Yu-Gi-Oh!: Return of the Shadows (IC)

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  1. Within a cavernous area lit only by large and small, bright torches, Caleb sat regally on a seat raised high upon the final step of ascending stairs. It gave him a position of prominence to anyone that approached him here, and with all the seat's elaborate carvings and ornate decorations, it could very well just be called a throne. The cavern, despite being underground, also had the ability to reflect a room of grandeur because of its beautiful banners and carvings lining the walls and floors. Several halls led into and out of this place, connecting with each other to form various underground passageways that most of Aria City wasn't even aware of, save for the rising Cult of Shadows that was now beginning to gain quite an influence within the city. Caleb smiled as he looked down at the people beneath him, namely at the one leading the other robed individuals.

    "Madora my dear, how did your teams efforts in carving the Millenium Isignias onto one of the Prime Pillars of Aria City fare? Was there any resistance?"

    The Prime Pillars were majestic, obelisk structures located in every district and division of the city. When the large city was founded, they had been built there "so that prosperity could always find its way to the citizens". Obviously though, these Pillars had many more secrets than just some sort of poetic history. By inscribing the Millenium Insignias onto them, the Cult of Shadows had an easier time invoking the powers of the Shadow Realm into the world, and though there were many of them, once they were all given the mysterious inscriptions, greater things would arise out of them...


    "Castellar calling in," spoke a tall, dark haired teenager into a communication device, "Looks like this so called Cult has made their mark on yet another one of them..."

    A gruff voice responded to Benjamin from the communicator, clearly agitated at the recent news.

    "Again?! How many defaced Pillars do we have now?"

    "By my count, just three out of the dozens other there are. This most recent one is located in one of the more impoverished areas of the city though, just like the others. I'm guessing the Cult is just trying to pin these sectors under its thumb first before moving onto the larger places."

    The man on the other side of the communicator spoke again, though this time a bit more calmer and relaxed. His voice indicated that he was prepared to end the conversation to let Benjamin continue on with his work.

    "That's... unfortunate. No matter, the Department will try and focus itself onto the poorer areas then, and arrest any of the cultists that might be stirring up trouble. Continue your work and uh... try not to mention any of that supernatural baloney to any other officers you might come across, eh?"

    The radio emitted a faint static sound as the Department's commander signed off, leaving Benjamin with a rather sour expression on his face. Just a few days ago he had reported some rather strange things he encountered during several duels with cultists who had challenged him, as well as in the area where cult activities had been reported. Benjamin hadn't been able to accurately describe them in more... normal terms, and the only word that really came to mind was "supernatural". The commander promptly laughed at him after that. Despite this... he knew there was something more going on with the Cult and its doings, and no amount of ridicule was going to change his mind on it.

    "Baloney, huh Commander? We'll see about that..."

    Benjamin turned his attention in the direction of a man that was staring at him with a foul expression. One of the sector's poor residents by the looks of it. Most of them had no fondness for the Securities and probably would have loved to catch them in a dark alley all by themselves. Typical, Benjamin though. He gave him a stern and cautionary expression, to which the glowering man quickly looked away and walked off. Benjamin smirked, and then began to head off in a different direction himself. He felt the duel disk around his left arm, tracing the Iswarm crest he had branded on the black and gray item in a crimson red color that glowed when it was active. He wondered what new things the day would bring...
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  2. "So, how was school today?" Cole gave the question, as Mary flopped down onto the nearby couch. The clock ticked in the afternoon. She gave her own tired response, "Difficult. The teacher's are stupid and the students are brainless." He winced at the apathetic response of his sister, she was growing so distant lately. "Well.... I'll be off. I have to.... go to work." Mary gave an uninterested grunt as she fell asleep on the couch, the only bed in their dilapidated apartment room. Shaking his head sadly, Cole walked out of the apartment, watching a nearby duel as the victor snatched the losers rarest card. On the streets where he lived, when you lost, you lost your rarest card, some money, and some dignity. He learned that the hard way, when out of nowhere a woman challenged his sister to a duel, beat her, and stole her Diamond Dire Wolf. In return, Cole beat her, took back the Diamond Dire, and returned it to his sister. He gave his own sigh as he started walking out, farther away from the apartment building. He made sure before he left to keep the door locked. He took a quick glance at his pocket, only five dollars. Ten more, and he would be able to purchase his sister that Synchro Card she always wanted for her deck. Though, to be honest, her deck wasn't the best deck. She themed her deck around wolves, after their old pet wolf, Sirius. The day Sirius died was the day everything seemed to fall apart. Shaking his head, he kept his mind off of such thoughts, and continued his walk.

    "Duel!" The simultaneous shout was shared by both of the duelists, one, Cole, the other, a young man twenty years of age.
    Cole: 8000
    Bar Patron: 8000
    "I'm going first!" Cole drew his first card, "I set a monster in face down position, and now I set two cards face down, your go!"

    "His opponent ripped the first card from the top of his deck, then gave an evil grin, "I activate Polymerization! By fusing Maryokutai and Zombyra the dark, I fusion summon The Last Warrior from Another Planet!" Two monsters were sucked into a blue portal, then a yellow warrior, with cybernetic implants and blue wiring stepped out. (2350 ATK). "When The Last Warrior is on field, neither of us can Normal Summon, Tribute Summon, Special Summon, or Flip Summon any monster!"
    The man gave a triumphant laugh, as many of the bar patrons gave their own shouts of approval, yet Cole smiled, "I activate my trap card, Dice-nied! Now, whenever you special summon a monster, I roll two dice, and if the dice equal the level of your monster, he returns straight to your hand, or in your case, your extra deck!" The man smirked, "Kid, the odds of you getting that right is one in fifty."

