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Scarlet Weather
August 1st, 2007, 11:14 AM
Yes, yes, I know the title makes it sound like this is an Abridged Series roleplay. Unfortunately, running one of those would be even more impossible then running this one, which is going to be a difficult enough matter. Before we move on to the actual plot of this roleplay, I'd like to point out that as I suck at card games, I'm looking for somebody slightly more experienced at playing them to give me a hand. (Yes, I, wordiest RPer of the month, need help to play children's card games.) If I don't have anybody to help I'll start the roleplay anyway, but it would be nice if I did...
ATTENTION DUELISTS! MY HAIR IS WRITING THE PLOT!

It happened fifteen years after Muto Yugi, the reigning King of Games, ascended his throne. Through many trials he had somehow managed to stay atop his throne, even without the help of his former "otherworldly" partner. However, his life was rocked with a tragedy when mere days after winning his fifteenth straight KC tournament duel his grandfather, Muto Sugoroku, suffered a fatal heart attack. Three days later, Muto Yugi ascended a podium at a press release and made the controversial announcement that he would be retiring from proffesional dueling in order to take over his Grandfather's position as the proprietor of the Domino City Games Shop. In other words, the coveted title of "Duelist King" is now up for grabs. However, the problem remained as to how the new King of Games would be selected. The problem was argued back and forth by various factions, until finally a compromise was reached. Two weeks after Yugi's announcement, Kaiba Seto and Pegasus J. Crawford, the owners of two of the biggest gaming companies in the market, finally announced that they would be sponsoring a worldwide tournament, open to any and all duelists. The tournament's opening rounds would take place in the large country of America, and eventually move first to Germany, then Domino City, and finally, to Egypt. The winner would be considered worthy of holding the coveted title "King of Games".

However, dark powers are stirring. There are rumours of duelists with cards that have had dark magic sealed in them. There are fanatics who will do anything to win the tournament. And somewhere in Egypt, the Sennen items are still there, their powers sealed. And even with a collapsed temple covering them, their powers can still be faintly detected. And if someone with a strong enough will were to approach them...

But no. That couldn't happen...

After all, the Sennen items set off the Yami no Game events years ago. If even one of them were to find their way into the hands of anyone, good or evil...

Chaos.

ATTENTION DUELISTS! MY HAIR IS DONE WRITING NOW!

Okay, let's break this down. Basically, we are all compeititors in the tournament. And by the way, this tournament does consider all aspects of GX to be canon, but the plot does not revolve around said aspects. (Aspects here meaning duel spirits and Duel Academia). All duels, until the finals, will be conducted between your character and NPCs, in which you will dictate the actions. You need not post duels, however, unless you want to. Most of the story will focus on the interaction between our characters and as we get closer to Egypt, and once we get their it will focus mostly on the possibility of a re-awakening of the Sennen items. Anyway, here's how to sign up:

Name: (You know, the thing your parents call you by.)

Age: (The number of revolutions you have made around the nearest star to Earth)

Personality: (A good six lines, please, unless you can pack a heck of a lot into less)

Appearance: (I'll be very forgiving here, so just give me a good idea of what your character looks like. There's no line minimum, but try to aim for at least six in order to give everyone a good idea of your character's appearance.)

History: (Optional, but if you do one it had better be at least six lines.)

Deck: (Give me a decklist, and a description of any made up cards and their effects. The deck should be built reasonably well, since the build of your deck affects whether or not you will be KoG when we get to the finals. Decklist MUST be complete, but you need not have a side deck, as all duels will be played using offical TCG rules, with the exception of the "Three duels in a match" thing. We don't want to draw these out TOO long.)

Other: (Anything else you wanna put).

IF YOU HAVE A DUEL SPIRIT YOU MUST FILL OUT HISTORY AND PROMISE NOT TO GOD-MODE IT OR USE IT AS A DEUS EX MACHINA.

IF YOU WANT TO PLAY AN ORIGINAL CHARACTER FROM THE SERIES (All GX and and original series characters are open with the exceptions of Yugi, Honda, Anzu, and Pegasus, since Honda and Anzu are idiots, Yugi is laying around at home, and Pegasus is mine.) YOU MUST HAVE AN ORIGINAL CHARACTER OF YOUR OWN INVENTION ALREADY ACCEPTED AND HAVE YOUR REQUEST APPROVED BY THE RP MASTER, AKA ME.

THE FOLLOWING CARDS ARE NOT ALLOWED IN YOUR DECK:

Sacred Beasts

All Neo-Spacian monsters.

All Cyber-Dragon and Cyber-Dark monsters.

Chaos Emperor Dragon.

Black Luster Soldier-Envoy of the Beginning.

Blue Eyes White Dragon.

All Destiny Heroes.

All Crystal Beast/Gem Beast monsters.

Anything banned on the current official banlist at Upperdeck.com (which can be found here:http://entertainment.upperdeck.com/yugioh/en/gameplay/forbidden/advanced_current.aspx)

I realize that all of these make deck-building a bit restrictive, but things must be kept Canon, ne?

Also, rules: As RP master, I say who wins each duel in the finals, along with my jury of roleplayers. That is to say, if you and your opponent don't give me a decision within 72 hours of your match being announced about the winner and send it to me, I will decide, and all my decisions are final. If I say you lose, you lose. You and your opponent may then stage a duel, or one of you could write it alone, or whatever, I don't care, just work it out over PM or something. Anyway, that pretty much covers it, so I'll just post the rules.

1. All original characters will be referred to by their Japanese names, last name first.

2. No God-Modding. Not that there will be much chance for you to do so, but if there is, don't take advantage of it.

3. No powerplaying or bunnying without getting permission and notifying me, please.

4. No questioning the laws of ACC. If I say no, then no.

5. No over-the-top romance. You know what I mean here, I trust.

6. You aren't Kaiba. Even if you have money, you are not allowed to screw the rules.

7. I have the right to turn you down for no good reason. (.00000000001 percent chance of that actually happenning.)

8. Mary Sue-ism is equivalent to Nazism here. You use it, you get shot by the UN.

9. Use the force only when necessary.

10. References to the Abridged series are permitted, but don't completely fill your post with them.

11. Finally, all made-up cards in your deck must be submitted and considered balanced in the "Make Your Card" thread in the "Other Cards" sub-forum.

Anything the rules leave open, feel free to ask about. Don't complain unless you have a really good reason to do so. And have fun!

EDIT: Whoops, forgot to include this important little rule:

12. I would have hoped it would be fairly obvious to you all, but I must post it now. All made-up cards must be your own original work. If you take a card from somebody else without their explicit permission, you will be considered a thief and possibly banned. There, it's even highlighted for you. Don't be evil.

Scales
August 1st, 2007, 01:21 PM
Wow. I have wanted to join a Yu Gi Oh roleplay since I joined PC. But it is going to take me a while to assemble a deck. So can I get a reservation?

Scarlet Weather
August 1st, 2007, 01:29 PM
Alright, JBC, you are RESERVED.

Wow, that was quick. XD

Anybody else who knows more about children's card games then I do?

*tumbleweed blows by*

Anyone?

Taichi
August 1st, 2007, 03:06 PM
Before I sign, are we allowed to have the card Final Countdown? Im not sure if its banned or not.

Scarlet Weather
August 1st, 2007, 04:35 PM
OOC:

Not sure myself. Go look at the banlist at upperdeck.com. If it says it's banned there, it's banned in the roleplay. I'd better post a link in the sign-up, eh?

Alright, I'm back, and I didn't see Final Countdown on the banlist, so you're good.

Taichi
August 1st, 2007, 05:23 PM
I would like a reserve also, same reason as JBCPeace

Scarlet Weather
August 1st, 2007, 05:41 PM
Reserved

Oh, nobody is actually posting a sign-up yet. Brilliant.

Alter Ego
August 2nd, 2007, 04:11 AM
Ohhh! Me, me, ME! RPer of the month wants to be in this! How DARE you worthless knaves make reservations before me?! >O

Anyways, just a small question: would it be OK to have two spirits? You see...I sort of wanted to use Pikeru and Curran to reflect the two different sides of my character's mind. If that goes against your grand scheme, don't worry; I'll just write it off as my character projecting psychological issues into children's playing cards. They'd be more hindrance than help, though. ;3 Oh, and I'm open for helping or whatever, but I'm not that good either so...yeah. ^-^

By the way, I notice that this form has no gender field. Is it too presumptuous of me to add my own? Aww...screw the rules, I'm adding it anyways.

SUPER SPECIAL AWESOME SIGN-UP SHEET FTW! *Shot*

Name: Tacey Juliet Edgeworth

Age: 14

Gender: Female

Home Country: Originally England, moved to Domino City, Japan for business reasons.

Personality: If asked to describe Tacey by one word, the common man on the street would probably go with 'crazy' while those a bit more aware of her heritage would choose the more diplomatic 'eccentric'. Her persona seems to shift between a kind, charitable rich girl who is out to make the world a better place for all and a malicious little brat who loves nothing more than to rub her checkbook in the face of anyone who seems to be even a little bit worse off than her. Having been pampered and raised in luxury, Tacey always seems to be looking down on people from the lower social classes - although how she looks down on them varies between scorn and pity, depending on her mood - and always considers herself the natural 'leader' of any given group because of her heritage. She's also very accustomed to getting her way, and when this doesn't happen the offending party will be subjected to bribery, threats, screaming, pouting, whining, crying, kicking, and biting in no particular order until they give in. When she gets it into her head that something needs to happen she does everything in her power to make it so, and seeing as how she believes that the world basically revolves around her, Tacey is not very prone to believing that she simply can't do something. She's not without a soft side, however, and to those few who can stand her mood swings, condescending attitude, and bossiness she can actually be a good - not to mention useful - friend to have and once she decides that someone is her friend...well, that's that. She's been known to be very generous among those she likes, and truly vicious towards anyone who dares pick on her friends. Raised primarily among people far older than her, she does - however - have some problems with interacting with others her age who aren't servants. Proud as she is, Tacey would never admit such a flaw - or any flaw for that matter - and simply hides behind her haughty persona when things get too uncomfortable for her.

Needless to say, Tacey does not have very many friends, and popular rumor has it that her loneliness first got her into playing children's card games as a pass time, a rumor which is only strengthened by the persistent reports of Tacey talking to - or, rather, ranting at - two particular cards in her deck. Those in a position to even ask have been too concerned about their personal health to ask her about it, however.

Appearance: Disappointingly average in height, what she lacks in stature Tacey makes up for with posture, always carrying herself with the dignity required from properly raised rich little daddy's girls. Her skin is ivory colored, a pigment which she goes to considerable lengths to protect as it - to her mind - is a perfect sign of nobility and which further enhances the slightly doll-like appearance of her thin frame with its delicate fingers and heart-shaped face. Tacey's hair - in contrast - is of a very dark purple color, usually descending from her head to a fair bit below her shoulders in a mass of elegant curls. Her eyes are a dark blue and usually they're the clearest indicator of what mood she is in as her killing stare is not something easily ignored by those around her.

When it comes to clothing, Tacey's policy is to choose the specifics in accordance with the occasion, the problem being that her idea of what an 'occasion' is is somewhat different from most people's. She generally seems to favor dark colors for serious occasions and light ones for enjoyment. When it comes to tournament duels, she always dresses in a predominantly black and white outfit (She considers it a part of her 'dueling image'), typically wearing a white silk blouse with a black collar and black lining around the ends of the sleeves, a pair of red buttons granting it a tiny dash of color. This blouse is accompanied by a black, knee-high pleated skirt, while a pair of black shoes (open at the top except for a single strap) and a pair of white socks occupy her feet. On more casual occasions, Tacey has been known to go with far brighter colors - even pink or yellow - but the one thing she would not be caught dead wearing is a pair of trousers. To her mind, those are boy clothes and nothing a lady should ever even consider putting on herself.

History: The only daughter of the moderately famous electronics tycoon William Edgeworth and potential heiress to his multi-million empire, Tacey was effectively spoiled even at young age, courtesy of her parents' seemingly endless cash flow. As soon as it became feasible to do so, Tacey was put under the tutelage of the best personal instructors that money could buy in hopes that she would grow to become an educated and cultured lady befitting of the position as the family's figurehead. Sadly, his parents failed to account for the side-effect that such attention had on a young and still impressionable girl. Raised among people far older than her and told since day one that she was special, Tacey soon grew more than her fair-share of arrogance and inflated self-worth, and the fact that most employees were too frightened of being fired to argue with her didn't exactly help matters.

As the years passed, Tacey grew increasingly short-tempered and self-centered, exerting the full length of her influence on anyone and everyone she could. Servants and teachers were bad-mouthed and dismissed on a weekly - and at worst almost daily - basis and eventually even William had to face up to the fact that his sweet little daughter had turned into a household tyrant. It was then that the businessman - by chance - came up with the idea of introducing her to the game of duel monsters, a move which he hoped would not only get Tacey out of the house and into the company of children her age but would also move the Edgeworths just a little bit closer to KaibaCorp; their most important business partner. At first, Tacey was less than pleased by the prospect of playing a children's card game with a bunch of 'common scum', but at the same time her pride could not withstand the notion of some poor street kids being able to do something better than her and so she agreed.

Tacey's first encounter with the game was the result of many temper tantrums and more than one frustrated proclamation of 'I'll never touch those stupid things again!', but a few weeks after tossing away her first deck in sheer frustration and deciding that she would spend no more time on the ridiculous game, Tacey received a gift which has puzzled her ever since. It was a carefully wrapped package from a sender who chose to be referred to simply as a 'mystery admirer'; within was a collection of cards the likes of which the pampered rich girl had never even heard of, enclosed with a note claiming that they were unique and politely requesting that she played them. Intrigued, Tacey did just that, and soon after, a most peculiar change overtook her. For each day she spent with the game, Tacey seemed to become increasingly obsessed, spending more and more time looked up in her room with her card collection and less time picking on the housefolk. Soon after, she took up the habit of seemingly mumbling to - and often arguing with - herself behind locked doors. Disturbing though this news was, it was generally agreed that a slightly eccentric Tacey talking to herself was preferable to a frothing mad one tearing up the place, and - strangely enough - the girl had even started exhibiting rare moments of kindness, something which had been believed to be inconceivable. Over time, Tacey's skills with the game grew far beyond those of a mere amateur and - bored of hired opponents who had an annoying habit of making lame plays to suck up to her - she got into the competitive circuit, earning a bit of fame for herself for a number of local tournament victories. Of course, with her personality still being what it was, she was not content with some junk metal trophies or some symbolic pats on the back. No, like in everything else she wanted to be the best, and what better way to prove it than to obtain the title Yugi had so carelessly discarded? Besides, the hosts of the tournament were the two big names in duel monsters and certainly the most likely candidates to help unmask the so-called 'mystery admirer'.

Deck: Now with super special awesome custom cards. :3

Total: 42

Monsters (20)
2x Ebon Magician Curran
1x Princess Curran
1x Princess Pikeru
3x Royal Bodyguard
3x Royal Emissary
3x Royal Enforcer
2x Royal Treasurer
3x Royal Justice
2x White Magician Pikeru

Spells (7)
2x Coronation of the Princesses
2x Court of Nobles
1x Mystical Space Typhoon
2x Noblesse Oblige

Traps (15)
3x Forced Back
2x Judgment of the Princesses
3x Magic Jammer
1x Mirror Force
1x Negate Attack
1x Ring of Destruction
3x Solemn Judgement
1x Trap Jammer

List of custom cards (In spoiler tags for convenience):


Coronation of the Princesses
Normal Spell

This card may only be activated by tributing 'White Magician Pikeru' or 'Ebon Magician Curran' from your Field and discarding one card from your Hand. If you tributed 'White Magician Pikeru', Special Summon one 'Princess Pikeru' from your Hand or Deck, ignoring the Summoning conditions. If you tributed 'Ebon Magician Curran', Special Summon one 'Princess Curran' from your Hand or Deck, ignoring the Summoning conditions.

Court of Nobles
Field Spell

While this card is face-up on your Field, increase the Atk of all 'Curran', 'Pikeru', and 'Royal' monsters by 300. During your Draw Phase, instead of drawing a card, you may add 'Coronation of the Princesses' from your Deck to your Hand.

Noblesse Oblige
Normal Spell

This card can only be activated by selecting one face-up 'Pikeru' or 'Curran' monster on your Field. If you selected a 'Pikeru' monster, add one 'Royal' monster from your Deck to your Hand. If you selected a 'Curran' monster, Special Summon one 'Royal' monster from your Hand to the Field.

Judgment of the Princesses
Counter Trap

This card can only be activated by selecting a face-up 'Pikeru' or 'Curran' monster on your Field when your opponent declares an attack. Negate the attack then apply an effect depending on the monster you selected:

Ebon Magician Curran: Destroy the attacking monster and inflict damage to your opponent equal to 200 x the level stars of the destroyed monster.

Princess Curran: Destroy all Attack Position monsters on your opponent's Field then inflict damage to your opponent equal to 500 x the number of monsters destroyed by this effect.

White Magician Pikeru: Return the attacking monster to the top of your opponent's deck then gain Life Points equal to 400 x the level stars of the returned monster.

Princess Pikeru: Shuffle all Attack Position monsters on your opponent's Field into your opponent's Deck then gain Life Points equal to 1000 x the number of monster returned to your opponent's Deck by this effect.

Royal Emissary
Warrior/Effect
4 Star/Light
1900 Atk/ 1600 Def

If 'Court of Nobles' is not on your Field, this card is destroyed. Discard this card from your Hand to add 'Court of Nobles' from your Deck to your Hand.

Royal Justice
Spellcaster/Effect
4 Star/Light
1300 Atk/ 1200 Def

Whenever you negate the summoning, effect, or attack of a card controlled by your opponent, inflict 500 points of Damage to your opponent, and if 'Court of Nobles' is on your Field discard a card at random from your opponent's Hand.

Royal Enforcer
Warrior/Effect
4 Star/Light
1400 Atk/ 1300 Def

While 'Court of Nobles' is face-up on your Field, negate the effects of all effect monsters destroyed by 'Royal' monsters in battle.

Royal Treasurer
Spellcaster/Effect
3 Star/Dark
1100 Atk/ 700 Def

If this card inflicts Battle Damage to your opponent while 'Court of Nobles' is face-up on your Field, draw a card. During each of your End Phases, if there are no cards in your Hand draw a card.

Royal Bodyguard
Warrior/Effect
4 Star/Light
1800 Atk / 1600 Def

While a 'Pikeru' or 'Curran' monster is face-up on your Field, you may Special Summon this card from your Hand. While this card is face-up on your Field, your opponent may not select a 'Pikeru' or 'Curran' monster on your Field as the target of an attack or card effect.

Other: She's rich; obscenely rich. Ahem, yeah, as mentioned before Tacey spends a lot of time conversing - and arguing - with her two magician cards (Pikeru and Curran). Pikeru is the sweet and compassionate one, usually trying to convince Tacey to be nicer to the people around her and - in duels - constantly harping about caution and planning while Curran typically makes a point of contradicting Pikeru at every turn, always opting for 'screw everyone else, we're better than them' and high risk, high reward plays. Consequently, the two spend a lot of time bickering, which - of course - wears on Tacey's rather short fuse, often causing her to seemingly scream at thin air. At the end of the day, Pikeru and Curan - imaginary or no - are the closest thing Tacey has to friends, so she has learned tolerate their - often disruptive - presence and despite their differences the trio make for a truly fierce presence on the few occasions that they reach a consensus about something. Being the child of a rich electronics tycoon, Tacey is also usually in possession of the latest, spiffiest, and most expensive objects that handheld electronics and dueling technology have to offer.


No RP Samples either? =O

typeZERO
August 2nd, 2007, 07:02 AM
I'd like to make a reservation. I've been waiting for a
yugioh RP ever since I started roleplaying. YUGIOOOOOH!!!!!*shot*

Scarlet Weather
August 2nd, 2007, 07:36 AM
Alter Ego:

I'm sorry, your sign-up was just not what we're looking for in this roleplay. Rejected

SIKE!

Okay, seriously, AE, you are more ACCEPTED in this roleplay that I am. And I'm the RP master. Plus, you're really good at playing card games, which is nice since now I don't have to beg you for help- I can just threaten to kick you out of the roleplay if you don't. XD

Moving on...

Alright, Omega, you are RESERVED. Now go do British things! In America!

Alright, I have to go finish *gasp* tweaking my character and building my Wandering deck. (AE knows what the heck I'm talking about there.) So you all can just sit around and rot in this plot for all I care. >.<

Extric
August 2nd, 2007, 07:51 AM
Sweet! Yu-Gi-Oh! is one of my favorite animes so I'll sign up now. Oh, Seto Kaiba's name is not Kaiba Seto (I noticed that you put that in the plot.)

Name: Tyler Auran Daniels
Age: 17
Gender: Male

Personality: Tyler is and always will be very competitive. Ever since he was a young boy, Tyler enjoyed games like tag and hide-and-seek because it was a time to see who could run the fastest or hide in the best spots. Even though Tyler is competitive he doesn't seem to aim for success in every competitive game. He doesn't mind if he loses, but that doesn't mean that he doesn't like losing. Tyler shows respect to those he thinks deserves it and not everyone he meets even though all his life he was to show respect to all the people he knew and didn't know. He can also be quite friendly if you don't get on his bad side before he gets a chance to try and make you a friend. If Tyler does decide that he wants to be friends with you and the two finally get that buddy relationship going you will also gain his trust and respect. Tyler will also try his best to protect you from harms way whenever he notices that you need help or you want him to help you.

Appearance: Tyler is normal height and weight for a boy his age. His hair is a very dark brown color that is cut short to his head. Tyler's eyes are a nice crystal blue color that just seem to pop out at you when you look at them. A few girls he dated have even said that it was easy for them to get lost in his eyes. Tyler just seems to laugh at these comments because he's never heard of anyone getting lost into the color of someones eyes. Covering his tan body is his normal style of clothing. Usually his torso has three layers on them. First is a long sleeved white or black shirt. Then, depending on the color, a black or white t-shirt that is just one size smaller than the long sleeved shirt so that he can show every edge of the shirt. Then on top of everything is the same black leather jacket. Tyler likes the jacket very much since it was the last gift his favorite uncle gave to him before his uncle died. He doesn't always ware the jacket because if the heat is pounding onto his body with the jacket then he would pass out very easily. His legs are protected by either black cargo pants or a pair of dark blue jeans, whichever he feels like putting on that day. Then on his feet are a pair of plain white shoes.

History: All Tyler remembers from when he was a very young child is that he lived with his aunt and uncle. They told Tyler that his parents had died on a trip to America and that the family had decided that if they were to die that Tyler was to go to his aunt and uncles house to live. Even though Tyler had no brother or sister of his own, he did have his two older cousins to hang out with. Those two were the ones to gave Tyler his competitive attitude since all three of them would play sports at the house. When Tyler was about ten though he decided that he needed to try something else besides sports. He tried a couple of things like marbles or board games, but it just wasn't the type of activity that he wanted to compete in.

After trying out different activities, Tyler soon found himself enjoying video games down at the arcade tons of fun and competitive. He could challenge high scores or other players in two-player games. He wasn't the best at video games but he enjoyed them almost as much as the sports that he would play with his cousins and friends. He started to search for something different when he was thirteen and that was when he found the greatest card game in the world, Duel Monsters.

With his allowance, Tyler bought tons of packs and started making a deck that he hoped would become the most powerful deck in the world. There were tournaments starting up left and right for this card game and Tyler realized that this was the best thing to do. He was the only one in his family to actually play the game so he had to practice at tournaments or with random people out in the streets. After two years he finally made a deck that he loved and thought would do well in this new card game. When he turned sixteen he had finally earned up enough money from work to buy a Duel Disk made by Kaiba Corp. Now he viewed himself as a powerful dueler. Now he wanted to become King of Games.

Deck: So you've banned pretty much every staple in the game?

Monsters
1 Jinzo

3 Destroyersaurus
3 Hydrogeddon
3 Gigantes
3 Card Trooper
2 Tyranno Infinity
2 Exploder Dragon
2 Giant Rat
1 Injection Fairy Lily

Spells
3 Shrink
3 Smashing Ground
2 Soul Release
2 Nobleman of Extermination
2 Brain Control
1 Snatch Steal
1 Machine Duplication
1 Heavy Storm
1 Confiscation
1 Mystical Space Typhoon

Traps
1 Mirror Force
1 Torrential Tribute
1 Ring of Destruction

Other: Can't think of anything.

Alter Ego
August 2nd, 2007, 08:32 AM
Ummm...no, from the staple side he only banned Cyber Dragon, Diamond Dude, Dasher, Malicious, Disc Commander and the Crystal Beasts (Of these, only Cyber Dragon isn't a build specific staple). Demise and Six Samurai remain almost unmolested (Only thing is that Demise doesn't get Cyber Twin anymore). Also, the real every deck staples that are Mirror Force and Ring of Destruction also remain in the game. :3

Btw, careful ACC: threaten me and I'll have to give you detention in the academy. ;D

Okay, sorry for the OOC spammage but that faulty generalization just caught my eye. *Twitch*

Extric
August 2nd, 2007, 09:01 AM
OOC: Sorry for this too. I said pretty much every staple. Currently you don't see a deck with out any of those you listed. The only options you have now of a deck are Six Samurai and a Monarch (Hate those cards). Demise, IMO, doesn't do well unless you have Twin in the deck. So you've pretty much have to experiment with other types of decks. I lucky and didn't have to build a deck from scratch because I just built that Horus/Dragun/Decree Lockdown deck.

Scales
August 2nd, 2007, 01:41 PM
Name: Cain Ritham

Age: 15

Personality: Cain is more or less the every man. He is friendly and is always trying to stop conflict. But Cain is complected. He is smart and uses logic or quotes many famous or well known people. However Cain is always wanting to make friends with the strangest of people. Usually it happens.

Cain however feels guilt over the slightest of choices. He feels guilty over spending to much money or spending not enough. When he hears someone beg he cannot feel any emotion other then pity and help fullness. But this usually lets people take advantage of him in any way possible.

Appearance: Cain is a slim teen at 5"5 and weighing in at 130 LBS. Axle has black hair shaped into a mullet. Axle has a slim face with no apparent facial blemishes and has blue eyes. Axle also has a surfer styled shark-tooth necklace which he places over everything. Mostly he doesn't care about his appearence but he still combs his hair and takes a shower regularly. So he looks rather well groomed

Deck: (68) (Note 90% of all these cards are in my own deck)

Monster (23)

1x: Dark Blade: His favorite card that he tries to use in every duel
2x: Pitch-Dark Dragon: A card he tries to use as well. Since it works well with Dark blade
1x: Gearfried the iron knight
1x: Karate Man
1x: Niwatori
1x: Elemental hero Burstinatrix
1x: Elemental hero Avian
1x: Mystic Swordsmen lvl2
1x: Master Kyonshee
1x: Woodland Sprite
1x: Gilford the Legend
1x: Mystic Swordsman lvl4
1x: Harpie's Brother
1x: Blue Winged Crown
1x: Baby Dragon
1x: Time wizard
1x: Firegrass
1x: Petit dragon
1x: Tainted Wisdom
1x: ancient brain
1x: Reaper of the cards
1x: Labyrinth wall

Magic (23)
1x: Malevolent Nuzzler
1x: Fusion gate
1x: United We Stand
3x: Polymerization
1x: Giant Trunade
1x: Card Shuffle
1x: Wicked-breaking Flamberge-baou
1x: Burning Land
1x: Snatch Steal
1x: Share the pain
1x: Lightning Vortex
1x: Swords of concealing light
1x: Vengeful Bog Spirit
1x: Shield and sword
1x: Mystical space typhoon
1x: Fusion sword murasame blade
1x: Gracefull dice
1x: Scapegoat
3x: Monster Reincarnation

trap (16)

1x: Call of the haunted
1x: Fatal Abacus
1x: Royal decree
1x: Magic Jammer
1x: Trap Jammer
1x: Blast with chain
1x: Pyro clock of destiny
1x: Seven tools of the bandit
2x: Trap hole
1x: Bear trap
2x: Jar of greed
1x: Mispolymerization
1x: Skull dice
1x: Sakuretsu armor

fusion (6)

1x: Skull knight
1x: Darkfire dragon
1x: Elemental hero flaming wingman
1x: Dark blade the dragon knight: He tries to use this card all the time
1x: Punished eagle
1x: Thousand dragon

Scarlet Weather
August 2nd, 2007, 02:36 PM
Okay...

JBC, that deck is probably going to die. You need more help with card games then I do. And your sign-up barely reaches the prerequisite of a six-line personality, and you really could have done more with appearance. ACCEPTED, but just barely. You underachieving person, you.

Lex: His name is "Kaiba Seto" when written surname first, Japanese style. Apparently you missed the part in the rules where I stated that Japanese-style names are being used for all original characters. And the cards banned are only banned because they belong to one specific character in the series, not because they're staples. *pokes*

All the same, you're Accepted.

Alter: If you give me dentention, at least Eran will have time to sleep off his hangover. XD

By the way, I'm going to enact yet another deck type ban that I missed before: Cyberdark is outlawed, since all Cyberdarks and Cyber Dragons existing in the series belong to Ryo (Aka Zane, for those of you who didn't watch GX in Japanese at least once.)

I'll have my own character up for posting as soon as I create a deck. And by the way, it would be nice if everyone else signing up made their character a native of an English-speaking country or gave them a very good reason to be bilingual, as I can't think of a good way to overcome any language barriers. XD

Taichi
August 2nd, 2007, 06:26 PM
Sorry dude. Forget my reserve. I really dont feel like Rping in this now. Sorry

Alter Ego
August 2nd, 2007, 11:24 PM
Lex: the only reason that statement holds true is because of Cyber Dragon and its indomitable splashability. A lot of decks hold their own just fine without it, though. From the top of my head: Counter Fairy, Harpie Rush, Necrofear Return, Reversal Quiz OTKO, Ben Kai OTKO, Warrior Toolbox, Chain Strike Burn, Ocean and Clockwork. The reason many of them aren't used competitively these days is because decks using a number of the cards banned here are so much more fast-paced, but the slap-on ban changes the game a little, no? Not everything has to be cutting edge to be playable. :3 Also, Demise is hardly phazed by losing Cyber Twin. All they have to do is a change of -1 Metamorphosis, +1 Backup ritual card/Ritual searcher/Deck thinner and their ability to piece together the combo will be just as good. If you want to argue further then let's take it by PM, m'kay? I don't want to spam up the thread.

And yeah, I've made a change to my decklist. *Points* I felt like I just had to do it with Morphing Jar #2. It was calling out to me, I tell ya'. O.O

Scarlet Weather
August 3rd, 2007, 04:53 AM
Attention AE! Your deck change is duly noted! Remind me to create an OOC discussion thread for this roleplay!

Taichi: I don't think this roleplay ever had a set quota, so I'm really not sure why reservations existed in the first place. Either way, you may go now. *holds up card* "BEGONE, KNAVE!"

Now, without further ado, I will get my sign-up started. (By the way, am I the only one who's going to be using his own made-up cards? I didn't mean for that to happen...)

Name: Achan Smith (Don't. You. Dare. Laugh.)

Age: 17

Home Country: America

Personality: Achan is a shy, introverted individual who likes nothing more then to bury himself in a good book for hours on end. He doesn't particularly enjoy spending time in large groups, preferring instead to either spend time alone or with a few friends, never more then four or five usually. Suffice to say, he doesn't particularly enjoy group events either, or any type of activity that would require working as a team with partners. Possibly because of this attitude, Achan doesn't make friends easily, though he tends to try to hang on to the ones he has. Additionally, Achan has problems with paying attention to what is going on around him, often becoming so wrapped up in his own thoughts that he forgets someone is talking to him. Suffice to say, this is a serious liability when playing children's card games, as he often forgets that his opponent has made a move. Achan is an underachiever: While he is quite intelligent and fully capable of tackling work that is far beyond his academic level, he often slacks off or messes up, never intentionally, but always fatally as far as his gaming or school-based life is concerned.

Achan does enjoy games of all sorts, be they puzzles, video games, or card games. While he isn't very good at any of them, he takes immense pleasure from following a story through to its end. Once he reaches the end of anything, be it a puzzle, book, or game, his usual reaction is a few minutes of initial glee, followed by sadness as he realizes that the story is over and he can no longer really enjoy it. Achan also enjoys travelling to exotic locations, and is the proud owner of multiple souveneirs from all over his home country of America. His chiefest ambition, in fact, is to see the world. His love of travelling and fantasy is combined in his "Wandering" deck, a set of cards designed by him for an Industrial Illusions contest. He describes the monsters as being "A group of heroes who never end their adventure".

Achan will often give advice to those aroud him, whether they like it or not, and has trouble keeping his mouth shut when angry. If insulted or slighted in any way he snaps like a firecracker and everyone nearby ends up getting burned. Achan does have a few redeeming qualities, however, among them being a fondness for animals, a healthy respect for his elders, and a willingness to help out in any way he can. He's a nice guy, even if he is a bit immature.

Appearance: Achan is short and wimpy. At about 5"3, his age is often calculated by others as being much younger until they notice the stubble on his chin. His red hair is cut in the latest fad style: a set of long spikes that form an almost starfish-like shape. While Achan's parents love the cut, Achan himself does not and therefore keeps it hidden at all times with a straw hat. His outfit consists of a Hawaiian-style shirt decorated with palm-leaf style images, and his pants are a pair of khaki shorts, giving him the appearance of a stereotypical tourist. Completing this image is a set of sunglasses which hardly ever leave his face unless his visibility is seriously affected. If he ever were to remove the sunglasses from his face, he would reveal a pair of hazel-blue eyes and a faint tan line. On his right arm, he wears an original Kaiba-corp issue duel disk, as he decided the old-style gadget was just as good and much less expensive then the newer Academia-issue variety.

History: Born to a middle-class American family in the south of Virginia, the first thing Achan did as soon as he could walk was grabbing a picture book and looking through it. His mother taught him to read at age three, and by preschool he was already a few years ahead of the rest of his class. Achan's parents watched proudly as their son veritably breezed straight through grade school, and cheered as he reached middle school, thinking there would be a repeat of his earlier performance. To their surprise, Achan simply stopped. His grades were good enough to pass, but barely so, and his marks in each class were almost sub-par compared to his earlier school days. When confronted, Achan simply replied that he had no reason to do better. The truth was that school was boring Achan silly, and to top it off his childish interest in games and stories centering around cute monsters attracted the jeers of many of his classmates. (At the time, children's card games weren't very popular in America). So in order to ease the pain, Achan had begun spending more and more time with his books and games and less and less actually doing schoolwork. Before he and his parents knew it, Achan the brilliant had become Achan the underachiever.

His parents were understandably concerned about this, and sent Achan off to a private school just as the dueling fad broke out. By the time Eran had graduated from tenth grade, every single one of his classmates was buying packs like crazy. Figuring he'd join the fun, Achan purchased a few cards as well, and began tossing them around. To his surprise, he found that he enjoyed the game more then any other he'd played. Within a few days, he was hooked like a fish. It was then that his parents found a way to motivate their slacking son. By telling Achan they'd give him permission to enter a tournament held in Hawaii, they pretty much ensured his hard work for the next year. Achan made it to the prelims of the tournament, but lost out just before he would have made top sixteen. Discouraged, Achan decided to focus more on his other main card-related interest- namely, card design. Achan designed a group of cards he referred to as "The Wanderers", references to his two main loves of travel and unending stories. When Industrial Illusions announced a card design contest, with the winner's original designs being transformed into game cards, Achan entered figuring he had nothing to lose. A few months later, the worldwide tournament was announced, and Achan's parents talked to him about entering, figuring their son would want the title of Duelist King. To their surprise, Achan stated that he wasn't good enough to win, and though he wanted to enter the world-encompassing tournament just to see the exotic locations it would be visiting, he didn't think he would make it past the primaries. Just then, he received a call- apparently his cards had won the contest, and he would be receiving his entire Wandering deck as a prize. This announcement changed Achan's mind completely, as he figured with cards he had designed, he might just stand a chance. His entry in the tournament was confirmed by the following day.

Deck: And... here it is!

Decklist (46)

Monsters (19)

Wandering Hero x3
Wandering Shinobi x3
Wandering Beast x3
Wandering Rogue x3
Wandering Mage x3
Wandering Vampire x2
Wandering Healer x2

Spells (23)

Excalibone, Blade of the Wandering Hero x2
United We Stand x1
The Road Goes Ever On x3
A Wandering Fellowship x3
Shrink x1
Mystical Space Typhoon x1
Twister x2
Heavy Storm x2
Limit Break-Grand Healing x1
Limit Break-Braver x1
Limit Break-Omnislash x1
Limit Break-Cosmos Eterna x1
Limit Break-Beat Rush x1
Limit Break-Shuriken Blaze x1
Limit Break-Ability Leech x1

Traps (4)

Return from the Different Dimension x1
Skull Lair x1
Mirror Force x1
Ring of Destruction x1

The Road Goes Ever On
Normal Spell
If you normal summoned a "Wandering" monster this turn, you may pay one thousand life points in order to special summon one other "Wandering" monster from your hand.

Wandering Shinobi
Monster: Warrior/Wind/4*
Atk:1500/Def:1500
When this monster is face up on your side of the field, you may return it to your deck and special summon one "Wandering" monster from your hand, deck, or graveyard that has four stars or fewer that is not named "Wandering Shinobi". If you summon a monster in this way, you may not normal summon a monster this turn.

Wandering Vampire
Monster: Dark/Zombie/Effect/6*
Atk: 2200/Def: 1500
If you tribute a "Wandering" monster in order to summon this monster, this monster gains the effect(s) of the tributed monster until it is removed from the field. When this monster destroys an opponent's monster as a result of battle, inflict five hundred extra points of damage for each "Wandering" monster in the graveyard.

Wandering Hero
4*/Warrior/Effect
Atk 1700/Def 1500/Light
When this monster is normal summoned, special summoned, flip summoned, or flipped face up, you may search your deck for one equip spell card and equip it to this monster. Afterwards, discard one card from your hand. If this monster would be destroyed as a result of battle, you may destroy its equip spell card instead.

Wandering Mage
4*/Spellcaster/Effect/Fire
Atk 1300/ Def 1300
When this monster inflicts battle damage on your opponent, add one spell card from your graveyard to your hand. This effect does not activate after a direct attack. When this card is destroyed by a card effect, you may place it in on top of your deck instead of sending it to the graveyard.

Wandering Rogue
4*/Warrior/Effect
Atk 1500/ Def 1200/Wind
When this monster destroys an opponent's monster as a result of battle, you may draw one card. When this monster is destroyed, you may discard one equip spell card from your hand in order to special summon this monster in face-up attack or defense mode.

Wandering Healer
4*/Spellcaster/Effect/Water
Atk 300/ Def 2200
When one of your monsters with "wandering" in their names inflicts battle damage on your opponent, except during a direct attack, increase your life points by the same amount. When one of your monsters would be destroyed, you may destroy this monster instead.

Wandering Beast
4*/Beast/Effect/Earth
Atk 1800/ Def 500
When this monster attacks while another "Wandering" monster is on the field, increase its attack by four hundred for each "Wandering" monster you control. If this monster is destroyed as a result of battle, you may discard two cards from your hand in order to special summon it in face-up attack or defense position.

Sword of the Wanderer: Excalibone (Yes, I know, bad pun.)
Equip Spell
Increase the attack of the equipped monster by eight hundred. If the equipped monster is "Wandering Hero", destroy any monster that battles with the equipped monster.

Limit Break-Beat Rush
Normal Spell
Pay half of your life points and select one "Wandering Rogue" on your side of the field. For this turn only, Wandering Rogue can attack all monsters on the opponent's side of the field. If "Wandering Rogue" is the only monster on your side of the field, no cost is required to activate this card. You may only activate one "Limit Break" spell per turn.

Limit Break-Beastialize
Normal Spell
Pay half your life points and select one "Wandering Mage" on your side of the field. The attack of the selected Wandering Mage becomes three thousand. If Wandering Mage is the only monster on your side of the field, no cost is required to activate this card. You may only activate one Limit Break spell per turn.

Limit Break-Cosmos Eterna
Normal Spell
Pay half your life points and select one "Wandering Beast" on your side of the field. The selected "Wandering Beast" may attack your opponent's life points directly. If "Wandering Beast" is the only monster on your side of the field, no cost is required in order to activate this card. You may play only one Limit Break spell per turn.

Limit Break-Shuriken Blaze
Normal Spell
Pay half of your life points and select one "Wandering Shinobi" on your side of the field in order to activate this card. Destroy spell and trap cards on your opponent's side of the field equal to the number of "Wandering" monsters in your hand and field and deal damage equal to the number of destroyed cards x400. If Wandering Shinobi is the only monster on your side of the field, no cost is required to activate this card. You may only activate one "Limit Break" spell per turn.

Limit Break-Grand Healing
Normal Spell
Discard three cards and select one "Wandering Healer" on your side of the field in order to activate this card. Gain life points equal to half your current life points. All "Wandering" monsters cannot be destroyed until your next turn after activation. If "Wandering Healer" is the only monster on your side of the field, no cost is required to activate this card. You may only play one Limit Break spell per turn.

Limit Break-Ability Clone
Normal Spell
Select one "Wandering Vampire" on your side of the field. During this turn, this spell card gains the effect(s) of any "Limit Break" spell in the graveyard and "Wandering Vampire" may be treated as any "Wandering" monster in the graveyard. (Activation costs must still be paid).

Limit Break-Braver
Normal Spell
Pay one thousand life points and select one "Wandering Hero" on your side of the field. Destroy one monster on the opponent's side of the field, then deal damage equal to the combined level stars of Wandering Hero and the destroyed monster x300. If "Wandering Hero" is the only monster on your side of the field, no cost is required to activate this card. You may only activate one "Limit Break" spell per turn.

Limit Break-Omnislash
Normal Spell
Pay half of your life points and select one "Wandering Hero" on your side of the field. Destroy monsters on the opponent's side of the field equal to the number of "Limit Break" spells in the graveyard. Wandering Hero may attack once for each monster destroyed in this way this turn. You may only play one "Limit Break" spell per turn.

Scales
August 3rd, 2007, 08:10 PM
ACC: Hey like I said a lot of those cards I own myself. I have beaten many people using those cards so I think that it will "survive". In any event yes my character bio may be on the short side but I still think my deck is okay. It took me an entire afternoon to choose what cards to use

Also I have a question. Can our characters find or buy booster packs during the roleplay? Since it could be usefull if we need want to improve our deck during the roleplay. Also I have a question. Is this like season 2 of Yu-gi-oh and you need to ante a card during a duel and if you lose the card is lost?

Loki
August 3rd, 2007, 11:54 PM
Uh, apologies for my lack of knowledge when it comes to Yu-Gi-Oh cards, other then the fact that all the 4th graders would spend their recesses and lunchtimes huddled at the picnic table screaming, "I PLAY DARK MAGICIAN GIRL."

< <

But. Could we take the discussion of cards and decks to the OOC thread? Thank you.

typeZERO
August 5th, 2007, 12:30 PM
Name: Kamekaze(surname) Rurian(first name)

Age: 17

Personality: As a very quiet person he does seem to have the tendency to do things that some people wouldn't approve of. Though quiet , he can always be helpful to others if they are nice to him. Cause' if you hate him he'll hate you. Simple as that. He wouldn't care about if they helped him a lot , he will still hate them if they still act the same to him.

As an orphan he was adopted into a poor family. He helped to take care of them and so he grew his kind side to help and become friends with others , even if he doesn't show it. He can be one heck of a smart mouth if he wanted to. He won't quit until the guy he's smart mouthing stops annoying him and leaves. He doesn't do this in duels though since he believes that duels are what brings some people to become friends or sometimes maybe more. He has a sense of justice , which isn't what some people expect him to have. They don't because he is like a devil , causing all sorts of trouble and mischief. He isn't caught very much so he isn't really punished except by his foster parents.

He's also very caring , lovable , friendly , and hasty all at the same time. These are probably some of the ONLY good qualities about him... And also he has a short temper. So if you ever run into him please don't tease him about his hair , he'll kick your as- I mean butt if you do.

Appearance: Rurian wears a cloak over his real clothes which are the things that probably show that he is quiet. He wears a black , sleeveless , Chinese style shirt with gold titanium (don't worry , they're light!) rings on the border of where the sleeves usually would've started. On his wrists are armlets with two black gems on each of them. The gems have animals depicted on them. The right armlet having a dragon and a phoenix and the left having a hawk and a tiger. On his lower body part he wears black denim jeans and two belts going in a cross. A chain hangs from his pocket and the Alpha symbol on the right side. His shoes are the same as Vans , except that it is made by a different kind of company (I don't want to be advertising , now do I?) and are also black. On his head he wears a stub earing on his left ear lobe. His cloak is of a beige color.

For his physical appearance he is a 5'8" and has an athletic build. His eyes are crimson and his hair is white. On the top of his nose , between his eyes , is a diagonal scar that looks like it was just made. His forehead has a birthmark that looks exactly like the Omega symbol. His hair is in a Sasuke-like do and his arms are covered in crimson stripes that go in a pattern. His skin is a nice peach color. Like a lot of anime characters.

History: He was an orphan when he first turned six. He never talked to the other kids and always avoided contact or activities with them. Finally being adopted at the age of eight he went into a kind but poor family. He always treated them with respect and helped with chores like washing dishes and doing the laundry. He started school again and came to be in Domino High School. He always got good grades and even made a few friends. At the age of fifteen he learned how to play the popular card game , Duel Monsters. He went to a few tourneys held by Domino High and usually got first place , or at least in the top three. His family consisted of: Shitoru(last name) Julis (the sister) , Shitoru Hiashi (the father) , and Shitoru Naru (the mother).

It turned out that the Shitoru family was friends with the Kamekaze family. They explained to Rurian when he was seventeen that he had a long lost twin sister , and that she was also a duelist. They knew because Rurian's aunt in Tokyo , Hina , was the caretaker of his twin sister Sakura. He went out to search for her and believes that she might be one of the people in the tourney that is coming up. The one that he plans to win. To become the next "King of Games."

Home Country: Domino City , Japan

Deck:

Deck Count: 47

Monsters: (raaaawr!)

Wind Fairy , Kazeyuri x2
Flare Nymph , Katou x2
Aqua Impling , Sui x2
Rookie Ninja Shoryu x1
Ninja Dog Inumaru x2
Omega Ninja , Uria (shut up!)x1
Alpha Kunoichi , Shi x1
Red-Eyes Black Chick x2
Red-Eyes Black Dragon x1
Red-Eyes Darkness Dragon x1
Delta Phoenix x1

Fusion Monsters: (Combine!)

Elemental Knight Shinryu x1
Dog-Rider Shoryu x1
Omega Master Uria x1
Alpha Queen Shi x1
Gamma God Daisuke x1
Onyx Omega Eria x1
Azure Alpha Sakura x1
Delta Envoy Hiei x1
Onyx D. Rider x1

Magic/Spell: (I need the support!)

Polymerization x2
Omega Force x1
Alpha Power x1
Delta Rise x1
Space Breaker x1
Time Outburst x1
Gravity Jam x2
Bark of Courage x1
Premature Burial x1
Fuuma Shuriken x1

Traps: (I've got you now!)

Crush Card Virus x1
Delta Break! x1
Incendiary Shuriken x2
Whirlwind Buster x1
Rapid Fire x1
Elemental Crush x1
Z Point x1
Solar Flare x1

Field Cards: ( Let's change the scenery , shall we?)

Delta X x1

Wind Fairy , Kazeyuri
3*/WIND/Fairy/Effect
ATTK:600/DEF:800
For every WIND monster on the field your life points are increased by 500.

Flare Nymph , Katou
3*/FIRE/Fairy/Effect
ATTK:800/DEF:800
For every FIRE monster on the field increase this card's attack by 500

Aqua Pixie , Sui
3*/WATER/Fairy/Effect
ATTK:400/DEF:850
For every WATER monster on the field increase the card's defense by 500

Elemental Knight , Shinryu
6*/LIGHT/Warrior/Fusion/Effect
ATTK:2500/DEF:2200
Wind Fairy , Kazeyuri + Flare Nymph , Katou + Aqua Impling , Sui

For every Fairy card on your opponent's side of the field destroy one Trap or Spell card on his side of the field. If there are no Trap or Spell cards then increase this card's attack and defense by 300 for every Fairy card your side of the field.

Rookie Ninja Shoryu
4*/EARTH/Warrior/Effect
ATTK:1900/DEF:1800
If Ninja Dog Inumaru is on the field increase this card's attack by 300 and defense by 200.

Ninja Dog Inumaru
4*/EARTH/Beast Warrior/Effect
ATTK:1500/DEF:1500
If Rookie Ninja Shoryu is on the field increase this card's defense by 300.

Dog Rider Shoryu
6*/EARTH/Warrior/Fusion/Effect
ATTK:2400/DEF:2000
Rookie Ninja Shoryu + Ninja Dog Inumaru
In order to Fusion Summon this card, send both fusion material monsters to the graveyard. (You do not use "Polymerization".) This is considered a fusion summon

Omega Ninja Uria
6*/LIGHT/Warrior/Effect
ATTK:2500/DEF:1900
This card can only be summoned if Alpha Kunoichi Shi sent to the graveyard.

Alpha Kunoichi Shi
6*/LIGHT/Warrior/Effect
ATTK:1900/DEF:1800
If Omega Ninja Uria is on your side of the field increase this card's attack and defence by 500.





I'll PM the rest to you sometime , or maybe I'll reveal the rest sometime later in the RP.

Other:None

Scarlet Weather
August 5th, 2007, 02:16 PM
Okay, Omega.

You would be accepted, but your fake cards need some help. And for heaven's sakes, get some help with those commas. They look like you just randomly sprinkled them throughout your sentences. >.<

Anyway, remember rule eleven? Your cards need to be approved of as "balanced"? I don't see anything unbalanced about these cards, so I'll let it slide JUST THIS ONCE, but you need to fix some wording.

Dog Rider Shoryu: The wording should be similar to that of the XYZ monsters. "In order to Fusion Summon this card, send both fusion material monsters to the graveyard. (You do not use "Polymerization".) This is considered a fusion summon."

Kazeyuri: Underpowered. The life point bonus should be a bit more then that.

Katou: This monster is screwed without a bunch of fire types to back it up. Even Ultimate Baseball Kid gets a thousand point bonus. Try upping it to five hundred instead.

Sui: Make the defense upping five hundred points.

Shoryu: I don't see why he needs his level lowered, since gravity bind and level limit are limited. (Or was that semi-limited)? Either way, not too many people are gonna be playing that type of deck.

Inumaru: Try giving him an attack bonus as well, and lose the level decreaser since it's pretty much superfluous.

Shinryu: Shouldn't he get a bonus for every fairy on your side of the field?

I've got to say, this deck is still a bit scatterbrained, but at least it isn't JBC's sixty-plus card nightmare. (No offense.) Anyway, just touch up Shoryu's wording and take my advice about the other cards, and you are in. Till then, PENDING

typeZERO
August 5th, 2007, 06:30 PM
Okay, Omega.

You would be accepted, but your fake cards need some help. And for heaven's sakes, get some help with those commas. They look like you just randomly sprinkled them throughout your sentences. >.<

Anyway, remember rule eleven? Your cards need to be approved of as "balanced"? I don't see anything unbalanced about these cards, so I'll let it slide JUST THIS ONCE, but you need to fix some wording.

Dog Rider Shoryu: The wording should be similar to that of the XYZ monsters. "In order to Fusion Summon this card, send both fusion material monsters to the graveyard. (You do not use "Polymerization".) This is considered a fusion summon."

Kazeyuri: Underpowered. The life point bonus should be a bit more then that.

Katou: This monster is screwed without a bunch of fire types to back it up. Even Ultimate Baseball Kid gets a thousand point bonus. Try upping it to five hundred instead.

Sui: Make the defense upping five hundred points.

Shoryu: I don't see why he needs his level lowered, since gravity bind and level limit are limited. (Or was that semi-limited)? Either way, not too many people are gonna be playing that type of deck.

Inumaru: Try giving him an attack bonus as well, and lose the level decreaser since it's pretty much superfluous.

Shinryu: Shouldn't he get a bonus for every fairy on your side of the field?

I've got to say, this deck is still a bit scatterbrained, but at least it isn't JBC's sixty-plus card nightmare. (No offense.) Anyway, just touch up Shoryu's wording and take my advice about the other cards, and you are in. Till then, PENDING

Oh yeah , I'm the Comma Killer! Anyways , I couldn't find other ways to explain it , and since I don't own XYZ Dragon Cannon , I couldn't read the description. And if you're wondering , I'd rather use a deck full of my imaginary monsters than a deck full of existing ones , it would be too predictable. I'll take your advice on every card you listed. And do something good with my other ones that I'm gonna list.

*EDIT* I just finished my sign-up.

Fallen Angel_Messiah Of Black Roses
August 5th, 2007, 07:14 PM
I prepared to be flamed an called a noob as I begin to type, mostly since this is the first time I've picked up a yugioh card in many many months...The Cards I'm using, or a majority of them havn't been counted balanced yet by the card making thread, so this is merley to sign up.


Name: Valentine, AJ
Age: 17
Personality: AJ likes to seclude himself, he doesn't really care for oppening up and including others in his life, he really feels that being a loner is the only true way to go. That does not mean by any circumstances he's a jerk to anyone, he doesn't taunt or make people feel bad, but beware of his explosive temper. AJ does think lowly of some people if they show bad traits, like stealing or perversion, but other then that he doesn't judge people. So closing up, AJ is not the real social type, yet not the gothic emo type. He has made his own type, among those who don't like to socialize yet enjoy life to the fullest and at the same time respect those who earn and deserve it, not a mean person but not an overly joyus person. Things that make people think lowly of AJ would be his poor Japanese which makes him angry, considering he is Latin.

Appearance: AJ is average height and weight, he is Hispanic male which means his skin tone is dark, a tannish kind of tone. He has snowy white hair, that almost looks like platinum. His hair is in a short ponytail, about six or seven inches. His eyes are a angelic baby blue that seem to scream ' Oh my god! It's an Angel!' but his eyes are pretty deceiving. AJ has a medium type face, Not to tense, yet not to 'Cute' it's the whole pretty boy thing, with a great sense of 'I can kick your ass! And it's plastered on my face!' AJ wears a cross pendant right around his neck, it is a shining silver that just seems to kick out at you. AJ's main attire consists of a tight black undershirt made out of generic material, nothing real special. He wears a somewhat small dark crimson red combat vest with flames on the topper sleeves, on the back of the vest it reads in bold white letters ' Made In Heaven' and over that he wears a large white trench coat that has a cross on the back that is black and also the title, 'Fallen Angel'. He wears tight black pants, a nice leather texture. He also wears black combat boots, they have an iron sole in each shoe for more efficient walking. He has black fingerless gloves, they aren't fuzzy, just real padded. He is muscular, but not in the way that muscles are bulging everywhere and it looks like your kind of on steroids... AJ has a gold stud in his left ear ( Not Gay!) About 5'7, 145
History: (Optional


Deck: Count 50


Magic Cards:


Polymerzation (2)
Handgun
Revolver
Rifle
Uzi
Shotgun
Swords of revealing light
Perfection Almagation
Suit Of Swords X
Monster Reincarnation (3)
Four Of Cups
Ten Of Swords
Card Of Ill Fate
Trap Cards:

Magic Cylinder
Call OF The Haunted
Acid Trap Hole

Feild Cards:

Yami (2)

Fusion Cards:

Messiah Of Chaos
Fallen Angel; Messiah Of Black Roses
AJ Valentine- Corruption
AJ Valentine- Enlightened

Monster Cards:

Zach Young
AJ Valentine
Arcana Force: The Fool
Arcana Force: The Magician
Arcana Force: The High Priestess
Arcana Force: The Empress
Arcana Force: The Emperor
Arcana Force: Hierophant
Arcana Force: The Lovers
Arcana Force: The Chairot
Arcana Force: Justice
Arcana Force: The Hermit
Type Ten: Wheel Of Fate
Arcana Force: Strength
Arcana Force: Hanged Man
Arcana Force: Death
Arcana Force: Temperance
Arcana Force: The Devil
Arcana Force: The Tower
Arcana Forde: the star
Arcana Force: The Moon
Arcana Force: The Sun
Arcana Force: Judgement
Arcana Force: The World
Fallen Angel
Messiah Of Darkness
Messiah Of Light
Black Rose
Arcana Force: Light Ruler


Other: (Anything else you wanna put).

Name of Card: Zach Young
(Card Type: Monster
(Level/Type/Attribute: 4, Warrior, fire
(Effects: For every zombie type card in the opponents and user's graveyard this card gains 100 attack points and 100 defence points.
(ATK/DEF) Atk: 1500 Def: 1500
(Rarity) uncommon

Name: AJ Valentine
Card type: Monster
Level: 6 stars
Type: Warrior
Attribute: light
Effects: For every zombie type card in the opponents and user's graveyard this card gains 200 attack points and 200 defence points.
Rarity: Rare
Atk: 2500
Def: 1950














Name: Type 8: Justice
Card Type: monster
Level: 4
Type: Warrior
Attribute: dark
Effects:
Rarity: one of a kind
Atk: 1700
Def: 1700



Name: Type Ten: Wheel Of Fate
Card Type: Monster
Level: 9
Attribute: Dark
Type: spellcaster
Effects: This card can only be special summoned by tributing these Five Cards, Arcana Force:The Emperor, Arcana Force: The Magician,type 20: Judgement,type 19:The sun, Arcana Force: The moon. The Atk And Defence Points of this card are determined through a coin flip.

Heads: 2800 Atk And 2800 Def

Tails: 3500 Atk And 3500 Def

rarity: one of a kind
Atk: ?
Def: ?


Arcana Force 0 - The Fool
Spellcaster/Effect
3 Star/Wind
1800 Atk/ 1400 Def

When this card is summoned (Including Flip Summon) it is placed face-down on the Field. Then, your opponent selects one end of the card and flips it face-up. This card's effect is determined by the end your opponent selected.

Top: This card can attack your opponent directly.

Bottom: All Battle Damage from battles involving this card is inflicted to the controller of this card.

Arcana Force - The Magician
Spellcaster/Effect
4 Star/Fire
1000 Atk / 1000 Def

When this card is summoned (Including Flip Summon) it is placed face-down on the Field. Then, your opponent selects one end of the card and flips it face-up. This card's effect is determined by the end your opponent selected.

Top: Each time a Spell Card is activated, increase the Atk of this card by 1000 until the end of the turn.

Bottom: Each time you activate a Spell Card, lose 1000 Life Points.

Arcana Force - The High Priestess
Spellcaster/Effect
5 Star/Light
2200 Atk/ 2400 Def

When this card is summoned (Including Flip Summon) it is placed face-down on the Field. Then, your opponent selects one end of the card and flips it face-up. This card's effect is determined by the end your opponent selected.

Top: At any time during either player's turn, you may flip any face-down card on your opponent's Field face-up (Card effects are not activated) then return it to its original position.

Bottom: Face-down cards on your opponent's Field may not be destroyed.

Arcana Force - The Hierophant
Spellcaster/Effect
3 Star/Light
1400 Atk/ 1200 Def

When this card is summoned (Including Flip Summon) it is placed face-down on the Field. Then, your opponent selects one end of the card and flips it face-up. This card's effect is determined by the end your opponent selected.

Top: All Arcana Force monsters can be Normal Summoned without Tribute, regardless of level.

Bottom: You must pay 1000 Life Points to tribute a monster for Tribute Summon.

Arcana Force - The Lovers
Spellcaster/Effect
5 Star/Fire
2400 Atk/ 800 Def

When this card is summoned (Including Flip Summon) it is placed face-down on the Field. Then, your opponent selects one end of the card and flips it face-up. This card's effect is determined by the end your opponent selected.

Top: Select and control one face-up monster on your opponent's Field for the remainder of the Duel. When the card controlled by this effect is destroyed, it is sent to the original owner's Graveyard.

Bottom: Control of this card is switched to your opponent for the remainder of the Duel. When the card controlled by this effect is destroyed, it is sent to the original owner's Graveyard.

Arcana Force - The Chariot
Warrior/Effect
4 Star/Earth
2000 Atk/ 1200 Def

When this card is summoned (Including Flip Summon) it is placed face-down on the Field. Then, your opponent selects one end of the card and flips it face-up. This card's effect is determined by the end your opponent selected.

Top: This card can not be destroyed during your Battle Phase.

Bottom: Whenever this card is involved in Damage Calculation, it is destroyed at the end of the Damage Step.

Arcana Force - Death
Zombie/Efffect
8 Star/Dark
2800 Atk/ 2500 Def

When this card is summoned (Including Flip Summon) it is placed face-down on the Field. Then, your opponent selects one end of the card and flips it face-up. This card's effect is determined by the end your opponent selected.

Top: Whenever this card destroys your opponent's monster in battle, destroy all monsters on your opponent's Field.

Bottom: Whenever this card destroys your opponent's monster in battle, your opponent may Special Summon any monster of equal or lower level from his/her Hand or Deck.

Arcana Force - The Tower
Rock/Effect
8 Star/Dark
2300 Atk / 3000 Def

When this card is summoned (Including Flip Summon) it is placed face-down on the Field. Then, your opponent selects one end of the card and flips it face-up. This card's effect is determined by the end your opponent selected.

Top: Destroy one 'Arcana Force' monster on your Field then Special Summon one 'Arcana Force' monster with a higher level than the destroyed monster from your Deck.

Bottom: Destroy all cards on your Field except this card.

Arcana Force - The Star
Spellcaster/Effect
3 Star/Light
1600 Atk / 1600 Def

When this card is summoned (Including Flip Summon) it is placed face-down on the Field. Then, your opponent selects one end of the card and flips it face-up. This card's effect is determined by the end your opponent selected.

Top: Gain 4000 Life Points.

Bottom: Gain 2000 Life Points. When this card is removed from the Field, lose 4000 Life Points.

Four of Cups
Normal Spell

When this card is activated, it is placed face-down on the Field. Then, your opponent selects one end of the card and flips it face-up. This card's effect is determined by the end your opponent selected.

Top: During your next two Draw Phases, draw two cards instead of one.

Bottom: Skip your next two Draw Phases.

Ten of Swords
Normal Spell

When this card is activated, it is placed face-down on the Field. Then, your opponent selects one end of the card and flips it face-up. This card's effect is determined by the end your opponent selected.

Top: Destroy all monsters on the Field.

Bottom: During each End Phase of your next two turns, destroy one monster card on your Field.

Card of Ill Fate
Normal Spell

Pay 2000 Life Points to Special Summon one 'Arcana Force' monster from your Graveyard to your opponent's Field. Monsters Special Summoned by this effect are not placed face-down, but receive their 'bottom' effect instead.
__________________















Name: Type Nineteen: The sun
Card Type: monster
Level: 4
Attribute: Fire
Type: spellcaster
Effects: While this card is in play, Fire type monsters atk and def are raised by 500 points.
rarity: one of a kind
Atk: 1500
Def: 1000

Name: Type 20: Judgement
Card Type: monster
Level: 9
Attribute: dark
Type: spellcaster
Effects:
rarity: one of a kind
Atk: 3000
Def: 2500


Name: AJ Valentine- Corruption
Card Type: Fusion Monster
Level: 9
Attribute: Light
Type: Warrior
Effects: AJ Valentine + Type Ten: Wheel Of Fate
rarity: rare
Atk: 3500
Def: 3000

Name: AJ Valentine- Enlightend
Card Type: monster fusion
Level: 9
Attribute: light
Type: warrior
Effects: AJ Valentine + Type 20: Judgement
rarity: rare
Atk: 3000
Def: 3500

Name: Handgun
Card Type: magic equipt
Effects: When equipted to a warrior, the warrior's Atk increases by 500
rarity: common

Name: Revolver
Card Type: Magic Equipt
Effects: When equipted to a warrior the warrios atk is increased by 800 points
rarity: Uncommon


Name: Shotgun
Card Type: Magic Equipt
Effects: When equipted to a warrior the warrios atk is increased by 1000 points
rarity: rare

Name: Uzi
Card Type: Magic Equipt
Effects: When equipted to a warrior the warrios atk is increased by 600 points
rarity: Uncommon

Name: Rifle
Card Type: Magic Equipt
Effects: When equipted to a warrior the warrios atk is increased by 1000 points
rarity: rare

Name: Fallen angel
Card Type: monster
Level: 4
Attribute: Light
Type: spellcaster
Effects: Whenever this card is sent to the graveyard, return it to your hand
Atk: 1800
Def: 1200


Name: Messiah Of Light
Card Type: monster
Level: 4
Attribute: Light
Type: spellcaster
Effects:
rarity: rare
Atk: 1900
Def: 1100


Name: Messiah Of Darkness
Card Type: monster
Level: 4
Attribute: dark
Type: spellcaster
Effects:
rarity: rare
Atk: 1900
Def: 1100


Name: Messiah Of Chaos
Card Type: Fusion Monster
Level: 6
Attribute: Light
Type: spellcaster
Effects: Messiah Of Light + Messiah Of Darkness
rarity: rare
Atk: 2500
Def: 2500

Name: Black Rose
Card Type: monster
Level: 1
Attribute: dark
Type: spellcaster
Effects:
rarity: rare
Atk: 500
Def: 500

Name: Fallen Angel; Messiah Of Black Roses
Card Type: fusion monster
Level: 10
Attribute: Light
Type: spellcaster
Effects: Messiah Of Chaos+Fallen Angel+ Black Rose
rarity: rare
Atk: 3900
Def: 3750

Name: Perfection Almagation
Card Type: Magic
Effect: This card Acts as Polymerzation, A monster fusion summoned by this effect may not be selected as a target for 'De-Fusion'

Be back in a few

Scarlet Weather
August 6th, 2007, 10:02 AM
Omega: ACCEPTED. Have fun playing card games with us.

AJ: Nothing particularly wrong in your sign-up, outside of the fact that everyone else's character is from an English-speaking country and you're probably going to have a language barrier to overcome. Your fake cards, on the other hand, are suffering. If you want a slightly easier to put together deck with a similar theme, go look up the Arcana Force monsters on the YGO wikia. (Found through a link at wikia.com, which will be posted here in due order.)

Amalgamation's text isn't correct. "Remove two fusion material monsters from your hand or field in order to fusion summon a monster from your fusion deck that mentions the monsters in its summoning text. The monster summoned through the effect of this card cannot be returned to the fusion deck." Actually, being unable to de-fuse your monster is a pretty hard disadvantage to overcome, seeing as there are very few cards that de-fuse monsters that aren't being used by the person who played the fusion monster in the first place.

In addition, a few of your monsters are ridiculously unable to sync together in a single deck. Choose one theme, be it summoning more monsters to destroy an opponent, dealing direct damage through card effects, or destroying an opponent's field and then stick with it. Like I said, you've got premade cards that easily follow the same thing that are available. Go grab 'em. Until this decklist undergoes a major renovation, PENDING

EDIT: Since I missed this earlier, I'm going to add one more field to the sign-up sheet: Home Country. And for those of you who watched the dub Yu-Gi-Oh and were unaware thanks to 4Kids meddling (I have no idea who that would be), Domino City is in Japan, not America. Please note that language barriers are also going to be a serious issue in this roleplay if we don't give our characters some reason to be bilingual.

Fallen Angel_Messiah Of Black Roses
August 6th, 2007, 05:13 PM
I fixed up my deck a little, But still kept some of my fake cards and fixed them up a little. And don't worry, AJ can speak English.

typeZERO
August 6th, 2007, 06:13 PM
Well , if you read my character's history you should know that he went to Domino high , which is in Domino City , but I'll fill in the field if you wish.

Scarlet Weather
August 7th, 2007, 06:07 AM
Okay.

Fallen_Angel: You still have wording problems with most of your fake cards, but I'll let it slide for now. I'd like to point out that a few of your monsters still need editing badly enough that I probably shouldn't be accepting you until you completely fix them. Wheel of Fate is still the most fail-erific monster ever with its current wording, and a few monsters still say "sacrifice" instead of "tribute". In addition, High Priestess needs to say "This monster cannot be destroyed by card effects. You must pay five hundred life points per turn to keep this monster on the field. If not, this card is destroyed." You get the idea. Death also needs some revision- give him the same text as Exiled Force if you plan on using him: "Tribute this monster to destroy one monster on the opponent's side of the field."

All in all, your deck still needs some major edit-ching, but for now you are Accepted. Meh, you probably should've lurked around the other card forum to see if you could pick anything up. I do that all the time, and look at me now: I'm still a n00b, but I come up with super-special cards! *shameless self-advertisement*

Omega: Just fill out the field. Next time you two have an update post it in the OOC thread, please.

Alter Ego
August 7th, 2007, 07:19 AM
Umm...no offense, ACC, but the Justice is still Cyber Stein on drugs and a lot of those cards are still breaktacular with unspecified special summons and overblown Atk stats (And certainly not approved in the You Make the Card thread, in open violation of rule number 11). And let's not forget that last I checked he still had three banned cards (Monster Reborn, Harpie's Feather Duster, and Pot of Greed) and two Magic Cylinders (a card which is limited to one copy only) in his deck. No offense, but if stuff like this is getting through then I might have to reconsider my participation in this RP. Children's card games are no fun if some people don't have to play by the rules and I have to be picky about the RPs I join since there's only so much time for me to spend on RPing; I don't want to waste it. -.-

Scarlet Weather
August 7th, 2007, 10:12 AM
Alright, point taken Alter. Don't blackmail me here, I have enough problems getting some sort of non-done-to-death plotline for this RP in place and working out a system of Player vs. Player duels that I don't need the added catastrophe of the one person I can depend on threatening to pack up and go!

Fallen Angel, normally this wouldn't happen but it seems my mind has been changed for me. As of this moment, you are PENDING again until you fix your deck. (How did I miss those banned cards, anyway? >.<) Officially, I'd say that while Justice is scary, in this messed-up deck it really isn't going to do anything serious, but I'll take AE's word for it. Okay, moment over. (People, can we please take things like this to the OOC thread? We're going to have a ton of spammage when this whole thing is over.)

Edit: Alright, for those of you too lazy to read the OOC thread, Fallen has been REJECTED for his innapropriate use of Alter_Ego's cards.

Phanima
August 11th, 2007, 05:17 PM
Name: Michelangelo "Michel" Arma

Age: 19

Gender: Male

Home Country: Australia

Personality: Michel is a reserved and serious person who will do whatever it takes to achieve a goal or complete a task. He does so as long as the methods he undertakes do not interfere with his personal objectives. Because of his detrimental attitude of succeeding at all costs, his social and emotional relationships have suffered heavily, ostracizing him from others to an extent. He tries but struggles to remain calm in situations, but can come off short with a severe temper and little patience. In spite of this, he is more often than not subdued in his expression of his emotions, and constantly analyses current or future scenarios in his mind. He believes in completing set tasks as quickly and effectively as possible and will eliminate any threat or threats that may oppose him in accordance to the plans he derives from a situation.

From this, Michel can be seen as cold-hearted and emotionless, despite his occasion outbursts of anger and frustration. This trait is initially one of the causes of his seclusion from the current society. His closest relationships derive from his immediate family and finds that any other bonds that may be established between him and another person is irrelevant. Because of this attitude and to an extent, his ego, Michel has adapted to relying on no other person other than his father and mother. He believes that the world exists on a karmic foundation, where everything comes with a price equal to its own value.

Despite his initial composure, he comes off as more of a neutral party than an antagonist. He rarely favours one side over another but works solely for himself and his family.

Appearance: Michel’s attire resembles that of a person who would be associated with a large business corporation, but without the “seriousness” appeal. His outfit depicts his loyalty to his work, but also shows his habits of being the rebel of the company, where he plays by no one else’s rules but his own.

His torso is covered by a buttoned white collar shirt with the collar undone and his sleeves rolled up. Over this shirt, he adorns a black worn blazer that also has its sleeves rolled up to his elbows and left unbuttoned. Tied across his waist is a black belt with a silver buckle which also supports the weight from his trousers that cover his legs. His trousers are long and like his blazer, appear worn and beaten and are also black in colour. Beneath this, he wears simple white ankle socks in black formal shoes. The tips of his shoes are rounded and scuffed from dirt and lack of care from its owner.

His hair is short, sharp, black and pulled back in chunks where each end becomes a point. He has thin black eyebrows that sharpen his already narrowed eyes, and each eye is of a bright blue colour. The complexion of his skin is of an olive colour but is much more tanned across his forearms and neck, where he has become exposed to long periods of sunlight.

He stands at 173 centimetres in height and is quite lean, but has built up muscles across various parts of his body, including his chest, arms, stomach and legs. Together with his overall attire, Michel can be seen as a disrespectful and rough-around-the-edges businessman, but also carries an individualistic air about himself.

History: Michel lived a very privileged life as he grew up. His father was one of the leading directors at an engineering corporation that had many branches across the world, making him a very wealthy man. Michel’s mother was also a business woman and served under his father as the leading supervisor of the robotics and artificial intelligence division for the company. Because of their positions, his parents received many benefits financially and could afford many things other families would spend their lifetimes saving to afford. Thus, Michel’s upbringing was one of both wealth and privilege.

He spent most of his childhood being nurtured in an environment that would be most beneficial for him, regardless of the consequences that this may have had on the people around him. His mindset had already been set during this time and as he grew, he became more and more determined to succeed his parents and inherit the company. This was his goal and was only fuelled by the other temptations that surrounded him as he grew. Money and power was his motivation and with these, he graduated from the city’s highest ranking private school with a close to perfect score and was soon incorporated into the family business.

Along the way, he came across a peculiar card game that was sponsored by another wealthy company, derived upon advanced technology and artificial intelligence. The Kaiba Corporation was a large business that had its foundation in Japan and sponsored a popular card game created by another industry, known as Industrial Illusions. These companies were two of many that ruled the technological world.

Michel took a vast interest in the game and soon became a powerful supporting player. Using his position and power within the corporation, he produced a variety of cards that he promoted to Industrial Illusions for approval and because of his corporation’s influence, they were soon enough official Duel Monsters cards. With his very own set, Michel named his cards after his family’s business, otherwise known as Arma Tech.

With his own deck and lead to getting into Kaiba Corp and Industrial Illusions' inner workings, Michel's true goal is inevitably coming into realisation.

Deck:

Monsters Cards

2x Armored Core
3x Normal Armored Core
2x Next Armored Core
3x Original Armored Core
3x Muscle Tracer
2x Raven
1x Prototype Next Armored Core
2x Sol Dios
1x Sol Dios Behemoth
2x Cyber Phoenix

Spell Cards

3x Primal Armor
1x Over Boost
2x Anatolia
1x EN Gauge
1x Quick Boost
1x Limiter Removal
1x United We Stand
2x Nightmare Steelcage
1x Mystical Space Typhoon

Trap Cards

2x Kojima Shield
2x Forced Back
1x Mirror Force
2x Trap Jammer
1x Call of the Haunted
1x Stabilizers
2x Magic Jammer
1x Kojima Particles
1x Kojima Core

Total Cards: 47

Other: None

Card Descriptions: Monster Cards

Name: Armored Core
Attribute: EARTH
Type: Machine/Effect
Level: 5
ATK: 2200
DEF: 1500
Effect: You can Special Summon this card by Tributing 1 “Original Armored Core” on your side of the field. If this card is Special Summoned this way, you can add 1 Spell Card from your Graveyard to your hand.

Name: Normal Armored Core
Attribute: EARTH
Type: Machine/Effect
Level: 1
ATK: 500
DEF: 300
Effect: When this card is Normal Summoned, you may add one “Armored Core” monster from your Deck to your hand. Then shuffle your Deck.

Name: Next Armored Core
Attribute: EARTH
Type: Machine/Effect
Level: 7
ATK: 2700
DEF: 2300
Effect: This card cannot be Normal Summoned or Set. You can Special Summon this card by Tributing 1 “Armored Core” on your side of the field. If this card is Special Summoned this way, you can return 1 Spell or Trap Card from your Graveyard to your hand.

Name: Original Armored Core
Attribute: EARTH
Type: Machine/Effect
Level: 3
ATK: 1300
DEF: 700
Effect: You can Special Summon this card by Tributing 1 “Normal Armored Core” on your side of the field. If this card is Special Summoned this way, you can add 1 Equip Spell Card from your Graveyard to your hand.

Name: Muscle Tracer
Attribute: EARTH
Type: Machine/Effect
Level: 4
ATK: 1100
DEF: 1100
Effect: If you control this face-up card on the field, during the next Main Phase of the turn after summoning this card, you can Special Summon 1 “Armored Core” monster from your hand by Tributing this card.

Name: Prototype Next Armored Core
Attribute: LIGHT
Type: Machine/Effect
Level: 9
ATK: 3200
DEF: 2400
Effect: This card cannot be Normal Summoned or Set. This card cannot be Special Summon except by Tributing 1 “Next Armored Core” on your side of the field. If this card is Special Summoned this way, destroy all cards on the field except this card and take Direct Damage equal to the number of cards destroyed x 300 points.

Name: Raven
Attribute: EARTH
Type: Warrior/Union/Effect
Level: 4
ATK: 1200
DEF: 1500
Effect: Once per turn, during your Main Phase, if you control this card on the field, you can equip it to an “Armored Core” monster as an Equip Card, OR unequip the Union equipment and Special Summon this card in face-up Attack Position. While equipped to a monster by this card’s effect, your opponent cannot select another monster on your side of the field as an attack target, except the equipped monster. (1 monster can only be equipped with 1 Union Monster at a time. If the equipped monster is destroyed by battle, destroy this card instead.)

Name: Sol Dios
Attribute: LIGHT
Type: Machine/Effect
Level: 4
ATK: 0
DEF: 2000
Effect: The ATK of this card becomes the number of Spell Cards in both players’ Graveyards x 400 points. During the End Phase of the turn this card was Normal Summoned, Flip Summoned or Special Summoned, this card is destroyed and both players take Direct Damage equal to its ATK.

Name: Sol Dios Behemoth
Attribute: LIGHT
Type: Machine/Effect
Level: 6
ATK: 0
DEF: 3000
Effect: The ATK of this card becomes the number of Spell Cards in both players’ Graveyards x 600 points. During the End Phase of the turn this card was Normal Summoned, Flip Summoned or Special Summoned, this card is destroyed and both players take Direct Damage equal to its ATK.

Spell Cards

Name: Primal Armor
Type: Equip
Effect: This card can only be equipped to a Machine-Type monster. When a monster equipped with this card is attacked, decrease the ATK of the attacking monster by an amount equal to the DEF of the equipped monster.

Name: Over Boost
Type: Normal
Effect: Select 1 face-up Machine-type monster on your side of the field. The selected monster can attack your opponent directly this turn. During the End Phase, destroy the selected monster.

Name: Anatolia
Type: Field
Effect: Increase the ATK of all “Armored Core” monsters on the Field by 300. Battle Damage to the controller of an “Armored Core” monster from a battle involving that “Armored Core” monster becomes 0.

Name: EN Gauge
Type: Continuous
Effect: Once per turn, you can pay your Life Points (in multiples of 100 points) to increase 1 of your Machine-Type monster’s ATK and DEF by the same amount of points (max. 1000 points) until the End Phase of that turn.

Name: Quick Boost
Type: Normal
Effect: Select 1 face-up monster on your side of the field that includes “Armored Core” in its card name to activate this card. This turn, the ATK of the selected monster is halved and it can attack twice during the same Battle Phase.

Trap Cards

Name: Kojima Shield
Type: Normal
Effect: If an “Armored Core” monster would be destroyed by battle this turn, it is not destroyed. (Damage calculation is applied normally.) Until the end of the turn this card is activated, negate all card effects that target “Armored Core” monsters on the Field.

Name: Stabilizers
Type: Continuous
Effect: After activation, this card is treated as an Equip Spell Card and can only be equipped to a Machine-Type monster. As long as the monster equipped with this card remains face-up on the field, no other monsters can be Normal Summoned, Flip Summoned or Special Summoned.

Name: Kojima Core
Type: Continuous
Effect: On the End Phase of a turn when a monster is summoned (Including Flip Summon), destroy the monster. For each monster destroyed by this effect, inflict 300 damage to both players.

Name: Kojima Particles
Type: Continuous
Effect: If there are no face-up Machine-Type monster(s) on the field, this card is destroyed. At the end of the turn, gain Life Points equal to the number of face-up Machine-Type monsters on the field x 500 points.

Scarlet Weather
August 12th, 2007, 03:21 PM
Phanima: ACCEPTED! IN AMERICA! (Which, coincidentally, does happen to be my land of origin.)

With that out of our way, we will now be beggining the roleplay. Since nobody applied for an original series character, I'll be playing all of them. (Well, once Pegasus's part in the plot is finished, he'll be given to Alter, but that doesn't count.) All posts made solely to move the plot ahead and having nothing to do with my character's actions will be marked with the follwing:

SUPER SPECIAL AWESEOME PLOT TWIST!!!

Get it? Got it? Good. And I realize this is a bit later then twenty-four hours, but my social life got in the way, and it gave Phanima time to sign up. Alright, now to begin:

IC (At last):

SUPER SPECIAL AWESEOME PLOT TWIST!!!

Night had fallen at the castle. The trees outside whispered as a breeze stole through them, rustling their leaves slightly. Up above, the full moon shone down on the whole scene, illuminating it with a pale, silvery light. This was the island home of Pegasus J. Crawford, multimillionaire owner of Industrial Illusions, the first gaming company to design a children's trading card game that became more popular then chess. The game in question, "Duel Monsters", started out as an incredibly complex and unreliable game in which even the most experienced pros sometimes forgot the rules, which were printed in a book thicker then most conventional encyclopedias. Over time, however, the rules became much more rigid and unwavering, making the game playable and opening up entirely new demographics. Needless to say, this made Pegasus a very rich man. And as with many millionaires, he had acquired a certain eccentricism...

"No! You fool, you aren't allowed to summon in defense position! That rule hasn't been in place for the last three years! Crocquet-boy, if you don't crack open a rulebook soon I'll really have to dock your pay." Pegasus reprimanded his opponent. The nearly forty-year-old tycoon stood in the middle of a grassy clearing in front of the gates of his castle home. The building had been on the island before Pegasus had purchased it, and the industrialist had simply modified it for his own use. The castle, in fact, was one of the significant factors which had played into Pegasus's choice of name for the estate: Duelist Kingdom. The owner of the island himself was an odd looking person indeed, dressed in a red vest and matching trousers and sporting incredibly long hair that hid the right half of his face from view. On his left arm he wore a device that resembled some sort of silver and blue wrist-mounted boomerang, which held various cards along its length. Directly across from him stood his opponent, a grey-coated security guard with a similar device hanging from his own arm.

The guard removed the card he had just played from its position on the device. "I'm sorry, Mr. Pegasus. I should have been paying more attention." he replied. Returning the card to his hand, he selected another and placed it on the device. "I summon Mechanicalchaser in attack mode," He said in a voice that sounded as if its owner's throat had been covered with sandpaper.

Immediately, the air in front of the guard began glowing as a strange-looking robot materialized in front of him. It looked like a pilot's helment had been attached to a green metal oval with several arms extending from it, each holding some sort of murderous weapon.

Pegasus rolled his eyes. "One of these days, Crocquet-boy, we're going to have to find you a better starter deck. Now prepare yourself: I summon-"

CRASH!

Both the guard and his employer glanced upward. A dark shape was barely visible on the highest point of one of the tower's sneaking through a recently broken window in Pegasus's room. Crocquet immediately removed a cell phone from his jacket and began to sound the alert to the other guards as Pegasus raced towards his chamber. "If he touches any of my official anime merchandise, I'm going to burn his soul to shreds." he fumed, at the same time conscious that the item which allowed him to accomplish such a feat, the mystical Sennen eye, was no longer in his posession, which gave him a rather good reason to cover his eye with his hair. Reaching the tower's wall, he yanked open the door and raced up the stairs two at a time, not bothering to deactivate his duel disk. Almost immediately his security force appeared, led by a member whose hair shot up into a point. The group joined their client in charging up the stairway until they reached the room at the tower's uppermost point. Pegasus reached for the door's handle and jiggled it, without success. "Locked. Curses. This is even worse then the time I missed an episode of Pokemon!" he fumed.

"Mr. Pegasus! May I have a try!?" The pointy-haired guard asked. Pegasus shrugged and moved out of the way, allowing the oddly-styled guard a clear shot at the doorway. Winding up, the guard announced in a very dramatic voice, "Attention, burglars! I'm assaulting your doorway!" With that, he raced into the room, knocking the door from its hinges.

Pegasus stared into the room. There, next to his bed, stood the burglar. He was a young man, no more then eighteen, and dressed entirely in black. A cheap mask covered his eyes, and the collar of his shirt was drawn over his mouth. On his back he wore what appeared to be a type of collapsible hang-glider, and in one hand he held a set of duel monsters cards which he was rifling through while the door to Pegasus's safe stood wide open in front of him. The multimillionaire stared at the would-be robber before he found his voice. "You broke into my mansion to steal children's trading cards? Couldn't you have done that at a gameshop instead?"

The thief shrugged. "Perhaps," he replied, his voice muffled by his shirt, "But then again, these particular cards aren't sold in stores yet."

Pegasus's eyes widened. "You don't mean-"

"Exactly. And if you'll excuse me, I must be going now." The thief interrupted before turning to dash towards the window. Halfway through the turn, however, he stopped and turned to the security guard who had broken the door down. "Dude, what's with your hair?"

The question broke the spell of silence that had seemingly fallen over the entire assembly with the exclusion of Pegasus and the crook. The guard burst into rage. "How dare you insult my hair! My hair is ten times stronger then your shirt-mask! My hair is stronger then my fists. Allow me to show you!" The guard charged at his foe, shouting as if he was giving a battle cry. "Attention, Thief! My hair is- Upgh!" His shout was cut off abruptly as the thief rammed a fist into his gut, lifted him, and threw him into his fellow guards. The unfortunate managed to gasp out "Being assaulted!" as he and his comrades slid down the spiral stairs.

Pegasus cursed. "I knew I should have hired actual security guards instead of television stuntmen," he groaned.

The thief nodded in agreement. "If your forces were halfway decent, I wouldn't have gotten this far. And now, it is time for my exit. Good day." With that, he strode to the broken window, preparing to leap.

"Wait!" Pegasus called. The thief turned, puzzled. Pegasus continued. "Why do you want those cards anyway?"

The burglar smiled beneath his shirt collar. "There's a tournament coming up, isn't there?" With that, he leaped from the window and opened his glider, beggining his slow flight towards the treeline.

Slowly, a bedraggled Crocquet struggled up the steps, clutching one arm to his left wrist and using his left hand to fix his now-cracked trademark sunglasses. "He got away sir."

Pegasus nodded. "Don't bother chasing him, Crocquet-boy. We'll have him soon enough."

Crocquet was genuinely puzzled, and not for the first time since he had signed on as Pegasus's security guard. "How?"

Pegasus smiled. "At the tournament, of course. Now call Kaiba-boy and that german fellow with the pink hair, whatever his name is. We need to make a few arrangements."

WOW! THAT WAS A PLOT TWIST!

10:00 A.M.*, New York City, USA, Two weeks later.

Achan Smith stared at the crowd around him. Ever since his arrival in the Big Apple, he'd been itching to do some tourism. Unfortunately, the crowds of people everywhere made it nearly impossible for him to do so, especially since New York had already been a large city before the recent influx of duel enthusiasts arriving for the tournament. It wasn't surprising. King of Games was the biggest title that anyone could hold in competitive dueling, and every two-bit kid with a bit of deck and a duel disk wanted a piece of the action. Even if they knew they had no chance of winning, people still wanted a chance to play in the tournament because of Pegasus's announcement that he would be footing the bill using the money he had received that month from card sales, along with his fellow gamers-turned businessmen, Kaiba Seto and... what was the other one's name? Achan racked his brain, but his usual competent memory failed to produce the name of the third associate. It was probably just as well- that third company had been almost completely bought up by Industrial Illusions and Kaiba Corp at this point. All he knew was that this guy was responsible for the new duel disk design that was all the rage now. Achan rolled his eyes. There was nothing particularly special about the new model other then more powerful batteries. His old KC-issue one was perfectly serviceable for the tournament.

Taking some time away from his mental rant about the new design, Achan took a good look at the crowd around him. Almost everyone in Times Square right now was involved in the tournament in some way, and as a result the streets were filled with an ethnic mish-mash. Asians, hispanics, Americans, French people... the list went on. Achan even spotted a few people who were speaking Russian. It really blew his mind, the number of people here from other countries. He was particularly glad he had purchased six or seven phrasebooks. They would definitely be useful once the games left American soil. The first duel, he heard, would take place here in New York. Then, after a set time limit, the remaining contestants would board a plane for England, travel to France by boat, and begin the Tour de Europe. He imagined himself on a gondola in Venice, posing for pictures near stonehenge, riding a camel through the Valley of Kings in Egypt... ah, it was like a dream come true. A passerby bumped into the daydreamer, knocking him back to reality. He had a chance at an all-expenses paid round-the-world tour, yes, but he had to win a few games first. And even with his own personal deck, that was going to be hard going for a dreamer like him.

As Achan thought of his cards, his hand unconsciously opened the deck box slung from the belt on his waist and removed them. The majority of the cards in this deck were his own original design, turned into actual game cards after he had won a contest held by Industrial Illusions. The others had been part of his original deck, which had only recently been retired. He stared at the foil-coated beauties in his hands. It hardly seemed possible that he was actually about to play using his own original cards. The thought filled Achan with excitement for a moment before it hit him. I'm getting excited about getting to use something I came up with to win a children's card game. This was followed soon after by another thought: I really need to get a life.

A voice boomed over conveniently placed loudspeakers attached to billboards, lamposts, and shopfronts: "ATTENTION DUELISTS! OUR MASTER OF CEREMONIES WILL BE HERE MOMENTARILY! THAT IS ALL!

Achan scratched what little of his hair that poked from under the brim of his straw hat. He had picked up this particular piece of headgear in Hawaii, along with his flowered shirt, and he never stopped bragging about it to anyone who would care to listen. So, the MC was going to show up, eh? Who was it? Ah, well. They would say who soon enough. In the meantime, it wouldn't be a bad idea to find someone to talk with. It would help blow a few minutes before the tournament proper commenced. With this thought in mind, Achan strode forward and was lost in the crowd.

OOC: And there you have it! Everything you need to know as the RP starts. Before you ask, while we know about the break-in at duelist kingdom, our characters don't. And yes, for those of you who aren't American and don't know, New York really is called "The Big Apple" sometimes. I don't know why. It just is. 0_O Oh, and yeah, this is where our characters meet up. As my final comment, I'll point out that while it is never stated that Pegasus likes Pokemon, a manga-fiend like him who plays a deck filled with cartoon dragons would at least appreciate it. XD

Alter Ego
August 13th, 2007, 12:55 AM
"Excuse me?" the high-pitched, authoritative and - above all - fiercely demanding female voice effectively cut through the general din of the crowd, making it quite clear that the owner of said voice was in no way looking to be excused, the dark blue eyes giving off their trademark glare - and effectively saying 'I'm better than you in each and every way, so you should count yourself lucky that we're even talking' - giving her doll-like ivory-colored face a decidedly intimidating appearance, the carefully groomed, dark purple hair flowing behind her in a sea of elegant curls, "I didn't quite catch that, would you care to repeat it for me?"

The addressed, a teenage boy about a head taller than her with a few spikes of light brown hair sticking out from beneath a light gray wool hat and an equally colored hoodie, reaching a fair bit above his loose jeans - the girl had half a mind to laugh at this attire - was slightly taken aback by the reaction, but soon regained his composure, putting on an arrogant sneer, "I said that you might need protection." he replied softly, "Pretty little girl like you all alone in the big city, and that rich too. Some folks might be tempted to do bad things, unless nice folks like me and my pal here..." he nodded towards a larger male on his right, a pudgy, bald teenager wearing a tent-like orange t-shirt and a pair of blue shorts that were way too short for the comfort of anyone watching, "...help you out."

"Yeah." fashion disaster number two chimed in, letting out the kind of dumb, suck-up laugh that was seemingly universal for simple-minded henchmen around the world, "All we need is a couple of those rare cards o' yours."

"Is that so?" the girl replied coolly, "Well, you are absolutely correct in noting that I'm not only pretty but also rich - obscenely rich, actually. However, the notion that I'd need help from your kind..." she giggled in a decidedly snobbish way, "...why that's almost as rich as I am. I think I'll pass. And besides..." she dismissively waved a well-manicured hand at the duo, wrinkling her nose at them, "...I dislike having my cards handled by people who don't know how to wash their hands. Excuse me."

"You're not getting it, are you, girl?" fashion emergency number one hissed, now considerably red in the face as he lunged for the girl's wrist, "Hand over those cards or we'll-"

"Ms Edgeworth, are these ruffians bothering you?"

The boy's jaw went slack and he released his grip, backing away from the starched, black suit that had suddenly materialized beside the girl, a pair of sunglasses staring down at him from between the collar and the black hair standing in perfect attention, a heavy black suitcase cuffed to his right arm by a chain, "Well, I was..."

"Good sirs." another suit, this one equipped with dark red hair arranged in a number of drooping spikes, appeared on the girl's other side, a matching suitcase attached to his left arm, "I feel it's my duty to inform you that I have studied under the reigning master of child grabbing, so kindly do not bother the lady or I shall be forced to demonstrate my skills."

"What should we do with them, miss?" inquired a third, bald but decidedly dark-skinned suit from behind the duo.

"SHALL WE FLOG THEM, M'AM?!" boomed a fourth one blocking the last avenue of escape, his hair graying but his enthusiasm that much more vivid.

Everyone flinched at the last voice, the girl included, "Raymond..." she shot an irritated glare in the last man's direction, "Are you perchance trying to render me deaf?! I have told you numerous times that my sensitive ears should not be subjected to such vulgar levels of noise. And stop calling me m'am or I shall be forced to have you fired. I am a delicate young lady, I'm not married, and thus I believe I'm fully entitled to being called miss."

"BUT M'AM-" the last suit protested.

"Raymond..." the other suits took a precautionary step back, sensing the oncoming eruption and wanting to distance themselves from it's target: the man apparently named Raymond.

"Uh-" he shuffled uncomfortably under the deathstare, "I mean sorry, miss. I'll do as you say, miss."

"That's better." the girl replied sweetly, her righteous fury gone as she turned back to the now terrified duo, "Now as you can see..." she continued in the same sugary voice, "I'm quite well protected, so I'm afraid I don't really need you." the suits cracked their knuckles on queue, the fashion emergencies - now practically constituting a disaster area, hunched together as they were - recoiling a bit more, "Unless...you would be so kind as to direct me to Times Square?"

The duo exchanged worried looks, and Raymond took it as a queue to crack his knuckles again. Sadly, none of the other three followed suit, but it was enough of a hint.

"We'll do it! We'll do it!" emergency number one squealed.

"Yeah!" his dumber complement chimed in, "Always ready to help, ma-miss, yeah, miss."

"So glad to hear it." the girl replied, "On you go then, and please direct us there in a timely fashion. I wouldn't want to keep my fans waiting."

Everyone concerned diplomatically maintained silence at the last statement.

"Well, don't just stand there!" the girl snapped irritably, "I'm not getting any younger here! Oh, and Raymond..." she cast a disapproving glance at the suit who had currently fallen out of favor, "Once this tournament is over, we shall truly have to do something about your timing."

"Yes, miss."

Times Square, it turned out after their 'voluntary' guides had brought them there and hastily made their retreat, was just as crowded as the rest of New York. For all the hype, it looked about as appealing as the London underground on a work day, and - she concluded with barely disguised distaste as she was yet again forced to flick a piece of dirt from her white blouse - about as sanitary too. She was lucky to have gone with the black skirt today, at least that way the dirt wouldn't show as bad. What bothered her most of all was not the dirt, however, no; it was the fact that there were countless people around yet were it not for the square formation of buff bodyguards following her no-one would have spared her a second glance. Oh no...all these pathetic amateurs were so preoccupied with fantasizing about tournament victories - as if that would ever happen - and hastily shuffling through and double-checking their decks. Some were even desperately trying to cram in some last-minute dueling practice and card training. The girl cast a disapproving glance at the people around her.

"Nothing but rank amateurs." she remarked, distaste etched in her voice, "I thought this was supposed to be a contest for pros?!"

"Well..." a soft, chiming voice by her right ear volunteered, "These are the opening rounds, aren't they?"

"I knew that." the girl retorted, folding her arms defensively and casting a sideward glance at the being that materialized beside her, the little blonde girl in the white robe with the hood shaped like a sheep's head that no-one but she could apparently see or hear, "But still, why do so many people who obviously have no shot at winning..." she gestured towards a boy about her age proudly proclaiming 'I summon Gigobyte in Attack mode!' at this point, "...even bother to show up? It's just a lot of pointless duels for me."

"I don't think you should be so hard on them, Tacey." the translucent little girl scolded, "I mean, everyone's got to start somewhere. Remember our first tournament deck?"

"Well it wasn't a complete hackjob." a third, far more authoritative voice chimed in, its owner - this one a little girl about the same size as the first, but with light red hair and wearing a black robe with a rabbit hood, "After all, we were in it. Besides, we were in the hobby league; not a world championship."

The double trouble duo was now officially gathered and in argument. Brilliant, just brilliant.

"Well we would have been in one if Tacey had had her way." the first one retorted, "And besides, Curran, it's not like it would have been such a bad thing. I mean, card games are not about winning, they're about having fun and meeting new people, and-"

"Pikeru...I can't believe we're related." Curran retorted poignantly, "Of course it's about winning! Enjoying losses is what-what...well, losers do! And who would want to be friends with a bunch of common street punks who need to substitute social life with a children's card game?"

