End Game

“Duelists!” a voice not unfamiliar to Raven that of new Star Spokesperson Serenity Tesconé, came across the television, “Are you ready to test your skills?” Images of the duels in the Star Tournament and the battle in Los Angeles aginst the Abyss appeared on the screen, “The Stars of Destiny are calling you out! Duelists all across Japan are entitled to compete! All you need is a deck and Duel Disk, and if you don’t have those, we sell them! To register, report to Stars of Destiny Central Headquarters in Sunnydale as soon as possible!” Serenity’s voice became more excited as she went on.

“That’s their best ad for the Fallen Star Cup?” Kaomi laughed. She wore a white t-shirt with dark blue shorts.

“Well, it is Serenity’s work.” Raven joked, “Ready?” He wore a black sleeveless shirt and black jeans.

“Yeah.” They both stood and exited Raven’s house. A black car pulled up with a familiar face behind the wheel.

“Wesley!” Kaomi smiled.

“Kaomi Itai. Lord Raven Vaniver.” Wes smiled, “You know, I plan to put this Duel Disk to use finally.”

“So,” Raven got in the car, “You still haven’t quit?”

“Sevanos wanted to keep me on as Technical Coordinator, and he seems less evil since your big duel with him a few months back.” Wes sat in a white coat, blue shirt, and dark pants. “I’ve upgraded the systems at HQ. I hear tell that you two are finally getting your positions within the organization too.”

“Cool!” Kaomi smiled.

“I heard about your trip to America, too.” Wes drove along.

“Yeah. Saved the world from tyrannical reign, nothing major.” Raven smiled.

“So Sevanos undid the memory thingy too?” Kaomi observed.

“Memory thingy?” Wes sounded confused.

“Yeah, last time you-“ Raven stopped her.

“He doesn’t seem to remember that, Kaomi…” Raven whispered to her.

“Oh.” She nodded.


Sevanos stood on Floor 25, standard operations, with Alan-Tax, Barbas, and Opaka.

“No answer at the Motou Game Shop?” Sevanos asked.

“It appears the King of Games had urgent business in America<.” Barbas replied.

“Sure, now he wants to go to America.” Sevanos sighed, “What of Shuyin, Aura, and Lantash?”

“It we can’t get a response on any of their cell phones.” Opaka sat at a terminal designed to act as an elaborate telephone.

“Alan?” Sevanos asked.

“Sorry, the Tomb Keepers are still busy, and Marshal and Colbert haven’t been found yet. Good news, though, Cid reports Illarya plans to enter.”

“Well thank God for that.” Sevanos said sarcastically.

“Don’t worry Sevvy-boy!” Ardrea stood in the door, “If ye build it, they will come.”

“Master Pegasus is… well… away. So I came to my second favorite boss. By the way, Motou and his gang are on Industrial Illusions business, and Pegasus excuses your development of the Iron Star Simulator until his return. With that all said, how might I be of service?”

“Get Serenity, she’s in her room on Floor Ten, and have her ready for Raven and Kaomi’s induction.” Sevanos ordered, “Alan, try to get a hold of people like Lios, Arkith, and those two Magician dolts from Los Angeles<. And ask them how repairs are going.”


“Opaka, call Kaiba Corporation again, this time ask to speak with either of the brothers Kaiba. Tell them it’s a high-profile event and his attendance is strongly requested. Barbas, contact TV Tokyo, get our commercial on more often!” Sevanos ordered.

“Aye.” They both nodded.


“Raven! Kaomi!” Serenity ran up to them Ardrea calmly walked up. They were both dressed in flowing robes.

“Just in time.” Ardrea commented. She flipped open her cell phone, “Ready Alan.”

“Upgraded projectors on-line. You’ve got a live feed to Star Stadium in town.” Alan replied. Ardrea nodded.

A holographic podium appeared in the lobby, and a holographic audience appeared on the far wall. Serenity approached the podium, “Welcome! I thank you for attending an event so important to us. We recently celebrated massive staff additions, and today’s two bring it all to a close. Kaomi Itai, step forward!” Kaomi did. “For courage in the face of danger to yourself and ones you care about, great skill with a deck, and devotion to the cause, you are hereby one of the 108 Stars of Destiny!” Serenity handed Kaomi a mage’s robe similar to the one she was in, “Next, the legendary Raven Vaniver!” Kaomi stepped aside. “For devotion, dueling prowess, risking yourself for the one you care most about countless times, and saving the world, so to speak, you are hereby inducted into the ranks of the 108 Stars of Destiny!” She handed him a robe.

Raven and Kaomi looked gracious, but confused.

“Sorry for being so brief, but that concludes today’s announcement.” Serenity bowed and dragged Kaomi and Raven off. The holograms vanished.

“What the crap?” Raven finally said after a moment of uneasy silence.

“Just a bit of public relations.” Serenity walked over to the elevator, “C’mon. I’m sure Sevanos wants to see you both before the tournament tomorrow.”

“Right.” Raven nodded.


“Raven!” Sevanos smiled, “How have you been?”

“It’s only been a month, Sevanos. You sound cheery.” Raven smiled.

<“I’m just relieved to find business as usual this past month. No Nemesis, no Seros, no God-Kings, no Seraph. I like it! I daresay, we may end this summer with normal operations!” Sevanos smiled.

“Don’t jinx it, Sevvy-boy.” Ardrea grinned.

<“Everyone seems so happy around here.” Kaomi observed, “It’s amazing to think that just weeks ago we expected to never see home again. I mean, look at you!”

“Yeah, well…” Sevanos’ smile widened, “At any rate, your rooms are prepared, I have a lot of PR to do. The tournament is tomorrow!”

“Right. See you tomorrow.” Raven and Kaomi left. Ardrea stood for a moment, and then followed.


“Sevanos, mind if I ask why this is so important to you?” Opaka sighed.

“One word: Kaya.” Sevanos said, impassively.

“Kaya? The Kaya?” Alan spun from his computer.

“Yeah. This is her first big tournament, and the first time I’ve seen her in years. I want it to be memorable.” Sevanos replied.

“Who is Kaya, anyway?” Opaka asked.

“Kaya Theas, Sevanos’…” Alan trailed off.

“Former fiancée.” Sevanos finished Alan’s statement,

“Oh? What happened?” Opaka asked.

“Suffice it to say, Kaya didn’t want to be part of what the Stars stood for back then.”  Alan explained.

“Which was?” Opaka asked.


“Welcome ladies, gentlemen, and duelists!” Sevanos stood in the center of a stadium, but was being broadcasted citywide, to be replayed later nationally. “Over a hundred and fifty years ago, my family founded a secret society bent on controlling the political agendas of America, China, England, and Japan, in an attempt to control the major powers of Earth. This agenda was the basis for my great-grandfather’s Stars of Destiny. One hundred and eight men banded together to dominate. As you’d expect, unsuccessfully. Their brief spurt of power faded, and my father’s generation was nothing more than 108 sad, angry, and delusional men. When I inherited a seat of power, my entire old life left me for fear of what I might become, knowing the caliber of men driven mad by the Stars of Destiny. But I was not afraid. I dismissed all of the other 107, and from the ground up I built this organization, maybe a little to obsessed with Duel Monsters, but at least it isn’t global domination.” He laughed, “And now, we begin our first public duel tournament, the Fallen Star Cup!” Cheers rose. As the crowd quieted, Sevanos decided to take the chance to plug his products, “I take this time to announce that aside from the merchandise Industrial Illusions has authorized us to make, an Industrial Illusions rep and member of my Central Office staff has informed me of the final authorization for our Project Iron Star. The IS will be a virtual reality devise much like Kaiba Corps rumored VirtuaPod and the Kingdom, an equally rumored device by a failed corporation. Where others have given only hushed words and failures, we will give you results!” Another cheer rose, “Without further ado, I hereby announce that in just fifteen minutes, the first ever Fallen Star Tournament will begin!” Fireworks shot off behind him as he stepped off the stage. Alan and Barbas met him.

“Great speech, sir!” Barbas bowed.

“It was nothing. Just a little crowd-pumping exercise. Alan, raise the stage, Barbas, head to home base and get things ready with Opaka.” Sevanos smiled.

Another person approached him. Her hair was long and beautifully brown. She wore a blue outfit cut to show plenty of skin. She had beauty, and flaunted it readily.

“Kaya.” Sevanos smiled.

“Sev. How you been?” she asked, smiling.

“Not so bad. Yourself?” Sevanos returned the smile.

“Great. It’s been a while.”

“Three years.”

“I’m glad to see good things come from your family, Sevanos. This Stars thing destroyed it, and now…”

“All for the hopes that you’d forgive me.”

“For what? I had so little faith in you… I should apologize.”

“So, we’re okay now?”

“Yeah.” Kaya gave Sevanos a quick hug, “Don’t you have duels to get to?”


“Illarya!” Raven walked up to Illarya, who stood in a red jacket, white shirt, and black jeans.

“Raven! How are you! You look well!” Illarya grinned.

“Well, I’m not being hunted by a maniac right now, so I’m better than I’ve been since .” Raven laughed, “But bygones are bygones.”

Illarya nodded.

“Innocently, you look really good without battle armor… or blue hair… or any of that Yami Illarya stuff that made you used to look creepy. That was poorly said, but it was a compliment.”

Illarya laughed, “Thanks Raven.”


“Activate holographic projectors and uplink duel disks into central computer.” Barbas ordered

“Projectors on, uplink engaged.” She replied.

“Set Life Point counters to 4000.”


“Cameras on; raise lights.”


Alan entered the center of the arena stage as lights rose. “Now, I direct your attention to the stage and the first match-up. Enter the mighty Dragon Handler, Cidofolos Orlandu!” Alan called as Cid entered the elevated circular arena in the center of the stadium and assumed his position. “And the opponent, arguably the most brilliant man to ever construct a Duel Disk out of toothpicks, wax paper, and marshmallows, Wesley Whyndam-Pryce!” Wesley entered the other side of the arena, “Duel!” Alan called.

Cid’s Duel Disk launched and fused, as it always had. “Let’s go, techie.”

“Let’s, Dragon.” The silver semi-sphere on Wes’ arm began to open and unfold into a card platform. A Life Point counter jetted out of the top. Wes grabbed a small eyepiece folded on the underside of his disk and placed it over his right eye. “Ready for this?”

<“As I’ll ever be.”  Cid smirked, “I summon my Luster Dragon and set one card face-down.”

Wes read the data presented by his eyepiece. A small circle targeted the Dragon. Text appeared below it listing it’s description, and present ATK and DEF factors.

“Not bad, Orlandu. Set three cards face-down and play my Cyber Falcon!” A great mechanical bird flew onto the field. “Your move.”

“It’s a risk I’ll take. Summon Winged Dragon, Guardian of the Fortress #1! Luster, show no mercy!” Cid ordered. The flames of the Luster Dragon flew at Wes.

The small white circle locked on to the Winged dragon, but Wes ignored it. “How could you not see that was a trap? Cyber Falcon, activate Draining Shield!” A panel on the Falcon opened and a small ring shot toward the fire. The ring shot green light back behind it as the fire crashed into it. Then a small ray hit Wes, raising his Life Points to 5900. “My turn now.” Wes drew, “Sacrifice the Falcon for my Metal Fish in defensive position.”

“Offer Winged Dragon and Luster Dragon!” Cid called as the two dragons flew to his side, “To summon the legendary Red Eyes Black Dragon!” The great black dragon landed in front of Cid.