    "Yeah? Well, the Heart of the Cards always provides!" Two holographic dice rolled on the field, one of them landed on a one, and the crows groaned in disappointment, his loss was now almost guaranteed, the other dice landed on a three. The man gave his annoying laugh again, "Heart of the Cards? You believe in that? How old are you, eleven?" Cole frowned, then activated his other trap card, "I activate Needle Wall!" On the bar patrons side of the field, all five monster tiles turned a dark yellow tinge. "Now, on each of my standbys, I roll a dice, and the zone your monster is in, if my dice rolls to it, gets pulverized!" The man smirked again, this time it was annoying, and many of the other patrons were cheering on Cole, as they always loved the performance his deck gave. "Well, guess what? I haven't battled yet! Warrior, smash his monster!" The warrior smashed a cybernetic arm into the face down card, and his fist cracked his target, a clay jar with a purple face grinning out of it. "What the!?" Cole took his thunder back, "Thats my dice jar, and now, we each roll dice!" Cole rolled a six, and the patron rolled a five, "Whenever a player rolls a six, and the other rolls a different number, the player with the number not six takes 6000 points of damage!" The man gave him a shocked look, "Say WHAT!?" Immediately, the Dice Jar grew, encompassing the man with a giant grin, then chomped down.
    Cole: 8000
    Bar Patron: 2000
    "Lucky shot! I set two trap cards and end my turn!" Immediately, Cole drew his card, then activated Needle Wall, "Roll!" The dice rolled six, and the man chuckled, "There ain't even six monster zones!" Cole smirked, "Six means I roll again." The man grimaced, then spoke between his teeth, "Try." Cole smirked, "Oh, I will! Roll!" The dice rolled, and landed on a three. Immediately, the Warrior was destroyed. The man grimaced again, then activated his trap cards, "I activate two Call of the Haunteds! Say hello to Zombyra the Dark and Maryokutai!" A red skull and a caped fiend appeared on the field. "Well, it won't matter now, I activate my Contract with the Dark Master to-" The man thrust his hand out, "Not so fast! by tributing Maryokutai, I can negate your spell card!" Immediately, the red skull vanished in a vapor of red mist, and the mist enveloped the Spell Card, destroying it. The man looked at his deck, and grinned, the black marker told him he was going to draw Heavy Storm. In his hand, he had a Beastking of the Swamp, and another Maryokutai. Next turn, he would be able to get the upper hand. Cole merely grinned, "Thanks for doing that, to be honest!" The man looked up, "What?" Cole gave another grin, "You see, I didn't really want to use that card, I used it to bait out your monsters effect! Now, I activate my Advanced Ritual Art! by sending a level eight normal Monster from my deck to the graveyard, I can ritual summon my Dark Master Zorc!" A bare-chested humanoid with red wings rose from the ground, a green mist enveloping him and part of Cole's side of the field. (2700). The man grinned, the card was too weak to finish him, and by the looks of it, his opponent had no more monsters to finish him off. However, the bar patrons started giving a cheer, and he looked about, startled. "I activate Zorc's ability! I can roll a dice, and based on the number, I can destroy your cards! Roll!" The holographic dice fell once more, and fell on a three, "Now, I can destroy a monster on your field, and I choose Zombyra!" The man's face paled as he realized what was happening, "And now, Zorc! Green Mist Strike!" Zorc disintegrated into green mist, and reformed behind the bar patron, striking a green tendril on smoke into his back.
    Cole: 8000
    Bar Patron: 0
    Cole basked in his glory and the cheers of the crowd for a minute, then collected his prize money, and was off.
    Cole accepted a pack he had received from the lady at the counter, and gave a grateful nod, he then hurried home.
    "Guess what I got!" Cole strutted into the apartment room, and opened the white and red gift wrapped present. Mary wearily got up from the couch, and walked over to her brother, "You made a lot today, right?" Cole gave a warm smile at his sister, "Yep! We're having fried rice for dinner! And real eggs for breakfast tomorrow! Not only that, but I got this!" He finally got the card free from its slot, and gave it to his sister, Celestial Wolf Lord, Blue Sirius. His sister gave him a grateful smile, still tired from her lack of a proper diet over the years. Somberly reminded of this, Cole sat down, and gently handed her the shiny Synchro card. Exhausted, he gave out his own yawn, and lazily got up again, walking over to the refrigerator in order to make dinner.

    "You!" A large, heavyset man smashed through the tent's entrance, revealing the serene sky outside, before hiding it with his bulk, and slammed his fist onto the table a young man sat at, sending various papers flying through the air. Behind the flying coins, and the white shrouded table, a young man with white hair and a mysterious eye looked curiously at his latest visitor. The man rambled on, "Ever since you gave me that readin', I try to change it all, but to no avail, and I think, 'Hey, maybe this happened BECAUSE I got the reading!' That's what happened, ain't it? Ya tricked me, little !@#$! Upstart !@#$ like you ruined my life!" Finished, the man caught his breath, breathing heavily and glaring at Placido. Slowly and calmly, Placido picked up the papers, three in number, off the floor and placed them back on the table. He glanced back at the man, and focused on him with his eye, "When you had your fortune told, I warned you that you would try to change it. And that you would fail. If you knew, you would try hard, and fail, feeling even more worthless than you already did. If you didn't, you would wallow in your own self pity because you didn't know. I don't guarantee a happy ending. I merely tell one's fortune when they want it." He flicked his mechanical eye up, gazing at the man as he shivered, and took a step backwards. "I apologize if you found unhappiness in your reading. However, I do not know the future, I only know the most likely events after a person allows me to read their fortune." Turning his eyes downward, he rearranged a small stack of paper, and paid no more attention to the man. It was clear this audience was over. Turning away, the man regained his composure and stormed out of the tent where Placido lived and worked.
    Placido readjusted his hood and sighed, standing up and taking a look outside. He lived among the poor in the city, yet even the rich of the city heard of his reputation, and many flocked to him to have their fortunes read. Right now was a period of peace for him. Taking off his hood, he was about to prepare a cup of tea before a weary and old voice struck his ears, "Would you care for a duel with a lonely old man?" He turned to the voice, a tiny and gnarled old man stood shivering in the wind. Placido beckoned to the old man, and continued brewing the herbal tea. The old man gave a grateful bow, and went inside of his tent. He sat in silence as Placido prepared the tea, and took a cup when offered. The two sat at opposite ends of the white shrouded table, drinking tea, until they finished. When they did so, the old man spoke, "I wish for my fortune to be told, so I may plan the last stages of my life. However, I cannot afford a reading." The old man spoke nervously, as if fearing refusal. Placido's eyes glanced up from his cup, meeting the old man's eyes, emotionless, "Of course, all the poor and in this district get their readings for free." The old man shook his head, "No, no no. I can't demand that on such a young man such as yourself." He adjusted the ragged cap that sat upon his head, "How about a duel? Of course, I still wouldn't be able to pay, but at least I would be able to entertain you for a while, no?" Placido stood, and walked outside, beckoning the old man to follow him.

    "Duel" "Duel!"
    Placido: 8000
    Old Man: 8000

    The old man drew his card, "Here, I'll go first.... I summon my Hourglass of Life in attack mode!" A blue winged hourglass with pink sand and a crescent moon symbol on top of it appeared on the field. (700 ATK).
    A few bystanders on the outside snickered, laughing at the weak monster.
    "I set two cards and end my turn, your go."

    "Draw." Placido drew his first card, and immediately played it, "I activate the Shard of Greed. After two of my own draw phases, I can discard the card in order to draw two cards." A small shard of the Pot of Greed appeared on the field. Picking up another card, Placido made his next move, "I now summon Mother Grizzly in attack mode." A blue furred grizzly bear appeared on the field, giving her own powerful roar. (1400 ATK). Placido pointed at the Hourglass, "Attack." The grizzly bear charged at the hourglass, and swiped her paw, shattering the hourglass and scattering the pink sand everywhere. Small holographic shards went through and hit the old man, who gave a small gasp as the holograms passed through him.
    Placido: 8000
    Old Man: 7300

    Recovering quickly, the old man made his move, "I activate my trap card, Time Machine! If a monster on my side is destroyed by battle, I can special summon it back!" Time reversed, as the events that took place a minute ago reversed themselves, and a brand new Hourglass of Life appeared onto the field. "I now chain Zoma the Spirit!" A large, purple demon rose on the field. Placido set three cards onto his side of the field, and nodded, signaling the end of his turn.

    The old man drew his card, "I now tribute Hourglass of Life and Zoma in order to summon Emes the Infinity!" A humanoid white machine rose up, wielding golden weaponry. (2500 ATK). "Attack!" The figure dashed to the Mother Grizzly, and swung his sword, cleaving the bear in two, the shockwave from the slash continuing on to hit Placido.
    Placido: 6900
    Old Man: 7300
    "Activating three traps, Reckless Greed." Placido drew six cards from his deck, and disabled Auto Draw for two turns. "I activate Mother Grizzly. Summoning another Mother Grizzly." Another blue bear roared her presence onto the field, (1400 ATK).
    The old man then gave a small smile, "When Emes the Infinity destroys a monster by battle, he gains 700 attack points!" The machine gave his own roar as his power increased. (3200 ATK). "I now activate my own Shard of Greed!" Another green shard floated up on the field, opposite of Placido's. The old man ended his tun on a triumphant note, "I think I actually can win this!" He gave a short laugh as some of the onlookers narrowed their eyes. Placido remained as distant as always.

