A man sauntered around the museum with his hands in his pockets. Boring, he thought. So many priceless artifacts, and they were all worthless. He pretended to examine some antique vase while he waited by a door. The voices of two girls and another man resounded behind it.
“Right. Oh, uh, thanks Mister Director.”
“No problem, ladies.”
The two girls walked out of the door, with the crimson-haired girl closing it behind her. They calmly headed for the exit, with their backs turned to him. He took his eyes off the vase to see if the opening was clear, then reached for the doorknob.
The door creaked open, and the man peered in. The director, Demetrius, heard the creak and reflexively turned towards the sound, and saw the man walk inside. “This is a private area. You’re not allowed in here.”
“Shut up,” the man said. His voice was rough, as if sandpaper pressed against his vocal chords. “I’m allowed to do whatever the hell I want.” He closed the door behind him.
Demetrius grabbed the phone on his desk. The man continued to approach. “If you don’t leave in three seconds I’m going to call the police.”
The man smirked, revealing that he had a missing tooth. “How cute. How ‘bout I count for you?”
Demetrius eyed the man as he came closer. His riding boots squeaked with each step.
“Three.” The man came chest-to-chest with him. His breath smelt rancid.
Demetrius tightened his grip on the phone and brought it closer to his ear.
The man ripped one hand out of his pocket and grabbed the director by the neck, slamming him against the window. When the phone hit the floor, the man pulled out his opposite hand, which held a green stone.
The man crashed his palm into Demetrius’s neck, bringing the stone with it. Demetrius let out a guttural scream and a menacing green light invaded the room.
Yugioh: World Tour – Fifth Stop: The Green Light
Larissa stopped at the door. She regretted that handshake earlier: her friendly gesture caused her enough pain as it was. But there were more pressing matters now—What was that light? Why was Demetrius screaming? Before Juno could notice, she awkwardly turned the doorknob with her left hand and slammed it open.
Demetrius was now on the ground, limp and groaning. The man loomed over him, with the stone still in his hand, and eyed the two girls as they walked in.
“Figures,” the man said, “Damn guy couldn’t stay quiet, only natural that his lackies came to save him.” The man kicked Demetrius in the gut and then shoved him to the side with his foot.
“Get away from him!” Larissa yelled. She and Juno flinched when the man walked toward them.
“Three seconds here and you’re already a pain in my ***.” The man lifted the stone into the air. “It’s time I’ve gotten rid of you two!”
A bright green light emitted from the stone once again. The girls averted their gaze due to its intensity.
“That’s right!” The man grinned widely. He held his palm up higher. “Cower before m—”
Like a faulty light bulb, the stone’s shine flickered and undulated back and forth in its brightness. The man lowered his hand, observing the stone.
“What? Why’s it—agh!”
The glow disappeared entirely and the man fell to his knees, dropping the stone in the process. He quickly snatched it up and ducked to behind the desk. He scrambled into his pocket and pulled out his phone.
Juno was the first to look back. While the assailant was struggling, she ran over to Demetrius and took his pulse.
“It’s Roger!” The man yelled. “Send in the D-Wheel—Quickly!”
When Larissa finally adjusted her eyes, the wall in front of her broke apart forcibly as a white D-Wheel barged through, swiping in front of her and knocking her off her feet. Her torso landed on her arm—which amplified her pain tenfold—and then she rolled over while clutching her wrist.
A robotic hand reached out to Roger, who grabbed it desperately and hoisted himself into a sidecar.
Juno stood up again as Roger and his robotic driver crashed through another part of the wall. She ran over to Larissa. “Are you okay?”
“Fine.” Larissa sat up and immediately got on her feet. Her heart clenched each time she moved her fingers, but now wasn’t the time for that. “What happened to—”
“I don’t know,” Juno interrupted, shaking her head. “He’s unconscious but something’s wrong.”
Larissa ran to the hole in the wall and spotted her D-Wheel in the parking lot. She faced Juno. “C’mon.”
