The Indoctrination - Act II
“It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen.”
Ugh, that smell. I'll never really get over that smell. It just goes right through the nose, it's that sharp. And it just makes you want to vomit all the content of your stomach right up and across the ground, it's that disgusting.
Even a few meters above the skyline, which isn't very high up in the Factory District, you can still smell it, the mix of various chemical with the scent of waste, misery, inequality and a slight hint of death in the background.
I could easily imagine all the pain people had to go through while working here, just to earn enough so that their family wouldn't starve to death. It made me sick to the core. One thing that I did notice was that the smell of smoke was faintly present as well.
And as I approached Rust Town, I began to piece everything together. Since I practically destroyed the Arcadia Movement, every psychic ended up running wild, and seeing as Security was hounding everyone who was psychic, so that they would run to the only place that Security wouldn't go would be logical.
And with the Duel Gangs that already ruled the territory, the sudden intrusion of psychics, every leader with brain capacity would try to get as many on his side as possible, no matter the methods. So it would be logical that they would fight over psychics. Psychics meant power, and everyone wants power.
Especially the Bloody Warriors, whom I had a run-in with last time. I remember them assaulting that girl who turned out to be Akiza… the event that had thrown a wrench into my original plan. I landed on top of a chimney with my newly-grown wings, and began to scout out the terrain.
I could just see the factory in the distance, lit up by external lights. I smiled slightly when I saw it, because I knew that in there, I would find my answers, I would find Akiza.
But what was in front of it slightly ruined it all. In front of it was Rust Town, and its sorry state put a damper on my slightly good mood. I could hear people shouting, fighting, and all kinds of things.
I felt a wave of dizziness wash over my mind, and I fell backwards onto the rooftop. My vision began to slur, and I felt ill. I guess the drugs from when I was in the hospital hadn't worn off completely.
I tried to close my eyes, but the moment I did, I was pulled back to what I had just done, minutes ago. Akron had taken over again, and I had gone on a rampage once again. But something was different. Recently, I had been able to resist Akron, I had been able to prevent him from taking over my mind, but this time he had been able to take over so easily.
I felt miserable. I had let my guard down, and Akron had succeeded in taking control again. I felt weak, like I couldn't do anything but wallow in my own misery. I felt alone and isolated. But then I remembered that all this had a purpose. I had a goal, and I had my reminder.
I pulled off the tear-shaped locket that Gatherer gave me from the necklace, and opened it. The picture inside brought a tear to my eye. I saw myself, without bandages over my eyes, along with the love of my life, smiling smiles of true joy.
I felt tears slide down my cheeks from my eyes as a solemn smile slowly spread on my lips. I remembered her voice, her smile… our first kiss, even. I cried at the remembrance of these memories, from when I still lived with Akiza, Luna and Leo in the penthouse. I was happy then, but of course, happiness never really lasts for me.
But I would at least make this right. I got up, and flapped my wings to shake the dust off. I leaped down from the building, and landed at the entrance of Rust Town. As I landed, I tore my bandages off, and spread my wings. The poor people scattered quickly from the streets, leaving only the oil barrels burning solemnly.
"You've got a lot of nerve to come here, Alkain," A voice rung out in the town of empty containers and waste metal, and quickly stepped out seven thugs, all wearing brown vests and red scarves, and they all had Duel Disks.
Yes, go wild. They're all murderers and psychopaths, no one would shed a single tear for them if they died. Akron's voice in the back of my head was sharper and more malicious than before, and I grit my teeth together as I shoved him out of my mind again. I wasn't about to be caught off guard by him again, and let him murder as he wanted.
"You betrayed Arcadia, and you took the chance for a life away from all of us!" The leader screamed, and I could practically see the fire in his eyes, and it was obvious that he wanted to tear the life out of me.
"You're just as brainwashed as Sayer wanted you to be!" I retorted. I could already feel Akron's malice trying to grab hold in my mind again, but this time, I didn't intend to let him take over. "Sayer was only cruel and manipulative, and people like you were the perfect puppets for him!" I tried, but he didn't listen.
"You're a filthy liar, Alkain! Sayer cared for us all, but you just wouldn't let good be good! We're going to kill you, and string your corpse up as a trophy!" He roared, as he activated his Duel Disk, and his peons followed suit.
