|Visions of the Moon
Author: Ori PM
Seeing the future came with a heavy price of hope. Especially, when all you can see is your dear brother destroying the world. A story about the pessimistic 'goddess' Isis Ishtar, the sister of Malik Ishtar's past and her duel against Seto Kaiba.Rated: Fiction K+ - English - Angst - Seto K. & Isis I. - Words: 5,181 - Reviews: 41 - Favs: 10 - Follows: 2 - Published: 02-02-03 - Status: Complete - id: 1215218
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
This story is in Isis Ishtar's point of view. It takes place during the duel between Seto and Isis in Battle City.
Visions of the Moon
I sank deeper into my seat and let the cold fluorescent light shine on my face. It was a nice chair, soft, and comfortable, unlike those hard stone blocks I was so used to sitting on in my youth. In truth, the whole room was comfortable. I could almost forget the fact that I was sitting in a flying blimp thousands of metres above ground, twenty minutes before my duel. Almost… not quite. After all, this duel was crucial to saving my little brother.
I should have absolutely nothing to fear, of course, since my visions told me I would be the victor months before. Yet, I found myself slightly uneasy. I suppose the knowledge of duelling one of the top duellists in the world is unnerving to anyone.
I looked at the card deck in my hand and found my lips curled into a grim smile. It was pitiful that my life should depend on some paper cards. The thought of these forty-five cards being my only weapon to save my brother was so pathetic, it was funny. I snorted and turned my head toward the window hoping to see the calming light from the busy city below but all I could see was my own features, staring straight back at me, mocking at my helplessness.
I laughed dryly. It was ridiculous that I should be offended by my reflection. Yet, I was.
It was said that the goddess Isis was the wife of the god Osiris. It was her magic that revived Osiris when his brother Set dismembered him. It was her wit that outsmarted vile Set and using her son she took revenge for her husband in the end. She was beautiful, wise, and honourable.
And there I was studying the future with my millennium item, seeing the exact moves my opponent would make in the duel in the near future. I was not denying what I did was cheating. It was cheating, plain and simple.
But my intentions should justify my action, and everything was done… for Malik.
He walked up to the duel stage and stood, crossed armed, in blinding arrogance and self-confidence. I did not blame him. Anyone in his situation would probably grow up cocky. Being the owner of a multi-billion company was not exactly a humbling experience, especially when one was young.
But even he could not escape from the grasp of destiny.
I had foreseen this duel half a year ago.
It had been months since I noticed the curious resemblance between him and the high priest on that stone tablet. That coupled with the fact that he could wield the power of the god card, left me little room but to believe that, he like the pharaoh, was a reincarnation of someone in Ancient Egypt.
But unlike the pharaoh's reincarnation, he refused to consider the possibility, even when the evidence was so compelling…
"The fourth round – Seto Kaiba versus Isis Ishtar!" the announcer cried.
I walked out just in time to have the satisfaction of seeing a shocked expression on his face. He regained his cool composure quickly, and commented curtly, "How can it be you?"
"Fate had led me here," I replied simply.
He looked at me full with skepticism, but said nothing. Not surprising. From the last meeting I had already decided he lived only for the future, for his science and technology. He was completely blinded to the truth. To him, my beliefs were nothing but ridiculous, and my speeches nothing but dull and annoying. He rolled his eyes.
Slightly offended by his rudeness, I decided to add out of spite, "My millennium item gave me the power to see into the future. I saw that you will lose in this duel. You cannot escape this destiny."
"The future…" he muttered and laughed provocatively. "That is the most absurd joke I have ever heard!" he exclaimed with a mocking chuckle. "You gave me the god card at the museum, you wanted me to host this tournament to destroy Ghouls, but I never thought you would defeat me in a duel!"
I looked back at him impassively. He could be so ignorant at times.
He sneered and added, his voice dripping in sarcasm, "You are absolutely amazing. You are giving me an even better impression than the first time… Isis."
His words were so ironic that I laughed inwardly. If he only knew that his defeat lies in the god card I gave him.
"It's too bad really, that I don't believe in those 'magical' tools you guys use. It is all superstitions," he scoffed, "Mankind should have abandoned these illogical things a long time ago."
Yet they didn't… I wondered if it ever occurred to him that perhaps there was a reason why mankind continued to believe in 'illogical things' through the ages. The answer was quite simple – the future is decided before a person is even born. Each human being lives a fate predecided by destiny. I said nothing and got ready to draw.
"Since that is the case, I will use the god card you gave me to show you the mocking future!" he exclaimed in confidence. "I will go first! I will play Blood Vors."
'And I will set a card face down…' I mimicked in my mind.