"You should never judge a book by its cover, and besides what's wrong with-"

"Would the two of you please SHUT UP?!"

Tacey's enraged scream immediately caught the attention of two people dueling nearby, both of them giving her a quizzical glance.

"No, not you!" Tacey snapped irritably at them, "Carry on! It's not like the whole world revolves around you, you know! I was talking to some other people!"

The duo stared for a while longer, but eventually resumed their card game.

"Careful now..." Curran remarked, snickering at the scene, "You wouldn't want people to think of you as a complete nutcase or anything."

"And you're being a world of help on that front, Curran." Tacey hissed back, stalking aimlessly through the crowd, her head still held high.

"She's got a point, though." Pikeru remarked cautiously, "No-not about you being a nutcase or anything." she added hastily, catching sight of the girl's expression, "I mean, you should try to act a bit more...normal. You know, go talk to people, get to know them before the competition."

"Oh, really?" Tacey demanded haughtily, "Like who?"

"Umm...how about that boy over there?" Pikeru pointed a timid finger towards a boy roughly Tacey's size, his red hair styled in that crazy starfish hairdo that all the Yugi-wannabes around were so obsessed with. His attire was nothing to call home about: a cheap, Hawaiian shirt the likes of which you could buy at any given souvenir shop and a straw hat to go with it, accompanied by a pair of khaki shorts, "I-I think I've seen a picture of him somewhere."

"Where?" Curran inquired mockingly, "'The biggest Loser'?"

"No!" Pikeru snapped back, seemingly about to argue with her sister but turning back to Tacey instead, "Tacey, he looks about your age. Why don't you give it a try? I mean...you might really like him."

"Well..." Tacey began doubtfully, but before she was given any time to phrase an answer, the collective eardrums of the crowd came under vicious assault from the all too numerous loudspeakers in the area:

"ATTENTION DUELISTS! OUR MASTER OF CEREMONIES WILL BE HERE MOMENTARILY! THAT IS ALL!"

"Oh sugar!" Tacey swore irritably, rubbing her ear, "Doesn't Pegasus have any standards in employees? People who can't even handle a microphone should be fired!"

"Tacey! That boy!" Pikeru chimed, pointing towards Achan's departing back, "It's now or never."

"Fine." Tacey replied, "But the two of you kindly bugger off for a moment; I don't want any sideline commentaries."

Pikeru nodded, "Don't worry, we'll be quiet."

"Yeah." Curran concurred, smiling impishly, "We won't let out a peep, just remember that we're following every word you say and will use them to embarrass the living daylights out of you later."

"Curran!" Pikeru scolded, but her twin had already disappeared from view, followed by a final score of laughter, and the other had no choice but to give a sigh of forfeit and fade away as well, "Good luck." she whispered, just before vanishing.

'Good luck.' Tacey repeated in her mind, shaking her head 'What does she think this is? A blind date?' she would simply grace this fortunate plebeian with her close-to-divine presence for a while, it wasn't like they'd even become friends.

"I say, you!" she called out in fluent Queen's English, striding towards Achan with her usual swagger, "Yes, you in the souvenir shirt! Wait right there, I wish to speak with you!" it wasn't a request; it was a command, and by golly the boy had better heed it if he knew what was good for him. If Tacey was to consent to socializing with someone of the package holiday social class, the kind who probably flew in tourist class, then said person should at least show some basic manners.

Phanima
August 13th, 2007, 05:01 AM
“Busted.”

Michel tapped the small glass casing that shielded the fragile hands of his silver analogue wristwatch. The alternation between time zones after finally arriving in New York was severely affecting his internal clock, and after just arriving in the “Big Apple” from the initial touch down of his flight, he was already suffering major jetlag and to add to his displeasure, had no idea what time it was.
Wiping the scuffed surface of the two year old watch, Michel finally accepted that his time was up and abandoned his fruitless efforts in discerning the time, before turning his immediate attention to his initial task.

“Times Square. Where could that be?”

He was currently standing on the pathway lining one of the city’s many streets and amongst the bustling crowds, was finding it increasingly difficult to locate a definite direction to where he wanted to go. The sound of traffic, the citizens and the smallest amount of nature, swarmed the air of the never sleeping city and surrounded his already intoxicated senses, worsening his already crappy condition.

Realising his headache would only get worse if he continued to dawdle, Michel steadied the side of his head with one hand before reaching into the surrounding crowd with the other, in the hope of grabbing somebody’s attention, literally.
His hand made contact and grasped the soft fabric of a cotton tee shirt. Pulling in the rather surprised individual, Michel quickly introduced himself in a manner that was far less formal than he would intentionally greet someone, and went straight to the point.

“I’m Michel, now tell me where Times Square is.”

The preteen boy who had been caught in the nineteen year olds’ clutches, stared wide-eyed back at his captor, apparently shocked at being addressed so suddenly. The kid’s Duel Disk caught Michel’s attention and he realised that his question would inevitably be answered one way or another, despite the boy’s immediate response. Smiling at this, the semi-formerly dressed business teen lessened his grip ever so slightly and repeated his question.

“Where is Times Square?”

“Hey! What are you doing? Let go of me creep!” the boy stammered, struggling against the older boy’s grip. “Assault damn it! Assault!”

Several heads turned as the boy continued to kick and scream. At this point, Michel’s head was throbbing and he was having severe trouble in focusing one hundred percent on the current situation. Swaying slightly, he released the boy with a small push and forced him onto the ground before slithering into the crowd. He didn’t need to attract any unwanted attention and decided he would find Times Square himself, spitting on his previous thoughts of obtaining directions with no problems.

“Damn it. This city’s way too big.”

His headache had lessened slightly as he walked further down the street, following the general flow of the crowds. Each hand rested on his belongings, which he made sure not to lose in the dense overgrowth of people swarming the roads. His Duel Disk and Duel Monsters deck sat comfortably and securely across his left forearm, while his other hand traversed the strap that tied his shoulder bag over his torso.

Wandering aimlessly, his hopes of finding his destination were suddenly restored when a peculiar sight met his eyes. A purple-haired girl accompanied by four tall suits, which all appeared to be tailing two young males, crossed his path.

“What the hell?”

And then suddenly, a voice rang out over the coupling noises that already filled the polluted air of the city.

“ATTENTION DUELISTS! OUR MASTER OF CEREMONIES WILL BE HERE MOMENTARILY! THAT IS ALL!”

“Crap, it’s starting. Hmm? Hey, it’s that kid from before.”

After watching the purple-haired girl disappear into the crowds, Michel was greeted by another sight that caught his attention. The young boy who he had interrogated earlier was quickly making his way in the same direction as the girl and the four suits, his Duel Disk flashing in the sunlight like a beacon calling a ship to shore.

“Heh, I made it.”

typeZERO
August 13th, 2007, 07:18 AM
After 2 days of flying and nothingness , Rurian silently walked over to a small building which was selling trading card games. After looking at most of the cards he walked off until he noticed a boy his age walking around amongst the crowd. But what caught his attention the most was that most of the people had duel disks , signaling that the tournament wasn't very small.

"Darn it , it's gonna be a while before the tournament is over. But still , where is Pega-"

Rurian was cut off as he saw a blond girl that was also his age strolling around. She also had purple eyes , a nice smile , and her long hair to go with it.

"No way.... Is that Saku-"

He was cut off again by an announcement being made and payed attention.

“ATTENTION DUELISTS! OUR MASTER OF CEREMONIES WILL BE HERE MOMENTARILY! THAT IS ALL!”

"Darn it... Hey , where did she go?"

Rurian looked around and couldn't find her anywhere , so he gave up and strolled to the middle of the crowd.

OOC: sorry for the crappy post , school's starting.

Scarlet Weather
August 13th, 2007, 10:00 AM
OOC: I don't get it. Why is it that Achan's hair is suddenly completely visible through his hat? I THOUGHT IT WAS COVERED!!! XD (And if school was started you may as well have waited before posting, Omega. Still, you are forigven. >.<) One last thing: It's Times Square, people. Not "Time Square". How dare you not be as American as I am?

IC:

"I say, you! In the souveneir shirt! Wait right there, I want to speak with you!"

Achan whirled to face the owner of the insistent voice behind him. If there was one thing Achan detested it was insistent, hurrying people who didn't care about anything except getting whatever it was they were involved in over with and racing on to the next thing. In his mind if you hurried too often, you ended up missing out on a lot of what makes the journey great. Achan, certainly, was in no rush to leave New York. Just yesterday he had discovered one of more then four thousand mobile food carts which carried middle-eastern delicacies such as kebabs, and been introduced to the bagels of NYC. More delicious then anything he'd ever tasted! And if he hadn't stopped to order, he might have-

Oh shoot, the girl was practically in his face now, and his daydreams had run away with him yet again. Achan slapped himself mentally. It was probably a good thing his deck included very few counter traps as with his lackadaisical attitude he would probably be too wrapped up in a daydream to activate them. Stepping forward, he prepared to give vent to a long lecture about how he didn't care where this kid was from, this was America and here nobody was allowed to give any orders to anyone else without due cause when he got an eyeful of what she was wearing. Black-and-white. What the heck? If he added a bonnet and switched the color scheme around a little, it could have been a maid in some rich dude's house. But no, whoever this was was too swelled up with pride and something else to ever be mistaken for a servant. Dignity, whispered something in the back of Achan's brain. I think we had that up until, oh, sixth grade? Achan took a quick step back to size up the girl better. She was about his own height, and now that he had had a chance to look at her, she reminded him a bit of an old china doll of his mother's. Even her skin tone was the same, though Achan figured that she'd need a parasol to keep that tone much longer. It was the middle of August, after all, and while New York had a relatively cool climate he didn't think they'd be staying there long. There was something else about her too, a kind of bottled-up anger that made Achan realize that spouting nonsense about America would only draw him into a shouting match which, in all likelihood, he would lose.

Curiosity bubbled up inside Achan. As he began to speak, he noticed the duel disk on her arm. It was the newer variety. Well, that was at least a starter for the conversation. "Why are you using that thing? The old KC-issue ones are ten times cheaper. And isn't a dress like that a bit uncomfortable in the summertime?" he asked, making sure to keep his tone conversational. "Oh, and I'm Achan, Achan Smith. And you are?"

Alter Ego
August 13th, 2007, 10:30 AM
OOC: Gawd...I missed that. But you know, ACC, I can throw that right back at you: Tacey wasn't wearing her disk; it's still locked up in one of the two cases I mentioned. =P Lul, we really need to read each others' posts better, eh? xD Oh well, guess she just forgot about the matter. Oh, and of course Tacey can't be as American as you; she's British. ;D

Oh, and randomly: does Michel have a surname? And what's his family's company called? Might need that info later on. :3

IC:

"Hmm?" Tacey blinked at the remark, staring dumbly at her arm. And sure enough, her duel disc was there. Well, to be precise, her shiny, brand spanking new not-yet-on-the-public-market prototype duel disc. Sure, short of a slightly sleeker design and lighter, more durable material it didn't look any different from your average academy disc, but some of the new features would surely turn out quite useful. Still, the fact remained that she had been wearing her disc without even noticing it. Talk about first impressions...

'Smooth move, Tacey.' a little voice in her mind chirped, 'Real smooth. You sure did an excellent job at not coming off as a clueless little ditz.'

...and so much for the non-interference. The girl felt like screaming at her oh-so-witty duel spirit, but decided against it, choosing instead to cast a glare at the grunt in charge of the disc case, wordlessly informing him that this was not how you kept your employer up to date about a situation before turning back to salvage what little was left of her first impression. This...Achan, sure seemed to have a knack for posing stupid questions, but she supposed that concerning her own little slip-up she was entitled to show some lenience. The boy had shown some manners at least, and introduced himself to boot, so she supposed that counted for something.

"Tacey Edgeworth." she introduced herself, seizing the boy's hand into a vicegrip of a handshake before releasing it again - goodness, didn't this boy know the first thing about how one was supposed to address a lady? He was lucky to have found some manners in the end or he'd have been in for an earful - "And yes, that's Edgeworth as in Edgeworth Electronics, so don't bother to ask. Charmed, I'm sure." the smile was impeccable, even though 'charmed' was probably not the word that best described her feelings at the moment, "As for your question...well, as heiress of my parents' company..." she never missed a chance to mention that particular piece of information, and the chance to divulge it had already lifted her mood a bit, "...I have a certain image to uphold, and I'm afraid that using one of those clumsy old things just wouldn't do. I mean, just look." she demonstratively activated the duel disc, holding it up so that Achan could get a clear view of the smooth, soundless way the card slots folded out from the main object and the oh-so-much prettier way the slots lit up, not to mention the high quality of the life point counter digits, before deactivating the device again, "Can you even compare the style of that to standard issue? Daddy is one of the biggest component suppliers for Kaiba Corp, you know, he couldn't have his daughter walk around with just any piece of junk metal on her arm now, could he? Besides, it's not like the pittance proper dueling equipment costs compared to second-rate hand-me-downs is going to ruin anyone." she chuckled a bit at the thought, completely oblivious to the fact that what she referred to as 'a pittance' other's called 'a month's pay', "And for your information, I happen to like my outfit." there was a slight edge to her voice which suggested that arguing further on the matter was not a wise decision, "I've also got my fans to think of. Noblesse oblige, you know. So, what about you then?" she cast a glance at the boy's straw hat, "Why do you dress like you're on a package holiday? Is that like, a dueling gimmick or something?"

Scarlet Weather
August 13th, 2007, 11:48 AM
Achan felt his hand being crushed by the younger girl's as she introduced herself. Tacey Edgeworth? Edgeworth electronics? He was about to say "Never heard of it" before she continued rambling on about her father. Figuring that whatever this place was it must be pretty big overseas he bit his lip and allowed her to continue. She went on to explain that her duel disk was so much better and began showing off the duel disk. Achan stifled a yawn. Merciful saints, could this get any worse?

Then she dropped the bombshell. "Daddy is one of the biggest component suppliers for Kaiba Corp, you know, he couldn't have his daughter walk around with just any piece of junk metal on her arm now, could he?"

Once again, Achan stifled an urge to react inappropriately, however this time he was preventing himself from strangling the girl for insulting his duel disk. How dare she? This duel disk had been his since... since...

Flashsback:

"Happy sweet sixteen Achan!"

The teenager slumped off of his bedspread onto the floor, moaning. It was six in the morning, on a Sunday. Achan made it his rule to never wake up before eight on Sunday mornings. And to make matters worse, there was probably going to be a party. Eleven of his Mom's best friends from the gardening society and every relative he knew and hated would probably be there, pinching his cheeks and making appreciative comments about his new hairstyle, the "Starfish-Style" hair that had become trendy recently. Did Achan enjoy dueling? Yes. Did he enjoy it so much that he wanted to emulate the hairstyle of the King of Games in hopes that some of the greatness would rub off? No way. And yet his mother loved it so much that she had bribed that barber dude to give him this cut instead of his usual flat-top. Oh, how he loathed his parents sometimes. "Come in..." he groaned.

Achan's father, a diminuitive man with rather large glasses eased his way into the room. "Son?" he asked, holding a rather large object behind his back.

Achan sat up. As every kid knows, large object behind parent's back plus birthday is always equal to present and/or surprise. Achan wasn't really a kid anymore, but he was still young enough to get excited about a present. "Yeah?" he said, standing up.

His father smiled. "Well, your mother and I decided that since this is your sixteenth birthday, we'd get you something kind of... special."

Achan smiled again. "What is it, a car?" he asked in a jocular tone. A car was pretty near impossible, as Achan didn't even have his learner's permit yet, let alone a license.

"What do you mean a car? Achan, what are you talking about? You don't even have a license yet!" his dad replied, confused.

Achan groaned. His father was a bright man, true, but he had trouble detecting subtle humour. "It was a joke, Dad."

"Oh."

Achan stared at his father, who was now looking more befuddled then ever. "Um... can I open it?"

Achan's father's face broke into a smile as he laid the cardboard box on the bed. "Go ahead."

Achan smiled as he began to rip the box open. Before long, the room was littered with scraps of wrapping paper. Immediately, a whoop of joy escaped the teen's lungs. "A duel disk! An authentic, KC issue duel disk! I've wanted one of these since I started playing!" He leaped out of bed and grabbed his father in a bear hug, a rare display of affection.

Achan's father smiled until his son released him before straightening his glasses. "I'm sorry we couldn't get you a newer model, son, but the store was all sold out, and-"

Achan cut him off. "Don't be sorry, Dad. I never really liked that new kind anyway. They're pretty lame." he said, and meant it too.

Achan floated back to reality as Tacey finished her statement. "I've also got my fans to think about. Noblesse Oblige and all that. What about you? Why do you dress like you're on a package holiday? Is that some kind of dueling gimmick or something?"

Achan was struck by recognition. "Noblesse Oblige? Tacey Edgeworth? I remember you! You were on the pro circuit when I went to Hawaii two months ago!" Overcome by this realization, his anger over the slighted duel disk instantly deflated. Shaking his head, Achan attempted to say something that wouldn't make him look like a total fan of Tacey's. He wasn't her devotee in any way, shape, or form, but he was impressed that he was talking to her in person. "I heard about you from another duelist. He said you played a weird deck, but you were a good opponent." He flashed a grin. "In any case, I dress like I'm on a package holiday because I am. For me, this tournament is my one shot at seeing the world, and I intend to make the most of it. And I'm going to take a chance and ask how your duel disk is any better then mine. They have the same holo-generators, after all, and style doesn't take you anywhere when it comes to dueling." He grinned one last time. He had just found the perfect way to smack her pride the way she had struck his. "And what's Edgeworth Electronics? I've never heard of them."

Alter Ego
August 14th, 2007, 09:30 AM
"Oh, so you've heard of me." Tacey remarked, seeming to have gone conveniently deaf to everything else the boy had said. Her opinion of the lout had gone up, though; after all, he was a fan, obviously rendered nervous and awestruck by her radiant presence, which would have explained his less than graceful mode of conversation. Clearly, he wasn't very well educated - to not have heard about Edgeworth Electronics the poor kid must surely have dwelt under a rock - but at least he had good taste in idols. Still, a light correction or two would probably be in order.

"I do have to differ, though." the girl added, "Winning at card games is something a trained chimpanzee with a bit of luck behind him can accomplish, but winning the hearts of an audience as well?" she flashed him an ever-so adorable smile, "That is what makes the difference between a talented amateur and a pro. And when it comes to style, every detail counts. That's a free tip for you from the future queen of games." she added, giving him a wink, "If you ever make a name for you shall find that I was completely right." she paused, casting a glance across the square before adding in an off-hand voice, "Now I'm getting kind of bored, though. How rude of them to keep people waiting like this, wouldn't you agree? I say, Rufus!" she winked at the spiky-haired suit, the man lumbering over dutifully and giving a curt bow.

"Yes, miss?" the man inquired politely.

"I'm feeling a bit parched." Tacey replied, "Please get me something to drink while we wait for these tiresome formalities to be sorted out." the girl then turned to Achan, "Personal bodyguards." she explained matter-of-factly, "They're a bit of a bother to shepherd at times, but they have their uses. Besides, a lady's got to be careful with all these ruffians about. Want something? It's my treat, but you've got, oh...five minutes to make up your mind before I send him off anyway." Oh...she was being such a little angel right now. Why she was practically saintly. But she'd probably have to keep a firm attitude too. After all, she wouldn't want to give this poor fan of hers any false hopes. Today's fan could be tomorrow's obsessive stalker, after all, and Tacey really didn't feel like completely blinding this poor boy - who was undoubtedly already counting his blessings to be in such esteemed company - with the full beauty of her radiant persona.

Scarlet Weather
August 14th, 2007, 04:04 PM
Achan stared at this girl. Who did she think she was, Elvis? He felt his hackles rising as she began to drone on about winning Card Games involving style. He was nearly in her face, ripping her hair out at that. If there was one thing Achan hated, it was style. Style had ruined his life in middle school. Fashion was for those who could afford it, anyway. And this girl was really getting on his nerves with each passing moment. It wasn't so much what she said, but the way she carried herself that annoyed him. The little oh-so-sophisticated way she waved her hands, that slight lilt of superiority in her voice, her overwhelming conceit, and above all her insistent, demanding nature made his blood boil. What made him really furious was that his jibe at her father's company's expense had completely missed its mark. He'd have to find a subtler way to show her how small it really was.

Achan's small reverie was broken as Tacey sent off a personal guard to go fetch a drink. As she explained what he was, and offered Achan a treat 'on the house'*, he resisted the urge to ask "You have bodyguards?"

So instead he asked "I don't know if I really want anything to drink." He was interrupted by a slight growl from his stomach, and he nervously continued "But if you know a cart that sells them, I could use a kebab really badly."

The loudspeakers blared again. "ATTENTION, DUELISTS! THE MASTER OF CEREMONIES WILL BE HERE INCREDIBLY SOON!" Then, in a lower voice, "Alright, Bob, I can't delay forever. What do you mean, this guy is in his dressing room? Come on, he can't stay in there all- Oh ****, this thing's still-"

Achan rolled his eyes. "Come on..." he groaned, turning to his newfound companion. "You know, I'm not exactly unknown. I've got a few accomplishments under my belt too," he commented, "And why the heck are you so sure that you're the next King of Games? Did Muto visit you in your dreams and tell you that you were the chosen one or something?"

Phanima
August 14th, 2007, 06:02 PM
OOC: Michel's evil plan is revealed! Slightly. Anyway, I also added Michel's full name, despite how "last minute" it sounds. His company name was also in the last few lines of his history in case anyone wants to make a reference. *Pokes AE.

IC: Michel had finally arrived in Times Square where the beginning of the worldwide tournament would begin, and after tailing two potential participants to get there, he ended up finding himself overhearing a rather forcibly subdued argument.

One of the persons who had caught his attention was a young girl, coupled with two pairs of suits that followed her every order. The other was another youngster but of the male orientation and had provided him the way to his destination. Disregarding them both, Michel found himself standing along one of the many streets that lined New York’s open labyrinth of roads and skyscraper-ing buildings. His condition had lessened slightly and he was now able to focus more clearly on what was going on around him, despite the lack of said event.

“I wonder what the hold up is. They announced that the ceremony would start soon, but that was ten minutes ago-”

At this, Michel’s eyes traversed over the surface of his broken wristwatch and realised that he had no idea what the time was, more or less how long it had been since the announcement. Cursing under his breath, the nineteen year old teen ripped the present he had received from his parents off of his wrist and threw the functionless device into the nearest receptacle. As he did so, a sudden voice caught his attention.

“The next King of Games…?”

Turning a full one hundred and eighty degrees, the teen businessman narrowed his attention onto two individuals who he had overheard passively arguing only moments ago, thinking that they had resolved their dispute earlier, but was obviously mistaken.

“The bodyguard girl from before…and she’s with a tourist by the looks of his getup...or a fruit.”

Seeing the two in a much more focused state, Michel suddenly realised that he recognised the two teens, much to his own surprise.

“The prize daughter of Edgeworth Electronics and the winner of the Industrial Illusions’ design-a-card contest are both here…”

The tattered blazer wearing duellist knew these names, along with many others, due to specific preparations he had undertaken before arriving in America. With significant financial support, he had obtained vast amounts of information on all significant duellists that had participated in any official tournaments across the world in the last twelve months. This was where Achan Smith’s identity was revealed. He had reached preliminary status in a Hawaiian Duel Monsters tournament in only a short period of time before his winning of the create-a-card competition was announced. Every other duellist competing in said tournament was also profiled and recorded for Michel’s purposes in creating his own database of his potential opposition in the worldwide competition.

In Tacey Edgeworth’s case however, her public information was obtained through different means. Edgeworth Electronics is a multimillion dollar company that, as apparent from its name, specialises in a vast amount of electrical devices and related technology. By chance, she had been added to the database simply because of her connection to her family’s company, which was in league with one of the tournament’s hosts, Kaiba Corp. Both of these companies stood in the way of Michel’s true goal and along with the discovery of her competitive career as a duellist, Tacey was now a potential threat in both the tournament and in business.

Michel gritted his teeth as he finished reiterating what he already knew after consulting his various informational sources. His goal was straightforward and incredibly rewarding, if it were to be fully realised. After finding out that Edgeworth was now in the tournament, his own publicity had to be minimised to ensure that any risks he would be taking later on, does little to change the plan’s scenario.

“I should lay low I suppose. I only need to ensure that Edgeworth and myself make it to the finals, at least at that point, I’ll be able to force her into a corner. Although…it’ll be harder with that Smith around though, so I guess I should get in line with him sooner or later. Haah…who knew carrying out an incredibly simple plan could be so difficult…”

Michel sighed as he finished his personal monologue, making sure that the two teens could no longer see nor hear him from their place in the crowds.

“ATTENTION, DUELISTS! THE MASTER OF CEREMONIES WILL BE HERE INCREDIBLY SOON!
“Alright, Bob, I can’t delay forever. What do you mean, this guy is in his dressing room? Come on, he can’t stay in there all- Oh ****, this thing’s still-”

Clenching his hands in an effort to relieve the tension and adrenaline that was now coursing through him, the business-teen smiled as all physical hindrance caused by his jetlag disappeared, just as the start of the tournament drew ever closer.

“Perfect.”

Alter Ego
August 15th, 2007, 08:06 AM
OOC: Pfeh, Tacey has an evil plan too, except it's not revealed at all...yet, and probably isn't as insidious. Rival minds think alike, eh? xD

Randomly, I just noticed that Michel doesn't seem to have a hair color. o.O *Double checks profile* Nope, can't seem to find one.

IC:

Tacey shrugged at Achan's suggestion, "Suit yourself." she replied, "But don't blame me if you get your cards all greasy and dirty with that. Well, what might you be waiting for, Rufus?" she cast a haughty glance at the suit, "Go get a refreshing beverage for me and some burned dead animal on a stick for my little friend here."

"Yes, miss." the suit replied, not giving any comment to Tacey's choice of words as he took his leave and disappeared into the crowd.

"Now then..." the girl turned back to Achan, "What were you saying about-" she never got to finish her sentence as she caught sight of a familiar spiky-haired individual. It wasn't one of her suits, though. No, this particular young man in his worn blazer was something quite different, and Tacey's eyes narrowed at the sight, "Arma." the name came out sounding more like a hiss than anything else, but she soon shifted to her usual sweet voice as she turned back to address Achan, "Excuse me for a moment, I have some arrangements to make." with that, she walked a bit further away from the boy, winking over the bald suit and whispering some hurried orders into his ear before walking back, the henchman once again fading into the background, somewhere in the general direction that Michel had been in.

"That's better." Tacey trilled, sauntering back to Achan, "Now we can finally get back to-"

"ATTENTION, DUELISTS! THE MASTER OF CEREMONIES WILL BE HERE INCREDIBLY SOON! Alright, Bob, I can't delay forever. What do you mean, this guy is in his dressing room? Come on, he can't stay in there all- Oh ****, this thing's still-"

"Oh for goodness' sake!" Tacey exclaimed in exasperation, nursing her right ear, "I swear if they don't drag that hopeless buffoon away from the microphone soon I shall become deaf before this ordeal is over. Do they not understand that a delicate young woman like myself simply should not be exposed to such vulgar noises?!" her voice had reached a volume almost rivaling the loudspeakers at this point and she punctuated it by stamping her right foot, leaving a small dent in the pavement, "Mark my words, if I was in charge here fools like that would be fired at the blink of an eye." it was then that Achan decided to pose his most banal question yet.

"Queen of games." she corrected with the tone of a maimed martyr, "And who else would be fit for such a position? A throne isn't something you earn; it's a birthright, and I've simply come to claim mine. Besides..." she added with satisfied little smile, "I've never lost a competitive duel and don't plant to start now, and if I don't lose that pretty much guarantees my victory, does it not?"

Scarlet Weather
August 15th, 2007, 08:36 AM
Achan snapped at the word "birthright". First this little insipid brat started insulting his duel disk, then she insulted his new favorite food, smacked his honor, and now she was saying "Oh, lookie, I'm the Queen of Ga-ames~" before the tournament had even commenced. Immediately he adopted a more aggresive stance and began snarling. "Alright, first off, being obscenely rich doesn't automatically make you royalty. It just means that you're granted diplomatic immunity anywhere you go. Second, the title is 'King of Games' no matter who who holds it. Get it right! And third, who says you're going to win? You've never played outside of the European or American circuits as far as I know, meaning you've got half the world you haven't dueled against!" his face began heating up as the frustration of the past few minutes erupted into words. "And you know what else? The reason I've never heard of Edgeworth Electronics is because it's a third-rate company here in America!" He stopped, panting for a few minutes, before muttering "Okay, I think that's all."

"ALRIGHT, DUELISTS! KEEP YOUR PANTS ON! THE MC HAS OFFICIALLY BEGUN ASCENDING THE STAGE! Alright, Mac, are you happy? Come on, that's the best I can do. What do you mean I'm not quite as loud as- Okay, who put tape on the 'on' switch? Come on, I just want to-"

Achan stared at the now-silent loudspeakers. "Alright, what the heck was that?"

typeZERO
August 16th, 2007, 07:06 AM
Rurian got tired of all the annoyance and decided to buy some coffee. Walking to the nearest cafe , he noticed a very beautiful girl around his age walking in the same direction as he was , to the cafe. Rurian kept on walking until he was at the counter right next to the girl. He flushed and quickly made an order.

"Yeah , I'd like a decaf latte please? Oh and with some cream too." He told the cashier.

Rurian sat at a two seated table and , by coincidence , the other girl sat at the same one. He noticed her features completely , being careful not to look like he was staring at her inappropriately. She had long blue hair , flowing in sync with the wind. Her eyes were a purple color , her body was slender and in shape , and had a skin color similar to Rurian's.

"Haji memashte , Yuri dess , dozo yoroshku." "Hello , I am Yuri , pleased to meet you." Spoke the girl.' Rurian was surprised that she spoke Japanese. He also gave her a greeting with the words "Haji memashte , Rurian dess , dozo yoroshku." and shook her hand. They both flushed and looked away for a moment. He looker at her left wrist and noticed a duel disk strapped on.

"You in this tournament too?" He asked simply. She looked at her duel disk and gave a nod followed by , "Yes. I am in this tournament." Rurian gave a slight nod and showed the deck holder part of his duel disk. "The other part is in my bag. I'll attach it later." He assured her. Both of their coffee were done so they took them and left.

Walking to the middle of the crowd , Rurian and Yuri stood , sipping their coffee every few minutes. Rurian put his bag down and waited impatiently , Yuri doing the same.

"ALRIGHT EVERYONE! THE MC IS NOW ON THE STAGE! Here he i- Grrrr What now!? He's still walking up!? What do you mean the stairs are too long!? They're only fifty feet up! Come on now Larry! I'm going to kick somebody's a- Wait , is the mic still on? God darn it!"

"Erm.....Ooookay...?" Rurian and Yuri spoke in unison.

Alter Ego
August 17th, 2007, 04:55 AM
"Well excuse me for being honest with you." Tacey harrumphed at Achan's comment, her tone once again making it perfectly clear that she didn't consider anyone to be in a position to excuse her. It was inevitable, she supposed, the boy had clearly succumbed to petty jealousy and was now trying to make her look bad. Sadly, this tended to be the case with most people she met. How typical for a boy not to stand being outshone by a girl, and how very disappointing. This one didn't even have the courtesy to give a longing stare first.

"First off." she raised her hand, counting the points down for Achan as she named them, "I will have you know that we Edgeworths are nobility in every sense of the word, and I have quite the extensive family tree to prove that. Second, the only reason such a ridiculous naming convention exists is because the only king of games we've yet to have is Muto, but mark my words: that change shall be made when I claim his title. Third, for your information - not that this is really any of your business - I also have quite an extensive dueling history in the tournaments of Japan, Domino City in particular, which I will have you know - in case the education system around here is as shabby as I've heard - also happens to be the home field of the former king of games. You'll have to excuse me if I don't consider not having dueled in the backward half of the globe a major handicap. And fourth..." she paused, lowering her hand, "No, on second thought I don't think I shall dignify any more of your spiteful little remarks with answers. One thing I will say, however." the hand she had just lowered suddenly lunged forward with the speed of a striking viper, delivering a stinging slap straight to Achan's face, "You, good sir, are a very impolite and envious person. I pity you, but that sentiment only goes so far. Kindly refrain from speaking to me until you've learned some manners." she concluded the statement by folding her arms, proudly holding her head high and purposefully in another direction than Achan's, her cheeks slightly flushed with righteous indignation, "Oh, and as a way to start." she added haughtily, carefully suppressing the small sting of tears in her eyes and willing them away, "When someone offers you something free of charge the polite thing to do is to say 'thank you'."

She had tried to be nice, she really had. But that spiteful little boy had thrown it in her face, just like what happened every time she tried to be nice to someone. This only confirmed what Tacey had known for a long time; nobles just shouldn't associate with peasantry beyond the purely practical and unavoidable.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------

Meanwhile, the bald suit made his way through the crowd. Specifically, through the crowd surrounding Michel. The task was somewhat outside the regular routine of a bodyguard, but with an employer like Tacey...well, he knew better than to argue. The girl's father he could deal with, but little miss Edgeworth - the suit had to admit - unnerved him a little, and not just because his job was on the line. He'd far sooner resort to something mildly shady than face the full brunt of her fury. Wiping a small trickle of sweat from his forehead at the thought, the suit noted that he had finally arrived at his target, nonchalantly falling into step with him and seizing on the opportunity granted by the latest announcement to take a firm grip of the boy's shoulder and unceremoniously spin him around until they were face to face.

"Mr. Michelangelo Arma." the suit said in a politely detached tone, releasing his grip before it would begin looking suspicious, although his shades still loomed ominously over the teenager, "I have a message for you."

Scarlet Weather
August 17th, 2007, 10:16 AM
Achan felt the sting of the pint-sized terror in front of him as her hand slapped into his cheek. It was all he could do not to respond in turn as she wheeled and walked away. Not only that, she couldn't resist a parting shot: "When someone offers you something free of charge the polite thing to do is to say 'thank you'." At that, he reached up and rubbed his hand to his cheek. Yep, I definitely deserved that one. He found himself thinking, before the proverbial "devil vs. angel" debate began roaring in his head.

Did you see that? Did you see that?, Achan's inner devil raged. That little snot totally slapped you for no good reason, and after heavily insulting you! You definitely need to do something really horrid to her.

But that would be cruel! Besides, she's a girl, and probably younger then Achan when it comes to that. We can't just waltz up and smack a girl who's littler then us! Achan's conscience countered.

Aww... You're just afraid of getting in trouble. Come on, she's a rich snob and a little- well, you know- and she totally needs to get taken down a peg or two by somebody. Argued the inner devil, who took the form of a grinning, blue-skinned vampire with a long, flowing black cloak in Achan's mind's eye.

Yes, I agree that she is a little... hard to bear with. But she still doesn't deserve to be physically assaulted. Achan's conscience replied with fervor. In Achan's imagination, it took on the form of a warrior who wore a dusty brown cloak which partially concealed the chainmail doublet and leather trousers it wore beneath. On its head, it wore a helment that appeared to be hewn from the skull of some animal which left an opening wide enough for the face, which was completely shrouded in darkness save for two staring, yellow eyes. If we want to take her down a peg or two, slapping her is not the way. Besides, I think you've forgotten the bodyguards.

Achan's inner devil rolled his eyes. Oh yeah. I knew that.

Achan's conscience, in his mind's eye, snapped its fingers. Of course! Why don't we just beat her in a duel? That'll make her get steamed no end.

Achan's inner devil smiled malevolently. And why don't I ever think of these things?

The conscience nodded. Because I'm also Achan's common sense.

Achan slapped himself forcefully, careful to do it on the opposite cheek from the one Tacey had injured, in order to bring himself back to reality. How dare this little snip walk up to him and start asserting her nobility? He'd have to remind her that here in America, nobody held titles*. Removing his deck from its case, he inserted it into the appropriate slot in his duel disk and began to run to catch up with her. His pursuit, however, was interrupted by a loud noise. "ATTENTION DUELISTS! THE MC IS NOW OFFICIALLY GOING TO BEGIN THE FREAKING CEREMONY! SO SHUT UP, STOP MOVING, DEACTIVATE YOUR DUEL DISKS, AND LISTEN! IN AMERICA!

Offstage, one announcer nudged the one who had just finished speaking. "Why the 'In America' bit?"

The other shrugged. "I have no idea, but hey, at least it sounded cool."

His partner smiled. "So true. Hey, want to go get some pizza or something?"

The other announcer nodded as the two exited the small booth they had been operating out of and beat a path for the nearest pizza joint.

Slowly, duelists around Times Square began putting away their decks, turning off their stereos, and staring at the large TV monitors placed at strategic locations around the square. Those close enough to the stage began craning their necks to see the celebrity who had been hired to carry out the formal ceremonies for this duel. There was a moment or two of silence, and then the screens flashed to life, revealing a purple-suited announcer. "Greetings, Ladies and Gentlemen!" he began exuberantly. "Thank you all for coming here today!" He paused for a minute to take in the few smatters of applause that had started around various parts of the Audience. Nodding his head in acceptance, the announcer continued as various subtitles flashed at the bottom of the TV screen, translating his words into various foreign languages. "As you know, Pegasus J. Crawford has hired a famous duelist to act as the MC for this tournament, and now it's time for the big unveiling. Ladies and gentlemen, give it up for- JONOUCHI KATSUYA!!!"

The crowd broke into a frenzy of screams and cheers as the blond-haired duelist ascended the stage. His trademark green jacket was replaced with a similarly colored T-Shirt, and his left arm held a KC-issue duel disk. Achan smirked. Take that Miss "Stylish". The Asian duelist walked back and forth along the stage, soaking up the applause, before he settled down and held a finger to his lips, the international symbol for "Shush, ignorant children."

The Audience fell silent as he began to speak.

"Greetin's to all of youse," Jonouchi began as he flashed a smile to the audience. "I've been here in this wonderful city of New York for the past six months, and it's been great. The way I see it, there couldn't be any place better to start this tournament, Nyeh!"

A cheer went up from most of the native New Yorkers as Achan stared at the on-screen duelist. Six months. I guess that explains the Brooklyn accent.

Jonouchi continued. "Anyway, I bet you're all anxious to get the tournament under way, so without further ado, here's the rules." Reaching into a left pocket, the duelist removed a small, silver handheld computer. "All of you signing up for the tournament received one of these, complements of my old pal Kaiba. Am I right?" he began. "Well it just so happens that these little beauties are going to be the way that you locate your team mates here in New York. Stored in them is the data for the duelists you'll be partnering with. That's right, partnering. You expected a solo tournament?

"Anyway, moving on. See, the opening rounds of the tournament, up to the finals, are gonna work like this. There are eight duelists to a team. For each location we visit, each team has to rack up three wins or more. If a team loses more then two matches in a single round of the tournament, everyone on that team is immediately disqualified. In addition, it's advisable that the teams stay in close contact all the time, since you're gonna need to keep together in order for your scores to count. Those GPS things are limited to New York as a center of operation. Once we leave, you'll be unable to communicate with the other members of your team unless you are right next to them. Got it? Good. Oh, and we had an odd number of people, so two of the teams are six-man. If either of those teams win, two of the duelists from other teams who have had a perfect win streak personally but whose teams lost out will be advanced to the finals to fill in. Got it?

"Finally, none of you are allowed to duel more then once per round. Each round begins as we enter a new location, then ends as we leave for another. Generally, you're gonna have seventy-two hours ta rack up the necessary three wins for your team.

"Obviously, cheatin' is frowned upon, and any duelists found cheating will have their entire team, including them, kicked out of the tournament. With that in mind, we advise you all play by the rules. And physical violence to other participants in this tournament outside of self-defense is strictly prohibited. Finally, if your team misses the flight, you're all disqualified. Anything else you want to know?"

The entire audience became very busy with their GPS computers.

"Good. Then you've got twenty-four hours to find your team mates before the duel starts. Got it? Good. See yas!"

The screens flashed blank.

Achan stared at a moment, surprised at what he had just heard. In a way, he was happy that the tournament had this team function built in. It meant he didn't have to rely on his own skills to make it to the end of the tournament, entirely. On the other hand, what if his partners were complete jerks? He dreaded the thought. Slipping his hand into his jeans, he removed the GPS. Flicking it on, he saw that one of the options on the desktop was a file labeled "Team Members". Clicking on it, Achan stared as it was opened.

The first person he didn't recognize. The second one was himself. But the third... Achan stared at the name "Tacey Edgeworth", which was followed by an accompanying picture and a short bio. Snapping off the palm pilot, Achan slipped it into his pocket and began running to catch up with his new team member. His outer face was calm, but inside, his thoughts could be summed up with a single scream:

"NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

OOC: And the award for "Longest screamed "No" in a PC roleplay goes to...

Alright folks, there you have it. We are, obviously, one of the six-man teams. That means that our next few posts deal with coming together, and our characters have a good reason to interact with each other constantly and travel together despite having incredibly different temperaments. Oh boy. Card Games meet reality TV shows, anyone?

Phanima
August 17th, 2007, 04:20 PM
OOC: I went a little overboard with Michel's thought processing, but I think it works. You see, I'm not as smart as him and most of the ideas I give him are simple repeats of what he tells me beforehand.

._.

Also, I added in Lex and JBC's characters since they are our teammates, but if they end up not showing, I'll edit them out.

IC: “Mr. Michelangelo Arma.”

The voice penetrated his thoughts immediately and his grip assured him that he was the target of the man’s cause for confrontation. He felt himself being pulled roughly around to face his captor, who surprisingly released his grip once they had become face to face, but still looked undeniably suspicious, especially with his towering height and his pair of shades that shadowed his eyes.

“I have a message for you.”

The suit stood tall against him with his heavy pressed stare and shiny bald head, and to say the least, looked quite domineering. Seeing his form though, Michel realised that he had been compromised, and by the very person he had been tracking.

She found me out, although we’ve never met face to face, I wonder how she found out my name. Well, it can’t be helped when Arma Tech is being constantly publicised, it should gain some credit around the world. But…this girl…she got to me first…

Breaking his train of thought, Michel returned his attention to Edgeworth’s suit, which remained fixed in his position, awaiting a response for him to continue with his message.

He looks pretty heavy but his head doesn’t seem to be screwed on properly, since he keeps taking orders from that brat. Regardless, I won’t be able to take him, he’s got the advantage physically. Outsmarting him shouldn’t be much of a problem, but I can’t discern Edgeworth’s motives without confrontation...

The black-haired teen looked up to the bodyguard’s face, then quickly turned away to continue pondering.

Damn it! That girl, whether she did it on purpose or because she fluked, she’s trapped me. I can’t assess her level of knowledge of me or Arma Tech but I can’t rule out that she doesn’t know anything. I’ll have to assume that she’s partially aware of my motives, which will force me to play along with her in order to keep my plan running properly, I can’t arouse any suspicion early on, but I suppose she’s already suspicious of me by sending her flunky to greet me…this could be a prob-”

“ATTENTION DUELISTS! THE MC IS NOW OFFICIALLY GOING TO BEGIN THE FREAKING CEREMONY! SO SHUT UP, STOP MOVING, DEACTIVATE YOUR DUEL DISKS, AND LISTEN! IN AMERICA!”

Michel’s eyes narrowed as a smile spread across his face. The starting of the ceremony for the tournament had finally been announced and served as an unexpected but valuable excuse for Arma Tech’s heir. He had no need to lie his way out of his little meeting with Edgeworth’s messenger, and with the announcement, his lack of cooperation was backed, providing him with a useful getaway that aroused minimal suspicion.

“Excuse me, I have somewhere to be.”

With a small adjustment to his Duel Disk, disabling its functions, Michel calmly slid his hands into his pockets and walked nonchalantly around his balding opposer.

“Give my regards to Edgeworth. She made me sweat.”

Walking off, making sure that he could no longer be followed by anymore annoying suits, Michel began rehearsing the events that had just taken place, while unconsciously making his way to a position where a monitor displaying the announcement was visible.

He knew that his train of thought could be well off Edgeworth’s true intentions, but he had to make sure that he was compromised as little as possible, to increase the rate of his own success. Whether the situation was harmless coincidence or a potential threat made little difference to Michel. As long as everything followed his own expectations, he would succeed no matter who got in his way.

This thought was inevitably flawed when midway during the ceremony, an announcement from one of the tournament’s spokesperson, Jonouchi Katsuya, revealed that teams for the tournament were being assigned.

“Son of a-”

Trailing off under his breath, Michel reached into his bag that was strapped over his shoulder, and reclaimed one of the tournament’s accessories that would tell him his future partners in the competition. He had not expected for any form of collaboration in the tournament and planned his course in accordance to being a solo duellist. This plan had now been flawed, and quite heavily, as privacy would become a issue if he were to spend his entire time with strangers. If they were to discover his plans in anyway, they would have to be taken care off, which Michel was more than less ready to do, as long as it didn’t risk his opportunity of getting into the finals. He knew however, that this wouldn’t work, as he needed his team mates in order to progress to the finals, and he was still unclear on how they were going to be conducted.

“I’m rooted…a damn miracle can’t redeem this deadweight mission.”

Scoffing his own thoughts, his anger rising, Michel activated his palm GPS computer and waited as the screen came into display under his reluctant eyes. Selecting the folder that was aptly named “Team Members”, Michel analysed his five new distractions.

“Tyler Auran Daniels…Cain Ritham…Kamekaze Rurian…”

The dark haired business-teen scanned the names and realised he recognised each one of them, some a little less than others.

“Daniels; two years experience, competed in various tournaments, irrelevant personal history. Ritham; has no recorded duelling credit, has no recorded personal history. Kamekaze; Domino High student, little duelling history, twin sister duellist named Sakura…”

Pausing as he scanned the final two members, his eyes widened as they crossed the images of a male teenager in a straw hat and sunglasses, and a female teen with long purple hair and dark blue eyes. Their names sat neatly underneath their profiled pictures, and spelt out, “Achan Smith” and “Tacey Juliet Edgeworth” respectively.

His mind raced as he processed what he had just read. He had expected complete strangers and was instead handed a second chance. The plan was salvageable but was also extremely limited by Edgeworth’s direct inclusion. This however, brought about several opportune advantages in the names of Daniels, Ritham, Kamekaze and Smith. Their roles would be minor is his plans, but their assistance could potentially help his future situation, so relationships would have to formed.

“My damn miracle.”

typeZERO
August 17th, 2007, 07:28 PM
Rurian pulled out the mini laptop to find out who his partners were. Five names were listed aside from his. Each of them had a small picture and a bio on each. "Tyler Auran Daniels, Cain Ritham, Achan Smith...."

He was surprised to find two of his team mates were offspring from the owners of two of the most famous companies in the world.

"Michelangelo Arma, and Tacey Juliet Edgeworth. Two of the most famous kids in the world. Yeesh, I don't wanna find out about how stuck up they are..." Rurian muttered. He looked to the side to find that Yuri was also checking her teammates, what was bad though was that she wasn't on his team, since they would've been great partners.

"I'm pretty disappointed that we're not on the same team. And I've got the eight man cell too. Well, add my number to your cell. I'll contact you later if anything happens." Yuri assured him with a grin. She told Rurian the number and added his too. After they added each other she ran off to find her teammates, leaving Rurian to find his.

"Well, guess we should look for our teammates, huh Uria?" Rurian pulled out his Uria card and the card nodded somehow. He shook his head and looked again, but nothing else happened. Putting the card away, Rurian went to locate the rest of the team. He pulled out the laptop-like device again and noticed that two of his teammates were close by. He touched the two dots on the touchscreen and the names popped up. Achan Smith and Tacey Edgeworth. He raced on until the two of them were clearly visible. Smith was running towards Tacey while she was clearly ding nothing in particular, except for walking away from Smith.

He had to catch up with them but stalled for a little bit. He noticed the annoyed face on Smith's face and the angry one on Tacey's. He ran like the Road Runner and accidentally got four feet ahead of Tacey. He took every part of his duel disk that wasn't attached out of his bag and examined it. It was a gift from someone in secret, but was kind enough to give their last name, which was Kamekaze. He looked at it for the first time with awe. The blade part of the disk was of a black and gold color and had a lustrous shine. The life point calculator/sensor was attached to the graveyard slot and was a crimson color. The duel disk attachment on his wrist was also black. He shot his left hand out of his cloak and, with his right hand, put everything together with super speed. He clacked the graveyard slot/holder on the main part of the duel disk that was on his wrist and the life point sensor on top. Finally, he snapped the card player into place and started it up. It gave a sheeeeer sound and the card player split into two. After splitting the two parts snapped together and made what looked like a trapezoid-like shape. With a grin he shut it down and waited for the team to show up.

Phanima
August 17th, 2007, 09:38 PM
“I guess there’s no point in hiding. Whatever Edgeworth’s message was, she can tell it to me in person.”

With a light press, his GPS computer shuddered and all light faded from its screen. Pocketing the device, the dark haired teen reactivated his Duel Disk and turned to head in the direction where he had last seen both Smith and Edgeworth having a discussion, and to where he was confronted by the bald suit.

“Hmm? Kamekaze.”

Michel had just returned to the place where he had been confronted by Tacey’s bodyguard, who had now left the area but in his place stood another teenager. The teen was tall and dressed predominantly in black, bar his beige overcoat, and his hair and eyes did well to distract from his gothic look.

“White hair and red eyes, that’s Kamekaze. But, what the hell is he doing?”

Approaching the other teenager, the heir of Arma Tech soon discovered that his new team mate had been preparing his Duel Disk, thus explaining the wild actions his arms were making underneath his coat. Strangely enough, the disk appeared to be unbranded, and was not of Kaiba Corp issue, further explaining its unique but bizarre design.

“Oi, you’re Kamekaze right?”

With an emotionless greeting and his hands still buried in his pockets, Michel stood slightly arched as he approached Rurian from behind.

typeZERO
August 17th, 2007, 11:25 PM
Rurian looked up from his duel disk and nodded at the question. He noticed that it was the famous child of Arma Tech, Michel Arma. "Konichiwa, Michel. It seems you're on my team. I'm waiting for two others to probably show up." Rurian spoke in a low tone. He put his arms under his cloak and walked up to Michel. He looked around to see if the others were gonna come, but there was no sign of it.

"You've got a great company being run. I'll admit that. But, we'll have to see if you own a mind of great startegics and a great deck with the right cards. No offense." Rurian told Michel with a slight chuckle. "Oh, and if you're wondering, no, I am not gothic. I just like black." He walked a few steps away, noticing that Yuri was waving at him. He waved back with a slight blush and turned to look at all the other teams assemble.

"This will be a great challenge, I hope. All my other opponents wimped out before the end of the match..." He jumped up the statue next to him and sat. He soon noticed the other girl from earlier. He was shocked to find that she was looking right at him. She also jumped onto a statue about fifty feet from the one he was on. This gave him the knowledge of the athletic skills. This was no doubt his twin sister, or he hoped.

With quick senses he noticed a dagger coming right behind him. He bent down, dodged, and grabbed the dagger in midair. A note was stuck onto it. He unraveled the note and read.

Be careful. Enemies lurk nearby. Be on your guard, for they might also be on your team. Sakura knows of this. You might not remember me, but I remember you. You'll meet me later in the tournament. Oh, and sorry if I impaled you by accident. I had no other way to get it to you. Oh, if you caught it, that's some great sensing and catching!

He noticed a hooded figure turn on his heels and leave, sticking a thumbs up sign. Rurian read it again and looked back behind him towards the other statue. The girl was gone.

"Darn it... Anyways, where are the rest of my teammates?" He muttered silently.

Alter Ego
August 18th, 2007, 12:17 AM
If someone had thought Achan's reaction to the tournament pairings overblown, they clearly hadn't accounted for Tacey.

"INCONCEIVABLE!" as the high-pitched scream of pure indignation spread across the square, a number of the people surrounding Tacey practically jumped up in shock while those closer to the stage tried to figure out who the heck had just taken the mic. The girl paid them no heed, however, as she continued venting her rage. First Achan's rude behavior, then the guest speaker had turned out to be none other than the eternal runner-up and insufferable luck-player Jonouchi - seriously, weren't guest speakers supposed to be good duelists? She had expected Kaiba, or Pegasus at least, not this two-bit hack - and as a final slap in the face: these pairings. "This is an outrage!" she fumed indignantly, the crowd wisely parting in front of her as she strode across the square, "My tournament victory is hinged on the success of Arma, that clueless lout with the bad fashion sense, and a bunch of hobby league dropouts I've never even heard of?! Kamekaze? Can't he even spell his own name?! And Cain Ritham? Who in the name of all that is sweet and sugary is that?! I've never heard of these people, have you?!" she glared demandingly at Raymond, who fortunately replied by shaking his head, "Inconceivable." Tacey continued, "Where is that silly little man, Pegasus?! I shall have a word with him about his silly arrangements, I swear! But until then..." the girl gave a decidedly dramatic sigh, "I suppose I shall have to locate my...team." she uttered the word 'team' with quite considerable distaste, "Ewans? Do you see any of the people who have been blessed with my radiant presence for this tournament?" she held up the laptop to the black-haired suit, who watched it intently, memorizing the faces displayed.

"I believe some of them are over there, miss." the guard remarked, pointing at a small clearing in the crowd, occupied by a rather Goth-like teenager who seemed to be holding a sharp object in his hand, "I swear..." Tacey mumbled quietly, "I swear if he's some kind of masochist who cuts himself for pleasure I shall demand a new teammate."

Still, she concluded for herself, she had to at least try making a good first impression. When it came to finding bearable company in this tournament, Achan was obviously a lost cause so she'd at least have to give the others the benefit of the doubt. After all...even rank amateurs could have some kind of manners, right? Besides, that Arma kid was here. She had nothing against the youth personally - were it not for the little fact about his lineage he would actually have been the most tolerable one in the lot - but he represented a rival company and thus, by extension, he was a rival to Tacey as well. This called for an authoritative yet sophisticated and elegant appearance.

"Excuse me." Tacey trilled, wandering over to Rurian and giving him one of her usual dazzling smiles, "Perhaps you could clarify what you intended to do with that?" she pointed a dainty little finger at the dagger in the boy's hand, "I certainly hope that you did not intend to use it on these teammates you mentioned, seeing as how I'm apparently one of them. Tacey Edgeworth." she introduced herself, just in case the boy was as ignorant as Achan and wouldn't know that already. She also extended a hand to him in greeting, hoping that he was a bit more well-versed in manners than the aforementioned, "Pleased to meet you, I'm sure." Perfect, just perfect. She had discreetly made the youth look - and probably feel - rather silly while at the same time maintaining a perfectly polite manner and coming off as lightly witty for having made such a clever little joke. Ohh...she was good.

As for Arma...the girl was currently politely ignoring him. After all, in cases like this it was essential not to let the other party know that you considered them worthy of any special attention whatsoever. She'd treat the boy like anybody else; what a delightful way to show him off.

OOC: And the award for 'The loudest scream'...nah, just kidding. xD Anyways, in case someone is wondering about the bald suit his comeback will be up in the next post. Just couldn't find a way to fit it in naturally at the moment. ^^

typeZERO
August 18th, 2007, 08:14 AM
I looked over at the purple haired girl and replied with a kind response, making sure not to seem ignorant or anything. I shook her hand and spoke."Rurian is my first name. Pleased to meet you, Tacey Edgeworth. You have a great family I've heard. As for the dagger, I don't think it'd be worth my time cutting other people down to pieces. Besides, someone threw this at me."

He put the dagger on his forefinger and started to twirl it. It went faster and faster until he threw it miles away."There, it's gone." He said with a smile. Rurian took his card player off and set in his bag again. Once he reached into the bag he pulled out a pendant that belonged to his mother. With a sigh he almost made a tear go down his face, with the sorrowful look and all. He put it on and returned to his gleaming self.

"It's a great day to be a duelist." He muttered. He was right. It was the day of a tournament, no rain clouds above him, and best of all, he was gonna get to try out his duel disk and find great challengers. "Yep, a great day. Oh and I'm also not a Goth, In case you were thinking I was." Rurian turned on his heels and waited. Where was Achan? Where was Tyler? Where was Cain? "Where is everyone else...?" He spoke softly to himself.

OOC: Horrible post! All I've got to say!

Scarlet Weather
August 18th, 2007, 09:51 AM
((Jeez, everyone's always voting me in as funniest RPer. What's with that? BTW, I just received word that someone else wants to sign up, so I'm going to have to Deus Ex Machina their character in when they actually appear.))

IC:

Achan was almost fifteen feet away from Tacey when his foot made contact with that of another pedestrian, sending him sprawling painfully to the ground. As the ground rushed up to meet him, Achan felt a painful stab to his gut as the wind rushed from his lungs. "Guh..." he managed to gasp as he rolled over to stare at the two thugs above him. One was about the size of a tractor trailer, and wore a country-style outfit to match. The other's height was about equal to that of a three foot four inch tree. As that particular simile made its way through Achan's head, it didn't escape his notice that it basically meant the guy was three foot four and was wearing what appeared to be some kind of pinstripe suit. If any air had remained in Achan's lungs, he would have groaned. He was being assaulted by a midget gangster and a farmboy. Brilliant.

"Hey, you. Mr. Tiny." The farmboy growled in a heavy southern drawl, cracking his knuckles.

"Yeah, short stuff." The gangster-midget added in a surprisingly high-pitched squeak.

Achan rolled his eyes as he attempted to pull himself to his feet. The farmboy smashed a boot barely inches away from his face and Achan lowered himself to the ground slowly, deciding that challenging the Australopitecene beast and his tiny accomplice wasn't worth it right at the moment. "What do you want?" he managed to whisper breathlessly.

The giant and his friend looked at each other for a moment and nodded before returning their gaze to Achan. "We want to duel you," said the big one.

The little one snickered. "Yeah, duel you."

That was too much. Achan stared at the two in disbelief. "You tripped me and then threatened me with physical violence to force me to play a game with you? Why, in the name of all that is savory and filled with spice, didn't you just ask me? What are you, idiots?"

At that, the farmboy burst into tears. "Bwa-ha-ha-ah! Bwaah! Snivel, hic... you meanie!" He cried, his tears falling to the ground. "You're such a little-"

Achan pulled himself upright just in time to see the midget gangster cover his partner's mouth. "Ssh! No swearing! The pigs are everywhere!" he hissed.

Achan stared. He was looking at a pair of insane duelists with no brain. It was at that very moment something vaguely like an idea clicked in his own. "Okay, I'll duel you," he began.

"Alright then, I'll go first and I summon-" the farmboy began before his partner leaped in front of him. "You're much too slow for this kind of work. I'll-"

Achan coughed loudly, interrupting the two. "As I was saying, I'll play you, but only if we make it a four-thousand-point match and you tell me where this person is." He flipped out his handheld and pointed to Michel's picture. "The GPS on this thing isn't all that accurate."

The two antagonists stared at each other for a moment before nodding. "I'll duel ya." the farm boy replied, before reaching into a tote bag he was carrying and removing a duel disk, which he strapped onto his left arm.

Achan held out his inactive disk. For a moment, the two stood there silently, each contemplating the other's expression. (Okay, so only Achan was really contemplating the other's expression, the farmer dude was really just wondering why Achan liked sunglasses.) Then, as if they had reached a consensus, both duelists activated their disks with the familiar call: "Let's Duel!"

Achan immediately drew his cards. "I'll go first." he stated, before taking stock of his hand.

Duelist: Achan

Hand: Wandering Hero, Shrink, Ring of Destruction, Wandering Beast, Wandering Healer

Achan reached over to his deck, immediately drawing a single card, which he added to his hand.

Draw Phase->>>> Wandering Mage

"Okay, let's start this off." Achan stated matter-of-factly, before placing his Wandering Hero on the correct slot of his duel disk. "I summon A Wandering Hero!"

Immediately, the air in front of Achan began to shimmer as a brown-cloaked warrior who resembled the figure that his conscience had become took form in front of him. The warrior gave a wordless battle cry before drawing his blade from its sheath. Achan nodded. "And what's a warrior without his weaponry? Well, I guess he's still a warrior, but nevermind that! The point is, with a weapon he is much more dangerous! Therefore, my Wandering Hero gets to pull an equip spell card from my deck, and in this case I think I'll choose his sword: Excalibone, blade of the Wandering Hero!"

The blade in the hero's hand began to glow white-hot as it transformed into a much longer and sharper blade that seemed to be hewn from bone. Its pommel stone was now a grinning human skull. With a snort, the hero turned to face the opposing player. Achan selected one last card from his hand. "I place one card face-down and end my turn." With that, the air shimmered as a gigantic version of the back of Achan's card materialised.

The Farm Boy sneered. "That thing's got a snowflake's chance in hell of beatin' me," he snorted, his eyes black and piglike. "I summon my Harpie Queen!"

Once again, the air shimmered as a green-haired female in a purple jumpsuit materialised. Her hands and feet were replaced with birdlike talons, and her back carried a pair of enormous green wings. She bared her pointed teeth and snarled. Her piglike owner placed a card from his hand on the field. "I also activate Axe of Despair!"

The area near the Harpy began to glow as a large, iron axe appeared. The Harpie itself grabbed it, before straightening up and screeching. Her owner pointed at Achan. "Harpie Queen will attack your Wandering Hero!"

Achan steeled himself as he tapped a button on his duel disk. "Reverse Card, open! Ring of Destruction!"

The face-down card on the field shot upward, revealing a card that depicted a ring of fire. The card glowed momentarily before transforming into a flashing collar that attached itself to the Harpie Queen's neck. The beast screamed wildly as she attempted to remove it. Achan rolled his eyes. "Ring of destruction destroys one monster on the field, and we both lose life points equal to its attack. Sorry, farm boy."

The oversized thug had just enough time to scream as the harpie exploded, releasing a white light that covered the field. Immediately the life point counters on both his duel disk and Achan's dropped to eleven hundred.

Achan smirked as he pointed at the farm boy. "My turn. Wandering Hero, direct attack."

The Hero nodded before leaping forward and slashing his opponent, bringing the farm boy's life points to zero. With that, the duel was over. Both disks deactivated. Achan walked over to his defeated opponents. "So, do you know where my partners are?"

The Midget nodded and pointed to Michel, who was standing mere feet away, along with Tacey and some other kid Achan didn't know the name of but remembered the picture of in his palm pilot. Achan slapped his head. "Figures..." he moaned, just as the farm boy swung a hefty haymaker at him. Achan dropped to his feet, barely avoiding the punch. "Hey!"

The farm boy sobbed as he swung his meaty fist again. "That was my first time! You meanie!"

This time, Achan stepped aside, once again avoiding the fist. "Hey! Careful, you could really hurt someone." he reprimanded to no avail. His meaty opponent continued swinging as Achan ducked and weaved, narrowly avoiding each punch. Finally, the huge fist grazed Achan's face. He staggered back just as his sunglasses fell to the ground. Before he could pick them up, the big guy simply stamped, crushing them.

Achan stared in shock for a moment before some deep-seated force galvanised him into action. Grabbing his assailant's wrist, he twisted it painfully before flipping the heavier man over his shoulder. There was an audible snap as the farmer screamed "AH! MY WRIST! MY WRIST!" and the crowd broke around Achan, leaving him a clear path towards his team mates. As he strode forward, he removed a spare set of sunglasses from his pocket and placed them on his face as a thought crossed his mind. Wow. Guess that Akido elective I took paid off.

Alter Ego
August 18th, 2007, 12:15 PM
OOC: ACC, after officially giving the pointy-haired guard screen time in an RP, how could you expect me not to vote for you? I <3 the pointy-haired guard. I mean come on, who could forget the legendary "Attention mother!" speech at the end of Abridged season one? *Sniff* That was so touching... ;_;

Anyway, that's Axe of Despair; not Destruction. ;D Aaaand you so did that just to let Achan show off his wanderer, you big, meanie, wanderer-shower-offer person. xP

IC:

Tacey perked up a little at Rurian's response. He had heard of the Edgeworths, that was a good start, and unlike Achan this boy seemed familiar with the concept of a handshake. Of course, a true 100% gentleman of the highest order would have performed a flourishing bow and kissed the hand, but that would have been getting her hopes up a bit too much. Besides, the girl wasn't even quite sure if she wanted that level of courtesy from someone who looked like...well, that. What struck her was not really the Gothic look - in fact, those accessories of his were pretty well picked, although they'd look incredibly tacky on her - as much as the strikingly white hair...and the scar. Assurance or no, Tacey had not completely ruled out the prospect that the boy might have had a thing for cutting himself. This being the case, she was quite relieved to see him dispose of the dagger - even though he did it in a typically male, show-offish fashion.

"Someone threw that at you?" she echoed at the remark about the dagger's origin, completely oblivious to the boy's little angst episode, "Well, if you see the person who did it, just tell me and I'll have my bodyguards deal with him. No need to thank me for it." she added before the youth was given any opportunity to respond, "Since we're supposed to work as a team we might as well keep each other alive, don't you agree?"

"AGREED FULL-HEARTEDLY, MISS!" Raymond boomed from the background, throwing caution to the winds, "WHEN I CATCH THIS MISCREANT I SHALL FLOG-" he caught the warning glare this time, correcting himself, "I mean, with your ladyship's permission, I would volunteer to flog the person responsible for-"

"No." Tacey interrupted, sounding slightly on edge, "For the last time Raymond: no flogging. It is very uncouth and not at all acceptable in modern society."

"But..." the suit whimpered, sounding very much like a small child who had just had a dear toy confiscated, "...would, would I at least be allowed to hang him from the ceiling by his thumbs until-?"

"Raymond..." the girl's tone rose alarmingly, but before it could erupt another voice interjected. Specifically, two of them:

"Let's Duel!"

One glance at the person closer to them was enough to squash all expectations of an interesting duel that Tacey might have held, however. One of the duelists was none other than that rude little boy with the straw hat. The girl haughtily turned her head elsewhere, letting out an indignant but suitably ladylike noise of disapproval, clearly indicating that she didn't want to pay any attention to this particular duel.

"I summon A Wandering Hero."

Well, so much for zero attention. The moment Tacey heard the name of a completely unknown monster called, her eyes were once again glued to the piece of pavement that had now become a dueling field, just in time to catch sight of what looked like the monster version of Heman materializing and pulling out an equally grotesque equip spell of some kind. How fitting for a vulgar lout like Achan, but still...there was no doubt that those cards weren't an official release, perhaps they were even one of kind, like...Tacey felt a sting of envy, just like hers. No, this couldn't be. This-this affront to civilization, this bargain-bin digger, couldn't possibly possess a deck comparable to hers. It couldn't be so. She wouldn't LET it be so. In no way could Achan be her equal. The boy must have stolen those rare cards, that was the only possible explanation. Well, this match proved nothing about his dueling skills, at least. His opponent was a country hick with the intellect of a donkey's rear end and about as much in the way of dueling skills, the fact that he had ended his first turn with an empty field was enough proof of that. She would drag the truth out of Achan, even if she had to-

"Miss?"

Although initially annoyed at the interruption, Tacey's expression returned to sunny as she noticed that it was none other than the bald suit, and judging by the lack of nervous fidgeting it appeared that his little mission had been a success.

"I take it you delivered my message, like I asked?" the girl inquired in her usual sweet tone, receiving a nod in response.

"As instructed, miss." the suit replied, "The gentleman sends his regards."

"Oh, does he now?" Tacey's smile widened slightly as she gave the suit an approving nod, the likes of which one might give to a dumb dog who had just pulled off a surprisingly clever trick, "Very good, Ewans. On standby you go then." Michel might have mistakenly equated the 'message' with the feigned shake-up attempt, but that - even as her smile remained as sweet as ever, the inner Tacey was grinning maliciously and high-fiving with Curran, Pikeru sulking in the background - would be the second mistake he'd make in this tournament (the first being that he had even entered). The real 'message' was a tiny but oh-so-handy electronic device, planted on the unsuspecting youth's duel disc. On the outside it appeared to be little more than one of the countless small but incredibly important components of the holo-projector, but the moment he activated that disc to duel...Curran gave a stereotypical villain's laugh in her mind, well, suffice to say that it would give Tacey a suitable edge should they end up face-to-face in the finals.

"Well, then..." the girl remarked as the bald suit melded into the scenery with surprising efficiency for a man of his stature and appearance, "I suppose we shall have to find the remaining two...Daniels and...Ritham, was it? But first-"

"Your beverage, miss."

"Well, it's about time, Rufus." Tacey replied, completely unbothered by the sudden appearance of the spiky-haired suit holding out a bottle of mineral water and a plastic cup in one hand and three sticks of kebab wrapped in white paper in the other, "I was on the verge of sending someone to look for you."

"Sorry, miss." Rufus replied, "A few children on the way mistook me for a duelist and tried to badger me into a game. I'm afraid that carrying these things made child grabbing techniques a bit more difficult than usual."

"No matter." Tacey replied nonchalantly, accepting the bottle and pouring a bit of its contents into the cup, daintily sipping at the water "Oh, and when you hand those-" she nodded at the kebab sticks, "To that boy make sure that you get a 'thank you'." the last phrase was considerably more poignant than the rest of her words, clearly aimed at Achan whom Tacey - for all other practical reasons - was still treating like air, "He seems to have forgotten the significance of that phrase. Now, as I was saying..." she addressed the statement at Rurian and Michel, "Perhaps we should seek out the rest of our lovely little clique so we can get this silly little tournament on its way?"

Scarlet Weather
August 18th, 2007, 02:18 PM
OOC: Um... guess I didn't make it clear that Hero isn't all that muscular... he can't be because *ACK! SPOILER! SPOILER!*. Anyway, thanks for teh votes0rz. I'll be sure to defend my title... In America. (And Canada). I need to remember to vote Raymond as "Funniest Male RP Character"

IC: Achan walked up to his team mates just as the suit arrived. Achan was careful to act like he wasn't paying attention as he heard Tacey instruct the older man to hand him the kebabs and "Make sure he got a thank you.", an easy feat due to his extensive experience as a compulsive daydreamer. Well, then, that was one thing he knew about Tacey: She was imperious, manipulative, and generally a nasty person. Not only that, but she was prejudiced. Her opinion of him hadn't changed for better or worse after his little display, as far as he could tell. And it seemed to him as if those guards of hers... the guards! Achan snapped his fingers in realization. This was a spoiled little rich girl he was thinking about here. Take away the servants and she squeals like a stuck pig. And that was exactly what Achan planned to do, if he was able.

Achan was shaken out of his reverie as the spiky-haired suit Tacey had sent on an errand walked up to him, Kebabs outstretched. Achan accepted, politely acknowledging him as an equal. "Thanks. You're really too kind." The guard turned to go, but before he could leave, Achan tapped his shoulder. "Psst!"

The suit turned, confused. "What?"

"What did you say your name was again?" Achan asked, smiling.

"I didn't. It's Rufus." the suit replied, sighing.

Achan stared at him. "Listen, Rufus. Do you actually like working for her?"

Rufus shrugged. "It pays the bills, and gives me an excellent chance to practice my child-grabbing skills."

Achan blinked in surprise. "Child-grabbing? Get out. The last reigning master hasn't had any students for the last four years!"

Rufus was pleasantly surprised. Not many payed attention to the little-known martial art of child-grabbing. "Well, it's a good thing I studied under him seven years ago."

Achan's eyes widened beneath his glasses. "Hey, when you're off-duty, want to go get some coffee or something? My treat. In case you haven't noticed, I haven't made too many friends today."

Rufus smiled. "You and me both, but unfortunately Miss Edgeworth's security comes first. I do have some spare time tomorrow, though."

Achan's brain began working furiously. "Great, that's perfect. Oh- and tell 'Miss Edgeworth that I said that she'd better watch out. I wasn't really in this tournament for anything other then the free trip before, but now? I'm totally going to beat her, just to prove that I'm not the idiot she seems to think I am."

Rufus stared at him. "No way! I've got a job to think about. Tell her yourself."

Achan nodded "Fair enough."

With that, the two parted ways, though Rufus didn't notice the note Achan had plastered to his back. The one reading "Hey Tacey- In America, nobility is outlawed!" scrawled in black permanent marker. Achan smiled malevolently. Giving into his evil side had its benefits as well. Ignoring Tacey pointedly, he walked up to the older duelist in the blazer. "Michel, I presume? Hey. Want a kebab?"

Phanima
August 18th, 2007, 04:42 PM
OOC: Hmm, Tacey's one evil lass, but I do have an inkling as to what she's done. Very sly girl. Michel on the other hand is oblivious, but he is opening up to the others, sort of.

IC: “Michel, I presume? Hey. Want a kebab?”

The straw hatted teen had approached Michel after having several words with one of Tacey’s guards. Edgeworth herself had begun a muted conversation with one of her other suits that Michel could all to well but remember from their previous encounter.

He watched the three other duellists who had finally arrived and rehearsed in his mind what he had learnt about them from his company. That was to say, until he was interrupted by one of the very people he was mulling over.

The Hawaiian totting clothes rack held out one of the skewers he had received from one of Edgeworth’s bodyguards, whose name had come to be known as Rufus, from the conversation he had overheard only moments ago. The tattered and worn blazer wearer had been leaning against the very statue Rurian had been propped upon, during his assassination attempt and quick retaliation. Pushing himself up against the stone sculpture, Michel stepped up to face his newly arrived team mate, where the well seasoned stick remained wafting before him.

This guy’s duel didn’t show much of his talent, but I suppose that farm boy excuse of a duellist didn’t provide much initiative. His deck on the other hand...so, he’s using the cards he won in that competition in the tournament. I suppose this would’ve been expected, but I still have to make sure I witness another match of his where he has to draw out more of his deck. I can’t risk duelling him without any information on those cards he has…

Michel gave the younger boy a hard stare. He looked harmless enough, but personally gave him the impression of one of those underdog duellists, who appeared meek and unsorted at first but could pull out massive wins under pressure. There were too many unknown factors in the equation. He had all three duellists; Rurian, Achan and Tacey, profiled in sufficient detail within his company’s catalogue. This provided him with a distinctive edge in the competition, but one aspect of their profiles would always fall into the unknown; their decks. Despite their profile’s information on previous deck constructions and strategies, Michel couldn’t rely on past information as a reliable source. He had suspected that most, if not all of them, had already altered their decks in one way or another for the new tournament. This set back his attempts in minimising the amount of risks in the tournament, but also increased the probability of encountering a scenario he had not yet planned, eliminating all predetermined assessments. Michel abhorred what was known as chance, and despite knowing that the game of Duel Monsters relied heavily on probability, he still took measures in calculating possible scenarios and outcomes that could reduce the dangerous risks of the game.

“Keep the stick. I’m not hungry.”

The tattered rebel blazer replied in a flat tone that hid his hardened thoughts and irritated expression. The boy Smith, had only shown a fraction of his new deck and with his noticeable attitude towards Tacey, could prove to be a useful ally. He still hadn’t assessed Edgeworth’s motives and her erratic behaviour only added to the difficulty of discerning her thoughts and who she truly was. There was an air about her that gave him the tolerance to accept her current conduct, but knew that it was solely due to her connection to Edgeworth Electronics. Then there was Kamekaze, who had learnt little about since their first meeting. His behaviour also struck him as unpredictable and his attention span seemed too distracted for Michel’s liking. Added to this, he had yet to meet the other two members of their six man cell; Daniels and Ritham, and could not measure their attitudes in detail without direct confrontation.

This situation is too limited. My chances of succeeding are too low, and not enough to pursue actively. Haah…I guess I have no choice, I’ll have to abandon the plan and improvise. There’s nothing else I can do without compromising myself even further than I have. Damn it…

His anger had once again flared, and he was struggling to remain composed in front of the team. He had lost so early in, and had nothing to support him otherwise. The only cause for his presence at the tournament now, derived from his desire to take down everyone else around him. The plan had been revived once but before he had taken into account outside factors, which was inevitably his own fault for being unprepared. His team mates were completely irrational, and for him, discerning their thoughts would prove to be close to impossible.

Sitting down, Michel hung his head between his shoulders as his arms weighed down against his thighs. All three duellists; Rurian, Achan and Tacey stood before him, occupied with the others around them or contemplating their own thoughts in their own minds. He knew that the basis of the game relied on chance, and knew he would be taking some whenever he duelled, but it had now come down to a simple decision on his behalf, whether or not he was ready to take a risk. His head throbbed and his eyes had closed in order to remove any visual distractions, while his thoughts became his predominant focus.

All of his previous thinking and decisions provided him with enough support to get him to where he was now, and without any chance of him losing out. The situation, his team mates and the dangers of the unknown, had come together into the same scenario from where he currently stood. It had all happened in an instant and he was for the first time, unprepared. Realising this, Michel came to his definite decision.

“Hey Smith, I'll take that wrap back.”

Frostweaver
August 18th, 2007, 11:03 PM
OOC: wait a sec, I don't have any characters, so I can't be OOC. Either way, you know that I'm here because I want to see teenagers role play their imagination into playing a children's card game. Besides that, ACC has always been someone I know (sort of XD) so I'm just here to take a peek. Can I just randomly make a comment?

Those decks are horribly realistic that I imagine if I'm to see an actual children's card game, I maybe reading tourney reports rather than a roleplay. Realistic deck is nice, but sometimes you gotta utilize luck *slightly within moderation* to make the duel interesting to play with. All those deck staples like ring of destruction in a roleplay deck is honestly scaring me a bit.

Just to remind every roleplayer that fact when they are writing... you are roleplaying, not card gaming. Remember,



the "heart of the cards" is with you

In America

Scarlet Weather
August 20th, 2007, 11:34 AM
OOC: Frostweaver... um... we have a PM system and an OOC thread for this roleplay for just this kind of post...

Point taken. Luck does need to come into play to make these duels exciting. But luck comes into play often enough with these decks on their own that it doesn't need to be as luck-based as the series has it. Basically, every facedown card may as well have been "I activate Deus Ex Machina*!" and nobody really wants that all the time. But yes, your comment is well appreciated. EVERYONE LISTEN TO FROSTWEAVER! NOW!

Long Overdue IC:

Achan's face fell as Michel refused his kebab. What the heck was it with rich people and kebabs? Was middle-eastern food considered taboo or something? Or was it the fact that he was the one who had offered it? Rich people. Hmph! The world would be just fine without them in his opinion. The least they could do was be civil enough to accept his humble gift of a kebab. Disgusted, Achan turned to go just as Michel said "Hey Smith, I'll take that wrap back.”

Achan's mouth dropped for a moment before he quickly closed it in surprise. Smiling, he handed the kebab to Michel just as a conspicuous beeping noise emanated from his pocket. Removing the GPS device, Achan activated it and stared at the screen. "This thing has E-Mail too?" he muttered to himself as he saw the flashing "You've Got Mail!" message written in bright, cheery letters across the screen. Removing the stylus on the back, he tapped the mail icon.

Team Seven:

This mail is to inform you that we have discovered a miscalculation in our team divisions, and one team is currently comprised of nine members. In order to rectify this situation, we are sending a member of their team over to yours. Expect their info to be plugged into your system very soon.

-The Tournament Administrative Staff

Achan groaned. "Great- yet another team member to track down in one of the three biggest cities in America. I bet Pegasus pulled this little trick on purpose just so he could use hidden cameras to record our reactions."

Alter Ego
August 21st, 2007, 09:35 AM
OOC: We had a PM system? o.o *Shock* Anyways, I agree that the OOC thread is probably the best place for this sort of stuff. Regardless, Frostweaver's presence in this thread has earned it precisely twenty-seven coolness points. Rejoice. :3 But...I thought ACC banned the heart of the cards? =O Anyway, Tacey hates playing deus ex machina style (Just look at the bashing Joey got. XD) but yeah, I see what you mean about luck, emphasis being on moderation.

Oh, and I notice that someone has taken...liberties with an NPC of mine. Fine, but just remember that he's a bit too concerned about his own health (And future career as a professional child grabber) to risk double-crossing Tacey. My little girl rules by fear. >D

IC:

Tacey was in a huff. Not only had these louts had the nerve to completely ignore her - Arma was particularly vexing; didn't he realize that she was the one who was supposed to be doing the ignoring? How dare he try to upstage her like that? - but to top it all off, Rufus was fraternizing with the enemy. She gave the spiky-haired suit her trademark 'Get the hell over here right this minute' stare, and he fortunately had enough in the way of survival instinct to act on it, wandering over while trying not to look overly guilty.

He wasn't doing a very good job at it.

"Rufus..." Tacey began in the kind of dangerously sweet voice that never led to good things.

"Y-yes, miss?" stoic though he was, the spiky-haired suit was also all too adept at noticing his employer's mood swings.

"I don't believe I heard 'thank you'." the girl remarked calmly, "At least...not from the boy who's now playing good Samaritan with something that wasn't bought with his money." she raised her voice a bit at the last bit, just enough so it would be clearly audible for Achan and Michel, "Americans have a rather quaint idea of what good manners are, wouldn't you say?"

"I wouldn't know, miss." the suit replied noncommittally, a tiny bead of sweat betraying his facade. This was nothing but a calm before the storm, and the longer the build-up the worse it would be when it broke free.

"I see." Tacey continued calmly, slowly walking over to the suit's side - her eyes not ceasing their calculating stare for a moment - "Then I suppose you are equally unaware of what you have right HERE!" her hand suddenly lunged at Rufus' back, snatching away the note with speed and strength far more formidable than what one would have expected from someone as dainty-looking as Tacey.

"In America, nobility is outlawed." Tacey repeated monotonously, her eyes drilling back into the suit for a few more painstaking moments before she suddenly marched over to Achan, turning her eyes to directly meet the boy's and giving him a menacing stare which bore a disturbing similarity to a doll's. Well, better make that a voodoo doll's.

"I take it, this is your idea of fun?" the girl continued calmly, not relinquishing her stare for a moment as she handed the note over to Achan, "Since you seem to have an issue with me, Mr.Smith, why don't you let it all out right now? I would hate to think that there's something you think about me that you wouldn't dare say to my face." her voice was so completely devoid of anger and malice that only a true fool would not have noticed what an unstable position Achan had just managed to place himself in. A storm was on the horizon, and the boy had just foolishly seated himself straight on its path. Behind Tacey, the suits were all subtly making some distance between themselves and the soon-to-be battlefield. Even Raymond had caught onto this one and very wisely didn't volunteer to flog anyone, although considering the girl's current state of mind, she might very well come to ask for him to do it. Tacey was always temperamental, but she hadn't been pushed this far over the edge in a long while; most people in her vicinity knew better than to do that, and judging by the state of things someone was going to find out why.

Phanima
August 21st, 2007, 03:38 PM
The straw hatted teen seemed disgruntled by Michel’s refusal but immediately lit up as he changed his decision. Despite his lack of hunger or liking of the food, the older teen decided it was best to show case his appreciation and took a rough bite as he sat back down, just as his tropical friend pulled out his own GPS computer. It had made a sound, signalling the use of its e-mailing function. Michel knew the standards of these devices since he had gotten acquainted with his immediately after receiving it, and had already sent several e-mails to certain individuals associated with his company. Achan then announced what the e-mail had detailed, explaining to an extent that there six man team would now become seven.

He ignored his own device’s alert, knowing the same message would be displayed. Besides, he had become much more interested in another confrontation between his self proclaimed rival and the boy to whom he had just addressed.

Tacey seemed furious, but she was doing well in appearances to suppress it. Her attitude towards him appeared to be one of passive loathing, and the feeling was mutual on his behalf. She seemed determined not to acknowledge his existence and he was conetent in doing the same.

Several words not only confined to her conversation with her bodyguard could be heard. Michel could feel her cold attention draw towards him and Achan as she confiscated a note from her guard’s hands. Acknowledging the situation, she strode over towards the still smiling straw hat before calmly addressing him in a dangerously dominating manner.

Michel remained seated as the girl began confronting their other team mate. He decided he would promote his newfound alliance in the current conflict, but decided to wait out the boy’s response to the girl’s demands. He needed both of them, along with Rurian, Cain and Tyler, and not to mention they’re seventh team member, to get along, to an extent. He didn’t really care about what the group’s relationships were like, as long as they weren’t distracted from his goal of getting to the finals. That was all he needed. However, knowing how proud and stubborn Tacey could be and how strong willed Achan was, the mutual disdain shared between them had to be kept under control. Michel realised that he would have to step in if things got out of hand between the two. The opportunity also allowed him to promote himself out of concern for his team mates, thus strengthening his position in the group. His intentions were nothing more than a façade, but it would help him nonetheless. Besides, he was already dealing with emotional people, and because of them, he had become restrained, something he didn’t tolerate too well.

This reaction should be entertaining. I wonder what Smith will do.

With his back against the stone sculpture behind him, Michel sat back to watch the argument unfold between the two, while remaining alert for any opportunity to exploit the group’s dynamics. He also gave a quick glance over to Rurian who was still standing his ground. The rebel blazer still hadn’t discerned the Goth’s way of thinking as much as he would have liked, but seeing as how his face would become heated at the sight of the girl he had seen earlier waving towards them, taking advantage of this situation didn’t present much difficulty.

As he prepared to witness the entertaining dispute, the sound of his own GPS computer caught his attention. He had already received the e-mail from the tournament administration about the group exchange, so the only other expected message was from Arma Tech. However, he had not expected a reply as soon as it had come, something unexpected must have happened.

Reaching into his bag, Michel retrieved his sounding computer and checked his inbox. Two e-mails had been stored, one from the tournament administrators and the other from an unknown sender. Moving as discreetly as possible as to not warrant any attention from the other three, Michel briefed the message and immediately shut down the device. Pocketing the computer, Michel disposed of what was left of the kebab he had taken a single bite out of and returned his attention to the current dispute.

Scarlet Weather
August 22nd, 2007, 12:38 PM
Achan felt the anger of Tacey, of that there was no doubt. His own anger, however, was ignited almost instantly and flamed up to match it. In the back of his mind, he could see the vampire-like figure that symbolized his own inner devil sharpening a thin blade, while in the background the Hero who was his conscience stepped back, allowing his longtime foe to take the front seat at this display of burning rancor. "So, you want me to say what I think of you, do you?" Achan challenged, as a gust of wind knocked his hat to the ground and revealed his fiery-red hair, which seemed to burn as he spoke, his lips dripping with contempt, "You're a spoiled little rich girl with overconfidence that makes me sick and a mouth that'll get you in trouble someday. I can see why your precious daddy hired so many bodyguards for you. With your attitude you'd eventually make somebody angry enough that they wouldn't care that you're a little girl. They'd just beat you up and be done with it. That's the only reason I haven't paid you back for that slap earlier. What? Did you expect me to be afraid just because the big, bad Tacey got a little angry? People like you make me sick." With that, he turned and spat over his shoulder, an international gesture of extreme contempt.

It was at this point that Achan's conscience attempted to make a comment. Um... do you think we should-

Ssh! the devil hissed, his perfectly imagined eyes gleaming red, It's getting really good out there!

Achan raised his left arm, revealing his duel disk, as if to challenge Tacey to a battle. Then, without warning, he lowered it and bowed his head, as if he was consumed by guilt. "But... we're team mates now. Like it or not, we're going to drag each other down if we continue fighting like this. There has to be an end to it somewhere. Look, I'm not saying we should be friends, but we can at least work together, right? Besides, you probably wouldn't want me as a friend if I offered you the choice. I guess what I'm trying to say here is... I'm sorry." His voice slightly broke at the last two words. Then, as an afterthought, he added "And thanks. For the kebab, I mean."

The inner devil was stumped. Wha... How...

And in his mind's eye, Achan high-fived his conscience. And you thought I was going to do something stupid. If we don't make it to the finals, I lose my one and only chance to take Tacey down for good. Why on earth would I do anything that would compromise that?

The inner devil slapped his forehead. Oh. So that's why. Duh!

OOC: Yes, Achan's imagination is this vivid, but no, Hero and Vampire aren't duel spirits. (Oh man, I'm going to bet that nobody saw that coming. XD)

Phanima
August 23rd, 2007, 05:04 AM
That wasn’t very entertaining.

Michel remained seated as he watched Achan’s response. He had grown excited after seeing the star hat’s initial flared reaction, but was quickly disappointed when he apologised immediately afterwards. The tattered blazer’s intervention remained unneeded, as Achan’s reply had been sufficient enough to quell the situation, even if the princess was still in a huff. She had no reason to continue ranting, the flaming starfish of a hairdo had made an appropriate response, warranted for even her acknowledgement. Still, Tacey remained an enigma in Michel’s eyes, and even if her rebuttal were to be one of a passive nature, he knew that her pride would still be influential in her reply, meaning she could say pretty much anything she wanted to. She didn’t follow the common etiquette that most of the less fortunate adopted, and in all honesty, neither did he.

Nevertheless, mere disputes between his team mates and the novelty of first meeting one another along with waiting for the remaining slackers who had yet to arrive, were all starting to lose their appeal and ability to hold the rebel blazer’s interest. Despite being exposed to constant calculating scenarios everyday, Michel’s biggest weakness was one of the key aspects of managing a multimillion dollar company and to being able to handle complicated and sticky situations. And it all derived from one thing; patience. Michel had little of it, and what little he had was now beginning to wear thin, as he continued to sit and wait in the midst of Times Square.

He hadn’t joined the tournament to partake in simple card games, he was here for his business, and that was all that really mattered to him. It was true that after meeting some of the people he had met in the tournament; Rurian, Achan, and especially Tacey, his attitude had changed, but only because he had been forced to.

However, the time for personal reflection could be deterred for another time, seeing as he was still waiting for some closure from Achan’s and Tacey’s argument. He was unsatisfied with the redhead’s reply and hoped that Tacey would at least struggle to accept it.

I was hoping for a real fight at least, anything that’d distract me from how long it’s taking the other three to arrive. How bothersome…

Alter Ego
August 23rd, 2007, 06:33 AM
At Achan's response, Tacey's eyes narrowed to the point where they looked like little more than a pair of thin slits. Her anger had been clear to sense before, but now it was practically tangible, like the gathering of energy just before a thunderstorm erupts, and just like they always did in these situations, Pikeru and Curran took up positions on their respective sides of the girl, the latter looking thrilled at the prospect.

"Hells, yeah!" the black-robed spellcaster exclaimed, punching the air with her imaginary fist as she picked up the thoughts in the air, "Tacey hasn't been this riled for ages! This is going to be freakin' awesome!"

"Curran!" Pikeru scolded, her voice betraying her growing anxiety over the situation, but soon realized that her twin was a lost cause and turning to her host instead, "Tacey, please calm down. He said people like you, didn't he? So...it's not that he hates you per-say, you probably just remind him of someone he hates. Besides, I'm sure he has his reasons for-"

"Of course he does." Curran interrupted sarcastically, "And the reason is that he's an ignorant, uppity, dolt of a peasant who needs to be put in his place. Go for it, girl!" she patted Tacey on the shoulder, "Give this lout what for! He has no right to treat you like this!"

"But we should try to be nice to the less fortunate!" Pikeru insisted.

"And a world of good that did!" her less benevolent complement retorted, folding her arms, "She already tried that, and he all but spat in her face in thanks, remember?"

Yes, Tacey concluded as she zoned out the conversation seemingly only being waged inside her head, that was right. She instinctively mimicked the preparation for a duel. That insensitive, insensitive little boy...as if on cue, a dramatic gust of wind swept over them, causing Tacey's hair to stream out behind her in precisely that perfect manner that it had been very expensively styled to do while simultaneously knocking off Achan's hat and revealing his ridiculous hairdo in all its glory. She was going to teach him a lesson, crush him so utterly that he'd never recover. Then maybe next time he would have the sense to say-

"I'm sorry...and thanks. For the kebab, I mean."

For a moment, Tacey seemed practically stunned by this statement, and then - just as suddenly as it had built up - her anger seemed to vanish.

"Well that wasn't so hard, was it?" she inquired, her voice returning to its usual sweet tone, "You are obviously very poorly versed in the ways of etiquette, but...you have a point." she lowered the duel disc, returning her expression to its usual pleasant mode, "I suppose I could forgive your tactlessness this once. Oh and make no mistake: I have every intention of making it to the top, so you had better make sure you don't drag me down." her usual politely detached smile was briefly replaced by something resembling a grin, "I want to have the pleasure of personally humiliating you in the finals, so you had better not go and embarrass yourself before then." she then turned to Michel and Rurian, clapping her hands to signify that the current matter was finished, "Now if you two are quite done watching this little drama, might I suggest that we get back to what we came here for? We're not getting any closer to finding our teammates by standing around like this, you know." with that, she demonstratively strode in a seemingly random direction, "Anybody who wants to get this tournament started, follow me." Oh, sure she was eager to get this tournament underway, but there was another reason for why she wanted to start walking. Well, two of them, actually.

"Tacey, I'm so proud of you!" Pikeru burst out, beaming at the girl as she, "For a moment, I thought for sure you were going to do something terrible to that poor boy!"

"Me too." Curran harrumphed, "What's up with going all soft on him like that?"

'You two both seem to have gotten the wrong idea.' Tacey retorted, her previous serenity restored now that she felt like she was in control of the situation again, 'I have very intention of humiliating that deluded little boy, but I've got to do it in style.' a malicious little grin played on her lips, although it was invisible to the people behind her, 'What better way to put him in his place than utterly crushing at the finals, where the whole world can see? When I'm done with him, he'll be so humiliated that he won't even have the confidence to play solitaire.'

"Well, I still think you two could be good friends." Pikeru insisted, "You two really aren't that differen-"

"Oh stow it, goat-girl." Curran scoffed, "She already made it clear that she's going to put that peasant in his place. Personally, I think a flogging would have been more fun..." she placed her hands behind her head, leaning her head on them as she floated onward, her eyes absently scanning the horizon, "...but I guess that's your call. Just let me out there when it's time; I want a direct attack or two at that washout."

Tacey's smile widened ever so slightly, 'Deal.' she replied wordlessly as both spirits faded from view again. Well, she had certainly gotten some extra motivation out of this little venture, now all she needed was an opponent to went some of it on.

Scarlet Weather
August 24th, 2007, 03:33 AM
Achan half-smiled as Tacey forgave him. As she stated that she wanted to personally humiliate him in the finals, the smile slowly widened into a full-fledged grin. Raising his fist, he gave her a quick thumbs-up. "Don't worry about me messing up. Just concentrate on getting us to the finals. After all, last I checked I'm the only one so far to win a duel for this team," He stated, before adding "Even if it was against a guy whose grandfather was probably named Grog."

THWAM! BANG! CRUNCH!

Achan's head whipped around to the direction of the noise. There, in a nearby alleyway, a wiry boy who was a tad taller then Achan was holding another, younger boy against the wall. The older boy's left hand curled into a fist as he began to interrogate his victim. "I'm not going to ask again. Cough up your cards and your wallet. Go on, do it."

His victim smiled in an eerie, detached manner that vaguely reminded Achan of Tacey's usual expression. "I'm afraid I cannot do that," he stated in a sharp, lilting accent that Achan barely recognized as an Irish brogue, "But I can give you this. Romeo?" As if at the boy's command, an incredibly large bald man wearing a suit similar to that of Tacey's bodyguards appeared seemingly from thin air and slammed his fist into the older boy's stomach before grabbing him and dragging him away, kicking and screaming. The Irish boy slid to the floor, gasping for air. Achan ran over, offering a hand. "Are you okay?"

The boy continued smiling. "Yes, I'm okay. But I seem to be lost. I'm looking for someone called Tacey Edgeworth, you see. Will you be so kind as to direct me to her whereabouts?"

Achan took the kid in. A dark suit, reddish-gold hair, clean-shaven face, and Armani loafers. Achan rolled his eyes slightly before pointing. "She's right there."

The kid in the suit marched off, the duel disk on his arm glinting in the afternoon sun. Achan moaned to himself.

Great. Yet another rich person. Why the heck am I on a team full of rich people?

OOC: Slight exaggeration on the rich people, there. And yes, Alter Ego, this is your requested dueling opponent. Take him on. XD

Alter Ego
August 24th, 2007, 09:08 AM
Tacey's expression didn't betray even mild interest at the racket going on somewhere behind her. It was peasant business, after all, and thus something for people like...well, like Achan to deal with. Conveniently, the boy proceeded to do just that, at least if that inquiry at the edge of her hearing was anything to go by, and so Tacey saw no need to bother herself with it, instead focusing on finding a suitable opponent. 'Worthy' was obviously a word which couldn't be applied to most people in this crowd - if any of them - but she would at least demand something in the way of fashion sense and personal hygiene. Something like...

"ROMEO! I HAVEN'T SEEN YOU SINCE OUR ACADEMY DAYS! WHAT ARE YOU DOING HERE?!"

Tacey turned sharply on her heel at Raymond's exclamation, ready to give him an earful, but before she could open her mouth, the suit in question had already rushed over to another, this one bald and even more sizable than Raymond, both men briefly hugging each other.

The other suit nodded, "Work." his voice was almost a whisper in comparison to Raymond's, but the smile on his face was just as wide, "The henchman business is a demanding mistress."

"THAT IT IS!" Raymond boomed, "BUT NOT QUITE AS DEMANDING AS-!"

"Ahem!" Tacey gave a dignified but also clearly audible little cough as she walked over to the two, fixing both with her trademark deathstare, "As much as I hate to disrupt your little family reunion, Raymond, I would like to remind you that you are still on duty. And for goodness' sake, stop shouting like that. Oh, I swear you delight in vexing me. Why if I wasn't a lady I would-"

"Ahh...miss Edgeworth, I presume?"

Tacey blinked, turning towards the new source of interruption. It was a boy, and far better dressed than the ones she had had the misfortune of meeting thus far. His hair seemed well cared for too and...well, he seemed a bit above middle class at least. Still, Tacey wasn't going to fully forgive the rude interruption.

"You presume correctly." she remarked in her usual haughty way, holding herself up with her full regal pride, "And whom do I have the pleasure of addressing?"

"Kevin Donovan, at your service." the stranger replied, smoothly grasping her hand and - much to Tacey's amazement - performing a flourishing little bow and kissing it lightly, "And the pleasure is all mine. I certainly hope that Romeo is not bothering you too much? It's so hard to find competent help, alas."

