Completed: 05/15/2003
Modified: 05/29/2003

Here's part 1 of my Yu-Gi-Oh! fic.  It's a bit of a weird mix between manga and Japanese anime and US dub, so please pardon any continuity errors, irregularities in addressing people, etc.  ^_^;;;  

Also, I personally don't duel and I tend to skim over the game mechanics in the anime, so please excuse any mistakes regarding game details.  

Title: Heart and Soul
Author: Madamhydra
Email: madamhydra@aol.com
Status: continuation/AU fic
Archive:  
Rating: PG-13
Spoilers:  entire series (anime and manga)
Pairings: none at the moment, but who knows....

********** WARNINGS ********* WARNINGS ********* WARNINGS **********
********** WARNINGS ********* WARNINGS ********* WARNINGS **********

NOTE:  Yes, I know that Mokuba always refers to Seto as "Nii-sama" in the manga and Japanese anime.  Call it a personal quirk, but in this fic, Mokuba uses both "Nii-sama" and "Seto", depending on the situation and how stressed out he's feeling at the moment.  ^_^

Disclaimer: (Full Disclaimers at the end) Yu-Gi-Oh! is the copyright and property of its creator and legally associated parties.  Used without permission.  Not for profit.

   ( ... ) represents internal dialogue, thoughts

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   Heart and Soul
       An Yu-Gi-Oh! fic by Madamhydra
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   Part 1
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"Is it done?"

The voice was cold, sharp, and female.

The Kaiba Corp technician twitched, then squinted through the gloom but could only make out two shadowy figures sitting at the far end of the darkened chamber.

"Y-yes.  I did as you asked and uploaded the programs you gave me."  He straightened, licked his lips, and said, "I carried out my part of the deal, so what about yours?"

One of the shadowy figures casually flicked its wrist and an envelope went sliding down the expansive length of the conference table.  The technician grabbed for the envelope, but it slipped through his fingers and hit the floor.  Upon impact, the envelope popped open and out spilled a handful of small paper slips.

"As we agreed, here are your IOUs," the female voice answered.  "But I'm sure they'll be plenty more soon enough, given your atrocious luck at gambling."

The technician was too occupied with grabbing up his IOUs to reply.  As he stuffed the last scrap of paper into his pocket, one of the figures -- presumably the female speaker -- snapped her fingers and said, "And now that our business is concluded, this ends our acquaintance.  I trust that we will never have any reason to meet each other again."

"Believe me, the feeling's mutual," the technician muttered sourly.

After he was escorted out of the room, the woman languidly stretched out her hand and pressed an intercom button.

"Dispose of him.  I don't want him losing his nerve and go running to Kaiba."

The other shadowy figure snorted, then said in a gruff male voice, "I hope you realize that you won't be able to dispose of me that easily.  I warn you that I've taken precautions."

"I wouldn't dream of it.  You and I are working together to achieve the same goal -- revenge against Seto Kaiba -- and your expertise is essential.  That technician was merely a means to that end."  Long-nailed fingers drummed on the tabletop.  "A pity that we had to rely on such a miserable worm, but our options were limited.  It's hard to believe that such an arrogant brat can inspire such loyalty in his employees."

"He can certainly be persuasive," the man grunted, settling back into his chair.

"Are you talking about how he managed to convert Kaiba Corporation from military manufacturing powerhouse to one of the largest entertainment conglomerates in the world within a few short years?" she asked in slightly mocking tones.

The man growled, "Idiocy!  Years of my weapons research, thrown away for the sake of stupid games!"

"And what about me?  My money, my home, my standing, my husband, all gone thanks to that miserable Seto Kaiba!"

He uttered a bark of laughter.  "You seem more upset about losing your fortune and social status than losing your husband."

She sniffed and retorted, "If it weren't for my husband and the rest of the Big 5, that ungrateful brat would still be cowering beneath Gozaburo Kaiba's heel!  And this is how he repays them?  By destroying them!?"

"True, but they did betrayed him first," he observed drily.

She dismissed that pesky little detail with a careless wave of her hand.

"So, now that the programs are uploaded, now what?" he inquired.

"We wait.  At the moment, I'm sure Kaiba is fully occupied with this ridiculous Battle City thing, but that will end soon enough.  It's only a matter of time until he sets off our little trap."

She rose majestically to her feet and said, "You see, I'm no fool.  Unlike my idiot husband, I know that I haven't got a chance of beating Kaiba at any of his stupid games.  I don't give a damn about fair play.  I'm only interested in results and I'm not about to give Seto Kaiba a sporting chance to escape my vengeance!"  