"And I will set a card face down," he added.
Pitiful. "My turn. I summon Keldo." I allowed myself the pleasure of remembering the reaction he had of my next card in my visions. I smirked, now we would be even, Seto. "And I will also play Path of the Grave!"
His reaction as I predicted, a rather amusing one. First came shock, then quickly came the realization that I played this card just to humiliate him, I could almost see fire around him. "Let me see you hand, Seto."
He reluctantly did.
As much as the idea of having no control over our life is unwelcoming, we cannot change that. Seto, you are so naïve. Really, you are doing nothing except to live in denial like my brother and myself did in the past. Maybe that is why I am trying so hard to persuade you…
I turned to look at Malik. His dark side had taken over completely. Wait for me, Malik, I will destroy the evil on this battlefield.
Even if fresh blood must be spilled.
After all, a moment of meaningful living is better than an eternity of guilt. If I had not been a girl he would have became someone much different. He would have continued being who he was before everything happened...An excruciating echoed through the hallway.
My father carved my little brother's back when I was fourteen. Rishid was strong enough to suffer through the whole ceremony with him. I, on the other hand, could not stand the crying and screaming, so instead I hid in my room and read the books I borrowed from the library a few days before when I went outside to buy food. Of course I could still hear the screaming. You could not really hide from a sound that when you are in a tomb because of the echoes; however, it was dimmed to a tolerable level.
In all honesty, while I felt extremely bad for my beloved brother, I could not be more relief I was not the one who's back was being carved on. It was a guilty thought. I think the guilt was what pushed me "over the edge," what made me do what I had desired to do for so many years.
You must understand, between thoughts and action stood an invisible wall one could not break through without encouragement.
I had always been trying to convince myself that I wanted to break the rule because I thought two hours would not really matter, that I broke the rule because it was my beloved little brother's greatest wish. The truth, as much as I dislike admiting, was much darker, much more selfish. I know I had desired to break the rules because of my distain toward my life, and my bitterness towards my father.
Life was monotonous and all I had to entertain myself were books I borrowed from the outside world. I would not be exaggerating too much even if I say I read everything in that library – I did – everything from religious to politics. If I learned anything from them it would be that my father was a vile tyrant and the strict rules that imprisoned my family were completely… stupid. Serving some 'pharaoh' who died three thousand years ago sounded completely ridiculous.
Really, if my father had paid any attention to me, he would have realized, quite easily, my will to disobey. If he had read the titles of my favourite books he could have known what was in my mind. If he had talked to me, or even just lay eyes on me…
But of course he didn't. A daughter was just not worthy for his time.
Those were the days before I harnessed the power of the millennium tauk. Those were the days before I believed in destiny.
It was my job to go outside once every two weeks to buy food and other items for my family because mother died giving birth to Malik. Using that to our advantage, along with a well coordinated act with Rishid, we followed through our plans. We were able to trick father into believing that Malik was sick in bed before I sneaked him outside.
I should have noticed the trap on the door when I walked outside that day, but I didn't. That one mistake was fatal.
My father found out about our plans. Needless to say, he was not too pleased. In frenzy my father ripped my brother's room inside out, trying to find him. When he couldn't find him, and realized what happened, he decided to take pleasure in torture Rishid, who had, unfortunately, offered to stay behind. By my father's late years, I strongly suspected his mind was collapsing. He was unbalanced, insane. My suspicions were confirmed that day, when all he wanted to do was to kill.
It was by chance that Malik and I came back in time. At the sight of us, my father seemed to become even more psychotic. He began to laugh diabolically and told us that after he killed Rishid he would kill us, his own children.
How was I supposed to react to that? A bit too shocked to talk, and feeling extremely guilty as my father continuously stabbed at Rishid with red-hot knifes I stood. I could not move. So instead, I watched silently, half hoping and half praying for some goddesses to appear in front of me and stop my father from killing Rishid.
My father was stopped, but not by a goddess.
When Rishid, collapsed on the ground, seemingly dead, my brother snapped. His eyes narrowed, his voice deepened, his hair spiked up in an unnatural way. If it were shown in a movie, I am sure it would have been comical. However, seeing that happen to my brother right in front my eyes was a different matter all together.
Malik grabbed the millennium rod, something that we were forbidden to touch, and harnessed its power to slam my father to the column. He then laughed coldly and used its magic to bind me. I don't think anyone can imagine how helpless I felt.
So there I was, bounded by magic, watching my insane, psychotic, sadistic, and sinister little brother stabbing my equally insane, psychotic, sadistic, and sinister father. I did not know who to cheer for. On one hand, I did not want my little brother to kill my father. On the other hand, I strongly believed my father would have killed us if it were not for Malik's outbreak.
