Well, this is my first fanfic. Usually all my writing is stuff like scripts or short stories, but I figured "Why not?" and decided to actually write something. This is an idea I've been kicking around for a little while, and hopefully it'll all work out in the end.



I suppose I have to put a disclaimer in here or something. To be brief, I own nothing in this story except the story itself. The people, the places, the game, the cards, none of it is mine. Well, I make up what happens in the duels, but nothing else really. Well, and a few choice characters, those are mine too. But that's it.





Joey Wheeler's eyes snapped open and he quickly pulled himself off the dusty ground. He patted himself down to make sure he had not been injured. His clothes were a little dusty and his Duel Disk had been scuffed, but otherwise okay. He patted his jacket pocket and was relieved to find his duelling deck still there. He looked up and observed his surroundings. There was no mistaking it was Domino City, but things certainly did not look the same. Buildings looked as if they were some futuristic science fiction movie, but also appeared damaged and badly maintained. He took a few tentative steps into the city streets. There were a handful of people, but many were sitting around in something of a daze. They paid no attention at all to Joey, which eased his tension a little. Rounding a corner he saw something he had definitely not expected; two people were engaged in a duel.



He jogged closer but kept his distance so he would not disturb them. He recognized one monster as being Opticlops, but did not recognize the other. It looked somewhat like a vampire with large, spikes wings. The controller of the vampire monster spoke then.



"Okay Vampire Lord, destroy Opticlops!"



The Vampire Lord's eyes rose to meet it's victim. It snarled, folded it's wings around itself, then vanished in black smoke. In the blink of an eye, the Vampire Lord was behind Opticlops, it's shining silver claws embedded in the golem's back. With a groan it fell to the ground before exploding into polygons and fading away.



"That's the end of your pathetic monster." The man spoke, "Now Vampire Lord's special ability makes you discard your last monster card from your deck. You have no more cards to draw, therefore you lose!"



The other man looked crestfallen, "But, I can't lose! I bet the last of my food on the outcome of this duel! Please!"



"Hey, these are hard times. You should have known the risks before you challenged me! Now give it to me or I will call the Judgemasters!" His finger hovered over a button on his duel disk, eagerly awaiting justification to press it.



"No, please don't! I will give you all I have."



Joey refused to watch any longer. He ran forward and gave the man a forceful push. He staggered back, being considerably smaller than Joey, but managed to keep his balance.



"Now wait just a minute!" He shouted, "You can't just take this man's food! He needs it a lot more than you do, by the looks of it!" Looking the man up and down, he was dressed in what looked to be very expensive clothing. "Besides, you can't duel for anything other than cards! What's the deal?"



The man growled and tensed all his muscles. "The deal, you fool, is that he wanted to duel me for food and he lost! It is of no concern to me whether he could afford to lose or not, the fact is he had no chance in the first place and he should have realized it from the start! Now get lost!"



"I don't think so. You're just a snobbish bully who needs to be taught what it feels like to lose for a change! I challenge you to a duel! If I win, you have to give back what you took from this guy!"



"Bold words, whelp, but what do I get if you lose?"



Joey's eyes widened as he realized he had nothing to ante in this duel himself. All he had was his duelling deck and the clothes on his back. "How about I give you my entire duelling deck if I lose, which I'm warning you now will not happen." Well, if he did wind up losing, he might as well not lose his clothing while he was at it.



"How do I know your deck is not full of throwaways? I could be wasting my time altogether duelling you."



"If you're that worried about it why don't you just chicken out right now, ya loser?"



"Silence! Prepare yourself!"



"Duel!"

"Duel!"



Their duel disks snapped into duel mode and they shuffled their decks and slid them into place. Their life point counters rose to 8000.



"Wait, we start with 8000 life points?" Joey thought, confused. "I'm used to starting with 4000. I hope there aren't any other weird surprises waiting for me." His mind wandered back to that Vampire Lord he saw when he first arrived. "I have to stay on my toes."



"All right, I'm going to let you go first since you look completely clueless already!"



Joey decided to ignore that remark and observed his hand. "Man, I have no idea what to play against this guy. It seems that there were more cards made while we were out at the Battle City finals. Come to think of it, I don't even know how much time has passed since then. Well, better not think about it too much right now. Swordsman of Landstar in defense mode should do until I get a better idea of what I'm up against. I'll set my Skull Dice too."



Joey slid the two cards into place. "I'll set one card face down, and this in defence mode!" The air before him shimmered and the two face down cards appeared as holograms. "Now it's your turn."



The man laughed and drew his card. "This will be over in no time, just you wait!" He set four cards face down. "No monsters for me this turn. I don't think I'll be needing any to put you down. I end my turn."



