The Darkness Within

The Mark - Act I

"That which does not kill us makes us stronger."

-Friedrich Nietzche

"-Supernova Dragon, attack his puny excuse for a monster!"

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

"SUPERNOVA HYPER FLARE!" My dragon and I let loose a massive burst of energy, and in a brilliant display of fire and energy, cleared my opponent's entire field, along with his strongest monster in one fell swoop.

Anonymous: 700 – 0

The holograms of our Duel began to fade, but my dragon remained. All the spectators looked in awe at me and my dragon, and they all cowered as we both let out a roar of victory.

"Run along, you pathetic scum! Tell everyone that I, Akron, am here to stay!" I went into a maniacal laughter as they all scattered and ran. I slowly hovered down to the ground, and I sprouted a pair of tentacles to give some stability as I descended.

The ability to sprout tentacles that I had acquired from the now-gone Anna Alexi had proven itself quite useful. I could swing around like I was Spiderman with no difficulty at all.

It was also really useful for getting across the larger gaps. Of course, I could simply jump from building to building, but for crossing streets, it really was useful.

Today had been productive. Sayer had been so nice to spread rumors around New Domino of me, or my 'persona', Akron. Frightening how a voice in my head had become me so quickly.

Word travels too fast.

Having fun in MY body?

I ignored Akron's annoying voice as I leaped across the rooftops, heading back to Arcadia. Night had fallen, and most of the traffic had died down, so no one saw me swinging from rooftop to rooftop.

The wind bit into my ears, but I ignored it as I decided to return to my warm bed. But of course, I had to report to Sayer first, before I could go to bed. He had made that clear to me the first time I had been on a prowl.

"You will report to me next time, or I swear, I will throw you out of Arcadia!"

His loud words still stung in my ears as I swung over the road in one swing. I landed on top of a larger apartment building. I didn't recognize this place; was I lost?

I looked around in an attempt to try and find the Movement building, and surely, in the distance, I saw the recognizably large skyscraper that was my home.

But as I swung my way silently back towards Arcadia, my mind was clouded. Normally, Akron would be talking to me, trying to make me feel even more down. But apart from his little outburst before, he had been silent. Why?

That's what I would think, if my mind wasn't so damn lost.

That face from before, that girl's face with her beautiful eyes and hair, and the… Arrgh! Stop it! She's never gonna like me back!

You're right.

I was taken aback by Akron suddenly speaking again. Normally, I would simply brush him off, but his words stayed in the back of my mind. What if he's right? I mean, look at me! I'm a monster! Girls never fall for monsters like me!

Right again.

Shut up!

I gritted my teeth in an attempt to try and lock Akron the hell out of my mind.

You'll never have her.

Shut up!

You'll always be alone.

Shut… shut up!

I bet she's kissing with someone else right now.


I fell forwards onto a rooftop, panting and exhausted. I could hear drops of liquid falling around me. It had begun to rain. My clothes began to drench, and whatever stamina I had left went away, and I fell on my back, my breathing incredibly heavy.

Look at you, exhausted just from listening to a voice in your head! No wonder she'll never like you.

Shut… up…

Already weakened, eh?

What… what are you?

Akron went silent.

But after a few minutes, he spoke in a voice much, much darker than normal.

I'll show you.

And my eyes went black.

Somewhere else…

I awoke to find myself on a brown, floating boulder. It was jagged and looked like it would crumble any minute. Then I looked around, and saw a spectacular sight.

I was in space, surrounded by red and yellow nebulae and brilliant shining stars that exploded into seas of fire before assembling back into completely new stars. My eyes drifted around from star to star, from supernova to supernova.

But then, the boulder I stood upon began to shake violently. I ran around, searching for a way out, but I couldn't. But as I turned around, I saw something I would never forget.

It was a being; it even looked human, except for the fact that it had no legs. It had simply sprouted out of the rock below me.

But what frightened me was how much it looked like me. It had the bandages, it had the horns, heck, it even had wings similar to them I grow when I summon Supernova Dragon.

"This is what I am."

"So… that's what you are." I spoke, both in awe and also absolutely terrified.

"Yes. What you see before you, is me."

"You're… Akron."

"Yes. I am Akron, the Destroyer. This is the Dark Nebula, my domain, and you will surrender its power to ME!"

I screamed in terror, as my eyes went blank.

I opened my eyes once again, and found myself back on the rooftop. And as I staggered onto my feet, I felt a burning on my back. It wasn't agonizing, but it still hurt.

