Author's Note:

The following is a fan interpretation of other fan works. A meta fan fiction! In addition to not owning The World Ends With You (property of Square Enix) the author also does not own the Deckverse (property of Amulet Misty), Leo Parker and Nelliel Reagan (property of Hyoxjnn), Yuu Minamimoto (property of Bugzii), Ayumu Ki, Izo Shuito, and Rei Shuito (property of EeveeGen9988), or the Zetta Squad (property of Crow's Gamble).

If you'd like to know more about those characters, you can always go to their source author's page and marvel at how much better they are written there.

Now that that's settled, how about a joke?

Once upon a time, there was a mediocre author who found other authors of great imagination and asked if he could use their stuff.

And they agreed.


May they not regret it...

Deck: J0KER

By Chronic Guardian

Game I: Go Fish


The object of the game is to match pairs of cards from different suits until the current hand runs out or the stock runs dry (depending on regional preference). On each players' turn, they must ask another player for the mate to one of their own cards. If the other player possesses the card, they must give it up. Otherwise, they must tell the asking player "Go Fish", upon which they will draw from the stock. The winner is either he (or she) who loses all his (or her) cards first, or he (or she) with the greatest number of pairs at game's end.

-J0KER, October 2104, Direct Retrievable Audio Wave #104: Conversation between members 2 and 3 during non-routine maintenance as follows.

"You know, no matter how you look at it, we tend to attract a certain kind of crowd."

"Yeah? Like, how you figure?"

"Well... I mean, Deck already only takes a certain breed of people. But J0KER? I think it might be a different story there altogether."

"Like... because we don't have a district assigned to us?"

"Yeah, there's that. Up to this point, J0KER's primarily been – hand me that wrench, will you? – a recon and development test bed for the CommArmTech. But—"

"Like, d'you mean the CAT department?"

*Sigh* "Yes, Kya, I mean them. But everyone calls them that—"

"—Especially Arisa."

"Yes, especially her—And I like to shake things up a bit. Anyway—"

"Heheh, why? You can be, like, soooo weird sometimes. Besides, it's cuter as an acromyn."

"Acronym, Kya."

"Heheh, whatever you say," *Thump* "Which reminds me, what were you saying? Y'know, about us being different?"

"Oh, I'm just... reflecting. What, with the new arrivals due and all—"

"New arrivals!? Hey! When do they come? Are any of 'em other Blanks? Do I get a bunk mate? How come nobody told me?"

"Easy there! All I know is what was distributed on the CARDs."

"Huh!? CARDs? But I thought only Suit members got those!"

"That's just it, Kya. J0KER is being canonized as a Suit. Yours should be in your room, if you—"

"We're being what?"

"We're," *Grunts* "being made into an official division of the Deck field operatives. There, that ought to—"

"Oh, wow! Does that mean we get to meet the other Suit members? Or that—wait a minute... if we're a Suit then we get numbers, right?"

"Umm... yeah, I guess? I hadn't really..."

"Who d'you think gets to be Ace?"

"Well, it's funny that you'd ask. See, as I heard it from Ayane, he's being recruited."


"Today. You'll get to meet him at the assembly."

"Omigosh! We're, like, having an assembly?"

"Yeah, it was posted in the... oh, right, you don't read the common room bulletin. Anyway, they've already left to pick him and the others up."

"Gone fishing?"

"...I suppose it could be seen as such."

"Heheh, You're always pretty serious, huh? Lighten up for once, 'kay? After all, you're in J0KER, you might as well act like it!"

-Close (DRAW#104)-


Wind always felt stronger at higher altitudes. It was an unfortunate fact of life that free runners like Leo Parker learned to deal with in incremental stages. You didn't just start out by climbing to the top of the commercial district and leaping every sky scraper you could find. Not unless you had a death wish.

...Or were incredibly desperate.

Pounding across the pitch, Leo reminded himself to keep breathing as he approached the edge. The wind currents were strong, but they were at his back. Hopefully, that would translate into a slight boost over the gap he was about to attempt. Thirty floors up would be a nasty fall, missing the jump would almost be worse than just stopping and letting himself be caught.


"Get back here, Parker!" At least the thugs following him wouldn't be able to take the next route. Running through an active construction site wasn't really a recommended activity for anyone, but being three-hundred-plus pounds of muscle definitely put the option out of the question.

The ledge of the roof rushed closer with each grinding step, pushing loose bits up in Leo's wake. This would've been easier if he'd had a little outside help, such as the latest in EM Over Assist gear. A pair of those on his feet, and he'd be able to clear twice the distance. But in the end it didn't matter. Leo liked pushing his own limits. Yeah, EM gear was sweet, and yes, he wished he had some; but he also wasn't afraid to try things most people thought their unassisted bodies were incapable of.

Such as jumping across sky scrapers thirty floors up.

Psyching himself up to a grin, Leo went for it. He minutely cut his momentum so he could plant both feet on the building's edge, legs coiled into a crouch as his body already began to cross the threshold into open air. Getting the toes of his feet over the edge, he pushed on the horizontal surface. The force of the full extension fired Leo like an arrow. He soared across the ten meter gap, caught the lip of an open floor to break some momentum and then dropped down to the level below to safely roll off the rest. Turning around, he smirked triumphantly at his pursuers.