“Red Eyes?” Wes stepped back as the circle locked on to the Red Eyes.

“Yeah. Mop the floor with that tin can!” Cid ordered. A fireball crashed into the Metal Fish, destroying it.

“My move!” Wes drew. “Reveal the two face-down spells, Soul Exchange and Tribute Doll, offering Red Eyes for a monster far worse. The feared Barrel Dragon. I think you’ve seen its power, used by Mister Vaniver.”

Cid clenched his fist, “This has only just begun, Wesley!”

 “Talk big, Orlandu. I end my turn.”

“Draw!” Cid was truly ticked off, “I activate Monster Reborn! Red Eyes, return to me! Now here goes my Polymerization! This combines my Red Eyes with my Meteor Dragon!” A large rock with arms, legs, and wings appeared on the field, “You know what comes next, techno-punk? They combine to from the Meteor Black Dragon!” The dragons combined. The Red Eyes grew larger, fiery red veins visible all over it. It looked a little rocky, and downright menacing. It’s attack power, 3500. “This game is mine. Now my dragon, Meteor Breath!” A large flaming rock shot from the Dragon’s mouth and demolished the Barrel Dragon.

“My move!” Wes’ Life Points fell to 4800 as his eyepiece locked on to the Meteor Dragon, “And I still have the lead you know! I’ll play Polymerization too, fusing my Cannon Solder and Giga Tech Wolf to summon my Labyrinth Tank in defense mode and summon Gear Golem in defense mode as well. Go.”

“Meteor Breath!” The Gear Golem fell apart. “Set one card and end.” Cid smiled.

“I’m going to come back, Cid. But I’m bound right now.” Wes sighed.

“Meteor Breath!”

“My move!” Wes smiled, “It’s a start. Set two cards and end my turn.”

“Now, fire off a meteor at Wes!” Cid ordered. A meteor shot off, but fizzled out of existence.

“Sorry, Orlandu, reveal Negate Attack!” Wes sighed with relief. “My move!” he drew dramatically, “Blast! I might need to pass this turn! I do…”

“Meteor Breath!” This meteor bound for Wes did not fade.

Wes’ eyepiece locked onto the meteor, and a the screen filled with the red flashing word ‘Warning’. The flaming rock knocked Wes on his back. Wes staggered to his feet, Life Points at 1300. He drew, “You’re done.” Wes smiled.

“You’re not in much of a place to make threats.” Cid laughed.

“On the contrary, Cid. Monster Reborn! This gives me your Red Eyes. And I’ll set one more card to complete my turn.”

“Your head is so big you odiously can’t here that tiny voice of reason in it.” Cid threw two cards face-down, “Meteor Black Dragon, OBLITERATE!”

“Nice try, Dragon Handler, but it isn’t happening! Activate Metalmorph!”

“So? Red Eyes still isn’t strong enough?” Cid watched the Red Eyes coar itself with metal, “Red Eyes Black Metal Dragon’s attack factor is only 2800. Mine’s 3500.”

“That’s what this one’s for, Mirror Force!” Wes laughed as the meteor, only inches from the Metal Dragon, spun bound for its launcher. The meteor hit the Meteor Dragon, destroying it. “And now, on my turn I play another Tribute Doll, summoning Machine King! Metal Dragon, attack!”

Cid braced himself against the attack, his Life Points down to 1200. He drew, “A valiant effort, Wesley.” He smiled, “Reveal Dark Hole, consuming your monsters! Then I play the card I drew, Premature Burial. By reducing myself to 400 Life Points, I return my Meteor Black Dragon to the field!” The giant dragon flew back to the field, “OBLITERATE!” The meteor hit Wesley, knocking him down again.

“And the winner!” Alan ran over to Cid and raised Cid’s arm in the air, “Cidofolos Orlandu! But don’t worry Wes, there’s a few Wild Card Slots coming up later.”


“Up for the next match, is the former God-King of the Primordium, Illarya Eden, versus the dueling unpredictability known as Kaya Theas.” Alan called, “Duel!”

The two women launched their Duel Disks.

“So, you’re that psycho Sev told me about?” Kaya drew.

“Not exactly,” Illarya drew her hand as well.

“Doesn’t matter.” Kaya set a card face down, “Come forth my Kiser Seahorse!”

“Summon Vorse Raider! Vorse, attack!” Illarya ordered.

“Negate Attack!” Kaya smiled, “Nice try. Stupid girl.”

“Do you mock me?” Illarya looked at her Duel Disk, “Perhaps I should not have told Cid I was ready for this…”

“Hey!” Cid screamed from the sidelines, “Once you start thinking of your own defeat, you’ve lost! You can do it!”

“Touching. Really.” Kaya drew, “Too bad she’s right. Offer Kiser for my Wingweiver!”

“You’ll pull through, Illarya!” Raven cheered.

“No she won’t!” Sevanos cheered right next to him.

“Wingweiver, attack!” The six-winged massager shot a beam of light at the beastly solder on Illarya’s field.

Illarya drew as her counter dropped to 3150. “Summon Double Caston and set one card face-down.”

“You think I’ll fall into my own trap? I play Mystical Space Typhoon-“

“Activate trap Wabaku!” Illarya smiled, “I know you won’t fall into your own trap, so I set you a different one.”

“Turn end.” Kaya threw a card face-down.

“Sacrifice my monster for the great Cosmo Queen!” A regal woman of the cosmos appeared before Illarya, “Sorry. Queen, Cosmic Blast!”

“Draw!” her Life Points fell to 3750, “Defend.”

“Cosmo, attack!” Illarya ordered, “I set a monster in defense mode.”

“So do I.” Kaya ended her turn.

“Cosmo, hit it.” Illarya shrugged, “Another trap set. Go.”

“Summon Rocket Warrior and set two cards. Rocket Warrior, go for the face-down monster!”  A small rocket flew at the defensive monster, only to be deflecte3d.

“Gear Golem, the Moving Fortress. That’s 700 more damage.” Ilarya smiled.

“Nope!” Kaya laughed, “Rocket Warrior takes no damage. Now, I complete my turn.”

“Cosmo Queen, attack!”

“Reveal trap Magic Arm-Shield! This takes your Gear Golem to block your attack!” A hand grabbed the Golem and moved it into the way of the Queen’s blast. “My move,” Kaya drew, “Sacrifice for my Beast of Gilfer in defense mode. Another face down card, and my turn is done.”

“Cosmo, attack.” Illarya sounded bored.

“Reveal trap card, Call of the Haunted! This returns my, now a little undead, Wingweiver. And, since you destroyed Gilfer, he comes back with a vengeance!” The Beast of Gilfer flew under the Winged Messenger, raising its attack by 500, “Now it’s my move. Wingweiver, Holy Gilfer Flame!” A beam of light surrounded by fire tore through the Cosmo Queen.

“Activate trap, Destiny Board!” A large Ouija Board appeared above Illarya, and above it, a ghost heald the letter F.

“Destiny Board?”

“The Ouija Board of Death. There are five Spirit Messages, F, I, N, A, and L.”

“Final?” Kaya cocked her head.

“Played in order, FINAL is the countdown to just that, your final turn.” Illarya laughed, “Let the fun begin!” Her Life Points fell to 2800, “Now that your turn is done, I beseech the spirits to bring their next message!” The letter I appeared above Illarya, “Hey, looks like they listened. Well, now that it’s my move and I have Message L in my hand, perhaps I should play this, Reload!” Illarys slid her hand into her deck and drew a new one, “Scapegoat!” Four sheep-goats appeared before her, “Go.”

“Attack the blue scapegoat!” Kaya ordered as she considered her options.

The letter N appeared above Illarya, “Set one monster and complete my turn.”

“Summon Shining Angel. My angels will take out two more Scapegoats.”

“Then I’ve won,” Illarya smiled as A appeared above her, “at the end of your next turn.” She drew, “Reveal my monster, Old Vindictive Magician.” The aged caster shot a beam of energy at the Winged Messenger, sending it to the Graveyard. “And sacrifice it for this monster in defense mode. Go.”

“Take out the final Scapegoat.” Kaya sighed.

L appeared above Illarya. Spirits surrounded the field. They formed into one great creature, which attacked Kaya.

“The winner, Illarya Eden!” Alan raised her hand.


“Match sixteen, the last match for this evening, the legendary beauty Kaomi Itai versus the perpetual thorn in her side, as if by some odd force of fate or uncreative writing, Arkith Panzer.” Cheers rose as the duelists took their positions against he darkening sky. Floodlights blinked on. “Duel!”

“You need to just give up, Panzer.” Kaomi launched her Duel Disk.

“What if you gave up back at the American Nationals? Remember joining with your American cousin? Remember being totally demolished at my hand? What if you quit?” Arkith responded, alunching his Duel Disk, “Set two cards face-down and summon Kycoo, the Ghost Destroyer!”

“I’ll set two cards and summon my Humanoid Slime in defense mode!” The human-form aquatic creature defended itself.

“I’ll set another card, play Rush Recklessly, and activate this spell, Final Countdown!” Twenty fireballs flew into the sky, “Kycoo, Reckless Exorcism” Beams of light shot at the Slime.

“Reveal Mirror Wall!” A wall rose before the beams, weakening them. They crashed harmlessly against the Slime.

Arkith’s Life Points fell to 3250. “Turn end.” One of the small fiery markers faded.

“Mirror Wall extinguishes, and I sacrifice my slime for my Ryu Kokki! Kokki, attack and destroy Kycoo!” Kaomi orderd, “Yo0u aren’t gonna make it nineteen more turns, boyo.”

“I disagree, reveal Rope of Life!” A rope stretched into the dark abyss and pulled Kycoo out of the nothingness, with an attack of 2600, while Arkith’s Life Points fell to 2650.

“Doesn’t matter, Kokki will instantly toast it anyway.” Kaomi shrugged. A fireball faded.

“If I keep Kycoo. Activate Snatch Steal, taking your monster and offering both as well as my Tribute Doll for my greatest monster!” Arkith rose a card into the air, “Come forth, my mighty Moisture Creature!” A watery creature swept Kaomi’s field clean, “And thanks to my Pyro Clock of Destiny card I cut two from the eighteen turns left for Final Countdown, and my creature is free to attack your Life Points directly! Then I play the Red Medicine spell card, raising my Life Points to 3150!” Red sparkles surrounded him.

Kaomi drew, her Life Points at 1200, with fifteen turns on the clock. She needed a miracle. She did not look at her newly drawn card.

“Perhaps my not quitting is paying off, Itai. I do enjoy watching you struggle!”

“C’mon Kaomi!” Sevanos called, “Send this creep back to L.A., where he belongs!”

“Right.” Kaomi added the card to her hand, “Time for you to get the hell outta my country, Panzer! Summon Copycat!” An odd creature with a mirror appeared on Kaomi’s field. After a mere moment, the image of the Moisture Creature was burned into the mirror. “Not activate the spell card Giant Trunade and the other spell Riryoku!” The Copycat’s attack shot from zero to 2800, then it shot up 1400 more to come to a stop at 3200. “Fry that freak’s creature!” From the Copycat’s mirror the Moisture Creature attacked. The real creature faded to nothingness and a heavy toll was shot at Arkith’s Life Points. The crowd roared. “Set one card and end my turn.” Kaomi said coolly.

Arkith’s Life Points were a mere 350. “Draw!” he glared upward. Fourteen. That would be of no help. “I defend and complete my turn.”

