"Bast." Yugi tried coxing his Persian off of the top of the wardrobe, "Bast, drop it. I need that for work."

The Persian, who had her teeth sunk into the sleeve of Yugi's work shirt just sat there out of his reach looking pleased with herself. He had other shirts. Unfortunately they were all in the wash, leaving the shirt Bast had the only dry one he owned.

"Please? I'll bring you back some Pokeblock." Yugi tried bribery, well aware that Bast could understand him when she wanted to.

Unfortunately right now she didn't want to. Instead the thirty-two kilo feline settled down on top of the wardrobe, squishing the shirt underneath her.

'You know, you could just put her back in her Pokeball.' Yami pointed out.

Yugi resisted the urge to facepalm, having not thought of that option and reached across to his bedside cabinet where he kept the Pokeballs for Bast and Okibi, only to find his Vulpix batting them across the room.

"If I didn't know better, I'd say the pair of you didn't want me to go to work today." Yugi complained at the pair of them.

Bast's response was to just yawn and go to sleep while Okibi barked happily at him and continued batting the balls across the room and out the door.

"Hey!" Yugi yelped, chasing the red foxlike creature down the corridor.

"Vulpix Vul!" Okibi sounded like it was highly amused as she knocked both Pokeballs down the hallway and underneath the sofa.

"Okibi..." Yugi groaned as he fished around under the sofa for the pair, finally managing to find them amongst the various other things that had been lost under there, including the TV remote, one of Joey's lost socks and a small mountain of Duel Monster cards.

Swiftly recalling his Pokémon to their respective holding items and changing for work before grabbing his bag and making a break for it, Yugi was halfway down the road when his mobile phone went off.

"Mutou Yugi speaking." He answered it, slowing down enough so he could talk and walk at the same time. Not many people had his number after all. Kaiba had it because he'd been the one to provide Yugi with the thing in the first place. Mokuba and work had it too. Other than that it was literally only his close friends and his Grandpa who had it so if it rang it was probably important.

"Yugi, hi." Mokuba's tone caused Yugi to pause, "Get in the limo."

"What?" Yugi yelped, stopping in his tracks at that.

"Get in the limo." Mokuba half asked, half demanded, "I'll explain in a minute. Don't worry, I've got your hours covered at work. Just..." The younger Kaiba brother sounded desperate, "Please..."

Yugi looked down the road and spotted the car Mokuba was talking about. It pulled up beside him within seconds and Yugi slipped into the backseat without thinking. Half surprised to find Mokuba waiting for him, he dropped the call as the car pulled away from the curb and turned all his attention to his friend. "What happened?"

Mokuba bit his lower lip, considering Yugi carefully for a moment before speaking. "You do have your deck on you, don't you?"

"Of course." Yugi nodded, "Duel Disk too, though they both would have gone in my..."

"It's fine, Yugi." Mokuba cut Yugi off before he could say the word 'locker', "I know you wouldn't use them in the Day Care. It's just that... Seto asked me to pick you up. He wants a rematch."

Yugi frowned slightly at that. Kaiba hadn't called him about a rematch, nor had he shown up to the lesson on Shadow Magic he'd booked with Yugi a few days ago. Instead he'd left a message about him going to see Pegasus and informing Yugi he'd be compensated for the time lost.

'I don't like this.' Yami sent across the link. Yugi could sense the Pharaoh's own confusion, irritation and, though Yami would never admit it, concern.

"Me either." Yugi admitted before turning all of his attention outwards, hoping to get some information before they arrived at Kaiba Corp, or wherever they were heading. "Why didn't Seto ring me? If he wanted a rematch he could have just phoned."

"I don't know." Mokuba looked unhappy, "Yugi, he..." Mokuba's gaze suddenly turned accusatory and the younger Kaiba's glare pinned Yugi to the spot, "You knew he had the Millennium Rod, didn't you?"

Yugi mentally winced as Yami took over, "He made us swear not to tell anyone. Even you, Mokuba."

"But I'm his brother!" Mokuba protested, knowing as well as Seto did that Yugi never broke his word. If he promised not to spread the word that Seto had the Rod, Yugi wouldn't tell a soul, "Why wouldn't he tell me?"

