AN: If you're reading this and have read this story before, you'll notice *gasp* the AN section is different now!
I'm been gone far longer than I should have been, but maybe it's for the best. I've read over my old work and man are there a lot of errors. I'm going to clean this up and work on finishing this story and all of my stories. The older, wiser, married, living in Ohio now Mysia is back and, with any luck, will stay on track.
This story started out as an idea sparked from playing Fable II about 3 years ago. It tells the tale of what may have happened if Bakura had been successful. There will be some chapters posted twice: a yaoi and non-yaoi version of the tale that you can read as you choose. At first the differences might not be great, but in time we'll see.
On a final note:
Rajan and Petri are OCs that first appeared in Hooray For Oneshots, Yami Marik's Backstory. They fill a role in this story plus I like the idea of Yami Marik having a normal life in the past. There are also 2 sisters and his father mentioned in that backstory what will make appearances in this story: Zahira, Aasera, and Sakani. Those are also mine ;).
Malik = Good Marik and Marik refers to Yami Marik. That, too, will change in time but for now please enjoy this tale.
It was over.
After roughly three thousand years.
The thief looked out over the desert, darkness rapidly spreading over the land. Somewhere in the distance he heard them: the Pharaoh's "friends", but it didn't matter. He had won. He had gotten his revenge.
Zorc roared triumphantly as shadows appeared around him and took the form of dark, familiar creatures, each flying away from their master to do his unspoken bidding. He turned his gaze to his long-time servant, who still occupied the body of his host though the Millennium Ring, as with the other items, were now scattered far and wide.
"You have served me well, thief." His voice shook the very air around them. "Name your reward and it will be granted."
The thief raised his gaze toward the demon half-heartedly. 'Reward...but...' he looked away. 'I have my revenge. The Pharaoh's soul is gone. I have my revenge. Why do I feel so...hollow?' "My reward? Heh..." he shook his head. "I'm done here. I'm ready to go. So let my soul leave this world and don't harm my host. My former host."
Zorc seemed to huff a bit as though annoyed by the request. "So be it."
Hot, white light blinded the thief as his soul was released from the world of the living and he instinctively brought his arms up to shield his eyes until it passed. Upon opening his eyes, he found he wore the outfit he had the day he had died: a red robe with white lines along the edges and the cuffs of the sleeves, a black shenti, and a simple pair of shoes. The jewelry that he had been wearing as well as the ancient duel disk, the dia diank, were absent but not missed.
He looked around the room finding it simple and resembling the construction work of an ancient tomb though well lit.
"Huh, so we had the right religion all along?" he asked aloud, expecting the voice the followed, though it still made him jump.
"It all depends on the religion you believe in really," a woman spoke laughingly. "But everyone who dies must be judged."
"Yeah yeah," the thief sighed, waving a hand. "The whole revenge and resurrecting Zorc thing means I get fed to Ammit(1). In my defense, I have no regrets. Let's just get this over with." He made a face when the woman laughed. "What?"
"You honestly think Ammit would eat you? Or that I would let her? Oh no no no," the woman smiled, appearing before him, her index finger pointing upward and moving from side to side. Her skin was darkly tanned and her, long, black hair was pulled back and braided. Her eyes shined a mix of green and gold and looked cat-like with slitted pupils. She wore a simple yet elegant sand-colored dress that hugged her body but left her arms bare revealing gold cuffs on her upper arms and wrists that matched the gold choker around her neck. "You don't get out of it that easily."
"Oh?" The thief cocked his head, folding his arms over his chest.
The woman smiled. "Your fate has already been decided. You have to go back to the world of the living and fix what you have done."
This time the thief laughed. "Oh yes, that's an excellent idea. Send me back to undo what I spent three thousand years trying to do. What makes you think I'd do that?"
"Because you don't have a choice." The woman poked him in the chest the the same finger she'd had extended. "We have watched you all your life." The room took on a sudden blue glow, the thief looking around alarmed. "The problem, you see, is that you cannot be judged because you lack two necessary components. Tell me," she paused briefly, tilting her head slightly, "what is your name?"
"It's Bak..." the thief began but faltered.
"That was Ryou's last name. The one you've become accustomed to over the past few years. But what is your true name? The name your mother gave you. Before we can judge you, you will need to remember it."
