A/N: Welcome to the follow-up to my recently completed "Stardust Accelerator" fic! If you haven't read that, then go do so, it's only 20 chapters and is pretty much required reading to understand what is going on here. The Dark Signer arc begins now!
Episode 1: A Dark Sign Part One: Escape
"So..." I said teasingly to the scientist, "do you come here often?"
She rolled her eyes at me, "Do you realize what kind of situation you're in?"
"Ah." I said, realizing something as a fiddled with my restraints, "You care."
She tensed, unsettled by sudden certainty of my seemingly baseless statement. "I hit you with a stun gun and had you taken to that place. I'm in charge of the research on you. What makes you think I'm the kind of person that has remorse."
"Oh, no reason. Just seeing a random geneticist creating life just to revive an ancient force that legend says will protect the world and trying to put it in the hands of a man that claims he has the best interests of an oppressed people. Then listening to her describe my situation as bad, and then her most recent actions as negative."
She looked at me sideways, "That... is very unsettling. You thought that hard on it?"
I shook my head, "Nope. That was easy." I grinned, "Is that even more unsettling?"
"Yes, but from my understanding of your genetic source's profile, it's not that unusual for someone in the Kou family to be sharp about people's inner workings." she went back to adjusting the dials on the machine I was attached to.
I looked hard at the ceiling, "So, I'm truly not the real Koyou Kou."
The woman shook her head, "I'm sorry, I really am."
She turned to me again, regarding me with another strange look, "What's so funny?"
"Isn't it strange that I have the emotions and memories of someone I'm not?"
"I'm not sure how to explain that."
"I have an explanation, though it may be the vanity of any sentient clone, but thinking it it struck me as amusing."
"Let's hear it then." She leaned on the machine, sincerely interested in my theory.
I smiled at the ludicrous nature, "Basically, if you think about it. I'm the partly amnesiac clone reincarnation of the heir to a fraction of the power of the cosmos, imbued with a false marking designed to steal the power of what amounts to a Aztec god."
"Whatever. Just try and wrap your head around that... then throw in card games, sometimes on motorcycles. It's the silliest thing I've ever heard. Like some overly convoluted amateur fantasy story. Wait... would the cloning make the genre sci-fi?"
"Is that really the thing you should be concerned about?" she thought it over, then laughed, "It is rather ludicrous though. Especially if you add that fact you're strapped to a brainwashing machine ins the heart of a psychic group's headquarters."
"Ah. Now I know to blow up the building when I'm done tricking you into freeing me, killing you, killing your boss, and making off with the girl. Maybe we'll walk away from a cool explosion without looking back like in the movies?"
She gave me another confused look, unsure of what to think of me.
"I'm kidding." I assured her, "Well, about parts of it at least. I probably wouldn't kill you."
"That's what you'd say if you were going to kill me."
"True, but remember the last time you tried to do this it shorted out and freed me. I might not need to trick you."
"Also true." the woman's eyes drifted over to a button on the machine, but she decided against pressing it. Instead she went back to calibration. It was a little while before she spoke again, "I'm going to run the program now. Just sit back and relax. You won't feel a thing."
I was caught a bit off-guard that she was going through with it, but with the machine simply started whirring and nothing happened, I became more perplexed. It didn't seem like I was being brainwashed. What was the screen overhead for if nothing was going to be displayed on it? Regardless I kept on my guard until it stopped, she retracted the screen thing, and pressed that button she'd been pondering, which released my restraints.
She walked over as I sat up and grabbed my head, checking my eyes with a penlight one at a a time. She wrote some data down on a pad and then smiled, "Well, that's all I'm doing, Koyou. I'm sure you understand your task completely now and will not be causing a ruckus?"
That was the first time she'd called me Koyou. Every other time she'd simply referred to me to me by my code name in the project 'Omega'. That fact, and the look on her face, made it pretty clear she was letting me off without brainwashing. I looked at her name tag, speaking in monotone, "I understand, Prof. Seria."
"Good. Now remember, you aren't allowed on the residential floors, which is the 7th floor and below. Especially not the 6th floor. That's where Aki Izayoi stays. You also are forbidden from wandering around on the 8th floor where the Signer girl and her brother are being kept." She thumbed trough her papers, pausing on a concealed picture of Luna just long enough for me to see it. I tried to maintain my cold facade in case of cameras. "Until the brainwashing is settled in, you'll be kept on the other side of that floor in a cell. Understood?"
By the slightly pleading look in her eyes, I understood completely. Divine had finally gone too far, even for someone who had headed this whole project for him. She wanted me to save them. "Yes, Professor."