"Mokuba, why does Kaiba want a rematch with me so badly?" Yami asked, bringing the boy up sharply. Not that it wasn't a justified question, but Yami needed to know if he was walking into a Shadow Game. He'd never been quite convinced that Marik's psychotic side hadn't come from the Rod and as such had been on the lookout for a reappearance of the lunatic. "He's been more than willing to wait so far."

"I don't know." Mokuba admitted, "He's only just got back from his meeting with Pegasus and he pretty much threw the Rod at me when he sent me to get you. Said something about not needing its powers to beat you."

"Well that sounds ominous." Yugi's voice wavered as he spoke and Yami sent reassurance down the link, He was well aware his light had been hoping for some down time considering that the guys with the 'Seal of Orichelcos' hadn't made a reappearance yet and Galactic had been being rather quiet. The last thing they needed was for Kaiba to have lost it again.

"I'll meet up with him." Yami informed Mokuba, "Hopefully I'll be able to find out what's going on. If he's not using the Rod, there isn't going to be a Shadow Game involved so whatever's going through his head probably isn't going to work."

The younger Kaiba brother scowled at Yami's offhanded comment. Brotherly loyalty demanded that he stick up for his older brother, but at the same time Seto was acting weird and the track record of Duels between Yugi and his brother kind of spoke for itself. "Don't underestimate my brother." He settled for finally, "You know how tough he can be."


"Easy, easy!" Joey chuckled as he was swamped by a group of Pokémon the moment he stepped through the doors of the Day Care, "I've only been away for few weeks." Technically he'd come out of hospital a little over a fortnight ago, but he'd been advised to rest for at least that long before going back to work. Between the hospital stay, the bed rest and the Battle City tournament, he hadn't been in work for almost a month and a half except for a flying visit, and, apparently, several of the Pokémon had missed him.

He ushered the Pokémon away from the door, so they weren't blocking the entrance, and released Kaida and Iblis from their Pokeballs before spending some time just settling the Pokémon down, trying to work out if there were more Pokémon around then there had been before.

"Wheeler." Kenta, one of his colleagues, nodded as Joey darted into the employee's area to dump his stuff in his locker before he started work. "Bout time you got back, some of the Pokémon have been a nightmare while you've been gone."

Joey frowned as he changed his shirt, confused by the issue, "I don't normally have trouble with anyone. Except maybe those Scyther."

"Exactly." Kenta snorted, "The awkward Pokémon like you, we've got a new one that's causing all sorts of trouble and Francis's Raichu laid eggs and won't let anyone get close to the nest. She was letting Mutou and Risha help her out at one point but she's stopped letting Risha close. Don't know why."

"That's not like her. She's normally so nice." Joey frowned, wondering what Risha had done to tick off the normally docile Raichu badly enough that she'd stop him getting to her eggs.

"Hasn't been the last couple of weeks. Except to Mutou." Kenta snorted, "Speaking of which, if you're in now, when's he due in? The ghosts are always much better behaved when he's on duty."

"Not for another hour yet." Joey waved off the comment as he finished getting changed and pinned on his name tag, "Now I'm back, he's dropped back to his contracted hours. Has the family business to help run after all."

Kenta stretched and took a sip of his drink. "Eh, can't say fairer than that. Oh, by the way, we've got a couple more guests in the pond. A couple of Buizel and a second Gyarados."

"Cool." Joey grinned, "I'll have to have a look. Is it the Gyarados playing up?"

"I could deal with the problem if it was the Gyarados. I'm sure Tsunami would help." The young man slouched on the staffroom's sofa sighed, "I'll be out in five and introduce you to the new trouble maker. I'm on my break at the moment so..."

"I'll leave you in peace then." Joey smiled and exited the room, looking around for Denkou.

The Raichu in question was jealously guarding a nest just under the trees, letting off little sparks of electricity whenever anyone got too close.

"Hey." Joey said, kneeling down at Denkou's side and getting a light shock for his trouble.