"You give me no choice!" I shouted, and I activated my Duel Disk in response. I quickly jumped up to the top of a container, barely evading a barrage of fire and lightning from the Arcadia remnants. I quickly whipped out Paladin, and he raised his shield just in time to block the attack of a Vorse Raider that was charging right at me. Paladin groaned under the vile raider's attack, but quickly mustered strength to push him back. Quickly, I placed Dragoon Blader on the Disk, and his sword swiftly tore the Vorse Raider in two with one slice.
I breathed out, only to be quickly attacked by an Orient Dragon, who slammed right into me, and sent me flying back down to the ground. The strange dragon quickly tried to ram me again, but it was blocked by Dragoon Blader who quickly turned the tables on it and threw it into an empty container. Another of the psychics tried to hit me with his Gene-Warped Warwolf, but I quickly retaliated with a Mirror Force, which quickly caused widespread destruction when the Warwolf's attack was blocked. The leader and his peons decided to leg it, leaving me alone in Rust Town.
I cracked my neck, and dusted off my jacket. Dragoon Blader quickly turned around and looked me dead in the eyes, and when I was about to remove his card from the Duel Disk and return it to the Extra Deck, it spoke.
"Are you alright, my master?" It questioned. I was taken aback by that completely. "Yeah, I'm fine. A few scrapes from the fall, but otherwise I'm great. You?" I questioned back, as I ruffled my hair awkwardly.
"I am unwounded. After all, I cannot be destroyed on the field of battle," Dragoon replied stoutly, perfectly reciting his effect on his card. I gave a small smile, before I turned to Paladin. I assumed that since Dragoon could talk, maybe he could too? "How about you, Paladin?" I asked, and immediately Paladin turned around to face me, and then, he too spoke.
"Yes. I am unharmed. Prideless cowards like them can never harm me, a warrior of Nova," He replied with a smirk as his crimson hair waved in the wind. I gave a smile to both of the great warriors, and gave them a quick 'thank you', before removing them from the Duel Disk, and fading from view in a small shower of sparkles.
I let my wings shake the dust off for a quick second, before I was interrupted by a familiar voice, calling out to me, seemingly. I turned around, and I recognized the person as that old man in the hospital gown from when I was last here. Christopher, I believe the bartender called him.
"Come inside, quickly!" He called, and gestured for me to follow him inside his 'chapel'. I shrugged, and followed him inside to the ruined mess of metal and glass that might have been a chapel once.
Father Christopher's Chapel of Dark Stars
"You'll be safe here for now," Christopher began, as I began to slowly look around Christopher's chapel again. I didn't remember it looking this worn-down when I first saw it. Only two months ago this place looked brand new. There really must have happened something major while I was with the twins.
"Now, I need you to take off your jacket and shirt." Christopher said stoically. I finally got a good look at the old man now that he wasn't in the dark, and son I quickly looked him over. He was old, that was sure. A big, white beard adorned his face, with his eyebrows and sideburns having grown fuzzy. He had a tired look in his eyes, and the white hospital gown he wore had splatters of blood here and there.
"Why?" I questioned.
"I need to see if you have his mark," He replied stoically. I suppose he was referring to that mark of the evil star that had burned itself on my back when I was back in Arcadia? So I followed his instructions, and removed both the big gray jacket that I wore, along with the black t-shirt that I wore underneath. The wounds from my Duel with Sayer still ached on my lower body as I scratched the bandages slightly.
Once both jacket and t-shirt was off, I turned around, and let him see the mark. I could hear him breathing in heavily once he saw the mark properly. I turned around, and saw his face. He looked equal parts surprised and horrified. I was confused; why would he be scared of the mark of whatever deity he was worshipping?
"What is it, Christopher?" I questioned. Christopher breathed in, and began. "That's the Dark Star's mark, friend," He replied.
"The Dark Star's-," I began but it all became quickly too much for me, and I burst out: "What is that even? What is this mark, what is anything?!" I yelled, and Christopher took a step back after my outburst. Christopher sighed, and pulled back the sleeve of his gown, revealing a mark on his arm. It was glowing purple softly, and I could feel the mark on my back beginning to glow as well.
"I'll show you," Christopher began, and raised his arm upwards, and a blinding flash obscured my sight. When I opened my eyes again, I wasn't in the chapel anymore.