His smirk twitched when he realized they were jumping too, despite the hazards of the area for men of their hulk.

Then again, when they're substituting muscle for brains, I guess they might try it anyway!

Shaking his head, Leo laughed and took off again down the maze of catwalks and support beams that made up the inside of the building's shell. The clatter of drone machines at work was deafening. In the absence of audible clues, it was tempting to throw a glance behind to tell whether or not he was being followed, but the current maneuverings wouldn't afford the sacrifice of precious visual cognition. Whatever he was doing, he needed to get down to street level, or at least a few stories lower. Shibuya was reconstructing at a steady rate, but there still weren't too many buildings quite as high up as he was. If he tried to go on like this, sooner or later he'd run out of roof.

Spinning around a corner, Leo found an elevator shaft rigged up. He grinned. Yeah, that'll do the trick. Yanking on a pair of dark, meshed gloves he kept in his back pocket, he grabbed hold of the line and dropped into the hole.

The line sparked in his grip as he built up tension to slow his rapid descent. Due to the Movermesh gloves, what would've normally torn his hands to shreds in an instant felt like little more than an upward breeze. They were a real gem to have, which probably accounted for why the Skullers were after him now. He'd picked them up in an abandoned site they were scavenging through. Apparently, Skullers didn't believe in "finders, keepers" when it didn't apply to them.

Squeezing a little tighter, Leo cut the force to a fraction before letting go and landing in a crouch at the bottom of the shaft.

"Right!" he breathed as he got up and dusted himself off. "Guess that's all for today..."

"Guess again, Knucklehead," a deep voice outside growled. Leo had just a moment to blink before the imposing form of a six-foot-two muscleman in a suit stepped in, slowly pounding a fist into his free hand. "You messed wit' the Skullers for the last time."

"Yeah, they did say something like that back in your 'secret penthouse hideout'," Leo said with an impish grin. "Maybe it's like a delayed thing, eh?"

Normally, one would think it was just plain stupid to taunt somebody twice their weight who had no qualms about using lethal force. However, as dangerous as an irritated enemy was, anger often led to lapses in judgment, particularly when thinking already wasn't part of the daily agenda. It didn't take a genius to figure out that this was a fight Leo would lose if he took it head on; but if he could get this guy to make the first move, he could control the fight from there.

The big man's eyes flared as he wound up for a punch that would send Leo into next week if it connected.

Ducking to the side, Leo put a foot against one of the shaft support beams and pushed hard to send himself barreling into the ham-handed Skuller stooge.

"Oof!" The maneuver was enough to push the guy a few feet back, but it left Leo flopping to the ground, catching himself just short of faceplanting. Unfortunately, that meant that by the time Leo was back on his feet, the goon would be all over him.

Or sooner than that, Leo realized as a shined shoe came down on his hand. He yelped in pain as the pressure cut through the Movermesh and dug into his skin. Glancing up, Leo could just make out the Thug's grinning face as he cracked his knuckles.

"This's over, flatfoot."

"Graugh!" Crunch!

Leo blinked as what looked like a shark dove out of the ground, eclipsed the man, and disappeared again with a flick of its tail. Like a magic trick, the former barrier to his escape was gone. In its place was a far more bizarre and potentially lethal threat.

"What in the...?!"

Uncertainly getting to his feet, Leo hugged one of the support beams of the structure and scanned the ground, looking for some sign that the same thing might happen again.

It did. The concrete rippled, giving way to an electric blue fin that lazily circled his position. Leo frowned. Is that a... shark?

Almost as quickly as it had appeared, the fin dipped back below the ground.

"Or maybe my mind's just playing tricks on me," he murmured and cracked a wry smile as he rubbed the back of his head. "I didn't hit the ground that hard, did I?"


Leo flinched and stumbled backwards as what very much did look like a shark emerged from the ground and snapped at the empty air he'd been occupying a moment ago.

"Well... gosh, can't say I've been in this situation before," he noted breathlessly as he scanned his surroundings for a way out. Whatever the shark thing was, it seemed bound to the ground level. If he could get above that, he'd at least secure a safe place to figure out what the heck was going on.

Scrambling up one of the support beams, Leo got himself to the next level up just as the land shark tried to make another pass at him. Sinking back into the groundwork, the aquatic monster slunk away. Once he was safely situated, Leo turned around and tried to locate the beast's blue fin again to get a handle on what the creature really was.

"GRAUGH!" The shark's bellow caught him by surprise as the creature launched itself twenty feet out of the ground and bore down on him with open jaws. Leo felt his feet trying to move, to push him anywhere but there, but that only succeeded in losing his balance. The sickening feeling of an uncontrolled fall sent his arms into automatic, his fingers brushed then caught on the beam.

It wouldn't be enough though.

His life seemed to be running at half time as he stared horrified into the rows of teeth rapidly filling his vision. He couldn't get back up and away fast enough, back down was his only option. Letting go of the beam and twisting around, Leo could only hope that he'd hit the ground running before the monster could envelope him.