"Raiaichu Raicha Rai." Denkou growled at him, sparking angrily.

"Hey, I'm not going to steal your eggs. I just want to look at them." Joey chuckled, backing up slightly and holding his hands up in a gesture of surrender.

"Rai chu?" Denkou asked, watching him carefully.

"Just look, not touch, look, I promise." Joey said again, glad that Denkou had stopped sparking but not wanting to antagonise her into starting again, "Duellists' honour."

She considered him a moment or so more, then moved aside. "Raiai, Raichu Rai."

"I'll be careful." Joey nodded, not one hundred percent sure what Denkou had said, but translating the tone rather than the words and hoping he had it right as he moved closer and examined the eggs. They were, as he'd been told by Yugi, yellow and black, in a stripy pattern that intrigued Joey. "Wow Denkou. Jamie's gunna flip when she hears about this." He said admiringly.

Denkou nodded, looking proud of herself. "Raiai chu rai raichu?"

"I'm ok, just gunna be a little slow for a while." Joey said, noting the concern in Denkou's tone as he stood up, wincing as he did so, and moved back. "Is there anything you want? Food? Pokeblock? Something to drink?"

The Raichu shook her head and shooed Joey away, amusing the sixteen year old, who looked around, spotted a Pokémon he'd never seen before and wandered over to it.

"Hello." He said, giving the small blue and black canine a smile.

"Riolu!" The Pokémon snapped at him irritably, "Riolu Rilu!" It took a swipe at him.

"Hey." Joey blocked it with a growl. "No need for that, I was just saying hello."

The Pokémon gave him a confused look, red eyes blinking at him as if it hadn't expected that.

"I'm Joey." The Duellist continued, watching for a sign that the 'Riolu' might attack again. "What's your name?"

"Riolu ri." The Pokémon snapped out of its confusion and stalked off, growling at him as it left.

"Grouch." Joey snorted, watching it go.

"Wheeler, you alright?" Kenta asked, darting over.

"Fine, I'm guessing that one's the trouble maker." Joey nodded towards Riolu, who was sat next to the pool, trying to ignore the children around him and failing, "What's his problem?"

"Riolu's not one of our rehabilitation cases." Kenta explained, causing Joey to nod in understanding. "Risha brought him in, apparently he found him wandering around by the docks. We're guessing he got separated from his Trainer but we haven't seen anyone around Domino."

"Risha? Isn't he one of the Electric type specialists?" Joey frowned looking around the centre and catching sight of one of the few staff members he didn't recognise, a blonde teenager, who was probably just a few inches shorter than Joey, who looked rather more comfortable with the Pokémon then some of his co-workers.

"That's right." Kenta nodded, "He's a Trainer, from the Otherworld, like Francis is. Heard there were Pokémon down this way and came down himself."

Joey nodded, listening to Kenta's tone as much as his words. "Don't like him?" Joey questioned, as he considered the teenager. He didn't look dangerous, but then if he hadn't known how dangerous Marik was, he wouldn't have considered him a threat either.

Joey had to admit that while he understood why Yugi felt sorry for Isizu and Odion, Joey couldn't say he was completely sorry that Marik had been killed in that helicopter crash.

"Don't know him well enough." Kenta replied with a snort, "Nice enough bloke, but he doesn't give lengthy answers about anything. I think I know more about your mate Tristan then I do about Risha, and I've only ever met Tristan in passing." Kenta gave Joey a sideways look. "You might have more luck. You are good with awkward otherworlders, after all."

Joey glowered at Kenta, who chuckled and backed off to deal with a pair of children who were irritating a nest of Starly.

"Zero respect."


Mars was pacing the room irritably when Venom and A.C. returned from their mission.

"Well?" She demanded as the two PKNEs knelt before her, heads bowed.

"We faced the Champion, Jamelia Francis as ordered." Venom answered, her face a mixture of anger and joy that was rather odd to behold.

"And? And?" Mars demanded, longing for the days when she no longer had to herd the group of freaks around and could lead a normal life again. She could see herself bringing Deimos along for the ride. He had, after all, been her friend from childhood and they'd left town together but once the others had served their purpose, she'd let Cyrus dispose of them as he saw fit.

