The Darkness Within

The Gang - Act I

"We have always looked at chaos and called it God. What happens when we look at God and call it chaos?"

-Doccy Larsson Seraphim


You'd be surprised. Even with how glamorous New Domino looks on the main streets; every city has its dark alleyways. And the path to the factory of course HAD to be in one of the more 'remote' locations in New Domino.

The place resembled the Satellite in an eerie manner. Gravel and non-functional machinery all over the place. The smell of oil, gasoline and stuff like that was all over the place. I felt like vomiting most of the time, the smell was that pungent, but most of the time, I didn't really actually pay attention to the smell.

You see, my feelings for factory districts are a mixed bag; plenty of high places to scout out and monitor the area, but of course, someone else could do that too. And here, people were running around like wildfire.

Not employed security, which Chessary might have hired to protect their property, it was lowlifes, clad in ragged and dirty clothing, and almost all armed with Duel Disks.

It would only be a matter of time before a few foolhardy bastards decided to challenge me. And well, I kinda hoped some would. All this sneaking about was getting boring.

I gave my deck a spare glance. My Deck, the warriors of Nova. We had not lost before, although we had a close one a few weeks ago. That Anna Alexi, she seemed to counter everything I did. It was luck, and luck only that enabled me to defeat her.

Had I not drawn Nova Star, I would have been defeated by her Venomminaga. And I dared not think of what would have happened if I lost.

But that Field Spell, what was it called, Seal of the Darkstar? It wasn't in my Deck, that's for sure. And, I just seemed to play it out of instinct. Like I just did it without thinking about it.

Why? And what is this 'Darkstar'?

My thoughts were interrupted by two mangy-looking people stepping out in front of me. They were both wearing ragged clothing, and both were wielding Duel Disks.

Lucky me.

"What're you doin' in our territory, punk?" The guy on the left spoke.

"Nothing. Just out for a walk." I retorted.

"Well, if you wanna walk, then it's gotta be somewhere else. 'Cause we don't like strangers in our territory." He said, taking a step towards me.

"Your territory? I thought this was a free city."

"You can think all you want. Now hand over your Deck."

"Who, me? You want my Deck?"

"Yeah. Now fork it over, punk?"

"Well, if you want it that bad… then come and get it!" I said, whipping out my own Duel Disk.

"You're a real sucker for punishment, eh? Well, my buddy an' I are gonna show you how to Duel!"

"Duel!"

Players:

Jay Alkain: 4000 LP

Thug 1: 4000 LP

Thug 2: 4000 LP

Notes: Thug 1 and 2 Duel together. Due to the official 2-on-1 rules, Jay gets the first turn. No players can attack on their first turn. If Jay's LP reaches 0, Thug 1 and 2 win. If both Thug 1 and 2's LP reach 0, Jay wins.

Turn Order: Jay -) Thug 1 -) Thug 2

Duel Protocol: Ready

Initiating Duel

"As per the rules, I'll go first! And here comes my draw!" I said, as I gently pulled the first draw from my Deck.

"I'll start things off nice and simple. I'll summon Nova Gatherer in Attack Position!"

Nova Gatherer Lv: 3 Spellcaster/Tuner ATK: 1200 DEF: 300 (ATK)

A petite girl wearing red and black clothing with a long skirt, and big red eyes, with a red hood and she twirled a straw basket around as she rose up from the ground.

"Do you call that a monster? It's just a little girl! I thought you'd try to win!" One of my opponent's taunted.

"Taunt all you want, 'cause I don't care. And seeing as Gatherer has been summoned in Attack Position, I get to add a Spell Card from my Deck to my hand. I'll pick Solanus Jump!" I said, as my Deck pushed out the card from my Deck for me to add to my hand.

"Then I'll throw a pair of facedowns for good measure." I said as I slapped the two cards into their slots, and the corresponding oversized cards appeared face down on my field.

"That marks the end of my turn." I said. "Let's see what you two can dish up with."

"More than you can, punk! I draw!" The first thug roared as he yanked the card out of his Duel Disk.