    Placido: 6900 LP Cards: 28 in deck, 7 in hand, Mother Grizzly (1400 ATK) and Shard of Greed on his field
    Old Man: 7300 LP Cards: 33 in deck 3 in hand, Emes the Infinity (3200 ATK) and Shard of Greed on his field
    #2 CrystalScorpion96, May 18, 2014
    Last edited: May 19, 2014
  3. Apostolos stared upwards at the sky, as he held a large text-book in his left hand. "Ah, such a day as this makes me wonder... can we comprehend the reality of life? Or are our minds unable to understand such beauty?" Apostolos was consumed by the beauty of the physical world, as he kept walking staring up at the moving clouds, until he hit a lamp-post with a thud. "OUCH! Was that truly pain? Was that object even in existence before I ran into it?" Apostolos glanced at the lamp-post and blinked, as he opened up his text book and began reading from it. He then quickly shut it, as he took off his satchel, which he used during the school day. He opened it, as he moved a few text-books, and notebooks out of the way, so that he could fit the text-book he was carrying inside the satchel. After placing it in, he then slung the satchel over his back as he began roaming the side-walks of Aria City.

    Apostolos headed to one of Aria City's local Card-stores, as he approached he stared at the glass windows and began pondering. "Such beauty... do those glass lead to alternative dimensions? Or is it merely an ext-" He was rudely interrupted as a larger kid pushed him down on the side-walk.

    The thug stated, "OUT OF THE WAY NERD! SOME OF US PLAY CARD GAMES!" before quickly entering the gaming establishment. Apostolos jumped up, as he brushed himself off, "Well that was quite rude. And violence only leads to a cycle of extended hate, perhaps I shall find a different establishment to play a game of cards." and he headed to another game store, about a block away.

    Apostolos entered the store, as the bells jingled with his entrance. Apostolos looked at the various tables assembled for playing games, he looked around at the various counters, which were displaying all sorts of cards. "Hm, yes, is anyone here free to play a card game? Through this, we are allowed a glimmer of introspection to our souls... And I wish to learn more about myself, but I need someone to help me examine my own soul from an external perspective."
  4. Nastna Yokostou walks into a game shop, It was the biggest he had ever seen. There were so many options, so many cards for sale. He slowly sauntered over to the counter, overwhelmed by the size, "Hey, do you have any Duel Monster cards?" He asked, "I want to pick up some singles to complete my deck!"
    The man on the other side of the counter was old - like really old; and fat. He looked like some sort of obese mummy, "Of course we sell Duel Monsters! Its the most popular game with them whipper-snappers, so what do you want? The Dark Wizard? Green Eyes shining dragon?" He hissed, pulling out a giant binder full of Duel Master cards.
    "Actually I'm looking for Exodia, the forbidden one." Nastna Yokostou mentioned offhandedly. He had managed to pull an entire set of the Exodia pieces in some Duel Masters: Heart Of The Cards packs. Yet he still wanted an entire playset of them to increase his chances of actually managing to get the pieces in his hand.
    "Exzodia you say? Oh were out of those, some asshole bought every copy not two hours ago, what a prick." The spherical mummy sighed, "Looks like your out of luck"
    Nastna Yokostou rolled his eyes, he had been in three other game stores and the stories were always the same; a giant asshole was there just a few hours before and he bought all the Exodias. Every last one, what use was that anyways?
  5. "I think I ought to get back to work. I'm happy with the cards I have with me anyway," Benjamin thought to himself as he prepared to head out of the card shop. Before he could even begin walking out of it though, a formal spoken guy walked in and began requesting a duel with... anybody really. Oof... Benjamin could rarely turn down the offer for a duel, that was for sure...

    "Eh... I've been working since morning anyway. I doubt I'd really be slacking off if I decide to temporarily go 'off-duty' right now..."

    Benjamin walked over towards Apostolos as he inserted his deck into the deck slot of his custom duel disk, which also had been tweaked to have a cover resembling steely, yellow claws. He showed Apostolos his duel disk, showing he was up for a quick duel.

    "I'm up for it. Should we go outside where there's more space then?"

    The Iswarm crest flashed red as the disk activated.

    (Dinorocket, I'll PM you with a link to a titanpad document if you accept).
  6. Apostolos blinked before Benjamin, and smiled. "This duel shall reveal so many secrets about yourself... and myself! This is a game that is attached to the fabric of life itself, and with it, we can only learn and prosper. For wisdom begins in wonder, and this game unlocks an untold wonder within us all..." Apostolos opened up his satchel, as he pulled out a standard duel disk. He beamed a smile at Benjamin.

    "So, shall we gain an introspective glance into each other's souls then?"
  7. Mechazawa was sitting in a dingy, but decently-lit corner of his usual combination bar and card shop, Lenny's. He'd ordered a beer and a booster pack to be polite, but he was neither thirsty nor in need of new cards. Really, he was just here to interact with people. Too much technology these days. It was hard to get any real human interaction. He sorted through the deck Freddie had given him, making a mental note to ask about some aspects later. Now that he thought of it, Kamiyama might be a better choice. He was a smart guy, not to mention a total badass. He sifted through the deck. "Tribute?", he mumbled, "What the hell is tribute?"
    Oh well. No better way to learn than playing the game. "Hey!", he shouted over the dull roar of the regulars, "Anyone here up for a game or two of Duel Monsters? I'll buy you a beer."
  8. At a somewhat secluded front corner of a card shop sat Cain, reviewing a deck of Duel Monster cards in his possession. Any bystander could easily assume that such cards were his own; they would be somewhat correct, at least. This deck was all that was left of Marcus Alabast; the last thing his father had before disappearing into obscurity.

    The Alabast family was a far descendent of original Egyptians, who played in the Shadow Games. More accurately, they were peacekeepers of sorts, preventing the chaotic power of the Shadow Games from getting out of hand. That legacy was unearthed not long after the Duel Monsters game was publicly created, when strange events occurred in a tournament sponsored by the Kaiba Corporation. And now it carried on into the present day...

    Cain had received the news from one of his father's trusted allies. Marcus had managed to, among other things, retrieve a crucial Duel Monster card from a so-called Cult of Shadows; individuals devoted to seeing Duel Monsters return to its origins, the Shadow Games. Shortly after Marcus had done so, he was gone. No evidence, no trace, nothing but the last cards he was carrying.

    What that important card was, nobody outside of the Cult knew, especially not Cain; he hadn't seen much beyond glimpses of his father's deck, so he had no way of telling which cards were his father's and which were not. The various Red-Eyes dragons certainly stood out, as such dark dragons might be key elements from people like the Cult of Shadows. The deck was also four cards over the regulation limits, which might imply something was added to it. But wasn't it implied that Marcus had taken one card, not several?

    Cain reshuffled the deck, set it down, and massaged the bridge of his nose, sighing into his hands. He didn't usually get upset, but this entire situation was really taking Cain over the edge. What was he supposed to do? He had the last remnants of his father's cards after he vanished in some event which may or may not have been by the Cult of Shadows, and in the meantime Cain didn't even know which card (or cards) was supposed to be the one(s) valuable to the Cult! And to top it all off, it was all too likely that the Cult may be starting to hunt him down, too-!

    "Hm, yes, is anyone here free to play a card game? Through this, we are allowed a glimmer of introspection to our souls..."