"She won't be a thorn in our side any longer." Venom smirked viciously, "I made sure of that myself."

"And the Master Ball?" That was the most important part to Mars, though she found Venom's vindictiveness delightful if a little distasteful.

"Wasn't with her." A.C. shrugged, though he looked a lot more ticked off than he sounded. "The Master Ball she was carrying was a fake."

"So where is it? You did think to get that information from her before you..." Mars trailed off, furious when neither Elemental Grunt would look her in the eye. "Neither of you thought to get her to tell you were it is before you put paid to her interference?"

"We were a little busy dealing with her companion, who didn't have the Master Ball either, and her Pokémon. Even poisoned as she was, she didn't stop fighting until the very end." There was a respect in A.C's tone that caused Mars' scowl to deepen. If her little Team of freaks started sympathising with their victims, it wouldn't be long before they started questioning loyalties.

"Guess it's time to declare open season on the others then." Mars shrugged nonchalantly, knowing that Spectre at least, and Flame, her precious Deimos, wouldn't balk at what needed to be done. "A Master Ball does not just disappear into thin air. One of her precious handpicked Trainers must have it, or, more likely, Mutou, considering that his powers are, according to reports, comparable to those of a legendary Pokémon."

"Commander Mars! Eep!" Oracle tripped over her own feet, tumbled over and would have landed hard on the floor except Venom, with serpentine grace and speed moved across the room and caught her before she could hit the floor.

"You should be more careful, little Mew." The poison positive Trainer informed the psychic as she steadied the girl, "You'll do yourself an injury that way." Venom paused as she took in Oracle's state properly. The bags under her eyes spoke of one too many long nights and far too little sleep. "What's happened?"

Mars scowled as she beheld the scene but attempted to keep her mind clear of anything resembling the disdain she truly had for her freaks, well aware she was bad at it. While Oracle didn't scan the minds of those she considered friends, she'd been too cautious around the psychic girl for too long not to try.

"We, Snow and I, we've worked out who wiped the computers and we've managed to recover some of the lost data too!" Oracle practically bounced on the spot

"Details, girl." Mars's snapping tone caused the thirteen year old to flinch but Oracle managed to stand her ground even as she lost her composure when Mars's mind was suddenly filled with images and thoughts, some of which were along the lines of 'should never have offered up that dragon for such a young, naive brat'. "Oracle!"

The psychic, who hadn't slept enough over the last week or so to watch what she was doing with her powers properly snapped herself back to attention, not wanting to believe what she thought she had just seen and heard in her leader's head. Surely the one who had orchestrated her rescue from the cells of Team Cypher wouldn't think that...

"Nanoha Miko, Mercury's little Bug. The one we thought was one of us." Oracle explained, "She put a virus in the system that tried to delete everything, but it didn't quite get everything."

"I'll pass this one to Cyrus." Mars finally started to smile, "In the mean time, I'm issuing the order I know some of you have been waiting for. You are all ordered to use ANY means possible to acquire the Master Ball or its location. Do pass that on to those who aren't here. Oh and Venom, A.C.?" Both PKNEs shook slightly at her tone. "Don't screw up."


Ryou was doing his homework when his phone rang.

The ring tone was distinctive enough to have him frowning. He wasn't expecting a phone call from Jamie or Mai for another few hours, so either they had reached the city earlier than they had expected and settled in already, something Ryou doubted, or something had gone wrong.

Not that he had a say in any of it. The moment he had recognised the ringtone he had lost control of his body to his dark half, who was in the process of picking up the mobile phone, which clearly stated 'Jamie' on its caller ID and answering.

"Bakura." The Tomb Robber answered, not bothering pretending he was his light half. He didn't have to with Jamie, she knew the truth and he didn't like playing that game unless he really had to.

"Bakura, its Mai."

Ryou felt Bakura stop dead at the voice that emanated from the phone. It wasn't the Pokémon Trainer he'd expected it to be and the panic and misery in the speaker's voice was enough to have the Tomb Robber sending up a silent prayer to the gods. One that went along the lines of 'please don't take someone else away from me.'