In the end, Malik killed my father. He gave a chilling laugh before moving on to Rishid, who was not actually dead. Fortunate for Rishid, at that moment the normal Malik reappeared with absolutely no memory of what he just did. Seeing our dead father lying on the ground, blood covered, he began to cry hysterically. I was unbounded the moment Malik became sane again; however, I did not move. I did not know what to do. Was I supposed to slap Malik, who just killed my father? Or was I supposed to hug and comfort Malik, who was now crying, not knowing he had just killed his own father?That was why I must defeat you, Seto. I must save my brother.
"Blood Vors attack! Destroy Keldo!" he cried. He added smugly, "Didn't you say that your spiritual tool said that I will lose to you?" He paused. His eyes hardened. "I will not allow myself to be blindly led by the future!" He added earnestly, "My future is created by me!"
Ironic. I knew what the cards were already but I said nothing, there was no point in talking. He would never believe me.
But really, we are not as different as he thinks.
We are the same kind of people. We both only believe in something backed up by proof. I did not believe in my visions right away, it took many events to gain my trust, but eventually it did. My visions were never wrong - Just as how science were able to explain everything to him.
My turn. "I summon Mudora."
Even a powerful duellist like him stands no chance against the power of my millennium Tauk. The final outcome was pointed out. He would be defeated along with Obelisk. That was a destiny he cannot escape and then reason why I gave him the God card. I was not as gullible or stupid as you thought, Seto. It was because I trusted in you and the future I could see.
"I will also equip Dagra Blade to my Mudora. Mudora, attack Blood Vors," I added half-heartedly.
"I activiate Shrink and Crush Card," Seto said as I expected. He added proudly, "All of your monsters with attack power above one thousand five hundred are sent to the graveyard."
"I know," I replied wearily. "I am setting one card face down."
Seto, please forgive me for cheating. The truth is, in any sort of game, any sort of predicting powers are prohibited. I am breaking the rules to win and I will probably harm your self-esteem. But don't worry Seto, if I must pay with my life so be it. For my brother, for that small possibility, for that almost non-existent spark of hope, that is a sacrifice I am willing to make. You should understand, Seto, after all, you have a brother you love yourself…
The weeks right after the murder went by too fast for my comprehension.
Fate was cruel. Just to make my life more miserable than it was, a man we met earlier in the market place appeared out of nowhere and told my brother that it was the pharaoh's will that our father died.
Malik believed him, and I did not have the heart or the courage to tell him the truth.
So Malik, half of the time sane, half of the time insane, but either way blinded by pure hatred toward the pharaoh, left the underground tomb with the millennium rod to find revenge. Rishid followed him faithfully... which, was something I never understood completely. While I love Malik with all my heart, he did not replace me. He did not ruin my life as he ruined Rishid's. But that was how much Rishid loved my dear brother. His love for him was so unconditional that he was able to forgive Malik for everything. He was willing to do anything for him, anything at all.
The Egyptian government was determined to keep me sane and alive only so that the memory of the pharaoh would not be lost. I was useful to them, as the last pure and sane Ishtar. That was the only reason why they decided to let me live a more normal life, why they supplied me with money, got me enrolled in a proper school and gave me a house in Cairo, the capital city of Egypt. All the Egyptian government cared about was my knowledge of the past.
All your adoptive father cared about was your knowledge of technology.
"Death Gremlin attack her life points directly!" he ordered.
The large hologram rushed to me and attacked, too realistic to be ignored. No matter how many times someone has been hit by these holograms, no one could quite get used to them. Unconsciously I raised my arm to cover my face, for a moment worried about being hit by cold blades, but a strong gust of cold wind hit me instead.
"Listen up Isis! There's only one past, but there are limitless numbers of futures!" Seto cried, his eyes wide with anticipation. "To me, the past is the past, it is meaningless!"
Yet… his past affected him now. The past always affects the future. It was his past which shaped his beliefs, his past which shaped his knowledge, his past which shaped him.
The past is a part of the future.
"I play Magic Removal Virus Cannon!" he exclaimed, "Select ten magic cards and send them to the graveyard." He laughed hysterically. "Isis! You deck is destroyed!"
"No…" I replied softly. I thought he would have realized that something is terribly wrong by now, being as intelligent as he is. But I suppose pride blinds even the most experienced person. "I have foreseen this long ago."
He looked at me bewildered.
"The truth is, the person who fell in the trap is you, Seto," I continued quietly. "You have already fallen into the trap of the graveyard protector."
