Chapter 9: The Third Scout

It was a typical day in the Tops for Lua and Luka; studies in the morning and then they were left alone for the remainder of the afternoon. Normally they'd pass the time by playing video games or reading, but somehow today was... different. Today they both decided to head down to the Daimon and catch a few street duels. Neither of them had much experience in the Daimon other then when Lua went on his wild hunts for the Black Rose Witch who he later learned was Akiza. After learning her identity he gave up on the pursuit, the thrill of the hunt diminished. Today, the Daimon was full of duelists, as it normally is. However instead of duels going on there was a giant circle around two combatants. One had two Berserk Gorillas and a face down the other was defenseless. The duelist with the Gorillas was a slender brown haired young woman who had a bandana tied up to keep her shoulder length hair back. She also wore skin tight black jeans and a vest which she kept zipped up just enough to show a decent amount of clevage. A pair of sunglasses were perched on the bridge of her nose to hide her eyes.

"My Gorillas attack you for the win!" she called out in a clearly latin accent as both Gorillas pounded on their chest and spat flames at the other duelist stumbled back into the crowd. "Next!" she said sarcastically. She then spotted the twins in the crowd and pointed over to them. "You two! Up here. Now." she said in an intimidating manner. Lua shrunk back for a moment before pulling himslef together. He and Luka both made their way to the middle of the circle and stood facing her.

Chaud's Apartment

Goodwin stood in the flowershop located directly below Chaud's apartment and rang the buzzer. A few moments later Chaud appeared in the doorway leading upstairs. "Can I help you with... Oh, it's you, Director. What do you need?"

"A sample of your blood Chaud, an untainted sample." he replied. He produced a sterile needle from a canister and handed it to the boy.

"Don't I need a medical professional to...?" he tried to start in with sarcasm, but a pointed glare from Goodwin changed his mind. He rolled up his sleeve, stuck the needle into his vein and extracted a decent sample. "God I hate doing this, it's just like those damned urine samples, I never know if I gave enough... Oh well, if this isn't enough then he can go jump off a cliff..." "Uh... Here ya go; fresh batch for ya."

"Thank you. Oh and if I may ask, how do you keep these plants looking so healthy? Seems to me someone of your... unique nature would have trouble." he asked in a would be conversational manner, Chaud laughed.

"Old family secret... Actually... I have no clue, Audrey did most of the 'work' I just watered 'em. If that'll be all I must leave now, Akiza asked me to pick up these kids in the Tops and bring em over to Yusei's... Lua and Luka I think she said... Anyway, I have to leave, I bid you good day, Director."

Back in the Daimon

"Now which one of you is supposed to be the Signer?" she asked as she pointed between the two.

"I... I a..." Luka began

"If you wanna find out you'll have to duel us!" Lua cut in.

"Very well, we'll play standard two-on-one rules. I'll begin with eight-thousand and you two will have four thousand each."

"Agreed!" exclaimed Lua.

(Duelist: 8000)(Lua: 4000)(Luka: 4000)

"I'll start." Luka announced. "And I'll summon my Sunlight Unicorn (4/1800/1000) in attack mode!" a white unicorn with blue fire for a tail and mane galloped from the card onto the field. It snorted and stamped its hooves at the opponent who smirked cockily. "Three cards face down and that'll end my turn."

"Then it's my move. And I'll summon my Beast Striker (4/1850/400)," a weird looking gorilla weilding a massive hammer appeared on the field. It grinned wickedly and growled. "And I'll use his effect to discard my Berserk Gorilla to special summon Moja (1/100/100), one card face down and that'll wrap her up." a weird black fur ball with a creepy yellow face appeared, it had a nasty toothy grin and shiny brown eyes.

"Alright, my move. I start with the spell Double Summon to allow me two summons this turn! I'll use that to summon out my Morphtronic Celfon (1/100/100) in attack mode and Morphtronic Boomboxen (4/1200/400) in defense mode!" a yellow cell phone roughly the size of the tiny duelist appeared and then transformed into a humanoid looking robot. A red boombox also faded into existance, but it soon turned blue to show defense status.

"That's not all, I use Celfon's ability, a random number appears on his dial and I get to look at that many cards off the top of my deck. If any of those cards are Morphtronic monsters I can special summon one of them. So let's go! Dial on!" he yelled as he spun his arm in a wide circle. The key pad on Celfon's chest began to light up and quickly change between the six digits, the result was a two.

