

    “My draw.” Adam slid a card out, smiled, then flipped it. “I activate Heart of the Underdog. By revealing Ancient Jar, I get to draw again.”

    “Like I said, that’s not gonna do you any good.”

    “I’ll set a monster face-down and switch Happy Lover to Defense Position.”

    A brown-backed card materialized alongside Happy Lover, with another card appearing underneath it, serving as a platform for it to land on.

    “I end.”

    “Let’s spice things up, shall we?” The hacker moved dramatically, shoving a Spell Card toward his opponent. “I activate Graceful Charity to discard three cards and draw two!” He fanned out the cards, considered them carefully, then tossed two away. “Alrighty! Time for some fun! Sparkman, change Happy Lover’s Battle Position again please!”

    Despite Happy Lover’s efforts to resist, Sparkman successfully ripped the platform out from underneath Happy Lover’s feet, causing it to flip dizzily into the air.

    “And now for my favorite part! I’ll tribute my Fallen Alligator’s Sword as well as Fallen Hero Sparkman in order to summon ‘the dragon of ultimate potential’!” the hacker mocked.

    “What an insult,” Dave whispered. “Using your opponent’s favorite monster against them is bad enough, but this guy is just an asshole.”

    “Yeah, I can only imagine how that fee–” Josh broke off. His gaze fell upon Adam, who barely blinked as the two monsters dematerialized. Damn, he must have ice in his blood or something.

    And yet, something told him otherwise.

    “Behold, my Fallen Red-Eyes Black Dragon!”

    Piercing red eyes glared through the fog, followed by a low growl. Josh could feel his shoulders tremble as a wind blast shot overhead; Red-Eyes encircled the scene before somberly landing beside Fallen Summoned Skull. (2400/2000)

    “So, how does it feel to have ‘your loyal monster’ used against you!”

    The hacker gave a belly-laugh, reeling his head backwards. The laughter noticeably bothered the crowd, who could only watch and wait. Josh turned back to Adam to see his reaction, but Adam’s face was blocked out by the fog. He stepped forward a bit to see better, and then stopped.

    Adam… smiled.

    “Red-Eyes, do it.”

    On command, the dragon’s eyes shone brightly. It flapped its wings, startling Fallen Summoned Skull as it took flight. The hacker saw it rise, and nearly choked on his own saliva.

    “Agh, what the hell! Red-Eyes get down here!”

    Fallen Red-Eyes answered with a shriek and a whip of its tail, which smacked the hacker in his face and knocked him to the floor. Everyone chuckled. Red-Eyes then pounced on top of the hacker, pinning him down.

    “Gah! Get! Off! Me!” He started to shoo it away, but the dragon didn’t budge. The hacker glowered at Adam, who he could barely see behind the dragon’s hind leg. “What kind of trick is this?! I’m in control of this dragon, not you!”

    “Wrong.” Adam lifted his head, the red strand of hair shifted aside, falling along his black hairline. “Fallen Red-Eyes Black Dragon won’t obey just anybody. In fact, he’ll automatically destroy himself if he’s forced away from his original owner.” Adam jabbed his thumb towards his chest. “Me!”

    “What?!”

    Fallen Red-Eyes’s body lit up again, flashing spastically between its two main colors. The lights began to overlap, and the dragon craned its neck upwards. With another final shriek, the dragon violently exploded, consuming the hacker in a thick cloud of smoke.

    “Go Adam!” Josh did a fist-pump. Others joined him, and soon the whole crowd started to cheer.

    Adam gave Josh a thumbs-up, then recomposed himself as the hacker drearily stumbled back to his spot.

    The hacker’s body strained. His eyes tensed; Adam could see a fire building within him, one that threatened to burn everything in sight.

    “You think I’m done because you manage to outsmart me?!” [Deck Hacker LP: (4400 --> 3200)] “Think again! I still have all of your cards and now things are going to get really serious.”

    “I thought they already were,” Adam teased. The joke caught Josh off guard.

    And apparently the hacker. He stomped his feet against the ground. “You’re a dead man, Mr. Prince. Once I’m done here, I’m sicking my fellow Deck Hackers on you and then you’ll pay!”