He looked shocked. He should really stop underestimating me. I am not the fool he thought I am. I do understand the materialistic world. "I will let you see now… Flip!" I am not that naive. "I play reverse world!" I know what I am doing. I am after all the youngest Minister of the Ministry of Egyptian Archaeology, he should really start giving me some credit for that. "Our graveyards are switched with our decks."
There were only six cards in his graveyard. He stared at thin air in utter disbelief. I almost felt sorry for him. Almost. "I am setting a card face down, and I am summoning Kelbek. End turn."
I flipped my trap card. "Neglet!"
Reluctantly he placed his card in his graveyard. "I won't do anything this turn," he grumbled in defeat.
In the next turn he would draw his Crush Card. Of course, I could not let him use it. The only strategy he had left is to wait for three monsters and summon Obelisk… but that will only be the prologue to his defeat.
Seto, no matter what you do you still cannot win. I looked at Malik standing and watching me with a disgusting smirk on his face. Stop living in denial like my brother…
For four years after the murder I did not see my brother. Instead, I kept close track of my brother's criminal activity with the millennium Tauk I took along with me when I left the tomb to civilization. Until one day, when three men in black robes came to my door with guns in their hands. I followed them to an underground tomb. There in the farthest room stood my little brother, only much taller and stronger than I remembered him.
Without wasting a second, he went directly into business. "It took me a while to track you down," he said softly, "But it was all worth it. Isis, give me the millennium tauk," he demanded.
I stared at him. My hand unconsciously touched my neck where I wore my millennium tauk. "Why?" I asked.
"I want it," he replied, coldly, "Give it to me, Isis. I don't want to hurt you."
"What are you planning to do?" I inquired though I already know the answer. I didn't like it or the thought of being held responsible for the end of the world.
"It does not concern you," he snapped, "Just hand it to me."
That was when another vision came to me. All I could see was red. Fire, and more fire, and then there was Malik, laughing manically, appeared from the fire holding all of the millennium items in his bloody hands. My eyes grew wide when I looked down on my feet and all I could see was red.
Then suddenly everything went back to normal. Malik was still in front of me, waiting for an answer. "No…" I muttered absently.
"No? I hate to do this to my sister," he said sarcastically. He snapped his fingers. Suddenly, ten people appeared out of the shadows, all pointing guns at me. I never imagined that my reunion with my little brother would be touching but I never thought I would be meeting him with ten guns pointing at my head either. He continued coldly, "You see I anticipated that you would say that. But I thought I would give you a chance to get out of this unhurt. Since, you are, after all my dear sister."
I glanced at his minions fearfully. Then I looked at my little brother, who was not so little anymore, but still my little brother. "Malik, I know what you are going to do. You are planning to collect all of the items and God cards and become the pharaoh."
He laughed. "You are right, you always know me best, sister." He paused and said to me more gently, "Why are you trying to defend the pharaoh? I thought you disliked him for keeping you underground for so many years. I thought you hated him."
Silence. Finally, I found my self collected enough to give an answer. "Malik," I replied slowly, "No matter what happen we are still Ishtars…"
He looked at me strangely as if he didn't understand. "We are not the pharaoh…" I said softly, "Malik, I know exactly what you are going to do, and I has already arranged it so you will never get what you want."
He looked at me with a snarl. Suddenly another robed man entered the room and whispered something to him. His eyes widened and he commanded the all his minions to leave. They did. He looked at me angrily. "How did you know we were going to attack the tomb?"
"I saw everything in my dreams." The pessimistic words floated smoothly out of my mouth without a thought. "The millennium tauk showed me, Malik. I hated the pharaoh for taking away my freedom. But we have no choice but to live out the life that fate has planned for us. We may as well live this life as happily as possible. We were born to be servants of the pharaoh who died long ago. And we cannot change that."
Malik sneered but he began to walk away. "Ah my sister you changed a lot," he commented. He closed his eyes and smiled. "But you are still my dear sister." With that he walked out of the room.
The duel was almost over.
I looked back at Seto. Strange, his eyes were still burning bright with determination even though he knew his situation is hopeless. He should stop wasting his time. The light had long been sealed away. I summoned three monster for the god card for you…
"I will play Soul Exchange and summon Obelisk!" Seto said just as I expected. "In the next round I will use Obelisk to attack and destroy the future you saw!"
No… the moment the God attacks is the time you should fail. "End turn." The trap card I placed on Zolga will activate when Obelisk attack, causing Obelisk to self-destruct. The damage the monster takes will then be transferred to the duellist, bringing his life points down to zero. Exactly as the millennium tauk predicted…
"My turn," he announced. I looked at him emotionlessly. He was taken aback by my calm demeanour. "Isis! It doesn't matter whether my enemy is a guy or a girl, as long as he or she is my enemy I will not go easy on him or her. But if you just surrender now, I will just let you go."