“Activate Soul Exchange, offering your monster and mine for Seiyaryu, then play, get this, Pyro Clock of Destiny!” Two fires faded.


“Not really. Seiyaryu can attack now.” Kaomi drew her hand back, “Mystic Flame, obliterate!” Kaomi shot her hand forward. The crowd went wild.

“The winner, Kaomi Itai!” Alan called over the cheers, “We will complete the first phase tomorrow morning at eight. See you all then!”


Raven watched the people leave. The seemed so excited. So energized. They talked of their favorite duelists. Raven looked over to Kaomi, who had several kids talking to her.

“You’re awesome!” one of the young boys said.

“Seiyaryu is my favorite too!” another said.

“Will you autograph my Seiyaryu.” A girl said. This request seemed awkward to Raven, but he supposed it made sense on some level. Kaomi was only too happy to oblige.

"Will you marry me?” Some creepy guy approached them. This was Raven’s cue. Raven walked up behind the creepy guy, not noticed by him, and beat him with his Duel Disk. The creepy man fell unconscious.

“Thanks, Raven.” Kaomi laughed, “Bye kids! If that creepy guy wakes up, just do what Raven did.”

The kids then started talking of Raven.

“A little hero worship?” Raven smiled.

“Cute kids.” Kaomi smiled as well, ”I bet that girl’s mom sells the Seiyaryu on eBay. Five dollars.”

“A hundred.” Raven laughed. “I just wonder if the Duel Disk System will render an autographed card differently.” Raven laughed more.

“Oh, Raven. Things are so happy now.” She rested her head on his shoulder. “Has that Egyptian guy come back for the Scale?”

“Not yet. It’s in my room at Stars HQ.” Ravens responded.



“I love you.” Kaomi said

“I love you too.” Raven smiled.


Kaomi knocked on Raven’s door. “Raven? I know it’s late, but I can’t sleep. I’m worried.” There was silence, “Raven?”



Raven stood on the roof staring at the moon, the Millennium Scale in his hand.


“Raven!” Kaomi sighed with relief; “I was worried when you weren’t in your room. So I searched and didn’t see you anywhere… what are you doing on the roof at three in the morning anyway?”


“I have a bad sense about things. I think these happy times are in danger.” Raven did not shift his gaze, “Aura, Lantash, and Shuyin went to Cairo Branch because the said they found something that no one could translate. It looked ancient Egyptian, but a dialect they had never seen. The three of them went there to examine it and bring it back here. They’ll be here tomorrow morning.”


“How do you know all this?” Kaomi asked.


“Visions induced by the Scale.”


“Dreams?” Kaomi suggested.


“No. I was awake.”


“Maybe you’re right, Raven.” Kaomi sighed and walked up next to him, staring at the moon with him, “I have an ominous sense about the end of this tournament. Something bad is going to happen. We should pull out of it now.”


“Kaomi!” Raven was shocked, and looked at her.


“I mean it Raven. You’ve slayed enough demons!” Kaomi said, almost in tears, her glance rapidly shifted to meet his, “Like I said. I love you. I can’t risk loosing you anymore!”


“Kaomi, the demons I’ve slayed both turned out to be fine people. Besides, I want to know why I ‘slayed those demons’. And I want to know about Nemesis.” Raven embraced her.


“Nemesis is the ranting of a madman. No more.” Tears formed in Kaomi’s eyes.


“You felt its presence. I saw its opposite.” Raven said, calmly.


“You say a hallucination caused by that damn scale!” She burst into full-blown tears.


“Kaomi. This is bigger than us.”


“Nothing is bigger than us.” Kaomi sobbed. “I won’t lose you!”


“That’s right. And I won’t lose you.” Raven closed his eyes, “I promise.”


“Raven, what do you think this artifact will tell you?” Kaomi dried her eyes on his sleeve.


“The truth about the events in Ancient Egypt, whatever that is.” Raven sighed, “Sevanos’ version of events is incomplete, I know that. And I know Seros is a chronic and habitual. But, to quote an American TV show, ‘The truth is out there’, an I aim to find it.”


“Be careful. I fear that this time the danger is much more clear and present.” Kaomi choked back more tears, “Don’t do anything stupid.”


“I won’t.”




“Good morning!” Alan greeted the crowd, “This morning’s first duel will be the man behind all this, the mighty Sevanos, versus the man with Exodia’s master set, Seeker!”  The men entered the elevated ring.


“Let’s see how you do, Seeker.” Sevanos smiled.


“Well.” Seeker drew and smiled.


“I’ll have you know that I just added a few little bonuses to my deck because of you.” Sevanos grinned, “I’ll make my move. I summon my Monkey Monkey in defense mode and set these two cards face-down. Go.” A small square with wings appeared before Sevanos.


“I play Sangan in defense mode and set two cards. I now play Graceful Charity!”


“Mystical Refpanel!” Sevanos drew three cards, “Discard Guardian Angel Joan and Heavy Storm.”




“Summon my Hysteric Fairy. Fairy, attack!”


“Jar of Greed!”


“Fine.” As Sangan exploded, Seeker drew, “And now I get the left arm of Exodia from my deck and add it to my hand.”


“You’re done, Seeker.” Sevanos smiled, “I guess all you need is one of Exodia’s limbs right now, so I’ll hit ya hard and fast. First, destroy your deck with the card D. D. Designator! L:eft Arm of the Forbidden One!” An elf aimed it’s sword at Seeker’s hand, knocking the Arm into play, then shattering it., “Now, I play Monster Reborn, bring Joanie back. Joanie and H. Fairy attack directly. For a grand total today of…” The two blasts hit Seeker, “4600 points of damage, giving you 600 extra points of damage. See ya, Exodia-boy.” Sevanos walked off before Alan could raise his arm in victory. He then glanced at Serenity, “Top that.”


“Sevanos Otaga, the winner!” Alan called from the stage.




Barbas watched from the ops room on a large television screen. Opaka came in with two cups of coffee.


“Sev roasted the Exodia duelist.”


“Well, yeah.”


“Hey!” A third, male, vice rang in the room, “Can we switch it to Comic Party? Episode thirteen is on!”


“Shuyin?” Barbas nearly spit out his coffee as he spun in his chair, “What did Cairo Branch want?”


“Something about this,” he pulled out a large flat piece of rock, “This. Aura and Lantash couldn’t make heads or tails of it, so the Cairo bigwigs wanted Sevvy to look at it.”


“I’ll go put it in his office.” Barbas took the artifact.


“That looks like the same type or tablet as the Ancient’s Star device.” Opaka observed, “The Repository of the Ancients.”


“The Ancient’s Star was missing a piece by the control mechanism.” Barbas looked at it, “I’ll be back.”




Barbas stood in an elevator bound for basement floor ten, the deepest and most guarded floor. In order tro be confirmed to go there, a key must be inserted into the elevator. The doors slid apart revealing a careened corridor with a metal door at the end marked “Do Not Enter”. Barbas then swiped a keycard. The door opened revealing a white, well-lit room. In this room the computer would scan him for anything dangerous, and to match him to one with a high clearance code. Then, another door, marked “Classified” opened. He entered. This revealed another corridor. He walked down to Room 34, marked “Ancient’s Star” He used his keycard again to grant him access to this room. He approached a pedestal in the center of the room, on which a large stone box was sitting. There was a small panel jetting out from one side with a series of three levers on it. All three were locked. Above this panel, an area had been chipped off. “The Repository.” Barbas placed the last piece on the puzzle and the device glowed briefly, but the glow faded. The levers were still locked. “Worth a shot.” Barbas walked out.




At the tournament site, a call came through backstage. Sevanos answered, “Yes?”


“Sevanos, Shuyin, Lantash, and Aura are here. They brought us the last price of the AS Device.”


“On my way.” Sevanos hung up and face Raven, “We’ll rig it so you’re up next. We’re needed at HQ.”




“You have a Millennium Item, and our situation is distinctly Ancient Egyptian.” Sevanos explained.


Raven shot Kaomi a glance and nodded, “Right.”




“Next up! The man, the myth, the legend, Raven Vaniver!” The crowd roared as Raven entered  “Versus the big-talker of the Stars, Serenity Tesconé!”


“Let’s go, L.A. girl!” Raven launched his Duel Disk.


“Someone has a superiority complex.” Serenity launched hers, “I summon my Cyber Harpie!” A Harpie in cyber-armor flew to the field, “And play the spell Elegant Egotist! Your card, Raven.” She taunted, “This brinds forth my Harpie Lady Sisters!”


“My move!” Raven drew, “Go forth and serve, Forgiving Maiden!” The Maiden arose, defending herself. “And I’ll play these three cards face-down.”


“I play Vampire Lady in attack mode. End my turn.” Serenity did as she said.


“Time to play Fusion Sage, acquiring my Polymerization and activating it. Here’s a feminine monster I don’t see you using, Serenity!” Forgiving Maiden dissolved to be replaced by an angelic redhead in battle armor. “Destroy the Vampire Lady!”


Serenity drew as her Life Points fell to 2450. “Maybe not that exact one, Vaniver.” She laughed, “Offer my Harpies to summon the Guardian Angel Joan!”


“Since when does everyone have that card!” Raven yelled in frustration.


“Go.” She set four cards face-down.


“I set a monster and another card and end my turn.” Raven gritted his teeth.


“Joan, attack!” Serenity ordered.


“Sorry, Tesconé, but this field is only big enough for one Joan! Reveal my Witch Doctor of Chaos!” The Guardian’s blast destroyed the Witch Doctor, which shot a counterattack at the Guardian.


“Activate Interdimensional Matter Transporter!” Serenity called.


“Blast.” The counterattack shot into nothingness, “That’s it. My move!” Raven drew, “Time to see who is better prepared. Activate the Spell card Tribute to the Doomed!”


“Activate Magic Jammer!” Serenity responded.


“Plan B, activate Ring of Destruction!” Raven called as a ring of bombs appeared around the Guardian’s neck.


“Activate Fairy’s Hand Mirror!” The Ring glistened in the mirror, than flew at the Saint Joan.


“Activate Card Guard!” A shield of cards appeared before the Saint Joan, blocking the Ring, causing it to fade into nothingness.


“That’s it!” Serenity clenched her fists.


“Enough of this!”


“Joan, attack!” Both ordered. The two angels shot streams of light at one another, both shattering. The crowd gasped. “Activate spell card!” both called, “Monster Reborn!” The two Joans reappeared. The crowd roared.


“Stalemate,” Serenity said, a little annoyed.


“I refuse to accept that.”


“Raven, is your heart in this duel?”




“Cause I’ll put mine in it if you will.”


“Come again?”


“Raven Vaniver, may the Heart of the Cards guide you to victory.” Serenity drew, “Offer Guardian Angel Joan for the Dark Magician Girl. Go Raven.”


“Acivate Tribute Doll, and offer the Saint Joan for the Tyrant Dragon.” Raven closed his eyes, “Perhaps I’ll understand this someday.”


“Hopefully.” Serenity passed her turn; “I stand strong, with no moves left.”


“By your reference, checkmate.” Tyrant Dragon shot a fireball at the Magician Girl, incinerating her.




“Interesting victory.” Sevanos drove at highly unsafe speeds through the town.


“She just gave up.”


“Raven, sometimes you can learn from victories. You know why she summoned the Dark Magician Girl?”


“Heart of the Cards?”


“Exactly. If you don’t base your choices on that, you dishonor the game.”