"Good. Now change and I'll send some guards in to escort you to your cell." Seria motioned toward a pile of clothes, my clothes, in the corner.
I went over, walking as stiffly and methodically as I remembered the other clones walking, and dressed, making note of the deck in the pants pocket and doing my best to cover the lump with my shirt. It was pretty easy to do. I then walked over to the door and the two guards opened the door to let me out, and walked with me to the elevator. I made note of which one had the elevator key card. I did my best to get a fell for the layout of the 8th floor when we got off the elevator, which was easy, since it was mostly a long hallway that wrapped around an open space in the center.
When they opened the door to my cell and walked me inside; I struck, stunning one with a spinning back hand and then grabbing the head of the other, knocking him out with a Muay Thai style knee to the face. Going for maximum speed in taking them both down I swiftly struck the first directly on the ear with the heel of my palm, which is a strike banned from competitive martial arts as it almost always knock the victim straight out. It worked, but the knee hadn't totally worked on the other. I was forced to punt him in the head as he tried to get up. That kept him down. I wasted no time putting their robes on over my clothes, taking one of their duel disks, and getting the key cards I would need to get all of us out of there. I even took the time to shove the one whose robes I'd not taken under the bed and put the disrobed one on the bed under a sheet.
Heading out, I heard a banging on the door to the cell that was nect to mine, a slightly whiny female voice cried out, "Hey you out there! I saw you take out those guards! Could you let me out too?"
I didn't see the harm. I use the key card and the door slid open. Standing on the other side was a black-haired girl around my age in thick round glasses, a blue and white striped shirt with jeans and an orange vest. She was very happy to get out, "Great! Thank you! Wait a minute! Weren't you in the Fortune Cup? I thought the carried you off on a stretcher! What are you doing here?"
"It's complicated, but why where they holding you?"
"I'm Carly Carmine, reporter for the Daily Duel, I was snooping around and they didn't like it very much! If you hadn't come along I don't know what they would've done with me!"
"You're welcome. Now, I need to rescue some other people. Can you find your way out of here by yourself?"
"Yes, thank you. That's no problem. Good luck!" She ran off. If I'd known what was going to happen to the poor girl not long after, I would have made her come with me.
I was in too big of a hurry however, and made my way around to where the small amount of direction I was given told me Luna was most likely held. I seemed to b getting closer either to her, or a clone, as my mark seemed to encourage me to keep going, leading me right to a door. Apparently, the one on the other side could feel me too.
There was a bang on the door, and Luna's voice called out, "Who's there? Yusei? Koyou?"
I slide the card through the electronic lock and the door opened, "Hey. How's things?" I smiled.
"Koyou!" the little Signer beamed, revealed to see a friendly face, "What are you doing here?"
"I want to ask you the same question, little one."
"Leo, Tanner-san, Yanagi-san, and I all came to talk to Aki, but Divine tricked us! He gassed the room and took us hostage." Luna suddenly looked very sad, "Divine forced Leo to duel him to see if he had powers like me. I think he might be hurt."
"Great... so not only is her injured, Tanner and Yanagi need saving too?"
"Actually only Leo. I already got Tanner and Yanagi out. They made a break for it."
Luna looked over back the way I came and I turned to see the source of the familiar voice, "Yusei!"
Apparently my mark wasn't the only one to lead its bearer to Luna, "I thought you'd be here, Koyou, something about that light over the building a few nights ago made me think it was you. Are you two okay?"
"No worse for wear." I shrugged. Luna nodded that she was fine.
Yusei was relieved, "Alright, Koyou, you go find Leo and make sure the twins get out safely. I'll go see if I can find Aki."
"No, I want to find Aki, you take her and Leo."
Yusei understood my desire to save the woman I loved, but he had to disagree, "As far as I know, Aki's still terrified of you. Did anything happen to change that?"
I slumped, "No... you're right then. If you think you can get through to her, then..." Suddenly a got an ominous feeling. "What is that?"
My mark began to hurt. I didn't know it at the time, but Carly had just fallen (literally) to Divine in a duel, and given in to an evil force that was already threatening our world. Worse than that, I could feel something similar already in the building.
Apparently the others felt it too. Luna shivered, "It feels like something really bad is coming this way... we should hurry."
I looked to Yusei. "Go. I'll handle the twins. Get Aki."
Yusei nodded, do you have a key card for the elevator? I have two Blister made for me."
I nodded, "Yeah. No worries. Just make sure you get Aki out of here. I heard she lives two floors down!"
