Greetings duelists and anime fans!

You might remember me, Cyber Commander, from my "Yu-Gi-Oh Junior" fanfics.

Now, welcome to "Yu-Gi-Oh! The Thousand-Year Door".

First, some words on the rules of the game in this fanfic.

Most of the rules of the actual game are in effect. Duelists start out at 8,000 Life Points. One sacrifice is needed to normal summon a Monster of five or six stars, two for more stars than that.

Unlike my other fics, players do NOT lose Life Points when a Monster is destroyed via a means other than battle (in most cases).

Like the anime, Fusion Monsters have to wait a turn before attacking. Ritual Monsters require both a Ritual Magic Card and a Monster Card. Some anime effects are in play as well – others are not. You'll just have to see.

Take, for example, the effect of "Card of Sanctity". This fic will be using the more powerful anime effect, which allows each player to draw until they have six cards in their hands. The real card is much less powerful – its effect is as follows: You discard your hand and all cards you have on the field, and then draw two cards. As you can tell, this is situational at best, and worthless at worst. However, we'll be using the anime version.

Also, a little word on the setting. This takes place in the same universe as the anime, but appearances by anime characters will be minimal. The time is shortly after the Doma Arc.

Also, like my previous fic, this fic is rated PG-13. However, it is not due to religious connotations.

Also, I am asking all readers to review! Reviews slacked off recently in my last fanfic, and I ask you, don't be shy.

With that in mind…

Let's begin!

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Yu-Gi-Oh!

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The Thousand Year Door

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By Cyber Commander

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I do not own the rights to "Yu-Gi-Oh", or to "Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door". The former is a registered trademark of Konami, and the latter is a registered trademark of Nintendo of America.

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PROLOGUE

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The years haven't been kind to me. And I've got the wrinkles to show it. I should have even more. I've lived a lot of years.

Who am I? My name isn't important yet. Maybe you'll find out later. But I've got a lot of stories to tell.

Here's an interesting one… Let me tell you the story of The Thousand Year Door…

See, five thousand years ago, Egyptian kings and nobles played a deadly competition, drawing on a mysterious place called the Shadow Realm. They used powerful magic and ferocious beasts to strike down their enemies. These Shadow Games got so dangerous, they threatened to turn into a war that would rip the world apart!

And it would have – were it not for a brave Pharaoh. He crafted the seven powerful Millennium Items, to halt the Shadow Games, and end the evil practice once and for all.

At least, that was what they were supposed to do… Things don't always go as planned.

You see, over the aeons, unsavory folk have tried to use Shadow magic on their own – some more successfully than others.

A little over one thousand years ago, someone became very successful. Her real name is forgotten, maybe even to herself. Let's refer to her by what she calls herself now – the Shadow Queen.

Her origins are unclear – some say that she was as much demon as she was human. Her powers over sorcery were unmatched, and she had used foul rituals and unholy bargains to make herself practically immortal.

The Shadow Queen's goal was world domination, and she wielded the might of powerful Shadow Games. Using magic and monsters from the forbidden Realm, she would leave foes groveling at her feet, begging for mercy.

And they got none from her. She wouldn't kill them either. The fate she had for her enemies was far worse. She constructed an extradimensional prison which she called The Graveyard, and would simply banish her defeated foes there. With her enemies safely entombed, they were out of the way, and her empire grew.

This went on for years. More kingdoms were conquered, their rulers becoming buried in The Graveyard and their subjects cowering under the merciless Shadow Queen.

Eventually, she built herself a grand palace of her own, situated on an island in the middle of the Atlantic. Built into the side of a mountain, this fortress was the stuff of nightmares to anybody who visited. She ruled from this dark Palace of Shadows, where howls of demons and fell creatures echoed throughout the chambers.

Of course, thoughts of rebellion were on the minds of all the countries whom she had enslaved. But what were they to do? Who could stand up to this tyrant who had defeated the most powerful warriors already?