    Removing his hands from his face, Cain fancied a look towards the shop's entrance, where a young man just walked in with the offer of a duel. All the cryptic talk turned Cain away, though; he found it just a bit too suspicious, given his recent thoughts. It's not that Cain was worried about having to duel someone, especially with this foreign deck...

    Okay, maybe he was worried a bit.

    "I'm up for it. Should we go outside where there's more space then?"

    The person who had accepted the first player's offer seemed to be a rather hardened individual, bearing a Duel Disk with a set of pale gold claws upon its cover- Okay, that was definitely a bit odd. Even more so when it lit up to show a strange symbol Cain himself didn't recognize. While customized Duel Disks were not out of line, the match-up here just seemed so... off, to Cain.

    Oh well. He needed something to set his mind free for the moment anyway. The teenager holstered his deck, picked up his sidebag and tailed the duelists outside to spectate.
  9. The skies were especially dark that night and the Cult of Darkness was going about its plans, etching their marks over the city's great monuments. All part of their plan, going and going, and going with no end until they reach their diabolical goals; whatever they may be. But for a Pat Fielder, it was Tuesday. Every night for the past year since he discovered the card shop through the internet, Pat had visited the card shop. Slowly, he built his deck out of whatever he could find. Occassionally, he would draft. Always, he would lose. But not tonight. The stars were right, and they spelled out Pat's victory.

    "Hey, so I heard you were done kid" one of the card shop people noted. Pat only sighed and adjusted his hat. He had no time to deal with amateurs such as that one. "Hey come one, I'll help you test it out!" the man noted. "It's your bro, Chris. Remember? I uh... I gave you that Aqua Chorus card you wanted. Remember?" Chris kept poking at Pat, who still remained there, sitting with his legs crossed and casually shuffling his deck.

    Pat slowly got up, still looking at the ground. "Shut the hell up! You're getting annoying!" Pat exploded, before slapping his deck onto the table. "Now are we gonna duel or what?" Pat asked, as he stared Chris down. "Alright. Alright. Chill out man." Chris replied calmly as he made his way to the chair across the table.

    Chris, like Pat, was a regular at the card shop. Unlike Pat, Chris actually played games and had the paraphernalia to prove it. His deck box featured a cutesy anime girl with blue hair and different colored eyes making a coy pose with her midsection exposed. His sleeves featured the same girl in a different costume and doing a different pose. Pat's cards, on the other hand, were raw and unsleeved.

    "I'll go first." Chris stated. "Two cards face down, and a Blue Eyes White Maiden in attack mode."
    "DARK HOLE!" Pat shouted, slapping the dark hole card onto the table, an audible smack echoing across the game shop. Chris laughed lightly, then flipped over Compulsory Evacuation Device. "Trap" he said, placing the Maiden back in his hand.
    "Jam Breeding Machine. Two cards face down. I end." Pat declared, crossing his arms.
    Pat: 8000
    Chris: 8000
    "I'll just put my Maiden back in play and end it there."
    "STAND BY PHASE! JAM BREEDING MACHINE ACTIVATES ALLOWING ME TO PLACE A JAM TOKEN ONTO THE FIELD!" Pat stood up and reached into his hat, pulling from it a slip of paper with a face on it inside a crudely drawn token. At the top of the slip was written "Slime Token". "Turn end." Pat said, readjusting his hat.
    "Mystic. Turn end." Chris said, putting down the card and tapping on Jam Breeding Machine. Pat responded by dramatically placing it in front of his deck.
    "Pot! Of! DUALITY!" Pat screamed as he put down the card. He quickly drew three cards and layed them out in front of his opponent, picking Mirror Force from among them. "Attack my slime!" Pat declared.
    "Effect" Chris responded monotonously, changing the battle position of his maiden and putting a blue-eyes onto the field from his deck.
    "NOT SO FAST!" Pat stood up and pushed Chris over. "I activate Torrential Tribute! Say goodbye to all your monsters!" He then picked up his own slime token, and ripped it in half, tossing the scraps to the side.
    "Two cards face down! I end my turn." Pat declared.
    "Face down. End"
    "I do the same"
    "Hallowed Dragon Boneyard"
    "Pass turn."
    "Face down."
    "I FLIP SUMMON BLIZZED! DEFENDER OF THE ICE BARRIER! THEN I'LL ACTIVATE WETLANDS! WITH YOUR FACE DOWN MONSTER PROPERLY MOIST, IT'LL BE EASIER TO FREEZE HIM WITH MY BLIZZED! WHO ATTACKS YOUR FACE DOWN!" Pat took the card, and smacked it against the other. In response, Chris quickly swiped his card away and put it in the graveyard.
    Chris sighed. "Face down. Dark Hole."

    Pat made a loud groan as he swept up his three monsters, putting them dramatically into the graveyard. "Go..." he said.
    "Face down" Chris smirked.
    "I too play a face down."
    "Are we really gonna play this game again? Whatever. Draw. Activating Castle of Dragonic Souls. Turn end."

    Pat laughed, almost maniacally. "It returns!" Pat declared. "Jam Breeding Machine!...I end my turn."
    "Draw. Face down. End."
    "Haha! Meet another slime token!" Pat pulled another slip of paper from his hat. "Attack! Also! I activate my trap card: Token Stampede! This grants my slime 1000 attack points! Now! Tear through his pathetic face down!"
    Chris knew the protocol, and put his card in the grave.
    "Draw. Flamvell Gaurdian in attack mode. Call of the Haunted. Blue-Eyes. Flip activating Burst Stream of Destruction..." Pat tore his card again, then put his other card in the grave. At that point, Chris could only look at Pat in the same confused manner"...I'll just end my turn there"
    Pat drew his card, pulled another slime token from his hat, then pointed toward Flamvell Gaurdian. Chris sighed and activated another face-down: Kunai with Chain.
    "Slime to defense. Equiped to Blue-Eyes. My turn? Alright. Draw. Tuning Gaurdian with Blue-Eyes to make Azure Eyes. I attack."
    "NOT SO FAST! I USE MIRROR FORCE!" Pat declared.
    "Effect. Can't be destroyed."
    "Too OP! Konami has to ban this!" Pat outraged before ripping apart his token and drawing his next card.
    "Can I end my turn first?" Chris asked, setting a trap card. "Now I end."
    Pat sighed, then put another slime token on the field from his hat. "Attack" he said.
    "Magic Cylinder."
    Pat let out a pained groan. "Another Jam Breeding Machine. Turn end."
    Pat: 5300
    Chris: 8000

    "Azure-Eyes effect. Bring back Blue-Eyes. Chain Castle of Dragonic Souls. Banish White Stone. Azure attacks..."
    "Dimensional Prison!"
    "Blue Eyes Maiden. Turn end."
    "Holy shit dude. How many of those do you have?"
    Pat put down two more slime tokens. "Attack my army!" he declared. Maiden's effect activated once more. Chris put down another Blue-Eyes.
    "Mirror Force."
    Pat picked up the three tokens and ripped them all up, tossing them to the side dramatically.
    "Blue Eyes Attack!"
    Pat: 1800
    "Draw. Attack."
    "Two cards face down. End."
    "More slimes! Attack him directly!"
    "Damage Condenser. I special summon Tefnuit."
    "My other token attacks Tefnuit!"
    "Dragon's Rebirth. Blue-Eyes."
    "I attack!"
    "Castle of Dragonic Souls. Removing Flamvell Gaurd from the grave."
    "Activate Mage Power. End"
    Pat: 1800
    Chris: 4800
    "Face down. End." Chris sighed. "Well... good game man."