"Has anyone told you that you talk big for such a runt? Keep your yap shut and I'll teach you a thing or two!" Joey slid his Graceful Dice card in next to his Skull Dice. "I think I'll start by reminding you of a basic tip. Don't rely on your trap cards so much, because you never know if your opponent will give you the opportunity to use them, and I don't intend to! I'll sacrifice my Swordsman of Landstar to summon Jinzo!"



The Swordsman rose from his card briefly before vanishing, replaced by a more sinister looking one. The air shimmered as the humanoid machine appeared. "With Jinzo on the field, your traps are completely useless! Jinzo, attack his life points directly!"



With that, Jinzo rose it's hands and unleashed waves of white energy at it's target. The man yelped, he was clearly not expecting Joey to get a hit in so easily. His life points dropped to 5600.



"Swordsman of Landstar? Jinzo? How did you get your hands on such antiqued cards? Did your grandmother teach you to duel or what?" Through his front, he was clearly very nervous, and Joey realized that perhaps more time had passed than he thought if his two new cards were considered old. "Never mind, they will be mine soon anyway!" He drew his card, then made his move. "I will play Book of Moon, forcing your Jinzo face down into defence mode!" A large greenish book appeared and opened it's ancient pages. Unrecognizable symbols were projected onto Jinzo and the monster disappeared, leaving a face down card behind. "Now I shall summon the Witch of the Black Forest in attack mode!"



Joey turned his head and scratched his cheek lightly. "Huh, that's strange, it looks like your Witch isn't strong enough to beat my Jinzo. That was a pretty bone-headed move if you ask me."



"You will see who will be calling whom a bonehead in a minute, you... uh... bonehead!" Joey rolled his eyes. "Because now I activate Torrential Tribute! I can activate this card when either of us summons a monster, and it shall send both of our monsters to the graveyard! With your Jinzo face down, you are powerless to stop it!" The ground began to glow and swirl with blue energy, and it quickly sucked the face down Jinzo and the Witch into it's abyss before vanishing. "And because my Witch went to the graveyard, I am able to bring a monster out my deck into my hand! Now, I end my turn."



Joey's eye twitched with frustration. "What the heck is wrong with you? The only monster you've played so far you destroyed with your own trap! What kind of duelist are you?"



"Soon you will realize the extent of my expertise, soon indeed."



"Yeah? Well I'm not gonna stick around and die of old age before you even get a hit in! I play Gearfried the Iron Knight!" A knight wearing thick, iron armour appeared and took a fighting stance. "Attack him now!" With a mighty leap, the knight came down hard with it's iron shield onto it's target. The man fell to his knees from the force, his life points dropping to 3800."



"What's up with ya? You claim to be all that, then here you are with half your life points gone! Man, I'm just to hot for you to handle!" Joey puffed out his chest with confidence. "I'll set this card face down and end my turn. I want to get this over with soon as possible."



The man rose to his feet, his eyes focussed down at his feet. "No, my unworthy adversary, this is where it ends. When you played Gearfried, you sealed your fate."



"Excuse me, but I don't think you've been paying attention. My Gearfried totally creamed you and from the looks of it there's not a lot you can do about it!"



"Oh but you're wrong. You see, you aren't the only one with the ancient and rare Gearfried the Iron Knight. In fact, you are the only one I have ever seen with one, aside from myself. You playing it instead of me has only hastened your destruction. I have a combo that uses Gearfried in a way that your feeble mind could never comprehend. I play the Royal Magical Library!"



The air behind the man shimmered, and a wall of books appeared behind him. There were three books on pedestals standing before him. "You see, every time one of us plays a magic card, the power of one of these books will activate. Once all three books are active, they allow me to draw a card." Joey nodded thoughtfully, paying careful attention to everything he was saying. "Now, I shall use this equipment magic card, Butterfly Dagger Elma, and I shall target your Gearfried!" The Dagger appeared and hovered towards Gearfried, and one of the books upon the pedestal began to glow softly.



"You moron, Gearfried automatically destroys any equipment cards you try to play on him! What in the world are you thinking!" Gearfried reached up with his hand and crushed the Dagger within it's iron grip, and seemed to smirk at it's handiwork.



"Oh, I am fully aware of Gearfried's ability. I am also aware of the Butterfly Dagger's second function, which returns it to my hand when it is destroyed!" He played the Dagger again and like before, another book lit up and Gearfried crushed the Dagger. Joey's eyes widened as his plan became clear. "If he keeps that up," Joey thought, "He can draw cards over and over until he gets whatever he wants!"