It was then that three saviors appeared from three corners of the globe. Some say they were gathered together by a mysterious wizard whose identity was known only to them. These Three Heroes knew the ways of Shadow themselves, and boldly went to confront the Shadow Queen. Confront her they did – in her own Palace.

The battle was long and hard. For days, the evil queen clashed with the Three Heroes. Monsters were summoned from portals and were blasted to oblivion by each other.

Finally, the Shadow Queen fell. Defeated.

But for all their might, the heroes could not kill the Shadow Queen. She was far too powerful. Instead, they managed to cast a powerful spell that would turn her grand palace into a magical prison.

Having done that, they left, leaving the Shadow Queen sealed behind the grand doors of her palace, a captive of it, hopefully for eternity.

It is said that on an island somewhere in the mid-Atlantic, you can find a huge door built into a mountainside. This is The Thousand Year Door. Behind it lies the Shadow Queen's prison, where she will hopefully remain.

Hopefully.

But as I said, things do not always go as planned.

For one thousand years, the immortal Shadow Queen has one thought on her mind – escape. Through her servants, who are not as imprisoned as she is, she has become active in the outside world, gaining information, and adjusting to the modern era. And now, after ten centuries, she has found an escape clause in the spell that holds her prisoner.

It reads as follows: If she or servants working for her can defeat the blood heirs of her three jailers in a fair fight, she will be freed.

And she will escape to start her reign of terror once more.

Now, after years of planning, her goal is within reach.

Her prey is within sight.

Anyway, that's my story. Call it a tall tale if you want, but I'm sticking to it.

Oh, by the way…

Do you like to play Duel Monsters?

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New York City.

Madison Square Garden.

Right now, it was hosting the Big Apple Duel Monsters Tournament.

Final round.

On one side was a boy named Stanley Mason. He wore a jean jacket and blue jeans, and a Yankees cap on backwards. His long brown hair was tied in a short ponytail.

He had 2,000 Life Points remaining, and on his side was Blast Magician. (1,400/1,700)

On the other side was a boy names Patrick Malta; he had 1,500 Life Points remaining, and his side was clear.

However, it was his turn.

"Make your move, Pat," smiled Stan. "Send out another one of your Machines so I can junk it!"

"Yeah, I'm moving!" growled Patrick.

He drew a card from his Disk.

"I play my Pot of Greed!" he announced, plugging a card into a slot.

The evil jar appeared in front of him, and two cards popped out of the lid.

He made two draws.

"My Blast Magician thanks you," smiled Stan.

"Huh?" said Patrick.

He looked, and saw that Blast Magician was absorbing the energy from the Magic Card!

He glared.

"I'll place this Monster facedown in Defense and end my turn," he said.

Stan drew.

Monster Reborn.

Don't really need this now, he thought.

"I summon Skilled Dark Magician in Attack Mode!" he shouted.

He placed the card down, and the shadowy magician in bulky black robes appeared, carrying his steel staff. (1,900/1,700)

"Blast Magician," he ordered, "attack his facedown Monster with blast attack!"

Blast Magician raised his sickle-ended blade, and it burned with fire! He shot forth a stream of flames at the facedown card!

"Ha!" laughed Patrick. "Always be wary of facedown cards, Stan!"

A Cyber Jar appeared on the card!

"NO!" yelled Stan.

Blast Magician and Skilled Dark Magician were sucked into the Jar, and it exploded.

"Now then," smiled Patrick, "we both have to make five draws, and summon all the four-star or less Monsters we draw!"

"I know the rules!" growled Stan.

He made the draws.

"I summon Battle Footballer, and Cyber Commander, both in Defense Mode!" announced Patrick.

He set the cards down. First, an android in a football jersey and helmet appeared, crouching as if ready to receive a play. (1,000/2,100) Then a cyborg soldier in army fatigues, and a gas mask, with a rocket launcher on his shoulder, holding a rifle appeared. He knelt in Defense. (750/700)

Stan looked at the cards he had drawn. He had only one Monster he could summon – Apprentice Magician. His other four cards were Dark Magician Girl, The Sage's Stone, Polymerization, and Miracle Restoring.