"Excellent, now I look at the top two cards of my deck," he said as he picked up the top two cards of his deck. "Well lookie here, one of the cards was Morphtronic Datatron, I'll summon him in attack mode (3/1200/600)!" a flash drive materialized, arms and legs sprung from its sides and the cap lifted revealing glowing yellow eyes. "Next I'll use his effect to sacrifice Celfon to inflict six hundred points of damage!" Lua exclaimed as his Celfon dissolved into granules of light which Datatron absorbed. The cap flipped all the way up and a jet of fire blazed across the arena, hitting the woman full on. (Duelist: 7400)

"This seems like a good time." the woman said as she pressed a button on her duel disk. Soon after, a red Security Style Duel Runner with a chrome trim rolled up behind her and four metal orbs mounted on the dash began to whir with life. "Hmmm... Why didn't I do this before, it certainly would've weeded out the Signer... Oh well, my move! Hehehe! I just drew one of my key monsters. Moja will now evolve..." Moja's face twisted as his body began to grow, four skeletal legs sprouted from his body as he continued to grow. A towering monster soon stood behind the duelist.

"I special summon King of the Beasts (7/2500/800)!" the monster made an unholy screeching noise; Lua, Luka and Sunlight Unicorn all cringed; Lua's Morphtronics all shorted temporarily. "Now I use my King of the Beasts to attack Morphtronic Datatron!" the giant black monster lifted itself onto its skeletal legs and charged across the field.

"Not so fast! Boomboxen's defense mode effect lets me negate one of your attacks!" Lua yelled over the monster's screeches. Boomboxen emitted a blast of sound that stopped the monster from charging. It turned around and returned to its original position.

"Fine then! Beast Striker attacks Boomboxen!" the gorilla lifed its axe and jumped into the air; before it landed on Boomboxen, Luka revealed her facedown. The picture showed one purple tube with an in arrow and another with an out. A purple tube caught the monster, flipped around then fired the still raging beast back at its owner. It slashed her with his axe, then shook its head as if breaking mind control and returned to his place on the field. (Duelist: 5550) "That does it."

"Then it's my move again. I draw! Next I activate my face down; Jar of Greed, this lets me draw another card." she drew another card from the top of her deck and inspected it carefully. "Next I summon the Tuner monster Sunny Pixie (1/300/400) in defense mode!" a small fairy like creature floated from the card and landed on Luka's shoulder, it was no bigger then the girl's hand. "I switch my Sunlight Unicorn to defense mode and end my turn."

"My go again! I summon Berserk Gorilla (4/2000/1000)!" a giant red ape charged from the card and rested next to Beast Striker, snorting in anger. "Next I use my Spell card Wild Nature's Release on my King. His attack now gets an increase from his defense. (3300/800) And my facedown card Beast Ambush will allow him to attack directly so long as my target's monsters have fewer combined attack points. He'll attack you little girl!" King of the Beasts rose to his skeletal feet again and charged past Luka's monsters swiping directly at her with his claws. She flinched as the disgusting bone forelimb swiped. (Luka: 700)

"Now, because I used Beast Ambush I can't attack anymore, and because it's my End Phase Wild Nature should destroy my King. However I activate Beast Soul Swap and return King of the Beasts to my hand and let me swap him out for another level seven. I pick Behemoth the King of All Animals (7/2700/1500)!" a giant purple beast tore its way out of King of the Beasts. It had a thick purple mane, scars going down its body, and a mouth full of pointed fangs. It roared, making everyone draw back in fright.

"Alright my turn! I summon Moprhtronic Remoten (Tuner/3/300/1200) in attack mode!" a small, standard television remote blinked onto the field, it had delicate wires for arms and legs. "Now I tune together my Remoten and Boomboxen!" Lua's two monsters exploded into stars and flew into the air. The sound of an engine starting then rang out and a metal dragon with a blue claw and a red jackhammer attached to its body descended from the sky.

"I summon Power Tool Dragon (7/2300/2500)! Now for his effect! I can choose three equip spells from my deck and have you pick one random one; however I'm picking three of my Double Tool C&D so I'll just add one of them to my hand." he showed his three cards to the opponent and added one to his hand, the rest got shuffled into his deck. "I now equip Power Tool with my equip spell, and during my turn it increases his attack score by one thousand points! (3300/2500) Attack Beast Striker!" he called out. A green drill replaced the blue claw and Power Tool took off across the field. It punched the drill straight into Beast Striker's chest; it groaned in pain before exploding into shards. (Duelist: 4100) "One card face down and I end my turn." As Lua ended his turn the green drill transformed into a red buzz-saw

"I draw." the duelist looked over the cards in her hand. "So, Power Tool's attack points are twenty-three hundred again?" she asked. Lua nodded. "Excellent, I'll have Berserk Gorilla attack Sunny Pixie to knock the girl out!" Berserk Gorilla charged a ball of energy in its mouth, when it went to fire it turned toward Power Tool however and shot it at the dragon who spun around and batted it back into the gorilla with its tail. (Duelist: 3800) "What? What happened?!" she demanded. Lua chuckled.