Sevanos, Raven, and Barbas stood in the presence of the ancient device.


“Raven, see how the Scale reacts to it.” Sevanos ordered.


Raven pulled out the Millennium Scale, and aimed it’s all-seeing Eye of Anubis at the device. The item and device lit aglow.


“Go pull the switches!” Barbas called.


“Hey!” Raven spun, “I can read this text!”


“What?” Sevanos ran up next to him. The text was still in the illegible Egyptian dialect.


“I can read it. It says ‘The unabridged knowledge of our ways is here, for whomsoever holds a regal sign from the Pharaoh’s court. Simply activate the device.’ I think it means the levers.”


“You know what this means, Raven? Shadow powers! The knowledge of the Pharaoh himself is at your fingertips!”


Raven pulled the first lever, the Scales sitting on the panel. The light in the room grew more intense. He pulled the second lever. All the words and drawings on the device shot a great golden light from them, and he pulled the third, filling the room with a blinding light.




The sands blew around Raven, but not Raven, and Seto Kaiba, but not Kaiba. The both wore off outfits, and Raven seemed little more than an observer.. He heard himself saying words, but he did not mean to. He was not in control.


“High Priest Set, I tell you again, I will not turn myself against the Pharaoh.”  Raven said.


“Oh, Tiamat, old friend, it is for the betterment of Egypt! The will of the Gods!” Seto replied.


“If it were, why were you not deemed Pharaoh? No, things will not change. I won’t let them.” Raven walked away.


“The day of reckoning is coming, Mage!” Seto called after him, but Raven shrugged it off.




Raven’s real body lie on the floor. The Scales shined brilliantly in tune with the device, and an Eye of Anubis glistened on Raven’s forehead.


“Get him to the medical section.” Sevanos ordered.


Barbas flipped open his cell phone, “Medical emergency in Classified Section, Room 341”




“Next match, the master of Toons, and the apprentice of the game’s creator, Ardrea Amun, versus the, well, versus Shuyin Beolve!”Alan called, “Duel!”




“We shall duel!” Raven said, the sands circled them.


“Pharaoh’s servant. We will. Just not now.” Sevanos, or Seros as the case had it, drifted wawy.




“Summon Toon Gemini Elf!” Ardrea called.


“My move!” Shuyin drew, winked at the crowd, and threw a monster in defense mode.




“So, here we are, Servant.” Seros laughed as sand swirled about them in the dark night.


“Yes. Our armies have destroyed one another, and so it comes down to us!” Raven, or Tiamat, replied.


“Realm of shadows, in this twilight hour, accept their souls and grant me power!” Both chanted reportedly. Darkness swirled with the sand.


“A great power is unlocked by this consumption of souls, Tiamat.” Seros explained, “Watch!” Seros began to glow as he transformed into an angel, “The power to destroy all of Egypt by becoming a Shadow Creature!”


“Never will I let you!” Tiamat shimmered red, as he became the great red dragon.  “This ends now!”


The great monsters clashed, Tiamat shooting fireballs, dodging beams of light. The great shadow energy blanketed Egypt.


“Dragon, do you see that you cannot defeat me?” the angelic Seros smiled.


“Angel, I will not let you pass!” Tiamat flew at Seros head-on. A great light crossed the country.




The next thing Raven knew he was running toward something. Men chased him firing arrows, which he dodged. What was he after? Who was after him?


“Leon Vaniver!” one of the men in pursuit of him called.


Leon was Raven’s ancestor from 1600s Europe. What was going on? Was all this the work of the Ancient’s Star device? If so, what did this have to do with Egypt?


“Leon!” He heard a voice ahead of him. It was Kaomi’s.


“Anne!” he called.


“Fire!” Called one of the men behind him. An arrow shot forward. It missed Leon, but hit Anne.


Leon stopped at Anne’s side. “Anne!”


“Take care of Kayla.” Anne coughed, “And let my husband know how much I hated him.”


“I will.”


“What are you waiting for, Leon? Get to Stonehenge!” Anne passed.


Leon drew his sword. Those bastards would pay for taking his friend! No. He had a mission. He ran faster, more determination drove him. He came to a stop at Stonehenge, specifically an alter at the center of Stonehenge. He took the Millennium Scale from his pack, “Realm of shadows, defend me!”


A great Tyrant Dragon appeared above Stonehenge. It shot it’s flames down upon the army chasing Leon.


“Run! Report the loss to Master Otaga!” One of the solders, a high-ranking one, called.


“God.” Leon glanced over his shoulder than back at the Scale, “Realm of Shadows, pass your judgment upon me. If I be worthy, grant me what I desire! Pass judgment on myself and the demon Otaga!”


Two hearts appeared on the scale. The scale tipped, and the hearts faded. Then, the great pillars of Stonehenge lit aglow, and a voice rang. “You cannot!” the voice called, “In this sacred ground, I speak to you. It is not your fate to kill Otaga, for your and his descendants will stand against myself and he who twists your fate. But I see how my opposite has ruined your existence. Allow me to fix everything.”


A short distance away, the corpse of Anne healed itself and returned to life.


“And I will clean this slate!” A great light swept all of England, as those who knew of the events of the Vaniver-Otaga feud forgot either party existed.




“The winner!” Alan rose the hand of Ardrea Amun, “Ardrea! Like no one saw that coming!”




“How is he?” Sevanos asked Dr. Ezulu.


“Still unconscious, but look at this.” Ezulu pulled out two brain scans, “This,” He pointed to the first. Fairly uncluttered and clear, “Is a normal brain scan. This is Raven’s,” He pointed to one far more active, “An average human uses about ten percent of their brain, one using Shadow Powers uses about fifteen. Raven is using thirty.”


“So?” Sevanos failed to get it.


“Well, I am not sure… I just know he’s using three times his normal brain capacity.” Ezulu explained.


“Call my office when he wakes.” Sevanos left.




Raven now stood in a wood. At least, he sopposed he was himself. He had a Duel Disk, and was playing aginst someone in a white cloak.


“I sacrifice my monsters for the Tyrant Dragon!” he called.


“Raven, what are you doing here? Is this how your comfortable?” The voice, the same as Leon heard at Stonehenge, came from the cloaked man.


“Who are you?” Raven asked. As if to answer, the world around him melted away and he found himself floating in space.


The white-cloaked figure was replaced by a white cloud. “Seraph”.


“And this world? These time shifts?” Raven asked.


“What the Repository thought you should know.” Seraph replied.


“No ancient magics, no big important message?”


“Why do you think I’m here, Raven? You know your history. You know of myself and Nemesis, and you know your tie to the Tyrannical Dragon. Sadly, the things you seek are not here, but the things you must know are.”




Sevanos ran into Ezulu’s office, “What is it?”


“Remember those brain scans? Look at this.” Ezulu pointed to an active image on his computer screen, “His brain activity just spiked a moment ago to almost ninety percent usage. I had him placed in solitary confinement for observation once he awoke. Look at this.” The image on the monitor switched to a live feed of Raven. He was speaking in seeming gibberish, and writing on the wall with a red marker the same dialect found on the Ancient Repository. “All I’ve been able to make out are several calls for Kaomi.”


Sevanos picked up the phone, dialed quickly, and spoke, “Barbas, get Kaomi over here. Send her to Doctor Ezulu’s office.




“Phase Two of the tournament begins tomorrow!” Alan called, “The first match-up will be Illarya Eden versus Mr. Takahashi. The following people are getting passed without Phase Two duels: Sevanos Otaga, Raven Vaniver, Kaomi Itai, and Cid Oulandu, due to a sudden illness fallen by Mr. Vaniver.” The crow chattered and gasped.




“He’s been like this for hours.” Ezulu reported to Kaomi and Cid.


“Will he come out of it?” Cid asked.


“No way of knowing. Given what Raven translated on the Device in the basement, Wesley has run a translation of what he wrote, but we don’t have a lot. Miss Itai, your name appears quite a bit in his speech, both normally and in this Egyptian tongue he’s speaking. Also this symbol, “One was enlarged, “’Contest’ or ‘duel’ appears often. As well as these one for Light and Darkness, and several ones that struck me, this chain appears to be three numbers.”


“What are they?” Sevanos asked.


“12, 22, and 2012.” Ezulu responded.


“December 22, 2012?” Kaomi raised an eyebrow.


“I’ll have Barbas Google it.” Sevanos left.


“Raven…” Kaomi sighed, “I want to got talk to him.”


Ezulu nodded.




“Raven.” Kaomi entered the white room whose smooth walls were coated in red ink.


“Kaomi.” The door seemed to close itself, though it was Raven’s work.


“What’s going on?”


“What…” Raven fell to the floor, the Eye of Anubis finally fading.


“Dr. Ezulu!” Ezulu received a call on his Nextel, “Raven’s brain activity scans are returning to normal.”


“Kaomi.” Raven barely uttered.




“Raven?” When he awoke, Kaomi stood over him, “Do you remember anything?”


“I remember activating the Repository, and then hearing your voice and now being here.” Raven held his head, “What hit me.”


“About five thousand years of knowledge. Here.” Sevanos handed Raven the Scale, Tell me if you can read this.” Sevanos then showed Raven photographs of the scribbling on the wall.




“Believe it or not, you wrote it.” Dr. Ezulu entered the room, “You were at over nine times the normal brain usage. No wonder you forgot everything. Odds are you took something away from it, thought.”


“December 22, 2012.” Raven said quietly, “That date seems important to me.”


“You wrote it several times. We were able to translate that because it was in a more standard dialect.” Cid explained.


“What does it mean?” Kaomi asked.


“Couldn’t tell you.” Raven sighed.


“Do you know if you found the answers you wanted?” Kaomi asked.


“I know I didn’t.” Raven sighed. “Even if I did, I would have forgot them all anyway.”


“What kind of a sense do you have about him Kaomi?” Sevanos asked, “Maybe his subconscious remembers something.”


“When he was in that room, I sensed great evil, good, and from him, great fear and anxiety,” Kaomi shrugged, “What it means is beyond me.”


“Maybe the Repository sent us a warning. He did choose red to sketch those symbols. And you say he was quite afraid.” Cid reasoned.


“A warning.” Raven said. “Good, evil, maybe a warning about Seraph an Nemesis.”


“There goes ‘business as usual’.”


“Mr. Otaga, this is business as usual.” Ezulu smiled.


“Rest up you guys, we’re all passed from tomorrow’s duels.” Sevanos left.




“Sevanos!” Barbas ran into his office, “Google search complete. Here are the results. December 22, 2012 is a Saturday, the estimated date of death for about 50,000 people, interestingly, the final date on the Mayan calendar, 2012 is an American Election year, the…”


“Wait, the Mayan Calendar thing! That sounds important.”  Sevanos thought, “Mark it, and investigate more.”


“Yes, sir.” Barbas left.


Sevanos sighed. As soon as Barbas left he stood. He slid the painting behind his desk aside and entered the room of Tablet paintings. He had not been here since his duel with Raven in the private tournament he held after Battle City. He stood in the center of the room. “I feel I’ve done something very bad.” He spoke to himself, “First, I let Raven use that ancient device. How stupid was that? Ezulu reported much longer in the state he was in, he could have died.” Sevanos paused, “Moreover, this tournament is a Nationals Qualifier. Meaning the four duelists making it to the Semi-Finals would make it to Nationals next week, which is little more than a formality; since this is the only qualifier anyone took part in. This was stupid.  I really don’t want to send anyone to the World Championships just for winning a single tournament.” He forced a laugh, “Funny, in my head, the two sounded about even, but saying it, the former is a bit worse than the latter, eh?” He stood, silent, “Now I’m talking to myself. Am I loosing my mind? Nowhere near as bad as if I had activated an Ancient Star device, but still…” he paused, “I wish someone would show me which way to go now…” he sighed.