She leaned forward and hissed, "Mere death would be too easy, too clean for him.  I want Seto Kaiba to suffer for what he did to me!"

The man grunted and said, "Relax.  You'll get your wish."

"Oh, I'm going to enjoy watching him go stark raving mad," she gloated gleefully, "when I force him to destroy the thing he cherishes the most!"

------------------------------------

[ 2 weeks later, immediately after the Battle City/Alcatraz Tower finals]

Standing in one of Kaiba Corporation's underground test labs, Seto Kaiba was both disappointed and irritated as the duel robot proceeded with its turn.  The computer was playing with all the imagination and verve of a decreipt toaster.  Granted, no computer yet devised could play 'Duel Monsters' at... say, Yugi's level, but he knew that the computer was capable of putting together a semi-decent game.  Hell, he had written most of the dueling algorithm himself, not to mention added contributions from several programmers who were also fairly talented duellists themselves.  

The computer hadn't made any blatant mistakes -- yet -- but Seto had already observed several minor tactical errors and missed opportunities on the computer's part.  The average duellist probably wouldn't even notice, but he certainly did and it annoyed him.

(Did one of the technicians screw up and uploaded an early version of the duelling program?  Even that idiot Jounouchi wouldn't have much trouble, given the way this computer is playing!  This is a waste of time, time to end this farce.)

Several turns later, Kaiba eyed his three magnificant Blue Eyes White Dragons with satisfaction and said with a smirk, "Activate Polymerization!"

".... activating trap card, Master of the Forge."

Seto stiffened and scowled.

(Master of the Forge?  What the hell is THAT!?)

With thousands of cards already in existance and new cards constantly being released, it was hard, if not impossible, to keep track of them all.  However, he certainly did his best to familiarize himself with as many as possible.  Anyone with pretensions of being an elite duellist would take the time and effort to do the same.

(As I'm sure Yugi does....)

".... card allows player to redirect the effects of the Polymerization card or any monster fusion card...," droned the computer.

(I might not remember every single card in existance, but if there's a new card capable of interfering with the fusion of duel monsters, I *certainly* would've remembered that one!)

".... to any available targets on the opposing player's side...."

(So what happens if a player tries to fuse two monsters that normally can't be combined?  Are they destroyed?  What the hell's going on here?)

".... and allows player to control the resulting fused monster...."

"What!?  Computer!  Verify card information!" Kaiba demanded furiously.

The robot paused for a few seconds as it searched its database, then announced dulcetly, "Card validity confirmed.  Four available targets detected on opponent's side."

"Four...?"  Kaiba stared at his side of the field, occupied by three snarling Blue Eyes White Dragons and nothing else.  "What do you mean FOUR targets?  There are only THREE monsters on my side!"

The computer obligingly responded with, "Target #1, Blue Eyes White Dragon A.  Target #2, Blue Eyes White Dragon B. Target #3, Blue Eyes White Dragon C.  Target #4, player Seto Kaiba.  Four available targets, confirmed."

------------------------------------

In the observation booth above the test chamber, Mokuba's jaw dropped in shock, barely aware of the technicians and scientists rushing around in the background.  He didn't know what the hell was going on, but he had a very bad feeling about it.  Turning to the head scientist standing beside him, Mokuba yelled, "Something's wrong!  Shut it down!"

Seto might get mad at his interference, but he'd much rather have his big brother angry and unhurt than risk Seto's safety.

"Mr. Mokuba, sir!  I can't shut it down  And the safety overrides, they're not working!  Power levels increasing to dangerous levels!" a technician yelped.

(How can this be happening!?) Mokuba thought wildly.

Since his big brother was only running a casual, impromptu test of the computer's new dueling program, all the normal safeguards should be operational. And with the usual safety overrides in place, there was no chance of a player suffering any actual harm.  But if they WEREN'T working....

Mokuba had a sudden, horrible flashback to the last time Seto had confronted the duel robot.  That time, his brother had deliberately disabled the safety overrides in order to test the power of the Obelisk God Card.  If Seto hadn't managed to summon the God Card in the nick of time,  the Blue Eyes Ultimate Dragon would've attacked Seto with its full strength.  His brother probably would've been seriously hurt, maybe even killed....

"Turn it OFF!!!" he shrieked at the frantic technicians.

"We're trying!  It's not working!"