    “That doesn’t scare me.” Adam’s voice was flat. “Finish your turn already.”

    “Oooh, I plan to! Stand up, my Fallen Hero Sparkman!”

    Sparkman jumped out from behind the hacker, stealthily landing next to Fallen Summoned Skull like a ninja. (1600/1400)

    “Now Fallen Summoned Skull – incinerate his Happy Lover!”

    Fallen Summoned Skull crossed its arms, channeling the electricity from its body into its claws, and releasing it through its horns. The lightning ricocheted across the fog, bouncing around until it zapped the tiny angel, burning it to a crisp. [Adam LP: (4700 --> 3000)]

    “That’s enough torment for now.”

    Adam drew. “Perfect.” He threw his arm across his chest, presenting the card near his shoulder. “I drew Droll Bird, which means Heart of the Underdog gives me another draw.” He did so. “D.D. Trainer. I draw once more.”

    “Draw all you want. Nothing in that deck is any good to you.”

    Dave examined the Heart of the Underdog card. He’s right. Adam’s just mindlessly drawing with that card. And with a handful of Normal Monsters, he’s never going to – A thought struck him. That’s it! He’s using that card to pull out the deck’s Spell and Trap cards!

    “Here we go,” Adam said. “I’ll set another monster and this card face-down and end my turn.”

    When I dueled the Deck Hacker every monster I drew was a dead draw. But the hacker’s deck is so stall-oriented that nearly every Spell and Trap card he has will always guarantee that Adam gets another turn. With Heart of the Underdog he’s able to weed out all the useless cards and get the ones he actually needs. But the hacker’s still right, Adam doesn’t have anything that can take him on. Dave turned, noticing that Josh was staring at him.

    “Something on your mind?”

    Dave nodded. “Adam’s got a decent strategy but I don’t see how he can win this.”

    Josh faced the field again. “He’ll think of something.”

    “I hope so.”

    Dave stared out at the field, watching the ghostly fog overtake the landscape. It subtly swirled around, haunting the monsters, seemingly waiting to absorb them into the darkness. He shivered, sending his downcast gaze at his Duel Disk.

    Wait a minute. Dave’s eyes widened; he seemed to fall into an entranced state. I know exactly what he’s trying to do.

    “Time to summon back not one, but two Fallen monsters!” The hacker pressed a button and two cards ejected out of his Graveyard. “Say hello the familiar Fallen Alligator’s Sword, and Fallen Hero Avian!”

    Fallen Hero Avian and Fallen Alligator’s Sword both hopped out from behind the tombstones, leaping high over the crowds’ heads. Each took its place beside Fallen Summoned Skull, with Avian (1000/1000) on the left and Alligator’s Sword (1500/1200) on the right.

    “Sparkman – flip that monster over.”

    The electrical hero zapped the card, causing it to disintegrate, exposing the Ancient Jar monster – a large brown jug with a black, one-eyed creature living inside (400/200).

    “Seems weak enough. Fallen Summoned Skull, finish the job!”

    Groaning, Fallen Summoned Skull took Sparkman’s excess electricity and transferred it into its claws. Clanging them together, it began to form another sphere of spastically sparking static.

    “I don’t think so.” Adam’s face-down card rose. “I activate Order to Charge!”

    Ancient Jar launched off the ground like a rocket, flying full-speed at Fallen Summoned Skull.

    “When this card’s activated, I can Tribute a Normal Monster I control to destroy a card you control!”

    Ancient Jar slammed into Fallen Summoned Skull’s electrical sphere, causing it to combust, producing a cloud of smoke over the hacker’s side of the field. Between the smoke and the fog, seeing anything was completely impossible. It took a good two minutes before the hacker was visible again.

    “A minor setback,” he said. “Even if you stopped my attack, you also just wasted a monster. Now Sparkman – attack his face-down card!”

    Sparkman punched the air, creating an electrical shockwave that split the card straight in two. The image of a large-billed duck – Droll Bird – appeared before reducing itself to ones and zeroes.