But a plan started to form…

"And I summon a Monster facedown in Defense," he announced. "That will end my turn."

"Great," said Patrick, drawing.

He looked at his card.

"I sacrifice my Cyber Commander to summon my Machine King!" he exclaimed, putting a card down.

Cyber Commander burst into pixels, and a tall form arose. It was a huge robot covered with lights, gears, pistons, and gewgaws. (2,200/2,000)

"This mean Machine gains 100 extra Attack points for every Machine on the field," he laughed, "including itself!"

(2,400/2,000)

"Now," he said, "Machine King, blast his facedown Monster with photon beam!"

Machine King blasted a beam of energy out of its chest!

A female wizard in purple robes carrying a wooden staff appeared on the card. She cringed and was vaporized.

"You just killed my Apprentice Magician," smiled Stan. "And when she's destroyed in battle, I get to search my deck for a Spellcaster of two stars or less, and summon it in facedown Defense Mode!"

He took his deck and leafed through it until her got what he wanted. He placed it down on his Disk, and the facedown card appeared.

"Now I'll just shuffle my deck…" he said.

He shuffled.

"And is that your turn?"

"Yeah," grinned Patrick. "As if your Magician of Faith will do you much good…"

Stan drew.

"This isn't my Magician of Faith," smiled Stan. "Would you like to see who it is?"

He hit a command, and the facedown Monster flipped into Attack Mode. It was a gnarled old wizard in colorful robes, leaning on a large staff. (450/600)

"It's my Old Vindictive Magician!" smiled Stan. "And when he's flipped, he destroys one opposing Monster! Old Vindictive Magician, destroy his Battle Footballer!"

Old Vindictive Magician chanted a spell, and strange symbols appeared in the air. He thrust his staff forward, and black magic shot out, vaporizing Battle Footballer.

Machine King's Attack went down to 2,300.

"You fool!" gloated Patrick. "You could have destroyed Machine King!"

"I have other plans for him," smiled Stan. "Because now I sacrifice my Old Vindictive Magician for Dark Magician Girl!"

Old Vindictive Magician vanished, and beautiful music started playing. The gorgeous female sorceress appeared in a flurry of hearts. She smiled sweetly. (2,000/1,700)

"Nice try, Stan," chuckled Patrick, "but your magical fairy isn't strong enough!"

"Yes, she isn't…" said Stan, ominously.

He took a card from his hand.

"So I'll use this Magic Card," he continued. "The Sage's Stone!"

He threw it into a slot. A diamond appeared in the air, and Dark Magician Girl took hold of it. A light shone on the entire area…

"What does THAT do?" sputtered Patrick in fear.

"It let's Dark Magician Girl summon her master from my hand or deck!" smiled Stan.

"Master? You don't mean…" stuttered Stan.

Stan removed a card from his deck and threw it down on his deck.

:"That's right," he said. "Meet Dark Magician!"

The light coalesced into darkness, and the mighty Dark Magician appeared beside his protégé! (2,500/2,100)

"Dark Magician," yelled Stan, "destroy Machine King with dark magic attack!"

Dark Magician aimed his staff and fired, blowing Machine King into scrap!

"Now, Dark Magician Girl, blow him a kiss!" he yelled, "with a direct attack!"

Dark Magician Girl giggled. She leapt up into the air and fired with her scepter! Patrick screamed and fell over, and his Life Points fell to zero.

The referee came up and held Stan's hand up in the air.

"The winner of the Big Apple Duel Monsters Tournament is… Stanley Mason!" he proclaimed.

The crowd cheered.

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"Hmm…" said a voice.

In a dark room, a figure was seated on a throne, watching the action.