“The new day dawns, and the third day bring the end of the tournament. The Top Thirteen are here now, with one Wild Card slot available. There is one more Wild Card slot in the Quarter-finals, and with the first one having gone to the relatively new duelist on the block, Kaya Theas, it is leaving everyone to wonder, with the start of the tournament moments away, just what will happen today?” a reporter said to her camera crew, “Back to you, Tomomi.” She paused, “That’s a wrap. I’m taking my seat.” She ran into the stands.


“Attention Ladies, Gentlemen, and Duelists!” Alan-Tax entered the stage, “It is my first pleasure to report that Raven Vaniver is back on his feet and he and those close to him will be back in today’s duels!” A cheer rose, “Now, at exactly eleven o’clock, I bring your attention to this stage, where former psycho-twisted self-proclaimed God-king Illarya faces off against her mentor in the ways of good, the Dragon Handler Cid!” Another cheer rose as Cid and Illarya entered the arena. “Duel!” Alan called.


“And so the student becomes the master.” Illarya launched her Disk, “Sorry Cid, I won’t go easy on you.”


Cid launched his Disk, “Nor I, you.”


Illarya drew, “I summon the Vorse Raider in attack mode. Go.”


“Summon Dragon Dwelling in the Cave in defense mode. And set one card face-down.” Cid shook his head, “You’ll have to play inventive to defeat me. Don’t make moves a novice could predict. Who taught you to open aggressive? Can you think on your feet, Illarya?”


“Better than you think I can, sensei.” Illarya replied, “Offer the Vorse Raider for my Luster Dragon #2!”


 “Not bad.”


“Thank you. Now I play Heavy Storm, blowing away your trap.”


“Mirror Force.”


“See? You need to make less predictable moves.” Illarya set two cards face-down. “Luster, attack!” A fireball slammed into the Cave Dragon, shattering it.


“My move.” Cid smiled, “I summon the Lord of Dragons.”


“Oh, hell no! No you don’t!”


“And play two Flutes of Summoning Dragon!” In the Dragon Lord’s hands, two gold flutes appeared. Each sent out a tone. Four orbs fell from the sky, “Summoning Luster Dragon #1, Red Eyes Black Dragon, Twilight Dragon, and Tri-Horned Dragon.” Cid laughed. “Just to let you know, my Twilight Dragon’s 3000 Attack points aren’t the only teeth it has. This monster instantly destroys any Light monster it does battle with. In addition, I may sacrifice any face-up Light or Dark monster to raise this monster’s ATK by 500 for one turn.  Surprise, surprise. I have Red Eyes and Tri-Horned Dragon on my field. But we’ll save that for a direct attack. Tri-Horned, destroy the Luster Dragon.”

“Negate Attack!” Illarya called, springing her trap. “My move” She drew. She needed a miracle. And she got it. “I set two cards face-down and play a monster in defense mode. Go.” Illarya smiled.

“Red Eyes, attack the defensive monster!” Cid called.

“Reveal Zero Gravity!” All Cid’s monsters assumed a defensive posture. “My turn again. Offer my two monsters so summon my Buster Blader!” Illarya called, laughing, “With four dragons on your field and one in your Graveyard, that’s a 2500-point boost. Meaning my Blader has 5100 points of attack. Blader, slice up the Twilight Dragon.” The Buster Blader slice clear through the black dragon.

“I set one card face-down.” Cid called, “Go.”

“Blader, take out the Lord of Dragons!”

“You’ve caused your defeat. My Lord of Dragons has prepared a magic trick for you. It’s called Magic Cylinder!”

“Really, ‘cause I call this card Seven Tools of the Bandit.” Illarya smiled, “What was I saying, Cid? Oh, right.” The swordsman flew at the Dragon Lord, slicing it in two.

“Blast.” Cid passed his turn.

“This has been fun, but let’s get it over with, eh, Cid? Activate Dark Hole!” A black vortex appeared above the field, sucking the monsters on the field into it. “Now, Spell Card, Monster Reborn!” Illarya called, “Come back, Buster!” The Buster Blader rose from the floor of the arena, “Ready, sensei?” Illarya asked.

“Yes.” Cid replied.

“Ruin Ray, Obliterate!” Illarya called. The great Dragon Slayer slammed it’s sword into the ground, sending a shockwave at Cid, knocking him on his back, and in one direct attack, reducing his Life Points to zero.

“The winner!” Alan called as cheers filled the stadium, “Illarya!”


 “Next, the amazingly grand Raven versus the Toon Girl Ardrea!” Alan called, “Duel!” Cheers rose.

“Ready to go, Raven-boy?” Ardrea smiled.

“You’re starting to sound like Pegasus.” Raven smirked.

“So?” Ardrea drew. “Perpare yourself for the nightmare of Toon World!” She threw the Toon World card into her Duel Disk. “Now, I summon three Toon Mirmades and sacrifice them for Toon Magician Girl and the Toon Blue Eyes White Dragon!”

“Such a heavy investment. Hate to see it go to waste,” Raven drew, “Set three cards face-down and play the Giant Solder of Stone in defense mode!” A great stone solder assumed a defensive posture.

“Blue Eyes, attack directly!”

“Reveal Dust Tornado, blowing your Toon World away, and that attack cost you.” Raven watched her Life Points fall to 3500, “And those lovely monsters go too.” The Blue Eyes and Magician Girl turned to paper and fell onto the ground, fading away, “As if that wasn’t bad enough, I can now set this card as well.” Raven smiled, “Did you think this would be easy?”

“No.” Ardrea threw a monster in defense mode, “Go, Raven.”

“That’s right.” Raven smiled, “Let’s have fun. I activate Soul Exchange, offering your monster and mine for the Dark Magician and set two more cards. Go.”

“The time for praise is over. I play Stray Lambs, and activate my Black Illusion Ritual, offering one for the mighty Relinquished!” A little lamb was dropped into a cauldron, which transformed itself into the great and terrible Relinquished. “Absorption Force!”  The Relinquished began pulling the Magician in.

“Activate trap Remove Brainwashing!” The Relinquished’s pull stopped.

“Summon Soulmaster Meisei, and play the Talisman of Trap Sealing!” The Soulmaster took a pinkish talisman and threw it into the air at the center of the field. “Absorption Force!”

“Activate Spell, Mystic Wok, giving me 2500 Life Points and sacrificing my Dark Magician.” Raven called, “My move?”

“Yes.” Ardrea scowled.

“Activate spell card Heavy Storm!” Raven ordered. Winds blew their Spell and Trap cards away as his Life Points rose to 6500. “I set two cards and end my turn.”

“Sacrifice the Soulmaster for my Illusionist Faceless Mage.” Ardrea closed her eyes. She was in an awkward spot. She could attack, but if one of those cards was something to revive a fallen monster, she’d be in a very bad place. Her hand was totally useless to her. All Toons and no Toon World… “I end my turn.” She shifted Relinquished to defense mode on her Duel Disk, and the Relinquished on the field closed it’s shell.

“Draw!” Raven drew, “Activate Monster Reborn, returning my Dark Magician. Then I summon my Breaker, the Magical Warrior!” A well-dressed magical swordsman came into existence next to the Dark Magician. “Magician, destroy the Mage.” The Faceless Mage shattered, “Now, Breaker, hack and slash the Relinquished!” he ordered. Relinquished fell.

“My move.” Ardrea drew, and smiled, “Activate spell carda, Monster Reborn on my Relinquished, and Polymerization, combining it with my Thousand Eyes Idol to create!” The two monsters appeared on the field, and a bright light shot from them, the new creature floated there, “Thousand Eyes Restrict!” Each of the one thousand eyes opened, paralyzing the monsters on Raven’s field.

“The Restrict.” Raven closed his eyes, thinking of a weakness. He found it.

“Absorption Force! Take Breaker!”

“Reveal Shift!” The Dark Magician was absorbed instead.

“Gee, thanks.” Ardrea laughed, “I was counting on the fact that you’d be so out of it you’d do that. Restrict, use Pilfered Power Attack!” From the central eye, a great energy blast shot at Breaker.”

“Breaker, activate effect and counterattack!” Raven called.

A force pushed back on both. When all was said and done, however, Breaker stood, while Restrict had fallen.

“How?” Ardrea stared forward as her Life Points fell to 1900.

“Simple. Breaker gave up three hundred points of attack to cast a spell of his own, allowing him to destroy one Spell or Trap card on the field.” Raven explained.

“So?” Ardrea folded her arms.

“So, I chose the Dark Magician!” The crowd gasped and cheered, “My magician was transformed into a Spell by your fiendish Restrict. By destroying the Magician, I lowered Restrict to zero points of attack. Since it had attacked, Breaker could cut through it like butter.”  Raven smiled as more cheers rose.

“Set one card and end my turn.”

“Summon Forgiving Maiden in defense mode. Breaker, attack!” Raven called. He could have finished it this turn, but he wanted to test the water first.

“Negate Attack!”

“Just as I thought. Go.” Raven waved her on.

“Right.” She studied her hand. She was fresh out of moves. “Go.”

“Offer my Maiden and my Warrior for my great Tyrant Dragon!: Raven called, “Dragon, attack!” he called, That was game.

“The winner, as expected, Raven Vaniver!” Alan called to loud cheers.


“Match four of seven. The lucky girl from last round, Kaya Theas versus the unstoppable dueling crazed woman, Kaomi Itai!”

“Crazed?” Kaomi entered.

“Duel!” Alan called over the cheers.

Kaomi launched her Duel Disk, “Morning, Missus Otaga.”

“Well, if it isn’t Vaniver’s girl.” Kaya launched her Duel Disk.

“I play a monster in defense mode and set one card face-down. Go.” Kaomi smiled.

“Summon my Gemini Elf!” The twin elves came to the field. “Attack!”

“Nimble Momonga!” Two face-down monsters appeared, and her Life Points rose to 5000.

“I think I did a bad thing.” Kaya sighed.

“Yup. Sacrifice my two monsters for my Seiyaryu!”  Kaomi called, “Seiyaryu, destroy that monster! And to finish up, Pot of Greed.”

Kaya’s Life Points fell to 3400. “Set one monster and a Trap. Go.”

She tipped her hand. Kaomi thought. Now I know it’s a Trap. Maybe she’s bluffing, though… “Seiyaryu, Mystic Flame!”

“Negate Attack.” Kaya smiled.

“Set three cards face-down and a monster and end my turn.”

“Sacrifice Kiser Seahorse for Wingweiver.”

“Sadly for you, I’ve studied your moves, Kaya.” Kaomi smiled, “So go ahead Attack me.”

“I will,” Kaya drew back her hand, hesitantly, “Destroy Seiyaryu!”

“Activate Zero Gravity!” Seiyaryu and Wingweiver took defensive positions. “Now, offer my two monsters for Dark Magician of Chaos!” The Pot of Greed slid out of her Graveyard, “Activate Pot of Greed again.” She put it back in the Graveyard. “Now, Dark Magician of Chaos, Ultimate Silence, Silence the Wingweiver!”