    “Don’t think I’m done yet. I’ll activate Premature Burial to revive Fallen Summoned Skull at the cost of 800 Life Points.” [Deck Hacker LP: (3200 --> 2400)]
    Tamer's Archives
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  19. #44
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    A red spectral hand shot out of the ground, cracking the concrete between the Deck Hacker and his monsters. Using the hand as a rope, Fallen Summoned Skull climbed its way out from the underworld, shaking the rubble off of its massive wings. (2500/1200)

    “Smart move,” Dave whispered to those around him. “With that Vengeful Bog Spirit out he wouldn’t have been able to attack with Summoned Skull if he summoned it next turn.”

    “Not only that, but saved himself a monster by getting around its Tribute cost,” Matt said.

    “My draw,” Adam said. “Since I drew Hard Armor, Heart of the Underdog allows me to draw again.”

    “You’re wasting your time,” the hacker reminded him scornfully.

    “Now to waste even more time,” Adam mocked. “I activate One Day of Peace. As the name implies, neither of us can take any damage until my next turn, and we each draw one card.”

    The hacker pouted, slipping out a new card.

    “Then I’ll set a face-down card and set a monster to finish my turn,” Adam said.

    “Heh, seems you’re putting my stall tactics to good use, but they can only last so long.” A brown-backed card flashed at the hacker’s feet. “Even though I can’t inflict damage this turn, I can still build my arsenal. I’ll Tribute Avian to summon Fallen Flame Swordsman, then using Double Grave Ceremony to bring him right back!”

    Avian burst into flames, holding out its arms as if it were a martyr accepting its demise. Its face deformed under a ghoulish glow, molding itself into the proud warrior adorned in red and orange garments. (1800/1600) The fire around it faded, and, dashing through the wisps of smoke and ash, Fallen Hero Avian landed beside it, good as new. (1000/1000)

    Now he has five monsters to Adam’s one, Josh thought. He’s safe this turn, but there’s no way he’s gonna be able to take them all on at once. He turned to Adam again, eying his face-down monster. That Deck Hacker is gonna plow right over that piece of cardboard, and after that…

    Josh’s train of thought stopped with a jarring realization. He looked over Adam’s field again, noting each card individually. First there was his monster, which rested horizontally in front of his Heart of the Underdog card. To the left of that was the face-down card Adam had just set before ending his turn. But then, Josh noticed, there was another face-down card, sitting closest to him.

    When did he play that card?

    “I’ll activate Fallen Flame Swordsman’s effect, transferring all of its ATK power to my Fallen Summoned Skull.”

    The swordsman grasped its handle with both hands, holding the blade parallel to its torso. Igniting it with sheer will, the swordsman swung the blade at the demonic creature standing in front of it (1800 --> 0/1600). Although the flames engulfed Fallen Summoned Skull, they did not seem to harm it but instead caused its muscles to expand (2500 --> 4300/1200).

    “You’re lucky that One Day of Peace is active, otherwise this would be your final turn. Fallen Summoned Skull –” the hacker pointed at Adam’s field “– attack his monster with Lightning Strike!”

    Digging its claws into the ground, Summoned Skull unleashed its electrical blast through the pavement. A trail of light could faintly be seen through the fog; once it drew close, electrical spike towers started to rise up, gaining speed as they traveled toward the sky.

    “I don’t think so – I activate Book of Eclipse!”

    A sky blue book dropped in front of the face-down card, stopping the spike towers in their tracks. It opened to a random page and a glaring light shined at the hacker, whose monsters cringed and tried to turn away. The light bounced off the fog, making it completely impossible to see anything beyond the two duelists.

    “When this card activates, every monster on the field is switched to face-down Defense Position. Then, at the end of the turn, you get to draw one card for each of them.”

    “What?!” Timmy shouted. “That doesn’t make sense. All he did was give his opponent more cards to work with.”

    “Especially when Adam should’ve used that next turn to stop an attack that could actually hurt him,” Matt said.

    Dave gripped onto his cap’s rim. Adam, I hope you’re doing what I think you’re doing.