"You certainly have skill, Stanley," said the figure. "Perfect strategy, perfect timing, good deck construction, the right amount of luck…

"And not just any duelist can properly wield the power of Dark Magician. My first spouse would commend you…

"…posthumously.

"Well, enjoy your award money while you can. As dark as your sorcerers are, things are going to get darker…"

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Boston.

The Civics Center.

Currently hosting the Annual Massachusetts Regional Duel Monsters Tournament.

Final round.

On one side was a boy named Thomas Ghelding. He had an Unshaven Angler (1,500/1,600) on his side of the field, and one card facedown. The Monster was a frightening thing – a fishlike creature with teeth the size of knives.

But his opponent wasn't frightened. She was an absolutely gorgeous teenage girl. She had long, wavy blond hair, wore a red halter top, and a white leather jacket and miniskirt. Her name was Francesca Benedict.

Her side consisted of Amazoness Fighter (1,500/1,300), and Amazoness Paladin (1,700/300), who's Attack had been upped to 1,900 due to the presence of two Amazons.

Both of her Paladins wore skimpy clothing, but they clearly meant business. The muscular Fighter wore a blue bikini top and skirt, and had her hair was tied in a ponytail. The Paladin wore a white bikini top, skirt, and tattered cape, along with a gold tiara, and held a sword.

Francesca had 2,000 Life Points left, Tom had 4,900. Although she was losing, she was keeping cool.

And it was her turn.

"You think your little fish with the big bad teeth scares me, honey?" she mocked. "My Paladin could scale and gut it without half trying!"

"Yeah?" chuckled Tom. "Well why don't you attack it and see what happens!"

Francesca looked at his facedown card.

My Life Points are low enough as it is… she thought. I can't risk it…

"I end my turn," she said.

She fell for my bluff! thought Tom.

He looked at his hand.

And I have almost all I need to finish her!

He drew.

"I play… Card of Sanctity!" he exclaimed.

He plugged it into his Disk. A bright blue light shone in the air above them.

"Now we both must draw until we have six cards in our hand!"

They both made their draws.

Yes! he thought.

"Now, I play Swords of Revealing Light!" he exclaimed.

He plugged the card into his slot, and a cage of swords rained down upon Francesca!

"That will keep you occupied for three turns!" he smiled.

"Big deal!" growled Francesca.

"And to finish my turn," he said, "I summon Whirlwind Prodigy in Attack Mode!"

He put the card down, and a whirlwind appeared on his side of the field. A young boy in brown clothing surrounded by wind and a swarm of birds and bats formed out of the whirlwind. (1,500/1,600)

"All right," said Francesca, drawing.

She smiled.

Mirror Force! This will shake him up.

"I'll place a card facedown," she said, plugging it into her slot.

The facedown card appeared.

"And now I'll summon Amazoness Tiger!"

She placed another card on her Disk, and a fierce tigress appeared next to her two Amazons. (1,100/1,500)

"Not only does this lovable creature give my Paladin even more power…" smiled Francesca.

Amazoness Paladin's Attack went up to 2,000.

"…but the Tiger gains 400 Attack points for every Amazon on the field, including herself!"

(2,200/1,500)

"Also, you can't attack any Amazon except for her. Two more rounds, and you're tiger chow."

"We'll see," said Tom, drawing.

"For now I sacrifice my Unshaven Angler to summon the mighty Suijin!" he exclaimed.

He switched cards, and Unshaven Angler vanished. In its place rose a huge, watery creature with a demonic face and two powerful claws! A Japanese symbol was situated above its face. (2,500/2,400)

"WHAT?" gasped Francesca. "Wait… You cheated! You have to sacrifice two Monsters to summon Suijin!"

"Do I?" explained Tom. "When I use Unshaven Angler as a sacrifice, it counts as two Monsters so long as I use it to summon a Water Monster, such as Suijin! So my move was perfectly legal!"

Francesca frowned.

"So…" she said. "Aren't you going to attack?"