With a sickening sense of deja vu, Mokuba slammed his fist down on the intercom button.  

"Seto!  Get out of there!"

------------------------------------

Unaware of the commotion in the observation room, Seto Kaiba was busy arguing with his computerized opponent.

"That's ridiculous!" he shouted at the robot.  "How can a player be considered a target for Polymerization or any such card!?"

But the robot ignored his objections and said, "Polymerization redirected to targets #1 and #4 -- Blue Eyes Dragon A and Seto Kaiba...."

"There's no way a player can be fused with a mons...!"  He abruptly stopped as he noticed that the holographic projectors were starting to crackle ominously with energy.

Taking a wary step back, he whipped his head up to stare at the observation booth and saw Mokuba hammering desperately on the clear window and shouting something he couldn't hear.  Behind his little brother, Seto could see people frantically rushing around in barely controlled panic.

The loudspeakers blared, "....OUT OF...!!!" before exploding into showers of sparking debris as energy arced up from the holographic projectors and danced across the chamber.

He turned and ran, but it was too late.  He never saw glaring energy beams that lanced out of the projectors and sent him flying into the wall.  

------------------------------------

Even as Kaiba crumpled to the floor in a limp, smouldering heap, more white beams shot out, locking onto the three Blue Eyes.  Two of the holographic images wavered, then disintegrated into digital confetti.  But instead of vanishing like the others, the third Blue Eyes lingered, flinging its head up and roaring furiously.  It grew brighter and brighter, like a blue-white star.  

Unable to face the increasing glare, Mokuba and the others in the observation booth instinctively turned away to shield their eyes.  But even with their backs turned and their eyes closed, they could feel the steadily intensifying energy as it made their skin crawl and their hairs stand on end.  The howl of overloaded equipment grew louder and louder, until it became a roaring scream that rattled their very bones....

And then, suddenly, it all vanished.  

There had been no explosion.  It was as if the energy had suddenly... evaporated.  The booth was silent, except for their heavy breathing and the subdued snap, crackle, and pop of burnt out equipment.

Mokuba was the first to move.  He scrambled to his feet and peered fearfully down into the test chamber.  Enough lights were working to allow him to see the charred, motionless figure of his brother lying on the floor below.  Ignoring the shouts and warnings of the scientists, Mokuba bolted for the door.  He recklessly bounded down the stairs, taking them three and even four at a time, then dashed through the hallway to the test chamber and his brother.

(Seto!!!)

When the test chamber doors refused to respond either to his approach or his repeated pounding, Mokuba went for the manual release and deperately started to crank the handle.

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The first thing he noticed was the pain.  He hurt all over, as if his body was one single massive, agonizing cramp.  He could only lay there, gasping and fighting the urge to whimper -- not from the sheer physical misery, but from something infinitely more frightening.  

Something was wrong with his head.  No, inside his head....  

He felt strangely disjointed, almost as if some vital part of himself... no, the very essence of his SOUL... had somehow become separated from the rest of Seto Kaiba.  

(....no... don't... won't... believe... old souls... damn... so hard... can't... think...!)

It was this newly awakened part of his soul who saw the wrongness trying to grow inside him like some abhorent cancer.  He could almost believe that his true soul had somehow recognized that wrongness as being alien, as being not-Seto, and therefore rejected and loathed the intruding presence with a terrible, primal ferocity.

Even as he struggled to comprehend this strangeness, he heard a loud, metallic grinding sound and vaguely identified it as a door opening.

"Nii-sama!!!"

He responded instinctively to that familiar cherished voice, or at least he tried to.  The fear and anguish in that voice gave him the strength to open his eyes and lift his head ever so slightly.  He tried to speak, to call out, but all that came from his throat was a hoarse croak.

(....stop... don't come... closer... too... dangerous... here....)  

"Seto!!!"  His brother's voice sounded even more desperate, more frantic.

The relief he felt at Mokuba's appearance was almost immediately blotted out by a sudden, overwhelming sense of vertigo and dread as Mokuba's appearance seemed to jolt that wrongness in his head to life....

He dry-heaved, his body reflecting his utter mental revulsion at the vile thoughts and ideas that were trying to insinuate themselves into his brain.  But they weren't HIS thoughts, his ideas.  He *knew* that -- instinctively, clearly, absolutely.  He clung ferociously to that soul-deep certainty even as the precise details faded away into the steadily encrouching mental darkness.