The two jumped on the Indra, Larissa tossed Juno a spare helmet, and they zipped onto the streets. By some miracle, Roger wasn’t too far ahead.
He turned off onto a dirt road with Larissa in pursuit. Roger turned back to them, glared at his robotic driver, and pinched his thighs.
“Dammit,” he muttered. “Why now.” He gritted his teeth and pulled out the stone again. “Work, dammit. Work!”
He clenched his fist and the light reignited. Tendrils of green energy flowed out of his fingers and onto the streets, flushing through it like a newly born river. Larissa and Juno marveled as strange symbols engraved into the pavement.
“Hang on,” Juno said. “Those signs… aren’t they the same one’s that are on your friend’s box?”
“Yeah, they ar—” Larissa stopped when her D-Wheel clicked into autopilot mode. She revved the engine, but the speed was fixed. Glitchy numbers crawled along the terminal screen until the electronic voice resounded.
“Speed World – X activated. Scanning surrounding area… Mountain terrain detec–” The electronic voice became overrun by static. When it bled back through, it sounded ominous. “New terrain detected! Field set. Speed World - Orichalcos.”
“Orichalcos?” Larissa repeated. “What in the world…?”
“Fine, we’ll do this the hard way!” Roger shouted. He opened a compartment in the sidecar and inserted his deck before sloppily drawing six cards. “I summon Gradius in Attack Mode!”
A pale spaceship swooped down from the clouds, hovering directly over Roger’s head. (1200 ATK)
“W-wait!” Larissa yelled. “I didn’t even accept this duel!”
“Too bad.” Roger reached for more cards. “Now I’ll summon two copies of Gradius’ Option to join it!”
Two triangular red spaceships flew towards the two bikes. (? ATK) [x2]
“And thanks to their effects, Gradius’ Options will always have the same stats as the mother Gradius!”
The triangles neared the Gradius ship and began to rotate around it. A translucent signal passed through both of them from the cockpit. (? → 1200 ATK) [x2]
The street took on a green tint and a pillar of light shot up at the three floating machines. They were bathed in its energy and the same green aura manifested around them. (1200 → 1700 ATK) [x3]
“Wait a second, where’d that ATK boost come from?” Juno asked. “None of his cards should be able to do that!”
“It’s the Orichalcos,” Roger said. “As long as it’s out, all of my monsters gain 500 ATK.”
“I just said, I never accepted this duel!” Larissa yelled.
“And I said too bad,” Roger scoffed. “Once the Orichalcos goes up, you have no choice!”
Larissa bit her lip. Her wrist strained like vibrating guitar strings. Reluctantly, she forced herself to draw five cards.
Larissa LP: 4000—SC: 0
Roger LP: 4000—SC: 0
“Good girl.” Roger continued as Larissa drew her starting hand. “I activate Speed Spell – Overboost!” (SC: 0 → 4)
Larissa tensed. “Speed Counters already?”
“And now I’ll use the Orichalcos’s power once again by removing four Speed Counters!” (SC: 4 → 0)
The larger Gradius shifted back from the two smaller ships.
“That’ll finish my turn, but that’s not the end, ‘cause Overboost grants me a free Speed Counter at the end of the turn.” (SC: 0 → 1)
“Larissa,” Juno said into her ear. “His Gradius cards can get strong quickly, but there’s a huge flaw. If you can destroy the original Gradius, all of his monsters will destroy themselves.”
Larissa nodded. “Gotcha.”
“Hurry up and go already!” Roger hollered.
“My draw.” Larissa bit her lip harder—so hard that she thought it would bleed—and ripped out her sixth card.
Speed Spell – Speed Storm.
Perfect. If she could just stall for a few turns, this duel would be over quickly. She added it to the collection and looked to her terminal.
Larissa SC: 0
Roger SC: 1 → 2
Larissa stared at the screen in disbelief. “W-wait, why didn’t my counters go up?!”