Had she not been so well trained, the girl would probably have stared in amazement. This Kevin, she had to admit, knew his stuff. Even that bow had been perfectly co-ordinated, and his manner was certainly well refined, indicating some form of formal training. Come to think of it, the boy seemed familiar somehow, but she just couldn't place him. Oh well, it probably wasn't anything important. And, well...seeing as how this was the first well-mannered person around she didn't feel like digging too hard for flaws.

"Oh, not to worry." she replied, "Raymond is always causing trouble, some people just are like that." she shot a brief glare at the guard, "But certainly you didn't come here just to discuss incompetent employees?"

For the briefest of moments, Kevin's expression seemed to distort oddly, but he quickly regained his usual polite smile, "Ah, I'm sorry for rambling." he replied, "You see, I've always been a huge fan of yours so..." his glance traveled to the duel disc on his arm, "...would you do me the honor of facing me in a duel?"

Tacey's smile widened further as she heard the word 'fan', but she retained her usual dignified manner as she spoke up, "Well, Mr. Donovan." she replied calmly, "I just so happened to be searching for an opponent, so you're in luck." she raised her duel disc, "I accept, but remember: I don't plan on holding back just because you are an admirer."

Kevin's smile seemed to gain a slightly vicious edge as the boy mirrored her action, "I wouldn't have it any other way." he replied calmly.

For a few moments, the two stood there sizing each other up - as was the custom with such things - before both sprung into action, activating their discs in perfect unison.

"It's time to duel!"

Let's face it: that was the one, true classic start.

Duelist: Tacey

Hand: Royal Bodyguard, Judgment of the Princesses, Trap Jammer, Ebon Magician Curran, Coronation of the Princesses

"I'll let you go first." Tacey remarked oh-so graciously, "It's only fair."

"You're too kind." Kevin replied, taking his first draw before turning to consult the card in his hand, "And I'll start with the Field Spell, Chorus of Sanctuary!" a small side-slot opened on the side of the duel disc, and the boy slipped a card into it. Immediately, the air between the duelists began shimmering, red roses seeming to spring out from the ground, accompanied by a brown-haired cherub who fluttered around the field, chanting in surprisingly high sound quality.

"Of course I'm not done yet." Kevin continued enthusiastically, as if he had just made dueling history with that move, "Next, I summon Stone Statue of the Aztecs!"

The air shimmered once again, a sizable block of green and blue stone fashioned in the shape of a male face with two hands held up in defense materializing on the boy's field, but...Tacey couldn't help giggling at this.

"First lesson, Mr. Donovan." she interrupted, "You can't summon in Defense Position anymore; nice try, though."

"Really?" Kevin looked crestfallen as he watched the rock monster stand there with its feeble three-hundred attack points, "I-I...didn't know." he mumbled in an embarrassed tone, his eyes downcast, "Well, I'll set a card and end my turn."

"My turn." Tacey remarked, "Now sit back and watch how a pro does it. I draw."

Draw Phase->>>> Royal Bodyguard

"Looks like you're in for a rough start." the girl commented, "I summon Ebon Magician Curran, in Attack Position!" the air shimmered once more as the familiar black-robed spellcaster made her entry, a reddish-colored whip in her hands, "But of course it wouldn't do to leave a lady out on her own." she continued conversationally, "Whenever Curran is on my field, I can call any of her trusted bodyguards out as well; and I've got two." she demonstratively held up the monsters, placing one on each of the empty slots surrounding Curran, "I Special Summon two copies of Royal Bodyguard!"

Accompanied by another moment of shimmering, a pair of buff knights donning shining white armor accompanied by a pair of black-plumed helmets and matching black cloaks bearing some form of royal insignia materialized on the field, their demeanor bearing quite a striking resemblance to that of Tacey's suits.

"Now, Curran, sweetie." the girl turned to her duel spirit's hologram, "Reduce that silly statue to rubble."

"Hold it!" Kevin interrupted, "I've got a face-down!"

"Doesn't matter." Tacey remarked haughtily, "Thanks to Royal Bodyguard none of your spell or trap cards can touch Curran."

"I don't plan to." the boy retorted, a smug little grin spreading across his face, "My face-down card is Desert Sunlight!" his grin widened as the holographic sunlight briefly mingled with the real, the stone monster assuming a defensive stance and raising both hands in protection, effortlessly snatching Curran's whip in mid-strike and tossing the sorceress back.

"Oh, and don't forget..." Kevin continued, his previous manner all but gone, "Any damage you take from attacking my Stone Statue is doubled. Adding in my Chorus of Sanctuary Field Spell, I'd say that adds up to a grand total of 2600. Isn't that right, ms. professional?"

Tacey didn't dignify the remark with an answer, merely glaring at the boy as over a quarter of the points on her counter were sapped away in one go, "I set a card and end my turn."

"Aww...what's the matter?" the boy taunted, drawing his next card, "No more words of wisdom for the rookie?"

Surprisingly, Tacey didn't answer, seemingly lost in thought.

"Fine by me." Kevin scoffed, "I summon Gear Golem the Moving Fortress!" the holographic projectors sprung to life yet again, this time resulting in the appearance of a sizable robot of some kind, its thick body - bronze colored, save for the steel-colored parts at its feet and arms - looking vaguely humanoid, save for the multitude of sharp edge and the clumsily large torso, just barely supported by the stumpy feet and hand-like appendages, "Then I switch Stone Statute of the Aztecs into Attack Mode." he followed this action by giving the card on his disc a quarter-turn.

"And now..." his grin grew even more malicious as he held up a green-colored card, "I activate Shield & Sword!"

A decidedly unimaginative blue shimmer briefly enveloped all monsters on the field, "Now of course I could just destroy all monsters on your Field. However...I have a much more amusing idea. I pay 800 Life Points. And now...Gear Golem, attack her directly!"

Accompanied by the noise of creaking machinery, the creature charged forward, darting straight past the other monsters and slamming its holographic body into Tacey's side in a high-speed elbow charge, knocking off another good quarter of her Life Points, "And next, Stone Statue; attack the first Royal Bodyguard!" with a brief rumbling sound, the stone creature set into motion, raising its hands on both sides of one of the armored knights and unceremoniously clamping them together, the creature shattering into yellow particles of of light and vanishing as another 400 was deducted from Tacey.

"So where's your dueling birthright now?" Kevin taunted, "I set a card and-"

"I remember you."

The boy scoffed, "Is that so?"

"You're no fan." the girl replied calmly, still standing proud - as if she'd buckle under some hologram's assault - "You're 'Crash' Davis, former favorite for the Domino City regionals!" she pointed an accusing finger at him.

"Well that took you long enough." Kevin sneered, "But then again, you don't really care who you harm, do you?"

"Harm?" the girl retorted, "Please...all I did was beat you at a card game. Well..." she conceded, "...more like I utterly crushed you, but you're still overreacting."

"Overreacting?!" the boy growled, "I was humiliated at my own home turf! You took my fans! You treated me like dirt! You destroyed me! And now I'm going to return the favor!" his previous smirk slowly returned, "I'll see the famous Tacey Edgeworth disqualified on her first tournament round. Then maybe you'll understand what it feels like to have everything taken from you! Now make your move!"

Tacey rolled her eyes, "Let me see if I got this straight." she said, "You went through the trouble of disguising yourself as someone way beyond your own social class, entered this tournament under a false name, and tracked me down just so you could have a rematch at a children's card game?" she shook her head, "You seriously need a new hobby. My move!"

Draw Phase->>>> Court of Nobles

"Alright..." Tacey began, seemingly unbothered by her less-than-favorable position, "As my first order of business, Curran's effect costs you 300 points for each monster on your field." at this point, dark energy coiled itself around the whip in Curran's hands, lashing out at her opponent, "Next, I think I'll rid the field of that tacky cherub." she pointed her index finger at the sanctuary illustration at this point, "I activate Court of Nobles!"

With a crashing sound, the roses and cherub vanished, soon to be replaced by a neatly trimmed lawn, occupied by equally well cared-for trees cut into various ornate shapes, sturdy castle walls bearing a multitude of colorful banners spouting from all sides and shutting in the battlefield.

"Now isn't that much better?" Tacey remarked pleasantly, "Thanks to my court, all royalty on the field gain a little power boost. But that's not all; I discard Trap Jammer to activate my last spell card for this duel: Coronation of the Princesses. So goodbye Ebon Magician Curran..." A stylish crown suddenly appeared on Curran's head, an intense glow enveloping her before dying down.

"And hello Princess Curran." As the glow died down, Curran seemed to have gone through a change of clothes, her robe now replaced by a frilly black dress, complete with a sizable hat, and the whip replaced by a golden scepter with a light blue stone set at the top, a peculiar rabbit in a black suit standing submissively behind her and holding up the hem of her skirt to keep it from connecting with the dirt.

"Now let's try this again, shall we?" she asked sweetly, "Curran, destroy Gear Golem the Moving Fortress!"

"With pleasure." Curran replied, a grin spreading across her face as she raised the wand and pointed it towards its target, dark energy gathering around the orb and lunging towards the creature.

"I activate Desert Sunlight!" Crash spat out.

"You really are a one-trick pony, aren't you, Davis?" Tacey remarked, shaking her head as the golem switched into a defensive position, a few seconds before shattering into light particles as the energy made contact, "Royal Bodyguard, destroy his Stone Statue!"

The remaining knight nodded, lunging into the air and cutting the statue in half with a diving slash down the middle.

"I end my turn." Tacey remarked, smiling casually.

"Don't act so smug, witch!" Davis retorted as he drew his card, "I've got just the card to put you in your place. I summon another Gear Golem!" another automaton, identical to the one recently destroyed, materialized on the field, "This is it, Edgeworth! I pay 800 life points, then activate Shield & Sword!" the familiar aura once again enveloped all monsters on the field, "Gear Golem, direct attack!"

Tacey merely shook her head, "Please..." she remarked, distaste evident in voice, "Try to make an original move at least once in your life. Something like this: reveal face-down, Judgment of the Princesses!"

Suddenly, chains sprang out, capturing the golem in mid-attack as two buff men - one a knight in standard steel armor and the other an executioner, complete with a menacing axe - appeared on both sides of the creature.

"What's all of this?!" Davis inquired.

"Oh, didn't you know?" Tacey asked in an ominously sweet voice, "In my court, assaulting royalty is a capital crime. I'm afraid that your monster is gone, as are 500 of your Life Points. Curran, if you would be so kind as to pass the judgment?"

The princess nodded, grinning wickedly again as she raised a dainty little hand, pointing the thumb down. On queue, the executioner raised his axe and swung, Davis' monster disappearing in a familiar dispersion of yellow particles.

"No!" the boy growled, "It's not over! I didn't go through all of this to be humiliated again! I won't allow it!"

"You don't seem to have much of a choice." Tacey remarked, "My turn, I believe."

Draw Phase->>>> Royal Emissary

A triumphant little smile spread across her face, "It's over, Davis. I summon Royal Emissary!"

Accompanied by a final blur of air, a new knight appeared on the field, this one bearing a far more decorative suit of armor and carrying himself more proudly than his comrade, a jeweled greatsword in his hands.

"Royal Bodyguard, Royal Emissary, direct attack."

On command, the two knights sprang into action, each striking their target from their respective sides.

"Now Curran, let's send this washout back to the hobby league."

The magician nodded, once again raising her scepter, but this time pointing it straight at the boy on the other side, "Direct attack!"

"Nooo!" Davis shielded his head with both hands, seemingly oblivious to the fact that a hologram couldn't possibly hurt him, "It's NOT FAIR!!"

Tacey harrumphed at the sight, returning her duel disc to stationary as the holograms vanished, "Pitiful..." she muttered with quite considerable distaste before turning to the others, "I'm getting bored." she remarked to no-one in particular, "Come on, let's find someone who actually knows how to play this game."

OOC: Okay, freakin' enormous...on second thought maybe I should have split it up into two parts. xD Anyways, there you have it.

Scarlet Weather
August 24th, 2007, 01:44 PM
Achan stared as "Kevin Donovan" dashed away, struggling to keep himself held high. Great. Just friggin' great. Of all the people I choose to try to break down and humiliate, I have to pick one who actually plays at a level way above mine.

Slowly but surely, Achan's mind kicked in. Somewhere in his spiky-haired head, secret compartments were opening and shutting as he began to analyze the duel. Alright... Tacey may have completely turned the duel around, but that guy wasn't an amateur. His first move, the "Accidental" defense position summon was calculated to trick Tacey into attacking and giving him the advantage. Okay, that was the easy part. His main problem, though was his failure to take Tacey's key monster into account. Whatever her overall strategy is, it has to revolve around Curran. If somebody were to wipe the princess out, Tacey would lose the monster she was trying to protect. Alternatively, the player should have concentrated on destroying Court of Nobles. On the other hand, the duel was pretty much over once Tacey played that card. If he had countered either it or coronation of the Princess, he might have survived long enough to wipe out Tacey's life points. So... an optimal strategy against Tacey would be to destroy her key monster with a spell card, or to remove her field spell advantage before she can use it completely, or simply knock out her life points before she plays it. I can't think of too much in my deck that I could use to do that at the time though... maybe that card? Or that one? Dangit, I wish I had thought to bring more then fifteen of my old cards!

As Achan's head buzzed furiously, somewhere in his subconscious the Hero and Vampire were playing a game of chess.

He's probably dead wrong about the strategy there, you know, The Hero commented. The kid needs to relax a bit.

Good point, The Vampire commented as he licked his lips and moved his piece, But I like the focus on Tacey. It basically ensures that he'll never lose his childish love of vengeance, which I'll be very happy to continue using to manipulate him.

I shudder to think, the Hero commented dryly before moving his bishop. Checkmate. I win.

WHAT? the Vampire screeched before staring at his king. He was, indeed, checkmated. How did I-?

You were open here, here, and here. I thought this game out six moves in advance.

And now you're Achan's skill at games as well, I suppose?

Nope! I'm his ego. The hero replied.

Achan shook his head, as if clearing water from his ears. "I really need to lay off the daydreaming after a duel." he muttered sullenly as he looked around. There was only one other duelist out here: Rurian, another member of the team. Achan made a face. He didn't really care for the "Goth-style" fashion, but most of the emo kids at his school had been able to duel competently, so maybe it balanced out. He wasn't sure. Walking over the the other duelist, he sat down beside him. "Hey. Some duel, right?"

typeZERO
August 24th, 2007, 06:48 PM
Rurian noticed Achan sit next to him and replied with a smile. "Yeah, it sure was, wasn't it?" Rurian lied down to notice a small boy standing behind him. The kid obviousily wanted to duel, but he didn't want to make him cry.

Dude, just duel him. Uria spoke inside of his head. It's just a duel, he'll get over it, don't worry.

Rurian sat up to face the kid and replied to the kid's silent request.

"Okay, I'll duel with you... As long as you don't cr-" Rurian never got to finish the sentence. The kid punch him in the spot of the boy's specialness. "I'm not a kid, you dull nut! I'll prove it to ya' in this friggin' duel! 4000 Lifepoints! Let's go!" He activated his duel disk, a KC brand, and raised his fist towards Rurian as he walked away to the other side of the field. "Let's go!"

Rurian gave off an annoyed look and activated his unbranded black duel disk. He inserted his deck and called out the starting two words, "Let's duel!"

Duelist: Rurian
Hand: Rookie Ninja Shoryu, Fuuma Shuriken, Flare Nymph Katou, Wind Fairy Kazeyuri, Whirlwind Buster

"You go first, since you're younger."

"Fine, let's do this! First I summon Hinotama Soul in attack position, and I'll set one card face down and end my turn, go!"

Drawing Phase: Red-Eyes Black Chick

"Alright, first I play Rookie Ninja Shory in face up attack mode and set two cards face down. And then I activate my equip card, Fuuma Shuriken, which can only be equipped to a monster with 'Ninja'in its name and increases it's attack by 500, and equip it to Shoryu and end my turn. Go!" Rurian looked at Shoryu. Shoryu looked back and nodded.

"Alright, draw! I activate the magic card, Salamandra! It increases a fire monster's attack points by 600! Now my Hinotama is at 1200 Attack points! And next I activate Horn of the Unicorn! This raises Hinotama's attack by 700, making it 1900 now! There, I end my turn!"

Drawing Phase: Ninja Dog Inamaru

"And that was your first mistake, and the only one you could probably make, I summon Ninja Dog Inamaru in Attack mode! When Shoryu is on the field then Inamaru gains 300 defense points, and when Inamaru is on the field, Shoryu ains 300 attack and defense points!" The big white dog and the gold clothed ninja both glowed with a blue energy, also growing stronger by the second till they reached the limit.

Rookie Ninja Shoryu: 2700/2000
Ninja Dog Inamaru: 1500/1800

"Now I activate my face-down card, Whirlwind Buster! This destroys one monster on my opponent's side of the fiel at the cost of one card in my hand." The burning ball of fire was blown away by a gust of black wind. Rurian discarded a card and stood there till the wind went away.

Hand: Red-Eyes Black Chick, Flare Nymph Katou, Wind Fairy Kazeyuri

"Now, this was a short and pitiful duel. Shoryu, direct attack! Whirlwind of Shadows!" The ninja threw the Fuuma Shuriken to make a black tornado hit the kid, who covered his head, oblivious to the fact that there is no pain in direct attacks.

Kid's LP: 1300

"Now, Inamaru! Roaring Spiral!" The great white wolf-like dog ran at the kid and lunged, spinning like a frisbee that was thrown at great strength. It connected and the kid somehow got knocked over by the attack, even if the attack was a hologram attack.

Uria's LP: 4000
Kid's LP:0000

"N-noooooo! Waaaaah!" The kid ran off in a commotion. Rurian sat down with a sigh and replied to Achan once more like nothing happened. "Yep, that was quite a duel."

Phanima
August 24th, 2007, 07:20 PM
Michel sat transfixed as he watched the conclusion of Tacey’s duel. The ending was expected, her opponent had come off as no more than an erratic duellist bent on revenge from the moment the duel started. He held himself well in the beginning, but his true motives were shown when he lost himself and began acting on instincts rather than using his brain. The duel was inevitably decided from the moment Tacey realised his identity and confronted him because of it. His prime strategy was executed well enough to fool any novice duellist, but Duel Monsters wasn’t a game solely based on card game strategies. Psychosomatic behaviour and egocentric attitudes played a major role in how a duel is conducted, and inevitably decides who will win and lose. Davis had lost the duel the moment he became too emotional to continue thinking rationally, and Tacey took advantage of it.

Michel scoffed at his own thoughts. Thinking in such a way, he realised that he was supporting the pompous teen who had been ignoring his very existence for the past hour, however he could not, as of yet, disregard her abilities as a duellist based on personal principles. The seven cards she had played during the entire duel did little in revealing her deck and strategy, but gave him some insight as to how she played.

She enforces that pompous spell caster as her leading monster, and centres all of her other cards around it. Effects and attacks become useless against it with those two guards she summoned, and with its own effect, added to the support she gets from the field, she pretty much covers all of the card’s weaknesses.

Sighing, the black haired teen replayed the duel once again in his mind. There were still too many unknown factors, as having only used seven cards in her entire deck, Tacey hadn’t given away much that he could use against her later on. It would be bothersome if he was to duel her without knowing the full potential of her deck, but he had no need to worry thus far. They were still in the first round of the tournament, with two wins to their name. One more win was all they needed. It was then that Michel received his expecting call, quite conveniently after the previous commotion.

Pulling out his cell, Michel held the four inch phone to his ear, awaiting a response from the other line.

“Michel, I’ve pinpointed Dogolas’ location; Times Square, one hundred and seventy feet northwest of your current position. Several other individuals have been identified in close proximity, possibly members of his team.”

“Profile them. I’ll be meeting him soon and I’d like to know any outstanding duelling experiences recorded in the last two months.”

“Alright Michel, but the database goes back a year, I can bring up the last twelve months if-”

“Just do the two, Jose.”

Concluding the call, Michel pocketed the phone and got to his feet, just as Achan took a seat beside Rurian off to his side. He decided not to inform his team about what he was preparing to do, but also had no objections to them questioning him about it. There was little they could do anyway, and with his team mates as witnesses, his position would only become secured, even more so than it currently was.

“Edgeworth, that was a good duel, but I was hoping that you would have lost. I guess I can’t count on you for much huh?”

He stood in his place for a mere moment, before turning to his left and began walking, without waiting for a response. His expectation of her losing the duel was false, and now that she had secured the team’s second win, he was free to take on his current target; Dogolas, without any restrictions. She had, in the end, helped him in his plan, regardless of whether she was oblivious to the fact or not.

~

Recognising the other teen’s flat boxed hair, Michel put on a small smile before greeting his friend of five years. The other nineteen year old known as Dogolas, was indeed with his team, but was no less happy in greeting Michel for the first time in two years.

“It’s been a while Dogolas.”

“Yeah, it’s the same for you Michel.”

Looking past his old friend’s shoulder, he recognised his primary target, Abby. Fortunately, his suspicions were confirmed from his second call with Jose, who had positively identified the girl as such. Her duelling record only spanned a month into his database, confirming her presence and alliance to Dogolas and his company, Kwok Wares.

“So, how’s you’re team faring? Any wins yet?”

Michel returned his attention to the situation as Dogolas addressed him, a broad smile spreading across his face.

“We’ve won two, one more and we’re done with this round.”

“That’s a coincidence, we’ve won two as well.”

The tattered blazer knew where this discussion was heading, and he had every intention of following it through. His friend realised the situation as well, and held up his Duel Disk. Following in turn, Michel activated his forearm’s device and pulled his deck from its sheath. Trading cards, the two shuffled one another’s deck before returning each one to their respective owners. Dogolas’ team stood obediently behind him, wishing him luck and encouragement. Michel cringed at the sight.

“So Michel, this is our first match of the tournament, I hope your team hasn’t already lost one, or else you’ll be knocked out after this duel.”

Michel decided not to reply and watched as the other teen’s cheerful expression disappear and was replaced by a dangerous look, only rivalling Michel’s insidious thoughts of destroying his five year friend.

OOC: Heh, I was still writing when Omega posted, so just assume that Michel had left when Rurian had his duel. Also, Michel has no intention of duelling and I was hoping that someone would inform him of Rurian's victory before he starts.

Scarlet Weather
August 25th, 2007, 07:08 AM
Achan stared. Rurian had already completed a duel and easily defeated his opponent, but there was something wrong with the set-up. "That kid... he shouldn't be involved in this tournament," he muttered, pacing from side to side. "Hinotama Soul definately isn't a monster anyone serious includes in their deck. It hasn't been seen since before Muto became King of Games in competitive circles. I already checked into that. But why..." his voice trailed off as he chuckled. Here he was, not knowing the first thing about dueling but still playing the analyst. Who did he think he was, Dr. Phil of card games? Most likely the kid was a complete rank amateur who didn't know the first thing about dueling. Either way, the match had been amusing, but it left more then a few questions about Rurian. Those cards were pretty interesting, it was true, but he didn't see how anyone could make a complete ninja deck. He had tried himself, years ago, and it hadn't worked out.

Suddenly, Achan's thoughts were interrupted by an incessant beeping from his pocket. Confused, he removed and re-activated the GPS system. Another E-Mail? he mused as he tapped the appropriate icon. To his surprise, the inbox was empty. But why, then, was it beeping? Activating the GPS function, he was slightly astonished as he noticed the proximity of two red dots to the current location of the team. Red dots, he remembered, represented his team mates. That meant that two of the remaining members of their team were somewhere close by. But why had the GPS bothered warning him? Rolling his eyes, Achan sighed. This was one of those logic breaks that nobody would be able to explain, he was sure of it. Turning around, he began to announce his discovery to the others. "Hey, guys, the other two members of our team are-" he stopped short as Michel began to walk away. What the- where does he think he's going? Achan wondered as he turned to the rest of the group. "Um- I'll be right back, I'm just going to see where Michel's going. Okay?" he stammered before dashing after Michel, careful to keep out of the industrialist's line of sight.

As Achan turned a corner, he slipped behind a nearby mailbox just in time to witness Michel's rendezvous with another, similarly dressed person. Probably, Achan thought bitterly, one just as rich. Biting his tongue, he watched as the two made small talk, then stared in amazement as Michel prepared for a duel. Uh-Oh...

Achan had never broken up a challenge before, but he was prepared to try now. Just as the two seemed ready to fire up their duel disks he leaped from behind the mailbox and shouted "Alright! Stand back! We interrupt this card game for these very important messages!"

Two or three of Dogolas's team turned to stare at Achan. "What the-"

In order to save himself from further humiliation, Achan ran alongside his teammate and clapped a hand over his shoulder. "Listen, Michel, Rurian just won us a third duel against some kid, so we're finished for the round. Unless, of course, you want to take these guys on."

Dogolas stared at Achan. "A friend of yours, Michel?"

Alter Ego
August 25th, 2007, 07:33 AM
Tacey couldn't help grinning just a bit at the oh-so-calculating looks he was getting from the others. She had barely scraped the surface of her deck's potential in that sorry excuse for a duel, yet by the looks of it Achan at least seemed to think he had her strategy all but figured out. Was he ever in for a surprise. The girl couldn't help giggling at the thought - although to the others it would probably pass as simple glee over her victory. Oh well, even if someone did figure this deck out, she had others. Always keep your opponents guessing, that was basic, and the organizers of this silly little tournament hadn't bothered to ban mid-tournament deck changes. She already had three other decks in store, one for each stop, and if the analysis of her teammates' decks went as she hoped, she would have precisely the cards to counter each one of them by the time they reached Egypt. Ohh...yes! She was brilliant! Her teammates seemed suitably impressed too, judging by the way they-

“Edgeworth, that was a good duel, but I was hoping that you would have lost. I guess I can’t count on you for much, huh?"

"Come again?!" the girl's voice rose to dangerously high levels at the teen's impudent remark, but her righteous indignity only caught his departing back. Tacey was far too dignified to run after him, though, settling for a ladylike little harumph and a disapproving glare, "How rude.". She barely spared a glance at Rurian's duel, what little interest she had immediately evaporating at the sight of Hinotama Soul. Davis had been pretty pathetic, but this kid had just set a new low. Rurian's cards were weird, she gave them that, but what little she had seen of his card lineup seemed very scatterbrained, and leaving an empty backfield and nothing but a single big beater on the field was a classical amateur mistake. A halfway decent opponent would have been all over the boy with a copy of Brain Control and taken out his measly 4000 in one fell swoop.

"For once, I agree with him." Tacey remarked at Achan's analysis, casting a sideward glance at Rurian, "You're lucky that your opponent was a rank amateur, but luck won't get our team to the finals, so don't you dare make another lame duck play like that. Entrusting your whole defense to a single, unprotected monster is just asking to have it blown off the field by a card effect, or worse: turned against you. Always end your turn with a face-down, even if it's only a bluff; especially in half-point matches. Seriously..." she scoffed, folding her arms, "...games have been lost on far smaller mistakes than that and the competition is bound to get tougher as we progress."

Just then, Tacey's little GPS gadget came to life with a most aggravating beeping, followed by Achan's hasty departure. Annoyed, Tacey merely glanced at the screen before shutting the device, her mood now improved. So Arma was finally going to duel, eh? Excellent. Still, she supposed that she might as well go observe it first hand.

"Come on." she gestured for Rurian to follow as she proceeded in pursuit of Achan in a swift yet dignified way, "We should stay together to make sure that those two don't get lost."

typeZERO
August 25th, 2007, 10:12 AM
Rurian sighed as he got up and back to his usual spot, on the statue. "Yeah, but I don't wanna go too tough on the kid. He was simply a beginner. I have more devastating techniques with my cards, but I'll use them in the near future. I don't wanna spoil the fun of showing others what I'm made of. Heheh." Rurian brought out a box that contained his home made food, still fresh and edible. Not even spoiled by the two day trip trip. The box contained some sushi, dangoes, fried rice, and a majestic-looking king crab that he caught and cooked himself. He took a bite of the sushi and was pleased with the great taste of the cooked fish inside. He closed the box and walked right off the statue, maintaining his balance when he landed.

"Well, we should probably go now. It seems two of our partners are close by." Rurian ran off with his cloak flowing behind him. He didn't care what it took. He would find the mystery girl who might just be his sister. He saw the kid again, crying about the quick loss of the previous match.

Rurian, you know they think you're a beginner, right? Uria spoke inside of his mind. He was sitting in the air right next to Shi. Uria had blond hair and red eyes and had mainly black clothes on, while Shi had orange hair and blue eyes with white clothes. Uria had a black angel wing, Shi with a white one. They do, ya know. spoke Shi. Shi was supposed to be the very shy one, but mainly around Uria. Rurian she was okay with though, since she was his light conscience while Uria was the black, though he doesn't make the bad decisions. Katou the Flare Nymph did.

I say you should friggin' beat them in a duel. It'll prove that you're not a complete beginner and a loser. Plus they think you're a Goth kid. Spoke Flare Nymph Katou. Rurian shook his head and spoke mentally back. I have time for that in the finals. Right now isn't a good time.

Rurian spotted Achan and called out to him. "Hey, wait up!"

Phanima
August 25th, 2007, 05:06 PM
OOC: Haha, I'm sorry, I was expecting just an e-mail or phone call, but I guess the whole troupe came. I wanted to delete my previous post just for simplicity, but I had written a bit too much and I didn't want it to go to waste.

EDITED IC: So she joined Kwok Wares after all.

Michel stood with his sight transfixed on the girl behind his opponent. Her name was Abby, and she had worked for Arma Tech for almost two years before abandoning her position and joining Kwok Wares, the engineering firm run by Dogolas. If this was all she had done, Michel wouldn’t have cared less about what had happened to her. Her transfer however, had cost Arma Tech, not only their leading mechanical engineer, but also several projects that were accessible only to her and her department. Simply put, she had sold out his company and joined his opponent’s firm with the stolen plans, which were now being made Kwok Wares property.

I was hoping his team would have lost a match, meaning I could’ve taken him out now…but, I suppose it doesn’t matter. Knowing him, he’ll easily get into the second round, and since I’m still tied down by Tacey, there’s no point in beating him. I’ll just make this quick then…

“Let’s begin this duel, Michel.”

“Alright! Stand back! We interrupt this card game for these very important messages!”

Michel’s blue eyes widened as he heard the familiar voice sound behind him. Achan had appeared from behind a mailbox, interrupting the duel’s start. It was true that Michel had wanted at least one of his team mates to witness the duel, but Achan seemed determined to put a stop to it.

The situation had become awkward, and in order to relay the attention off of himself, Achan ran up to Michel’s side, placing a firm hand on his shoulder.

“Listen, Michel, Rurian just won us a third duel against some kid, so we're finished for the round. Unless, of course, you want to take these guys on.”

Michel stopped, struggling to process what he had just heard. Then, as quickly as he had stopped, he returned his attention to his opponent and noticed that several of his team mates were looking curiously at the newly arrived redhead beside him. Dogolas’ expression had changed back to the cheery disposition he often adorned in public, and with another broad and disdainful smile, he addressed his rival while pointing an accusing finger towards Achan.

“A friend of yours, Michel?”

Michel shrugged off Achan’s grip and deactivated his Duel Disk.

“He’s on my team.”

The box haired teen narrowed his eyes but continued smiling, his face now uncomfortably contorted. Michel knew very well that Dogolas was more than likely going to find out everything he could about Achan, as well as his other team mates. He knew this because the two thought frighteningly alike, and both of them had similar interests in the tournament. He looked feeble, but he was very dangerous, especially to Michel and his plans.

“Heh, I've just found out that our third win is no longer necessary, so I’m going to have to postpone our match until the next round. You can wait until then I presume?”

His rival scoffed as he resumed his façade, giving the two an unnatural smile.

“Your team may have brought you this far, but next time, I’ll make sure that when we duel, there won't be a next round for you.”

The blue eyed suit smiled as he heard his opponent’s words. He felt his blood rush and the adrenaline building inside of him as he struggled to keep his Duel Disk offline. The thought of taking such a risk was the only thing keeping him composed. Dogolas was never afraid of pushing the limits and challenging Michel whenever he could, and he was the same. But, despite his instinctive thoughts of tearing down his former friend, he knew that if he were to truly surpass the box haired suit, he would do it so that everyone could see, and witness his ultimate triumph.

“Alright, I’m leaving.”

Dogolas nodded, his brow furrowed and a broad smile still decorating his face.

Michel turned to the red headed boy who stood beside him, his initial composure now regained.

“Hey Smith...you’re embarrassing…”

Alter Ego
August 25th, 2007, 11:50 PM
OOC: Okay, Omega this is getting seriously repetitive...I don't mind Achan having a good conscience versus bad conscience thing (Even though Tacey was the only one to have it declared in the actual sign-up), seeing as how it seems to be a behind-the-scenes type plan (Not to mention that ACC is the RP master so I'm not in much of a position to complain) but seriously: Rurian too? And he's making a promise thingie similar to the little unspoken rivalry pact between Tacey and Achan too? No offense, but that's just screaming 'Copycat' at me, and I don't mean it in the capacity of the YGO card. Couldn't you have figured out any other way to go about this? xP

IC:

"Oh for pity's sake." Tacey harrumphed at Rurian's outburst, continuing to walk in a dignified ladylike manner, "Please try to show some dignity. You are ruining my image." this amateur's little cover-up story of having taken it easy (obviously a weak attempt to deny his inferior dueling) was bad enough, but did he really have to shout like that too? How uncouth, didn't the goth kid realize that as a member of her team he was making Tacey look bad by association?

As they approached Michel, she noticed that the crowd he seemed to have been talking with was...leaving? No, NO! This wasn't good at all! This was the complete opposite of good! He was supposed to have dueled! Her glare shot over to Achan. That boy, that boy must have been responsible!

"What's this all about?" the girl demanded as she approached the two, "I thought Michel had finally gone to do his share of the teamwork, but apparently that's not the case?" the girl cast a sideward glance at Michel, adding cheekily, "I guess I can’t count on you for much either, huh?" Ohh...how delightful, she had gotten to throw the boy's own words right back in his face. The girl was already in a better mood, although not quite over Achan's bothersome meddling.

"You do realize, of course..." she added to the team in general, "Even though we have assembled our required wins, it would still be in our interest to duel the other teams. The more of them get disqualified the less will be left for us to consider when the competition gets serious. I say we should eliminate as many of them as possible before they have time to prepare for us, and that..." she added in Achan's direction, "...means no more interrupting other people's duels."

Phanima
August 26th, 2007, 01:28 AM
Looking up, Michel noticed his two other team mates coming in from the crowd, Rurian jogging slightly as he called out Achan’s name and Tacey following close behind at a much more reserved pace.

She looks pleasant…

Michel straightened up as the two finally arrived. He was expecting some form of warning from the two about Rurian’s win and was all but ready to wave them off after Achan’s warning, but was taken aback by Tacey’s sudden questioning about what had happened.

“I guess I can’t count on you for much either, huh?”

The remark echoed in his ears and he knew she had gotten the better of him. He should never have had a go at her, and now he was getting his. The irony hurt. However, deciding he wouldn’t give her any more satisfaction on the matter, Michel diverted his attention the best he could, just as she continued on about the tournament’s proceedings and how they were to handle the competition.

“The brat has a good point. We should try to take out as many teams as possible, and since we’ve yet to lose a duel, we’ll be guaranteed a place in the second round even if we do lose now. Plus, we’d get a better scope of the competition before we’d have to verse them competitively.”

He paused as he adjusted his shoulder bag’s slipping strap, before continuing in a flat tone and giving Tacey a quick glance. It was the first time he had openly agreed with the girl, and he wanted her to realise it. Up to this point, her provocation had only been for his self satisfaction and he had decided that he would try to restrain himself from now on, only to stop her from backfiring on him. If there was another thing he found intolerable, it was Tacey’s attitude, especially when she knew she had someone by the crotch. The next time he was to purposely provoke her would be strictly business or if he had a clean opening, and of course, if he found some enjoyment out of it that was just an added perk.

“Of course, we can’t count on running into rank amateurs here. If we do encounter some skill, all we’ll be doing is wasting our own time and we’ll be giving every other duellist in the area, knowledge of how we play. Plus, I’m not exactly the patient type…but then again, do what you want. I don’t care either way.”

typeZERO
August 26th, 2007, 01:53 AM
Rurian just looked at Tacey as if she was a pile of waste. He didn't even bother to look at her for a few more seconds. He just turned and left everyone else. He was pissed. He hated stuck up people like Tacey. She was nothing like Kaiba Mokuba or Muto Yugi. She was just a stuck up little...

'Briiing briiing!!!' Rurian's cell rung. It was from Yuri. He quickly answered to find a hasty male voice. "Hey, you're Rurian right? Yuri's friend? We need your help. Some guys took off with her!" He froze and turned blank white at what he heard. Yuri was kidnapped, and only God knows what might happen to her. "I'll be right there, just send me your location and I'll get to you!"

"No time. They might get away! We're at the fountain near the cafe. They went down the alley two stores away from it. Hurry!"

Rurian ran at full speed towards the cafe down the alley at the exact location they told him. He immediately caught sight of them and ran faster and faster. They turned a corner and stopped in front of a huge gate. Yuri was pinned there by ropes and seemed to be calling Rurian's name. He became so angry that he suddenly hit two of the three guys and knocked them out cold. The third guy chuckled and brought out a duel disk. Rurian understood that he wanted to duel, and that it would risk Yuri either being caught or being freed.

"If I win, she will be ours for the taking. If you win, we give her up and leave you alone." spoke the cloaked man.

Both of them activated their duel disks and got into position. "I get the first turn!"

Player: Rurian
Hand:Red-Eyes Black Chick, Flare Nymph Katou, Wind Fairy Kazeyuri, Aqua Pixie Sui, Rapid Fire

Draw Phase: Space Breaker

"First I play Flare Nymph Katou face up in attack mode and set one card face down. End of turn." Rurian was annoyed by the fact that he got a sucky hand on his first draw.

"Hah, my turn now! I place two cards face down and set one monster face down and end my turn. Go!" I looked suspicously and the face down card. I had to make sure it wasn't a flip-effect monster. He asked Katou with just a look and Katou mouthed a yes. Rurian stared back at his opponent and called out the beginning of his turn. "Ikuze! Let's go!"

Drawing Phase: Alpha Kunoichi Shi

"First I'll activate the card, Rapid Fire! This card increases all Wind and Fire monsters' attack by 300 points on my side of the field and inflicts 200 damage to my opponents life points, so you only have 7800 life points left! Now, Katou. Attack that face down monster! Flaming Rampage! The monster was destroyed, revealing a Soldier of Stone.

Scarlet Weather
August 26th, 2007, 11:12 AM
Achan breathed a sigh of relief as Dogolas walked away, his team members trailing behind him. This relief, however, was short-lived as immediately after the sigh escaped his lips Michel turned on him. "Hey, Smith.... You're embarassing..."

Achan rolled his eyes. And when did you notice that? Just now, or when you saw my shirt? Yes, rich boy, I'm embarassing. Deal with it. Aloud, he said "Look, I just didn't want to rack up a loss. For all we know, our other members could be dueling right now, and if any of the three of them lose we're in serious trouble."

It was then that Tacey arrived, and proceeded to inform Achan on the reasons that they should attempt to knock out as many teams as possible. Not surprisingly, Michel agreed with her immediately. Achan rolled his eyes once again. Rich people: always flocking together. Then, something hit him like a super-charged four-wheeler. Michel had called Tacey "brat". Not only did that mean it was probably in Achan's best interest to move as far away from the action as possible at this moment, but it also indicated that Michel didn't like Tacey any better then he did. What did Tacey say her father's company was? Edgeworth Electronics? What if Michel was somehow involved with a competitor company? That alone would be enough reason for enmity between them. That might be the real reason she was angry that he had stopped the duel: she wanted to scout her future opponent's deck. Well, she'd just have to wait a bit, then, no matter how steamed she got. Of course, the word steamed reminded Achan of the probable Tacey explosion, meaning he'd have to move away quickly. Come to think of it, that was exactly what Rurian was doing, meaning it wasn't a bad idea to follow him. "Rurian, wait up!" Achan callled as he rushed after his strange-looking team mate.

Achan followed Rurian down the crowded streets of New York, struggling with various passers-by who got in his way. Couldn't they see that he was attempting to avoid a meltdown, the likes of which hadn't been seen since Cherynobyl? Now that he thought about it, however, Rurian was moving a little quickly for someone who was simply attempting to avoid bickering team mates. It was as if he knew where he was going. Achan dimly remembered hearing a ringing cell phone. If it was Rurian's phone, what kind of call would he possibly be responding to that would require him to move so quickly? With a sigh, Achan quickened his pace in order to bridge the rapidly opening gap between him and Rurian. Jeez, this guy's fast! What the heck was he eating this morning, espresso beans? Achan wondered dimly as he watched Rurian stop and turn a corner.

When Achan reached the corner himself, he saw what Rurian had been so excited about. Two men were knocked out cold and lying in the street, presumably as the result of Rurian's actions. Meanwhile, a girl was bound to a large gate, a gag in her mouth. Achan caught sight of Rurian a few steps away, dueling with a third guy. Then Achan caught himself. Dueling? What on earth was he wasting time playing a game for? The girl was right near him, two of the guys were unconscious, why the heck was the third guy not on the ground next to them while Rurian freed the damsel in distress? Achan shook his head. It was probably the same mentality that the people in Domino City suffered from: For them, any dispute had to be settled with a card game. Not for the first time, Achan was glad to be an American. With a sigh, he simply walked over the girl and began tugging at her ropes.

The guy dueling Rurian turned to see Achan attempting to untie his captive. "Hey! You can't do that!" he growled, stamping his feet.

"Why not? I haven't beaten you in a card game yet? Grow up." Achan replied caustically as he undid the first knot. "And why the heck did you kidnap the girl in the first place? No particular reason?"

The man opened his mouth as if to answer, then snapped it shut and turned away.

"Thought so." Achan sighed, as he turned back to the ropes. "Dang... this is really hard..." he grunted.

OOC: Omega, careful there. That post with Rurian was not only a little over-the-top, but you also came very close to god-modding him there. I mean, knocking out two fully-grown men instantly after they've taken out a girl with comparable skill just because he gets angry? And then stopping to play a card game with the third guy? Yeah, that's a bit of a stretch. I'll let it slide, but next time apply a bit more logic to your choice of setting up card games. 0_o

Alter Ego
August 27th, 2007, 06:56 AM
OOC: Yeah, going to have to agree with ACC; that was sort of...random. x_O Then again, so is taking a random number from your teammate's cell phone (How the flip did they find out her pin code, anyway?) and calling it for help. I mean...you'd think that they'd have gone for the police or something. xP

IC:

The moment Michel agreed with her, Tacey paused, but not out of astonishment over the fact that her official tournament rival had agreed with her about something. Oh no, it was the word he had used. He had struck a vein, a vein which was currently making its presence known just above Tacey's right eyebrow. The rest of her face remained calm, but the suits immediately took the cue; this was going to be a turbulent day...

Brat, was it? Tacey's insides very practically boiling. It was one thing to endure the slander from that street punk Achan, but Michel too? Oh no, he had another thing coming. Who did that jumped up, self-righteous, second-rate duelist of a nouveau-rich knave in lord's clothing think he was? Just as her temper was about to erupt, however, Rurian suddenly took off without as much as a proper excuse, soon followed by Achan.

"Hey!" Tacey called behind them, stamping her foot in aggravation. How dare they? How DARE they just walk out on her like that?! She turned swiftly on her heels and glared Michel straight in the eye, her dainty little hand locking onto the older boy's shoulder like a vicegrip to prevent him from turning away.

"You are a most impolite person." she remarked levelly, her tone wielding the word 'impolite' like a lethal weapon, "I will have you know that I'm a lady, and will thank you kindly not to forget the term." 'And if you do...' her eyes seemed to say, 'I'll make you regret the day you were ever born.'

"We're moving!" she snapped to her escorts, once again ignoring Michel completely as she turned in the direction the others had set off in, "Track those two down immediately!"

"Yes, miss!"

And so the peculiar procession set off once again, Tacey marching forward in an ever dignified manner even as her pace was nearing a half-run, the suits scouting out the area ahead and clearing a path, and eventually they arrived at the scene of Rurian's latest duel. As she caught a glimpse of the general picture, the girl soon pieced together the scenario, giving a small, irritated and above all highly ladylike sigh as she shook her head.

"You boys really are idiots." she remarked coldly, her glance traveling from the dueling Rurian - seriously, didn't this guy have more pressing matters to attend to than a card game? - to Achan's futile struggle with the ropes, "Rufus, Ewans." she gestured towards the spiky-haired and bald suit respectively, "Go free the damsel. And Raymond, if the gentleman in black objects, you..." she dragged out her speech in the end, as if preparing to say something she'd probably regret later, "...you have my permission to flog him."

Behind the shades, the suit's face lit up, "REALLY?!" he inquired, sounding like Christmas had come early for him.

"Yes, really." Tacey replied levelly, "But only on my command. As for you..." she turned to face the disguised stranger, staring straight at his shaded face, "...who are you and what kind of ridiculous stunt are you trying to pull here? Because of you my teammates are acting even dumber than usual and I demand an explanation!"

Scarlet Weather
August 28th, 2007, 02:25 PM
OOC: Okay, slight update to Achan's deck in order to open up new avenues for Wanderers and un-staple things a bit. Omega, this post is going to take some liberties with your NPCs, but it's going to justify things a bit. (By the way, this roleplay has a plot written out for it already, unlike "Star in the Sky" where the roleplayers come up with ideas for moving it ahead, so don't try to unveil the bad guy just yet. He will come, he will come.... and he isn't a ninja. XD)

Alter Ego, I remember you saying that Achan's first duel was just to show off his Wanderer. It wasn't. It was filler added to the post so it wouldn't be just "Achan found his team mates, YAY!". I am sorry to say that this is a duel added just to show off a specific set of cards.

IC: Achan tugged at the ropes binding the girl to the gate as Tacey's suits arrived to help him undo the knots. Tacey, meanwhile, was giving Rurian's opponent a piece of her mind. Achan rolled his eyes once again. "I'm not an idiot, y'know," he called over his left shoulder, "Slacker? Quite possibly. Short? Yes. Rude? You can answer that question yourself. But I am not, I repeat, emphatically not an idiot." With that, he returned to his work. Just as he and the two suits- Rufus and "Ewans" as he recalled- he noticed something strange. The rope was knotted multiple times, true, but the knots seemed to run along its length instead of simply connecting two ends of the rope. In addition, the girl's gag seemed a bit loose. Not only that, but the gate led to... well, nowhere. There was nothing there but an empty alleyway. "What the..." Achan muttered, just as the two conspicuous cloaked men on the ground leaped to their feet as if they had never been unconscious and, in a surprisingly thick blast of smoke, exploded. Achan backed away coughing. What on earth?

As the smoke cleared, Achan could see them. Four teens, about his own age, each one carrying a duel disk and wearing clothing similar to that of Rurian's. The one who seemed to be their leader, and older kid with hair of a similar color to Achan's, walked forward. "Yuri, I think the game's up. We weren't supposed to have this many people here. It was only supposed to be Rurian that responded to our distress call."

At his words, the "Damsel in Distress" exploded into a burst of white smoke as well, which Achan futilely attempted to ward off with his hat. When it cleared she stood in the middle of the square, the ropes and gag sitting around her ankles while a collapsible gate stood off to the side. "Shoot," she muttered, viciously kicking at the dirt. She then turned to Achan. "It's your fault. Only Rurian was supposed to come. I thought the rich people would be too wrapped up in their own affairs, and I didn't realize he'd already made contact with you. If you hadn't come, I'd actually be able to asess whether Rurian can do... that."

Achan shook his head in bewilderment. "Wait a minute, wait a minute lady," he began in a baffled tone of voice, "I'm not sure what we're talking about here. First of all, what is...that, and second of all how do you know Rurian? I mean, I've never seen you before. And what was I supposed to do, ignore my team mate running off into the middle of nowhere?" he laughed nervously. "I mean, come on, you've got to admit that's pretty-" his voice petered off as a small metal object sliced through the air near his cheek and embedded itself in the ground next to him.

Yuri's eyes flashed dangerously. "Look, I didn't come here to argue. All I know is that my sensei wants us to find the one who can do... that. I have a good feeling that it may be Rurian, but it might be any of you all, or any other stupid competitor in this entire tournament. Well, guess I have no choice... you!" She pointed a finger at him threateningly. "Duel me or die."

The shock hit Achan like a semi-trailer. "What?"

"I said, duel or die. It's that simple. You beat me in a duel, or I kill you." With that, the girl revealed another throwing star in her hand. Achan gulped audibly, just as she stowed it away, a smile appearing on her face. "Just kidding!"

"Wha..." Achan shook his head. "I don't get any of this... let's just duel, I'll think it over when we're done." he moaned, clutching his skull.

The two combatants took their positions, about three feet from each other, and revealed the duel disks on their left arms. Nothing stirred. For half a moment, both players were silent, each gazing into the eyes of the other. It seemed as if, for that one moment, the world had stopped turning. And then it came: the challenge.

"Let's Duel!"

"Ladies first," Yuri smirked as she drew from her deck. "Let's see...hmm... ah, here we go! I summon Gearfried the Iron Knight!"

At her command, the field began to shimmer as an enormous warrior encased in black and silver armor stepped from thin air. The left arm of his suit held a blade, while the right one tapered into a massive shield. Yuri seemed to giggle as she continued. "Next I play Reinforcement of the Army! In case you didn't know, that means-"

"I know, I know," Achan groaned, "It means you get to move a level four or lower warrior-type monster to your hand. Jeez, give me a little more credit then that."

"Listen, just pay attention to me, okay? I'm setting one card, and now I end my turn. Jeez, don't get so angsty just because I'm describing a card effect." Yuri frowned before placing the card into the appropriate slot on her duel disk as a gigantic version of it appeared on the playing field.

"Here we go..." muttered Achan as he looked at his hand. "Okay, lady, I have no idea who you are but I know one thing: You're going down." And with that, the turn began.

Duelist: Achan
Hand: Wandering Beast, Wandering Shinobi, Wandering Mage, The Road Goes Ever On, Skull Lair

Draw Phase>>>>>> A Wandering Fellowship

Great. A few pieces of the combo, but not enough to put it together. I knew I should have added another searcher. Achan groused darkly as he chose his cards. "Okay then, let's start it off. First things first: I summon Wandering Mage!"

As Achan placed his card on the field, the air around him began to darken. A tall, gaunt-looking man in a tattered red cloak stepped from a dark hole that had ripped through the air, and seamlessly closed as he stepped through it. His long, dark hair was held in place by a crimson band, and beneath the cape he wore a chain-mail doublet that seemed to shimmer as he walked. In his left hand a golden device resembling a combination between a gun and a scepter glistened. Achan held up another card as he grinned. "And it just keeps getting better. I also activate this card: The Road Goes Ever On!" Immediately after this statement a long, winding dirt path fringed by grass and heather appeared. At the end of it, an orange, tigerlike beast could be seen running forward. Just as the creature reached the area behind Achan it stopped short before leaping over its owner's head and landing next to the mage. Now that it was close, it was clear that the beast wasn't a true tiger, though its orange-and-black fur was certainly similarly patterned. Its limbs were slightly slimmer, for one thing, and for another its tail was much longer and bushier, resembling a furry alligator's tail more then anything else. Atop its head was a large, silver horn resembling that of a unicorn. Its white fangs gleamed as it gave a triumphant roar that shook the field and caused a smiled to play across Achan's lips. The holographic programmers at Kaiba Corp had certainly had fun with the animations for his monsters. "Now let me explain to you what just happened," he said, pointing to his life pointer counter. "You'll observe that I only have seven thousand life points left. That's because thanks to the effect of The Road Goes Ever On, I can summon any level four or lower Wandering monster from my hand, provided I give up a thousand points first. In this case, I chose to summon Wandering Beast. Now it's time for some introductions: Gearfried, meet Wandering Beast. Beast, meet your next lunch. Now hop to it!" At Achan's command, the monster leaped on top of the hulk of metal in front of him, bringing the monster crashing to the ground. Its paw slashed the monster once, and the holographic image immediately scattered into thousands of pieces. Achan smiled again. "Did I mention that when Wandering Beast attacks, it gains four hundred attack points for each Wandering monster in play?" he asked, before pointing at Yuri. "Wandering Mage, direct attack!" The man in red obeyed as well by leveling his curious weapon at the kunoichi and firing a burst of golden light from it, which immediately pierced through her duel disk. Achan bowed slightly before placing one last card face-down on the field. "I think that's it for now."

Yuri pursed her lips. "Don't get cocky just because you inflicted a tiny bit of damage, now. I don't intend to lose this duel easily. First off, I'll be playing The Warrior Returning Alive in order to bring Gearfried the Iron Knight back to my hand." The giant spell card appeared on the field as the girl removed the monster from her graveyard and placed it in her hand. "Next, I'll be summoning this monster: Marauding Captain!" As she spoke, the monster appeared: A tall, thin warrior wielding a massive sword clad in tarnished silver armor. "The ability of Marauding Captain allows me to put any other level four monster I happen to have in my hand onto the field, and oh, what a surprise! I just happen to have one: Gearfried the Iron Knight!" The air shimmered as the monster in question stepped onto the field. "Alright, since your kitty doesn't like to play nice I think I'm going to have to euthanize it with this: My spell card, shrink!" Achan cringed as his Wandering Beast shrank to half its usual size and its attack split in half. "Now Marauding Captain is more then enough. Captain, attack Beast, and Gearfried, put the mage out of his misery!"

Achan turned his face away momentarily as both warriors stepped forward and brandished their swords for a moment before impaling his monsters. He watched glumly as the numbers on his counter dropped. Great. I'm dead already. This girl's just toying with me. She could have played shrink when I attacked her earlier, but she wanted to test the waters. Now that she knows what I can do, I've had it. Unless... hold that thought. She doesn't know what my monsters can do yet, because otherwise... he glanced at his hand, She would be prepared for this.

"Hey, yoo-hoo, over here! You've been thinking about your move for five minutes already. Are you giving up, or are you going to draw your card already?" Yuri's impatient voice cut through Achan's thoughts.

"Right, right, sorry! Just hold on!" Achan stated, selecting two cards from his hand. "First, I'm going to toss these two cards in order to special summon Wandering Beast back to the field, in attack mode!" As soon as the second card hit the graveyard, a flash of flame burst from the ground in front of his feet as the beast shot out, roaring. "Now I can begin my turn." Achan stated, pulling a card from his deck.

Draw Phase>>>>> Twister

Dea Ex Machina, Achan thought with a smile. "Okay, first off, I'm going to show you a little trick of my own. You like ninjas, right? Well here's one of mine: Wandering Shinobi!"

At Achan's words, a whirling shuriken of enormous size shot from the sky. As it fell, a figure burst from the ground into the air to catch it before landing next to the beast. The shinobi was obviously female, and dressed in some sort of white cloth jumpsuit which covered her body with the exception of her hands, feet, and the upper side of her face. Her hair was black, and was quite short with the exception of a single ponytail that ran the length of her back and was held in place by a tube-shaped guard of some sort. Achan's grinned leeringly. "And now for a little Warrior against Warrior action. Beast, eat Gearfried again. Shinobi, send Marauding captain to the graveyard!" Achan's monsters complied beautifully. Beast immedately grabbed the armor-clad monster and dashed him to the ground, crushing him, while the shinobi launched her shuriken into the captain's solar plexus, causing him to scatter into grains of white light. "I'll place one card face-down and that'll do for now," Achan stated, staring defiantly at his opponent.

To his surprise, Yuri began giggling. "Don't get cocky, I said. I'm not finished. I've only got a few turns left, and then I'm going to wipe you out."

Achan rolled his eyes. "Come on, seriously? Unless you've got a complete one-turn-kill combo ready, I'm going to win this duel."

"I do. Allow me to prove it to you." Yuri smiled sweetly as she placed a card on the field. "First I'll activate scapegoat, which allows me to special summon four sheep tokens to the field in defense position," In a flash of light, four of the five spaces in front of Yuri were filled with pastel-colored, puffball-shaped goats. "Next, I play one card face-down, and I end my turn."

Achan shook his head. "I'm not finished yet," he growled, grabbing the top card from his deck. "Let's see what I've got in here!"

Draw Phase>>>>Limit Break-Beat Rush

"Aw, man! That's it?" Achan groaned, adding the card to his hand. "That's really a bummer." He rolled his eyes, pointing to Yuri's field. "Oh, well. I'll just attack two of those sheep tokens. Wandering Beast! Wandering Shinobi! Turn those goats into mutton!"

"That's sheep, idiot. They're sheep tokens." Yuri corrected as she tapped her duel disk. "Anyway, I'm activating Negate Attack, so that's a moot point." Her face-down card flipped up, releasing a blast of wind that forced both of Achan's monsters back into their original positions.

"Whatever. I end my turn." Achan muttered sullenly.

Yuri's hand strayed to the top card of her deck. "Okay, let's see... got it!" She giggled uncontrollably. "Achan, you're finished. See you next time!"

"What on earth are you talking about?" Achan snapped. "I'm not going anywhere!"

"My combo is completed." Yuri continued, smirking. "I summon Armed Samurai Ben Kai." At her words, the monster appeared on the field: A strong, heavily equipped warrior wearing some kind of head cloth and carrying a long spear of some sort. "Are you ready, Achan? This is game over. Now I'll equip hm with-"

"United We Stand." Achan finished for her. "I know you! You're 'one-turn' Natsumi, famous for playing around with your opponent before destroying them with your signature combo. Your strength as a duelist is in the upper class- but why the heck do you look like some kind of ninja?"

"Yuri" smiled. The hand holding her card strayed away from her duel disk. "That's right. I was wondering when you'd remember me. I wiped the floor with you last year at the Hawaiian summit." As she finished, another miniature explosion rocked the field. When the smoke cleared, the Natsumi Achan remembered stood in front of him: A green-haired girl about his own age wearing some sort of fishing vest, as well as a loose-fitting t-shirt beneath it. "Not many people realize that I'm a master of disguise," she said sweetly, "But it's the truth. I've been studying both dueling and ninjutsu under the tutelage of Samejima, my sensei. Anyway, you remember our last duel? I'm flattered."

Achan grimaced. "That was a horrible loss. You had already collected the other two pieces of your combo into your hand on the first turn. All I had to do was attack that Sangan you set and Ben Kai was in your hand and I was down and out."

Natsumi nodded. "That's right! Of course, you couldn't help it. Nobody's ever managed to block the Ben Kai combo when I set it up right. All I've got to do is soften the opponent up a bit." She placed the card on the field, and immediately a golden gauntlet appeared on the samurai's left hand as energy began flowing to him from the other monsters on his owner's field. "Now, in case you were wondering, the reason I went after you specifically when the whole 'test Rurian's potential' thing went down the tubes is because I wanted to see if you'd improved much since the Hawaiian summit. Doesn't look like you're all that much better: I win again, Achan. I activate the spell card Axe of Despair," She stated as an iron cleaver appeared in her monster's hand. "Axe of Despair raises Ben Kai's attack by one thousand points giving him a grand total of five thousand two hundred attack points, but more importantly it gives him the ability to attack one more time this turn. Sorry Achan: You lose. Ben Kai, attack!"

Achan stared at Yuri. "One problem with your theory: I'm not finished yet. First, I activate my face-down card, twister!" As Achan stated this, the face-down card flipped face up and released a raging whirlwind that launched itself at Ben Kai, shattering the gauntlet on his wrist and substantially reducing his strength. Nevertheless, the monster easily hacked through Achan's defenses, destroying Wandering Beast and Wandering Shinobi with the blade in its hand. Achan smirked. "Twister lets me wipe out one spell card on the field in exchange for five hundred of my life points. That combo isn't always a one-turn kill, especially when you have only two equip cards in play."

Natsumi's gaze met his. "The duel is still mine, Smith. You've got one face-down that hasn't done you any good this far in the duel and isn't going to start now, and you have one card in your hand. You can't even resurrect your Beast to guard your life points. Face it, you may have drawn it out by a turn, but this duel is mine."

Achan shrugged. "Well, what can I say? It's just a card game after all. But something tells me this one is going to end a lot differently then our last one. And I can end this whole thing in three more turns if I get the right card on my next draw."

Natsumi shook her head. "What on earth have you been smoking?"

"You'll see," Achan said cryptically as he drew, "You'll see."

Draw Phase>>>> Wandering Rogue

"Yes! Yes! Alright!" Achan shouted, pumping his fist. "This thing is going to be over right now!" With that, he pointed his finger at his opponent. "Listen girl, you may have won before because of your 'unbeatable' combo. Well this time, I'm going to show you one that may not win me the duel in one turn, but it will turn this duel around. So, without further ado I present my monster, Wandering Rogue!" Grinning, Achan placed his card on the duel disk.

Nothing happened.

"Whoops, upside down." Achan replied, embarrased, as he corrected his monster's position so that the code inlaid on the card's back could be recognized by the duel disk. The air shimmered, and a small bag appeared on the ground. It sat there for a moment, when suddenly a speeding form leapt from a tree top to the ground and snatched it up. The girl straigtened, brushing her hair out of her eyes, and smiled sweetly. Her hair hunge to the back of her shoulders and was loosely fastened around her head with a strip of white cloth, and she was clothed in a black shirt that barely reached over her shoulders while a green vest filled with pockets covered it, as well as a pair of black pants that were also riddled with pockets. A pair of leather gloves hid her hands from view as she continued smiling.

Yuri raised an eyebrow. "I fail to see how a fifteen-hundred attack point monster is going to wipe out Ben Kai."

"Well, she isn't personally going to do it," Achan admitted, "I was sort of hoping that this trap card would do it instead." With that, his face-down card flipped face-up. "This card is known as 'Skull Lair'," he explained, "And with it I can destroy any monster on the field provided I remove cards from my graveyard equal to its level stars. Let's see.... one, two, three... that should do it." With that, he placed the removed cards in the deck box hanging from his belt and pointed to Ben Kai. "Skull Lair? Remove him from the field, please."

There was an audible silence as a misty, grey hand reached forward from Achan's trap card and grabbed Ben Kai. The monster struggled for a moment before bursting into thousands of myriad shards. Achan smiled. "Now... as for your wall monsters, I think I can take care of them too. But before I play this spell card, I have to ask you something: Did you ever play Final Fantasy?"

Natsumi stared. "What?"

"You know, Final Fantasy. That game series that's like hugely popular, with the heroes with the big swords, and the monsters, and the bad guys with theme songs in Latin..." Achan's voice trailed off. "Nevermind. Anyway, in Final Fantasy there's something called a 'limit break' that occurs when your character gets their back against the wall. Well, when I was designing these Wandering monsters, I thought it would be pretty cool if they could do the same thing so I created a line of spell cards that could turn the game around: one for each wanderer. And you, Yuri, have the honor of being the first duelist to experience the sting of one." Grinning, Achan placed his card in the slot. "I activate the spell card Limit Break-Beat Rush. This allows my Wandering Rogue to attack all four of your scapegoats this turn. Normally I'd have to pay half my life points to activate this card, but since Rogue is out here solo, that cost is negated. Oh, and guess what? Thanks to Rogue's effect, I get a card for each sheep I bullseye. See ya!"

A gleaming red aura surrounded the Rogue as she pulled her fists into position and charged. The first scapegoat fell victim to a quick uppercut, and the next two were instantly dispatched by a pair of powerful kicks. The final token quivered in horror as the fighter grabbed it with one hand and leaped into the air before slamming it to the ground like a basketball. With that finished, the monster brushed a lock of hair from her eye and walked back to her original zone. Achan grinned. "Now which one of us is on top?"

Draw Effect>>>>Wandering Hero, Return From the Different Dimension, A Wandering Fellowship, Wandering Vampire

"I place one card face down, and I end my turn." Achan stated.

Yuri shook her head. "No way. It isn't over yet. It's just... not." Her hand reached for a single card, which she pulled out. "Okay, let's see..." her face creased into a grimace as she realized that she was out of monsters. "I place one card face-down and end my turn." She sighed. Go ahead and attack, Achan. That face-down card is mirror force, and once you trigger it I'll wipe your field clean and attack you with the next monster I draw. This duel is going to be over.

"Let's end this game, shall we?" Achan asked pleasantly as he drew his card. "Let's see... first I'll summon Wandering Hero, then I'll use its effect to equip it with my own copy of United We Stand." The air shimmered as the hero stepped alongside the Rogue and high-fived her before donning a golden gauntlet similar to the one that had been on Ben Kai's hand.

So far so good... come on, summon as many monsters as you want, I don't care. Mirror Force will wipe them out...

"Next I'll activate my face-down card: Return From the Different Dimension!" Achan said exuberantly, a smile playing about his lips. He was actually beggining to have fun for the first time this tournament. "This card allows me to pay half my life points in order to bring back some old friends: Wandering Beast, Wandering Shinobi, and Wandering Mage!"

Above Achan, the air began to curl into a series of black holes as the three monsters he had mentioned dropped from the air to his side. "Nice to see you guys," he said, smiling. "Now get ready, because this is it!"

Alright... He's attacking... here he goes...

"I activate A Wandering Fellowship!"

What?

"This card increases the attack points of all of my Wanderers by seven hundred points..."

Okay... that's fine. I thought for a moment that-

"And it also makes them immune to card effects!"

Natsumi gasped. "But that means-"

Achan smiled. "Game over. Wanderers? Give her a taste of your power!"

The entire Wandering crew charged as one, striking the unfortunate duelist directly. Achan smiled as the counters on her duel disk dropped to zero. "Game over, one-turn Natsumi. This round goes to me. Now, what's going on here?"

Natsumi shook her head. "Oh brother..." she muttered. "Look, I'm searching for the duelist with the miracle draw, okay?"

Achan was stumped. "The who?"

"The miracle draw. The fabled skill that allows a duelist to draw any card he needs from his deck when he's in a pinch, posessed by Muto Yugi himself. I thought it might be Rurian because those searching for something are much more likely to have the miracle draw, but it could just as likely be anyone in this tournament." Natsumi explained.

Achan stared at her for a moment. "And you actually believe that?"

Natsumi rolled her eyes and walked until she and Achan were only a foot apart. "Let me tell you a little secret..." she said, leaning towards his ear.

SMACK!

"You really have no sense of tact." She continued as she marched past him, leaving Achan to rub the stinging spot on his right cheek.

Why me?

OOC: Whoo, long post. That took me forever to write.

EDIT: ALRIGHT, I EDITED OUT THE LOGIC BREAKS. HAPPY YET, ALTER?

Phanima
August 28th, 2007, 08:51 PM
Her brittle hand gripped his shoulder with unexpected pressure, in a way that held him to his spot. The purple-haired girl’s temper had risen considerably, despite her calm and genteel composure.

“You are a most impolite person.
“I will have you know that I’m a lady, and will thank you kindly not to forget the term.”

Her prideful words cut into his thoughts as she gave him one lasting stare before pushing herself away and began marching off, her troupe tailing close behind. She had adopted her ‘ignoring his very existence’ mindset and paid no attention to his reaction as she walked away, following the path of Rurian and Achan’s detour.

Breathing a sigh, Michel watched as the girl and her subordinates disappeared into the crowd, leaving him alone for the first time since he had arrived in New York. He had half a mind to grab her so he could confront her boorish attitude, but thought best not to justify her previous statement. It was the last thing he needed; another reason for Tacey to continue acting all high and mighty. He shuddered at the thought before turning his attention to the situation at hand.

Pulling out his GPS computer, Michel began tracking down his other team mates’ locations.

Rurian and Achan are close together, and there’s Tacey coming up from behind.

Seeing the three minuscule indicators representing the other three duellists, Michel identified their position and pocketed his computer. As he prepared to leave, he felt the buzz of his cell and retrieved it from its sheath before placing it to his ear.

“Michel, it’s Jose. Dogolas has just won his first duel, bringing his team’s total to six.”

“Six? So, he’s going to keep going until all of his team mates have duelled...”

“I believe that’s a safe assumption.”

Michel paused, mulling the information over in his head.

He should have moved on by now, it’s not like him to hang around somewhere he doesn’t need to be, he’s too impatient...

“Michel?”

“I’m here. Listen, send down Gregorovitch and give him Dogolas’ location.”

“Understood.”

Shutting down his cell, Michel pocketed the device before setting off to find his team mates.

Soon passing one of the city’s many cafes, Michel recognised his position and turned into a small alleyway where three familiar duellists stood. As he approached the way’s threshold, a teenage girl began walking towards him, appearing to have had a less than enjoyable experience in the company of Achan Smith, and appeared to be leaving thus due. Sliding his hands into his pockets, Michel stepped silently aside to allow the girl to leave, before taking a rather relaxed position against the alleyway wall. Cocking his head to the side, he noticed Achan’s new red complexion and gave him a small smile.

“A friend of yours, Smith?”

Alter Ego
August 29th, 2007, 02:27 AM
OOC: ACC; you're breaking my heart with all these misplays. ;_; One, Marauding Captain can summon any level four or lower monster from your hand, regardless of type. Two, you can't normal summon or set on the turn you play Scapegoat. Three: Achan never drew his Limit Break card; how on earth could he play it? And four: that's not a proper Ben Kai OTKO! >O Ben Kai OTKOs by pulling out a bunch of equip spells and then slicing and dicing everything in sight (Ideally, it's pulling out Benny-boy with Premature Burial then slapping on United We Stand, Mage Power and possibly Axe of Despair for good measure); once you unleash it you make sure your opponent is dead that turn. Oh, and in all fairness to Omega I think it would have been nicer to make this Yuri an impostor (Possibly with another name to draw an absolutely clear distinction) so he can do whatever he wants to do with that particular NPC later on. ;3

Finally, there shall be two new NPCs introduced in this post. Please, oh, pretty please no-one touch them, okay? I have...plans for them later on. x3 (And no, not in the 'unmasking the grand villain' sense, so don't you worry)

IC:

Tacey rolled her eyes as the peculiar Rurian-wannabes sprung their ambush, "This is ridiculous..." she remarked, "Haven't any of you even considered just asking for a duel? Sheez." she stamped her foot irritably, beckoning the suits to her side again, "And for goodness' sake, watch where you throw those!" the girl added in this...'Yuri's' direction, "You could have cut someone's ear off with that!"

"Honestly...", she harumphed for herself as she watched Achan get involved in a children's card game too, "I'm surrounded by card game nutters with corny nicknames.".

Oh, she recalled having heard of this 'one-turn', but for all her pomp and balderdash she had little to come with but a watered-down Ben Kai strategy. Anyone who really knew their card games also knew to delay springing the attack until they had enough firepower to wipe out the opponent in one turn so the behemoth-sized warrior wouldn't be usurped or just plain wiped out, just like...she gave a 'told-you-so' kind of sigh as Achan sprung his Skull Lair trap, just like that. How typical for Americans to only do their work halfway and then get upset when it backfired on them. What she saw next, however, was quite unexpected; granted, the boy's plays had been passable thus far, but this was nothing short of a complete reversal, wiping out his opponent's Field presence while at the same time replenishing his own hand. Tacey blinked, that...that, she had to admit, was not bad at all, and the same - she had to grudgingly admit - went for his grand finish.

'Well, well Achan...' the girl mused as the uppity street punk announced his finishing attack, 'Maybe you're worth some consideration after all. Too bad you tipped your hand like that...' So that was his core strategy; first drop down a large number of those strange monsters, courtesy of that handy road spell of his, to provoke the opponent into committing to their field in order to dispose of them then wipe out the stragglers with Skull Lair and finish the opponent with a full-scale return rush backed by the Fellowship card to essentially nullify the opponent's backfield. Not bad, not bad at all...but of course, Tacey wasn't half as reckless as that has-been Achan had taken on; her deck was all about restricting the opponent's moves, and there were plenty of links in that chain to break. Still...the girl rubbed her temples, she still had those Limit Break cards to account for. Based on a silly computer game they may have been, but they were clearly wild cards of the highest order and could really turn the game around. She'd have to assess and prepare for all of their possibilities if she really wanted to ensure a crushing defeat for Achan.

"You really have no sense of tact."

Tacey giggled at the remark and Achan's second slap for the day. "You tell him, sister." she chimed in, unable to fully mask her glee as the girl stalked off in a huff before turning back to Achan, "Now do you see why I suggested that you learn some manners? If you keep acting like such a bore there's bound to be more where that came from. Now then..." she turned to address the group as a whole, "If you two 'noble knights'..." every syllable of the two words was oozing with sarcasm,"...have filled your 'damsel rescue' quotas for the day, might I suggest that we leave this unsanitary little alley and get back to the task at hand?

-------------------------------------------------------

Though they might not have known it, the little group's latest exploit had not gone unnoticed. Standing on the roof of one of the buildings overlooking the little alleyway, two figures had been overseeing the procedure.

"So that's the one you're interested in, huh Akei-sama?!" chirped a clear, innocent girl's voice from the one on the right. Its owner was a girl who seemed to be about Tacey's age donning a tent-like orange hoodie that almost reached down to her knees, covering about half of the dark blue trousers beneath, a finger beneath one of the almost comically long sleeves pointing at Achan while the other hand tugged at her partner's sleeve. Her right eye, a peculiarly bright yellow in color, was wide with innocent wonder while the left was obscured somewhere beneath the fringe of her otherwise short, dark purple hair that had been combed over it, her mouth spread into a wide grin.

Her partner, a considerably taller male who seemed closer to Michel age-wise, merely gave a non-committal grunt in response, instinctively shifting a few strands of his light blue hair away from his left, dark blue - nearly black - eye and over to the black eyepatch that covered his right, remaining completely stationary while a passing breeze tugged at his snuggly fitting, dark purple tennis shirt and the equally well-fitting light blue trousers beneath it, his hands casually stuffed into his back pockets.

"You're not saying anything but I know I'm right!" the girl trilled, giving her all-too-dignified companion a playful poke in the side, "Akei-sama can't keep any secrets from me-e!"

The male gave a lightly irritated sigh, "Haruko..." he began in a deep, calm male voice, "...how many times have I asked you not to drag in your internet-Japanese? You don't even know what 'Akei-sama' means."

The girl giggled at this, "Silly Akei-sama!" she chirped, patting the male on the arm, "You know I call things by what they look like, and you look just like an Akei-sama so it's a perfect name!" she clapped her hands decisively, signaling an end to the argument, "Now stop worrying about silly things and let's go duel that boy and the others, okay Kei-kei-chan?"

The newly dubbed 'Kei-kei-chan' raised an eyebrow, "Dare I ask where that name came from?"

"It's a nickname, silly!" Haruko replied, her grin as wide as ever, "Really, Kei-kei-chan, it's not like you to be so slow! Now let's go-o-o already!" she grasped the male's arm and made a big show of pulling him along.

"No." her partner replied flatly, "Not yet."

"But Kei-kei-chaaaan!" the girl protested, pouting, "I want to duel that girl!" she pointed at Tacey, "She's so cuuuute! Like someone's cat who's been run through the washing machine, like, ten times! It's no fair if you get to have all the fun!"

The so-called 'Kei-kei-chan' shook his head, "I'm not dueling yet either..." he replied, "They show potential, but I want to see if they can live up to it first. We'll observe for now and make our move when the time is ripe."

Haruko gave him an incredulous look, "And then do I get to duel her?"

"Yes." the male replied, "Then you can duel to your heart's content."

The girl still remained a bit suspicious, extending her right hand towards him, "Pinky swear?"

Her older complement sighed in forfeit, reaching out his hand and grasping Haruko's offered pinky with his own, "Pinky swear." he replied monotonously.

The sweater-clad female's face lit up like a Christmas tree, a squeal of delight escaping her lips as she jumped on the spot a few times out of pure hyperness, "Kei-kei-chan! You're the bestest ever!"

"Sooo...Kei-kei-chan..." Haruko continued a short while after the duo had set off, skipping cheerfully on the teen's side, "Could the goth boy really have that miracle-draw-thingie?"

"There's no such thing." he replied harshly, "Not in the way those fools think of it, anyway. The miracle draw isn't a talent; it's a state of mind. Theoretically speaking, anyone can have it."

The girl's eyes widened in wonder, "Really? So do you have it, then? Huh, Kei-kei-chan?"

"I don't need it." the male deadpanned, "I always have the cards I need, not because I'm lucky enough to draw them but because I know what to play and what to conserve."

"Kei-kei-chan, you're so smart!" Haruko trilled, "I bet none of those could beat you even if they had that miracle-draw-thingie!"

The blue-haired teen gave no response, merely grinning ever so slightly. He had far more important things to think about than some old rumors. These contestants...three of them played cards that were supposedly unique, and at least two of them seemed able to handle the cards as well. Maybe...his grin widened marginally, maybe he had finally found worthy opponents.

"Kei-kei-chan!" Haruko suddenly exclaimed, a concerned little frown on her face, "You're looking really weird!"

Annoyed, the boy turned to face his partner, a scowl of irritation at being interrupted in such a way replacing the grin on his face. At this sight, the girl's concerned expression turned cheerful and carefree again, "That's better!" she chirped, "Now Kei-kei-chan is back to normal again!"

Scarlet Weather
August 29th, 2007, 04:52 AM
OOC: AUGH!

Okay.... whoops. I meant to put Beat Rush in Achan's hand from the beginning, but I somehow missed that part, and I've never played Ben Kai OTK so I improvised. I'm going to need to rewrite part of that duel now, dagnabbit. I'll try to improve on the idiocy there. Heheh. *sweatdrops*

Okay, I've figured out a way to come up with a different duel with the same ending moves and result, so my post will be edited shortly to reflect this. In the meantime, now that I'm not beating myself up I'm going to actually put a post in here. XD

IC:

Achan's cheek was stinging, true, but his honor was doubly bitten. Not only had he earned a second slap (from somebody he actually respected, no less) but his entire team had been watching. (Well, at least the members he had met so far.) It was bad enough when Michel had swaggered up to him and teasingly asked "Friend of yours, Achan?", but when Tacey started lighting into him, the last straw fell and broke not only the camel's back, but also collapsed the bridge that the entire caravan was standing on. Achan's frustration seemed to take physical form as he whipped around to face Michel, the wind around him blowing his hat off. Struggling to keep himself calm, Achan all but choked as he snarled "Never... say... that.... again." With that, he proceeded to march out of the alleyway, his hair still ablaze. Without meaning to, however, he slammed directly into a passing pedestrian. "Oomph!"

Achan's anger evaporated, for the most part, as he picked himself up. "Are you okay?" he asked, proffering a hand to the man he had just downed.

"Fine, thanks. Hey, do any of ya know the way down ta the Statue of Liberty?"

Achan's mouth dropped open as he stared at the person who he had carelessly crashed into. "J-Jonouchi Katsuya?" he stammered, taking three steps backward.

"That's my name, don't wear it out, nyeh." The older duelist replied, straightening himself up. "Love ta stay an' chat, but I've got a meetin' ta get to, so I'm gonna have to skip out on ya. So, do ya know the way to the Statue of Liberty?"

Achan slowly shook his head, before a flash of inspiration struck him. Immediately, he withdrew his GPS and called up the map. "Here it is," he said, showing the device's screen to the older duelist. "Right around here."

Slowly, a smile spread out across Jonouchi's face. "Thanks, kid. I really owe ya for that, nyeh."

Returning the device to his pocket, Achan smiled modestly and held up his hands in protest. "Oh, really, it was nothing..."

"It was? In that case, see ya!" Jonouchi interrupted before taking off running in the direction Achan had indicated.

Achan stared at the street. "Okay, so maybe it was nothing... but would it kill you to be civil enough to chat?" he groaned. Before dissapointment could fully kick in, however, Achan's mind pounced on what Joey had said before. He's going to a meeting at the statue of liberty. What on earth could that be about? With this on his mind, he walked back into the alleyway to face his team mates. In breaking the news, he decided to take the tactful approach. "Hey, you guys... I know this might be a little hard to believe, but I just ran into Jonouchi Katsuya. Literally. Anyway, he let it slip that he's heading to a meeting of some sort near the Statue of Liberty, and I know that we're supposed to be looking for our team mates, but... do you want to check it out? We could send an E-Mail to them or something saying we'd be there, so it wouldn't be too hard."

Alter Ego
August 30th, 2007, 04:52 AM
"Excuse me?" Tacey began levelly at Achan's rant, "All this vulgar shouting must indeed have damaged my sensitive ears; for a moment there I thought I heard you suggesting that we interrupt the search for the people we need to find to stay in this tournament and instead tail an official tournament guest speaker - albeit a very poorly picked one - to eavesdrop on a probably top-secret meeting which we were most likely not intended to even know of, fully aware that should we be caught we may very well be shut out from the tournament or worse." her eyes were shooting unspoken accusations at the poor boy. Who did he think she was? Some rule-breaking little gossip who'd risk her shot at the world championships for a few tidbits of classified information? Someone who'd risk everything she had worked for for a guilty little thrill? Someone who-

Oh, let's face it: Tacey was a sneaky little snoop if there ever was one.

The girl burst out into a dainty little gigglefit, "Smith, you're finally beginning to speak my language." she replied. Goodness, that was almost a compliment; would wonders never cease? "Well, what are we doing waiting around here, then?" she inquired, "If we delay this any further the juicy bits will all be gone by the time we get there. Come on, we've got an underdog to track."

With that, she strode out of the alley, "Oh, and you four." she added in her guards' direction, "Stealth, please, I don't want you blowing our cover. That goes for the rest of you too." she added to her teammates.

Phanima
August 30th, 2007, 07:09 AM
Hmm, I’m not very popular today, although, I guess that’s nothing to be surprised about…

The fiery straw hat seemed to have lost one of the few screws keeping his head from erupting and spewing molten crazy on everyone around him. He then somehow found his target in the line of Michel and was apparently upset about the snide comment he had made. Seeing the younger boy’s reaction, several flags were triggered in the teenage businessman’s mind. He was beginning to grow tired of having to put up with the continuous outbursts from his much younger team mates, all of them having had one in the last hour or so. He had gotten angry himself and the cause was due, but he had managed to compose himself physically and emotionally in front of the others, in respect to maintaining his profile. However, so much had happened in so little time that he had begun to feel extremely pressured, more so than what he was accustomed to. And the causes were these three kids, these self-absorbed, overconfident and irrational brats. His patience was wearing thin, very thin.

It’s only been a few hours, but this day has been dragging on way too long. And we still haven’t found the other three team members either. The sooner we end this round the better and the sooner I’ll be able to get some time alone without these brats interfering. Now, I suppose I should have a word with Smith, his attitude is starting to piss me off…

Sliding off from the brick alleyway wall, Michel turned to follow Achan’s lead when another scenario presented itself, and an unexpected one at that. Returning from his storm off, Achan launched into a pitch about overhearing details of a meeting concerning the tournament’s spokesman, Jonouchi Katsuya, and other related individuals. Michel found it an interesting proposition that could well provide useful information on the tournament and its conduction. Deciding on this however, he realised that he would be forced to remain in the company of his dismembered group for an even longer period of time, which was something that he did not hold in high regard. The chance of unveiling more about the tournament’s proceedings however, had become unexpectedly enticing to the teenage businessman.

Damn…alright, I suppose going on a little longer won’t cause too much more intellectual damage, but this better be quick. The sooner we get on that plane, the-

His thoughts were suddenly interrupted by the familiar and prissily toned voice of Tacey Edgeworth, who had quickly taken Achan’s proposal on board and without argument. She then addressed her four guards to maintain a low profile and to act as “stealthy” as possible, as she had so aptly put it, before turning to himself and the coated boy behind him with the same message.

Being advised and ordered how to behave by children was certainly one of the factors Michel had taken into consideration when he was preparing for the tournament. His ability to react appropriately however, was unexpectedly growing out of his control. But for the time being, he had managed to restrain himself enough to compose himself appropriately in accordance to the younger duellists’ requests, his current mindset focused on discovering the secret meeting of the tournament.

With a quick glance over his shoulder to see if the other member of his team, Rurian, had recovered from his recent misadventure and was following behind him, the teenage businessman turned to follow his two main rivals for the tournament thus far; the corporate high-horse riding Tacey, and the miscreant tourist Achan.

Damn kids…

Scarlet Weather
August 31st, 2007, 03:37 AM
"Smith, you're finally beggining to speak my language."

Achan smiled teasingly. "And what's this? Tacey Edgeworth, did you just come close to complimenting me? Well, will wonders never cease. I'm deeply flattered." Jauntily, he stepped over to the fallen straw hat beside him and placed it in its old, familiar position on his head. "Anyway, we seem to have one issue: How on earth are we going to get to the statue of liberty in one trip? I mean, it's out on Ellis Island, so it isn't like we can just walk all the way to the ferry. Besides, if we do that we're bound to run into another duelist with some kind of mental issue if we go on foot, and we don't have that kind of time. So we're going to take the route that Jonouchi probably took." Achan paused for effect, before pointing to a passing yellow vehicle. "New York's taxi system. Of course, there are enough of us that we're going to need two cabs. Tacey, you can ride with the rest of the group or with your bodyguards, whatever you want. Michel, Rurian, and I should probably stay together just to avoid confusion. Got it? And now that that's settled, I'm going to show you one sure-fire way to hail a cab without being female. I'm going to swear you all to secrecy on the use of this trick: word gets out, so many people will start using it that it will become useless. Watch closely."

Achan strode forward with determination written on every line of his face, and what strands of his hair that stuck out from his cap blazing in the sun. As soon as he reached the curb, he steeled himself, concentrating as much of the air in his body as he could to the middle of his diaphragm while thinking loud thoughts, for the loudest possible yell. With this accomplished, he cupped his hands to his mouth, took one more deep breath for good measure, and shouted "HEY, LOOK! IT'S PEGASUS! HE'S STANDING RIGHT NEXT TO ME!"

Immediately, a good number of the passerby stopped in place, and two taxicabs came screeching to a halt. Achan smirked. The old celebrity bait-and-switch: gets 'em every time.

Alter Ego
August 31st, 2007, 10:10 AM
OOC: Eh-he-heh, sorry for the lateish post. My graduation was today so I've been spending the past five hours hugging and shaking hands with relatives and acquaintances all the way from my grandparents and uncles/aunts to my old psychologist and the person who used to live next door to me back when I was, like, seven or something. xD

Anyways, things are calming down now so I snuck down to get a break from the festivities. IC time! :3

IC:

Tacey merely returned Achan's smile, albeit in a slightly more dignified manner, "You should, Smith, you should." she replied, "Odds are you won't be getting many, so savor it."

The girl had half a mind to give the boy a few choice words about so impudently assuming leadership, but seeing as how he had caught wind of the scoop in the first place, she was feeling charitable for a change. His method certainly proved efficient, but it was the complete opposite of stealth. Tacey didn't really see a need for such tricks, though; after all, she was a girl - and a pretty one at that, if she did say so herself - a dueling celebrity, and filthy rich to boot. The cab driver who resisted the magical combination of looks, fame, and money had surely yet to be born.

"I'll be taking my own, if you don't mind." she remarked at the discussion on how the cabs would be divided up, her tone making it quite clear that she'd be doing it regardless of whether someone minded or not, "I say, you there!" she walked over to the cab driver, receiving a bleary-eyed stare in return.

"Yeah, what'cha want, kid?" he inquired flatly, sloppily tilting his head out of the open window, "I've got customers to find, so unless your daddy is around here somewhere and is ready to pay, quit bugging me."

The suits flinched in unison.

"What I want, my good man..." Tacey continued silkily, the familiar vein above her right eyebrow flashing like an alarm light as she approached the cab driver, "Is for you ignorant louts to grasp the concept of manners!" with the same ferocity that she had slapped Achan, the girl grasped the taxi driver by the collar and yanked his head forward until their eyes were inches from each other, "Now get this straight: I am Tacey Juliet Edgeworth, daughter of William Edgeworth; the electronics tycoon who will soon have bought up your sorry excuse for a taxi company, and by line of heritage I will be your future boss, so unless you want to spend the rest of your miserable little life scrubbing dirty cars with your toothbrush I'd suggest adopting a more civil tone when addressing me. Do I make myself clear?"

Tacey might have been a dainty, unarmed little girl but from the cab driver's point of view the situation was hauntingly similar to a knifepoint threat. Make that a knifepoint threat from someone with a very good attorney, "Y-yes, ki-"

"Miss." Tacey hissed, tightening her grip of the terrified man, "Now stop your lallygagging and get back to your job while you still have one. I and my escorts." she nodded towards the suits at this point, "Are in need of transport to the Ellis island area. Does this pose a problem?"

"N-no, miss." it was hard to tell whether the quiver in his voice was out of fear or lack of oxygen.

Tacey relaxed a bit. Good, this lout was fairly easily tamed at least; teaching these plebeians was usually such a bother.

"Good." she replied sweetly, relinquishing her grip and wandering over to the door on the other side, "Oh, and the polite thing would be to hold the door up for me." she added as an aside.

Fortunately, the cab driver was fairly quick on the uptake and caught the hint, rushing out and holding up the door as Tacey stepped in daintily while the four suits filed into the backseats in perfect formation. Inwardly, the poor man was cursing his cheap decision not to go with full driver protection gear on the car.

"Alright then." Tacey trilled, "Follow that cab over there, my good man." she pointed a dainty little finger at the car Achan and the others would be riding in.

Scarlet Weather
September 1st, 2007, 04:02 AM
OOC: Happy occasion for you, huh? I've got an excuse for posting this late, too. I collapsed in the middle of Border's yesterday. Turns out that either I had a one-time blood sugar tank or I'm hypoglycemic. Either way, it was pretty freaky. 0_o

IC:

Achan smiled as Tacey stated that she would be taking her own cab. "Go ahead, I don't mind." he said, one again assuming the jaunty air of a moment ago. After all, it wasn't as if he was attempting to assume leadership of the group. He considered himself a logistics expert, true, but not really a leader. On the other hand, with a ragtag group of two rich people, one ninja, one tourist, and three people as of yet undiscovered, he had no idea who the leader was. Was there really any leader at this point? As these questions bounced around through Achan's head, he turned to see the taxi driver Tacey had just hailed being subjected to what could only be considered a legalized form of extortion. Achan felt his skin prickle. And this girl needs bodyguards because... why?

The cab driver next to Achan honked. "Hey, Buddy! Ya want a cab or somethin'? We don't got all day!"

Oh, right. My cab. Yes. Achan turned to the older man and nodded. "Yeah. Four people to the ferry to Ellis Island. Got that?"

The cab driver stared at Achan's floral-print shirt. "On vacation? Gonna go see the statue o' liberty?"

Achan felt his eyes rolling, a reaction that was almost automatic to questions he considered unnecessary. "Yes, sir, that's exactly what I'm doing. Look could you just open the cab?"

The cab driver pointed to Tacey's suits, who were, at the moment, attempting to blend into the background by holding newspapers in front of their faces as they edged toward another cab. Achan's hand immediately slapped his forehead. "Jeez..." he muttered. Suddenly, a brilliant idea struck the duelist. Turning his head quickly to ensure that Tacey wasn't watching, he leaned up to the cab driver's ear and whispered "They're my bodyguards. I'm the child of a famous foreign dignitary, and I'm in disguise in order to enjoy my vacation here. But, see, my dad is really eccentric, so if you give me a great ride, he may pay you back..." He paused for effect, "In spades."

The cab driver's eyes widened as he opened the doors to his vehicle. Achan slid in, before pointing to the other two soon-to-be passengers. "Do you mind if we pick up my friends, too?"

The cab driver shook his head solemnly. His reaction was understandable- he had never met a real, live dignitary's child, after all.

Jim
September 1st, 2007, 02:43 PM
OOC: I hate starting things..............

IC:
“Jet, Skunk of the Sea, attack him directly!” bawled the incredibly broad male standing menacingly at one end of the duelling field. In between this boy and another boy was a giant blue holographic skunk. The skunk was an electric blue colour with a long beige stripe from its' head to its' tail. It's face hidden behind a snorkel and a diving mask. It sprayed bubble from its' mouth which collided with the small boy at the other end of the field, his life points depleted to zero. He fell too the floor as the skunk vanished in a flash. “I won the card game, I won the card game!” Ed (the tall broad boy wearing a bright yellow blazer and Jeans darker than the night sky) yelled as the small crowed cheered and booed. The other young boy stormed off swearing furiously under his breath, knowing his professional career, in playing Duel Monsters, was over.

The miniature crowed dispersed as Ed pushed past them, on a busy New York street he marched on confidently. I hope my new team is better than that... Well, as long as they're not rich and bossy then that'll be fine... Or in a worse case scenario a Ninja; I don't like Ninjas... They're so.... Intimidating, even more intimidating than a short farm boy. Ed laughed out loud as he continued to press on down the overloaded and industrious street. The boy found himself a park bench and progressed to sit down. As he did he whipped off his Academia style duel disk and shoved it aggressively into his bag and then he reached for his PDA, given by the tournament officials. He opened up the surface and a smooth and extremely annoying female voice bawled from the speakers.

“Welcome to AOL. You have E-Mail,” she screeched.Ed considered throwing the device in a nearby pond, or feeding it to the Ducks, or Pigeons, or the old lady -that stunk of cat food- sitting next to him. Ed groaned as thudded the E-mail button with his thumb, nearly destroying the device.

From: [email protected]
“Your new team has been located, if you look to your left you'll notice some tall guys wearing suits and reading newspapers inconspicuously, if you follow the line of them you'll locate your team. Have a nice day x.
-Tournament Administrative Staff”

“This is going to be emotional, and a very long Tournament,” he thought to himself as he started to follow the long line of Men in black, one of which was eating a Kebab.

OOC: UGH! ME CAN'T RP GOOD RIGHT NOW! WHY!?!*coughs*

Scarlet Weather
September 1st, 2007, 03:09 PM
OOC: Alright... that was random. But that was seriously a funny post for a starter. Short, but amusing. Short farm boys? Ninjas? Other various, assorted peoples? Get ready to rumble.

Oh, and Omega? Could you post the conclusion to your duel earlier as part of your next post, and then sort of have Rurian catch up with all the goings-on? Last thing we need is our resident ninja to go AWOL.

IC:

Achan prepared to slide into the worn beige-leather seats of the taxi cab when his PDA set off a burst of beeping that caused it to nearly leap out of his pocket. Achan removed the device, which immediately called up the E-Mail screen.

From: [email protected]

Attention, duelist! One of your team mates is in incredibly close proximity to you! Just turn around- he's following all the "inconspicuous security guards!

-The Tournament Administrative Staff

P.S. My remote control is definitely not being used to set off your PDA at inconvenient moments!

Achan turned to stare at the Academia-blazer wearing youth directly behind Tacey's suits. He was a bulky teen, no mistake, and easily a bit taller then Achan. The clothing scheme definitely indicated he was a former student at Duel Academia, specifically from Ra Yellow, the intermediate house. In fact, Achan considered, he might still be a student, but with Duel Academia's way of setting up classes it was hard to tell. Either way, it was time to introduce himself. "Could you hold on a moment, my good sir?" he asked the cab driver sweetly, performing his best possible imitation of Tacey, "I've got one more passenger for you."

The cab driver, still dazed by the fact that some rich guy's kid was his first passenger. Imagine- he had just started, and already he was going to make a bundle in tips. Those veteran drivers would die of envy when they saw how much money he was going to get.

Achan slipped over to the blazer-wearing youth's side. "Um, excuse me?" he asked, tapping on his team member's shoulder, "I'm Achan Smith, and I think we're team mates."

Jim
September 1st, 2007, 03:35 PM
“Wow, someone important must be in town, with all these unnoticeable guards hanging around.” Ed muttered to himself staring at the suit that appeared to be talking to his upside down newspaper. As he wheeled around the corner the line of guards thickened, whistling and kicking dust as if they weren't there. Suddenly he was approached by a small and young looking boy with a floral shirt and straw hat. Ed flinched “F-farm boy,” he thought to himself. He slowly edged backwards, hoping to be as invisible as the Men in Black. The boy came to a halt in front of Ed and communicated in some strange farm language.


"I'm Achan Smith, and I think we're team mates."


“It imitates our language, I'd better play along,”


“My name's Ed, Ed Pepper,” he stated as he stared down at the creature before him “Nice to meet you,” he exclaimed as he looked upon the boy he so obviously dwarfed; he tried to make pleasantries with it. “I don't want to get on its' bad side, they have powers,” “So, are these your bodyguards, and where are you going, in that cab, is it something to do with the tournament? I lost the brochure,” he stuttered as he kept eye contact on the boy. “Where's the rest of the team?”


Ed looked over the shoulder of the boy. There was a living doll and that's about all he could make out that was distinguished from the crowed. “This will be emotional,”

OOC: I couldn't finish this post because my keyboard is playing up. Hence my current RPing skill lack >.>

Scarlet Weather
September 1st, 2007, 04:11 PM
OOC: Achan is a tourist, not a farm boy, silly little man. Hooboy, Achan is going to have fun with your character.

IC:

Achan stared at the bigger guy in front of him. This "Ed Pepper" character was obviously scared out of his wits, though Achan couldn't for the life of him figure out why. And why on earth did this guy think that a kid in tourist clothes could afford a set of well-trained bodyguards in Armani suits? Once again, the small ocular appendages in the twin sockets of his skull commenced movements in a circular motion. Great. First the bossy, scary rich girl, then the older rich guy with bad timing, then the ninja on a caffeine high, and now the kid from paranoiasville? Jeez, I'm going to have a hernia. It was at this point that the tourist extrordinaire figured that he'd have to step in. "No, they aren't my bodyguards. They work for Tacey Edgeworth. She's the girl over there who looks like some kind of living doll, and not exactly in the 'super-attractive' way. How on earth would a kid like me afford bodyguards without being obscenely rich? Anyway, the rest of the team is over there. First, we have Rurian," Achan began, pointing at the Asian teenager, "He's our resident ninja. Next we've got Michel- he and Tacey are both incredibly rich. I mean, they're so rich, I'm starting to wonder whether or not Kaiba and Pegasus are rivaled. Then there's me, Achan Smith. I'm a small-town kid from Virginia, here in the United States, and I'm our resident expert on this city of New York. As for the cab ride, we just ran into Jonouchi Katsuya and he let slip that there's some kind of secret meeting going on, so we're going to go see if we can't crash the party. Care to join us?"

