The Darkness Within

The Engine - Act I

"You must have chaos within you to give birth to a dancing star."

-Friedrich Nietzche

When I woke up, I was in a dark place. There was little light, but the light slowly expanded, revealing my surroundings.

I was on a dueling arena, with my Duel Disk on my arm, with several cards on it. I saw my Nova Phoenix Blaster on the disk, but otherwise, my field was empty.

My opponent was masked, and wore a cloak, concealing his or her features.

Then, a bright light enveloped us both, and from sky descended a dragon with thorny tentacles, and rose-like petals on its wings.

"Stay away from me!" My opponent yelled. The voice was female, and eerily familiar to me. "I activate Black Rose Dragon's ability! By removing one Plant-Type monster from my Graveyard from play, it forces your bird into Attack Position, and reduces its attack to 0!" I saw the shadow of a plant enter the dragon's maw, and thorny tentacles envelop my firebird, and lift it into the air.

Nova Phoenix Blaster's ATK: 2200 – 0

"And now, I'll make you feel pain as I have! Black Rose Dragon, attack! Black Rose Flare!" The rosy dragon let loose a blast of dark fire at my Phoenix, and blasted it to bits. But the fire continued, and struck me, singing my clothes and skin.

Jay: 2700 – 300

I was out of breath, but I couldn't stop. "I activate Nova Phoenix Blaster's special effect! By halving my Life Points, I can Special Summon one Synchro Monster from my Extra Deck!"

Jay: 300 – 150

"Arise, Supernova Dragon!" I roared, as the mighty dragon rose behind me. It's six wings and bladed tail, and it's black and red color felt invigorating, like it filled me with confidence.

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

I could sense my opponent cower. She was afraid, she knew that I had won. But why was she afraid? I wouldn't harm her!

"Supernova Dragon, attack! Supernova Hyper Flare!" My dragon let loose a massive blast of spectacular red and yellow-colored fire at the rosy dragon, and it screeched in pain as it was enveloped by bright fire.

Black Rose: 600 – 0

Winner: Jay Alkain

My opponent staggered on her feet, attempting to back away from me, as I slowly approached her. "No! Stay away!" She slapped a card on her Duel Disk, and some sort of rose-red energy blasted me to the ground, and my vision went black.

Midday, Jay's Room

My eyes burst open in surprise, and I immediately raised myself up from my bed, and looked around. I was still in my room, with no one else, and no nasty surprises.

My legs still hurt like all hell, but not as much as they did when I went to sleep. Then I remembered the collar. I remembered the pain Sayer inflicted on me.

And I decided at that moment, that Sayer was a prick.

But what was that dream about? Who was that woman? My brain began hurting again, and my vision went blank again.

Somewhere else…

I felt thirsty, hungry, and exhausted. My hands dragged me along the dirt slowly but steadily. I licked my lips, and noticed some dirt on my lips. I quickly swallowed it, I needed something in my stomach.

The sun was scorching hot, and I felt my skin practically burn as I shuffled along the dirt. I could hear steps around me. People were walking by, but none even sparing as much as a thought for me.

After what felt like several years, my exhaustion finally grew too large, and so I sunk down on the ground, struggling to even breathe. I was dying.

And just as I was about to give up and accept my fate, a hand grabbed mine. It was large and rough, and I pulled me up from the dirt. There, my tired eyes met with the face of a man. He looked old, around early 50'ies. He had long, gray hair, and a pair of tiny spectacles on his face.

"Come now. Let's find you something to eat." He spoke.

I recognized that voice. I had heard that voice before, in the concrete facility in the Sattellite!

Back in Jay's Room

I began coughing profusely, and my eyes fluttered open once again. Who was that man I saw?

Well, I still have a few clues. Let's see if there's a computer somewhere. I hoped that the internet might shed some light on recent events. Chessary Corp was the words that clicked the most, and so I assumed that it would provide the best insight.

And so began my search for a computer.

Arcadia Movement, Midday

I must have been walking around in the Arcadia building for hours, trying to find a computer, but apparently, Sayer's banned the things. I was told it was because "All they did was making our brains dumber and more foolish." I didn't believe a word of that.

He had them banned because he didn't want anyone in the Arcadia Movement to read anything that could potentially ruin their perspective on the Arcadia Movement.

It was like we were basically in a dictatorship, where Sayer decided everything. If you wanted to do something, you usually needed Sayer's permission. And Sayer didn't give permission to just anyone.

I was lucky that I even got to go outside, so that I could "send a message" in the underground dueling business. In there, I wasn't known as Jay Alkain. I was known as Akron, the Rex Tremendae. The Terrible Majesty.

And I enjoyed it. Listening to the crowd, hearing them chant: "Rex Tremendae! Rex Tremendae! Rex Tremendae!"

My search was long and dull, and eventually, I gave up trying to find a PC.

But then it clicked. Libraries usually had computers one could temporarily use, right? Then, when Sayer sends me out to send another "message", I could stop by and use a computer! It was brilliant!