“Weren’t you paying attention?” Roger mocked. “When I said the Orichalcos powered up my monsters, I meant it was mine. As in, I’m the only one who gets to reap the benefits!”
“Crap,” Larissa uttered. “I gotta find a way around this, and fast.”
Juno raised an eyebrow. “Are you talking to yourself?”
“Yeah, I do that sometimes.” Larissa brushed her hand across the card-holder and a monster card fell perfectly onto the duel mat.
Fire erupted out of the Indra’s exhaust pipe, spiraling into a ball of plasma. The ball reformed into a humanoid shape and it dashed alongside its owner. (1800 ATK)
“Fuel Harvester—attack his Gradius!”
The plasma creature kicked off the green street, launching itself over the trees. Once it was twenty feet away from its target, the creature stopped itself and shot a fireball with the remainder of its momentum. Before the flames could touch the mothership, the two triangular ships intercepted and deflected the blast.
“What?” Larissa shouted in consternation. “But how?!”
“Wait, look!” Juno extended her arm past Larissa’s hips, pointing at the terminal screen. The Gradius’ Option cards were in the top row, the Monster Card Zones, but the original Gradius card wasn’t. It was directly below them, in the bottom row.
“I see you’re catching on.” Roger laughed. “Yes, during my previous turn, I used the Orichalcos’ power to move my monster to one of my Spell/Trap Card Zones. And because I did, you can’t attack it unless you destroy all the monsters in my Monster Card Zones first!”
“Then I’ll do just that!”
Fuel Harvester nodded in confirmation, kicking the satellite ship with its burning leg. It tumbled through the air before crashing into the tree line.
Roger LP: 4000 → 3900
“Peh, minimal damage.”
Larissa weakly held two cards in her hand—the same cards that she had been struggling to play since she launched her attack—and set them onto her field.
Larissa SC: 0
Roger SC: 2 → 3
“My turn again.” Roger grabbed a green card. “I activate this baby: Speed Spell – Rapidshot Wing! This allows me to increase my Gradius’ ATK by 200 for each Speed Counter that I have. But that’s not all. As you know, Gradius’ Option gains the same boosts as its base ship!”
The green aura surrounding the two ships took on a blue tinge, causing the aura to grow a third of its original size. (1700 → 2300 ATK) [x2] The larger of the two ships channeled this aura into its turrets and immediately fired a bluish-green beam.
Larissa gritted her teeth. The beam drew closer and closer to Fuel Harvester as she extended her arm. The act was resisted by her tightened veins and muscles. Fuel Harvester backed away but the beam had already passed the trees. Larissa slammed her finger on a button and the electronic voice responded:
“Voice Control activated.”
“I activate my Trap Card!”
Fuel Harvester crossed its arms and a jet of fire emerged out of each of its elbows. The beam hit it directly in the chest but it proved ineffective. Fuel Harvester clenched its fists tightly. Smoke rose out from where it had been struck.
Juno shot a questioning look to Larissa. Why did she use voice control as opposed to just playing the card?
“Nice try,” Larissa began with a pant, “but my Heat Shield can negate an attack against a FIRE monster by halving that monster’s ATK.”
Fuel Harvester winced. A fiery equivalent of sweat dripped off its forehead. (1800 → 900 ATK)
Roger smiled. “Pfft, like that’s gonna do you any good now.” He noticed an orange glow reflecting off his robot-driver’s back. “Huh?”
“If that’s not enough, then how about Heat Shield’s second effect? When I negate an attack with it, you take damage equal to the amount of ATK my monster lost!”
Fuel Harvester fought off the excessive smoke by uncrossing its arms. A yellow-and-orange reinvention of the laser attack flung down the street and into Roger’s bike.
Roger LP: 3900 → 3000
Roger recuperated and turned around completely to face his opponent. “Smart talk and cheap tricks will only get you so far.” He faced the computer on his sidecar again. “I set one card and end my turn.”