"Black Hole!"

Leo felt a gale of suction pulling against his fall for just a moment, before he landed in an awkward roll and stumbled into a support beam. He tried to take another step, but he was going more sideways than forward at that point. Something had to be wrong with his inner ear. Where was the shark? He'd lost interest in observing it. That could wait until it wasn't threatening his life. He needed to keep moving. He couldn't give it the chance to recover.

Have to keep moving...

"Relax, would ya?"

Leo spun on the speaker, half expecting to be met with another gaping shark maw. After all, the thing could friggin' swim through concrete; why not talk?

He stopped mid-motion as he realized it wasn't another shark, or another one of the Skullers' Suited Thugs, for that matter. No, instead it was an auburn haired woman. A pair of gold tinted oval glasses on her face resting above an unamused frown. She carried some kind of mini-tablet with her, but otherwise appeared to be unarmed. It briefly occurred to Leo that she could still be a peripheral member of the gang, but he quickly dismissed the thought. Her get-up was decidedly less revealing than that of a Skuller dame.

Still, that didn't mean she wasn't also out for his hide.

"And you are...?" Leo asked carefully, taking a step back for every one she took forward.

"Well now, is that any way to treat someone who just saved you from being Noise food? Here's a thought, kiddo: maybe I got rid of the shark because I don't want you dead."

Leo winced in confusion. "You... you what? 'Noise food'? What do you—"

"The ravenous physics-defying beast that just tried to gut you for lunch?" She responded dryly. "Yeah, you're welcome."

She'd taken out that thing? Well... she wasn't exactly toothpick skinny like some of the girls in Tokyo, but she still couldn't have weighed more than a buck ten. Other than the mini computer tablet she was holding, something between the size of a reader and a phone, actually, she wasn't visibly armed with anything; and there was no way she'd taken the thing out with her bare hands. Not unless it was way easier to kill than it looked.

"Okaaay, let's do this," the woman sighed, adjusting her glasses. "Take a deeeep breath." She demonstrated with a prolonged inhale and motioned for him to do the same before exhaling. "Now, stop acting like a child and listen, would you? I'm here to make you an offer, Mr. Parker."

"An...'offer'?" Leo frowned. He couldn't remember the last offer anyone had given him in years (bar the repeated offers for a fractured rib cage the Skullers were always bringing up). After a certain point, it'd just been accepted that he wasn't the sort of guy who got those kinds of things. "And what would that be...?"

The woman gave a wry smile and extended her mini tablet towards him. "Let's call it... clean up work, shall we? In a place far, far away from all these lovely people who want your hands on a spit.

Yutsui Koizumi – King of J0KER

"Between you and me, darling, this neighborhood is getting a little dangerous," her smile took on an odd glint. "Better decide who you belong with, before you find the deck stacked against you."


"You know, you could stand to do something with your life."

Izo Shuito, a young, acerbic intellectual with blue hair and a misanthropic streak at least a mile-and-a-half long, gave an irritated grunt and continued to attempt poetry. A difficult task when being pestered, to be sure. His foster sister, Rei, often made this argument; most usually as a prelude to a shopping trip.

Hopefully she just wanted some fresh air this time; shopping was a pox upon his very soul.

"I mean, if you could just get out there and live a little, you'd see there's so much more to the world," she went on, undeterred. "Like... you might even find you like shopping if you cared one wit about your appearance."

"Why don't you reconnoiter your own endeavors before chastising mine, tyke?" Izo growled back. He pushed his shades further up his nose so they completely blocked his eyes. It wasn't likely, given the irrefutable difference in their basic vocabulary, but there was slight chance Rei would get the hint and leave him alone.

"Oh, Come OOOON!"

Izo flinched into a frantic flail as his glasses jolted off and he was dragged to his feet in a headlock. In spite of the fact that it was a classless tactic, Rei had no qualms about enacting it when other options failed. Izo scowled. She had no sense of taste for these things.

"No!" Izo cried, prying ineffectively at Rei's grip. "I demand manumission! I can't bre-rgmph!"

"No buts!" Rei practically sang, apparently unaware that Izo's face was starting to match his blue hair. "We're gonna do something today, whether you like it or—"

Knock, knock, knock.

Rei twitched and loosened her chokehold just enough that Izo could slip a bony wrist in and break free, tumbling to the ground. Apparently she hadn't been expecting company. A true rarity.

A muffled voice came through the door. "Hello? Shuito Residence?"

"Friend or foe?" Rei called back tentatively.

Izo rolled his eyes as he retrieved his shades from the floor. "And what, pray tell, sort of foes might you be prognosticating?" he grumbled to his foster sister. "Are we behind on our debts again?"

She wheeled to make a face at him.

"Friends!" Another voice announced cheerily. Izo was getting the slightly hopeful feeling that it could be some of Rei's old classmates, here to spirit her away on a shop-a-thon. "Mind if we come in?"

"Umm..." Rei gave Izo a questioning look, as if he would know whether or not it was safe.

He scowled back and turned himself away. Let her figure it out on her own, the tyke.