"Che, g-give me a minute...it's been a long time..." the thief grumbled, racking his mind for the answer.
"I could give you a thousand years and you would likely not recall. And we do not have that much time, I'm afraid." She offered the thief a soft smile. "The other thing you lack is a heart weight(2). We have seen your nature and your deeds when you were influenced by your anger and Zorc. I can see in your eyes that influence has shaped you, but we need to judge you, not you and Zorc. Think of it as being given a fair chance."
"I refuse," the thief snapped defiantly.
"I thought you might," the woman sighed. "Unfortunately I cannot act until you are willing to move. I will just let you have some time to think about it." The glow receded from the room and the woman vanished. "You'll find time passes about the same here as it does on the mortal level, but you will you no longer have any mortal requirements. See you in a week!"
"What!? This is bullshit!" the thief shouted, growling as he was answered by his echo. "Fine," he sniffed, "it's not like I'm not used to sitting around doing nothing. The hell are they thinking trying to make me "fix what's I've done"." He scrowled and found a place to recline.
Three years later
The woman appeared in the room a few feet from the thief. She hadn't changed over the years, which annoyed the thief as did the rest of his prison. Though he had been so certain he could outlast her will to keep him there or find some way to escape, the isolation was wearing him down.
As she had done since her second visit, she didn't speak, simply waiting for a reply. He knew she would keep waiting for five minutes before leaving again for another week. It was the only way he could keep track of the passage of time.
She had, however, giving him a box of crayons on the second week, which he had made use of. The walls had some color to them now in the form of murals. One wall depicted a street in Japan, another a battlefield littered with corpses, one of a meadow filled with flowers. The wall the thief sat against, however, was colored to resemble the ruins of Kul Elna.
The woman had never commented on the murals. She only brought more crayons each visit to replace the ones he had used.
The thief reached behind his ear and produced a black crayon, making a mark on the floor to add to the over 150 others he had made to keep track of her visits.
"Answer me this," he began. "How much longer are you going to keep me here?" He lifted his gaze when she didn't respond, though he hadn't expected her to. "I'm not going to change my mind so just send me to hell or feed me to Ammit. Limbo even. Why are you keeping me here!?" he shouted finally, getting to his feet.
"I already told her why," she returned softly.
"Bullshit. Doesn't some god up here keep track of names? He could tell you mine. Then just judge me as evil and kill me or whatever you do up here. That's fine with me. Why does this have to be so difficult!?" He turned away from her and seethed.
"Because." Before the thief could yell at her for such a response, he felt her hands cover his eyes. "You are the only one who can stop this."
The thief's head reeled as she flooded his mind with images of how the world had changed. Darkness covered everything and those who offered resistance or tried to inspire hope were hunted down by Zorc's creatures. Cities laid in ruin and people ran for shelter or prostrated themselves before the demon when he appeared.
"Nothing can exist out of balance," the woman spoke. "The world is dying. Not just its people, but the Earth itself. If the balance of light and shadow isn't restored soon, then all will be lost."
The thief turned to face her. "Why aren't the gods doing anything?"
"The "gods", as you say, cannot. The shadows prevent them from doing so. Needless to say, they did not anticipate Zorc's power to grow in his confinement. Nor did they think a human would sacrifice so many lives and weaken his prison." She lifted her hands to his cheeks. "There is another reason you need to go back. Not only because of your skills or your connection to Zorc, but because of who you are.
Long ago, when Zorc was first sealed, the "gods" wanted to ensure there would always be a fail-safe in the event of his escape. They chose six men and women at that time and imbued them with power: three with the resplendence of light and three with the shroud of darkness. Over the course of time, those powers have been passed on and now only six remain once more." She turned away and gestured to the center of the room. Three pillars of light appeared, each bearing the image of a person. "You recognize them, do you not? These are the three who bare the power of light."
"Yugi, Malik, and...Ryou," the thief acknowledged.
"Yes. You have also met their counter parts: those baring the power of shadow." Three more pillars of light appeared.
"Except the Pharaoh and I are dead and that guy is also Malik," he scoffed, gesturing to the image of how Malik appeared during the last part of Battle City tournament.