"Double Tool's effect states that when it's your turn you can only attack Power Tool, too bad for your monkey." he grinned.

"Fine! I attack Power Tool Dragon with my King!" the purple Behemoth charged across the field and rammed Power Tool Dragon in its mechanical chest, the only thing that disappeared was the saw which changed back into the blue claw. (Lua: 3700) The steel orbs whirred louder, causing Luka to cringe in pain and clutch her arm. The other duelist didn't see it though, she was too busy glaring at Lua who was celebrating the defeat of her most powerful monster. "I activate Monster Reborn! As you two both know, I can summon one monster from either graveyard." a card removed itself from her graveyard. "I revive King of the Beasts!" the purple animal roared as it reappeared in a flash of light. "That ends my turn."

"Draw!" Luka announced. "I summon Dreamsprite (2/300/200)!" a blue creature that resembled Sunny Pixie appeared. It floated gracefully around Luka. "I tune my three monsters together!" all three of Luna's monsters exploded into stars and began to spin around each other. When they stopped a blue dragon with big fairy wings floated in their place. "I synchro summon Ancient Fairy Dragon (7/2100/3000) in defense mode!" Luka announced. The orbs pulsed again and the screen on her duel runner began to flash with the word overload. The dueling scout looked over to her duel runner, then back to Luka, a smirk on her face.

"I've got all I need here, I can finish this duel. Now..." she started, but cut her sentence short when she saw a familiar head of raven-spiked blue hair moving through the crowd. She forfeited the match, hopped on her duel runner and sped off before the person got to the kids.

(Duelist: 0 (Forfeit)) (Lua:3700) (Luka: 700)

"You two Lua and Luka Horikiri?" he asked. The twins stepped back a bit. "Don't worry, Akiza sent me to bring you two over to Yusei's. Name's Chaud." he said as he extended his hand. Neither twin accepted it but they decided to go with the stranger, trusting him only because he claimed he knew Akiza and Yusei. A silent, and very tense fifteen minutes passed before they arrived at Yusei's apartment. Yusei opened the door, half surprized by Chaud's appearence.

"Hey kids, you go in and make yourselves at home, I need to speak with Chaud for a minute." he said calmly.

"He's your friend? Oh I'm sorry Chaud! Nice meeting you, and I like your duel runner!" Lua said as he followed his sister into the apartment. Yusei closed the door and just stared at Chaud. The duelists just stood there in awkward silence.

"You been staying out of trouble?" he asked finally.

"Yeah, you?"

"This whole business with these scouts is bugging me, but yes." Yusei replied.

"Well, they haven't done anything wrong yet, I say we give them some time and see if they make a big move." Chaud suggested.

"Good point." Yusei agreed.

"All I'm saying is we don't know what's going on. Oh and by the way, Akiza told me about what happened the otehr night, I'm real sorry you had to see that."

"Yeah, what was that about?" Yusei asked. Chaud rolled up his sleeve showing Yusei the marks from where he stuck himself with the needles.

"I'm a recovering drug addict. What you saw was a combination of the drug and symptoms of withdrawl." Chaud said keeping to a casual tone.

"Well... here's to a speedy recovery." Yusei replied.

"Here here." Chaud said with a smirk. Yusei opened the door and let him in. Akiza was already there, wating for them.

"Yusei, another scout appeared, she challenged the twins." she said with a bit of concern. Chaud thought for a moment before he moved around her and went over to the twins.

"Lua, Luka, what did this woman look like? I didn't get to get a good look at her before she ran off."

"Well," Luka started. "She had brown hair, tan skin. She wore a red vest, sunglasses and a bandanna." Chaud held up his hand.

"Was she Spanish? Like did she look like she was from Spain?" Chaud asked. Lua nodded. "I hoped it wouldn't be... Akiza, if you go back to the apartment, don't expect me to be back." Chaud said solemnly. He made a move for the door.

"Where are you going?" Akiza asked.