    “A very foolish move,” the hacker said. “I’ll set a card face-down and end.” The hacker fanned out five new cards with his free hand, then held both of them up. “But lookie here, I have too many cards in my hand so I’ll need to discard.” He grinned. “Which means I get three more Fallen monsters to use later!”

    The light gradually faded, and each of the hacker’s monsters could be seen in a kneeling position.

    “I hope it was a good one,” Josh said, looking back at Adam, who was poised to draw.

    “My turn.” Adam closed his eyes, touching the top card of his deck. I need something big here. He slid it out carefully. Otherwise, this is it.

    He pulled it far beyond his shoulder, moving his arm until it extended straight out.

    Here we go.

    Adam brought the card closer. A sharp, disturbed sensation came over him. He read the card’s name, his heart battering its way into his throat. Old images crawled out from the innermost parts of his memories, weighing down on his lungs. Though he wanted to look away, he continued to stare at the card’s image, thinking the same sentence over and over again:

    So, this is what you thought of me.

    Adam added the card to his hand, dropping his gaze to the floor. He stared at the face-down card to his right, then looked up, noticing that Josh’s eyes were also transfixed on it.

    “It’s time,” Adam said. His voice became grave, almost sinister. “I’ll activate my face-down card.”

    The card arced upward, slowly creaking until it reached an upright position. Everyone saw that it was a Spell Card, depicting a bolt of lightning crashing down through raging whirlwinds.

    “Special Hurricane!”

    “What!” The hacker jumped up, enraged. “That’s impossible! I know every single card in my deck, and that’s not one of them!”

    “Who ever said it was yours?” Adam asked flatly. “I set this card on my very first turn!”

    Everyone let out an awestruck gasp.

    “No way!” the hacker shouted.

    The once still clusters of fog started to whip around the field, spinning into thin strips that layered together into a twister. The hacker stepped back, gazing up at the tunnel formed by the whirlwinds. Pale lightning shot down, striking at random spots around the hacker’s field. Each of the Fallen monsters huddled closer to each other, knowing that staying too close to the edge surely would lead to their doom.

    Adam’s red strand of hair whipped in front of his eyes, spastically fluttering. He held up a vanilla card – Hard Armor – near his nose. “All I have to do is discard one card, and all Special Summoned monsters are destroyed.” He slotted the card into the Graveyard. “And, as you know, in order to bring Fallen Monsters onto the field, you have to Special Summon them.”

    “N-no!” The hacker frightfully gazed up; he could see spiraling pale lights converging above him. “This can’t be happening!”

    “That’s right. You wanted to seize our cards in order to abuse their strengths.” Adam swung his arm. “But in order to do that, you have to take their weaknesses as well!”

    A loud crack! echoed throughout the sky, propelling an enormous bolt of pale lightning towards the hacker’s field. It plowed into the ground, deluging the hacker’s monsters with its intense power. They slowly disintegrated, reduced to falling bits of data as each gave out a desperate moan.

    The winds subsided, and the fog returned to plague the field. Adam brushed the red strand of hair into his black spikes.

    The hacker’s right eye twitched. His field was once filled with a surplus of monsters, but now it was reduced to nothing.

    “Looks like the tables have turned,” Adam said. “It’s about time I won this duel.”

    The hacker clutched both hands into fists. “As if!” he barked. “You might’ve tricked me into wiping out my monsters, but those cards you have are still worthless piles of junk!”

    “That’s the problem with you,” Adam said. He touched his face-down monster card, slipping his thumb underneath it. “You think that all of your cards are weak, and try to use your opponent’s power against them by projecting your weaknesses onto them. But it’s actually the other way around. In order to win this game, you have to take your weaknesses and turn them into your strengths!” He flipped the monster over. “I summon D.D. Trainer!”

    The face-down card vanished, replacing itself with a hole in the ground. A serpentine, orange worm-like creature wriggled out, digging its claws into the concrete. A small goblin sat mounted on it, commanding the grotesque worm to stay in place. (100/2000) The fog gathered around it, preventing either creature from seeing any further.

    “Pfft… Hahahaha!” the hacker cackled, wiping a tear from his eye. “You really had me scared for a second. Sorry, but 100 ATK isn’t going to do anything damaging.”

