Shadowchasers: Dance Macabre

By Metal Overlord 2.0

I can imagine more then a few people are confused by the republishing of my first chapter in my spin off of Cyber Commander's mythos so before we begin I want to make sure everyone understand my reasons. While I appreciate the passionate defense of several of my reviewers in favor of my writing thus far, in all honesty none of the criticisms given were anything I hadn't already suspected.

I posted that first attempt despite it being a rough draft, confident (perhaps arrogant even) in my assumption that I had already achieved fanfiction perfection, and simply had to sit back and wait for the wave of unanimous praise. The resulting deeply divided feedback was, in some sense, exactly the splash of cold water needed to remind me how long it's been since I've seriously attempted any sort of writing. In particular, despite receiving it with a fair degree of immaturity, I would like to thank Scarlet Weatherman for being the first to point out the biggest issue I had: the chapter was too short. However I also extend profound gratitude to my dear friend MichaelDJ, who I can happily count as being among those of you who have assured me that my return to writing is a task worth pursuing. So, after some consideration you now see my second, far more thought out, attempt at beginning my new story.

To fans of Punch Kick and Scratch I promise they will still play a role in the story, but for the sake of making it feel closer to my original vision of a classic gothic horror tale, I have juiced up the premier antagonist to something that, if I play my cards right, can be considered a successful example of nightmare fuel. Thank you everyone whose reviewed thus far, but I want to establish for future reference that I do not wish to have a civil war break out over my reviews between the pro and con contributing reviewers, to grow I must have both sides of the audience, so lets all play nice okay? Again I do not own 'Shadowchasers' or 'Yu-Gi-Oh' and should I decide to use Turbo Dueling, the effect of Speed World will be explained in time. Welcome to Shadowchasers: Dance Macabre, take two!

Tick-tock, tick-tock, tick-tock. Back and forth the pendulum swung, never stopping as it sliced away at the lives of every man, woman and child in the village. Without pause, without hesitation, without mercy, from the great clock tower looming up from the center of the town to the smallest pocket watch, everywhere they continued their endless warnings against certain, inevitable annihilation.

In the home of Richard Flaversham, the wealthy mayor of the village of Gallowmere, the clocks seemed louder then normal. In the bedroom of his beloved daughter Alice, the ancient but well cared for grandfather clock on the far wall seemed to shudder with every click and whir of its hidden mechanisms, as though dreading the nameless presence that now lurked in the house. In the bathroom down the upstairs hall, the ornate bath tub gave a muffled groan, as the pipes below bent, bucked and heaved being pushed out from within.

The bath tub's grate rattled, before something below gently nudged it out of the hole. A nest of wriggling strips of cloth appeared first before fanning out into a hand, which slowly felt its way up the lip of the tub. The drain shook and rattled again as a second hand emerged, and when both of them now had a grip, they tensed as their owner began to slither up from the impossibly narrow drain with the boneless ease of an octopus. Its incredibly thin form was covered in patterns of stitches, and as it squeezed up through the grate, the strain caused them loosen and drip, until by the time the thing had slid up from the drain, the tub was half an inch full…of blood.

Its face, decorated by two large black buttons for eyes, and a small zippered mouth set in a frown, looked left, then right before emerging from the tub. With an unsteady lanky gait it crept out of the bathroom and inched its way down the hallway, its feet trailing long smears of blood like the path of an injured snail. With senses wholly unrelated with sight, it sensed the one it sought was near, before a soft sigh drew its attention to the last door down the hall on the right.

It paused before the door to Alice's room, staring vacantly at the rusty hinges to the door, which would be sure to wake girl, her father and the staff serving them to its presence. Taking its hand it pressed its stained red palm against the hinges and began to rub up and down the door frame, until the ancient metal was coated in blood. As the young girl turned in her bed, the door to her room opened with almost glacial slowness, budging no more then a quarter of an inch every minute, before with almost as much time the thing poked its head into the dark chamber.

Alice's bed was but a few feet away, the back of the headrest facing a large window through which the full moon was in full view hanging above the village clock tower. The thing's mouth seemed to curl into a gentle smile as it began to tip toe towards the young woman, her long blond hair framing her delicate face which seemed to glow in the moonlight. Now the creature was so close, it could almost…




The rag man flinched with every strike of the clock tower as if it was being physically struck. As the midnight toll echoed through the village a strange sudden gust of wind began to flutter through the open window making Alice suddenly turned over stirring slightly from the sound. Trembling in fear, the rag man reached for something deep inside its chest, it pressed a palm against where its heart would be, a soft click followed by the gentle tune of a nursery song. The music seemed to have a soothing effect on Alice, making her smile and murmur something before falling back into a deep sleep.