    Pat: 1800
    Chris: 0
  10. (Here we go, the first duel between two characters!)

    Benjamin nodded at Apostolos, having the feeling this would be a good duel. The teen seemed rather precocious with his talk, but that actually didn't really bother him. If anything, Benjamin felt there needed to be more contemporaries like this guy... it would certainly reduce the stupidity in today's youth at least...

    "Indeed. I'll take first!"

    Now outside, Benjamin assumed his dueling stance and drew his six cards. Not a bad hand at all, though it definitely could have had some more variety for an opening hand. Oh well, he'd have to work with it anyway!

    "I'll set one monster face down and end."

    Benjamin signalled to Apostolos.

    Turn 2:

    Apostolos nodded at Benjamin, "Yes, this shall allow us to gain insight into each other's soul! A person's deck is an important part of who they are." Apostolos went into his dueling stance as he drew his starting five. He smiled at it, and drew the sixth card "Let us see what this introspection has given me!"

    Apostolos glanced at his cards for a bit judging what to do.

    "I summon Dark Rabbit in attack mode!" Apostolos dramatically pointed at Benjamin. "Now we shall learn how we are to react in an unfamiliar situation, like the prisoners of the cave!"

    "Attack! Dark Rabbit!" Dark Rabbit eagerly moved to attack the face down defense monster.

    Turn 3:

    Benjamin's face down monster flipped face up, revealing a crouched Steelswarm Scout whose large eyes seemed to widen even larger as Dark Rabbit stomped down upon him with a hysterical laugh.

    "Unfortunate end for that one, but his little trick works best if he's IN the grave. I'll special summon him in face up defense position!"

    A murky ripple formed in the front row of Benjamin's field as Steelswarm Scout rose up in his crouched position. Benjamin glanced at the cards in his hand and realized he could quickly gain an advantage by summoning one particular monster. However... he'd save it for a more hairy situation.

    "I'll summon Evilswarm Mandragora in attack position!"

    Benjamin waved at the field as the infected plant creature seemed to sprout from the ground. It snapped the venus flytrap flower on top of its head and readied its leaf blades for attack.

    "Mandragora, attack the rabbit!"

    The Evilswarm plant did a series of flips and spins to create a buzzsaw with its arms, heading straight for Dark Rabbit. Shrieking triumphantly, Mandragora sliced the poor monster to shreds, inflicting a total of 350 damage to Apostolos.

    "That marks the end of my turn. Your go!"

    Turn 4:

    Apostolos was flung back at the destruction of the Dark Rabbit. He dramatically turned his head as he shedded some tears, "With that, you have destroyed part of my soul! An eager young rabbit, destined to make a name for himself! ALACK!" Apostolos then shook his head as he smiled, "But with the Heart of the Cards to guide me, perhaps I shall find another way to show the power of my soul, and test yours!" Apostolos drew his next card.

    Apostolos stared at his hand for awhile, "Yes, each of these card represents a chunk of my soul, and with this introspection, I must determine the best course of action! For I can not allow my quest to fail here and now!"

    "I place a Face Down Card! And I play a monster in defense mode!"

    Apostolos stared at Benjamin, "Where shall your soul guide you this turn?"

    Turn 5:

    Benjamin considered the cards currently on the field. Hm... He had no idea how much defense the face down monster card was packing, and with a rather scrawny monster like Mandragora, he could easily risk inflicting damage to himself if he attacked with her. Then there was the matter of the face down card, which could easily be a trap card that would mess up his current field...

    "I'll summon a monster in attack position! Here we go, Steelswarm Caller!"

    A insectoid monster flew into the field to stand next to Steelswarm Scout, who happily greeted his Steelswarm brother with a nod. Caller buzzed its wings, ready to attack at Benjamin's command.

    "Caller, attack the face down!"

    The Steelswarm buzzed its wings together before flying towards the face down with outstretched arms...


    Steelswarm Caller yanked the two ornate staffs from Stoic's hands before using them to shatter him into pieces.

    "Evilswarm Mandragora, your go!"

    The plant creature leaped into the air towards Apostolos, slashing at his body to inflict 1450 points of damage this turn.

    "End turn!"

    Turn 6:

    Apostolos drew his card, with a stoic expression. He then shouted as he dramatically pointed to the sky "IN THE MEMORY OF THE STOIC OF PROPHECY! I can move a level 3 or lower "Prophecy" monster into my hand." Apostolos took his deck and retrieved the card of choice, "Now then... we shall see your soul through tribulations! My soul, while it is being battered, I still can see what it holds! But can you see?! CAN YOU SEE WHAT YOUR SOUL HOLDS?!"

    "I summon, Justice of Prophecy!" The Justice of Prophecy entered the feel with a smile on her face, as she twirled her mystical dagger.

    Apostolos pointed at Benjamin, "Now, Justice, show them why you have your namesake! Bring justice for what had happened to your fallen brothers! The Dark Rabbit, and the Stoic of Prophecy! ATTACK EVILSWARM MANDRAGORA!"

    The Justice of Prophecy nodded as she rushed towards Evilswarm Mandragora and slammed her dagger deep within to Evilswarm Mandragora, as she delievered a blow of 150 damage, and bringing the justice that Apostolos sought.

    Apostolos beamed and jumped in the air, "Now, we can see the mettle of your own mind? Are you up for the challenge!?

    Turn 7:

    Benjamin smirked as he drew his next card. With Apostolos' lifepoints at 6300 and his own at 7850, it was reassuring for the time being that he was in the lead. However, he did know that such a thing could quickly be reversed, and it wasn't like there was too great of a gap between their lifepoints anyway. He couldn't boast now...

    "It was a bit of negligible damage, so you don't need to worry yourself about my mettle being worn down!"

    With Mandragora gone, the only monster that remained on his side of the field were Steelswarm Caller and Steelswarm Scout. Caller was easily capable of destroying Justice with its 1700 attack, and despite the minimal amount of damage, Apostolos' loss of lifepoints would be raised to a higher amount by the ally he was about to summon.

    "You seem to like Spellcasters huh? Well, allow me to introduce you to a spellcaster of my own! Evilswarm Kerykeion, come to battle!"

    The infected Evilswarm monster appeared on the field through a magical rune on the ground, giving out a distorted cry as it brandished its staff at Justice of Prophecy. Both Caller and Kerykeion seemed eager to battle, and Benjamin gave no delay to their desire as he shouted out his commands.

    "Caller, destroy Justice of Prophecy!"

    Steelswarm Caller nodded before quickly dashing off towards Apostolos' monster, letting loose a small blast of dark energy as it struck the opposing spellcaster in the body, blowing it to bits.

    "Kerykeion! Direct attack! Show Mandragora how its done!"

    Kerykeion glowed with a rust colored energy as it raised its staff into the air, causing crimson spheres of arcane power to begin zooming around its own body. Thrusting its staff outwards, Kerykeion sent the fiery spheres directly towards Apostolos, inflicting 1600 damage. With Caller's previous attack, the damage total was 1700 for this turn, leaving Benjamin's opponent with 4600 lifepoints.

    "I'll end my turn. Let's see how well your mettle is holding up now!"

    Benjamin smiled at his opponent, respectful of his calmness through all the attacks he had been receiving from his Iswarm creatures.