A brown card appeared next to him before quickly fading away. At that same moment, the bluish glow from the spaceships’ Orichalcos aura dissipated and they returned to their normal size. (2300 → 1700 ATK) [x2]
Larissa SC: 0
Roger SC: 3 → 4
Larissa looked to her deck. The aches in her wrist worsened, and continued to worsen, the longer she stared at it. She held her breath as she drew. The second she saw it was a monster she put it down without second thought.
“I’ll switch Fuel Harvester to Defense Position as well and end my turn.”
The panel on her terminal rotated ninety degrees and locked into place. Her monster became lined in a pale-blue glow. (1200 DEF)
Roger grinned smugly. “I can sense your desperation.”
Larissa SC: 0
Roger SC: 4 → 5
“Hohoho, we got a winner here,” Roger said. “I summon Victory Viper XX03 in Attack Mode!”
Another spaceship zipped across the sky and ran parallel to Gradius’ Option. It appeared to be an updated version of Gradius, much sleeker and refined than its counterpart. It slowed down and allowed the Orichalcos power to seep into its frame. (1200 → 1700 ATK)
“Next I’ll activate this card!” Roger played a spell and a virtual recreation appeared beside him. Larissa read its name on her screen: Speed Spell – High Speed Crash. “When this is activated, I get to destroy one card you control as well as one card I control. So now I’ll destroy your Heat Shield by using my face-down card.
“But, why should I let it go to waste?” The brown card materialized and then arched up. “I’ll chain my Miracle Locus, so it’ll resolve first!”
A pillar of maroon energy burst out of the card and overlapped with the Victory Viper above it.
“This grants my monster an additional attack this turn, as well as giving it 1000 extra ATK points.” (1700 → 2700 ATK) “But as a drawback, it can’t inflict damage this turn, and you get to draw a card in exchange for its boost.”
Larissa clenched her jaw. Her grasp remained on her handlebar.
“What the hell are you waiting for?” Roger yelled. “Draw!”
The sound reverberated through her bones. Larissa closed one eye and groaned as she let go.
“What’s wrong?” Juno asked.
“It’s my hand,” Larissa finally admitted. Her voice squealed. “My arm got crushed when I was younger and I can’t—”
“Oh please,” Roger scoffed. “You think you’re the only one who’s been in an accident? You’re talking to someone who’s paralyzed from the waist down.”
“But you were walking!” Larissa called.
“Peh, you call that walking.” Roger cupped the stone in his hand. “No, that wasn’t me walking. That was the power of the Orichalcos pouring energy into my legs. It was the one moving for me.
“When I was in my late twenties, I used to be a part of a motorcycle gang. We tore up the streets and stomped anyone who got in our way. But I had bigger ambitions. I was going to go on to be a Dueling Pro. But that all fell to the wayside…”
Roger clasped the stone.
“I took my bike to get refitted into a D-Wheel before my first big expedition match, and while I was on a practice ride the next day, a belt came loose and the entire vehicle fell apart from underneath me. I crashed onto the road and cracked my lower spine. The doctors said it was irreversibly damaged and that I would never walk again.”
Larissa felt her heart strain. She looked at her wrist. The pain remained as it was before, but it seemed so small now.
“But then I met a powerful man named Sar,” Roger continued. “He showed me the power of the Orichalcos—a power that can bridge the gap between life and death—and gave me the ability to stand on my own two feet. Of course, you saw, this tiny stone’s power is only temporary.”
Roger fumbled with the rock. The Enochian symbol on it reflected in his eyes.
“But, by gathering more stones together and replenishing their powersource, Sar promises that one day I will walk again on my own.”
“Powersource?” Larissa repeated aloud. “What on earth could that thing run on?”
“Souls,” Roger stated gravely. Then he smiled. “Haven’t you figured it out yet? Your friend wasn’t unconscious before—I ripped his spirit straight out of his body. And, once you lose this duel, I’m going to do the same thing to you. Now draw, dammit!”