Alter Ego
September 2nd, 2007, 01:58 AM
OOC: Umm...guys, Tacey already ushered her suits into the car. How come they're out on the streets again? xD

IC:

At Achan's scathing remark concerning his teammate's looks, a dainty but clearly noticeable cough emerged from the cab's front seat - quite the feat considering the general din of the place - and was soon followed by Tacey's head poking out from the window.

"I heard that, Smith!" she announced in her usual lethally sweet voice, "And don't you know that it's rude to keep a lady waiting? If you do not cease your inane drabbling with the peasantry and get into the cab right this instant, I shall be forced to come over and slap some sense into you again." she gave a slightly over-dramatic sigh, fanning her face with one hand, "Oh the toils I have to endure in this uncivilized backwater...and to be stuck in this cramped, stuffy car too. What indignity."

The cab driver and the four suits crammed into the backseat very prudently held their collective tongues at this statement.

Phanima
September 2nd, 2007, 02:59 PM
The straw hat had once again run off, but this time he had found something particularly overdue. Edward Pepper; the extra member of their team who had been added under the order of the tournament’s administration, had finally arrived. Seeing the newcomer, Michel recognised several familiar characteristics him and the new teenager shared, appearance-wise. Their hair stood similarly in style and in colour, while their eyes also shared similar tones. His attire however, was something that resembled a punk who had spent the last month on the streets after being kicked out of school and home. It was unimpressive, but the teenage businessman wasn’t exactly the role model of modern fashion either. His attire had become worn and tattered in various places, but he paid little to no mind in keeping his clothes in any kind of presentable condition. He instead focused on other people’s appearances and criticized them accordingly, despite how hypocritical that might seem.

Returning his attention to the current situation, Michel turned away from the straw hat and yellow jacket before pulling open the first cab’s passenger door and prepared to take a seat. The arrangement of the cabs was not something he had approved upon, but he was determined to find out more about the tournament meeting being held near Ellis Island, and whatever method got them there the quickest, was good enough for him.

“Smith, hurry up and bring Pepper with you. We're leaving.”

Scarlet Weather
September 3rd, 2007, 08:59 AM
OOC: I'm going to randomly use this space to announce that Porygon-Z and I have a Pokemon RP plot in the discussion thread. And that we're going to Ellis Island plot-twist style, so we don't have any time to argue about it. [/shameless advertisement coupled with nothing in particular.)

IC:

SUPER SPECIAL AWESOME PLOT TWIST!!!!!

With the majority of the members of the team packed into the yellow vehicles which made up a good part of the public transportation system for New York, the chase was on. The mission? Catch up to Jonouchi. The problem? Following his cab. The green-shirted duelist was hard to keep up with, easily outdistancing the vehicles Achan and co. rode in. As the group continued moving towards Ellis Island, they passed multiple landmarks of New York, in fact, they passed so many that describing them would take up an unnecessary amount of space. Finally, however, the group arrived at the site of the ferry which would be transporting them to Ellis Island, where the giant copper monolith known as the Statue of Liberty stood. There, they disembarked from the taxicabs (with Achan subtly passing the cab driver who had transported him a note explaining that his father was probably going to take a while to repay the poor man, but he would eventually) and boarded the ferry, along with a sizable group of tourists. The ferry ride was longer and more boring then expected, so Achan spent most of the voyage attempting to figure out the functions of the PDA: so far, the only ones he had discovered were a text program, E-Mail, and GPS. At last, however, the ferry docked, and the group just managed to catch sight of Jonouchi slipping around the corner of the statue. Stealthily they followed, and by hiding themselves behind a conveniently place group of shrubberies, they were able to make out the executives of the meeting that took place.

First, and most obviously, was Jonouchi Katsuya, drumming his fingers against his KC-issue duel disk as he laid back against the base of the statue, looking more relaxed then anything else.

The second attendant of the meeting was just as iconic as far as proffessional dueling went, but had never been personally seen by Achan before. Kaiba Seto was probably the first person Achan had seen who wore coat-tails in the summer time. His short, brown hair seemed to hold its position even when a gust of wind rattled past the statue, and Achan wondered what kind of hair gel the older duelist was using. Unlike Jonouchi, Kaiba wore a slightly more expensive-looking duel disk of a style that Achan couldn't recognize. As far as he could tell, it looked like the original except with far more streamlined and metallic edges, and etchings of a duel monster that Achan easily recognized: Kaiba's famed Blue-Eyes White Dragon.

Achan almost had trouble recognizing the third member of the star-studded party. He had never actually seen a picture of Pegasus J. Crawford's face, but he recognized the distinctive hairstyle and blazer for a few moments.

Kaiba was the first to speak. His english wasn't accented in the slightest, but his voice was deep and grating. "So, Pegasus. What's the reason we're all here for? I hope you didn't call us across the Atlantic just for a bit of a reunion."

The owner of Industrial Illusions shook his head. "Patience, Kaiba-boy," he said, rolling his eyes, "I simply have a very important announcement concerning the deck types currently in this tournament." Achan was surprised. Pegasus pronounced the English words correctly for the most part, but his accent was apparent much moreso then either of the other two. Was he just not making a conscious effort to hide it, or had the multibillionaire simply skimped on his English classes?

Jonouchi removed himself from his slouching position by the side of the monolith's base. "And why the heck does it have ta involve me? I'm just the MC, afta all, once this here round's over I'm headin' back to Japan."

Pegasus faced him as well. "Patience, Jono-boy, patience. This announcement is going to affect the entire tournament in two ways, and I need you to make it known to all the competitors. You are the MC, after all. Kaiba-boy, I called you here since we're going to need to borrow that wonderful helicopter fleet of yours."

The captain of industy slapped his forehead. "Pegasus, I respect you as a business partner and I've actually developed a bit of respect for you since we began a partnership- but this is just too much. You're a multibillionaire, why can't you just invest some of that hard-earned yen and buy your own helicopter fleet?"

"Says the guy who painted dragons all over his own!" Jonouchi interjected, grinning.

Irate, Kaiba wheeled and pointed at the blond-haired duelist. "Listen, Jonouchi, if you make one more comment about me and the blue-eyes, I'm going to leak the information about you being a furry all over the internet."

Obviously embarassed, Jonouchi jumped back. "Hey, that was just a phase! Ya don't catch Jonouchi Katsuya wearin' a dog-suit anymore, now do ya?"

Pegasus stepped between the two. "Kaiba-boy, Jono-boy, we're going to attract unnecessary attention if you two keep bickering. Now, is everybody going to listen?"

The smaller group was silent for a moment. Pegasus chimed in. "Good. Now, get ready because this is going to be a bit of a surprise. First of all, I just finished a new banlist. Starting now, the following changes will be enacted to decide which cards a duelist can play in their deck." With that, the older man opened a briefcase and passed two sheaves of paper to Kaiba and Jonouchi, both of whom were surprised.

"We're limitin' Gadget? And we're bringin' back Magician o' faith? Anzu's gonna love ya for this, but there are gonna be a couple o' duelists who're gonna want ta tear our liver out for this, Pegasus." Jonouchi said, staring at the sheet of paper in his hands.

"Metamorphasis is gone? You just love messing with my deck, don't you Pegasus." Kaiba snarled, tossing his sheet of paper aside. Conveniently, it landed directly on top of Achan's head. The teen managed to grab the object and slip it into his hands before it blew away. Kaiba continued, angrily. "So you called me halfway across the world just to tell me that a new banlist is being enacted and borrow my helicopters?"

"Well, not exactly, Kaiba-boy," Pegasus admitted, "And I don't personally do these banlists. You know that. Usually I just get some experts to make recommendations and do the editing. And you have to admit that Demise is still fairly powerful, even with Metamorphasis taken away for the most part. But I'm digressing here- we need to talk about something serious. You see, just before the tournament started a thief broke into Duelist Kingdom and stole a set of cards one of my designers had recently developed based on a newly discovered set of hieroglyphs in an ancient Egyptian tomb, and-"

"Woah, woah, hold it right there Pegasus, nyeh!" Jonouchi interrupted. "I thought we had finished with this kooky Ancient Egyptian business, so how come it's suddenly poppin' up again?"

Pegasus turned to Jonouchi, his once-smiling face now dark and brooding. "Those cards were based on the last remaining untranscribed hieroglyphs in the tomb nearest the one where the Sennen items are now buried. If we don't find them, and there's a connection between them and the items, we could quite possibly be looking at, in worst case scenario, a revival of the items. It would mean Yami no Game events all over again."

Jonouchi and Kaiba stared at each other for a moment before leaning in and beginning a hurriedly whispered conference in a language Achan didn't understand, presumably Japanese. After a moment, they returned their gaze to Pegasus. "We're in." the two rivals stated in unison, an almost unprecedented event.

Pegasus nodded, his face still grave. "Good. I need you two to spread the news. If any of the duelists encounters and plays a duelist using this deck, they are to report to me immediately so that I can disqualify him for his unlawful practices. If he gets away, we'll simply have to hope that he never makes it to Egypt. Whatever he has up his sleeve, he must be stopped. Understood?"

Kaiba and Jonouchi nodded.

"Then we'll get started. Kaiba, we'll need to hook up the monitors on your helicopter fleets and scatter them over the city. Jonouchi, come with me. We need to record your message."

WOW! THAT WAS A PLOT TWIST!

Achan stared at the sheet of paper in his hands. "Did you guys hear that?" he whispered, "This is the latest banlist! If we use this to prepare our decks, we'll be one step ahead of the competition!"

OOC: Pegasus's role in moving the plot along is largely finished with for the most part, so he's all yours from now until Japan, Alter Ego. In addition, Jonouchi and Kaiba are now up for dueling should your characters choose to challenge them. Their respective deck types are:

Kaiba: Demise OTK with Blue-eyes support.

Jonouchi: Warrior's Toolbox+REB Dragon and Jinzo.

Phanima
September 3rd, 2007, 09:23 PM
OOC: Kaiba finally joins the fray, although it'll be a while before Michel even considers taking him on, and it'll be even longer before his reasons for wanting to duel him are even revealed. Oh wells...

.3.

IC: “Did you guys hear that?” Achan whispered to the group, “This is the latest banlist! If we use this to prepare our decks, we’ll be one step ahead of the competition!”

Michel, after listening to the conversation that had been held between the three tournament officials, remained standing in his place as he watched Achan analyse the new sheet of paper, detailing each card that was ‘in’ and ‘out’ of the current metagame. It was true that the newly acquired banlist would provide them with a distinct advantage over the competition, but its effect was only temporary, short-lived at best.

“It’s useless Smith. Jonouchi will be announcing the new banlist soon, so unless you intend of duelling another team before then, there’s no point in getting our hands dirty. Personally, I’ve had enough. We should gather whatever remains of this dismembered team and submit our winnings.”

Closing his eyes for a moment, as if taking an internal breath, Michel regained his composure and looked over his team to gauge their response, before continuing without waiting for a reply.

“In the worse case scenario, if both Daniels and Ritham, who have still yet to arrive, have already duelled and lost, we’re out of this tournament. Securing our place in the second round should be our top priority. Playing card games with weaklings can come later…”

The teenage businessman shot Tacey a short but stern look as he finished his sentence, before relaxing back into the groove that he had been resting against during the duration of the secret meeting. The Duel Disk clamped to his left forearm, sat protectively against his chest as he folded his arms and leant back. Tuning out of the reactions that followed his statement, the sharp-haired suit closed his eyes and began mulling over the situation in his mind.

He had his sights set on his two new targets; Seto and Pegasus, and both held pivotal roles in his plan.

Following the plan, Kaiba should become my next target. His attitude is his main flaw and his ego is easily manipulated, but he can also hold his own in a duel, which will be problematic without proper preparation. In response, succeeding Crawford would prove to be the next best-case scenario. He holds a lot of credibility in this game, so defeating him only guarantees my meeting with Kaiba. But challenging him will be my main concern, because of his public status. And then there’s Edgeworth. I’ve become too emotional in wanting to duel her in the finals, but defeating her also has its benefits. Plus, a public defeat might help that attitude of hers, and if not, the humiliation will be reward enough.

Opening his eyes, Michel reached into the heart-pocket of his blazer and withdrew his vibrating mobile-phone. Turning away from the group, the teenage businessman took several steps away from the other four duellists and accepted his call.

“Hey Michel, Gregorovitch has just finished his duel with Dogolas. He lost as requested.”

“That’s good to hear. Was he able to draw out his entire deck?”

“As far as I can tell from his report, Dogolas was forced to use his entire deck and defeated Gregorovitch in his last turn. So yes, we were able to detail all of his cards.”

“Alright, thanks Jose. Now, send me the report and have Gregorovitch track Kaiba Seto. He’s in New York City for now, but I’m unsure for how long. Details would be good.”

“No problem, but…”

Michel suddenly stopped in thought as he heard the voice on the other line pause. The teenage businessman knew he had been putting Jose under a lot of pressure as of late and that he had more than enough work to do, but something suddenly stirred in his mind that he had finally asked too much of him. Unwilling to provoke the voice on the other line, Michel hesitantly awaited a reply.

“But, I’ll need more time on the report before its ready. Gregorovitch scribed the duel from memory, which is some feat, but his hand-writing is atrocious. It should be ready in about an hour, more or less.”

Michel breathed a sigh of relief.

“That’s fine Jose. And if the situation calls for it, you might need to come down, you’re not that bad of a duellist.”

“A company-paid trip to New York, Japan or Egypt to play a card game? I’ll need some time to think about it.”

Concluding the call, a small smile crossed his face as he pocketed the phone and brushed away his doubts. Everything was under control.

typeZERO
September 5th, 2007, 06:57 AM
OOC:I'm sorry, you guys. I'm busy writing my plot for my soon to be RP. I give ACC permission to control my character though. Until I come back, only he can control Rurian and maybe Yuri.

Alter Ego
September 6th, 2007, 06:47 AM
OOC: Augh, could we please try not to do that sudden jump through time and space thing too often? It's always so confusing to make a post after one of those. xP

Oh, and Land of Legends really needs an OOC thread. Notifications by PM are like, so five minutes ago...[/Randomness]

Anyways, my plans for Pegasus were actually meant to unfold a bit later, but ehh...depends on what the plotline has in store next, I guess.

IC:

Tacey, currently perched behind a convenient nook in the statue, raised an eyebrow at Michel's comment, "Are you implying something by that remark?" she demanded, "If you said that simply to cover yourself from the humiliating duel loss of the century, at the hands of me of course, then it's quite unnecessary; I already told you that I don't intend to duel my teammates until the finals. Really." Tacey huffed, "And stay still, Raymond; I really don't get why you have to be so fidgety all the time."

"Yes, miss." mumbled the grunt-reduced-to-stool whom the girl was currently standing on.

"At any rate." Tacey continued, finally skipping down from her makeshift seat and nonchalantly snatching the banlist from Achan's hands, "I concur with the cheap suit for once; the local populace of card game lunatics seems to be disturbingly high and quite frankly I'm getting tired of them. Let's just go get our first round win announced so that we can leave this filthy backwater behind us."

In reality, Tacey's motives for wanting an early conclusion lay quite elsewhere. New cards...not yet on the market, who knew what kind of powers they could possess? Not even Tacey had heard anything about this new set, and she took great pride in knowing - and getting a hold of - every card ever planned for commercial release. This simply would not do; not at all. This mystery thief must have left some kind of trail after himself, and she would dig it up and shake the lout down on her own. After all, Tacey was obviously the only one worthy of whatever power those pre-release cards held. The whole Yami no Game bit had apparently passed in through one ear and out the other. It was all just nonsense and superstition, anyway.

This would have been the que for someone to inform her that the same went for talking with imaginary friends featured in children's playing cards, but unfortunately the hypothetical someone didn't seem to be around.

"Well?!" the girl demanded, turning to her team, "Are we going or not?!"


OOC: By the way, seeing as how Lex and Peace are still MIA, how are we going to solve the team situation? =O

Scarlet Weather
September 8th, 2007, 09:24 AM
OOC: They have until this weekend is over to post, or I'm going to officially disqualify both of their characters. That way, we can move on with a five-man group, or in this case a three-man party since Jimz and Omega aren't all that active. I should have made an "activity" requirement part of the rules...

As for the plotline, our characters are going to encounter the freaky bad guys soon enough, never fear. But as for your duel with Pegasus, if Tacey wanted to fight him... yeah, you might want to makethat fairly soon, as in "just before the round changes." Yeah, because the odds of running into him again in a different country aren't gonna be all that great...

IC:

Achan straightened up, blushing as Michel pointed out that knowing the banlist was only a temporary advantage at the moment, since Jonouchi was planning to announce it soon. He should have thought of that himself. Really, he was in a pro-level tournament right now, and he could stand to have a little bit more logic behind his actions. Then again, everything that had happened so far had slapped logic in the face several times. After all, they had just encountered a random master of disguise, played a card game over life or death, been yanked around the city, encountered Jonouchi, Kaiba, and Pegasus... sometimes Achan felt like somebody else was controlling everything that happened to him, and secretly laughing about it. It was then that Tacey piped up, suggesting that they report their first-round win and get out of New York. Achan turned to his fellow duelist. "I actually agree with you on that point," he sighed, "But we're not going to leave New York quite yet. Don't forget, the tournament round isn't officially over for another three days, so we're stuck here until the rest of the contestants move on. Still, I guess it would be a good idea to report our three wins..." Achan removed his PDA from his pocket, and opened the E-Mail function. The instant he did so, his eyes met a surprising sight:

You've Got New Mail!
Wheelerdealer124 has sent you a message!

Achan glanced quickly to both sides of him before opening the folder, and began scanning the E-mail.

From: [email protected]
Subject: Gotcha!

Hey, short person with the funky hair!

I know that you and your team followed us here, but don't worry, it's not like you heard anything you really shouldn't have. Anyway, I have two suggestions to make for you all. That whole "Yami no Game" stuff? Ignore it completely, if you know what's good for you. If you really want to find out more, I'm sure that Kaiba would love to tell you. After all, he's the one who was connected to it the most, not me.

Either way, try not to get too heavily involved in all this. If you see a duelist with a deck full of Dark-type monsters that don't look like they've been released, though, report him to us immediately.

-Jonouchi Katsuya

"Um, guys? I think we just stumbled into a conspiracy." Achan said, pointing at the screen.

OOC: Yes, I know, Jonouchi's E-mail looks like a logic break right now, but it is important to the plot that we find out a bit more about these whole "Yami no Game" things... and I don't want to introduce my villain until later, anyway.

Alter Ego
September 11th, 2007, 10:15 AM
OOC: Awright, soonish duel it is, then. Would it be okay if she did it like...the next morning (RP time)? Tacey would want to walk in properly prepared when discussing things with someone of comparable wealth and social standing, and she probably wouldn't want to have her team around to cramp her style either. (Although of course this doesn't mean that they can't follow just to see what the heck she's up to. x3)

IC:

Tacey's spirits sank at Achan's reply, "Three days?" she moaned, "Inexcusable; all this city dirt and uncouth sunshine is already tarnishing my image and I have to endure it for another three days because the buffoons I have to share this tournament with can't find anyone to play a children's card game with? Where's that silly Pegasus?!" she demanded, haughtily scanning her surroundings and finding them irritatingly devoid of eccentric millionaires, "I swear I SHALL COMPLAIN!" the innocent pavement under her feet was subjected to a crushing blow from her right heel. Having to stay in America was bad enough, Tacey realized, but there was an even worse prospect on the horizon: because of the need to stick together for their team to remain legal, she'd have to spend those days with-with them. She cast a glance at Achan, Rurian, Michel, and the fat kid whose name she couldn't remember and didn't much care about for that matter. They might even have to sleep in the same hotel.

Tacey shuddered at the thought. Those boys were obviously having enough trouble with keeping a lid on their passions as it was; what if someone actually spotted her in one of her prettier outfits, lost control and tried to ravage her or some other indecent behavior like that? This team was bad enough as it was; she didn't need any unrequited passions to turn it into a worse nuisance.

The rich girl was so wrapped up in this horrible scenario that the e-mail Achan pointed out seemed trivial in comparison.

"Yami no games are just a bunch of superstitious nonsense." she scoffed, waving the matter off, "I don't need a second-rate hack with a bad hairdo to tell me that, and that description on the banned cards was hardly precise." she mentally made a note of the Dark attribute thing, blanking out the part about reporting it.

"So, what do we do now, then?" Tacey demanded, now that the "We've got three more days in this dump and nothing worth spending them on. And please don't say 'Yami no Games' or some other fairy tale nonsense like that. I demand something worthwhile to do with my time."

typeZERO
September 11th, 2007, 08:13 PM
OOC: Okay! I'm finally back. Since I'm a bit of a lazy person right now I'll skip the end of the duel part. Darn school and plot writing...

IC: "Geez, why is the Yami no Games thing popping up all of a sudden. I've been content for a while without hearing about it and such. I have to agree with Tacey that I wanna spend my three days not talking about it. Don't ask why I don't, just don't mention it, at least around me." Rurian just closed his eyes and sat in a state of reverie. Bad memories were popping up, and he tried to force them back. He hated the thought of it, and didn't want to talk about it.

Snapping out of his meditation, he grabbed his bag and grabbed a lunch box full of delicious food from Japan. His favorite, though, was the sushi. he took one and plopped it in his mouth. He savored the great taste and just sat there, eating until he finished. "Well, the thing that interests me the most was the deck part of the message. I think I saw a cloaked person with a deck full of Dark cards that I've never seen before. But who knows? Maybe it isn't the same person, but I did see the guy back at Domino City." Rurian put his bag back on and placated himself, or at least he tried to.

He smelled pollution, he saw pollution, he even heard pollution. He smelled gasoline throughout the streets and has seen black smoke rising from factories into the air. It disappointed him that nobody cared about the pollution that most big companies are causing. Shoot, it was even estimated that there wasn't that much time left till pollution filled the world and killed everyone off. Roughly only a few thousand years left. He again snapped out of his state and just sat with a quiet and thoughtful expression.

"I'm gonna head to a hotel and grab a room. I'm very tired right now, and I have a lot to think about and plan out for the next three days. Syonara!" Rurian shot up and ran into the depths of the city, looking for a place to stay for the time he was in America.

Scarlet Weather
September 12th, 2007, 02:20 PM
OOC: Fine, next morning it is. But please, somebody post in the OOC thread so it doesn't expire...

Omega, you're back. Goody!

Okay, Lex and JBCPeace are MIA too long, so they are now presumed dead. We'll be sending word to their parents and writing them out of the RP shortly. In the meantime, I'm going to try moving the plot along. (Le Gaspe!)

IC:

Achan's face fell as both Tacey and Rurian flatly refused to have anything to do with the new information received from Jonouchi. In his opinion, anytime you had an E-mail telling you to talk to a celebrity, it was a good idea to just go ahead and talk to them. After all, it wasn't like you met one every day. Still, he had to admit that the two of them had a point. Whatever these 'Yami no Games' were, they weren't any of his business anyway. He still had one thing to ask, however, and he determined that Rurian was just the person to inquire it of. Before he could do so, however, the shinobi had sped off into the distance, heading for a hotel room. Achan managed to call "Meet us here tomorrow at ten!" before his team member was lost in the distance. Achan scratched his head and rolled his eyes, before turning to face Tacey. "Okay, Yami no Game is a bust. But if you want to do something worthwhile over the next three days, I suppose we could try stalking Pegasus or Kaiba. I mean, Crawford is a total recluse, and it isn't often that he comes into an area where the public actually gets to see him. Plus, since we've already scored for the first round, we can duel anyone we want with impunity. What's to stop us from challenging him?" Achan paused to allow his words to sink in, praying that Tacey or Michel would take the bait. Aside from seeing one of the two upper-class duelists in action, he wanted to get close enough to ask Pegasus what the heck these "Yami no Game" things were anyway. He had heard vague rumours about them, but that was all. The moment passed, and he continued. "Anyway, it's getting a bit late, and we're all going to be tired of each other's company if we keep hanging around here discussing what to do. Why don't we go back to our hotel rooms, or wherever it is we're staying, and do some thinking there? Tomorrow we'll get up and meet back at this spot. In the meantime, I vote we just lay low and let nature take its course. Besides, my deck took a hit with the new banlist, so I have to make a slight modification or two."

Alter Ego
September 21st, 2007, 09:49 AM
Tacey raised an eyebrow at Achan's suggestion, "Stalk?" she echoed, "Let's make one thing clear, Smith: I do not stalk people. I may happen to overhear a thing or two, but I DO NOT STALK." she maintained her sunny expression, even as she had all but deafened the poor boy with her last scream, sweetly elaborating; "Stalking is very unladylike."

"At any rate..." Tacey continued, "I do not particularly feel like trudging in Pegasus' heels like some lower-class groupie. A good inside scoop is one thing, but blindly fishing for something by following that silly man around the city is another. Besides..." she added poignantly, "You were already caught once, in case you forgot. No more offense than what is due, Mr.Smith, but obtaining information on the grapevine" or, as normal people would say it, snooping around for gossip, "Requires a delicate touch which you seem to lack. Now, if this is all for today I simply must get into a more sanitary area before this horrible city air inflicts any permanent damage to my delicate body, and mother would be most distressed if I did not keep her informed so I really must call her too. Raymond, Rufus, Ewans, and..." she paused, critically eyeing the last suit, "Whatever your name is." Tacey concluded haughtily, giving him a dismissive little wave, "We're leaving. But don't you worry." she added in her remaining teammates' direction, "I shall be here at ten o'clock tomorrow as promised; none of you had better be late." even though these words were trilled out, there was a subtle hint of a threat buried in the sweetness. One could have described it as a nuclear warhead in a kinder surprise wrapper...if one had a taste for peculiar metaphora, that is, "Ta-ta for now!" Tacey called, giving them all a dainty little wave and one of her trademark smiles before daintily sauntering over to the cab she had threatened into her control, suits in tow, soon disappearing inside.

As soon as the cab had rolled out, well out of view and earshot of her team, Tacey went to business, however, procuring the handheld device she had been given from her belongings and quickly scrolling over to the e-mail function. Ohh...she was not only clever, beautiful, and skilled at card games; she was also a top-notch actress. No doubt Achan and the others had been completely taken in by the way she had pretended to snub Pegasus! Oh, Tacey had no interest in following the eccentric millionaire around the city, of course; but that didn't mean that she was going to leave him alone. Not only was Pegasus one of the tournament's arrangers (and thus just the person to see about splitting up the atrocious little 'team' concept); he was also the very creator of the card game and thus privy to the details of every card ever printed...Tacey's glance absent-mindedly shifted to the suitcase containing her deck, yes...if anyone could unveil a certain 'mystery admirer' it was him. The girl's smile gained a slightly insidious edge; it was like killing two birds with one stone, and even Pegasus couldn't deny someone of her standing an audience. Yes, it was still good to be rich.

Scarlet Weather
September 24th, 2007, 02:30 PM
Achan stared at Tacey as if she had three heads and six eyes, and possibly a nose the size of her ego. The moment he had suggested "stalking" Pegasus, she had exploded like a fourth-of-July firework* and proceeded to give yet another of her self-glorifying speeches. "You do realize that about five minutes ago we were stalking Jonouchi and you were the first to agree to it, right?" He called after the debutante as she packed up her team of no doubt highly-paid security guards and left. Whatever she was up to, she definitely wasn't fooling Achan. If she had really had an objection against tailing somebody, she wouldn't have agreed to follow Jonouchi to the island in the first place. No, he knew Tacey well enough from the bit of exposure he'd had to her to know that this was simply a bluff, and she hadn't disguised the way her eyes shone when he mentioned "Pegasus" very well. Still, whatever she wanted to do with him obviously didn't involve anyone else. Achan penciled in some "Tacey-stalking" into his plans for the next day, then turned to Michel for confirmation that his idea was okay. "Hey, Michel, do you think Tacey really-"

Acan stopped abruptly. Michel was already nowhere to be seen, apparently he had deserted the party the minute Achan had suggested they head back.

"Rurian?"

Achan slapped his forehead. Rurian had dashed off barely moments before, of course.

"Strange dude who acts all paranoid whose name escapes me?"

Absent, presumably with Michel.

"ANYONE?"

No answer.

Achan suddenly felt very alone in the world, and stuffing his confirmation of the latest banlist into his pocket after quickly folding it, he ran to the waterside, preparing to head back to his hotel for some quality time with his online journal.

MEANWHILE, THOUSANDS OF MILES AWAY...

"It's over," the shadowy figure whispered, "You belong to me..."

His victim, a middle aged man with a duel disk attached to his arm, trembled involuntarily. He knew that what he was experiencing was a battle with holograms, a children's card game transformed into a slightly more realistic format, but he still couldn't help shuddering at the beast his opponent had summoned. The monster was at least seven feet tall, with long, silver hair and six black, exquisitely patterned wings jutting from its back. It was clothed in a dark robe, completely opaque, and its gleaming blue eyes provided a source of light in the dim arena, a massive cathedreal in which the only other source of illumination were the stained glass windows through which pale, fragmented light shone forth, focused on the monster of the opponent. The walls of the church were rowed with unlit torches, and were built from stones of pure obsidian black. In the upper rafters, visible to the tiny congregation, a group of angels stood lying in wait, their faces and bodies grey, as well as their garments and wings, as they fluttered to and fro, unable to escape the confines of the sanctuary which had apparently become their prison. Among them could be recognized a group of very familiary duel monsters, which might have been an inside joke on the part of the artists who had designed the holo-animation for the field or something slightly more sinister. The field's controller suggested that, his motions and expressions revealing nothing and his voice flat but tinged with contempt and malice.

The victim stepped back in horror. Against his commmon sense, which seemed to have completely abandoned him or else temporarily moved to a warmer clime, he pleaded with his assailant "Please, please spare me!"

"Those who break the will of the most high will perish in flames, and those who draw on magic will be destroyed by their own art.." the opposing duelist intoned before pointing at his cowering victim. "Lucio, direct attack on the player."

The angelic being roared, a terrible sound which reverbated from the stones of the chapel, rebounding against them and creating a sound not unlike the tolling of a huge, rusted iron bell. He lifted the obsidian-black spear in his right hand, aimed it, and hurled it upward. The weapon landed, and its target had just enough time to look up before he was instantly impaled.

The duel ended. The church and the monster vanished. The man didn't change his expression of perfect horror until his opponent, less then half his age, strode to his side and removed the unfortunate's deck from its duel disk and, selecting a card, allowed the rest to drop on the sidewalk, before stalking away. It was midnight on the eastern seaboard at the time.

Back to the Present

Reprinte with permission from the private online journal of Achan Smith:

So today, the tourney kicked off. It was kind of fun, in a weird, in-your-face sort of way. Turns out we're getting drafted into teams until the finals. On the one hand, it's fun because now I'm not traveling alone. On the other, it's annoying 'cuz my teammates are teh succorz in terms of personality, and the only two I've considered a civil relationship with are too wrapped up in their own issues. Isn't anyone else here to have fun?

First, there's Miss Look-At-My-Massive-Ego Edgeworth, AKA Tacey. She's got security guards, custom cards, the works. I did a quick online check when I got back to the hotel (Man, I love DSL) and it turns out that the reason she's that rich is because her father is the president of a company that supplies parts for Kaiba Corp. I guess the big KC hasn't ever heard of General Electric, huh? They could give at least a little credit to those of us in America, after all, we're the ones who perfected the lightbulb, and where would electricity be without that? Try making cathoid tubes and whatnot without the discoveries Mr. Edison made. >.< She's full or herself, arrogant, and... well, I'll save the rest till we meet in the finals. I'm so totally gonna kick her tail so hard, she'll wish she had never insinuated that because I'm not rich I'm socially inferior. Earth to Tacey, "all men are created equal" does not apply to the USA alone.

Moving on, we have Michel whateverisnameis. He's a real enigma, nicer guy then Tacey but still kind of unapproachable. He gets lost in thought as often as I do, but when he does it it looks more like he's plotting world domination (ha, ha). A real confusin' indivijul that 'un, yup. (LOL, Redneckspeak) All I could find out about him is that his company is in competition with Tacey's, which explains the fact that he doesn't seem to like her much.

Then there's Rurian, who's supposedly from Japan, same city as Mutou, no less. I note with distaste that he doesn't have the starfish cut that mom said was all the rage there. Come on, Mom, do some research next time. His deck is weird. I don't think it has all that much unifying strategy. Maybe that's why Natsumi thought he had Miracle Draw, or whatever-it's-called. (Oh yeah, I ran into her and beat her. SCORE!!!!11!!!)

Finally, we got Ed Pepper. He's a bit paranoid though. All I know about him is that his Dad is employed by Pegasus (that took a bit of digging), and he's a student at Duel Academia. (That was easier to find out, they have an online enrollment list.) He seems to be afraid of me for some reason, but I can't imagine why.

Anywayz, today we ran into Pegasus J. Crawford, Kaiba, and Jonouchi at the Statue of Liberty. (No, not a bad joke set-up, for real.) Turns out they introduced a mid-duel banlist change, and somebody made off with a set of cards connected to those Yami no Game things. I'm gonna research those next, they sound interesting. A lot more interesting then my team mates. XD

Well, till next time!

OOC: (Not sure how well known it is in Britain or wherever else we're from, but Fourth of July is Independence Day here in America. I say this only for those who, like me, completely disregard foreign holidays' existence. Well, I do celebrate Guy Fawkes Day (Bonfire Day), so that's a bit of an overstatement, but you get the point. >.<)

Alter Ego
September 28th, 2007, 04:43 AM
The hotel suite was posh, and not just posh in the commoner's sense of the word. No, this suite was the kind of posh that secretly looked down on standard-issue posh and made fun of it at private tea parties to which regular posh would very much have liked to be invited but never was. Even Tacey had to admit that the place was posh, and that was already saying something. 'Finally...', she had thought for herself as she noted the gilded taps, the soft, supple, and above all clean vermilion-colored carpeting covering the floor and the exquisitely expensive furniture spread across the room, which - incidentally - could easily have housed a family of ten and their pet elephant, '...civilization.'

Her first order of business, after stationing her bodyguards outside and promising royal hell to anyone who dared to peek, was to take a nice, long, warm bath. It took two hours to reach a state where she was positive that all of the offending city grime had been purged from her skin, but eventually she had stepped out, allowing the water to drain from the bathtub as she eyed herself in the mirror, duly noting that she was completely back to her usual, incredibly pretty self, right down to the last inch of skin.

Tacey leaned back in the comfortable chair, studying the cards spread out on the table in front of her with a look of intense concentration on her face, a sizable binder of cards firmly seated in her lap. She had already switched into her night gown, a pink one which brought the concept of frilly to a whole new level, and while the light and clean material had helped her to relax a little, this new deck build still called for concentration. Yes, those cards were definitely a neat fit, as was this...but should she add another copy of-? Yes, that was it! Triumphantly scrolling through the binder until she reached the card in question, placing it onto the table with a triumphant little grin. Perfect, this deck was absolutely perfect. Granted, she had been forced to drop some of her exclusive cards from the line-up, but it was a small price to pay for a strategy this devious. The girl carefully arranged her chosen cards into a deck and placed it onto the table, placing the binder next to it before leaning back in her chair again, stretching her delicate arms back complacently and releasing a soft, dainty little yawn. She had weathered this new banlist and come out even stronger than before; ohh...yes, Tacey was simply brilliant. And now...

Now there was only one more task to complete before she could get some well-deserved sleep. Tacey quickly snatched the little digital device from its alloted spot on the table, scrolling over to the e-mail function and typing in two distinct e-mail addresses before proceeding with the actual message:

Subject: Inexcusable

Dear slackers of team seven,

Your absence from the rest of the team, which lasted for the entirety of today's tournament, was simply inexcusable! In case it somehow slipped your minds, this is a tournament; not a sightseeing tour. We have already lost a lot of valuable time in searching for you and I for one have no intention of wasting any more.

The team will gather tomorrow at ten o'clock by the Statue of Liberty, and I expect you to be there. Fail to attend and I shall personally request Mr.Pegasus to evict you from the team and - preferably - the tournament as well. This team does not need any deadweight members.

Sincerely,

- Tacey Edgeworth

Carefully re-reading the message, Tacey nodded contentedly. Yes, that ought to do it: unless their missing team members were as poor at reading as they apparently were at orientation, they'd turn up. And if they didn't...well, they couldn't say she hadn't warned them. Content with this thought, the girl made her way over to the royal-size bed, tucking herself in between the silky-smooth linens and drifting off to sleep with dreams of an utterly humiliated Achan and her coming tournament victory dancing in her head.

-------------------------------------------------------

Morning had come awfully quick that day, but Tacey took it in stride. At 8 o'clock sharp she was already out of bed, and fully dressed, sporting a similar - though of course clean - outfit as she had the day before. The filthy city air would clearly not be kind to her prettier outfits, and besides: she was going to a business meeting so reserved colors were best. The new deck and her duel disc were both readied, just in case, and after about half an hour of preparation, she was out in the streets, suits in tow. 9 o'clock, that was the time that silly Pegasus had set in his reply and it suited Tacey just fine. Certainly, disbanding this stupid team of hers couldn't take more than an hour, and knowing the slackers she was teamed up with they'd be late for the meeting anyway. Besides, he had promised an escort-

"ATTENTION, DUELIST!"

Tacey flinched at the sudden assault on her eardrums, whirling around to face a suit with the most ridiculous hair in existence. She couldn't help staring a little; that hair was a downright security hazard, why you could poke someone's eye out with that spike.

"Attention, duelist!" the suit repeated in a slightly lower tone; probably his equivalent of a discreet cough, "If you can stop staring for a moment, my hair would like to direct your attention to this car, which will take you to mister Pegasus." he nodded towards a black limousine next to him, which was currently taking up a good two parking spots all by itself, its windows stylish darkened to prevent anyone from seeing inside. Tacey's irritation over the chosen escort faded at the sight, the girl - for once - following instructions without argument. Finally! Finally someone who knew what posh was all about...

"Oh, Rufus!" she called out from the window, halting the spiky-haired grunt with a little way, "Run along to the team meeting and tell them that I might be coming a little late. Say I needed to have some beauty sleep, okay?" she gave him her most endearing smile before closing the car window as the limousine set out into the streets of New York.


OOC: O-kay, not the best new day opening ever, but it should be passable. For reference purposes, Tacey's e-mail is [email protected] (And no, hopefully that's not a real person's address. Why the flip does it insist on sticking e-mail tags in there? xP). Also, I'll have her arrive at the meeting with Pegasus in my next IC; any preferences on the meeting location, oh great RP master? xD

Scarlet Weather
October 1st, 2007, 05:19 PM
OOC: Hmm... how about the Statue of Liberty again? Easiest decision in the world. XD

Achan groaned as he made his way down the sidewalk. It was only three in the morning, but he was having trouble sleeping anyway, and he'd spent much of the night doing research, trying to dig up a bit more about what the Yami no Games had been all about. What he had found read more like a sci-fi novel then real life. As far as he could tell, Industrial Illusions had modeled their game of Duel Monsters on an ancient game played over five thousand years ago. The old game had involved real monsters and magic, and had erupted into a war in which seven golden items were key parts: the Sennen items, each one possesed by one who wished to control the others for his own reasons. Understandably, this led to tension, which everyone settled by playing games of Duel Monsters where the loser got killed. Granted, that was scary enough on its own, but apparently one of the sennen items was owned by none other then Mutou, the famed Sennen Puzzle. Of course, now all seven items were gone, lost underneath the sands of time, and buried in a tomb in the valley of the kings in Egypt. He'd tried to get more detailed information, but not even his most extensive phrasebook had been able to decipher the text on the more in-depth sites, which were always in Japanese. Silently, he cursed the hotel computer for not being able to accurately copy the text, thus preventing him from Babelfishing it.

As he meandered down the street, Achan kicked an empty pop can. This day wasn't going his way at all. Right after logging on to his journal and doing Yami no Game research, he had spent no small amount of time going over professional decklists, most notably those used by the opponents of Miss Tacey Edgeworth, esquire. His face had paled considerably as he replayed the matches in his mind. This girl was a dueling monster, and her bragging about being the Queen of Games hadn't been for nothing. The decks she had crushed were at least sixty times the strength of his own, and the margins she had won by... unthinkable. He seriously had to rethink his strategy. With the new banlist in his hands, he at least had the advantage of knowing what belonged in his deck now. His strategy had too many links and too few avenues along which to travel. He needed either a strong, unifying theme that could be easily implemented or else a deck that could operate multiple different ways while still remaining functional. Unfortunately, with only the shattered remains of a Jackal Knight Lock deck and his Wanderers, it wasn't going to be easy to build such a deck. He needed a bigger cardpool.

It was while Achan was thus lost in thought that he bumped into the other pedestrian. Thrusting the older teen away, Achan growled at him. "What you out here for?" (Grammar was not one of Achan's priorities at three in the morning.)

The other pedestrian stared at Achan, his eyes two chips of ice in a taught, gimlet face that held a menacing aura, supported by his clothing, which consisted of a black motorcycle jacket and jeans filled with various chains, small metal objects, and more chains. His long hair was jet black, and stuck out in odd angles towards the back. Around his waist, he wore a belt, and in his left hand was a deck of duel monsters cards. He spoke gruffly, a single sentence. "Do you play?"

Achan nodded, instinctively reaching for his own deck.

Noticing his movements, the older boy shook his head, and offered the cards in his own hand. "Listen. I found some guy on the street, got hit hard or something. He collapsed after a duel, took him to the hospital, they said he was suffering from major shock. Woke up, gave his deck to me, told me to give it away, saying he'd be giving up the game. Now, my deck's just fine, so I don't need this, but I figured I'd run into some lucky punk who would, so I decided to give it to the first person I met with something ridiculous about them, and my friend, your hair qualifies as ridiculous. Take 'em." With that, he slapped the deck into Achan's hands before he could protest and marched away, humming softly to himself.

Achan stared at the cards in his hands. It was a standard build Warrior's Toolbox, no real variations in it other then the Battalion monsters, a recently released set. On the other hand, it also contained some powerful support spells that Achan had never had access to before, and he could tell that it included something from a recent booster pack... double summon, or something like that. At the very least he should add that to his deck, it was a definite improvement over his own Road Goes Ever On design. An idea sparked in his imaginitive brain. This deck would definitely be more powerful, if less thematic, and would go a long way towards helping him beat Tacey... he sighed melodramatically, pocketing it. Sorry Wanderers, he couldn't help thinking, But I'm not going to be able to use you all this time around. It's time my deck build got a bit more... flexible.

Today is the First Day of the Rest of Your Life:

Achan straightened up in bed, his once-bleary eyes now charged with excitement. Granted, it had taken him more then a few minutes to get to sleep after building his deck, and he hadn't gotten much sleep to begin with, but it was nothing that some stimulants hadn't been able to fix. His breakfast had been brought up earlier by room service, a new experience for him, and he smiled as he waited for the waiter to approach his room.

The man did so, smiling. "Good morning, young man! The Illusionist Hotel welcomes you to-" he stopped, pointing at the cans piled by Achan's bed. "Wha-What are those?"

"Red Bull," Achan replied, smiling, "Six cans worth. Enough to get me another twelve hours of alertness, sleep-deprived though I may be."

The waiter stared. "I know, but... six cans? Your caffeine tolerance is incredible!"

Achan nodded solemnly. "True. Listen, I'm heading out, can you add my tab, along with a tip of oh, say..." he whispered the amount to the waiter, who nearly fainted in shock, "Pegasus D. Crawford? After all, he's footing the bill for this trip, right?"

The server nodded, smiling. "Certainly, sir. Enjoy the day!"

"Thanks, dude. Later!" Achan called, grabbing a duffel bag containing his duel disk and dashing out the door at speeds which must have knocked the poor man attending him sideways.

MEANWHILE, THOUSANDS OF MILES AWAY....

Achan stared at his watch. It was nearly nine in the morning, and he was still waiting for a cab. Apparently, the driver he had duped had spread the word not to pick up a kid with Achan's description. Well, that just stank. Anyway, Lady Liberty awaited, and the ferry wasn't all that far away. With a sigh, Achan prepared to go on foot. It was then that he noticed Tacey, mere feet away, apparently wrapped up in her own affairs. Achan's gut wrenched. Much as it killed him to do it, he had to ask Tacey about getting a ride out. Without hesitation, he stepped forward, just as a bellowing voice called out "ATTENTION DUELIST!"

Achan quickly leaped behind the bushes, an instintive reflex, and stared at the tall suit, whose hair was only rivaled by Achan's own in terms of complete and utter siliness. As he listened to Tacey's exchange with him, realization dawned on him. Pegasus. Tacey had been lying after all then. She intended to meet with Pegasus. Rage surfaced in Achan's throat. How dare she meet with a celebrity without including the rest of the team! This called for some quick action.

Unzipping his duffel bag while still camoflaged by the thick bushes cultivated in strips along the hotel's front walk, Achan made a few adjustments to his outfit, first, replacing his trademark floral print shirt with a more conservative black T-Shirt bearing the legend "Duelist Luau '07" on the back. He had already traded in his khaki shorts for a pair of faded blue jeans. Achan smiled. With his final outfit change, he would be completely unrecognizable! Removing a bottle of conditioner from his duffel bag, he held it a moment in reverence. He had been forced to sell a good portion of the unused cards he had acquired during the night in order to pay for this bottle, but it would be worth it: it was a conditioner so powerful that it would force his hair to return to some semblance of normal for three hours. His heart swelled with excitement as he applied the spray before quickly slicking down his hair so that it hung down the back of his head and around his ears. Pulling out a pocket hand-mirror, the duelist grinned. He didn't look any different from an ordinary kid with long hair. Checking his watch, the duelist smiled again: A new personal record for changing clothes and hair, exactly 10.3 seconds. He was a master.

Lifting his head, Achan stared at the car Tacey had climbed into, which was now making its departure. Taking advantage of the heavy traffic blocking its progress at an intersection, Achan stepped up to the plate. Using his usual celebrity lines would have no effect on cab drivers now... he would have to resort to that.

Placing his fingers to his lips, Achan emmited a whistle so loud and painful that no less then six mirrors, including his own, shattered.

A cab driver nonchalantly pulled over, opening his doors. "Whaddya want, kid?" he asked impatiently.

Achan pointed as he stepped into the vehicle. "Just follow the black car, my good man, follow the black car." Removing his cab fare, along with the most generous tip he could muster, from his pocket, he slapped it into the driver's hand and whispered "And please, step on it!"

As Tacey's vehicle rounded the bend, Achan followed after at a brisk pace.

Alter Ego
October 2nd, 2007, 03:12 AM
OOC: Ahh...the irony. Statue of Liberty it is, then. xD

IC:

"Attention duelist, we are in a traffic jam!"

"Yes, I can see that." Tacey grit back, glaring at the annoyingly plebeian cars obstructing their passage. Idiot commuters blocking the road, didn't they realize that some people had important business to attend to? Sighing in the manner of the stoic martyr she was, Tacey leaned back in her seat, glancing into the rear-view mirror to check that her hair was really perfect. It was then that she caught sight of him, the boy sitting in the cab just behind the luxurious vehicle she was riding in, though the spotting obviously couldn't have been mutual since the windows of the limousine were designed to only be translucent in one direction. Granted, she didn't get a very good look, but the stranger with his long, red hair seemed familiar somehow. Maybe he was someone from her fanclub? Well, either way he was no Achan - the lack of that ridiculous hairdo and cheap, Hawaiian shirt was enough evidence of that - which was always a good start. As the limousine began moving again, Tacey was lightly surprised to find that the cab remained firmly on their tail. Her eyes narrowed slightly, a bit too firmly, actually. Oh dear...this wasn't one of those obsessive stalker type fans, was it? Well regardless, he would be forced to give up the chase when they entered Peagsus' private grounds.

They were holding this meeting somewhere private, right?

"Hey, excuse me!" Tacey called out as the scenery outside the car windows began to look all too familiar, "Just where is this meeting?"

"The statue of liberty!" boomed the murder-weapon-hair suit in the driver's seat, "And my hair would like to announce that we are arriving momentarily!"

"Great..." the girl replied sourly, "...real great.". Inwardly, she was cursing Pegasus. Didn't that buffoon know the first thing about secrecy? Then again...considering yesterday's meeting maybe that was a pretty stupid question.

-------------------------------------------------------

"Attention, duelist! We are at the statue of liberty!"

'Gee...who would have thought it?' Tacey deadpanned in her mind as she sauntered out of the limousine, noting that Pegasus had indeed chosen the very same meeting location for this meeting as he had for yesterday's. The eccentric millionaire was currently stretched out in a white, foldable deck chair which had apparently been set up there by the impassive-looking grunt standing next to him. A glass of red wine was clutched in the multi-billionaire's hand, but as soon as he caught sight of the new arrivals he got up to his feet, placing the glass on a small, one-legged table made out of white plastic and apparently placed there by the same person who had brought the chair, walking over to Tacey with his usual overly energetic stride.

"Ahh...Tacey-girl, what fabulous timing!" he announced, beaming at her with that same, fruity smile that had been on the covers of so many dueling magazines and had sprung the rumors about him and Kaiba as he reached out a hand in greeting, "I was just thinking about that wonderful team of yours and here you are."

"Good morning, Mr.Pegasus." Tacey replied in her most dignified voice, shaking the offered hand and performing a dainty little half-curtsy, "Before we get down to business, might I ask why we are holding this meeting here instead of somewhere private?"

"Why, I thought you'd like this place, Tacey-girl." Pegasus replied with such an overblown display of surprise that Tacey wasn't sure whether he was being sarcastic or not, "After all, it's the only landmark in New York that wasn't made by Americans. But we didn't come here to talk about landmarks, did we?" he continued, "I understand that you've had some difficulties with your team?"

"The only difficulty here is that I'm stuck with a bunch of incompetent louts." Tacey retorted, folding her arms, "Mr.Pegasus, do I really have to do this team thing? They're just being jealous and holding me back!"

"Achan-boy too?" Pegasus inquired, raising an eyebrow, "I thought those wanderers of his were quite fabulous, myself."

"Especially Achan." Tacey retorted, "He's rude, and obnoxious, and self-righteous, and always argues with me. He's embarrassing, he's a failure at children's card games, he has no fashion sense and-" the mental list of Achan's bad traits was nearing its dramatic finish, "And he's got that ridiculous hairdo!" Tacey blurted out in frustration, taking a few moments to regain her composure before speaking up again, "Mr.Pegasus, I don't need any of this team nonsense. Just let me go solo."

"Oh come now, Tacey-girl, that's not very fair." Pegasus retorted, "After all, ridiculous hair used to be an entry requirement for these tournaments. And quite frankly, I don't think you've got what it takes to do this on your own. Team seven stays, unless..." his grin widened to that of a Cheshire Cat.

"Unless?" Tacey echoed.

"Unless you can beat me at a children's card game." he replied.

"Excuse me?"

"Oh, it's quite simple, Tacey-girl." Pegasus replied, motioning towards his suit, who quickly procured a black suitcase from his side, "Since you claim that you can defeat any duelist in this tournament on your own, I say that you should prove it to me." he gestured towards the suit, who obediently stepped forward, opening the suitcase to reveal an interior coated with red velvet, a duel disc strapped to the open side of the suitcase and a deck of cards resting on the other, "That deck contains a collection of my very own, state-of-the-art prototype duel monsters cards, never before used in an actual game of duel monsters. I will play with them and you will use your own deck. If you truly are such a fabulous duelist, you should have no trouble defeating me."

Tacey gave the deck an appraising look, "So if I win, you will take me out of this silly team and let me play this tournament on my own terms?" she inquired.

"No questions asked." Pegasus confirmed.

"And if I lose?"

"Then you play this game by my rules." the multi-billionaire replied, "That means no more complaints."

Tacey smiled in a decidedly haughty way. After all, Pegasus no longer had that Sennen Eye cheating-thingie, and it had been years since his last duel. Special cards or no, this would be a breeze, "You have yourself a deal, Mr.Pegasus."

"Oh, goodie!" Pegasus cried, clapping his hands in a decidedly juvenile manner that made Tacey inwardly roll his eyes, "Let's not waste any time, then. Oh, Croquet-boy!" the suit didn't reply, merely picking up the duel disc and attaching it to Pegasus' arm before picking up the deck and handing it to him, the millionaire clicking it into the slot, "Whenever you're ready, Tacey-girl. Ohh...this is going to be so much fun!"

"Oh, fun indeed." Tacey replied, motioning for her own two suits, the black-haired one whose name she still couldn't remember procuring the duel disc from its case while Ewans handed over the deck, both of them stepping back as the two duelists stared each other down, as was customary before the beginning of a game. Secrecy was obviously out of the window, and a small crowd was already gathering around the two. After all, it wasn't every day you got to see a millionaire face-off, and - Tacey decided for herself - they were going to get a show to remember.

Scarlet Weather
October 2nd, 2007, 02:13 PM
Achan peeked out from behind a convenient shrubbery. His arrival at Ellis Island, home of the Statue of Liberty, had gone off without a hitch. Blending in with the crowd, on the other hand, took a bit of talent. Granted, without the ridiculous hair it was easier to walk around the crowd unheeded, but the fact that he was now wearing clothing that marked him as a duelist was going to be a bit of an issue. Glancing about, he scanned the landscape for Tacey and her suits. If they were meeting with Pegasus, they were probably somewhere incredibly covert and secret. Maybe Pegasus had a Crawford-cave? It was completely plausible, after all, the existence of a secret Kaiba-cave had been recently confirmed, though the multimillionaire insisted on referring to it as his "Summer Retreat". Achan snorted involuntarily. Any summer retreat with an underground computer lab definitely had an ulterior motive involved somewhere.

It was then that Achan spotted Pegasus. No... it was too ridiculous. This had to be a stunt double, or a twin brother, or something like that. There was no way that anyone would be so nutty as to walk out in public after obtaining celebrity status. He was surprised that Pegasus's army of fangirls (or, in some cases, fan-boys) hadn't come crawling out of the woodwork, and the conspicuous lack of reporters was nearly as shocking, especially considering those rumors about him and Kaiba. (Of course, Achan wasn't entirely sure that those rumors had any real founding after seeing Kaiba in person on the previous day.) But no, it appeared to be the real deal. When Tacey approached him, it closed the deal: this guy was no impostor. Achan gulped in surprise. But that still didn't solve the "no reporter" problem. Edging forward, he stared at the ring of security guards behind Pegasus. His eyes fell on the one with the hair that seemed nearly as ridiculous as Achan's usual 'do. Oh, that explained it. That guy was one of the most successful masters of child grabbing, though by no means the reigning one, and definitely not one you needed to get mad at you. And the way the other two were pointing... obviously, they were armed with the latest in weapons technology, a.k.a. invisible guns. Pegasus had spared no expense.

Achan witnessed Tacey's minor explosion about her dislike of him with mounting anger, though he did have to agree about the ridiculous hair. On the other hand, he could only laugh at Pegasus's rebuttal. The multimillionaire's idea of a solution, however, appealed to Achan immensely. It was a win-win scenario for the underdog from America: He got to witness Tacey's latest deck in action, and if she won, he'd challenge her before she had time to recover. If Pegasus beat her on the other hand, he'd definitely be taking down notes on how the man did so, regardless of wether he could duplicate his strategies or not, and of course, he could always use it as proof to Tacey that she was not invincible. The small crowd, on the other hand, was a problem. There were at least a few duelists in there, he knew, and if Tacey lost and they got a look at her deck, the team was in trouble. It was then that a brilliant idea took hold of Achan's mind. Slipping into the crowd, he poked one of the younger kids in the back and whispered "Don't move. I'm with Pegasus's covert ops group. We're here to make sure that nobody gets an eye on these new cards before their official release, and in order to do so, I have been authorized to use this-" Achan held up a hand apparently grasping air, "Invisible Taser to... uh... discourage you. Please, don't make it harder on yourselves then it has to be."

In no time, Achan's proclamation had gotten around, and the small crowd had dispersed. Achan himself, feeling quite smug, wandered next to Tacey's suits and plunked his duffel bag on the ground before collapsing onto it, using it as a chair. Yes, this was entertainment.

OOC: Tacey and Michel aren't the only ones capable of being manipulative. XD

Alter Ego
October 17th, 2007, 03:43 AM
OOC: Ho-kay, now that PC is finally up and running again it's time to try to figure this one out...dang, I've forgotten my original plan for this duel. xP Oh well, I'll just have to improvise.

IC:

"ATTENTION, DUELISTS! IT'S TIME TO DUEL!"

Tacey gave an involuntary flinch as the killer-hair suit announced the beginning of the match, pausing to nurse her assaulted ear before drawing her opening hand.

"Ladies first, I believe?"

"Be my guest, Tacey-girl."

Duelist: Tacey

Hand: Bountiful Artemis, Magic Drain, Negate Attack, White Magician Pikeru, Royal Double

Draw Phase->>>> Harvest Angel of Wisdom

At the sight of the cards, a satisfied little smile crept onto Tacey's face.

"Excellent." she remarked for herself before turning back to the game. It was a pity that the spectators had vanished now that she was about to utterly crush Pegasus, but she supposed that less spectators meant less information on her deck leaking out, "I summon Bountiful Artemis."

Accompanied by the standard blur of the projection software, a peculiar creature descended onto the field. The lower half of its silver-colored body was mostly resemblant of a spinning top, ending in a sharp, needle like point while the upper half was vaguely humanoid in shape, save for the precariously thin waist and the claw like appendages at the ends of its hands. The creature's bald face was dominated by a single, green orb which probably served as its eye, a pair of large, silver colored wings protruding from the points where its ears should have been. The creature wore a dark purple cloak with gold lining around its shoulders and a number of decorative, persian green patterns were located across its slender body. Despite its surreal appearance, the monster held a certain air of grace about it as it floated a few inches above ground level, its cape flowing behind it under the influence of the small, simulated gale. Even Tacey had to admit that for not being a royal monster, the creature wasn't too bad appearance-wise.

"I play two cards face-down and end my turn." she announced.

As he drew his card, Pegasus' face lit up like that of a child at Christmas Eve, "Oh, goodie!" he cried spontaneously, clapping his hands before a more sinister expression replaced his childish mirth, the card he had drawn held ominously in the air, "Prepare yourself, Tacey-girl, for you're about to witness a world the likes of which you have never-"

"It's that lame Toon World card of yours, isn't it?" the rich girl interrupted in a bored voice, "I've watched the tournaments, Pegasus."

"Oh, it most certainly is not!" the billionaire retorted in a rather offended tone, "I'm moving the times Tacey-girl. Now, for the first time in world history and for a mere admittance fee of 2000 Life Points, I am proud to present..." he twirled the card dramatically as he guided it towards the spell card slot, "Manga World!"

As the card made contact with the slot, it was time for the air on Peagsus' side to blur, son making room for a thick comic book with a picture of a conspicuously child-like Dark Magician Girl with wide, starry eyes striking a pose on the cover. The book then proceeded to flip itself open, a surprisingly life-like cityscape protruding form the pages.

"I'm afraid that premiere is going to have to wait." Tacey replied, "I activate Magic Drain!" she flicked her hand towards the face-down on her right and causing it to rise, causing a worn old man, completely teal in color save for his silvery hair to appear on the field. The specter raised a wrinkled hand towards Peagsus' spell card, and as he did so a vacuum of some sort seemed to form around his palm, the sharp intake of air tugging violently at the comic book's pages. Apparently, some of those KC graphics designers really needed more things to do with their life, "Now unless you give up another spell card from your hand, your little premiere is canceled. Either way, that means one more card for me, courtesy of Artemis."

"Ah, well..." Pegasus replied with a light, unbothered shrug, "I suppose we must all make sacrifices for the greater good." he picked up another card from his hand, briefly revealing its green surface to Tacey before slipping it into the graveyard slot on his duel disc, "Bye-bye Toon Table."

Effect draw: Hammer Shot

'Perfect...' Tacey thought for herself, 'That's one third of his opening hand and one fourth of his Life Points already. You're playing right into my hands, Mr.Pegasus.'

"Now that that's over with..." the billionaire continued, the familiar grin spreading to his face, "...the fun can begin." he procured another card from his hand, "Come out and play; Cyber Toon Dragon!"

Accompanied by the standard blur of graphics, a serpent-like monster appeared on Pegasus' field. The creature with its shiny metal plating and draconic head was hardly a new sight; after all, it seemed to be modeled after none other than the infamous Kaiser gone Hell Kaiser Ryo's favourite lead monster; the card that every competitive duelist had been pining for ever since first seeing it, though Industrial Illusions had always been adamant about not reprinting. The regular Cyber Dragon was, Tacey was quite sure, not in possession of two ridiculously large, watery anime eyes and a row of razor-sharp teeth, however, and the girl was quite positive that smiling endearingly at the opposition had not been part of the original graphics either.

"Isn't he just too precious?" Pegasus cooed, "And the best thing is that since you had monsters but I didn't, he came out free of charge. That means I can still play this!" he pulled out another monster card and slapped it into the slot next to his first, "Presenting...the fabulous Toon Harpie!"

At his command, a creature spawned next to Cyber Toon Dragon. At first, it didn't look that different from your average aerobics instructor in blue gone vicious man-eating monster, but as the creature slowly pulled its wings away from the front of its face, she revealed a pair of ridiculously long eyelashes, a chest that could in no way be natural, and an over-lipsticked mouth. The creature giggled, batting her two-meter lashes at Tacey, half-smiling and half-smirking in that way which cartoonists apparently found particularly enticing for reasons known solely by cartoonists, a saxophone solo erupting in the background.

"So, Tacey-girl..." Pegasus remarked, "...what do you think of my fabulous new monsters?"

"I think you need a girlfriend." the millionaire-heiress replied tartly, "Now can we please get on with this duel already? I know that your lame toons can't even attack on the turn they're summoned, so get on with it."

To say that she found Pegasus annoying would have been an understatement. He was simply intolerable with his flouncy antics, flowery speech, and obsession with creating monsters that were a disgrace to women everywhere. Quite frankly, if it weren't for his social status and obscene heaps of money, Tacey would have lunged at the annoying little pixiepoof's throat already.

"Lame?" Pegasus retorted, raising an eyebrow at Tacey's remark, "And that's coming from the one who's into noble knights. And that black and white color scheme too...talk about tacky. But let's not get into that-" he added, forestalling Tacey's inevitable burst of righteous indignation, "I'll teach you just how fabulous these new cards of mine are, starting with this." he pointed dramatically at his Manga World card, "Do you know why I like Japanese toons, Tacey-girl?"

"I imagine I will." the girl grit out.

"They're so active and full of life!" the billionaire trilled, completely ignoring Tacey's reply, "So...vibrant, so much action and drama! There's really never a dull moment. So, naturally I wanted to incorporate that into this card. While Manga World is in play, all of my toon monsters are free of that pesky first-turn attack restriction. Oh, Cyber Toon Dragon..." he chirped at the metallic beast, "Let's show Tacey-girl how it works! Destroy Bountiful Artemis with comic blaze!"

The dragon nodded enthusiastically, its cheeks puffing up in a ridiculously exaggerated manner and its eyes shut in concentration as it inhaled, the face - for some absurd reason - turning red before it finally spewed out the payload, a burst of electric blue energy surging towards the monster on Tacey's field.

"Reveal face-down, Negate Attack!"

In a decidedly undramatic manner, a small swirl of energy appeared between the two monsters, absorbing the attack while Tacey calmly drew another card from her deck, "So much for action and drama." the rich girl taunted, "Manga World or no, your Battle Phase is over."

Effect draw: Coronation of the Princesses

"So it is." Pegasus replied nonchalantly, "I play a card face-down and end my turn."

"It's about time." Tacey remarked, "I draw."

Draw Phase: Judgment of the Princesses

"Alright..." Tacey began, "I'll activate the spell card Hammer Shot!"

As slot and card connected, the air blurred once more, a sizable hammer briefly hovering over the field.

"Now as you know..." the girl continued conversationally, "This means that the monster with the highest attack power gets destroyed. In this case that would be your obnoxious little dragon."

The hammer, it seemed, had reached a similar conclusion and the serpentine creature only managed a few minutes of terrified 'pity me' staring before the object swung and flattened it, causing the creature to burst into a small cloud of sparks and vanish.

"Then, I'll summon Harvest Angel of Wisdom, in Attack Position."

With a deft hand movement, Tacey placed a monster card of her own into one of the empty slots, a second figure emerging next to Artemis. Though this creature was more humanoid in shape, it was certainly no less bizarre. The whole length of its muscular body looked as if it was covered in armor, alternating between orange and persian green and framed by normal metallic gray, a length of blonde substance which was presumably its hair extending from the back of the helmet-like head and another patch around the back of its waist, though what this was precisely Tacey had never felt like probing into. Sizable, white angel wings protruded from both of the creature's heels, and a horn with a smaller pair of wings attached to it was grasped firmly in its hand. Like its partner, the angel proceeded to hover just a few inches above the ground, waiting for orders, and it didn't need to wait for long;

"Harvest Angel, attack his Toon Harpie!"

"But-" Pegasus protested as the creatures swooped towards each other, "That way both our monsters will get destroyed!"

"And that..." Tacey replied calmly as both battlers dissolved into yellow fragments, "Was my plan. You see, whenever my Harvest Angel is destroyed by battle, I get to bring back one Counter-Trap from my graveyard. And I think I'll pick this one." she demonstratively reached into her discard pile, pulling out the Negate Attack card and placing it in her hand, "Now, Bountiful Artemis: attack Pegasus directly!"

The second creature nodded, briefly gathering energy in its clawed hands before unleashing it towards Pegasus, the glow of the visual effects briefly encasing the billionaire as 1600 additional life points were deducted from his counter.

Tacey smiled contentedly, "I play a card face-down and end my turn." she announced.

"There's no call for getting so smug yet, Tacey-girl." Pegasus scolded as he drew his next card, "This duel has only just begun. I activate Dark World Dealings! Now as you might know, this means that we both get to draw one more card from our decks, provided that we discard a card after it."

"I know what it does, Pegasus." Tacey retorted haughtily. This move made little sense, apparently the billionaire was getting desperate.

Effect draw: Princess Curran

Tacey briefly examined her options before sighing, "Sorry, Curran." she muttered in a barely audible, placing the card she had just received into her graveyard.

"Luck of the draw not with you, Tacey-girl?" Pegasus inquired casually, slipping his own discard into the graveyard without a care in the world, "I drew something quite fabulous myself. I activate Scapegoat!"

As he uttered the words, four familiar-looking pastel-colored sheep appeared on the field, expressions of blissful ignorance on their faces.

"And that ends my turn."

"Seems pretty desperate." Tacey remarked, "My turn."

Draw Phase: Royal Sharpshooter

'Well isn't this handy?' it didn't take long for Tacey to decide on her next course of action, "I discard Royal Emissary to add Court of Nobles to my hand." the girl announced, slipping another card into her graveyard before probing her deck in search of the all-important field spell, "And of course I'll activate it." she added matter-of-factly, the familiar courtyard with its regal banners and ornate plants enclosing the duelists, "Then I'll summon Royal Sharpshooter."

At her command, another figure appeared on the field, looking quite dull in comparison to the exotic creatures who had preceded him. It was a man, an honest-to-good human man, well-built and upholding a proper, military-discipline posture. He was wearing a simple but neat black leather tunic inscribed with the same symbol that the banners around the courtyard bore and a pair of black trousers to match, a hood attached to his tunic obscuring his face, a sturdy longbow grasped in his hands and a quiver of arrows slung over his back.

"And I suppose that is meant to impress me?" Pegasus inquired in a bored voice, "I've still got my four goat tokens."

"It doesn't really matter." Tacey replied, "While Court of Nobles is on my side, my sharpshooter can aim straight for your Life Points, which is just what I'll have him do. Royal Sharpshooter, attack Pegasus directly!"

The archer nodded, crouching down to load his bow and aiming it straight at Pegasus, the holographic arrow passing straight through the effeminate billionaire's chest with pin-point accuracy and another 1500 points leaving his counter.

"Bountiful Artemis, destroy the first one of his goat tokens."

The angelic creature set to work in turn, releasing another burst of energy and blasting the red sheep into oblivion.

"I end my turn." Tacey remarked casually.

"And I begin mine." Pegasus replied, the previous smile returning to his face as he he noticed the card he had drawn, "And what a fabulous turn this is going to be."


OOC: Okay, yeah...for the sake of my sanity I've decided to split this duel into two parts. Hope that's okay with you. ^^

Scarlet Weather
October 17th, 2007, 04:34 PM
OOC: Oh man, I just realized that Team Seven is the same number assigned to Naruto's squad. (At least, that's what I think it is...). Oh man, ROTFLMBO (Rolling on the floor laughing my brains out.) XD squared.

IC:

Achan settled in as he watched the duel disks of Pegasus and Tacey leap to life and the duel begin. He could hardly restrain himself from clapping his hands in glee. Tacey was playing into his hands, and she didn't even know it! He felt something akin to the joy of an evil mastermind who has recently completed his plan to destroy the universe. Whipping a sketchpad from his duffelbag, he immediately began recording the images of Pegasus and Tacey's cards and jotting down notes on their respective strategies. Pegasus's deck, predictably, was stocked with new and improved toon monsters. Nothing completely unexpected there. Tacey, on the other hand, began the duel with something completely unexpected: a Counter Fairy. Achan's eyes narrowed. He had heard of Counter Fairy decks before, decks that used high-speed counter traps in combination with fairy-type monsters who yielded effect draws and other nice little surprises when a counter-trap was activated, but he hadn't thought Tacey would be adding them to her deck. Tacey Edgeworth was a stuck-up prissy snob with bad taste in themes, but she was no fool when it came to deck-building. Whatever she had right now was probably something Pegasus should be wary of.

Ten minutes later, Achan's mouth was dropped open in shock. Tacey had just turned the entire duel around. Now he could see her deck's strategy, and a painful one it was, to be sure. Despite Pegasus's ability to attack right away, Tacey had set up a field designed to first negate the opponent's attack, thereby yielding yet another free draw for herself, and return the attack-negator to her hand for another free use. She had also crushed Pegasus's monsters and set up a direct attack for herself in the process. In a matter of a few turns, she had reduced Pegasus to less the half of his original life points while at the same time leaving her own without a scratch. At least she had tipped her hand: Her deck was now a hybrid, relying on the synergy of her many counter traps with Harvest Angel and Bountiful Artemis to stock her hand while shutting down the opponent's battle phase, meanwhile allowing her royal monsters to destroy the bigger monsters on the opponent's side of the field and burn away their life points or replenish her own, and further restrict the opponent's attacks. To top it off, she had thrown in a few destructive spells to get rid of anything her Royals couldn't run over. Achan was flabbergasted, but far from disheartened. If what he had just seen was any indication, there was probably something in his deck to take care of her field presence. The only problem was finding it.

Achan brought his gaze back to Pegasus, who was now smiling and preparing to begin his turn. Achan could only stare and shake his head. Did the inventor of Duel Monsters really have something that could reverse such a horrible disadvantage? It seemed that way, but Achan couldn't think of what it might be. If Pegasus didn't destroy Tacey's facedown this turn, Tacey would just negate his attacks on her life points and summon another monster. Then all she'd have to do was attack his sheep tokens and leave his field free, giving her a clear shot at his life points. Then again, knowing Pegasus, he'd know that, and he'd have a way around it in that weird deck of his. At least, Achan hoped so. It wasn't as if he wanted to see Tacey win, despite the fact that he'd be able to immediately challenge her afterwards. They were rivals after all, and if she could accomplish something he probably wouldn't be able to, she had one-upped him. He wasn't about to sit there and let that happen...

Well, then again, it wasn't as if he had a choice.

Alter Ego
October 18th, 2007, 06:28 AM
OOC: What, you only realized it just now? And I thought that was an intentional decision on your part. xD

IC:

"Well?" Tacey demanded haughtily, "Are you going to play that 'fabulous' card of yours or not?" her voice practically oozed with sarcasm at the word 'fabulous', "If you think I'm falling for a cheap bluff then you're sorely mistaken."

Pegasus shook his head at the statement, "Tacey-girl, has anyone ever told you that you sound just like Kaiba-boy?" he tutted disapprovingly, "I'm most certainly not bluffing." his grin widened, "My toons are quite genuinely magical. Observe."

The graveyard slot in his duel disc began to glow with visual effects, "For my first trick, I shall bring back the monster I discarded last turn; Toonborn Frog!"

The card slipped dutifully out of the graveyard slot and into one of the empty monster card zones, the air on Pegasus' field blurring once more, only to reveal a small, harmless looking frog with disproportionately large eyes. Its skin was orange in color, with black stripes criss-crossing over it and a pair of white, angel wings seemed to have been attached to its shoulders by means of a length of tape.

"You see, Tacey-girl." Pegasus continued as the peculiar amphibian continued staring at the rich girl, "Should Toonborn Frog happen to be in my Graveyard during my Standby Phase while Toon World is in play, my amphibian friend can come back for an encore."

"Big deal." Tacey replied indifferently, "It's only got a measly 100 points."

"Now really, Tacey-girl." Pegasus tutted disapprovingly, "You should know better than to judge a toon by its cover. Observe." he raised the solitary card in his hand into the air, "I tribute Toonborn Frog and one of my Goat tokens to summon..." he purposefully withheld the end of his statement as the yellow sheep and Toonborn Frog vanished from the field and were replaced by a black box with gold-lining and a large, white question mark inscribed on it, a dramatic drum roll emerging from the background, "Toon Dark Magician!" in a puff of smoke, the box burst open, an ominous figure in dark purple clothing emerging. Well, that is to say that the figure would have been ominous had he not been the size of a five-year old. In all other respects he looked just like the Dark Magician, but the hat was ridiculously oversized and kept threatening to tip over and the staff was so big that the tiny creature had to hold it with both hands to keep it steady.

Tacey raised an eyebrow, "From little girls to little boys, Pegasus?" she remarked, "You really do have issues."

"Once again, Tacey-girl, you sound just like Kaiba-boy." the billionaire retorted calmly, "Don't let his innocent appearance fool you, Toon Dark Magician is quite the powerhouse. Why just by summoning him I'm allowed to bring back a spell card from my graveyard, provided, of course, that it has 'Toon' in its name or specifies toon monsters. And as it so happens, I have a card just like that in my graveyard, so welcome back: Toon Table of Contents. But that's not all." he reached out a hand dramatically, "Reveal face-down, Toon Anvil!"

Pegasus chuckled as a giant, black steel anvil appeared on the field, "Classics are always the best, aren't they - Tacey-girl? With this card, I can flatten any monster on the field whose defense points are at most half the attack points of one of my toon monsters. Now which one to choose?" he pretended to contemplate his decision thoroughly before slipping into one of his usual expressions of childish glee, "Oh, I know!" he exclaimed, clapping his hands as Toon Dark Magician pointed his staff at the anvil, an aura of dark energy encasing the object and lifting it up into the air, "Bye-bye, Sharpshooter."

At these words, the dark energy dissipated, causing the anvil to descend with the usual cartoon effects and land down on top of the archer on Tacey's field, a cloud of dust with 'CRASH!' written onto it with large, red letters accompanying the creature's disappearance.

"And now..." Pegasus continued, "Toon Dark Magician, attack Bountiful Artemis!"

"Reveal face-down, Negate Attack!"

Effect draw: Divine Wrath

"Who would have thought it?" Pegasus remarked as the familiar swirl of energy blocked his magician's attack, "I end my turn."

"Like you had a choice."

Draw Phase: Ebon Magician Curran

Neither was hardly a high-utility card at the moment, but then again...Tacey glanced at her full six-card hand, she really had all she needed already.

"I summon Royal Double."

Following the girl's announcement, a the recently vacated spot became occupied once more, though the creature was far less masculine this time around. Though the creature was draped in a gray cloak which effectively concealed its features, the generally slender body build and slight hint of curves beneath the cloak identified it as a girl. A dainty little hand extended from beneath the cloak was holding into a large fan of alternating black and white patterns which effectively covered the creature's face while the hood of the cloak kept the back of her head away from view.

"She might not look like much right now, but she's got quite the ability." Tacey continued, "You see, if I summon her while Court of Nobles is in play, my Royal Double can become a near-perfect copy of either princess, provided that the subject is on my field or in my graveyard. And as it so happens, your Dark World Dealings card helped me out in that regard. Royal Double, replicate Princess Curran!"

The creature nodded, tossing aside its cloak with a deft little hand movement to reveal a large, billowing dress, its color alternating between a dark pine green and black, with elaborate patterns embroided in white around the hem and upper parts of the dress and a robin egg blue ribbon connected to a sizable, gold-colored ornament at her chest. Her orange hair, no longer concealed by the hood, was tied into two neat braids, one on each side of her face, and as the creature clasped her fan shut and placed it aside, a face identical to Curran's was revealed, complete with a self-satisfied little smirk, while the familiar blue rabbit in the suit quickly hobbled over, placing the ridiculously styled royal hat on the creature's head before proceeding to keep them hem of her dress away from the ground.

"Next, I'll switch Bountiful Artemis into defense position." Tacey announced, the creature dutifully crossing its arms over its chest and lowering into a defensive position as she gave the card on her duel disc a quarter turn, "Then, I'll place two cards face-down and end my turn."

"That works just fabulously for me." Pegasus trilled as he drew another card, "First, I'll bring back my Toonborn Frog again, in Defense Position." with a cheerful little croak, the peculiar amphibian with the taped-on wings appeared once more, crouching in a defensive stance on the Billionaire's field, "Then, I'll activate this: Toon Table of contents, which of course-"

"Let's you add a toon card from your deck to your hand." Tacey interrupted, "I know what the card does, so stop stalling and use it."

"Patience, Tacey-girl, patience." the billionaire replied calmly, investigating the contents of his deck, "Ah...this one shall do the trick!" he announced triumphantly, selecting one of the many cards and deftly shuffling the rest before placing them back in the deck slot, "And I'll play it straight away; so goodbye Toonborn Frog and Goat Token." just as one the previous turn, both the peculiar amphibian and one of the pastel colored sheep vanished from his field, "I summon, Blue-Eyes Toon Dragon!"

With a high-pitched roar slightly resemblant of a squeak, a new monster appeared on the field. It was a reptile of some sort and about the same size as Tacey's monsters, white in color with a pair of stunted wings growing out of its scaly back and a ridiculously over-sized head with two, swirly toon eyes. Sharp teeth lined its abnormally large mouth and equally sharp claws on both its fore- and hind-legs glinted as the creature struck a pose, its bicep swelling up and erupting into a small volcano.

"But the fun doesn't end there." Pegasus continued, completely disregarding the fact that Tacey hardly considered the pitiful new 'fabulous' by any stretch of imagination, "I activate Toon Parade!"

This was a move that Tacey hadn't anticipated, "What in the name of all that is sweet and sugary is that?!" she inquired sharply.

"Oh, it's one of my most fabulous support cards." Pegasus replied, grinning contentedly, "You see, if I activate this after summoning a toon monster, I can bring out up to two his little friends to play, provided that they are of the same level as the monster I summoned. And is it so happens..." his grin grew more sinister as two more dragons, identical to the first, spawned on the field, accompanied by cheerful marching band music and a shower of colorful streamers and confetti, "...that's precisely as many as I have. Now of course powerful cards like this don't last forever. At the end of my turn, all toon monsters on my field go back into my deck."

Tacey relaxed visibly. Things were still under control, then; Pegasus thought he could sweep her in a single turn with a triple direct attack from those overgrown newts, but the moment he declared that attack he'd be in for a nasty surprise. He really should have known better than to play all in with Tacey Edgeworth on the other side.

"Now prepare yourself, Tacey-girl!" Pegasus trilled, "For you're about to witness a power the likes of which you have never seen!"

'And you're about to fall down right on your powdered face.'

"I remove my three toon dragons from play."

"Say what?!" Tacey shrieked, looking up from her reverie in time to see the three lizards diving towards Pegasus' Manga World spell card, the creatures squabbling and shoving each other in an attempt to fit in between the pages before finally slipping inside, the comic book shutting with a loud bang before beginning to rumble fiercely, energy crackling around it and the virtual sky around them darkening ominously, "Just what are you doing, Pegasus?"

"Why I'm summoning the strongest monster in my entire deck." Pegasus replied, his expression now shifted firmly away from childish and effeminate in favor psychopath on the verge of world domination, "Behold and be amazed, Tacey-girl, for you shall be the first duelist to face the greatest, most devastating, most delightfully fabulous toon monster of all time; the one, the only-"

Tacey stamped her foot in irritation, "Just play the stupid card already, you silly little man!"

Pegasus gave her a disapproving glance, "Tacey-girl." he remarked, "You have no sense for drama. Very well then, I summon Blue-Eyes Ultimate Toon!" he raised his right hand into the air to give his proclamation additional dramatic effect, and on queue the comic book sprung wide open again, a burst of brilliant white light shooting up into the sky, spreading out into a massive shape in the sky above. As the lights slowly died down, Tacey found herself staring down three pairs of swirly toon eyes and identical shark smiles, each one attached to its respective head, which in turn were connected to the creature's massive torso by means of three, long necks. Like the creatures used to form it, the monster was bright white in color, but in terms of size it was easily three times as large as its predecessors, looming threateningly over the cards on Tacey's field with its scaled wings spread wide and the even larger-than-before claws glinting threateningly.

"Isn't he just the most adorable thing you ever saw?" Pegasus chirped, beaming at the grotesque being as if it was a cute little kitten, "Now for his first ever performance, I think he deserves some privacy. I switch Toon Dark Magician into Defense Position." the spellcaster - who was looking even more dwarfed than usual now that he was standing next to the gigantic beast - obediently followed suit, lowering itself into a protective stance, "Blue-Eyes Ultimate Toon, attack her Royal Double!"

Three identical, roguish grins spread across the monster's faces at the command, all of them inhaling so hard that all creatures on the field were tugged violently by the breeze and the pages of Manga World fluttered helplessly in the wind. Apparently, Pegasus had seen to it that this particular card really put on a show. Well, it was heading towards an embarrassing finale.

"Reveal face-down, Judgment of the Princesses!"

Effect Draw: Mirror Force

There was a distinctively sadistic touch to Tacey's smile as the chains sprang forth, binding the massive beast, "It looks like your ultimate monster just got the death sentence, Pegasus."

"Oh?" the billionaire replied nonchalantly, just as his dragon flexed its muscles, the chains snapping.

"What?!" Tacey stared in disbelief at the scene, "Your monster should have been destroyed!"

"Really, now..." Pegasus tutted, wagging his index finger at her, the beast mimicking him, "If my dragon could be destroyed by just any trap card it wouldn't be much of an ultimate toon now, would it? My precious toon is immune to all card effects - so bye-bye, Judgment of the Princesses." sure enough, the likeness of the card on Tacey's field shattered into pieces, "Now where were we before I was so rudely interrupted?" he smirked, "Oh yes, Ultimate Toon: destroy her Royal Double."

The dragon nodded enthusiastically before proceeding to unleash its attacks, the resulting visual effects so bright that Tacey had to shield her eyes, and by the time she opened them again her monster was long gone, the life point counter busily at work as it deducted 3000 points from her score. Suddenly, a thought struck her, however, some of her previous confidence returning.

"That means your time is up." Tacey remarked, "All toons go back to the deck, including that overgrown newt of yours." she pointed an accusing finger at Blue-Eyes Ultimate Toon.

"Oh, I should think not." Pegasus retorted as he shuffled Toon Dark Magician back into his deck, "Like I said, my Ultimate Toon is immune to all card effects; that includes Toon Parade, so you won't be forced to part yet. I end my turn."

"Lucky me." Tacey grit back.

Draw Phase: Solemn Judgment

Dismal, that card would have saved her skin one turn earlier, but it was no good against something already on the field. Come to think of it, what was good against something like that? She bit her lip as she stared down the opposition, if card effects were a no-go then her only shot at victory was to take it down in battle, but when faced with 4500 points of non-deductible attack power that was easier said than done; there was certainly nothing that powerful in her hand or deck. Tacey felt like screaming; this couldn't be it, she wouldn't allow this! She had been so close to utterly eliminating the flouncy millionaire, too close to just let it all fall down because of one cheaty card. That thing had to have a weakness; everything did. That was the whole point with duel monsters, but what could possibly...her glance swept across the field in search of answers, finally settling on the most obvious one. Of course! An improved Toon World it may have been, but in order to empower toon monsters this 'Manga World' had to cater to their common weakness as well. The only problem was drawing into it...but that she did have something for.

"I summon White Magician Pikeru."

At her command, the familiar, red-haired girl in her white robe whom Tacey was used to encountering when she had done something socially reprehensible appeared on the field, peering anxiously at the situation.

"Tacey, do you have plan for this?" the spirit inquired cautiously, "You know I'm not strong enough to-"

"I know." Tacey replied, "Don't worry, I know what I'm doing." Out loud, she did her best to not give off the impression of a weirdo who talked to her cards, "I activate Coronation of the Princesses." the girl announced, slipping her Solemn Judgment card into the graveyard and barely paying attention to the little crowning animation. Compared to her twin, Pikeru had something distinctively pleasant to her appearance as she stood on Tacey's field, clad in white, puffy dress with peach-colored lining around the hem and the ends of the sleeves, which were so long that they all but covered her hands from view, elaborate, pink ornaments with a few dots of teal around the shoulders granting the outfit a bit of color. Like her sister's, her hair was arranged into two neat braids, and she also wore a rather ridiculous-looking hat, though this one had been styled to resemble a goat's head, complete with a spiral horn design on each side. She held her scepter firmly clutched in both hands, maintaining a defensive pose while a peculiar little goat dressed in a black smock covered behind her, still dutifully hodling up the hem of her dress.

"I place a card face-down and end my turn."

"Now who's the desperate one?" Pegasus inquired, "I summon Toonborn Frog once more. Now, attack her Princess Pikeru with super special awesome dive bomber attack!"

"Come again?"

"Oh, never mind what it's called." Pegasus snorted as the tiny amphibian sprang into the air, preparing to lunge at Pikeru, "The bottom line is that your princess is about to meet a Frog who's going to change her life."

"Reveal face-down, Mirror Force!"

Effect Draw: Harvest Angel of Wisdom

"Now that was just plain mean." the effeminate billionaire remarked as the power of the trap card blasted the little amphibian into pixels, "Oh, Ultimate Toon...attack Tacey-girl directly!"

The dragon sprang to work enthusiastically, once again forcing Tacey to cover her eyes as another burst of blinding light struck, this time directly at her, and her life point counter dropped down to 500.

"I play a card face-down and end my turn."

Tacey took a deep breath, gathering her composure. It was now or never, if she didn't get the card she needed this turn the duel would be over.

"I draw."

Draw Phase: Mystical Space Typhoon

Tacey's face lit up at the sight and she experienced a rare urge to punch the air triumphantly, but that would have been all too Achanish so she restrained it.

"Make your move already." Pegasus remarked, feigning a yawn, "You know my Ultimate Toon is indestructible, so spare yourself the trouble and let me end this."

"Oh, I'll end this alright." Tacey replied levelly, "Your dragon might be invincible, but your Manga World card isn't!"

"You wouldn't-" Pegasus protested.

"Oh yes I would." Tacey retorted, "And I will too. But first, I'll activate the effect of my Princess Pikeru, granting me a grand total of 1600 additional Life Points." it seemed slightly redundant, but Pegasus had already turned around a losing situation in this duel once, and she had no wish to let him do so again, "Next, I'll activate Mystical Space Typhoon!"

As spell card and slot connected, a sizable twister appeared on Tacey's field, small sparks of energy crackling around the vortex as it zoned in on the comic book on Pegasus' field, "This duel is over!"

"Indeed it is." the billionaire concurred, "I activate Dark Bribe!"

Tacey flinched, "But that means..."

"Your typhoon is negated." Pegasus remarked calmly, the storm on the field dissipating just before it managed to reach its mark, "But don't feel bad, Tacey-girl, you'll get another card in replacement. Two, actually, thanks to that fabulous Artemis of yours."

Effect Draw: Royal Justice, Magic Jammer

"Oh joy." Tacey replied woodenly, "I place a card face-down and end my turn."

"Then I'll end this duel." Pegasus remarked, Toonborn Frog rematerializing on his field once more, "Blue-Eyes Ultimate Toon, direct attack!"

Tacey, quite frankly, was numb, allowing the arm with her duel disc to slip to her side as the final attack made contact, causing her life point counter to flatline and the holograms on the field to fade. She had lost, granted against overwhelming odds, but it was a loss nonetheless. The rich girl grit her teeth; this was unfair, completely unfair! By all rights she should have won! She always won! Pegasus had cheated again, she was sure of it.

"Oh, wasn't that just a fabulous duel?" the flouncy little cheater trilled, stashing his deck and duel disc into the safety of their designated suitcase again, "Why I haven't had this much fun since that time I defeated Kaiba-boy back in Duelist Kingdom. Oh, don't give me that look." he added as Tacey was about to mention the way he had blatantly cheated in the aforementioned duel, "A duel's a duel and a deal's a deal. Besides, it could be worse, wouldn't you agree...Achan-boy?"

His last remark was not directed at the millionaire-heiress in front of him, but instead at the sole non-suit wearing spectator of their little match, a knowing grin on his face.

"Achan?!" Tacey twirled around, the embarrassment-induced reddening of her face now complemented by that of righteous indignation, the girl taking a threatening step against her now-identified teammate.

"Ahh...the camaraderie..." Pegasus chirped in a pleasant tone, "Why this is starting to feel like Duelist Kingdom all over again, but I've really got to get going; I have an important dinner to attend to." he beamed at the both of them as he gestured for his grunts to gather, waving a last farewell before stepping into the limousine, "Have fun!"

Quite a few messages could be read from Tacey's expression, but 'fun' just wasn't one of them, "You've been spying on me?!" she thundered, her own suits preoccupied with dutifully securing the perimeter - a rather large perimeter, come to think of it - "How dare you?!"

OOC: 3648 words filling about 8 and a half pages of a standard Word document...just for this second half...*Dies* proper duels take time to describe, it seems. xD

Scarlet Weather
October 18th, 2007, 01:48 PM
OOC: Well, even Achan's short duels take a while. Jeez, that was fun! I can only imagine Tacey's reaction to Harogigas. XD

IC:

Achan chuckled as he pulled himself to his feet, straightening his recently slicked-back hair. "Aw, man... you recognized me? I was sure that changing my hair would keep you from noticing." he replied, winking at Pegasus and Tacey. "Dang, that was some duel! I-" his thoughts were cut off as Tacey charged forward, her face blazing with embarassment and righteous anger, as she began shouting at her teammate, demanding a reason as to why he was spying on her. Achan, however, was unintimidated, especially after witnessing his rival's fall. Meeting Tacey's gaze levelly, he grinned and responded in a near-perfect falsetto impersonation of Tacey "Miss Edgeworth, let me make one thing clear: I do not spy. I may happen to witness a few things by chance, but I DO NOT SPY." Attempting to stifle his laughter, the American underdog slipped his duffel bag onto his shoulder. "Besides, if it had been me dueling Pegasus and you were the one who found out about it, would you have just stayed home and waited?" he asked, making sure to keep his gaze level, "Be honest here. Anyway, if it's any help to you, I'm probably not going to be able to defeat you the same way Pegasus just did, even with my updated deck."

A familiar sounding voice rang out behind Achan at that moment, causing him to pivot around on his foot. There, standing behind him, was Katsuya Jonouchi, in the living flesh. Achan stuttered, "How-"

"No time ta explain! Look, youse all are Team Seven, right? We got an emergency situation on our hands! We need ta get ya to the hospital right away!" The bizarrely-accented MC announced, grabbing Achan's shoulders and shaking him violently.

Achan was puzzled. "The hospital? Why, are we sick or something? And how the heck did you recognize me?"

In way of answer, Jonouchi pointed at Achan's shirt. Cursing, the American duelist slapped his forehead for the first time that day. He had forgotten to remove his nametag from the shirt's back after the tournament in Hawaii had been completed. Jonouchi, meanwhile, continued his babble. "Listen, a coupla ya team mates were found on the streets, like they'd been hit by a car or somethin' only dere was no physical injuries. Ya need to get goin' over there now, ya dumb-" the blonde haired duelist caught himself before continuing "Whatever ya are. Now get movin'!"

Achan turned to Tacey, shrugging. "Well, looks like we're off and moving," he stated, shaking his head sadly. "Pity, too. I was looking forward to the rest of your reaction."

Alter Ego
October 21st, 2007, 09:42 AM
OOC: Actually, I don't think Tacey would be very much bothered by Harogigas. She's got Magic Jammer (And, for a less reliable measure, Magic Drain) to negate the ritual, Divine Wrath to negate King of the Blackland, and Solemn Judgment that can negate both of those and the actual summon of Harogigas too. (Since Harogigas isn't considered to be 'on the field' when Solemn resolves, its protection effect doesn't work) Besides, her deck is bent on ripping cards out of the opponent's hand with Royal Justice (working in tandem with Bountiful Artemis for some monstrous CA) anyway, making assembling the ritual requirements a rather bothersome task already. Should the worst happen, she could always keep negating Harogigas' attacks and attack past it with Royal Sharpshooter (or burn with Justice and Curran) as a last resort. Now triple Skill Drain on the other hand; that would mess up her gameplan big time.

IC:

"Why, I'd never!" Tacey fumed, her face turning into a deeper shade of red as her fury mounted; a natural warning signal preceding the inevitable meltdown. How dare he? How dare he stand there and mock her?! "Don't flatter yourself, Smith." she remarked in her most withering voice, "I would never skulk after the likes of you. If you had a high-profile duel coming up I'd be there to witness your inevitable first turn defeat, but I'd never disguise myself. And don't even start with this nonsense about defeating me, we both know that Pegasus only saved himself on a lucky topdeck back there; you wouldn't even be able to-"

It was then that annoying male number two - formally known as Jonouchi Katsuya - decided to butt into the conversation, informing them that they needed to get to the hospital right away; apparently a team emergency of some sort. Achan remained obnoxiously cocky as he suggested that they follow the instructions, jokingly remarking that he was disappointed not to have caught the rest of her reaction.

Tacey grit her teeth in response, but seeing as how she was now officially stuck with this team for the remainder of the tournament this crisis was something she now had a vested interest in, whether she liked it or not, "Fine." she replied, breaking off into as close to a run as she could get while still moving in a dignified manner as they set course toward the hospital, her suits cautiously following...well, following suit for lack of a better expression, "Remind me to slap you when we've got this mess sorted out, Smith."

Scarlet Weather
October 21st, 2007, 02:04 PM
OOC: Alright, I'm about to do something that I think you may or may not slap me for: I'm piling everyone into the car and pushing us into the hospital immediately, because we need to move the plot along a bit. XD

IC:

Achan turned to Tacey and nodded. "Duly noted. I will be sure to remind you to slap me." he replied, before marching after Jonouchi, who was already halfway to the ferry. "And I'm not in disguise, persay. I just figured that I could use a change in appearance."

From ahead of the tiny band,Jonouchi shouted again. "Come on, ya dumb broads! Get ya bodies ovah here, and I mean now!"

Achan glared at the pro duelist pointedly. "Do you have any idea what a 'Broad' is?" he yelled in reply.

Jonochi shook his head. "Nah, I just heard some dude on the street yellin' it and I figured it was da American equivalent o' baka." he replied.

Achan slapped his forehead again, before turning to Tacey. "I'm officially sorry for thinking you were unreasonably proud," he moaned, "Because if this is what you feel like all the time, then your ego is definitely understandable."

MEANWHILE, THOUSANDS OF MILES METERS AWAY....

Achan and Tacey sat in the waiting room of the New York general hospital, awaiting the time when they could visit their team mates. It had only taken a few minutes drive after the group had left Ellis Island to reach the hospital, and getting in had been easy enough. The only problem was that the ward they were currently visiting was understaffed at the moment. Aside from the usual number of medical emergencies of this nature, which was understandably high in a city the size of New York, there had also been a recent upswing in the number of shock victims, mostly duelists. For some reason, a fairly large number of people had collapsed in the street overnight, all of them wearing duel disks, and according to recent reports the team members of the victims had mostly gone missing. The state of the victims was usually somewhere in between complete lunacy or simple terror once they recovered enough to speak. Achan couldn't help feeling bad for his team mates, despite the fact that he hadn't met these particular two: Cain Ritham and somebody else whose name escaped him at that moment in time.

The nurse stepped in, bedecked in white gown and cap. "They're ready to receive visitors now. They're a bit delusional right now, so it's best that only one goes in at a time," she stated, beckoning to Achan. Slowly, the red-headed teenager moved to his feet and followed the nurse down the halls, stopping in front of a room marked "Recovery". Holding his breath, Achan pushed the door open.

There, on the twin hospital beds in front of him, sat two teenagers, barely his own age. On the ground nearby sat two duel disks, each one devoid of a deck. The two appeared to be hyperventilating, and tears ran down the face of the one nearest Achan. Slowly, one of them motioned. Stepping forward, Achan bent forward to listen. The other boy's lips chattered in fear as he whispered "He was insane... insane... he had too much power, too much! It was impossible to defeat him... and he said I was a demon, that he'd have to kill me... that thing stabbed me... I feel so cold..."

A nurse stepped forward, placing her hand on Achan's shoulder, and guided him back to the waiting room. The red-head turned to Tacey, his own face a bit pale. "You don't want to see them," Achan said, shaking his head slowly, "You don't. It's like they're trapped in a nightmare or something. It's seriously freaky."

"How freaky is that, Smith?"

