Fantasy This is Not Your Father's Yu-Gi-Oh!

Discussion in 'Genre Fiction' started by Digital Jedi, Mar 10, 2008.

  1. Digital Jedi

    Digital Jedi Administrator Staff Member

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    There is a [thread=50921]review thread [/thread]in the Writer's Cafe. Please make any comments there so I can keep posting chapters in this thread. Thanks a bunch! :D

    Chapter One: Dor-Seti

    Cold rain.

    Every time he attended one of these outdoor regionals there was cold rain. Probably because they always held Dor Seti’s Regional Tournaments in the middle of November. This November, the rain came down mingled with ice and snow. The crowd of spectators, all huddled together in a feeble attempt to generate warmth, formed an ocean of dark gray parkas. Parkas purchased for outrageous amounts by vendors at makeshift kiosks and stands. Luke shielded his cup of now lukewarm chocolate from the falling ice rain with a gloved hand. Why Dor Seti didn’t just build a coliseum like Veridon City or Kashus was beyond Luke’s comprehension. Maybe the residents of Dor Seti simply enjoyed hypothermia.

    “Luke!” Squeaked a tiny voice from amidst the sea of parkas. Luke scanned the crowd seeing nothing but more cold grey faces. “Luke!” It shouted again. Something small and bright yellow caught the corner of his eye as it bobbed out from among the crowd. “Over here, Luke!”

    Stacy Fallen, in her trademark yellow rain coat, popped out of the crowd from a completely different direction then Luke had expected. She must have been bobbing and weaving through them, taking advantage of the agility her diminutive stature afforded. She jumped onto Luke nearly knocking him over, her arms gripping him in a bear hug with strength unexpected of someone so petite. Half of his precious chocolate splashed into a muddy puddle below.

    “Oh! I’m sorry Luke!” When she saw how desperately he tried to balance his remaining Java. “I was just so happy to see you!”

    “Cutting back on the Ritalin again, Stacey?” Luke said, letting the rain wash away the spilt chocolate from his parka sleeve.

    “How’d you guess!?” Stacey giggled with a tight smile and maniacal gleam in her eye. She softened her face and stepped to his side locking arms with his. She looked up into the air whimsically and mused, “So, when are we gonna stop pretending and let everyone know our true feelings towards one another?”

    Luke shook his head, “I’ve never kept my feelings for you secret, Stacey. Everyone knows you disturb me on a deeply visceral level.”

    Stacey sighed. “That’s just the restraining order talking.”

    Still locked arm in arm they began to make their way towards the registration tent. Stacey began shivering and forcibly wrapped Luke’s arm around her shoulder.

    “You should have gotten here earlier.” She said. “The line for registration is out the wazoo!”

    “I pre-registered a month ago.” Luke stoically replied.

    “A month!?” She exclaimed. “That means you had to register your duel disk early. That means…”

    Luke tried to give her a simple non-emotive glance. It didn’t work and Stacey gasped as if she had just inhaled toxic fumes.

    “Ooo! Can I see it! Can I see it! Can I see it … “ she rattled on and on, all the while bouncing up and down like a 2-year-old on a fructose drip.

    “Alright, alright! Calm down! ” Luke looked around somewhat embarrassed by the display. “I wouldn’t want the bolts in your head to pop loose completely. God knows what would happen if we put them back in wrong.”

    Luke reached under the fringe of his parka, fumbling with something attached to his side. Passers-by seem to give him sideways glances, perplexed by the awkward motions of a man with his hands under his parka. He finally managed to undo the ties on his waist band and pull out the three meters of gleaming triangular plasteel.

    Luke’s Duel Disk was custom made. Nothing quite like the Nationals Championship winners had, of course. Luke’s disk was of his own design and built by his own two hands. The overall structure was built on the chassis of a standard YGO-7 Duel Disk Interface, only major personalized modifications had been made.

    The Game Zone Platform had been slightly enlarged. The YGO-7’s had the Card Zones cramped too tightly together, which often resulted in the cards being accidentally popped out of their zones. The Deck Cartridge had also been modified to hold, at least, a 60 card deck with ease and no jamming. While there was nothing he could legally do with the built-in randomizer, he did manage to “soften” the pincer devise that kept his deck from falling out of the Deck Cartridge, by gluing in a felt buffer. This would keep the backs of his cards from getting scratched by the metal grip. More importantly, he had managed to water seal the entire device with a new body, also custom painted red with gold flames.