"...Recite the password!"

"We don't have a password," Izo pointed out to his ash-haired foster sister.

"Yeah, but they don't know that," Rei whispered conspiratorially as she jerked her thumb towards the door. "If they're strangers, then maybe it'll scare them off."

"And if they're official, then maybe it'll warrant you a trip to the asylum," the azure haired teen retorted. "Just answer the stupid door already."

Rei clenched her fists at her sides and pouted, refusing to move.

"...You still there?" The cheery voice asked, a little more aggressive now. "Hello?" The door knob jiggled slightly, as if to confirm it really was locked.

As it turned a full quarter, Izo's heart seized. No, it wasn't locked. Rei had forgotten.

The door swung open smoothly to reveal two figures. Stepping in with an air of confidence only a child or a supremely arrogant adult could muster, a tweenage boy with a blazing collection of hair spikes populating his head grinned down at Izo. The poet could almost swear there was a hint of madness in those eyes.


Pokoni – Seven of J0KER

"You free for a sec?"

Izo looked wide-eyed up at Rei, who just stood frozen, her mouth slightly agape in a decidedly less than dignified way.

"Pokoni, was that really necessary?" The first speaker, a tall girl with ribbons adorning her dark hair and garments, entered after the rather-possibly-pyschotic boy.

Ayane Tajima – Queen of J0KER

"What?" The boy's voice went to a sharp squeak as he turned to pout up at his companion. "They weren't answering! 'Sides, this is important!"

"So important as to forgo common courtesy?" The ribboned girl sighed. "You and I both know what Yutsui's going to say about that."

"Wait, How did you get in? Did-did you break the lock!?" Rei finally found her voice. "How the heck did you do that?"

"We didn't break anything," the mystery girl stated simply, putting her palms upward in a peaceful gesture. "My associate here simply lacks some key principles of etiquette."

The boy twitched at the reprimand. "Of whatiquette?"

"Manners," Ribbons corrected quickly. "Sorry, I've been hanging around Collin and Arisa again. But that's beside the point; Next time wait."

The boy's eyes flashed, but only for a moment. Dipping his head in a submissive bow, he stepped back and crossed his arms as the girl stepped forward to take center stage. Despite her simple appearance (bar the tacky ribbons), Izo had to admit she was probably the most commanding persona in the room at the time. She had dignity, poise, and patience. In a sentence: the exact opposite of Rei.

Beside him, his foster sister shifted to a more casual stance, attempting to show that she wasn't intimidated. Izo sighed and shook his head. This wasn't the kind of situation to be taken lightly. In all likelyhood, they were here for her anyway.

"Izo Shuito?"

He paused for a moment as any and all attempts to just stay out of this went out the window. Biting down on the urge to squirm under their scrutiny, Izo scowled and looked up into the speaker's eyes. There wasn't a threat hiding in those dark brown irises, but he could almost feel them pulling him in past their serene surface. A grimace tried to pass his face before he nodded reluctantly.

"We've come to offer you an opportunity," The girl informed him evenly. "You see... you have some latent abilities that would be very helpful to our plight. Something that goes beyond just 'special', something that could change the world—"

"Hey!" Rei cut in before the other girl could continue. "What about me, huh? Am I special too?"

The red haired monkey boy grinned again and was about to answer when Ribbons beat him to it. "Not quite, Ms. Shuito," The dark haired girl replied. "I can't give you the exact details, it's a complicated and highly experimental field right now. However, we do know that it's at least partially genetic, and that your genetic code doesn't match what we're looking for."

"Wait... But his does?" Rei demanded, putting an irritated wave towards Izo. He tried not to roll his eyes at the childish jealousy. "Do you know anything about this guy besides his DNA? You probably couldn't get him to say two words for you."

"We know he's hard up for cash," the boy volunteered. "But that could be more just because he lives with you."

"The point, Ms. Shuito," Ribbons went on before Rei could snap back at the impudent child. "Is that Izo is a rare element that we've spent the last few months searching for. With his permission, we'd like to train him in the use of his talents."

Rei's complexion flaired, contrasting hard with her ashen hair. "What is this, a spy movie? I've known Izo practically his whole life; I think I'd have noticed something like that about him by now."

"Your opinion is acknowledged; but with all due respect, this isn't your decision to make."


Slowly, all eyes came to rest on Izo, who shifted uncomfortably as he tried to not look awkward picking himself up off the floor. He ran a hand through his blue hair, trying to buy time by looking like he was composing himself rather than frantically searching for an answer.

Stiffly adjusting himself, he squinted behind his shades and cleared his throat. "...What talents?"

Ribbons shrugged. "It all depends," she said slowly, her voice's even cadence reining the situation in. "Each case we've come across manifests it differently. In any case, I suppose a demonstration would best suit."

"Yeah?" The fire-haired boy's eyes lit up with anticipation.

"Not from you," The young woman ammended, putting a hand on her cohort's arm.

The boy seemed ready to resist; but after the touch made contact, his tense form relaxed and he nodded reluctantly. Izo watched warily as the ribboned girl then came to him and held out her hands.