Once his hand had filled to 25 or so cards, he looked satisfied. "Now, I can begin my attack! I'll first activate the magic card Raigeki!" Joey snapped out of the daze he entered waiting for the man to stop drawing cards. His eyes refocused just in time to watch his monster be struck by lightning then explode in his face. "Now, I'll activate Ultimate Offering! This will allow me to summon any extra number of monsters I want for 500 life points each! His life points dropped from 3800 to 300 as he summoned three Pyramid Turtles, Don Zaloog and Mystic Tomato, then sacrificed the Tomato and Zaloog to summon Shadow Ghoul and Vampire Lord.



"It's that Vampire Lord thing!" Joey thought, feeling the panic begin to rise. "I don't even know what it does, much less how to beat it, to say nothing of what I'm gonna do about all those other monsters! I think I'm in trouble..."





"Are you quite ready to surrender now? You can clearly see you have no chance to win!"



"Joey Wheeler doesn't surrender! You may have a lot of fancy cards, but fancy cards don't cut it when you duel me!"



"You'll eat those words! Attack!"



With that, all five monsters leapt towards Joey. Moving quickly, Joey tapped the key above one of his face down cards. "I'll activate Scapegoat! These little guys should buy me the time I need to wipe the floor with ya!" Joey shouted as four little fluffy goats appeared in time to be destroyed.



"Unfortunately for you, your dusty old Scapegoat card only gives you four defenders, while I have five attackers! Vampire Lord, attack him directly!" With that, the Vampire Lord vanished in a burst of black smoke, like before, and a moment later Joey found himself with a vampire-like monster grabbing him from behind and biting his neck.



Joey refused to cry out in pain as his life points dropped to 6000. He opened his blurring eyes to see the Vampire Lord grab a card from his deck. Joey blinked the tears away to see it was his Time Wizard. "Oh man, looks like that freakshow is able to grab a card from my deck when it attacks me! Not only that, it's grabbed one of the cards that I could have used to win this!"



"Can you feel the despair beginning to set in?" The man said as he set a card face down. "It is only a matter of time now."



"How many times do I have to tell ya to keep your mouth shut before ya listen, ya creep!" Joey drew his card and his eyes lit up. "This should keep ya from attacking me for a while, I'll play Panther Warrior!" Joey sighed with relief as the indigo armoured feline appeared before him, brandishing it's sword. "Even though I have to sacrifice a monster to attack with Panther Warrior, his attack his high enough that he won't be able to damage me until I summon another monster and win!"



"That's all? A cat with a pretty toy is all you have to defend yourself with? You are more desperate than I thought. Obviously you do not know about Vampire Lord's other special ability..."



Joey didn't want to find out what this other ability was. "I'll play my own Raigeki, destroying all of your monsters which includes your lousy Vampire! So much for it's other abilities!"



"On the contrary, my easily panicked adversary, you just triggered it."



"I what?"



To Joey's horror, the Vampire Lord appeared in a burst of black smoke, right where it had once stood before the Raigeki's magic lightning destroyed it. "You see, whenever you destroy Vampire Lord with a card's effect, I am able to summon it from the graveyard once again at the beginning of my turn!"



"You dirty rat! You tricked me into destroying it!"



"And you were fool enough to fall for it. Don't blame me for your own mistakes. Here's a card you may remember, the Butterfly Dagger Elma! This will give my Vampire Lord an extra 300 attack points, enough to crush your pathetic Panther! Go Vampire Lord!"



With that, Panther Warrior was no more. 300 life points as well as Joey's Graverobber card were both also gone with it.



"I won't give up! I'll summon Zombyra the Dark! Attack now!"



"Sorry, but my Mirror Force trap card begs to differ! Now, attack!"



Joey's life points were down to 3700, and his Shield and Sword magic card was lost.



"I'll use Dark Hole to destroy your Vampire! Now, I'll summon Little Winguard!"



"I have yet another Torrential Tribute waiting just for you! Now, attack him Vampire Lord!"



Joey had only 1700 life points left, and now didn't have his Sasuke Samurai to help him either.



"I'll, uh, play this face down..."



"And I shall place Fairy Meteor Crush on my Vampire Lord! Attack!"



With that, Joey's Baby Dragon was gone, and with it 1300 life points and his Polymerization.



"Man, I think I'm done for." Joey thought to himself. "Nearly all of my best cards are gone, and I'm out of ideas." Joey drew his card, it was Monster Reborn. "Hm, not bad. There are a few cards I could bring back with this. I could try Jinzo or Zombyra, but who knows what else that creep may have ready? No, I have to make it look like I'm totally out of it, don't know what I'm doing. I'll have to bring back something that he wouldn't consider a threat."



"I'll play Monster Reborn!" Joey watched nervously as the man's hand hovered over his face down card, readying himself to use it. "And I'll bring back Swordsman of Landstar in defence mode!" With that, the tiny warrior appeared and raised it's shield up defiantly.