    But perhaps the most telling of all personalizations was the Wireless Gaming Interface. No longer would Luke have to risk electrocution from sitting under a leaky pup tent or from the spilled drink of a careless duelist.

    Luke brandished it with no small amount of pride.

    “It looks like a hot rod!” Stacy blurted out.

    “It should. I based the design on an old picture of a car my dad used to own.”

    Stacy blinked twice with large brown cow eyes and a frozen grin. He’d mentioned his dad unconsciously, forgetting how uncomfortable he usually made the subject of his father when brought up. The rain pounded audibly against the Duel Disk for an awkward moment, until Luke finally decided to get it out of the rain.

    “Well” he said fumbling under his parka again. “This thing may be water tight, but lets not push our luck.”

    Stacey apparently had been holding her breath. “Were you able to make all the modifications you wanted?”

    Luke frowned, not at Stacy’s question, but at the sudden realization of what a cold, dripping wet Duel Disk feels like against dry clothes.

    “Yeah” He said, shifting his parka around uncomfortably. “”Mostly… The important parts anyway.” He was slowly beginning to realize that these parkas really didn’t keep you from getting wet on drizzly days like this, they just slowed the process down.

    Glancing at his wrist watch, Luke noticed that it was getting dangerously close to 8:45 AM, when registration closed.

    “Come on” He gripped Stacey firmly by the forearm. “Let’s get to registration before I miss my shot at national mediocrity.”
    Last edited by a moderator: May 8, 2008
  2. Digital Jedi

    Digital Jedi Administrator Staff Member

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    Long lines were not appropriately emphatic enough words to describe the cavalcade of geekyness that spilled forth from the registration tent. Why they always had one guy to deal with the swell of people that showed up for these events was another of those mysteries that Luke wondered about. It seemed the setup for these events was always a little haphazard, not too well thought out. Only the technical details were accounted for, but not anything that would make the process look smooth and professional. At least not at a regional. Nationals always had that crisp clean look. But then, Nationals had the money to make it so.

    Fortunately for Luke, his pre-registration allowed him to bypass the endless line of bland parkas and move straight to the registration desk, or in this case, folding table. There he could get his deck checked by the Head Judge, and have the TCG Oracle verify that his Duel Disk’s randomizer had not been tampered with.

    Dan Kherson was Head Judging the event this time. A large man with beefy fingers, Kherson had to have been a bouncer in his real life occupation. Seldom where there any skirmishes at an event he headed, since few of the participants at a regional were over 18 years old, or over 190 pounds. There was a rumor Kherson quelled a heated rulings debate between two top 8 players by banging their heads together like a couple of coconuts. It was only a rumor, of course. But most people were wise enough not to test the rumor’s validity.

    “Dan.” Luke said as he handed Kherson his Deck and Duel Disk. “I see they roped you into yet another event. What got you this time?”

    Kherson looked at Luke incredulously at first, until he recognized the face under the parka. “Luke?” His voice boomed like a shot gun in a empty silo. A rye grin curled on one side of his mouth. “You know I only come to these things for the chicks.”

    Luke looked dubiously at the blemished faces of the 98% male persuasion in the long line behind him. “Yeah. It’s a veritable babefest in here. How will us two real men cope with the swell of femininity?”

    Kherson let out a hearty laugh that bystanders could actually feel vibrating in their own chests. “Actually, Luke, I look forward to Judging this time. I hear there will be a few original deck types out there today. A couple of guys from the Collective came down from Kashus, and some graduates of the GX Academy are planning on playing some E-Hero nonsense.”

    Luke shook his head approvingly. “That sounds good. Jezreal said he’d be brining his Fiend deck today. That should be, what, five guys NOT playing Chaos?”

    Kherson let out a much softer chuckle as he plugged a connector into the I/O jack of Luke’s Duel Disk. He keyed in a few digits on his laptop and the TCG Oracle software began verifying his disk’s randomizer. He glanced at the yellow figure pressing close to Luke’s back. “I see you’ve already started sweet talking the ladies.”

    Luke looked over his shoulder and nudged Stacey with his elbow. “Say hello, Stacey”

    Stacey stepped out from behind Luke only long enough to say “Hello Stacey” and ducked back for cover. Luke just shook his head.

    Kherson did a quick, but thorough deck check, and retuned Luke his Duel Disk and UDE Card. A few more pleasantries and Luke and Stacey were out in the cold mist again making their way to another concession kiosk.