"Here," she flicked her brown eyes downwards before meeting his stare again. "It's the fastest way you'll understand."

Izo's hands stayed at his sides.

The young woman smiled, undeterred. "It'll be easier for you if you initiate it," she told him softly. "Don't worry, I'll try to take it slow."

"Oh, brother," Rei groaned, slapping a hand to her eyes in exasperation. "What kind of a pick-up line is that?"

Izo cleared his throat and flicked a warning glance back at his foster sister before haltingly unpeeling his hands from where they rested. Maybe this was all a joke. The girl could just be going to some extreme measures to hold his hands; It wouldn't be the first time his erstwhile affections had been sought. Some miserable girl had confessed to him last month too. He'd been certain to quickly shoot down her aspirations. To be perfectly frank, he simply wasn't interested.

"If this is a trick..." he growled slowly.

"I assure you, it is not," the girl returned calmly. "If you want to take me at my word about our abilities, that will do just as well."

Well... she did have a point. He did want to know whether or not they were only half-crazy, or true, full-pint loons. If nothing else, he'd have a solid verdict to give the authorities if and when things really went south.

That didn't mean he was any more comfortable with offering his hands to a stranger.

Not fighting the pouting scowl that plastered itself across his face, Izo jerkily raised his hands before dropping them into her waiting ones.

Immediately, a wave of relaxation washed over him. As if he had suddenly had an epiphany, or perhaps become enlightened to a beautiful sonnet, his very soul seemed to lighten and his tight, wary muscles slowly unwound themselves. The sort of solace he had only felt when shut away in his room, alone, came now readily in the presence of strangers. His mouth worked, trying to stutter out the question of what in the world was going on. He blinked rapidly as his eyesight temporarily blurred.

When the world came into clarity again, he wasn't looking at the ribboned girl anymore. Instead, he was presented with a blue haired young man with shades. The soft lines of youth still dominated his face, but there was an odd, weary hollowness in some of his features. It was a face Izo knew well.

It was his own.

"What...what are you doing to me?"

Completing the surreal image, Izo watched as his own mouth formed the words and his eyes moved to and fro in a vain attempt to regain their stolen sight. The scene didn't change. He was watching himself through another set of eyes.

Slowly, his vision blurred again before he found himself flicking his eyes around the room. Realizing he was once more in control, he settled into a horrified stare at the dark haired girl. His body shivered badly as feeling fully reconnected through his nerves and his mind settled.

"Do you understand now?"

Izo pulled his hands back. "What did you just do? Why was I in your head?"

"Whoa! Chill, fos-bro!" Rei chided, putting a hand on his shoulder. As usual, she was forgetting how much he hated that. "She didn't do anything! She just held your hands and smiled like an idiot. What are ya goin' ballistic for?"

"I know what I saw," Izo hissed. "That wasn't normal!"

"So you agree we are special," Ribbons concluded for him. Her smile, though completely unchanged in shape and position, now seemed alien in light of what had just happened. "Will you come with us then?"

"No," Izo said quickly. His face was beginning to feel flushed with rage. "Listen, you trans-substantial conjurer, that. Was. Terrifying! You call that going slow?"

"Awww..." Rei sidled up to him again. "Is your people-phobia kicking in again? Hey, I know what we can do to fight that!"

"No!" He slipped out of her grip before she could take him out the door. "No shopping! For the umpteenth iteration, Rei, you know how I feel about that!"

"So you'd rather stay here," Ribbons conjectured pointedly, crossing her arms casually. "I suppose people will always tend towards what is familiar after all, even if it's something they hate. That's too bad. I'd really thought we could help you."

"Stop employing loaded language!" Izo demanded, pointing an accusing finger at the girl. "I am not some knob to be turned!"

"Then you want power?"

"I want to be left alone!"

"We can give you that."

He snorted. "Not without going vis-a-vis you can't. I can infer how these things work, thank you, and I'm not interested in peddling my soul."

"So you'd rather smother it in some mall?" The half-pint asked, crossing his arms. "Geez, what an alternative."

"Enough, Pokoni," Ribbons said softly, before again locking eyes with Izo. "If I can promise you emancipation through your actions, both from here and from us, will you come?"

Izo's face twitched into a snarl for a moment. "Oh, that's saccharine. You say that like I'm not set on being indoctrinated into a clandestine cult by going with you! I've already—"

The diminutive red-head sighed. "Told you we should've just bagged 'em."

"—had to... What!?"

The girl's long, dark hair swung side to side as she resolutely shook her head. "No," she stated. "That is not how we do things."

Rei gave an irritated huff and turned away. "...Just go."

"Et tu, Rei!?" Izo glared. "And what stake do you hold in this affair?"

"You've got to do something with yourself, right?" his foster sister sighed. "I guess this is the chance you need. Not the sort of thing you get everyday, but it's sure to land you safe and sound when you're done. Just make sure to come back in one piece, alright?"

Setting his mouth in a scowl, Izo snorted. "As if I'd ever succumb to such a request."

"Soooo, is that yes?" the red-haired hooligan prodded, bumping his pint-sized fists together for emphasis. Faintly, it almost seemed as if sparks appeared with the contact.