"The nameless Pharaoh is only a prisoner. He is not dead," the woman explained. "Zorc doesn't possess the power to destroy him, only to seal him away as his soul bound to the Millennium Puzzle. However, the pieces are scattered and the core piece is well guarded. As for the other man, he is not Malik. They are from the same clan, though separated by thousands of years. His name was also lost to the years, though I believe he calls himself "Marik" now."
""Now"? The Pharaoh beat him in the Battle City finals."
"No, Malik defeated him, though the Pharaoh did help greatly. Marik's soul was lost to the shadows, which are now ever-present in the world. You need only to find him, I will handle it from there." She gestured to the teens. "Yugi and his Grandfather remain in Domino City. Malik and his brother and sister are in Egypt. Ryou, however, is kept by one of Zorc's generals under lock and key."
"You talk as if I've decided to go along with your little game," the thief snorted.
"Would it change your mind if I told you that Ryou wants to see you again?"
"The other items," she continued," were scattered as well, though others have been looking for them. And you'll need to visit Kul Elna and reassemble Diabound's tablet. You will need all the help you can get."
"You will need the three gods once more, though you'll find there are no more Duel Monsters cards. Not to worry, however, for even the gods were once Ka spirits. To make it even easier, Marik possesses Raa. Obelisk's and Osiris' original owners, or Ba as you called them, were reborn some time ago in Egypt. Sadly they were born to different families this time, but once they are reunited with Marik, they should remember their pasts." Two more pillars of light appeared, the image of a man who looked to be in his early twenties appearing in the first. His skin was tanned and his hair a sandy blond. What really caught the theif's attention was his crimson eyes. "Rajan is a scholar and a linguist, which will prove useful to you in your travels. I suggest seeking him soon. The other is named Petri," she gestured to the teen displayed in the other pillar. His skin and hair were similar to Rajan;s but his eyes were a deep blue. "You likely won't be able to earn his trust until you have found Marik."
"You're asking alot you know," the thief tsked. "Not only do you want me to undo my revenge, you want to gather all these people, most of which hate me; recollect all of the Millennium Items, one of which is in pieces; and you expect me to work with the Pharaoh, whom, if you'll recall, was the target of my revenge."
"How did revenge feel?" the woman asked cooly, leveling her gaze on him. "Did you enjoy it? Was it just as you imagined it? Don't bother responding, I already know. Otherwise you wouldn't be here right now, after all. Your revenge was the only thing driving you. Certainly, you felt relieved to have it done with, but then you were left with nothing and you felt empty. That is because it was the only purpose you allowed yourself your entire life." She pointed to the image of the former Pharaoh. "You know his name. You must because you opened the door and let Zorc out. But did you know that he regrets what happened to Kul Elna? That he is ashamed that such a travesty could go unnoticed by his father? Did you know that, after his father learned of the fate of Kul Elna, the weight of that travesty led to his death?"
The thief stared at the image of his arch-nemesis silently.
"You got your revenge. What now? Should everyone suffer because-"
"The world's never done me any favors," the thief cut her off with a glare. "I'll go, but only because I'm sick of being here and I'm sick of being alive. After all this time, I just want it to be over. That's all."
"You may regret saying that," she replied gently. "I'll be watching over you, but you will have to rely on your wits. If I help you too much, Zorc will sense my presence. He'll know something is going on and find you before your journey has a chance to begin." She held a hand out to the thief, offerings a black belt-like collar bearing a silver, ball-like bell. "Take this. It will be our connection."
"Heh, I figured you were Bast(3)," the thief said, taking the collar and putting it on.
"You know me as Bast," Bast replied with a smile. "Good luck, mortal," she said, raising her hands. A blue glow engulfed the thief as she prepared to send him back.
"Call me Bakura."
(1)Ammit: I'm sure it gets called lots of things, but it's the creature that devoured the bad souls. It was said to have the head of a crocodile, the mid-section of wild cat, and the hindquarters of a hippo.
(2)This is in reference to the fact that Egyptian's believed that their heart would be weighed against the feather of Ma'at in judgment. Also a reference to a comic I read on deviant art where both Bakura and Atem were sent back to Earth because Bakura couldn't be judged until he had a heart weight of his own.
(3)Bast: One of the numerous gods. Oh the numbers of gods back in those days. She sort of boils down to being the goddess of the domestic cat but she had a war-like aspect. So...yeah, a cat. :p
Hehehehe, Bakura gets to wear a cat collar.