"Not yet," he smiled. "I can't ignore your facedown card, and I can't risk losing Suijin right now. So I end my turn."

Francesca drew. She was getting nervous.

"I summon Amazoness Blowpiper in Defense Mode," she exclaimed.

Another Warrior woman, this one armed with a blowgun, appeared. She wore her hair short, and wore a green bikini and leather boots with skull-like kneecaps. She sat in Defense. (800/1,500)

The Paladin's Attack rose to 2,100, and the Tiger's rose to 2,700.

"Now my Tiger is stronger than your water elemental!" exclaimed Francesca.

"True," agreed Tom, "but if she attacks it, its special power will reduce her Attack Score to zero for that attack! And you're still a prisoner of my Swords…"

"I know! I end my turn," she responded.

"Lovely," he said, drawing. "Now, remember that effect that Unshaven Angler had? Well Whirlwind Prodigy has the same effect, but it works for Wind Monsters! So I sacrifice him to summon… Kazejin!"

Whirlwind Prodigy vanished, and in his place appeared a bulky green creature with no head, another Japanese symbol on its front, and two large claws. (2,400/2,200)

Francesca didn't like this. She could see where it was going…

"You're move, darling," said Tom.

"Don't call me darling…" she growled, drawing.

"I pass this turn," she said.

The Swords vanished.

"Excellent," said Tom. "And now I play…"

He revealed the card to her.

"Graceful Charity!"

He plugged it into his Disk.

"I won't insult you by telling you what this card does…" he said.

He drew three cards, added them to his hand. He quickly discarded two other cards.

"Now," he smiled, "I'll reveal my facedown card…"

He hit a button on his Disk, and the Trap Card revealed itself.

Call of the Haunted.

"You're going to revive a Monster you just discarded!" gasped Francesca.

"Heh, heh," chuckled Tom. "Did you figure that out yourself, or did somebody give you a strategy guide? Yep, that's just what I'm doing… So meet Sanga of the Thunder!"

A huge green and gold torso with two huge claws and a Japanese symbol on the front with electricity sparkling all over it appeared next to the other two deities, and lightning struck! (2,600/2,200)

No! thought Francesca in fear. He managed to summon the whole Trinity!

"Now I'll blow away your Trap Card, with Mystical Space Typhoon!" he exclaimed, throwing a card into a slot.

Dark winds whipped around the field, and Francesca's Mirror Force was shattered!

"Now," chuckled Tom, "I fuse all three of these elementals to form one of the mightiest beasts in the Duel Monsters universe!"

He slapped a card down on his Disk, and the arena darkened, and thunder started to roll. Suijin, Kazejin, and Sanga of the Thunder swirled into orbs of multicolored energy…

…and they transformed into a creature standing nearly twenty feet tall! It looked like a combination of all three deities, with huge clawed hands. It let out a bellowing roar! Some children in the audience screamed!

"Bow down before... the unstoppable Gate Guardian!" shouted Tom.

(3,750/3,400)

"Heh, heh," laughed Tom. "I seem to remember you saying that I could only attack your Tiger. Well, no problem! Gate Guardian, attack her Tiger with dark storm of fury!"

Thunder and lightning flashed, and the three Amazons screamed as their pet was blown to atoms!

Francesca shielded herself from the blast, as her Life Points fell to 950.

"Not much left you can do," mocked Tom, "except move your Amazons to Defense Mode and let me pick them off…"

Ooh, thought Francesca, This best be a good draw…

She drew.

She looked at the card.

"Well, Tom," she said, "I must say I'm impressed. You must be quite a duelist to be able to summon a Monster like Gate Guardian. That's the sort of power that my Amazons respect!"

"Why thank you," smiled Tom.

"Too bad they have to destroy you now…" said Francesca, softly.

"They can't!" yelled Tom. "Nothing you have can be that powerful!"