The creature seemed to sag in relief, its smile returning as it reached out and gently stroked Alice's head, the tender motion marred by the sticky trail of blood it left down the side of her face. As it stroked her, its smile began to widen…and widen…and widen. The zipper at the end of its mouth began to tremble and slide to the left, and as it did so more blood trickled out from the hole that emerged from its mouth, little more then a deep black pit with jagged metal teeth. The lullaby's tone began to distort and speed up, as the thing slowly bent down as one would to kiss a lover, its mouth drooling blood as it's jaws cracked wide enough to swallow Alice whole!

CRUNCH! Out of nowhere, an antique rocking chair flew forward ramming it violently down the rag man's enlarged throat, its jaws working in silent convulsions as it gagged on the unexpected meal. From the other side of the room, hidden by shadows, the moon briefly reflected off the gleam of a sword and a pair of red glasses, before a figure lunged out towards the choking horror the blade rose to sever its head in one swift stroke.

With a silent scream of rage, the rag man's freakishly large jaws bit down on the chair splintering it to pieces and swallowing the remains whole. It twisted its form, leaning back to avoid the swipe its back bent at an angle that would have snapped the spine of a normal human. Shifting its weight onto its hands the rag man's feet shuddered before five curved blades tore through the rags in place of toes. Moving with frightening speed on its hands the rag man charged lashing out with its feet its claws meeting the figure's blade in a flurry of sparks.

Though successfully blocking most of them one of the rag man's jabs forced its assailant to take a quick sidestep into the part of the room illuminated by the light of the moon, revealing him to be a young man who looked not much older then Alice. His skin was so deathly pale it was almost translucent, and he was wearing jet black evening wear with a vest and tie covered by a coat. The ends of which fluttered in the evening breeze like the wings of a bat. With one hand holding up his sword, the young man reached up and adjusted his small glasses, a finger brushing against the small jagged marking on his cheek. "Ms. Flaversham's a little too old to be playing with dolls anymore, but if your that lonely, I'd be delighted to-"


Both the young man and the grotesque rag man stopped dead at the sound of Alice stirring. Roused at last by the sound of the battle, she rubbed at her eyes as she sat up…only to freeze at the tableau in front of her. A trail of blood, leading to her bed and staining her sheets and evening gown, an emaciated figure covered in stitches with fangs like broken glass, and a man holding a sword. Said man was looking at Alice his emerald eyes now three times their normal size.

"I know how bad this looks madam but its only going to get FAR worse if you-"

Alice screamed at the top of her lungs the sound cutting through the night like a razor blade. Before the man could even say 'scream' a great commotion was heard out in the hall, a series of heavy steps thundering towards the bedroom door before it burst open. Standing in the open doorway was a man no taller then five and a half feet, whose portly figure combined with a bushy mustache made him look vaguely like a walrus in embroidered pajamas.

But the look of infinite rage spurred by the threat to one's young, combined with the double barreled shotgun in his hands was nothing to laugh at, neither were the half dozen men and women who were assumed to be among the family staff, all of which were armed with pots, pans, kitchen knives and whatever else they had been able to grab. His gaze swept the room, and with the rag doll suddenly out of sight, focused his undivided attention on her attempted savior. "GET YOUR BLOODY HANDS OFF OF MY DAUGHTER YOU BASTARD!" He roared bringing up the barrel of his weapon.

"Sir please you don't seem to understand, I'm trying to help-ACK!" The man suddenly dove to the side as Alice's father opened fire, the shot barely missing its target and instead blowing the full body mirror hanging from her closet door to slivers of polished glass.

"Oh I know EXACTLY what you're trying to 'help' yourself to you fiend. I've seen the stories on the tellie, no midnight prowler's going to deflower my daughter!" Richard growled turning his back to Alice to wait for the man to pop up his head, and in doing so give him the perfect target.

"Well at least he's a dedicated father." The man muttered under his breath, picking up a piece of the broken mirror, he inched it around the corner of the door to try and see an opportunity to get that gun away from Alice's overprotective father (though he had to admit the circumstances didn't paint him in a very good light). What he saw instead made him risk getting shot by Richard as he rushed around the makeshift barrier of the door frame. "Ms. Flaversham, Alice, RUN!"

Alice, still watching all of this unfold in a state of shock, blinked as she felt something warm and moist drip onto her cheek, which as she wiped it away with her sleeve, turned out to be blood. Looking up she opened her mouth to scream at the sight of the rag doll, now dangling upside down from the chamber's ceiling, unhinge its slobbering jaws before it lunged down and swallowed the poor girl all the way down to her hips its mouth making hideously energetic sucking sounds.