Her heart began to pound madly. Was it really possible for a stone to do that? Larissa gazed along the green roads. No wonder this Speed World put her on edge so much. If Demetrius was really gone… no. She couldn’t think like that now. She held her breath, and yanked a card out as her eyes began to water. The card nearly flew away in the wind. She couldn’t hold it.
“Now, as I was saying.” The High Speed Crash card merged with the Miracle Locus, propelling it forward at Fuel Harvester. The monster was shielded with a literal card barrier, which burst apart like exploding bricks. “Wipe out her two monsters!”
Victory Viper descended slightly below its ally ships. The ship unhinged its bottom plate, aiming its two lasers at Fuel Harvester and the hidden monster. The two individual blasts spiraled through their targets: Fuel Harvester toppled over a few feet, then yards, behind the racing motorcycles. Meanwhile, the blue card caught ablaze, leaving only scraps of metal remaining.
Larissa swerved away from the debris. Two more attacks, she anticipated. She could still survive this turn.
Juno spotted two strange formations in the sky. They looked like shadows, but they were above the spaceships, engraved into the clouds. As Victory Viper floated upward, two more copies of it floated down. (2700 ATK) [x2]
“But how?” Larissa asked.
“It must be his card’s effect,” Juno answered.
“Correct.” Roger grinned again. “When Victory Viper destroys a monster in battle, I get to activate any of its three effects, and I choose its first one. It enables me to summon an ‘Option Token’ that copies my Victory Viper card to-the-letter.” He laughed. “Well, maybe not quite to-the-letter.”
The four ships charged their lasers.
“My Viper Victory may have lost its ability to inflict damage this turn, but no one ever said anything about its offspring!”
Juno ran the numbers through her head. If those attacks connected, it would be over 8000 damage in one shot.
“Go, finish her off!”
Larissa reeled her head back. “I don’t think so, Trap card, open!”
A purple card depicting Zaborg the Thunder Monarch getting shocked by various Thunder-type monsters flashed before her. The image whited out and three Mega Thunderballs lined up to intercept the attacks.
They were obliterated as quickly as they arrived, and failed to protect Larissa from one stray beam. Her D-Wheel skidded back upon impact. Juno shifted in her seat while Larissa steadied their balance.
Larissa LP: 4000 → 1300
“What in the world was that?” Roger asked.
“Overcharge. It lets me summon any number of non-Tuner Thunder-type monsters from my Deck so long as their Levels are equal to six or less,” Larissa said. “I summoned my monsters in Defense Position, so only one of your attacks went through.”
“Whatever.” Roger waved his hand dismissively. “I’ll use the Orichalcos to move Victory Viper XX03 to my backrow and end my turn.” (SC: 5 → 1)
Victory Viper slowed itself, allowing the other three ships to take the lead, and hovered alongside Gradius. The three Vipers shed their newfound luster, returning to their original color scheme. (2700 → 1700 ATK) [x3]
Larissa mulled over her cards. Speed Spell – Speed Storm, Speed Spell – Power Baton, Speed Spell – Speed Fusion. All of them useless without any Speed Counters. Overcharge would prevent her from drawing this turn, due to its restriction. Her final card, the one she just drew from Miracle Locus, was still clutched in her fingers. It was a monster, but how was she going to stop this with just one monster?
Larissa SC: 0
Roger SC: 1 → 2
Larissa shook her head. There wasn’t any better choice. “I summon Bowganian in Defense Mode!” She flattened her palm against the terminal and kept it there, knowing that the autopilot would balance her.
A green, spherical creature rolled onto the street, hopping into the air and opened its sole blue eye. It stretched its arms out of their compartments and prepared its crossbow. (1000 DEF)
Larissa moved her hand away. A rippling sensation laced down her arm and peaked at her elbow. She braced her arm against her stomach, on top of Juno’s arm. Juno could feel her shaking.
“That’s it? What a pity.” Roger drew. “I was hoping for more of a fight after that.”
