My Dark King – Chapter 1: Resurrection
Disclaimer: In case you haven't figured it out yet, I don't own Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D's. All Yu-Gi-Oh!-related characters, settings, etc. are the intellectual property of Kazuki Takahashi.
She had done it.
After all of Rudger's talk of the treacherous ways of the Signers, all the tricks the Crimson Dragon could and would play to ensure the victory of its avatars in the physical realm, the King of Riding Duels – for that was what she would always call him, regardless of trivial matters like who'd actually won the Fortune Cup – lay dead at her feet after a mere handful of turns.
In all honesty, she was absolutely dumbfounded. She had doubted Rudger's sanity (not for the first time) when he'd declared that Jack Atlas be her opponent in the conflict to come. Not withstanding that she was madly in love with the stunning blond, his dueling record was utterly unblemished with the singular exception of Yusei Fudo, another Signer.
How could anyone, even a deranged maniac with an unnatural fondness for arachnids, sincerely expect an amateur reporter with sparse dueling experience and abysmal luck to succeed against a duelist rivaled only by the likes of Yugi Mutou and Seto Kaiba themselves?
And yet, here she was. A little of Demak's and Rudger's impressive card collection, a little of Kiryu's training on how to properly manage a D-Wheel without immediately crashing into a wall (or worse), and a lot of emotional support from Misty, and here little old Carly Nagisa had succeeded where nearly all of her fellows had failed.
She had killed a Signer.
Carly knew, however, that there was little time for further retrospection. She had precious few moments before Jack's soul would pass from the Earthly plane, at which point she would forever lose the grand opportunity that she'd been promised by her god.
When she had drawn Prophecy of the Future King and finally accepted her destiny as a Dark Signer, her single, immutable condition to the immortal hummingbird that took up residence within her soul was, should she emerge victorious from her fated duel, that it would bestow the same gift of rebirth to Jack as it'd granted her.
Aslla piscu hadn't been particularly receptive to this idea – to put it mildly – until she reminded the god that the Dark Signers' leader was a former Signer as well. Uru was the unspoken ruler of the Jibakushin during their Second Coming, primarily due to the fact that it'd found a host in this brave new world first. Seniority was of vital import to the ancient deities, rendering the hummingbird ranked above only Chacu Challhua in their hierarchy.
This was enough to at least give the god pause. To actively take on as an avatar a man marked at birth by their sworn enemy, the Akaki Ryu, seemed like an absurd idea, and yet up until his second death just hours prior Rudger had clearly been brutally effective at advancing the cause of the Jibakushin within the mortal world.
Perhaps its host was right in insisting that Jack Atlas deserved a second chance to join the War on the right side.
Perhaps it took a man who'd walked within the cursed crimson light of their foe, to combat that same foe with the necessary vigor.
Perhaps, ultimately, Uru had caught onto something Aslla piscu had not.
Of course, the god saw through its avatar's ulterior motives for requesting Jack's resurrection immediately. She felt the petty human emotion of love for the Signer in great quantities, and wished to spend eternity with him, but though the hummingbird could never strictly approve of this desire it didn't expressly forbid it either.
So long as Carly Nagisa brought about the end of the Crimson Dragon and its disciples, and plunged the world into a glorious Age of Hell, the Earthbound God would not begrudge her from indulging in more…visceral pleasures in the aftermath.
Truthfully the hummingbird had become somewhat fond of its host, or at least as fond as any ageless deity could be of a lowly human, and so it'd agreed to grant her request.
There were stipulations, however. Aslla piscu warned that its power, though vast, was not unlimited, and it did not have the ability to sustain unnatural life for multiple revenants for long.
Jack could live again with the hummingbird's seal for no more than a week; less, if he used up too much energy dueling. Either Carly would need to enjoy her last week with her lover to its fullest and then accept his mortality once and for all, or the two of them would need to find some alternate method of binding Jack to the Earth-plane within that time.