"I'll summon Vorse Raider, in Attack Position!"

Vorse Raider Lv: 4 Warrior/Normal ATK: 1900 DEF: 1200

A horrid warrior rose from the earth wielding something like a crisscross between a spear and an axe took to the field. 1900 Attack Points was a lot for a Level 4. My Gatherer made a scared face as he arrived. I didn't like the sight of him either.

"Then it's my partner's turn!" He declared. No spells or Traps? This wouldn't take very long.

"And I'll use that turn! Draw!"

"First, I'll play Ookazi!"

"This lil' piece of hardware deals 800 damage to you directly! Let 'em have it!" Thug 2 cheered as the hologram of a burning house rose around me, and the house caved in around me, and I bended down on my knee with my arms shielding me.

Jay's LP: 4000 -) 3200

"Then I'll summon Big Shield Gardna in Defense Mode!"

Big Shield Gardna Lv: 4 Warrior/Effect ATK: 100 DEF: 2600

A heavily muscled warrior carrying a really big shield jumped forth on Thug 2's field, and immediately crouched down in defense. With 2600 Defense Points, I'd have to leave that thing alone for a bit. I had an idea for a combo, but right now I needed to just try and keep my Life Points safe until then, and maybe mess with the two until then.

"Then I'll end my turn." Thug 2 said, as the oversized card appeared on his field.

"My turn!" I declared as I pulled out my next card. Solanus Tight-Seal. Not really what I needed, but it wasn't the worst possible draw.

"I'll activate my Spell Card, Solanus Jump!"

"I haven't seen that card before. What's it do?" Thug 1 asked.

"This card lets me choose one Level 3 or below Nova monster on my Field, and it can attack directly this turn! And I, of course choose Gatherer as my target! Let the stars take hold!" I said as a small red star appeared before Gatherer. She giggled, and put it into her basket.

"And, since I activated a Solanus Spell Card, my Gatherer's effect activates, granting me an additional 500 Life Points!" Gatherer turned to me, and picked up a bundle of small flowers that glowed like the stars from her basket. She threw them at me, and they slowly drifted down around me while sparkling beautifully like small stars.

Jay's LP: 3200 -) 3700

"And then, I'll have Gatherer attack you there directly!" I said, pointing at Thug 2. "Gatherer, hit him with Shining Nova!" The sweet little girl yanked a small crystal ball out from her basket, which glowed a faint, red light. She then hurled it at Thug 2, and the crystal ball exploded in spectacular fashion. When the dust cleared, the thug had sears all over his clothes, courtesy of my powers.

"What the- this guy makes real battle damage! He's some sort of psychic!" Thug 2 yelled.

"Yeah, I'm a psychic. And I'm gonna make you regret you even crossed my path."

Not bad, Jay. Still, if I were Dueling, we'd already won. But I'll settle for watching them squirm.

Thug 2: 4000 -) 2800

"That'll be enough for now. Let's see what you can do." I taunted.

"Oh I will! I draw!" Thug 1 said, as he yanked his card out.

"I'll summon Hanewata in Attack Mode!" He said, as he slapped the card onto his Duel Disk.

Hanewata Lv: 1 Fairy/Tuner ATK: 200 DEF: 300 (ATK)

Hanewata was basically a small furball with big blue eyes. It was kinda cute, but that I wasn't interested in. I was more interested in the Level 5 Synchro he was about to summon.

"And then, I'll Tune my Level 4 Vorse Raider, with my Level 1 Hanewata!" Thug 1 spoke, as the furball turned into a green ring, and Vorse Raider leaped into the air, and jumped through the ring, and turned into four shining stars. Both were then enveloped in the shining white light.

"I Synchro Summon, Scarred Warrior!"

When the light faded, stood a powerful, scarred warrior. He was very heavily muscled, and his head was wrapped in bandages, and had a robotic right eye. His entire right arm was wrapped in bandages, and he lacked a hand. In the place of his hand was a blade. Parts of his body was replaced with mechanical repairs, and he had a menacing look on his face.