    “It’s not gonna stay that way for long.” Adam held out the two cards in his hand, deliberately fanning them as he pulled one out.

    He stared at it for a moment. The Spell Card seemed to be speaking to him. Taunting him. His eyes sharpened the longer he looked at it, anger building with him.

    Josh raised an eyebrow. What’s he doing?

    “You’re never gonna get away with what you did,” Adam said. His voice lost its heroic boldness, replaced with that sinister edge once again. “I activate the Spell Card –” he held it up high; despite the fog, everyone could see it clear as day “– Elderly Expectations!”

    A simultaneous gasp seeped through the air. Josh, Dave, and the two brothers watched closely; the hacker started to laugh again.

    “Right. You know what happened the last time everyone tried to use my cards?” He closed his fists, then opened his hands wide, exposing his palms. “Poof.”

    “Hmph.” Adam slid the card in.

    Amused, the hacker watched Adam’s Duel Disk glare in rainbow light, as all Duel Disks did when playing an illegal card. Static raced across the enlarged card-hologram as it rose. At the same time, all of the holograms flickered briefly, just as the hacker expected. He grinned; this was his favorite part – the part where the hologram exploded, and his opponent yelled in exasperation over his failure. But then, the unexpected happened – the static ceased, and the Spell Card stayed in place, glowing with a pure-red aura.

    The hacker’s jaw fell – that cherished moment never came.

    “You were saying?” Adam asked coyly.

    “That’s not possible!” the hacker squealed, throwing his arms toward the ground. “Only I should be able to use that card! I’m the only one here with a hacked Duel Disk!”

    “Unless,” Timmy said. “Does Adam… have one too?”

    Josh shot a quick glance at Adam’s arm. Nothing looked abnormal about it, but then – upon closer inspection of the Card Analyzer attached – he could clearly see that the screen glared blood red.

    But, if Adam has a hacked Duel Disk… His heart sank. Does that mean, he’s a Deck Hacker too?!

    Josh saw Dave in his peripheral vision, and could tell he had the same thought process. They warily turned to each other.

    “You thought wrong.” Adam pointed to his monster. “With Elderly Expectations out, I can increase the ATK and DEF of one monster I control by 2000, and during my Battle Phase, the effects of Spell and Traps card have no effect on it.”

    The red aura poured out of the illegal Spell Card, washing over the serpentine creature. The goblin on top cracked its whip, forcing the worm to raise its front legs. (100 --> 2100/2000 --> 4000)

    “And now it’s my Battle Phase,” Adam said. The goblin cracked its whip again, somehow commanding the aura to glow brighter. As the aura grew, the fog scampered away. “D.D. Trainer – attack his Life Points directly!”

    The goblin cracked its whip once more, hitting the creature’s hind legs. It slithered across the field, following a wavy trail.

    “Oh no you don’t! I activate Ring of Destruction!”

    The hacker’s face-down card rose – a tire flung out and ensnared the beast’s neck. Seconds later, violent flames burst out, leaving a veil of smoke in its wake.

    The hacker crossed his arms, satisfied. “Heh, nice try.”

    “I could say the same to you,” Adam countered. “Especially since I just said that Traps have no effect on it.”

    “What!?”

    “That’s the problem with always relying on your opponent’s cards – you never get to learn how to use your own.”

    Unfazed by the blast, D.D. Trainer continued its stride. As it drew near, it slashed at the hacker with an arcing claw, ripping right at his chest.

    “Agh!” [Deck Hacker LP: (2400 --> 300)]

    “And now I’ll end my turn.”

    The hacker ripped out a new card, raising his arm high over his head. “I’m not gonna drag this out any longer! First I’ll summon Fallen Hero Avian, and then sacrifice it to bring out the almighty Fallen Summoned Skull!”

    A barrage of feathers shot out of the Graveyard’s slot, followed by a streak of lightning. The lightning shot across the feathers, incinerating them, and the Fallen Summoned Skull lived again. (2500/1200)

    “Lucky for you, that Vengeful Bog Spirit delays my final assault, so I’ll end my turn. But not before I send another Fallen monster into my Graveyard!”