    “Why do you always do that to Dan?” Luke scolded Stacey. “I told you before, he is not Dark Ruler Ha Des come to earth looking for souls.”

    Stacey had Luke’s arm in a circulation impeding vice grip. “Did you hear his voice? I think he eats babies.”

    Luke sighed and dragged Stacey by his numb appendage to get some more hot chocolate.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 8, 2008
  3. Digital Jedi

    Digital Jedi Administrator Staff Member

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    If round one was any indication of how the rest of the day was going to go, then Luke would have stabbed himself in the leg with the nearest pencil. It would have been less painful. Twice, he let a player illegally Special Summon their Sacred Phoenix of Nephthys from the Removed From Play Zone without realizing it. By round five he had explained what Bottomless Trap Hole did seven times. And he encountered one player who seemed to think that two Solar Flare Dragons on the field meant he could attack Luke directly. By round 5 he did, at least, have the opportunity to defeat one opponent by simply activating two Nightmare Wheels and letting them sit there for several turns. But the victory was somehow tainted by the fact that his opponent was somewhere around eight years old.

    By the time intermission had rolled around, Luke was 2 in 6, and only one of those really felt like a victory. He was hungry, tired, wet and cold, and wondering why he insisted on subjecting himself to such torture.

    He stepped out of one of the smaller pup tents after his last duel with some guy who seemed to think that because he'd won, he was somehow required to give deck building advice. The drizzle had finally stopped, but not before turning into a full on downpour that actually collapsed a couple of pup tents on the eastern side of the event. At this point the ground was nothing but mud, fast food wrappers and soggy commons. He look around for Stacey, who last time he checked, was doing better then him with her Harpies deck of all things, then decided that it was time to grab another cup of java. If anything, the caffeine would make a suitable substitute for a will to live.

    About halfway to the concessions booth, he ran into Stacey, already munching on a overpriced frankfurter. He wished he had half her enthusiasm on one of her bad days. He also wished he had her frankfurter.

    “Guess what?” She mumbled with her mouth full. “I got to play a guy from the Collective. He’s running Criosphinx!”

    “Astounding.” Luke said in monotone. He was eyeing her snack. “Where’d you get the dog?” Over near the parking lot, there’s a guy selling burgers and stuff.”

    “Expensive?” He asked rhetorically.

    “It was either this or a Des Volstgalph.” Whatever it was that was passing for coleslaw dripped down the side of her check. “I passed on the Volstgalph, since the last guy I played slowly started turning into a giant roasted chicken.”

    Luke waited in line for his Java and then made his way with Stacey to the frankfurter vendor. It seemed as though there was just barley enough time to eat before intermission ended, and it was time to start up again.

    He rushed to the pairings board and noticed that his luck, for lack of a better term, was changing. It seemed like half the tournament had dropped out. The pairing where incongruous, as people now seemed to be paired with duelists with greater winning streaks. He was paired with someone named Manilow who looked like he’d been mopping the floor with everyone he’d played all day. Maybe his luck wasn’t changing after all.

    “Looks like your luck is changing friend.” Luke turned somewhat taken aback by the soft voice that came from behind him. It was a young kid, probably around 14 or 15 year old, with a grey parka hood framing around a decidedly effeminate countenance and two of the biggest eyes he’d ever seen on a human being. Luke would have mistaken the blonde tresses that where tucked neatly to either side of the hood for a girl’s, where it not for the decidedly boyish voice that came from their owner.

    “Sorry”, the boy said gently. “Didn’t mean to startle you. I’m Manillow. I’m your next opponent.”

    “Oh, hi.” Luke was taken further aback by the seemingly kind nature of this Manillow fellow. “I’m Luke” he said, and shook hands with him.

    “I’ve been watching you, Luke. I was sitting by you when that fellow summoned his Sacred Phoenix from the Removed From Play Zone. I would have spoke up, but Dan was otherwised engaged in ‘evicting’ ”, he made quote signs with his hands “a couple of kids from the event who seemed to think back talking Dan was a good idea.”

    “They thought they could take on Dan?” Luke said incredulously. “I hope the event got their names so their next of kin could be notified.”

    The pair of them laughed familiarly.

    “Well” Manillow said, “We’d better get to our tent before Dan sees us out here and reenacts the infamous coconut incident.”

    “Wise idea.” Luke agreed, and they made their way to their assigned pup tent.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 19, 2008
  4. Digital Jedi

    Digital Jedi Administrator Staff Member

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    You know....this wasn't terrible and I wish I remember where I was going with it to actually finish it.

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