Achan jumped, staring at Michel, who had walked through the door. "I heard about the accident from the tourney officials, and came to pay my regards before I left." The tycoon explained.

Achan nodded in understanding before his mind clicked. "Wait... before you leave? What's going on?" he demanded.

Michel shook his head. "Something came up with the company, and I have to take over for a bit. Nothing you'd understand, Smith. Anyway, looks like I'll have to drop off from the team for a bit."

Achan's jaw dropped. First these two, now Michel? "Just how long are you planning to drop out?" Achan inquired harshly.

"Dunno. Might be until the end of the tournament, depending on how long it takes to resolve this mess." Michel replied nonchalantly. "Anyway, I'm sure you'll do fine without me." With that, the corporate head strode off towards the room of the downed team mates.

Achan sat down. "If this keeps up, you and I will be the only ones left on the team," he said, attempting conversation with Tacey.

"Don't be so sure!" a voice boomed, causing Achan to leap from his seat in agitation. Now what?

The two people who walked into the room were probably in their early twenties or late teens, Achan wasn't sure which. What he did know was that the one on the left had been to Duel Academia, as evidenced by his red blazer and the duel disk on his left hand. Grinning, the brown-haired duelist stepped forward, leaving his partner skulking off to the side. "Achan Smith, right?" he asked, offering a hand. "My name is Yuki Judai, and my irritable partner back there is Jun Manjoume." The other duelist simply grunted his agreement, leaning against the wall, clutching his black blazer around him. "Anyway, we're with the IDF- that's the international duelist federation. Basically, we're pros for hire," Judai continued, not allowing his partner to slow him down in the least, "And Pegasus just called in and said a personal favorite team of his had just lost two members. We're on payroll at the moment, so he sent us in as replacements until after the tournament."

"Whatever. I can't wait to get out of this city and back home. This whole thing is boring." Manjoume replied, his dark, spiky hair bouncing slightly as he turned. "Anyway, point is, you all aren't alone."

OOC: What's this new plot development? The arrival of GX characters? The loss of the characters that JBCPeace and Lex_Rextron were supposed to play? What is this "IDF" anyway, and is it important to the plot? Guess we'll have to tune in to the next episode of CARD GAMES to find out! (No, this does not mean I'm signalling an act change. It does, however, mean I've finally figured out how to weave together a few loose plot ends. Judai is mine, btw, because he's cool. In Japan, that is. In America, he hits new levels on the idiot meter. 0_o)

Alter Ego
October 22nd, 2007, 07:31 AM
OOC: Oy, since we're going surnames first that's Manjoume Jun, not the other way around. *Smacks ACC* Besides, he always insists on the 'sanda' bit (Speaking of which, are we translating that to English or keeping it as it is?). Get it right, please; he's like one of the few GX characters that don't make me want to scream and throttle a writer, though the dubbers did their best to make him suck. xP It's too bad that the new banlist limited Snipe Hunter, 'cause otherwise Ojamachinegun would so have been his deck of choice. xD

Anyways, I claim dibs on Manjoume. It's only fair, no? I'll wait for a clear before controlling him, though. ^.^

IC:

Tacey, quite frankly, was miffed. Not only had she lost a duel against a jumped up pixiepoof of a billionaire, right in front of the now insufferably cocky Achan, but now she was being hauled about towards a situation she didn't know enough about. If there was one thing Tacey hated, it was being kept in the dark about things that concerned her. The millionaire-heiress' bad mood practically radiated into her surroundings as she sat down in the crowded waiting room for what felt like an eternity, only to be told that the people they had come to see had a 'one visitor at a time' policy. The girl was about to voice a loud and bitter complain at this, but then decided against it, sitting back down to revel in her private misery instead, well as private as anything could get when four muscular bodyguards in black suits were trying their best to look inconspicuous in the middle of a crowded hospital ward anyway. This whole day had turned out completely rotten right from the get-go, why the only thing that had been even vaguely resemblant of an improvement had been-she stopped herself in mid-thought. No, she would not allow her only positive thought for the day to be that.

"But you have to admit..." Pikeru's voice remarked carefully, its owner floating up into view from within Tacey's right shoulder, a tiny hint of a smile on her face, "He does look kind of cute with his hair like that."

"Oh please..." retorted Curran, popping up on the girl's left shoulder and staring at her starry-eyed twin in a decidedly disapproving manner, "You say that about all the boys, you hopeless ditz."

"Well, it's still true!" Pikeru persisted, a blush creeping up on her face, even as she held up a defiant stance towards her sister, "And besides, he's been very nice lately, maybe you two could finally stop bickering and admit to being frien-"

"I swear..." Curran remarked acidly, "If you're going to start fangirling over that lout I'm going to be sick. Need I remind you that Achan is also poor, scrawny, poor mannered, dresses like a tourist on a package holiday and has a hairdo that makes him look like a starfish climbed up on his head and died?" she scoffed, "Besides, he smells like cheap hair gel. No way am I calling him a friend."

"Well Tacey likes him." the white-robed spirit replied, receiving a withering look from her host, "Don't you, Tacey?"

"No I don't, actually." the rich girl replied as levelly as she could when faced with something akin to high treason from what she had been led to believe was a figment of her addled mind. Not a single part of her mind would ever be allowed to like Achan Smith in any fashion; she would rather die than face that. The girl leaned back defiantly, her arms folded, "He's just someone who's going to get to the finals thanks to my peerless dueling skills and whom I will crush afterwards. End of story. I do not like him."

"Michel-"

"I don't like him either!" Tacey yelled in frustration, only realizing moments later that the person in question was standing right in front of her, currently engaged in a brief exchange of words with Achan. As she realized what she had just done, a single thought flashed across Tacey's mind:

'Oh snap.'

On the girl's shoulders, Curran facepanned while Pikeru looked thoroughly embarrassed, "I didn't mean that..." the spirit muttered, though this was painfully obvious at this point. Fortunately, the awkwardness was cut short as two strangers interrupted Achan's feeble attempt at striking up a conversation, introducing themselves as stand-in teammates brought onto the team via Pegasus' money.

Tacey gave the two of them an appraising look. The black-haired one she had a vague recollection of; Manjoume Jun, rogue child of the Manjoume group. This was one of the many families that Tacey had been instructed to keep an eye on during her lessons to become the future head of Edgeworth Electronics, but this one wasn't another Michel; after all, from what she had heard Jun had broken away from the family tradition in favor of carving out his own path at Duel Academia. Some path he had made; Tacey felt like making a sarcastic remark about it, but held her tongue...she certainly didn't want to draw anyone's attention to her own awkward moment. Judging by her information this Manjoume was a passable duelist - not nearly in the same league as her, of course, but still...he had won that silly gimmick tournament at the academy, so she supposed that counted for something. But this Yudai character...Tacey strained her mind as she peered at the brown-haired kid, trying to recall where he had heard that name: and then it struck her; Edo. That snotty little brat had made a big deal about this Yudai character, going so far as to announce an open challenge to him on television, only to later appear praising his dueling skills to the skies. But then again, the aforementioned competitive duelist was well known for having his little occult fetishes, so Tacey had never placed much weight on his words.

"Very well, then." the rich girl remarked at last, "I'm Tacey Edgeworth, though you may simply refer to me as 'miss' if you like to use a less syllable-intensive title. A pleasure to meet you, I suppose. Just follow orders and try not to get in the way of my tournament victory, will you? I know you can't be as good as me, but at least try to, alright?"

"A pleasure to meet you." Pikeru chirped, politely curtsying for the two boys.

"Oh give it a rest, goat-girl." Curran scoffed, placing her hands at the back of her head and leaning against them, "It's not like those academy dropouts can hear you anyway."


OOC: And just to be perfectly clear on the matter: no, Tacey does not like Achan. Pikeru is just being ditsy. For a more accurate opinion, see Curran's feelings on the matter. x3

Scarlet Weather
October 22nd, 2007, 03:45 PM
OOC: Thank goodness. I already have one situation where the girl I like hates me going in my life, I don't need to roleplay a variation. 0_o

Manjoume is all yours, please, take him. And yes, the "San-da/Sanda" pun remains in Japanese, since there really isn't a way to translate that pun into English. His cheer also remains the same, and I expect you as his controller to use it at some point. (Never have him refer to himself as "The Manjoume" or say "Manjoume it up!" or I swear I will eviscerate you with fiction and humiliate you with words.) Oh, and I bunny him for one quick line, if ya don't mind.

BTW, since we're going by Canon, Judai has fused with Yubel, and I'm unsure whether or not you've kept up that far with the plot. Point is, he is no longer ordinary Judai, he is now SUPA JUDAI WITH GLOWING EYES.

IC:

It was at the point of Pikeru's curtsy that Judai's smile widened to a grin the size of a peeled bannana. Walking over to the spritely princesses, he bowed and proffered his hand. "Delighted to meet you, miss. I had no idea that others on this team had duel spirits." Turning once again to face Tacey, the horrendously optimistic duelist treated her to yet another massive smile. "You're lucky. It's not often I meet another duelist able to see spirits," he continued, "So this is a special occasion. What say we commemorate it with a duel?"

"Judai, give it a rest. She probably doesn't even know what the hell you're talking about. Besides, you celebrate everything with a duel." Manjoume interrupted, staring at his companion, who, from Achan's point of view, was chatting amiably with thin air.

"Oh whatever, 'Manjoume-San-da.' Relax a little! Besides, I've heard of Miss Edgeworth before, and you know the rule: strong duelists seek each other out." Judai rebutted, laughing.

Achan stared at the two before moving in accusingly on Judai. "First of all, who the heck are you talking about? What spirits?" he asked, pointing first at Judai and then at Tacey. "Come on, if we're a team, why am I the one left in the dark here? Is poor little Achan nowhere near good enough to be given a chance at learning what's going on? Is there something too secret for his poor little head? Huh?" he snapped, advancing. "And another thing. What's with your eyes? They're all weird."

Judai stepped backward, and the momentary bi-colored gleam Achan had glimpsed in his eyes vanished. "Easy there, kid," he continued, still smiling, "You'll hurt yourself. I was just talking to your friend's duel spirits, that's all."

That pushed Achan even farther. Advancing once again, he pointed his finger at the mysterious duelist's face. "Listen once and listen good, pal. Tacey is not my friend. She and I are rivals. Got that? Focus less on her and more on me, 'cause one of these days I'm going to surpass her." His anger thus vented, Achan continued on in a less threatening tone. "And what the heck are duel spirits? I have no clue what you're talking about."

"Guess you can't see them, huh?" Judai replied, shaking his head. Turning to his companion, he adopted a more serious expression. "Manjoume-kun, could you explain? I'm a bit tired of being the one who always lays these things out for people, and you're better at it anyway."

Alter Ego
October 25th, 2007, 08:59 AM
OOC: Dude, I've only watched until his duel with Brron yet. Way to go spoiling the grand finale, you anime spoilerer person, you. xP

Seriously, where do you get your subs? I can't find any subs beyond the Brron episode except for the "funny" ones that are never funny. x.x

And trust me...I hate "Chazz it up!" with the passion of a thousand suns. Seriously, that's not only stupid; it's rather suspect too, especially when he's going "I'm going to Chazz you up!". Seriously, WTF, dubbers? <.<

IC:

Pikeru giggled in a decidedly girly manner as Judai greeted her, "I hate to say I told you so..." she trilled to her sister.

"You didn't." Curran replied tartly, folding her arms, "You were just acting like a ditz, as usual."

Tacey, meanwhile, was amazed. Were these two for real? Sure, she had always been able to see Pikeru and Curran, but she had never met anyone else like that. Either this Judai had the power to see figments of her imagination or he was seriously nutty. Possibly both. Before the rich girl could verify any of this, Achan had stepped forward, loudly demanding an explanation. Judai took it calmly, redirecting the question to Manjoume.

"San-da." the black-haired duelist corrected his partner, irritably brushing some imaginary dirt off his own blazer, "So anyway, duel spirits are basically critters from another dimension. Normal people can't see or hear them, but duel monsters is based on old rituals that were used to summon them for battle, and apparently some of the stuff that makes them tick still exists in the card game. There's this thing called duel energy that spirits need to survive, and the better a duelist you are the more of it you emit. Duel spirits are attracted to this energy, so when they see someone with a lot of it, they'll reveal themselves to that person and try to join up with him-"

"Or her." Tacey interrupted.

"Whatever." Manjoume retorted, "Point is, you won't see or hear them until you become a real duelist like me." there was a slight tinge of self-promotion in his voice at this point, "Anyway, most duel spirits try to make themselves helpful-"

"Hear that?!" interrupted a high-pitched voice, a yellow gremlin-like creature with two eyestalks sticking out of its forehead and a pair of red fishlips, floating up to the right of Manjoume's head, an expression of pure bliss etched on its face. The creature was donning nothing but a red thong and was hardly a pleasing sight for Tacey, who took a cautious step back, "The boss called us helpful."

"Figures..." grumbled a deeper voice, another creature appearing next to the first - this one black in color and far flabbier than its partner, with a ridiculously large nose and a pair of tiny light brown eyes at the very top of its head, "He's always calling us things."

"No, no!" interjected a third voice somewhere between the two first ones in pitch, its owner - this one green in color with a more muscular body than the others', a single yellow eye with a purple pupil sticking out of its forehead, and a long, purple tongue sticking out of its mouth - "I think that was a comple, comply-uhh...a something you call people when you're not calling them names!"

"I knew that." the black one retorted defensively, "I was just checking to see if you knew!"

The green one scratched its head, giving his brother a quizzical look, "Knew what?"

Manjoume gave an irritated sigh, "Some are more useful than others." he finished, swatting the trio with his right hand and causing them to disappear into thin air again, "Anyway, duel spirits always inhabit a card depicting them and they can move from one card to another, but unless they decide to show themselves there's no telling where they are." he shrugged, "That's the short of it."

"I've got a question." Tacey interrupted.

"What?"

"If duel spirits are attracted to the strongest duel energy, does that mean that stronger duelists get stronger spirits?"

"Who knows?" Manjoume retorted, scoffing, "And why'd you ask, anyway?"

Tacey couldn't help a smug little grin, "You got ojamas." she said calmly, allowing the contents of these three, simple words to seep in, "Figure it out."

"Tacey!" Pikeru scolded, "That was mean!"

"It's true, though." Curran replied, "To settle for the three stooges you have to be pre-tty desperate."

"Well, I think they're kind of cute."

"What else is new?"

Ignoring her bickering duel spirits, Tacey turned to Achan instead, realizing that now was a perfect time to strike, "So...poor little Achan." she began in her most sugary-sweet voice, "Did that make it clearer or is it too much for your poor little head? If he used any big words you didn't understand, don't be afraid to ask." she gave the boy a patronizing little pat on the head, "After all...we're a team, aren't we?"


OOC: Okay, yeah...I'll admit to not quite understanding the finer points of duel spirits, so I hope that's about right. The canon seems sort of...confused on the subject. o.o

Scarlet Weather
October 25th, 2007, 05:28 PM
OOC: Who said anything about me getting subs? I had no idea there was even a sub for vs. Bronn at this point. 0_o I get all my information from episode spoilers on the Yu-Gi-Oh Wikia. I had to admit, the fusion of Judai and Yubel was pretty out there, but the new GX opening pretty much confirms it since there are several shots of Judai using a weird Yubel-esque eye-glowing power and one of Yubel doing Yami Yugi's old job (i.e., appearing as a transparent shape next to Judai.) Where did you get your subs? I've got to know this.

Anyway, I think you messed up the explanation a bit, since strength as a duelist doesn't really have all that much to do with it. (Remember the dude with the Koalas? Case in point.)

IC:

Achan's face turned red with anger as Tacey condescendingly concluded Manjoume's lecture by patting him on the head. How dare she treat him like a little kid? It wasn't as if not being privy to all the mysteries of a children's card game barred him from being any good. Besides, this Manjoume dude was a hack anyway, and anything he and the other guy said was obviously not to be trusted. They were loonies! Completely insane, that was the only explanation he could find. As hard as he tried, the red-haired duelist couldn't accept the possible fact that Tacey Edgeworth, jerk extraordinaire, had something he would never be able to duplicate. Her being better at dueling was one thing, her being able to do something he would quite possibly be unable to accomplish for the rest of his life... unthinkable. He wanted to scream, shout, or do something else completely immature. His fist and jaw both clenched and his teeth grated as he attempted to find a witty retort. Having none, he opted to go for the other option: leave and have a good tantrum back at the hotel while he tried to sort this whole sordid business out. Straightening up, Achan stared at the girl who would probably forever be labeled as "@*$&@" in the back of his mind. "I'm sure you have much better things to do, Miss Edgeworth, then share time with the poor, completely blind likes of an amateur like me," he spat at her sarcastically, "Because after all, I can't expect to hold you back. I'm out of here. You want me, I'll be in the nearest pizza joint." With that he stalked from the room, the door slamming behind him.

Sighing, Judai ran his fingers through his brown hair in mild annoyance and frustration. "Hooboy..." he muttered, before turning to his other two team mates. "Manjoume, you just had to emphasize the whole 'strength' factor didn't you?" he asked, not unkindly. "We really still aren't clear on that part of the process anyway. It definitely doesn't explain a couple of the duelists we've met." Stepping forward, the former academy student opened the door. "I'm going to try and sort things out," he called back, "See if you can meet me near Broadway later. Manjoume, you still have those tickets for The Duelists right?" Without stopping to wait for an answer, he continued, "Good. Oh, and Miss Edgeworth?" With that, Judai proceeded to direct a withering glare at the duelist, a glare that was made doubly intense by the fact that his eyes seemed to glow, one green and one orange, as he did so. "Please, don't antagonize him. We're a team after all. If one member goes down, in the end we all will." With that, he exited the room, hurrying after the fuming Achan.

SEVEN DAYS MINUTES....

"Hey! Hey, Sumisu-kun! Wait up!"

Achan turned to see Judai racing after him along the sidewalk. He didn't care much. The older duelist was probably just trying to convince him to come back so Tacey could get in a few more minutes of abuse. Achan wasn't going to stick around for that. With a face as red as his hair, he lengthened his stride, hoping to leave Judai behind. Couldn't that idiot see that he was having a mental breakdown at the moment?

"Sumisu-kun! Got you!"

Achan stared. Judai, who had been well behind him mere moments before, had easily caught up with him and was now staring him in the face. His face and voice even, the older duelist placed his hand on Achan's shoulder. "Come on, Manjoume-kun and Edgeworth-san are waiting for us. We need to get going."

Achan shook his head and proceeded to extricate his shoulder from Judai's grip. "Fat chance," he spat back irritably, "Not after you've given Tacey another excuse to lord it over me. That... Oh, that woman!" Achan continued marching, scarcely caring that Judai was now following beside him. "Thinks she's so tough with her custom cards, and her dueling skills, and her nobility, and she lords it over me and she's so self-confident and-" he continued babbling until he felt Judai's hand gently rest upon his shoulder.

"It's okay," Judai said, squeezing gently before removing his arm, "I know how you feel."

Achan stared at him like a child who has just had his big brother explain the mysteries of the universe (he thinks) to him. "Really?"

"Mm," replied Judai, nodding his head sagely. "See, my best friend Sho always had this rivalry with his older brother Ryo, and..."

"Just a minute. Sho? As in Kaiser Sho? Isn't he on the pro duelist circuit?" Achan interrupted.

"Well, yes. We did graduate in the same year, don't forget," Judai replied, nudging Achan. "Anyway, he always wanted his brother Ryo's title for himself. You should have seen him fume when he lost out! But he never gave up," Judai continued, throwing himself into his speech, "And he stood up against all sorts of odds. It didn't matter that Ryo could see duel spirits and he couldn't! And one day, he won. It was sudden and quick, but it was amazing. The amount of progress he made was nothing short of astounding." Judai finished, breathing heavily.

"And what the hell does that have to do with me?" Achan retorted.

"Not sure, but it makes a good story," Judai replied, scratching his head. "But it's better then nothing. Now listen, I know you and Edgeworth-san don't get along, but the point is that you can't let that get in your way when you team up. I mean, Manjoume-kun and I are old rivals, but we don't let that get in the way of our partnership. In fact, we're practically buddies-in-arms now... I think that's how you say it in English?" Judai asked, scratching his head.

"Pretty much, yeah. But why should I try to be friends with Tacey? I mean, we're rivals, and in the end we'll have to fight anyway. Why should I even attempt to be civil around her? She obviously doesn't care about the team!" Achan retorted.

Judai rolled his eyes. "Look, I realize you're probably jealous that she sees duel spirits and you don't," he replied, training his gaze on Achan as he spoke, "But that doesn't mean she can't help you out. Nobody is perfect, true, but I don't think anyone is one hundred percent evil either, and half the time when you meet someone who is they're possessed by the Light of Destruction."

"What the heck is-"

"Never mind that! The point is that Edgeworth-san isn't as bad as you make her out to be. Though I have to say that I pity that one duel spirit. She looks too nice to hang out with a girl with Tacey's problems."

Achan shook his head. "I get what you're saying, and I know that Tacey isn't completely evil, but why the heck should I come back anyway? I mean, after what Manjoume said, what am I supposed to do? Do I not get to be a great duelist because I can't see spirits? What the heck am I supposed to do with someone who can? I'd probably just drag the whole team down if I went back."

"Is that what this is about?" Judai laughed, before seeing the despondent look on Achan's face. "I'm sorry, it's just that this whole thing is a bit of a misunderstanding. Yes, the ability to see duel spirits and the probability of having one does increase if you're a strong duelist, but that doesn't mean that you can't be strong if you don't have one. Didn't I just tell you about Sho-kun? He still can't see spirits, and neither can his brother Ryo, really, or Ed Phoenix for that matter. Most of the great American and European duelists don't do it either. There's Jonathan Labounty, Martin Billay-"

"I get the point! Being unable to see spirits doesn't necessarily mean that I'm always going to suck at dueling," Achan broke in, "But if that's true then why is it that Tacey can see spirits and I can't?"

"Same reason you're a guy and she's a girl: you were born that way. I'm not kidding. I've done a bit of research, and as far as duel spirits go there are two factors. First, you've got to have great strength or potential for great strength. Second of all, you've got to be born with the ability or have some way of duplicating it. That's about all there is to Duel Spirits," Judai replied, "Just a matter of whether you're born with it or not. There's also some amount of predetermination, since the duel spirits people meet are almost always ones that match their inner personality. That really doesn't explain Manjoume and those Ojama Brothers of his, but you get the point."

"So... this whole duel spirit thing doesn't really matter?" Achan asked, a new edge of hope in his voice.

"Pretty much," Judai replied, "Pretty much."

"In that case, I'm going to go back and kill Tacey." Achan replied, marching towards the hospital. Once again, however, he was arrested by Judai's hand. "Now what?"

Achan stared in awe at the tickets held in Judai's hand. "Manjoume and I won some sort of contest," the red-blazered duelist explained, "And we got four tickets to the new Broadway smash hit The Duelists. Anyway, we were planning to go with a few friends, but they canceled so we had two left over. Anyway, when we found out that you two were the only two team members left at the hospital we figured we may as well invite you. So, what do you say?"

In his heart, a small part of Achan remembered that this wasn't just a tournament. It was a vacation as well. His focus and willpower crumbled. Forget Tacey, he had always wanted a trip to Broadway. Why not? Reaching out, he accepted the tickets. "Why not?"

"Alright! Let's go!" Judai yelled, grabbing Achan's arm and racing ahead, pulling the hapless teenager in tow behind him. It was really rather amazing the speeds that one could attain on foot...

OOC: Manjoume has the other two tickets, BTW. And yes, I just made an Abridged Series and an actual real-life TCG reference in the same post. Kudos to whoever finds both first and points them out in the OOC thread. XD

Alter Ego
October 29th, 2007, 11:15 AM
"Tacey, that was horrible of you."

"I was just joking." the rich girl replied to her duel spirit's accusing look, folding her arms defensively, "It's not my fault that Smith is such a big crybaby."

She knew her annoyingly goody two-shoesy extradimensional figment of imagination had a point, but she would absolutely not admit it.

"You know you need to apologize." Pikeru said at last.

"I most certainly do not!" the girl huffed, "It's not like he's apologized for stalking me."

"Well it's not like you apologized for trying to break up the team behind his back."

"That's different! It's..." Tacey made a few vague hand gestures, "Well, it's just different, alright?! I'm not going to grovel for Smith!"

"Are you two done?"

Manjoume's passively annoyed voice interrupted the argument, both arguers turning their respective glares to him instead.

"Trust me, I have nothing against you making an ass of yourself in public." the black-blazered duelist continued, casually ceasing to lean against the wall and taking a few lazy steps towards the door, "But this is getting boring."

"Oh, and I suppose you've got something better to do?" Tacey retorted.

"As a matter of fact, I do." Manjoume replied, flashing a pair of tickets in his hand, "Won tickets for some big Broadway hit, actually. I was really going to invite...someone else, but since they were busy and I've got a ticket to spare, I guess you can tag along." he paused, "That is if you can make your self-righteous little spirit chum shut her yap."

Pikeru scowled, "Why I never-!"

Tacey gave the boy in front of her a critical glance. On one hand, he had been very rude to interrupt her private conversation like that, but on the other...a smile crept up on her face, broadway was broadway, and it sure beat Pikeru's lecturing.

"Alright." she replied at last in her most dignified voice, striding over and snatching one of the tickets from Manjoume's hand, "You've got yourself a date."

"What?!" the black-haired duelist spluttered.

"Ohh...you're such a smooth operator, boss!" his yellow little gremlin cooed, spawning out of thin air with a conspiratory grin on his face.

"When a boy asks a girl to go out with him, it's called a date." Tacey explained matter-of-factly, snatching the protesting teen's arm in her standard vicegrip, "Do I really have to hand-walk you through this? Come on now, we don't want to be late. As for you..." she cast a haughty glance at her suits, "I expect outmost discretion on your part."

"Yes, miss." Rufus took up the queue, the others chiming in, and though their eyes were concealed, their expressions all stated the same message loud and clear: 'rather you than me'.

"This is not a date!" Manjoume wailed, struggling in vain to get out of the girl's grip as she hauled him towards the door.

"Oh, don't be so bashful about it." Tacey scoffed, "You're the one who asked me out."


OOC: I pity Manjoume, that's all I'll say. Sorry, I just couldn't resist... xD

Scarlet Weather
October 30th, 2007, 03:50 PM
"Faster Sumisu-kun! We have to be at the theatre in thirty minutes!" Judai exclaimed, exuberantly as always, dragging his hapless team mate behind him.

"Hey, stop pulling! And call me Achan, already!" Achan replied, attempting futilely to keep up with the older duelist's step.

Judai shook his head. "We stop for no man! Or woman for that matter!" he annuounced, marching forward.

Achan felt like screaming. Jeez, this guy was a regular energizer bunny! Every step he took, it was like he had more energy! Then something occurred to him. "Judai, can I ask you a question?" he inquired.

"Eh?" Judai slowed his pace momentarily. "What is it?"

"Who were you planning to go with before?"

"Oh, that?" Judai chuckled. "Just some friends from back in our Academia days who were taking part in the tournament, but they cancelled at the last second. Something about one of their team mates getting beaten by a girl and having a nervous breakdown or something." He scratched his head, confused. "Couldn't remember who they said it was, though."

Achan had his own suspicions about what was happening there, but then something clicked. "Wait. You said they were involved in the tournament and they were in school with you, so that means they're-"

"Pros." Judai finished with a smile, "Pros registered with the IDF. They took time off for the tournament, but Manjoume-kun and I had both spent our vacation time involved in... something else." His face darkened momentarily, his eyes taking on a slightly melancholy quality that had seemed foreign to them before. Before Achan could ask what he meant, the duelist shook his head and was back to all smiles. "Oh well, it's in the past now, and we're getting to take part in the tournament anyway! So don't worry about it!"

Achan could tell that his companion was hiding something, but pursuing it right now was a bad idea, especially since Judai made the announcement. "We're here! Wow, must have been closer then we thought, Sumisu-kun!"

"Achan!" the younger duelist corrected automatically, staring at the massive theatre which was Broadway, home to and birthplace of some of the finest musicals ever performed onstage.

"Got your tickets?" Judai asked.

Achan smiled gratefully, nodding. "Yup!"

"Well then, we're going in!" Judai announced, and before Achan knew what was happening he was through the double doors and beside a ticket line, awaiting the arrival of his other team mates.

Meanwhile, from the shadows, an unseen assailant watched and waited, pausing only to take a bite from a handy granola bar. Judai would be his, he knew. After all, hadn't the master told him so?

Alter Ego
October 31st, 2007, 07:13 AM
OOC: Whooo! Finally finished watching the third season of GX (Yubel is hands down the best villain in the whole freakin' series. <3). And yes, the Yubel/Yudai fusion is indeed 100% canon, it does make sense...well, as much as anything makes sense in YGO, anyway. If you need any info on stuff that happened in the third season, just ask. I couldn't find fansubs for everything, but I get the general gist of what was said there. :3

IC:

"I hate you."

There seemed to be no reaction from the purple-haired girl as she continued hauling her older captive through the streets, only gracing his indignant remark with a brief turn of her head.

"Did you say something?" she inquired, "Don't mumble; it's very impolite."

"I said-" Manjoume began indignantly, but his female tormentor was not about to give him that much maneuvering room.

"Oh, look, we're here." Tacey trilled, beaming at the front of the theater, "And just in time too." she cast a disapproving glance at the line inside before coughing ever so slightly, the four suits in the background following their given queue and wandering inside, clearing a path through the protesting people in the routined manner of men who had been in this situation countless times before while the rich girl nonchalantly hauled her involuntary escort through the created gap. It was then that she spotted two strangers in the crowd who turned out not to be strangers after all.

"Ahh, Judai and...Smith." she barely acknowledged the latter's existence, "What a coincidence that we should meet here. Try not to have another outburst during the performance, will you?" the last remark was aimed at Achan.

"Yeah, the boss is on a date." Ojama Yellow added, though he was clearly addressing Judai, the conspiratory grin not leaving the duel spirit's face for a second.

"This is not a date!" Manjoume protested, his face deep red and his eyes sending over a 'don't you dare laugh' to his fellow mercenary as he made another vain attempt at dislodging his arm from Tacey's unyielding armhook.

"I'll admit that you've done a poor job at it thus far." the girl riposted in an oh-so-understanding voice, "But that kind of chidlishness isn't helping matters. Now why don't you try to act more like a gentleman and less like an insecure little schoolboy and try to make these plebeians move a little faster? This line is being awfully slow."

Scarlet Weather
November 2nd, 2007, 04:02 PM
OOC: Sorry for lateness. Last night I had my first debate meet, so I was away from the computer for a while. XD

IC:

"What? No 'I'm sorry I tried to assert superiority even though I'm clearly not dueling goddess of the world'? Tacey, you really know how to get on a guy's bad side. I don't care how awesome you are at dueling, you don't get to mistreat me." Achan spat, staring at the recently arrived Manjoume and Tacey. Then something struck him. Tacey had her hand looped around Manjoume's arm, and the older duelist didn't seem to happy about it. Apparently, even people that Tacey liked didn't enjoy her company. Achan smirked, pointing at the two. "You don't have a crush on Manjoume or something, do you Tacey?"

"This is not a date!" Manjoume protested. Achan chuckled, thinking the remark was directed at his comment before realizing that the black-coated duelist was speaking to Judai, who seemed to be attempting to restrain a giggle fit that would quite possibly overrun the entire theatre. Achan could see the situation here: Manjoume had probably produced the tickets, and Tacey had jumped on it for whatever reason, taking him as her official escort. Knowing her, she was probably just doing it to spite him. The situation was like something out of a bad sit-com. Judai and Achan faced each other, and then, unable to hold back, both burst out laughing, causing no small number of heads from the line to turn and stare at them. As soon as he realized the scene he was causing, Achan allowed his laughter to peter off, but Judai seemed to be completely unable to stop chuckling. At last, however, his laughter ended and he turned to face something in the air beside him, something completely invisible to Achan. The teenager groaned- it was probably another duel spirit thing.

Judai kept his attention on what appeared to be a brown puffball with large yellow eyes, green feet, and angelic wings. The tiny creature, apparently his duel spirit, frantically attempted to get Judai's attention, yelling Kuri! Kuri! in a high-pitched voice as it pointed towards an "inconspicuous" boy standing in the corner, a boy who appeared to be of possible Romanian descent decked out in what could only be described as the attire of a stereotypic goth, aside from the total absence of black make-up.

"I see him, don't worry." Judai muttered to the flying creature. "Keep calm. I'll take care of him now."

Kuri, kuri? the spirit questioned, fluttering inquisitively.

Judai smiled, apparently able to understand the spirit. "I'll make sure he's taken care of. I'm here to protect this team, remember?" he muttered under his breath, before suddenly turning to Manjoume and slapping his forehead. "Ah! I completely forgot to grab my program!" he exclaimed, winking furtively at the other duelist, "Hold my place in line, will you? I'll be right back." With that he dashed off, leaving Achan wondering why Judai was so excited about this program in the first place.

The kid was still skulking as Judai grabbed his shoulder, pulling him behind a column conveniently placed nearby. He smirked, removing a deck from his pocket. "You knew I was there?"

"In all fairness, you're not all that hard to spot," Judai replied, scratching his head sheepishly. "I mean, it was pitifully obvious you were tailing me."

Mechanically, the goth kid shook his head. "That does not matter," he replied in a monotone voice, "What matters is that I carry out the master's wishes. And Yuki Judai, he wishes me to take you and to seal the demon in your soul away for good."

"Not gonna do you much good, since that 'demon' you're talking about happens to be fused with my soul right now." Judai replied viciously, his eyes taking on an eerie quality that hadn't been visible before. "You must be pretty dedicated to follow me all the way from the hospital though, especially when I used Yubel's power to pull myself ahead."

"I see. You were only anxious about coming here because you wanted to protect that Smith person." his opponent fired back, equally angered. "And now that you no longer need to worry about him?"

"We can duel," Judai replied, pointing to the doors. "But not in here. I'm not getting innocent bystanders involved in a shadow duel."

The goth duelist nodded, before removing a necklace adorned with a crucifix image from where it had rested earlier beneath his clothing. "Agreed," he replied nonchalantly, "I'm fine as long as I am allowed to face you, as per my master's orders. You choose the location."

Judai grinned. It was not a grin typical of the persona he had displayed earlier, however. This smile seemed to be one of charged excitement fused with anticipation of the destruction of a powerful rival. His eyes were gleaming now, revealing their distinctive bright green and orange coloration. "Follow me," he replied, motioning towards the doorway.

Alter Ego
November 5th, 2007, 11:03 AM
Tacey gave a little martyr's sigh as both Achan and Judai burst into uncontrollable laughter, "I hope you realize that you're both being terribly immature." the fourteen-year old remarked to the late-teenagers she was forced to share her team with, "Manjoume asked for my company and I was courteous enough to grant it to him." she nonchalantly stamped the black-haired duelist's foot as he attempted to voice a protest, causing it to dissolve into a sharp yelp of pain as she focused her glare on Achan's eyes, "Besides, Smith; whoever I have or don't have a crush on is none of your concern, so I'd appreciate it if you stopped trying to pry into my personal life. I swear, if I catch you stalking me again I shall-"

It was then that Judai's furry complement appeared, creating quite the racket in the process. The creature was cute, Tacey gave it that much, but it looked a bit too soft and fluffy for battle; probably monster or tribute bait at best. The creature was currently at work with fervently pointing out a certain person in the crowd, so Tacey's gaze was naturally led to the same direction as Judai's, the latter soon excusing himself under the pretext of getting a program.

Tacey raised an eyebrow in suspicion, turning to her captive escort, "Alright, spill it." she said bluntly, "What's Judai up to?"

"Getting a program." Manjoume retorted, "What? Am I supposed to be a 'gentleman' by listening for you too?"

"Very grown." the girl retorted levelly, "I meant what is he really up to? This is not Smith you're talking to; I saw how worked up that little puffball of Judai's was and I'm not stupid enough to buy into that cheap program excuse. But by all means, keep that cheap facade up..." she leaned over to whisper the end of her message into Manjoume's ear, well away from prying plebeians, "...and we can get back to our date."

Needless to say, Manjoume's face didn't turn any sunnier as Tacey pulled back, leaving the black-blazered duelist to weigh his options.


OOC: Okay, yeah, I had no idea as to whether you want the others to catch on to Judai's little dueling escapade or not, so I'll let you do Manjoume's response. :3

Scarlet Weather
November 5th, 2007, 06:09 PM
Achan listened indignantly as Tacey interrogated Manjoume. "Hey, I don't appreciate the bashing," He chimed in, slightly red in the face, "It's pretty obvious that a program wasn't what he's after. I'm holding his program and mine right now." He waited for a moment to gauge his team mates' responses but both seemed preoccupied with a private conversation, Tacey going so far as to whisper something inaudible into Manjoume's ear. Achan was, however, able to catch the word 'date' at the end, and judging by Manjoume's reaction, it was probably a case of classic manipulative blackmail.

Psst! Idiot!

Achan felt his imagination tugging at his conscious thoughts as an image of the Vampire and Hero, his own personal metaphor for his process of thought, emerged in his mind's eye.

The Hero, hands on his massive blade, held out his hand to Achan. Hurry up and help Manjoume out of this! It's obvious that Tacey's tormenting him, and whatever Judai's doing isn't any of our business! We've had enough trouble with secret meetings today already!

The Vampire hissed and countered the Hero's statements. Hold on there! Jeez, Achan, what are you thinking? This could be your chance to find out something about your team mates! It can't hurt, right?

Slowly, Achan leaned towards the Vampire's suggestion, just as the Hero broke in.

I hate to resort to this, but... the mental image seemed to say to Achan, If you go with your base desires, Tacey's going to benefit!

Achan snapped back to reality. True, he wanted to find out more about Judai, but he couldn't just let Tacey screw around with the rest of the team. This was his chance to assert whatever authority he had, and his only shot at getting back at Tacey. No way was he going to let this team become a monarchy with Princess Tacey at the throne. Hastily stepping between Manjoume and Tacey, the redhead extended his arms, the universal symbol for "shut up for a moment and listen", before launching into his rebuttal of Tacey's questions. "First of all, whatever's going on here is Judai's business, second of all, you've been meddling in other people's affairs enough already, Tacey, and third, blackmailing someone is pretty much illegal no matter where you're from."

Manjoume, visibly relieved to have the answer dropped in his lap, joined Achan's protests. "Don't worry about what Judai is involved in," he replied, "And don't ask me either, because I'm not sure. I have a theory, and that's about it. I will say this: if Judai left us out of it, it's probably because it's a potentially dangerous situation. If you want details, ask him." He finished by giving Tacey an icy stare, and shooting off quickly. "Anyway, shorty here isn't the only one being immature. What do you call blackmailing and harassing somebody who's just given you a free gift, mmm?"

Achan's mouth dropped open in shock. For once, somebody agreed with him. A miracle had happened.

Somewhere Over The Rainbow...

The Romanian duelist groused, his English tinged with a hint of a Slavic accent. "Remind me again why we're playing on the roof?"

Judai smirked, his face still an almost angry mask, resembling the calm before a storm. "I have two reasons. First, it's much more interesting then dueling in a back alley, and second, up here you can't extend your shadow territory enough to ensnare anyone else to blackmail me with." With that, the red-blazered duelist inserted his deck into his duel disk, before activating it. "Enough talk. Let's get this started."

"Agreed," his opponent replied passively, inserting his own deck into a KC duel disk that appeared to have been refinished with black lacquer. "And now, if you'll permit me to begin our fight..." he continued, before extending his hand to the sky. For a moment, nothing happened. Then, without warning, a burst of black smoke shot from the black-clothed combatant's duel disk, extending itself to build a dome of darkness over the battlefield. "For most of my opponents, I prefer to simply extend the powers my master has lent me into my field spells," the duelist continued, "But in your case, Yuki Judai, I suppose I can make a small exception." Making a few passes with his hands, the shadow duelist smirked as the mist formed into a dome of dark energy, encircling the two combatants. "As you've already guessed, this dome prevents anyone from entering into it, and it is completely soundproof. In addition, normal humans are completely unable to see us in it or the dome itself, so no worries about innocent bystanders. That is not my agenda anyway." With a self satisfied smirked, the shadow duelist assumed an agressive stance. "Shall we begin?"

"With pleasure," Judai replied, also smiling, "And permit me to make the first move."

Both combatants stared, the air around them charged with energy, before yelling the magic words. "LET'S DUEL!"

Duelist: Yuki Judai
Hand: Flute of Summoning Kuriboh, Neo-Spacian Aqua Dolphin, Premature Burial, Card of Safe Return, E-Hero Wildman

Draw Phase->>>>>>E-Hero Neos

"Ikuze! I draw!" Judai began, adding a card to his hand. Musing, he searched through the cards already available before selecting one. "I place one card facedown...." he said, inserting it into his duel disk and allowing the large image to appear before continuing, "And I summon this monster: Elemental Hero Wildheart!" As the duelist completed his statement, he was joined in battle by a large, grumpy looking figure who could only be described as an overly-buff Tarzan figure with long, black hair tied into a ponytail knot and an enormous sword strapped to his back. Nude from the waist up, the creature possessed a pair of strange, red markings inked on its pectorals, which, like the rest of its muscles, were insanely large. "I think that'll do me for now," Judai continued, "I end my turn. By the way, what's your name?" He asked, his eyes alight with a flame of pure excitement.

"My name is Nicholas," his opponent replied, his face inexpressive, "But that is of no importance. We are neither friends, nor are we likely to encounter each other once I defeat you. I draw," he stated flatly, removing a card from his deck, "And I shall activate the spell card Terraforming." A large image appeared on the field as a burst of green light shot from the epicenter of the dome's floor towards the edges, as momentary holograms of pine trees followed in its wake. "Next, I believe I shall activate this: the field spell Dark Sanctuary." Nicholas allowed a secret hinge in his duel disk to swing open before placing the card in it, transforming the interior of the dome of darkness into that of a dimly lit church, illuminated only by rays of ghostly light streaming through its stained glass windows. Above, a ghostly congregation of grey monsters fluttered with angelic wings, crying in sorrow as they did so.

Judai reared back in shock at the apparitions above him. "What is this? What have you done to those Duel Spirits? They never harmed you!" he demanded, his face burning with anger and his voice edged with disbelief.

"I have entrapped them to await judgement," his foe replied nonchalantly, watching the creatures swoop by above him. "My ability to create Yami no Games was specifically given to me not so that I could entrap human souls, but instead to deliver them from the demons they have given their hearts to. These monsters who you call 'spirits' are in reality beasts that draw the life force from human beings. It is the goal of all of us who duel in shadow to return these spirits to their own realm and destroy those who wish to abuse their power for their own purposes. And that, Yuki Judai, includes you." He finished by pointing accusingly at his opponent.

Judai was, at this point, consumed with what appeared to be anger. "Those spirits aren't 'demons'!" he denied vehemently, "They're people's friends and allies! True, they aren't human, but that doesn't mean that they're evil either!"

"You are mistaken, Yuki Judai. The fiends have entrapped your mind and soul as well. It does not matter. All will be made clear shortly," Nicholas replied, his face still a mask of inexpression. "And now to continue our duel, I will summon a monster of my own, a beast tamed by my master in order to entrap your fiends." Placing the monster upon his holographic device, Nicholas leveled his accusing finger at Judai once again. "I summon Dark Seraph Trumpeter!"

With a resounding crash, the stained-glass window behind Nicholas burst as a being whose body appeared to have been cut from purple-stained marble emerged into the room, its slightly frame covered with a dark-stained robe and its wings, black as night, unfurled. Tall as Wildheart was, the new monster towered above him as it lifted the black trumpet in its right hand to its lips, awaiting its master's orders. Nicholas nodded, and the beast launched itself into the air, wings beating furiously, as it fired a blast on its trumpet that caused every window in the church to shatter, as well as Wildheart, who burst into myriad shards with a mournful cry. Nicholas permitted himself a tiny smile as he watched the life point counter on Judai's duel disk dropp by six hundred points. "I end my turn," he announced.

Judai smiled the smile of a hunter as he prepared to bag an unsuspecting buck. "Don't think you're ahead of me just yet," he announced, pulling a card from his deck. "I draw."

Judai-LP 7400
Draw Phase- E-Hero Stratos

"I'll start by activating my spell card Card of Safe Return," Judai announced, placing the card into his duel disk. "This is a nifty little spell that gives me a card every time I special summon from the graveyard. And I'll give you a little grief to go with it." Placing a second spell card into the appropriate spot, he smiled as a massive card appeared on the field. "I'll activate Premature Burial, which allows me to pay eight hundred of my life points in order to special summon a monster from my graveyard. I think we all know what that means..." Judai finished his statment by pointing to the graveyard. "Come on out, Wildheart!"

At Judai's words, the Tarzan-like figure sprang onto the field again, brandishing his blade angrily. "And it just keeps getting better," Judai continued, as he drew two cards from his deck. "Are you ready for this?"

Draw Effect->>>> Torrential Tribute

"I'll place one more card facedown," Judai continued, adding one more face-down card image to his back row, "And I'll summon Elemental Hero Stratos from my hand!"

The frame of the large window which had previously existed behind Judai crumbled even further as a monster which appeared to be a man dressed in some sort of bizarre silver and blue jumpsuit smashed through. The man appeared to have heavily sculpted muscles, as well as a hang glider on his back that resembled a pair of jet-engine turbines held together with a piece of metal. His face was hidden by a gleaming, silvery mask which caught and reflected what little light remained in the dark chapel. Judai continued smiling as he addressed his opponent. "Stratos can wipe out one spell card on your side of the field for every Elemental Hero or Destiny Hero I have in play, so say goodbye to your Dark Sanctuary. Stratos, wipe it out with turbine flare!"

Stratos obeyed readily, allowing his turbines to begin rotating as identical funnels of wind were launched from them, destroying the entire sanctuary and ripping it from the field. Nicholas stared blankly as his monster burst as well. "I see you found Trumpeter's weakness," he said placidly. "He is particularly powerful for a level four monster, but requires the solace of his sanctuary in order to survive."

"That's usually the case with low-level monsters with that many attack points- there's always a drawback." Judai agreed, pointing at Nicholas. "Wildheart, Stratos, direct attack! Hit him with wild buster and turbine boost!"

Both Wildheart and Stratos complied admirably, launching themselves at Nicholas, who barely noticed their attacks, not even deeming it necessary to watch the falling life points on his counter. Judai smirked. "How about that, shadow duelist?"

"I've faced such odds before. This duel will be no different then the many others before it," Nicholas replied, his hand already poised to draw. "Do not become overconfident, Yuki Judai."

OOC: TO BE CONTINUED.....

Alter Ego
November 6th, 2007, 02:15 AM
OOC: OMG! Major misplay! Card of Safe Return is one card per summon; not two. I mean c'mon, if it was two Zombies would be freakin' unbeatable instead of just brutal. ACC, I will have you know that I'm deeply disappointed by your lack of knowledge concerning a card so central to a dominant decktype of the metagame. O= *Smacks* Go do your children's card games homework. xP

IC:

"Blackmail?" Tacey echoed in a thoroughly offended tone, "I was just stating the facts, at no point did I threaten him." she glared at both of them, "Excuse me for not pretending to buy into Judai's cheap excuses. If he has personal business to attend to why didn't you just say so? I could respect that..." fat lie, obviously, but at this point Tacey's own mind was so wrapped up in proving the nobility of her character that she actually believed it at some level, "...but not treating me like some ignorant little child. And I don't need his stupid protection attempts either. In case it somehow slipped your mind, I already have plenty of people taking care of that." she gestured towards the suits - all of them still making a desperate attempt at melding into their surroundings.

"And you're fine with this?" she turned her assault to Achan, pointing her index finger at him as if it were a spear that she was intending to thrust through his chest, "You stalked me the moment I tried to conduct some personal business, but I suppose you're only keen on sticking that abnormally large nose of yours into my affairs?" the girl felt like exploding. This was not good, this was the complete opposite of good! Why couldn't the lout make himself useful even once?! "No, what am I saying...of course you're fine with it. You'd do just about anything just to spite me, wouldn't you, Smith?" she glared at him, giving a small score of mirthless laughter, "If it wasn't so twisted and pathetic, it would almost be cute. Looks like I was right after all: you are just a jealous, spiteful little boy. And you-" she was about to turn her verbal assault to Manjoume, but then seemed to reconsider, "No, I'm not even going to dignify your behavior with a comment. You're both horrible and I'm not going to spend another minute with either of you!"

With that, Tacey turned on her heel and began marching off, her head held high even as her face was flushed with anger and embarrassment. She didn't get to wander far, however, as the sleeve of a black blazer suddenly appeared in front of her, the arm occupying it and the rest of their owners' body and outfit located in their immediate vicinity as Manjoume coldly stopped her advance.

"Nice try." the older duelist said, "You're not getting to follow Judai and that's final. Now get back in line and try to act your age or we'll have to gag you."

Tacey was absolutely livid, "You wouldn't dare..."

"Try me."

The suits held their breath, staring at the showdown in awe along with the better part of the queue, but the black-haired duelist's expression betrayed no sign of fear or doubt as he stared down his furious adversary.

"You-" Tacey stamped her foot in frustration, "You're absolutely horrible!" with that she stalked back in the same haughty manner as she had attempted to depart, arms folded across her chest, "I'm going to file a complaint about you."

"I'm terrified beyond words." Manjoume deadpanned, earning an indignant harrumphing sound from the rich girl.

Scarlet Weather
November 7th, 2007, 04:03 PM
OOC: It was either read metagame articles or research why America needs to get rid of the penny for debate. I went with the logical choice.

IC:

"I'm waiting," Judai said as he tapped his foot impatiently. Nicholas, the supposed duelist of darkness, was still lollygagging around with his next play.

"Patience, Yuki Judai. I need only to decide which of my cards to play." Nicholas countered, before selecting one. "I believe I shall set one monster..."

The gigantic card back materialized on the field, its sideways position indicating it was a defensive monster.

"And I shall activate the spell card 'Wings of Dark Angel', which allows me to special summon any Dark Seraph or Dark Cherubim monster from my deck providing that another monster is already on the field." Nicholas finished, inserting the card into its appropriate slot. A scattering of black feathers dropped from mid-air, before gleaming and solidifying into another marble-skinned being, this one much less impressive looking then his Trumpeter counterpart and wholly without armament of any sort. His raiment, however, was virtually identical. "This monster," Nicholas continued, "Is known as Dark Seraph. He may be weaker then most, but as long as he remains in attack position, he is completely immune to destruction through battle. I will now place one card face down, and end my turn." With that, he placed a final card into his duel disk and brought his turn to and end.

"Looks like I'm up, then," Judai responded, reaching for a card from his deck. "Let's wrap this up quickly!"

Draw Phase->>>>>Skyscraper 2-Hero City

A satisfied smile graced Judai's lips as he activated the field slot on his duel disk. "You like field spells, Nicholas? Here's one of my personal favorites. Go, Hero City!"

As soon as Judai finished speaking, the entire interior of the dome began to shake as a large, circular building with a red-domed top that gave it an appearance reminiscent of a large mushroom burst from the floor, followed by identical buildings of red, green, and yellow. Each building continued to rise until they towered over both combatants, creating the illusion that a futuristic city had appeared. The buildings seemed to gleam in anticipation. Judai was only too eager to explain his new field spell's effects to the opposition. "Hero City is a special favorite field spell of mine. Basically, if one of my Elemental Heroes is destroyed by battle, I get to bring it back free of charge during my next standby phase. And then, thanks to Card of Safe Return, I get a free draw every time that happens. Any questions?"

"Only one," Nicholas responded. "How do you feel about losing it?" Judai was about to reply when his opponent flipped his face-down. "Reverse Card, open. Dust Tornado!"

Judai's face fell for a moment as a burst of wind shot from the trap card, completely sweeping away the city he had just played. "Not a bad move. You're better then I thought," he replied not unkindly.

"As are you. I'm not usually picked to fight against pro-level duelists, on the other hand, so I suppose I was asking for that turnaround earlier." Nicholas responded flatly. "Carry on with your move, Yuki Judai."

"With pleasure," Judai grinned. "I summon Neo-Spacian Aqua Dolphin!"

The new monster appeared on the field in a burst of bubbles and immediately stood to attention. Its blue skin and dolphin-like head gave it a distinctly marine appearance, while its posture and body indicated some degree of humanity. The monster turned to Judai momentarily, crossing his finned arms. You sure know how to pick them, Judai. It said, rolling its eyes. This guy looks like a total nut.

"You have no idea how right you are," Judai replied, his face set grimly. "Could I get some help with removing whatever he's got up his sleeve?"

One Echolocation coming up! The dolphin replied before pulling back and releasing a stream of sonic waves from his mouth. Nicholas stared in surprise as the waves struck his hand, revealing the identity of each individual card.

"Neat ability, huh? While Aqua Dolphin is on my side of the field, I can choose any monster in your hand and send it to the graveyard, provided that it has fewer attack points than a monster on my field," Judai explained. "Since my most powerful monster is Stratos I get to snipe any monster with fewer than eighteen hundred attack points in your hand. And it just so happens that you have one- say goodbye to Dark Cherubim!"

Nicholas watched without reaction as the monster, which resembled a large, black-scaled alligator with several golden wings covered with eyes arranged along its back, exploded in a burst of white light as he inserted its card into the graveyard slot. "Is that all?" he asked, obviously bored.

"Well, not quite. See, when Aqua dolphin wipes out a monster from your hand you take five hundred points of direct damage. And I'm not quite done yet- Aqua dolphin, attack his facedown monster!" Judai commanded. The dolphin obeyed, launching himself at the facedown card before bringing down his arm on it with a gesture akin to launching a karate chop. The card buckled slightly before changing positions, revealing an angel with grey skin, wings, and robes, holding its arms up in a defensive block. The creature seemed to be a young girl who had apparently died in sadness, as tears ran down her face and stained the grey robe that was her only covering. Contrary to the depiction of most female duel monsters, this one appeared to be little more then five years old. Judai nearly balked in surprise. "What on earth?"

"Dark Seraph Miseres. She is by far the most useful monster in my deck," Nicholas replied, still wholly without emotion. "Were Dark Sanctuary still on the field, I could have destroyed either of your monsters merely by summoning her. However, her secondary effect is the next-best thing: while I have another Dark Seraph or Dark Cherubim in play, I may add a card to my hand." His statement finished, Nicholas completed the action he had just described before leveling his finger at his opponent. "Do you wish to attack again?"

Judai stared at the monster he had just attacked, as did his retreating Aqua Dolphin. Something seemed to strike him as he turned to Nicholas, his face a mask of anger. "Hypocrite," he accused, "You say that duel spirits are demons, but there's one in your own deck! What is she doing there if all spirits are evil? Tell me that!"

Nicholas laughed coldly. "If you are referring to Miseres, it is a subject best forgotten. Rest assured, she is completely at my mercy, not the other way around, as it is with you, Judai. Keep yourself from pitying her. She is no more then another card in my deck."

The angel continued to stare at Judai, tears streaming afresh from her eyes.

Judai had reached his breaking point. "You're dead," he muttered, before pointing at his opponent's monster. "Stratos! Wildheart! Attack Dark Seraph!"

"I assume I already told you that Dark Seraph is not destroyed by battle. Why bother attacking him?" Nicholas inquired, emotion still wholly absent from his voice.

"Because I, unlike you, know how to play this game." Judai responded. "Any good duelist would know that just because a monster isn't destroyed doesn't mean that you don't lose life points when it gets attacked." As he finished speaking, the Dark Seraph found himself on the receiving end of a massive downswing from Wildheart's blade, which, while it knocked him over, failed to destroy him. The moment he had pulled himself to his feet, a gale of wind from Stratos's turbines sent him reeling once again.

Nicholas barely noticed the dropping life points on his counter. "A good duelist, Yuki Judai, would have removed Miseres from the field. I could now tribute my monsters for a higher-level monster, you realize." he countered.

Judai lowered his gaze. "I don't want to bring more pain to an obviously tormented spirit," he replied, "Which you seem to have no qualms with doing. Aside from that, however, I did see your hand when I used Aqua Dolphin's ability, so I knew there were no high-level monsters in it."

"For the time being..." Nicholas replied levelly, "For the time being. I believe it is my turn."

-------------

Achan stared at Tacey, who had unsuccessfully attempted to make her way past Manjoume. He should be happy that he had successfully one-upped her, and yet his heart wasn't really in it. Sure she had gone behind his back earlier, but did that really make his doing the same thing right? She had a point there. And wasn't doing something just to spite her lowering himself to her level? If these thoughts were all that prevented Achan from crowing in triumph he probably could have brushed them away, but something in Tacey's reaction had caused him to stop. For the first time, he had to consider the distinct possibility that Tacey Edgeworth was a fellow human being and, pompous and misguided though she was, she was no more immune to embarassment and having her feelings hurt than he was. Though he would never admit it, Achan actually felt a little sorry for her. In the same position, come to think of it, he would probably have gone after Judai if Tacey hadn't wished to do the same thing. Though he hated to admit it, Tacey was right. He really was an idiot, though it seemed a bit too late to do anything about it now... or was it? Achan looked closely at his program and made his decision. Tearing a page from the booklet, Achan removed a pen from his pocket and hastily scribbled the words 'I distract you watch' on it before forming the note into a crude minature paper airplane and launching it to Tacey. Without waiting for her reaction, he stepped between her and Manjoume. "Excuse me, Manjoume," he asked, careful not to mispronounce the older duelist's last name, "But why is it that Judai called you 'San-da'? Is that your middle name or something?" He made sure to keep his voice and face the picture of innocence.

((Take your pick- go or stay. Thought I'd throw you a curveball with this one. It also gives me a chance to draw out the duel another post, since I'm completely undecided as to how Nicholas is going to make a turnaround just yet. And yes, that spell card Nicholas played wasn't in the original Dark Sanctuary set, but I meant to add it so it's only fair that I do so now. XD))

Alter Ego
November 9th, 2007, 06:54 AM
OOC: Decision time, eh? In all honesty, there's only one choice that Tacey would make in a situation like this so I feel inclined to go with it. xD

Oh, and I'm using some deducted abilities for duel spirits in this post so if you think there's something going overboard in this post, feel free to request edits. I'm just a bit stumped as to how Tacey's supposed to find an unnoticeable target. D=

IC:

Tacey was still seething with anger, but rather than wasting it on kicking and screaming like she wanted to, she had forced herself to maintain an air of dignity instead, merely standing with her arms folded and avoiding all eye contact with either of her companions to let them know how horribly she was being mistreated. Manjoume, of course, could not have cared less and it only served to further aggravate the rich girl. What was with this guy? He wasn't intimidated, he wasn't nice to her on account of her being a girl - and a very pretty girl at that, if she did say so herself -, and he didn't care about the fact that she was way richer and more influential than he would ever be. He didn't even have the decency to be jealous of her like Achan! Tacey was used to quite a wide range of reactions, but complete indifference wasn't one of them. She was used to getting under people's skins one way or the other, and her sudden inability to do so terrified her. Yes, though she would never admit it, this Manjoume was the first person that Tacey had ever feared. A lot of people had handed ridiculous threats to her, but this was the very first time that she actually had to consider the option of someone going through with it and the thought didn't sit well with her.

"Tacey!"

Pikeru's warning cry reached the rich girl just too late, a crude paper airplane striking her on the side of the head. Annoyed, Tacey snatched the projectile with every intention of giving its sender a piece of her mind, but then her eyes fell on the fragments of writing sticking out from between the folds. She may not have had many people to exchange such things with, but Tacey knew a secret message when she saw one. Quickly unfolding the the paper, her eyes widening in surprise at the contents. Sure enough, Achan was already busily at work chatting up with Manjoume and there were no other distractions to be seen. But...that didn't make any sense. Achan had been the one who objected to her leaving in the first place, why would he suddenly want to help her with it? Maybe this was some kind of trick to embarrass her further?

"Or maybe..." Pikeru suggested in a hushed voice to ensure that Manjoume wouldn't overhear, "He's trying to be nice."

"By helping out with cleaning the mess he himself got us in?" Curran retorted, "Yeah, what a regular gentleman."

"Everyone makes mistakes." Pikeru said levelly, "The important thing is that he's making amends for his one now. And didn't you want to go too? This is our chance."

The trio paused for a moment of silence, but then they nodded in unison. It was now or never.

Manjoume, meanwhile, was far too preoccupied by Achan's question to pay attention to the debate, "No, it's not." he replied, sounding slightly offended by the other's ignorance on this - the most important of all subjects - but it was soon covered up by a self-satisfied little smile. This was quite clearly a subject he wasn't shy about discussing, "But I suppose can't blame you for not knowing the difference, you being American and all. It's a title of sorts; I really just asked for the honorific 'san' originally-"

"Boss.."

"Later." Manjoume wave off Ojama Yellow's interjection, idly swatting at the gremlin who was tugging his blazer, "Considering that I was school champion of North Academy, it was only appropriate that I be addressed with the appropriate honorific. Some people, unfortunately, needed constant reminding on that point-"

"Boss..."

"I said later." the duelist hissed, decisively shoving his duel spirit aside, "So anyway, I'd correct them 'Manjoume-san da!.', you know, and the 'da' just stuck when I made my grand re-entry to Duel Academia. Hence, Manjoume Sanda." he shrugged, "It doesn't matter too much as long as they say it with the appropriate level of respect."

"Boss..."

"What?!"

The Ojama tumbled back in the air as Manjoume lashed out at him, requiring a few moments of regaining his balance before timidly pointing behind the black-blazered duelist's back. Irritably following the direction pointed out to him, Manjoume's gaze fell on a spot of empty floor, the realization of what he was seeing (or, rather, not seeing) sinking in as a stream of very colorful Japanese escaped his lips.

"When did this happen?" he asked as levelly as he could manage.

"A few minutes ago, boss."

"And you saw this?"

The Ojama nodded.

"So which way did she go?"

"Well, uh...she..." the gremlin twitched under Manjoume's intensifying glare, "Well, you see...the thing is...she has this really cute duel spirit...with this pretty red hair and..."

"And?" the tone of Manjoume's voice brought a glacier to mind.

Ojama Yellow blushed, "Well, she said she had a surprise for me, but"

Manjoume face-panned, "Let me guess...you'd have to promise to keep your eyes shut and not peek?" he finished.

The gremlin nodded timidly.

The black-blazered duelist sighed in irritation, "So much for the show, then." he scoffed, turning to Achan, "Come on, we've got to find your prissy teammate before she sticks her powdered nose into something that gets her hurt."

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

"I can't believe you actually did that."

"Can we please drop the subject?" Pikeru retorted, blushing slightly as her sister looked about to burst into another fit of uncontrollable laughter.

"Seduction...you of all people!" Curran couldn't control her inner mirth anymore, nearly tumbling over as she clutched her stomach in between the bursts of laughter before floating over to pat her twin on the back, "You're finally learning to live a little!"

"I only did it because I didn't want Achan's kind gesture to go to waste!" the white-robed princess retorted, her blush deepening, "It-it was a terrible thing so please don't make fun of it! What if that poor spirit gets into trouble? I should go back, and-"

"Hold it, little miss saintliness." Curran interrupted, grasping a firm hold of the other's hood and dragging her along through the air as they floated in front of Tacey, "Going back there now will only result in us getting busted. We agreed to go with this, so that's what we'll do!"

"But-"

"But nothing." the black-robed spirit interrupted, "Now stop being such a worrywart and help me get a fix on this energy, will you? There's something fishy about it."

"So is it his?" Tacey interjected, trying her best to keep her run properly ladylike as they proceeded up yet another flight of stairs. Just what was Judai up to holding a duel in such an unaccessible place, anyway? Couldn't he have taken it somewhere that didn't require going up this many staircases?

"Is my robe black?" Curran inquired rhetorically, "Of course I'm sure! It's right...here."

The wind went out of Curran's little rant as Tacey swung up the door to the rooftop, revealing...a rooftop. For a few moments, the trio just stared dumbly at the scene of nothingness in front of them, but soon enough two pairs of eyes turned to the black-robed princess.

"I'm telling you it's right here!" Curran insisted, "They're just hiding behind-" she paused, searching in vain for any kind of hiding spots on the theater rooftop, "Well, they're here!" she insisted, folding her arms in a manner reminiscent of Tacey's before turning to her sister, "You can feel it, right?" she insisted, "The duel energy? Come on, Pikeru; you're the clairvoyant one here, make with the spirit powers!"

"I..." for a few minutes, Pikeru peered intently at the continuously empty rooftop, her brow knitted in concentration. Just as Tacey was about to interject with an impatient question, however, the white-robed princess' face suddenly brightened in realization, "I get it!" she chirped, pointing at the continuously empty space in front of them, "Curran, look right...there, and then there."

Now it was her black-robed sibling's turn to have an epiphany, "Clever little sneak..." the spirit mumbled with a mixture of admiration and realization in her voice, "So that's the trick!"

"What is?!" Tacey demanded, annoyed to be the only one not getting it, "There's nothing there!"

"Look closer." Pikeru prompted, "Start with that part over there." she pointed towards the left-hand side of the roof, "Do you see that crack there? The one shaped sort like a 'y'?"

"Yes."

"And that place on the opposite end of the roof where a bird has...you know?"

"Yes, I know." Tacey replied evenly, "What's your point, Pikeru?"

"Look at a point between them. Any point where you can't see either of those."

Still nonplussed, Tacey did as she was told, the obvious realization striking her only a moment later.

"I..." she squinted her eyes in disbelief, "I..."

"Can't do it." Pikeru finished triumphantly. "Which means that there's an illusion there that keeps your eyes from focusing on whatever is between those two points."

"Now aren't you glad you have us?" Curran chimed in, "I told you this was the right place."

"But...that doesn't make any sense." Tacey persisted, staring at the sight - or rather, lack thereof - in front of her, straining her eyes in a vain attempt to see the numerous meters of roof which, common sense told her, had to be located somewhere in front of her, "There's no such thing as magic and-"

"Little fairy creatures no-one but you and a few others can see?" the black-robed spirit suggested.

"Good point." the rich girl conceded, taking a deep breath as she tried to come to terms with this change in her understanding of reality, "So assuming that Judai and some other guy are there, dueling invisible and inaudible, what are we going to do about it?"

"I say we put their little parlor trick to the test." Curran said, "Onward to the barrier!"

"Are you sure that's such a good idea?" Pikeru interrupted, anxiety evident in her voice, "I-I don't know about this, Tacey. I really don't know what kind of power could do something like this, but I have a bad feeling about it. There's...there's something horribly wrong here." she gave an involuntary shudder as she stared at the illusion field.

"You always have a bad feeling, you big scaredy-cat." Curran scoffed, "We've gotten this far so we might as well go all the way with it. Come on, we're better than some silly spell!"

"Tacey..."

The rich girl swallowed hard, staring for a moment more before finally coming to a decision. "We're going." she said, bracing herself, "But wait...how do we get there if I can't see where I'm going?"

"Oh, that's the easy part." Curran replied, seating herself on the girl's left shoulder, "We know it's right ahead of us, so just shut your eyes and walk straight forward. We'll tell you when there's something worth seeing."

"If...if we're going through with this then that's for the best, yes." Pikeru conceded, settling on the shoulder opposite to her twin's one, "But Tacey, let's be really careful, alright?"

"Right." Tacey replied, taking another deep breath as she shut her eyes, feeling slightly helpless as she began wandering towards the invisible barrier and dearly hoping that neither spirit was sleeping on the watch.


OOC: Oh, and just as a small note: I based the 'clairvoyance' remark about Pikeru on the card "Pikeru's Second Sight"; that's a fair enough justification, right? Aaaand I have no idea what the barrier thing would do if someone walked into it (I mean, is it just a solid block or something sneakier) so it's your show. xD

Scarlet Weather
November 9th, 2007, 10:05 PM
OOC: Actually, you just gave me a huge out. And no problem with Pikeru and Curran- I mean, so far in the fourth season we've had people with hypnosis, pyrokinesis, and teleportation. And that's from a spirit who isn't even remotely connected with fire. I don't think that it's god-moddish to give a magician clairyvoyancy. And as for people not being able to see the barrier, you'll notice that I said normal people. I figured that you might catch that hint, since I originally intended it to be visible to people with duel spirits. Ah well, not like that was a plot point or anything, and I like your way of working around it better then mine. Don't worry about editing, just carry on. [/OOC]

As Nicholas drew his card, his hand stopped. The Romanian duelist looked up from his hand irritably, glancing around as if a fly or some other annoying insect had entered the room. "Who at a time like this..." he muttered.

Judai paused as well, as if an icy hand had clapped itself onto his shoulder. "What on earth..."

Nicholas met his opponent's gaze. "This is not good. Somebody is trying to penetrate the barrier," he answered, "Apparently we are not as invisible as I thought."

I sense another Spirit... Aqua Dolphin muttered, shaking his head sadly. Who would be dumb enough to enter a barrier like this one?

"What do you mean?" Judai inquired of his spirit, scratching his head in puzzlement.

The fishlike creature narrowed his eyes before meeting Judai's gaze. You're perfectly capable of figuring that out yourself, Judai. Just look at it!

"I've been looking at it since the duel began, though," Objected Judai, "And I still don't get what you're saying here."

With a sigh, the duel spirit nudged him. I meant look at it with your other eyes, he replied.

Understanding the statement at last, Judai folded his arms across his chest, careful not to damage the cards still clutched in his right hand. Slowly, he allowed himself to descend into the depths of his soul in order to pull the energy required for his powers to the surface. Locating his center at last, Judai opened his eyes revealing once again their heterochromatic qualities and their strange glow. One eye green, the other orange, he stared at the dome. "Weird... it looks like the energy is linked to something..." he murmured, "And that something is..." Judai's eyes immediately zeroed in on Nicholas's duel disk. "This barrier... it's a part of your Dark Sanctuary spell, isn't it?" He asked.

Nicholas nodded, frustrated. "Unfortunately, that is so. But spell cards cannot create energy on their own for tricks like this, so I am forced to borrow power from... other sources." His eyes swept across the back of the still-sobbing form of Miseres, who looked back at him momentarily before bursting into still fresher tears. For a moment, Judai thought he could detect a pang of guilt on his opponent's face before Nicholas turned back towards him. "Aside from the energy of captured fiends, the barrier also has one regrettable side-effect: anyone who touches it will have their life-force drained. That's why the illusion is built in- to stop idiots from wanting to come near it." He muttered something inaudible in a foreign tongue, before waving his hand. "I suppose I have no choice..." he murmured as the barrier reverted to a cloud of black smoke before collapsing in on itself and returning to the duel disk, just as Tacey stumbled onto the field. Nicholas stared at her nonchalantly before returning his gaze to Judai. "Friend of yours?"

"I guess you could say so," Judai replied, his gaze equally level. "She's one of my team mates."

"Is that so?" Nicholas responded, his voice completely casual. He paced for a moment, before finally bringing his gaze back to Judai's face. "I'm afraid that our duel will have to wait. My intention was to strike you alone, where no innocent bystander could be hurt." He turned to Tacey, apparently completely oblivious to the spirits resting near her. "Young woman, next time, don't interfere in my affairs. I'm afraid some of my colleagues are less forgiving of interruptions." With that, he prepared to hit the deactivation button on his duel disk.

"Hold it right there."

Judai's voice arrested Nicholas, who turned to face the Japanese duelist again. "Yes?"

"Our duel isn't over yet." Judai replied, his face still set angrily. "Forget the shadows and your master. I want to finish this out."

"Fine, I suppose," Nicholas replied, returning to his original position. "Though I have to say, this is most inconvenient." With a wave of his hand, the barrier was restored, this time with Tacey caught between the two duelists. Nicholas continued, not noticing her now that she was no longer in potential danger. "I was about to tribute Miseres and Seraph in order to summon a monster. Yuki Judai, prepare to meet your fate at the hands of Dark Seraph Abidos."

Judai could only stare in horror as the still crying Miseres and her Dark Seraph counterpart dissolved into particles of energy which floated in the air momentarily before being struck by a bolt of energy which condensed together, crackling with power, to form a tall, powerful-looking figure. Like the other Seraphs, this one was covered in a black robe. His hair, however, was entirely different. The golden sheets of it dripped down the back of his head like rays of sunlight as he raised a large, vicious looking black spear into the air and roared in triumph. "The funny thing about Abidos," Nicholas explained, "Is that he doesn't like being alone. In fact, If Abidos is the only monster on my side of the field, he gets to destroy any two of your monsters. Yuki Judai, say goodbye to your Stratos and Wildheart." As Nicholas finished his statement Abidos leveled his javelin and launched it at Judai's monsters, releasing a bolt of energy that immediately consumed them. "And now I believe I shall wrap this up: Abidos, attack Aqua Dolphin!"

Judai watched as Abidos leaped forward, impaling his monster in mere moments. He was forced to avert his eyes as the monstrous angel allowed Aqua Dolphin to fall from the spear before stamping on him, reducing the creature to nothingness. "Not a bad turnaround, for an amateur." Judai conceded. "But this time it's your turn not to get cocky. My move.

Duelist: Judai
LP: 4100
Draw Phase->>>>>>>E-Hero Neos Alius

Judai smiled as he began his move. "I'll summon Elemental Hero Neos Alius!" he began with enthusiasm. The monster appeared moments after his statement was completed, a creature about the size of an average teenager wearing a strange, white jumpsuit covered with red lines that ran the length of the outfit. Blue, spherelike ornaments also seemed prevalent in the clothing's design, as well as a strange, hornlike appendage that graced the forehead of the suit. "And I'll be showing off a facedown of mine: Go trap card, Torrential Tribute!" Judai proclaimed, allowing the trap card to launch itself into the activation position, revealing its illustration. "Torrential Tribute destroys all monsters on the field, including your Abidos, so say goodbye!"

"I think not," Nicholas replied. "You see, Abidos is unaffected by trap cards. I'm afraid all you've accomplished is the needless destruction of your own monster."

Judai cursed himself for his idiocy while Neos Alius burst into white light before disappearing. Of all the stupid things to do, he had to have attempted a potentially two-sided attack on a monster he knew nothing about! "Does that thing even have a weakness?" Judai demanded.

"Abidos can only be summoned while Dark Sanctuary is only the field or in the graveyard, and only by tributing 'Dark Seraph' monsters. However, once on the field he tends to dominate." Nicholas replied, his face set grimly. "Make your last move."

"I end my turn."

"Good. Now I can begin mine, and end this duel," Nicholas replied, drawing. Shuffling through his hand, the shadow duelist selected a card. "I'll summon another copy of Dark Seraph."

Judai rolled his eyes as yet another dark angel descended to his opponent's field. "Anything else?" he asked sarcastically.

"Be silent when addressing your future conqueror, Yuki Judai. Now, both my monsters will be attacking your life points!"

"Not gonna happen," Judai countered. "Reverse Card open: Flute of Summoning Kuriboh!"

A flash of light illuminated the field as the spirit that had earlier followed Judai appeared on the field. Kuri, Kuri! It shouted, waving its tiny wings agitatedly.

Nicholas seemed bored. "Abidos, destroy that thing. As for you, Yuki Judai, I'm ashamed. All you've done so far is postpone the inevitable." As the shadow duelist finished his statement, Abidos's spear punctured Winged Kuriboh, destroying it.

"Well, you'd be surprised what one turn can do," Judai countered tenaciously. "My draw."

Draw Phase->>>>>>A Hero's Last Stand

Judai smiled appreciatively at his latest draw. "I place one card face-down and end my turn," he stated to his opponent, allowing the hologram to appear.

"Giving up so soon?" Nicholas responded as emotionlessly as ever. "I believe it is high time to end this duel anyway. I activate Premature Burial, allowing me to special summon Dark Seraph Miseres from the graveyard.

Judai's heart wrenched as the tiny form of the angel appeared on his opponent's side of the field, cowering in fright. "You're using her as insurance against Mirror Force, aren't you?" he accused.

"Precisely," Nicholas responded. "Now I declare a direct attack on you with all three of my monsters. Yuki Judai, meet your end by your own art."

Just as Abidos lifted his spear, Judai smirked and tapped the button on his duel disk. "Reverse Card open: A Hero's Last Stand!"

"I don't recall seeing that card before," Nicholas replied, genuinely surprised.

"The IDF is basically just a league of pro duelists that Pegasus uses for guinea pigs with these weird cards, so I've got access to a few that are still in the beta-testing stage. This card is one of them." Judai explained. "A Hero's Last Stand allows me to summon a monster from my deck, then force all of your monsters to attack it. At the end of your turn, my monster is destroyed. Any questions?"

"What monster are you summoning?"

Judai smiled and laughed. "Well, I think this would be appropriate. You called duel spirits fiends, so let me introduce you to the one real fiend in my deck. I summon Yubel!"

A burst of dark energy shot from the trap card, swirling with power as a form began to emerge. First came the muscular, clawed purple arm, followed by its counterpart. They were followed by a single, purple leg, devoid of any covering whatsoever. This leg, in turn, was followed by the creature's main body and the other leg, this one completely covered in what appeared to be black spandex, which wound around the entirety of the creature's body with the exception of its face, left pectoral, and right leg. The creature's face was strangely hideous and yet somehow attractive at the same time, though in a weird, creepy kind of way. The major distinctive features of its face were the large eye in the center of its forehead, as well as the spiky hair that ran down either side of its head, one side blue the other white. More impressive still then its main body were the dragonlike black wings, which it spread triumphantly, as if shielding Judai from harm. The creature's eyes, other then its middle eye, had been shut until this point. It was only when they opened that something familiary was revealed to all standing around it: the creature's eyes, like those of Judai, were heterochromatic.

Nicholas started back, as if frightened. "What fiend is this?"

"This fiend, as you call it, is me." Judai replied without a trace of emotion. "We are the same being."

"But I do not understand this. You are human. How can you also be a spirit? Explain yourself!" Nick demanded furiously.

"I would, but I'm afraid we don't have that much time. You see, when Yubel is attacked it isn't destroyed, and any battle damage I would normally take is given to you instead. End of the line." Judai replied, watching as the effect of his trap card caused the three remaining Seraphs to strike the creature he had just summoned, causing the life point counter on Nicholas's duel disk to drop to zero.

The dome vanished. Nicholas stared at Judai, who was still standing alongside the fading hologram of his duel monster. For a moment, the two images, duelist and monster, overlaid themselves as Judai gave his opponent the explanation he desired. "Yubel and I... we had a job to do, to defeat the forces that want to destroy the universe, but Yubel had... an accident and became possessed by it. In order to save Yubel, I fused the two of us together. That's why I said I was Yubel: the two of us are inseparable now." Judai chuckled for a moment. "To tell the truth, sometimes I wonder how much of me is still me, and how much of me isn't, you know?"

Nicholas stepped back, his face a picture of horror. "You... that thing? One being?.... this is... outrageous...."

"And this from the one with the dome of pure darkness." Judai fired back. "And I'd like my spoils, please."

Nicholas stared blankly. "What?"

"The Spirits trapped in your card. And your Miseres. Hand them over, right now, or I'll let you see just how angry a fiend can get."

Nicholas shook his head. "As for the spirits in the card, I'm afraid I can't do that. But you may take this..." he said, removing Miseres from his duel disk and tossing it into the air, "For a reward. It is no longer of any use to me." With that, he leaped from the edge of the roof.

Judai shook his head before turning to Tacey. "I assure you, there's a perfectly good explanation for all this..." he began, "And don't worry about that guy, he's not dead..."

Alter Ego
November 11th, 2007, 05:36 AM
As she approached the thing she apparently couldn't see, Tacey began feeling increasingly anxious about the whole affair. For one, she was not the least bit comfortable about walking towards a gathering of unknown energy with her eyes shut no matter how many times she reasoned that opening her eyes wouldn't help anything. There was something else, though, a certain ominous chill that seemed to hang in the air, as if whatever lay ahead was draining the very warmth from its surroundings. The girl shed any thoughts of retreat from her mind, however. She was no coward and she certainly wasn't about to let some stupid illusion scare her off. That was what this was, after all, an illusion; all smoke and mirrors. No way was she falling for it.

As if on queue, an inconveniently placed crack in the roof picked this precise moment to snag the rich girl's right foot, sending her tumbling forward in a far from graceful manner.

"Oh, sugar!" Tacey swore, indignantly rising back to her feet and brushing the dirt off her clothes. The only good thing about this was that no-one was able to witness-

"Friend of yours?"

Tacey's inner monologue went through a wide assortment of most unladylike words as the implications of the indifferent question. Throwing the bit about waiting for feedback from her spirits to the winds, she opened up her eyes, only to see the person who had spoken - a goth kid that she found strikingly resemblant of Rurian, save for the cold fish manner and Romanian features - on one end of the little field and Judai on the other, the active duel discs on their arms and the holograms between them indicating that there was indeed a duel going on. The rich girl quirked an eyebrow at the conversation that followed, her expression turning even less pleased than before at the warning she received. Harm to innocents? From what? A children's card game? This guy was apparently an escapee from the happy hotel, and - if the way he addressed her was anything to go by - a clear dropout of the charm school as well.

"Interrupting what?" she scoffed, all of her anxieties over the situation suppressed by indignation towards this rude little boy, "A card game? You seriously need to get things into perspective, don't you know that-hey, are you even listening to me?!"

As the punk kid continued his conversation with Judai without even acknowledging Tacey, the answer to that question became quite obvious, "How rude!" the rich girl harrumphed, folding her arms.

"I'll say." Curran chimed in, her body language mimicking that of her host, "He didn't even acknowledge us!"

"I-I actually prefer it that way." Pikeru interjected, giving an involuntary shudder at the sight of Miseres, "Tacey, this person...he-he's capable of doing horrible things, so please...please don't try to annoy him on purpose?"

"Horrible things?" Tacey echoed sceptically, her attention clearly focused on the duel, "Come on, Pikeru. He's just a depraved card player. Besides, those cards of his don't look so tough. I can beat him any day if it comes to that. I mean I'd certainly do better than that." she indicated the last-ditch summoning of a Winged Kuriboh to Judai's field at this point.

Hinging the whole duel on a single topdeck, how foolish. What were the odds of him drawing...just what he needed? Tacey felt a sting of jealousy as she witnessed Judai playing a state-of-the-art not-yet-released card to turn the duel in his favor. It wasn't the card itself she was jealous off - such reckless strategies had never been Tacey's thing - it was the thought that someone could get a card that she couldn't that irked her. Who was this Judai, anyway? Rambling on about some kind of job to defeat the evil in the universe and fusing souls; such absolute rubbish! Didn't either of these two realize that this was a card game they were dealing with?! Okay, obviously domes of pure darkness weren't exactly normal, but there was probably just some trick to it; no way could anything that had just been said be true.

"Trust me, that's the least of my worries." Tacey remarked dryly as Judai proceeded to assure her that his opponent wasn't dead, despite having jumped off the theater's roof; considering the other things that had happened this day that was actually quite normal, "What was that about fusing with spirits and trapped souls just now? Why did you want that card so bad when you can't even use it without the rest of the set? Who was that guy? What was that black dome thingie just now? And why are you two treating children's card games like it's a matter of life and death? If you've really got an explanation for this then let's hear it." she folded her arms, "And it had better be a good one."

Scarlet Weather
November 11th, 2007, 03:45 PM
Judai folded his arms as his spirit partner floated besides him, a buoyant, fluffy ball of energy. "Somehow I knew she'd ask that," he muttered to the spirit.

The tiny creature waved his arms frantically, pointing to the discarded Miseres on the ground. Kuri, Kuri!

"Oh, right! Can't forget that!" Judai agreed, stooping to pick up the card and add it to his deck for a moment. His task accomplished, the duelist turned to face Tacey, his face completely serious. "I have an explanation... but you may not believe me. I suppose I'll start with your easiest questions: I want Miseres because she's a duel spirit, and that... person I just defeated was hurting her. I'll explain my theories on that later. As for treating children's card games as a matter of life and death, in some cases they are.

"Listen carefully, because this story goes back over five thousand years, to before the land of Ancient Egypt. Long ago, spirits lived in a dimension separate from our own- twelve dimensions in fact. Each of these dimensions fought against a powerful force called the Light of Destruction, a force that seeks only to engulf the universe and destroy it. But one man possessed the power to defeat the light. That man was known as Haou, whose name means 'Supreme King' or something like that in your language. Haou held the power of the darkness of justice, an ancient force that kept the light of destruction at bay and purified those influenced by it. By wielding this power skillfully, Haou was able to keep the dimensions safe for many millennia. Though Haou was mortal, each time he died he would be reincarnated into a new body. Eventually, Haou was reincarnated into the body of a young child. Haou needed a guardian to protect him against the light of destruction, so a childhood friend of his sacrificed his humanity to become the being needed to guard against the light of destruction. His name became Yubel. Years later, Haou died once again, and was reborn into a human in this dimension.

"At the same time, this dimension had been brought into contact with the spirits of duel monsters five thousand years earlier through the power of the Sennen items. These seven objects possessed the dark power to seal spirits in slabs of stone and summon them to protect their wielder. I'm not sure what happened, but eventually a powerful pharoah wielding the Sennen Puzzle sealed the magic away in order to prevent it from getting out of hand. Eventually, Pegasus J. Crawford discovered the legend and, after attaining one of the seven Sennen items, transformed the ritual summonings of spirits into a game known as 'duel monsters'. Consequently, each of the duel spirits of old has at some point been transformed into a card. In fact, sometimes the process works in reverse these days. Anyway, one of these cards held the spirit of Yubel. Yubel had been warped slightly by the death and rebirth of the Supreme King, and its sadness caused it to become overprotective to the reborn Supreme King. Eventually, it hurt one of his closest human friends. This made Haou concerned, and he sent Yubel into space along with a monster of his own creation, unconsciously hoping that in space it would contact the source of the Darkness of Justice and free itself. Unfortunately, his own card made contact with the source, while Yubel collided with the Light of Destruction and was driven mad as a result.

"Years later, Yubel found a way to restore its body after crash-landing on earth. Using powers amplified from exposure to the Light of Destruction, it proceeded to attempt to make Haou feel pain. See, it was so insane at that point that it believed that in order to express its love for Haou it had to make him feel the pain it had experienced. Anyway, it ended up forcing him and his friends into another dimension. This dimension was one of the twelve dimensions that was home to duel spirits. Haou fought many battles against Yubel there, and some of his friends nearly died. Haou became evil himself for a short time. Finally, Haou and Yubel fought each other, and Haou's memories of Yubel returned. He came to grips with his identity as he faced Yubel one last time in a duel. As the duel built to its climax, Yubel activated a card powerful enough to combine all twelve dimensions into one, planning to rule them with Haou by its side. To its surprise, Haou chained another card to it in order to fuse their souls together. Then he returned to his own world. In case you haven't already guessed, that's my history in a nutshell. In order to save Yubel, I fused it with myself.

"Now, as for that guy I just fought: I don't know much about the Shadow Duelists. Okay, their name is technically 'those who fight in shadow', but that's beside the point. All I know is that they popped up a little while back and started making trouble. Their main goal, as far as I can tell, is to capture as many duel spirits as possible. The strange thing is that they all seem to have different reasons for doing so, but they all claim that their 'master' was the one who gave them the power to do those weird things like create those domes. Basically, when inside one of those things monsters aren't just summoned in hologram form. Those monsters were really standing there. Obviously, this makes duels a little more dangerous then usual. To make matters worse, when you lose in there the other person seals any duel spirits you have into some sort of receptacle. See, the thing about duel spirits is that in order to stay in this world they have to share duel energy with someone, so if your duel spirit vanishes you lose a good portion of your duel energy. Since duel energy is linked to our will to survive, it can really heavily affect people when their duel spirits are taken. Most people go into shock, like your team mates in the hospital. Others get depressed and sometimes commit suicide. It's understandable- I mean, imagine losing to the most idiotic opponent in the world by the highest margins imaginable and then magnify your feelings by a hundred. That's what it's like. Understandably, I want to get rid of these guys, but doing it is kind of a shaky business. And no, I can't just call the cops. Who would believe me? Only people who see duel spirits could see my proof." Judai shook his head sadly. "So, there's your explanation, Edgeworth-san. But in case you still don't quite believe me..."

Judai's eyes glowed momentarily as he held up the card Nicholas had just dropped. "I summon the spirit of Dark Seraph Miseres!" he intoned as he placed the card on his duel disk.

For a moment, nothing happened.

Then the entire roof began to tremble as a strange, runic symbol appeared on the roof of the tower in front of Judai. A burst of light cut the sky as a small, huddled shape appeared in the symbol's center. The symbol itself then vanished, leaving only the figure. Miseres sat huddled on the floor, still crying. Suddenly, a flash of realization seemed to cross the face of the small seraphim as she straightened herself up, glancing around in surprise. The tears seemed to have stopped flowing for the moment.

Judai turned his gaze on Tacey, his eyes still glowing. "Go ahead and touch her. She's as physically real as you or I right now."

OOC: Yes, Judai can bring monsters to life for short periods in the anime, in case you hadn't had a chance to watch his rematch with Mr. T yet. And sorry if that post was too much dialogue. I'm one of those people who likes lots and lots of speech text so I can avoid describing my character's actions. [/laziness]

Alter Ego
November 14th, 2007, 08:23 AM
OOC: Actually, I did watch it. (Mr.T...lawl, are they running out of original names, maybe? xD) Sorry for the posting delay, I just had to drag my muse out of sulking over the cold I got and it took a while. :3

IC:

Tacey's expression at the beginning of the explanation Judai presented could well have been classified as 'sceptical', but it was nothing compared to the one she was donning by the time the red-blazered duelist had made his way from alternate dimensions and reincarnating kings to playing cards gaining mystical powers from outer space and a duel spirit that had - at some time - apparently not been a duel spirit using a children's card game to fuse all of these alleged dimensions together only for its opponent to pull a sneaky counter-trap (apparently made for the sole purpose of countering this one specific move) and dramatically proclaimed himself to be a reincarnated king of old.

At this point Tacey would have been more than ready to inform the boy that he was spouting utter nonsense and that she for one would not believe a word of that drabble he had put her through and didn't he know that it was rude to lie to a lady, but Judai just droned on, now addressing the issue of the rude goth duelist and his wrist-slitting buddies. He was right about one thing, at least: no-one in their right mind would believe that kind of nonsense. Just as Tacey was about to give voice to that particular opinion, however, the red-blazered lunatic in front of him decided to top himself, stating that he could prove his words. The rich girl couldn't help staring in disbelief as Judai then proceeded to activate his duel disc, ceremoniously intoning that he'd be summoning the spirit of Miseres. As expected, nothing happened, after all; there was no way duel spirits - even if they did exist like she was now supposed to believe - could be summoned that easily. Why that would mean that the monsters in the cards could come out in duels too, didn't it? The very thought was absurd!

For a moment, Tacey just stared Judai as he proudly proclaimed that Miseres was as real as they were right now, as if expecting the weirdo in academy blazer to crack up into that roaring laughter of his and explain that it was all a joke. When no such thing occurred, Tacey reluctantly turned to Miseres. Sure, the hologram looked a lot more impressive than it had in the duel just now, but there was no way that could be anything but virtual reality. Why was she being so hesitant about touching it? Her hand would just go right through anyway.

Nodding, as if to convince herself of the fact, Tacey finally reached towards the specter in front of her, placing a hand on her ghostly arm while expecting it to go through, only to find that her hand indeed felt skin, somewhat cold skin, of course, but skin nonetheless. Maybe it was a tactile simulation too? Still not convinced, the rich girl experimentally prodded the arm a few times, only to find that her finger was stopped each time and - much to the horror of her common sense - even left a tiny mark on the grayish skin. With a slight shriek, Tacey backed off, staring at the spirit in front of her as if she had just seen a ghost.

"It's-" she mumbled, "...she's...she's really...but...how?"

"Tacey, try to show a little respect." Pikeru scolded, floating over to the spirit, and performing an apologetic little bow "I'm sorry about her, she's not really used to being able to touch spirits. My name is Pikeru, that's Tacey, and that-" she nodded towards her black-robed counterpart, who merely observed from a distance, "Is my sister Curran." the spritely princess gave one of her characteristic curtsies, "Pleasure to meet you."

"So it can actually touch things?" Curran remarked in the spirit's direction, "Lucky bug...how come that big crybaby gets the special treatment? She's not even that pretty! Come on, Tacey, make me like that too, don't tell me that you're worse than that second-rate Slifer-mmmph."

"Curran!" Pikeru scolded, duly clamping a hand over her protesting twin's mouth before giving both the people the latter had just insulted an apologetic smile, "So sorry, she didn't mean it like that."

"MMMPH!" Curran protested, struggling against her sister's grip.

"I..." Tacey was still dumbstruck, slowly turning to Judai as an idea struck her, "If you can really make duel spirits physically real then how come you didn't just show a spirit to the police too? They can't deny something that they feel, right? This-this just doesn't make any sense."

Scarlet Weather
November 15th, 2007, 03:38 PM
"Edgeworth-san, we live in a universe where the fate of the world occasionally hinges on, as you called it, a children's card game. Nothing makes sense here." Judai replied, sighing and shaking his head. "As to why I don't bring this to the police, it's simple. I don't want to reveal more than I have to. If I go to the police, chances are that word will get out that Yuki Judai's spirit is fused with a being from another dimension. Honestly, would you want everyone to know something like that about you? You'd never be able to show your face in public without some overprotective mother whispering for her child to stay away, or for a man on the street to hurl a brick at your head? I'm a proffessional duelist, Edgeworth-san. If I let the public know something like this, my career would be over. Besides that, telling the police won't change anything. What are they going to do? Last I checked, bullets aren't exactly a useful method of stopping people who suck out your life force with ancient magical powers. All I'd be doing is adding a few more victims to the list. I'll stick with handling situations like this myself. What kind of a Supreme King am I if I can't prevent a little thing like a universal imbalance, after all?"

It was at that moment that Judai stopped, stunned as he stared at Miseres. The crying spirit had latched onto his leg, though it had long since faded from tactile existence. Don't let me go, please! it begged. Don't let him take me back! I don't want to go back! The being continued to cry, its tears leaving a very real stain on the leg of Judai's blazer.

The face of the pro duelist softened as he stared at Winged Kuriboh, who still hovered above his right shoulder. "What do you think, Anbou?"

The spirit lifted its wings slightly, its method of shrugging. Kuri, kuri! Kuri kuri kuri?

"I know that Manjoume is good at handling weaker duel monster spirits, but that doesn't mean he'll take care of every homeless spirit we ask him to! No, I can't just give it to him," Judai replied, before turning to Tacey's spirits. "Pikeru and... Curran, correct? Delighted to meet you," he stated, before meeting Tacey's gaze. "I realize you already have two spirit partners at the moment, but will you do me a favor and take care of Miseres until I find a suitable partner for her? I'm not all that good with female duel spirits, and you look like someone who has experience." Something then struck Judai. "By the way, Edgeworth-san, how did you get past Manjoume? Don't tell me. It was Sumisu-kun, wasn't it? Don't worry about it, I understand. You two were probably better friends then I expected after seeing you fight. I should have known that a pair of bright sparks like yourselves would pick up on the whole program excuse." Judai shook his head, sadly. "Well, now that you're involved, do me a favor and explain this whole thing to Sumisu-kun, and tell Manjoume that you already know about the Shadow Duelists? He'll be furious, but don't worry. Outside of challenging you to a duel, there's not really much he can do to you." Finishing his sentence, Judai stared at the sun, which had long since reached its midpoint. "I'll be staying here a while. I need to do some thinking. Alone."

Alter Ego
November 16th, 2007, 10:11 AM
Tacey would have wanted to make a snappy remark about Judai's reluctance to come clean about the whole spirit fusion thing, but even the rich girl's mind was self-conscious enough to remind her that she had been doing the very same thing about Curran or Pikeru for several years now, and even though she had a future career as CEO over the family company to add weight to her situation, she could still understand where Judai was coming from.

Well, as much as anyone could understand that crazy person anyway.

That was...she understood him right up to the point where he decided to thrust Miseres onto her conscience as well, "But..." Tacey began, staring at the teary-eyed spirit as she rather reluctantly accepted the card whose occupant she was now expected to look after, "Doesn't this mean that I'll have to...you know...play her? That's so..." she gave the card a far from enthusiastic look; well that was just great. Of course Miseres had to be one of those extreme support monsters; worthless offensive and defensive power and an effect that did nothing outside of its chosen thematic. And that design. She had to suppress a shudder; there was just no way such a rag-tag creature could fit in with-

"Don't worry." Pikeru said, interrupting Tacey's thoughts as she hovered over to give the still crying Misers a sympathetic pat on the shoulder, "You'll get to shine and forget all about that horrible boy who did this to you. Isn't that right, Tacey?"

There was decidedly demanding tone in the white-robed princess' voice which caught both Tacey and Curran off guard. The rich girl and her black-robed spirit exchanged looks of astonishment; had little miss goody two-shoes just made a veiled threat?

"Of course." she said without much conviction, inwardly kicking herself for being such a softie, "You'll be a first class spirit again in no time. I've just got to..." she shot Pikeru a discreet glare, "...figure something out. Come on. We should not keep our teammates waiting."

"Whatever..." Curran muttered, her arms folded as she followed Tacey back down the staircases, "Just remember who the real duel spirits here are, stand-in girl."

"Typical." Pikeru scoffed, rolling her eyes as she lifted her hand off Miseres' shoulder and grasped her arm in a gentle but firm grip instead, "Don't mind those two. They just need some time to get used to you, that's all. Let's get moving, alright? And...Mr.Judai?" she briefly turned to address the red-blazered duelist, "Thank you for your trust. We won't let you down, I promise." she gave a quick curtsy before starting to escort her new companion after the other two.