"I gotta go look up an old friend. Wish me luck." and with a single movement he was gone, the door closed behind him. He exited the apartment complex and took out his cell phone. He pressed a single button on the dial and plugged a head piece into his ear. "Bass, listen I don't have much time to talk. I found Marie." the resluting shout was heard even though the speaker was pointed into Chaud's ear.

"YOU WHAT?!"

"I found her, she's apparently working the scout business trying to find the people called The Signers. According to a witness she went after two little kids in the Daimon area of Neo Domino. I'm going to try finding her. Any suggestions?" Chaud listened intently while his friend relayed his advice. "Alright then, I'm off." Chaud mounted his Duel Runner and with a rev of the engines he was off.

Days passed, Chaud had searched the city at least a dozen times. Every night he came home too tired to speak and every morning he was gone before the sun rose. When he finally did decide to take a break he came home to find a note on the door from Akiza;

Chaud,

Goodwin wants to have a word with us, he's sending a car for you tomorrow morning.

-Akiza

P.S. I'm staying with Yusei for the evening, don't wait up.

"How sweet... She cared enough to leave a note," then he reread the postscript, "Staying with Yusei?!" and suddenly his mind got flooded with images of Akiza and Yusei doing naughty things and for some reason it involved the cord for the wii-remote nunchuck attachment and whipped cream. With a shudder he forced the image out of his mind. He flopped onto the couch and was soon asleep.

A beam of sunlight streaming through the window woke Chaud up the next morning. With a groan he rubbed his eyes and stretched. After breakfast, a few pieces of toast with some jelly on them, he went outside and waited for the car; the wait wasn't long, the car pulled up a few minutes after he had left.

Chaud was lead to a conference room, when he walked in he saw Akiza and her father, Yusei, Jack and Luka and Lua. Soon after he had seated himself at the end of the table next to Yusei (and as far away from Jack as he could get) Goodwin entered the room carrying a manilla envelope. He sat himself at the opposite end from Chaud and addressed the assembly. "I'm glad you were able to make it today," he said, "I have a few small announcments; first and foremost, Mr. Blaare I have a little job for you. It concerns the recent string of... Scouts. I want you to do some research and see if you can identify any of them. You'll have access to the Neo Domino security files for this task."

"Alright," Chaud said with a wave of his hand, "but I think I can give you a name before this even begins. An old acquaintance, Marie Valdano; according to the kids she challenged them to a duel similar to the ones that Jack and Yusei were involved in. She apparently also fled once Luka summoned her Ancient Fairy Dragon."

"Excellent headway Chaud, we can track her if..."

"She has no tracking marks, Director, she was always smart enough not to get caught."

"Very well... Second, this Gentleman Alias has me throughly concerned. Though we haven't been able to track him down, our intelligence tells us he will be making a move on his own very soon. We will need to capture him before he can do any more damage to our city. Understood?" Goodwin asked. Everyone nodded in understanding. "Finally, I would like to speak with Chaud and the Izinskis alone, the rest of you are free to go." Goodwin gestured to the door. Yusei gave Akiza one final look before he left the room. Jack soon followed, then the twins. "Chaud, a few days ago I asked you for a blood sample. I'm certain you know what it was for. Just to clear it up though... Have you two...?" he pointed between Chaud and Akiza.

"Been living together? Yeah you arranged..." Chaud began but realized what the Director meant, at the same time as Akiza.

"NO!" they both shouted. Hideo let out a sigh of relief. Chaud looked over to him, horror etched into his face.

"That's good then, because I have the results of the DNA testing. I'd like to give you the results now." Goodwin posed. Chaud nodded. Goodwin opened the envelope and removed a sheet of paper, his eyes quickly scanned it for the line he was looking for. "Senator," he said. He paused for effect, very similar to the way a talk show host waits before dropping a bombshell. "You are the father! Congratulations!" Goodwin said with a small, polite smile. Akiza's eyes widened, Hideo's face seemed to melt a little bit. Chaud had no reaction, he had known all along.

"You're... My brother?" Akiza asked as she turned to Chaud who still had a vacant look on his face.

"Half, we have different mothers." he replied automatically. Akiza looked up at her father, shock on her face. She quickly stood up and left the room.

"Well, I'll leave you alone then, Chaud you start tomorrow." Goodwin said before he stood and left the room.

The revelation came over Hideo in waves. He was confused. He racked his brains trying to remember what had happened. Before he could ask Chaud for the whole story, he left. Chaud had already gone back to his apartment. He needed to track down Marie.