After a while, they passed through the barrier of black clouds, lightning crackling around them. Trudge looked back at everyone. "Is this lightning bothering anyone else? One strike and we're finished. I say we should turn this bird around."
"Our primary directive is to reach Satellite," Mina, who was like Jack's informer and partial caretaker, firmly refused his offer.
Trudge's face turned red as he looked back. As they went along, another thought came to his mind. "How did someone like Yusei's dad get such an important job if he was from the Satellite?" Trudge wondered.
Jack glared at him. "Yusei and his dad were born in New Domino City," he said.
"So you're saying this Satellite reject isn't actually a Satellite reject?" Trudge asked.
Jack growled. "I'm from the Satellite, Trudge. Got a problem with that?"
Trudge shook his head. "No, of course not."
"That's right. Turn your head around." Yusei ignored Trudge's words.
Era reached out her hand, but he stroked it to reassure her that he wasn't bothered. He stood up and leaned over Trudge as he looked down at the ground of the Satellite.
"Set us down by those trees in the park," he requested. Trudge cocked his head.
"Do as he says," Mina urged him.
Trudge yieldingly pulled down the control stick as the helicopter softly landed. Nearby was Martha's house.
She waited outside with Blister as a small band of children came to greet the Signers as they came off from the helicopter. Martha smiled to see everyone doing well. A swarm of kid crowded around Jack.
"Hey everyone, isn't that Jack Atlas?" a kid said.
"Wow, you're right!" another exclaimed.
Jack felt slightly strange having so many small fans swarming over him. He had felt isolated and rejected since the Fortune Cup. Leo and Luna scratched their heads, surprised to see everyone in such a cheery mood. Era grinned happy to see everyone.
"I thought everyone in the Satellite would be all creepy and sad," Luna said.
"That's how they trick you," Trudge scoffed.
Blister smirked at him. "Oh yes, we're terrible, aren't we?"
Just then, a small boy in a yellow sweatshirt and shorts approached him. His blue hair was messy, but could not conceal the zeal in his brown eyes. "Hey, are you Sector Security, mister?"
"What if I am?" Trudge grunted. The boy want unaffected by his disgruntled mood. He laughed with delight.
"That is so cool! I want to be Sector Security someday!" he cheered.
Trudge perked up. "Do you now? Play your cards right and you could look as good as me in this uniform."
Both of them chuckled. Martha looked over the crowd and saw Era and Yusei. "Era, it's good to see you and Yusei again. How have you two been since leaving?" she greeted.
"We're doing fine, Martha. I have to admit, I've actually missed you," Era said.
Martha smiled and gathered everyone in the house. The Signers, Mina, Trudge, Martha, Rally, Era and Blister sat around the dining room table. Her expression turned somber.
"I'm glad to see you and the kids are doing fine," Era said.
Martha thanked her. "Yes. Fortunately the fog didn't come here. But it's taken everyone else. There hasn't been word from Crow, and I don't know about your other friends besides Rally, Yusei."
"Don't worry, Martha. They're all safe in New Domino City! We managed to escape not too long ago with Blister's help!" Rally chimed in.
Era grew nervous. "What if… the fog has taken Crow?" Era muttered worried.
Yusei, who sat next to her, placed a hand on her shoulder trying to comfort her. "It's okay. We don't know for sure," he said but he couldn't help but worry himself. But he wasn't going to tell her that.
Just then, there was the sound of slamming on the front door. "Who could that be?" Martha asked.
"Hey! Hey! Is any soul in there? I'm still alive! It's me, Crow! Just let me in if you can hear me!" came Crow's voice.
Era instantly relaxed as she heard her friend's voice. She got up from the table and hurried to the door to let Crow in. Martha smiled at her being a true friend.
Crow was caught off guard when Era opened the door. Crow blinked in surprise she smiled with relief at him.
"I was worried about you. I'm glad the fog didn't take you, my friend," Era said relief clear in her voice.
"Don't worry, I'm alright. How's everyone else?" Crow asked.
"They're fine and they're all here," Era said and they walked in.
Era took her seat next to Yusei who gripped her hand with a small smile. Martha noticed Akiza sitting quietly near Era and Yusei. She widened her eyes slightly. Akiza looked up.
"So, you're that Senator's daughter, aren't you?" Martha asked.
"Oh… yes. Guilty as charged," she said.
Martha smiled. "I've heard about you. You're right Yusei, she's very pretty."
Akiza's face turned red for a moment, but it quickly faded. Era's eyes wandered, trying to avoid feeling jealous. But once she looked at Akiza, she couldn't help but smile at her new-found friend.
"But I have to say it's nice to see all of you here. I'm already impressed with how many friends you made so quickly Era. Yusei told me you were quite nervous when him and Crow first met you," Martha said.
"You could say she has a lot of people looking out for her…some more than others. She's lucky that way," Akiza said.
"No, Akiza. I was never one for making friends but I know one thing. Friends are not only people who look out for one another, but friends are people who care, respect, and are kind to one another. I wasn't really expecting to find that here but I did and I couldn't ask for better friends," Era corrected.
"Hold on, why are you calling me a friend?" Jack intervened. "It's not like you could say we would watch out for one another."
"Because Jack, I know you respect me and are kind to me at times. Plus when times come to it, you do watch out for me," Era said. "You don't need every one of the things I mentioned to call someone a friend. Just enough to say that you feel they are."
"Jack, like it or not, we have to be friends! It may have been said before, but I mean it when I say we need to move forward. It's our friendship that will make all the difference in this fight," Yusei said.