Yusei nodded again and rushed off. Luna tugged on my arm and we went toward where she thought Leo was being held. It took a bit to get there as I had to talk my way past a few guards, but we finally got to the cell. Unfortunately, another familiar voice stopped me as I was about to slide the card through the lock. It was a voice that in equal measure made me want to vomit and murder.
"What is this? First that noisy reporter breaks out, now you too?" We turned to see Divine standing there with two guards, "I really have to reexamine security protocol around here."
"Divine!" I roared, I was tempted to charge him, but that didn't get me anywhere last time.
He sneered, "Don't speak to me in that tone of voice, boy. Rogers, Hammerstein, subdue them and return them to their cells. I don't have time for this nonsense."
Divine left, and the two guards stepped forward, activating their disks. Luna slotted her own deck and gritted her teeth with determination, "It looks like we're going to have to duel them. I've got your back, Koyou."
I would have dimply fought them, but they were bigger this time, there was no guarantee I could handle both before the second either called for backup or grabbed Luna as a hostage. Dueling wouldn't draw any people, and it was the terms they were agreeing to, so no hostages. I nodded, "Alright, just stay behind me when you're not making a move. These are psychic duelists after all and I can resist their power more easily."
"Koyou..." she hesitated, then nodded, "Okay."
Koyou & Luna: 8000 vs Rogers & Hammerstein: 8000
I drew, then took the first turn, "It's my turn! First, I activate the spell card: Foolish Burial. With this card I can send a single card from my deck to the grave. I send Joan the Just Monarch. Now I summon Future Samurai in attack mode." the futuristic swordsman appeared on the field, "One face down ends my turn."
Rogers drew, "I set a monster, then one face down, turn end."
Luna stepped room behind me and drew. I gave her some input, "Careful, something tells me that has high defense."
She nodded, "I'll set one monster and then end with a face down. Your move."
I stepped in front of her protectively as Hammerstein began his turn. "I flip summon Mind Protector. Monsters with 2000 or less attack cannot declare an attack, except for Psychic monsters. Next, because I control a psychic type monster, I may normal summon Armored Axon Kicker." I large green and purple man appeared, fist crackling with energy. 2200 attack, just out of range of my trap making a difference, "Armored Axon Kicker attacks Future Samurai." my monster shattered, but the psychic force wasn't that strong comparatively, "When Armored Axon Kicker destroys a monster, I take damage equal to half that monsters attack." he took 800 damage and ended his turn with a trap.
Koyou & Luna: 7400 vs Rogers & Hammerstein: 7200
"Not a very good move. My draw!" I drew and took a look at what Luna had put one the field, it was nothing fabulous, but I could work with it. "I flip summon Sunny Pixie. Next, I activate the spell card Swing of Memories, special summoning Joan the Just Monarch from the grave until the end phase. It won't be on the field that long however. I'm tuning my level 1 Sunny Pixie with my level 6 Joan the Just Monarch! Seven swords sing seven times a song that ends seven lives! Synchro shokan! Slash, Seven Swords Warrior!" A tall golden warrior appeared a heavily armed and armored with 2300 attack, "Trap card open! Blast with Chain! This card equips to Seven Swords warrior and boosts his attack by 500. Seven's effect activates. Once per turn when he is equipped with a card, I can inflict 800 damage to you." my monster whipped the chain around and smacked Hammerstein.
"Next, I activate Luna's set spell: Release Restraint Wave. This little beauty destroys an equip I control, then every spell and trap on your side."
"No!" all his face downs were swept away by a wave of energy.
"Two effects are chained. First, when Blast with Chain is destroyed while equipped I can destroy a card on your field. I destroy Armored Axon Kicker. Second, when an equip on Seven Sword Warrior is removed from the field I can destroy one face up monster I destroy Mind Protector!"
Hammerstein gawked, "My entire field in one move! Impossible!"
I turned to give Luna a high-five, "Signer power! I direct attack with Seven Swords Warrior!"
Koyou & Luna: 7400 vs Rogers & Hammerstein: 4900
Rogers drew, "I summon Genetic Woman." a woman with two robot arms and wearing a leopard hat appeared, soon followed by a robot jester, "I activate Emergency Teleportation to special summon Krebons from my deck."
"Crap, synchro summoning."