    Turn 8:

    Apostolos stood stoically, for a moment as he drew his card, but as soon as he drew it he chuckled. "Now this! THIS ALLOWS ME TO TEST MYSELF! TRULY YOU ARE GIVING ME SUCH AN INTROSPECTION TO MY OWN SOUL! I can see how I fare when the chips are down, and when everything seems like I shall fail." Apostolos shook his head, "But, I shall stand proudly! Like a true man! Even if the abyss stares at me, I SHALL STARE AT IT TWICE AS HARD!" Apostolos raised his card holding hand in the air, as he stared into the very heavens itself, "Dark Rabbit, Stoic of Prophecy, Justice of Prophecy, you have shown me the way into his mind... and to my own mind. I will never forget the sacrifice you made this day. I WILL NEVER FORGET!" Apostolos shed a single tear, which dripped onto his deck. With that tear, Apostolos eagerly smiled as he reacted with a renewed vigor.

    "I play two face downs! And I play a monster in defense mode!"

    Apostolos looked at Benjamin, peering at him quite intently. "Now there is the darkness... what shall you do? How can you go against that which you do not know? Will you go bravely into that night, or shall you be cautious in your movements? This will determine what sort of individual you are!" Apostolos smiled at him, "Yes, we shall together see what sort of individual you are, in this game which allows for humanity to see their own desires, strengths, virtues, sins, etc... We shall see who we are, and what we could become."

    Turn 9:

    "You ask me if I'll play my moves with caution?" Benjamin chuckled slightly as he drew his next card. Hm... a good card, though perhaps another one would have been preferred. Still, Benjamin smiled mysteriously as he examined the cards now in his hand.

    "I will play it cautiously, so allow me to show you the monster that will allow me to do just that!"

    Benjamin pointed eagerly at Steelswarm Scout, who shortly afterwards began to rise into the air. It beat on the Steelswarm crest found on its body, glowing brightly before disappearing in a flash. An odd cry was heard afterwards as the winds began to pick up, causing leaves and some other random litter to be scattered about at the arrival at Benjamin's tribute summon.

    "Behold, my Steelswarm Moth!"

    The Steelswarm monster landed on the spot where Scout had originally been, body emanating yellow wisps of energy as it prepared to activate its effect.

    "By paying a total of 1000 lifepoints, I'm allowed to do this!"

    Benjamin winced slightly as his lifepoints fropped from 7850 to 6850, a golden energy curling from his body and into that of Steelswarm Moth's. The Moth buzzed loudly as it began to flap its wings, causing a gust to sweep over Apostolos and his side of the field.

    "I return to cards to your hand! The first to go back will be your face down monster, and the second shall be the facedown card in your backrow closest to your left!"

    The strong gust of wind blew back Apostolos' unknown monster and the card in the backrow Benjamin had selected. With an open field, he was free to attack Apostolos directly with all three of his monsters.

    "Caller, attack my opponent first!"

    The gray and orange Steelswarm flew towards Apostolos, powering up its fists with unknown power as it prepared to strike...
    Apostolos shook his head as he stared at Steelswarm, "FROM DARKNESS! THERE SHALL BE LIGHT! ACTIVATE TRAP CARD! MIRROR FORCE!"

    Benjamin seethed as Caller connected his strike with a red barrier that had appeared around Apostolos. The poor Steelswarm was the first to go as the barrier released an explosion of power, decimating the rest of Benjamin's monsters.

    "How unfortunate... But I still must say, that was one hell of a nice move there... Nothing more I can do, so I'll end my turn."

    He nodded at his opponent.

    Turn 10:

    Apostolos offered a nod to Benjamin as he laughed, "Now we can truly see what lies beyond our own psyche! I expect you to keep up your fighting spirit, so far you have proven yourself to be a brave and courageous foe, as you ventured deep into the night!" Apostolos then drew his next card, as he smiled again.

    Apostolos glanced at his hand, "My soul is at stake here, my dearest friends... how will we best show him what we can really do? How can we best show him what HE can do?" Apostolos gazed upwards at the sky, "Friends who have fallen... guide my hand to show this man who he truly is!"

    "I summon Magical Exemplar!" Magical Exemplar entered the field, as she was still within a trance. "Yes fair maiden, show us insight! You can show us how we can truly act! I also play a face-down card... And, I play, the Spellbook of Power!" From the very heavens, a bright light came down, as the Spellbook of Power fell infront of the Magical Exemplar.

    Apostolos smiled, "Oh and my Magical Exemplar's ability activates! As a spell card has been activated.." The Magical Exemplar awakes from her trance, as two tokens manifest on her shoulder. "She gains two spell-tokens! And for the Spellbook of Power, while it may only be with us for so long... It shall impact our Philosophical Introspection immensely! As it gives my Magical Exemplar an extra 1000 attack points." A bright red aura surrounds the Magical Exemplar, as she raises her hands, as they crackle with a newfound energy.

    Apostolos pointed at Benjamin, "Now, we shall be able to see how you react, when the chips are down! Are you ready, for the fair maiden, the Magical Exemplar is coming after you! ATTACK MAGICAL EXEMPLAR!"

    The Magical Exemplar moved closer to Benjamin, as she smiled, as her hands continued crackling with an unimaginable magical energy. She aimed her palms at Benjamin, preparing to unleash a direct assault...
    Benjamin crossed his arms in front of himself and smirked.

    "Well then, let's see how much of a punch you can dish out!"
    Apostolos smiled at Benjamin, "Showing tenacity in the face of extreme peril! I like that."
    And with that, the Magical Exemplar blasted a powerful beam of red magic at Benjamin, dealing 2700 damage. As soon as the turn was over, the Spellbook of Power crumbled and became nothing but dust, which quickly blew away, Apostolos smiled "Dust in the wind... Now then, let us see what you can do now!"

    Turn 11:

    Benjamin's body released curls of white smoke from Magical Exemplar's powerful attack. He rolled out his muscles, letting the stinging pain fade away with a grin before drawing his next card.

    "Your monsters and deck are all full of hidden potential. Interesting! Now I see why you can remain so confident and calm after standing several attacks head on from my own monsters!"

    Glancing over his hand, Benjamin gave off an even wider grin when his eyes landed on the card that he had recently drawn. Looks like someone wanted to make a comeback...

    "I'll activate Steelswarm Scout's effect and summon him from the graveyard once more!"

    The little fiend sprang up from the murky ripples that had formed on the ground once again, but instead of descending to the ground, he only continued to rise before pounding the Crest on his body and disappearing in a flash.

    "With his sacrifice, I'll summon a certain someone back to the field. Say hi again to my Steelswarm Moth!"

    The Steelswarm monster let out a buzzing cry as it landed on the field once more, pale yellow eyes glowing with a great desire to inflict damage upon the duelist that had destroyed its brethern just a turn ago.

    "I think you know what follows. I pay the cost once more and activate Moth's effect! Both of your cards go back to the field and leave you with nothing!"

    Benjamin's lifepoints dropped to 4150 as Steelswarm Moth flapped its large wings to send a gust of golden wind forward. Magical Exemplar strained to resist the powerful wind currents, but soon lost her footing and returned to Apostolos' hand along with the other card he had set face down.

    "Now I'll play one more card before Moth's advance. Abyss of Infestation!"

    A symbol similar to that on Benjamin's duel disk etched itself onto the ground before glowing brightly. Steelswarm Moth stretched its arms out to the side as it was empowered by malevolent energy rising from the Iswarm crest.

    "My field ability grants all face up Iswarm monsters on my side of the field an extra 600 attack, putting my Steelswarm Moth at 3000. So Moth, care to show Apostolos the strength of his own mettle?"