Larissa SC: 0
Roger SC: 2 → 3
“I guess it’s your funeral.” Roger smirked at his drawn card. “I activate Speed Spell – Power Capsule. Since I have three Speed Counters, I get to activate one of Victory Viper XX03’s effects as if it were this card.”
Another Victory Viper descended alongside the three leading ships. (1700 ATK)
“Just for good measure.” Roger chuckled. “Now, my original Victory Viper XX03, take out that stupid archer.”
The backmost Viper spun around and fired its laser. An unusual shell formed around Bowganian as the attack would have hit, deflecting the beam and repelling it into the trees.
“Sorry, but it’s not gonna be that easy.” Larissa panted after the last word. This damned wrist. “Electromagnetic Turtle activates. By banishing itself, your Battle Phase stops cold.”
“I see. That was the face-down monster I destroyed, right?” Roger shrugged. “So you bought yourself a free turn. Not going to make a difference now.”
Was he right? Larissa turned to her deck. Her arm was still braced against her stomach. She lifted it up, but a searing tear brought it back down. She cried out audibly.
“I can’t…” she muttered. “D-damn it…!”
A hand reached out and grabbed the top card. Larissa gawked at it. She looked down; her arm had never moved.
“You’re not gonna let this guy get to you, right?” Juno asked. She slid the card off the pile.
Larissa turned to her. “Th-thank you.” She winced.
Larissa SC: 0
Roger SC: 3 → 4
“How cute.” Roger rolled his eyes.
Juno glared at him, then recomposed herself. She showed Larissa the card. Larissa nodded in approval.
“First thing’s first,” Larissa said. “During my Standby Phase, Bowganian activates. Eat 600 damage!”
The spherical machine pointed its bow at Roger’s D-Wheel and an arrow struck him in the back. Roger was unfazed.
Roger LP: 3000 → 2400
“Pitiful,” he grumbled.
Larissa nodded to Juno, who set the card on the terminal. A larger version of it appeared beside them and quietly faded away.
“That’s our turn.”
“Your final turn,” Roger noted.
Larissa SC: 0
Roger SC: 4 → 5
“Alright, I’ll remove four Speed Counters to move my Gradius’s Option to my backrow.” (SC: 5 → 1) The red triangle scaled back between the two leader ships. “Now, Victory Viper, destroy her stupid monster!”
The six spaceships flew to the side as the final one moved in on the offensive. The ship generated a red laser beam that sliced through the robotic archer like butter. Larissa swerved as a result of the attack. Juno grabbed on tighter.
“And since I have room, Victory Viper summons another Option Token,” Roger deemed. “This is the end of the line for you.”
Victory Viper joined its newfound comrade while the others charged their beams.
“We’re not out yet!” Larissa yelled. “I activate my Trap Card—The Republic’s Downfall!”
The brown card rematerialized over her head and turned over. The action caused a visible shockwave to pierce the sky, flying over each spaceship and preventing their charges from holding.
“This card activates when you declare a direct attack while my Life Points are lower than yours,” Larissa began, ignoring the twitches in her arm. “In exchange for my Draw Phase, it destroys all monsters you control and inflicts 400 damage to both players for each monster destroyed!”
“Wh-what?!” Roger’s composure shattered. He gazed up at his eight monsters as they each prepared their attacks again.
The trap card turned around, unleashing another, more forceful shockwave. It met the spaceships just as they had fired their lasers and caused them to spin out of control. With the ships in disarray, the lasers rebounded almost aimlessly. They struck each other down, whether by crashing into another or by blasting them away.
Debris rained down on Roger, whose pilot zigzagged between them to avoid it. Larissa and Juno dodged as well. Both drivers scrambled to escape, but each of them was pelted by another onslaught of metal scraps. They pounded on the D-Wheels and each person reflexively shut their eyes.