I said nothing but laughed silently. Funny. I never expected him to go easy on me anyway, but that was flattering to hear.
Just attack me and end this, Seto…
He was wavering. He was having second thoughts about attacking. He noticed something was wrong and began to look doubtful. But no… there is nothing else he can do but to attack me with the God card…
He narrowed his eyes. "Go God! Use your fists and destroy the future she saw."
Finally he came to his senses. Now all he needs to do is to say attack. The next few moments went by extremely slowly, but finally the moment came when he called out his attack, "God of Obelisk, at – "
He stopped in mid sentence. My eyes grew wide in confusion. Why didn't he call the attack? He stood, motionless, with his arm still stretched out in attack position. Yet… he stopped Obelisk from attacking.
I found myself surrounded by unfamiliar feelings. It had been years since something happened without expectation. I have forgotten the feeling of being surprised. Suddenly his arm dropped to his side. He looked stupefied, traumatized, horrified. But why? By what?
He bent over. He looked hysterical. Weak? He touched his head with his hand. Why didn't he attack?
I glanced to my left. The millennium rod in Malik's hand was glowing…
The high priest on the tablet held a millennium rod.
"I…" he said, when he recovered enough to speak.
"Impossible… there is no other way…" I stuttered. I was scared. For the first time in many years, I found myself facing a future I was uncertain of.
"No, there's still one more way," he replied, his voice assuring, sharp. "I play Silent Rebirth! But to summon Blue Eyes White Dragon I need two sacrifices. So…"
He was actually going to…
"That's right!" he replied to my thoughts, with a smirk. His expression quickly turned serious. "I am going to use God as a sacrifice. He is my pride and my spirit. But he is also my servant! Isis! Watch carefully! I will use Obelisk and another monster as sacrifices to…"
He was using the Obelisk as a sacrifice?
The future changed…
"In the future you saw in your visions, was there Blue Eyes White Dragon?" he asked, his voice strong and proud. He was proud because he proved me wrong.
I was too shocked to make a sound. Suddenly my mind was clustered with contradicting thoughts, giving me a massive headache. In my visions there was no Blue Eyes White Dragon summoned. The future I saw and trusted for so many years was wrong. All that I came to believe in crumbled in front of me. Suddenly I felt weak.
I felt like fainting.
He continued sharply, "Without a doubt... There wasn't!" He paused, allowing his mocking words to sink in even deeper. "Because this is my future!"
"I…" My mind betrayed me and I could think of no intelligent comebacks. There could only be one possible outcome now. I closed my eyes. "I lost..."
The holographic dragon standing in front of him seemed to be shining.
He commanded his white dragon to attack me gloriously, triumphantly. I waited silently for the white energy beam to hit me with a loud explosion. The smoke slowly cleared, my visions, pride and beliefs went along with it. Suddenly I felt naked and pathetic. For a moment no one moved or made a sound.
Then the battle stage began to descend.
"I won, Isis!" he exclaimed.
I looked at him silently. He waited for my reply. Reality slowly sank in and finally I could comprehend what happened. I began softly, "You were amazing..." The words came out easier than I thought they would, so I continued, "Seto, in this duel, you changed the future. Now... you are the God card's true owner."
Perhaps he was surprised I did not sound upset because he said nothing for a moment. Actually, I was surprised myself, because instead of anger and confusion, all I felt was relief. A heavy burden I never realized I was carrying lifted. Suddenly I felt light.
A future I cannot see…
I smiled softly at the idea.
In time he decided to say something, "There is something that is worth my trust more than God and that is the will of humans," He paused and thought for a moment before adding, "I am only going by this belief." Then he turned around and began to walk away.
I remained standing where I was but sudden a strong urge to speak came over me. "Seto…" I began, half expecting him to just ignore me, but he did not. He stopped and turned his head toward me. I gathered my thoughts and continued, "Because of this battle, I can finally see the light of hope… Before this, my millennium item showed me that my future would be surrounded hopelessly by darkness..." I turned my gaze at my dear brother who looking at me with a ridiculing smile. I bit my lips and turned back to Seto, who was still standing there looking at me. I added wistfully, "Humans have the power to change the future."
He sneered softly and replied, "A person who blindly follows their future can never see the light." Then for the last time he turned away and walked off.
I watched silently as everyone slowly retreated back inside of the blimp until I was the only one left outside. A strange sense of peace came over me. I walked to the side and felt the cold wind brush past me as I looked up at the clear night sky.
The stars looked bright.