I was in space, and below me, was Earth. I was floating in space, and before me stood Christopher. The vast reaches of space held so many stars, more than I could ever hope to count, but they all seemed to be fading from view, as if they were hiding in the shadows.
"What you see above you, is the Conflict." Christopher began, and I looked up above me. I saw two stars, one shining a brilliant crimson red, the other a haunting dark purple. Their colors seemed to lash out at each other, more and more violently every second.
"The Crimson Star and the Dark Star fought for supremacy, and the Dark Star lost;" Christopher began, and as I stared on in awe at the two stars seemingly fighting, the crimson star lashed out violently, and the purple star began to fall. I saw it as it fell; it was a small orb, colored dark purple with a black star marked on it. The orb fell right past me, towards Earth until I could see it no longer.
"The Dark Star was sealed into the Earth, and then, the Crimson Star ruled over man; with the Dark Star's evils being sealed deep beneath the soil we stand on," Christopher began, as we began to zoom downwards to Earth, until we were at an ancient temple. A massive crimson dragon stood atop the temple, and let out a proud roar, and thousands of people cheered.
"But, how can we now bear its marks if it was sealed into the Earth ages ago?" I questioned. Christopher led me away from the temple until we stood in the middle of a desolate wasteland. I could see modern machines, rocks and ground being moved, and all that machinery had logos on them. I recognized those logos.
They were Chessary Corporation's logos. We walked over to the large crater they had dug, and in the center of it, I saw the orb again. That dark purple orb with the black star insignia on the front, it sent chills through my body, and I felt unease just by looking at it.
"People who didn't know better dug it up," Christopher answered. So… Chessary found the Dark Star? But why would dig it up? What would they use such a vile thing for? Maybe.. maybe it had something to with this Dracomorphic Engine, and by extension, Project Akron? A flash of light, and Christopher and I were back in his chapel.
"Christopher, why are you speaking such things about the Dark Star?" I questioned. "Last time I saw you, you were saying all kinds of praise, and now you're calling it evil?" I was confused by this, why would he do that? He seemed incredibly devoted to the Dark Star last time I met him, what made him change his mind?
"The mark, it… it's corrupting my mind," Christopher began as I took my shirt and jacket back on. "I can hear whispers, telling me to kill in its name, and… I'm not strong enough to fight it!" Christopher said, suddenly raising his voice. Without warning, he swiftly grabbed me by the collar, and he wasn't about to let go.
"Alkain, you can't let him take control of you! You have to fight his influence, no matter what! The Dark Star will not help you, it will only bring ruin to the world! You must-" Christopher spoke quickly, but a strange cracking stopped him. He let go of my collar, and turned around-
-Just in time to see the maw of the enormous red-and-green dinosaur that had smashed its head in through the back wall, before it bit down on his leg, and dragged him out of the building. It then tossed him into the air, and swallowed him whole, while he was screaming.
I quickly leaped back and activated my Duel Disk, ready to face whoever was brave enough to challenge me. I looked around, surveying the area until I heard a loud, coarse laughter. The laughter came from the dinosaur, or rather, the tall, muscular person who was standing on top of it, who slid down its upper jaw down and inside the chapel.
"Well, if it isn't Jay Alkain," The man said in a thick Russian accent, and after a few seconds, I began to recognize him. He was with Lance when he attacked me at the penthouse! I began to grit my teeth in anger as he stomped towards me. His dinosaur stayed silent.
"Greatest of all the sorry subjects used in Project Akron," He laughed, and I quickly began trying to make sense of what he said. "You know about Project Akron?!" I exclaimed. "Tell me!"
"Hah! You really think I'm about to waste my time on that?! No, I am here to obliterate you for the good Doctor Kroe! I am Blaze, and I am going to beat you, and drain every ounce of power you have!" He said, pulling out a certain card that I immediately recognized.
Seal of the Darkstar.
"Alright then," I replied, as my Deck quickly shuffled itself to get ready for a fight. Blaze's enormous dinosaur disappeared as he pulled the card off the Duel Disk, and shuffled it once again.
Duel Protocol engaged. Loading format…
Format: Anime 4000 1-on-1 Darkstar Duel
Seal Counters (Jay): 5
Seal Counters (Blaze): 5
Format loaded and initialized.
Running Duel Protocol…