Kaya drew, “I’m out of moves, aren’t I?” She set a monster in defense mode.

“Sorry, Kaya.” Kaomi drew, “Activate Monster Reborn, returning Seiyaryu. Seiyaryu, attack. Dark Magician, direct assault.”

Kaya watched her Life Points fall, “Finish me, Kaomi. Even if I beat you, you got a better chance going farther than I do. We know it.” Kaya sighed, and waved Kaomi on.

“Seiyaryu, obliterate.” Kaomi ordered, somewhat saddened.

“The winner, by a give-up, Kaomi Itai!” Alan called.


“That brings us to the renowned beauty of the arena, Aura Leathe, versus our Wild Card!” A screen behind the stage lit, displayed on it was a picture of each eliminated Duelist. “Ready?” Alan asked. A red square highlighted each picture. One by one the red squares faded away, and the duelist’s picture with them. The last picture was enlarged. Serenity Tesconé.

Cheers rose, a section of the crowd began chanting “Serenity! Serenity!”

“Aura versus the lucky L.A. girl Serenity Tesconé!” Alan called to the cheering crowd. Serenity ran onto the stage with Aura. “Duel!” Alan called.

“Lucky you.” Aura smiled at Serenity.

“Wish I could say the same, Miss Japan.” Serenity shot a glance at Alan and smiled, “Let’s see how culture can clash here, eh?”

“What kind of name is Tesconé for an American anyway?” Aura drew, “Go Aqua Mador!” A masked aquatic sorcerer appeared.

“Well, my grandfather was… who cares?” Serenity drew, I set a card face down and play Amazoness Swordswoman in attack mode. Battle damage done to her goes to you, so I attack your Mador, dealing 500 points of damage!” The Swordswman crashed into the Mador’s defense screen of water, but Aura’s Life Points fell to 3500.

“I gotta kill that” Aura drew, “Or stop it. I set two cards face-down and complete my turn.”

“Amazoness, attack!” Serenity ordered.

“Reveal trap card, Spellbinding Circle!” The Mador began chanting and a magical circle appeared around the Amazoness, “Good luck with that strategy, Serenity.”

“Fine. Offer my Swordswoman!” The Amazoness and the circle faded, “To bring forth my great Dark Magician Girl!”

“My move.” Aura drew, “Nice, but not good enough. Sacrifice Mador for my Millennium Shield.” Aura smiled, “Can you take on a Millennium Item?”

“Sure. But not yet.” Serenity drew, “Summon Harpie Lady and activate Elegant Egotist, to bring forth my Harpie Lady Sisters!” Serenity smiled, quite pleased.

“Still can’t touch me.” Aura smirked.

“Not without using every card in my hand. Too bad for you I plan to.” Serenity laughed, “Activate Magical Dimension, offering two of my monsters to Special Summon any Spellcaster from my hand, so come forth my Dark Magician!”

“I fail to see what you are trying to do, Serenity…” Aura sighed.

“This. Offer Dark Magician and Dark Magician Girl to summon!” Serenity held the last card in her hand high, a blinding light soaring from it, “Sorcerer of Dark Magic!”  The two mages flew into the sky, and a blinding light devoured them. Then, the Sorcerer of Dark Magic fell to the field. “Oh, your little trap, it can’t be sprung.”

“Watch me.” Aura scowled.

“Sorcerer, attack that rusty toy of hers.” Serenity smiled.

“Reveal my Silver Dollar trap card! This saves my monster of less than 1000 attack from destruction!”

“Well, it would.” Serenity conceded, “Silence her trap.” The Sorcerer looked at the trap and pointed its staff at it, “Fire at will.” A beam of magic cut through the trap card. Serenity smiled at Aura, “You were saying?” Another beam shattered her shield.

“This ain’t over! Not by a long shot!” Aura looked at her hand, “In fact, it’s time to show you who the real duelist is. First, I play the spell card Portal of Millennia!” Aura’s field slid open and she threw the Portal spell in it. In the center of the stage, a great Eye of Anubis appeared. “Next, I play The Shallow Grave, bringing my Shield back, face down defense mode.

“And returning my Harpie Lady Sisters.” Serenity smiled. All was going perfectly fine.

“Now, here goes my Millennium Shield and Sword, adding the Millennium Sword to my hand.” Aura smiled, “Now, Fusion Sage, adding Polymerization to my hand, and lastly summon Manju of the Ten Thousand Hands!” An odd fairy-like creature with ten thousand arms appeared on the field, “Adding the Black Luster Solder to my hand.” Aura smiled, “A lengthy move, but all comes to fruition now. Activate Polymerization, combining Black Luster Solder, Millennium Sword, and Millennium Shield to create!” The luster solder appeared on the field in gold armor. The great gold Millennium Sword appeared in it’s one hand, and the Millennium Shield flew to it’s other. “Millennium Luster Solder!!” Aura screamed. “Now, lastly, for my field’s effect to hit my monster!” A shining Eye of Anubis appeared on the Solder’s forehead, and an odd aura of light surrounded it, “My Luster Solder is protected from Spell and Trap cards as long as the Portal’s out. I attack your Sorcerer!” the Luster Solder lunged at the Sorcerer, slicing it in two.

“My move!” Serenity drew, her Life Points down to 1200, “Don’t count me out yet, activate Monster Reborn, returning my Sorcerer, and activate the spell, Spell of Reprisal! This adds the Life Points you took from my Life Points last turn and adds them to my Sorcerer!” Serenity smiled, “Bet ya didn’t expect that to come back and bite ya. What was it, 2800 Life Points?” The Sorcerer began to chant something and seemed to resonate with energy, “Now they both are at 5000 points of attack, huh? Well, that’s what this last spell is for. Go, Megamorph!”  The Sorcerer seemed t double in size. “That’s 10,000 points of attack. I think that’ll do ya in, don’t you?”

Aura sighed, and flashed the Mirror Force in her hand.

“That’s alright, Aura. My trap was Seven Tools. Sorcerer, OBLITERATE!” Serenity screamed.

“The winner,” Alan called, “Lucky Girl Serenity Tesconé!” The crowd, especially Serenity’s cheering section, went wild.


Alan entered the center of the stage hours later, “Attention, spectators! Coming up is the Semi-Final Round!” cheers rose, “The Semi-Finalists are…” Raven’s picture with the Tyrant Dragon appeared on the screen behind the stage, “Raven Vaniver!” Raven’s was replaced by Serenity’s picture with the Dark Magician Girl. “Serenity Tesconé!” The crowd roared as Serenity’s picture was replaced by Sevanos with Shinato, “Sevanos Otaga!” Sevanos’ picture was finally replaced by the picture of Illarya with the great angel of death, Doma, the Angel of Silence on the screen with her. The other three shot her an odd glare.

“I believe in heart too, you know. Why do you think I took Exodia out? Why do you think I use Buster Blader?” The others continued staring, “Just ‘cause I haven’t used it on you…” Illarya huffed, “Forget it.”

“We’re going to have a four-way free-for-all to decide who versus who in the semifinals!” Alan explained to a cheering crowd, “We’ll determine who goes when by the following process. Each duelist removes one monster from play at the start of the duel. The attack factor, from highest to lowest, will determine the position of each duelist. In the event two duelists have the same attack value, the defense is examined. If the defense values are the same, it goes alphabetically by card. If the cards are the same, it goes down to alphabetically by the duelist’s first name.” Alan explained the selection process at length.  “Duel!” The, somewhat confused, crowd cheered, because they felt they were supposed to.

“Let’s go.” Serenity smiled, launching her Duel Disk.

“Time to show you why I’m president of this organization!” Sevanos launched his.

“Fun time!” Raven closed his eyes as his Duel Disk launched.

“Time to duel all of ya, and not hunger for your souls!” Illarya joked, launching her Duel Disk.

“The card I select is the Dark Magician, with 2500 points of attack!” Raven held up his Magician. It was, in his opinion, cooler that the one Yugi had made famous. Raven’s was in red armor with white hair. He loved this variation.

“My card is the Guardian Angel Joan!” Serenity smiled, “Had to one-up you, Raven!”

“My card is the Shining Friendship,” Sevanos smiled, “I’m not foolishly wasting my greatest monsters on the starting positions.”

“I am.” Illarya laughed, “Buster Blader.”

“So, wait, I choose one of the highest attacks you can get out of a normal monster, and I come in third!” Raven sighed, “Isn’t that my luck.”

“Calm down, the duel hasn’t started yet.” Illarya looked over to him, “Innocently, sorry for defeating Kaomi.”

“No worries, Illarya. I’ll just have to win this for the both of us.”

“So cute.” Sevanos scowled, “I’m going to throw up. Make your move, Serenity.”

“Right.” She drew, “I play two cards face down and summon Harpie’s Brother in attack mode. Go, Illarya.”

“Right.” Illarya drew, taking on a more serious demeanor, “I summon Sangan in defense mode and set this. Go.”

Raven drew, “Go and serve, my Rocket Warrior!” The small missile flew onto the scene. “And another face-down card.”

“I’ll finish the round by playing my monster in defense mode. That’s all.” Sevanos nodded to Serenity.

Serenity drew. What a spot, she thought, If I attack Raven, I do damage… but the question is who do I want to face… I know Raven and Sevanos our out of my league, but Illarya is too! I really don’t belong here. I can’t beat any of these people… I’ll just take who I get. Thinking about it isn’t getting me anywhere! She resolved to treat it as any other duel, and to take an opportunity like Rocket Warrior. Of what she had seen Raven play, Rocket wasn’t one of them… but she could afford risks right now. “Summon Vampire Lady!” Serenity called, eying the arsenal of traps poised to slay her from the other duelists, “Vampire Lady, devour the Rocket Warrior!”

“Reveal my Rush Recklessly!” Raven called.

“Ouch.” She winced. She couldn’t do anything about that. The Rocket Warrior flew through her Vampire and hit her square on, lowering her Life Points to 3350. She eyed the Sangan and Sevanos’ card, but decided not to see what secrets other duelists had to offer. “Go.”

“Summon Witch of the Black Forest” Illarya smiled, “And activate Polymerization.”

“Sangan and Witch of the Black Forest?” Serenity cocked her head.

“Allowing me to retrieve Watapon and Doma, the Angel of Silence!” Illarya smiled, “Watapon in instantly summoned, and I sacrifice it for Doma, the Angel of Silence by activating Ultimate Offering and paying 500 Life Points!”

“Yes.” Raven braced himself. This wasn’t good.

“Come forth, one of my favorite monsters, Sangan-Witch!” A more bluish Sangan in white magician’s robes appeared from the hologram of the Polymerization, as the regular Sangan and Witch of the Black Forest faded away, “2100 points of attack, 1800 points of defense, and 9999 points of cuteness!” Illarya smiled thinly, “Sangan-Witch, destroy Harpie’s Brother!”

“What kind of name is Sangan-Witch anyway?” Serenity hit a trigger on her Disk, activating her trap, “Shift! This focuses your attack on Raven’s monster!”

“How nice of you.” Raven shot a glare at Serenity as the Sangan-Witch’s magic crashed into his Rocket, and reduced his Life Points to 3400, “Still beating you though.” He smiled at Serenity.

“Doma, attack…” Illarya paused. This took thinking. She didn’t want Raven to fall until she figured out which way she was going… “Attack Sevanos!”

“My monster was Monkey Monkey.” The small square angel was shattered by Doma’s touch of death.