OOC: So yeah...maybe it's time for an update on Manjoume's and Achan's situation? It would make the rejoining a lot easier. x3

Scarlet Weather
November 17th, 2007, 06:59 PM
OOC: I happen to be spending the night in a hotel with Wi-Fi, so I get to make this post. Yay me! Oh, and slight bunnying of Manjoume in this post, so Gomen.

Meanwhile, Thousands of Miles Away...

Achan was sweating bullets. Manjoume's gaze was piercing, and it was coupled by the unnerving fact that the debutante appeared to be preparing to break a blood vessel. Achan was forced to contend with the facts. He had just alienated a potential ally in his struggle for power. Not only that, but he had done it in order to help the person he hate quite possibly more then anyone on the planet. This turn of events beggered the question that Achan found himself asking more and more, recently. Why me?

"Excuse me, sirs, but you're next in line. Stubs, please?" A thin, high-voiced usher asked.

Achan winced at the shrillness of the woman's voice. "Sure, sure, just hold on a moment..." he replied, reaching into his pocket. To his surprise, all that he encountered was emptiness. Achan's mouth dropped open in shock. Quickly, he tried to remember where his ticket had gone. It was only then that he realized what he had done. The page of the program he had torn earlier had contained his ticket when he had tossed it, and he doubted a rich girl like Tacey would have kept such an insignificant object once she was through with it. Achan cursed his fate mentally, and with expletives that would have caused even the most hardened convicts to blush. Brilliant. Not only had he managed to get a guy who probably could've tolerated him before mad at him over Tacey, he was also about to miss out on the musical experience of his short but recently exciting life. Unless... didn't Judai say that there were four tickets? It stood to reason that Manjoume would be holding the other two. Slowly, Achan turned to Manjoume, who still seemed preoccupied with his failure to prevent Tacey from leaving. "H-hey...." he began nervously, "Do you have the tickets, or...."

OOC: Reallly uninspired at the moment. 0_o Anyway, Manjoume might or might not really be made at Achan. Perhaps Achan just reads the wrong thing from the big guy's expressions. Anyway, I'll leave it up to you to decide.

Alter Ego
November 21st, 2007, 08:10 AM
OOC: Well, losing his temper sounds more like the old Manjoume, but he's matured a bit for the fourth season so I think I'll just have him be cold and mocking instead. xD

IC:

"Only one." Manjoume replied to Achan's remark in a tone so glacial that it would have put the Ragnarok to shame as he deftly procured the slip of paper from his pocket and presented it to the usher, "That stubborn little girl took the other one right off the bat, so you'd have to ask her about it-" his glare intensified again as he gave the red-haired duelist a last look, halfway past the usher, "Too bad she isn't around, isn't it?"

"Ohh...you're so witty, boss!" Ojama Yellow cooed, floating after him.

"Shut up." the black-blazered teenager retorted, swatting the spirit away and earning a confused look from the usher before he stalked out of view, leaving Achan in the hallway with a last "Try not to do anything more stupid."

Not too long after Manjoume's departure, the sounds of a poorly hushed conversation resounded from a nearby staircase. Well, that is to say that someone who could hear spirits would have heard a conversation, but to most it was just a solitary, female voice ranting to herself.

"Rule one." Tacey remarked in her usual authoritative tone of voice, her words directed towards the gray spirit by her side who was still being escorted by Pikeru, "As part of my deck you'll have to maintain a certain air of dignity. Back straight, chin up, and can't we do something about those clothes?" she gave Miseres' tattered rags a disapproving glance, "Well, I suppose we shall just have to make do for now. But correct that horrible stance, I refuse to let you look like a beggar in the middle of a duel. And can't you stop trembling? It's very unseemly and not at all fit for my Royal deck."

"She's hunching her shoulders again." Curran remarked with poorly masked glee.

"Stop it!" Pikeru snapped, "Miseres is doing the best she can so stop picking on her!"

"I was just pointing it out." the black-robed princess replied innocently, "No need to get your panties in a knot, Pikeru. If we're going to be stuck in the same deck as the servant girl we might at least teach her to act proper."

"And could you stop calling her servant girl?" the white magician demanded, "She's got a name, you know."

"I could..." Curran replied slowly.

"...but you aren't going to." Pikeru finished flatly, earning a grin from her counterpart.

"You're catching on, goat-girl." she replied, giving Pikeru a patronizing little pat on the head.

"Just try to hang in there..." the white-clad princess whispered to Miseres, rolling her eyes at her sister's antics, "They're already starting to get used to you. Trust me, it gets better later on."

This was perfectly true, Tacey - it seemed - had already gotten over her moping phase and far quicker than Pikeru had expected her to. The problem was that Tacey's phase of self-pity was always followed by the one of self-interest, so - having resigned to the fact that she would have to keep Miseres with her for now - the rich girl would now undoubtedly turn the poor spirit's existence into a royal hell until she had been molded to as close to a royal monster as possible, and Curran would no doubt be making snide remarks every step on the way. Pikeru cleared her throat, this situation called for a diversion:

"Tacey?" she inquired, forestalling a new stream of lectures from the rich girl as they trod down another flight of stairs. Well, that is to say that Tacey trod, the trio of spirit girls following her had the luxury of floating, "What are you going to say?"

"What, to Manjoume?" Tacey said, "That I know all about their little secret of course, what else?"

"No, not him." Pikeru replied, "I meant Achan."

"Smith gets to hear the same thing as I tell it to Manjoume. I'm not going to explain all of that twice."

"I meant about the way he helped."

Tacey's expression immediately hardened, her chin rising defiantly, "There's nothing to say about that." she grit out mechanically, her voice barely audible.

"But-"

"I said there's nothing and that's final."

"But-"

"Just drop it, Pikeru!"

The white-robed princess sighed in forfeit, shaking her head at her host's stubbornness, "Alright, then. But you know you should really say thank you."

Tacey seemed to be conveniently struck by temporary deafness at this point as she paid no heed to the last comment, merely wandering down the last flight of stairs between herself and the ground level with a particularly tall and dignified pose. The inner Tacey, however, was working herself into a frenzy over an obnoxious little sentence that kept playing in her head again and again:

'It was Sumisu-kun, wasn't it? Don't worry about it, I understand. You two were probably better friends then I expected after seeing you fight.'

Tacey grit her teeth. Her hands clenched into fists without her even telling them to. Judai was stupid, absolutely stupid.

'You two were probably better friends then I expected after seeing you fight.'

How could anyone even think of something that stupid? She hated Achan and Achan hated her. Hate, hate, hate that was all there would ever be to it! What did he think he knew? Stupid supreme king upstart, no way could he know more about either of them than she did.

...right?

'Friends.'

"I won't have it!"

Tacey's sudden exclamation, punctuate by a loud stamp of her right foot, sent both Curran and Pikeru backwards in shock.

"Won't have what?" Pikeru inquired, cautiously approaching the rich girl again, "Tacey, are you alright?"

"Is servant girl finally getting kicked out?" Curran suggested hopefully, receiving a discreet little kick in the shin from her continuously innocent-looking twin.

"No, it's..." Tacey quickly swept the room with her glance, glad to see that the line had vanished in her absence so that few people had been around to witness the embarrassing situation, "...it was something else. Look, never mind that, where's...Smith."

The girl's mood immediately sank as she noticed that the starfish-haired boy was the only person left in the hall besides the usher. Brilliant, just plain brilliant. So much for getting to avoid the issue by just talking at Manjoume...

She caught herself in mid-thought. Avoid? No, no way was she avoiding Achan. No way was that lout and whatever he did or didn't do worth getting embarrassed over. She would not give him that much credit. What did it matter what he thought of her, after all? Nothing, nothing at all, and the usher was a non-issue, so there was no need to panic. Everything was under control.

This reasoning seemed to calm Tacey somewhat, the rich girl putting on her usual demeanor as she strode towards her teammate, as if the little outburst that the boy had undoubtedly witnessed had never taken place, "Smith." she acknowledged his presence with a brief nod of her head, "Is Manjoume already inside? Why are you loitering here in the hallway instead of watching the show?"

Scarlet Weather
November 21st, 2007, 07:32 PM
OOC: As I see that you have not yet really done much with Miseres, I'm bunnying her one last time. Then she's all yours.

Achan stared at Tacey as she arrived. On the one hand, she hadn't insulted him as she was wont to do. On the other, she had drawn attention to his most recent misfortune. He was unsure on whether he should react in anger or simply let it go. After deliberating for a moment on how to reply, he decided to let his common sense win out for once. "I'm out here because... remember that paper airplane I threw you? Well, I accidentally folded my ticket into it, and now it's gone, unless you still have the airplane, which I doubt." He shook his head sadly. "I hope that whatever happened out there was somewhat interesting, because I just gave up what'll probably be my last chance to see a broadway musical for it."

Ga....gaja...Grrr...

Achan involuntarily leaped in surprise. "Wha..." he murmured under his breath. "Did you hear-" he started to ask Tacey before shaking his head. "Oh, never mind, must be hearing things again..."

Miseres, meanwhile, reached out. She had never seen hair quite like Achan's, and like any young child she was curious. With a quick pluck, she passed her immaterial hand through one of the massive spikes atop Achan's head, which had reappeared as his conditioner had slowly worn off.

Achan shuddered, leaping slightly as if a bucket of ice water had been poured over him. "Brr.... what the? What's going on here? Okay, this is just too weird..." He passed a hand over his duel disk reassuringly. This was probably just a case of nerves after so much excitement, that was all, or hallucinations brought on by a delayed caffeine spike. That was it. Still, Judai and Manjoume had mentioned spirits. What if he was being stalked by one? Despite Judai's earlier pep talk, Achan didn't like the fact that these creatures were invisible to him. Anything that couldn't be seen but possessed intelligence could quite possibly be dangerous. Shaking his head as if to clear it, Achan returned his gaze to Tacey. "Sorry about that... I think I drank too much Red Bull earlier, I'm starting to have a caffeine spike or something. I mean, I'm hearing... growling."

Grr... Gra.... Grikll...

"And there it is again! I mean, this is just-" Achan stopped short as he stared at his stomach. "Oh you've got to be kidding me," he moaned, as his belly continued rumbling. "This is what I get for skipping breakfast." A sudden thought struck him as he returned his gaze to Edgeworth. "Oh yeah, what happened with Judai? Anything interesting? I mean, he was doing something out there, right? And come to think of it, where is he? Why didn't he come back in with you?"

On the Set of Fiddler Duelist on the Roof

"And who does Papa teach/To Draw and Play and Win/Preparing him to defeat/The World Champion. THE DUELIST/THE DUELIST!"*

"Could you quiet down, Armstrong? I know you're excited about this whole broadway thing, but we need to stay focused. Our target is nearby, and we need to net her for the boss by the time the tournament plane leaves for England," a teenager complained. He was dressed in a long, blue coat with tails hanging to the floor, and a push of his hand revealed that the immense yellow-and-purple spikes of hair atop his head were actually a wig. Rubbing the real mass of unitdy black hair beneath, the teenager, whose facial features were distinctly Asian, stepped forward and drew forth a set of cards with which he loaded his duel disk.

"But Kenta, you said-"

"I know what I said! We'll wait until after the show. In the meantime, you have to make sure that nobody leaves this theater. Not only would it be very bad for business, but we'd lose track of our target. You saw how she vanished from our radar without us noticing. Those spirits of hers make it hard to pin her down 'cause of the multiple readings," Kenta commented.

"Well it still didn't do her much good! She ran straight into Nicholas!" His partner protested, his slight German accent ringing out in the small dressing room. Armstrong ran a hand through the mass of blonde hair that crowned his head as he adjusted his costume, a green, floor-length jacket and pair of trousers that gave him an appearance distinctly reminiscent of Jounouchi Katsuya.

Kenta glared at his partner severely. "Nicholas is a loose cannon. He wants the spirits destroyed, not put to use. He is only as good to the order as the order is to his goals. And he's such a pansy! He refuses to allow anyone hurt unless they're his target. If he had let our target contact the barrier he could have drained her life force and snapped up her spirits without resistance. But no, all this 'only the target, always the target'- If he really hates spirits as much as he says he does, he should just get rid of anyone who carries one!" The apparently Asian actor clenched his fists in frustration. "Doesn't he understand that time is of the essence here? If we don't complete our object before we reach Egypt, then-"

"Enough, Kenta. It's curtain call, and we delivered the tickets to Edgeworth's future team members. Master's premonitions never fail. She is in this building. Can you sense her energy?" Armstrong questioned.

Kenta gripped a duel monsters card lightly between two fingers. "Yes... she's outside. Interesting," he muttered, "Very interesting. Well then... can we keep her from getting out or in?"

Armstrong smiled. "I've already taken the liberty of creating a selective barrier. Nobody attached to a duel spirit is moving in or out. It'll be just like walking into a brick wall."

Kenta smirked. "Excellent."

Atop of Old Broadway... All Covered in Villains...

Judai's eyes flashed open. He had been dangling his legs over the roof of the theatre as he thought, but the sudden flash of energy intrigued him. "Edgeworth!" he exclaimed in realization.

*To be sung to the tune of "Tradition" from Fiddler on the Roof, starting at the line "And who does Mama teach/To mend and tend and fix..."

Alter Ego
November 22nd, 2007, 06:28 AM
OOC: Umm...yeah, it's just that I don't have the faintest idea of what the heck Miseres is like personality-wise. x.O

IC:

For a moment after Achan's explanation, Tacey was quiet. This alone was quite the rare occurrence, but it didn't last for long as the behavior of certain spirits caught her attention. First Miseres decided to prod the boy's hair in a most unladylike manner, and when Curran noticed the reaction it elicited from Achan, an impish little grin appeared on her face, the black-robed princess floating over to give him a sharp, ethereal poke between the ribs.

"Curran, Miseres, stop that at once." the rich girl scolded in a voice that made her sound surprisingly much like an elementary school teacher, "That's most unladylike. And Smith..." she turned her gaze back to the boy, shaking her head slowly, "You really are an idiot. Here." before the boy could protest, or voice any other opinion for that matter, a ticket had been forcefully thrust into his hand, "And I don't want to hear a word about this. I have no intention of sitting in the same room as that jerk Manjoume and I suppose this is better than tossing that ticket in the trash. Just don't go tossing that about like you did with the first. As for what happened on the roof..." she paused, "It's a long story and you really don't have time to hear all of that out right now unless you want to miss the play. Just go, tell Manjoume that Judai said to tell you about the Yubel incident and that I've witnessed a shadow duel so he can stop his silly charade. Oh, and let him know that there's a new duel spirit on the team too. Pretend that you know what you're talking about. I know it's probably a new role for you, but give it a try."

She really wasn't about to let Achan get as much as a word in edgewise, firmly parading the boy past the - by now rather confused - usher, with a quick explanation of "He has a ticket." It was easier this way, and she really didn't look forward to the inevitable question of why she had sacrificed her own ticket for someone she hated, and who had fumbled away his own, no less.

Pikeru, meanwhile, was smiling for herself. Tacey really wasn't half as cold-hearted as she pretended to be, and even Curran and Miseres seemed to have found some common ground - even if this was only in prodding people. It was times like this that made being a good conscience all worth it.


OOC: Eh...yeah, you can always have Achan refuse to go in if you want. I just figured that Tacey would be feeling pretty embarrassed about the whole situation and would sooner brush is aside than deal with it herself. x3

Scarlet Weather
November 22nd, 2007, 07:29 AM
OOC: Well, this is going to be the fun part. Oh, how would Achan react?

Achan stared at Tacey in disbelief as the girl shoved a ticket into his outstretched hand and pushed him past the usher. He had no idea what was happening, and the explanation of shadow duels flew over his head, as well as the insults. Not because he couldn't comprehend them, of course, but because he was shocked that Tacey Edgeworth, Queen of Mean, had just done something basically nice. He knew that her explanation was bull. She had intended to sit with Manjoume from the beginning or she wouldn't have arrived on his arm, making him incredibly uncomfortable. This was actually a gesture of... kindness? She was reciprocating him for his sacrifice? Achan could barely tell that he was across the ticket line and in the room. There was no way that this was possible! And yet apparently, it was happening. Or maybe this was another illusion brought on by his caffeine spike? Achan couldn't think of what on earth he had done to deserve this sudden change in fortune. It was too good to be true, he thought.

As a matter of fact, it was.

Achan stumbled backward as he stepped forward, his nose slamming into a nonexistent brick wall. Rubbing the injured appendage, he turned to Tacey. "Alright, what gives? Why can't I go through?" he demanded. Of course, if Achan had realized that contact with Miseres temporarily blocked him from entering through the selective barrier Armstrong had set up he wouldn't have been so quick to start looking for a scapegoat, but that was beside the point. At the moment he was staring angrily at Tacey, before his gaze suddenly lost its fire. Why on earth was he blaming her? Tacey had been as ignorant of what Duel Spirits were as he was until Judai and Manjoume had come along. Why would she set up a barrier? Besides, it would do her no good to needlessly cause him misery, and she had given him a message. "I mean, this is weird," he continued in a calmer tone, "Just... watch this." Raising his leg, Achan kicked at the doorway of the theater only to stub his toe. "It's like somebody built a brick wall in here," he complained. "I can't get in!"

"Could ya move then, kid? There are other people in line." The usher groused.

"Oh, right, sorry," Achan replied, stepping deftly to the side to allow the person behind him to pass through. Stepping closer to Tacey, he continued with his statements. "I mean, it's like some kind of selective wall. They can get through but I can't," The red-haired duelist shook his head. "I'm really not kidding." Another thought struck Achan. "Hey, this doesn't have anything to do with what Judai was doing, does it?"

Alter Ego
November 22nd, 2007, 11:47 AM
Tacey raised an eyebrow at Achan's little display, ignoring the protests of the usher and the people in line as she made her way to the spot the boy had collided with by a mixture of elbowing and strategically treading on the right feet while glaring daggers at anyone who dared to protest as she strode over to inspect the...thing Achan had apparently collided with. She still wasn't ready to rule out a bad attempt at humor on his part, but when she reached out a tentative hand, only to find that it did indeed meet very solid resistance from thin air, her eyes narrowed.

"Don't tell me..." she mumbled as a number of other people from the queue passed then without a hitch, "Is this another one of those invisible barrier things?!" a slow nod from Pikeru did little to improve her mood, the girl folding her arms, "I thought that business was sorted out already."

"I...don't think this is the same person, Tacey." Pikeru replied, her brow furrowed as she peered at the thin air in front of her, "Miseres? Miseres!"

The grey-clothed spirit was still transfixed by Achan's hair, tentatively prodding the spike again, but as the white-robed magician raised her voice, she eventually looked up, peering at the invisible barrier again, "Not his." she remarked at last, "It sort of looks the same, but it's different." her task thus finished, she turned back to wondering over Achan's hair again.

"Yes, that really is his hair." Tacey replied in an off-hand sort of way, shaking her head at the spirit's childish antics, "Don't worry, I mistook it for a dead starfish too." she then turned her attention back to the boy whom she had just managed to insult again, nodding at his question, "I think it is. That goth freak Judai was dueling against had a barrier like this, only you couldn't look at it, but Miseres says this isn't his. She is-" she quickly corrected herself, "-was his duel spirit, so she would know. Guess he has friends around." the girl stamped her foot in irritation, "Of all the times for mr.haou to go soul searching!"

Scarlet Weather
November 23rd, 2007, 05:51 PM
OOC: Thanksgiving dinner prevented me from posting last night, so I didn't. I had too much fun with my family to care though, so I refuse to give any sort of apology. XD

Achan turned to Tacey, the ice-cold-bucket-drenched feeling pervading his body. "Wait a minute, here: You mean this weirdness I've been feeling is a duel spirit playing with my hair? Okay, this day has officially gone from completely insane to totally inconceivable." It was true. Never in his wildest dreams had it ever occured to Achan that this entire tournament would turn out to involve ancient magical creatures that lived in children's playing cards. If it weren't for the distinctly inexplicable wall of invisible bricks or whatever-it-was preventing him from entering the theatre, he might have been skeptical. As it was, he really couldn't argue with the whole thing. He wouldn't put it past any spirit of Tacey's to annoy him anyway, so in that respect it wasn't hard to believe that his hair was of special interest. "Anyway, I completely agree with you about my hair, God only knows how much I hate it, but my Mom paid good money to get it done and I can't get rid of it for a few weeks at the very least. Something about the hair gel they used, I think."

Realizing how far he had moved from the point and how this conversation was beggining to border on friendly banter versus pumping Tacey for information, Achan immediately snapped to attention. "But that's completely beside the point and I have no idea why the Chthonian I even decided to comment on it, so let's cut to the chase: First of all, who was the guy Judai was dueling, what is a shadow duel, why did you call Judai 'Haou', and who is Miseres? What really happened out there, and what did Judai tell you? Tell me everything," and then as an afterthought, "Please."

The theatre, the theatre, what happened to the theatre? (Especially where dueling is concerned.)

Armstrong adjusted his poofy blonde hair as he entered the stage, which was currently occupied by an enormous paper-mache replica of the vessel which had carried Yugi and his companions to duelist kingdom. "Showtime," he muttered to the ever-present Kenta. His fellow shadow duelist nodded, before both actors-***-cultists leaped onstage in a pair of poses as strange as they were over-the-top. Armstrong began the song first, warbling at a pitch that seemed to threaten to tear the roof in half with its height. "OH HOW DUELING SEEMED SO SIMPLE, WHEN WE WERE KIDS AT SCHOOL..."

Kenta chimed in, making sure to sing in his 'little Yugi' voice, "AND MILLIONAIRES WITH PRIVATE ISLANDS, AND DARK GAMES SO CRUEL..."

"WERE NOT TRYING TO PREVENT MY SISTER'S EYES FROM BEING HEALED..."

"OR ATTEMPTING TO ENSURE THAT MY GRANDPA'S FATE WAS SEALED..."

"BUT NOWADAYS OUR CARD GAMES SEEM TO BE JUST A BIT-COMPLICATED..."

"BECAUSE IF WE DON'T WIN THEN WE MIGHT GET EMACIATED..." Kenta finished, drawing out the last note.

Armstrong elbowed his partner, still in character as Jonouchi. "Hey Yug, what the heck does 'emaciated' mean?"

Kenta, also playing the part, shook his head so vigorously that his ridiculous wig threatened to unseat itself from his head. "No clue Joey," he began, remembering the 'localization' of the character's names, "But it sounded cool!"

"Hey Yugi, let's dance!"

"Right on!"

As blaring, upbeat rock music filled the stage, both performers launched into what could possibly be termed as one of the most clumsy and ill-thought-out dance routines ever. The routine began with a game of leapfrog that concluded with Kenta colliding with a wall, followed by Armstrong attempting a ballet move called a grand jete that ended with his legs stretched out in a position known as the splits. Not missing a beat, Kenta pulled himself to his feet while his partner groaned in agony on the ground and tried to copy the feat. His own leap, however, ended with a spectacular collision with the model boat resulting in a Yugi-shaped hole through its sides. By this time Armstrong had picked himself up and the two cartwheeled towards each other, impacting each other's faces with their feet in the process. In an attempt to salvage the horrible dance, the actress portraying Anzu raced onto the scene to contribute her talents only to take an unintentional elbow to the jaw as Kenta leaped to his feet. The actor turned to stare at his colleague in horror before falling victim to an airborne Armstrong. The impact sent him hurtling along the floor and offstage, straight into the laps of the audience. Armstrong stared at his partner in horror before grimacing in pain as the hands of the injured actress gripped his hair and twisted upward painfully. The German duelist had no chance to resist as he was bodily lifted and thrown into the audience after his partner. Pouting, the actress marched offstage, knocking over the model ship in the process. Without missing a beat, both Kenta and Armstrong leaped to their feet and gripped hands before bowing.

The members of the audience stared in horror.

"They hate us! This is a disaster!" Kenta whispered to his partner.

Armstrong shook his head. "Oh liven up Kenta. They love us! Just watch..."

One member of the audience smirked. A dance routine that made both of his rivals look like complete buffoons was always okay in his book. Raising his hands, Kaiba Seto proceeded to give the two a round of applause.

One member of the audience nudged another. "Hey, isn't that Kaiba Seto applauding? He's supposed to be a real judge of talent!"

"He is? I suppose we should be clappping too, then," his neighbor responded, before frantically joining in the ovation. In no time, the entire theatre was up and clapping.

Armstrong smiled. "Told you so," he mouthed to Kenta.

"Whatever. I still think this is all some sort of cruel practical joke," The Asian growled, adjusting his wig as he followed his fellow actor offstage.

OOC: Oh how I love Villains who tap dance. xD

Alter Ego
November 24th, 2007, 07:24 AM
OOC: Family before RPing...*Shakes head* You're a disgrace to RPers everywhere, ACC. >O

Nah, of course you don't need to apologize for something like this. Besides, that tap dance scene was well worth the little delay. Yay for dancing villains. xD

IC:

In the midst of the applause, a solitary voice groaned, its owner staring at the scene in a mixture of horror and disbelief. Manjoume Jun, after having been a pawn of evil powers twice, fled to the far north to redeem himself as a player of children's card games and being banished to a distant dimension by a loony duel spirit, thought he had had a pretty good idea of what bad was, but nothing he had experienced thus far had prepared him for this kind of horror. Trapped in his seat and forced to endure a performance which completely transcended the concept of 'bad' and took it to a whole new level, he found himself vaguely wishing for a re-run of the Society of Light. At least then he had gotten to win the card games.

"Amazing!" Ojama Yellow cooed, completely mesmerized as he clapped his hands together, "Encore! Encore!"

Manjoume shot the yellow gremlin an irritated glare, once again wondering what on earth he had done to deserve a duel spirit like that. What puzzled him even more, however, was how anyone could watch this performance - which, surely, must have been outlawed as torture in some countries - and applaud at the end, let alone hail it as the masterpiece he had been led to believe it was.

"Damn you, Judai..." he mumbled, turning to blame the one person he could always safely pin the mishaps in his life on, "You knew about this."

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Upon discovering the funny reaction that Achan gave when she touched him, Miseres let out a small squeal of delight, unable to resist prodding the hair again.

And again.

And again.

Tacey gave a tired sigh at the sight. She had thought that Nicholas was keeping Miseres on such a tight leash out of the usual 'I'm a bad person so I do bad things' reasons, but by the looks of it he had had a far more practical explanation. This duel spirit was ADHD incarnate.

"Miseres, Curran! Please, stop already!" Pikeru pleaded, apparently not feeling quite as protective of the gray-clad spirit anymore.

"Oh shut it, goat-girl." Curran retorted, "First you want her to be herself and then you're scolding her. Make up your mind already." she the turned to their third wheel with newfound appreciation, "Hey Miseres, you should try between the ribs instead." she demonstrated the poke once more, "Makes them squirm a lot better. Look, I'll show you."

Pikeru frowned at this scene of duel spirit bonding. Miseres was coming out of her shell, it seemed, but was it really a good thing to have her come out like that?

Tacey, however, was too preoccupied with other matters at the moment. Achan's confession about his hairstyle had been a pleasant surprise, but what came after it was up to his usual standard, well...up to that last word, anyway. Were it not for that, she probably wouldn't have answered. Crisis or no, Tacey still had a claim to some manner of respect.

"You're learning, Smith." she remarked, clearly indicating the last 'please', "Concerning those questions, though..." she took a deep breath in preparation, "This is going to be the weirdest story of your life..."

And she told him, recited the whole of Judai's ludicrous little fairy tale about dimensions and duel spirits, though she of course made a point of reiterating that she still wasn't buying it and that the 'supreme king' line certainly wasn't an established monarchy. No way would she admit to Judai having any royal blood in him.

"...and that's the short of it." she finished, "At least, as far as Judai's story goes. He says he's sharing his body and soul with Yubel, that's why his eyes go all weird at times. I've never been into this shadow game nonsense, but if I understood correctly it's supposed to be some form of ancient magic that calls in the real duel spirits through the cards that represent them, so the attacks and everything are also real. If you lose, you lose your soul too." she shook her head, "I'm still not sure if I'm buying that nonsense, but I do know that that Nicholas creep does. He's convinced that duel spirits are all demons or something and that he's on a sacred mission to save the world from them." she scoffed, "In other words, he's a religious nut with an obsession for children's card games and since I apparently 'interfered in his business' he's trying to get even by sicking his bookburner friends on us too. And this is Miseres." she demonstratively pulled out the gray-robed angel's card, holding it up for Achan to see, even though the crying figure on the illustration bore very little resemblance to the one who was currently giggling together with Curran as they took turns prodding their victim, "Like I said, she used to be Nicholas' duel spirit, but he just threw the card to Judai when he lost and Judai handed it to me for safekeeping."

She gave a brief moment of silence after her lecture, allowing the full absurdity of the situation to sink in, "To make a long story short, we're the victims of lunatics armed with ancient magic and children's playing cards."

Scarlet Weather
November 24th, 2007, 02:51 PM
"EVERYBODY HATES MAKO..."

"HE SMELLS LIKE ROTTEN TROUT..."

"EVERYBODY HATES MAKO..."

"HE'S A FREAKY FISH GUY, NO DOUBT..."

"OOH! OOH! EVERYBODY SAY OOH!"

"OOH! OOH! MAKO IS JUST EWW!!!"

"Get it?"

Kenta and Armstrong, still clad in their costumes, proceeded to perform yet another horrible dance routine as they sang off-key, off-pitch and off-tempo. In fact, pretty much everything about their performance was off in one way or another. Seto Kaiba, meanwhile, continued clapping as hard as he could at the end of each number and the audience followed suit. The performance could probably have been conceived in the mind of the average insane duelist, but choosing such idiotic actors as Armstrong and Kenta drove the show over the edge. Indeed, if Kaiba had not chosen to attend then the entire cast would have been run out of town on a rail by the time the first number was completed. But he was, they weren't, and everyone continued applauding.

That is, until Armstrong made the one brilliant move of his life onstage and saved Kenta from falling over the edge of the stage.

It only took a moment, but that action sparked a quick ad-lib between the two that blew away the audience. It would be completely superfluous to relate it, but by the end all of the audience was impressed. Kaiba, on the other hand, did not enjoy seeing his rivals being enjoyed by the audience and sent up a boo. The audience followed like idiotic sheep, and within ten seconds the two useless actors found themselves bodily seized and hurled through the door of the theatre. Irate, Kenta turned to his partner. "I told you it was a horrid practical joke!"

Armstrong shook his head. "I blame you," he replied.

Achan stared at the two idiots who had been tossed like old trash through the theatre door. "Alright... weird dudes thrown through a door the moment I finish hearing the weirdest story of my life. This must be some kind of omen," he said to Tacey before shuddering again. "And can you tell that spirit of yours that I'm not a pincushion?" he exclaimed.

"Spirit? Then you must be our target! Let us introduce ourselves!" Armstrong shouted, leaping to his feet. "I am Armstrong Hughes, captain of the-"

"Ow!" Kenta exclaimed as Armstrong's wildly flailing arm knocked him to the floor.

"-Pair of shadow actors." Armstrong finished, disheartened, as he stared at his partner.

Achan rolled his eyes. "Tell me these aren't the people that Judai is fighting against," he groaned.

Alter Ego
November 28th, 2007, 05:11 AM
Tacey raised an eyebrow at the two strangers who came flying out of the theater face-first, getting onto their feet and declaring themselves to be shadow actors shortly thereafter. Still staring at the total lack of grace in their introduction, Tacey couldn't help a sceptical little 'pfft'. Were these guys for real?

"And I thought that goth kid had problems..." she muttered, shaking her head. The only reason she wasn't laughing straight into their faces, still covered with the theatric make-up, was the fact that she was angry.

Pretty frothing mad, in fact.

Miseres, noting a familiar shape in Kenta's hair, had made a move to go prod him, but Pikeru had been quick on the uptake and caught the mildly protesting seraph by the back of her outfit, dragging her behind Tacey for safety while observing the duo carefully. She knew the signs of the rich girl's temper boiling and dearly hoped that she wouldn't overdo it and give these two an opening.

That being said, she knew equally well from the glare that the two were receiving from Tacey that voicing this opinion right now wouldn't help, "Alright..." the girl said in her most flowery voice, giving both of them a warm smile that would have made a crocodile proud, even as her eyes spoke of torture chambers and all objects sharp and pointy, "I am Tacey Edgeworth, undefeated duelist of the pro circuit and future CEO of Edgeworth Electronics. This is Achan, he's an idiot with a weird hairdo. Now that we've gotten introductions over and done with..." she made a lightning fast movement, grasping Armstrong by collar of his shirt and yanking it hard to bring the actor's face on level with her own, granting him a prime view of her most murderous glare, "You two clowns have precisely five minutes to undo what ever hocus pocus you've been up to with that door, tell me what in the name of all that is sweet and sugary you are up to and hightail out of here before I have my bodyguards flog you. Do we have an understanding?" not waiting for a reply, she shoved the unfortunate shadow duelist back, relinquishing her grip of his collar as she gave them both a demanding look, "Well? Out with it! I've had just about enough of this shadow game nonsense for one day!"

Scarlet Weather
November 28th, 2007, 03:42 PM
Achan stared half in horror and half in amusement as Tacey proceeded to grip the heavily made-up blonde, who did in all fairness bear a striking resemblance to Jonouchi, and deliver an ultimatum. Displeased at her introduction of him as "an idiot", Achan thought about reminding her that she wasn't technically "undefeated" after her duel with Pegasus. Instead, he thought better of it. After all, Tacey would probably fly off the handle in her current state. Instead, he decided to adopt a slightly more refined stance. Drawing himself up to his full, unimpressive height, Achan adjusted his ever-present sunglasses. "I've already informed you of my thoughts on my own hair, Miss Edgeworth," he deadpanned while imitating Tacey's high-brow manner of speaking, "And I regret to inform you that however better you are then I at dueling, I am not and shall never be an idiot." His statement thus finished, Achan turned to Kenta, who was in the middle of re-adjusting his wig. "Well, are the two of you going to explain what's happening here?" he demanded.

Kenta's eyes glinted wickedly. "Observe, foolish mortals," he replied, "As your masters hem you in! Go, super-mime-mime powers!" With that, the crazed duelist leaped about Achan and Tacey in a circle, waving his arms wildly. Achan didn't know whether to laugh or call the lunatic asylum. Despite the invisible barriers, he was sure that this crazy character couldn't really have ancient magical powers. Then again... Achan hadn't watched nothing but Pokemon reruns during summer vacation for the past three years for nothing. "So that's your ability. You can set up those invisible walls by pantomiming them," he commented.

Kenta and Armstrong grasped their faces in perfectly synchronized mock expressions of horror. "Egads! He's on to us!" Kenta exclaimed.

Armstrong lifted himself up, mustering as much dignity as he could. "And now, Miss Edgeworth, we have you right where we want you. Hand over your duel spirits or we'll force all the air out through these walls and suffocate you." The burly German grinned. He had always loved playing the villain.

Achan rolled his eyes. "Quit the bluff," he replied, "But not gonna happen. If you forced the air out you two would die as well."

Armstrong opened his mouth to reply before slamming it shut just as quickly. "Dangit, he's right. What now? Most people just hand their cards over when we do that," he mouthed to Kenta.

Angrily, Kenta removed his wig and hammered Armstrong over the head with it. "We're duelists, idiot! Remember? We'll just get the cards the old-fashioned way!" he replied. Facing Tacey, he pointed at her. "Tacey Edgeworth, we challenge you to a duel!" he challenged.

Achan grimaced. Why was Tacey getting all the attention? "Hey, spread the fun around," he interrupted. "There are two of you after all."

Armstrong shook his head. "You have no spirit. You're worthless to us," he replied.

Achan snapped. Striding purposefully over to the German duelist, he grabbed his wrist and twisted. "Listen punk," he muttered, "I have a deck to playtest and nobody to duel. You just trapped me in a box of invisible walls and insulted me. You are not, I repeat, not getting away with this. If I have to break your wrist to get you to agree to duel me, I will," he growled.

The German duelist blinked back tears. He was really a crybaby at heart, and these mean little kids were throwing a wrench in his spokes. "Fine then, I'll duel you..." he said, before throwing in a sobbing "Meanie!"

Achan would have facepanned if he could have. Releasing his enemy's wrist, he armed his duel disk. "Okay... if I'm an idiot, I guess that makes these two a pair of cavemen, eh?" he asked Tacey.

OOC: Prepare to duel... pick your opponent, please do. And feel free to humiliate them or make it challenging as you wish. I will say that Armstrong and Kenta are more actors then they are serious duelists.

Alter Ego
December 2nd, 2007, 01:52 AM
"That would be insulting the cavemen..." Tacey mumbled in response to Achan's remark. Though she was still calm on the surface, she was practically boiling on the inside. The weird pantomime act had caught her off guard, but now the momentary confusion had been firmly shoved aside by anger. She couldn't believe that she had just been sealed in like that! Fortunately, the dolts hadn't thought out their insidious plan carefully enough, and were forced to resolve it through a card game, one which Achan had rudely butted into. When the starfish-haired teenager had demanded one of the opponents for himself, Tacey had had half a mind to tell him to mind his own business, but she finally decided against it. After all, this way there was only one duel for her to bother with, and she was going to make it one these upstarts wouldn't forget in a hurry.

In a well routined motion, Tacey activated her duel disc, the row of card slots extending out to its full length and the device lighting up in preparation. "You, Asian punk." she demanded, glaring Kenta straight into the eye as she assumed her usual haughty duel stance, "Your challenge is accepted. I hope you're better at children's card games than you are at acting." there was a distinctly sadistic tinge to her smile as she noted the clumsy and over-dramatic way in which the shadow actor activated his own disc, "Because I want to get my ticket's worth out of this. It's time to duel!"

"What a tired old line." Kenta retorted disapprovingly, shaking his head in a horribly over-dramatic manner, "Oh, the torment we artists have to suffer...but fine." he returned her glare with a sinister glint of his own, "You're in for a show the likes of which you have never seen. Duel!"

Duelist: Tacey
Life Points: 8000
Deck: 35 cards
Hand: Court of Nobles, Royal Justice, Negate Attack, Forced Back, Divine Wrath
Field: N/A
Graveyard:N/A
Removed from play:N/A

Duelist: Kenta
Life Points: 8000
Deck: 35 cards
Hand: 5 cards
Field: N/A
Graveyard:N/A
Removed from play:N/A

"Ladies first, mister drama school dropout." Tacey remarked, reaching for her deck, "I draw."

Draw Phase: Dark Seraph Miseres

Had she not understood the importance of maintaining her composure in this situation, Tacey would probably have face-panned at the sight. How could she have forgotten to take out the temporary addition to her deck? Without the required support, she might as well have put Volcanic Rat in her deck for all the good it would do her! Oh well, Tacey concluded as she inspected her hand, if she had judged her opponent right, this little handicap wouldn't matter.

"Alright." she proclaimed, raising the solitary spell card in her hand into the air, "I'll begin by activating the field spell Court of Nobles."

Accompanied by the usual rumble of a new field spell, the sturdy walls with their banners sprouted out from the floor around the two duelists, said floor soon getting replaced by a well-trimmed lawn with various ornamental bushes and trees. Much to Tacey's surprise, however, there was now an ornamental fountain in the center of the field, the circular marble basin housing a pillar in the middle, upon which rested three figures: two near identical little girls, one with a bright smile on her face, the other looking grouchy over the whole situation as she sneered down at the ground below. Supported between the two was a far more ragged-looking girl with a pair of angelic wings on her back, water streaming out of her eyes to give an illusion of crying.

Tacey gaped. How? Who on earth had tampered with the holograms? She briefly considered Miseres, but noting how the spirit was utterly mesmerized by the sight in front of her, reaching out towards a holographic flower bush with an expression of childish wonder on her face, she quickly crossed that option out.

"Is that it?"

Kenta's impatient remark snapped Tacey out of her reverie, "You wish." she replied, "I summon Royal Justice!"

With a quick motion of her hand, a figure appeared on the ornamental lawn. It was an old and dignified-looking man, his lined face and deep, dark blue eyes giving him an appearance of great age and wisdom as he overlooked the field in a reserved manner. The white hair on top of his head was obviously a wig, but even so he maintained an unmistakable air of authority, standing in his long, black robe with the sizable white collar, a heavy-looking lawbook clutched in his hands.

"I'll play two cards face-down and end my turn."

"About time." Kenta replied in a decidedly haughty manner, "I draw."

Duelist: Tacey
Life Points: 8000
Deck: 34 cards
Hand: Negate Attack, Dark Seraph Miseres
Field: Court of Nobles (face-up), Royal Justice (1600 Atk/1200 Def), Divine Wrath (face-down), Forced Back (face-down)
Graveyard: N/A
Removed from play:N/A

Duelist: Kenta
Life Points: 8000
Deck: 34 cards
Hand: 6 cards
Field: N/A
Graveyard:N/A
Removed from play:N/A

The shadow actor's face lit up in a rather childish manner at the sight of the card he had drawn, "Ah-hah!" he proclaimed triumphantly, "I activate Trade-in! By tossing one level eight monster, I can draw two new cards. Observe!" the flair with which he drew his cards was even sillier than Kaiba's, but the actor was about to top himself "Now, prepare to feel the true terror of a shadow game: I summon Decoy Dragon and end my turn!" he proclaimed triumphantly.

It took all of Tacey's self-restraint to keep her facade of cool collectedness from breaking right there and then, in front of the tiny green dragon with the golden underbelly and cute button eyes who appeared on the field with an adorable little squeaking growl.

"That's it?" she asked at last.

Kenta raised an eyebrow in suspicion, "Umm...yes?" he ventured at last.

That was it, Tacey just couldn't contain it anymore. Throwing all professionalism to the winds, the girl finally let out the emotions welling up inside her in full force, causing the entire hallway to resonate.

Resonate in queue with her laughter that, is. Loud, uncontrollable, unladylike, overwhelming laughter that made its message to the person who had elicited it perfectly clear: you are a complete and utter failure at children's card games.

"Hey!" Kenta snapped in a rather offended tone, scowling at his ever mirthful opponent, "Just what are you laughing at?!"

"You-you of course!" Tacey managed between the waves of laughter, clutching her stomach with one hand while pointing at her opponent's solitary little dragon with the other, "That-that move..." she wiped the tears of joy out of her eyes, slowly straightening her pose, "Who taught you this game, Mai Valentine?" it was a low blow towards her own gender, but it was common knowledge that said blonde was the worst competitive duelist in existence.

And that she wasn't a genuine blonde, of course.

"Don't underestimate me, miss Edgeworth." the shadow actor hissed in a vain attempt to salvage his scary villain role, "You never know when your luck will turn in a-"

"Shadow game, right?" Tacey finished, "You're really going to have to work on those lines of yours; you're already repeating yourself."

"It creates dramatic effect!" Kenta growled defensively, now considerably red in the face, "Now make your move so that the shadows can consume you!"

"Whatever you need to tell yourself." Tacey replied, the grin still present on her face, "I draw."

Draw Phase: Royal Emissary

Duelist: Tacey
Life Points: 8000
Deck: 33 cards
Hand: Negate Attack, Dark Seraph Miseres, Royal Emissary
Field: Court of Nobles (face-up), Royal Justice (1600 Atk/1200 Def), Divine Wrath (face-down), Forced Back (face-down)
Graveyard: N/A
Removed from play:N/A

Duelist: Kenta
Life Points: 8000
Deck: 32 cards
Hand: 6 cards
Field: Decoy Dragon (300 Atk/200 Def)
Graveyard: Trade-in, Tri-Horned Dragon
Removed from play:N/A

Tacey's grin only widened when she noted her draw, "I'll start by summoning Royal Emissary."

Accompanied by the usual blur of the hologram software, a familiar, tall figure with a long, billowing cloak appeared on the field, but that was pretty much where the familiar bit ended. Compared to the usual black and white color scheme Tacey was accustomed to, this new figure looked quite striking. He was tall and gaunt, with a statuesque face that looked like it was in its mid-twenties with short, neatly arranged blonde hair and a healthy tan on his skin. He was donning a light, white tunic and matching trousers with a lining of peach-color around the edges of the sleeves and the tall collar, a pair of expensive looking, light brown leather boots on his feet and a long, white cloak with the black and white royal crest embroided on the center billowing behind him, the garments failing to conceal the well-worked muscles beneath them. More imposing than this, however, was the sizable sword hanging casually by his waist, its imposing steel blade and the gilded handle with the light blue pommel gem in the center glinting in the light as he kept an eye on the opposition, all the time maintaining a calm and friendly demeanor. The rich girl knew better than to stare for long this time, however, turning her attention to psyching out the opposition instead.

Ohh...she was going to enjoy this.

"Let's see now..." Tacey continued in a would-be pondering voice, noting the obvious anticipation on his opponent's face (honestly, was this guy supposed to be an actor?) as she stroked her own chin thoughtfully, "I have two strong monsters on my side while all my opponent has out is a single, weak, attack position monster that just happens to have 'Decoy' in its name. What to do, what to do? Well..." she shrugged, "I don't see any trap here so I guess I'll attack. Enter Battle Phase."

A triumphant grin appeared on Kenta's face at this point, its owner apparently oblivious to the fact that this was precisely what Tacey was after.

"Royal Emissary, attack Decoy Dragon!"

"Ah-hah!" Kenta interrupted triumphantly as the blonde figure drew his sword, grasping it with both hands and charging towards the terrified little dragon on the other side, "You have fallen victim to my insidious plan! You see, whenever my Decoy Dragon is attacked I get to-"

"Summon whatever big dragon you dumped into your Graveyard." Tacey finished, much to the shadow actors surprise, "I know."

"You did?" he asked, nonplussed, "Then why-"

"Reveal face-down! Divine Wrath!"

At Tacey's command, the giant card back on her right flipped itself up, revealing the picture of a peculiar machine creature enveloped in a burst of brilliant light descending from the clouded sky up above, "Now given the level of playing skill you've exhibited this far, I think I'd better explain this to you." the rich girl continued in a decidedly patronizing voice, "You see, at the cost of one card from my hand, my Divine Wrath trap card lets me negate the activation of any monster effect, including your Decoy Dragon." she grinned like a cheshire cat, "So much for your brilliant trap." the girl remarked mockingly, "Now, I'll discard." her hand darted towards Miseres' card, but something held her back, causing the girl to stop for a moment. It was the obvious choice for the discard, so why...why was she hesitating? Why couldn't she bring herself to do it? Sure, Judai probably wouldn't even have thought of discarding a duel spirit, but he was an idiot who treated playing cards like people. He would have melted at the pathetic little puppy dog eyes the gray-clad angel was giving her at the moment, but Tacey wasn't like that...was she? Annoyed at her hesitance and not wanting to ruin her appearance completely, the girl finally reached a decision, cursing her soft, sentimental little heart all the way, "I discard Negate Attack."

As the purple card was slipped into her Graveyard slot, the card effect finally came to life, a burst of light very similar to the one in the illustration struck down from above, causing the dragon on Kenta's field to disappear with a last, piteous little squeak. Miseres was looking ecstatic, but Tacey forestalled any unwanted 'thank you's she might have given, "Don't even start." she mumbled quietly, "I've got a reputation to uphold." raising her voice to an audible level again as she turned back to smacking down her opponent, "We're not done yet." she announced, "Whenever I negate the effect or summon any of your cards, my Royal Justice's effect is activated. First off, you lose 500 of your life points." the rich girl nodded towards the more dignified one of her monsters, the old figure raising his right hand in a decidedly authoritative manner as he flicked the lawbook open, a red aura briefly surrounding Kenta as the decreed number of life points was deducted from his counter, "But that's not all." Tacey continued conversationally, "Since you committed this crime within the Court of Nobles, there's an additional penalty." at her words, the Justice pointed an a wrinkled finger at the far right card in Kenta's Hand, "One card from your hand is discarded."

His opponent gave no response, merely sulking as he slipped the designated card into his graveyard.

"And what's more..." Tacey continued, "Since your monster was destroyed before my emissary got to attack it, we get a replay battle. Royal Emissary, attack that buffoon directly!"

The blonde figure nodded, lunging forward with his sword drawn once more. This time, however, he went straight for Kenta, delivering a devastating two-handed slash down the center of his body and claiming a good fourth of his life points in the process, "Royal Justice, your turn!"

Unlike his companion, the judge did not rush in the least, merely walking over to the Asian duelist in an ever-dignified manner as he raised the heavy tome in his hand, delivering a smack straight over his target's face before walking back to Tacey's side of the Field, "Turn end."

"This..." Kenta persisted, "This isn't over yet, miss Edgeworth! I draw!"

Duelist: Tacey
Life Points: 8000
Deck: 33 cards
Hand: Dark Seraph Miseres
Field: Court of Nobles (face-up), Forced Back (face-down), Royal Justice (1600 Atk/1200 Def), Royal Emissary (2200 Atk/ 1600 Def)
Graveyard: Divine Wrath, Negate Attack
Removed from play:N/A

Duelist: Kenta
Life Points: 3700
Deck: 30 cards
Hand: 6 cards
Field: N/A
Graveyard: Trade-in, Tri-Horned Dragon, Decoy Dragon, Felgrand Dragon
Removed from play:N/A

"Lo and behold!" the shadow actor proclaimed, holding up the card he had just drawn in a decidedly amateurish manner, "The instrument of your defeat. I Normal Summon, Kaiser Wing!"

Tacey had to admit slight surprise to this, seeing as how the card in question was brand spanking new, but by the looks of it the shadow actor's plays hadn't gotten any better, so she was truly not bothered, even as a thunderous roar erupted from the simulation software, the silhouette of a sizable draconic creature in possession of no less than two pairs of wings began taking shape on Kenta's field, "Activate face-down, Forced Back!"

The appearance of the monster was stopped in its tracks as the second giant face-down card flipped itself upright, a brilliant veil of white surrounding the creature and causing it to vanish, "As you should know, though I have all confidence in your ability not to..." Tacey continued, "Forced Back can negate any normal summon and send the returned monster straight back to the owner's hand. And I trust you remember what happens when I negate one of your moves?"

Kenta grit his teeth as another 500 points were deducted from his counter, casting a desperate glance at the cards in his hand, one of which was duly tossed into the graveyard once more, "I...I'll set three cards end my turn."

Tacey was hardly impressed by the three giant card backs appearing on her opponent's field. She knew a desperate bluff when she saw one, and her opponent's poker face was terrible. This game was over.

"I draw." she declared.

Draw Phase: Mirror Force

Duelist: Tacey
Life Points: 8000
Deck: 32 cards
Hand: Dark Seraph Miseres, Mirror Force
Field: Court of Nobles (face-up), Royal Justice (1600 Atk/1200 Def), Royal Emissary (2200 Atk/ 1600 Def)
Graveyard: Divine Wrath, Negate Attack
Removed from play:N/A

Duelist: Kenta
Life Points: 3200
Deck: 30 cards
Hand: 2 cards
Field: 3x Spell or Trap (face-down)
Graveyard: Trade-in, Tri-Horned Dragon, Decoy Dragon, Felgrand Dragon, Kaiser Wing
Removed from play:N/A

Tacey nodded for herself, even if - against all expectation - this clown had a face-down worth springing, Mirror Force would keep the him off her back and create precisely the kind of opening she needed to finish the job with a later monster. All she really had to do was enter her battle phase and wipe out the opposition, but...a malicious little grin spread across her face.

"I summon Dark Seraph Miseres."

Not altogether unexpectedly, her opponent gave a reaction as the grey-clad angel appeared on Tacey's Field, looking far more expectant than miserable as her glance traveled back and forth between the two other monsters on the field.

"Miseres?" Kenta inquired, "But that's Nicholas'-"

"That's the end of this game." Tacey interrupted, "Royal Justice, direct attack!" the shadow actor was given no time to articulate his thoughts further as a heavy lawbook came sailing towards him, striking him square on the nose, "Miseres, you're up."

Snapping her attention away from the holographic scenery around her, the spirit nodded, an unusually determined look on her face as she raised both of her hands into the air, a ball of dark energy assembling between her palms. Once the projectile had reached its full - if rather unimpressive - size, Miseres turned both arms forward, pointing them straight at Kenta as she fired the blob of energy at the shadow actor. It barely made a scratch on the life points, and Tacey could just as well have skipped this and just gone straight with the emissary, but seeing the seraph's triumphant expression she knew that that wasn't the point. It was the gesture that counted here, "Royal Emissary, finish him!"

And so, with a last, devastating swing from the blonde creature's blade, the duel was over.


OOC: In case you're wondering...yeah, there's a reason for the sudden graphics change (other than the fact that I was sort of not satisfied with what I did with them the first time around). It ties in with how I'm planning to land Tacey with the Hereditary Title trap card and will be explained later on. ;D Oh, and hope you don't mind the new format I'm using. It's just a way for me to keep better track of the battle since I realized that it's really confusing and tedious to keep going back to check the stats on all these fake cards, not to mention keep track of what has been played etc. :3

Scarlet Weather
December 2nd, 2007, 10:25 PM
Achan did his best to hold back laughter as Tacey proceeded to completely obliterate one of the shadow actors in a move he could only term as "completely and utterly hilarious". Behind the laughter, however, two points of inquiry took hold of Achan's mind. The first was the new color scheme of Royal Emissary and the change in the Court of Nobles. Achan knew that Miseres was a duel spirit Tacey had recently acquired. Perhaps the change in decor was somehow linked? After all, invisible walls, creepy dimensions and fusions of humans and duel spirits had already been established as possible. Changes in hologram decor certainly weren't out of the question. Rolling his eyes, Achan turned to face Armstrong who was apparently bawling. "So, your partner goes out in about five seconds without inflicting a single life point of damage. Please tell me you're a little bit stronger. Otherwise, this duel won't be any fun." A wide grin spread across Achan's leering face.

Armstrong, on the other hand, had returned to his "villain" act. Raising the arm Achan had twisted earlier, he pointed one finger at Tacey. "You'll be next," he declared. His piece thus said, the duelist inserted his deck into its slot in the middle of the KC duel disk strapped to his arm.

Achan copied his opponent's motions as he continued the banter. "Yeah, whatever. Much as I'd enjoy watching Tacey sweat a little, you're going to have to get past me first. Frankly, I don't think you're capable of making her sweat even on the off chance that you could get past me, which you won't. So give up and stop trying."

Armstrong opened his mouth to reply before quickly shutting it. "Perspiration-obsessed meanie," he muttered under his breath as the duel began.

Achan smirked. "Seeing as we want to get this over quickly, I'll go first. Draw!"

Duelist: Achan
LP-8000
Hand: Marauding Captain, Wandering Mage, Soul Taker, Royal Decree, Dominance Battalion.
Draw Phase: Twister
Monsters: None
Back Row: None
Graveyard: None
Removed Pile: None

"I'll lead off by summoning Wandering Mage in attack position and setting two cards. Any questions?" Achan asked as the red-cloaked warrior appeared, strange weapon in hand, followed by the backs of two cards.

Armstrong was momentarily confused as he shook his head. "No, not really. Why?"

If Achan could have facepanned, he would have. "That was a rhetorical question, numskull."

"Hey, my skull is NOT numb!" Armstrong protested. "And it's my turn anyway... Meanie!"

Achan shrank away from the large, blonde-haired duelist. "Er.... what on earth is wrong with you?"

"It is you there is something wrong with... Meanie!"

"Stop calling me that!" Achan snapped.

Duelist: Armstrong, "The Muscle"
Hand: Six Cards
Graveyard: None
Back Row: None
Monsters: None
RFG: None
LP-8000

Armstrong grinned sardonically, the immaturity of a moment ago replaced by a cool and collected grin. Meticulously leafing through the cards in his hand, he selected two. "Let's see... I'll set one monster and one card, ending my turn." His eyes sparked as he held up three fingers. "I can win in three turns."

Achan shook his head. "Not if I win first," he replied.

Duelist: Achan
Hand: Soul Taker, Marauding Captain, Dominance Battalion
Draw Phase: Limit Break-Bestialize
Face-Down: Royal Decree, Twister
Field Monsters: Wandering Mage
Graveyard: None
RFG: None
Lp-8000

"Okay, prepare to experience a world of hurt," Achan stated as he grinned at his hand. "I'm about to cut your life points completely in two."

"You're a meanie if you do," Armstrong replied, his face now contorted into a position that strongly reminded Achan of a little kid during a temper tantrum.

Achan couldn't help being weirded out. What was it with this guy? It was as if he was being immature on purpose. Hoping to hasten the duel along and escape his enemy's clutches quickly, Achan slapped his next monster onto the duel disk quickly. "Eh... I summon Marauding Captain!"

The knight appeared, his dirty blonde hair rumpled as it draped slightly over his scarred left eye while he unsheathed a pair of golden-hilted blades. Sweeping his red cloak to the side dramatically, he leaned on the larger blade while his tarnished armor creaked. Achan was quick to explain what the monster's presence on the field entailed. "On the turn I summon Marauding Captain, I also get to summon another level four or lower monster from my hand. In this case, I think I'll be summoning Dominance Battlion, or as I like to call him, an army of one." Achan grinned malevolently as he anticipated the amount of pain his opponent was about to feel. "Oh man... you're going to wish that you'd never been born."

Armstrong gaped as a massive curved sword at least a foot taller than Achan fell from the sky into a zone next to Achan's feet. It was immediately followed by the heavy, iron footsteps of a warrior in armor that obscured its body entirely. Heavy, interlocking plates void of any design and obviously forged from some form of adamantine metal glistened in nonexistent sunlight as the monster reached its hand forward and grabbed the blade, hefting it without problem. The twelve-foot-tall warrior's iron mask kept its face from sight as it roared a challenge to the face-down monster on Armstrong's field. Since the face-down did not and could not respond, the monster angrily strode forward and hammered its blade directly through the backing of the set monster, reducing it to dust.

"Hey!" Armstrong protested angrily, "What gives? You didn't tell that think to attack!"

"Oh no, you're just too bright," Achan replied as he adjusted his sunglasses. "Don't think too hard, or you may hurt that marvelous brain of yours. No, I didn't order Dominance Battalion to attack. That is because when Dominance Battalion is special summoned, it is allowed to destroy any one monster free of charge." Achan decided to neglect mentioning that he had no clue how the monster had known his target would be Armstrong's face-down, but he dismissed those thoughts momentarily. After all, there were card games to be won. "Anyway, I'll be attacking your life points directly now, so... bye-bye!"

Armstrong cringed as the Wandering Mage leapt into the air like an acrobat before aiming his golden weapon at the German duelist and releasing a bolt of golden magical energy that remarkably resembled a gunshot. Next, the German duelist was forced to suffer through a worn sword to the chest as Marauding Captain rushed forward and attacked. To Achan's chagrin, he was forced to watch an entirely too annoying pantomime as Armstrong fell to the ground, clutching his bosom as if mortally wounded. To the further dismay of the starfish-haired American, this act continued for onwards of five minutes as his opponent flailed and gurgled like a baby whose bottle had just been taken away, comically gasping for breath. Seeing that Armstrong had no intention of finishing his death throes anytime soon Achan turned to Dominance Battalion, who in reply turned his immense metal head towards Achan. Surprised by the efficiency of this hologram, Achan muttered, "Will you put him out of his misery?" and jerked a finger in the direction of Armstrong. On impulse, he reached up and passed a finger through the armored bulk of his monster. Unsurprisingly, the finger passed easily through the holographic projection as D.B. nodded and marched off, his horned helmet glinting, in the direction of Armstrong. What did surprise Achan, however, was the feeling in his wrist. It was as if he had plunged that hand into a bucket of ice water. Shaking off his feelings at the weirdness of the situation, Achan decided to simply turn his head and watch the fun as Dominance Battalion's leaden steps reached Armstrong.

Raising his head, the German duelist faced the massive metal monster and cut short his gurgles. "Oh..." he began, just as the creature lifted its blade. Cutting short his expletive as the gigantic sword shot through his body, effectively cleaving another massive amount from his life point total. His work done, the ironclad giant stepped back towards Achan.

The fiery-haired duelist smirked at his opponent before rolling his eyes. "If you hadn't been so busy freaking out, you might have had a chance to activate that set card to help you out. I end my turn."

Armstrong spluttered in anger as he rose to his feet. "Well, here's something you didn't notice. You've just lost a thousand life points."

"Wha-oh, the face-down," Achan realized as he stared at his LP counter, which did indeed read seven thousand. "Wait, don't tell me, let me guess.... Marshmallon?"

"Yes! And if you think that's scary, wait until you see the other monsters in my deck," the demented German replied, cackling and rubbing his hands together like a mad scientist.

Achan facepanned like a professional. Quickly recovering, he reprimanded his opponent. "What is it, do you have MPD or something? What's with the kicking and screaming and melodrama one moment and then the sadistic villain shtick the next? Are you some kind of maniac?"

Interpreting Achan's question as a song request, Armstrong shot into one of his poorly planned dance routines while providing his own background music. "He's a Maniac-Maniac on the floor... And he's dancing like he never danced before..."

Achan decided to chalk his opponent up as a basket case immediately so as to save himself the trouble of debating over it. "Just finish your next turn with a move that actually makes sense, please," he begged.

Armstrong began with aplomb. "While certainly, Herr Smith. I shall be honored to make sense of your psyche. Now let us start with your childhood," he began, his voice now returned to its native German accent.

"THAT'S NOT WHAT I MEANT!" Achan shouted, the veins on his forehead bulging.

"Have it your way. I've always wanted to be psychoanalyzed by Freud," Armstrong replied indignantly, finally preparing to begin his move.

"I can see why," Achan muttered.

Duelist-Achan
LP-7000
Hand: Soul Taker, Limit Break-Beastialize
Back Row: Royal Decree (set), Twister
Monsters: Dominance Battalion (Atk 1800), Marauding Captain (Atk 1200), Wandering Mage (Atk 1300)
Graveyard: None
RFG: None

Duelist-Armstrong
LP-3700
Hand: Five Cards (counting draw this turn)
Field: No Monsters, one set card.
RFG: None
Graveyard: Marshmallon.

"And now for the big finale! Ready?" Armstrong asked as he clapped his hands together eagerly. Seeing no reaction from Achan, Armstrong adopted a momentary pout. "Fine, seeing as the meanie doesn't care about what I do, I'll just summon a monster. Check out my sweet new monster: Giant Rat!"

Achan cringed at the sight of a massive brown rodent appearing on his opponent's side of the field. The creature sat up on its haunches, looking Achan over with its beady, red eyes as it rubbed its hands (claws?) together. The American duelist was puzzled. "Er... you're going to attempt to run me over with a big rat?"

"Well, yes. I mean, it has higher attack points than your captain, right? What do I have to lose?" Armstrong replied. "Anyway, I read articles about dueling online that said decks with Giant Rat in them are really, really strong." The German nodded his head sagely.

Achan didn't know whether to laugh or cry. "Wait a minute here. Are you saying that you included a random level four recruiting monster in your deck because you read that someone else had a strong deck with it? I mean, do you even know how to use its effect?"

Armstrong smirked. "Yes, I do. But I can tell you one thing: I don't need rat's effect to win. It'll eat away at you all on its own. You may as well give up now, seeing as there's no way you can possibly beat me. After all, I'm the man who has miracle draw!"

Achan was surprised at hearing this term again, but he responded tactfully. "Right, sure you are. Put your cards where your mouth is and blow me away, then."

Armstrong was all business once again. "Right. Anyway, I activate my trap card, Torrential Tribute!" he grinned malevolently.

Achan gasped in mock horror, though his intonation was lost on Armstrong. "No way!"

"Oh, way. And now the way belongs to me, for I am the king of the way!" Armstrong laughed maniacally while waiting for the effect of his trap card to destroy all monsters on the field. To his surprise, nothing happened. Angrily, he turned to Achan in order to ask "All right, what gives?" only to see that one of Achan's set cards was now face-up.

"Royal Decree. Prevents any other trap cards from working. I flipped it while you were blabbering about beating me." Achan smirked.

Stamping his foot and pouting, Armstrong made the only move he could and ordered his rat to attack Marauding captain. Achan smiled in satisfaction, knowing the duel was his. "I believe it was my move?"

Duelist-Achan
LP-6800
Monsters: Dominance Battalion (Atk 1800), Wandering Mage (Atk 1300)
Back Row: Royal Decree (In play), Twister (set)
Hand: Soul Taker, Limit Break-Bestialize
Draw Phase: Wandering Hero
Graveyard: Marauding Captain
RFG: None

Duelist-Armstrong
LP-3700
Hand: Dark Magician, Mystic Tomato, Zaborg the Thunder Monarch, Destiny Hero-Malicious
Field: Giant Rat, no set cards.
Graveyard: Marshmallon, Torrential Tribute
RFG: None

Achan smirked. It was time for a rush finish. "I'll start by summoning a Wandering Hero!" he announced, watching his monster materialize. The trim, fit Hero tossed his brown cloak outwards, drawing his blade from beneath the chainmail doublet he wore. Adjusting the dragon-skull helmet that obscured his face, the Hero prepared for a charge. Not finished yet, Achan announched his next move. "I'll be using Wandering Hero's ability to discard Soul Taker from my hand and equip him with United We Stand!" At the words of his controller, the Hero held his hand in the air, where it was immediately encased in a golden gauntlet, which immediately began augmenting the strength of its wielder by absorbing the power of Dominance Battalion and Wandering Mage. Smiling hungrily, Achan decided to go out with a bang. Selecting the one card remaining in his hand, he slipped it into his duel disk. "And if you thought my Wandering Mage looked creepy before..." he leered, "Wait until you see his transformation. I pay half my life points in order to activate Limit Break-Bestialize!"

The Wandering Mage shook as a burst of energy surrounded him. Shuddering, he collapsed to the ground as his garments ripped to shreds, revealing a purple-skinned body tipped with a long, reptilian tail. Claws shot from his hands and feet as he levered himself from the ground. The monster's eyes gleamed a feral yellow as horns burst from his foreheard and a ridge of spikes sprouted along his spinal column. As a final touch, the face elongated itself into a wolflike muzzle. Newly reborn, the Mage howled as his attack points shot off the charts. Achan grinned as he launched into an explanation. "By activating this particular spell card, I can return my Wandering Mage to his true form. In this state, he's almost unstoppable, with three thousand attack points..." Achan paused for effect, "And the ability to inflict damage to your life points equal to the attack points of any monster he destroys!" Armstrong cringed in terror as the beast stepped forward, opening its massive maw. Achan barked the command it had been waiting for. "Wandering Mage, attack! Gallian Fare!" The monster obeyed, gathering an orb of red energy to its mouth and releasing it in a fiery holocaust, which completely incinerated Giant Rat. Achan stared at Armstrong, who picked himself back up quickly. "Well, activate Rat's effect already!"

Armstrong shook his head after reading the effect text on the card. "I don't have any other earth-type monsters in my deck! I just threw my deck together with random duel spirits people gave me!" His next move caught Achan completely by surprise. "P-Please don't attack me with that thing! It'll rip my head off!" he pleaded, pointing to Dominance Battalion.

Achan would have written this off as another of Armstrong's outbursts if it weren't for the fact that tears were running from the duelist's eyes. This wasn't an act calculated to throw off Achan's timing or otherwise annoy him. This was real terror. And now that Achan thought about it, he could feel something emanating from Dominance Battalion. As he turned to face the monster, he identified it. Malice and rage were inexplicably pouring from the creature out towards the helpless figure of Armstrong. Achan didn't know how or why, but he knew that for some reason his monster held a grudge against the shadow actor, and if he allowed his monster to attack the beast could and would inflict harm on his opponent. Shaking off the cold feeling within him, Achan made the next best order. "Wandering Hero, attack!"

The Hero's blade ended the duel, causing the life-size holograms to dissapear. Achan hastily returned his cards to his deck before striding towards Armstrong. "Alright, spill it. What's going on here?"

Armstrong shook his head. "If I told you, then I'd be dead," he replied, before launching a surprise left hook to Achan's face and sprinting away, only to run face-first into Kenta's still-active barrier.

Achan was amazed. "Even when he's being intelligent, he's still an idiot."

OOC: Yes, randomness. Ahem. The reason behind Armstrong's bizarre deck is that he labors under the delusion that since duel spirits tend to jump into the player's hand exactly when they are needed, by filling his deck with them he can effectively draw into whatever he wants, creating the ultimate toolbox. Unfortunately, while he has captured enough duel spirits to power an army they are all way too disjointed and occasionally downright useless to function as a deck. As for Dominance Battalion being one monster and not a battalion of them... don't ask about the logic break. Oh, and Armstrong's act throughout the duel is just his way of annoying Achan. Next post should include an update on Manjyoume and a deactivation of the barrier, if you please, since a key plot point hinges on his and Judai's arrival. :3

Oh, and if I made a misplay with Decree don't hesitate to tell me so.

Alter Ego
December 3rd, 2007, 08:00 AM
OOC: Actually, your only misplay was with Marshmallon. Since it was destroyed face-down and by card effect (when its effect specifies an attack against Marshmallon) the burn effect would not be triggered. :3

IC:

In Tacey's mind, there was only one word to describe these shadow actors: pathetic.

Actually, 'utterly pathetic' would have been fully appropriate too, but that would have contradicted the whole 'one word' thing. Point was: these two had been wasting her time, to not even having been able to beat Achan...how pitiful. Armstrong efficiently knocking himself unconscious against his partner's barrier only highlighted just how pitiful the situation was.

None of this seemed to bother Miseres, however, the spirit still bouncing back and forth in excitement, "And then I hit the bad guy straight on the face!" she chirped triumphantly, "Didya' see me, huh? Didya'?"

"Yes, yes, it was very impressive, Miseres." Pikeru attempted encouragingly, the slight lack of conviction in her voice not bothering the grey-clad spirit in the least, "I told you that Tacey would let you shine."

"Blah, blah, blah." Curran huffed, her arms still folded defiantly, "I could have done better with one hand tied behind my back."

"Could not!" Miseres retorted.

"Could too!" Curran insisted, turning to face her adversary.

"Nu-uh!"

"Uh-huh!"

"You're just jealous!" the angelic spirit remarked, poking her tongue out at Curran.

"Of what? That grey potato sack you're wearing?" the princess returned the gesture, "Get real, angel wings!"

"Well at least I'm not the one with a silly bunny hood!" Miseres retorted.

"What did you say?!"

"You heard me!"

"Potato sack!"

"Bunny hood!"

"Crybaby!"

"Grouch!"

Noting the growing tension, Pikeru tried to float over between the arguing parties, raising her hands in a calming gesture, "Please...calm down, both of you."

"You stay out of this!"

The perfectly synchronized objections from both briefly caught the white-clad spirit off guard, but she quickly regained her composure, starting off a lecture for the both of them and effectively turning the situation into a three-corner fight.

Tacey, meanwhile, was focused on something completely different. Namely, her humiliated opponent, who was currently trying to shake his partner awake.

"Armstrong, you idiot! Wake up!" he hollered, shaking the German duelist roughly as he attempted to drag his body upright before shooting a warning glare at both teens, "You got lucky this time." he announced, dismissing the barrier with a snap of his fingers before running off towards a nearby corridor, his partner in tow, all the while trying to maintain their image by shouting over his shoulder, "But just you wait, we'll meet again, and in the second act the villains will-!"

"Do what, precisely?"

Much like Tacey before him, Kenta found his escape blocked by a sizable blockade of black-blazered duelist.

Make that a foul-tempered, black-blazered duelist, surrounded by three far less imposing-looking gremlins.

"I knew that your acting was too bad to be for real." Manjoume remarked coldly, glaring at the shadow actors, "That barrier, it was your work, wasn't it? Out with it! Who are you working for and where did you get those powers of yours?" he adjusted his position a bit to block the duo's escape route completely, "Answer, or prepare to face the wrath of Manjoume Sanda!"

Scarlet Weather
December 5th, 2007, 11:53 AM
OOC: Alright, I'm not correcting the misplay yet since it was pretty minor (and against my own character as well xD). Sorry for the delay in posting, btw, I have a debate meet tomorrow and I needed to buckle down and study. (No, attempting to do sidequests in FFX really had nothing to do with it, I swear.) Erm... why don't I just posting now?

Kenta and Armstrong quivered in fear as Manjoume entered the room like a black-blazered avenging angel, minus wings, halo and sword. With no escape route open Kenta attempted to muscle his way past Achan, only to come into contact with a very angry group of theater patrons whose plans to attend a performance of Springtime for Kaiba had been interrupted by a very large barrier. The faces of one and all bore expressions of anger that could have caused a slab of solid granite to crumble in fear. Realizing that the front door barrier had been less-than-selective about who it kept out, Kenta and Armstrong attempted one final method of escape. Raising his partner over his head, Armstrong hurled the badly-costumed Asian over the heads of the theatre-goers before making a mad dash himself, barely breaking through the crowd of irate duelists.

Achan couldn't help wondering at this spectacle. "I don't get it. That guy has enough strength to muscle his way through a crowd of angry duelists but he gives in when I twist his wrist? I mean, the powers that be must be enjoying all the little logic breaks they insert into life," he complained.

"Doesn't like getting his wrist twisted? Good to know, Sumisu-kun," a familiar red-blazered duelist stated as he rested a hand on Achan's shoulder.

Achan performed a quick about-face in embarassment. "Judai! How did you get here?"

"Through the front door," Judai replied. "Anyway, I have a couple of idiots to tie down. If you'll excuse me..." Rubbing his hands together, Judai dashed after both Shadow Actors with surprising speed before grabbing both by the shoulders and frog-marching them back to the rest of the company. Ignoring the struggles of both captives, he flashed a trademark grin to the rest of the company. "All right you two. Talk or I'll flush your decks down the toilet," he threatened.

Kenta shook his head. "No amount of children's trading cards is worth what our Master will do to us if he finds out we talked," he countered.

""No hablo ingles. Hablas Espanol?" Armstrong chimed in, his face now graced with a very large fake nose and moustache combination disguise.

Judai shook his head. "Alright, I suppose I'll have to let you go..." he began, before jerking his head in the direction of the angry duelists, "But I doubt they'll let you get off so easily."

Kenta drew himself up to his full, unimpressive height. Unaware that this action had completely lost its dramatic effect due to the fact that he was suspended in mid-air, he attempted to salvage some of his lost dignity. "Well, better to lose our lives to lovers of the arts and die heroes then to betray the organization and have the master execute us as traitors! Do your worst, we'll never talk!" Finished blustering, he turned to his partner. "Right, Armstrong?"

"I'LL TALK! I'LL TALK! PLEASE DON'T FLUSH OUR DECKS DOWN THE TOILET AND GIVE US TO A GROUP OF ANGRY DUELISTS!" the German blubbered.

Kenta rolled his eyes. "You're a real hero, captain. A real hero."

Armstrong considerably brightened up. "Why yes, of course I am!"

Judai smiled. "Yes, you are. Now why don't you tell me what who your master is, and what he wants with all these spirits, hmm?"

Armstrong opened his mouth to reply, only to fall victim to a coughing fit. Judai waited patiently for him to recover before repeating the question. Once again, Armstrong attempted to answer the question only to have his thoughts interrupted by yet another fit of coughing, followed by his raising of both hands to his throat as if to pry loose the clutch of invisible fingers. Kenta intervened quickly. "I'll talk, I'll tell you whatever you want! Just stop hurting Armstrong!" he pleaded. The moment his voice died away, he too was seized. Judai dropped both actors quickly as he stared in amazement. "It's like somebody is choking them," he breathed.

Armstrong face was already blue and Kenta's was fast on its way to becoming like it. A hideous, crackling voice resounded throughout the room. "Fools. I told you that death would be swift and painful if you betrayed me. Now feel my retribution! Such is the fate of all who oppose me!" A burst of wind howled and then, suddenly, all was still. Nothing remained of Kenta and Armstrong but their costumes and duel disks, still complete with decks.

Judai's face paled. "We go. Now. Before anyone can connect us to their dissapearance," he whispered before racing for the door. Achan, torn between his horror at the sight he had just witnessed and his desire to leave the theatre snatched up Armstrong's duel disk and costume. Perhaps there was something in there that could help point to the real identity of these shadowy people. Turning to Tacey he muttered a quick "We'd better get going," before turning to follow Judai.

Alter Ego
December 8th, 2007, 07:40 AM
Tacey was speechless, quite the rare occurrence all by itself. Oh, she had heard Judai rant about children's card games being a matter of life and death and she was no stranger to threatening people with all sorts of horrible things, but...

...she was used to it being just that; talk. Even though she had whole-heartedly supported the notion of handing the two clowns over to a mob of angry theater patrons, the thought that any of it could possibly go beyond the odd bruise and possibly one of them getting duct-taped to a flagpole had never even occurred to her. It was all in good fun, it wasn't like...like that. The moment she had realized that the choking was no act, the rich girl's face had gone paler than her beautiful, white linen sheets. The expressions of sheer terror and the desperately pleading gestures the shadow actors had made had her completely mesmerized, much like a bystander witnessing a gruesome traffic accident, even as her stomach churned uncomfortably. The way this mystery villain had disposed of his two servants, just like that...no hesitation or remorse at all, no consideration, it was like-like-

The knot in Tacey's stomach tightened. It was just like her, wasn't it? If a servant can't do his job, dispose of him and get a better one. Because there's always a better one. If a servant values his job that much, he should do it better, shouldn't he? It was all their fault, after all; she had never done any wrong. She wasn't the one who had failed. Judai's suggestion fell on deaf ears, Tacey's gaze still locked on the remains of the two people she had hated so much a few moments ago but whom she now felt nothing but pity for.

"He killed them..." she mumbled to no-one in particular, apparently oblivious to the world around her, a finger still pointed at the pile of possessions that had once been the shadow actors as Achan's words eluded her just like Judai's, "He killed them just like that. For losing one, stupid card game." a tiny drop of moisture pressed out from her left eye, "How can someone just-"

"Snap out of it, Edgeworth!" the voice of the older duelist betrayed no emotion save a hint of annoyance as a cold, pale hand gripped her wrist, forcefully dragging the girl in its wake as its owner made his way in the same direction as the others.

"Snap out of it?!" Tacey echoed shrilly, glaring at Manjoume as she made a feeble attempt at resisting the far stronger male's pull, "How can you say that?! He just k-mmmph!"

"Shut up." the black-blazered duelist hissed harshly, his second hand now firmly clamped over the girl's mouth, "For once in your life, Edgeworth, shut up. Do you really want to stay here and try to explain what just happened here to everyone?"

"Mmmph..."

"Thought so."

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The moment they had gotten outside of the chaotic theater and out of the growing crowd's immediate attention, Tacey was relieved to note that Manjoume's hygienically suspect hand left her mouth, but this small bit of relief was nothing compared to the emotions raging inside her as the black-blazered duelist calmly dusted off his clothes, as if this was all routine for him.

"Well, that could have gone smoother." he remarked casually.

Tacey was appalled, "Is that all you can say?" she asked, the pitch of her voice still a few octaves above pleasant, "Two people just died! Isn't anyone else bothered by this?" she turned to Judai and Achan in turn, "ANYONE?!"

"That's how shadow games work." Manjoume retorted, "I told you to keep out of it, but you just had to meddle all the same, didn't you?"

"I-" the rich girl desperately sought a retort but failed to find one, chosing to focus on maintaining her rapidly slipping composure instead. She would not cry; not in front of Achan, not matter what. "I didn't know it would be like this..."

"You and everyone else." the black-blazered duelist replied, "It's all fun and children's card games until somebody loses their soul, isn't it?" he gave a tired sigh, turning his glance towards his partner, "We should move. We might have broken out of this one ambush, but there's no telling if there are more of those shadow duelists about and besides; the police may make a sweep."

Scarlet Weather
December 8th, 2007, 01:51 PM
Achan shuddered, realizing the truth of Tacey's statement. Those people had been eaten alive by the shadow power, and all he had thought of was the insanity of the situation and his curiosity over what had happened. Guilt swept over him momentarily, before he realized something important. "You know, we never actually saw them die," he said, the faintest trace of hope present in his voice. "They vanished before they could suffocate. Maybe they just got fired?"

Judai shook his head. "I doubt it," he sighed. "Unless their master has something to gain by keeping them alive, I don't think that he would let them survive to talk about his plans. If he was willing to use his powers to remove them and cause them bodily harm for talking, I don't think he's going to give them a chance to do so again. Those two have just played their last shadowgame."

Achan couldn't believe it. "Then we... I helped kill them. If I hadn't defeated Armstrong, that other guy wouldn't have removed the barrier, and if he had left the barrier up, you two couldn't have interrogated him. And if you hadn't done that-"

Judai's hand clapped onto Achan's shoulder. "Don't waste your breath or time thinking about those two. They were monsters, and they deserved what they had coming to them."

Achan couldn't believe that those words had come from Judai's mouth. "What did you-"

"I said that they deserved it. Those two have separated friends, turned living spirits into slaves, and manipulated others for their own benefit. They've killed people, sealed spirits that should be allowed to roam free, and essentially done it all for profit. At least that Nicholas guy thought he was protecting people. Those two caught and tortured spirits for fun." Judai shook his head. "They messed with forces beyond their own control, and now it's paying them back. Don't waste your time on feeling guilty."

Achan's face paled until the coloration was completely absent. "You..."

"I'm not saying that it was right to kill them, I'm just saying that you shouldn't feel guilty about it. They knew what would happen if they sided with this guy, and they didn't care." Judai's answer was slightly more tinged with compassion this time.

Achan stared at Judai, his face inexpressive. "I'm going home," he stated abruptly. "I have things to think about. You guys can stay here if you want."

Judai shook his head. "Manjoume and I need to stick with the two of you. If Edgeworth-san is being targeted, she could very well be attacked again. We need to stay together if we're going to be on the streets."

"Fine, one of you can walk home with me, I don't care. Look, this isn't any of my business anyway. I don't have any duel spirits, so they won't be looking for me." Achan turned and began marching down the path towards home. "We can talk about all of this tomorrow, or on MSN if we have to. Just look for 'FantasyDesigner123", all one word, 'F' and 'D' capitalized." With his parting remarks made, Achan strode silently away.

Judai shook his head. "Manjoume, what is MSN? I don't do computers," he complained.

Alter Ego
December 12th, 2007, 08:07 AM
Tacey just couldn't find any words to express her emotions as Judai essentially joined into Manjoume's opinion. Granted, he made a good point, but still...the girl's dislike for her current company only intensified. And this guy had been scolding Nicholas? Didn't he see that he was being just as cruel to people as the goth was to spirits? Supreme king indeed...it didn't matter how bad the person was, you just didn't kill people over children's card games! It was an unwritten rule like-like that you should eat civilized!

Though she would never have admitted to it, Tacey would actually have preferred for Achan to stay. It wasn't that she was starting to like starfish-head -- no way! He was still a jerk with a bad fashion sense, but he...he was a normal jerk. He was human. These two on the other hand...the rich girl's pride was the only thing that kept her from shuddering as she glanced at the two older duelists, one of whom was currently explaining instant messaging to his partner in a bored tone that would have done a tech support clerk proud. So what if they were on her side? They were still creepy.

"You two..." Tacey hissed at both, sounding very much like a cornered little kitten trying to put on a tough act, "You're horrible, both of you! Just-just leave me alone!"

Without another word, the rich girl made a dash towards the streets. Manjoume attempted to intercept once more, but this time Tacey was prepared for him.

"Don't you dare touch me!" she spat out in her most murderous voice, giving the black-blazered duelist a powerful kick straight to his shin, causing him to flinch for long enough for the girl to dash past.

"Where the Chtonia did that come from?!" Manjoume spat out, massaging his assaulted limb before turning to face Judai, "Don't tell me we're actually dashing after that brat again."

Scarlet Weather
December 13th, 2007, 03:15 PM
Judai scratched the side of his head quizzically. "I'm not sure. She obviously doesn't want to be around us, but we can't just let her wander off. She could be ambushed again. It's the same with Sumisu-kun, despite what he said. They could attack him to get to Edgeworth-san. Hmm... what to do, what to do," he murmured, stroking his chin.

An angry duel spirit popped from behind Judai's shoulder before striking him over the forehead with a tiny wing. Kuri, Kuri! it chirped indignantly.

It hit Judai like a bullet train. "Of course! We don't have to follow them at all. We just need to send a few helpers after them." Grinning, he pulled a pair of cards from his deck. "Let's see... Sumisu-kun isn't that hard to keep tabs on because he can't see spirits, but we should probably send someone stealthier after Edgeworth-san. On the other hand, if they end up bumping into each other then Edgeworth will see the spirit following Sumisu-kun and we'll be found out, so... got it! Black Panther and Air Hummingbird!"

The air shimmered as spirits unveiled themselves to Judai and Manjoume, the one a large, humanoid creature with a birdlike head and wings decked out in red feathers; the other one a large black panther with tufted ears whose back was currently graced by a green cape. Winking to both creatures, Judai pointed down the road. "Hummingbird, keep as high in the air as you are able and track Edgeworth-san. Panther, stay low to the ground and follow Sumisu-kun."

The spirits exchanged glances before prowling and flying after their respective targets.

Achan felt the hot tears threatening to spill. Why was it that everything in this stupid tournament was stacked against him? First his rival turned out to have magical powers, then he got thrown onto a team with two psychos who apparently didn't care if somebody got killed after they were defeated in a card game? And top it off, he hadn't even managed to make a showing of "The Duelists". He had promised himself that he would make a Broadway musical if he could. He had broken his promise in order to play a stupid card game against a pair of psychotic idiots who had been killed just for losing. He bit his lip. Hanging out with Tacey for a day, unappetizing as it was, seemed to him at that moment highly preferable to another minute in the company of Judai or Manjoume after the way they had treated the two dead actors. Tacey had been right: Judai was a lunatic.

It was, ironically, at that moment that Achan tread on the panther's tail.

His foot felt as if it had been frozen, and to make things worse the panther had leaped through Achan the moment the hapless teenager had tread on his tail. The icewater double-whammy was too much for Achan, and it sent him reeling backwards where he landed on his derriere. Predictably, he landed directly in front of the person he least wanted to look like an idiot in front of.

"Tacey? Are... you okay?" he asked, staring at the heiress, who appeared to be in the same emotional state as himself.

Alter Ego
December 14th, 2007, 08:35 AM
Tacey's dash hadn't been as aimless as she had made it out to be. Though the rich girl was obviously upset about the whole ordeal, it didn't mean that she had lost her wit...or sense of direction. She had been doing her best to navigate a path towards the hotel, and though the streets of New York were hardly familiar to her, she was pretty sure that she had been heading in the right direction.

That wasn't what really bothered her, though. No, what really bothered her was the people around her. She was used to being the center of attention wherever she went, but now that her bodyguards weren't around, the rich girl had all but dissolved into the crowd. It wasn't that she usually needed them to intimidate others out of her way, but the recent events had shaken Tacey's normally indomitable self-confidence, the very one that allowed her to command respect far beyond her age and stature.

Tacey was scared, and the world was pouncing. She could see it, in every indifferent glance, every mocking sneer, every lecherous expression. For a moment, she could have sworn that she even felt someone's hand brush against her thigh, and in her current state this was more than enough to make her explode in full force, twirling around with righteous fury only to find that whoever had done it -- if it had even been done -- was long gone.

Her lip quivered. She didn't want to be here, she didn't want this. What she wanted was to be back at the hotel, to be stared at in awe and envy by everyone she encountered, to be somewhere clean and safe. Right now, above all, she really just wanted to be home. Not, not in this stupid city with all the ignorant dolts who kept ignoring her and bumping into her and stepping into her way and doing all kinds of indecent things and-

It was right at this specific moment that a member of the crowd landed straight at her feet, causing the rich girl to leap back in fright. Only a moment later did she register just who the crowd member was, right when said crowd member addressed her:

"Tacey? Are... you okay?"

The girl blinked, slightly unsure as to how to respond, but her pride was still clinging to its position with teeth and claws, "Of-of course I am." she replied in the less than convincing manner of one who was trying to conceal that she had been on the verge of both tears and complete panic mere moments later, "What a silly thing for you to ask. I'm not the one who collapsed in the middle of the street, am I?" she tentatively reached out a hand to help the boy up, a perfect cover-story for the awkward situation suddenly materializing in her mind, "Looks like you aren't in any condition to walk around on your own, Smith." the girl remarked, giving a sigh that indicated that she was -- out of the sheer goodness of her heart -- agreeing to something which she was really rather reluctant about and transferring her grip from simply helping him up to concretely dragging him around, a grip quite similar to the one she had applied to Manjoume. It wasn't unbreakable, but if he wanted off he'd have to be ready to bear the image of someone who had conducted violence against a girl younger than himself. Even a crowd this vicious couldn't stay completely cold at that sight, "Come on, I'll walk you to your hotel. Can't have you spasming around without anyone looking after you, not with all this shadow game business going on. You can thank me later."

Without giving time for any kind of objection, the rich girl proceeded to drag her new victim down the street. Things were looking up, though she loathed to admit it. She was just doing a good deed, this she was telling herself. She was far too kind-hearted to let even an idiot like Achan get himself hurt, it wasn't like she needed him in any way.

On some levels of consciousness, she almost believed it.

"Oh, and let's get one thing straight." she added in a more business-like tone, "This doesn't mean I like you any more than before. If you try anything funny I will break your arm."

Scarlet Weather
December 16th, 2007, 01:48 PM
If Achan had known that he would encounter Tacey, he might have taken a few precautions. Moving down the nearest back alley, for instance. He was surprised, however, by her reaction to his question. Tacey was quite obviously emotionally distressed, and quite obviously needed his help. He was equally surprised by her gesture of kindness when she profferred a hand to help him up. Maybe Tacey wasn't so bad after all, he reasoned.

Of course, his opinion was completely reversed when Tacey proceeded to grip his arm in such a manner as to prevent him from escaping her without looking like a complete idiot. If it weren't for the fact that she had helped him up in the first place, he would have been furious. She was just helping him up because she couldn't just leave him sitting there, not because she genuinely cared about him in any way, shape, or form. Apparently he still didn't register as an intelligent human being in Tacey's book. It was then that Tacey made a remark that at its surface seemed to confirm Achan's thoughts, but made it painfully obvious that she really did need his help as much as he had needed hers. If she had indeed felt no different about Achan, she wouldn't have spared him a remark. She would have continued treating him as if he was completely inferior to her, or one of her servants. Tacey, you're a pretty bad liar, Achan wanted to say. Aloud, he replied with a jauntier, "Well, likewise to you in that case, Miss Edgeworth."

Black Panther continued tracking, his whiskers twitching. Wanting to leave as little distance as possible between himself and his quarry, he slipped closer. Just as he did so, however, the sillhoute of a large, misty figure appeared in front of him. Hey, what gives? the neo-spacian growled indignantly.

The large figure remained mute, but its eyes appeared. They burned with a dark red color as the murky image drew its blade, which was itself at least the size of Black Panther, and pointed it threateningly at him.

Black Panther got the message, and he didn't like it. I don't know who you work for, but I'm here to make sure that kid doesn't get hurt! Move aside!

The figure dragged its blade along the ground in front of it before pointing to Achan, then back to itself. Once this gesture was completed he pointed at Black Panther, then at Achan again, then to its sword, and then to Black Panther. The Neo-Spacian understood the point of the pantomime at once. "Keep away from the kid with the funky hair or I'll kill you." Black Panther shook his head. No. Judai told me to watch over the boy, so that is what I must do. I can't waste my time fighting you, so please move aside! The misty figure shook its head before pointing to itself and its sword again. Black Panther shook its head once more. What do you have to do with anything? The figure pointed to Achan one last time. Finally, it dawned on the duel spirit. You're protecting him, aren't you? he asked.

Groaning, the creature nodded.

Interesting... I'll report this to Judai. As the panther turned to slink away, he left one last parting remark. If you allow him to be hurt while I'm away, I'll take you apart. Understand?

Nodding, the creature vanished.

Achan rolled his eyes uncomfortably. "Er... Tacey, I appreciate the help, but I think I can walk now. I just tripped over something before, really. I'm fine. Could you let go of me for a moment? People are going to think there's something between us," he pleaded.

Alter Ego
December 19th, 2007, 01:49 PM
Tacey had largely zoned out Achan's talk after it had been confirmed that he was not about to object. She was just escorting him after all, service for a person with an obvious medical condition of some sort. That was it, even though Achan's oh-so-jaunty manner seemed to suggest that he thought something else. Not that she cared what he thought of course; he'd just have to prepare to be bitterly disappointed when his plebeian fancies turned out unfounded.

"Aww! They're so cuuu-mmmph!"

Despite the interruption, the light, childish voice had effectively caught the rich girl's attention, her eyes turning to the right and spotting the perpetrator: Miseres, the hands of both Curran and Pikeru duly clamped over the grey-clad angel's face. As the spirits realized that they were being observed, both donned identical innocent smiles.

Tacey gave a tired sigh, despite technically being opposites, the twin princesses were very much alike in certain respects, "And just where have you three been?"

The princesses exchanged guilty glances.

"Well, you see, Tacey..." Pikeru began in her most persuasive voice, Curran picking up on queue

"...Miseres got lost back during the run and..."

"We tried to talk to you but you didn't notice."

The seraph's interjection caused both of the spritely princesses to wince in unison. Miseres, it seemed, had an abysmal sense of timing when it came to giving blunt truths.

For a moment, Tacey look practically stunned, "Is...this true?" she directed the question to her two original spirits, both of them exchanging another set of glances.

"Yes...it's true." Pikeru conceded at last.

"No reaction, even when Miseres tried prodding you." Curran filled in, "It was pretty creepy, to be honest."

"But..." Tacey lowered her voice considerably in an attempt to cut Achan out of the conversation. The last thing she wanted was for him to find out about was a weakness on her side, "How can that happen? I mean, it's a talent, right? You can't just forget something like that, can you?"

"Didn't think so either." Curran replied with a shrug, "Not until this happened anyway."

"We think...it might be because you were upset." Pikeru ventured, "I mean, it started happening right after you ran away from-"

"Left the company of."

"Left the company of Judai and Manjoume." Pikeru diplomatically corrected herself, "And, well...after you met up with Achan it seems to have-" she paused, catching the girl's expression, "I mean, the Achan thing could just be coincidence, but you've calmed down now, right?"

"Right." Tacey replied, nodding, "So it's just a matter of staying calm and collected at all times, right?"

"That's what we think, anyway." Pikeru said.

"It's also why we decided not to talk about it." her black-robed complement chimed in, "Didn't want to risk you getting a relapse. Not that angel wings here stuck to it."

She gave a meaningful nod towards Miseres, but the seraph seemed completely absorbed by staring at the sky. When she noticed the glances turned towards her, she spoke up however, "There's a funny bird in the sky." she trilled innocently.

"Funny bird?" Curran echoed, casting a sceptical glance at the blue vastness above and then shaking her head, "For the last time, Miseres; it's called an 'airplane'."

"No, not that one, silly!" the seraph retorted, giggling slightly, "I meant the red one, over there." she pointed innocently at a red dot in the distance, "It's been following us the whole time. Pretty silly, don't you think?"

The expressions on the faces of the other two seemed to indicate that this wasn't the case, but before anyone could interject, Achan -- who had been oblivious to the conversation -- decided to speak up, requesting that Tacey let go of his arm before people started thinking that there was 'something between them' as he put it.

"Well, they wouldn't think that if you tried to act a bit more like my little brother and a bit less like a fidgety little boy on his first date." she retorted, rolling her eyes, "Really, Smith, you're being just as childish about this as-"

"Tacey!"

The girl was about to voice an objection to being interrupted in such a way, but a hurried whisper from Pikeru cut her short.

"Are you serious?" she hissed, receiving a nod in response.

Tacey had had every intention of letting go of Achan -- who, in her opinion, really should have had nothing at all to complain about if people thought that there was something between him and a radiant demi-goddess of children's card games like herself -- but upon receiving the confirmation, her grip around his arm tightened instead, the rich girl quickly pulling her involuntary escort closer.

"Don't look now, Smith..." she muttered, "But Pikeru insists that we're being followed...by a duel spirit, no less. Some kind of bird. It's probably pointless to ask, but do you have any bright ideas for a change?"

Scarlet Weather
December 22nd, 2007, 12:38 PM
Achan wasn't a very resilient person. When Tacey announced the arrival of a large bird following them, he gave her the one answer he could think of. "Leave it. If it's with the Shadow people, it's not going to be able to attack as long as we're surrounded by a crowd, since they'd have to deal with the witnesses. If it's from Judai or Manjyome we'll probably be okay. I don't like the idea of them spying on us, but from the looks of things there's nothing we can do but go home, get some rest, and try to forget everything that just happened in that theatre."

Even as the words left Achan's mouth, he knew that he would never forget. He had been an unknowing accomplice in the murder of Armstrong and Kenta, and he would never be able to think about this place again without remembering the two of them. They had been after Tacey, true, and they might have been evil, but they probably didn't have any idea what they were doing when they began playing those games. They probably just wanted powers so that they could emulate someone they admired, or to feel better about themselves. Maybe they had someone they were trying to outdo. Whatever the case, they didn't deserve to die. He was sure of that.

------------

Air Hummingbird stared at the duo from above. Eh? Why aren't they moving? Are they gonna stand there and talk all day? he complained. I finally get to see some action, and what happens? I get to baby-sit a few kids who can't get home on time. Oh brother...

OOC: Yeah, Air Hummingbird and the other Neo-Spacians have their personalities basically open to interpretation, so expect to see some of that. *smiles evilly*

Alter Ego
December 25th, 2007, 11:13 AM
"Leave it?!"

Tacey could hardly believe her ears, while those in her immediate vicinity were busied with nursing their own after the latest assault, "Just leave it?!" even though the rich girl had lowered the volume quite a bit, every last syllable in her words still oozed with indignation, "Are you out of your mind, Smith?! You may be safe, but have you, even once, stopped to consider my position?! Who knows what kind of depraved card player may have sent that creature after us, let alone what sinister schemes they could be plotting?! And worse yet, who knows what kind of vulgar passions Manjome might be fostering?!"

Pikeru's jaw nearly dropped at the line of thought. Sure, it wasn't unusual for her host to worry about such things, but this was a bit much...even for her, "Umm...Tacey, I really don't think..."