When I got back home, I would go and examine what was wrong. And with a deep breath, I began swinging across the rooftops once again.

What was Akron referring to? What's power did he want? I didn't know.

But tomorrow, I'd find a computer and try to find out.

So far, I only had three leads.

The first was Dracomorphic Engine. Some sort of machine, likely. I remembered it from the document I found. It was ragged and ruined, but that was one of the sentences that weren't smudged out.

The second was Project Akron. This was apparently the name of some sort of project that they were working on in that facility in the Satellite, where I woke up.

Then, the last, and most likely my best lead. Chessary Corp. They were the owners of that facility, and they were bound to know what they were doing, and what happened.

Now, I was only a block from the Arcadia, and I was about to jump down to street level, so I could get inside.

But then it hit me, why not just use my tentacles to climb up to the top to Sayer's office? It wouldn't be very hard, and I could at the very least get some exercise.

A few minutes later…

The wind was getting pretty bad as I quickly ascended towards the top floor. My stomach rumbled; I had missed dinner, and I would likely be going to sleep on an empty stomach. Maybe I shouldn't have done this.

But it was too late to think like that. I chose this, and now the consequences hit me in the face. Or rather in the stomach, but you get my point.

I could see into every room from outside as I passed the windows. I felt bad about it, but I couldn't stop looking. In one room, two people were playing Duel Monsters. Not with Duel Disks and such, but on an old-school dueling mat.

Another room, I saw a person flicking through the channels. He barely looked at what was on before rolling onwards to the next one. I couldn't agree more, most of the stuff they show is really bad, corny, or just flat-out boring.

I was just below the top floor, now. I would just knock on Sayer's window and ask him to open it, but then I looked closer at the windows that lined his office. They were panes of glass, and therefore could not be opened.

Great. Now I had gone all this way for nothing. I was about to just jump down and just walk back inside, but curiosity caught me like a fly in a spider's web.

What was Sayer even doing at this time of the evening? Well, I didn't know. And therefore I decided to climb up again and look.

And by god, I wish I hadn't.

Because in there, in Sayer's office, I saw a table, draped in white cloth. But that wasn't important.

What was important was the two people who sat at the table.

Of course Sayer sat at one end of the table. It was his office, after all.

But I was more shocked at who was at the other end of the table.

She was. I remembered her utterly beautiful pale face, her flowing burgundy hair, her Victorian-style clothes, her bright eyes… everything.

And I felt my heart clench.

I told you so.

I didn't even feel strong enough to try and ignore Akron's voice.

Because Akron was right. No matter what I said, no matter what I thought, it wouldn't make me forget the image before me. Of the two sitting down, eating food, chatting. My heart clenched even further when Sayer said something and she laughed.

As I felt liquid on my face again, I thought it was just raining again. But once again, I was wrong. Because the liquid didn't taste fresh and earthy, like raindrops did.

The liquid was salty.

I couldn't stand the sight of the two, sitting together, laughing, being happy. Why couldn't I have that? Why would I have to be like this? Condemned to be alone for all eternity?

And yet I couldn't tear my eyes off her. Seeing her smile made me feel well inside. Knowing that she was happy made me happy too. I know that sounded like something out of a cheesy romance novel, but that's how I felt!

As they finished their meal, I thought that it was best to go away now, before I was seen. I began to slowly inch down to the ground. But I wished that I had been quicker.

Because our eyes met.

Only for a second, but that second felt like an eternity. It was dark outside, so I doubt she fully saw my face, but she definitely looked me in the eye.

Then the last tentacle let go, and I plummeted to the ground.

A few minutes later…

I entered through the doors, walking swiftly so no one would see the tear-lines below my eyes when I walked inside.

People gave me weird looks, most likely wondering why I had arrived so late. I quickly made my way to the elevator, and quickly pressed the button to go to the third floor.

The doors closed behind me, and the elevator whirred as it began its ascent.

I got out of the elevator, and quickly headed for my room. I swiftly opened the door, and I stormed into the bathroom.

The feeling of cool water hitting my face didn't help with calming me down. It only made the lines from my tears go away.

I felt the burning on my back again, and I got my jacket and shirt off, so I could examine the burning on my back.

On my back, was a symbol. It was the exact same symbol I saw when I Dueled with Anna, when we activated that Field Spell… Seal of the Darkstar, wasn't it? When we activated it, the seal appeared on the ground below us.

Why did I have it on my back?

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