Martha laughed. 'She really has grown up. More than when I first met her and it's the same with Yusei,' she thought. "Listen to you two. You sound like you're becoming quite the man, Yusei. And you're really becoming the wise woman, aren't you Era?"
Era blushed awkwardly and Yusei looked at Martha a bit tense. Everyone was silent.
"Well, you should all eat. You can't save the world on an empty stomach!" Martha called everyone's attention.
Era immediately stood to help. "Do you need help, Martha?" she asked.
"Why would I ever deny your help, Era?" Martha said with a smile. "Of course, you can. I really appreciated all your help last time, Era."
Everyone scattered to various places. Yusei was the last one to leave and walked over to Era who was making lunch, which was beef stew.
"Are you sure you're ready to fight Kalin?" she asked out of the blue.
"Yeah. I'm not afraid to fight him because we used to be friends anymore. My friends are right here, and we'll save our homes together," he said.
"That's good to know. I mean, I was pretty sure you were going to say that from my knowledge but hey, can never be too sure. Right?" Era said.
"Right," Yusei said with a grin.
Martha got up from the table and smiled at the sight of Yusei and Era. Yusei left and went outside. She went over to Era. "So I see you and Yusei really hit it off," she said.
"Wait, what?" Era said.
"I saw you two talking. You've obviously told each other how you feel," Martha said with a smile.
"How did you know how we feel? Is that why you put me in charge of Yusei that day?" Era asked.
"I could tell you guys had feelings for each other when you looked at one another. In my opinion you guys are a perfect match," Martha responded.
"I-I, uh," Era began but couldn't finish so she turned her attention back to the stew which was finished. "Well, the foods done. We'll probably have leftovers for later."
Everyone came to the table and began to eat. Most were tasting it first because they weren't sure who made it.
"It's very good," Leo said with a quiet surprise. Luna took a taste, as did the others afterwards. The children thanked Era for helping since they knew who made it by the taste. The police officer stared down at his food anxiously.
"Aren't you going to try your food, Trudge? It's really good," Luna asked.
Trudge looked at her. He blew on his soup and tasted it. His face turned red. "It's too spicy!" He muttered.
Era grinned. "How? I only put a touch of pepper in it? It adds flavor," she said.
Crow chuckled at Trudge shocked look.
"Don't worry about him, Era. He's probably the only one here who doesn't like it. I think the soup is lovely," Martha said.
"You know me, I don't really care what the smaller portion thinks. As long as most people like it, I'm happy," Era said.
The meal continued with small conversation here and there. However, a wind started to pick up after a while and the windows began to rattle. One of the kids started to shiver. Era felt a sudden pain run up her spine.
"Someone's coming," Era said.
Everyone looked at her in silent disturbance. Crow looked out the window. The windows suddenly shattered. A child yelped in the background. Yusei jumped up from the table to look outside.
The Signers looked down as the marks on their arms glowed. Era's mark glowed the brightest. Era took a deep breath to keep calm and took a minute to help Crow in keeping the children calm.
After they were calm enough, Era moved up. She knew who was here. "A Dark Signer is here," she said.
"I know. I think all of us can feel it," Akiza said.
A man emerged from the shadows, armed with a Duel Disk. His black robe had a red tinge. It didn't take Era even a second to recognize it.
"That's the leader," Era said.
"The leader of the Dark Signers?" Yusei thought aloud.
Era jumped out of the window and stood defiantly in the man's way, clenching her fists. "You have no right to come here and cause harm to these people. Leave now. I've dealt with Kalin and you once and I'll do it again," Era said.
"I see you remember me well, Celestial Signer." He lifted his hood, revealing pale silver hair tied back. His bold face was painted like an ancient warrior and his eyes were dark.
"For those who don't know, I am Roman and I am a Dark Signer. I have come to challenge you, Celestial Signer and one the Signers to a match… if either or both of you dare," he growled.
Era's breath caught. 'I've never dueled before in my life,' she thought nervously.
"Era," called the Crimson Dragon. She looked up to see the red dragon hovering above her. "You will instinctually know how to duel. You can beat him but you will need Yusei's help." Era nodded.
"Hey!" Crow shouted as he chucked a Duel Disk to Era.
"You're going to need that, in case you forgot!" he called.
Era blinked. "It's red," she said. "Perfect."
"Yeah, consider it a present from me. You'll need one in the long run. Now go and shut this guy down!" Crow said.
Yusei mounted his Runner. "I'm coming with you," he told her.
Roman snickered. "I was hoping you'd say that… Yusei Fudo. So what do you say we go to our battleground?" Roman disappeared.
Era looked at her friends. "Everyone else needs to stay here. We can't risk losing anyone to the Earthbound Immortals. As far as they are concerned, we're just another source of energy for them."
She got on Yusei's duel runner. Akiza jumped over. "I don't care about the Earthbound Immortals. I'm coming too. You'll need the support," she said.
She pulled out her Black Rose Dragon. "Come give me a ride, Black Rose Dragon," Akiza said. Her dragon emerged in front of the house. Leo and Luna gasped. Crow was somewhat unnerved. Trudge was also in disbelief.
'There's no changing her mind now,' Era thought.
"Whatever you say, Akiza. If you want to, come. But I'm ready," Era said.
"We'll hold the fort here!" Crow called back, Rally waved to them.
Yusei nodded and started his engine. The group going to face the Dark Signer departed, leaving the rest of them back at the house.