    Moth let out a war shout before dashin forward with palms full of pale gold energy. It flew into the air above Apostolos and released the power, striking Benjamin's opponent full force and dropping his lifepoints to a mere 1600. Moth cried in success before flying back towards Benjamin, crossing its arms once it landed.

    "To end, I'll place one card face down and end!"

    Turn 12:

    Apostolos let out a howl of pain, as he gritted his teeth, yet he still stood. Apostolos was breathing in heavily, "A man... a true man stands on his feet, even when the world is against him. Even with this... my soul shines brightly! Yes, I stand tall against this adversity! And with it, I shall gain even more insight into my own soul, and your soul!" Apostolos drew his next card, as he dramatically waited before staring at it. "You are part of my soul... As are all of the cards in this deck, we shall continue the brave fight!"

    "I play two face down cards, and play a monster in defense mode!"

    Apostolos stared at Benjamin, with a stoic expression, "Now, while you have a brilliant light, the darkness returns... How will you answer the call it offers? With that, I end my turn... LET US SEE THIS INTROSPECTION COME TO A GLORIOUS LIGHT!"

    Turn 13:

    Drawing his next card, Benjamin glanced it over before placing it in his hand. He didn't hold very many cards now, just two, but still stood firm on the field as the duel carried on.

    "I'll attack once more. Steelswarm Moth, advance!"

    The Steelswarm uncrossed its arms before flying into the air and charging up a beam of another pale gold energy strike. It released the power onto the face down monster below, blowing the card into bits before Moth returned to the ground.

    "Pity I didn't do something else sooner, but no matter. It is simply a mistake to be learned from. Fellow duelist, your move!"

    Turn 14:
    Apostolos stared at the mighty Steelswarm Moth as he drew his next card. "Well, you strike with the fury of Zeus himself! Yes, you do.. I know what I must do now."

    Apostolos stared at his hand for a moment, as he smiled.

    "I place a monster face down in defense mode!" Apostolos shook his head as he offered a small smile at Benjamin, "At the moment, I'm afraid I don't have much to add.."

    Turn 15:

    "Then let's see how your courage will shine through as I begin my next turn. Draw!"

    Benjamin grinned as he looked at the card in his hand. Perfect.... absolutely perfect.... this could very well be the game ender for Apostolos unless he had something to counter with. Steelswarm Moth began to fly into the air, opening a rift in the space above as Benjamin shouted.

    "I'll summon! Come forth Steelswarm Girastag!"

    Seconds after Moth had entered into the rift, Steelswarm Girastag came crashing down onto the field. It stretched its tail outwards towards the facedown monster Apostolos had set in his previous turn.

    "Since I tributed a Steelswarm monster to summon Girastag, I'm able to select one card on the field and send it straight to the grave! Girastag, remove that obstacle of a monster from your path!"

    Girastag whipped it's tail at the card, catching it and tossing it at Apostolos. Benjamin smirked as his lifepoints were raised again to 5150 due to his monster's effect.

    "Prepare yourself.... Girastag... ATTACK!!!"

    The large Steelswarm charged up its cannon arm as it prepared to fire its attack at Apostolos. With a shout, Girastag released the stored power of red energy at Benjamin's opponent, striking Apostolos with an attack Benjamin had jokingly called the "Steelswarm Buster".

    Apostolos stared at the oncoming attack of red energy, the dangerous destruction that Steelswarm Buster was going to bring. But, Apostolos welcomed the attack as he opened his arms, "With this we have learned so mUUUUC-" The mighty blow, which destroyed all of his remained life-points knocked him around as he then fell down flat upon his back, as he chuckled all the way.

    Girastag raised its weaponized arm in victory as Benjamin walked across the field to give the monster a pat on its steel leg. He then walked over to Apostolos with a grin, extending his hand to help the fallen duelist up.

    "A great duel! You've turned out to be a rather respectable opponent. The name's Benjamin."
  11. Apostolos took Benjamin's hand as he got up, "Well that was an introspective journey into both of our psyches! My name is Apostolos. And you had quite the fight in you, yes you fought like the brave Hercules. Truly you are a courageous individual, willing to do whatever it takes!"
  12. "Apostolos eh? Interesting name, of Greek origin I assume."

    Benjamin gave the duelist a handshake before deactivating his duel disk. He turned to look at Girastag who... was oddly enough, looking at him. Benjamin froze as he remembered something...

    Had he... TOUCHED it when the duel ended?! No... no, it was just a hologram. He couldn't have patted its leg....
  13. Apostolos beamed at Benjamin, "Yes, it is of a Greco Origin! It means the "Apostle; Messenger"." Apostolos nodded at him, as he gazed at Benjamin inquisitively, "Hm? Is something the matter? Has our introspective match caused you to see some darker part of your soul? That is perfectly natural, for man is not only of pure desire... but they have darker desires as well. In order to truly learn knowledge we must learn from ourselves, and recognize these things." Apostolos brushed himself off, as that duel did take quite a bit out of him.
  14. Certainly a very determined duel, Cain decided. Apostolos, the psychologic thinker, was ultimately behind in the duel but still did well to hold his own. Benjamin, the other duelist... He was rather odd indeed. Cain had pieced together how Ben's entire deck, and even his Duel Disk, were themed around the Iswarm series of cards. In the times of the Shadow Games, what 'cards' the duelists used either reflected the duelists' nature, or influenced the duelists' change in nature. An infectious deck like Iswarm, therefore, would not prove very healthy to use often.

    In theory, at least. This was still Duel Monsters, here. But the aftermath of the duel struck as otherwise, given how Benjamin's Steelswarm Girastag was not disappearing. Duel Disks were famous for providing such flashy effects and light-shows (provided you still have the battery power for it), but only as long as they were active and powered in a Duel. Yet this monster persisted to exist...

    At least it was under control. Hopefully.


    What was that?

    darkness... battle...

    Cain shook his head clear. He really didn't need that kind of influence right now. Cain approached the duelists and asked, "What's with the monster? Did you... summon it for real?" Would be best to play dumb, for the moment. Best case scenario, it was just a trick all along.
  15. The duel disk was off now, so why was Girastag still around? Benjamin shook his head as he observed the monster point its weaponized arm behind itself. It seemed to power up to fire, but the energy died down and Girastag faded away soon afterwards.

    That was weird...


    Benjamin turned his attention back to Apostolos.

    "No... juet thought I noticed something. You wouldn't have seen-"

    He was cut off by the voice of another person that had apparently been watching their duel. He seemed ordinary enough, but Benjamin could tell there was something different about the guy...

    "What, Girastag? Is that a joke? Of course not! See, he's gone now. My guess is that KaibaCorp added in some new features to the holograms to make them seem more lifelike and... personal...."