"What in heaven's name?" Richard turned around to face this new danger, only to watch in horrified astonishment as the rag doll tilted back its head wolfing down more of Alice's body, her legs kicking from its mouth the rest of her struggling figure making its body distend hideously, before with one last gurgling slurp it swallowed her legs as well, the creature's zipper mouth closing as it rubbed its belly, smiling like a child who had just been given a yummy treat.

There was a moment of dead silence, everyone save the man who had tried to warn Alice frozen in place as their minds raced to find a rational explanation for what had just happened. Then with a wordless roar Richard swung up his weapon aiming straight at the creature's chest.

"NO!" The man in black shoved Richard hard just as he pulled the trigger the shot going wide and blowing a hole in the wall. With both men distracted, the rag man turned and leapt out the window falling twelve feet below onto the cobblestone road before landing with a loud greasy splat, taking off down the street as fast as it could go.

Swearing under his breath the young man poked his head out the window in time to see the rag man disappear down an alleyway. Turning back to Alice's poor father and the bewildered staff he babbled an apology along the lines of. "SoverysorrynotimetoexplainI'llpayforthedamageslater THANK YOU!" Then without another word he climbed out the window and chased after the fleeing rag man along the roof tops.

Fortunately its recent meal seemed to slow the thing's movements enough that, with the help of the trails of bloody footprints it left in its wake, the man was able to keep up with the rag man, until finally the creature made a wrong turn and found itself trapped in a dead end alley, and with Alice still squirming inside its gullet there was no way for it to squeeze through any cracks or small openings.

"Nowhere to run," The man said walking towards the cornered creature as he drew his sword. "As I said before Ms. Flaversham is too old to be playing with dolls, particularly the kind that bleed and swallow people whole. Now regurgitate her or so help me I'll gut you like a trout and pull her out myself."

The rag man quivered as if in fright, before suddenly its mouth unzipped into a disgustingly wide leer, its hands sprouted long rusty metal claws, but instead of charging at its enemy, the creature held them to its midsection making a motion as if to stab itself.

The man stopped the unspoken warning quite clear. "Clever, as long as she's inside you, she makes the perfect hostage. However," He gave the rag man a cold stare. "I happen to know that your living on borrowed time, how long before the spell that gave you this life wears off hmm? An hour? Maybe two? I'm more then willing to wait, especially since the girl's father is likely calling in every policeman in the area."

The rag man rocked back and forth on its heels as if mulling this over. Then it reached up to its right arm and, with a wet tearing noise, began to cut through the stick covered cloth that served as its 'skin'. Unfolding from within its form was a blood stained spindly metal duel disk with sharp needle like spokes and a deck already loaded into the slot.

The man grimaced at the display but nodded producing a jet black duel disk of his own. "So you'd prefer to take a chance and engage me according to the Fair Fight clause? Fair enough, but know this demon: be it as a Shadowchaser, or a gentleman, I Voltaire Amore will not allow you to prey on anymore innocents!" He proclaimed, a gust of wind sending his coat billowing around him. As one their devices activated each duelist drawing five cards from their decks.



The rag man took the first move, drawing another card as it scanned the contents of its opening hand before its button eyes were drawn to one card in particular. Giving the same small smile it had worn after eating Alice it took a card from its hand and set it on the tray. With a squeak a tiny monster with bat wings, a thin blue tail and a single glaring eye flew out of the darkness circling its owner (800/400).

Voltaire blinked at the sight of the monster. 'Meda Bat? Odd, that card rarely saw use even when it was brand new save for possible fodder for the Crush Card Virus, what is this thing up to?'

The rag man then took two more cards and set them facedown, before looking expectantly at the Shadowchaser for him to take his turn.

"Much obliged, I'll start with the spell card Dark Shuffle. Now I can select any five Dark attribute monsters I possess and place them in any order on top of my deck," He explained as his deck was shuffled automatically. "Next I summon King of the Skull Servants!" From the ground in front of Voltaire emerged a skeleton clad in a tattered purple cloak standing atop a pile of identical skeletons. (?/0)

"Its attack score may start as indeterminate, but with my next card it will soon eclipse anything you could hope to summon! I play the spell card Take Over Five!" Voltaire took the top five cards from his deck, three Lady in Wights, and two Skull Servants, and sent them to the discard pile. The skeletal ruler suddenly howled in glee as a swarm of spirits emerged from the bones and began to infuse it with their power. (?-5000/0).