But getting permission to go outside to send a message, would mean entering the lion's den. I'd have to go meet Sayer.

I swallowed hard, and headed for the elevator.

Sayer's Office

I knocked softly on the door. I half-expected Sayer to hit the electricity again, and send me to the floor again the moment I entered into his office.

"Come in." Sayer's malicious voice rung out from behind the door. I swallowed a lump, and I slowly opened the door.

Sayer was behind his wooden desk as always. His eyes were fixed on his computer, but they looked up into mine when I had taken a few steps closer.

"What can I do for you, Jay?" Sayer asked with his usual venomous voice. His lips curled into a smile as fake as… well, I don't really have a suitable metaphor for that one, but I just knew it was fake.

"Well," I began. I found myself unable to say anything, and I began to stutter.

"Well what, Jay? What do you want?"

"I'd ask if I could… go outside for a few hours. I, uh… I need to Duel a little. I'm getting itchy about it, you know?" I lied. Well, okay, i wasn't lying. I felt like Dueling, but finding out more about Chessary was more important.

"Hm… I suppose you can." Sayer replied, and I breathed a sigh of relief. Which I quickly wished I hadn't done, since I'm sure Sayer noticed.

"Just be back before nightfall, or else." Sayer added slyly.

I felt the collar tighten, like it sensed what was to come. I could barely breathe as I walked out of his office.

New Domino City Streets

I wrapped my cloak made of stolen fabric around me, hiding my true appearance from all the other people around me.

Heck, the mark on my face would be enough to make the average person faint from fear. I had the Facility's Black Mark, the mark of a man on Death Row. The mark of a man who had committed crimes so heinous, he was deemed unfit to walk even the streets of the Satellite.

To their eyes, I was an abomination, just for having this mark. What powers I possessed only led their beliefs further towards their answer.

I was a demon, walking among the humans.

But as I walked on the streets of New Domino, I couldn't shake the feeling that I was being watched. Like a pair of eyes were fixed on me, like someone was following me.

I quickly dismissed it, though. I thought it was probably what Sayer said before. I wouldn't be surprised if he had sent people after me to monitor me and everything I did.

Finally, after a good half hour of walking, I arrived in front of the library. The place was huge, as in really huge, like 'This could almost be a shopping mall' big.

I breathed in deep, and walked through the set of swing doors, and into the library.

New Domino Library

Chessary. The word was still on my mind as I entered the library.

As any stereotypical library, it was reasonably quiet. People were reading books, searching for books, or something similar. My point is, that the place was filled with books.

Like, FILLED with the things. Row after row after row of books about stuff I didn't know or care about.

It took me thirty minutes just to find a computer that I could search on. But as I finally stepped up to the computer, I heard footsteps behind me. I immediately turned around, and saw a flash of burgundy-red cloth vanish behind one of the massive bookshelves.

I quickly walked over to the bookshelf where I saw the cloth, but when I turned towards where it ran off to, there was nothing there.

I held my hand to my forehead. What was wrong with me? First I begin dreaming about weird stuff, and then I began seeing things?

You really are going crazy, ah?

Akron really liked to barge into my thoughts whenever I least wanted him to. I was sick of it already, but what could I do about it? He was in my head, whether I liked it or not.

I shrugged it off, and headed back to the computer. Time to get some answers.

I cracked my knuckles, and put my fingers on the keyboard. First things first, Chessary. I hit up the first webpage on the search list.

Chessary Nano-and-Bioengineering is at the forefront of the development of Ener-D, creating safe and beneficial technology for you and your family. No others can ever hope to match up with the devotion and enthusiasm of our scientists. We aim to provide you and your family with highly efficient and cheap products to help keep you and your family safe from harm.

Of course, I scrolled away from that webpage immediately. It reeked of propaganda, and propaganda is never a reliable source of information.

A few pages later, another page caught my attention. It was an article about Chessary, written by a Carly Carmine. The headline was 'Chessary Corp performs strange experiments?'

Chessary Corporation have recently set up a facility in the Satellite, and people nearby have reported having heard strange noises from the facility at night. Why they would set up such a facility is unknown to me, and all my attempts to get an interview with the head of the facility, Chessary's top scientist, William Edgar Kroe, have all been met with silence. I highly suspect that there's something up with the facility, especially after some research from a source which I will not reveal, that Chessary have developed a machine they call the 'Dracomorphic Engine'. This was Carly Carmine. I hope to return to you all with more secrets about Chessary Corporation.

That article was a lot more interesting. Reports about 'strange noises'? Dracomorphic Engine? I heard that before. In that document back in the facility I woke up in!

I hit up a local map, searching for the location of anywhere related to Chessary Corp. Immediately after, the map showed a location around 40 kilometers from here. Another facility, where Chessary manufactured most of their products, which were then shipped from there to stores around New Domino.

So there was my next destination. And hopefully my answers would be there too.

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