Scarred Warrior Lv: 5 Warrior/Synchro ATK: 2100 DEF: 1000 (ATK)

"Now, I'll attack your silly little Gatherer with my Warrior! Scarred Warrior, attack Nova Gatherer! Scarred Battle Strike!" Thug 1 declared as his Scarred Warrior rushed forward towards Gatherer, who tried to shield herself with her small arms.

"I activate my face-down card, Ascendance of Stars!" I declared, as my left face-down card flipped face-up.

"And I'll use its effect to return Gatherer to my hand," I said, as the sweet Gatherer turned into a small red ball of light, which quickly flew back to my hand.

"And then I'll use its other effect to Special Summon another Nova from my hand! And the monster I choose is…this guy! Come on out, Reflector!"

Nova Reflector Lv: 6 Fairy/Effect ATK: 0 DEF: 0 (ATK)

From the sky, a massive shard of glass fell down and wedged itself in the ground.

"Hah! You think a shard of glass can stop my Scarred Warrior?! Scarred Warrior, attack that piece of glass!" Thug 1 roared arrogantly as the warrior stormed forward once again.

He fell for it.

"I activate Reflector's Special Ability! Up to three times from when he's Summoned, when he battles a monster, all battle damage goes to you!" I declared, as when Scarred Warrior was about to slash at the shard, he stopped and looked into the mirror at his own reflection. The reflection then leapt out of the shard and charged at his master, who barely managed to raise his Duel Disk before the blade struck him, leaving a slash on his clothes.

Thug 1: 4000 -) 1900

"You-you're right!" Thug 1 said to Thug 2. "He's some sort of demon! He's a monster!"

Part of me wanted to stop dueling right then and there. Part of me wanted to yell that I sure as hell didn't ask for these powers, and I sure as hell didn't ask for some sort of demonic entity to live inside my head.

However, that part wasn't in control. The part that was in control was telling me to keep dueling. If they wanna call me a demon, then I'll be a demon.

"Oh I'm gonna make you regret you called me that. I dare you to say it again." They both stayed silent.

"Well? Are you gonna forfeit, or are you gonna end your turn?" I snarled.

"Y-yeah. I'll throw a facedown and end my turn." Thug 1 replied as the oversized card appeared on his field.

"Then it's my move!" Thug 2 growled as he yanked the card out of his Duel Disk.

"I'll release my Big Shield Gardna to Advance Summon Salvage Warrior!" Thug 2 declared.

Salvage Warrior Lv: 5 Warrior/Effect ATK: 1900 DEF: 1200 (ATK)

Salvage Warrior was a mix of both fat and muscled. He had a blue helmet on, and carried a long chain in his hands.

"And when I Advance Summon Salvage Warrior, I can bring out one Tuner monster in our Graveyards! And I'll bring out my buddy's Hanewata back to the field! Go, Chain Salvage!" He declared, and Salvage Warrior threw his chain to Thug 1's Graveyard, and pulled the furball back to the field.

"And now, I'll Tune my Level 5 Salvage Warrior, with my Level 1 Hanewata!" Hanewata glowed, and turned into a green ring. Salvage Warrior leaped into the air, through the ring, and turned into five glowing stars. Then, a white beam of light went through the ring along the stars.

"I Synchro Summon, Gaia Knight, the Force of Earth!"

Gaia Knight was a strong warrior, clad in thick blue armor, and wielded two big lances. He rode on an awe-inspiring steed, who also wore spiked armor.

Gaia Knight, the Force of Earth Lv: 6 Warrior/Synchro ATK: 2600 DEF: 800 (ATK)

Even with 2600 Attack Points staring me down, I wasn't fazed. My Reflector still had 2 Reflect Counters, and so I was safe. He could attack all he wanted to, he could-

"I activate my face-down card! Raigeki Break!" Thug 1 declared, interrupting my thoughts.

"I'll discard 1 card, and then I can destroy 1 card on your field! Say goodbye to Reflector!" He finished, and a bolt of red lighting shot out from the card and struck my Reflector, destroying it. And now that it was destroyed, it went to the Banished pile.