"What do you want?" Bakura's voice showed none of the fear that Ryou could sense coursing through him.

"Bakura... we got caught. Jamie's..."

"Where are you?" Bakura's tone didn't surprise Ryou and the teenager resigned himself to losing a considerable amount of time in the near future. Not that he minded too much. The Tomb Robber who stole his body regularly had been surprisingly reasonable since he'd befriended Jamie, though not completely and not to anyone besides Ryou and Jamie, with the occasional semi-polite word to Mai or Joey. If something had happened to his friend, it was only right that he'd want to go and be there for her.

Mai gave him the co-ordinates quickly, shooing away some guy named Valon who'd apparently helped her get Jamie to the Pokémon Centre in the Rended town, but it was her last words that really struck home with the Thief King.

"Please hurry."

With that she cut the call, leaving the Thief King staring at the phone for a few moments before Ryou was treated to around five minutes of the foulest language he had ever heard, in more languages than he had thought it was possible to know. His dark half spent those five minutes torn between terror, rage and grief as he packed a bag and made sure that he had everything he needed.

It was only when Bakura couldn't find the house keys and Ryou offered up their location, not entirely sure it was a good idea but knowing that if he didn't Bakura would leave the door unlocked and all his stuff would go walkabouts, that the Thief King actually realised that his 'landlord' had heard and felt all of that.

Shockingly Bakura's only response to Ryou seeing his moment of weakness was to shove all of his emotions behind a barrier Ryou couldn't and didn't want to attempt to breech and informed him that if he wanted any chance of getting his body back in the next few days, he would sit down, shut up and let Bakura get them to the Canalave Rend without fighting him.

Ryou wisely followed orders.


It hadn't been hard for Spectre to find Mutou when the teen had failed to show up for work. All he'd had to do was follow the strange occurrences and the formation of a giant, glowing blue pyramid in the almost completed White Lightning Stadium in Competitor's Village.

The huge stadium, which had been created by the CEO of Kaiba Corp in conjunction with his little brother and the last Champion to be put in the records, Jamelia Francis, was planned to be used for big Duel Monsters tournaments and the foundation of the Pokémon League of Japan. Of course the Japanese League was going to be set up with two divisions, the one for those with real Pokémon and those who used the only just released Holoballs in conjunction with their versions of Pocket Monsters, the recently released games related to the Pokémon.

That wasn't the important thing right now though. The important part was that Mutou and Kaiba were battling in what appeared to have gone from a Duel Monster's match to a life or death battle, if the desperation and collapse of the spirit of the Millennium Puzzle was anything to go by.

Spectre grimaced as he watched the match from a safe distance. He'd seen the younger Kaiba brother arrive with Wheeler only for the blonde to collapse almost the moment he'd gotten in sight of the giant eye that took up the greater majority of one side of the pyramid. There was something linked to the glowing shape that stole souls he could sense it and while he was slightly relieved that, if the spirit lost, he wouldn't have to fight him to check Mutou's supply of Pokeballs, he didn't like the idea of the spirit, who from what he could see was little more than the one who bailed Mutou out of tough situations getting killed here.

Still he'd watched as the duel had continued, as Kaiba had been tossed aside by the force that had been in control of the duel the entire time and as the spirit of the Puzzle had managed to somehow bring himself back from the brink of death to win his freedom. He'd even watched as Mutou and the spirit of the Puzzle had worked together to summon forth Kaiba's most powerful duel monster in order to destroy the giant fire breathing canine that their attacker had become upon his defeat.

After watching them do that, he decided if Mutou and his 'friend' could come close to the brink of death and still summon a monster powerful enough to destroy a monster that would have quiet easily wiped out the whole surrounding area, then he didn't fancy his chances in a head on assault.

As such he let Mutou stumble away, supported by Wheeler, heading for the limo that would take them back to their places of residence. He'd just have to come up with another plan to deal with the problem.


Joey sighed as he leaned across the gap between desks to poke Yugi awake again.