Larissa LP: 1300 → 0
Roger LP: 2400 → 0
The debris rained ended, leaving both D-Wheelers and their passengers banged up and fatigued. Larissa huffed—the pain in her arm now spread all over her body. But that didn’t matter now. She looked at Juno through the rearview mirror. “You alright?”
“Yeah, I’m fine.” Juno opened her eyes again. “Just glad that’s over.”
“This can’t happen,” Roger yelled at the roads. “This can’t happen to me!”
Juno noticed this and started to speak when she saw something on the street move. The Enochian letters detached themselves from the pavement once again and began to encircle Roger’s D-Wheel. A perfect ring formed and solidified around him, and a green beam of light shot down from the sky.
“What’s happening to him?” Juno asked over the wind.
“I dunno but it’s also happening to us!” Larissa began to sweat as the letters formed a ring around their bike as well. Something clutched at her heart. This was no normal reaction. No, this was unnatural. Whatever this light was, it was pulling at her from the inside.
The two rings expanded as the descending green light intensified. Larissa started to lean forward and her eyelids became heavy. She felt her grip weaken, and the pain she felt slowly drained away.
Juno shook Larissa to keep her awake. She seemed to be lost in another world. Roger reacted violently: screaming for his life.
The two D-Wheels continued along their path, and the rings continued to expand. Eventually their borders intersected, where red electricity jolted out from their collision.
Larissa jerked out of her trance, and Roger ceased to yell. The once green rings around them overlapped into a red Venn-diagram and a burst of pure energy erupted out of the center. Both D-Wheels flipped through the air in opposite directions. Roger flew forward and tumbled a few feet away from his D-Wheel. Larissa launched backwards and fell on top of Juno. They skidded alongside their rides and collided with the nearby bushes.
“So, Eula was it?”
“Yes,” Osamu said. He stood in the center of a meeting room, while Sar was sifting through paper work. “Eula and Juno are the ones who took the stone out from under our noses.”
“Under your nose,” Sar reminded him. He tossed a folder onto the table, which slid across to the opposite end. “Don’t tie me to your failings.”
Osamu swallowed a lump in his throat. “If it makes up for anything, I have a picture of the culprit.” He pulled a photo from his coat pocket. Sar took it from him. “It was taken by the security cameras when she was arrested seven months ago.”
Sar glanced at it briefly, then placed it in front of him. “She’s nothing more than a nuisance.” He reached for another piece of paper.
“Agreed,” Osamu said. “She wi—”
“She’ll be taken care of by someone who’s qualified,” Sar said without looking up. “Continue our research as you were instructed, and don’t mess up this time.”
Osamu calmly exited the business room and shut the door behind him. When he was sure it was closed, he broke from his composure and allowed his inner panic to be known.
“Juno!” Eula rushed to Juno. She checked her pulse, “She's alive. What about yours?”
“She doesn't seem too beat up.” Anastasia didn't have the emotional attention span to keep up her banter with Eula.
“Well, what do we have here?” An imposing man stepped out of the shadows, “My my, this is quite a mess.” He waltzed over to Roger and dragged him out of the wreckage. “How much did you tell them?”
“Shuddap Durward…” Roger said more, but it was reduced to inaudible grumbling.
“Who the hell are you?” Eula yelled. “Did you do this to them?!”
“No, no. They did this to themselves.” Durward heaved Roger, cringed at the smell, and slugged him over his shoulder. Roger groaned in protest. “Damn drivers are always so reckless.”
“Larissa’s not reckless.” Anastasia stood up.
“Does it matter? I don’t think it does.” Durward turned his back to them and headed for his D-Wheel, which was parked a few yards away.
“Where the hell do you think you’re going?!” Eula called after him. “Get back here!”
Durward scoffed. He glanced over his shoulder. “As if I’m going to waste time on the likes of you.”
Eula and Anastasia glared at him. Durward tossed Roger into his side car and drove away unceremoniously. Eula faced her own D-Wheel, ready to chase after him, but…
“C’mon,” she said. “We need to treat their injuries.”