After a moment's pause Voltaire thrust his hand forward. "King of Skull Servants crush the Meda Bat!" The ghoulish monarch cackled as it lunged forward and made a downward slash with its hand splitting the tiny fiend in half the rag man tilting its head to one side as its life points dropped sharply.

Then with a fanged leer the rag man pressed a button on its duel disk, one of its facedown cards emerged and began to expel a strange black mist over the area, hiding everything from view. When it faded Voltaire was shocked to see that not only was Meda Bat back on the field, but two more had joined it (800/400X3).

"How…" Then the Shadowchaser noticed the two facedown cards were now active and grimaced. 'Damn, he used Mirage Ruler to negate the battle damage and bring back Meda Bat, and then chained it to The League of Uniform Nomenclature when I had used my attack for this turn, and all it cost that thing was one thousand life points for Mirage Ruler's effect!

Looking at the remainder of his hand, Voltaire sighed and set one card facedown and waved for the rag man to take his turn.


When the creature saw what it had just drawn it did a little dance of joy, shedding droplets of blood all over the alley before playing two spell cards.

"Delta Attacker and, Thousand Energy? Oh damn…" Voltaire took a step back as all three fiends began to crackle with energy. (800+1000=1800/400X3)

The three Meda Bats rose up and assumed a triangular formation before each one fired a laser from their eyes which met in the middle before producing a MUCH larger blast that bored right through Voltaire's chest with the power of a gunshot. Spittle flew from the Shadowchasers' mouth as he clutched his chest where the beam had hit him.

The rag man put a hand to its mouth as it trying to stifle a giggle before it played another spell card, this one showing a Goblin of Greed handing an Ojama Yellow by his eye stalks to a Magical Merchant who was handing him a bag of gold coins. The three Meda Bats vanished as the rag man drew three more cards giving it a total of four. To complete its turn, it set one card and summoned a pale skinned wraith with three glowing red eyes whose body was half hidden in shadow (1200/800)


Voltaire wiped his mouth drawing a card as he looked over his enemy's field. 'First Meda Bat, now Dark King of the Abyss? This creature's strategy seems to focus on swarming the field with low level Dark attribute monsters, and then use powerful spell and trap support to take advantage of having multiple monsters in play. If I could draw one of my spell/trap removing cards, I could break through its defenses, but for now all I can do is keep forcing it to pay for Mirage Ruler's cost.'

"First, since it's the standby phase after I played Take Over Five, I can remove it from my graveyard to draw one more card." Voltaire explained pocketing the spell card and drawing once more, giving him four cards. He saw the card he had just drawn and paused, glancing from it to the rag man's facedown. 'I wonder…'

"Impressive though my king may be, he's not much without a castle, so I'll summon his domain, the Soul Absorbing Bone Tower!" Voltaire exclaimed. The ground around them began to shake, slightly at first but then more violently, before with a great roar a colossal spire burst up through the street, climbing higher and higher before it dwarfed even the village clock tower! Layer upon layer of wailing, cackling skulls made the foundation of the spire as it swayed precariously from side to side as if ready to collapse at a moment's notice (400/1500).

"King of the Skull Servants attack Dark King of the Abyss!" He commanded thrusting a hand forward. This time the fallen ruler lifted a hand drawing the spirits of the Bone Tower to its side, before forming them into a pulsing sphere of pale blue ectoplasm. With a shrill cackle the ruler of Skull Servants hurled the sphere at the Dark King, who called forth a similar sphere of dark energy the two projectile meeting in mid-air. Monarch struggled against monarch as each one tried to overpower the other, but there was far too much of a difference in strength, as the sphere of ectoplasm pierced through the Dark King's attack incinerating him with a howl.

The rag man's zipper mouth drooped into a pout before it gave a bloody raspberry. As it had before the face up Mirage Ruler began to expel dark mist covering the field. The animated rag doll gave a silent giggle of glee as, when the smoke faded; two more Dark Kings of the Abyss had appeared to join the first one, thanks to its facedown Inferno Reckless Summon. Then, out of the darkness still surrounding Voltaire's side of the field, a giggling wraith swooped out and snatched the top two cards, a Claw Reacher and Phalanx Pike, from the top of the rag man's deck.

The rag man bared its fangs in a silent hiss and gave a curiously nimble leap up reaching for its stolen cards, but the mischievous spirit simply swooped around it and stuffed the cards into the discard slot in its disk. The sound of Voltaire's voice brought its attention back to his field, where there were now THREE Bone Towers, standing in three positions around the Shadowchaser and his King of Skull Servants.