"It means I won't do this for you, or her, or anyone else," Izo stated icily, brushing his azure hair to the side. As much as he hated to admit it, perhaps Rei did have a point. "If I partake in your mission, I'll be doing it for me."

Ribbons gave a soft smile at that. "I have no doubt you will," she told him. "But you might be surprised where you end up when you run with us."

"Unlikely," Izo snorted again. This woman was more wily than Rei, he'd have to be careful.

She shrugged, unfazed by his apathy. "Only time will tell which of us is right, and who is playing the joke on whom. You have until dusk to prepare your final response, Mr. Shuito. We'll be waiting."

With that, the ribboned girl gave a respectful bow and turned to go. Throwing a quick wave, her diminutive companion grinned once more, apparently satisfied with the results of their visit, and followed at an ambling pace. The moment they were out of sight, Izo felt his chest deflating as the situation sunk in.

Even in the face of the obvious abnormalities, there was definitely more going on here than met the eye; and whatever it was that they were hiding, Izo got the feeling he wanted to stay on its good side.

"Wow... they could be serious," Rei noted with a finger to her mouth, still watching the now-empty doorway.

"Is there even the phantom of a misgiving on that?" Izo grumbled. Rei's ignorance was starting to give him a migraine... He put his fingers to his forehead and started to rub. He needed to think about how he could possibly say no at this point. Or, failing that as he likely would, how he would accept their offer while still maintaining some degree of control.

"But you're still going along with them?"

"Were you listening at all or were you just talking because you like the way your voice sounds when it clashes with logic?" Izo demanded, his tone taking an even darker turn than usual. "This is real, tyke. I'm about to be abducted by either a secret society, or a bunch of twitties who can back it up anyways!"

Rei frowned. "They did give you a choice."

"If that was a choice, then I'm as addle-sighted as you are," Izo fumed. "This is something big, Rei. I've got to keep my wits about me, or it could be sayonara in a heartbeat."

"Whatever you say," his foster sister sighed, rolling her eyes. "Promise to write at least, m'kay?"

"...I hate you."

"Love you too, fos-bro. I love you too."



The silver-haired man grunted as he absorbed the impact.

Whap whap whap

Three more hits. He fought the weakening in his knees and focused, waiting for the moment.

His opponent lifted her right leg from the ground, preparing for a knee-finisher. The man smiled. Shifting his weight onto his forward foot, he pivoted into a point-blank shoulder tackle. Without the grounding of both feet, his target lost her balance; in a moment, they were both on the ground.

The young woman groaned as she got up on her elbows and gave a halfhearted nudge at his face with the toe of her boot. "...Hey. I will win, next time..." She paused and corrected herself. "Eventually..."

"Your sentiments are noted," the man replied, wincing as he gathered himself to a crouch. The circular ornamental engravings on the polished wood floor were still spinning, though not as badly as usual. "But for now, can't we just call it a day?"

The girl, a blonde of middling height with a long braid down her back, shook her head slowly. "We're stuck here, on an island in the middle of the ocean, and we're not getting unstuck until Master Tanaka gets back. What else can we do?"

"Free running down at the wharf," the man suggested, putting an arm over his eyes. "They've got some nice rock formations for you to—"

"Oh, you know I would..." A tired smile flitted across the young woman's face as she began playing with her braid. "But, of course, we're not supposed to 'attract attention'. The locals're already staring at me for not having my own fishing pole."


She gave him an exasperated look. "So you can win at something else?"

"You're getting better," he pointed out.

"Mmhmm, I've moved out of the three-move-kill zone. Hooray for me."


They drifted into silence for a little while, the man taking the time to bask in the absence of their daily sparring. It wasn't a bad life. Living away from mainlands actually brought a great sense of peace (when it wasn't raining cats and dogs, of course). Summer had been just lovely, full of local seafood dishes that borrowed from both American and Japanese tradition, and long nights of just looking up into the night sky while cool breezes whispered their way across the isle to the rhythmic hush of waves on the sand. But there was also that lingering feeling that there was something that needed to be done that they just couldn't reach yet.

After all, years of training usually begged the question of what one was actually training for.

Suddenly, the girl perked up. "Did you hear that?"

The man gave her a tired blink. "Is this a rhetorical question, or do you want me to say yes?"

He winced as a pebble bounced off of his face.

"Come on!" She was on her feet now, and motioning for him to do the same. "It's coming from the village!"

Scrambling up to his feet, the man followed his companion out the door only to nearly bowl her over when he found her frozen at the doorstep.

"...Getotsu..." She breathed his name. "...What the hell is that...?"

Getotsu, the silver-haired man, felt his heart seize momentarily as he sorted through the sensory barrage. He'd been expecting another local festival celebrating some change in wind or another, or perhaps simply an unforeseen storm on the horizon. Something much worse waited beyond the deck of Master Tanaka's cottage. There was fear in the air. A chorus of screams echoed up from the village. There was no fire, no impending flood or invasion.

But there was a deformed Rhinoceros stalking up the path to their dwelling.

"Gloves?" the blonde woman requested out of the side of her mouth, still unmoving.