"Want a bet?" grinned Francesca. "First I have to activate my Blowpiper's effect…"

Amazoness Blowpiper loaded a dart into her weapon and put it to her lips. She fired, hitting Gate Guardian in the chest with the dart! It roared!

"What's the point?" sneered Tom.

"My Blowpiper's poison dart can, once during my Standby Phase, lower any enemy Monster's Attack points by 500 for the turn," she responded.

"Big whoop!" he laughed. "So he has an Attack of 3,250 for this turn…"

"Now I'll move her to Attack Mode," continued Francesca.

She turned the card, and Amazoness Blowpiper stood up.

"And now I play a Magic Card," she said. "Amazoness Spellcaster!"

She placed the card in her Disk, and an old female witchdoctor appeared behind Amazoness Blowpiper. She started chanting. The Blowpiper's eyes glowed, and Gate Guardian glowed red. Energy flowed between them.

"What's happening?" gasped Tom.

"Amazoness Spellcaster swaps the original Attack Score of one of my Amazons with that of an opposing Monster for the duration of the turn!" exclaimed Francesca. So now, Amazoness Blowpiper has an Attack of 3,750, while Gate Guardian has an Attack of 800, minus the 500 it just lost!"

"WHAT?" shouted Tom. "That gives it only 300 Attack points!"

"Exactly!" smiled Francesca. "So now that your 'unstoppable' Monster is basically a wimp, Amazoness Blowpiper, attack that behemoth!"

Amazoness Blowpiper leapt forward, and delivered a savage kick to the great beast! It exploded in a burst of elemental energy!

Tom stared in disbelief as his Life Points tumbled to 1,450.

"Ugh…" he moaned. "I lost 3,450 Life Points…"

"You're about to lose more," smiled Francesca.

Tom looked up in fear at the other two Amazons on her side of the field…

"Tell you what," said Francesca, "I'll let YOU decide which one of these gals I'll attack you with."

"Uh…" stammered Tom.

"Come on," smiled Francesca. "The Paladin or the Fighter? Fifteen seconds…"

The Amazons smiled.

Tom didn't like the look of that Paladin's sword…

"The… Fighter…" he stuttered, closing his eyes.

"Eh, suit yourself," said Francesca, "but that was a poor choice. Amazoness Fighter, finish him off!"

Amazoness Fighter charged up and delivered a savage kick to Tom's groin with her knee! He screamed and fell over.

A lot of people in the crowd cringed.

"That had to hurt…" muttered Francesca.

But truthfully, she always loved seeing that.

The referee came up and held Francesca's arm in the air.

"The winner of the Annual Massachusetts Regional Duel Monsters Tournament is… Francesca Benedict!" he announced.

The crowd cheered.

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In the dark throne room, the dark figure watched.

The figure chuckled.

"Impressive, Francesca," said the figure. "Your female army is potent… No wonder the dueling circuit calls you The Femme Fatale. You are a woman I can certainly admire…

"A shame, actually. In another place, at another time, we could have made great allies…"

The figure shook its head and sighed.

"But alas, that cannot be so. I'm sorry things must happen the way they must. I'll tell you now, what will happen to you is nothing personal…"

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Orlando, Florida.

The Disney World resort.

Currently hosting the Florida Regional Duel Monsters Tournament.

Final round.

On one side was a young girl wearing pigtails in her raven hair and an black dress. Her name was Ronda Belvins. She had Regenerating Mummy on her side of the field, its rotting form dripping holographic ichor all over her side. (1,800/1,500) She had 4,800 Life Points remaining.

On the other side of the field was a tall, muscular youth with short blond hair, dressed in a white tank top and a black leather vest and jeans. His name was Andy Markova. He had Masked Dragon on his side of the field in Defense Mode, and the reddish Dragon in an iron mask looked rather worried… (1,400/1,100)

Andy's Life Points were at 2,400. He was losing, but in the midst of a duel, fear was unknown to him.

And it was Ronda's turn.

"Regenerating Mummy," she ordered, "Attack his Dragon with rotting blast!"