He had wondered if Yugi coming to school today was a good idea when he'd seen how much trouble Gramps had had getting Yugi out the door this morning, but his friend had insisted that he was fine and he couldn't really afford to take more time off of school anyway.

Not that it mattered for much longer. School was nearly over and Yugi wasn't due in the Day Care today, so the moment they finished with the humdrum of their education the teen could go home and crash out. He looked like he needed it. After last night Joey wasn't surprised in the slightest.

The bell going woke Yugi up before Joey could and the blonde was treated to the sight of his friend jumping a bloody mile and falling out of his chair, causing the rest of the class to laugh at him.

"Go home, Yuge." Joey sniggered as Tea helped Yugi to his feet.

"I'm going, I'm going." Yugi sighed, causing Tea to start scolding him for even thinking about doing anything besides resting. "No wait. I have to find that ghost first."

Joey grimaced. Yugi could see the ghost Pokémon without anything like Foresight active, whereas he couldn't. This had meant that he'd missed what had apparently been some amusing antics as a ghost Pokémon spent the day teasing Yugi and standing behind their teacher pulling silly faces. "Are you sure you're alright to hunt it down today?" He asked as they headed for the shoe lockers.

"It might have moved on by tomorrow. It certainly wasn't here yesterday." Yugi shrugged, "I'll be fine. I have Yami, remember?"

He had a point. If anyone could prevent anything happening to Yugi, it was the spirit of the Pharaoh living inside the Millennium Puzzle.

"Still..." Tristan started as he pulled his trainers on seconds behind Yugi who attempted to do up his shoelace only to spot the ghost Pokémon reaching through a nearby locker. Yugi grabbed for its hand and the purple, semi-transparent Pokémon legged it.

"See you later." Yugi snatched his Pokeballs out of his backpack and darted after it.

"Yuge!" The teen was gone before Joey could register his complaint.

Tea shook her head as she led the remaining two guys outside, "I need to get myself a Pokémon, I could help you both out then."

"There's a few you might like in the Day Care at the moment." Joey replied thoughtfully, having already looked over the Pokémon with Tristan, thinking about getting partners for his other friends, just in case Galactic tried anything. "Have you ever seen a Kirlia?"

"No." Tea shook her head.

"Here." Joey pulled the most expensive piece of equipment he owned out of his back pocket, his Centre Dex. It was basically this world's version of the Pokedex, handed out solely to the Day Care Centre workers to allow them to work with the Pokémon and get any information they needed quickly and efficiently. Quickly skimming through the pages and grimacing when he had to activate the search function to find the Pokémon in question.

He handed the Centre Dex over to Tea once he'd called up Kirlia's image. He knew the one in the centre quite well. She was a shy little thing, but she moved like she was dancing the whole time and could have a temper when she was pushed or prodded. She'd suit Tea perfectly.

"She looks..." Tea broke off as flames erupted in front of them, causing hundreds of school children to scream as they turned and fled for the back entrance. Tea, Joey and Tristan moved to go with them but a wall of ice cut the trio off before they could move.

"Wheeler." Joey turned to face the speaker as Tristan pulled Tea behind him. There was a pair of Trainers stood before them. Both were in Galactic uniforms; though one was in red and one in an icy blue not unlike Jamie's hair. The red clothed one, the one speaking, was a tall male, who was broad shouldered and had red hair and brown eyes. The icy blue clothed one on the other hand was a delicate woman, who looked like she'd fit in better in one of Tea's dance classes, with long white hair and cold blue eyes. "I hear you have something of ours."

Joey snatched his Centre Dex back from Tea and scanned the two Pokémon with them, grimacing as the data for Magmortar came up. It certainly wouldn't be an easy Pokémon to fight. The woman's Mamoswine was less of an issue, he trusted Iblis to be able to deal with the ice type Pokémon. Reaching for the Pokeballs on his belt, he picked the two he knew would get him through this.

"Iblis! Kaida!" He shouted, tossing the balls into the air, "I choose you!"


'I still think you should leave it.' Yami informed Yugi as he followed his hikari, who had taken spirit form, through the changing rooms in pursuit of the ghost Pokémon that had had been teasing them all day.