"I was wondering if you were going to try and swarm the field again in combination with Mirage Ruler, and seeing as how Dark King is level three it's incompatible with the requirement for the League of Uniform Nomenclature. So Inferno Reckless Summon seemed the most logical alternative. Thus I made sure to summon a monster weak enough to give me the same benefit, and as a bonus it's allowed me to assemble the second strategy behind my deck, a little something I like to call the Bone Palace Mill."

"On their own, Soul Absorbing Bone Towers can only discard two cards from an opponent's deck whenever a zombie type monster is special summoned, but with three assembled, the cost now grows to a total of SIX. Which means that, assuming your deck started at the forty card limit, I only need to special summon four more times to deplete your deck. Be it through the might of my King or the unbreakable defense of these towers, I WILL defeat you, and I WILL return Alice Flaversham to her father! Now make your move demon, your life shall end, either at the hands of time…or my own." He said giving the rag man a terribly cold glare.

The creature bowed its head and started to tremble, and for a moment it almost looked like it was going to curl up and cry, like a lost child pining for its mother. Then, with a violent tearing sound its mouth ripped open blood leaking down from its fangs as its mouth opened impossibly wide, arching back its head as it tried to scream without a voice, a muted shriek that, though completely lacking in sound, conveyed a terrible fury through the violent contortions of its body.

As Voltaire watched it all but tore the top card off of its deck, before immediately slamming a spell card into its disk which Voltaire, though having never actually seeing it, had heard rumors about its terrible unbalanced power. "Negative Energy Generator…good lord it really does exist." Voltaire breathed as the middle Dark King of the Abyss began to laugh at the top of his lungs as he began swelling in size until he towered well above every other monster on the field, save for the three Bone Towers (1200X3=3600/800).

But the rag man's rage was not fully spent, not yet. A second spell card appeared, ominously titled 'The Sword of the Soul-Eater'. In front of the powered up Dark King, a wicked looking blade emerged from the ground with a serrated edge like a saw and a finish that gleamed like polished obsidian. With a bony hand the Dark King reached out and pulled it free of its resting place admiring his reflection in the sword's surface.

Then, as Voltaire watched, an inverted eye cracked open from its place in the sword's handle glowing with a purplish hue. The Dark King's eyes began to glow the same color, and without warning he turned and cut down one of his siblings, splitting the helpless fiend straight down the middle in a spray of black ichor! The black blood began to quiver and flow from the monster's corpse and into the sword, the aura around the Dark King becoming even stronger. Now howling with mad glee he cut down the remaining Dark King, licking the gore off the surface of the sword as his strength grew to a level beyond even the Five God Dragon (3600+1000+1000=5600/800).

The rag man sneered and pointed at the Shadowchaser's King of Skull Servants. Eager for a change for revenge the Dark King, or perhaps Dark Emperor would be more fitting, flew up in an arc trailing the Sword of the Soul-Eater at his side as he prepared to send the resurrected king to the afterlife for the final time. Choosing to face oblivion with pride the King of the Skull Servants jutted out its bony chin in defiance, its expression never changing even as its head flew from the Dark King's decapitating blow. Voltaire lowered his head in sadness at this his eyes hidden from view.

The rag man hissed in triumph at the fall of Voltaire's only offensive force so far in the duel…only to stop and stare as the beheaded zombie got back up and plucked a replacement skull from the bones beneath it and twisted it into place with a few loud pops and cracks (5000-1000=4000/0). The sound of Voltaire laughing drew the rag man's attention back to him. "You didn't think it was THAT easy to kill one of my strongest monsters did you? When King of the Skull Servants is destroyed in battle I can remove a Skull Servant or another King of Skull Servants from my graveyard to bring it back to the field, which means that now my three Bone Towers awaken!"

From each of the spires of the dead a swarm of ghosts fell upon the rag man snatching six cards off the top of its deck, all of which were stuffed into the discard slot. The rag man's jaws snapped open and shut furiously, as if longing to sink its teeth into the Shadowchaser's flesh. Finally, seeing nothing else it could do with the one card remaining in its hand, it jabbed a claw at Voltaire indicating his turn was now starting.


Voltaire drew his next card, with the four in his hand he could see the beginning of a strategy that could very well lead him out of this mess, but he was missing a critical card. With a sigh he switched King of the Skull Servants to defense mode and set a monster on the only remaining space on his field, the skeletal ruler folding its arms and sitting down rather then kneel. "I end my turn."