“My move!” Raven drew, “I’ll defend with this and set three cards. Go.”

Sevanos drew, “I set a monster as well, and three cards face-down.” Sevanos waved Serenity on.

“Offer Harpie’s Brother for the Dark Magician Girl and set another face-down card. Go.” Serenity glared at Illarya.

“Sangan-Witch, attack the Dark Magician Girl!” Illarya ordered. She had to take the risk. If this DMG threat were to escalate…

“Raigeki Break!”

“Getting rid of my Witch?”

“No, your Angel.” Serenity glared at Doma, “And I discard my Dark Magician by the Break’s effect, meaning you lose Witch, and 200 Life Points.”

“Are you three content to play by yourselves or will you just ‘bring it on’ already.” Sevanos scoffed.

“Go, Vaniver.” Illarya scowled at Serenity.

“Indeed I will. First, I’ll activate Foolish Burial on my great Barrel Dragon. This will send it to Serenity’s Graveyard, now I combine it with Monster Reborn, returning it to my field. Now, I activate its effect targeting Sevanos’ monster.” The Barrel Dragon appeared on Raven’s field, cannons fixed on the defensive monster. The first cannon showed a green light, the second did as well, and so did the third. “Blow it up, but attack Illarya’s Life Points directly.” A single cannon shot Illarya, knocking her down to 1200, but two shot at Sevanos’ monster, Kelbek, before shattering it.

“My move!” Sevanos drew, “Summon my Agent of Creation, Venus, and pay 1500 Life Points to summon three Shine Balls. All in attack mode mind you.”

“Draw!” Serenity called once Sevanos waved her on. “I activate Sage’s Stone and Knight’s Title, acquiring my second Dark Magician and transforming it into the Dark Magician Knight. This raises my DMG to 2600, and allows me the power to destroy one monster on the field. I select the Barrel Dragon!” Serenity glanced at Raven, “Bye-bye, Barrel!” The Magician Knight began chanting as its sword lit aglow. Black runes began swirling around the blade, as the Knight slid his hand along the edge, lightly enough to touch, but soft enough as not to cut. “Dark Destruction Slash, instantly destroy Raven’s monster and attack him directly!” The Magician sliced the Dragon in hald and Raven stepped back bracing for the powerful blow that came next.

Raven simply laughed, “You proceed as if this were an everyday duel. You ever think that perhaps you just did me a favor? Put me a step in the right direction?” his Life Points fell to 900

“Maybe, but who cares? DMG, go for Illarya’s Life Points!” Serenity smiled.

Illarya’s Life Points hit zero.

“My move!” Raven drew, “I summon my Forgiving Maiden and attack the Dark Magician Knight!” Raven ordered. His Maiden flew across the field but the sword of the Magician Knight sliced it apart.

“Fool.” Serenity smiled.

“No, I wanted to face Illarya. A bit of retribution for elimination Kaomi, I curse you to third place at best!” Raven smiled at Illarya.

“Sounds like a mighty fine curse, Mr. Vaniver.” Illarya laughed, “But I promise, no Shadow Game this time.”


“What?” Barbas entered the Operations room where Shuyin and Aura stood.

“Lantash is missing, and the Ancient Star is acting odd.” Opaka spun in her chair.

“And these two?” he motioned to Shuyin and Aura.

“Aura is concerned for Lantash.” Opaka explained.

“And Shuyin?”

“What else, the remote control.” Opaka gestured to the moniter, where the match-ups for the semi-finals were posted.

“Tell them to postpone for a half an hour, and tell them to get over here. Also, contact Wesley; tell him I’ll meet him outside. Tell him we’ll use his car.”  Barbas went for the door.

“Where are you going?” Opaka asked.

“Lantash hunting. When Raven and Sevanos arrive, Aura, take them to the fifth basement floor. Tell them that it’s the Ancient Star. Sevanos can that you past the security measures.” Barbas made rapidly for the door.

“What about me?” Opaka called.

“Phones!” Barbas exited.

“I really don’t want to watch thirty minutes of break. Can we change the channel now?” Shuyin asked Opaka, as Aura exited as well.

“Sit down and shut up.” Opaka sighed. “Good luck, Barbas.”


Mere moments later. Raven and Sevanos stood before the glowing device.

“Who touched it?” Sevanos sighed, “Tell me it was Shuyin so I can kick him.”

“It wasn’t.” Aura reported, “It just started up.”

An Eye of Anubis began glowing on Raven’s forehead, “We should go.” He said.


“Now. Evacuate the building.” Raven looked over his shoulder as Sevanos.

“Right.” Sevanos dragged Aura out.

“It’s only a matter of time now.” He closed his eyes as his hair began to be tossed by a nonexistent wind.


Lantash burst onto the arena floor, with a now near-empty stadium, darkened by lack of floodlight. “The sign is coming.”

“Yeah. Sign this.” Barbas stood opposite Lantash holding a silver case, “Wes, lights on.”

The floodlights buzzed to life, shining down upon them, Barbas smiled, “Let’s talk Lantash.” He sat the case on the ground, and crouched next to it, “You got people worried back at the HQ.” he pulled the Duel Disk out of the case, “But what I really want is to know what sign you’re referring to.”

Lantash smiled, “The sign I knew would come, mortal. The reason I gave this vessel willingly to Seros, the reason I helped you defeat Illarya. I wanted to be here when the climactic battle came to pass. So I could watch your futures end.”

“Well, it seems we have a wolf in sheep’s clothing.” Barbas stood, Duel Disk on his arm, launching.

“Well, it appears the cards will do the talking for us.” Lantash launched his Duel Disk.


In the Stars HQ, alarms sounded. Lights thought the building turned red. Opaka’s voice rang through the halls, “Clear the building, this is not a drill!”

Shuyin looked over at Opaka, Sevanos, and Aura, “Shouldn’t we go?”

“Yes.” Sevans nodded, turning.

“What about Raven?” Aura said, worried.

“Raven knows what he’s doing.” Sevanos led the other three out of the building.


“Summon my Gearfried the Iron Knight and st a card face-down. Go.” Barbas smiled.

>“Summon my Skilled Dark Magician and attack!” ordered Lantash.

“Reveal trap card Windstorm of Etaqua!” The Skilled Mage took a defensive pose. “My move.” Barbas drew, “Summon my Ancient Lizard Warrior!” A Lizard with a mere 1400 points of attack appeared. “Gearfried, his Magician, Lizard, his Life Points!”

Lantash drew, Life Points down to 2600 as he set two cards face-down, “Not bad. Summon Skilled White Magician! Magician, defend!”

“My move!” Barbas drew, smiling, “Sacrifice my Ancient Lizard Warrior and Gearfried the Iron Knight for my Serpent Knight Dragon!” The great dragon entered the playing field, “Dragon, destroy his monster.” Barbas smiled, “You call yourself a duelist? I haven’t played since Battle City, but I’m still roasting you!”

“Are you?” Lantash laughed, “Or are you just out of date?” he drew, “Now, my two Magicians leave my side!” The Skilled Magician flew out of the Graveyard. “And call forth my Chaos Emperor Dragon!” Lantash grinned evilly, “Also activate these cards, Card of Sanctitiee, raising our hands to six cards each, and Card Destruction, sending them to the Grave!” Lantash smiled, “Then reveal Disgraceful Charity! This brings up to having twelve card hands, friend. Now, Chaos Emperor Dragon, activate effect Apocalypse!” The Emperor Dragon shot a great blast at Barbas, knocking him onto the ground, deck scarrered about him. “That’s 12000 damage by CED’s effect, since my Interdimensional Matter Transporter saves my CED.” Lantash smiled, “That’s right, Barbas, lie down. You’re dead and you don’t know it yet. Now out of my way!” Lantash screamed, drawing back his right hand, and swiftly casting his hand aside, causing Barbas to fly into the stands, seriously injured no doubt. Lantash looked to Wes, “Aren’t you going to run?”

“Not likely!” Wesley walked to where Barbas was and launched his Duel Disk, placing the eyepiece on his face and activating it.



Sevanos ran to the street at the edge of the parking lot where Opaka, Shuyin, Aura, and now Kaomi stood. “Except Raven, the building’s clear.”

“You left him there?” Kaomi scowled.

“He told the rest of us to go.” Sevanos said, defensive, “So don’t accuse me! Besides, he can take care of himself. He knows what he’s do-”



A great earthquake rocked the area, from the building to the Stadium, and all across the quaint community. As it shook, the HQ began to become consumed in an odd glow, a bright blue pillar of light shot straight up through the building, and expanded to encompass it. The pillar seemed to stretch to the heavens themselves.


“This is it!” Lantash laughed, the Chaos Emperor Dragon staring down Wesley as Lantash was occupied with the pillar, “This is the sign!”

“Yeah, it’s a sign all right.” Wesley stared at it, “’Going out of business’.”

Lantash deactivated his Duel Disk, “I’ll let you be. Go tell Raven and Sevanos that Hathor said ‘Hello’.” Lantash laughed as he walked off.


Outside the Stars building rubble seemed to be strewn everywhere. Cars overturned, the ground ripped up at the base of the pillar, and those outside lay on the ground.

Sevanos stood. He looked at the pillar of light surrounding the building.

“Could he have survived that?” Aura asked, then paused, and closed her eyes, “Oh, Kaomi. Kaomi I’m so sorry…”

“He’s alive, alight?” Kaomi shot back, “He’s fine.”


Raven staggered to his feet, still in his Yami form. “Now I know what the floor of a taxi feels like.” He looked about him. He wasn’t in the basement; he seemed to be atop the pillar. The walls passed the place where he stood by ten feet or so, but the sky was right above him. The walls and floor seemed to be made of a sort of energy. Thinking about how was headache-causing material, no doubt.

“It is time.” A voice rang. A cloud of darkness swirled to form a human; a male in black battle armor with a silvery trim.

“Yes. Time to quit meddling in fate.” A white cloud produced a similar result, but in white and gold armor.

“What the hell am I doing here?” Raven asked.

“Keeping others out, and mediating.” The white knight, Seraph, responded.

“And being the first to go when this goody-goody looses.” The black-clad Nemesis smiled.

“We’ll see.” A Duel Disk of pure light, in its launched position, appeared on Seraph’s arm.

“I talk big, but my wrath is bigger!” A disk of shadows appeared on Nemesis’s arm.

“Duel!” They called, lightning cracking overhead as cloud cover moved in.


“Call Alan, tell him the finals will convene in the morning, due to unexpected delays.” Sevanos ordered Serenity, “Ardrea, next time you see Pegasus, tell him we’re sorry about losing the prototype.” He then came to Kaomi, “I’m sure he’s alive in there, Kaomi. Although I’m sure I’m dead soon enough.”

“C’mon, the insurance in there must be alright.” Kaomi tried to comfort him.

“Well, we’ll see.” Sevanos sighed. “I’m going to make a damage report.


Lantash approached the pillar from the opposite side. It was amazing, but did not appear to be solid.

“Lantash!” Sevanos stared at him.

“I represent one with a vested interest in this match. The great and powerful Hathor. Stay out of my way.” Lantash called.

“I can’t do that.” Sevanos launched his Duel Disk.


“Raven!” Sevanos called walking through the barrier of light.

Seraph and Nemesis shot each other a gaze, and flew to Raven and Sevanos’s sides respectively.

“A double duel?” Raven asked Seraph.