"It's not from the Day Care, Yami." Yugi sent back, "So we have to make contact with it and try and get it to go there so it can be checked over. It's part of our contract, remember?"

'I know, I know. Doesn't mean I don't think this is a bad idea.' Yami grouched back as his hikari ghosted through a set of benches. Most of his bad mood was exhaustion. He was fully aware that neither of them had fully recovered from the recent Shadow Game against Anubis that had nearly claimed both their lives. It was why he wasn't best pleased that his hikari had gone ghost chasing.

However Yugi was right, they did have a duty to make sure that the ghost Pokémon that had been bothering them all day was alright and check to see if it had a Trainer, he just wished that his hikari would be a bit more careful.

"Its fine, Yami. I'll just rest after this." Yugi waved his concern off, "Besides, I think we're catching up to it. I thought I spotted going this way."

'Yugi will you please stay where I can see you?' Yami growled at his hikari as the teen darted through the wall into the gym.

"Sorry, sorry, but it's getting... ahhh!" Yugi's cry of pain coincided with an explosion of some kind. Yami crumpled to his knees in pain as Yugi's agony spiked across the link, gasping for breath for a moment as a pained whimper crossed the link.

Even as the Pharaoh staggered to his feet he reached across the link, trying to pull Yugi into his Soul Room, or draw some of the pain off or something. He stumbled as something within his mind flashed bright red, an evil eye blinked at him in his mind's eye and the pull he was using on Yugi's spirit was harshly snapped, sending his soul reeling.

A tortured scream from his precious light snapped Yami's mind back into harsh focus. Someone was hurtingYugi. They would pay.

Pushing past the pain, the Pharaoh burst through the door to find his light was the prisoner of a huge, semi transparent greyish brown Pokémon, which had yellow markings and what looked like a mouth on its stomach. The Pokémon, who was easily two foot taller than Yugi, had its meaty hand wrapped around Yugi's throat and had lifted the boy's spirit form off of the ground.

Not normally a problem, as in that form Yugi didn't need to breathe and had learned to float a long time ago, Yami realised as Yugi struggled to pull himself free that his light was not only unable to return to his Soul Room to avoid the danger, but couldn't even ghost himself out of the creature's grip.

"Let him..." Yami's demand was drowned out as electricity coursed down the Pokémon's arm and played across Yugi, causing the boy to screech as the lightning playing across his form burnt his very soul.

Yami hit the floor, an echoing cry of his own escaping his lips as his hikari's attempts to hold back the pain gave out and Yami was subjected to everything Yugi was going through.

"Tell me, Mutou!" As the torment died down, Yami heard someone speaking. A human. "Where is the Master Ball?"

When Yugi's voice didn't reply, Yami stumbled to his feet again, barely able to stand with the pain he could feel coursing down the link, and got a good look at the speaker.

A tall, lanky black haired boy with eyes as red as his own and a very pale complexion, wearing a black uniform with Team Galactic's symbol on was glaring at Yugi who was hung limply in the Pokémon's grasp.

Galactic. Yugi's assailant was from Galactic.

The Puzzle glowed as Yami started weaving a Shadow Game that would punish the one who dared torture his light for information.

Then something cold swept through him, tearing at his own soul as it passed and Yami got a glimpse of ghostly glowing claws before the Puzzle shattered and his soul went with it.

The last thing he heard was Yugi's terrified scream, "Yami!"


Author Note: Oh dear…

Sooo... Long time no update. When my PC went it took my entire plan for Sheer Cold and Sacred Fire with it. So this is my official note on this fic, please note that I am posting the first chapter of 'Relic Song' at the same time as the last chapters of both pre-mentioned fics. That is the next story in the series. You're not missing anything with me ending Sheer Cold and Sacred Fire early, it was going to be all original stuff, including generic Pokémon journeys and generic OC villains that were after the Puzzle/Yugi's magic/soul/underwear for some generic reason.

Editor's Note: JOEY! THERE IS NO 'E' IN LIGHTNING! (Sorry, had to get that out of my system).