The rag man tilted its head at him before drawing. From its hand the spell card Arms Hole appeared, the top card, which had the corner symbol indicating it as a ritual spell, was quickly ejected from the top of the creature's deck before it took an equip card from its graveyard. It looked from Voltaire's facedown monster, then back to the King of Skull Servants in defense mode before it pointed at the former, apparently not seeing the new weaker monarch as a threat.

Though clearly disappointed in being denied another crack at its rival, the Dark King complied severing the hidden monster in two, which was revealed to be the last of Voltaire's Skull Servants just before it shattered. From his seat the King snarled a warning as the demise of its subject bolstered its strength back to its former level (4000+1000=5000/0). The rag doll rocked back and forth on its heels becoming more and more impatient before it simply jerked its head to the Shadowchaser to take his turn.

Voltaire gave his foe a suspicious look as he drew. He had seen the image of the spell the rag man had retrieved with Arms Hole, and it had definitely NOT been Phalanx Pike, in fact so far the creature had yet to play a single card that was compatible with the requirements of what it had just retrieved. Was its Dark King fueled by the Negative Energy Generator/Sword of the Soul Eater combo really the worst its deck could produce?

He couldn't be sure, but thanks to the card he had just drawn Voltaire had a chance to bring this terrible night to an end. "Its time to show you the full power of my Bone Palace Mill strategy, and it begins with this card, Sanctity of the Netherworld!" The King of the Skull Servant tilted back its head and sighed before from its form emerged a ghostly apparition, who shockingly enough appeared to resemble the Dark King of the Abyss, were the two perhaps one and the same? Either way the spirit dispersed over Voltaire's side of the field as glowing motes of light circled around him and his monsters.

"Veil of the Netherworld's power requires me to tribute a face up zombie type monster I control, but then until the end phase of this turn the damage either of us would take involving zombie monsters is reduced to zero. I now summon the final piece of my strategy, my Pyramid Turtle!" Voltaire said holding onto his hat as a sudden sandstorm began to blow around the field, with a deep groan an enormous turtle lumbered onto the field with an entire pyramid on the back of its shell, an ornate headdress on top of its head as it stared unblinkingly at the rag man's monster (1200/1400).

"Pyramid Turtle, attack Dark King of the Abyss!" Voltaire commanded. The great beast charged (well, as much as even a building sized turtle can charge) towards its enemy, which sneered before swinging his sword creating a sickle of dark matter that lopped the beast's head off. However before the Dark King could celebrate the turtle suddenly dissolved into sand, which reformed into an identical looking turtle. At the same time the three Bone Towers glowed and summoned the horde of card snatching spirits stealing six more cards from the rag man's deck despite its best efforts to stop them.

"Whenever Pyramid Turtle is destroyed in battle, I can special summon any zombie from my deck whose defense is equal to or less then two thousand, and I happen to have two more! Pyramid Turtle number two, attack!" Again the enormous beast was cut down by the Dark King's sword, and just as it had the first time its body dissolved into sand reforming as the third and final Pyramid Turtle. The rag man's expression, though almost impossible to read, began to suggest panic, as six more cards were taken from its disk.

"Pyramid Turtle number three!" Attack, defeat, rebirth, and discard, the cycle carried through without flaw, but this time what emerged from the sand storm left behind by the turtle's death was none other then Voltaire's final King of the Skull Servants, the presence of its predecessor giving it just enough power to bring the Dark King's murderous rampage to a halt.

"Its time to finish what my Pyramid Turtles started," The Shadowchaser said in a low voice before he thrust out his hand and bellowed. "King of the Skull Servants, bring the Dark King's reign to an end!" Needing no further motivation the king drew the power of its fallen vassals into its being before it raised up its arms mounds upon mounds of bones rising up into the air. With a sneer the King of the Skull Servants thrust its arms out as the bones suddenly shot forward like shrapnel, and though the Dark King tried desperately to fend them off with great swings of his blade, they broke through and impaled him. The once terrible fiend swayed slightly, run through like a stuck pig before he collapsed in a mangled heap, gone at last.

"And thanks to the second effect of Sanctity of the Netherworld, neither player can special summon monsters from their graveyard for this turn, so even with your Mirage Ruler, the Dark King is STAYING gone, it looks like this duel is just about over, I may not have depleted your entire deck, but it seems your down to your last card. Make your move or forfeit, either way this ends here." Voltaire said setting a card from his hand and crossing his arms over his chest, waiting to see what his opponent would do.

The rag man was truly frantic now; it was shaking like a leaf shedding blood in every direction as it desperately yanked the last card from the now empty deck slot. But when it saw what it had drawn, its mouth burst open in silent shrieking laughter. Almost bending the card in the process the creature played Preparation of Rites, taking the ritual spell card (the same one it had discarded with Arms Hole).