"I tune my level 2 Krebons with my level 4 Genetic Woman! Wrack the mind and wreck the psyche! The persona of dread rises to rend all asunder! Synchro summon! Plague their dreams, Psychic Nightmare!" a large, nightmarish gargoyle appeared, wreathed in green lightning, "His effect is activated. I pick a random card in your hand. If I can guess what kind it is, Psychic Nightmare gains 1000 attack until the end phase." Either way, the monster's 2400 points already surpassed my warrior's 2300. "You only have one card. Since you didn't use your summon last turn it might be a high level monster. You didn't set anything, so it probably isn't a trap. I'm going to bet on spell card!"
I revealed the Supervise in my hand. He was right.
"Psychic Nightmare's attack become 3400 until the end phase. Now! Attack Seven Swords Warrior with Mind Crusher!"
The monster grabbed the head of my warrior and let out a sonic shriek, causing Seven Swords Warrior to cry out in pain and shatter. The shards of the battle cut mildly into my flesh, "Gah!"
Koyou & Luna: 6300 vs Rogers & Hammerstein: 4900
Luna looked at my wounds with concern, "Koyou! Are you okay?"
I chuckled, "I was nearly disemboweled a few days ago. Compared to Aki, these guys are lightweights. 1100 damage and it barely stung."
Still worried, Luna drew, uncertain of what to do at first, then she saw the combination, "I activate Ancient Forest." The battlefield was suddenly changed into a magical forest, "When a monster attacks it is destroyed at the end of the battle phase. Next I summon Kuribon and set a card."
I wasn't sure what she was planning, bringing a monster with barely any attack out. The little furball seemed mostly useless, but who was I to judge, I used the tiny Gemini Soldier quite often to devastating effect."
Hammerstein laughed, "Amateur! I set a monster, then activate Psychic Nightmare's effect. I guess the card on the left is a spell!" he was right, "I attack your little furball with Psychic Nightmare!"
"I activate Bad Reaction to Simochi! Whenever you gain life you instead lose life!"
Kuribon suddenly returned to Luna's hand, "When Kuribon battles I take no damage and if he would be destroyed he returns to my hand. You then gain life equal to the attack of the monster that attacked him."
Hammerstein gawked, "What? GAHH!" Bad Reaction to Simochi turned the heal into deal, delivering 3400 points of damage.
Luna raised her hand to the sky, "Conflict isn't allowed here. Because your monster attacked, it is destroyed at the end of the battle phase."
Koyou & Luna: 6300 vs Rogers & Hammerstein: 1500
"You little! Turn end!"
I gave the little firecracker another high five, "Unstoppable team! That's what we are. Thanks for picking up the slack."
I started my turn. Luck was with us in my draw, "I summon Blazewing Butterfly. This is over. I equipp this bad boy with Supervise and use its effect. Tributing it to revive Future Samurai." A pillar of fire erupted, leaving a heavily armored woman with a crown in its wake, "Supervise hiting the grave revives a normal monster from there. I special summon Joan the Just Monarch! Joan the Just monarch attacks your set monster!"
"No! Wait!" his monster shattered.
Koyou & Luna: 6300 vs Rogers & Hammerstein: 0
Hammerstein buckled under the force of the attack, clutching a light wound on his stomach, Rogers ran to his side. I took the chance to hand Luna the Key Card, "Luna, use this on the door and make sure Leo is okay, I'll keep these guys busy unless you need me to carry him."
She nodded, taking the key card and going to her brother. I took that chance to punt Rogers in the head to knock him out, and did the same soon after to Hammerstein. I was done incapacitating them when the twins came out. Leo seemed a bit worn down, but overall fine.
"Alright you two, stay close and follow me to the elevator. We don't want to draw any more attention. They nodded, and we were soon underway.
I got on the elevator with them without a hitch and rode down. Seria was there talking with Tanner and Yanagi, she seemed releaved that we were okay, but was also concerned with something else, "Where's Aki?"
"My friend Yusei is going to get her."
My mark throbbed, as did Luna's, "Koyou, it feels like they are in trouble... you should go help."
I turned and started back to the elevator, "I was already going to do that."
There was no way I was going to leave either Yusei or Aki to that sick feeling in the pit of my stomach. They were in real danger. Something blacker than coal was very near one of them. I had no way to know what the strange thing was, but I wasn't going to let it have its way. The ride up to the living quarters seemed like an eternity, but it seemed too short the moment I saw the person who was waiting to get on it.
Divine gritted his teeth and growled, "For pete's sake, do I have to do everything myself?"
Nect Chapter: A Dark Sign Part 2: Destined War
Set in stone events: Koyou vs Divine, the appearance of Dark Signers, days are saved but weeks are left in turmoil!
A/N: Sorry for the mediocre start compared to the last iteration. I was a bit restricted by canon here. When there is more room to move around there will be better stuff.