“My good friend, a little less impersonal.” Nemesis laughed and flew into Sevanos. Sevanos had a brief look of pain on his face, but that faded as his eyes turned totally black. A black Eye of Anubis took form on his forehead. “Get ready Seraph.” Sevanos’s voice wasn’t heard. It was the dark inhuman voice of Nemesis.

“I get the idea.” Raven closed his eyes. When he opened them he stood where Seraph was, and he looked to his idea to see himself. His eyes were a pure white and upon his forehead was a white Eye of Anubis. He had astral projected. Sent himself in to an out-of-body experience in order to let Seraph take command.

Both decks shimmered slightly. Odds are these demigods had their own decks to use. They still used their light and shadow Duel Disks.

“Let’s go!” Seraph spoke in a voice similar to Nemesis, but a bit more benevolence rang in it. “I’ll make the first move. I summon Kiser Seahorse and set two cards face-down. Go.”

“I set two cards face-down and summon Double Coston.” Nemesis smiled.

“They really are opposites.” Raven said to himself.

“We’re in mortal shells, we can differ now.” Seraph replied, “Too bad we have to bind immense power to use a human’s body…”

“Shut up and duel!” Nemesis screamed.

“Watch, Raven.” Seraph smiled, “Ready for a total shut-out? Sacrifice my monster for Blue Eyes White Dragon!”

Since they’re not of this plane, stands to reason their decks aren’t either. Raven sighed; I wish I had a Blue-Eyes. Imagine what Cid would offer for it.

“Reveal Chain Disappearance, removing all three of your Blue Eyes from play!” Nemesis smiled.

“Reveal spell, Dimension Fusion!” Seraph smiled, “and send out Polymerization, forming the Blue Eyes Ultimate Dragon!”

“Reveal Wabaku!” Nemesis sighed. He drew, “Summon Red Eyes Black Dragon and activate trap card Refresher! By paying half my Life Points, I can Special Summon my Meteor Dragon and combine them to form the Meteor Black Dragon.”

“Ultimate Dragon, attack and destroy!” Seraph called. “Good wins ‘cause evil stupidly plays in attack mode. You have 1000 Life Points left, Nemesis.”

“How anticlimactic. Too bad I’m now reviving my monster and adding these two cards, Scroll of Bewitchment, enchanting my Meteor Black Dragon with magical abilities. Allowing it to cast the Spell of Reprisal! Making its attack power 6500, beating yours by 2000. Attack!”

Seraph winced as the Ultimate Dragon was destroyed. He drew, Life Points down to 2000, “Trap card, Rope of Life!” The Ultimate Dragon retuned, boasting 5300 points of attack. “Set two cards and go.”

“So good plays poorly too? You left your monster in Attack Position.” Nemesis smiled, “Too bad for you I had a plan. Dragon, attack!”

“So did I! Reveal cards, DNA Surgery, making all monsters Dragons once more, and getting rid of the magic within your Dragon, and I also activate the Tailor of the Fickle, giving my Dragon your Dragon’s old spell. Since my card doesn’t require a correct target, my Dragon is still super-powered by the Reprisal spell.” Seraph smiled, “Ultimate Dragon, with a grand total attack strength of 8300, obliterate him!”

Nemesis closed his eyes, “You’ve weathered the storm, fair Earth, but you know how weather goes… no calm is eternal.”

“Bold words, Nemesis.”

“You know, brother, my defeat, as my equal and opposite force, is your defeat.” Nemesis smiled, “Your hand in these ties of fate is through if mine is.”

“Perhaps. But I think these people are strong enough to make their own destiny.” Seraph smiled as they drifted out of their host bodies, and slowly the owners of the bodies regained control.

“Really? Somehow I think our work here has yet to end.” Nemesis laughed manically as he disappeared.

“He’ll be back. I’m sorry we keep intruding on you all. It’s really the fault of my somewhat psychotic brother.” Seraph went to vanish himself; “I’ll just try to keep counterbalancing him like I have till now.”

“Maybe…” Raven stopped Seraph from leaving too, “Maybe our fate is to have you two mess around with our fate.”

Sevanos laughed, “Like fate is too lazy to write our story itself.”

Raven smiled, “We could have worse writers.”

“I wouldn’t be so sure of that.” Seraph faded away.

“Ya know…” Sevanos turned to walk out of the pillar, “That was an anti-climactic duel. I mean, that was sopposed to be the hard part?”

“I don’t think we’ve reached the hard part yet.” Raven made for the exit, “Think Seraph left me those Blue Eyes?”  Sevanos shot him a glare, “Yeah, I thought not.”

A bright flash forced both men to blink. When they reopened their eyes, they stood in the lobby of the Stars building. The others ran in.

“The building just… reappeared..” Wesley explained. Medics wheeled Barbas in.

“What happened to him?” Sevanos asked.

“A duel with Lantash. Lantash seems to have telekinetic powers; he threw Barbas from the arena floor in the Stadium to the stands. Broke a few bones, but Barbas will recover. Lantash gave me a message for you two. Err… ‘Hathor says hello’. Mean anything to you?”

“No. Not particularly.” Raven replied.

“I ran into Lantash outside the Pillar of Light the Ancient Star created. He said his boss, Hathor, had a vested intrest in the match between Seraph and Nemesis.”

“I remember something now, from my super-brain episode. ‘The Dark and Light spawned ghosts of gods, the malevolence of all mankind Nemesis, and the benevolence of all mankind, Seraph. The ghosts war with no meaning to their existence for all of eternity. But even eternity is not forever. Should the ghosts become mortal and war, the balance of our world rides on the outcome. Seraph, whose heart know only light, fights to protect existence and return both to their essence form, but Nemesis, whose heart knows only darkness, fights for the end of all existence.’ No wonder I tried to warn you guys. ‘The Great Box of Knowledge,’ the repository, ‘was made to give the necessary powers to those seeking to prevent this shadow duel, but others sealed their knowledge in as well, lo leave their legacy for ages to come.’ The story of the Repository.”

“What about 12, 22, 2012?” Seraph asked.

“Don’t know.”

“Trinary code?” Wesley shrugged.

:”There are three levers on the device.” Raven shrugged.


“I assume the first two levers are one and two, and the third imputs.” Wes reasoned.

Raven pulled the first lever, than the third. Both levers reset and a glowing number one appeared. He pulled all thee and a 2 appeared. He pulled levers six more times, until 12, 22, 2012 was displayed on the device. That slid to the top and revealed text below it. Raven reads aloud, “It says ‘by your calendar, December 22, 2012 is the predicted date of activation for this device. This device will trigger the climactic battle. Though the ghosts can tamper with fate, we believe this date will not only be the date of activation, but the last day of existence. We do not possess the power to destroy the eternal device of the Pharaoh’s Court, so we placed a warning inside. You must intervene. Human intervention is the key to our continued existence in this realm.’ It’s wrong.”

“The Mayan colander… based on a mistake made by Egyptians?” Wes cocked his head.

“We did find some pieces of the device in a museum in Central America.” Sevanos shrugged, “Maybe the Mayan people had it.”

“Maybe.” Raven sighed, “We have a tournament to complete don’t we?”


“The winner of the Fallen Star Cup, after his close defeat of Serenity Tesconé,” Alan called just a few hours later, at almost eleven-thirty, “Raven Vaniver!”

Raven graciously took the trophy.


Raven entered his quarters to find, to his dismay, that although the Millennium Scale was gone, a letter had come from Shadi.


You have handled this task better than brilliantly. If anyone should weild these scaled it should be you. I apologize for taking them back from you, but I had little choice. I am of the opinion that the Millennium Puzzle, Millennium Ring, the Millennium Rod, the Millennium Eye, the Millennium Necklace, the Millennium Key, and your Millennium Scales will need to gather again soon. This said, rumor tells of an eighth. Rumor also has it that before departing for America, the Pharaoh destroyed it. I do not believe the second rumor. It’s possessor, Anubis, was destroyed, and banished from the Pyramid of Light, but I believe the shattered Pyramid wasn’t the authentic one. I am of the belief that the authentic Pyramid of Light shall reveal itself to you. Bide your time and wait for it’s arrival or my return .In the meantime, Raven, do enjoy yourself. You deserve a break. Play the game, become as well known as the Pharaoh himself, and have fun! Life has much to offer. You will do well to enjoy it. You have a lifetime of challenges to your honor and to the Pyramid and to those you care for, so the reprieve should be indulged in.

                                                                Best Wishes,


Raven sighed. The note was both bad and good. Those notes suck, Raven decided.


Raven entered Sevanos’ office early the next morning.

“Raven, check this out.” Sevanos showed Raven a computer list, “We’re A List duelists! Same rank as Seto Kaiba and Yugi Motou!”

“Wait a sec… S List?” Raven pointed to a hyperlink at the bottom of the web page.

“Get this description, ‘A rank surpassing that of A List, the S List duelists are the best in the world. Their play-to-win attitude and deck styles are trend-setting and could easily duel circles around those on A List.’ Can you believe that?” Sevanos read.

“Pretentious brats.” Raven scowled. Then an idea fromed that brought a smile to his face, “Where are the World Championships?”

“America. New York City I think.” Sevanos shrugged.

“To paraphrase their Statue of Liberty, ‘Give me your ignorant, pompous, and gloriously diluted masses, and I will show them Heart of the Cards owns all.’” Raven lauged.

Sevanos picked up his phone, “Alan, prep the jet.”

“Who’s representing Japan?” Raven asked.

“Well, we have earned six slots in the Championship this year… so my, you, Serenity, Illarya, Kaomi and Cid?”

“No, Serenity and Illarya qualified for America’s six.” Raven replied.

“Well, how about we throw in Aura and Kaya?” Sevanos offered his opinion.

“Sounds good.” Raven nodded.

“Alright. I’ll send the list in a few minutes, and call the other six to the jet. The rest of our friends will take the second jet over.” Sevanos planned.

“Sounds good.” Raven exited.


Kaomi sat observing a duel. One duelist was a child she recognized. She would never know who it was if not for the Seiyaryu the young girl had on the field. It had Kaomi’s name on its stomach.

“So that’s how it renders.” Raven sat on the bench next to her.”

“Yup. I bet she feels special. She has a one-of-a-kind Seiyaryu.” Kaomi smiled.

“No one else asked you?” Raven asked.

“Well, that creepy guy you knocked out with your Duel Disk the other day, but I knocked him out with mine before he could finish his sentence.” Kaomi smiled.

“Good times.” Raven laughed lightly, “We’re going to the World Championship. Apparently some cocky group of self-proclaimed ‘Masters of the Duel’ thinks they can play circles around us.”

“They’re in for more than they bargained for.” Kaomi smiled. “I really stunk up that tournament Raven.”

“You’re going. No question. Arkith was right, you can’t let defeat get you down.” He reminded her.

“I’m afraid of loosing where my losses count for something.” She looked at Raven

“This S List is spreading their spheres of influence. Others are thinking like them…” Raven paused, “I’m willing to brake myself to shake this veil from everything I know. I’m not afraid. You shouldn’t be. I will defend you. I will save you.”

“I’ve got the faith in my deck Raven, but not in my own heart.” Kaomi sighed.

“Believe in yourself, Kaomi Itai.” Raven closed his eyes, “Have the faith to believe you can do anything.”

Kaomi was very silent for a moment, motionless. She was pondering these words. Then a smile swept her face, “Those jerks won’t know what hit ‘em!”

“That’s the Kaomi I know!” Raven laughed, “We leave later today!”

End of Part One

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