"That pathetic thing? It would seem that your feeble mind has snapped!"



"Oh no, what have I done? I can't believe I just did that! What a huge mistake I just made! Boy am I lame!" Joey silently wished he had skipped fewer drama classes at school, because he sure didn't sound too convincing.



"What a simpleton you are! I can't believe how desperate you have become!"



"You only have to believe it for a little bit longer." Joey thought to himself. "Oh no, that didn't help at all, I'm going to play Giant Trunade to try to fix it." In a gust of wind, all the trap cards were returned to their owner's hands. "Uh oh, that didn't save me at all! I guess I am just too lame to duel properly! I'll set those cards back down again." Joey's could feel his face turn red hot. "This is embarrassing! I don't know which is worse, how dumb I sound or the fact that he's eating it all up."



"Hm, I see now that I have indeed wasted my time duelling you. Your cards are old and outdated, frankly I don't know how you got your hands on them in the first place. Rest assured though, they will enjoy their new home once I destroy you! Attack now, Vampire Lord!"



Time seemed to slow down for Joey as the Vampire Lord folded it's wings and prepared to disappear and attack. Joey quickly tapped the buttons over his two face down cards, activating them.



"Graceful Dice and Skull Dice! I need at least a four on both to stop your attack, and two sixes to win!" The dice bounced and skittered across the ground. Vampire Lord vanished and reappeared behind Swordsman of Landstar, and both the monster and it's controller was absolutely shocked to see the tiny warrior had stopped the Vampire's claws with it's small shield. It leapt upwards and slammed it's shield down hard on the Vampire's head, and it staggered back to it's controller and fell to the ground.



"WHAT? I don't understand! How did that happen!" Joey pointed at the two large dice sitting at his feet, both showing sixes.



"My monster's defence was raised by 600, and your monster's attack was lowered by 600. That makes a 400 point difference between them. Since you only had 300 life points left, you lose.



The Vampire Lord bowed apologetically to it's controller before vanishing into thin air, along with the dice and a positively beaming Swordsman of Landstar.



"Impossible! How could a nobody with an outdated deck beat me? I assure you, this is not over!" The man turned to run before Joey called out to him. "Hey, we had a deal. If I won you return what you took! Or perhaps I should call the Judgemasters down, hm?" Joey's imitated what the man had done earlier when he threatened the poor man. Thankfully he fell for Joey's bluff, because Joey didn't even know who the Judgemasters were, much less how to call them, and a sack of food was tossed to him.



Joey hefted it over his shoulder. He took a look around and saw the poor man from earlier hiding behind an overturned car.



"Hey, there ya are! Come on out, I promise I won't bite or anything."



"Please sir," the man begged "I cannot pay you for your services, and it is clear I cannot defeat you in a duel, I have a family at home who needs this to live and-"



Joey cut the man off. "Hey hey, take it easy there, man. I don't want some sorta reward or nothing. I just wanted to set things right. Ya shouldn't let bullies pick on you. If you do, they'll just keep walking all over you. Believe me, I know all about that sorta thing."



The man looked quite relieved. "Thank you very much young sir, I am in your debt. Unless you have somewhere else to go I would like to invite you to my house, such as it is. A storm is on it's way, and I don't want you walking all alone in the middle of it. I insist!"



Joey considered for a moment, then decided it would not be the best idea to get his only set of clothes soaking wet. "Thanks a lot man. Lead the way."



They walked through alleys and in darkened passageways, around and around in what seemed to be like a suburban maze. "You're not from around here, are you?" The man asked after some time.



"No. Well, yes, but also not at the same time. It looks to me like I've been blown into the future or whatever, like some freaky science fiction movie. Heh, that's kinda farfetched sounding I know."



"Not as much as you think. I may not look it, but I am actually one of the best duel monsters researchers around. I can tell from the cards you used that you were probably a participant in the old Battle City Tournament, is that right?



"Hey yeah! That's incredible! What else can you tell me? What can you tell me about this place?"



"I can tell you that this is the city of Domino, as it stands now it isn't much of a city I know. If you tell me more about how you got here, I think I can tell you more about where you are.



Joey scratched his head. "Uh, okay I guess." Joey took a deep breath and tried to think. Images of people, friends. Tristan, Mai, Tea, Bakura, Yugi... the Battle City Tournament finals. Something about ancient magic and those Millennium Items. What was it exactly, something that made him almost not want to remember. He tried harder, and suddenly it was all as clear as day to him.





Well, that's that for now. More to come soon, I'll even continue it sooner if I get some reviews. In the following chapters I probably won't describe the duels at such lengths, unless it's important to. I'll also explain everything that happened before the story began (I like cliffhangers, but only if they go somewhere) Thanks for reading! Review please!