    Adam drew, frowned. “I switched D.D. Trainer to Defense Position.”

    The goblin pulled the worm’s reigns back, commanding it to kneel. (2100/4000)

    “I end.”

    “Heh, that won’t do anything.” The hacker pointed to the tombstone on his right. “Now I’ll bring back Fallen Hero Sparkman!”

    A flash of light spread over the field, blinding everyone momentarily. When they looked back, Fallen Hero Sparkman stood on top of the tombstone, with arms held high. (1600/1400)

    “Sparkman, use your effect to switch his D.D. Trainer to Attack Position!”

    Sparkman created a bolt of electricity, using it as a lasso to wrap around the worm. Although the goblin tried its hardest to tame its ride, the worm couldn’t help but succumb to the tugging force of the rope. (2100/4000)

    “And since Sparkman no longer serves any use for me, I’ll Tribute it to summon Fallen Flame Swordsman once again.”

    Sparkman jumped down behind the tombstone, and, as if they had coordinated the action beforehand, Flame Swordsman jumped out, landing on one knee. (1800/1600) It crossed its sword in front of its face, aiming the tip of its blade at Summoned Skull.

    “I think you can guess what I’m going to do now. Flame Swordsman – transfer all of your power to my Fallen Summoned Skull!”

    Flame Swordsman held up its sword, and the fiery aura surrounding it engulfed Summoned Skull. The demon combined its electricity with the flames, causing blood-red wisps of static to trickle around its torso and horns. (2500 --> 4300/1200)

    “4300 ATK,” Timmy whispered.

    Matt nodded. “If Adam doesn’t do something soon, it’s all over.”

    “Obliterate his D.D. Trainer with Searing Lightning Strike!”

    As the goblin struggled to bring its worm down, Summoned Skull unleashed a barrage of red lightning, sending five red bolts arcing towards them. The goblin was the first to react, screaming as its body shattered like glass. The worm cringed, backing up in a feeble attempt to get away, but soon its skin caught fire and burned like kindling.

    The flames reflected in Adam’s eyes. [Adam LP: (3000 --> 800)]

    “And now, my turn is done.” The hacker smiled, casting a magician’s hand over the field. “Well, will you look at that? An empty field. Looks like you have no chance now.” He pointed to Summoned Skull. “Even if you manage to summon a monster, Skull’s piercing effect will eat at the last bit of your Life Points, and then this deck will be mine for the taking!”

    “I don’t think so.” Adam closed his eyes. “As long as my heart beats, my deck will always enable me to win.”

    “Keh,” the hacker laughed.

    “Does he…” Dave trailed off.

    Josh quizzically turned to Dave. “You know what he’s talking about?”

    Dave nodded. “I think he believes in the Heart of the Cards.”

    “The what?”

    “It’s a belief that a person can force the outcome of a duel by believing their deck. Yugi’s made it famous – he’s even accredited every victory he’s ever had to it.”

    “You’re right, Dave,” Adam said, opening his eyes. “But that’s not all.” He dramatically pointed to the Heart of the Underdog card beside him. “Josh’s heroic heart inspired me to win, so I know that I can’t fail now.”

    “Please,” the hacker said. “He hasn’t contributed to this duel at all besides serving as a punching bag for our monsters.” He grinned. “Besides, I’m the one holding your deck, so your silly ‘Heart of the Cards’ will only work in my favor.”

    “We’ll see.” Adam positioned his feet in a fighting stance. “It’s my draw.”

    Silence. Even those closest to the hacker could hear the sweeping sound of Adam pulling the card from the deck as clear as day. They held their breathe, watching Adam examine his hand.

    Please Adam, Josh thought.

    Adam glanced over at the hacker’s field, trailing his eyes between each card – Fallen Summoned Skull, then Fallen Flame Swordsman, and, finally the hacker himself.

    Even though you’re probably a Deck Hacker, and even though everyone hates you, I know that ¬you wouldn’t be fighting for us if you really were the selfish person everyone makes you out to be.

    He cast his gaze back over his hand, absorbing the pictures, the text, the borders.