The floor beneath him suddenly quivered as he heard/felt an explosion.  The noise of shifting, tearing metal made him look upward just in time to see several of the ceiling beams start to give way....

....with Mokuba standing directly underneath the cascade of falling debris.

Ignoring the pain, he somehow managed to force his uncooperative body to its knees, but no matter how much he raged inside his mind, his body could simply go no further.  Unable to move, unable to even shout out a warning, he could only watch in horror as the heavy steel beams tumbled downard.  They seemed to take their own sweet time falling, as if to mock his complete helplessness.

He desperately flung out his hand and lunged -- or rather toppled -- forward, knowing all the while that his utmost effort was utterly futile.  The sight of Mokuba's loving, frantically worried expression was like a knife in his heart.  Oblivious to his own danger, Mokuba was only intent on trying to help his brother.

Every other thought and emotion faded from his mind, leaving behind only one simple, elemental instinct -- to protect Mokuba.  

And even though he could feel the blood from internal injuries flooding his mouth, he somehow managed to choke out his brother's name as he desperately groped for the strength to save his brother.

"MOKUBAAAA....!!!"

But suddenly, the silvery white gleam of scales swept along his outstretched arm, down his body, over his neck and face....

....razor-edged claws sprouted from straining fingers....
....huge gleaming wings erupted into the air....
....and Seto Kaiba's voice suddenly became a bone-rattling scream of fury.

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Mokuba flinched involuntarily as the duel robot exploded and burst into flames.  As smoke started to fill the room, he saw his brother struggling to get up.  All that blood, and Seto was losing more every time he tried to move....

"Don't!  You're only going make your injuries wors...."  

But Mokuba's voice abruptly trailed off when he saw the expression on his big brother's face -- one he never imagined that he would see.

It was a look of stark panic and horror.

He saw Seto reaching out to him and he instinctively responded by running toward his brother.  But Mokuba had only taken two steps when he heard the screech of bending, tearing metal overhead.  He jerked his head up and saw a huge chunk of ceiling falling directly toward him.  Now he knew what had put that expression of fear and shock on his brother's face.

No time to run away.  No place to run to.  And even if he could, he wouldn't, because there was no way in hell that he was going to leave Seto alone to die.

So instead of trying to run back out of the chamber, he ran forward.  Toward his brother.

As tons of rubble fell on them, Mokuba thought he heard/sensed a familiar, defiant roar.  The last thing he knew was a great shimmering whiteness surrounding him, sheltering and protecting him just as his big brother always had.

And it was both fierce and kind, terrible and beautiful.

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Sugoroku Mutou heard the frantic knocking on the door of his store and padded over in his slippers to see what was going on.  The shop was closed, but it could be an emergency involving Yugi's friends.  He opened the door, then scowled at the three men dressed in black suits.

Perhaps they could see that he was seriously thinking of slamming the door in their faces because the first man hastily said, "Sir, we have an urgent message for Yugi Mutou."

"Hn.  You work for Kaiba, don't you?" he said suspiciously.  He knew that Kaiba was no longer Yugi's enemy, but he still hadn't quite forgiven the arrogant young whippersnapper for what he had done when they had first met.

"Yes, sir.  Please, it's very important!  We have to speak to your grandson!"

"Eh?  What's up?" Yugi said behind him.

He turned to see his grandson giving him a curious look.

"This... gentlemen want to talk to you."  He gestured toward them with a jerk of his head.  "They're from Kaiba.  Said it's really urgent."

With a worried expression, Yugi stepped forward.  "What's wrong?  Has something happened to Kaiba or Mokuba?"

The first man mopped his brow with a handkerchief and said, "Mr. Mokuba's fine.  As for Mr. Kaiba, um, well... it's really hard to explain.  You'd better come and see for yourself."

Yugi and his grandfather exchanged looks.  They could both see that the man looked seriously spooked.  He was sweating nervously, his hands were shaking, and his companions didn't look much better.

Jounouchi poked his head out of the living room and said, "Hey, what's keeping you?  It's your turn, Yugi!"  Catching sight of Kaiba's men, he said, "What are they doing here?"

"I think something serious has happened to Kaiba."  Yugi glanced back at the men.  "Then I guess that it's Mokuba who sent for me, huh?"

"That's right.  He's hoping you could help him with... Mr. Kaiba.  He said that you're the only one who might understand the um, extent of the problem."

Jounouchi's eyes opened wide.  "Gee, that don't sound good at all."