"He was really coming onto me, you know." Tacey continued, having gone conveniently deaf to her duel spirit's objection as the picture her mind was painting started becoming more and more elaborate, "Ohh...I thought that he would have the decency to give up his fancies after that mess he made of our date, but now he's stalking me instead! I shall have to lock up every window in my hotel room tonight so he won't be tempted to any foolish escapades! Do you have any idea how awkward this is, Smith?!" the pause she gave was not nearly enough to voice a response, "No, what am I saying? Of course you don't! This was probably the first time a girl even held your hand! You have no idea how taxing it is to be as beautiful as I am, Smith, no idea at all! Admirers always have this thing for falling in love with their idol, and the next thing you know they're proposing and doing all other embarrassing things like that! Now stop slacking already!" Tacey yanked the spiky-haired teenager along with her as she increased her pace further, "The sooner we get away from this exposed place the better!"


OOC: So yeah, I have no idea where Achan's hotel is or what it's like so...your call to have him arrive. x3

Scarlet Weather
December 27th, 2007, 10:53 AM
OOC: If Tacey actually thinks that about Manjyome, maybe I should randomly introduce a Yu-Gi-Oh-universe equivalent of Akane to the RP just to see the character reactions. *SHOT'ED x50,000* Anyway, someone needs to bump the OOC thread so that I can say silly things in it and force you all to laugh so that I can make an important announcement concerning the RP once I finalize a certain decision.

Achan felt Tacey's hands pulling him along at an increased pace while she proceeded to chew him out with a speed and delivery that reminded the teenager of his own mother scolding him for his treatment of a houseguest when he was younger. Achan didn't appreciate being scolded then, and he didn't appreciate it now. Especially since Tacey had just marched him right past his hotel, and was now going off on how Manjome was obviously attracted to her. Achan proceeded to perform the one action possible in his situation: he stopped short, refusing to allow Tacey to budge him another inch. The heiress wasn't particularly brawny, after all, and even a lightweight like Achan had enough muscle force to stand up for himself. Achan pointed angrily at the large building directly behind the two. "This, Tacey, is my hotel. If you're concerned about someone following you, this is the place to stop. If you really feel like someone's stalking you, just get a room here for the night. Most of the duelists from the tournament are here anyway, so if you still feel like competing now is the time to size up the competition."

The being that had appeared to Black Panther, meanwhile, was curious about the three spirits floating at the heels of Miss Tacey Edgeworth. Inquisitively, it allowed a small portion of its head to take a form visible and tangible to other spirits and stroked the back of Curran's hair before allowing itself to melt into the shadow cast by an overhanging gargoyle carved into the hotel's wall.

Achan wasn't finished with his statements, however. "And another thing, Miss Edgeworth. About my never having held a woman's hand before. You're one hundred percent correct about that, and you know what? I really resent that you find reason to comment. There has to be a first time for everything, you know. And Manjome? Vulgar Passions? Please. He and Judai are, like, six years older than you are! What do you think he is, some sort of pedophile?" Achan was building steam, and as he did so he made the discovery that as long as he concentrated on Tacey he could block out those uncomfortable feelings of a moment ago. "You know, I was starting to actually respect you, but I can see that even if you do understand that throwing someone's life away because they lost a card game is wrong you're still just a little self-centered little egotist, and you push me around for no reason, and you're creepy and-and-" Achan's voice faltered. "And now I'm just blowing off steam. I'm sorry, it's just that I'm.... I needed someone to yell at. Sorry."

Alter Ego
December 28th, 2007, 06:16 AM
OOC: I can only imagine...they'd probably get into an argument about which one of them is being stalked, which would most likely involve some mutual bashing, and before we know it we'd have cat fight. Either that or they'd join forces and go scare the crap out of some poor bastard who happened to cast a glance in their general direction. xD

IC:

Tacey was not too pleased about her captive companion suddenly halting and was just about to demand an explanation when Achan spoke up, pointing out that she had marched him right past his hotel. His words did not end there, however, not by a long shot. The slight tinge of embarrassment was the only thing that kept her from halting the boy's tirade as he brought up the notion that if avoiding stalkers was her biggest concern then she should have stayed here instead of her regular hotel. There was a certain point to it, the millionaire heiress conceded, but at the same time this place was so...average. She nearly shuddered at the thought. Sure, she was concerned about Manjoume -- whom she couldn't write off the list of potential stalkers just yet -- but was it really worth staying at a place that Achan could afford? And one frequented by all those other plebeian duelists?

The rich girl would have given voice to these thoughts, but Achan's continued rant effectively caught her attention. Self-centered little egotist?! How dare that little upstart?! And after the way she had helped him out too! The boy's final apology was the only thing that spared him from receiving a scratch or two as a memento, but Tacey was not about to let that slight just slide for a simple 'sorry'. She was tired, she was hungry, her feet ached, and she had just been insulted by someone who should have been showing gratitude.

"And you, Smith, are still a jealous and ungrateful little boy with no manners." she informed him, her voice cold and even while her trademark dagger glare pierced the teenager, "If this is the way you act around all girls then it's no wonder that you haven't had your 'first time' as you say. I just went well off my path to make sure you got here safely, goodness knows why, and in return you yell at me and insult me at every turn, just because you don't have the inner composure to deal with your own petty issues without taking them out on me. I might choose to stay in this dismal hovel you so ironically call a 'hotel', but if I do I'll thank you kindly to keep your uneducated self as far from me as possible until you've learned to behave in a civilized manner. Oh, and Smith?" she turned on her heel, facing the teenager one last time, "Do you remember what I told you to remind me about back at the statue of liberty?"

Not giving any time for reaction, Tacey raised her right hand and delivered a fierce slap to Achan's face before promptly turning on her heels and marching off, hissing out a phrase that surely was there simply because she had been taught to say that sort of thing as she shoved open the door, "Good night, Smith."

A few fragments of old paint peeled off the walls as she slammed the door shut behind her.

Much like the millionaire heiress had expected, the interior of the hotel was jam-packed with amateur duelists, and while a number of heads turned to acknowledge the new entrant, her expression made it quite clear that she was not in the mood as she dug around her belongings for a cell phone.

The moment Tacey had found herself a relatively secluded corner, she scrolled through the numbers on her speed dial, shoving down the call button with considerable rancor as she found the number she had been looking for.

"Rufus?" the slight tension in the rich girl's voice made it quite obvious that she was not in the mood for any 'but's, "No, I don't care about your excuses and I don't want to talk about what happened! Look, I'm staying at the Illusionist Hotel tonight, so go fetch my things and get over here. Yes, all of them! Yes, now! If I don't see them -- and you -- here in half an hour you're all fired! Goodbye!"

Tacey's hand was still trembling with pent-up emotion as she shut her cell phone, but she grit her teeth and forced down the few droplets of moisture that were fighting their way up her tear canals as she elbowed her way to the reception desk. She was not going to cry in front of all these people; she wasn't! Tired, hurt, homesick, it didn't matter what the conditions, she was not allowed to show that kind of weakness.

It wasn't presentable.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Curran, meanwhile, was wrapped up in her own concerns. The moment the foreign spirit had brushed against her hair, she had whipped around, "That's it, angel-wings! How many times do I have to tell you, my hair is off-" she paused, realizing that she was glaring at thin air, "...limits."

"Curran, what are you doing?!" Pikeru called, her ethereal head sticking out from the hotel door, "Tacey needs us! Come on!"

"But Miseres-!"

"...is already here!" Pikeru finished, nodding towards a second head next to hers, which beamed at the black-robed magician in her usual innocent way, "She's been with me this whole time, so she's innocent to whatever you were planning to pin on her."

"Look!" Curran persisted, folding her arms, "I'm positive that someone just touched my hair!"

Pikeru slapped her forehead, "Oh, Curran, not you too! There are no spirits here except us, you know that! You must have imagined it. Now come on already!"

"But-!"

"Tacey needs our support!"

"Oh, fine!" Curran muttered, finally making a movement towards the door as well. Just before following the other two, however, she cast one last, piercing glare at the gargoyle in the wall, "That wasn't my imagination..."

Scarlet Weather
December 31st, 2007, 01:18 AM
OOC: Gah, sorry this post is late... *insertbelievableandperfectlyunderstandableexcusehere* Christmas after-craziness and whatnot have kept me on my toes and too busy to even attempt an IC.

Achan felt the force of the slap before Tacey's hand actually hit him. It occured to the redhead that if he had actually been attempting to make friends with Tacey he should probably have just shut up rather than attempting to vent his frustration on her. He barely noticed, too, that she was walking away, and the scolding that Tacey had administered before the slap had fallen on deaf ears. Achan was tired, frustrated, and mostly depressed. His life had officially jumped off the deep end, and he was swimming upstream without a paddle. He was so depressed, in fact, that it didn't occur to him that when swimming one didn't usually require a paddle in the first place. There were fifty-thousand ways to describe the way Achan felt at that moment, but all of them could be easily lumped together in a simple sentence:

Achan felt tired and angsty.

The bellhop who accidentally obstructed Achan's despondent trek up to his room found himself flying down a nearby staircase when the teenager angrily shoved the man from his path, and while this helped to vent any residual anger the main angst-causing factor, i.e. Achan's current situation, was unresolved. From Achan's point of view things could not possibly get any worse. He was stuck on a team full of jerks. The two people he thought were normal had turned out to be insane nutjobs with duel disks who decided who lived and who died in this world through children's card games, and the other half of the team was composed of the one person that Achan most wanted to push in front of a Greyhound Bus at this moment in time. The worst part was that Tacey had definitely proved that she was human a few minutes ago, and Achan wasn't going to be able to forget that in a hurry. If anything, that made the situation worse. Achan's original reasons for disliking her were starting to seem shallow and trumped-up, and he was (though he wished he was not) beggining to understand her attitude. The minute he realized these thoughts were appearing within himself, Achan attempted to squelch them. First, the old standby: She's my rival! There's no way I can attempt to act nice around her! Still, an annoying voice in Achan's head continued to traitorously undermine his efforts by whispering But why can't you be rivals and still be friends?

Achan tried a different tactic. She's so full of herself, somebody's got to show her that she isn't the boss of everything!

But that traitorous whisper continued. And who, pray tell, elected you to that position, hmm? And why does showing her that she isn't boss entail insulting her and villifying her at every possible oppurtunity? Can't you just be friends without bending over backwards for her?

Achan's last try was more pitiful than the first two. She hates me.

And whose fault is that, hmm?

A twenty-dollar Ming vase replica came sailing out of Achan's window, where it conveniently landed in a nearby trash bin. His frustration dealt with, Achan turned to the laptop lying near the edge of his bed. Maybe playing around with his virtual card-maker would help him feel a little less guilty. At the very least he would get his mind off of the stinging, red mark on his cheek. Flicking open the laptop's screen, Achan entered his password. "D-I-S-G-A-E-A, space, F-O-R-E-V-E-R, Space, D-O-O-D"

The screen flashed to life, and Achan wasted no time in calling up the internet to access his program. Just as his eager fingers were about to move the mouse into the URL bar, however, a flashing icon caught Achan's eye. He blinked in surprise. It was very, very rare that Achan got e-mail at his home address, and even rarer when said mail was marked "Urgent!". He hesitated a moment before scrolling his cursor over to the icon and clicking. Upon seeing the address of the sender, Achan stifled a gasp as he hurriedly opened the document and began to read.

Dear Mr. Smith,

My employer has asked my hair to inform you that your new Wandering monsters are in the process of being printed, and requests your presence as well as that of your team mates on his island home at Duelist Kingdom at the end of the second round of this tournament for the grand unveiling. My hair is also informing you that during the second round a member of team eleven will be permanently transferred to your team due to Mr. Ed Pepper's decision to withdraw from this tournament on account of his phobia of rich people and farm boys and Mr. Rurian's sudden need to return to Japan for reasons left unexplained in his e-mail to my hair's employer. Please treat your new team mate with respect, as he has informed my hair via e-mail that he suffers from an uncommon trauma which has rendered him phobic of adult males. Best of luck when dealing with him.

-Sincerely,

My Hair.

Achan stared at the letter. If it hadn't been for the fact that the e-mail informing him of Ed's appearance was from the same address as this one he would have dismissed the whole thing as a cruel hoax. The sudden dissapearance of Ed and Rurian wasn't what worried him, he barely knew them anyway and as far as he knew they hadn't had their souls eaten alive or whatever by insane duelists. New Wandering cards? Achan hadn't created any new Wandering monsters! His deck had stopped with the basic party of beast, mage, healer, thief, hero, and ninja. He hadn't even added a gunner (which he had later kicked himself for). Where were these new Wanderers coming from, then, and why did Pegasus seem to think they were Achan's idea? What was the point of inviting him to Duelist Kingdom, and why was it situated to be directly AFTER the second round? More important, however, was the arrival of a new team member. The e-mail included no details on where and how this team member was to be located. Achan groaned. He had logged onto his computer to relax with a children's card game-related activity and now he was thrown directly into the middle of some sort of crazy plot again. This was not his day.

The spirit watched Achan. He was weak, too weak to do anything but look intimidating yet. But the boy who had picked his master's deck up had promise. He would keep the boy as safe as he could until his strength and the better part of his memories returned, and then he would avenge his master against that person. That person whose eyes were like shadows...

Make a John Denver Reference. I dare you. (The Morning of the Third Day... AGH! MOON IS FALLING! MOON IS FALLING!)

Achan slumped against the airport waiting-room seat as he continued to work out what he'd say to Tacey and the others when they arrived. Somehow, he knew that anything along the lines of "Hey, sorry I've been so hard on you, can we be super-special-awesome friends now?" was probably not going to fly. Actually, he didn't particularly want to become best chums with Tacey right now. Rivals with a degree of mutual respect and tolerance was one thing, bosom buddies was another entirely. Even feeling repentant, Achan had his limits. He fervently hoped that Edgeworth would somehow be able to make it to the airport without Manjoume or Judai following her. It was going to be hard enough attempting to apologize to her in front of her silent-as-the-grave bodyguards, let alone in front of the maniac brothers.

Judai carefully leaned from behind the baggage rack as he stealthily observed Achan. He had, unbeknownst to his younger colleauge, arrived at the airport a good two hours ahead of the scheduled time for the charter flight and prepared himself for a good long stakeout. He knew that what he had said earlier had scared Achan and Tacey, so he would give them their space. For now, at least. Someone needed to be nearby to protect those two if the Shadow Duelists showed up...

Alter Ego
December 31st, 2007, 11:34 AM
The room was horrible.

On a normal night, Tacey might have felt inclined to merely declare it 'average' with that tone of polite disdain that would have made it perfectly clear that average just wasn't quite enough for a celebrity of her caliber. Your lack of understanding is tolerated, my good man, just show the me the real suite now and don't do this sort of thing again. It's not very funny at all.

This time, however, it was just plain horrible, yet the clerk had insisted that it was the best that the Illusionist Hotel had to offer.

Tacey sighed, shifting her lying position beneath the sheets for the umpteenth time. The sheets were soft, as was the the pillow and mattress. They were clean too, but much like the rest of the room, there was just something missing. It was supposed to be posh. She could tell that painstaking efforts had been undergone in an attempt to make it posh, but it was equally obvious that whoever had done so just didn't grasp the essence of posh. Yes, there were supposed to be tacky ornaments and bizarre objects that had been labeled 'art' simply because no other term existed, but not that kind of tacky and not the schizophrenic creations of that particular artist. Yes, posh carpeting and random gildings were part of the package, but the carpeting was the wrong color and the gildings were in all the wrong places.

The rich girl clutched the pillow tighter, eyes shut to shield her from the weirdness of her environment. Everything felt out of place. It had been that way right from the start of the tournament. Nothing went the way it was supposed to. She should have gotten a team of faithful admirers, she should have won the duel against Pegasus, no-one should have died just because they couldn't measure up to her in a children's card game, she should not have been saddled with two psychotic card players, but above all: Achan should not have hated her!

The mere thought of that uppity teenager's behavior made her blood boil. She was used to envy, you got a lot of that in a position like hers. She was used to jealous stares and spiteful remarks, but they were always made by people who really only wanted to be like her. They had said they hated her, but this time, the rich girl fought off a most non-presentable tremble that was trying to take over her lip, this time she had really felt it. It was a horrible feeling, to feel truly and completely unwanted, and a clumsy apology was not enough to erase it from her mind. And to make matters worse, there was that moment...that moment with the stupid paper airplane, the one that had cost him his ticket.

Tacey screamed into her pillow out of sheer frustration, the object thankfully muffling the sound. If he wanted to hate her, what was up with doing something like that?! If he didn't want to hate her, why was he saying all those other things?! Why couldn't that stupid boy make up his mind?! And more importantly, why couldn't she stop thinking about it?! Achan was obviously not giving a hoot about her feelings or concerns. If anything, he'd no doubt be pleased to have upset his most hated rival like this. There was no reason for her to care about him. She refused to! Tacey might have been forced to compromise some of her principles during the course of this tournament, but she was most certainly not going to start obsessing over some plebeian boy. After all, he wasn't rich or influential, nor was he anything special when it came to playing children's card games. He had no manners and no fashion sense, and he wasn't even good looking.

He was just embarrassing.

"Friends." Tacey scoffed at the darkness, reproach for the presumptuous 'high king's' words evident in her voice, "We've only known each other for two days and I don't even like him!"

"Miss Edgeworth?"

Shock could do wonders for a person's reaction speed. The moment that the familiar male voice reached Tacey's ears, the rich girl spun around to face the door to her room, immediately pulling the covers around her to protect her modesty. Her nightgown was hardly the most revealing piece of apparel in existence, but she was not about to take any risks.

"Rufus!" she hissed, glaring in annoyance at the tall, spiky-haired silhouette that had appeared at the door, its head very wisely turned away from the positively livid millionaire heiress, "Haven't you learned to knock?!"

"I did, miss Edgeworth." the suit replied in as calm a tone as he could muster, finally deciding to ignore the advice of his self-protection instinct as he elaborated, "Three times."

"Well, you didn't knock loudly enough." Tacey harrumphed in response, unable to muster a better retort as she folded her arms defensively, "Now what, pray tell, is so important that you saw fit to interrupt my beauty sleep? And don't touch that light switch!" she growled, "Have some decency!"

There was, of course, a completely different reason for why the rich girl didn't want anyone to see her clearly right now, but fortunately the suit did not demand her to elaborate, "There was...a message for you, miss Edgeworth." he said at last, holding an envelope up in front of him like a riot shield, "A message of top priority."

Tacey was hardly mollified, striding over to her bodyguard with all the ferocity that a tired, emotionally frail fourteen-year old with a sheet trailing behind her could muster and snatching the message, "And just what priority makes it so important that it couldn't wait until morning?!"

Rufus shuffled uncomfortably on the spot, "The messenger wouldn't say, miss. Confidential. But he was adamant that I hand it to your right away said that his hair would not leave this spot until I had delivered-"

"His hair, you say?" Tacey echoed, her eyes immediately darting to the envelope with newfound enthusiasm, "Very well, Rufus, you are excused. Just make sure not to repeat this behavior."

"Yes, miss."

After a few moments of awkward silence, Tacey finally spoke up again, "I said 'you are excused', Rufus." she said in a carefully level tone, "In layman's terms: leave. And make sure that I'm not bothered again this evening."

"Yes, miss."

Shaking her head at her underlings' incompetence, the rich girl strode back to her bed, tossing the sheet onto it in an uncharacteristically haphazard manner and -- once she had made sure that Rufus was long gone and the door firmly shut once more -- flicked on the bedside lamp. Sure enough, the name of the sender was Pegasus J. Crawford. It was as she had expected, though this stilled the slight worry of having gained another obsessive stalker in the murder-hair henchman.

"Alright, Pegasus..." she mumbled, tearing up the seal on the envelope, "...this had better be good."

As she turned the opened piece of paper upside-down, Tacey was mildly surprised to see a small, dark blue box fall down on the mattress next to the expected letter. The inside of the box, much like Pegasus' suitcase, was lined with velvet, and located in a small indent within velvet, she discovered...playing cards? Not only that, she soon realized, but brand new cards, the names of which she had never recalled hearing.

Intrigued, Tacey quickly snatched up the letter, allowing her eyes to travel across the curly, effeminate handwriting.

For goodness' sake, this handwriting was girlier than hers!

"Greetings, Tacey-girl!

I do apologize for the inconvenient hour of delivery, but I'm a very busy man and for reasons which you have most likely already examined, an e-mail simply wouldn't do. Judai-boy has told me about what happened, and words can't express how distressed I am that you were involved in such an unfabulous turn of events. I was hoping that, for once, I could simply get people together for fun and children's card games without anyone losing a soul, but alas, it seems that this was not to be.

With this letter, I have enclosed a unique set of cards that I hope both you and your new duel spirit will appreciate. Think of them as my 'thank you' for a most entertaining duel, but just don't tell Kaiba-boy; you wouldn't believe how jealous he gets over these little things.

But enough about him, I would also like to take this opportunity to invite you and the rest of your team to my fabulous island home at Duelist Kingdom. Our little get-together will be after the end of the second round of the tournament. Speaking of the second round...I have another little surprise in store for you, but spoiling it all in this letter would be no fun. If you're curious, feel free to ask Achan-boy about it. After all, sharing information is a crucial part of teamwork, is it not?

Best of luck with the next round, Tacey-girl, and may your exploits be ever-entertaining.

Sincerely,

Your ever-fabulous tournament host, Pegasus J. Crawford.

P.S: I've taken the liberty of replacing those horrid old holograms of yours with something a bit more stylish. Aren't the new models just fabulous? I know your old card illustrations aren't up-to-date, but never fear, by the time you arrive at Duelist Kingdom I'll have a fresh set ready for you, not to mention a few extras. No need to thank me, I haven't had this much fun since that time I stole Kaiba-boy's soul and turned him into my personal kitchen boy. But enough about me..."

Tacey did not know whether to feel offended or grateful. In the end, she just settled for one canceling out the other. Pegasus' manner was almost too much, even on paper, but at least she had gotten some new cards for all her trouble. She was still dubious about the invite to Duelist Kingdom -- After all, when an eccentric millionaire of...Pegasus' disposition suddenly decided to invite a group of teenagers to his private island with a vague promise of new playing cards, one had to wonder if there wasn't an ulterior motive in there somewhere -- but there was still time to consider that offer. If nothing else, the letter had given her something to think about besides Achan.

"Unique cards..." Tacey mumbled sleepily, her eyelids slowly drooping as she peered at at the pink-framed card at the top of the pile, thinking -- for a moment -- that there was something distinctly familiar about the small, gray-clad girl sitting cross-legged on a throne while a distinguished looking man stood frozen in the process of placing a crown on her head while a crowd of spectators stared in awe, either at her or the crest above her head, one couldn't really tell, all under the heading of 'Hereditary Title', "Maybe, with these I could..."

She never managed to finish her sentence before sleep overcame her, the exhausted little girl falling fast asleep, cards clutched in one hand and letter in the other, with the nightstand lamp still burning brightly.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

That morning had not been particularly kind to Tacey at all. Her feet still ached from yesterday's extracurricular activities and with that ache came a number of memories she would rather not have had. To compound the horror, last night's insomnia had made its presence known to such an extent that a number of the duelists staying at the Illusionist Hotel could have sworn that the strange little girl in the VIP Suite had done something very violent to at least three cats at the same time.

Regardless, Tacey hadn't gotten where she was by moping and crying when things didn't go her way.

Well, not by moping and crying all the time, anyway. After spending a good hour in the bathroom with a make-up kit and a hairbrush she had eventually emerged in what she liked to think of as a more presentable condition. The black rings were still there, of course, but now they were covered by a protective layer of concealing make-up, a small deluge of facial toner having largely washed away her delicate skin's objection to such unhealthy levels of stress while her hair had been neatly combed out right down to the last strand.

All in all, Tacey had been very diligent about concealing every last bit of discontentment and misfortune in her visage. They were going to Japan, after all, and that meant that her fanclub would be there. If there was ever a time when she couldn't afford to drop her cheerful, lovable image it was now, when she was going to end up face-to-face with her admirers. She might have held a measure of quiet disdain for her fans, particularly the boys, but at the same she had a large ego to satisfy, and few knew how to stroke it quite like they did. In return, she could afford to give them nothing but what they expected to see: a confident, cute, and ruthless pro duelist. They wouldn't notice the extra make-up, she was sure; no-one would unless they came up close. However, to enforce her upbeat image, the rich girl had found it prudent to undergo a change of attire, trading in her old skirt and shirt for a bright yellow one-piece dress with a white collar, the hem of which reached well bellow knees, throwing in an orange, waist-length coat, currently unbuttoned, to protect her arms while the -- admittedly somewhat impractical -- black shoes had been exchanged for a softer, cerulean-colored pair. As a crowning piece for her look, she had thrown in a small, similarly colored handbag, the strap of which cross diagonally over her chest. It had been especially designed to look home-made, even though this obviously wasn't the case, not to mention that she really needed no containers for items at all with the four suitcase-carrying suits traveling around her.

One might have thought such prickishness to be over-the-top but Tacey knew that it was precisely these little touches that made all the difference. The fact that the ruthless competitive duelist looked like an innocent little girl was essential to her appeal and as such, she needed to act the part right down to the last detail.

Fortunately, she didn't need to put on the full act just yet, and as such, the Tacey who traversed the airport hall in the morning only bore an expression of polite indifference on her face as she moved through the customs routine with a determined stride and, with an equal amount of determination, took a seat in the waiting lounge without betraying any sign of having noticed her teammate, focusing on the small handheld she had obtained at the start of the tournament instead as she attempted to sort out her new decklist on the deck management screen in front of her while her suits settled down around her. She was being evasive, she knew. She was just putting off the inevitable, she knew that too. The mature thing to do would have been to speak to the boy and get things straightened out, she knew, but Tacey would be damned before she prostrated herself to Achan in such a way. As far as her opinion was concerned, this was still Achan's mess first and foremost. If he wanted it sorted out, he'd have to be the one who humbled himself and made the first move. Then, if he admitted his mistakes and gave a proper apology, possibly throwing in a few nice words about her new outfit, then maybe she would forgive him and they could act like yesterday had never happened...

...maybe she'd even give a 'sorry'. A small, non-committal one.

Maybe.

As long as it didn't involve her having to admit guilt to anything anyway.

But if he was up to his usual standards...

Not a flicker of emotion crossed Tacey's features, not a sound left her lips, her full attention seemingly focused on the reel of trap cards reflected in her eyes.

Well, then she could hate him in good conscience for the rest of the tournament. Either way, she would win.

The ends of her mouth curled up by an almost indistinguishable amount, that was precisely the kind of situation she loved.

Scarlet Weather
December 31st, 2007, 08:23 PM
Tacey Edgeworth.

She's here.

Scheiss.

These were Achan's first three thoughts as Tacey stepped into the waiting room, her usual entourage bringing up the rear as they attempted to blend in with the crowd. If he weren't attempting to puzzle out what he was going to say to Tacey at this crucial moment he might have taken the oppurtunity to laugh at their efforts. The bodyguards were once again "concealed" behind newspapers and attempted to project an air of aimlessness as they followed the debutante like a group of idiotic ducklings. Achan swallowed as he took the oppurtunity to size Tacey up before she acknowledged him. She probably hadn't forgiven him for his comments the day before. And from the looks of things she wasn't going to apologize for anything she had said or done either. That was okay with Achan, he hadn't come here expecting an apology. He had spent the night trying to remember exactly what it was his mother had told him to remember about dealing with girls and how to apologize to people in hopes that he could somehow dredge from the fragmented bits of advice floating about his memory an apology that would help get rid of this huge ridge between himself and Tacey while simultaneously letting her know that he wasn't the kind of person who was going to bend over backwards for her and do everything she wanted simply because she said so. Common sense dictated that the apology come first, and it was obvious that his was supposed to come first. Slowly, Achan lifted himself from his seat and approached Tacey. Tentatively, he raised his hand and attempted to grin cheerfully as he waved. "Er... Tacey, er... hi, yes," he stammered as he attempted to organize his thoughts. He had her attention, hopefully, so now was the time to get the show on the road. He took a deep breath as he attempted to remember his mother's teachings.

A voice from the past seemed to call out to Achan. When you have a disagreement, try saying something that you both agree on about the situation before your apology. Remember to admit that you were in the wrong when apologizing, but don't overplay or underplay your offense. Just state it and say you're sorry, it's as easy as that.

Well, that part was easy at least. "Um... I said and did some things last night that I shouldn't have, and I didn't mean them. Not really, anyway. I... I'm sorry about what happened in front of the hotel and about the way I treated you before that. It was unbecoming of me, and I'm ashamed of myself. I want to ask your forgiveness." Achan bowed his head slightly as a visual aid of sorts. He didn't like admitting that he was wrong about his first impressions of Tacey in front of her, but there was really no other way to mend the damage. Now came the hard part: attempting to show that he did, in fact, care about Tacey's feelings towards him. This part made him feel especially uncomfortable. The language Achan was using and the planned timing of the apology made him feel as if this whole thing were a set-up for some sort of dramatic confession, and he fervently hoped that Tacey wouldn't see his attempts to establish some sort of workable relationship as a bizarre romantic advance. Achan attempted to remember his mother's other tips on how to talk to girls.

The voice echoed back. If you're trying to make friends with a young lady and you can't think of how to say something without looking like a complete idiot, try complimenting her appearance. Trust me, as long as you don't say something completely stupid you'll make a fine impression.

It occured to Achan that Tacey had changed her outfit. He pondered how best to comment on this without sounding like a total idiot. 'Wow, you look different' was much too ambiguous. Gee, that's a good-looking dress'? There was no way on earth that Achan Smith was going to say anything that sounded as stupid as that. There had to be something he could say! (It occured to Achan at this moment that complimenting people was a lot more stressful than insulting them for some reason, but he pushed this epiphany to the back of his mind.) At last, one thought cut through the fog of indecision: What would Cloud say?

Achan flicked back a lock of his hair as he attempted to add a little bit of dignity to his appearance. "Yellow looks better on you then black," he blurted out. He instantly regretted this statement. 'Yellow looks better on you then black'? What the Chthonia was he thinking? He was trying to make sure that he didn't give Tacey the impression that he was attempting to make a romantic advance, and here he was critiquing her appearance? He couldn't have just said 'Hey, that's a change, nice clothes', no, he had to say something that sounded like a compliment that Cloud Strife would give. If Cloud even gave compliments. He attempted to rectify his mistake. "I mean, er, uh..." No, he couldn't retract the statement now, it would seem like he was trying to take back a compliment. "Er, yeah, yellow is better then black, right..." Achan's voice petered off as his right hand instincively slapped his forehead. He looked at Tacey. "I sound like an idiot, I know," he stated flatly, "But I guess what I'm trying to say here is that I'm sorry and I want things to go back to the way they were."

Well, at least I started well.

"ATTENTION, DUELISTS!" a voice blared over the airport loudspeakers. "WILL EVERYONE PLEASE MOVE TO THE NEAREST AIRPLANE! YOUR FLIGHT TO JAPAN WILL BEGIN SHORTLY! THANK YOU!"

Achan winced. "Does that guy even know how to talk normally? They probably heard that shout all the way in Korea," he complained.

Phanima
January 1st, 2008, 12:18 AM
It was far from his intention of duelling so soon after returning to the competition, especially after arriving back in New York and at the very end of the first round nonetheless, but from seeing his opponent all raring to hit the decks, the inner conflict between his lack of enthusiasm and desire to crush anyone who opposed him was decided. Reinforcing his decision, his opponent had declared the duel to be unofficial and the result to be struck from the records. Seriously, what kind of a joke duellist was this kid? He had neither tact nor spine to back up his challenge. Consequently, it was all just a waste of his time.

Without a word to the younger duellist, the teenager walked away ignoring the persistent boy’s existence. An unofficial duel in the early hours of the morning wasn’t something the teenager was in the mood for...ever. Besides, he had more important matters to deal with, matters that involved the last two original members of team seven. He had also gotten word of the withdrawal of Pepper, another insignificant loss, but a loss all the same. The team was falling apart. Of course, his own absence hadn’t helped the situation, but he remained confident in the fact that he was indeed the strongest duellist out of his shamble of a team. The notice informing the inclusion of Yuki Judai and Majoume Jun to the group was also sudden but unsurprising. Even during his absence, he made sure he remained up to date with the proceedings of the tournament, as well as the ventures of his original teammates. It was during such observations that he discovered the existence of the Shadow Duellists and further linked their presence to the two newcomers, Yuki and Majoume. Now it was all just a matter of returning to the group before the second round commenced. The motives of the two new Japanese duellists would reveal themselves later, especially since the Shadow Duellists have made it abundantly clear that their target was someone on his team, finding out who was only a matter of time.

Of course, being the sole heir to a multimillion dollar engineering corporation, as well as holding the prestigious title of vice president, the teenager had access to quite a number of sources, so keeping tabs and obtaining information was nothing more than child’s play. Despite his pure influence over such a company, there were those who also had similar powers and operated in a manner that went against his ideals, which was something he did not appreciate. Such an obstacle existed in the form of an eighteen year old engineer, the heir to his own family’s company, Kwok Wares.

Thinking about such a character brought up mixed emotions for the teenager. Once competitive friends and now the best of enemies, he now harboured nothing more than hatred for said person. He did however, empathize with his rival on the lone fact that they had once been friends and had helped one another become the people they were today. It wasn’t the greatest of friendships, but it got them to where they wanted to be. The nostalgia he was experiencing was one of the few pleasant memories he still had, but he also knew that if he wanted to succeed he would have to overcome the obstacle known as Dogolas Kwok.

But as dedicated as he was, Kwok wasn’t the only target in his sights. The tournament had provided several new business ‘opportunities’ in the forms of Edgeworth, Crawford and Kaiba that he just couldn’t ignore. Taking everything into consideration, his success in the business world relied on his success in the tournament and at that moment, he was in a comparatively favourable position, but his team, not so much. His current objective was simple; find his two remaining teammates, indentify the two newcomers and last but not least, win.

Despite this, he had no intentions of meeting up so soon, he would surely cross paths with both Edgeworth and Smith during the flight or at least when they arrive in Domino City, but until then, he still needed some time to straighten things out. There were also a number of potential threats that had to be factored into the equation and without proper preparation, his plan could come undone.

The teenager concluded his thoughts as he secured his belongings, just as a blaring voice sounded throughout the terminal.

“ATTENTION, DUELISTS! WILL EVERYONE PLEASE MOVE TO THE NEAREST AIRPLANE! YOUR FLIGHT TO JAPAN WILL BEGIN SHORTLY! THANK YOU!”

Following the announcement, while turning to the crowd around him, the teenager eyed two casually dressed duellists who both acknowledged his gaze with brief eye contact before returning to their own devices. Heaving a quiet sigh, the teenager returned his attention to more trivial matters, allowing his clockwork mind to take a brief yet rare break. The few minutes of peace he allowed himself to have were a rare treat, but after the crowd of eager duellists began to disperse through the gates, his priorities soon returned to his attention.

Alter Ego
January 1st, 2008, 11:16 AM
Tacey barely lifted her eyes from the handheld as Achan first addressed her. The boy seemed nervous...quite genuinely so. That was a start, Tacey supposed, but then again that was expected after something like last night's incident so she wasn't about to give any forgiveness for that. What followed, however, was a different matter...

Practiced discipline was the only thing that maintained the indifferent expression on Tacey's face. It was an apology, a real apology, bow and all. The slight hesitance about meaning it was a small letdown, but given the circumstances it was still a lot more than she had ever expected Achan Smith to be capable of. The boy was about to top himself, however, in a manner that the rich girl hadn't expected at all.

"Yellow looks better on you then black."

The words had come completely out of the blue, and it was all Tacey could do to contain her inner mirth as Achan stuffed his foot deeper and deeper into his mouth with each sentence following them. Slowly, the mask of casual indifference on her face began to crack, and before she knew it, the millionaire heiress bore a bemused smile on her face.

"Yes, yes you are." she concurred with Achan's last statement, "But at least you're not being a rude idiot this time. And I guess..." she took a deep breath of her own, "...I guess I'd like things to be like they were too, you know..." the mirth in her expression was momentarily lessened at the memory, "...before 'The Duelists'. Alright, Smith, I can't believe I'm saying this, but you are forgiven. And...thank you, for trying to say something nice." she couldn't help a small chuckle, "One of these days, I'm going to have to teach you a thing or two about speaking to girls, though; it looks like your cheeks have endured more than enough for one tournament."

Oh, for goodness' sakes, now she really needed to get a hold of herself. The relief and happiness over how well things had worked out had caught Tacey off guard, but she forced it down out of fear that the carefully layered make-up would be tarnished. Crying was out of the question, regardless of why you were doing it.

Just as Tacey was pondering how to get out of the awkward predicament, salvation arrived from the most unlikely source: an abnormally violent announcement from the loudspeakers that forced the millionaire heiress and everyone else within hearing range to shield their ears. The rich girl didn't like these announcements, not one bit, but right now it was a welcome change of subject.

"If he worked for me, I would fire him." Tacey concurred with Achan's complaint, casually shutting her handheld and depositing it in her bag, a contented little smile still on her face as she rose from her seat, "Come on. We don't want to be late for the plane. Oh, and Arma?" she added over her shoulder, not even turning to address her rival CEO-to-be, "If you're done eavesdropping on other people's private conversations, I'd suggest you do the same."

Phanima
January 1st, 2008, 04:06 PM
Her greeting couldn’t have surprised him more, although he made damn sure that his expression remained indifferent to his thoughts. With these two on board, despite their current armistice, any hope he had for thinking things through in peace had quickly dispersed. So much for peace and quiet...

“Thanks for the reminder, Edgeworth, it’s good to see you too,” he mocked teasingly, feigning a smile before acknowledging his other teammate’s presence, “and you too, Smith.”

He waved off the casual insult, taking up a more passive approach would undoubtedly cause him less personal conflict, something he sure didn’t need at that moment. Besides, insulting one another had always been how they warmed up to one another, it was natural instinct. But they were acting, dare he say it...more mature than they had been before his leave and less like children playing card games just for the fun of it. It was impressive and worth acknowledging, but he wouldn’t go so far as to praise them outright. He still had his reputation to uphold and since his brief absence, he had personally undergone no change. Of course that wasn’t exactly true, the subtle differences in his personality would make themselves apparant sooner or later, so it was simply a matter of having the other two notice them.

Seeing their crowd slowly progressing through the nearest gate, he decided to begin moving off. Securing his shoulder bag against his front and ensuring that he his belongings were still intact, he turned towards his teammates to finish his introduction before going on board.

“I’ll be going ahead then,” he said in an uncharacteristically polite tone, and finishing off with an even more uncharacteristic gesture, “the company paid for five seats in business class, take them if you want.”

It was true that the tournament sponsored all major travelling expenses, but that didn’t include business and first class accommodations and unfortunately for him, that was all he would accept. Whether or not Smith and Edgeworth would accept his offer was up to them, plus there were still the other two duellists he had yet to meet, Yuki and Majoume, and any appreciation to his efforts would hopefully be favourable to his position.

“And Edgeworth, it may not be first class, something I’m sure you’re accustomed to,” he started as he walked towards the gate, “but I suggest you accept my offer, it might be the only one you can afford...plus, I’m sure Smith would enjoy getting used to such luxury every once in a while.” Smiling as he received his ticket from the usher at the gate, he continued making his way on board.

OOC: Oh noes! There's been a glitch in the system! Just kidding. :P But I thought I'd just point out that the two duellists Michel spotted weren't Achan and Tacey. Since I had them making eye contact, I would've been power-playing, which is bad. X3 So that attention was meant for my two NPCs, sorry for any confusion. I wrote around it regardless, so everything is a-okay.

Alter Ego
January 2nd, 2008, 04:40 AM
OOC: Actually, I never hinged this on him having spotted Achan and Tacey. (Tacey never directly said that it was their conversation he was eavesdropping on either) It's just very much in Tacey's character to try making Michel look bad through small things like that. Besides, it's completely natural for her to think that he was eavesdropping even if he wasn't. ;D

So yeah, the only assumption I really made for that post was that they were in the same general area. :3

IC:

At Michel's offer, Tacey couldn't help raising an eyebrow in suspicion. They were rivals in business, right? Right-at-each-other's-throats rivals by the time they both rose to their respective positions, no doubt, so where was the catch? He had an ulterior motive, she was positive of it.

And sure enough, the upstart's words betrayed him.

"Afford?" Tacey echoed, now thoroughly slighted, "If second-rate is all your company can afford in travel accommodations, Arma, then you should be the one worried about affording things." much to her annoyance, Michel was already making his way into the plane.

An expression of sheer annoyance crossed the rich girl's face, her foot stamping the floor beneath it out of sheer instinct, "The nerve..." she muttered, "Who does that uppity little boy think he is, anyway?"

Noting that there was no argument to be made here, Tacey turned to examining her options. She had a reservation for fist class, of course, and normally she wouldn't have thought twice about using it, but...her glance traveled to Achan, what if that was what Arma was counting on? What if he was trying to form some kind of pact with Achan behind her back? She seriously doubted that the starfish-haired teenager would turn on her just like that, but then he wasn't exactly the brightest crayon in the box, and there was no telling what Arma might tempt him with.

Yes, that was the whole of it. It wasn't like she considered the company in this second option a benefit, of course not! She just needed to keep an eye on them to make sure that there was no trickery. But what if Achan chose not to pick up on the offer and she'd end up sharing second-class with her arch-nemesis for no reason at all? That would be just plain silly. For a moment, Tacey stood there in awkward indecision. Embarrassing though it was, her decision was now hinged on his. There was no helping it, then: even at the risk of horrible misunderstandings and vulgar passions she'd have to ask.

"Smith?" there was a slight hint of apprehension in her voice, "Are you going? To business class, I mean, only I thought that it might be good to keep the team in one place. In case...something happens."

Scarlet Weather
January 2nd, 2008, 09:51 AM
Achan stared at Michel as the CEO-to-be walked away, having delivered what appeared on the surface to be a harmless invitation to fly business-class. The teenager was suspicious of Michel, but only slightly. So Michel had a company that was in competition with Tacey's, eh? No wonder they didn't like each other. Achan was still considering whether or not to take Michel's offer. On the one hand, flying business class seemed extremely tempting. On the other, he had just made peace with Tacey and it seemed to be against his best interest to do anything that might make her think he was attempting to conspire against her. The temptations flew about his head like ghastly spirits, whispering in his ear. Come on, Achan.... what's the harm... you've never flown in any class higher than coach before... come on, Achan, hurry up and follow the guy in the blazer... hurry... He attempted to resist, but the thought of not being forced to sit wedged between a pair of obese men with custom duel disks was extremely appealing to him. But would Tacey understand? He prepared to voice his decision in the matter when Tacey suddenly broke across his thoughts, asking him whether he was accepting Michel's offer. Struggling to disguise the relief in his voice, Achan replied "Yes, sure, sounds like a good plan to me. I mean, can't be too careful when there are people running around with deadly playing cards."

"ATTENTION DUELISTS! IF YOU AREN'T ON YOUR FLIGHT IN FIFTEEN SECONDS, MY HAIR WILL BE EXTREMELY ANGRY AT YOU! MY HAIR SAYS THAT WE WILL BE EXPERIENCING LIFTOFF IN TWELVE MINUTES! THANK YOU!"

"Man, that guy sure likes talking about his hair," Achan groaned. "What is it with him, anyway? If anyone has the right to talk about their hair, it's me, and that's only because I feel obligated to give an excuse as to why it looks like a starfish crawled up there and fossilized." Suddenly, he remembered something. "Oh, that's right! Tacey, did you get an E-Mail from Pegasus last night? That freaky guy who talks about his hair sent me one to my private E-Mail address, and I don't even want to think how he found out about that. Er... anyway, we'd better be going. It's probably better that we discuss this after the flight."

"ATTENTION, DUELISTS! THE FLIGHT IS-"

"WE GET THE POINT ALREADY, SO SHUT UP!" An angry pedestrian yelled before grabbing the unfortunate security guard by his jacket lapels and hurling him bodily into a trashcan.

"Ah! It's dark and smelly in here! My hair is claustrophobic! Get me out! Yechh!!!!"

Off we go... into the wild blue yonder...

Achan sat wedged firmly on his business class seat. He had to admit, he was glad that he had chosen to accept Michel's offer. He only wished he knew why Judai and Manjoume had chosen to sit on either side of him. Wedged between the two older duelists, he felt extremely intimidated. Brilliant. And just when he thought that life was getting better...

Just then, a beeping noise interrupted Achan's thoughts. Reaching into his pocket, he brought out the PDA that Pegasus had gifted him with earlier. Upon opening it, he discovered that he apparently "Had video mail". Curious, he pressed the button, causing the screen to immediately become filled with Pegasus's smiling face.

"Greetings, Tournament participators! I trust that if you're watching this, you've made it past the fabulous first round! I must say, this round has been extremely entertaining for me and I trust that you'll make the next one just as fun! In fact, I don't think the next round could become any more fabulous if I invited the Spice Girls to come and perform!"

"Get on with it.... this is annoying..." Achan muttered, gritting his teeth.

"Ah, yes. Where was I? Oh, right, the rules for the second round. Well, I hope you've still got your PDA, because they are crucial to this round. Each one of you will be receiving one piece of a map in the form of an image file. Each time you duel a member of an opposing team and defeat them, all of their map pieces will be transferred to you. Collect all six, and you'll be able to piece together a map showing the location of the secret duel spot. Everyone who manages to gather there within the space of one week will move on to the next round. All others will be immediately disqualified. Fabulous set-up, isn't it? Well, ta-ta!"

The screen went blank as Achan immediately snapped off the device's power. "Oh, brother..."

"It could be worse," Judai replied.

Curious, Achan responded. "How?"

"He could have switched your PDA's default language to Japanese."

"Oh, brother..."

Welcome to the Land of the Rising Sun. This way to the anime district. *SHOT'ED*

Achan stared at the Japanese airport. "Jeez... this is even more clogged than it was in New York!"

He didn't see the pair of eyes watching his every move..

OOC: Yeah, sorry it's hard on you, but I'm trying to get the formalities out of the way ASAP so this round can start and AE can get his NPC plot out of the way.

Alter Ego
January 2nd, 2008, 12:03 PM
"Not as clogged as that plane was." Tacey remarked at Achan's comment, falling into step with the teenager while her guards spread out around the group to create a small, traveling circle of space for the millionaire heiress and her team, "I swear, my legs shall ache for a week after that ordeal."

She was not in too good a mood, partly because of the complain she had voiced, but moreso about the lack of discussion on the plane ride. The rich girl had hoped to question her teammate about the message he had mentioned, but the seating arrangements -- while Tacey would have been about the last person to demand a seat next to Achan -- had made that impossible. Whatever the contents of the message, she certainly didn't want those two to hear about it. The moment that they had gotten through the chaos of customs, however, all discontentment seemed to have washed off Tacey's face.

"Look sharp, Smith." she whispered to her teammate, "My fanclub will be waiting for us right ahead." she nodded towards the crowded terminal ahead of them, where numerous happy reunions were already taking place, "As part of my tournament team, you have to look at least presentable. And whatever you do, please don't create a scene."

With that, she increased her pace a little, taking point of the group. They would greet her the moment she stepped into their sight, they'd be swarming around her, she knew. Out of all her fans, the Japanese wing of the club was the most well organized. Why they even had a special welcoming committee, which, incidentally, was precisely what she knew she would find, right there, in the far right corner of the room, waiting for her banners in tow.

'Alright...' taking a deep breath, Tacey shut her eyes for a moment as she gathered up the whole of her public persona, 'It's show time.'

It was then, stepping out to directly face the committee's regular corner, that Tacey faced her biggest shock for the day.

It was empty, completely empty.

"But..." the rich girl looked absolutely nonplussed, staring intently at the empty group of sofas as if waiting for someone to step out and declare that it was all a big joke, cue the festivities, but when no such thing occurred, she eventually took a few hesitant steps forward, "That's...not right."

"That's life." Manjoume remarked tartly, "Fans come and go, Edgeworth; you need more than a cheap gimmick to be a real celebrity."

Tacey's voice was nothing short of venomous as she hissed out her retort, "Look who's talking...Ojamanjoume."

"That was just a phase!" the black-blazered duelist protested, his cheeks reddening considerably at the memory, "At least I grew out of that stage!"

"Well I never went into it in the first place, and my fans would never-!"

"Edgeworth-san! Edgeworth-saaaan! Is that really you?!" the shrill, feminine voice, its accent somewhere halfway between Queen's English and Japanese, was almost as loud as Tacey's, effectively cutting over the din of the crowd.

"Of course it's her!" retorted a slightly harsher and less painfully accented voice, "How can you call yourself a fan when you can't distinguish Edgeworth-san's melodious voice from that of a common plebeian?! Baka Chikako-chan. Okaerinasai, Edgeworth-san!"

"Emiko-chaaaan!" the first voice whined, "You're so mean! Besides, this was my turn to say that! Okaerinasai, Edgeworth-san!"

Tacey knew the identities of these two long before they had elbowed their way through the crowd, doing their best to elbow each other back in the process while making it look like they were just aiming at the crowd. There were fans and then there were Fans, people whose sheer obsessiveness cried for CAPITAL LETTERS, people who memorized your habits and mannerisms to the point where you started to suspect that they didn't just admire you but actively strove towards stealing your identity, people who you knew would agree with you on everything and who always looked like they had just pillaged your closet.

These two were definitely Fans with a capital 'F' and if there had been any justice in grammar the word would have been in capitals right down to the last letter. Much like Tacey, they both seemed to be in their early teens and to compound the confusion of the casual onlooker, both seemed to have imitated Tacey's outfit from the American leg of the tournament to the best of their ability, though there were slight variations between them if one looked close enough.

"Edgeworth-san!" trilled the falsetto girl, somewhat tawnier than her idol, the shade of purple in her Tacey-mimicry hair quite obviously dyed, and her light brown eyes wide with amazement, "I heard all about what happened with that horrible stalker person who was after you! That must have been soooo scary!"

"Only for scaredy-cats like you, baka." snorted her slightly shorter but more well-rounded complement, who -- unlike the other -- had made no attempt to conceal the natural color of her short, black hair, a confident smile on her face as she turned to address Tacey, "I heard you beat him good, Edgeworth-san. Serves him right for challenging someone way above his class."

"I'm not a scaredy-cat!" Chikako protested, her voice threatening a rise to an unladylikely shrill level, only to calm when she found what she seemed to think of as a good angle, "I was just concerned about Edgeworth-san's well being, like any good fan would."

"Well, I wasn't concerned because I had confidence in Edgeworth-san's peerless dueling skills," Emiko retorted, "...like any real fan would. That's a very beautiful dress, by the way, Edgeworth-san."

"Way prettier than Emiko's." her ganglier complement chimed in.

"You mean the one you tried to copy?"

Tacey couldn't help cracking a genuine smile at the sight of their bickering. That was right, no matter what happened, there were at least two fans of hers who wouldn't be deserting in a hurry.

Two...

The rich girl paused, a realization suddenly striking her.

"Where are Katsuro and the others?"

The moment Tacey spoke up, both fans ceased their arguing, exchanging concerned glances.

"I was just getting to that, Edgeworth-san." Emiko said at last, "But then Chikako-chan interrupted me, and-"

"I did no such thing!" the shrill-voiced girl protested before turning a pleading glance to her idol, "I was just getting to that, but then Emiko-chan interrupted me and-"

"Look, I don't care who was going to do it." the slight hint of annoyance in the rich girl's enough caused both of the others to silence themselves once more, seeming -- for a moment -- to contemplate whether they should try to shift blame for this onto the other but then seeming to think the better of it, "I just want one of you to actually do it, alright?"

After a brief moment of silence, Emiko finally stepped up to the plate.

"There's...this new duelist, a genki girl who calls herself Haru-haru, arrived just a few days before you but everyone seems to think she's oh-so cute."

"She's not half as cute as you, though, Edgeworth-san!" Chikako chirped, offering another round of puppy dog eyes.

"Right." Emiko said, giving her partner a glare which suggested that certain things would be discussed later on, "You see, we didn't think much of her at the time, but...she's been stealing our membership, right from the start."

"Say what?!"

"It was horrible!" Chikako concurred, noting the indignation in Tacey's voice, "More and more people just started leaving, and then all these nasty rumors about you..."

"All faked, of course." Emiko filled in

"...started popping up. And...well, you know how Katsuro gets."

Tacey nodded solemnly, knowing all too well how diligent the first ever male head of her fanclub was...and how strongly he valued club honor, "What happened next?"

"He challenged the upstart." Emiko said, "But her manager insisted that he should taken him on first."

"Really creepy guy." her lanky counterpart remarked, giving a small shudder, "All tall, and handsome, but...that eyepatch, and those cards..." she shuddered again.

"Katsuro-san never knew what hit him." the taller girl said bitterly, "Truth to be told, neither do we...right after the duel, he-" she paused, trembling slightly at the memory, and for a moment Tacey thought that she noticed the signs of tear suppression, "You...you should really see it for yourself, Edgeworth-san." the fangirl said at last,"He's...at the hospital."

"Hospital?" Tacey echoed, barely able to avoid shuddering herself as a chilling suspicion crept on her, "Over a card game?"

"It's true, I swear!" Chikako pleaded, her wide, puppy dog eyes watering pitifully.

"We'd never joke about something like this, Edgeworth-san!" Emiko chimed in, "He's been out cold ever since the duel, and without Katusro-san, the club's falling to pieces. There's...only us in the welcoming committee now. Everybody else is at the hospital; we're going to have an emergency meet there. You...you'll come, right?"

"Of course." Tacey replied, diplomatically placing a comforting hand on each girl's shoulder, "Of course I will." there was a slight tremble in her voice, but she soon steadied it, "Rufus, Ewans, go get us a cab. I'll meet you outside in five minutes."

"Arigatou, Edgeworth-san!" Emiko said, wiping the moisture from her eyes, "I knew you wouldn't let us down."

"Arigatougozaimasu, Edgeworth-san!" Chikako joined in, purposefully making her thanks a bit more thorough than her partner's, "We'll go on ahead and let everyone know you're coming!"

Tacey's expression was nothing short of troubled as she watched her two would-be dopplegangers disappear into the crowd, soon followed by two of her suits.

"I'm going." she said at last, not turning to face her team, "I don't know what's going on here, but this...is personal." her dainty little hands were clenched into fists, but she seemed to dispel the gesture the moment she noticed it, "Go ahead with the tournament if you like, but I'm getting to the bottom of this. I'll join up with you again once I've sorted this out."


OOC: Whew, long IC, but the subplot has now officially been kicked off. Oh, and for the sake of clarity: Katsuro is suffering from loss of duel energy, not any shadow game soul stealing. It's part of how eyepatch guy's Parasite Demon spirits work. ;3

Phanima
January 2nd, 2008, 05:54 PM
It had been quite some time since he had travelled aboard an aircraft but the moment he slid into his seat, the familiarity of flying rushed back to him. It was a somewhat...joyous feeling, despite how brief it lasted. He of course, had no intention of slacking off, especially with his boss surveying his every action. This was business and just as quickly as it had come, the nostalgic feeling fled.

“Is there anything I can get you before takeoff, sir?” spoke one of the stewards catering to the first class cabin, as he approached the bleached haired passenger.

“Ah no, I’m fine, thank you,” he replied shortly, but with a sincere smile.

The vested servant gave a slight bow before moving off to greet the final entourage of passengers accommodating first class. The bleached haired teenager realigned his thoughts and returned his full attention to his immediate task.

~

Business class was something else. The seats in economy provided nothing close to the sleep-ability the business seats boasted and he was incredibly grateful for the upgrade. Of course, he also had a task to carry out, but unbeknownst to his superior, his previous night’s preparation didn’t exactly go as planned. Instead, his preparation involved hitting the clubs hard as well as a few too many drink, so getting up early to catch a ride to Domino City wasn’t exactly something he was looking forward to.

However, where there was a will, there was always a way. His trademark sunset tinged sunglasses provided the perfect cover, plus it made him that more easy on the eyes. So, as long as he remained indifferent to his boss’ existence and followed his orders, he wouldn’t have to worry about sneaking in a few Z’s here and there throughout the trip.

Despite such a flawless plan, having his superior keeping such a close eye over him was always unnerving, especially since his boss, despite how indirect or unresponsive he may act, would always have his mind set and focused on what he had to do. But he supposed that was what made him such a good boss.

Tipping his shaded glasses a fraction of an inch, the second business classed teen, cast a swift look to his side, where a teenager with dark hair entered the cabin. Readjusting his glasses and diverting his gaze, the teen returned his attention to his pounding headache and thoughts of a numb sleep.

~

For the most part, the ride had been as eventful as a game of solitary Duel Monsters, which admittedly, was something he had often found himself doing in his rare moments of free time. Of course, the lack of conversation wasn’t something he had exactly planned for, due to some unwanted guests, but his team’s acceptance would be enough for now.

Before long, he had arrived at their destination and with the four other duellists making up Team Seven, two of which he had become acquainted to during the ride, made their way into the terminal, where a rather odd development unfolded, and it wasn’t the abnormally large crowds of people either.

Following the troupe to a rather vacant arrangement of seats, they were greeted by two girls, who apparently worshipped the cold ground Edgeworth walked on. Far be it for her to actually have fans, but these two were something else. The way they spoke and bickered over such a person was cringing, plus the amount of moe-ism the two exuberated would cause even the most obsessed otaku to keel over.

Interjecting was something he was profoundly well adapted to and just as he was about to put his masterful skills to good use, the mood of the conversation suddenly nosedived. He watched the two fans immediately withdraw as their subject for fandom questioned the discussion of a person known as Katsuro. It was soon apparent that this leader of Edgeworth’s fan club had gotten into a situation similar to that of Daniels and Ritham’s case during the first round, and that wasn’t good.

To the plea of the two girls, Edgeworth conceded to visiting her fallen supporter, showing a rare moment of selflessness, and despite his hope of keeping an eye over his rival, her reply seemed genuine and he had no intention of prying into unnecessary matters.

Of course, that didn’t mean Smith would agree to such a decision, since leaving her to face such a situation might not be the best of ideas, especially with the recent threat of two-bit hackers known as Shadow Duellists surfacing throughout the tournament. But whatever the red haired tourist decided was up to him, his current objective was passing the second round and nothing else.

“Fine,” he said, waving the heiress off as he again took the lead in exiting the terminal. “Just make sure you don’t end up like your friends, Edgeworth, I have no intentions of picking up after you...and Smith,” he continued, his attention now on the red haired duellist and the two newcomers collectively, “do what you like, I’ll gather these maps myself.”

Scarlet Weather
January 3rd, 2008, 07:58 AM
Achan had been surprised by the conspicuous lack of Tacey's fans as well, after all, she was a fairly well-known proffessional duelist on the European circuit and from something she had said earlier on the Asian one as well. It would make sense that she'd have some sort of a fan club. The absence of a horde of screaming groupies was both a surprise and a relief to Achan. If a group of screaming teenagers, some of them most likely pubescent males, charged the group he would be feeling quite cramped and probably looking for an escape route. These two girls, while a little bubbly for Achan's taste, were at least fun to watch. As she talked with them, Achan nudged Judai. Normally he wouldn't talk to the red-blazered duelist since the previous day's events were fresh in his mind, but something Tacey had said piqued his interest. "Ojamanjoume?"

Judai shook his head. "Trust me, if you don't know already then you don't want to hear it. That was probably the most embarassing phase of Manjoume's life." His voice dropped to a whisper as he conspiritorially murmured "I still have the Ojama suit to prove it-"

"Ojama suit?"

Just as Achan said this, Tacey's fans reached their explanation as to why the leaders of the fanclub were absent. Apparently there was a new duelist out there stealing the scene and muscling in on Tacey's admiring fans. A duelist who had hospitalized her fan club's leader after defeating him. This sounded suspiciously like... Achan could already see the anger in Judai's eyes, the same anger he had shown when he had condemned the Shadow Actors. He was probably going along for the ride to make sure that Tacey didn't get hurt, or that the other duelist did. Sure enough, Judai stepped alongside of Tacey and announced, "I'm going with Edgeworth-san. She's going to need assistance." His eyes made contact with Achan's. "Sumisu-kun, I'm going to have to ask you to stay here. If this is a shadow duel you'll only-"

"Get in the way? Is that it? You know what, I'm tired of people thinking I'm useless and good-for-nothing. If anything, I'll be extremely useful in a Shadow Dueling environment because I don't have a spirit to absorb. If that guy beats me, what's gonna do, point at me and laugh? I'm used to that." Achan's growling reply took Judai aback, and Achan decided to press his advantage. "Besides, we should all go. As members of the team, it's in our best interest to make sure that at least one of us takes these two down. If they're pros, they are probably in the running for the title, which means that they'll have map cards. If we run around looking for random opponents, we'll get nowhere fast."

"We don't need all five of us to be there, and we've got a new team member who's supposedly joining us here to look for," Judai countered.

Achan had simmered down somewhat, but he was still irate. "Look, Mr. Supreme King, just let us come! What harm could it do?" He turned to Michel angrily. "Anyway, if you're so adamant about winning this tournament the least you could do is watch Tacey's duel. You've never seen her play in person that I know of." He stepped alongside Tacey and Judai. "I don't care if you say I can't come, I'm coming anyway!" He sounded like a defiant toddler now, but at least he was going along with them.

Judai took a good, long look at Achan and smiled. "It seems I was right about you two," he muttered.

"I heard that, and I don't know what you're talking about." Achan muttered back.

Alter Ego
January 4th, 2008, 03:02 PM
"Hey! Just a moment!" Tacey protested at Judai's decision, "This is my problem! I never said you could-"

Achan, however, had no intention of letting others get a word in edgewise at that moment "I don't care if you say I can't come, I'm coming anyway!"

"Don't be reckless, Smith!" the rich girl scolded, "You could end up hospitalized just like Katsuro did and besides-"

"You leave me no choice, do you?" Manjoume scoffed at the conversation, having gone conveniently deaf to Tacey's interjections, an expression of pure martyrdom on his face, "Alright, fine, Manjoume sanda is on the case. You'll need an actually reliable duelist anyway."

"Is anyone even listening to me?!" it was now officially Tacey's turn to play the martyr, and she didn't shy away from doing just that, placing a hand on her own forehead and giving a sigh, "You'll be coming along no matter what I say, won't you?" she asked rhetorically, "Alright, if you all insist on getting yourselves involved in this then alright. But this is still my show, so I'm calling the shots here. And Judai, I'm afraid that I went conveniently deaf just now so whatever you said went right past me, but I'm certain it was nothing of importance so please don't repeat it. Now, I've got some things to discuss with my escorts so please wait here until I give you a sign to come in."

With that, the rich girl strode towards the airport exit, duly gesturing for one of her grunts to hold the door open for her, "Oh, and for my first decree?" she cast a glance at Manjoume, an impish little grin on her face, "You're wearing that Ojama suit."

"Say WHAT?!"

There was distinctly bemused little grin on Tacey's face as she strode into the cab, handing her instructions to the driver, just as her suits were preparing to file inside like usual, the rich girl raised a hand in interposition, however.

"Not this time."

"But...miss Edgeworth!" Rufus protested, "This is way too dangerous to let you go on your own."

"But I'm not going alone now, am I?" Tacey countered, her voice sounding -- for a change -- genuinely affectionate as she cast a glance at the figures behind the exit door, Manjoume still trying to drive a persistent case for 'I don't really have to do that, right?', much like the rich girl had anticipated him to. Those two were creepy, but they were also her best bet of making it through this, she knew, "Besides, this..." she bit her lip, trying to find the words to explain what she wasn't quite ready to even believe herself, "...it's hard to explain, but this...isn't something you can protect me against." her glance rested absently on her duel disc, "Just step out of this one."

"Afraid not, miss."

"I'm telling you, this is dangerous!" Tacey snapped, glaring in annoyance at the spiky-haired bodyguard, "These people already hospitalized someone without even laying a hand on them for goodness' sake!"

"All the more reason for us to come." Rufus persisted.

"An undefeated foe is only someone who has avoided his betters thus far." Ewans concurred sagely.

"AND PROBABLY SOMEONE WHO HAS NEVER HAD A GOOD FLOGGING!" boomed Raymond, his enthusiasm kindled by this display of loyal insubordinance.

"Just give us a chance miss."

Tacey stared in disbelief at the determined suits, "You're...all going with this, even when I told you that it was too dangerous and said no?" receiving a set of nods in return, the millionaire heiress looked slightly taken aback, "I see..." she replied at last, "I guess I have no choice but to...FIRE YOU!"

"But miss!" Ewans protested.

"Five years of service..." Rufus mumbled, shock evident in his expression, "Miss Edgeworth, are you going to fire us for looking out for your best interest?"

"PLEASE NOT, MISS!" Raymond pleaded, "I'LL EVEN GIVE UP FLOGGING, I SWEAR!"

"I'm sorry, but my decision is final." Tacey replied, returning to her usual cold persona, "You four are hereby officially relieved of your duties as my bodyguards."

"But-"

"That can't-"

"Surely-"

"MISS-"

"And hired as my official aides."

"Aides?" the combined confusion on their faces was nothing short of priceless, and Tacey couldn't help a small smile.

"As my aides, you no longer have any say in matters concerning my security, save if I see fit to consult you on them, and you duties primarily consist of running arrangements and errands which I would simply be too busy to deal with myself. Work hours and times may vary, but I'd say...oh, about two to three hours less than your current job, on average? Furthermore, while this would normally entail a significantly lower pay, I'm willing to make an exception. After all, this is a position of trust and given the difficulty in finding truly competent employees, let alone ones with your excellent credentials, I would say that your previous level of pay is a fair compromise, wouldn't you agree?" the revelation spread over their faces like a sunrise over a mountain ridge, "So...do we have an agreement, gentlemen?"

"Yes, miss!"

"Most generous."

"Thank you, miss."

"BY MY FLOGGING EQUIPMENT!"

"Good." Tacey replied, making sure to avoid giving a sap face, "Then here's your first assignment: go to our residence and let mother know that I will come and visit her as soon as I can. I've just got some...business to sort out."

"Yes, miss!"

"It will be done without fail."

"AND WITHOUT FLOGGING, UNLESS OF COURSE IT BECOMES NECESSARY, MISS!"

Rufus, unlike his companions, merely gave a nod in acknowledgment, lagging behind the others just a bit. Before Tacey could voice an objection, however, he had already spoken up, "Take care then, miss Edgeworth."

Tacey didn't quite know what to make of the message, but for some inexplicable reason, she was having distinct trouble holding back the familiar moisture from before. She soon braced herself, however, reminding herself what a serious situation she still was in.

"Alright, you can come now!" she called to her companions, giving them a dignified little wave, "Orderly and polite but still quick, please."

Scarlet Weather
January 5th, 2008, 04:26 PM
OOC: Urgh, thanks for making it hard for me to write a post with any length in it. Now what am I supposed to do? Phanima, I'm dragging you into this because I'm an impatient little GM. Just post quickly so we can get the sub-plot moving.

Achan smiled as Tacey proceeded to perform probably the nicest act he had seen her do this entire tournament. She really did care about her employees. "I knew she wasn't bad. I knew it all along," he joked calmly with nobody in particular.

"Sumisu-kun, get in the car already! We're leaving!" Judai announced.

"Okay, okay! Just hold on a- YEARGH!" Achan fell sprawling to the ground as he attempted to run to the vehicle. Leaping to his feet, he angrily glared at the surroundings. "Okay, who tripped me!"

"That would be me, Achan Smith of Warrenton, Virginia."

Achan turned to stare at the youth beside him. It was the black-haired kid, the one who had given him the cards he had used to modify his Wandering deck. "How do you know my name?" he demanded.

The boy flicked back a lock of black hair. "Your driver's permit was in your wallet," he stated nonchalantly. Immediately after he completed this statement, Achan's fist slammed into his face.

"You little... I knew I was forgetting something..." Achan muttered as he hauled the boy to his feet. "You've got some nerve, punk. Stealing my wallet, tracking me to Japan, and then tripping me? Who are you, and what do you want with me?"

"I want to know about that deck of yours. I understand you've got a few Wandering monsters in your possession. I'm here to take them back." The boy pulled himself to his feet, apparently disregarding his pain, and held out his expectant hand.

Achan stared at him. "You're kidding me, right? I designed the Wandering monsters, so I received them. You're not getting them from me."

"Oh, that's really rich. Claiming my invention as your own. Come on, cut the crap and give me my cards back!" the other boy demanded.

"They're my cards! Look, you sure we're talking about the same Wandering monsters? Take a look at this!" Achan fished into his deck and removed Wandering Hero, flashing it to his opponent. "Didn't create this, right?"

The other boy was flabbergasted, stepping back in surprise. "Wait. I didn't create that monster..."

"Of course not. I invented the Wanderers. Beast, Mage, Healer, Dragon, Hero, Rogue, and Ninja. That's all there are."

The other boy was even more confused. "Something's wrong here. I don't remember any of those," he admitted. "Where did you get them?"

"I told you, I designed them," Achan said impatiently. "Now out of my way, I have a cab to catch!"

"But-"

Anything the other boy could have said was cut off as Achan slipped into the cab. "Michel, you may as well come with us. At least this way, you'll be able to find an opponent quickly!" he called.

Alter Ego
January 6th, 2008, 08:12 AM
OOC: Sorry, it's just that I realized that if I went ahead with the other without any interjection it would be sort of...overwhelming- x.O Sadly, it may end that way anyway because this is my last day at this so I have to wrap it all up before it's even been properly unraveled. >0<

Oh, and for clarity's sake: the quotes with the italics here are translated Japanese since I couldn't write full sentences in jap to save my life but Tacey's technically supposed to know a bit of the language. :3

IC:

Tacey raised an eyebrow at the scene outside of the cab. Talk about the irony of life, the moment she had sent her suits away from the line of fire, Achan had managed to get himself tangled into a situation that would have been perfect for suit intervention. Fortunately, he seemed to be holding his own against the bizarre black-haired punk who had come there to...fight over his cards? Tacey raised an eyebrow. Sure, she had run into a number of people who had requested that she should 'donate' her Royal cards, but most of them had settled for sorting it out through a card game rather than a fist fight.

Well, technically it wasn't much of a fight since Achan was the only one hitting people. There was a distinctly disapproving expression on Tacey's face as the teenager finally joined the rest of them, a small ice bag flying at him from the general direction of the millionaire heiress.

"For your hand, Captain America." the rich girl elaborated tartly, "That was the dumbest thing you've done for the whole of this tournament. Did you even consider how easy it is to get bruises or even hairline fractures if you just swing your unprotected fists about like that? Or what could have happened if that boy had actually fought back? What if he had been armed? One incident like that is all it takes to be out of dueling condition for a week, or worse, and the last thing we need on this team is an invalid. What was with that punch anyway? Is it some kind of macho thing? 'I'll punch anyone who makes me look silly'? Sheez, why do you boys all have to be such idiots?" folding her arms, she turned her attention to the cab driver, "And what are you waiting for? To the hospital, my good man, and don't even think about trying to drag me down the tourist route. I live here."

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Normally, Tacey would not have been in such a hurry. She would have taken it slowly and traveled in the posh family car, gazed out of the window for the benefit of the commoners and maybe even taken a look at how the town had been her home for the last few years was doing. This time, however, she was firmly retaining her offended posture to make it clear that she didn't approve of what had just happened. With the admonition for Achan's reckless behavior duly given, not a word crossed her lips, a rare state of affairs all in itself, and though she had both make-up and a diverted gaze to keep it concealed, there was a distinct undertone of concern in her sulking.

'Katsuro, you idiot...what did you get yourself into?'

Still not speaking, she passed over the payment for the ride without argument, for once not waiting for anyone else to open the door for her as she strode into Domino City hospital. It was...well, pretty much like any other hospital lobby, really, though their rather colorful collection of people attracted a few quizzical stares. Tacey, however, was too focused on her task to bother, heading inside with a determined stride. Much to her surprise, however, Chikako and Emiko were nowhere to be seen. This only served to alarm her further. Ditzy tendencies or no, those two never passed up on an excuse to tail their leader.

"This isn't good." she said to no-one in particular, walking over to the receptionist.

"Excuse me?" Tacey would have been the first to admit that her conversational Japanese could do with improvements, though her fans had of course praised it to the skies. Still, the receptionist lady's attention seemed to have been caught, so she pressed on, "Could you tell me how to find..." a grimace of concentration overcame her face as she attempted to find the right expression "...the room which Hikaru Katsuro resides in, please? I'm Tacey Edgeworth, his...ummm..."

"Ah, you're Katsuro-kun's lady friend?"

Tacey blinked at the woman's response. She had misunderstood, right? This person hadn't seriously suggested that she was dating her fanclub leader, right? That wasn't a sympathetic smile she had just been given, was it? Thick layers of insulating dignity and a realization that there was room for an even worse misunderstanding if she started arguing about it

"Yes, I was told that you'd come. Terrible thing to happen..." the receptionist continued, tapping through the computer-based database, "...and to such a well-mannered young man too. Ahh...here it is. Hikaru Katsuro-kun, room 267. Third floor. He's still unconscious, and I know this must be hard for you, but..." Tacey felt like screaming, that was definitely an expression of maternal sympathy she was getting, "...I'm sure Katsuro-kun would appreciate your presence. He's been mumbling your name in his sleep, you know, and he was always going Edgeworth-san this and that when he came around here before the incident, I really think that-"

"Yes, thank you." Tacey interrupted, determined not to let the receptionist lady finish that particular thought as she strode back to her team, her cheeks now bearing a slightly rosy shade, "I've got the room number." she informed them, her tone of voice making it quite clear that the rest of what she had gotten was nothing to be discussed, "Third floor, room 267. Let's not waste any time, shall we?"

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Given the general trend of things, Tacey should probably have expected it, but even so, she couldn't help feeling a sensation of shock as she stepped into hospital room 267, third floor.

"No way!" she called out in indignation, rushing inside.

The room was empty, completely empty, in fact, save for the unmovable cupboards and the nightstand, the white curtains fluttering in the breeze from a still open window, a single, tealish drape splitting the room into two.

"This place looks pretty deserted to me." Manjoume remarked, casting a glance at the interior of the place, "Are you sure this is the right place?"

"Of course I am!" Tacey retorted, "Something must have happened! Otherwise, Chikako or Emiko would at least have-"

"Been waiting for you?"

"Exactly." Tacey said, noticing only moments later that the voice didn't sound familiar at all, "Hey, who said-"

"Neko-Neko-chan was expecting someone, maybe?"

As a second voice, this one bright and girly, struck her ears, Tacey finally turned around, just in time to spot the two figures in the doorway opposite to them. And slumped onto the beds behind them...

"Chikako! Emiko!"

"Calm." remarked the male figure, raising a hand in front of him. The blue hair and eyepatch, together with his impassive expression and rather considerable height, gave him a somewhat imposing appearance, quite the feat considering the rather non-villainous dark purple tennis shirt and blue trousers that constituted his attire, "They are in no danger."

"Yeah." chirped his younger complement. Even on her own, her sugary sweet and hyper countenance, complete with the glint in her bright yellow eyes -- well, at least the one not covered by the fringe of her purple hair -- would have been enough to make all but the most devout otaku gag, but next to her stone-faced companion she seemed to reach an all new level of hyperness. Her very existence was like an ear-piercing shout, "They are just sleepy-sleepy, so shh..." she put a finger to her lips, meaningfully lowering her voice, "...no shouting, Neko-Neko-chan. It's their nappy-nappy time."

"You mean like it was for Katsuro?!" Tacey growled, feeling a very strong urge to commit an act of most uncontrolled violence, "You're that Haru-Haru upstart and her manager, aren't you?! Just what kind of scheme are you trying to pull here?!"

"Part of your 'Master's' plans, I presume?" Manjoume joined in, taking a step forward and sizing the duo up, "I'll warn you, we've already defeated a number of your fellow Shadow Duelists, and unless you'd like to join them, I'd suggest that you two return the souls you've stolen right this instant."

"Souls? Shadow duels?" the male gave a reproachful scoff, "I have no interest in such things, nor do I serve any master. Serge is the name I go by, though I'm sure it means nothing to you, and this is my partner, Haruko. We're merely traveling duelists among many others."

"Yeah, Jou-Jou-kun, now you're just being silly!" the girl chimed in, giggling, "Kei-Kei-chan and I don't need any souls, silly." she smiled in complete innocence, tilting her head to the side, "We just like playing card games."

"And you expect us to buy that?!" Tacey retorted, "Abduction, people falling unconscious?! Do you expect us to believe that that's what happens in regular card games?!"

"I never said they were regular games." Serge replied calmly, "I simply maintained that they have nothing to do with shadow games, and that is the truth. What happened to your friend is...unfortunate, but in the end it is the weakness of his heart that hurt him so. I warned him that he was taking on too much, but weighed down by his own pride and stubbornness he pushed himself beyond his limits regardless. Play with fire and you get burned...as they say."

"Why, you-"

"Temper, temper, Neko-Neko-chan!" Haruko scolded in a would-be serious voice, wagging her finger at her, "We just want to play, didn't mean any harm."

"Beyond what was necessary to catch your attention, of course." her creepier complement filled in, giving the group a knowing look, "We could just have asked, of course, but dare I say that your group is...rather elusive? With all these distractions, we needed to add a little....weight to the situation to ensure your participation."

Tacey couldn't believe what she was hearing, "So...this assault on my fanclub, usurping my position, the things you did to Katsuro and the others...you did it all just so you could play a children's card game?!"

"Not just a card game, Neko-Neko-chan!" Haruko corrected her, "A super special awesome tournament!"

"The format is open challenge, one on one." Serge informed them, "If you defeat either of us, I will return the duel energy your friends lost and we will leave quietly, if you lose..." there was a decidedly creepy edge to his expression, "Well, in that case you may very well join them. However, given the circumstances and the fact that all you need is for one of your whole group to win, I would say that our terms are more than fair." with that, he turned around, nonchalantly wandering towards the elevator, adding over his shoulder, "We will be waiting at the roof...if you're interested, that is."

"Last one up is a rotten Mystic Tomato!" Haruko chirped, giving them all one, last sugary smile before skipping after her partner and into the elevator just before the doors shut, leaving the group by the hospital room with the sizable number of unconscious youths.

"I don't have much choice, do I?" Tacey asked, her expression darkening considerably at the sight, "The rest of you can still back out if you want, but I'm going. It's about time I reminded these people who they're dealing with."

Scarlet Weather
January 6th, 2008, 03:51 PM
OOC: "Jou-jou-kun?" What is that? *Shot'ed* Anyway, this post is just going to be an incredibly drawn out way of saying "Achan got on the roof." Well, good luck in the military. Don't let the drill sergeant get to you. He's not really evil. Just insane. Yeah, sorry I couldn't do this post earlier but today was a busy day for me.

Achan groaned as Tacey bandaged his hand. "You know, I'm not a flower Tacey. My delicate petals don't get damaged at the slightest oppurtunity. Anyway, my school back in the states is an all-boy academy so I've got some experience smashing my fist into people's faces when they steal my cards. As for the whole 'Macho' thing... he stole my wallet. What was I supposed to do, smile and say 'that's alright'?"

"Pipe down! This cab is moving, and I want silence!" The driver shouted.

"What did he say?"

Judai laughed at Achan's bewilderment. "Try checking your phrasebook, Sumisu-kun!" His laughter was cut short as Achan's foot contacted his shins.

Achan smiled at Tacey. "The whole 'guys fight each other' thing is a primordial instinct. It's the one way we plebeians know that shuts each other up for sure," He joked.

Cue the Pokemon Center Theme...

Achan rolled his eyes at the duelists who opposed Tacey who had just challenged the group to a duel on the rooftops. "Alright, deal. I'll warm up with the old man and move on to the annoying girl. Presuming that Tacey doesn't beat them first," he muttered. Turning to the debutante, he rolled his eyes. "Hey, Tacey, why is it that these duels always take place on the roof?"

"It's a homage to 'clerks'," Judai stated abruptly.

"A what?"

"Nevermind, let's just go. I'm curious to know how these two hospitalized people if they're really ordinary duelists," Judai countered.

Phanima
January 7th, 2008, 03:45 AM
OOC: Ah, gomen, gomen. I'm sorry for taking so long but I went out for a day, it being the holidays and everything, plus it's summer here, so a trip to the beach is compulsory for me if I want to survive through this season. XP Oh and just a heads up, this is one pessimistic post following, so be warned, the amount of stubborness is almost insulting in itself. :3

IC: Two good points in one day, Smith was on a role. The promised revelation of the contents of Edgeworth’s deck and the opportunity to unburden the responsibility of holding one of tournament’s prized map pieces from some unfortunate hobbyist, were two opportunities too good to pass up, despite their source. Grudgingly acknowledging the red nut’s arguments against him soloing the second round, Michel soon found himself in the cramped confines of a public Japanese cab, followed by a brief stop outside the destined hospital for some much needed air, and then to room two-hundred and sixty-seven, where he and his team were greeted by the perpetrators of Edgeworth’s recent fan club fiasco.

The two challengers took on the forms of a towering, blue haired, eye-patched and casually dressed young man who was accompanied by a bright eyed, lavender haired and high pitched girl, who despite themselves, complemented one another’s appearance quite well. They certainly didn’t dress like the typical antagonists who wrought their opposing ideals on the unknowing public, but admittedly, the whole removal of duel spirits from bystanders didn’t exactly put them on Santa’s nice list. What’s more, was that despite declining any interest in souls and Shadow Games, the existence of such things seemed acceptable to them nonetheless.

Stealing souls and Shadow Games were ridiculous and unsupported notions that any sane person would wave off as simple superstitions. But what bothered him the most was that Edgeworth, despite her attitude, was the one person he believed to not believe in such claims. She was the heiress to Edgeworth Electronics, a multimillion dollar company that specialised in facts, numbers and household appliances among other goods. The occult had no place in the business world, at least not in the world he envisioned, yet here Edgeworth stood opposing her challengers and their lies. It was somewhat...disappointing.

Throughout all the commotion of discovering her fan club’s disappearance, the drained enthusiasm of Chikako and Emiko and the challenge of two hobby obsessed duellists, a definitive decision seemed to have fallen over the team after little deliberation. Despite his moral and logical objection, Michel conceded in following the other four in participating in the two strangers’ perverse notion of a simple card game. He just hoped that these con artists had a couple of map pieces on them, to help add a little logical backing for them accepting such a ridiculous challenge, aside from the whole rescuing Edgeworth’s fan club and whatever.

Alter Ego
January 20th, 2008, 06:45 AM
OOC: Just a random demeaning nickname drawn from his name. ;D

Anyways, super special awesome subplot tie-up IC go!

IC:

"I honestly don't care." Tacey deadpanned, preparing to make a move towards the elevator. Just as she did so, however, a quiet mumble caught her ears.

"Edgeworth-san...must..."

"Katsuro?" the girl raised an eyebrow, quickly making her way back to the ward. The speaker wasn't hard to find. He was a rather lanky boy, even more challenged in the height department than Achan, his short, black hair in a semi-ruffled state and his skin looking even paler than Tacey's. Clad in the hospital's pajamas like he was, he looked even more tawny and frail than usual, his lips slowly moving on their own accord, even as his eyes remained firmly shut.

"...must...tell Edgeworth-san..."

"I'm here." the rich girl whispered, taking a seat by her fallen fanclub leader, "I'm here damn it, tell me."

"...must...tell..." the figure feebly reached out his hand, its fingers curled around a small, rectangular object in a cramp-like manner, "...his...weakness..."

"Weakness?" Tacey cast a quizzical glance at the crumpled object, managing to disentangle it from the other's grasp after a small amount of struggle. It was a card, a spell card to be specific, "This...is his weakness?" she cast a sceptical glance at the object, but her adherent offered little in the way of elaboration, merely repeating the words over and over again, his fingers now clutching thin air. For a few moments, Tacey's glance wandered back and forth between the silly little piece of cardboard in her hand and the raving figure in the bed, her mind equally torn between years of dueling experience that told her any random last-minute additions to her deck would be disastrous and pity for the still mumbling figure on the bed which told her that not accepting something the other had labored so hard to get to her would be inexcusable.

"Alright." she whispered at last, gently grasping the hand, its fingers still curled around an object that was no longer there, and placing it on Katsuro's chest, "Don't worry...I'll, I'll find out what you meant." promptly turning on her heels, the millionaire heiress walked straight past her teammates with a casual nod, "Let's go."

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By the time they had made their way to the roof, a powerful breeze was already at work, adding a dramatic touch to the scene as team seven stared down their mystery opponents, located on their respective sides of the roof, duel discs at the ready.

"Yatta! You finally ca-a-a-me!" Haruko trilled, bouncing on the spot out of pure hyperness, "Alright, Neko-Neko-chaaan, duel me-e-e-e-e!"

"Serge, was it?"

The male barely quirked an eyebrow in response, even as Tacey's tone was more glacial than the ragnarok, her lips forming one, simple sentence.

"Let's duel."

Serge gave her a lightly quizzical glance, "You want to duel me?" though his manner was very close to the usual neutral, there seemed to be a slight tinge of curiosity in his expression, but after a few moments, he returned to his previous indifferent state, "No, never mind. I can tell from that expression that you've probably got personal motives you think are larger than life itself, but I really don't care." even the way he raised his duel disc - this one, Tacey noted, silvery with a decidedly old-fashioned design, years of wear and tear mixed with half-hearted maintenance evident on its surface - spoke of laziness more than anything else, but at this point the girl's anger compelled her to raise her own one with considerable vigor nonetheless.

"Heeey! No fair!" Haruko whined, placing her hands on her hips as she pouted at the two, "You said I could duel her, Kei-kei-chan! Me-e-e-e! It was a pinky swear!"

Serge merely rolled his eyes in response, "The format is open challenge, Haruko." he explained wearily, "I would have expected her to challenge you for the title we usurped, but..." the tiniest hint of a smile played on his lips as his gaze turned to the , "...it would seem I misjudged you, miss Edgeworth. I do hope the same applies to your dueling." he raised his disc arm to a slightly less slack position, "Games are no fun when the opponent is too...predictable."

"Oh, don't you worry." Tacey retorted, "This deck is not like anything I've played before, trust me. Challenger's lead, no?" upon receiving a noncommittal shrug in response, she proceeded to do as much, noting - much to her increasing annoyance - that even this action was done rather passively.

Duelist: Tacey
Life Points: 8000
Hand: Marshmallon, Creature Swap, Royal Legacy, Royal Paige, Shrink
Draw Phase: Royal Magician

"Alright." the rich girl began, taking a deep breath to calm herself before examining her hand, "I'll start by summoning Royal Paige in Attack Position."

At her command, a lithe, male figure appeared on the field. He was clad in a tailor-made silk tunic with matching, long a trousers, a single scroll tucked beneath his arm, bearing the silly hat with the single feather on it with the same pride as the royal insignia on his clothes.

"And with my Paige's effect..." Tacey continued, "I can add any level four or lower royal monster I please from my deck to my hand, just by summoning him. And I choose, Royal Emissary."

Effect Addition: Royal Emissary

"It won't be around for long, though." she continued, flicking the card into her graveyard slot, "I discard my Emissary to add Court of Nobles to my hand. A card which I'll also activate."

Effect Addition: Court of Nobles

With a familiar rumble, the castle courtyard with its decorative vegetation and fountain came into view. Haruko squealed in delight at the sight, immediately declaring the fountain decorations 'kawaii', while Serge looked mostly bored.

"I set a card and end my turn."

Her opponent merely nodded, "My draw."

Duelist: Tacey
Life Points: 8000
Hand: Marshmallon, Creature Swap, Shrink, Royal Magician
Field: Royal Paige (1500 / 800), Court of Nobles (face-up), Royal Legacy (Face-down)
Graveyard: Royal Emissary

Duelist: Serge
Life Points: 8000
Hand: 6 cards

The blue-haired duelist took a brief moment to examine his cards before he spoke up, "I tribute one monster to summon-"

"Tribute?" Tacey echoed, "You don't have any monsters yet."

"True." Serge replied, the tiniest hint of a smile on his face, "But you do, miss Edgeworth. I tribute Royal Paige, to summon Parasite Demon Saadat!"

Before the rich girl could give a response, the messenger-like creature on her field had vanished. In its place, a far less aesthetically pleasing monster appeared. The body shape brought a nightcrawler to mind, with its multitude of small, scuttly legs, but the bright red eyes, gangly, demonic wings and variety of sharp appendages on its body made it, if possible, even less appealing.

"Since I summoned a Parasite Demon, I can not play any other monster cards this turn." the male continued, "I play three cards face-down and end my turn."

"Alright..." Tacey replied, casting a vary glance at the disgusting creature she had been saddled with. Parasite Demon? She had never even heard of such a set, but even so she realized that when you were just handed a big monster like that, there had to be a catch somewhere. Besides, the 'parasite' bit was something of a giveaway. "I draw."

Duelist: Tacey
Life Points: 8000
Hand: Marshmallon, Creature Swap, Shrink, Royal Magician
Field: Parasite Demon Saadat (2450 / 1850), Court of Nobles (face-up), Royal Legacy(Face-down)
Graveyard: Royal Emissary

Duelist: Serge
Life Points: 8000
Hand: 2 cards
Field: 3 x Spell or Trap (face-down)

Draw Phase: Fissure

"Monster effect activate."

'As expected.' Tacey replied in her mind as her opponent elaborated.

"During each Standby Phase, if Saadat's controller is holding more than three cards, they must discard until they have only three. You are holding five."

Effect discard: Marshmallon, Shrink

"I see." Tacey replied, slipping two cards from her hand into the graveyard slot, "Is there anything else that I should know about my little gift horse here?"

"Only that he can not be offered as tribute."

Tacey nodded in response. In a way, this didn't bother her much. All she had to do was keep her hand count down and this troublesome little eyesore on her field would serve as a penalty-free fighter. Her familiar grin of confidence slowly began taking over. Maybe, just maybe this Serge had made a fatal mistake here, "Alright then." she declared, "I summon Royal Magician."

With another blur of hologram projection software, a tall, gaunt individual clad in a midnight blue robe -- decorate by silver stars -- appeared on the field, twirling the obligatory staff in his hand as he surveyed the scene in front of him.

Tacey paused, she knew that this was probably what was being expected, but right now she really had no choice but to go for the kill, "Now then...Saadat, direct attack!"

With a gutural growl, the demon lunged forward, threateningly brandishing its sharp, blade-like appendages at its original owner who, unsurprisingly, seemed incapable of caring any less. Just as the attack was about to make contact, however, a tall, statuesque silhouette even more imposing than that of Tacey's newly acquired fiend intercepted the attack. Though obscured by a veil of haze, the creature's sheer size, multiple vicious-looking appendages and the three, luminous slits of bright red that apparently constituted its eyes gave it an imposing look. As soon as the attack was parried, however, the figure vanished, leaving the now revealed face of a purple-bordered card on Serge's field.

"Demon Symbiosis." he said flatly, "By discarding one parasite demon from my deck, I can negate the attack of any monster on the field."

"It figures." Tacey replied with a nod, "Only a rank amateur would hand a strong monster to their opponent without having the means to neutralize that monster. Royal Magician, direct attack!"

"Parasite Demon Nishruu to the graveyard." at Serge's words, another, if less imposing, silhouette parried the blast of energy from Tacey's magician before joining its predecessor, "Futile." he remarked with a hint of scorn, "Do you truly intend to fight your way through every monster in my deck?"

"Of course not." Tacey replied, "I was simply checking to see whether or not that trap of yours worked multiple times in a turn, and seeing as how it does..." she demonstratively held up the Fissure spell card in her hand for inspection, "I activate the effect of Royal Magician. By sending one spell card to the graveyard, I can destroy any spell or trap card on the field. Royal Magician, destroy Demon Symbiosis."

Serge's face was nothing short of apathetic as a blue nimbus of energy surrounded both magician and trap card, merely flicking his hand towards the second holographic card back on his field, "Reveal face-down, Parasite Fusion. By sending one Parasite from my hand or deck to the grave, I can merge it with any monster of the same level, and Zeptiemus, as it so happens, is level four." he nodded at Tacey's magician as the creature doubled over, grasping his abdomen with a pained expression on his face as a pair of blueish-hued wings sprouted from his back, his fingers contorting into claws and a maddened glint appearing in his eyes, "By the effect of my Parasite Fusion spell card." the older duelist continued, "Your monster has now been taken over by the parasite I sacrificed, adopting both its name and special ability. In the process, his original ability is nullified."

Tacey grit her teeth, "Turn end." she muttered.

"Not quite yet, miss Edgeworth." her opponent interrupted, "I activate Gift Card. By this effect, you gain 3000 life points. However..." he nodded towards Tacey's deformed magician as an eerily contorted version of the previous energy appeared around it, wrapping itself around the girl, "...by the effect of Parasite Demon Zeptiemus, those life points are deducted from you instead."

Tacey staggered as the blue aura from her deformed creature enveloped her, and before she knew it, a shrill scream had escaped her lips as the point were deducted from her counter.

"No...no way..." she gasped, slowly regaining her composure, "I felt that. I actually felt that."

"A regrettable side-effect." her opponent conceded, "As you should know, a duel spirit can only sustain itself in our world by feeding on the energy of a duelist. Some spirits, however, require more...substantial payment."

Tacey looked practically livid, "Substantial payment?!" she snapped, "You mean you're giving human sacrifices for the sake of a card game?!"

"Incorrect." her opponent replied, "The only thing these spirits do is tap into the duel energy of their controller, much like their more benevolent counterparts do. I have sacrificed no-one, merely...incapacitated."

"Yeah!" Haruko chimed in, glaring defensively at Tacey, "Kei-kei-chan would never ever do something mean like that! It's not his fault that everyone gets sleepy-sleepy!"

"Oh yes it is!" the rich girl retorted, "You're the one sheltering these horrible things! This is a game! I don't understand how you can-"

"I don't expect you to." Serge replied evenly, "This game is...serious to me." his gaze hardened, locking with Tacey's, "Dead serious."

"You're mad."

"So I've been told." the male replied, "My turn, miss Edgeworth."

Duelist: Tacey
Life Points: 5000
Hand: Creature Swap
Field: Parasite Demon Saadat (2450 / 1850), Royal Magician (1800 / 700) Court of Nobles (face-up), Royal Legacy(Face-down)
Graveyard: Royal Emissary, Fissure, Shrink, Marshmallon

Duelist: Serge
Life Points: 8000
Hand: 3 cards
Field: Demon Symbiosis (face-up)
Graveyard: Parasite Demon Zeptiemus, Parasite Demon Karashah, Parasite Demon Nishruu, Parasite Fusion

"On my Standby Phase, I give 500 Life Points to maintain Demon Symbiosis. Next, I activate the spell card Upstart Goblin to draw a card. In exchange, you gain 1000 Life Points...or lose, as the case may be."

Serge didn't even look up as Tacey winced in pain once more, "And now, I summon Parasite Demon Karasu to your field."

At his words, a small, leech-like creature appeared on Tacey's field, giving the rich girl a bleary-eyed glance.

"You will not get to enjoy her company for long, however." Serge continued calmly, "With three differently named parasites on your field, I can remove all three of them from play to summon Mother Parasite - Empyrea in Attack Position."

With a distinct slurping sound, the three monsters on Tacey's field drew together, twisting and reshaping until they had formed into a large, bloated, roach-like form, though this one had a multitude of different colors, overlapping pieces of flesh crossing each other and odd, deficient-looking claws and appendages poking out from various sides of its steadily pulsating body.

"I end my turn. Do try to keep up, miss Edgeworth." he added in his opponent's direction, "If...you truly value what's at stake, that is."

"Yeah, Neko-Neko-chan." Haruko chimed in, "Now you're just being booooring. Even sleepy-sleepy-kun downstairs is getting tired."

"Don't...count me out just yet." Tacey hissed back, "My draw."

Duelist: Tacey
Life Points: 4000
Hand: Creature Swap
Field: Mother Parasite - Empyrea (2600/ 2300), Court of Nobles (face-up), Royal Legacy(Face-down)
Graveyard: Royal Emissary, Fissure, Shrink, Marshmallon
Removed from play: Royal Magician

Duelist: Serge
Life Points: 7500
Hand: 3 cards
Field: Demon Symbiosis (face-up)
Graveyard: Parasite Demon Zeptiemus, Parasite Demon Karashah, Parasite Demon Nishruu, Parasite Fusion
Removed from play: Parasite Demon Saadat, Parasite Demon Karasu

Draw Phase: Mystical Space Typhoon

"Empyrea's monster effect." Serge remarked, "Each turn, you must summon a parasite demon monster from either player's graveyard if any are available."

"With pleasure." Tacey replied, "I choose, Parasite Demon Karashah!"

At her command, a large, imposing creature spawned on the field, towering over a less-than-intimidated Serge. Unlike the others, this one was bipedal and clearly demonic, flexing its six wings in a threatening way.

"How reckless." Serge remarked, sounding a tiny bit pleased despite his words, "Karashah claims two cards or a thousand life points each turn."

"Then I suppose I shall have to cut down on the number of turns." Tacey countered, "I activate Mystical Space Typhoon to destroy your little trap." as spell card and card slot made contact, a miniature typhoon formed on the field, sweeping over to Serge's face-up card and shattering it into tiny holographic fragments, "And with that gone..." she gave a wicked grin, "Karashah, Empyrea, attack him directly!"

Even as the two creatures lunged at him with their respective attacks, claiming the better part of his life points in the process, Serge didn't give as much as a flinch, "Is that it?" he inquired.

"For now." Tacey replied, "Turn end."