    You’ve been able to last this long, so there’s no way you can lose now. I know you won’t let me down.

    Bringing his cards lower, Adam gazed past the Heart of the Underdog card, making eye contact with the person directly behind it – Josh.

    I believe in you.

    Adam maintained eye contact for a few seconds. He closed his eyes, lowering his arms to his side.

    Everyone – including the hacker – stared intently at his mouth as he spoke.

    “I end.”

    The hearts of crowd were simultaneously crushed, like the devil’s hand squeezing the life out of them. The hacker’s cackles returned, louder than ever. Adam stood motionless, eyes still closed.

    “N-No way…” Timmy felt his skin crawl.

    Matt nearly fell to his knees. “He came so close, but it still wasn’t enough.”

    Josh hung his head.

    Adam… I don’t believe it.

    “Gahahahaa! This is rich!” The hacker danced around like an overjoyed monkey; the crowd jumped back, disturbed. “After spending all this time preaching about bravery and heroism, you couldn’t even keep your advantage for a single turn! Hahahahaa!”

    The hacker faced Adam again, panting to calm himself down. Adam hadn’t moved.

    “Ah, what fun. Too bad I have to end this now. But then again these four decks I’ve won will certainly make my master happy, which means promotion for me!” He lifted up his hand, wiggling his fingers. “Been a pleasure dueling you, Mr. Prince. My draw!”

    “I don’t think so.” Adam opened his eyes, smiled.

    “What are yo–” The hacker touched his fingers against the deck slot, feeling a cold metal texture. He slid his fingers along it, expecting a card to glide into his palm. Nothing. He tried again, pressing harder this time. Nothing. Confused, he slowly peered downward, eyes falling onto where his deck should have been.

    The sight bewildered him – no cards were there at all.

    “What?!”

    “I’ve won this duel.” Adam shoved a defiant finger toward the Deck Hacker’s Duel Disk. “You were so eager to use my own cards against me you failed to realize that I was deliberately making my deck thinner and thinner with each passing turn. By the time we switched, my deck was already half its size. That’s the one weakness of my deck – a weakness I’ve turned into a strength.”

    The holograms faded, and the fog dispersed, allowing the sun to cast a natural spotlight onto the street.

    The hacker dropped to his knees. Cards spilt out of his pockets; their images mocking him – Black Luster Soldier, XYZ-Dragon Cannon, Fallen Red-Eyes Black Dragon – plus many more. He winced, as if in pain.

    “People think Fallen cards are strong because they’re able to continuously revive themselves with very little effort. But because of that, it’s very easy to lose track of the most important resources – the hand and the deck. All I had to do was wait, and my deck would defeat you for me.”

    Adam walked over; his confidence beaming.

    “That was a close one,” Dave huffed. “I almost thought Adam wouldn’t be able to Deck him Out in time.”

    “You knew?” Matt asked.

    “Yep.” Dave stepped out of the crowd, following Adam’s trail. “That’s how Adam beat me.”

    Timmy and Matt chased after him.

    Josh grinned. I knew you wouldn’t let me down.

    “Now,” Adam said, holding out a hand. “Give everything you stole back.”

    The hacker craned his head up. Blood stained his eyes. “As if!” He pushed Adam in the chest, knocking him back, then began to scoop up the cards he dropped. “I’m getting the hell outta here!”

    “Wrong.”

    A gun cocked.

    Everyone tensed, turned to the source of the sound. They became relieved to see a police officer, aiming at the hacker’s neck. But this wasn’t just any cop – Josh recognized him.

    Nathan!

    “Hands behind your head. You’re under arrest for theft as well as possession of illegal property.”

    The hacker did as he was told; the cards he held fluttered to the ground, landing in front of the group of five.

    Nathan clicked handcuffs around the hacker’s wrists, tossing him to another pair of police officers before joining the others.

    “Good timing,” Josh said. “I thought he was gonna get away for a second.”

    “Luckily a civilian called and reported the incident, otherwise he would’ve.”

    Dave picked a Black Luster Ritual card off the ground, dusting it off. “There were a couple of seconds where I thought I would’ve never seen my deck again.”