Damn it. And the card I had face-down wouldn't be much help either.

"Gaia Knight attacks you directly, demon! Spiral Shave!" He roared as the knight rushed forward, both lances directed at me. I was gonna take a big hit, I- wait.

"I activate my Quick-Play Spell card, Solanus Tight-Seal!"

A barrier surrounded me, protecting me from Gaia's wrath, but as his lances struck the barrier, a stream of energy came from the point of impact towards me, and I crouched down in response.

Jay's LP: 3700 -) 2400

"Haha! You just got played, demon! Hahaha!" The two began laughing. I could feel the anger rising within me.

"AAAARGH! YOU'RE GONNA REGRET CALLING ME THAT! I DRAW!" I snarled. I was pissed off now. Really angry.

"I summon to the field, Nova Gatherer, in Attack Position!" I snarled as the petite girl reappeared on the field, twirling her basket around as usual.

"Then I'll activate my face-down card, Antasmal Fury!"

"So welcome to the field, Nova Destroyer!"

Nova Destroyer Lv: 6 Warrior/Effect ATK: 2200 DEF: 600 (ATK)

The armored warrior rose to my field with his massive blade once again. His black-and-red armor was a familiar sight now. He was strong, and my duels showed that.

Nova Destroyer's Level: 6 -) 5

"And now, I'll Tune my Level 5 Nova Destroyer with my Level 3 Nova Gatherer!" Gatherer threw up a massive pile of flowers into the air which sparkled and covered her as she turned into energy. The energy then turned into three dark red rings which aligned themselves. Destroyer then jumped into the rings, and turned into five shining stars. Both the stars and the rings were then enveloped in a brilliant red beam of light.

"I Synchro Summon, Supernova Dragon!" I roared, and the beam of light exploded into a massive brilliant red nova of light which sent several loose things flying, and knocked both my opponents to their knees.

And when the light faded, stood my dragon. It's six wings and bladed tails emanated terror and strength.

Supernova Dragon Lv: 8 Dragon/Synchro ATK: 3000 DEF: 2100 (ATK)

"Now, prepare to bow before my might! I activate Supernova Dragon's special ability! By paying 1000 Life Points, Supernova Dragon can attack all of your monsters! And when he does destroy a monster, he hits you with damage equal to the destroyed monster's Attack or Defense, whatever is higher!"

Jay: 2400 -) 1400

"What?! How is that card even allowed?" Thug 2 exclaimed.

"Yeah, how can a card be that strong?!" Thug 1 yelled as well.

"How about I show you?! Supernova Dragon, attack Scarred Warrior! Supernova Hyper Flare!"

My dragon's maw began filling with fire, and a few moments later let loose a massive flare from it's maw, which enveloped Scarred Warrior and scorched him.

Thug 1: 1900 -) 1000

"And now, since Supernova Dragon destroyed Scarred Warrior, you take damage equal to Scarred Warrior's Attack points! Go, Supernova Outburst!" A big, red star began to form in Supernova Dragon's palm. When it had reached the size of a wrecking ball, he threw it at the thug, sending him flying into a pair of crates behind him.

Thug 1: 1000 -) 0

UPDATE: Thug 1 has been eliminated.

"Partner!" Cried the other thug as his buddy was sent flying.

"And now it's your turn, buddy! Supernova Dragon, attack Gaia!" My dragon charged up and let loose another burst of hellish fire at Gaia, who immediately perished beneath the flames of the Nova.

Thug 2: 2800 -) 2400

"And don't forget Supernova Dragon's special ability! Wave goodbye to the rest of your life points! Supernova Outburst!" Supernova Dragon charged up another ball of cosmic fire, and threw it at the thug, who was sent flying right towards his buddy, who had just crawled up from the crates.

He hit him right in the stomach, and both thugs went to the floor.

Thug 2: 2400 -) 0

UPDATE: Thug 2 has been eliminated.

Winner: Jay Alkain

I slowly began making my way towards the two. They were busy with scraping themselves off the floor, but they quickly got another thing in their heads when I was around three feet from them. I could see the fear in their eyes.