Getotsu raised his eyebrows. "Now?"

"Now!" She hissed, shooting him a meaningful look.

Ducking back inside, Getotsu ran through the living room and practically tore the sliding door leading to the back rooms off its hinges. The back rooms, usually undisturbed on even a lively day, whirled with wind as he bolted to their quarters. Ever since they'd been stationed on this island, he hadn't really seen his partner using her EM tech. Hopefully that meant it had kept its charge. Electromagnetic OverAssist gear, usually manifested in boots and gloves to enhance parkour maneuvering, did just fine doubling as a combat enhancer when one was a practiced brawler. Considering what they were up against, it was possible that the EM gloves were their only hope of subduing the stray beast.

How does a thing like that even get here? Getotsu wondered, digging through drawers to find the EM gear lovingly tucked away under a spare pair of camo-print trousers. Grabbing the gloves and stuffing the remaining items back into the drawer, he sprinted back towards the front.

Much to his chagrin, the front now had a few additional entrances punched through the walls.

"Nel?" He called out, quickly scanning the area. "Nel, where are you?"

"Grmmph!" The rhino snorted as it charged back onto the scene.

No choice! Without a moment to lose, Getotsu slipped on one of the gloves and opened his palm towards the rampaging monster.

There was a crackle as a burst of green, arching veins reached through the air, enveloping the Rhino's face and forelegs. And then, just like that, the flash was gone and the Rhino was still moving.

Narrowly avoiding the horn aimed for his abdomen, Getotsu tumbled into the wall and covered his head as a shelf came down on him.

A resonant thump signaled another descent, causing Getotsu to cringe again. He needed to get back on his feet before he found a horn in his back.

"Thanks," Nelliel Reagan, or "Nel" as she was more often called, retrieved the gloves from his care before hoisting him out of the rubble. She gave an apologetic frown and slipped the gear on. "That... looks like it hurt."

"Me or the rhino?" the silver-haired man asked hopefully, dusting himself off. It hadn't seemed like the shock had an effect from where he stood, but maybe...

"You," Nel answered curtly. "Whatever that thing is, it shrugged off your blast like it was nothing."

Getotsu nodded slowly as he forced his still-spinning mind into focus. "Sooo... if we can't fight it..."

"We run?" the young woman sighed. "Yeah... looks like we have to. Let's at least try to minimize the damage to the house."

"Where to, then?"

The duo split formation as the Rhino charged in once again, skidding to a halt on the now ruined living room floor. Glaring back at them, it snorted.

"... Great question."

"The village probably has the same problem, eh?"

"Well, it sure would, if we lured this thing there," Nel gritted out. "Can we lead it further inland?"

"And off a cliff?" Getotsu conjectured. "Perhaps... Not that we really have any better—"


Like an orbital bombardment from the war firing forty years late, a pillar of light engulfed the hulking rhino (as well as a good portion of the house), leaving in its wake a smoldering crater.

"Whoops," Someone with an entirely unapologetic tone of voice sighed behind them. "Looks like I'll have to deduct that from the damages."

Getotsu and Nel snapped into ready position as they spun towards the source, adrenaline running high.

"My, my, a bit high-strung, are we?"

The speaker, a well dressed boy with pale blond hair, parted at the center, flipped his fingers through his bangs and smiled.

Rueban – Eight of J0KER

"Sorry about the entrance, but I couldn't really let things drag out any further."

Nel found her tongue before Getotsu, who simply stood there slack jawed and slumped in awe. "How... did you...?"

"Again, sorry, but explanations can wait for the chopper ride," the boy stated calmly. "Mr. Tanaka and the others are waiting for us in Tokyo."

Getotsu and Nel exchanged a look. "Others?" There were others that could do this sort of thing?

That got a chuckle."Yes, others. Your new best friends in the fight against the Noise. Unless, of course, you'd rather we just erase your memories, which can be arranged."

"Erase our memories?" Getotsu tried not to balk. Either there was a volcanic vent intoxicating his senses or this was the weirdest day of his life. "Who are you people?"

"Hmm?" the boy put a hand to his chin and tilted his head back slightly. "In general? Well, usually that's classified information, but considering the circumstances I suppose I can let it slide.

"We're part of something called Deck, an organization formed to investigate and eliminate extra-dimensional creatures invading our world. If you want to be specific about it though..."


In a room high above the city streets, overlooking Tokyo, a man with a steaming mug of coffee watched storm clouds forming outside his window. Turning back to his desk, he opened a folder containing fourteen files. He took another sip and smiled quietly as he looked back up and the doors to his office opened.

"Welcome to J0KER."

***Author's Note***

Za kalidas! I have returned! Hello, everyone, and welcome to my Shibuya Operation – Story Storm entry. Please check out the community for more great stories that will publish this winter! As said, much earlier, this is a fan fiction about other fan fiction about The World Ends With You. As is such, the cast will be composed completely of OCs; some of them planned to appear in From the Underground Up. To help with the fan-data spread, I'll try to include character notes to help you find where certain characters come from and how I perceive them, But before that, why not start with the obvious?