Duelist: Tacey
Life Points: 4000
Hand: Creature Swap
Field: Mother Parasite - Empyrea (2600/ 2300, Parasite Demon Karashah (3600 /2800) Court of Nobles (face-up), Royal Legacy(Face-down)
Graveyard: Royal Emissary, Fissure, Shrink, Marshmallon, Mystical Space Typhoon
Removed from play: Royal Magician

Duelist: Serge
Life Points: 1300
Hand: 3 cards
Field: N/A
Graveyard: Parasite Fusion, Demon Symbiosis, Parasite Demon Zeptiemus, Parasite Demon Nishruu
Removed from play: Parasite Demon Saadat, Parasite Demon Karasu

"In that case, miss Edgeworth, your game is over. I activate Cleansing Seal."

At his words, the castle walls around them vanished in an instant, replaced by a circle of pure white from which a number of lines quickly spouted, criss-crossing over the field, countless tendrils latching onto the two parasites and forcing them into prone positions.

"By the effect of my seal, all Parasite Demons are bound and unable to move. Furthermore, their power is reduced by half. But that's not all..." smiling lightly, he placed a card in his monster card zone, "I summon Seal Preserver then set a card and end my turn."

Compared to the other monsters, this creature seemed surprisingly...serene. It had a decidedly angelic touch to it, even though its hair was a simple white and the skin equally pale. It bore no clothes, but the pale, yellow feathers its four wings consisted of reached across its body, protecting its modesty, a design similar to that of the seal imprinted on its forehead in vivid blue, "By the effect of this monster, my seal can not be removed from the field. You know what this means, do you not? "

Tacey grit her teeth. Oh yes, she knew what that meant, all too well. With each passing turn, her life points and field presence would be ground down while the repulsive, organ-like creature on her field would keep churning out more pests to harm her. She had a few turns' worth of breathing space, but unless she got that seal off the field fast, she was done for, and with that monster safeguarding the aforementioned card, that was easier said than done. This called for lucky topdecks...in large amounts.

"I draw."

Duelist: Tacey
Life Points: 4000
Hand: Creature Swap
Field: Mother Parasite - Empyrea (2600/ 2300, Parasite Demon Karashah (3600 /2800), Royal Legacy(Face-down)
Graveyard: Royal Emissary, Fissure, Shrink, Marshmallon, Mystical Space Typhoon, Court of Nobles
Removed from play: Royal Magician

Duelist: Serge
Life Points: 1300
Hand: N/A
Field: Cleansing Seal (face-up), Seal Preserver (2000 Atk / 800 Def), 1x Spell or Trap (face-down)
Graveyard: Demon Symbiosis, Parasite Fusion, Parasite Demon Zeptiemus, Parasite Demon Nishruu
Removed from play: Parasite Demon Saadat, Parasite Demon Karasu

Draw Phase: Hereditary Title

"And with that." Serge joined in, "Karashah claims your face-down card." he nodded towards the vanishing card back on Tacey's field, "Furthermore, thanks to Empyrea, you may add another parasite to your field." he cast a meaningful glance at his own face-down, "Which do you choose?"

Tacey gave no response, merely examining the monsters. Zeptiemus seemed like the obvious choice, in not being able to inflict any damage on its own, but then...if that face-down was another gift card she'd just be digging her own grave. On the other hand, she had no idea what this Nishruu could do, so claiming that monster could easily be just as foolish.

"I..." annoyed by her own indecisiveness, the millionaire heiress braced herself, finally reaching a decision, "I choose Parasite Demon Nishruu."

With a strange, clicking kind of cry, a lime-colored creature resemblant of a locust spawned on her field, lazily bringing its scythe-like forelegs to bear.

"Once again, you have made an interesting choice." Serge said with a nod of slight approval, "For every spell card you play, Nishruu claims 600 of your life points. Quite risky, I should say."

"Isn't risk and unpredictability what you were looking for?" Tacey countered, "I play a card face-down and end."

"Not quite yet." Serge replied, "I activate the trap card Parasitic Virus. By this effect, we pay 400 life points for each parasite we control. and unless I miscounted, miss Edgeworth, you have three."

"Quite." the millionaire heiress replied frostily, another 1200 points deducting themselves from her counter.

Duelist: Tacey
Life Points: 2800
Hand: Creature Swap
Field: Mother Parasite - Empyrea (2600/ 2300, Parasite Demon Karashah (3600 /2800), Parasite Demon Nishruu (2500 Atk / 1200 Def), Hereditary Title (Face-down)
Graveyard: Royal Emissary, Fissure, Shrink, Marshmallon, Mystical Space Typhoon, Court of Nobles, Royal Legacy
Removed from play: Royal Magician

Duelist: Serge
Life Points: 1300
Hand: 1 card
Field: Cleansing Seal (face-up), Seal Preserver (2000 Atk / 800 Def), Parasitic Virus (face-up)
Graveyard: Demon Symbiosis, Parasite Fusion, Parasite Demon Zeptiemus
Removed from play: Parasite Demon Saadat, Parasite Demon Karasu

"How boring." Serge remarked, examining the card in his hand, "It would seem like I need not do anything at all. Turn end. And with that..." he gave a meaningful nod towards his trap card as it worked its effect once more, causing the rich girl to stagger and nearly lose her balance, "...well, you only have one turn to go before my trap card depletes your life points. This calls for a miraculous topdeck, don't you think?" he gave her a light, taunting smile, "Too bad you don't believe in such things."

This gesture was, if possible, even more offensive than what Serge had already committed. Speaking so callously about the losses of Katsuro and the others, bringing such dangerous things into a children's card game for no other reason than to satiate his own ego, that was one thing, but that kind of sloppy turn? Acting like she was even worth playing against properly? A decidedly unladylike growl escaped Tacey's throat as she rose to her full height, her eyes glowing with newfound hatred for her opponent.

"Don't..." even the murderous hiss from his now visibly trembling opponent evoked little more than a casually inquisitive glance from her opponent, "...don't you dare take me lightly! I may be in a bad position right now, my chances of winning might not look good, but I won't lose to you. No, I can't lose to you!" her eyes were ablaze with righteous indignation as he gave her little tirade. Perhaps it was just her imagination - no, it had to be her imagination - but as her trembling fingers reached the deck, the card back felt different somehow, organic, warm, almost...alive, comforting. She could win this. She didn't know how, but right now it felt completely possible. No, not just that, it felt like the only possibility, "I refuse to lose like this!"

The moment she drew out the card, a dramatic gust of wind followed her hand, extending her long, curly locks to the full extent of their glory, "My draw!"

Duelist: Tacey
Life Points: 1600
Hand: Creature Swap
Field: Mother Parasite - Empyrea (2600/ 2300, Parasite Demon Karashah (3600 /2800), Parasite Demon Nishruu (2500 Atk / 1200 Def), Hereditary Title (Face-down)
Graveyard: Royal Emissary, Fissure, Shrink, Marshmallon, Mystical Space Typhoon, Court of Nobles, Royal Legacy
Removed from play: Royal Magician

Duelist: Serge
Life Points: 1300
Hand: 1 card
Field: Cleansing Seal (face-up), Seal Preserver (2000 Atk / 800 Def), Parasitic Virus (face-up)
Graveyard: Demon Symbiosis, Parasite Fusion, Parasite Demon Zeptiemus
Removed from play: Parasite Demon Saadat, Parasite Demon Karasu

Draw Phase: Unity of Family

And just like that, the sensation passed, the adrenaline still singing in Tacey's head as she watched the piece of cardboard in her hand. It was...so improbable. To draw the single card in her deck that could help her, just at the last turn she needed it. It...well, she supposed that even that had to happen sometimes, but still...

"I surrender."

Tacey paused, completely nonplussed, "Come again?"

"I said I surrender." the male repeated calmly, exchanging meaningful glances with her enthusiastically nodding companion before scooping up his deck, the holograms vanishing on queue, "After all...the card you're holding would win you this duel...no? Unity of Family, Quick-Play Spell, combined with the Normal Spell Card Creature Swap to switch control of all parasites to me, thus causing Parasitic Virus to reduce my life points to zero."

"But..." Tacey persisted, "How did you-?"

"It's not worth explaining." Serge interrupted, already turning his back to the rich girl and turning to walk away, "The bottom line is that your little fanclub is free to go; isn't that what you wanted?"

"Well, yes, but-"

"Neko-neko-chan is going to miss us, maybe?" Haruko filled in, tilting her head and giving her a sickeningly sweet smile, "Don't worry! We'll come and visit reaaaaally soon! Then I'll get to play with you, Neko-Neko-chan, and maybe Kumo-Kumo-chan and Make-Make-kun and Jou-Jou-kun and-hey!" she paused as her taller complement slipped out of view at the far end of the roof, "Kei-kei-chaaaan! Wait for me-e-e-e-e-eee!"

Breaking off into a run, long sweater sleeves flapping behind her, the peculiar little girl flashed one last, radiant smile at the group, waving one of her hands in goodbye, "Bye-bye! Play with you again soon, okay?! I wanna' see that miracle draw thingie again!" giggling for herself, she too slipped out of view, leaving Tacey to stand there, staring dumbly at the cards still held in her hand.

"Miracle...draw?" she repeated, trying in vain to analyze the recent sensation. She soon caught herself, however, shaking her head angrily, "Nonsense." the millionaire heiress muttered for herself, brushing off a microscopic bit of dirt from her outfit before turning to face her teammates, "Well, looks like that takes care of that." she remarked matter-of-factly, even as her face remained abnormally pale - even for her - and her posture held just a hint of swaying to it, "I'm going to go check up on everyone. Excuse me."

With that, Tacey strode past the others and back into the elevator, uniting the excess cards with her deck. Duel energy, shadow games, miracle draw...such utter silliness! To even think that any of that could be true...she had obviously been around Judai and Manjoume too long.

Scarlet Weather
January 23rd, 2008, 05:26 PM
Achan was awestruck. He had known Tacey was up against a skilled opponent, but that deck and his ability to deal damage that way... it was almost inhuman. And Tacey had felt the attacks. Achan remembered something about Tacey's fan club now. The comatose expressions did bear a certain similarity to the expressions of the duelists who had been supposed to accompany Achan, though by contrast they looked less like something had been forcibly ripped from their body and more like someone had gradually drained their energy away. Those Parasite Demons were unreal, unlike anything he had ever seen. The strategy that worked on other monsters wouldn't do a thing against them. Only a quick heavy storm in a time of need would be able to pull off a victory, he reasoned. Breathlessly he watched as Tacey managed a quick turnaround of the duel only to witness the apparent "trump card" of his opponent's deck- a field spell that completely neutralized all of the Parasite Demons and left Tacey without a leg to stand on, for want of a better expression. In her position Achan felt that he would have long before given up.

But Tacey, apparently, was made of sterner stuff. And the way she drew... it was improbable that a random gust of wind would pick up and maximise the dramatic tension. Certainly they were on an exposed rooftop, but the timing was just about as insanely coincidental as it could get and Tacey's apparent show of resolve almost seemed as if it had been a factor in causing the draw to turn out the way it did. It was improbable to the max. In fact, Achan went so far as to call it impossible. Dimly he remembered hearing about this... something about drawing. Miracle Draw? Was this that thing they called miracle draw? It wasn't possible. Tacey Edgeworth couldn't have just influenced the draw just because she wanted to win... could she? It was insane. And it bothered Achan that he had watched as Tacey Edgeworth, Tacey, who thought that punching someone could cause a hairline fracture, had just shown an iron will that could have quite possibly been the deciding factor in the duel. Could he, in that same situation, have pulled through? Gone the one extra turn needed? Or would he have stepped back and given some kind of "oh crud, well, up to you now guys because I'm about to become a vegetable" speech?

No contest. Probably option number two. There was no way he could have won in a situation like that. As much as it pained him to admit it... he had picked the wrong person to consider his rival. Tacey played at a level far above his own. Even if he could build perfect decks, knew how to tech in sixteen different cards, and ran twelve different strategies in one deck while still maintaining a strong build it didn't matter. Tacey had just showed herself emotionally capable of doing something that Achan would never have done. And she had done it right in front of him. There was something stinging in that. Achan envied her at that moment. He had envied her from the start, he realized. That envy was mostly immaturity speaking, though, and easily shoved aside and forgotten. This envy was deeper. She had shown something in herself that Achan didn't have. And he could tell that it wasn't something you were just 'born' with. Maybe that was the essence of Miracle Draw- the ability to hold on for just one more turn. If that was what it took to become a great duelist.... a fire started burning somewhere deep within Achan. This tournament wasn't just a trip out with a new deck. From now on he dueled using his Wandering monsters for the express purpose of becoming strong enough to challenge Tacey in the finals as an equal. No more sitting around and dueling low-level duelists. No, from now on he would duel the toughest opponents he could find.

And he would start with that annoying girl. He remembered that Kumoshidite or some similar word meant "starfish" in Japanese. "Kumo-kumo-chan". Two and two made four. That girl was dead as soon as Achan dueled her. But for now..

Grinning wryly, Achan walked up beside Tacey. "You okay?" He asked, surprising himself slightly by the tone of concern in his voice. "That was really impressive. I mean, I knew you could build a good deck, but..." he swallowed his pride and admitted it, "You just showed more tenacity by standing there then I've ever had in a duel. I can see why that Katsuro guy and those other two want to be like you." But don't expect me to fall down as a Tacey worshipper. I'm in this to beat you, not to become your vassal or something, Achan's brain whispered.

Phanima
January 24th, 2008, 03:58 PM
Despite not wanting to admit it, he had to admire Edgeworth's determination and persistence. Her duel with the con was, how could he say it...well, it was alright. But after seeing Serge dominating the duel, even from the very beginning, it was almost cringing to see Edgeworth so off put and surprised, it was definitely an unnatural look that didn't sit well with the heiress. Of course, a part of him had himself contemplating the outcome resulting in the brat's loss. What would have happened to her if Serge had won? Since it was clear that this duel was fought at a much higher calibur than their usual array of opponents, his curiosity perked the question of whether or not the result would be the same as previous cases involving comatose duellists. Had Edgeworth have lost, it was more than likely that she would end up no better than her fan club. He also had to admit, that the notion of Edgeworth lying out of commission was enticing, but would inevitably put his motives in jeopardy. So for now, acknowledging her victory would be enough.

Replaying the match in his mind, Michel realised that such duels were not his forte and he often showed little to no interest in such complexity in strategies. Sure, strategy was important, but in the way he perceived it, Duel Monsters was a lot like poker, where even with a bad hand, a player could turn the tables on his opponent with sheer will and confidence alone. One's attitude was what determined the outcome of a battle, not the tools they used to fight it. Edgeworth nearly learnt that the hard way, but despite himself, her victory was impressive, and surprising and was a victory that was worthy of praise...at the most.

What happened next however, was even more surprising; Smith was genuinely congratulating Edgeworth. It was a gutsy compliment on his behalf, since Edgeworth could now, more than ever, shoot down his pride. But he knew that the two had gotten closer, something he acknowledged to be the reason why the red-head would even consider making such a statement. It was a bond, or truce in the most part, that they had developed during his absence. Realizing this, a twinge of jealousy couldn't help but overwhelm him, but just for a moment, as he then began to rationalized such a relationship. It was true that certain bonds were advantageous, but in the business world, there was no such thing as friendship. Collateral and loyalties were the main reasons why any and all corporate businesses succeed. Anything more than that was unnecessary.

"I suppose I should congratulate you too," he shot casually, following Smith's rambling praise, "I'll admit that you had me worried. It was...impressive."

Almost choking on the words that his brain had grinded to produce, Michel turned and looked absent-mindedly into the distance. "So, I suppose you'll want to take down the girl as well Smith? Or can we finally start this damn round?"

Scarlet Weather
February 1st, 2008, 03:47 PM
Achan was astounded at Michel's words. "Take her down? No way! We've got bigger fish to fry. Getting off of this roof, for example. It's getting a little drafty," he replied, puzzled that Michel had picked up on his dislike for Haruko. Yes, he wanted to make that little kid pay for teasing him. No, now was not the time. If he wanted to beat her, he'd have to go back and learn a few things about pro dueling. What was in line now was more research. If anything, he needed to do some more playing around with his laptop. Besides, more pressing concerns were present, such as the person he'd met at the airport. Actually... now would be a good time to ask a question. Achan refocused his attentions on Tacey. "Oh yeah... forgot something. Tacey, did you get an E-Mail from Pegasus or something? I found a message in my inbox earlier. I don't know how Pegasus got my personal address, but he sent us an invitation to Duelist Kingdom, provided we make it through this round." Achan was careful not to mention the 'new Wandering monsters', figuring that would be a problem for another day. Right now, he was curious. It was probably a bit off-topic, but something had occurred to him. Why had Pegasus showed such an interest in this team? Why hadn't he simply disqualified them, as opposed to swapping new members on and off? He had even assigned Manjyome and Judai to the group. What was the point of all that? The thought was making him curious, and if Tacey was also receiving some sort of special "deck upgrade"... well, that would be interesting indeed.

----------------------

"So you understand your assignment?"

The voice was thin and reedy, suggesting an aged and feeble owner. There was nothing feeble, however, about the malice it contained.

Nicholas knelt at the foot of the monolith in front of him, respectfully averting his eyes from the figure sitting on the throne at its crown. "Yes, Master," he responded dutifully.

"Good..." the old man stated before casually tossing a set of cards to his servant. As Nicholas picked up the cards and began leafing through them with apparent interest, the old man intoned the rest of his orders. "You will fly to Japan soon, under the alias I have provided for you. I want you to ignore Yuki Judai for now. Instead, destroy his team mates. I want you to make sure that he has reason to come after us. And then..."

"Then he will be destroyed," Nicholas finished, his eyes brimming with hatred.

"Good..." The 'Master" relaxed in his throne slightly. "I have lived for many years, and shall survive for many more... now go, Nicholas, and remember: anyone with a spirit is an enemy."

"Yes, Master."

The boy left, still grimacing.

Phanima
February 4th, 2008, 12:36 AM
"Take her down? No way! We've got bigger fish to fry. Getting off of this roof, for example. It's getting a little drafty."

Michel was happy to hear that Smith was finally prioritising what was really important, and was looking forward to ditching these con artists as well, since all they managed to accomplish was to talk a big game and then end up being beaten by Edgeworth anyway. They didn't even have any map cards on them, which was absurd, considering the time they wasted confronting them.

Of course, that didn't mean that this chance encounter wasn't at all productive. Considering he was able to finally witness Edgeworth's deck and strategy in action, proved to be more than worth the time and effort in following the strangers' facade.

The redhead's attention quickly detered as he went to inspect Edgeworth before questioning her about the receiving of an e-mail from Crawford. If Smith didn't want to continue confronting the cons, then neither did he, besides, Edgeworth was able to rescue her entourage and that was the only reason he had followed. Now seeing it as a good opportunity to leave, Michel turned and broke away from the group, heading back through the hospital and onto the bustling streets of Domino City.

~

Watching the hospital's entrance from across the street, a rather casually dressed businessman, stood waiting in the passing crowds. Slightly out of place from the usual public attire, the onlooking teen stood confidently in place, eyeing the front of the hospital, behind tinted sunglasses. The occassional passing school girl diverted his attention every now and then, but his target soon made himself present as he emerged from the building's front doors.

"Finally..." he muttered to himself as he began to weave his way behind his spiky haired target, "what took you so long, eh..."

Gripping the stack of fourty plus cards in his hand, the pursuing teen slid his deck into the Duel Disk sitting across his forearm, before approaching the spiky haired teen from behind and grabbing him by the shoulder.

"We've got a settle to score, buddy," the pursuing teen started with a furrowed smirk, "and by the way, nice haircut..."

~

Stepping into the street, Michel glanced a look over his shoulder as a commotion broke amidst the crowd. Seeing the surrounding spectators forming a thin elipse around the two opponents, the situation became immediately clear.

It was a duel, one the first official duels of the second round.

"Well this should be interesting..."

OOC: Not too sure what's going on now, but I'm gonna assume it's time for some free-roam-beating-the-snot-out-of randoms-time! XP If it's not, just send Michel a PM and he'll see what he can do.

EDITZ: Aww man, I was hoping of getting a few more posts in for Michel, since he hasn't even duelled yet. DX But uni's starting in about a week and I've got a lot of crap to do to prepare. Sorry about this ACC, but I think I'll drop out, since I'm already in another RP and I think one's all I can handle. No offence of course, it just seems this one's kinda dead. ^^; I'll edit this into the OOC thread too, just in case you miss it.

Scarlet Weather
February 27th, 2008, 04:25 PM
Judai smiled at the gathering crowd. He'd taken the oppurtunity to slip away after Edgeworth's duel in hopes of getting to know this Michel person better. Achan and Tacey were probably going to distance themselves from him from now on, so it was time that he attempted to see about forming an alliance in his new group. Michel didn't seem to be the type to believe in shadow duels, but perhaps if Judai gave him a demonstration, he'd be willing to help keep tabs on the situation. After all, Michel was older then the other two. Maybe he would understand the situation a little better then they did.

The sounds of a duel beggining greeted the duelist almost before he was out of the building, which was fairly impressive since the hospital doors were designed to keep out noise. Apparently a duelist with some sort of beef with Michel had pulled him over, and the two seemed to be preparing to duel it out. Judai was slightly downcast- he had planned to break the ice with Michel through a duel, and let things move on from there. Still, it would be nice to know what his potential new ally was capable of, and if there was one thing nearly as fun as dueling, it was watching other people duel. Judai crossed to a nearby bench and sat down. To the casual observer, he would appear half asleep. Inside however he was taking notes as quickly as possible, memorizing each and every detail of the duel for future reference, a habit formed during his days in the pro leagues. If Michel was a duelist capable of taking on a gang of shadow-possessed creepshows, now was his time to show it.

Alter Ego
March 15th, 2008, 07:19 AM
OOC: Gone?

Whaddaya' mean my super special awesome IC is just gone?!

Inexcusable, for this outrage the in-character wrath of Tacey shall be visited upon this RP once more, now in greater length. In your face, database! xP

IC:

Tacey frowned.

Were it not for the intense self-control she was exerting over herself, she would have done a lot more than that. Her head had already been feeling rather heavy from the lack of sleep and timelag of the plane trip, but now the vague, fuzzy throbbing had grown into a splitting headache, one which was only intensified by the debate raging within her mind.

"Fine." she replied tersely to Achan's inquiry, noticing how hostile it had sounded and elaborating in a softer tone, "I'm fine. Just...just a little faint, that's all." well, it was technically true, though 'just an inch from fainting' would probably have been closer to the mark. Oh, the love she currently felt for the mask of make-up burying the countless little micro-signals her face was undoubtedly attempting to send out. The last thing she wanted to do was lose face in such an undignified manner just after the louts she was forced to cooperate with were starting to give some recognition of her obviously superior skills.

Superior.

At the thought of the word, a bitter taste entered her mouth unbidden, her teammates' fawning flowing in through one ear and out the other, barely brushing her mind in between. Impressive. She felt like letting out a score of mirthless laughter at the remark. Yes, there had been some impressive plays in that duel, but what galled her was that none of them were hers. All the way to that last round, Serge had been in complete control of the duel, outplaying her at every turn. And what did she have to come with? A lucky topdeck! A foolhardy, sentimental gamble that had - against all odds - paid off. Technically, she kept telling herself, this made no difference. The fact remained that Serge had surrendered and Tacey Edgeworth had pulled off another dueling victory, all the witnesses were duly impressed and the public would come to remember this as nothing more than one victory under countless others, more proof of her playing skill, but in her mind she knew that that wasn't what mattered.

A trained ape could win at a card game; what counted was how you won. Had that single topdeck been different, had the game been played again, Tacey knew that the creepy stranger would most likely have come out as the victor. This clumsy stumble into victory, the almost pitying forfeit, all they proved was the existence of what the millionaire heiress had always dreaded the most: a duelist who was truly and utterly better than her.
The thought repulsed her, but the alternative, the only alternative, was even more revolting. Miracle draw, this piece of gibberish that every deranged card player they came across seemed intent on spouting where simple mathematics would have done the job. Was she really prepared to buy into that, will herself to believe that she had somehow determined that particular draw, just to avoid conceding that there might have been someone better at this game than her? While her teammates chattered away, the millionaire heiress allowed her gaze to wander to the streets below, to the point where this duo that had so easily managed to shake her very perception of the world around her had jumped off. No ladders, of course, nor any other conceivable method of exit. There weren't even any windows at this particular patch of wall. Nothing but solid hospital wall.

Somehow, Tacey had a feeling that she would have been more shocked to find that this wasn't the case.

"Tacey, did you get an E-Mail from Pegasus or something?"

Achan's sudden question snapped the girl away from her musings, her head turning with a bit more speed than was dignified. She felt like slapping herself. Mail from Pegasus indeed. She had completely forgotten about that in the midst all this commotion, the eccentric millionaire had mentioned a surprise for this round too, hadn't he? Could these two had been what he was talking about?

"Yes, I got a letter from him, actually." she replied, pushing aside the complaints of her aching head as she started measuring her words, looking for the best way to reveal as little as possible while fishing out all she needed to know about Smith's piece of the puzzle. Teammates or no, this would still be a one-on-one competition in the end, and after her time on the pro circuit Tacey was well aware of how even a seemingly trivial slip of the tongue could crack even the most ingenious strategies wide open, "He had one of his people deliver it to my room last night. An invitation, much like yours, I suppose. Oh, and he mentioned something about a little surprise you might know something about?" Tacey took great care to keep the tone of her voice from betraying anything but casual interest mixed with a hint of harmless curiosity, adding in an innocent-looking little tilt of her head, which - unfortunately - nearly disbalanced her as another jab of pain ran through her head. She quickly regained her composure, however, acting as if the little slip-up had never occurred, "Did this e-mail of yours say anything about that?"

She had quite purposefully eschewed the little bit about the new royal cards, along with the one about the promised 'extras'. It was, she reasoned, only polite, seeing as how Achan apparently hadn't been promised any new cards of his own. Some got these things and some didn't; there was no need to rub it in.

At least...that was how she'd explain it when - no, if - she'd ever find herself needing to do so.

Not that she really owed Smith an excuse or anything, of course.

Scarlet Weather
March 20th, 2008, 07:21 PM
"Well..." Achan hesitated, not knowing what Tacey meant. A "little surprise?" Pegasus couldn't have been talking about new Wandering cards, could he? After all, the big wheel of the tournament knew better than anyone that even team mates were expected to fight each other eventually. Why would Pegasus hint that Achan had received new cards? Did he expect him to share the information willingly with Edgeworth? He was already racking his brains for a way to change the subject, or else underplay the news. Of course, he could always mention the new Wandering cards and not elaborate. After all, he had been working around with a new deck build while on the flight from America to Japan, so nothing in his current strategy could be pinned down by Tacey anyway. Still, this was Tacey Edgeworth, a pro duelist. Perhpaps she would be able to magically come up with a solution to his new cards just by hearing that they existed. Whatever he decided to say, Achan knew he had to say it quickly. He had already paused for several seconds, and if he went too much longer without saying anything it would become painfully obvious that he was hiding something from Tacey. He could always argue that she hid things too, of course, but was hiding something like this really worth incurring her indignation and complete fury?

Then it hit Achan. Of course. The new teammate. Pegasus had mentioned another team member with some sort of weird phobia. That must have been the surprise he was talking about. It had to be. And if it wasn't, oh well, it was Pegasus's fault for not making the information clearer. He was just a kid who enjoyed playing card games, after all, not someone with expertise in the field of communication. This was perfect. Just tell Tacey about the new team member and leave it at that. No problem. And yet... something in Achan dreaded the messy explanation about the new cards that was sure to follow. Was having a slight edge in the card game tournament of a lifetime really worth possibly betraying the trust of someone he was now viewing as a potential ally?

Achan... All's fair in love and card games! Don't tell her! hissed the vampire side of Achan's conscience.

Achan... you're totally going to get beat over the head if you offend Tacey again! Aren't your cheeks sore enough from last time? Just tell her! What's she going to do, stay up all night worrying about cards she'll eventually find out about anyway? Asked the hero.

That's- the vampire started to exclaim before realization hit, Exactly... right.

Achan sighed. Now even his evil side wanted to betray him. Well... maybe it was for the best. Now to actually answer the question. Picking up from where he had stopped talking earlier, he continued. "Well, you see... er.... Pegasus said something about someone else joining the team and, and..."

Just say it.

"And..."

Spit it out, dangit!

"And..."

What the Cthonia is wrong with you? Are you so much in awe of miss Edgeworth that you lost your tongue, huh? SPIT IT OUT!

"I LIKE PIE!"

Not that.... wait, that wasn't you. Who the heck....

A small boy dressed in a hospital gown who had snuck up behind Achan while talking was quickly hustled away by a nurse, who muttered a hurried explanation in Japanese. Not understanding a word, Achan simply smiled, waved and returned his attentions to Tacey. "Er.... yeah, Pegasus said something about new cards, but I have no idea where he's getting them 'cuz I didn't design anything," he finished, his anxiety alleviated by the sheer insanity of the earlier incident. He felt a pang of regret. True, he had given up what might have been a slight edge in the competition to Tacey. But she would have found out anyway, and at least now he wouldn't have to deal with her wrath for another day or so.

Alter Ego
March 21st, 2008, 11:33 AM
Tacey quirked an eyebrow at Achan's disjointed mode of communication. Granted, she had never had him pegged as the brightest crayon in the box, but surely a simple response couldn't be so hard to formulate? Unless...the millionaire heiress' eyes narrowed fractionally, a definite warning sign for all who knew the first thing about her temperament, was Achan trying to hide something from her?

The hurried, and decidedly vague, reference to a new team member did little to satiate the indignation welling up inside of Tacey. He was hiding something! It was written all over his face and the awkward stutter that followed only served to confirm it. The look in Tacey's eyes began shifting towards the murderous end of the spectrum. How dare he?! After all had been forgiven, after the extended gesture of peace, how dare he try to run a scheme behind her back?

Just as the rich girl was about to pounce, a sudden, random, and above all loud proclamation from one of the hospital's many occupants dispelled the awkward silence, leaving both parties momentarily stunned. Surprisingly, Achan was the first to recover, finally blurting out his big secret.

"Er.... yeah, Pegasus said something about new cards, but I have no idea where he's getting them 'cuz I didn't design anything."

"So that's it?" noticing no further signs of dishonesty on the other's part, the rich girl allowed her anger to evaporate at a pace quite similar to the one it had built up with, a light laugh escaping her lips, "Goodness, judging by the way you were panicking I'd have thought that you had somehow broken into Pegasus' private card collection and stolen the prime picks, or were about to at least. Honestly, Smith, what did you think I was going to do with that information? Gear my whole deck against some mystery cards without even knowing what they do?" though her tone was clearly making fun of the subject, this actually wasn't too far from what she had been planning to do. Well, she obviously wouldn't have gone as far as to create an anti-Smith deck, he certainly wasn't worth that level of attention, but that wasn't to say that she wouldn't have taken the opportunity to side in a bit of tech against any particularly powerful cards within the set.

Provided that it wouldn't deviate from the rest of the competition too much. There was no way she'd get that obsessed over anything that had to do with Achan Smith, after all.

The mere thought was laughable.

"Anyway." the rich girl continued with a nonchalant shrug, "The origin of those cards isn't really any mystery in itself. Pegasus is still the top authority on all duel monsters cards, so if he wants to create more he does. It's as simple as that. What I want to know is who this 'new teammate' is." her expression was decidedly displeased at the words 'new teammate', "After those last two lunatics he saddled us with, I wouldn't be surprised if this one was-"

"Edgeworth-saaaan!"

Tacey's rant was cut short as the familiar, eardrum-threatening cry of Chikako reached her, the fangirl waving cheerfully as she rushed over from the elevator, looking slightly paler than usual but otherwise none the worse for the wear, her less hyper complement in close pursuit, both sporting relieved smiles.

"Are you alright, Edgeworth-san?"

"That's what I should be asking you." Tacey replied, a thought suddenly striking her, "Everyone...everyone is alright now, right? They've all woken up?"

Chikako nodded enthusiastically, "Every last one of them." she chirped, "The doctors are still running some tests on Katsuro-san, but it should be alright."

"And that's not all." Emiko joined in, a triumphant little grin on her f ace, "I hear the Haru-haru fanclub is in disarray. Apparently you squashed the upstart's confidence so good that she laid down business without even putting up a proper fight."

"As was to be expected of someone crushed by the magnificent Edgeworth-san!"

"The more die-hard fans are still saying it's all a trick." Emiko explained, "But it will only be a matter of time until they come crawling back to us. And you know what that means."

"Loss of member seniority!" Chikako chirped, a sly grin creeping up on her face as she seemed to reach a realization of some sort.

"And by the sliding scale of seniority..." Emiko continued, her expression mimicking her partner's as the two turned to debate this new turn of events.

"Status raise!"

"And more junior members to mind!"

"And put to chores."

"Definitely, can't have them not doing chores."

"Quite." Tacey joined in, unable to avoid light amusement at the duo's scheming, "I trust that I can leave the fanclub in your hands, then?"

"Oh, of course, Edgeworth-san!" Emiko replied.

"I'll make sure that we have it back to normal in no time." her partner added.

"And I'll make sure it becomes even better."

"What do you mean you will?!" Chikako whined, "Edgeworth-san assigned both of us to this!"

"Well, of course." Emiko replied calmly, "But as the senior interim leader I obviously have to-"

"Senior?! I've been a member five minutes longer than you have!"

"Well, I'm two months older than you!"

"That doesn't matter!"

"Does too! It means I'm more mature and thus a better choice for a leader!"

"Nu-uh!"

"Uh-huh!"

Tacey sighed, shaking her head as the two started bickering before briefly turning to address Achan, "Looks like we'll have to continue this discussion later." she said, casting a meaningful glance at the bickering moe girls, "Just go ahead to the lobby and I'll meet you there in a while. I've got...some matters to attend to." she felt like slapping herself once more. Coming that close to creating more room for the rumors about her and her fanclub leader. 'I want to have a private talk with Katsuro' definitely wouldn't have come out right, "Personal matters. I won't be long, though, so don't worry." with a small smile and a quick nod, the millionaire heiress strode over to the elevator, the doors shutting behind her. It wasn't like she was abandoning Achan up on the roof or anything, after all; he could always take the stairs if he was in a hurry.

Scarlet Weather
March 21st, 2008, 07:28 PM
Achan could barely contain his laughter at the antics of Tacey's fanclub. They were outrageous beyond reason, and the expressions on their face as they schemed about how to exploit more junior fan club members was nearly enough to send him reeling over the edge of the hospital roof. As it was, he reasoned, it would be a considerable length of time before his sides stopped hurting. He was laughing so hard, in fact, that by the time Tacey had explained that she was about to attend to some "personal" matters Achan was too busy overcoming a sudden fit of the giggles to reflect on what those matters could be. By the time his body had stopped convulsing with periodic spasms of laughter, Tacey had already walked into the elevator and left him alone on the roof. As this sad fact dawned on him, three things came to Achan.

First, he was alone for the first time since he had woken up that morning.

Second, there was a tournament on.

Third, now was the perfect time to sneak off and playtest his new deck on a few duelists.

Smiling broadly, Achan made for the stairs. As he descended, he reached into his deckbox and proudly removed his rebuilt deck. Of course, the new banlist (which had been changed up as Achan entered Japan) was the main factor in the remaking of the deck, but he had also had an epiphany about the strategy his deck should have been employing from the beginning. Before he had wanted to hide the secondary effect of his Wandering monsters, but now he was in Japan and it was the second round of the tournament. This was the time to bring out his A-Game. And what better way to do it than to allow his monsters to live up to their full potential? Yes, this was going to be a fun afternoon, he could feel it. Besides, hadn't he entered this tournament to have fun? He had been too wrapped up in the rest of the team's crazy antics. Now was a chance to relax. After all, it wasn't like he was abandoning Tacey and Michel or anything. He'd send them e-mails with his location, and that would be that.

Just as Achan finished this train of thought, reality decided to send him a "wake-up call" in the form of a duel disk box, carelessly abandoned on the hospital stareway. When Achan stepped on the box, it caved, sending the boy headlong down the stairway. As he prayed that he wouldn't hit ground, a pair of strong arms gripped his shoulders, supporting him. Achan turned. "Judai?"

"You know him?" the Romanian duelist answered, surprised.

Achan sized up his rescuer. He was a teenager, maybe a little older than Achan but not much. His fashion sense was certainly odd- the all black clothing and the silver chain around his neck screamed "Goth", as did his pale skin, but Achan sensed that he wasn't particularly interested in punk rock or the culture of victimhood. The Kaiba-corp duel disk on his left arm was a surprise, as was the crucifix strung over the deck box on his belt. He seemed trustworthy, but Achan knew better than to trust by appearances. It was better to remain cautious. "Why do you want to know?" he asked carefully.

The stranger shook his head. "I... have a message to deliver him from my employer," he explained. "Maybe you could give it to him for me."

At the words "employer" and "Message", Achan's suspicions were aroused. Hadn't Tacey said something about a goth-looking shadow duelist earlier? Still, it wouldn't be a bad idea to find out what the guy wanted. "Shoot," he instructed calmly.

The Romanian looked confused. "Shoot? As in..." he pointed his finger and through gestures and noises imitated the firing of a pistol.

Achan shook his head and chuckled in spite of himself. "What, you've never heard that term before? What I meant was to go ahead and give me the message," he explained.

"Sorry. I just learned English a little while ago, and some of the expressions you know are lost on me," the older duelist explained, also laughing. "Alright, here's the message. Tell Judai that my employer wishes to meet him at the end of this round of the tournament at this location." He handed Achan a piece of paper. "He also says that this is a matter of life or death."

Achan accepted the scraped of paper, shoved it into his pocket, and stared at the other duelist carefully. "What is your name?" he asked.

"Nicholas," the other duelist replied as he turned to leave, only for Achan to grab his shirt. "What?" he asked indignantly.

Achan shook his head. "You're a shadow duelist, right? Then I want a duel with you. You took something from a couple of team mates of mine, and I might want it back."

Nicholas's eyebrows rose slightly in amusement. "You know about us then? Very well. I accept your challenge. Follow me." He motioned towards the roof. "It will be easier for us to play up there."

Achan stared at Nicholas's back as he followed him up. Had he just challenged a shadow duelist? And cited his motive as revenge for team mates? If he didn't know better, he could have sworn that this entire world was some kind of bizarre story written for the amusement of people who had an addiction to children's card games.

OOC: Yes, plot development, here we come! Thank you, Wandering revamps, for breaking my plot-writer's block!

Alter Ego
March 23rd, 2008, 11:40 AM
OOC: Bleah, now I've gone and written myself into a corner where Tacey is bound to get at least a little bit emotional. Just when I developed a writer's block about that type of situation. Figures. xP

Ah well, here goes...oh, and I'm going to do something about Manjoume's veritable disappearance off the face of the earth too. Mmmhmmm...I smell more card games. >D

IC:

"Don't say it."

"But Tacey, I wasn't about to-"

"Good, keep it that way."

Pikeru frowned in disapproval as she watched her host stride down the hospital hallway with a decidedly haughty posture, only to collapse into the nearest sofa mere moments later, panting for breath.

"Tacey..."

"I...said...don't say it!" the rich girl huffed back, annoyed as much by the weakness of her own body as the question Pikeru had just been dying to bring up. She had, she thought, done a good job at suppressing the symptoms of duel energy loss during her conversation with Achan, but were it not for her fanclub's timely intervention, she wasn't sure she could have held it much longer. Though she had loudly voiced an opinion to the contrary - well, as far as her limited grasp of Japanese would allow - the rich girl was actually relieved to find that she would have to spend at least half an hour sitting in an otherwise deserted waiting room before the doctor would be sufficiently pleased with his poking and prodding of her fanclub leader. She really did need time to recover from that last duel spirit encounter, but she'd be damned before she admitted such to any of her teammates now that she was finally starting to receive something akin to respect from them.

Not that she really cared about what they thought of her of course. It was just a matter of image.

Yes, she concluded, focusing intensely on the magazine she had picked up while continuously failing to decipher the kanji its articles were written in, just a matter of image. Things went a lot smoother when those you were forced to ally yourself didn't treat you like a helpless little child. She was just sick of that kind of condescending treatment, no more, no less. It wasn't like she was starting to bond with these people. Especially not Achan, even though they actually had a lot in common and really could have been good friends if only-

Suddenly, Tacey laid a definite stop to that train of thought, her eyes not leaving the magazine for as much as a split-second, "Nice try, Pikeru." she said flatly, "Achan isn't hearing a thing and that's final. Now get out of my head and let me read."

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Manjoume, meanwhile, was feeling dejected. Not only had the rich brat and her little challengers sorted out the whole ordeal without any intervention on his part (not only that; they hadn't even acknowledged him) but now everyone had gone their own way, leaving him with neither elevator nor company, and a red mark on his face from a failed attempt at catching the latter too. Even that pesky Judai hadn't had the decency to stick around, preferring to follow the second rich kid on the team, whatever his name was again. The black-blazered duelist supposed that he should have been following his partner's example, trying to take the opportunity to get better acquainted with the 'team' he was supposed to work with, but right now he just wasn't in the mood, choosing to skulk up on the roof instead, his gaze sweeping across the view of Domino City. He was ticked off, he was humiliated, and he knew that there was only one way to treat his bruised ego; a card game, but at the same time it was clear to him that an average street punk wouldn't do for an opponent. No, the great Manjoume sanda needed an opponent of his caliber; a real villain to tear down with all his dueling might. He needed a-

"Shadow duelist!"

"Precisely!" Manjoume declared, vigorously punching the air with his fist, "If only there was a shadow duelist to duel I'd-"

"Umm...boss?"

"What?!"

The yellow-colored gremlin pointed towards the staircase, from which the voices of Achan and Nicholas just barely carried out to the roof.

"It will be easier for us to play up there."

Well, wanting to face a shadow duelist was one thing, but in this case the black-blazered duelist realized that discretion was the better part of valor, quickly darting behind a conveniently placed stack of boxes to observe the newcomers. After having lost himself to the forces of darkness not once, not twice, but nearly three times he had learned enough to know that it was best to determine how the forces of evil worked before you went and faced them head on. Manjoume felt his hand clench tighter around his newly reworked deck, his eyes narrowing as they peered towards the staircase. He wouldn't be taken over and rendered helpless by the forces of darkness this time, oh on. If this was Judai - and since the other was a duelist, it most likely had to be Judai - his assistance might not be required at all, but if it was...a triumphant smirk spread across his face. Well, then hero-boy would finally get to see that Manjoume sandaa was just as good a rescuer of the day as any supreme king. No, not just as good; better, a lot better. Yes, no doubt any shadow duelist would want to neutralize him first because he obviously was the strongest. Sure, the whole supreme king jazz might have attracted attention at first, but after that he would definitely be the prime pick for-

It was then that he caught sight of the figure accompanying Nicholas, having to duck behind the crates entirely and shove a fist into his mouth to prevent the scream of indignation.

'It's not fair!'

Scarlet Weather
March 27th, 2008, 03:45 PM
"So, shall we begin?" Nicholas asked calmly as he adjusted his duel disk. "I trust that you have a tournament to compete in."

"Don't you?" Achan fired back. "How else are you traveling around the world if you aren't booking transportation on Pegasus's dollar?"

Nicholas's eyes darkened suddenly as a cloud passed over the sun, casting a shadow over both duelists. "My master has many different ways to transport us," he explained, his voice completely devoid of emotion. "Now... do you care to duel?"

"Let's get on with this!" Achan shouted as the two halves of his duel disk's playing field snapped together.

There was a moment of silence, and both combatants shouted the age-old battle cry:

"Duel!"

"My turn. Draw!" Achan shouted, snatching a card up from his deck.

Achan: LP 8000
Hand: Wandering Hero, Arrival of Wanderers, Foolish Burial, Wandering Rogue, Wandering Vampire, Limit Break- Cosmos Eterna

"Let's start this off with a solid opening move: I summon Wandering Hero!" The green-caped duelist appeared on Achan's side of the field, his brown traveling clothes ripped and stained. Something was different about him, however. With a jolt, Achan realized that his hero's signature headgear had vanished and the man's face was now completely visible: A handsome young man with spiky blonde hair and green eyes. The hero nodded to Achan, as if acknowledging his presence, before drawing a sword with a rod-shaped blade from the sheath at his side and holding it to the air. Achan hastened to explain his monster's effect. "When Wandering Hero is summoned to the field, I can discard one card from my hand in order to select an equip spell card from my deck and equip it to him," he explained, before selecting a card and placing it in his graveyard slot. "In this case, I think I'll choose an equip card that I've been saving for this round of the tournament: Excalibuster, Blade of the Wandering Hero!" As Achan finished saying this, a bolt of light shot from the sky and surrounded the Hero's original weapon before transforming it into a sword with a long, thick blade that was taller then the Hero himself. In place of the usual crossguard, the blade had only a long, wooden pole that extended from it to serve as the hilt. The hero gripped his new weapon tightly, before glaring aggressively at Nicholas. "I place one card face-down and end my turn," Achan declared before staring at the Wandering Hero's new look. Guess Pegasus decided to use one of my other concept sketches to revamp the wanderers, he decided.

Achan LP: 8000
Field: Wandering Hero (2500/1500), Arrival of Wanderers, Excalibuster
Graveyard: Wandering Rogue
Hand: Wandering Vampire, Limit Break-Cosmos Eterna, Wandering Party.

Nicholas glared at Achan grimly. "My turn. Draw." he declared, his voice lacking excitement. He pondered the cards in his hand for a moment before tapping a slot on his duel disk and inserting one. "I activate the field spell Dark Sanctuary: Advanced."

The hospital roof became shrouded with darkness as the surroundings changed to an empty cathedral lined with stone pews and sputtering torches. As Achan looked up he could see that the roof of the sanctuary was adorned with images of fierce looking angels in dark clothing pointing their spears at a group of huddled duel monsters. The teenage duelist shuddered as a cold tingle crept up his spine. However, Nicholas wasn't done yet. "Next, I discard one level seven dark monster- in this case, Dark Seraph Abidos- to my graveyard," he flashed the card to Achan to verify what it was before inserting it into his graveyard slot, "In order to special summon Dark Grepher from my hand." A dark-skinned, grinning creature appeared on the shadow duelist's field, its dark leather armor echoing its owner's own garments. It laughed cruelly as it drew its sword and held it into the air, mimicking the Hero's earlier actions. "By the effect of Dark Grepher, by discarding another dark type monster from my hand, such as Dark Seraph Lancer..." Nicholas flashed this card to Achan as well before discarding it, "I can discard a Dark-Attribute monster from my deck. I choose the original Dark Seraph."

"You're leading up to something with all this, right?" Achan asked.

"Quite," Nicholas agreed. "By removing three monsters with 'Dark Seraph" in their names from my graveyard, I special summon Dark Seraph Lucio!"

Achan stared at the crackling dark electricity that congealed above his head to form the dark being. A cold, cruel smile played across the dark angel's lips as it spread unfurled its six massive wings. The creature's dark-blue skin and silver hair seemed to gleam, reflecting the dim light of the torches. "I activate the effect of Dark Sanctuary: Advanced. By tributing a Dark-attribute monster on my side of the field, I destroy one monster on your side of the field with the same or a lower level," Nicholas declared. "I tribute Dark Grepher in order to destroy Wandering Hero." Achan gasped as Dark Grepher roared in pain before transforming into a bolt of purple electricity which streaked through the air towards Wandering Hero. There was an explosion, and the Hero's massive sword flew through the air before landing point-first in the ground nearby. When the smoke cleared, however, the Hero was still visible, panting heavily as he brushed soot off of his clothing. "Explain," Nicholas ordered.

Achan treated him to a half-smile before doing just that. "It's quite simple, really. When my Wandering Hero would be destroyed, I can destroy a spell card equipped to him instead."

Nicholas remained unphased. "It doesn't matter. Dark Seraph Lucio, attack! Judgement Bolt!"

The leering Seraph raised his spear before launching it at the Hero's chest. There was a flash of lightning, an agonized scream, and it was all over. "Lucio's secondary effect now activates," Nicholas explained. "I may send one Dark-Attribute monster from my deck to the graveyard each time he attacks."

I get the bad feeling that this guy's got another monster hiding somewhere in his deck, Achan thought to himself, And it's about to come out and attack me.

"My move. Draw!" Achan announced, still shivering slightly from the dark presence of the sanctuary around him. He glanced at the card in his hand before leveling his finger at his opponent. "You'll be sorry you ever accepted my challenge!"

Achan: LP 6700
Hand: Foolish Burial, Wandering Vampire, Limit Break-Cosmos Eterna, Wandering Party, Monster Reborn
Field: Arrival of Wanderers
Graveyard: Wandering Hero, Wandering Rogue

Nicholas: LP 8000

Hand: One Card
Field: Dark Seraph Lucio (Atk 3000/Def 2500, Effect: This monster can only be special summoned by removing three monsters with "Dark Seraph" in their names in your graveyard from play. This monster inflicts Piercing Damgae. When this monster declares an attack, you may send one Dark-Attribute monster from your deck to the graveyard. During your main phase by returning one 'Dark Seraph' monster in your removed from play pile to your graveyard, you can add one Dark-Attribute monster from your deck to your hand.
Graveyard: Dark Grepher, Dark Cherubim
RFG Pile: Dark Seraph Abidos, Dark Seraph, Dark Seraph Lancer

OOC: And... this is a good place to leave you hanging. If you want to figure out what Achan's next move will be, his new decklist will be in the OOC thread post-haste.

Alter Ego
April 5th, 2008, 10:26 AM
OOC: Well, with that kind of opening there's quite a wide range of beneficial plays, especially if we're postulating Harbringer in his fusion deck as well. All of them leave Nicholas quite thoroughly screwed unless he's got some kind of killer card up his sleeve. (or his new sanctuary has more neat effects to pull him back up)

That being said, I'm vaguely disappointed that he didn't realize the techy value of dropping Necro Gardna with Lucio's effect. Free one-shot protection for each time it attacks; now there's a pain in the buttocks if ever there was one. x3

Aaaanyways...I guess I'll just have to wait and see which path you decide to follow.

IC:

"Edgeworth-san? You may come in now."

There was distinct undertone of reluctance in the way Tacey looked up from her magazine, but she was quick to erase it as she gave the nurse a nod of confirmation, rising from her seat and walking towards the hospital ward. It wasn't like she disliked talking to her fanclub leader - to the contrary; he was one of the few boys she had actually grown to tolerate - but this particular situation...what was she supposed to say to him? To someone who had gambled all for her sake and lost? Thanks for the card, it was a really big help? You lost, but at least you tried your best? Who would have managed my fanclub if I had let you stay a vegetable? 'Insufficient' didn't even begin to describe those sentences, yet at the same time...the rich girl bit her lip, glancing at the card in her hand as she allowed the chatter of the nurse to wash over her ears like the drone of a distant ocean. Katsuro...he'd want her to stay and tend to her scattered fans, no doubt load her schedule with so many local and immeasurably important PR events that would shackle her to Domino City for months. He'd always been protective like that, no doubt because he - with his frail, sickly body - had so little chance to do so otherwise.

"I'll leave you two alone." the nurse said, giving her a little wink, "Just try to keep it brief; he still needs plenty of rest."

Tacey nodded absently, her glance traveling to the sleeping boy on the hospital bed in front of her, surrounded by the austere, white walls of the hospital ward. Just as she reached out her hand to stir him awake, however, something held her back. There was an air of peace about the boy's features now, the thin mouth curled up into a faint smile, his scrawny chest heaving slowly up and down. He seemed so...unbothered, tranquil, even, as if the horror of the parasite demons had been nothing but an unpleasant nightmare long since passed. Looking at the sleeping figure, Tacey couldn't help feeling a sting of envy at how carefree he seemed to be. In a few weeks' time he'd have the fan club back on its feet, managing the day-to-day business like usual, lost in his mundane little world, and this disturbing little episode would soon fade into memory, nothing more than one of the many fantastic exploits of Tacey Juliet Edgeworth. She, on the other hand, was still a prime target for every card-playing loony out there, and more crucially; so was anyone in her immediate vicinity. Her face paled slightly at the memory of the two shadow actors, the faces of Katsuro and her other fan club members imposing themselves above those of Kenta and Armstrong.

That was right...they weren't safe, not for as long as this tournament lasted, not for as long as any of this silliness lasted. This attack had been parried, but there would be more; and next time...she grit her teeth, next time she might not be so lucky. Like it or not, she couldn't go back to being just a pro duelist, she couldn't go back to her fans yet, but neither could she explain...not in a way that would make them understand, not before something horrible and irreversible happened to them as well.

"I'm sorry..." the rich girl said at last, her voice barely audible as she reached out her hand again, placing the spell card in Katsuro's hand, gently closing his fingers around it, "...you can't help me through this one."

The boy stirred slightly from his slumber, but by the time his eyes opened, he found himself facing a deserted hospital ward, a card he did not recall seeing clutched in his hand.


OOC: Such a 'meh' post, but what's done is done. On to the duel, then! I'd have done a Manjoume side too, but I realized that it would basically be 'Manjoume continued watching', which would be sort of...pointless. xP

Scarlet Weather
April 11th, 2008, 07:03 PM
"I hope you like it hot," Achan grinned, "Because I'm about to burn you!"

Nicholas stared at Achan as if he had just fallen from the sky. "Did that mean anything in English that I'm not aware of?" he asked.

"Er..." Achan shook his head. "Nevermind, I was never very good at comebacks anyway. Alright, I'll start things off with a spell: Foolish Burial!" Sliding the spell into his duel disk, Achan watched as a hole opened on the field. "This spell allows me to search my deck for a monster and drop it straight to the graveyard," Achan explained, "So I'll be sending... this one! Wandering Dragon Muthaba!" He flashed the card's image to his opponent before slipping it into his graveyard slot. The hole created by Achan's spell card depicted a giant image of his card descending into it before vanishing. Achan smirked. "Hey, Nicholas, this deck of yours relies on its graveyard, right?" he asked. "You drop monsters and junk into it and then remove them to fuel your big monsters. Well, my Wandering monsters have their own nifty little graveyard trick. Now it's time for me to play a little game with your monster: I activate Monster Reborn! Wandering Dragon Muthaba, return to the field!"

A brilliant light shot from the ground, causing the entire sanctuary to tremble. Nicholas stepped back in surprise as a gigantic dragon burst from the ground. Its black scales and massive wings caused the entire arena to tremble as it swooped into the air, roaring angrily at Lucio, who only grinned in response. Angered, the dragon flew to its position on Achan's field, where it landed before roaring one last challenge. In the dim light of the sanctuary, its long horns reflected what light there was, intensifying it. Nicholas stared at the monster. "Is this your ace card?"

Achan nodded. "If by 'ace card', you mean my strongest monster, then yes. This big guy can blast the entire field into cinders if you give him enough fuel," he boasted.

Nicholas shook his head. "You can't possibly intend to attack my Seraph," he replied. "And if his effect were activated by a discard or life-point cost, you would have done so by now. Therefore, I must conclude that the 'fuel' you speak of is a monster on the field. Unless you intend to summon a monster, all you can accomplish is leaving your field open to an attack next turn."

"Yeah, you think you're so smart just 'cuz you figured out Muthaba's effect," Achan countered, "But that's not all I can do!" Unfortunately, I can't summon another monster this turn, Achan thought to himself, while still trying to maintain his cocky exterior. That means I can't take advantage of Muthaba's special ability. If I had his limit break in my hand, I could clear the field and attack directly, but the best I can do right now is a suicide attack. He grimaced slightly before looking at his hand. A smile filled his face as he grinned fiendishly. Unless... "I tribute Wandering Dragon Muthaba in order to summon a monster!" he announced.

Nicholas stared at him. "You're tributing away your ace monster?"

"Yes and no," Achan replied. "Let's just say that this is the economy version. I summon Wandering Vampire!"

The Dragon suddenly reared up on its haunches, as if it had been bitten by some sort of insect. It staggered back and forth as black liquid slowly dripped from its body. With a sudden shudder, the monster exploded, leaving a thin, blue creature with red eyes standing in its place. Suddenly, the creature screeched and two wings which were exact replicas of Muthaba's burst from its back while its head transformed to match the tributed dragon's. The vampire laughed as its hands transformed into a pair of claws before adopting a combative stance against the powerful Lucio. The seraph looked down and- to Achan's surprise- rolled its eyes. He hadn't realized that the holograms were so detailed as to allow for bursts of emotion like that. Nicholas stared at the vampire as well, his eyes narrowed. "You tribute your ace card away for a monster with fewer attack points? I am deeply dissapointed, Achan Smith. You seem to have forfeited the duel right from the get-go."

Achan smirked again. "Wrong answer. See, my Wandering monsters have a second ability. By removing a Wandering monster in my graveyard from play, I can search my deck for a specific 'Limit Break' spell and add it to my hand. In this case, I'll be removing Muthaba in my graveyard to search my deck for 'Limit Break- Mega Flare and add it to my hand!" The graveyard gleamed as Achan selected a spell card from his deck and added it to his hand. "And now for the finisher!" he declared, pointing at Nicholas. "I'll activate the spell I just searched for! Limit Break- Mega Flare will destroy all monsters on your side of the field as long as Muthaba is on my side of the field! Go, Wandering Dragon Muthaba!" The vampire began to glow with a strange red aura before suddenly kicking off the ground and soaring high into the air while a sudden windstorm formed around him. With a roar, the vampire suddenly broke from the whirlwind and charged towards Lucio before halting and collecting a mass of red energy into its mouth. Then, with a roar, it realeased the blast and completely obliterated the seraph, reducing him to nothing but pixels.

Nicholas seemed slightly surprised. "I must not have heard you right. That spell is Muthaba-specific. I read the card text. You can't activate it without your monster being on the field."

Achan shook his head again. "Close but no cigar, pal- and yes, that was another English expression. My Wandering Vampire has the ability to copy the name and abilities of any Wandering monster I tribute for it. That means that it can use any Limit Break designed for the Wanderer I dropped for it."

"Interesting," Nicholas responded. "Now will you end your turn?"

"Not on your life," Achan shot back. "Wandering Vampire, direct attack! Chaos Fang!" With a screech of delight, the Vampire shredded through Nicholas's defenses, causing the shadow duelist to stagger backwards as his life point meter dropped. "Yeah! How do you like that?" Achan challenged, his confidence bolstered.

"It doesn't hurt a bit..." Nicholas murmured softly as he took up position. "My turn. Draw!"

Nicholas: LP 5800
Hand: Two cards
Field: Advanced Dark Sanctuary (s)
Graveyard: Dark Seraph Lucio, Dark Grepher, Dark Cherubim
RFG Pile: Dark Seraph Abidos, Dark Seraph Lancer, Dark Seraph

"I activate the effect of Dark Cherubim," Nicholas annouced. "While it is in the graveyard, once per turn I can special summon one Dark Seraph monster in my graveyard. The monster I summon cannot attack, and if it is still on the field during my end phase I receive direct damage equal to its original attack points. I special summon Dark Seraph Lucio!" Achan watched in horror as a giant flame burst from the ground of the Sanctuary, followed by a gigantic seraphic creature suddenly bursting from beneath the floor. Lucio laughed haughtily and shook his spear at the vampire as if to say "you thought you had me, didn't you."

Okay, remain calm, Achan mused. Since he can't attack with that thing, he's probably intending to use it as a tribute for his Sanctuary's effect. Then he'll attack me with his normal summon for the turn. It's okay, though, I can take the damage. Next turn I'll probably draw into a monster, and if I don't I can dig for one with Wandering Party. I'll just bolster my hand size by removing Hero and Rogue from play, then discard their limit breaks to search for Wanderers. A perfect strategy. Nevertheless, he still felt a growing sense of dread.

"I know what you're thinking," Nicholas said suddenly.

"What?" Achan replied.

"You think I'm going to tribute Lucio to destroy your Vampire, correct?" Nicholas inquired. Achan gulped, and the shadow duelist smiled fiendishly. "No, I have something much, much better in mind. You see, my Advanced Dark Sanctuary has another effect. When I tribute an ordinary dark-attribute monster for its effect, it is true that all I get in return is the destruction of an opponent's monster. But when I tribute a Dark Seraph monster, I am allowed to search my deck for any monster with a level equal to or less than the tributed monster's and special summon it to the field. Now, watch, Achan! I tribute my Dark Seraph Lucio in order to destroy your vampire..." As he spoke, the monster in question transformed into a pearl of light before flying high into the air and streaking down towards Achan's vampire, who immediately guarded himself with his wings. There was a crash, and the vampire was completely gone. Achan stared blankly at his now nearly-empty field before Nicholas continued. "I now add a dark monster from my deck to my hand... and this is it." He flashed a picture of a card to Achan, who could tell that the monster's level was definitely about the same as Lucio's. "Now, it is time! I special summon my monster to the field: since I have exactly three Dark monsters in my graveyard, I summon Dark Armed Dragon!"

Achan gaped in amazement as a gigantic dragon suddenly exploded onto the scene. Literally exploded, as clouds of smoke filled the Sanctuary. Achan stared, open-mouthed, at the massive dragon. It reminded him of the original monster it was meant to convey, though it seemed to have been dyed... well, black. Under ordinary circumstances Achan might have made a joke about Nicholas's deck being full of emo monsters, but under the circumstances it seemed like that wouldn't be appropriate. Instead, he stared in horror at the new beast while Nicholas continued his turn. "I now remove one dark-attribute monster in my graveyard from play, allowing me to destroy one card on the field. I choose your face-down card." Achan gulped as a burst of shrapnel shot from the massive dragon's back, shredding his face-down card. Not that it would have done him any good- but it sent a message to him: the game from here on out was pointless. No monster in his deck could compete with that thing on its own, and it could blow away any face-downs he tried to set as long as Nicholas kept a steady supply of dark monsters flowing to his graveyard. The game may as well have been over at that point. However, Nicholas wasn't about to let Achan simply stand there considering this. With an imperious wave of his finger, he gave the order. "Dark Armed Dragon, attack! Black Genocide!" Achan shouted as if in pain as a burst of black energy washed over him. He knew that this was all holographic, but somehow looking around him and feeling the atmosphere of the sanctuary, he felt almost as if something more was going on.

"I set one card. Your move," Nicholas announced.

Achan hung his head dejectedly. Then it was over. He had failed. There was no way he could win the duel from this point on. Slowly, he began to reach for his deck to signal a surrender.

Idiot.

The sound seemed to come from his deck box. Achan stared in astonishment as the small carrying case began to glow a warm, yellow color. Idiot, the voice- yet not-voice, Achan could tell that it wasn't making actual noise, but heard it all the same- repeated. You have no will to dominate your opponent? Then why enter the battle at all? You have no fighting spirit to speak of, no warrior's heart. If you hadn't been the only person around to avenge the injury of my partner at this foul Daemon's hands, I should have left you by the wayside.

"I don't understand... your partner? What?" Achan asked, puzzled.

Nicholas looked annoyed. "Boy... who are you speaking to?" he growled, his gaze suddenly becoming venomous.

The glow began taking form. Achan gasped in astonishment as the giant figure of Dominance battalion filled the room. "You... you're a spirit?"

Correct, fool, the behemoth replied. It is fortunate that we finally meet in the confines of this sanctuary. While ordinarily stifling to duel spirit, it heightens the senses of those unable to naturally see us. Do you understand this?

"Er... I suppose," Achan replied, "But why choose now to show yourself?"

Because you have proved yourself a fool and coward! You have no courage, no dominating power as my partner did! I cannot trust you, I see. So I must finish this duel myself! The spirit growled, and Achan staggered as a burst of golden light shot from his own chest, connecting him with the spirit.

Nicholas glared. "Achan. Do not let this demon possess you! Hold until I assist you!" Quickly, he reached for something in his pocket.

Do not bother, murderer! the monster cried, eyes blazing. I shall deal with you presently. As for you, fool, do not worry. I am merely borrowing enough of your meager duel energy to cause you to lose consciousness so I can settle these affairs for you. I will fight in your place, since you have not enough courage to complete this battle, coward!

Suddenly, Achan snapped. "What did you say?" he growled. He stared at the cord of duel energy. This stuff was his will to survive, right? So if this guy really wanted to take it... on a sudden impulse, Achan grabbed the cord and yanked. The duel spirit was astonished, and stumbled backward a few paces as a portion of the energy he was absorbing was removed. Idiot... what are you doing?

"I'm taking matters into my own hands!" Achan announced. "Okay, I get the point, I can't give up yet. But I sure as heck ain't gonna let a tin soldier like you finish my battles for me!"

Fool! You can't begin to understand warfare! The spirit challenged. For years I've been fighting alongside my partner while you stayed at home and played on your daddy's lap!

"Isn't this a children's card game?" Achan challenged. "Then who better to play than a child. He tugged again, suceeding in gaining some ground. "Now leave me alone, will ya? I have a duel to finish! We can talk more about your vendettas then!"

The spirit drew its sword angrily. By the gods, I shall- then stopped and broke into laughter. Achan jumped slightly in surprise as it released the energy it had been absorbing, which flowed back into Achan's system. So, it seems this little fool has some courage after all. Well then, maybe I'll just see if you can prove these claims. I shall be watching. It took up a stance at Achan's side.

Achan smirked at the spirit. Now that the intial panic was over with, he felt that maybe he could trust him. "Yeah, well, don't expect me to let you into my deck, tin can," he taunted. "I'll show you just how good I am without your help."

Hmmph! A fool's empty words, the Battalion replied.

Suddenly, Nicholas's voice rang out. "Die, demon!"

The spirit was suddenly launched to the roof of a cathedral as a large, glowing crucifix shot from the floor beneath it. The monster was immediately pinned to the ceiling, gasping for breath. Fool, look out! it called to Achan.

Achan whirled to his opponent, only to see Nicholas holding a necklace of dark beads which seemed to be glowing as he chanted something over and over again in a language Achan could not understand. "Nicholas, don't!" he shouted.

Too late.

Achan watched in horror as the card which represented Dominance Battalion flew from his deck box into the center of the crucifix, where it remained pinned. Shocked, Achan looked at his opponent's hands, which were now cradling a purple fireball. Before he could protest any further, the orb had been launched at the card, which immediately exploded into flame. The spirit itself looked at Achan before muttering a last, Avenge me, fool... the burst into thousands of blobs of golden light. Achan assumed they were specks of duel energy. One of them passed quite close to his duel disk before vanishing. The rest simply floated away. All was quiet in the sanctuary.

"Do not worry. The demon has been vanquished. Now that you have recovered, we can continue our duel," Nicholas announced.

"Killer." Achan replied, staring at his opponent open-mouthed. "Killer. You idiot. He wasn't trying to possess me or anything. He just wanted to stop me from giving up. You..." he searched his brain for a suitable word, and found none, so instead spat on the ground. "You make me sick to my stomach. You... you killed him. He's gone. I knew him for ten seconds. Ten frickin' seconds. And he was really kind of a nice guy. You had no reason..." he clenched his fist. "I'm gonna beat you so bad." He placed his fingers on his next card, aware that this draw would decide the entire duel. "My turn! Draw!" he announced.

It was interesting. He felt suddenly alert, active, like a soldier about to enter battle. It was as if all his tenseness and excitement about dueling was channeled into this single action. And the cards, when he touched them, felt as if they were excited as well. As if somehow, they were feeling the same sensations of anger and the same desire for victory that he was. It was like they were soldiers together in some sort of army, and he was a general, prepared to order them into combat. And without thinking, he gave the order before pulling the card from his deck.

Achan's jaw dropped. It had obeyed.

But only for a moment. "I'll start things off by shaking up my graveyard! First, I remove Wandering Hero in the graveyard from play to add one Limit Break- Omnislash from my deck to my hand!" There was a flash as Achan completed this action. "Next, I remove the Wandering Rogue I discarded earlier from my graveyard to my hand!" A second flash, followed by another rifling through Achan's deck. "And finally, I remove Wandering Vampire in my graveyard from play in order to add one Limit Break- Mimic from my deck to my hand!" With this action completed, Achan shuffled his deck one final time and grinned cheekily at Nicholas. "Now, what do you suppose I'm leading up to, hmm?"

"I haven't the foggiest idea," Nicholas replied nonchanlantly. "Are you planning to destroy everything on my field with Snipe hunter?"

Achan stared for a moment. "That's... a great idea, actually. But I don't have that card. No, What I do have is... this!" He proudly displayed his spell card. "I activate Dimension Fusion! I pay 2000 life points, and both of us special summon all of our removed-from-play monsters!" There was a flash of light, and suddenly, all of Achan's monsters were standing beside him, the Hero smiling cockily as Achan discarded an card to equip his Excalibuster to him while the vampire, now devoid of his wings, strutted about brandishing his scimitar while laughing evilly. The Rogue, sent from Achan's hand to the graveyard, blinked at her strange surroundings for a moment before returning her gaze to the battle at hand. But most importantly, Muthaba hovered above the arena looking as smug as possible while he folded his wings over Achan, as if offering him shelter. Seeing his monsters around him comforted Achan immensely. He couldn't have felt prouder of them. They had all been destroyed, and here they were again, ready to fight for their master.

"You forget, Achan," Nicholas countered. "I, too, have monsters removed from the game. Come forth, Dark Seraph Lancer, Dark Seraph, Dark Seraph Abidos, Dark Seraph Lucio!" With a flurry of dark feathers, four dark angels stood on Nicholas's field, one of them toting a pair of lances, the others armed with a long spear. He shook his head. "For all your talk of defeating me, you seem to have done no good. Reveal trap card, Cloister!" A dark curtain suddenly descended over Nicholas's monsters, hiding them from view. "This card can only be activated while I control a Dark Sanctuary or Advanced Dark Sanctuary," Nicholas explained. "For the remainder of this turn, my dark-attribute monsters cannot be destroyed in battle, nor can you target them with card effects. For all your bold words, this battle shall be mine."

"I see... can't target them, eh..." Achan mused. "Well, in that case..." he grinned slightly. "I'll just have to destroy them all at once! Limit Break-Mimic, go!" The card suddenly appeared on Achan's field. "I activate the effect of Mimic," he explained, "I pay half my life points while Wandering Vampire is on my side of the field, then I select any Limit Break in my graveyard, and activate its effect. I activate the effect of Limit Break- Mega Flare! Go, vampire! Clone Mega Flare!" The Vampire grinned evilly as a red aura surrounded it. Suddenly, it leaped into the sky before aiming a beam of energy collected in his hands at the monsters gathered on Nicholas's side of the field. With a savage hiss, he fired the beam which first cut through the wall dividing the monsters before reducing the creatures behind it to pixellated dust. Achan smirked. "I believe that this is the end, no?"

Nicholas stared in horror as Achan gave the order. "Attack directly!"

The Wandering monsters charged almost immediately, and Nicholas was enveloped by a blast of white light as their attacks converged, causing a stereotypically massive burst of energy. With a groan of pain the shadow duelist fell to the ground just as his cathedral burst into thousands of pieces and crumbled around him, releasing both duelists into the sunlight. Achan breathed a sigh of relief. Suddenly, he realized that he was surrounded by his monsters, all of whom were smiling at him, as if to encourage him to continue. Then they too vanished. Achan walked over to the collapsed shadow duelist and grabbed him by the shoulder. "Stand up!" he barked, shaking his captive roughly. "Stand up and- oof!" Achan careened backward as Nicholas suddenly lashed out. Without pausing, Nicholas suddenly ran for the edge of the roof, and without a moment's hesitation, leaped. Achan thought about pursuing him, but decided not to. At the moment, he felt rather... sleepy. With a sudden twitch, he fell to the ground, flat on his back, as he stared at the sky. Of course. He'd pulled two all nighters, and now all this excitement with this idiot... he needed the sleep. He closed his eyes.

For a moment, he could have sworn he heard a voice saying You fool...

Then he slept.

OOC: Okay, feel free to skip time in your post or whatever, it doesn't matter. You can have Manjyome slap Achan awake, or take him down to a hospital bed and have him wake up their. PHEW! Well, that's done, and I got some of that weird Dominance Battalion sub-plot out of the way.

Alter Ego
April 13th, 2008, 05:31 AM
OOC: Woo-hoo! Epic face-off! I'll confess that that certainly beat the resolution moves I came up with. xD

Aaanyhow...I think I'm shooting for a time jump type thing...sort of. :3 Oh, and I finally figured out what kind of deck I want Manjoume to use. Bet'cha can't guess what it is. xD

IC:

"He did what?!"

The voice was loud and indignant as it resounded through the hospital ward, anger and concern conducting their own, personal battle between the syllables, punctuated by the disappointingly soft thumps of Tacey's footsteps as she paced back and forth across the floor in sheer agitation. Oh, how she wished that she had her shoes from the American rounds right now. They created such an inherently satisfying clacking noise when you stomped with them, these, on the other hand, merely created an indefinite thumping sound, weak, uncertain, almost frightened, and these weren't really words she liked to associate with anything connected to herself right now.

"The fool!" she shrieked indignantly, lunging at the blissfully sleeping form of Achan, currently tucked in beneath sheets in one of the many hospital beds, a cheerfully beeping little machine at the side reassuring everyone that, despite how it looked, things were in order. Like earlier, however, Manjoume was quick to intercept the flustered girl, keeping her from throttling her unconscious teammate, "The complete and utter fool!" Tacey insisted, feebly flailing her captive hands, "I leave him for five minutes and he goes and gets himself entangled in a shadow game! Doesn't he have any sense in his head?! Doesn't he have any sense at all?! Why do you boys always have to be such-!"

"Cut it out." the black-blazered duelist interjected harshly, even as his face was slightly paler than usual, "I said cut it out! You're not helping matters."

"Not helping?!" Tacey retorted, her voice jumping up another octave, "NOT HELPING?! You're the one who's not helping! You're the one who didn't help! You were there and you didn't do anything to-!"

"Both of you stop!"

The authoritative voice of the attending doctor silenced both of them, his stern, dark brown eyes fixing their gaze on the duo from behind the thick, bottle glasses, "This is a house of the ill and recovering and regardless of your social standing" this remark seemed aimed at Tacey, the rich girl glaring defiantly at the floor, "I expect you to conduct yourself with proper manners." he shook his head, "This young man is in no danger, but he needs plenty of piece and quiet for his body to recover. Now, with all due respect, I expect that all of us give him just that, and when he does wake up, tell him to stop abusing neurostimulants in such a reckless manner. The sheer amount of caffeine in his system is a health concern all of its own."

Not waiting for an answer, the doctor then proceeded to usher both duelists out of the room, shutting the door behind them tightly and exchanging a few quick words with a nearby nurse before heading down a hallway, soon disappearing from view.

"This is still your fault." Tacey insisted through gritted teeth after they had regrouped in a nearby waiting room, "You should have stopped it. You should have done something! Because of you, that idiot is going to be unconscious for goodness knows how long! What are you going to do about that, huh?!"

"Nothing." Manjoume replied flatly, "You heard what the doctor said; all we can do is wait."

"No, it's not."

The innocent, childlike interjection briefly broke up the argument, Manjoume and Tacey alike turning their glances to the spirit of Miseres who had materialized in the air above them, the spirit herself already seeming to have forgotten all about it, staring in utter fascination at an advertisement poster bearing the legend "Duel Insurance - Because nothing heals pain quite like money".

"What did you say?" the rich girl inquired.

"No, it's not." Miseres repeated dutifully, tilting her head as she noticed how both the others seemed to be expecting elaboration, "You can rekindle duel energy if you want to." she continued matter-of-factly, as if this was the most obvious thing in the world, "Everyone knows that."

"I do-" Tacey began, but then she caught herself, "Miseres, how can you rekindle duel energy?"

"By dueling, of course." the spirit replied, sounding honestly surprised that the girl didn't know this already, "You see, duel energy is like this biiiig fire inside of you." she spread her spritely arms wide to emphasize her statement, "And it's nice and bright and makes you feel all warm inside. But if you're low on energy, it gets all cold and dark and stuff, because the fire is tiny like this." she brought her right thumb and index finger closer together, peering intently at the gap between them, "It doesn't warm enough, see? That's sort of how it felt when he left me too." she shuddered at the memory, "Just really cold. But then you came." she beamed at the rich girl, "And your fire was so nice, and big, and warm, and bright, that just being near it warmed me too, see?"

"I...think so." Tacey replied uncertainly, trying to come to terms with the rather awkward metaphor, "So...you're saying that all I have to do is play a card game and Achan will wake up?"

"It's not that easy." Miseres replied, "You'd need lots and lots of energy because he's got so little himself, you see? So you'd really have to play with everything you've got, and the other person would have to have lots and lots of duel energy too. Like when you dueled on the roof."

"I see." Tacey replied, her voice thoughtful before she turned her glance to Manjoume.

"You're kidding." the black-blazered duelist countered, guessing her intent, "You want to duel me, just because of something that spirit said? We're on the same team, remember?" he shook his head, "No matter what the outcome, rules say we will take a loss because of this."

"But we will also have three wins." Tacey retorted, brandishing her duel disc and already reaching for her deck, her gaze cold. She hated this boy, yes, on a level she even feared him, but right now none of that really mattered, "You owe me this duel, Manjoume." she said, "Or would you prefer that I go find Judai and tell him what happened just now?"

"Always with the threats, isn't it, Edgeworth?" Manjoume growled, hesitation clearly evident on his face, but eventually he seemed to reach a decision, pulling out a deck from the folds of his own outfit, a cocky smile appearing on his face, "Alright, then." he replied at last, "I guess it's time I reminded everyone why Manjoume sanda is a name to be feared. Besides..." he scoffed, "Someone needs to put you in your place."

"Right back at you." Tacey replied, "Rooftop again?"

"Why not?" her opponent-to-be replied, "It seems like that's the only thing they use it for here, anyway."

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The wind seemed to have gotten bored with the proceedings on top of Domino City hospital, having already faded to a faint breeze as the duo stepped out onto the rooftop once more, this time on opposite sides, a lazy, half-hearted gust sweeping the concrete beneath them as the age-old cry rang out once more:

"Duel!"

Duelist: Tacey
Life Points: 8000
Hand: Royal Magical Library, Royal Legacy, Monster Reborn, Dark Red Enchanter, Royal Sharpshooter

"My lead." Manjoume stated, drawing his card and briefly consulting his hand, a thin smile on his face as he settled on a card and slapped it down into a vacant card slot, "I play Spirit Reaper in Attack Position."

At his command, a skeletal figure in a purple robe materialized on the field, its red eyes glowing malevolently as it gripped the scythe in its yellowed bone hands.

"Then." Manjoume continued, "I set a card and end my turn."

Tacey frowned at what she found to be a decidedly lame opening move, "My draw."

Duelist: Tacey
Life Points: 8000
Hand: Royal Magical Library, Royal Legacy, Monster Reborn, Dark Red Enchanter, Royal Sharpshooter, Soul Exchange

Duelist: Manjoume "Sanda"
Life Points: 8000
Hand: 4 cards
Field: Spirit Reaper (300/200), 1 Spell or Trap

Well, wasn't that just grand? Tacey cast a glance at her rather dismal opening hand. Puns aside, the sharpshooter was her best shot at dealing damage, but without the backing of her court card it would not be able to capitalize on the one thing it did best: direct attacks. More crucially, Manjoume's field was screaming 'set-up'. She might have been prepared to apply a number of unsavory terms to the older duelist, but he was no amateur at this. That face-down, whatever it was, must surely have depended on an opposing attack. Otherwise, what would be the point of inviting damage with such a frail lead? But on the other hand, the rich girl reasoned, sitting back and just waiting for favorable draws would defeat the point of this duel. Yes, that was right, like it or not the point of this duel wasn't who won or lost; it was to push both duelists to their extremes, and to do that, their decks needed to pan out. Her resolve strengthened by this reasoning, the rich girl came to a decision of her own:

"I summon Royal Sharpshooter."

Accompanied by a blur of motion, a male figure whose features were obscured by a hooded, dark forest green cloak materialized on the field. His tunic and trousers, as far as they could be seen, were a dull, dark brown color, the skin on his arms and face tanned and dirtied, a black and white royal insignia emblazoned on the clasp of the cloak the only conclusive proof of his loyalty. Despite the rather rough exterior, the sharpshooter held a certain inherent grace as he observed the field from beneath his hood, raising a longbow nearly as tall as himself with one hand while the other tentatively fingered the arrows in his quiver, as if anticipating the command that followed.

"Sharpshooter, attack Spirit Reaper!"

With a deft hand movement, the warrior plucked out an arrow, twirling it around and fitting it onto the bowstring, which he pulled back in perfect concentration before unleashing the projectile at his target.

"Reveal face-down, Magical Hats!"

Manjoume's smirk was confident as ever as he elaborated, "By this effect, I turn one monster on my field face-down." he nodded towards his Spirit Reaper, the hologram soon getting replaced by the image of a giant card back upon which a disproportionately large, black cylinder hat with a yellow question mark embroided on it rested, "Next..." the black-blazered duelist continued, thumbing through his deck, "I select two spell or trap cards and treat them as face-down monsters for this Battle Phase." at his words, two more card backs with hats upon them appeared on the field, the three images swapping places rapidly "Finally, the cards are shuffled so neither of us know where the real Reaper is. Still care to continue your attack, Edgeworth?"

"It's pointless." the millionaire heiress retorted, "One is invincible against attacks and the rest will be destroyed anyway."

"Quite." Manjoume concurred as the hats vanished and two of the card backs exploded into a shower of pixels, "And that..." his smile widened, "...was what I was aiming at. Activate, Ojamagic!"

He briefly nodded at the cards in his graveyard before reaching for his deck once more, "Whenever Ojamagic is sent to my graveyard, I can add one each of Ojama Black, Ojama Green, and Ojama Yellow from my deck to my hand, and I just ditched two copies." Manjoume's satisfaction was practically tangible as he shuffled his refurbished hand.

"And that's your big plan?" Tacey asked, doing her best to mask her confusion with scorn, "Assembling a handful of Ojamas?" she scowled, "I'm warning you; if you're trying to pull some kind Ojamanjoume shenanigans here I won't forgive you! I want a real duel, Manjoume; not any of your cheap 'entertainment' acts. I set one card and end my turn."

"Oh, don't you worry." Manjoume replied as he took his draw, "Manjoume Sanda never throws a duel. Just you wait..." he gave his best attempt at an evil smirk, "You'll realize soon enough. In fact..." he glanced at the card he had just drawn, "I think you'll realize sooner than you'd like."


OOC: Wheee! Duel time! ^0^ I've been waiting for an opportunity to stage this one for a while now. Oh, and about Miseres' explanation...I'll leave it up to you to decide whether it's complete hogwash or not. (Heck, it would be pretty funny to have him wake up and wander over mid-duel, actually xD.) But I thought 'hey, this is a world where card games solve all problems, so why not?'. xD

Phanima
April 15th, 2008, 04:30 AM
OOC: Who woulda thought that the one night I get off to post is when Tacey get's herself into a duel? >< Anyway, sorry about this, but I'm cutting in!

IC: After reaching the small crowd of pedestrians that had lined the pathway surrounding the two duellists, Michel was finally able to get the chance to identify who they were, since one of their voices seemed annoyingly familiar. Working his way through the waves of people, he finally managed to spot a clearing through some of the crowd's heads and peered through, his face immediately turning to disgust as he recognised not one, but both duellists, who had so haphazardly engaged out in the open.

How stupid could he be? Admittedly, he wasn't so inclined to call his arch nemesis an idiot, he was far from one, but the sheer lack of shame in walking around in public with a haircut like that didn't help persuade him otherwise. But then again, Dogolas had always been shameless, he did what he wanted, when he wanted, that was the difference between them. Deciding he had spent enough time scrutunising his rival, he turned his attention to the next duellist, but before he could comprehend the other's presence, the crowd shifted, forcing him to fall back as more room was made for the two. competitors, who after several minutes of trash talk finally drew their cards.

He had an inkling to stay behind and watch, but what good was spectating when he already knew the outcome? It was obvious, up against Gregorovitch who was actually trying, Dogolas would lose without question, added to the fact that getting his revenge for losing in the first round was more than enough of an incentive. The amount of time it would take for the result to become apparant however, was the only thing in question.

Heaving a sigh, the business teen pulled back and started heading along the sidewalk once again. He had to find a duellist with a map card, or more if he was lucky, then he could haggle a wager with the unfortunate sap and take everything in one go, that was the best case scenario. Then, as if written out for plot development purposes, his thoughts were answered by the arrival of another teenager; a young girl who also wielded a Duel Disk.

"So this is where you got to, heh, no wonder he made us spread out."

The girl looked straight into his eyes as she greeted him, a devilish smile playing on her lips. Something about her annoyed him, even more so than usual people did. But not to be intimidated, he stopped in his tracks to face the girl head on. Seeing her up close, he found her to be surprisingly attractive but putting his instictive thoughts aside, he prepared to question the stranger about who she was and what she wanted with him.

"The name's Chelsea," she suddenly cheered, as if predicting his thoughts, "I'm here to duel you Michel."

So she knew who he was, he supposed it couldn't be helped considering his name's constant coverage in the media, but there was something else about her that put him off. It was obvious she wasn't some random duellist looking for a fight, no, it was much more than that. Looking into her eyes he could tell, she was determined to fight him. The most logical explanation was that she was working for Dogolas and he would've gone with that suspicion if it weren't for what she said next.

"Oh yeah, I forgot to tell you," she piped, her smile growing even wider, "if you're thinking Dogolas sent me, you're wrong, as a matter of fact, I'll be taking him down once I finish beating you, unless of course your friend beats him first."

There weren't a lot of things that surprised him but this girl was something else. Her ability to rub him the wrong way was really starting to piss him off, she seemed to know everything about him; his rivalry with Dogolas, him sending Gregorovitch to intercept him and the fact that she kept reading his mind. The only thing he knew about her was that she was working for someone and that he wasn't her only target. Finding out who she was and who hired her would undoubtedly satisfy his curiousity, but he reasoned that involving himself with unecessary individuals would only hinder him. Deciding on that thought, he closed his eyes and gave her a light smile.

"You'll have to excuse me, despite how enticing your challenge sounds, I have more important matters to attend to."

"Heh, I thought that this would happen, she did warn me you were stubborn," the girl smiled, shaking her head, "but straight to business then! How about this..."

So it was certain, she was working for someone.

"You're looking for these map pieces for the tournament, right?" she continued, pulling out the cards from her pocket before waving them in front of his face. "If you beat me, I'll give you all three of them, okay?"

He looked up, her proposition had caught his attention. Pushing his luck, he added, "When I defeat you, you'll tell me who hired you as well."

At this, the short-haired brunette frowned, giving him a hard stare in response to his request, before replying, "I guess it can't be helped, if those are your demands, I'll just have to accept them. But! I have some conditions of my own too.."

"Go ahead, the result is all that matters."

"Great! I'm glad you feel that way," she started, her initial enthusiastic tone returning, "so first, you'll need to use this..."

The teen stepped back as his opponent threw something into his arms. Grabbing the device, he looked down to find that she had presented him with another Duel Disk. Figuring her motive for such an action involved staying off the rankings, he wonder if the only thing she was afraid of was being tracked or if was there something else she had yet to reveal. Regardless, the duel had now become unofficial, voiding the current ban list and dismissing the tournament's rules and regulations. If this girl was really serious about duelling him, he had to be on guard, he was playing by her rules now.

"It's a custom made Duel Disk that I received from my employer, quite innovative if I do say so myself," the girl continued as she administered her own version onto her own arm, "and just so you know, it's been outfitted with an internal camera to record our duel, so try to put up a decent fight, okay?"

"That shouldn't be a problem...anything else?"

"Actually, there is...but I'll let you find that out for yourself, it'll be more fun that way! But anyway, let's get this thing started, I'll go first!"

Duellist: Chelsea
Life Points: 8000
Hand: 5

"Drawing!" she cheered as she drew a sixth card from her deck and added it to her hand before looking over her options with a determined expression. "Oh, this looks good, alright, I'll start by placing two cards face down and summon this..."

In quick succession the girl laid three cards onto her modified Duel Disk, one on top with its face up and the other two face down in their allocated slots. As she did so, three corresponding holograms burst into life before her, two of them taking the form of a Duel Monsters' card lying face down on the ground, while the other took the shape of a rugged, bleach-haired man fitted out with medieval armour and dual swords.

"Marauding Captain!" she announced happily, waving at the newly summoned monster who looked back indifferently. "And since I Normal Summoned him, I can bring out another little friend to help me out, presenting...Milus Radiant!"

Pulling a fourth card from her hand, she slapped down the Special Summoned monster just as its hologram appeared by the soldier's side, its shaggy brown fur rustling in the artificial wind. Letting out a small growl, the rodent beast pawed at the lavender-toned jewel encrusted into the middle of its forehead before baring its teeth as it stepped into an attacking position.

"So with him on the field all my earth monsters get an extra five-hundred attack points!" Securing the last card on her disk, she gave him a light smile before ending her turn. "Your move Michel."

"Alright..."

Duellist: Michel
Life Points: 8000
Hand: Cyber Pheonix; Mystical Space Typhoon; Nightmare Steelcage; Over Boost; Kojima Core

Draw Phase: United We Stand

"I'll start with this..."

Placing his first card on his newly acquired Duel Disk, the corresponding hologram burst forth before him in the shape of a giant mechanical bird. Unleashing an artificial squawk, the machine arched its four red-fanned wings as it lifted itself into the air.

"Cyber Phoenix. I'll end my turn by placing one card face down."

His female opponent seemed to be reeling in anticipation from what he had in store for her. Admittedly, her optimistic attitude was putting him off, his previous determination in crushing her outright was slipping. Looking up to signal his turn's completion as his face down card appeared on the field, the girl enthusiastically whipped out her next card from her deck before again looking over her new set of options.

Duellist: Chelsea
Life Points: 8000
Hand: 3
Field: Marauding Captain (1700/400); Milus Radiant (800/250); 2x Spell/Trap Cards (face-down)

"Bugger..." she sighed with a pout, looking at the card she had just drawn, "oh well, no biggie, I guess this'll do for now. I activate Gaia Power!"

The moment she slid the card into the extended Field Spell Card slot, the space within their designated duelling area erupted into an haven of nature, a single dominant tree standing firm behind her. Looking up he could see the holographic shade that now fell over her, patches of sun seeping in through the tree's branches that surrounded her side of the field in a serene and peaceful environment. At this point, their undercover duel had caught the attention of several bystanders and they were quickly developing a crowd of their own. However, that wasn't his main concern, despite his hatred for unwanted onlookers he was more focused on his opponent's next move.

"Now with my little tree here..." she piped, continuing with her turn's explanation with another devilish smile, "all my earth monsters get another five-hundred attack points, of course, their defense take a little hit as well, but that's not important! So, with all that done and dusted, Marauding Captain...attack his phoenix!"

Without hesitation the medieval knight rushed forward, dual swords raised before leaping into the air with his sights set on the large mechanical bird. In a single strike, he passed through the machine and knocked it down, obliterating it on the spot. The force of the impact sent a wave of wind and holographic debris his way, which he stood confidently against before something suddenly struck him...literally. Each disintegrating fragment from the defeated bird cut his suit like a hot knife through butter.

"I...felt that..." he muttered as he ran a hand over the numerous cuts in his already dishelveled suit, the remnants of the beaten phoenix finally disappearing in the dying wind around him.

"Fun, wasn't it?" she suddenly laughed, beaming at her opponent's reaction. "It's a new feature especially made for these Duel Disks and unlike the Kaiba Corp and Academy editions, these holograms pack a little more punch."

"Their real..."

"Right on Michel!" the brunetted smiled, giving him a wink. "Instead of just channeling the duellist's nerves into the Life Points system, we decided to physically alter the cards themselves, this way you can experience the full effects of the duel. It's quite ingenious if I do say so myself."

It was obvious, whoever this girl was working for, she knew about Duel Spirits, the same condition that appeared in Edgeworth's duel, but despite how preposterous he found the matter to be, there was no denying that his opponent had recreated the same effect, albeit artificially. Still, the duel had just become even more serious and he had to keep his guard up. There were spectators now, so losing wasn't an option. Drawing a card due to his destroyed monster's effect, he awaited his opponent's next move.

Draw Effect: Sol Dios

"Now that that's settled, I'll end my turn with Milus Radiant! Attack him directly!"

In the instance her order was issued the feral rodent shot off from its position and charged straight towards him. Bracing himself, knowing full well that the charging hologram before him was all but real, he held his stance against the direct attack. In a matter of seconds he felt the full force of the card strike him with the tip of its horn, cutting into his arm like an electric drill through wood. Hearing the crowd gasp and cheer in response to the attack, the creature of earth hopped back onto its hind legs before returning to its position in front of its duellist.

"I told you Michel," the girl started again, "I will beat you, if not through your Life Points then with your actual life."

Clutching his arm where the overgrown beast had torn through his sleeve, he felt the warmth of his wound spill out. Fortunately, his Duel Disk had absorbed most of the blow but his forearm still looked worse for wear. The laceration was shallow but quite extensive, running from the hilt of his Duel Disk, around his forearm and up to his elbow. Twisting the sleeve around his arm to apply temporary pressure to the wound, the teen looked up at the girl with newfound determination.

"A little cliche, but alright..." he spat through a devilish smile of his own, "my turn."

Duellist: Michel
Life Points: 5700
Hand: Mystical Space Typhoon; Nightmare Steelcage; Over Boost; United We Stand; Sol Dios
Field: Kojima Core (face-down)
Graveyard: Cyber Phoenix

Draw Phase: Original Armored Core

"First, I'll summon Original Armored Core..."

At these words, like his Cyber Phoenix before it, a heavily armoured machine rose in the corresponding position where he had laid its card. Vaguely humanoid in shape, the new machine layered in armour, stepped up to serve its' duellist. A second card immediately followed behind it where a double-bolted, black-tinged, semi-spherical cage erupted around him, spikes lining each of its intersecting beams.

"And I'll end my turn by activating Nightmare Steelcage."

"Hahaha! How annoying, but at least things are starting to get interesting!" she cried before looking at her next card, her eyes lighting up as they did so. "Perfect! Sorry Michel, but even if I don't beat you this turn, there's no way you can stand up to another destroyed monster, let alone two direct attacks."

"I guess my cage was too much to hope for, huh?"

"'Fraid so hun," she smiled, "I'm a little disappointed though, I was hoping to see more of your cards to be honest... Oh wait, I know what we can do! I'll just take your deck as my prize for beating you, okay? That way everyone's satisfied!"

"Everyone huh? Heh...well, I can't say I approve of your solution, but it wouldn't matter if I lost then, would it?"

"Oh! You know what, now that I think about it, I guess you're right. You'd be kinda dead by then, huh?"

"...Judging by that last attack it's a definite possibility."

"Well then, just so you know, I'm not one to murder someone over a card game, really, so if you want, you can forfeit now and I'll be on my way with your cards and map. How about that?"

"I don't think so," he breathed, still smiling as he clutched his throbbing arm, "if I forfeit now, I'll miss out on beating you next turn, so...if you please, make your last move."

"Haha! I expected nothing less from the previous heir to Arma Tech," the girl praised, her last words catching his immediate attention, "alright! Let's finish this then!"

Duellist: Chelsea
Life Points: 8000
Hand: 3
Field: Marauding Captain (2200/0); Milus Radiant (1300/0); 2x Spell/Trap Cards (face-down); Gaia Power

"Get ready Michel, cause now I activate my Mystical Space Typhoon to destroy your Nightmare Steelcage! Go!"

Sliding in her chosen card, a whirlwind immediately erupted from its allocated zone before tearing its way towards his last line of defence, obliterating it on the spot. The added wind and steel debris didn't help his condition but after a few hellish seconds filled with very real shrapnel flying in every which way, the storm subsided. Lowering his arms from where he had used them to shield his face, he looked up to find a second rodent now standing beside the first; another Milus Radiant.

"I guess you've already noticed my new firend here," she started, waving at the second overgrown rodent, "with him on the field all my monsters get another five-hundred attack boost, which means things are gonna get really messy for you, heheh. Sorry Michel, this is it. Marauding Captain, attack his Original Armored Core!"

Once again, the bleach-haired knight rushed forward with his dual swords raised before slicing through the opposing machine with ease and in seconds. On the receiving end, the cut machine staggered to a halt after bracing itself for impact. A moment later it split completely in two before erupting in a fiery explosion. Feeling the heat, the teenage suit took a brief step back as further remnants of the machine's disintegrating body cut into him.

"Ugh..."

"Now to finish you...Milus Radiants, attack him directly!"

It took only a second but this time he felt the full force of the attack. Like the first encounter he managed to absorb the first rodent's attack into his Duel Disk, which unsurprisingly tore his already twisted sleeve into shreds, deepening his lengthly laceration. For the second attack however, he wasn't as lucky. The monster's horn ripped through his right arm leaving him with a second cut that ran across his bicep and up to his shoulder.

"Oh wow!" his opponent exclaimed in surprise. "You dodged it!"

Dodged? He hadn't dodged anything, the two furballs had cut into him like a rabbid pitbull on a poodle. Clutching his arms, he staggered back from the pain. The monsters of earth had drawn blood and there was a lot of it considering the size of his new wounds.

"Damn Michel, you're one tough biscuit!" the girl praised without sympathy. "I thought those attacks would've done you in but I guess you're stronger than I thought."

Smiling through berrated breaths, he looked up in triumph. "Like I said...I'm beating you this turn..."

"Hahaha! I guess I'm in for it now, huh? Heh, go on Michel, show me what you got!"

Duellist: Michel
Life Points: 400
Hand: Mystical Space Typhoon; Over Boost; United We Stand; Sol Dios
Field: Kojima Core (face-up)
Graveyard: Cyber Phoenix; Nightmare Steelcage; Original Armored Core

Draw Phase: Limiter Removal

"Hey, wait a minute!" she suddenly piped, noticing that her side of the field was one short of a Milus Radiant, as well as a new addition on his side of the field. "What happened?"

"So you noticed," he smiled, regaining his composure after wrapping his arm