"Get out of here, you pathetic slime!" I snarled. And sure enough, the two ran away as fast as their legs could possibly carry them, deeper into the district.

"Hmph." I grunted, and dusted myself off. I'd gotten some dirt on my jacket from when Gaia's attack hit me, but otherwise, I escaped damage-free. The two thugs, however, would likely need a new set of clothes after what Supernova Dragon did to them.

I slid all my cards back into the deck, and Supernova Dragon back into the Extra Deck. My Deck and I had emerged victorious once again, even when faced with two opponents at a time. I felt rather proud of myself.

Hmph, that wasn't bad. You're still pathetic compared to me, but at least you're getting better.

"Just stop it. I've just beaten two opponents at once! Can't I just rest on my laurels for a second?!" I snarled.

A demon never rests, Jay.

"Hmph." I replied grumpily. Hopefully, he'd shut up now. I was about to continue, when I heard footsteps. I quickly turned around, but nothing. I shrugged it off and continued walking.


New Domino Industrial District, Afternoon

This was unexpected. I expected to see a few thugs, maybe a few poor people here and there, but not a smaller town in the district.

To describe how it looked is a little tricky. I'll let your imagination do the trick. Imagine a Western-ish town, built entirely of old containers, leftover scraps of metal and wooden articles that you'd probably find in a garbage dump.

At the 'gate' to the town, was two rusty metal pipes suspending a plank of wood above the ground. On the plank, was a name written poorly with white paint.

"Rust Town", the sign said. And to be honest, I couldn't think of a more fitting name.

I walked through the gate, and down the 'main street'. I could see a man selling MRE's, one selling apples, and some selling something absolutely different.

Barrels with wood chucked into them and set on fire were all over the place, with people huddling up around them for warmth.

I even saw a pair of children sitting next to one of the barrels, playing with their toys.

But all over the place, were men wielding aftermarket Duel Disks, all with a crimson tint to them. They all too wore crimson scarfs to cover their faces. I assumed they were a sort of gang, controlling this place.

I passed a sign pointing into what looked like a saloon, made of, you guessed it, metal plates, containers and planks of wood. The sign said 'The Rusty Duelist'. So this place even had a saloon? Surprising, indeed.

I decided that looking in there would be a good place to start, to try and find wherever the Chessary Facility was, and maybe learn a bit more about this place.


The Rusty Duelist, Late Afternoon

It was, as you'd expect it to be, full of sad men drinking their sorrows away, idiots gambling whatever cash they had away on poker, or perhaps just having a good time. To be honest, I was surprised that anyone could have a 'good time' in this dump.

I walked up to the bar, and the bartender slowly walked over to me, and asked; with a foul-smelling and coarse voice, "Whaddya want, cloak boy?"

"I'm looking for information." I asked simply.

"Information, hah? Well, if ya wan' information, I'd go ask Father Christopher. He's a bit, uhh, cookoo in his head, but he knows lotta stuff." The bartender replied.

"What do you mean by 'cookoo'?" I asked.

"He's a little outta his mind. He began praisin' this new god of his, called 'Darkstar or somethin'." The bartender answered. Darkstar? I heard that before!

"Where can I find him?"

"He's in his 'chapel'. It's right across the street. Durin' the day, he stays inside, but every night, he walks up'n down the street spoutin' divine bullsh*t loud enough to wake us all up.

"Thank you." I replied, and began leaving. I could hear the bartender yelling after me as I exited the saloon, yelling: "Stop! That info ain't free! Come ba-"

So now I had my new lead.


Christopher's Chapel of Dark Stars, Early Evening

"-for we are weak and unworthy of your prescence and power, my lord. We are but weak humans of flesh and blood," I heard a voice babbling in the chapel. It was made of patched-together pieces of metal, and to be honest, it actually looked kinda like a church. He must have been pretty devoted to the Darkstar.

"-for when the time comes, you shall descend upon the unworthy and weak, and leave only the most devoted left. For when Valoth rises once more, he shall lead us, to the new reign of-" He stopped dead. He must have heard me enter.