The next card it played came as a real surprise to Voltaire, instead of a monster appearing on the rag man's side of the field, a monster appeared on his. It was a colossal golem made of riveted plates of steel with a whirling buzz-saw for a head and clamps for hands (3000/300). With the monster's summoning two much smaller version appeared on the rag man's field (0/0).

It wasn't until the rag man played the ritual card it had retrieved with Preparation with Rites that this bizarre strategy came into clarity, and it did not bode well for Voltaire at all. A brazier emblazoned with the image of the Eye of Wdjat appeared beneath one of the Grinder Tokens a pillar of purple flames rising up and consuming it whole. What emerged from the flames was a creature whose existence had been one of Yugi Mutou's darkest secrets. A lanky, bone covered horror that perched on a floating spire with fleshy gray wings, long bladelike talons, and an elongated neck, upon which rested a head with no other feature then a pulsing green eye. Relinquished, the monster created for the sole purpose of defeating the King of Games, lived again (0/0).

The hole in the monster's chest opened as it called upon the powers that had made its successor, Destiny Hero Bloo-D, such a terrible foe. Grinder Golem was slowly dragged forward unable to control the movements of its own body before, in a manner frighteningly similar to how the rag man had swallowed Alice, Relinquished absorbed the golem whole, its body shuddering and pulsing as it fed upon the newfound energy (0-3000/0). Finally the rag man fitted its new monster with what it had retrieved with Arms Hole: Opti-Camouflage Armor.

The rag man, still grinning at Voltaire, dragged its hand across its neck before Relinquished began to glow with power, its eye growing with increasingly bright light before letting loose all of the power it had assimilated from Grinder Golem into a single direct attack with enough power behind it to knock the Shadowchaser clear out of the fight!

Voltaire lowered his head and sighed as the blast came streaking towards him. "As I said before, this ends NOW!" His eyes snapped wide open as his facedown card lifted face up. "I play Malevolent Catastrophe! Now all spell and trap cards on the field are destroyed!" As the rag man's face contorted in another silent scream a whirlwind tore through the field destroying the Opti-Camouflage Armor, Mirage Ruler, and the equipped Grinder Golem. Without its power source the attack made by Relinquished dwindled and faded before it could touch Voltaire, leaving the rag man's field clear of all but its now helpless ritual monster.

Voltaire drew the last card of the duel, not even bothering to look at it as he glared over his glasses at the rag man. "Your last stand has failed, your defenses are shattered, and now with the power given to it by the vassals who continue to serve it even in death, my King will attack you directly, and end this duel once, and, for, ALL!" The King of the Skull Servants did not bother with a dramatic attack this time, it simply charged forward and sliced Relinquished into three pieces with its bony claws, yet the end result was still the same, the rag man falling to its knees as its life points drained to zero.


Both their duel disks powered down as Voltaire began to slowly walk towards the rag man who was still kneeling on the ground. "Its over, now surrender and spit out Ms. Flaversham," He added looking down at the creature his eyes narrowed. "That is, if she's still inside you."

The rag man sat motionless for a moment, before suddenly leaping up at Voltaire long steels claws and spikes erupting from every part of its body its mouth hung open in a final voiceless roar. The Shadowchaser drew his sword and swung at the same instant before, a heart beat later he was now standing behind the rag man who was frozen in place. "I don't like taking lives," He said slowly sliding his sword back into it's sheathe. "But in this case, I do so out of pity…farewell." He slid the last of the blade with a snap.

The rag man's entire body suddenly split straight down the front blood pouring in a grisly deluge that drenched the alleyway scarlet. Still gushing from the massive wound the rag man flailed wildly its mouth hung open as it screamed in pain, slowly collapsing in a mangled heap its convulsions growing weaker and weaker until finally, like a ghastly blood filled balloon that had just been poked with a needle, it deflated into a pile of inert bloody rags, without so much as a sound.

Voltaire watched his expression cold as ice behind his glasses, barely even flinching at the shallow cut on his shoulder, a final parting wound from his fallen foe. When he was certain the rag man was no longer of this world, he knelt down and, without hesitation reached into the bloody rags already knowing what he would, or rather, would not find. No scrap of clothing, no stray lock of hair, nothing to suggest Alice had ever been inside the rag man's stomach. The only thing he did find was a small black six sided cube made of polished stone, with a pentagram carved into each side. He stared at it his expression as stoic as the sphinx, knowing exactly what it was, and what it meant for Alice's fate.

"There he is! GET HIM!"