To her credit, its host had immediately accepted these terms, opting for the latter option. Not once did it ever cross Carly Nagisa's mind that finding such a method might not be possible, and the god felt a great swelling of pride at her newfound confidence. Clumsy and scatterbrained she might sometimes be, but its chosen avatar had sheer drive and willpower, two traits that rendered her almost unbeatable when backed with the might of a Jibakushin.
Such was Carly's mindset as she bent down to bring the kiss of new life to the bleeding corpse that still held her heart, unbeating though it was. Carly couldn't help but observe the irony: her favorite bedtime story as a child had been Sleeping Beauty, and she'd lost count of the number of times she'd watched a dubbed version of the Disney version. Now, it would be a princess whose kiss would awaken a sleeping King.
Not that she was really royalty (yet, anyway), but time was drawing nearer to the days when the two would rule all the Earth, side by side…
Carly was interrupted from her musings as her efforts to pull Jack's lifeless body toward her face dislodged something within his inner coat pocket. Blinking with her blackened eyes, she recognized them as her glasses, broken in the top corner of one of the lenses but otherwise intact.
They immediately elicited a strange response from her psyche, as memories of laughter and cotton candy and a ridiculous outfit she'd forced Jack into wearing in order to remain incognito flooded her mind, unbidden by any conscious thought.
These memories caused much pain in her head and on her arm, where she bore the sign of her god and savior, and so with uncharacteristic ferocity Carly threw the spectacles to the ground and crushed them to dust with her heel.
The pain immediately began to slow, but Carly knew that she couldn't wait for it to fade completely, or she might run out her window of opportunity.
Cupping Jack's face with her hands as she'd only ever done in her most secret of fantasies, Carly lowered her lips onto his and bestowed upon him a tender, passionate kiss.
She was almost surprised that his mouth was still warm, given how still he was, but Carly tried as much as possible to ignore the fact that she was kissing a corpse (although was she much more than a corpse herself?) and focused on pouring the deepness of her love for the man she was now embracing into his lips.
Aslla piscu had explained that physical contact and an intense emotional response would suffice to bring Jack under the hummingbird's power. Carly herself had chosen the particular action of a kiss under the guise of "creative license." Truthfully Carly just couldn't resist the symbolism, the perfectness of the action, and she hoped against hope that she was hedging her bets correctly.
As delicately as she could muster, Carly raised her face from Jack's and propped him up against the demolished Wheel of Fortune.
Holding his gloved hands as tightly as she could, Carly closed her eyes and prayed to her Incan God to follow through on its promise, and to resurrect the one man who meant more than anything to the young Dark Signer. She had no particular reason to doubt such a powerful being, one which held no secrets from her because they were in many ways one soul, but still she prayed just the same.
Slowly Carly's eyes opened to find…a corpse.
Dejected – no, distraught – Carly felt unbridled anger race through her body, as for a single moment she prepared to shout to the heavens to a god that could hear her even if she didn't speak a word; to tear up the piece of cardboard that represented its only connection to the Earthly plane; to get on her custom D-Wheel and drive off into the sea, forfeiting her life yet again.
But the Dark Signer did none of those things, for what she felt in her hands next drove all other thoughts out of her mind in an instant.
Beginning to flow through Jack's hands once more was blood, but not pumped by the heart through veins and arteries like a living human's would be. This blood flowed in reverse, for a Dark Signer's heart was like a Jibakushin's – absorbing all the life around it without giving any back.
Jack's plasma – a royal purple now rather than crimson, as Carly had learned after cutting herself once at the Dark Signers' headquarters – was sucked into one centralized location, through which all of his bodily energy was drawn, and as Carly watched with unbridled joy the King's glassy eyes closed and then flickered open once more, their sclera rendered an unearthly, empty black.
"C…C…Carly?" the duelist sputtered, his voice throaty and hoarse.
"Rest for a moment," Carly whispered soothingly, gently rubbing the new Dark Signer's temples. "All will be explained in due time, my beloved. My…Dark King."