The Mummy shot forth a wave of pestilence, and the Dragon was disintegrated.

"I think that was your last Masked Dragon," she chuckled.

"But its effect still lets me summon this," sneered Andy, reaching for his deck. "Troop Dragon in Defense Mode!"

He put a card down, and three small Dragon-men holding swords appeared, crouching in Defense. (700/800)

Ronda growled. "Your move," she pouted.

Andy drew.

"Now you're in trouble, Rhoda," he chuckled. "I sacrifice my Troop Dragon to summon Luster Dragon #2!"

The Dragon soldiers vanished in a gust of wind, and a huge emerald appeared. It burst, and a giant Dragon made of emerald gems appeared. (2,400/1,400)

"Luster Dragon," demanded Andy, "rot that Mummy with emerald flash blast!"

Luster Dragon shot forth a blast of green light, and Regenerating Mummy was blasted into shards of rotting flesh!

Ronda cringed as her Life Points fell to 4,200.

"Make your move," gloated Andy. "My Dragon is hungry!"

Ronda drew.

She grinned with her perfect white teeth.

"First," she said, putting a card down, "I'll play Monster Reborn, to bring back my Vampire Lord!"

A large coffin appeared on the field, and a creepy vampire with pale hair in a dark cloak stepped out of it. (2,000/1,500)

"Ugh!" snarled Andy in disgust. "I thought I took care of that creepy thing!"

He paused.

"Besides, he's no match for my Luster Dragon…"

"He may not be strong enough," smiled Ronda, "but I can now remove him from play to summon an even stronger vampire! Vampire Lord, I banish you!"

Vampire Lord was obliterated.

"And having done so," she continued, "I can summon Vampire Genesis!"

A dark shadow appeared on the field, and a huge, muscular creature appeared. Resembling a cross between a Zombie and a Fiend, it had purple skin, a demonic face, and wore a spiked harness and a thick cape with spikes protruding from the edges of it! (3,000/2,100)

"And I'm activating his effect right now!" she laughed. "By discarding one Zombie from my hand, I can special summon a Zombie with fewer level stars from my Graveyard! So I'll discard my Dark Dust Spirit…"

She discarded the card.

"And Andy, meet Vampire Lady… again!"

Another coffin appeared on the field, and a beautiful female vampire in a purple dress with green skin and an evil smile stepped out of it. (1,550/1,550)

"Now, Vampire Genesis, shatter his Luster Dragon with Wrath of the Undead attack!"

Vampire Genesis threw back his arms, and shot forth a wave of unholy energy! Luster Dragon was blown into green pixels!

Andy's Life Points fell to 1,800.

"Vampire Lady," she laughed, "attack Andy directly, with vampire's kiss!"

Vampire Lady pounced! Andy screamed as she sank her teeth into Andy neck and drank her fill.

His Life Points were now at 250.

"Ugh," he groaned. "Actually, that was better than a lot of my dates…"

"You know what happens now," giggled Ronda. "You have to discard a card from your deck! I think… a Trap Card!"

Andy got up and skimmed through his deck. He took out Burst Breath and discarded it.

Then he reshuffled it and put it back in.

"Make your move," she said sweetly.

He looked at his hand.

I have one of the cards I need for my killer combo, that would get me out of this, he thought, but it isn't much good without the other two…

He drew.

"I play Graceful Charity!" he said, placing the card into the slot.

He drew three cards and looked at them.

His eyes narrowed.

He made two discards.

"Watch this…" he started.

"I summon Red-Eyes Black Chick in Attack Mode!" he announced.

He put a card down. A small red egg appeared in front of him, and it slowly hatched. A tiny Dragon's head poked out and chirped. (800/500)

"You gotta be kidding…" laughed Ronda.

"I'm not half done!" exclaimed Andy. "When I summon this little guy to field, I can immediately sacrifice him for… Red Eyes Black Dragon!"