***Secret Report: The Deckverse***

The Deckverse was created by Amulet Misty for the fic Deck 104. Think of it as a Post-WWIII-TWEWY-X-Men-ish setting wherein psyches are manifested as a genetic alteration that allows the human body to access and manipulate "O-Energy". The O-Gene is proprietary property of Deck, a secret organization formed to fight Noise, extra-dimensional monsters breaking through into our world. In the original Deckverse, although the main TWEWY cast was maintained, a major feature of the story was the inclusion and expansion of many side characters from the original TWEWY, namely shopkeepers. Thus, in this offshoot, the main focus goes to the next most under-recognized group: the characters the fans created! If you came here looking for Neshiki fluff, we apologize and encourage you to check out Amulet Misty's Sanctuary where it reigns triumphant. This is gonna be its own show.

Being a future world, there's plenty of room for hypothetical technologies (such as Movermesh) as well as a redistribution of population centers and general free license with the state of technology and politics in certain areas post-war. Also, keep in mind that the original Deck 104 is currently unfinished as I write this, so certain theoretics on how the universe works might be a tad eschew here.

Oh, and you'll notice certain hallmarks, such as Deck introductions, have carried over. Naturally, that means that something else has also been kept: The Forum!

}The Inside Joke{

***In order to facilitate clear communication between the J0KER unit, I've authorized my tech center to partition a piece of the server for your exclusive use. Please use it to exchange information and grow as a unit; don't be afraid to have fun and bond with eachother! I'll be watching just in case you need me.(YuuMeAndAMocha)

-With all due respect, sir, isn't this somewhat redundant to the Thread 104 program already running on your servers?(RueTheDay)

-It would be, if they were supposed to know about us.(-Sentence-)

-What? Don't be silly, Aya-chan. MinamiMathCorp gives Deck a lot of its funding. What could they possibly have to hide?(}+REvanantCG+{)

-Your concerns are noted, Collin. Regrettably, due to the nature of your mission, secrecy must be maintained for the time being. Perhaps eventually the two will merge. On that note, it only naturally follows that you and Rueban will be taking a leave of absence as our communications team with them. You may resume this work upon your safe return though.(YuuMeAndAMocha)

-Understood, sir. (RueTheDay)

-Got it, what he said. (}+REvanantCG+{)

\\Island Noise: TAPPed!. wtgw on everyone else's missions? (ari3)

-Great! I'm just making the final equipment checks now. (}+REvanantCG+{)

-Well. I've secured targets one and two, we'll be meeting you outside the village when convenient; have the chopper ready. (RueTheDay)

-Lame. Ayane won't let me talk to the target D'X (2little2late)

-wa Ayumu? (ari3)

-? [what do you even mean!?] (}+REvanantCG+{)

-Sorry; "what about" Ayumu? [I keep forgetting you don't understand my acronyms...](ari3)

-Ayumu doesn't use the forum. You know, with his condition and all... (RueTheDay)

-Oh... lolwut. ^^' Guess I forgot about that...(ari3)

\\Welcome to the party everyone! XD Let's, like, make this super-rock, 'kay? (Kyaaa)

-Your motivation is touching, Kyasako. Keep it up! (YuuMeAndAMocha)

-*Sigh* So long as it doesn't disrupt the official use of the forum, I suppose it can be allowed. (HotSpringKoi)

- Yuu: Thanx mr. Director-san-sama! I'll do my best! Koi-chan/kun:No worries! I'll be like, super smooth about it ;D! Btw, who r you? It's kinda hard to tell with ur screen name. (Kyaaa)

-That's Koizumi-Sama. Because I'm the tech officer, I got to choose screen names for the members who neglected to do so. (}+REvanantCG+{)

-8O That's Koizumi-sama?! And she hasn't changed it yet?! (2little2late)

-Y'know, in a way it suits her. imho.(ari3)

-Probably doesn't consider it worth the trouble to route through the 'settings' labyrinth. You know how she is. (RueTheDay)

-Oh, I see. That explains why she assigned Collin as our Two. Crossing Koizumi is never without consequence. (-Sentence-)

-Yup, crime and punishment! (2little2late)

-wgaca, as I always say. (ari3)

-Hey! Stop, like, ganging up on Collin! :( We're supposed to be making this super-rock! (Kyaaa)

-It's hard to take you seriously with that smiley in the middle.(RueTheDay)

-Shut up and get back to work, these reply notifications are interrupting my meeting. Next person to post on this topic before dinner has to run orientation with me. (HotSpringKoi)

-Y-yes Ma'am!(2little2late)


***Also reflecting our Deck counterparts, you've been granted a music player. Due to his vast music collection, I've selected Collin as your DJ. (YuuMeAndAMocha)

-Collin? D,X but he only plays pre-2030 stuff... what about tunes that Rn't 50 years old? And not either a soundtrack or that one band?(2little2late)

-Those /two/ bands, thank you. Respect the classics, Mocha-san has spoken. (}+REvanantCG+{)

-...Mocha-san? v_v' (RueTheDay)

#WildcardShuffle – Current Song – Here's the News(Brave Saint Saturn)