"What business do you have here, my child?" He asked, as he turned around and faced me. His face was scarred, like it had been cut many times over and over. His eyes were gray and tired, and he was almost completely bald. He wore a hospital gown, colored gray and white, and his hands had little specks of blood on them.

"I… I seek to learn about the Darkstar, Father." I stuttered.

"I see. Now come with me, my child, and I shall show you." He said, and led me over to one of the walls. On the wall hung a large piece of burnt paper, like a treasure map. On it, was painted scribblings that looked sort of like what you'd find in a church.

Except that these were drawn in blood.

"This is the beginning." He said, and pointed at a scribbling of a star, surrounded by otherworldly figures. "The Darkstar was once a simple, benevolent star. The Crimson Star and it were brothers, and they kept the world in balance."

He then moved his hand to another scribbling. This represented two stars fighting. One black, the other white. "This is the Conflict. The Crimson Star and the Darkstar eventually realized that they would one day crush the other. And so they began fighting."

Cristopher then gestured to another scribbling. This was of the black star falling to Earth. "The Crimson Star was victorious, and the Darkstar was sealed away into the Earth."

He then showed me the biggest scribbling. It was of two creatures fighting. One of them a dragon, the other a creature I couldn't find sense in. "This is the Purging. One day, the Darkstar will rise again to combat the Crimson Star once again. And should it win, all we faithful servants will be greatly rewarded."

"But what if the Crimson Star is victorious?" I asked. Christopher shot me a glare in return. "It will not. I assure you this."

"I thank you for your lecture, Father. It was very helpful." I said, bowing.

"You are welcome, my child. Come back any time if you wish for further enlightenment." He said, as I walked back out on the street.


Rust Town Street, Evening

It was time to return to Arcadia. The sun would set in an hour or so, and I had to make it back. So this 'Darkstar', was some ancient god? What if-

My thoughts were immediately interrupted, as I heard a struggling voice.

"-your hands off me, you filthy bastard!" The voice rang out. I got out on the street, and saw two of the scarfed men from before attacking a young woman. I couldn't see properly who it was.

"Well, then you should have stayed out of Rust Town, sweetheart. You don't get in or out without givin' somethin' to the Bloody Warriors, bitch!" One of the men who were assaulting the woman replied. What disgusted me, was that no one stood up against these. She was defenceless.

And so I had to help.

"Hey!" I roared. The two stopped, and looked at me, They still had a firm grip on her, though.

"Leave her alone, you bastards!" I snarled. I could feel the anger burning inside me.

"Get lost, kid! Get your own toy!" One of the men snapped.

"I am not a toy!" She said, struggling as hard as she could. But they weren't about to let her go.

"I'm gonna give you this one chance. Let her go, and I won't hurt you two." I growled. The whole street went silent, until one sound broke the silence.

Laughter.

Every scarfed man on the street laughed.

They wanted to laugh, huh? Well I'll give them something to laugh about! I said as I threw down my cloak, and rushed towards the two assaulters.

One of them swung his fist at me. I simply grabbed his arm, and twisted it until I heard a 'crack', and a cry of pain from the arm's owner as he went to the floor. The other guy tried to make a run for it, but the assaulted woman kicked him in the nuts, making him cry in agony as I smacked him in the face, knocking him unconscious.

"You okay?" I asked her, as several other scarfed people began walking towards us.

"Yeah." She replied.

"Wanna get out of here?"

"Sure."

"Good." I said, and grabbed her waist. She let out a yelp of surprise, and tried to wiggle loose, until I gave her a look.

"Hold on tight." I said, as I extended one of my tentacles, and flew up onto the rooftops. She held a firm grip around my neck as I carried her bridal-style while I dashed from rooftop to rooftop.

I must have been going faster than I thought, since not after very long, I was back in the more 'safe' area of New Domino. I stopped on the rooftop of a small office building, and sat her down on a wooden crate.

It was only then I noticed who it was. The brown eyes, the flowing burgundy hair, the angelic face.

"Akiza?" I asked, baffled.

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