Turning his head to see who was talking Voltaire's eyes tripled in size as he had just enough time to get a good look at the police issue Billy club being swung at his head. There was a moment of almost blinding pain, and then blackness overtook him. The last coherent thought Voltaire had for a while, was what a thankless job it was being a hero…

I think it's safe to say no other 'Shadowchasers' chapter has ever ended quite like THAT eh? There you have it boys and girls, take two of the first chapter of 'Dance Macabre'. I hope I was able to carry out the duel with more initial success then the original dialogue leading up to it. To Cyber Commander I'm sorry if I gave you a heart attack with the use of Mirage Ruler AND Negative Energy Generator in one chapter, but the former turned out to have such beautiful synergy with the rest of the rag man's deck and Negative Energy Generator…well okay I wanted to say I was the first person to use that card since Seto Kaiba played it in the first duel of the original show, so sue me LOL

One way or another I feel like this time I really put more effort into this chapter, so while I'd love to hear that it turned out a success, I'm a bit more prepared for both negative and positive feedback. To those of you not used to my unique detail rampant style of writing duels do yourself a favor and give my other Yu-Gi-Oh fanfiction a look see, you'll have a better idea what your in for as the rest of the story unfolds. Speaking of which next time we see the very unpleasant side effect of being a Shadowchaser as Voltaire tries to explain himself to the local police, all the while Alice Flaversham finds herself at the mercy of a lovelorn madman. Please read and review and until next time, adieu!



Spell Card

Normal Type

Image: A Goblin of Greed handing a Magical Merchant an Ojama Yellow by his eye stalks while being handed a bag of money.

Text: Tribute one face up Normal type monster whose level two or less and draw one card. If there are any copies of that monster on your field you may tribute them as well and draw an equal number of additional cards.


Spell Card

Quick Play Type

Image: A transparent Vampire Lady standing in front of Vampire Lord protecting him from a sword strike from Getsu Fuhma

Text: Send one face up Zombie type monster you control to the graveyard. Until the end phase of this turn neither player takes battle damage from battles involving Zombie type monsters. Also neither player can special summon monsters from their graveyards.


Spell Card

Normal Type

Image: Similar to Card Shuffle, but with a winged demon as the shuffler.

Text: Select five Dark monsters from your deck, shuffle it, and place them on top of your deck in any order. When these cards are drawn they cannot be summoned or set.

('Dark Shuffle' was created by Ruin Queen of Oblivion and used with permission. Thank you for a card I'm sure well see be used QUITE a few times in this story LOL)


Spell Card

Normal Type

Image: Five cards flying out of a duelist's deck.

Text: Send the top five cards from your deck to your graveyard. During your next standby phase, if this card is in your graveyard, by removing it from play, you can draw one card. While this card is in your graveyard negate the effect(s) of cards you control that send cards from your deck to the graveyard.

(This card was used by Jaden Yuki in Yu-Gi-Oh GX Episode 167. All credit goes to the maker of the show)


Trap Card

Continuous Type*

Image: An armored warrior striking a shadowy demon down the middle with a sword.

Text: Activate only if your opponent destroys all face up monster(s) you control this turn. Special summon those monsters in their same battle positions, and gain life points equal to any battle damage you took this turn. Then, pay 1000 life points.

(This card was used by Yugi Mutou in the Ceremonal Duel against the Pharaoh in episode 222 of the original show. All creative credit goes to the makers of that episode)

*Though Yugi Wiki has labeled this card a Normal type trap card, in the image of the original card the symbol for a continuous effect is clearly seen. Thus for the purpose of this duel I have treated it as a continuous trap card, as CC has said before its best to take that site's information with a grain of salt.


Spell Card

Normal Type

Image: A black disembodied eye with a yellow iris and black pupil emitting an aura of electricity.

Text: Select one face up Dark attribute monster you control with an attack of 1500 or less. Triple its original attack for as long as its face up on the field.

(This card was used by Seto Kaiba in the very first episode of the original Yu-Gi-Oh series 'Heart of the Cards'. All creative credit goes to the makers of that episode)

SPECIAL NOTE: I'd like to apologize in case anyone (especially Cyber Commander) feels that the last two cards mentioned were too powerful to be used. One of my biggest pet peeves about stories like these is that the whole point of writing Yu-Gi-Oh fanfiction is to have fun, for me that's using cards that will likely never see the light of day in the real world. Also, despite their immense power neither Mirage Ruler or Negative Energy Generator have ever been listed as 'illegal' or 'banned' by any official criteria. Thus even if it's just this once, I have dug up these two cards and given them a chance to shine. Okay enough covering my ass, that's the end of the chapter for real this time LOL