    “Yeah, same here,” Matt and Timmy both said. They collected their cards using their shirts as trays. “Thanks, Adam!”

    “No problem,” Adam said quietly. “I hate seeing thugs like him picking on innocent people. I did what needed to be done.”

    “We really owe you one,” Timmy said. Matt nodded in agreement, and then they both took off.

    “Speaking of thugs,” Nathan whispered, stepping closer to them. “Did you guys see any more Deck Hackers around? I only got here in time to see the fog clear; I’m not sure if any others got away.”

    Josh and Dave both looked to each other, then turned back to Adam. Adam remained silent, waiting.

    “No sir,” Josh said. “He was the only one.”

    “I see.” Nathan tipped his cap. “Then I guess I better hurry. Make sure to call if you learn anything about these Hackers.”

    The three nodded. “Right.”

    Nathan twisted around, sprinting to catch up to his colleagues.

    “Thank you,” Adam said, stepping closer to Josh. “If you didn’t let me attack you then, I would’ve been at a severe disadvantage. Here –” He held out a card – Heart of the Underdog “ – take this, you earned it.”

    Josh hesitated. “Wait, wasn’t that the hacker’s card?”
    “It probably wasn’t even his to begin with.” Adam shrugged. “Besides, I would feel better if a good card like this was in the hands of a hero.”

    Cautious fingers accepted the gift; Josh shuddered. “Are you sure?”

    “Positive,” Adam said. “I’ll catch ya ‘round.”

    The two stayed in the center of the street, watching him leave. The crowd had been long gone at point, and the sun’s light enveloped the sky.

    “What now?” Josh asked.

    “Dunno,” Dave said. He assembled his cards into a neat deck, shoving it into his Duel Disk. This brought a warm sensation forward, one he hadn’t felt in a long time. “But I’m definitely done dealing with the Deck Hackers, at least for today.”

    “Me too.”

    “Let’s head home, I guess.”

    “Right,” Josh smiled, patting Dave on the shoulder. “Lead the way!”


    ~*~*~*~


    Jacob grasped the ice-cold railing tightly, cradling it as he reached the bottom of the stairs. After quickly surveying the area, he passed through a doorway leading outside, returning him to the busy streets of Domino City. Nonchalantly blending into the crowd, he pulled out his Card Analyzer. An outlined version of the city appeared on its screen, with a blinking red dot moving towards the top of the screen.

    Perfect.

    He put the Card Analyzer away, shoving his hands into his pockets. He continued to follow the flow of the people walking around him, never straying from his predetermined path.

    Everything is going just as Master expected.


    ~*~*~*~

    Card Analyzer activated…
    Accessing Card Database… Searching for Card Data …
    … Data Found:

    Fallen Hero Sparkman
    ****
    [Light]
    [Warrior/Effect]
    (1600/1400)
    This card cannot be Normal Summoned or Set. This card can Special Summon itself from the Graveyard. You can only Special Summon 1 “Fallen” monster this way per turn. If a non-“Fallen” monster exists in your Graveyard, you may not Special Summon this card this way. This card’s name is also treated as “Elemental Hero Sparkman”. Once per turn, you may switch the battle position of 1 monster on the field.

    Fallen Alligator’s Sword
    ****
    [Earth]
    [Beast/Effect]
    (1500/1200)
    This card cannot be Normal Summoned or Set. This card can Special Summon itself from the Graveyard. You can only Special Summon 1 “Fallen” monster this way per turn. If a non-“Fallen” monster exists in your Graveyard, you may not Special Summon this card this way. This card’s name is also treated as “Alligator’s Sword”. When this card declares an attack against an opponent’s monster, increase its ATK by 500 during the Damage Step only.

    Hand Unity
    [Spell/Continuous]
    Activate in a Tag Duel only. You and your partner can now use cards from each other’s hands with their permission.
    Tamer's Archives
    A Pokemon fic. Chapter 4 is up [1/25/11]

    Heroic Potential
    A Yugioh! fic. Chapter 20 is up [12/14/13]
    ~Back from the dead!~
    No knowledge of the game is required to enjoy this fic!

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