He put another card down, and the small hatchling started to grow, until it grew into full-grown adult Dragon size! (2,400/2,000)

"Red-Eyes Black Dragon?" exclaimed Ronda. "Where'd you get a card that rare?"

"That's quite an interesting story," smiled Andy. "Remind me to tell you some time."

"Yeah, well, fat lot of good it'll do you," chuckled Ronda. "He's hardly a match for Vampire Genesis!"

"I'm still not done!" exclaimed Andy. "As rare as this card is, I have an even rarer one! When Red-Eyes Black Dragon is on the field, I can immediately sacrifice it for a beast called Red-Eyes Darkness Dragon!"

He put another card down, and Red-Eyes grew even bigger, becoming even darker and becoming more fiendish! His eyes glowed with a feral red light! (2,400/2,000)

"That's an improvement?" asked Ronda.

"Red-Eyes Darkness Dragon gains 300 extra Attack Points for every Dragon in my Graveyard!" exclaimed Andy. "And counting the two Dragons I used to create it, there are twelve of them!"

(6,000/2,000)

"Red-Eyes Darkness Dragon, attack Vampire Genesis with dark inferno blast!"

The Dragon belched forth a blast of dark fire, and Vampire Genesis was incinerated! Ronda screamed, as her Life Points fell to 1,200.

"Okay," smiled Andy, taking his last card. "I'll place a card facedown, and that will be all for my turn."

Ronda shivered as she drew…

"Disappointed with your draw, Ronda?" mocked Andy.

Ronda turned the card on her disk.

"I'll shift Vampire Lady into Defense Mode," she said, "and that will be all."

Vampire Lady knelt.

"You lose, Ronda," grinned Andy, drawing.

"Huh?" she said, shaking.

"I activate the Trap Card, Dragon's Rage!" shouted Andy, as his Trap lifted. "This card gives all my Dragons the ability to damage your Life Points even when your Monsters are in Defense Mode!

"Now, Red-Eyes Darkness Dragon, destroy her Vampire Lady and the rest of her Life Points!"

Red-Eyes blasted forth its dark flames, and Vampire Lady screamed. She was blown out of existence, and Ronda was thrown backwards from the blast! Her Life Points fell to zero.

The referee came up.

"And the winner of the Regional Duel Monsters Tournament is… Andy Markova!" he announced.

The crowd cheered.

A weight was lifted off Andy shoulders, as the "tough-guy" persona faded.

Phew! he thought. Wonder if there's still time to go on Space Mountain today?

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As usual, someone was watching in a dark room.

"Ugh," said the figure in disgust. "Dragons. Vile, unpleasant, dirty, smelly, disgusting creatures. I lost interest in them long ago. Of all the Monsters those fools threw at me, I hated them the worst. It took me a year for the burns alone to heal…

"You think you're so special because your Monsters are so powerful, don't you Andy? Well, there are stronger things. Nothing is indestructible. I should know.

"You'll learn it the hard way…"

At that point, a light flashed.

"Enter," said the figure.

Another figure entered and knelt.

"All the preparations have been made, sire," he said. "The invitations are on their way, and Monster Island is ready to receive the guests."

"Has everything been double-checked?" asked the figure on the throne.

"Yes," was the reply.

"Then do a triple-check," commanded the figure. "Everything must be perfect.

"After all, I've spent years preparing for this, and I won't tolerate imperfections…"

The figure rose off the throne, and lifted an object off of an ornate table…

A Duel Disk.

"Soon," muttered the figure, "it will all be over…"

She turned back to her monitors.

"I feel sorry for them, I truly do…"

She slid the Disk onto her arm.

"But it's either them… or me…"

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Coming up next:

Introductions have been made, now we get serious.

Stan, Francesca, and Andy get letters that lead them on a journey to a strange locale that promises a friendly competition and a free vacation, but when they get their, odd things start already. Be here for Act One, and Chapter One, "Doorway to Destiny", coming soon.