    Yes. That was it... right?
  16. "-Oh, so it's like saccing it."
    "That's the idea, yeah.", the large-lipped boy replied, "You toss one in your graveyard if you have five or six stars, more if you have above that."
    "Alright, that makes sense. Anything else I should know?"
    "Well, two things. One, you should get some trap cards-"
    "-Are those like instants?"
    "A little bit, yeah. Though some are more like enchants, it can be a little hard to tell, yeah. The basic idea is that you lay them down on your turn and then you flip them over when you meet the proper conditions."
    "Alright, that makes sense. What was number two?" Mechazawa replied
    "This is gonna sound really weird, yeah, but you have to believe me. This game-", he slapped his deck for emphasis, "-is actually what remains of an ancient Egyptian ritual sorcery known as a Shadow Game, yeah!"
    "Leo, are you sure you're sober?"
    "I'm twelve, dude. Anyhow, you can trust me on this, I'm my school's top psychical researcher, yeah."
    "I dunno, this all seems just a little far-fetched..." Mechazawa replied as he oiled himself
    "This is coming from a guy who goes to school with a gorilla, yeah. A literal gorilla."
    "Hiromi Go is a wonderful person- er, ape. You know. Though I see your point."
    "Well, I have to get home soon. I have play practice for the Phantom of the Ghost Opera tomorrow, yeah. Nice talking with you, Mechazawa."
    "Always a pleasure, Leo."
    Mechazawa went back to fiddling with his deck. He understood it a little better, but he still wanted to play a game or two to get the mechanics down.
  17. Apostolos smiled at Cain, "Of course he summoned it for real, he placed down the card Girastag as a manifestation of his own soul." he raised his right index finger upwards, "And in doing so he was allowed a better vision into his own mind."

    Apostolos blinked as he cupped his chin in thought, "Or do you mean if that Girastag was brought into a physical reality that we experience? Well it could possibly be the case. But that begs the question, can artificial programming dream, or compose a play? Is it really there doing or is it something beyond their ability to do? And more pressingly are we able to even judge the merits of their work? For that would imply our reality is more real than their reality. While it may feel real to us it may only be a dream of a sleeping butterfly. So what are we the dreaming butterfly dreaming this moment, or do we dream that we are the butterfly?"

    Apostolos smiled at Cain, "Thank you for adding to the realm of philosophical thought with that statement."
    #17 Dinorocket, May 19, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: May 19, 2014
  18. ((Sorry for coming in late! My alerts didn't alert me...don't worry, I've fired them now.))

    Madora looked up at Caleb with the up-most respect and affection. Caleb had been a wonderful father figure to her for as long as she could remember, and she admired everything he did. In her opinion, he deserved to not only sit upon his throne in this cave, but also a throne at the top of the world. And she honestly believed in her heart that one day he would get the position that he deserved. So it filled Madora with great pride to be able to tell Caleb just how well the mission had went.

    "It was a great success! We managed to carve the Millenium Isignias onto the Prime Pillar pretty much without trouble," Madora declared joyously. Then she continued "Although Terrel attracted the attention of two nearby duelists. We quickly dealt with them though- they won't be impeding our work again."

    Madora had spat out the word Terrel, like it was a moldy sandwich. His reckless actions had almost jeopardized the mission. But Madora was secretly happy about the incident- it had allowed them to dispose of two more people against the Cult of Shadow's righteous cause. Anybody who actively tried to stop the Cult of Shadows deserved such a fate in Madora's mind.

    Madora waited for Caleb to respond, deeply hoping that he would be impressed by the mission's triumph. This was one of the most important missions she'd been sent on yet, and she was eager to go on more missions like this to help the Cult of Shadows and Caleb.


    Meanwhile Terrel was kicking about on the streets. He was supposed to be at the mission-debriefing with the rest of his team, but he'd begged Madora to let him not go. She tried to hide it, but Madora was more than happy to be rid of him sooner. However she'd made it quite clear that she wasn't going to cover for him if he got into trouble for not going. Whatever. Even if she hadn't approved of him skipping the de-briefing, Terrel would have done it anyway, so he had plenty of excuses at the ready. He was kind of ashamed to be letting the leader down- Terrel had quite a bit of respect for old man- but when Terrel seriously didn't feel like doing something, there was nothing that would make him do it.

    After wondering about aimlessly for a while, Terrel came across a duel monsters battle coming to an end. Terrel hid in the shadows, and decided to watch. After a couple of minutes the Iswarm user defeated the guy with the prophecy deck, by dealing a final blow with his Steelswarm Girastag. And then something strange happened. The Girastag did a sort of fist-pump to celebrate the win, and the duelist patted its leg in return. It was almost as if the Girastag was actually alive! Terrel knew his eyes hadn't betrayed him, because the duelist in question and a spectator where making a fuss over it too. "Could it be... related to the Ancient Magic?" Terrel wondered. He knew that Ancient Magic was relevant to the Cult of Shadows somehow, but whenever somebody tried to explain all the historical stuff in detail to Terrel he just zoned out. Terrel supported the Cult of Shadows for more selfish, sinful reasons, not all of that magical rubbish. Still, that little performance just now had rather impressed him. If that was just a ripple from the the Cult of Shadows work, Terrel might try to be a little more helpful. Maybe.

    Feeling curious, Terrel left the shadows, and walked up to the winner of the duel.

    "That thing at the end of the duel was odd, bro. I know that you think it was the demonstration of the soul or whatever," Terrel commented, addressing the loser when he said you, "But it didn't really feel like that to me. It kinda felt paranormal, y'know, and with all of these Cult of Shadows and Ancient Egyptian magic rumours going round, d'you think it could be to do with that?"

    Terrel probably shouldn't have said what he did. He wasn't supposed to talk about the Cult of Shadows with non-members, in case he gave away secret information (which is exactly the sort of thing Terrel would do). Even if that wasn't a problem, Terrel wasn't very good at speaking articulately. He always managed to sound like a bit of an idiot when he spoke, and he wasn't the best at explaining his points. Still, that wouldn't stop Terrel. Nothing, except sheer force, would stop Terrel.
    #18 Cassette, May 19, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: May 19, 2014
  19. Apostolos blinked at Terrel and tilted his head, as he stared at him with a completely inquisitive expression. "The para-normal is beyond the normal. While such a card game does inspire a manifestation of the soul, would you not say that an expression of the soul is not beyond the normal. Most people would consider such an act beyond normal... But, what is normalcy when we get right down to it? Is normalcy determined by a single individual, or by society as a whole? The two can easily contrast each other, and then the question falls to which one holds more weight. And are we even capable of determining which reality of normalcy is the strongest? We ourselves can not comprehend all of the beauties of the universe, which limits our perception of reality. In this clouded mindset are we able to truly judge reality? And even then, go further into the subject and determine a normal path of action, when we only have a small fraction of the picture? But to us, it looks like we have a picture. Our perception of reality can only go so far, but yet we easily craft the very world around us with our limited senses. Which of course begs the far larger question, What are we? Which the introspective glance into the mind allows for a broader sense of our own soul." Apostolos smiled at Terrel, "You have helped added another quandary to my philosophical inquiries, and for that I thank you."
    #19 Dinorocket, May 19, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: May 19, 2014
  20. Terrel just stared at Apostolos. He had no idea what the hell he was going on about. To start with Terrell wasn't sure what manifestation meant (although he suspected it was something along the lines of getting inside of something), let alone the rest of the philosophical jargon. Terrel just nodded along, until the end when Apostolos thanked Terrel for a reason unknown to him. He felt thoroughly confused, with his only clue to what Apostolos had said being the tone of his voice. Terrel began to regret butting in to something he didn't understand. But not enough to stop talking.

    "Um, your welcome I suppose," Terrel replied, "What I sort of meant was- 'cause I think you were disagreeing with my idea- is that the card wasn't doing tricks because of something we've done. Well, we started it, so we sort of did do it, but not our souls. More like some other thing messing with it. Like um...our soul coulda started this thing in the card for all I care, but it could also be related to all that Cult of Shadow magic-y stuff. Does that make sense? Because seriously bro, I had no effing clue what you were tryna say."

    Perhaps Terrel should have paid more attention in English lessons- he definitely thought it would have helped now. Terrel wasn't even sure his comment was at all relevant, but he cared less than you would care about dirt (unless you love dirt, of course).
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