"All right.  Let me grab my jacket and I'll be right with you," Yugi said quickly.

"Not alone, you don't.  I'm coming with you, Yugi!" Jounouchi said, folding his arms and looking stubborn.

"Me, too!" Honda and Anzu chorused from the doorway.

Yugi glanced at Kaiba's men.  "If that wouldn't be a problem?"

The first man shrugged and said, "Mr. Mokuba didn't say anything about you coming alone, so I suppose it's okay."

"Then let's go!"

------------------------------------

Half a hour later, they arrived at the Kaiba Corporation complex.  As Yugi and the others rode the elevator downward, Yugi asked their guide, "Where are we going?"

"To one of the test labs," the man replied tersely.

As soon as the elevator opened, they knew some sort of serious accident must have occurred.  The air reeked of smoke, people in white labcoats milled around with anxious expressions, and much of the place was illuminated by temporary lights.  The far end of the corridor was cordoned off and several security guards made sure that people kept their distance.

A rather frazzled looking bearded scientist was waiting for them.  Without preliminaries, he said, "You must be Yugi Mutou."

"That's right, and these are my friends.  Can you tell us what's going on?  Where's Mokuba?  And what's happened to Kaiba?"

"I... think you better see for yourself," the scientist said, escorting them into the cordoned off area.  At the end of the hallway, he opened a door and gestured for them to enter.

"Why does everybody keep saying that!?" Jounouchi complained loudly.

They walked into some sort of an observation booth that appeared considerably worse for wear.  The booth overlooked a test chamber that resembled a major disaster area, complete with scorched and dented walls, heaps of wreckage, and broken equipment.

And in the middle of the chamber lay a massive silvery white shape with taloned wings -- a distinctly familiar white shape.

"Hey, that's the Blue Eyes White Dragon!" Jounouchi said.

Peering downward through the cracked observation window, Anzu said, "Look, there's Mokuba!"

She was correct.  Mokuba sat nestled between the Blue Eyes's front legs.  In one hand, Mokuba clutched a card deck.  Even as they watched, he reached out his free hand and gently patted the dragon's great muzzle.  The Blue Eyes responded by turning its head slightly and very carefully nuzzled at the youngster.  Even in the observation booth, they could hear/feel the soft rumbling, like a distant freight train.

They watched the scene for a moment, then Jounouchi said, "Um, why is Mokuba petting a hologram?"

The scientist took a deep breath, then said, "Because it's NOT a hologram."

The teenagers all froze, then whirled around to stare at the scientist.

"Say WHAT!?" they all shouted.

"The Blue Eyes White Dragon in that chamber is real.  A genuine physical entity, capable of interacting with the real world.  As you can see."  The scientist pointed to several sets of extremely deep gouges in concrete and steel which they only now recognized as claw marks -- marks that exactly matched the huge scimitar-like claws on the Blue Eyes White Dragon's front and hind legs.

"Holy shit!!!" yelped Jounouchi, his eyes going wide in shock.

Mokuba, apparently unfazed by the fact that each of the Blue Eyes' fangs looked like they were about the size of his head -- hair included -- continued to pat the dragon with a desperately worried expression on his face.  

"So, where's Kaiba?" Honda demanded, peering around the chamber.

Suddenly, the Blue Eyes White Dragon rose halfway to its feet and lifted its head until it could stare directly into the observation booth, its crystalline blue eyes glittering with barely restrained ferocity.  But even as it arched its necked and hissed softly, Yugi couldn't help noticing how it took great care not to jostle Mokuba in any way.

(Aibou, that Blue Eyes...!) Yami whispered urgently to Yugi.  (Do you see the way it hovers so protectively over Mokuba?)

As he stared into those great gleaming blue eyes -- eyes that held not an iota of human awareness -- a horrible suspicion suddenly occurred to Yugi, a suspicion all too quickly confirmed by the scientist.

"According to Mr. Mokuba, that Blue Eyes White Dragon -IS- Seto Kaiba."  He heaved a great sigh before continuing.  "Unfortunately, it seems that the Blue Eyes doesn't know that."

"Oh man.  I think we have a BIG problem," Jounouchi muttered as they all, except for Yugi, involuntarily retreated a few steps.

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(end part 1)

::slithers away, cackling madly::

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Keeper of Duo's Dark Side ~~~ Duo no Seishi
Saitoh no Koibito ~~~ Corruptor Extraordinaire
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madamhydra@aol.com              /\/\/\/\/\/\/\/:E

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